With the bulk of free agency in our rear view mirror, we can focus on how Seattle will try to improve through the draft with the number twelve pick and other, lesser picks. Of course, that doesn't mean that the best player that the Hawks draft will be the first player that they take. Just last year we saw Seattle make it's best selections in the 4th, 5th, and UDFA, so we don't know for sure that the Hawks will do their best work at the top of the draft, but at least it's easier to make guesses on who they will take.
It's going to turn into a real shit-show if I honestly try to predict who Seattle will take in the 6th round. Sure, we can make our guesses and even at twelve we're just making guesses, but at least they're better guesses. The probability of guessing who the Hawks will take in the first is a hell of a lot higher than a single pick after that. If you took a bet on whether or not you'd be right on the first pick or on any one of the rest of their picks, you'd do best to not take the field; you've probably got better odds on trying to be right in the first than the whole rest of the draft.
You might be right, but it's doubtful. We don't know what's going to happen. And we don't really know what's going to happen for sure after the second pick, and things will really get interesting with Cleveland at four, making it a near crapshoot after that, but at least at 12 it's worth throwing some ideas around and spitballin'. I like to spitball.
I'm going to just start throwing some random thoughts around. Thoughts I have on the Hawks, the players that they could target, and also about the draft in general. Along with being a Seahawks fan, I am just a general draft fan, and so I'm going to talk about some things regarding the draft overall. If you only want to read about the Seahawks, then you can stop when I start talking about non-Seahawks. How's that for a deal, Mr. Dealmaker that wants it his way. This isn't Burger King... Though I've been told I'm just as creepy as the Burger King guy.
-- David DeCastro. I don't really doubt that DeCastro will become an excellent NFL guard. I could doubt it. It would be fine if I doubted it, because we've seen "can't miss players" miss more than enough times. Until something happens, contain some doubt in your mind. Though I may believe that David DeCastro is going to become an excellent NFL guard, that doesn't change my mind that he probably isn't the right pick at twelve. It's not a slight against his abilities but only against the position he plays. NFL guards don't typically go in the top twelve and there's a reason for that. It's not that great guards don't enter the draft on a semi-regular basis, just like great wide receivers or great defensive ends do, it's only because teams don't value a guard or a center like they do other positions. It's not because they have something against guards, it's because a guard can only provide so much value. GMs will do things that help them win and even though some GMs are crazy or stupid, a guard still hasn't been taken in the top 15 since 1997. (Chris Naeole at 10, he never made the Pro Bowl, FYI.) Think about that.
-- Trading down. That doesn't mean that Seattle can't trade down and draft DeCastro. Maybe New England really wants somebody at 12 and Seattle picks up both of their first round picks. Then they can have a DeCastro AND a something else, if DeCastro is available. Either way, I don't think the Hawks can afford to use a pick that high on a guard. You know who can use a first round pick on a guard? Teams that are already great. They can take the best player available because they have that luxury. I am not sure when I slept through Seattle having a great team already and having that luxury. You know why teams like Baltimore and the Patriots and Packers are "great at drafting"? I would say that part of that is that they consistently have the luxury of taking the BPA because they have elite players at important positions and so they don't have to worry about simply taking the BPA. Seattle needs to find the elite players that allow them to draft a player like DeCastro in a draft. If I had an 80% chance at an elite guard and a 65% chance at an elite DE, I'd take the DE in our scenario. We need to find that guy.
-- Ryan Tannehill over DeCastro. Right now my Big Board would definitely have Tannehill over DeCastro. If they were both available and you had to choose, take the QB. Yes, Seattle signed Matt Flynn and they have a capable (assumed) backup in Tarvaris Jackson and also a project in Josh Portis, but none of that changes the fact that there are a number of scouts that think Tannehill can develop into a great NFL QB. If you HAD to hit a bullseye, would you rather have two darts or four? Even if it's at the expense of Portis or Jackson, if Tannehill actually fell to twelve, he wouldn't be a bad pick. The Packers did not have a need for Aaron Rodgers when they drafted him. Seattle doesn't need Tannehill in the next two years (seemingly) but the "dynasty mode" would certainly support drafting Ryan Tannehill.
-- Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, and Quentin Coples. Maybe all three of these guys are available. Maybe none of them are. I am really unsure of what's going to happen with the pass-rushers in the top eleven. Sometimes you get surprises and an unknown goes before all three. I remember when DeWayne Robertson was the DT that everyone HAD to have and people really loved Jonathan Sullivan and Jimmy Kennedy as well. Everybody thought that the Vikings really whiffed on Kevin Williams and that it was a panic pick when they ran out of their 15 minutes and got skipped over twice in the draft. Turns out that they still got the right guy the whole time. If Pete and John take one of these guys, then I assume it's because he's the guy that they see fitting the best in the system out of the guys available. I personally prefer Ingram.
-- Trent Richardson. Not that he'll be available, but if he was... ehh. I'm sorry, it's just not the pick that I love. Okay, you're getting a potentially GREAT running back and running backs break down all the time, so it's nice to have two great running backs. It's just not the move that I think gets Seattle over the top. If the Rams draft Richardson at six, I'll be a little happy inside. So far the best RBs drafted in 2011 look like DeMarco Murray (71st), Roy Helu (105th), and I like Kendall Hunter too (115th.)
-- Continued: In 2010, it looks like Ryan Mathews (12th) and Ben Tate (58th.) In 2009 Knowshon Moreno went 12th and everyone spit on me when I suggested that Seattle should inquire on his availability. Donald Brown and Beanie Wells went ahead of LeSean McCoy (53rd.) In 2007, Adrian Peterson went 7th and is great. Marshawn Lynch went 12th. Michael Bush (100) and Ahmad Bradshaw (250th) went in later rounds. The point is, and this is true throughout history, great running backs can be acquired at the top of the draft and often in the 2nd, 3rd, and later rounds as well. It's very common for the best RB to go in the 50-80 range. I don't see a running back at 12 as the "championship" move.
-- Luke Kuechly. I'd easily go Kuechly over DeCastro but I'm almost in the same boat. Only if you trade back. And personally, I now have my board for those guys as Tannehill, then Kuechly, then DeCastro. They're all behind taking the best defensive end available, however. Richardson sort of slots in as a wild card and I don't think he'll be available anyway.
-- I think these are all of my Seahawks draft thoughts at the moment.
-- Things should instantly become more interesting after the Vikings pick Matt Kalil. The first three picks shouldn't change, the Browns are on the clock. If the Vikings don't take Kalil, they'll never win. Anything. Ever. They could trade down if they got an offer like the Rams got for #2, but I doubt that they will. Everything changes when the Browns pick and honestly... what are the Browns going to do? They need a QB, but Tannehill at four? They need a WR, but what did Braylon Edwards teach them about draft a WR so high when you don't have a QB? They could draft Morris Claiborne, but they have Joe Haden... it could make for an elite CB tandem but they'll be missing out on other needs. They need a RB, but will Richardson put them over the top? Don't they have to go big or go home? My thought on this is related to the Bucs...
-- The Bucs need Claiborne. They might assume that the Browns would never take him, but the Browns could definitely posture that they will and it's not like they have another player that's begging to be picked. Cleveland was dumb for not trading up for Robert Griffin III (in my opinion) and so they're left in this position but they should make the best of it: Force the Bucs to trade up for Claiborne or draft Claiborne. He's a great defensive player. The Bucs really need him and want him. Make them give up a little something and move down to five where you can still take a bunch of other dudes. After free agency and the Saints situation, the Bucs could be in the playoffs next year, but they'll want to get this pick right. Force them to. Or take Claiborne and give AFC North QBs nightmares.
-- If Claiborne goes in the top five and the Browns take a player like Richardson or Justin Blackmon, then the Rams are left at six with a few options. Which option is best for them? A skill player or a lineman? Their offense is dreadful but how soon is too soon for Jonathan Martin or Riley Reiff? Reiff probably only slots in at RT anyway. The Rams traded out of position to take Kalil, they'll probably end up with Michael Floyd, Justin Blackmon, or Trent Richardson. Maybe great players, but the Rams will probably struggle again in 2012. They could trade down.
-- Are the Dolphins and Tannehill as good as sealed in their fate? Just who the hell is he going to throw it to? The Dolphins aren't going to make the playoffs next year... they might be so bad that they could take a franchise QB at the top of 2013... I won't be surprised if they take the best WR available.
-- I think that's all for now. What are you thoughts today as we approach the draft?
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