We've actually needed one even before Dawk left. If you recall the coaching staff tried to groom Quintin Demps to take over, but he ended up in the doghouse after blowing a tackle on an Adrian Peterson TD run in the 2008 playoffs.
My guess is that in this Draft we may FINALLY address this issue with a stud player at the FS position, (and no, even prior to his being drafted did I ever consider Nate Allen to be that player.)
On March 11th during the initial round of FA, I'd target Miami CB Brent Grimes and move Bradley Fletcher over to FS. As you saw this season, he has the speed, size, physicality and tackling ability as well as experience playing Safety in St. Louis.
It couldn't hurt to have FS who can man-up like a CB with a slot WR. Why not make 1 move and upgrade 2 positions while giving the rookie someone to learn from? Besides that, Grimes is Philly born, so coming back to play for a playoff team in front of family and friends could be a selling point.
I'd also go out and steal C Alex Mack from the Browns aside from being 2 years older, he's an upgrade IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY over Jason Kelce. Once Mack was onboard I’d package Kelce and our second rounder to move up in that round (since a low second round pick carries basically a high third round value).
This is all I'd do in the first round of FA. Just go out and get a couple of tone setters. Then I’d rest until the Draft. Unless a knock-my-socks-off trade popped up, or someone inexplicably cut a player like a Bernard Pierce, or an Adrian Clayborn, then I’d pounce.
On May 8th during the Draft, my priorities would be: FS (to groom, not start immediately), OLB (who is also fluid in coverage), OT, G, K, and C, in that order. Afterwards in (rookie Free Agency) I'd add some size and brute strength at ILB, a versatile LS, and a DB/KR.
Starting with the June 1st purging of veterans, I'd add "vets with something to prove", on 1 and 2 year incentivized contracts. I would avoid attempting to sign a guy to play a large role. These veteran’s individual feelings of urgency would permeate my camp. They’d be living, breathing, talking, teaching, day in and day out examples to the youth. It would also lend gravity to cutdowns when known name after known name found its way to the cutting room floor.
A talented roster playing with a sense of urgency is not a bad way to start a season, or condition the mindset of a roster.