Updated mock draft: 23rd March (includes round two)

March 23rd, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

To see the latest projection click here.

We’re just over a month away from the draft and still there’s so many questions to be answered.

Who’s going first overall? Will a new CBA be agreed before the draft, opening up free agency? What are the Seahawks going to do at #25?

We’ve all seen rumours linking Seattle with Carson Palmer and Kevin Kolb. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen this week said he’d be ‘shocked’ if the Seahawks didn’t draft a quarterback early.

With Matt Hasselbeck unsigned and possibly moving on, the position has taken on an even greater importance. Something needs to be done one way or another.

Yet when I sit down to compile a mock draft, I just cannot see how any of the top four prospects fall into the 20’s. Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert will be top five picks. I still think Jake Locker is a shoe-in for Washington and Mike Shanahan. Even with character concerns Ryan Mallett has too much talent to get past teams like Miami and Jacksonville.

The idea of an unclear situation beyond the draft somehow appears unfathomable when in fact it’s probably a much greater reality than you’d hope. Not finding a QB in round one won’t necessarily mean the team spends the #57 pick on a QB. Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton are not the answer. Colin Kaepernick? That’s a big project. Ricky Stanzi? Perhaps, but not in round two and Seattle will need to get some playmakers. Do they trade up in round one?

April 6th is a huge day for the NFL but perhaps more so for Seattle than most other teams. That is the day the players and owners head to court to discover whether an injuction will be placed on the lockout, allowing free agency to begin. Having that opportunity to bring some one in possibly using the #25 pick can shape the team for years to come. Whether you agree with a potential Kevin Kolb trade or not (I have mixed feelings) if the Seahawks cannot get at the top QB prospects this year something needs to happen.

People will say wait – but this is a QB driven league and you have to be proactive not reactive.

So while I have the Seahawks taking a defensive lineman in round one this week, it somehow feels like this story will have a few more chapters before we get to the twist.

A loose second round projection:

#33 New England – Leonard Hankerson (WR, Miami)
#34 Buffalo – Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor)
#35 Cincinnati – Justin Houston (DE, Georgia)
#36 Denver – Akeem Ayers (LB, UCLA)
#37 Cleveland – Christian Ponder (QB, Florida State)
#38 Arizona – Kyle Rudolph (TE, Notre Dame)
#39 Tennessee – Curtis Brown (CB, Texas)
#40 Dallas – Brandon Harris (CB, Miami)
#41 Washington – Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh)
#42 Houston – Rodney Hudson (OG/C, Florida State)
#43 Minnesota – Edmund Gates (WR, Abilene Christian)
#44 Detroit – Martez Wilson (LB, Illinois)
#45 San Francisco – Ryan Williams (RB, Virginia Tech)
#46 Denver – Marvin Austin (DT, North Carolina)
#47 St. Louis – Danny Watkins (OG, Baylor)
#48 Oakland – Chimdi Chekwa (CB, Ohio State)
#49 Jacksonville – Mikel Leshoure (RB, Illinois)
#50 San Diego – Quinton Carter (S, Oklahoma)
#51 Tampa Bay – Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State)
#52 New York Giants – Terrell McClain (DT, USF)
#53 Indianapolis – Drake Nevis (DT, LSU)
#54 Philadelphia – Ben Ijalana (OT, Villanova)
#55 Kansas City – Tandon Doss (WR, Indiana)
#56 New Orleans – Jarvis Jenkins (DT, Clemson)
#57 Seattle – Orlando Franklin (OG, Miami)
#58 Baltimore – Lance Kendricks (TE, Wisconsin)
#59 Atlanta – Torrey Smith (WR, Maryland)
#60 New England – Jordan Todman (RB, Connecticut)
#61 San Diego – Marcus Cannon (OG, TCU)
#62 Chicago – James Carpenter (OT, Alabama)
#63 Pittsburgh – Randall Cobb (WR, Kentucky)
#64 Green Bay – Aaron Williams (FS, Texas)

Notes: I don’t like Christian Ponder that high but Cleveland stopped Colt McCoy falling into round four and may make another gaffe by drafting Ponder this early. If Denver draft Bowers, Ayers and Austin in rounds 1&2, John Fox can be satisfied the league’s worst defense will be improved. I suspect out of the group Jordan Todman may be the one that sticks in the mind long term.

Seattle takes the best available interior lineman. There wasn’t a multitude of options here. People will ask about the quarterbacks but the two realistic options were Colin Kaepernick and Ricky Stanzi – both significant reaches for me. Seattle has the second pick in round four courtesy of the Deion Branch trade and can easily move up using their two 5th round picks to target this pair in round three if they wished. While I rate both quarterbacks ahead of Andy Dalton, I still wouldn’t invest the team’s future in either. This, to me, stresses the difficult situation the Seahawks find themselves in. Upgrading and sorting the quarterback position long term must be the priority.

36 Responses to “Updated mock draft: 23rd March (includes round two)”

  1. plyka says:

    What do you make of this whole trent dilfer thing? Saying that he basically guarantees that Andy Dalton is the best QB coming out of this draft and will be a first round selection?

    I must admit, I haven’t seen much tape on Dalton at all so i can’t comment. It reaks of desparation on Dilfer’s part however. The old, make a crazy suggestion to get attention and then if the suggestion comes through i’m a hero, bit.

    • Ben says:

      Either Dilfer has “Draft Fever” or he and Dalton share agents or Dalton’s agent is paying Dilfer off. There’s nothing to justify what Dilfer is saying and the conditions are just suspicious.

      • FWBrodie says:

        This.

        Dilfer said the same thing about Cam Newton three weeks ago. He’s a phony.

        • MeatWad says:

          Agreed. Dilfer is far from speaking what he really thinks-something fishy with him.. But beside that-Dalton is in NO way a first round contender. He doesn’t even fit what I think Seattle is looking for. I will be severely upset if they ‘waste’ a first round pick on him- I really only feel 4 QB’s are worth a first/early second round pic for Seattle. Or atleast worth the risk. Unfortunately I question if the four i like will be avail-or fit Carrols scheme

  2. Brian says:

    In fairness to Dilfer, almost all of the benchmarks for Dalton are favorable. (IE, four year starter, good completion percentage, good TD/INT, etc.) Dilfer also didn’t say he would be the best QB in the draft (at least I didn’t hear that,) just that he would be the QB he would most like to draft if he were a coach.

    I don’t know how much stock you can put in Dalton’s stats, though, when you consider he played on a stacked team playing inferior competition.

    • FWBrodie says:

      I hadn’t really watched much of Wilkerson until today. Man, does he have some great instincts. I wish he’d play lower and I think he could afford to add some more weight to his frame, but what a natural football player. Great explosion to the quarterback too. Fun to watch. Kind of reminded me of a taller, (currently) weaker Cortez Kennedy the way he flows to the ball, especially in the backfield. If he could learn to consistently get way lower, he may have similar upside.

      The defensive line class just continues to become more and more impressive to me this year.

  3. Hawks9700 says:

    Why would Ponder go to Cleveland… They’d take a weapon for McCoy here.

    • Rob says:

      They take AJ Green in round one. People presume McCoy is the answer in Cleveland – I don’t think he is and I’m not convinced the Browns do either.

      • MeatWad says:

        Is he the answer for Cleve? I don’t know. But isn’t it too early to just write off McCoy. He was ok for a rookie-not horrible by any means… I would hope for their sake they wouldn’t waste their 2nd round pic on another QB with the other needs they have..

        • plyka says:

          just ok? Mccoy was downright awesome in his rookie year.

          • Matt says:

            Is this sarcasm? Serious question.

          • Rob says:

            McCoy was far from ‘awesome’ in his rookie year.

          • Matt says:

            Everytime I watched him play it was nothing but crossing and underneath routes to mask his throwing ability. Defenses will have an easy time game planning for him.

            I am certainly not “writing him off” after one season, but I think his upside is very low. Not saying he can’t be a starter, but we are talking about a guy who will need the Ravens defense and an elite running game to end up becoming a “super bowl QB.”

            I would rather just avoid guys like McCoy, Dalton, and Ponder as I don’t think you can become a great team with QBs that limited. For once in Seattle, I’d like to have a possibly game changing QB who is able to exploit defenses on all levels. I’m hoping Mallett falls to us as I think he can become a Philip Rivers caliber QB.

            I want us to shoot for the moon, not just be content playing it safe all the time. That is the quickest route to mediocrity, which I’m very sick of with Seattle sports in general.

          • plyka says:

            Yes, Mccoy was awesome this year. Whether you were watching the games or just look at the stats, you cannot come away without being impressed. Show me a significant difference between Mccoy’s per game stats and Bradford’s per game stats, you won’t find it.

            Colt Mccoy had far superior numbers to BRadford, until the final 2 games of the season (we are talking per game numbers since Mccoy didn’t start all year). In the last 2 games, he had 6 INTs, against the Steelers and Ravens, 2 of the best defenses in the league. Before these last 2 games, his QB rating was in the 90’s. Colt’s QB rating finished in the mid 70’s, in the same area that Bradford’s ended.
            Mccoy’s season QB rating: 74.5, Bradford’s QB rating: 76.5

            Looking at their numbers, not just QB rating, but overall, it seems like Bradrod and Mccoy were similar. However, when taking into consideration the level of defenses each player went up against, then you see just how superior Mccoy was to Bradford. Bradford, in the NFC West, the weakest division in the HISTORY of the NFL and Mccoy in the toughest division in football. Mccoy played in 8 games, here is the list of the defenses he went up against:

            Pit, NO, NE, NYJ, JAX, CIN, BAL, PIT

            That’s a list of the toughest defenses in the league. As a comparison, here is Bradford’s list:

            ARI, OAK, WAS, SEA, DET, SD, TAM, CAR, SF, ATL, DEN, ARI, NO, KC, SF, SEA

            That’s a list of the easiest possible defenses you can face.

            I don’t want to say that Mccoy impressed me more than Bradford, but he impressed me just as much. For a rookie, the numbers he put up against the defenses he was up against, WERE AWESOME.

    • Rob says:

      Cannot accept that Plyka. McCoy was truly awful in three games I saw last season and you can’t ignore those awful stats against two top defenses- he’ll be playing those defenses four times every year. Nobody in Cleveland is nailing their colors to his mast. They took an acceptable punt on a guy late in round three much in the same way Seattle took a punt on Whitehurst. Neither will be a starting quarterback in a years time.

  4. Patrick G. says:

    A bit surprised you still have the Broncos picking DaQuan Bowers, not because of the injuries but because they released two defensive tackles who were in the lineup frequently last year, and John Fox has stated that he plans to play both Elvis Dumervil (who was a sack-generating force for the Broncos before suffering a season ending injury this year) and Robert Ayers at 4-3 end (Ayers struggled in the 3-4 but his natural position for anyone but Josh McDaniels was a 4-3 end). These signs seem to point to DT, and that means Dareus or Fairley, doesn’t it?

    • Rob says:

      I have them taking Marvin Austin in round two and I’m not sure you can rely on what a coach says pre-draft about a player (ayers) he had no say in drafting. John Fox loves big, athletic defensive ends and Bowers fits the bill. I’m not saying they won’t take Dareus, but you can’t rule out a sack machine with major potential like Bowers.

  5. Cliff says:

    You have to remember last year Dilfer was talking up both McCoy and Clausen saying Clausen would have a bigger impact right away than Bradford and McCoy would be the best of the three. He also is represented by the same company or agent that McCoy has. I suspect the same thing is happening for Dalton.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/04/06/trent-dilfer-says-sam-bradford-is-not-even-close-to-the-best-player-in-the-draft/

  6. woofu says:

    I was pleased to see you pick Miami not taking Ingram and addressing the Qb issue. With Ingram they would be no better than LY. This would leave Seattle with a tough choice since Gab,Newt, Lock and Mallet would all likely be gone and the rest of the Qbs available to go to who skipped over a Qb in round one and still were in need of one.

    Who that would be is, Kaepernick, Ponder, Dalton, etc. This really boils down to the CBA/injunction status and the resultant moves Seattle and others would make. If it’s draft only, one of those three is a must imo, at #25. If they could land a Kolb or resign Matt then I fall into the ORT camp that can play LT or slide inside. If not then I am leaning toward Kaepernick plus Charlie and hope to resign Matt at some point.

    • Matt says:

      My personal opinion, no matter what happens prior to the draft, Kaepernick, Ponder, and Dalton are not worthy of a first or second round pick no matter how desperate we may be. I can’t emphasize enough how limited Dalton and Ponder are as QBs. If they live up to their potential, we are talking about a bottom tier game managing QB that will not win you games. Kaepernick is intriguing but needs so much work that I would be put off even in round 2.

      As far as ORT goes, unless that talent is clearly better than any D-lineman or CB, then I would refrain from using that high of a pick on a position that’s relatively easy to fill. If we are talking about Tyron Smith or Derek Sherrod, or Pouncey, I would be more open to it. But if we are talking about Costanzo, Carimi, or Solder, I would easily pass on those guys and take a Liuget or Wilkerson or even Sheard.

      As badly as the O-line needs to be upgraded, they are still blocking for no talent at any position including QB. Mike Williams is a nice player, but in my opinion is a #2 possession WR. Let’s not forget how Cleveland and Carolina have spent premium picks and have highly regarded O-lines. Means nothing if it’s constantly 8 vs 5 in the box. Need a talented QB and a weapon or 2 before we see this offense turn into something. After all, defenses gameplan for Desean Jackson and Vernon Davis, not WInston Justice and Joe Staley.

      • ChavaC says:

        Hmm. I remember a lot of coaches talking about game planning for BMW and preventing him from getting open/ 1v1. Sure he’s not a true #1 receiver, but I think between him the doughnut thief and and obo we’re good enough at WR to at least hang with the league average.

        Behind the line I think we saw what beastforce is capable when they get any sort of consistent blocking. I think quite possibly the most frustrating thing for me last year was hearing the sports outlets cite Marshawn’s ypa and say the hawks needed help at rb. I have never seen so many ridiculously good runs only net 3 yards, nor I have I seen so many -2 yard runs result from a back getting tackled while the QB still has fingers on the hand off. No back should have to break 3 tackles his line missed just to get back to the los.

        I wish our line was good enough to make Colt McCoy look like a starter and Peyton Hillis look like a stud.

        • Bret L says:

          In the Chicago game we all got to see how much talent we had at WR. The Seahawks WR’s didnt get any separation, we need more talent on the offense and a QB that can throw it downfield or our o-line will continue to look bad.

          • plyka says:

            Using one game to judge anyone is a fools errand, especially when you have purposely selected that game.

          • ChavaC says:

            I assume you mean the second game and not the first one when BMW torched them for 120 yards

        • Matt says:

          I’m definitely not blaming Marshawn Lynch by any means. The O-line does need to be upgraded for sure. I’m not arguing that. I’m arguing the idea of spending a first round pick on a non-premium position. Like I said, if the talent at ORT or OG is clearly better than a DL or CB, then obviously go with the better talent. I’m just not wanting to spend the high picks on the OLine automatically assuming our the offense is just going to jump start into something great.

          And as much as I like BMW and Obo, they are hardly guys that scare a defense. I do agree that there is gameplanning for BMW, but not in the “game changing” sense. I believe you will see BMW take it to another level if we had a true #1 WR to line up with him and a QB who can stretch the field a little bit on a consistent basis. I am hopeful that Tate can blossom into something, but sadly I think he’s a gadget player. He doesn’t play all that fast, but he is exceptional at breaking tackles and is pretty elusive. That said, he’s a guy that needs to get touches in creative ways as I never see him becoming much of a conventional WR.

          It’s not just the Seahawks fan base, but almost every fan base ove rates their team. Obo is a great story and I love having him as a Seahawk, but he’s not Roddy White, or Greg Jennings. BMW is another great story, but he’s not Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson. We have to have talent that can stretch the field to keep defenses honest.

          As far as Colt McCoy, I’m not sure anybody believes he is a sure starter and the bottom line is the Browns, are yet again, picking in the top 10. The Rams didn’t drastically improve because of Jason Smith, but rather Sam Bradford. The 49ers are yet another team that has spent a fortune on the O-line and can’t make the playoffs. Outside of the Jets and Ravens, none of the perennial elite teams really have a dominant O-line. If the Pats, Colts, Packers, Steelers, etc had dominant O-lines, we wouldn’t see every draft projection every year having them pick an O-lineman in round 1 to upgrade the line.

          My fear with the seahawks fan base is this notion that a good O-line masks weak QB and WR play. It really doesn’t. Not every great QB in the league has elite O-line play. At some point, we have to recognize that Walt and Hutch were generational talents on the O-line and we still didn’t win a Super Bowl. You are not going to find a combo better than that. What does win Super Bowls, is top notch QB play and providing said QB with adequate protection. Nobody will ever accuse the Packers and Steelers of great O-line play, yet somehow they are always competitive.

          • ChavaC says:

            Heh, I think I’m having deja vu from last year’s draftblog(=. I seem to remember this subject coming up on one of these threads last year about whether Spiller or Best could make any difference on a team with a bad line and it leading to the longwinded version of concluding we’ll have to agree to disagree.

            Interestingly I did just come up with an interesting bit of data. Last year there were 11 teams who took either skill positions (WR, RB, TE) or Olinemen (LT, G, C) in the first round. Of those teams, every one that drafted a skill position is drafting earlier this year. Every team who took a lineman is drafting later, with the exception of the 49ers. Obviously you can’t take too much away from this, but I think it’s interesting to point out.

  7. John says:

    In March, Quarterbacks are always inflated on people’s mock drafts. Teams lacking in the most important position are often tagged as potential selectors, particularly when a quarterback ‘should’ fall in a particular draft phase. But teams like Miami and Jacksonville have many needs, and are sending out no indications that they intend to take a new QB, even if outside observers aren’t as high on David Garrard or Chad Henne.

    Last year, many had Jimmy Clausen going #1, top 5, top 10, etc, but of course it didn’t quite happen. Similar things have occurred many times in recent years. (Aaron Rodgers, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, etc) Conversely, many quarterbacks tapped as ‘reaches’ in round one, and likely round 2-3 selections, have been taken low in round one in recent years, often by teams that traded back into the first to make it happen (Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, etc)

    Four QBs haven’t been taken in round one since 1999 (a whopping 5 in the first 12 picks, all relative busts excepting possibly McNabb), and before that, the legendary ’83 class. Three have been taken several times (e.g., ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’09). This doesn’t mean four can’t be taken, of course, just that the odds are against. But acting like it’s a foregone conclusion that four will obviously be taken before 25 is just silly. Acting like a surprise QB won’t leap into the bottom of round 1 (Stanzi, Devlin, Dalton, Kaepernick, Ponder, anyone?) is equally silly.

    Rob, you got this site going so well by being innovative and writing well against the grain of conventional wisdom. Please don’t embrace conventional wisdom so severely that you can’t accurately rate the quarterbacks.

    • Rob says:

      John – I wouldn’t put four QB’s in the top-15 if I didn’t think it had any chance of happening. I’ve watched an awful lot of Mallett, literally hours and hours. I’ve seen enough of Locker to grasp his strengths and limitations.

      If you disagree, then fair enough. But because I don’t agree with your view on things, it doesn’t make it ‘silly’.

    • ChavaC says:

      I think you could have said the same for the 2008 tackle class. We average about 4 tackles per year in the first round, that year there were 8. People were calling it impossible before April came and then it happened. If the talent and need is there, odds from prior years don’t necessarily predict to be accurate.

    • plyka says:

      Great post, I agree with most of what you said and I’ve been singing this tune for months, I’ll be shocked if two of the big four are not available at 25.

      • Kyle says:

        I will be shocked if any of the big four _is_ available by 20, a tune I’ve been singing for months, regardless of getting seasick from the motion of Locker and Mallett up and down the mocks. All four quarterbacks have first-round tools, and Jamarcus Russell is far-enough removed to have teams forget the busts.

        I do agree with John that someone may reach for a fifth QB at the end of the first round.

        • Matt says:

          My hope is the Seahawks aren’t that team that reach for the 5th. I’d be more than happy to get one of the four.

  8. [...] forget to check the latest Seahawks Draft Blog mock draft (which now features round two) or vote in our [...]

  9. Cliff says:

    The thing i look at is the Jags have a capable QB much likes Hasselbeck. I think they’d be looking for a Project QB more than a 1st rounder with all their needs.

    • Rob says:

      Garrard has big accelerators in his contract after this season I believe. The best teams prepare sufficiently at QB and while Garrard may be servicable, Jacksonville won’t win a SB with him. They need to think big, not token gesture.