At the culmination of 3000 NFL Mock Draft on Monday, Rob Staton and I discussed how there are simply way too many mock drafts. Not only does every outlet have several writers posting mocks, but it seems these outlets are now demanding that they posted constantly. Gone are the days of “Version 1.0” and “Version 2.0” being separated by more than a week. For example, ESPN’s Todd MockShay posted a “dueling” mock draft with Mel Kiper on April 5. Today, on April 12, he posted a three-round mock draft.
And it seems that in the span of seven days, a lot has changed for MockShay. It’s hard to peddle the idea that this change wasn’t just for the sake of it. Still, we can use this opportunity to talk about some players that will now be discussed in conjunction with the Seattle Seahawks because of all these mock drafts. This is what MockShay mocked with the Seahawks first five picks in the draft:
26. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
58. Taylor Moton, G/T, Western Michigan
90. Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown State
102. Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
106. Zach Banner, OT, USC
Do these picks make sense for Seattle?
I mean, yes you could argue that they all do for one reason or another, though in general it seems like a risky class. Is that necessarily bad? I guess that always depends on the turnout of said risk, as Trent Baalke seemed to make nothing but risky picks for the San Francisco 49ers and most of them never paid off in the slightest.
There was a lot of hype about McDowell last year, with his name being mentioned as a top-five pick amid comparisons to DeForest Buckner, but his production as a junior took a nose dive and an ankle injury cost him some games and development time on the field. McDowell could be a steal at 26, but questions about his commitment and lack of self motivation don’t just make him a risky first round pick, they also don’t really align with the type of players Pete Carroll likes.
Moton is huge, 6’5, 319 lbs, 34” arms, but he also managed a 30.5” vertical, 5.18 40-yard dash, and 4.58 short shuttle time. He is one of only four or five offensive linemen in this class with draftable grades that also seems to fit the athletic profile that the Seahawks look for in an offensive lineman. You can disagree all day with Seattle’s model for linemen, but that won’t change that they still do what they do. Not unless they did change that and 2017 proves to be a whole new model with what Tom Cable looks for in a lineman. Moton does fit the mold.
Banner does not. Though they met with Zach Banner at the combine and he’s a local kid, having gone to Lakes High and being recruited by Carroll for USC when he was just a freshman, he’s one of the worst athletes in this class. As a sixth or seventh rounder that makes sense, but in the third round it seems like a reach for the Seahawks.
Playing against low-level competition, Rivers racked up a shitload (official NCAA term) of tackles for a loss and sacks in the last three years: 52 TFL and 38 sacks, according to the school website. That being said, against West Virginia last season, he had two tackles, no sacks, no TFL. It’s the 4.5 TFL against Robert Morris (a school, not a person), and the 3.5 TFL against South Dakota, and so on, that makes you wonder what Rivers can really do against NFL competition. His athleticism is great (248 lbs, 4.61 in the 40, 35” vertical, 30 reps on the bench) and going to a small school doesn’t necessarily prevent anyone from being successful at the next level, but it’s something to be wary of because it’s an entirely different thing to get 38 sacks in the Big 10 than it is to do it in the MVC.
Finally, Douglas would be a cornerback that we’ve rarely mentioned around here or on 3000 NFL Mock Draft. Here’s what Rob had to say about him back on February 5 :
It’s hard to say and here’s why — another WVU cornerback Darryl Worley was almost the exact same size as Rasul Douglas, ran a 4.4 at the combine and had six interceptions in 2015. In terms of physical profile and production — Worley is at least the match of Douglas. And yet he was a mid-third round pick.
I’ve watched Douglas and thought he could go top-50 if he runs in the 4.4’s. And yet I remember feeling the same way about Worley and he goes R3. So for now, it’s difficult to project. It really comes down to how badly you want the player. In a good CB draft, Douglas could last longer than people expect.
Douglas ran just a 4.59, making him one of the slowest options at outside cornerback. Yes, Douglas has the length on the arms (MockShay brings up the 32.5” arms, now something all mockers seem to be aware of when it comes to Seattle corners) but the new en vogue marker for Seahawks mockers will be the wingspan: Douglas’ wingspan is a hair under 77”, which seems to be the baseline for an outside corner. He’s close, sure, but now you’re combining his barely-there wingspan, his almost 4.6 40-yard dash, and the fact that Seattle may be more likely to target a slot corner than an outside one (Jeremy Lane would move outside to compete), and it seems like Douglas is not just a stretch for the Seahawks in round three, but a stretch to even get taken on day two by anyone. This would be the highest that Carroll and John Schneider have ever drafted a cornerback, and they’re going to go with a guy with one season of experience, short wingspan, slow 40, who almost certainly isn’t ready to help much on defense until 2018? This is maybe the move I buy the least here.
Overall, this would be a risky day one/day two for Seattle, and doesn’t entirely seem to fit their normal draft profile, other than Moton. We’ll talk about it tomorrow when MockShay’s next mock draft is posted.