A few different looks in this week’s updated mock. We’re still miles away from the draft so please, please, please don’t take this as anything other than a conversation starter. I do think, however, we are getting a better idea of the areas of need for the Seahawks.
Defensive tackle – An upgrade at the three technique is absolutely paramount. If they want to rush four most of the time in base – and they do – then they need some who can collapse the pocket from the inside. Alan Branch has qualities, but he doesn’t create any interior pressure. This mock perhaps shows how difficult it might be to solve this issue in round one. The top prospects (Richardson, Lotulelei) will be long gone. It could push the Seahawks towards free agency where the likes of Randy Starks are expected to hit the market. He could be a real game-changer for this defense.
Wide receiver/tight end – The Seahawks absolutely have to get more depth here. Imagine the situation where Sidney Rice or Golden Tate picked up an injury? The pre-season try-outs for Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens said a lot – there was a little desperation in the air, especially with Doug Baldwin’s injury in pre-season. This has to be an off-season priority and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a receiver. There’s nothing to stop the team picking up another tight end, especially one with experience lining up out wide and in the slot. A player like Zach Ertz – Stanford’s leading receiver this year – would also fit the bill (see video above). I suspect Pete Carroll would like to run even more 2TE sets, so it’s not such a ridiculous prospect if the value isn’t there at receiver.
Linebacker – The WILL position could still use an upgrade or at least further competition. Malcolm Smith has a chance to nail down the starting job if he keeps performing to a high standard. It appears we’re witnessing the final throws of Leroy Hill’s solid career in Seattle. Even if Smith doesn’t win the gig permanently, he’s always going to provide special teams value and good depth. A rangy player such as Alec Ogletree or Arthur Brown would make a lot of sense if available in round one. And while linebacker falls behind DT and WR/TE as a pure need, it could provide the best value at the end of round one.
Some of the changes this week include Barkevious Mingo dropping a bit (not had a great year), Cordarrelle Patterson moving into the top-15 (X-factor type with ideal size) and now that Kyle Long won’t be returning to Oregon, he makes the second round.
A quick note on Patterson by the way – and he’s a player to keep an eye on for the Seahawks. New Tennessee coach Butch Jones said today he “definitely” expects him to declare for the 2013 draft. Per Evan Woodbery, Jones is quoted as saying, “He’s a special player with a great skill set. I wish him well.”
|#1 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
The Chiefs need a quarterback. They don’t have a terrible roster. And even if the value isn’t quite there, this solves their biggest problem.
|#2 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Jaguars need a pass rusher and Werner could steadily move up the boards after a 13.5 sack season.
|#3 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
The Raiders need to start drafting good football players. This will be a long rebuild.
|#4 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
This is the starting point for whoever starts Philly’s new era. They have to repair the offensive line.
|#5 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
He’s a physical freak. He could blow up the combine. If he does… then hello to the top five.
|#6 Jake Mathews (T, Texas A&M)
Although he’s playing at right tackle for the Aggies, he’s good enough to move across and play the blind side.
|#7 Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
He’s having a great year and looks the part of a NFL rusher. He has 12.5 sacks in the SEC. That isn’t easy.
|#8 Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
They need to draft a quarterback. And then they need to give that quarterback better receivers.
|#9 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
Sheldon Richardson is Darnell Dockett.
|#10 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Stunning prospect. 6-6 receiver who out-runs defensive backs. Hands catcher.
|#11 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
All the messing around at quarterback cannot happen again next year. The madness has to stop.
|#12 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
Elite potential. Vastly underrated. The complete cornerback.
|#13 Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
The Dolphins need playmakers for Ryan Tannehill. Patterson is the X-factor player of 2013.
|#14 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
Enormous ceiling but he just blows too hot and cold. Inconsistent.
|#15 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
He’s good enough to go in the top ten. So is Jonathan Cooper.
|#16 Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia)
I want to find a way to get him in the top ten. Incredible potential.
|#17 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Elam’s a dynamic defensive back who will make plays at the next level.
|#18 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
Athletic guard who could even switch to tackle. He will start for 10+ years.
|#19 Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Another player who could really boost his stock with a great combine. A Giants type of pass rusher.
|#20 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
He’s good enough to go earlier. Underrated, probably because he plays at a smaller school. He’s the next Joe Staley.
|#21 Arthur Brown Jr (LB, Kansas State)
Don’t under-estimate this guy. He’s legit.
|#22 DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
Minnesota needs more options at receiver. Hopkins could have an instant impact.
|#23 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
The next best tackle and the Rams need to fill this position long term.
|#24 Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
The Seahawks need another pass-catcher. Ertz can line up at WR or TE, providing much needed depth to both positions.
|#25 Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
They’re building a 3-4 defense. That means they need a nose tackle.
|#26 Jarvis Jones (DE, Georgia)
Baltimore are good enough to take a chance on Jones, whose spinal stenosis issue will put off some teams.
|#27 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
His best position could be the five technique in a 3-4 defense.
|#28 Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State)
A smart team will draft this guy early. He’s the second coming of Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace.
|#29 John Simon (DE, Ohio State)
Just a solid, blue-collar pass rusher.
|#30 Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina)
Terrific pass-rushing defensive tackle who can line up at the one or three technique.
|#31 Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee)
He had an excellent 2012 season. Thomas can play guard or tackle.
|#32 Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
When you have a roster like Atlanta’s, why not go for another playmaker?
#33 Jacksonville – Robert Woods (WR, USC)
#34 Kansas City – Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
#35 Philadelphia – Barrett Jones (C, Alabama)
#36 Detroit – Jonathan Banks (CB, Mississippi State)
#37 Cincinnati – Giovani Bernard (RB, North Carolina)
#38 Buffalo – C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
#39 Carolina – Shawn Williams (S, Georgia)
#40 Tennessee – Kyle Long (G, Oregon)
#41 Arizona – Justin Pugh (T, Syracuse)
#42 San Diego – Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
#43 Miami – Brennan Williams (T, North Carolina)
#44 New York Jets – Mike Glennon (QB, NC State)
#45 Tampa Bay – Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
#46 St. Louis – Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
#47 Pittsburgh – Stepfan Taylor (RB, Stanford)
#48 Chicago – D.J. Fluker (T, Alabama)
#49 New York Giants – Oday Aboushi (T, Virginia)
#50 Dallas – Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
#51 Washington – Kevin Minter (LB, LSU)
#52 Minnesota – Bennie Logan (DT, LSU)
#53 Cincinnati – Alex Okafor (DE, Texas)
#54 Miami – Corey Lemonier (DE, Auburn)
#55 Seattle – Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers)
#56 Baltimore – Sharrif Floyd (DT, Florida)
#57 New England – Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB, Connecticut)
#58 Green Bay – Montee Ball (RB, Wisconsin)
#59 San Francisco – Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State)
#60 Denver – Jonathan Franklin (RB, UCLA)
#61 Atlanta – Gavin Escobar (TE, San Diego State)
#62 Houston – Keenan Allen (WR, California)