This time next week = draft day. Yay for that.
John Schneider held a press conference yesterday to discuss the Antoine Winfield signing and look ahead to next week. Understandably he gave little away regarding this years draft. He did say it was unlikely the team would trade back into the first round and he didn’t give off a vibe that suggested he’d move up at all. He also played down talk of the team having fewer needs this year and how that would impact the way the team is approaching the draft.
The most interesting nugget of information was the talk of 2010. Schneider admitted they went into that first draft in Seattle with a little anxiety. They needed to get a left tackle, but were unsure who they would land. He name-checked Trent Williams, Russell Okung and Charles Brown.
I found the Brown mention interesting and re-assuring. A former USC tackle, he looked like an ideal fit for the Alex Gibbs zone blocking scheme. Tall, athletic, strong in pass protection and keen to get to the second level. I watched many USC games trying to get an angle on the guy and gave him a top-15 grade in the end. There weren’t many players I enjoyed watching more than Charles Brown in 2010.
Both myself and Kip had been given the nod by a little birdie that the team wanted to come out of the 2010 draft with a starting safety and a left tackle. I’m led to believe that at one point there was a feeling Trent Williams could be available at #14 — possibly allowing the team to target Eric Berry at #6. Williams wasn’t considered a top-five lock until the combine. He significantly boosted his stock in Indianapolis and never really looked back. That kind of ended any chance he would come to Seattle and he was subsequently drafted fourth overall by Washington.
In my final 2010 mock draft, I decided to give the Seahawks Berry at #6 and Charles Brown at #14. I’d not heard anything linking Brown to Seattle, but felt based on scheme it would be a smart fit. Especially if they wanted to get the safety first.
When Brown dropped deep into the second round (#64 overall to New Orleans) I was a little surprised, but more cursing my own apparent poor judgement that he could be a first round alternative in Seattle. Then it was revealed he’d got some lingering injury concerns that provoked the fall. So at least there was that.
Hearing yesterday that he was on the teams radar was reassuring (and yes, I appreciate how self-indulgent this article is to this point).
He might not have necessarily been an option at #14, but then Schneider has touched on the chance they had to move down in round one. Things worked out perfectly for Seattle in that they got their tackle (Okung) and safety (Earl Thomas) and both players have since featured at the Pro-Bowl. It’s fun to consider the alternative scenario though. Had Kansas City passed on Eric Berry, he could easily have been the pick at #6. His talent factor would’ve probably won-out over going tackle at that spot. And that could’ve put Brown on the map, even if his NFL career so far has been pretty stop-start.
Schneider has been pretty forthcoming in discussing previous drafts recently. It wasn’t that long ago he name-checked Jabaal Sheard and Andy Dalton as alternative options with the #25 pick in 2011.
Looking back now, could you imagine a Seahawks roster with Dalton under center, Charles Brown at left tackle, Berry and not Thomas in the secondary and a couple of other tweaks here and there. It’s far from a ridiculous scenario.
Some other headlines from the press conference:
– No real news on Chris Clemons yet. Schneider described him as a fast healer, but says the PUP list is still an option.
– Schneider called James Carpenter the “strongest” player on the roster and says confidence is a key factor for the former first round pick as he recovers from another injury setback.
– Brady Quinn is described as a “football junkie”. The Seahawks feel he’ll work well with Russell Wilson.
– Schneider says they don’t go best player available if current projected starters force the board in a different direction. Essentially, it’s a more scientific way of saying that sometimes ‘need’ has an impact on the way things shape out. A lot of teams gives their own players grades and then match it up to the draft board to see where they can make the greatest improvements.
In other news…
It appears Miami are trying to get a trade done with Kansas City for Branden Albert. Once again, the Dolphins front office makes a completely baffling move. They let Jake Long walk because they didn’t want to pay him, and will now have to pay Albert the same (if not more) all while coughing up a second round pick.
There’s a reason why some franchises are perennial struggler’s. Hey, Albert’s not a bad tackle. I just think you’ve got an opportunity to spend three early picks and nail down your left tackle to the long term. Instead, you throw money at a one-dimensional receiver in Mike Wallace and two linebackers. You franchise tag Randy Starks. And you let Long sign in St. Louis. Now you have to scramble around to get Albert with one of those high picks instead of rebuilding the secondary.
There doesn’t appear to be much of a thought process in Miami. Kind of like someone shouts out, “Let’s do this!” and everyone dances a jig. The New England Patriots must sit there every year, look at the rest of their division and let out an enormous belly laugh.
Mike Mayock did a conference call today where he expressed the opinion that Geno Smith would be a poor fit in Buffalo. He was talking strictly about the weather, a view which I’m not a huge fan of. Even after his neck injury, Peyton Manning didn’t appear to suffer any kind of drop off playing in Denver compared to the indoor facilities in Indianapolis. But then I guess he is Peyton Manning.
Even so, it makes you consider the possibility of Smith falling past the #8 pick.
Would the New York Jets double up with the West Virginia quarterback and his former wide-out Tavon Austin? Assuming they complete a trade with Tampa Bay for Darrelle Revis. I’d be more tempted to go after Stedman Bailey later on – a player who went to high school with Smith and shared a lot of chemistry at WVU.
If Geno falls beyond the top ten he could sink like a stone. It could help trigger a quarterback rush in the late first and early second. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Seattle, as it increases the chances of other players falling to #56.
A report surfaced recently suggesting a hotel room belonging to two players at the combine had been trashed. Adam Schefter is reporting today that the room belonged to receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Mark Harrison.
The NFL has managed to keep the wonderlic scores under wraps for the most part this off-season. However, that has been one leak today. Tavon Austin apparently scored a 7 on the test.