Friday, 22 January 2010

Updated mock draft: 22nd January

By Rob Staton
Time for an updated mock draft. Since the last projection, the Seahawks have appointed a new GM with John Schneider moving from Green Bay. This week I'm going to use the mock to represent the main discussion we've had on the blog over the past few days. With Matt Hasselbeck approaching a contract year and his 35th birthday, this could be the last opportunity for the franchise to invest in a top ranked rookie quarterback and not face the prospect of him having to start. In an uncapped 2010, the investment placed on a top 10 quarterback alongside a standing veteran's salary will be less restrictive than previous years. The Seahawks would have no trouble occupying Hasselbeck and an expensive rookie on the roster. I'd also like to stress, that these mocks are designed to explore different possibilities. Trying to make an accurate projection at this stage is impossible - we've not even had the Senior Bowl.

#1 St. Louis: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Suh is a rare talent and would be a justified first overall pick. However, if the Rams don't acquire a quarterback before April 22nd, they'll have a decision to make here. Suh is the top talent available, but he's not the shoe in a lot of people think - yet.

#2 Detroit: Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
Jim Schwartz had a lot of success as a defensive coordinator in Tennessee thanks to an elite defensive tackle. This is an obvious choice as best player available that also fills a big need.

#3 Tampa Bay: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
The Buccs have big needs on the defensive line and they'd love Suh or McCoy to fall here. However, with both gone they take the best all round defensive end in the draft.

#4 Washington: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahona)
If Bradford can work out and convince scouts about his durability, he's a candidate to go first overall. He's got the biggest upside and Washington can logically keep Campbell for a year to groom Bradford.

#5 Kansas City: Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama)
The Chiefs are committed to creating a strong 3-4 defense but lack that presence at inside linebacker. McClain can be an impact player for Kansas City.

#6 Seattle: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
Clausen polarises opinion more than any prospect in this draft class. I've raised concerns, but it'd be naive to focus only on a potential fall. There are positives to his game too. With Hasselbeck in a contract year and approaching 35, the Seahawks cannot afford to ignore finding a long term option.

#7 Cleveland: Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma)
The Browns have many needs, but finding a legitimate playmaker is amongst the biggest. C.J. Spiller could be a surprise alternative.

#8 Oakland: Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
Campbell has unique size and and athleticism, something that will undoubtedly interest Al Davis. He's had injuries though, that's the potential red flag.

#9 Buffalo: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
With Chan Gailey on board, the Bills are likely to rebuild their offense. With both quarterbacks off the board, offensive tackle becomes the biggest need.

#10 Jacksonville: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
The Tim Tebow talk will die down if he struggles at the Senior Bowl. If he performs well, who'd bet against him going here? Alternatively, the Jags are rebuilding their secondary. Haden would be a popular choice.

#11 Denver: Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)
Dunalp's size makes him a perfect option at five technique end in the Broncos 3-4. He has plenty of time to repair his stock.

#12 Miami: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
The Dolphins invested two high picks in their secondary last year, but Berry would further compliment Miami's defense.

#13 San Francisco: C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
Having two first round selections would allow San Francisco to be creative with one of the picks. Spiller would be the perfect explosive compliment to Gore in the running game and could push the Niners closer to Arizona in the NFC West.

#14 Seattle: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
Explosive, athletic, potentially elite. Pierre-Paul is raw but could have the highest ceiling in the entire draft. If Pete Carroll fancies a challenge, he might take on project:JPP.

#15 New York: Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
Questions remain about the future of Kenny Phillips. The Giants need a playmaker in the secondary and Thomas (eight interceptions in 2009) is a good fit.

#16 San Francisco: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
Williams is strictly a right tackle in the NFL. With Joe Staley entrenched on the blind side, this makes sense.

#17 Tennessee: Brian Price (DT, UCLA)
The Titans will seriously consider investing in their defensive line through the draft. Price offers a valuable interior pass rush as a prototype 4-3 three technique.

#18 Pittsburgh: Donovan Warren (CB, Michigan)
Warren's stock is likely to rise over the next few weeks during work outs. The Steelers could use an upgrade in the secondary.

#19 Atlanta: Brandon Ghee (CB, Wake Forest)
The Falcons need an upgrade at cornerback and Ghee is generating a lot of interest. One to watch at the senior bowl.

#20 Houston: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
The Texans need to bolster their offensive line. Bulaga projects as a right tackle in the NFL.

#21 Cincinnati: Arrelious Benn (WR, Illinois)
Bad quarterback play and inconsistent hands has hurt Benn's stock, but this is still a guy touted as a top 15 pick at the start of the year. A tight end like Jermaine Gresham is also a possibility.

#22 New England: Jared Odrick (DT, Penn State)
The Patriots are in the process of major changes on their defensive line. Drafting the versatile Odrick gives New England some options long term.

#23 Green Bay: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
Okung was beaten badly twice in the fourth quarter against Ole Miss, once leading to a severe hit on the quarterback. He would've been a late first round pick as an underclassmen, nothing this year has proved otherwise in my opinion.

#24 Philadelphia: Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
The Eagles need a better pass rush, that was evident in their playoff defeat at Dallas. Griffen's stock is difficult to project, he could rise up the boards with an impressive combine.

#25 Baltimore: Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
The Ravens always find value in the draft. Gresham, as a quality pass-catching tight end, offers greater value than the receivers on offer this late in round one.

#26 Arizona: Ricky Sapp (LB, Clemson)
Arizona are still piecing together their 3-4 scheme and Sapp could be a stand out OLB.

#27 Dallas: Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
Dallas like bigger lineman and at 330lbs and room for more, Iupati is as big as they come. An immediate starter in the interior, he could eventually kick out to tackle. He might be the most talented offensive lineman in the draft. Senior Bowl work outs could define his stock.

#28 San Diego: Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan)
Graham is flexible enough to play in either the 4-3 or the 3-4. San Diego could use another pass rusher off the edge and Graham is par value here.

#29 New York Jets: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
As a tackle who could play 3-4 nose, Williams may get over drafted earlier than this. With Braylon Edwards almost certain to be given a tender to stay in New York, the Jets might look at taking the best player on their board here.

#30 Minnesota: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
Not many teams have a defensive line good enough to maximise Mays' talents as an athletic, physical tackler. He is what he is, Minnesota are one team that can make the most of what he offers.

#31 New Orleans: Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
The Saints could use Kindle creatively, as a linebacker most of the time but an edge rush on passing third downs.

#32 Indianapolis: Brandon Spikes (LB, Florida)
I'm not convinced Spikes is a first round pick, but he would fill a need for Indy and does have leadership qualities.


Steve in Spain said...

Good-looking mock, Rob. At 14, I'd maybe lean toward Price over Pierre-Paul, just because JPP's kind of a one-year wonder and, while he's intriguingly raw, I'd feel more comfortable taking on a project like him in the 2nd round than at 14 overall. It hurts to see Haden, Berry and Spiller go at 10, 12 and 13!

2nd Round - Charles Brown

4th Round - Best RB available (McKnight, Gerhart or Dixon)

5th Round - Myron Rolle (S)

Rob Staton said...

Clearly, it'd be a gamble. But then, I think Pete Carroll would be more willing to take on a challenge like this. In terms of potential, Pierre-Paul is off the charts. His run defense is poor right now, that would need work. But as a pass rusher, he's just an exciting prospect to watch. Great edge speed, relentless, fluid. He's an amazing athlete. Carroll talks about getting people into position to do what they're good at - they could use JPP in year one as a pure pass rusher off the edge in that elephant role. That way, you get an instant injection of pass rush, but you have time to develop his potential into a more rounded defensive end.

Teams will rightly concern themselves with the fact he has only one year of production and is raw as a JUCO prospect - but I can't begin to stress the reward on offer if paired with a good coach. I think Carroll is not only the right kind of coach for JPP, he's also someone who would thrive on the challenge of making him great.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Hey Rob,

A couple of questions:

- What has Dez Bryant done to impress you to the point of a top 10 pick? Especially with major character concerns at a position that is one of the most difficult to transition.

- Do you see Bruce Campbell being taken in the top 10 after Eugene Monroe? MCL can be a serious injury, as well as a couple other dings.

- Is the fall (from the average mock draft) of Eric Berry only based on positional value or do you not like his play?

Anonymous said...

With Carroll's creative mind, I'm excited to see a "riskier" prospect being taken because of their tremendous potential. Kind of the mindset that "this kid is going to be this good in a few years," not "this kid could flop," which seem to permeate the Ruskell regime.

I truly believe Carroll when he says he looks at players and sees how they can be the best they can possibly be. I think that will be a valuable asset in the draft because you are making decision/picks with the idea of success and positivity rather than the fear of "what if he fails."

The idea of a guy who is a great eye for young talent and developing that talent is awesome. Afterall, every player in the draft is nowhere near the player they can become 4 years down the road in the NFL. I think it's time we start drafting players with the sense of them being able to reach their potential because of the confidence in the organization as a whole to develop them.

Kip Earlywine said...

Its fun to look at mocks from January last year and see how inaccurate they were. However, most of picks in those drafts did still end up as 1st rounders- just in a different order.

While these mocks are made not as forecasts but essentially as preliminary feelers, what really jumped off the page in this mock was that both Damian Williams and Charles Brown escaped the 1st round. That could be big news as both would be good fits for the Seahawks and have connections to Carroll. If either lasts until pick #40, the Seahawks could come out of this draft feeling like they had three first rounders.

Of course, its very unlikely Williams would slip past Tampa or Brown slipping past Washington, but then again, trading up 8 spots probably wouldn't cost much.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Vince, thanks for the questions,

- Clearly the fact Dez Bryant has had a year off is a concern. However, he played very much like a top ten pick in 2008. Mike Holmgren will look to build, in time, an offense to suit his WCO system. Bryant would offer a nice big target with YAC ability who can also get deep (not elite speed, but he can get downfield) and make a number of plays. For those reasons, I think he deserves consideration as early as I have projected here. Essentially, work outs will define his stock. If he turns up to the combine in shape, runs well and convinces scouts the year off hasn't affected him - he will maintain this grade. If he struggles, he could sink significantly. We won't know more until the combine - although I don't think there's a character concern as such with Bryant - he made a minor error and got punished severely.

- The injuries will put a lot of team's off Bruce Campbell. However, we're talking about Oakland here. One of Campbell's coaches described him as the tackle version of Vernon Davies - a physical freak. He'll run well and bench a ton. He sounds like an Oakland pick, although even they will have to consider the injury issues.

- With regard to Berry, I think it's a combination of me believing he's a little over rated and also the positional value. I'd recommend checking the prospect archives section (linked below) where I go into much greater detail in a series of articles. Just scroll down until you find Eric Berry.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - you make a great point and really just summed up exactly what I wanted to represent with that JPP pick at #14. The previous GM and regime would never touch a prospect like Pierre-Paul. Too risky. I get the feeling Pete Carroll and the new team heading this franchise would thrive in not only drafting an extreme, raw talent but that Carroll would love the chance to coach that guy so that he reaches his potential.

Kip - it's interesting to touch on round two because obviously with a pick at #40 there's still options on the board in this scenario. I think there could be a run on wide outs if it did pan out like this. St. Louis, Tampa Bay - they'd both consider a wide out. Brandon LaFell and Damian Williams could go quickly. Brown could interest a team like Washington, but he has a chance to fall to Seattle. I think the Seahawks would have to seriously consider him in that situation.

Kip Earlywine said...

Matt McGuire over at Walter Football doesn't seem to think very much of JPP, and neither do I. However, I do think he's a player that has a great chance of raising his stock in the combine. Right now, mocks have JPP going anywhere from mid-1st to early 2nd round. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding his value. The combine should really help solidify it, one way or the other.

While I probably wouldn't draft JPP and certainly wouldn't pass on Brian Price to do it, I am glad that DE is being talked about as a potential target for Pete Carroll in this draft which is loaded with DE talent.

Rob Staton said...

Matt McGuire's review of JPP compares favorably with consensus opinion - big potential but very raw. He admits though, that's it's a conservative report. I think he has bigger upside than perhaps touted by McGuire, but the points he raise are certainly legit.

And as you say Kip, the combine could really influence his stock.

Kip Earlywine said...

One final thought about Carroll and high upside players: If PC is interested in a developmental, high potential DE, then would he consider JPP over USC's very own Everson Griffen?

Griffen is 3 inches shorter than JPP but weighs 17 pounds more and his 40 is almost a full tenth of a second faster. Like JPP, Griffen did not reach his full potential in college but still produced decent numbers against stronger competition than JPP faced. If absolutely everything broke right, JPP's upside is better but Griffen's is pretty good too.

The only problem with Griffen is that he resembles Lawrence Jackson in some ways- and the team doesn't need Jackson 2.0.

Anyway, its interesting to think about. If Carroll goes for a project DE, will he grab JPP or go with someone he already has worked with for a few years?

Rob Staton said...

Everson Griffen was in my thought process with the pick, but I wanted to represent the challenge of Carroll taking on a raw prospect with massive potential and trying to maximise and mould the talent on offer. JPP has a bigger ceiling that both Morgan and Griffen, he's a bigger risk too - but one I think Carroll might thrive on.

Anonymous said...

I've actually thought that Derrick Morgan's scouting reports seem to sound eerily familiar to Lawrence Jackson's after his Junior year, which is why I think PC will go after a more athletic/versatile DE that has some scheme versatility.

I honestly don't understand how McShay and Kiper have said that Morgan can play 3-4 OLB (not that we use the 3-4, but we may incorporate elements of it). I like the way Morgan plays, but I don't think he has the athleticism to handle space well. He seems to be a player that has a great array of skills, but nothing that jumps off the page. I think PC is going to target somebody that can become a dominant pass rusher, not just a well rounded DE because I think that LoJack can become that in the near future.

Then again, he could see Aaron Curry as that elephant role player because before Griffen, guys like Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing successfully played that role.

This is what makes this year more exciting than the TR era. The idea that we can't just start eliminating a bunch of guys because of risk or character.

Lenny James said...

Hey Rob, I think jpp is a high risk at 14. Not to mention, we have spent high draft picks on d ends in recent years. (Tapp, Jackson) sometimes you gotta develop the talent you have instead of starting over with a project d end, especially at pick 14. I believe the top five will be Clausen, Suh, Mccoy, Bradford, Okung. The Hawks offseason as I see it;

1a Berry. BPA and fills a need in the secondary.
1b Spiller. Game breaker on offense and special teams. Also, do we really want to prepare for Spiller and Frank Gore.
2. C. Brown or best zb OT available.
3. If we can get back into the third round. I would look at Tebow, Mccoy, Snead, in that order.
4. Best D line available. Tackle or End.

Cuts or Trades. Branch, Jones, Kerney, S Wallace.
We can target B Marshall in FA with all the extra dough we'd have from cutting these players.

What do you guys on the blog think?

With this draft scenario we add two playmakers. One on offense and defense and a needed LT.

Trade or Cuts.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Lenny,

It's a valid point about developing the talent already on the roster. It's something Pete Carroll will explore and by draft day, he may feel like there's something to work with already and can explore other areas in the draft.

However, I still believe the Seahawks need and lack a potent speed rush off the edge. This is a good draft for defensive ends, so despite how the previous regime have drafted in the past - I expect the new front office to seriously consider adding a DE.

Secondly, I wanted to represent the almost seismic shift in the way the new regime will draft. Ruskell wouldn't touch a risk/reward prospect like JPP. Carroll, I imagine, would thrive on having the opportunity to draft and coach a raw talent like Pierre-Paul. It's a risk, but one I think this team would be more willing to take now.

Your top five makes sense but I disagree with Okung at #5. I don't think KC will take a left tackle at that position and I don't think Okung warrants such a high pick. I also think there's a fair chance Spiller will be gone by #14 and taking Berry at #6 constitutes a bit of a luxury for a team lacking in so many key areas.

Anonymous said...

Thank god Golden Tate is not in your first round. I've seen way to many mock drafts pegging him as a top 25 pick, which just blows my mind.

Nick said...

I don't really have anything to add other than to say I really enjoy reading your analysis. As a Redskins fan, I hope that Seattle and Buffalo are targeting QBs and make Washington a trade parter. And as someone else mentioned, I doubt that Charles Brown falls past the Redskins in round 2 if he even makes it that far.

Jayce said...

Someone on .net posted it but

What do you think guys?

Jon said...


I like the talk on JPP, I think most regimes following Ruskell would be seen as riverboat gamblers in comparison. the draft is a crapshoot anyway, you might as well put your chips on a guy you could see really popping for you rather than not totally killing you.

But nobody's talking about Clausen here. Rob, can you elaborate on what they would be thinking offensively with this pick? Does this make sense with what Bates has done in Denver?

Rob Staton said...

Hi Jon,

My thinking here is that the Seahawks need to find a long term option at quarterback. Hasselbeck will be the starter in 2010, but it's a contract year. If he's injured or struggles next season, the team faces having to start a rookie or sign a journeymen type. New regimes often mean new quarterbacks.

Now - Clausen in particular is someone I'm led to believe received a lot of attention from Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian during recruitment. His issues are well publicised on this blog, however he would be able to work in the Bates system as it worked at USC. He has a similar technique to Rivers and Romo and they've had success in the NFL. As with the 'risk' element of JPP, again this regime might look to take on someone like Clausen who's not a total project compared to other young QB's coming out of college (pro-style experience, capable of making reads) but can be refined with a year on the sidelines and coached.

With an uncapped 2010, the Seahawks wouldn't be handcuffed by the big salary either. Last year, Seattle would've struggled to maintain an expensive rookie and Hasselbeck's salary under the cap. This year, they can happily draft Clausen and not feel the need to start him and cut the veteran.

Irrespective of how Hasselbeck performs this year, the Seahawks need to find a long term answer at QB. In this latest projection, I have them selecting Clausen to fill that void.

Mike J said...

I am not happy with Morgan as a Bucs fan. I saw him play a few times this past season on TV, & he flashed the occasional pass-rush ability on a twist or teammate blitz, but he didn't leap off the screen to me.I didn't really see him controlling an OT. #3 is just too high. If the Bucs don't want Berry, I'd rather have Joe Haden.How they feel about Eric will depend on what they hear from Monte Kiffin, I reckon.

Rob Staton said...

Hey Mike, thanks for your input. It's invaluable hearing what fans from other teams think because essentially you'll have a much better grasp on your team than I ever will.

I would disagree with you on Morgan personally. I think in this draft class he's the most complete defensive end, capable of consistently getting into the backfield and making plays. In K.C. Joyner's draft lab series, he calculated that he had a comparable effect on the games he scouted to Ndamukong Suh.

The Monte Kiffin link puts Berry to TB as more of a possibility than it otherwise would be - I just have a hard time putting Berry that high in my mock. It'd be a pure luxury, banking on Berry's playmaking ability with the ball in his hands being worth the $60m+ contract. I'm not sure it would be, especially behind the Buccs defensive line. His tackling is an issue, rather than be the guy who can transform a defense, I think Berry is something of a luxury. Don't get me wrong - a very talented safety. But his tackling is a major concern for me and it's one of the reasons why I think he may eventually transfer to cornerback.

John Paul said...

Good to see you giving Clausen the status he deserves. I'm not a Notre Dame homer or anything of that sort, but I do believe Clausen is the best QB prospect in this draft. Bradford seldom played under center, and his injury history has got to worry interested teams.

At #14, though, I strongly disagree with selecting JPP. Our secondary is a complete mess. While a stronger pass rush might help, we can't expect to match our passel of tiny, mediocre, sub-6' corners against Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Crabtree with any success, and Brian Russell has got to be the worst starting FS in the NFL. Also, we can't afford to neglect the left tackle spot any longer; Walter Jones is literally on his last legs. If I were Schneider/Carroll, I'd target Donovan Warren, Earl Thomas, or Charles Brown, and if we're talking about taking chances on guys with upside, Brown is a perfect fit for the zone-blocking scheme and someone with whom Carroll is very familiar.

Otherwise, it's a very interesting mock. Nicely done. --JP

Rob Staton said...

Hi John, some valid points there.

However, I will offer an alterntive side to the debate regarding the secondary. It could use an improvement for sure, but it's pretty hard to defend a top passing offense when the QB has all the time in the world to throw. Make no mistake, even an average receiver in the NFL will get open if he's given enough time. Manning, Romo, Schaub, Favre... all these guys went untouched against Seattle in 2009. A secondary filled with elite talent would have a tough taks playing lights out every snap.

Getting pressure from the front is absolutely crucial in the modern NFL because it's become a passing league. The Seahawks have to find a pass rusher and in this projection - I wanted to express this need.

I do agree on Charles Brown though - a perfect scheme fit and a little under rated. If he falls into round two like I've suggested here, he has to be an option for the Seahawks with their third pick.

Anonymous said...

Why would we go after a raw DE prospect at 14 when we already have some good raw talent on our team. If we take a DT to put along side Mebane and get push up the middle in the pass rush it would make the DE's we have so much better because last year the almost got there alot but the QB just stepped up and our rush went by them. Get rid of Kerney and get a good inside man to go with Red and Mebane should be our top priority on Defense.

Rob Staton said...

The Seahawks lack an edge rush. Whilst I think they could use a better interior presence, I'm not sure drafting Brian Price is the answer at #14. I have a few concerns about his durability - he always seems to be leaving the field to attend an injury. I think he's probably a 25-35 range talent that will go earlier because of the run on DT's.

The Seahawks don't have any real pass rushing threats off the edge. JPP has the potential to be a pure pass rusher DE who can tally a large number of sacks. Right now the Seahawks have one very good DT and nothing off the edge. Tapp and Jackson aren't so much raw as just having not delivered.

Vince Mulcahy said...


I disagree that positional value is going to offset BPA to the point that Berry falls to 12.

LaRon Landry, A.J. Hawk, Vernon Davis, Michael Huff, Donte Whitner, Antrel Rolle, Sean Taylor, Roy Williams (Safety), Aaron Curry are all players that were selected as top 10 picks whom's position isn't valued as much. But of course any mock draft is 100% opinion.

I don't think the hawks are going, nor should, draft a QB in round one. When you look at the recent success of rookie QB's its hard to validate drafting one and placing him into an offense that is in a complete rebuild.

Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco are all perfect examples of why we need to wait. As is Stafford, and Freeman. Falcons/Jets/Ravens all had a couple of key components that allowed a rookie QB to succeed. A great running team, and defenses that excelled. When you have those two you can plug in a QB and start winning games. Yes they will still have a learning curve and throw INTS and such, but so will Matt Hass.

Stafford and Freeman are perfect examples too because you already have veteran QBs on your roster and you are playing them with little to no talent around them. Because qb is such a mental position you cannot throw a rookie in there and expect him to have a successful career. You end up with qbs like Marc Bulger and Charlie Frye (09 Raiders), they don't trust their team mates and their production is terrible.

We need to build a foundation around QB and then bring in "our" guy. The hawks wont be a playoff team for atleast two to three years, hopefully Carrol and crew understand that their job is safe and we are rebuilding a franchise and do so in a sound manner.

Coldmutha said...

Rob what is your problem with Taylor Mays. He is a victim of the system/scheme. Pete couldnt trust the other defensive it resulted in Mays having 96 tackles compared to 55 the year before. I would be so sure about Berry..he's 5'9 200. that will not work in today's running game. Remember Carroll is a huge Taylor Mays fan. He took him away from Seattle and now can bring him back

Darnell said...

Do you realisticaly think both Damian Williams and Charles Brown could escape the 1st round?

Even beyonbd the fact that they are both USC guys they would be great fits in Seattle.

Williams is as good of a route runner as I've seen at the college level in years and I like him more than Dez Bryant or any other WR in the draft.

Brown looks like the ideal Gibbs LT. If he can get to 300lbs without losing any agility he could skyrocket.

A Clausen/Bradford, Price/Morgan/JPP, Brown/Fox day 1 would be huge in getting this thing turned around.

- I have to disagree about Houston, I have to think they are fine with Brown/Winston at OT

- What do you think about the safeties beyond the 1st round guys? R&C Jones,Allen,Burnett,Eskridge,Rolle

think there's anything there other than backups/special teamers?

Patrick said...

Vince Mulcahy, you bring up a very excellent point, and one that I had not really thought of before. I'm all for drafting Bradford at 6, but the more I think about it the more I realize that I don't see Pete Carroll taking a 1st round QB. I definitely think if we drafted a QB he would sit and wait, which is usually never a bad thing. However, if we were to rebuild our running game, maybe a rookie QB could be a success in a few seasons. WHat if we drafted Clausen but Hasselbeck has a tremendous season? Would we push him out to make room for the new guy?

Vince Mulcahy said...


I could see both of them falling out of the first and being picked up early second. With so much depth at both positions someone has to fall. Damian is a little bit shorter, and pretty thin. And same with Charles Brown he is thin for a 6-5' OT. He can add weight to his frame but some of the other tackles are more NFL ready.


I could see that happening, and it would be terrible for all the work that Matt has put into the Hawks. But we would have to draft Clausen at 6 and we all know that is a big contract. For 2010 it looks like it won't matter, but there is going to be a new CBA and a cap will be placed. If Hass did have a great year, and didn't want to retire, we would be unable to sign two starting qbs.

The Safties are deep this year, no doubt some of them will start or atleast share packages. Rolle and Jones are definately two guys I want to see more of.

John said...

If we were to rebuild the running game and defense, Wallace would be successful as the team's starting QB. Right now, he's better than Mark Sanchez. I was taken aback when Staton said recently in comments that he thought the Seahawks are desperate for a new franchise QB right now. He might think so, but I guarantee you the team doesn't feel that way.

The Rams are desperate for a QB. The Bears were desperate for a QB before they got Cutler. The Seahawks are two decent QBs away from being desperate. With the right improvements to the team, for the next few years both of the Seahawk QBs would play head and shoulders above Sanchez, and look what the Jets have done with him under center.

Rob Staton said...

Vince - for starters, I said it's a combination of positional value and the fact I think Berry is a little over rated. His tackling could be a liability at the next level. It's not really much of a drop either - I have him going 12th overall. I would disagree strongly about the QB situation too. In an ideal world, you'd be able to spend the next 2-3 years building the best foundation possible. However, it never really works out that way. The Falcons were a mess when they drafted Ryan but turned things around quickly by signing Turner and finding production from their rookie. Their defense was still poor and they didn't do that much to go from worst in the division to competitive again. Likewise in Baltimore - a poor team who managed to pull things together with a change of coaching and a better running game - highlighted by drafting Ray Rice.

The Seahawks run the risk of having to start a rookie the longer they wait. Now is the perfect time to draft the next QB. That doesn't mean they draft a guy they don't believe in - of course not. But if they do rate Clausen or Bradford as a long term franchise QB - you make that pick and bank it in. If they don't start until 2011 at the earliest, you've still got picks #14, #40, the rest of the '10 draft and the '11 draft (plus free agency) to lay a better foundation. There's no reason to avoid drafting a QB this year because the team has been poor the last two years.

Coldmutha - I have no issue with Taylor Mays. Regardless of the scheme or how USC's defense played, he takes poor angle in protection, he always seems to be a second late to react and he relies heavily on delivering the big hit to get the job done when t's not always necessary. He has athleticism - rare size and speed for the position. But he could be a real liability. Certain teams will be able to roll the dice on his physical qualities - which is why I have him falling to the late first round to Minnesota. I don't think the Seahawks will draft him at #6 or #14 even despite Pete Carroll's links to the prospect.

Darnell - I think there is a chance Williams and Brown fall. Williams doesn't have elite deep speed - he's no slouch but he isn't a burner. He also body catches a lot. He's a solid route runner which will have value, but I think there's a chance we'll see a run on receivers early in round two starting with Williams and Brandon LaFell, possibly also Demaryius Thomas. Brown is under sized at 285-290lbs. If he can get to 205-310lbs for the combine and maintain his athleticism, he'll be a first round pick. Not many teams will value the smaller, quicker lineman like Seattle under Gibbs. My contact in Houston permanently mentions the offensive line being Houston's major issue.

I don't much like the depth at safety but I think the Seahawks have too many needs elsewhere to explore that position early. The one guy I do like in the middle rounds is Major Wright from Florida - I think he could become a starter quite quickly.

Rob Staton said...

John - I couldn't disagree more about the quarterback position. The teams in this year's playoffs all had top end quarterback's and solid passing games. New York and Sanchez are the exception - and he's a top five pick at QB who's not holding his team back. To get into position to be a playoff team with Seneca Wallace or a 38 year old Hasselbeck starting, the running game would have to be elite, as would the defense (that's how New York have succeeded). The best teams in this league don't get by making do at quarterback. The Seahawks simply have to find a long term solution at quarterback sooner rather than later. This year would be ideal because you can run Hasselbeck for at least one year and not have to start the rookie. However, the longer this goes on the more likely you are to be faced with throwing a young guy in at the deep end. I'm not saying you draft 'any' QB to scratch that itch, but if they think Clausen can make an offense tick - they have to consider him and early.

And I do think the 'Hawks will appreciate that situation. It doesn't mean they'll draft Bradford or Clausen - but they'll not sleep walk into the next few years believing that what they have at QB right now is going to be good enough long term.

John said...

I never said the Seahawks consider the QB situation set long term, I said they are not desperate, which is another way of saying they think things are fine, *short term.* They will likely have a reasonably high level of play at QB in the next few years with what they already have. Hard to argue that.

Both of the QBs who might go high in this draft have *serious* issues as you yourself have pointed out. This means that taking either of them high in the draft is a much higher risk than picking a, say, Peyton Manning or Phillip Rivers high in the draft. Hard to argue that either. So the only team who should take one of them high in the draft is a team who is desperate for a QB ASAP, like the Rams.

If Hasselbeck is reasonably protected it's easy to see him succeeding for another three or four years. Same with Wallace. This means the Seahawks have at least two more offseasons after this one to find QB of the future and still have him sit for one season.

Compare that strategy to being the new Seahawk GM or coach, picking Bradford or Clausen instead of a lower risk pick, and having your career hinge on the success of that one guy. Are you really going to do it? No way.

Rob Staton said...

I think it's slightly ambitious to suggest the Seahawks will find 'reasonably' high level of QB play over the next few years relying on Hasselbeck and Wallace. I'm a big fan of Matt Hasselbeck. But he'll be 35 this year. With the greatest respect to Matt, I do have concerns about his play since Holmgren left. Yes - it hasn't helped playing behind a porous line with very little in terms of playmakers on the roster. But he's started to do things he'd never do with a seething Holmgren waiting on the sideline. Hasselbeck was always a timing QB who worked well in the Holmgren system - I need to be convinced that at 35, having suffered a string of injuries, that he's capable of adapting and playing in another offensive scheme. He'll be the starter in 2010 and no doubt has the chance to prove that yes, he can adapt and prolong his career. However - if he struggles again, and with his contract expiring after 2010, he's no shoe in to remain with the franchise beyond even next year. Even if he does well in 2010, I think it's highly ambitious to expect he can be productive for '3-4 years'. In four years, he'll be approaching his 39th birthday.

With regard to Wallace, I have little faith in his ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I've not seen anything that suggests he'll offer 'reasonably high' levels of QB play if Matt did leave the team.

You rightly say that I've pointed out issues with regard to Clausen and Bradford. That is true - and I'm not saying that the Seahawks 'have to' take those guys. Don't get me wrong though, there are positives with both prospects too. If they believe that Clausen/Bradford can make the offense tick - they have to consider them. That's all I'm trying to represent in this mock, because I do think the Seahawks need a quarterback solution long term. They may well not have the chance to draft Clausen or Bradford. They may pass on one or both. But the longer they wait to draft the next QB of this team, the increased likelihood they'll have to start a rookie down the line. I feel this is the last chance really to bring in a guy and sit them behind a veteran for a minimum of one year.

It's funny you should mention Rivers though, because I do see similarities between him and Clausen. From a technique point of view, they are incredibly alike. I would have said the same things about Rivers on this blog that I say about Clausen. Side arm action, not a huge arm, do throw passes up for grabs sometimes. But if anything, Rivers is the reason not to write off Clausen as a potential top 10 pick.

I also believe that this new regime won't be concerned with making 'safe' picks to avoid risks. I'm not suggesting they'll be reckless, but I certainly believe that Pete Carroll won't be scared to take on a project or roll the dice on a young quarterback. If anything, he could be the 'anti-Ruskell' in that sense. I don't think the risk factor will be an issue.

Vince Mulcahy said...


I completely agree that 12th is still a high pick, but the difference in pay between 1-5 and 12 is a big drop. Just ask Crabtree lol.

But saying Atlanta had a poor defense? I'm not sure what you are basing that off of but the two most important stats are points allowed and your W-L record. Atlanta was 11th for defense PPG, and 11-5.

And are we talking about the same Balitmore Ravens? Yes they had a bad year in 07 but their defense has been stout (that was down year but you definately have to place some of that blame on the offense not being able to move the chains at all). Also note that Ray Rice only ran for 450 yards his rookie season, the run game was featuring Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain.

Because college programs are getting more and more advanced, players are able to step into a full time starting job in the NFL. There is no reason a qb can't do the same. I agree that running a rookie qb is a risk, but so is starting a rookie in any position. And yes the qb is the most difficult position to play you said yourself that the new FO are going to not necessarily be turned off just because of risk.

But I don't see us doing a whole lot in free agency. Scheider was big in building a team from the draft and I'm not so sure that is a bad thing, or will change.

John said...

Rob, Thanks for discussing. Hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

The statement you made about Hasselbeck/Holmgren was the same thing they said about Favre after Holmgren left. Favre took a turn for the worse that season. Funny how it has turned around completely and more people are now wondering what Holmgren can do without Favre.

What we saw from Favre then is what a good QB looks like without any help from the rest of his offense. Since then we have learned far different about Favre and his ability to succeed if he has enough help around him.

No one anywhere near the Seahawks makes any claims for the rest of the offense giving Hasselbeck any kind of reasonable help the last few seasons, yet somehow people don't factor this in when looking at his performance. Big mistake.

And picking a shaky QB prospect high in the draft is not just a risk, it's risking it all. If they sign a high draft pick QB, they *can't* resign Hass and they can't really develop anyone else. So both their pro careers depend on that guy working out. Huge, huge risk, for no good reason. Won't happen.

Rob Staton said...

Fair points overall, Vince. As for free agency - I doubt many teams are able to do much this off season. It's pretty restrictive because of the uncapped year. The teams that competed in the playoffs last week aren't able to sign anyone unless they lose players of a similar value in free agency. It seems likely most teams will tag their most valued players and build through the draft. What it does mean though, is we might see more trades for players/picks. Teams with big needs might be more willing to move up to take them and teams might be willing to fill holes by giving up picks for players. So it could be interesting in that sense even if free agency is a bit tame.

John - absolutely enjoying the debate. I think it would be fair to say that Favre and Hasselbeck are two very different quarterbacks. Whilst I completely agree that Hasselbeck can be servicable with a great supporting cast, he's verging into 'game manager' territory even as a 35 year old to be. Favre has that element of magic about him, being able to make the impossible play. I genuinly believe he could carry on well into his 40's (injury permitting) and still be a pro-active force rather than a 'keep things ticking over' type. It helps though, that he's signed for a Vikings team with a great defensive line, great offensive line, great running back and playmakers at receiver.

Seattle won't be afforded the luxury of creating that for Hasselbeck. It could take a year or two, and then you're looking at a 37-38 year old QB who would've had to be extended beyond 2010.

I also believe that if all parties wanted to get it done, they could keep Hasselbeck and a rookie beyond 2011 if they wished. I'm not sure there'd be a huge market for a 36 year old QB. I'm not sure Hasselbeck would need the extra $2-3m to have to move his entire family away from the Northwest. A modest one year deal could be agreed to allow Hasselbeck to have another year starting. I could see that happening.

I wouldn't say it won't happen with regard taking a QB early and as I maintain, there is good reason for it. More than anything else, a poor situation at QB will hold back the Seahawks. Any quarterback taken early will come with an element of risk. Any rookie 'period' carries a risk. If they feel that the positives outweight the negatives with Bradford/Clausen and that either can make an offense tick, they have to consider them.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Good point John: Rob I too hope that you enjoy an intelligent debate, and find every aspect of our Hawks worth talking about. And I want to challenge your opinion, but respect what you have done with SDB. One of the best sites regarding the Seahawks and your imediate responses are awesome!

And I agree that FA is going to be some what of a non-factor this offseason. So we are basically building from the draft and I just don't see the value in drafting a QB and sitting him on the bench when we have Hass who a lot of people are questioning. I would hate to see a Josh Freeman in Seattle, in the sense that if Matt threw another couple 3 pick games would the coaches be forced to start the rookie? With our current roster that is almost guarenteed career suicide.

If I were Carroll/Schneider, and believed I had a long term job, I would basically go off my draft board and take the BPA. When a team has so many holes we eventually need to fill them anyways, so why not take the best?

Rob you have done a good job explaining that we can't just look at the best player available in this years draft class, but we have to compare Clausen/Bradford to future classes as well. If we aren't set on his play than we cannot reach with the amount of money you are talking about at 6.

Rob Staton said...

Vince - absolutely love the debate. The blog is at it's best when the comments are pouring in and we can have a healthy discussion. I appreciate every comment, positive or negative, in agreement or disagreement. Thank you also for the kind words about the blog.

I think they have to look at Clausen and Bradford and ask whether that is the direction they want to go. The purpose really of this mock is to represent that it is a possibility that they'll make that decision. Unquestionably for me, their is every possibility they'll look at Jimmy Clausen and think he can be a productive NFL quarterback. It would be wrong for me to only focus on the negatives in Clausen's game on the blog, when clearly quarterbacks with similar issues have been succesful.

But at the same time, I also appreciate that they'll potentially see those concerns and pass. I've portrayed that possibility in my previous mocks. That is a possibility too, of course.

But I wouldn't rule either out at this stage.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Agreed, you have to look at Clausen. Just like any prospect, put him on the board and see where the organization would feel comfortable drafting him.

How would you feel about taking two defensive players? Going back to laying a foundation around the QB position (regardless of who it is) and trying to build a team like MN that you can essentially plug a QB in and win games.

Personally I would like to see a version of the ball hawking defense of 07 when we only allowed 15 passing TD all season. Whether the 6th/14th pick could be:

Morgan/Earl Thomas

*A reach but something like this could make McCoy fall:

STL: Clausen- QB is a glaring need with a great RB and some high pick O-linemen.

DET: Okung (or Davis)- Stafford was a $70 million investment, and Okung would be the insurance policy.

TB: Berry- Even with a potential wrap up issue, people have questioned Ed Reed's tackling and he has seen a pro bowl or two.

WAS: Bradford- DC's fans are going to run Campbell out of there. And Shanahan likes developing QBs.

KC: Davis (or Okung)- Same reasoning as Detroit. If you pay a QB to throw the ball he has to have some time.

SEA: McCoy- maybe a stretch, but the team needs are there for the top 5 picks.

Rob Staton said...

The obvious strength in this draft is on defense, so it wouldn't surprise me. You can't ignore a talent like Gerald McCoy if he falls.

I think the Seahawks would like to invest at least one of those first round picks on offense. As a defensive coach, I think Pete Carroll will believe he can get more out of your Aaron Curry's, Darryl Tapp's, Brandon Mebane's etc, but he might think that to be succesful at any level the offense will need to be rebuilt. However, if McCoy is there at #6 I think you cannot ignore taking him. Then at #14, well - you aren't going to make any major reaches. If a top defensive end is on the board (Morgan, JPP, Griffen) or a cornerback like Joe Haden - again, you might have to spend that pick on the defensive talent. It's not unlikely that both picks go defense, but as I say I think they'd ideally like at least one and possibly both to go on the offense.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Just listened to that KJR post by Kip, and I think you are right. One will definately go offense.

I think the Hawks have to be careful with JPP. He reminds me WAY too much of Vernon Ghoulston, who never panned out. Granted he wouldn't be asked to make a complete change of DE to 3-4 OLB but JPP would be a very small 4-3 DE.

Carroll's comments on using 3-4 personel in a 4-3 scheme could prove invaluable. But Curry is better suited for playing in space, and I would rather see a true 4-3 DE like Morgan/Dunlap.

Anonymous said...

Daryll Tapp is underrated. Mebane needs a wingman!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Niners taking an OT and Spiller...but I believe the order will be reversed and the OT will be Bulaga or Anthony Davis instead of Trent Williams. If Spiller's gone, then CB Donovan Warren would be a great pick. Even with Nate Clements expected back with a restructured contract, Singletary understands he can't have too many good CB's in his division. Coach can still get an impact KR in the
2nd or even 3rd rd.

Brandin said...

Caroll is a defensive minded coach and i dont think they'll take a qb for the first pick. i can see him taking berry, derrick morgan as a first pick and than going some position on offense.

Rob Staton said...

Brandin - you'd be surprised how often an offensive minded coach picks defensive guys and vice versa. They often think they can coach up defensive talent and need to concentrate on the other side of the ball.

Case in point? Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez/Shonn Greene last year. You don't get more defensive than Ryan and they actually traded up to get both those guys.

Anonymous said...

What about the rumor that Holmgren brings Matt to Cleveland? This scenarion makes sense to me as he could not adjust to the new offensive scheme. He works well with Mike H and PC probably would like to groom someone younger. Seneca still gives the Hawks a veteran for a year allowing the younger guy to develop. Cleveland has two picks in round three so they could offer the Seahawks a good package.

Is there any word on Mike Teel? I thought he was the project at QB?

Rob Staton said...

I would be extremely surprised - stunned even - if the Browns trade for Hasselbeck, even with Holmgren running the show. I just don't see a team giving up anything like a third round pick for a 35 year old QB coming off injuries. They might be interested if he was a free agent, but in terms of a trade - I'm not sure they could offer a temptin deal. It's a pretty lazy rumor based on the Holmgren-Hasselbeck ties but I just can't see it. I think Seattle will run Hasselbeck this year whatever happens in the draft and then obviously he's set to be a free agent.

It's important to remember with Teel - he was drafted by Tim Ruskell. There's no links to the new regime. He'll go to camp and work out, but he'll have to fight for a roster spot.

DBW said...

Since poor defensive line play caused the secondary to give up so many yards I would think that a DL would be first choice. But I don't think Seattle passes on Berry. They need a safety. QB or maybe OL at 14 would make sense. I also could see a RB at 14 or maybe round 2. I would love to see them get Dwyer in round 2. I'm not sold on Clausen and investing a high 1st round pick on that position behind a poor OL with no playmakers on the outside and so so running backs is not wise in my opinion.

Rob Staton said...

I think the Seahawks have too many needs to spend $60m on a safety. Berry is a good player, but he's a luxury. You're investing in his ability with the ball in his hands - that to me isn't for a 5-11 team in a major rebuild with serious question marks at OL, DL, QB, WR, RB, CB. He'd have to convince me he can lay cornerback at a high level to justify that pick.

Not a Jonathan Dwyer fan at all. Over weight, lacks any kind of burst. Not a power back - he gets that reputation for his size not his play. Just doesn't do anything for me and playing in a triple option offense has inflated his stats to the max. I'd consider him in rounds 4-5.

I would also disagree with the QB situation. The idea isn't to draft a QB then start them as a rookie with a lack of weapons, O-line. You draft the rookie and sit them for a year or two, develop the rest of the team and coach up the young signal caller - then put him in the team prepared and in a better situation. That's what GB did with Rodgers and it's paying dividends. The longer Seattle waits to draft a QB, the more likely they have to start a rookie. In any situation, that isn't ideal - you'd need to be borderline elite on defense and running game.

Nick said...

Hey Rob. Solid site man, I come here every day because I'm the biggest Hawk fan in Canada. I was wondering what everyone thinks about my two cents about the draft.

Ever since I have started reading mocks there has always been one variable that is going to affect what happens in this draft. The St. Louis Rams. Think about it, whether they decide to pick Suh or Clausen is what is going to shake up the Hawks pick. If they take Clausen, the top defensive players will fall. If they take Suh, the quarterbacks will fall.

In any case, I believe that if the Rams take Clausen, the Lions will take Suh, Tampa will take McCoy, Redskins will take Bradford, Kansas will take Okung and that will leave the Hawks with Eric Berry. To me, this is a fantastic pick for the Hawks. We get a play maker on defense, something we have been missing. We get a position of need and Berry can play either safety. And Berry will also be our counter to Jimmy Clausen as we will be seeing him a couple times a year.

If however Suh is the Rams pick, this will result in McCoy going to the Lions, as Walt from Walterfootball has said that the Lions like Backus, and I agree with him. Tampa will take Berry, Redskins will take Bradford over Clausen because of Bradford's doctor being on Washington, and Kansas will take Okung. Now we land Clausen, which would be another great addition. While we do have two working Quarterbacks on the roster, we lack a long term solution. Pete missed his first chance getting him, and won't let him slip away again. He will sit for a year and take over once Matt leaves.

Now with our bonus pick at 14, we need to take Spiller. I died a little inside every time I saw a 2 yard pass, a screen pass, or whenever Julis Jones touched the ball for that matter last year. Spiller can catch, run, and return kicks. We need people to make big plays on both sides of the ball, and in either scenario, we get two.

Yes I did ignore the offensive tackle position. But after reading an article (on this site i believe), about Alex Gibbs turning trash into treasure with offensive lineman, I think the position will be filled later in the draft.

As for DE or any other needs, the Seahawks will go out and grab one in free agency. I hope they nab Brandon Marshall too. Could you imagine Marshall with Pete's attitude?

The future is bright everyone. Think about every time someone laughed at you for being a Seahawks fan or talked about how horrible they were. The sky is the limit here people. It may take some time but we are certainly headed in the right direction. Sit back and enjoy the ride to the top. There is no better time to be a Seahawks fan.

Nick said...

Sorry for any spelling mistakes in advance :)

Anonymous said...

If the seahawks were to draft Clausen i think you would have to start him his rookie year. In a perfect world I think you sit him, but to much money is invested in the number 6 pick for him not to start. I can't think of a QB taken that high in the last decade who didnt start his rookie season.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - the difference is though that 2010 is an uncapped year. Previously, the money tied up keeping an expensive rookie and a veteran would force the rookie to start. 2010 is unique because a team that is cash rich like Seattle would have no issue maintaining Clausen's salary as well as Hasselbeck's - with no cap implications.

Nick - thanks for stopping by and posting your thoughts. Clearly Eric Berry has a lot of playmaking potential, he's dangerous with the ball in his hands. However, I just feel he might be too much of a luxury for any of the teams in the top nine picks. The Seahawks have major needs on the defensive line - there's a danger Berry will get swallowed in the mire of an exposed secondary as we've seen the last two years. The Seahawks also have huge needs on offense. Taking a safety and a linebacker with the #4 and #6 picks in back-to-back years and tying up around $100m at those positions with huge needs elsewhere would be a huge luxury Seattle can ill afford. I have reservations about Berry's all round game, I think he would be a better option at #14.

However, I completely agree with your final paragraph. There's much to look forward to as a Seahawks fan and it's going to be a very interesting off season.

mike said...

You may be correct about Morgan, but I didn't see that high a level of play from him; too, there seems to be some opinion that he has topped out. Also, DE doesn't seem high on the Bucs' radar.The semi-official website mentions a trade down to take Price or McClain; I am getting to like Rolando more & more as time goes on;I could see Rolando playing sam in a 43 defense.LBs have been great value round 1 the past few years.

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