Updated mock draft: 7th December

December 7th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

A lot of people aren’t going to like this week’s projection. For whatever reason, a lot of people can’t entertain the idea of stock piling talented receivers. Cornerbacks? Sure. Offensive and defensive lineman? You can never have too many. Receivers on the other are treated with great suspicion. The Seahawks have a better group of wide outs today than they’ve had for a long time, but there’s still room for improvement. Mike Williams has regressed this season while Golden Tate still has a lot to prove even if his performances have been improved in recent weeks. Sidney Rice needs to show he can stay healthy after another injury plagued season and Ben Obomanu is steady and reliable, yet unspectacular. Sure, there have been some high profile busts at receiver in recent years, but there’s also been some big success stories. Busts can happen anywhere, including the much fancied offensive tackle and corner back positions.

What the Seahawks don’t have is a receiver capable of scaring the life out of a defense due to pure speed. This week, I’m sending one of the most under rated players in the 2012 NFL Draft to Seattle. Baylor’s quarterback has received a lot of plaudits this year – including a Heisman nomination – but none of it would’ve been possible without Kendall Wright. Those long downfield passes you see Robert Griffin throwing are often to a wide open Wright, who has the speed to stretch the field and the ability to create separation time and time again. This season he, like Griffin, has taken the next step and become a consistent force in the Big 12. Only one player – Western Michigan’s Jordan White – has more passing yards this season. Wright’s stat line reads: 1572 yards, 13 touchdowns.

The Seahawks need to find a quarterback in this draft, even if that means trading up. BUT… if such an option isn’t possible – we have to look at the alternatives in these mock drafts. I anticipate people will ask why I haven’t got the Seahawks taking Dre Kirkpatrick instead – a player adored by many simply because he happens to be 6-2 and coached by Nick Saban. The Seahawks aren’t desperate to add yet another big cornerback, particularly one who isn’t great in coverage (a pretty big part of a corner’s game, don’t you think?). David DeCastro? Perhaps, but eventually the Seahawks have to trust what they’ve invested in the offensive line, including the coaching staff, and look at other areas of the team.

Justin Blackmon takes a fall this week and I have the Seahawks preferring Wright to his Big-12 rival. Why? The Seahawks already have receivers that offer a similar skill set to Blackmon. What they don’t have – and haven’t had for a long time – is someone with elite downfield speed. If they are forced to look at the best options available in the middle of round one, Wright has to be a possibility. And if Seattle is faced with a situation where they’re rolling with Tarvaris Jackson and developing Josh Portis or a later round pick, Wright is also someone who can have an impact running deep route’s early in his pro-career. The idea with these weekly projections is to run through different possibilities, particularly if the Seahawks are going to win their way out of the quarterback stakes.

A final word on Blackmon falling - many people see him as a top-ten lock. I’m guessing I’ll receive the usual flurry of emails arguing against one of the ‘big names’ falling. That kind of thing happens every year and Blackmon is not a can’t miss type player. If he does go in the top ten, it’ll come with a risk factor and it’ll be a reach based on need. I’ve had Blackmon in the top-five picks in previous projections, today I’m looking at the other possibility that he could fall. He’s not going to run a brilliant time at the combine, he does make several frustrating errors (see this video at the 1:16 mark), he’s not got that elite size that teams dream about and there are some slight concerns with his attitude that will need to be checked out. In many ways he’s similar to Michael Crabtree, but Crabtree was a sensational hands catcher with a tremendous wing span. Last year I gave Blackmon a grade in the 20′s and while I expect he probably will go earlier than that, I’m not convinced he’ll be taken in the same range as superior physical prospects like AJ Green and Julio Jones.

One other note… Indianapolis needs to prepare for a big decision. The noises are already being made that Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck cannot co-exist, something we’ve talked about a lot on this blog. The Colts are almost certainly going to have to choose between the two players, potentially freeing up Manning as a free agent. You have to believe teams like Washington (with an owner like Dan Snyder) will jump at the chance to sign Manning to a bumper deal for 2-3 years while quietly grooming a quarterback like Ryan Tannehill in the background. It’s a possible scenario that could open the door for Seattle if you’re hoping for one of the top three quarterbacks.

Of course, the Luck camp may not see a gig in Indianapolis – and following Manning – as the ideal situation for their man. This is a bad Indy team that could easily go 0-16. Following Manning will be like trying to follow up a brilliant first album. The Lucks could push for a better situation – again, possibly Washington but more likely a team such as Cleveland that has the ammunition to trade up. Getting a big deal for multiple round one picks could help the Colts rebuild their terrible roster, back Peyton Manning who’s done so much for that franchise and still plan for the future at quarterback. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but I’ll be stunned if Manning and Luck are on the same roster next season.

#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
The Colts are facing a difficult situation where they’ll have to either cut Peyton Manning or trade this pick. Interesting times ahead.
#2 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
The Rams need some offensive playmakers more than anything, but they’ll struggle to pass on a talent like Kalil who can anchor their line for years.
#3 Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
He keeps making plays – eleven interceptions in two seasons. Minnesota would surely love a crack at Matt Kalil, but he’s off the board.
#4 Dwight Jones (WR, North Carolina)
With Gene Smith extending his contract, he’ll be tasked with backing his judgement on Blaine Gabbert. That should include an offensive minded coach and a unique target like Jones.
#5 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
Elite potential and crucially he’s pro-ready. Washington needs someone who can start in year one.
#6 Jarvis Jones (LB, Georgia)
He says he won’t declare for the draft, but after a prolific season (including 13.5 sacks) a top-ten grade could change his mind.
#7 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
Cleveland needs a playmaker on offense and Richardson would be an instant star for the Browns.
#8 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
More of a right tackle prospect than a blind-side blocker, Philly needs to sure up that offensive line.
#9 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
We’re told big changes are coming in the coaching department, which usually means a new quarterback. Griffin will help the Dolphins sell tickets.
#10 Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
Tampa Bay fans say linebacker is a big need, so why not draft a player who’s been compared to Lance Briggs?
#11 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
Arizona’s priority this off season has to be finding a left tackle. Martin isn’t spectacular, but he’s the best available here.
#12 Luke Kuelchy (LB, Boston College)
Tackling machine who looks like a Scott Pioli-type player. A nice fit in Kansas City’s defense.
#13 Quinton Coples (DE, UNC)
The Bills need a pass rusher, but the options at 3-4 OLB are limited. Coples was a lot better in the second half of the season.
#14 Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
With three QB’s off the board and no obvious defensive line options – the Seahawks have to think outside of the box. Wright could be the next Mike Wallace.
#15 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
San Diego has to add a reliable feature to it’s defense. Te’o can be a leader who performs every Sunday without fail.
#16 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
There’s a degree of bandwagon jumping when it comes to DeCastro. That’s not to say it won’t help promote the Washington native into this kind of range.
#17 Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
Could he suffer a fall? He doesn’t have explosive speed, he can make frustrating errors. Blackmon isn’t a top-ten lock.
#18 Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
Cincinnati has some promising young playmakers and Miller would add another dimension.
#19 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
The Jets need to add to their pass rush and could show interest in Mercilus, who leads the NCAA with 14.5 sacks this year.
#20 Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
Looks every bit a future NFL guard. Perhaps a little under rated and closer to David De Castro than most think
#21 Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
Having added an elite talent at running back earlier, Cleveland continues it’s offensive rebuild with a big playmaker at receiver.
#22 Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama)
Elite talent who only falls due to character concerns. AJ Green and Julio Jones had their worst games against Jenkins in 2010.
#23 Kevin Reddick (LB, North Carolina)
Under rated linebacker, would be a nice compliment to Chicago’s defense.
#24 Devon Still (DT, Penn State)
Versatile defensive lineman who can fit into a number of looks. Pittsburgh can afford to take the BPA.
#25 Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
Tall corner who’s flashed real ability in run support, but needs to improve in coverage. John Brantley shouldn’t be abusing any cornerback in the SEC.
#26 David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
Really productive running back for the Hokies who could have a quick impact in Denver.
#27 Peter Konz (OC, Wisconsin)
Stood out last year in a big-name Badgers offensive line. Could return for another year, but ready to have an impact as a pro.
#28 Alameda Ta’amu (DT, Washington)
Big nose tackle prospect. Houston switched to the 3-4 this year but could still use Ta’amu’s size up front to anchor their defensive line.
#29 Oday Aboushi (OT, Virginia)
I’ve seen Virginia twice this season and Aboushi looks like a NFL tackle. Baltimore needs to bolster that offensive line.
#30 Nicolas Jean-Baptiste (DT, Baylor)
He’s no Phil Taylor, but every time I’ve watched Baylor this year he’s been the one defensive player who looks to have some pro-potential.
#31 Micheal Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
Production machine but issues off the field will prevent him going much earlier than this.
#32 Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
He’s having a good year but his stock is limited due to the position he plays. This would be a nice get for the Packers.

69 Responses to “Updated mock draft: 7th December”

  1. Ben says:

    I’m not sure what it is that Wright gives us that isn’t found in the Butler/Tate/Baldwin trio. Between those three guys, we have an interesting mix of speed, route-running and YAC. Throw in Rice, BMW, Durham and Obomanu and we’ve got a maxed-out WR corps before we have to start worrying about adding new guys.

    I’m not opposed to adding more WR talent, but I’d prefer to stockpile more of the bigger WRs, which seem to be more important to the system and less “dependable” (due to Rice’s injuries, BMW’s malaise and Durham being unproven). This is all before we take into account the risk of taking a WR that relies on a gap in pure physical ability that may not be found in the NFL (and may therefore struggle more in adapting to NFL routes or press coverage).

  2. Craig says:

    Can’t see this one, Rob. Love the forum for debate but I don’t even see the debate on this one. 5’10” speed demon who is breaking all kinds of records in college…sounds a little like Deion Butler, doesn’t it? I realize Butler is coming off of a serious injury and there are concerns about his what level off return we will see from him, but I believe Leon Washington has shown that a full recovery is possible from this type of injury. Also in Butler’s favor is his year (albeit abbreviated) in the current system. If Wright is the absolutely best player on the board I believe you have to take him, but I won’t be doing flips over another wide receiver.

    I will admit to being in the “get a quarterback at all costs” camp. I can’t wait to see how the Indy situation plays itself out. As the draft stands today, there are really only two teams that absolutely need a quarterback (Washington and Miami) and two others (Cleveland and KC) that could jump on one if they like a guy enough. I don’t see Arizona abandoning Kolb just yet. A lot still needs to play out, but if men smarter than I in Renton like RGIII, I think they will be able to get him at a relatively low cost. The following question will be interesting: does Indy go with the young, less expensive guy in Luck, or the man who has represented all that the franchise represents in Manning? There is no way those two are teammates next July when camp opens but how it plays out could have a profound effect on Seattles draft.

  3. Ryan says:

    A minor grammatical peeve, don’t get mad. The apostrophe-s doesn’t describe plurals (The Luck’s could push), or singular possessiveness (to it’s defense).

    Thanks for the updated mock and all your work. But next April, I would be dumbstruck if we didn’t seriously push for a trade with MIN, JAC, CAR, or PHI (or even IND).

  4. Rob says:

    Craig – I’d argue that Wright and Butler are very different players. Butler’s stats were spread over time, but Wright has had a phenomenal season for Baylor. I think what he ‘could’ bring is a Mike Wallace type impact – Wallace is currently #6 among receivers in the NFL for yardage. Seattle has some talent at WR, but they don’t have a consistent downfield playmaker who turns up every week like Wallace does for Pittsburgh.

    And rest assured – I think this team needs to go all out for a quarterback too.

  5. Turp says:

    Taking Wright is a bold pick for the Hawks. I like it. Wright and Butler are similar in stature only – there’s a reason Butler went in the 3rd. Wright has some serious game-changing wheels.

    I’m interested in these types of mocks since they go against the grain of what *should* happen. If the pick or trading up option is not available, this is where we can play out the scenarios of getting a guy like Wright and then drafting a QB later; one such as Rob’s favorite, Austin Davis; in the 2nd or 3rd. On that note, Rob, where do you grade Davis?

  6. Rob says:

    It’s hard for me to offer a firm grade. Any QB you’re willing to draft later on, for me, is worth going earlier. Either you believe a QB has starter potential, or why bother? And if a player has starter potential, I’m drafting them a round or two earlier than their grade would suggest. If I thought I could get Austin Davis in round four, then I might well take him a round earlier even if I grade him in the fourth. I think he has a shot, so I do my homework and see what other teams are seeing and if he’s the guy that I’ve pinpointed as a fall back then I may well take him a bit earlier than I would offer as a grade on this blog.

  7. Derek says:

    Wright would be a nice addition but that would leave us with Rice, BMW, Baldwin, Durham, Tate, and Wright next season. I would think Tate would get the axe unless he produces well in the last part of the season. Do you think Jackson has the arm to take advantage of a deep threat like Wright? I have’t seen it this season but that could be due to his injury.

    What happened to that Vontaze Burfict guy? I heard in the beginning of the season he was be compared to the next Patrick Willis. It would be nice to have a big imposing MLB with Hawthorne’s injury concerns.

    I am also really excited that we have a third round pick this year haha. I think we look for a true backup to Lynch in this draft as well. I feel that the coaching staff doesn’t have any faith in Washington or Forsett. With a big contract next year I think they look to take the load off of Lynch a bit with another similar back.

    Where do you think Polk will go?

  8. Darnell says:

    Mercilus going a few picks after. Not a fit for the Hawks?

  9. Kip Earlywine says:

    I have no complaints with picking Wright. Butler hasn’t posted a positive DYAR yet, and doesn’t really fit the Seahawks needs at WR. Best case scenario, he’d be a poor man’s Doug Baldwin, and we already have that. Golden Tate isn’t the same kind of WR that Wright is, and Tate is still a player I view as a #4 with some uses but will almost certainly never be a 1000 yard WR in the NFL. Baldwin isn’t bad, but his long term durability is a concern and he’s not the same kind of player Wright is. Wright is far faster and far more of a deep threat. Really nobody on the Seahawks roster right now bears a substantial resemblance to Wright.

  10. SteadyHawk says:

    “And rest assured – I think this team needs to go all out for a quarterback too.”

    I thought Pete and Schnied were of the drafting philosophy of best player at need vs BPA. I would cry if this was our pick, like a little girl. I have become QB obsessed and anything besides a QB will steer me away from supporting Carroll.

    Barkley or bust.

  11. David says:

    Hey Rob,

    People are saying RGIII is going to measure under 6’1 does that worry you, if you’re drafting him? how much do you think that would hurt his stock?

  12. Ed says:

    Derek, I like Burfict too. He is a mlb with an impact. If we are drafting 16 or so, I would be good with that pick.

  13. Kip Earlywine says:

    “People are saying RGIII is going to measure under 6’1 does that worry you, if you’re drafting him? how much do you think that would hurt his stock?”

    He hasn’t had much trouble with batted balls in college, and his mobility will play a factor as well since mobile QBs can find passing creases with ease. It will impact his draft stock, but keep in mind that Vick is 6’1″, and he went #1 overall.

  14. Finnian says:

    Burfict is very overrated. Great physical skills and a mean attitude get people excited but he has no football instincts which are critical to be a good LB. Constanly overrunning plays, missing tackles going for big hit, fooled by PA a lot. Whoever drafts him high will regret it, Aaron Curry 2.0.

    This team has to do everything they can to get a QB.

  15. Finnian says:

    Burfict is very overrated. Great physical skills and a mean attitude get people excited but he has no football instincts which are critical to be a good LB. Constanly overrunning plays, missing tackles going for big hit, fooled by PA a lot. Whoever drafts him high will regret it, Aaron Curry 2.0.

    Wright is only an average pick to me. I just can’t see a player I would want I’d there was no QB. QB or bust.

    Also, 3 RBs in the first? Even with the rookie cap I can’t see that many going high. It’s just as easy to get a RB in the mid rounds and get the same production.

  16. Rob says:

    I started the season presuming Burfict would stick in round one due to a lack of defensive alternatives in a weak class. However, there is actually quite a lot of depth at linebacker this year and I suspect teams will look closely at the alternatives. He’s not ‘that’ good, and the off field problems are a concern.

  17. Peter says:

    Rob,

    Why not in your scenario do the Seahawks take Mohamed Sanu? Since you’ve been talking about him and the tiniest its of footage I’ve seen, if the Seahawks were to go Wide Reciever why not him?

    Does Kendall Wright simply take the tops off of defenses that much more?

  18. Rob says:

    I think it’s about looking for something the Seahawks don’t have, Peter. They have players who offer a similar skill set to Sanu, but not a player with elite downfield speed who can stretch a field like Mike Wallace. That’s what Kendall Wright brings to the table.

  19. Donald Duck says:

    I know that you do not consider trades; but if the draft resembles your mock draft, I see a potential trade. Why not trade with the Jaguars. We could take either Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III and they could take Kendall Wright plus whatever draft pick we need to give up to move up.

  20. diehard82 says:

    Rob, love your writing and mocks, great for generating discussion. Really like Wright as a prospect and agree that he brings “potential” that Baldwin/Butler/Obomanu/Tate don’t have. But I struggle with taking him ahead of Te’o or Mercilus. Mercilus is slightly taller, heavier and faster than Clemons and I could see him sliding into the rotation as the long-term replacement for Clemons, short term replacement for Brock. Hawthorne has been very good at times, but overall is an undersized average MLB. Te’o is bigger, faster and “potentially” a big upgrade.

    Having said all that, I’d love to have Wright, just question how high he will need to go. Rather than viewing his selection as taking snaps from Baldwin, I see him solidifying the #2 receiver spot with a guy who can actually get separation, something none of our current corps can do consistently. Therefore, I wouldn’t be in favor of spending our 1st round pick on him unless we can trade down to the late 1st round, or up from our 2nd round pick.

    The only other pick I find “shocking” is Philly taking a RT at 8. Seattle was critisized Mercilusly (play on words) for taking Carpenter for RT at 25. Jason Peters is a stud and in his prime at 29. While 8 may be a bit high, I’d expect them to take the top LB on their board, be that Brown, Kuechly or Te’o, or perhaps trade down with someone who is coveting RGIII (Seattle???) and take their LB in the middle of the 1st.

    I would be totally onboard with trading up from 13 to 8 for RGIII. Let him sit a year behind TJ, let the O-line mature and gel another year. All good.

  21. SydneyKid says:

    Perhaps another Crabtree love affair remix for Rob. Much bigger needs elsewhere and prefer we stockpile other positions than at WR. WRs are dime a dozen now, you can pick up a decent, serviceable kid via DFA, the waiver wire and other team’s PSs.

    How about a speedster RB, LB, DL or even OL again…and of course some type of a pick up at QB is paramount..

  22. dave crockett says:

    Evidently, the news is that Matt Kalil plans to return to USC next season. I don’t know that this means that Barkley will also return, but it almost certainly moves the needle in that direction some.

    So, potentially two players set to go in the top 10 will go off the board.

    That can’t be good news for Seattle.

  23. meat says:

    I agree diehard. The way it stands now I would like to see Seattle trade up with the Jags so they draft before the Skins and pick up Barkley. Either that or Trade up, as you suggested with Philly and grab RGIII. I know Luck probably will cost too much for the Hawks to consider, but Barkley or RGIII is a must in my book.

    I do agree that the Hawks need a downfield threat that can blow the top off of the defenses, but the Hawks need a great QB first to be able to consistently extend the play, good vision, and gets the ball down the field. I just cannot see it any other way, Hawks must trade up and get their man, QB.

    Out of curiosity what kind of talent are we looking at the DE position in free agency this year? No pass rusher and it doesn’t appear like this can get addressed in the draft, at least upgrade from what we have.

    The other question I have is I heard this buzz about Cable maybe getting coaching offers. I so hope this is just a bad rumor, P and S. need to shore up Cable and make sure he is here a few more years to get this o’line and running game consistent.

  24. dave crockett says:

    On Wright: As others have noted, he’s quite different than Butler. I think of him as a pocket-sized Tory Holt. I’ve watched him put up numbers on my beloved Mizzou Tigers during his time at Baylor. Initially he was a guy who really only caught screens and then bombs once they got safeties to cheat up to play the run. Wright has really improved as a route runner and has solid (but not great) hands. I’d have no problem with Seattle looking at Wright mid-first round.

    My question is, what about Trent Richardson or Lamar Miller? Let’s presume that the FO re-signs Lynch to a team-friendly deal. (That seems the most likely outcome.) It has been painfully obvious this year that Seattle cannot run the ball the way they like with either backup RB. Going forward, Washington has his role on special teams but it’s harder to see a future for Force :(

    If the draft pushes Richardson and/or Miller into the middle part of round 1 or later, Seattle should look into adding play making talent at that position. It is easy to say “you can get a back in later rounds.” That may be the most widely used draft truism, and one I largely agree with. However, those two particular players bring homerun ability and seem to fit the scheme. Add to that, I don’t see Seattle breaking the bank in dollars or years to keep Lynch. I see something that is effectively a 2-year deal.

  25. Rob says:

    Donald Duck – it’s a very logical suggestion. There are a few possible trade partners.

    Die Hard – that’s a very fair point on Philly and something I have to consider in my next mock.

    Sydney – we have to look at different options. It’s December, there is over four months until the draft. Making the same pick every week would be tedious. This isn’t a ‘love affair’, it’s a weekly projection. Yes, I graded Michael Crabtree very highly indeed but projecting the Seahawks to draft a receiver doesn’t warrant his name being brought up every year. Receiver is a much more important position in the NFL than the ‘dime a dozen’ review suggests – you could say the same about most positions, particularly some that you touted there (RB, LB for example). And as I’ve acknowledged, getting a quarterback has to be the priority – but what if it’s not possible? If Barkley stays at USC, if Griffin goes early – what’s the alternative?

    Meat – Andre Branch at Clemson looks like a very good fit for Seattle. However, if Jabaal Sheard can’t find a home in R1, then I’m loathe to promote Branch too high. They have some similarities, although Sheard was quicker off the snap. At the moment I have Branch as a late first round, early second round prospect.

  26. Jim J says:

    A wide receiver would be good. I haven’t liked the number of dropped balls this year. When you combine slow speed with dropped balls it really kills your momentum. Tate is okay but has only shined in one game so far. If he continues to play well then he would be worth keeping as a starter. I only see Baldwin, Butler, Rice and Obamanu as starters. So we could use another receiver.

    Of course the problem is that we need starters and backups in all positions. And I mean all. You like our two #1s in the offensive line – both down with season ending injuries. Will they ever play that well again – Who knows?

    Do you like our secondary? I like our safety’s and the cornerbacks have improved. But we need quality replacements for injuries and to let them rotate between plays.

    Do you like the Defensive line? We need some younger players up there. Linebackers? They are showing improvement but we could use a real playmaker.

    Running back, I love Marshawn but he needs a backup.

    QB – well we all know that story. Once the top three are gone I don’t think there will be a rush to draft the rest. We can choose in the third round or later for them.

  27. Jim J says:

    Another thought I have is that most people undervalue running backs in the draft. Typical is the idea that you can draft them in the middle rounds. The reality of winning football games is that most teams rely on a great running back or wish they had a great running back. As soon as that running back is injured, their prospects of winning go down. How many coaches say “we have to establish a running game!” Look at Houston this year. On their third string QB and still winning 6 in a row. Everyone says they have a strong running game. So If it turns out we pick the first or second RB off the board, it won’t break my heart. But they have to be able to catch the ball.

  28. Doug says:

    Nahhh,
    While he is zippy for sure, we have a lot of WR’s emerging. I think BMW is gone for some reason (he quit trying and drops everything) But Durham will erase his memory quickly. Butler was fast enough to be our speed guy. Tate will blossem as this season plays out. Rice will be back and yada yada yada on WR’s.

    If the earth stops spinning for just a moment, we get RG3, but don’t count on it. Manning is a bigger part of the equation than most people think, and it is entirely possible that he comes to Seattle to finish out his career. Or if Indy decides to keep him and go in a different direction, they trade down to Cleveland which will mess everything up. But…

    They are actually targetting Richardson, to create the NASTY 1-2 bruiser twins. J-Force just brings too little to the table and scares nobody. Having either Lynch or Rich in the backfield on almost every down will flat out ruin numerous DB’s. Our young line will be rehabbed and ready to rock and roll again. This obviously opens up the passing game for ?OTF, but TJack at this point with Portis in tow.

    The other options are Jenkins (he is just a dope-smoker – Hanging with Kam and Earl will straighten him out. Who wouldn’t not want to be a part of the most exciting young secondary in the NFL, and this guy can COVER!)
    Or, they take Mercilus (Brock is our weakest link) or, they grab DeCastro to replace Gallery, and make this line really scarey that even J-Force could run behind.

    Adding another variation to a decent crop of WR’s just isn’t in my crystal ball…

    Caio

  29. Joe Miller says:

    Hey Rob, I’m just wondering. If the Seahawks do not draft a quarterback in the first round, which is looking likely with each win they get, who would you suggest they pick up?

    Every site I have read about the draft believes that the Seahawks are so desperate for a quarterback that they will settle with Landry Jones. Having read your blog this fall, I’m under the assumption that you may disagree with that assessment.

  30. Clayton says:

    Love seeing the updated drafts and everyone’s comments. I look forward to reviewing your two round mock draft in the future. As far as the prelim mock draft I see Alshon Jeffrey being a better WR then Wright in the long run. Although Jeffrey’s numbers have not been the same as last year he has the height and hands to replace either Mike or Sidney in-case of lingering injuries. The problem with Jeffrey is he does not necessarily have break away speed. Another issue he had this year was the loss of his top RB which put more attention on him as well as the change at QB (Garcia to Shaw). As I stated I think Jeffrey will be one of the top two receivers from this draft regardless of where he is drafted. I am all in for a trade to get Barkley and hopefully the stars will align properly for that to happen then we can concentrate on the defensive side. Thanks for the update draft.

    Clayton.

  31. Tom says:

    I agree with your assessment on the quality of Wr’s entering this year’s draft but don’t know why you state “For whatever reason, a lot of people can’t entertain the idea of stock piling talented receivers.”

    Stockpiling WR’s when you have huge needs at QB, CB and pass rush at the end or 3 Tech, will get you fired and in the broadcast booth doing color for Texas vs Baylor. (Yes, that’s a Matt Millen reference.)

    I think there’s a 0% chance we draft a wr in round 1.

    1. We signed Sidney Rice to a monetary deal and have spent a 2nd on Tate and 4th on Durham the past couple of years.

    2. Schneider was involved in G.B. drafting Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, both finds in the 2nd round and with finding Baldwin as an undrafted free agent, I can’t imagine he’d go WR.

    3. WR is our deepest position with Rice, Obo, Tate, Butler, Baldwin, MWill and potentially Durham.

    4. Would PC/JS really want a 5’10 receiver?

    I really like your draft prospect list except I do see Landry Jones going 1st round but would be sick with our needs at QB/CB/Pass rush to go stock piling WR’s and not having a consistent QB to get them the ball. I say 0% chance.

  32. Mike J says:

    I doubt the Bucs would take Brown. They want to get bigger & more physical at OLB, and steer away from finesse guys.They may even take a Mike, & move Foster outside.

  33. Jim Kelly says:

    Thank GOD you had Quinton Coples off the board when the Hawks “drafted”. If I were an NFL defensive line coach, I’d look at his physical presence and just drool. Unfortunately, in college I studied neuroscience, psychology, and engineering. (yeah, I know, weird) And Couples just scares me. JaMarcus Russell scared. I don’t think he’ll eat himself out of the league, but I see a similar mind set.

  34. Rob says:

    Joe – Landry Jones doesn’t fit the QB profile this team is looking for. You can see with every QB they’ve signed so far, that they don’t want someone who is immobile in the pocket who can’t extend plays, run naked bootlegs etc. Jones is generally over rated because he doesn’t make reads, he can’t get off his hot read, he really struggles vs even mediocre pressure and he’s making bad decisions. But this team aren’t going to be the one that drafts him, even if someone makes the mistake of taking him in R1.

    Clayton – I think another issue for me with Jeffery is separation. He just doesn’t separate from DB’s in college which is a worry, he’s a sloppy route runner and he won’t make the big play deep. I’m concerned he’ll end up being – at best – the 2010 version of Mike Williams… good some of the time, annonymous some of the time, but not enough to build your offense around and hardly reliable.

    Mike – In fairness I’m told by Tampa Bay fans they won’t take De Castro and need a linebacker who I grade quite highly. Now I’m told Zach Brown isn’t big enough. I think the Tampa Bay fans are difficult to please, and therefore they’ll be getting a first round punter in my next projection.

    Jim – I think you might be onto something with Coples. The physical potential is all there, but there’s just something that sets off a warning light.

  35. Rob says:

    Tom – I think 0% is an exageration and we have to remember here, John Schneider isn’t the only one in on this process and just because a decision was made in Green Bay, doesn’t mean JS will have the same take in Seattle. It’s not about neglecting other positions, there just isn’t a three-technique here or a defensive end worthy of the pick. My point is people hate the idea of another WR – yet when presented with little alternative the argument never really gets beyond the concept of the pick. As for Seattle drafting a 5-10 receiver, well they took Golden Tate.

  36. Ab says:

    One thing that worries me that I haven’t seen mocked so far is the possibility of Philly being a player for a QB. They do have substantial money tied up in Vick, but I think year 2 of the injury bug will make that look a lot less inviting, especially since its the most valuable position. I know they’re desperate for LB help, but if I remember right they were pretty well managed cap wise even for being this year’s dream team, and could possibly afford the luxury of spending money towards a long term answer at QB. I’m curious your thoughts on this Rob. Are VY, Vick and Kafka enough to prevent them being a wildcard?

  37. Rob says:

    I wouldn’t rule it out, AB, but if Andy Reid sticks around and given the investment in Vick I doubt they’ll give up on him just yet. It’d make sense for Philly to draft a QB, I just don’t think in round one. Imagine if they take RG3 and Vick sticks around – it’d be a permanent QB controversy waiting to happen. They don’t need anymore drama in that locker room. I think a more likely scenario is Ryan Tanehill later on.

  38. jake says:

    Although I definitely agree we have a problem at QB, I disagree with the idea of trading up. WR is one of the most fungible positions, unless he is a game changer like what Atlanta did this year. I say stick with the tried and true building the line. We had 3 OL go out on us…count them Okung, moffitt, carpenter. I am not certain how healthy all will be next year. Doesn’t it make sense to pickup an OL help in an OL rich draft? Plus, Pete and Tom Cable emphasizing the run, they’ll go back to the line if there is no obvious DL help or QB help at there draft position. Don’t reach.

  39. Michael (CLT) says:

    Wow. This would be completely weak. It completely makes a 2009 and a 2010 4th round choice irrelevant. Durham is supposed to have speed, as is Tate and Butler.

    I would suggest, if we are looking for redundancies, to take DeCastro at guard.

    Huge, athletic 300 pound human beings are rare. 5’10 guys with speed in an incredibly gimmicky offense are a dime a dozen. This would be a wasted pick. Mike Wallace was a 5th round pick for a reason.

    As a final parting thought… put Wallace on Seattle today. Does he really make that much of a difference? Who do you cut?

    Not buying.

  40. Tom says:

    Rob, we’ll have to disagree and it’s not an exaggeration. I like Wright but we don’t need a smurf wr or another wr at all. It’s our deepest position. 0% chance = LT, RT, RG, C, TE, WR, FB, FS, SS, 1tech. That leaves QB, RB, LG, pass rusher, LB, CB. Depending on who declares at QB, I think QB is 60%+ with a probable trade up, CB is 12%, RB is 10% (lynch?), pass rusher is 10 %, LB is 5% and LG is 3%. We have way too many needs to select a wr. This will be year 3 for Pete and John, so they have to know it’s time to make a move for a QB. If they draft a smurf WR in round 1, they’ll be working with Matt Millen in short order.

  41. Derek says:

    What do you think of Montee Ball in the second to spell Lynch? Beast mode Jr.

  42. Finnian says:

    Jim J – You just proved your point that you don’t need to draft a running back high. You say look at Houston and their great running game. Well, Arian Foster went undrafted and Ben Tate was a third round pick I think. It’s all about the blocking, the RB isn’t going anywhere with no holes. Houston has one of the best OL in the league and they didn’t need to spend a high pick to get a RB. Look at the last draft, DeMarco Murray a third round pick comes in and averages 6 yards a carry while the first round pick in the team, Felix Jones, struggled. You don’t need to spend a high pick on a RB.

    LaMichael James or Isisah Pead would be perfect for this team.

  43. Rob says:

    Jake – eventually this team has to look at other areas of the team. This offensive line already has more investment in it than most teams in the league. They can find guards later on to suppliment what they already have.

    Michael – I see Wallace as one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL right now, so sure I’d say he’d make a difference.

    Tom – we will have to agree to disagree because saying things like 0% chance is hyperbole.

  44. Peter says:

    I could actually see taking a wide receiver. Maybe not Wright, maybe so. Great offenses have at least one player you have to throw a ton of time and energy to scheme against. And Mike Wallace as an example is that guy in Pittsburg. It just opens up the game for your offensive co-ordinator to do other things. As “homers,” I think a lot of us get in this trap where we see nothing wrong with our players, (or conversely everything wrong with them: Jennings, Curry, etc) And I to am stoked about our wide receivers, but who among them really transforms this offense?

    Maybe a WR in the first round is ridiculous, but if the FO came out of next years draft with Another WR I wouldn’t in the slightest be upset.

  45. Tom says:

    Rob, 0% = LT, RT, C, RG, TE, WR, FB, FS, SS, 1tech. Not hyperbole but reality. I’m shocked you believe any of the above positions could even garner a 1% option from Pete or John. You must not have much confidence in their GM abilities. Did you follow Matt Millen’s drafting strategy with Detroit? You may want to do some research because stockpiling wr’s = broadcast booth.

  46. Rob says:

    Matt Millen didn’t fail because he drafted receivers, he failed because he picked busts. It’s ridiculous to say the possibility of drafting a WR is at 0%. Hyperbole.

  47. Peter says:

    Matt Millen failed not only because of busts, but because his ability to Scout receivers was seemingly as good as his ability to scout any other position. Had he drawn the busts of both williams, yet found the gems like JS/PC had, he may very well have transformed his team regardless of his busts.

    As for the list of undraftable options, I’m not sure that TE is undraftable early. Obviously we have Zach Miller, and after that who. Morrah and McCoy have been doing their job, but is anyone of them a Witten, Gronkowski, Finley? I truly don’t believe the Seahawks will be keeping Carlson, and after his rookie campaign he hasn’t really brought it up to another level.

  48. Peter says:

    Rob- You mentioned Andre Branch up the way in the comments. I know it’s way early for a two round mock, but if you have time what about a small list of guys on the cusp of round one/two. It might have to wait until after bowl games and combines ( so way down the road) I just loved last year with Jabaal Sheard and how you marched Brooks Reed up the boards. It’s always cool to see players that are a little obscure getting recognition.

    By the way, I was osrt of bummed when the Seahawks couldn’t get Reed last year. After reading up on him I thought, “heck yeah,” that’s the guy the hawks need.

  49. Rob says:

    Hey Peter – absolutely Reed would’ve been a really interesting pick. It’s a shame his stock did grow so much, there was some LEO depth last year. I’ll do a list of R1/2 borderline guys in the next mock and expect to see a second round later in the process.

  50. meat says:

    Great comments. Love it. Thank you Rob for your response. I am going to search/reasearch Andre Branch and Jabal Sheard.

    I would guess that RGIII, if he wins Heisman, will only improve his draft stock even more. We would have to make sure we trade up to have a pic before Miami/Washington or we will be stuck w/out our franchise QB. The way Pete talks about T-Jack I wonder if he thinks he truly has his guy? I assumed it is just the needed talk a coach does to boost confidence amoung players and fans, but they did make a point to sign him.

  51. meat says:

    I do hope Skins make a trade for Manning, that would leave Hawks some room to draft QB

    Also, going to go vote some Hawks for the pro-bowl! We need one Hawk in the pro-bowl, and if Madden gets another vote it would be nice to not be the only team w/out a player to vote on, 12th man doesn’t count.

  52. Ralphy says:

    If the Hawks miss out on a QB in the first this is a great alternative. We are missing a player that can stretch the field and this would be a huge help. Great work as always Rob.

    By the way I was in Stillwater for the OSU/OU game on Saturday and Landry Jones looked as bad as any QB I have seen all year. A ton of overthrows, bad decisions and he was easily flustered with the rush and unable to roll away from it which surprised me. He locks on to receivers and is lost if the first read is not open. He had one nice run at the end of the game where he looked fast but that was it. You called it a long time ago on him and I give you a lot of credit for recognizing that he is not an early round QB.

  53. Jim J says:

    Finnian, I don’t think that arguement really holds water. You can pick a good player at any level of the draft, including Tom Brady in the 6th round. But you will still get the best players in the early rounds. And with the majority of the teams wanting a running game, it makes sense to grab the best running backs when you can. The difference between the elite running backs and the rest is that the elite backs gain the extra yardage, make that last cut, or bull their way for extra yardage.

    That is why I consider Marshawn to have moved up into an elite level this year. It’s not to say that the rest of the team doesn’t need to block for him, just like they need to block for the QB, but he has single handedly won a couple games for us (Ravens) where he would not give up! Meanwhile our other two backs, who I think are pretty good and playing behind the same line, just aren’t getting the yardage this year.

  54. Ralphy says:

    I also wanted to add that I completely agree with you on Blackmon and I’ve been saying it all year. He will not be a number one in the NFL and because of that I don’t see him being an early round pick. I will bet he runs around a high 4.5 or low 4.6. He can be a great number two in the league (he’s ridiculously strong and tough) and if he’s paired up with a top number one he will put up great numbers, otherwise I don’t see it. Think Anquan Boldin.

  55. Peter says:

    Meat-

    Jabbal Sheard was a go Rob touted last year before the draft, and he went to Cleveland. He’s been pretty fantastic this year and a guy I think the Seahawks could have used if not for the bizarre but awesome turn of events that found them picking 25th overall.

    Andre Branch is definitely someone I to will be checking out.

  56. Norm M says:

    Rob I know you produce these drafts to create discussion, this one did it. I still say that if we do not get a chance at a QB whereever we end up, 11-18? Then by all means trade down. Trade down as far as we can for as many picks as we can get. We can pick up a wide receiver with speed and ball skills anywhere in the 20’s and probably in the second round as well. We have so much need for depth right now it will be important to stock pile picks rather then use them to trade up. Just filling out the O line and LB’s will take several higher picks to fill the void. I see a need to compliment Lynch with a similar pounding style of running back and we always seem to need a extra DB. Depth at those positions along with a pass rushing LEO type are more valuable then anything other then a QB to pick in that range.

  57. Draft daddy says:

    I’m surprised Matvin McNutt is not on this list. He’s one of the best wide receivers coming out for this year’s class. Also, CJ Parish coming out of Arizona is a sleeper. He may go in the lower rounds but he’s faster than Ricky Elmore and D’Aundre Reed, and just as talented.

  58. David says:

    I Think it’s more important to stockpile Young Lineman. Why not go with Castro or Mercilus at DE? I think this front office goes BPA so it could end up going WR if they see the skill set of a Mike Wallace with right but I don’t know. Who says Castro isn’t the next Hutchinson, Olineman get injured all the time and I don’t trust Gallery even at his best he is overated backup material.

  59. Rob says:

    Thanks for the tip on CJ Parish Draft Daddy – much appreciated and I’ll have to do some homework. McNutt would be a firm round two at this stage, with R1 potential after work outs but certainly someone I’ve considered.

    David – I’m not completely convinced by DeCastro. Great technician at right guard for Stanford, but he’s not the once-in-a-generation type that Hutchinson was. He played two years before 2011 and nobody was talking about him – Jonathan Martin was getting all the hype. I’m very sceptical. Like I say, he’s well coached and knows what he’s doing. He’s strong but not got that ruthless, nasty streak that Hutch had or the dominating power. And as I’ve said many times before, this team doesn’t need five first round picks on the OL and four on the DL. They’ve already pumped a lot into the OL and eventually they have to look elsewhere and trust their own judgements. They can look at guards later on, but for me Wright is a potentially dynamic playmaker. This is just one projection mind, and things will change in next Wednesday’s mock.

  60. Rob says:

    I’d recommend this piece by Big 12 scout Alex Brown at Optimum Scouting:

    http://www.optimumscouting.com/draft/articles/big-12-scouting-reports-evaluating-ryan-broyles-jeff-fuller-and-kendall-wright.html

    He compares Kendall Wright to a smaller version of Greg Jennings.

  61. jake says:

    I say we OL, DL, it hasn’t hurt the Ravens. Work from the line out. Unless there is a superstar player and I mean can’t miss…not like Aaron Curry, is the only time you trade up. Fill with skill players in the 2nd-5th round. Then take special team flyers or projects in 6-7. I like our style of play, but we still are missing pass-rushers and still need more OL (can’t have enough). I trust Tom Cable and John Schneider to be able to find some more tough OL. A legitimate LT would be real helpful this Monday, wouldn’t it?

  62. Rob says:

    Injuries are part of the game though, Jake. You can’t draft a LT with the sixth overall pick and then spend another first rounder on a back up for when he gets injured in week 13.

    It’s also worth noting that since the year 2000, Baltimore has spent six out of ten picks on the skill positions. They’ve also drafted two players in the secondary, one at defensive tackle and a linebacker. So in their last twelve first round picks they’ve actually spent just two first rounders on their offensive line, the same amount that Seattle has spent in the last two years. In that same eleven year period since 2000, the Seahawks have spent five first round picks on lineman. So it’s not a key indicator for success.

  63. TJ says:

    Rob – With a 1st round QB less likely with each win, can you find some play-by-play film on Tannehill, like you did with RG3 and Barkley, and post it to this site? I’ve seen a few mocks (Rang/Reuter at CBSSportsline) and read from journalists who I respect (Clayton) who indicate that he might be a possibility a bit later in the draft for Seattle if they don’t get one of the top 3 QBs. I’m still hopeful that they trade up and get their guy, but we obviously can’t count on that. We get so focused on the 1st round, that sometimes we forget that good players can be taken in other rounds too. I know that Tannehill maybe not NFL ready like the others, but he seems to be quite athletic. He might be someone with the qualities they want who PC/JS feel they could groom for a year behind Jackson. There is no way that the Hawks won’t draft a QB at some point just because they can’t get one of the big 3.

  64. seanmatt says:

    The thing that I don’t think people are taking into consideration is how interconnected most positions are. Sure, everyone knows that a great O-Line can make a decent RB look great but no one thinks about how a solid WR core can make a QB look so much better. If we can’t draft one of the top 3 QB’s in the draft why not pick up a potential big time play maker like Wright to make life easier on who ever our QB is? I don’t love the pick but I get the logic. Remember, a point guard QB needs play makers to to distribute the ball to. John Stockton wouldn’t have been the great player that he was if he didn’t have a Karl Malone to pass to.

  65. Colin says:

    I’m not sure why there is so much flack about us taking a WR in the 1st round. I certainly want MB or RG3 and have not made that shy, but let’s think about this for a minute.

    I have no trouble at all seeing T Jack get this team to 10 wins next year. You would have to address some pass rush issues, but add a top talent at WR and boy this offense could be lethal. The run game has been revived and the defense is stout as stout can be. Before his pec injury, Tarvaris was playing some good ball. He wasn’t making many mistakes and if opportunities were there downfield, he went after them. The Atlanta game sticks out firmly in my mind. Little help from the run game he went out there and just came up short of bringing the Hawks all the way back. I thought it was pretty impressive.

    As mentioned before, Pete and John need to move up and get Barkley or RG3. I can’t say I’d be too disappointed with a receiver, but I think QBOTF trumps all.

  66. seanmatt says:

    And this would be an especially good pick if we can’t grab one of the top QB’s but instead grab a more developmental QB( Davis). If we can draft a QB who in a few years has the talent to be an elite game manager then having playmaking talent around him will be great for the offense. If you can’t grab a QB who can single handily make your offense better why not grab some offensive weapons to make your QB, one that doesn’t lose the game for you, better?

  67. Ralphy says:

    Would the Hawks be better served to go after a FA WR instead of rolling the dice in the first round? There are a lot of good WRs hitting FA. V Jack, D Jack, Bowe, Colston, Meachem and Manningham. A guy that I really like is Harry Douglas. Looks ridiculously fast. I know not all of these guys will hit free agency but there’s a few of them that will.

  68. seanmatt says:

    I’m more of a fan of going D-Line in free agency if Cliff Avril, Mario Williams or Jason Jones hit the market. DE’s and DT’s really start to hit their stride in there 4th or 5th season and all of those options are fairly young(25 or 26).

  69. Rob says:

    TJ – here are two articles including Ryan Tannehill tape I wrote earlier in the year…

    Vs Baylor
    http://seahawksdraftblog.com/ryan-tannehill-qb-texas-am-vs-baylor

    Vs Texas A&M
    http://seahawksdraftblog.com/thoughts-on-ryan-tannehill-vs-oklahoma-state