Friday, 29 January 2010

Updated mock draft: 29th January

by Rob Staton
Can the Seahawks afford to take a risk? Should the question be - can they afford not to take one? With Tim Ruskell as GM, the franchise was the very definition of risk averse. Four year starters, unblemished character records, big school prospects - any hints of a gamble or potential to bust and the prospect was almost certainly eliminated from consideration. Rather than guard against potential risk, the Seahawks became predictable and a team that has won nine games in two seasons.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider will not use those same restraints. It's not a case of being reckless or throwing caution to the wind - but you can absolutely guarantee it'll be talent, potential and scheme that determines whether a prospect is worthy - not necessarily background. Sure, there will always be red flags. But if the Seahawks were too restrictive in their selection under Ruskell, I get the impression the new regime will at the very least broaden their horizons.

That is represented in this mock draft. There aren't enough difference makers on the roster right now. Whether that's a pass rusher who can get to the quarterback, a running back capable of hitting the home run or a receiver capable of making the game changing play. Sometimes, you have to go with your instinct and draft a raw prospect with massive potential. With the Head Coach having final say on personnel, you can absolutely trust that Pete Carroll will back himself to coach a guy who has huge upside, but comes into the league a rough diamond. Here's my latest first round mock draft:




#1 St. Louis: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Quarterback remains an option as long as Keith Null is the most likely starter on the roster. However, if St. Louis address that situation elsewhere - Suh becomes a near certainty to go first overall.




#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: Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Everything the Buccs say points to making life easier for Josh Freeman. He was a big play quarterback in college, time to get a big play receiver. With the top two defensive tackles off the board, Bryant could be a surprise pick here.




#4 Washington: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
If Bradford can work out and convince scouts about his durability, he's a candidate to go first overall. Washington could maintain Jason Campbell's place on the roster until Bradford is ready to start.




#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: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
Huge potential that needs the right coach to develop into an elite talent. Project:JPP is a huge challenge and one which Pete Carroll could thrive upon. Explosive off the edge, supreme athleticism - there's a buzz around Pierre-Paul that could take off at the combine.




#7 Cleveland: C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
In a draft with only a handful of pure offensive playmakers, Spiller's name could get called early. The Browns needs someone like this.




#8 Oakland: Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
We know how Al Davis' drafts by now. Campbell will bench a ton and run a great forty time at the combine - he's been described by one coach as the offensive tackle version of Vernon Davis.




#9 Buffalo: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
Call this a hunch, but I don't expect Chan Gailey to fall for Jimmy Clausen. Offensive tackle is a huge hole in Buffalo and Davis would certainly fill it.




#10 Jacksonville: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
If the Jags really are sold on Tebow-for-tickets, they could trade down here dramatically. I can't see another team who would usurp them until round two - so why not aid that secondary rebuild with another Gator?




#11 Denver: Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)
Dunalp's size makes him a perfect option at five technique end in the Broncos 3-4.




#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: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
Williams has performed well in Mobile. Expect a run on the top defensive lineman early in round one - Williams is the best nose tackle prospect for 3-4 teams.




#14 Seattle: Brian Price (DT, UCLA)
Jimmy Clausen is still on the board. Would the Seahawks invest their future in him here? I'm still not convinced Clausen warrants a pick anywhere near the top twenty, even if finding a long term quarterback remains a huge need in Seattle. The run on top defensive lineman continues with Price adding a nice compliment to Brandon Mebane in a rebuilt defensive line.




#15 New York Giants: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
Morgan has great potential, but amongst the cluster of 3-4 teams and alternative picks - he might suffer a slight fall on draft day. This would be a perfect fit for both prospect and team.




#16 San Francisco: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
With Joe Staley entrenched at left tackle, the 49ers could use one of their first round picks on a bookend. Bulaga could be an All-pro on the right side.




#17 Tennessee: Lamarr Houston (DT, Texas)
Another team with a need on the defensive line who might take advantage of a deep class. Houston's stock is soaring - he was great in the BCS Championship - and he could be a first round pick.




#18 Pittsburgh: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
This is one of the few places Mays could go and have a real impact. Playing behind a good pass rushing defense, Mays and fellow Trojan Troy Polamalu could create the most intimidating secondary combo in the NFL.




#19 Atlanta: Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama)
What price a trade with Jacksonville to take Joe Haden? Jackson's stock will rise after the combine and he could go higher than this.




#20 Houston: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
The Texans' biggest need is improving their offensive line and Williams provides a nice right side option.




#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)
Kyle Rota's scouting report on Okung is an absolute must read and highlights some of the reasons why Okung might not be a top ten lock. 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, Iupati proved he's worth a first round pick in Mobile this week.




#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: Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
Thomas had a great year (eight interceptions) but he could drop into the late first round in this scenario.




#30 Minnesota: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
Clausen polarises opinion more than anyone else in this draft. If Washington, Seattle and Buffalo aren't convinced - what stops this kind of fall? A trade? I've voiced my reasons why I think Clausen might drop this low.




#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 Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
I'm not sure about that 'advert on wheels' that turned up in Mobile - how will teams feel about that? It got people talking about Wilson though and his performance didn't disappoint.

45 comments:

myjackrebel said...

two picks on the DL for the hawks? thats some serious investment. Is that faith in what we have already on offense?


also note your 3rd pick says two offensive tackles off the board and not defense.

Anonymous said...

A great draft, defensively, great work Rob. Thank you.

I would be concerned that Locklear could end up being our only useful ZBS offensive tackle. I really doubt anyone will be there at 40 that we can plug and play. I feel pretty certain that Charles Brown is gone at 40 if we weights anywhere close to 300 at the combine. And we don't have a 3rd rounder to move up in the 2nd.

It's a conundrum. I'd hate to call it a "must reach" situation, but you could make that case.

--nano

Rob Staton said...

myjackrebel - I would say it's not so much a vote of confidence for the offense as not fighting the draft. I clearly think the strength this year is on defense, particularly the defensive line. A rush on the position early will make it harder to draft defensive lineman later on.

Nano - I haven't added a second round yet, it's something I'll consider doing very soon in future updates. There are lots of offensive options - including the potential of Charles Brown being there at #40. I think he'd be absolutely perfect for the Alex Gibbs line scheme and a probably choice if available.

The Seahawks would also have options at receiver (Williams) and running back (Best). There are playmakers to be had later, it's just being prepared to make moves to get them. Joe McKnight, Dexter McCluster - guys who will be around later. I expect the Seahawks to draft a running back at some stage and probably a receiver too.

Ben said...

So the idea is that you grab the 4-3 passrusher with the highest upside (that doesn't have Dunlap's motivational issues) with the first pick and then grab a sort of value pick in Price with the second pick. We're left with a pretty nice looking front seven, but a lot of questions about the offense. What happens if Bates and Gibbs can't turn the offense around and the defense plays 40 minutes per game? Does this this assume that we'd do a fair amount of restocking in the offense in FA or that we may have to face another crappy year until Carroll starts to rebuild the offense with a Locker/Mallett?

@nano,

Brandon Frye seemed quietly competent in the games he played. He wasn't dominant, but he might beat out Lock at LT.

Anonymous said...

Very cool, thanks Rob. I'll look forward to your 2nd round. Thanks for answering my post so quickly. You guys are the best.

When are you going to seup up your own dedicated website? :)I'm sure many would spare some $ so you could. It'd be nice if you could lay it out how you want without having to rely on Blogger. Just a thought. You could have email accounts related to it, etc. It's great for the possibility of marketing and adspace.

Anonymous said...

^Nano^

CLanterman said...

I would be fine with drafting JPP, but even if we think he's a top 5 talent, if no one else feels that way, then I think it would be a mistake to take him at #6.
Seahawks Draft is a top notch site though, and I love the thorough analysis and almost weekly updates to the mock drafts. Of course having similar favorite players (Price, Brown, McKnight, McCluster) certainly helps.
Have you guys done a analysis of Daniel Teo-Nesheim yet? I'd be very interested as to how you think he'll translate to the pro level.

Matthew Baldwin said...

Love the site Rob. A daily must read.

I'm mindful that we are in a 2-3 year rebuilding process at best and have a number of holes, but the first 2 picks on defense?

We averaged only 17.5 points a game and only 10.8 points a game over the last five games. Our offense is anemic and needs a youth injection.

I would also contend that our defense (although many issues) would be far better if the offense didn't go 3 and out 40% of the time.

I like JPP and agree that his stock will likely balloon at the combine, but I don't think a one year wonder is worth a 6th overall pick.

How did the one year wonders fare last year? Aaron Maybin, Larry English and Robert Ayers? Not so well.

Anyway, love the site. Keep it up! And before you say it, I know JPP is intended to spark dialog and I appreciate it.

Rob Staton said...

Ben - absolutely Seattle has huge needs on offense. Defensive line is also an area of need, but for me it's not on par with trying to find that long term QB, greater playmaking ability and a better offensive line.

However, I think this is a weak draft for offensive talent at the top of round one in terms of depth. You have one very good wide out (Bryant) and one really good all round playmaker in Spiller. The strength is clearly on the defensive line. You'd have to fight against value with both picks to go offense. There isn't a lineman that fits the Gibbs mould early and I'm not a fan of Okung in the top fifteen. The team might put the pressure on Bates and Gibbs to provide a platform, perhaps using the pick in #40 for help with some choice FA signings. It's asking a lot, but this was never (in my opinion) going to be a draft when every need was solved. It's a lot of investment in one area of the team in this scenario, but could turn a realtive weakness at a key area into a great strength long term.

Nano - There could be potential to develop the blog in the future. It's something I've looked at, but it wouldn't happen before the 2010 draft.

Matthew Baldwin said...

Also:

We haven't drafted offense in the 1st round since Spencer in 2005. And the last skilled position in the 1st was Stevens in 2002.

It shows. It's time to invest in the offense (IMHO).

Rob Staton said...

CLanterman - thanks for the kind words. Teo-Neisheim is someone I've seen little of - only at the Shrine Game if memory serves me correctly. I'll dig out the tape and get back to you on that one.

Matthew - again, thankyou for the kind words. Always appreciated. I agree 100% with everything you say regarding the offense. In an ideal situation, I think you would want to invest at least one of those picks on offense. The Seahawks lack playmakers, they have needs on the line and they absolutely need a long term option at QB. The defense has struggled a lot the past two years because the T.O.P. has been so poor.

However - this is the conondrum facing the Seahawks. Do you fight the draft? Do you make a big reach? Do you tap into an area of need that's also offering a deep class (d-line)? All questions that have to be asked. In this case - all I can do is state that I think there is great options at #40 on offense and possible options later for playmakers - not ideal but such is the 2010 draft.

I think the Seahawks would have to cautious of the 'one year wonder' affect. However - I think JPP offers a more unique skill set than Ayers, Maybin etc. He is positively electric off the edge, he has supreme athleticism. He could be great, I never remember saying that about Ayers or Maybin (who might still have good careers).

ChavaC said...

So if you're going from a pure potential standpoint, what puts JPP over Dunlap?

Matthew Baldwin said...

I agree that fighting the draft board and reaching is never a good idea (see Matt Milen and Al Davis).

BTW: Robert Ayers was defensive player of the Senior Bowl last year.

Louis said...

if Morgan fell to 15, then couldnt we draft like an OT or WR/RB/QB at 6 and then morgan at 14?

Kip Earlywine said...

I don't think JPP would be a top 10 pick if the draft were tomorrow, but given his size and projection, I could certainly see him rising and competing for the 1st DE taken after the combine. I'll come right out and say I'm not very excited about JPP at this point, but that could certainly change as I gain more information. And of course, with these mocks we also want to bring different names to the forefront of our readers minds. I feel fairly certain that barring a disaster, JPP will probably be linked with Seattle pretty heavily leading up to the draft by the likes of Kiper and McShay, so why not beat 'em to the punch? (as Rob seems to do regularly).

I agree with Rob that with a few exceptions (D. Williams, Spiller, Iupati, perhaps Brown), the 1st round is thin on offensive talents that I badly want the Seahawks to draft. I really like that Rob went DL in this mock. A lot of my favorite scenarios go DT/DE in the 1st since the Seahawks defense needs an injection of playmakers on the defensive line and this is the best time in years to do that.

However, if the Seahawks have their pick of either Bradford/Clausen, I think it would be really hard to pass on that given the massive impact the QB position has on the modern NFL and the fact that Seattle has needed a real heir to Hasselbeck for years now. I figure, if Carroll really wants to roll the dice for a guy like JPP, why not roll the dice on a QB? I'll be very interested in the choice Carroll ends up making.

Rob Staton said...

Chavac - I didn't see enough consistent effort from Dunlap this year. He clearly is talented, but he never really showed a persistent edge rush and I think you're banking on the size/speed working out. I think he's better as a five technique than a pure, 4-3 defensive end. Jason Pierre-Paul showed a relentless motor and that ability to beat a man off the edge through sheer speed, exploding into the backfield.

Louis - mainly because in this scenario when the Seahawks enter the board at #6 there isn't a QB, WR, RB, OT that fits the scheme or the desires of the front office. If they rank JPP ahead of Morgan, they make the pick at #6 regarless of where Morgan may fall. When he's still there at #14, they may consider him - but I have them targetting an interior presence in this projection... pairing Mebane with Price for a disruptive combination that can get into the backfield, making things easier for the defensive ends and linebackers to rush off the edge.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about the draft, the more I like it. We have a solid pair of corners (Wilson and Trufant), one marginal safety (Babineux) and an average one (Deon Grant).

What this would do is allow Mebane to move back to One-Tech (he's dominant at both One-Tech and Three-Tech if you ask me). Price comes in as the Three-Tech (who I think will contribute immediatly (although I think he's a reach at 14, we can likely trade down and get a mid-twenties pick and aquire a late second round pick in the process). This will free-up Daryll Tapp, and I think we can see those QB hits that he tied the leauge for the lead in into sacks. I'm thinking a 9-12 sack season.

JPP wouldn't have much to show for his first year, but I think in a year or two he'll be ferocious. Imagine that front four... perhaps the best in the league if this draft came to past in a year or two.

Then you can use the second round pick on Charles Brown, or even trade down with that pick as well to aquire a third round pick or a fourth rounder...

Perhaps in that scenario we could grab a zone blocking tackle such as Selvish Capers or Jason Fox.

Then with the aquired third round pick you can select Tony Pike, who I think is a carbon copy of Sam Bradford (except a little taller). However, I think that a NFL Strength and Conditioning coach can fatten him up a little.

That would make me fat, dumb, and happy right there.

Also, if we can pick up Denario Alexander or Dezmon Brisco somehow in the fourth round... oh my...

Rob Staton said...

I think any team will struggle to get weight on Tony Pike. He's admitted he really struggles to add weight due to a fast metabolism - when he eats a lot he doesn't gain weight and when he doesn't eat a lot he loses it quickly. That's something he'll likely have to deal with his entire career. I don't think he's an option for the offense Seattle win run or be the style of quarterback Pete Carroll will target.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you have the Browns taking Spiller...

They had a guy on the team named Jerome Harrison from Wazzu who dominated when given a chance to play. I know because he was on my fantasy team along with Jammal Charles.

I think Spiller would fall to our #14 pick or to the Giants if you ask me. Possibly even the Dolphins.

Lenny James said...

Hey Rob, Good post. You can never go wrong with defense. However, The seahawks have Zero playmakers on offense. This is a strong draft for D line that we should probably tap in. I dont think we should use both 1st round picks on the D line. What players do we have on offense that can extend drives longer than three plays? We absolutely have to draft a playmaker for the offense early in my opinion. Why not draft Spiller early and get the best D lineman available at #14. With this D line draft class being so deep there will be a stud for us at #14. JPP or Morgan will most likely still be on the board at #14. Lets say the Hawks do draft JPP/Price. What will we do with new Seahawks Cole and Redding, not to mention Tapp, Jackson, and Reed. We also have 4 capable starting Linebackers. Your draft scenario seems a little crowded.

Anonymous said...

I know that your mock drafts don't account for trades, but if we decide against a quarterback at 6 wouldn't almost any pick at a position of need for us be a reach? This draft is deep in 1st round DL talent. If we could drop back into the mid-first (and it seems seems likely we could find a favorable trade with Eric Berry and Jimmy Clausen still on the board) we could still grab a promising DE at a better value and pick up a second round pick in the process. With so many holes to fill, would this be a good option?

Anonymous said...

From Texashawk,

Rob,

You stated that there is not alot of 1st round talent for the offensive side of the ball this year. However I am sure there is still good talent that would be good value at 2nd or 3rd rd. Do you think we would be better served if we traded down a few times and stockpiled picks in order to get more fairly impactful players instead of a few really impactful players.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Rob your best draft to date. There are some picks that really make you think is that possible? Intriguing to say the least.

Two defensive picks is exactly what we need. I'm not sure two DL picks are the answer (or the players shown) but the thought is awesome.

With a terrible performance from Trufant would we pass on Hayden? Babs has proven that he can't handle the full time load, Berry might be the next Ed Reed. Derrick Morgan is a multi year starter that dominated his JR year (if you didn't watch his bowl game don't comment that he was neutralized as stats don't tell the whole stoty) and we clearly have little talent at DE.

Keep in mind that yes we had a lot of 3 and outs, but we didn't force many. If we are able to neutralize the relatively poor offenses in our division we can compete for TOP.

Nick said...

I just don't see what the fuss is about with JPP. What does he do that George Selvie doesn't? I realize his stats were better this year, but my impression is that he faced a lot more single-teaming than Selvie did, and we know how Selvie can dominate when blocked by only one man. I think it's a big mistake to project production out of a guy based upon measurables, for the same reason I wouldn't want my team to draft Taylor Mays in the first round.

Anonymous said...

We're gonna trade our #6 pick to the bengals for Carson Palmer former Trojan draft Derrick Morgan with the #14 pick trade Hass to browns for a 3rd round pick. Pick up Charles brown with the #40 pick and sign Reggie bush FA and with the 3rd round pick draft Joe mcknight

Rob Staton said...

I'm working upwards with this...

Annonymous - I'll be very surprised if Reggie Bush is a free agent or if the Seahawks trade the #6 pick for Palmer. It won't happen.

Nick - for me, Selvie offered very little to get excited about. Very little burst off the edge, more of a bull rush type with a short range repetoire. Pierre-Paul is a lot more explosive, a greater athlete with a greater pass rush range. I'd be surprised if Selvie went in round three. The thing with Mays is the production hasn't matched the physical tools at any point in his career and he's made mistakes. JPP has shown that the performance can match the physical tools albeit in a short college career.

Vince - I think Haden remains an option for Seattle. However, I think our secondary will look a lot better when the Seahawks achieve a more sustainable pass rush. Even the best cornerbacks can't cover a guy for 10 seconds, they will get open.

Texashawk - I think there's always a case for trading down but ultimately Seattle need an infusion of talent. Two top fifteen picks will secure that. Ultimately they won't fill every hole and every pick won't bring a starter, so I'd be tempted to stay put and use the picks we have and back yourself to make the right calls. I'm sure the team would consider a move that might regain a pick in round three.

Annonymous - likewise, if the trade offer is good enough it has to be considered. I don't think multiple trades downwards are a good idea for the sake of it - as seen with Cleveland last year. It's all about what a team is willing to offer.

Lenny - I agree on your points regarding the offense. However, with Spiller off the board early, Bryant off the board early and no obvious early candidates that warrant a pick on the o-line (baring in mind the Gibbs scheme) it seems like it's Clausen or else on offense. If they don't like Clausen enough, in this scenario they'd have to fight the board to make an offensive pick. In an ideal world both these choices would probably go on offense, it's just the real strength in this draft is on defense. I'm not sure who you could take offensively at #6 or #14 in this projection.

Annonymous - Harrison had a good end of the year, but they were running him 30 times a game. They have a good offensive line. I think a guy like Spiller could offer a burst of playmaking quality that offense lacks in Cleveland. Harrison would be the compliment to Spiller. They need something more than just Jerome Harrison to get things moving in Cleveland.

Donald Duck said...

Rob,
I like your idea of not fighting the draft. The hawks are in a rebuilding phase. It will take at least a couple of years to become a contender again.

I have to accept that the hawks' super bowl window has closed for a while.

IMHO, we have so many needs, we need to take advantage of what is there instead of focusing in on a position.

Thomas said...

I would go with jpp in the 6th but mays at 14 and then brown at 40 that would be alot better in my opinion and maybe a trade for Marshall

Anonymous said...

Yah but playing in the west, we still have a shot at getting into the playoffs. Especially with Warner finally gone.

Swampfox said...

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?!?

Anonymous said...

I believe Caroll will pass on QB's this year unless Bradford or Clausen REALLY impress. Caroll has been given probably 3 years to turn things around. If a young QB fails so does Caroll. Whomever the hawks draft at QB will need every opportunity to succeed i.e. all the pieces in place.

Rob Staton said...

I can see both sides of the argument regarding QB's. On one hand - if you draft a guy this year you can bench them for at least one or two years, get them ready, build up the roster around them. You have a direction there post-Hasselbeck.

However, you also need to be confident that when you draft a QB that high, they're going to be the face of this franchise. It'll be on their shoulders. Clausen could be a 'Carroll guy' absolutely. He could end up in Seattle.

They won't take him through need though. If they don't think he'll be a valid long term option for Seattle, they'll look elsewhere. I'd neither rule it out nor say it's likely - regardless of my own eprsonal opinion of Clausen.

Michael said...

Yuck. Sorry, Rob. I cannot get into the vibe. JPP is said to have major intelligence issues, and Price is just as easily found in the 4th round.

This mock reeks of fear. This is a league of QB's. Teams cannot afford to wait to get one "next" year. There will always be issues with the next "draftable" QB, or you won't have a chance to draft them.

It is time for Seattle to make hay with the draft regarding QB, unless they address it with a trade.

If not Clausen, then I guess we go Snead at 40?

Rob Staton said...

Michael, I absolutely agree with your opinion on the QB situation. If you think Clausen can even just make an offense tick - you have to consider him. However, likewise, if you just cannot put your faith in this guy - you don't draft him anyway. They'd have to be prepared to one day start a rookie or make a big move elsewhere if they go that route - but it could happen. My mocks are designed to cover all eventualities - not what I personally think this franchise needs to do at a certain position.

JoeMcK said...

Rob - you keep referring to a Carroll-type of QB. What characteristics do you see/not see as a Carroll guy at QB. Could Zac Robinson or Max Hall in the 4th or 5th rounds fall in that category? Do you think a 4th round QB or later in this draft might be a better fit for Carroll than Teel?

Also, you have mentioned C. Brown as a good fit for Gibbs system and possibly available at #40. How would you compare Brown to Ducasse? I love Ducasse's punch, and clearly he is raw enough to be molded quite a bit by Gibbs.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for Rob, but I have been a big follower of USC football for, well, a very long time.

In all honesty, there are not many QBs in this draft that would excite Carroll. He's strictly a "pro style" guy and never waivered on that stance during the spread era in college football. All of his starting QBs throughout his tenure at USC were "technicians." By that I mean guys who all had textbook footwork, dropback skills, ability to mentally handle pro reads.

Not all of them had "NFL tools" ie John David Booty and I'd even argue Matt Leinart (in regards to Arm Strength and athleticism), but both guys showed the ability to really grasp the pro game.

Obviously, he also had QBs who were physical studs (Palmer, Sanchez, Barkley) who were not only technicians, but also have very strong physical attributes (ie mainly arm strength and the ability to throw the ball on the move with authority and accuracy). Palmer is a step up physically from Barkley and Sanchez, but both guys have the ability to make every NFL caliber throw. I recognize it's early to "judge" Barkley, but he did quite well considering he was running an NFL offense that many senior bowl QBs looked quite poor running this week.

Anonymous said...

Which brings me to this year's crop of QBs, none of them truly stand out in regards to what Carroll looks for in a QB. Clausen is the closest, but I'd compare him more to Leinart and Booty rather than Palmer and Sanchez, because he clearly has physical limitations in the passing game. Clausen is clearly a capable NFL quality QB, but I honestly don't think he is worthy of a top 15 selection (ie a pick by the Hawks). He is the type of QB who can be a "good" NFL QB if he is surrounded by great talent, but in a position like the Hawks are in, I think his weakness (mediocre arm strength, attitude, lack of athleticism) will be glaring, while his strengths (decent accuracy, nice albeit unimpressive deep ball, ability to read defenses) will be subdued. Not trying to crap on Clausen by any means, but I do truly see more John David Booty and Matt Leinart, more than I see a Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez.

Perhaps the most interesting candidate is Sam Bradford. I have never been a huge fan, mainly due to his goofy offense and absurd protection in the pocket, but clearly the guy has off the charts accuracy (could be greatly hindered behind a porous O-line) and is very intelligent (good decision maker). I think he needs a year on the bench to adjust to an NFL style offense, but I think he does in fact have a considerably higher ceiling than Clausen because he has better arm strength and his accuracy is really far more impressive (my opinion, but Clausen never wowed me with any throws in any game let alone his highlight reels). The big question is, does Carroll and crew think that a) Bradford is healthy, b) do they have confidence that his game translates to a faster, less time in the pocket league, c) that he can truly operate with less talent in a different offensive system. We can only speculate at this point, but I think we can expect that Carroll will only draft a Bradord or Clausen if he is 100% confident that they can be a good starting NFL QB for the next 10 years. If there is any doubt, I don't think they will draft a QB out of necessity that high.

If no QB is drafted in the top 40 (for the Hawks) I don't think we will see guys like Zac Robinson, Max Hall, Bill Stull, etc drafted in the top 5 rounds. Hall has very little physical talent while Robinson is athletic but lacks arm strength and accuracy while having a week's worth of experience in a pro system.

We will draft a QB, but if it's not in the first or second round, I think they wait until the 6th or 7th. A 4th or 5th round pick is too valuable to just waste on a developmental guy because we will be looking at potentially enticing RBs, WRs, or even a ZBS limited O-lineman who can contribute year one.

Apologies for the the novel, but I have been a close follower of Carroll and USC football for a long time and thought I could provide a little insight as to who Carroll "might" target QB wise.

Vince Mulcahy said...

Anonymous great couple of posts, great read. I think Clausen is kind of in the middle of your judgement between the JDB and Palmer types. Clausen hasn't had the same weapons that USC has provided its qbs, but him and Golden Tate have both made cases for first round consideration.

I don't think a QB will be even thought of in the second round though, its one or none. We already have a late round prospect with some potential as a developmental player (5th round pick Mike Teel). And I don't see us cutting Hass, Wallace or Teel and we can't have 4 qbs on the roster.

Rob Staton said...

Great posts, annonymous. Thanks for the insight - really appreciated.

Joe McK - I think Carroll will want someone who can come in quite quickly and contribute. I don't think he's going to look at these late round guys with questionable arm strength and ability to handle a pro-offense and see something he really likes. Sure, he might bring these guys in for a look in the late rounds or UDFA - but we're talking about a coach who resisted every temptation to move away from a pro-style in college.

Clausen has a personality, background (pro-style) and ability to adapt quickly that I think Carroll would want in Seattle. That doesn't mean he'll necessarily draft him - there are faults to his game. Essentially though - this is the type of prospect I could see Carroll going for at QB.

Nick said...

Hey Rob. Some interesting thoughts to play around with, but with the Hawks having so many needs, I can't see them using two picks in the same area.

JPP would be a much better choice at 14 because I believe he will still be around and we do need a pass rusher. Brain Price would also be nice to have, but Mebane is good and we just signed Colin Cole to a long contract so it wouldn't make too much sense.

Heres a crazy idea though. We take Spiller at number 6 because quite frankly, if he is available when the 49ers pick, i can see them taking him, and do we really want Spiller in our division against us? Don't forget the 49ers have two picks too and can afford to take him easily. He would bring so much to the Hawks offense because he can run and catch effectively. Having him and Forsett on the field at the same time would be unreal.

Then at 14 we take Charles Brown. Yes this may be a little high for him but there are so many positives for the Hawks taking him. He knows the Staff, he fits zone blocking like a charm, and he will give Alex Gibbs a good guy to work with if we want to get this O-line moving. People also keep saying if he gains weight, he will go higher. Well why not take him and let him gain his weight in Seattle? It sure makes sense to me.

There will be plenty of defense guys in the later rounds, and we are lacking offensive playmakers. (Maybe with the 40th pick we take Brandon Ghee or Kyle Wilson)? Spiller will provide the spark and Brown will give him the ability to make the spark work.

Sorry for any spelling mistakes in advance.

Anonymous said...

What the Seahawks need is team speed. When you have a high #6 pick, he better be an impact player in his first year, not a reach / potential guy.

Therefore, with the #6 pick they should get Spiller. Now you improve the team on offense and special teams. Not only can he score every time he touches the ball, he will make the other WR more open also. You take him at #6 because he wont be there at #14

#14 you take the best DL available. It could be JPP, or someone else.

2nd rd, take best player available, hopefully LT.

6rd Blount. The thunder to Spiller's lightning.

That would be an A+ grade.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - wasn't Aaron Curry supposed to be the instant impact pick at #4? The Seahawks need to move away from this 'sure thing' ideology that frankly makes no sense. Every rookie comes into the league with some learning curve. Curry didn't just walk into the team and produce, but that was the justification for taking him. If JPP ranks out as a potentially elite prospect - you don't discount him because in year one he might only be used on passing downs. There's always a means to an end.

Nick & Annonymous - Spiller is someone I'm a big fan of. However, the Seahawks haven't brought Alex Gibbs in to spend $50m on a running back. I can't see it.

Nick - we do have Mebane, but I think Cole has shown he's nothing more than a backup. I wouldn't avoid drafting Brian Price for Colin Cole. I'm a fan of Charles Brown, but he's likely to be around in the second round unless he turns up at the combine at 310lbs with no adverse effect to his athleticism. If you can get JPP, Price and Brown - that would be a nice trio of picks and investment in the lines. Then you trust the team to find a running back who suites Gibbs' system later on.

Vince Mulcahy said...

I don't believe we will take JPP, but what about the Dolphins? Now that Joey Porter wants to be traded they will need a new OLB and JPP might have the athletisim to pull it off. I know hybrids are risky but JPP is a risk/reward player anywhere in the first round.

Have to agree with Rob on the Gibbs-$50 mil RB issue. Grab someone like Dwyer/McKnight in a later round.

Use the first round picks to upgrade our defense. Its not the sexy pick that a Spiller/Bryant would be, but would follow the BPA strategy as defense is clearly favored for first round talent this draft. Don't stretch just to fill team needs, thats where you get messed up.

Anonymous said...

Yeahh, as a Houston fan, i can promise you that it iutapi is there, we will take him

c-hawker said...

Spiller at #6? Trade down a few slots, then take him. I know other sites have him going to Cleveland,Jacksonville and San Fran. I don't think so. I would like to see us get him though.
I would rather have Berry.
In the SB when the Saints LB's couldn't cover Clark they put a safety on him.It worked rather well. ala Kenny Easley. I can't impress the importance of a top flight safety. He can also play some corner.