Saturday, 3 January 2009

New mock draft

Today sees a new mock draft on Seahawks Draft Blog. With draft order set for the top 15 teams, the only thing influencing changes right now are bowl games and scouting reports. Seattle will select fourth overall in 2009.

The mock can be found on the right hand side bar. There's only one significant change this week and it comes at the offensive tackle position. Michael Oher's dominant display against Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl looks to have propelled him into the number one tackle prospect heading into the Senior Bowl and Combine work outs. This has coincided with more negative reviews of Andre Smith. He was suspended for Alabama's defeat to Utah in the Sugar Bowl and reports continue to question his ability to deal with speed rushing defensive ends.

How does this affect the mock? Click here to find out.

Oher moves up to the second overall pick. St. Louis were reportedly in the market for Jake Long last year. Even still, they are not guaranteed to select a tackle second overall especially if they still have confidence in Orlando Pace. They could easily take Michael Crabtree or a quarter back with this pick. For now, we'll go with Oher and assume the Rams see him as good value with the second pick and a long term answer at the left tackle position.

Could he go first overall? Perhaps. Detroit's pick will surely be between a quarter back and a left tackle. Free agency will likely make their preference more obvious, as will their appointment of a new head coach. For now we have them going QB, with a second pick in the first round to come they have the leverage to perhaps take a tackle later on. The same can't be said for a franchise signal caller.

Seattle continue to select Michael Crabtree with the fourth pick. In doing so they pass on defensive talent and also tackle Andre Smith. I'm not sure the Crimson Tide prospect is a good match in the north west. His strengths are as a run blocker but Seattle prefer their left tackles to be good against the pass. Unless the Hawks see him as a right tackle or a long term guard (and it's a high pick to spend on those positions) I can't see him in Seattle.

There would be some debate about taking a wide receiver that early, but I believe Crabtree represents the best value in this scenario and would offer the Seahawks a much needed play maker on offense.

Smith eventually falls to Cincinnati. They are another team who need to secure pass protection for their team leader Carson Palmer. As already suggested, this may not be Smith's forté but having dropped to the sixth pick he represents good value and the Bengals could take a chance on him.

The other offensive tackle going in the top 10 is Jason Smith to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The franchise need to get better on the offensive line and Smith's stock is rising over the past few weeks. I currently have him rated higher than Eugene Monroe, who is another prospect who could break into a tackle-heavy top 10. What do you think of the mock? To voice your opinion, leave your comments below.


Brandon said...

seattle picks josh freeman second round. QB Kansas State

your thoughts?

Rob Staton said...

I wouldn't rule out Seattle taking a QB in this draft, at any point. Freeman has ideal size and a good arm but for me is more of a project than some of the other QB's in this class. It's hard to gauge at this point where he will go.

djpinksweatshirt said...

What about a trade with Oakland? Al Davis loves to draft skill guys high and by April will be wanting Crabtree bad. Do you think the 'Hawks could squeeze Oakland's second rounder out of them to flip spots? Or maybe even the 4rth pick for Nnamdi Asomugha (and maybe a second rounder)? The secondary troubles for the 'Hawks were manifold last year, from Brian Russell's inept safety play to the rotating cast of undersized late first round/second round corners opposite Marcus Trufaunt who got regularly torched to Marcus' regression after his Pro Bowl year, and it must be addressed this offseason. Picking Malcom Jenkins (or to a lesser degree Taylor Mays) improves the entire defense. by moving down you can pick up more selections and increase depth at other need positions, talent will be there in the 2nd and 3rd for the WR/DT/OT postions.

Rob Staton said...

I dont think there's any chance what so ever Oakland would trade Asomugha. It's a non-starter. Davis has trypically liked to draft athletic freaks. This isn't Crabtree in fairness and he wouldn't, for me, be a particularly good fit in Oakland. They really need someone to stretch the field to make use of their QB's big arm and Jeremy Maclin seems a better fit.

I think it will be almost impossible for Seattle to trade down from the 4th spot, but at the same time they shouldn't think about moving down. As Mike Sando said yesterday, the Seahawks don't need another Kelly Jennings, Chris Spencer or Lawrence Jackson. They need a franchise corner stone at an important position to set up a new era under Jim Mora. A playmaker, be it a QB or LT to be the long term future of the team... or a playmaker on either side of the ball to give an immediate boost. In my opinion Seattle needs to give themselves the best chance to take the best possible player, and that means keeping the 4th pick.

Taylor Mays is the kind of athletic freak that Al Davis likes so right now I have him going to Oakland. However, I could see a situation where he could drop to the back end of the first round. I like my safeties in the Ed Reed mould, ball hawking and always involved. I'm yet to see evidence that Mays can do that, I've only seen him delivering sledge hammer hits to guys who have already got the first down. It's fun to watch, but means little if teams are still moving the chains.

Malcolm Jenkins is an interesting prospect because of this 'recovery speed' issue. Some have questioned his ability in this area, and that's a major red flag. Drafting a corner that early, you want to have an elite player almost from day one. I think Jenkins will be a good corner, but not great.

Kurt said...

I don't see the Raiders taking Mays that high. They just drafted Huff, what, three years ago? I think they'll probably go offense with their first pick (assuming they'll stay at their current position) or, if Curry is still around, they could take him.

I agree with you about Mays, though. He looks like another Sean Taylor to me. A monster in terms of his build and a big hitter, but also a guy who can give up the big play or be flagged for a personal foul (facemask, late hit out of bounds, what have you).

I think what will be interesting for the Hawks is how Ruskell approaches this first pick. The Hawks have never had this high of a pick in his tenure and so, in years past, there wasn't too much scrutiny paid to the first selection. It was more like: "Kelly Jennings? OK, we need a corner and he seems to be the best one available at this position." Now, the fans expectations are going to be much higher. I wonder if that will make him take more of a "high risk - high reward" kind of guy like Crabtree or if he'll stick to his normal routine of making somewhat of a safe pick (one of the OTs, for instance). My gut says he'll probably go with the latter.

Rob Staton said...

I believe the Raiders benched Huff this year and will look to move him on, either in a trade for a late round pick or by cutting him. I think the Raiders are tough to call especially with Davis in charge. He could fall for Mays athleticism, but I could also see them looking at offensive tackle or Jeremy Maclin. They could also do with better defensive talent up front.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any references for Oher's "dominant performance" in the Cotton Bowl? I saw him get beat twice by a speed pass rusher in the short time I was watching. To me that overshadows all the little guys he pushed around the rest of the game.

Rob Staton said...

I watched the entire game from start to finish and personally, I felt it was a dominant performance. Faultless? I wouldn't go that for. But for me it was dominant. There were two big question marks on Oher going into that game. One was his run blocking, the other his intelligence. Ole Miss ran for 243 yards in the game and Oher in particular went a long way to dissmissing those concerns I had about his run blocks. The intelligence one I cannot answer and it's something only scouts and the team's front office will find out should he be interviewed and studied.

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