Seamock Draft 10

By Jared Stanger

We are five days out from the 2021 NFL Draft…felt like a good time to knock out another 7-round mock draft. You know the drill: Seahawks gonna trade back and add picks. I ran a few different trade scenarios and posted them on my twitter account. I’ll cut straight to the chase here and trade #2.56 to the Dallas Cowboys for their picks #3.75, #3.99, and #5.179. I will then trade the 4th round pick at #129 to San Francisco for their picks at #5.155 and 6.194. Final draft board: 3.75, 3.99, 5.155, 5.179, 6.194, 7.250. Doubling your picks without sacrificing all upside.

3.75 – OL Quinn Meinerz

There has been a lot of chatter connecting Meinerz to the Seahawks. I think a Center makes a lot of sense at this spot as there are a handful of good ones in this class…Meinerz tested very well athletically but also hit some important benchmarks in terms of his build and length. He’s shorter at 6’3″ (may help Russell’s passing lanes), but has decent length (33 3/8″ arms), and very stout (320lbs). I don’t think it’s improbable the Seahawks could be interested.

Meinerz has mostly played guard in college, so we may see him backup Pocic for the year, then let Pocic walk in 2022. It’s also worth noting that the Seahawks haven’t let either of their most recent centers start at the spot as rookies. Britt started at RT and Pocic started as bench swing OL. Low expectations here for the immediate future.

3.99 – LB Hamilcar Rashed

I find it strange we aren’t talking more about the current hole on the roster where KJ Wright used to be. I realize the primary reason is that KJ is still on the market and fans are optimistic he’ll be back, but I dunno. Besides, I think there’s a nice pocket of players in this class that could be nice plug and play SAM linebackers. In my scenario; Jordyn Brooks remains at WILL, and the SAM will have skillset more akin to when Bruce Irvin was at the position.

Rashed measured 6’2″/251lbs with a very nice 4.62s forty and solid jumps at his pro day. During the 2020 season it seemed teams schemed to stop him as his production completely fell off, but in 2019 he had 14.0 sacks and a nation-leading 22.5 TFL. It’s a profile that the roster doesn’t really have at the moment as most of the edge rushers have suddenly become closer to 270 lbs than the 250 that Rashed is at. But Pete has a long history of incorporating that smaller LEO/Elephant role going back to Clay Matthews at USC.

5.155 – WR Michael Strachan

Okay, it is super unrealistic projecting the Seahawks drafting two players from outside Division 1 within their first three picks, but they also have to hunt value like never before this year.

Strachan is a 6’5″/226lb specimen that posted one of the higher RAS scores from this WR class. 4.50s forty, 35″ vert, and really still learning the position. But we only need someone to take the reps from David Moore. Moore was an underrated deep-threat, jump-ball option for Russell; and those are things Strachan excels at.

5.179 – CB Jason Pinnock

I’m pretty ride or die for Pinnock at this point. Size measurements check out. Athleticism checks out. Coverage analytics check out. And the buzz hasn’t caught on so the value checks out. Seahawks’ corner room is deep enough at this point that they can wait on Pinnock.

6.194 – DT Taquon Graham

Similar to the SAM pick; I feel like we’re overlooking the absence of Jarran Reed too much. Even though this isn’t a highly rated DT class, there are some good athletes, and I believe Pete and John take a shot on a 3tech somewhere.

Graham pro-day’d at 6’3″/292lbs, with a 4.89s forty, and 32.5″ vert. Overall the 3rd-best DT athlete in the class. This is the kind of guy you take a shot on in the 6th round

7.250 – LB Nick Niemann

Much like Graham; this is an athlete upside pick. Niemann is 6’3″/234lbs with a 4.51s forty. Don’t need much from him year one outside of special teams.

Final haul:

3.75 – OL Quinn Meinerz
3.99 – LB Hamilcar Rashed
5.155 – WR Michael Strachan
5.179 – CB Jason Pinnock
6.194 – DL Taquon Graham
7.250 – LB Nick Niemann

Spring SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

Seattle sports scene has been a depressing place to be the last couple months and feeling excitement about the future of both major sports franchises has been difficult to conjure. But today marks the beginning of Spring Training games and tomorrow begins the month of March, and with each hopefully will come some new vibes.

In that spirit I present only my second Seahawks mock draft of this cycle. When I last presented this I wasn’t even fully accurate on the number of draftpicks the Seahawks hold this year. I believe, now, that the correct number is: four. While the league is still waiting on announcement of compensatory picks; it isn’t expected that Seattle will be receiving any of those. The comp picks will only serve to mark the accurate placement of all picks after the 3rd round. So, other than the 2nd, these Seattle pick placements are rough estimates of where they will land after comp picks are added for the league.

I currently have the board as: #2.56, #4.123, #5.161, #7.244.

Pete and John have never shown enough confidence or trust in their drafting to go this concentrated. They want more shots on the clock than this. So we can expect multiple trades. I wonder about them trading a currently rostered player to add some of those picks, but I don’t have a strong feeling for who those players are. Carlos Dunlap seems like a valuable piece who also happens to carry the 3rd-highest cap hit on the roster. The 5th-highest is Jarran Reed. In one sense, I’d rather trade Jarran than Carlos based on perceived impact to the on-field play, but I think it relevant to note that this is a pretty awful DT draft class. Conversely, there could be quite a few players with similar profiles/abilities to Dunlap available even as deep as 4th-5th round.

I’m not going to get into a conversation about trusting John/Pete to replace Dunlap when they’ve missed in varying degrees on guys like Malik McDowell, LJ Collier, Darrell Taylor. I think this is just a blanket statement you could make about all positions. I’m just going to write with an assumption of competence and hope that they’ll finally put together another great draft class.

Really, I’m making a concerted effort to make this specific mock about players that I trust on a deeper level. I’m not going to get too explicit explaining what that means, but just know there is a certain thought going into this group. Sometimes that means going contrary to what I think Pete would do, but it also means sometimes going contrary to my own initial thoughts.

I’m not going to go too far into the trading around. I’ll do one trade back from their first pick, and then try to make things work. So, from #56, I will move back to the Packers #61 which should also give them enough leftover value to also get a 4th (#131) and a 6th (#211).

#2.61, #4.123, #4.131 #5.161, #6.211, #7.244

I think there are a bunch of directions free agency could force Pete/John to go in for their first pick. Replacing Chris Carson/Carlos Hyde at RB. Replacing Shaquill Griffin/Quinton Dunbar at CB. Maybe adding to the edge rush. Maybe trying to give the TE room a legit weapon with the loss of Olsen and Hollister, and the new offensive coordinator in mind.

I think there is enough depth in this CB class to wait on that. I don’t love the value of RB or TE this early. I like the value of DE around this range, but I’m not sure the team will see it as a need right now. Personally, I’m not coming out of this draft without reinforcements for the OL, which is also losing one starter to retirement and one to free agency (for now). Plus, it’s an olive branch to Russell Wilson.

In the previous mock I was looking to gain a future tackle piece from a solid OT class, but recently I’m seeing the OT board falling away. Especially with the trade back. So we pivot to the interior OL. It’s a pretty solid Center class as well, with three OC likely coming off the board between 50-80: Landon Dickerson, Josh Myers, Creed Humphrey. Quinn Meinerz coming from the small school probably falls later. Of the first three: Humphrey may be the best pass-blocker, Myers may be the best run-blocker, and Dickerson may have the best intangibles. I’m not sure there’s a loss among them, so the decision may come down to who is still on the board.

#2.61 – Ohio State, Center, Josh Myers

The Buckeyes were one of the top 10 most effective run-game offenses in the country last year, and their scheme is potentially a shade of what we could see from the Seahawks going forward; so the incorporation of Myers might be an ideal fit. Myers has good size at 6’5″/312lbs, he’s a nice athlete for the position, and he plays with an edge.

#4.123 – Mississippi State, Running Back, Kylin Hill

I’m a very big Chris Carson fan. I think he’s super underrated locally and across the league. But I think we’re about to find out where he’s underrated more as he works his way through his first free agency. I’m having trouble, with all that is going on within the roster, seeing the team giving Carson a multi-year deal. At best, maybe they tag him to delay his departure a year. So I’m looking hard for replacements in this draft. The two best fits would be Najee Harris and Javonte Williams, but I just don’t know that I can spend the draftpick they would cost to acquire. When you turn to the next tier; I think you’re looking at Rhamondre Stevenson and Kylin Hill. Rhamondre feels like the guy Pete is gonna covet more, but I’m rolling with Kylin.

What you’re hoping for here is a nice middle ground between like a 3rd round Kareem Hunt and a 5th round Aaron Jones. Kareem was about 5’11″/216lbs with a 4.62s forty…Aaron was about 5’9″/208lbs with a 4.56s forty. I’d take Kylin at 5’10″/212lbs with anything under a 4.59s forty.

When I’m watching RB’s; I’m looking for a few major keys. 1) running the ball (obviously), 2) catching the ball, 3) pass protection. #1 tells me I can use him on 1st down. #2 tells me I can use him on 2nd down. #3 tells me I can use him on 3rd down and long.

1:

2:

3:

#5.131 – Buffalo, Edge, Malcolm Koonce

If there can be such a thing as a luxury pick in a draft that began with only 4 picks; this is mine. I just really like Koonce as a player and he’s a bit of a profile that we don’t have on the roster right now. Listed at 6’3″/250lbs, Koonce would be the smallest edge rusher from a group that currently consists of 291lb Collier, 285lb Dunlap, 279lb Green, 265lb Mayowa, 260lb Moore, 267lb Taylor, 260lb Robinson. Maybe you include Shaquem in that group, but he’s the opposite direction at 227lbs. Depending on what they do with KJ Wright (I suspect they bring him back); you may also be able to try Malcolm at SAM next to Wagner and Brooks for a look more reminiscent of earlier years Bruce Irvin.

Speaking of Bruce….check the second clip:

#5.161 – Ole Miss, Tightend, Kenny Yeboah

For whatever reason; I thought Seattle had a good tightend room last year, but then kinda didn’t use any of them much. And it seemed to me using the TE would have been a good way to break teams out of their Cover 2 shells that seemed to baffle Pete/Schotty/Russ all second half of last season. I think the new OC will bring some changes in this specific regard. But we’re still gonna need more bodies. Olsen has gone off to hold a microphone fulltime. Hollister will probably go on to drop balls fulltime somewhere else. Dissly is coming off his healthiest season so far, but that’s always gonna be a question mark for him. And then Parkinson got no work and therefore no film, so he’s a giant question mark.

My guess is they’ll look to sign somebody inexpensive at the spot from the free agent pool, and then draft another guy. Kenny Yeboah really intrigues me. He played 2020 at Ole Miss listed at 6’4″/240lbs. I happen to know he’s now up over 251lbs. But I think it’s too much weight, too fast. He needs to get back down to like 245 and he’ll be fine.

Yeboah brings an interesting skillset. He was one of the most explosive TE in the country last year averaging 19.41 yards per catch with 6 TD in 8 games. And he also was a very good blocker for his size. We’ll first look at the blocking:

And now the receiving. I love this little delayed slant. Cover 2 buster for sure.

I love that he put up great tape vs Alabama, too.

#6.211 – Pittsburgh, Cornerback, Jason Pinnock

Jason Pinnock is a guy I’ve been following for a while and is finding himself as the odd-man out in one of the best CB classes in like a decade. He is worth so much more than this pick position. I liken him very much to Byron Maxwell, who Seattle took in the 6th round in 2011. BMax was 6’0″/202lbs, ran a 4.43s forty with 33″ vert and 10’4″ broad. That’s the floor. But Pinnock has a bit more athleticism and therefore may climb up into the 4th or 5th. In combine training, Pin has been tested with a 4.48s forty, 40″ vert and 10’8″ broad at 6’1″/205lbs. He also hit a 6.58s three-cone which is absurd for a guy that size (Doug Baldwin had a 6.56).

Corner is a position of need for the team and it’s a deep draft class, so I’m neither forcing an early pick at the spot, nor letting my board fall completely away. If I’m on the clock in either of my 4th round picks and only have 1-2 names left on my corner board; I’m willing to take Pinnock there, as well.

#7.244 – South Dakota State, Wide Receiver, Cade Johnson

I don’t know who in this WR class will fall this far, but I feel like odds are someone will. There are SOOO many WR this year. Maybe it’s a Shi Smith, maybe it’s a Damonte Coxie coming off a missed season due to injury, etc. I just think we want to look for a guy that can become a reliable target over the middle. Lock and DK have proven they can be the deep threats. Now go get someone that can work intermediate between the seams. I like Cade as a value play on day 3. He has a lot of the same traits as Lock, but he had no 2020 season due to the school he attended being FCS, which could mean he drops.

Recap:

#2.61- OC Josh Myers
#4.123- RB Kylin Hill
#4.131- DE/OLB Malcolm Koonce
#5.161- TE Kenny Yeboah
#6.211- CB Jason Pinnock
#7.244- WR Cade Johnson

SeaMock 2021.0

By Jared Stanger

Hello everybody! It’s been awhile. 2020 has been such an insane year that writing mock drafts, and even just keeping up on watching prospects, has really fallen so much by the wayside. But hopefully things are starting to settle down.

We can start to get an idea of what a Seahawks 2021 draft could look like. The first thing to do is to set the board. To my surprise; Seattle currently looks to be starting with five picks. The big headlines told us that the 1st and 3rd rounders this year are gone (to NY in the Jamal Adams trade), then there was the trade that brought Carlos Dunlap here, and thank God they took BJ Finney as part of the deal so that draftwise we only lost a 7th rounder. But, what was somewhat forgotten was that we had gained a 2021 7th rounder in exchange for our 2020 5th rounder in the Quandre Diggs trade last year. So we’re still left with one of two 7th’s, plus native 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th round picks.

I worked out a rough estimate of conditional pick allotment per round expected for this year, so that I can more accurately approximate Seattle’s current projected pick locations. The resulting numbers go: 2.60, 4.127, 5.166, 6.208, 7.249. After that, I’ll project one trade back just to get the inventory up a bit. We’ll do #60 to Houston for pick #3.68 + #4.121.

I think draft boards across the league are going to vary more widely this year than ever before. We have too many unknown variables with how teams will value players that opted out of 2020 vs players they actually got to scout this season. Gonna be some wide discrepancies between teams targeting high ceilings and teams targeting safe, high floors. Players they know more accurately where they’re at in their development vs players they simply THINK have more upside based on 2019.

#3.68

Sketching out a rough snapshot of what is available here, as well as considering what positions this draft class has most depth in that could be found later, I sort of come down to an OT or a DL here.

This draft is slowly building a nice group of undervalued, true Defensive Ends. By that, I’m not talking 250lb linebackers that rush the QB…I’m talking guys that are 265-285lbs and tall/long (some could also rep as 3tech). Many of those guys don’t have a ton of hype right now, and certainly there isn’t a consensus of what order and how early they come off.

The problem is…Seattle has drafted a bunch of these types recently, and for various reasons none are currently working. Collier might be a useful piece, but it’s looking more and more like he should be inside at passrush DT. Green led the team in sacks last year, but has basically done nothing this year. Taylor has literally done nothing this year and I’m starting to worry about another Malik McDowell pick. And Robinson seems decent, but also that he’s not in the coaches good graces. Would I bypass drafting another one of this type? No. Would Pete/John? Probably.

Just for point of documentation; I’ll mention Vandy DL Dayo Odeyingbo as a guy that is currently discussed about this range and that I really like. A few years ago I really coveted Preston Smith for Seattle; he ended up going #38 overall…Dayo gives me the same vibe as Preston did, and he may also end up going earlier like Preston did.

This leaves me with Offensive Tackle. I don’t like the high-end OT availability this year, but I think taking a shot in the 3rd round makes more sense. I’m currently sitting on two OT that I think are sneaky upside players. One, is definitely not currently projected this early, but may be after the Combine. The other guy is one I’ve been on for a while, and I think he already fits this value.

Offensive Tackle, UNI, Spencer Brown

Spencer is a monster. Listed 6’9″/322lbs and carrying it really well. I think he’s got plenty of athleticism…good footspeed and strong upperbody, and some very underrated flexibility. Out of all the OT I’ve watched this year; I think Brown has the worst temperament. By that I mean: he’s the nastiest. He played RT for UNI last year, but I wonder if he couldn’t be a future LT. We need to replace Duane Brown in these next two drafts, so getting one in the 3rd this year, with a year to redshirt him, would be a coup. But the floor, I think, might be a Lane Johnson at RT.

#4.121

This particular spot in the draft…early-to-mid 4th round, at the beginning of day 3 of the draft…is typically one of the most efficient drafting chunks. Teams will frequently go really hard Best Player Available after thinking about the pick all night after day 2.

In my sketch I had a couple CB I liked here, I had some WR, could be a few RB, and this might be the last chance at OT before that group falls off the cliff (if you haven’t already addressed it earlier). I think this year you can find CB later than this. You can kinda always find WR. RB we may talk about momentarily.

At OT, my Combine winner wildcard is BYU RT Chandon Herring. No one is currently talking about him, so he’s no where near the 4th round at the moment. I barely see him spoken about as draftable. Projecting him here is me anticipating a bump from UDFA to middle of the draft. Maybe a good Combine raises him up higher than this…maybe it only raises him from UDFA to 5th. But I feel like this is solid middle-ground.

If you decide to go DL in the 3rd; Herring is my fallback at OT. But, if you go OT in the 3rd; my fallback for the 4th might be DL. I talked earlier about the true DE’s in this class…I think the depth of that spot extends further down than here. But, with this pick I’m trying to hit that George Kittle guy. Someone/something that is undervalued either in general or in this class, which creates a wormhole for him to fall this fall, but with more talent than you should be able to find here.

Defensive End, Buffalo, Malcolm Koonce

Malcolm is listed 6’3″/250lbs. He is more the OLB/LEO type than what is more commonly found in this class. That size/profile seems to be falling out of favor in the league. Teams lately are more interested in guys like Marcus Davenport or Yetur Gross Matos (or, ahem, Darrell Taylor), than Josh Uche, Zack Baun, Chase Winovich, Maxx Crosby. And, really, a version of Crosby is what you’re hoping for here…6’3″-6’5″, 245-255lb, DE/OLB out of the MAC Conference that you can pull from the 4th round, who turns into a 10 sack per year player.

#4.127

Much like the previous pick…we’re just looking for that Kittle player. RB, like TE, is a position where talent is often overlooked until later in drafts. Be it our own Chris Carson, or Marlon Mack, or Aaron Jones, or James Conner…it’s not unheard of to find RB talent after pick #100.

Running Back, Oklahoma, Rhamondre Stevenson

I think there are a handful of RB that will be available here that I’d be interested in, but Rhamondre is the one I’d be most ecstatic for (and probably least likely to fall this far). With Carson coming quickly into free agency and currently no deal; not to mention all of the RB injuries again this year (including Carson); any self-respecting “balanced pass/run” team needs to get a RB pretty much every year.

Mondre is listed 6’0″/246lbs. Which is crazy for how well he moves. I haven’t found much I don’t like about his tape, and hopefully his limited work in 2020 (50 carries in 3 games after missing the first 5 games with injury) will let him fall a bit.

#5.166

This is the easiest pick for me this mock.

Cornerback, Central Arkansas, Robert Rochell

Rochell is listed 6’2″/195lbs, he visually looks to have the prerequisite 32″ arms, and his athleticism will be eye-popping at the Combine. Getting him this late is the only question. Fortunately, in a sense, he hasn’t played much in 2020 due to non-existent season for his conference, and his 2019 tape is at his small school.

#6.208

This pick is such a shot in the dark. In terms of players declaring, draftstock months from now, and what will be surrounding this spot. But, as a general rule, I feel safe thinking that there will be some WR that I like still on the board. This year is very strong in slot WR, but I don’t have a strong feel for which ones aren’t valued as high as the rest. So this pick I’m not projecting a slot guy, but instead going with someone I feel more confident will be available this late.

Wide Receiver, Nevada, Romeo Doubs

Romeo is listed at 6’2″/200lbs, which could be what is missing on a roster with 5’10” Lock and 6’4″ Metcalf. Doubs is a Junior, so I am going out on a limb a bit thinking he’ll declare, but if he does declare the value is right. The intent is sort of trying to find this year’s Travis Fulgham. I like that Doubs is consistently running the right side go-route, as Lock and Metcalf seem stronger, for whatever reason, on the left. He’d be another awesome deep threat for Russell.

#7.249

The defense has been such a disaster in 2020. We’ve seen some progress on the passrush since the addition of Dunlap, but the corners are still huge questionmarks. Both Griffin and Dunbar are impending free agents, and I’m not sure you can pay either of them. They probably will pay one, but certainly the position needs reinforcements. And two shots at it could be a smart move in this deep CB class. This pick is one of my personal favorites in the entire draft.

Cornerback, Pitt, Jason Pinnock

I like Pin because he’s got the right size, 6’0″/200, he’s got excellent technique, but he’s also basically unspoken for in the draft community. So he’ll almost definitely be available where Seattle likes to find their Corners…day 3. I think there is a very high floor here…he may never become a Seattle starting Left CB, but I feel safe that he would be a solid Right CB in our scheme.

#3.68 – OT Spencer Brown
#4.121 – DE Malcolm Koonce
#4.127 – RB Rhamondre Stevenson
#5.166 – CB Robert Rochell
#6.208 – WR Romeo Doubs
#7.249 – CB Jason Pinnock

Mariners Upside Draft

By Jared Stanger

The Mariners during the Jerry Dipoto years have shown themselves to be staunchly in favor of drafting college players in the first five rounds, and exclusively a college player every 1st round under him.

2019- 6×6 college, 5 pitchers, 1 bat
2018- 5×5 college, 3 pitchers, 2 bats
2017- 4×5 college, 3 pitchers, 2 bats
2016- 4×5 college, 1 pitcher, 4 bats

It’s a 90% college tilt in the first five rounds. 57% pitching, 43% bats.

So it only makes sense that pretty much everyone is expecting them to draft a college player again in the 1st round this year, and more college players the rest of the draft.

But I wonder if we’re all wrong.

There was something I first noticed last year. 2019 was a draft that seemed pre-draft very heavy towards position players…and the eventual results showed the same (2 pitchers, 14 bats drafted in the first 16 overall), but Seattle drafted five consecutive pitchers to start their draft. Was this a conscious attempt to find value by zagging while the league zigged?? If so, what would be the contrarian move in the 2020 draft? By all accounts…the league “zig” will be to do what Seattle usually likes to do: draft super heavy on college players.

Which means, if the theory is correct, the zag would be for Seattle to target high-upside prep players.

And the thing is…it kinda makes sense for a few other reasons. 1) Bonus pool allotment this year is use-it-or-lose-it. There is no stashing money for players after the first five rounds. Those guys get $20k or go back to school. You just need to pay six draftpicks and you have $10.265mill to do it. 2) The Mariners farm system is in a pretty good place. The first major wave will hit between this year (if it happens) and next. You could look to draft for upside knowing you’re not desperate for players that will be quick-to-the-show. 3) If you draft/acquire the right prep players; they can actually travel through the farm system as fast, if not faster, than a college player. And those type of players arrive at MLB 2-3 years younger (see Kelenic, Rodriguez, and soon Marte).

On top of all of this; if Dipoto’s own words are to be taken seriously, and not as some kind of misdirection; “I do think there’s a greater likelihood for us to take risks that we might not have been quite willing to take in ’16/’17.”

With all this in mind, I sketched out an entire mock based on upside, and I think the results are pretty interesting.

#6 – RHP Mick Abel

This is the biggest speculation of this mock. Dipoto also made comment that they would, “prefer middle of the field athletic, offensive players near the top of the draft”. He made these comments before the draft was confirmed to only go five rounds, so we need to wonder how much of this draft qualifies as “top of the draft”. It might be the whole thing. It might be the first three picks. As a “preference”, are you okay getting two middle defenders and one pitcher in the first two rounds?

I’m pretty sure there was also a line from Jerry that referred to not taking three consecutive right-handed prep pitchers at the top because of the inherent, well-documented risk around drafting HS RHP. But does this exclude them from taking ONE??

I like Abel here for a few reasons.

  • I think he’s the best prep pitcher in this draft, but getting downgraded because of the conventional thinking against prep righties. Which means: value.
  • I think he’s got the kind of frame Seattle prefers, and some pretty promising rapsodo metrics to build on. He actually kinda reminds me of Logan Gilbert.
  • He’s a Northwest product…essentially from Portland, so getting to play for the major league team closest to home may be a strong incentive to sign away from college commitment to Oregon State.
  • Abel’s draft projection is between, roughly, #8-11 overall. If you draft him at #6, you could theoretically give him bonus money for pick, say, #9 and he’d take it.

I’m offering Abel $5mill to sign (slot is $5.7m), and moving the rest down to lower rounds.

(Alternate pick: SS Ed Howard)

#43 – C Drew Romo

Romo is a switch-hitting backstop with arguably the best defense/arm of any catcher this class, pretty underrated bat, and he has projection as roughly a mid-30’s pick. To accomplish this pick I’m counting on two things: 1) the overall dropping of high school talent in this draft, 2) underslot savings from the 1st round allowing you to give Romo bonus of the 36th pick at #43.

I’m giving Romo $2million bonus ($270,200 overslot) to pull him away from his LSU commitment.

(Alternate pick: RHP Justin Lange)

#64- SS Harold Coll

In my opinion, Coll is one of the more under-the-radar gems in this draft. If present value doesn’t have him as a five-tool guy; I think his future value will. The infield arm is very legit. Glove is a 60. Bat seems really good and the power is quickly coming.

We still have $472,700 surplus from the 1st round, so I’m moving most of that to Coll and signing him away from North Carolina for $1.5mill.

(Alternate pick: C Daniel Susac)

#78- LHP Liam Norris

Norris is a well-built prep LHP that reminds me of former Mariner James Paxton.

Norris is committed to North Carolina, so I’m borrowing from future rounds to bump his bonus to $1mill.

(Alternate pick: OF Chase Davis)

#107- 2B Anthony Servideo

With this mock showing Seattle hypothetically missing or passing on 2B Nick Gonzales at #6, I wanted to compensate with a similar player before the draft ended. Servideo, like Gonzales, played primarily shortstop for his college team this year, but whose bat would fit better at 2B.

At 5’10″/175lbs, Servideo is a solid defender, with plus speed (24×26 stolen bases in 2019, 9×10 in 2020), sneaky power (5 HR in 59 AB’s), and a great eye at the plate (.390/.575/1.270).

Here’s one of Servideo’s 2019 homers, and if you look again, he hits it off likely top 5 pick Asa Lacy. Left on left crime.

After all of the previous over-slot deals; we’re down to $765,500 to spend on our last two picks. If we need to go higher on Servideo, we can still go “senior-signing” guy in the 5th (maybe like $50k), and spend most of the remainder now. I’m gonna try to split the $765k pretty close to down the middle so that I can draft a couple college juniors and save all the seniors for those undrafted $20k deals. We’ll do $400k for Servideo.

#137- C Michael Rothenberg

As I said, I want to try to get a college junior here that wouldn’t otherwise sign after the draft. Dipoto says he wants middle of the field defenders and we’ve covered SS, 2B, and one C already. We could go centerfielder here, but my sense is there are some that are Seniors you could sign in UDFA. I don’t see many middle infielders left to double-dip on. And I really like the depth of the catcher class…most of whom are juniors.

Rothenberg is another switch-hitter, with a nice arm, very good power, and above-average running for the spot.

Rothenberg gets the entirety of the remaining bonus pool: $365,500. Which will be better than the offer he’d get if he returns to school and has to become a senior signing in next year’s loaded draft.

6- RHP Mick Abel
43- C Drew Romo
64= SS Harold Coll
78- LHP Liam Norris
107- 2B Anthony Servideo
137- C Michael Rothenberg

I consciously went 4 bats to 2 arms for a couple reasons, but one is that my list of seniors has more interesting pitchers than position players. I’m trying very hard to sign LHP AJ Block out of WSU, RHP Jake Smith out of State College of South Florida, and RHP Brian Van Belle out of Miami as starters. For the bullpen; RHP Mac McCarty, RHP Christian Peters, RHP Brandon Young, RHP Luke Boyd, and LHP Antonio Velez.

Undrafted position players include: OF Parker Bates, OF Brandon Henson, UT Braden Zarbnisky, IF Anthony Warneke, and UT Brett Auerbach.

Mariner Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

It was confirmed earlier this month that the 2020 MLB Draft will only consist of five rounds, and then this week we received notice that the draft will be held over two days: June 10th-11th. While the short nature of the draft is pretty disappointing (especially in light that running a mere 5 rounds more would only cost MLB owners about $900k more), it does create some pretty interesting dynamics in terms of game theorizing the draft.

With only five rounds (and known competitive balance picks); we’ll end up with exactly 160 players drafted. In a normal draft year we’ll see about 1200 players drafted. What does the world do with those additional 1000 players?? Any of them that choose to are free to sign to a team of their choosing as undrafted players. BUT…MLB has determined UDFA can’t sign for more than $20,000. In a normal year, any player drafted after the 10th round can still be signed for up to $125,000 without pulling from the team’s bonus pool.

Additionally, MLB is saying that guys that ARE drafted this year can’t receive more than $100,000 of their bonus money this year. The rest will be paid out across 2021 and 2022. So even if a 1st round pick gets a $4million bonus, his 2020 check will be $100k, and he’ll get $1.95mill in 2021 and $1.95mill in 2022. This will create a situation where players have to wonder, “if I’m not getting paid until 2021, might as well not sign until 2021”. Which means re-entering the draft next year as a college senior or JUCO player.

The downside to re-entering the draft in 2021? A) the market is going to be flush with talent from all of the 2021 HS seniors, this year’s sophomores becoming eligible as 2021 college juniors, and then all of the 2021 college Seniors and any JUCO talent. So the market will be crazy saturated. B) the guys that are Juniors now will lose what is basically their only negotiating chip: the threat of returning to college for their Senior year, and be forced to become a 2021 “senior signing”…the guys that get massively underslot deals because they have no negotiating power.

It’s very much they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

High school players have much more flexibility. They can accept the $100k now with further bonus installments coming in the next two years. They can go the JUCO route where they will be draft-eligible again immediately next year (when the draft will be overloaded). Or, they can honor their college commitments where they’ll need to attend for three years before becoming eligible again in 2024 when things will, presumably, be much more calmed down societally.

While these are all of the questions the players will be facing; these are also the questions personnel departments have to try to figure out in order to come up with the most beneficial draft strategy. And while teams have the advantage of still talking to players and their representation during quarantine to figure out who is willing to sign and at what price; the media basically has lost months of time normally spent sorting out which teams are scouting which players and which players are signable, etc.

The other thing that will be unique to this year: the designated draft bonus pool is use-it-or-lose-it. In normal years, teams are designated a certain pool of bonus money based on each of their picks in the top 10 rounds. If you go underslot for your top 10 rounds, you can move any of that leftover money to any of your picks rounds 11-40 and offer them an overslot deal. None of that this year.

You have X number of picks and X amount of dollars to spend on those picks. In the Mariners’ case, they have $10,265,500 to spend on six draftpicks. This is relevant because, while I think the most-basic strategy these draft circumstances suggest is hard BPA; I do think with proper gauging of the market you can predict points where certain types/positions of players will fall en masse, and then you may be able to draft your 2nd best player with your 3rd or 4th pick.

The following is not only my basic mock draft of players, but also the game-play I’m thinking marks the best strategy to maximize talent acquisition for this unique draft.

Let’s begin.

My first theory is that, because high school players are really the only group with any kind of negotiating power, the draft will skew really college heavy the entire draft, but especially early on. This could be unfortunate for teams like Seattle that really favor college players early. But I think the counterpoint to that will be that some of the best prep talent will become available relatively later than they normally would. So the broadstroke, for me, will be focus on college in roughly the first two picks, and then start looking for prep upside in the picks round 2c and 3.

#1.6 – 2B Nick Gonzales

I’ve been on Nick Gonzales for a really long time. I’ve watched him climb up into the top 10, then top 5, and now we’re seeing lots of signs of him flattening out directly into this slot as the 6th player off the board. Lots of media are projecting him to Seattle.

I love his bat. He’s hit literally everywhere he’s been, so while the power numbers (12 HR, 36 RBI in 16 games for shortened 2020 season) were likely inflated playing home games in New Mexico; I still think he’s shown enough in the Cape and in road games to project as a 20 HR, high OBP, 2nd baseman of the future.

  • Nick Gonzales ranks in the Cape Cod League 2019: Average- 2nd, Doubles- 1st, Triples- 1st, Homeruns- 6th, Runs- 1st, Hits- 1st, RBI- 2nd, BB- 8th, SB- 21st

I think the run and glove tools are both being nitpicked a bit too much. Gonzales can steal a base or two, and he’ll play a very solid 2B. And Seattle really doesn’t have anyone in the system that projects as a major league 2B. It’s a great marriage of need and best player available.

Slot bonus for #6 overall is $5,742,900. In 2018, the Mets drafted Jarred Kelenic at #6 overall and signed him for $1,025,000 under slot. I’m going to try to get Gonzales signed for $5mill and stash $742k so that I can go overslot on later picks.

#2.43 – LHP Jared Shuster

I think the first major run will be on college bats. I think the second major run will be on college arms. From, like, pick #20 to #50 is thick with college pitching. Prep pitching will drop in lieu of “safer” college hurlers.

Shuster is probably my 2nd-favorite college lefty in this draft after Asa Lacy. Reid Detmers is close, but potentially getting Shuster 30 picks after Detmers is such great value.

At 6’3″/210lbs, he’s got good size and I think potential to add velocity to what is already a 95mph fastball. His change is the out-pitch. In his four starts this year, Shuster posted an excellent 10.75 SO/BB rate. Other rates included 0.95 WHIP, 14.70 SO/9, and only 1 HR allowed over 27 innings.

I’m signing Shuster for underslot (but still sizeable) $1.4mill, saving $329,800 of bonus money. We now have over $1million in surplus for the next four picks.

#2.64 – SS Harold Coll

Jerry Dipoto talked on a recent podcast about looking for up-the-middle defenders early in this draft. I don’t like the value of OF here. I think this is actually a nice class of catchers, but one can be found later. I don’t see a ton of middle-infielders. If you can secure a 2B and a SS in the first two rounds; I think you’re doing very well.

For prep players…obviously there are basically zero 2020 performance stats to look at (not that those are of much use vs other HS players), but really you’re drafting them based on tools. In the research I’ve done on Coll I’ve found testing numbers that include 100mph infield velocity, 100mph exit velocity at the plate, and pretty solid 60-yard dash time. The glove is one of the best I’ve seen in the class.

Coll is committed to North Carolina, so to get him to turn pro I’m offering an overslot deal at $1.25mill.

#3.78 – RHP Alejandro Rosario

This pick is the most speculative. I’m projecting that the best value in this draft will come from high school righthanded pitching taking the biggest collective fall. Prep RHP is notoriously the most volatile group to draft. Add in this year’s complications…it feels like something to watch for.

I think Rosario and Justin Lange are the two most desirable prep righties, and I think in a normal year they get drafted well earlier than this spot (a la Sam Carlson drafted at #55 in 2017). But this year they may drop.

Lange looks more like a Mariner type with his 6’4″/185lbs build, but that (and his 100mph velo) will make him more of everyone’s type. Rosario is more undersized at 6’1″/170lbs which may make him the more plausible name to fall this far.

Rosario rocks a very good 97mph fastball with armside run, and the outpitch is listed as a splitter but looks like a diving change, to me.

I believe Rosario is committed to Miami, so we’ll be going overslot again here and trying to get him in the system for $1.1mill.

#4.107 – UT Nate Clow

This pick is the one I struggled with the most. I considered going “senior signing” and moving that money to targeting a tough-sign high schooler in the 5th round, but that just seems like such a generally terrible strategy. Shouldn’t you draft the more talented guy here while he’s still on the board and then the senior signing in the 5th??

Clow is a current shortstop out of Federal Way with a college commitment to USC. Most draft boards have him outside of the top 160 draft slots and moving to center, but I like him enough as an infielder to pick him here. Wherever he ends up defensively; it seems it will be up the middle.

The swing is beautiful with a great feel to barrel balls. He’s a smooth athlete, too, both in the field and on the base-paths.

In order to keep him from going to USC it’s gonna cost, but I think the format of this draft will allow you to bookmark an even $1mill for him ($450k overslot), and the ability for him to play 30 minutes from home should help.

#5.137 – C Michael Rothenberg

I mentioned earlier that I like this catching class and I think it’s gonna allow you to wait until your last pick in the draft to take one. I’ve got college Senior Kale Emshoff, Kent, WA product via U of San Diego Shane McGuire, VTech’s Carson Taylor, and Rothenberg all still on the board at this point. From that group you’ve got one righty, one lefty, and two switch hitters. All were having stellar starts to their 2020 seasons with great OBP rates.

Emshoff: .417/527/1.327
Taylor: .431/.541/1.231
McGuire: .469/.561/1.249
Rothenberg: .349/.551/1.156

I never looked into Taylor’s caught-stealing rate, but the other three were all over 33%, with Rothenberg nailing an even 50% of would-be stealers to start the year. I’m giving his overall offensive/defensive balance the edge over some of the better bats from the group.

In 2019, Seattle went overslot on 11th round catcher Carter Bins (slot $125k, paid $350k). With the savings banked from going underslot on the first two picks; we’ve still got a little extra to offer Rothenberg as well. I’m offering him $109k over slot and pushing his bonus to just over a half-mill: $515,500.

Final draft:

2B Nick Gonzales
LHP Jared Shuster
SS Harold Coll
RHP Alejandro Rosario
SS Nate Clow
C Michael Rothenberg

4 Bats, 2 Arms. 4 athletic, up-the-middle defenders. 1 Righty, 1 Lefty. 3 college, 3 high school.

After the draft, who knows if any underclassmen will take only $20k to give up their senior years; but I did do some digging on some Seniors that might have to. The only question is where they’d prefer to sign.

With only two pitchers drafted, and no outfielders; I went pitching and outfield heavy in UDFA.

RHP Christian Peters – a starting pitcher for University of Portland and originally from Olympia, WA. Posted a 0.63 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 10.99 SO/9, 11.67 SO/BB season in 4 starts this year.

RHP Mac McCarty – a junkballer from UAB with a funky delivery and a ton of energy that originally came out of Port Orchard. Mccarty finished 2020 without giving up any runs over 10 relief appearances and 16.0 innings. 5 saves, 8.00 SO/BB.

LHP AJ Block – a 6’5″/220lb lefty starter out of WSU via Newport HS in Bellevue. Block posted 1.19 WHIP, 11.06 SO/9, 6.80 SO/BB in his four starts this year.

LHP Antonio Velez – a senior southpaw reliever with a 0.58 WHIP, 10.90 SO/9, 7.00 SO/BB in 6 appearances, 5 out of the pen.

RHP Brandon Young – another big-bodied pitcher at 6’6″/210lbs used mostly as a starter for Louisiana-Lafayette. 0.89 WHIP, 13.50 SO/9, 4.11 SO/BB in 24 innings. Nice 3-pitch mix.

RHP Brian Van Belle – a guy I was strongly considering using a draftpick on, but with 8 of first 9 picks in 2019 draft being pitchers for the M’s; I figure we should try to get a couple more bats this year. Van Belle isn’t the biggest guy, nor the hardest thrower (only tops out at 92mph), but he locates well and demonstrates a nasty changeup. 0.68 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 12.99 SO/9, 9.50 SO/BB as Miami’s Friday starter.

RHP Luke Boyd – reliever with closing experience (6 saves in 2020), 0.73 WHIP, 13.09 SO/9, 16.00 SO/BB. Not overpowering, but well located fastball and nasty slider.

OF Brandon Henson – .370/.564/1.416 with 4 HR, 5×6 stolen bases in only 9 games.

OF Parker Bates – Decent sized guy with good pop and a solid glove in center. Doesn’t strike out much and hit 6 homers in only 15 games this year. Kinda reminds me of Jim Edmonds.

UT Brett Auerbach – I’ve seen him play C, 2B, and OF. Posted .506 OBP and stole 12 bases in 17 games this year.

OF Braden Zarbnisky – Not only an interesting 4th OF option with great basestealing, but a decent relief pitcher.

 

March SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

I figured while things are in a freeze that I’d fire up the ol’ laptop and put together a new mock draft. So now, not only do we have data from the Combine, we also have the knowledge that there will, most likely, be a LACK of data on many players that couldn’t test at the Combine nor their school’s pro day. This will cause guys with under the radar athleticism to hold steady (maybe drop), while teams bump up the players that they know more definitely how athletic they are. So a Zack Baun is now most likely picked before a Josh Uche simply because of fewer unknowns on Baun.

The other thing we now know is the exact draft board for all 255 picks, including comp picks. Seattle landed at 8 picks (as I’ve been saying for months). With as many holes as the roster currently has; I just don’t see them standing pat with 8 picks. I think they look to get up to 10.

I now have a little bit better idea the make-up of the 1st round; and with some degree of sadness I now relent to the idea that Seattle will once again trade off their 1st round pick. I feel fairly confident Seattle will still have roughly seven players they still really like when they hit the clock at #27. Logic dictates you trade back with that kind of number. Conservatively, you move back to #34. But conservative trade-backs won’t give you as big of a return.

So my theoretical perfect trade back is moving from #27 all the way down to #44 in a trade with the Colts that also nets you their #75 in the 3rd and #211 in the 6th. This single trade puts Seattle at 10 picks, and re-centers the draft board into the 40-80 range where the Hawks would pick at #44, #59, #64, and #75. I think this is the epicenter of this draft’s value.

This mock is NOT a “what I think they will do” draft in terms of players. I think Seattle will draft a DT and a RB higher than I am willing to. I think Seattle is not very interested in drafting an OT, which I don’t agree with, but one could speculate they like Jamarco Jones at RT. I don’t trust his durability.

#44 – DB Jeremy Chinn

Jeremy Chinn is simply one of my “must-have” players in this draft. It was easier when he was a 4th round player, but his Combine numbers have clearly catapulted him to top 50 status. I’m not sure he even lasts until #44, but we’ll see.

Chinn gives you the single most athletic player at this year’s combine, with comparables to Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick. That also brings with it some position flexability. He’s built like a strong safety, has the speed and range to play free safety, and I think you could coach up his technique to play corner.

This play I only saw recently, and it blows me away.

#59- OLB Josh Uche

Uche is the other guy I have to have. But, unlike with Chinn, Uche’s lack of Combine and pro day testing will (hopefully) drop his stock. The other thing running against Uche is his size: 6’1″/245lbs. An undersized quote-unquote speed-rusher with no confirmed 40 time?? That might be a guy that drops.

But the subplots on Uche are 1) for a 6’1″ frame, he has a 6’8″ wingspan. 2) for a “speed-rusher” he has unexpected power. 3) he’s smarter than almost every DE I’ve studied this year. It’s kind of like Russell Wilson…fell because he was short and only a running QB, but the reality was he had long arms, big hands, and in fact WAS a pocket passer. And he was smarter than every QB that came out that year. It’s fine to acknowledge the talking points, but it’s better to know if there aren’t mitigating circumstances that cancel out the spoken negatives.

#64 – OT Matt Peart

As I wrote earlier, I’m drafting a RT this year. But it doesn’t seem like Seattle is thinking of doing so. They’re trusting that Jamarco is a thing the same way they trusted that Tedric was a thing. I don’t trust their self-scouting. Or maybe they’ll pay a RT in free agency. I’d be okay with that.

Peart is one of two RT that I see lasting this far that I can also see some upside left in. The other is Isaiah Wilson. In some ways I could see Wilson being more of a Solari pick. But I think Peart fits better. It’s a bit counter-intuitive because Peart is built like a LT and Wilson is built like a rock-biter, but Peart is the better run-blocker, and therefore the better fit for Seattle.

#75 – DT Davon Hamilton

Again, signs are pointing toward Seattle seeking a pass-rushing 3tech early, but I think Hamilton has better passrush from the 1-tech than most of the 3’s. As a team that struggled to passrush but also fell off in terms of their run-defense; I like the fit of Hamilton’s versatile skillset. It reminds me somewhat of the year Kawann Short came out.

#101 – OL Jonah Jackson

Jackson is another guy where the athleticism isn’t as good as the tape. Tough to predict which he gets drafted off, and how high. At this spot, I’m trusting he gets pushed down a round due to his lack of athleticism.

I love Jonah’s tape at guard, but I’m also intrigued by the idea that he has college experience at center.

#133 – WR Isaiah Hodgins

There are so many thoughts and options regarding a WR in this draft. I love Van Jefferson as a possession guy with special teams ability. I love Chase Claypool in the redzone, potentially a TE, and on special teams. I love Antonio Gandy Golden as the right side redline target on day three.

I’m taking Hodgins here because he’ll be underdrafted due to his 40 time, but his route-running is comparable to Jefferson, his redzone is close to Claypool, and his redline is not too far below Golden. In summation: a nice combination of skillsets at a great value range for a team that only needs a WR3.

#144 – RB AJ Dillon

I know Seattle is gonna draft a RB this year. I think they’ll do it in the 2nd round. But I just don’t want to. Dillon is the RB consolation prize. He’s huge. He’s athletic. He was really productive in college. He might be Seattle’s attempt to get a Leveon Bell on day 3.

#162 – DT Khalil Davis

The Davis twins out of Nebraska are still pretty under the radar even though they both ran sub 4.9 second forties at 300+ lbs. Khalil was the more athletic (4.79s) and the more productive passrusher last year posting 8.0 sacks and 11.0 TFL. So if Seattle REALLY wants a 3tech, why not get the most athletic one at the best value??

#211 – CB Madre Harper

I’m a huge fan of Reggie Robinson, but the buzz on him after his top 5 CB Combine performance has put too much heat on him. So move it to the next guy. Harper is a 6’1″/196lb corner originally recruited to Oklahoma State, played his last two years at SIU, that tested pro day at Northwestern where he posted a 4.41s forty, 40″ vert, 11’02” broad, 4.10 shuttle, 6.70 cone.

He’s an aggressive player with solid tackling, 2 INT, 14 pass defenses last year. With both Shaq and Tre returning as starters, Seattle can take a flyer on an athletic guy with enough agility to play the nickel, and the size to play outside, and just groom him for a year or two.

#214 – WR/RB Joe Reed

This is a highly speculative pick. I’m guessing Seattle drafts two WR, including one that needs to be able to return on special teams. I’m projecting that Reed could also make a transition to more of a full-time RB role and be a sort of new Prosise. It’s a very specific profile and Reed ticks off so many of the boxes.

He’s 6’1″/224lbs, ran a 4.47s forty with good jumps, led the country in kickoff returns with over 33 per, and Virginia used him periodically in and out of the backfield.

Recap:

#44 – DB Jeremy Chinn
#59 – OLB Josh Uche
#64 – OT Matt Peart
#75 – DT Davon Hamilton
#101 – OL Jonah Jackson
#133 – WR Isaiah Hodgins
#144 – RB AJ Dillon
#162 – DT Khalil Davis
#211 – CB Madre Harper
#214 – UT Joe Reed

5 offense, 5 defense. Heavy on defense early. 5 total line of scrimmage players.

Post Super Bowl Sea-Mock

By Jared Stanger

Congrats (and thanks) to the Chiefs on their win, and thanks for the 2nd round pick. Here’s a quick n easy postgame Seahawk 7-round mock draft.

I’ve reworked the Seattle draft board to get pretty accurate representation of their actual draft picks including compensatories. They currently only have eight picks, which I don’t think many were aware of. One of the comp picks fell off of their previously-thought total, and they traded away a 5th for Quandre Diggs during the season. The Diggs pick is the lone pick I don’t know for sure about as I write this. We could be sending Detroit the pick we got from Pittsburgh (via Jacksonville) for Nick Vannett, or we could be sending them our native 5th round pick. I will be keeping the lesser of the two picks as it is easier to adapt an early pick to reaching than to guess at players falling to a later pick.

#27- DE/OLB Josh Uche, Michigan

At various points in 2019, I vacillated between Uche and Zack Baun as the better fit for Seattle’s LEO/SAM hybrid position. I always liked Uche’s passrush more, but Baun seemed the better off the ball. After watching both during the Senior Bowl; I’m not sure that Uche isn’t the better passrusher AND off the ball.

Regardless; Seattle needs passrush more.

#59- OC Matt Hennessy, Temple

I’ve got a trio of Centers I’m interested in Seattle drafting: Lloyd Cushenberry, Cesar Ruiz, and Matt Hennessy. I’m curious the order they’ll come off in, and how many will still be on the board at 59. I feel safest about Hennessy being there coming from a smaller school.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Guard here, but it feels, at this point, like there is more heat on the Centers, and the Guards will fall a bit further.

#64- DB Jeremy Chinn, SIU

There are reasons why this pick doesn’t seem like a Seattle pick, and reasons why it really does. Chinn comes from a small school and Seattle may not be very interested in another high pick on a safety with McDougald and Diggs both returning, and after using a 2nd on a safety just last year.

On the other hand; Chinn is a safety in name but that also looked pretty damn comfortable playing the slot against either WR’s or TE’s at the Senior Bowl. So he may be a nickel corner for Seattle (a literal replacement for similar profile Akeem King). He’s also the nephew of HOF’er Steve Atwater, and about to make a bunch of money at the combine when people find out exactly how athletic he is.

Versatile skillset includes high-end blitzing ability:

#100- OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State

First of all…I think this might be a good place to trade back. I’ve got a LOT of players at all positions that could fit at this spot. If you could somehow end up with two picks early on day 3/4th round; I think I’d do it.

But if we stood pat…#100 is another pick where I’ve got a couple guys at the same position I’m interested in. I like both Logan Stenberg and Jonah Jackson here. Stenberg is a player I like from an intangibles perspective…he’ll change the chemistry of the OL room and bring some attitude. Jackson I came to watch late in the process, but is probably the better overall player on tape. I’m going with Jackson for his tape and for having a lower profile to this point.

#130- DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

Hamilton is an interesting player. He’s stout enough to play some 1tech, but he also has sneaky passrush chops that put up 6.0 sacks last year and could play up if given more work at 3tech. I see a bit of Kawann Short in him, but (thankfully) to this point he’s had much lower profile than KK did in his draft year.

I think Davon will outperform his draft position. I think he has intangibles to be better than current projection.

#143- WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

I know the history of Seattle drafting WR’s in the 4th round says don’t do this, but the depth of this specific WR class tells me better this year than ever before.

Claypool has been on my shortlist at WR for a while, but after seeing him at the Senior Bowl, I’m moving him higher within that list. He moves too damn well at 230lbs to be available this late, and his combine may soon move him higher than this, but for now…I’ll take his redzone ability, pseudo TE build, run-blocking, to add to Lock and Metcalf’s deep targets.

#173- CB Reggie Robinson, Tulsa

This is one of the easier picks in this mock draft. I think there’s a wide spectrum of perceived talent in this CB class. And part of that perception is gonna put some very Seahawky CB’s available into the 5th round. My two current favorites are Jeremy Chinn’s teammate Madre Harper, and Robinson.

I’ve gone with Robinson today because of his work at the Senior Bowl and simply being able to find more of his game tapes available to study. I especially liked Reggie’s game vs Power 5 Oklahoma State and Michigan State. Click through this link to see an entire thread of video I posted on him last week:

#214- QB James Morgan, FIU

There’s really no strong reasoning for any prospect in the 6th-7th rounds. You can take a flyer on a great athlete. You can double-down on a position that is strong in the class. You can look to fill a need at a backup or special-teams position. For this mock; I’m going with the latter. Geno Smith is a free agent…Russ will need a new backup (again).

Morgan is a flawed prospect, but he’s got some intriguing traits. Not the least of which is that he, reportedly, CRUSHED interviews at the Shrine Game. I’ll take a smart player with solid arm-strength to be a backup to a guy that basically never misses snaps any day.

Recap:

1.27- DE Josh Uche
2.59- OC Matt Hennessy
2.64- DB Jeremy Chinn
3.100- OG Jonah Jackson
4.130- DT Davon Hamilton
4.143- WR Chase Claypool
5.173- CB Reggie Robinson
6.214- QB James Morgan

Taken with the 27th pick

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to draft season. I don’t have time for bullshit. Seahawks are now officially drafting at #27 overall. This year we need the Liam Neeson draft. We need players with a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like Aaron Rodgers. If you draft these players now, that will be the end of it. But if you don’t, I will look for your burner account, I will find you, and I will troll you.

#1.27- OLB/DE, Michigan, Josh Uche

I’ve been consistent this year in my belief that Seattle draft a replacement for Mychal Kendricks, but in a guy that is a better pass-rusher as well. Assuming the OT board falls away from Seattle, I think you make this pick earlier than later.

#59- DT, Utah, Leki Fotu

There were a few times this year the Seahawk performance took noticeable dips after losing players to injury and/or suspension. One was arguably the loss of Al Woods. Fotu should lock down the opposing run-game and allow passrush improvement to trickle out to the DE’s.

#63- RB, Utah, Zack Moss

Speaking of the team’s performance falling off…I think the team became so much worse after the loss of Chris Carson, on the heels of losing Rashaad Penny. A legitimate RB allows Russell to play more efficient football, carry less of the burden. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great year for RB’s, so there needs to be some level of reach to get one that could carry RB1 duties, if needed.

#100- OG, Kentucky, Logan Stenberg

With the OT board dried up, and Seattle losing Iupati to free agency, there is honestly room for the team to add OL help at multiple positions. Stenberg is gonna be a tone-setter at LG.

#131- DB, SIU, Jeremy Chinn

I don’t have a great argument for the fit on drafting Chinn, I just think he’s a great value at current projection, and I’ll find out where to play him later.

#141- OT, UConn, Matt Peart

Logistically, I’d like to draft a WR here, but superstitiously I won’t allow myself to do it. Peart is the best RT I can find after the first round. He’s got prototypical size, decent athleticism, and he’s not Ifedi.

#168- WR, Florida, Van Jefferson

Personally, I think Jefferson will eventually be picked before this spot, but with the depth of WR this year it is the best position to push down your board. If not Jefferson, find someone else at WR at this point.

#211- CB, Iowa, Michael Ojemudia

I have a shortlist of CB that fit certain criteria of tape, size, and projection: Ojemudia, Reggie Robinson, Madre Harper, Will Sunderland. Ojemudia seems the least likely to fall this far due to his Power 5 school. A small-school guy is more probable.

#245- TE, Michigan, Sean McKeon

I just want a TE that can block and not drop passes. Is that so hard? This isn’t a great year to find that, but McKeon has shown flashes. I’ll be monitoring Senior Bowl practice especially close for TE’s.

Final draft:

OLB Josh Uche
DT Leki Fotu
RB Zack Moss
OG Logan Stenberg
DB Jeremy Chinn
OT Matt Peart
WR Van Jefferson
CB Michael Ojemudia
TE Sean McKeon

All I want for Christmas

By Jared Stanger

Save for the Marshawn Lynch news; this has been a pretty shitty week (or two) for Seahawk fans. Niners won. Hawks got embarrassed. Lost two players to suspension. Lost 42 guys to injury. And somebody put fucking cranberries in the stuffing. Who does that?!

But, rather than simply whining about where we’re at; I’m always a fan of trying to look forward and find solutions. My primary method for that is the draft, but keep in mind the Seahawks have somewhere upwards of $70million in cap space to play with as well.

Also, instead of presenting another mock draft format; I thought I would just group like items together in a sort of digital/video Sears catalog.

The gift of a new Josh Gordon.

Gordon, now suspended indefinitely, is a free agent and I just don’t see Jody Allen signing off on an extension. Plus, it’s one hell of a WR draft class, so it would be relatively easy to replace him on a rookie deal.

Combining film study and a few statistical metrics; I think you draft from a shortlist of Antonio Gandy Golden, Isaiah Hodgins, Omar Bayless, Michael Pittman, Chase Claypool.

AGG would be the most literal replacement for Gordon. From a size and skillset standpoint he hits the marks the closest. Huge bodied target with the best deep ball ability in the class.

Hodgins is a big-framed target, but more of an elite route runner than Gordon.

Pittman has elite hands on top of a huge frame. Good jump ball player. Good redzone.

Claypool is a physical beast. He’s almost part TE. Great in the redzone.

Bayless is the smallest of this bunch, and has much lower buzz, but statistically still qualifies for this group as a market share hog.

The gift of a new Al Woods.

Our second recently-suspended player. Woods is also an impending UFA, and at 33 years old I’m not sure you pay him when you have bigger needs extending Clowney and Reed. But it is worth noting that the first game without Woods the Seahawks gave up like 250 yards rushing.

So we need to upgrade that Woods/Bryan Mone roster spot. Fortunately, while this isn’t a special passrushing IDL class, I think you can find some solid roster foundation players. Like, you can find the KJ Wright of DT’s in this class.

The best DT’s from the best run-defending college teams in the country go something like: #1 Utah- Leki Fotu, #3 Georgia- Tyler Clark, #7 Ohio State- Davon Hamilton.

Fotu is a monster at 6’5″/335lbs but doesn’t move like it.

I’m a huge fan of Hamilton and I think he presents the best value with a pretty high degree of upside.

Jordan Elliott might be another name for this group, but I honestly just haven’t studied him yet.

The gift of a new CJ Prosise.

(Well, a new Prosise in terms of roster spot. We don’t need someone with Prosise’s, ahem, “attributes”.)

In addition to replacing Prosise permanently; we now need to be looking at how long Penny and Carson are gonna be out. So RB is a legit need. Maybe you throw some cap space at Melvin Gordon or a lower amount at Austin Ekeler, but let’s still draft one more.

Unfortunately, I don’t love this RB class. I think this pick is gonna be more of a hail mary than at other positions. I like Zack Moss a lot if you want to invest the pick high enough to get him. I like Kylin Hill if he comes off the board on day 3. But currently I think the best fit might be Najee Harris.

Harris’ game has strong similarities to Chris Carson’s. Both are over 6’1″/215lbs, run extremely hard, and are solid receivers.

I had this thought recently that Seattle could/should construct a draft this year that resembled the Steelers’ draft from 2017 and it would not only fill needs but also find them some great players. In that scenario Zack Moss could be the James Conner guy.

The gift of…well…most of the OL.

So here’s some pretty complicated news: Seattle’s unrestricted free agents on the offensive line go George Fant, Mike Iupati, Joey Hunt, Germain Ifedi. Justin Britt is hurt, Duane Brown is somewhat hurt. Jamarco Jones didn’t look great at LT (but has shown interesting potential at guard). Ethan Pocic is deep into his 3rd year and still seems at best a bench player. Phil Haynes had promising college tape but has yet to see an NFL snap. I’m not sure how much upside there is beyond that on the bench and practice squad.

You could literally draft anywhere along the OL and it would probably be useful. You probably need to draft two.

The good news: for some time this has looked like a quality OT draft. There’s a lot of very solid left and right side players available. But the bad news: more and more the draft buzz is pushing OT’s up draft boards. Now it seems even some former 3rd round targets now may not fall out of the top 20 overall. This could be deeply damaging to any sort of selective draft strategy.

Regardless, this isn’t a mock draft. This is a wishlist.

Contrary to most mock drafts; I kinda prefer Tristan Wirfs as first OL off the board. He’s primarily played RT in his career, but he did make some spot starts at LT this year. And he looked remarkably good making the instant, in-game transition. I think he could play LT in the league, which should help his stock. Plus, he should make money at the Combine.

Whereas Wirfs has always felt out of reach; I had spent part of this season thinking there might be a shot that Jedrick Wills might be available for Seattle. And I was very okay with it knowing how good of a run-blocker he was. He might have made more sense for SEA.

But, alas, it’s now looking like Wills may end up a top-15 pick.

So then I moved on to Houston’s LT Josh Jones. With less highlight reel, nasty blocks and coming from a smaller program; I thought maybe Jones would be able to linger to the 2nd round. He, too, is now looking like a 1st round pick. Ideal size and length. Good feet.

Alex Leatherwood is also generally included in this first group of OL, but I don’t have a great feel for him, yet. Sam Cosmi isn’t currently mentioned with the first tier (likely because he is just a redshirt Soph that hasn’t declared), but if he does declare his availability would benefit Seattle either directly from Cosmi being available at their pick, or Cosmi pushing one of the other aforementioned OT down in the draft. Although I really like Cosmi’s tape at LT, it may be more immediately useful that he played RT last year.

Mekhi Becton is an absolute brute as a run-blocker, but I have questions about his pass-pro.

Due to the drying up of the OT pool; I’m now looking to move on to the Guards and hopefully find more value there.

Trey Smith is similar to Becton in that it’s easy to see his strength in run-blocking, but seems inconsistent in pass.

The guard I’m really liking is Logan Stenberg. This guy is an attitude setter. Might have some Richie Incognito in him. Definitely gets his share of penalties, but they’re more of the Breno Giacomini type than the Ifedi.

Robert Hunt has played a fair amount of RT this year, but projects more as a guard going forward. Unfortunately, he’s sustained an injury that will hold him out of the Senior Bowl and perhaps the Combine.

At Center, I’ve really only spotted one guy that I like. Temple’s Matt Hennessy. He’s a bit undersized for what Solari seems to prefer, but his anchor is still very solid. If he’s “replacing Joey Hunt” the size and intelligence seem to match pretty well.

The gift of a new Mychal Kendricks.

For me, this is a pretty high priority. And it’s a priority because I really want one of the following two guys.

I think Josh Uche had a great year, but I think there might be even more upside in him yet to come. He’s got that pissed off for greatness feel to him. He’s shown fantastic speed rush:

But then this year, Uche also showcased some truly impressive power rushing. This combo is so intriguing.

The other guy is Zack Baun who I picture as more of a capable off-the-ball LB, but with special passrush ability.

The gift of a new Ziggy Ansah.

For whatever reason, if I was really wanting to tighten this in, I probably could have come up with a list of two draft players to focus in on for each one of the outgoing Seahawks. Cause there are kind of two each that I have as highest priority in my mind.

For Ansah; I’m going sort of Yetur Gross-Matos and Terrell Lewis. Both are really long (6’5″) with YGM tipping the scales at 264lbs (closer to Ziggy), and Lewis more at 252 currently.

Lewis: bit more of that POFG vibe. Good stunt rusher. Well-rounded rush repertoire. Here’s a spin move:

Lewis needs to get a bit better at finishing. He seems to have a great plan to beat the OL, but that plan sometimes causes him to overshoot the QB.

YGM is definitely more of a long-striding power rusher. He’s gonna win more with his upper body…rips and chops.

And to wrap things up…I’ve got a couple gifts that are kind of one-of-a-kind.

The gift of a new Quinton Jefferson.

Marlon Davidson, in theory, would actually be a better version of QJeff. Great combo of inside and outside rush ability. Good intangibles, too.

The gift of a new Akeem King.

I’ve written before about the similarities between Akeem King and Jeremy Chinn. Same build, same background at safety but with a little bit of CB mixed in. But Chinn is one of my personal favorite players in this draft.

That’ll probably do for now. Hopefully you can find something within this list that would make your favorite 12 happy this Christmas or next draft. Merry Christmas everybody!!

December 2019 SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

As we sit today, with the Seahawks yet to play on MNF, I’ve got Seattle (as a #5 seed) drafting at #24 overall. They win on Monday, they will take over the NFC West lead and the #2 seed from this conference and move to #29 overall. That’s a big swing. I’ll be writing this for the 5-seed numbers.

Seattle’s full draft board, I believe, runs approximately as follows:

#1.24, #2.56, #2.58, #3.100, #4.129, #4.141, #5.158, #6.211, #7.245

Let’s begin.

I very much like this draft class at SAM LB which gives us a chance to replace Mychal Kendricks. Actually, I think we are looking for a guy that fits somewhere between Kendricks and Bruce Irvin in terms of skillset(s) and usage.

#1.58 – LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Zack Baun is listed 6’3″/235lbs. Kendricks combined at 5’11″/239lbs, Irvin combined at 6’3″/245lbs. So you’d like to see Baun add some weight between now and the combine, but it really doesn’t need to be as much as some might suggest. Other guys that I think add interesting context: Shaq Barrett 6’2″/251lbs, and fellow Badger TJ Watt at 6’4″/252lbs.

In terms of valuating Baun in the 1st round…nobody else has him this high. I’m basing this off of Baun’s production and eyeball estimation of how I think he is going to perform at the combine. Baun is top 10 in the country with his 11.5 sacks and 18.5 TFL. Additionally, he has 10 hurries, 2 PBU, 1 INT, 2 FF, and 62 tackles.

I was close to putting Michigan OLB/DE Josh Uche here, but a) Baun had the better game this week, b) Baun would work better in the Kendricks role, playing in coverage and allowing Seattle to stay in three-linebacker base more often.

Part of the reason I’m pivoting to a LB/DE in the 1st round is because my primary 1st round interest, OT Jedrick Wills, has become too hot to last until the last third of the 1st round. But it’s still important in this good OT class to draft replacement for Germain Ifedi, George Fant, or both.

#2.56 – OT Josh Jones, Houston

Jones has a few things going for him. He’s a great size: 6’7″/310lbs with good length and feet light enough to stick at LT. He’s put up very good tape and good analytics.

In this scenario, Jones begins his career as a right tackle while Duane Brown works through the last of his Seattle contract. But longterm Jones should be able to play left tackle.

Maybe the smarter move is drafting Jones in the 1st and trying to get Baun/Uche in the 2nd…we’ll know better after everybody tests at the combine…but for now I see passrush as a higher priority.

With two picks in the 2nd round, that are projecting to end up very close together, it may be a coinflip as to which to prioritize first. I’m prioritizing WR second in the 2nd because the depth of the spot should allow a better player from the WR class to be on the board later. I’m currently focusing in on five WR: Antonio Gandy Golden, Omar Bayless, Michael Pittman, Isaiah Hodgins, Chase Claypool.

#2.58 – WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State

The thing about my group of five WR, they all hold similar profiles. All are in the ballpark of 6’3″/210lbs+. All are top 25 in the country in both TD’s and explosive catches. All are projected available in the 2nd (or later).

In a literal sense Seattle could end up drafting a replacement for Josh Gordon, but does that mean the guy that is the most similar to Gordon? If so, I would go more for Gandy Golden. If we’re just drafting a WR that will take the vacated roster spot opened by UFA Gordon, and that creates the best mix with Lockett, Metcalf, Turner, and Ursua; I like Hodgins. With Lock and Ursua both small targets; I like a bigger body this year. With Metcalf’s shakey hands and weird inability to win jumpballs even though he is so big; I want a guy with rock solid hands and good vertical game.

Pittman has statistically the best hands, but AGG and Hodgins both also have some incredible hands catches on their reel. Pittman and AGG are very good in the air, and Claypool has at least 13 contested catches on the year. You seeing yet how hard it is to rank the WR this year??

The big reason I’m going with Hodgins is his route running. He’s got elements of the jumpballs and great hands that the other guys have, but I just think he’s so far advanced from the others on his routes. His releases are more like a 5’11” slot guy.

This next pick I really don’t want to make, but without knowing more about in-house free agent extensions; they need to do it.

#3.100- DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Seattle currently stands to lose Jadeveon Clowney, Ziggy Ansah, Quinton Jefferson, and Branden Jackson in free agency. And while Zack Baun is a pretty good passrusher; he’s nowhere near the weight class of this group (255, 275, 291, 295…average of 279lbs). Davidson is listed at 6’3″/278lbs. With so many free agents and a few lingering development questions on Rasheem Green and LJ Collier; we need another body. Preferably one that might be able to play some DT.

Marlon brings some interesting traits to the table. He has better dip and bend than you might expect from a guy his size. He’s a hell of a field goal kick blocker.

#4.129- OL Robert Hunt, Lafayette

When you have a deep class at a given position in a given year; I think it best to try to get multiple at that position. This year, I think you try to draft two OT and two WR.

Hunt is listed at 6’5″/322lbs, which happens to look very much like Mike Solari seems to prefer his OL. Hunt has been starting at right tackle this year for Lafayette, but also has experience as a guard. With both Iupati and Ifedi pending free agents I like Hunt as a hedge for two spots. He’s got good tape and pass-block efficiency marks.

#4.141- DB Jeremy Chinn, SIU

Chinn is a safety for Southern Illinois, and interestingly Seattle really doesn’t have any safeties heading to free agency. What they really need is a nickel, since they never really replaced Jamar Taylor after he was cut. But the other interesting part is that Akeem King, who has played nickel vs certain teams that run TE-heavy formations, WILL be a free agent. And what was King in college? A safety. a 6’3″/212lb safety.

Jeremy Chinn is listed at exactly 6’3″/212lbs. And I just love this guy’s profile. Great tackler, good range, obviously the size, he’s played at least 2 games at corner in 2018, and much like King; Chinn is an incredible blitzer.

#5.158- DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

It seems like the Seahawks frequently take these late-round flyers on defensive tackles. Last year it was Demarcus Christmas, 2016 it was Quinton Jefferson, 2014 it was Jimmy Staten, 2011 it was Pep Levingston. And three other times they drafted a DT late and attempted to convert them to OL.

If you can get Hamilton this late; I think he’d be the best of the bunch. I think he’s Jarran Reed 2.0 with none of the hype.

Jarran 2015: 6’4″/313lbs, 57 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks.

Davon 2019: 6’4″/310lbs, 22 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks.

This would give you a hedge for either of Reed or Al Woods leaving in free agency.

#6.211- WR Van Jefferson, Florida

As I said about the OT, it’s best to double-dip when the dipping is good. With both Josh Gordon and Jaron Brown free to leave after the season (and maybe David Moore), might as well draft two WR.

Van Jefferson is supremely underrated this year. Good size, great routes, and he can play special teams.

#7.245- OC Matt Hennessy, Temple

There are a few places I could have gone with this pick. I think we need to add another TE as that position group has been a shambles all year, but I don’t like the class. Prosise is walking in free agency (probably more of a limp to free agency), but I also don’t love the RB’s. And then there’s Justin Britt coming back from knee injury, Joey Hunt going to free agency, and Ethan Pocic only recently pulled back from IR and probably returning to playing center.

I only recently started watching some center tape, but of the 8-10 guys I watched for the first time, Hennessy was the only one that I really liked. He’s a bit undersized at listed 295lbs and Solari would almost certainly try to bulk him up, but he’s got a good frame to build on, and he’s a really smart kid. If he’s allowed to simply ride the bench for a year or two, could be an interesting project.

Recap:

1- OLB Zack Baun
2a- OT Josh Jones
2b- WR Isaiah Hodgins
3- DL Marlon Davidson
4a- OL Robert Hunt
4b- Jeremy Chinn
5- DT Davon Hamilton
6- WR Van Jefferson
7- OC Matt Hennessy