Final thoughts

April 26th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Later we’ll be launching a live chat session, half an hour before the draft running through until the end of the first round. It’ll feature on this blog and also on Field Gulls, with analysis from myself, Danny Kelly and hopefully Kip will be there too. You’ll also be able to join in. It was a great success last year and I hope you’ll join us again.

A few final thoughts…

Albert Breer is reporting that the Seahawks are negotiating with Cincinatti and New England about trading down. It’s not surprising news, if true. Seattle could realistically drop to #21 and maybe even to #27 and still draft a pass rusher. A deal which includes a 2013 first rounder to drop to either of those picks would probably appeal. However, wise man says don’t trade with Bill Belichick and the Bengals haven’t traditionally been the kind of team that throws away future picks. I doubt either team would pair their first round picks this year to get up to #12, but they’d have that option. Can you really see New England making that move though? And why #12?

The Seahawks are going to draft a pass rusher if they stay put. Hey, if they move down they’ll probably still draft a pass rusher. I understand that has been the team’s ambition all along. There’s been some classic misdirection over the last few weeks, and it’s got a lot of people talking about guys like Ryan Tannehill. Yet it’s always been about the pass rush. The big question is – who will they take? I’ve never been as confident about that question as I have knowing Seattle will take a pass rusher in round one. I’m sticking to my guns and saying it’ll be one of Courtney Upshaw or Melvin Ingram. I could be wrong. Maybe it’ll be Quinton Coples? Maybe it’ll be Whitney Mercilus? Maybe it’ll be another pass rusher? We’ll found out shortly.

Chandler Jones from Syracuse is the big riser the night before, at least according to the media. I asked Tony Pauline from SI.com and Draft Insider for his thoughts on Jones’ meteoric rise so late in the day:

“Rob – I’m baffled. Jones is a solid prospect yet not the spectacular talent many are making him out to be…. he’s a solid athlete with a lot of natural pass rushing skills, which teams always look for in the draft. That said, I’m a film guy and not a stats guy- but just ten sacks in 32 college games in the Big East, which has had just one offensive lineman drafted in the initial four rounds the past two years? These were not Big Ten or SEC tackles he was playing against. I also have my concerns about Jones playing OLB in a 3-4. Things like this, players making huge rises the weeks before the draft, often take on a life of their own and the perception is greater than the reality.”

It’s food for thought as we get closer to the start of the draft. I tend to agree with Pauline. Jones has some potential, no doubt about it. But to hear Mike Mayock suggest he’ll be the best defensive player from this draft in three years, 24 hours before the event, is staggering. There are some people who don’t work for NFL front offices that know what they’re talking about. Nobody has made that kind of statement about Jones. I wouldn’t want to bank on Mayock’s premonition coming true.

If the Seahawks did end up moving down, I think that would be with a nod to 2013. They’d love to get some extra stock to take into next year’s draft, knowing full well there will be at least two highly rated quarterbacks available. Regulars will know I’m not one who ever buys into the ‘next year’ theory regarding quarterbacks. In fact, I’ve argued against the banality of the annual “next year’s group are better” debates you see before each draft. There won’t be a quarterback with the grade of Andrew Luck. Indeed, this year’s twosome of Luck/Griffin III have much more hype than any of the 2013 class will gain by next year. However – not being rated quite as highly as that pair could make certain quarterbacks more attainable. Matt Barkley and Logan Thomas are the most intriguing college quarterbacks I’ll be watching in 2012. Tyler Bray and Tyler Wilson could also work into the equation.

And there’s no getting away from the fact Pete Carroll and Matt Barkley are tight. If the Matt Flynn-project doesn’t work out too well in 2012, it could be the precursor to a big move up for Barkley. So getting stock in the bag for next year while also being able to improve key areas like the pass rush and running back would be seen as a positive.

If Seattle does a deal – unexpectedly I would say – for either Cincy’s two picks or New England’s, then I would imagine they’d address the pass rush and one of the offensive skill positions – depending on value.

Names to keep an eye on: Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, Zach Brown, Quinton Coples, Vinny Curry, Dont’a Hightower.

27 Responses to “Final thoughts”

  1. MJ says:

    I just hope not Kuechly. He’s such a finesse guy. I think his demeanor would be a detriment to what identity they are trying to build. Not saying he’s not a good player, but I can’t help the AJ Hawk vibe. Solid player that doesn’t do anything to make us elite.

  2. SHawn says:

    I hope its Upshaw or Hightower if we stay at 12.

    If we move down and they are gone, then target Jones, Mercilus, Perry, Curry at the bottom of rd 1.

    Bengals might like a player enough to package up a 1st next year, but that doesnt sound like something Belicheck would even consider. Depends on who is sitting there at #12 I guess.

    NO to Kuechly, Ingram, Z Brown, or Tannehill.

  3. Michael Gustafson says:

    I’m with you on Kuechly. I understand he’s a very good player and all… But a MLB who can’t pass rush? Pass…

  4. Tom T. says:

    Sounds like the Chargers are trying to move up (maybe for Barron). Moving back to their spot would be perfect since Upshaw might fall to the late teens.

  5. Mark says:

    I’m not as down on Kuechly as everyone else. I think the knock on him is that he seems to be more “steady but unspectacular” than dominant. After Aaron Curry, steady sounds pretty good. I’ll admit, however, that I too would prefer Upshaw or even Hightower.

  6. Smeghead says:

    I am high on Upshaw and Hightower…

    Not high on Kuechly, Coples and Ingram

    I also will be excited to not hear about Tannehill or a receiver in the 1st after tonight…

    Go SEA-HAWKS…. Gooooo SEA-HAWKS….

  7. Ian says:

    One of the 3 ‘Bama players would make me happy. I still think Barron and a switch to a 4-2-5 would be pretty slick. Don’t tell me we couldn’t get after the passer, send barron thomas or chancellor every now and then with clemons…mmmm more bandit packages please.

  8. Jim says:

    I keep having a hunch that Vinny Curry or Whitney Mercilus will be a Seahawk. I guess I’d be okay with that and if one cares to think the Seahawks plan A is to trade down in the first round, these COULD be the two players mentioned in the presser.

  9. Joe The Jarhead says:

    I’m right the with SHawn. Upshaw would be great, Hightower would be good. But no Kuechly, Ingram, Coples, or Zach Brown. We have so many great potential impact players in our sights, to throw away the picks on any one of those future busts would be an absolute waste. I would love ’13 draft stock because I don’t care what happens, Barkley has me excited for 2013.

  10. PatrickH says:

    I am guessing that the Patriots talked to a number of teams about how much it will cost to trade up, and got pissed off when someone from one of the teams (Seahawks) leaked the info to Breer.

    FWIW, PFT is reporting that Detroit wants to trade up also. It should be fun tonight.

  11. Madmark says:

    Someone is going to be wanting to get Mark Barron in this draft and #12 not a bad spot to get him. He’s the best SS in this class we just can’t see it cause we already have a pro bowl safety

  12. Bug Juice says:

    I would love to get Kuechly. He is a tackling machine and has a Michael Jordanesque competitiveness…he is a sore loser who won’t be out worked. He is my guy at 12 although I would much rather trade down and pick up future picks with the hopes of one day drafting the QBOF.

  13. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Logically speaking, SD, Detroit, Cincy and NE could/should all be logical trading partners.

    We will likely have ‘the Barron pick’. And the gauntlet of teams that would take him start at 14 through 16.

    We also could have ‘the Gilmore pick’. Which again should see him taken anywhere between 15 and 18.

    These prospects should be well coveted by teams picking in the 18 through 31 range. For both QBs and CBs, it’s likely that the drop off between those two and the next range of prospects widens considerably.

    While it’s possible we could be ‘the Decastro pick’ too, I don’t see teams picking later that in need of him. Maybe Cincy. I’d be surprised to see a team value the delta between Decastro and another generically available 2nd round guard to be worth the draft stock to move up from late teens to 12.

  14. Madmark says:

    I could see cincy trading 21 to get mark Barron and with 17 take sephen gilmore if he was there 2 really good pcs for the secondary.

  15. SHawn says:

    @ Ian regarding the 4-2-5 switch.

    I have been thinking about that package since the first time JS mentioned wanting Barron @ 12. Of those 3 safeties, I think I know which one would put the fear into opposing QBs and blocking RBs alike. I dont really think we are looking very hard at Barron, but we could be looking at Iloka, A Allen, or Janzen Jackson in the later rds.

    Side note, I believe the Bandit is a 3-1-7 look. Ridiculously genius, especially if you surprise rush a DB every now and then.

  16. Ian says:

    You are probably right, but I can still dream. With how much this league is being geared towards passing, why not make your base a nickel? I think on average, teams ran nickel most of the time last year, as a whole. Good call though on the later Saftey’s still playing that role. Big Kam was a late rounder after all.

  17. Rob says:

    Live chat up at 16:30 PST

  18. Alex says:

    High on Upshaw and Hightower. Not high on Coples (motor issues), Ingram (brick walled too often). So-so on Barron and only ok with it because a 4-2-5 defense is intriguing in a pass happy league. As field gull mentioned before, the Giants last year ran a chunk of their defenses from a 4-2-5 defense with 3 safeties.

    Personally, I like Hightower for his versatility and smarts. However, Upshaw is nastier, stronger, and plays closer to the line.

    I would actually like the Seahawks to trade back since both of them can be picked up in the late teens. The key teams to be ahead of are Pittsburgh (24) who would covet someone like Hightower and Cincinnati (17 and 21) who is reported by several sources to be willing to spend one of its two first rounders on Upshaw. This means to drop back to the late teens to 20, but no later than 24.

  19. meatwad says:

    glad to see the chat is live again this year. :D

    Don’t believe the trade hype. NFL.com is putting up report after report on teams wanting to trade for (insert name). Just pre-draft chatter

  20. MJ says:

    Browns tarde for 3rd pick…holy cow. So much for Trent slipping eh!

  21. SHawn says:

    Unless its for Tannehill!!!

  22. Ryan says:

    Rob- link to the live chat?

  23. MJ says:

    Shawn-That would be awesome. Blow every mock draft up.

  24. Rob says:

    Ryan – just select blog in the menu bar. It’s the latest item to be posted and will launch at half past.

  25. James says:

    Trading back seems to make less sense for the Seahawks this year. The Seahawks roster is getting pretty close to being set. Adding 6 more draft picks, plus a couple (at least) of free agents who will make the team, I just don’t see the need for more numbers than that. At this point, what the Seahawks need are quality players at DE, LB, RB and maybe S; and the higher you select, the better odds to find that quality. I think any QB will be a late round developmental guy who can be placed on the practice squad. Taking a QB in rounds 3/4 would push Portis to the practice squad, where he would be plucked away at some point.

  26. Akki says:

    For what it’s worth, GM Reggie McKenzie of the Raiders said if he had the 17th pick this year, he’d pick Upshaw. Why he did that, I don’t know. But I think since both he and Schneider have Green Bay roots, they may share some ideas on roster construction. Both have brought in Derek Carrier, Derrick Coleman, and Claude Davis for pre-draft visits, for instance.