Breaking down Mel Kiper’s first mock draft

Mel Kiper has the Seahawks taking Ohio State receiver Devin Smith

I have a lot of time for ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. Without them the draft just wouldn’t be the same. I also don’t think they get the respect they deserve for identifying talent and being ahead of the curve. Off the top of my head, Kiper was all over Jason Pierre-Paul before many others. Ditto Greg Robinson a year ago.

Today he published his first mock draft and has the Seahawks taking Devin Smith (I knew I liked his style…). Here’s what he said about the pick:

I was between two players here — Smith and cornerback Jalen Collins of LSU. The injury to Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson has me leaning toward Smith, a good size/speed combination at wide receiver and one of the better deep threats in college football, a guy fully capable of making contested catches down the field (as anybody who saw him against either Alabama or Oregon can attest to). It’s likely that Richardsonâ??s recovery from ACL surgery could him out well into the 2015 season, and Seattle is going to need to add pass-catching talent either through free agency (they do have to pay the quarterback, remember) or the draft that can play, and Smith is a guy who would fit.

On the point of choosing between a corner and a receiver — I can see why Kiper came to this conclusion. There aren’t many holes in Seattle’s roster. They could use a receiver. Byron Maxwell is a pending free agent. The thing is, the Seahawks clearly back themselves to find cornerbacks later on. Look how often they’ve hit — Brandon Browner from the CFL, Richard Sherman in round five, Maxwell in round six. Previously they drafted Walter Thurmond in round four, now it’s Tharold Simon in round five and Jeremy Lane in round six.

Whether it’s a random free agent or another mid-to-late round pick, I think the Seahawks will continue down that same path if they need to replace Maxwell. It’ll probably take a really spectacular cornerback to change their mind. I think they might’ve considered Bradley Roby last year. He had the spectacular athleticism, some length. He just needed guidance and better coaching. Is Jalen Collins a similar type of prospect? I’m not sure. Roby was considered a potential top-15 pick before he chose not to declare for the 2013 draft. Then he had an inconsistent and poor season at Ohio State — terminally impacting his stock.

I like the Smith pick for the reasons noted in yesterday’s piece. There’s also this:

I think we see that in Smith. Unique production in terms of chunk plays and touchdowns. Top-tier athleticism. Will he battle? You bet. Watch him go up and high point the football, compete at the red line.

Kiper has the Seahawks picking at #32. Let’s run through some of the players that were off the board in my mock, that would be available in Kiper’s projection:

Eli Harold (DE, Virginia)
I had Harold going #8 overall — and I suspect he’ll be a fast riser after the combine. His combination of speed, power and grit is unmatched even in a talented class of pass rushers. They sky is the limit here. If he’s available at #32, I’d be tempted to suggest the Seahawks should run to the podium. There’s so much potential here. If you haven’t already, go and watch the Louisville game from 2014. And get excited.

La’el Collins (G, LSU)
Collins was the #13 pick in my projection to New Orleans. I’m not crazy about taking a guard in the first round, but for Collins I’d make an exception. For me he can become a perennial Pro-Bowler working inside. He can be a decent or average tackle at the next level, or a terrific guard. I think you move him inside and feel satisfied for ten years. He’s still one of my favorite players in this draft. He’s a team captain, he’s a plus-run blocker and he has the mobility to pull and get to the second level.

Todd Gurley (RB, Georgia)
Arizona took him at #24 in my projection. Even with the knee injury, getting a shot at Gurley could be a dream scenario. Marshawn Lynch, even if he plays for Seattle in 2015, is coming closer to the end it seems. His contract expires after next season. Seattle could red-shirt Gurley or at least give him sufficient time to make a full and proper recovery from his ACL injury. If the Seahawks win back-to-back Super Bowls (they’re picking at #32 here) they’ll prove they’re good enough to pull a move like this. It could set them up for years at the running back position and ensure no drop-off when Lynch calls it quits.

Cameron Erving (C, Florida State)
Erving was off the board at #23 in my projection to Detroit. He played well at left tackle, and even better at center. Erving is mature, flashes rare mobility for his size (he’s a converted D-lineman) and flexibility. He could start at guard, be the backup center and even be a swing tackle. He fills every spot on the O-line. A team like Seattle, that has struggled with injuries up front, could consider a guy like this. I just think they’ll be more inclined to target other areas and continue to let Tom Cable find ‘his guys’.

When I write a new mock, I tend to pump up the guys I like and take them out of contention for Seattle. In my two mocks so far, Harold, Collins and Gurley were all off the board. It’s good to look at another projection and consider who might be there. Imagine having the chance to draft one of Harold, Collins or Gurley? It’s an enticing prospect. Collins would provide an instant starter at guard, Harold would be an explosive project and Gurley a possible leading running back to replace a legend. And there’s Devin Smith too.

Kiper’s projection is an attractive one for Seahawks fans.


  1. AndrewP

    With the potential* departure of Carpenter and the struggles of Britt, if Erving or Collins fell, you’d SERIOUSLY have to consider that pick if you’re the Hawks.

    *I’d love for them to sign Carp, but with Russell in line to make $100 mil, there are going to be casualties. With Avril and Wright already extended, and Wagner almost surely next, I have to think Carpenter might be gone. With Carpenter gone, you suddenly have only four sure things on the line: Okung, Unger, Sweezey and Britt. With Britt’s struggles this year, where he will be a sure thing is at the very least up in the air, and adding a veratile lineman like Erving and Collins would do a lot to alleviate any concerns protecting their new $100 mil investment.

    • arias

      Excellent point, I really hope they do make OL a priority with someone who is more likely to step in right away and not be a sieve, which would mean they’d have to take one early. Bailey might be able to step in for Carp or moved to the outside if they move Britt inside. But if Britt is going inside I don’t think they’d put him at LG because I’ve heard Cable say that they ID’d him in college being a much more natural fit on the right side. They’ll still need depth even if they do decide to use Bailey as a starter.

    • JeffC

      Dave Wyman thinks Bobby Wagner is the odd man out, but he never explains it. Perhaps because they are putting something like 73 million to the defense and something has to give. I don’t know.

      • Rob Staton

        It would be hugely counter productive to lose Wagner. Just can’t see it.

        • Coug1990

          I cannot see losing Wagner either. He is too much of a part of what makes this defense special.

          Also, Britt is going to be the right tackle for this team for years. We have seen Sweezy struggle and grow into a very good guard. Britt was a rookie. He will grow into a very productive tackle. I don’t think that the Seahawks and Cable see things the way that a lot of fans do.

          • Rob Staton

            I think you’re absolutely spot on. And their approach has led to one Super Bowl and hopefully another soon.

          • CHawk Talker Eric


          • CHawk Talker Eric

            Britt and Sweezy will be a big part of why SEA remains a dominant run team in the future.

      • AndrewP

        Really surprises me Wyman would think that. He’s a defensive guy, and could he not see the difference in that unit with Wagner in vs out? Not saying it won’t be the case, but I would be SHOCKED if they let Wagner go.

        I think it’s pretty clear Maxwell will be the guy to go. They have shown an ability to find good corners from remote places, and are already paying the secondary a bundle, and when you add that to the fact that Russell is about to get paid I think barring a dramatic discount, Max’s days as a Hawk are numbered.

        • Pauld

          What is an all pro middle linebacker – like Luke Keuchly – gonna get paid? $10M? What if Bobby’s agent wants a Sherman/Thomas type deal?I Wyman just thinks that Wagner’s recent play may have priced him out of Seattle. We may be looking at having to replace not only Maxwell but also maybe Okung/Mebane/Miller in order Russell/Wagner and Sweezy/Irwin next year . Wags made such a difference after coming back from injury it makes me wonder.

          I don’t think this is a do-or-die draft – we are going to kill it next year with this core group of super heroes. But our brain trust could realistically set this team up for championships into the 20s with a good day in Chicago.

      • arias

        Does Dave Wyman fashion himself an amateur capologist? Because Wagner would appear to be priority #1 in the offseason after Wilson.

      • Volume 12

        Pete’s never really valued MLBs.

        I guess the question is, did BWagz coming back healthy turn this D and or season around? Or was it the return of a 100% healthy Kam Chancellor?

  2. Bryan C

    Gurley would be an epic pick for the Seahawks.

    • CHawk Talker Eric


  3. Ukhawk

    So who went in Kiper’s if all those guys are still on the board?!

  4. Ukhawk

    Yours better than Kiper’s, so many stretches….
    1) – TB Jameis Winston QB FSU
    2) – TEN Marcus Mariota QB Ore
    3) – JAC Leonard Williams DE USC
    4) – OAK Amari Cooper WR BAMA
    5) – WAS Randy Gregory DE NEB
    6) – NYJ Shane Ray OLB MIZZOU
    7) – CHI Landon Collins S BAMA
    8) – ATL Dante Fowler DE FLA
    9) – NYG Brandon Scherff OT IA
    10) – STL TJ Clemmings OT PITT
    11) – MIN DeVante Parker WR LOU
    12) – CLE Danny Shelton DT WAS
    13) – NO Vic Beasley DE CLEM
    14) – MIA Shaq Thompson LB WAS
    15) – SF Kevin White WR WV
    16) – HOU Trae Waynes CB MICH ST
    17) – SD Arik Armstead DE ORE
    18) – KC Dorial Green Beckham WR OKL
    19) – CLE Ereck Flowers OT MIA
    20) – PHI Marcus Peters CB WAS
    21) – CIN Bud Dupree DE KEN
    22) – PIT Kevin Johnson CB WAKE
    23) – DET Malcolm Brown DT TEX
    24) – ARI Melvin Gordon RB WIS
    25) – CAR Andrus Peat OT STAN
    26) – BAL Devin Funchess WR MICH
    27) – DAL Jordan Phillips DT OKL
    28) – DEN Benardrick McKinney ILB MISS ST
    29) – IND Jaelen Strong WR ARI ST
    30) – GB Eddie Goldman DT FSU
    31) – NE Sammie Coates WR AUB
    32) – SEA Devin Smith WR OHIO ST

    • bigDhawk

      Danny Shelton 12th overall. Just. Wow.

    • Nathan

      Indy taking a receiver? Surely not.

      They must have bigger fish to fry in round 1.

      • Rob Staton

        They absolutely do have much more vital needs than another WR.

        • Ryan M

          Isn’t Hilton a FA and Wayne close to retirement?

          • Rob Staton

            Hilton’s in same situation as Wilson and Wagner. He’s contracted through 2015 as part of his rookie deal, but probably gets an extension this year. They might lose Nicks (no biggie) but drafted Moncrief in round three. Also got two good pass-catching TE’s.

            • Coug1990

              It is something to hear again and again that Luck has zero talent around him. John Clayton unbelievably thinks that if Luck were on the Seahawks these last two years, they would be undefeated. I like Clayton, but that is just crazy talk.

              • Rob Staton

                Yeah that is nonsense.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Don’t they need a RB? Obviously Richardson isn’t the answer for them

    • arias

      I do think Rob is criminally underrating where Jameis Winston is going to go. I don’t see how he lasts past St Louis at #11, but IMO he’s far more likely to go in the top 2. Lovie Smith seems to be high on him and keeping a local product in state has its benefits too.

      • Rob Staton

        I’m not underrating his talent. Let’s see what teams think about his maturity, ability to handle fame, responsibility for his actions and near constant bickering with Jimbo Fisher throughout the year. Remember, you’ve got to make this guy the face of your franchise. A few months removed from the Rice/Peterson scandal. Every team who needs a QB is going to be doing some serious background checks on one particular incident.

        • arias

          Understood. But the more I look into this kid the more I think he’s gotten a bum rap. He’s actually a smart kid, was accepted to Stanford after graduating HS with a 4.0 GPA with honors and has made the ACC academic honor roll every year since he’s been at FSU and reportedly has a perfect class attendance record. I think the whole crab legs thing was an overblown misunderstanding when an employee/fan prepared it for him said he money wasn’t good there so he walked off with it. It was dumb of him to accept it, but one of those things I can understand him doing as a college student wanting to save a few bucks and being a little naive accepting trappings of his college fame.

          Unlike what some might assume he’s not some crazy party animal, he’s not out there getting hammered every weekend because he doesn’t drink at all. He’s devoted to football. If he hadn’t had his prior rep I’m not sure there’d be near the big deal over the bickering with Fisher. Manziel had those sorts of differences with his coach sometimes too and never got such a bum rap over it. And Manziel definitely had maturity red flags that included being a total party animal, which is what seemed to hurt his stock more than anything else. Jameis Winston doesn’t partake like that.

          I just think that the dearth of quality quarterbacks and the promise this kid has, being more pro ready than Mariota in the kind of offense he’s run, will demand that some team take him WAY before #20. If Tampa passes on him to take Mariota, which I’d be surprised but not shocked since I could see it going either way, it’s hard to see Tennessee passing on him too. But the Jets, Chicago, and St Louis also not selecting him? That just seems like too much.

          It just appears from what I’ve been reading that teams lacking quarterbacks are really high on him and presumably have been checking out his background with only 3 months till the draft. There’s a lot of time of course, but until we see the national guys like Kiper slide him down their boards, presumably because the teams showing lots of interest uncover something they don’t like, IMO he’s far more likely to go earlier than later.

          • rowdy

            Great points that I never heard. All the stories about him seem bone headed but not cancerous except for conflict with the coach, witch I know nothing about. The rape thing is real bad but looked like it never happened.

            • Rob Staton

              “but looked like it never happened”

              That’s what teams are going to look into.

              • rowdy

                Absolutely! And can you make him the face of your franchise when you will probably never know the truth. To much politics in that case to ever know what really happened.

                • Coug1990

                  I remember thinking when the Seahawks drafted Jeremy Stevens that it was a character mistake. He was accused of rape when he was at the uw. He got off, but seriously…. There were other red flags as well.

                  A team that drafts him will be either very pleased or rue the day.

                • Meat

                  The face of the franchise is a good argument, but teams have drafted despite this risk. Newton, and Manziel just to name two

              • Coug1990

                How does anyone on the outside (and by outside, I mean us fans) know what really happened because the police and school bungled the entire situation. Plus, what does having a 4.0 have to do with character? There are a lot of very smart people doing time.

                One thing I will say is that a lot of teams think that they will be the one to get through to a player or that they will ignore/lessen red flags because of physical talent.

                • Cuenca Guy

                  It shows he’s mature about going to class and doing the work. It doesn’t mean he’s a good guy, but it suggests he’s dedicated and will put in the work, unlike Johnny Trainwreck.

                • arias

                  Well for one, 3 former Florida Supreme Court justices were the ones that agreed to hear the case as independent arbiters with Winston and the accuser each being allowed to have one the judges stricken if they chose without prior interaction with the judge, and the one left was the one that heard the case. The judge would consider the evidenence and determine if up to four violations occurred according to the accuser, and determine what the punishment would be if he found any merit to the accusations.

                  The justice that heard and investigated the case cleared him of all charges. His persecution appears to have been the result of a witchhunt by the media that determined he was guilty in a trial by mob. If things are as they appear, it all seems ridiculously unfair.

                  But you can be sure the NFL will have their own ex-FBI investigating the case on their own to determine whether there was anything of substance behind it regardless of what the outcome of his clearing by the justice was just in case. And if there’s anything resembling guilt there I would expect him to start dropping like rock.

                • arias

                  Oh, and your question about his grades. Well it demonstrates that he came from a good family that raised him with the right values, to work hard and be studious. He didn’t come from some broken home in the hood.

        • John_s

          Another thing is…how is going to handle all of his spare time? Without having classes and not playing baseball in the offseason how is he going to make use of the time? Is
          He going to be like RW3 or Manziel? How will he handle the money? How will he be when he goes to clubs and even more women throwing themselves at him?

          I don’t question his leadership abilities with his teammates. It seems like his teammates follow him but it’s the other stuff that you need to look in to

          • Rob Staton


            And I think it’s clear how much respect he has among the players at FSU. That’s a major positive IMO. But you can’t just ignore the other stuff — it needs looking into. Teams will do their work.

        • Miles

          Why does this mock think Winston will go first to TB over Mariota? That’s a head scratcher.

          • arias

            Because Lovie Smith likes him over Mariota.

    • Volume 12

      It will be interesting to see how many of these names are still in his mock after the combine, pro days, senior bowl, etc. And then to see the names that aren’t on this list.

  5. williambryan

    Daniel Jeremiah also just put out his mock. Have the Hawks DE Preston Smith from Miss St. (also at 32…).

    • Rob Staton

      I’m going to do a breakdown on that mock tomorrow.

      • peter

        Looking forward to it…interesting mix of players…i really like Preston smith…but unless he has some unseen sparq gifts I can’t see him in the first for anyone’s pick let alone ours. Sort of surprised how many people have a NT going so early in Shelton. I’m less critical then some, less optimistic then others but Haloti Ngata he isn’t no matter how much you love the huskies.

    • williambryan


  6. Ed C.

    Erving or Collins for me. Weapons would be great, but improving the line will help Wilson and Turbin/Michael if Lynch goes.

    We lose when we can’t run or Wilson scrambles for his life. Improve line now and the future.

    • Rob Staton

      Wilson scrambles every game. It’s by design.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Cable always talks about wanting linemen that can play all five positions. But finding a guy that can truly play both LT and C at a high level is unheard of. Erving would allow the Hawks to keep one less OL on the 53 man roster. That is a huge advantage when working the salary cap. Plus, he is one of the top OL’s in the draft. I think he is a unique talent.

      • Volume 12

        I agree. I also think OL Cameron Erving is the most unique O-lineman in this draft. If Seattle does go OL with their first pick, he would definitely be one to target.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Well, he certainly ticks a lot of seahawk likes

          Athletic (D line convert a ++)
          Lots of college starts

          Measurables should be pretty good. We’ll see about his length.

          I wouldn’t expect them to pick him though if they don’t think he’ll be a real candidate to succeed Okung if need be.

          • Volume 12

            Yeah, I just like his versatility and his extreme uniqueness. Doubt they take him as well, but still an interesting/exciting prospect.

          • DC

            Erving could back up Unger OR Okung. If he’s there when we pick it would be tempting for sure. Presently I like Bailey just fine backing up at LT & I hope Okung stays a Hawk long term, a healthy Hawk preferably.

            Unger has been physically challenged the last couple of years to the point where I am leery about his long term playing days.

            Rob, besides Erving, have you (or anyone) seen tape on the “other” centers available?
            Grasu, Dismukes, Gallik or Finney?

            • Rob Staton

              Grasu yes. Hit and miss. For me I’m happy with Unger and Jeanpierre next year.

  7. Ed C.

    I know, but we all know there are games when it’s not by design. Rams, Chiefs etc…

    • Rob Staton

      St. Louis fields four top-15 picks in the defensive line. Kansas City has a top-12 pick at nose tackle, a guy who just put up +20 sacks and Tamba Hali. Seattle could spend numerous first round picks on their offensive line and Wilson is still going to be pressured by the personnel on those two rosters.

      Even then, it was by design in those games. Pete Carroll is on the record that it’s the intention to be the best scrambling offense in the league. They know Wilson is at his best on the move. They know the big play potential when the play breaks down and he gets out of contain. They want to scramble. They intend to do it every game.

      Maybe they faced a bit of extra pressure in those two games — but is it a big surprise given the defense they faced? The scrambling nature of Seattle’s offense is basically Seahawks football.

      • Stewart

        Interesting point about the intentional scrambling. Does this imply that an ability to improvise (at the WR position) is a quality more needed in Seattle than on other teams? Can you grade that based on the tape?

        • peter

          I’d think you could. Mike Evans had to work with manziel so he must have had some ability to work back into a play. It’d be interesting to see scramble drills or better camera angles even to see what the WR’s were doing when a play breaks down

          • Radman

            One issue I have with this response that St L (or any division opponent) has top tier pass rushers is- ok, so STL has a great pass rush. It’s elite. So….your division rivals have a great front 4 (or 7). This is a reality that you face at least 2 times a season. It’s not a reason to cede. It’s the challenge of playing your division rivals. Match their strength or surrender to it. You have to face a great/elite pass rush? Meet the challenge. Don’t find consolation in the fact that they’re really good and you can do better against average front lines. You build a team to deal with your division. Win it, and then move on.

            • peter

              Fair…but currently even with AZ’s defense, the rams, and the miners.. The Hawks came away with 5 wins this year so how much more help do they need past continuity on the oline to be better? They did deal with it in my estimation…perhaps tho is the actual case for say a Justin hardy someone who can get on and out of the soft spots as a slot receiver and the hawks beat the blitzes like new England does with quicker strikes…

              • Coug1990

                I agree Peter. Teams have to match up with the Seahawks, not the other way around. Until someone knocks them off their pedestal, they are the Champions.

        • Rob Staton

          I think you can. Kevin Norwood scored very highly in that regard last year.

  8. rowdy

    8 wr in rd one? Really doubt that. I think you should take eli, Gurley or maybe Erving over smith But I think 3 of the 4 will be gone. Not sure what one it will be but all would be good picks.

    • Volume 12

      Yeah, there’s no way that happens.

  9. Cysco

    Maybe what interests me most about Kiper’s mock is Dorial Green Beckham at 18.

    The thing with national guys like Kiper and McShay is that their projections are coming from a place of more information than we have. They’re tapped into the NFL community and putting him in the middle of round one probably means he’s heard things from teams about him.

    I mean, if I had Kiper’s connections, the day DGB declared, I’d be calling every scouting director and front office guy I knew to get a pulse on him. To me, Kiper putting him in the middle of round one says the vibe around the league is that he’ll go in RD 1.

    • Rob Staton

      Possibly — but I suspect a lot of teams are yet to really begin their background checks on DGB. It was a little surprising when he declared, and that was about a week ago.

    • Volume 12

      Cysco. So are you thinking that all these names in Kiper’s mock are 100% locks for the first round?

      • Cysco

        V12, I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that.

        I said that Kiper likely has a better pulse on these things than we do and if he’s putting DGB in the middle of the first, then there’s a good chance he’s heard things from “the league” that gives him confidence to do so.

        I work with the guys at ESPN on a daily basis. They don’t take their jobs lightly and they are seriously tapped in to the league. I don’t believe that Kiper makes his mocks the same way that Rob does. Kiper has the added benefit of being an “insider”. So, if he does something like put DGB in the middle of the first, it’s worth taking note of.

        Is it a 100% lock? of course not. That’s just silly to insinuate. But Kiper has more intel o these things than the general public has. I am 100% confident in that.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          The history of Mel’s mocks is littered with awful prognostications.

          I’m not knocking him; he’s done some brilliant work over the years. But he’s off as much (more) than he’s on.

          Just my opinion, but I’ll keep expressing it: DGB is a dead end.

          • Coug1990

            To be fair, everyone is off more than they are on. I don’t take any of them completely serious. They are all just good to discuss because it is interesting, just like Rob is doing with Kiper now.

        • mister bunny

          Good points. But I would also think that some of the insider connections use figures like Kiper to spread disinformation to hide the players that they like the most. Schneider would definitely do something like that. Could this be why Kiper gets so bent out of shape when teams “reach” (according to him)? Because he thought his information was from a solid source, but they were just playing him?

          • Volume 12

            Kind of like when Seattle took Justin Britt over Moses Morgan? Thank god Seattle did. Washington had one of the worst o-lines in football, and Morgan barely got on the field. He’s so damn soft and stiff. I remember that was considered a ‘reach’ pick.

            • Volume 12

              Meant to say Morgan Moses.

  10. DC

    I admittedly fall in love with a lot of the guys you promote Rob & you view them through a Seahawk lens for us which makes your breakdown so unique. Much appreciated, thanks! It would be great if things fell the way Kiper has it. To choose from:

    Devin Smith
    Mad Maxx Williams
    Todd Gurley
    Tevin Coleman
    Markus Golden
    Cameron Erving
    La’el Collins

    You could make a case for each and every one of those guys at #32. If they were all there the Hawks always love a trade down. Hell I hope one of them is left for us.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I’d have to think that if that scenario came to pass, and Gurley’s knee checked out … that they would stand pat and take him.

      Considering the draft capital spent at RB (4th in 2010 for Lynch, 4th in 2012 Turbin, 2nd 2013 Michael and other day 3 projects) — it seems pretty apparent that Seattle really values the position. And the general unsettled nature of life after Marshawn seems like it would be a position they are no longer willing to go on the cheap to address.

  11. Volume 12

    Rob, I know your not a fan of LSU DE Danielle Hunter. Let me ask you this. Is maybe the reason for him being so underwhelming or ineffective due to the fact that with his freakish athleticism opposing coaches game planned specifically to keep an extra OL, TE, or HB in on him? I know you stated he doesn’t have more than a ‘speed’ rush, but IMO the lack of moves isn’t because he’s deficient, but more of a coaching issue.

    This kid has so much potential and you have stated that the DE-LEO position could be a luxury pick for Seattle. If that’s the case then why not roll the dice on someone who possess what Hunter has?

    I’m not talking with their first overall pick, but more in the 2nd round range.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d be comfortable taking a chance on his upside any time after round two. I just found him to be totally unimpressive on tape. Athleticism is great, but he has to produce too. I didn’t see a lot of double teams.

  12. Dawgma

    I’m feeling pretty worried about the interior DL. Mebane won’t be at top for much longer, Hill has only flashed in a couple games (and has a serious injury history), and no one else in the middle is much better than ‘a guy’. Are there any DTs you really like as value picks? I don’t see it being worth a 1-2 given how valuable those top guys get, but what else is out there in that area.

    Second question: who would tempt you to move up to grab them is they’re hanging around in the early rounds? I feel like it used the be the fo got great value picking against the ‘prototype’ but have done so well that the traits they like are at a premium. It could just be a one off, but I feel like they watched guys they wanted get picked right in front of them a lot last year, especially in the first round, and resulted in reach picks (Prich, Britt) early.

    • Volume 12

      Dawgma, some of my personal favorite DTs are Mizzou’s Lucas Vincent, TCUs Chucky Hunter, Clemson’s Grady Jarrett, Oklahoma’s Chuka Ndulue, and Arizona St’s Marcus Hardison.

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the interior D-line. Look how well this defense has performed minus Mebane during this winning run. They’ll keep plugging guys in there.

      As for trading up… it depends who they lose. If Lynch goes and Gordon/Gurley are a few picks ahead… the price might be worth the deal.

      • Volume 12

        I’d expect them to address the D-line, specifically the interior later in the draft. I get this will more than likely be an offensive heavy draft, but with 10-11 picks their definelty not going to spend them all on that side of the ball.

      • Dawgma

        Look who’s been stepping up, though: Williams, who qualifies for the early bird special and is in a one year contract. I mean yeah if everything goes well, you get Hill back and he plays great and Marsh bulks up and is a nice third down Co tribute in some rush packages. But when does everything go as planned?

        • Rob Staton

          I think that’s the thing though. For two years now they’ve found guys to plug in. Williams, McDaniel, Hill, McDonald. It’ll probably be someone else next year. As someone who has fretted a lot about three-tech’s over the years, I’m very relaxed now. This defense has played lights out, world class, for weeks. With no Mebane. With a combination of Williams, McDaniel and Hill.

          • Volume 12

            I get what your saying Dogma. I too think they’ll find a replacement for Kevin Williams and a backup/a guy to groom behind Mebane. Wouldn’t expect it though before the late 3rd(with a comp pick) at the earliest and that’s only if there’s a guy Seattle absolutely loves at that spot who won’t be available later on. As for the run stuffer, there’s some really good value late in the draft.

            Your right though about the other DL options. I’ve stressed it too. DL Scruggs, Dobbs, King, and D. Smith are definelty JAGS. That’s an easy spot to upgrade when you look at the roster.

  13. Stewart

    Any thoughts about Jay Ajayi from Boise State in rd2? Assuming neither Gurley nor Gordon is available in rd1?

    • Volume 12

      Big fan of the ‘J-Train.’ Very fluid runner. Good pass catcher too.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Fumbling issues is going to be tough to swallow. Not sure Pete will go for that.

      • Volume 12

        Right now my favorite sleeper type HB is LSUs Terrence Magee. Really digging him right now.

    • Rob Staton

      Not overly impressed, looks average to me. A lot of others like him though.

  14. Volume 12

    Rob, wanted to get your take on a few mid round O-lineman. And one DL prospect who’s pretty versatile and getting some good buzz right now.

    What do you think of the Gator’s 2 OTs Chaz Greene and DJ Humphries? I know both have battled some injuries, but Humphries has some enticing length and Greene seems capable of playing a couple spots.

    Here’s 2 names I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to look at. Louisville OG/OT Jamon Brown, this guys is massive at 6’6, 330 lbs. and is a former weight-lifter.

    Last but not least is Memphis DL Martin Ifedi-6’3 or 6’4, 270 lbs. Memphis had an outstanding defense this year and Ifedi strikes me as a poor man’s Mario Edwards, but with more effort and tenacity. Would love your opinion on these 4 and if anyone else has anything, feel free to chime in.

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