Updated first round mock draft: 23rd Novemer

I’ve updated the mock draft today as planned. You can find the latest projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

As I’m on Honeymoon I’ll keep the analysis brief. Jake Locker isn’t included amongst the first round this week after another disappointing performance against UCLA. He has games and the Senior Bowl/Combine to repair his stock, but he’s just not accurate enough or progressing enough to warrant a high grade.

I like to look at different scenarios every week rather than churn out the same 32 picks jumbled around a bit. People will ask why I have the Seahawks passing on Locker at #21 when I’ve talked so much about the need to draft a QB. Earlier this year GM John Schneider listed the things he believes are key when drafting a quarterback. Locker fits the criteria for leadership, pocket mobility and hand size. It cannot be said however, that his accuracy outplays the physical qualities. It’s the exact opposite.

No doubt Locker will be back in first round contention before April – but I think it’s important to look at alternatives for Seattle and the draft in general.

I have the Seahawks selecting Jimmy Smith (CB, Colordao) this week. He has the size and physical skills the team want at cornerback. He’s flown under the radar a bit due to a lack of national spotlight at Colorado. He’s very good in press coverage but he’s got the closing burst to succeed in zone. He’s aggressive on the field but a quiet, thoughtful character who doesn’t come with any character problems.

You can never have enough good corner’s. Kelly Jennings is a free agent and Smith could project as a long term feature at CB. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) was also a strong consideration and would be more likely if Brandon Mebane wasn’t re-signed – although I suspect that’s a near certainty.


  1. Matt Quarre

    i think the seahawks should go CB and DL in the first two rounds, what do you think?

  2. Matt Quarre

    And what do you think about greg romous? He has been injured all year but i think he could be great, i dont see many other DE worth taking in the 2nd round

    • Rob

      I was never a big fan of Romeus. I think at best before the injuries he was a R2/3 prospect. Now that he’s missed almost the entire year, he’ll drop even further.

  3. kevin mullen

    Theory: Hasselbeck seems to be playing his way to a contract extension and the lack of play by Whitehurst would also solidify ‘Beck coming back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see PC making a play for Matt Barkley in 2012 draft, assuming he declares. Hasselbeck has proven he can play in Bate’s system and seems to get a better grasp of it then of Knapp’s in 2009. I can see Matt playing one more “active” year and one to mentor and tutor, say Barkley if we make a move to get him. Barkley’s had solid ’09 and a better ’10.

    Also, Barkley has outplayed Locker the last two years and is better fit for Bate’s system, knowledge wise. The ‘Hawks have a ton of holes on both offense and defense, I see ’11 draft as more of adding talent around Hasselbeck and holding the fort until Barkley declares for ’12.

    Also Walterfootball had Von Miller going to us in 1st round, not too sure I buy that: one, EJ Wilson was that same type of player for us and he was cut. Two, I agree that if Jimmy Smith CB is there at #21, you get him than another linebacker/hybrid. We have a ton of cash wrapped in that group, no way we do another linebacker in the first two rounds.


    • Rob

      Hi Kevin,

      I like Barkley a lot – he could be the #1 overall pick in 2012 if he declares. If that proves to be the case it’ll be tough to make a move to get him. It’s hard to look even a year ahead to what options there could be at QB. The Seahawks have to do something at the position this off season that suggests a long term plan. The way Locker has played this year, he could be there in R2 very easily.

      For me Von Miller has to adjust to LB. He’s about 235lbs and gaining weight will probably affect his ability to rush. He won’t be as productive with that skill set at the next level. He can adjust to LB so I don’t see that pick personally. Smith is a much more likely option given scheme, positional value and potential.

      • kevin mullen

        I agree with your assessment on Von Miller, I don’t think the ‘Hawks would draft him, (Curry seems like the candidate if we don’t resign Clemons anyways) unless by miracle he fell to us in the 4th. Walterfootball also has us picking up a center which again I don’t agree with. It seems like PC likes Spencer enough to keep him and probably would get a contract extension after the year. If we were to grab an OLineman, either OG or RT would be and should be the choice, not a center.

        As far as Barkley, I think that if we were to throw the farm at one player, especially a QB, he would be the guy. Grant it, him being a possible #1 overall pick is the likely scenerio, I think that this is a guy that just makes too much sense for the ‘Hawks to not go after. I would love Locker to land with the ‘Hawks in the 2nd; but with Buffalo, Cowboys, Cincinatti, Vikings, Miami, Arizona, I don’t see him dropping below the first 10 picks of the 2nd round, assuming those teams don’t pick a QB in the 1st.

        Again dig the pick for CB Jimmy Smith in the 1st, would you consider an elite SS instead and who would be worthy around that slot?

        • Rob

          There aren’t any elite safeties in this class at FS or SS. The team appear to have faith in Kam Chancellor as a long term successor to Lawyer Milloy and certainly he projected as a potential SS starter leading into the 2010 draft.

    • Blake

      I agree that Miller is not a logical pick for us. He would hypothetically be a rush linebacker type. I guess if Hawthorne is not resigned it makes more sense, but with so many other needs I can’t imagine us taking the top pass rusher who does not truly fit. I saw someone below say that Thurmond has not impressed. How about holding Fitzgerald to a very mediocre game when Truf and Jennings were both out? I think Fitz only had 2 grabs, both were intermediate routes with decent coverage. When I was at Qwest earlier this year I was watching the corners specifically and Thurmond is very fluid. Somewhat surprised we drafted him in the first place as he is only about 5″10″ but I think he has a pretty bright future. Probably not a #1 because of lack of size and strength, but he can be a guy that sticks a team’s possession guy and ruins the offensive flow.

      I appreciate trying to do different things in the mocks. Too many times on other football sites its the same 32-35 players in a different order rather than actually trying things out. Maybe post one without Andrew Luck. Its a possibility that he does not declare and it would be something interesting to see how much that may elevate Newton, Mallett, and Locker for teams to reach for QB or take value at another position.

      Also to the guy who said wait for Barkley in 2012 (too lazy to scroll down): I remember hearing perhaps the smartest thing I’ve ever heard from an ESPN analyst during what I think was the ’08 draft. I’m a little sloppy right now, but I think it was in ’08 (correct me if I’m wrong) when the Falcons were deciding to go with the unspectacular Matt Ryan or a more flashy prospect like McFadden, Dorsey, or Gholston. Mel Kiper said, “If you think you can win a superbowl with player x as your quarterback, then you HAVE to take him.” That is the epitome of the NFL draft. It seems like a duh statement, but too often NFL teams are looking for the perfect QB or the can’t miss prospect somewhere else instead of just taking the logical guy. The ultimate goal is to win the superbowl, so everything you do should be to help you do that. The reason I say this is because if Locker is on the board and PC thinks he can win a superbowl with him, he HAS to be the pick. He can’t wait around for another year and hopefully get the perfect QB prospect for his system.

  4. Matt

    So, I’ve done some reading about all things QB the last couple days and I think it’s paramount we get a QB in the 2011 draft and DO NOT start them at all for at least a year, maybe even 2. I think you are only increasing a QB’s chance for success by allowing them to marinate for awhile and get comfortable in the system and what is expected of them before they are thrown in the fire. I think Pete Carroll knows this. Sure, he started Barkley year one, but before him, he always went with the older, more experienced guy. Booty starting over Sanchez is the epitome of this.

    So, I would definitely be supportive of mortgaging the farm to get Andrew Luck, but I would also be supportive of Locker or Newton because I think PC and JS understand the value of letting guys get seasoned before being thrown in the fire. JS comes from GB who did it with Rodgers and saw the same method work for Hasselbeck, as well as PCs tenure at USC. Notice, the only time he went with the young guy (Barkley) was his worst season at SC excluding year one. One would have to think that this could stick out in PC’s mind as a prime example of why starting a young QB can be very detrimental to your team (either being a high draft pick, or blue chip recruit).

    I think we will see a big move for a QB this off-season, which will be accompanied by the idea that there will be a “QB controversy,” but I fully expect them to resign Hass for 3 years, with the idea that Hass WILL be the starter for at least 2011 if not 2012, while they slowly bring along the heir, with the hopes/idea that they can seamlessly transition to the next era of seahawk football.

    As critical as I have been of Hass, you can see that he’s starting to buy in and understand PCs philosophy, and I think they are trying to create a culture of “winning” without completely sacrificing the idea of rebuilding. Sure, it’s tough to do both, but I think if you truly focus on “rebuilding,” you can lose a chunk of your team mentally. Perhaps a veteran would be more understanding of a true rebuild, but think about the Mebanes, Bryants, Tatupus that are in the primes of their career. You don’t want to lose them mentally to the notion that we are sacrificing their “prime” years.

    Apologies for the novel, but I think that PC and JS have been given the freedom by Paul Allen to really do this thing right. As I’ve said a million times, they truly know the importance of the QB position, and I fully expect a big move this off-season, but I think they will be smart about the “incubation” period involving whoever that QB may be. In a perfect world, the Hawks go to the playoffs the next 2 years, while they get their QB this off-season and plan on handing over the reigns at the beginning of year 3, with the confidence that they can keep the winning rolling because they don’t have to “hand cuff/hold” the most important position on the field. Thoughts?

    • Rob

      Some interesting points there Matt. I could see a situation for sure where they do make a big move for a QB and then have that option to sit them for at least a year. Hasselbeck has significantly improved in the last two games and it seems like scheme and quarterback have found a level of familiarity. It’s probably also true that Mike Williams, Obo, Butler, Stockley etc are becoming more familiar and overall we’re seeing an offense completely different to that which started the year. On this form – I would imagine putting the franchise tag on Hasselbeck is likely. That way you’re not making a large investment in a 36 year old starter beyond one year.

      I still think Locker is in play for Seattle, in either of the first two rounds. We’ll see how it plays out. I doubt the team go into 2011 planning to start a rookie – something I thought would be likely 3-4 weeks ago.

  5. Dave

    In this hypothetical situation what do you think the chances would be of someone trading up for Mallett, like Denver did with Tebow. I’m thinkin Buffalo and San Francisco would be likely candidates. Hypothethically would you give SF a potential Franchise QB? I think I would. We could do with extra picks especially because we have no 3rd.

    • Rob

      It’s very likely. Mallett’s character issues may lead to a fall into that early second rounds – if not you have to imagine he’ll be a trade up option. It really depends what teams do in free agency and what veterans are available.

  6. diehard82

    Rob, top to bottom I think this is your best mock draft yet. Bold enough to let Locker fall out of round 1 while inserting 5 (or was it 6) CB’s in round 1, and no Safeties. I think this is very realistic. Most importantly, you have one NFC West team drafting 21st, something most mocks don’t seem to get. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Quinn fall a bit further. I think not having any senior tape is a big liability, and in my mind he’s strictly a 4-3 DE (unlike Bowers, Clayborne, Mareus, Bailey, Watt, etc… ) which will limit the number of teams who are interested. Still, it only takes one, and that’s part of what makes the draft, and predicting the draft so fun.

    I was thinking the exact same thing as you concerning Mebane. If we don’t re-sign him, Paea would be a good replacement, and we can always use CB talent. I had high hopes for Thurmond, as I know PC did, but thus far he hasn’t impressed. Jennings is a FA and Tru hasn’t been his old self since the back injury last year.

    All of that said, I’m still most concerned about O-line. The only spot I’m real comfortable with is Okung. I expect Unger back at RG or C, but I’m not sure how good he’ll be at either spot. Is Andrews the default at RG or RT? I think Locklear and Spencer are toast. Therefore, a Right tackle at 21 and left guard in the 2nd round wouldn’t bother me a bit.

  7. Matt Quarre

    Here is my Draft for the hawks

    1st = Jimmy Smith (CB)
    2nd = DeMarcus Love (RT)
    4th = Greg Romeus (DE)
    5th = Greg McElroy (QB)
    6th and 7th = BPA

    • Matt

      I wouldn’t mind that draft minus McElroy. I don’t see anything more than a manageable back up QB. Every tool of his would be well below average minus accuracy (which would be mediocre). I think the whole “winner” thing will get him picked higher than he should be. I mean, he does play for Alabama, not Louisiana Tech.

      Romeus more than likely will be available later. Spinal injury and now a torn ACL = major risk. I could see him in the 5th or 6th, mostly because of the back issue. I would definitely take a chance on him. I like his size and athleticism (although I think he was a top 50 guy to begin with). He would be a nice Walter Thurmond type pick. Good upside, some inherent risk.

      I would really like Demarcus Love, but I’m not sure a potential LT would slip out of the top 50. If he did, I’d jump on him.

      • Matt

        *I DON’T think Romeus was a top 50 guy to begin with. Mid to late 2nd rounder at best (when healhty).

      • Matt Q.

        Do you like Andy Dalton or the North Carolina guy? Anyone else?

        • Rob

          Not keen on Dalton at the next level – too eratic at times and lets mistakes get to him. Can’t project him as a NFL starter. T.J. Yates at UNC has the tools but has been very inconsistent. He’s the kind of guy you bring in as a UDFA or 7th rounder and take a low risk flier on to bring into training camp.

      • Matt Q.

        Just sayin, crazyier things have happend on draft day, goldent tate was a possible first round, for sure second round. But we got him at 60

        • Blake

          Seriously that’s your best example of crazy? Lol how about Everson Griffen in the 4th? Or AJ Jefferson going UDFA after Mike Mayock said he’s for sure a 3rd rounder. You make it sound like pick 60 isn’t in the 2nd round…

    • Rob

      That’s a decent projection Matt with prospects in their right grading. I’m not a fan of McElroy though – he’s one of the over rated ‘moxie’ type QB’s that some draft pundits love to over rate. I’ve watched a lot of Alabama and it’s incredible how often he throws from one read. Julio Jones can be wide open and McElroy won’t even look his way. How do you not check on your #1 WR? Accuracy is nothing special, physically weak and I just don’t think his character fits the NFL like it does CFB. He’s not as mature as some will have you believe. Don’t mistake that for petulance – he’s not a character problem or red flag. He’s just very awkward and a prototype college ‘leader’ who will need to turn into a man at the next level.

  8. Matt Quarre

    I would like to see the seahawks sign logan Mankins, Okung – mankins – spencer (Pete likes him) – unger – and either Love or Stacy at RT

  9. Cash

    Maybe I’m missing something but I’m not seeing a way to look at older mock drafts that you’ve done. I tried the archives but that’s not working and if I click on the link for the Nov 23rd mock draft it just takes me to the newest one. Thanks.

    • Rob

      Unfortunately the mock’s aren’t archived because they’re all tied into one page. The commentary of each can be found in the archives, but not the previous mocks themselves. Apologies. I will find a way to archive them (probably just in list form) when we get into the new year and head towards the Senior Bowl.

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