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2015 Seattle Sea-Mock 1.0

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A 7 round Seahawks mock for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for my annual, mid-college season, Seahawks seven round mock draft! But first the disclaimer:

I’m basing this mock on the Seahawks current draft position. I’m not going to project where they’ll eventually end up (for better or worse), and then project the players they could possibly get at the spot I would be guessing they finished. That’s one too many projections. When the Seahawks’ draft position changes later in the year, I will re-mock and adjust accordingly.

As of today, the Seahawks are currently out of the playoffs. Unfortunately, they are losing a spot to Carolina, who have a worse record, but are in place to win their division. Obviously, Arizona currently holds the NFC West, with Philly and Green Bay taking the two Wildcards. This leaves Seattle (and SF) as first out. There are 5 teams sitting at 4-3 league-wide: SEA, SF, KC, MIA, CLE.

The Niners draft after Seattle based on division record. After that, I’m not really sure how ties are broken across conferences. For now, I only know Seattle is on pace to draft between 14-17 overall. After writing all four numbers on pieces of paper, and drawing from a hat…we’ll call Seattle the 17th overall pick (which happens to be one of my favorite numbers).

The three other things to keep in mind before we start talking players: 1) almost all of the player videos come from draftbreakdown.com, 2) all player draft projection numbers come from nfldraftscout.com, 3) all SPARQ info comes from our own Zach Whitman. I use draftscout because it’s the deepest reference tool in terms of volume of names, and by always using it, it allows us to keep a "control" element. This will be useful in future mocks, and/or any draft retrospectives.

Now that we’re sitting at #17, here are some of the names that are available there per draftscout: Dante Fowler, Devin Funchess, Melvin Gordon, Danny Shelton. No Shaq Thompson and no Marcus Peters.

Couple things: Funchess is interesting there based on Pete Carroll’s comments last week about Kelvin Benjamin, and the Seahawks reported interest in drafting KB last year. For comparison: Benjamin 6’5"/240/4.61 forty, Funchess 6’5"/230/projected 4.63 forty. I wouldn’t like this pick, but it sounds like PC might.

A big chunk of the Field Gulls audience overlaps with UW fans, so I KNOW people want Shelton on the Seahawks. For one, he’s an incredibly unique talent in this draft class. There are very few true nose tackles, not to mention nose tackles that can rush the passer. I wouldn’t be shocked at Shelton being the pick. But it’s not what I’ll mock.

I don’t believe in Fowler holding enough value to be the 17th overall pick. I’m not sure I’d take him anywhere in the 1st. This class is too deep on edge rushers to pick a guy this early, unless you’re pretty sure he’s a generational talent. Fowler, to me, is not. But…

This year may have a couple of generational talents at…RB. Many believe Todd Gurley is one (and the one more likely to come off the board first), with Melvin Gordon as the second off. After I found report last week that John Schneider was on campus at Wisconsin, and in their film room no less, I feel pretty confident that the Seahawks are very interested in Gordon.

Gordon is a 6’1", 207 to 215 lb, chiseled granite specimen of human potential. Currently ranking 4th in the country in rushing yards, 2nd in yds/gm, 3rd in rushing TD’s, 17th in yds/carry, 1st in carries of over 20 yards…Gordon is having an okay year. And he’s doing it for a Badger team that has no QB, leaving opponents to key almost entirely on Gordon. Wisconsin, as a team, has attempted 159 passes…Gordon, by himself, has 154 carries.

Gordon has one of the most distinct, and smoothest, running styles I’ve seen in the last 10 years. It is graceful without losing power. What Gordon lacks in shiftiness (compared to some other RB’s in this class), he makes up for with vision and decisiveness. Melvin probably gives you "one cut and go" better than anyone in this draft:

He’s also gonna blow out the combine:

In future mocks that I’ll write, I fully expect the Seahawks to be picking later, Gordon to be off the board, the Seahawks will draft one of the UW Big Dawgs (probably Kikaha), and we’ll go after a RB in the 2nd round. But, for first mock…

1.17 – Seattle Seahawks select RB, Wisconsin, Melvin Gordon

Without question, the two best position groups early in this draft are RB and DE/Edge rushers. In NFL war rooms, you can decide to attack drafts a couple different ways: you can be hyper-aggressive and try to mold the draft to your needs. Or…you can let the draft come to you. In a draft year where the Seahawks could likely use help at DT, TE, and CB; draft media have found concensus that this year is weak at CB and TE (and not top-heavy at DT); AND a year where the Hawks have cleared enough cap space to make a splashy pickup (or two) in FA, it makes the most sense to let the draft come to them.

For me, this means; if you draft a RB in the 1st, you draft a DE in the 2nd and help your recently lagging pass rush. My shortlist of DE is Louisville’s Lorenzo Mauldin (#39), UW’s Hau’oli Kikaha (#86), Utah’s Nate Orchard (#59), and Kentucky’s Bud Dupree (#25).

I don’t have a new game of Mauldin to show you, but here are some single play clips to whet your appetite:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11600684

Look at the hand work here:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11601276

Really nice closing speed:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11723188

Interior rush…might have to watch this one a couple times, it’s a blur:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9773108

Bending the edge in a way that does not make sense:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9804553

Mauldin, Kikaha, and Orchard actually demonstrate similar skill-sets, with a similar balance of speed and power, good motors, good characters, and certainly similar builds. Dupree is a bit different type. He may end up being asked to add weight and rush like Michael Bennett.

Player

Height

Weight

Sacks

TFL

QBH

TT

Hau'oli Kikaha

6'3"

246

14.5

19.5

0

50

Nate Orchard

6'4"

255

11

13.5

1

45

Lorenzo Mauldin

6'4"

252

6

11.5

7

35

Bud Dupree

6'4"

264

4

6

5

45

If we considered sacks and QB hurries together, as a singular "pressures" stat…order becomes: Kikaha, Mauldin, Orchard, Dupree. And that’s basically the order in which I think they should come off the board, between pick #28 and pick #70, and I think the first three are all worthy of pick #49, if they’re still even available. Come the combine, we’ll be looking for any of these four to post under a 4.69 forty, 1.63 10-yard split, 36" vertical, 10’ broad jump, and 33" arms.

As a quick aside…I’m not sure if I’ve ever been able to post a long-edit game highlight of Nate Orchard. This was his game against UCLA a few weeks ago.

If you come out of the 2nd round with any of these DE’s, we’re not gonna be upset. Actually, if the Seahawks come out of the first 2 rounds with any combination of RB/DE from among the names: Gordon/Abdullah/Coleman/Davis and Kikaha/Mauldin/Orchard/Dupree, it’s a pretty damn good start to your draft weekend. And many of those names/combos would still be possible under a scenario of the Seahawks drafting from, say, #32 overall.

2.49 – Seattle Seahawks select DE, Washington, Hau’oli Kikaha

We’ve now come to the end of the easy part of our mock. The first big dilemma comes in the 3rd round, #81 overall; where the options are draft for more immediate need, or take some upside that you’ll likely need to redshirt.

In the fantasy world of draftscout projections, Pittsburgh Tackle TJ Clemmings is available at #88. If that were to come true, I’d run to the podium and turn in my card with his name on it in all-caps. I think this is a bit unrealistic and underrated, though. Maybe like two rounds underrated. I would honestly consider drafting Clemmings in the 1st round, let him sit behind Okung for a year (or half a year, or however many games Okung lasts before getting hurt again), let big Russ walk after 2015, cash in a nice-sized comp pick from the loss of Okung, and then give TJ the Left Tackle gig full-time in 2016.

More realistically, you might be able to actually pull Oregon LT Jake Fisher (draftscout’s literal #81 overall), his OLine-mate Hroniss Grasu for the Center spot (#93), or reach slightly on Western Kentucky’s CB Cam Thomas (#104 overall).

From a need standpoint, you’d like to be able to find a DT in the 3rd, but the closest options are Fresno State’s Tyeler Davison (#96), or Clemson’s Grady Jarrett (#103). In the "more realistic scenario" I could see the Hawks going with Jarrett. Clemson has a very underappreciated rush defense (#8 in the country in ypc/allowed), and Jarrett posted a 4.92 forty at 290lbs at his Junior pro-day. Not the 1-tech that is probably a bigger need, but more of a guy you think about if you’re losing faith in Jordan Hill. I’m not particularly losing faith in Jordan hill.

Plus this is a fantasy mock…give me the high-upside OT who is destined to rise.

3.81 – Seattle Seahawks select OT, Pittsburgh, TJ Clemmings

We come now to another interesting point. This is the end of the 3rd round, which also will eventually mark the beginning of the compensation picks. Will the Seahawks receive a 3rd or 4th round comp for Golden Tate signing in Detroit??

I wrote on the comp picks months ago, and using the 2013 Super Bowl Champ Ravens as the example, I found that it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Hawks get a 3rd for Tate. And Tate’s production in Detroit is helping this cause every week.  Years and dollars signed, regular season stats, and postseason accolades all factor into the comp pick allotment formula. Let’s say the NFL awards four 3rd round comp picks (as they did for 2014 draft), and that Seattle gets the 100th overall pick (Baltimore received #99 last year for Paul Kruger).

If we do get that extra 3rd rounder, and we haven’t used our native 3rd to move up to draft a second time in the 2nd round, I would like to spend #100 on a CB. I’m looking to choose from between WKU’s Cam Thomas, Miami -Ohio’s Quinten Rollins, or BYU’s Robertson Daniel.

I wrote about Thomas several weeks ago, and he’s still a pretty quiet player in the media, but every time I get glimpses of him (and glimpses have been all I’ve been able to find), he just looks so much like a Seahawk corner.

Listed at 6’1"/190, Thomas is built like Jeremy Lane but plays more like Byron Maxwell. I seriously don’t have any edited video to embed (unless you want to watch a 2-hour full game), but take my word for it…awesome feet and mirroring, ability to play man or zone, and a huge motor to chase down receivers from the opposing set of numbers. So far this year, Thomas only has 1 INT and 3 PBU, but those numbers can be down if opposing QB’s are avoiding targeting Thomas’ side. In 2013, Thomas was thrown at more often and finished 18th in the country in passes defended per game and 21st in total pass defenses with 15 (5 INT, 10 PBU).

Rollins is going to be a riser pretty soon. He’s currently ranked #388 overall. He’s a 6’0"/203lb former basketball point guard for Miami-Ohio, and he holds much of the athleticism and jumping ability you’d expect for a hooper.

Look familiar? Only he tips to himself, not MalcSmitty:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11476693

Form tackle:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11439297

Rollins is sitting at 8th in the country in total passes defended, and 9th in INT’s. His number of tackles/game is a very high mark for a corner: 5.89, and add in 3.0 TFL.

Daniel is listed at 6’1"/205, ranks 28th in the country in pass defenses, and from what I can tell has a chip on his shoulder and that good ol’ pissed off for greatness vibe.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11558258

Remember this one?:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10204284

Daniel, like Rollins, is currently projected as the #329th overall player…aka UDFA status. I’m putting a 3rd-4th round value on them both now, before the rest of the country catches up. I’m mocking them here, at #100, but if the Hawks don’t get the 3rd round comp pick, they may still be there at their first pick in the 4th round.

Today, I’m going with Rob Daniel cause I re-watched BYU-Texas last night, and I really liked what he showed in terms of cover-skills, in terms of football IQ, and in terms causing turnovers. Plus that chip.

3.100 – Seattle Seahawks select CB, BYU, Robertson Daniel

The Seahawks’ 4th round in 2015 is going to be a blasty-blast! Already on deck for their native 4.117 pick, also expect them to get between 1-3 compensation picks (for their free agent losses), AND possibly the Jets’ 4th rounder for the Percy Harvin deal.

After I gave the Hawks’ a 3rd round comp for Golden, I’m giving them two comp picks here, but not the 4th for Harvin (I just think the Jets end up going the conservative route and cutting Percy). Let’s call the Seahawks’ picks: 4.117, 4.134, and 4.138. For the most part, this early in the draft process, these are pretty interchangeable, and whomever I end up with at 117 could be available at 134, etc.

For the first of the 4th’s, I’m simply going for a player I really like who won’t be available to the Seahawks at the later 4th’s…totally just Best Player Available: Mississippi State’ DE/DT Preston Smith.

Listed at 6’6"/270, Smith has been a really nice surprise on that #1 ranked Bulldog defense: 25 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 6.0 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 FF, 2 blocked kicks, and 2 INT’s. That’s a pretty well-rounded statline. I mean, if you doubled his total tackles, that would be a productive line for a really talented outside linebacker.

Here’s one of his blocked kicks. And this isn’t like, he got a pinky on it and the kick hooked wide. He flat out REJECTS this ball:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11441203

Preston has really nice athleticism for his size. I don’t have video of it, but his pick-6 during the UAB game is amazing. He drops deep into coverage and just snatches the ball out of the air.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11439834

4.117 – Seattle Seahawks select DE, Mississippi State, Preston Smith

I really want a WR in the 4th. And, as I pointed out last week, Schneider often enjoys the WR options in the 4th as well. I’m primarily looking at Tony Lippett (#155), Vince Mayle (#161), and Kenny Bell (#195). Each of these guys presents upside in different ways. Lippett (6’3"/190) is the better hands/redline catcher, Mayle (6’3"/219) is the better athlete/redzone catcher, and Bell (6’1"/185) is the better special teams/versatility guy. Downside on Lippett is how thin he is, downside on Mayle is his age, downside on Bell is his height. Again, these are all guys I could stomach here. I’m going with Lippett as the one that reminds me most of Sidney Rice

4.134 – Seattle Seahawks select WR, Michigan State, Tony Lippett

With the Seahawks’ final comp pick of the 4th round, I’m picking between a Safety, a Tight End, and a Guard. I have a feeling the Seahawks are going to be buyers in the free agent TE game, so I’m passing on TE for now. At safety, it was announced yesterday that 2014 draftpick Eric Pinkins is now considered a safety (the spot he played in college), and not a CB. Plus, Dion Bailey is still out there hiding on the phantom roster. So I’m giving this spot to hedge for LG should James Carpenter end up walking in free agency.

The guy that reminds me the most of the kind of monster road-grader that Carp was drafted to be, is Oklahoma LT Tyrus Thompson. Listed at 6’5"/336, Thompson is actually bigger than Carp’s listed 321 lbs. And he’s not out of place at LT, but I think he’ll be a stud at LG. Draftscout has him at #150 overall.

4.138 – Seattle Seahawks select LG, Oklahoma, Tyrus Thompson.

Now we’ve come to the Jimmy Staten portion of the draft. I’m kidding, but not. Staten was the biggest surprise pick of the Hawks’ 2014 draft. That was in May. By June, the Hawks felt the need to add Kevin Williams off the FA market. This year, we may see the timing of those reversed, with a DT signed in FA in March, and then drafting in April. With or without a FA DT, we can afford to draft a DT in the 5th that may or may not make the 53.

Actually, that’s an important point to bring up: it’s safe to assume that three of the Hawks’ eleven 2015 picks will not make the 53 man roster. Some will be IR’d, some will be PS’d, and others will just be cut. Prepare yourselves. And know that it will be okay.

But back to Jimmy Staten…I’m going after small school DT out of Northern Iowa, Xavier Williams. Listed at 6’3"/309, but with infamously long arms, Williams is a guy I’ve been tracking for a while. Since UNI played NDSU and Billy Turner last year, actually. On the year, Xavier has recorded 52 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 6.0 sacks, 2 PBU, and a blocked FG. Important to note on the blocked FG…Xavier also blocked FIVE of them in his sophomore season.

If Xavier were playing at an FBS school, his 6 sacks would be top 20 in the country. Not too far behind Danny Shelton’s 7.5. Both Shelton and Williams are getting tackles at an exceptionally high level for an interior lineman. Two years ago Sheldon Richardson had a really high mark of 6.82 tackles/gm, and currently Shelton is at 8.25/gm, and Williams is close at 6.50/gm. Draftscout has Xavier ranked #338 overall, so my picking him in the 5th is a huge reach…at the moment. But watch…in a few months we’ll be mad when he gets picked in the 3rd.

5.157 – Seattle Seahawks select DT, UNI, Xavier Williams

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m spending a huge chunk of the Hawks’ draft capital on our lines. And I’m not done. Let’s make it a nice round 3 DL and 3 OL. In this case, we’re looking for depth behind Max Unger, and hopefully enough upside to replace Unger. But in the short term, this will be a player that can replace Steven Schilling, who will be a free agent after this year.

My pick played Center in 2013, which is when he caught my eye. This year, I have only seen him playing OG. The player is Louisville’s Jake Smith, and in the Cardinals scheme, both Guards will swap sides between LG and RG (weakside/strongside), depending on playcall. Listed at 6’3"/312 and projected at #177 overall, Smith at 175 is right on schedule. Which means he’ll be gone by here.

5.175 – Seattle Seahawks select C, Louisville, Jake Smith

In the 6th round, the Seahawks will actually be selecting earlier than their native pick. That is because this will actually be the Jets’ 6th rounder, not the Seahawks’. The Seahawks’ 6th currently belongs to Indy, and the Jets’ came over for Harvin.

I looked at three positions for this pick: Safety, Linebacker, and Tight End. I’m going with TE because this is the last spot I can get one of the few TE that I actually like this year: Wisconsin’s Sam Arneson. Wisconsin has a rich tradition of graduating TE to the League, and Arneson is very underrated right now. Listed at 6’4"/254, Sam has been one of only seven TE to average over 15.50ypc this season. Arneson is 2nd on the Badgers’ in receptions and 1st in receiving TD’s. And he holds his own blocking. Arneson is #49 in this tape of Gordon:

6.179 – Seattle Seahawks select TE, Wisconsin, Sam Arneson

It honestly took a LONG time to decide on this final pick. I was trying to target a LB or a return specialist, but none of them had enough video for me to recommend from. So I’m going with this player from James Madison that I found a couple weeks ago. He’s primarily an edge rusher at 6’4"/245, but I’m curious if, with more research, I can find that he could play some SAM LB.

With 42 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 7 QBH, 2 PBU, and 4 FF; Sage Harold has put a lot of production out on the field.

7.232 – Seattle Seahawks select DE/OLB, James Madison, Sage Harold

Final Draft:

1.17 - RB Melvin Gordon

2.49 - DE Hau’oli Kikaha

3.81 - OT TJ Clemmings

3.100 - CB Robertson Daniel

4.117 - DE Preston Smith

4.134 - WR Tony Lippett

4.138 - OG Tyrus Thompson

5.157 - DT Xavier Williams

5.175 - C Jake Smith

6.179 - TE Sam Arneson

7.232 - LB Sage Harold