Kip’s hastily thrown together 11th hour mock

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Before I get to my mock draft, I want to share a few random thoughts about the last few months here at the blog, and also a few special predictions for the weekend’s draft.

#1: Rob and I have spent a lot of time highlighting Courtney Upshaw on this blog.  Rob has consistently held a very high opinion of him and thinks he’s an elite talent.  I know that a lot of readers have accused us of having a man-crush on him.  That might be true for Rob, but I’ve always maintained that I view Upshaw as a solid prospect with the potential to become great.  As I said in my writeup the other day, if coaches can put him in better situations for bull rushing, he could be productive enough to justify the #12 pick.  Otherwise, I think Upshaw is going to be an Adrian Clayborn (20th overall pick) or Robert Ayers (18th overall pick) level contributor, and therefore a small reach at #12.

So to be perfectly clear, I have no issues with taking Upshaw at #12, I’d even find it potentially exciting, but it’s not like he tops my draft board at the 12th pick either.  If the pick was mine to make, I’d probably trade down, or draft one of Coples, Kuechly, DeCastro, Martin, or even Stephon Gilmore, who I’m starting to think could be a smaller Richard Sherman.  There is a lot of parity at the #12 pick, and a lot of good picks that could be made.  Rob may feel a certain way, but I’m definitely not on the “Upshaw or bust” bandwagon.  So please stop saying so.  It’s silly.  We haven’t featured Upshaw as much as we have because we want to promote him, but because we have good reasons to think he’s going to be the pick and we wanted Seahawks fans to be prepared for it.  It’s just that simple.

So why do we think Upshaw is likely?  Because our source that has provided nothing but good and trustworthy information over the last three drafts gave us a list of names to watch for and Upshaw headlined it.  We’ve also heard from one other person close to the situation that Pete really likes Upshaw.  Then there’s that pickup basketball game rumor from a few months ago too.  And while Pete and John have jovially talked about Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples, Ryan Tannehill and other top 15 pick options, they’ve been as quiet as the grave concerning Upshaw.  I successfully predicted that Seattle would draft Aaron Curry (to my great displeasure) two days before the 2009 draft when I realized that Curry was the one player Tim Ruskell hadn’t visited or talked about at all.  If a GM is going out of his way to ignore a guy who is an obvious possibility, that’s often a telling sign.

#2: John Schneider is an incredibly open GM with draft information, almost to the point of recklessness, but I think it’s just a bi-product of his successful track record and that he feels he can “win” even when the board doesn’t fall perfectly.  Yesterday, Schneider openly admitted to there being “little cut-offs and ledges” in the draft, and named the 12th or 13th pick as one of those ledges.  He also said that there are two players that stood out as being “very attractive” as options.  Couple this information with the reports that every team between picks 3 and 16 is contacting other teams about moving down, and you have a clear buyer’s market on the trade front.  Long story short, don’t expect Seattle to trade down from the #12 pick unless both those unnamed players are gone.   If they are who we think they are, then at least one of them will likely reach the pick.  So for those of you hoping for a trade down (I’m among you), I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

#3: Pete Carroll released his annual draft hints on twitter.  This year’s theme: clips from comedy films.  Even with the insider information I’ve heard, I honestly have no clue if any of these hints mean a thing.  That said, the first of those clips was a scene from the movie Step Brothers.  As someone else already pointed out, Courtney Upshaw was raised by his Aunt and was, in a sense, a step-brother to the rest of the family.  All of the clips seemed to share the theme of damage, pain, or destruction.  That makes me lean towards Upshaw (and Richardson) even more, as they are the two most violent players in the draft.

#4: Okay, okay, now that I’ve given my reasons why I think Upshaw is very likely to be the pick, I need to be clear that Rob and I have not been explicitly told he’s the guy in absolute terms, and we have to acknowledge the chances that Seattle could go in another direction.  I suspect that Schneider’s aforementioned “very attractive” options are Upshaw and Richardson.   However, we were also told that Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples were in play as well.  We also heard that they really like Zach Brown.  If it’s not one of those five players, it will be the first time our best source has been inaccurate.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s a few quick hit predictions for this weekend’s draft:

  1. Seattle probably won’t trade down in the first round (see above).
  2. Seattle might trade up early in round two for Zach Brown, but otherwise I don’t expect the team to trade up for the most part.
  3. This is a deep draft, but the Seahawks only have six picks to work with.  John Schneider is going to covet extra picks even more than usual.  If there isn’t an obvious bargain available in rounds two, three, and four, look for Seattle to move down.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the Seahawks had multiple trade downs in this draft, as picks in rounds three, four, and five are going to hold a lot of value this year.  Seattle has gotten phenomenal returns from rounds four and five the last two years, but they currently only have one pick in that range this year.
  4. I expect Seattle to draft a pass rusher, a linebacker (or two), and a running back in the first four rounds.
  5. The #43 pick could be a wildcard pick.  I expect Seattle to draft a linebacker or running back there, but if a legit first round talent like Kendall Wright or Coby Fleener is sitting there, it might be enough to push Seattle’s priorities down a round.  Maybe.
  6. Seattle spent a lot its team invites on late round defensive backs, and in the Alabama pickup game rumor Carroll referred to “not drafting a corner that early”, which hints at the team drafting one later on.  Personally, I’m rooting for Ron Brooks.  George Iloka is a baller too.
  7. No inside info on these last few predictions, but I suspect Seattle might add an offensive lineman late and/or possibly a tight end.  Both are small areas of need for Seattle but both are areas in which the team can afford to wait and develop the position with late round picks.
  8. It wouldn’t shock me if Seattle added a second pass rusher after the first.  The middle rounds are relatively strong for pass rushers this year (Massaquoi, Irvin, etc.) and Seattle showed last year that they are willing to double down to address an area of need.
  9. As usual, expect Seattle to draft a lot of player’s we didn’t cover, and a lot of players that almost no one has heard of.  It’s a little deflating whenever picks happen that make you say “who?!”, but that’s just because this front office is much more awesome at digging up talent than we are.  I’ll have to remind myself not to flip out when two thirds of their draft haul will be guys I’ve never heard of.  Pete and John have earned the benefit of the doubt.

With that out of the way, here’s my 2012 Draftsmas morning mock:

#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
The best quarterback prospect in some time.
#2 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
Griffin is very risky, but his upside is intense.  He’s also fun and easy to root for.
#3 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)

Kalil is one of the best tackles to come out in a while, and the Vikings have a huge need at that position.

#4 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
The Browns might consider Blackmon, but Richardson wins hands down in terms of pure talent.
#5 Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)

This pick feels like it’s been a lock forever.

#6 Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)

This a dream scenario for the Rams.  It will almost feel like they got those extra two first rounders and the extra high second rounder for free.

#7 Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)

Two years ago the Jaguars made a stunning reach for Tyson Alualu in the top 10 picks.  The Jaguars are looking for pass rush help, and could be swayed by another last minute fast riser.

#8 Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
The Dolphins must be sick of hearing quarterbacks and coaches telling them “no.”  On the bright side, Ryan Tannehill won’t have a say if Miami drafts him.
#9 Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
Cox’s stock is rising fast, and he also fits perfectly with Carolina’s needs on the defensive line.  This is quickly becoming an obvious pick.
#10 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)

Buddy Nix went balls out in free agency for pass rushers because he preferred to address offensive tackle in round one.  He could go with a few options here, but Martin is the best pick for a team that wants to ensure they are drafting a future tackle.

#11 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)

The Chiefs need a run stopper, but with Poe’s stock taking a tumble, I think they’ll address offensive line instead.  Reiff has the flexibility to play guard and tackle, which will have added appeal to the Chiefs.

#12 Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)

Unless today is your first trip to this blog, you’re probably already sick of hearing about this guy.  That said, I’d put the odds of him being the pick very high, unless a team leapfrogs the Seahawks for him.

#13 Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State)
Arizona desperately needs offensive line help, but they need a tackle more than a guard, and this is too early to take a guard anyway.  Adams’ stock has taken a hit for off the field reasons, but he’s the best tackle left at this point.
#14 Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
Jerry Jones isn’t a subtle man, and he’s shown a lot of interest in Barron.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Jones traded up a few spots just to be sure he gets Barron.
#15 Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College)
DeMeco Ryans probably won’t be enough to keep the Eagles away from Kuechly.
#16 Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)

The Jets need a pass rusher and will be thrilled if Ingram lasts this long.

#17 Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)

I suspect the Bengals will spend one of their firsts on a corner.  Gilmore deserves the hype and is the best corner available in my opinion.

#18 Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)

The Chargers need a nose tackle or a pass rusher.  Poe feels like less of a reach here than Vinny Curry.

#19 Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)

The Bears were known to add not one but two big time receivers this offseason.  They got the ball rolling with Brandon Marshall, and here they add Floyd to solidify a potentially scary passing attack in 2012.

#20 Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)

Corner is a need for the Titans, and Kirkpatrick will be considered a steal at this point by some.

#21 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)

The Bengals need a guard and won’t think twice if DeCastro falls this far.

#22 Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)

The Browns will take a receiver here, the question is who.  There are plenty of options, but Wright gets my vote.

#23 Janoris Jenkins (OT, Stanford)

The Lions need help at corner, and Jenkins is supremely talented.  His off the field concerns will keep him out of round one, but don’t be surprised if the Lions move back to take Jenkins a bit later.

#24 Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama)

Hightower is the perfect example of a Pittsburgh Steeler type player.  It’s only fitting he would be drafted by them.

#25 Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)

Denver might go for a receiver here, but a deep class of receivers and Brockers high value will tilt this pick in his favor.

#26 Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)

If Coples doesn’t go top 12, I think he’s in for a bit of a slide.  The Texans are a logical destination, as Coples has upside on par with a certain defensive end the Texans just lost in free agency.

#27 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)

Mercilus could make sense for the Patriots as a situational pass rusher.

#28 Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)

Green Bay runs an offense not unlike Seattle’s, and as great as Rodgers is, their’s is still a relatively run heavy offense, but without a productive back to make things click.  Martin could help take Green Bay’s offense to a new level.

#29 Peter Konz (OG/C, Wisconsin)

Baltimore needs help in the interior of the line, and Konz is a fantastic value this late.

#30 Rueben Randle (WR, LSU)

The 49ers will probably grab a receiver here.  If not Randle, then Stephen Hill.

#31 Devon Still (DT, Penn State)

The Patriots need a pass rushing defensive tackle and Still is the best tackle available at this point.

#32 Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)

The Giants are in need of offensive tackle help once again, and Cordy Glenn is probably the best option here.

Round two

#33 St. Louis – Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan State)
#34 Indianapolis – Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
#35 Minnesota – Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
#36 Tampa Bay – Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
#37 Cleveland – Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
#38 Jacksonville – Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina)
#39 St. Louis – Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
#40 Carolina – Josh Robinson (CB, UCF)
#41 Buffalo – Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
#42 Miami – Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
#43 Seattle – Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska)
#44 Kansas City – Brock Osweiler (QB, Arizona State)
#45 Dallas – Nick Perry (DE, USC)
#46 Philadelphia – Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech)
#47 New York Jets – Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame)
#48 New England – Shea McClellin (LB, Boise State)
#49 San Diego – Dwayne Allen (TE, Clemson)
#50 Chicago – Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
#51 Philadelphia – Brandon Taylor (S, LSU)
#52 Tennessee – Kendall Reyes (DT, Connecticut)
#53 Cincinnati – David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
#54 Detroit – Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin)
#55 Atlanta – Orson Charles (TE, Georgia)
#56 Pittsburgh – Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
#57 Denver – Robert Turbin (RB, Utah State)
#58 Houston – Marvin Jones (WR, Cal)
#59 New Orleans – VOID
#60 Green Bay – Bruce Irvin, (DE, West Virginia)
#61 Baltimore – Bobby Wagner, (LB, Utah State)

#62 San Francisco – Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State)
#63 New England – Juron Criner (WR, Arizona)
#64 New York Giants– LaMichael James (RB, Oregon)

My guesses for Seattle’s picks in rounds 3-7 (assuming no trades):

#75 Seattle – Chris Polk, (RB, Washington)

#106 Seattle –James Michael-Johnson, (LB, Nevada)

#181 Seattle – Chandler Harnish, (QB, Northern Illinois)

#225 Seattle –Ron Brooks, (CB, LSU)


  1. Phil

    If McClellin was there at #43 (like he is in your mock), I’d jump all over him.

  2. Kip Earlywine

    It did come down to McClellin and David, and I was surprised both made it that far. McClellin might have a bright future, but he’s an unknown at linebacker, including coverage. There’s nothing unknown about David. He’ll be a stud from day one at the weak side linebacker spot. Easy choice.

  3. andy

    I would almost prefer if Z. Brown was gone before 43 and we were “forced to settle” on L. David.

  4. James

    Kip, what has many of us scratching our heads is that Hightower appears to be a better fit for the Seahawks than Upshaw. Seattle’s two biggest needs are pash rush and Mike LB. Those are the roles Hightower plays. He is a day one starter at Mike, with exceptional blitz skills. He also played the Alabama version of the elephant and can rush from the edge even better than Upshaw. Don’t be lulled to sleep by the mocks that have shown him going in the second half of round one. Here is his real status as noted by some national writers: Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly recently quoted an NFL front office executive as saying: “Dont’a Hightower had a great individual workout for us. He’d play end or “Mike” linebacker for us, but he’s going to be long gone and we would not be able to take him. He’s a top-15 pick. But anyone who worked him out had to come away very impressed. He can really move for a man his size. He has some ‘special’ traits.” Mayock has him on his final top-100 prospect list, 15th, and the closer the draft gets the more it appears being selected that high is a real possibility. “Honestly, if I had my choice of (any linebacker) in the draft, it would be Dont’a Hightower from Alabama,” Nawrocki said. “He’s done it before, I think he’s very safe, he’s got the leadership presence you want, he can kick inside if you need him there. He’s very versatile, very tough, very underrated, and he’s not being widely considered as a true rush linebacker because he didn’t play it all the time at Alabama, but I think he’s better than Upshaw and far safer than any of the other prospects mentioned (Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry and Chandler Jones). Dont’a Hightower has made everyone forget about his knee surgery.” McShay, who called Hightower “the guy I’m most surprised with” after studying tape in the weeks leading up to the draft, now considers him a top-20 talent.

  5. Christon

    Thanks for a great draft season Kip and Rob! It’s been fun. I’m excited to see what finally happens tonight. I hope it’s Upshaw.

  6. Meat

    I agree with the sentiment that Seattle won’t trade down in round 1. Reason being everyone wants to trade down if you listen to some of the reports. Like last year trading down occurs in round 2 or 3. I have started to really like Jones and he would be a nice pick up for Seattle. I hope Cowboys love Barron so much they trade with Seattle to get the guy they want and Seattle only steps down a few slots and STILL able to get their man.

  7. Saxon

    Terrific job with the mock and explanations. The front office’s silence on Upshaw has definitely been telling…

    I love David but it would be hard to let McClellin slide by if he were there. Although Upshaw and McClellin may be too redundant and could create a liability in coverage…

    Thanks to both Kip and Rob for their superb work!

  8. Turp

    Great work Kip. Loved the read and accurate assessment.

  9. James

    Here is a little more information for the discussion about Hightower vs. Upshaw. I am an Alabama alumni and have watched all their games the past few years. Both the guys have been key pieces in an Alabama defense that has won two national championships and is one of the greatest defenses in college football history.

    Upshaw plays what Alabama calls the Jack position, an OLB that attacks the backfield and almost never plays in coverage. This position lives in the QB’s face and controls the run on his side of the field. It is a good fit for the elephant that Pete may be wanting to run, similar to what he did with Clay Matthews at USC and how Matthews now plays at Green Bay. Upshaw is a brutal and violent player, the meanest player Nick Saban has ever coached, and torments QBs. He is impossible to run against. He would be a great adddition to the Seahawks only if they plan to use him in the elephant, and move KJ to Mike. Upshaw cannot play DE or Leo effectively.

    Hightower was the ILB in Bama’s 3/4, but because of the way they play the Jack, he was in effect a Mike LB in a 4/3 formation. He called the plays and was the captain and commander of the Alabama defense. He along with Barron were the two most respected members of the great Bama D. His leadership is off the charts. He stones the run, at 265 lbs, and excels at the blitz. On passing downs, he moved to the elephant position opposite Upshaw and rushed the passer. He has more speed than Upshaw and got to the QB even faster. He is only now getting fully recovered from an ACL in 2009 and you will not believe how quick and fast he is for his size, when you see him the fall. Therefore, he can start at Mike from day one and move to the elephnat on passing downs, with KJ going to Mike, and is the perfect solution to the Seahawk’s need for both a pass rusher and Mike LB He should be the choice.

  10. Karlos

    #1 Receiver needs to be a issue…
    Sidney Rice – Injury prone
    Mike Williams – Injury prone & full of suprises
    Kris Durham – Recovering
    Remember when having tall receivers was such a plus..? I don’t see BMW as a lock, yes I think he will work hard but slow seperation & quick throws are like water & oil (I get it Tavares he’s always covered lol). If 1 of these receivers goes down were left to Obo, Tate, Baldwin, Lockett, & Butler… Obo is not a week to week starter & Lockette though a deep threat will play better in spots unless he’s being mentored on route trees by Marvin Harrison. Add another potential #1 or 2 & we secure the whole “What If” scenario. Im not saying use early picks to have insurance but just as Marshawn needs a back up “Just in case’ our receiver position is lacking # 1/2 position depth as well. I think since finding HB’s are easier than WR’s that this pick needs to be made before RB. We all know how receivers can help out the run game when they are gamplaned against.
    Here’s what I’d like to see:
    1. Trade down to 20’s this is a very deep draft and picking up an additional 2nd/3rd could mean an additional pick for our wonderful front office to find a starter at LB, WR, RB, If not we go best DE/DT. (Quinton Coples)
    2. LB/WR Heres were I like a combination of Rueben Randle & Lavonte David if we make a trade if not (Ruben Randle)
    3. RB depth (Chris Polk)
    Our offense needs help after Pass Rushing DE we can find speed at LB later IMO.

  11. SHawn

    I would find it funny if Upshaw and Hightower are the “two” Schneider is talking about. I love this FO.

    They make more sense than drafting a situational guy to eventually take over the LEO spot, especially since there are guys in rd 2-4 that could take on that role.

    LAVONTE!!! I have him much higher than the other available LBs. Definitely above Brown, slightly above Kendricks and Wagner.

  12. Michael (CLT)

    I wonder if Coples could be 2012’s Calais Campbell.

  13. Michael (CLT)


    Awesome write up. Appreciated.

  14. Doug

    Nice work James.

    1) Colts – Luck
    2) Redskins – RG3
    3) Vikings – Kalil
    4) Seahawks – Richardson (Traded with Browns for 12, 43, and 6th
    5) Tampa – Claiborne
    6) Rams – Cox
    7) Jax = Coples
    8) Fins – Tennyhill
    9) Panthers – Blackmon
    10) Bills – Reiff
    11) KC – Ingram
    12) Cleve – Floyd

    There ya go

  15. Jazz

    James- awesome info, getting super pumped!

  16. Vin

    Kip…thanks again for all your hard work, research, articles, insight, etc. The Blog that you & Rob have put together is my favorite among all the Hawks sights I peruse. If the draft fell your way, I would be most ecstatic. I really like Upshaw, but would be just as pleased with Hightower, or even Barron. Those 3 are just awesome, and I think worth the pick at 12. Keep up the good work because I’ll keep coming back.

  17. AlaskaHawk

    I’ll find it funny if Floyd and Stephen Hill are who Schneider is talking about. But seriously I expect that upgrading QBs to Flynn is going to expose this WR group. No more excuses that TJ wouldn’t throw it to them. They will be getting the ball and they will be expected to catch it. Considering those circumstances, only Rice, Baldwin and Tate are sure starters. With Rices injury history it may only be Baldwin and Tate.

    As for the rest, time will tell whether they will be on the Hawks team next year. Some like WIlliams are slow but have good hands, others have a bad case of the drops, and some are just unproven (Lockette). We all got our favorites, and with Flynn throwing the ball he will sort out the great from the hasbeens and wantabees.

    As for defense, I see linebacker as our pressing need. Upgrading the line will be a pressing need next year, so I guess PC is just looking ahead.

  18. Attyla the Hawk

    Great insight James! And to Rob/Kip, it’s been an awesome ride. We Seahawks fans are ridiculously lucky to have the quality blog/online communities we have.

    It will be interesting to see how it shakes out tonight. I think we might finally get a solid grip on what this organization’s MO is in the draft after this week. In 2010, there was little need for misdirection or discretion — since we were picking so high there was little need.

    In the 2011 draft at 25, we picked Carpenter — a guy we clearly targeted even though we attempted to trade down. He was a guy at need but not a guy that was really linked to us until very late.

    This year seems to be a repeat of 2011. Our needs are again openly broadcast by the team. We’ve been linked to DE and specifically Coples/Upshaw. One of those should be available at 12. Will we again see the team take a guy the likes of Jones or Hightower who has thus far not been linked or hinted at by the team?

    I’m interested to see how this plays out. Especially given the published desires to both have more picks in 2011 and to gain extra picks in 2012.

  19. Thomas

    I really hope Upshaw is not the pick. This is one of my favorite sites, and I respect the heck out of the both of you, but I couldn’t disagree more with the pick. I just.. don’t get it. Upshaw is NOT versatile, he’s NOT fast & I think he’s going to be a flop at the next level against real tackles.

    @ James: Totally agree with you 100%.

    With all due respect, I hope this is misinformation. That’s the only rational conclusion I can come to about all this. I simply don’t understand your thinking otherwise – in spite of all the good write-ups you’ve done.

    Hightower is the pick. If I’m wrong, and Upshaw is the pick, I will be back personally to apologize to the both of you. That’s a promise.

  20. Bug Juice

    I just can’t see Upshaw being the pick. I know you guys have your sources out there but the Seahawks have proven to be a misinformation machine the past two years (see Thomas two years ago, Carpenter last year, Tannehill?) I think he will be a fine player but, after all that has been written about him on this site, I just don’t see an every down role for the guy on our defense. Outside linebacker in a 4-3 hybrid? I just don’t see him dropping into coverage successfully. D-end? Too slow and he is not going to consistently bull rush NFL tackles. I have absolute trust in Pete and John and if they pick him I will trust they are staying with their blue print. But with the misinformation we get from this FO, I really believe that we are going to be a bit surprised by what they do. Thanks guys for all the hard work over the past year. The next three days are going to be great, Will look forward to your analysis over the weekend before starting up for the 2013 draft…next week?

  21. Ian

    Count me as another Hightower over Upshaw fan. Although, give me any of the 3 top Alabama defenders and I am happy.

    Kip – What do you think of Chandler Jones? I have watched a bit of tape and I don’t see anything that jumps off the screen. Sure he is big and strong with a big rear end, but I see Lawrence Jackson as similar.

  22. JoeV

    Kip, you projected the seahawks taking 3 LB’s in the top 4 rounds. Where does that leave KJ? Im assuming the “elephant” role is a hybrid LB correct?

  23. Thomas

    Also: I truly hope I’m not coming across as critical, as that’s not my intention at all. When I mentioned misinformation, I was not implying it was intentional. I should have clarified that. We’re all 12th Men here, and all want the same thing ultimately – a Lombardi Trophy in the case at the VMAC. Go ‘Hawks!

  24. Rob

    Thomas – I would say this. The team are drafting a pass rusher tonight. That’s the core ‘inside’ info we’ve received. I hope we’re judged on that when the pick is called rather than whether it’s Upshaw, because a lot of people have touted DeCastro, Kuechly, Floyd, Tannehill etc. This blog has been very consistent – pass rusher. Now, we were told Upshaw was liked among others. We weren’t guaranteed he was the pick. It could be someone else. Upshaw is liked. I rate the guy very highly. I’ve run with it. So that’s really the situation.

    By the way, for anyone interested I just asked Tony Pauline about Chandler Jones’ sudden rise. Here’s Tony’s response:

    “Rob- I’m baffled….Jones is a solid prospect yet not the spectacular talent many are making him out to be….he’s a solid athlete with a lot of natural pass rushing skills, which teams always look for in the draft- that said i’m a film guy and not a stats guy- but just ten sacks in 32 college games in the Big East, which has had just one offensive lineman drafted in the initial four rounds the past two years? these were not Big Ten or SEC tackles he was playing against…I also have my concerns about Jones playing OLB in a 3-4…things like this, players making huge rises the weeks before the draft, often take on a life of their own and the perception is greater than the reality…”

  25. Ian

    Thanks for that insight from Tony. I really don’t see it from Chandler Jones. Fletcher Cox is another story, maybe scouts are getting the two mixed up?

  26. Ryan

    Lavonte David seahawks jersey…

  27. Colin

    I want Lamar Miller or Chris Polk. Badly.

    It’s interesting that Pauline isn’t too high on Chandler Jones- I will say I’m not a fan, he’s not a 1st round talent IMO.

    I’d love to see a trade down to say, 16 and take Upshaw.

    In Schneider we trust, right?

  28. Other Other Ben

    I don’t always agree with you guys (and it tends not to happen very often) but I really appreciate all the work that you do. Year after year, you produce a high-quality resource that’s typically far ahead of the local reporters and even mainstream draft guys. Thanks so much!

  29. Jake

    Hightower!! Ok, say it with me – Hightower, Hightower, Hightower…

    Rob, no defense necessary my man – you’ve done an awesome job and I happen to believe you are spot on with what PC is thinking in round 1. I have been as critical as anyone about Upshaw, but even I recognize you never claimed that your source leaked his name to you. You have been all about “passrusher” from the jump, so when one is picked (whether that be a passrushing LB, DE, DT) you’re covered. I disagree with your scouting of Upshaw, but certainly not your projection of him being the pick. I feel we’re watching different players, but that’s irrelevant as we have no sway on the name called tonight.

  30. Jim

    Like your last minute mock. I was happy to see CB-Darius Brooks as your round 7 flyer, I’ve had him as a super sleeper for awhile now. For those that may not be familiar with him, he’s a WR converted to CB (sound familiar?) and he has some serious potential. A little short, but this is a guy that could keep up with ET speed wise and maybe even become ET’s backup? Speed kills.

    CB-Darius Brooks, 5-9.5/190, Western Kentucky, 33.25″ arms, 38″ vert., 10.5 broad jump, a super (hand held) 4.29/40 and a superlative 1.46-10 yard split.

  31. Nano

    I would rather have Hightower–I think he could do a lot of things for the pass rush and versatility of the defense.

    But, I’m not making the decisions. And this is a good thing.

  32. Madmark

    So much interest in Stephen Gillmore and Mark Barron I think we will get the tradedown we just can’t resist.

  33. Rob

    Shane – I’m not altogether surprised. When a team dangles two first rounders, it’s tempting. However, I doubt New England are going to be generous – the old rule is don’t trade with Belichick, you never win. And Cincy would have to LOVE a guy to make a similar deal. They aren’t traditionally careless teams who throw away future picks. I’m sure Seattle would be willing to trade from, for examples, 12-21 for an extra first rounder next year. But that just seems like an unlikely deal. That’s probably what would tempt them though.

  34. Meat

    Is it not uncommon for teams to call around and test waters out regarding trades?! I love to think two first rounders from tha Pats for #12, but not gonna happen. In fact with Billichick and Pats it is unprecedented. Draft day it is only due deligence to call other teams, get a feel, even if there is no chance.

    I am dreaming of getting Mercilus or Hightower and Martin from the Pats picks. See, too good to be true.

  35. Kip Earlywine

    I’d rate Chandler Jones in the 3rd round.

    I don’t really count Upshaw as a linebacker because he doesn’t address the team’s linebacker needs. Seattle needs two linebackers and Upshaw won’t be one of them, even if he subs for KJ Wright on some of the plays.

    Like a lot of other people I’m a fan of Hightower, and I think Hightower’s pass rushing quickness isn’t talked about nearly enough.

  36. Smeghead

    leaving work in 10 for the Seattle Draft Party – so pumped right now…

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