March 2017 SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

Time for a little post-combine, pre-free agency mock draft. I sketched most of this out Sunday night, before the DB’s actually tested on Monday. I made one alteration Tuesday night…see if you can guess which pick.

In addition to my mock, I’m also going to point out who I think Seattle actually drafts. So it’s “who I would draft” and then “who they WILL draft”. Plus I’ll sprinkle in some trips down memory lane.

I’m beginning (again) by trading back. I noticed recently that pick #32 plus #96 matches pretty exactly to the value of the #26 pick, and 32/96 are both owned by the Patriots. This trade maximizes the value on the 3rd rounder, while keeping you within the 1st round (for 5th year option rights).

#32 – Kevin King, Cornerback, UW

Having him right in my backyard I’ve long been tracking Kevin, and after his combine performance and placing first in corner SPARQ, I think he’s truly shown my faith in him was deserved. He’s got the length for boundary and the world class agility to play nickel. As far as I’m concerned he’s been destined to be a Seahawk forever. It would just make so much sense.

Now, having said that, I kinda don’t think Seattle goes there. My guess is they try to go for one of the corners that have been holding 1st round buzz all year. Somewhere between Marlon Humphrey, Cordrea Tankersley, maybe Gareon Conley. Who am I kidding…it’s probably Obi Melifonwu and I throw up all over myself on draft day.

#58 – Zay Jones, Receiver, ECU

Another case of a guy I’ve really enjoyed all year who made money at the combine. A record setting college career, the #2 SPARQ performance of all WR at the combine, and the kind of intangibles that will blend perfectly with Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, etc.

Although primarily used in the slot at ECU, I think Zay has shown through the Sr. Bowl and combine that he has the size, speed, and ability to line up anywhere on the field.

My actual guess for Seattle’s pick at the 58 would be a TE. They’d love to get near Njoku, but won’t. My hunch is it’s Jordan Leggett, but I’d feel better about that if he had tested a little bit better and ran the 40.

#90 – trade back

In an attempt to balance out their draft from five picks in the first 106 overall followed by zero picks in the next 104; I’ve got another trade back. I’m swapping #90 with Denver for their #101 and #127.

#96 – John Johnson, Safety, BC

Primarily a safety for Boston College, Johnson has several games worth of experience at CB in 2015, and measured in at 6’0″/208lbs with 32″ arms…acceptable Seattle CB size.

John didn’t run a great 40 at the combine (4.61s), but players like Johnson’s former BC teammate Justin Simmons and some guy named Richard Sherman both ran combine 4.6’s which they both later improved to identical 4.53’s at their respective pro day’s. Even without a good 40, John still posted the 3rd-best safety SPARQ of the day, with a 55th percentile NFL athleticism.

What the actual pick is here is not as clear. I think “defense”, but could be Edge, could be a different safety, or maybe a SAM. Josh Jones could be in play, maybe Derek Rivers, maybe Tyus Bowser. I’ll say Josh Jones with the caveat that the 6’1″/220 lb safety that ran a 4.41 forty might be a linebacker project for Seattle.

#101 – Dawuane Smoot, Defensive End, Illinois

I vacillated between Smoot here and Jojo Mathis. I think both have 2016 redflags for differing reasons (production vs injury), but both have put on tape better pass rush technique than quite a few guys that will be picked before them.

I think Smoot has a floor of Cassius Marsh, but he has enough upside that he could recapture the form that saw him finish 2015 with 8.0 sacks and 15.0 TFL.

Would you believe the ACTUAL pick here goes to Smoot’s teammate, and higher SPARQ finisher, Carroll Phillips? 4.64 forty and kind of a consolation if Derek Rivers is already gone.

#102c – Aaron Jones, Running Back, UTEP

Thanks to the trade back, Seattle ends up with consecutive picks in the compensation pick cluster at the end of the 3rd round.

I’ve been coveting Aaron Jones forever, and when he tested as the 2nd highest SPARQ amongst RB, it was decided for me.

He’s a little smaller than we’ve seen from most Seattle RB, but still runs really tough. He catches really well out of the backfield and even deep routes. And he’ll play special teams for you.

I’m guessing the pick is a bigger RB that I don’t like as much like a Jeremy McNichols or Brian Hill.

#106c – trade back

I don’t know if Seattle shoots for 10 picks this year. Having five on day 2 might be more appealing. But I like how my board looks moving this back in a trade with Minnesota for their #121 and #160.

#121 – Ahkello Witherspoon, Cornerback, Colorado

I’m actually seeing Kello projected WAY earlier than this since he tested on Monday and came out as the #4 CB athletically. Maybe that means sticking at #106? Maybe that means Ahkello at #102 and Aaron Jones at #121? For now, I’m leaving it as I drew it up on Sunday.

Witherspoon finished 2016 as the 2nd-most passes defended in college football with 22. He’s 6’3″/198 lbs with 33″ arms and ran a 4.45 with a 40.5″ vert. I mean…and there’s this:

Ahkello

He struggles a fair amount with his tackling, but I’ll put his cover technique on par with pretty much any of the 1st round guys.

I’m actually gonna keep Ahkello as the Seahawks pick. If he’s there, I think they can work with him.

#127 – Cole Hikutini, Tight End, Louisville

I have no research to suggest Hikutini is high on Seattle’s TE priority list, and he hasn’t yet tested, but I just like his tape-to-value ratio the best out of all of this year’s TE. If his athleticism is close to what I think I see on tape, he’ll be close to a Gerald Everett level (approx. 1-sigma). Decent production, decent number of TD’s, decent blocking, very good hands.

Historically these 4th-6th round picks have come from very athletic flyer-types. But with SPARQ kind of being public knowledge now, I’m wondering if Seattle is having to adapt and look for other things on day 3. Let’s call the real pick another Seattle 4th round WR: Josh Reynolds. 6’3″ with 63rd percentile athleticism and 12 TD’s this year. Could also see SPARQ leader Robert Davis. Either would be a future Kearse hedge.

#160 – Harrison Butker, Kicker, GTech

I think the target is ASU’s Zane Gonzalez, the presumptive #1 kicker this year. But I think earlier than you’re willing to pay for a kicker.

I think that Butker will be a late riser. A guy that hasn’t even begun to tap into his potential. He’s 6’4″ (just like Hauschka). He hit 8×8 from 40+ this year, while going 15×17 overall, and finishing 6th in the country in touchback percentage.

The real pick: OL Aviante Collins. Collins probably needs to be higher since he just ran a 4.81 forty at 295 lbs, but Draftscout has him at #228 overall, so this is my compromise. Aviante played RT for TCU…has just barely enough arm length to stick there…but could also become a guard. Either way…this is, historically, what Seattle likes.

#210 – Victor Salako, Offensive Tackle, OkSt

I’m going the opposite of Seattle’s trends and taking my OL flyer on a guy that wasn’t invited to the combine. I have no idea of Salako’s actual athleticism…I noticed him early on in the 2016 season, then forgot about him until he weighed in at the Shrine game at pretty ideal OT specs: 6’5″/315 lbs, 34 1/4″ arms.

Above was when I first noticed him watching Oklahoma State in real time. Upon revisiting him recently:

The real pick: maybe a flyer on a 3tech. I’ve got Chunky Clements as a possibility. He has upside if a coach can focus him. Did not test at the combine though invited.

#226 – Jimmie Gilbert, Linebacker, Colorado

This is my purely self-indulgent, “I like this guy better than everyone else seems to”, “it can’t be worse than drafting Kiero Small” draft pick.

Gilbert is tragically underweight (6’4″/223 lbs) and wasn’t invited to the combine. But if he can put together a decent pro day, he could resemble 2011 Seahawk UDFA Mike Morgan (6’3″/226 lbs).

I love Gilbert’s tape and the way he is absolutely maximizing every ounce of his body, if not exceeding. With 34 1/8″ arms, Gilbert has great length and technique for rushing the passer. He’s also shown ability to drop in coverage.

If Jimmie can run anywhere under 4.6 he will put himself ahead of all the Combine LB’s except for Duke Riley. But I don’t think he can get close to Morgan’s 4.46.

The real pick: it actually might be Harrison Butker. Also could see one of a few fullbacks: Algernon Brown or local product Darrin Laufasa.

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Combine Preview: CB, S

By Jared Stanger

And now, the headlining performer of the 2017 NFL Draft…defensive backs.

Arriving in Indianapolis last on Friday, with field testing on Monday March 6th, this year’s combined class of cornerbacks and safeties is soo loaded that, whether it was coincidence or not, it deserves the title of headliner. This is pure candy.

Cornerbacks

I don’t have concrete facts to back it up, but on eye test, this looks like the biggest class of CB’s I can remember. Not by volume…by height. I think I counted 22 unique CB in the combine that are preemptively listed over 6’0″, including six over 6’2″.

Although, currently, I only count a few that have been recorded with 32″ arms from the all-star game weigh-ins (Rasul Douglas, Marquez White, Treston Decoud, Brian Allen). A lot of the big names weren’t at the all-star games, though (Lattimore, Tabor, Humphrey, Jones, Tankersley, King, Conley, Wilson, Witherspoon, etc). Additionally, some that were at the all-star games may get Combine arm length bumps.

In terms of testing; there are so many guys that could really pop. It’s tough to predict a top 5 SPARQ group. Marlon Humphrey is a track guy that has fantastic make-up speed on tape. Adoree Jackson should run fast, but his lack of weight might bring down his SPARQ. I’m reading reports of lesser-known Shaquill Griffin running really good times, but I’ve only seen one game of him (from 2015). Fabian Moreau is a pretty athletic guy.

But I’ve got my money on my hometown dude: Kevin King. Jumps for days, exceptional agility, and I think people are comatose to what his true 40 speed is. I think Kev makes the most money at the combine for his position.

I don’t get the sense that the Florida CB’s or guys like Douglas and Tankersley are blazers. But a fast 40 isn’t always prerequisite for a Seattle CB. Richard Sherman ran a 4.60 at the combine, and later lowered it to a 4.53 at his pro day. Tye Smith was a 4.60 and then a 4.56. Byron Maxwell was a 4.52. Tharold Simon was a 4.51 and then a 4.47. If you’re looking for benchmarks; try to note the guys under 4.55 with a 10’04” broad jump…cross-reference with 32″ arms…and triple-check back to the game tape.

Keep those numbers in mind especially when all of the Pac12 corners test. Decoud, Allen, Witherspoon, Moreau, and King. Also because, though I think Seattle might go CB earlier than ever this year, they might also stick to historical pattern of 4th round back. King may not last that long, but the other four might. Those names could also qualify for the back end of a double-dip (two scoops of CB in one draft).

Safety

I don’t have a great sense for the athleticism tiers in this safety class. I know Jamal Adams and Budda Baker are both up there. I think Marcus Williams might run the fastest 40 of the group. Malik Hooker has to be up there, too. And I like John Johnson’s overall athleticism as a sleeper.

But there’s a whole gaggle more that I have no real sense for. Justin Evans, Josh Jones, Shalom Luani, Montae Nicholson, Tedric Thompson, Xavier Woods. I don’t think I’ve seen any one flash more than another…I don’t think any have ever embarassed themselves looking slow/unathletic. This is probably the best example of a position group where guys will legitimately be “breaking ties” with their athleticism. This will definitely be the combine testing that sends me back to the tape on the most individual players.

Combine Preview: DL, LB

By Jared Stanger

Group 7, 8, and 9 of the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine arrive in Indianapolis on Thursday and will have their primary field testing on Sunday. This consists of two groups of DL, and one of LB’s.

This will be the much-hyped 2017 Edge group. A group that draft media really has zero consensus on after Myles Garrett. We’ve got athletes with no production, we’ve got producers without outstanding traits, we’ve got big-bodied DE/DT tweeners, we’ve got undersized DE/LB tweeners, and we’ve got guys that are just straight up B- across the board. It’s either a mess or a pass-rushing smorgasbord.

Let’s start with the big boys. Jonathan Allen is somewhere top 3 picks, depending on if someone wants a QB. Solomon Thomas should be somewhere top 10. After starting the year very near the top of many big boards; Malik McDowell has been in a bit of a free fall…no production, missed three games, talk of character redflags. And Tanoh Kpassagnon is the biggest of the bunch, with good production at a small school and rumored excellent athleticism, but lacking great edge traits. Arguably all four of these could/should play predominantly interior DL at the next level.

The smallest of the small-bodied guys is Pittsburgh’s Ejuan Price. We’re talking sub 6’0″. And that size deficiency was evident pretty much anytime an opponent double-teamed Price with as much as a RB/TE chip. But he was 5th in the country in sacks. Haason Reddick is almost assuredly a stand-up LB in the NFL, but he’ll go to Indy in the DE group. Same story for Pita Taumoepenu. This group should test very well, however.

Demarcus Walker and Jordan Willis were guys with a ton of production that many don’t expect to test well. Dawuane Smoot had a dip in production under Lovie Smith’s coaching, but should test above average.

The best athletes from the 7th and 8th DL groups should be: Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, Haason Reddick, Takk McKinley, and Charles Harris. I’ve got Jordan Willis as the sleeper to sneak into the top 5 Edge in SPARQ.

Then, there are also guys that will test as LB’s on Sunday, but could play some hand in the dirt DE as pro’s. This is the Ryan Anderson, Tyus Bowser, Jojo Mathis collection. Of those three, Mathis feels the most mis-placed off the ball, as his 260 lbs and pass-rushing traits deserve to be in the DL group. Bowser is correctly placed, but should get 3rd down passrush reps wherever he gets picked.

The rest of the traditional LB’s would feature great testing from Jarrad Davis and Reuben Foster if they were healthy enough to compete. Bowser is a very nice athlete and should perform well across the board. And Zach Cunningham should have a great day.

Overall, it’s not a great group of standup LB’s this year, and certainly not very deep.

Speaking of the groups more challenged of talent…this is a bad year at DT. It makes some sense that it is bad after the quality we saw in 2016, but still. It’s especially rough for interior passrushers.

I think the DT passrush group (outside of the aforementioned DE with DT versatility) begins and ends with five names: Davon Godchaux, Jaleel Johnson, Vincent Taylor, Treyvon Hester, and Chunky Clements. And one of those is kind of a flyer-only based on flashes of upside.

But there are another handful of names that have shown potential to be solid rotational DT. I like Dalvin Tomlinson as a run-stuffer. Both Notre Dame DT (Isaac Rochell and Jarron Jones) hold some intrigue if allowed time to learn on the bench. Similar line of thinking on Nazair Jones. Carlos Watkins had a very productive year, but watching his tape I always ended up wondering if he was often just in the right spot to clean up the work done by Clemson teammates: Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins.

In terms of elite DT athletes…I don’t have a great sense that any are like Dontari Poe level athletes. I think Jaleel has shown the most raw athleticism of the group. But the sleeper has got to be Elijah Qualls. The former fullback with tumbling skills could do crazy things in agility and jumping tests.

Combine Preview: WR, TE

By Jared Stanger

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Groups 4, 5, and 6 of this year’s NFL Scouting Combine arrive in Indianapolis on March 1st, and will be comprised of the QB’s, WR’s, and TE’s. For purposes of a Seattle Seahawk draft blog, I won’t be talking about the QB’s.

Wide Receiver

After hosting 42 WR in 2016 and 45 in 2015; with 58 invited in 2017, what this class lacks in top end WR1’s, it might be trying to compensate for in volume. I hope the combine organizers have lined up additional throwing QB’s.

With 58 receivers participating, they are a plethora of pretty much every type of wideout imaginable. Tall ones, short ones, fast ones, slow ones, slot ones, outside ones.

Tall ones: Ricky Seals-Jones, Kenny Golladay, Bug Howard, Mike Williams, Corey Davis.

Short ones: Greg Ward, Jesus Wilson, Artavis Scott, Speedy Noil, Gabe Marks.

Fast ones: John Ross, Shelton Gibson, Curtis Samuel, Victor Bolden, Mack Hollins.

Slow ones: well, let’s not throw them under the bus. Even some of the slow ones are intriguing this year.

Slot ones: Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones, Trent Taylor, Ryan Switzer, Fred Ross.

Outside ones: Chad Hansen, Chris Godwin, Juju Smith-Schuster, Taywan Taylor, Josh Reynolds.

Five per category with no repeats, and that’s not even half of this class. I mean, where do you even start to talk about this many WR?

In terms of pure SPARQ; I think Mack Hollins (if healthy) has a chance to put up testing somewhere around a Martavis Bryant or Tyrell Williams. I can’t wait to see UW’s John Ross test…would love to see him win the 40. I could see Cooper Kupp having an overall top-5 WR SPARQ score.

Historically, wide receiver SPARQ hasn’t been a strong predictor of Seattle’s interest in a player. Kenny Lawler ran a 4.63 forty, Chris Harper ran a 4.55, Kevin Norwood ran a 4.48 but didn’t show much in the vert, shuttle, or bench. But they also drafted SPARQ freak Kris Durham for pretty much ONLY that reason.

In a general sense, I’ve long been eyeing the 3rd round as the sweet spot this year, but my current sense is that the group of Kupp, Jones, Carlos Henderson, Taylor are looking strongly 2nd round guys.

I think Kupp will surprise people. I think Taywan is a fairly well-documented SPARQ’d up guy. I don’t have a great sense for where Zay is at purely physically…I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a combine like Jordan Matthews did a couple years ago when people thought Jordan was slow…I also wouldn’t be surprised if Zay is an average runner (I lean toward Zay being faster than expected).

In a Seattle sense, if there are questions about Tyler Lockett’s health, Jermaine Kearse’s rebound from a rough 2016, getting out a year ahead of Paul Richardson’s impending free agency year, or a combination of any-of-the-above; your first time to really consider WR is in the 2nd round with that group. So those are a handful of guys to watch for in the testing.

If Seattle is looking more towards filling a specific role, a couple things to watch for are: 1) special teamers, 2) big targets.

  1. Lockett’s timetable is a mystery, but even if he’s back fully for preseason I have to wonder if they look to lighten his load on special teams in order to allow him to focus more attention on being WR2. Carlos Henderson is the top WR kickoff returner in the combine (UNC running back TJ Logan is ahead of Carlos if including all positions). Isaiah McKenzie, Trent Taylor could be some names to watch as punt returners.
  2. During, and since, the 2016 season; Seattle has acquired some big-bodied WR slash TE types: 6’2″/225lb Jamel Johnson, 6’6″/230lb Tanner McEvoy, 6’5″/225lb Rodney Smith, 6’4″/218lb Marcus Lucas, 6’5″/220lb Chris Briggs. So, during the weigh-in, I will be interested to see names that pop at 6’2″-plus/220lbs-plus. Pre-emptively: Jerome Lane, Noah Brown, Juju, Seals-Jones, Golladay, Howard, Hollins. Slightly below those specs, but perhaps having the intended skillset: Darreus Rogers. Watch his gauntlet closely.

And, then, that big WR list will be blended with some of the small TE. Which leads us to…

Tight End

WHAT A FUN GROUP THIS WILL BE TO WATCH!!

Right off the top; David Njoku and OJ Howard should test insanely well. The big guy from Ashland, Adam Shaheen, has shown some crazy athleticism for 277 lbs on the limited tape I’ve seen of him. Jordan Leggett can move, Cole Hikutini is a great runner, Evan Engram, Gerald Everett, Eric Saubert…they just keep coming. Oh…I’ve seen Darrell Daniels run a 4.4 forty, so put him somewhere top 5 pure TE athlete in Indy.

Then, in terms of known quality blocking TE’s, would love to see some of these guys also test well athletically: George Kittle, Hayden Plinke, Mike Roberts.

If I put together a vertical short-stack at TE; I’d target one of these four in the round indicated:

3rd- Leggett
4th- Hikutini
5th- Roberts
6th- Plinke

With depth like this, it’s tough for me to see enough value to go TE in the first two rounds. Start in the 3rd (after addressing something more needy in the 1st-2nd).

Roberts is easily the best redzone threat in this class. The rest of my list are tied-2nd, or tied-7th in touchdowns by a TE in the country this year.

Redzone, redzone, redzone. All signs point toward improving redzone with another big body target (plus Luke Willson is probably walking).

Wide receivers and tight ends will take their field-testing on Saturday, March 4th.

Combine Preview: OL, RB

By Jared Stanger

One week from today the NFL Combine begins in Indianapolis with the arrivals of the first 3 groups of participants covering the specialists, offensive line, and running backs. In this story I will be taking a look at some of the OL and RB storylines to watch for from this year.

Offensive Line

The first thing to look for chronologically are the arm lengths at the weigh-in. Especially from the OL that were at the Senior Bowl. Recent data suggests that (for whatever reason) the Senior Bowl is the stingiest giving out longer AL’s of the three major events (Shrine, Sr, Combine). Guys like Ethan Pocic, Antonio Garcia, and Forrest Lamp could really use at least 3/8″ bump ups at the Combine. And recent history says that is totally plausible, if not up to a full inch improvement. Don’t ask me why this happens, but it does.

My next interest will be seeing how these MANY small-school OL test out. Erik Austell from Charleston Southern is an underweight LT that probably projects to OG and shows good movement on tape. Same story for Kutztown’s Jordan Morgan:

Clearly, I think, the league knows this isn’t a strong year for OL so they’ve invited a lot of guys that project as day-3 flyers: Jerry Ugokwe from William and Mary, Nate Theaker from Wayne State, Javarius Leamon from South Carolina State, Cameron Lee from Illinois State, Jessamen Dunker from Tennessee State, Julie’n Davenport from Bucknell, Ethan Cooper from IPU, and Corey Levin from Chattanooga. Ten from outside of FBS, plus another eight from non-Power 5. If I counted right, that means 29 OL from within the Power 5, 18 from outside of it.

Can anyone step away from the pack as a potential Right Tackle?

I think the Left Tackle’s are pretty well known/set with Bolles, Ramczyk, Robinson fighting it out for first round order. The Seahawks would be lucky to see even one of those three hang around till #26.

But at RT there are a LOT of questions. I think Sam Tevi tests pretty well, but his tape is damning. I think Taylor Moton’s tape is good, but he’ll test horribly and probably get drafted as a guard. Jermaine Eluemunor is similar to Moton, but likely a degree or two better athlete. Damn…I’m basically out of interesting names. I don’t know that anyone else has enough talent, athleticism, and love of football (or even two of three of those qualities) after Tevi/Moton/Eluemunor.

Like, honestly, if Pocic gets enough of an AL bump up; put him at RT. I’m also lowkey intrigued by the idea of Damien Mama at RT. Otherwise it’s punting on OL until day 3 when you take one of the aforementioned small-school flyers (or someone not at the combine).

In a pure SPARQ intrigue list; I think Bolles will win the combine. I think Dorian will be very good. I think Lamp can surprise. I think Morgan can surprise. Robinson should be top5. I wouldn’t be shocked if Mama finished as top 5 OL in SPARQ, too.

Mama’s athleticism and what I’d guess are 34″ arms check off a couple of RT boxes…it would just be more a question of improving his technique (especially in pass-pro). But if a team is looking for more of a mauler-RT, with a better pass-protector at LT…maybe there’s some added value to be found in Mama.

Then again, Mama at RT might end up essentially being Eluemunor, who is not projecting to go as high.

Running Back

I don’t think there is as much intrigue at RB as there is at OL. Less mystery. If you watch enough RB tape, you can get a sense for their 40 yard dash from a big run. You can get a pretty good sense of their agility drills from their work behind the line of scrimmage.

Plus, RB is a position where you can overlook the pure SPARQ number in lieu of simply identifying guys that hit your benchmarks. And, more specifically, making sure your shortlist of guys you’ve identified/approved from tape hit those benchmarks.

As much as I would guess that James Conner, Wayne Gallman, Elijah McGuire, Brian Hill would hold some interest to Seattle; I’ve sort of painted myself into a corner of preferring one of Kareem Hunt and Aaron Jones. Both can catch very well, so 3rd downs are an option. Both have been bell-cows for 3+ years at their respective schools, and I think could do it at the next level, if needed. Hunt has more heat on him now and would take a stiffer investment, but I think Jones posts a better combine. We’re looking for Aaron to hit a 4.48 forty at 210 lbs. If Hunt can run 4.55 or better he is very interesting in the 3rd.

For the straight SPARQ championship; I could see Joe Williams taking that, but watch out for Hood (he’s Robocop). Dalvin should be up there in the top 5, and Jones may sneak in 5th-7th.

Introducing: Draft Peers Podcast

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to the brand new draft podcast; Draft Peers.

In this inaugural launch episode, Seattle’s own Davis Hsu (@davishsuseattle on Twitter) and I sit down to talk a little bit about amateur scouting methods, and then we discuss the first in what will be a series of 2017 Draft position group breakdowns: Center.

Please check it out, and love to hear your comments on my Twitter as well (@jaredstanger).

February 2017 SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to the unofficial start of Draft Season! Time for a little post-season/pre-combine Seahawk 7-round mock draft. Speed-round edition.

I think the right number of picks for Seattle to try to hit this draft is eight. Assuming the addition of two compensatory picks, they only really need one trade-back, but for sake of some spacing issues I’m speculating two trades, 9 picks.

I liked the look of the Panthers’ draft positions, so I ran the math through the Jimmy Johnson trade chart and came up with: Seattle’s #26 + #90 for Carolina’s #40 + #72 + #99 (Seattle technically loses the trade by 6pts. Whatev.). That would put Seattle drafting #40, #58, #72, #99, and #105 all on the second day of the draft.

I like having five picks on day 2, but I don’t really like the drop from the end of the 3rd round until Seattle’s first pick on day three (#185…at the END of the 5th round). I’d like to swap back #72 to the Colts’ slot at #79, and add their 4th round comp pick #143. A VERY even trade per the chart (230 pts to 229.5 pts).

Positioning Seattle at: 40, 58, 79, 99, 105, 143, 185, 211, 247.

#40 – Kevin King, CB, Washington

Realistically, the OL you need won’t be there. I had talked on Twitter recently about targeting Haason Reddick in the 1st as SAM could be a pretty big need, but I’m already starting to see Reddick gone before #26. I think the WR near #40 would fit value-wise, but I’m not sure they fit need-wise. If you’re into splitting hairs, you can get a different corner that you have higher on your board at #26, but with Seattle’s preference for looking for value at CB, a 2nd round Corner is already breaking from tradition on the aggressive side. This feels more plausible to me, I guess.

There are a lot of places that have King available at Seattle’s native 2nd round pick at #58, but I just have a feeling that will change after his combine. So let’s get out ahead of the buzz and lock down a player capable of playing boundary CB, slot CB, AND safety…all positions with health and/or talent question marks heading into 2017 season.

King is terrific in run support, can shut down the red line like all the best Seahawk corners, and will be a fantastic student under Sherm.

#58 – Ethan Pocic, OL, LSU

This is sort of my cynical take on free agency (non) moves response of a pick. I think the BEST move is to be a little aggressive in FA for OL, but I’m cynical that Pete and John will do it. Or maybe it’s the OL themselves that don’t want to come here. With Russell’s ties to Ricky Wagner at Wisconsin, my fingers are crossed that I will be wrong about this.

Pocic represents a lot of things, but the big one is that he’s kind of Justin Britt in a lot of ways (including probably being the best OL you can get in the 2nd round before a steep dropoff). Position-wise; Pocic is Britt in reverse. Britt started at RT, then LG, then OC. Pocic is a college OC, who played LG at the Senior Bowl, but that might be a pro RT (if his reported arm length improves at the combine).

Seattle will often draft a player a year ahead of when the current guy will be hitting free agency (Glow for Sweezy, Vannett for Willson, etc). We THINK Britt will get an extension, but there’s really no precedent for it yet. With all of these things in mind…Pocic.

Pencil him in at RT with Garry getting the shot at LT, while slowing down the development of Fant.

#79 – John Johnson, DB, Boston College

Probably a pretty big surprise. I think Seattle has been a little passive in the secondary, but it needs bold moves to reload the LOB. This is a great year to do it. KK and JJ mark the beginning of a new reLegion.

Johnson is a guy that is most recently a Safety, spent a few games at CB in 2015, and should be a special teams starter from day one. He’ll be a lot like a smaller version of Shead. I think his combine will be nice so I’m, again, trying to get ahead of that buzz with this aggressive positioning.

King represents the player I think we missed on in Justin Simmons last year, while Johnson represents an Eric Rowe or Sean Davis.

#99 – Joe Mathis, DE, Washington

Mathis is a very tough guy to place. He put out some of the best DE tape in the country…for like six games. Then the injury and surgeries…which make his ability to compete at the combine a HUGE question mark. PFF love him, many on draft twitter love him, but he’s still only pulling a #223 overall from draftscout and I don’t think the big, national writers are caught on yet. (I dread when that tweet crosses my TL.)

I’m putting Mathis here as a late-3rd, but I could see him anywhere from 2nd to 6th. With his recent injuries, I’m projecting Joe to have a rookie year path similar to Odhiambo: 53-man redshirt with mostly inactives, and then he’ll step up into most of Cassius’ reps in 2nd year.

#105 – Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville

If I’m being honest, this spot should probably go to a RB. Probably the best-remaining from a group of something like: Wayne Gallman, Kareem Hunt, D’Onta Foreman. But in my own little world of hypothetical, I will go with a TE.

If the team carries four TE again, this pick can be a receiving TE like Jordan Leggett (with Vannett and a re-upped Brandon Williams to block). If Williams isn’t back, they could go with someone like Mike Roberts. Or they could go with Cole Hikutini, who I think is pretty solid at both.

I’ll feel more comfortable with which direction to point this pick after the combine, but in the meantime, let’s split the difference with Hikutini.

#143 – Jimmie Gilbert, OLB, Colorado

Jimmie is sort of the fulcrum upon which this draft pivots. If he doesn’t get to the combine at at least 230 lbs, and you don’t think he can eventually carry 235-240, you probably need to find a different guy earlier on.

I’m picking him because I believe in his traits, and I’ll trust in a pro nutritionist and strength coach to make me look brilliant. He already does things at 223 that don’t really make sense.

#185 – Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP

With a trio of RB’s from the last two draft classes under club control for another 2-3 years, RB isn’t a terribly high “need”. But with such a deep class, it makes sense to at least take a flyer somewhere.

Jones is a guy that I think gets undervalued due to LOC, but whose tape I think is everything I look for in a RB. He’s tough, he’s fast, he can catch, and he runs with a sort of hungry desperation that tells me he will fit in the Seattle RB room and the tradition of Marshawn and Thomas.

Look for Jones to come in at 5’10″/210 lbs at the combine, and run under a 4.50 forty. Good specs to go with his impressive national production: 2nd in explosive runs, 1st in runs over 40 yards, 3rd in rushing yards per game.

#211 – Xavier Woods, SS, LaTech

We haven’t touched on WR, but it’s my sense of this class that if you haven’t found one in the top 100 picks, you might as well wait for UDFA.

Instead I will look to fill the potential void that will be left by unrestricted free agents Kelcie McCray, Jeron Johnson, and RFA Dewey McDonald.

Xavier can play either safety spot, runs well, hits hard, and can play special teams.

#247 – Algernon Brown, FB, BYU

Marcel Reece and Will Tukuafu are both over 31 years old and UFA, while Brandon Cottom is coming off an achilles injury. We’ve seen Seattle take a chance on a 7th round fullback before, so this isn’t unrealistic.

Algie is my favorite FB this year. 6’1″/250 lbs with good hands and experience as a lead back. Really fluid mover for that size.

Not sticking to sports

By Jared Stanger

I was born, and spent the first decade of my life, in Southern California. My family moved around quite a bit back then, but the first house that we lived in that I still retain quite a bit of memory of was the house we had when I was about 4 to 6 years old.

It was the house with the olive tree that never seemed to grow olives in the front yard. It was the house where I learned to stay away from bees. It was the house where I learned to ride a bike. It was the house where a guy living around the corner owned a Delorean. It was the house where I nearly died from a ruptured appendix. It was the house where I found my first best friend.

This is that house.

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More accurately, this is the street where that house was. We lived in the #2 house from the right corner. I’ve marked three other houses on the street that were really important to me.

The first house on the block belonged to my friend Alex. I don’t know if Alex was wealthy, or just wealthy relative to the rest of us, but I remember Alex’s dad drove a Porsche, Alex always had the newest, coolest Transformer toys, and, although my 5 year old brain didn’t recognize it at the time, Alex and his sister would come home from school in the uniforms of a private, Catholic School.

The seventh house on the block belonged to my friends Kim and Lee. Kim and Lee were brothers; Kim the older, and Lee the younger (and my age), if I’m remembering correctly. I don’t know for sure which Asian country Kim and Lee’s parents came from, but my adult self approximates that they were Korean. What I do remember is their house is where I was first introduced to the custom of taking my shoes off inside the home. But, most importantly, Kim and Lee had the coolest tree house in their back yard. The tree house enabled us, in our short little 5 year old bodies, to reach the fruit from the nearby apricot tree.

The third house on the block belonged to my friend Bobby. My best friend. Bobby had an older sister and an older brother, and his family was Mexican-American. From Bobby I remember my first experience with a pinata at a birthday party, but also learning about guilt when I refused to share some candy I had, and Bobby pointed out that the boy who lived in the house before me would have shared. Which was also a lesson about sharing.

I loved those years in that house with those friends.

Korean, Mexican, Agnostic Caucasian, Roman Catholic. We were different enough that my kindergarten brain recognized it. But we were the same enough that we didn’t care. I didn’t care.

I still don’t care.

In 4th grade, my first big crush, was this girl named Alicia Garcia. Though her name clearly indicates she was some kind of Latin American, my only concern was that she was really lovely. I totally did the little boy thing of being outwardly mean to her. I don’t remember specifically pulling her hair, but that was essentially the sentiment of the things I did.

In 5th grade, after moving to Washington, I met a girl who had been born in Guam and fell pretty hard for her. She was exotic-looking…not quite Latin, not quite Asian, not quite Pac Islander. At the time I really didn’t have a clue where Guam was. Years later, when I was working in radio promotions, I would run into her at a bikini contest my station was involved in. Still stunningly beautiful.

In 6th grade my best friend was a Korean guy named Cheol that used to let me steal bags full of gummy bears from his parents’ pantry. That was also, basically, my first introduction to Costco.

In junior high, my best friend became a guy named Alan who I met in my Honors English/Social Studies block. Alan’s dad was African-American and his mom was Japanese. Alan was a really great guy. I wish I hadn’t lost contact with him over the years.

Somewhere in the transition between junior high and high school, I became really close with a guy named Aaron. Aaron was Caucasian and pretty devoutly Christian. Aaron was one of the first people I knew to get his driver’s license. I remember driving around town in the summer, Aaron forcibly making me listen to Alan Jackson songs on repeat. I don’t listen to country music.

Then, in high school, all of my memories shift from school itself, to the fast food restaurant I worked at, and specifically all the friends I had, and made, while working there. That restaurant was where I was when I fell in love for the first time. Hell, it was, for me, an honest-to-goodness case of “love at first sight”.

She was deeply religious, went to a Christian private school…I was a heathen, borderline atheist at that point…in hindsight, we had next to nothing in common. But we became best friends, nonetheless.

Again, through the second decade of my life, all the people I cared about, we had pretty significant differences, but I honestly never cared. They were always secondary to the bigger picture of: “I like being around you more than I like digging in about our differences.”

If I ran into any of these people today, I would welcome them with open arms and love finding out who they became and how they got there.

That’s how I feel about most people most of the time. I don’t know if it’s the journalist in me, or what, but I’m compulsively curious about a person’s backstory. From the notary that recently came to my house to officiate my re-fi, to my neighbor across the street that I think might be Muslim…I can’t help but want to know their stories.

And there’s something beautiful about when you’re willing to ask and they’re willing to answer.

The people I’ve always struggled to relate to in life are those that seem aggressively close-minded and/or arrogantly ignorant.

This is why I don’t understand much of what is going on in our country these days. I don’t understand the levels of fear and hate and intolerance pointed at people because of the superficialities of race and religion and orientation. I. DON’T. GET. IT.

Not only do I not get it from a humanitarian viewpoint…I don’t get it from a practical application. Like, if you’re for measures being taken against Mexico/Mexicans; are you philosophically able to go to a Mexican restaurant? If you can’t empathize with BLM, do you HAVE to also take a hard pass on hip hop music and pretty much all professional sports?? If you’re Islamaphobic, do you make sure the gas station you fill up at isn’t supplied by, and financially supporting, Muslim-based countries? How does a racist ever travel anywhere, or do they?

If you’ve built up intolerances to any of these groups, if you believe the stereotypes, how do you then function day-to-day in a world where these other cultures are routinely contributing and improving it? How do you function when/where it isn’t really by/for/about and revolving around YOU? It really becomes a question, to me, that if you’ve decided you hate the players…aren’t you also forced to hate the game? And eventually you’ll hate all games. How does that ever leave you enjoying life??

I think of this sketch from Key n Peele that has one specific route to point out a larger “type” of mentality (NSFW):

This growing faction of white Americans that act so persecuted, with no self awareness to realize that any real persecution they’re suffering is not the action, but the reaction to them being assholes.

So what do we do? I don’t know. The character in the sketch became self aware. He calls himself the asshole. I don’t know how to communicate with people lacking this truly important basic self awareness. My first hope is for a miraculous movement en masse of them to be willing to be willing. But it’s like waiting for a junkie to hit rock bottom before they can admit that they have a problem.

My younger brother, probably the most worldly person in my family, is a total foodie, and in his attempt to share various foods and international cuisines with myself or our mom (both she and I tend to be new-food apprehensive); came up with this term: the “no thank you bite”. Which is to say, try at least one bite of it before deciding, “no, thank you…not for me”.

It’s sort of profound in its simplicity. And positives come from it. Eventually one of those “no thank you bites” turns into actually enjoying a new food, a new culture. I can remember with distinct clarity finding Vietnamese food for the first time as a result of my brother’s gentle prompting. But I was willing to be willing to try.

Having the self awareness that I’m apprehensive to trying new cuisine led me to deciding whether or not I liked that about myself. Recognizing that I didn’t gave me motivation to change. Motivation to change allows you to look for new doors you can open…and, trust me, from personal experience opening a door feels so much better than building up a wall.

Seahawks Draft All-22

By Jared Stanger

Sitting at work Thursday afternoon I found myself making this mental list of which player in the 2017 draft class I like for Seattle at each spot along the offensive line. It was instantly like, “I have to write this for the entire starting 22 positions.” So that’s what this is. I’m going to give my list of the best (plausible) names at every position.

Left Tackle – Antonio Garcia, 6’7″/302 lbs, Troy University

There really aren’t many LT’s I like in this entire draft. The top name won’t be available past #20 overall. But Garcia should be there.

He’s got the right build. It looks like he has enough athleticism. He definitely has a little bit of edge to him. Run-blocking will be the biggest question mark, but at LT you probably want your best pass-protector.

Garcia is a guy that shows an ability to learn the opposing DE’s moves/habits in-game. So what he misses on early, he is able to correct before the end of the game. He also has some pretty decent recovery ability during individual plays. So even when he’s out of position during a play, he has the strength and athleticism to keep a minus play from being a double-minus.

Draftscout has Garcia at #85 overall.

Left Guard – Forrest Lamp, 6’4″/300 lbs, WKU

I really wish Lamp could stick at LT, where he’s played the majority of his career at Western Kentucky. Such a rock-solid, technical lineman. Sneaky athletic, too. All he’s missing is the prototypical length.

Instead, he’ll likely move inside to guard, and he’ll end up being that Zack Martin stud All-pro guy.

Draftscout has Lamp at #84 overall.

Center – Ethan Pocic, 6’7″/302 lbs, LSU

I had Pocic in one of my earliest 2017 mock drafts…way back before Britt became actually good at Center. I haven’t been watching many Centers since that, but if I had to go back to one, I still think Pocic would be good value.

PFF had a stat this week that Pocic only allowed 11 pressures, with zero sacks and zero hits on QB allowed all year. I’d like to see him be a little stouter though, get his weight up to maybe 317-ish to improve his anchor going forward.

Here is Pocic vs NFL rookie stud Chris Jones from their meeting in 2015.

Draftscout has Pocic as #46 overall.

Right Guard – Dan Feeney, 6’4″/305 lbs, Indiana

I actually haven’t watched much of Feeney this year. He missed some time with a concussion, I believe, as well as playing some games at RT. But he’s one of the rare true-college-guard that can play there at the next level.

The biggest question is: would Seattle spend a 1st round pick on another RG in consecutive years?

Draftscout has Feeney as #28 overall.

Right Tackle – Dan Skipper, 6’10″/319 lbs, Arkansas

Not a misprint. He’s 6’1o”. But he really doesn’t move like it on the field. Skipper is actually Arkansas’ LT for the last couple years…I’ve only started watching him recently, but so far I’m not finding much to complain about in his tape. Good balance between pass-pro and run game. Pad level doesn’t seem to be a problem. He moves like a nicely-athletic, 6’7″ tackle.

Here is Skipper vs LSU, including some snaps vs ultra-productive LSU edge Arden Key:

Draftscout has Skipper as the #126 overall.

Tight End – Cole Hikutini, 6’5″/248 lbs, Louisville

Tight end is such an interesting class this year. The top end is really interesting. The depth is really interesting. You’ve got body types ranging from Jordan Reed to Jordan Cameron to Cameron Jordan. (Well, maybe not that big. But Michael Roberts is pushing 270 lbs.)

My tendency is to go with someone that matches as closely as possible to what I think Seattle could lose in the offseason: Luke Willson.

Luke came out of Rice at 6’5″/251 lbs, and Hikutini is listed 6’5″/248 lbs. Luke had 4.51 speed, and Hikutini looks very quick.

Draftscout has Hikutini as the #144 overall.

Wide Receiver – Cooper Kupp, 6’2″/205 lbs, EWU

(I forgot to mention that I’m using 11-personnel as my base formation. So we’ll look at three WR total.)

I’ve been writing about Kupp for three years. I still like him. He’s got good size, underrated speed, good route-running, decent hands, and he’s pretty damn gritty. EWU uses him a lot as a slot guy, but he’s shown enough ability to play the X.

Draftscout has Kupp as the #67 overall.

Wide Receiver – Carlos Henderson, 5’11″/191 lbs, LaTech

Trying to touch on a few different types of receivers. Carlos is one that will give you some high-end kickoff return ability (3rd in the country at 32.2 YPR plus 2 TD’s). He’s a good deep threat averaging 18.72 ypc, but also scored 19 TD’s through the air (1st in the country), and 2 more “rushing TD’s” on sweeps.

His hands are maybe a 7 of 10, but his run-after-catch is probably the best I’ve seen this year. Carlos was 2nd in the country in explosive catches.

Draftscout has Henderson as the #122 overall.

Wide Receiver – Chris Godwin, 6’1″/205 lbs, Penn State

For this spot, I was primarily thinking of the next Jermaine Kearse. It’s mostly a body type, but then with primary/best usage as a redline target. There were three guys that came to mind for this, and they’re listed between 6’1″-6’2″ and 202-205 lbs.

Amba Etta-Tawo 6’2″/202
Chris Godwin 6’1″/205
Deangelo Yancey 6’2″/20

Etta-Tawo had a huge year with 94 catches and 1400 yards, but I’m not seeing great speed. He did place 8th in explosive receptions.

Yancey I haven’t seen enough tape on yet, but his 19.41 YPC is 13th in the country. Also, 3rd in the country in catches of 60-yards+. He would look better on the explosive receptions list, but he just didn’t have as much volume in targets.

I’m going with Godwin cause he’s the guy I’ve been following the longest, and he just had the biggest game of his college career in that incredible Rose Bowl game on Monday.

Draftscout has Godwin as the #117 overall.

Running Back – Kareem Hunt, 6’0″/225 lbs, Toledo

Kareem is another player that I’ve been following for a long time, and he really justified my early interest this year; rushing for 1475 yards, 10 TD’s, plus 41 catches for 403 yards.

Every tape I put on from Kareem this year, he was breaking off impressive runs. A lot of self-help work; breaking tackles, falling forward, getting that extra 2 yards really regularly. Great balance and enough burst.

Also, the 41 catches is a very good number for a RB.

Draftscout has Hunt as the #131 overall.

Quarterback – Jerod Evans, 6’3″/238 lbs, Virginia Tech

Okay, I’m not terribly concerned about QB this draft. But if we were to look for a backup QB, Evans showed good efficiency (153.10 rating), minimal turnovers (1.9% INT), and enough of a running threat (846 yards and 12 rushing TD’s).

Draftscout has Evans as the #186 overall.

Left Cornerback – Ahkello Witherspoon, 6’3″/195 lbs, Colorado

If roster-mirroring is a thing, and if Seattle does it, Kello is the mirror for Sherm. Literally the same size as Sherm when he was measured at the combine. Witherspoon is one of the most technical corners in this really loaded CB class. And he finished the year with the 2nd-most passes defended in the country.

The downside on Kello is his tackling (which was also a knock on Sherm his rookie year…not always a deal-breaker).

Draftscout has Witherspoon as the #188 overall.

Free Safety – Tedric Thompson, 6’1″/205 lbs, Colorado

We stay right there in Boulder and focus on Safety Tedric Thompson…the only guy with MORE passes defended than Ahkello this year.

Some places list Tedric as a strong safety (he’s certainly big enough), but I just think of him coming from centerfield to snatch this INT against Utah. He would probably need to hit a 4.3 forty to light Coach Pete’s fire for a FS, but based just on tape…

Strong Safety – Xavier Woods, 5’11″/219 lbs, LaTech

It seems weird to look at a strong safety that’s under 6’0″ when we’re so used to Kam Chancellor now, but Xavier is probably top 5 at the position in terms of weight. He’s a stout dude.

Woods really knows how to fill up a boxscore: 89 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 5 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FF. Awesome in run support, a good team leader, plenty of instincts and hustle. And he can hit.

Draftscout has Woods listed as the #220 overall.

Right Cornerback – Kevin King, 6’4″/192 lbs, UW

When there’s a Seahawk corner playing right in your back yard, you notice early and you cross your fingers.

Two full seasons later King is now pushing 6’4″, he finished top 16 in the country in pass defenses, helped UW to the college playoff, and in that playoff game he showcased a brand of tough, physical football that included 9 tackles (mostly in run-support).

We had previously witnessed a sneak-peek of King’s future combine performance, and it was exceptional.

From here, you just need to want him more than everyone else does.

Draftscout has King as the #91 overall.

SAM LB – Jimmie Gilbert, 6’5″/230 lbs, Colorado

I was pretty late to find Gilbert (which, for me, means October), but I immediately noticed traits that I liked, and that Seattle has previously gone after in guys like Mike Morgan and Obum Gwacham.

Playing mostly as a rush OLB for Colorado, Gilbert was completely out of his weightclass against most OT, but he proved surprisingly strong for his lean upper body. He also shows some pretty developed passrush techniques. My assumption is Jimmie will move off the ball more in the NFL, which should be a smooth transition, while still revisiting his passrush on some 3rd downs and certainly in blitz packages.

Draftscout has Gilbert as the #268 overall.

MIKE LB – Blair Brown, 6’0″/240 lbs, Ohio

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t watched Brown at all. Or any MLB, for that matter. Wagz is amazing and this is purely for the exercise.

But Brown did post 128 tackles, 15.0 TFL, and 4.5 sacks. If he does anything at the Combine I will dig into him.

WILL LB – Steven Taylor, 6’1″/225 lbs, Houston

KJ Wright is the current starting WILL in Seattle, which is an impossible body type to mirror in most drafts. So I’m going in more of a Kevin Pierre Louis direction with the smaller, faster Taylor.

Another guy that REALLY fills up a boxscore: 74 tackles, 12.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 PBU, 2 FF. If the price is right, he’d be a really nice rookie-year special teams player, with upside to develop into more.

Draftscout has Taylor as the #184 overall.

Right Defensive End – Joe Mathis, 6’2″/260 lbs, UW

I’m listing Mathis at 260 lbs cause that’s where he told me he’s aiming to play at in 2017 (after being listed at 255 lbs in 2016).

I was really tempted to put Demarcus Walker at this spot as he would give that RDE look, but also be able to play some 3T. Plus, this story could actually use some more first round options. It’s been fairly conservative so far.

I went with Mathis because he’s a better pure edge rusher. He has good get-off (and is working to make it better), he has amazing hand technique, good ability to dip, knows his angle to the QB, but most importantly he has really good all-around, fundamental game (run and pass defense).

Draftscout has Mathis as the #260 overall.

Defensive Tackle – Jarron Jones, 6’5″/315 lbs, Notre Dame

Sometimes when I’m internet scouting I’m starting with tape and then looking for traits. But sometimes I’m starting with traits and then looking for tape. In the case of Jarron Jones; it was the latter. In part because there isn’t much edited tape for him from 2016. I’m stealing from this Brad Kaaya tape. But it’s kind of really a Jones tape.

Jones is #94:

Draftscout has Jones as the #83 overall.

Defensive Tackle – Dalvin Tomlinson, 6’3″/305 lbs, Alabama

After seeing Tomlinson destroy UW in the semifinal, I’m pretty interested in reuniting him with Jarran Reed.

Draftscout has Tomlinson as the #151 overall.

Left Defensive End – Dawaune Smoot, 6’3″/255 lbs, Illinois

I was on the Smoot train as far back as May, and thanks to a pretty “unproductive” year, I’ve been able to watch Smoot drop in projection. At one point he was getting first round buzz. At this point he’s looking like a 3rd round pick. That could be a steal for someone.

So I put unproductive in quotes because Dawaune still put up 15.0 TFL and 5.0 sacks (plus another 10 QB hurries). But there’s this weird thing where unless you’re Myles Garrett (15.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 10 QB hurries) this year, Joey Bosa in 2015 (16.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 14 QB hurries), or Jadeveon Clowney in 2013 (11.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 9 QB hurries) people have trouble looking past the production.

I don’t know that that is fair for Dawaune. I still like him. Cliff Avril was a 6’3″/253 lb edge drafted at #92 overall in 2008, and Smoot has similar traits this year.

Draftscout has Smoot as the #107 overall.

There ya go. That’s my All-22. Now, it’s your opportunity to piece together your own mock draft from these 22 players. Pick 7 of them without overlapping anyone within 32 picks of the prior and next pick. Let’s see what you come up with!