There are two new mocks to run through this week. As we’re in the thick of the Senior Bowl – I’ve made a new projection (click here to view) to represent some of the events happening in Mobile. I will come on to the changes in a few moments time.
Guest blogger Glen Peer has also conducted a mock draft, which is also added to this post (see below).
As always – my intention is never to present these mocks to you as a defining attempt to guess what will happen on April 28th. These are merely discussion starters and a way to represent options for the Seahawks, the other high profile picks and see which prospects are rising or falling.
Changes at #25
For the first time I am mocking Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor) to the Seahawks at #25.
He’s impressed in Mobile this week mainly due to his mobility at 337lbs. Really he’s a huge, immovable object of a nose tackle. The fact he’s not a complete statue as well could easily see him settle into a home among the first round picks.
There are some concerns – firstly, he started his career at Penn State but was essentially thrown off the team. He’s re-launched his career at Baylor with some success. The Seahawks haven’t been afraid under Pete Carroll and John Schneider to take on a reformed character with the right talent.
Secondly – is he capable of playing any more than 25-30 snaps at that weight? If not, can he be enough of a force on first and second down to justify the investment? It’d be easier for a Pittsburgh or Baltimore to make that choice having secured a lot of other positions and owning talented defenses already. Can the Seahawks afford that move?
You could also ask – do they have a choice? They won’t be flush with alternatives at #25 and the general depth among interior defensive lineman makes it a legitimate option in the late first round.
If Pete Carroll really is satisfied with ‘depth’ along both lines, the #25 pick isn’t a bad place to find it. Muhammard Wilkerson (DE, Temple) is an alternative flexible option who can play the five technique or move inside on passing downs.
However – in this hybrid 4-3 scheme that uses a LEO ‘specialist’ and a larger 5-technique, it almost stresses the importance of the nose tackle as much as any 3-4 does. If you want to create 1-on-1 match ups for your LEO rusher, you need the interior to take up blocks. If you want to dominate against the run, again the nose has to clog the middle allowing your 5-tech and outside linebacker to beat the edge.
Taylor has shown in Mobile he’s adept at carrying two blockers. The nose tackle can become a defensive MVP for the right team. I suspect there will always be a ‘plug-in-and-play’ quality to the LEO role, but that won’t necessarily be the case at the NT. Losing Colin Cole had a surprisingly adverse affect on the team – even if Cole is no more than a middling player.
Getting good – possibly great – at nose tackle can set this defensive line up for years to come. It has to be a consideration if the Seahawks stay at #25.
Glen Peer’s 2011 mock draft 1.0
In my first mock I have the Seahawks taking University of Miami DE Allen Bailey with the 25th pick. It is a name that has not been discussed much amongst the top DE’s in this years draft but in my opinion is a very interesting prospect to look at, more on him in a minute. I also want to be very open that I placed a few stretches, at least in my opinion, not necessarily because I truly believe that the draft will roll out that way, but because it should generate some good discussion. Also as we saw with Jacksonville (Tyson Alualu) and the Eagles (trading up for Brandon Graham instead of Earl Thomas) surprises will happen in rd 1.
We should all remember that until the combine, and pro days when coaches, and personnel staff can talk to every prospect they want to it is going to be extremely difficult to project where players will be selected. Not to mention that if a CBA is agreed upon before the draft and a free agency period takes place that will change things even more.
Who is Allen Bailey? Bailey weighed in at 6’3″ 277 lb at the Senior Bowl earlier this week. He is a little bigger than Chris Clemons who is listed at 6’1″ 261 lbs, and clearly smaller than Red Bryant on the other end. I point out Bailey because of the impact that Raheem Brock had on the defensive line, especially down the stretch for the Seahawks. Brock is listed at the same height and weight. Here are some highlights from his scouting report on ESPN.com:
- A ‘tweener DE/DT. Good size for power-DE position but could also fit well as a 3-technique in a Tampa 2 scheme. Has adequate top-end speed for his size.
- Good initial quickness. At his best using inside pass rush moves or bull rush. Shows an effective swim move. Has very good combination of size, quickness and power but lacks the top-end speed to consistently turn the corner as an edge rusher.
- Fires out of his stance low and generally plays with good leverage. Shows good strength at the point of attack. Will fight through double team. Does a nice job of using hands and power to stand up the offensive lineman while looking for the ball. Has the size and anchor to hold his ground when teams run at him. Strong tackler for his size. A striker with good power at the point of attack. Shows the ability to jar the ball loose.
For his career in 38 games Bailey registered 103 tackles, 30 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
I choose Bailey over some other options on the defensive line such as JJ Watt, Cameron Heyward, Corey Liuget, and Stephen Paea to point out another option for the Seahawks and his similar size and skills to Raheem Brock. Also what fun would it be if Rob and I selected the same player for the Seahawks this early in the process .
Glen’s full first round projection
1. Carolina Panthers – AJ Greene – WR Georgia
- New regimes mean new QBs. However, with Andrew Luck heading back to Stanford, and no clear cut #1 QB prospect as of today, adding a talent like AJ Greene across from Steve Smith makes the most sense this early in the evaluation process. Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, & Da’Quan Bowers will vie for this position until one separates from the pack. The combine, pro days, and private workouts will be closely monitored leading up to draft day.
2. Denver Broncos – Nick Fairley – DT Auburn
- With Fairley and a healthy Elvis Dummervill would instantly upgrade the Broncos defensive front. Da’Quan Bowers similarity in athleticism to Julius Peppers will make John Fox think long and hard about taking him here (Fox took Peppers #2 overall in 2002) but GM Brian Xanders, and team President John Elway will also have a say.
3. Buffalo Bills – Marcel Dareus – DT Alabama
- 2nd year head coach Chan Gailey committed to Ryan Fitzpatrick being the starter next season, and that may or may not happen based on how the underclass QBs show prior to the draft in interviews and pro days. Right now Dareus fills a big need on the defensive line.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – Blaine Gabbert – QB Missouri
- Carson Palmers wants a trade, and Mike Brown says its not happening. The same thing happened to Brown with Boomer Esiason who also wanted a trade. Brown kept Esiason, drafted Dave Kingler with the #6 overall picked and traded Esiason the following year.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Da’Quan Bowers
- Certainly the Cardinals need to address their QB situation, and I think they will…just not via the draft. Ken Weisenhunt will be on the hot seating next season, and in my opinion, will fight for his job with a veteran QB, opposed to a rookie signal caller. Bowers adds another pass rush threat to go along side Darnell Dockett, and Calais Campbell.
6. Cleveland Browns – Patrick Peterson – DB LSU
- In my first proposed scenario I don’t think the Browns could pass on Peterson. A chance to pair Peterson and 2nd year CB Joe Haden for at least the next 5 years presents serious problems for the rest of the AFC North. However, they may not want to allocate that much money to one position and look to address WR or trade down.
7. San Fransisco 49ers – Prince Amukamura – DB Nebraska
- Jim Harbaugh will need to address the QB position, and make take a shot with Cam Newton, or Jake Locker but I don’t see their skill sets fitting with how Harbaugh runs his offense. With Nate Clements possibly on the outs in San Fransisco due to his contract, and diminishing skills Amukamura will compete to be the opening day starter opposite Shawnte Spencer.
8. Tennessee Titans – Robert Quinn – DE North Carolina
- Many had Quinn as a top 5 prospect heading into 2010. Not having played football for a year due to his suspension may cause him to fall. At this pick the Titans can pick up another young pass rusher to pair with 2nd DE Derrick Morgan whom the Titans drafted last year. The combine, pro days and interview process will be very important for Quinn.
9. Dallas Cowboys – Cameron Jordan – DE California
- I don’t think there are many people that believe the talent on the Cowboys roster warrants a pick this high, so they are in a position to take the best player available, or trade down. Early word from the senior bowl has been that Jordan has been dominating in practice. Combined with a great personality Jordan could rise further over the next few months.
10. Washington Redskins – Cam Newton – QB Auburn
- Mike Shannahan needs to figure out the QB position after the Donovon McNabb debacle. Newton fits the Shannahan mold of mobile with big arm. Many speculate that Jake Locker will be in play and that may very well be true but his inconsistency gives Newton the leg up right now and that.
11. Houston Texans – Von Miller – DE/OLB – Texas A&M
- Wade Phillips is bringing the 3-4 to the Houston. Miller should provide the pass rush threat off the edge, but also has the ability to drop into coverage effectivly. Phillips will need to find a big nose tackle but can look to Free Agency (whenever that happens) to address that. Getting a play maker like Julio Jones opposite Andre Johnson could be addressed here or later rounds. Getting the right guys to play a new scheme seems a little more important early though.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Ryan Mallett – QB Arkansas
- Character, and off field issues will ultimately determine where Ryan Mallett is drafted, however his skills can not be overlooked. He can make all the throws, and shown improvement in his decision making, and accuracy this year.
13. Detroit Lions – Gabe Carimi – OT Wisconsin
- Matthew Stafford has taken a beating in his 1st 2 seasons as the Lions QB. The Lions need to protect the future of their franchise, or all the steps they’ve made in rebuilding will be for not if they can not keep him healthy. This years OT population is good, but not great and right now Carimi holds the edge on other options such as Nate Solder, Tyron Smith, and Derrek Sherrod.
14. St. Louis Rams – Julio Jones – WR Alabama
- Sam Bradford needs weapons. Jones gives Bradford, and new OC Josh McDaniels, a go-to type WR to pair with deep threat Donny Avery who will becoming back off knee surgery.
15. Miami Dolphins – Mark Ingram – RB Alabama
- Both Ronnie Brown, and Ricky Williams contracts are up. The interior offensive line did not help the run game at all in 2010 so that maybe a viable option with prospects like Rodney Hudson, or Mike Pouncey still on the board. Ingram gives the Dolphins run game a shot of youth, and although he had a down season in 2010 should still be productive runner on Sundays.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Harris – CB Miami
- In a division with Peyton Manning, and Matt Schaub you can never have too many pass rushers or cornerbacks. JJ Watt, Adrian Clayborn, or Aldon Smith at the DE position will also be in play at this pick. Harris struggled in his bowl game, but otherwise had a standout year at Miami.
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland) – Jonathan Baldwin – WR Pittsburgh
- Tom Brady has 2 big targets, but they’re both tight ends. Baldwin would give Brady the big target outside that will help stretch the field and open up underneath for Wes Welker. This is early for Baldwin, but by not taking account of trades, I see this as a possibility if there are no top tier prospects at their position left for Belicheck.
18. San Diego Chargers – Adrian Clayborn – DE Iowa
- Clayborn had a down year for the Hawkeyes but would have an impact on the end for the Chargers 3-4.
19. New York Giants – Tyron Smith – OT USC
- The Giants are old on the offensive line. William Betty has not been answer they thought he would be when the drafted him 2 years ago.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Aldon Smith – DE Missouri
- Putting Smith on the end of Brian Price, and Gerald McCoy could be the start of something special in Tampa Bay on the defensive side of the ball. Interior offensive line may also be an option with prospects like Hudson, Pouncey, and Stefen Wisniewski still on the board.
21. Kansas City Chiefs – Justin Houston – DE/OLB Georgia
- Houston is moving up the draft board after his performance against Florida in the Sun Bowl. Getting another pass rush threat along side Tamba Hali should be an area of focus for the Chiefs this off season.
22. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Castonzo – OT Boston College
- With Peyton Manning preparing to break the record for highest paid player sometime in the next month and a half it would be wise to protect that investment.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Nate Solder – OT Colorado
- Many of the deficiencies in the Eagles offensive line were covered by Mike Vick’s ability to escape pressure. However, down the strech Vick took a serious beating and the wear and tear was visible. Offensive line has to be the greatest area of need for the Eagles.
24. New Orleans Saints – Rahim Moore – UCLA
- It was very apparent that the Saints have issues at safety in their loss to the Seahawks on Wildcard weekend without Mike Jenkins healthy. The Saints are currently in a position to take a safety here, even while there are talented defensive tackles like Corey Liuget, and Stephen Paea on the board.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Allen Bailey – DT/DE University of Miami
- Pete Carroll’s message at his end of season press conference was we need to get better, and deeper up front…on both sides of the ball. Outside of Left Tackle on the offensive line those needs can be more easily filled in later rounds, and via free agency. Going with a guy like Bailey or Paea, or Liuget here makes sense.
26. Baltimore Ravens – JJ Watt – DE Wisconsin
- Watt had a terrific season. A high motor player that can play the run and get after the quarterback will benefit from the surrounding talent in the Ravens defensive front.
27. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Rudolph – TE Norte Dame
- Tony Gonzalez says he’ll be back for one more year. The Falcons could use this pick for his future replacement, or on another WR to pair up opposite Roddy White. The former seems like a smarter choice with the top end WRs off the board.
28. New England Patriots – Mike Pouncey – G/C Florida
- The Patriots will probably trade one of their 1st round picks for more picks next year. Logan Mankins should be a free agent when the CBA issue is cleared up, and the contract dispute that held him out of 7 games may make it difficult to resign him. Pouncey could step in as a replacement and is solid value at this pick.
29. Chicago Bears – Derek Sherrod – OT Mississippi State
- Jay Cutler was sacked 10 times against the Giants, and over 5 times in at least 2 other games (Seahawks week 6, and Packers week 17). It did seem as the line got better as the season wore on but adding young talent to an older line makes sense.
30. New York Jets – Stefen Wisniewski – Penn State
- The Jets offensive line seemed to take a step back with the loss of Alan Faneca. Unless the Jets front office is 100% confident that Vlad Ducasse will step in next season and start this is one direction the Jets could go.
31. Green Bay Packers – Corey Liuget – DE/DT Illinois
- Liuget is being mocked much higher than I have him and would be outstanding value at this pick for the Packers. He would add size, and talent to an already dominate front 7 in Green Bay.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cameron Heyward – DE/DT Ohio State
- Heyward didn’t have a great season, but had an outstanding National Championship game. At this pick the Steelers could take a player with a lot of upside and allow him to grow into a big time player, similar to Ziggy Hood who was drafted 2 years ago, and now plays a huge role replacing the oft injured Aaron Smith.