Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Here are some final mock drafts to send you into 2009.
Walter Cherepinsky at Walterfootball.com has a new mock draft with Matt Stafford going first overall and Michael Crabtree taken by the 'Hawks in fourth spot.
Michael Abromowitz agrees and also has Stafford going first and Crabtree to Seattle with the fourth pick. He has Andre Smith, OT from Alabama, dropping out of the top five.
You can see a theme emerging in today's mocks, with Kansas City Chiefs Fanatics also giving the Seahawks Crabtree. They think Stafford will fall to them with the third pick, and have Andre Smith going first overall.
New NFL Draft are giving Seattle... guess who?
Draft Empire think Michael Crabtree is heading to Qwest Field. I wonder if all of today's mocks were created in a war room somewhere?
Finally something a bit different. Pete Dymeck at Sideline Scouting thinks Seattle will snub Crabtree, Matt Stafford, Andre Smith, Taylor Mays and Michael Oher to take Chris 'Beanie' Wells (RB, Ohio State).
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Probably wishful thinking on Leach's behalf. Crabtree's stock will never be higher as a double Biletnikoff winner and a double All-American. The talented receiver is seen as a shoe in to be a top 10 pick. With Graham Harrell leaving school and very little else for Crabtree or the Raiders to achieve next year it's almost a certainty that he will head for the draft.
It was reported here that Crabtree said he would not consider the NFL in 2009. The quotes seemed a little distant at the time and he has since admitted here that he had 'nothing to prove' after winning a second Biletnikoff.
Will Crabtree declare? He has until the 15th January to make that decision.
Lets start with Drafttek. They have the Seahawks selecting Michael Oher (OT, Ole Miss) fourth overall. The top two picks in his mocks are also offensive linemen - Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe.
Dane Brugler at NFL Draft Source also thinks Seattle will take a tackle, but has Tim Ruskell picking up Eugene Monroe. The Virginia prospect has had mixed reviews over the year but remember - this guy stopped Branden Albert playing left guard in college. That has to count for something.
New Sport Draft has the 'Hawks picking Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech). He's been a popular pick for Seattle in a lot of mocks this year.
Robert Davis at Football's Future also goes with Seattle taking the talented receiver. He also has Brian Orakpo going third overall to the Chiefs, that would be a rather big reach for Kansas City even though they need a pass rush.
Michael Abromowitz at the football expert also says the Seahawks take Crabtree. He hasn't got Andre Smith (OT, Alabama) going in the top five, instead suggesting Cleveland will take the local boy Chris Wells at running back. A bookend of Joe Thomas on the left and Andre Smith on the right sounds pretty good to me.
Bronco Madness follow the trend by sending Crabtree to the northwest. This time the Chiefs take Aaron Curry third overall. Is there a chance his stock rises that much?
The Draft King has the 'Hawks picking Crabtree too. He also has Sam Bradford going to the Lions first overall. With their second pick at number 20 (taken from Dallas) he has them taking a linebacker (Clint Sintim) ahead of tackles Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith who are still on the board. Not sure about that move personally. If the Lions can get a left tackle and a franchise quarter back in the first round, they can begin to rebuild from that platform.
NFL Mock Draft Aces have the Seahawks taking Georgia prospect Matt Stafford (QB).
Monday, 29 December 2008
The first 15 positions are set. San Diego currently pick 16th but this can change if they go further than the wild card round in the playoffs. Interestingly, the Denver Broncos are picking 12th overall. At one stage they appeared destined for the playoffs. Now, not only do they fail to make the post season, they are picking just two places higher than last year when they were never involved in the playoff hunt. They took Ryan Clady in the first round in 2008 - superb value with the 10th overall selection.
*Update* It appears that Smith's suspension is due to premature consultation with an agent. This sort of thing could have led to 'Bama being kicked out of the Sugar Bowl had he played so they're playing it safe. It shouldn't affect his draft status too much but certainly raises questions as to how Smith allowed this to happen. A legal matter could have sunk him down the draft boards.
When the playoffs are finished and all 32 teams know their draft order I will develop the mock into a full first round prediction.
So I should probably explain these picks, right? Click Here for the analysis.
I have decided to put Matt Stafford back at the top of my draft board. The Lions will go quarter back or offensive tackle at this spot. I previously had Andre Smith at this spot, but I think Detroit will want to get a franchise signal caller to move forward after a woeful 0-16 year. The fact Dallas dropped to 9-7 and missed out on the playoffs makes their second first round pick more valuable and I expect they will use that choice to try and find a way to move up to get offensive line help, similar to what Kansas City did last year in picking Branden Albert.
If Smith falls it's a no brainer for St. Louis. As the top rated offensive tackle in this draft he goes second overall.
The Kansas City pick is open to debate. I wouldn't have had them taking a quarter back a few weeks ago, but then they moved on their long term general manager. They will have a new guy in charge at the top in 2009 and possibly a new head coach. Tyler Thigpen has been excellent this year but will a new GM and HC want their own guy? If they do, Bradford is the pick here.
That leaves Seattle. My top four prospects are Stafford, Smith, Bradford and Crabtree. I think after these guys, there is something of a drop off. The value at picks 5-10 is probably the same at picks 10-18. With that in mind I think the Seahawks will select Michael Crabtree.
The fifth overall pick is a tough one to call right now. A lot of pundits are high on Aaron Curry and Cleveland don't need a left tackle. He could go here but such is the situation at the moment it's a tough prediction until we get to the combine.
Of course all these projections are due to be modified as we get into free agency. To have your say on this week's mock click the comments section below and have your say.
Sunday, 28 December 2008
2 St Louis Rams
3 Kansas City Chiefs
4 Seattle Seahawks
5 Cleveland Browns
6 Cincinnati Bengals
7 Oakland Raiders
8 Jacksonville Jaguars
9 Green Bay Packers
There will be a new mock draft published tomorrow to coincide with the confirmed draft order for 2009.
The Seahawks were defeated in Arizona, recording a final 4-12 record. The Bengals victory over the Chiefs improved them to 4-11-1 so they move passed the Seahawks. The Raiders won in Tampa to get to 5-11, they will also select after Seattle.
The only debate was about the Cleveland Browns, who suffered a heavy defeat to Pittsburgh to also finish 4-12. The tie breaker is based on strength of schedule. Coming into week 17, the Seahawks had a strength of schedule of 119-120-1 and the Browns 136-101-3. Essentially, the Browns needed to make up a deficit of 18 games this week. The fact that all the Browns divisional opponents won today in the AFC North made this prospect impossible. Seattle will select 4th overall and Cleveland 5th.
Here's the last five players taken 4th overall in the NFL Draft:
2008 - Darren McFadden, Oakland, RB
2007 - Gaines Adams, Tampa Bay, DE
2006 - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, NY Jets, OT
2005 - Cedric Benson, Chicago, RB
2004 - Philip Rivers, NY Giants, QB (traded to San Diego)
Here are some links to get you in the mood. After today the draft is going to gather a lot more focus as the bowl games come to an end and the playoffs progress.
Kyle Rota at College Talent Scout has published a huge update with reports on prospects like Chris 'Beanie' Wells and Juaquin Iglesias. There will also be a seven round mock draft available soon so check for that.
If you missed it earlier, here's another chance to see the video footage of Rob Rang's interview with Eric Williams from the Tacoma News Tribune. There are seven clips in total and it's well worth a watch as Rang discusses the prospects in some need areas for the 'Hawks.
Todd McShay writes about some of the individual match ups he's looking forward to in the bowl season and includes an updated Scouts Inc. top 32 big board. He has Andre Smith rated at the top, followed by Sam Bradford, Aaron Curry and Michael Crabtree.
Chris Mortensen reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants potential draftees to know that there won't be a rookie wage scale in 2010. With a poor senior class the Seahawks need as many underclassmen to declare as possible.
Now for some mocks, first up Matt McGuire from Walterfootball.com and he thinks the Seahawks will pass on Michael Crabtree to take Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno fifth overall.
The guys at Saturdays2Sundays have an updated mock up and running. Like us here at Seahawks Draft Blog they have the 'Hawks taking Georgia QB Matt Stafford with the fifth pick.
Finally, New NFL Draft has the Seahawks again passing on Michael Crabtree. This time they select Taylor Mays, safety from USC to improve the secondary.
The reason I ask is simple, whoever Detroit take with that first pick will really influence who the rest of the top 5 picks play out. If the Seahawks fail to beat Arizona tonight, they will be picking fifth overall at the lowest. The poll closes in just under a week so remember to vote.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Rang breaks down some of the top prospects and offers some interesting opinions. Here is a link to a collection of video footage from Williams and Rang's discussion.
Friday, 26 December 2008
The only issue with Mays is that not many people seem to know much about him. He's difficult to scout, often standing deep behind the line of scrimmage for USC. Trojans head coach Pete Carroll recently admitted that no team had thrown deep on his team in 2008 making it impossible to judge Mays in certain scenarios he might face in the pro's. Mays has the size and athleticism. He's coming from a school with a tremendous history of producing defensive talent, something the Seahawks have milked from with Lofa Tatupu and more recently Lawrence Jackson.
But how will he cope against the faster and more nimble players he could face in the NFL? 26% of you thought he'd do just fine.
In second place came Wake Forest's Aaron Curry with 20% of the vote and Rey Maualuga, another USC prospect, finished third with 19%.
A new poll is now up so check the right hand side bar to vote and have your say!
If you need something to read this morning maybe to recover from a hang over or to take a break from relatives and Turkey, here are some links to get you through.
Pete Prisco at CBSSportsline says Detroit must take a quarter back first overall, stating the options are Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford. It's a virtual certainty that Detroit will take a QB or an offensive tackle in 2009.
John Niyo from the Detroit News has put together a nice article here. He suggests that a record number of underclassmen will declare for the draft and talks about who might go first overall. It's an interesting read and really recommended, ending with a look at some of the top prospects in the draft with some help from Mel Kiper.
Friend of the blog Aaron Weinberg from Next Season Sports looks at how the final week of the regular season could influence how the Seahawks pick in the draft.
Now for some mock drafts (you can find my mock on the right hand side bar). Walter Cherepinsky from Walterfootball.com has Seattle taking Michael Crabtree fifth overall, Matt Stafford is the Lions choice.
Draft Tek is in agreement when it comes to Seattle's pick, but has Andre Smith going first overall.
Matt Chase at FFJungle also believes Crabtree is heading north west. It's seemingly the trendy pick this festive season with Draft Empire also having the Seahawks selecting the Texas Tech receiver.
The guys at NE Patriots Draft disagree however. They have Stafford, Smith and Crabtree going picks 1-3 forcing Seattle to look elsewhere. Michael Johnson, defensive end from Georgia Tech, is the guy they have the Seahawks picking.
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Perhaps the most notable change is at the top with Detroit selecting Andre Smith. This pick is open to change because we don't know what the Lions will do to their front office, coaching staff or roster before we get to New York in April. If they sign Matt Cassel as a free agent for example, it will almost certainly rule out a QB going first overall. At this juncture I believe they will try to emulate the Dolphins this year by taking the top rated tackle first overall and building in the trenches. There are some question marks about Smith's ability against elite speed but he has the tools to be a number one overall selection.
This in turn changes the top five significantly. Click here for more analysis.
I believe St. Louis will consider taking a quarter back or Michael Crabtree but in the end draft Michael Oher. There are concerns about his intelligence but physically he could be the most NFL ready OT in this class. The Rams want a new left tackle after missing out on Jake Long last year.
Kansas City are still slated to pick Sam Bradford. With a new general manager set to come and potentially a new head coach I believe there is a chance the new regime 'take their own guy'. Even if Herm Edwards remains, Bradford suits the spread offense they've been using this year and could sit behind Tyler Thigpen to learn his trade.
With the top two tackles off the board and the Bengals not looking for a quarter back, Cincinnati are left with little option but to take the best player available. No sweat because that guy is Michael Crabtree. With question marks about Chad Ocho Cinco / Johnson's future and TJ Houshmandzadeh possibly hitting free agency if he doesn't get tagged, receiver could become more of a need as the weeks pass.
The Seahawks are up next and they have two options. For starters, no defensive prospects have left the draft board yet so they'd have their pick of the class. That is an option depending on how the 'Hawks scouts have graded the talent. The alternative and option I have gone for in this weeks mock, is that they take Georgia quarter back Matt Stafford. Questions continue to mount about Matt Hasselbeck's future and ultimately a medical report will determine his fate. If the doctors say he cannot be trusted to be healthy, GM Tim Ruskell may be ruthless and move the pro-bowler on with a new era set to begin under Jim Mora. The improved performance of Seneca Wallace would then lead to a training camp face off for the starting role with little pressure to start Stafford immediately. This won't be a popular pick for some of the 12th man but I firmly believe it is a possibility and that this is how the mock has fallen today.
Do you agree with this mock draft? Would you take Matt Stafford in that situation? Can Andre Smith go first overall? Have your say by clicking the comments link below and leaving your opinion.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Sam Bradford was named the Associated Press player of the year today, beating Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy to the award. Will he declare for the draft?
Vontae Davis, corner back from Illinois says he will declare for the 2009 draft. I would be surprised if Seattle took a CB in the first or second round, an assumption based on the talent pool and the selection of Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson in recent drafts. Marcus Trufant was also signed to a multi-year deal last off season.
Scouts Inc. have published a big board. Top of the list is Andre Smith, tackle from Alabama. He scores a 98 approval rating, the same score as Sam Bradford in number two. Matt Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Malcolm Jenkins and Aaron Curry all scored 97.
Talking of Smith, Steve Muench wonders whether or not he can handle elite speed rushers. He studies the film to come up with conclusions on the offensive tackles technique and talent. He also looks at the recent match up between B.J. Raji and Nick Marshman and Juaquin Iglesias' performance against the Missouri defense.
Todd McShay looks at his top five pass rushers who might declare for 2009. He has Everette Brown from Florida State ranked highest. Should he have been in our poll to find out the top rated defensive prospect?
Now for some mock drafts. J.R. Glymph at NFL Draft Blitz has Seattle selecting Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher fifth overall.
Pete Dymeck at Sideline Scouting has the 'Hawks taking Michael Crabtree, quoting that the pick "makes too much sense".
Draft King agrees and has the Seahawks taking the Texas Tech receiver. He also has Sam Bradford going first overall to the Lions.
Finally, Kyle Rota from College Talent Scout has a report on Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson. To see what Kyle thinks check the link, there's also other prospect analysis on his blog and it's well worth a read.
So what do the results mean for draft position?
1 Detroit Lions 0-15
2 St. Louis Rams 2-13
3 Kansas City Chiefs 2-13
4 Cincinnati Bengals 3-11-1
5 Seattle Seahawks 4-11
6 Oakland Raiders 4-11
7 Cleveland Browns 4-11
8 Jacksonville Jaguars 5-10
9 Green Bay Packers 5-9
Seattle stay in fifth place with the same record as Oakland and Cleveland. The reason for this order is based on strength of schedule. The Seahawks' opponents have recorded a win-loss record of 119-119-1. Oakland's is at 125-115 and Cleveland's 136-101-2.
The Seahawks will select no lower than 7th in the 2009 NFL draft with one week to go. Next week Seattle travel to Arizona to face the imploding Cardinals. Oakland are at Tampa Bay and Cleveland at Pittsburgh. If the 'Hawks win in the desert it looks likely they will be picking 7th. If they lose and the Bengals defeat the Chiefs, they will pick 4th overall.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Cincinnati travel to Cleveland in a game that will heavily affect draft position. If the Bengals win for the second week in a row they could be picking 6th overall by the end of today. It remains to be seen what benefit a poor outfit like Cincy would gain from climbing too high in these rankings. Should the Browns win, they move to 5-9 and would likely end any chances of selecting in the top five.
The Detroit Lions are losing to the New Orleans Saints today. Roll on 0-16 and a first overall pick. The Cowboys capitulation also means their other first rounder is becoming more and more valuable.
In an all NFC West encounter the 49ers travel to St. Louis. The Niners are currently 5-9 but could push themselves out of the top 10 if they keep winning. At 2-12 the Rams look good for the second overall pick and don't really stand to gain anything but pride by winning either of their remaining two games. The Rams need a big overhaul in the front office and roster.
Kansas City host Miami. The Chiefs did a good job of gift wrapping an early Christmas present to the Chargers last week (a result that stopped Seattle being in position to select 4th overall). The Dolphins have a lot to play for but the Chiefs have proven they are no push overs when they aren't busy giving away wins in the last minute. A Kansas win would be good here for the Seahawks if you're interested in picking as high as possible.
Finally, Houston tackle Oakland in a game I personally hope Matt Schaub dominates for fantasy football league value. The Raiders are currently in a tied situation with Seattle in terms of draft ranking but the 'Hawks own the tie breaker on strength of schedule. I think the Seahawks will have to 'lose out' to pick ahead of the awful Raiders.
Predictions on how draft order will look after today? Click here.
St. Louis 2-13
Green Bay 5-10
San Francisco 6-10
The current rankings can be found in the latest SDB mock draft on the right hand side bar. A new mock will be published following this weekends schedule.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Not much is happening in the draft world today but here's a few odds and ends. Bowl season has kicked off with Aaron Curry's Wake Forest defeating Navy in the Eaglebank Bowl.
This self proclaimed Draft Guru has a mock draft to check out. They have Andre Smith going first overall to Detroit, Brian Orakpo second to Cincinatti, Seattle are taking Michael Crabtree but Matthew Stafford falls all the way to number fourteen.
Q.I. Sports also has a mock draft with some good footage of each prospect. In this prediction, Sam Bradford is going first overall but yet again Michael Crabtree is headed northwest to Seattle.
In our to poll to find out the best defensive prospect in the 2009 draft, Taylor Mays is currently leading with 23%. Close behind is Rey Maualuga on 21%. If you want to change the way the voting is going check the right hand side bar underneath the mock draft and have your say. Voting closes on Christmas Day.
Friday, 19 December 2008
A slightly more interesting discussion is once again the attention Wake Forest line backer Aaron Curry is receiving. He's already won the Butkus Award and is top of both Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock's draft boards. Now he gets the seal of approval from Todd McShay. He could be the first line backer taken over all and many are tipping him to have the same impact as a rookie that Patrick Willis and Jared Mayo have had.
Interestingly, neither appears particularly high on offensive tackle Michael Oher. Mayock lists him at number 11 on his board, Kiper has him a little higher in 9th. In fact both experts list Jason Smith higher, he's as high as second on Kiper's rankings and 5th on Mayock's.
James Laurinaitis, who many thought could have been a top 15 pick in last year's draft, appears to be seeing his stock take a hit. Mayock has him at 13th and Kiper at 15th.
They agree on a few of picks. Both have line backer Aaron Curry (Wake Forest) top of their rankings. Tight End Brandon Pettigrew of Oklahoma State is ranked fourth by both. B.J. Raji, defensive tackle (Boston College) is ranked eigth by the duo.
Duke Robinson, guard from Oklahoma and much fancied by a number of Seahawks fans, only finds his way to 22nd on Kiper's big board and isn't included amongst Mayock's top 20 either. He looks like a second round pick at best right now.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Feel free to voice your reasons for voting by clicking the comments link below and have your say. Alternatively, why not suggest who else should have been on the list? If you vote other, say who you think should have been up there.
Voting ends on Christmas Day.
Quarter back, running back and wide receiver. Three important offensive positions that Seattle may be interested in improving this off season. The Seahawks need an identity on offense and some of the guys mentioned in this clip could be in the minds of Tim Ruskell and his front office.
Mel and Todd differ on a couple of their picks making for a good debate. In fact the only thing they agree on is who they think the best receiver is.
Tebow himself seems unsure as to what his plans are for the future. He isn't likely to go as early as a Matt Stafford or Sam Bradford should they both declare. Todd McShay in the article linked above says he isn't a first or second round pick.
At the same time Tebow's stock is unlikely to improve after another year with the Gators. Everyone knows what he's about by now. If he wants to test himself in the pro's or simply get a few pay cheques then he might decide to declare. So far Colt McCoy has said he will definitely stay with Texas and Matt Stafford has made it very clear he intends to head for the NFL. Sam Bradford is so far undecided but after consulting the advisory committee there's a good chance he turns pro.
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Aaron Weinberg at Nextseasonsports.com takes a look at the Seahawks' success when they've previously picked in the top five of the NFL draft.
Here's an archived article by Matthew Quirk at the Atlantic from a couple of year's ago looking at 'the loser's curse'.
USC safety and Seattle native Taylor Mays has the NFL in his sights according to Scott Wolf from the Los Angeles Daily News.
Now it's time for some mock drafts. Dane Brugler at NFL Draft Source has Seattle taking Ohio State corner back Malcolm Jenkins fifth overall.
Kansas City Chiefs fanatic agrees with Dane and also has us taking Jenkins.
Walter Cherepinsky has us taking Michael Crabtree, wide receiver from Texas Tech, in his latest mock draft.
Scott Wright at Draft Countdown also thinks we'll be seeing Crabtree at Qwest Field next year.
Not bucking with the trend, Draft Tek has another mock with Crabtree heading to the Northwest.
Packerchatters.com strangely has Seattle picking third overall, ahead of the Rams in fourth, but thinks the Seahawks will take Michael Crabtree with their first round selection.
That's all for now. Later on today we'll have the results of our second poll to find out who should top Seattle's draft board in 2009 and we'll also be revealing our new poll for this week so don't forget to vote!
Draft order has also been updated following a dramatic week 15 in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams are now picking second behind the win-less Detroit Lions. The Chiefs are up to third and the Bengals, following a victory over Jim Zorn's falling Redskins, are now selecting fourth overall. Seattle move to fifth following a 23-20 win at the Rams. San Diego's last gasp victory against Kansas City moves them out of the top ten for now, with a disappointing Green Bay franchise now selecting tenth overall.
Looking at the picks, I still believe Detroit will select a quarter back first overall. This could change depending on what happens in free agency. I also have Kansas City taking a new signal caller. I was at the New York Jets vs. Kansas City game earlier this year and personally, I like Tyler Thigpen a lot. But with Carl Peterson leaving as GM after nearly 20 years and the future of Herm Edwards in question, I'm beginning to wonder if a potential new regime will want their own guy to lead this young team.
This scenario would benefit Seattle, as one of Michael Oher or Michael Crabtree will fall to them at number five. With one day left to vote, the Seahawks Draft Blog poll shows that currently, 42% of people want Michael Crabtree to be top of Seattle's draft board.
James Laurinaitis was named an All-American for the third time, Michael Crabtree appeared for a successive year. Jeremy Maclin, a potential Seahawks target in the first round, was picked as an all purpose selection.
Seattle native Taylor Mays made the list, but there was no place for Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry. He was beaten out by Laurinaitis, Rey Maualuga and Brandon Spikes. Malcom Jenkins was also included and he will likely be the first corner back taken in the 2009 draft.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Interestingly, below the article in the comments section a 49ers fan has commented that picking 11th overall has quite some value. The last seven players taken eleventh overall? Leodis McKelvin, Patrick Willis, Jay Cutler, Demarcus Ware, Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Trufant and Dwight Freeney.
Monday, 15 December 2008
Johnson compares the victory to the 'Drew Bledsoe Bowl' of 1992 between the New England Patriots and Seattle. The Seahawks won that day and when the draft arrived, the Pats got Bledsoe and Seattle got Rick Mirer. The rest as they say, is history.
In contrast, Danny O'Neil from the Seattle Times argues the polar opposite. He claims it's far too soon to be worrying about the draft and that it in fact gets too much attention. He goes on to add that Seattle's problems cannot be solved by one player alone and that, "The Seahawks are going to get better only with improvement from within their roster."
So whose approach is right? To continue...
It's hard to argue that draft position wasn't very important in the 2008 draft. The Atlanta Falcons, having endured a 4-12 campaign were in position to draft Matt Ryan with the 3rd overall pick. Had Atlanta drafted lower down the order they might not have been able to draft the Boston College QB. The Falcons are now 9-5 with their new rookie signal caller.
A good draft and a coaching change enabled Atlanta to recover after a horrible season.
The same can be said for the Baltimore Ravens. O'Neil claims it's important for the Seahawks not to adopt a 'losing culture'. The Ravens ended the 2007 season with a nine game losing streak, only snapped in their final match against a rested Pittsburgh Steelers side. A coaching change and a good draft has turned a 5-11 team into a 9-5 playoff contender.
In their case, losing games late in the year didn't affect their ability to bounce back the following season. Indeed it seems hard to believe any momentum picked up by beating the Rams, Jets and Cardinals will be carried over to the 2009 campaign with so much happening between the months leading up to training camp.
Of the top six teams in the NFL draft last year, 50% currently have winning records. The exceptions are St. Louis and Oakland (two horribly mismanaged franchises) and the Kansas City Chiefs, currently in the midst of a massive make over.
Essentially I would argue that although I have no desire to watch the Seahawks 'lose out' and end the season an embarrassing 3-13, I also don't agree that the draft is unimportant at this stage. Being in position to draft an elite talent who can change the face of your franchise, such as Matt Ryan with the Falcons, is nothing to turn your nose up at.
Drafting either 3rd or 6th for the Falcons meant a world of difference.
With five teams selecting before the 'Hawks, the chances are gifted prospects such as Matt Stafford, Andre Smith, Michael Oher and Michael Crabtree will be off the board. These four players currently top our poll to decide who should be ranked first on Seattle's draft board.
If that was the case, who are the second tier of top 10 prospects? It seems nobody is really sure at the moment. Looking at the mock drafts around the web, the results are varied. Dane Brugler at NFL Draft Source says Seattle would go for Ohio State cornerback Michael Jenkins. NFL Draft Dog claims Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry is west coast bound.
WalterFootball.com has Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe going 6th overall, whilst DraftTek has Brian Orakpo going in the same spot.
The indifference arguably indicates the level of uncertainty amongst commentators as to who is in that second tier. Over at Seahawks.net a debate started talking about who Seattle could take should they draft 6th overall with Stafford, Smith and Crabtree off the board. A general opinion appeared to be that 6th was 'too late' for the elite talent, but too early for the Knowshon Moreno's, Aaron Curry's, Malcolm Jenkins' of this world.
In the end, Jeremy Maclin was touted as a possible option. Comparing his stats to Michael Crabtree, Maclin has 95 catches to Crabtree's 93. He also gained 1221 yards compared to the Texas Tech receivers 1135. Crabtree, however, was superior when it came to touchdowns, registering 18 to Maclin's 12.
If you're looking for a wild card in this still early stage of draft debate, Sam Bradford's status is worth monitoring. Should he declare it may shake things up in the top five leading to one of the elite guys dropping or he himself falling to Seattle at number six. Would Seattle consider taking the Heisman winner?
Another wild card? If Seattle appointed Greg Knapp as offensive coordinator as reported here, they make look to adopt a run heavy offense. With that in mind, could Seattle 'reach' on one of the top two running back talents, Knowshon Moreno or Chris Wells?
Over the last week we've reported on some of the awards handed to college football's elite. With most of the prizes won it's time for a quick recap. Here's a list of all the winners from 2008.
A dramatic Sunday of NFL football has painted a different picture in terms of draft order for 2009. A little later today we'll focus on how that change will affect Seattle.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
A defeat tonight and Seattle would have been placed second behind the Detroit Lions. Ouch. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated Washington 20-13 to improve to 2-11-1. Kansas City should have beaten the San Diego Chargers but threw it away in the last minute. They move to 2-12. Oakland are fell 49-26 at home to the New England Patriots and join the Seahawks at 3-11.
The revised top 6 now looks like this:
1. Detroit Lions
2. St. Louis Rams
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Oakland Raiders
6. Seattle Seahawks
Quite a significant difference. Picking sixth overall would make it very difficult to draft Michael Crabtree, currently leading our poll to determine who should be placed top of the Seahawks draft board. In this list, Oakland are picking ahead of Seattle based on a strength of schedule tie breaker.
Bradford threw 48 touchdowns in leading his Oklahoma Sooners to the BCS Championship. Will this affect his decision on whether to declare? It remains to be seen, but if Bradford gets the right vibes from a panel of coaches, scouts and general managers over the next few weeks he could well find himself in the NFL next year.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
With what is widely regarded as a weak senior class, expect the first round to be dominated by the young guys McShay mentions here. The deadline to make themselves draft eligible is January 15th.
McShay ranks all the listed players out of 100. He rated Sam Bradford and Andre Smith highest with scores of 98. Michael Crabtree and Matt Stafford both scored 97. Jeremy Maclin ranked fifth with a score of 96.
The most notable? He only has left tackle Michael Oher at number 11. Considering he hasn't included a lot of the top juniors in his list, that is a pretty damning review of Oher's talents. Mayock says he doesn't see a consistency in the Ole Miss prospect.
Smith all but announced his intentions to declare after accepting the trophy. "We have a great process that they put juniors through when they have the opportunity to go to the NFL, and that's what I'm relying on."
Elsewhere, corner back Malcolm Jenkins fulfilled a life long dream by winning the Jim Thorpe Award. Despite concerns about his recovery speed, Jenkins is expected to be the first corner taken in the 2009 draft. He beat out Taylor Mays (S, USC) and Eric Berry (S, Tennessee) to win the prize.
Mays, a Seattle native, has made it clear he will seriously consider declaring for the draft. The Seahawks took Lawrence Jackson from USC in the first round last year and Mays could be an option if they are looking for an addition to the secondary.
Finally, here's a look at the CBSSports.com 2008 All-America Team. There are a few names on this list that could be wearing a Seahawks uniform in 2009.
Friday, 12 December 2008
Here are some links to get you through to Saturday...
Frank Hughes discusses the possibility of selecting Walter Jones' replacement in the 2009 draft.
Mike Sando debates whether the Cardinals would have been better taking Adrian Peterson instead of Levi Brown in the 2007 NFL Draft. This could be a similar debate Seattle are faced with in 2009, whether to take a play maker or an offensive tackle.
Mel Kiper opens up his mailbag to discuss the college prospects.
Pat Forde and Ivan Maisel debate who will be awarded the Heisman Trophy this weekend.
Here's an article I wrote for Football Diner discussing whether or not the Seahawks can use Baltimore as a blue print for success in 2009.
Now for some predictions and WalterFootball has an updated mock draft here. You can also check out his mock draft database currently charting 90 mocks.
Draft Tek has Andre Smith going number one overall to the Lions. He also predicts Seattle take Michael Crabtree 5th overall.
Steve Lourie at NFL Weekly also has Seattle drafting Michael Crabtree. He thinks if Sam Bradford declares, he'll go first overall.
Q.I. Sports says Andre Smith is destined for Detroit and is another who thinks Seattle will snag Crabtree with the fifth pick.
Finally, a rival perspective on the draft. Kansas City Chiefs Fanatic has us taking Malcolm Jenkins with the fourth pick. He doesn't have Sam Bradford or Michael Crabtree declaring in his mock.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
The order has changed, with the 49ers picking after the Jaguars and the Browns. The Seahawks remain in 4th position but that could change after Sunday's schedule. If Seattle beat St. Louis they will likely swap places with the Chiefs. Should Seattle lose, they could even find themselves picking second overall.
Kansas City are now predicted to select Malcolm Jenkins. The Chiefs have more pressing needs particularly pass rush but at the moment I don't have any defensive ends in the top ten. With Jacksonville picking seventh I have them taking recent Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry. That in turn forces the Chargers to look elsewhere and I think Rey Maualuga is a good fit for them. The 49ers are now selecting Eugene Monroe, a player I'm not particularly high on.
The draft does not include Sam Bradford and will not do so until he gives a firm indication he wishes to declare. Watch out for Knowshon Moreno who I believe could gate crash the top 10 come draft day.
Two pretty similar lists with the only significant difference who they have at number one. Kiper has gone for Matt Stafford citing his cannon arm and production behind a less than stellar line. McShay picks Sam Bradford, claiming he's the most accurate QB and that Stafford's inconsistency "scares him to death".
If the scouts hold the same view as McShay, Stafford may not be a total shoe in as the number one overall pick. Miami built their foundation for a giant turn around by selecting tackle Jake Long first overall last year and Detroit may use them as a role model for success if they view either Andre Smith or Michael Oher in the same quality bracket.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Bradford is a red shirt sophomore but his stock may never be higher. Having led the Sooners to a BCS Championship date with Florida, he scored a nation high 48 touchdowns along the way. He is a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy.
Bradford's decision will likely be based on the information he receives from a selection of coaches, scouts and general managers. If he is likely to be selected in the top five he will have to seriously consider heading for the pro's.
This could affect Seattle even if they aren't in the market for a quarter back. With the Seahawks drafting in the top 10 of the 2009 draft, the more quality underclassmen who declare the better.
We asked readers what position Seattle should target in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft and 43% of you said offensive tackle.
The top rated tackles are Andre Smith (Alabama), Michael Oher (Ole Miss) and Eugene Monroe (Virginia). Taking a left tackle would be an investment in the future when Walter Jones retires. It could solidify an important position for years to come in Seattle.
In second place, 30% of readers wanted to take a wide receiver. Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) is a clear front runner at the position in the 2009 draft class, should he declare. Jeremy Maclin (Missouri) and Percy Harvin (Florida) could also go in the first round.
A new poll will begin on Friday so keep checking Seahawks Draft Blog and don't forget to vote!
He also discusses some other issues including why he thinks Matt Stafford won't get passed the first overall pick, how Tim Tebow can make a career in the NFL and why Colt McCoy made the right choice staying with the Longhorns.
ESPN are reporting that Aaron Curry of Wake Forest has won the Butkus Award for the nations top college linebacker.
He beat out some stiff competition to get the prize. Ray Maualuga (USC), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), Brian Cushing (USC) and Mark Herzlich (Boston College) were all in contention.
Why is this relevant to the Seahawks? If they weren't able to renew Leroy Hill's contract in the upcoming off season, depending on their final draft position one of these talented young LB's could become an option.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Q/ Andre Smith, Michael Oher, Michael Crabtree. Pick one for Seattle.
Michael Crabtree. For me, it becomes a win by default. I don't think our offensive tackle situation is nearly as bad as our interior OL situation, but we are running with what is, with Branch, a bad WR group. Seattle has the worst WRs in the league. I have serious questions about Smith's ability to handle elite speed rushers, and serious questions about Oher's ability to play guard for a year or two given his less-aggressive attitude and learning disability.
Q/ Who's the best defensive player likely to declare?
If this is about underclassmen, I haven't yet scouted any of the elite players, but from what little I saw I really liked Vontae Davis, the corner back from Illinois. He has a very solid all-around game and is physical against the run. If we're talking seniors, it depends on your defense. Rey Maualuga of USC is a prototype 3-4 LB. For a 43, I think Jame Laurainitis is a top-notch linebacker with the ability to be an impact player immediately.
Q/ Rank these's QB's in order - Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Matt Stafford, Tim Tebow.
Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow (with the understanding that you're not starting him til year 3), Graham Harrell.
Q/ Who wins the Heisman?
I think the single most deserving player is Tim Tebow. He's a better player than he was last year, when he (deservedly) won the Heisman. Sam Bradford does just as much, if not more, with less talent on his team, but Tebow is more deserving due to tougher competition. That said, I rarely agree with the official Heisman selection, so don't be surprised if I'm wrong.
Q/ Name one player not mentioned so far that you really like.
I wouldn't take him before pick 12, but I feel Knowshon Moreno (RB, UGA) is the exact kind of player Seattle could get behind. He's not huge at 5'11 208 (listed, not official) or exceptionally fast (4.4-4.5 speed), but he is big and fast enough to play in the NFL. More importantly, he has outstanding vision and balance. He's already a good enough blocker and pass catcher to be on the field in any situation, and he's a competitive, energetic player.
Monday, 8 December 2008
That's one to cross off the list if Seattle are thinking of taking a young quarter back next year. McCoy was the Heisman favourite for a short time until his team lost a heart breaker to Texas Tech. That defeat ultimately cost the Longhorns an appearance in the BCS Championship.
McCoy will look for another run at the BCS and the Heisman trophy next year and could become a more polished signal caller in the long run. Alternatively, we've seen how staying an extra year can hurt a quarter back's value (re: Matt Leinart).