I had contact with my ‘draft insider’ yesterday for a catch up and to get some info on the team’s plans during last week’s draft. Before we get on to that, I want to point out the success rate of his information this year to date (click here and here). Despite placing Ryan Mallett at #15 in my final mock draft, the source told me there was no chance that would happen. Here’s what I wrote the night before the draft: “Ryan Mallett isn’t just off the Seahawks draft board, he’s sinking in a big way. Apparently he won’t be taken until the mid second round at the earliest. The source was quite adamant about this.”
What about the Seahawks? “I’m told it’s likely Seattle will favor offensive lineman if they can’t move down.” Seahawks Draft Blog even touted James Carpenter as an option.
“Do not expect Andy Dalton to be drafted at #25. The words used to describe the possibility of that happening were very negative.”
Just a small sample, but there’s a lot more that came to fruition if you select the links above. Not every piece of information I relay on this blog will be proven true, but this particular source continues to offer a great insight into the Seahawks draft plans. He nailed the 2010 draft last year and called the Marshawn Lynch trade days before it became public knowledge (for proof, see here). So whether you believe the information I publish on this blog or not, it’s fair to say it’s coming from a source with a track record.
We told you before the draft that Colin Kaepernick was the #2 quarterback on the Seahawks draft board, with Andy Dalton at #3. The top ranked quarterback was unknown prior to the draft. I’ve since discovered that Blaine Gabbert was the man in question. You may be interested to know that Cam Newton was ranked at #4 and Jake Locker as low as #6. I am not aware of who was at #5, but it’s probably safe to assume it was Christian Ponder. Ryan Mallett was never a consideration.
What this tells me is that the Seahawks did not feel good about this quarterback class. A pretty obvious statement I suppose, considering they ignored the position completely. I understand there was interest in Kaepernick if they could initiate a trade down into the top end of round two, which makes sense given where he was eventually drafted by San Francisco. I also believe there was a significant grading drop from Kaepernick at #2 to Dalton at #3. The way the quarterbacks were ranked and left the board suggests a QB at #25 was never really a consideration. They simply did not rate this group.
I’m told that the team was really high on Danny Watkins, drafted two spots before the Seahawks by the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, he was considered the #1 realistic target at #25 if they couldn’t trade down, but of course he left the board just before Seattle was on the clock. My source didn’t know how James Carpenter was graded in comparison, but certainly Watkins was in play before the Eagles drafted him.
Despite what has been said to the contrary by Seahawks GM John Schneider on KJR this week, I understand Jimmy Smith was still in play at #25 despite character concerns. However, as with Alex Gibbs last year, Tom Cable has been afforded a substantial input and the team decided that if they couldn’t move down, they would take an offensive lineman. Clearly the off-field concerns played some part because there’s no way a player as talented as Smith should’ve lasted into the 20’s anyway. But unlike Ryan Mallett, Smith wasn’t struck off the board and they did grade him higher than Prince Amukamara.
I was told about two specific targets whenever free agency begins, but have promised the source I won’t reveal the names on here. Both were offensive minded players that will continue the team’s desire to improve the run. Time for a bit of cryptic Pete Carrol-esque musical mystery. Your first task is to find the player hidden in: Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters theme tune. If you can work out who player #1 is from that, you should be a sleuth. Second player’s clue: Hilary Duff – The Getaway. Good luck, think outside of the box.
The final piece of information I can give you today is on the Seahawks immediate future at quarterback. Regulars will know that I’ve been writing about the possibility of a deal to bring Carson Palmer to Seattle being in the pipeline. I asked my Seahawks source about that talk and he couldn’t offer anything to confirm or deny it. However, he did tell me that Matt Hasselbeck is still a very realistic option for the Seahawks. He added that there is interest in Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb, but any deal is dependant on the price. In fact he stated that the Cleveland Browns were the team to watch in the race for Kolb’s services. That would make perfect sense given Tom Heckert’s influence in drafting Kolb for the Eagles and with Cleveland holding two 2012 first round picks.
Finally, the team does still have faith in Charlie Whitehurst and I understand it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could end up being the starter next season. This would be dependant on other deals not being completed, for example Hasselbeck signing elsewhere or any possible deal for Palmer hitting a blockade. However, it appears the team are prepared and won’t panic about giving Whitehurst his opportunity.