Heading into the 2013 season, the Seahawks have to realize that their success lies in how they address the defensive line. With 21 or 23 starters returning, this team can focus on addressing their main and secondary needs. However, no need is as important the defensive tackle position.
Fortunately, there’s good depth at DT throughout the early three rounds of the draft which most people know who they are, so I won’t bring em up much, but I wanted to give my 7-round mock draft and bring up a prospect who could be the top defensive tackle on the Hawks board come draft time.
My thought process with my mock was to address needs throughout the draft that I saw as good fits, both physically and mentally, along with drafting players that match the current system the Seahawks had last year. As much change on this team I may want to see, in terms of player personnel, philosophy and everything else, I wanted to share what I felt would be an ideal offseason plan that I think the Seahawks might fully do. Not every weakness will turn into the team’s strength, but it may potentially make us a team with NO weakness at all. If this team is able to address certain specific needs on the defensive line and other positions, they can take the next step as a super bowl caliber team.
First round #25
Enter Jesse Williams. 6’4” 320 pounds senior from Alabama, he’s mostly been talked about as a future 1-tech DT or possible 3-4 DE, and at first glance, he appears to be that. A Rugby player from Australia in his youth, Williams displays incredible upper body strength and can hold the LOS against 2-man blocks as well as any D linemen 20 pounds heavier than him (He’s expecting himself to beat the bench press record at the combine, for whatever that’s worth). But, after watching some tape on him, you start seeing he’s not just a brick in the middle. He has incredible straight-line mobility for a player his size and has a quick burst when given just a little space to maneuver. He has the tools to be what, I feel, might make him the best available 3-tech this team wants at the position if their defensive philosophy stays the same.
Take last year, for example. Alan Branch, a big body run-stuffing DT with decent mobility for his size. Nothing spectacular, be he was a key part to a mostly, high productive base defensive line. Williams is a player who you put into the lineup and know he’ll pick up right where Branch left off, all the while steadily improve throughout the year. And, you know what, drafting a DT who can at least provide what Branch does is not a bad pick.
The bonus with drafting Williams is a few things: He’ll be on a first-round contract as opposed to the 5-6 million a year Branch will look to get. He already plays the run as well, if not better than Branch (which out of this entire DT class includes only a 2 or 3 who can as a rookie), and I expect Williams to improve even better over time. He is also a slightly better pass rusher than Branch. Now, I know, “only slightly better”? Yes, his pass-rush is not one of his main strengths and there are a few DTs in the draft that are better pass rushers, but even when sack numbers don’t show up in the stat sheet, he has a positive effect throughout games by collapsing the pocket and and getting into the quarterbacks throwing lanes. Now if the Seahawks like the 3-big body defensive line under-front and want to stay with that system, it means as a fan, we have to widen our perspective on what kind of players may fit that role, even if it means sacrificing parts of a players game we want to see.
Williams would start as a 2-down player with the upside of playing periodically in games as a 5-tech or the 0-tech in 3-man, pass-rushing fronts. Base defense is his strength, though. He does a great job of winning almost all of his 1-on-1 battles in the run game, and even beats 2-man blocks to get to the QB or play down field, which not many players are capable of or even want to spend the energy on doing. In the passing game, Williams is not a guy who squeezes through the O line to get a sack. He is more of a pocket collapser. His main move is a bull-rush, but he’s shown he can almost entirely use that and still get pressure. If he can add one or possibly two secondary moves that plays off his bull-rush, he could develop into a player with yearly 4 to 7 sack a season guy.
Could they draft another defensive tackle if that player is on the board still, like Short, Sylvester Williams, Floyd, or Hankins. Absolutely, but I would prefer Jessie Williams over all of them. Williams is a pick which may feel like a consolation prize on draft day, but ends up being the best prize of them all.
For a good display of Williams against Tennessee game, watch plays @ 0:16, 1:18, 1:45, 3:20, 3:30, 4:00
His game against Tennessee, a highly passing team, was impressive. I’ve watched the game a few times, now and you start to notice that, throughout out the game, he almost never not loses a battle against the O line, and that he’s incredibly smart, sniffing out screens and motion plays while their happening and knowing when to stick his hand into the throwing lane, causing 1 INT and another that should have been intercepted.
Whether he’s going 1-on-1 in the run game, getting combo blocked, he’s making a positive play in his specific responsibility. Not once do I notice obvious negative play and only a few plays I would even call average. The rest, he dominated, and he did it in a number of ways through both the run game and passing game.
Trade/Cut Flynn: You save 5.25 million in cap space money.
Acquire a defensive end LEO: The Seahawks are smart finding soft spots in free agency and addressing needs. They should look for a LEO free agent at that 2 yr/8 million range who can start at the LEO spot, or at least provide an excellent pass-rush in nickel defense if they feel Irvin can handle the position. It would be an Alan Branch-type short-term move and provide depth in a long season with hopefully Clemons coming back before mid-season.
They may also look to trade for an underrated LEO candidate, possibly a player riding the bench (similar to Clemons trade). If it took a 5th rd pick to find a good, young player, you have to look at that equivalent to a draft pick.
Sign a capable FA receiver: I’m not that knowledgeable of other team’s free agents, so I won’t try suggesting a name, but someone who doesn’t demand anywhere near the top of the list of receivers. Maybe a 2-5 million a year, 2-3 yr contract.
Sign/Draft a #2 QB: Again, no names from me, but there should be a number of available backups that fit what the Seahawks want to do at the cost of 1-3m. If the price is too high in free agency, or if they want more depth, they may find one or two rookies who can compete for the backup role, but I imagine they look for a veteran.
Sign/Trade a 7th rd for Tim Tebow: Quit laughing lol, I’m actually serious. Are you done laughing, yet? Tebow as a purely 3rd string QB could be a perfect mix of leadership and play-making ability that Pete could find use of. Also, it’s not like the 3rd string which went unfilled last year is that important on this team. Tell him he can compete for the backup role, but he needs to drastically improve his passing game. Most likely, he never starts a game for us.
Round 2: Sio Moore, LB, UConn. Sr 6’ 1, 240 The best linebackers in this draft are already starting to make a push into the late first, early second round with other second-tier linebackers pushing up into the late second. Moore leads that next tier of OLBers who fit well in Pete Carroll’s 4-3. He’s great length and good speed, with the ability to do it all: Cover, rush the passer, maintain the edge at the LOS, blitz, weave his way through traffic to make a play. Though maybe considered a reach, outside of Greene and Brown, Moore might be the next best linebacker on the board for Carroll & Co.
Round 3: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU Jr. 6’4, 295 I chose a bigger defensive tackle instead of a Jason Jones-type dt because he offers the best long-term upside as a starting DT and is also very versatile. He moves very well for a guy his size (with talk of a 4.8 40 at the combine). He would a great development-type pick in the 3rd round, at the same time allowing him to play in situations, Day 1, replacing and improving on Clint McDonalds role in pass-rushing situations, with the ability to come into the game as a 5-tech DE or 3-tech DT in the base-defense. This move would be the final move in overhauling the defensive line in attempt of turning it from a weakness into a strength.
Round 4: Aaron Mellette, WR, Alon Sr. 6’ 3, 216 A big-body receiver with surprising speed. He’s a small-school kid who will need to develop, but signing a receiver in free-agency takes the pressure off him needing to develop too fast. He has the size to take over either the X or Z position, but would essentially take over the Obomanu role with the same ability to play special teams.
Round 5: Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU, Didn’t play in 2012, but with only a 5th round pick, he’s worth the risk. Outside character concerns, he seems like Pete Carroll type who could overcome the odds to be a successful player. He’d compete at either the slot corner position, or play the role that they didn’t find in the draft with their 2011 Mark Legree 5th round pick.
Round 6: Zach Sudfeld, TE, Nevada Sr. 6’6 260 A guy who appears to be a solid Senior TE from the reports I’ve read and had good stats this year. I even saw a body-type player comparison to Tony Gonzalez from an opposing coach. I could throw out 4 other tight end names. Basically at this spot in the draft, a TE who can compete with McCoy as the #2 and at worse be an improved #3. I wish I could have drafted a better tight end, but you can't fix everything in one off-season.
Round 7: Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh Sr. 6’ 215 lbs A pocket passer with some mobility and knows how to protect the ball: 3288 yards passing, 21 TDs/3 INTs
If you've made it this far, then thanks for sticking with me. If you got questions on any of the players above or any comments, short or long, please share.
Can't really comment cuz i dont know much about any of the guys you've drafted. I do think that if, and when, Matthieu gets drafted will be one of the more interesting story lines in teh draft. I like him as a player, but man, that's a lot of baggage.
I agree, J. It's really a shot in the dark on if Matthieu has improved his attitude and commitment level. Normally, I would say no way our front office wants a guy with his past on this team, but he has the skill sets and big play ability I think would attract Pete Carroll.
I am starting to really like Jesse Williams as a potential 1st round pick, i will NOT be disappointed if we drafted him at 25, that's even if he is around by then. Large DT with quickness, movement, and has Rugby background, so unique, but i don't see him being there though, teams need large DT like Williams in 3-4 or just to stalk up on DT, since D-linemen are probably the hardest position to maintain for long periods of time unless your the Giants, since that is what they always do is draft high round d-linemen.
JSeahawks wrote:Can't really comment cuz i dont know much about any of the guys you've drafted. I do think that if, and when, Matthieu gets drafted will be one of the more interesting story lines in teh draft. I like him as a player, but man, that's a lot of baggage.
Not to worry. With the outsize personalities and rachet jaws of Sherman and Lane, the intimidating ability of Browner, and the shadows cast by E.T. and Kam, the kid would feel like.......a kid.
Coupled with the knowledge, which I am sure Pete would impart, that just one screw-up will send him down the road faster than a rabbit....well, you know.
BTW: please, no Sunseri, Matt Scott a round or two earlier.
Hai, I'm glad someone else likes him haha. I agree there's a good chance he's not around at 25, but i might be wrong. I've seen him fall past 25 in quite a few mock drafts, and in the end of it, I'm still just a fan watching youtube clips. I could be way off on where I rate him which is why I at least want to mention him. I'd rather discuss all possible prospects instead of trying to play the guessing game and completly dismissing a player because I think he will go 5 picks earlier or whatever.
two dog wrote:BTW: please, no Sunseri, Matt Scott a round or two earlier.
Yeah, I really didn't know what to do at the QB position in the later round picks. Matt Scott is a guy I've been hearing some good things about, so I'll have to check him out, but there's really not a ton of tape on guys in that late round range that really stood out to me, besides players already discussed a few times on the board already that I tried to avoid.
I mostly picked Sunseri on the knowledge that there was a scout at one of Pittsburg games and Sunseri has a similar turnover-free style of play like Wilson. Pretty simple lol.
JSeahawks wrote:Can't really comment cuz i dont know much about any of the guys you've drafted.
Thats because none of them are ducks.
You lost me at Tebow. We don't need the distraction that is Tim Tebow and we didn't/don't need a third QB. This team doesn't need his "leadership." We have a guy named Russel Wilson that has plenty of that already.
CALIHAWK1 wrote:You lost me at Tebow. We don't need the distraction that is Tim Tebow and we didn't/don't need a third QB. This team doesn't need his "leadership." We have a guy named Russel Wilson that has plenty of that already.
Yeah, I'm not really pushing hard to get Tebow. I could care less if he hit the open market and we never even looked at him.
I do think, now, that teams know Tebow will never be a solid starter. His days of causing legitimate quarterback controversy are over, especially on a team who is in full support of their young, growing star QB and especially in a small-media market like Seattle. The only way he even cause distraction is go to a team with a crappy starting QB, already, which in that case the whole situation is FUBAR with or without Tebow. At that point it's, "Well, he can't be much worse than Matt Cassel" or whoever.
As to the team's need of leadership, no, they don't need it, but you can never have enough high character guys on your football team. As a 3rd string QB, with the ability to inspire and motivate his teammates, it only adds to a positive locker-room vibe.
When it comes down to it, the most important reason to bring him in will be his ability on the field, specifically, if Pete can find unique ways to use him. If you feel Tebow won't cause a distraction (which in Seattle I don't), and you think Pete could find ways to get him into the game, he would actually be of some use as opposed a 3rd string QB who never plays a snap.
I know we didn't have a 3rd string QB last year, but we also had a fully capable backup in Flynn. This year, we might have a cheaper, yet less capable backup if we trade MF. I think it'd be smart to strengthen the QB position in that situation by adding a 3rd stringer. That spot comes down to a potential development QB (which I drafted with a 7th rd) or a player who has shown he's capable of at least playing game-manager with a strong defense and running game behind him.