Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Checking up on the mocks

For weeks most mock drafts on the internet were suggesting Seattle would pick Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech). Will the signing of T.J. Houshamandzadeh change anything?

Pat Kirwan from NFL.com certainly thinks so. He predicts Detroit will pass on Matt Stafford (taking Jason Smith instead) leading to Seattle selecting the Georgia quarter back fourth overall. "With the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Seahawks can pass on Michael Crabtree and think long-term." - Pat Kirwan

Jamie Dukes and Charles Davis also predict the Seahawks going in a different direction. Dukes thinks Seattle will take B.J. Raji (DT, Boston College) whilst Davis goes with Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia).

Rob Rang updated his mock draft yesterday (as reported here). Rang also thinks Seattle will select Monroe, passing on Crabtree now that Houshmandzadeh is on board.

Matt McGuire thinks differently however. He predicts Seattle will consider Crabtree with the fourth overall pick, citing Houshmandzadeh's age and Deion Branch's inability to stay healthy as a reason.

NFL Mock Draft Aces is another blog touting Stafford to Seattle. It would be an interesting pick - Stafford has a superb arm and huge potential. Such an investment would force the Seahawks to start Stafford sooner rather than later, which could cause friction with current franchise quarter back Matt Hasselbeck.

6 comments:

Chris (Seattle) said...

Rob, how do you feel about the idea of the hawks ending up with Stafford?

Personally, I wouldn't want to do anything to offend or upset Hasselbeck. He is the national face of our franchise, a fantastic leader on and off the field, and is still a great quarterback. Although his injuries are of some concern, I feel some of that can be chalked up to the shoddy blocking (and his willingness to play through pain is another huge plus for his character). He's personally my favorite Seahawk, but I'm a realist. I understand in this league you have to be prepared for the future, and with the QB position it is often a good idea to draft a player and let them learn for a year or two under a veteran. I was begging for a chance to get Bradford for this scenario. However, I don't know if Stafford is the guy worth risking team chemistry and investing the future of the franchise on. Physically, he has all you could want in an NFL QB. Mentally, however, is another story. He has a little too much of the bad qualities of Brett Favre in him for my taste. It doesn't matter if a guy can throw it 90mph or 70 yards plus downfield if they can't read a defense and are firing into defender's hands. If he can improve his decision making and consistency, he will no doubt be a multiple pro bowler. But, can we risk the huge investment on that if? I say no, and hope we still can get Crabtree or trade down. Your thoughts?

Also, I read on Sando's ESPN blog that the hawks are interested in Jermaine Phillips. I personally loved to hear this. Not so much because I think Phillips is anything amazing, but it shows the staff and front office are seriously evaluating possible replacements for Russell. We can only hope!

Rob Staton said...

Hi Chris, great to hear from you,

I'm torn on the issue of drafting Stafford. Personally I think he will be taken first overall so we probably won't get the oppurtunity, but for the sake of this debate I'll assume he's still there with the fourth pick.

You make a good point about the friction it could cause with Matt Hasselbeck. The team would essentially be saying, "times up". I'm not sure Hasselbeck would take too kindly to that. It could undermine the team in 2009 and I get the impression that the focus is very much in 'win now' mode. How else can you explain spending $40m and $15 guaranteed for a receiver who will be 32 when the season begins? There are a lot of ageing veterans on the roster and the team doesn't appear to be in the process of a rebuild. They see the 4-12 campaign as a potential one off and expect to bounce back, so you would assume they'd like to draft someone who can have an immediate impact to the cause.

If you draft a quarter back fourth overall, you are committing to them starting sooner rather than later. So you're putting Hasselbeck in a difficult situation, you're potentially undermining the 2009 season and in a years time when the rookie is probably going to start, your ageing roster is another year older. It's not ideal.

Of course, at the same time QB is the most important position in football. There's no room for sentiment, even towards a franchise quarter back. The simple fact is Seattle has a 34 year old QB with a bad back and a backup approaching 30. Unless they are fully confident in Hasselbeck and Wallace for the next 3-4 years they have to find a legitimate younger option to train up. They may not get another chance to take someone of Stafford's potential, so do you bank the pick? It's a difficult one to gauge. Either way I expect the team to draft a quarter back at some stage, they have to address the position. Unfortunately, the QB class this year isn't particularly deep. They could always find a way to trade for a younger QB, such as Green Bay's Brian Brohm. That could also be an option when the team decides to replace Hasselbeck - especially if they feel this isn't a good year to draft a QB outside of the top ten picks.

Anonymous said...

The Chargers waited 3 years before putting Rivers in.

Rob Staton said...

Good point annonymous, indeed Rivers did sit his first two years and started the third. However, here's the difference:

Rivers (2004) - 6 years, $40m $14.5m guaranteed

Matt Ryan (2008) - 6 years, $72m $34.75m guaranteed

The difference in contracts between 2004 and 2008 are pretty big. It's likely taking a rookie fourth overall will result in a similar contract to which Ryan signed last year having been taken third overall. That would put significant pressure on Seattle to start a QB sooner than perhaps San Diego did with Rivers.

Allen said...

Hasselbeck is, and always has been, as class act.

If we chose Stafford, that would continue. Matt is a professional who's realistic and mature. I would foresee no problem between Matt and the team upon such a move.

Of course, the media would certainly embellish a non-story like that to the boiling point of a full-blown 'QB Controversy'. That, of course, would be complete BS. That's the common theme that I hate about journalism, the media, etc. They often lie (or at least 'spin' the truth) to sell what they're selling. The truth is that I would expect Seattle to do what's best for the team, and all parties involved to understand that.

fountaindale said...

I don't think you take a QB this high unless you think he's special. Just being the best in a given draft doesn't make a player special.

I'd love to see Seattle trade this year's first to a team (Detroit?) that needs more immediate impact help. It seems there is more talent that fit's our needs in next years draft.

I know draft pick trades are based upon a value table so I'm not sure what actual values would be. However, the concept is as follows. We would receive a fourth this year and next year's first. If next year's fist dropped below specific levels we would receive additional compensation based upon the actual value of the pick.

One team gets a year's head start on returning to a competitive level and the Hawks don't get stuck with a really high priced player that doesn't fit their needs. A fly in the ointment could be the ability of a team (Detroit) to sign two, high first round picks.

Could we get Taylor Mays at 10 and a still have another first round pick by waiting a year?

...that would be sweet.