Updated mock draft: 18th April

April 18th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

This is our penultimate mock draft. Next week’s update will be our last, and the one I enter into the Huddle Report before the inevitable 93rd placed ranking. I’ve made some changes in the first and second round.

A few team’s still give me headaches. What are the Jaguars going to do and more specifically, who is making their pick? With a lack of elite, top end offensive tackles beyond Matt Kalil, what are teams like Buffalo and Arizona going to do? Reach for need, move down the board or go for greater value at other positions?

Something about the Eagles suggests they’re primed to make a move up the board, but for whom? They can get good value at #15, but is there someone they just have to get?

Will there be a team in the 20’s that sees a prospect linger on the board beyond expectation? Will that provoke a phone-call to move up? And if that is the case, could a team like Kansas City, Seattle or Arizona benefit? That 11-15 region has been active in previous drafts. The Seahawks would probably love to get some 2013 stock. I wonder what that would be used for?

And I make no apologies for again mocking Courtney Upshaw to Seattle. The Seahawks need someone who can realistically play three downs in the same team as Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. The Seahawks need someone who can provide some extra pass rush and play hard against the run.  That screams Upshaw to me. I’m not going to conform to the other billion mock drafts out there. How many had James Carpenter going in the top-25? Don’t be shocked if Upshaw isn’t even on the board at #12.

In round two I have the Seahawks taking Doug Martin, who would be a steal at any point in round two. It may seem unrealistic that he’d still be on the board, but let’s not forget Ray Rice lasted into the 50’s. Teams believe they can find running backs later, and this is a deep class. Seattle’s re-signing of Leroy Hill and addition of Barrett Ruud has taken some of the pressure off needing to get a linebacker in round two. There will be options in rounds three and four, and let’s not forget that KJ Wright is a former fourth round pick.

Updated mock draft

#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
Maybe they’ll take a kicker instead?
#2 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
Robert Griffin III can start looking for property in the capital. He probably already is.
#3 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
There’s some talk Kalil isn’t such a sure thing here. File this under Minnesota ‘testing the water’. They will surely draft Kalil.
#4 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
The Browns have to find someone to build around. Richardson is a future superstar.
#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 they’re in a three-draft plan so they need to take whoever is highest on their board with this pick.
#7 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
Jacksonville don’t do things by the book. Even if Mercilus isn’t the pick here, expect a surprise.
#8 Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
How much does Mike Sherman rate his former Texas A&M starter? We’ll find out if here’s still on the board.
#9 Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
Carolina could go in many different (defensive) directions. More than anything, they want guys who are scheme diverse.
#10 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
The Bills are surely going to draft a left tackle here? Who’s the alternative blocker?
#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 Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)
Is it a case of offensive line at any cost, or could Arizona consider a pass rusher here?
#14 Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
One of the 3-4 teams will convince themselves they cannot live without Poe’s potential.
#15 Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
Philadelphia can afford to take a chance on this working out.
#16 Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
The hot name a week before the draft, Barron could go in the top-15.
#17 Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
Tall, fast and athletic – the en vogue cornerback for the time.
#18 Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
They have a lot of needs, but lost Vincent Jackson and this makes sense.
#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 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
A very solid player – but very solid players tend to get a little overrated. This is the range he should go.
#22 Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)
He can play guard or tackle. Cleveland must know they can get a top receiver early in round two.
#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 Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan State)
I’m not a big fan but I can see why he could end up going in this range.
#26 Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
Mind-blowing potential given his size, athleticism and hands. He stood out despite limited targets in 2011.
#27 Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)
Part of me wonders if Bill Belichick will see a guy like this as fool’s gold. Meh. We’ll run with it.
#28 Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State)
Green Bay’s priority has to be finding another pass rusher.
#29 Nick Perry (DE, USC)
Baltimore are well positioned to go with the best defensive player available here.
#30 Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin)
The Niners may well take a guard and Zeitler is a good one.
#31 Devon Still (DT, Penn State)
He’s flexible enough to work his way into New England’s scheme.
#32 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
This would be a steal.

Round two

#33 St. Louis – Josh Robinson (CB, UCF)
#34 Indianapolis – Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
#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 – Alameda Ta’amu (DT, Washington)
#40 Carolina – Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
#41 Buffalo – Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
#42 Miami – Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State)
#43 Seattle – Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)
#44 Kansas City – Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
#45 Dallas – Jared Crick (DE, Nebraska)
#46 Philadelphia – Brandon Weeden (QB, Oklahoma State)
#47 New York Jets – Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
#48 New England – Bobby Massie (OT, Ole Miss)
#49 San Diego – Ronnell Lewis (OLB, Oklahoma)
#50 Chicago – Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech)
#51 Philadelphia – Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska)
#52 Tennessee – Kendall Reyes (DT, Connecticut)
#53 Cincinnati – Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
#54 Detroit – Mychal Kendricks (LB, California)
#55 Atlanta – Casey Heyward (CB, Vanderbilt)
#56 Pittsburgh – Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State)
#57 Denver – Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
#58 Houston – Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
#59 New Orleans – VOID
#60 Green Bay – David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
#61 Baltimore – Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame)
#62 San Francisco – Brandon Boykin (CB, Georgia)
#63 New York Giants – Dwayne Allen (TE, Clemson)
#64 New England – Keyshawn Martin (WR, Michigan State)

93 Responses to “Updated mock draft: 18th April”

  1. MJ says:

    Dream draft right there. Great stuff Rob!

  2. AlaskaHawk says:

    Rob = I’ve been waiting all day for this like a junkie waiting for a fix. I’m okay with Upshaw and Martin would both be steals. Thanks for the mock. The game is afoot!

  3. Bobby Cink says:

    As a side note, I love the word penultimate. Awesome.

  4. Tommy says:

    This would be ideal for the Hawks with all three of the DE’s available to choose from. I really like Martin in the second but it would be tough to let go of L. David whom i think is a stud. Rob is Kendall Wright sliding that much that he may get into round 2? There’s going to be a lot of talent at #43, I think i’m as excited for that pick as i am #12, great job!

  5. brazilianhawk says:

    That would be a great draft!

    Rob, could you highlight options for us in each round?

  6. Misfit74 says:

    “One NFL personnel executive described Alabama DE/LB Courtney Upshaw as a strong edge-setting run defender who will top out at six to eight sacks per year.
    The majority opinion argues that Upshaw lacks difference-making burst off the edge. While most expect him to be a strong, reliable pro, the league exec envisions Upshaw as more of a Bryan Thomas type than a DeMarcus Ware. One NFC scout told ESPN New York that he has an early second-round grade on Upshaw. There is growing belief that Upshaw could slip out of the top-32 picks.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/11935/draft-watch-list-2-0?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Who knows: that might be exactly why Seattle could draft Upshaw. We know run defense is a big priority for the Seahawks. However, his limitations as a pass-rusher are still a big negative to me. I wonder if we have to take him at 12. I can see why this blog views him as a good fit the more I read and see Upshaw, but the value of a run-first pass-rusher at 12 still isn’t something that thrills me.

  7. AndrewP says:

    I just can ‘t see Harbaugh passing on Fleener… That TE combo would be a great asset for the noodle armed Smith

  8. Bobby Cink says:

    Losing out on R. Lewis, L. David, and Mychal Kendricks would be tough… but Doug Martin is a late first round talent. It would be great to pick him up.

  9. Michael Kelly says:

    I would love to see Courtney Upshaw in a Hawks uniform, but I would believe that Pet and John would trade down, if possible, in this scenario. Somebody would want Coples/Ingram and be willing to give up picks to make sure they get them. Upshaw’s stock has been falling, or so I have read, so we may be able to move down and still get him. I would love a break away back in round two as well. I thin we may be able to get a middle line backer in UDFAs or later in the draft.

  10. Stuart says:

    Interesting mock Rob. Since we are approaching the draft, could you please do a 7 round mock for the Seahawks? What are your thoughts about the possible otion of trading down to Cincy? Cincy get’s 1.12 and we get 1.25 and 2.53. Based on your new mock, the Seahawks could get Chandler Jones or Dont’a Hightower, Doug Martin and Mychal Kendricks. Personally, that appears to be a much greater haul. Chandler Jones could be special.

    The biggest change you made that I dont agree with is Denver at 25. Last week you had Doug Martin there. That was a perfect choice for Denver. They need weapons for Manning. The Ray Rice comparison is outstanding.

  11. J.D. says:

    #46 Philadelphia – Brandon Weeden Just curious about this pick. Philly would be kinda long in the tooth if he and Vick we’re 1 & 2….. They qualify for AARP benefits earlier.

  12. Stuart says:

    my bad, I meant Cincy’s 1.21.

  13. John says:

    I love Doug Martin! This would be awesome! Don’t see it happening, I really think Denver would take him because of Noshow Moreno and Mcgahee is old.

  14. Rob says:

    Tommy – I think there’s a ton of talent at receiver this year, but for whatever reason none of them have any momentum except Floyd. I could see Wright going in the top-25, but I can also see him falling a bit.

    brazilianhawk – I started to do that and decided it was like picking the lottery numbers. In round three they would probably look at value – who’s the top guy left? Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’d be setting myself up to be wrong by projecting beyond round two.

    Misfit – I think he’s a much better pass rusher than that piece suggests.

    AndrewP – We’re forgetting that Harbaugh lives on a different planet to everyone else.

    Michael – I can see the Seahawks moving down for the right price (aka 2013 stock) but I doubt they’ll be able to move down and still draft Upshaw.

    Stuart – As mentioned to the brazilianhawk – it’s kind of a pointless exercise. I can give you some guidance in terms of target areas, but once you get past round three value defeats need for this team. They’ll take guys they like from any part of the country, at any position. I probably wouldn’t hit on a single guy. I started to do a 1-7 but just had zero faith in it. Keep an eye on the guys they brought in for a visit in the later rounds. I’m not convinced Cincy would make that deal, I don’t think they’ve got much history in terms of moving up (could be wrong).

    JD – I just have a feeling Philly will take a QB at some stage in the first three rounds. Weeden’s age not ideal but he’s the kind of guy they may believe can pick up the system and contribute if Vick misses more time.

  15. Jazz says:

    Denver also needs a DT. It all just depends on what they want to check off the list first. Sure they need weapons on offense but they do need DT.

  16. Doug says:

    meh, I personally don’t see the Hawks passing on Coples for Upshaw.

    I love Martin at rd2

  17. Rob says:

    Several teams are concerned about Coples.

  18. Kevin S. says:

    ^ I am concerned about Coples :P All i see is Coples is more of a solid d-lineman, he showed he can obviously play DE and DT but where would he play? He wouldn’t be taking Red Bryants job and I think Pete and Co. like there tackle rotation. Only way i could see Coples would be as our eventual Clemons replacement as well as a situational rusher. You think this F.O. wants to spend a first rounder on somebody who might only be in on third and long? I personally don’t see Coples fitting a need of ours.

  19. Mark says:

    Terrible draft. Take Coples and Kendricks.

  20. shams says:

    I agree with John @4:53 pm: The Broncos will spend their first-round pick on Doug Martin. If not then there is no way the Rams pass on him at #39 St. Louis– Alameda Ta’amu is a good player but Doug Martin is much, much better value there.

  21. woofu says:

    Rather than discuss the merits of the picks pro and con, I would love to here your views on Nawrocki’s Positional value draft. I don’t think he sees this as a happening draft but it does show the change of consideration the new CBA and rookie caps have on positional considerations. We may see more Qb’s drafted in the first two rounds than ever before for years to come. (risk reward)

    http://www.profootballweekly.com/

  22. Stuart says:

    Coples leads the voters on this sites “who do want the Seahawks to draft” in the first round. Based on the poll results, Coples would be the choice as Doug just reiterated. But Kevin made the point about where would he play? What an dilema, huh?

    The thing about Coples is he is flawed. If he wasnt, he would be off the board in the top 5. He’s BIG and STRONG, he looks like an NFL DE in everyway possible that any FO would salivate over. IF he made it to 12, and IF we draft him, we may look back on this draft and laugh at our GREAT fortune for all our picks in the 2012 Draft!

    What year was it when he San Fransico 49’ers had that monster draft and choose like 3-4 Hall of Famers?

  23. woofu says:

    “hear” lol

  24. James says:

    Rob, thanks again for your well-reasoned mock. You have stuck to your guns that the Seahawks are expanding their scheme to the elephant, and you are right that Upshaw is the best player for that position. Ingram would be excellent as well, with more pass rush and less run support. McClellin can play it, and probably Ronnell Lewis as well, but Upshaw is the game-changer. If this is the way the Seahawks go, you will get some well-deserved props, because you are the ONLY person out there projecting this development.

    If Martin is there in round two, by all means the Seahawks should jump on him. What a gift of the nfl gods that would be!

    My only real quibble is that I believe Kuechly is almost exclusively a 4/3 Mike, and does not play with the interior force to project to ILB in the Kansas City 3/4 (and if KC is going after a 3/4 OLB, they would go with Ingram). I know that many mocks are placing Kuechly with KC, but I believe they are going down their board and placing him there as the value pick, without really considering the scheme fit. As a 4/3 Mike, Kuechly is a franchise talent. I see Poe or Brockers to KC, with DeCastro if they go offense.

  25. andy says:

    If they can’t trade down with Detroit or Cincy take Coples if he’s there at #12 and figure out how to make it work. Maybe slide Clemons over to Elephant and make Coples the new bigger Leo!

  26. Misfit74 says:

    I firmly believe Doug Martin will be gone by our 2nd-rounder, but landing him would be fantastic. I think he’s going to be he 2nd RB drafted and may go as high as a late first, though early 2nd is more probably. After all Mark Ingram went the bottom of round 1 and he was considered more of a special talent.

    I have to think a team like the Giants or Bengals will be all over Martin based on his running style and team fit along with those respective teams’ holes at RB. You never know, though. RBs tend to fall further than we expect them to.

    I love to see Kevin Zeitler cracking the first round. He might be the 2nd-best guard in this class.

    If Michael Floyd falls to #18, SD will field two big Floyds. :) But if Floyd falls to #18 I’ll be a monkey’s Uncle. ;) I think Jacksonville will finally draft offensive skill players at WR, at least and BUF may want in on the WR action given they swung and missed on some FA WRs they were looking at.

  27. James says:

    If the pick is Upshaw, the round two pick is unlikely to be a LB, despite the suggestions of some. Upshaw would mean that KJ Wright is moving to Mike LB, and with Hill back at Will LB, and some depth with young guys already on the team, I don’t believe the Seahawks round two pick would be at that position.

  28. Madmark says:

    I,ve looked at hundreds football players but i only get to pick 6.

    12th Donta Hightower IB Alabama
    43rd Dan Wilson RB Virginia Tech
    75th George Illoka FS Boise ST
    106th Donny Flecher CB Boston College
    181st Darius Fleming IB Notre Dame
    225 Julian Miller DE West Virginia

    pick 1 The starters on my top ten defense all returned except mike linebacker. Dont’a Hightower played mike position for the best college defense 2 years in a row. This pick also offers my best trade down for draft pick and get another.
    pick 2 I was looking at my other hole i had, backup running back and Trent Richardson and Doug Martin was gone. My sleeper pick here Dan Wilson. 1706 yds is nice but the stat that jumps out at me is he had 990 yds after contact. This guy can return kickoff too.
    pick 3 Earl Thomas plays a big role in my defense and i have no backup for him.
    pick4 I need more depth at CB. I got trufant back for a year and you can never have enough depth here in a pass happy league.
    pick 5 Adding depth at linebacker spot. I m hoping to solidify the linebackers depth.
    pick 6 I tried to get a leo. Vinnie Curry I think would make an excellent leo but on my big board Dan was a steal at 33 compared to Vinnie Curry. Julian Miller is my last shot to find Depth at leo position.
    My trade down possibility will go for a QB, TJ won’t be here next year and uptil i find my starter ill be drafting another in 2013. I need TE but this class sucked after fleener.
    Interested in anything you all have to say i won’t take it badly because this is a mockdraft not the real one.

  29. MJ says:

    I know his name has been trending up, but the more I watch Mark Barron, the less crazy it seems that he could be the pick at 12. He and Kam play like LBers, but Barron isn’t as big but has sick cover skills. He’s almost a mix of ET and Kam. I could see PC doing some awesome things with those 3. The only hole that would leave is for a versatile LBer who has speed without sacrificing too much size. Brown or Demario Davis or Bobby Wagner? I am not saying this WILL happen, but I think it is very intriguing considering this is such a pass happy league.

  30. John says:

    Apparently Pete turned down Arkansas when they asked him to replace Petrino. According to NFL.com

  31. Kip Earlywine says:

    I liked Martin back when consensus opinion had him in the 4th round, but I don’t know if I could pass on Lavonte David for any running back. If Seattle was so luck to see Miller, Martin, Polk, Kendricks, and David all available, I hope they use that opportunity to trade down.

  32. MattCC says:

    Hey rob,
    I hate to be the only one who disagrees with you andso everyone else for that matter but I have a hard time believing that courtney upshaw belongs in the first half of the draft. I also tend to think the hawks are gonna trade down with some team who is targeting mark barron. I think the hawks would be better served with a Michael floyd or someone who has the potential to be elite.

  33. Madmark says:

    With the resigning of Red Bryant and F/A signing Jason Johnson i just dont see a need on that side but i do see a need for clemons spot as rotational player.

  34. Donald says:

    Thanks Rob,

    It seems to me the draft is pretty deep at DE. I would be happy with trading down and getting Hightower and another 2nd rd pick. If Upshaw’s stock is dropping into the early second, the Hawks could still get him late first rd.

    Trade down get
    1) Perry, Hightower, whoever.
    2a) David Wilson
    2b) Kirk Cousins

    Still not sold on Flynn.

  35. jr says:

    Upshaw may be projected as a 6 sack player but that is at DE. We will be using him as SAM were he will be facing mostly tight ends and running backs. He will not only get to the QB better but also keep him contained better so CC and the interior crushers will have a better shot to get to the QB.

  36. Madmark says:

    I think if ya trade down for Hightower you won’t be trading far and the best ya get will be a 3rd or 4th rd pick. I m still really undecided about third rd pick i took George illoka FS but i really don’t think he’ll be at 75 and my option would be to reach fr player i really like Nigel Bradham for will linebacker. If that happens i’ll be screwed if ET goes down.

  37. Madmark says:

    I beofre F/A signings i had Doug Martin at 43 but i just dont see him being there. So as i went back i looked up Dan Wilson and i Like this guy. The team he played for doesnt pass very good and defense keyed in on this guy. He has 990 yd s after contact, thats 269 more than trent richardson.

  38. cliff says:

    Rob,
    Do you see the team possibly making a switch to a 4-2-5? Maybe not this year but possibly the year after? Getting a pass rusher is vital this year but after that a switch could be made depending on how many 4-2-5 looks we have.

  39. Misfit74 says:

    jr – Drafting a SLB in round 1 scares the hell out of me. That was Curry’s position and Curry was supposed to be great playing through TEs and RBs with his power.

    MadMark – I think Hightower is too big to be our MLB and will be a two-down player in a 43 or a solid 34 ILB. I’d rather have a faster, more athletic player who can play across all downs. Kendricks and others I think can do that better and come at cheaper draft cost.

    I love David Wilson. He would be a fantastic pick in round 2 if he’s there. However, I tend to think we may wait until round 3 or 4 given the other positions we have that are less settled and the quality of DEs and LBs set to be sitting at our 2nd round slot. I’d love Wilson, though.

  40. Mike says:

    I hear you MJ. I can’t stop thinking about the nickle with those three safeties. I like Upshaw alot, but if Barron is the pick at 12, I’ll be pretty pumped. With the rapidly increasing need to have a nickle DB who can cover TE and play the run, Barron makes a ton of sense. I’m sure Coach Carrol would be able to find ways to get pressure on the QB from the safety position as well.

  41. Ben2 says:

    Barron at 12 I don’t see…seems like JS & PC have knack for late rd. DB finding…I’ve heard depth at safety isn’t that great this year but the safeties that are there are big like pc likes example: Ioka, Allen (Oklahoma guy….think that’s his name) and a couple others that might be there in rd 3. Plus the positional value for a SS just isn’t the same as a pass rusher…. better rush will make our secondary better without a high pick at DB. A good QB is going to find a receiver given enough time with the favorable passing rules no matter who’s in the secondary. GET THE OTHER GUYS QB!

  42. jr says:

    Misfit- Curry’s film never showed instincts just a lot of raw power and athleticism. His ability to read plays was very lacking. In college his athleticism carried him but not in the nfl. Upshaw’s film shows tremendous instincts and play reading ability. This combined with his athleticism should really help our pass rush in the base defense without losing our run stuffing abilities. I am more worried about his pass rush on 3rd down then on base defense. If he can get 6 sacks at the de spot that would be very good IMHO.

  43. MJ says:

    Mike – Amen dude. It really is intriguing the deeper you dig into the possibilities with those 3. It might seem like overkill, but I think we can step up the blitzing/aggressiveness knowing you have those 3 on the field. I don’t think it will happen, but I would be kinda jacked up if it did. It would certainly be a gamble, but I have visions of those 3 floating all over the field in my head now. We would certainly Benin the top tier for takeaways.

    Rob – What are your thoughts on a Barron @ 12, followed up by Vinny Curry or Nick Perry @ 43? Could that makes sense schematically? It would look like a 5-3-3 or 5-1-5 (yes, that sounds weird), but in essence, Barron and Chancellor are almost LBers with their tackling ability, whilst also providing coverage ability. And it’s official, I am going bat poop crazy with the possibilities. Thank GD I can experiment with this in Madden without losing my GM job ;). Just get here already draft.

  44. MJ says:

    Caveat – By no means am I saying they should do Barron at 12, it’s just fun to think of what that would look like, hence the nut bag question/rationale on my part.

  45. SeattleAztec says:

    I’m going to have to agree with Misfit on the Upshaw analysis. He’s been a good pass rusher and run defender at Alabama, but I don’t necessarily see all of that translating to the NFL and he doesn’t have a whole lot of upside in him. His pass coverage (which he will be called on to do more with the Hawks compared to Alabama, I’m sure) really scares me as does his ability to get to quicker backs around the edge. He’s shorter and slower than most of the great pass rushers of this league which is going to hinder him, especially in the department of developing pass rush moves, which he doesn’t have a huge array of. Sure, maybe it’s just by an inch or two and a couple tenths of a second, but this is a game of inches and the less measurables he has, the more at a disadvantage he is. While he has great power, I don’t see him being able to push around NFL OL like he sort of did in college. I know I’ve been saying it for a while, but I like Hightower more than Upshaw. Hightower is the more complete player and I think he has great upside that could make him just as good of a pass rusher as Upshaw. He also gives you WAY better pass coverage and better speed, to go sideline to sideline, than Upshaw.

  46. Madmark says:

    Misfit I think ya your wrong. Hightower runs 40 as fast as David Hawthorne did as a OLB 4.69 for both, but Hightower 3 inches taller and 25 Ibs. heavier. Big Ben not going to shrug this guy off on a blitz.

  47. Jonathan says:

    Rob, I notice you have Weeden as the only qb coming off the board in the second round, fourth overall among QBs. I would tend to think there will be 6-7 taken in first couple rounds, and would be somewhat surprised to see Weedon go as the 4th qb taken. Could you share your thinking on this situation?

  48. FWBrodie says:

    Madmark, if the Seahawks wanted a player as slow as Hawthorne at MLB again, why not just resign him?

  49. Madmark says:

    I really don’t see moving K.J. Wright from SAM. He was actually one of my better surprises being a rookie and stepping in. He’s played only 1 year there and I think he’s only going to get better. It courtney was to drop into 2nd dont think i wouldn,t take him inseead of a RB. Big Board Dan Wilson 33 and courtney upshaw 14 and vinnie curry 60. Man I only get 6 picks and after the third i ‘m really drafting for depth and nickel packages.

  50. Madmark says:

    Problem with hawthorne he was to small for mike and was always playing injuried and that really slowed him down.

  51. Madmark says:

    I hear this alot it’s just the mike spot linebacker or RB have been devalued. I m sorry but no position on the field isn’t important especially when i need it for my team. I had 2 holes the Mike and a RB everything after that is depth. I got Hill, Trufant and a lot of ageing ageing linebackers and CBs and i need to add depth here. Next year i m going after the receivers to overhaul and resign my starting secondary.

  52. James says:

    Heater was an undersized Mike, same as Lofa, and because of this his body was starting to break down, same as Lofa. Heater is tough as nails, but only so many times you can take 340 lb OGs head-on. That’s why they didn’t re-sign him. Kendricks and Wagner also undersized and will have the same problems after a few years. Kuechly has better size, but actually needs to get to 250 lb. Hightower is a beast, but probably projects better in the 3/4. Kuechly is far superior in coverage, Hightower superior between the tackles and blitzing.

  53. Kip Earlywine says:

    I don’t think Upshaw would slip out of the top 32 picks if Seattle passed on him at #12. I don’t doubt there are many teams who grade Upshaw into the 2nd, but it only takes one team to disagree and he’s a first round pick. There are a lot of teams who need pass rushers and for him to fall out of the first it would require all of them to pass. I’ve heard (internet) rumors about the Jets, Chargers, and Bengals all having interest in Upshaw. I’ve even heard that the Cowboys aren’t put off by him. My guess is that if Seattle did pass on Upshaw, he probably wouldn’t make it to the 22nd pick, much less the 33rd pick.

  54. Madmark says:

    I had the top ten defense and the only difference is i get Hightower for Hawthorne. I think i stay a top ten and with Jason Johnson looking for a red bryant contract will play 3rd for Red and can rotate 1st and 2nd downs in Mebane or Branchs spot. So i see i need someone to rotate with clemens and i m not going to throw a high draft with other holes i need to fill.

  55. adam says:

    i’m not sure why there is such a fixation on defense at #12. Perhaps Cox drops to us…i could see the hawks taking him at 12…but not Upshaw or really anybody else on the defensive side. The draft is deep with good but not great pass rushing ends and lbs…so i think that they go with Floyd at 12 or trade back and take someone like Curry, Perry, or perhaps Chandler Jones while grabbing some extra picks in next year’s draft. Sydney Rice’s career might be over after this year if he continues to get hurt which is a good bet, and the only time Tate has looked is against the Washington Huskies. All the other WRS for the hawks are mediocre…with average ceilings. Then again i could see them trade back and ignore the de\lb pash rushing altogether and grab Hill from GTech or perhaps Fleener from Stanford. They are not letting on, but the hawks are desperate for play-makers on offense.

  56. RJD says:

    I doubt they pass on Coples if he’s available and its real wishful thinking that Doug Martin is available for us in the 2nd…I hope you’re right on the latter. Upshaw is so one dimensional…it’s not in this FO’s MO to draft one dimensional players.

  57. Jeremy says:

    first of all, I’ve been wondering this for quite a while now, is MadMark part of the FO of the Seahawks? ;p He keeps saying things like “I had a top ten defence last year”, “I have 6 draft picks”, “I have this hole to fill at this spot”. Why has this never been brought up before? Every day I’m on here I wonder what in the world this guy is talking about…and no one says anything. Starting to wonder if I’m the only person that can see his posts…lol…truly not trying to be a dick, but really, it’s kind of weird! Is he really JS incognito?

    as for the draft…I’m good for Upshaw at 12. Also like Baron or Hightower around 20-25. In the right situation I think Coples will do well, but just don’t see a spot for him to play enough to warrant the 12th pick. Would prefer to go RB after the 3rd/4th as there seems to be enough depth at RB to wait and work on other areas before making that pick. I actually really think they could go after Iloka in the 3rd. Then we would have that SS/LB hybrid player for nickel coverage. Just my two cents.

  58. D says:

    Rob, keep up the great work! While I might disagree about the Upshaw pick I think it makes some sense. Soon the draft is afoot and SDB has been killing it this season, well done!

    Would you consider doing a piece on what could possibly happen if we traded down for draft picks THIS year? The class looks deep at DE, RB and OLB. Just what the Hawks needed and picking up extra picks this year makes a lot of sense.

    Which players would come into play Gilmore, Marcelius, Hightower, Keuchly, Perry, Barron?

  59. SeattleAztec says:

    Haha Jeremy I’m right there with you man; who the hell is Madmark? I had just assumed he can only write in first person or it’s a drunk JS.

  60. hawkster says:

    I suspect that Vikings are going to take Richardson and that the Browns are going to take
    Tannehill. That is going to change a few things.

  61. Madmark says:

    HeHe, No i don’t work for the Seahawks. I m retired opinionated construction worker from Tacoma. I’ve been thru the ups and downs with this team since 76. Why shouldn’t I think of it as my team?

  62. D says:

    Madmark, see that’s exactly what a drunk JS would say.

    Personally, I worry about JS drinking this early in the morning but I trust the FO to do the right things.

    Seriously, since 76?! Quite a roller coaster ride I guess? Fav player?

  63. Madmark says:

    I ‘m drinking coffee. The worst year was the year after we lost to the Miami dolphins in the AFC championship. Curt Warner pops his knee and goes down for the season, that or the 90’s when bering tried to steal them away like the sonics. I don’t know which was worse

  64. peter says:

    Adam,

    I agree that the seahawks need play makers. But to say Baldwin is average is absurd. Just his recieving skills alone make him not average, then you factor in his skills on special teams and he takes his play to a whole other level.

    I don’t understand the ceiling comment. How can one evaluate the “ceiling,” of players such as Lockette, and Durham. Tall super fast recievers who need to keep working doesn’t strike me as average.

  65. Rob says:

    Mark – thanks for that really constructive argument. People would’ve said a projection of James Carpenter would be ‘terrible’ last year too. This isn’t a popularity contest.

    Woofu – I’ll check the piece out, but I lost a lot of time for Nawrocki during his character assasination of Cam Newton last year. Self promotion at its worst.

    James – excellent point regarding Kansas City and Kuechly.

    MattCC – disagreement always welcome. I think Upshaw is extremely underrated in the media and will prove a wise pick for the right team. We’ll see. Someone will buy into him I suspect.

    Cliff – I think it’s more likely they stick to the 4-3 under but with a very aggressive SAM. Worth considering the 4-2-5 though, especially if they did draft Barron – but I doubt it.

    MJ – It’s a concept that intrigues me, but also bothers me. Two first round tackles, two first round safety’s. At what point do we draft for other areas? That’s what I struggle with. And as much as I like Barron, he’s not IMO that good that you make such a bold move. But schematically I’d be pretty excited to see how it works out. They’d need to get that pass rusher in R2.

    Seattleaztec – Von Miller was in coverage in 13% of his snaps between weeks 1-15. Which means 87% of the time he was playing the pass or run. Upshaw would be the same.

    Jonathan – I’m not a big Weeden fan. I just projected the fit in Philly. I prefer Osweiler/Cousins but couldn’t place them in R2. It could very easily happen though.

    Adam – defense will be the focus in round one. Take it to the bank.

    RJD – There’s nothing one-dimensional about a guy who plays well vs the pass and run. A lot of teams are concerned with Coples.

    D – I’ll look into the possibility of doing a piece on that. If they move down, I think the priorities could be the same – pass rusher in R1 first and foremost.

    Hawkster – that would be a major upset.

  66. Madmark says:

    What i didn’t see this year was that the Saint’s Bounty scandal would affect Seattle so much. I was thinking Hawthorne would return and Hill would be gone.

  67. Madmark says:

    My favorite player Kenny Easily

  68. Christon says:

    Hey, I like it a lot Rob. Great Job. The more I watch tape of other DE’s the more I agree with you on Upshaw. I hope we get him.

    In the second, I like Doug Martin but like you said – it is a deep class this year for RB’s and we are drafting a back-up/3rd down back. I think there potentially too many starting caliber LB’s or WR’s that may fall to us in the second that we can wait on RB’s until the 3rd.

    I’m hoping Stephen Hill or Kendall Wright falls to us in the second or take Lavonte David or Zach Brown to fill the other LB spot. It would be nice to have an additional 2nd rounder to be able to take Martin or Miller to fill two positions because there is a lot of talent still on the board in the second.

  69. Madmark says:

    I gotta ask rob what changed for Vinny Curry going from 29 to 47? and why Nick Perry just into the 1st round?

  70. Rob says:

    Madmark – I’m not high on Perry. I think Curry could go a lot earlier than people anticipate, but I need to represent the other end of the scale – thus he falls this week.

  71. adam says:

    Peter…i sort of forgot about Baldwin when i wrote that…but why? I think that he is good, but not a gamer changer. If he is our best receiver on offense, we’re in trouble…especially in the red zone. I like Baldwin alot, but he’s a number 2 type of guy, not a number 1(imo). When i say high ceiling, i think it is potential to be a top 5 receiver in the league, Lockette is raw…maybe a Willie Gault but not a Tim Brown, and Durham has done nothing yet really except get hurt. As good as Baldwin was…excellent for a rookie, amazing for a UDFA, he’s not even in the top ten in the NFC, he could be great but not without a viable number one receiver playing split.

  72. peter says:

    Adam,

    True he’s (Baldwin) not a number 1, and I would love for Seattle to have a true number 1. I’m not sure in this draft Seattle will have a chance to pick one, so they may have to develop one/find one. The thing for me about Durham is and granted this is an incredibly small sample size, but the new regime seems to have the ability to be patient if necessary….waiting for Kam to come up to speed, putting Unger back to his natural spot, and in that I’m hoping that a guy like Durham will have that chance. Is he a number 1? No. But I’m not sure this offense is predicated on those kind of terminologies. With the point guard style QB, efficient, ball control (ideally) we may never see a game changer WR, but rather several similarly skilled players, that play imultiple looks like all hit the (I hope) 65ish receptions category.

    As for Lockette, if his work ethic is there, and his uncoachable speed, I believe one of the great things about this regime ovr Holmgren/Ruskell is that UDFA’s, 5th rounders, etc. all truly have the opportunity to play and contribute, thus broadening our base of talent and depth. Under the old system, it seemed that minus Forsett and only because every other option sucked or were injured, the late round guys were picked simply because, well it was the draft and someone had to be picked.

  73. Misfit74 says:

    I have to say that I’m warming some to Hightower. Though I still question how mobile he really is in terms of COD and hips, it’s darn clear that he’d be a serious thumper in the middle who can do what Tatupu did to blockers (FBs) in the hole. The value for a guy like him just isn’t there at 12. A trade-down and pick of Hightower would make some sense.

  74. Misfit74 says:

    Some seem to think Hightower is versatile enough to play OLB, too, which is exciting to think about and perhaps I’m just wrong about him only being an early-down guy. Physical guys like him get me pretty excited – the guy surely can’t play at 265 though can he? HUGE.

    PFW had a nice little blurb on him, and have him ranked at their #12 overall prospect and said they’d draft him as an OLB as early as the top 10 ‘he has that kind of talent’. Strong praise.

    http://youtu.be/HEHlAHviMFc

  75. woofu says:

    Rob it’s the subject matter more than the author (Nawrocki). When you look at present contract values of NFL positions on say, starter averages vs rookie scale and compare it to the old draft value chart, it seems obvious something will be giving way historically.

  76. SHawn says:

    Still hanging on to the Upshaw wagon, but Hightower has me excited as well. No way he falls to 43 like we hoped months ago. I will be just as excited if we take Hightower over Upshaw, either at 12 or after a trade down. Just get me some of that Bama D!!

    Barron would be a good addition if we are going to a nickel base, but has anyone thought about moving Kirkpatrick to S? With all his bad press, and the emergence of Gilmore and Robinson, he could fall to 43 pretty easily. He is awesome in run support, and decent in coverage (not great). Sounds like a thumping S to me.

    Upshaw / Hightower
    Kirkpatrick
    Polk / Turbin
    WILL prospect (there are about 5 guys we could draft here)

  77. Darin says:

    Rob, I keep saying that Cyrus Gray would be a great kid for the Hawks to draft in the forth round if they wait until rounds three or four to address the back-up running back spot.

    I really like the kid, he can bang between the tackles, jump outside, great at catching the ball, and a solid pass protector. Seems like he fits the bill for the kind of back Carroll and Bevell look for.

  78. FWBrodie says:

    Misfit I actually think Hightower is a far better fit at SLB than MLB.

  79. Darin says:

    If Hightower hadn’t had the knee injury in 2010 he would be rated a lot higher, he is still coming back to 100%.

    Upshaw is the tough football player, where Hightower is an athletic freak, whose body is just coming back to 100%.

    Schneider has talked about Wright’s ability to play in the miiddle, but Carroll prefers him to stay on that strong side, which to me smells, like Hightower, because Wright and Hightower could be interchangeable, something Carroll would love. Plus, Hightower started playing on the edge on passing downs last year.

    I like both kids a lot, Saban uses a hybrid scheme that maximizes his players abilities and Carroll does that same thing.

  80. Jake says:

    Misfit and SHawn – Welcome to the bandwagon!!

    Hightower is so versitile – to me he is a bigger version of Chad Brown. I believe if used similarly he would average 8-10 sacks a season and absolutely eliminate the run to the Strong side. To me, that’s how you get value out of a pick.

  81. Madmark says:

    Here I am with another mock draft. I get a trade i can’ refuse. Detroit calls me and offers up 23rd and 54th I hagle just enough to get there 4th round pick in 2003. At 12 Detroit picks mark Barrow. I sit waiting for number 23 when pittsburg trades up and takes Dont’a Hightower. Crap, i totally stun, we ain’t even plying football and Pittsburg still screwing us. What do I do now its like last year with Carpenter. Well you inprovise, adapt, and overcome. So with
    23rd Coby Fleener
    43rd Vinnie Curry
    54th Mychal Kendricks
    75th Chris Polk
    106th Donnie Flecher
    181st Darius Fleming
    225th Julian Miller
    With the 1st trade the draft will change and sometimes you have to change with it.

  82. Meat says:

    I did my first mock, first round, and left Fleener out. The more I watch on this guy and see the way teams are going with big WR, TE, I see him a solid first round choice for a lot of teams late in the first. The way I play it out, depending on Jags, I see Upshaw to Seattle. That or a trade down and garner more picks, AND get Upshaw at the Bengals pick, for example

  83. Madmark says:

    Dont’a Hightower was who I wanted but with our trade down and Pittsburg trade up I lost him. Was just trying to emphasize that on draft days how a trade can change this.

  84. Madmark says:

    Rob i have to ask with Golden Tate i’ve seen splashes of potential but not the best body of work. He’s in the last year of his contract. Lets say he has a Doug Baldwin type year would you bring him back? If you did, for how much and how long? I have a hard time when a player shows in the last year of there contract.

  85. Madmark says:

    Too funny was reading an article on Hightower on yahoo. Guys post after was to funny. He said i find it hard to believe that he played for the cardinals and went back to college just to get drafted again, ROFL

  86. Misfit74 says:

    Interesting podcast on OLB/DL if you haven’t heard it. I like hearing Cosell talk about prospects a lot – as much as anybody. I do wish Fararr would humble himself and get out of the way and let Cosell talk. I like Farrar, so it’s nothing against him, I just think any host in his situation should simply be more of a vehicle to allow the main man (Cosell) to deliver the knowledge.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-corner-podcast-greg-cosell-2012-olb-dt-120743720.html

  87. Misfit74 says:

    I should mention that if Ingram is as good as both Farrar and Cosell say he is I should love that pick for Seattle (if he gets that far). Comparisons to Dwight Freeney.

  88. Rob says:

    I think Farrar made that comparison for Brandon Graham too.

  89. A. Simmons says:

    My feeling is that Upshaw’s speed will hurt him on our draft board. So far this FO has gone after exactly what Pete has said he wanted. He wanted to upgrade the run game. We went after a RB by trading for Marshawn Lynch. We drafted and signed quite a few offensive lineman. He wanted to win the turnover battle. So we went after secondary players to upgrade the secondary. So though our FO will not reveal exact picks, they are transparent on their priorities.

    Pete listed their priorities in the post-season press conference: speed and pass rush. That we will spend two or three picks on speed and pass rush. And probably sign some undrafted guys as well. Upshaw lacks speed and his pass rush upside is limited.

    We know this coaching staff likes raw players with high football intelligence. Not necessarily experience, but instincts and intelligence. They believe they can take a player and teach him their scheme. But what they can’t teach is speed and the athleticism necessary to rush the passer. So that is what they will focus on this draft focusing on their priorities like they did the first two drafts.

    So any first round pick should focus on those two factors are major factors affecting Seattle’s choice: speed and pass rushing ability. I don’t think Upshaw is our guy.

  90. Madmark says:

    Petes contract has in it the final say and JS seems to be fine with that.

  91. Rob says:

    A.Simmons – I think speed and pass rush can be seen as two different things. Upshaw can provide the pass rush, who’s to say they don’t draft a linebacker with speed?

  92. DaveWilk says:

    Can we have a mock draft with a little boldness and insight? The Texans will NOT be taking Stephen Hill at #26. He’s much too raw and it would take him too long for the Texans brass’ taste to produce. Coby Fleener will be going to the Texans at #26. Fleener, on the other hand, will be ready to produce right away, as he played in a proball system at Stanford and he naturally creates mismatches – LBs are too slow to cover him, safeties are too small. Texans also need a second TE – Joel Dreessen signed with Denver, and Texans run a lot of 2-TE sets. The mismatches that Fleener provides are exactly what Gary Kubiak looks for in his offense.

  93. James says:

    Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar did an hour-long podcast (linked from the Field Gulls website) where they talked at length about DEs/OLBs. I thought I would share some of their insights that might impact the Seahawks draft:

    – They both rave about Ingram: his motor, off-the-charts athleticism and pass rush ability. They say that McClellin is not far behind. The interesting thing about these two guys is that they could play both the leo and the elephant, which might make them invaluable in Pete’s defense. They can stop the run and control the line as the elephant, but also rush the passer as a leo. The Seahawks could potentially fill two needs with either one of these unique players. They did not say this, but it seems to me that Lewis from Oklahoma could possibly fill this dual role from the round two pick, if the Seahawks went another direction (Kuechly, DeCastro, Floyd?) in round one. An Ingram or McClellin pick could also mean a move of KJ Wright to Mike LB, so that a pick would not need to be used on that position, leaving the Seahawks free to use the round two or three pick elsewhere, and it would almost be a three-for-one scenario.

    – Upshaw is highly rated but could not fill both roles as Ingram or McClellin could. Upshaw is more a pure elephant without the speed to play leo. He is the superior run stopper but is more of a power rush guy without the electric speed. Brute strength and violent play are his advantages.

    – Nick Perry was highly rated by Farrar, who thought that he was somewhat mis-used by Monte Kiffin at USC. Farrar thought that Perry is an ideal Leo, as used by Pete’s defense, whereas Kiffin did not take advantage of his strengths. Farrar said if Pete had stayed at USC, Perry would have been an all-world DE.

    – Chandler Jones got Cosell’s highest DE rating. Jones is seen as a classic 6-5, 270# speed pass rush DE who could play the leo but also with the size to stop the run.

    – Both guys ranked Curry ahead of Branch, and it sounded like if one of them is there in round two, you grab him.

    – Both rated Coples behind Jones and Perry and did not see him as a good fit in the Seahawks D, either the leo or the elephant, as he is more a classic power DE with bull rush skills, but without the speed to do what Pete requires. I suppose if the Seahawks do select him, then we can assume that Pete disagrees.

    …what I take away from this is that if Ingram is there, the Seahawks should snap him up, and if not, they should trade down and select McClellin around pick #20, before Green Bay or the Patriots, etc, grab him. These two guy’s ability to play both the leo and the elephant is ideal for Seattle.