There was a time, just a few weeks back that it looked like we were poised for a high enough 1st round pick that we could address our burning need for a franchise quarterback in the upcoming draft. Luck would certainly go to Indy, but we might even have a choice between RG3 or Matt Barkley.
But how quickly thingscan change now in the NFL. Now we're suddenly, if remotely, back in playoff contention and looking at yet another 8-8 record and a mid round pick long after any viable, or a least big name, candidate would be gone- especially now given that Barkley is staying in the dorms for another year. If RG3 does come out, thankfully he'll be playing for half a year, and then going on IR with a torn ACL, for some other unlucky team.
But most luckily for us is the very real chance that quarterback is suddenly no longer a position of such dire need thanks to the arrival of Kyle Orton. For the first half of the year I watched him in a Denver uniform and so wished we'd have gone his direction instead of pissing away millions of dollars on the Matt Cassel crapshoot. Last week we saw what a difference a real leader makes. Orton exceeded my, and I'm sure everyone else's, expectations. It was not just about the throws- he certainly missed a few- but it was about presence. He was the center of the offense, not just another guy in a red jersey looking lost and confused.
Sure, we have another couple of games to play and he could stink up the joint, but I very much doubt that will happen. And if he ends strong, I for one would like to see Cassel cut to try to put that huge mistake behind us and to save as much money as possible. No one knows what Stanzi has, but if he can't strap it on then we could look for a backup in FA.
Then comes the draft, and we'd be free to address the next area of major need for a high pick- linebacker. At #12 to 15 we might still see a Notre Dame's Manti Te'o quality player on the board. The only other pick at that spot would be on OT if a Jonathon Martin was still on the board.
But I, for one, feel very good about the prospect of going into next season with Orton, Berry and Sir Charles back, a top 15 pick in the lineup.