Monday, 2 November 2009

Seattle, the draft and my first 2010 mock

The Seahawks fell to 2-5 with defeat in Dallas yesterday and only the NFC West's inability to pull away is keeping the premature draft talk going into over-drive. For starters, here's my thoughts on the team right now (and I'm sure many will disagree). Call me crazy, but I think we're one 'statement' game from turning it around. We have to go on the road and beat a good team. If or when that happens, there will be something to build on going forward. Until it does, we'll continue to lack any kind of momentum or identity. As strange as it seems after yet another loss, if we can match the Cardinals until our trip to Arizona we could be competing to get within one game of the NFC West lead. Sure it's optimistic, but that's what the team have to be saying - there's no point throwing in the towel. An 8-8 record can win the west, but you have to win at least a couple of those road games.

Having said that, I've decided to publish a mock draft today and it will be processed under the assumption Seattle are going to finish with only 5-7 wins. Officially it's my first mock of the year and next April I'll revisit it with interest to see how things have changed after the completion of the college season, the combine and pro-days etc. The idea of this mock isn't to truly guess what will happen in the 2010 draft - that's impossible at this stage. Rather, this is an opportunity to see what could happen and how the Seahawks (if they do finish with just 5-7 wins) can plan for the future.

I've compiled the draft order using current records and my own personal feelings on how I think they'll work out by the end of the year.

The top five

#1 Tampa Bay - Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
#2 St Louis - Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
#3 Cleveland - Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
#4 Tennessee - Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
#5 Oakland - Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)

This is how I think the top five could work out. The only one I'm not totally sold on is Tennessee - they're not as bad as they have been this year (sounds familiar) and I think they could win enough games to be picking a bit higher up, if not that much higher. If they do pick at #4 - and with the top two QB's off the board - they could look for a stud replacement for Albert Haynesworth.

Tampa Bay on the other hand, were awful when I watched them at Wembley. That franchise is a complete mess, although I suspect even they won't botch the chance to draft Ndamukong Suh. St Louis could look for a new start at QB and I still believe Sam Bradford is BPA at that position. Carlos Dunlap has Al Davies written all over him, whilst I expect Jimmy Clausen to declare and become the next sitting duck in Cleveland.

The rest of the top ten

#6 Kansas City - Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
#7 Detroit - Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
#8 Washington - Jake Locker (QB, Washington)
#9 Buffalo - Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
#10 Jacksonville - Tim Tebow (QB, Florida)

Kansas City are a tough one to predict. They pulled one out of left field when they took Tyson Jackson last year, nobody had him pinned as a top three pick until a couple of weeks before the draft. They have so many holes, they could do a ton of things here. However, call this one an early hunch - but maybe they look at adding a playmaker. I'm not that big a fan of Bryant - he has great size, long arms and passable speed - but he makes too many basic errors for me. He's productive for sure, but I think he's a class below Michael Crabtree last year.

Derrick Morgan is one of my favorite prospects, love the guy. Top ten pick for sure if I'm a GM in the NFL. I don't think Jake Locker will declare but until we hear either way, I'll include him here. I don't expect the Redskins to keep Jim Zorn or Jason Campbell, meaning a new start at HC and QB. I expect to see both Russell Okung and Tim Tebow drafted about 20-30 picks higher than they should be based on need and hype respectively.

Picks 11-15

#11 Seattle - Charles Brown (OT, USC)
#12 San Francisco - Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
#13 New York Jets - Damian Williams (WR, USC)
#14 San Francisco - Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
#15 Miami - Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama)

If this is the position from which Seattle drafts, what are the options? Four quarterbacks are off the board, virtually eliminating the chance they draft at the position in round one. The four best defensive lineman are gone - another position Seattle will seriously consider. The two highly (over) rated safety's (Eric Berry and Taylor Mays) are still on the board. I can see an argument that suggests both are very realistic targets here. The Seahawks have a need at safety and Mays (four year starter, USC prospect, Seattle born) and Berry (productive, played in a system similar to Seattle, Monte Kiffin as tutor) both appear to be good fits from a Ruskell-methodology stand point.

Make no mistake, in this situation - Seattle could easily take either of the two safety's. I've gone with Charles Brown though, because I also think eventually Tim Ruskell will feel he has to invest a high pick on the offense at a core position. He's spoken in the past about being able to find lineman later on, but this year's struggles on the offensive line should be an eye opener. Like Mays, Brown is from USC and a senior prospect. He's a perfect scheme fit for the ZBS and could be used as a right or left tackle as a rookie. Sad as it is, it does seem unlikely Walter Jones will ever return and although Sean Locklear is tied to an expensive long term contract the Seahawks could use a talented, long-term addition to their offensive line.

Briefly looking at the other picks, both Joe Haden and Eric Berry seem like Mike Singletary picks to me and that'd be a cracking double whammy for the 49ers defense. Mark Sanchez will no doubt rally for the brilliant Damian Williams to be drafted regardless of the potential re-signing of Braylon Edwards and Miami could go linebacker - although I'm unsure at this stage whether Rolando McClain isn't a bit over rated.

Picks 16-20

#16 San Diego - C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
#17 Green Bay - Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
#18 Denver - Jerry Hughes (DE/OLB, TCU)
#19 Baltimore - Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
#20 Arizona - Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)

I'm a huge fan of C.J. Spiller, he's a playmaker every time he has the ball and I expect he'll go right in the middle of the first round. Denver could be looking for a replacement for star pass rusher Elvis Dummervil who hits free agency at the perfect time in 2010. Baltimore always seem to get great value and Jermaine Gresham would be a steal there. Arizona and Green Bay could be looking at offensive lineman or new components as they adjust to 3-4 defensive schemes this year.

Picks 21-32

#21 Atlanta - Travis Lewis (OLB, Oklahoma)
#22 Houston - Taylor Mays (S, USC)
#23 Cincinnati - Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
#24 Dallas - Brandon Spikes (LB, Florida)
#25 New York Giants - Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
#26 Pittsburgh - Brandon Graham (DE/OLB, Michigan)
#27 New England - Arthur Jones (DE, Syracuse)
#28 Seattle - Rodney Hudson (OG, Florida State)
#29 Philadelphia - Sean Wetherspoon (LB, Missouri)
#30 New Orleans - Sergio Kindle (LB, Texas)
#31 Minnesota - Greg Hardy (DE, Ole Miss)
#32 Indianapolis - Earl Thomas (S, Texas)

A word on Seattle's second pick. Hudson is a junior left guard who might stay with the Seminoles for his senior year. In this situation, Seattle will have missed most of the top defensive lineman that fit their scheme. I have to think there's a slight chance the Seahawks won't let that happen. I also don't want to beat the drum too much for the offensive line - yes - it's been a problematic area for Seattle. Some will say this is overkill and too high for an interior lineman. Not for me, because Hudson is that good. He fits Seattle's scheme perfectly considering his size and agility, but he's still as strong as an ox. With Brown and Hudson, they'd solve two huge holes on the offensive line for 10 years.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section or email rob@seahawksdraftblog.com

46 comments:

Alan said...

Hutchinson was suppose to be able to be plugged into the line for the next ten years too ;).

Rob Staton said...

I have to assume they've learnt their lesson :)

The Hudson pick was a bit of a personal favorite. Would Ruskell draft a junior interior lineman that early? Maybe not. Although I guess he made moves to draft Max Unger in round two last year, although obviously he was a safety. If Hudson does declare he could sneak into round one and I wanted to show that in my first mock, and I didn't see any blindingly obvious alternatives for Seattle.

Michael said...

God I hope Ruskell (or whomever) drafts these two guys. We could resign Spencer, draft a running back or QB with the 2nd round pick and be set on offense for a good while.

Rob Staton said...

I think I'd like to add that if you wanted a RB in round two, that's the area where Joe McKnight starts to look very appealing. It might be a bit too 'offense driven' for a Tim Ruskell draft.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is really nit-picky and I absolutely love your blog, but it really trips me up to see you use the city in a team's name as a plural subject. It's actually singular. Now if you said "The Kansas City Chiefs are more difficult...", that would work. Or just simply "Kansas City is more..." works too. Your analysis looks great, but you make the error consistently and subject-verb agreement mistakes tend to jump off the page.

Rob Staton said...

Apologies annonymous - thanks for pointing it out.

Patrick said...

Great mock draft Rob! What I like about it is that we focus on one specific area (our line) and build on it. I don't think I'd like something like a DE/QB draft. I mean, sure it's helping two specific spots, but they're not reinforcing each other.

Were you able to watch the Seahawks v. Cowboys game? I was able to see some of it, and what really stuck out to me was how terrible our secondary defense looked.

I don't blame Trufant since he was obviously rusty, but this game and the poor performance by our CB and S wasn't exactly surpring. Our secondary has been suffering for a while. Our Safeties are not cutting it and our CBs, while decent, don't real strike fear into an opponents QB. I mean really, 3 INT in 7 games is pretty terrible.

When the game was on the line, they couldn't perform and really I think that almost hurts more than the O-line. Being in FL, I remember the Buccaneers team that won the superbowl in 2003. Their secondary defense was amazing. You just knew, when the game was on the line and they needed a stop, they would get an interception. In that Superbowl, I believe they got at least 3.

Any chance we focus on this in the draft? I'm thinking maybe a Joe Haden/ Earl Thomas combination with our 2 first round picks? I think not grabbing a top RB would be a mistake, but I wouldn't be upset with shoring up our secondary either. Creating a great secondary would really, really help us, especially in a division with Fitzgerald, Boldin, and now Crabtree.

Patrick said...

Great mock draft Rob! What I like about it is that we focus on one specific area (our line) and build on it. I don't think I'd like something like a DE/QB draft. I mean, sure it's helping two specific spots, but they're not reinforcing each other.

Were you able to watch the Seahawks v. Cowboys game? I was able to see some of it, and what really stuck out to me was how terrible our secondary defense looked.

I don't blame Trufant since he was obviously rusty, but this game and the poor performance by our CB and S wasn't exactly surpring. Our secondary has been suffering for a while. Our Safeties are not cutting it and our CBs, while decent, don't real strike fear into an opponents QB. I mean really, 3 INT in 7 games is pretty terrible.

When the game was on the line, they couldn't perform and really I think that almost hurts more than the O-line. Being in FL, I remember the Buccaneers team that won the superbowl in 2003. Their secondary defense was amazing. You just knew, when the game was on the line and they needed a stop, they would get an interception. In that Superbowl, I believe they got at least 3.

Any chance we focus on this in the draft? I'm thinking maybe a Joe Haden/ Earl Thomas combination with our 2 first round picks? I think not grabbing a top RB would be a mistake, but I wouldn't be upset with shoring up our secondary either. Creating a great secondary would really, really help us, especially in a division with Fitzgerald, Boldin, and now Crabtree.

Patrick said...

Oops, sorry for the double post!

Rob Staton said...

Hey Patrick,

Yeah I watched the game. I was planning on flying out to Seattle this weekend for the Lions game but the Dallas hammering has made me think twice about the 21 hour flight and 800 dollar price.

I think a large part of the problems in the secondary were the fact we once again had a virtually annonymous pass rush. They just aren't getting it done, Romo was barely touched all afternoon. When you have all the time in the world to get open, Romo will find his targets. So did Cutler, Manning etc etc. Until the Seahawks can bring it from the front, the secondary will struggle.

Patrick said...

Do you think Derrick Morgan would greatly help that issue? Is he really an upgrade over what we have at RE? What about the DL. It seems like the top guys will be gone before we pick. On paper, our DE, DL, and LB all seem (at least to me) pretty good. I just can't quite figure out why we can't get pressure.

Rob Staton said...

I think unless we're picking in the top five we can forget Suh and McCoy. They would instantly improve the situation on the d-line because they'll collapse the pocket, force double teams and get to the QB themselves. It'll practically be a written invitation for the DE's to attack.

Derrick Morgan is a relentless pass rusher who is a good edge rusher. He needs some fine tuning but his raw potential will allow him to get on the field from day one. He just gives 100% every play and the fact he actually has a nice blend of speed/strength should help him get to the QB.

Can he greatly change things on his own? Possibly not as much as Suh or McCoy. But they have to get more from a scheme perspective, whoever they bring in during FA or the draft, but something needs to be done.

kearly said...

I like the choices, but I think both are reaches. I don't think Brown will be the #2 offensive tackle taken. Because he'll probably be of interest mostly to ZBS teams, and the fact that he's not true elite talent, I think he'll be a early 20's pick. Maybe he'll have a Jason Smith rise in the final months but who would have predicted that about Jason Smith until it happened?

Hudson would be awesome, but the Seahawks don't actually need a guard if they retain Sims and keep Unger at RG. I would still LOVE the team to draft Hudson, but I think they possess enough leverage to survive the risk of waiting until the "~11th" pick in the 2nd to select him.

Getting to that first pick, if the Seahawks are picking #11, that is in the tail end of where most drafts have elite talent. Michael Crabtree was drafted 10th. Jay Cutler was drafted 11th. So was Big Ben. Marcus Trufant was drafted 11th. Steve Hutchinson was drafted 12th. Knowshon Moreno was drafted 12th.

It seems like almost every year, that 10-12 spot in the draft order always possesses at least one falling star that some team catches. We have no idea, but its conceivable that it could be anyone in your current top 10, including Gerald McCoy and probably one of those QB's. So for that first pick, I'm going to dream big. Also consider that Seattle might not have to trade much to move up if they sit at #11.

If Seattle doesn't have a star fall in their lap at #11, I'd like to see them trade down and pick up Brown at a lower pick for less money, while possibly recouping their 3rd rounder.

I like Berry, but for the same reasons I opposed Curry, no safety deserves a high first round contract. If the team fails to sign a free agent safety, I'd be ok with the team drafting one in the 4th. Babs is beginning to look like a DD-Lewis caliber functional depth player at safety.

Ryan S said...

Rob,

While some people might not like taking 2 offensive lineman in the first round, I think it is a smart idea. During the Superbowl year, the offensive line was the strength of our team. Protecting the QB, regardless of who it is, should be the top priority.

I do not think Denver regrets using 2 early picks on Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris a couple years ago.

If Hasselbeck can get protection, I think they could squeeze 2 more years of decent production out of him, then possibly be looking at a more ideal situation for a young QB to take over with a much better supporting cast.

As for adding some playmakers, what are your thoughts on Leon Washington? He will be a RFA and with Jones and Greene, the Jets may not have as much use for him. Would pairing him with a power back be a good idea, similair to Baltimore's concept with Rice and McGahee?

Anonymous said...

I like what you are thinking, but I have two thoughts:

1) I really don't think that Ruskell will be running Seattle's draft this year.

2) If he is, I see no way that he drafts 2 OL in the 1st round. Maybe 1, but not 2. It makes sense, but he has stated on the record that he doesn't think they (OL) represent the type of value he seeks in 1st round picks

I also believe that they will take a QB in round 1 or 2.

TJ

kearly said...

"Also consider that Seattle might not have to trade much to move up if they sit at #11."

I worded this poorly. What I meant to say is at #11, trading into the top 10 would be easy and trading into the top 5 would be something in striking distance.

germpod said...

Unless there was another interview or statement that I am not aware of, it can not be forgotten that Tim Ruskell was talking about last years draft, specifically. Unless I am remembering wrong, he stated that the OT position was deep last season and there would be good value in the position outside the first round. You can read into the statement, and partially his draft history to assume he has a general theorie about that, but I took it as him just talking about that draft.

It also has to be kept in mind that he drafted Chris Spencer, a junior center in the first round in Ruskells first draft.

Rob Staton said...

Thanks everyone for the comments so far - really enjoying the debate.

Kearly - For starters, LT has become a premium position in the NFL. It's not a great draft for OT's in general, so it wouldn't surprise me if the guys who are first round picks don't go a bit higher than they would otherwise. From what I've seen of Brown - I've really, really liked him. I see no reason to think Ruskell wouldn't take him, so I felt comfortable putting him with the Seahawks' at #11. Like Jason Smith, he's a converted tight end with a lot of raw potential - it's a good comparison to make and we know what happened to Smith.

I think I've tried to paint a picture of what could essentially happen here. We've discussed QB's and DL's a lot, but in the end it might be out of our hands early on unless we trade up.

With regard to the second pick, I actually think guard is one of our biggest needs. I'm not sold on Rob Sims and he's been almost permanently injured since week 1 in 2008. Again for this draft, I wanted to protray what could happen. I think Hudson has the potential to be a first round pick and I wanted to be the first person who's published a mock with him in that position. Seattle seemed to be the best fit on this occassion and there wasn't anyone else at that pick I felt fit better. That could change as the year goes on.

Ryan S - I really like Washington. However, he's currently suffering from a pretty serious injury. Can Seattle afford to pay him a lot of money hoping he can return from IR and maintain his playmaking ability - especially with our injury concerns? I think New York will pay him enough to put other teams off.

TJ - I think you could be right on both cases, but for now I'm going to presume Ruskell remains. Would he take two OL's? Possibly, but is it likely? Not sure. But both players are great scheme fits and fill positions of need, so I needed more than a hunch to stop me making the move, especially considering how else the board fell before Seattle's second pick.

Louis said...

Very nice mock draft! I would be more than happy with this draft =) Our oline has been a mess and with our injury problems the past couple years there is no guarentee that our current oline starters will be healthy next year so its important we have alternatives.

but that would also be awesome if we somehow got a RB like Javid Best...

Michael said...

I like the choices. I don't understand people concerning themselves with draft value.

Lofa Tatupu was "over" drafted. No one thinks that now. Again, it is time to take Ruskell's second round mindset to the first round. Get your guy.

Also, take a look at Nate Allen from South Florida. He will be there in the second, has great size, is a ball hawk, is a senior, blah blah blah. Most importantly, he is as good or better than Berry/Mays.

Nice job, Rob.

Anonymous said...

Germpod - You may be correct, but I seem to remember TR making a general statement...something like "we generally don't like to use the high picks on OL because we think we can get better value later on..." I could be wrong though.

TJ

kearly said...

I don't want to debate this too much- because I like the Charles Brown choice. A lot will change in 6 months. Who knows- its possible that Brown could be a steal at #11. I'm just going off of the latest rankings and opinions of analysts. The top 3 returns on google ranked him #3, #4, and #8. A few of the rankings referred to him as a 2nd round prospect making the leap into the 1st round. The highest projection I saw for him said "top 20 pick."

Regarding Sims, he's become a good guard and I'd hate to replace him. Sims has had two injuries in 4 seasons. The pectoral tear injury was a fluke, and he recovered quickly from his most recent injury (missed only 3 weeks for an injury that had a 3-6 week time table). Sims has become a good starter and should not simply be allowed to walk away. Getting Hudson while keeping Sims would be dreamy, but I like Sims enough that I don't see Hudson as a make or break pick. More of a very nice luxury pick.

The Seahawks must fix the OL. But OL is only the beginning of their problems. By reaching for those fixes, the Seahawks will have less ammunition to fill other impending needs like QB, DT, RB, and young WR. Personally, I'd like to see the Seahawks take a franchise player WR/RB/QB/DT with that first pick, knowing they will probably get at least one of Brown/Hudson with that Broncos pick.

kearly said...

^^^ "#3, #4, #8" refers to his ranking among offensive tackles.

kearly said...

"I don't understand people concerning themselves with draft value. Lofa Tatupu was "over" drafted. No one thinks that now."

Just off the top of my head:

Tyson Jackson. Darius Heyward-Bey. Ted Ginn. Maurice Clarett.

I'm hardly a BPA-believer- BPA leads to mistakes too. But I also know that there is such a thing as reaching, and unless you know what the hell you are doing, its usually a bad idea.

Rob Staton said...

Without wanting to 'bad mouth the competition' I don't tend to read much into draft rankings unless it's NFL Draft Scout. For example, until last week Mel Kiper had Colt McCoy amongst the top guys on his big board. I respect Mel greatly and clearly he's a thoroughly knowledgable yet entertaining analyst. However, I don't take McCoy in round one. Whether someone does or not, that's up to them. But he isn't anywhere near my 'big board' if it only contains 25 names... it's not a mock. It's a list of the best prospects and clearly that isn't Colt McCoy.

The simple fact is, Charles Brown is clearly better than the #8 LT in the 2010 class. You can watch one USC drive on game tape and see that. I've watched two full games of his now, rewinding each play 2-3 times to watch Brown (I've just finished the Oregon game). He's a first round pick. My question would be, can he get up to 300lbs before the combine and maintain his athleticism? If he does, he could be a top ten pick easily in the same way Jason Smith rose up the boards very quickly. The difference between Smith and Brown - Smith played for Baylor in a spread and Brown plays for a pro-style in USC (aka, less transition). The platform is very much there for Brown to shoot up the board. If most draft sites don't rate him now - they will do soon.

Anonymous said...

One thing I like about Ruskell is his willingness to trade on draft day to move up to get the guy they want, or move down to take the guy they want at a spot that minimizes reaching. I really think their board, guys they are targeting, is much smaller in the first couple rounds than people realize. And while they feined interest in Crabtree, I don't think they'd have taken him at 10 where the Niners did. I think they would have traded down with someone who really did want him. Likewise, Sanchez. Unfortunately, nobody could afford to trade up to 4.

At the end of the day, we need playmakers. Housh is a great possession receiver. Burleson is solid, not great. Branch is WAY overpaid. Jones is less than mediocre and Forsett is less than Jones. I'd love to see us trade down to regain the missing 3rd round pick, take Spiller at about 14-16, then Hudson in late 20's, possibly trading down again with the second pick for another 3rd or 4th. I think tackle is a big need, but guard is bigger, and RB is bigger yet. Use the 2nd to 4th round picks on CB (Thurmond), S (Allen) , OT (Fox) and WR (Shipley). Take another flyer on a developmental QB like Max Hall. Re-sign Spencer, Sims and Tapp, dump Branch and Terrill. Acquire Richard Seymour in FA. DT rotation of Mebane, Cole, Seymour and Bryant. DE rotation of Redding, Kerney, Tapp, Jackson and Reed.

There you go.

kearly said...

You could be very right about Brown going higher soon. A lot of the mocks made reference to his stock rising very fast in 2009. After 2008, he was thought to be a 2nd/3rd round pick. He's had a great 2009 season so his momentum is certainly heading that way.

That said Brown is pretty different from Smith. Smith was a nobody the day the college season ended, he made his climb very late. His rise was Mario-Williams like, or perhaps even Aaron Curry like. Smith smoked the combine. Brown, I have a hard time seeing Brown matching that type of combine wow-factor. Also, Smith was a "nasty", "mean-streak" type OL, whereas pretty much everyone agrees that Brown is a finesse player.

I do think that Brown will be a first round pick, and that fairly mediocre OT class will elevate his worth like QB was elevated in 2009, but I still think #11 feels high. I see him more as having Ryan Clady stock than Jason Smith stock.

Louis said...

It's nice seeing this place getting active again =) Lots of people commenting

Patrick said...

I'm not sure I like the idea of grabbing Seymour. He's effective sure, but getting up in age. However, if it were possible at all, I would LOVE to trade whatever it takes to the Raiders for Nnamdi Asomugha. OH man, I would trade ANYONE for him. He deserves so much better than being stuck in Oakland, and would help our secondary tremendously.

Kyle Rota said...

Kearly - I disagree about Smith. When the season ended, he was a mid-first round pick with a big question mark about his size. Once he came in, aced interviews and drills (and more importantly weighed in at 312), he looked really good to teams, especially with Oher, Crabtree, and Smith disappointing.

I will agree that it'd be weird for Brown to do what Smith did - someone at Baylor was telling NFL scouts that Smith was playing under 290lbs, and somehow Smith showed up at 312. Both players were finesse types in that they don't move people 10 yards downfield, but you can be nasty doing it... I did notice Brown playing with some nastiness in the one game I've broken down, and from what it looks like Brown is nowhere near as raw.

Whether or not Brown has the same intangibles and ability to get to respectable size we will see. But, this time last year, Smith resembled the 2009 Brown quite a bit.

I'm hoping Seattle turns to FA to fix the OL, but if we're not going to do it in FA I like the idea of addressing it early. I haven't scouted Hudson yet, because I'm not convinced he'll go pro, but if he's as good as you say this could really get our offense going.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

Tell me what you think. I know you like Charles Brown, but we did just sign Locklear to a semi longterm contract, so why do you think the Hawks are ready to draft his replacement? I've heard you say that you think that our interior line is worse off than our tackles which I agree with, so why not a RB with our first pick (you know Ruskell wants a RB as he was salivating over Knowshon Moreno at his pro day), and a guard with our second pick?

Griffin

Rob Staton said...

Hey Griffin,

With regard to Locklear, I don't think Brown would be a complete replacement, because both players could start. I'm assuming now that Walter Jones is unlikely to ever return, so you'd have your two starting tackles. It'd be expensive, but the Seahawks might have their hands tied. The way the board falls in this mock, Brown presents the best fit because the top D-liners are all gone as are the best QB's.

The only running back they could consider at #11 is C.J. Spiller and that seems a bit high for me. I know I have him going only five picks later, but that #16 range really needs to be his top end draft position. He's not an every down back in the NFL but he is a much needed playmaker. It's strange because you'd say if they trade back a little bit it'd become viable but eleven would be a bit of a reach and I just couldn't put him that high on the mock. There could be some good value at RB with Seattle's second pick - I like Joe McKnight at USC for example.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

Not to get off of the draft topic, but what do the Hawks do with Ray Willis? He seems to me like a more proto-typical Right Tackle than Sean Locklear (as he's stronger and a better run blocker)?

Would you think they would move Locklear back to right tackle and have Charles Brown take over at Left Tackle and keep Willis as a backup?

Griffin

Rob Staton said...

I think they could find ways to use Willis even if they drafted Brown in this scenario. For example, the future of Chris Spencer with the Seahawks remains unclear. If he departs in free agency, Max Unger might be the teams new center, opening a space at RG that could be occupied by Willis. He is more than capable of moving inside to guard. At the same time, he could be a backup tackle offering very solid depth in case Locklear gets injured again - in that case he'd move from G to T.

If they did draft Brown, they would have to make a decision if they want to start him at LT from day one or keep Locklear on the left. That and the Ray Willis debate is a better decision to have to make than which street offensive lineman can we sign to start against the Cowboys.

Anonymous said...

Locker
OL
RB
DB (I can't believe we are still in need at DBs after two top picks in Jennings and Wilson, not to mention FAs Grant and now departed Russell)

My list used to be just OL and RB but I think Locker is the guy this team needs into the future. They should try all they can to trade up and try to pick him off.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

I like the debate, and I agree that it would be better to have decent to good offensive line backups (our OT situation has been downright ridiculous), but I had forgotten about Ray Willis's ability to come inside and play guard.

What do you think about Spencer? Do you think the Hawks will want to keep him? And if they do, do you think they will keep him at center, ask him to move to one of the vacated guard positions, or be a backup?

Griffin

Rob Staton said...

It's hard to get a read on Spencer. They might want to move Max Unger inside or they might genuinly believe that the line needs some consistency and keeping Spencer would be worthwhile. It creates another hole either way if Spencer leaves, either at center or right guard.

If he stays, he stays at center. I highly doubt they'll move him. It's been talked about in the past amongst the fans, but never happened.

Anonymous said...

Rob--Great work, and I love your attentiveness to the comments. It's impressive how early you are generating valuable debate.

I love the picks. I think tackle is a much bigger need, personally, but that is hinged on my hunches that one or both of Spencer/Sims will be retained; and that Big Walt is done. I don't love either of them, honestly, but Sims has improved. He has grown a brain, and he does get up field well. And they'll be affordable.

In regards to your last post, Spencer has played some center, 3-5 games I believe, back in 2006. But you point remains: if he is retained, it will be as a center. I'm of the opinion that we should move forward with the intent of putting Unger at center and Willis at RG.

Unger has said he feels like center is his natural position. I think you should play your guys at their best positions. The more time we waste with him at RG, the more we stunt his development as a long-term center. If we were in a "win now" mindset, I understand keeping him at RG, but we don't have that luxury. Spencer's injuries make him unreliable, and he's just not that good. I think Unger could surpass him as the leader of our line in a season or so.

In regards to Willis, I thought he was brilliant at guard at the end of last season. He's nasty, he's aggressive, and he struggles some with speed rushers. It seems like a no-brainer to put him at guard and emphasize our bookends in the draft.

I hope our line looks something like

LT: Locklear, Charles Brown
LG: Sims, Wrotto, mid/late rd. rookie
C: Unger, Vallos
RG: Willis, Wrotto
RT: Charles Brown, Ray Willis

If we were to draft Hudson, I think he could probably play G immediately and be an instant improvement over anyone on our roster. It would cement Unger's development at C, which I love. I also love the idea of a dominant offensive line. Unless you have a super freak qb that can take hits and still pass with a rating over 80 (Roethlisbger), it's a good idea to have one.

Nano

Rob Staton said...

Hey Nano, thanks for your thoughts and appreciate the positive feedback.

I think you make some very valid points - particularly on Unger's long term developments and how impressive Willis was at RG last year. I'd agree on both cases. I have to believe the Seahawks will target depth and improvements on the offensive line in the off season - be it in free agency or the draft. Simply put, the revolving door at LT and to an extent LG has been unacceptable this year and I speak as someone who didn't want to draft Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher in 2009. Considering there is a prospect I like who will be available in 2010 (Charles Brown) I think the Seahawks have to seriously consider him all being well. I'm sure they already know all about him being a USC prospect.

I firmly think in the first round of the draft you have to try and tie up positions long term as best you can. You need to find starters. By getting Brown or Hudson in the scenario I suggest in this mock, you've tied up the left side of your offensive line for 10+ years. It's a big commitment, but the talent justifies it for me. They're both scheme fits with nice agility/strength combo's and they'll instantly improve both aspects of pass protection and run blocking. Being tighter and making that commitment on the left side of your line will help Max Unger, Chris Spencer or whoever else is at center, and we have enough talent on the team at the moment to cover the right (Willis, Locklear, Wrotto). Building up the line wouldn't be a bad place to start any kind of a rebuild if that's the situation the Seahawks are faced with, although don't rule out a big free agency splash. Tim Ruskell has often turned to free agency to fill holes (Deon Grant, Patrick Kerney, Houshmandzadeh) and that could be the case again especially with the potential of the CBA expiring.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely high if you think the Niners go for two DB's back to back with those picks. Eric Berry would be the pick if he was still on the board at #12. The next pick would have to be on OT in Trent Williams. The Niners have more problems on the offensive line than at CB.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous,

I think it'd be a little high for Williams, but I think it's perfect value for Berry and Haden. Taking two players in similar positions (secondary) might seem unrealistic, but they are both technically positions of need for the 49ers. I'm not prepared to put down a reach based purely on need when there's two far superior guys available for them to take.

Anonymous said...

Good comments. Nice blog. Thanks for your intelligent commentary.

Ruskell will go hard in free agency and the draft on both the offensive and defensive lines.

If Brown turned out to be Walt Jones Lite and Hudson turned out to be Hutch Jr., that would make me grin.

Anonymous said...

Rob, Do you think Ruskell would part with Cole so quickily after his deal if the hawks somehow won the sweepstakes and could draft one of these dynamic forces?

I like your picks, but I'm wondering if they might go qb if McCoy is still there with their late pick. He fits with Knapp's motion style system and provides the physical dynamic of being able to throw on the run like Jay Cutler.

I think it might be the fit Ruskell looks at rather than, is this player super awesome. When you look at the curry pick, it had more to do with adding size and strength in a division where the opposing coaches all have big powerful backs and want to run the football. Curry was a sexy pick to the media, but he was also the right response pick for what they needed at the position.

Thanks for your info

Rob Staton said...

Hi annonymous,

I'm not sure whether the Seahawks would cut Colin Cole shortly after giving him a fairly substantial deal. I'm not sure what the implications are considering we face the prospect of an uncapped year and if the Seahawks can simply 'clear off' big contracts or not with relative ease. They may also see some value in keeping Cole, who although hasn't been explosive as a starter, at least offers some value as a rotational one technique. He's always been a backup guy, even if the contract suggests otherwise.

I think it would be a bad move to draft Colt McCoy in round one. Contrary to what some have suggested, I don't think Greg Knapp is looking for a quarterback who can only throw 5-6 yard slants and bubble screens. The drafting of Deon Butler suggested they at least intend to use a deep option and considering Knapp consistently speaks of 'balance', drafting McCoy would not offer that in the passing game because he's too one dimensional.

He makes bad reads. I've seen games where he eyes up Jordan Shipley and will throw it in his direction regardless of coverage without looking elsewhere. I've seen him set off on a misjudged run when Shipley isn't open too - something he isn't big enough or athletic enough to do consistently in the NFL. He hasn't got a strong arm and has no accuracy throwing deep.

He plays in an offense that should inflate his stats (and has done in the past) but this year his numbers are distinctly average. Texas have also played a lot of weak opponents - who have they played that's been a challenge? Oklahoma without Bradford and Gresham? They struggled through that.

Any team who drafts Colt McCoy in the first three rounds is asking for trouble. A good college quarterback, yes. A nice guy? Apparently so. But not NFL quality for me and I don't think the Seahawks or anyone else will see him as a first round pick.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances that the Seahawks pick up Julian Peppers in Free agency this year? That would be a huge addition.

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