Thursday, 22 April 2010

Instant first round analysis

By Rob Staton
The Seahawks drafted Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State) and Earl Thomas (S, Texas) in round one. We understood that Trent Williams and Eric Berry were big targets, so when they went 4th and 5th overall the Seahawks had to look elsewhere. They still drafted a long term solution at left tackle and a safety. We've voiced some concerns about Okung and Kyle Rota's scouting report is worth a read - but he has a chance to work with Alex Gibbs and that will almost certainly iron out some of the kinks. From the moment I watched Earl Thomas, I felt he showed more potential than Eric Berry and Taylor Mays. That was enhanced upon further review.

Walter Cherepinsky gives Seattle an A grade for the Okung pick and a B for Thomas. Danny O'Neil reports some quotes from line-guru Gibbs on Okung, with the statement essentially that Okung will be 'thrown right in' as a starter. O'Neil also shares some lines from Thomas who says the draft experience was 'surreal'. You can watch the Seahawks select Okung by clicking here, and Thomas by clicking here. For full first round 'as it happened' analysis click here.

There were plenty of shocks and surprises in round one, including plenty of trades. The most surprising for me were undoubtedly the Jaguars taking Tyson Alualu in the top ten, that came from nowhere. Secondly - Denver made a bold move back into round one for Tim Tebow. In 12 months, Josh McDaniels has traded Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, whilst drafting Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow. Interesting times at Mile High.

A number of big names remain on the board. USC's Everson Griffen, Taylor Mays and Charles Brown didn't go in the first round. Sergio Kindle of Texas is available. Offensive lineman Bruce Campbell and Roger Saffold are still there as is Florida's Carlos Dunlap and UCLA's Brian Price. Without doubt though the big storyline is Jimmy Clausen's fall. The question is - where does he land? Kansas City have Charlie Weis - are they an option? Cleveland? Oakland? Buffalo? We asked all these questions in round one and they all passed. Where does he go now? Seahawks Draft Blog was one of the original places to predict a potential Clausen fall out of round one. On December 9th, I posted this mock draft.

The Seahawks could make a move upwards in round two using their two fourth round picks. Defensive line remains an issue and their are good defensive ends available at the top of round two. But there are plenty of options available to Seattle and if they stay put, value remains at #60. Let me know what you thought about the Seahawks taking Okung and Thomas in the comments section and also what Seattle should do in round two.


Savage said...

Its nice to see the new front office not reach on any picks. Alualu was just insane. Taking a late first at best with #10. You couldn't move down at all? Another suprise was Al Davis making an OK pick.

I guess the Hawks were kinda stuck with Okung. Obviously there were not any other picks they were going to make at that point because their opinion of Morgan was obviously not that high to pass on him twice. I like Thomas and was surprised Philly passed.

Wouldn't mind a trade up fro Brian Price tommorow.

Patrick said...

I'm thrilled! Okung wasn't the highest player on my list, but the moment we chose him I couldn't help but be excited! As for Thomas, I was and am still dissapointed we didn't grab Derrick Morgan, but I can't argue with Thomas. His quotes afterwards did it for me, this kid seems like a winner. I'm SO anxious for tomorrow. I'm really hoping for Mardy Gilyard or Carlos Dunlap.

Great analysis as always Rob!!!

Charles said...

okay 2 things I noticed that I had questions about. 1) on the ticker on ESPN it continually said in our losses for players that we lost Babineaux, why would they be saying that? 2) The Seahawks draft board on their online site has Earl Thomas listed as a SS, which seems weird because hes a great FS, not a SS. I'm still sort of hoping were able to get Taylor Mays as a strong safety to help scare vernon davis / crabtree / fitzgerald and all the other big receivers we play year in and year out, plus we'd have our safety situation covered for the next 10 years. They kept mentioning that Earl Thomas was a CB/S, do you see us using him primarily as a FS (I hope so) or having him convert to a CB?

Wes said...

I think it was a truly great day for the Hawks. They addressed their two most glaring needs in grand fashion. Okung was the player I most wanted them to get, and Thomas will really help out the D. Great picks by the new regime.

Anonymous said...

I thought Okung is an ok pick considering that the Seahawks were stuck without any of their top 4. He does have the athletic ability and is going to work with Gibbs, who should help mitigate some of his problems. From Gibbs' comment, he seemed to really like the tools and if Gibbs is ok with Okung, I'm ok with it.

I'm slightly disappointed that we passed on Morgan, but not too much considering that we took Earl Thomas.

Overall, I'm in favor of this 1st round considering that we filled out our two biggest needs with relatively good value and potential.

I think the Hawks need a 3 tech as Colin Cole is useless and stalls the defense. My favorite is obviously Brian Price, but we would have to trade up (not against if a late 4th round pick is the price). If not, I would be happy with Houston too. Houston has more potential, but Price is more disruptive. He always seems to get into the backfield.


Austin said...

I love the picks. I understand the concern with Okung but feel really good about it with Gibbs helping him develope. Thomas is a pro-bowl player in the secondary. Carroll and company did a great job and looking forward to what they do tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Neither were on my list of wants prior to today, but after seeing Thomas on ESPN earlier in the day I became a huge fan instantly. He has the best ball-hawking skills in the draft in my opinion. I like him during the season, and that didn't change after watching the piece on him. Okung was a safe pick and I agree with above that we were kind of forced to take him after the others were drafted. I was hoping we were working a deal to trade down at that point, but I am not disappointed on what we got. Remember that Thomas is basically a 2nd round pick, that is what we traded to get him. That to me is a steal.

My biggest draft issue is the fact there are so many talented players still on the board and we don't have the #40 pick. I will never accept that trade even if CW becomes the next Brady. SD would have taken so much less for him especially since we were the only team after him once he told AZ that he wanted to go to Seattle over them. Oh well, that ship has sailed.

Anonymous said...

Charles: Both Berry and Thomas are CB/S hybrids. And Pete Carroll also directly said that he wanted a) LT b) a corner/safety hybrid c) a WR who catches TD and d) a faster DL.

Thomas can play safety and can also play coverage like a CB when the actual corners blitz (better than Berry in that respect).


Rob Staton said...

Lots of good defensive lineman available for Seattle in round two if they want to go in that direction. Houston, Atkins, Price, Dunlap, Griffen... etc etc. Don't be surprised if Seattle moves up.

Anonymous said...

I agree with above comments... I expect both to be solid Seahawks on and off the feild for many years. Have improved the team already. Now the real work begins for PC and co.... DE,RB,QB,
How low will Jimmy C go????!!! Kids going to have a major chip on his shoulder I think!

Anonymous said...

Draft aside Seattle needs to replace Hasselbeck. He will get hurt this season due to his glass back and no matter who you have playing Seattle's season will fall on Mike Teel's shoulders the 178th 2009 draft choice from Rutgers. God help us.

cysco said...

Okung isn't a sexy pick. I think that's what has must of us feeling kinda meh. That said, he may not be a sexy pick, but I don't think anyont thinks he's going to be a bust. He'll be a solid/above average LT for a long time. What more could we ask for?

As for Thomas, I'm an adopted Longhorn. (I live in Dallas and my wife went to UT) Hook'em!!!!! Thomas is an absolute stud. I couldn't be happier with this pick. Dude's not even old enough to drink! He's going to be elite. What a steal!

For tomorrow, I'd be intrigued at the idea of moving up to grab Charles Brown. Call me greedy. If I'm not mistaken he played RT for a while. Realistically, if we could get Dunlap, or Houston I'd be really happy.

Good times.

Matthew said...

I have little faith in us drafting Atkins or Gilyard after the inside source said absolutely nothing about any of the players we actually drafted and did talk about the players we passed on. Everything seems to look like a smokescreen.

am_driver said...

Arrelious Benn in the second round?

nightwulf said...

Barring a trade back, Thomas has been my choice at #14 since November...And seeing as how we couldn't trade out of 6, Okung was BPA at the time, plus he filled our biggest far, so good:)

Anonymous said...

After reading your scouting reports on Okung I'm having trouble getting in the Okung-a-line.

I wouldn't want to be Matt Hass breaking in a new lt. Could be a career ender.

Hopefully Okung and Hass will be ok.

The NFL seems to be in serious disagreement with many of the draft analysists concerning Clausen.

Really first rate stuff from you guys. Thanks so much.

FuglyAtHeart said...

Wouldn't mind seeing them grab Clausen....don't have a lot of faith in our backup QBs and although we all love Hasselbeck, he is getting up there in age. I higly doubt the Hawks will even have a chance at him though. Now that we have some holes filled, I think it would be nice to see some new QB talent...but there IS always next year.

CLanterman said...

I was expecting the worst (Taylor Mays at 6), so I'm pretty happy with our round 1. I'm not a huge fan of Okung (and with Saffold and Brown still available, I'm even more leery, but I didn't want T Williams, Fat Lazy Davis, or Alligator Arms Bulaga. Okung is coachable, and he has long arms and great strength. Seems like he is a safe pick with upside at least. I fell in love with Thomas a while ago, and though I like Morgan, I live Thomas almost as much. He's a slightly smaller but better tackling version if Berry. Peole knock him for his size, but Polly, Bob Sanders, and Ed Reed aren't very big.

Jon said...

I was so stoked when Washington took Trent Williams. Trent Williams is Sean Locklear to me, an athletic Tackle who's pretty good at Right Tackle but has more glaring issues playing Left Tackle. I didn't want 2 Sean Locklears on my team.

I think it's kind of a toss up as to who will be better between Okung and Anthony Davis, I'm fine with either guy.

I would have preferred Derrick Morgan(or any pass rusher) at 14 but I like Earl Thomas and have a feeling he will be the underrated guy overshadowed by Eric Berry in this draft that lasts in the league. The dude can COVER.

Jon said...

Oh man I just realized Charles Brown is still's going to be a long, hair pulling wait until #60. It's kinda hard to trade up in the 2nd when you have no 3rd round pick this year or next.

Anonymous said...


Congrats on getting the Clausen prediction right. I'm even willing to forgive your gloating. Who could have predicted that Tebow would be the second QB taken? Crazy stuff.

Austin said...

Kiper just picked Seattle as the biggest winner in round one.

MontanaHawk05 said...

Shows how little Kiper knows.

Probably for no reason other than we had two picks and didn't blow one on Tebow.

A-R-N-F said...

Suddenly we're looking to play Okung, Hamilton, Spencer, Unger, and Locklear. That doesn't sound too bad going forward.

And I agree with trading up in the second. Moving up and getting someone like Price/Dunlap/Houston/Griffen would be awesome.

Jayce said...

I have question. Where is Mike Johnson projected to go? I was looking around in and it had him going 4th-5th round. I swear that guy was the second best guard like a few months ago.

Anonymous said...

Can't complain about the two picks. The only thing missing was picking up a 3rd rd pick. This is a huge whole right now (IMO).

Anonymous said...

I'm also now thinking of Donovan Warren from Michigan in early 4th. I feel he is one of those hidden gems. Late 4th can be a OG (if Petrus is still there) or Daniel Teo Neishem for DE (undersized, but athletic and amazing work ethic). Even the 4th round seems to be amazing this year. Charles Scott would look good as a big back in the 5th.


Jayce said...

Definitely, I'm really hoping Hawks pick up a couple of these guys tomorrow.

Mike Johnson-OG
Mitch Petrus-OG
Ben Tate-RB
Lamarr Houston-DT
Brian Price-DT
Geno Atkins-DT
Daniel Teo-Neishem-DE
Carlos Dunlap-DE
Reshad Jones-SS
Chad Jones-SS
Taylor Mays-SS(Scare the crap out of NFC West receivers)

akki said...

Seattle fans are probably uniformly happy about Okung unless they read this blog. I'm still quite pleased anyway. Key thing to me is he's ready to start immediately and do well, whereas I felt that Williams or Davis might be revolving doors for a year before getting coached up. While maybe Okung's upside may be more limited, I don't see any possible Alex Barron/Kwame Harris in Okung's future either. Also, it's got to be worth something that none of the well known mock draft guys has had Okung outside the top 5 until just this past week when the Williams/Washington connection became known.

No complaints about Thomas either based on what I've read about him, and the need for coverage safeties these days. Only concern, I hope he's more consistent in the pros than the preceding safeties from Texas (Huff, Griffin).

While we have extra picks around, I personally hope we avoid giving them up to trade up in the second. There aren't any "must-have" players to me.

Houston does sound good at #60. If he's gone, it seems like late 2nd and early 3rd has been Schneider's sweet spot for taking WRs at Green Bay. Maybe D Williams, Mitchell, or Gilyard all sound good there.

Steve in Spain said...

I missed the party last night! What can I say, I've got two kids and the draft didn't even start here in Spain til 1:30 AM!

Gotta hand it to you, Rob. You called the Clausen drop long ago. I'm still amazed, just because of the positional value of QB. Even flawed QB prospects get drafted in the 1st round or top ten even. I kind of saw the writing was on the wall seeing as all the interviews I've read recently with real NFL people (current and former NFL scouts and pro personnel) were quite negative about Clausen.

Okung: A LT has a 12-year shelf life in the NFL, so it makes sense to get one that transcends systems. It's only a matter of time before cut-blocking is banned, after all.

USC shut out of the first round? When did that last happen?

Biggest loser: Denver. Two first-round picks blown on pure gadget-system players. Horrible.

Anonymous said...

Scouts inc says Dunlap to 60 Seahawks in new mock draft

Rob Staton said...

Matthew - the source I was referring to called it spot on. He said Berry or Williams at #6 (and that OT and S were the positions of target). They originally hoped to get Berry at #6 and Williams at #14, but Williams' stock rose very quickly. When both guys left the board, they had to look elsewhere. They took the OT they wanted as first alternative and waited till #14. My source said Thomas, Morgan and Haden were in play at #14. When Philly took Graham, it kept Thomas on the board and they made the pick.

My source also said Clausen, Spiller and Iupati were not in contention.

He nailed it, basically.

Rob Staton said...

The thing with Clausen is, when I watched him I didn't base any of my concerns on character or whatever. I don't think that is why he's dropped.

For me, it was all about his game. A lot of high percentage throws using slants to two of the better WR's in college. Losing velocity throwing off his back foot. Putting too much air on the deep ball. Not enough passing range. No stand out physical qualities. The fact some teams do have concerns about his character only adds to it.

Steve in Spain said...

Yes, Rob, and after reading your reports I've never questioned your estimation of Clausen's physical limitations. What I don't get is how others don't see the value in his mental command of the game. He knows how to make pro-offense progressions and reads, and has shown elite decision-making skills as a passer (although his low interception rate may be a little fluky). He's shown consistent improvement year to year, evidencing coachability. He's tough. I spose that's all irrelevant though, if you don't think he can cut it physically.

Maybe if Clausen goes in the first five picks of the second round that will be the right spot for him, given his overall strengths and weaknesses. But now it feels like he's in a free-fall where no team wants to jump in and take a guy nobody else wants.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought the Clausen talk was ludicrous. As Rob noted, he threw A LOT of high % slants and very short passes that pretty much are undroppable. That meant his completion % and TD:INT ratio were all inflated. Not to mention his accuracy was WAY overrated. It's not even close to Bradford's level. I've seen Golden Tate jump or readjust so many times.