By Kip Earlywine
Post hidden for secrecy! (looking for the key under the doormat? click read more)
Its not a secret at all. The two players Seattle will look at the most intently will be Geno Atkins and Mardy Gilyard. We know this because the source told us they would be looked at in round 2, and if not for such an improbable amount of top talent reaching the 60th pick, they would have been considered. Seattle is catching a ton of breaks, and to be honest, I'm pretty shocked Gilyard is still available. Atkins surprises me less, but he's a fantastic value this late as well.
(WR) Mardy Gilyard: (click name for link). Gilyard becomes a luxury pick of sorts with Tate already taken, but as they say: "you can never have too many wide-receivers" and Gilyard fits Bates scheme even better than Tate does. Gilyard reminds me so much of Deion Branch, and Branch is a strong scheme fit for Bates.
(DT) Geno Atkins: Atkins is a 3 tech DT that shows promise and is one of the most athletic 3's in the entire draft. Seattle still badly needs a DT.
However, I wouldn't consider either of these guys a shoe in at #104. Just like at #60, there are still superior prospects available, and if that doesn't blow your mind, it should.
Among them are two guys that were on my unpublished pre-draft blacklist: Everson Griffen and Bruce Campbell. However, there's a funny thing about blacklists: they have an expiration date. For as much as I would have hated taking them in the 1st round, the 2nd round is a different animal, and by the 4th round, suddenly those aspects I didn't like seem pretty appealing.
(DE) Everson Griffen: Its such an obvious comparison that I hate making it, but seriously, Griffen is Lawrence Jackson 2.0, although Griffin possesses perhaps even more athleticism and pass rush potential. Jackson may have been a reach in the 1st round, but Griffen is a massive steal in the 4th. And really, Griffen is probably a better prospect too. Griffen's pass rush moves need refinement, but at least he shows some faint signs, whereas Jackson was all bull-rush from day 1 (he's since started working in a mini-edge rush with some very minor results). Griffen played a lot of RDE at USC, and that is exactly what Seattle needs. And obviously, Griffen fits Carroll's criteria of having big, super-athletic defensive ends. Do I think he'll be a 10 sack guy? Heck no. But he could very easily become a 5-8 sack guy with a well rounded game who never misses time. And that's a massive bargain with a 4th rounder.
(T) Bruce Campbell: Even in my critique, I couldn't hide my fondness for Bruce Campbell. I did not actually scout Campbell, so I'm sure the persistent chants of "ugly tape" from Mayock to McShay probably ring true, but as it happened, I never saw that ugliness they talked about. It wasn't just highlight packages either, but random samplings from games. Everything I saw impressed me more than it alarmed me. What bothered me about Campbell wasn't his performance on the field, but rather his lack of time on it. He missed just a ton of time from injuries. Campbell has only started 17 games and played in 21, which is a Mark Sanchez-esque number.
Campbell isn't just a combine hero. He has legitimately elite pass pro talent and potential, and his run blocking is solid and trending towards good. He's too risky for any team needing a left tackle starter right away, but for a team willing to sit him for a year or two, he's a potential all-pro tackle waiting to happen. I know we've talked about how Tony Washington could make such an appealing long term project for Seattle in the 4th round, but Bruce Campbell is like Tony Washington on steroids. If Seattle passes on Bruce Campbell, especially with Alex Gibbs' coaching skills on tap, they better have a damn good reason for it. My only complaint about Campbell was the risk factor. But with Seattle already having brought Okung on board to address the tackle issue, and with Campbell having the low risk factor of a 4th round pick and contract, I say: why the hell not? Talk about an insane risk/reward scenario.
Other guys I'm hoping/anticipating the will Seahawks consider (TE, QB, LB, FB and special teams are not being listed, but may possibly be considered):
In the secondary:
(SS) Reshad Jones: Jones is a do-everything safety who was one of the very few bright spots (along with Geno Atkins) on a dreadful Georgia defense. Before the draft, I would have happily taken Jones at #60. He's very complete for a strong safety. In fact, if given the choice, I'd probably take Jones over Taylor Mays. This selection would allow Seattle to play Earl Thomas where he belongs, at FS, and gives the team the depth it needs for the position.
(SS) Larry Asante: A very experienced and highly dependable safety from Nebraska who would be a threat to start immediately alongside Thomas. I probably wouldn't take Asante in the 4th round the way this draft is going, but he could make a ton of sense in round 5.
(SS) Barry Church: Has great size, but painfully lacks speed. Might be drafted very late and given some looks as a coverage LB.
(CB) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah: Owusu-Ansah is a toolsy (6'1", 4.3 forty) CB prospect with the added bonus of some solid return ability. So far Schneider has avoided an Al-Davis type pick, but I'd say Owusu-Ansah could potentially be on the radar at some point.
(CB) Donovan Warren: Warren reminds me a lot of Malcolm Jenkins. He has no business being a 4th or 5th round pick, and yet he will be.
(CB) Perish Cox: I don't know much about him, but he's yet another CB who fits the 6' profile and should be available.
On the defensive line:
(DT) Arthur Jones: Other than Atkins, Jones strikes me as the other best remaining DT option. He's had some injuries, and with so much good talent being pushed back, Jones might find himself still waiting well into the 5th round. If Seattle is out of options, Jones could be a worthwhile gamble.
(DE) Corey Wootton: Wootton is a bit like Atkins in that he's a buy low player who was once considered an exceptional talent. If the FO buys into Atkins because of past success, its possible they might strongly consider Wootton as well.
(DE) Greg Hardy: This time last year, Hardy was a hot tip to be the first DE taken in the draft. Hardy responded by gaining weight, half-assing it through the last 365 days, and taking his diva/drama queen status to new heights. I haven't seen many prospects so emphatically destroy their draft stock like Hardy has. Its almost like he's doing it on purpose. Seattle was hot and heavy for Brandon Marshall and also had internal discussions over Marshawn Lynch, so obviously character comes in pretty low on the priorities totem pole. With the left tackle debacle fixed, Seattle's biggest remaining need by far is DE, and I could potentially see Seattle and Hardy being a likely pairing at some point in the draft. Hardy possesses first round talent, and there's nothing wrong with taking a gamble on a pick with a mid-late rounder.
On the offensive line:
(G) Mitch Petrus: One of the few remaining guards that fits the Gibbs profile to a tee while also having more than 7th round talent. Petrus played RG for a good run blocking line at Arkansas and certainly did his part, making many a pancake block.
(G) Sergio Render: Once a very highly touted guard that played for a zone offensive line, Render has been under the radar all offseason long, and that has led to an unsurprising draft day slide. Render has a build and a reliance on strength that reminds me a bit of Rob Sims. Sims was just traded away for peanuts for not fitting Gibbs preferences. Like Sims, Render is 6'3" so he meets the height requirements. It perhaps helps Render's chances of consideration that he's recently lost a bit of weight. He's now down in the 310 range from about 320 before.
(G/C) Jeff Byers: Byers is a talented interior lineman with zone experience and Pete Carroll ties.
(T) Tony Washington: I'd rather gamble on Bruce Campbell, but Tony Washington would also make for a rock solid developmental pick. He has the tools of a first rounder and meets the Gibbs criteria.
(T) Ed Wang: This pick seems a bit less likely now since the appeal of Wang is that he could start sooner than the other mid rounders, but if the team wants depth at tackle, its hard to go wrong here.
(T) Jason Fox: Similar to Wang, Fox is less likely now that the team is set at tackles and looking for developmental depth.
(T) Selvish Capers: Some think that Capers could be a great RT. I see more of a left tackle skillset, but regardless, Capers is a project with a lot of talent. He fits what the Seahawks and Alex Gibbs will be looking for.
(WR) Mike Williams: Williams might be the only player left I still wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. This is a guy who cheated on his tests, quit on his team (seriously, walked off the team), gained 10-15 lbs in the offseason and then bombed the combine. He's fools gold for whoever takes him. That said, he fits the Bates profile quite well and might be considered in the late rounds.
(WR) Riley Cooper: A big, athletic WR who finally started to produce up to his potential late last season.
(WR) Dezmon Briscoe: A polished looking and productive WR with above average size. Could be a late round steal and as such, might interest the Seahawks. A rich man's Freddie Barnes.
(RB) Anthony Dixon: A bruising inside rusher with a deceptively good top gear. Dixon is probably the best remaining RB option for the Seahawks at this point.
(RB) Joe McKnight: McKnight has all the tools you look for in a Gibbs back. I really like McKnight, but I don't think Carroll feels the same way. McKnight couldn't stay on the field because of injuries, and he fumbled more than he should have when he was on it. Hardly the model of consistency. I would happily select McKnight in the 4th round, but I doubt Carroll even gives him a phone call in the unlikely event McKnight goes undrafted. Stuff like that tends to get on a coach's nerves.
(RB) Jonathan Dwyer: Dwyer is probably the best value of the remaining RBs, but something about him just doesn't seem right in a Gibbs system. It wouldn't shock me at all though if Seattle takes him.
(RB) Deji Karim: Karim is built like a cannon ball and runs like it too. He's 210 lbs. while also being a mere 5'9". He also runs a 4.3 forty. I don't think this guy would have much trouble slipping through creases at the line, to say the least. Karim could make a ton of sense for Seattle in the 6th round.
(RB) Charles Scott: Scott is fairly similar to Anthony Dixon, and may be considered at some point. He's kind of like a mini Jerome Bettis.
(RB) Lagarrette Blount: Blount doesn't impress me much and seems like a better fit in a man scheme, but he could be a desperation option for the Seahawks in the 7th round.