The Thursday draft compilation

January 5th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Michael Brockers (#90) and Sam Montgomery (#99) could be options for Seattle

LSU pair should be on Seattle’s radar   

Twenty-four hours after I projected Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU) and Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) as potential top-12 picks, ESPN’s Todd McShay included them on his big board for the first time. This isn’t unexpected - a mediocre number of top-end players always makes you wonder if the best underclassmen will capitalise. Here’s McShay’s evaluation:   

On Montgomery: “A fast-rising third-year sophomore, Montgomery is somewhat undersized for a traditional end but he’s a productive pass-rusher with strong physical tools.”   

On Brockers: “Another standout third-year sophomore for the Tigers, Brockers moves well for his size and has the strength to control the interior of the line of scrimmage.”   

I’ve received a lukewarm response to my Montgomery-to-Seattle projection, with people concerned about his ability to shed blocks, deal with tight-ends (he should be beating them easily) and inconsistent fire off the snap. I have similar concerns, but Montgomery is far from the finished product. This is his first full season of college football and he’s leading a talented LSU defense with nine sacks. Despite playing at around 250lbs at the line of scrimmage, he’s been solid against the run and combative against the pass. Most players couldn’t play at the LOS with that size. He does have burst and real athleticism, and I’ve seen enough balance to believe he can attack the edge. Put him in space and I think you’ll see a much more productive player. We’re only scratching the surface with his potential and let’s not forget that not many people predicted Clay Matthews to be the eventual dominating pass rusher he’s become. Montgomery’s best days will come in the NFL.   

Brockers, however, may be the X-Factor here. Seattle needs a better interior rush, someone who can feature in any play call and create inside pressure. Brockers is the player that’s lacking in this class so far. He’ll penetrate, he’ll get into the backfield. Not only is he solid against the run, he’d offer the Seahawks are severely lacking three-technique to create pressure. If he declares, there’s every chance he could be off the board by #11 or #12 because of the high value of the position and the lack of alternatives. Having said that, teams sometimes are cautious to draft redshirt freshman – we only have to look back to Tim Ruskell who fed his draft boards with experienced seniors. Earl Thomas dropped to #14 and past teams who desperately needed a boost at safety – one of the reasons may have been his limited experience.   

Both players should be on your radar when LSU takes on Alabama in the BCS Championship game next week.   

Landry Jones will return to Oklahoma  

No surprises here. I’ve been down on Jones throughout the season while others continued to promote his talents as a top-ten pick. I’ve not included him in a single first-round mock draft. He has a laundry list of issues which may or may not be solved with another year at Oklahoma. The thing is, he might as well stick around and play for another Big-12 title. He’s simply not good enough to warrant any long-term pro-ambitions without a significant, perhaps unachievable level of improvement.  

History in Seattle’s favor   

If you’re wondering what the success rate is for players taken with the #11 and#12 picks, there’s good news. Seattle will toss a coin with Kansas City to decide who picks first and in the past some of the NFL’s elite players have been available in that range. Below I’ve listed every player drafted 11th or 12th overall since the turn of the century and a selection of players who were still on the board at the time.   

2011
11th pick: JJ Watt (DE, drafted by Houston)
12th pick: Christian Ponder (QB, drafted by Minnesota)
On the board: Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn, Mike Pouncey, Ryan Kerrigan, Corey Liuget and Nate Solder   

2010
11th pick: Anthony Davis (OT, drafted by San Francisco)
12th pick:  Ryan Mathews (RB, drafted by San Diego)
On the board: Earl Thomas, Jean Pierre-Paul, Maurkice Pouncey, Dez Bryant and Rob Gronkowski   

2009
11th pick: Aaron Maybin (LB, drafted by Buffalo)
12th pick: Knowshon Moreno (RB, drafted by Denver)
On the board: Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, Josh Freeman, Alex Mack, Percy Harvin and Clay Matthews   

2008
11th pick: Leodis McKelvin (CB, drafted by Buffalo)
12th pick: Ryan Clady (OT, drafted by Denver)
On the board: Jonathan Stewart, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Johnson, Joe Flacco and Rashard Mendenhall   

2007
11th pick: Patrick Willis (LB, drafted by San Francisco)
12th pick: Marshawn Lynch (RB, drafted by Buffalo
On the board: Darrelle Revis, Dwayne Bowe, Joe Staley and Leon Hall   

2006
11th pick: Jay Cutler (QB, drafted by Denver)
12th pick: Haloti Ngata (NT, drafted by Baltimore)
On the board: Antonio Cromartie, Tamba Hali, Jonathan Joseph, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams and Nick Mangold   

2005
11th pick: DeMarcus Ware (OLB, drafted by Dallas)
12th pick: Shawne Merriman (OLB, drafted by San Diego)
On the board: Jammal Brown, Derrick Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White and Logan Mankins   

2004
11th pick: Ben Roethlisberger (QB, drafted by Pittsburgh)
12th pick: Jonathan Vilma (LB, drafted by New York Jets)
On the board: Tommie Harris, Vince Wilfork, Steven Jackson and Jason Babin   

2003
11th pick: Marcus Trufant (CB, drafted by Seattle)
12th pick: Jimmy Kennedy (DT, drafted by Minnesota)
On the board: Troy Polamalu, Willis McGahee, Dallas Clark, Larry Johnson and Nnamdi Asomugha   

2002
11th pick: Dwight Freeney (DE, drafted by Indianapolis)
12th pick: Wendell Bryant (DT, drafted by Arizona)
On the board: Jeremy Shockey, Albert Haynesworth and Ed Reed   

2001
11th pick: Dan Morgan (LB, drafted by Carolina)
12th pick: Damione Lewis (DT, drafted by St. Louis)
On the board: Steve Hutchinson, Reggie Wayne, Drew Brees, Alge Crumpler, Chad Johnson and Kyle Vanden Bosch   

2000
11th pick: Ron Dayne (RB, drafted by New York Giants)
12th pick: Shaun Ellis (DE, drafted by New York Jets)
On the board: John Abraham, Julian Peterson and Shaun Alexander   

The Seahawks have owned the #11 pick twice. In 1997 they traded it alongside a 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounder to Atlanta for the 3rd overall pick and a third rounder. The pick was spent on Shawn Springs (CB, Ohio St), while Atlanta drafted Michael Booker. That same year, the Seahawks also had the #12 pick andtraded it to Tampa Bay along with the extra third acquired from Atlanta for the #6 overall pick – spent on Walter Jones (OT, Florida St). Tampa Bay drafted Warrick Dunn. Cue a lot of ammunition to those arguing a bold trade into the top-ten could be the right move.   

The only other time Seattle owned either the #11 or #12 is when they drafted Marcus Trufant in 2003 out of Washington State. Since the turn of the century, Seattle has only picked higher than #11 three times: 2001 (Koren Robinson, WR), 2009 (Aaron Curry, LB) and 2010 (Russell Okung, OT).   

Osweiler the outsider?   

There’s talk that Brock Osweiler (QB, Arizona State) could be considering turning pro. It’d be a surprise to some degree, given his disappointing end to the 2011 season and his one-year’s experience as a starter. At the same time, he’s facing yet another offensive coordinator change and he’s already graduated. He’s tall and lean and needs to add a bit more weight to a skinny-looking frame, but he moves well in the pocket. He’s got a big arm, but it wasn’t used as much as it perhaps should’ve been in 2011 as ASU used a heavy screen game. Osweiler’s stock is hard to judge right now, but remember - not many people expected Blaine Gabbert to be a first rounder this time last year and he went 10th overall. The Sun Devils’ best win came against USC where Osweiler threw three touchdowns. You can see the game tape below courtesy of JMPasq: 

**EDIT** – Reports suggest Osweiler will announce he’s turning pro tomorrow. 

   

Geno Smith makes a statement   

Speaking of quarterbacks, keep an eye on West Virginia’s Geno Smith. He’s had a hit-and-miss year overall, but was superb in the Orange Bowl against Clemson – throwing six touchdowns in a 70-point haul. He made the ‘pass of the season’ against LSU with an impossibly accurate lob from his own red zone and at times he’s looked every bit the pro-prospect. On other occasions, his deep throwing has been inconsistent and he’s made some bad mistakes. He’s got potential and another year in WVU’s prolific system could make for a high grade. However, coming off a national performance yesterday and perhaps sensing he’s achieved all he can with the Mountaineers prior to their move to the Big 12, you can never be sure what could happen. I suspect we’ll see a latecomer capitalise on Matt Barkley’s decision to return to USC and Landry Jones’ struggles at Oklahoma. It could be Smith or Osweiler, both have momentum.   

Stephen Hill to declare   

Back in September I highlighted Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech) as a player to watch. He’s the latest in a long line of physically talented receivers from Georgia Tech, with the ability to flash the spectacular catch and make plays downfield. Today it was revealed he’s declaring for the 2012 draft and he’s another player to monitor during work-outs and the combine. As with many receivers in the triple-option, he’s used to doing a lot of blocking and not a lot of catching. He only had 28 catches in 2011, but notched 820 yards and five touchdowns. His best football will come at the next level when he’s properly used in a pro-stle offense. Hill could provide a solid split-end option for Seattle beyond the first round. I’ve added tape below from his performance against North Carolina:  

15 Responses to “The Thursday draft compilation”

  1. David says:

    i watched some Geno smith lastnight and he played pretty good, i thought his passes looked good, i was gonna actually ask you what you thought of him for the hawks, as a later pick.

  2. Ryan says:

    “Turn of the century” seems like such a long long time ago…

  3. Rob says:

    I feel old when I think of 2000…

  4. Thomas says:

    Clearly Todd McShay is reading your blog Rob.

  5. Turp says:

    Did Hill pull his hammy on that last play?

  6. Rob says:

    Thomas – Naturally! Todd needs to get an angle on the Seahawks!

    Turp – I don’t think so, given he played the next game against NC State.

  7. TJ says:

    Bold trades up got us Shawn Springs and Walter Jones. Also, in 1990, the Hawks traded two 1st round picks to NE for the #3 overall to draft Cortez Kennedy. Well worth what seemed to be a pretty steep price. I hope they have similar plans this year.

  8. kevin mullen says:

    Being that we’re only a few spots away from top5 picks, (Rob, you are right) we need to exercise full effort in getting that talented kid, RG3. Assuming CLE doesn’t select RG3 at #4, he won’t past Miami at #9, so give CAR at #8 that 3rd round pick of ours and get THAT GUY.

    I’ve never been a fan of selling the farm on one dude, but in this scenerio, we’re not mortgaging much, one extra pick. We get a dynamic QB of the future, and with that second round pick still in our pockets, we can invest in our DL.

    But doesn’t Chris Polk at #43 sound pretty good? Imagine a backfield of Lynch and Polk, with RG3 handing off the rock or keeping it for some option-plays…

  9. Tom says:

    That 1990 draft was another weak class, so it made good sense to move up. The Hawks made out in that trade to NE. Come to find out, we received 2 – #1′s for trading Freddy Young to the Colts, so had an extra to toss around.

    The Hawks received #3 and #29 where we selected Tez and TWooden.

    Pats received # 8 #10 #61 #101. At #8 they took Chris Singleton and at #10 took Ray Agnew.

    I don’t really like the need area prospects for the Hawks at all and why I’d give up selections to move up. Great WR’s that we won’t draft lead the strength but I get this feeling that RLockette will be in the ’12 Hawk plans almost eliminated any idea of a 1st rd Wr.

    I like 2nd round prospects if they’re around in pass rusher Vinny Curry or CB Chase Minnifield, who has some of his fathers bloodlines and part of one of the top CB tandems in NFL history with Hanford Dixon back in the 80′s.

    I trust John and Pete but see very little value and high potential bust at #11/12 if they go bpa at need area.

    Just like TJ mentioned, it paid to move up and give 2 – #1′s in 1990 along with the move up trades in 1983 and 1997.

  10. Ed says:

    If cleveland takes rgIII and tampa bay takes claiborne, do could you see richardson fall to us at 11/12 and the hawks take him? That would be an exlposive threat and make our running game even better.

  11. lol says:

    I like Osweiler’s upside, although he definitely seems like a project. He’ll probably wind up going in the 2nd round due to this awfully think QB class, and he could sit behind Tarvaris in his final season on the two year deal.

    This is operating under the assumption that we won’t be trading up for RGIII, of course.

  12. AlexHawk says:

    Rob would would you take either Geno Smith or Brock Oswiller? And if so where could you see them going I like Brock raw talls 6ft 8 cannon of an arm but has the athleticism to escape the sack but could he end up the same as Mallet and not even on the Seahawks board. Geno Smith from the limited of him I have seen looks like a reasonable fit for the Seahawks
    Didn’t do to badly in the orange bowl yesterday either:
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-01-05/geno-smith-orange-bowl-west-virginia/52391118/1

    401yards passing and 6 touchdowns

  13. Rob says:

    Ed – I think Richardson will prove too good to fall. I’m not convinced the Seahawks would draft him, they’d almost certainly see it as a luxury if Lynch returns. After all – there’s only so many snaps to go around.

    AlexHawk – I like Smith’s potential, but he should spend another year at WVU and probably will. Osweiler is a tough one to work out. He’ s a lot different to Mallett, who struggled with mobility. He’s more of a raw prospect with less technical qualities, but he fits what Seattle is looking for to a degree. He’s unique, unlike anyone in the NFL right now. That could be a good or bad thing!

  14. David says:

    Drew brees in 2001-2nd rd
    David Garrard in 2002- had had a couple good seasons and pro bowler i think- 4th rd
    I dont know if you can count tony romo because he wasnt drafted but yah
    Matt Schaub 3rd round 2004

    depending on how you see it, matt moore could be in the talks aswell, hes played pretty good and same goes for T.J yates hes done pretty good when filling in for Schaub.

    Joe Webb or even Matt Flynn maybe? both might be getting alot of attention this Off season.

    Matt cassel, hmmm? even Kevin Kolb, but it depends on what you consider “doing anything” if you mean by stats wise? or SB wins?

    this is no way me trying to show you up, I was actually intrigued by your question and i felt like doing research

    also, Rob what do you think of Josh Johnson the back QB for the Bucs?

  15. dave crockett says:

    If Seattle looks at a short-term free agent along the lines of Jason Campbell, Osweiler and Tannehill could become options.

    That’s hardly an unthinkable strategy. A short-term free agent to compete with Jackson allows the team to also look at 2nd tier QBs to groom — much like CLE has done with Colt McCoy.