LINK: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/mock-draft ... th-january
This week I wanted to do a mock draft that represented two things:
1 – A run on quarterbacks early in round one
The 2011 and 2012 drafts brought in a new era for the NFL with the rookie pay scale. Instead of contracts worth $60m guaranteed, #1 overall picks were now signing fully guaranteed $22m deals. Since the pay-cap was introduced we’ve seen seven quarterbacks drafted with top-12 picks.
Teams know it’s much less of a gamble these days to chance your arm on a quarterback. To win in this league you need an effective signal caller. The teams picking in the top ten know this because most found out the hard way.
Kansas City had multiple players at the Pro Bowl but finished with the leagues worst record. Why? No quarterback. Drafting Luke Joeckel to replace Branden Albert won’t solve this problem. Andy Reid can’t start off his regime with another year of second-guessing at the position. He has his pick of the group with the #1 pick. While there’s no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III out there, he’ll surely identify a quarterback he believes he can win with.
Once the first quarterback leaves the board, others will fall. We could see three or four going early. This is the way the NFL draft appears to be heading. The potential benefit of finding a franchise quarterback far outweighs the gamble of drafting one in the first round.
2 – A run on defensive lineman
We could also see a run on defensive ends and defensive tackles — two positions that’ll probably be quite high on Seattle’s radar. In this weeks mock I have nine defensive line prospects leaving the board before the Seahawks are on the clock.
Last year seven defensive lineman were off the board before the #25 pick despite none going in the top ten. This year we should see multiple early picks.
The Seahawks need to improve the teams pass rush as a priority, but they can’t and almost certainly won’t force the issue. There will come a tipping point when they have to look elsewhere. This could impact how they approach free agency. If a Henry Melton, Randy Starks, Cliff Avril or Osi Umenyiora makes it to the open market, do you start writing cheques? Can you afford to go into the draft knowing if you wait until the 25th pick you could be looking at the tenth best defensive lineman? Or worse?
I like to mix things up with the mocks — offer different suggestions and create debate. I’ve gone in a different direction this week...