One week until Christma…..er, Draft Day, and the rumors are starting to take shape. From more than one corner now we’re hearing how badly the Jaguars want to move down, perhaps the Rams and Cowboys too. Philly and the Jets may be looking to move up. In recent history there have been an average of five trades in the first round each year so there WILL be movement, it’s just a question of who, when, and for whom?
One team that I expect to try like heck to move back in the first round is Seattle, for a few reasons; Seahawks G.M. John Schneider cut his teeth in the Packer organization and believes draft picks are as good as gold, and this year they only hold a total of six picks. None of those are in the fifth round, a sweet spot for Schneider in his two year run with the ‘Hawks. Pro Bowl S Kam Chancellor (2010) and rising CB Richard Sherman (2011) were both 5th rounders.
I also believe that #12 is a tough spot for Seattle. There’s a group of players rated in the early 20’s who may be more obvious fits for their defensive scheme.
With all of that in mind, here’s one final look at a possible scenario for the Seahawks come draft day.
**Trade: Seahawks trade the #12 pick to Cincinatti for their picks in the 1st round (21), 2nd round (53) and 5th round (156). Values match up almost perfectly on the Trade Value Chart, the Bengals have two picks in the first round and three in the fifth. CB is a huge need for them, and if they feel that someone like Stephon Gilmore isn’t going to slide to them at their highest pick (17) I could see them jumping up to get him. Other potential targets could be Quinton Coples, or a WR like Blackmon or Floyd if they were to fall that far. **
1st Round: (21) Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State. The biggest riser in the draft so far, McClellin has now been invited to NY for the event. He looked so good playing WLB at the Senior Bowl after mostly serving as a pass-rushing DE for the Broncos, and now some teams are actually considering him as a potential MLB. He makes plays all over the field, has a relentless motor, and can stay on the field all 3 downs. There is some talk recently of the 3 concussions he suffered in college, but his acsension up draft boards tells me that most teams are satisfied by how his medicals checked out at the Combine. Charley Casserly just used a comp on NFL Network last night that I’ve been using for weeks; Clay Matthews.
2nd Round: (42): David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech. Will he last this long? Rated by most as the 4th best RB in the class behind Doug Martin and Lamar Miller, I like Wilson better. He’s similar to Martin in his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and run through tackles, but what sets him apart in my eyes is rare explosiveness. He’s a perfect comliment to Marshawn Lynch and a long-term answer if Lynch wears down before his contract expires.
2nd Round: (53): Mychal Kendricks, LB, California. Some are turned off by his sub-6 foot height, but he’s the most explosive MLB in the class and has sideline-to-sideline range. Also contradicting his size is the way he hits when he gets home. The Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year looks like a guy who could start day 1 for me, despite the Seahawks recent signing of Barrett Rudd.
3rd Round: (75): Juron Criner, WR, Arizona. This pick might be the biggest surprise for Seahawk fans, but as much as the team likes some of their young receivers there are a ton of question marks in that group. Sidney Rice is recovering from surgery on both shoulders, Golden Tate and Chris Durham are promising but unproven, and Mike Williams had trouble with health and drops last year. The teams best receiver may be Doug Baldwin, coming off a solid rookie year after going undrafted in 2011. Criner has ideal size, hands and body control, and while his timed speed is such that he’ll still be available in this range, he’s shown on tape that he can consistently get open against quality competition. Seattle needs to surround Matt Flynn with better weapons, and more competition is needed at the WR spot.
4th Round: (106): Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas. I had him as a 5th rounder last month but it appears he’s on the rise. Relentless motor who can hold up against the run and rush the passer. Reminds me of former Falcon and Seahawk Patrick Kearney.
5th Round: (156): Senio Kelemete, OG, Washington. Hard to believe he lasts this long, but this is where Pro Football Weekly has him on the value board based on input from NFL front office personnel. Talented enough to play some tackle but experienced at LG as well. That’s where the Seahawks would want him, and he could be good enough to start his rookie year.
6th Round: (181): Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois. Russ Lande mentioned this kid 6 months ago and I watched as much of him as I could after that. Outstanding leader and competitor. Good athlete who played a Tim Tebow-like role in the Huskies offense, throwing for 3216 yards and rushing for 1379 more. Quick release, average arm, needs work on his accuracy, but a good developmental prospect.
7th Round: (225): Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion. I profiled him here last week. Athletic freak who fits the mold of bigger CB’s the Seahawks love (6’1″) with elite speed and outstanding ball skills. Could help on special teams while he develops.