This is my penultimate mock draft. My final projection will be next Wednesday, the night before the first round begins. That is also the projection I’ll be sending to the ‘Huddle Report’ so I can secure 93rd position again this year.
Seattle’s pick at #56 works alongside the seven-round mock I created for the team a few days ago. There are more immediate needs than receiver, but most of the top WILL prospects were off the board and several of the defensive tackles had gone too. It’s worth remembering that Golden Tate is a free agent in 2014 and Sidney Rice’s contract doesn’t shrink in the same way Zach Miller’s does. So while receiver isn’t an immediate need, there could be some forward planning here — particularly if a prospect they really like is available.
I’d also highlight the way Green Bay seem to constantly re-load at receiver, something John Schneider might have latched onto.
The Seahawks need to pick their battle’s. They’re going to need to start paying some members of the existing roster. They’re going to have very little cap room to play with as a consequence. Players like Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson by theory could be easier to sign if they continue their elite-level performance. You pay them as the best players at their respective positions. It’s guys like Golden Tate that become harder to judge.
What is he worth to Seattle? Or the rest of the league? On the one hand he’s become very close to Wilson and had a breakout year in 2012. He made some big plays and helped the Seahawks to some key victories. He’s become a household name because of the whole ‘Fail Mary’ incident. Yet his greatest season of production in the NFL is 688 yards and seven touchdowns.
Another team might be willing to pay him as a ‘name’ player — and we’ve seen a handful of receivers get overpaid in the last two years. It could be very difficult for the Seahawks to justify making a deal unless he has a tremendous 2013.
Rice is due a cap hit of $9.7m this year, a further $9.7m in 2014 and $10.2m in 2015. If he stays healthy and productive, then it’s not such an issue. Yet he’s earning true #1 money and if he does miss further time or surrenders some of his production to Percy Harvin, can you justify such a massive contract? Again, it’s a moot point if he succeeds this year, just like Tate. If he doesn’t, he might be a necessary sacrifice in order to keep others on the roster.
The Seahawks are essentially paying two guys (Harvin and Rice) elite contracts at the position, while also giving their starting tight end (Miller) a hefty sum. I’m not sure going forward they’ll want to be pumping that much money into their receivers. Being smart in the draft is key here, because they also don’t want to stunt Russell Wilson’s growth or diminish the talent level of his targets.
Being able to plan ahead, save money where possible and maintain quality is crucial. There’s no room for sentiment. So while receiver isn’t a great defining need this season, it might be a wise move for the long haul to look at a guy like Quinton Patton in round two.
|#1 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
They’re keeping their cards close to their chest. Some believe it could be Eric Fisher.
|#2 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
They need a pass rusher. Pure and simple.
|#3 Sharrif Floyd (DT, Florida)
This will be a long rebuild.
|#4 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
Even if they are getting guys back from injury, Philly’s line hasn’t been good enough for a while.
|#5 Ziggy Ansah (DE, BYU)
Plenty of options here for Detroit. Ansah, Milliner, Johnson. What about Tavon Austin?
|#6 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
If they get Milliner, they can feel pretty good about this off-season.
|#7 Lane Johnson (T, Oklahoma)
This is far and away the teams biggest need following the Carson Palmer trade.
|#8 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
They could move up to make sure they get Smith. They can’t rely on Kevin Kolb.
|#9 Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
They need a spark on offense.
|#10 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
Too many people are saying this will be a guard, despite the addition of Andy Levitre.
|#11 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
With the top left tackles off the board, they’re forced to look elsewhere.
|#12 D.J. Fluker (T, Alabama)
A lot of men in that Miami front office like road grader-style tackles.
|#13 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
It seems certain this pick will be traded by Tampa Bay for Darrelle Revis.
|#14 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
Fantastic value for Carolina if this happens.
|#15 Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
Local connections plus they need a pass rusher.
|#16 Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
Safety could be a target area.
|#17 Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia)
He could sink in a bad way, but he is the prototype fit at outside linebacker in Pittsburgh’s scheme.
|#18 Sly Williams (DT, North Carolina)
Switching to a 4-3 could put a fair amount of emphasis on the DT position.
|#19 Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State)
Terrific little player.
|#20 Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
I have a feeling they’ll still be open to drafting a tight end this early.
|#21 Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia)
Someone will bit. It’s not like Cincy hasn’t made moves like this in the past.
|#22 Eddie Lacy (RB, Alabama)
They must have a physical runner in this division.
|#23 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
Consistent but not an explosive athlete.
|#24 Justin Pugh (G, Syracuse)
A huge need for the Colts.
|#25 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
They hit on Rudolph and Harrison, so why not go back for the Notre Dame hat-trick?
|#26 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
It’s easy to forget just how much San Francisco abused Green Bay’s defense in the playoffs.
|#27 Robert Woods (WR, USC)
Receiver looks like a strong option here.
|#28 Tank Carradine (DE, Florida State)
The Elvis Dumervil saga leaves them needing another pass rusher.
|#29 Jamar Taylor (CB, Boise State)
Gives off a Bill Belichick-pick vibe.
|#30 Datone Jones (DE, UCLA)
They could move up to do this.
|#31 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Hard-hitting safety, would look good in this defense.
|#32 Margus Hunt (DE, SMU)
Who knows where this guy will be drafted? This isn’t out of the question.
#33 Jacksonville – Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
#34 San Francisco – Johnthan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
#35 Philadelphia – E.J. Manuel (QB, Florida State)
#36 Detroit – Desmond Trufant (CB, Washington)
#37 Cincinnati – Jonathan Franklin (RB, UCLA)
#38 Arizona – Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
#39 New York Jets – Ryan Nassib (QB, Syracuse)
#40 Tennessee – Xavier Rhodes (CB, Florida State)
#41 Buffalo – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
#42 Miami – Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB, Connecticut)
#43 Tampa Bay – D.J. Hayden (CB, Houston)
#44 Carolina – Menelik Watson (T, Florida State)
#45 San Diego – Terron Armstead (T, Arkansas Pine-Bluff)
#46 St. Louis – Kyle Long (G, Oregon)
#47 Dallas – Travis Frederick (C, Wisconsin)
#48 Pittsburgh – Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
#49 New York Giants – Corey Lemonier (DE, Auburn)
#50 Chicago – Larry Warford (G, Kentucky)
#51 Washington – Johnthan Banks (CB, Mississippi State)
#52 Minnesota – Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers)
#53 Cincinnati – Eric Reid (S, LSU)
#54 Miami – Jonathan Cyprien (S, Florida International)
#55 Green Bay – DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
#56 Seattle – Quinton Patton (WR, Louisiana Tech)
#57 Houston – John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
#58 Denver – Christine Michael (RB, Texas A&M)
#59 New England – Sio Moore (LB, Connecticut)
#60 Atlanta – Darius Slay (CB, Mississippi State)
#61 San Francisco – Gavin Escobar (TE, San Diego State)
#62 Baltimore – Kevin Minter (LB, LSU)
Other Seahawks picks: R3 – RB Denard Robinson, R4 – DT Montori Hughes, R5 – T Luke Marquardt, R5 – LB Zaviar Gooden, R6 – DT Stefan Charles, R7 – K Dustin Hopkins, R7 – WR/CB Russell Shepard, R7 – B.J. Daniels, R7 – TE Michael Williams