Mike Mayock published his final pre-draft positional rankings on Wednesday and I thought I'd post them here and offer some of my thoughts. Why do we talk about Mayock around here so often? He appears to be smart, he's eloquent, and he backs up his opinions with hours and hours of game tape study. He's a former player, and he takes his craft - NFL and CFB analysis - seriously. I'm not personally endorsing all of his opinions, but in my opinion his opinion is an opinion that you can put some stock into. When he opines on something, I take it into consideration. Ok, now that I have an acceptable-length introductory paragraph, let's look at Mike Mayock's positional rankings, as they relate to the Seahawks. Because this is a Seahawks blog, and you might have realized recently that the NFL Draft is
tomorrow in a few hours, and the Seahawks will be picking players that will become Seahawks, hopefully.
Notes: Welp, Andrew Luck and RG3 have pretty much nothing to do with the Seahawks, going to Washington DC and Indianapolis. Out of our division, thankfully. Ryan Tannehill is an option for the Seahawks at 12, and if he falls to there I could actually see them considering taking him. Ultimately, I don't think it will come to that, as I believe he'll go to Miami at #8.
Brandon Weeden is 29, which will hurt his stock with many teams. I think that his age may hurt his chances of becoming a Seahawk, especially considering the Hawks appear to be content with Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn for this season. Also, as we've pretty much ignored him until this point, why start talking about him now? Watch the Seahawks take Brandon Weeden. That'd be funny.
Kirk Cousins comes in 5th on Mayock's rankings, which is actually pretty interesting, considering he comes in a notch above Brock Osweiler - who has been connected to the Seahawks quite a bit, and also Russell Wilson, another potential target. Still, the Seahawks have also been rumored to like Cousins a lot as well - he's a game-manager type with leadership qualities that you could develop as a future backup. He had an impressive Senior Bowl and Combine, showing decent arm strength and accuracy, and I could see the Seahawks taking a look in the 3rd round or so. Still, I wouldn't guess they'd reach much higher than that for a guy with that low of a ceiling (in my opinion). Still, I thought the same thing about Andy Dalton last year and he played pretty well for the Bengals. I will be interested to see how far Cousins falls come Friday or Saturday.
New entry: Pead
Rise: James (5)
Out: Lamar Miller, Miami (4)
Notes: Still no sign of Chris Polk, and another guy that some of us are pretty high on around these parts, Lamar Miller, falls out of the top five. The first two are predictable - Richardson and Martin are pretty much one-two in everyone's rankings, and David Wilson is a familiar name in there as well. LaMichael James gets some love from Mayock, and I must admit I've been coming around on the idea of grabbing James somewhere in the 3rd or 4th. He's that home-run hitting back that the Seahawks don't currently really have on their roster, apt on the outside or running up the middle. From everything I read, his size is deceptive, and he runs with enough power that would make him a versatile 3rd down option for the Seahawks.
It could be argued that he's redundant with Leon Washington - which might be true. Leon is also 29 years old, and won't be around for more than another year or two most likely.
As for Isaiah Pead - he projects similarly to James - a speedy, shifty 3rd down back that has the potential to see more action because of his versatility. Interestingly, Greg Cosell likens Pead to one Jamaal Charles, when Charles was coming out of Texas. If this doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what would. As Cosell said:
[Pead] was a decisive downhill runner with outstanding short-area burst. He went from zero to 60 in a heartbeat. Pead showed dynamic open-field instincts; he was naturally shifty and elusive with explosive change of direction. While not a big back (197 pounds), he was a tough and physical runner, just not strong and powerful. Pead was a natural catcher; he will provide alignment versatility in the passing game. I see some similarities to Jamaal Charles when he came out of the University of Texas. Charles was a third-round pick in 2008.
I've been on the "let's get a big back to back up Marshawn Lynch" train for pretty much the whole offseason, still thinking that if the Seahawks wanted a smaller, shifty guy, they'd have used Leon a little more last season. Now, I'm definitely coming around to the idea of a scat back like LaMichael James or Isaiah Pead simply for their explosive home run element and abilities in the pass game. Change the game in one fail swoop types of guys. We saw the way the Seahawks struggled with the smaller backs this past season and I certainly don't want our offense to be one-dimensional.
Too, they mesh well with Pete Carroll's love of explosive plays. It will be interesting.
Notes: Nothing all that interesting here - Blackmon/Floyd early; Wright and Hill likely in the first round. Alshon Jeffrey will probably go in the early 2nd, though I suppose there is a decent chance he's there at #43, when the Hawks pick. If so, I guess you'd have to consider him - though I, for some reason, just don't see it. My guess is that the Hawks will target receivers in the 4th-6th round range. Marvin Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Marvin McNutt, Chris Givens, to name a few.
Notes: The tight end group will be interesting - after Fleener and Allen, there's a pretty big dropoff in talent, and the fact that James Hanna is in Mayock's top-five says something, considering he's projected as a 5th or 6th rounder (though, after his off the charts Combine, that might be underrating him).
My guess here is that the Seahawks will either strike early or not strike at all in the tight end group. They'll likely comb the ranks of rookie free agency for that diamond in the rough - David Paulson, Drake Dunsmore, Adrien Robinson, or Derek Carrier, for instance. The Seahawks have a way of pulling prospects out of their asses from Div-II Lower Albuquerque (I made that up) that had one thousand catches in his career at a lower level and has great athleticism. Keep your eye on that.
However - if they do in fact do something I don't predict, which would be... well, not surprising, some guys in the mid to late rounds to keep your eyes on include Michael Egnew of Missouri, DeAngelo Peterson of LSU, and Chase Ford of Miami.
New entry: Allen
Rise: Glenn (5)
Out: Mike Adams, Ohio State (3)
New entry: Saulsberry
Out: Michael Brewster, Ohio State (5)
Notes: I don't know a whole lot about the offensive line class, so I'm not going to fake it. I've done very little scouting on mid to late round offensive line prospects so if any of these names pique your interest, tell me why in the commentary below!