Sunday, 15 March 2009

Rob Rang updated mock draft

Rob Rang from NFL Draft Scout updated his mock draft today with another significant change at the fourth overall pick. In the aftermath of this weekend's blockbuster trade involving Julian Peterson and Cory Redding, Rang predicts the Seahawks will take Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

"Trading OLB Julian Peterson creates a gaping hole at the strong-side position in Seattle's defense. The Seahawks could plug Curry in immediately and, considering they'd be getting the player many believe is the draft's top talent at the fourth pick, the team would be getting optimum value." - Rob Rang

It's certainly a valid point regarding value. Curry is considered by many to be the draft's best player and is well positioned to have an instant impact in 2009. Whether or not the Seahawks would draft Curry is more likely down to whether he'll still be on the board, with almost certain interest from both St Louis and Kansas City. With a greater emphasis on pressure from the defensive line, you also have to wonder if the team would chose to invest another hefty sum at the linebacker position. For more on this debate, click here.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

If he is there I think they should consider it. However, I think LB is a pretty easy position to fill and would prefer an OL or Crab at #4 and take a LB in 2nd, 3rd or 4th rd.

Rob Staton said...

I think it's an interesting debate. Curry is rated very highly by experts and if he's there, obviously warrants consideration. Curry is the 'safe pair of hands' pick. He'll come into the league and likely have the same kind of impact that Patrick Willis and Jerod Mayo had. The Seahawks would need to balance out the desire (or lack of) to invest another large contract in a linebacker, with the fact Curry presents a relatively safe option for their money.

Misfit said...

How are Curry's coverage abilities? That's what we need the most as a result of losing JP. If Curry would excel in covering TEs, RBs, etc., then I might warm to the idea. I think that Ruskell can and will fill the LB spot with later-round picks, however.

Rob Staton said...

Misfit, I have watched some of Curry and I spoke to somebody who knows more about him than me. From what I saw, his coverage skills weren't 'great' but certainly don't warrant any kind of red flag. He made four interceptions in 2007 and ran three of them back for TD's, so there's obviously something to work with. He made one interception in 2008.

The one concern I have - in four years at Wake Forest, he only got 9 total sacks. For Kansas City, he can come in and add much needed leadership, solidity and his presence will be felt as an ILB in their 3-4. At Seattle, they already have Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill. There isn't as much need for that leadership, for that presence at linebacker. Is he going to be enough of a difference maker for Seattle to warrant such a large investment?

Anonymous said...

I really don't see Curry getting by KC. I don't know if it's the best pick for them, but everything I've read here and everywhere else points to Curry. I even hung out on a KC fan forum for a while, and they were all Curry-crazy. So I've come to assume he won't be there when the Hawks pick at 4. They could address LB through later rounds - but I spent some time looking at free agent LB's and saw Cato June is a free agent. I haven't been following his career in Tampa, but I remember being impressed with him in Indy. Is he an option for the Hawks? Do you think there's any possibility they pursue him?

Rob Staton said...

Hi annonymous, it would make some sense if the price is right. Obviously he is aware of the system Seattle would be using on defense. He also had a great season with the Colts in their Superbowl year - he's credited with 142 tackles in 2006. Tim Ruskell's philosophy so far has been to try and fill as many holes as possible in order not to restrict the team on April 25th, so signing a veteran linebacker makes sense. However, as with everything it comes down to price. The team has been busy in free agency and even after gaining a bit of cap room in the Peterson trade, they must surely be approaching their limitations. If June, or any other player, is willing to come in perhaps on a modest one year deal with something to prove it could be beneficial to all parties involved.

Chris (Seattle) said...

Rob, you've got to love the creativity of "draft experts." Immediately after we signed TJ, almost everyone who had Crabtree going to Seattle changed their pick (mostly to Eugene Monroe). Then, rumblings began about Monroe's shortcomings (effort on and off the field), which led to some coming back to Crabtree. Now we trade Peterson, and not total shocker, almost everyone starts discussing Curry coming here.

Honestly, I don't think Curry will fall to us to begin with. However, If both Curry and Crabtree are there, I'd prefer Crabtree. I think Curry is a phenomenal talent with tremendous upside; I just feel like it's wasting a high draft pick considering we could've just kept Peterson (I understand Curry is much younger). Peterson was a proven talent, Curry still hasn't proved definitively he can maintain his level of play at the NFL level. Being the 4th overall pick, he'll make a lot of money, which revives the issue of investing so much money in our LB position. Also, we proved the last few years that having 3 great linebackers doesn't translate to a great, or even good, defense. Why does everyone think we need to replace Julian with another pro bowler? Just plug DD Lewis or Hawthorne there, or maybe sign Derrick Brooks as a stop-gap maybe, until something better comes along. Hill is more than capable of picking up the sacks Peterson is leaving behind (somehow John Marshall forgot how good he is at rushing the passer after his rookie season). Basically, to sum up, It seems redundant to draft LB so high after just trading away Peterson (signaling the Hawks feel he is replaceable and on down-end of his career). We need an offensive playmaker that defenses must gameplan for (Crabtree hopefully), and we can't afford to mess this pick up. What do you think?

Rob Staton said...

Hey Chris, always good to hear from you. I think you make some very valid points. For starters, I think we're all guilty of following trends with mock drafts. I publish an updated mock every week, as do people like Walter Cherepinsky, Rob Rang, Pat Kirwan, Todd McShay etc etc. Essentially they descend less into actual predictions of what will happen and become more reactionary measures to events that have happened in the NFL. Seattle signs wide receiver... automatically Crabtree isn't going to the Seahawks. Seattle signs Colin Cole and Cory Redding... now B.J. Raji will be eliminated from consideration in most mocks. Rob Rang has mentioned in the past that his mock's at this stage are more of a gauge on what could happen, and he publishes a new mock every 3-4 days (sometimes more often than that even). I still believe he's the man to look for in the week leading up to the draft, he has a knack of getting Seattle's picks right.

I think there's a good chance of Curry going to Kansas City third overall. They need that presence on defense - someone who can set the tone and be a fixture for the new regime. He's a safe pick as opposed to a potential difference maker so he maybe has more value to a team like KC than perhaps someone like Seattle who has two very good LB's already on the roster.

My own personal opinion (for what it's worth) has always been that Seattle needs to find an identity on offense this off season. Even with the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, I still think that remains the case.

twasuperstar said...

Chris - I agree with you 100%. I would love to see Crabtree in a Hawks' uniform next season, but that would likely mean the departure of either Branch or Burleson wouldn't it? Otherwise we would be talking about too much $$ invested in the WR position. I personally am excited at the possibility of have a healthy Branch and Burleson (hopefully) on the field with Housh. Throw in a blossoming TE in Carlson and we would have one threatening passing attack. Unfortunately I'm not sure that fits in with a more run-oriented offense the team is expected to employ.

Rob - I was hoping you could address a prospect that I haven't heard discussed yet. That being the potential for trading down via drafting a player with the 4th pick and having the trade partner make the selection we are looking for. Is it possible the Hawks draft Curry or Stafford (if available), rather than let them get scooped up by teams behind us, in order to leverage a trade with a willing team?

Great work, as always, Rob!

Rob Staton said...

Hi twasuperstar,

I suppose it depends how badly a team wants a certain prospect, and whether they can get a trade agreed in the time allocated. I'm going to look into trading down with a little more focus soon in an article. I think Seattle will find it particularly difficult to do so because of the financial implications and the value needed to get into the top five. However, you can never rule anything out and it only takes one team to fall in love with a certain prospect to make it happen.

Lisboa (Brazil) said...

Hi, Rob!

I really like WR Brian Robiskie, from Ohio State and would love to see him in Seahawks blue.

And I was wondering: Robiskie is 6'3'', had a 4.49s 40 yard dash at the Combine and has "terrific hands" and is "an excelente route runner", according to the scouting reports I found.

Michael Crabtree is shorter, slower and has the same assets - hands - without Robo route running.

What I can't understand is why Crabtree is "the new Fitzgerald" and a guy like Robiskie is "just a #2 WR", according to these reports.

I love Crabtree, but I see the same potential in Robiskie - without the hype - and he could be found at round #2.

Wouldn't Robiskie be a better pick than Crabtree for the Hawks?

Rob Staton said...

Hi there, good to hear from you again. As you say Robiskie is a nice prospect and his 40 yard dash time, although not lightning quick, did go some way to suggest he might be quicker in straight line routes than first thought. Robiskie also played in a less pass-friendly offense, so he might be rated higher still had he come from Texas Tech's system. However, there are intangible difference between Robiskie and Crabtree and in my opinion, a significant difference in quality. Whether it's that presence, that ability to just throw the ball in Crabtree's direction and he scoops it in. He catches everything with his hands, has superior YAC ability and a solid short game. He makes plays in double coverage and very often draws attention away from others. He's a better blocker than Robiskie. Having said all that, I like Robiskie a lot and if the Seahawks have a chance to take him in round two then they have to seriously consider it.

Kurt said...

Considering the trade of Peterson was an unloading of salary more than anything else (we would have cut him if we couldn't find a suitable trading partner), I don't see TR drafting Curry even if he's there. I don't think his plan was to drop Peterson's salary only to end up paying much more to another linebacker. I still think, and have thought for some time, that Crabtree is the best pick at #4 for the Hawks.

Anonymous said...

I think seattle will trade down, there is such a demand for one of the top 2 ot, there might be too many ? marks with smith or orr. Seattle is setting themself up to draft the best player which leads me to believe there moving down, looking at a nicks, jenkins or best?
I also would like to throw that pick for cutler, that might cause this city to explode! what about cutler rob?

Rob Staton said...

Hi annonymous, I would be surprised if Seattle traded for Jay Cutler. He's certainly one of the best young quarter backs in the NFL, but it seems an unlikely deal. If Denver do decide that they need to trade him, I expect a team with a real need at QB (Detroit, NY Jets, Minnesota, Tampa Bay) might decide to 'sell their house' so to speak with a big offer. Even then, any deal might need to involve a third party. I think Seattle would monitor the situation, as will nearly every NFL team. But seeing Cutler in Seattle in 2009 is not something I expect.

With regards to trading down, if they do manage to work out a deal then keep your eyes on the two running backs - Chris Beanie Wells and Knowshon Moreno. Seattle still has a need for an offensive playmaker and both would fit the bill. They also have infectious, vibrant personalities and will have no doubt impressed upon the Seahawks front office in any meetings they may have had at the combine. Moreno in particular for me is completely under rated and would be a fine addition to the Seahawks roster.

Michael Steffes said...

I have a man crush on Moreno as well :-)