Updated mock draft: 28th March

The Seahawks would like some of this from their round two pick

We’re less than a month away from the draft and less than a week away from discovering the Seahawks new uniforms. Two titanic events (seriously) that will shape the design of the 2012 season in two very different ways. I want to draw attention to yesterday’s ‘State of the franchise’ feature by the NFL Network on the Seahawks. For the uniform enthusiasts (you know who you are) there appears to be a glimpse/leak of the team’s soon-to-be new logo in the intro, replacing the ‘Seahawks blue’ with what appears to be ‘Seahawks silver’. More importantly though, the piece features an interview with Pete Carroll:

“We’re excited about our defense, we really had a pretty consistent year finishing well, we really took the ball away from our opponents down the stretch that made a big difference. We’re excited – a very young group. We’re going to continue to build within, we’re trying to keep it together as much as possible and a couple of parts here as we go through the draft. I think it’s going to be a very formidable group. It’s one that’s excited and we’re looking to a big year for these guys.”

The defense is nearly there. There’s a lot of talent in the secondary and the defensive line is mostly set since the re-signing of Red Bryant. Two key areas remain unfilled – a further addition to the pass rush and at least one more linebacker. There are the two areas I suspect Carroll was referring to above, and the two key areas I expect to be addressed within the first three rounds of the draft.

I think they’re looking for a hybrid to fill one of the gaps – a pass rusher who reads well in space, can play at the LOS, take snaps at defensive end and provide solid run defense. Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram personify that role and in my view, remain the two most likely targets for Seattle in round one. The second hole will be middle linebacker and I expect the Seahawks to follow the league’s trend by looking for speed at the position, mixed in with some attitude and coverage ability.It wouldn’t surprise me if the Seahawks even looked at slightly undersized MLB’s who can move well and play smart.

It’s not the orthodox type we’ve come to expect at the MIKE, but times are changing and tight end’s are getting harder to cover. Prospects such as Mychal Kendricks and Zach Brown could be on the radar in round two if available. Kendricks only switched to the middle as a senior and Brown hasn’t played MLB, but options remain with KJ Wright also capable of moving inside. Speed rather than size is quickly becoming the key factor at linebacker in the league.

Running back will almost certainly get some attention early because the Seahawks appreciate the importance of the ground game to their offense. Even with Marshawn Lynch re-signed, they’ll need an upgrade at the #2 spot to help carry the load and fill in if Lynch misses time. As with the linebacker position, there will be plenty of options at running back in rounds 2-3. These are the three key areas I envisage the Seahawks looking at, with potential exceptions based on day-two value.

The Seahawks currently have six picks in total. For a full run down of the confirmed draft order, click here.

Jacksonville provoked the biggest tweak in this week’s projection. Their decision to actively pursue Tim Tebow was an eye-opener – a decision seemingly motivated by owner Shahid Khan’s desire selling tickets rather than building around GM Gene Smith’s vision. Smith traded up for Blaine Gabbert and the fact is he remains part of the team’s future, so it’s time to try and make him the way to sell tickets. The Jaguars employed an offensive minded Head Coach in Mike Mularkey who made use of talented receiver options in Atlanta, and Mularkey is unlikely to be satisfied with just Laurent Robinson as the team’s sole investment at the position.

For many weeks I’ve expected the Jaguars to play it safe and draft a pass rusher, which is still a big need. However, the last few days make you wonder exactly who is making the decisions here. Khan may step in again to instruct his staff to draft someone who can be the dynamic go-to receiver they lack. That could mean making a small move up the board to draft Justin Blackmon – let’s not rule that out. But if Blackmon leaves the board before #6 and no deal materialises, could they look to the next best receiver on their board? After weeks of thinking otherwise, maybe it is possible after all?

Updated first round mock draft

#1 Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
The inevitable.
#2 Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
The inevitable part II.
#3 Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
Minnesota won’t waste any time calling Kalil’s name. He has elite potential. The inevitable part III.
#4 Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
The Browns have to find someone on offense to build around. Richardson would be the wise choice here.
#5 Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
The biggest spenders in free agency, Tampa Bay could still use a stud cornerback.
#6 Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State)
The Rams know this is now a three-draft plan so they need to take whoever is highest on their board with this pick.
#7 Malcolm Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
They want to sell tickets, which means putting an offense on the field that is more exciting than last year’s farce.
#8 Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
Is this Plan C? Or are we further down the alphabet by now?
#9 Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
Carolina wants players that will fit into 3-4 and 4-3 looks and Coples fits the bill.
#10 Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
The Bills are going to draft an offensive lineman here, the only question is which one will they choose?
#11 Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina)
You can never have too many pass rushers, especially with Peyton Manning now in the division.
#12 Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)
Seattle needs to find a DE/OLB hybrid who reads well in space. Upshaw fits the bill perfectly.
#13 Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
Whoever is playing quarterback for Arizona next year, the Cardinals simply must draft an offensive tackle.
#14 Cordy Glenn (OT, Georgia)
The moves made in free agency will allow the Cowboys to target Cordy Glenn or David DeCastro at this spot.
#15 Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi State)
One team will fall for Cox’s athleticism and ensure he’s taken early in the first round.
#16 Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
This is a fall of sorts given he blew up the combine. Rex Ryan will probably appreciate the potential on offer here.
#17 David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
Cincinnati will want to make sure one of their first round picks is a corner, but DeCastro is hard to pass here.
#18 Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)
With the top offensive lineman leaving the board before the #18 pick, San Diego may fill another big need here.
#19 Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
Trading for Brandon Marshall will allow Chicago to concentrate on the best lineman available at this spot.
#20 Peter Konz (OC, Wisconsin)
There’s always a few shocks in round one. Konz is good enough to justify a pick this early and will play in the league for a decade.
#21 Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
Gilmore’s performance at the combine has seemingly done enough to cement his place in the top-25 picks.
#22 Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
Cleveland needs to keep adding playmakers and could see Wright as a nice compliment to Greg Little.
#23 Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
The Lions have built up their interior defensive line, but could look to add another edge rusher here.
#24 Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State)
There are some legitimate concerns about Adams’ play, but Pittsburgh may take a chance.
#25 Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College)
This is now the Peyton Manning show and they could easily go offense here. However, the defense also needs a new leader.
#26 Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
Mind-blowing potential given his size, athleticism and hands. He stood out in limited targets during the 2011 season.
#27 Doug Martin (RB, Boise State)
It’s not like New England to take a running back in round one, but Doug Martin is special.
#28 Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
The Packers are running out of options to improve their pass rush and could consider Branch in this situation.
#29 Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama)
Dont’a Hightower looks like he was born to play defense for the Ravens.
#30 Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
He could go a lot earlier than this. His pro-day raised a few eye-brows
#31 Devon Still (DT, Penn State)
His ability to line up in multiple spots could attract the Patriots, who are looking for more pass rush.
#32 Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
He might be forced to switch to safety. Coverage skills are weak, but he’s solid in run support.

Round two

#33 St. Louis – Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan State)
#34 Indianapolis – Kevin Zeitler (OG, Wisconsin)
#35 Minnesota – Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers)
#36 Tampa Bay – Bobby Wagner (LB, Utah State)
#37 Cleveland – Nick Perry (DE, USC)
#38 Jacksonville – Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)
#39 St. Louis – Kelechi Osemele (OG, Iowa State)
#40 Carolina – Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech)
#41 Buffalo – Ronnell Lewis (LB, Oklahoma)
#42 Miami – Mark Barron (S, Alabama)
#43 Seattle – Zach Brown (LB, North Carolina)
#44 Kansas City – Amini Silatolu (OG, Midwestern State)
#45 Dallas – Jared Crick (DE, Nebraska)
#46 Philadelphia – Mychal Kendricks (LB, California)
#47 New York Jets – Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina)
#48 New England – Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State)
#49 San Diego – Brandon Brooks (OG, Miami OH)
#50 Chicago – Brandon Boykin (CB, Georgia)
#51 Philadelphia – Brock Osweiler (QB, Arizona State)
#52 Tennessee – Kendall Reyes (DT, Connecticut)
#53 Cincinnati – Lamar Miller (RB, Miami)
#54 Detroit – Dwight Bentley (CB, Louisiana-Lafayette)
#55 Atlanta – Josh Robinson (CB, UCF)
#56 Pittsburgh – Reuben Randle (WR, LSU)
#57 Denver – Brandon Thompson (DT, Clemson)
#58 Houston – Josh Chapman (DT, Alabama)
#59 New Orleans – VOID
#60 Green Bay – Brandon Weeden (QB, Oklahoma State)
#61 Baltimore – Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame)
#62 San Francisco – Casey Hayward (CB, Vanderbilt)
#63 New York Giants – David Wilson (RB, Virginia Tech)
#64 New England – Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska)

Possible options for the Seahawks in rounds 3/4

(#75) – Chris Polk (RB, Washington), Kirk Cousins (QB, Michigan State), Sean Spence (LB, Miami), Dwayne Allen (TE, Clemson), Michael Egnew (TE, Missouri), Trumaine Johnson (CB, Montana), Jeff Allen (OG, Illinois)

(#106) Russell Wilson (QB, Wisconsin), Robert Turbin (RB, Utah State), Levy Adcock (OT, Oklahoma State), Jeff Allen (OG, Illinois)


  1. Stuart

    Excellent! Thank you for adding rounds 3/4.

  2. MJ

    Upshaw and Brown would be RIDICULOUSLY amazing. That would be an absurdly fun defense to watch. Holy cow. Brown would be an awesome pick because he could play multiple LB positions. Let Upshaw roam and destroy people. This would get me real excited.

  3. Bryan

    Curious as to why you had Brown going to the Seahawks with Kendricks still on the board in Rd 2? I would think that with the PAC-12 link Kendricks has he is the more likely player. Just wondering what specfically you saw in Brown to rate him above Kendricks or if it was really more of a toss up.

    Also, any opinion on Burfict in Rd 6 if he is still there?

    Lastly, does our 1st round board look something like Richardson, Coples, Upshaw, Ingram and Claiborne (in order)?

  4. Darin

    Only thing better than Upshaw and Brown, would be Upshaw and Hightower, but Brown is that athletic rangy linebacker Carroll love and Norton can mold him into a stud.

  5. James

    My initial thought was that Pete & John would be looking for a new Leo, and therefore go for Curry/Perry/Mercilus; and not the OLB/DE hybrid like Ingram or Upshaw. However, I understand your reasoning that Upshaw/Ingram would provide more run support at the Leo position, along with very good pass rush, with Clemons to come in on obvious passing downs, while Upshaw/Ingram move over to Sam LB to provide the blitz threat. Your picks of Upshaw and Brown would make for an elite defense. However, I just have a gut feeling that the Seahawks will select Kuechly. Pete will not be able to resist having his alter-ego on the field… the run game would be closed down by Kuechly and he would really help Seattle get off the field on third down by shutting off the TE crossing routes, etc, across the middle. Then, someone like McClellin, Brown or Jones in the 2nd round to serve as the OLB/DE hybrid.

  6. pqlqi

    I have the same question about Brown and Kendricks…

    I think this FO avoids Burfict completely, unless as a UDFA. I think they would be more likely to feel they have identified hidden/untapped potential in a guy with character even in the 7th round. Remember JS talking last year about how they had 20 guys available in UDFA who they would have been happy to take in the 6th and 7th rounds if they had more picks. Baldwin and Lockette were two of those players. I think that Burfict, with his attitude, off-field issues, and his refusing to play technically sound football makes it unlikely they would waste a pick on him when they have guys like Baldwin they want to spend draft picks on.

    As far as the 1st round board, I have to think that Upshaw (60/40 vs Ingram) is the preferred player of the 5 you list due to his versatility, attitude, and professionalism, and sometimes when faced with a decision of 5 elite potential players, you just take the one you want/like/need most without pussyfooting around with concepts of BPA that go along with Richardson and Claiborne. Coples has to be a step below the first two because you have to get a guy who will contribute to your team for 4 years with your first round picks. Coples might have more raw talent, but we are talking about only a marginal increase in upside from maybe a 93 to a 97, but the attitude issues for Coples could result in a complete bust, and there is minimal chance that Upshaw/Ingram are busts based on attitude or unprofessionalism. If those 5 are left, I think only Richardson might make sense as a pick in front of Upshaw/Ingram, because it would be a perfect backup/backfieldshare with Lynch, and a replacement for Lynch when he hits the RB age wall. Richardson also makes a lot of sense if you wanted to trade back; Cleveland who might like to consolidate some of their 13 picks into higher rated talent or future picks: I could imagine trading Richardson to the Browns for their 20th pick, 36th pick, and a 6th or 7th rounder. This would give Seattle the potential to draft Perry/Mercilus/Irvin + Kendrycks/Hightower/Spence/David + Martin/Polk/Miller and address DE, LB, and RB with 3 top 45 picks.

  7. dave crockett

    I’d love to add TE, Michael Egnew (Mizzou) in the 3rd/4th area. I think he does a good bit of what we lost with Carlson. Obviously he was split out a lot in Mizzou’s offense. However, this year Missouri ran a good bit more than in years past. Both in space and in line I thought Eggo acquitted himself reasonably well as a blocker. It’s not a strength, but I don’t think it’s the liability some make it out to be; comparable to Morrah but in my estimation a better pass catching threat.

    In this video of Quinten Coples in the Independence Bowl you see on at least two occasions (about 2:27 and 4:28) Eggo (#82) is blocking in line, one-on-one against Coples and he looks like he knows what he’s doing.


    Coples’ issues with his motor notwithstanding, Egnew has what you need to be a good blocker — namely functional strength, good feet, and want to.

  8. dave crockett

    Overall, great job as usual Rob. I think you are right in pointing to JAX as the wildcard. The draft doesn’t start until they pick in many ways. (Though it might be more accurate to say that about CLE, I think the Browns just about have to take Trent Richardson.)

    To me, the interesting bit will be to see what trades if any SEA consummates. Almost no way JS leaves this draft having only made six selections unless he stockpiles picks for 2013. SEA has a mild glut at WR. I see CLE as a team with a need for veteran depth at the position and a glut of picks (10). I could see a deal involving any one of Obo, Lockette, BMW, or Butler, and a pick for their 5th rounder.

  9. hawksfan

    PC and JS are not going to be content with having 6 picks in this draft. I really feel that they value the first round pick, and if they are going to add draft picks they will do it by trading down from either Round 2 or 3.

  10. Micah

    Am I reading into this right, Rob? You think one of these things about Bruce Irvin: the Seahawks are not interested, he will be gone before they pick in the rounds they value him at, or he will last past the 4th round. If he is there at the start of the fifth, I trade picks to get him.

    Also, I can see the Hawks trading back in Rd. 1, but don’t see it in Round 2 or later rounds.

  11. Darin

    Rob, thanks for bringing the sanity back to the Mock, in no way shape or form do I want Coples in Seahawk Blue. Upshaw has to be #1 with a bullit on the Hawks draft board of guys that realistically could be there. I can see them watch Ingram’s game tape and seeing an athletic guy who is a one trick pony, who get engulfed too many times by the tackle, and doesn’t use his hands well to fight off blocks.

    My thought process is moving to something like this, unless Upshaw is there, or on the off chance a Claiborne or Richardson fell, PC and JS might look to make a move down and add to their 6 picks.

    If they moved down, what would you think of them being interest in Brockers as that three technique guy to replace Branch. Brockers is raw, and he is limited as a pass rusher right now, but he can stuff the run with his size, and his tape seems like he plays faster than his 40 time indicated. He has some basic pass rush moves, but I think he can be coached up to be a guy who can collapse the pocket from the inside. The one thing about him that stands out is when John Chavis, said he was one of the best defensive tackles he has ever coached, and Chavis has coached some good d-tackles, Haynsworth and Henderson being two of them.

    I want Upshaw at 12, he is the perfect fit for what Carroll wants for this team, but if he is gone, I just am looking for good options not named Ingram, Coples, Kuechly or DeCastro.

  12. Lenny253


    If Upshaw is there when the Bills pick. Id think about trading draft spots with the Bills. If the chiefs would draft Ingram why not Upshaw? If he is our guy you can’t take the chance the Chiefs won’t snag him. BTW love the Brown pick. Brown and Upshaw on our defense would be scary!!

  13. Ben2

    I like Wagner out of Utah State could play weak side or middle. Versatile. Could be an option for Hawks if he’s not off the board like in Robs draft

  14. peter

    Thanks for the addition of options in round 3/4….I like the Trumaine Johnson pick, with WTIII perhaps never staying healthy, and Browner obviously stepping up but getting a little old, it’s probably a good move to have additional depth and groom a replacement.

    I like Turbin in the Fourth from the few grainy videos that were up he seems to have the speed, size, and strength to relieve Marshawn without sacrificing the playbook, as well as it appeared to me that he helped his QB out a few times, coming back to pick up passes wehn the pocket was starting to collapse.

    I like Russel Wilson a lot, perhaps more then you and a little less then Kip (!) but I wonder if he could be had in the fifth? It seems that there are a certain amount of QB’s taken each year and then after a certain poitn the bottom falls out so to speak and then they all sort of tumble…I wonder if that will be the case for him or many others, like Coleman, Davis, and perhaps Weeden…

    Anyways, nice work…Brown in the Second would be awesome, I love that guys speed, hm and Upshaw, with Wright hopefully continuing his progression, you could go into next years draft with needing to focus, almost solely on QB and a pure Leo prospect…not bad…

  15. Randy

    We don’t have a fifth, Peter.

  16. peter


    Sorry I should have mentioned I don’t see the regime going into the draft or staying in the draft with 6 picks….I’m under a completely unfounded notion that movement down in the draft or a draft day trade will happen…Even a move down in the second round by 6 spots nets you, and this is the old points chart so I know it’s not totally accurate…2 fifth round picks…A move down in the third, nets you a fifth and a 7th…something like that…

  17. Christon

    Really like this draft Rob. I can deffinately tell you put a lot of thought in to this one especially in the later half of the first and throughout the 2nd. Although, it would be hard to imagine the Seahawks not at least considering Bruce Irving if he was still on the board in the 3rd.

  18. Mike

    I would love to see an Upshaw/McClellin combo for the sam and will moving KJ to the mike. The ability of both guys to play up or down at their size with high motors, Gus and Pete would be like mad scientists with the schemes they could come up with.

  19. Rob

    Bryan – I think Brown will interest the Seahawks a little more purely down to the athleticism. I’m a big Kendricks fan and he could be an option, but Brown in that range I think the Seahawks would find it difficult to pass. As for Burfict, I think he’s in a position where he’ll struggle to get drafted. His off-season has been a major dissapointment. I don’t think that is the order of the first round board, I think you can take the top two DE/OLB hybrids and put them right at the top.

    James – As far as I’m aware, if they draft a pass rusher – which is very likely – it won’t be a LEO. The idea here isn’t to replace Chris Clemons, it’s to find someone who can add pressure on the opposite side. They need more and want Clemons and the new guy in on most downs. I’m not convinced there will be much interest in Kuechly – the team knows it needs more pass rush first and foremost and that’s something Kuechly won’t bring.

    Micah – I just think the Seahawks will address the pass rush in round one and probably will look at other areas after that. I wouldn’t rule Irvin out but if they go front seven with the first two picks, they probably go elsewhere in R3 & R4.

    Darin – I don’t think DT will be on the radar in round one. They like what they have and the more I’ve watched Brockers the less I’ve liked him at the three technique. The addition of Jones means it’s almost certain Seattle will not draft a DT in round one. To move down would require one of two things – firstly, one of their prime options not being on the board (unlikely IMO), or secondly a blockbuster can’t-reject deal. I suspect such a deal won’t materialise.

    Lenny253 – that’s a fair points about KC, but the Seahawks won’t be moving up. I think they’re comfortable with a situation at #11 where Upshaw and Ingram are still on the board. You take the guy that’s left.

    Peter – I’m not a big fan of Wilson. I like the zip on his throws, I like some of the things he does. There’s also a ton I don’t like including accuracy, pocket poise and ability to improvise (that surprised me a ton BTW). The height bothers me a ton. So yes, I think he could still be on the board beyond round four.

  20. SHawn

    I agree, by their own admission, this FO likes to draft 9 or 10 players, and also sign 3 or 4 UDFA. I don’t believe they will stand pat at 6 picks and hope there are 6 or 7 UDFA that will sign and are good enough to stick around.

    There was an article of Field Gulls the other day about the draft and how quality is better than quantity, but I say that is not taking into account that our FO is full of some of the best talent evaluators out there.

    The only way we accumulate picks without trading back is to jettison older players for mid-late rd picks, usually to teams trying to rebuild in a hurry or patch some holes with more experienced talent than what is offered in the draft.

    Now that we simply released Trufant and Gallery (either should have at least netted us a 6th or 7th pick apiece, maybe a 5th as a package deal, so Im hoping we at least shopped them a bit before pulling the trigger), the only older guys I could see us trading for any value would be Washington or maybe Branch. I only see Branch as expendable since the arrival of Jason Jones, who I think will move back inside for us. Branch could get us a mid rd pick (maybe 4th?), Washington could get us a late rd pick (maybe 6th?).

    SO we need to trade back (probably a few times), accumulate some extra 3rds and 4ths, maybe a 2nd, some 5ths, some 7ths, pretty much just MORE. We have holes to fill on our “JV” squad if you follow. If our guy isnt there at 12, then we really shouldnt have a problem finding a trade partner if we are ok with losing a little value.

    The Lions at 23 are who I would call first. They still need to get over the hump to challenge the Pack and Da Bears for the NFC North. They might really like a guy who is sitting there at 12 that wont be at 23 (one of the second tier OTs or maybe a complement to Megatron?). If we call and let them know they could have 12 for the same price as they would, say, 17, which I think would roughly be a 3rd and 4th, I think its likely they make the move. We would miss out on Upshaw most likely, but Hightower will probably still be there, or Mercilus / Branch if we are committed to DE in the 1st.

  21. SHawn

    “The idea here isn’t to replace Chris Clemons, it’s to find someone who can add pressure on the opposite side. They need more and want Clemons and the new guy in on most downs.”

    Then why did they just resign Red to a mega contract? Just to prove they are going to reward their own? Even when they, from what you think, wont be using him very often?


    So if we are going to use Clem, Red, and the new guy on most downs, it would have to be an OLB that will rush most of the time, but also play back into coverage from time to time. We arent Gregg Williams, we arent going to blitz 85 times a game.

    We need pressure from the front 4, and that means replacing either Red or Clem. With the new contract on the books, I think its clear which one is on the way out.

  22. Rob

    Shawn – I would be pretty surprised if they took that deal. I think if we’re going to see a move down the board in round one, then it’ll have to be a blockbuster – possibly with 2013 compensation. Moving from 12>23 is a pretty substantial move even given they acquire two more picks. What is more likely IMO is a move down the board in R2 or even R3 to accumulate extra picks. But at #12, I think we’re looking at Seattle identifying an impact guy they really like and just taking him. They can’t get too cute here.

  23. allen k

    Hey Rob,
    Even though you listed Carpenter last year as possible Seahawk target it was still a bit of a surprise when his name was called for the hawk’s pick. Any ideas on who could be lurking on the hawks draft board this year as a possible surprise pick?

    Also have you heard anyone question Zack Browns competiveness?
    It was mentioned in the article below.


  24. Rob

    Shawn (again) – The idea will be that whoever is drafted plays OLB and DE depending on the formation. But for the most part, we’ll see Bryant, Mebane, Branch, Clemons and the newly drafted pass rusher on the field. That’s the only way this team can generate more edge pressure without moving to an orthodox four man front or making this a permanent 3-4.

    And no, Clemons is not on the way out. They love what he brings to the team and won’t be replacing the only guy who has actually brought about a pass rush the last two years. You can’t expect to get more pressure replacing the one guy who brings it – that’s paramount to shuffling the deckchairs on the titanic. They want more – a way of complimenting Clemons and keeping the three big bodies up front. There are going to be a lot of different looks with this defense and the outside backer across from Clemons is going to be very attack minded. But no, they aren’t drafting a pass rusher to replace Clemons at the LEO.

  25. Rob

    allen k – I think the surprise name for this year could be Courtney Upshaw. Not many people expect him to go to Seattle, I’ve not seen it mocked anywhere else. There will be widespread surprise if it happens. As for Brown’s competitiveness, I’ve heard issues about several UNC players on that team. It’s hard to judge, because there’s talent throughout that North Carolina roster over the years and at some point we have to question the coaching a bit. How do you waste so much talent? And undoubtedly there’s a lot of potential with Brown, it just goes hand in hand with a degree of concern.

  26. Michael (CLT)

    I expect to learn a lot about Mr. Upshaw tomorrow. I hope he competes.

    Zach Brown should scare lots of people. All athleticism, no instincts. In fact, I would suggest Zach Brown is the opposite of Upshaw. Upshaw = instincts + power with average athleticism. Brown, great athleticism and limited instincts + power.

  27. Michael (CLT)

    I dearly hope Seattle does not force another draft. Imagine if they had drafted Sheard rather than Carpenter in 2011. Now we are not reaching for a DE in 2012 at 12. We are flowing with each draft. 2011, strong defensive draft. 2012, strong offensive lineman and wide receiver draft.

    I wonder if two year from now Schneider’s first rounders don’t resemble Ruskell’s. One being a measurable/methodology (Ruskell) failure… the other being… well, a methodology failure (Schnieder).

    Take the best player. Not the biggest need.

  28. SHawn

    “But for the most part, we’ll see Bryant, Mebane, Branch, Clemons and the newly drafted pass rusher on the field. That’s the only way this team can generate more edge pressure without moving to an orthodox four man front or making this a permanent 3-4.”

    So IYO we will be rushing 5 or more almost every down? Seems excessive, but maybe thats what we need. We also need more penetration from our front 4. Which is why I thought we brought in Jones, but maybe he just spells Branch on passing downs. Pretty small role for $5 mil.

    And I love what Clem has done for us the last two years. I think he has the ability to do that for maybe 3 or 4 more years, but he is already on the wrong side of 30 and this FO has made it clear that youth has value.

    No one I know of thought Trufant would leave Seattle the way he did either. But he got hurt and his replacement(s) stepped up and proved the Seahawks could move forward. Even without sustaining an injury, a similar fate could await Clemons. He is only ours for sure for one more year and this is the year we focus on the pass rush, I believe up and down the draft.

    I believe the upcoming season will be Clem’s last in Seahawk blue, at least as the starter. And as such, it would pay to draft his replacement this year rather than next, as DEs tend to take a year or two to adjust to the NFL game. I doubt it will be the main concern at 12, but there are several guys this year that COULD go from college LB to NFL DE (LEO) like Clemons did. Undoubtedly Upshaw is one of them.

    Not trying to argue all day, I hate those posters. I just think we see Upshaw playing different roles in Seattle. He could do either IMO, and I will be ecstatic if we get him. Love the site Rob.

  29. Bryan

    Michael – How could you possibly rate Okung, Thomas and Carpenter as failures? ET is the foundation around which our entire defense is built. Okung has been injured on some very freak incidents (ankles) and one deliberate act. Carpenter needs time. The drafting of this front office bears no resemblance to Ruskell in either success rate or goals.

  30. matt

    rob kudos again.i love the doubters,the people who know better or assume they can
    analyze players from the arm chair.pc has only taken a defence that sucked and made it into a top ten defence,and with a couple of more additions soon to be top 5.but hey dont let that stop you.
    love upshaw,not crazy about brown,rob,he may be fast as a whip but given his size how long do you think he’d last?

  31. Michael (CLT)

    Brian – I agree. 2010 was BPA with a gameplan for certain positions (OL/DB). It worked out with the high picks and great depth at both positions.

    2011 really left me concerned. It was a complete force of a draft until round 4. So, I want to see 2010 again. And I really doubt Carpenter will be what Sheard will be.

    Forced positions in order to avoid trading up. Makes me uncomfortable.

  32. SHawn

    Force of a draft until round 4?

    Sooo, you are talking specifically about Carpenter and Moffitt. Both were reaches I think, but our OL was lacking, OL takes time to gel, and Tom Cable was high on both prospects. Sounds like a win win win to me. I agree there were prospects we passed on that maybe we shouldnt have, but hindsight is 20-20 and our focus was where it needed to be.

  33. Ben2

    Good dilineations Michael…Does seem position centric drafting tendencies early…when this breaks down in the later rounds seems to be actually better…or maybe later the scattershot method is why we’re seeing success with late picks: get 4 late round DBs then Pete Caroll Thunderdome action = 4 men enter, one starter leaves!

  34. thebroski

    Sheard was drafted at 37 last year… He had an excellent year, and I’m sure that if folks knew he would have produced like he did he would have been drafted closer to us at 25 than 37… The point is, you can’t really use results from the last year to say so and so should have been drafted earlier…

  35. Doug

    Hmmm, there seems to be two frames of thought going on here:
    Forced choice vs. BPA
    Upshaw vs whoever is available that is really good. Let’s say DeCastro for arguements sake.

    Y’all know the discussion, we’ve played this song about 50 times already. I guess only time will tell

  36. Rob

    For me, Upshaw will be round about BPA at #12. There may be others I’d put level with him in terms of talent, but perhaps not as much of a critical positional need. I appreciate that a lot of others disagree with that opinion. But I think there’s at least a chance the team will see it that way… and in that circumstance it’s only fair to say at least in teams view it wouldn’t be so much a ‘fighting the board’ situation to draft a specific position.

  37. DaveWilk

    I like the Stephen HIll pick for the Texans, but not Josh Chapman. Wade Phillips wants his NTs to provide some pass rush, and Chapman would provide none.

  38. AlaskaHawk

    I agree with Michael, It is fair to say that PCs higher picks haven’t worked out well, except for Earl Thomas of course. Carpenter and Okung were both #1s but they may never become permanent parts of the Seahawks, one from lack of talent and the other one from injuries. Moffit will have to prove himself after he gets off the injury list. Tate is on the edge but overall seems useful. His production is low considering he was picked at the beginning of the second round.

    Later picks have worked out brilliantly. I just wonder how much of that is because this team is so desperately in need of a rebuild. My mantra – two more years of drafting, then we will have a team.

    You all have jumped on the defense band wagon, and that’s fine. By next year you will realize that are receiver corp is the worst need – maybe we will even (gasp) pick an elite receiver in the first round like San Francisco is about to do.

    Just no way to get there easily – especially when we only have 6 picks.

  39. Bill Bobaggins

    Watching Alabama’s pro day…Courtney Upshaw looks like a scary, scary man.

  40. SHawn

    Golden was drafted toward the end of round 2, I believe #60, after we swapped picks with the Chargers in the Whitehurst deal. But to me a 2nd rd pick needs to produce more than he has, regardless if he was at the top or bottom of the round.

    But I dont see why we need to spend a 1st rd pick on any receiver, everyone thinks GB has the deepest receiving core in the league and they have exactly ZERO 1st rd picks at the position. I think they have 3 2nd rd picks though. (Jennings, Nelson, Cobb)

    Not to mention the top of the WR board is full of NON-elite talent this year. Blackmon is the hands down best of the bunch, but even he is not what I would consider an elite prospect. Floyd, Jeffery, Randle, Wright, etc, all look like 2nd or 3rd talent to me.

    I havent looked ahead to see what 2013 has in store for WRs, but you could be right that next year we will be focusing on our passing game. But that means our 1st rd pick will likely be a certain QB and we might have to spend our 2nd to move up and get him.

  41. AlaskaHawk

    One of the reasons that this year has been hard to grade is that there are only a few elite players. 2 QBs we are pretty sure of a couple offensive tackles and a guard.

    All of the top four receivers could be elite but will have to prove themselves. Lots of defensive players with potential, but none showing elite skills both on the field and at the combine.

    I’m guessing that this will shake out like most drafts do – with the first and second round choices having a higher percentage of people that “make it” in the NFL.

  42. AlaskaHawk

    What channel is showing Alabama’s pro day??

  43. SHawn

    Upshaw ran two 4.81 40s. Fast enough for a DE, not so much for a WILL. He will struggle if asked to drop away from the LOS. But that wont matter if we use him the right way.

  44. SHawn


    But this is where I am “watching”,


  45. Dave

    Alabama coach was promoting hightower pretty hard in an interview at Alabama pro day. Thought Upshaw looked great!

  46. Colin

    AK hawk, why does Carpenter lack talent? The kid had no offseason to do much of anything and was thrown into the fire- is it really fair to make that assessment after one season? Okung hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but then again, he didn’t miss time at all last year until the cheap shot by Trent Cole and probably wouldn’t have so I don’t think that’s a moot point either. This team had 11 wins for the taking and came away with 7. We lost the games we did we because our pass rush couldn’t close and our QB couldn’t finish. Assuming Flynn is an upgrade to Tjack (how can he not?), then we’ve automatically bettered ourselves. Pete and John will get pass rushers in the draft.

    In two years, this team should be a Super Bowl contender. Not a finished rebuild.

  47. Soggyblogger

    Good analysis, Rob. I like Upshaw, but wonder if he will really be around. My fear is he will be gone and we will settle with Ingram who I fear will be a bust. My amateur research has suggested that the DE position is below average this year. One of the strongest positions in this draft is LB. I advocate trading down rather than take Ingram, but not if Upshaw is available.

    However, last year the FO tried to trade down from their first round position and failed to complete a deal. The time allotted makes draft day trades very difficult to complete. If they are thinking that way they need to get a head start on such a deal and have something in place with a likely team before the day of the draft.

    Alternatively, Kuechley taken in the first at the 12 position, and BPA in the second round ….my hopes would be for Doug Martin to still be available who I think is neck and neck with Trent R. I also like Shea McClellin as a possible second round choice, but would be very hopeful for a dominate D with the addition of Keuchley taken in the first, and Bruce Irvin in the fourth – leaving us with a second and third round pick to maybe bolster the OL.

    I am not at all hoping to draft a WR. I think Lockette and Durham deserve shots if Obi or Tate cannot get their acts together. Obviously, Baldwin will get lots of playing time. And I am about ready to see Mike Williams converted to a TE if he cannot get slim and trim and speedier. It seems like skill players can be had as UDFA or in later rounds, and PC/JS have shown a real knack for finding them.

    Sherman and Baldwin are competing and winning that competition with first round picks from other teams. It is painful to miss with a number one pick whether it is because of injury or not developing, but guys like Sherman make up for those losses. He is performing better than that FA CB with the funny name. Ashna….. We couldn’t have done better picking a CB in the first round! And Baldwin reminds me a bit of Largent. I hope he has just as stellar of a career! If Durham and or Lockette develop then we could have one of the best receiver corps in the NFL. There’s no doubt in my mind that guys like A Rodgers and Tom Brady make their WR’s better statistically. Flynn could end up doing the same. People often defend a QB saying no one was ever open or their OL didn’t protect them, or the WR’s dropped too many (cough Obi….Tate…cough, cough) but the opposite can also be said about TJax, and that is that he MISSED the open receiver too often. Upgrade at the QB position, either with improvement from TJax or the insertion of Flynn will allow our WR’s to finally shine.

  48. AlaskaHawk

    Regarding Green Bay didn’t pick any first round receivers – don’t you think if they had Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones they would have another super bowl ring? First and second round receivers are there for a reason. They have already proved they can perform. Unfortunately there is no Calvin in this draft – but I would still pick a WR before I would pick another OL.

    Yes I would like to see Lockette and Durham given a shot. They deserve it.

  49. James

    Wow, what about these reports that John, Pete and the OC were all at Tannehill’s pro day, went so far as to have dinner with the aTm QB??? Seems like a lot of effort to go through just to toss a red herring in front of the Dolphins in order to try to shake up the top 10? Not to mention, going to College Station means they did not attend Upshaw’s pro day at Alabama. Hmmm.

  50. Micah

    I think Upshaw is set for a slide unless he’s taken by someone who views him as a 3 down DE. He’ll certainly be available at 12. His 40s today don’t cut it for an OLB; 4.81, 4.81, and 4.77 are fine for a DE. I still wouldn’t be disappointed with the pick, but a lot of people will grade us poorly for it–who cares what the likes of Mel Kiper et al. think, anyway?

    He’s a guy who will be deadly with a good set of CBs, though, which we have.

  51. Rob

    James – Also seems like a lot of effort considering you probably don’t want teams to know you’re targeting a guy at #12, right?

    Micah – Let’s not forget he’d only be a OLB hyrbid, which is generally the role he had at Alabama and thrived.

  52. Barry

    I keep wondering why, seeing as we just traded away Curry, why would we draft the second coming of him in Brown? He wasn’t even the best LB on the NC team this last year. This is a guy with good numbers being drafted much higher then his film dictates in every aspect. Its a deep linebacker draft, and Brown just doesnt seen to makes sense maybe I’m missing something on him.

    The more I watch Upshaw the more and more he seems to take plays off and not play to the whistle, and thats not a good sign for a guy on the slow stiff side who is supposed to be a Bad-A hustle kinda player. Not saying he’s not a first round talent and maybe I’m being picky, but at 12 he’s seeming more and more like a reach and less like a impact player. When I watch ‘Bama film he doesn’t jump out at me and when I watch HIM he doesn’t seem to fly around the field and seems to lack explosiveness through the upper body. He seems like a 3-4 end playing in a 4-3 body. Again I’m looking more at the value he proposes at pick 12

  53. Michael (CLT)

    Well well well. I guess this draft lacks talent. I actually don’t see Upshaw making it to Seattle. Go figure:

    1 Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
    2 Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
    3 Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
    4 Ryan Tannehill QB, Texas A&M
    5 Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
    6 Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
    7 Matt Kalil OT, USC
    8 Melvin Ingram DE, South Carolina
    9 Quinton Coples DE, North Carolina
    10 Michael Floyd WR, Notre Dame
    11 Courtney Upshaw DE, Alabama
    12 Stephon Gilmore CB, South Carolina
    13 David DeCastro OG, Stanford
    14 Riley Reiff OT, Iowa
    15 Michael Brockers DT, LSU
    16 Dont’a Hightower ILB, Alabama
    17 Dontari Poe DT, Memphis
    18 Fletcher Cox DT, Mississippi State
    19 Kendall Wright WR, Baylor
    20 Luke Kuechly ILB, Boston College
    21 Mark Barron S, Alabama
    22 Stephen Hill WR, Georgia Tech
    23 Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford
    24 Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama
    25 Coby Fleener TE, Stanford
    26 Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
    27 Cordy Glenn OT, Georgia
    28 Nick Perry DE, USC
    29 Janoris Jenkins CB, North Alabama
    30 Zach Brown OLB, North Carolina
    31 Vinny Curry DE, Marshall
    32 Peter Konz C, Wisconsin

  54. Michael (CLT)

    Pretty sure no one will read this, but Rob was very high on Sheard. I concurred.

    If Decastro is a pro bowl guard, he is worth a top 5 pick. Talent.

    That said, when I finally did a draft, my own heart was not convinced.

    This is a talent poor draft.

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