Seahawks draft predictions

April 27th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s the eve of the draft, so I wanted to offer some predictions and thoughts based around what I’ve heard about the possible direction the Seahawks will take.

Last year the left tackle position was a main target area. We saw that with the drafting of Russell Okung with the 6th overall pick. It really came down to whoever was remaining between Eric Berry, Trent Williams and Okung. Had Berry been there at #6, he would almost certainly have been the choice, but the Seahawks would have tried to get a left tackle at #14. By adding Earl Thomas to pair with Okung, Seattle was able to address the two places on the roster they most desired.

This year I get the feeling there’s a much more open feel about things. Perhaps there is a slight leaning towards the quarterback position, but they’re certainly not going to reach to fill the need. What it means is there’s likely to be a handful of players they’re prepared to take at #25 in a best player available scenario. Mike Pouncey, the offensive guard from Florida, is one of those players. The Seahawks don’t expect he’ll make it to their pick, because he’s a legitimate option for Miami as early as the #15 overall pick. There are a cluster of teams including New York, Tampa Bay and Kansas City who should ensure he’s off the board before Indianapolis pick at #22.

Jimmy Smith is likely to be another player in that situation. Despite a lot of negativity about his character, the guy is a top-ten talent physically. The Seahawks won’t be the only team to have him higher than Prince Amukamara on their draft board, but again it isn’t likely that either make it to #25. Should that be the case, I think they’ll waste little time handing in the pick.

I’ve no further information on who else they’d be prepared to take at #25 and feel absolutely satisfied. Perhaps they look at a Muhammed Wilkerson (DE, Temple) and see defensive line depth and a Red Bryant clone? Maybe the lack of height on Brandon Harris (CB, Miami) will be less of an issue for the Seahawks given his strong open field tackling ability? Despite my opposition towards spending a high pick on a right tackle – a position easier to fill than most without spending expensive draft stock – I have no information as to their thoughts on a Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin), Nate Solder (OT, Colorado) or Derek Sherrod (OT, Miss. State). Is Jabaal Sheard (DE, Pittsburgh) an option?

The player you can label as a wildcard is Mark Ingram. One member of the Seahawks offensive coaching staff (who joined the team during this off season) loves the guy and has been making a case for the Alabama prospect to be drafted (if available) at #25. I understand that the front office don’t share that enthusiasm for the pick considering the needs elsewhere on the team and the current depth at running back on Seattle’s roster. You do wonder, however, if there is a situation where Ingram is the best player available and they pull the trigger. What if they can’t move down? What if he’s clearly graded much higher than the next available player? It’s perhaps an unlikely scenario, but there is no way I’m ruling out Ingram.

Don’t expect Ryan Mallett, Adrian Clayborn, Stephen Paea, Marcus Cannon, Marvin Austin or Phil Taylor to be the choice. These are all players Seattle has expressed interest in and feel positive about, but for scheme purposes or other undefined reasons, they are not likely to be drafted by Seattle. In the case of Mallett, the Seahawks see his lack of mobility as enough of an issue not to include him on their board.

Depending on what offers are available, the Seahawks will look to trade down. The guy to keep an eye on is Colin Kaepernick, because I understand he’s had consensus approval among the Seahawks draft room. He is the #2 quarterback on Seattle’s board, with #1 remaining unknown, although I would predict it’s Jake Locker. When the Huskies quarterback is drafted by Washington in the top ten, it’ll leave Seattle contemplating their options. Do they like Kaepernick enough to avoid risking missing out on day two of the draft? With seven picks after the #25 on Thursday, teams could well move up to target the Nevada quarterback. New England own the first pick of day two and rest assured they will be fielding calls for the pick with the Patriots only currently owning five picks in 2012.

If they are not committed to Kaepernick, they may be willing to accept any deal to move down with offers as low as an extra 4th or 5th rounder touted. Ideally, they want that 3rd round pick back they spent on Charlie Whitehurst. It’s going to be very interesting to see how they play this if the Pouncey’s and Smith’s are off the board and whether they’d actually commit a first round pick to a guy like Kaepernick. It could happen.

Yesterday we had information about Carson Palmer potentially landing in Seattle down the line. Make no mistake, drafting a guy like Kaepernick doesn’t impact that at all. Whether it’s Palmer or Matt Hasselbeck starting in 2011, the idea will be that in two years time they want to hand over the keys to a guy they have developed. It would be a perfect scenario to train up Kaepernick behind the veteran, ready to start in the future. It’s a lot of stock placed in one position, particularly if you include the Whitehurst deal. Even so, we’re talking about the most important position in football here, it warrants this much attention.

Players to keep an eye on in round one at #25 or after a small trade down the board:

Confirmed: Mike Pouncey, Jimmy Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Mark Ingram

Speculation: Jake Locker, Jabaal Sheard, Muhammed Wilkerson, Prince Amukamara

Late round prospects to watch:

Confirmed: Lee Ziemba (OT, Auburn), DeMarcus Van Dyke (CB, Miami), Curtis Marsh (CB, Utah State), Jeff Tarpinian (LB, Iowa)

Later tonight I will publish my final mock draft for 2011… 

So stay tuned!

30 Responses to “Seahawks draft predictions”

  1. Mike in OC says:

    Excellent summary, Rob! I do appreciate the work you’ve put into this blog, as I’m sure everyone else does who’s visited it. Thanks.

  2. bill Ballard says:

    Definitely appreciated. Your diligence and info. You’ve help make the off season interesting. Thank you.

  3. SteilacoomSteve says:

    I’m hoping for help at DB, I can’t take anymore of Jennings/Trufant. I think Jimmy Smith would be great. If Palmer can be had for late round picks I think it would not be a bad thing. You do an amazing job on this blog Rob, I check in daily and it is great reading.

  4. Rob says:

    Really appreciate the kind words, guys. Glad you enjoyed the blog this year and hope you’ll visit tomorrow during the live chat even if it’s just for a few moments.

  5. Will says:

    Great stuff Rob! Really enjoy reading your stuff!

  6. kevin mullen says:

    Rob, great job, been reading your work for the past two years now and it just keeps getting better.

  7. Matt MTJ says:

    Just to echo the sentiments, love your work and this site Rob. Cannot be understated how much information you provide and best of all, your credibility is of highest regard.

    Finger’s crossed for a brilliant draft by the gang.

  8. AgentJ says:

    Seattle is lucky to have you and your blog. Thanks for everything. Your work (this year) is almost done.

  9. Kip Earlywine says:

    Boy I wish Wilkerson was a Red Bryant clone. He’s not as big and not as nasty. I think he will be a solid 3-4 DE, but not a stud. I don’t buy for a minute that Wilkerson has a future as a 3 tech- no nasty streak, “meh” explosiveness, and very limited pass rush skills. I’d be pretty upset if Seattle drafted him 25th or even 35th.

  10. Kip Earlywine says:

    After researching Tom Cable, I’m even more a fan of drafting Ingram at #25. The reason is because he built a very good running game not around the line but around amazing RB talent. The raiders did an outstanding job of acquiring quality RB during Cable’s time there. If Cable is the guy pounding the table for Ingram, then I really hope the team drafts him. Sorry Marshawn.

    Further, I was not impressed by Cable’s ability to scout OL talent, though in fairness its hard to separate his preferences from Al Davis’. If Seattle wants to build a good running game with a Tom Cable offensive line, then its imperative that they do that with a stable of Tom Cable running backs.

    • kevin mullen says:

      Kip,

      In a typical 60 snap offensive plays, Marshawn, Forsett, and Washington couldn’t carry that load? Marshawn around 20, Forsett 10, and Washington for a handful, I think they’re more than capable to handle, let alone be the stable for at least next year. The problem with our run game was the interior line, not the backs. Drafting Ingram (though I agree is intriguing) is too much of a luxury for our talentless interior line. We had no push!

      Love the Cable article! Keep it up!

    • Derek says:

      I would like the Ingram pick especially of he is BPA. Lynch has proven to be pretty durable but with his beast mode who knows how long that will last. I think Ingram will be a really special player and would be a steal at #25 and he would be able to help whatever QB is playing next year.

      You talk about great teams always drafting BPA but usually those teams are set at QB already so that is the only thing lingering in my mind about this pick. If Pouncey, Smith, Locker, and Mallet are off the board I would run to the podium to get Ingram. I also would then target a guy like Tyrod Taylor later in the 5-7 range to groom behind Whitehurst and whatever veteran we bring in.

      • Rugby Lock says:

        I would not be opposed to Ingram as the Hawks have such a dearth of talent. If they do go this way then I think Enderle (sp?) out of Idaho would be a real nice project… Of course if Ingram is there at 25 I would think that it would make a trade much more likely…

  11. Seth says:

    Great stuff Rob. Love your hard work to get all of us Hawk fans up to date on the prospects. Has anyone this year tried to figure out Pete Carroll’s clues on twitter this year? I just to a look and I am convinced it will be Jimmy Smith if he is available. You does the 12th man nation think?

  12. B says:

    Thank you for all the hard work.

  13. Derek says:

    If Mallett is there at #25 and the Seahawks pass on him, I would be very disappointed. Do you think he could improve his speed enough to run bootlegs? I know the guy is 6’7″ but with all the trainers and money in the NFL, I am sure you could get Mallet to a 4.9 or maybe 4.8. San Diego has always had a strong running game with Phillip Rivers, as well as Pittsburg with Big Ben.

    • Rob says:

      I think he’ll be gone by #25, but once again Pete Carroll stressed yesterday that he wants mobility at quarterback. I’m a Mallett fan, but it won’t be happening in Seattle I’m afraid.

      • Derek says:

        Yea he should be gone by then. Also, I just read an interesting article over at 17 power that raised some questions. If Pete Carroll wants mobility, why did they get rid of Wallace and Nate Davis and go after Trent Edwards? I really liked Adam’s point that if you first get your franchise QB, you can begin rebuilding and constructing your offense right away as opposed to constructing your offense and then waiting for the right QB who fits it to come along.
        But if the mobility part is true, what do you think of Tyrod Taylor in the later rounds?

        • Rob says:

          It’s an option if they don’t address the position early. He’s a better project than someone like McElroy, who I grade as an UDFA. As for mobility, Brandon makes a fair point. Ultimately though, if they’re going to invest the big time picks in a guy rather than see what’s available, they’ve made too much of a point about mobility. I can only pass on the information I have received, and I was told Mallett is not on the board due to mobility.

          • Derek says:

            Yea I can see Taylor as a solid QB in a couple years. I have read that he is a great competitor, and has the desire to be great. He reportedly worked with Michael Vick in the offseason. He also has decent stats while at Virginia Tech. The biggest issue is going to be his height at 6-1 but I don’t think that drastically short.

            Here’s a link to what NFL mocks has to say about him:

            http://nflmocks.com/2011/04/27/final-report-the-quarterbacks/

  14. Hawkfin says:

    Great article. I admire what you do Rob!

    Not that anybody cares, but I wish to voice my hopes anywhere and everywhere as I do my share of studying, research, etc.

    I want NO part of Jimmy Smith. I hope he’s gone for us. We SO need a quality corner, but this guy is problems. His off the field stuff is by far worse then Mallett, his lack of Int’s, He takes plays off, I feel he’s still a risk in coverage and will get beat deep. But most of all his run support is horiable. He looks weak and does not shed blocks. Also, does not play to his combine speed.

    I find it interesting you mentioned Brandon Harris – I love that kid. He’s still my #2 corner even though I was so dissapointed on his size. I wish he were a little bigger. But, like what you said he is awesome in run support and has very good coverage skills. His verticle is decent, so I know he can get up there. I think he will be really good.
    I’m not sure he’s worth our 1st rounder, but I found it interesting you mentioned his name. Maybe he’s climbing up the boards? (I’ve been high on him for awhile)

    I’m good with Pouncey – That would be a great pick. He’ll be gone

    If you read any of my post you know I’m high on Mallett. I hope you/sources are wrong and he’s still on our board and our #1 QB, and it’s not Locker. I think Locker is a fail – Accuracy not good enough, which is a bigger problem then Mallett’s speed. Mallett can move a little bit and is shifty enough in the pocket to get his quick release off. I could see him being the best QB of this class over Newton and Gabbert.

    I’m ok with a trade down I guess and I DO have to admit that Colin Kaepernick looks pretty good. He sure looks weird when he throws, but he does look good. I still like Mallett more, but I’m ok with this guy. At #25 though just seems like a reach.

    Hate Ponder and don’t feel real good about Dalton either. We better get a 3rd back if we take one of these guy’s with our first pick.

    I LOVE Gabe! I hope he’s on our list. I like him more then Pouncey truth be told. I really like Constonza too, but he’ll be gone.

    Wilkerson probably be a solid pick, but I’d rather go a different direction.

    I like Ingram – Good wild card pick. Hey if the value is there – Take it. Although, there are other backs that look really good later in the draft too. I’d feel Lynch will be a waist though.
    Although I’m not sold on Lynch or Forsett anyway.

    My rank:
    1. Mallett
    2,3,4. Gabe/Constonzo/Pouncey
    5,6,7 – Kerrigan/Quinn/Jordan
    8. Ingram
    *Trade down*
    9. B. Harris
    10. Colin K.
    11. Locker
    12. Wilkerson/Dline
    13. Sheroud/Oline
    14. Williams/CB
    15. Hankerson/Baldwin/WR

    Soder, J.Smith, Prince, Alden Smith, are all off my board.
    I hope they are all gone before we pick.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the kind words Hawkfin and really appreciate your detailed contribution. Some really interesting thoughts there. I’m not as high on Carimi as you are and I noticed ‘the Tuna’ had him in round three (I wonder if Bill Parcells reads the blog…). I have no idea whether right tackle is an option in R1, but the great thing is we only have to wait around 24 hours to find out.

      • Hawkfin says:

        What don’t you like about Gabe?
        Man, when I watch that guy he looks like he over powers everybody to me and can handle the edge as well. I think he might be a full blown LT actually. But, if he were to move to guard or even RT he would easily be a top prospect.
        He handled Quinn very well (who I feel has the biggest motor and speed for DE)
        He went up against other top DE’s in the draft and did very well.
        He looks mean and I feel plays mean.

        But most of all, I see him blowing people back 3-5 yards on plays. And I really never saw him beat all that bad. And that was playing LT.

        Hmmm, I don’t know what’s not to like?

        Can’t just go by what the Tuna thinks. He’s a little long in the tooth. :)
        Maybe he’s got other motives for somebody.

        I really like Gabe. I have him as my 1A-B actually right with Constanzo. Even ahead of T. SMith.

        Anyway, IT IS GETTING CLOSE!!!! Can’t wait.

  15. […] haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out Rob’s final mock draft write-up as well as his recap of the most likely options Seattle could consider at #25 and later in the […]

  16. Patrick G. says:

    Thanks so much for all your hard work. Your thoughtful analysis, detailed insights, willingness to defy conventional wisdom, and great writing have helped move me from being purely a bystander during the pre-draft process to having a active interest in the whole thing. Keep it up! It was great to see your blog get those plugs on 710!

  17. jhs says:

    Jonathan Baldwin 4.45 forty and 42 inch vertical at 6’4 228. If he is there at 57 I like that pick.

  18. D says:

    Thanks for all the work you’ve put in Rob. Another great predraft season for SDB!