Kiper & McShay’s latest mocks — who’s there for Seattle?

Has anyone explained why they need to be in a lab to talk about the draft?

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay published new mocks this week, and both had the same player at #32 to Seattle.

I can see why they think Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt is a good fit. Unlike other analysts, they’ve retained a degree of belief in him throughout this process. He didn’t have a great 2013 and we’ve all heard the excuses as to why — weight gain after an injury, not being 100% healthy. I think they’re legit excuses, but the fact he’s been unable to properly work-out for teams during the off-season will be a concern.

Essentially he’s still injured and still not 100%. He didn’t do anything at the combine except the bench press. It just feels like there’s so much we don’t know. How good is he? Do teams have all the answers they need?

If they were looking to replace Red Bryant with a similar player — Tuitt has the size to do the job. I suspect Kiper and McShay are making the pick with that thought in mind. However, Pete Carroll has already discussed his preference to adapt the defense and not necessarily rely on a two-down big body against the run.

It’s also worth noting that Bryant was more than just a big guy. He was the heartbeat of the defense until Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman wrestled that away. Keeping him in the line-up could’ve been as much about keeping Bryant the man out there as it was having a big five technique on the field.

The Seahawks have looked for unnatural size, length or speed on the defensive line. Tuitt has the size that’s for sure — and the length (nearly 35 inch arms). But I’m not convinced his 2012 pass rush production is going to translate to the next level and if it doesn’t — what are you truly getting? A more athletic version of Bryant who still only plays two downs?

I just have a feeling Seattle will end up looking for more than that. Having lost Chris Clemons and Clinton McDonald (and with Cliff Avril a free agent next year) a pass rusher seems more likely at #32 than a big body. I’ve no doubt they have faith in the players already on the roster (Jordan Hill, Kenneth Boatwright, Benson Mayowa, Greg Scruggs) but a collection of unproven, low cost individuals probably won’t prevent them from adding another interior or edge rusher.

I’m going to run through some of the players off the board in the Kiper and McShay mocks and look at the options at #32.

Both projections are hidden behind a pay wall. If you have an ESPN Insider account you can see Kiper’s mock in full here and McShay’s here.

Players off the board in both mocks:

Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)
Anthony Barr (DE, UCLA)
Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)

Kiper has eight receivers taken in round one, while McShay has seven gone before #32. That sounds about right to me — I think we’ll see seven. That includes Cody Latimer who doesn’t get past #26 in either mock.

Morgan Moses is a real head scratcher. He was superb against Jeremiah Attaochu and Georgia Tech, extremely competent against Virginia Tech and their collection of pass rushers. Yet against Vic Beasley and Clemson he looked tired, slow and cumbersome. McShay says “it’s a $10 dollar cab ride” to get around Moses — and he’s kind of right. He’s tough to pass — but it’s exhausting watching him play. Against a top speed rusher like Beasley, he didn’t look comfortable.

In fact he looked like he was running the Boston Marathon wearing a sumo suite. If you value length and massive size at tackle you’ll probably really like Moses. The Seahawks DO value length and size as we’ve seen with Russell Okung and James Carpenter. So he has to be considered an option at #32. But you’ll have to keep an eye on his conditioning and stamina. It could be a battle — he’s a big guy.

I think he’s unlikely to make it to Seattle — as McShay and Kiper suggest in their mocks.

And here’s why:

That’s a quote from Carolina’s GM Dave Gettleman, openly admitting he’d like a left tackle. The depth at receiver and corner is better than the depth at tackle this year if you want/need a potential blindside blocker. Moses can play on the left — so he’s unlikely to get past #28 if he even falls that far. Tony Pauline also reported earlier this month: “I’m told the Carolina Panthers could grab Moses late in round one.”

Both Kiper and McShay have Ryan Shazier going to Green Bay at #21 — an excellent fit because they need more speed and grit at linebacker. The Packers run a 3-4 but throw in a lot of different looks. They didn’t sign Julius Peppers to be dropping back in coverage as a pure outside linebacker. They’re still struggling against the read option a year after that playoff game in San Francisco. Shazier would help in a big way, although Dom Capers…

In McShay’s previous mock he had Shazier falling into the middle of round two. This to me is a sign of sourced information. Nobody else makes this kind of jump in either of the two mocks. Mike Mayock yesterday also referred to Shazier as a “first round lock”.

Another player McShay had available at #32 last time was Anthony Barr. Both analysts have him going to San Diego at #25 which looks like an excellent fit for team and player. Barr’s length, 10-yard split and potential would make him a very intriguing option for Seattle. He’s too much of a project for a team picking in the top-10 needing an impact player — but for a good team using a rotation on the defensive line, Barr makes a great deal of sense.

Ra’Shede Hageman goes to New England at #29 in both mocks. He’s another player who might interest Seattle. Although some reports have suggested he’s difficult to coach and on tape he’s boom or bust — when he dominates he really dominates. Unfortunately it happens too infrequently. As Bob McGinn’s anonymous scout source put it: “For the one or two plays a game he plays good, he’s a first-rounder… For the other 30 when he’s out of the game, or the other 20 when he doesn’t do anything, then he’s a free agent.”

I think Kelvin Benjamin’s going to go in the 12-22 range. Yes — there are some lousy drops on tape. But there’s also a lot of potential, a heck of a lot in fact. Kiper has him going at #22 to Philadelphia which makes a lot of sense. They could use a big receiver to work in the red zone and compliment what they already have on offense. Nick Foles had a good year last season, but he needs receivers who can compete in the air and win contested passes. Benjamin has the size and reach to flourish in that system.

McShay thinks he’ll fall to #30 and the Niners.

Players available in Kiper’s mock:

Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
Dominique Easley (DT, Florida)
Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)

Players available in McShay’s mock:

Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
Dominique Easley
Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)

I’m not sure anyone has a perfect smokescreen detector, but I think there are ways to help determine fact or fiction. When a team like St. Louis suddenly reveals it’s making a dramatic last minute trip to Texas A&M to work out Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans — it’s fair to question their motive.

When Mark Dominik comes out and names a list of first round locks — I think we can take that on face value. And when a newspaper like the Miami Herald backs that information up in relation to the Dolphins’ grades — again, I think it’s safe to take it on face value.

Ja’Wuan James is probably going to go in the first round — as Dominik and the Herald projected last week. The tackles go early and often every year — and it’ll be exactly the same in 2014. If Zack Martin is gone within the first 10-12 picks, there are enough needy teams for James to find a home in the late teens if not earlier.

If you think that’s too high, you’re probably right. But tackles get over-drafted every year because it’s such a vital position. If James really is a plug-in-and-play type of player (and I believe he is) then there’s every chance he’ll go earlier than most people think. Especially given he’s pretty much a prototype in terms of physical appearance.

In these two mocks he’s available to Seattle at #32 and would probably be the pick all things considered. He has the length (35 inch arms) and size (6-6, 311lbs) they like. He needs to get stronger as the 22 reps on the bench at the combine suggests. He isn’t driving people off the ball in the run game on tape. Joel Bitonio was a much better run blocker at Nevada but if I’m prepared to say it’s inevitable he’ll improve his core strength at the next level (he managed 24 reps in Indianapolis) — I need to offer the same pass to James. What he lacks in power he makes up with technique.

You’d be getting a really solid player with a ton of experience (nearly 50 games) at right tackle in the SEC. I suspect he was the main focus when Tom Cable attended the Tennessee pro day. At one point in 2010 they thought they could get Trent Williams at #14 before he shot up draft boards. He ended up being a top-5 lock. Perhaps Cable made that visit thinking James would likely be there at #32 — and he’s since enjoyed a similar late rise?

Kiper has Bitonio available for Seattle, but McShay has him going to Carolina at #28. He also has Morgan Moses going at #19. If Moses lasts to the Panthers, there’s every chance Bitonio makes it to the Seahawks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he too goes earlier than people think — much in the way Kyle Long became a popular pick a year ago.

People complain about Bitonio’s arm length but often fail to realise he has longer arms than Jake Matthews and identical arm length to Taylor Lewan. If Seattle is unwilling to draft Bitonio in the late first on that issue, would they also pass on Matthews and Lewan given the opportunity? I’d say that’s unlikely. And I’m not convinced there’s a huge drop off in talent between the three.

I suspect ideally they’d like length at tackle, but they’ve never picked this late in round one before. If a player scores highly in other categories — technique, tenacity, desire to finish blocks, nasty attitude on the field — they might be willing to re-consider the penchant for length. When you watch Bitonio frustrate the living daylights out of Anthony Barr and really get under his skin — I think that’s what they want. He’s proven he can perform against the best college football has to offer — not just Barr, but also the Florida State defensive line teeing off with a big lead. He never backed down.

Versatility is key too. Bitonio can play right tackle, guard and yes — he can fill at left tackle just like Paul McQuistan. Except he’ll do a lot better than McQuistan.

If James and Moses are off the board — Bitonio might be the best or even only option to address right tackle. They may decide to pass and go down the later round route. They’ve visited with multiple tackles and continue to dig around for gems. There’s some depth out there and rounds 4-6 could be the area where they take two or maybe even three offensive linemen if they don’t address the need early.

Donte Moncrief is available in both mocks. Trying to work out how much interest Seattle would have in Moncrief is a toughie. On the one hand he’s an incredible athlete with terrific size, speed and leaping ability (6-2/220lbs, 4.40 forty, 39.5 inch veritcal, 11 foot broad jump). He’s a very balanced individual with a high ceiling.

Here’s the catch though — the one thing he can really work on is one of the things Seattle treasures. The ability to win contested passes and dominate the red line.

Moncrief isn’t hopeless in this category, but he could be a lot better. He doesn’t have Cody Latimer’s strong hands or ability to snatch the ball away from an opponent. He’s not overly physical when jumping for the ball. Run blocking is also a point of contention. When he’s in the mood, he can be a ferocious blocker. Yet too often he doesn’t make the extra effort to get involved. Once again this is another area Latimer is superior.

The Seahawks take pride in developing players so they could look at Moncrief’s upside and salivate over the challenge. Or they could assume he’s not what they’re looking for and grade him accordingly. Bob McGinn posted a new article last night sourcing league info on the receivers and tight ends. This is one GM or scouts take on Moncrief: “Really soft… He doesn’t want anything to do with it.”

John Schneider made a very interesting remark in a pre-draft press conference yesterday:

“There are certain guys you spend a lot of time with because you’re trying to figure out the man. What’s in his heart, what’s his personality like, would he fit in the locker room? And there are certain guys we haven’t done a very good job with in my opinion, and that’s something we’ve really focused on this year. Just getting to know the person. How would he compete in this locker room? That’s something we’ve really focused on because this is such a young, competitive group. You guys saw Earl yesterday. He’s 24 years old. I mean, he’s a fairly intense guy. These guys have to have a certain quality about them that’s going to enable them to come in and compete with guys — with and/or against guys like that.”

If the Seahawks also see Moncrief as “really soft” — he isn’t going to be the pick at #32. The gritty attitude Schneider refers to would fit a player like Bitonio — and the next man on the list.

Dominique Easley.

We talked about this more here — but Easley is pretty much the epitome of what this team will be looking for if you take’s Schneider’s quote on face value. He was a team captain at Florida. He’s shown tremendous character and determination to fight back successfully from two serious knee injuries — a mental challenge as much as a physical battle. He’s dancing on the field between snaps (sound familiar?), he plays with all-out effort. He looks like a Seahawks defensive linemen.

On tape he’s an explosive, sensational player — a true top-20 talent. The only issue is the big one — injuries. But all the noise is positive right now and talk around the league is he could find a home in the back end of round one. Do not rule this out.

Other possible options available in both mocks: Demarcus Lawrence, Marcus Smith, Martavis Bryant


  1. Forrest

    I think our round 1 pick is going to be one of the following: Demarcus Lawrence, Martavis Bryant, Cody Latimer, Dominique Easley, or Joel Bitonio…
    One of these guys unless they are all gone by #32, or if JS/PC really want to surprise us all with some out of left field pick (which is completely possible). I really think that we’ll be targeting a Receiver and D-Line guy in the first two rounds though…

    • James

      Lawrence does not have springs in his legs like Bruce Irvin….his 40, vert and broad are a tick behind Bruce’s. Although he does not have the same straight line speed, his film shows a Leo who is actually more sudden, more fluid and more loose in his moves to change direction. Two words come to mind watching Lawrence: Avril and Clemons….he looks like a clone of those two guys. I’m sure Chris Peterson will give Pete and John the full scoop on Demarcus.

      • Forrest

        Agreed, Lawrence is a beast…but I honestly think it’s going to be a Receiver in round 1, and then D/O-Line in round 2, so unless he’s available at the end of round 2 (doubt it) I don’t think we’ll get him, but you never know.

  2. CC

    I would love a OT but I just don’t think Petey and Johnny are going to pick a OT at 32 – not enough of an impact guy for these guys. I’m going Easley, M Smith or a tall WR. Go ahead guys – surprise us!

  3. James

    I have said elsewhere that I believe the Seahawks board will prioritize RT, Leo and DT. As good a player as Bitonio is, he is strictly an OG who could perhaps play LT due to his athleticism. He cannot play RT, in my view, which is the one OL position that the Seahawks would be willing to invest their R1 pick on. I think that Moses and James are not that far ahead of the next group of RTs: Tiny Richardson, Jack Mewhort, LDT (the Canadian) and Billy Turner. So, Pete and John can wait until R2 for their RT.

    That leaves Easley and Lawrence for #32, a pass rush DT and a Leo, both positions of need. Easley is the superior player, at the more difficult-to-find position, so if his medicals check out, he is the pick. If his knees indicate concern, it will be Lawrence. The only WRs the Seahawks would consider at #32, with any chance of being available, are Latimer and Benjamin, and both are gone in this scenario.

    • Arias

      Yeah but Pete’s on record today saying how he feels good about Bowie taking over the RT position. In that case, Bitonio all the way because they’ve still got major question marks at both spots. It’s a priority to find someone that can rotate with Carp to fill Mcquistan’s role from last year, but hopefully play a lot better than McQuistan.

      That means Bitonio all the way. I’ve also seen nothing to indicate he couldn’t play tackle if he needed to, even if his ideal position might end up as a guard it seems hardly a forlorn conclusion to believe that now when there’s no proof. He could just as easily turn into a fine tackle just like he was a fine left tackle in college. He’s got the potential and talent.

  4. Micah

    Rob, what do you think about black mamba in round 4-5 to be our change of pace back/punt returner. Carroll always had the speedy back to go with the bruiser at USC.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure they’ll add a change of pace back — Seattle’s style is quite physical in terms of the run. As a punt returner maybe. But it’s quite a high pick to spend on a player who really would only play special teams.

      • hawkfaninMT

        Devin Hester went in round 2 didn’t he? I realize he was going to play more WR than you are projecting here. But DAT could be in on bubble screens, fly sweeps and the occasional read option.

        DAT in the 5th is one of my really big “wants” in this draft

    • Forrest

      If he’s available in round 6 (or if we pick up a few mid/late round picks)…then maybe. He’s a great player, but he is very situational…

  5. James

    fyi….Kiper and McShay just did a live R1 mock on ESPN tv, and changed things up a bit. They did place Tuitt with the Seahawks, but Benjamin, Easley, Lawrence and Bitonio were still available. Shazier went #31 to the Broncos.

    • Rob Staton

      Considering how crazy that was, they could’ve gone in a different direction at #32. I just can’t see Tuitt with that pick.

    • James

      note: all four ESPN analysts were raving about Tuitt, said the word among scouts is that he has gotten himself into incredible shape since the combine, and that his pro day workout was one of the best ever seen from a 3 tech DT…..interesting.

      • Rob Staton

        They referred to him as a three technique??

        Oh dear.

        And he didn’t work out at the Notre Dame pro day. He did a small work out right after the combine before surgery at a high school. He won’t work out again before the draft. That’s the only work he’s done pre-draft and there’s almost no info on how he performed — and no reports at the time that it was a fantastic performance.

        • James

          I got the impression that the stories of Tuitt’s impressive performances of late were sourced (from scouts), and not just opinion, so it must be that he is doing private workouts and blowing minds. Still, I am with you, Rob. Although you can hardly go wrong in selecting an elite DL, Tuitt does not have the interior pass rush to move him ahead of Easley and/or Lawrence, he sure seems like a two-down DT to me. And a two-down DT can be found elsewhere other than R1.

          • Rob Staton

            Just to be clear on this — Tuitt isn’t doing any private work outs because he’s still injured. He was stopped from working out at the combine because they found an issue with his foot. A few days later he did a limited work out in Georgia at a high school and then underwent surgery. He’s still rehabbing from surgery and won’t do any work outs before the draft.

            • hawkfaninMT

              I am really shocked he is even getting 1st round consideration, let alone being raved about…

              I would not be shocked to see him still available at the end of round 2, and Kiper/McShay having that ribbon at the bottom of the screnn saying “Best Available Player” with Tuitts name at the top for a fairly long time

  6. dave crockett

    Hey Rob,

    please don’t read this as a criticism. It isn’t. Question: Are you going to break down mid- and late-round sleepers that Seattle will target?

    Readers always want more, right? But the real reason I ask is that I’ve found that kind of analysis weirdly missing in almost all of the draft coverage this year. Weird–because with all the extra time between the combine and draft I was anticipating that we’d be seeing LOTS of this. Instead, it seems we’ve seen less of it than past off-seasons.

    • Rob Staton

      Simply put, with a full time job and a young family to support I don’t have the time on my own to do it justice. I mean, how much work would be needed to identify a guy like Luke Willson or Jared Smith? Like a few other people I could just point out tall and fast players or guys who visited the VMAC, but it’s not really analysis.

      • EranUngar

        To be perfectly honest – With the quality of work you do i’ll be surprised if watching tapes will not become your full time job in the near future. That would be quite an achievement for someone from the land of the “other football”.

    • James

      I’m sure it takes every spare moment for a normal human being with a normal life just to analyze the top 75 or so prospects. Expand that to 250 prospects and one person alone could not do it full time.

  7. Colin

    Starting to wonder if Rashade Hageman falls out of round 1. As stated above, he is really boom or bust. Pretty meh for me.

    Timmy Jernigan is just…. No. Incredibly average tape.

    Bitonio just might last to 32, simply because teams are so tackle oriented and IMO he looks more the part of a guard. Maybe I’m just being hopeful.

    • Rob Staton

      I think you might be right about Hageman.

      • Colin

        Pretty surprised with Kiper’s mock. Bitonio isn’t in round 1, Jordan Matthews goes to SF (which I would like). Marqise Lee falls to 23 and ODB is at 10? Strange.

        If this scenario happens…. Easley and Joel Bitonio are there. Along with Jarvis Landry.

        Not exactly a bad scenario.

  8. Michael Hoard

    Thanks for another great year of coverage! Sorry if this has been asked but what are the chances the Seahawks trade out of this round to obtain more draft picks ( including restoring a third round pick)? There are several players that have potential but would the temptation of new picks offset the player they could have at the end of the first round? Might be an interesting topic for a blog post.

    • Rob Staton

      It’ll be very difficult to deal #32 given it’s the final pick in day one. I suspect teams moving up won’t wait until the last pick to make a move. None of the previous SB champions have traded out of #32 since day one became round one.

      However, I think it’s incredibly likely they trade down from #64.

      • EranUngar

        I’m not 100% sure on that one. There is a unique situation this year. Obviously Houston should be interested in a QB. If they don’t pick one with their first pick, they are very likely to do so with the 33rd pick. Other QB hungry teams that did not get one with their 1st. pick may be interested in jumping just ahead of Houston and that’s us.

        It may open up that possibility.

        • Rob Staton

          I think the theory of moving up is possible — it’s just if I’m a team considering this I start making calls in the mid-20’s instead of leaving it to the last minute. New England at #29, for example, might be willing to take the same deal as Seattle. So why not have the #29 pick instead of #32?

          Of course it’s no exact science either. Thankfully we only have to wait 6 days before we find out.

          • EranUngar

            True. However, if i am that team and the Browns already got their QB early, the teams in the 20’s will not take my QB. The first call should be to the cheapest possible trade partner – the Seahawks at 32.

            It’s not like we have a reputation for refusing trade back. Why pay for the extra 3 spots?

            • Arias

              You wouldn’t have to if New England isn’t charging for them, which I believe was Rob’s point. If they’d already determined that trading back would be much to their advantage, why would they try and get too cute by demanding payment for 3 lousy end-of-the-round spots that aren’t going to matter anyway? Denver and SF aren’t going to be drafting a first round QB, so you’d be coming across as a tremendous asshole trying to extract anything for those extra slots. Such an unreasonable demand would surely be a deal breaker while turning off teams considering approaching you first on future deals.

          • bigDhawk

            The guaranteed extra year of team control associated with first round picks under the current CBA is the only ting that makes me think there might be some chance a team is willing to jump up a couple spots to 32 from the high second round if a QB they want is still there, obviously giving them more developmental time which is crucial for most QBs. That reason alone might make it worthwhile for a team specifically looking for a QB. Any other position I agree there is little to no chance of trading out of 32.

            • hawkfaninMT

              What about Houston trading up? Would that 5th year option be worth a 5th rounder to them? A 6th rounder?

            • Arias

              But why 32 when they could jump to 29 for the same price?

          • hawkfaninMT

            Just a thought to play devils advocate…

            The Seahawks and Pats have similar needs. Starting WR, DT, LB depth… They may not want to trade down in free of the Hawks grabbing Hagemann, or Easely or whomever they are targeting.

            I actually agree with you, but this is the only argument I can find against the Pats not taking the same deal the Hawks are being offered to trade back

  9. Bjammin

    How is the second rd shaping up for us under these scenarios? BC? I hope. Do you think he’ll make it that long? He can’t right?

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t rule it out.

      • Bjammin

        Cheers. This was a good read too. Just when I think things are sort of played/talked out until the draft something new pops up or someone suddenly starts rising/falling. And of course you suck me in (props). Makes me wonder how long teams have their board set (let’s say) a week or more before the draft and how much it changes with new insights into other teams or tidbits that come in. As a fan it seems so unstable and fluid yet that’s from my ignorance and the media reacting to every little thing.

        Clearly how the draft plays out affects who’s still on their boards, yet often it seems teams, at least the Seahawks, have a pretty good idea of who’s going where to who. Fascinating and kind of frustrating to have to be patient until after the draft to see what was real and what was bs. I most love reading your summaries and analysis of the post draft. Can’t wait for that. The build up is fun too, except when it drives me nuts!

  10. Steve Nelsen

    If the Hawks are comfortable with Bowie at right tackle and Bailey and Carpenter competing for left guard, then there is no urgency to use 32 for an offensive lineman. I can see them drafting at least two later and going after some more as UDFAs.

    That leaves receivers and defensive players for the early rounds.

    I expect them go receiver at either 32 and get one of the high SPARQ guys like Bryant or Moncrief. If they jumped up to get Lattimer that would be great.

    The good news on Easley’s recovery has me comfortable with him – even at 32. I like the potential of a lot of the young guys who will be competing for spots in the defensive line rotation but you need to keep adding new guys into the mix and Easley is a beast. Hageman’s inconsistent effort is a concern but his athletic ability is better than what we can expect to slip to us at 32 and I think our coaches and locker room will be a positive influence. Brandon Denmark from Florida A&M is a high-SPARQ LEO. I like Adham Talaat as an UDFA. And Kareem Martin form North Carolina is a high-SPARQ end.

    We need some more linebackers in the pipeline. I don’t expect one at 32 unless Shazier slips and I don’t see any I love at 64 but I can see them using at least one mid-round pick on a linebacker. Brandon Watts from Georgia Tech is a high-SPARQ guy who could fit.

    I can see them using an early round pick on a defensive back. Deonne Buchanon at 64 would give us an intimidating nickle safety. Stanley Jean-Baptiste is my favorite corner prospect and his SPARQ screams “Seahawk” so if he was there at 64, I would love that pick. But, there are several other really athletic guys projected to go in the 2-3 range. Torin Harris from USC looks like a classic Seahawk UDFA.

    Could they go D-Line at 32 and DB at 64? Sure. The strength of the team is the deep defense and you have to keep adding new guys if you want to keep it young, athletic, hungry, deep and cheap.

    • James

      The problem at OT is that, if Bailey is at OG, the Seahawks only have two: Okung and Bowie. Caylin Hauptmann must have promise, or they would not have kept him on the 53-man once all the other OLs returned, but he is 6-3, 300! He is most definitely not a RT, of which they only have one, Bowie. Even if they love Bowie, they must obtain another RT who could start this season, either by beating out Bowie, or replacing him if he goes down. I just don’t think you get someone who can project as an immediate starter unless you get him in R1 or R2, so RT will almost certainly be one of the first two picks. The other top pick could be a WR, but I think it is more likely to be a pass-rush DT or Leo.

  11. EranUngar

    Something strange has happened to me on the road to this draft.

    It started for me like it did for most with who’s going to replace Breno at RT, Tate at WR, Red and Clem on the DL. The obvious needs.

    It’s a week before the draft.

    Signing Rice and his recovery status made WR a backup/2015 need.

    The way they talk about Bowie makes OL pick a backup/2015 need.

    A healthy Jesse is the guy on the roster we may need for unmovable size on obvious running plays. This picture today of Scruggs at 310 pound…need i say more about urgent needs on the Dline?

    All the OMG i really hope this guy or that guy is there are gone. I never felt this way.
    “the boondocks saints” –

    This draft, I’ll have a cock.

    Or BPA, or whatever they pick. They really did a fine job so far….it’s so nice to be a seahawks fan after over 3 decades of pain.

    • Michael M.

      umm… did you mean “Coke”?

      • EranUngar

        oooopsy….this is one spelling mistake that certainly took a life of it’s own.


        • CC


  12. Mo Fafflebap

    Rob, in looking around at the how the various mock drafts have rounded into form lately, I don’t think there’s any question your work is having a major influence. Thursday on Rotoworld, Evan Silva and Josh Norris listed their top 3 Seahawk needs as OL, DL, and WR, with “first day options” Joel Bitonio, Dominique Easley, and Cody Latimer. These names have been showing up for the first time on CBS mocks this past week as well.

    I’ve never seen anyone reference or credit you, but the rise of Joel Bitonio in particular seems like a nod to your personal crusade to highlight his true value. Does this bother or flatter you? Is the nature of draft punditry such that the big boys can just co-opt analysis from niche outlets like this one and attribute it to “sources?” Or are you too influenced by trends and other mocks to where the whole business becomes a bit incestuous?

    I guess this is just a long-winded way of saying I’m a fan of your work and I’m wondering whether or not to be outraged by people appropriating it without giving you credit…

    • Rob Staton

      Really appreciate the kind words — it means a lot.

      And to answer the question in the second paragraph… as long as I get to write my blog every day and speak with other Seahawks fans about the draft, I’m happy.

    • Ben2

      I agree mo. Don’t want to come off as a sycophant but props, Rob. I look at a lot of sports sites (SDB being my favorite for the content/comments) and over the last couple years you’ll mention prospects that will then start trending with the national pundits. Thanks for all the great work/insights – the only drawback is that your analysis is often persuasive and I find myself falling for a certain prospect; then, they explode nationally and start moving up boards out of Seahawk reach….it does make watching the draft that much more enjoyable when I feel more knowledgeable about the prospects and you have a large part to do with that. Thanks for putting up such a great site!

      • Rob Staton

        Thanks Ben

        • Mylegacy

          I agree with Schneider – we need to “…figure out the man…his heart…personality…would he fit…would he compete…(does he have that) certain quality.”

          When I look for that I see one choice – a 100% perfect fit. A guy with a football brain like Schneider, Carroll and Wilson. A guy (given the opportunity) who would bring a 24/7 “compete”/”heart.” We can get this man – a guy flying beneath the radar (outside of the Seattle area) at 32. What this guy lacks in first step quickness and upper body strength he’ll make up for with decades of insightful, brilliant, contributions in keeping the Hawks at the top. In short – he’s a winner that will help us compete and keep on winning.

          To give ourselves a twenty year asset for a 2014 pick – I pick Rob Staton.

          • Rob Staton


  13. James

    Interesting article over on, where Mike Mayock did a conference call and spoke specifically about SEs for the Seahawks. Mayock is someone who views his own tape, and doesn’t rely on others, so his views are always interesting. Specifically, he had this to say:

    – Moncrief: exceptional straight line speed, but very poor hands and undeveloped moves, relies entirely on athleticism and not revceiver skills, lower R2
    – Bryant: very high on this guys potential, genuinely gifted, although a one year wonder, and again, undeveloped receiver skills, but a natural catcher with ideal size, he said, “what would happen if Pete got his hands on this guy”
    – Latimer: outstanding measurables and good production, but somewhat stiff and shows issues against good press man coverage, doesn’t agree with R1 grades, a little lower into R2


    • xo 1

      Really love Bryant’s potential. If the board falls wrong for the Hawks and there isn’t an immediate impact guy there, I’d be happy to see Seattle nab Bryant and turn him loose. He has a different skill set than our other wideouts – maybe closest to Rice, although he is faster and, let’s hope for his sake, less injury prone.

      • James

        If you watch Bryant in comparison to even the other top WRs, he seems to pop in terms of explosiveness, in and out of his cuts he is a blur, and 6-4 to boot. However, didn’t I read somewhere recently that his coaches at Clemson were so in despair of his ability/willingness to carry out his assignments in their offense that he was being replaced more and more toward the end of the season? If so, can you say the words, Red Flag?

        • John

          Bryant was on his last rope with the team and wasn’t allowed to participate in the Chick-fil-A Bowl 2 years ago. When this last season started Bryant had a sit down with the HC where he was told (and I’m paraphrasing) “No one is going to help you. If you want to play, you have to work.” And Bryant turned it around. There’s an article on the web that goes into his turnaround in detail but my quick google search didn’t find it. From what I’ve seen and read I feel like Bryant has been humbled and that he is willing to work now. And on the field he has star potential. I think from a talent perspective better than any other 2nd tier WR.

          • hawkfaninMT

            I read that also… Having a kid and the commitment to improving for the baby has made a change for him

            • James

              Thanks for the info….the issues must go back to the 2012 season, and sounds like he did a lot of growing up in 2013. He likely won’t be there at #64, so it is at #32 or look elsewhere. Then probably RT in R2. The pass rush would have to be content with Bennett, Avril, Scruggs, Irvin and Mayowa for this season, and address it next season…..decisions, decisions.

        • Robert

          He has that long strider factor to run right past defenders who flail to keep up. What is extraordinary is he also has the quick acceleration burst of a smaller speedster. His upside could be through the roof if Pete thinks they could develop his ability to be a physical high pointer on the contested balls. And his tape shows some flashes in that area. I think MB could be a holy terror on our team when combined with Percy Harvin who commands so much attention underneath from Safeties and LB’s who know they MUST stay ready to abandon their assignments and rush in to help their just toasted CB. MB would see a lot of 1 on 1’s and also, at times pull the FS over the top which creates an open middle of the field for PH. Great dynamic duo potential Could be very high on PCJS’s board in my opinion…very special abilities and potential in a tall package with stupid speed AND quickness with flashes of dominating competitive drive.

          • me

            Agree. If the boom/bust high upside raw picks MB is easily my favorite. I’m not much of a scout, but it just seems really rare for a guy with his size to be as quick and sudden in his breaks as he is. Maybe his highlights aren’t representative, I don’t know, but he seems like a much better option to me than guys like Coleman or Moncrief.

    • CC

      I’d be happy with any of those 3 – they all have something that would give us options at the WR position – all tall, can jump and have some speed.

  14. Madmark

    Well we are getting closer to the draft and to be quite honest, it seems this is one of the tougher years to get a read on this draft. Having so many talented juniors entering this draft has changed it quite a bit. So many players have the talent but lack the refined skills that another year in college would not hurt them. You made a statement in one of your earlier articles this year, Rob about hitting the first 2 round picks and I would have to agree. The problem for me, I just don’t know if Jesse Williams going to be healthy enough to take Reds position or be able to backup Mebane. I don’t know the status of a Tuitt or Easley injuries and as such I’ve shied away from drafting them. This being on my mind I looked hard at the later part in the draft for that running down tech 5 position and I keep coming back to Ed Stinson from Alabama and I’d like your opinion on what you think of him as tech 5 who in a pinch could slide to tech 1 position as a 4th round pick? Round 1 and 2 I still think will be a WR and OL the order will depend on what position there’s a run on to begin with.

  15. Cysco

    It sure is looking likely that there will be a quality starter available at 32. The real question is what will the Hawks do? If history tells us anything, they’ll probably swing for the fences. They’ll go for the extreme physical freak that presents massive upside. They run their draft like they run their team. They look for Explosive Plays.

    For my money, Easley is the most “Explosive Play” pick in the draft. Extreme value, intense personality, determination and leadership, great athleticism. It’s one of those picks that in a year or two will be looked back at as a genius move. Sure there’s down side with the injury risk, but I think our front office is willing to take some risks if the upside is there.

    If anything, I could see them moving down 7 or so spots and getting even more value out of the pick. (even though I know it’s unlikely)

    Other targets are probably Latimer, Shazier and Bitonio though the first two are probably gone by 32 and given the choice between Easley and Bitonio, Easley wins out.

    • Arias

      But if history on their first round picks is any indication they will place extra emphasis on selecting a player that can compete to fill the more immediate need. Between Easley and Bitonio, that’s Bitonio. Also Bitonio is more of a sure thing than Easley because of the knee question.

  16. Steve Nelsen

    I discovered this site a couple months ago and I want to thank Rob and the community for the thoughtful insights. I have loved the draft since I was a kid but I find myself looking forward to this draft more than any in a very long time.

  17. Colin

    The more I think about it, I believe having the draft 2 weeks later really did NOT help us at all. Guys like Bitonio and Easley have shot up the boards, and the same with Cody Latimer and Ryan Shazier .

    Meanwhile, guys like Timmy Jernigan, Rashade Hageman, Tony Richardson, Teddy Bridgewater- all “sure fire” 1st round picks a little while ago- are slipping rapidly.

    The clock is working against us.

    • CC

      I agree with you – the delay gave every team more time to work on draftees. The one advantage for Seattle though was that we were able to get Sidney back – lessens the need for a WR if the guy they want isn’t there. Also, at DT we now know that Scruggs, Hill and Williams are back healthy – McCoy resigned and Zach restructured. All of these moves gives the team more flexibility in the draft.

    • MattK

      The only thing really changing is the media draft boards. The team boards have generally stayed the same since after the combine.

      • Colin

        Based on what?

        • Mattk

          Years of former GMs and Scouts saying so.

          Your say player x is shooting up the draft board. What draft board are you talking about? It’s not John Schneider’s. It’s the Kiper’s and McShay’s which doesn’t reflect REAL changes in a players draft stock. It’s them catching up to the professionals.

  18. CC

    Arm chair GM – over at FieldGulls – you can list the 20 players you think Seattle wiill draft. A fun exercise, though last year, I don’t think I had 1 right… Hoping for 1 or 2 this year!

    Thanks again Rob for the great work – Is it Thursday yet???!!!

    • me

      I like this – pick 20 players that are ‘Seahawky’ regardless of round. I definitely be interested in this.

    • Kyle

      I was thinking about asking Rob something similar, that is putting together something like a big board of containing only players who are likely to be available for picks #32 ans #64.

  19. smitty1547

    Ive been a follower since the Curry/Sanchez debates and I too really think someone should be offering Rob a scout job (of course Seahawks would be ideal) Id love to see his insight after having the time to do this full time and see everyone in person. One of my few must ready daily sights once the season ends.

  20. Clayton

    Rob, I saw an article on NFL Network that basically said if you are a Seahawks fan, you would want Houston to pick Jadveon Clowney. Other QB needy teams (who probably would have high second round picks) will know that Houston’s next pick at #33 will be a QB. This will give Seattle a great opportunity to move down as the QB needy teams will look to beat Houston to the punch. I was wondering what you think about this, and whether you think this scenario would be ideal?

    • Rob Staton

      It’d depend who was on the board. And the issue I have with this suggestion is it’s assumed just because Seattle picks right before Houston that it’d be the spot teams try to grab. In reality they could just as easily trade with a team in the 27-31 range. Both New England and Denver are just as likely to be willing to move back.

  21. David M

    Rapaport tweeted “I know everyone is expecting a ton of WRs in the 1st round. Im not so sure. Have heard many teams say, we’ll just wait until the 2nd or 3rd.”

    this could be good news for a WR at 32. if this is true, say only 4-5 WR go in the first, who do you think will be available at 32 for seattle?

    • Rob Staton

      Could be. But 24 teams could say, “We’ll wait” and the other seven could all draft a WR in round one.

  22. dtrain

    Interesting quotes coming out of Jags HQ…they would be willing to trade out of the top spot…in fact, willing to trade out of the top 10 if the deal at the least included a 2015 1st rounder…makes one wonder if the Hawks could put a package together to get to #3. That would of course be a prime spot for Watkins, Evans, Robinson, or Clowney. Perhaps this year’s 1st & 2nd, next year’s 1st & 4th (Seattle should be flush with comp picks), and Doug Baldwin for #3 and a 7th (to balance out the number of picks). With Blackmon becoming a big question mark for Jax, they could use a solid target that Gus knows to be a winner for their locker room (Baldwin), and that would be a solid haul for essentially one starter. Jax could sign Baldwin for the long haul and add a captain-type to their offense. Seahawks upgrade on Baldwin at a salary discount over the next 5 years.
    The Falcons moved up from 27 to 6 in 2011 to grab Julio Jones…the price was a 1st, 2nd, and 4th in that draft and a 1st and 4th in the next. Seems like a similar haul to this proposal, depending on how you value Baldwin and taking into account all of the picks Seattle would be sending over would likely be at the end of their respective rounds.
    So, Rob & SDB community…do you make that trade for a Sammy Watkins? Mike Evans? Greg Robinson? Clowney?

    • hawkfaninMT

      Watkins and Clowney are the only 2 I would even consider that… And I do not think the jags would do it.

      Moving “Out of the top 10” is a far cry from “dropping to the last pick in the 1st round” Also remember that to move from number 6 to number 2 the Redskins had to trade 3 1sts and a 2nd.

      Feel free to dream, but not happening. I like to dream though, so for the Hawks 1st and 2nd this year, 1st next year and DB I would trade for Watkins or Clowney

      • dtrain

        Not a dream of mine by any means just throwing it out there out of draft boredom. Thank you for playing along, though! I would say the Redskins move was for what they thought was a generational QB (one that would hold a higher grade than any player available in this draft). In this case, it’s not a QB, so I see the Julio Jones deal as at least a starting point. Personally, I hope the Hawks move back in one or both of the first two rounds and accumulate as I feel that fits their strengths as a front office (VOLUME!).
        On another note…why the Kam Chancellor/surgery secrecy…I smell a safety selection early.

        • hawkfaninMT

          I see your reasoning behind the RG3-Julio comparison. I would bet Watkins and CLoweny are getting higher grades than Jones did, but lower than RG3.

          On the Safety topic… I would rule nothing out with this FO. They had Buchanon in for a visit afterall. I would rather see Jonathon Dowling in the 6th if we are looking for a Kam type player to develop

          • Robert

            I thought we already had the Kam protege in DeSean Snead???

  23. James

    If I’m a GM, I’m sweating bullets over this WR crop. I can easily imagine a realistic scenario where Martavis Bryant has a better career than Mike Evans, where Jarvis Landry is better than Odell Beckham, and believe it or not, where Kelvin Benjamin does more than Sammy Watkins. And I am not talking about the one in a billion chance that Caylin Hauptmann can have a better career than Walter Jones….I mean that the tools are in place, depending on how they develop, for these lesser guys to surpass their betters.

    • AlaskaHawk

      It will be more dependent on the team and quarterback throwing them the ball then any difference in their abilities. As a receiver I would want to land in Denver, New England, Detroit , or Seattle (for a ring).

    • Mattk

      The careers of the “lesser” three receivers you named shouldn’t matter to how the GMs feel as long as ME, ODB, and SW have solid careers on their own. It’s like saying the Ryan Grigson (GM of the Colts) should be worried about his job because Russell Wilson has played better than Luck.

  24. James

    Hey guys….help me sort out the OLs:

    – There appear to be only 3 elite LTs: Robinson, Matthews and Lewan.
    – Zach Martin gets top grades for elite makeup, character and effort, but is only 6-4, 305. Most sites project him at OG, and he is too small to be a RT.
    – Our man Bitonio is also 6-4, 305, which we must honestly admit rules him out for RT. Most project him also at OG, but due to his outstanding athleticism, a team that needs a LT and can’t get one of the top three guys might go for Joel?
    – XSF is strictly an OG. James, Moses and Kouandjio (if healthy) are RTs, since they aren’t sudden enough for LT.
    – the R2/R3 guys are either RTs or OGs: Richardson, Mewhort, LDT, Billy Turner, Jackson, Trai Turner and Marcus Martin.

    ….what this means is that, the LT crop is top heavy with no depth; and the RT and OG crop is both talented and deep. The Seahawks, who mainly need a RT, but could also use an OG, can wait until R2 due to the depth at those positions.

    • Rob Staton

      Why would Bitonio’s height and weight rule him out as a right tackle?

      • David M

        I personally would like someone a little bigger than him if I were the seahawks, knowing the defenses we have to face 2x a year in the NFC West.

      • James

        Isn’t it near consensus that the RT needs to be at least 6-5, 320, in order to provide power to the run game and size at the corner, but does not need the super feet of the LT? Tom Cable’s RTs have been Brenno (6-7, 325) and now likely Bowie (6-4, 335), and I think it was the same at his previous stops, so he does not seem to be willing to move away from the norm? He drafted Carp at 6-5, 340, in R1 with the aim to play RT. Are there any decent RTs in the league at 6-4, 305…there may be, but none come to mind.

        • Rob Staton

          I think they like definitely like size and length at tackle… but they also probably prefer 6-3 quarterbacks too. I think it’s a case of what the player brings to the table and even if they don’t fit a size preference, do they still offer the skillset and attitude they like? Bitonio, for me, is one of those players who you’re forced to like. I think he can fit in anywhere on the OL and make it work.

  25. Kip Earlywine

    Truthfully Moncrief is a little soft, and more than a little awkward. I would have said the same thing about Golden Tate coming out of college.

    Moncrief deserves a UDFA score for his polish but he is still being talked about as a possible 1st round pick because his feet talent is so special. Stop quick, start quick, explode, get by a guy in a blink and then he’ll never catch him. Even as a raw WR, it will only take a few big plays before NFL defensive coordinators with feel pressure to double team him.

    He’s not perfect, but he’s basically what Seattle needs to help loosen up the passing game.

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