Kiper has Seattle taking Johnathan Hankins, McShay goes with Sam Montgomery
I realize it's a bit cheesy to bring up the Mel Kiper/Todd McShay mock drafts here but it's draft season so what the hell. Here goes. Kiper and McShay released their respective versions 2.0 this morning, and for those of you that don't have ESPN Insider access, here's what they said about the Seahawks and what the see Seattle doing, and here's what I think of their analysis. Obviously, many caveats apply - this is still early, the Combine has yet to happen, free agency has yet to happen, and Kiper particularly doesn't seem to have a strong grasp on the reality of what Seattle likes to do in the Draft. Nonetheless:
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St: AGE: 21 HT: 6-3 WT: 335 POS: DT
Analysis: Another good spot for someone to call and trade up. As for the pick, if Seattle wants a penetrator on the interior of the D-line, Hankins really isn't that guy. He doesn't have the burst to split gaps and create havoc behind the line of scrimmage. What he can do is occupy multiple blockers, help other rushers find space and better matchups and make the Seahawks more difficult to run against as he holds up blockers intent on getting a body in front of Seattle's tandem of great LBs in K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Hankins is an impact guy when his motor is running and will particularly make a run defense sturdier immediately.
I've seen Hankins projected to the Seahawks a few times - he's a 6-3, 335 pound nose tackle and is NFLDraftScout.com's 5th rated DT. He's quick footed and athletic for his size but as Kiper points out, isn't exactly the prototypical attacking defensive tackle. If Seattle were to go this route, it almost seems like they'd have to move Brandon Mebane back to 3-technique, lined up over the guards' outside shoulder, and put Hankins over center at nose tackle, either one-gapping or two-gapping. The only reason I wouldn't hate this pick is that Hankins can also play on the outside as well in Red Bryant's spot, so theoretically he'd provide depth at two to three positions. That said... it's depth, and the Seahawks' pass rush doesn't necessarily get a boost here.
In this scenario, Hankins would be the 5th DT off the board and the 11th defensive lineman to be picked (counting 3-4 OLB/4-3 DE types), and isn't necessarily a great fit, so it goes back to what I was talking about yesterday with regards to the offensive line -- do you want the Seahawks to take a defensive lineman for the sake of getting a DT/DE, or would you rather have them select a dynamic, game-changing player at a position that is deemed 'less of a need' but is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th best graded player at that spot? Personally, I'm not a huge fan of this pick, though I would acknowledge that depth on the defensive line is still very important.
In Mel Kiper's defense, I do like how he starts the pick analysis off: "Another good spot for someone to call and trade up." In this scenario, with the four defensive tackles I'd have more interest in already off the board (Star Lotulelei (3), Sheldon Richardson (14), Sharrif Floyd (15), and Sylvester Williams (23)), I'd suggest the Seahawks go with another position or player that they love, or field trade-up calls, picking up an additional second and change.
Sam Montgomery, LSU: AGE: 22 HT: 6-5 WT: 260 POS: DE
Seattle's defense was strong overall in 2012, but DE Chris Clemons tore his ACL late in the season and Bruce Irvin is at his best as a sub-package rusher. Montgomery has the size and strength to start opposite Red Bryant and help beef up Seattle's run defense.
Again, not a huge fan of this pick (actually I hate this pick), though I've seen people making this connection. Watching Montgomery on tape - and I'll admit I haven't scouted him closely so there's a large chance people may disagree with me here - but the first thing that sticks out to me - my first impression, which Derek Stephens noted recently is something that you should take seriously - is that he looks slow. I can't put a finger on it, but when he moves, he just looks like he's lumbering around.
Seattle wants their LEO end to be explosive and fast - nay, explosively fast - but watching Montgomery run in straight line is a bit painful. He's a big man, powerful and had a great career at LSU, which is why he's projected in the first round, but when I look at Montgomery I don't see Chris Clemons. I just don't. At all.
Clemons is a gazelle when you get him in space, and he has lightning fast feet and quick-twitch explosiveness for his size. He's light on his feet and uses spin moves, a quick first step, and stunts to get to the quarterback. Montgomery has the size you'd like for the position, but I just don't see the match, because I don't know if you could do any of the above with Montgomery to get pressure. Hell, McShay even notes that Montgomery would help beef up Seattle's run defense, not mentioning anything about the need to get pressure on the quarterback from the LEO spot. I'd say Montgomery has a future in someone's scheme, but Seattle's? No.
Not only this, but Montgomery's work ethic has been called into question, and he was infamously put on blast by his strength and conditioning coach for not doing his work in the weight room. Just not a guy that I'm high on, obviously. Let me know if you feel differently.
Finally, again, in this scenario, Montgomery is the SEVENTH rush defensive end off the board, and the 12th defensive lineman selected. Get better value by choosing a player that is 3rd or 4th best at his position, if not better. Still on the board in McShay's mock? G Jonathan Cooper, TE Zach Ertz, T D.J. Fluker, -- nevermind. Jonathan Cooper is still on the board - if you take arguably the 7th best DE (or worse) and not the 2nd best guard, I'm gonna be pissed.