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 firstname.lastname@example.org