Thursday, 19 November 2009

Thursday mocks and Ryan Mallett

Walter Cherepinsky updates his mock draft. The Seahawks' two first round picks remain the same from last week however - Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland) and Jahvid Best (RB, California). I'd be surprised if Seattle drafted Campbell, a junior who has suffered persistent health issues. The Seahawks can ill afford another injured lineman on the roster.

One other interesting note from Cherepinsky's mock is his placement of Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas) in the top ten. He notes: "The SEC product has an amazing arm and has put up some really impressive stats lately. In his past four games, Mallett has thrown nine touchdowns to only one interception, and he's maintained a completion percentage of 67.3 and a mind-boggling YPA of 11.6."

One thing to note here is the quality of those last four opponents: Troy, South Carolina, Eastern Michigan and Ole Miss. The best team of the four is undoubtedly Ole Miss, where he posted a completion percentage of just 35.3%. The 67.3% noted by Cherepinsky above is largely responsible for his success against lesser opposition.

In fact, let's compare the last three games to Mallett's toughest macth-ups this season:

vs Troy - 76.7% completed passes
vs South Carolina - 85.2%
vs Eastern Michigan - 87.5%
TD/INT ratio: 8/1
982 passing yards

vs Alabama - 34.4% completed passes
vs Florida - 44.4%
vs Ole Miss - 35.3%
TD/INT ratio: 3/1
638 passing yards

Mallett is very raw and when I watched Arkansas against both Auburn and Florida this year, there was a lot of inconsistency on show. He does own a NFL arm and flashed that ability to launch the ball down field. However, he also showed on numerous occasions very poor accuracy on shorter routes, particularly in the red zone. It could be argued he missed a couple of simple passes against Florida that potentially, could have won his team the upset of the year.

He's comparable to Joe Flacco in that he needs to learn from scratch how to operate from behind center and his footwork in particular is a cause for concern. He also has a similar skill set to Flacco. Whether he will declare or not remains to be seen, but I get the feeling this is going to become an increasingly big debate over the next few weeks. Mallett finds himself in a similar position to Jake Locker - they'd both benefit from another year at college. Like Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez last year, however, the odds are at least one of them may declare.

Draft Tek's computer calculated a new mock draft this week. Using team needs and a regularly updated big board, it predicts how the draft will fall next April. Unfortunately, this time it's made a projection that simply won't happen. It says Seattle will take Greg Hardy (DE, Ole Miss) 9th overall. Under the current front office regime, there is absolutely no way the Seahawks will entertain Hardy's 'soap opera' life style and horrendous injury record.

The second pick is Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame), who (perhaps realistically) drops to the back end of round one as opposed to the top five pick a number of pundits are predicting. I wrote about my concerns regarding Clausen this week. The Seahawks do get good value in round two however, where they take Jahvid Best (RB, California).

The Human Review publishes an interesting mock draft. They have Seattle taking C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) with the 9th overall pick and Charles Brown (OT, USC) 28th overall. I discussed the possibility of Spiller going in the top ten on Tuesday. The Seahawks will undoubtedly want to target their defensive line after a number of disappointing performances and the relative depth at the position. However, I find it hard not to like what has been predicted here. I've made no secret of my fondness for both Spiller and Brown.


Patrick said...

If the draft happened today, I have no idea who the Seahawks would select. The sad truth is we have so many needs. I have been paying attention to many mock drafts this year, and I don't think there's a single position I haven't seen Seattle grab (Even positions like WR and LB).

I don't know if it's the best strategy, but if it happened today I would draft Tim Tebow/Sam Bradford and Jahvid Best, and then in the second round I would grab Hudson (if he is still available). If Bradford is available I think we absolutely have to take him. I firmly believe it would be an incredible steal. I can't say I would be very happy to see us draft an OL instead of Bradford, just because of the importance of the QB position. I'll admit I didn't want Stafford or Sanchez last year (and I'm still glad we didn't select either) but now Hasselbeck is a year older, and he proved this year his health really is a concern. Seneca Wallace also proved that when Hasselbeck is out, he is not even an interim solution. I told my girlfriend before the season started, that I believe Seattle could go to the Super Bowl this year. However, I told her if Hasselbeck went down, it would never happen. I still think Hasselbeck could lead us to the superbowl. If we drafted someone like Bradford/Tebow, he could sit behind Hasselbeck for realisticaly a year or two. I think if we kept Teel, he could become Bradford/Tebow's back-up QB for many years to come.

I believe grabbing a QB and then a RB, would make two of our biggest positions on offense set for years to come. I feel the same way about Best that you do Spiller. Plus, Grabbing Hudson would help solidify the interior of our line.

Like I said before, going offense with our first picks may not seem like the best strategy. However, as soon as I realized how defensively focused the last Ruskell drafts have been, I think it's just time.

Michael said...

Has anybody noticed that as a team in the Ruskell era, the Seahawks are always going against the strength of the draft. The last few years have seen great O-linemen and QBs get drafted and we draft D-Linemen and LBs. Now that the strength of the draft is D-linemen we are drafting O-linemen and QBs. It does not seem that we know what we are doing. How many stars and studs have been drafted in rounds 2-4 over the last five years. Have we drafted even one genuine star in the Ruskell era? How many pro bowlers has he drafted? You can only rest on Lofa so long. God we need a new direction. I'm tired of our 20 year rebuilding plans.

Rob Staton said...

I think it's a fair point, Michael. The last two drafts have been strong for offensive lineman, whilst the 2008 draft was rich with running backs - a need area - that Seattle were unable to address until round seven.

However - to play devil's advocate, Ruskell did make a nice couple of moves last year to get Max Unger (a lineman) whilst also securing a first round pick from Denver. Considering it's essentially cost us a third rounder this year, that move has to be applauded.

In 2008, it would have been difficult to draft at either position of strength - RB and OL. Nearly every recognised first round player at the position was off the board, including OT's like Brown and Cherilus (that were border line first rounders anyway). At running back, your Stewart's, Johnson's, Jones', Mendenhall's had all gone and Seattle weren't the only team to pass on Rice and Forte in rounds 1 & 2.

I'm not sure there was a strikingly obvious alternative to DL in 2008, not enough to suggest Seattle had been incompetent going in that direction.

Likewise last year, it was a good draft for OT's but the only one I think was really worthy of consideration was Jason Smith, who went before Seattle picked. I wasn't a fan of Eugene Monroe or Andre Smith. I can understand why Seattle went with Aaron Curry.

So although they have picked against the strength areas in the past, I wouldn't necessarily call foul too much. Sometimes a board dictates to you what position you're likely to take. Seattle needs DL help and next year is a strong draft in that area. However, I'd wager that unless the Seahawks are picking very early again next year (top 5-8) they will not be able to take advantage of the group and may be forced to look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Patrick - I am 100% in agreement with Kiper and McShay that Tebow is a 3rd round QB at best. The NFL is a league for passing QBs, not running QBs. Tebow is a poor passer with bad mechanics and a lack of accuracy. That doesn't translate well into the NFL. If Ruskell is in charge of the draft and he takes Tebow in the 1st, I will need therapy.

Michael, I share your frustration with the current regime and believe that it will be replaced at the end of the season. The thought of TR with our 2 1st round picks in a year when the draft is so important to the future of this team (even more so than any year in recent memory) scares me.

I also believe that If we have an opportunity to draft a future franchise QB we must absolutely jump at it. Hasselbeck is only under contract for one more year and you can't win in the NFL without a QB. Ideally, we can draft a top QB and promptly give him a clipboard for at least a full season.


Michael said...

I would applaud drafting a QB in the 1st IF we can get Bradford or may Locklear/Clausen. Those are the only 1st round QBs I think may be available. If we cannot get them, I would hope we trade down or get the best OT and DLs available. We can get by with Hass for a few more years if we can protect him and run the ball. Also we can pick up a crappy FA QB and let him start for a year or two until the next great QB draft comes along. We need to fix our lines somehow and get a game breaker at WR or RB. Otherwise a QB will not be able to succeed anyway. Love the blog by the way. :)

Swampfox said...

QB alone does not win in this league guys. The ones who succeed (win) early have a strong line and running game (Big Ben, Rivers, Manning, Ryan, Flacco come to mind).

Look at Josh Freeman - looking pretty good so far. But the Bucs ain't winning for 2-3 more seasons, and only with support at the D and O lines, plus better RB's.

We need to let the board play out and pick up quality pieces. I'm not giving up on Ruskell although I think he's going to be on a short leash with his contract renewal.

Rob Staton said...

I think it's a good point swampfox. Essentially, getting the right quarterback is important, not simply getting one. Unfortunately, finding that guy is notoriously hard. It takes more than a high draft pick and I don't think the options on offer this year are particularly good. Potentially they could be much better next year if certain guys stay in school.

There are other things to consider. You need to bring a QB into the right situation. Right now the Seahawks are not a good team to introduce a rookie QB. They have very little playmakers on offense, an offensive line hammered with injuries and inconsistencies and a defense that's lacking a pass rush. It could be argued Seattle would be better addressing other areas in order to create a better enviroment for Hasselbeck in the immediate and creating a platform for a younger replacement in the future.

On the other hand, ideally you want to give a rookie time to settle and not throw them in at the deep end. Drafting a guy now gives you at least one year with Hasselbeck starting... potentially more if Hasselbeck's contract is extended.

With regard to Tim Tebow, I have to be honest and say he's been disappointing this year. From a draft perspective anyway, because obviously his team is unbeaten and possibly heading for the BCS championship. He's not done anything to improve his stock this year, in fact he's harmed his stock. I was excited to see if Tebow could develop a little this year, or at least keep up his mass production. Not only are the numbers down, the problems that everyone has mentioned with his mechanics have been even further highlighted. His long, slow release will be a killer. He makes poor reads, and they'll be harder to make in the NFL. He takes too many hits and he won't be able to run as well in the NFL.

Now, having said that, someones going to take him early. Possibly mid first round. The financial implications are too good for some teams and there are some benefits - namely his leadership. For a team looking for an identity, Tebow offers that. He's not going to be Peyton Manning, but I'm sure more than anyone he'll work to iron out the kinks. The team he plays for will win games, but he'll make mistakes in the process. He could be a success in the NFL, but it's a very risky gamble to put your future in his hands.

Patrick said...

I agree Tim Tebow is certainly a risk. I am in the group that believes he is worth it.

I strongly believe in your second scenario, where drafting a QB now would give him time to sit behind Hasselbeck. And to me, Tim Tebow just fits. I mean, hearing men like Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, and Bill Parcells talk about how they like Tim Tebow only shows me that he certainly could be something special. I understand what Mel Kiper does, but really to me a persons draft stock doesn't hold much weight. Percy Harvin will likely win Rookie of the Year, and he wasn't selected until the middle of the first round. It's a different position, sure, but regardless, the fact of the matter is we just never know. The beauty of selecting Tim Tebow, is we wouldn't have to thrust him to the wolves. Having Teel means he probably wouldn't even have to be second string. Not until he is ready.

I understand the thought of grabbing a first round LT this year, but I guess my question is, why couldn't we grab a QB and then maybe next year grab a LT? I mean Sean Locklear hasn't really had enough time to show one way or another if he is capable. And for people saying that we may not be this high next year, look at Michael Oher. A mid-first rounder. Andre Smith, pick #6? Hasn't even played a single game in the NFL. I'm not convinced any of the LT prospects this year are even worth a pick, and someone like Charles Brown may also be available with Denver's pick.

With all that said, Tim Tebow is my favorite, but if available I would absolutely select Sam Bradford before Tebow. I just don't think Sam Bradford will make it that far, especially with the Rams, the Browns, and possibly the Bills in need of a new QB. However, if Bradford is still there, I believe we would be crazy to pass him up.

bob said...

Tebow will go down as one of the great college players of all time. But he's certainly not going to Canton (at least I don't think so).

I think FA is going to play a huge role in what we do in the draft.

If we resign Sims, sign Jahri Evans, move Unger to his natural position... all of a sudden, OL isn't a glaring need anymore. Yes, we'll need an OT (perhaps in the 4th round) but it won't have to be a situation where we have to take one in the first two rounds (especially if Walt comes back, which I don't expect).

Maybe we can take Spiller and two defensive players with those 3 picks we get in the top 40-45 picks. Maybe we can move down in the first round with one of our picks and pick up a 3rd rounder. It'd be nice to take a tackle to take over in a year or two in this round.

Just some random thoughts...

Michael (2) said...

Great conversation.

I for one, am all for lineman, lineman, lineman. Charley Brown is strong and quick; but I would prefer Davis. I realize Rob, you have said he is a poor scheme fit. Scheme be damned. Davis is the best LT in college. He is a big man with light feet. At some point, we need to "win" the line of scrimmage, not simply get people turned.

Give me Davis and Iupati. Yes, an OT and a guard. Give that to Hasselbeck, and maybe a little Mike Johnson at OG in the 3rd, and he will destroy teams.

Hasselbeck needs one more second in the pocket. If the offense scores points, this defense will be unreal.

Give me a big, athletic, and powerful ZBS line boys. Stop trying to fit ZBS into a small quick hole... there is no need.

Anonymous said...

I watched the OSU game last night and was pretty impressed by Russell Okung. He completely neutralized his man on every play I saw and he looked pretty athletic for such a big man. I would be happy to get him too.


Anonymous said... has next to no credibility.

1stHill said...

TJ, I was also impressed with Okung vs. Colorado. He looked great in pass protection, although he did struggled a couple of times when he had pull on running plays.

Rob Staton said...

I did a write up on Okung vs Colorado here:

ivotuk said...

Please NO to Ryan Mallett or Colt McCoy. The former needs at least 1 more year in college, if not 2 and the latter is a system QB. McCoy is doing well as a Longhorn but Vince Young he is NOT!

The problem with QBs like Bradford, McCoy and Tebow is they have spent a long time playing "Spread" QB behind some very good lines and will struggle to learn how to play under center, identify coverages & defenses, and avoid taking a sack. Those are 3 very important attributes, and they have long term experience in zero of them.

IMHO, the QBs with the most upside are Locker, Lefevour and Clausen. IN a year or two, it will be A. Luck.

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