Updated mock draft: 17th February

Could UNC's Robert Quinn drop to the Seahawks in round one?


The updated mock draft is now available and can be accessed by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ from the title bar. 

I expect many people’s reaction will be to question whether it’s realistic Robert Quinn would drop that far. My response is simple – probably not, but neither is it impossible. 

We’ve seen prospects sink before and certainly it will happen again. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility he will drop on April 28th. 

Quinn missed the entire 2010 season after receiving $5,600 in agent-related benefits. The Sporting News also reported that Quinn was part of an academic investigation at UNC. Of course he wasn’t the only player involved and it could be argued that the sheer number of prospects listed in both cases raises more questions of the Tar Heels regime’ than necessarily the individuals. 

Even so, he has to convince scouts a lack of football for two years (and maybe longer if we witness a lockout) will not have an adverse effect on his talents. 

During his senior year at high school, Quinn was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Initially fears were that it could end his career. Thankfully, Quinn made a full recovery and missed no time in college because of the problem. However, the benign tumour may raise some concerns with pro-teams preparing to make a high-end investment early in round one.   

He’s listed in the 6-4/6-5 region and is down to weigh anywhere between 255-265lbs. That’s not elite size and may put off a lot of 4-3 teams who would like to use him at right end. His size was sometimes an issue in 2009 in run defense and he has been over powered at times by average (yet bigger) offensive linemen. Although he’s bigger than Von Miller, part of the problem I have with both prospects is the possibility they’ll be targeted and exploited playing against the run. Justin Houston (DE, Georgia), Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa) and Aldon Smith (DE, Missouri) are superior in this category. 

If you have to take him out of short yardage packages and if you’re really just using him as a pass rush specialist, again that can hit a guy’s stock. Is he a two-down prospect? He also has precious little experience in coverage and isn’t a really instinctive player which may also count against him when the 3-4 teams are on the clock. 

While nobody can deny that Quinn has an explosive first step and has the necessary speed to consistently provide a threat off the edge, he isn’t a particularly polished prospect. There isn’t really a great repertoire of pass rush moves on tape and like Justin Houston he seems almost unwilling to switch back inside, instead relying too much on that outside speed. His reactions are often a split second behind when the ball is snapped. 

The emergence of other prospects may have an impact. Aldon Smith is capable of playing in most defensive schemes and could be set for a rise after the combine – that is represented in this most recent mock. 

There are some of the arguments for why Quinn could fall, but it would be quite a considerable fall to see him last until #25. The lowest I’ve previously had him in my mock drafts was #18 to San Diego. Should he drop into the late teens there’s every chance the Chargers would take him and even if they didn’t – he’d have to make it past Tampa Bay, Kansas City and New Orleans. 

For all the negatives I’ve listed above we’re still talking about a potentially explosive pass rusher and they don’t tend to last very long. He’s got a great initial burst and has no problem taking a long angle to the quarterback. Quinn finishes well and unlikes Georgia’s Houston, he plays with a relentless streak. 

Despite the off the field concerns linked to his suspension, Quinn is actually a humble and hard working individual who won’t take any attitude into meetings and should complete a full work out at the combine. Dez Bryant’s fall last April was less to do with his absence during the 2009 college season and more to do with his no-show in Indianapolis. 

While Quinn has little experience in coverage, the lateral agility and freedom of movement is absolutely there and he has the prototype size for 3-4 rush linebackers. 

At #25 the Seahawks would absolutely have to consider drafting Quinn if he fell. Although he may not be able to provide an immediate impact as a LEO rusher, he could be slowly incorporated into the rotation while he continues to develop. The end product could be a dominating edge rusher, allowing the team to abandon their reliance on heavy blitz packages to create sacks and pressure. 

Churning out the same mock draft every week is repetitive and really what is the point? The objective for these projections is to create a talking point and to cover all possibilities. A week or two before the draft we can think about really trying to crack the code and make a prediction that might actually hold some validity. Until then it’s all guess work. 

Why not look at the possibility that like the Dez Bryant’s and Michael Oher’s out there, someone may fall to Seattle at #25 that is perhaps unexpected? 

Will Robert Quinn fall to the Seahawks? As I said earlier – it’s unlikely, but not impossible.


  1. schnrb02

    Rob, your mock draft is by far the best I have seen so far! I think you are right on point with Quinn falling to us. Do you think Clayborn could fall out of the round 1?

    • Rob

      I wouldn’t rule it out because he didn’t have a great 2010 and I’m not sure he’ll make up his stock in work outs.

  2. Matt

    Completely agree. Quinn seems poised to be this year’s Dez Bryant and would love the pick. That said, how does this change the defense? Do we run a more traditional 4 man front with Quinn, or do you view him as more of a Leo, where we maintain the same personnel everywhere else?

    • Rob

      I think he’s an ideal LEO rusher and would actually struggle as an orthodox 4-3 right end.

  3. Blake

    I haven’t been able to figure out why Aldon Smith’s size is seen as a turnoff for 4-3 teams. That frame can EASILY hold more than 260 pounds. Besides when is 260 such a bad number for a RE? Jared Allen played at 255 last year. Freeney and Mathis are always around 260. Abraham is 265. Trent Cole is around there. Its not a bad number and should not deter a single team from taking him.

    Rob, would you ask your source if the team would consider a traditional 5 tech like Watt, Clayborn, Heyward, Jordan etc? That role is so awkward but so important on our team. It would really clear things up if we knew whether they were using Bryant as a stopgap at the position for a more traditional 5 tech or if they plan on using an oversized end. Thanks.

    • Rob

      Smith is actually a better fit for 4-3 teams in my opinion.

      I will try and find out about the 5-tech but personally I doubt it. The team want specific size there and it’s why Kentwan Balmer took over from Red Bryant – he plays at 315lbs. Maybe they would consider it for a more dynamic pass rushing threat, but Watt and Heyward don’t really offer that. Clayborn maybe, but he’s considerably smaller and Jordan should be long gone. Muhammed Wilkerson may be an option.

  4. Alex

    If Quinn falls to 25…, it would be a steal and honestly a Pete Carroll pick. As he showed last year, he took the risk for players that fell farther than their ability indicated. Anthony McCoy was suppose to be a 3rd or 4th rounder but fell due to the drugs test. Walther Thurmmond had 2nd round ability but fell to the 4th due to that nasty knee injury. Leon Washington was an unknown considering his injury but came back good.

    If it failed like Lendale White, it failed, but if it succeeded, the talent was upgraded.

    And aside from that, I think Quinn is the best pass rusher at DE this year. If he fell to the Hawks, I would consider him over the QB position just simply because an elite pash rushing DE on the right side is quite rare. Phil Taylor should also be in consideration. After that, it’s QB unless Jimmy Smith somehow falls.


  5. kevin mullen

    Tapp was a pretty good run stuffer himself on the left side and thought that he’d stick around when PC was hired, but was proved otherwise. Tapp offered little pass rush ability and was never able to penetrate fast enough. I’d gladly take this pick if Brock goes, provides Clemons some competition and both can rotate to keep them fresh throughout game.

  6. Matthew Baldwin

    Didn’t Quinn have a brain tumor in high school? I could see a day one slide.

    • Cliff

      He did but its been checked out and he seems to be fine. He’s done well in college so that shouldnt drop him. What will drop him is poor combine numbers.

  7. Cliff

    Rob what are your thoughts on Greg Little? Walt has him going at the end of the 3rd to Chicago but where do you see him falling? This article talks about why there hasn’t been much talk about him. He has the size that Pete is looking for, do you think he’s an option?


    • Cliff

      Some video on him on youtube. Not a highlight reel where is also there but plays from a game against FSU. He makes a lot of guys miss and seems to be a big play guy. Not sure about his speed but look at the 2:00 mark he makes an impressive play. He seems to make the first person miss quite often, something that wont happen as much in the NFL but still he’s very physical. I’m sold on him in the 4th if he’s somehow there.

    • Cliff


      sorry heres the link.

    • Rob

      I think he’s very much an option and I agree with those who are asking why he’s dropped off the radar. He’s still a R2/3 prospect. Not a burner and won’t threaten downfield, but his hands are above average and he blocks well for a college receiver. Really if he falls beyond round 2/3 then there’s no reason why Robert Quinn won’t suffer a fall, they are both guys who missed the whole of 2010. One to watch if the Seahawks intend to draft another receiver.

  8. ChavaC

    So if Quinn were to somehow fall, would you take him and then trade from late second back into the top of the first to snatch your QB?

    • Rob

      At the moment I expect Ryan Mallett to go in the early portion of round two, but I could see him even lasting until the middle of that round. If you have an opportunity to add a guy like Quinn and then move back up for a Mallett, if they’re the only two picks you make in the entire draft I think you come away happy.

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