Updated two-round mock draft: 13th April

Just over two weeks ago and time for this week’s mock draft. Only two more projections after this – one next week and then a final mock on April 27th.

To see this week’s two-round mock draft click here. There’s more on the update at the end of this post.

Mocks are all about predictions and projections, most of which we base on hunches and whatever information we can gather. I’ll never try and claim my mock is any better than the next man’s because in reality I’ll probably be right on a couple of things and miss on the rest. Nobody is different in that sense.

There are some things I’m pretty confident about though and I wanted to note them here. Four projections I feel comfortable putting in writing that I can nail my colors to. I’ll note them here and after round one I’ll dig this up and we’ll see how many came true.

Prediction #1

Four quarterbacks will be off the board by the half-way point in round one (#16 overall, currently owned by Jacksonville).

Cam Newton will be the first overall pick. Blaine Gabbert could go anywhere from #2 and Denver to #4 and Cincinnati, but I suspect he’ll be a Bengal unless someone moves up. Jake Locker will be drafted by the Washington Redskins unless someone moves above them. One of the Tennessee/Minnesota/Miami/Jacksonville quartet will draft Ryan Mallett.

The greatest opposition I’ve seen to this suggestion is that it’d go against the grain for four quarterbacks to be taken this early. Unlike most I actually think that is a very solid group of first round quarterbacks who can all have success in the league. With many teams needing a young franchise signal caller, I don’t have any issues projecting four will go in the top-16. I don’t expect Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton or Colin Kaepernick to go in round one.

Prediction #2

Tennessee will be a wildcard.

I think the Titans will make a move that surprises people. Most mock drafts I read have them taking Nick Fairley but I can’t see it. Their two biggest needs are quarterback and cornerback. Can they trade down into the mid teens and look to draft Ryan Mallett? It’s a possibility and I wouldn’t rule out Mallett or Locker at #8 anyway. Would they move up to take Blaine Gabbert? Something else I wouldn’t say is unlikely.

If they stay put I think Julio Jones is a great option considering Kenny Britt’s recent arrest. Let’s not forget that even when Britt was performing last year, the Titans claimed Randy Moss from waivers. Tennessee hasn’t been afraid to draft players with character problems in the past and considering their need in the secondary it really wouldn’t surprise me if Jimmy Smith was the pick at #8. He has top-1o talent and elite potential.

Prediction #3

The Seahawks will trade out of the #25 pick one way or another.

I think a move up the board is still possible and I think they’d be willing to consider using the #57 pick or future draft stock. If you believe the rumors, Seattle was willing to pay a lot to get Carson Palmer including multiple picks in rounds one and two. If there was interest in Kevin Kolb, any deal would probably include more than just the #25 pick. If the Seahawks are serious about addressing the need at quarterback I think there is a possibility they trade up and make a bold move.

Michael Lombardi made some interesting comments on Seattle and Ryan Mallett in a conference call today, referenced here by Eric Williams of the TNT:

“I think they really do like Mallett. They’ve done a lot of work on him. I think Miami’s done a lot of work on him. I think there’s a feeling within the league that Seattle is hoping he makes it down to their pick at No. 25, so that they can get him. I think he does fit what they want to do offensively. He can run a pro-style offense, and they don’t feel the problems off the field are as bad as some people might suspect. So I do feel like that’s one area where they would feel like they’ve solved that problem if they turn that card in.

“It’s interesting, they’re 7-9 and they’re picking 25th. So they’re down there in the draft and they’ve always been very aggressive. So I think if they wanted to go get a guy, they would go get him and move up. But I think until the get the quarterback problem fixed it’s going to be very difficult. They tried to sign Matt Hasselbeck before we locked out. He turned down their last offer, so I think their expectation is they’re not probably going to get him back, so they better address the quarterback.”

Equally I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved down because there’s really very little between the #25 pick and the #35. Unless someone falls down the board I can see why they’d entertain a move south, but the price needs to be right because the Seahawks need quality not just quantity.

Prediction #4

If any of the big names fall it’ll be Von Miller, Nick Fairley or Prince Amukamara.

With Fairley it’s the character concerns. Only today we learn via Adam Schefter that he was late for the combine and some meetings. He rejected the chance to work out in Miami. These are not good signs and while he could easily remain a top-1o pick I don’t think he’s helped himself much if these reports are true. I’ve had him as low as #18 to San Diego at the end of March – something that seems to be appearing with greater regularity these days.

Nobody batted an eye lid when 17-sack Von Miller didn’t declare for the 2010 draft, in fact the scouting reports were critical overall. He was given a third round grade by the draft committee. Twelve months later and the same player is suddenly a top five pick. His meteoric rise is similar to that of Aaron Curry – although Miller’s pass rushing skills at least justifies the hype more than Curry’s ascent. I think there’s a chance Curry fell down the board had he not been taken by the Seahawks and the same may happen with Miller if he gets past Buffalo and Arizona.

I simply don’t rate Amukamara as highly as some other people. If there is a run on quarterbacks early, if Jimmy Smith is the consensus #2 to Patrick Peterson (I think he could be the #1 corner on some boards) and if a lot of defensive lineman go early, Amukamara could fall.

Mock draft thoughts

– I’m not comfortable with the Seahawks pick and I’m starting to wonder if that’s one of the reasons so many people are talking up Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder etc at #25. It’s hard to project anything but defensive lineman in the scenario I have playing out, but are the Seahawks really just going to essentially replace Brandon Mebane and rely on free agency (whenever that happens) to fill other needs? Is that not a sideways step? It’s not a convincing argument and is another reason why I think they could move up the board.

– Andy Dalton is not going to be a first round pick. I highly doubt he’ll be a second round pick. Watch the tape and tell me why he justifies the hype. This is a guy who’s greatest talent is ‘winning’. When that’s the big positive (alongside ‘moxy’) you know you’re in trouble. TCU should win games too – they have a great defense and generally play weaker opposition. My biggest concern with Dalton isn’t average physical qualities, a one read offense or limited wow-factor – it’s the way he dwells too much on mistakes and let’s them develop during a game. I’ve always considered him a R5-6 type guy, the same grade I gave to Colt McCoy last year. I’d guess Dalton will go in the same range as the Texas QB (late third, early fourth) and he should be taken after Ricky Stanzi.

– Leonard Hankerson (WR, Miami) is again the pick in round two. It caused a few mixed feelings last week. I think the value at the bottom of round two comes at receiver. Orlando Franklin and Marcus Cannon are alternatives, but I still rank Hankerson, Titus Young and Edmund Gates higher. The lack of obvious options at the end of round two may encourage the Seahawks to move up in the first round if there’s one guy they have to have.


  1. Steve

    Hey Rob,
    I will start off by saying I respect everything you do here and generally agree with everything. However, I do not like the pick of WR Hankerson in R2 at all. I think WR is a need, but a bottom need. I do not believe you get a stud WR there in R2 that is better than B. O. or Tate. I do agree when you say that it might make the Seahawks make a move up. I think #9 is the perfect fit. I personally love Jake Locker(bit of a homer statement) but I feel he is better than his UW stats say and he has made good movement in correcting flaws just this one offseason. I would be happy to pay my 1st, 2nd and try to give only a 3rd 2012 pick to get #9 is Dallas is willing to move down like some reports say. I think getting the QB settled is FAR more important than a potential project WR.
    If we are “decent” again next year and potentially sneak into the playoffs again we are picking in the same range and having to pay the same bounty to move up for a QB and it will continue to happen each year.

    • Rob

      Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words and I totally understand why people are indifferent on the Hankerson pick. We’re talking about a guy who flashed big time potential – I watched Miami in one game last year (can’t remember which, but it was an ACC game) and he lit it up big style. But it was too inconsistent. He has a good frame, he can get deep. Is he going to push himself to be good enough at the next level?

      There aren’t a great deal of alternatives at other positions at #57 which as you say validates the possibility of moving up. If you love one guy in round one and need to get to #13, do you trade that #57 to move up? Ok you only get one guy instead of two, but is it not better to get the guy you want and can really get behind rather than a fall back at #25 and #57? At the end of the day, we’re talking about losing one player who isn’t even a top-50 guy. I would argue the pick is absolutely expendable.

      It all comes back to the quarterbacks for me and the Lombardi comments about Mallett I quoted in the article are interesting.

  2. Matt

    Nice work per usual Rob. Still not excited about either pick but see them as realistic options. Once again, I’d prefer Torrey Smith just because I think he has a higher ceiling and from all accounts has a terrific work ethic. Part of me is very intrigued by Hankerson, but equally scared as he gives me the Golden Tate vibe. Ultra productive numbers but the eye ball test just leaves me underwhelmed.

    Personally (and I’m not a big O-line guy), I think this could be a great spot to find a nice LG or RT. I am very high on both Franklin and Will Rackley. I would be happy with either of those guys and I do see the value of WR in round 2 as I do think it’s still a weakness on the Hawks. We have no perimeter threat which again points to my preference of Smith over Hankerson.

    Not thrilled by the Austin pick, but we would be gambling on immense upside which I have no problem with. I, for one, have grown sick of the Lawrence Jackson type picks. What you see is what you get and it’s very milk toast. If we take a gamble, do it on upside without being overly wreckless.

    • Rob

      Hey Matt,

      Not projecting trades is a killer. In reality, I think if the board starts to fall that was in the top ten you’ll see the Seahawks move up and possibly get up to #11 or #13 by spending the #25 and #57. You can get up to #13 and actually expect to get a fifth rounder in return. I’d back that move.

  3. Matt

    And thank you for providing sanity regarding Andy Dalton. His Gruden camp was almost embarrassing with his favorite play being “all go.” Really complex play to break down. I just still will never understand how he has gotten to the level of first round discussion and now we have Seattle media thinking it’s a great idea. Wow, just wow.

  4. Cougfan45

    Hey Rob. Just wondering why you are so confident that Locker will go to Washington? I say this because I rarely see other experts and mock drafters going with this selection.

    I’m not a fan of Locker (I am biased however being a WSU alum) so I really hope he goes before our pick.

    • Rob

      Hi Cougfan45,

      There are many reasons and it’s something I’ve projected since pretty much the start of the 2010 college season. Locker is a Shanahan prototype, as soon as they benched McNabb it screamed that they were positioning themselves for a QB. They don’t have a lot of draft stock so they really have to target the position early. I agree with everything anyone says about the criticisms of Locker. The accuracy is the concern, the robotic nature of his approach is a concern. He also has an incredible upside. He’s a real boom or bust type of guy for me but there’s also no reason why he couldn’t be a Josh Freeman level QB.

      Washington will draft Locker if there’s at #10. If you had to press me for my rankings on the QB’s – it’d go Newton, Mallett, Gabbert then Locker – so would I make the move? Not necessarily. But it will happen.

  5. Kip

    Call me an optimist, but I think there is a really decent chance that one of the big 4 will reach #25, especially if Ponder crashes the party which is completely possible as we’ve heard a lot of talk about teams ranking Ponder as high as 3rd on their QB draft board.

    I’d be fine with trading picks- including future picks- for Gabbert or Newton- because the odds of them reaching #25 is almost 0. However, I think between one of Mallett/Locker reaching our pick, to me that’s 50/50 odds, maybe 60/40. Both guys are love/hate prospects and that we’ve gotten this close to the draft without either of them being solidly penciled in to a specific team speaks volumes.

    I agree wholeheartedly that Seattle should at least make offers to move up for a QB and see what teams will agree to. If nothing great materializes, roll the dice by staying put, and if the big 4 are gone by #16, start making plans to trade down.

    • Rob

      As Lombardi points out, this is a 7-9 team picking at #25 with a QB need. Seattle would be what? 15th overall if the draft order wasn’t edited by playoff qualification? Prime position to get a Ryan Mallett.

      It’s a difficult situation because if you wait you end up wishing you’d moved up. Seattle has a critical need at QB and will have to be pretty bad next year to solve that issue in the draft unless – as we saw this year with Newton and Gabbert (but not last year) other guys come to the party. People might criticise a move to #13 which concedes the #57 (but should net an extra 5th rounder) but if it gets you Ryan Mallett then I say go for it. Investment at a QB who is as ready to start as anyone ever will be, or one extra pick at the end of round two? It’s an easy choice for me.

      • Kelly

        Hey Rob,

        I do like the thought process behind trading the 25th and 57th to get anywhere in the 9-14 range and a 5th/6th rounder. Personally I am not really in love with any prospects after the top 15. Maybe Jimmie Smith would be the exception to that….but I think either Mallet or Locker could be worth that investment.

        The one thing that scares me is that if we do indeed trade 25 and 57 to move into the the top 15, then your getting that one player (whomever that may be) and you don’t have another single pick on the board until the 4th round. (pick 99). Now if we did get a 3rd fifth rounder in this circumstance, then perhaps we would be able to slide back into the 3rd round…but again your putting all of your eggs into one player and I’m not truly convinced that one player will turn this team around.

        I really do believe this team will need some OL help too. Hopefully in the 4-6th range we can snag a decent filler who can step in when our players get inured.

        • Rob

          I’d look at it like this really – if you stay at #25 and keep the #57, you’re getting two players and only one of the top 50. If you move up, you’re getting a top-15 talent instead but only one guy. To get a much better player (or a guy you really like) you’re losing -1 in the depth department. If you can get that 5th back too, then you have three 5th’s and a very early 4th. There’s nothing to stop the Seahawks packaging those picks. Here’s an example for you – the 4th Seattle has carries identical value as a late third rounder. Two of those 5th rounders you have gets you back into round four. So ok, you miss out on the #57, but you’re pretty much picking as normal in R3/4/5. You have that opportunity to invest in an interior lineman or a corner.

          It’s getting a bit convoluted of course by this stage but it goes to show how creative you can be to be pro-active. Trading up isn’t always about wasting picks – you can find quality and still get the depth.

  6. Jim Kelly

    Rob, the thing that I love about your analysis is that when you pick a favorite, you not only show their positives and negatives, you compare them to other popular players. You then show why your player is better, or more reasonable in equating them with where you think their talent level is in relation to other players.

    I should be biased against Jake Locker because I’m a Coug alum, like Cougfan45. But I don’t dislike U Dub. USC on the other hand… I’m torn on Locker’s performance. The Washington football program sucked the entire time he was there. Many times he’d get the ball to his receivers, only to see them drop the pass. Other times he’d throw horribly, and the receiver would make an incredible play to get the reception. If the Hawks were to somehow get him, I would want him to sit for 1-2 years. He needs time to work on his inadequacies, namely accuracy and decision making. Locker has all the physical attributes to succeed, but even more than that, he has the maturity, and desire, to keep improving himself. His faults can be overcome with hard work, and of all the top qbs in this class, I feel that he is the most dedicated to succeeding.

    If Locker were to start for the Hawks this year, it’d be a disaster. He needs time to adjust to the pro game. John Elway was close to being a bust his first couple of seasons. About halfway through his second season, you saw the same type of confidence emerging that he had shown at Stanford. Locker didn’t regularly win at Washington, but because of his attitude, you could call him a “winner”. That psyche could be destroyed if he were forced to start immediately (Rick Meier, anyone?). Locker would need to sit, so the Hawks could bring him along slowly, and fix the problems with his game.

    I like Andy Dalton. I figured that he could be a good pick in the third round. Then I remembered another “winner”, David Greene. The winningest qb in college history. He was a third round pick that didn’t even live up to that status. Attitude can overcome lack of ability, but at some point, you need ability more than attitude in order to succeed. I do like Dalton, but I think he’s going to be adequate. Adequate in the first round is called a bust.

    • Rob

      Thanks for the kind words, Jim. I agree with you on Locker. You watch Washington and you see games where the receivers really aren’t helping the guy. The next week, Locker’s getting it done in a big way, making clutch plays and leading his team to a big over USC. Then you see the UCLA game where the Washington defense and the run game carries Locker (who was incredibly poor). A real mixed bag. You see limitless potential, the prototype frame, the sound throwing action, the athleticism and the arm. Potentially the complete package – and he’s going to work at it. But you don’t want brilliant 280 yard, 3TD game one week and 65 yards, two picks the next. I would be happy starting Newton and Mallett early. Gabbert should be able to start quickly, but I wouldn’t rush him in there. Locker is the guy I’d want to sit for most of the year like Josh Freeman.

      For me, Dalton is an upgrade on Colt McCoy. He’s a better prospect than McCoy, he’s a better passer and an equal athlete. You’re talking about average arm strength and accuracy, pretty average accross the board. He’s a mile away from starting and won’t be able to read complex defenses and make adjustments. He’s light years away from that and needs to sit and work is backside off for 2-3 years to get into position to start. He needs to become tougher mentally and block out mistakes. He needs to turn into a guy who can lead. Even then you’re talking about a pure short passing game QB. Never once did I watch the guy and envisage him starting in the NFL. I have both him and Ponder down to be career backups who can hold the fort for 1-2 weeks, but not be every week starters. The first round talk is incredible because he’s not even close to that grade for me. As you say – ability has to be there to warrant a pick that high and he just isn’t good enough.

  7. Cliff

    Who do you think has more potential? Luiget or Austin? Pretty sure 95% would say Luiget but he didnt have crazy production and Austin could perform well in a year or two once he gets coached up more and use to the pro game as he is very athletic.

    Also Locker’s comp % or accuracy which seems to be the main knock against him is around 55% his last two years. I didnt count the first two as he was in a totally different system and Sark changed him into more of a pocket passer in a pro offense although he still ran the ball often. But i was wondering if he were in a spread system with dump off passes and a TE he could throw it to or even a more talented OL and core of WRs where would his accuracy be? 60-65%? Maybe even higher? what do you think?

    • Rob

      Two very good questions there, Cliff. I like Liuget on and off the field, great attitude, the small amount of Illinois tape I’ve seen he looks active. Then you have Austin who’s an absolute freak of an athlete but looks mediocre on tape, he needs motivation and you worry about him at the next level because of that in the wrong city/franchise. So potential wise, I’d say Austin. If I had to gamble on either with money, I’d be all-in on Liuget. But Austin’s physical qualities make him a real risk/reward type.

      There’s no doubt that Locker could’ve played in other offensive schemes and padded the stats more. But we have to make an assesment on what we actually saw, not what could’ve been. If he had a legit TE like DJ Williams or Kyle Rudolph, that improves things big time. Give him a safety valve at WR or regular dump off check downs. He can get up to 60-62% and people are a lot more positive. As I’ve said many times – Locker has flashed big time potential, but he’s also flashed big time bust potential. He needs to be consistently somewhere closer to the positive extreme to maximise that high ceiling.

  8. Nick

    No Jon Baldwin in the first two rounds? If he is really going to fall into the third round, I would rather have him than a poor man’s DeSean Jackson.

    • Rob

      His stock is down at the minute. I wouldn’t call Hankerson a poor man’s DSJ, that’s really Titus Young (who is a better overall prospect than Golden Tate and Deon Butler BTW). But I’ve liked Baldwin and think if you’re set on receiver at that late stage he’d be a good alternative, or even after a move down into round three.

  9. Carl Shinyama

    I’m not very big on the idea of the Seahawks moving up, though I can understand the argument for it. But I’d much rather there be a trade down. There’s still plenty of starter-caliber prospects who are projected to go in the 2nd round.

    For example, Stephen Paea, Rodney Hudson, and Ras-I Dowling should be available in the 2nd. The Seahawks should have two picks in that round and still be able to nab two of them.

    Because of the lockout and the fact that there was no free agency, of which there won’t be until after the draft, the draft now takes over as the first stop to fill needs, rather than the last stop you use to shore up what needs that you did not fill in free agency.

    This impacts free agency, as well. It will be harder to sell a proven starter, say a DT, to go back to his old franchise (or a new one) that just drafted their DT of the future, unless of course, he’s shown the money.

    However, as for showing players the money, without knowing the rookie pay scale will be like, we cannot even begin to guess what type of spending spree teams will be allowed to go on. This makes the NFL free agency landscape extremely tough to predict.

    What I’m getting at is: Because of the unpredictability of the rest of the offseason and free agency, and given the amount of starters that they need, the Seahawks are likely going to need to draft for as many starters with talent as they can get, not necessarily for elite talent. I know people are for the quality over quantity argument, but in the second round, there’s enough quality to be had to support the idea of quantity in that round.

    • Rob

      I would tend to disagree, Carl – but thanks for your thoughts. Free agency will take place, so I don’t agree that there’s a great importance to fill as many needs in the draft as possible. Things are working in reverse this year, but essentially not much changes for me. The price of proven free agents may go up because of this increased importance to fill needs after the draft, but it should be offset by the eventual implication of a rookie pay scale.

      At the moment I have Stephen Paea at #30, Rodney Hudson going in the #40 range to Houston and Ras-I Dowling will likely be available after round two – maybe even at the top of round four. Paea I don’t think is a good fit for the Seahawks defensive line. I’m a big Hudson fan.

      But essentially none of these guys are going to turn the Seahawks into a contender. Even if you brought in all three – is the team really that much improved? An under sized nose tackle to spell Colin Cole, a guard who I like a lot (good pick) and Dowling who has a horrendous injury history. For me, if you can get into that top-15 and get either a long term quarterback or have a shot at a much more exciting defensive line talent it’s worth it. You’d still have a shot at Dowling later on.

      I think generally fans feel like filling as many needs as possible is the key to success and having a ‘name’ fill every role. I disagree. A team is always going to have a weak spot, it’s about managaing those areas and having talent at key positions. If the Seahawks have a QB capable of putting points on the board, Colin Cole won’t need to be spelled at NT because it’ll be a winning team. Ok – you don’t get Rodney Hudson. There are guards to be had later on not to mention guys like Gallery and Joseph available in FA.

      Seattle is a team with significant needs at positions they won’t be able to fill after R1 (like QB and top end pass rusher). A team with key cogs in place (NE & GB) can get cute and trade down for extra depth. The Seahawks, for me, have to be pro-active. You get improved quarterback play and you’ll notice the difference in 2011. That’s the start, then you build around that guy. If you sit tight and settle for Paea and Hudson, then you’re just delaying the inevitable and not getting much better. I get the impression pro-active is going to be me catchphrase for the next two-weeks, but I’m right behind it.

      • Carl Shinyama

        I don’t think anyone believes the process for the Seahawks to become contenders again is going to be done overnight, let alone in one draft. It’s going to take time. Years, probably. Even getting a rookie quarterback this year isn’t likely to make them instant contenders. Thus my approach would be to not necessarily improve the team instantly, but over the long term. The Seahawks should be looking to have key cogs in place that they don’t have; as many quality cogs as they can get.

        For example, I’m quite frankly OK with waiting to get a quarterback later, either in a draft, free agency, or a trade. If they get one now, and still accomplish adding quality cogs, then great! If not, I will live with it and move on.

        I understand that every team will have holes; I expect that. I did not say that the Seahawks needed to fill ALL of their holes; just that they get as many starter-caliber players with talent as they can get.

        Schneider had the tendency to trade down most (if not each) year and load the team with young starters. You’ve just basically seen the end product of that effort in the Super Bowl.

        Guard and DT are key positions, as well. I can actually see Paea playing the Red Bryant position, given that the main responsibility is to stop runs at the spot, something he excels at. Paea, despite where you’ve mocked him, can still be had later in the second round. However, he won’t single-handedly change the defensive line, I’ll admit, especially since the Seahawks need a guy that commands double teams. That said, Paea can be effective playing the C gap. He’s a guy that has routinely forced double teams. If you can force that in the C gap in the pro’s without getting pushed back, then OLB’s and other defenders will get quicker and cleaner shots at making plays.

        Dowling has been talked about as a guy who seems likely to go in the second round lately, whatever his injury history is, especially since he is apparently healthy now. If this is true, I have doubts that he will be available by the fourth round.

        I’m not so sure the Seahawks can’t fill needs past the first round. A guy like Joseph Barksdale can probably start at RT on day one, and he’s expected to last until the third round. I’d call RT a need, as they don’t really have a starting-caliber RT on the roster at the moment.

        • Rob

          Let me say that I welcome Will’s and Carl’s points and although I disagree, I do so with the utmost respect. Yet I do disagree…

          Let me first address Paea. I can’t see him playing the Red Bryant role. Straight off the bat he looked like a pure one technique to me and an undersized one at that. I thought because of his size and improved sack rate, he could play 3-tech but the tape suggested otherwise. He has to play NT. He’s a great fit for Indianapolis so keep an eye on them, but not Seattle in my opinion.

          Secondly – John Schneider wasn’t the GM in Green Bay and therefore we’ll never know what input he had in moves up or down. We need to remember that GB have had a franchise quarterback for many, many years now (Favre, Rodgers). When you have the #1 position filled, it’s easier to justify looking for value. If Green Bay move down and draft a D-liner for depth, everyone applauds but they can afford it. The Seahawks cannot because they simply lack any kind of quality at the key positions except for LT. And let’s not forget Green Bay’s most significant draft move in recent years – trading up for Clay Mathews. New England went for depth that year and got burnt with three average picks. GB got a playmaker.

          We also need to remember that Pete Carroll and JS work together here, with Carroll calling the final shot. This is Carroll’s vision.

          Dowling I had graded in R2/3 minus the injuries. He has to fall further now, has to. His injury situation is a mess. Barksdale should be available after R3.

          Finally back to the depth debate. The point I made originally still stands for me. Fans love to fill holes. I’m not saying every hole, but for me the Seahawks need quality more than anything in these initial rebuilding years, not just names to fill holes. If it’s going to take years as you say – why not address a really important position – the most important – with a top-15 talent? You have a cumulative loss of one player – the #57 pick – but you get a much better and important player from the #25 in moving up.

          You can still get a guard, you can still get a shot at Dowling. Free agency will help too. If the Seahawks go into 2011 with a 36-year-old Hasselbeck at QB again and the big draft moves are Hudson and Paea – it’s tredding water. They made a good first impression in 2010 but they did so by having two first round picks and taking chances elsewhere. Lynch was a chance. Williams was a chance. Washington was a chance.

          They need to keep being proactive and not settling on filling three holes instead of two and not addressing the QB position. There are four QB’s in this draft with R1 quality. Go and take that chance to sort out the position out for 10-15 years. There will be Paea’s and Hudson’s available in FA and next year’s draft. There will be a time when depth and value are king. Now – it’s all about quality.

          • Carl Shinyama

            Paea is about the same size as Brandon Mebane, who has played the one-tech. The size matters not to me as the ability to play. In Carroll’s system, he wants the C-gap DE to be the team’s DE that can stop runs. Doesn’t even have to be the best pass rusher, just able to play the run. Paea has enough burst and quickness to rush the passer and, most importantly, play the run.

            I seriously doubt that in Pete Carroll’s defense, he’d put Paea at the one-tech if he was chosen. He didn’t for Brandon Mebane.

            You’re correct, Schneider was not the GM in Green Bay, but he has said his philosophy is darn near the same as what was employed in Green Bay.

            I think you’re confusing my statements of quantity as me looking for depth. I’m not looking for depth. I’m looking for starters. Quality starters. I happen to think this draft contains quite a few, even in the second round.

            Further, I don’t think any of the quarterbacks in this draft justify trading up.

            I think you’re undervaluing the type of player(s) the Seahawks can get in the 2nd round, saying that there is no one they can get that will fill a need, justfiying a trade up based on how you see the draft falling, assuming it falls the way you think it will. I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

            Using your logic, there will also be Mallet’s and Lockers in the future, whether in the draft, trade, or free agency, though the latter is least likely.

            I’m not sure it’s a good idea to assume that Dowling will fall. Of course, he could. That is possible, but given the recent rumors, I’m not sure it’s wise to assume that.

            However, the Hudson’s and Paea’s and Dowlings were examples. There are other quality players to be had in the second round or later.

            Also, it may already be that the Seahawks may look to compete with Whitehurst this year, so you might as well give him and any future quarterback that the Seahawks may have, everything he can to succeed with. If it isn’t their primary plan, I’d have to at least assume that it is one of their contingencies, because I don’t think anyone believes Hasselbeck is returning to the Seahawks this year.

            I do agree that getting a quarterback first is ideal, but it’s not the only way to build a team. Just look at the situation Sam Bradford and Joe Flacco found themselves in: Premiere O-line talent at at least one spot (yes, I consider Ben Grubbs to be one of the best O-linemen in the NFL even though he’s a LG), and a running game behind them, though right now Flacco has the benefit of a LT in Oher and a substantially improved WR corps.

  10. Will

    I honestly can’t see the Seahawks trading up. They just have so many needs to fill (QB, RT, both G positions, possibly DT, CB, and potentially a LB if they feel that Tatupu is going to continue to decline) and already have no third round pick. Trading up to #9 or #11 or #13 or wherever they would and then not having another pick until #99 when you’re a team with as many holes as the Seahawks and no idea when or if FA is going to happen just seems like a stupid thing to do, even if you’re able to grab a great player with that first rounder. Trading down makes far more sense than trading up and, depending on who’s available, I think that’s what they’ll do.

    • Rob

      Again though Will, I can’t help but feel we’re concentrating too much on trying to fill every need which you can’t do. The trade proposal I made (#25 and #57) essentially fills only one less spot than before. If you can receive a 5th rounder in return, you’re not actually drafting any lesser number of bodies. If they keep the #25 or move down, they aren’t going to fill all the needs you listed and the most important one on the list (QB) will again go unaddressed.

      As fans we want to create a flawless team – it’s the same everywhere. Every fan in the NFL has a list of needs he wants addressed in the NFL. It’s why we sit there in round six questioning why they didn’t take a shot on a TE (2007) when in reality that guy probably wouldn’t have been a starter anyway. What the Seahawks need is quality at the key positions – they have a LT and a FS. They need to find a long term quarterback, a difference making defensive lineman and a top cornerback. It might take three years to get there, but that’s a rebuild. You need to get the QB first in order to fully initiate that rebuild. I think being proactive will be the order of the day. They might not need to trade up – they might not need to jump 12 picks and a smaller move involving a 5th may be suffice. But they have to go after the guy they want as a 7-9 team picking in the late 20’s. Replacing Brandon Mebane with another DL will be shuffling the deckchairs on the titanic. There are four QB’s worthy of a first round grade in this class, you need a QB – go and get one.

      • Will

        As much as I like Locker (and I’m one who thinks that he’ll end up a good QB in the NFL), you can’t trade up 12 spots and lose your first round and your second round selection to take him. He’s still a project player and won’t start right away. So then you’re talking about having to somehow predict the future and draft the perfect players in rounds 4-7 otherwise you won’t get any production out of the draft class in 2011. If they trade down 15 or 20 spots, they could potentially pick up a lower-ceiling QB like Ponder (who I’m not a big fan of, but he fits the system and could potentially fill in as a starter for 5-10 years) and a decent CB like Dowling or House who will probably slip down to the end of round two or three. That could also potentially net them a third round pick which could be used for further depth. Guys like Leigh’s Rackey, Alabama’s Carpenter and TCU’s Cannon all have a chance of falling to the third round. None of those guys will be available in round four unless they suffer some freak injury or have some off the field issues. Yes, you won’t get a guy with as high of potential as Locker, but you secure some decent players and fill more holes with guys who would actually produce starting right away.

        • Rob

          I can’t agree with this thinking, Will. Again the point I would make is that there isn’t a great pressure to hit on multiple low round picks. Depth at all costs will not make the Seahawks a contender. Quality at key positions will. Green Bay have holes, Pittsburgh have holes, New England have holes. They all have franchise QB’s too and minimise their weaknesses by having key talent at premium positions. The Seahawks don’t have enough premium talent and that won’t be solved purely via depth.

          At the moment Seattle has two selections before round four. What exactly changes by halving that, especially if you have a chance to add a top-15 talent instead of a top-25? To move down and ‘settle’ on a QB neither of us like just to accumulate further stock is a good way to be a bad team. If the team comes out with Ponder, Cannon and Dowling from rounds 1-3, that would be a wasted opportunity for me to continue the good work from round one last year. You get a QB who as I said neither of us like, a severely injury hit cornerback and a converted tackle who’s just been diagnosed with testicular cancer – and while we’re here, let’s make sure we wish Marcus Cannon all the best, let’s hope for a full and swift recovery and hope it doesn’t impact his entrance into the NFL too much. Our thoughts should be with him tonight.

          But even if you take injury and illness away from that trio – what exactly are you left with? You’ve possibly filled three holes, but are the Seahawks really that much better? Until they have that franchise QB – and I believe Ryan Mallett can be that guy and will go before pick #15 – they can’t seriously rebuild. I’m not saying trading up is a must, but it should absolutely be considered. Be pro-active, get a premium position filled for the long haul. Leave getting cute and trading down to the New England’s etc.

          • Will

            Anybody you talk to will tell that Dowling is a first round talent who will fall only because of injuries. Sounds like Walter Thurmond, no? Yes, the injuries are worrisome but he’s got a ton of talent. He’s got the size and speed that Jimmy Smith does and non of the character concerns. House is also a potential steal who also has elite size and speed. Either of those guys could be starters for a long time but won’t be available in the fourth.

            Neither of us like Ponder, but that’s not to say that he would be a terrible selection. He’s very Matt Hasselbeck or Jeff Garcia like and while neither of those guys were ever dominant QBs, but they were underrated guys who could make the throws they needed to in the right system. Ponder doesn’t have a fantastic ceiling, but he has the game smarts and the accuracy and enough athleticism to excel in the Seahawks’ version of the WCO and it’s a system that will help hide his biggest flaw. Since it doesn’t rely on deep throws, Ponder’s lack of the great arm strength that Newton, Mallett and Locker have won’t hinder him or the offense too much.

            Lastly, I hadn’t heard about Cannon being diagnosed with cancer (since those reports are apparently coming out today) so maybe he’s out, but that still leaves underrated players like James Carpenter, or Marcus Gilbert or Orlando Franklin, all who could very well end up as quality starters in the NFL and who would easily fit the hole at RT with the departure of Sean Locklear.

            Again, drafting those guys wouldn’t be perfect and none of them are the most flashy players in the draft, and Ponder doesn’t have the potential to be a dominate QB like Locker does, but it does fill holes that the team has with guys who could reliably start and perform for a long time. I’ve heard of too many teams that trade a boatload to make sure they get the QB they want only to set their franchise back for years. Look at the Chargers way back in 1998 when they traded two first rounders and a second rounder, plus Eric Metcalf, to move up a spot to make sure they would get either Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf. They ended up with Leaf, who obviously ended up as one of the most famous busts of all time, and didn’t really compete again until they got Philip Rivers.

            Being proactive can be nice, but trading a bunch of picks to make sure you secure a project QB sounds like the kind of move that will set the franchise back for quite a while.

          • Ninjahawk

            I fully agree with quality over quantity. I’d rather have one Aaron Rodgers than fifty Charlie Whitehursts. I wouldn’t trade up just for the sake of trading up but if we can get a QB that the team believes can truly be our franchise starter for the long term, you HAVE to jump up and get him.

            On a total side note, I hope they somehow get free agency in place before the draft to allow player trades. Not only for the Kolb/Palmer trade potential, but I keep thinking that Trufant would be a great guy to dangle out there for a potential trade up. A team that needs a CB like Houston at #11 or Detroit at #13 (they love ‘Hawks) might be willing to move down for our #25 plus Marcus. Of course I know I’m just pipe-dreaming now, but hey, that’s what the off season is for, right?

  11. Rob


    I never regarded Dowling as a R1 talent. Let’s not forget he was draft legible 12 months ago and chose to return to Virginia, largely because a lot of the feedback he received wasn’t as positive as people think. He was always – IMO – a R2/3 level prospect similar to Walter Thurmond. He’s had injuries, he’s going to fall. We aren’t talking about a bona fide first round guy here. Like Thurmond he could fall to round four easily. Seattle has the 2nd pick in round four.

    Secondly – I see no evidence of this accuracy and game smarts you refer to with ponder. Yes he is a smart guy off the field, but on the field his decision making is all over the place. He is not accurate enough for that to be classified as a positive. He locks onto hot reads and throws blind way to often. His deep ball is awful. He’s mistake prone. He has major injury concerns to his throwing arm. I also don’t get these references to Seattle’s WCO. What is it exactly? Bevell didn’t run an orthodox WCO at Minnesota. We didn’t run that under Carroll last year. It’s one of the NFL’s great faux pas’ for me that the Seahawks are reverting back to a dink and dunk timing offense.

    And your final sentence confuses me a bit because essentially I’m suggesting trading one pick – not a bunch. And while you say such a move could set back a team for years, so can consistently ignoring the QB position and hoping to get by with inferior talent. The top teams have top QB’s. Spending one extra pick to move up and get a guy you believe in isn’t reckless, it’s not sitting on your hands. What is the relevance to San Diego and Ryan Leaf? One day Seattle will have to roll the dice on a QB and make a move like this unless you want to be a 2-5 win team and pick in the top five to get the can’t miss prospect.

    This is a 7-9 team and filling holes with, to quote even yourself, “wouldn’t be perfect” isn’t going to change. It’s time this franchise put it’s big boy pants on and made some waves.

  12. Rob

    FAO Carl,

    Brandon Mebane is a slimmed down 311lbs to play the three technique. Stephen Paea is currently listed at 285lbs. That’s 26lbs difference there and it’s substantial. It’s not just size Paea’s a nose tackle through and through. I’m not basing this off size because Paea is way too small for a conventional NT, but that’s what he is in the 4-3… a strong body who’s tough to move but not a scheme fit for Seattle.

    I’m also not buying this ‘situation’ that Sam Bradford walked into. He joined a one win team who are looking to improve their interior O-line as a priority this off season and turned them into a 6-win team who nearly made the playoffs. He was the difference there, not the environment.

  13. Carl Shinyama

    Rob, before I continue, I’d like to say that I respect your opinion. I also really appreciate all the effort you put into this site. It truly is great.

    Now, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but what’s your source on Paea being listed at 285? I have not come across that at all during the entire offseason.

    Most that I’ve read on him have him listed at 303:



    In December, Dan Kadar had him listed at 311:


    If we hold these to be true, I have my doubts that Paea would have dropped between December and now, 26 pounds, or between the combine and now, 18 pounds. Further, he usually played at around 297 during the season. In a league where DT’s usually need to be around the 300 lb. range minimum, particularly NT’s, I have my doubts that he’d let himself drop that far down, especially in draft season. Of course, I may be wrong.

    Yeah, I agree that in a traditional 4-3 defense, Paea would be a 4-3 nose tackle. But I’m struggling to understand your concept of Carroll’s 4-3; Carroll’s 4-3 LEO is not your conventional 4-3 defense; neither DE positions are your traditional DE’s, hence regardless of how you view his fit in a traditional 4-3, Paea’s skills could actually translate to playing the C gap in Carroll’s LEO defense. I may be wrong, I may be alone in this, but when I’ve scouted him, I’ve seen that Red Bryant ability. I see the scheme fit.

    When I mentioned Sam Bradford, I was not referring to the fact that they were a one-win team the year before. I was referring to the part where they had already started acquiring players around the quarterback before they drafted for a quarterback; they already tried drafting the LT of the future in Jason Smith, and they’d already tried drafting their premiere DE in Chris Long. They drafted other starters: Bradley Fletcher and James Laurinaitis, for example. It’s not too dissimilar to what the Ravens had been doing before they got Flacco. It isn’t even too dissimilar to Matt Ryan’s situation before he got to Atlanta, either. All in all, the organizations I mentioned were already adding pieces before they got their quarterbacks.

    Sam Bradford helped greatly improve the team, yes, but he didn’t do it singlehandedly; that’s too easy of a correlation. The starters that they had found beforehand also were a considerable factor.

    It’s an approach that could work for the Seahawks. Adding quality starters before getting your quarterback can work. There’s no foolproof formula for building a contender. It’s why, even in a second round this year where there’s quality, adding an extra pick would work. This sort of quantity over quality train of thought holds good ground because it’s in a range- the 2nd round – where long-term starters are more likely found. It’s not like I’m suggesting that the Seahawks load up on 5th round draft picks, a range where you’re more likely to find depth rather than starters.

    Also, were the Seahawks to move back into the second round, I’m inclined to believe that any team that trades up to the Seahawks is likely to give up either their 2nd round spot, and a third rounder, or their 2nd round spot or a higher future spot than this year’s third, like a second rounder, or future second round pick. Those are trade scenarios that can be favorable. If it’s the latter, imagine if it was a team like Cincinnati or Buffalo who initiated that trade. Chances are, that’s a high draft pick. If it’s a high draft pick, the Seahawks are in the running for a QB next year. Chances of that happening are low, but that’s the kind of benefit that can be had for trading down or for a future pick in the name of adding more picks. It’s happened before with Denver.

    • Carl Shinyama

      either their 2nd round spot, and a third rounder, or their 2nd round spot or a higher future spot than this year’s third, like a second rounder, or future FIRST** round pick

      • Rob

        I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the ‘adding players’ thing. I think it’s idealistic – that you somehow improve the team without becoming a wretched outfit and then one day this perfect quarterback walks along and you’re good to go. When the Ravens drafted Flacco, they were a mess the previous year. St. Louis worked their way into becoming the worst team in the NFL and a one-win team before they were almost forced to take a QB because they had the #1 overall pick. Both teams’ resurgance started immediately after getting the QB. There was no plan to ‘get better’ and then draft one, St. Louis had been consistently awful having ignored the position for far too long and Baltimore had been looking for a QB for years.

        As for Carroll’s scheme- they used a 340lbs five technique last year who’s speciality was to set an edge, be the biggest guy on the line and provide some surprising pass rushing quality. I’ve looked at Paea and absolutely nothing about his game said to me 5-technique in this scheme. He’s a one dimensional scheme player who can play in one position in the 4-3.

        • Carl Shinyama

          That Red Bryant was 340 lbs is not the reason they used him.

          • Carl Shinyama

            Also, when Red Bryant came out of college, his skillset wasn’t known for any pass rushing ability.

            • Rob

              No the pass rushing side of things was an unexpected surprise. But then there’s a difference between trying out an inherited fourth round pick and finding unexpected success and drafting a guy in round one and almost needing it to happen.

      • Rob

        Paea: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=378801

        • Carl Shinyama

          There’s no date to that. In fact, that might have been his weight long before last season. There’s nothing to suggest that is what his current weight is.

          I’ve given you his weight as of last December and his weight as of the combine.

          I’ll err on the side of the caution there and go with the weight that was established with a date to it.

          • Rob

            ESPN update their weights – I’ve used it quite a lot this off season. I think that weight is from the Senior Bowl but could be wrong. Generally I estimated him at 290-295lbs during the season based on the eye test and I suspect that’s what he’ll play at. He’s always been known as under sized for the role he’s best suited.

          • McDavis

            FYI Rob, Paea measured 303 at the NFL combine and ESPN only updates the draft profiles not the college profiles.



    • Charlie

      Red Bryant is also 6-4 335 vs 6-1 300. That’s a huge difference in size. Also, the rams were picking premier players at premier positions in the draft, like second overall pick for long, second overall pick for smith. Your suggesting we follow in their footsteps, but then contradict that by trading down. They were in position to select nearly any player in the draft they wanted 3 years in a row. If i interpret that correctly you are suggesting we can get players of second overall caliber in the second round? That just doesn’t make any sense. Also, last years draft was extremely deep in talent, so now all the sudden everyone wants to trade back in the hopes of getting the gronkowskis and mcourtys and mike williams tb of the draft, but theres kind of a huge dip in talent after the mid 20’s this year while last year it was pretty fruitful of talent through the third round.

  14. ChavaC

    I really doubt Schneider will hesitate to move up, and the way this draft is looking right now I agree with Rob that it makes too much sense. He’s said several times that he holds a more aggressive mentality than what we saw with Thompson in Green Bay. Lets not forget this is the guy who dropped a 3rd rounder on 3rd string QB… if he sees his guy coming of the board I think he will make a move, and his description of Carroll in the war room makes me think that move won’t be blocked.

    Add in the fact that we are sitting ducks in terms of a QB being sniped from under us by a R2 trade-up, and we can almost rule out a QB coming to us. Not to mention that a team that can make gambles like the Pats could pick up a QB to sit. Second round picks are nice but we will not win without a competent signal caller, and this class is simply too deep to pass up. I am under no illusion that we are rebuilding but this was a 7-9 team a competent QB away from running away with the West last year. That guy needs to be in place, even if it costs us a second round pick.

  15. Dave

    Fact of the matter is that this team is going nowhere until it has an elite QB. I would be even more aggressive than you and trade multiple picks. That’s how strongly I feel about the importance of the position.

    • Matt

      Couldn’t agree more. Seattle fans have somehow got this notion that you can win despite your QB. Heck, on KIRO the other day, Bob and Groz literally said (verbatim), “you can’t win with average O-line play, but you can with average QB play and a great O-line.” Yes Bob and Groz, you can probably secure 4-6 wins with that style of play.

      • Rob

        Sometimes I wonder if I watch a different sport. That statement simply is not true.

        • Bret L

          The Packers didnt have a good O-line but they had a great QB and that is why they won the SB. The Steelers O-line wasn’t the greatest their best player on their O-line was Pouncey their rookie. The Rams lost their #1 WR early and they have little talent at WR right now yet they improved because they drafted Bradford. In the last 3 drafts they drafted LT, DE and QB in the first round. They added elite talent to those positions and that is what the Seahawks need to do. Last year the Hawks got their LT, hopefully this year they will get their QB.

          • Dude

            This town has never really had an Elite QB. If we sit pat at 25 as 3-4 QBs come off the board I will be mad. When you look at the Seahawks they have 0 play makers on offense. If we take a Guard or Tackle at 25 I will lose it.

  16. Matt

    Reading some great stuff. I’m a firm believer that you build around your QB, not build a team then plug in a QB. To me that doesn’t make sense because now you are pigeon holed into what type of QB you need because the personnel dictates the system you run. Why not, get a talented QB and build to their strengths.

    For example, draft Ryan Mallett, make sure you build an athletic O-line that places a premium on pass protection. Find a deep threat or 2 (with size, not Butler or Tate). Get a bigger bruising back (we have Lynch, take a late round flier on Allen Bradford) who can create yards on their own without a massive, run blocking focused O-line in front of them. Exploit the vertical passing game to open up running lanes for a bigger back.

    Another, draft Jake Locker. Place a premium on run blocking O-line to create a more effective play action game. Use moving pockets. Get good TE play to further assist in PA as well as creating easier completions to set up the big play. The nice part is, we have a very deep roster of talented TEs (Morrah, Carlson, McCoy).

    Now, I don’t want to try to come across as making this seem like a simple process, but my underlying point is that too often teams try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Build to your QBs strength, and that’s much easier when you have the QB first, then add pieces around him. It’s about being flexible and the longer you wait to address QB (while building your team), the more limited options you create for yourself as to what QB fits your system. Not to mention, I believe building in this matter also creates the illusion that you don’t “need” top of the line QB play to win. That’s an anomaly. The teams who have won Super Bowls despite their QBs had unreal defenses with pro bowl quality everywhere as well as several future HOFers.

    I say be pro-active to get a QB you can buy into and subsequently build around him and place him in a position to succeed. Lastly (and what bothers me the most), is that you CAN SIT a QB for however long you’d like. A first round QB is an investment, not a miracle day 1 cure. If you love a QB, but he needs time, give him the time. People seem to forget how long the likes of Rodgers and Rivers sat before getting on the field despite being first round picks. There’s not a shot clock on when they have to play.

    *Disclaimer, I’m not saying to sit a first round QB for 5 years. But, a year or 2 shouldn’t be frowned upon if it means easing the transition process as well as upping the percentage of success.

    • Rob

      Yeah completely agree here Matt and it’s why the Seahawks cannot coast at QB with fill ins and short termism. This is a team in rebuild. The QB will be the central focal point of the team if it is going to succeed. You need to know who the guy is to sufficiently build a focused unit. There isn’t a team in the league that rebuilds by improving every area of the roster and then fitting the QB in as the final piece. As I mentioned earlier, St. Louis didn’t do that – they actually dodged QB’s until they were the worst team in the league and then had to take one to justify the $60m outlay. The Seahawks should avoid that at all costs. There’s nothing fun about being consistently a 0-2 win team.

    • Rob

      Yeah completely agree here Matt and it’s why the Seahawks cannot coast at QB with fill ins and short termism. This is a team in rebuild. The QB will be the central focal point of the team if it is going to succeed. You need to know who the guy is to sufficiently build a focused unit. There isn’t a team in the league that rebuilds by improving every area of the roster and then fitting the QB in as the final piece. As I mentioned earlier, St. Louis didn’t do that – they actually dodged QB’s until they were the worst team in the league and then had to take one to justify the $60m outlay. The Seahawks should avoid that at all costs. There’s nothing fun about being consistently a 0-2 win team.

  17. Saluki

    Rob, I realize he’s quite similar our recently drafted WRs, Tate and Butler, but what about Randall Cobb as our 2nd round pick?? I’m a little bit of a homer, because I’ve gotten the chance to watch him over the past two years, but Randall is a rare athlete who can be used all over the field. He’s really refined his WR skills too and was basically unstoppable in the SEC, especially if you consider the noodle arm QBs that were throwing to him here at UK. He’s one of the all time great KR/PR in UK history as well as a tremendous threat at QB/Wildcat.
    If you compare him to Stevie Johnson, the most recent WR from Kentucky who has had moderate to good success in the NFL, Randall’s skills are far and above where Stevie was at the point they entered the league.
    Sure, he needs a little refinement, but this is a humble, hard working kid, who someone is going to STEAL in the 2nd round. If we are truly looking at WR and want to get faster weapons and improve team speed, I really hope we look at Randall Cobb. Thoughts??

    • Rob

      Great call Saluki and thanks for that insight. Cobb’s a guy I’ve not seen a great deal of, just some highlights (not a great source) but I’ve read a lot of source opinion that I respect. He was in the thinking at #57 and could be a candidate in round two for Seattle – they still need difference makers.

  18. Nat

    I think I can sum up this debate with one observation regarding quality vs. quantity…

    Who was in the Seahawks’ representative for the Madden ’12 cover this year in their “bracket”? THE 12th MAN?! OUR FANS are the most nationally recognized “playmaker”?! That’s sad…give me a playmaker please.

    • Dude

      I am with you Nat, even if he is considered a risk. For to long this team has picked the safe players. Now we have 0 Pro Bowlers and a ton of Free Agents.

  19. Rob

    Hi Rob,

    I like your pick for Austin at #25! The guy is a physical freak and could just be the guy to come in and provide pressure at the 3-tech spot. Character concerns aside, I think he has more upside than most. Based on your mock, you have all the best 3-tech players off the board by the #57 pick (in my opinion). I really think this is the most important position on the D-Line to draft this year. With a starting 3-tech I hope we move Mebane back to the 1-tech (please re-sign him Hawks). Cole is solid against the run and knocking balls down, but has no rush.

    I am curious what you think about the rest of the draft. I really respect you opinion and would love to read something about whom you think the Seahawks would select in the later rounds. What do you think about Stephen Schilling in the 4th?

  20. Dude

    Hey Rob,

    I love the idea of moving up. If we could say get up to 9, what do you think of picking up Julio Jones. There are a few people who think he is the best WR in the draft. We would be looking good with him and Williams on the field. Your thoughts?

    • Rob

      I really like Jones – I did before the combine hype kicked in. However, if you’re trading up I think it has to be for a quarterback. The position is just too important and needs to be addressed. I would have no issue moving up to select Ryan Mallett, even if the majority opinion would go against that suggestion.

  21. Chinatown

    Not a fan of Austin that high, if the draft plays out this way I’d like to see the Hawks trade down.

    Love the Hankerson pick but dont think he’ll last that long, wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get past the Rams. Hankerson plays at a school that produces a fair amount of talent especially at WR, is 6’2 and had a lot of touchdowns in a major conference, I think that translates well in the NFL, I’m thinking he’s at least a #2 target and goal-line threat.

    And considering their history, I’d be surprised if Pioli or Belichick will take o-linemen in the first round, let alone both of them.

  22. Brandon Adams

    I don’t think folks realize just how badly this team has been held back by our QB struggles. QB play affects the rest of the team far more than vice versa. Hold onto the ball too long and your O-line looks bad. Weak throws encourage defenses to crowd the line, jump routes and bring heavier blitzes, crushing your line and killing your WR stats. Offensive failure saddles your defense with a bigger burden.

    Conversely, scare defenses back a ways with a respectable QB arm, and suddenly guards like Chester Pitts and Max Unger are looking much better from not having to repel blitzers every other play. Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu could boost their stats by 200 yards each. Lynch and Forsett get room to run because defenses aren’t stacking the line. The defense has an easier job because the offense can help create pressure with the scoreboard.

    Drafting a good QB could be like drafting three or four starters with one pick. I don’t necessarily think that any hidden Pro Bowlers will suddenly emerge from the team, but I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that several guys could improve from “poor” to “serviceable enough to where we can delay replacing them for another year”. If you put it like that, which I think reasonable considering the role of a QB, then losing a draft pick isn’t such an evil proposition anymore.

  23. JC

    Hawks pick predictions
    Rnd 1 Jimmy Smith
    Rnd 2 Clint Bowling

    After a labor agreement, they sign Robert Gallery and trade the ’12 #1 to the Eagles for Kevin Kolb, setting up an interesting preseason game against the Vikes with Matt playing in purple.

  24. amattson

    I’m looking forward to your responses for the following thoughts:

    Pick #25 – trade it and the 2012 4th round pick to Eagles for Kevin Kolb
    Pick #57 – Sheard DE from Pitt

    In Free Agency – get Gallery at LG and Satele also from Oakland at C. Play Unger at RG and Andrews at LT.
    Then get James Joseph as our #1 corner (he’s the second best corner on the market and a lot cheaper than the alternative)

    Now we’re looking pretty solid – our line looks like an nfl line again, we can rush the passer, guard in the secondary and if we could get Sidney Rice, it would be icing on the cake! NFC West Championship, here we come!

    I am looking forward to hearing if the above is realistic though – how much do you think we could afford in the free agent market? Could we afford Kolb, Gallery, and Satele, and Joseph?

    We then wouldn’t have to resign Hasslebeck, so we’d save money there. Looking forward to your thoughts. Do you think Kolb would be the answer (or at least better than any of the rookies?)

    I do. Thanks and Go Hawks!

  25. amattson

    Sorry, Andrews at RT and Okung at LT. Looking forward to hearing comments! I love the draft and look forward to watching the Seahawks in Primetime!

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