Updated mock draft: 11th April

April 11th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Could Whitney Mercilus be set for a surprise top-ten appearance?

We’re two weeks away from the 2012 draft, meaning two more projections after this. I wanted to mix a few things up this week and look at scenarios not being discussed. After all, there’s always a surprise or two…

– Fletcher Cox has the athletic potential to be a top-ten pick. So did Cam Jordan last year, and he dropped to #24. Jordan had decent tape and a great combine, but teams just didn’t like him enough to pull the trigger. What was his best position? Where did he fit? The same questions may be asked of Fletcher Cox. I could see him going in the top ten very easily, but nobody is talking about the other end of the scale. He could drop a bit and go in a similar range to Jordan.

– Whitney Mercilus divides opinion, but he had great production in 2011. Someone might buy into the guy, believing he’s a pure pass rusher capable of emulating Aldon Smith who went 7th overall last year. Mercilus has the athleticism to match the stats and the kind of character that will appeal to certain teams. Kind of like Flecther Cox, you could see him going at both ends of the first round. Jacksonville GM Gene Smith is one of the more unpredictable drafters and if he’s still calling the shots for this draft, I could see Mercilus being on his radar. The Jaguars are a team that tend to arrange meetings with the prospects they intend to draft, recent history has shown that. Jacksonville hosted Mercilus and also attended his pro-day.

– Melvin Ingram is widely considered to be a top-ten pick and he’d be a strong option for Seattle at #12. He’s also a bit of a tweener and could suffer if a prospect like Mercilus makes a surprise jump in round one. If Ingram makes it past the Seahawks, his next most likely destinations are New York at #16 and San Diego at #18.

One of the topics discussed a lot on this blog is whether Seattle will move up or down. With only six picks in this year’s draft, there’s little chance the team will move up. I’d put the chances at slightly above 0%. Would they move down? That’s unclear at this stage and would depend on who leaves the board before the #12 pick. It’s common knowledge that the Seahawks had a deal to trade the #14 pick in 2010 but passed because they rated Earl Thomas so highly. That could be the case again this year, where need meets value and any deal to move down is ignored. But if certain favored players go in the top ten, it increases the chances of a trade.

It’s also worth considering why the Seahawks would want to accumulate stock. Pete Carroll and John Schneider like picks as much as any GM in the league, but they’d probably love to get some extra picks for 2013 if possible. I’ll let you decide why that might be the case. A trade similar to the one that saw Atlanta move up for Julio Jones last year would be hard to ignore. The only thing is – who would be prepared to make such a generous trade, and who would you trade up for? At this stage I think any movement in round one is unlikely, but not impossible. Onto this week’s projection…

Updated first round mock draft

#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
The inevitable.
#2 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
The inevitable part II.
#3 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
Minnesota won’t waste any time calling Kalil’s name. He has elite potential. The inevitable part III.
#4 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
The Browns have to find someone on offense to build around. Richardson would be the wise choice here.
#5 Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
The biggest spenders in free agency, Tampa Bay could still use a stud cornerback.
#6 Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
The Rams know this is now a three-draft plan so they need to take whoever is highest on their board with this pick.
#7 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
This would be no more surprising than the time the Jaguars drafted Tyson Alualu 10th overall.
#8 Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
If the Dolphins don’t take Tannehill here he could fall. How much does Mike Sherman rate his former Texas A&M starter?
#9 Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
Carolina wants players that will fit into 3-4 and 4-3 looks.
#10 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
The Bills are going to draft an offensive lineman here, the only question is which one will they choose?
#11 Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College)
Scott Pioli loves guys like this – blue collar, high work ethic. Not always spectacular, but always solid.
#12 Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)
Seattle needs to find a DE/OLB hybrid to fit into the defense and help the pass rush. Upshaw could go earlier than this.
#13 Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)
Whoever is playing quarterback for Arizona next year, the Cardinals simply must draft an offensive lineman.
#14 Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
One of the 3-4 teams will convince themselves they cannot live without Poe’s major potential.
#15 Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
Talented prospect at a position that’s becoming increasingly important in the NFL.
#16 Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
He’s rising, but not everybody will buy into a guy with off-field issues. New York might be willing to turn a blind eye.
#17 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
Cincinnati will want to make sure one of their first round picks is a corner, but DeCastro is hard to pass here.
#18 Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)
A bit of a fall for Ingram, but San Diego would be a good fit for his skill-set.
#19 Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
Trading for Brandon Marshall will allow Chicago to concentrate on cornerbacks and defensive lineman here.
#20 Peter Konz (OC, Wisconsin)
Underrated player. Don’t be surprised if he goes earlier than expected. The best player at his position since Alex Mack.
#21 Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
Gilmore’s performance at the combine has seemingly done enough to cement his place in the top-25 picks.
#22 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
Cleveland needs to keep adding playmakers but may look at Martin as too good to pass here.
#23 Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
Coverage skills are the issue here but eventually someone will pull the trigger on Kirkpatrick.
#24 Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama)
This guy was made to play in the AFC North.
#25 Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)
This is now the Peyton Manning show and they need to build around their prized addition. Martin does everything well.
#26 Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
Mind-blowing potential given his size, athleticism and hands. He stood out in limited targets during the 2011 season.
#27 Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
He has the physical potential, but where does he fit? Like Cam Jordan, he could suffer a fall.
#28 Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State)
Green Bay’s priority has to be finding another pass rusher.
#29 Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
A great fit for this defense, Curry would be a real threat in Baltimore.
#30 Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
His pro-day raised a few eye-brows and he could go in the top-25.
#31 Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)
New England might consider adding a rangy pass rusher early in the draft.
#32 Bobby Massie (OT, Ole Miss)
A bit of a late riser, Massie looks like a solid right tackle. New York are good enough to make a pick this this.

Round two

#33 St. Louis – Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan State)
#34 Indianapolis – Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin)
#35 Minnesota – Reuben Randle (WR, LSU)
#36 Tampa Bay – Bobby Wagner (LB, Utah State)
#37 Cleveland – Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
#38 Jacksonville – Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina)
#39 St. Louis – Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
#40 Carolina – Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech)
#41 Buffalo – Mychal Kendricks (LB, California)
#42 Miami – Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
#43 Seattle – Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
#44 Kansas City – Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State)
#45 Dallas – Jared Crick (DE, Nebraska)
#46 Philadelphia – Nick Perry (DE, USC)
#47 New York Jets – Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
#48 New England – Devon Still (DT, Penn State)
#49 San Diego – Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State)
#50 Chicago – Josh Robinson (CB, UCF)
#51 Philadelphia – Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska)
#52 Tennessee – Kendall Reyes (DT, Connecticut)
#53 Cincinnati – Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
#54 Detroit – Sean Spence (LB, Miami)
#55 Atlanta – Casey Heyward (CB, Vanderbilt)
#56 Pittsburgh – Brandon Brooks (OG, Miami-Ohio)
#57 Denver – Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
#58 Houston – Josh Chapman (DT, Alabama)
#59 New Orleans – VOID
#60 Green Bay – Brandon Weeden (QB, Oklahoma State)
#61 Baltimore – Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame)
#62 San Francisco – Brandon Boykin (CB, Georgia)
#63 New York Giants – David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
#64 New England – Keyshawn Martin (WR, Michigan State)

101 Responses to “Updated mock draft: 11th April”

  1. Stay Off The Flowers says:

    Damnit, it’s still March?

  2. Rob says:

    Time machine.

  3. AlaskaHawk says:

    You can’t keep a good tackle from working two jobs. :-)

  4. woofu says:

    I no longer want the 12th pick.

    I want it traded down and an extra pick and signing of Mike Wallace WR.

    You can not get an increase in Offensive production anywhere near that in the 1st round. #1 Wallace, #2 Rice, slot Baldwin, Rb Beast, Qb Flynn, TE Miller. Our OL is going to be just fine.

    The amount of bickering over who to take at DE/LB tells me there is every bit as good of players in day 2 to add to this already very good defense. Kip has said that what Pete seems to want is better pass-pro packages out of the middle of the defense (namely LB) and Zach does that just fine.

  5. John says:

    Rob to you really think we’d pick Brown? Are the Hawk’s eyes really that focused on him?

    He just doesn’t seem like our kind of player. Upshaw does, because he’s mean and a pure football player whereas Brown is like the opposite. Great athlete and everything, but below average instincts in my eyes.

  6. Tanner says:

    I think Pete and John will draft Nick Perry in round 1. I mean, a 4.5 forty at 270 is pretty gnarly. And no one is talking about this guy, which is a sign that he will go higher than advertised. Not to mention, he already has experience playing and producing at the LEO DE position.

  7. Rob says:

    John – I think Brown gets a bad press. In round one I see the argument, but in round two? That’s a steal IMO. We’re talking about potentially elite coverage skills at linebacker. Untapped potential. A lot of people want to excuse the issues around Coples at UNC, but more people are critical of Brown. Curry was a bad experience, but I don’t think Brown is a similar player. I’m comfortable with the guy. I think Seattle will be fortunate if he’s there.

  8. Rob says:

    Tanner – I think Perry is pretty overrated. Nice combine, but the tape tells a different story. Pete Carroll has passed on guys from USC in the past. It’s hard to imagine him being a big success at the next level. The Seahawks are looking for more.

  9. SHawn says:

    I would also rate Lavonte David higher than Zach Brown. ANd what happened to the rd 3 and 4 mocks?

  10. Doug says:

    What a SHOCKER!
    One more twist that makes Upshaw the pick. Boy, I never saw this coming.! wow!

    Say Rob, I saw a compilation of about 10-15 mocks, and none of them picked Upshaw, you probably saw it. But, I do find it interesting that you stick by your pick, even though I can’t really find any other mocks besides your that has Upshaw going to us. I see a million different scenarios myself, so I find your steadfast Upshaw love kinda strange now. I see trading up, trading down, all over the place. Could be any one of 15 different players.

    You must have some solid inside info if this pick pans out, and if it does, I will never doubt you again

  11. Bryan says:

    Rob – Question on GB’s 2nd rd pick. Why do you see them taking Weeden? Is he for trade bait in the future? He would not really be a developmental project as he is about the same age as Rodgers.

    For our 6th round pick, what do you think about CB Chris Greenwood? He is a big athletic CB (6’1″ 195 lbs) that ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical of 43 inches. Here is a quote from his coach: “Chris has a high football IQ,” Rundle said. “He has great speed and size, long arms and leverage to be a good cover guy, especially in press-man. ”
    Sounds exactly like a PC corner. Even though he plays in Division 3, he is projected as a 5th round pick. Hopefully he is a round in the 6th for us to take.

  12. Rory says:

    Hey rob,

    What do you think the odds are of bruce irvin developing into a complete wlb?

  13. Rob says:

    Doug – How many of those mocks last year had James Carpenter going to Seattle? I’m not going to make projections I don’t believe in for the sake of it. Not two weeks before the draft. It’s not ‘love’ and I find that constant accusation pretty tiresome. That’s not how we work over here, never has and never will be. I’m not doing these mocks just to please the more vocal members of this community. After the draft nobody will say, “Well, your pick was wrong but at least Doug was happy.”

    Bryan – I see it as a replacement for Flynn. He fits the scheme in GB and would be a solid back-up for a few years behind Rodgers. I don’t know anything about Greenwood so can’t really comment, but the size and speed fits.

    Rory – I think it’s extremely doubtful. He will always be – IMO – a specialist pass rusher.

  14. troy says:

    Shea McClellen and Chandler Jones both in the first? That’s interesting. It’s amazing how much their stocks have skyrocketed this offseason.

    I also noticed you left Osweiler out of the second, which I was very pleased to see. I’m still holding out hope that he’ll be a hawk after this draft, and a drop to the third would really increase the odds of that happening I would think.

  15. Madmark says:

    I did my first post on the last blog it probably should have been on this one. I hope to do a few more now that i found this site. Been Sehawk fan since they started in 1976.
    Everytime i look at upshaw’s film for some reason Dont’a Hightower is always catching my eyes. Before free agency i had mock Luke Kuechly 12 and Doug Martin 43 thated been sweet but now Doug Martins not going to be there and according to this draft Vinny Curry (I think will be a great LEO)be gone by the 1st.
    Dont’a Hightower is my target, and i need 5th round picks because JC/PC do a damn good job with that number HeHe

  16. Madmark says:

    A Detroit fan’s mock draft
    This guy’s mockdraft was interesting. He offered there 23rd and 54th pick for our 12th. He made a good case for trade. the Detroit Lions would pick Mark Barron SS. He talked about how bad there sendary was. At this time the film on Matt Flynn bleeding detroit for 460 yards and 6 TDs was rolling in my head. You know Matt Flynn is a Seattle Seahawk now. The fan never finished the draft. I now have 23rd, 43rd and 54th pick.
    23rd Dont’a Hightower
    43rd Nick Perry
    54th David Wilson

  17. Bobby Cink says:

    I’m starting to think that if Melvin Ingram falls to us at 12, the New York Jets are going to want to trade up with us to get him. He definitely seems like their kind of player (this is more of a gut feeling than a substantiated, verifiable fact.)

  18. williambryan says:

    I didn’t realize that this was the only site considering Upshaw at the Hawks pick. And with what we know about last year just makes this even more intriguing. I don’t think there is anyone out there with true “inside” knowledge of the Hawks draft board (besides employees of the team) so I don’t put a lot of weight into mocks other than consensus ratings. I am more inclined now to believe that if the Hawks stay at 12 they will be picking Upshaw (or Ingram). However I do believe that the hawks collectively would prefer a trade down to net extra 2013 picks.

  19. Caleb says:

    The reason, Doug, that the majority of mocks out there have the Seahawks taking Coples, Kuechly or any available CB, is that the Seahawks MO is ignored by the greater NFL fan base.

    People who mock Coples would say that Seahawks(rightly so) need more pass rush, so ‘I throw Coples in there because hes a bad mofo, Carroll will sort out the attitude.’

    Those projecting Kuechly argue that with one remaining starting LB on the roster right now, the Seahawks ‘should select the most instinctive tackler in the draft class, like his predecessor Tatupu.’

    And for the truly brainless picking an CB in round one (unless its Claiborne… sign me up!), the argument is that the Seahawks have CFL ‘prospect’ and a 5th round rookie starting.

    THE REASON WHY ROB’S MOCK IS SUPERIOR, therefore, is two fold; 1) he knows his shit. Period. No discussion. 2) Most of the drafting pundits out there don’t understand what the Seahawks are looking for in a team. The Seahawks already have their starting cornerback tandem secured, no need to stir stuff up. It won’t be a CB. All the other ‘traditional’ picks that you see and want Rob to mock to us instead are short sighted in that they fail to adress the versatility that PC/JS seek. I personally don’t see Coples or Kuechly being the pick, as both, though skillful in their own right, are more or less very talented one-trick ponies. The Seahawks don’t run a traditional defense, and most of the league fails to understand this. It relies on players to be versatile, agressive and smart, three traits of Upshaw’s that make him the ideal pick-to-be.

    I don’t know that you can make the argument that Rob has to have “solid inside info” to make this pick seem legitimate. In the range that we are picking in, Upshaw is the most obvious pick-by-need-basis for the Seahawks. I don’t see whats so difficult to understand about this statement.

    Also, Rob, thank you for the work you do. I love the draft, and the work you do makes it much easier to love. Keep mocking and carry on.

  20. erik says:

    No way Doug Martin goes to the Broncos with all their holes on defense.

  21. Rob says:

    Erik – the defense kept them in games last year in fairness. And the thought process with the pick is that it’s the Broncos commitment to Peyton Manning. You don’t bring Manning in and hope for miracles, you build around the guy. They need more playmakers, including an X-factor runner.

  22. MJ says:

    Caleb – Amen brother! I’ve been wanting to make that statement for awhile now. Agree with everything said.

    Rob – Keep up the awesome work. Appreciate your efforts and enjoy everything this site had to offer. One question: It seems as if Russell Wilson could be a legit target for the Hawks…how early would they willing to pull the trigger? Might this be a trade down scenario in round 3, where we recoup some late picks?

  23. John says:

    Caleb’s right, most mock drafts focus on big market teams, and really, the Seattle pick has always seemed like filler to me. Just a, “Well whatever, I guess they take this guy.” Generally the explanation is weak, and it’s generally a hollow pick.

    Rob picking the same is fine by me, especially because he’s backed up the pick with his knowledge of the inner workings of Seattle’s team. I’d like to explore a trade down for Hightower, but if Rob doesn’t believe it will happen, then I can’t fault him for it.

    Finally, some of these analysts are morons. Plain and simple. I don’t know how they even have a job sometimes.

    Proof:
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8230fc44/article/trading-winds-deals-that-should-get-done-before-deadline
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/10spot-11week6/nfl-five-sensible-trades-probably-made

    All you have to do is read those trades to understand they have no idea what’s going on in Seattle. Trade a 2nd and 4th for Palmer when we are going through a youth movement? Or maybe throw in Doug Baldwin for Palmer? Even look at the Denver trade where they trade their leader on D in Dawkins and their starting LB for a third?

    I know Schefty admitted those trades wouldn’t happen, but the fact that they “make sense” is wrong in and of itself.

    Final point being, how did the mainstream sources grade Seattle’s draft last year? I believe we were considered one of the worst. Yet we found 2 starting OL, a starting LB, and a starting CB. We found a starting WR in UDFA. The point here, is Seattle isn’t mainstream in the way they do things. They don’t think like analysts think.

  24. Clayton says:

    Rob, I definitely like your new Mock Draft. I like Upshaw and agree he brings the intangibles the Seahawks have stated they want to improve. Zach Brown with the second is also a great value pick due to his motor and ability to pressure the QB. He will probably need to improve in a few areas and possibly bulk up depending on where we position him. The acquisition of B Ruud is a filler for this season for depth and nothing more.

    I will take a stab at round 3 and say you have the Seahawks addressing the RB and QB positions with the next two picks or do you see them going QB with the 6th barring any trades?

    Also, I read someone’s comments in regards to the many Mock Draft’s by so-called experts, many of them must not be paying attention to team comments or needs as many of their past and previous picks do not make sense on specific team needs. I always find Mike Mayock’s information better then most. Guys like P. Prisco, Brugler, R. Rang, and Danny O Neil just don’t seem to do the research.

    Clayton

  25. Madmark says:

    If theres no trades and this mock position for players i’d would i have to do David Decastro and Nick Perry. More linebackers latter. I ll tell ya thou theres a lot of money being sent to offensive side of the ball and I’m looking for better results.

  26. Don says:

    You continue to produce quality work, Rob. I always look forward to what you have to write.

    While I wouldn’t say that I’m on the Upshaw bandwagon, it seems to be a confluence of need and value at the position that Seattle is picking, and you’ve made good arguments of why he should be the pick. He’s been the guy I see them choosing at 12 for the last month.

    It’s also my guess that, barring a huge slide, LB will be the choice in the second. However, I’m not quite as sold as you are on Brown, although I know much less about him. Is he a vastly superior prospect to David, going eight choices later in this mock?

    Finally, as Stuart in a previous response and Clayton just above ask, have you considered more than two rounds, if only for the Seahawks? Their needs are pretty well known but could you ascribe players in rounds 3 and 4 that you believe available who would also fit? I don’t see Chris Polk gone yet, and wouldn’t mind seeing him be a Round 3 choice.

    Thanks again for the quality work.

  27. adam says:

    i think that the hawks will end up with Floyd or Hill from GT when it’s all said and done after the first two rounds. Defense seems popular right now, but what the hawks need the most is a touchdown maker. Maybe it all depends on S. Rice and his health, and if that’s the case, i would put money on the Seattle going WR in either round 1 or 2.

  28. A. Simmons says:

    My only concern with Upshaw has to do with his speed. Does he have the speed we’re looking for at that position.

    As hard as it is to nail down the player our FO is targeting, it is easy to determine our priority. First year was cornerstone players. LT for the offense. Safety for the defense which is important for the system Carroll runs. Carroll wanted a better run game. Carpenter in the second year fit that even though it wasn’t an exciting pick. Carroll talked specifically about speed. All of us that watched Seattle last year saw how much trouble we had getting to the QB. Even when we flushed the QB, we still didn’t get to him fast enough to make a play. And we were getting run on around the edges. It droves quite a few of us nuts watching the D-line flush the QB, only to watch our front seven unable to close the deal as the QB usually rolled out of the pocket to Red’s side with the big man huffing and puffing to catch him. To me that’s what Carroll wants to stop this year.

    When Red collapses his side and is heading for the QB and Clemons is coming in from the other side with Jones and Mebane up the middle, they want an OLB that is going to corral the QB and drop him on Red’s side. I believe that is they are looking for a fast SLB/DE hybrid that won’t be a huge liability against the run and can be that streaking QB destroyer missile.

  29. Madmark says:

    I believe Ricardo Lockett steps up this year. Doug Baldwin will do his thing but time i think is running out for Golden Tate, Benjamin Obomanu, and Deon Butler. After this year if Rice is injured and he ll be gone. The offense line should work, i believe this not so much players but i belive in Tom Cable. The run got better when Marshyn grewup halfway thru last year when he ask Tom Cable to help him learn more about ZB schemes glad we resigned him. I really believe Matt Flynn will be starting QB.

  30. Doug says:

    Caleb,
    Thanks for explaining why Rob picks who he does, except that I personally find a few flaws in your well thought out reasoning, and these following thoughts are just my personal and deeply humble opinion.

    First off, I haven’t seen one mock suggesting a CB. Not one, so I don’t know why you throw that in the mix.

    2) Coples or Kuechly , though skillful in their own right, are more or less very talented one-trick ponies. Really? A true DE, that can bring it, and can play the run, as well as a talented and versitile ML who Mayock rates as the 6th best player in the draft, Are one-trick ponies? Afraid I have to take you to task on that call my friend. I would suggest that if you want to apply the label of a one trick pony, reality might indicate that Upshaw is the bearer of a tag like that. He is slow, and a massive liability in coverage. I personally would rather have Ingram. At least he is really quick, and has at least two moves.

    3) The Seahawks don’t run a traditional defense, and most of the league fails to understand this. It relies on players to be versatile, agressive and smart, three traits of Upshaw’s that make him the ideal pick-to-be. I agree Upshaw is agressive and has some good football smarts, but he is hardly versitile.

    4) I don’t know that you can make the argument that Rob has to have “solid inside info” to make this pick seem legitimate. In the range that we are picking in, Upshaw is the most obvious pick-by-need-basis for the Seahawks. I don’t see whats so difficult to understand about this statement. – Obvious? Obvious to who? You and Rob? Certainly isn’t obvious to me or any other mocker out there (not meaning I’m a mocker) Just because you say it’s obvious doesn’t make it so my friend.

    RObert does a good job of painting why Upshaw is the perfect fit, and many a valid point he makes. But to my brain he is just an ok pick. Good player for what he brings, but isn’t the fix all in my mind.
    Also, I think that many of the “pundits” (but not all) actually do have a reasonable idea of what the Hawks are doing, and trying to do.

    And finally, Rob.
    Doug – How many of those mocks last year had James Carpenter going to Seattle?( I don’t know – but I would guess quite a few mocks had us going OL. Who did you mock last year? (Sorry but I didn’t know about your fantabulous site last year – ) And keep in mind, the 25th pick is insanely more difficult to pick than #12 -(which is very difficult too)
    I’m not going to make projections I don’t believe in for the sake of it. – – (No problems, so what you’re saying is that it’s Upshaw from here on out)) – Not two weeks before the draft.
    It’s not ‘love’ and I find that constant accusation pretty tiresome. – (I’ll refrain from that term- and it’s only meant as that you feel strongly about him, thats all))
    )That’s not how we work over here, never has and never will be. I’m not doing these mocks just to please the more vocal members of this community. After the draft nobody will say, “Well, your pick was wrong but at least Doug was happy.”

    Rob, I don’t throw my opinions in here to be wrong or right, or to prove you right or wrong, and I’ll be happy with whoever they pick. I have no hopes that you will be wrong, I just add my two-cents about a different scenario that I could see happen. What I do see though is that you mock every week in how you THINK it will actually go down, and I can respect that. So no worries about me aight, I’m just another talking head without a real clue about the Hawks true needs…

  31. Norm M says:

    Holy cow Doug lighten up. Caleb, good points and I too have seen several lazy mocks with the Seahawks picking a DB. Don’t have the names but they are out there. Rob keep up the great work. Although I may not agree with your pick I would not be shocked if Upshaw is called at #12. I am really hoping Seattle trades down and picks up Hightower as well as a extra 3rd round pick. Anyway, I check in everyday, don’t chime in to much but I never have been a fan of blowhards…. Doug.

  32. Ben2 says:

    An aside…McShay talking about underrated players mentioned turbin as a “one cut and go” player ala zone blocking scheme and then mentioned the NY teams as a landing zone… We run the ZBS ! No respect in the pacific NW!

  33. CrittersBuggin says:

    Upshaw does not seem to be a fit at LEO, SLB or 5-technique. I’m not sure if he fits anywhere except the Raheem Brock roll of a rush end opposite the LEO. But, I don’t know if he is the best fit there either (Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry, or Andre Branch seem to fit as good). Upshaw, nor any of these DE’s seem like the could also play OLB in our system.

    If there is an opportunity to trade down and draft a rush end or Fleener, let’s do it.

  34. SeattleAztec says:

    I have a hard time seeing the Hawks picking Upshaw. For about a solid month (February I think it was) he was the only player I wanted the Hawks to get. But after listening to PC/JS and evaluating other players, I’m not sold that the Hawks would pick him. Yes, he’s a great pass rusher and can hold it down against the run. However, after listening to PC/JS, it seems that they want more athletic LBs; and I do understand Rob predicts he would fit an “elephant” role which is similar to our SAM who plays close to the LOS.

    A couple problems I see with that: Our SAM has had the responsibility of covering the TE a good amount and he doesn’t have the speed for faster backs that get to the edge. Now, if Seattle was to adapt the elephant role, he probably wouldn’t have the role of covering TE’s. However, my point is that he would hinder us in coverage — and greatly I think. At best, he can drop back in zone coverage and be decent at it. The other problem I have: his speed. It’s not that he ran in the high 4.7s, it’s that he ran in the high 4.7s and gained weight to 270+. To me, that means he’ll have a hard time really holding down the edge against quicker backs and in pursuit in coverage.

    That’s why I would go for Hightower first round, regardless of if you can trade down or not. He’s going to be the best impact LB in this league and he has really good pass rushing capabilities. I’m not quite sure if I’d put him at MLB or OLB because I’m not the best schemer, but I’m sure that PC would maximize his strengths wherever he puts him. I believe he can be as good of a pass rusher as Upshaw in this league because they’re equally very strong, but Hightower is a little bit lengthier and is faster as well, which will benefit him. And, HIghtower has better coverage capabilities and can cover sideline to sideline better as well. IMO, you can get just as good pass rushing and playmaking from Hightower as you can from Upshaw, but Hightower is faster and also provides better coverage skills.

  35. plyka says:

    I’m seriously shocked that people here rate upshaw so highly. Ingram is such a better prospect in my eyes as is couples. In fact, upshaw not even a first round talent in my eyes. I can’t see him succeeding in the nfl.

  36. RJD says:

    Over rated or not. I don’t see Perry falling to #46. I’d be pissed if he fell to them in the 2nd and they passed. So what if he’s a “one year wonder” I can think of another cliche’ “You’re only as good as your last game.” Nick Perry is pretty good.

  37. Michael (CLT) says:

    A littel DeCastro shot across the bow. Nice!

    You all heard it here first. Shea McClellin will be the better player to Courtney Upshaw.

  38. Chris says:

    Not sure what tape you’ve been watching, but from what I’ve seen Perry is clearly a superior pass rusher to Upshaw and maybe the only one in the draft that threatens both the speed to win around the corner as well as enough power to a least threaten a bull rush. Coples tape is just bad, Ingram is a one-trick pony with his spin move albeit a very good trick, Mercilus is just a pansy, and Upshaw can’t do anything at an elite NFL level and may have the biggest bust potential of them all … think Lawrence Jackson …

  39. Matthew Baldwin says:

    I’m torn on Upshaw at 12. Really.

    He fits Rob’s profile/analysis of a hybrid OLB/DE that we likely covet. Check.

    He fits JSs desire for a smash em in the mouth kinda player. Check.

    But…he doesn’t fit PCs desire for more speed on the front 7. Veto.

  40. seattl says:

    thanks for doing mocks, but listen Rob, I am a Seahawks fan and look at the Seahawks pick first. WHen the same player goes to us every time, it makes your mock drafts boring. I know youre high on us taking Upshaw, I think we all do, but I dont see whats the use in telling us over and over again. Maybe you can start doing alternate-reality mockdrafts in the unverse where Rob doesnt know which player Seattle will pick, but speculates on different possibilities.

    Also, if Upshaw is such a boss, why are we the only team you ever have taking him?

  41. Jon says:

    Doug,
    Just one thing I noticed is that Rob has Coples going before us in most mocks. One of two times that I remember, that Coples made it to our pick in the recent past Rob made him Seattles selection (about a month ago I think.)

    On the topic of upshaws stock: It is interesting to me the wide range that people actually do have him. On NFLs mock chart with all the different “experts” I have seen everywher from 8th to falling out of the first.

    For me, the reason trading back looks so good is the ability to have another player. I like Upshaw at 12 but would rather have a (Hightower, Curry, Branch, Jones, McClelin) and another second rounder to be honest (if we use the thought of trading with Detroit as explained above in this thread.

    I truly appreciate everyone’s input and that is what makes this sight for me as well as great information and reporting.

  42. Belgaron says:

    4. Tannehill
    5. Claiborne
    6. Cox
    7. Ingram
    8. Blackmon
    9. Gilmore
    10. Reiff
    11. DeCastro

  43. Leonard says:

    Love the Hawks picks. Upshaw is so underrated because of meaningless combine/proday numbers. He has the best size, strength, speed and leverage combo of anyone in the draft. While playing football that is. I will let someone else worry about his spandex olympics numbers if they are trying to start a track team. He punishes QB’s. By the 3rd quarter they are playing scared.
    I want to try a different kind of mock. They have to be good value in round, play at least two positions each and not overlap on other players positions. Here we go:

    1. Q. Coples UNC: DT & 5tech DE –
    Can destroy 1 side off an offense if motivated.
    2. S. McLellin Boise State: Wide 9 DE & SAM –
    MOTOR, good feet & hands, motor, natural athlete.
    3. D. Davis Arkanas ST:Will & Mike –
    Small school stud. Fast, strong, dependible, can blitz&cover well&violently.
    4. C. Rainy Florida : RB & Slot WR –
    Electric with the ball. Goods routes, serparation, hands.
    6. W. Blackwell LSU : C & G & T-
    Strong, athletic, played well against SEC opposition.
    7. B. Smelley Alabama : FB & TE –
    Great hands, good routs and decent blocker. Slow. Reliable.
    If we only had 2 more picks and a duplicator I think I could build an entire team.
    -Illoka from Boise could be my cb/s.
    -Moore from Boise again could be the QB/coach.

  44. mjkleko says:

    Been watching film from 10’/09′ on Armond Arstmead and I believe he would be an absolute steal even in the 5th round. He just conducted his ‘Pro Day’ and posted good numbers for a man his size. As a DE, he had an average workout, with a 40 time (5.05) that would have been among the lowest at the combine. But compared to the DT at the combine, Armstead (6’5”, 295) posted very competitive numbers, with a long jump and vertical that would rank among the best.

    wIn an ’09 game vs. UCLA, Armstead routinely bounced inside on passing downs and showed decent ability at performing stunts from both positions. I have a suspicion that PC would like to utilize stunts more in ’12; with Jason Jones on board and hopefully a new rusher on the edge, I expect the Hawks dial up more than in the past. In addition to some quality pass rush ability, Armstead rarely gives up always finishing plays and displayed a willingness to bat down passes.

    I really hope this guy continues to stay low on team’s boards due to his health concern and missing 2011. I’m sure JS/PC are all over him and I hope they make the USC product a late-round priority.

  45. pqlqi says:

    I think you all concentrate too much on the whole Upshaw pick. And I don’t want to defend the Upshaw choice.

    I am sure Rob keeps as much of an open mind about the draft as anyone with decent depth and breadth of knowledge does. The problem is if you actually know about the FO and coaching staff, you cannot help but become somewhat narrowed in focus – the more you know, the fewer the possibilities for the pick. Without a trade, there are probably only 3-5 players that will be available that are reasonable players to take at 12 – and Rob has discussed them all at length. He has given reasons why Kuechly, Ingram, Coples would and would not be picked. Why should he have to rehash the same thinking for those players again, or why should he have to rehash the arguments for WR, DB, or OL that have already been covered for 2 months?

    Instead of repeating the same arguments, Rob spends 6.5 days a week presenting us with tape and analysis of a multitude of players, sometimes with Hawks specific roles that they might fill. Too many people focus on the mock, and not on the best part of Rob’s efforts – bringing us analysis of a multitude of players that we might look for beyond the obvious.

    Thanks Rob

  46. woofu says:

    If you believe in Mayock you can not draft Coples. He said he “would not draft him”. Also Turbin got the dreaded 2 down back label.

  47. AlaskaHawk says:

    I want to thank Rob for running the blog. My two cents is that now is the right time for him to mock who he thinks the hawks will choose. But I would have liked him to explore more choices early in the year, explore it position by position each week – and then make that final pick now. Think of it as a newspaper- you wouldnt write the same headline every week – even if you think it’s true.

  48. jason says:

    With Coples why is nobody mentioning that he lost 2 top lineman last year to the draft that means he faced way more double teams and probably frustrated him…..Nobody also mentions he is Justin Tuck like in he can play DT….If he is there he has to be the pick. Thank you Rob for being the only hawks draft mock thats realistic, No we are not taking the pride of bellevue people or Luke from BC ok…. You dont take a LB at 12 in the deepest LB class in years….. Sure if Trent or Blackmon slip you never no but we are not trading down it will be in this order Coples, then Upshaw and Engram…….All of you hating on Coples, quit listening to the media watch the tape and look at Tuck 2.0…. You think Red Bryant will let Coples not bring it. Cant wait top 5 D if we get Coples then a Kendricks type in second RD…

  49. Doug says:

    To any and all,

    My apologies if I came across as “a blowhard”? But don’t think that if only because I’m not a member of the Upshaw fan club.

    I love this site and read it multiple times daily, and I deeply appreciate Robs work. Don’t think for a minute that I don’t. I am a lifer Hawk fan, and have seen most every game they have ever played.

    The thing is that until the draft happens, we are all right, and we all have an opinion. Just because I don’t happen to like Rob’s pick doesn’t mean I don’t respect it, and I understand why he makes his pick very clearly.

    But as I and quite a few others have said, the Upshaw pick has become the norm for Robs Mock. And so be it, but to run a draft blog on line and not expect other opinions to be stated isn’t very realistic.

    But as PQLQI said, let’s not get to focused on the whole Upshaw thing, it’s more about the total body of Robs site, whch is great, and I think everyone will agree with me there.

  50. Todd says:

    No way does Nick Perry go that late. He will be taken in the first round by a team starving for a pass rush. The recent success of rookie pass rushers (Matthews, Miller, Aldon Smith, etc) will make teams feel the risk is not as big as it used to be.

  51. Todd says:

    Also Upshaw strikes me as a slower less athletic Aaron Curry.

    He may have more game smarts than Curry, but he doesn’t have the ability to take over a game because of his limited physical attributes.

    I don’t care about his power when he overpowered college players.

    That is like saying Ted Ginn was a good first round pick because he was faster than 99% of all college players. Now in the NFL his speed is right around a lot of other WR’s and he is terrible because that is what he relied on.

    Upshaw relies on power and unless he plays DT, most NFL OT’s will not have an issue.

    Power rushers don’t have anywhere near the success in the NFL as speed rushers.

    Also if the point was to upgrade speed at LB position, he would be a pick that would not fit that. He is slower than Hill and probably a healthy (as in not bum knees) Hawthorne.

    I would rather pick Perry in first and Lavonte David or Shea McClellin or Bobby Wagner or Mychal Kendricks in 2nd. Then hope like heck that in the third Bruce Irvin or one of the 2nd round guys above falls to third.

    If there is no decent OLB or MLB available in the 3rd, I would encourage us to pick up a guy like Ladarius Green at TE or Bernard Pierce at RB

  52. Rob says:

    Clayton – I definitely think a RB will be taken in R3/4. Probably R2 or R3. The quarterback situation depends on where Kirk Cousins and Brock Osweiler fall, both are R3 options. Russell Wilson is a R4/5 option. The like of Harnish, Davis etc a little bit later than that or even priority UDFA’s.

    Don – I did a round three for Seattle last week. I’ll consider doing a 1-7 next time (the penultimate mock).

    Adam – I agree the Seahawks could use a WR, I think it’s a really underrated position. But I’m led to believe it’s very unlikely they go WR early this year if at all.

    Seattleaztec – speed is not the only determining factor. It’s about the pass rush in R1 first and foremost, plus solid run defense. The speed at linebacker will come, and I think they’ll draft at least one rangy LB. But the speed factor will play little part in the decision with Upshaw. If they don’t take him, it’s because they rate someone higher. I like Hightower, but he’ll be a pure OLB at the next level. Seattle is looking for – as a priority – a pass rusher.

    Plyka – All opinions welcome. A lot of teams love Upshaw.

    RJD – I don’t see Perry as a one-year wonder, because I liked him before the big injury. But he’s not a truly explosive player. There are a lot better pass rushers in this class for me.

    Chris – I’ve watched more USC tape than any other team bar the big SEC powers. It’s just my take, and others who watch every USC game have expressed the same opinion. Upshaw and Lawrence Jackson are completely different players.

    Matthew – The team also wants more of a pass rush, it’s not just about speed. The speed will come in other areas.

    Seattl – I’ve run through a lot of different scenarios from November-to-April. Receivers, DE’s, linebackers, running backs quarterbacks – they’ve all been at #12. During the week we look at many prospects. But when it comes to the mock, this late in the process, I’m going to stick to my guns. That might not be interesting for people who just want to see a new name posted at #12, but that’s what the early mocks are for. It’s also worth noting I had Upshaw at #9 last week, so yes he’s been with other teams. I also had Melvin Ingram going to Seattle last week, and Quinton Coples to Seattle three weeks ago. It’s not just been Upshaw every week.

    Todd – there’s a lot of pass rushers in this class… That could push Perry down the board. Upshaw’s instinct in space is on another planet to Curry. I think we need to avoid the constant Curry/Jackson comparisons that are creeping in. It seems like every front seven player people don’t like suddenly gets name checked with two high profile first round busts in recent years. Curry not the same type of player as Upshaw.

  53. woofu says:

    jason, I am pretty sure Mayock has cut more tape than most and played the game as well. Coples should drop, but somebody will go against the flow.

  54. andy says:

    To Rob about the “Nolan report” : is he typically unreliable and makes stuff up? I was not aware of that. Aside from the Upshaw bash i found the Reiff bit about being strictly a guard and Polk having a 5th rd grade interesting.
    I too have seen a lazy mock or two having the Hawks pick Gilmore/CB at #12.
    If a big issue last year was the lack of contain/speed on Red’s side how does Upshaw rectify that? KJ Wright played SAM much of the year and he is faster than Upshaw, yes? And Carroll has stated he wants to keep KJ at SAM LBer. Seems to me more speed at WILL and MIKE are the goals in this draft…..

  55. CFR says:

    Rob, Shefter says that the Vikings may pass on Kalil (although I think that that’s unlikely short of a trade) http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7410/matt-kalil

    Could you maybe include this in your mock next week? Or do a short article on how that would affect the rest of the board?

    Thanks a lot! Keep up the great work

  56. Rob says:

    Andy – I think he’s a bit of a contrarian. Just today he’s quoted as saying Stanford’s Jonathan Martin is a 4th round type prospect. He’s called Justin Blackmon a round two type player. His report on Cam Newton last year amounted to character assasination. It just seems like if he says something contraversial enough, people will take notice.

    CFR – sure. Not sure who else the Vikings would take to be honest. Claiborne maybe? Still think that’s a major stretch. Kalil shouldn’t get past #6.

  57. Jon says:

    Todd-
    By the eye test it certainly does seem like Perry should be very high on draft boards and it is absolutely possible. But I would like to look back recently at DEs from USC. Jackson was over drafted by the Seahawks and as soon as his old coach (PC) showed up on the seen he was released.
    The second DE that I am most reminded of Everson Griffin also from USC. Blistering 40, great looking athlete in the underwear olympics, decent production in college (about the same as Perry). He was supposed to be drafted in the first by almost everyone, but was drafted in the 4th round at #100, (Carrol passed on his old player 2 times in the first 1 in the second and then we see that he never even thought about trading up into the end of the 3rd from the beginning of the 4th.) He seems very similar to me, and I am not saying he will have a draft day fall like Griffin, but is it possible. Absolutely, and Rob is only taking him back to the mid 2nd, not the 4th.

  58. Jon says:

    Sorry, Jackson was traded for a 6th or 7th rounder.

  59. Rob says:

    Adam Schefter used “looks like tarzan, plays like jane” to describe Perry today. I’d go along with that. Still a second rounder though based on potential.

  60. Madmark says:

    Well i think Rob did a good mock even thou i m not sold on Upshaw. Alot of the players i was looking at are rate higher in Rob’s mock than i see at drafttek, walts, and CBS sports. On all other boards i can get Shea McClein, Vinny Curry, and Doug Martin all in the 2nd round on Robs mock there gone like i believe they will be. On one draft board i can get Luke Kuechly 12, Doug Martin 43rd, and Vinny Curry 75th. I don’t think this scenerio is possible anymore from what i seen or read. I think Luke kuechly gone before 12.
    I really believe this mock will be closer to truth then the other mock drafts i’ve seen.
    Keep up the great work rob

  61. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I for one love that you do what you do here. Have been a fan preceding the Carroll era.

    The high degree of thoughtful back and forth on this site is exceedingly rare. As is the quality and depth of explanation.

    Inside knowledge or not, this blog doesn’t just drop a sack of picks and leave it to rot. The why is laid out too. Agree, disagree, expound — the amount of material to digest and explore is a ton of fun.

    I’m a football junkie. I love digging into the bowels of the process. And I love that most of the people will be respectfully critical of one another and will most often explain their positions.

    Case in point: I absolutely hate comparison arguments, the “he’s the next so-and-so” or “he reminds me of XYZ”. They are inherently lazy and wrong. Even where there is a grain of truth to it, it’s usually very VERY limited in scope. People most often use that grain of truth to validate an entirely different argument that they can’t effectively make otherwise. So they prey on the readers’ laziness to miss this fact.

  62. Doug says:

    Hey Rob,
    Towards draft time, you should have us readers do a 1-12 mock, and then everyone will have their thoughts listed, and we’ll see who gets closest or something like that. Maybe a t-shirt to the winner?
    I dunno, just a thought…

  63. Jazz says:

    Good post Attyla the Hawk. Although I could of done without “I love digging into the bowels of the process” That just didn’t sit right with me :/

  64. Joe The Jarhead says:

    For what it’s worth, Doug- you are not sold on Upshaw as being value at the 12th pick, that’s not a secret. But at least that hasn’t actually happened. You could be in my shoes and the Flynn deal is signed, sealed, and delivered. There’s nowhere to go for me, but you’ve still got a chance. Hahaha

    As for Upshaw, I certainly feel he has value for the positions he would play for the Seahawks. Altough at this point, I would be just as content trading away the 12 pick for high picks next year for Barkely ammo. I would wager to even say excited. Although I just heard Ryen Ricillo from the SVP Show claim that Ryan Tannehill has better tools than Matt Barkley. Needless to say I died instantly and had to be resucitated by paramedics and came back to my post…

    Even Seattle area pundits have zero clue about Seattle’s needs or philosophy. Some clownshoe hack from the PI came on PTTD last night and said that Perry or Mercilus could be right behind Coples on Seattle’s board. That’s just insane at 12. There IS NOT a guaranteed slam dunk pick where we’re at. We are going to be taking a bit of a risk because Guard, MLB, and Safety are not huge needs for Seattle- and those are the positions where the highest rated player will likely still be available. As for Ingram or Coples, I just don’t see them having the impact that translates from their measurables. I feel 2nd and 3rd rounders with less impressive measurables can have equal or slightly less impact at a much less severe cost.

    So Hightower late in the first after a trade down or compiling picks for Barkley’s pursuit next draft will be my most desired outcome. But Upshaw would be the most standard pick that I would be excited about. As for Zach Brown- now Rob you have Harrison Smith late in the 2nd but what would be the difference in selecting Zach Brown and Harrison Smith. I would even wager that Smith is a more solid tackler and more physical player. I see you as stating Brown’s coverage abilities as his strongest attribute and how is that different than just a big safety? I could argue that there are Safeties coould fill that particular role better than Brown and be better in run support

  65. Leonard says:

    Todd, it sounds like you have based your opinion of Upshaw on combine numbers. Thet don’t really mean anything when it comes to playing football. Limited physical attributes? Have you seen him? Please forget combine numbers. They are meaningless for his position. Actually watch hime playing football. He plays the game with plenty of speed and changes direction well. He has several pass rush moves and plays with better strength and leverage than any DE/LB in the draft. To say he doesn’t take over a game also makes me think you haven’t seen much game tape. First off, anyone able to completely take over a game is not going to last untill 12 so try to take that into account. Upshaw however does take over games for short stretches. Like during the national championship. He doesn’t just sack QB’s, he explodes on them. By the second half of the game most QB’s are playing like they are constantly hearing footsteps. They also start running away from him as he is one of the best at setting the edge. Also, if he comes to Seattle he will be playing the Same SAM positiong that he did in college which seems like a major selling point with our unorthodox defense. He is definately not perfect. Again that is why he might be there at 12. He quits on plays too early at times. He’s not great in man to man coverage. He is better than given credit for though. I doubt he would be in coverage all that much though. Consider how difficult it will be for TE’s to even get off the line when they have Upshaw and Red in their inside and outside gaps.

  66. Todd says:

    Well how about this, if Carroll takes a USC guy in an early round (because Jackson was not drafted during Carroll’s time of course) then we know he is good.

    He seems to only get his boys as late rounders based on the potential he knows they have.

    I don’t think though that using two guys from the same school playing the same position is a good example.

    Looking at USC QB’s they have all been pretty bad except for Carson Palmer.

    That would be like saying because Ray Lewis and Dan Morgan and Jon Beason were great LB’s from Miami they won’t have a bust.

    Now it’s near impossible to say if he passes on him at 12 it means he thinks he is bad, because 12 may be too early for a guy who needs a little more work. But if he was somehow available in the 2nd and we passed, then I would be concerned (unless we already got a pass rushing DE in the 1st).

    I think Perry has one thing the other players you mentioned don’t, determination.

    Jackson struck me as lazy and Griffin had no real technique, he relied on speed rush only.

    But as I said, I prefer a guy really good at one thing as opposed to someone who is the jack of all trades and master of none.

  67. James says:

    No one thinks more about the Seahawks draft than Rob, but his mock is unique because he is the only one making his Seahawks pick on the assumption that Seattle is switching to an elephant defense next year. Rob and Kip have a source who indicates this change is afoot. Those who look at Upshaw and do not see a fit with Seattle are projecting him at Leo or Sam LB. There is no way Upshaw would be the pick at #12 for either of those positions. Upshaw’s and Ingram’s arms are too short for DE and they would be engulfed by NFL left tackles, meaning they are prototype 3/4 OLB’s or elephants. When I project a Seahawks mock of Kuechly/Branch or Mercilus/Kendricks, I am projecting picks based on last year’s defense. If the Seahawks are indeed switching to the elephant, they first must find an elephant (which is basically a Sam LB who plays as a 5th lineman, equally good at run defense and pass-rush). Upshaw is perfect for this role. A factor against the switch to elephant is what do you do with KJ Wright? He is not an elephant, and not a coverage Mike LB as required by the elephant defense. And if a switch to the elephant is afoot, why would they sign Barrett Ruud, who also can’t play Mike in the elephant?

  68. Rob says:

    Doug – We did a competition last year and only received about four entries. If people want to email me a mock though, I’ll publish them.

    James – In fairness, there’s been no information passed on about potential scheme changes. We were given some names to keep an eye on, and a pecking order. The way of working out how those players could fit has been the challenge I/we have faced. But no guarantees have been made on who will be the pick or what the scheme will be.

  69. James says:

    Thanks, Rob. An interest in Upshaw at #12, combined with Pete’s history with the elephant at USC, would certainly suggest a potential change. The draft will tell us a great deal about their plans.

  70. Jaysen says:

    I like the pick but i seriously doubt that the jags take a question mark like upshaw over a guy like upshaw

  71. Jaysen says:

    question mark like coples*

  72. Rob says:

    The Jags are taking Whitney Mercilus, Jaysen.

  73. Darnell says:

    I’d imagine that if we got offers to trade down the guys the other teams would be targeting would be Mark Barron and Don-Terry Poe, a lot of teams needing safety help and some teams that could use a nose for the 3-4 coming after our pick.

    Bengals have a bad need at safety and two 1sts, so they may be willing to part with their 2nd rounder.

  74. Stuart says:

    Doug, that’s a great idea about everybody doing a 1-12 mock! For fun mine will include trades to add to it. On the NFL Network the other day there was a rumor that Philly would trade up with Jacksonville and draft Tannehill…The big reason was that if Tannehill turns out, they can cut Michael Vick before the 2013 season. It would save them serious coin.

  75. […] can see where Schefter is coming from, and that’s why I continue to mock him in the middle of the second round. Here’s what I […]

  76. Tarry says:

    I went through my mock on NFL.com yesterday and stalled at 12. I didn’t stall because Seattle is my team, but there are so many ways I can see us going. I read Schneider’s ‘smoke screen’ interview on draft and mocks which was interesting. He mentioned corner as one of the options which I didn’t really didn’t see coming, he also mentioned WR, OL and DL. I consider myself a knowledgable guy when it comes to the Seahawks and what I see our needs are, but to pinpoint it into what we’d target first round is tough… The only thing I know for sure is that we will not draft a punter or place kicker in the 1st round.

    Upshaw is not a bad pick. Very good pick, so would about 6 or 7 other players. I think a surprise pick at 12 is on the way if we keep it… I’ve switched from: Mercilus to Upshaw to Kirkpatrick to Ingram to Kuechly to Floyd to Hightower in the last 2 months… this week Hightower is still my guy, but man I’m tired, I just want the draft to come and go so we can get to assessment of who we drafted and how it fits into our scheme.

  77. Madmark says:

    I really believe at 12 i ll take Dont’a Hightower 6’3 265 and have him do what upshaws suppose to do playing the Sam/ Elephant. Courney Upshaws 6’1 and 272/ 273 pro day. I have concerns about his weight. He says he wants to slim down to 265 to 268 to play, but at the combine 272 and pro day 273. Your showing yourself why arent you at that playing weight. I have concerns about a weight issue latter. Just a hunch.
    I think Dont’a Hightowers is 6’3 and 265 with more raw power and speed. Same nasties as Upshaw. If i can trade a few spots and not miss him why not.

  78. Rob says:

    Madmark – At no point during Courtney Upshaw’s time at Alabama did he struggle with weight. He ran shirtless at his pro-day and was in good condition, he’s clearly spent too much time on the weights and added weight. When he gets into a pro-programme he’ll be able to get to the weight people want him at, whatever it is. It shouldn’t be a concern for anyone. Hightower cannot play up at the LOS consistently like Upshaw – and if the Seahawks take Hightower it’ll be as a more orthodox MIKE or WILL.

  79. Madmark says:

    I wanted for Mike spot to begin with. with linebacker there injuries, this guy i believe if necessary could play all 3 linebacker spots in a pinch .

  80. DaveWilk says:

    Second round is WAY too high for the Texans to be takin’ Josh Chapman!

  81. Don says:

    Somehow I missed Turbin as the standalone Seattle third round choice at the bottom of April 4 mock. Oops!

  82. Don says:

    Somehow I missed Turbin as the standalone Seattle third round choice at the bottom of April 4 mock. Oops!

  83. Madmark says:

    I like it Hill and Trufant defiantly getting great depth.

  84. JD says:

    14-23 could all reastically want Mark Barron. There may be some interesting possibilities involving that 12th overall.

  85. Tarry says:

    Rob – just more of a rebuttal/clarification on something you stated, you stated “Hightower cannot play up at the LOS consistently like Upshaw – and if the Seahawks take Hightower it’ll be as a more orthodox MIKE or WILL” a few comments back. I can’t see him fitting in with the WILL in PCs model at all, not fast enough, but I can see him replacing Red at DE on passing downs. I don’t think Hightower’s strength is playing at the LOS, but he’ll plug your gaps from the MIKE better than Kuechly and be more of a force in run defence from the there too. He would serve 2 purposes in PCs defence: MIKE and pass rush DE. Ruud is decent side to side and in pass defence and wouldn’t play on running downs… although Hightower may not be better than Upshaw in pass rush, he’ll give a better pass rush than we had last year from that spot. I’m not disagreeing with Upshaw I just think that with what we’ve added that Hightower might be the better fit and fill more of a need.

    If Hightower is your guy though, you’d have to take him at 12. If you trade back even to say 16-18 range, you are opening up the possibility of Pittsburgh trading up from 24 and taking him. The Steelers will not trade up to 11 to get Hightower.

  86. Rob says:

    I think there’s every chance they like Hightower, Tarry… but I think the priority will be more of a pure pass rusher. At least in R1.

  87. Hawkspur says:

    Rob – Sayre Bedinger at NFL Mocks agrees with your assessment of Upshaw, rating him as the best prospect in the draft at both the DE and OLB positions. In fact, he has him rated as the second best defensive player in this draft, after Claibourne.

    Also, are you planning on continuing the community mock? It was just starting to get interesting!

  88. Rob says:

    Next community mock pick is tonight.

  89. Lenny253 says:

    Upshaw is a beast period. Here is his best highlight real btw.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YbZk-7R3yus

    With Upshaw we will be getting a 2 for 1. Sam Lb and Elephant DE on 3rd.
    I say move Wright to the Mike. Upshaw plays the Sam. Hill play the Will. We could draft Hills replacement this year grooming him to be Hills replacement
    next year or maybe this year. Or we could wait til the 2013 draft to get our next Will LB. Sighning Hill makes it less of a priority. The problem with taking Kuechly, Hightower, or Coples is that it still leave us with a need. We would be getting 3 players in two rounds. A 3rd down elephant. A Sam LB and a Will in RD 2.

    1 DE/ OLB Upshaw
    2 RB Lamar Miller
    3 WR Marvin Jones
    4 OLB Keenan Robinson
    6 Bruce Irving
    7 BPA

  90. SeattleAztec says:

    Rob – I understand wanting to improve the pass rush in round 1, but I don’t think it’ll be a pass rush specialist like Upshaw since we have Clemons as a pass rush specialist on the DL. Rather, it should be a player with very good pass rush capabilities to compliment Clemons, ala a LB rushing opposite of him. If you watch tape on Hightower and don’t think he has good potential as a pass rusher from LB, then we have a major difference of opinion. I think it’s also worth noting that Nick Saban felt comfortable lining up Hightower as a DE to rush the passer in some passing situations at Bama. Plus, Hightower gives you more range and coverage skills compared to Upshaw, no doubt. Hightower is higher on my board than Upshaw and he fills a position of need, which is great. Plus, we should be able to get a good DE pass rusher in rounds 2-3 who can line up opposite of Clem in passing situations and possibly be his replacement in the future (Bruce Irvin comes to mind).

  91. Rob says:

    SeattleAztec – Upshaw very much on the radar. So is Ingram. Both players very different to Clemons and capable of being a compliment. As far as I’m aware if they stay put they’ll a pure or high motor pass rusher who plays at the line.

  92. James says:

    Once again, the Seahawks find themselves selecting after the KC Chiefs. The consensus is that the Chiefs need a NT/DT, an OL, and an ILB. Remember that the Chiefs run a 3/4 defense. Their pick would logically be Poe or Brockers on the D line. Poe is the ideal physical specimen at NT, but did not play anywhere close to his ability. Brockers is tall for a NT, but he is a wrecking crew in the trenches. He is the only D lineman that Alabama’s great offensive line said they absolutely could not block. He almost single-handed shut down the Bama run game in both their games last year (as an aside, Bama had no trouble blocking Fletcher Cox). DeCastro projects as an All-Pro OG. Many recent mocks have Kuechly going to the Chiefs, but that is the result of someone just working down their draft board. Kuechly is a Mike LB in a 4/3, and does not project to the Chiefs. Hightower is a superior ILB in a 3/4, as the Chiefs run. I believe the Chiefs will select Brockers, Poe or DeCastro, or trade down for Hightower.

  93. brazilianhawk says:

    Rob, if somehow we are able to draft both Courtney Upshaw and Shea McLellin, can we put one of them in the weak side, with Wright playing MLB?

    Or are they both strong side only?

  94. Rob says:

    Good question brazilianhawk. I think you’d probably look to use McClellin in the Raheem Brock role, potentially spelling Clemons too at the LEO. That would be the role I’d look to use McLellin even without drafting Upshaw. They could probably both play weak for passing downs.

  95. Madmark says:

    I heard something from an interview with Pete Carol after the season was over. Pete was talking about K.J. Wright and whether they move him from the SAM to MIKE. He said they could but that he’d like to keep him where he was. I just got that feeling he seriously didn’t want to move him. This is why I see things differently than Rob does.

  96. […] a little more intrigued by Mercilus, but also understand the concerns. In my last mock draft I had him going #7 overall to Jacksonville as a wildcard pick. The Jags need another pass rusher, but GM Gene Smith likes to avoid drama. […]

  97. ian says:

    LOL@fletcher cox falling to 27. he is more likely to go top 10

  98. Rob says:

    If every mock was the same, Ian, it would be a dull world. We need to look at possibilities. Not everyone is sold on Cox and very few thought Cameron Jordan would fall last year. He did. A lot of teams out there may wonder what his natural position is at the next level and if they think he’s mainly a 5-tech, it’ll hurt his value.

  99. Jazz says:

    James- I wouldn’t say that LSU shutdown Alabama’s run game. They did play very good against Alabama though. I never remember Brockers being dominant in either of the games just based off of memory and I don’t really feel like re-watching those games. I do however remember Richardson breaking it into the second level and really the difference and reason LSU contained him was the gang tackling by the secondary and Linebackers. Your comment has me re-thinking that game though cause I had a different perception of Brockers than the one you describe.