Archive for January, 2011

Guest Blogger: Looking at the veteran QB options

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Written by Glen Peer
Holding the 25th pick in the draft, the amount of QB needy teams drafting ahead of the Seahawks, and the unsettled CBA leaves no real clear picture of how the Seahawks QB situation will work out for the 2011 season.  QB is certainly a huge area of need for this franchise, and needs to be addressed but I don’t think its as simple as saying “take a QB with the 1st pick” and let him figure it out.

Via Free Agency

First we all must understand that as of right now Free Agency will not exist, as we all have come to know it.  With the owners opting out of the current CBA and no new one in place starting March 4th there will be no player trades, or contracts signed until it is resolved.  This leaves teams in a very precarious position since typically they have the free agency period to sign players in areas of need and then draft based on areas of need knowing what players they will enter OTAs and training camp based on free agency activity.  With no CBA the draft will take place before free agents are allowed to sign with teams. (more…)

Comparing Liuget to two alternatives – Austin & Casey

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Yesterday I mocked Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois) to the Seahawks in round one of the 2011 draft. I wanted to represent comments made by Pete Carroll during his recent press conference that he was making improvement on both lines a priority.

With a certain degree of depth on the defensive line this year – it’s not a stretch to consider the Seahawks going in that direction early this April.

However – my knowledge of Liuget is limited to restricted tape and one game in 2010. I need to study up and learn whether he’s a clear upgrade over other DL prospects who will go later in the draft at a lesser cost. Depth on both lines may be a priority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forthcoming via a first round pick.

Two other ‘alternative’ prospects I’m going to highlight today are Marvin Austin (DT, UNC) and Jurrell Casey (DT, USC).

Austin was one of the North Carolina prospects suspended for the entire 2010 season after accepting gifts from agents. Based on 2009 evidence I had Austin in the round 2/3 range but wondered how the suspension may affect his stock.

Despite not playing any football this past season it’s to Austin’s credit that he’s appeared at the East/West Shrine work outs this week and reports indicate he’s performing well. I still think there’s a chance Austin will go lower than most expect. Aside from missing the entire 2010 season he was suspended for two games as a coaches decision and some have questioned his work ethic and attitude.

I also think he plays soft for a guy at 6-2, 305lbs with an ideal frame. As you can see (courtesy of Aaron Aloysius) I’ve published tape of Austin vs Pittsburgh from last year. He’s frequently driven back by the Panthers offensive line and doesn’t do a great job penetrating into the backfield. I think he best suites Seattle’s scheme as a nose tackle (the role used by Colin Cole) but he needs to be stronger and not get pushed around as much as we see here:

Even so, if we’re talking about depth Austin has the potential to fill a role on the roster without spending millions of dollars.

Jurrell Casey is someone who Pete Carroll will know all about from his USC days. He’s more of a three-technique who does a good job getting into the backfield. His frame is a bit sloppy and he could add a bit more tone, but nobody can deny his ability to be disruptive. He owns good gap control and offers benefits against the run with suprising agility at times.

I rate Casey above Austin at this point but a lack of major production (five sacks in 2010) and certainly not elite athleticism limits his stock. He’s also a pure 4-3 scheme prospect.

Casey is graded in the round 2-3 range this year but depending on work outs I appreciate there’s at least some chance he could be around when Seattle has the second pick in round four (thanks to the Deion Branch trade with New England).

He’s also famous for being removed from USC’s spring game last year after driving QB Matt Barkley into the ground and hurting his hand.

I wanted to publish this tape of Casey against Stanford’s elite college offensive line because he won’t face any better opposition than this ahead of the NFL:

So there are two alternatives if the team aren’t going to look at the Liuget’s, Paea’s and Nevis’ in round one. I still think the real position of value on this Seahawks defensive line – as proven in Red Bryant’s absence – is the five technique position. It’d be wonderful to have a shot at Cameron Jordan (DE, Cal) – someone I think is under rated with top-15 potential. He’s more than capable of adapting to 5-tech or DT for Seattle.

I’m not convinced he’ll be around at #25 though – perhaps making a prospect like Muhammad Wilkerson a more likely (yet much less spectacular) option.

I’ll look at the five-technique or ‘Red Bryant role’ in more detail this weekend.

Updated mock draft 20th January & Corey Liuget tape

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

To see the updated mock draft click here

Pete Carroll held his end of season press conference yesterday and amongst other things the discussion turned to ‘priorities’ for the continued building of the roster.

The Seahawks head coach was quite vocal in his desire to improve both lines, an area he felt suffered due to depth and injury issues during the 2010 season.

On the defensive side – Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole and Red Bryant all missed time during the regular season. The absence of each was certainly felt.

The need amongst the interior defensive line may be increased knowing that Mebane is scheduled to be a free agent – although the unknown future of free agency and the CBA makes projecting what will happen a complete non-starter.

My initial reaction to the press conference was mainly not to read too much into anything that was said. Teams never show their hand this early in the post season and intentions can certainly change based on circumstance.

Carroll also spoke about the importance of improving the quarterback position for the long term – and it’s still difficult to imagine this isn’t an area of major priority even if it means potentially needing to make a significant move up the board.

Most recently I’ve been projecting the Seahawks could consider taking a receiver like Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh). Following advances for Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson last season – it’s hard to believe the Seahawks have ended such interest in getting a sizable playmaker who can get downfield purely because they’ve re-signed Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu.

Indeed I’ve already received tweets claiming the fact receiver wasn’t a need named by Carroll in his conference as a sign that this is unlikely. In reality – it may mean the exact opposite.

Even so, my intention with these mock drafts is not to make inch-perfect accurate projections months before the event. I want to cover all bases and use the mocks as discussion starters. Who might the Seahawks consider? Would this be a good move? What alternative options are there?

The picks that stay the same are the ones where I feel strongly about their possibility and don’t see the projections made elsewhere. My continued decision to keep Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado) in the top ten has stirred some debate. I often read comments saying this is unlikely because no other mock is making the projection.

I really believe Smith will be on everyone’s minds come the combine next month and while I’ll not be so stubborn to prolong the projection if I’m proven wrong – I’ll also continue to mock him in the top-ten until that moment.

In this latest mock draft I have the Seahawks taking Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois).

I’m not that familiar with Liuget, although ESPN’s Todd McShay recently commented that he isn’t far behind Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus in another strong class for first-round defensive tackles.

Courtesy of the excellent Aaron Aloysius I’ve located tape on Liuget when he faced Ohio State:

He’s not as explosive as Fairley, who often breaks into the backfield with consummate ease. He also doesn’t do as good a job as Dareus disengaging blocks or flash the same kind of range. They’re both top ten picks though, so you can’t expect the same level of pure quality at #25 overall.

Liuget appears to have potential as a lighter alternative to Colin Cole in the one-technique role but also operate as a three technique spelling Brandon Mebane. That’s the kind of depth the Seahawks may be looking for on their defensive line.

Even so – it begs the question that with so many needs on the roster, can you justify a rotational cog on the defensive line with a first round draft pick?

You may notice I have Ryan Mallett falling out of the first round – not for the first time. Concerns with his character linger and while this may prove to be insignificant come the combine – you have to believe meetings conducted in Indianapolis will define the Arkansas quarterbacks stock.

Then again – can the Seahawks afford to roll the dice on Mallett given that they’re picking so late in the first round? The possible cost of only $11.5m as a first contract with only around $6-7m in guarantees limits the risk factor. The risk/reward of a quarterback for the future at that stage in the first round is much greater than a rotational defensive lineman.

To watch Ryan Mallett vs LSU from the 2010 college football season in full – click here

To see the updated mock draft click here

Mel Kiper: Seahawks prefer Mallett over Locker?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper published his first mock draft today with the Seahawks taking Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett with the 25th overall pick.

The interesting angle is – Jake Locker (QB, Washington) is still on the board.

It gets even more interesting when Kiper states:

“It’ll be asked, but my sources tell me the Seahawks prefer him to Washington’s Jake Locker — at least right now.”

You’ll have to be an ESPN insider to read the entire mock, but you can see more of what Kiper had to say by visiting Mike Sando’s NFC West Blog.

As we’ve discussed on this blog many times – Mallett wasn’t the ideal fit for the Jeremy Bates offense. Despite having the arm strength to thrive in the vertical passing game, Mallett does not do a good enough job on bootlegs and throwing on the run. His inability to set his feet and control his passes led to key interceptions against Alabama and Ohio State (Sugar Bowl) and turned what could’ve been a key-note season for Mallett and Arkansas into a year of what could’ve been.

Having said that – no quarterback in the 2011 class is capable of reading an offense like Mallett. His precise ability to go through reads and go to a third or fourth option stands out over Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker. You could argue he was even ahead of Andrew Luck in that sense.

The arm is a huge bonus and Mallett’s size and release – while sometimes having a slight wind-up motion – are big positives.

Of course at this stage information from teams can be deceptive. Pete Carroll has spoken glowingly of Locker in the past and he was the ideal fit for the Bates system. Now Bates has gone – do things change? Does Mallett become a more realistic proposition?

In Carroll’s end of season press conference today he cited the offensive scheme wouldn’t change going forward and again re-iterated the team’s desire to stick with the zone blocking scheme and have a mobile quarterback to enhance the run and utilise play action.

Would the Seahawks like either prospect enough to spend the #25 pick? The risk and cost is minimal at that stage to try and find a franchise prospect. If either busted it wouldn’t cripple the team.

Tim Tebow was drafted 25th overall by the Broncos last April and signed a deal worth $11.25m with $8.7m guaranteed. In comparison – Seattle signed Lawrence Jackson (drafted 28th overall) to a $11.25m deal with $6.1m in guarantees in 2008. The team was able to succesfully trade him two years later.

Taking a gamble on a quarterback at #25 won’t hurt the team as much as taking one in the top ten should the pick not work out. This could potentially lend favor to a guy like Mallett who has raised some character and work ethic concerns, but who also has a large amount of physical talent.

Tandon Doss (WR, Indiana) tape

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I was recently asked about Indiana wide receiver Tandon Doss – who was among the lesser known junior’s to declare for the 2011 draft. Todd McShay this week gave him a second round grade and declared that Doss was one of the most under rated prospects this year.

My own knowledge of Doss is limited – I saw Indiana once this year in a game against Northwestern where he failed to stand out. Thanks to Aaron Aloysius I’ve been able to locate tape of Doss when the Hoosiers faced Michigan in 2009.

Jeremy Bates fired – what now? ***UPDATED***

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Jeremy Bates was today fired as the Seahawks offensive coordinator. It continues a trend of inconsistency for Seattle ever since Mike Holmgren’s departure in 2009. Since then, the team has had three different offensive schemes (Holmgren, Knapp and Bates). It will be now become four.

This could change a lot with regard to the draft based on who is signed as a replacement. Bates’ system relied a lot on mobility and down field passing. You could easily look at prospects such as Jake Locker and make the scheme connection.

Other coordinators could make significant changes that will impact the kind of prospect Seattle eventually looks for at the position.

It may also change the philosophy at other positions – such as the offensive line and receivers. The line scheme has been in flux ever since Alex Gibbs’ departure – never really establishing whether it was a man or zone system. The successor at coordinator needs to find a more focused route and this could determine what kind of prospects to look at in the draft.

Likewise the Seahawks spent considerable time looking at tall, physical receivers who can stretch the field like Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. Mike Williams – another big target – has had success in this system. Will the focus move away from those types of prospect now?

I’ll look at this in greater detail later today.

***Update***

The Seahawks have appointed Tom Cable as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach. They are yet to appoint an offensive coordinator. Links to Josh McDaniels ended when he signed for St. Louis.

Cable’s arrival should maintain any zone blocking plans. He’s a former protege of Alex Gibbs when the two worked in Atlanta. Oakland used the ZBS with bigger lineman during Cable’s two-year stint as head coach of the Raiders.

It doesn’t solve many mysteries with regards the draft. It’s unclear whether Seattle would consider a prospect like Rodney Hudson (OG, Florida) who’s an ideal fit for the ZBS but weighs only around 290lbs.

Jimmy Smith & Jonathan Baldwin tape

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Last week I published some tape featuring every play that Jimmy Smith impacted when Colorado faced Oklahoma. I wanted to lend some credence as to why I think Smith is primed for a huge rise up many draft boards and mocks come the combine.

I’ve added another video today – this time against Blaine Gabbert and Missouri. As against the Sooners – I think it’s telling how little Missouri target Smith. You can check out the footage below.

I’ve also included tape of Jonathan Baldwin (who I have going to Seattle in my latest mock) when Pittsburgh took on West Virginia last year. It’s worth watching until the end for a downfield touchdown reception.

The history of the #25 pick and Seattle’s 2011 draft

Monday, January 17th, 2011

The Dallas Cowboys traded with Seattle to draft cornerback Mike Jenkins at #25 in 2008

The Seahawks own the 25th overal pick in the 2011 draft following yesterday’s defeat to Chicago in the playoffs. 

Seattle has never drafted anyone with the #25 pick in the history of the franchise although they previously had the option on two separate occasions: 

– In 1985 they traded the 25th overall pick to Cincinnati for center Blair Bush. The Texan played 82 games for the Seahawks in a six-year spell before moving to Green Bay.  

– In 2008 Seattle traded down with Dallas and chose defensive end Lawrence Jackson with the 28th overall pick. Jackson has since been traded to the Detroit Lions and was former GM Tim Ruskell’s penultimate first round pick before departing. 

The closest Seattle has picked in that range was in 2005 when they moved from #23 to #26 after a trade with Oakland. The Seahawks took current starting center Chris Spencer from Ole Miss. 

Other picks made by the team in the 20-29 range are as follows: 

1984 Terry Taylor (CB, Southern Illinois) – 22nd overall 

1988 Brian Bosworth (LB, Oklahoma) – 22nd overall 

1996 Pete Kendall (OT, Boston College) – 21st overall 

1999 Lamar King (DE, Saginaw Valley State) – 22nd overall 

2000 Chris McIntosh (OT, Wisconsin) – 22nd overall 

2002 Jerramy Stevens (TE, Washington) – 28th overall 

2008 Lawrence Jackson (DE, USC) – 28th overall 

Since 1990 four Pro-Bowl players have been drafted 25th overall. They are Ted Washington (a defensive tackle drafted in 1991 by the 49ers), Jermane Mayberry (an offensive lineman drafted in 1996 by the Eagles), Jon Beason (a linebacker drafted in 2007 by the Panthers) and Mike Jenkins (a cornerback drafted in 2008 by Dallas). 

Jenkins, of course, was the player taken by the Cowboys following the trade that led to Seattle drafting Lawrence Jackson. 

In that same time frame cornerbacks have been the most popular selection – four have been taken since 1990. Defensive tackles, quarterbacks andwide receivers have been selected three times. The rest of the picks are made up of running backs (2), defensive ends (2), a linebacker and a strong safety. 

Denver has drafted two quarterbacks since 1990 – Tommy Maddox (UCLA, 1992) and Tim Tebow (Florida, 2010). The other quarterback drafted was Jason Campbell (Auburn, 2005). 

The last five players drafted 25th overall are as follows: 

2010- Tim Tebow (QB, Denver) 

2009- Vontae Davis (CB, Miami) 

2008 – Mike Jenkins (CB, Dallas) 

2007- Jon Beason (LB, Carolina) 

2006- Santonio Holmes (WR, Pittsburgh) 

The 25th overall pick is worth 720 points according to the trade value chart. The Seahawks also own the 57th pick in round two which is worth 330 points. If you combine the two picks, they hold the same chart value as the 15th overall pick. 

Seattle traded it’s third round pick to San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst. However, they acquired the second pick in the fourth round (98th overall) from New England for Deion Branch. The Seahawks traded the 121st selection to Buffalo for Marshawn Lynch. 

Cornerback Josh Wilson only started nine of a needed ten games to qualify for a fourth round pick in the trade with Baltimore. Instead the Seahawks own 153rd and 154th picks in round five. 

Any picks after round three will drop due to the compensatory selections that will be added once they’ve been determined. 

In round six the team owns the 168th pick (from Detroit in the Lawrence Jackson deal) but traded the 185th pick to San Francisco for Ketwan Balmer. It’s unclear if the team has a seventh round pick following undisclosed trades for Stacy Andrews, Tyler Polumbus and Seneca Wallace.

Here are the picks in full including the trade chart value: 

1st round (25th overall) – 720 points 

2nd round (57th overall) – 330 points 

4th round (98th overall) – 108 points 

5th round (153rd & 154th overall) – 30.2 points & 29.8 points 

6th round (168th overall)  – 24.2 points 

7th round to be confirmed (217th overall) – 4.6 points 

To see the trade value chart in full click here. It needs to be acknowledged that the chart is widely considered to be outdated and based on the evidence of recent trades (for example – Jacksonville moving from #26 to #8 in 2008) deals are not restricted to the points value given.

Seahawks will pick 25th overall & Updated mock draft

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Following defeat to the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Playoffs, the Seahawks will own the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Seattle last owned the 25th overall pick in 2008, when it traded down with Dallas before drafting Lawrence Jackson.

Here are the players taken with the 25th selection in the last six NFL drafts:

2010- Tim Tebow (QB, Denver)

2009- Vontae Davis (CB, Miami)

2008 – Mike Jenkins (CB, Dallas)

2007- Jon Beason (LB, Carolina)

2006- Santionio Holmes (WR, Pittsburgh)

2005 – Jason Campbell (QB, Washington)

Yesterday the deadline passed for underclassmen to declare, so we know what prospects will be available and the range Seattle will be based. I’ve since updated the mock draft to represent team order and remove any prospects who opted to stay in school.

You can view the mock draft by clicking here or selecting ‘mock draft’ from the title bar.

Focus on #1: Carolina Panthers

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Will the Panthers stand by quarterback Jimmy Clausen?

For the last two years there’s been no great mystery over who would be taken first overall in the NFL Draft.

In 2009 the 0-16 Detroit Lions had a new coach and a need for new direction – which clearly meant finding a franchise quarterback. When Sam Bradford made the decision to return to Oklahoma it seemed likely that Georgia’s Matt Stafford would be taken first overall.

Despite some members of the Detroit media and the quite a number of Lions fans suggesting an offensive tackle (Jason Smith) or even a linebacker (Aaron Curry) could be the choice – Stafford was the favorite in January and unsurprisingly the forecast came true on draft day.

For most of the 2009 college football season it seemed like defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh would be the hot tip to go #1. It was a regular projection among mock drafts with little challenge from people like Sam Bradford – who had missed almost the entire season with a shoulder injury.

However as the process continued and we got closer to the combine – Bradford re-gained momentum and with St. Louis as desperate for a quarterback as Detroit the previous year there were no surprises when April came.

The 2011 draft would have followed an even more predictable path had Andrew Luck declared. Instead, there’s no real answer to what the Carolina Panthers will do on April 28th.

It’s reminiscent of the 2008 event when Miami had the #1 pick. For a long time people had Glenn Dorsey (DT) pinned down as the first selection, but concerns about his ability to stay healthy and his fit in the 4-3 scheme (Miami were switching to a 3-4) dropped him out of contention. The Dolphins needed a quarterback so Matt Ryan was a distinct possibility. Darren McFadden’s blistering 40-yard dash at the combine made people wonder if he could go first overall.

By the time we got closer to the event it appeared to come down to Ryan and the two Long’s – Jake and Chris. The Dolphins opted for Jake – an offensive lineman from Michigan. The defensive end (Chris) from Virginia went second overall to St. Louis leaving Atlanta with the quarterback.

Things may be unclear for a while in 2011 too.

I contacted a knowledgeable Panthers fan called Daniel Elliott to get a status check on things at this early stage. With the deadline tomorrow for underclassmen to declare – we’re pretty sure who the candidates should be.

Obviously Carolina spent a 2nd round pick on Jimmy Clausen last year – although he endured a rough first season in the league as the Panthers slumped to a 2-14 record. I asked Daniel if quarterback was still potentially an option:

“I do believe the door should be open at QB.  As much as I loathe Clausen’s play style, I think he has the potential to become a decent back up quarterback to poor starter. I don’t know exactly how the Panthers value him at this time but Marty Hurney (the GM; retained through the coaching change) did invest a 2nd rounder in him, the highest pick the Panthers have spent on a quarterback in over a decade. 

Judging from Ron Rivera’s introductory press conference it sounds like they’re being realistic about the situation – they know he was terrible but they also excuse it a bit because he was playing for a lame duck coach on a gutted roster – which is about as much as I can ask for as a fan.”

My reaction to his comments on Clausen is that the plan will be to bring in some sort of veteran competition, with the likely outcome being that the competition will win out while Clausen returns to the bench temporarily with his long term future in the organization to be determined at a later date.”

This seems logical. I’ve previously continued to mock a quarterback (either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton) to the Panthers with the #1 pick. I didn’t grade Clausen highly last year and have little confidence in is ability to become a long term starter in the NFL. However as Daniel points out – the GM that drafted him has maintained his position despite the disastrous drop in 2010.

“Their scouting department is apparently big on film and on-field production in college over tools and combine performances so I don’t know if they’re as high on Gabbert (or Locker) as some other teams would be. I don’t see Cam Newton as a possibility at all.  His merits as a possible NFL QB aside, the Panthers have avoided players with anything resembling character questions ever since the Rae Carruth and Fred Lane debacles. 

To give you a better idea of what they’re looking for, in the entirety of John Fox’s tenure the Panthers were linked with just 1 top tier QB prospect in a trade up strategy or “if he fell” scenario – Matt Ryan. Now, is it possible Gabbert becomes that guy for them?  I would say yes, but it’s very a remote chance. I think they wanted a home run, thought they had it with Luck and now that they don’t, they’re not sure what to do.”

So what about the other options then? A lot of people are talking up Nick Fairley after a strong BCS Championship performance that was aided by a suspect Oregon scheme that allowed him to go unblocked on many plays. Da’Quan Bowers enjoyed a strong year for Clemson while A.J. Green is also fancied as a weapon on offense. Here’s Daniel’s take:

“Bowers is an option to play across from Charles Johnson and when added to a stable of Greg Hardy (raw, but flashes of big potential) and Everette Brown (kind of the DE version of Clausen…but still some production) could bring back the dominant End play we had with Peppers and Rucker.  With that said, I live in ACC country near Bowers and he’s not Julius Peppers or Mario Williams. I wouldn’t focus much on the scheme flexibility thing. My interpretation of Rivera’s PC is that we’re very much sticking with the 4-3 but will throw in a couple of 3 down lineman looks when the time calls for it. Not that it changes much since I think Bowers projects best as a 4-3 end.

Despite this, I do think the favorite for now is Nick Fairley, hype or not. There was a report about a month ago that we had him targeted at the top of the draft before the Luck train really started rolling and the media started speculating he’d declare.”

Riding a NC hype train into the draft can work sometimes, as Vince Young can attest.  How psyched I am about this being a possibility? Well, I think it’s safe to say nothing is going to excite me as much as thinking we’re getting a possible franchise QB.  However, the only position on the team as weak as QB is DT.  Honestly, the team could release everyone from that spot tomorrow and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash (the only guy who I think has any worth is Derek Landri, and that’s solely in a back-up/rotation role).”

I’m aware of Fairley’s flaws as a player – you’re probably getting a 1-gap guy, tires easily, possible leverage issues, amongst other things but on the other hand, the number of guys with the ability to bring pressure up the middle and make game changing plays from that spot is not very high.  I think he’s going to be in the running all the way up until draft day unless the aforementioned character conscious front office are scared off by interviews with him or something that comes up in a background check.”

The AJ Green option is actually quite popular amongst the fanbase.  He’s a local product (Summerville, SC) and this is the organization that traded the #33 pick for Armanti Edwards.”

The uncertainty over what Carolina’s plans may be with the #1 pick pretty much defines how the 2011 draft may be reviewed as we move forward. A new CBA appears to be no closer, meaning when the Panthers officially are on the clock there may not have been a free agency period and therefore no trades.

With this inability for teams to fill needs before the draft – it may make the event even more unpredictable than ever before.

While we can try to project what Carolina will do with the #1 pick – as with most of the draft and the possibility of a lockout – it’s a complete mystery.