Updated mock draft: 4th January

I’ve updated the mock draft today considering we now have a confirmed order for picks 1-20. You can view the latest projection by clicking here or selecting ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

A few thoughts before I get onto the Seahawks:

– Don’t read too much into Michael Lombardi’s piece on NFL.com which suggests the Panthers aren’t thinking quarterback with the #1 overall pick. Carolina hasn’t even appointed a new Head Coach yet and after watching Andrew Luck in the Orange Bowl, probably just want teams to know they aren’t locked into the top spot if they get an unbelievable offer. Without a move down the board – Luck will be a Panther.

– Some will disagree with my decision to place four quarterbacks in the top-ten and five in the top-15. It would be an incredible turn of events, but there are just so many teams that need quarterbacks this year and the 2011 class is much deeper than most recent drafts. Things could change if teams trade for or sign veteran starters, but until they do it’s hard to see a franchise like Arizona going into next season having not addressed the position.

– The depth at quarterback dries up substantially after round one, which could also force teams to solve their problem early.

– Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska) continues to be over-rated in many mock drafts. I wasn’t entirely comfortable having him as early as #13 to Detroit. However – that’s exactly where Malcolm Jenkins went in 2009, a prospect with similar issues to Amukamara. Both look like they’ll end up playing safety in the long term.

So what about Seattle?

Many people will question the decision to projct Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State) to the Seahawks with the 21st overall pick.

Let me make the case for why I think such a move could happen.

While I appreciate the continued problems along the offensive line – there really aren’t any solutions to the guard or right tackle position in the first round. This is an area the Seahawks will have to work hard to improve during free agency and subsequent later rounds.

I’ve argued for some time on this blog that one of the biggest reasons Seattle can’t run the ball anywhere near efficiently is due to a stagnated passing offense. Opposition teams are willing to take gambles against the Seahawks – whether that’s showing an eight-man front or blitzing creatively. There is neither a quarterback or an exciting group of playmakers that can force a defense into more considered coverage.

I think Pete Carroll and John Schneider appreciated that when they arrived in Seattle. Immediately they set up meetings with Brandon Marshall and there was a genuine interest in Vincent Jackson too.

Mike Williams was given another chance at redemption and he’s proven to be a solid possession receiver for the offense this year. However – the team still lacks a level of dynamism on offense even with Williams’ comeback.

People will point to the likes of Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler. We’ve seen glimpses from Obomanu and Butler, but not consistency. Obomanu is due to be a free agent. 

Tate has had a rough rookie season that isn’t totally unexpected. I’ve always felt the former Notre Dame wideout benefited from a high-percentage scheme in college that relied on his ability in the open-field. The Seahawks have tried to make him a more complete receiver, but it’s just not happening. His lack of game-speed, control, solid route-running and size is being exploited in the NFL.

It’d be unfair to write-off Tate at this early stage in his career, but he has a long way to go to become a starter or an effective weapon.

In my opinion, the Seahawks would benefit from gaining another talented receiver who can play most downs alongside Williams (who has renewed his contract for a further three years).

That receiver may come in free agency – especially if the San Diego Chargers opt against placing the franchise tag on Vincent Jackson. Indeed, the upcoming chaos regarding the CBA and a potential lock-out makes this year’s free agency period a complete mystery at the moment.

Assuming the team does not bring in a receiver, then it has to be considered a need alongside the more obvious first round options – quarterback, defensive line and cornerback.

After watching Brandon Harris (CB, Miami) struggle against the height of Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) in the Sun Bowl, I was less inclined to pair him with Seattle who will look for physical, taller corners going forward. Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State) was also a consideration as someone who could play the one-technique or even the Red Bryant position.

However, it kept coming back to offense and how poor it’s been accross the board this year. If the Seahawks can’t draft a quarterback, they have to improve the situation elsewhere. Improving the offense has to be the #1 priority for this team. It’s not even close to average.

Justin Blackmon is not an elite physical talent. He isn’t going to run a Chris Johnson type time in the forty-yard dash and he doesn’t have great size at 6-1, 207lbs.

He might be the opposite to Golden Tate however, in that he’s already running very crisp and fluid routes and finding ways to get open.

Like Tate, Blackmon won the Biletnikoff this year. Both put up big production, but Blackmon is doing it with a lot more down-field routes. Although I think Prince Amukamara is over rated, Blackmon put on a clinic against Nebraska and dominated his opponent. He also had strong games against Texas – who have maintained a good secondary – and Oklahoma.

He topped 100-yards in every game he played during 2010 and scored 21 total touchdowns.

Is he a pure #1 receiver? I’m not entirely convinced. His best role may be for a team like Kansas City in support of Dwayne Bowe.

Do I think that will necessarily stop him being an option for the Seahawks? No. He’s proven capable of making the big plays, putting up the big production and getting downfield. I’m projecting a smaller learning curve than a lot of rookies due to his natural route running ability and control.

Ideally you’d find a prospect like Julio Jones (WR, Alabama) sitting in that range, but I wouldn’t rule Blackmon out. However, I think receiver is a position perhaps ignored by most when considering what the Seahawks could do in April and I want to try and keep it in the discussion – which is why I made this projection.

And at the end of the day – you can never have enough good wide receivers. Green Bay have regularly drafted wide outs to pad out their offense – a system which could continue in Seattle now that John Schneider has moved to the North West.


  1. Nick Andron

    Hi Rob! Great post and great reasonings. We’ve discussed this before via Twitter, but I just don’t see the Hawks prioritizing the wideout position with so little draft capital this year. Successful wideouts need two to tango, and currently the Seahawks don’t field any good (or even average) quarterbacks. What good is a team chalk with talent at wideout when the quarterback is either bad or even very bad? You get a team like the 2010 Arizona Cardinals.

    The Packers over-drafted at wideout because they nearly always have a semi-HOF quarterback under center slinging the ball (most recently, Favre and Rodgers).

    The Seahawks are not in the same boat as the Packers, and they should focus on elements of the offense that are more guaranteed to help other elements of the offense: namely the offensive line. If the Seahawks create a league-average or better offensive line this offseason through draft and FA (draft Pouncey, sign a Logan Mankins, draft a RT in the 2nd or 4th), the running game will open up for guys who can make plays, like Forsett and Washington (if he’s retained), and Lynch to some degree. That will aid the passing game defenses will have to use more resources to always defend the run to prevent successful plays. That’ll make it easier for an average to below average quarterback to have some success.

    Without a good QB or a good o-line, new offensive play makers will be hard pressed to make plays.

    • Rob

      Hey Nick,

      You make some very valid points regarding the Packers. I can’t disagree with your point that they’ve always had very good QB play and supplying that QB with weapons has made them succesful on offense.

      However, I don’t agree that the Seahawks will necessarily have any guaranteed success by spending high draft picks at guard or right tackle. I think too much is often made of the offensive line. As I raised in the article, teams do not respct Seattle’s offense. You can’t ask even an elite offensive line to continuosly provide running room against an eight-man front. You can’t ask your left tackle to block two guys off the edge or the center to pick up a safety blitzing alongside his designated block.

      While improving the offensive line is a priority, I cannot advocate a big FA move like Mankins and then also spending a first round pick on a right guard. We can find a starting guard without that invetment. Kansas City have a mix of UDFA’s, free agents and mid round picks on their line and they run the ball better than anyone else. Why? Because they have a QB who can get the ball to a top WR and they have speed and quality at RB and WR. There’s no precedent for drafting numerous high picks on the OL.

      If the Seahawks can get a more dynamic threat at WR, it may force teams into greater coverage and relieve some pressure on the offensive line. Of course, it still leaves a huge hole at QB. I’m not sure how to get round that issue in 2011, but I don’t think it’s an all out assault on the offensive line.

      I’ve made no secret of how I think QB is the biggest need by far. I have to review the options if Seattle can’t find a QB now becaue of the #21 overall pick. Adding playmakers on offense is as important (IMO) as any other need after the QB and I need to represent that in a mock because it doesn’t get talked about enough for me.

      • Nick Andron

        Rob, thanks for replying! Do you think the Seahawks may try, then, to get someone like Mark Ingram? I just have seen so many elite-level WRs have underwhelming years or careers because the guy under center just isn’t nearly good enough to get the ball to the receivers. They don’t even have a shot to make plays until the ball is in their hands. At least with a running back, getting the ball into their hands is a (mostly) sure thing. Thoughts on that?

        And I guess I will agree with your o-line sentiment. I still do believe it’s the highest priority for the team, but you’re probably right in regards to ‘overspending’ both draft picks and money to FAs. Carroll and Schneider have their work cut out for them – one could argue every position other than left tackle needs upgrade. I’d argue Spencer gets a lot of unwarranted heat, but if they have the chance to upgrade center without breaking the bank, they should take it. Why wouldn’t you?

        • Rob

          The line is in critical need of upgrades I absolutely agree on that. OG in particular is a major need for this team, just not one easily solved in round one of a draft (neither does it need to be). I’m a big fan of Rodney Hudson and would advocate his selection at some stage. But it’s an area that can be upgraded without the top end investment in round one. I’m sure they’ll improve the line this off season and that it’ll be a priority, just not at #21. It has to coincide with better playmakers though – getting better at QB and WR is just as important if not more so.

          I’m a big Ingram fan. If he was there in the 2006 draft, I’d be all over it. However, this team really needs to upgrade the passing game (and the o-line) before they can consider spending that kind of money and a high pick at RB. He won’t have success for the Seahawks. He’ll be a perennial pro-bowl for a NYG or a Baltimore, but I fear his best years will be wasted in Seattle. You make a valid point on receivers struggling to make an impact – it tends to be a boom or bust position in the draft.

          • plyka

            Why would anyone take an RB in round 1? RB is the position most easily filled by undrafted free agents and other cheap alternatives. Anyone know if this kid named arian foster? The leading rusher in the league was an UDFA and could have been signed off q practice squad for free not too ling ago. The jags have two backup RBs far better than any on our team. Deji karim was selected in the 6th round last year. What about the bucs? Blount was a UDFA rookie this year and he leads all cookies in rushing, including the 3 that were picked in the 1st round last year.

            • Rob

              Adrian Peterson? Chris Johnson?

          • Todd

            Blount was a projected to the 2nd round who then went undrafted because he is a complete meathead. Blount isn’t a good example of talent gotten on the cheap because the only reason why teams avoided him was because they didn’t want the headache, it wasn’t because they thought he wouldn’t be good.

            I’ll agree that it is easier to find value later in the draft for RB, but if you want a truly elite back you draft early more times than not just like any other position.

  2. Ken

    Blackmon in the first,
    Trade 2nd rounder for Orton.

    Your thoughts?

    • Rob

      I like Orton, he can keep things together. He’s not a good scheme fit for this offense, but then neither is Matt Hasselbeck. If the team can’t find a QB for the long term, there are worse stop-gaps then Orton. Although the Broncos may want a 2nd rounder, I don’t think they’ll get that. R3-4 range.

      The Seahawks have to do something at QB though so if the draft isn’t an option, they have to consider it.

  3. Matt

    Amen Rob. Always great work/insight. I couldn’t agree more that the need for playmakers is very important. If we cannot get our hands on a QB in round 1, I firmly believe we have to get a playmaker on offense or defense (pass rush or cover corner). If we don’t/can’t get a QB, I will be praying that teams let Jimmy Smith slip because he doesn’t get the publicity that the others receive. Otherwise, I’d be very happy with Blackmon. He’s nothing extraordinary in regards to speed or size, but the it’s his combination of both along with outstanding body control and fluidity that can allow him to be a difference maker. Many may disagree, but he actually reminds me a lot of Roddy White, both in play style and body type.

    • Rob

      Roddy White is what Blackmon can become. The body type, the crisp routes, the control. That’s the best-case comparison I’d use.

  4. Jules

    Hey Rob,

    Interesting perspective on the Seahawks draft needs. If your assessment of Justin Blackmon is accurate and the Seahawks brass are feeling the same way would you compare Blackmon similarly to Reggie Wayne coming out of college? Reggie Wayne was roughly 6 feet tall, less than 200lbs and ran I believe in the mid 4.5’s at the combine. The sense of Reggie Wayne was that he was a polished route runner but not a burner or someone capable of stretching the field at the NFL level yet he has proven to be quite productive in Peyton’s offense in Indy.

    I would also be curious to know how the Seahawks will approach their QB situation. From my assessment neither Whitehurst or Hasselback are the answer heading into next year. Do you think there will be a QB on the free agent market Seattle might view has a positive stop gap or would they even consider trading for Jimmy Clausen assuming Andrew Luck declares and Carolina takes him. Personally, while I’m not a HUGE fan of Kyle Orton I wonder if he might be the kind of average QB who could hold us over the next couple of years until we find someone to be the franchise QB through the draft or trade.

    Finally, what players do the Seahawks have that other teams might be inclined to consider in trade if the Seahawks do try to offer their first round pick and some assets to move up the draft board?

    Thanks for your insights and for keeping us Hawk fans chatting about the team. Go HAWKS GO!!!

    • Nick Andron

      I’m with you, Jules. I’m in the Orton boat, honestly. He’s smart, accurate, mobile enough, and has enough arm to create a 2-3 year bridge to a young, future franchise QB. He’s worth the 2nd round pick, and I’m sure his $8.4 million salary could be renegotiated to a more reasonable $5 million or so.

      • Matt

        I’d use his salary as a means of knocking down the trading price to get him. I agree he is very underrated, but a second round is a steep price for a stop gap type QB. I bet you could get him for a 4th considering Denver’s high draft pick this spring. More money off the books the better. (And yes, I realize that rookie salaries won’t be as high, but the top first rounders will still be making quite a bit.

    • Rob

      Hi Jules,

      I never had the chance to scout Wayne coming out of college so can’t compare the two. Obviously you’re looking at those receivers who aren’t the big size/speed combo’s but have that knack of getting open, a tight build and crisp routes. That’s what Blackmon offers. It helps Wayne that he’s had Peyton Manning throwing the ball – that has to be considered. The same goes for Roddy White in Atlanta with Matt Ryan.

      Seattle won’t trade for Clausen. He wasn’t on their draft board or considered at all last April. If the draft cannot answer the problem at QB, they could do a lot worse looking at a QB like Orton who might come at a reasonable price (2xR4’s?). He’s not a great scheme fit, but he’s a better option than a lot of the others out there. I think he’s better thanb Kolb.

      In terms of tradeable assets – I’m not sure Seattle has any. They won’t be prepared to trade a Clemons/Williams and the two high draft picks aren’t going anywhere. Aside from that, I can’t see what would interest other teams in being able to include them in a deal to move a long way up the board. It’ll take picks. The first and second might do it – it depends how much teams want to move down.

  5. Cliff

    I like the draft and the picks make a lot of sense but i think it’d be a mistake to draft Blackmon. Having two possession receivers would help a QB but not the run if no one can stretch the field. Blackmon isnt big play. He’s like BMW who should only get better in the next few years. If the draft falls that way i’d rather take Paea or Cameron Jordan to add depth and talent along the line. Would also love Jimmy Smith here if he somehow falls.

    Also a side note what if Mallett fell here? Do you think the Hawks would take him? Thanks.

    • Rob

      Hi Cliff,

      I’d be surprised if Mallett was a consideration. Some teams will just strike him off the board if you believe some pundits. He’s not a great scheme fit.

      I think Blackmon is different enough to Williams to justify the pick. There’s a big size difference and Blackmon is more likely to take a deep stretch route. You lay the ball up for Williams and he goes up and gets it, but he can’t force a deep threat. They could take pressure off each other to an extent. Blackmon has some potential although he’s not in that Crabtree/Bryant class of the last two years. I think he’s an option, but if you don’t get better at QB….

  6. Scott

    Rob, love that scenario. Blackmon first, Moffitt second. Offense upgraded. No QB, but that is life.

    One of our problems this year is that a good team can take BMW away from us and we don’t have a second WR who can consistently make them pay. Blackmon would make our QB better.

    The question becomes this: Does one of our Butler/Tate duo become expendable? Obo has proven to be a worthy backup for Williams, and Bates likes to have at least one TE, if not two on the field, so we 4 te and 5 wr on the 53 roster, meaning that assuming Blackmon/Williams, one of the Obo/Stokely/Tate/Butler quartet is out.

    • Matt

      I am not sure Moffitt is worth a second rounder. Wisconsin lineman get overplayed a bit. I know Joe Thomas has been awesome in the NFL, but he’s kind of an outlier to the typical lead footed Wisconsin lineman. We do need help on the O-line, but I think you can find Moffitt type quality lineman well into the 5th round.

      I would have to assume that either Stokley or Butler would be out in your scenario, with the obvious lean towards Stokley. They drafted Tate, so he would take precedence over Butler IMO.

    • Matt Q.

      Mike Williams aint goin anywhere. He loves seattle, the fans, carroll – hes not the greedy type anymore. I think he is happy to have a team to play for

    • T-Town

      Most places like Drafttek and CBSSports have Moffitt rated as a 3rd-4th and possibly even 5th rounder.

      I like Moffitt too but the Hawks could easily have a shot to draft him in the 4th round. (I predict we will have 2 4th round picks. I dont see how the Wilson trade wont get upgraded from a 5th to a 4th rounder.)

  7. Matt


    What are your thoughts of taking a shot at Weslye Saunders in the mid to late rounds? Big, pass catching TE. I know he has his share of issues, but could be a nice weapon and a good fix for the run game, being since we like to use the 2 TE sets.

    If I was the Hawks, I’d personally shop John Carlson around. I think he’s tapped out talent wise and I actually like Cam Morrah better (today).

    • Blake

      Why would we want another TE? Carlson is an average TE. Morrah looks to be a better than average #2 that can create mismatches. McCoy was graded in the 2nd but then fell because he can’t lay off the reefer. Baker is a real solid veteran as well. I would say TE and LB are the only 2 positions that we can’t afford to spend a draft pick on. Maybe throw safety in there as well.

      • Matt

        I would consider a guy like Saunders an extremely high uspide guy for the cost. Not that I am dying to draft a TE, but considering where he could be available, and our usage of TEs, I suggested his name as a guy who could physically provide a real bang for the buck.

      • Matt

        I think our offense needs a real boost. I’m just thinking of outside the box methods to improve it considering the system we run. Sadly, we don’t have 2 first rounders, so it’s a matter of opporutnity cost when it comes to providing a jolt to this terrible offense.

        • Blake

          Ya its not impossible but i dont see him with upside. Especially at our best position grouping.

          I am never opposed to drafting a RE in a normal scheme, so a Leo in this scheme, but could not justify a high pick on anybody not named Robert Quinn. What late round prospects should we be checkin out? Maybe that kid from Oregon Kenny Rowe. A little light. Kentrell Locket out of Miss? Who else am i missin

          • Matt

            No upside to Saunders? He’s around 6’6″, 260 lbs and can catch the ball.

  8. 1sthill

    Blackmon sounds similar to Bucs rookie WR Mike Williams, whom had a great rookie year with the Bucs. Williams isn’t a guy with great acceleration or speed, but he like Blackmon has great hands, body control, and is a physical runner after he catches the ball.

  9. plyka

    In my opinion if you’re going to take a wr in round one, then they need to be a physical beast with tremendous upside. Julio Jones is the perfect fit. Otherwise you really would go corner. All that said, I’m pretty sure that one of the top five QBs will call to 21, so this convo is moot.

    • Rob

      Which one?

      • plyka

        Are you talking about QBs? Which one will fall to 21? I have no clue. But I really cannot see 5 QBs being taken in the top 20 picks. I can see Locker and Mallet falling past 20 for sure. You have Luck and Newton which should go top 10, but I don’t even know if Gabbert will go top 10.

        Basically, I think this whole “every team needs a QB” is being taken to the extreme. Every year there are tons of teams that need QBs but you usually don’t have 5 QBs taken in the top 20.

        There is a ton of talent out there, and a lot of teams may not go for a young QB. I cannot see Cleveland possibly taking a QB in the 1st, I’ve heard that Arizona may go with the Vet pick (their last top 10 QB was Lienart by the way, not to mention they had plenty of luck going with the Vet Curt Warner last time), and Carolina did just select Clausen last year. Maybe Carolina trades down and gets 3 more draft picks and stays with clausen? I’m not sure. But going by history, how often do 5 QBs go in the top 20? That’s 25% of the picks being QBs and i just can’t see it.

        • Alex

          My point all along. There is CONSTANTLY teams that need QBs. There is no single moment in NFL history where even 2/3rds (maybe even half) of the teams are satisfied with their QBs. Yet regardless of how much teams need QBs, some do inevitably fall such as Rodgers or Flacco (to a degree, Ryan fell a bit to #4). There has to be that perfect match of QB and team, the decision to choose a QB based on need rather than BPA, the decision to not go the veteran route, etc. There just has to be a lot to go on for 5 QBs to go in the first 20 picks.

          And at this point, I’m not convinced that 5 will go in the first 20 .


        • Rob

          Most years you don’t get five prospects worthy of the pick. We had seven offensive lineman go in the top 20 recently – the QB position is no less important.

    • Matt

      I think you can find physical specimen WRs in the middle rounds. I am all for upside, but most WRs that bust were physical freaks who didn’t know how to play WR. Now, if you had your choice between Julio Jones and Blackmon, it’s no debate, you take the upside with Jones.

      I do agree CB is a huge need. My hope is that we go hard after Jonathan Joseph in FA.

      • Rob

        A great example will be AJ Green – who isn’t elite in size or speed, but he’s a brilliant technician with safe hands who is just a class above a lot of WR’s his age for understanding how to get open, positioning, selling a route. He could be a top-5 pick.

        • plyka

          I didn’t mean to say it was all physical prowess (size, speed, etc.). What I meant to say, is that if you’re going to pick a WR in the 1st, then you need to get a high ceiling type player. A Larry Fitzgeral, Dez Bryant, Crabtree, etc. Picking a guy because he is polished, I never see as a wise choice because you probably get better value by going after the less polished but higher talent player.

  10. T-Town

    I have a hunch that if the Hawks do not pickup a franchise QB in this draft that Leinart will get signed by Seattle and him and Whitehurst will battle for 1st string and a shot to prove they can captain an NFL team.

    Leinart never got a fair shot in Arizona. One reason was because Kurt Warner was there and played ata higher level longer than most expected but also because the coaching staff never liked him. If there is any coach which understands Leinart, will get along with him, and would be willing to give him a shot it is obviously Carrol. I know it sounds like a “homer” type opinion BUT Carrol did it with BMW and I suspect he will do something similar with Leinart as well if the opportunity arises.

    • Rob

      He’s on Houston’s roster at the moment. It’s not an obvious scheme fit – Leinart isn’t mobile or a downfield passer. I think if the Seahawks were going to chance their arm with Leinart they would’ve picked him up off waivers instead of allowing Houston to grab him.

      • T-Town

        Houston contract was only for one year and I doubt Leinart will be happy to stay as a #3 anywhere again after this season. Leinart wants to start somewhere and of all the places he could get a shot Seattle makes the most sense scheme fit or not.

        I agree that he isnt an obvious scheme fit but neither are any of the veteran QB’s that will be on the market next year. Orton maybe but he will come with a price. Leinart will come cheap and as a FA.

        I think the only reason the Hawks didnt pickup Leinart when they had the chance is that it would have sent mixed signals to Hasselbeck and Whitehurst at the start of the season.

        I expect the ESPN hype train to begin mentioning a Leinart/Carrol reunion this offseason until it either happens or Leinart signs elsewhere.

        • Rob

          That may be true. Pete Carroll knows Leinart as well as anyone so if it doesn’t happen – it’ll be a strong review of Leinart especially if he’s available on a free.

          • T-Town

            Couldnt agree with you more there.

            That would be one heckuva damning statement on Leinart if the opportunity is there and Carrol wont even sign the guy for peanuts.

            This offseason could get real interesting.

    • Matt

      I am currently living in Phoenix and got to witness that mess first hand. Leinart had no shot once Whis came to town.

      Rob, I don’t want to build on this whole SC thing, but what about the status of Reggie Bush as an FA? Could be a nice weapon to open things up. Obviously Carroll being here could be tempting for him.

      • Rob

        I could see Bush in Seattle for sure. That’d be a good fit for both parties. However – I believe Bush is contracted until 2012. He’d have to be cut, which I can’t see.

        • Matt

          Oh, my bad. Thought he was FA this year. Maybe it’s an expensive option for 2011.

          • T-Town

            If i remember right ESPN was talking about Bush’s contract for 2011 and he is owed a ton of money.

            ESPN was saying that it is likely the Saints will try and renegotiate his contract after this season. If Bush doesnt agree to the contract restructuring than it is very possible he could get let go.

            I expect he will resign one way or another but you never know.

            Hawks would have one crowded backfield in 2011 though if we did sign him. I dont see space on the team for both Forsett and Bush.

          • Matt

            Bush is a WR/RB. I think you would do what you have to do to make space for him. I love Forsett, but he’s no threat to a defense like Reggie. Bush’s stats don’t tell the story of his value to an offense. You absolutely have to account for him at all times.

  11. Pat

    How much do you think it would take to move up to draft Cam Newton? I’ve fallen in love with him as a prospect and would love for him to be a Seahawk.

    • Rob

      I think he could be a top five pick so it’s unlikely. If the Seahawks want to move into that top-ten range it’ll cost probably the first and second round pick – plus perhaps some change. I can’t see him falling too far.

  12. plyka

    I agree with the Bush talk. Bush is more to an offense than his stats portray and we saw this when bush was out for 6 weeks and the Saints really struggled on offense. It kind of reminds me of a great 3pt shooter on a basketball team. Even if he is not making baskets, he is helping out his team because he helps create space for everyone else on the court. Bush is similar in that you can’t cover him with an LB. You’ll have to have a safety over the top with LB covering him underneath. He is that good of a receiver in my opinion. And this opens up everything down field i think.

  13. MC Clark

    Hey rob I am a big fan of the site. Im a big time hawks fan like most of your readers. As much as a agree with alot of your assessments of the players I must strongly disagree with your assesment of AJ green. He has elite size speed combo with incredible hands. He runs beautiful routes and has really good body control. He is the next Calvin Johnson and for his sake I hope he doesn’t end up in Cleveland.

    • Rob

      Hi Matt – thanks for the kind words. Let me explain a little more on what I mean when I say Green isn’t an elite size/speed combo.

      Green is 6’4″ and 208lbs. If you look at his frame, he’s very lean. You compare this to Julio Jones who plays at around 220-225lbs and compare their build, clearly Jones is a much more physical presence but he doesn’t give up any speed. At Georgia Green’s not that blazing deep threat who relies on speed. I appreciate that he’s no slouch and will probably run a very secure 4.40+ at the combine. However, what makes him an elite prospect isn’t the size/speed… it’s the natural ability he has to get open which can’t be taught… his understanding of the position, the control, route running, the hands, the way he deceives defensive backs and shield’s his route.

      He’s not a physical freak of nature like Calvin Johnson. That’s not a good comparison. What is freakish is how developed he is and how naturally well he plays the position given his inexperience. When he gets into the NFL – he’ll be able to go deep. I’d like to see him bulk up a little in the upper body. But a team can use him to run any route, he can be a reliable target and he could end up being a very productive WR as long as he’s on a team that can get him the ball (needs a productive QB).

      I like him at Buffalo because Fitzgerald is unspectacular, but the Bills constantly highlight his ability to get the ball out into the hands of their WR’s. Green will fit in that system.

      • Nat


        Really enjoy reading the blog and agree with you wholeheartedly on many topics.

        Question on this thread – do you see any receivers in this draft that could be a Mike Wallace type prospect? Blazing speed, good hands and a mid-round grade? Guys like Jacoby Ford in Oakland went mid-round last year and started to come on strong toward the end of the season as a legitimate playmaker. For example, their statline would be a 3 catch, 80 yd, 1 TD day. With BMW as a perfect possession receiver we need a “go long” guy. IMO neither Butler or Tate is that guy. Would love your insight. Thanks!

        • Rob

          Hi Nat, thanks for the kind words always appreciated,

          It’s a great question and I wish I could tell you there’s a prospect as good as Mike Wallace in this class. I completely agree that the Seahawks need that kind of deep speed at receiver. Torrey Smith (WR, Maryland) isn’t as fast but it’s worth seeing how he runs at the combine. Niles Paul at Nebraska has good speed (if not blazing) for his size. Jerrell Jernigan can get downfield, but he’s incredibly small at 5’9″ and 180lbs. Justin Blackmon has that similar kind of frame – maybe a bit bigger – to Mike Wallace. While he isnt a lightning deep threat he’s shown he can get open and make big plays running long. It may be that Blackmon is the closest thing you’ll find to Wallace even if the speed isn’t nearly the same. Blackmon isn’t going to run a 4.33 like Wallace but I’m not sure anyone will out of the guys we’ve been following so far. There may be a few gems that emerge as we get past the combine and test out the speed.

  14. TJ

    I appreciate the analysis, but have to disagree with you on the need for a WR this year. With so many offensive holes, a WR is going to have limited impact. Football is not won on the perimeter, it is won inside. Given the choice of an average QB with 1) a good offensive line and average WRs or 2) an average OL and good WRs, I’ll choose the good OL every time. For a WR to have an impact that would justify the Seahawks’ use of a 1st round pick, he would have to be a dominating prospect in the mold of Andre Johnson.

    I agree with the poster who thinks that at least one QB will fall to #21. If not, there could be an OL worthy of a late 1st round selection. If no QB or OL falls to the Hawks, there may be a CB, DE, or DT who does, allowing an infusion of talent into a defensive position group rotation. Unless AJ Green drops to Seattle – which he won’t – wide receiver just doesn’t make sense with so many other, more important missing pieces on this team.

    • Rob

      I think it’s a common assumption amonst fans, TJ, that receivers are a luxury and that games are won mainly ‘in the trenches’. I don’t agree with this.

      A good offensive line is merely a strength – the same as having an effective quarterback, group of receivers, an excellent pass rush or a dominating secondary. You don’t need a brilliant offensive line to be succesful – as proven by Arizona and Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII. On the other hand, an offensive line can be the defining part of the team as we saw with Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

      At the moment, the Seahawks are a bad team. It will essentially – in my opinion at least – be a much harder and longer road to recovery to attempt to build a great defense. That can take a generation. I don’t think the key to building a great offensive line is dependant on high picks – none of the best lines are anyway. The key is having an elite athlete at LT (the Seahawks do) and then initiating a combative scheme, staying healthy and finding consistency/familiarity with the right guys who can execute. Seattle can do that outside of the first round.

      If they can continue to do that (and the plan started with the drafting of Okung last April) they can concentrate on improving the passing game – which is critical. That means getting better at QB and WR. If they can’t draft a QB (I don’t do trades up in my mocks) then a receiver is a possible alternative. I have simply reviewed that in this latest mock. Getting some productive playmakers on offense (like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) will help the team get better quickly – and create the environment for greater progress to the defense and other areas of the team. Tampa Bay’s defense is not faultless (very few sacks) and their line is not full of elite talent. They have gone from a laughing stock to 10-wins very quickly though.

      There’s no exact blue-print to success. There are many ways to get good – the offensive line is just one aspect.

      • Meat

        agreed. With Okung in place the rest of the OL line is a fix outside the draft. It is obvious Seattle needs playmakers, but w/out a good/great QB it would take some elite WR to really shine. Seattle needs upgrades and more depth, period. I would really hope the QB and CB positions are the first to get addressed. Stats do not lie, and when you watch games/footage and see how the corners are exploited time and time again, especially on a 3rd and 8 per say. W/ upgrades on the Secondary games against passing teams, Saints, the score will end up being a lot closer-look at the blow outs, and whom they were playing.

  15. Hawks46

    Hey Rob,

    Just a thought, but Tim Ruskell thought he could build an OL with mid round picks and it didn’t work out so well for us. If you want elite talent, especially at the Tackle positions, you better grab your guy in the 1st or 2nd round. You see a lot of teams trending towards this, as evidenced by picks like the Oher pick with Baltimore. Draft a guy in the 1st and let him play RT, until he grades out to LT. If he doesn’t grade out, you still have a very solid RT. RT, to me, is almost as important as LT anymore, with teams like the Giants bringing 2 great DE’s, or any decent 3-4 team which will blitz to your weakest Tackle’s side most of the time.

    I can see your point for WR, but in that case, I would surmise the FO would go with an elite CB. With all the QBs taken in your mock so highly, CBs will drop. You can’t have too many good CBs with teams spreading it out so often anymore.

    I also don’t see any Tackles going very high, is this just an anomaly this year or is the talent that much higher in other areas ?

    • Rob

      Hi Hawks46,

      I thinK Ruskell felt he could build an entire line with mid-rounders and stop gaps. For me, there’s one ‘premium’ position on the line that requires an above average athlete while maintaining the kind of size you also want from an offensive lineman. Ruskell wanted to get by at left tackle – and this franchise went out and drafted Russell Okung immediately. That’s the big difference there between the two regimes. The Seahawks have already moved on from that plan.

      I don’t agree that right tackles are as important as the left and very few teams invest in the RT position. For example, quite often the RT is given TE support or will be coming up against a more run-based defensive end. He needs to be strong at the POA but not the kind of athlete you need at LT. The RT is also protecting an area that the QB can see (presuming they are right handed). If pressure comes from the right, it’s easier for the QB to get the ball out quickly or toss it away. The blind side is different – he needs to trust he’ll be safe more often than not when he can’t feel the rush. As I’ve said often on this blog – RT’s are essentially guys who aren’t athletic enough to play the blind side. I would rather draft a LT prospect and force him to play RT then draft a guy like Gabe Carimi in round one because they will never be able to play LT. He is so limited in that sense, that’s why I don’t grade him in R1 and others have him going to Seattle in their mocks (which won’t happen IMO). So to that extent, I agree with the LT/RT point – but I don’t think the team needs a premium investment in a RT. It can be filled in other ways and the team has made the big splash it needed to at LT.

      I have most of the top CB’s off the board when Seattle picks. Only Brandon Harris is left of the top guys. He struggled against the taller Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl which is a bit of a concern. He hasn’t made many big plays this year. I’m not sure he’s what this team is looking for at CB. There weren’t many alternatives at CB in round one – there maybe some better options later (Aaron Williams perhaps).

      With the tackles – there isn’t a lot of top end talent at the position. There’s good depth, but not the top-ten OT lock we’ve seen in recent years. I expect 3-4 to go in round one, but just because of the premium nature of the position. As you suggest – there’s also a lot of talent at QB, CB and DL which doesn’t help that particular position.

    • Blake

      Your example of Baltimore is flawed. Oher was an elite prospect who fell because of retarded GMs in front of Ozzie Newsome. Also Oher was not drafted to be a RT. Gaither had terrible back problems that he has not recovered from and likely never will. Oher was drafted to replace him at LT as he has done this year. Gaither will likely be cut this offseason.

      I dare you to prove teams are “trending” towards having 2 highly drafted tackles. A few of the top lines are ATL, KC, NYG, and the Saints are pretty solid. Their lines look like this
      ATL 1 2 7 UDFA UDFA
      NO 4 5 5 4 2
      NYG 5 2 UDFA UDFA 3

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