Tuesday draft links

April 12th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Dan Kelly at Field Gulls conducted an interview with me this week discussing all things Seahawks and the draft. Among the topics – who are the best players Seattle can draft at #25, Mike Pouncey, Rodney Hudson, cornerbacks and a quick take on the 2010 draft class.

Brandon Adams at 17 Power discusses the possibility of the Seahawks trading down in round one: “I’m not interested in piddling around with late-rounders. Premiere talent is what gets the job done in this league, not necessarily multiple picks. Those picks still need to be good, and there’s a reason lower-round players fall – they’re not as good. I firmly believe that one first-round pick will usually impact a team far, far more than two fourth-rounders can. The gain needs to be worth the loss.”

Wes Bunting at the NFP says the Seahawks, Dolphins and Bills have been putting in the hours doing background checks on Ryan Mallett. Bunting also reports information from a scout that one team has Andy Dalton graded above Jake Locker. Two thoughts on this – 1.) Jake Locker will go to Washington in round so it’s irrelevant 2.) The Dalton-love has to be a smoke screen.

Rob Rang and Chad Reuter have updated mock drafts at CBS Sportsline. Rang gives the Seahawks Jimmy Smith and Reuter goes for Jake Locker.

Tom Kowalski passes on a discussion he had with a NFL GM that suggested Jimmy Smith’s stock isn’t falling as much as people think. I maintain that Smith is a top-10 talent who could be a better player than Patrick Peterson over time. Both are significantly better than Prince Amukamara. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tennessee gave Smith a home in the top ten (he’s talented enough)¬†and likewise I won’t be a surprised if Amukamara falls into the late teens.

Ben Volin asks whether the Miami Dolphins should draft Ryan Mallett at #15. I think it’s between Mallett and Pouncey, with the quarterback having the edge due to the importance of the position. Volin: “The Dolphins need a long-term answer at quarterback, and Mallett very likely will be available if they opt to pick at 15 instead of trade down. The Dolphins have not invested a first-round draft pick in a quarterback since Marino retired after the 1999 season, and are still looking for an answer at the position, 12 years later.”

Patriots Football Weekly have compiled an interesting mock draft, courting the opinions of local journalists and beat writers. For some unexplained reason Todd McShay of ESPN makes the Seahawks pick. It’s worth a read with the exception of the Chiefs pick at #21 which has 0% chance of happening.

Walter Cherepinsky updates his mock draft with the Seahawks getting Jimmy Smith and Rodney Hudson in the first two rounds. That would be a nice consolation if quarterback isn’t an option in round one.

Gil Brandt publishes an updated ‘hot-100′ – which is essentially a big board. Brandt doesn’t specify a direct order, instead he splits the players into ‘tiers’ which makes a lot more sense than the weekly ‘Bowers is up to #2, oh no now he’s down to #4‘ manner of Mel Kiper’s board.

Todd McShay and Mel Kiper run through a few draft related topics for ESPN (see below):

7 Responses to “Tuesday draft links”

  1. Cliff says:

    Rob, I was wondering what effect not having a real TE at UW had on Locker’s pass comp? That and the fact that he didnt run a spread offense makes me think he’d throw at least in the 60’s if he had a TE, and were in a spread offense. Add the fact that he had very little talent protecting him and catching his passes. I believe he’s worth the risk if he falls and if we can sit him for the first full year under matt/charlie/other vet QB.

    What do you think his Comp % would be if he were in a spread system with a TE?

    • Matt says:

      Not to answer for Rob, but I think the lack of TE and FB KILLED Locker’s completion %. Take away Luck’s FBs and TEs and he is not even close to 70% completion. Now, in no way am I saying that Locker is on Luck’s level, but just a mere observation about how paramount a TE is in those types of systems.

      In a pro set (variation), your easy completions come from your TE, FB, and RB. 2/3rds of that was non-existent last year. They literally used a OT at TE for a lot of situations. The other thing that doesn’t get mentioned enough, is that on a game by game basis, Locker was not handed a lot of easy completions like the Daltons and Ponders of the world. Granted I am a little biased, but watching a ton of football ovr the years, I thought it was quite noticeable that Locker attempted far more difficult passes on a regular basis than your average college QB.

      Just to finish the thought, I still wouldn’t be comfortable with Locker in the top 10 as I still think he needs time to adjust some things. My point with the above argument is that I think his accuracy isn’t as terrible as many want to say based completely off completion %. That doesn’t mean accuracy is a strong suit for him (he definitely needs work), I just think it’s very much overstated based on statistics rather than the eye ball test.

    • ChavaC says:

      If I was going to make any excuse for Lockers accuracy (or lack thereof) the first place I would look is at his line. In my mind there is no good reason why a QB should throw the ball that much better outside of the pocket than from inside it, unless he truly is feels more comfortable relying on his legs than his blockers. If you look at a lot of his really nice throws he’s running outside the pocket where he can use his speed to buy time. Inside the pocket there were so many games where he never really gets the time/room to make a prototypical throw… I mean how do you step into the pocket when your center and guards are being walked backwards? Put Matt Hasselbeck on that team and he’s probably in a wheelchair right now.

  2. JerryNice says:

    I still can’t believe how sold you are on Washington taking Locker @ 10. In my opinion from watching and studying the game for years, this would be a terrible move for them. They need a starter in now, not a project that requires at least a full year to get adjusted. Washington would be forced to warrant the pick by starting him almost immediately, which would be Alex Smith/David Carr all over again.

    Is Shannahan still so gung-ho about getting his Elway again, that he’d make such an ill-advised move? They have close to ZERO playmakers on that team, and #10 would be perfect to grab a Julio Jones, or similar playmaker.

    Why not wait until their pick in the 2nd for a potential Mallett/Dalton/Kaepernick pick? Honestly, they didn’t give McNabb much a chance to succeed since day 1, and should keep him as a starter while developing the rest of the team. Only THEN do you go after a high pick on QB (if it’s right)…Just my opinion.

    While I love Locker and would like him to eventually land with the Hawks, the Redskins don’t make much sense in my opinion. If I were picking at #10, I wouldn’t force this pick.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Jerry,

      Quarterbacks are expected to start quickly these days. We can talk about David Carr and Alex Smith, but what about Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford? All of these guys started immediately and have enjoyed success. I appreciate that Locker is not as polished as a Bradford or Ryan, but nobody can say he’s any less ready to start than Flacco who had no grasp of drop backs and footwork and only had experience playing weaker opposition at Delaware. Sure the Ravens have an elite defense to fall back on, but the Redskins aren’t a lost cause. They have a #4 pick playing left tackle. They have an elite pass rusher on defense. They need to keep adding talent at premium positions and that includes quarterback.

      If they draft Julio Jones – great, they have Julio Jones. They’re still looking for a quarterback. They tried a veteran last year – McNabb – and it failed. Locker is the epitamy of a Shanahan quarterback. I understand as much as anyone the problems Locker has to deal with and improve upon, but let’s also appreciate some of the major positives. This kid will work every day to improve, he’s technically much sounder than people give him credit for. He needs to be less robotic and more instinctive, but he has the potential to be a big time playmaker. Would you take Josh Freeman at #10 now? Sure. I don’t see why Locker can’t have a similar impact on the NFL.

      And let’s get one things straight here – Locker is far superior than a Dalton and IMO – even a Kaepernick. Mallett will not be there in round two, not even close. How does waiting to address the most important need with a weaker talent solve that problem?

      People will say Locker at #10 is a reach, but it’s too simplistic to make that statement. If Shanahan thinks Locker can be a franchise QB, then he almost has to take him and trust his own judgement. Washington has no choice. They can’t move down and risk missing out. If they take the guy at #10 or #32 – he’s still the investment at QB. The only difference is media types give a better grade on some blog or website.

      • JerryNice says:

        Hi Rob,

        Thanks for the detailed feedback. I do see your logic here, but I figure I’d play devil’s advocate for a minute. My other beef is that the reason Flacco, Sanchez, and Ryan worked so well has to do primarily with the fact that the other pieces of their team were in place for them to succeed. With Flacco, he was able to enjoy a solid running game and the best defense in the league. With Sanchez, it was the exact same situation. Actually, Sanchez may have had the best running game and best defense in the league at the time they picked him up. Ryan doesn’t really make sense here, because he was an elite talent and the true #1 QB coming out of the draft (just like Bradford is).

        The Redskins defense is pretty bad too. Also, they have no running game, and their receivers are in flux as well. This is a recipe for disaster. Their D will continue to struggle unless they upgrade their pass rush, and their offense will not survive without playmakers at RB and WR. Moss is a solid WR, but when he’s your #1 (according to McNabb), you may want to think about upgrading.

        My point is, if you bring a young high-ceiling QB in and throw him into the middle of a team without any real support on offense (and questionable D), it’s more than likely going to be a disaster. The reason I bring up Smith and Carr is more about this point. Both had very high ceilings and were thrown in from day one with a terrible supporting cast.

        • Rob says:

          I take your points on board Jerry. I still think there’s a much more open approach to drafting young QB’s though. You need that player to be good, it’s easier to bring them in and build around them then it is to fix the team and then just shoe horn this QB and expect success. If you see a potential franchise QB, you take them. You don’t spend years drafting for other positions.

          Atlanta are a perfect example. They were very poor – 4-12 poor – before drafting Matt Ryan. They get a QB, they move back into round one to get a left tackle. They invest in a running back in free agency. They don’t have a brilliant defense, but they build around the quarterback. They continue to add pieces along the way. Washington already has the left tackle (Williams) and they aren’t hopeless elsewhere (they do have a good pass rusher in Orakpo, they have some solid DB’s). The running game produced results at times last year. I don’t think it’s an awful situation for Locker and if Shanahan likes the guy, he’s not worrying about other factors.