Updated mock draft: 9th March

March 9th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Mocking Calais Campbell to Seattle was a mistake in 2008, will lightning strike again?

Another week, another prospect at #25.

To see the latest projection click here or select ‘mock draft’ from the title bar.

Regular visitors to the blog will know how I treat these mocks – they’re a means to represent possibilities rather than seriously project what is going to happen on April 28th. Even in March so much can change, especially if a new CBA can be agreed this week and free agency does take place before the draft. Of course, that remains an almighty ‘if’.

Part of the mystery at #25 is also down to the fact we’re still relatively green when it comes to this new Seahawks front office. Tim Ruskell became very predictable during draft season because he had such a refined and specific idea of the prospects he wanted to select. We’re not even close to understanding Pete Carroll and John Schneider in the same way.

I made a huge error in judgement trying to mock the Seahawks last time they owned the #25 pick in 2008. I projected Miami defensive lineman Calais Campbell to Seattle, thinking he was a bit of a rough diamond the Seahawks could nurture. In reality he was a poor choice. He fell from a possible top-15 position due to inconsistent effort/production and having never played up to his potential as a senior. Ruskell drafted a defensive end – Lawrence Jackson – who made the most of what he had and over achieved at USC. It all seems obvious now.

I wonder in my latest mock if I’m making the same mistake, albeit with less understanding of the Carroll/Schneider blue print. The pick at #25 this week is Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas).

We’ve talked a lot about Mallett on this blog but this is the first time I’ve had him going to Seattle in a mock. I’ve been more positive than most about his off season but please don’t mistake this for anything other than perspective. Every issue that has been raised about Mallett is legitimate – whether it’s the character concerns, the lack of mobility or the footwork that will need repairing at the next level.

My main desire for perspective was down to a slight feeling of injustice for the guy. Not enough attention has been paid to the positives, because Mallett did make significant improvements during 2010. He isn’t a lost cause and there’s definitely a talented football player in that 6-7 frame. Faultess? Absolutely not. A write off? No way.

John Schneider was one of just two GM’s present at the Arkansas pro-day to watch Mallett throw. Does it mean anything? Not necessarily. It could just be due diligence, he may even be concentrating on another Arkansas player. Equally you can’t write off his presence at the same time. Maybe there is interest there? He didn’t attend the Auburn event (or the Cam Newton show) which took place on the same day.

Neither Schneider or Carroll appeared to attempt too many smoke screens before last year’s draft. Carroll gave interviews at Sam Bradford’s pro-day and it was common knowledge that the pair went bowling with Russell Okung after a trip to Texas (Earl Thomas). Neither travelled to Jimmy Clausen’s pro-day, but Jeremy Bates and Jedd Fisch conducted a three-hour work out with the Notre Dame quarterback immediately after the event.

Maybe it’s worth considering how early Seattle picked (#6 & #14) and the fact they had two first round choices. They possibly didn’t feel the need to play any mind games, having an idea how the first few picks would fall and who would likely be available. That luxury doesn’t exist in the late first round. Again – this is all just supposition.

Really it’s impossible to take too much out of this either way, but I wanted to represent the possibility in this mock. So why do I think it could be a mistake on my behalf a la Calais Campbell in 2008?

Pete Carroll has preached an ‘all-in’ mentality and an incurable enthusiasm for ‘the programme’. Does Mallett fit into that and more specifically, does Carroll effectively make him the face of his latest NFL excursion? I am not convinced the Seahawks Head Coach is willing to tie his success or failure in the NFL to Ryan Mallett.

Secondly, this doesn’t appear to be a great scheme fit. Carroll spoke about having mobility at the quarterback position in his end of season press conference. The team traded for Charlie Whitehurst – a mobile quarterback. JP Losman is no slouch and Nate Davis has plus-athleticism. These are all guys this regime has added to the team at various stages.

Mallett has a big arm – something else seemingly courted – but he has a real mobility issue emphasised by a 5.37 forty yard dash which was actually slower than a shirtless Andre Smith. Indeed Mallett’s main problems as a pro-prospect come down to poor footwork and inability to deal with pressure.

I’m not even convinced how much this team wants to make the big splash on a quarterback in round one. It’s something we’re going to learn over the next few years. I’m not suggesting they’d rule it out completely – whether considering an Andrew Luck early on or another Aaron Rodgers who falls into the 20′s. They might, however, choose other ways of finding a productive quarterback.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe players like Kevin Kolb or Carson Palmer may be more tempting to Carroll. I don’t necessarily agree with such moves – I think Kolb is over rated and Palmer can’t be considered anything more than a stop-gap – but it would not surprise me at all if the Seahawks traded the #25 pick for either in preference of spending draft capital on Ryan Mallett. We’ll see what happens.

Either way I suspect the team will be pro-active in trying to secure the long term future at quarterback and even if the solution is an extension for Matt Hasselbeck, I think we’ll see some kind of addition during the off season either for competition or long term planning.

So I’m willing to admit this may be a poor selection at #25 but it’s also something I want to bring to the table. You can after all change an offensive game plan. It’s assumed Darrell Bevell will bring a more ‘west coast’ or Holmgren flavor to the offense, but I don’t agree with that. He’s worked much longer with Brad Childress and Andy Reid who both utilised down field threats, big armed quarterbacks and mobility. Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick aren’t Holmgren style QB’s yet that’s a system Bevell has been associated with. Minnesota drafted Tarvaris Jackson and Joe Webb and used a system more equated to Philly than Holmy.

But perhaps most crucially, they adapted when an ageing and much less mobile Brett Favre joined the team in 2009. You can make the point that ‘it’s Favre’, but they still adapted. There’s no reason why Seattle’s offense – which I still think will fit the desires of Pete Carroll rather than Bevell - cannot similarly adapt.

***NOTE***

Some people have complained that it’s not possible to comment directly on the mock draft page. Due to weekly updates, comments would quickly become out dated which is why I start these ‘discussion’ threads alongside every projection. I have added a link to this thread at the top of the mock draft page to make things easier.

25 Responses to “Updated mock draft: 9th March”

  1. Ralphy says:

    I really hope this is what happens! I want Mallett!

  2. Caleb says:

    First off I would like to say that i totally agree with you Rob on the Kevin Kolb over-hype. The guy managed a couple of good games mainly through the strength of stars like McCoy, Jackson and good pass pro. He is definitely not worth he 1st and 2nd round picks to get him, and we already know that Snider loves collecting picks so the realistic chance of this happening unless is meh at best.

    I also like the point you bring up about having something to prove in the NFL. Mallet has definitely been stomped on by the media through seemingly unfounded charges that no one can seem to find any substantive evidence of. I think, given the right situation and instruction, that Mallet might just bust out of the gates as a beast who wants to disprove all the nay-sayers through a volley of touchdown passes to golden tate and BMW. I think that what Andy Reid did with Vick in putting up articles condemning Vicks talents in his locker shows that those who are at the bottom have to fight the hardest to get to the top, and when they fight hard, cool things happen. Without the bad press and uncharacteristic athleticism, Mallet is easily the best QB in the draft.

    It will be interesting to see which the draft winds blow, especially as we wind down to 7 pm eastern on Friday. I cannot see the hawks passing up on either Pouncey or Smith should they fall to them however. I think in both situations, you have much greater guarantee of talent, but not nearly as much upside as with Mallet. Of the three mallet does play the most important position and should he succeed, he will be great.

    • plyka says:

      So the Eagle’s have “good pass pro?” I haven’t looked at the numbers, but via the eye test, the Eagles had one of the worst Olines in the league last year. They may have good looking numbers since one of the fastest players on the planet is their QB (yes, even with dimished speed on the other side of 30, he is one of the fastest in the game), but their line was down right atrocious last year.

      I don’t think Kevin Kolb is overhyped. Remember, Reid is one of the best QB coaches in the game. He traded Mcnabb to a division RIVAL! He gave the starting gig to Kolb. Even after Vick showed that he was one of the best QBs on the planet, Ried attempted to go back to Kolb before the pressure got to him and he gave Vick the starting job. Reid really believes in this kid. Also, he has all the tools of a great prospect at QB. His most attractive trait is his accuracy which is spot on, he has a great arm and can zip in passes, and make every NFL throw, and he is mobile “enough.” Meaning, he can avoid pressure. He has all the talent, he has been groomed for years now and is ready to step up.

      I like Mallet too, but because the media took a crap on his head doesn’t mean he has any extra incentive to succeed in the NFL. Remember, this is the NFL, this is the DREAM of each and every player. Believe me, they won’t be lacking for incentive or desire.

      All that said, I am the conductor on the Mallet hype train, so i would gladly take Mallet as well.

      Mallet hype train conductor —Septmeber ’10

  3. Dave says:

    I can’t help but notice that Phil Taylor’s stock seems to be falling at the moment. Any particular reason why?

    • Rob says:

      I think he’s always been in that 21-40 range. I’ve never had him higher than #25 I think. This week he drops into the top of round two, as does Akeem Ayers. I don’t think his stock is necessarily dropping that much, at least not for me.

  4. Aaron says:

    Just saw the Jake Locker interview on the Path to the Draft show on the NFL network. I was very impressed with him. He just sounds like the type of quarterback Pete Carrol is looking for. He’s enthusiastic, driven, and not afraid to put in the work to win a championship. I really hope he falls to the Seahawks. His “lack of accuracy” may just allow that to happen.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I would agree.

      I especially liked the pointed question, “How can you account for your reduced accuracy from your Junior to Senior year?”

      It would have been easy to say simply, he lost 2 of his 3 top receivers in 2011 (MIddleton to getting dismissed, James Johnson to injury), and that their replacements were essentially extremely bad. Or in the case of Aguiar, regressed horribly. But he never mentioned that loss. And to his credit, he’s not ever mentioned the lack of talent and depth overall that this team is only now really beginning to address.

      There are certainly things I don’t like about Locker. He is still, for a 4 year starter — raw. And while one could really say he’s only had 2 years of high caliber coaching — the point is still valid. He may never develop the fundamentals that the NFL requires. He is very much behind the progression of other QB candidates in this years draft. It showed at the combine and at the Senior Bowl.

      He does unquestionably have the innate leadership qualities that, like athletic ability, cannot truly be coached. Either you are a leader or you aren’t. Every time he opens his mouth and talks in public, he only distances himself from other QB candidates in that regard.

      Locker has great athleticism and leadership temperament. These are things an NFL coach cannot impart on a prospect. He suffers from low grade coaching, and does have mechanical flaws in his throws. These can be corrected, but they can also be permanent.

      Locker is definitely worth a 13th or lower first round selection. At 13 through the second round, you aren’t looking for a day 1 starter. You are looking at someone you can develop. Locker most definitely fits that bill. He’s going to need work. And a very talented QB coach to mentor him.

      Ultimately, the gulf between a college QB on draft day, and a legitimate starting NFL QB is probably greater than the difference between a high school senior and a college senior. To succeed in the NFL, your ability to keep playing is solely dependent on passer/game management skills. You cannot Cam Newton your way through the NFL, because every linebacker is Von Miller and every lineman is a Nick Fairley. And stars like Ryan Kerrigan can’t even compare to the likes of Jared Allen.

      That being the case, the fact that Locker is behind other prospects now isn’t as damning as one would think. A single NFL offseason is worth more than a full college season in terms of advancing one’s skill set. While it’s easy to nit pick small degrees of readiness at this stage, the fact is that difference can be overcome by the time OTA’s are complete.

      • Matt says:

        It’s hard not to love Jake Locker. Simply put, if he is somehow available at 25, I think it’s incredibly stupid to pass on him. Character, physical talent, and work ethic are of the highest grade with him. I will take my chances on that guy, especially with a low risk pick like #25.

        My hope for Jake, is that no matter where he goes, that team gives him time to sit and learn. I really think he will surprise a lot of people who are really down on him at the moment.

  5. Matthew says:

    Hey Rob,

    First time commenting, and I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but I can’t think of anywhere better. I was wondering what your take is on both Kenrick Ellis and Curtis Marsh.

    You mocked Phil Taylor to Seattle before, and I don’t see much separating Ellis from him, other than respective likelihood of reaching their potential. And it seems that Taylor may be more of a 30 snap 3-4 NT while Ellis could be an every-down 4-3 1-tech. If Ellis was available at 57, I think he could be a steal.

    Also, from what I’ve seen of Marsh, it seems that his biggest knock is that he’s a converted RB that has only been playing CB for two years, which to me is phenomenal considering the way he’s played. He’s projected for rounds 3-4, and I would love to see the ‘Hawks nab him at 4.02.

    If Seattle took a QB, OL, DE, or WR in the first round, or traded that pick for one of the same positions, Ellis and Marsh could offer decent value picks that could boost both the secondary and D-line.

    What do you think?

    • Rob says:

      Hi Matthew,

      Unfortunately my knowledge of both is limited because I haven’t had access to Hampton or Utah State tape. I’ve seen Ellis in work outs for the Shrine Game and during the combine and certainly he looks the part and carries his weight well. Overall his stock seems to be comfortably in that R2/3 area so he could well be an option at #57. I think with both guys the concern has to be durability just because of the size. I’m not sure you’ll ever find an every down one or nose, you’re going to have to spell a 340lbs lineman however good they are. That’s the issue with drafting a guy like that at #25 but it’s more understandable at #57, so as a compromise Ellis may be a more likely option with Taylor likely to be gone at the lastest in the early second round.

      Marsh has the size that Seattle wants at corner, but he’s not a player I’m too familiar with. I’ll do some homework and get back to you.

  6. PatrickH says:

    Unlike the year when Aaron Rodgers fell, when only 1 or 2 teams needed a QB, this year I counted 8 teams in the top 15 that need QB. The draft buzz seems to be that Mallet is the most pro-ready of the top 4 QB prospects. So given that, I can’t imagine Mallet will still be available at 25, unless he does have a serious off-field issue or Leaf-like character that scares off teams.

    • Rob says:

      I still think at this stage he’s likely to go at #16 to Jacksonville, but I wanted to review the possibility he’ll land at #25 and be an option for Seattle.

  7. Matt says:

    I like the Mallett pick. That said, I’m really starting to think that there will be an uber-aggressive trade up in the draft by PC and JS. I think it’s obvious that sitting and waiting at 25 might yield a talent that doesn’t warrant the pick. To me, it seems that around pick 20-25 the talent level takes a HUGE dip.

    I firmly stand by the fact that you have to get a nucleus of stud players before you do the whole “trade down” concept. We have a good start with the likes of ET and Okung (possibly Red if healthy, and Mebane if resigned). But, we need more difference makers, not a stock up on role/complementary players.

    Depth is important, but I think it’s more crucial for us to build up a nucleus of 6 difference makers, then surround them with complements. All you have to do is look at the teams that are consistently good, and what you will see is good QB play, a game planner on offense (think mismatch, WR, TE, or RB can fill this), a consistent/reliable LT, and 2 difference makers on defense (usually a front 7 guy that pressures QB, and a game changer in the secondary). With this in mind, think about all the great teams in the NFL, and you will see this idea rings true with all those teams.

    I, personally don’t want to spend all our high picks on the O-line and subsequently end up like the Browns or Panthers and have a team with a great O-line that wins 2-6 games a year because we don’t have a QB or difference makers on offense. After all, put the 5 best blockers in the world against 8 guys in the box, and i will take the 8 guys winning that battle everytime.

    So, before us Seattle fans place all the blame on the O-line (which needs improvement, I agree), let’s also recognize the fact that poor QB play and a lack of difference makers makes game planning for the Hawks a very simple thing. Nobody will gameplan for a really good LG.

    • Rob says:

      Again I absolutely agree Matt and couldn’t put it any better.

      You look at the guys going in the teens in this latest mock and even if you’re not targetting the quarterback position, there’s a lot of talent in there. If you could move up 8-10 spots and get a player you really believe can add to the core, is it worth being aggressive? I would say you have to absolutely consider that.

    • Nick says:

      I think the Seahawks can still get a difference-maker at #25. I feel like this kind of talk happens every year. The talent in this range is always downplayed. Here’s some players from 25 or later in the last five drafts that have all had impacts: Devin McCourty, Clay Matthews, Vontae Davis, Hakeem Nicks, Dustin Keller, Jon Beason, Ben Grubbs, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Nick Mangold. All of those guys have a case as being a “core” player. The Seahawks don’t need to trade up. It won’t be as easy to get a core player, but making the right pick makes a huge difference. I trust Carroll and Schneider to make that pick.

      • Matt says:

        I would normally agree, but this year’s draft is really poor. Just look at guys you regularly see in the late first round in almost all mock drafts, and tell me those guys even sniff the first round any other year.

        And I would disagree that this talk happens every year. I’ve only ever heard “trade down” as if we have this nice talent base to add depth to. Bottom line, we need core players and I don’t think I feel comfortable settling for the Gabe Carimis and Brooks Reeds of the world. Don’t get me wrong, they are nice players, but when you have the holes the Hawks have, settling for a RT or a LEO is just not smart to do. RTs are easy to find and the LEO position itself, generates sacks. I firmly believe we cannot get “cute” and just assume a key buidling block will fall our way. We have massive talent needs at QB, DL, and CB which are significantly more difficult to address than RT and LEO, which I’d argue is what we’d most likely be looking at pick 25.

  8. kevin mullen says:

    Rob,

    Not to completely poop on your argument regarding Holmgren-esque QB’s but what about Seneca Wallace? By definition, he wasn’t his style, but yet drafted him out of Iowa State: spread offense.

    I agree with you regarding the Mallet debate, if he’s available at #25, but if we can improve our DLine or even the secondary (say Aaron Williams, CB Texas), I’d rather have the ‘Hawks go that route.

    By the way, why haven’t you touched on Williams to Seattle at #25? The guy’s phenomenal and he and Thomas have obvious history together…

    • Rob says:

      Hi Kevin,

      It’s funny you mention Wallace, because shortly after I’d typed this post his name jumped into my head. A legitimate point. I suppose it’s explained somewhat in that he was a fourth round guy with major athletic potential and Holmy used him briefly as a receiver – so that may have been his plan all along and simply stuck with him at QB because he worked out better than expected. That’s one theory I suppose. But even if that wasn’t the case, you make a good point. Even so, I don’t think you can say Minnesota’s offense has been anything like Holmy’s during Bevell’s time as cooridnator, which is really the key point. I really don’t get why a lot of media types think we’re going to a more pure WCO by switching Bates for Bevell because there’s no evidence to suggest that if you watch Minnesota the last five years. There are WCO roots, but it’s not Holmgren-esque at all. I firmly believe the Seahawks will look to maintain the bulk of their 2010 plan – downfield passing, mobility at QB, boot legs, PA etc – but they went away from the run to easily last year and that side of the offense was a disaster. That for me is why Bates left. Cable was the key appointment to improve the run, Bevell is essentially tasked now with running the Carroll offense because he has experience as an OC and as a play caller.

      As for Williams, I think it’s unlikely. Not a brilliant cover guy and speed isn’t anthing more than standard. Not exceptional ball skills. He’s beng projected as a safety by a lot of people and while I think teams will still look at him as a CB, he’s not (IMO) a realistic option at #25.

  9. Cruss says:

    If the Seattle were to take Mallet with the 25th pick I hope he is not a Dan McGwire clone. At 6’7 and already reports he is slow and has bad feet makes me nervous especially with our current OL. I would rather the Seahawks look at OL or a D before throwing 1st round pick on a QB who will probably not pay immediate dividends. Lastly, a trade for Kolb would be a step backward, I live on the East Coast and watching what time he did play this year I was not impressed.

  10. Cruss says:

    I would like to see the Seahawks take Carimi, or Solder if they are available then invest in Chimdi Chekwa in the second round out of Ohio State. Since we have no 3rd rounder at the moment in the 4th we draft more OL by looking at Moffit also of Wisconsin or an ILB to replace the growing knee problems of Tatupa. (Kelvin Sheppard)

    • Alex says:

      Though it’s undeniable run blocking can improve, anything on the OL other than LT can be found in the middle rounds.

      If you’re thinking line, think DL because this is an unusually strong year for it. Last year, there wasn’t even a 1/3rd of this year’s DL prospects. CB and QB also have great depth this year.

      Alex

    • Matt says:

      I could not disagree more with Solder or Carimi. Solder is a HUGE project and strictly a LT. Way too finesse and way too tall to be a RT. Carimi is strictly a RT and an extremely overrated one at that. He has terrible athleticism and his playing strength is not that impressive. Watch Wisconsin play and you see him regularly struggle against talent and he also had TE help quite a bit.

      Let’s not forget that this all world line would be blocking for a bad QB and no weapons. 8 guys in the box will beat 5 all world O-lineman everyday.

      • Cruss says:

        Matt, I was able to watch Wisconsin play often this past season and he matched up very well against Ohio State, and basically kept Iowa silent. There is a reason Indy, and Philly are looking at him and we should do the same. I will admit Carimi can have some problems with superfast guys but moving to right tackle helps him there. There is no doubt about his run blocking as Wisconsin often ran left and up the center which is another reason they had three back with 10 or more touchdowns. I think alot of our defensive problems were also attributed to such a poor offense. Thanks for the feedback. I just look forward to a great draft and players that can step up right away. Next seasons schedule is tougher.

        • Matt says:

          Oh I don’t doubt his run blocking skill and I do very much agree with you that the offense killed the defense. That said, he is strictly a RT. There is absolutely no way he could slide to LT if Okung went down. Secondly, the Colts and Eagles can take a luxury pick like that because they are both more than set at QB, and overall have a ton of top notch talent on their teams. We have nowhere near the talent level.

          Carimi may improve the run game for the Hawks, but the bottom line is that he will still be blocking for a poor QB and no weapons on the perimeter. Opposing defenses will continue stack the box without any difference makers as well as poor QB play. Also, I don’t think we can afford to pass up a potential #1 corner, a stud DT, or even a high upside QB with the potential to be a franchise player.

          I understand and agree that the O-line needs to improve. That said, I don’t think it’s wise to spend a premium pick on a position that is relatively easy to find, especially if that means passing on superior talent at a premium position. Personally, if Jimmy Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, Jake Locker, or Ryan Mallett were on the board, Carimi or any other OT would not even be in the thought process. We need to get better everywhere including the O-line, but we don’t need to spend premium picks to get solid play.

          Let’s not forget that Spencer and Okung were 1st rounders, Unger was a high 2nd rounder, and I believe Locklear was a high 3rd rounder (I believe). That’s a pretty good investment on the O-line. The problem is, we have had piss poor QB play and nothing on the perimeter to keep defenses honest. At the end of the day, 8 guys will beat 5 guys 9/10 times. My fear is ending up like the Browns or Panthers with immense talent on the O-line that goes to waste because they have nothing else on offense.