Rob Rang and Chad Reuter from NFL Draft Scout have both published new mock drafts on CBS Sportsline. Rang has published three mock's so far and has changed Seattle's pick each time. Originally he had the Seahawks taking Jason Smith (OT, Baylor) then Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech) and now he's chosen Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State). This is Reuter's first go at a mock this year and he has Tim Ruskell taking Crabtree with the fourth pick.
For analysis on the predictions, click here.
Rang has a proven track record of correctly predicting Seattle's first round picks. There are a few notable surprises in this week's update however. Firstly, Michael Crabtree (listed as the top player on NFL Draft Scout's big board) drops to the 7th pick (Oakland). Rang says his lack of elite speed will hold him back - but Larry Fitzgerald ran a 4.6 at the combine and went third overall. Secondly, Knowshon Moreno drops as far as the 29th pick. Rang cites his 'size and speed' as a reason, but Moreno's physical statistics rank very similarly to LaDainian Tomlinson. It would be a surprise if he dropped that far in the first round. Thirdly, he has Buffalo selecting Mark Sanchez (QB, USC). With the team standing by Dick Jauron and his coaching staff it seems unlikely the Bills will abandon the Trent Edwards project.
Seattle's selection is sure to raise a few eyebrows. The team has invested money and picks into the corner back position (Trufant, Jennings, Wilson). By drafting Jenkins it would almost certainly mean that the team has given up on at least one of Kelly Jennings or Josh Wilson, two players drafted by Tim Ruskell. With the money involved, Jenkins would be expected to start almost immediately. It seems particularly harsh on Wilson who showed enough potential in 2008 to deserve a chance to start.
There are concerns about Jenkins transition into the NFL. He made his reputation with the Buckeye's as a tall, sure tackling corner regularly pushing up to the line of scrimmage to take on a running back or receiver. However, if you are drafting a corner back in the top five you are really looking for someone to lock down the position and be an elite player. Jenkins' recovery speed will seriously restrict him in the pro's. He isn't a ball hawk and I have my doubts as to whether he can play man to man because of the lack of speed. Where as a receiver can get away with only average pace, they always have the advantage of knowing what route they are running. The corner back usually has to react and recover putting a further emphasis on being able to keep up. Can Jenkins manage this against the faster receivers in the NFL? I have serious doubts.
Some have suggested he will likely change position to safety (in the mould of Antrel Rolle) and I suspect he will have more success there. However, do you spend a top five pick on a guy who might require a position change? This highlights video shows Jenkins' best plays from 2008. For me it emphasises Jenkins true value - pushing up in run support, reading the QB to stop a screen pass or make a play for the ball, blitzing the quarter back, stalking a running back or receiver and making an open field tackle for a short loss. He has the potential to be a very effective safety.
Reuter's mock has a couple of notable picks. The Bengals take Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri) with the 6th pick even though Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia) and Michael Oher (OT, Ole Miss) are still on the board. Jason Smith (OT, Baylor) goes to Kansas City with the third pick even though the Chiefs invested a first rounder in Brendan Albert last year. Reuter says Smith would play right tackle.
Again, despite NFL Draft Scout ranking Michael Crabtree top of their big board he falls to the fourth pick were he is taken by Seattle.