Ken and I picked our players without talking with each other first (with the rule that Darrelle Revis is not on the board). To me it was between Brick and Mangold...and I took Ferguson.
Kevin: There are a lot of good players on the Jets to choose from, but it's impossible to pass on a book-end Tackle, especially one of the quality and size of 26-year old Pro-Bowler, D'Brickashaw Ferguson. There's no doubt Casey Rabach is near the end of his career, but top-quality Centers can be had late in the 1st round of a draft whereas Tackles cannot. You don't think Shanahan would love Ferguson, the 4th overall pick out of UVA? Brick is a lean 6'6', 310 lbs and ran a 4.99 40. The Redskins right-side of the line has been inexcusable for too long and Jammal Brown already has lingering injuries. The Skins 1st round draft pick next year can be used on PSU Center, Stefen Wisniewski, or USC Center, Kristofer O'Dowd, with even the possibility of trading back for a later pick. If the future is now, then the right side needs help. It's improved, but the backup situation is as dire as Mark Brunell's portfolio.
"Manlove for Mangold"
Ken: Over the years, positions have evolved in a variety of ways. Some positions have exploded in size, some in speed, some in strength, and some in all of the above. The center position is no exception, as these guys are bigger and stronger now than they have ever been. That said, one thing that has not changed about the center position over the years is the unique mix of nastiness and intelligence that it takes to be great there. Think about Jeff Bostic for a moment. Of all the Hogs, he is said to have been the meanest, most ornery one in the bunch. It was Bostic that famously told Randy White we were coming at him again, and again...and again in that 1983 NFC Championship. Centers call out protections and have to know pretty much everything the quarterback knows. They read the defense at the line of scrimmage and set up the line to account for blitzes, overloads, etc. In football, if you are strong up the middle (on offense and defense) you can win.
Nick Mangold is arguably the best center in the game today. A Pro Bowler in 2008 and 2009, and an All-Pro selection in 2009, Mangold has made all the line calls since he took over the center duties from Kevin Mawae as a rookie. He anchors one of the best run-blocking lines in the NFL and if you watch "Hard Knocks", you have seen his daily battles with Kris Jenkins (not exactly a slouch on the defensive line). I have long been pining for a return to greatness at the center position for the Redskins. Casey Rabach has been a very serviceable center, and has been consistently average to just above average at the spot in his tenure with the Redskins. But a player of Mangold's caliber would be a clear upgrade at the center position, and I argue would have a large positive impact on our offense.
OK. So who wins...Ken or me?