Rumour mill circulating…

This is the most unpredictable draft I think we’ll see for a good few years. I suspect we’ll have the greatest disparity between teams on a pick-by-pick basis. And that’s leading to a lot of speculation.

There’s going to be very little consensus on a lot of these players and positional groups. There’s going to be a lot more picking for scheme or physical preference. And that’ll make virtually every pick unmissable this week.

It starts right at #1. I’m actually hoping we don’t see any leaks before Thursday. Contract negotiations usually begin in the week between the prospect likely to go first overall and the team picking in that spot. In every draft I’ve ever covered, we’ve known the guy going #1 weeks in advance. Not this year. It’d be pretty cool to see the top picked called out without the usual reveal before hand. We’ll see if that happens.

Tony Pauline is reporting today that some members of the Chiefs’ staff prefer Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel. For me, Fisher has the higher ceiling. Yet he hasn’t faced anywhere near the same level of competition. Jason Smith had a similar amount of upside (#2 overall in 2009) and struggled to make the step up. Given the choice between the two, I go for Joeckel. Solid, dependable, you know what you’re going to get. He’s faced some of the best pass rushers in college football (SEC and Big-12) and excelled.

Bob McGinn’s pieces are fairly interesting, quoting scouts and usually complaining about every prospect under the sun.

The piece I’ve linked to above is basically yet another bashing of the quarterback market. I’ll say this — don’t assume Geno Smith is the first quarterback off the board. When we’re talking about personal preference, this is the position where it matters the most.

A case in point… from what I am led to believe (take that for what it’s worth) a lot of teams would’ve drafted Blaine Gabbert #1 overall in 2011 over Cam Newton (at least those who desperately needed a quarterback). I also believe one of the teams who preferred Gabbert over Newton was Seattle. With hindsight, nobody would second-guess Carolina’s pick. Yet in many other scenarios, Gabbert goes #1 two years ago.

In the same draft, Tennessee took Jake Locker #8 overall when a lot of other teams had him ranked way down in the mid-round range. I believe Washington would’ve loved to get Locker at #10, but rejected the chance to draft Gabbert as an alternative. And Minnesota liked the class enough to tick guys off and still take Christian Ponder at #12 — a player others didn’t rate anywhere near as highly.

That doesn’t mean this will happen all over again and we’ll see a host of quarterbacks flying off the board. But don’t be surprised if the order in which the quarterbacks are drafted contradicts what we’ve been hearing in the media for the last few weeks.

More than half the league might rank Matt Barkley in round two or lower. And he might still be a top ten pick on Thursday. He could be Buffalo’s guy. Do not be shocked. Yeah the cold weather. Blah blah. Ryan Nassib used to play for Doug Marrone. It’s a fair point. Some teams — and I include the Bills here — are going to see value in Barkley. His ability to start quickly, be an intelligent leader from the get-go and facilitate the playmakers in Buffalo. He’ll need more at receiver, but there will be options in round two and three. The Bills can become competitive in the AFC East quickly with solid quarterback play. I can see this happening.

Geno Smith might be the consensus top quarterback as McGinn’s study reports, but he might go lower than expected — just like Gabbert. And players like Nassib and E.J. Manuel — despite having limited ability on tape — might also find they go earlier than we expect, in the same way Ponder did two years ago.

Pick your poison. That’s what teams do. And if you think you’ve found the guy you can win with, you’re not worrying about a talking head in the media saying that same guy is a ‘fourth round pick’ or whatever silliness we’ve heard this off-season.

On defense, Tank Carradine had his work out today, as he continues to return from an ACL injury. Chris Mortensen has the details…

Other people have suggested he ran in the 4.9’s. There are mixed reports out there.

I’m not a huge fan of Carradine, unlike some others. He might prove to be one of those players who just has a natural knack of getting to the quarterback. Maybe. Yet I think he has a lot of ‘easy’ sacks on tape and I’m always sceptical of pass rushers out of Florida State. I’m not sure he or Bjoern Werner will go on to have great careers in the NFL.

Carradine tries to swipe away blockers and side step to the edge. He doesn’t mix it up or use a great speed rush and his hand-use could be better. I’d challenge my tackle to let him dip inside and run into traffic. Show him the inside route to the quarterback. I don’t think he has the speed to capitalise on that and could end up looking pretty pedestrian if you take away his swipe move. He doesn’t explode out of the blocks. He has got a good motor though and prototype size.

My top three at #56 remain the same for now:

1. Khaseem Greene

2. Quinton Patton

3. Christine Michael

However, this is assuming there’s going to be a rush on offensive and defensive tackles, limiting the options for Seattle. I’m going to re-watch some Sio Moore tape tonight. Of course, you never know who might fall or what the Seahawks are planning. I could just as easily see them going for a Vance McDonald — athletic, out-there, Seahawky. Only a few more days to wait and find out.


  1. Ryan

    Rob, great stuff as always.

    If i was Buffalo I would go “all in” this draft to set the future of their franchise. One of the most difficult learning curves in the NFL is the QB, WR relationship. A huge reason Manning and Harrison dominated outside of their talent was that each side of the pair had a very strong indication what the other would do. Split seconds and small holes are major in the NFL with anticipation allowing down right mediocre QB’s to succeed.

    @ 8 they pick Matt Barkley and then…. Trade back into the late 1st and draft Robert Woods. What a great way to help your QB transition effectively. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      I think that would be a smart plan for Buffalo. One that’ll get universal condemnation on Twitter because they aren’t two players the media loves. They aren’t two guys Greg ‘the oracle’ Cosell has doted on. But the Bills need to put down a foundation on offense. They have a nice d-line, they have some players in the secondary. They have Mario. On offense, they also have some pieces. Johnson at WR, the two running backs. Couple of nice lineman. But they haven’t got the clue that holds everything together. The leader at QB. The guy who manages it all. Barkley can do that. Giving him Woods helps his learning curve a little. DeAndre Hopkins is another good option, purely due to his competitive spirit and consistency.

    • Colin

      I think Buffalo would be foolish to go “all in” in this draft. For whom? Matt Barkley? It doesn’t make much sense. They have a nice foundation of talent. They have a good WR, a good RB, a couple of solid DT’s in addition to Mario Williams and Stephon Gilmore playing CB. Don’t screw it up in a panic to get a QB.

      I think you pass on him at 8 and try and trade back into rd 1 to secure him UNLESS you are absolutely 100% sold he is your guy.

      • Ryan

        Colin I agree in a sense that the talent may not match up directly with the pick position but with so much parity in the first round, you don’t wait and hope everyone else feels the same way.

        You need to win this is not a 3 – 4 year rebuild in Buffalo. Bringing in Barkley with his partner in crime the last 3 years allows for the confidence to transition smoothly. I also for better or worse enjoy that Matt struggled this past season. As an NFL QB you need to be ready to have a crappy season and fight to overcome that.

  2. Ed

    Isn’t every GM 100% solid the guy is “the guy.” Look what Dalton did for Cincy. Playoffs both years. Not advocating for Barkley, just saying

  3. Kip Earlywine

    Inspired by your “top 3” comment, here are my top 5 players I hope fall to us in round 2 but probably won’t:

    1. Sly Williams
    2. Zach Ertz
    3. Kawann Short
    4. DeAndre Hopkins (I rate Swope over Hopkins)
    5. Menelik Watson (I rate Marquandt over Watson)

    And my top 5 overall at #56 (that I feel are realistic):

    1. Ryan Swope
    2. John Simon
    3. Christine Michael
    4. Luke Marquandt
    5. Jonathan Banks

    Honorable mentions: Brandon Williams, Corey Lemonier, Robert Alford

    • James

      John Simon jumped off the tape at me almost the same way Russell Wilson did last year. He too lacks the measurables, but I really believe he can become a great Leo. If a player can dominate at the Big 10/SEC level, he can do so in the pros. While waiting his turn behind Avril and Clemons, Simon would be a special teams demon. A John Schneider pick if there ever was one.

    • Troy

      Kip & Rob what are your thoughts on S. Cooper Taylor out of Richmond?

      • Kip Earlywine

        Reminds me a lot of Brandon Browner, but with more speed. Physical specimen. Seattle met with him.

  4. CHawk Talker Eric

    Wildly entertaining post. Ah, these are fun times.

    Personally, I go with superior athleticism and take Fisher #1. But I can see the argument in favor of Joeckle.

    At 56? I’d take Michael, but it’s no easy choice because I sure like Greene. I’ve nothing against Patton. I just think it makes more sense to reload at RB with Michael than it does to reload at WR with Patton (or any other WR likely to be available). I think he displays a rare talent, and his ceiling is pro bowl high. I see him as having the potential to be a devastating RB in PC’s ZBS, in part because of tremendous acceleration, and also because he’s a decent lead blocker. Finally, I don’t think he’ll make it to 87.

    Once again, great read.

  5. SHawn

    CAnt wait to hear your thoughts on SIO!!!! Even if they contradict my own, which is that he is AWESOME!! Well, he has his flaws, true. Everyone this year does. But he seems like he could play all 3 spots for us, at a position group that seems upgradeable.

  6. James

    I need more convincing to believe that John & Pete might take a WR or RB in R2. This week I have heard both John Clayton and Doug Farrar say that the coaches are really high on Stephen Williams, the 6’5″ WR picked up in the off season. Williams would be the 5th WR, so how does another WR even make the 53 man roster? …maybe if Seattle has already decided not to re-sign Golden Tate, but that is the only way I see it happening. A RB likewise has a questionable roster spot, or would have to make a home on the inactive list, unless the Seahawks are giving up on Turbin. Lattimore would make more sense in R3, and stash him on IR for the year. My guess is that at least one DT or OT that John really likes will fall to them at #56. …Completely out of left field, I believe it was Rob Rang who said that the Seahawks are so high on QB Matt Scott that they might take him at #56, develop him, and trade him for a first round pick in about 3 years, but how does that help them win a Super Bowl any time soon? John & Pete are going for a championship, and will draft the guys most likely to improve the team to the point of getting them there in the near term.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to get excited about a receiver they picked up from obscurity. No offense to Clayton or Farrar, but them saying they like him doesn’t equate to writing off possible receivers here. Planning for the possibility of not being able to re-sign Tate and maybe needing to cut Rice is a serious issue for me. As for RB’s… stockpile. The run is king in Seattle. You can never have too many. If you want Lynch to last, keep adding talent. It’s what Pete did at USC. I am very dubious they take a QB in round two though.

  7. Ed

    I agree about RB in R2, no way. Same for QB to trade for 1st rd pick (you go 3rd or later to try that). But I think we need a WR and R2 (Hopkins/Patton/Woods) or R3 (Williams). Rice won’t be kept at his price next year, Tate is probably gone unless he keeps up his late season pace and Baldwin is always hurt and probably won’t be kept. That leaves Harvin.

    My top 3

    1. D. Hopkins
    2. Q. Patton
    3. K. Greene/Simon

    Lattimore in 4 would be fine with me too.

    2nd Hopkins/Patton
    3rd OT/DT
    4th Lattimore
    5th Gooden/Bostic

  8. James

    Does anyone know if Quinton Patton returns punts? That might give him the edge. The Seahawks have a glaring need for a PR, with Leon gone. Golden Tate obviously has the return skills, but he seems to lose focus and muff a punt far too often when he has been given the chance. John will likely have to draft someone, like Denard Robinson, the former Honey Badger, or Patton if he has the skill.

    • jdtjohnson

      Percy Harvin

      • Ben2

        Too risky – Harvins gotta be healthy for our playoff run!

  9. Lenny253

    Rb and WR at 56 seems like a waiste to me

  10. Rock

    I could see a WR at #56 but not a RB. I would not expect Patton, however. PC clearly has a preference for tall WR’s. Terrance Williams might be a nice get. This draft is so deep at the WR position I feel then can get one any time. I am sure we will all be surprised and PC/JS will make some great choices for us. They have a plan of succession and will draft to replace some of the guys they cannot afford to keep.

    • Rob Staton

      Seattle has one tall receiver – Sidney Rice. They spent a second round pick on Tate, traded for Harvin and gave Baldwin a substantial work load. Not sure how you can say Patton won’t be a target because PC prefers tall receivers.

      • Rock

        Exactly! Seattle has only one tall, number 1 receiver. Patton, while a nice looking prospect, would be in competition with Tate, Baldwin and Harvin for playing time. The need is for someone to come in and serve as the understudy to Rice. That position, ideally, is for a taller guy with break away speed. Patton is neither tall nor fast.

        • Rob Staton

          But you said Carroll prefers tall receivers. There is no evidence to suggest this. That’s the point I’m making. If he prefers big, tall receivers, then he doesn’t draft Tate, give Baldwin a substantial role and trade for Harvin. Clearly he doesn’t mind 6-0 or lower receivers.

          If you’re good enough, you’re tall enough. That’s what I imagine Carroll’s philosophy is. Rice might be gone in 2014. Tate is a pending free agent. Baldwin is a former UDFA and not exactly irreplaceable. You can’t rule out Patton based on height.

  11. Lenny253

    Kawann Short looks the part as far as DT’s go. His motor is a lil suspect but In guessing he’ll be asked to play Two downs a series for right now. Mike Bennett can contribute on passing downs at 3tec DT and WLB are our biggest needs and I’d rather address them in rds 2 and 3 someway somehow.

    Our DL should go as follows. LE Avril, 3TEC ? MEBANE, Bryant

    Passing downs

    Avril, Bennett, Mebane, Irvin/Bryant

    However I belive WLB is a bigger need because he will have more responsibilities. Remember this office loves finding unique skill sets. You don’t neccessarily have to do everything especially at DT. Only if Greene and servicable 2down DT isnt available will I cosign the signing of positions that we are fine, Like RB and WR or CB.

    • Madmark

      Don’t forget T.J.Mcdaniels he came from Miami FA and was Randy Starks rotation, Hard to start when playing behind a good pro bowler. This guy fits the run stuffing 2 down role.

  12. Lenny253

    Oh yeah add Clemens to the mix post week 6.

  13. Belgaron

    #1 Eric Reid, both ESPN hacks have him available at 56
    #2 Terron Armstead, a high risk/reward project who would eventually combine with Sweezy as most athletic linemen on team, insurance for LT
    #3 John Jenkins, BJ Raji clone, rotational stoutness, Big Red insurance
    #4 Jamie Collins, they already have speedy options, this is a Goal Line defense option to bookend with KJ
    #5 Tyrann Mathieu, immediate PR with big play potential, special teams standout, would be taught to stay assignment correct and kept on the straight and narrow by PC and the veterans, tutored by Winfield

  14. awm

    I don’t see the need or immediate value in spending #56 on a RB or WR this year. Would rather see a DT or a “swing” OT type or that WLB position upgraded. And the comment about giving up on Robert Turbin is ridiculous! He was very solid last year and should get even better this year.

    • Rob Staton

      I think we’d all prefer that, awm. But it’s about matching the talent available to the position at #56. And there might not be a DT, WLB or swing tackle worth the pick.

      • Akermite

        While I completely understand your logic for going WR, Rob, this also sounds like an opportunity to trade back (or get a pick for next year) if the Seahawks don’t see a guy they want at a position they need. It seems crazy to think they would not pick in the first or second round, but after being so busy in FA, it doesn’t seem impossible.

  15. Ben2

    Look at teams that get themselves into a jam with the salary cap – you end up cutting contributors and losing valuable players in free agency. I think the priority is to keep Okung, Earl, maybe Chancellor (I love him but wonder what the value of an in the box safety really is/how replaceable),and we’ll need to give Russell a deal in 2 yrs while keeping him stocked with weapons the whole time. The latter is reason for WRin round 2 (ie Rice & maybe Tate gone) and having a good RB in our run oriented offense is key – and the Beast finds a LOT if contact. Didn’t Houston, a ZBS team like us get a running back a 2 yrs ago (Ben Tate?) while having a strud RB on the roster? I think our team is just so good right now it’s creating a scenario where everybody is arguing about what the priorities should be moving forward – But let’s reiterate the 1st part of that sentence in that the Hawks roster is LOADED and our youg Turk GM has a lot of options which bodes well for us!


    Seahawks need WR way more than RB and DT more than DE. In this draft they will move around alot but picks wont be traded with normal value this draft has a very bad talent level especially the top of the first half. I bet PC/JS trade back out of round two and use a haul to find their diamonds in the ruff to fill out roster not looking this year but next year aswell. Im talking replacing Rice, Robinson, Miller, Browner, Breno, Houska, Thomas, and even my favorite hawk Chancellor. These positions can be filled with one dimensional players that excell at one or two things and can lower cap numbers for the future with the rookie pay scales.

    • Ben2

      I think we see eye-to-eye here Michael….except for Miller. He’s a PLAYER – replacing his skill set will require more capital (draft or cap).

  17. Hawkfin

    IMO, I don’t see us taking a WR or RB at #56. I would put the % at 95% that this is not the position they pick.
    We got our WR in Harvin and we used a 1st rounder PLUS more to do it. I can not see us using another early pick for another one. We got Harvin, so WR takes a back seat is my feeling.
    I think we go DT, LB, TE, or Oline. My money is on DT. Maybe a LB though.

    We will draft somebody later and hope to fill the potential loss of Tate/Rice when it happens, IF it happens. They could easily restructure to stay with us too. A free agent could be added again. Or next years 1st round spent.

    Anyway, I don’t see a WR pick. I don’t buy it no matter how much others may want it.

    Here’s my top 5 list that I think have a shot at maybe being there:
    1. S. Williams/DT
    2. K. Greene/LB
    3. K. Short/DT
    4. S. Moore/LB
    5. J. Jenkins/DT

    My prediction is that they draft B. Williams/DT. (But, maybe J. Jenkins at 6’4 359)

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