Updated mock draft – 10/13

This week’s update has a few changes. Akeem Ayers (OLB, UCLA) and Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue) continue to rise. Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) is in the top-20 for the first time after another impressive display at the weekend. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) also makes an appearance and Bruce Carter (LB, UNC) is back after a few weeks’ absence. It remains only a top-20 projection rather than a full first round mock. I didn’t publish a mock draft last year until late November. I’ve started the mocks a lot earlier in 2010 mainly to start discussion and help publicise the new look for the blog. I anticipate moving to a full 32-picks in November.

You can view the latest 2010 projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

Seattle’s pick remains the same for the second consecutive week. At the moment, I’m struggling to look past the Seahawks making a big splash on a quarterback. There are other needs, but none come close to answering the question at QB. Here’s why….

Defensive Line
You can never have enough pass rushers. However – Chris Clemons has four sacks in as many games, Red Bryant has been a diamond in the rough at five-tech and the Mebane/Cole partnership inside has been impressive. Seattle is tied 9th for sacks in the NFL despite having a week five bye. Admittedly, the defense is better at Qwest Field than on the road. However – the offense is ranked 31st for time of possession. Only Buffalo’s defense has spent more time on the field and they’re 0-5. Without greater offensive production, we’ll probably never get the very best out of the defense or the pass rush. Seattle’s play against the run has been excellent so far.

Defensive Backs
Many were surprised when the Seahawkstraded Josh Wilson to Baltimore. If nothing else, it left the roster a CB lighter. The new regime want to get taller at the position and Wilson was a poor fit. With Kelly Jennings similar in size and approaching free agency, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he also moved on. Marcus Trufantis an obvious starter and the team has put faith in the long term success of Walter Thurmond. Earl Thomas will start at FS and Kam Chancellor could be a long term successor to Lawyer Milloy. With a talented class of corner’s available in 2011 – all of which pass the size test – is it an area to be targeted in round one? The Seahawkslike Thurmond enough to suffer some growing pains in year one and Roy Lewis deserves game time for his excellent performances so far. This may be an area for depth rather than major investment in 2011.

Offensive line
The Seahawks have committed to Russell Okung at left tackle. However, there are question marks at every other position on the roster. Chris Spencer is an upcoming free agent. Does Max Unger fit when he returns from injury? What about Pitts/Hamilton? Was the writing on the wall for Sean Locklear when he renegotiated his contract? Is Stacey Andrews a long term option? St. Louis aside, the line has performed well so far. It would be a major stretch to expect the team to spend another first rounder on a tackle or an interior lineman, even if the Seahawks make the playoffs and end up drafting later in round one.

Wide receiver
Seattle’s receivers are a mix of young, old, small and big. There’s been flashes from all, but not so much consistency. Mike Williams has already surpassed expectations even making the roster and must be applauded for his efforts so far. Golden Tate is one for the future, it appears that Deon Butler has also emerged as potentially one to watch. Brandon Stokley may be an upgrade over Deion Branch this year when all is said and done. There’s no #1 top drawer receiver though – which is why the Seahawks entertained trading for Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. It’s a bigger need than perhaps some appreciate, but unless they get a shot at A.J. Green (WR, Georgia) they may be better reviewing the price of VJ.

Back to Quarterbacks…

In my own personal opinion, I think when you need a quarterback – everything else is insignificant. You go get a quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck should be in the ring of honour the day he leaves Seattle, but I find it hard to believe in his 36th year he’ll be offered a new contract in the off season. Charlie Whitehurst came at a price, but a price that perhaps needed to be paid to ensure competition at the position and act as a potential ‘holding pattern’ in transition between Hasselbeck and newly drafted QB. I certainly don’t think the compensation paid for acquiring Whitehurst has handcuffed the Seahawks in anyway. When GM John Schneider went on the Kevin Calabro show, he discussed his priorities when scouting a quarterback:

  1. Leadership
  2. Pocket mobility
  3. Accuracy over arm strength
  4. Hand size

There are prospects that fit that criteria. The top two quarterbacks (Luck, Locker) are both mobile leaders. Neither is what I would call ‘deadly accurate’ but they aren’t reckless gunslingertypes with cannon arms either. I can’t comment on ‘hand size’. If leadership and pocket mobility are the first two things listed on the criteria, then clearly Luck and Locker pass the test. If the Seahawks were interested in one of the pair, surely they would take one? If needed, would they trade up to get one of them?

We have a much clearer idea of how Carroll and Schneider are building this team than we did before the 2010 draft. Last year we were able to go through a number of different scenarios with the two first round picks. As things stand today – I can only see one scenario. If the Seahawkssee one of the top two quarterback prospects as being potential long term starters – they have to (and quite possibly will) do whatever it takes to get them. Last year, the team had no shot at taking Sam Bradford as the cost would likely have been both first round picks. Even then, I suspect the Rams were more than happy to stay put and an inter-division trade was never a realistic proposition. The team made the right choice to avoid Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. We’re still early into the new NFL season and a lot can happen between now and April. However, even this early I would suggest they have to make this issue a priority. That remains the case even if they have to make a significant trade up the board – perhaps ahead of a NFC West rival.

The long term vision for this team won’t be complete until everyone knows definitively who the Seahawks starter at QB is for the long haul. Who can you build this offense around? Until that is answered, it’s hard to look anywhere else.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. Patrick

    Great Information Rob. I wasn’t aware of what Schnieder said that he looks for when scouting a QB. Does that not scream “NO to Mallett” or what? I really think Seattle would like either Luck or Locker, and I think Locker has the clear edge. I also think Christian Ponder could be under consideration, but it would be asking a lot to assume him as the QB to build around. I also loved your point about Defensive Backs. As much as I’d love to see Prince Amukamara as our selection, I agree that the front office views Walter Thurmond as a first round talent. Not too mention I am 100% on your side that QB is the most important position to fill.

    As for the Mock Draft I really liked several of your picks. A.J. Green to Carolina is looking closer and closer to a sure thing unless Devin Thomas miraculously emerges as a bonafide talent. I’d love to see Jake Locker to us at #8. I do have a question about Ryan Mallett though. Could you see the Bengals show consideration in Round 1? I mean, with Carson Palmer’s time somewhat nearing an end, Bengals never being one to care about character, and in a division with Flacco and Big Ben, it almost seems like a perfect match.

    • Blake

      Good mock Rob. Patriots have a track record of not drafting OLB early because the successful conversion rate is so low. Also, I think teams will reach for Bailey’s massive potential. I feel like even though Clayborn is the better prospect, Bailey will be drafted first like JPP and Morgan last year. Why isn’t Harris getting more hype? I think he’s a much more complete corner than Jenkins and possibly Dowling (can’t flip his hips well). I can see Jenkins like Kelly Jennings and Dowling like Antonio Cromartie; they are good at what they do, but they aren’t good at everything.

      Haha what’s with your “hunch”? Is that like Walter Cherepinsky saying, “Glaring character concerns will soon surface. Let’s just say he won’t be able to focus watching film at the next level.”? By the way what do you even think that means? He got a DUI or drunk in public type charge about a year ago. Think that has anything to do with it?

      • Rob

        Yeah – it’s well advertised the Pats don’t draft OLB early. However, their defense is so bad these days with almost no pass rush. With two picks, I wonder if they’ll change tactic slightly. I consulted a Pats fan who believes there’s a chance they’ll go in this direction (OLB).

        I would agree on Bailey if he even delivered on 20% of his promise. He doesn’t. For me, it’s not the same as JPP – who went into the draft on fire after a big year. Allen has one sack so far and spends half of every game on the sidelines watching.

        My hunch is merely that. I’m not going to go into too much detail. I just think it’s a legitimate link, there’s been a lot of talk about the mutual respect between Carroll and Locker. He fits the system. He’s working for a coach who is close to Carroll and OC Jeremy Bates.

        Chris Steuber from NFL Draft Scout is a well sourced draft expert. Just before the deadline to declare passed for the 2010 Draft, he wrote this:

        “I made some calls to a few of my sources and asked around about Locker and his decision to stay in school. Locker had made his announcement prior to Christmas and usually the holiday season is when you’re around family and have some downtime to think. So, since there was no follow up reported on his decision, I decided to ask around. The word I received two weeks ago was that he’s 100-percent satisfied with his decision and that he will return to Washington for his senior year. And last week, he finally spoke to the media at length and came across 100-percent sure of his decision.

        “However, on Tuesday, I received a call from one of my sources and he said, “Don’t be surprised if Locker pulls a 180 and decides to enter the draft.” When he uttered those words, the immediate response I had was, “Because of Pete Carroll?” You got it.”

        This is just one example of speculation out there. Was it true? Nobody knows. I don’t take it on face value. No smoke without fire? An interesting little piece of gossip with no big news on the actual deadline? Who knows?

        It’s obvious that Carrol and Locker have a mutual respect. They have been seen to be close, freely speaking in public after a practise. It means nothing as we stand here today. All it does is lend favor to a suggestion that Carroll rates the kid. If he rates him highly enough to lead his team – then maybe he’ll draft him. Maybe he’ll do whatever it takes. Or maybe it’s all speculation and we’ll go a different direction.

        Either way – like I said – a hunch.

        Regarding Mallett – I have no information. I know what Walter says in his mock. Others have said similar things. Wes Bunting said a scout told him he knews some pretty eye opening information about Mallett. Maybe we’ll learn more down the line.

    • Rob

      The Bengals drafted Andre Smith 6th overall, so it’s a possibility. Mallett has made big strides this year that haven’t been discussed much. His completion rate is much better and he’s a much more consistent performer. He’s a playmaker. It’s the character concerns that worry me and his work ethic. As I’ve said, he isn’t the same personality as a Bradford, Luck, Locker, Sanchez etc. We’ll see on Mallett, he isn’t easy to judge right now.

  2. Steve

    I couldn’t agree more with the majority of your picks. I think Luck might come out and would be #1 with so many drinking the coolaid. I doubt carolina would go after a QB with Clausen seen somewhat as the future. I also see the 49ers going with a veteran because they seem and think of there team as close to be a title contender, not a place for a rookie that needs seasoning(specially locker). I also doubt that Cleveland would go that high on a QB(never been Holmgren style).

    But my point in writing is to say that I have thought Locker would be a Seahawk for more than a year now. I truly believe that. Once I heard Pete would take over I thought Locker might reconsider even last year. But I think Pete wants Locker and will target him after saying he was the best he had ever seen at USC.

    I think Locker is just what this team needs. He has that leadership quality for this team. He is obviously mobile with a strong arm. But I think that the Whitehurst pick up was designed to get a young QB who doesn’t have to come in right away. Whitehurst can come in and play, if solid it gives us a trade chip(even if we have to franchise him first). But I also think Locker is the obvious pick for another reason that no one has mentioned. Locker is a Seattle legend, it would give the team something to Market while he learns and perhaps we aren’t the best team.

  3. IVan

    Im not sure Locker is going to fall, but if he does… Luck is going to san francisco and probably Mallet is going to Buffalo.

  4. IVan

    (luck is a local hero)

  5. AKSeaHawk

    Two words… Da’Quan Bowers.

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