Luke Kuechly vs Mychal Kendricks

March 24th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton


(polls)

One player is likely to be a first round pick, the other is hoping to be taken early in round two. There’s a lot of people making a case for Luke Kuechly to Seattle with the #12 pick, but others will argue there’s better options later on. Following on from yesterday’s debate about Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram, I wanted to look at another position of need today that is likely to be addressed in the first three rounds.

This is a slightly different discussion from yesterday. For starters, Upshaw and Ingram are competing to possibly be Seattle’s favored choice at #12. Here, we talking about the pro’s and con’s of taking a linebacker in round one or waiting until later. Is the MIKE vital enough to warrant a big investment in round one? Is Luke Kuechly so good, you just can’t pass? Or do you see a lot of similarities between Kuechly and Mychal Kendricks and would rather target a different need in round one? Maybe you think Kendricks is the better player?

Neither has elite size. Kuechly has the edge here because he’s taller at 6-3 and at least has the potential to gain extra weight (currently 242lbs). Kendricks is shorter at 5-11 and his frame already looks maxed out at 239lbs. Both players performed well at the combine – Kendricks in particular – and teams may consider a moving either to the outside in a 4-3 scheme where the size issue is less of a concern. Indeed Kendricks has real potential to move to the WILL (he only moved inside as a senior) and that adaptability could interest a team like Seattle, wanting to use different looks.

Kuechly’s read and react skills are among the highest you’ll ever see for a middle-linebacker prospect and although he’s not a big hitter who makes a lot of highlight-reel plays, he’s constantly around the ball carrier. This is the main difference between the two and although Kendricks is far from reckless, he does tend to suffer from ‘tunnel vision’. If you’re looking for an intense individual who plays with attitude, Kendricks is your man. If you’re looking for ice-cold leadership and consistency without much in the way of the spectacular, Kuechly’s your man.

There’s also some difference between the two in terms of leadership. Kuechly is a consomate pro, worshiped by his coaches at Boston College and most people expect he’ll be a team-leader even as a rookie. Kendricks had some minor issues at California, including unspecified low-key suspensions and nobody’s quite sure why he didn’t attend the Senior Bowl. At the same time, we’re talking about the PAC-12 defensive player of the year and although he’s not necessarily the blue-collar leader Kuechly is, nobody can deny Kendricks was the heart and soul of the Golden Bears defense.

I’ve included tape of three games for each prospect below. Take a look, make your vote and then back it up in the comments section.

 

58 Responses to “Luke Kuechly vs Mychal Kendricks”

  1. MJ says:

    I actually prefer Hightower over both. Hgihtower is violent. I like his blitzing ability and greater “splash” play ability. He has versatility as well because he can put his hand on the ground.

    I am actually not a fan at all of Kuechly. He will play in the NFL for 12 years and get 100+ tackles every year. That said, I just don’t see a difference maker. That doesn’t mean bad, but I really don’t think that is what you want from a top 15 pick. He will never have to be “accounted” for when on the field which is why I desire a versatile piece like Upshaw, Ingram, or Hightower.

  2. D says:

    Unless we trade way down in the 1st I don’t think Kuechly is on the radar.

    Kendricks looks like a good WILL in Hawks D but his size is a real worry. Pass rush and umph is there though. Plays downhill football like a LB should. Early second a bit early?

  3. John_s says:

    Agree with MJ I like Hightower better than Kelchy. If we are trying to fit our defense into the mold of the Ravens or Steelers you have to have players who a mean, nasty, violent and athletic. Kelchy is a least and a good player but he is not the type who is going to set the nasty disposition that we are looking for in the defense.

    IMO Hightower offers better flexibility because he played inside,outside, with his hand on the ground. He blitzed off the edge and up the middle. He is ready made tO start from day one

    As for OLB. I wonder how big Malcolm Smith has developed for the hawks. He was playing in passing situation and was a good ST player. I wonder if they feel he is read to contend for a full time role

  4. Mike in OC says:

    If our front office set their sights on an ILB in the first, I would hope that they trade back and acquire extra picks. The position is NOT worth our # 12 pick.

    I am very excited about the prospect of getting one of the top end DE/OLBs that was discussed yesterday. So that means getting an ILB in at least the 2nd round, if at all. Kendricks would be fine and if somehow Hightower fell to the 2nd, I’d snap him up in a heartbeat.

    There are other positions, though, that may be had in the 2nd round of equal or greater value. If Fleener fell, I think he would be a great pick (I’d even consider moving up to get him). We could look at the Boise State RB around that time as well.

    I’m just saying we don’t need to “panic” at the LB spot…

  5. Hawksince77 says:

    I don’t know how much this will weigh for PC/JS, but they seem to prefer the ‘long’ player, (KJ, Kam, etc.) which in this case would favor Kuechly. That said, unlike the discussion yesterday, it’s not either/or. It could be both, more likely neither.

    I don’t know how to scout the position so watching the tape doesn’t help me. I also don’t know how to balance the positional value (apparently very low for a ILB) against the talent of the player.

    Kuechly will likely be available at 12, almost certainly not in Seattle’s second. How to value a player with his ability and intangibles against the players that will be available (the Upshaws, Poes, Coxs, DeCastros, etc.) I don’t know.

    He just seems like a foundational player, a smart leader with decent athleticism in a position of need that would start from day one, and play every defensive down.

    It would be fascinating to see how PC/JS has the various prospects graded, and how they balance the different variables when putting them in rank order. Truly fascinating…

  6. Vin says:

    Definitely Kendricks in the 2nd. Would Kendricks be the MLB in our lineup or would it be KJ? I would think that KJ is better on the outside, but not sure.

    Then again, I think if both kendricks and Martin are there in the 2nd, I’d take Martin. I don’t think Martin, Wilson, miller…maybe even Polk, will be there in the 3rd. So I’d probably draft the best available RB in the 2nd and then target MLB in 3rd or 4th.

  7. As the article points out, this is a bit of an unfair comparison since Kuechly is strictly a middle linebacker whereas Kendricks is a prototypical weakside backer who has the flexibility to play in the middle.

    I grade Kuechly a lot higher than Kendricks (which is no slam on him), and I think Seattle’s seeming lack of interest in Kuechly stems more from his opportunity cost than anything else. If Kuechly at Kendricks were both somehow at #43, I’d take Kuechly hands down. He’s a special player that has everything you want: great stats, a great combine, good character, and the “it factor” in spades. Sure, he may not be a pass rush threat, but most 4-3 MLBs aren’t. He may not be 260 pounds, but you don’t need to be huge to be effective, especially when you are playing behind three 300+ pound defensive linemen like he would here. If Kuechly stays healthy and goes to a decent defense, he’s going to see his share of pro-bowls. Honestly, I think its a shame that he has almost zero chance of coming here. I think he’s going to be very good.

    With Kendricks, I see a guy who gives me “Tim Ruskell 2nd round pick” vibes (that’s a compliment). I said the same thing about Earl Thomas a couple years ago. Tim Ruskell had his failings but he was masterful in the 2nd round- a place where 1st round talents sometimes fall because concerns related to measurable. Kendricks matches rare speed with good instincts, but he really does look undersized when I watch his games. I don’t know if Kendricks has Derrick Brooks potential, but both are close to the same size and had very similar 40 times. I think Kendricks will be in a similar mold. I think Kendricks could be special but only if the team that drafts him uses him right to mask his weakness (being blocked easily) and emphasize his strengths (blitzing, coverage, run support).

  8. Sean says:

    If both Coples and Upshaw are gone, I would have no issue with the Hawks drafting Kuechly. Yes, positional value definitely matters but getting a plug-and-play MLB for the next 10+ years should be appealing for this franchise. He fits the long body type model that Carroll/Schneider seem to prefer and could play WILL if neccessary.

    The fact that Kuechly is slight undersized (in terms of bulk) should be less of an issue playing behind three huge DL. He does not make highlight reel plays but I see some Lofa in him. Good leader, nose for the ball, etc.

    It seems like there should be a few good DE and OLB available in the 2nd round. Some with the pass rushing potential this team needs (Irvin, Chandler Jones, maybe a Branch or Perry drops). Bottom line is that there will be more than one way to go about making this draft a success.

  9. BJA says:

    Everyones saying the aspect of being a smart MLB, calling plays and getting everyone lined up is gone because of the coach being in the ear of one of the guys. But even getting the play call he still has to get everyone right. And this attitude is probably why when teams start doing the no huddle offense or switching up the play call in the last 10 seconds of the play clock (headsets are shut off when the play clock hits 20 secs.) they just eat up the defense because no one is smart enough to change the defense without the coach telling them.

  10. Rugby Lock says:

    Kuechly IMO is a far superior player as he is always involved in the play. He reminds me a lot of Lofa in his ability to read and diagnose the plays. Kuechly, barring injury, will be a multiple pro-bowler whereas Kendricks will not be to my untrained eye. Kuechly doesn’t get fooled whereas it sure looks like Kendricks does and Kuechly is also far superior in avoiding and beating blockers. The two aren’t even on the same level in many aspects. That being said #12 is too high for the position and if they have their sights set on him then I would trade back a few spots and take him. But I would not be horribly disappointed to take him at 12 as he would be an impact player and pro-bowler for years.

  11. John says:

    Not a fair comparison because of the round drafted, but my ideal 2nd rd pick is Martin or Hightower, who probably won’t be there. I’m wishy washy on Kendricks, and not sure if I am all in on the guy yet. Kuechly will be a boss, but isn’t worth the 12th pick. Love the guy, but we just aren’t going to draft him so its a no discussion thing.

  12. Micah says:

    Kuechly was always around the tackle, but it was almost never behind the line. Kuechly doesn’t spear through and make big plays, he just consistently holds teams to mediocre to good gains. I get the feeling that he gets so many tackles because there isn’t any other talent on his defense. It would be interesting to see what happens when he has talent around him.

    Kendricks seemed to have much more agility and used his hands and leverage to get off blocks. He also has pass rush skills, something you won’t see out of Kuechly. I prefer Kendricks. He’s more explosive, fights for everything and will add to the pass rush.

    Couples/Upshaw, Kendricks, Polk, Irvin, is what I’d like to see. If Upshaw and Couples are gone, I still want to trade back. No Ingram. We can get Doug Martin if we can drop 5-6 spots and potentially get Kendricks in the second.

  13. kevin mullen says:

    Hands down, Kendricks. That Clemson game 39sec in, looks like a cover 4, didn’t drop back far enough, let the slot receiver score. That was his guy once the slot left the nickelback zone. Unacceptable.

    Kuechly could be the next “Aaron Curry,” and we all know how that turned out…

  14. David says:

    Micah^^^^^ Kudos. I agree with everything you say. Kip I don’t know how Kuechly is not the Ruskell type pick as well. I’m not seeing the high upside special player. I see consistent high effort type player, not anything wrong with that. I would take it but just don’t see what others see in Kuechly.

  15. Doug says:

    wow
    I digressed last post, my answer would be Upshaw.
    Here, My choice is to wait for Kendricks. Dude is fast and a good player. I see way too many other choices to use at #12.
    However, I find this poll to be flawed in that it’s obvious the Kuech isn’t a round one #12 pick. If you would have them head to head, I’m guesssing 90% of the vote goes to Kuch.

  16. Misfit74 says:

    Curtis Lofton to the Saints for 5-years.

  17. David, when I say a player is a “Tim Ruskell 2nd round pick” its a bit of a backhanded compliment- in the sense that I think its a really good player but should not be drafted in the first round if possible. I wouldn’t apply that label Kuechly because I view him as a no-doubter first round pick. Even at #12, I wouldn’t call him a reach. He’ll probably go #15 to Philly and I expect his career will justify that investment. Kendricks at #32 would feel like a reach to me. I see him as more of a late 2nd round guy. He has talent, but he’s also got his warts.

  18. That is to say, lets not forget that Kendricks was a projected 4th rounder before he ran a fast forty time. Forty time isn’t the end all – be all to the linebacker position like it is to WR or RB. Linebackers are evaluated for their size as much as their speed (Kendricks is only 5’11″) and for their tape more than both.

    This is why I thought it was a little unfair doing a comparison, because whether a GM likes Kuechly or Kendricks more really depends on what they want.

  19. Darnell says:

    I actually prefer Kendricks to Kuechly with any pick. Speed, Speed, Speed. And Kendricks can really pressure that “A” gap – an underrated part of his game.

    My concern with Kendricks with the Hawks would be due to how multiple the Hawks are. I have no concerns about Kendricks behind a 4-man front – Mebane,Branch and Bryant are bigtime spaceeaters and can keep 4-3 MIKEs clean. But the Hawks often like to go to 3-man fronts, it is in these cases where Kendricks lack of size would be a concern. However, the upside with Kendricks and the Hawks is that if he doesn’t work at the MIKE he becomes a heck of a WILL and KJ can play the MIKE.

    Kendrciks in the 2nd is the best MIKE/WILL value to us in the draft and makes a ton of sense.

    This isn’t to say that I do not like Kuechly,because I do, he can be every bit the player tha Sean Lee or James Laurinatis are; ie) solid 2nd rounders.

    Kuechly is the type of guy I would love the Hawks to draft if we had just won 10 games,made the playoffs, had a QB, had a pass rush and lost our starting MLB.

  20. Sean says:

    I also noticed when reviewing Kuechly that he was in on a ton of tackles but rarely ever behind the LOS. Just wondering how much of that can be explained on scheme design and/or lack of talent on the BC frontline… Not trying to make excuses for the guy but he had a lot of trash to fight through.

    Curtis Lofton is now off the market and Hawthorne’s return is less than a certainty. KJ can play MIKE but I think his pass rushing skills are much better utilized on the outside.

  21. Darnell says:

    MLB is an interesting debate. Given the way the market has gone it looks like only scraps are left for Heater, I could see him brought back on maybe a 1 or 2 year deal. The front office probably fully expects to be picking later than # 20 next year and then there will be a real opporunity to look at MLB again with guys like Manti Te’o, Tom Wort and Nico Johnson potential options.

  22. Belgaron says:

    Don Banks has a very intriguing new mock that looks much closer to reality than what the previous hive minds’ mocks keep rubber stamping.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/don_banks/03/23/2012.mock.draft.3/index.html?xid=sbnation

    He has Seattle choosing David DeCastro over Trent Richardson, Quinton Coples, Fletcher Cox, Michael Floyd, and Courtney Upshaw. Looking at the immediate need fulfillment, Coples is the easy choice there. But Coples has much greater risks and a ceiling he may not reach even in the best of circumstances. They could also go Richardson but even if he flashes great, he will most likely be done in 4-5 years given the average lifespan of running backs. But when you jump ten years into the future and look back at who would have been the biggest impact at creating a top 10 offense or top 5 defense, gone to the most pro bowls, and made more differences play-by-play in every game he starts, the correct choice may very well be DeCastro.

    Make no mistake, I’d be very tempted to just turn in a card for Coples or even Kuechly if he gets past KC, I may even be more tempted to go Richardson with dreams of a BeastMode/Slash and Sizzle two-headed monster with two 1k+ rushers to make Flynn’s life a breeze. But at the end of the day, franchises are businesses and they weigh all factors over time taking account of risks, ceilings, floors, Wonderlics, and character in addition to team needs. With all things considered, they may very well have DeCastro at the top of their board when #12 hits the clock.

    They could be targetting speedy OLB/LEO/assignment correct prototypes using their ability to cherry pick in rounds 2-4, given the depth of LBs in this draft like Brown in the 2nd and Irvin in the 3rd, then take a poor man’s Kuechly in the 4th–Audie Cole. This would grant them the freedom to go BPA in round 1 and add a lot of youthful depth to the pass rush options. They’ll also probably still add a cheap pass rusher at the end of free agency.

  23. Jon says:

    Everyone that is saying the voting situation is not fare because of the draft spot just does not get it. This vote is not about who is better at the MLB position, it is about where we have a pick that would be able to get one of these players. Kuechly will be off the board before our second pick and at this time without a trade we have no other option than to take him at twelve. Kendricks will almost certainly be their and that is the point. A way to phrase it is this. Would you rather have Kuechly and a 2nd tier DE (Table Scraps of the 2nd tier at #43) Or would you want to have a top tier (possibly our front offices favorite DE/OLB Hybrid) and Kendricks?

  24. Jon says:

    Honestly watching Kendricks again, I don’t know, maybe we wait for third round. when I think of a second rounder I want someone a little less likely to bust still. He hits people like crazy and I love his quick burst and all of that, but he also misses a lot of plays IMO for a guy in the 2nd round. This is tough.

  25. John says:

    If we passed on Richardson I would lose soooo much faith in the FO. Dude is a BEAST. I’d take Richardson over anyone but Luck and RG3.

  26. Ben2 says:

    OK, Demeco Ryans goes for a high 4th rounder and a move up a few spots in the 3rd because he’s a better fit as a 43 middle linebacker. You don’t see pro-bowl caliber pass rushers go in trades this cheap…I understand their we’re other considerations for the Texans involved but this trade illustrates the value of a mike…LB in rd. 2-4 alternated with RB; what I’d really like would be: 1-Upshaw, 2-Osweiler, 3-LB or RB, 4-LB or RB depending upon previous selection…Osweiler probably won’t happen so the RB/LB flippy-floppy happens 1 rd earlier…I’d like Bruce Irvin in 4th round too if there….

  27. Lenny 253 says:

    I would love a Upshaw, Hightower combo in rds 1 and 2. Am I dreaming? IDK

    1 Upshaw
    2 Hightower
    3 BPA RB or WR
    4 BPA WR or RB

  28. Jake says:

    No Keuchley for me – I’ve already made my opinion of him clear on another post. Kendricks hits the gaps hard, makes tackles for loss or at least blows up the play. He attacks and pressures the blocking schemes, while Keuchley waits to get blocked, eventually disengages and drag tackles the back for a gain of 4. It’s a no brainer for me that Kendricks is the better player, regardless of draft capital.

    Darnell had a point about KJ at MIKE if Kendricks proves too small… I would like to add to that. My ideal draft would be to trade down to around 20-24, gain either a 1st next year or a 2nd this year and pick Hightower and Kendricks. I think the addition of Jason Jones, Hightower, and Kendricks is a HUGE boost to the pass rush potential on all 3 downs.

  29. Lenny 253 says:

    On 2nd thought lets bring back Hawtrhone. Good chance of that happening now that the IlB market has dried up.

  30. Jon says:

    What ever happened with Sean Spence. I realize he was slow at the combine, but he just flies on the field and to be honest I like him more than either of these guys at the draft spot that he will likely be available. Agressive and makes big plays like Kendricks but seems a bit smarter and between Kuechly and Kendricks in that category. I am another who wants Hightower, but I want him and Upshaw. (Pipe dream for me).

  31. Tanner says:

    Rob, I would love to see a “Tarvaris Jackson vs. Matt Flynn” piece by you. After the ‘Hawks signed Flynn, I watched his 6 touchdown game vs. the Lions. I was impressed. Then, I watched a Seahawks team highlights video of last season which showcased T-Jack. It made me realize how big of an arm and quick release that T-Jack has compared to Flynn. Flynn takes less time to make the decision of who to throw to though. I think T-Jack has the edge in the competition honestly. He’s been in the same system for his whole NFL career, and threw with a torn peck last year. If healthy, I believe he will be the Seahawks starter next season.

  32. SHawn says:

    Everybody has the right idea..

    Hightower > Kuechly

    #12 is definitely high for Hightower, but there is no way he falls to us at #43, and there is a strong possibility we value him over one of these DEs everyone thinks we’re getting (cough, INGRAM, cough cough). I love Upshaw, almost as much as Rob, but if he and Coples are gone, I would hope they trust their board, and if Hightower is the next guy on it and we can’t find a trade partner in the early 20s, he should be the choice. Target Mercilus, Branch, Perry in the 2nd.

    With any luck we can get Upshaw at 12, and then trade into the lower 1st, without losing picks, and get Hightower. Doubtful scenario, but I would be in disbelief for a different reason than normal at the Seahawks draft.

  33. SHawn says:

    Also, take a look at the videos on this page. This kid looks crazy good at returns. Pick him up in the 4th after getting Chris Polk/Cyrus Gray in the 3rd and say bye bye to Leon.

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/3/24/2898974/2012-nfl-draft-who-in-the-world-is-joe-adams

  34. AlaskaHawk says:

    If Upshaw and Kuechly are off the board I would rather have a WR like Floyd. Have I been dreaming that everyone says this is a PASSING LEAGUE?

    Was I dreaming that the commissioner made new rules making it even easier for receivers to catch the ball?

    Did I dream that we just picked up a quarterback who thew 6 touchdown passes in one game?

    Pick an elite wide receiver – for god sakes – I beg you!!!!

  35. SHawn says:

    1- Floyd is good, maybe great. Floyd is not elite. Hell, Blackmon isn’t elite.

    2- I actually prefer Reuben Randle or Junior Criner to Michael Floyd, and they could be there at 43.

    3- We already have a sure handed Irishman on the roster, and as touted as he was, he has yet to make a significant impact (This could be the year though).

    On another topic, can anyone enlighten me why Devon Still has just PLUMMETED down draft boards? Did he stink up the combine? I dont even remember him participating when I was watching.

  36. Jake says:

    SHawn,

    My guess on Still would be that Poe grabbed the attention from the media and most mocks base their board on popularity contests and hype. I’d bet most team’s boards change very little following the end of the season and their tape review. Compare that to mock drafts changing 20 times during the 4 months following the season. Post season stuff like the Sr. Bowl and the Combine only identify players that maybe the scouts overlooked, giving them the opportunity to take a second look at them and see if they play like they work out. Still has been there all along, he’s solid, but didn’t wow or disappoint at the combine so he’s not interesting. Media coverage has almost nothing to do with draftability though, so he’ll probably still be picked where he was originally pegged to.

  37. Jake says:

    FYI – I was not referring to this site concerning mock drafts… there is a lot more sticktoitiveness here than say Kiper or McShay.

  38. Randy says:

    Kuechly is solid, but that’s about it. I would compare him to a slightly better at coverage David Hawthorne. Who was a UDFA, I don’t really see the hype. Just purely looking at stats, things start to pop out at me. 191 tackles…91 which were assisted. Barely any TFFL. Barely any sacks. Barely any interceptions. This is ignoring Game Tape that really shows some of the weaknesses of his game.

    Actually, reading more about him, a comparison was made: James Laurinaitis. A solid middle of the road LB, who the Rams picked up in the top of the 2nd round, which some pundits think as slightly disappointing. Kuechly might start 10+years, but he’s no all pro. There’s no real upside. Yes, he’ll make a lot of tackles, but many of them will be 3-6 yards downfield.

    He’s not worth a first round pick to me, I said the same things about Aaron Curry when he was picked (and no, I didn’t think he was gonna be THAT bad), and was making comparisons to AJ Hawk. Again, a solid, but not spectacular LB drafted way to too high.

  39. Tarry says:

    Kuechly – He won’t give you pass rush, but if you look at Seattle’s woes on D, covering TEs and RBs in passing game, Kuechly does that. He is great in pass coverage. Former safety in high school. Instincts are amazing, he sheds blocks and gets through to make the plays, he is rarely out of position. Pass rush can be had by DE, and whoever we draft to play WILL. I’d be extremely excited if Kuechly was called at 12.

  40. James says:

    Although Kuechly would not be my choice, he is a real possibility for the Seahawks. Of the players likely to be there at #12, who would have the highest grade on Seattle’s draft board? Due to the devaluing of the RB, there is a slight possibility that Trent Richardson could fall. He would certainly have the highest grade. Next highest grade would probably be on DeCastro at OG. Neither are positions of need for the Seahawks. Lynch is there at RB and John/Pete’s first two drafts have seen OL targeted, though they have had terrible injury luck with Okung, Carpenter and Moffitt. When/if those three can get and stay healthy, Okung and Carpeneter (at LG) have pro bowl potential. I believe Kuechly will have the third highest grade. He has exceptional physical and mental characteristics and Pete the old defense coach would love this kind of leader at MLB. Add to this that Heater Hawthorne cannot find a team, perhaps due to a bad knee, and there is a real need. But I believe MLB can be filled later in the draft, whereas an elite pass rusher generally is found only in round one. Though Ingram and Upshaw have flaws as OLB/DE hybrids, they are exceptional talents, and Mercilus and Perry are textbook Leos. Therefore, DE in round one and LB in round two (Kendricks/McClellin?) and again later.

  41. Shifty says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Kuechly drafted with the 12th overall pick in this draft, Then re-sign David Hawthorne and slide him over to the SLB spot, but, The one thing I want to see most in this draft by the Seahawks is draft BPA with every pick, we don’t need to reach to try and fill holes anymore this roster is somewhat solid from top to bottom and we just need to keep adding more talent to it, I would love Kuechly, DeCastro, Ingram, Upshaw with the 12th overall pick and/or even Nick Perry (I know he’s a boom-or-bust type of player), but hes upside is to great to ignore…

  42. woofu says:

    You have to draft a early first round guy you intend to play as much as possible. So the argument seems to center around,,, is that guy a hybrid full time player (upshaw) or a positional full time player (DeCastro), etc. ?

    Rob clearly favors the hybrid choice and being that Pete runs a hybrid defense that makes a lot of sense. If Up does not run on the 29th or runs poorly you have to rethink whether he is a hybrid at the next level or not and that changes his projection at 12 which may explain the wide variation on his projections.

    The poll is saying if you could draft Kuechly at 12 knowing you could draft Kendricks at 43 instead, would you? Well 42 picks is a lot of action to project through so I picked Kuechly but probably would not do so if it were my choice. I want the best player that changes the impact of that position even if the current starter is descent.

  43. Jarhead says:

    “Can’t win with Flynn, so I’m backin’ Jackson”

    I think any move to make ‘flynn’s’ life easier would be predicated on fallacy. The best thing for us to do would be to minimize the impact he has on the game and keeping the ball out of his hands. I for one am now a full 100% Tarvaris Jackson supporter, and hope he wins the starting job. Having Richardson available and selecting DeCatsro or anyone else for that matter would be an absolute travesty. Richardson at 15 and Lynch at 17-20 runs per game would minimize the beating that they take and accentuate what our O Line does best. It would protect Richardson, certainly. It would skew TOP in our favor and reduce the amount of passing that Jackslynn (or maybe Flackson?) would be forced to do (yay for us). Also adding a pass rusher/disrupter would help get the opposing O off the field on third down and limit drive lengths. Also in our best interest. So having let’s say 1% chance that Richardson is actually available there, we go rusher in the 1st and Kendricks in the 2nd. Bolster our pass rush and run d, bam bam. Oh and I wouldn’t even count on where we’re drafting next year, because regardless I believe that we’re going for a very special QB, so don’t count any of next year’s chickens. I would not behoove us. But seriously if Hightower is somehow available in the 2nd- fuhgeddabowdit. That’s a no brainer

  44. Shifty says:

    @Jarhaed, What?… How do you know what Flynn will do in this offense?, and how do you know we can’t win with Flynn?, This all sounds like a Tarvaris Jackson fan that is cryin’ about this “TEAM” getting better in spite of Jackson… We’ve all seen the nightmare that is Jackson, 1. He holds onto the ball for way to long, 2. He has no pocket presence witch made the o-line look worse than it really was last year, 3. He has no anticipation when throwing the ball the WR,TE,RB (who ever it is) he is throwing to has to be wide open in order for Jackson to target them, 4. He can’t read the whole field, He locks onto the right side of the field and rarely looks to the left, 5. His lack of real NFL QB leadership is apparent when you watch him play,….. And for any Seahawks fan wishing Jackson wins the starting job over Flynn and setting the team back for another 2-4 years is an outrage IMO… This is a team sport and no one player is bigger than the team….

  45. vertigoman says:

    At the center of this debate seems to be positional importance.
    If you’re of the mind that Mike isn’t important enough to justify a top 15 then Kuechly isn’t your guy.
    I know that’s the current assumption in the NFL and the FA market tends to back that up.
    But the position is also changing as the offenses are changing. Everyone and their mother is going to run out 2 dynamic TE sets in the copy cat NFL. To counter that, Mike takes on more pass coverage rover roles. Speedy LBERS that can defend the run and drop into coverage become more important. The yin to the hybrid TE yang.
    We’ve seen the safety position transform, now it seems to be the 4-3 Mike set to transform.

  46. Tanner says:

    I don’t think they’ll draft Kuechly at 12 or Kendricks in the second. Maybe Kendricks in the 3rd… I’d rather see Bruce Irvin with our second round pick and see Pete use him as a situational pass rusher much like Aldon Smith was used last year. I don’t think Pete will use a high(ish) second round pick on a MLB (a small one at that) any more than I think he would use the 12th overall pick on one.

  47. Misfit74 says:

    It’s true a lot of teams are regularly running a flavor the the 4-2-5. Those two LBs must be able to cover and have good range. The Giants, for example, play Jacquian Williams and Michael Boley there. Williams was a 2011 6th-round pick and Boley was a big FA signing from the Falcons, though himself a former 5th-round pick. However, neither play the Mike spot in normal 4-3 sets. Typically the players in a 42 will be speedy, rangy guys that normally play on the outside for the same reasons. This is another set of examples of why the MLB is devalued across the NFL landscape and not good positional value at 12.

  48. genax says:

    a mlb in the first or second is a luxery pick. the better option is to sign one of the top two mlb that’s available now and picking up players we need more

    de/dl
    qb/te
    wr
    cb

  49. Doug says:

    WOW jarhead,
    ya totally lost me bro….

  50. Darin says:

    HIghtower has been the leader on the field of the best defense in college football since Rolando McClain left. He is tough, physical and meets running back head on in the back field.

    Kuelchy can make a ton of tackles, but in no way stops running backs dead in their tracks and isn’t often found behind the line of scrimmage.

    I personally think Dont’a Hightower is the best linebacker in this draft, Upshaw is going to be a stud to and i think Schneider and Carroll are salivating over his pass rush skills and scheme versatility.

    I’m not sure what it would take, but a Upshaw Hightower first and second round has me drolling, because both guys get after the QB and it is tough to find a middle backer with good pass rush skills.

    Kendricks is a guy that to me seems a little Aaron Curryish, physical freak, other than his height, who waas considered a middle round pick until he blew up with his combine workout. Like the guy but more as a third to forth round pick than a 2nd.

    As for the suggestion to draft Kuechly, and move Hawthorne to the SLB spot, Carroll loves KJ Wright at that spot and I think Wright is way better than Heater ever will be.

  51. David says:

    Rob- if we draft Upshaw in the 1st, and in the 2nd, Hightower and D. Martin are there who would you like to see us draft?

  52. Rob says:

    That’s a really difficult question, David. Part of me would like Hightower just because then you’re looking at a defense that is solid for the future, with a core of young talent. But Martin could be the next Ray Rice. Difficult question!

  53. Darin says:

    C’Mon Rob, you know deep down inside you’d prefer Hightower over Martin. Wouldn’t it be great for Seattle to finally shake that finesse image that a lot of fans outside Seattle think we have as a bunch of Latte Drinking IT folks, HaHa.

    Martin is going to be good, but give me Upshaw at 12, Hightower at 43 and Chris Polk in the third and Keenan Robinson in the 4th. Add toughness and phyicality to the defense, and have three defensive guys who play with a mean streak.

  54. Darin says:

    Plus, we all need to remember that Ken Norton Jr. will be molding these kids, and he likes guys who play mean.

  55. Misfit74 says:

    I don’t care for Hightower at all. The guys is HUGE like Levon Kirkland was. He’d get abused in coverage and believe me teams would scheme to get him in coverage. He’d be a two-down run plugger and that’s just not very attractive when you can find an everydown LB or OLB with pass-rushing skills instead. His blown-out knee in the past scares me a bit, too. No Hightower.

  56. Bill Bobaggins says:

    My biggest issue with Kuechly is that no one will know how to properly spell his name for years to come.

  57. Misfit74 says:

    Bill Bobaggins – let alone correctly pronounce it …

  58. Jarhead says:

    Okay Shifty you’re obviously a boot on this site. Any of the vets here know that I was the ultimate Jackson hater all last season. I at no point in time ever was content, happy, or even moderately bemused by Jackson’s play at QB. Go ahead and review the archives and you will see me dissect his horrible game playing on several occasions. Try reading between the lines. Maybe I still really can’t stand Jackson as a QB but am content to pursue QB legitimately next year- and am content with Jackson’s pittant $4 million salary? Maybe I just REALLY HATE Flynn as a QB option THAT much? Especially at twice the price? He is the single one player that I wanted seattle to have nothing to do with whatsoever in the entire offseason- and there he is. I would have preferred no one. There’s sattire, sarcasm, irony, whichever- just look a little deeper next time before you post invictive. And Doug- C’Mon man, you have been at least as long as I have. You remember how much I ranked on Jackson last year. Hahaha It’s a reflection of unleashed Flynn hatred as opposed to liking Jackson. It’s like a presidential election on South Park- We get the choice of a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich. Which one is better?