I’ve come to loathe mock drafts. There are too many. And a lot of draft ‘analysts’ these days have stopped talking about players and prefer to spend their time checking-in with their agenda-driven league sources.
However — in the days leading up to a draft a mock published by a well known reporter is the fix you need. You know you’re clicking on that link. And you’re going to enjoy reading the mock, however accurate it ends up being.
I don’t think this top-10 is going to be as unpredictable as people think. The order that the players go in might be a bit of a jumble but by now we know what this class is. It lacks great quarterback talent. It lacks obvious ‘blue chip’ top-10 picks. We’re likely to see teams fall back on the premium positions (trenches) and seek to make the best of a bad situation by getting a good offensive or defensive lineman.
King has Jermaine Johnson dropping to #23 overall to Arizona. I would suggest this is practically impossible. When you run a 1.55 10-yard split at his size, dominate the Senior Bowl, do everything to show you’re an alpha at the combine and showcase a complete defensive end skillset on tape — you will be drafted early.
His floor is probably Atlanta at #8 but he could easily go in the top-five. I wouldn’t get your hopes up that he’ll be there for Seattle. Tony Pauline has been discussing how he’s an option for the Jets at #4.
My league source felt he deserved an #11-20 grade but that was mentioned some time ago. I’m noting it because I wouldn’t completely rule out Johnson still going in that range. But his stock has just risen and risen and there’s been nothing to suggest it’s stalling on the home straight.
It feels inevitable that Travon Walker, Aidan Hutchinson, Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal will go very early short of any unknown injury flags. There has been a bit of talk around Neal, who hasn’t done any testing pre-draft.
It feels somewhat safe to project Sauce Gardner will also go in the top-10 one way or another. The other two spots in the top-eight could easily be made up by Kayvon Thibodeaux and Charles Cross (who I maintain is overrated).
There’s also a chance a receiver is taken.
If it plays out like that — regardless of the order, it won’t really be that unpredictable.
King’s projection though has some significant shocks.
Kyle Hamilton is taken at #7 to the Giants and Drake London goes #8 overall to Atlanta. I wouldn’t expect either to happen.
I don’t think Sauce Gardner will be drafted at #4 overall either. For me it’s pretty clear that will be a pass rusher or offensive lineman.
I do think there’s a chance we see an early run on receivers though (especially given the price-tag of the position these days).
King’s suggestion for the Seahawks is practically too good to be true.
He has Seattle moving down from #9 to #13 with Houston, so the Texans can jump in front of the Jets for a receiver. I’ve been saying the #9 pick is a great position for the Seahawks and that’ll stay the case provided the Jets keep the pick. Teams will be wary of New York selecting a receiver or lineman.
The Seahawks acquire the #68 pick for moving down — which would be an early Christmas present. Then at #13 both Thibodeaux and Johnson are still available.
That would be a miracle. They’d probably need to give Kevin Costner a ring about making ‘Draft Day 2: Electric Boogaloo’ if they pulled that off.
Reading King’s scenario for the Seahawks gave me the best dopamine hit I’ve had in months. Then reality kicked in and I realised this was about as likely as Italy agreeing to replay the final of Euro 2020.
Here’s King’s blurb:
Perfect Pete Carroll pick. Thibodeaux’s an LA kid, he’ll be supremely ticked off at not being the first edge off the board and falling this far, and Carroll knows how to feed into the mental game that fuels players. That, plus Thibodeaux would be the kind of top talent that the Seahawks never get to pick in the draft because they’re always picking at the bottom of the round, or later. Thibodeaux, if he works out, would be a good pick for a team devoid of a top-end pass-rusher, in a division with some serious passing games.
I’d like this pick, in this spot, for Seattle. I’m not alone. “Thibodeaux at 13 would be a coup for Seattle,” one GM told me Sunday when I apprised him of my diabolical plan to send the Oregon edge down the draft board.
It would be perfect. So would the chance to pick Johnson in the same slot.
But the likelihood remains that both will probably be gone by #9 and the Seahawks will face the scenario we’ve been discussing for some time. Do you take a chance on talent and select Derek Stingley Jr, do they try and fill a hole by just selecting Trevor Penning or can they trade down?
If, by chance, King’s scenario comes true (even if it’s only one of Thibodeaux or Johnson) — it’d be party time.
I’m hearing a lot of noise about the Seahawks taking a hard look at Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis here. The massive run-stopper had a legendary combine workout, and he has been sneaking up boards ever since — and Seattle could take him in the top 10.
I’m also told that Seattle really likes Stingley. The talented cornerback has been mocked all over the place. Some teams love the ceiling, best displayed by a six-interception freshman season. Others are hesitant to use an early pick on a player limited to 10 uneven games over the past two seasons. But he is getting more love than previously thought, and he might not make it out of the top 10 after all. And there’s even a chance he goes before Gardner.
If not Davis or Stingley, the Seahawks could fall back on offensive tackle. They have a hole on the left side right now — but there’s also a good chance Ekwonu, Neal and Cross are all off the board by the time Seattle is picking.
Tony Pauline, along with McShay, is also connecting the Texans with Stingley Jr at #3.
A lot of the themes we’ve been discussing seem to be coming to fruition — no quarterbacks in the top-10, Carolina taking a tackle, Stingley better than Sauce.
In the final days leading up to the draft I might post multiple articles per day. Keep scrolling down from the homepage so you don’t miss anything — I won’t necessarily be tweeting a link to every article.
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