Wednesday morning draft links

March 9th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Seahawks GM John Schneider attended the Arkansas pro-day, preusmably to watch Ryan Mallett.

Bucky Brooks was also at the Arkansas pro-day for the NFL Network. Brooks says Mallett had a ‘phenomenal’ work out throwing the ball, which isn’t really a surprise. A 5.37 forty yard dash equally wasn’t that surprising, but it was maybe worse than some were expecting (a shirtless Andre Smith ran in the 5.2′s). It’s important to remember though, Tom Brady also ran a +5.2 forty.

Mike Mayock was at the Auburn pro-day to watch Cam Newton and leaves us with this thought, “You either buy in or you don’t.” Mayock has both Newton and Gabbert going as top-ten picks, although I suspect his own personal grades may be slightly different (particularly on Newton, he seems quite high on Gabbert).

Mayock and the NFL Network team also have a report on Nick Fairley’s performance at the Tigers’ pro-day. Nice red outfit, Nick.

Michael Lombardi has an updated mock draft. It’s only a top ten projection, but there’s some very logical picks particularly in the top-six.

Matthew Fairburn at Mocking the Draft passes on a scout’s not-so-positive view of Texas A&M’s Von Miller. I have to say, I’m a little surprised Von Miller’s stock appears to be so entrenched in the top-10. I still see him strictly as a project 4-3 OLB but understand why some 3-4 teams would entertain drafting him as a pass rusher. I think it’d be a gamble to take him in the top ten.

Brandon Adams has a great piece at 17 Power that breaks down New England’s recent draft history. Many people think the Patriots ‘trade down’ policy has worked wonders over the last few years, but Adams shows why that may be a misconception.

Walter Cherepinsky offers an updated mock draft. The Seahawks take Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith with the #25 pick.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have another podcast available courtesy of ESPN. Kiper says he’d be comfortable drafting Ryan Mallett at #25 and suggests he’d be the most talented second round quarterback he’d ever scouted if he slips out of the top-32.

Kiper also updates his mock draft with the Seahawks taking Jake Locker with the 25th overall pick. After publishing his first mock, he touted sources suggesting the Seattle brain trust preferred Mallett over Locker. In this scenario, the Seahawks take the Washington QB with Mallett still on the board.

Patrick Peterson speaks to ESPN about the combine and next April’s draft:

12 Responses to “Wednesday morning draft links”

  1. Matt says:

    Interesting about the Patriots and I tend to agree. The idea of trading down is great if you have one of the best QBs of all time and you can surround him with a bunch of nice complementary pieces. However, if you don’t have that top notch QB, throwing together a bunch of average to good complementary players makes you a pretty average team.

    Personally, I really appreciate the New York Jets FO train of thought with the idea of “Quality over quantity.” Like everyone, they’ve had their misses, but their aggressiveness has also landed them the like of Revis, Sanchez, Mangold, and David Harris…all of which who form the core of their team.

    I know people cite the Packers and Patriots as the leading proponents of “trade down,” but let’s not forget the fact that both franchises have been set with their QB situations for 15+ years. Significantly easier to do this when you have Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers slinging it for you. So before everyone screams about trading down, let’s not forget that you still need a core of great players to build around. After all, complementary players/pieces “complement” something better, which I’d argue vehemently, the Seahawks are lacking.

    • Dave says:

      Shows you just how important having an elite QB is. Take away Tom Brady and there’s nothing particularly special about this current Patriots team. But having Brady makes everyone better. That’s why we must that we take a risk on a QB this season

    • Rob says:

      Absolutely correct, Matt. The Seahawks need to create that ‘core’ – they’ve had a good start hitting on the two first round picks last year, but they need to keep going now. For this team to contend they have to get 4-5 players that can be the heart beat of the team, players everything else is built around. When the Seahawks made a Super Bowl they had two excellent offensive lineman, a MVP running back and a pro-bowl QB. From that core they were able to add role-players who performed well enough in the system, but the team was completely dependant on those ‘stars’ that kept everything together.

      It’s not about having a great player at every position – you don’t need to do that. You just need quality at certain positions that will make your team succesful. The best way to find that talent is to be pro-active and more than anything – specific. The problem the Patriots have IMO is that they have a board with 5-6 names on it and they say, “Well we can move down and still get the 4th or 5th choice.” You look at the Packers, they made an aggressive move up to get Clay Matthews and New England get three picks none of which have got close to Matthews’ production. The Jets have been able to turn a middling franchise into one of the best through being pro-active and understanding how to get good quickly. Sure, they had some very good players when Ryan came in (two good lineman and an all-world corner), but the talent they’ve acquired since then has built up the core – and it all started with a big move up the board to get a QB.

      The Seahawks should be pro-active in this draft. I know depth remains an issue, but if they get one good starter and hit on a round one pick – it’s a success. Depth will come. Right now they need to find the next player who’s going to stand next to Okung and Thomas as the future of this franchise.

      And really the point on the quarterbacks hasn’t changed for me. If you don’t rate any of the four slated in round one – then c’est la vie. You don’t take one anyway, of course not. If you see a QB who you believe can become a franchise QB for this team and be that next piece of the puzzle – then you take them even if they aren’t the perfect player. If you see a franchise QB ten spots above you in the draft, go and get them – trade up and feel good about it. Don’t risk them lasting till #25.

      The big question between now and April 28th will remain – do they see any of these four as warranting the pick? I’m not sure they do. I just wish we had a free agency/trade period to get some angle on what they’re planning.

  2. McDavis says:

    If Kiper’s mock draft occurred I’d be upset not because I dislike Locker but because they’d pass up the possibility of what I see as the Seahawks perfect draft day scenario. Although many will disagree, I look at CB as the Seahawks greatest position of need in the draft. I see Jennings as a well below average CB and Trufant as a very good #2 CB. Adding a lock down corner, who can play in press coverage, would change the defense entirely IMO. Offensive line is equally poor in terms of recent performance but it’s much easier to find offensive lineman, particularly interior lineman, as free agents (if free agency ever happens) than a lock down corner. To me the second greatest need is QB. Although finding a franchise QB is absolutely vital to the future, I view it as only the second greatest need because the Seahawks could conceivably put together one or two more playoff caliber season utilizing the Hasselbeck/Whitehurst duo and push back the need to find the QB of the future (although that’s not ideal).

    So looking at Kiper’s mock draft the Seahawks at 25 would have Jimmy Smith, probably the #2 CB in the draft available, as well as Locker and Mallett (two first round grade QB’s in my mind). You also have a handful of teams behind you in the 1st round that probably aren’t looking for a QB that early but would love a corner. It seems obvious that the best solution, and the ideal draft move, would be to nab Smith and then trade up to the top of the 2nd and grab one of the two QBs as well. Basically you’d end up with absurd value (two potential top 15 talents) with a late 1st and an early 2nd round pick at both of your positions of greatest need. I really don’t see a much better draft scenario than this.

    • Rob says:

      You raise an interesting point, McDavis. I agree that corner is a big need, although I also believe that QB is by far the team’s biggest long term need and dwarfs every other need considerably. The Seahawks are never going to be long term contenders without a legitimate starting QB. Getting that guy as soon as possible is critical now, it’s beyond critical in fact because ideally you don’t want to start that guy in year one. A quarterback directly impacts your entire season, it can define your team. They impact every single game.

      The problem with corner is – as much as it’s a need – you can always throw away from a great corner. Sure it locks down one side or one receiver, but it doesn’t stop you making plays. I’ve been watching LSU vs Arkansas today and Mallett just avoids Peterson all through the first half and still has a couple of 80-yard touchdowns. It’s a main reason why I wouldn’t draft Peterson that early – because as talented as he is, his ability to influence a game is limited unlike a great QB, DE or OT.

      If the Seahawks don’t rate Locker or Mallett (QB’s available in Kiper’s mock) high enough to invest their future in and draft a brilliantly talented corner like Smith – I appreciate the situation. I’m a big Jimmy Smith fan. However, if they do rank one of those QB’s as having franchise potential – it’s a no brainer in my opinion – you take them.

      • McDavis says:

        I understand your thinking on taking a franchise QB if one is available and I don’t necessarily disagree. I view Mallett and Locker as both franchise potential type QB’s and with both still available, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying to squeeze some more value out by letting them go and trading back up. Greater risk, yes but worth it if you can pull it off. It’s also based on the underlying assumption that the Seahawks would view both as franchise type QB’s which they may not.

        On the other hand, I think you seriously undervalue CBs and the idea of shutting down one side of the field. Not being able to throw to one side completely changes an offense and allows a defense to do different things in terms of coverage and blitzing. Further, it eases the pressure for other players on a defense and allows them to play their positions better (a guy like Lawyer Milloy who struggles in coverage yet excels at blitzing and stuffing the run has a lot more value if one side of the field is shut down). There’s a reason that as of 2010 CB is now the second highest paid position in the NFL (behind QB).

        • ChavaC says:

          But how many corners in the NFL are so good they don’t get thrown at? 2? 3? 4? There are 64 starting corners in the league. The defensive boost you get from a “good not great” corner, which is what you would hope for, is relatively modest when you compare with several other positions. It’s the reason every year the majority of the top 5 picks (at least) are either linemen or QB, while it’s very rare to see a corner leave the board so early.

          You have to also remember that the team picked up Thurmond last year, and thus the immediate need for a corner is much smaller than QB. I thought he showed flashes of excellent coverage skills despite some rookie mistakes, and he is surprisingly physical for his size.

          I do like the idea of trading up into the first though. Smith and Mallet would be a steal for a first and two seconds.

        • 1sthill says:

          Given the choice between a franchise QB and a franchise CB, I’ll take the QB every time. Any time you turn on the NFL network you are almost guaranteed to hear one of the guys say “the NFL is a passing league”; QB’s impact the outcome of a game/season more than any other position not only in the NFL but in all of sports. The QB is touching the ball every offensive snap and throwing it at least 45% of those snaps, whereas the shutdown CB may have an opposing team tweak their offensive game plan. Teams like the Packers have four WR’s they can throw to; I’ll value a CB as much as a QB when that franchise CB can cover two or three WR’s all at the same time.

          • McDavis says:

            I don’t think there’s any question a QB is more important than a CB and I definitely never stated that. However, Hasselbeck/Whitehurst make probably the second best QB in the NFC west next year (I’ll put Bradford ahead of them) while the Seahawks corners are at the bottom of the league. Add in the fact that the Seahawks should be competitive next year (as they were this year) and whatever QB they take likely won’t be playing (and might even be 3rd on the depth chart) and I view CB as a greater immediate need.

            Yes, the QB position needs to be addressed for the future but that’s why I view getting both a QB and an elite corner as the ideal scenario and the only way I see that happening is the way I described in the initial post.

        • Alex says:

          I could see that train of thought and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. I rate the needs as future QB, CB, interior OL, DL depth, and then there is everything else that is at least manageable at this point. The pick that is easiest to avoid is maybe interior OL since it can be picked up in the middle rounds. DL depth, QB, and CB have to be taken in the 1st 2 picks and the 1st pick’s quality is far superior to the 2nd pick in all 3 positions.

          If you pass on a Liuget or Taylor, you drop down to a Casey or Austin (though there might… might be a chance that Paea is there though I doubt it).
          If you pass on a Mallet or Locker, you drop down to a QB not worthy of picking.
          If you pass on a Jimmy Smith (assuming he’s there), you drop down to a Curtis Brown, Brandon Harris (drop stocking), or if you’re lucky an Aaron Williams. In the ideal draft, we would take V-as Dowling with the 2nd pick of the 4th round. He would be last year’s Walter Thummord who was a 2nd round talent but fell to the 4th due to injury.

          Regardless, as long as we address 2/3 areas with the draft, I’m happy. If we can address 3 with our top 3, I would be ecstatic.

  3. andy says:

    There are a number of bigger corners that should be available with our late 2nd or early 4th. (or package both 4ths to get into the 3rd?)

    Curtis Brown
    Davon House
    Brandon Burton
    Ras-I Dowling
    Chimdi Chekwa
    Johnny Patrick
    Shareece Wright