Seattle’s draft needs: Status check

November 29th, 2010 | Written by Rob Staton

In the aftermath of yesterday’s crushing 42-24 defeat at home to Kansas City, you’re forgiven if you’re struggling to define Seattle’s greatest draft need.

Pick a card, any card.

When I update my mock draft on Tuesday, I won’t be projecting the Seahawks to win the NFC West. Right now I believe they would own the 11th overall pick in next April’s draft. That’s a ten-spot swing by the margin of possibly one game and a division title.

I’m going to run through the different positions and review need and likelihood the position will be drafted early next April. Of course, this is subject to change with plenty of football yet to be played.

Quarterback

It’s a need because…

– Matt Hasselbeck will be 36 next September and Charle Whitehurst is yet to convince anyone he’s the long term successor.

– The previous regime made life difficult by neglecting the most important position in football for too long. That can’t continue.

What could happen?

– There’s every chance Hasselbeck will be extended or ‘franchised’ should such a tag still exist. The regime in Seattle may feel it’s also time for a change and review options in free agency/trade. Either way, there’s a strong possibility a quarterback will be drafted in the first two rounds without the immediate pressure of having to start straight away.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– I still think it’s likely and Seattle’s biggest need. Sooner or later this franchise has to draft a quarterback early and invest in the position.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Andrew Luck is almost certainly out of reach as he’ll be the #1 overall pick and Carolina won’t blow the chance to draft him.

– I also believe Cam Newton will be out of reach but perhaps more attainable via an ambitious trade. Can you really picture it though?

– Ryan Mallett doesn’t have the mobility or character this franchise will look for.

– Jake Locker remains a possibility. The local connection, the Sark/Carroll ties, the scheme fit. Can they see past his obvious flaws with accuracy? Will he be around in round two?

Need rank: #1 - needs to be addressed now for the long term

  

Wide receiver

It’s a need because…

– Seattle’s best two receivers – Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu – are free agents in 2011.

– Despite some younger players on the roster (Butler, Tate) the depth at the position was seriously exposed in Williams’ absence.

What could happen?

– I would be surprised if the Seahawks didn’t re-sign Mike Williams. The two parties have been good for each other so far. Obomanu, if he continues recent form, is a must re-sign.

– The front office have aggressively pursued big names like Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. With Jackson hitting free agency, he may land in Seattle.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– It depends on the team’s ability to maintain their top two WR’s and whether confidence remains in guys like Butler and Tate.

– If a prospect like A.J. Green or Julio Jones is starring you in the face – can you pass?

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Should the Seahawks draft in or around the top ten, they could have a shot at two potential studs – A.J. Green and Julio Jones.

– Depth could be good in round two with prospects like Jonathan Baldwin, Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles possibly available.

Need rank: #7- BPA might be a WR, playmakers still needed

  

Offensive Guard/Center

It’s a need because…

– It’s been a revolving door at left guard ever since Steve Hutchinson was foolishly allowed to move to Minnesota.

– The team’s run game has been abysmal this year – the line has to take a lot of the blame.

What could happen?

– Expect a serious review of the free agents available and a lot of talks. There’s a lot of big names set to hit the market (Mangold, Mankins, Nicks, Kalil) but don’t expect any to be available.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Guard’s and center’s aren’t trendy picks in round one for teams in a big rebuild. Whilst a team like Pittsburgh can afford the 18th overall pick on a center, can Seattle?

– There will be options in round two, but will any be significantly better than other premium positions?

Who are the prospects in contention?

– I have Mike Pouncey as a first round pick, although a trade down would have to occur to justify that move. He can play OG or OC.

– The only other logical early pick I can suggest is Rodney Hudson – but that would take a move back to the ZBS which has seemingly been abandoned.

Need rank: #4 – the biggest need on the O-line, but not many options early on

  

Offensive tackle

It’s a need because…

– RT Sean Locklear is a free agent and has had a disappointing year overall.

– Injuries have tested the depth at tackle and Ray Willis is also a free agent.

What could happen?

– I don’t expect Locklear to return – his deal was re-worked to offer a get-out.

– There are veteran free agents than can do a sufficient job at RT for Seattle (Matt Light?) – but will any actually hit the market?

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– It becomes more likely if Seattle wins the NFC West and picks in the 20’s. If not, it simply won’t happen without big moves down the board.

– If the Seahawks pick early in round two – they will be well positioned to select from a number of potential RT’s.

– Interior line is a bigger need and good RT’s can be found in FA and mid/late rounds.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– I gave Gabe Carimi a second round grade, but he’s been heavily projected in round one and is the best pure RT prospect.

– Derek Sherrod and Demarcus Love would be alternatives in round two if available.

– A lot of people want the Seahawks to go in this direction but I have to ask – is Carimi in R1 really that much better than Joseph Barksdale or James Carpenter much later on?

Need rank: #8 – hard to find a RT prospect worthy of a high pick, can fill hole elsewhere

  

Running back

It’s a need because…

– Whilst the offensive line have shouldered most of the blame (and rightly so) – are the Lynch/Forsett combo really blameless too for a terrible run game?

What could happen?

– There’s always serviceable veterans knocking around in free agency. Expect some camp bodies to provide competition.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Unlikely. Only Mark Ingram deserves a high grade and whilst I’m a big fan – I’m not convinced he’d do much to solve the run game woes.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Only Ingram in round one – and I don’t like the alternatives enough in round two to suggest this is a possibility.

Need rank: #10 – Production should improve with better line play

  

LEO rush specialist

It’s a need because…

– Chris Clemons has been a revelation, but he’s 30 next year and the depth behind him is very weak.

– The Seahawks’ pass rush has been inconsistent and adding talent only stands to help.

What could happen?

– This regime may feel like they have what it takes to identify cheap scheme players outside of the top draft spots.

– Prospects who may get disregarded (Aaron Maybin?) and fit scheme may be offered redemption in Seattle (see: Kentwan Balmer).

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– It’s a possibility. There are prospects out there who fit the size/speed specific and depth is needed.

– Alternatively – is this a position that will be addressed later on or elsewhere, as with Clemons?

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Justin Houston is almost identical in size to Clemons and would be a sufficient fit.

– Von Miller is smaller but with massive production. Is he capable of playing DE in the NFL?

– Robert Quinn could be a logical choice in that 8-15 range if he tests well at the combine. He’s 6-4 and 260lbs.

– Is Ryan Kerrigan enough of an edge threat to fit or is his relentless style better as a more orthodox DE? I’m not convinced, but he’s a size fit with production.

– A better bet later on could be Brooks Reed of Arizona. He fits the scheme, is quick off the edge and has six sacks this year. A mid-late round investment seems likely.

Need rank: #6 – Pass rush depth needed but Clemons-type role players may be the way forward

  

Three-technique DT

It’s a need because…

– The defense suffered badly without Brandon Mebane, who is also an impending free agent.

– Depth on the D-line is not great in general especially with a rotation still in use.

What could happen?

– This isn’t an area Seattle has invested that much energy, but it’s also a position that I predict will be of key importance for this scheme and perhaps more likely to see a high draft investment than, for example, the LEO role.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Likely, especially if Brandon Mebane departs.

– Enough talent in round one to justify a high pick at the position.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Nick Fairley is having a monster year and will be a high draft pick.

– Marcell Dareus is flexible and could work the three or five technique. His best position is right in the middle and an option for Seattle.

– Stephen Paea lacks elite size but he’s good against the run and six sacks shows he can also get into the backfield.

– Drake Nevis has been hit and miss this year, but a NFC West crown puts him in contention later on.

– Jurrell Casey will be familiar to Pete Carroll and has enjoyed a good not great year. Round 2-4 possibilities.

– Christian Ballard is having a great year for Iowa and is another capable of playing three or five technique for Seattle.

Need Rank: #5 – Too much talent to ignore depth at this position

  

Five-technique aka ‘the Red Bryant role’

It’s a need because…

– Red Bryant got injured and the run defense collapsed.

– A complete lack of quality depth at the position turned Bryant into basically the defensive MVP.

What could happen?

– Bryant is contracted until 2012 but he does get injured. The importance of his loss will almost certainly lead to a thorough review for better depth.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Reason it’s likely #1 – Bryant’s absence proves how important this position is to the entire defense. Depth needed, would also free up expanded role for Bryant.

– Reason it’s likely #2 – there’s some highly rated prospects who fit the position like a glove.

– Reason it’s unlikely #1 – ability to turn Bryant from depth player to heart of the team may convince front office this can be addressed outside of round one.

– Reason it’s unlikely #2 – this position appears to be slightly unique to Bryant, who isn’t a conventional 5-tech like the names below.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Da’Quan Bowers would be the dream pick for this position. Sadly, he’s a top five pick.

– Cameron Jordan is rated very highly and his stock is growing. His personality and scheme fit make an obvious connection to Seattle.

– Allen Bailey is inconsistent, but he has top-10 physical qualities and would be a pass rush compliment to a healthy Bryant.

– J.J Watt is a fast riser and could appeal to Wisconsin’s own John Schneider.

– Cameron Heyward is over rated for me – but has some value after the first round.

– Jared Crick plays inside for Nebraska, but would fit better for Seattle in the Bryant role. Good option outside R1.

Need rank: #2 – Even with Bryant on roster, his absence shows importance of this position

 

Nose tackle

It’s a need because…

– Colin Cole’s injury has hurt the team’s run defense in a bad way.

– Lot’s of big bodies brought in from waivers but none have stuck.

What could happen?

– Another long search through the waiver wire and free agency lists to find depth and size.

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Very unlikely. There are no prospects worthy of even a high R2 grade.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– I haven’t seen a single prospect I’d grade in round three who would logically fit as a nose tackle in Seattle’s scheme. One for later or FA.

Need rank: #9 – depth needed but no obvious answers in draft

 

Cornerback

It’s a need because…

– Kelly Jennings is a free agent and doesn’t fit the new size preference.

– Play at the position has been inconsistent and the team may look to get younger and bigger at CB.

What could happen?

– I expect Jennings is a candidate to move on just based on scheme.

– Is Marcus Trufant untouchable?

– Is Walter Thurmond still considered a legitimate starter for the long term?

Likelihood of a high pick next April?

– Likely. There’s great depth at the position early on. Seattle has a need at CB. You can never have enough good players in your secondary.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– I rate the top four very highly in R1 – Peterson, Jenkins, Amukamara and Harris.

– There’s not a big drop off to the next pair – Jimmy Smith and Brandon Burton. All six of the names so far fit size/scheme.

– Someone will get a steal if Ras-I Dowling sinks due to problematic injuries. Aaron Williams could be a R2 pick. This is a good draft for size at CB.

Need Rank: #3 Great depth at the position and a need

 

Linebacker

It’s a need because…

– LeRoy Hill appears to be done in Seattle and David Hawthorne will be a free agent too.

What could happen?

– How committed are this regime to the current crop of linebackers? Are they prepared to run with what they have with much greater needs on the team?

Likelihood of a hig pick next April?

– I can’t see it. Seattle cannot…. cannot…. spend another high pick on a linebacker with so many needs elsewhere.

Who are the prospects in contention?

– Akeem Ayers would be a brilliant selection if the Seahawks had Atlanta’s roster. Ayers could be a LEO option, but for me his best role is clearly 4-3 OLB.

Need Rank: #11 – Improvements possible but not early

 

Safety not included due to the team’s investment in Earl Thomas (five picks, one TD) and Kam Chancellor – who appears to be being groomed to eventually replace Laywer Milloy (who is a free agent, but may play another year).

I asked followers on Twitter to tell me what they thought Seattle’s biggest draft needs were following the defeat to Kansas City. The most popular positions of need were the interior offensive line and cornerback. The defensive line received the next most attention with Quarterback a distant fourth. Two people mentioned linebacker. Only one person suggested wide receiver was a need.

26 Responses to “Seattle’s draft needs: Status check”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Middleton, Rob Staton. Rob Staton said: Seattle's draft needs by position – status check: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/?p=856#more-856 Let me know your thoughts […]

  2. Glen Peer says:

    Great stuff as always Rob.
     
    I think the hardest part in projecting exactly where this team will head is there is no CBA in place for next year and beyond.  Will there be a cap? Will there be a Franchise Tag? Nobody knows.  That is going to make it even harder to project what the teams ‘biggest’ needs are.  I don’t see very many contracts being extended, or free agency signings happening before the CBA is worked out.  I get the distinct feeling that many of the contract moves (Locklear, Hill, Williams etc.) were purposefully done to allow the ‘Hawks to be as agile as possible when the new CBA is agreed upon.
     
    With that said, I think what became very clear to me yesterday was this team needs to be drafting the best player available early next year.  Like you said with the Steelers, can we really be affording to ‘reach’ for a player because its the biggest need?  I do not think so.  We need to load this roster up with talent at every position and fill in with role players in free agency, and late round draft picks.  If you had to get me to commit to a firm list I think that both lines would be 1 a & b, and then DB.  The right QB anywhere in the 1st rd would trump all of those positions though.

  3. Dave says:

    I think what we need most right now is a run game. So I’m all for drafting O-Lineman. It’s really the most rational pick to make- it’s a need, it’s safe, it impacts the rest of the team and improves it. I know it hasn’t worked out for the 9ers this year but I believe its the best direction for our team to go. Rob, whats your opinion on Max Unger. I’m no expert, but last year it seemed to me he was the weak link on the team. Does he have a future as a starting guard? Same question for Chris Spencer- he’s not awful but is he our Center for the next 5 years

    • Dave says:

      When I say pick O-Line I sat that assuming we pick at 21 or trade down from a high position.

      • Rob says:

        I was unimpressed with Unger last year. I’m not convinced about what his best position is to be honest – and I’m not sure the team is either. Whether he has a future or not in Seattle will depend on his ability to come back healthy. Spencer I believe is a safer bet to feature. The regime appear to like what he’s done this year.

  4. Patrick says:

    Thank You Rob! This was an excellent post and a topic I was really hoping you would discuss! This was the exact same question that kept popping through my head during that miserable Chiefs game. At 5-6, there’s only 1 (Carolina), maybe 2 (Carolina and San Fransisco) matchups where Seattle should be favorited to win. And honestly, even those aren’t as easy as they seem. Remember last year when Tampa Bay came in despite only having one win and humiliated us? It could definitely happen again this weekend. I think what adds so much sting to the rest of this season is knowing we have so many holes to fill and perhaps even more after free agency. With so many needs and so few realistic opportunities in the draft, you just have to wonder how Pete Caroll and co. will right this ship!

    Looking at your rankings, I tend to agree greatly. I check mock drafts frequently and it’s amazing how many different options I have seen for the Seahawks. At #21, Ryan Kerrigan is popular for Seattle, as are Von Miller, Jake Locker, Akeem Ayers, and Allen Bailey. Over at WalterFootball.com, Walter has changed the Seahawks’ pick nearly every week. I’m sure this year we’ll be picking higher and it will be a different pick again. So, let’s assume we’re picking at #11…

    1. QB: I agree 100% with you. Watching the game, I didn’t feel like Hasselbeck was our biggest issue. The fumble and interceptions hurt, but with no line help Hasselbeck was rushing and he really carried our offense on his shoulder once the running game proved ineffective. Still, a QB would be the right pick for the future. Look at the Rams. Or the Bucs, Falcons, or Ravens. We need our QB of the future, and honestly, we needed it probably 3 years ago. Although Bradford really seems one of a kind, look at what he does to the players around him. He scored with 3 different TEs on Sunday! A good young QB can elevate the supporting cast around him.

    At #11, I would love to see us grab Cam Newton. A lot. The game this weekend was beyond impressive. He’s fast, accurate, and tall. He fits our scheme and would completely add a new element. I want Newton in seahawks blue. I’d also be equally thrilled with Jake Locker. I really believe that even if it’s a stretch, Seattle would grab him if available whenever they pick. The connections are simply too strong. I agree that Luck will be long gone and I also believe Mallett will be gone too (besides he’s not a good scheme fit). I hope we don’t consider a 2nd round QB, and even if we did I’m not sure who it would be. Christian Ponder looked impressive this week, but I think 2nd round would be a huge stretch.

    2. CB: This is a very difficult position to assess. On the one hand, this weekend showed that this really is a need. Trufant seemed helpless against Bowe, but Walter Thurmond III proved even worse. I still believe that the coaches view Thurmond as the future, but what about Trufant? He hasn’t played well enough to assume we’re set at CB. Kelly Jennings has been a nice surprise, but like you said, he’s a free agent and never been particularly good for us. Unfortunetly, I feel like CB would be a Tim Ruskell type-pick. “Oh, we are terrible in the secondary? Grab the best CB available at #11. Problem solved.” Earl Thomas has been a stud and probably one of the most talented players on our roster, but yet one player can’t change our secondary. I remember last year a string of CBs were selected towards the 2nd half of round one, and not very many have actually stood out. That’s what makes me think Walter Thurmond may be enough for now that the coaches don’t go CB in round 1.

    3. DT: Last year there was a chance that Seattle would have a shot at Gerald McCoy and many fans (including myself) got a little giddy. I like Brandon Mebane, but he is a free agent. Honestly, before this season I wasn’t high on Colin Cole. I was hoping we would take a chance on some DTs in last year’s draft class but we didn’t. We need more pass rush and grabbing a DT would certainly help.

    4. 5 Technique: I agree on the importance on this position. It’s amazing how much losing Red Bryant has hurt our defense. I don’t see Seattle going this route though, unless someone who fits the role so well is available and worthy of the pick. I could see 2nd or 4th round as being the round we cover DTs. After all, we are looking for role players and role players can sometimes be found later.

    5. Guard/ Center: I would have put this position a lot higher but I’m curious to see what happens when we’re at full strength. Where will Max Unger fit in? He seemed to play decently last year when we used him as Center. He was a 2nd round pick only a year ago and although will this regime that doesn’t mean anything, he could still be an upgrade. And what about Chester Pitts? He played decently when he could actually play. Besides, I definitely feel like in the later rounds some decent prospects could be found.

    6. Right Tackle: Sean Locklear is not good and we all know this. Getting a young talented bookend to Russell Okung seems great! But, looking at all of the other issues on our roster. Another Offensive Tackle in round one? I don’t know much about how much sense it makes, but a lot of people seemed to think that Shawn Andrews would make a better RT. Maybe he’s our future and just a placeholder until we get a right guard back.

    7. Leo: I love Chris Clemons. I liked him as soon as we got him because of his personality and ability. DE has always been my favorite position and the LEO seems tailor-made for my likings (A fast defensive end who just gets sacks!). I agree though that after Chris Clemons we need help. However, Aaron Curry seems like a logical choice to be used more in this position. Also, perhaps a better LEO could be found in the later rounds. If Chris Clemons can do so well, maybe we can find his backup in the 5th round.

    8. Linebacker: It’s sad that Linebacker is even on this list, but unfortunetly it is. I definitely wouldn’t put it very high though. Even if we lose Hawthorne to free agency, Dexter Davis has shown a lot of potential. Besides, like you said, another high pick on linebacker? Ugh!

    9. Running Back: I like Marhsawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and I love Leon Washington. Sadly, I know there’s a strong possibiliy Washington will be gone after this season since for some very, very strange reason we don’t like to use Washington as a RB. Could we use an upgrade? Well, I think another reason why our running game has suffered is from a lack of Michael Robinson. I also think the line is a very strong reason as to why the RBs are suffering. A late round pick would be worth it, but hopefully not much else. Before the Lynch trade, I really wanted Ingram, but I think Lynch deserves a bigger chance.

    10. Wide Reciever: Resigning WIlliams is HUGE. We absolutelty have to get a deal done. I’m amazing at everything Mike Williams has done and I hope we don’t even wait until the end of the season. let’s sign him to a long term deal and know that our best WR is coming for more. I have been very impressed with Obomanu and I think resigning him is also very important. I also think Golden Tate deserves a lot more chances. Since free agency his lack of playing time has really been puzzling me. I wouldn’t be surprised with we traded Deon Butler so a late round WR may not be a bad thing, but we may also get Stanbeck back. Who knows, but maybe he can help.

  5. Matt says:

    Love the post Rob.

    If we are picking at #11, it gives us flexibility to move up and get a QB we want. Sure, that would involve sacrificing picks and this team has a lot of holes, but we can’t just keep waiting for a good young QB. Go out and grab the QB you want and subsequently build the offense to his strengths. I’d much rather get the QB early and plug in other pieces as we go. Even if a round 1 QB didn’t play year one, you are getting to learn what his strengths are everyday at practice and can accurately evaluate what that QB needs in order to become the best he can be.

    To me, it makes no sense to build the offense before getting your QB. Jake Locker, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton would all lead offenses that would look different from one another. So, let’s get our guy and build to his strengths.

    Besides QB, CB, and OL would be the top priorities. I don’t think there’s any rational way you could justify drafting a RT or OG or C at pick #11 when you don’t have a good young QB and are that pathetic in the secondary. I really like Demarcus Love and would swoop him up in a heart beat if available in round 2. He’s very versatile as evident in the LSU game. I doubt he gets out of the first round though.

  6. Jeriod Klovas says:

    QB is #1 need in my opinion, the longer the FO waits for a 1st round QB, the longer us fans wait for success. I also feel that CB has been getting exposed every game. Trufant no longer looks like a shut down corner. Each time he has faced a top flight WR he gets torched. We definitely need an upgrade there. Too bad we don’t have 2 picks in 1st round again this year, hopefully Carrol and Shneider can do some draft day wheelin and dealin.

    • Matt says:

      Amen. I’d much rather be trying to figure out how to address CB or the OL than trying to figure out QB. It’s too important and too hard to find.

  7. Frankfrog says:

    Every Seahawk loss seams to look the same, or at least we lose for the same reason lack of push on the o-line and the d-line, Bryant Mebane and Cole are awesome just need a little depth for rotation. I just don’t see anyone on the o-line winning at the POA. Okung looked awesome against Peppers and happy to have him but someone needs to win a one on one battle upfront. Sounds like a horrible year for o-lineman to bad for us.
    If you can’t run the ball to control the clock your D looks worse than it is. I still would rather fix the line before the QB but it doesn’t look like the draft to grab an interior o-line man in round one. Honestly though I still buy your Harrington comparison for Luck. Mallets a baller I hope all this BS about fit is smoke and mirrors. Speaking of smoke and mirrors I think this Locker thing is just to throw other teams off of our plan, didn’t we do that with Clausen last year. The great thing about these guys is we get to act interested for a couple of rounds covering our intent. Locker could go anywhere Blue Chip talent but horrible decision making and accuracy a lot like a talented Hasselbeck or even Mcnabb. You need a QB guru I feel to make them worth having. Other thing is if your right about Carolina Rob and I dont think you are We could make a play for Clausen for a sweet deal if they grab Luck. I don’t know I have watch the tapes back to high school and see a guy that Is going to be a beast in a couple years.
    No doubt Bradfords the new league wide crush we’ll see he has always been able to play, just made of Glass. Rams were horrible for years and amassed a lot of talent for the young QB. Fact is we have only just started sucking and need more talent to get better.
    I am not a fan of running QB to many injury’s and they peak in there first couple years. If we cannot fix the interior of this line maybe we consider a Cam Newton to get us to the playoffs the next couple years but that just band aids a bad team with one Guy being the whole offense. A great passer set you up for the next decade to have a shot. When I look at college Qb first do they have a Nfl arm, can they throw the deep out? next pocket presence. Guy’s that Win games with their arm against better teams.
    Percentage means a lot but not if you check down constantly. I admit Locker may develop but he doesn’t look promising I’m not even that keen on Newton. Lucks OK Mallet has a considerable better chance of out dueling Bradford for the next decade.

  8. seattlesetters says:

    Great stuff, Rob. I agree with just about everything.

    It will be interesting to see what happens at draft time. We obviously need a QB….we just can’t expect to win with a supposed “cagey veteran” throwing picks and fumbling and hanging on to the ball too long. Since the NFL is a pass-first league, almost everything we do offensively would be improved by a legitimate QB. If opponents must respect our passing game (which they do not), we’ll be better at running the ball and will give our coordinator better options for play calling.

    However, I just don’t see a QB I like after Andrew Luck. Mallett scares me, but he does look good at times. Newton looks like the proverbial college beast who busts in the NFL. Locker has a strong arm but he stares down receivers horribly and is not very accurate (aren’t these things the knock on CBJ?). Because of the lack of depth at QB, I can see the FO putting this need off (at least in the first round of the draft) until another year.

    I am of the absolute belief that you draft the very best player available rather than reach for need. IMHO, if we draft at #11, this would more than likely mean we’d be looking at a CB, WR or DL. We can use top talent at all of these positions, so I’m not really concerned about which gets addressed….just make it the best available when our number comes up.

  9. Matt Q. says:

    I would love to see the hawks take Brandon Harris at 11. I think he is well worth it, he loves the game, hard worker, great tackler, great cover guy, it looks like he doesnt have a weekness to me!

    As for round 2, i think a RT or OG would be great, if none are worth taking, just take a playmaker, if not that then DT or DE

    And i really hope they sign a OG to a overly pricey contract (Mankins) so we could pass on the OL for another couple years in the draft.

    Dream Line Right here

    LT = Okung
    LG = Mankins
    C = Spencer (Carroll likes him)
    RG = Unger
    RT = Andrews

  10. Matt Q. says:

    Is Mason Foster to much of a reach in round 2

  11. Blake says:

    The only QB I would enjoy drafting this year is Locker. Luck is the best, but the trade up is not comparable to his value. It ruins a franchise trading away entire drafts for one player. I don’t like Mallett as a 6’7″+ QB and black QBs just don’t succeed. That’s not racist because it’s true. Warren Moon, Doug Williams (sorta), end.

    I completely agree with Frank that we have a much better stop unit than our statistics indicate. When healthy, we had a 2nd ranked run defense. People could not move us more than an inch off the ball with speed (Curry, Clemons, Thomas, Hawthorne) to pursue. By getting a better offense our bigs will be on the field less. Honestly, I think the injuries can be somewhat blamed on the offense. Playing 70 snaps a game is going to get your ankles sprained and knees rolled up on.

    I am about value, as our team could use talent in nearly every facet. I’d be fine if we didn’t address the defensive line. It has been built on scheme specific players that seem to be available at low prices. Think about it: Bryant, Cole, and Clemons were all rotational guys before this year. Now the case can be made for each one that they are the most important piece to the defense. Value seems to be in 2nd round corners and mid round offensive linemen, specifically on the interior. The 2nd round corners are listed above. Mid round linemen include Stefen Wisniewski, Kris O’Dowd, Matt Reynolds, Joseph Barksdale, James Carpenter, Nate Potter, and John Moffitt. I love this group of guys and my favorites are probably Moffitt and Barksdale. Barksdale is a great athlete with decent technique. He’s a little soft, but he’s good enough in pass pro to make up for it. Moffit is a road grader. Him and Carimi have been issuing out ass whoopings all year.

    We play too much conservative zone and off man for my liking, but I think it is evident that we need a big corner who can compete with TE sized receivers like Bowe. Other than a big, physical corner, I think our defense is relatively fine. Maybe add a late round pass rush specialist similar Dexter Davis. Kentrell Locket (Ole Miss) is a good example of a one trick pony that would be good value for us in the late rounds. Or a big body for depth. Jerrell Powe (Ole Miss) would suffice in 4/5.

  12. Blake says:

    By the way Rob, awesome post. Best yet. This is why other teams are jealous of our blog sites because they don’t have informed people (mostly) partaking in informed discussions (mostly) about their team. It’s terriffic. Stoked for the Luckless mock. Newton in the top 3?

  13. […] Staton with Seahawks Draft Blog put together a fabulous article adressing the Hawks’ draft needs. This is the best read of […]

  14. Matt Q. says:

    Would Bruce Carter in round 2 be a good pick, only if he could work at LEO, could he?

    • Rob says:

      I see Carter predominently as a 4-3 OLB because he’s better at getting sideline to sideline than beating a guy off the edge. I like Carter a lot but have only seen UNC once this year – reports suggest he’s not enjoyed as much success without the likes of Austin/Quinn up front.

    • Blake says:

      Carter’s sole weakness is his ability to rush the passer. = not leo.

  15. Bailey says:

    Jake Locker has the worst line to Protect him compared to all QB’s in the 1st round. Swap Andrew Luck and Jake Locker and watch the numbers flop..

  16. mrcysco says:

    I imagine a QB is the #1 pick this year. There are a couple guys that would make good fits that will possibly/likely be available to us early. Newton & Locker. What I don’t want to see happen is a trade up to get one of them. We can’t afford to sacrifice anymore picks. We are too weak/thin in too many positions.

    My ideal draft would be one where we’re sitting at #10/11 with Newton and Locker still on the board. Seems like all the talk has Locker slipping into the later first round. In this scenario we can either take Newton if the FO thinks he’s our guy, or trade back into the first and get a 3rd or 4th round pick and still get Locker.

    All I know is I want the piece of mind of knowing we’ve got our QB of the future taken care of. If we continue to improve every year, its going to get increasingly difficult find that QB. This will hopefully be the last year we pick around #10 for a long time.

  17. Cliff says:

    Our #1 need is Qb. If we drafted Newton or Locker we could give either a year and let H.Beck play it out another year unless he gets injured. We could also trade for Kolb. We tried to trade for him last year but they wanted both of our First round picks for him. While that is a little much don’t say he’s not even worth consideration cause he is. Maybe our 2nd for Kolb? *Also one thing to worry about is if Luck decides to stay that could make Locker/Newton that much more valuable*
    We need more depth on the OL mostly at Guard but i think a 4th rounder will do in that area. If Unger comes back he can play at RG. RT we have Andrews. Spencer at Center. and RG is a question mark for the future. We also need to figure out what type of Run offense we’re going to use. Whether we stick with the ZBS or switch that will affect who we pick. Rodney Hudson could be there in round 2 and he’d be a perfect C for the ZBS.
    Maybe in 2012 we can go after another C or RT but i think the Talent in the 2nd round for CB or WR is too much. If a player like Baldwin were to fall or a CB like Burton or Williams or anyone the FO covets falls, i think they’ll pull the trigger. There is a lot of depth at large WRs in this draft so unless a top WR falls to us in the draft i think we’ll go after a WR in the 4th+ or trade into the third for one.
    I agree that our biggest need is another Red Bryant or 5-tech. While our secondarys’ play has been shoddy its because we haven’t been able to get as much pressure. Another top CB would help put pressure on the Qb and make him throw quicker. With another Red Bryant type DE/DL putting pressure and closing the pocket it gives our Leo a better chance to get to the QB and our secondary less time to screw up.
    The only problem i see is if you look at how long it takes for a CB to adjust to the NFL vs a DL it usually takes a CB longer. So by drafting a top CB like Prince A. or Janoris J. in the first or somebody else in the 2nd, he would be amazing by his second year of play. Much better while compared to drafting a top Big Red/5-tech DE whom would most likely produce well from day one.
    We also need another 3-tech behind Mebane. More depth, someone in the 4th+ as Mebane is considered our most talented DL.
    No RB early (go after Undrafted) No Safety. We need another TE but this year is no good. LB in the 5th+

  18. diehard82 says:

    Rob, great article. Love it. What do you think of Miami’s Orlando Franklin? From what I’ve read, he’s one of the few dominant run blockers available, and could be had in the 2nd round. I’m thinking that with Locklear on the trade block before Unger’s toe injury, the plan was for Unger to play guard and kick Andrews to tackle. I wonder if the new plan could be for Unger to play Center, Andrews tackle, and draft a guard like Franklin.