Quick-fire mock, Fletcher Cox & the countdown

April 22nd, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Trade target?

First things first, don’t forget to check out Kip’s excellent write-up on Courtney Upshaw or the latest SDB community pick.

Quick-fire mock draft

I’ll be publishing my final 2012 mock on Wednesday just before the draft. You never know, maybe Kip will break out a mock too before Thursday (how about that for pressure). As we’re approaching draft week I wanted to note down a few thoughts and provide a quick first round projection. On Wednesday we’ll include the second round and full breakdown as usual.

#1 IND – Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
#2 WAS – Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
#3 MIN – Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
#4 CLE – Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
#5 TB – Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
#6 STL – Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
#7 JAC – Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
#8 MIA – Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
#9 CAR – Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
#10 BUF – Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
#11 KC – Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College)
#12 SEA – Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)
#13 ARI – David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
#14 DAL – Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
#15 PHI – Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)
#16 NYJ – Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
#17 CIN – Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
#18 SD – Nick Perry (DE, USC)
#19 CHI – Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
#20 TEN – Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
#21 CIN – Peter Konz (OG/C, Wisconsin)
#22 CLE – Reuben Randle (WR, LSU)
#23 DET – Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)
#24 PIT – Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama)
#25 DEN – Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)
#26 HOU – Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
#27 NE – Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State)
#28 GB – Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
#29 SF – Riley Reiff (OT/G, Iowa)
#30 BAL – Cordy Glenn (OT/G, Georgia)
#31 NE – Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
#32 NYG – Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)

More of this kind of thing on Wednesday.

Trading up for Fletcher Cox?

Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler at KJR tweeted an interesting rumor today, suggesting the Seahawks would consider moving up in the draft to get Fletcher Cox. The Seahawks want a pass rusher, it’s absolutely the #1 priority in the first round. While many have speculated about Luke Kuechly, David DeCastro and Michael Floyd, it’s all about creating more pressure up front. Cox is a pass rusher, so I’m paying more attention to this rumor than I would if – for example – it was being suggested the Seahawks wanted to trade up for Ryan Tannehill.

Cox put on a clinic at the combine, running a 10-yard split in the low 1.6′s (comparable to the top defensive ends) despite weighing 298lbs. He had 30 reps on the bench press and recorded a 4.79 forty. The guy looks the part, no doubt about it. Deciding his best position is the difficult part and is created an interesting (and at times, heated) debate for a lot of the off-season.

At Mississippi State he lined up everywhere – three technique, five technique, orthodox defensive end. I’ve always compared his game to a runaway train – full of speed and power, he can be unstoppable at times. He’s also a little off-balance and reckless and the key will be keeping the speed/power while rounding off a few of the rougher technical edges. He’s a pure physical specimen who doesn’t use a lot of technique or hand use, he prefers to get his head down and bull-rush. For that reasonĀ I think his best position will undoubtedly be the five-technique, where his speed and style will be a little more effective. He may even be able to play end on the strong side and could increase his rush capacity by losing a bit of weight and playing at around 290lbs.

When he’s at tackle I’m not enamoured by his run defense – he could be stouter, he could use a little more in the lower body. Cox looks like a big, athletic defensive end playing inside. His gap control is superior in the five and he’s not always the toughest to angle out on inside runs. He’s a pure pass rusher and while a lot of people believe he’ll create more pressure working inside, I’d rather see this guy playing the edge. Either way he’s one of the more unique athletes in this year’s draft and the versatility he brings to the table will probably interest Pete Carroll as much as anything else.

Would he fit into the scheme? Having spent a lot of time arguing the case for Courtney Upshaw, I’m not about to claim there’s no fit for Cox. They could use him at the three, before moving outside on certain downs. Yet isn’t that what they signed Jason Jones for? And if you’re drafting a guy to play tackle inside, do you cut Alan Branch? He isn’t likely to play permanently at end given Red Bryant’s recent extension. And before anyone asks about moving Bryant inside – this team moved him outside for a reason, and they also made him the best paid player on the defense as a defensive end for a reason.

It’s a name that hasn’t been touted elsewhere, which makes me believe there could be something in this. At the same time, moving up would be an expensive ordeal. You’d have to expect the Seahawks to pay a second round pick for the privilege of taking Cox, an expensive price given the needs elsewhere. And despite being such a physical impressive prospect, he still managed just five sacks in 2011. Break it down even further, and he actually only had sacks in three games – registering two against both Kentucky and South Carolina and one against Wake Forest (see tape below).

In 2010 he had 2.5 sacks and zero in 2009. Draft history is littered with stand-out athletic prospects who perform well at the combine, gradually rise up the boards and become top-ten picks. If those prospects fail, people inevitably try to find out what went wrong. They look at the late rise, they look at the lack of top-end production in college. That’s not to say Cox won’t play his best, productive football in the NFL, but sometime’s there’s a ‘fools gold’ aspect to prospects like this. That’s the gamble you take on upside, of which Cox has plenty.

That potential is expected to secure Cox a place in the top ten – either to St. Louis, Jacksonville, Miami or Carolina. I’m not convinced the Seahawks will pull the trigger on a trade, even if it is being contemplated as Softy has suggested. But one way or another they’ll be adding to the pass rush early in this draft.

So what’s the plan for draft day? Last year we ran a productive live-chat session that featured on Seahawks Draft Blog and Field Gulls. I’m pleased to say we’ll once again be using the live-chat feature on Thursday and Friday on both sites, covering rounds 1-3. For the final day on Saturday I’ll be creating an open thread for comments and reaction. Last year several hundred people used the live chat to talk with other Seahawks fans, analyse the picks and more. I hope you’ll join us again.

50 Responses to “Quick-fire mock, Fletcher Cox & the countdown”

  1. Mij says:

    Schneider said they won’t pass on a great player if he doesn’t fit the scheme. Do you think that could help rationalize the pick? They could specialize a role for him. Can we really count anyone out?

  2. Rob says:

    If he rushes the passer, I wouldn’t rule a guy out.

  3. Michael Volanti says:

    Great job as always Rob – you do yeomans work.

    I’m warming up to the Upshaw selection more and more, would definitely not be disapointed at all. From my point of reference. I’m taking into consideration the long term outlook of the team, and also my time spent evaluating individuals who might be available to us. My personal perference is for the Seahawks to select DT Fletcher Cox. We’ll just leave it at that.

    Draft day will be a lot of fun as it always is -one thing I’am sure of. We’re going to add some quality talent on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. No doubt in my mind. We’ll see how it all plays out, which is why the draft is so appealing to some many people.

  4. Lenny 253 says:

    Rob

    Smokescreen. Losing more picks wouldnt be logical with our needs. Also we just gave Jones 5 million I think. The seahawks want to put it out there they would take him if he was available thus assuring Bills, Jags, ect might take him, hoping the guy we really want drops to us.

    Hey Rob, what do you like about Upshaw that you dont like about Ingram? Ingram is faster, better in coverage, and has more pash rushing moves. Just curious. It just seems that Ingram is more of a Edge rusher than Upshaw. IMO. We dont really need another run stopping D End. Thats why we kept Big Red.

  5. Stuart says:

    Thanks Rob for the additional goodies today! It seems like boils down to who will be available at #12 and if it falls this way then UPSHAW is a SEAHAWk. He may never be great but he will likely be a piece to a top 5 defense which we will soon become.

    The first post I did here was my plug for Fletcher Cox. I was so sky high on him but over time that has cooled. I loved his versatility, the fact he was all SEC, the fact that he played like ” a runaway train”. But the biggest reason for my man-crush is that this kid is only a true junior. How solid would you feel about Upshaw if all you had for tape was his junior year?

    This is by far the best mock I have seen!!!

    Rob, could you please throw out some names for rounds 3,4 for the Seahawks?

    Kip, please do a mock for us!

    Thanks guys for my Sunday fix:).

  6. Rob says:

    Lenny – It’s not a case of speed for me. I just think Upshaw is much more prepared for the combat style of the NFL. When Ingram engages, he struggles. He needs to run clean, he needs to beat guys on the edge or with his spin move. When he has to fight – he can’t disengage. It bothers the heck out of me. He’s an option for Seattle, but not what I’m overwhelmed with. I think Upshaw is better for the role I would project Seattle are looking to fill.

    Stuart – I will throw out some names on Wednesday as part of the overall final mock.

  7. Dan says:

    Rob, this is the best stop of my day, everyday. Thanks to you and Kip for all the hard work you guys consistently put in.

    I realized reading about Cox that you have so sold me on Upshaw that I think I’ll be disappointed if we grab someone else! I will say that I’m not a huge fan of trading up this year. I wouldn’t trade Upshaw + Kendricks/David/Brown/Miller… for Cox.

    Can’t wait til Thursday. I’ll plan on joining in the chat.

  8. Steve says:

    The only thing that would shock me in the draft is the Seahawks trading up. That really seems to go against the JS philosophy

  9. shams says:

    If Michael Floyd falls to 16th overall I will tattoo Dan McGuire’s silhouette on my tuches.

    Rob, you have DeCastro surviving to AZ at #13, but just think what great trade bait he is for us at the 12 spot. AZ and Dallas both want him so that makes us the ideal trade partner. Seahawks could trade down and still get Upshaw.

  10. shams says:

    Lenny is not alone in calling this Cox rumor a smokescreen, and he could very well be right. But what specifically is the strategy if that’s true?

  11. Rob says:

    shams – You might want to find a good tattoo parlour. In a deep class for receivers, teams are going to second guess the position. Floyd’s off-field issues are a major concern for teams. Sure – as a senior he knuckled down. But after how many chances? And what happens when he gets paid? Going 16th overall is generous here. As for DeCastro – Dallas are happy with their guards after FA and will concentrate on defense. They will go for one of the nose tackles, Barron or another corner. And besides, teams don’t tend to trade up for guards.

  12. MJ says:

    Not to mention, Floyd does not play at his 40 time…yet another reason people need to take caution with combine results. I think both he and Blackmon are very overrated. Neither guy is remotely close to Julio or AJ last year.

  13. Chris says:

    The guy’s a born 5-tech which is the problem. Doesn’t seem like there’s enough snaps to go around without moving Red.

  14. Hawksince77 says:

    At this point, I am almost a member of the “anybody but Upshaw” club, even after reading Kip’s piece. Replace Red? Start Upshaw instead of Clemons? If he was projected to do either, and as a result, improve Seattle’s pass rush, I could see that. But I don’t see either of those as a possibility. As far as I can tell, the best pure pass-rusher in the draft is Whitney Mercilus, a guy that might beat Clemons out as the starting Leo.

    I said that to say this: drafting a disruptive DT like Cox seems the ideal way to improve Seattle’s pass rush. Replacing Branch with someone who can pressure the QB consistently, maintain a good rush defense, and get better/stronger with experience sounds like the guy, to me.

    As for trading up, I would offer this: what if it could be done with players instead of picks? What if, more specifically, Seattle offered Jacksonville some comibination of BMW/Butler/Tate/Obo? The Jags need starting WRs. Seattle has too many. Would we be happy with such a trade?

    I would.

  15. MJ says:

    Hawksince77 – Unfortunately those WRs you mentioned don’t really offer the Jags a starting caliber WR. I agree we have a lot of WRs, outside of Rice, Baldwin, and Lockette, none of them really bring much to the table in terms of exciting another team to the point that it would cover for additional draft picks that would have otherwise been accrued in such a trade scenario.

  16. Jim says:

    Trading up when you only have 6 picks would be counter productive IMO. Worst case scenerio is the Seahawks stand pat with their 6 picks and end up with 6 drafted players, which has to be better than 4 or 5. On the other hand, if they could trade down and take more advantage of the many decent players in rounds 2 – 4, that would be great.

  17. dave crockett says:

    CORRECTION: It should be MELVIN Ingram to the Jets (not Mark).

  18. Hawksince77 says:

    MJ,

    All four of those WRs (Obo/BMW/Butler/Tate) started at one time or another for Seattle, and Seattle has a far better WR corp than Jacksonville over the past couple of years (I think, anyway).

    I have no idea how anyone might value these guys. BMW, while a starter last year, is coming off a bad year and an injury. Obo is a utility WR, more like a 4th or 5th guy in the depth chart, but a good special teams player. Butler is better than most Seahawk fans think, I believe, and might appeal. And finally, Tate was a second rounder just coming into his own. Given that trading up five spots or so might otherwise cost a second round pick, Tate himself might be worth it to the Jags.

    I really don’t know, but looking in from the outside, this might prove to be a win-win for both teams.

  19. Hawksince77 says:

    MJ – and why I don’t mention the other guys on the roster:

    1 – can’t see us trading Rice
    2 – Locketter/Durham probably have zero value to anyone else – all potential
    3 – can’t seem them trading Baldwin (but as I consider it, they might – that would be great value to get out of an UDFA)

  20. dave crockett says:

    CORRECTION on my correction — Melvin Ingram to the Eagles… carry on.

  21. MJ says:

    Hawksince77 – I know why you didn’t include the other 3 and I wouldn’t want to trade them. Obviously another team might value those guys you listed, I just think that would be the very top end of the return for such players. Just my opinion. And I do agree our WR unit is better.

  22. John says:

    I would lose all faith in the front office if they traded Baldwin. Dude put up great rookie numbers playing for the 28th ranked offense in the league, and with QB’s like TJack and Clipboard Jesus.

  23. Seatown80 says:

    You would be lucky to get a 6th/7th round pick for any of the WR mentioned. Teams do not value other teams role players as they can just sign someone in UFA.

    As we move closer to Draft Day I am feeling fairly confident that SEA can stay at #12 and get an impact pass rusher. With that being said, I would not be unhappy if they drafted someone highly rated at a lesser position of need (Kuechly, DeCastro).

  24. Nolan Thomas says:

    Hawkssince77,

    I am not an expert but I think the idea is to add pass rush while keeping Clemons mebane, branch group intact ( maybe situational subs ala Jason jones) the idea behind Clemons would be to add a pass rushe at linebacker who is also good at objective 1 for carrol stopping the run.

  25. Seatown80 says:

    Rob,

    What is your take on LaMichael James and would he fit with the Hawks running game? He may be too repetitive with what they already have in Leon Washington but I love the speed and playmaking ability. There has been some talk of him going as early as the mid 2nd round.

  26. Hawksince77 says:

    Nolan,

    Not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting Upshaw starts in place of Bryant? As I mentioned earlier, if Upshaw is seen as replacing Bryant as the starter, a move intended to improve the pass-rush and maintain a good rush defense, then sure, I can see that.

    If, on the other hand, you are suggesting starting Upshaw as a rush LB in Seattle’s 4-3 (this assuming that Clemons/Branch/Mebane/Bryant are the down linemen, then you have one of two things: one, a 5/2 front as all that Upshaw can do well is play the run and rush the passer, or a 4/3 with an LB (Upshaw) an extreme weakness in defending the pass (either manning up on the TE, or dropping in zone).

    It’s not possible to decide before the snap if the offense will run or pass. The LBs have to be able to defend against both. Upshaw does not project to be able to effectively do so.

  27. A. Simmons says:

    I’d be happy with Fletcher Cox. The guy looks good. It seems lining him up between Red and Mebane would be a nightmare for most interior lines. Red is often doubled. Mebane is often doubled. Clemons beats a lot of tackles. Cox one on one versus a guard seems like a win for us.

    I’m amped for draft day. It will be most fun reading here post draft. The build up is ok. But having solid analysis after we have our new Christmas toys to study is when the fun begins. Then we get to imagine how they will play on the field.

  28. Nolan Thomas says:

    Hawksince77

    From what I gather from rob is that upshaw wouldn’t be replacing any of the front four atleast not full time. He is saying they can use upshaw in a variety of looks. Also how many prospects come out of the draft complete players he can probably learn to play a zone. I also know rob has suggested a coverage LB in round two for TE I assume from what I have read that that player and upshaw would be on the field together.

  29. Rob says:

    Seatown80 – I like James, but not convinced he’ll land in Seattle. A team looking for their version of Leon Washington will probably take him. I think if the Seahawks do grab a RB early as expected, it’ll be someone who can genuinely carry the load if Lynch goes down and potentially replace Lynch as the bell-cow down the line. I see James as more of a change of pace guy.

  30. Phil says:

    Hawksince77 — I’ve got the same reservations as you about how the Seahawks might use Upshaw. His undeveloped pass defense skills make him a liability as an every-down OLB while if you use him as a DE in a base 4-3, you have to sit Red or Clemons. As a result, my thinking has shifted from getting an edge rusher to getting more pressure up the middle. I like Cox’s effort — he seems to go all out on every play and putting Clemons and him on the field at the same time ought to amp up our pass rush.

    But, as others have questioned, is it worth giving up picks or players to move up to get him?

    An alternative is to draft a MLB with some pass rushing skills. We have a hole at MLB that needs filling, so if we draft a MLB (like Hightower or Kendricks) we fill that hole while also amping up the pass rush. It might also be possible to trade down and still get one of these guys plus an extra pick.

  31. peter says:

    Rob,

    Did you get a chanceto read the “shutdown corner,” report on Upshaw? I’m horrible at links and such, but more or less they call Upshaw a bad ass who will dominate day one in multiple looks, and his pass defense and zone awareness are not bad at all. I’m wondering if his power style of play makes people automatically suspect that his coverage duties would be suspect? Anyways I wouldn’t call it a grreat read since you’ve already put in the man hours reviewing him, but it made me more confident that if the Hawks draft him, we’ll allbe looking back in a years time thinking, “what on earth were the Hawks doing with out a player like him before,”

  32. Phil says:

    Just as a follow up to my previous comments about the Seahawks lack of an inside pass rush, in 2011 Branch had 3 sacks and Mebane zero, in 2010, Cole had 1, Mebane had 1, Siavii had zero. If we are looking to improve the pass rush, Cox would be a great addition …

  33. peter says:

    Phil,

    I agree about Cox, I just don’t see him at 12, and I don’t see him being someone we move up for. Could happen, but with the lack of picks this year I can’t see it. Also, isn’t Jason Jones supposed to provide inside pass rush? It’s an odd set-up to be sure that if we could generate passrush from the outside beyond Clemmons, we could then hypothetically generate passrush form the inside more consistently….but then if we could produce more pass rush from the inside, an outside guy including Clemmons could have more success.

    I love the direction of our Defense, but the one dimensional pass rush has to come to a close this draft. One guy, or one spot on the line can not be responsible for something like 1/3 of all the pressure. Cox would be an awesome get, and I’m still on the bandwagon for Upshaw, but if for some reason the FO goes crazy and gets Barron or something like that, then I’d like to see picks 2 and 3 go towards DE, rush LB. Maybe even a later pick like 6. Our offense if it stays the same(ish) as last year and I don’t see why it wouldn’t isn’t going to win any shootouts, so lets complete the rebuild and have a crushing defense that like the Ravens, Niners, and the steelers form a few years ago keeps the offense alive until and through the fourth quarter.

  34. Rob says:

    Phil – Could you explain how Upshaw’s pass defense is undeveloped? The guy can rush the passer, so I don’t really understand how he’s undeveloped? Also worth noting about Cox – he only had five sacks in 2011 and 2.5 in 2009. He wasn’t a sack artist in college.

    Peter – I did read the Shutdown corner piece. As you imagine I agree with a lot of it. They suggest Upshaw is a top-10 talent and I agree. I know others don’t. We’ll see what happens in his career. If he did fall (which I don’t anticipate), the entire league should be seriously concerned if he lands in Pittsburgh. Be warned.

  35. Phil says:

    Rob – I was referring to Upshaw’s pass coverage skills, not his pass rushing skills, and I carefully chose to say “undeveloped” because I don’t think he was asked to drop into coverage very often in Alabama’s defensive schemes. Maybe he’s very good in coverage …. If he’s going to be an every down OLB for the Seahawks, he’s not going to be a pass rusher on every snap. If he’s a DE, then who’s going to sit?

    Regarding Cox, don’t forget that he’s coming out after his Junior year. He had 2.5 sacks in 2010 as a Soph. and 5 last year as a Junior. Would he have continued to improve as a Senior? We will never know.

  36. Darin says:

    Rob, I have been thinking for the past week or so, since that rumor came out about the Hawks being interested in Mark Barron, that what if they did take Barron in Round 1 and then looked at Situational pass-rushers in rounds 2,3 and 4.

    They had a draft of Barron, C.Jones, B.Irvin, and R. Turbin in the top 4 picks? Or something along those lines?

  37. Soggyblogger says:

    Mercilus motivated himself to improve year over year significantly. He also accumulated the most sacks in the entire NCAA, and he is projected as an OLB which wouldn’t conflict with our regular DL – though he could also be used on the line. He played in a very good league, and we wouldn’t have to trade up to get him – thus saving a second round pick. Though it is very possible he won’t be available when we pick. Like Cox, he is just a junior – if that really gets any points……

  38. Misfit74 says:

    Interesting blurb:

    “The Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person is “told” that the Panthers view South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker than as a fit for their scheme.
    The Panthers run a 4-3 defense, and they may be concerned about Ingram’s short arms squaring off with offensive tackles at the snap. Person does not expect Carolina to strongly consider Ingram at No. 9 overall, ”

    It actually lines up with the mock draft I did this morning, if anyone wants to look:

    http://www.ourlads.com/nfl-mock-draft-challenge/mock-draft/57711

  39. [...] I posted an updated quick-hit mock draft last night. If you missed it, take a look by clicking here. [...]

  40. Rob says:

    Phil – The coverage thing has been discussed a lot. I keep coming back to this – Von Miller: 87% of his snaps prior to week 15 last year versus the run or rushing the passer. 13% of his snaps were designed coverage. Courtney Upshaw is not going to be doing much covering. He’ll be rushing the passer and playing the run, with some underneath coverage which he can cope with.

    Darin – The Barron thing was a smokescreen IMO. If you want a pass rusher, you better get one in R1. There won’t be any left in round two.

  41. Attyla the Hawk says:

    @Phil and Hawksince77

    It’s not inconceivable to see Upshaw as floating between OLB/DE and Leo.

    As has been pointed out in the Von Miller play breakdown, if he lines up at OLB, he’s going to be rushing the passer predominantly, with flat responsibility otherwise. He can do those things and that wouldn’t necessitate he play instead of Clemons or Bryant.

    As Kip noted in his Upshaw spotlight — Upshaw demonstrated an excellent affinity for being able to rush off the line — something we ask Clemons to do as the Leo almost exclusively. Clemons’ coverage abilities aren’t exactly noteworthy either. And we all understand that Clemons is both advanced in age and has a very lengthy injury history over his career. Upshaw can settle in and be a long term Leo. He most certainly would upgrade our run defense from the Leo spot. In fact, he’d be a very excellent situational Leo when down/distance indicates run more than pass.

    He has shown excellent ability to rush with his hand down at the DE spot. In situations where a pass is likely, he most certainly can rotate with Bryant. We most certainly add to our pass rush by removing Bryant in these situations and plugging Upshaw here.

    In all, I see Upshaw as having applicable utility here at all 3 spots. Upshaw is NOT a simple case of addition by subtraction. He can be a 1st and 10 OLB starter, while still providing impact situational relief for both Clemons and Bryant. And further, he is a strong hedge against injury for both players.

    He has redundant value in addition to situational value and complementary value. That’s unique versatility. He’s the type of aggressive player that should resound and amplify with the type of guys we already have here. I just don’t see any RB or TE being able to effectively block him to any effective degree. That separates him from prospects like Mercilus who too often gets stonewalled by running backs one on one.

  42. Phil says:

    Rob – Don’t take my comments as negativity — but the reason that the coverage thing has been discussed a lot is because a lot of people continue to have concerns about it. I’m not sure how relevant the stats are on Von Miller (obviously different player/team/division/conference/year). But, I guess you are saying that the Seahawks will use Upshaw similarly to how Von Miller is used and maybe the results will be the same. If the Seahawks end up picking Upshaw, I’ll end up rooting at the top of my voice for him and I hope he will turn out to be a great addition to the team.

  43. Lenny253 says:

    Rob

    Lets say the hawks do pick up Upshaw, will KJ be moved to our long term Mike? Also do you think KJ can be a better MLB compared to Kuechly, Wagner, or kendericks? I guess if we pick Upshaw are Core would be Upshaw- Sam. KJ- Mike and Hill- Will. In the Upshaw scenario we would be taking care of two needs with 1 player. With that said, I believe we would be done with the DL and LB unit for this draft considering we added Jones and Rudd for depth earlier in the year. If our Will in the long term is a concern we could address that in 2013. This leaves quite alot of flexibility in rds 2-4.

  44. Lenny253 says:

    Typo

    “Our Core”

  45. Savage Seagull says:

    Ok, I may be crazy but I still think the Seahawks go after Kuechly in the first if he’s still available. And my reasoning is this: the pass rushers available in the first round are good not elite possibilities. The drop off from them to second round guys is not that wide. PC/JS know this and I think they will go with 2 draft pick pass rushers in the second and later rounds and also with UDFA’s and let the cream rise to the top. With such underwhelming options at pass rushers in the first, I think they go for the safe and sure bet which is LK. IMO.

  46. PatrickH says:

    Interesting first-ever mock draft from Greg Cosell:

    http://nflfilms.nfl.com/2012/04/23/cosell-talks-mock-draft/

    In his mock draft, Cosell ignores off-field issues, potential trades, and conventional wisdom, basing it only on what he thinks the team needs are and which players best fit those needs – resulting in many unconventional picks. Anyway, he has Melvin Ingram going to Seattle.

    From his mock draft, it seems like Cosell ranks Ingram first among the non-DT pass rushers, Chandler Jones second, and Courtney Upshaw third. He has Jones going to the Eagles, and Upshaw going to the Jets.

  47. genax says:

    Rob

    thanks great post.

  48. James says:

    My two cents is that the Seahawks draft board will look something like this. Of the players possibly available at #12, I believe they will fall into two tiers.

    One tier will be players valued between 7-15. These are the guys that Seattle would have to pick at #12, or they will be gone if they trade down. If they are in love with one of these guys, they will stay put and one of them will be their draft choice.

    - Kuechly
    - DeCastro
    - Barron
    - Floyd
    - Jones
    - Ingram
    - Cox
    - Coples

    The second tier will be players who the Seahawks may really like, and who play at a position of need, but several of whom could be available around pick #20. If they trade down, one of these guys will probably be their pick.

    - Upshaw
    - Hightower
    - Mercilus
    - Perry
    - Brockers
    - Fleener
    - McClellin

    I have thought for a few weeks that Kuechly will be the pick. Based on need for LB or DE, this is obviously a no-brainer pick…a rare talent at a position of true need. Rob Rang and John Clayton have come around to this thinking. In their presser today, John & Pete spoke of how difficult it is to find a speed pass rusher, so they may be inclined to Ingram or Jones, or Mercilus or Perry if they trade down. There also seems to be a lot of buzz that the Seahawks will throw a curve and go with Floyd or Barron. Cox and Coples play the same position as Jones, the big free agent acquisition. DeCastro will probably have the highest grade but the lowest need.

  49. James says:

    Wow, the Greg Cosell mock noted above is really interesting. Cosell is one of the most respected draft analysts, and his mock veers away from conventional wisdom in several places. The CBs Gilmore and Jenkins going in the top 5, ahead of Claiborne. Floyd to Carolina, ahead of Blackmon. This suggests that if Floyd is there at #12, he might truly be an option for the Seahawks. Ingram to Seattle. Kalil falling to the Cards at #13. Coples falling out of round one. Fascinating.

  50. Rob says:

    Phil – no offense taken. I just think people are getting caught up on a non-issue. If the role is going to heavy pass/run defense and not coverage, I don’t see it as an issue. Upshaw can run underneath, a lot of what Von Miller did in his 13% coverage snaps.

    James – They’ll go defense in R1. Take it to the bank.