Dominique Easley going in round one? Plus a new mock draft

We’ve talked enough about Dominique Easley over the last two weeks to not be surprised by the Tweet above. This has been coming.

For anyone who missed it here’s yesterday’s piece on why Easley could be an option for the Seahawks. We also talked about him on April 18th for more on his fit in Seattle (plus tape vs Miami).

To follow up yesterday’s article I’d compiled a mock with Easley going to the Seahawks at #32. It almost seems quite predictable now to make that move in light of Rapoport’s Tweet. But here it is anyway. I’ve included four trades that are detailed below.


Atlanta (#6) trades with St. Louis (#2) for Khalil Mack
I can see a scenario where the Texans want too much for the #1 pick and are prepared to take Jadeveon Clowney if they don’t get what they want. If that’s the case, I still think the Falcons will consider moving up to add a defensive playmaker. I’m not a huge Khalil Mack fan, but the league seems to think differently. The Rams are likely to be a very willing trade partner and the relationship between Les Snead and Thomas Dimitroff gets the deal done for a modest price.

Detroit (#10) trades with Jacksonville (#3) for Sammy Watkins
The Lions have visited with all the top players in the draft and appear determined to make a splash. They’ll probably have to battle Buffalo to make this move (the Bills have also expressed an interest in trading up) but the Lions are determined to get over the hump and may go that extra mile to land a player like Watkins. I think the Jaguars will target a small move down the board before taking either Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles.

New Orleans (#27) trades with Chicago (#14) for Odell Beckham Jr
I really believe the Saints are going to be very aggressive in this draft. It’s in the nature of their front office, they rarely sit still. Odell Beckham Jr is a local favourite from LSU and would give Drew Brees a needed weapon on the outside. If Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is drafted by the Rams at #13 the Bears could target a trade down. There’s no other safety worth the #14 pick, but at #27 it’s much more palatable.

San Francisco (#30) trades with Baltimore (#17) for Brandin Cooks
The 49ers have big, physical receivers. What they don’t have is an X-factor. Cooks would add another dimension to their offense. If they’re going to package picks to move up the board, this seems like a decent shout. In this projection the Ravens have seen the top five tackles leave the board. Ozzie Newsome always seems to pick the guys I bang on about on here (Courtney Upshaw, Jimmy Smith, Arthur Brown, John Simon, Matt Elam). So how about this — they trade down to #30 and take Joel Bitonio. In a press conference today Newsome suggested the #17 pick is open for business.

Options for the Seahawks

In this projection eight receivers are off the board and seven offensive tackles. They have to look elsewhere.

I don’t think they’ll take a pure guard in round one, so really it comes down to the defense. They aren’t drafting a corner in the first round (I doubt Pete Carroll ever will). Guys like Ryan Shazier and Anthony Barr are off the board too.

The two best options here might be Ra’Shede Hageman and Dominique Easley.

Given Rapoport’s report at the top of the piece, I wouldn’t rule out the Patriots rolling the dice on Easley. They like versatile, explosive defensive linemen. It’s a need for the Pats. It makes a ton of sense. They’ve drafted plenty of players from Florida in the past — and Belichick frequently goes back to the well (particularly the ‘Rutgers’ well).

If I’d gone in that direction at #29 obviously Hageman would’ve been available for the Seahawks at #32. It’ll be a pick-your-poison type of situation. Easley is a more consistent, explosive player but he carries an injury red flag. Hageman is extremely inconsistent — but he’s healthy, has better size and the upside to be an excellent pro.

It goes to show that even in a scenario where 15 players are off the board at the two positions of highest need (RT, WR) — there are still nice options available at #32.

Even with eight receivers off the board in round one — I think there’ll be some nice wide out options at #64 (potentially Brandon Coleman). If this many tackles leave the board in the first frame, it might be down to Tom Cable to dig out some later round gems again.

Next week’s mock will be my final projection and the one I send to the Huddle Report. Tomorrow we’ll look at Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s latest mocks and the options available at #32 in each of their latest projections.


  1. burkholderj

    Rob, I feel like your writing this piece to prepare us for who the Seahawks are going to pick. Generally close to the draft you start getting your insider information from around the league and it mostly turns out to be true. And to be honest with you I am so okay with this pick. He is an absolute beast. I hope he doesn’t trump picking Bitonio though.

    • Scott Allen

      I keep seeing Ron cited by so many other draft gurus. It is clear the man has earned a good reputation for being on the money.

      • burkholderj

        I concur. Thats why I read his blog daily.

  2. Cameron

    Certainly Pete has day dreamed about his ‘Nascar’ package with Easley in the fold. The thought of Avril, Mebane/other, Easley and Bennett lined up on the same line would send shivers down the spines of quarterbacks across the league. I’d like this pick.

    • SHawn

      Bennett usually slides inside for the NASCAR package. Him and Easley with Avril and Irvin/other on the outside WOULD be intimidating.

  3. CC

    I’m in on Easley – the tape showing his pro day from the earlier post made me a believer. I still pine away for a really good RT, but it sounds like Bowie is set up to be the first guy to take Breno’s spot, and that may be okay. I want that tall WR too – but maybe the 2nd round is there for that guy. With this mock draft, I think there is a chance someone wants to trade with us to get one of the possible early QBs. I really want that 3rd rounder back!

    • Rob Staton

      I think if there’s a team trading back into the first for a QB — something I don’t expect at all to be honest — they’ll make that move before #32.

      • Mark

        Depending on how the draft goes, they would want to be in front of Cleveland. And New England is known as a wiling trade partner.

        • Mo

          Well going by this mock, I could see Minnesota or possibly Oakland looking to potential move up to secure a quarter back.

          • Mo

            Especially if teams think Houston or, if the rumors are true about the rams potentially taking a qb

    • SHawn

      Bowie is good. Bailey is better.

      But Bailey is also better at LG. Not sure where they end up, but even without a top round rookie, our O line is not as bad off as some people have suggested. Needs depth, but I think our starters are already on the roster.

      This has been your best mock so far IMO Rob. It takes advantage of the deep WR and OT talent this year, which narrows our choices to some top tier defensive linemen who tumble for silly reasons. Hageman and Bitonio go just before we pick, but that leaves our choice of Easley, Tuitt, or Nix. Not bad options at all.

  4. CC

    Round 1 Easley
    Round 2 Tiny Richardson – because I think James will be gone
    Round 3…
    Round 4 James Gayle DE/Leo VT
    Round 5 Dontae Johnson CB FL
    Round 5 Marquis Flowers AZ LB
    Round 6 Devin Street WR Pitt

    • Mo

      I could see this play out, especially with richardson. He could compete with bowie or backup okung.

      • CC

        The wild card for OT is LDT? I wonder if Cable likes him more than the UT guys. Johnny said Bowie would have the first shot at RT – has anyone gone back to his work last year at RT? I think at times he played well – certainly better than McQuistan – but I wonder if he is ready to take over.

        • Dtrain

          Great choices CC. Especially like Gayle in 4th…VALUE!

  5. Stuart

    Good “heads up” piece Rob.

    Yes, of course I would be just fine with this pick.

    There are some options at OT in the later rounds as well as the OG from Clemson (think red shirt year) could be sitting there in later rounds too. Brain farted on his name, Brandon?

    OK, at #32 we take Easley, cool. Who do like in R-2 for us?

    I have seen mocks were Demarcus Lawrence and Marcus Smith are available at #64 and mocks where Coleman is available into the 5th Round. Not very realistic around SDB, but nationally, that is what is out there.

    Also this, mock drafters have a 93.4 failure rate, on their best day, NOT OUR ROB!

    • Rob Staton

      In this scenario at R2 I’d be hoping Coleman could possibly fall to that slot. Basically I’d be looking at a WR and I’d trust Cable to find me some OT’s later.

  6. Kevin

    The more I look at the Seahawks roster, the more I think that they are walking out with a tall WR as their first round pick. Martavis Bryant in the mock above would be my pick. Only exception would be if a rare prospect fell to 32 (shazier, hageman etc).

    Yes it is a bit of a reach but PC has to be frustrated not being able to play the offense he envisions because we just don’t have a big redzone target. All the tall WR he has drafted so far have been complete busts. There is no better time than this draft to get a decent one. No way we get anybody as good as Martavis with next year’s 32.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure Bryant will be a great red zone target. For me he’s more of a downfield threat, a field stretcher.

      • kevin

        Really? I guess not then. All I see on his tape is him taking advantage of some short people exactly like I would like him to do in the seahawks. I guess the fact that they are backup cb and safeties makes him look good.

        • Rob Staton

          Don’t get me wrong he has the height to be a red zone target. I just feel like that isn’t his greatest strength, not yet anyway. He’s at his best selling the deep route, snapping back inside on a crosser and creating separation. He’ll scare DB’s with his downfield speed and ability to take the top off a defense. He’d be a great fit for a vertical passing offense that wants to utilise a cannon arm downfield. In the red zone it can be a bit of a battle in there. He’s a little inconsistent competing in the air. But he’s an explosive player in terms of speed and athleticism.

      • SHawn

        Not my favorite choice at 64, but ASJ is exactly that. A red zone target. He has many flaws, but what CAN he do? Score TDs.

        • kevin

          I should have clarified, a WR red zone target.

          Pete has an offense in mind for the Seahawks, one that he has not been able to put in place because he is missing a tall WR. Take a look at what we were doing with big Mike

          Imagine if he had not been able to draft Thomas and the seahawks could not run the LOB style secondary, he would be desperately looking for that piece to complete his vision.

          If you are talking TEs, I am hoping for Finley. If not, what do you think of Fiedorowicz?

          • Trudy Beekman

            Fiedorowicz? You mean a solid blocker with a better SPARq than Ebron and the softest hands of any TE in the draft? Solid. Doesn’t offer anything after the catch, though.

            • Kevin

              Yeah, that Fiedorowicz. I guess we would just have to wait for him to get into the endzone before passing him the ball.

      • Robert

        I have seen MB make some impressive plays on contested balls. Though he is not nearly the physical force as Kelvin Benjamin, he flashes a fierce competitive desire that may indicate a potential to become more physical. If that is how PCJS see it, he may be very high on their board as a tall red zone target with upside to become more physical and effective in that department. And also, a long strider with the very rare short burst acceleration of a tiny speedster…very unique combination and a particularly lethal dynamic when combined with Percy Harvin distracting Safeties and Linebackers!

        • xo 1

          You paint a vivid portrait!

        • kevin

          I like the way you think! When I see MB without pads I can’t help but think that he is going to grow into that 6.5″ body of his and wreck havoc. Sure he would not be the best draft pick for this year if he is not a red zone target like Rob says, but we have Rice in there to teach him the ropes.

          Next year (year 2 of his 5 year contract, a benefit of drafting him on first round) he will make Percy look good just like he did Sammy.

  7. Arun

    I see why Lions might trade up but why would they give it all to get another WR1 when they got Megatron and paid some money to get Tate. Shouldn’t they focus on weaknesses – CB, S & G?

    • Rob Staton

      They know the passing game needs to be their strength. Megatron and Tate is pretty good. Megatron, Watkins and Tate is elite.

      There’s also depth at CB beyond round one and that’s their biggest need really. They’ll be better for having Watkins and potentially his brother from Florida than reaching on a CB at #10 and settling for whatever WR is available later on.

      • Arun

        I guess moving from #10 to #3 will not be cheap. could cost them multiple picks. I just don’t see them doing it for Watkins. I see them preferring trading back and taking a S or CB. . Lets see.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it could cost them as little as a third. Depends on Jacksonville’s desire to move down.

  8. Colin

    I’ll be sick if we take Hageman, and sicker if Easely is still on the board.

    • Ben2

      Not a Hageman fan, I take it?

      • Colin

        Not really. Outside of just bullrushing the Guards straight into the backfield, he doesn’t seem to possess a skill set that looks great. If a team thinks he can be coached up to use his hands better, then by all means take him. Looks disoriented, and loses balance too much as well. I’m not particularly impressed.

  9. Clayton

    If the board turns out this way, what about Louis Nix III as an option here? Brandon Mebane is probably gone next year due to free agency/salary cap. I don’t see anyone else on Seattle’s roster as a true NT either.

    • Rob Staton

      I just have a hard time seeing Seattle draft a ‘decent’ nose tackle with weight problems in round one. I’m not sure they’ll ever take just a run stuffer in the first round unless they’re a special athlete. Nix is not special in any way really.

      • SHawn

        Disagree on Nix not being special Rob.

        Agree that Seattle will likely not take an NT in rd 1.

        But if somehow all those WR and OT are gone, AND no other top DTs fall (Hageman, Tuitt, Easley all gone), then Nix becomes a viable option to me based on his ability to come in and immediately compete with Mebane for a starting spot. Its worst case scenario stuff, but I like him better than a teir 2 WR or OT.

        • Trudy Beekman

          Daniel McCullers is another option that could last until our pick in the 4th. His 2012 tape was dominant, especially against Missouri. 2013 he just played fat.

  10. James

    Rob, how do you see Shazier fitting in the Green Bay defense? Don’t they play a pure 3-4, with Matthews somewhat of a rover? I don’t see Shazier effective as either an inside or outside LB in a 3-4, far too lightweight. I see him as a Will OLB in a 4-3, and that’s why I don’t see him as a good fit for many teams (most 4-3 teams drafting after about #15 already have a good Will, or have much more pressing needs)….and that’s why I could see him falling to #32.

    • Rob Staton

      I think there’s next to no chance he falls to #32. The buzz is too strong. Mayock’s on the NFL Network today saying he’s a big time riser and a first round lock. McShay bumps him up from the middle of the second round to the middle of the first in the space of one mock draft. They’re hearing something.

      The Packers don’t run a conventional 3-4. They mix in different looks. They didn’t sign Julius Peppers to be dropping into coverage. They really lack elite speed and athleticism at the position and they need someone who can roam and take on these read option QB’s. They can protect Shazier in their scheme and let him attack the ball carrier.

      To be honest I’ll be a bit surprised if he makes it to #21. If he gets that far it’s a no brainer for me. A truly special player.

      • me

        What they hear is what the FOs want them to hear, and they’re usually wrong. Not to say Shazier won’t be picked, but I don’t think ‘so and so moved them up a full round if their latest mock!’ is proof of anything other than so and so being fickle and clueless.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s a misconception that every media guy out there gets fed useless information. They don’t. Mayock is a trusted source, close to several big hitters in the league and in college football. The reason he’s trusted? He doesn’t shout about what he’s hearing all the time. He keeps it to himself and uses the information to make his own rankings as accurate as possible.

          Ditto McShay — they get info. The most frustrating part about this time of year isn’t the smokescreens — they’re usually blindingly obvious. It’s the unnecessary mistrust of every drop of info. We just need to know where to look. When the Rams announce they’re having a big old jaunt to Texas A&M to work out Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans this week — that’s an obvious smokescreen. When Mike Mayock says Ryan Shazier is a first round lock and non-specific teams really like him, that’s not a smokescreen.

          He’ll be long gone by #32. Take it to the bank.

  11. Milwaukee hawk

    Does anyone else feel Rob breaks the tape on these guys prior to any of the draft analysts or insiders out there? Aaron Donald, Lattimer, Odell Beckham pre-combine, Easley, Joel Bitonio, the list goes on. Chances are we’ll see Coleman and Jarvis Landry go in the top of the 2nd just because Rob likes those guys.

    • williambryan

      Absolutely. It’s just cringe inducing whenever a national guy tweets about a guy for the first time that Rob has been talking about for months.

  12. Stuart

    I am afraid so………….

  13. Rob Staton

    Ian Rapoport now linking a Ravens-Niners trade, as projected in this mock:

    • Mattk

      Just to add some tweets to that video:

      Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet 8h
      Teams are convinced #Ravens will move back, like teams are convinced #49ers want to jump up for a speedy WR. I
      wonder if those teams’ll talk

      Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet 8h
      Ozzie Newsome tells reporters they’ve already gotten calls about No. 17. Big-time value spot. Teams looking for a WR may want to jump #Jets.

      • Adog

        This could mean that the Seahawks are in play for this pick. It just seems like they will be involved with anything that the niners are…just to raise the stakes.

        • SHawn

          Lets assume Shazier is a “cant leave the draft without” kind of guy.

          What would it take to jump up into the teens to get him?

          Would 32 and 64 get it done?

          • Mattk

            I believe it would. Last year SF made a similar trade from #31 to #18.

            49ers receive:» 2013 first-round pick (No. 18: FS Eric Reid)

            Cowboys receive:» 2013 first-round pick (No. 31: C Travis Frederick)
            » 2013 third-round pick (No. 74: WR Terrance Williams)

            Each draft is different, but I would think 32 and 64 could get anywhere from the 16th to 18th pick in the first round.

  14. James

    …some “news” from John Schneider’s Q&A at VMAC, per reports:

    – Bowie is first up to replace Brenno, enters OTAs as starting RT
    – Bailey will compete with Carp at LG
    – no decision on Carp’s option in 2015 (ed: extremely unlikely @ $7 mil)
    – Scruggs is fully healthy and has been since late last season
    – Rice should be 100% by the start of the season
    – Jesse Williams’ knee is “fine”
    – Terrelle Pryor is a QB for now, and is here “to learn the position”
    – Tharold Simon should be 100% by OTAs

    ….re the draft, this year they are placing even more emphasis on a player’s competitive drive (ed: this raises questions in my mind about guys like Hageman, Bryant and Benjamin)

    • Rob Staton

      “this year they are placing even more emphasis on a player’s competitive drive”

      That’s very interesting. Do you have a link to that quote?

      To me that works in Easley’s favour — battled back furiously from two setbacks, team captain and energetic leader. Tough as nails. Also works well for Joel Bitonio.

      • James

        Rob…here is the quote from the TNT Seahawks blog (Dybas, I believe);

        One thing to improve when drafting: Getting to know the player’s heart better, Schneider said. “There’s certain guys you spend a lot of time with, because you’re trying to figure out the man,” Schneider said. “What’s in his heart, what his personality’s like, would he fit in in the lockerroom? There’s certain guys that we haven’t done that good of a job with, in my opinion, in the past. That’s something we’ve really focused on this year, just getting to know the person. How would he compete in this lockerroom? This is such a young, competitive group … you saw Earl (Thomas) yesterday. He’s 24 years old. He’s a fairly intense guy. These guys have to have a certain quality about them that enables them to come in and compete with and against guys like that.”

        (….and I agree that Easley would grade very high in this regard.)

        • Rob Staton

          It’s a very interesting quote. As much as I like Cody Latimer — that’s a big reason to get him into the facility and learn more. That also stands to reason for all of the OLers they’ve brought in and the rest of the WR’s. They all have a little question mark there. That’s not to say guys like Latimer didn’t knock it out of the park. But what JS says there makes a lot of sense when it comes to some of the visits they’ve had.

          • Morgan

            This seems to reinforce what JS has said in a prior interview, about guys they’ve drafted but hadn’t panned out because they’d misjudged their football drive. This was two years ago, so maybe he was referring to EJ Wilson or Mark Legree (speculating).

            • Mattk

              I remember that interview. It’s something I’ve kept in mind during the draft process. Pete and John look for competitors first and foremost.

    • James

      ….and for what it’s worth, Rob Rang shares the opinion that I and others have expressed that Easley is a super talent if healthy, but questions the fit for the Seahawks since Bennett and Scruggs have Easley’s positions covered. (Of course, a team can never have too many pass rush DTs.) We can hope Rang is correct elsewhere, because he projects Latimer to Seattle in his latest mock (while admitting that Latimer is moving up so fast he now probably won’t be there). Rang is also a big fan of Bitonio as an OG, and Lawrence at Leo. (unwelcome news also that SF and Baltimore are negotiating a trade so the 49’ers can select Beckham)

      • Rob Staton

        Michael Bennett is 6-4 and 274lbs. He’s a defensive end who is effective rushing the interior in certain looks.

        Dominique Easley is 6-2 and 288lbs. He’s a classic three technique who played some snaps at end in Florida.

        I’d say they’re very different players and would have different roles in Seattle. Even if Scruggs is worthy of the recent chatter about his potential, a lack of space for a player like Easley doesn’t seem like a reason not to draft him. Either they trust his knees or they don’t, that’s what it surely comes down to.

        • James

          Recent history should indicate that the Seahawks would not be scared off by ACLs, we have had a number of players have full recovery within a year (or less) of the surgery. The Seahawks could well be the rumored team in R1 seriously considering Easley. His spirits must be lifting…he was written off until R3 just a couple of weeks ago.

        • hawkfaninMT

          I think if we are comparing a DE to Bennett, Kareem martin would be a much more applicable name to link here. Similar measurables, both play inside and out on the DL, although Kareem may be a bit more athletic, if that is possible!

          Just my opinion. I have been on the Kareem Martin Bandwagon for a while now, and it is kinda lonely! Would love to see him in the 4th(doubtful), but if they trade back into the 3rd, he is a nice pick in my opinion

      • Morgan

        If SF takes Beckham early, I hope we take Jalen Saunders late 🙂

  15. Austin

    Guys that are inconsistent or struggle to produce at the college level rarely tap into the potential they show. I would much rather have Easley. Like the comment above they look for highly competitive guys that fit the current personality of the team, something I think a lot of mock drafters overlook. Whoever they draft, he will be a gamer, not someone who lacked that type of mentality at the college level.

  16. James

    Say, Rob…. last year when you were writing up Sharif Floyd, the DT from Florida, do I recall you referencing Easley just jumping off the tape at you?

    • Rob Staton

      I thought he was better. I never truly bought into Floyd and got sucked in by the hype.

  17. CC

    I wrote this above but in case it was missed

    How did Bowie do at RT for Breno? My memory he got beat by the Rams, but at times he looked okay. Do you guys think Bowie can hold his own at RT?


    • David M

      Well they say a player makes his biggest leap from his 1st year to his 2nd year, so I hope we all getto see that,but I think he can make a great RT

      • David M

        Get to not getto lol

    • James

      I thought he showed a lot of promise. He was not really prepped to start, did not get a lot of serious reps in training camp with the starting line, and reps are the keys to success in the O Line. He was pressed into service on short notice, obviously. But he appears to be a natural, ideal size, good feet, aggressive temperament…a total steal in R7, more like a R2 talent. I could definitely see him performing well as a starter, perhaps in time surpassing Brenno in pass pro. But even if he earns the starting job, the Seahawks badly need depth at OT. I would be surprised if they don’t pick an OT in R1 or R2. Bailey seems to be targeted at OG and the other OTs currently on the roster are as raw as can be. Waiting until R4 or later to find your primary backup, or even potential starter, is not the strategy to go with.

      • CC

        Thanks guys! This is helpful info!

    • Ben2

      I thought his feet were a little heavy – but that might have been my impression because he was playing slow because of thought; like on stunts and stuff from the defense it seemed like at times he hesitated trying to process who to block. More familiarity with blocking scheme/coaching might remedy this. If not, he could kick inside.

  18. House

    The 1st rd is going to be interesting…

    I’m thinking LDT may be an option in rd 4 regardless of whether we draft a OL in rd 1.

    Here is my current SEA mock:

    1st Dominique Easley
    2nd Brandon Coleman
    4th Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
    5th Dontae Johnson
    5th Brandon Denmark
    6th Matt Patchan

    • CC

      DJ is a guy I like a lot.

  19. EranUngar

    JS interview is very interesting and informative.

    I read it as follows:

    1. Rice will be healthy and ready for camp and will start the season. The need at WR is not for an immediate starter.

    2. Bowie is marked and labeled as our starting RT. Need at OL – depth and future.

    3. Scruggs and Jesse are ready. Jesse is big news, we heard nothing about him. So, size and run stuffer are also not a huge immediate need.

    4. Character, mental fortitude and competitiveness will rule the day. It matches the articles i’ve been reading lately regarding the importance of mental/character comparability over athletic/football skills.

    The above paint a picture. Whatever glaring holes others see in this roster, they do not see those. They are ready as is. It makes drafting the best talent more about talent and less about a desired position. A true BPA draft. This roster can be pretty intimidating for a rookie to fight his way into. You don’t get the keys to Porsche upon signing. You don’t even get a safe seat at the back of the bus. It takes a player with the right mental fortitude to step in a fight for it against SB champions. No matter how talented he is, if he doesn’t have it in him he’ll wash out. Take any rookie WR and make him face Sherman and Max on practice and fight for his place against the likes of Rice, Harvin, Baldwin and Kearse or meet Chancellor on a crossing route and you get the picture.

    • Mattk

      Labeling Bowie as the starting RT doesn’t mean they necessarily have him rated highly, though. He’s simple the “next man up” since we have no other tackle to play the position.

      In that sense, the RT position may be viewed as more than a “need for depth and future”, but a prospect who can compete for a starting position, this year.

      Likewise with you’re #3 point. Saying Scruggs and Jesse are healthy doesn’t really tell us how they rate them. They were a 7th and 5th round pick who’s had limited playing time to be evaluated. I say this as a big fan of JW and Scruggs, but they both should be worried about JS looking to upgrade their position.

      • EranUngar

        No argument on both points. I still think that the statment regarding Bowie was a clear indication he is there guy rather then just who would be next.

        Still, it’s one thing to be drafting for your starter to fill a hole, it is another to draft for depth or competition in a weaker position.

        It does not mean they would not be looking to improve but if improvement can also be found at another position with higher current value or higher upside they will not feel bound to those positions first.

        • Ben2

          Yep, the hawks grade against their own roster so faith in Bowie might push drafting an OT into day 3. Regardless, we do need more depth at OT – I’d love to read some analysis on some if the later rd OT prospects that might be Seahawky….in the comment thread I’ve seen Patcham on a lot of commenters late rd mock wish lists….former big time recruit…athletic but injury prone. Any tape analysis out there guys?

        • Mattk

          (On right tackle spot currently) “Michael Bowie, he would be first up. (Alvin) Bailey can play there. There are a couple of guys we feel like can play there and compete at that spot.”

          That’s not really a clear indication of anything other than Bowie would be next in line if they put out a roster today, which we all knew already. And while Bailey can play there, we know JS views him more as a LG.

          Another thing I find interesting is how JS refuses to answer about the health of Okung.

          IMO, the team won’t just be looking for a right tackle to compete with Bowie. They’ll be looking for a starter who can also swing over to the left side if Okung is injuried (which Bowie is not athletic enough to play).

          A player like that would have to be high on the draft board.

  20. Gramsci

    Is Brandon Coleman any better than Chris Matthews? Nearly the same size and speed. Matthews had a better 3 cone and more production.

    • Rob Staton

      Chris Matthews will be lucky to make it through training camp. He’s just a future’s contract player.

      • David M

        what do you not like about him? ive never seen you say anything positive about him.

        • Colin

          If Chris Matthews didn’t work out with Belichick and Brady… I don’t have much faith. Coleman needs a bit of coaching, but the upside is clearly there.

      • me

        o would Coleman, in my opinion. To me they’re very similar players: guys who get a shot because they’re 6’5+ and reasonably ahletic even though their actual skill set as receivers is probably deficient. Hell, if you asked me to choose one guy as a practice squad body I’d take Matthews – at least he’s shown at some level he can actually make contested red line catches rather than figuring he must be able to learn since he’s 6’6 like Coleman, and we won’t even waste that fourth round pick when he fails to make the team.

  21. Mo Fafflebap

    Rob – I understand your arguments (and the lack of historical precedent) about trading back from the 32nd pick, but as these mocks are developing, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched. I think the flash point is Clowney to the Texans–if they take him #1, then the whole league knows what they’re planning with the 33rd pick. I agree that if a team (the Raiders?) wants a shot at the falling Bridgewater, they’re likely to hit up the Patriots at 29. Doesn’t that, though, create a cascading effect for QB-needy teams desperate to get ahead of Houston? Wouldn’t Minnesota, for example, give us back our 3rd-rounder for Mettenberger, a player they’re reportedly high on?

  22. phil

    Sounds like Easley might provide some of the lockerroom leadership that was lost when Big Red left. I wonder if JS was alluding to this in his comments.

    • Rob Staton

      Quite possibly. Easley had major respect at Florida, team captain. Energetic, positive individual. His determination to come back from two serious injuries is a major positive.

      • House

        Very similiar to Leon Washington’s influential time in SEA. He came back from that broken leg and teammates had MAD respect for him. He played/carried himself like a true professional.

        I see Sidney Rice having a parallel impact as well

    • Ben2

      I’m starting to like the Easley to Sea idea….who doesn’t live a fiery DT that disrupts the pocket? It’s a rare breed and fits with the JS comments shared by some of the commentators above!

  23. AlaskaHawk

    I have been looking at a couple other draft sites that I like. A few names that popped up for us:
    First Round:
    Joel Bitonio, OT/G/C, Nevada (Rob called him first)
    Joel Bitonio fits what Seattle looks for in a prospect, and he would fill a major void at right tackle. Bitonio can play any position up front, including center, so Seattle will love his versatility.

    Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
    Jernigan is exactly what Seattle needs on defense, a run-stopper. But that’s not all Jernigan is; he can collapse the pocket on passing downs and shows great ability to beat blockers with his strong hand play. Seems like a good consolation prize if Easley is gone.

    Second Round:
    Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville
    The Seahawks lost Chris Clemons to the Jaguars and may see Cliff Avril walk next spring. They need a new LEO. Marcus Smith perfectly fits what Seattle looks for in its draft prospects.

    Seantrel Henderson, ROT, Miami
    Henderson is 6’7” and 331 lb yet he still has quick feet and can move well in space. That just doesn’t come around often. (Character concerns)

    Some interesting picks. Looks like we will be picking for the offense and defensive lines either way.

    • James

      Bitonio’s versatility is one of his strengths. He could be a plug-and-play OG; could move over to C with a couple of year’s seasoning; and could backup Okung at LT. The one position I don’t see him playing is RT. He is barrel-chested with thin legs, weighs under 305…the prototype RT is about 6-6 and 330 with huge legs and massive lower half….I just don’t see it.

      Jernigan is also undersized, though about the same as Easley. I know that Rob is not high on him, but others have a clear R1 value on him.

      Smith could be an ideal R2 pick, an elite athlete, high motor at a need position of Leo.

      Henderson as a Seahawk is laughable, and shows that the person doing the mock is utterly clueless. The least competitive person in the draft, perhaps. Hell will freeze over before John and Pete draft this guy. Tiny Richardson is much more likely in R2….even Turner or LDT could go there.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think Jernigan is 10 pounds heavier then Easley. He was just under 300#. I don’t know much about him but Florida State played pretty well. Seems like there was some mid-west team that had a really good defense, was it Michigan? I don’t see many players being picked from that defense.

        Seems like everyone is down on Henderson. Might be the surprise pick at the end of the 4th round. Or maybe the Seahawks will trade back and pick up a third rounder.

        • Rob Staton

          There’s a legit reason why everyone is down on Henderson. He quit on his pro day, he had an abysmal college career with multiple suspensions and he sent two children to hospital after running a red light on an expired license. I’m shocked anyone covets this loser.

          • MarkinSeattle

            He also was fat and lazy. He didn’t work hard, and was prone to choosing not to show up. Henderson is a complete waste of talent, and it wasn’t because of poor coaching or injuries. He is the opposite of a competitor. I wouldn’t want the Seahawks wasting the time to bring him in as an UDFA.

            Pachan on the other hand is a former DE with NFL bloodlines and outstanding physical skills. He would be a great gem in the rough.

      • Colin

        I wouldn’t touch Jernigan in round 1. No way. He’ll make one really good play and then be gone for long stretches. I like Hageman more than him, and I don’t care for Hageman much.

        Jernigan gets blocked 1 on 1 too much, and double teams, forget about it. His ass goes where you take it.

        • Trudy Beekman

          Exactly this. When you watch Hageman you can see how powerful he is, he just has poor technique. Jernigan is a very average player and prospect. I feel the same about Tuitt.

  24. David M

    Mayock thinks theres a “chance” 6 WR go in the first round

    • Brandon

      I see more than that going in the first. This year is setup with many team needs skewed towards needing a WR, and we have a deep draft at that position. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I think we could see 8.

    • Rob Staton

      6 is the minimum for me. I’d put money on seven.

      • MarkinSeattle

        Mayock was also reported to have said that he sees 5 CB’s going in the first round (with the 6 WR’s). Although it was in a different article than this summary:

        Three other items that Mayock mentioned that jumped out to me were that teams may be looking to jump Houston in the second round to grab a QB. That the Niners are looking to trade up because they “need a starting corner”. Donald may slide if he makes it past the Cowboys, because teams are concerned about his height.

        Granted, none of these nuggets may be true, especially the ones that specifically list a team (although I think there is validity to the thought that CB is the Niner’s biggest weakness). However, his overall nuggets seem to suggest that the OT’s will go quickly, WR’s perhaps not as much, while there will be a surprising run on CB’s (Rob, I think you said you wouldn’t be shocked if no CB’s were taken in the first round). The hint that Donald could drop is also tantalizing.

        • Rob Staton

          I think three corners will go in R1 — but none in the top 20. Maybe the first goes at #20.

  25. James

    The 12’s on this blog know the Seahawks depth chart like the back of their hands, but it is an interesting exercise to write it out. Several things really jump out, and likely are impacting the Seahawks board.

    – there is a glaring lack of depth at OT. If Bowie starts, then Caylin Hauptmann (only 6-3, 300) is the lone backup and he seems strictly a developmental LT. If Bailey is competing with Carp at LG, as John said yesterday, and he also serves to backup Okung, he is out of the mix at RT. It seems that the Seahawks almost have to draft an OT in R1 or R2, and Bitonio, much as we love him at OG, is not a RT. The depth chart tells me that Bitonio and XSF (often mocked to the Seahawks), being OGs, do not meet the need for an immediate starter or primary backup at RT. If not James (or maybe Moses) R1, then Tiny Richardson, Mewhort, Turner or LDT in R2.

    – if Bruce Irvin stays at OLB, then there is a real lack of depth at Leo. Avril starts and Mayowa is a very promising but completely unproven backup. That’s it. Even if Irvin is moved back to Leo, there is still a need. Add that Avril is a FA after this season, and Leo seems to be a must.

    – Pete has been waiting for years, at both USC and then Seattle, for Kevin Benjamin to fall into his lap. He lusts after a 6-5, 240 SE the way my dog lusts after pork chops. It seems increasingly possible that Latimer has passed Benjamin and he could be there at #32….can Pete resist, despite the fact that Benjamin’s competitive spirit is highly questionable, and the fact that WR is not nearly as urgent a need as RT and Leo.

    – finally, there is always room for a DT who can pass rush (Easley?). Mebane is proven; McDaniel is just OK; Scruggs is promising but unproven; and Hill, Williams, Smith and Cherrington are complete question-marks. If any position knocks RT and Leo out of rounds one and two, it would be an elite DT.

    • MJ

      Good stuff, but my main counterpoint would be that any drafted prospect would be unproven at any of these positions. It’s just the nature of the beast in the salary cap era. You have to pick your weak points and do what you can to overcome them.

      I only say this because it’s literally impossible to have proven depth at every position. You make great points though about the areas of weakness and I agree they will be addressed. It will just be curious to see when and who they pull the trigger on.

      Last point, I still think WR is a major need, especially with Rice and Baldwin being a year away from walking away. I’d rather put a 2nd year WR into a key starting role rather than hoping a guy falls to you next year or spending big money in free agency. This team is really reliant upon an explosive/down field passing game, even if the volume isn’t high. Oddly enough, with that lower volume, I think it’s paramount that the quality of WR is that much greater. In an offense like NO, you can live off having a bunch of good #2 type WRs.

      • James

        …and this is an especially good year to land a WR, given the amazing talent available. Either you take one of these guys, or let others do so and pick someone who falls due to the run on receivers. If we knew Pete and John’s intentions re Baldwin’s contract, we could make a better guess (though a WR taken in the draft by Seattle is likely to be a SE). It is not impossible that they could sign him to an extension before the draft. I believe his tender deadline is tomorrow? That might loosen things up.

      • AlaskaHawk

        If they want a WR they have to pick in the first round. It just gets worse in the second when every team that didn’t pick a WR in the first will decide to grab one before they are gone. The top 12 will be off the board before we get a pick in the second.

  26. CC

    I would love an OT at 32 – but based on what these guys have done previously, they want an impact player with the first rounder and I don’t think OL has impact enough for them. I think Carp has soured them on OL in the first round unless it is a top 10 guy like Okung. I think Johnny saying they want someone with heart and someone who is competitive.

    So I look for a WR or a DE/DT – speed, size, grit – someone who loves football.

    Only a week away!!

  27. Joey

    I would be really happy with our first 2 rounds if we somehow get shazier in Rd 1. and donte moncrief in rd 2. I think shazier can be a upgrade to wright eventually. and moncrief, harvin, rice, kearse, finley, miller, willson and baldwin sound pretty good to me.

  28. James

    With R1 a week from tonight, now’s a good time to project:

    R1: Shazier, Lawrence or Easley. If Easley’s medicals check out, he might be top priority. I still think Shazier could drop because of a poor fit for teams between #20-31…. Will LB is not a need, but he would take the Seahawks D into the stratosphere. Lawrence is an ideal Leo for Pete’s D, and if he drops to #32, it could be him….his skill set doesn’t grow on trees, and he is a far better prospect than what will be there R2 or later.

    R2: Jack Mewhort, Tiny Richardson, Billy Turner or LDT at RT. I believe at least a couple of these guys will be there at #64, and all four of them are very solid RTs. James and Moses are not that much better, to spend the R1 pick on them…just wait for your pick of one of these guys in R2.

    ….I just think that WR and OG isn’t as high a priority as these positions.

  29. Ray bones

    This draft is particularly interesting because of two things for me; first, drafting out of the 32 hole from a deep roster perspective means flexibility to me. Based on the mock buzz out there, there is very little concencious as to what will be available then. I happen to agree with Rob that there will be a run on the wr’s and on the tackles but the wild cards will be the QB’s for me. If they start to go, will that cause a panic reaction among QB needy teams? Does that increase the possibility of the 32 pick being targeted in a trade senario? I realize its never happened but that certainly doesnt preclude the possibility. For every john scheider and ozzy newsome theres a jerry jones so there will be some surprizes and reaches in this first round. Theres the injury factor with players like easley to consider as well. Someone that this forum likes will fall to 32 and quite likely more then one of them. Could this be the draft where JS/PC finally trade up? The 2nd factor that appeals to me in this draft will be to see how many teams will be influenced by the draft model of seattle. How many teams will over draft tall cb’s and big safetys. Will there be an increased desire to aquire pass rushers, again at the risk of over drafting a players value? I cant wait for the real thing to start thats for sure!!

  30. Jason

    I know we have been concentrating on the 1st round for the mock draft, but Rob I would be interested in your take on what the Hawks will do later in the draft and who you would like for those pics. Example who do you think Cable would like in 5th, 6th or 7th.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a very difficult question to answer Jason. I could name some offensive tackles or linebackers but I’d only be going off physical measurements. Last year I’m not sure anyone predicted Luke Willson to be drafted, let alone to Seattle. Ditto Michael Bowie.

      It’s not ideal but I don’t want to waste people’s time or talk about things I’m unqualified to discuss. If I haven’t seen tape on a player I feel uncomfortable suggesting them for Seattle. And while I watch a lot of college football and videos online, a lot of the later round options it’s just not possible. I will possibly do a seven round Seahawks mock before next week though but it’ll not be a serious projection.

  31. Stuart

    Can Irvin add 20 lbs or so, and still be as fast, or close to it?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s already added considerable weight from year one to two. I think they’ll try and keep him at his 2013 weight.

  32. Stuart

    James, I totally agree about R-1. Its very possible that all three players you listed at #64 could be available in R-3.

    So, how great would that be to trade down from #64, get a 3rd AND 4th and still get the guy you wanted at #64!

    In the 4th, WR Kevin Norwood could still be available, grab him with our newly acquired 4th rounder.

    I am in full draft mode today!!! SEVEN DAYS TO GO.

    • Ben2

      Yeah, I could see us “reaching” for an OT that the pundits put a Rd3 or 4 grade on because of (1) need (2) lack if a 3rd rounder forcing the issue on a prospect the FO might be interested in…our FO doesn’t give a rip about some bl—–r r—-t draft grade. Plus, most of the national analysts seem afraid to give our FO crap draft grades now with all of the success they’ve had! I love it! I wish next thurs would just get here already….

  33. House

    John Schneider wouldn’t mind trading back…

  34. Allen M. (@am_misfit)

    CJ Mosley’s a top 20 lock.

    I wonder if this is the draft (and draft position) that we finally trade up for someone in round one? Many attractive WRs and that’s a position of need. Even a minor trade-up to secure the services of a guy like Latimer, if not a bigger move up for a guy like Beckham, Jr.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally I think Mosley could drop into the second. There are medical concerns there. He might sneak into the back end of round one.

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