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It's been nine months since I pwned the NFL's top draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr, and his final NFL mock draft.
Well not really pwned, I beat him by two overall correct picks/positions in my final 2009 mock draft, still, I smirked when I compared the two and came to that conclusion.
With the draft three months away and all of the underclassmen having declared their intent, it's safe to start plugging in some names into their potential draft slots.
Here is my first crack at calling the shots of the NFL draft, starting with the Seattle Seahawks at rounds 1-4.
Round One, Pick Six: Russell Okung, Oklahoma State, Offensive Tackle
I have seen several mock drafts in the blogosphere who foolishly have the Seattle Seahawks taking Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, or Colt McCoy in this slot.
I have to beg the question, why? Please, humor me.
Jimmy Clausen is extremely overrated.
Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are both battling back from injuries, which would lower their stock.
Tim Tebow is not going that high unless the Oakland Raiders pick him.
We still have Matt Hasselbeck, I know he is not in 2005 form, but their is no doubt that with an offensive line who can actually keep him upright, and help produce some semblance of a running game, he can be near top ten Quarterback status in 2010.
He still has about 3-4 good seasons left in him as a starter, he is far from the top candidates we need to think about running out of town in 2010.
This team's first need is not at Quarterback, Running Back, Cornerback, or Defensive Line, Bill Bavasi would have to be running the Seahawks not to pick an Offensive Lineman with the No. 6 overall pick.
This is a no-brainer, if there is an ability to put money on the Seahawks drafting an offensive lineman, you should go do it.
Okung is a dominating presence at Tackle who is by far and away the most athletic Tackle in the 2010 class.
Athleticism and quickness are a major part of executing a flawless Zone Blocking scheme, he would be a seamless fit in Zone Blocking master Alex Gibbs' scheme.
He is very durable with 34 straight starts, durability has been a major issue with the Seattle Seahawks the past two seasons.
It's also worth noting he was a starting Left Tackle as a true freshmen, that is impressive at arguably the most important position in football.
His weaknesses are things that can be easily worked on, he gets too high in his stance, is inconsistent with his punch, and lacks elite upper body strength.
All seem to be intertwined, he likely gets too high in his stance because he lacks elite upper body strength. Once he gets on an NFL training regimen, he should bulk up by about 20 pounds, and his upper body strength will surely improve and balance out the rest of his game.
While I don't trust ESPN mock drafts, their player rankings are somewhat reliable, and as of now they have Okung slotted at No. 6, the match appears to be seamless.
If Okung is gone here, Bruce Campbell makes for a nice consolation prize.
Although I do guarantee the Seahawks taking an offensive lineman with this pick, calling it now, if for some reason Ndamukong Suh fell to us, I would retract that statement, but that has a .0000001 percent chance of occurring.
Round One, Pick 14 (from Denver): Taylor Mays, USC, Safety
I will take some flack for this one if need be, but it makes complete sense on many levels.
After the offensive line; the secondary, and pass rush, and Quarterback are the Seahawks most pressing needs.
Regardless of who it is, coaches, front office staff, or your middle school principal, it is human nature to surround ourselves with people and things that we feel comfortable with.
We saw it with Mike Holmgren bringing a pair of former Seahawks heads to the Cleveland staff with him. You will probably see a couple Seahawks castaways find their way over to the Browns as reserves and role players as well.
Pete Carroll is no different, and you can be sure he will think long and hard about his former standout Safety Taylor Mays with this pick.
If he had come out last year, he was a top five pick, now he is a mid first rounder, was the dropoff in play just him? Or a product of an overall downfall of the dethroned Trojans, who finished with under 10 wins since Carroll first started the Trojan dynasty.
This team needs a big hitter like Mays, the Seahawks have a reputation for being soft the past couple years and he would bring needed toughness to this secondary.
He is often compared to former Cowboys star Roy Williams, being a big hitter, with a lack of coverage skills.
Right now, Mays is ranked No. 18 among 2010 prospects.
This pick is much more debatable because it's later in the first round and their are more possibilities based on other teams movement.
Everyone thought Michael Crabtree was a top five pick last year, but he fell all the way to No. 10, (which I actually predicted).
What if someone like Florida star Joe Haden falls to No. 14? If the choice was between Haden and Mays, it goes to Haden.
Maybe the Seahawks think about taking Sam Bradford, or Jimmy Clausen here, maybe, at No. 14 it won't cost a ton of money and they are the top QB's in this class. They likely do not fall here though.
Earl Thomas is another good pick for them, representing more of a coverage back, but I assume Carroll goes with what he knows.
Regardless, I see the Seattle Seahawks addressing the secondary, or picking dynamic playmaking Running Back CJ Spiller in this slot.
Round Two, Pick 40: Colt McCoy, Quarterback, Texas
After suffering an injury in the National Championship (which Texas would have won, considering they almost did with a true freshmen QB), his stock is going to fall out of the first round, he is the No. 3-4 QB in this draft class behind Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, maybe St. Timmy Tebow, (depending on a crazy Jacksonville rumor pegging him all the way at No. 10).
Depending on what happens, McCoy could fall here and be a good value at No. 40.
I stand by my statement that Quarterback is not the first position that needs to be addressed, likely not even enough of a need to pick one here. After the Offensive Line and Secondary, a Pass Rusher and a Running Back should be on their list.
At the same time, Colt McCoy is a good value here, because the salary would be low they could stick him behind Hasselbeck on the depth chart until they decide to cut him loose.
They wouldn't feel pressured to play a QB they would be paying top dollar for if they drafted one with a first round pick.
He worked in a pro style offense, is dead accurate, has a very quick release, and can scramble when need be; all very good prerequisites when entering the West Coast offense.
I honestly would love to see Tim Tebow in a Seahawks uniform, he reminds me of Phillip Rivers; a fiery competitor who simply knows how to win. I don't think his draft stock is high enough at this point, maybe as time goes on, I might change this pick.
Other options for this pick could be DE Carlos Dunlap, who could fall out of the first round with a recent DUI. Mike Iupati, a Guard from Idaho I have personally met, would be another great pick here, he has a relentless motor, is very physical, and fits the true mold of a "dirtbag."
Pairing him and Russell Okung fix the left side for over a decade, along with Unger; the trio would give the Seahawks a very bright future along the offensive line.
DE Greg Hardy, RB Jahvid Best, T Trent Williams, CB Brandon Ghee, are all possible picks.
Round Four, Pick 101: Austen Lane, Defensive End, Murray State
After finding a new franchise Tackle, couping a Defensive Back, and possibly a Quarterback/Running Back, the next thing on their docket should be a pass rusher.
Seattle was ineffective at getting consistent pressure, which overworked the secondary, and caused the defense to crumble against elite passers, well...any passer really.
The top sack producer was Patrick Kerney, and he only had five; he is a veteran who is an obvious candidate to be released amidst the rebuilding project they are facing; unless he opts to take a pay cut, then I wouldn't mind seeing him start.
Carroll's former Trojan Lawrence Jackson has been a bust so far, averaging three sacks per season, and overall, the pass rush simply stinks.
Lane would give the Seahawks good value at this slot, if they don't decide to trade up for a better player in the third round like they did last year.
He would form a solid duo with Lawrence Jackson, which would keep both of them fresh in a rotation; maybe someone in the wings pushing him might make Jackson up his play?
Carroll has openly stated that the Seahawks need to find an edge rush, I assume they address the DE position in the early rounds; Any type of pass rusher would be a good pick for the Seahawks in the 2-4 rounds.
I would love to see them pluck a guy like Richard Seymour, or Aaron Kampman off the Free Agent market, which is loaded with DE's. Still, that would not preclude them from nabbing a pass rusher in the draft.
In my next article, I will be mocking the entire first round of the draft. If I beat Mel Kiper twice in a row, I am going to try and get in touch with him somehow and let him know.
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