A lot has been said about the trade for Sammy Watkins. "You only make that kind of deal if you're one player away". I suggest that we were one player away. Sure, when we selected him, we still didn't have an OL, but obviously OBD had a plan to bring in players in a deep draft (I doubt they thought it would work out as well as it did!).
Let's look at where we were two years ago. We were bad at LB, WR, and secondary. We were weak at DL and TE, and we were thin at OL. We had little or no depth anywhere, and we accepted mediocrity, but expected big things. We cut, traded, and didn't re-sign players who were mainstays on these past teams even though they were popular players. I would suggest that many of them were mediocre players that stood out only because the rest of the team was worse (Levitre slipped through the cracks).
In the past two off-seasons, we greatly improved at LB, WR, and secondary (sure Byrd will be missed, but Florence and Rogers were never going to get us anywhere). The questions about our defense are the same that every team has, who are the 10th and 11th players going to be. I believe we have enough talent to field a solid D. We addressed OL by bringing in 4 O-linemen to fill just 2 spots, and we're getting a promising player back from injury. We're going to be cutting WR's that would have been starters 2 years ago on this team. TE won't be our featured position, but we have some serviceable players. I believe a healthy EJ with a year under his belt and a solid team around him will be just fine (I'm not suggesting a Pro Bowl year, but he doesn't need that for us to make the playoffs). I also believe that year one with Hackett was about execution and evaluation, but it didn't work out well with a thin OL and injuries at all of the skill positions. Year 2 he opens it up!
By drafting Sammy Watkins, our receiving corps is now one of the most solid in the NFL. And Sammy is not just a #1 WR that excels in one area. He's a cross between CJ Spiller and Andre Reed (just get the ball in his hands and he can make a play, or let him pluck the ball out of the air and run over or drag would be tacklers). He can be used in so many different ways that DC's will have to game plan against him. Teams will double team him, and that will shut him down at times. That also means that someone else will be open, or our RB's will see a lot of daylight.
Sure there are question marks all over the field, but that's life in this era of free agency and a salary cap! It's the same thing that every team deals with, but look at our potential depth chart. Our 3rd through 7th round picks don't even need to start this year. Like some of the elite teams, we had the luxury of picking BPA and letting them develop. We now have a team with talent all through the roster, and we're very young.
AND YES, WE WERE ONE PLAYER AWAY!