Thursday morning draft links

March 10th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Later today I’m going to look at four ‘under the radar’ prospects – a couple of guys from small schools and two others I think could be mid-round sleepers. Also don’t forget to check out the latest mock draft which you can discuss here.

Mike Mayock was at the Alabama pro-day and had strong praise for Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus. Ingram runs a better shirtless forty yard dash than former Crimson Tide top-ten pick Andre Smith.

The NFL Network team grade Mark Ingram. It’s a mixed review really and while Ingram is clearly a talented player, he may last until the late first round.

Charles Davis and Michael Lombardi discuss who stood-out in the pro-days so far. Lombardi had strong words of support for Marcell Dareus, while Davis talked up Ryan Mallett. Included in the clip is an all-time classic – Tom Brady’s forty yard dash footage.

Bucky Brooks was at the Wisconsin pro-day, featuring JJ Watt and Gabe Carimi.

Charley Casserly offers a mock draft without Cam Newton in the top ten. The Panthers take Da’Quan Bowers first overall.

Jake Locker was also on set and heads to the chalk board to talk coverages with Trent Green.

Kendall Hunter ran in the 4.5′s during the Oklahoma State pro-day. It was a similar time to the one he clocked at the combine.

Arizona pass rusher Ricky Elmore talks draft to ESPN:

12 Responses to “Thursday morning draft links”

  1. Jerry Nice says:

    Hey Rob,

    I’m a little disappointed at how locked in you are with The Redskins taking Jake Locker at #10. I don’t think you’ve changed this prediction in over a year.

    In my opinion, Locker is a project. Mallett is actually more ready to go with the accuracy and arm to boot. Remember another QB that Shanahan drafted with a great arm, solid accuracy, and character concerns? Another reason I’m speculative is that Shanahan has gone out of his way recently to talk about Locker. This could be a strong sign that he’s looking to either move down for more picks, or is sending mixed signals to get the guy that he wants.

    I believe that Of the 4 big names at QB, Locker may be the least ready to start. It’s my belief that the perfect situation for him would be to go with a team that has the ability to let him sit for at least a year. We know Washington does not have this luxury. McNabb wants to leave and Shanahan hasn’t made him feel like he wants him around either. I believe the Redskins get another stop-gap in FA and go with a playmaker on defense or offense (i.e. Julio Jones). They have so many holes to fill, a project QB doesn’t seem like it would be wise here.

    I remember you had Clausen going as high as #6 last year and kept him in the top 10 for almost all year, and he seemed to be more pro-ready than even Locker does right now.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Jerry,

      I’ve mixed Locker around, but admittedly he’s been at #10 ever since the end of the regular season. During the 2010 college season I regularly moved him around though, going in the 20′s and dropping out of the first round.

      I have a really good feeling about the pick and while I do like to mix things around, I also think you have to stand by certain things you’re sure about. The ‘Skins didn’t bench McNabb lightly and for me just set themselves up to go QB in the draft. If they can somehow sort out this CBA situation before April we’ll get a better view of how Washington plans to move forward at QB, but for now I can’t see them going in any other direction. That doesn’t mean the pick won’t change in the future, but I’m standing by it for now.

      As for Clausen – I moved him around a lot. From day one I had him down as a second round pick (google: The Jimmy Clausen debate). I also appreciated that my opinion on a prospect won’t necessarily be shared by NFL scouts, GM’s and Head Coaches. It only took one team to believe he was a franchise QB to make him a top ten pick. Clearly that didn’t happen. When I watched him, I saw a limited talent playing in a favorable system. For all Locker’s issues, I still think he’s got so much more potential than Clausen. As for being pro-ready – I think Joe Flacco was possibly the least pro-ready QB I’ve ever seen and he’s taken to the NFL very well indeed because of his physical talents, good coaching and a willingness to learn. I wouldn’t write off Locker being able to do the same, but there are things he needs to improve on.

  2. Matt says:

    Not sure if you ever listen to Brock and Salk, Rob, but today John Clayton was on and the debate arose around “trading down,” as Brock and Salk thought was the best thing to do. Clayton mentioned the fact that teams who continually trade down have a set base of upper echelon talent in place (always at QB). He outright said the Hawks are in no position to “get cute and trade down.” I was relieved to hear this because you simply need great talent to win. Build a team of average players and you will have an average team. Difference makers are vital.

    Now, it could just be due diligence, but the actions of JS and PC thus far (not resigning Hass, lower tender on Mebane, JS at the Mallett pro-day, Newton workout scheduled) lead me to believe that we are positioning ourselves to move up and get “the guy we want.” Now, I must say that “our guy” might not necessarily be a QB, but a player at a key position in our system that we see as a building block.

    Rob, will you be surpised if they don’t make an aggressive move come draft day? Always curious to hear your thoughts. Secondly, who might be a realistic target of theirs considering what they have to trade?

    I could see Jimmy Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson (I think goes much higher than most expect), Jake Locker as guys they feel could be cornerstone players at valuable positions in their system.

    • Rob says:

      Kudos to John Clayton because he’s absolutely right.

      I wouldn’t say I’d necessarily be surprised if they don’t make an aggressive move, because obviously if it doesn’t happen we’ll never know what happened behind the scenes. The Seahawks don’t have a lot of trade stock – there’s no third round pick and they don’t have mulitple picks in any round until R5. Essentially they’ll be dealing with #25 and #57 to move up and get a guy they really want, plus obviously any future picks in 2012. Someone needs to be willing to make that move down the board.

      At the same time, I suspect there will be genuine interest in moving up. The names you’ve listed are all logical fits. Just on Locker – who I still expect to go #10 to Washington – we’ve now way of knowing how they feel about him. There’s talk out there that Seattle isn’t that interested. There’s also a line of thought that would suggest there are plenty of connections and that if Carroll buys into what he brings to the table, that could be a target. I understand why fans love to talk about trading down – it happens on every forum/blog for every team. As Clayton says – this team can’t get cute. The Seahawks need to be pro-active to acquire cornerstone talent at key positions.

      • Matt says:

        What are your thoughts on Muhammad Wilkerson? He seems somewhat underrated and has such versatility that could make him a cornerstone type guy on the D-line. He seems like he could become a good 5 tech or 3 tech which would be extremely valuable in Carroll’s hybrid defense.

        Secondly, how high do you think we could move simply using the 25th and 57th pick? I know there are the draft trade charts, but I think we all know that doesn’t determine whether or not a team makes the trade. 25 + 57 = 12-15 maybe?

        • Rob says:

          From what I’ve seen of Wilkerson, he flashes top-10 talent at times. You look at a guy +300lbs rushing the edge at Temple like he does and it’s unnatural. He could play 5-tech, he could play 3-tech. He’s not always playing at that high level, but I think he’s going to go between 10-20.

          As for how high we could go – it’s tough to say. NYJ and Jacksonville moved up a lot without a real blockbuster package. San Diego and Philly had stock to move up last year. I think 8-10 spots with the #25 and #57 is achievable but then who moves down? New England? They already have a large quota of picks. Miami? Jacksonville? It’s hard to find a partner.

          • Matt says:

            Oh completely agree. Takes 2 to tango. And yes, looking at the teams in the teens, doesn’t look like a terrible amount of suitors. Long shot, but maybe the Rams would trade down if Julio Jones isn’t there. They could take a Jonathan Baldwin or another DT at 25. Long shot obviously. Just thinking in erms of who might be looking at DT, WR, or OT that would move down.

            I am really intrigued by Wilkerson. His frame is great and he has amazing athleticism for his size. Just seems like a versatile guy who would be worthy of a trade up. Does Liuget fit that mold as well? Or is he more of a 3 tech?

            Aldon Smith may be a guy they target as well. Fits the Leo mold, but like you have said, no slouch against the run either. I’m just thinking of names they might trade up for being since we know who might be around at 25. Thanks for the feedback Rob. By far my favorite sports site on the web.

    • Jerry Nice says:

      I totally agree with the notion that we shouldn’t try to be cute here…If we have a QB or play maker in mind, GO GET HIM. I honestly think we can and will this year. Only problem is, without a 3rd rounder, we’re stuck with a ton of 4-7 round picks…Now while Tate isn’t necessarily killing it for us, he is a superior talent to most, and could turn out to be an incredible slot guy.

      Is it me or is Mallett the most exciting prospect this year? Gabbert doesn’t really excite me, and Newton is a little bit of a question mark. Also, while I love Locker, his decision-making makes me worried sometimes. If you combined Mallet and Locker though, it would be the greatest QB of all time.

      GO GET THE FUTURE PETE! RAKE MOCKER!

  3. Rob says:

    Liuget is definitely more of a three-technique, but a very good one. I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that if they do want to move up, Liuget, Smith or Wilkerson could be the reason. Three very good defensive lineman.

    Thanks also for the kind words about the blog Matt, really appreciated.

  4. Kip says:

    Anyone else catch it when Mayock called Stephen Paea a 3 technique? I was under the impression that Paea’s gifts lay more in a 1 tech role, but Paea is better suited for the 3 as Mayock believes, then he’d suddenly make sense for Seattle.

    • Rob says:

      I like Mayock, but I’m not buying that one bit. He has three technique size, but he’s absolutely a one-tech. I can only presume it’s one of the guys Mayock hasn’t had a chance to have a real good look at yet – after all, he had Robert Quinn at #5 in his DE rankings initially, then bumped him up to a top five pick a couple of weeks later.