Tuesday draft notes & Derek Wolfe game tape

January 17th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Thoughts on Derek Wolfe and the Seahawks options in round one

Derek Wolfe has flashed some big plays during his time at Cincinnati, but it’s tough to fit him into Seattle’s defense. He’s been used at both tackle an end in Cincy’s system, but his home at the next level will surely be as a five technique. He’s got the kind of height that teams like for the position (6-5) and his size (300lbs) means he’ll hold up well against the run and help set the edge. When he plays inside he often gets flushed out of plays and he struggles to attach the point, often leaning into lineman and becoming ineffective. When Wolfe is able to use his hands and keep an opponent away from his frame, that’s when he penetrates. He’ll be better served away from the busy interior and should get looks in the middle rounds for teams running orthodox 3-4 schemes. He’s not an explosive athlete, which will limit his stock and should put him behind Fresno State’s exciting and underrated Logan Harrell.

It’s difficult to imagine he’s the answer to Seattle’s interior pass rush concerns and he’s not powerful enough as an inside force to generate consistent pressure and absorb blocks. Although he may be considered a slightly better attacking threat off the edge, the Seahawks are seemingly committed to stopping the run and I expect they’ll keep using bigger players like Red Bryant at DE, mixing in spot pass rushers for certain downs. It’s a bad year for the Seahawks to try and find interior pass-rushers. Last year, picking in the #11-12 range would’ve provided an open shot at Corey Liuget. Phil Taylor went at #21 to Cleveland and offered superb size to work against the run, but also the foot speed and athleticism to get into the backfield. There’s nobody in this class who is close to that level of talent. Round two may offer more hope if Brandon Thompson is still around, but there’s no Brian Price or Lamarr Houston as in 2010.

It really depends on what the Seahawks are looking for as to whether there’s an obvious round one option on defense. Pete Carroll says he wants speed and a better pass rush, but prospective WILL linebackers like Jarvis Jones chose not to declare. A player like Star Lotuleilei would’ve offered a better interior rush (although he must improve his ability to stay strong against the run) but he’s staying at Utah. Zach Brown is a better sideline-to-sideline linebacker than most in this forthcoming class, but is he good enough to offer consistent pressure on passing downs if asked to play closer to the LOS?

Will the Seahawks see enough value in drafting Michael Brockers or Devon Still in round one? They are two players capable of playing inside, but also two players that have flashed inconsistencies and may be better suited to the five-technique. Luke Kuelchy is very talented and a tackling machine, but he’s undersized to play the MIKE and hasn’t offered any pass rushing threat at Boston College (not that it was a big aspect of his game). I’m not convinced the Seahawks will see the LEO as enough of a priority in round one unless a star pass rusher is available. Chris Clemons is still the starter and the specialist nature of the position dictates a skill set that can be found beyond the high picks. Despite a cluster of solid LEO options last year (Jabaal Sheard, Brooks Reed) the Seahawks passed. I’m not sure Andre Branch and Whitney Mercilus are truly good enough to warrant consideration, while I’m still trying to work out exactly where Courtney Upshaw would fit in Seattle’s scheme.

This just isn’t a good draft for defense and it keeps me coming back to two areas. One – the possibility that the Seahawks will consider adding to their quota of receivers. This is a very strong draft at the position, with top end talent (Dwight Jones, Kendall Wright, Justin Blackmon) a strong second tier and a handful of sleepers later on. Although it lacks the superstars we had in the top six last April, it’s a group filled with starting potential and depth. The second option? The Seahawks target a quarterback one way or another, possibly after moving up or down the board. I’ll be publishing an updated mock draft tomorrow.

The tape above was supplied to Seahawks Draft Blog by JMPasq

Dre Kirkpatrick arrested for marijuana possession?

Reports today claim that Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested after being found in possession of twenty grams of marijuana. It’s pretty ridiculous, considering Kirkpatrick is about to go through what equates to a three-month job interview. Yet to put this into perspective, it’s hardly earth shattering news that a football player has been found carrying some weed. Teams will do all of the necessary homework and if this isn’t a wider problem for Kirkpatrick, it shouldn’t impact his stock more than the fact his coverage skills are pretty basic compared to his excellence in run support. However, what should be a big deal for teams is the rank stupidity of a player you’re about to pay millions of dollars being caught in this situation. It’s not exactly difficult to avoid such a potential red flag between the months of January and April. If Kirkpatrick can’t be trusted to put himself in the best possible situation for the draft, can you really trust him to cover Calvin Johnson?

Dolphins about to turn into Green Bay mark II?

Chris Kouffman is reporting on Twitter that the Dolphins are close to appointing Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as Head Coach. Kouffman, who writes for ‘Universal Draft’ and a football blog at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, claims Tom Clements could also be appointed as offensive coordinator with Matt Flynn likely to reunite with the pair as the team’s new starting quarterback. It’s unclear at this stage how legitimate this is, but it’d certainly change the dynamic of the draft. Everyone expects the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings to be inundated with trade offers as teams battle for Robert Griffin III. I’ve always felt the one team likely to make a big splash for RG3 were the Dolphins – a franchise in need of a star for many different reasons. By going the Packers-route, Miami would be less likely to make a bold move up the board.

Suddenly, those trade offers seem a lot less likely. Washington at #6 are the nearest threat to Cleveland – who may or may not be even interested in Griffin III – and who’s to say the Redskins aren’t preparing to go in a different direction themselves? We’ve long discussed the possibility of Peyton Manning landing in Washington as a free agent, a move that seems a lot more likely now that Jim Caldwell has been fired by Indianapolis. Shanahan could still add someone like Ryan Tannehill as a long term option, but Manning would be a tremendous bridge to the future.

Although Griffin is a tremendously talented quarterback with a ceiling as high as most young players entering the league, the simple fact is team’s like Miami and Washington have to prepare as if Cleveland are going to take him at #4. That could take the two franchises into completely different directions during free agency, so if the Browns end up drafting – for example – Trent Richardson instead, what happens to Griffin? Although it’s assumed this year’s fastest riser will go in the top three, we can’t rule out the possibility he suffers a minor fall – potentially putting him closer to the Seahawks at #11 or #12 and making a deal up the board more manageable. A pipe dream? Maybe, but in mid-January we’re still working out how this draft is going to fall.

Mike Adams rising? Kendall Wright the top receiver?

I’m not a big fan of Ohio State tackle Mike Adams – he’s never stood out on film as an obvious first round talent. He’s neither truly dominating in the run game or a brilliant athlete who projects as an ideal blind side blocker. I expected him to receive a mid-round grade and end up playing right tackle at the next level. According to Tony Pauline at SI.com and DraftInsider.net – Adams will go much earlier. “Word from scouts at the Shrine game is Mike Adams/T/Ohio State will be drafted much earlier than most predict.” Pauline’s sources are to be trusted, so against my will I will be including Adams in my latest first round projection tomorrow. Pauline later added on his blog, “Many in attendance think Mike Adams/T/Ohio State will go much higher than he’s presently projected.  How high?  Though we don’t share the opinion I am hearing anywhere from the middle of round one, on.  Adams is slated to play in the Senior Bowl next week.”

It was also interesting to see the wide receivers come into discussion. According to Pauline’s sources, some teams have Baylor’s Kendall Wright ranked as the #1 at the position this year, “Additional sources here at the Tradewinds confirmed our report from Friday that a number of teams presently rate Kendall Wright/WR/Baylor over Justin Blackmon.  The list of teams that have Wright over his Big 12 counterpart is either growing or was underestimated by myself last week.” This isn’t surprising, given that Blackmon is pretty overrated while Wright and the likes of Dwight Jones have usually been (wrongly in my view) graded below players like Michael Floyd and Alshon Jeffery. I like Blackmon as a prospect – he’s got the competitive streak you want to see from a receiver, he’s an alpha-male type who can make spectacular plays. Yet he’s also inconsistent and makes a lot of sloppy mistakes, while the offense at Oklahoma State is tailored for production. The result? A two-time Biletnikoff winner, just like another receiver coming from a yard-happy system – Michael Crabtree.

Brock Osweiler heading for the top-20?

I’ve been promoting the talents of Brock Osweiler this week, even going as far to say he could be a first round option for the Seahawks. Some have disagreed (strongly at times) but there’s been a healthy debate on the blog. I’m expecting to have further tape published soon, with Osweiler’s performances against Illinois and Arizona on the way to go along with the tape we’ve already dissected against USC, Utah, Oregon and Boise State. The idea of Osweiler going in the top-20 might not be such a far fetched suggestion after all if Wes Bunting at the NFP is to be believed: ”Just got off the phone with an NFL scout who he thinks Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler is a 3rd round talent, who could go top 20.” As I said earlier, I don’t expect the Seahawks to reach for a quarterback. Yet it’s clear John Schneider and Pete Carroll have a different way of doing things. A lot of pundits shouted “reach!” when Seattle drafted James Carpenter with the #25 pick, likewise when they drafted John Moffitt and Kris Durham with several other ‘bigger names’ still on the board. For what it’s worth, I thought the Carpenter pick was great value at the time. If it so happens that the Seahawks do think Osweiler is worthy of a top-20 grade, they won’t be concerned by others who think he’s worth a grade in round three.

26 Responses to “Tuesday draft notes & Derek Wolfe game tape”

  1. Eli says:

    Rob,
    Good stuff, once again. Regarding the lack of the LEO prospects which would fit in this draft..what’s your take on Arkansas’s Jake Bequette? Judging by what i’ve seen he appears to have some decent speed and good overall size-would he be a fit? I’m thinking a good 3rd round choice, as he offers both some run stopping and pass rush. I like Vinny Curry as well, very, very productive-not sure about his speed however. Thoughts?

  2. tom page says:

    The more I read your analysis and others, it seems like we are going to draft a ‘touchdown maker’ in round one. Coach Carroll identified that as an area of need in the end of season press conference. I can’t see them going into training camp with Mike Williams as the projected starter at wide receiver. But that doesn’t mean they draft someone to compete with him in round one, but it does mean they invest significant capital in someone who could start week one. Both Wright and Blackmon have the special skills that Coach Carroll talks about with Wright possessing elite speed and Blackmon possessing elite size/strength. I can see them drafting Oswieler in round 3 or 4 but I don’t see them picking him in round one. It will be interesting to see how the evaluations unfold as the pre-draft process kicks into high gear.

  3. David says:

    it would be soo nice if Griffin slid down to us and flynn goes to Miami and everything plays out, but i have to say im concerned about KC taking him. I mean we dont have the 11th pick yet and im hoping KC would get the 12th and stay so we could pick him (griffin) but what im also interested in is Kris Durham the 6’5-6’6 WR we have.

    Rob I dont know if you have or had any game tape on him, but what are your thoughts on him? when i watched the pre-season, he seemed to have pretty good hands and even when he played against Pittsburgh. just thought id ask, is he a viable replacement for Mike Williams?

    i Wonder if we could get Alshon Jeffery in the 2nd but doubtfull since Pete didnt even saying anything about us going for Offensive pieces instead he brought up wanting to get more speed on Defense.

  4. Rob says:

    Bequette is a great shout Eli and a player I always enjoyed watching at Arkansas. He’s in that R3-4 range and could provide solid pass rushing depth at the LEO.

  5. Rob says:

    David – I watched two games of Durham and he flashed great hands, surprising speed and an ability to come back to the ball and help out his QB. At the same time, he didn’t have a storied college career and he might be a slow burner or even a guy who never quite makes the step up. I’m interested to see how he performs after a proper and full off season.

  6. Griffin says:

    Rob,

    I think you are headed in the right direction with this post. It seems likely that there will be less suitors for RG III than others suggest because the teams between us and Cleveland NEED QB’s and can’t/aren’t willing to gamble that they get him (not to mention that he could use some seasoning).
    Additionally, as there doens’t seem to be any pash rush upgrades (our #2 priority) around where we will pick (excepting maybe Brockers) I think they’ll likely try to upgrade the offense.
    It is my guess that they see that there are two ways to do this. You can either pick a QB to make better use of the recievers they have, or they can pick a reciever to help out the QB that they have. If they don’t like the options as QB then I think they will go reciever.

    It seems to me that your post says basically the same thing.

    PS – I’m still for doing whatever you have to in order to get the highest QB on their board.

  7. Richard says:

    Rob, Walter Football rumor mill says Chicago is probably trying to trade up to get a WR, namely Blackmon. If all the projections have him in the top 5, how would that shake things up in front of us? Also I saw on one site that the coin toss already happened and KC won the toss. It was on Walter’s Mock Database. Any thoughts?

  8. Fletcher says:

    I saw the Walter Football mock draft and it has us taking Still in the 1st, Branch in the 2nd, Nate Potter in the 3rd, and Osweiler in the 4th. That would be an ideal draft in my opinion, do you think it is even remotely possible? I can’t see Osweiler making it past the second and wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Branch gone in the first.

  9. Darnell says:

    Rob, love and appreciate the site and the work you do. But dude, I’ll say it right now – you’re missing on Nick Perry. I strongly believe that he will go in the top 15, be the first edge rusher drafted and be in strong consideration at 11/12. We’ll see.

    I could be wrong, but my eyetest tells me top 15 talent.

  10. tom page says:

    It sounds like David doubts whether getting touchdown makers is a priority.

    Seahawks.com is not allowing me to deep link into Coach Carroll’s end of season press conference, but past this link into your browser and select Carroll off season press conference:
    http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Seahawks-Daily—Looking-to-the-Offseason/2ec979b5-c8ff-45fa-9ff6-2371a2711822#?id=2dc23d4e-31f9-4f50-9671-d24a7dfcab93&channelName=Press Conferences

    There is about half an hour of the press confernce where the press is asking about the QB position. What Coach Carroll offered beyond that:
    - Pass rush is a clear priority. He starts talking about it at 28:40 and says it is a clear focus. He also talks about it at 31:35, and at 32:32 he says inside and outside pass rush is a priority.
    - He talks about getting more speed at the linebacker position at 32:00
    - He talks about adding touchdown makers at 33:00 and 34:15. He defines a touchdown maker as a stud wide receiver or a running back.

    Rob is on the right track evaluating pass rush options, that is a priority beyond the QB position. If the talent is not there as a pass rusher or QB, next on the list is either speed at linebacker or a touchdown maker.

    BTW thinking Durham is the answer as a starting WR seems pretty far fetched to me. Kris is a specialty player as a big receiver. He never started in college so thinking he is a starter in the NFL does not seem realistic.

  11. David says:

    Yeah, didnt say i think he should start, thought kris showed some nice things in the Pre-season and played well against Pitt this last season, so i was curious, if we cant or dont get a reciever i was curious how he would do, i think he could be a nice goaline guy if it comes down to it.

  12. David says:

    I apologize for not watching the Conference, i was going off of what i heard he had talked about which was we need speed on the defense. My fault, i dont doubt the fact we need TD makers, but i do feel we need someone that can throw the ball Accurately to his recievers, Tjack isnt bad, but we need an upgrade, if we cant get a QB i think the second need is Defense, then Recievers or RB. we have good TD makers (Rice,Baldwin,Lynch,Miller) jus need a good passer, thats why it would be nice if we could trade up for RG3.
    and if rice is healthy, hes a pretty good “stud” reciever, he played pretty good till he was put on IR, hoping he can come back healthy next year.

    Biggest need besides the QB spot, is pass rusher in my opinion.

  13. Derek says:

    What are your thoughts on Danny Trevathan from Kentucky for a replacement at Will? Do you think he could be had in round two? I think he would add a nice pass rushing element as well.

  14. Derek says:

    Or Bruce Irvin in round 3 as a leo?

  15. Doug says:

    Say Rob,

    Reading the reports about BJ Campbell wowing everyone at the Shrine camp, do you see a rush on his stock?
    Do you know what round he was graded pre viously, and whether or not this event is raising his stock? Is he one of those guys Pete talks about as an interesting player?

    thanks

  16. Ryan says:

    Rob, I’ve seen many mocks having Trent Richardson falling to 11-12. If he fell just through circumstance to the Seahawks, they would have to take him right?

  17. Doug says:

    Here is the guy they need!!! Holy Moly! The Huskies have a bright future!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrQHB75GYjk&feature=endscreen&NR=1

  18. Doug says:

    Hmm, but that guy also dogs Tannahill, Brockers, Tahil, Coples among others…
    This might be why the people who actually draft the players don’t read what all us armchair scouts write…

  19. John says:

    Rob, I have been reading the Shrine notes from Wes Bunting and he had some pretty average things to say about Austin Davis. Is there anyone else out there talking about Davis in a better light?

    “Southern Miss QB Austin Davis has some savvy to his game; he sells the play fake hard and displays nice touch between the numbers. However, his arm is limited, he gets lost once the pocket starts to close in on him and isn’t real impressive spinning the football on the move. A guy like him is a dime a dozen in my mind and doesn’t warrant more than free agent grade.”

  20. David says:

    Sometimes i wonder if Jeff Risdon knows what he is talking about, In his latest Mock he has us taking Brandon Weeden in the 2nd and nick perry with our 1st.

    http://football.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/25517/20120118/pre_senior_bowl_mock_draft/

  21. jim J says:

    I don’t see a need to reach for a QB – unless we reach for Luck or Griffin. Once the top two are off the board, we can wait for the third or fourth round to choose. The next 5-8 QBs have an equal chance of making it and I just don’t see a lot of teams picking QBs after the first round.

  22. David says:

    I really hope we get Griffin, but im probably setting myself up for disapointment.

  23. Colin says:

    Bleacher Report is not a credible source. They are nothing more than opinions of everyday people, take from it what you will.

  24. Rob says:

    John – I’ve read a lot of contrasting things about the Shrine game. I also read today from Optimum Scouting that Austin was the star of the show today. All opinions.

  25. colin says:

    I dont understand peoples interest or desire for more wide receivers?? We have a stable of them right now. Syd Rice, Baldwin, Tate, Williams, Miller, Carlson, etc. We dont have anyone who can get them the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Theres a reason Williams production fell off a map and it wasnt his fault. Theres a reason Miller went from the top WR for the Raiders to almost no pass production at all. Our QB stinks!

    TJak is a great Backup and thats it. Thats what they are paying him, theres not talk of extending plus enhancing his contract. Carroll n Schneider know it. Now lets see what they do about it. So far their QB aptitude is a D-. Trade multiple late round picks for Whitehurst, let Hasselbeck walk out the door, anoint Tjak as your starter????????

    Get a QB!!!!! Keep Tjak as a backup. Get a stronger pass rush, some more depth at Oline and another stud Running back to assist Marshawn and help with goalline! Oh and a few more younger middle LBs. Then youd have a team that can play n beat the Niners. Oh and dont start 2-6!