NFL Draft is 50 days from today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2014
I’m feeling pretty confident the Seahawks are looking at receiver and the offensive line at #32 and #64.
Why wouldn’t they?
They’ve cut Sidney Rice and allowed Golden Tate to sign with Detroit.
And although they’ve apparently shown moderate interest in re-signing Rice (and they’ll meet with Kenny Britt) — these are only short term options.
You’re not re-signing Rice on a multi-year deal, fresh from a serious knee injury after his back-catalogue of issues.
The fact is they’ve lost two starting receivers this off-season — and Doug Baldwin is an unrestricted free agent next year too.
The offensive line needs depth. For all we know they’re very optimistic about Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey as potential starters, while James Carpenter remains on the roster.
They’ve lost Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan is talking to the Browns.
It seems fair to suggest they’ll spend at least one early pick on a player who can potentially start at left guard or right tackle.
When I listened to Golden Tate’s interview with Bob and Groz yesterday, a thought crossed my mind. It’s like they already know how they’re going to replace him.
The derisory offer made to Tate — and that’s clearly how he felt about it — was almost a “thanks, but no thanks”.
The Seahawks always seem very focused on what they want to get out of a draft.
They wanted a tackle and a safety in 2010 — at one point in the process it looked like it could be Eric Berry and Trent Williams. They ended up with Russell Okung and Earl Thomas.
In 2011 they were desperate to improve the run game and the offensive line, so they grab a great college run blocker in James Carpenter.
In 2012 it was all about adding speed in the front seven and Pete Carroll knew all about his “ideal LEO” Bruce Irvin.
Call it a hunch, but maybe Carroll has spotted his “ideal receiver” in this terrific class? Or maybe they just see so much talent they’re willing to let Tate walk knowing they’ll be able to replace him at a much cheaper price?
If they’d re-signed Tate they were probably looking at a minimum pay out of $5m a year for the next 4-5 years.
If they take a receiver at #32 or #64, they’ll be paying a fraction of the cost over the same time frame.
I wonder if we’re going to see a crazy rush on receivers in round one.
Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s a great year for the position. And the assumption is you’ll be able to wait until rounds two, three or four to get a great pick.
I’m not sure about that.
I think there’s a very good chance several teams will have eight or nine receivers with first round grades, and they’ll want to come away with one as early as possible.
Martavis Bryant could easily go in round one. The more I watch of him — the more I can see a team thinking, “We can work with this.”
He’s electric. Positively brilliant at times. And I get the issues — I’m not ignoring them — but the upside is incredible. It’s first round upside.
Donte Moncrief can be a frustrating watch. Greg Cosell this week compared him to a Demaryius Thomas or Josh Gordon style receiver. I kind of see that. He can develop into that. He’s a 6-2, 220lbs receiver who nearly jumped a 40 inch vertical and runs a 4.40.
I think back to Thomas and Gordon coming into the league and they were pretty frustrating to watch too, particularly Thomas.
Don’t be shocked if there’s a few teams out there with a first round grade on Moncrief.
In this weeks mock I’ve got eight receivers in round one.
I think the rush will continue into round two, involving players like Davante Adams, Brandon Coleman, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Paul Richardson and Jordan Matthews.
By round three, you might be looking at scraps.
I think it’s a pretty fluid situation in terms of whether Seattle goes receiver or O-line in round one.
If eight wide outs are off the board by #32, it maybe forces your hand. If a few of the top group are still available — I could see them showing interest in a Beckham Jr, Moncrief or Bryant.
I still believe they’ll have a strong interest in Brandon Coleman, but may chance him being available at #64 if they go OL early. I also think they’ll love the competitive streak in Jarvis Landry — if not his performance at the combine.
One way or another though, unless things change dramatically, I’m preparing for a WR/OL or OL/WR combo with the first two picks.
First round mock draft
|#1 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
He’s elusive for a 4.93 runner. He extends plays. Bortles is a very creative quarterback. Houston’s offense is set up for a big rebound year.
|#2 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
Hang your hat on this guy. I’m not sure why St. Louis is so desperate to trade this pick with Robinson available.
|#3 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)
The Jaguars have filled out their defense with veteran leaders (Bryant, Clemons). This is the perfect environment for Clowney to enter the league.
|#4 Khalil Mack (OLB, Buffalo)
They’ve appointed a defensive minded Head Coach and with it looking increasingly unlikely they go QB here, Mack could be a nice bookend for Barkevious Mingo.
|#5 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
The best receiver prospect to enter the league since A.J. Green and Julio Jones. You can build around a talent like this. Get a quarterback later.
|#6 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
The Falcons should just sit tight and see what falls to #6. This looks like a great match. They need to protect Matt Ryan.
|#7 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
Tampa Bay is a strong candidate to move up for another pass rusher. If they stay put, they might consider adding another talented receiver.
|#8 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Lee’s just a quality receiver, an insane competitor and he’s going to go early. The Vikings need to keep adding weapons on offense.
|#9 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
Some believe he’s a bit of a phony tough guy. Others really like him. It’s worth a shot here.
|#10 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
He’s had a fantastic off-season — and yet he was nearly benched by Oklahoma State during the season. He has all the tools to be a lockdown corner.
|#11 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t appear to have any faith in Jake Locker. Manziel is going to find a home somewhere in the top-20.
|#12 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
He should be a top-10 player in this draft. He ticks every box. The Giants can feel very fortunate if he’s still here at #12.
|#13 Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)
Speed and physicality is king in the NFC West. Shazier is an insane athlete — the type you need at linebacker in this division.
|#14 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)
Chicago’s defense was a shambles at times last season. They’ve added Lamarr Houston up front, now they need to improve that secondary.
|#15 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
The Steelers don’t have a big man on the outside who can be a threat in the red zone. Benjamin’s potential is through the roof.
|#16 Anthony Barr (DE, UCLA)
The Cowboys need to keep adding to the defensive line. After bringing in Henry Melton, now they need an edge rusher.
|#17 Ra’Shede Hageman (DE, Minnesota)
After losing Arthur Jones in free agency, the Ravens could use an athletic replacement up front. Hageman fits the bill as a possible five technique.
|#18 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Incredible athlete, massive hands, return man, playmaker. Beckham Jr is the real deal and deserves to go in the top-20.
|#19 Zack Martin (G, Notre Dame)
An absolutely superb tackle in college, but expected to move to guard in the NFL. Could play left guard next to Brandon Albert.
|#20 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
Receiver isn’t a huge need for the Cards, but he’d add another dimension to the offense as an explosive playmaker. Keep Ted Ginn on returns.
|#21 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
Perhaps not quite ‘can’t miss’ enough to go in the top-15. He’d excel in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Very athletic but not out of this world.
|#22 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
A physical corner who plays with an edge. Good blitzer. Philly wants tough football players on defense.
|#23 Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
They can’t rely on their current group of receivers. They need a big #1 type who can make plays and grow into Andy Reid’s offense.
|#24 Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
Cornerback is a big need for this team. Roby needs to do a better job staying focused on the field. From an athletic point of view he jumps off the screen.
|#25 Stephon Tuitt (DE, Notre Dame)
There just aren’t many players over 300lbs who can run a 4.8. Strong as an ox. Some teams will love his play.
|#26 Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
Two picks on defense and no QB? Perhaps. It’s entirely possible they wait until round two and keep building that D.
|#27 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
This is all about value. If he checks out medically, Mosley is a plug in and play defender who can have a quick impact. New Orleans wants to get tougher.
|#28 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
I’m not sure how Carolina has allowed a situation to occur where they’re suddenly desperate at receiver and the offensive line.
|#29 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
He’s a big bodied guy who’s tough to shift. He isn’t a fantastic athlete, and that’s why he might last until round two.
|#30 Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson)
The 49ers have plenty of possession style receivers. Why not add a home run hitter? You’ve got the quarterback to make it work.
|#31 Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin)
Denver needs a tone setter. A leader. A guy who flies around. This would be a smart move. You want this guy on your team.
|#32 Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
Underrated, incredibly athletic tackle or guard. Versatile. Outstanding character. He’s a Logan Mankins clone. Can either replace Breno Giacomini or play left guard.