Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Even more love for Derrick Morgan

I've been a huge fan of Derrick Morgan since early September. He's been near the top of my rankings (see the right hand side bar) ever since and I firmly believe he's destined to be a very high pick in the 2010 draft. A prototype 4-3 end, he got another sack in Georgia Tech's 49-10 win over Duke which takes his season tally to twelve for the year. Not surprisingly, he's starting to get noticed by the high profile draft pundits:

"The most impressive individual player in the country over the past three weeks has been Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, who has seven sacks over that span and absolutely terrorized Duke's offensive line last week.

We've had Morgan in our top 15 overall since early October and in this week's updated rankings he will move ahead of fellow junior Carlos Dunlap (Florida) as the top defensive end on the Scouts Inc. board. And while there's no guarantee Morgan will skip his senior year we've been told by two people close to the situation that he's a virtual lock to enter the 2010 draft.

Morgan is no one-trick pony. He is a relentless pass rusher but also shows great effort holding the point and in pursuit against the run, and recently he has shown the ability to play out of a two-point stance and drop into coverage on zone blitzes.

Should he elect to come out early and perform as well as we expect in pre-draft workouts it would not be a surprise to see Morgan become a top-five pick, and there is no way we see him falling out of the top half of the first round." - Todd McShay, Scouts Inc


Patrick said...

I would not be opposed at all to selecting Derrick Morgan. I look at Brian Orakpo last year, the top DE selected at #13 to Washington. I liked Orakpo, but there were a lot of question marks and many analysts gave him a high probability to bust. In the end, he is doing terrific and actually has a better shot than Curry right now of winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Morgan actually seems much more polished than Orakpo at this point.

I also am starting to realize just how big of a need DE is for the Seahawks. As Mike Sando stated after our Arizona game, the main difference was that we never sacked Kurt Warner. I like Kerney a lot, but other than him Tapp, Jackson, and Redding just haven't lived up to their potential.

Do you think it would be a wise choice to select Morgan with our pick? I believe it would make sense, but I will admit I might be a bit dissapointed if someone like Bradford was still available. As much as I know we need the help, it would make me a bit sad to see yet another first round pick go to defense (Does anyone remember the last time we selected offense in the first round?)

Rob Staton said...

I would be very happy to draft Morgan. I think he's the elite defensive end in this draft and worthy of a top 5-10 pick. I think it'd make sense for Seattle to think about moving Mebane back to the one technique and using Cory Redding as a three technique again. Mebane hasn't had the hoped for impact in the three whilst Redding hasn't made a productive switch from the three to defensive end. If you put out a line of Kerney, Redding, Mebane and Morgan it ultimately looks a lot better.

Admittedly, it is difficult to stomach so much investment going on defense when the offense is crying out for some love. However, the real value in this draft is at defensive end. If the Seahawks are picking near the top of round one (again) you can't really fight where the value is. This is a strong draft for defensive prospects, with very few offensive options. I expect Sam Bradford to go very early as the #1 QB taken, taking him out of consideration unless Seattle really bombs out the rest of the way. Then you look at the options at OT - not great. Charles Brown might be available with the Denver pick anyway. C.J. Spiller is the best skill position player and a real playmaker, he could be an option early.

Derrick Morgan would present the best value though, but I have a feeling he could go extremely early, top five possibly.

Patrick said...

What I loved the most about your mock draft, is that we shored up the offensive line (or at least did our best) with our 2 first round picks. We focused on one area and put all of our efforts into reinforcing it. Getting a DE and then something like a RB, doesn't seem like it would really be as strategic. While both players would contribute, it just doesn't seem like it would strengthen our team as a whole. It would solve one of many problems on defense and one of many problems on offense.

If we chose Derrick Morgan first, I almost hope our 2nd pick is also defense. Maybe Earl Thomas (if he improves enough to be a first round choice). Or, if our first pick is someone like Joe Haden, perhaps we could grab Carlos Dunlap later in the first round.

Using a different approach, we could also decide this will be the "offensive draft" and grab a QB and a RB. Of course this is from a fan's perspective and it may not make the most sense, but if we shored up a QB of the future and a RB, our offense would suddenly look substantially better. The part of me that likes this way of thinking is very enamored with a Tebow/Best combo, plus like I said before I can't help but just see our past picks as indications (Lawrence Jackson, Kelly Jennings, etc.)

Rob Staton said...

I think it's a good point, Patrick. One thing the Seahawks have perhaps tried to do too much in recent years is to put band aids on a lot of needs rather than really concentrating on building. If they were to go OT, OG like in my first mock, there's a concerted effort there to build the offensive line. You could argue then, with three high picks at that area, you've done enough and can move on long term.

However, you also have to play the board to your advantage. It wouldn't be impossible to go (for example) Morgan, Brown and Hudson. That way you repair the line and get a stud DE. Of course, this all just speculation right now as we don't know where Seattle will be drafting or how the board is really shaping up. But it's fun to try and second guess things.

Brian said...

This is not really about the 2010 draft, but I want your opinion on how Aaron Curry is playing. I watched Sundays game against Arizona and he was really not that impressive. As of right now, I would almost say Will Herring has played just as well or even better than Curry. Looking at other rookie linebackers, Brian Cushing is doing very well in Houston. What do you think of Curry's progress? Should this be a concern or is he just hitting a rookie wall? Thanks

kearly said...

Who knows who the Seahawks actually pick, but I think we are starting to get a good idea of where the Seahawks will be picking (probably between 7th and 11th), and were getting a pretty good idea of who the elite talents are. DL is the clear cream of this draft crop, which is perfect because the Seahawks no longer need good to adequate DL help, but a star. The team also needs a QB and its very possible that Bradford, Claussen, Locker, McCoy and Tebow could all be options at various points of the draft.

Last year we drooled for about 8 straight months over Crabtree, and it didn't happen. But it probably should have. This year, I think that first pick should be either a QB or DL, and I'd have a pretty hard time understanding almost anything else (I guess I'd make an exception for Haden, as the Seahawks will soon need another CB).

Michael said...

I would suggest everyone relax on Derrick Morgan a bit. He had seven sacks against two pourus lines: Duke and Wake Forest. While I want to buy, I see way too much Lawrence Jackson in this guy.

Brendan Scolari said...


Do you think Morgan could be a 3-4 OLB?

Rob Staton said...

Brendan - I see Morgan strictly as a 4-3 DE.

Kearly - I broke down the tape of Haden's performance against South Carolina last week and will have a post on the blog about it later. There's a couple of things he needs to work on.

Brian - I think it was a difficult game for Curry and Leroy Hill on Sunday. The Seahawks kept using seven DB's which most of the time meant Seattle's two expensive linebackers weren't even on the field. When they were, they played a big part in stopping Arizona on 4th down in the end zone early on. The problem is, the Seahawks want to create pressure from the front to free up the linebackers to make plays. We're not creating enough of a pass rush from the defensive line, which restricts their ability to use their instincts to get to the ball carrier or QB.

I think people, perhaps wrongly, expected too much from Curry. Although he was described as a 'safe' pick that would have an instant impact, he's a rookie just like anyone else and this isn't the easiest team to just walk onto and be an all-pro from day one. I don't think it's a concern at the moment.

Michael said...


Morgan does not project well at OLB. He played quite a bit of it during the Miami game, and he looked uncomfortable in space, did not perform well in coverage, and looked lost in general. Some of that is due to experience, or lack thereof. Most if is due to some stiffness in his hips and a lack of lateral agility.

Morgan has great numbers, but I would say there needs to be more on this guy before he is crowned.