Updated mock draft 20th January & Corey Liuget tape

January 20th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

To see the updated mock draft click here

Pete Carroll held his end of season press conference yesterday and amongst other things the discussion turned to ‘priorities’ for the continued building of the roster.

The Seahawks head coach was quite vocal in his desire to improve both lines, an area he felt suffered due to depth and injury issues during the 2010 season.

On the defensive side – Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole and Red Bryant all missed time during the regular season. The absence of each was certainly felt.

The need amongst the interior defensive line may be increased knowing that Mebane is scheduled to be a free agent – although the unknown future of free agency and the CBA makes projecting what will happen a complete non-starter.

My initial reaction to the press conference was mainly not to read too much into anything that was said. Teams never show their hand this early in the post season and intentions can certainly change based on circumstance.

Carroll also spoke about the importance of improving the quarterback position for the long term – and it’s still difficult to imagine this isn’t an area of major priority even if it means potentially needing to make a significant move up the board.

Most recently I’ve been projecting the Seahawks could consider taking a receiver like Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh). Following advances for Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson last season – it’s hard to believe the Seahawks have ended such interest in getting a sizable playmaker who can get downfield purely because they’ve re-signed Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu.

Indeed I’ve already received tweets claiming the fact receiver wasn’t a need named by Carroll in his conference as a sign that this is unlikely. In reality – it may mean the exact opposite.

Even so, my intention with these mock drafts is not to make inch-perfect accurate projections months before the event. I want to cover all bases and use the mocks as discussion starters. Who might the Seahawks consider? Would this be a good move? What alternative options are there?

The picks that stay the same are the ones where I feel strongly about their possibility and don’t see the projections made elsewhere. My continued decision to keep Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado) in the top ten has stirred some debate. I often read comments saying this is unlikely because no other mock is making the projection.

I really believe Smith will be on everyone’s minds come the combine next month and while I’ll not be so stubborn to prolong the projection if I’m proven wrong – I’ll also continue to mock him in the top-ten until that moment.

In this latest mock draft I have the Seahawks taking Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois).

I’m not that familiar with Liuget, although ESPN’s Todd McShay recently commented that he isn’t far behind Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus in another strong class for first-round defensive tackles.

Courtesy of the excellent Aaron Aloysius I’ve located tape on Liuget when he faced Ohio State:

He’s not as explosive as Fairley, who often breaks into the backfield with consummate ease. He also doesn’t do as good a job as Dareus disengaging blocks or flash the same kind of range. They’re both top ten picks though, so you can’t expect the same level of pure quality at #25 overall.

Liuget appears to have potential as a lighter alternative to Colin Cole in the one-technique role but also operate as a three technique spelling Brandon Mebane. That’s the kind of depth the Seahawks may be looking for on their defensive line.

Even so – it begs the question that with so many needs on the roster, can you justify a rotational cog on the defensive line with a first round draft pick?

You may notice I have Ryan Mallett falling out of the first round – not for the first time. Concerns with his character linger and while this may prove to be insignificant come the combine – you have to believe meetings conducted in Indianapolis will define the Arkansas quarterbacks stock.

Then again – can the Seahawks afford to roll the dice on Mallett given that they’re picking so late in the first round? The possible cost of only $11.5m as a first contract with only around $6-7m in guarantees limits the risk factor. The risk/reward of a quarterback for the future at that stage in the first round is much greater than a rotational defensive lineman.

To watch Ryan Mallett vs LSU from the 2010 college football season in full – click here

To see the updated mock draft click here

30 Responses to “Updated mock draft 20th January & Corey Liuget tape”

  1. Nano says:

    Your statement below is why I’m not excited about Liuget. Getting more talent on the D-line is paramount, and Carroll has said as much explicitly. I guess it’s a question of value. Is a solid if unspectacular rotational guy worth #25? Or is it better to take a pick with a possibly higher reward but more likely risk of failure (Baldwin)?

    “Even so – it begs the question that with so many needs on the roster, can you justify a rotational cog on the defensive line with a first round draft pick?”

    In watching Liuget, I see a lot of Rocky Bernard–but Liuget doesn’t look as quick. I expect a guy with that record of TFL’s to look more immediate of the snap.

    • Rob says:

      I think it’s something worth discussing Nano. You’ve hit the nail on the head really, while depth along the DL is needed… can you justify taking a guy who will only play so many snaps per game, or that won’t necessarily be a major upgrade over what it already there? Drafting a Dareus or Fairley is one thing – this is quite another. Having said that – what are the alternatives here? I like Baldwin as an option but don’t want to make that projection every week. It seems like in that region without trading up you’re looking at rotational lineman as a strong option just because of what’s left on the board. There are a guys at DT or 5-tech, but not as many CBs, QBs etc.

      • Nano says:

        Totally Rob. Barring some post-combine surges–that can be misleading, it just doesn’t look like that deep of a draft in terms of first tier talent. There don’t seem, at this point, to be that many guys that will get the “high ceiling” label. At least, after the first 15-20 picks. The more I think about it, the more I think this might be a good draft to move up to get “the guy” you think could have the biggest impact going forward.

        Either that, or move back a bit, to have more picks at a cheaper cost–that seem more suitable for role-player types or less premium positions (RT, G, 5-tech).

      • Blake says:

        Good discussion points here. At this point, is taking a rotational defensive lineman a better option than taking a RT? RT has far inferior value, but would be on the field every snap. Castonzo and Carimi could both be available here, and I think they are both realistic options in this unfortunate circumstance.

        I do not see things the same way McShay does. I see no difference between Liuget, Paea, Jerrell Powe, Jurrell Casey, and Sione Fua. They are all 1 or 0 techniques in most schemes with little pass rushing potential. Liuget might have the ability to split a few more double teams than the other guys, but I would say Jerrell Powe has a better chance to stand up double teams consistently.

        • Rob says:

          It’s worth discussing with regard to RT as an example. I’d still probably rather have the DT because I just completely believe you can find RT’s later and in free agency easier than any other position except RG. Carimi isn’t a R1 talent IMO. Castonzo is a finesse LT as is Solder and wouldn’t be a good fit at RT. So even though I’m dubious about drafting a rotational DT – I can’t see a viable option worth drafting at RT. I’d rather wait for James Carpenter or Joseph Barksdale later on.

  2. Patrick says:

    Earlier today the Minnesota Vikings hired their new offensive coordinator. I can’t quite remember his name at the moment, but he wad the RBs coach for the Titans and prior to that he was their QB coach. I’ve heard he helped develop Vince Young. What do you think? Minnesota needs a QB and I think as soon as they can they’ll drop Vince Young. So what do you think? That could eliminate one more QB down the list.

    I’m also just not as sold on Gabbert. I don’t know if I see Arizona making the case to grab him. If the CBA gets fixed, wouldn’t they be better off with a Kolb or Orton?

    • Rob says:

      If the CBA gets fixed then they become valid options. However, there’s a very real possibility that a deal won’t be struck until August (if at all). I just can’t see teams like Arizona going into that situation without a quarterback. You could say the same about SF and Tennessee. However, those two teams were not handcuffed by their QB play last year to the same extent Arizona were. It might focus teams to take the QB’s early in this draft if there’s no alternative before August. We’ll know more by March when the current CBA expires.

      Young to Minnesota? Perhaps it’s a possibility. They have made it clear they want a QB for the long term now. I’m not sure Young offers that security but we’ll see.

    • plyka says:

      If i was Minni i would rather stick with Joe Webb and develop him as much as possible. He is just as good an athlete as Vince Young is, and his throws aren’t too shabby. He has a lot of poise and his attitude is very pleasant. I can’t count the number of times I saw him get hit late, get hit hard, get hit illegally during that ice bowl game they had at the University of Minnesota against the Eagles (i think it was the Eagles) –Webb just bounced back up to his feet like nothing was the matter.

      He is without a doubt very raw, but he has incredible physical tools. I frankly think the only guy i’ve seen at QB with his athleticism is Mike Vick, not the current one, but the one in his prime. That’s how quick/fast Webb is. Amazing to watch.

      • charlie says:

        The question is if he can be a qb, they drafted him as an athlete. He very may well be able to handle the pressure of the nfl, but i doubt the vikings are willing to take that chance if newton is sitting on their doorstep at 12. the vikings are a really talented team, qb is what they need, so i dont think they’ll risk sticking with a second year raw player as their only option

  3. Ralphy says:

    If they draft a D lineman or LB in the first I will be very upset. I tell everyone I hear bitching about Hasslebeck to go to a game and watch the WRs. Point out to me who is open that gets missed by him. A lot of the time there is no one. The Chiefs and Falcons had no problems staying with our WRs without any help. It was ridiculous. The Hawks need some threats to open up the field and Mike Williams is not that guy and neither are the others. I hope they address it in FA but if they don’t it needs to be in the first or second round.

    As for Mallett I know I’ve said this before but his film is awesome! He looks like a future stud to me and he has for a long time. He has a poor background and certainly isn’t the person that Locker is but that doesn’t mean he won’t be great in the NFL. I know he could flop like Leaf but the Mariners have filled this town with nice losers and we don’t need another. That’s not to say that Locker will be one of those guys but I don’t think he throws the ball anywhere close to the way Mallett does. Look at Cutler. I don’t think many of the Bears are going out for beers with that guy but they are playing for a chance to go to the Super Bowl and will have a shot for the next few years to do the same. I fone of the QBs is there they need to draft them and if not get one of the WRs or offensive lineman. That is what I think is needed to be successful next year.

    • plyka says:

      Just out of curiosity, how come it seems that WRs come to Seattle to die? Deon Branch, superbowl MVP gets traded to the Hawks in his prime. He is HORRIBLE at Seattle. Then is traded back to the Patriots (by this age past his prime, over the hill) and is incredible, automatically moves into being their #1 WR despite them having the best or one of the best offenses in the league. Housh, before coming here, was an excellent WR. He was playing at an incredible level –he comes to Seattle and just plain SUCKS.

      Regarding BMW, he is an elite talent. It’s that simple. He was drafted 10th overall despite sitting out an entire year! I’m not sure you understand how ridiculous that is. Blount, the rookie RB currently on the Bucs was a 2nd or 3rd round talent, but due to sitting out his entire last year in college went undrafted (he punched someone so this may have added to the reasoning). Mike Williams sat out a year and went 10th overall! Name me some other WRs who have gone higher in the draft than 10th? Draft order is not end all be all, but the point is that the physical tools and talent are definitely there. You can’t continue to use EBH when trying to find blame for a horrible offense (Everyone But Hass). Eventually you have to say, hey, maybe it’s the noodle armed QB that spends half his time in the fetal position on the ground or throwing INTs?

      • charlie says:

        Idk if BMW is elite or not, but he has definetly showed flashes, consistency is where hes lacked, but his best game is throwing him the ball when hes covered, he doesnt have to get open to catch the ball… As for housh and branch? they showed their true colors in both divisional round games both dropping 4th down receptions that would have been first downs and shouldve been caught.

  4. 1sthill says:

    I’m not a fan of selecting Liuget in the 1st round, but that is mainly due to the fact that I have not seen a lot of him. Liuget really stood out and played good in his bowl game, and I wonder if he is getting too much hype because of that one good game. I have watched a couple of Illinois games (scouting RB Mikel Leshoure) and Liuget never stood out, aside from the bowl game. Rob, your initial evaluation of him does not sound like a player that should be drafted in the 1st round.
    I would rather that we maybe target a DT in the 2nd round, where there looks to be good value. Some DT’s that I like in the 2nd round are Phil Taylor (Baylor), Jurrell Casey (USC), Marvin Austin (UNC), Terrell McClain (USF).

    • Rob says:

      Mavin Austin’s situation this year worries me – he seems pretty immature. I think he was a bit over rated being placed in Mel Kiper’s top-25 throughout this year despite the suspension. However – he would be a worthy gamble at a limited cost later on – maybe even in round two. Likewise Jurrell Casey in possibly that R3-4 range. There is depth at the position which puts this projection in doubt. But it comes back down to – if not Liuget who? Baldwin? What are the alternatives?

      • Matt says:

        Which is why I say we make a move up this year. Nobody excites me and I don’t see anyone with a Dez Bryant type fall outsidevof Ryan Mallett, who I absolutely want no part of. And this is not because of his off field stuff “alleged”, but rather how his teammates interact with him on it. Huge red flag to me when you get hit or sacked and O lineman are not there to pick you up. Little things like that speak volumes in my opinion.

      • 1sthill says:

        Of the available players in your latest mock draft I would prefer DT Muhammad Wilkerson, DT Drake Nevis, CB Aaron Williams, WR Jonathan Baldwin, or LB Von Miller. Here are some of my thoughts on these players.

        DT Muhammad Wilkerson – I have not seen Wilkerson but from what I have read it sounds like he has more quickness than Liuget. If it is true that he has good quickness, then he could get reps at the 3-tech & 5-tech on our defense.

        DT Drake Nevis – IMO we need a DT that can penetrate and get into the backfield, which is why I would not mind getting Nevis. Nevis is undersized and would be more of a role player on our defense (3-tech on obvious passing situation & 0-tech in our bandit package).

        CB Aaron Williams – Has the size at 6-1 192 lbs. that Coach Carroll wants. I like Williams more than Miami CB Brandon Harris, although admittedly I have only scouted one game on each player. Williams might be a reach here, but I like his size & potential and could be a good option late in the 1st round.

        WR Jonathan Baldwin – He is an intriguing prospect, but is he really a guy that can stretch the field or is just another possession WR? I’ve seen him play and I was not all that impressed with his downfield speed. Last, year I was intrigued by Demaryius Thomas (now Broncos WR) size & speed, but I don’t know if Baldwin has that kind of speed. Rob, do you have a scouting report on him and if you do can you post it.

        LB Von Miller – Miller is the best pure pass rusher I have seen this year and if he were still available I would not mind drafting him. He might be too small for the LEO, but Coach Carroll wants a guy with speed at that position. Miller could also play DE in our bandit package. He could get some playing time at weak side LB. Our defensive coaching seem to use exotic schemes (bandit package & Red Bryant at DE) so Miller could be a lethal weapon on defense if they use him right. I know there are concerns about his size, but he has an elite first step, elite balance & ability to turn the corner getting under o-lineman, also outstanding closing speed to the QB.

        Anyway, I look forward to seeing more coverage of some of these prospects that were off the radar this season like Wilkerson, Liuget, and CB Jimmy Smith (I totally agree Rob that Smith could be a potential top-15 selection).

        • Rob says:

          Hi 1stHill,

          Check out the piece I did on Wilkerson in the scouting reports section (located on the title bar on the homepage).

          Nevis – I’m not sure the Seahawks want to go that way in terms of size. He’s playing at 290lbs but is still a pure three-technique and can’t split to the five for me. Will he be as quick with extra weight? On Von Miller – one of the most puzzling prospects in that I think his future is probably at OLB in the 4-3 only… despite his pass rushing abilities. The size is a real concern for me, I’m not sure he can be as productive at the next level when his speed won’t be enough. He might be too small even for the LEO. I’ve tried to find a home in R1 for the guy but struggle. I’m not sure Seattle would take either a LEO or LB with he #25 pick anyway – although I could be wrong. I like Williams and Baldwin. There isn’t a nailed on scouting report of Baldwin so far but I think I did something last year on the old blog. I’ll either dig it out or write another one this week.

  5. plyka says:

    I like this guy. He looks like a legit run stopper. He sheds his blocks well and looks pretty athletic for his size. Would it be necessary to spend a 1st round pick on this guy? Is there a chance someone like him could fall into the 2nd?

    The problems I had with him were his quickness off the snap and penetration. I’m not sure if he was instructed to not penetrate on most of those plays and play run stopper? But he wouldn’t shoot out off the snap quickly. He would almost stand up instead of shoot out, and get his hands on the blocker so he could shed the block. I’m not sure if this is a deficiency in his play or if this was simply what he was instructed as part of the defense.

  6. Ed says:

    Mike Jenkins is still a corner for Dallas. If we can get gallery and satale from oakland (they are both fa), they would really help the oline. Not a big fan of this guy, but if we do satisfy a few oline pieces in fa, we definitely go dl or cb in 1st round (if we can’t get locker or trade out).

  7. Rob says:

    I am new to the website and I have to say that I love it! I was looking for a good Seahawks draft site and I think I finally found it. I like the pick of Liuget. I’ve heard his biggest asset is his strength up front. In the video I could see his strength, but lacks explosiveness. Probably why he is a later pick. I like the pick but if the right player is not available I would like the see the Hawks trade back and acquire so more picks. Right now, and I hope I am wrong, I don’t see us getting any elite players with our picks. So I hope we could possibly get some more quality players that can either step in a starting position or add to depth. Compete and Earn Everything!

  8. Cliff says:

    What are your thoughts on Muhammad Wilkerson? I think he’s raw but can project as a 5-tech or as a DT and seems to have more potential.. Pete loves versatility

    • Rob says:

      Hi Cliff – I did a piece on Wilkerson recently. Check out the ‘scouting reports’ section on the homepage and it should be there near the top of the list.

  9. Ed says:

    Rob, the sporting news has your ranking of smith (cb), too. Has him #1 cb, with prince 2nd and peterson 3rd. They rank the ot much higher than you do (costonzo top 10 pick for them).

    Sounds like if no locker (mallet is mels case), the hawks will draft either dl or ol. I know you think we can get rt much lower, but i would prefer to get a mauling rt (if can’t trade back) and have two bookend tackles for the next 10 years.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Ed thanks for passing on that information about Smith,

      I just can’t see a good enough mauling RT in that range. A lot of people are over rating Carimi IMO – he’s such a limited player. If a Sherrod type player was there I’d think it was a massive luxury, but I’d stomach it slightly more than Carimi because he’s actually capable of playing LT if Okung gets injured. I put our struggles running the ball down to inconsistent health and terrible scheming more than a need for a third first round pick on the OL.

  10. Ed says:

    Who would be the 3rd? Okung (1st rd), Unger (2nd rd) are our highest oline picks, right?

    How do you get into scouting and doing this as a living. It is awesome to talk about this stuff, but it is amazing how so many experts have such varied opinions.

    • Rob says:

      Chris Spencer was a first round pick. If Okung, Spencer and Unger started on our line next year… that’s two first rounders and a second round pick. If Locklear is retained, that’s also a third round pick. There aren’t many teams in the NFL with that much investment in the offensive line in terms of draft stock. It’s perhaps another reason why just throwing early picks at the situation isn’t necessarily the answer. Kansas City (#1 rushing offense) had one first rounder and a collection of late round picks and UDFA’s.

      As for scouting for a living – I am the very definition of an ‘amateur’. In fact I wouldn’t be so brave to even call myself a scout – even an amateur one. I’m just somebody who loves the draft, watches an unhealthy amount of college football and enjoys writing about it. The varied opinion is really based around the fact the draft is still a lottery. Nobody can be right most of the time. Nearly every person who spends time covering the draft is right as much as they are wrong. Those who get paid to watch games and have access to events such as the Senior Bowl, Shrine Game etc are well placed to look at the lower picks and hidden gems – and they love to tell you when they ‘got one right’ among the many ‘draft steals’ they projected – most of which never come off. I was planning on attending the Senior Bowl this year but work schedules have made it impossible. I could still make the combine. It is my intention going forward to attend both every year.

  11. 206blue says:

    Liuget can’t seem to get off his blocks very well…and quickness is certainly not his strong suit either. While I agree we need some DL help, if he represents the talent level of 25th overall then I would preferred if we went elsewhere with the pick. In many ways, Lieget reminds me Lawrence Jackson, a kid who certainly looks the part physically but comes up short on many levels.

    CB and OL please…

    Oh…I love this site Rob..Thank you and keep up the good work.