After weeks of suggesting it might be difficult to trade down from #32, that’s exactly what the Seahawks did today. They made a deal with Minnesota to move out of the first round, collecting a fourth rounder (#108 overall) in the process.
They now own the #40 pick.
Was this always destined to happen? Perhaps.
But you could watch the Seahawks war room on a live feed online. And those watching certainly detected an air of deflation when New England selected Dominique Easley at #29.
Easley. RT @NEPD_Loyko: Just got it confirmed to me “Seattle got their guy stolen from them” “They packed up shop after that pick”.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) May 9, 2014
It felt pretty deflating watching at home too. Easley is a terrific prospect and clearly some teams feel comfortable about the situation with his knees. He’s not just an explosive interior rusher — he has a Seahawks attitude and personality. He would’ve fit like a glove on this defense. Imagine him blowing up the pocket from the interior with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett working the edge? What a shame.
Ian Rapoport has since confirmed Seattle wanted Easley:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2014
Dan Quinn didn’t join the Gators until 2011 and Easley was part of Florida’s 2010 class — so Quinn didn’t recruit him. But he coached him — and clearly he made an impression.
Only five receivers went in the first round, with several good options remaining in the second frame. Getting Easley at #32 would’ve allowed Seattle to still get a receiver at #64 and feel pretty satisfied with that deuce. Now the best option at #40 could be a wide out, so the complexion of the draft plan potentially shifts in a big way.
Here’s a list of the best players remaining options for Seattle:
Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
He’s extremely competitive and gusty. He’s intense, he fights to succeed. In 2012 he was the ultimate playmaker in college football. So why’s he still on the board? You start to fear if there are unknown health concerns. He’s not the biggest guy. He ran a 4.50 and dropped a few too many passes last year. If the 49ers are willing to take Jimmie Ward at #30 instead of Lee — what does that tell you? Is he a product of other receivers moving up — or is he set for an even bigger fall based on circumstances we don’t know about? Would Seattle even consider him if he’s there at #40 — given so many other teams have already passed?
Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
Tall, fast and with strong hands. He’s a top-tier athlete with big potential. Doesn’t drop the football ever. Spent the off-season working his tail off to get better with Brandon Marshall. I’m surprised he lasted beyond the end of round one. He’s also the best run blocking receiver in the class. He’d make a lot of sense at #40 if they want to take a punt on athletic skills. But is he tough enough to make it in Seattle? Marqise Lee will go up against the LOB and demand respect. Latimer’s a little quieter and won’t get in your face. You better come ready to play in camp if you’re playing receiver for this team. Cleveland (#35), Oakland (#36) and Jacksonville (#39) could take him.
Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
Solid tackle or guard. Athletic with a great attitude. Had been tipped to go to the Panthers at #28, who instead took Kelvin Benjamin. Not a long-limbed lineman like Okung or Carpenter but will come in and work hard to succeed. Shut down Anthony Barr last year — the #9 overall pick. Is he special enough? I felt coming into today they wanted to add an explosive player and there are more explosive guys available. It really depends how badly the want to fill the depth on the offensive line.
Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson) or Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
If they want explosive, one of these two could be the guy. A pair of 39 inch jumpers, 4.3/4.4 runners with height to match. If you want to swing for the fences this is an option. Bryant is immature but an excellent deep threat who’s well coached. Moncrief needs to play tougher but he has a unique blend of size and speed. Both players really only scratched the surface of their potential in college.
Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota) — more miss than hit in college but a big time athlete with a lot of potential
Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State) — not a great straight line runner but he can jump (39.5 inch vert) and great character
Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State) — fluid pass rusher with a quick get off, Character concerns
Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama) — would be gone by now if not for the knee issues
Morgan Moses (T, Virginia) — another long limbed, massive tackle
Brent Urban (DT, Virginia) — I’m calling him a wild card. Incredibly athletic, huge size. They love length inside.
Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt) — I’m not a fan personally but he’s competitive and athletic
Second round mock draft up to #40
#33 Houston Texans — Stanley Jean-Baptise (CB, Nebraska)
#34 Washington Redskins — Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
#35 Cleveland Browns — Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
#36 Oakland Raiders — Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
#37 Atlanta Falcons — Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State)
#38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Kony Ealy (DE, Missouri)
#39 Jacksonville Jaguars — Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
#40 Seattle Seahawks — Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
Final thoughts on the first round
— The big shock initially was Blake Bortles to the Jaguars. He’s a high character passer with the charisma to lead that franchise. He carries the drive Blaine Gabbert lacks. He’s a competitor and someone the Jags can build around. I like that pick.
— Cleveland grabbed another first rounder next year to pass on Sammy Watkins. It looks like a good deal on paper now that they have Johnny Manziel, but wouldn’t their offense look even better with Mike Evans catching passes from his former QB? Is Justin Gilbert and an extra pick worth giving that up now that they’re all-in on Manziel? As for Buffalo — they better hope they improve in 2014 or that’s a gift for the Browns next year.
— I was surprised to see only five receivers leave the board. I expected seven. A bad call on my behalf.
— The Rams had a great draft getting Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald. Superb. 10/10. I’m not sure what the 49ers were doing with their pick. They now have three safeties. Arizona also added a safety and further improved their blossoming defense.
It’s now 6am here so I’m going to wrap up for tonight. We’ll be back with more live coverage tomorrow — I hope you’ll join us.