Breaking down Lance Zierlein’s mock draft

February 23rd, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein posted his second mock draft today. Time to compare it to the one we published yesterday and see who was available for Seattle at #26.

Zierlein’s pick for the Seahawks: Caleb Brantley (DT, Florida)

“Brantley has some of the same play traits that former Seahawk Brandon Mebane had, but I think Brantley has a chance to be an even more impactful player.”

Brantley’s stats were only so-so in 2016 (2.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL’s) but he’s a highly disruptive presence at his best. The problem is, he tends to drift in and out. There are games where you barely notice he’s on the field. At other times, he was unstoppable.

A lot of fans want the Seahawks to add a dynamic interior pass rusher but Seattle’s 4-3 under scheme emphasises gap control and discipline from the starting defensive tackles. The Seahawks want to stop the run, create lanes for the linebackers to make plays and force teams to be aggressive against an opportunistic secondary. Their best interior rushers have been specialists — Clinton McDonald in 2013 and Jordan Hill in 2014. This isn’t a position the Seahawks have drafted early in Pete Carroll’s tenure — and it wasn’t one of the positions he named as a priority need at the end of the season (CB, LB, OL).

Haason Reddick is off the board at #22 to Miami, Garett Bolles lasts until Houston at #25 and Ryan Ramcyzk is drafted at #23 by the Giants. If they get this close to #26, this might be the year to move up. Bolles is probably going to go in the top-15 if not the top-10. Reddick and Ramcyzk could also go in the top-20.

Players available at #26 in Zierlein’s mock who were off the board in our latest projection:

Deshone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame)
John Ross (WR, Washington)
David Njoku (TE, Miami)
Charles Harris (EDGE, Missouri)
Jarrad Davis (LB, Florida)
Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)
Patrick Mahomes (QB, Texas Tech)

Obviously the Seahawks won’t be in the market for a quarterback — but if Kizer and Mahomes were still on the board at #26 it might create an opportunity to trade down.

John Ross is getting knocked at the moment due to his injury history. This will likely change when he runs a 4.2 or 4.3 at the combine.

This mock is indicative of the kind of options that could be available to the Seahawks at #26. Good players will fall. It’s just a shame in this case it’s Ross, Njoku and Harris and not players at the stated priority needs (CB, LB, OT).

Other players also available to Seattle:

Justin Evans (S, Texas A&M)
Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
Adoree’ Jackson (CB, LSU)
Quincy Wilson (CB, Florida)
Tim Williams (EDGE, Alabama)
Kevin King (CB, Washington)
Obi Melifonwu (S, Connecticut)
Rasul Douglas (CB, West Virginia)
Budda Baker (S, Washington)
Zach Cunningham (LB, Vanderbilt)
Cordrea Tankersley (CB, Clemson)
Dorian Johnson (G, Pittsburgh)
Tyus Bowser (LB, Houston)

There are a lot of nice options available. If they wanted to go linebacker they could consider Jarrad Davis, Zach Cunningham or Tyus Bowser. There are options at cornerback with Kevin King, Gareon Conley, Quincy Wilson, Rasul Douglas, Adoree’ Jackson and others. If they wanted to draft a ‘Buffalo’ nickel, Obi Melifonwu, Budda Baker and Justin Evans are still on the board.

This highlights that even if great options like Bolles and Reddick aren’t there for Seattle, they’ll still have plenty of options. And if they’re gone — trading down seems likely with so many possibilities out there at positions of need.

On a different topic, this is unfortunately going to severely impact Takk McKinley’s draft stock:

Although he’ll perform at the combine, he’ll be racing to be healthy for the start of the season.

Field Gulls are posting a combine preview I wrote so keep an eye out for that. A combine podcast will also be dropping with the UK Seahawkers hopefully before the weekend (recorded yesterday).

74 Responses to “Breaking down Lance Zierlein’s mock draft”

  1. Nick says:

    Is there any particular reason that you’re not including Marcus Maye as a potential candidate for the Buffalo position? He’s the same height (6’0) as Justin Evans, with a little bit more weight, and seems to offer the same big-hit mentality. Some pundits last year even suggested that Maye was the better prospect compared to Keanu Neal.

    From what I can tell via tape he has great versatility – he lines up in the box, in the slot and in center field.

    His injury this year may offer Seattle to get him at an attractive price (Round 2). Would love to hear your thoughts!

  2. AlaskaHawk says:

    What makes you think Ross is capable of a 4.2 or 4.3? That would make him one of the fastest receivers in the NFL. I don’t see it on tape. Has he run that time before?

  3. Naks says:

    Nice write up. More and more it seems likely that we could trade down because there’s so much talent available in early round two. Especially if qbs are available. Any one of the players you named could be nice fits for our team/scheme, so no use falling in love with just one guy

  4. DLep says:

    In this scenario, would love if they could move down a little from their first pick and up a little from their second and maybe pull 2 of the latter group you listed Rob. Maybe its unrealistic somehow grabbing 2 of Obi, Davis, King, Cunningham, but that would have me jumping for joy.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I gotta agree here even if It’s unlikely they do that.

      We’ve seen them move down, and jump up to get specific players they like that had fallen, but. Not simultaneously. They’ll move down and get some picks. Use those to jump up for a specific guy if he falls.

      • Hawks22Fun says:

        If they did move out of R1 and get Kevin King, only to move up in round 2 and get Obi…#MadLegionOfNewBoom

  5. Ed says:

    With all the players remaining, it’s a Hawks candy shop. It’s been said before, find a way to get 2 from that bunch:

    Obi/King
    Obi/Bowser
    Baker/Douglas

    You get the point. Add Breno and a DT (Odrick/Mitchell/?), would be solid

    • BobbyK says:

      Getting Breno back would be like bringing back Chris Clemons last year. It’s not 2013 anymore for some of these veterans on the wrong side of 30.

      • lil'stink says:

        I like the idea of bringing Breno back but he didn’t play that well in 2015 and injured his back last year. If it’s a team friendly deal that allows us to easily cut ties, why not? Bring him in to compete. Chances are he doesn’t make it, but we wouldn’t be any worse off. I doubt there will be much of a market for him.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Breno also has had some type of back injury requiring surgery. He might come cheap, but he may also end up on the IR.

        • Hawks22Fun says:

          If he would take a one year affordable deal, he would give us options, attitude, and might affect the younger guys in a way that makes them stronger long term…

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            John Clayton, today on local radio, said he thought he would be a 1 year 2M-2.5M type of deal for Breno. JC also said he thought Okung would end up getting around 5M+incentives when it is all said and done. Either of these contracts are doable…..

            what wil not work is another 8-12M type of contract, which the top 203 OT are looking for.. Seattle simply can’t afford that with their salary cap.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              That would be a great deal in that 2-3 million range. I’m kinda hoping they get Okung back cheap (like 6 million). It would be interesting if they had Breno and Okung and are both healthy. Not to say that Gilliam wouldn’t still be playing = but at least the team would have some competition and some good backups at offensive tackle.

  6. lil'stink says:

    Finally got around to watching Dorian Johnson. He looks like he can flat out move! I wonder if wouldn’t be perfect for us at LG.

    I keep coming back to Budda Baker. I’m not sure he fills an immediate need if you don’t see him spending time at CB for us, but I can’t stop watching his tape. He simply makes plays all over the field. Such a joy to watch, I would love to see him in a Seahawks uniform. Our defense seemed to struggle too much on 3rd down last year, especially on 3rd and longs. Could BB be the guy to help the defense get off the field?

    Also – if Bolles goes one pick before us on draft night that would be disappointing to say the least.

  7. HawkFan907 says:

    I’m hoping to pick up and interior rusher in FA. However, given the doubt that Demarcus Walker will have a great combine, I’m hoping that there is a chance he falls quite a bit. It would be great to have an opportunity to pick up somebody like Walker on Day 3. He might have a Michael Bennett (from Ohio St. not ours) type of fall.

  8. Hawkfaninmt says:

    Alterraun Verner?

    Any takers?

  9. RealRhino2 says:

    Zierlein’s mock raises an interesting question for me. Where do y’all land on the idea of scarcity? As in, moving a guy up your board b/c of position scarcity? Let’s say you like Brantley and think he’s legitimately one of, say, three guys total in the draft you think could be a really good interior pass rusher. But in terms of BPA, he’s behind, say, a handful of defensive backs on your board. Do you take the DT, knowing you’ll get a DB you like (even if it’s not one you love)? Or do you take the DB you love and just take a flyer on a DT later (assuming you want one)?

    So I guess it’s:

    DT you really like + DB you really like; or
    DB you LOVE + DT you sorta like

    • Misfit74 says:

      I think about it in terms of positional value. Talent and Depth at positions matters. Encompass an entire draft board and decide how get the most valuable players – the best players, while also at least considering team needs.

      That is why in this class you take a top 2 TE, WR, or RB, or top 5 EDGE over a C, OG, most any LB or all but a handful of DBs, but only if the talent is on par with the other positions or exceeds it. How do you fill your needs in 7 rounds while still adding the best players?

      Corey Davis/OJ Howard, 2nd round DB, 3rd round LB might be greater than 1st round LB, 2nd round DB, 3rd round WR/TE. I think you have to compare accross multiple rounds and combinations of players, positions to create a strategy.

      Teams don’t just blindly draft for need. That’s how you end up with a bottom of league roster. Most talented 53 and good organization +QB usually means success.

      I disagree of reaching to fill a need in most cases. However if you don’t have a QB, you better get one. Last year’s NFL trades bore that out very well.

      • peter says:

        Seattle has seemed content however drafting for stated needs. Even if that means drafting players higher than otherwise (Irvin, Britt.)

        I’ve started to turn a bit towards offensive weapons and look towards adjusting the draft towards drafting DB’s later as with LB’s. I’m not sure that would happen but it’s mostly just me trying to reframe the options.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think they’re looking to draft a DT early.

    • Ukhawk says:

      IMO They’d only take the guys who won’t be there… Garrett, Thomas,etc

  10. Darth12er says:

    This year more than ever I’m torn over who I want them to draft R1. I would be good with several players, but my top choice ATM would be Baker. He ran a 4.35 last year..
    http://www.theolympian.com/sports/college/pac-12/university-of-washington/huskies-insider-blog/article64461307.html

    I didn’t realize he was this fast. He’s still pretty young, eventual heir to Earl. I’m really afraid that if ET gets another severe injury he would consider retirement again, but more seriously.

  11. Coleslaw says:

    I think a trade down is the most likely pick at 26, so long as we find a partner, and I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Mahomes, Trubisky, Watson, Kizer, the Cal kid, one of them is gonna be there and someone is gonna be desperate enougg

  12. Misfit74 says:

    I still would like us to look hard at Whitworth and Okung, and I’d still want to draft Bolles or maybe Ramczyk if available. I’m happy there are so may attractive options that we can target at 26 or later and that we have this great blog to identify and familiarize ourselves with those players. We are surely not going to be afflicted with a “we drafted who?” moment. Well, the chance of that is lessened, at least. I remember the day we announced the Chris Spencer pick, for example. However, if we announce an offensive skill player, well, I remember the Joey Galloway pick too. God I love draft season.

    • Misfit74 says:

      That’s not to say I’d take Ramczyk over some defenders. I also don’t want to disrupt our salary cap over either FA OT. One more stabilizing force on the OL, esp at OT, would give me hope.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Kelly Jennings was a pick I kind of scratched my head .. when it was made… but the guy who always takes the cake for me was/is/will be Dan McGwire (1991). I mean come on, just because he is tall makes him good? I love PCJS more since they at least seem to have a plan (and have a clue) and have found some nice players in recent drafts.

      • DavidM2 says:

        Regarding the McGuire pick, I also wonder if Ken Behring was just trying to assure sinking the team at the time so he could move them to Los Angeles?

  13. EranUngar says:

    With Willson on his way to FA, could we be interested in adding some interesting TE potential behind JG and Wannett?

    Could it be a div II, 6-6, 277, ex basketball player TE with great hands and amazing speed?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDJLRgh2vp4

    • lil'stink says:

      Don’t even have to click the link, I’ve watched it so many times already 🙂 If he blows up the combine his stock will jump… He looks so fast in his highlights but it’s tough to tell if it’s because he’s so fast or the competition is just that much slower. He might not have the fastest 40 but I think his top end speed looks really good for a guy his size. Almost looks like he has a little bit of “soft” weight as well, so maybe he could be even faster with the proper training.

      He would be a perfect day 3 pick if he’s still available.

    • Misfit74 says:

      I think if Howard or Njoku are there you absolutely have to consider them. Elite TEs, especially one who can play in line and who has excellent receving skills, mismatch speed like Howard. They are so rare and could make this offense dynamic and help the Oline as well as protect against Graham’s injury history and contract situation. I’d take him over any LB in this class perhaps except Foster (not including the elite DE edge players). Very few draft classes have guys like this. Much easier to find DBs and LBs later in any draft.

  14. Adog says:

    I like this pick…I think we missed mebane much more than it met the eye last year…so the reference to mebane is spot on. They demonstrated last year that they are willing to get their “guy” in jarran reed. I think they will do something very similar this year…trade back into rd 2 and grab a interior dlineman along with a linebacker. This draft is not about quick fixes…this draft is about depth.

    • Rob Staton says:

      My personal opinion is Brantley is very different to Mebane.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Wait til the combine, guessing he’ll not warrant R1 based on his results. Brantley didn’t do great at all in the Nike SPARQ testing out of HS

    • C-Dog says:

      Seattle talked with Carlos Watkins and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu during Senior Bowl week, and they brought in Earl Mitchell for a visit. They could be looking for a younger more athletic replacement for Tony McDaniel.

      Also interestingly, Mitchell and Big Stevie are known for being all out hustle players discipline inside willing to do the dirty work, not guys that take plays off and disappear. In FA or the draft, I’d monitor players that have those all-in traits.

  15. Trevor says:

    I really think if Bolles, Ramyzk and Reddick are off the board then if the Hawks can trade back and pick up an additional pick it makes a lot of sense with the depth in this draft as we only have 7 picks and JS has always had at least 8.

    A trade that might make sense is Seahawks trade our 1st and one of our 7th rounders to the Browns for their 2nd,4th and 5th. Thous would give the Hawks the first pick on day #3 which would give them lots of options including moving down again if they want.

    Pre-Combine Mock with this Trade Scenario (Assuming we address OT and RB in Free Agency)

    Rd#2 Pick #1 Kevin King (CB / Washington) – Ideal profile for a Hawks corner opposite Sherm.

    Rd #2 Pick #26 Tyus Bowser (LB / Houston)- True 3 down linebacker. Ultra athletic with a ton of upside as a pass rusher. Very similar skill set to Reddick.

    Rd#3 Pick #26 Daeshon Hall (DE / Tex A&M)- Ideal length and athletiscm for an NFL Edge rusher. He is raw but would be the ideal guy to bring and develop. Has the chance to be really good.

    Rd#3 Comp Pick Issac Assiata (G / Utah) – Tough nasty SOB who can come in and compete for a Guard spot. Can also back up Britt at C.

    Rd#4 Pick #1 Eddie Vanderdoes (DT /UCLA) – Was really impressed with him at the Senior Bowl. He would be an nice addition to our DT rotation as a pocket collapser.

    Rd#5 Pick #1 Shalomi Lunani (S / Wash St.) – Been talked about a lot on the blog. Core special teamer and backup S to start.

    Rd #5 Comp Tewan Taylor (WR / Western Kentucky) Ultra productive WR who has great hands. He just seems like a Seahawks WR.

    Rd#6 Pick #26 Eric Saubert (TE / Drake)- Was the star of the Shrine game. Showed good speed and great hands. Would be an ideal replacement for Luke Willson.

    Rd#7 Pick #26 Zane Ganzalez (K/ Ariz St.) Really good college kicker to compete with Blair Walsh

  16. austin says:

    If Ross, Njoku and Harris fall it wouldn’t shock me if they took one even if its somewhat of a luxury. A guy like Ross can tilt the field as Pete likes to say and with uncertainty with Lockett and Richardson’s injury history they may jump on him and focus on areas of need in rounds 2-5. Not predicting it but a wild card in the first wouldn’t shock me either. I wouldn’t hate a Ross pick in the first.

  17. peter says:

    Rob,

    I know rightfully that you’ve put a ton of time into defensive players this year and it’s on the surface a pretty thin line up of WR’s but I’ve been wondering if beyond Njoku are there any offensive players you like?

    Even when there’s talk of RB’s you’ve seemed relatively quiet but I assume you have to have some opinions on the likes of Hood, Perrine, Hill, either of the Williams’ (Jammal and Joe.)

    I know PC talked about where to get better as a team so the focus goes there. But with such a deep draft at least for DB’s i wonder if Seattle could or should add a player like Njoku with relatively little production from the TE’s not named Graham and him on his final year.

    I know there’s a ton of pride in Seattle’s WR corps but realistically there’s Baldwin, Lockett with a brutal injury, Richardson with an injury history, and frankly Kears could easily be improved upon. I often wonder how having such a talented but unreliable squad effects the game and Wilson’s rhythm when players get injured or are inconsistent as Kearse.

    Again there’s tons of great talent for Seattle in this draft and it seems that PC isn’t sold on the likes of SJB or Seisay. Obviously, there’s a need with Shead and a tough love approach would necessitate looking towards a Safety to stave off an injury/age based decline in either Kam or Earl. I just wonder if moving up a bit to get Bolles and filling in the back end of the D with Luani perhaps a Brian Allen (Utah) Josh Johnson (BC) might help the team more.

    Some of this will be revealed next week of course after the measurements start personally I’m not sold on the overall health of the RB’s but I have yet to see one in the draft that really makes sense. There’s plenty that I can fit in for Seattle for different reasons but at this time I feel like I’m forcing them into position and that area of the team seems like it can be great as is with the exception that both players are injury concerns.

  18. Sea Mode says:

    Per Tony Pauline:

    “People are sleeping on North Carolina State safety Josh Jones — who we presently grade as a third-round pick — but that may change after the combine.

    I’m told the junior is likely to measure a shade under 6-foot-2 and tip the scales around 215 pounds. His 40 times are expected to be in the low 4.4s while his vertical jump could top 40 inches

    I was very impressed with the film and scouts tell me they feel Jones can line up at free safety or as a conventional strong safety and play inside or outside.”

    http://draftanalyst.com/da-draft-buzz-february-23rd

    Just tossing out more names on the table. I watched the vs. ND (rain) game and wasn’t overly impressed, but that’s just one game in poor conditions. Didn’t see any more of his tape available on YT.

  19. JakeB says:

    Think Bowser is my guy with our first pick

  20. Ed says:

    What about this draft:

    1st Baker
    2nd King
    3rd Mathis
    4th Qualls

    Would actually be a solid draft in positions of need with not only local prospects, but top prospects (CB/S/DT/LB hybrid)

  21. CLB says:

    According to Sheil Kapadia, ESPN writer “The Seahawks got good news Friday as the NFL awarded them two third-round compensatory picks (Nos. 102 and 106 overall). Last offseason, the Seahawks lost starters Bruce Irvin, Russell Okung, Brandon Mebane and J.R. Sweezy in free agency. They signed journeymen offensive linemen J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell. The two additional selections give Seattle five picks in the first 106 and three picks in the third round.”

    • CLB says:

      What fantastic news this is! Seahawks have seven picks – the first-rounder (26th overall), second (58), third (90), third (102), third (106), sixth (210), and seventh (226). This is such a great draft the first 3 rounds, especially for DBs. This is the first year that compensatory picks are tradeable, so this is more ammunition if OT Bolles falls to the 20s in the first round and we want to trade up to get him, or if we want to package a couple of our 3 3rds to move up into the mid-upper 2nd round for a player like Melifonwu, King, or Baker if they’re still available there. Even if we stay pat, that’s 1 more high pick we have to get another excellent player in this draft!

  22. Mike says:

    This site has done an excellent job the last several years highlighting players that fit the seahawks profile. Credit to you, Rob. This is a must read site for Hawks fans.

    That said, the Hawks are known to throw a curve and surprise in the draft, even (or especially) in the first round of the chosen player has special qualities and is a potential difference maker.

    Is it possible that we could have a Big Mike Williams Part II if he falls in the draft, particularly if Reddick and both tackles are gone? We would still have 4 picks in the next two rounds to draft for need at in a deep draft. With Lockett recovering and Kearse an average player, why not swing for the fences for the big athletic difference maker Pete has coveted for so long?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not aware of any curve balls to be honest. Maybe in the players they drafted (e.g. Richardson 2014 or Bruce) but positionally they have consistently done what they said they would do.

      • Mike says:

        Good point. The only high pick that was a bit of a surprise positionally that I can think of was C-Mike, and even then we knew of their interest. I’d argue that you could could count the Harvin and Graham trades as surprises with draft capital in this discussion and indicates that for a player with special qualities they will make a move.

        Seeing Mike Williams dominate against Alabama and being able to win the red line and high point the ball, I can’t help but suspect he’s on their radar. I agree with your LB/OL/DB analysis, just wonder if a head fake is an option here.

        • Misfit74 says:

          This. A truly special player on offense which falls to them cannot be dismissed as a possibility. I think there are as many as 6 guys that fit that criteria: Howard, Davis, Williams, Njoku, Fournette, and Cook.

          • Mike says:

            I think zero chance the RBs get there, but any of the other four could. I can’t imagine us dropping that kind of draft capital into TE with Graham and Vannett on the roster.

            I haven’t seen much about Davis but his size and production are great…any idea how he compares to Williams?

            • Misfit74 says:

              Davis I prefer to Williams, he much quicker in and out of breaks, creates good separation, and has excellent YAC ability. I think he can be any team’s #1 WR.

  23. Mitch says:

    Hi Rob,

    Regarding our need for a CB to potentially play both outside and inside I was curious as to your opinion of picking up Morris Claiborne in free agency. He was been very inconsistent largely due to injuries but he has the arm length 33 1/4 arms I believe and is a little undersized at 5’11 but he was a very good CB at LSU? Saves a pick for us as well?