Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thursday links

Todd McShay talks up the potential of Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, but warns buyer beware: "Mallett is not getting the publicity of his bigger-name counterparts but at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds and with a rifle arm he has all the physical tools of a first-round pick. It's entirely possible a team could take a late-first round flyer on him because of his tools and potential, but this scout would stay away from Mallett that early."

Seahawks Draft Blog also discussed Ryan Mallett recently.

Chris Low lists the top 10 SEC underclassmen that could declare: "This is always an emotional time for seniors as they prepare to play in their final home game. But the reality is that this final week of the regular season will also see several top juniors and/or third-year sophomores bidding farewell before leaving early for the NFL draft."

Ted Miller speculates on the future of Jahvid Best, both for the Cal Golden Bears and in the NFL: "It remains decidedly questionable whether California running back Jahvid Best will play again this season. Best is a junior and he likely will strongly consider entering the NFL draft this spring, therefore it's possible that his Cal career is over."

Brian Hamilton reports that Jimmy Clausen's family are moving out of their home, fueling speculation he's about to leave Notre Dame for the NFL: "It's a bit frenzied around the Irish these days... and that silenced quarterback Jimmy Clausen regarding a real estate transaction that could be an early indicator of the expected: that he will bypass his senior season for the NFL. Century 21 real estate agent Kathye Currey told the Tribune on Tuesday that the house Clausen's family owns at 703 E. Angela Blvd. in South Bend has been sold."

J.P Giglio says North Carolina's stand out linebacker Bruce Carter will return for his senior season: "Carter ranks third on the team with 48 tackles and he also has two sacks and an interception return for a touchdown. The Tar Heels defense, which ranks first in the ACC it total yards (261.6 yards per game) and scoring (15.9 points per game) has seven junior starters. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin, linebacker Quan Sturdivant, safety Deunta Williams and Carter are all considered NFL prospects."


Chris (Seattle) said...

Hey Rob. It's been a while since I posted, but still reading the blog regularly. Given that the Hawks can start looking towards the off-season now, what do you think will be the most important position to address? Offensive line, pass-rushing D-lineman, and safety are my top three needs as of now. I understand a lot will happen to change the perception of the players currently on the roster, college prospects, and potential free agents from now until next April, so it's extraordinarily difficult to predict anything at the moment (though I would bet good money Branch, Kerney, and Spencer will not be a part of the team come 2010). I still truly believe they are only one or two "playmakers" away from competing for NFC West titles again. What really concerns me is not having a QB prepared for when Hasselbeck's run is over (which I still think is three years down the road). If you look at the most consistently unsuccessful franchises the last decade or so, they all struggle to find that franchise QB. I was a huge fan of Sam Bradford last year, and still am this year. Do you think they will look at him if available? I'm torn about the concept of taking him simply because we have so many other needs, but I'd prefer him 1,000% over the likes of Mays, Clausen, or god forbid Tebow (no pun intended).

Rob Staton said...

Hey Chris, great to hear from you again and hope you're well.

The two main issues for me are the pass rush and a lack of an 'X-factor' on offense. Seattle are getting no pressure on opposition QB's this year and it's hurting. You can't give Manning, Warner, Cutler, Romo, Favre etc all the time in the world to throw the ball. It's not been good enough. Considering the big strength in the 2010 draft is the defensive line, it makes it a priority for me because you at least have a viable solution.

The other problem is the fact the offense has no weapon that warrants serious game planning. The receivers are given single coverage and the running game is simply no concern (four rushing yards? please!). There's a distinct lack of speed and playmaking potential at running back or receiver. CJ Spiller and Jahvid Best might not be complete 'franchise' style backs but they'll at least give teams something to think about because they're a threat to score every time they have the ball in their hands.

Obviously there are other needs - the offensive line at tackle and the interior is a continued concern. Who is the long term QB? Do we need another defensive back or two?

As for Sam Bradford - the Seahawks have to consider him because to quote the GM, they're 'in the zone' with regard to a future answer at the position. For me, he's a step ahead of all the other QB prospects. If Seattle are going to own a high pick, they have to work out Bradford closely.

Chris (Seattle) said...

Couldn't agree more with everything you said there. I think a playmaker on offense is a huge need, and am surprised I forgot to list it in my post. We have lacked a playmaker in the mold of the Johnson trio (Chris, Calvin, Andre), Fitzgerald, etc. that teams must account for every time they are on the field. Our WRs inability to beat single coverage really showed up in the Minnesota game.

As far as the running game, I believe it's more of a line issue than the RB's (I think Forsett is the closest thing we have to the play-maker type guy we have). The three best game-breaker guys I see are all RB's actually: CJ Spiller, Jahvid Best, and Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon St. is someone flying under the radar. WR's are a little weak this draft, but I think Dez Bryant could be a guy teams have to account for on Sunday's.

Rob Staton said...

I think Forsett is good at what he does, which is a nice third down back who can do a bit more in games against weaker opponents. I don't like him in games like Sunday though, where he just got smothered. He's neat and tidy, but he's not going to scare anyone. He's shifty, there's a place on this team for him and he should get carries, but I'd still only use him predominantly as a third down guy.

Dez Bryant I think is a little over rated. I had a chance to watch him in week one, a rare chance to watch him as it turned out. He's big, not the quickest but capable of making nice catches. However, he seems to make too many basic errors for my liking. Silly drops, body catches, sloppy routes. He has nice production though in his few starts. I personally prefer Damian Williams at USC.

bob said...

No playmaker will do anything if our OL stays as terrible as it is. And our DL is terrible too. That's not a good combination.

Rob Staton said...

I'd disagree with that, Bob. For example, if a defense isn't concerned by your threat at receiver or running back, they have greater freedom to attack that offensive line whether it's stacking the box or a heavy blitz. They'll take more risks and it tends to work because in Seattle, there isn't anyone capable of punishing that aggresiveness.

The Arziona Cardinals' and Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive lines were ranked amongst the worse in 2008, but they played in the Super Bowl. I'm of the opinion that having a great offensive line can help average players succeed, but I don't see a way of making Seattle's line 'great' in this draft, even if they select my top two rookies. Jacksonville's line certainly isn't 'great' with
Eugene Monroe (1st rounder) and Eben Britton (2nd rounder) - but they have one of the most dynamic running back's in the NFL.

Undoutedly the Seahawks need to do something with their line and I emphasised that in my first 2010 mock draft. However, finding young playmakers is also a massive need.

Anonymous said...

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