Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Morning After: Seahawks Draft Day 2 (John Moffit)

A thought occurred to me leading up to the draft last year. I surveyed our team and saw no area of strength. Some might have said our linebackers, but prove it to me with production, not salary. What was worse, a number of those units on the team (e.g., OL, DL, CB, etc.) had middle-aged or older players that had little chance of growing into dominant players. Captain Obvious would tell you great teams need to have some strengths, and he'd be right. So when the Seahawks had picks #6 and #14, I pondered the possibility of using both picks on one unit. The offensive line seemed like an obvious choice. A team could turn a weakness into a strength by picking two young and talented players for the same unit. The Seahawks ended up going the more traditional route, and instead, it was the 49ers who employed that strategy with their two #1 picks (Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati). As excited as I was for Earl and Russell, I was a little jealous of San Francisco's determination and focus on creating a dominant part of their team.

Just over a year later, the Seahawks have one-upped the 49ers in a way. Out of the first two picks in each of the last three drafts--a total of six picks--four have been offensive lineman. Max Unger was chosen in round two in 2009. Okung was picked last season, and now Carpenter and Moffit were the first two picks this year. All are projected starters, and each one other than Okung can play multiple positions along the line. Great offensive lines grow together. They enjoy the same professional upbringing. It is part of how they learn how to react in unison to defensive line stunts and blitzes. That kind of chemistry usually take a couple of years to develop. Expecting the line to magically be the 2005 Seahawks line would be unfair. Tom Cable, though, now has his pieces of clay to mold. It is no accident the team has left a Robert Gallery-sized hole between Unger and Okung at left guard. Cable can bring in a guy that knows his blocking approach, is a pretty good player, and carries the attitude he wants to instill. Even if the team does not get Gallery, there are lots of high quality free agent interior lineman out there. That left guard needs to be a vet. The young guys need a ring leader and someone to steady them in the huddle. A veteran QB is also a near certainty. Putting a rookie QB behind a bunch of young offensive lineman is a recipe for disaster.

The way the Seahawks ended up with the 3rd round pick to take Moffit was by making a solid trade with Detroit. At least one reader asked how moving back from the 2nd round to the 3rd would help us find elite players. I've pointed out many times before that depth does not win championships, elite talent does. There is a lot of talent in this draft, and the front office made the decision that they'd have a better chance of finding great players with a 3rd and an extra 4th than just one 2nd. I'm inclined to agree. There is not a huge drop-off from the 2nd to 3rd this year, and there are some starter-quality players still to be had in the 4th. Adding the extra pick and moving back puts much less pressure on each pick to be right, and increases the chances the team can comfortably draft the best player available. The Moffit choice was a great example. If they did not add the extra pick, it would have been very tempting to reach for a player with their 2nd round pick, knowing they wouldn't pick again until the fourth. Instead, they *knowingly* passed on guys in the 2nd in order to draft the best talent they saw in the 3rd. I don't think you would have seen an offensive lineman chosen if the team picked in the 2nd. Picking one in the 3rd showed their confidence about what will be available in the fourth, where they own the two of the top ten picks.

Today is the day that will define this draft. The 4th and 5th round will be decisive. There is plenty of talent left. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Report: John Moffit Senior Bowl Review

It is Groundhog's Day in the Hawk Blogger household as I found myself watching the Senior Bowl yet again. This time, it was the North squad that drew my attention as I zeroed in on new Seahawk John Moffit. Grading out an interior lineman is a little tougher than a guy like James Carpenter on the edge of the line. Moffit started the game lined up as Center, and spent a fair amount of his time chipping or double-teaming other lineman's defenders. When he was isolated one-on-one with a DT, he generally held his own. The glaring exception was when he lined up against Clemson's Jarvis Jenkins. Jenkins manhandled him in a few cases.

Once Moffit slid over to guard, he appeared much more comfortable. He even staggered Jenkins with a good jab off the line. I had remembered Moffit being more dominant, but he did not have a great game at the Senior Bowl. It wasn't horrible, but it was not outstanding.

Where Moffit was remarkable was during the week of practices leading up to the Senior Bowl. He stood out in the 1:1 pass rush drills and the drive-blocking drills. He plays with a nasty edge that will be a welcome addition to the Seahawks line. It will be interesting to see whether the game or practice was more indicative of Moffit's abilities. Nobody he lined up against made a play that I saw, so even if the game was a better measure, it was not all that bad.

Now that we know the Seahawks fancied Moffit, you can safely assume the team really was not high on his line mate, Gabe Carimi. They were watching Wisconsin film a lot to choose Moffit, so it was impossible not to spend equal time on Carimi. Watching Carpenter again was encouraging. He does seem to be a pretty good tackle prospect.

I'll try to find some time in the morning to break down what the draft strategy of the Seahawks means, and why I'm a big fan.

The Morning After: Seahawks Draft Day 1 (James Carpenter)

My eyes popped open at 5 AM yesterday, and my first thought was, "this is going to be a day of days." I tend to be dramatic like that. Not only were the Seahawks going to make a key decision for our collective futures, but the Trail Blazers were playing to stave off elimination, our driveway was getting re-paved to make way for a new dunktastic basketball hoop, a big customer was coming to town to talk strategy, the school science fair was that night after months of preparation by HawkBloggerWife and HawkBloggerOldestSon. Even Michael Pineda pitching is worth a little anticipation. That qualifies as a day of days for this blogger.

The actual results were a mixed bag. HawkBloggerYoungestSon threw up in the morning, stayed home from school and required me to leave my big customer early so that HawkBloggerWife could setup the science fair. He kindly threw up again for me, this time revealing a large piece of latex glove he had somehow swallowed. The driveway looked terrific. Pineda dazzled again, and Justin Smoak got another extra-base hit. The Blazers predictably fizzled...sigh. But the draft was a ton of fun.

Tweeting with my friends (screw the term tweeples) throughout the evening was a blast. It was surprising that a draft that had our Seahawks picking all the way back at #25 was more fun than when they had #6 and #14 a year earlier. Some that was just a lack of pressure. It's much harder to screw up the 25th pick than two of the top 15. Life is all about expectations. It was not just that, though. In case you had not noticed, we are blessed with a witty, smart, informed fan base. There were tons of great jokes, insights and just plain hanging out. I even got to harass Eric Williams, the Tacoma Trib beat reporter who was on camera at the VMAC. Talk about interactive experiences...

By the time the Seahawks picked, it was clear there weren't the must-have prospects that would warrant someone paying a high price to trade up for. Players like Locker, Ponder, and even Cameron Jordan were off the board. No matter how well James Carpenter ends up playing, yesterday involved some failure. The Seahawks wanted, and needed, to trade down and add a third round pick. That did not happen. They even said they had hoped to trade back and draft Carpenter later. By definition, that means they reached a bit on this one since he was drafted above his graded value.

That doesn't mean he wasn't the player they wanted, but any honest evaluation of the front office has to ding them for failing to move back and draft the guy at his proper value slot. The other problem with this pick is the position. Right tackle is not a position that separates good from great teams. It can be really important. Take, for example, Sean Locklear during the team's Super Bowl run and how much he solidified the team's pass protection opposite Walter Jones. It rarely really alters a team's overall trajectory the way a great defensive tackle, cornerback or quarterback can. Name the best right tackle in the game right now. I honestly couldn't even tell you one great one.

The other problem with drafting OL in the first round is that there is plenty of value later in the draft at that position, and much less value at the defensive tackle spot. There are more quality free agent offensive lineman than defensive lineman as well. If the Seahawks don't get a high quality interior lineman in the draft, the situation becomes pretty darn desperate come free agency. With only one pick in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, they will be tempted to reach for a DL. That means no QB. Tough, tough decisions they would not have to make if they had been able to trade back.

It didn't end being the day of days I had envisioned, but it was not one that will live in infamy either. Many folks will be down on the Seahawks because they picked a lesser known player. Tom Cable is a fantastic line coach, and should give everyone some confidence that the team knows what it's getting in Carpenter. And even if you are someone who pins their assessment on where "experts" had guys going, take heart that ESPN's Todd McShay had Carpenter going as the first pick of the 2nd round. That's not exactly a Kelly Jennings-level reach.

James Carpenter could end up being a great player for us, and that's a good thing. Schneider and Carroll are going to have pull off some magic, though, to add enough quality players beyond Carpenter to qualify this draft as successful. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Report: James Carpenter Senior Bowl Review

I can pretty much guarantee that nobody had James Carpenter going to the Seahawks in the first round. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that had him going in the first round to anyone. That doesn't mean he is a bad pick. My DVR has been home to 210 mins of Senior Bowl footage since January for this exact scenario. Watching Carpenter play is far more instructive than reading what people think about him. I will share what I observed since I'm guessing most of you have better uses for your DVR space.

Carpenter started at left tackle for the South team, which got the ball first to start the game. The first three plays of the game went like this:

- Deep pass from Christian Ponder to Leonard Hankerson with Ryan (1st round pick) Kerrigan bull rushing Carpenter. Carpenter held up nicely, getting moved back, but not getting run over.

- Run up the gut with Carpenter showing some nice speed getting to the second level of the defense, but nobody really there to hit.

- Another pass play with Kerrigan trying to get around the edge and Carpenter perfectly runs him outside the pocket.

It took all of three plays for NFL Network's Mike Mayock to point out Carpenter. He said going into the week, he had Carpenter as a later round pick, but that he had one of the better weeks of the lineman participating.

The South went on to take a 10-0 lead on their first two possessions before Carpenter sat. At no time did Carpenter miss a block or look overwhelmed. Two things stuck out, in particular, about him. First, he's got remarkably quick feet for a man of his size. And second, he always finishes the play. I must have seen him running down field 80% of the time after the pass was complete or running back was through the hole. For anyone that's read Pete Carroll's book, you'll know how much that matters to him. He talks in the book about a time when he was an assistant in Minnesota, and Bud Grant yelled at him for not watching the players run their laps around the field. Grant's point was that you could see which guys tried to run hard and beat the guy next to him, and which guys just went through the motions. Carpenter's effort would not appear to be an issue from what I saw.

His pass blocking appeared ahead of his run blocking. He's a big guy, and I would have expected a little more push in the running game. He was going up against first-round talent on the North defensive line, but the ends were not exactly huge. He seemed to play a little high, and was not getting the drive you'd expect. You'd hope Tom Cable could fix that.

A number of sites list him as a guard or a tackle. Carpenter has the size to play guard, but he plays like a tackle. I'd expect him to take the right tackle spot, so it's possible we'll see another interior lineman go off the board for the Hawks before the draft is done.

If you're looking for a glowing report, you are not going to find one. He appears to be good right tackle prospect. The downside seems low. He does not look like a "Lamar King" risk. By definition, though, there is only so much a right tackle can mean to a team's performance. John Schneider's pick of Carpenter will be judged less by how well he plays, and more by how well the players picked behind him play. There were some really talented guys that the team passed on in order to address the right tackle position. That is unconventional, and feels an awful lot like reaching for a need. Only time will reveal truth on that one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Beauty Of Roster Suckage: How Free Agency Covers All Seahawk Draft Scenarios

Word is, there's some draft thingy happening tomorrow. Heard anything about it? Apparently, if the Seahawks don't draft Steve Young, Russ Grimm, and Cortez Kennedy, the off-season will be a disaster. The reality is the Seahawks have needs at every position except kicker, punter, and arguably running back. There is no way the team will address all those holes in the draft. That's both depressing and a big relief. Any fan wants to see all their teams weaknesses turn into strengths, but once you accept that there will be serious roster gaps no matter how the draft goes, the whole thing becomes a lot more fun.

Take quarterbacks, for example. Most folks are saying that if the Seahawks don't come out of the draft with one of the top six QBs, the front office should come under serious fire. We can't put our trust in Charlie Whitehurst, right? Imagine that six teams other than the Seahawks draft those consensus top six QBs. Those are six teams no longer in the market for Kevin Kolb, Vince Young, Matt Flynn, Kyle Orton or even Jimmy Clausen. Orton is a tweener at 28, but belongs in the "can build around safely" category since he could easily be playing another 5 years at a high level. All of those guys likely come in and become your starter (Clausen is a question, but did get his rookie experience out of the way and certainly knows Golden Tate). The team could also draft a player later, like Ricky Stanzi, and get a veteran like Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, etc. that at least gets them to next years draft. This would allow the team to see if they got lucky with a late round young QB before considering drafting another young gun next season. Almost any way this position plays out in the draft, there is a logical path forward for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks will definitely take at least one offensive lineman, and likely two. There are some good RT prospects and lots of good interior lineman. Ideally, they get at least one starter. It does not really matter where on the line they draft the starter because there are a glut of free agent lineman on the market to fill in the gaps. You can almost pencil in Robert Gallery at RG next to Okung. Max Unger can play either guard or center (although I don't think he was playing like a starter before his injury). Carroll has had nothing but glowing reviews for the in-season line additions that none of us have seen. Really, the team can take the best lineman that falls to them, and be thrilled to have him.

Cornerback is a mess, but if the team doesn't address it in the draft, it's likely because they filled holes at QB, OL, DL and WR. That makes it easier to go hard after a blue-chip free agent corner like Asomugha. There are also players like Antonio "Can you tell me my son's name" Cromartie and Ike Taylor.

Defensive line is the toughest one to address via free agency or trade, which is why you can almost guarantee the team spends some draft picks there. Luckily for the Seahawks, its a deep position in this draft.

So there. Take a load off. Enjoy the ride. No matter what happens Thursday-Sunday, the team will have plenty of opportunity to patch the roster holes once the lockout ends.

Lockout Causes Increased Risk For Injured Players

A forgotten side effect of the NFL lockout is that injured players are not allowed access to either team training/rehabilitation facilities or team trainers and medical staff. It was no accident that two of the Seahawks players that attempted to show up for work at the VMAC yesterday were Roy Lewis and Deon Butler. Both are recovering from injuries.

Whether or not the lack of access to trainers and facilities will have direct impact on injured players recovery is debatable. These are highly paid athletes who must perform at their physical peak to effectively compete. It does not take much to lose one's edge or have an increased risk of re-injury. That is why teams spare no expense in giving players world-class medical support and equipment.

It will be interesting to see if there is any greater recidivism amongst injured players this year, or even just greater injury rates. I can easily see a situation where an injured player uses the court's ruling about the lockout being illegal as justification for a lawsuit against the NFL for depriving him access to the medical care he should have had access to.

So while most folks are focused on the ultimate goal of getting this thing settled before the season starts, allowing some free agent period, and rookie/new player orientation, the group with possibly the most to lose are the players recovering from injury. Add that to the list of reasons we should all hope this ends soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seahawks Draft Q&A @ FootballSickness.com

Ryan Burns, of FootballSickness.com, asked me a few questions about the Seahawks in anticipation of the draft this Thursday. Here's an excerpt of the article:


_____
Q:  First, the 600-lb gorilla. Quarterback in the first round?  If so, which one(s) are you hoping for?
A:  Not to be all self-promoting out of the gate, but I just wrote that taking a QB in the first round not named Gabbert or Newton would be a mistake. Hitching your wagon to a guy who is almost certainly not first round talent in the first round is almost never a good idea. Finding a guy in the 2nd or 3rd is less fatalistic (e.g., would Carolina be drafting a QB #1 if Clausen was a 1st rounder last year? I think not), and I think anyone in the Kaepernick, Locker, Dalton, Ponder, Mallett group would be an acceptable risk in those rounds. My personal preference is Kaepernick because he’s got the same ceiling as these other guys, but seems to be getting discounted due to poor mechanics which makes it more likely we can nab him later.
_____
Q:  Other than QB, what is the one position they absolutely must address in the first 3 rounds?
...

Read the full story at FootballSickness-->

Monday, April 25, 2011

Five Players Worth Keeping The 25th Pick For

Trading the Seahawks 25th pick in the 1st round for a 2nd and 3rd is the Seahawks most likely bet to improve their team. There are a few players, though, that would possibly make it worth foregoing that 3rd round pick in order to secure their services for future seasons. After all, the NFL is about dominant players, not depth of talent. Some may argue that a team like the Packers were able to win the Super Bowl due to their depth of talent. Look again. There is no championship, or even playoffs, without the best QB in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers. They probably don't get there without the NFL sack leader either. When the best teams play one another, it's the one who has the most irrepressible players that often wins, not the one with the most complete team.

True dominance is hard to project, but these five players could get pushed down the draft board due to a run on QBs or other needs that has teams drafting guys beyond their value.

1.) CB Jimmy Smith
Smith is a Top 15 talent, and possibly a Top 10 talent, that could fall to the Seahawks due to bunch of off-field issues like passing the dutchie on the left-hand side (or maybe he's not passing it). I leave it to the Seahawks to decide if he's Jerramy Stevens. Getting a young shutdown corner is always worth your draft choice.

2) DT Phil Taylor
Taylor is a load at 334 lbs. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl, and could be a great pairing with Brandon Mebane (after the Seahawks hopefully re-sign him) and Red Bryant. Colin Cole was terrific last season, but is not getting any younger, and there was absolutely no depth behind him. This is a guy who could change the defense immediately, and for years to come.

3) G/C Mike Pouncey
Pouncey was hovering in the 20s in early mock drafts before moving his way into the mid-teens, for whatever that's worth. He wouldn't need to be his brother to be worth picking at #25 for the Hawks. For a team that needs help at both guard and center, getting Pouncey would open up a variety of options in free agency. The image of a dominating center pulling around LT Russell Okung for 10 seasons makes me smile.

4) OT Gabe Carimi
Carimi is a mean SOB who could play either tackle position and also works as a guard. He played for a nasty Wisconsin Badger offensive line that embodied the type of mentality Tom Cable will be looking to recreate in Seattle. Carimi stood out during the Senior Bowl workouts among a list of other high-profile prospects. He could become the immediate starter at RT and give the Seahawks potentially dominant book-end tackles for a long time.

5) DT Corey Liuget
He's Liuget. He's too Lieget to quit. Need I say more? Yes, I made that joke. Deal with it. Liuget is a Mebane-style wrecking ball that could either reduce the team's reliance on re-signing Mebane if they wanted to direct money elsewhere, or give them a great rotation candidate. He is stout against the run, and may be a potential fit for the 5-technique spot with Red Bryant.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taking A QB In 1st Round Would Be A Mistake

Finding the next franchise quarterback needs to be the Seahawks highest priority. There will be no Super Bowl dreams until that role is ably filled. Getting that player is so critical that this blogger even hedged about whether it was worth missing the playoffs this year to get a higher draft pick. It may come as a surprise, then, that I would now consider it a mistake to draft a QB in the first round.

Let's start with a simple question: how long will it be before you can say with certainty that a QB drafted this season is the rightful heir to Matt Hasselbeck's throne? Two seasons? Three? Four? Hasselbeck, himself, took three seasons in Seattle (not counting two seasons in Green Bay) before he asserted himself as the franchise QB. Unless you find a really special player, it's unlikely they will step in right away and claim the position. There is a reason guys like Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco and others are drafted in the Top 10. Aaron Rodgers was drafted in the late first round and didn't get his shot until season number four. The point is that you can expect it to take a few years before you really know what you've got with a QB.

Then think about the expectations associated with any first round pick, especially a QB. A guy like Kelly Jennings has managed to stick around largely because of where he was picked, not because of his performance. When a front office picks a QB in the first round, they are implicitly saying, "this is our guy, and we're going to bet our future on him." Franchises go to great lengths to prove they made the right choice, even firing coaches before admitting they might need a different QB (see Alex Smith). So now you have a position that generally takes a few seasons to ripen, and expectations that often causes teams to stick with bad choices even longer than normal.

Now, let's add this particular talent pool of QBs into the mix. Only Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton are players most consider legitimate first round talents. Analysts, coaches and fans may disagree about who will get chosen where or how many will be chosen in the first round, but nobody argues the fact that most of these guys are 2nd-5th round talents. The incredible demand for QBs are driving up their value, but demand does not change their talent or potential. It's a certainty that a number of QBs will be taken above their graded value. It could be easily argued that *every* QB will be taken above his value.

Sit back and play GM for a second. Are there any QBs that you are so certain about that you want to pin the hopes of your franchise on for the next 3-5 years? I really like some of these guys, but the answer is a pretty simple "no," for me. The only QB I'd be willing to use that 25th pick on is Kevin Kolb, and without a CBA, that's not even possible (nor likely enough to land him). I could even talk myself into taking a QB in the 3rd round or later, and then coming back with a vengeance next season if he is not looking promising. The Seahawks absolutely need to draft a QB this year, but picking him so high that the team is forced to stick with him even if he's not the right guy would be the worst-case scenario. Getting a guy like Christian Ponder or Colin Kaepernick in the 3rd round (assuming we add a pick in that round) would be ideal. If there is a run on QBs early, though, it will be tough for the team to hold to its draft board. They could easily end up with the leftovers like Ricky Stanzi in the 4th or 5th. The key here is that we should want them to get the right guy, not just get a guy. Too much depends on this position to make another Charlie Whitehurst-like mistake.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mock The Draft: Seahawks Style

Mock drafts flood the InterWeb this time of year. Everyone who has a computer can proclaim who is going to get picked by which team without anything to support their assertion beyond a gut feeling. The reason betting on draft choices has not taken off the way betting on, say, the NCAA Tournament is largely because nobody really thinks they can be more than 10-15% accurate in forecasting team choices. Not only do few analysts have any real insight into which players teams are targeting, the teams themselves have no idea who they will pick until the teams in front of them have removed players from the board. This year should see a different level of trading as no players can be moved unless a CBA is in place. Where someone might be dealing their pick for Kevin Kolb in a normal off-season, that likely won't happen this year. Teams can trade for additional draft choices, and it is possible we will see more of that than normal. This may be the only sure way to add talent this off-season, so a pile of draft picks becomes even more valuable than normal. It is also the first time the draft will occur before free agency, which could drive teams to focus on need (versus the famous "best player available") more than you might see in the past.

I don't do mock drafts. This year, however, I've decided to "mock" drafts. You won't find analysis of what every team might do. You will find things that Seahawks fans should care about, and perhaps a few grins along the way. No promises on that, though.




Hopefully A QB
We stomped you in 2005. You suck now. This is a tough league. Seahawks fans should hope the Panthers take a QB, either Newton or Gabbert to reduce the chances of either falling to Arizona or SF.


Fuck You
I hate this franchise, and all the players that played for it. I hope they pull a Mike Tice and forget to put their pick in.

Pulling For Gabbert
Buffalo is a blue-collar town with some of the ugliest people in the US and a tortured sports history rivaling Seattle. If you are not pulling for this franchise to succeed, there is something wrong with you. The city lives and dies with the Bills, and I'm hoping they get the next great QB with this pick. Newton would be a mismatch with his desire to be bigger than the team, but Gabbert could be great. If Newton and Gabbert go #1 and #3, the best bet QBs will be off the board for our division rivals.

Zzzzzz....
Blah blah blah...Carson Palmer. Blah blah blah...irrelevant franchise.

A Punter Would Be Nice
The Cardinals still seem like a QB away from being at least a division contender, if not a legitimate playoff team. Drafting a QB here would mean they are thinking about re-building. Larry Fitzgerald is in his prime. Darnell Dockett, Adrian Wilson and others are quickly moving past their primes. The window to produce a good team with the current talent is closing quickly. Trading for a veteran QB or signing one would make far more sense. That said, my worst nightmare would be a division with Sam Bradford in STL, and two young stud QBs on the other two teams. It's unlikely, but possible, that Newton and Gabbert could fall. More likely is the Cardinals reload on defense. Just pray it's not a Patrick Willis-level selection.

Not A QB...Probably
Mike Holmgren sounds like he has settled on Colt McCoy as his QB of the future. The team has obvious needs elsewhere, so the logical choice would be to start addressing those. Cleveland is another franchise that is easy to root for. Let's hope they pick whoever the 49ers really wanted.

Andrew Luck
Oops, sorry Jimmy! No luck to save you. The 49ers are unfortunately well-positioned to take whatever great player falls through the cracks. They would love to have Newton or Gabbert, but that only happens if they move up. I could see that, but only if those guys last past Buffalo. This team is a good young QB away from competing for years to come. A veteran might make some sense, but I'd go the younger route if I was running the team. Why put a time limit on your window? If there is another prospect the team likes at QB, trading back isn't out of the question either. Andy Dalton would be a good fit for this team late in the first or early in the second. They may choose to get the best player available here, and take whichever QB falls to them in the second among Mallett, Locker, and Dalton.

Don't Care
You lose your franchise QB and your coach? The idea is to pick at least one side in that argument so you don't completely screw yourself. Rumors are out there of possible interest in Jake Locker, but it would be a joke to pick him this high. They might be thinking second round there.

Don't Care
Fuck you Jerry Jones, and this lockout you were a huge part of creating.

Locker? Really?
Even now, some people have the Redskins drafting Locker this high. Shanahan supposedly loves the guy. I love him too, but he's a huge risk as an NFL QB, and would be foolish selection here. On the other hand, Shanahan could be a great guy to squeeze the best out of Locker. This choice will have impact no matter what. Either a QB gets chosen above his value and starts sending more talented players down the board, or there will be a glut of QBs to choose from at the end of the round. I wouldn't rule out trading back into the early 20s to draft Locker and adding more draft picks along the way.

Don't Care
Really don't care.

QB?
Another pivotal selection. The Vikings are more like the Cardinals than the 49ers. They are better off with a veteran QB that can help them compete now. However, they might fall in love with a young QB and decide to take him here.

Don't Care
Yawn.

Wide Receiver
It's no surprise that surrounding Bradford with playmakers is the top priority. They could draft for pure value, but there are some impressive young receivers in the draft. I won't be shocked if the team reaches for WR that people don't have a first-round grade on like Titus Young, Leonard Hankerson or someone else.

-- Do Your Errands
You could argue there are some pivotal selections from the Seahawks perspective in this bunch, but no more so than anywhere else in the first round. Either there will be a run on offensive lineman or defensive lineman. A player like Mike Pouncey may fall through the cracks, or not. A player like DT Phil Taylor may fall to the Seahawks, or not. This time will simply be a matter of the Seahawks crossing guys off their board until it's their turn to select.

Defensive Lineman, Offensive Lineman, QB, or...
Unless there is a player the team loves at this spot, a guy who they have graded in the Top 12, this screams for trading back. The 25th pick in the draft is worth 720 value points. That's the general system teams use to assess the value of pick in trades. You could trade that pick for a top 5 pick in the 2nd round AND a 3rd round pick for roughly equivalent value. This team needs to fill a lot of holes, and absolutely must have a 3rd round pick this year. It will be controversial, but that's what I would do.