Matt's 2013 NFL Mock Draft - 1st Edition: The Seahawks draft a tight end

Chris Trotman

Who will the Seahawks reach for this year? Will it make us happy, angry, or excited??

Let me begin by saying that doing a mock for a specific team is a lot more fun than doing a mock for an entire round. When I'm doing a mock for a specific team, I can carefully study that team and its needs, and I only need a cursory knowledge of the prospects at a given spot in a given round. But when I'm doing an entire round, I have to not only have a feel for where each prospect should go, I have to research each individual team to get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses and needs. As I learn more about each team, I rearrange their needs. But at the same time, as I learn more about each prospect, I rearrange their rankings. So mock drafts and prospect rankings are both very fluid, imperfect exercises.

I've had mixed feelings about mock drafts in the past. They're a lot of fun to read, but there is so much guesswork involved that it seems like a futile exercise. So when Danny brought up the idea of doing a series of mocks, I wanted to do something different than the typical "rearranging of all the consensus first-round prospects" that you guys can find by googling "mock draft." When you consider our front office's drafting history, only looking at the consensus first-round guys seems particularly short-sighted.

I decided I would focus on several guys who might not be regularly discussed as first-round picks, for whatever reason. Perhaps it's due to character concerns, scheme questions, health problems, consistency issues, or lack of a well-rounded game. Whatever it is, the guys I'll be looking at in this series are (at least currently) not in most first-round discussions, but I believe they possess particular "first-round quality" aspects of their skillsets that could ultimately merit their selection by the Seahawks at the 25th slot in the upcoming draft.

Some caveats:

- I've already made the list of prospects I'm going to cover, so it's possible that some of them may find their stock "rise" between now and the time I actually get to them. It's important to remember that most NFL teams have had their boards all but set for months now, and things like the Senior Bowl and the Combine are only for making minor tweaks to those rankings. Much of the draft stock variation we see is only a matter of everyone getting caught up to the guys who do it for a living.

- All of the picks I'll be selecting for the Seahawks in this series will be 'reaches,' by definition of the exercise. So please don't comment on the article saying "OMG THERES NO WAY THEY"LL TAKE THAT GUY THERE I NEVER SEEN HIM IN A MOCK BEFOAR." Personally, I believe the Seahawks are uniquely positioned to take advantage of guys with certain elite skills who may not have perfectly well-rounded games.

They've talked repeatedly about focusing on "what a guy can do, not what he can't do." Since they could take the same roster into next season and be considered a contender for the NFC title, I don't think they necessarily need to look for core players this year. They can afford to invest in key role players and scheme to maximize their strengths.

- While I'm not super experienced with this whole amateur draftnik thing, I've spent a ton (a ton) of time on it, so please know that and take it into consideration. That being said, I know I have tons to learn, so please don't hesitate to offer any criticism you feel is merited.

Finally, if for no other reason than to establish some sort of "street cred," for this series, I only did one mock draft last year, and though the rounds were incorrect, I mocked Russell Wilson and Bruce Irvin to the Seahawks, plus predicted they'd take a 2nd round middle linebacker and 4th round running back. I'll link it here; please forgive the source. While I missed on the first pick, I like to make myself feel better by reminding myself that I did get the player and draft slot matched right (the Eagles drafted Cox with the pick they received from the Seahawks). And I think Seattle would take Cox if he was in the draft this year and was available to them. I think it was pretty apparent that the Seahawks wanted Mychal Kendricks in the second, so I was pretty close on that pick as well. I honestly wasn't as high on Wagner as I should've been.

You'll see some familiar faces with my 3rd and 6th round picks. I did the mock about a month before the draft, and I was a little hesitant to go against the consensus so much so soon. However, I really warmed up on both of them to the point where I wanted the Seahawks to trade back up into the bottom of the first for Irvin (no proof of this), and I was convinced Russ would be an NFL starter and I wanted it to be with the Seahawks.

I didn't get the player right in the 4th round, but I got the position right (and you'll notice I mentioned Turbin as an alternate--I was high on him as well). That's the thing with mock drafts, especially as you get into later rounds: actually nailing specific players to specific teams is almost more luck than anything. I'd consider it a win as a mock drafter if you can peg the correct position to the correct team, or the correct player in the correct slot. Bonus points for getting the right player to the right team in the right slot. For what it's worth, Miles Burris went to the Raiders in the 4th round, way ahead of any projection. He had a solid year for Oakland (62 tackles, two sacks, five TFL, eight QB hits, four PDs, and a pick).

Finally, I predicted the Jason Jones signing early on in the offseason as I looked for hybrid defenders who would fit the Hawks D. My best proof is here. Anyways, so there, I suppose that means I might have an eye for what the Seahawks are looking for, if nothing else. Now let's get on to discussing stuff that may happen this year.

* * * * * * * * * *

1. Kansas City Chiefs



Matt Barkley - QB, USC - 6'1", 230

I've really gone back and forth on this pick, and for now I'm just gonna stick with my rankings. Barkley is my top QB in this class. He's spent four years as a starter in an NFL-style passing offense, and he's shown he can effectively make all the throws requisite to an NFL QB.

At 6'1" and 230 lbs., he's on the shorter side, but still built plenty well for the position. He moves well in the pocket and uses good mechanics to throw with touch and velocity. He's been unfairly knocked by many for his arm strength. Don't listen to them. His arm is more than strong enough, particularly given his accuracy and decision-making. He may not have Matt Stafford's cannon, but he also doesn't have Stafford's shoddy mechanics and questionable decision-making.

I've seen people knock him for the fact that he's commanded an offense with so much talent, implying that he was supported by the talent, rather than the other way around. I don't believe that to be the case; but even if it's true, I can hardly think of a better fit than with the QB guru himself, Andy Reid, in an offense as multiple and talented as the Chiefs'. They have a solid OL and a plethora of great weapons. All they need is a QB, and I think this is a match made in heaven.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars


Barkevious Mingo - LEO, LSU - 6'4", 240

Gus Bradley has taken the reins of a Jaguars' defense that has actually been pretty good in recent years. According to Football Outsiders, they ranked 5th against the pass and 5th against the run in 2011. I have a feeling we'll spend quite a bit more time talking about who Gus will select here, so it'll be interesting to see how much of Pete's system he takes with him. In this case, I'm assuming he'll institute the LEO defense he learned under Carroll. I think Mingo would be a fantastic LEO. He's perhaps the most explosive pass-rusher in the draft, and he has the length and flexibility to consistently bend the edge.

3. Oakland Raiders


Geno Smith - QB, WVU - 6'3", 220

The Raiders could go a number of directions here. They need talent on the defensive side of the ball. Heck, they need talent all over. Reggie McKenzie is from the same Ron Wolf school of general managing that John Schneider graduated from, so in this case, I think he'll jump at the opportunity to groom a QB of his very own. By drafting Geno, he's claiming a big, strong-armed, accurate QB with good pocket presence who can learn a lot from Carson Palmer.

4. Philadelphia Eagles


Eric Fisher - OT, CMU - 6'7", 305

This pick will raise some eyebrows, and that's fine. I'm one of a small but growing minority who question Luke Joeckel's status as the best OT in the draft. Personally, I'm not 100% convinced he was the best OT on his own team.

Fisher is a huge, athletic tackle who never faced many quality NFL pass rushers at Central Michigan, leading many to question the projectability of his game, to coin a term. However, after wowing everyone in his Senior Bowl matchups against guys like Datone Jones and Alex Okafor, he's improved his stock from the mid-first to potentially the top 5. He's nimble but strong and plays with an edge indicative of a chip on his shoulder. I think he'd fit well in a high-paced Chip Kelly offense.

5. Detroit Lions


Dee Milliner - CB, 'Bama - 6'1", 198

The Lions desperately need help in the secondary, and in my opinion, Milliner is the top defensive back in the draft. It's that simple, really. I've seen people projecting defensive ends to the Lions, presumably to replace Cliff Avril. But I think there are plenty of other places they can get a DE, including later in the draft. There are some quality, underrated names in the 2nd-4th rounds, and honestly, when you're already starting guys like--well, let me put it this way: quick, name a Lions cornerback! Yeah, there ya go.

6. Cleveland Browns


Bjoern Werner - DE, FSU - 6'4", 256

Ray Horton is taking his Dick LeBeau-inspired 3-4 to Cleveland as the Browns defensive coordinator. I think they actually have pretty decent personnel for the switch. Between Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin, and Billy Wynn, they have the makings for a good DL. Jabaal Sheard could actually play 3-4 OLB quite well in my opinion, and they have a plethora of solid, young inside linebackers to choose from (D'Qwell Jackson, James-Michael Johnson, Tank Carder, Kaluka Maiava, Craig Robertson).

However, Juqua Parker is getting pretty old, and Werner represents the best player on the board at a position of need. He's strong and quick off the ball, plays with powerful, active hands, and as a latecomer to the game, he has yet to sniff his ceiling. His relentless style would fit in well with an already very talented defense.

7. Arizona Cardinals


Luke Joeckel - OT, TAMU - 6'6", 310

Must I explain this pick? I mean, did you SEE that offensive line this year? It was offensive! While I rate Fisher higher, I think Joeckel has the potential to become a very good LT in the NFL. He's ridiculously athletic for his size. He is smooth and polished and has great mechanics, though he did struggle at times against pure power rushers (see his tape against Lerentee McCray of Florida) and rushers who can convert speed to power (see his tape vs Sam Montgomery of LSU), letting his footwork go a bit and starting to bend and the waist and reach. However, I have no doubts that a player with his combination of athleticism, speed, and strength can start from day one at the next level.

8. Buffalo Bills


Damontre Moore - DE, TAMU - 6'4", 250

A lot of people think Moore may end up the best defender in this class. I could see it, if for no other reason than because he's so relentless he won't settle for less. He's not the most explosive or strongest pass rusher available, so it's easy to be underwhelmed by him when you first watch him. He doesn't jump out as elite in any way. But he's very good in nearly every way, and it's reflected in his college stat lines. He's experienced as a 3-4 standup rusher and as a true 4-3 defensive end, so he'll fit in well with Mike Pettine's Buffalo defense.

9. New York Jets


Dion Jordan - DE/OLB, Oregon - 6'7", 240

A 6'7" 240lb former TE who can rush the power with eye-popping burst and intensity on one play, then line up in the slot and run down the seam with a WR on the next? I think Rex Ryan might like Dion Jordan more than feet.

The Jets could really use some help on offense, but I think it's pretty obvious where that needs to start. Apart from some mad Idzik magic, they're going to be rolling with Mark Sanchez again next year, and I think investing big capital into their offense right now would be the epitome of polishing a turd. And there isn't an offensive player worth drafting at this point anyways, except maybe an offensive lineman, so I wouldn't be surprised with a pick like that. As it is, I think they'd be very happy with the crazy upside this freakish Duck offers.

10. Tennessee Titans


Chance Warmack - OG, 'Bama - 6'2", 322

The Titans ended 2012 with a 19th-ranked run defense and a 29th-ranked pass defense, so I could see this pick being used to solve some of those woes. However, one way of improving a poor defense is not having a terrible offense. The 2012 Titans ranked in the bottom five in both run and pass DVOA. Steve Hutchinson is getting older and worse, and Deuce Lutui started several games for the Titans last year. They could use a generational OG talent.

That's Chance Warmack. Honestly, he's a steal at this pick. He's athletic and talented enough to even play tackle in a pinch, though he's probably a bit too short for that. He's one of the most dominating guards I've ever watched, both as a stout pass protector, and as a mauler on the move, taking on defensive tackles and springing to the next level after linebackers. He'll be a long-term starter who will end up in many a Pro Bowl.

11. San Diego Chargers


Lane Johnson - OT, OU - 6'6", 302

Lane is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. His positional journey is amusing: a high-school QB drafted as a tight end who switched to defensive end then to right tackle but ultimately ended up at left tackle. If you watch his tape, you'll actually see him switch from LT to RT and back within individual drives. He still shows signs of rawness in his technique from time to time, but he's quick, explosive, and nasty--in a good way. He engages defenders in space and seals them off well with his long arms (longer than Fisher's). He has a powerful upper body and strong hands that combine with his quick feet and long arms to make him a tenacious and effective pass-protector.

The Chargers desperately need offensive line help to keep Philip Rivers upright, and Johnson fits the bill.

12. Miami Dolphins


Cordarrelle Patterson - WR, Tenn - 6'3", 205

I'm not really sure about this pick. It's become en vogue for draftniks to just project their personal top WR to the Dolphins at this point. They definitely need receivers. However, I'm inclined to think they may take their $48m in cap space make a big play for someone like Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, or Greg Jennings (who I think has more in the tank than many give him credit for). But since I'm not including trades in this mock, I shouldn't guess on free agent moves either, so I'll just deal with the team as it is.

And as it is, they need WRs. Patterson is the epitome of a boom-or-bust player. He has some of the most incredibly dynamic plays of the year, as a runner, receiver, and returner. He also has some of the most mind-boggling, frustrating brain farts of the year. So, is he Torrey Smith or is he Darrius Heyward-Bey?

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Xavier Rhodes - CB, FSU - 6'1", 217

The Bucs have recently invested a lot of capital in their defensive line, their wide receiver corps, their offensive line, their linebackers, and their secondary. Eric Wright is a good starting point, and Leonard Johnson is actually a great nickel corner, but they could really use a pure shutdown CB, and I think Rhodes can provide that. He's big, physical, and smart, which makes up for his relative lack of footspeed. He's a prototypical bump-and-run corner, and he will help the Bucs in a division full of crazy passing talent.

14. Carolina Panthers


Sharrif Floyd - DT, Florida - 6'3", 303

With the recent talk of Floyd being a top 10 lock, perhaps this would end up as a big steal. Either way, the Panthers desperately need help in their interior defensive line. Dwan Edwards is 31 and a free agent, and Sione Fua has been ineffective, unhealthy, or both. The Panthers have a talented young triumvirate of defensive ends in Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson, and Frank Alexander, and Fua and Frank Kearse are solid rotational players.

Floyd is fiery, explosive kid who can line up across the line at 5-tech, 3-tech, and even 0-tech. He gets great penetration with strong hands and the quickness to avoid blocks. He is strong against the run and the pass, and at 21, his potential is through the roof. His impact on the line would really enhance the effectiveness of Hardy and Johnson.

15. New Orleans Saints


Sheldon Richardson - DT, Mizzou - 6'3", 295

The Saints are moving to a 3-4 this year. It's probably a good move. Pretty much any move would be a good move after giving up an NFL record 7,042 yards last season. While the move was initially met with much scoffing and eyebrow-raising, I actually think a lot of their young personnel fit a 3-4 pretty well. I have a feeling Junior Galette might blow up next year if he's properly used as a rush OLB. However, they could use some more pure defensive line talent, especially if Sedrick Ellis leaves in free agency. Will Smith is getting a bit long in the tooth and might find himself a cap casualty, though he's still a talented player.

Richardson would fit into a Saints 3-4 like a hand in a glove. He can play DE in their base looks, then move inside on passing downs. They could generate some awesome pressure looks with him, Jordan, and Galette. He's a great value pick at 15.

16. St. Louis Rams


Jonathan Cooper - OG, UNC - 6'3, 298

Cooper is one of the feistiest, most aggressive guards I've watched. He's lithe, agile, and ridiculously quick for his size. He listed at 6'3" and about 300 pounds, but he often looks like a bigger tight end as he springs to the second level (reminds me a bit of J.R. Sweezy sometimes). He's downright fast for an offensive lineman. Beyond that, though, he's technically savvy and fundamentally sound in pass protection and run-blocking. From all the reports I've read, NFL teams are extremely high on him due to his intelligence and athleticism.

At this point, the Rams need any upgrade they can get for their offensive line. With Fisher, Joeckel, Johnson, and Warmack already off the board, Cooper is the top offensive lineman available, and he'd be a good upgrade. For a little something extra, here's this, one of my favorite little things I've come across this year.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers


Star Lotulelei - DT, Utah - 6'3", 320

With Casey Hampton reportedly leaving the Steelers this offseason, Pittsburgh may be in the market for a new NT. Alameda Ta'amu could be the answer there, but he definitely won't block Star should he fall this far. In this case, the Utah DT's lack of production and inconsistent play catch up to his hype and drop him a bit in a strong, top-heavy DT class. His fall is stopped by the Steelers jumping at the opportunity to slot him between Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward, forming a huge, powerful defensive line that should play together for years to come.

18. Dallas Cowboys


Sylvester Williams - DT, UNC - 6'3", 315

The Cowboys really need offensive line help, and they may find that D.J. Fluker, Dallas Thomas, or Oday Aboushi is the guy for them here, but I think all of those picks would represent a bit of a reach, particularly with a player of Sly Williams' quality on the board. As much as they need OL help, the recent legal troubles of Josh Brent and Jay Ratliff may force their hand.

Monte Kiffin's scheme requires aggressive one-gapping linemen that attack and penetrate. This might be a perfect match for Williams. He's powerful and aggressive and capable of rushing the passer from any point along the line. His swim move is elite. He's had inconsistent motor issues that could cease to be an issue if he's in any kind of rotation at the next level. Honestly, if he was younger, he'd be a top-10 pick, no question. However, since he's already 24, he may drop to 18 for the Cowboys.

19. New York Giants


Ezekiel Ansah - DE, BYU - 6'5", 275

This pick feels lazy, but it also seems pretty likely. Many people compare Ziggy to Jason Pierre-Paul, and that's very lazy. They have little in common, apart from entering the draft as raw black defensive ends with limited experience even playing football. Ansah lacks JPP's elite speed and freak-off-the-edge pass-rushing talent. He's a different kind of player. When he makes plays, it's typically with power and balance. He's better against the run than JPP was coming out of college, but he hasn't quite developed the elite pass-rushing move that could propel him into super stardom. Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiawanuka, and perhaps Osi Umenyiora represent perhaps the best collection of pure pass rush talent in the NFL, and they could help him realize his immense potential.

20. Chicago Bears


D.J. Fluker - OL, 'Bama - 6'5", 355

I may be higher on Fluker than some. I'm not sure he'll be able to stick at OT in the NFL, but I think he can be an absolutely dominant guard. He's a massive man with crazy long arms. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of James Carpenter: a huge, aggressive steamroller of a run-blocker who can struggle with heavy feet in pass protection. If he can't last at RT, he has the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowl guard, and that's the type of OL talent Chicago needs.

21. Cincinnati Bengals


Arthur Brown - LB, KSU - 6'1", 230

Rey Maualuga has continued to struggle from year to year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bengals let him walk as a free agent this year. In this scenario, they have the choice of the inside linebacker class, and they take my top ILB in the class. Some people knock Brown for his size, but I challenge you to watch him play and tell me if you think he looks 6'1" and 230lbs. He plays with terrific leverage and awareness, and will be an asset in both the run game and in coverage. The Bengals can play him at Mike or Will and trust him as a multi-year starter.

22. St. Louis Rams


DeAndre Hopkins - WR, Clemson - 6'1", 200

It's brutal thinking about the Rams having so many picks in this draft. They have the opportunity to add some serious talent to an already fringe playoff team. In this case they take my personal top wide receiver in the draft. My favorite comp for Hopkins is Roddy White, and I think he can be to Sam Bradford what White has been to Matt Ryan: a consistent, reliable possession receiver with the ability to win consistently over the top, as well as stretch defenses with the ball in his hands.

23. Minnesota Vikings


Keenan Allen - WR, Cal - 6'3", 210

The Vikings just miss out on the best all-around WR in the class, but Allen isn't a bad consolation prize. He's a big, talented hands-catcher with surprising agility and quickness for his size. He's not an elite deep threat, but he can be reliable threat over the middle with enough YAC ability to keep defenses honest. Unfortunately for him, he's going from the ball-and-chain that is Zach Maynard to not-much-of-an-upgrade Christian Ponder. Poor Keenan Allen.

24. Indianapolis Colts


Alec Ogletree - LB, Georgia - 6'3", 235

The Colts have quite a few holes. They need offensive line help and maybe a running back, and they could use some upgrades in their secondary. But they also need to improve their front seven, and there are higher-rated options there for them to look at. In this case, they pick up an ILB prospect with a crazy-high ceiling. On potential alone, Ogletree could go top 10, and it wouldn't surprise me if he did. However, he's pretty raw and does have some holes in his game, so he slips this far. He can partner with Pat Angerer to shut down the middle of the Colts' hybrid 3-4 defense, and his abilities as a pass-rusher could provide some dynamic blitz opportunities in third-and-long situations.

25. Seattle Seahawks


Jordan Reed - TE, Florida - 6'3", 243

*see write-up below*

26. Green Bay Packers


Travis Kelce - TE, Cincinnati - 6'5", 260

Nobody is talking about this guy now, but he's the most complete TE in the class, and in my opinion, a shoo-in first round pick. The Packers can let Jermichael Finley walk and replace him with a devastating blocker whose surprising speed and nimble feet make him a reliable threat in GB's passing attack.

27. Houston Texans


Tavon Austin - WR, WVU - 5'9", 175

It's possible they take a CB like Johnthan Banks here (so they can have two guys who don't spell it 'Jonathan'), but I think Austin's playmaking ability will be too good to pass up. He could very easily go a lot higher than this, and I think the Texans would jump on him (though not too hard, he's kinda small). After Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, the receiving corps gets pretty thin, especially since DeVier Posey tore his Achilles in the playoff game against New England. This flashy little speedster can shred defenses underneath, and as a deep threat off of play-action, he'll leave safeties torn between him and Johnson. So they'll play Cover 2 to contain both of them, and then, hello Owen Daniels up the seam!

28. Denver Broncos


Robert Woods - WR, USC - 6'1", 190

I could also see them taking a DT like Kawann Short or a CB like Johnthan Banks, but something about Woods just keeps him slotted right here for me. I think it's probably how much he reminds me of Reggie Wayne. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker continue to be a fantastic X and Z duo, but with Stokley likely moving on, the Broncos can maximize the production of the Peyton Manning era and give him another dynamic possession receiver.

29. New England Patriots


Markus Wheaton - WR, OSU - 5'11", 185

Wes Welker and Deion Branch are both free agents, and Brandon Lloyd only has one more year on his contract. The Patriots really need an infusion of young talent in their receiving corps, but a run on receivers in the previous several picks has them selecting the sixth WR off the board. That's just fine for them, though, because they're getting a real gem. Danny loves Wheaton. I think he compares pretty well to Mike Wallace. He's absurdly fast (beat De'Anthony Thomas in a 100m dash) and he's always a threat to score when he has the ball. He's actually a pretty route-runner, and he's adept at beating press coverage. He can operate on the edge or out of the slot. Suffice it to say, the NFL doesn't want to see this guy on the Patriots.

30. Atlanta Falcons


Tyler Eifert - TE, ND - 6'5", 252

The Falcons would be delighted to snag Eifert, considered by many to be the top TE in the nation. He can step right in the shoes of the likely-departing Tony Gonzalez. He's a dynamic pass-catcher. He can high-point a ball better than most wide receivers. His blocking leaves a bit to be desired--though not for lack of effort--but that's ok, the Falcons are used to that with Gonzalez.

31. Baltimore Ravens


Kevin Minter - LB, LSU - 6'1", 245

The Ravens find their replacement for Ray Lewis. Though he's not a household name (yet), Minter could end up the best inside linebacker prospect in the draft. He's almost exactly the same size as Lewis, and has a similarly ferocious on-field persona. He is instinctive and cerebral and would slot in perfectly to the Baltimore scheme.

32. San Francisco 49ers


Jesse Williams - DT, 'Bama - 6'3", 320

Isaac Sopoaga is a free agent, and he underwhelmed this year. This Alabama wonder from Down Under can step into the Niners' talented defensive front and make an impact from the get-go. He is enormously strong and powerfully stout at the point of attack. He's relatively new to the game and won't generate much pass pressure, but he won't need to with the Smith Bros. in his hip pocket.

* * * * * * * * * *

Discussing the Seahawks' Pick

So why Jordan Reed? Well, I'm guessing most of you are asking "WHO is Jordan Reed?", so I'll tell you. The junior TE was the Gators' leading receiver this year, with 45 receptions for 559 yards and three TDs. He had 79 receptions for 945 yards and six TDs in his career, so apart from his 77 carries for 238 yards and five TDs as a freshman, he doesn't really stand out to any box score scouts. If you pop in his tape, though, you'll see his potential.

He's a graceful mover, so he doesn't immediately jump out as one of the best athletes on the field. But he is. At 6'3" and around 245 pounds, he looks more like a big wide receiver than a tight end. He's quick and agile in ways a tight end just shouldn't be. His straight line speed is incredible for a tight end.

Watch this video of him returning an onside kick against South Carolina. See that South Carolina player in the #1 jersey? That's Ace Sanders, the 5'7" wide receiver who may run in the 4.30's in the upcoming combine. They both take off from about the 47 yard line. Sanders is slightly ahead of him but Reed has slightly more momentum. Sanders is definitely faster, but it takes him almost a whole forty yards to pull even with Reed enough to attempt a tackle. I wouldn't be surprised if Reed ran in the 4.50's at the Combine.

The pinnacle of his college career, in my opinion, and the moment that really sold me on his potential came in his game against TAMU. Start here, at the 2nd & 13 play with 4:20 left in the 2nd quarter. That kind of agility, burst, and open-field vision is pretty unprecedented among TEs. There's only one that I've seen make those types of plays recently: Aaron Hernandez. He's exactly who I thought of when I watched Reed against TAMU. Shortly thereafter, I came across an excellent article by Matt Waldman. I could continue to break Reed down for you, but I'm afraid just start plagiarizing Matt, so I 'll just link you to the article and let you read away (by the way, read everything Matt Waldman writes... seriously, just do it).

My biggest concerns with Reed would be health and blocking. He's already fought through some injuries in college, and it's possible that his slender frame might not hold up well under an NFL workload. I've heard from some people that he seems to bit of a diva. I don't really see it. Far be it from me to speculate about a player's character, in general. I wonder about his coachability, with regard to issues like the way he carries the ball when he runs and his blocking technique. But I don't have any doubts that he's a big competitor. When he fumbled the game away against Georgia this year, he was devastated on the sidelines and by all accounts he really blamed himself for the loss. And when I watch interviews with him, whether early in his college career or more recently, I see a calmly confident, hard-working, passionate kid. He recognizes that blocking isn't his strength, which is the first step, right?

So how does he fit the Seahawks? And specifically, why might the Seahawks be drawn to him in the first round more than other teams? His playmaking ability would be a huge asset in the offense. His experience and ability to line up in the backfield, inline, in the slot, and out on the wing would create major matchup issues for opposing defenses. His height, leaping ability, and soft hands would make him a great target underneath for Russell Wilson, freeing up Golden Tate and Sidney Rice to work over the top of the defense. And his proficiency as sitting down in zones and working back toward the quarterback be invaluable when Russell inevitably extends a play outside the picket.

The Seahawks don't need a proficient blocking TE--they already have two. People have argued whether they need a wide receiver or a tight end more. I present to you the best of both worlds.

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