This week’s update has a few changes. Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA) and Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue) continue to rise. Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) is in the top-20 for the first time after another impressive display at the weekend. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) also makes an appearance and Bruce Carter (LB, UNC) is back after a few weeks’ absence. It remains only a top-20 projection rather than a full first round mock. I didn’t publish a mock draft last year until late November. I’ve started the mocks a lot earlier in 2010 mainly to start discussion and help publicise the new look for the blog. I anticipate moving to a full 32-picks in November.
You can view the latest 2010 projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.
Seattle’s pick remains the same for the second consecutive week. At the moment, I’m struggling to look past the Seahawks making a big splash on a quarterback. There are other needs, but none come close to answering the question at QB. Here’s why….
You can never have enough pass rushers. However – Chris Clemons has four sacks in as many games, Red Bryant has been a diamond in the rough at five-tech and the Mebane/Cole partnership inside has been impressive. Seattle is tied 9th for sacks in the NFL despite having a week five bye. Admittedly, the defense is better at Qwest Field than on the road. However – the offense is ranked 31st for time of possession. Only Buffalo’s defense has spent more time on the field and they’re 0-5. Without greater offensive production, we’ll probably never get the very best out of the defense or the pass rush. Seattle’s play against the run has been excellent so far.
Many were surprised when the Seahawkstraded Josh Wilson to Baltimore. If nothing else, it left the roster a CB lighter. The new regime want to get taller at the position and Wilson was a poor fit. With Kelly Jennings similar in size and approaching free agency, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he also moved on. Marcus Trufantis an obvious starter and the team has put faith in the long term success of Walter Thurmond. Earl Thomas will start at FS and Kam Chancellor could be a long term successor to Lawyer Milloy. With a talented class of corner’s available in 2011 – all of which pass the size test – is it an area to be targeted in round one? The Seahawkslike Thurmond enough to suffer some growing pains in year one and Roy Lewis deserves game time for his excellent performances so far. This may be an area for depth rather than major investment in 2011.
The Seahawks have committed to Russell Okung at left tackle. However, there are question marks at every other position on the roster. Chris Spencer is an upcoming free agent. Does Max Unger fit when he returns from injury? What about Pitts/Hamilton? Was the writing on the wall for Sean Locklear when he renegotiated his contract? Is Stacey Andrews a long term option? St. Louis aside, the line has performed well so far. It would be a major stretch to expect the team to spend another first rounder on a tackle or an interior lineman, even if the Seahawks make the playoffs and end up drafting later in round one.
Seattle’s receivers are a mix of young, old, small and big. There’s been flashes from all, but not so much consistency. Mike Williams has already surpassed expectations even making the roster and must be applauded for his efforts so far. Golden Tate is one for the future, it appears that Deon Butler has also emerged as potentially one to watch. Brandon Stokley may be an upgrade over Deion Branch this year when all is said and done. There’s no #1 top drawer receiver though – which is why the Seahawks entertained trading for Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. It’s a bigger need than perhaps some appreciate, but unless they get a shot at A.J. Green (WR, Georgia) they may be better reviewing the price of VJ.
Back to Quarterbacks…
In my own personal opinion, I think when you need a quarterback – everything else is insignificant. You go get a quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck should be in the ring of honour the day he leaves Seattle, but I find it hard to believe in his 36th year he’ll be offered a new contract in the off season. Charlie Whitehurst came at a price, but a price that perhaps needed to be paid to ensure competition at the position and act as a potential ‘holding pattern’ in transition between Hasselbeck and newly drafted QB. I certainly don’t think the compensation paid for acquiring Whitehurst has handcuffed the Seahawks in anyway. When GM John Schneider went on the Kevin Calabro show, he discussed his priorities when scouting a quarterback:
- Pocket mobility
- Accuracy over arm strength
- Hand size
There are prospects that fit that criteria. The top two quarterbacks (Luck, Locker) are both mobile leaders. Neither is what I would call ‘deadly accurate’ but they aren’t reckless gunslingertypes with cannon arms either. I can’t comment on ‘hand size’. If leadership and pocket mobility are the first two things listed on the criteria, then clearly Luck and Locker pass the test. If the Seahawks were interested in one of the pair, surely they would take one? If needed, would they trade up to get one of them?
We have a much clearer idea of how Carroll and Schneider are building this team than we did before the 2010 draft. Last year we were able to go through a number of different scenarios with the two first round picks. As things stand today – I can only see one scenario. If the Seahawkssee one of the top two quarterback prospects as being potential long term starters – they have to (and quite possibly will) do whatever it takes to get them. Last year, the team had no shot at taking Sam Bradford as the cost would likely have been both first round picks. Even then, I suspect the Rams were more than happy to stay put and an inter-division trade was never a realistic proposition. The team made the right choice to avoid Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. We’re still early into the new NFL season and a lot can happen between now and April. However, even this early I would suggest they have to make this issue a priority. That remains the case even if they have to make a significant trade up the board – perhaps ahead of a NFC West rival.
The long term vision for this team won’t be complete until everyone knows definitively who the Seahawks starter at QB is for the long haul. Who can you build this offense around? Until that is answered, it’s hard to look anywhere else.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section below.