Monday, 20 April 2009

Draft week musings

We're on the home straight now towards Saturday's NFL Draft. It's still anybody's guess which direction Seattle will go, but be sure there'll be plenty of opinions thrown around over the next few days. I contacted Rick Gosselin, mock draft guru at the Dallas Morning News, to try and get his thoughts on the 2009 draft. He had an interesting quote for me on Michael Crabtree, "One NFL head coach told me today he's the best player in the draft."

Peter King thinks Washington owner Dan Snyder is "beyond smitten" with Mark Sanchez. Personally, I think there's a lot of truth in the rumors that the Redskins will attempt to move up in the first round to get Sanchez. I just can't figure out which pick the Skins need to get. By grabbing the Chiefs' pick at three, they guarantee getting their man. You have to believe Scott Pioli is looking to trade down and may even throw the trade value chart out of the window to do so. However, with KC unlikely to draft Sanchez themselves, Washington could save money by waiting until Seattle, Cleveland or even Jacksonville to move up.

In his MMQB article this week King thinks Kansas City, Seattle and Cleveland would be possible willing traders. As I suggested in our podcast last week, Sanchez's stock is so high right now one way or another he isn't lasting very long on Saturday. If it's by selection or trade, I don't think he'll get out of the top 8 picks. I have reservations about the Seahawks perceived interest in Mark Sanchez. His relatively short college starting career (16 games) would make considerable investment a 'boom or bust' situation that could define or ridicule Tim Ruskell's career as Seahawks GM. If the team are sold on Sanchez though, it might be too tempting to lock up the most important position in football for the next ten years plus.

Peter King has further opinions on Seattle's philosophy at pick #4.

"Seattle likes Sanchez and Michael Crabtree (and a tackle, maybe) at four. I've heard Cleveland (picking fifth) and Washington have already discussed a deal if Sanchez is still on the board at five. I don't expect Sanchez to be there at five." - Peter King,

I would tend to agree with these thoughts. It wouldn't surprise me if Ruskell is weighing up the long term investment in a tackle or quarter back compared to the more 'impact' based signing Michael Crabtree (or Aaron Curry) would offer.

As reported last week, if Ruskell has narrowed it down to four prospects my best guess would be (in no specific order) Jason Smith (OT, Baylor), Mark Sanchez (QB, USC), Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech) and Aaron Curry (OLB, Wake Forest). Smith, rather than Eugene Monroe, is a better fit for a zone blocking scheme with greater upside at the left tackle position. Sanchez secures your quarter back position indefinitely. Crabtree and Curry are arguably the best two overall prospects in the draft and would be involved from week one. I have eliminated Matt Stafford from consideration due to the likelihood of him going first overall.

If the Seahawks are able to trade down with Washington, they would be well placed to draft one of the top two running backs - Knowshon Moreno or Chris 'Beanie' Wells. Their desire to move down will be tested if Washington, as Peter King reports, are unwilling to trade their 2010 first round pick. The Redskins don't have a second round choice this year and own only four trade legible picks in 2009 (#13, #77, #150, #186) . Moving down nine places and hoping to still secure the guys near the top of your board would be a risk, especially if the compensation is slight. Forget the trade value chart - a deal could involve as little as the #13, #77 and Washington's 2010 second rounder for the fourth overall selection.

With five days to go until all is revealed, what do you think? Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comments section below or email


Patrick said...

I have to admit I'm getting pretty excited. If it goes 1) Matt Stafford, and 2) Jason Smith, that narrows our list a bit. If Redskins really want to trade up (Which I believe will happen), I feel like it will either go to Kansas City or to Seattle. If it goes to Seattle, that is great news because Knoshon Moreno should be there. If it goes to the Chiefs, that takes Sanchez away (Something I am for) and really leaves us with either Crabtree, Curry, or Moreno. And honestly, it seems like Moreno's stock is slipping a bit, and just yesterday I read that Ruskell said Locklear is planned to be Jones' replacement. So, in the end, we've got a chance at Curry or Crabtree and I would be ecstatic for either. So, with less than a week left, yes, I am VERY excited :-D

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason why the Hawks couldn't take Sanchez at #4 regardless and use him as trade bait for Moreno (+ extra picks)for a team wanting him in the mid 1st?
If they don't get any legit offers (Skins, Jets, Broncos and Bucs)they can just keep him. win/win

Anonymous said...

Peter King is garbage. I have no idea why you would reference his thoughts. They are inane and contradictory.

"Snyder and vice president Vinny Cerrato took Sanchez out to dinner at an Italian place in downtown D.C. after Sanchez had spent the day with Washington coaches and personnel people. Big deal? Maybe. Maybe not."

"San Francisco won’t pick Josh Freeman."

"Denver won’t pick Josh Freeman."

Bold calls there, Nostradamus.

When he comes out with the replacement to Dr. Z's mock, please don't put any weight into it.

Rob Staton said...

First annonymous - I touted the idea recently that Seattle might have to take Sanchez if they want to move down. They'll never do that unless they are 100% sold on Sanchez at #4, but they would be in a position to listen to any offers from Washington right up until they're on the clock at #13. They might actually get a better price in that situation, but as I say it completely rests on the 'Hawks being happy to have Sanchez if the deal never comes. In that case, they probably wouldn't want to trade Sanchez anyway.

Second annonymous - I referenced King because his article was relevant to certain subjects I wanted to debate. I don't agree with some things he writes, but I have to confess to finding his MMQB articles interesting reading. I agree with him that I don't think SF or Denver takes Freeman. Judging Freeman will be difficult, he could go top 15 or fall to the top of round two - nobody really knows what happens with him.

Anonymous said...

First of all thanks for a great blog!

Second of all, eliminating Matt Stafford from the top four because of the likelyhood of him going first overall is wrong. If you're sure Stafford goes first overall, you only need a top 3. So eliminating Stafford because of that, is a wrong reason.

Rob Staton said...

Fair point annonymous, they would essentially only need to make a top three if they eliminate Stafford.

kearly said...

I don't think I'd trade down for just the #13, #77, and a future 2nd. To me, there is a substantial drop off from Crabtree/Sanchez to Moreno/Wells/Jenkins.

At least a trade of #13 + a future 1st gives the Seahawks some prayer of landing Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford in 2010, and if they don't take Sanchez, you gotta believe they will be hard and heavy after those two next year. If that's too rich for the 'Skins, I'd be willing to toss in a 2010 2nd rounder to make it happen.

Otherwise, I'd keep the pick.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Sanchez at all. It just doesn't fit with the signing of TJ ....

Why sign an old WR just to bring in a QB.

I think Seattle management looks at this team and thinks that Hassleback can help them win if he stays healthy RIGHT NOW and that Mora can fix the defense with scheme.

I think that that Monroe is on the list because I think you could play him as a guard this year if you needed to.

I think the pick will be CRABTREE though so that you give Hassleback the weapons that he needs.

2nd round ... get a running back.