Mock scenario: What if Oakland goes after Harbaugh?

Here’s Jim Harbaugh, perhaps praying he doesn’t have to take the Raiders gig

How could the NFL draft be impacted if Oakland decides to pursue Jim Harbaugh? The 49ers are expected to try and gain some level of compensation. How could it play out?

This is just a bit of fun. Do not take this seriously. I mean it. Please believe me when I say I mean it. Unless it comes off, then actually I was deadly serious. I know this is lowest common denominator blogging. But hey — I’m not starting the weekly mock drafts for a while yet. Really this is an opportunity to discuss certain prospects and put some thoughts down in a post. So here’s a first round scenario with the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia all involved in a deal that keeps Harbaugh in the Bay Area. There’s an explanation on how this shenanigans goes off later on.

#1 Philadelphia Eagles (via Oakland) — Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon)
See below for details on how I have this playing out. Is it unlikely? Sure. But Chip Kelly won’t get another chance to go after his protégé at Oregon. He still hasn’t brought in a quarterback who truly fits his scheme perfectly. Mariota would be that guy — and he could take the Eagles to another level.

#2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Randy Gregory (DE, Nebraska)
Gregory’s run defense is suspect (he had a nightmare against Wisconsin in Melvin Gordon’s record-breaking performance). And yet he has ideal length (6-6) and the frame to add more size. Some have compared him to Aldon Smith.

#3 Tennessee Titans — Leonard Williams (DE, USC)
Personally, I’m not blown away by Williams. I think he could easily fall a bit. There’s no denying his frame and athletic potential are right up there. He’s not had a bad year but neither has he truly dominated any USC game I’ve seen.

#4 Jacksonville Jaguars — Bud Dupree (DE, Kentucky)
Love this guy. Bud Dupree is everything you want in a football player. Fantastic athleticism, dynamic pass rusher, heart and soul leader. He’s set for a big-time career at the next level.

#5 New York Jets — Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama)
Not only is Cooper a mature and intelligent football player, he’s also a terrific playmaker. He just keeps making big plays. He’s shown enough speed to make up for a lack of brilliant size (around 6-1/6-2) but he high points the ball and knows how to get open. The most natural receiver to enter the league since A.J. Green.

#6 Washington Redskins — La’el Collins (G, LSU)
I think he’ll be a guard at the next level, but he’s shown he can make a fist of it at tackle this year. Every week he’s blowing people off the LOS. A team captain and emotional leader, Collins could play for +10 years inside.

#7 New York Giants — Shaq Thompson (LB, Washington)
Thompson is the very definition of a modern day linebacker. He gets around the field, makes impact plays. You can trust him in coverage and get him blitzing to impact the quarterback. He has the range you’re looking for. He has a ton of upside — the only thing that might hurt is the position he plays. It’s not exactly a premium.

#8 Carolina Panthers — Andrus Peat (T, Stanford)
The Panthers need a left tackle and Peat is the more natural blind-side blocker in this class. He’s not flawless but he’s the best pass protector available.

#9 Minnesota Vikings — Shane Ray (DE, Missouri)
I actually like Markus Golden more but Ray has the potential to set alight the combine. Great edge rusher who knows how to mix it up. Does a good job stunting inside. Plays with fire. Are there concerns about his size against the run? Perhaps.

#10 New Orleans Saints — T.J. Clemmings (T, Pittsburgh)
Defensive convert who took his time but finally appears to be on the right track at tackle. This would be an investment in potential. The risk-reward factor is high here — he still needs a lot of work. A good O-line coach will back himself to turn Clemmings into a stud.

#11 Chicago Bears — Vic Beasley (DE, Clemson)
Great speed rusher with a tremendous get-off. Insane production over the last three seasons. Will be a liability against the run but he’ll make his money on third down. The Bears need to create more pressure in the pass-happy NFC North.

#12 St. Louis Rams — Landon Collins (S, Alabama)
Potential SPARQ demon who flies around the field. Well built despite his athleticism and can deliver a hit. Would be a good partner for Mark Barron in the secondary — could even move to linebacker or be used like Deone Bucannon.

#13 Houston Texans — Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, Oklahoma)
DGB will need to convince teams he’s a changed man if he declares. He has a back-catalog of off-field problems, including a recent domestic abuse incident. Physically he’s a freak of nature. He could be the next superstar receiver if he can just stay out of trouble. That’s a pretty big if.

#14 Miami Dolphins — Melvin Gordon (RB, Wisconsin)
Gordon has real momentum and if he continues to run the ball with authority someone will take a shot early. He runs like a gazelle and is a genuine home-run threat when he finds the edge. Can he run up the gut and get the tough yards? Debatable. There’s real star potential here though.

#15 Cleveland Browns — Dante Fowler Jr (DE, Florida)
Fowler Jr has been a rare bright spot for Florida during the Will Muschamp days. He can effortlessly shift inside and rush the interior. You can line him up anywhere. He will play his best football at the next level.

#16 Pittsburgh Steelers — Markus Golden (DE, Missouri)
Golden is a big time prospect. Fast, powerful, aggressive. He’s maturing nicely and is having a fantastic year. Along with Shane Ray he’ll get a chance to make a major statement in the SEC title game. Nobody else gave Ju’Wan James fits last season. Just Golden.

#17 Baltimore Ravens — Cedric Ogbuehi (T, Texas A&M)
This has been a really disappointing season for Ogbuehi, who started the year as a top-ten candidate. It’s hard to imagine any team drafting him to start quickly at left tackle. A return to the right side seems inevitable. He’s still got plenty of upside, but he hasn’t followed the path of Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews.

#18 Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo) — Devante Parker (WR, Louisville)
Difficult to cover and made for a high-octane passing offense. He lacks bulk (around 205-210lbs) but has nice height and appears to have long arms. He won’t fit every offense but with a good quarterback he’ll put up numbers.

#19 San Francisco 49ers — Shawn Oakman (DE, Baylor)
Oakman could go in the top ten. You don’t get many human beings who look this good at 6-8 and 280lbs. The tape is miserable at times though. The 49ers could groom him into their rotation slowly.

#20 Dallas Cowboys — Bendarick McKinney (LB, Mississippi State)
McKinney is the player Rolando McClain should’ve been. If they lose McClain, this would be a nice replacement. Similar size, but McKinney is at least somewhat reliable. He’s a big reason why Miss. State have succeeded this year.

#21 Atlanta Falcons — Brandon Scherff (T, Iowa)
Might be better at guard. Like Ogbuehi, hasn’t always looked comfortable as a pass protector. He excels in the running game. The Falcons need to get more physical. Scherff can provide that edge up front.

#22 Kansas City Chiefs — Kevin White (WR, West Virginia)
High points the ball nicely, competed well against some tough opponents this year. Production has dropped off a bit recently. Doesn’t have ideal size but plays big. Has been an X-factor in several games.

#23 Indianapolis Colts — Corey Robinson (T, South Carolina)
In a down year for his team, Robinson has quietly put together a solid season and seems to have momentum. With such a premium on the offensive tackle position, don’t be surprised if he slips into the back end of round one.

#24 Detroit Lions — Eddie Goldman (DT, Florida State)
Goldman has impressed on a few occasions this year. He isn’t overly dominating and has played some weak opponents. Yet he does a nice job getting off blocks and into the backfield. He’s a decent pass rush prospect working the interior.

#25 San Diego Chargers — Cameron Erving (C, Florida State)
A move to center is paying dividends for Erving. He looks comfortable. He still has a shot to get into this range if he finishes the year strongly. San Diego has had a revolving door at center all season. Erving can probably play guard too and act as a backup tackle.

#26 Seattle Seahawks — Malcom Brown (DT, Texas)
If the Seahawks move on from Marshawn Lynch, running back becomes a need. If they keep him — the off-season priority should be the defensive line and getting a big target for Russell Wilson. Brown can be Clinton McDonald-plus for Seattle’s defense.

#27 Cincinnati Bengals — Tyrus Thompson (T, Oklahoma)
Cincy seems to like size on the offensive line. Thompson certainly provides that. Whether or not he’s a fit at left tackle at the next level is a serious question. But the Bengals will be lucky to find an ace pass-protector this late in the first round.

#28 San Francisco 49ers (via Oakland & Philadelpia) — Todd Gurley (RB, Georgia)
The 49ers are one of the few teams who can afford, in this scenario, to red-shirt Gurley and let him make a full and proper recovery from his ACL injury.

#29 Denver Broncos — Leonard Floyd (DE, Georgia)
I’m not a big fan of Floyd’s. He’s skinny — and has a little Aaron Maybin to his style. He hasn’t had a big year in terms of production. He would probably benefit from another year to add strength and experience. The Broncos might be prepared to let him act as a specialist in year one and develop slowly.

#30 Green Bay Packers — Jordan Phillips (DT, Oklahoma)
Big nose tackle with surprising athleticism. He’s a good combine away from getting into this range. Makes plays and is difficult to move off the ball. Might not declare but had injury issues last year. Could strike while the iron is hot.

#31 Arizona Cardinals — Tevin Coleman (RB, Indiana)
Exceptional talent and might be the best running back from the class a few years down the line. If he lands with the right team he can provide a major jolt to the offense. Arizona is crying out for a player like Coleman.

#32 New England Patriots — Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB, Oregon)
He’s had a mostly disappointing season. His future might be in the slot — but it’s an increasingly vital position especially if you’re trying to usurp Denver as the AFC’s top dog.

How the hell does Philly get Mariota?

As well as Mark Sanchez has played recently, Chip Kelly needs his quarterback. He inherited Nick Foles and took a punt on Sanchez. This is a rare chance to draft the player he groomed at Oregon and fits the Eagles offense perfectly. So how do they make it happen? A three-team trade, of course…

— The Raiders, targeting a trade with San Francisco to get Jim Harbaugh, make an early off-season deal with the Eagles for the #1 pick. Philly feels comfortable making the move given Kelly’s history with Mariota. The Raiders jump all the way down to #28 but also get Philly’s second round pick and a first rounder in 2016.

— Oakland gives the #28 pick to San Francisco for Jim Harbaugh. They too feel comfortable with the deal, knowing they have two second round picks in 2015 to make up for a lack of a first rounder and an extra first in the following draft.

Convoluted? Yep. Likely? Almost certainly not. Is this supposed to be taken seriously? Of course not. But it’s fun to speculate.

No Jameis Winston?

Winston has thrown 17 interceptions this year and only 21 touchdowns. He’s been the cause and solution to many of Florida State’s problems. Technically he has a long winding release and he just takes too many chances. Can you rely on him to scan the field and make the right play for the situation at the next level? I’m not convinced.

Then you go back to the laundry list of off-field problems and questions over his maturity. The idea of a team looking at this guy and thinking, “this is the man to lead our franchise” is so completely far-fetched. Based on his 2014 performance, he simply won’t be worth the risk.

The Seahawks draft…. who?

A few different readers brought Malcom Brown (DT, Texas) to my attention. I had a look and was blown away by his potential. He’s a former 5-star recruit and if he decides to turn pro (he’s admitted he is considering his options) he could be set to make a rapid rise up the boards. Watch out for this guy. We could be talking top-15 potential by the spring.

Brown does a terrific job holding the point, he has the required swim and rip moves to act as an effective interior rusher. He looks superb carrying a 6-2 320lbs frame (very compact frame, minimal bad weight). Height is key here — he’s well built in the lower body and has a strong base making him hard to move off the point. He consistently wins with leverage at that height. Arm length will be interesting — it doesn’t look like he has great length (not a surprise at 6-2). That will put some teams off. It impacted Sharrif Floyd. Yet he’s shown more than enough potential to make up for this possible weakness.

A good three-technique doesn’t necessarily have to live in the backfield like Sheldon Richardson at Mizzou. It’s about impacting the pocket in different ways — pushing the guard back into the quarterback, getting the QB to move off his spot. You need to be able to hold position and fill holes. Brown isn’t Aaron Donald by any stretch of the imagination — but he would provide a very useful rotational cog to Seattle’s D-line rotation.

He’s the best player nobody talks about. Let’s hope it stays that way even if he declares and somehow lasts until the late first round.


  1. Ed

    Love this site. I was one to talk about Brown, glad you approve. Do you really think 3 RB go in first round and Gordon to Miami (Miller has been good and they get Moreno back)? Would be great if one was available late 1st Golden/Dupree/Oakman/Fowler, but Brown could do more from the inside, which is what we need.

    Say the board falls this way, what becomes attainable either DE or WR in the 2nd?

    Looking like we are getting hot and healthy at the right time.

    Go Hawks

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a bit early to offer a solid projection on round two — we’ll get there though. To be honest this is a very loose projection. I could see those RB’s going that early. Could see only one of them going in R1. Very loose situation right now.

  2. Rey

    Danny Shelton falling out of the first round? When you watch the Huskies he’s the one that flashes on film. It seems that the guy loves to play football, and you see that in between plays. Where do you see Shaq playing? He seems underwhelming at LB.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Thompson will play in space — they’ll get him roaming around. Could even move back to safety.

      On Shelton — I’ve never really seen him as a first rounder personally. More in the late second or even third round range. Half his sacks this year came against Eastern Washington. Sacks aren’t everything of course, but it’s worth noting. He’s big for the height (listed at 340lbs). With guys that size usually they need to be excellent athletes too to make it into round one — and I don’t see that with Shelton. I think he could be a solid interior guy, but one that doesn’t necessarily go in round one. I could be proven wrong at the combine of course.

      • Clayton

        Question on another UWer… Just in general, why isn’t Hauoli Kikaha viewed as a first rounder? The has the most sacks in college football, his sacks are basically spread out throughout the season, and he shows up on big games. But yet he flies under the radar in comparison to other DEs.

        • Ralphy

          I love watching Danny Shelton play. One of my concerns with him are his lack of tackles. He disrupts every play but doesn’t seem to make many tackles. I have a feeling he will have short arms and maybe that is why. Lots of heart and never appears to take plays off. I will miss watching him on Saturdays.

        • KyleT

          I think Kikaha is the best all around edge player I have watched tape on. Better then all these guys listed in round 1. Very disciplined at setting and holding the edge in the running game. Has all the pass rush moves. Very smart to setup a blocker and then use a counter to blow by hm. Looks like an ideal every down Leo that we need. Reminds me a bit of Clem

        • Rob Staton

          Moderate athleticism, might not look all that good at the combine. Could force teams to consider whether they believe he’s just one of those guys who has a knack of making plays — or whether at the next level he’ll struggle to have the same impact against superior opponents. If someone really believes in him he could go early. Teams more likely to be willing to take a shot in R2 or R3 IMO. But it’s early.

      • Alaska Norm

        I can’t see Shelton dropping to the bottom of the 2nd round, but if you’re right, I would love for the Seahawks pick him up. He would be the perfect rotational run stopper with potential to produce pressure up the middle on passing downs. Everything I’ve read about the guy mentions his outstanding attitude and drive and big personality which would fit in with the locker room. With this scenario taking a reach on Fuchess in the first would be fine in my book… Hopefully with the 32nd pick.

        Rob, thanks again for all your work on this site. It’s a highlight of my day to get my Hawks fix. Appreciate all your work and insight.

  3. connor

    Would love to get Malcolm Brown if he declares. Flat out stud. We got so close to getting Dominique Easley last year, and I feel like it could be a similar situation with Brown. To me, he is a top 20 talent for sure. But as Rob said he’s hardly talked about. Would be awesome if he fell to us.

  4. Ralphy

    I would love to see Green-Beckham slide to the Seahawks. He is the big WR we need!

    • Ben2

      No! If it was just smokin some weed (like Warren Sapp when he came into the league) I wouldn’t care, but this guy is a dumpster fire! Haven’t we learned our lesson with Percy Harvin?

  5. JeffC

    If we get a solid starter at 3 tech, WR, future rb, TE, or OG, I’ll be thrilled. No more unorthodox say what? picks in the early rounds.

    • Volume 12

      Agree on OG as well. Have you looked at lsu OG Vadal Alexander? He’s only a jr., but loaded with potential. He seems like what they look for in a LG-great size, nasty demeanor, blows people off the ball, and a really good run blocker. Plus we all know how they like them some lsu guys.

  6. dj

    Seems like a low price for mariota. Washington spent 3 firsts and a second to move up 4 spots for Griffin.

    St. Louis is a more likely trade partner after all this time. Less of a jump up the board, the rest of the team is already built out, and Bradford is a known quantity at this point. Time for them to move on and with a real QB they’re an immediate threat.

  7. JC

    #28 to #1 will require more draft treasure than that though. Not sure there is a sane method for a team to move that far up to #1 overall.

    • bigDhawk

      I was scratching my head as well wondering if I had missed something. No way just a 2016 first is enough to move up 25+ spots to FOA. Probably more like this year’s 1 and 2 plus next year’s 1-2-3. And now there are reports that the University of Florida is considering an all-in money whip to go get Kelley – like the 2 year cup of coffee Saban had in the NFL – so then whole Mariotta thing would be moot.

      Also, I’m not a UW homer, but as has been mentioned above already I think Shelton is a late first round talent and would actually be a perfect fit for the high pick we want the ‘Hawks to spend on the DL. Don’t think he will be on the board when we pick in round 2 barring a trade to move up.

      • JeffC

        Shelton was hilarious in the apple cup. See that sideways somersault right before the snap, and then he ends up getting the sack? Maybe he was trying to display his athletic prowess with such size.

      • Rob Staton

        I know the deal is unrealistic — it’s actually an extra first and second. But it was cheaper because it benefits the Raiders attempts to bring in Harbaugh. Essentially a three way trade. Just a bit of fun.

  8. KingRajesh

    Draft does not compute, picking at 26 with the Cardinals picking at 31.

  9. Phil

    I’m just regurgitating past ideas from you, Rob, and others on this blog …..

    I think a productive WR/TE is the Seahawks #1 need. It’s unlikely that we will be able to fill this need in FA because big-name free agent receivers are not going to want to play in a run-oriented offense like the Seahawks’. So, we will likely have to fill this need in the draft. And, if this is the case, in a draft that doesn’t have a lot of five-star receivers, this may mean having to trade picks to move up to snag, say, Amari Cooper. I know the Seahawks’ front office doesn’t have a history of moving up, but this year I think they are going to have to do it if they want to grab a really talented WR.

    I agree that DT/DE is also an area where we need to add talent/depth. The injury to Mebane and the loss of Red & Clemons has hurt us this year. But, as Rob has pointed out in the past, finding pass-rushing DTs/DEs in the draft is really tough. I think the Seahawks FO recognizes this so I think they are more likely to look to free agency to fill their needs on the DL.

    So, use Rd. 1 of the draft to get a target for RW. Use free agency to add talent to the DL. Hope to find diamonds in the rough in the other rounds of the draft.

    • AlaskaHawk

      My take on it is that because the big wide receiver’s are scarce this year we should go after a good defensive linemen. I’ve followed this blog for four years now, many of the defensive linemen that Rob has highlighted are now playing for the NFL and having an impact. I think the Seahawks have a greater chance of finding a good defensive linemen in the first round (or a good tackle) then they do finding a 6’5″ tall receiver. Now if you are willing to relax your standards to 6’2″ and 220# receiver with leaping ability and good hands, then we can probably be successful in finding someone like that in the first round. Seems like we are doing okay at tight end now so I’m not going to look for another until 3 round or later.

      Basically the Seahawks identity is in defense and running the ball. So I would look at the defensive linemen in the first.

  10. cha

    BREAKING: Michigan just fired Hoke.

  11. cha

    Rob, I know it’s early, but do you see anyone in the “Seahawks should consider trading up for” in your top 10?

    If all it takes is the #28, #60 and next year’s first rounder to secure the #1 pick the Seahawks should really think about moving into the top 10 if there’s a guy they feel would be a game changer.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m yet to identify anyone I’d want to trade up for.

  12. Turp

    Great pick Rob. New tape to study…

  13. Volume 12

    Hey Rob, thanks for taking a look at Malcolm Brown. Glad you like him. I think this kid is the real deal and seems like a perfect fit talent and personality/character wise. Regarding a ‘big’ target, I think/hope you really get a chance to take a good look at Miami te Clive Walford. That would be my 2nd rd. Target. Again seems like a perfect fit for the same reasons as Brown. I know some people may ding him for a lack of ‘speed’ or ‘athleticism’ but Zach Miller and Tony Moeaki aren’t exactly combine freaks and I still think Walford is a better athlete than both.

  14. Ross

    Malcolm Brown looks great. He has a great knack for throwing off his blocker and just bursting forward to make a play. Would be very happy to see a player of his ability on the team.

    Still want Michael Bennett so we can run a Bennett – Avril – Bennett package called the Avril Sandwich.

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