Updated Mock Draft – 10/26

The latest projection is now available and can be found by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar. Last year I used my weekly mock updates to look at different scenarios. Quite obviously, it’s impossible to predict how things are going to shape up this early. The mocks are really designed to encourage debate and look at how prospects are performing. Because I’m putting out mocks a lot earlier this year, I haven’t really had a chance to cover a lot of different possibilities. That will start from now on. I’m keeping it as a top-20 projection for now but will develop the mock into a full first round in November.

Talking point #1 – Buffalo aren’t taking a quarterback? Seriously?

In all honesty, I wasn’t surprised Buffalo took C.J. Spiller in round one last year. Not because I liked Spiller (which I did), but mainly because it was the kind of pick Buffalo have been making for a while now. They don’t do predictable.

They need a quarterback. They need a left tackle. They need more talent on defense. If I was them and had the first overall pick next year – I’d study Andrew Luck and Jake Locker, decide who is most capable of leading the recovery and make the choice. As I mentioned though – this isn’t an easy front office to work out. I still think a QB is very likely and should be the selection. However, we might as well consider the alternatives over the next 4-5 months until the 2011 draft.

If they do decide to pass on a quarterback, Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) could be the reason why. Buffalo switched to a 4-3 against Baltimore and appear to have given up on Aaron Maybin. Only three teams have less sacks than Buffalo. Bowers is on target for 17 sacks in 2010 and is starting to live up to expectations as a former #1 ranked recruit.

Since 1998 when Peyton Manning was drafted first overall, nine quarterbacks have been taken with the top pick. Only three non-quarterbacks have been taken first overall – two defensive ends (Courtney Brown, Mario Williams) and one offensive lineman (Jake Long). With no left tackle worthy of even top-five consideration, the Bills will almost certainly choose between one of the quarterbacks or a defensive end like Bowers.

Talking point #2 – Where’s Jake Locker?

Since I started my 2010 mock drafts, Jake Locker has been absent only once – following his poor performance against Nebraska. I had him as the #1 overall pick last week – suggesting Buffalo may be wowed by his athletic qualities. However, for every person who thinks Locker should go that high, there are people who aren’t so positive.

I’ve spoken to two scouts from established national draft sites in the last ten days. One felt that Locker’s stock was firmly in the 20-40 range. The other told me that he’d spoken to a NFL scout who said Locker wasn’t even the best senior on Washington’s roster. Could he fall on draft day? I can understand why that could happen. Opinion is mixed on Locker – some point out the lack of overall talent on the Washington team and praise the physical and athletic qualities on show. Others say he just hasn’t progressed from last year, rightly point out the number of times Locker has to get out of the pocket to make plays and point to erratic play and sometimes poor decision making.

Whether he falls or not will depend on the teams needing a QB who own early picks. Would a team like Arizona roll the dice on another QB after the Leinart experiment? Would they not look for perhaps a ‘quicker fix’ to make use of the talent they have now? Would a team like Jacksonville show interest in Locker when they’ve been determined to create a strong defense in recent years – with a big need in the secondary still prevalent?

What free agent quarterbacks will be available – and will we see any big trades (eg Donovan McNabb earlier this year)? Would teams look at a guy like Ryan Mallett who may be around in the second or even third round and fancy taking on that challenge? Will Blaine Gabbert declare? I wouldn’t draft Christian Ponder before round five – but will teams feel differently? It wouldn’t surprise me if Locker did end up falling into that 20-40 range and that’s represented in this latest mock.

Talking point #3 – So what about the Seahawks?

Seattle is 4-2 and leads the NFC West. If the Seahawks win the division they’ll pick no earlier than 21st overall. It’s the first time since 2008 that I haven’t been regularly mocking Seattle in the top-10.

In my opinion, the team’s biggest need is quarterback and it’s not even close. If Matt Hasselbeck makes the Pro-Bowl this year and gets a new contract, nothing changes. If Charlie Whitehurst is sensational in practise or gets an opportunity and does really well – again nothing changes. The simple matter is – whilst there’s no secure planning at the position it’ll always be the biggest need. Hasselbeck remains a short-term fix and Whitehurst is yet to prove he’s a legitimate franchise quarterback.

With all that taken into consideration, I think if you have a quarterback on your board with a first round grade when you’re on the clock – you take them. Let them compete and if they’re not ready to start immediately, you invest in the future. When you’re picking in the 20’s… a bust is a bust. If you like the guy enough to take him at all, you take the chance. In this scenario, obviously you’d have to consider Jake Locker who would be a natural fit for the Seahawks offense.

What about alternatives? Mike Williams is starting to look like a #1 receiver, but I think there’s still room to improve alongside him at the position. Julio Jones (WR, Alabama) is starting to get it. His occasional mental lapses might cost him the opportunity to go higher, but I think he’s a solid option in the 16-32 range as someone with the physical skills and the right attitude.

There would be a number of options on the defensive line. Drake Nevis (DT, LSU) and Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) both grade in the 16-32 range as well and fit as potential three-techniques in a 4-3 defense. Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State) is a bit over rated for me, but is a solid option versus the run and could spell alongside Red Bryant as a more athletic five technique. Von Miller (DE, Texas A&M) and his lack of size worry me and he hasn’t had the same success this year (injuries have played a part). He could, however, be an option off the edge as a specialist pass rusher. Pernell McPhee (DE, Miss. State) and Cameron Jordan (DE, California) could play off the edge, although they might be too big for the specialist LEO role.

Some have spoken about potentially drafting a tackle to book end Russell Okung. I think that’s an area that can be addressed later or via free agency, but if it’s a BPA situation it may be considered if other needs like QB aren’t available. Derrek Sherrod (OT, Miss. State) and Nate Solder (OT, Colorado) are still available, but both would be better suited to the blind side. Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) would be a better fit on the right side, but I remain unconvinced he’s worthy of a late first round grade.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Do you agree with the mock projection? Could Da’Quan Bowers go first overall? Will Jake Locker fall in round one? Who should the Seahawks target if they do win the NFC West and therefore make the playoffs?

To see the latest Seahawks Draft Blog mock draft click here.


  1. Hawktastic

    What about OG for the Hawks? It seems to me Locklear is in his last season with Seattle, and Stacy Andrews could move out to RT if we picked up a guard. We have a lot of players in their last year of their contracts (Spencer and Williams come to mind), so that will play a huge role.

    • Rob

      I would agree if Rodney Hudson was still on the board, but in the projection he goes to Houston at #20. There isn’t another interior prospect I’d have in that range. I’m not sure Pouncey is a first round pick even if his brother was.

    • Blake

      Andrews isn’t nearly mobile enough to play tackle. He has little to no lateral agility to get in front of any decent speed rusher. I agree though that offensive line needs to be addressed, I just think every player from LG all the way to RT needs to be upgraded. Hamilton slips off every block and can’t anchor against any decent bull rushers. Spencer is similar (slightly better) and he doesn’t have any awareness for blitz pickups. He also completely misses 2nd level blocks. Andrews seems to just dip his head and run forward when his assignment is a linebacker. He has a decent anchor but no awareness on stunts, twists, or delayed blitzes. Remember those two plays Sunday on the goal line where Lynch got tackled for loss as soon as he touched the ball? Andrews’ fault. Locklear is meh. Rides speed rushers past the pocket pretty well, but gets no push in the run game. Plus he’s 30 in May and shouldn’t be signed on a long term contract. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the ‘Hawks drafted o line in round 1 and 2. RT like Carimi, then a mauling guard like Orlando Franklin in 2. Once Unger comes back he can take over for Hamilton and I guess we can resign Spencer. I can’t imagine we’ll have enough money to resign one or two linemen, Washington, Williams, Jennings, Mebane, Mare and Hawthorne, all of whom are free agents.

      • Matt


        I agree getting an O-lineman with one of the top 2 picks would be great, however, I do think it would be a mistake to use both pick on O-line. We still need another WR, DT, DE, QB. Our offense is still very sluggish and simply getting a better O-line won’t make it significantly better. I would still love to see another bigger WR (6’2″+ with speed) to pair with BMW. Deon Butler and Golden Tate are nice, but they truly are complimentary WRs, so adding another bigger body with speed on the outside would really open things up on offense.

        • Rob

          I agree Matt. If Williams keeps performing like he has the last two games, a lot of people won’t consider WR a need. I would still argue that it is. I’m going to watch Julio Jones vs South Carolina tonight and try and get some of his most recent school-record performance vs Tennessee. He does drop balls, there’s no getting away from that. He’s also everything you look for in a #1 NFL wide out physically. You see him make that stunning one handed grab in week one this year and think about how good this guy could be. You see him fighting through injuries this year and appreciate he is the kind of guy who won’t give you problems. He can go deep, he has got YAC abilities. Cut out the mental lapses with the drops and you have a potentially elite receiver. If he’s available in the 20’s and you can’t get at the QB’s… then for me that’s your pick. Put him on one side, Williams on the other. The offense needs more playmakers. Of course, it also needs a long term investment at QB – which has to be the priority.

          • Matt

            My thoughts exactly. Let’s say we go one and done in the first round of the playoffs (best case scenario), we will definitely be in that range where big time WRs always seem to be available. If you paired BMW with a Julio Jones type, it would be scary/formidable and greatly open up the running game.

            I was worried about us playing above our abilities and hurting our rebuilding process. That said, picking in the early 20s could be a blessing because it would truly allow JS and PC to go with BPA. There will be a good CB or WR available then.

            I’m really excited about the future of this team under JS and PC. I think you will see them drafting guys that they love and think will perfectly fit their system/what they want to do.

            • Rob

              Some excellent points Matt. I said before the season began that I think this could be a good year to pick a little later on. Last year was a good year to have two picks in the top-15. We’ve seen already the value of Earl Thomas and whilst I had major reservations about Okung… his display against Julius Peppers was very encouraging. Ideally in 2009 we could’ve picked in the 10-15 range where the best value was.

              I don’t think we’ll see a major drop off in talent from the top ten and the 20-32 range in 2011. Picking early will give the team a very good chance at drafting a QB, but if both were off the board before Seattle was picking, there’s not a huge advantage picking early. As I talked about in this piece, a QB may even be available in the 20’s who Seattle likes. Then you’re talking about a much lesser gamble at the position because the cost won’t hammer the franchise if they fail. With enough depth at DL, WR and CB too – it’s a good year to bounce back and really challenge for the NFC West.

      • Rob

        Hi Blake,

        That would be a strong investment in the offensive line. I do think you’re right that we could be improved at pretty much every position after LT. Drafting Okung was the start, I’m sure they will continue to put futher time and effort into the line. It’s been made a priority by this regime. Would I spend the first two picks however on the O-line? I’m not sure. It’d have to be a BPA situation and I’m not entirely convinced by any of the OL prospects I’ve watched this year so far other than Rodney Hudson. If we were on the clock next April and the top QB’s are gone… top DE’s… top CB’s… and even guys like Julio Jones and Jonathan Baldwin aren’t there – I’d be all over drafting Hudson to be a long term LG. If he fell into round two because of his size, I’d make the move to trade up if that’s what it took.

        I’m not a huge fan of Carimi. He lost out in the Clayborn vs Carimi battle last week. He handled Cameron Heyward but I don’t much rate Heyward. He’s definitely a RT at the next level. Not very athletic, but a road grader who will have value against the run. Right now I’d give him a R2-3 grade, but a lot of people see him as a late first rounder.

        Overall I think the O-line has performed very well this year considering Okung’s absence and the patchwork nature of it. The St Louis and Arizona games were difficult, but the other four they’ve performed well. Personally – considering this isn’t a great offensive line class – I’d be surprised if BPA was a RT. I still think you do have to look at QB and consider moving up if that’s what it takes. But if a RT is top of your board and the QB’s are gone next April – it is an option admittedly.

  2. Dan C.


    I am sure you have addressed this before, but what are you doing living in England and how do you cover the Hawks so well over there? I assume you have roots in Seattle?
    Great job on the site!

    • Rob

      Hi Dan,

      I used to live in Vancouver and travelled to Seattle a few times. First time I went to Qwest I was hooked. When I moved back over here it developed into an obsession. We have decent game coverage over here on TV and obviously the London games (I’ll be at Wembley on Sunday). You can also get something called gamepass which means I can watch every ‘Hawks game.

      The CFB is covered better than the NFL in England since ESPN brought out a specific channel in Europe called ‘ESPN America’. We get a good 5-6 games most weeks, if not live than at least repeated every Sunday (minus adverts). The only time we don’t get such extensive coverage is during the MLB playoffs and the beginning of the NHL – but it’s back to normal now. We get all the Bowl games.

      It doesn’t beat the real thing and I spend pretty much every day thinking about a trip back to the North West. Still – I’m thankful that they’ve embraced football in this country and it’s becoming more and more popular.

  3. Glen Peer

    I completly agree QB is the biggest need.  I like Mallet of all the guys coming out, I know comparisons aren’t always the best idea but I see alot of Aaron Rodgers in him (skillswise, not personality which I believe he will get dinged on). If Locker falls and is graded in the 1st rd by Schneider I agree they have to take him.  That brings me to our second rd where I love JJ Watt DE/DT 6’6″ 290 from Wisconsin.  Each time I have seen him he is making plays, his motor is relentless.

    If I had to rank my top 3 needs for this team it’d be QB, DE, WR with Oline a close 4th. I would love to know what you think about Watt when you have time. Thanks for your great work Rob

    • Rob

      Good shout on JJ Watt, Glenn. I’ve still got Wisconsin vs Iowa to watch so I’ll take a look.

  4. Al U

    See you at Wembley, Rob. I’ll be sporting my Chad Brown 94 and trying to forgive myself for cheering on the Broncos. Looking forward to seeing SF go to 1-7 too much not to.

    Do you watch the Channel 4 NFL games as well? I’m quite a fan of Mike Carlson but have found that since Chris Collinsworth has started doing Sunday games he struggles to provide any extra insight, thus giving the fast forward button a bit of a workout.

    Anyway, enjoy the game on Sunday and keep up the stellar work.

    • Rob

      I’ll keep an eye out for you! I’ll be representing the Seahawks in some form. I do watch the late game on C4 and to be honest, I’ve got a lot of time for the team at Sky and C4. Thanks for the kind words about the blog.

  5. Blake

    I would love to hear why some of the people on here feel d line is a bigger need than o line or a need at all. Particularily Matt because you seem adiment about your opinion, and you appear to be a somewhat educated fan.

    Our d line ranks 2nd in power %, 3rd in stuff %, and 3rd in YPC while our defense as a whole ranks 7th in sacks with one less game than the top 6 teams in that category. Chris Clemons currently ranks 2nd in the league in sacks per snap (meaning he is on the field less than guys like Ware or Orakpo) behind only Clay Mathews who missed time with an injury. Keep in mind we are dominating without Mebane in the lineup. Granted, a lot of our sacks are coming from the secondary, but that is how this scheme works: stuff them on 1st and second, get them in 3rd and long, draw up an exotic blitz with 6 DBs on the field.

    On the other hand, our offensive line is wretched. According to FO, we are 26th in run blocking and 17th is pass blocking. As bad as that is, I believe that both of those stats are positively inflated. Marshawn Lynch is breaking numerous tackles to get back to the line, and Jeremy Bates is drawing up an uncommon amount of 7 yard slants, 4 yard sticks, and PA rollouts to help hide our deficiency. On top of that, 3 of our current starters are free agents at the end of the year who will be 34, 30, and 29 respectively once the season starts. We will be much better once Unger and Okung return from injury, but the other three positions are still terrible. Two need to be addressed while Stacy Andrews will likely remain at RG because he is paid until 2015. It may be hasty to devote two top 60 picks to OL after picking one 6th overall and in the 2nd round the year before that, but that is how bad that unit is. I will concede and say that we need 2 linemen with our first 3 picks and not necessarily our first 2.

    IMO WR is slight need, but somewhat luxurious given the dire need at QB and o line. BMW is an average 1, Butler an average 2, Tate is unknown but appears to have potential, and Stokley can get some short yardage stuff done. If we did take a receiver, the only one I want is Julio Jones. As I posted before, he appears to be a great kid (referring to sideline reporter as ma’am and deflecting praise to teammates), he is a tremendous blocker, and has the rare potential to be an Andre Johnson caliber deep threat. It is also somewhat ridiculous to devote so many resources to one position: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks in 3 consecutive years.

    Haha Glen I like that you see Rodgers in Mallett. Is it the 5 inch height difference, the gimmicky Petrino scheme, or the lack of mobility that reminds you of the Packers’ gunslinger?

    • Matt


      I may come across as thinking D-line is a bigger need than O-line, but the reason it comes off that way is more due to the fact that talent in the 2011 draft is very poor for the O-line. So poor in fact that I think you are getting more value for a mid to late 2nd round D-lineman over a late 1st O-lineman. I’m also a big fan of having great depth on the D-line. There’s nothing more appealing to me than a wealth of fresh talent that you can keep running on and off the field. Not to mention, PC runs a unique scheme and the more bodies with varied skill sets you have, the more creative they can get to create pressure.

      The only O-lineman I have any interest in the first 50 picks would be Hudson, Love, Sherrod, or Barksdale. I love Hudson, but his size does concern me (I’m thinking Red Zone and short yardage situations). A bookend RT sounds most appealing to me. I would love to seal up the ends with Okung and another for the next 10 years.

      To sum up the O-line/D-line debate, it basically boils down to what talent is available when we pick. I don’t want us to pigeon hole ourselves by thinking we HAVE to get an O-lineman in round 1, but rather getting the most talented guy available (which is most likely anything but OL).

      The same can be said about drafting a WR high. I do agree that it’s a lesser need, but I think there are some big bodies available in the ’11 draft, that when paired with BMW can create serious matchup problems, and subsequently would force defenses to gameplan for that. I really like Deon Butler and am lukewarm about Tate (I admit I was not thrilled about that pick), but I think they are great specialty guys or 3rd WRs. Size isn’t everything, but they are so undersized that I wouldn’t feel comfortable relying on them as a #2. I think we’d be lucky to get Julio Jones, but I would be very happy with Jonathan Baldwin. I think he can be a deep threat because of his size and leaping ability. Not to mention, he has great hands. A 3 WR set of BMW, Baldwin/Jones, and Butler/Tate could really be a dangerous combo.

      To be completely honest, I don’t think we will be picking in the top 15, so I want JS and PC to be looking at this draft with the thought of, “if we are not able to get a QB we love (Locker) in the first round, then let’s get the most talented player at a position that makes sense.” A position that makes sense to me would be OL, DL, WR, CB. Obviously, QB is a must and the biggest need.

  6. Blake

    Very good points Matt. I think you may be underestimating the talent of a player like Carimi and the potential of a player like Solder, but I would undoubtedly agree that the talent among the defensive linemen is far greater than the offensive bigs. I feel like Carimi was really overhyped by some at the beginning of the season. When he didn’t perform up to those expectations, people started hating him more than he deserved. I still feel like he can be a good run blocker off the right side and an average pass blocker. Maybe something like Jeff Otah. Solder is a pure potential prospect, but his potential is magnificent. Both look like late first round talents to me who will go slightly earlier because of positional value.

    I also agree that Carroll uses players very specifically by down and distance. What prospects would you like specifically at the end of the first round? I would also agree that a team can never have too many pass rushers, evidence by the New York Giants. The Leo guys- Von Miller, Justin Houston, Jeremy Beal, Kerrigan- are better prospects than the 5 techs- Heyward, Bailey, Cam Jordan, Drake Nevis- but 5 tech is probably a bigger need with Mebane and Bryant being free agents in the next 2 years.

    • Matt

      I do like Carimi and think he can be a mauler. Solder scares me a bit because he is so tall and lean. He does have a ton of potential, but I think he might be a guy who really hits or really misses. I’m really anti going to the safe route in the draft, but with an O-lineman, I would rather play it safer. If we were to take a OT in the first, I would much rather have it be a guy who COULD play LT over a guy who is strictly a RT. I think that flexibility would be nice in case of injury which is why I’d prefer Love, Sherrod, or Barksdale to Carimi. No doubt I’m probably underestimating the O-line talent, but it really is more about being excited about some of the guys on the D-line that will be available.

      I have to say that I’m totally anti-Heyward for the D-line. Everytime I watch him play, I get more and more underwhelmed by his play. And that shouldn’t be the case considering he is on the better team every game he plays. I believe he is like 6’6″ too, which really doesn’t excite me considering he already can’t use that to his advantage to rush the passer in college.

      I really like Cameron Jordan. He’s similar to Alualu (besides the obvious) and I think he provides some nice flexibility and could be used creatively on passing downs. I’m very intrigued by Allen Bailey. He’s still very raw, but it’s hard not to notice him on the field (both physical stature & athletic ability). He’s a guy that I think PC could slowly mold into a monster and early on, strictly put him in positions in which he could succeed. I haven’t watched much of Drake Nevis, but from what I saw he looks pretty good. I do like Nick Fairley quite a bit from Auburn but he will continue to shoot up the boards.

      There are some intriguing LEO guys, but that said, there’s only 1 maybe 2 guys I’d use a first round pick on. This has more to do with the fact that I think you can find good fits for the LEO in rounds 2 or 3 because it is a unique tweener position. I like Ayers and Houston in round 1. I think they are just physically able to do so many things that could really expand the Leo role. Ayers just simply makes plays and has great length. Houston looks impressive too.

      I’m really not terribly excited about Kerrigan and Beal. They both seem like the overachiever types (which is not bad) that really aren’t all that athletically gifted (NFL wise). Perhaps my biggest concern with them is the fact that they truly are 1 trick ponies and I just don’t know how valuable they will be for the LEO in round 1. Von Miller frankly scares me. He’s so lean and so finesse that it makes him one dimensional. And once again, if I’m drafting for the LEO in round 1, I want a multi-dimensional guy who is able to give different looks. And the only guys I’ve seen and would feel comfortable with, would be Ayers and Houston.

      If we can’t get a QB in round 1, I’d just prefer us to draft a guy we think can be a superstar/difference maker. I’m really liking the Hawks and the direction they are going, but we are lacking in the stud department, which is why if we draft a LEO, DT, WR, OT in round 1, I want it to be a guy we think can be a difference maker rather than a “nice” player. No more Lawrence Jacksons for me.

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