Sunday, 19 April 2009

My week as Seahawks GM

For the last week I've been taking part in a seven round mock draft with 31 other acting GM's. I was in the position of Tim Ruskell for a short time - dealing with other teams to try and trade up and trying to get maximum value with each pick. It wasn't until this mock that I truly understood why teams value their later round picks so much. I often found in rounds 4-6 there were a number of prospects I rated or holes I wanted to fill. Nevertheless, I tried not to reach to take a specific position. You can see how the draft panned out in full here.

Here are the picks I made (with the overall selection in brackets):

(4) Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech
(28) Alex Mack, C California
(93) Troy Kropog, OT Tulane
(105) Derek Pegues, FS Miss. State
(137) James Davis, RB Clemson
(178) Richard Quinn, TE North Carolina
(213) Anthony Parker, OG Tennessee
(245) Corey Smith, OLB Cincinnati
(247) Don Carey, CB Norfolk State
(248) Mike Teel, QB Rutgers

Breaking down the picks round-by-round:


The first three picks went Stafford-Monroe-Smith. My position in round one was to choose between Crabtree, Curry and Sanchez. I didn't go with Aaron Curry because I have reservations as to how much impact he can actually have in Seattle's defense. For example, as a rookie Leroy Hill recorded 7.5 sacks in 2005. After Seattle signed Julian Peterson, Hill only managed 6 sacks in three years. Having three very talented linebackers the past three years hasn't tipped the Seahawks defense over the edge. I'm a fan of Curry's, but I worry for his production when Lofa Tatupu is soaking up tackles through the middle and Leroy Hill takes on a greater role under the franchise tag.

I narrowed it down to Crabtree and Sanchez, one offering more of an immediate impact and the other a long term replacement for Matt Hasselbeck. The team have been very vocal in their desire to find some 'impact' fourth overall, so I went with Crabtree.

As the draft approached the end of round one, I was approached by a couple of teams looking to trade down. I had my eye on Alex Mack (OG/C, California) to offer some much needed depth to the offensive line. I was under the impression that the Pittsburgh GM would take Mack, so I needed to find a way to get above the Steelers. The Kansas City Chiefs had traded deeper into round one and wanted to move back even further. They offered me a deal that would see Seattle get picks #27, #93 and #212. The Chiefs in turn would get #37 and #68. It essentially represented guaranteeing getting the guy I wanted in the early second, for a move down in round three (no loss of picks). At the last minute Kansas City removed the seventh round (#212) pick from the deal, but I still felt the value was there to secure Mack and still get the guy I wanted in round three.


Having moved up and out of round two, Seattle's next pick was at #93. My target pick with Seattle's original choice in the third (#68) was Troy Kropog (OT, Tulane). As I expected, he was still available when I came to select at #93. This further justified the move up to guarantee getting Alex Mack, getting the two lineman I wanted without actually losing any picks. Mack is intelligent enough to play center as a rookie, but is also strong enough to start at guard. That flexibility and starting potential will be valuable having lost Floyd Womack to Cleveland. Kropog is a perfect fit for Seattle's newly deployed zone blocking scheme and offers quality depth at tackle without investing big bucks earlier in the draft.


I had a handful of targets here, including Michigan State running back Javon Ringer. He was snapped up by the St Louis Rams two picks before I hit the clock. Having selected three offensive prospects so far, I wanted to find some value on defense. Derek Pegues is a free safety who until recently was considered a potential second round pick. His value has fallen somewhat recently, but I was happy to halt his slide in round four. He's shown ability at corner, which makes him a good fit in Seattle's cover-2 which requires a lot of deep coverage. He's also strong enough to play safety and would potentially challenge for a starting role in 2009.


Getting this far into the draft, I think the Seahawks are going to try and find someone who can have some kind of role in 2009. That leads me to think they'll target a running back here if they haven't already. The running back position doesn't require too much adjustment at a pro-level and the team could get something from a 5th rounder - that's got to be a bonus. James Davis (RB, Clemson) was still on the board and I thought that was the perfect kind of value. He's not a flashy running back, but he's a solid work horse type who could come into the NFL like Tashard Choice did in Dallas last year. He'd essentially replace Mo Morris on the roster, but could see some snaps later in the season if Jones and Duckett start the year carrying the load.


I had a similar thought process in round six. Although there was still a positional need at OLB, I wasn't expecting to get a contributor this deep. I decided to try and find someone who could at least get on the field in 2009 which is, again, a bonus picking in the sixth. Richard Quinn (TE, North Carolina) was still on the board at this stage. When the real draft takes place next weekend, I expect Quinn to go a lot earlier than this. He's the best blocking tight end available and is almost as good as an extra offensive tackle in the red zone. Pairing Quinn with John Carlson would give the Seahawks an excellent young tight end duo who compliment each other nicely. If Quinn's on the field next season, then you're getting value from a sixth rounder.


In the final round, Seattle owned four picks (their original choice, plus three compensatory picks). With the first choice I selected Anthony Parker (OG, Tennessee). He's a bit raw and a project, but there's something to work with. He's been compared to St Louis' recently acquired interior lineman Jason Brown and might have to move to center in the NFL. He's going to make the team as a rookie and offer further depth to the offensive line.

I approached the compensatory picks as merely an opportunity to get first crack at the undrafted free agents. Having said that, I think my first choice - Corey Smith (OLB, Cincinnati) - was amazing value this late in the draft. He has the ability to one day be a three down linebacker in the NFL. He's a perfect fit for teams using a cover-2 system. He makes the team in 2009 as a special teams demon, but could be a future draft steal if he develops into a starter.

The other two compensatory picks went on Don Carey (CB, Norfolk State). He's had a visit with Seattle recently and is flexible enough to play safety too. I chose Mike Teel (QB, Rutgers) with the final pick. This isn't a great draft for quarter backs after the top three and none of the options earlier tempted me to pull the trigger. Teel showed some potential late in the 2008 season and that should be enough to see him make a team for camp.

What do you think of the draft? Let me know by clicking the comments section below or email


etobiason said...

No pass rushers ?!? Ruskell will surely try to hit on one some point in the draft. I think you got one to many OL as well. Otherwise it seems like a fine draft haul.

Rob Staton said...

I would have considered a pass rusher, but the way the board fell the value was never there. The Seahawks have done a lot of work to build up their defensive line in the off season. With more expected from young guys like Jackson, Tapp and Atkins, with Kerney returning and Cory Redding added - I don't think the team have to do anything dramatic to ensure they get a pass rusher.

I don't think Ruskell favours certain positions to the extent he would let it dictate his board. I think Seattle's biggest needs this off season are to find playmakers on offense and to improve the offensive line. Fortunately the value was there for me to fill those needs.

Other areas like OLB I would have liked to fill with an impact guy like Jason Williams, but he was off the board too early. Corey Smith is a solid choice in round 7, I doubt they find that kind of value there in the real draft.

Christopher said...

I would be happy with this draft. Although I would like to have seen us take a RB in the third round if the right one was available.

Blueboy said...

Good draft Rob, i would be happy if thats how it works out next week.

Louis said...

I would be ecstatic with this draft, getting my favorite player in Crabtree and also getting help in the interior offensive line in Mack.

However, the more I look into Moreno, and after reading Kyle Rota's scouting report on him, this could be the type of guy who brings us over the hump. I believe Rota has given him the highest grade out of all the prospects so far (7.1). Crabtree is a 6.7 and Jason Smith is a 6.8, Eugene Monroe is also a if Moreno is really as good as Kyle Rota predicts, then that would be great if we traded with the REdskins and pick Moreno at #13. #13, do u think there is any chance that Moreno is off the board? Also, who do you think are other options there at #13? and which one do u think is most likely to get picked. LIke...if we traded down with the REdskins and Moreno is still on the board at #13, is he a lock to be a Seahawk?

CraigPT said...

Great job, Rob. I would take those first three picks every day of the week. Your link to the whole draft is coming up error so I'm unable to see where different players went. I would like to know where Stephen McGee went in the draft. I'm really torn by the Crabtree/Sanchez debate. It seems that Crabtree is a rare WR who you should take as the "best available player" although I do like the idea of Hass imparting wisdom to a young gun general for the next two to three years. Teel does nothing for me. What do you think of McGee and was he available in the 4th, 5th or 6th? Thanks so much for the blog...your site has made this draft process a major time suck and much more enjoyable.

Michael said...

The link to the whole draft is not functioning.

Was there nobody for RB besides James Davis. He offers us nothing that Duckett does not already.

I would suggest we would either draft Pearman (If he was available, or somebody with some realistic speed).

This is also why I would second Moreno over Crabtree. Crabtree offers nothing TJ does not already offer. Football, as in most sports, is about matchups, and Moreno creates more matchup issues with TJ than Crabtree does.

Of course, I'm a banker, so what the hell do I know.

Rob Staton said...

Apologies on the link to the complete draft, I have found a different link which I believe works now so you can see it in full.

Louis - Knowshon Moreno is my favourite prospect in the entire draft. If the team took him fourth overall, personally I wouldn't complain. He would offer an instant impact for the investment. The thing that puts people off taking a RB that early is the notion you can get help cheaper and later in the draft. No doubt Jones and Duckett will be involved heavily on offense, so taking a third RB 4th overall could be a luxury ill afforded to a 4-12 team.

There is a chance someone could take him before #13, because I believe he's got top 5 talent. Other options could be Beanie Wells, Brian Orakpo, Andre Smith, Michael Oher, Malcolm Jenkins, Jeremy Maclin, Everette Brown, Eben Britton and Aaron Maybin.

Craig - I think McGee went early 5th round. I was hoping he might fall to me in round six. Mike Teel was essentially a flier - at that stage in the draft Seattle will be taking first refusal on the UFA's. With the QB's left on the board, I thought Teel offered the best bet to bring to training camp. There was a run on QB's between 4-6 with guys like Graham Harrell going surprisingly early.

Michael - From what I remember Davis was top of my 'big board' when it came to pick 5. He isn't a flashy back, but he will at least take some snaps in 2009 and could have some production, not bad for a 5th rounder. I think Pearman was gone.

I would disagree that Crabtree offers nothing Houshmandzadeh doesn't already. He has great YAC which Housh doesn't, he can stretch the field even if he doesn't have elite speed. I actually think putting both on the same team would be a brilliant match on offense.

Having said that, as you say Moreno would also some needed potency to the offense.

Louis said...

Hey Rob,

Did you see the piece by Danny over at Seattle Times? HIs online article of an interview with of the questions was about if he thinks there will be a trade down, and Ruskell said that "Those of us at the top don't sense we're going down," Ruskell said. "The phone's not ringing off the hook for that. I would say if there's movement and change you will see it below us, the eight to 10 to 12. Then you might start to see it." THis piece was posted a day AFTER yours and Seahawk Addicts' article about possibly trading with the REdskins. What percentage do you think we will be able to get a trade where we go somewhere between 10 and 15 or so? Im hoping its high...because Moreno could be the real deal.

Rob Staton said...

I don't think the pres conference offered any real insight into what Seattle will do. I've read different reports breaking down the talk, most with a differeing view to the next. Essentially, Ruskell isn't going to give anything away. I'd say any trade is wishful thinking on Seattle's behalf at this staege - but it's certainly possible.

If the Redskins are really high on Sanchez and Seattle are on the clock, about to take Sanchez, the Skins will pick up the phone. We'll have to wait until April 25th to see if there's any truth in the trade rumors.

I will say this - Dan Snyder met with Sanchez this week. The last guy he met up with personally was Albert Haynesworth. If they need Seattle's pick to get Sanchez, and they want him bad enough, a trade becomes possible.

Anonymous said...

Ruskell's draft interview is tantamount to giving an interpretation to an ink blot test. The speech is purposely meant to be able to lead people in a million different directions. I've heard arguments made about every prospect using some kind of Ruskell quote to justify it.

Chris (Seattle) said...

Rob, great work as always. I would looooove to see this draft play itself out (primarily the first three picks). If we could manage to get Crabtree, Mack, and Kropog I would be extreeemly happy. Hope our draft looks similar. Would be okay if Eric Wood was taken instead of Mack, or Beatty instead of Kropog...but like the positions you addressed. I like getting a safety early enough to compete with Russell as well, even though it sounds like they will stick with him this year (which I'll never understand considering he'll have to cover deep a lot...could turn into a Michael Boulware situation all over again). I only hope this week goes by quickly cause I can't wait til Saturday rolls around.

Brandon said...

this was great!
The coaching at MS State has not been good, Pegues improved his tackling a lot at the senior bowl. He will be a good find.

For some reason, i couldnt post on my blog so ill answer your question here.

my 3:
Andre Smith/ Michael Oher (line depth and future starter or maybe the RT this year)

B.J. Rajii-stop the run, ferocity on D

Beanie Wells-our signature

By the way Rob, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Its always good to hear feedback from a fan who knows what they are talking about. The reason I left out Sanchez is purely financial.

Anonymous said...

That is an awesome draft Rob!

If the draft went that way I will do a little happy dance in my living room.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Rob, great job. Very interesting. I love the Mack pick, but what do you think about Unger? While Mack may be the slightly better player now, Unger has experience at all O-line positions and could be plugged in anywhere if/when injuries arise. That flexibility has real value and we'd retain #68. This could take the pressure off to spend a pick on OT (Kropog) and allow us to take a RB earlier, such as Jennings or Coffee. I'd rather trade back from 68 (if possible)and trade forward from 105 to be able to get Jason Williams as well. Great job though, I'd be very happy with your outcome, and agree that O-line and DB needs to be a focus and that D-line is in pretty good shape.

Rob Staton said...

I like Unger, I'd put him and Eric Wood just behind Alex Mack but all rated highly. Unger has less athleticism than Mack and isn't as good a scheme fit for the Seahawks in the ZBS, but I still think he can do a job. I think he'll predominently be a center or guard in the NFL, he played some tackle at Oregon but I'd be surprised if he did that at that next level unless it was an emergency.

rush31 said...

Ok. I’m so tired of hearing about what they are going to do… they have dissappointed me so much of late. This is what they SHOULD do.

1. Sign Ken Lucas to sure up the cornenback position, and have the rotation start at marcus trufant then ken lucas then josh wilson at the nickel and kelly jennings at the dime

2. Draft Arron Curry or Brian Orakpo. (preferably curry) to fill the gap left by peterson. this will re-solidify the linebacking corps (a recent strength) and that will set the second level in stone.

3. Take Shonn Greene (running back out of iowa) to compliment j jones. He will provide the physicality the jones just does not, plus he was the only colege back to gain 100+ yards per game this season. this will really help the run game that relied too much on mo morris.

4. This is risky, but a necessity. Trade next years 2nd round pick (and possibly a 7th as well) for a 2nd rounder this year. Use that pick to get patrick chung, louis delmas, or whoever is the best safety on the board at the pick they get. the other option here is to trade that pick for an established saftey, we need an improvement over brian russell.

5. This is where it gets crazy, becuase you don’t know who will still be up for grabs. The best three options are -wr m massoquoi from georgia to add skill and depth to the wr position -dt f moala from usc to continue to sure up the d line -whoever the best offensive lineman available is at that pick to provide o line depth

6. Continue the rounds 4 - 7 drafting the best o and d lineman on the board. There is one exception to this, in the the hawks should pick Texas Tech qb Graham Harrell with the 5th rounder. He should be hasselbeck's apparent heir to the qb, and has all the tools to get it done.

7. Win the superbowl.

This will sure up the hawks at just about every weak point they had from last year (not including problems they’ve already solved). If the hawks keep running a once great organization into the ground it’ll be the death of me.

Listen up hawks, here is the best blueprint your gonna get, enjoy.


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