Here’s this weeks updated mock draft. I’ve extended it to a top-20 projection and plan to keep progressing into a full first-round mock over the next 4-5 weeks. Seattle are back in the mock after Sunday’s 20-3 whimper at St. Louis. With a three-way tie at the top of the NFC West and thanks largely to the performance of the Rams defense and rookie QB/saviour Sam Bradford, I’ve left them out as this week’s ‘pick to win the West’. It’s only fair, having so far already left out Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle.
Andrew Luck still tops the board. Why? It’s clear to me the hype surrounding Luck will almost certainly mask the issues a handful of people (like myself) have voiced. During the broadcast of Oregon and Stanford, Luck was anointed ‘the best quarterback in CFB since Peyton Manning’ by the announcers. Of course, that isn’t true. In fact Sam Bradford would probably be annoyed if he wasn’t just winning games in the NFL on a $50m contract. Luck is neither as accurate as Bradford or in possession of the physical qualities of Matt Stafford. He’s a good, solid college game manager. That’s fine for Stanford.
That probably won’t be fine for the Buffalo Bills.
Whilst the Cardinal continue to get national attention and whilst Luck continues to score rave reviews nationally, momentum will build and he’ll almost certainly declare for next year’s draft. There’s already a lot of talk saying Luck will take advantage of his newly found fame. Buffalo raised a few eye brows when they took C.J. Spiller in the top ten last April. There’s every chance they might prefer the flashier, higher ceiling that belongs to Jake Locker. However – Luck at this stage appears destined to be the #1 pick. I don’t think he’s as good as advertised, but Buffalo almost have to go for a QB. I don’t envy the decision between Luck and Locker that they’ll have to make.
What about Seattle? What about Locker? I’ll answer both at the same time. The Seahawks biggest need is at quarterback. That would be the case even if Matt Hasselbeck was currently enjoying a Pro-Bowl type-revival season (he isn’t). This is a quarterback driven league and Seattle hasn’t solved that riddle to the previous regimes discredit. John Schneider and Pete Carroll rolled the dice to some extent on Charlie Whitehurst and should, I believe, be praised for at least taking a chance on finding a solution.
However, there’s nothing to suggest Whitehurst has proven the long term answer. He may only ever prove to be a stop-gap bridge or a solid backup. Either way, I think two things are clear. Firstly, legend that he is I don’t think Matt Hasselbeck will be part of the Seahawks roster next year. Secondly, they will absolutely have to bring in one quarterback. The options were limited last year (only Bradford and Tebow taken in round one). If they see a guy they want next April, they might just spend the house to get him. Then again, maybe they won’t have to move from their draft position? Either way, the chances Seattle drafts a QB next year increase every week.
Locker deserves to be back in the top-15 after a bounce back win against USC. A lot of people have pointed at the number of roll outs and running he did in the 400+ total yard performance. They may be legitimate points, but it took some guts to win that game after the Nebraska meltdown. People criticise Locker for not winning enough games, but he got the job done in SoCal. The target has to be finding a level of consistency for the rest of the year. No more Nebraska’s. If he can do that, of course teams will consider him in the top ten.
You can view the latest Seahawks Draft Blog mock by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.