Friday, 6 February 2009

Pro Bowl weekend links

Chris Steuber at Scout.com has updated his mock draft. He has the Seahawks taking Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech) but says Matt Stafford (QB, Georgia) is also an option. Mark Sanchez (QB, USC) goes first overall to the Detroit Lions.

Matt McGuire also has a new mock published. He's another pundit who predicts Crabtree will head to the North West, stating that even though Crabtree is not considered to have elite speed neither did Larry Fitzgerald and it didn't affect his stock.

Kyle Smith from Roto Times thinks the St Louis Rams will pick Michael Crabtree forcing the Seahawks to look elsewhere. He says Seattle pick Andre Smith (OT, Alabama) suggesting he could provide a long term option at right tackle.

Matt Barrows from the Sacramento Bee looks at the draft options of NFC West rivals San Francisco. He doesn't think the 49ers will take Mark Sanchez if he falls to the tenth overall pick. He thinks Everette Brown (DE/LB, Florida State) is a more realistic option as he fits into the Niners 3-4 defensive scheme.

Kyle Rota from College Talent Scout offers some thoughts on the Stafford vs Sanchez debate. He also rates Alex Mack (C, California) very highly and thinks he would be a good fit for the Seahawks if he drops into the early stages of the second round.

8 comments:

Chris (Seattle) said...

Rob, we've discussed the hawks first round pick ad nauseum, so I figured I'd change gears in light of Kyle Rota's suggestion of us taking Alex Mack in the 2nd round. Who do you think we should target with that pick? Personally, I would love to see either Mack or Eric Wood with that pick, but sadly I don't think Ruskell will admit his mistake with Spencer by using that high of a selection on a center (even though I think both could play guard). What are some other ways they could go?

Rob Staton said...

Hi Chris,

I think it's an interesting situation because in the past, Seattle have been picking in the back end of the second round. It's been harder to predict who they would take and anyone falling that far - you start to ask serious questions why.

But picking so early in the second, prospects are going to fall (like Philip Merling last year) and there are going to be good value picks for Seattle. There's also, of course, the prospect of maybe trading back into the first. If guys like LeSean McCoy, Brian Cushing or Eben Britton dropped to Seattle it'd be a bit of a steal.

Kyle Rota is the expert on draft issues and I really respect his opinions. I personally have seen little of Alex Mack but if Kyle believes he has the potential to be a stud, then there's a good chance that will be the case. If Mack is flexible enough to play guard or centre it makes him even more attractive to the 'Hawks.

In terms of the direction they could go it really depends on who they take in the first round and then obviously free agency too. If they took an offensive linemen or a defensive prospect in the first - then I think they would have to target a WR or RB in the second round because the team needs some weapons on offense. Alternatively, if they took Michael Crabtree in the first round you could be looking at offensive line, best defensive prospects on the board or you never know, a QB like Josh Freeman.

A lot of people want the Hawks to build the offensive line up. Taking Mack in the second and a OT like Andre Smith, Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe would really enhance the line. Alternatively, a lot of people think the team needs playmakers - getting Crabtree and McCoy would really change the identity of the Seahawks offense.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,

It occurs to me that if Crabtree falls to us a 4, and I think it is only a 50-50 possibility at this time, we may get the option to trade down. The play of Larry F. in the Super Bowl aded value and sizzel to attract the NFL flys to the light. But given the choice of trade down or take him for us I think he is not that good of a fit for us value wise. Sure he is top in the college ranks at WR but if there were an OT or DT ranked as high how many bloggers would be asking to go lineman? So if the main argument is BPA, then does in not make more sense to trade down to levels that are more important to fill while picking up another pick or two? Ans this maybe possible due to the majority in the NFL feeling the need for a dominant WR so willing to trade up for him. A close look at our WR's tells me that with a healthy Matt and Oline, we can be as effective as we need to get back to the big game ourselves.

Big Joe

Lisboa (Brazil) said...

Rob, I'm a brazilian Seahawks fan (yeah, some of us enjoy football here!) and I`d like to know what are the chances of us passing on Crabtree and trading down for a second rounder (I`m thinking Oakland, if Crabtree is on the board or maybe Washington, for one of the tackles).

Would be a huge dropoff of talent from Crabtree to a guy like Kenny Britt, who also is a big, possession type of receiver? Is he going to be available in the second round?

I`d love if the Seahawks were able to get one of the tackles in the first after trading down (or my personal favorite, Knowshon Moreno) and land two guys of this list in the second: Britt, OL Alex Mack/Mas Unger or S Patrick Chung.

Is it feasible?

Sorry about any mistakes writing in english and thanks for the blog, I really appreciate!

Rob Staton said...

Hi there, great to hear from you! Your English is very good, much better than my Portuguese. I'm glad you enjoy reading the blog and hope you will keep checking back, it's always good to hear from Seahawks fans all over the world.

Firstly, the issue of trading down. In the last few NFL drafts it has become increasingly difficult to trade down out of the top five for two reasons - the cost in terms of salary (the top five picks earn an awful lot these days) and also the cost in terms of compensation to move up. However, it isn't impossible and all it takes is a willing buyer and a willing seller, so essentially there is a chance of Seattle moving down and acquiring more picks.

In my opinion, there are two scenarios that make it possible. The first as you suggest, a team being really interested in taking Michael Crabtree and the Seahawks themselves willing to pass on him. The second, is the top three picks are: DET-Stafford, STL-Crabtree, KC-Curry. All the offensive tackles are still on the board in this scenario and maybe a team (say Jacksonville, for example) would like to move up a few places to get the guy they want as opposed to settling on who might fall to them later.

Even with these two suggestions, I don't expect Seattle to trade down and I actually think they would take Crabtree if he's there, but I am certain they will review all their options on draft day and you can never rule anything out. Stranger things have happened.

With regards to the drop off in talent between Michael Crabtree and the other receivers I personally believe there is a significant difference. I think Crabtree has the potential to be an elite receiver in the NFL - the kind of guy teams will dread facing on a Sunday. If he's in the right system (and I believe Seattle's offense presents a perfect fit) he can be explosive from day one.

Jeremy Maclin is the next best receiver but he is more of a project. He reminds me of Ted Ginn Jr (drafted by Miami in 2007). He has electrifying speed (possibly 4.2-4.3) and could be a big play maker. However, he didn't run precise routes at Missouri and often 'winged' it. He'll need time to learn a play book, develop his route running and will probably take a year or two, like Ginn, to become a finished product.

After Maclin there are a handful of receivers all slated to go in a similar position. Hakeem Nicks is a prospect I've seen touted as a potential late first round pick. Then you have Kenny Britt and Percy Harvin. Out of the three, I probably prefer Harvin. He's a very talented player who switched between RB & WR in Florida's spread offense - but his injury record is a huge concern and is probably why he isn't being considered a first round pick. Britt is a difficult character and that will probably mean Ruskell would pass considering his preference for avoiding potential locker room trouble. There was a big difference in production, with Crabtree scoring 12 more TD's than Britt in 2008, although the fact Crabtree was playing in a more polished offense must be taken into account. Nonetheless, Britt will more than likely be around when Seattle select in the 2nd round.

A lot of fans are hoping the Seahawks use there early picks to invest in the offensive line. It's an interesting angle and a lot of good teams have been built 'in the trenches'. Certainly getting a big offensive tackle like Andre Smith, Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher and then adding an Alex Mack in round two would beef up the O-line.

Personally, I would like to see Seattle invest at least one early pick into the play making aspect of the team. The offense lacks an identity - someone who can be a big weapon for Matt Hasselbeck. I believe Michael Crabtree can really boost the offense but I am also very fond of another guy you mention - Knowshon Moreno. Like yourself, he is one of my favourites. He is a true triple threat back as a runner, receiver and blocker. He also has a big personality and great character - he loves to play football and it shows in his body language on and off the field. If Seattle did manage to trade down, or even stuck at four and selected Moreno - I think the 12th man would enjoy watching him at Qwest Field.

I hope that information was helpful, if you have any other questions feel free to ask and keep visiting the blog.

jjhsix said...

I think all these mocks are premature given that free agency hasn't even started. I think there is a very real possibility Seattle goes after Houshmanzadeh in free agency. If this is the case they don't take Crabtree at 4. I think it would be great to get Housh so that our 4th can be used to fill another position of need. I apply the same logic to Leroy Hill. I would be scratching my head if they let Hill leave and then spend as much or more, and a first rounder, on Curry to replace him.

Rob Staton said...

Hi jjhsix,

I agree that all mocks at this stage are premature - we're not into free agency yet and the combine will also change things. But I have to confess I find them really interesting, just to see what people are thinking at this early stage.

I would be suprised if Seattle pursue TJ Houshmanzadeh. Reports this week have suggested the Seahawks might have as little as $9-12m in cap room. The team's priority will be to lock up guys like Leroy Hill and Leonard Weaver and with the higher draft picks, there may not be room for too much extravagance in free agency. Housh is a very solid Number 2 WR but the Seahawks really need an elite play maker on offense. Housh is also not coming from a west coast offense and would need to adjust, we've seen how long it took Deion Branch to adapt.

Also, he is 31 years of age and can only be seen as a quick fix. If the team rate Michael Crabtree as highly as some expect and if they believe he will be there with the fourth pick - then the chance to draft a receiever approximately ten years younger who has the potential to be elite is a enticing proposition. Getting Houshmanzadeh could allow them to look elsewhere, but why would you want to if Crabtree is ranked significantly higher than everyone else on your board?

We should have a better idea of what direction the teams picking in the top five will go as we head into free agency soon.

jjhsix said...

Those are great points Rob - I had not realized that he was going to be 32 years old right around the start of the season. I actually hope Ruskell stays away from him but it won't shock me if he doesn't. I really don't want to see Hill leave and then be replaced with a player in round 1 or 2.