Analytics Mock

By Jared Stanger

Recently, while thinking about how to prioritize players in mock drafts…for example: player at position A, with grade 70, that costs pick X vs player at position A or B, with grade 65, that costs pick Z… it started to come to me to just create a single number that could represent all players’ weighted draft value.

I’m not going to get too detailed into the data points input into the formula, and certainly not the final algorithm, but after running through maybe 12-15 attempts, I did come up with one that yielded results that found a balance between straight player grade and the bonus value that can be found when a player of slightly lesser talent is found at multiple rounds worth of draft capital discount.

It’s the Goldilocks and the Three Bears concept of drafting. Not too __, not too __, but just right.

I will give you two different mock draft configurations based on the same data. The first is just rote adherence to taking the best value player at each round. The second will incorporate a little bit of subjectivity…what might be more toward the realm of team need…but still picking from, say, the top three value marks of each round.

Pure BPA:

2.41 – Illinois Safety, Kerby Joseph

A late riser in this draft cycle; Joseph is a rangy deep covering free safety type with good size and ball skills. He isn’t what I would call a “need” for Seattle if they bring back Quandre Diggs, and certainly not at this price. If Seattle goes Safety here I hope, and guess, it would be one of the handful this year that played a lot of nickel.

3.72 – Cincinnati Corner, Coby Bryant

Full disclosure: the real name at this spot was Florida RB Dameon Pierce. But there is quite a lot of value to be found at RB this draft, and we will address that later. So I made one editorial decision not to mock two RB in this draft, and instead go for a little more balance.

I like Bryant as a player, so to see him come across as a good value in this exercise furthers my interest in him. Good production, good size, good ball skills, good leadership.

4.105 – Chattanooga Guard, Cole Strange

I actually haven’t watched much of Strange yet. I know he’ll be at the Senior Bowl this week, so I will be keying in on him. If he’s a pure guard; I’m not sure the Seahawks will be super interested, but if he reps some at Center or Tackle, maybe that becomes more interesting.

4.112 – LSU Defensive Tackle, Neil Farrell

One potential flaw with this algorithm is that it doesn’t factor for “type”. A nose tackle and a 3-tech are scored by the same DT inputs. And I don’t think the Seahawks need a big-bodied run-stuffing DT like Farrell as much as they could use some interior passrush. But for what he is; Farrell is a very good player.

5.151 – Coastal Carolina Tight End, Isaiah Likely

Tight End is a complicated position this year. There’s a lot of interesting depth, but not much consensus on the order they come off. I tend to think Likely should be higher than this, with his floor probably the 4th round, but clearly the value would spike if he fell to the 5th.

7.226 – Baylor Running Back, Abram Smith

Abram came out of this analysis as the single, highest-scoring player by draft value. Getting a guy with his level of production, traits, floor, and potential ceiling in the 7th round is a win for any GM.

Hybrid Analytics/Need:

2.41 – Colorado State Tight End, Trey McBride

Do the Seahawks need a Tight End? Gerald Everett will be an unrestricted free agent, as will Will Dissly. Watching the 2021 Seattle offense; I can’t help but wonder if they would ever use a TE the way many of the most exciting offenses in the NFL have come to use their TE recently. But, in theory, I think a TE here would make more sense than a Safety. Plus, I am more comfortable with McBride’s projection than Kerby Joseph’s.

3.72 – Kentucky DL, Josh Paschal

This is the pick that I’ve put the most subjective input on for this whole mock. For either a legit reason stemming from the available DL talent in this class, or a flaw in my algorithm; DE did not really place many players high in draft value. I think the Seahawks could use a player like Paschal, though, so I did force the issue a little. While he might have only been 5th or 6th in value at this pick, I made the compromise because he was the 3rd value for Edge (and one in front of him was Aidan Hutchinson), as well as a top 60 value for all positions.

4.105 – Southern Utah Tackle, Braxton Jones

For whatever reason, the players coming out in this OT class seem to lean more towards small-school players than guys from power five schools. Tulsa OT Tyler Smith was also high in this metric. Duane Brown is a free agent, and the offense seemed to take off more when they went away from Brandon Shell at RT, who is also a free agent. So it feels pretty important to find some solutions, or at least depth, at both Tackles. Braxton is a guy that performed well for me in both watching the film and breaking down the math. Same for Smith. Either would be a find at this point.

4.112 – Cincinnati Safety, Bryan Cook

I was already a fan of Cook’s and to see him rank high on this breakdown, I was glad to add him in the 4th. Quandre Diggs is a free agent, Jamal Adams has gone down hurt both of the years he’s been here, Marquise Blair has only averaged about 7 games active for his first three years as a pro, and Ryan Neal is another free agent. They need help at safety, it’s just gonna be a question of which level. Cook sort of feels like a KJ Wright kind of player…not a physical freak, and he may not be a league superstar, but he’ll be a smart, tough, reliable player for you for 6-8 years.

5.151 – Sam Houston Corner, Zyon McCollum

I think this would be an interesting year for Seattle to go hard after a Corner. DJ Reed is a free agent, Sidney Jones is a free agent, Tre Brown needs to come back from patellar tendon surgery and hopefully maintain his speed. Kyler Gordon would need to be considered if he was there at #41, we talked earlier about Coby in the 3rd, but the overall top value on my spreadsheet ended up being McCollum. At 6’4″/201lbs and loose hips; if you hit on that guy in the 5th round (ahem…Sherm); you can suddenly see how that could be the best value at the position.

7.226 – Baylor RB, Abram Smith

I tend to think Abram is more of a 6th round guy, but if you can get him later…his upside could make him one of the great draft stories of the decade.

Seahawks 2022 Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to 2022! For so many obvious and unobvious reasons I never wrote any Seahawk mock drafts in 2021. Not for the 2022 Draft, anyways. You’d have to go back to April for mocks for the 2021 draft. But it’s a new year…it’s time for some new thoughts, and practices, and vibes, and some new blood. So let’s see what we can do.

The Seahawks currently sit with 6 picks for this spring. They have no 1st as the last payment of the Jamal Adams trade, but the Jets gave us their 4th rounder this year as part of the deal. That 4th rounder is gonna be an early pick (roughly 5th in the round), so that’s decent. And they have no 6th as the payment for Sidney Jones trade. I’m putting their overall slate at roughly #40, #71, #106, #108, #149, #224. I’m not gonna mock any trades within the draft, as they really need to stop overvaluing a volume of picks over drafting good players with the picks they have. Let’s begin.

I have like four players on my shortlist for Seattle to target in the 2nd. Some are what I’d consider them forcing a “need” pick. Some are what I consider just taking BPA.

I don’t think they think they need a tight end. They haven’t shown themselves to be valuing the TE they have on the roster this year, or really for a few years going back through Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham, etc. Don’t know why. A lot of really good teams across the league are the teams with the upper echelon TE. But if they, for some surprising reason, decide to do it…Trey McBride is a special talent. It might take him 2 years…as TE’s frequently do…but he’s gonna be in that Kelce/Kittle/Andrews group pretty quick.

After recently putting a LOT of money into Jamal Adams, and potentially putting some new money into Quandre Diggs’ wallet after this year; Seattle may not be in the market for safeties, but I think it’s a good safety draft, with a particular emphasis on guys that can play some nickel. One of my favorite names from that category is Baylor’s Jalen Pitre. Pitre is a guy that plays up a weight class (or two) from his listed 6’0″/197lb listing. He can blitz, he can cover, he can hit. He’s the only DB in the country in the top 50 or so in TFL. A few years ago Seattle passed on Budda Baker because they thought they had their safety already. They will probably do it again with Pitre for the same reason.
The next two names are closer to the need category. Seattle is currently due to lose 3/5th’s of their starting offensive line to free agency after the season. Damien Lewis is still on his rookie deal and Gabe Jackson was given a deal through 2023. That leaves holes at LT, OC, and RT. I don’t love this class of OT’s, but it’s a bit stronger, I think, at RT. I could see them force a pick on an OT. Of the Tackles I see available this late; I tend to prefer the big Austrian from CMU, Bernhard Raimann. Listed 6’7″/305lbs and clearly one of the more athletic guys in the group; Raimann is one of the few that plays LT in college and that I could see sticking at the spot.

#2.40 – Boston College OL, Zion Johnson

My pick for the Seahawks in the 2nd is the sort of makeup for not picking Creed Humphrey last year. Zion Johnson is a jacked 6’3″/316lb’er that has started years at both LT and LG for Boston College. I have a clear preference for his tape inside at guard. As I previously noted; Seattle is only retaining their starting 2021 guards for 2022. So what is the plan drafting a guard? Three options: 1) move Zion back to LT where he played in 2020, 2) move Zion to center where he doesn’t have experience, but I think he has the mind to learn it, or 3) move Damien Lewis to center where he played for that game or two in 2020. I kind of prefer the 2nd option. And there is some precedent for it as Justin Britt had college experience at guard and both tackle spots, before being drafted in the 2nd round, and eventually making his way to center.

Seattle’s RB situation has been a mess this year and next year is all question marks with Chris Carson’s health a big question mark, Rashaad Penny off his rookie contract, and none of the other roster RB showing the ability or faith from the coaches to step up into a bellcow role. The 3rd round is sort of written in ink for me as the spot you draft a running back. It’s just a question of which one. I like this RB class overall. I like the 3rd round as the sweet spot where the depth and value will click. With names like Jerome Ford, Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, possibly Isaiah Spiller still on the board.

#3.71 – UCLA Running Back, Zach Charbonnet

For the value of the pick, Charbonnet feels like the guy I’ve watched that ticks the most boxes. All the guys are big enough, so that’s not gonna be a problem. I don’t worry too much about speed from a RB, so that’s a push on the group. You’re just trying to nitpick things like passcatching, passpro, durability, maybe redzone. I come up with Charbonnet.

Okay, so Seahawks have now hedged some combo of Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, and Rashaad Penny before free agency, but ready to be sick? Here are some of the names from the defense that have expiring deals: Quandre Diggs, Al Woods, Sidney Jones, DJ Reed, Ryan Neal, Rasheem Green. That’s four starters and two pretty important depth guys. I’m sure they re-up some of them…not sure which. But they’ll need to reinforce the defense substantially via draft. I’m gonna close out my mock all on defense.

#4.106 – Alabama Defensive Tackle, Phil Mathis

I’d kinda like to find a replacement for Rasheem Green, but that would probably need to be done in the 3rd. Edge is a little thinned out by now. Defensive Tackle could still have some names. I like Matthew Butler out of Tennessee. If he declares, you could replace the ex-LSU Tiger nose tackle Al Woods with the ex-LSU Tiger, current Baylor Bear nose tackle Siaki Ika. Or, if you’re lucky, a member of the Natty-playing Crimson Tide is still there. Mathis brings some position versatility where he can rush the passer but he’s also stout enough in the run-game to play some nose.

I’m very picky about corners. Part of that comes from training myself to target what Seattle had always targeted before drafting Tre Brown last year. Part of it comes from witnessing what seems to work across the league. Having said that…I don’t love this CB class. Just when I think I’ve found one that checks most of the boxes, I watch one more game and it’s a downer. And Seattle’s gonna need more corners. They’re starting to treat CB the way they’ve treated OL for years…kind of patchworking a group from low-level trades and light free agent investment. They need to hit on somebody.

#4.108 – Cincinnati Cornerback, Coby Bryant

Bryant was one of the most consistent corners I watched this year. Maybe never hit the highest upside plays that some other guys hit, but never had the double negative plays that those same upside guys had. Is he Richard Sherman? Probably not. But could he be Shaq Griffin? I definitely think so. Might actually have more leadership than Shaq, too.

#5.149 – Baylor Safety, JT Woods

I don’t know what happens with Diggs, but I’m drafting a guy I think could start if he had to. Woods was already an ascending player in my mind, from a team that I’ve really liked watching this year, and then he went and posted that impressive performance in the New Year’s bowl game where he intercepted two balls and had another that looked like a forced fumble but ruled a PBU. He’s a high school track guy that could probably play single-high if Seattle went back to that. And sidenote; with a 6’2″/193lb frame, you might be able to cross-train him at corner.

#7.224 – Cincinnati Safety, Bryan Cook

I don’t know if this is more a replacement for Ryan Neal leaving, or hedge for Jamal Adams’ health; I just know I want the player. Cook is listed 6’1″/210lbs and if that’s his legit size, I want him as a box safety. I really like how much he contributes on a pretty loaded, playoff Bearcat team: 93 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 2 INT, and 9 PBU. He’s a very disciplined player. He has great fundamentals. Floor could be Bradley McDougald.

Final count:

2.40 OG Zion Johnson
3.71 RB Zach Charbonnet
4.106 DT Phil Mathis
4.108 CB Coby Bryant
5.149 FS JT Woods
7.224 SS Bryan Cook