Updated first round mock draft: 16th November

I posed the question yesterday – what happens if the Seahawks don’t draft a quarterback?

I’ve long argued that it’s the team’s greatest need. I’ve also looked at scenarios where the Seahawks take a QB whether they win the NFC West or not.

My objective with mock drafts is never to attempt to accurately predict what’s going to happen in six months time. Instead I prefer to examine different scenarios and create a discussion. In this weekly update I have the Seahawks picking 21st overall (the position they will likely hold if they win the NFC West and do not reach the NFC conference game). The four top quarterbacks – Luck, Newton, Locker and Mallett – are all off the board before Seattle are on the clock.

If the team had a firm belief in either Locker or Mallett – in this projection they’d only need to trade up a handful of spots to get their man. That is an option – however – I never include trades in my mocks.

Taking that into account I had a look at the alternative options available.


As a big fan of Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama) it was a tempting option. The Seahawks still lack playmakers and I believe Ingram has star-potential. The trade for Marshawn Lynch negates the likelihood of this move. Seattle’s run game could use the boost Ingram provides – but a stagnant pass offense (Sunday excluded) and poor blocking is more to blame than a lack of quality at running back.

Cornerback is a position that can always be improved and added to. Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado) is physical and owns the size Seattle wants at the position. He’s also under rated and could go higher than I have projected here. It was extremely tempting to place Smith with Seattle – with Utah’s Brandon Burton a secondary consideration.

Not, however, as tempting as it was to hand the Seahawks some needed depth to the defensive line. With Brandon Mebane an impending free agent, the roster may look thread bare come April. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) and Drake Nevis (DT, LSU) both fit scheme and would be worthy options. LEO consideration could go to Georgia’s eleven-sack pass rusher Justin Houston. J.J. Watt (DE, Wisconsin) is a solid five technique candidate.

The Seahawks could also look here at Adrian Clayborn and Ryan Kerrigan – to prospects who have fallen considerably in the last 2-3 weeks.

Despite all of these options, I went elsewhere. The pick in this week’s mock draft?

Mike Pouncey (OG/C, Florida).

I’m not one for over rating interior line prospects. Their value is comparatively slim compared to the more premium positions – OT, DE, DT, QB etc. I’ll admit in the past to cringing at mocks from yester-year that placed Seattle with an offensive guard when much greater long term needs remained. If anything – those needs are even bigger today.

Even so – I will attempt to justify my decision making here.

For starters – this is not necessarily the direction I would go in. Let me stress that right off the bat. This team has been forced into a turnstile mentality on the offensive line all year and have invested a serious determination into not only improving the O-line, but also the running game.

The run blocking so far has been abysmal.

I have sympathy for what can only be described as a patched up line with players who are unfamiliar, returning from injury, acclimatising to new environments and learning new schemes. Even so – there may be further changes in the off season. Sean Locklear and Chris Spencer are free agents. We have no idea whether Max Unger is considered a long term staple when he returns from injury. Can Chester Pitts and Stacy Andrews become part of the furniture alongside Russell Okung?

You may know Pouncey’s twin brother Maurkice? He was taken 18th overall in last year’s draft. He’s also been a revelation on a banged up and notoriously disappointing Pittsburgh offensive line.

The other Pouncey stayed in school whilst his brother headed for the NFL. Things started badly – his move from guard to center took some getting used to. His main issue was something so basic – snapping the ball.

Since then he’s worked hard to address that, developed into the heart and soul of his team and his performances have been striking. He looks like a clone, rather than a twin. He’s equally adept at pass protection as he is versus the run.

At 313lbs he’s not over sized for this team (especially since Andrews became a regular feature). His brother plays at 304lbs for Pittsburgh, so he could lose weight to suit more zone blocking tendencies. The Seahawks would have the option of playing him alongside Okung at left guard or as a center should Spencer depart.

It’s a big investment, especially if it was to be made ahead of choosing to trade up for a shot at the QB’s. Even so – if this team is serious about improving the run and the offensive line – I wouldn’t rule it out. He could be BPA and picking 21st might limit the Seahawks options. Of course we wouldn’t be looking at this position if Seattle don’t win the NFC West and pick much earlier. If they do select in the 20’s, it goes to show how things might change in terms of who we project as the team’s first round pick.


  1. Matt

    Bam! Pouncey! Nailed it!

    As un-sexy as this pick would be (to the casual fan), I’d be pretty excited about Pouncey. I do, however, hope he would stick at LG and perhaps kick Unger back to Center (college days) if Spencer isn’t resigned. A Okung Pouncey left side would be great and would really open up future drafts to being able to make sexy picks (ie WR, CB).

    Of course, if this mock were to play out, I’d hope the Hawks would trade up a few spots to get Locker (I know you don’t do trades). All in all, your mocks continue to be great and it’s nice to mix it up like you do. Keep it up Rob.

    • Brendan

      Okung + Pouncey = sexy time

  2. Brendan

    Well played Rob.

    Okung and Pouncey on the left side of the line? Dare I say that reminds me off…… not yet. Not even close. But still makes you wonder.

    Thought your reasoning was strong and I agree with your assertion about cornerback being another possible direction for this team along with D-line.

    Keep up the goooooooooood work


  3. Brendan

    I would be very surprised if St. Louis didn’t take a wideout but I do understand that they may be stretching for the 3rd best WR in the draft with their pick.

  4. jianfu

    I dig Green to the Vikings. You’re right they have other immediate needs, but they’ve shown in the past they’re one of those teams that don’t necessarily identify one or two specific needs; rather, they identify 4 or 5 areas and then try to draft a player who can provide an immediate impact at one of those spots (as they did with AP just one year after signing Chester Taylor to a lucrative contract). Green could certainly do that.

  5. Andy

    Love Pouncey. Like you I want a QB as of this moment. But if we can’t have Mallett, Pouncey would be great.

  6. Nick Andron

    I completely agree with, and would support the decision to draft an elite Guard. We need one to grow up with Okung and enforce the left side of the line. With Spencer re-signed (hopefully), the middle/left would be very strong.

    BTW – the mere thought of Mebane leaving in free agency sends me into a depression. What a horrifying thought.

    • Matt Quarre

      1st round – Mike Pouncey
      2nd round – Marvin Austin (If Brandon Meabane leaves)
      4th round – Tim Barnes (Center, Mizzo, i am really impressed with him)
      5th> Fill need
      6th> Fill need
      7th> Fill need

      • Matt Quarre

        With those guys our line would be set for a long time!
        LT = Russel Okung
        LG = Mike Pouncey
        C = Tim Barnes
        RG = Max Unger
        RT = Stacy Andrews

  7. Alexander Hsie

    I wasn’t too keen on drafting a DT until you reminded me of Drake Nevis. I remember being pretty impressed by him in the games that I watched him. I’m still not the biggest fan of Pea simply because I’ve seen him play a lot in the Pac 10 and I wouldn’t rate him any more dominant than Brian Price last year.


  8. Michael

    Hmm. Not a fan. Pouncey has name recognition, yes. But his play has not improved all that much. Florida has not run the ball well this year, and line play has been a major contributor to that.

    This pick would shock and disappoint. CB is a bigger need.

  9. LantermanC

    That’s why I love this blog, I was just thinking about Pouncey the other day and wondering if it was worth a 1st round pick for a interior lineman, and voila, SDB has a piece precisely on that.

    And as a twin, I’m not so sure that there’s any difference between a clone and an identical twin, except for the fact that clones can be several years apart in age, whereas twins are the same age (though I guess with freezing of embryos and whatnot, twins can be several years apart as well).

  10. Jim Kelly

    At 21st, interior line would be great. The only other non-qb positions I could see the Hawks drafting would be CB or rush DE. If the Hawks don’t draft Pouncey, who would they take in the second round? Kris O’Dowd? Rodney Hudson?

    The way that Pete Carroll talked up Chris Spencer, I can see him re-signing. I still think he can be a better guard than center. I don’t feel that Sean Locklear will be here though. I’d love to see a line of Russell Okung and Stacey Andrews at the tackles, with a combination of Max Unger, Spencer, and either Pouncey or Hudson in the middle. That would make the offense special.

    Not drafting Pouncey would mean they’d draft a prime rush DE or CB that’s fallen. In either scenario I’d be overcome with joy.

  11. Alexander Hsie

    Interesting. If you do draft Pouncey, I want to see the Seahawks use him at Center rather than LG. Personally, I think Pitts could be used at LG. That could move Spencer to RG and RT can be Polumbus or Stacey. I still think guard is one of those lower positions and Pitts would suffice. Besides LT, if you were to devote a first rounder, I want to see it on a smart center.

    And note, I’m giving you guys the benefit of the doubt on this when you guys say that he is as good as his brother (who is good enough to warrant a 1st round pick). I remember his brother, but on Saturday, the only thing I remember seeing was the Florda Gators getting their behind buried in the ground at their own stadium. And if we do pass on Pouncey, I wouldn’t be disappointed if we got O’Dowd. He is a legit center and was top until he got hurt.

    With that being said, I still prefer QB (in some way), an elite WR, an elite CB since the latter two are the strengths of this draft. I haven’t been very impressed with the DTs this year. I’ve seen plenty of Bama, Auburn, and LSU games and their defense were good, but I wouldn’t say it was jaw dropping. The main reason I mentioned Navis is because he stood out more than the others in my mind. That said, I can’t help but notice how many DL prospects there are. Other than Bower, I haven’t been blown away by any other prospect like I was with Suh last year. I’ll keep a closer eye on the DT prospects in the Auburn and Bama game. As for Cameron Jordan. I saw him plenty of times in the Oregon game and he does have good gap discipline, but I wouldn’t say he is particularly explosive (something I greatly value on the DL) and he doesn’t always penetrate into the backfield. Good NFL prospect, just not sure if I would put him that high.


  12. 1sthill

    I would not be opposed to taking Mike Pouncey, he would bring a nasty physical presence to our o-line that we don’t currently have. I scouted Mike and his brother last year and I loved the way he played. Mike would de-cleat unsuspecting defenders, bury guys into the ground, he played with a mean streak (he got into a bit of a scuffle last year with Alabama MLB McMlain, and he played with good awareness as an OG. I would give him a chance to compete for the starting OC position and if he did not win the starting job then he could start at OG.

    I would rather us sign Patirot OG Logan Mankins (2 time Pro Bowl player), over pay him if necessary, and use our 1st round pick at a different position.

  13. Matt

    Rumor on ESPN that the Hawks are working out Tony Ugoh who was released from the Colts. That’s a very intriguing option at RT. He didn’t work out at LT like they hoped, but clearly he has talent (second round pick). It would be nice to hit on a O-lineman or 2 giving us more flexibility in the draft next year where we simply are not forced into the “have to” draft a certain position mode.

    Rob, what are your thoughts on Tyler Polumbus at RT? He’s doing a pretty good job at LT and provides a nice security blanket there.

    • Rob

      Polumbus deserves a lot of credit – as do the front office for bringing him in. For a nominal price he’s done a decent job filling in for the 6th overall pick. He’s a steady performer who could be a long term dependable backup. I’m not sure how he translates to the right in all honesty. If Locklear struggles and Okung can return (and stay healthy) there could be an opportunity there to try him at RT. We’ll have to see if that’s an option.

  14. Matt

    I was wondering if any of you have any doubt that JS and PC won’t do “what they need to do” to draft the QB they want?

    They have shown they can unearth good players outside of round 1 (think Clemons, switching Red’s position, BMW, etc), so I wouldn’t be shocked at all about them mortgaging some picks to get “their” guy. After all, I think both these guys know the importance of having your guy at QB (SC for PC, Favre/developing Rodgers for JS).

    What do you guys think this FO will do to address QB? And please no, Hass needs a 4-5 year deal because he had one good game against a terrible team. I think they should extend him 2 years, with the thinking that they only want him for 1 more productive/average season while they let the new guy (whoever) that may be, transition into the starting role.

    • Blake

      Ya I agree that they have been very creative with a lot of guys. Add to the list you already compiled Milloy, Lewis, and Obomanu. Milloy was thought of as a weak starter, but is now playing at a Pro Bowl level. Lewis and Obo were afterthoughts who have made impacts either through injuries or on special teams. If we could actually get true talent on this roster, I can’t imagine what could be done with it. However, the one position that a coach can’t really get creative with is QB. Unless you have a true DUDE at the position, the team is incapable of winning a title. On this blog we have already established that DUDES are found in round 1 and only round 1. For that purpose, I wouldn’t doubt that Carroll will move around where he needs to in order to acquire his guy-who seems to be Jake Locker. I’ll be at the game tomorrow to check him out. Black jerseys and end zones are gonna be sick.

  15. Blake

    With Ras-I Dowling busting his ankle last week how likely is it that he’s now a Rd 2 guy? He obviously has the size that we covet (6’2″, 205), but I see him as more of a Tampa 2 read-and-react type guy than a man to man corner like we have been playing. All I’m saying is he’s one to watch if he can get healthy for senior bowl and combine.

    • matt

      He definitely has great size for a corner. Let’s not forget, they spent a relatively high pick on Walter Thurmond who had a brutal knee injury. So, I don’t think they’d be turned off by a guy who suffered an injury, especially if they like everything he brings to the table.

      Barring a quick recovery, I bet Dowling could fall simply due to the fact that there are a lot of good CBs in this draft, most of which have very good size as well too. I’m all for drafting talented guys lower than expected due to injuries and I think PC and JS like to find those guys that could have been high picks, but for whatever reason were not (ie Thurmond injury, McCoy – off field issues).

    • Rob

      The injury will hurt him. I had him as a R2 prospect anyway on further evidence, but this could drop him further. Hopefully he can be healthy for the senior bowl.

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