1 - Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia)
2 - William Moore (OLB/S, Missouri)
3 - Donald Washington (CB, Ohio State)
4 - James Davis (RB, Clemson)
Perhaps it's not my place to criticise a mock draft devised by Mel Kiper, but personally I think these scenarios are very unlikely each for their own individual reasons. There is no doubt that the Seahawks need to add to their offensive line via the draft. Reports from camp suggest the line hasn't looked particularly good so far and with questions still remaining over the health of Walter Jones - this is surely a target area in the 2009 draft.
Even so, I don't think the Seahawks will select Eugene Monroe fourth overall. The Virginia left tackle is perfectly suited to a man scheme that relies on pure pass protection. For a team like Arizona or Indianapolis, he would be a perfect fit. The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to focus on protecting Carson Palmer and therefore he would make some sense with the sixth overall selection. However, Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has made it clear that the team will deploy a zone blocking scheme with greater emphasis to the run. This minimises Monroe's strengths and highlights his weaknesses. He isn't a good run blocker. He lacks a nasty streak and willingness to progress to the second level. His effort can be sloppy and inconsistent. Simply put - he is a bad match for Seattle.
Taking that into account, I cannot see the team investing upwards of $60m on a bad scheme fit. If Jones is healthy, he starts. Monroe doesn't project well at guard in the NFL even if he did play some games at the position in college. With Sean Locklear signed to what could be described as a 'left tackles' contract and Ray Willis also re-signed, I don't think the Seahawks will take Monroe.
Still, the Monroe pick isn't my least favourite choice here. William Moore played more as an outside linebacker than a safety with Missouri. Either way, he's a project. Too slow to play immediately at safety and too small to play linebacker, drafting him in round two would be a big reach for Seattle who could still find a solid 'impact' player 37th overall.
"I cannot imagine Seattle having interest in Moore as a S, but at the Linebacker position Moore becomes a plus in coverage. Moore will probably be drafted higher than I rate him, but I don’t believe in taking position-changing-projects early in the draft, as whenever you change a guy’s position it is a risky endeavor."
- Kyle Rota, College Talent Scout
Kiper suggests Tim Ruskell will draft Donald Washington in round three. I found this particular prediction confusing. NFL Draft Scout currently have Washington listed at 177 on their big board with a 5th-6th round grading. Here is their overview for the OSU corner back:
"Washington elected to leave with another year of eligibility remaining, surprising scouts who felt he had an opportunity to prove himself in 2009. Despite opposing quarterbacks focusing on his side of the field rather than attack Michael Jenkins, Washington struggled to make game-changing plays throughout his career, intercepting only two passes. Washington is expected to get a late boost with his workouts, but scouts view him as a better athlete than football player and strictly a draft gamble based on his upside."
The Columbus Dispatch reported that in December 2007, Washington was suspended by OSU for violating team rules. Maybe Mel Kiper has seen or heard something I haven't, but he doesn't sound like a Tim Ruskell pick to me. Not only does it appear to be a bit of a reach at the top of round three, he's unlikely to beat out Josh Wilson or Kelly Jennings to play alongside Marcus Trufant. With so many other needs on the team, taking Donald Washington in the third round would be a shock.
Finally, in round four the choice is Clemson's running back James Davis. Kyle Rota recently published his report on Davis:
"There is really nothing remarkable about him. Good size, average speed, good instincts, decent 3rd down value, good character. The only thing he is deficient in is, well, excitement. There is value in what he brings to the table and he would be a great choice if Seattle does not address running back earlier, but is not the kind of back you select before the 4th or 5th round." - Kyle Rota
Overall, I think it's a mock that hasn't really taken into account Seattle's schemes, draft history under Ruskell and in certain cases, needs. Mel Kiper continues to be a thoroughly entertaining draft 'guru' but for this particular mock draft, I'm going to have to give him a D- grade.
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