NFL Draft 2014: Seattle Sea-Mock 2.0

Kill the head and the body will die. - David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

A 7-round mock draft for the Seattle Seahawks.

Draft day…it is here. I’ve spent pretty much a year building up to this point. We’ve all waited so long to see who the new Seahawks will be. And we’ll have to wait longer than all teams to find out our first. So let’s at least not wait longer for introductions. This is 2014 Seattle Sea-Mock 2.0:

#32

I’ve had moments of thinking I didn’t want to "get cute" and risk missing my favorite player by trading back here, but last week in one of John Schneider’s draft press conferences he said some interesting things. The first thing he said that I’ll point out was this:

"I think the first round is a beautiful thing because it’s so exciting and everybody is really into it. It’s entertainment. I get it. But it’s all about the work that all the scouts put in throughout the fall; all the way through the draft and into rookie free agency."


This is Schneider preparing us for what is about to happen. Essentially, he is saying, "yes, I get that fans and media put a lot of emphasis on the excitement of that first round label, but we only value players, not where they are drafted." Combine this sentiment with Derek Stephens’ vertical draft board that basically suggests there is as little as 0.20 points difference (on the 8.00 scouting grade scale) between player #26 overall and #42. Assuming Seattle has a similar board, even with different players, there could be very little "NEED" to stay at 32.

Add in the theory expressed by many draft media outlets that multiple teams drafting in the early 2nd round may be interested in making their 2nd pick (most likely a QB) in the late 1st round in order to gain the 5th year option for said player. Peter King explains a bit more here.

In that MMQB article, King also reaffirms something I wrote about a couple weeks ago…the Seahawks could, and should, want to do business in trade with the Cleveland Browns. This is where I begin.

"The Seattle Seahawks have traded pick 1.32, 2.32, and their 2015 4th round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Cleveland’s picks at 2.3, 3.7, and 4.6."

#35

This is basically the shortest tradeback from the 1st we’re likely to see. As  just pointed out, it is possible the Hawks could value players close to the same as far back as #42…we could see a deeper trade back. I just happen to like the inventory of picks the Browns have more than other teams. I don’t mind picking a little later in the top of the 3rd, and I really want an early 4th. And if the 2015 4th isn’t rich enough to get it done, I’d probably consider the 2015 3rd.

But let’s get a player on our "drafted" board.

"With the 3rd pick of the 2nd round, the Seattle Seahawks select Louisville Defensive End, Marcus Smith."

Come on, you loyal readers knew I was gonna get this guy. He’s been on my radar since halfway through the college season, and he’s only added more and more reasons to bring him to Seattle.

First and foremost, I loved Smith from his tape. I literally noticed him on accident while watching Calvin Pryor. Once you find one tape of a player you like, you have to look at as much of his tape as you can find. I enjoy many of Marcus Smith’s tapes and plays. This is one play that I find remarkable…whereas most times you want to find a LEO that can bend the edge, watch Marcus Smith pretty much turn a corner LITERALLY.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8557099

Here’s a side angle…look at how deep Smith is cutting this angle:

2014-04-25_07.43.18__1__medium
Although Smith didn’t test as fast as, say, a Bruce Irvin or a Cliff Avril, tape suggests that he has some pretty rare burst. Note the play at 3:00 mark of this game against Miami…

It looks like the tape has been doctored, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s almost literally sideline-to-sideline. Watch more of the tape (or similar tape agains Houston, Rutgers, UConn) and you’ll see Marcus with great timing and instincts to jump and block passes, the ability to shade a WR 20-30 yards downfield in coverage, a vice-lock grip that once on doesn’t let go, and an underrated array of pass-rush moves. Note the bull-rush that Smith rarely gets credit for at 0:44 of this highlight reel:

After enjoying many of Smith’s game films, I checked his measurables (and re-checked during the combine, and again when Cablinasian published his LEO Sparq chart)…Smith, at 6’3"/251, with 34" arms is pretty much the prototype LEO build, and his SPARQ is 16th in his position group, with an almost identical score to Cliff Avril and Benson Mayowa. Smith also has some striking similarities to Chris Clemons, the player who we’d, in a sense, be drafting Smith to replace (both are from Georgia, both wear #91 jerseys, both had a few identical scores at various disciplines at the combine…crazy stuff).

Since we’re talking about Clem…let’s keep in mind Clem was a LB while at Georgia who tallied only one sack in his last year there. Once Clem hit the League, it was still 3 years before he hit 8 sacks, and 6 years before he hit a double-digit total (occurred in first year in Seattle). So there was a period of adjustment that Clem went through. What many fans may not realize is that Marcus Smith has been going through a period of adjustment while at Louisville. You see, Smith was recruited out of Georgia as a quarterback. Yep. Guy has been learning to play defense in college. I’d say his learning curve has been pretty exceptional.

I find production more important than many draft writers. By the end of the 2013 college season, Marcus Smith had tallied 42 tackles, 18.5 tackle-for-loss (14th in the country), 12 QB hurries, 3 pass break-ups, 4 forced-fumbles (10th in the country), 1 blocked kick, and 14.5 sacks (2nd in the country). That’s a pretty stacked boxscore. And let me tell you this about Smith’s 14.5 sacks: we have only had five college players tally 14.5 sacks (or more) since 2009. Those five players went on to become a first round pick 3 times, a second rounder once, and an UDFA.

There is plenty of reason to wonder if Smith will even be available at 33, let alone at 35. This is why I’m suggesting the shortest trade back out of the 1st. I do NOT want to miss out on Smith. In addition to my own gut instinct on Smith, there was also this quote from the Pete Carroll/John Schneider presser on Tuesday when asked about how defensive linemen end up getting drafted:

"What you end up doing is pushing guys up and maybe drafting them a little bit higher than you may want to."

It seems fairly common knowledge that this draft is not very deep in edge rushers. Marcus Smith may look like a reach at 35, but there are so many reasons why picking him here should still happen.

Anecdotally, it is worth mentioning a few things: 1) In the final game that Dan Quinn coached for the University of Florida, his Gators lost to Louisville. 2) I was able to track a handful of college games that John Schneider personally scouted this year. One of these games was Rutgers vs Louisville. Smith finished that game with 5 tackles and 3 sacks. 3) In one of the handful of pro days that Seahawk coaches are documented on video as attending, Dan Quinn was spotted at Louisville’s.

To me, the only other option at #35 is Deone Bucannon. The whole Kam Chancellor hip surgery, plus Bucannon officially visiting VMAC, have me a little curious the seriousness of Kam’s injury, AND the Hawks interest in Deone. This would be a surprise, but only in the, "oh it’s the annual Seahawk surprise pick no one saw coming" kind of way.

I don’t entirely buy the Hawks being interested in any of the OL available here. And I think WR is deep enough to try to wait on. If Seattle does decide to draft either this early, I could only guess it’s Ja’Wuan James sliding back down a bit, or splashing on any number of quality WR (I’ll give my favorite receivers in a bit).

#71

Speaking of WR…

"With the 7th pick of the 3rd round in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select WR Devin Street."

I have to admit, it’s very tempting to try and snag OT Billy Turner here. But, I happen to like OT at a little later pocket of talent/value, so I’m getting Street here.

I’m a little baffled at Street having like 4th round buzz at this point of the draft process. He stands at 6’3"/198, with 33.38" arms…his SPARQ ranks 23rd in his group (122.8 pSPARQ, which is just behind a similarly built, but overrated Martavis Bryant at 123.9, but Street is ahead of Sidney Rice at 119.9)…his production put him ahead of guys like Marqise Lee and Bruce Ellington in yardage (854 while missing 3 games)…his YPC ranked ahead of Paul Richardson, Donte Moncrief, Brandon Coleman, Cody Latimer, Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams, Jordan Matthews, Allen Robinson, and Jared Abbrederis…he had as many (or more) TD’s as Matthews, Bryant, Robinson (and, again, he did it in 3 fewer games)…what is it that people don’t see with Devin Street?

I don’t know. I know that I see a big target, that runs great routes, has surprising RAC ability including breaking more tackles than you’d think from a 198-pound guy, rarely drops a ball, has exceptional catch radius, AND can win the jump ball on the redline. If I had to pick a single play to sell you on Devin Street, I would ask that you watch this, and then watch it again like 9 times:

Step 1) shake the press coverage at the LOS…check. Step 2) Get just enough separation…check. 3) Mega hops…check. 4) Pluck the ball, at full extension, out of the air…check. The only thing that would have made this catch better would have been if it was like two yards farther outside, on the redline.

For a little more of the Street faire, check out the highlight reel…you should be able to note: fade, post, corner, slant, out with a toe-tap, dig, highpoint, broken tackles, TD’s. Basically, this is a guy that runs the whole route tree, runs them precisely, gives up his body for the catch, and doesn’t drop balls.

One stat on Street that I think goes really overlooked is in his game against the National Champion Florida State Seminoles. FSU led all of CFB this year in passing defense. They allowed an average of 156.6 passing yards per game. Devin Street, individually, touched up the Noles for 141 receiving yards (23.5 YPC). In other instances of playing top ranked secondaries: against Kyle Fuller, Antone Exum and VTech’s #8-ranked pass defense Street went for 104 yards (20.8 YPC); against Notre Dame’s 15th-ranked secondary, Devin had 76 yards (19.0 YPC) and 2 TD’s. So there appears to be an element of "big game" or "clutch" within Street’s abilities.

Literally the only concern I have on Street is his durability. Like I said; he missed 3 games this year. He really is Sidney Rice 2.0.

Anecdotes: I’ve studied the Seahawks’ roster so much that occasionally I can just glance at a 2014 prospect’s measurables and recognize similarities to a Hawk. I was looking at Street’s and noticed he kind of reminded me of someone else:

Height

Weight

Arm

Hand

40

10-split

SS

3-cone

Bench

Vert

Broad

SPARQ

Street


6027

198

33.38

9.25

4.5

1.56

4.01

6.72

13

37

10.3

122.8

Sherman


6025

195

32

9.75

4.53

1.56

4.29

6.82

16

37

11

123.3

So if you’ve ever wondered what Sherman would look like in the NFL as a WR, it’s probably Devin Street. Both really bright guys too. I’d really like to see these two go at it in practice.

Street is one of my five favorite WR in this deep class, and getting him here in the 3rd looks like a reach to most people, but for my board this is probably the best VALUE of all my top 5. If we see Jordan Matthews, Allen Robinson, Cody Latimer, or Davante Adams fall this far, their value would also spike. But for now, I’m mocking the one that looks more certainly available in the 3rd.

#106

"With the 6th pick in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select DT Zachariah Kerr."

Just when you thought I couldn’t reach any more, I reach even further. Well…according to some. I honestly would like to get Kerr locked up in the 3rd round. Again, it goes back to PCJS’ press conference…talking about how defensive linemen get drafted early…I think the media is undervaluing Zach, but NFL teams will strike on him in the 3rd-4th range.

This is a guy that played out of the BCS, at FCS school Delaware, and who really hasn’t been talked about much nationally. What he is, is a 6’1"/326lb DT that will primarily be used as a nose tackle. And in the context of nose tackles, Zach is the #2 athlete in the country for the position. Kerr comes in at a 96.1 on pSPARQ, which ranks ahead of Justin Ellis (93.1), Ryan Carrethers (85.6), Daquan Jones (84.4), and Louis Nix III (79.6*). He also scores higher than Brandon Mebane (92.4).

It’s important to note Mebane’s score because I think Kerr will be drafted to eventually replace Mebane as a cap casualty. The Seahawks have been fairly open about the way they will draft ahead by a year or two. In 2013, they drafted Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill as the 2014 replacements for Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald, and neither will be here this year. Next year, if Davis Hsu’s projection is correct, Mebane will be one of the few cap cuts. So my speculation is that the Hawks are looking for a 1-tech right now.

In 2014, Zach Kerr finished with 57 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 2 QBH, and 2 FF. People may worry that those aren’t dominant numbers against inferior competition, and they’d be right. You would like to see some more TFL. But here’s the thing…I look at Kerr and I see a guy with fire. I see a guy who, like many of our favorite current Seahawks before they were drafted here, has his best football ahead of him. I really can’t justify it in football scouting terms. I’d have a better shot at convincing you if you knew my history as a Texas Hold’em player. I’m putting Kerr on a hand, and he’s got the nuts.

In football scouting terms, Kerr has one of the more elite swim-moves I’ve seen from a 330-lb’er. Not only that, he has one of the strongest punches I’ve seen all year. Watch this game cutup at around 0:58 in:

Kerr slices through the OLine, knocks the quarterback LITERALLY fifteen feet backwards, stops on a dime, turns back and tackles the RB for a 3-yard loss. 330 pounds. Watch the rest of that tape. I like so much of what Kerr is doing…things that have nothing to do with competition level; like shedding blockers, timing his jump and swatting a pass, playing to the whistle, hustling to sack the QB outside the pocket, reading the screen pass and dropping back off the LOS. Although it isn’t seen in this clip, I’ve also seen Zach running 45 yards downfield in pursuit…and keeping up with linebackers while doing it.

I’m not sure that we’ve yet seen Seattle draft a SPARQ-monster at nose tackle, but this would be one that likely qualifies.

Anecdotal: Zach actually began his football career at a BCS school…Maryland.

#132

I actually think this is another likely spot for a trade-back. Up to this point, Seattle has only added one pick to get back up to seven total. With or without a trade-back, I think the Hawks next pick HAS to go to helping rebuild the OLine, and fill the holes left by the departures of Breno and McQuistan.

Without trading back, I’d like to see Seattle look at the Canadian, Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, here. Another raw talent that hasn’t faced a high level of competition, LDT is a high upside player that came in 4th amongst the entire "deep" class of OT in terms of SPARQ. This means placing ahead of Robinson, Bitonio, Matthews, Henderson, etc.

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1279374/highlights/97081375?preview=true&utm_expid=74628889-15.0E43t2z7QuuN1FHaDeLS8g.1

The tough thing about drafting LDT this early is that his arm length suggests NFL guard. The common thought locally has always been that the Seahawks want OT’s with elite length. BUT…what was revealed to me recently by Zach Cablinasian is that, even at 6’7" tall, Breno Giacomini only had 32.13" arms. Crazy, right? I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, but even if given an inch for benefit of the doubt, Breno still wouldn’t be above 34".

The same is true of LDT. His arms are an even 33" long. This is one of a handful of examples this year where I’m legitimately curious if PCJS prefer elite length or elite SPARQ. Either way, we know Seattle is interested in LDT, and I’d love to get him at the back end of the 4th.

If LDT isn’t available I’m taking Boston College OT Matt Patchan. Really, I'd like to get both with the option of playing one at OG.

Patchan is going to be a boom-bust player.

Upside: 6’6"/302lbs with 4.97 speed and the 5th highest SPARQ for all OT’s. A punishing run-blocker that helped Andre Williams to over 2000 yards rushing and a Heisman final in 2013.

Downside: a 6th year player who is older than you’d like, and has faced a couple injury redshirt seasons. Plus, he also has sub-34" arms.

Whenever I get situations of split intel, I like to watch the tape again. Note Patchan (#77) primarily at LT, but also shifts to the right side in some staggered, jumbo OL formations:

#146 and #172

Last week in Schneider’s press conference he had this quote on having more picks:

"Say you have eight guys in the fifth round that you really like, is it really worth losing two of those eight guys to go up and get one player? Is that one player worth two of those guys?"

I didn’t hear the actual phrasing of the question, but I find it interesting that Schneider voluntarily made his answer not about trading back, but about NOT trading up. He was also so specific to a round, and a round in which Seattle does, in fact, hold two picks heading into the draft. From this I intuit that Seattle truly does have like 8 players in the 5th round that they really like. And I’m going to attempt to guess all 5. Which two, and in which order they are drafted in is sort of irrelevant.

SS Jerome Couplin

Measured at 6’1"/213 with 32 7/8" arms (but his arms look longer), Couplin is a pretty phenomenal athlete at safety (#5 in safety SPARQ) with a 129.5 score. This places him above VMAC visitors Eric Pinkins (128.6) and Deone Bucannon (124.4), and well above higher touted safeties Jimmie Ward (119.9), Calvin Pryor (107.8), and HaHa Clinton-Dix (107.5). What’s even more interesting is that Couplin’s SPARQ is higher than three of this year’s most-sought-after tall CB’s: Keith McGill, Pierre Desir, and Shaq Richardson.

Why do I bring up tall corners?? I’m drafting Jerome as a cornerback. I’m not going to list them side-by-side here, but Couplin’s pro day numbers are basically on par with Sherm’s (Couplin actually is technically at higher SPARQ), and his game tape actually reminds me of Brandon Browner. This is one of the best secondary tacklers available. Please note the tackle, if you can call it that, at 6:00 of this tape:

Or this still shot:

20130831_jla_al8_603.0_medium

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

I happen to love Couplin’s game. Explosive, explosive athlete, great character, and very smart. I’ve had the chance to correspond with Jerome a little bit he’s become, after Marcus Smith, one of the two players I HAVE to see the Seahawks come out of this draft with.

ILB Brock Coyle

I didn’t become aware of Coyle until he visited VMAC, but shortly after we found out that he’s actually the group leader in SPARQ for middle linebackers. He also split captain duties with fellow Montana linebacker Jordan Tripp. Essentially, I think Coyle is the best candidate to replace Heath Farwell going forward, both as a special teams captain/stalwart and as Bobby Wagner’s backup.

OT Garrett Scott

Scott is the position group leader in OT SPARQ. Like, to an unbelievable degree. Garrett is very much a project player, but the kind crazy athlete (like Luke Willson or Korey Toomer) that the Hawks have historically pulled the trigger on right in the 5th round.

OLB Trashaun Nixon

At first glance, Trashaun doesn’t look like the same kind of SPARQ player the previous three are, but after speaking to him directly (and cross-checking with Gil Brandt’s report on the NMSU pro day), it turns out the New Mexico turf was completely shredded and the players were slipping everywhere on their agility tests. So his SPARQ number of 112.1 comes with an asterisk. Assuming improved numbers in shuttle and 3-cone, Nixon actually profiles really nicely to Navorro Bowman.

For Trashaun, I refer back to his tape:

Nixon can, and has, play(ed) any of the LB positions, but at 6’0"/233 I think he fits best at WILL.

CB Travis Carrie

A bit of an older player, Carrie is not only a very talented CB, but top 20 in the country in punt returns. So he could, technically, help fill in for Walter Thurmond and Golden Tate. Carrie measures 6’0"/206 with 31.88" arms and a top 13 SPARQ position ranking. He also had decent production this year, intercepting 4 passes and defending 8. Additionally, before missing 2012 with a shoulder injury, Travis had 4 picks and 13 PBU in 2011. His press coverage is some of the best I’ve seen in this class.

SS Lonnie Ballentine

Bigger than Deone Bucannon, but with 4.39 speed; Ballentine has a great SPARQ score, but little film to evaluate. Chances are he’s more Winston Guy than Kam Chancellor, but he still looks like a Seahawk.

LEO Elhadji Ndiaye

So, so raw, but such incredible athleticism.

WR Josh Huff

I’m not sure if Huff is a 4th or a 5th, but the Seahawks had him in to VMAC for a visit, and Huff does enough catching the ball, running after catch, and on special teams to be a great value in the 5th.

The draft depth chart (these are players I’m very okay with drafting in the following rounds):

CB: 6th- Dontae Johnson, 7th-Mohammed Seisay

DE: 6th-Zach Moore

LEO: 6th- Jayrone Elliott, UDFA- Randall Johnson

DT: 4th-Caraun Reid, 7th- Roy Philon, UDFA-Romelle Jones

OG: 5th- Ryan Groy, 6th-Wesley Johnson, 7th-Tyler Shatley

OT: 5th- Michael Schofield, 6th- Pierce Burton, UDFA-Ulrick John

OLB: 4th- Kevin Pierre-Louis, 6th-Carlos Fields

ILB: 5th- Preston Brown, 6th- Xavius Boyd, 7th- Avery Williamson

FS: 7th-Darwin Cook

SS: 6th- Ahmad Dixon, 7th- Jeremy Deering, 7th- John Ojo

TE: 5th- Crockett Gillmore, 6th- Marcel Jensen, UDFA- Chase Dixon

WR: 6th- Rashad Lawrence, 6th- Jonathan Krause, UDFA- Brelan Chancellor

RB: 2nd- Bishop Sankey, 5th- Stephen Houston

In the end, I feel really good about most of the defensive players I've chosen. I have my doubts that the Seahawks see Devin Street and some of the OT as I see them. And I don't know where a 2nd trade-back will happen, but it needs to happen to help get our picks up into the 9 range.

Ultimately, if the Seahawks come away with three or four players I've highlighted (including those on the depth chart), it would seem to me to have been an excellent draft.

Thank you all for reading my Gems all year and thank you for following me on Twitter. If you're not already doing so, I'm @jaredstanger and I will be live-tweeting most of the draft day two and three. Watch the agony and ecstasy unfold in real time! #GoHawks

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