Mariners 2019 Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

The 2019 MLB Draft begins on June 3rd and this will be my lone, annual baseball mock draft.

A baseball draft lacks all of the nuances of trading draftpicks that you find in the NFL draft, but they have increased nuances of high school or college underclass players that may or may not sign, as well as the added difficulty of unslotted, but capped signing bonuses.

Honestly, I’m not privy to most of the signability factors, so I’m basically going to ignore them. This year, I’m also not really going to consider the Mariners draft patterns (which lean about 85% college players in their top 10 rounds). This is not an attempt at guessing what Seattle WILL do…this is my impression of what they SHOULD do.

It seems most of the worthy college players will be gone by the time Seattle drafts at #20. Maybe a middle infielder like Will Wilson is still on the board, but generally my sense is the best player available will be from the prep ranks. The only rumor I’ve seen on Seattle this year is putting them on a couple of overdrafted prep shortstops. I’d prefer Matthew Lugo to the other names I’ve read they’re on, but that’s secondary to my 1A thought:

#20 – RHP Quinn Priester, Cary Grove HS
(Slot value: $3,242,900)

I think there’s a trio of prep righthanded pitchers that would be good value here: Jack Leiter, JJ Goss, and Priester. Leiter and Priester are close in terms of talent and preference, but it seems the buzz is that Leiter is going to cost a lot to pull away from college commit to Vanderbilt.

Priester goes about 6’3″/190lbs with good athleticism. Fastball is currently running 92-94mph with the occasional 96. The curveball is already plus and the two-seamer has got exceptional sink and run.

#59 – 2B Cameron Cannon, Arizona
(Slot value: $1,185,500)

Historically, Seattle has taken college players in the 1st, and then tried to pick an above-slot HS player in the 2nd. I’m going against that this year because that’s how I see the board value falling.

Cannon is Arizona’s starting shortstop, but I’m projecting him to 2nd Base as a pro. The bat is a really solid .390/.479/1.117 slash, with 10.73 SO rate. The power isn’t significant at this point, but Cannon is top 2 in the country in doubles (29 in 53 games). There isn’t much basestealing threat here…which is another reason I move him to 2nd.

Cannon has a really clean, righthanded swing. I think there’s more power to come.

#76 – OF Chris Newell, Malvern Prep HS
(Slot value: $818,200)

This is one of the rare, tradeable draftpicks that the M’s got from Cleveland.

Newell is a guy that I really like. 6’2″/190lbs, already showing promising power, great outfield arm, decent runner. Many mocks have him drafted later…like in the 90’s, but Seattle doesn’t pick again until #97. It’s not worth getting cute over. Plus, you have a better shot of signing a prep player when his natural slot money could be pushed close to a mill with some underslot savings later on.

#97 – SS Connor Walsh, Niceville HS
(Slot value: $599,100)

This is an important pick. This is me advancing the rumor about Seattle’s interest in prep shortstops, but trying to find more value at the position. Walsh is 6’2″/185lbs, and has been measured as one of the fastest guys in this class. His 6.26s 60 yard dash is actually faster than the 6.28s from one of the guys connected to Seattle (Nasim Nunez), and then Walsh has also tied for the hardest exit-velocity of about six of the top HS shortstops available between 1st-3rd round.

#126 – RHP Joseph Charles, TNXL Academy
(Slot value: $451,800)

This is a spot that just feels chock full of pitching. Mostly RHP. The one position player I really like here is Cal catcher Korey Lee who blends solid bat tool with a pretty incredible throwing arm.

But I’m, instead, taking another stab at a prep arm. As you’ll see the rest of my strategy after this swings to college players with the thought of saving money on the overall bonus  pool.

Charles has a profile very similar to Priester: 6’3″/190lbs, fastball up to 96mph, with solid curve, and an intriguing change with good armspeed.

#156 – RHP Griffin McLarty, College of Charleston
(Slot value: $336,600)

McLarty is a Junior righty that isn’t on most mock drafts, but that I just spotted while poring over players that fit a certain, preferred profile. I’m hoping 5th round money is enough to lure him away from his Senior season.

Listed 6’3″/185lbs. I don’t have his velo, but eye test tells me he’s maybe 92mph on the fastball. Nice pitchability has led him to a 2019 season of 2.04 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 10.50 SO/9, 5.68 SO/BB.

#186 – C Nick Kahle, Washington
(Slot value: $259,400)

Catcher is a spot I’m not looking for a perfect player. I’m looking for a good receiver, guy that can throw out a basestealer, and that gives you a professional at-bat. Kahle is hitting a decent .337, but with an impressive 59 walks to 26 strikeouts; his OBP of .511 is one of the top 10 of all positions in the entire country. He’s also caught 44% of basestealers.

#216 – LHP Nick Snyder, WVU
(Slot value: $203,400)

My biggest regret in this mock is not being able to find a spot for a LHP earlier on. I’d be very okay with taking a college lefty like Ethan Small or TJ Sikkema somewhere in the 2nd-3rd range, or a Jake Agnos in the 4th. But I’m trusting my eyes that I might have seen something in Snyder that makes more value here, in the 7th.

A big-bodied thrower at 6’7″/220lbs, Snyder looks like his floor is a hardthrowing, lefty relief specialist with his fastball/slider combo. But he’s started 10 games for WVU this year, with 3 relief appearances leading to an 8-1 record, 1.95 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 13.99 SO/9, 3.44 SO/BB.

#246 – LHP Andrew Saalfrank, Indiana
(Slot value: $167,000)

Going back-to-back with college lefties to try to compensate for not getting one earlier. Saalfrank isn’t as big as Snyder (only 6’3″/205lbs), but with a very similar line: 10 starts, 3 relief appearances, 2.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.80 SO/9, 4.32 SO/BB.

He’s got a nice little curve ball.

#276 – 1B Jake Sanford, WKU
(Slot value: $151,600)

Sanford is my attempt to find a certain kind of profile for first base. He’s 6’2″/205lbs with experience at first and in the outfield. The strikeout rate is a little high at 18.70%, but swinging at a .402/.488/1.316 slash with 22 homeruns and 65 RBI in 53 games makes it worth the swing-and-miss.

#306 – UT Scott Ota, Illinois-Chicago
(Slot value: $143,500)

Typically, Seattle starts going after under-slot, senior signees sooner than here in the 10th round, so keep in mind that my rounds 6-9 may not be the most likely names. But Ota IS a Senior (as will the next picks).

Ota’s 2019: .359/.447/1.212 with 18 homeruns, 55 RBI, and a very solid 11.06 SO%.

#336 – RHP MD Johnson, Dallas Baptist

#366 – OF Will Johnson, EKU

Seattle prefers to take a stab on a high school player here that they will try to sign at over-slot if they can save enough in rounds 1-10, but that’s generally a guy that fell through. Tough to know who it might be at this point.

Johnson looked appealing to me for his mix of power and athleticism: 14 homers and 27 stolen bases. Plus a disciplined approach yielding 51 walks to 39 strikeouts. Seems like a great clubhouse guy, too.

#396 – 3B/SS Patrick Causa, Mt St Mary

Causa would very much be a guy I could see them take in a top 10 round pick. Slashing .402/.521/1.231, with 12 HR, 39 BB, 22 SO.

#426 – RHP Garrett Farmer, Jacksonville State

An undersized pitcher at 5’11″/175lbs, Farmer is a starter thus far with a strong ability to control the zone: 2.32 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 9.58 SO/9, 9.90 SO/BB.

#456 – RHP Vlad Nunez Jr, Stetson

Another guy that I would realistically see drafted in the first 10 rounds. A Senior closer for Stetson, Nunez posts a 3.43 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 12 saves in 22 appearances. And he’s got that closer fire.

Rookie free agency

By Jared Stanger

Players either signed as rookie free agents or invited to Seahawks rookie camp:

CB Derrek Thomas
CB Davante Davis
CB Josh Lewis
DB Toyous Avery
DE Cece Jefferson
DE Logan Tago
DE Obinna Iheoma
DL Wally Aime
DT Bryan Mone
DT Jay-Tee Tiuli
LB Noah Dawkins
LB Jawuan Johnson
OL Matt Fitzpatrick
OL Demetrius Knox
OL Lo Falemaka
OL Jordan Agasiva
OL Jordan Murray
OL James Moore
OL Casey McDermott Vai
OL Michael Rodriguez
QB Taryn Christion
QB Michael O’Connor
RB Marcelias Sutton
S Jalen Harvey
S Eli Walker
S Kahani Smith
TE Jackson Harris
TE Justin Johnson
TE Mik’Quan Deane
WR Jazz Ferguson
WR Nyquan Murray
WR Terry Wright
WR Delane Hart Johnson

The 30

By Jared Stanger

For those that were wondering, and for a consolidated future record, here are the 30 players the Seahawks brought in to VMAC for official visits in 2019. Some are more certain than others, but it’s a pretty solid bet this is correct give or take 1-2.

  1. DL LJ Collier
  2. DL Chase Winovich
  3. DL Rashan Gary
  4. DL Jeffery Simmons
  5. DL D’Andre Walker
  6. DL Anthony Nelson
  7. S Darnell Savage
  8. S Mike Edwards
  9. S Marquise Blair
  10. S Juan Thornhill
  11. S Quincy Williams
  12. S Jalen Harvey
  13. WR Parris Campbell
  14. WR N’Keal Harry
  15. WR John Ursua
  16. WR Gary Jennings
  17. WR Scott Miller
  18. WR Keelan Doss
  19. OL Demetrius Knox
  20. OL Phil Haynes
  21. CB Sean Bunting
  22. CB Justin Layne
  23. CB Derrek Thomas
  24. CB Donnie Lewis
  25. LB Dre Greenlaw
  26. LB Kaden Eliss
  27. LB Chase Hansen
  28. RB Darwin Thompson
  29. TE Jace Sternberger
  30. FB Chandler Cox

After drafting LJ Collier, Marquise Blair, Gary Jennings, Phil Haynes, and John Ursua; Seattle also brought in Derrek Thomas, Demetrius Knox, and Jalen Harvey during rookie free agency. So they now have in-house 8 of the 30 official visits for the year.

 

Post-Combine Seamock

By Jared Stanger

Time for a quick and easy, post-combine 7-round mock draft.

The Seahawks are beginning with four picks: #1.21, #3.84, #4.123, #5.159. John Schneider has been completely transparent about his desire to add to that. I’m looking to hit certain spots where the value is most concentrated. I don’t think it’s a likely trade, but it’s the cleanest way to get where I want to be…so my first trade is #21 to Oakland for #35 and #66.

Now, with an early 2nd, and early 3rd round picks added, I feel comfortable moving Seattle’s native 3rd round pick (#84) back 10-12 spots. I like Washington here because they have two-3rd, two-5th, two-6th, and two-7th to negotiate around. We’ll start with their later 3rd round pick at #96, and then I’d ask for both of their 5th’s (#153 + #173).

So then, in this hypothetical, Seattle would hold three picks in the 5th. I would trade the middle pick of those three (#159) to Green Bay for the Packers’ two 6th’s (#185 + #194).

These three trades would double the Seahawks draft class from four picks to eight. It doesn’t give them anything in the 7th, but my impression is that this year will be a great year to find players with draftable grades still on the board for rookie free agency. Give yourselves the entirety of the 7th round to prepare for the phone frenzy of UDFA.

Modified board:

#2.35
#3.66
#3.96
#4.123
#5.153
#5.173
#6.185
#6.194

After the inital 34 picks; Seattle would never be off the clock for more than 31 picks. Now, let’s pick some players.

#2.35 – Florida DB, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

I wish Chauncey had tested a little bit faster at the Combine than the 4.48s forty time he managed. But, then again, if he had run faster he might not be available at #35.

Chauncey is a safety in name, but he was very much a nickel corner in 2018 tape for Florida. And he played the role surprisingly well. I’m not ruling out using him to replace Justin Coleman in 2019. But if you’d rather use him to replace Tedric Thompson at Free Safety; I’m cool with that, too. I think the versatility is valuable.

Of the Safeties at the Combine; Chauncey was the 4th-heaviest, while also running the 8th-fastest forty time. While not an extreme athlete; CGJ is markedly more athletic than Tedric, Shalom, Delano, and Bradley. And I just think he’s a very balanced player. He’s not more reliant on either his run defense or his cover skills. He could play free, strong, or nickel.

My other pick at Safety would be Darnell Savage, who really made some money by running a 4.36s official forty. I don’t think he’s as strong as Chauncey in coverage, so I’d want about a one-round discount before taking Darnell.

#3.66 – Iowa DE, Anthony Nelson

I had versions of this mock where I was trying to get an offensive lineman about this spot; but really the OL that I liked best are shooting up draftboards after elite Combine testing. So I’m pivoting to the defensive line.

There are a million mock drafts where writers are giving the Seahawks some version of a LEO. I, for one, don’t believe that is really the type of DL Seattle needs right now. We don’t need the Cliff Avril profile…we need the Michael Bennett role.

Unfortunately, after the combine, there became a pretty clear divide among the guys that fit the 5-tech/3-tech hybrid profile. There are now the athletic guys that will be going 1st to mid-2nd round, and then a dropoff to the under-athletic group that you have to decide if their tape is strong enough to overrule poor testing, and worth a 3rd round selection.

The latter group is the Dre’mont Jones, LJ Collier, Kingsley Keke, Daniel Wise. Instead of taking one of those guys; I’m taking a more pure DE with great size, length, and 75th percentile athleticism.

Anthony Nelson comes in at 6’7″/271lbs, plus 34 7/8″ arms. But even at that size he posted similar agility scores to the 6’3″/256lb Chase Winovich, but Nelson had much better explosion scores in his jumps. I’m thinking instead of drafting a guy that is already 275-280 lbs; try to get Nelson to add a few lbs to a frame that should be able to hold it.

In addition to the really nice physical profile; I like a lot of Nelson’s technique more than his peers’. Nelson shows a lot of present refinement, and potential future upside in his assortment of hand-usages. He just needs to get a bit stronger, a bit more consistent. Nellie was a 9.5 sack collegiate player last year…I think he can be a very solid 8 sack pro player, which is great value in the 3rd round.

#3.96 – Northern Illinois OT, Max Scharping

I’ve had Scharping in earlier mock drafts and I’m coming back to him after the Combine. For a time I hoped Kaleb McGary would slip to the late 2nd round, but I’m now hearing he doesn’t fall out of the 1st. So I’m back to Max.

There’s sort of a common scouting thought on OL that you want to find a guy that posts 30 bench reps, 30″ vert, and 9′ broad jump. For whatever reason, you really just don’t see that many OL pushing 30 reps on the bench anymore. This year saw only five OL hit 30+ bench reps, whereas there were twelve guys posting 30″+ vert, and 19 different guys jumped 9’0″+ in the broad.

Scharping hit 27 bench, 28″ vert, and 9’0″ broad. Pretty close to the 30/30/9. I’m hoping you can move Scharping to right tackle where he could compare favorably to guys like Jack Conklin or Ryan Ramczyk.

Max strikes me as the kind of player Seattle’s front office would label Smart-Tough-Reliable.

#4.123 – West Virginia WR, Gary Jennings

I don’t have a super strong feel for what kind of WR Seattle may draft this year. I have a collection of traits that I believe they frequently target, and varying lists of players that fit under each of those traits. Gary Jennings is the one guy that seems to hit the middle of the four-way Venn diagram and possesses fairly high degree of each of my traits lists.

Jennings measured out 6’1″/214lbs, and then tested at a very solid 4.42s forty with 37″ vert, and 10’5/8″ broad. The one negative is that I think Seattle likes a good 3-cone from their WR, and Jennings’ cone was his worst test: (7.32).

Production-wise; Jennings posted 54 catches, 917 yards, 16.98ypc, and 13 TD (6th in the country). My idea here is: the new Jermaine Kearse.

If Seattle does truly value the cone score; perhaps they pivot more towards fellow WVU receiver David Sills.

#5.153 – Baylor CB, Derrek Thomas

Seattle has multiple Corners heading to free agency in Justin Coleman and Neiko Thorpe. I don’t love this draft class for players that fit as a Seahawk slot CB. I would try to re-sign Coleman, or some other vet free agent slot guy, and then look to the draft to replace Neiko.

Derrek Thomas is a former WR, that is still raw at the CB spot, but he measured 6’3″/189lbs, with 33 6/8″ arms. Then he tested to a 4.44s forty, 39.5″ vert, and 10’11” broad. The raw materials are very intriguing.

#5.173 – West Virginia TE, Trevon Wesco

This pick seems one of the most obvious to be a Seahawk pick. Especially in light of the pick of (and subsequent injury to) Will Dissly last year. Wesco gives you a very similar profile to Dissly and hedges his return to health for 2019.

The highlight here is Wesco’s run-blocking, with some underrated, underused receiving ability.

#6.185 – Cincinnati DL, Cortez Broughton

Cortez is the opposite of the Anthony Nelson pick where you have a DE add weight to become DE/DT hybrid. Tez I could see cut a little weight and add some DE work to his regular DT position.

#6.194 – Maryland LB, Tre Watson

With both KJ Wright and Mychal Kendricks free agents and question marks for 2019; I have to draft at least one OLB. I really wanted to find a spot to also add a Barkevious Mingo type OLB with some passrush chops (Justin Hollins, Malik Carney, Jamal Davis, Jordan Brailford) but I just couldn’t make the numbers work. Instead I’m securing a traditional off the ball LB.

I think Watson is one of the more underrated players in this class. He really stuffed the stat sheet for the Terps: 114 tackles (70 solo), 3 TFL, 1 sack, 5 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FF. A linebacker that can cover is hugely valuable in the new NFL.

In addition to a passrushing OLB, my mock is also missing an OG (Terronne Prescod) and a placekicker (John Baron). The former may be filled in vet free agency and the latter we can target in rookie free agency.

Final draft haul:

2.35 S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
3.66 DE Anthony Nelson
3.96 OT Max Scharping
4.123 WR Gary Jennings
5.153 CB Derrek Thomas
5.173 TE Trevon Wesco
6.185 DL Cortez Broughton
6.194 LB Tre Watson

Ten-piece nuggets

By Jared Stanger

After the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine we can now put some numbers to the players we thought looked athletic throughout the year. Instead of simply pointing out the most-athletic guys…or talking about the athleticism of the same over-publicized first round projected players..this list is somewhat more of a virtual Venn Diagram of players with great athleticism and potential interest for the Seahawks. (All SPARQ numbers come from 3sigmaathlete.com.)

Wide Receiver

Of the 48 receivers at the combine; 37 performed in enough of the tests to chart a SPARQ score, and of those 37; 23 rated above 50th percentile athleticism, and another 12 posted over 1.0 sigma. It’s a really deep group.

I think this WR class could end up looking similar to the 2015 WR class. That year; Amari Cooper went #4 overall. I kinda doubt there’s an Amari in this class, but the guys that followed Amari were Kevin White at #7, Devante Parker at #14, Nelson Agholor at #20, Breshad Perriman at #26, and Phillip Dorsett at #26. Meanwhile, the Seahawks pulled Tyler Lockett out of the 3rd round and #69 overall. I think a sort of variation of that in 2019 could yield a nice result for Seattle.

I’ve got four potential marks that could be there in the 3rd:

Emanuel Hall – the best deepball receiver in this class. His combine testing put him in the 99.7 percentile of NFL athletes. 4.39s forty and a stunning 11’9″ broad jump. If he lasts to the 3rd round it will be due to questions about his hands. 

Parris Campbell – the second-best WR athlete this year (behind Miles Boykin); Campbell posted 4.31s forty, with a 40″ vert and 11’3″ broad jump. Super explosive. I’m not entirely sure why Campbell’s profile isn’t higher.

Terry McLaurin – another Ohio State receiver; McLaurin has a unique skillset. He’s a very good deep threat, but he’s also one of the better special teams players in the country. Testing marks put Terry above the 95th percentile SPARQ.

Deebo Samuel – posting a 92nd percentile SPARQ score; Deebo might be the Golden Tate of this class. The RAC is key.

Offensive Line

I’m not certain which OL position Seattle targets; but it seems it’d be a waste not to draft from this pretty solid OL class. It’s not a class deeply loaded with stud athletes, but there’s a few if you jump earl.

Kaleb McGary – the UW right tackle has his stock continuing to rise. After a solid, albeit unspectacular, regular season, Kaleb has put together an impressive last few weeks in his pre-draft process including solid Senior Bowl week, a 72nd percentile SPARQ score from his combine testing.

Chris Lindstrom – primarily a guard for Boston College; Lindstrom has the arm length and 95th percentile athleticism (and some college experience) to potentially play some Tackle in the pro’s.

Edge rusher

With Frank Clark recently franchise tagged; it seems less likely that Seattle looks to draft a “LEO” type edge player. I think the higher likelihood is they target a DE/DT hybrid guy that weighs 270-285ish. But these are a couple stud Edge athletes that I could be talked into at the right price.

Brian Burns – it’s going to be extremely tough for the Seahawks to have a shot at Burns at #21 after he’s been a 1st round projection for most of the year, and just strengthened that case by testing in the 94th percentile SPARQ after increasing his weight to 249lbs from his playing weight of 235lbs. But we’ve seen Seattle target a player very similar to Burns in Bruce Irvin from this same regime.

Jamal Davis – probably the biggest sleeper amongst this list; Davis is a really nice athlete (82nd percentile), with good production (82 tackles, 16.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 6 PBU). That’s a really high tackle total for an Edge rusher. The PBU are also really nice. Those two stats and Jamal’s combine field work tell me he could also pretty easily pick up off-the-ball LB, as well.

Defensive Back

There are actually quite a few cornerbacks in this year that could potentially be great fits in Seattle if you believe in Pete Carroll’s ability to take even the most unrefined but athletic raw player and coach him up into a solid CB. I think the key there will be finding that guy at the mid round value that Seattle likes to use on corners.

In the meantime, here are a Corner and a Safety that I have a suspicion Seattle might be “in” on. Both from Miami.

Mike Jackson – as the Corner from this Cane DB duo, Jackson comes from the spot with higher supply, and potentially lower demand (for Seattle). Jackson isn’t, necessarily, in my top 5-6 favorite fits at CB for Seattle, but he checks a lot of boxes, while remaining fairly anonymous (aka: lower draft stock/higher value). Mike posted a 95th percentile SPARQ while measuring 6’1″/210lbs with 32 1/2″ arms.

Sheldrick Redwine – I think I was watching Mike Jackson tape when I kept noticing Redwine more. I was late in the process to watch him (as is often the case with safeties), but I like enough of what I saw, and then he tested in the 94th percentile for his position. I’m not sure yet whether he’s more of a SS or a FS (and his arms are almost long enough to be a Seattle CB, too).

There ya go…a 10-piece HawkDonald’s picken nuggets. 10 guys whose athleticism should put them soundly on Seattle’s draft radar.

 

Combine Preview

By Jared Stanger

The first day of NFL Scouting Combine player arrivals is this Tuesday. First group weigh-ins are Wednesday. And the first groups to do testing and field work will happen Friday. The recipe is the same as it’s always been, but let’s take a look at what the farm has brought to market this year.

We’ll take a look at each position group highlighting the guys that should stand out, and a few of the potential surpRISERS.

Quarterback – field testing Saturday, March 2

It’s a down year for QB’s. It’s down for them as passers, and it’s down for them as athletes. It’s safe to assume that Kyler Murray will be the big winner athletically. His size is more akin to a running back, and his athleticism should follow that same comparison.

The guy that is going to surprise people is Jake Browning. I believe Jake has the potential to run in the 4.6’s in the 40 yard dash.

But, for the most part, we shouldn’t (and don’t) care about QB athleticism. QB’s should be making their money in private team interviews.

Running back – field testing Friday, March 1

RB is another group that lacks much star power. There are a handful of backs that I will be watching with curiosity: Mike Weber, Devin Singletary, Miles Sanders, Justice Hill, Trayveon Williams.

But mostly, I am looking forward to the testing numbers for Damien Harris and Jordan Scarlett. These are both similarly built 5’11″/215lbs runners from SEC schools where they found themselves in backfield timeshares this year.

Scarlett placed second in Florida carries to Lamical Perine’s 134 attempts; finishing with 776 yards on 131 carries, 5.92ypc, and 5 TD’s.

Harris led Alabama in carries with 150, 876 yards, 5.84 ypc, 9 TD to out-touch Josh Jacobs’ 120 carries, and Najee Harris’ 117.

But, now, at the combine; both of these backs will be able to work individually, and show the world something it hasn’t quite grasped yet: these two guys are nice athletes. I think Harris can leave Indy with a 4.48s time, and Scarlett will make the most money in his group running in the 4.40-4.43s range.

In a general sense; the single RB test to keep an eye on is the Shuttle. But really you want to wait for the composite scores like SPARQ for runners.

Wide receiver – field testing Saturday, March 2

WR is always one of the biggest groups, which gives the biggest chance for surprises. You get a lot of small-school receivers that are tough to find tape on like Emmanuel Butler, Keelan Doss, Ahston Dulin, Jazz Ferguson, Alex Wesley. I really have no clue if any of these guys are gonna test well.

The handful of WR that I expect to do best in the 40: Parris Campbell, Emanuel Hall, Darius Slayton, Terry McLaurin, Andy Isabella.

For overall testing, I like Travis Fulgham, Hall, and McLaurin a lot, and then I’m hoping for solid testing from any/all of LilJordan Humphrey, Gary Jennings, Riley Ridley, Demarkus Lodge, Anthony Johnson, Tyre Brady. I like Seattle to try and replace Jaron Brown on the cheap this year in the draft. Someone in the 6’2″/210lb range with 4.4s speed.

Analytics’ly, the test to watch is the 3-cone. Production-wise, the stat to watch is the “hog” factor (market share). I’ve talked about Seattle’s penchant for drafting hogs for many years now. Lockett was a hog, PRich was a hog, Golden was a hog.

This year’s hogs:

Andy Isabella
Ashton Dulin
Dillon Mitchell
NKeal Harry
Greg Dortch
Keesean Johnson
Jamarius Way
AJ Brown
Alex Wesley

And then the next tier goes something like: Anthony Johnson, Hakeem Butler, Tyre Brady, LilJordan Humphrey, Stanley Morgan, Kelvin Harmon, Jovon Durante.

Tight end – field testing Saturday, March 2

What started out as a pretty dismal TE class grew throughout the season into a very nice group as the best of the best of underclassmen all seemed to declare.

We should see a fair amount of stud athletes at TE. I’ve got, in no certain order, Noah Fant, TJ Hockenson, Irv Smith, Jace Sternberger, Caleb Wilson, and maybe Alize Mack sneaking in there.

The TE forty times will, as usual, get the headlines, but what you want to watch here is both of their jumps. The forty you can actually make due with pretty much any time under a 4.80s. I like a 9’6″ minimum broad, and a 30″ minimum vert.

Offensive line – field testing Friday, March 1

I’m really looking forward to finding out how many of the OL have the athleticism to match what is a very solid class of players on tape. I’m not expecting a crazy amount of athletes. That isn’t what this class is about, for me. This class is blue collar, grinders. But it’s always nice when you can get athleticism, too.

The two unique guys that I immediately get most excited about seeing are the two WA guys: Andre Dillard and Kaleb McGary. Dillard is going to compete for the fastest OL forty time, and McGary should put on a show in the bench and jumps.

I’m sure there will be a new Kolton Miller this year. Somebody that tests out of sight, and then gets overdrafted relative to his game tape. David Edwards seems like that kind of name going in to the combine, but I’m not sure he’s that name coming out of it. I think the name coming out of the combine will be Yoshua Nijman. Nijman is gonna win the weigh-in, and should surprise people in his testing. But if you revisit the tape, Yosh really didn’t take the step forward in 2018 that I was hoping he’d make.

Defensive line – field testing Sunday, March 3

It’s a spectacular group of DL in this year’s draft. Lets hope they also put up some spectacular test scores.

The two obvious names in this group going into the combine are Ed Oliver and Rashan Gary. I’m not particularly high on either of them. Oliver feels like the guy that constantly ends up nicked, and Gary is simply not a good player. But, yes, they should put up tremendous test scores.

I’m more excited to see scores for Dre’mont Jones, Christian Wilkins, Khalen Saunders.

The tests we really want to watch for DL are the jumps, and not the 40 time, but the 10-split of the 40 time. That’s how you potentially spot a Michael Bennett upside from a guy with a poor 40.

My interest is on LJ Collier, Kingsley Keke, Joe Jackson, Anthony Nelson, and Charles Omenihu.

Edge rushers – field testing Sunday, March 3

There are plenty of edge guys that are already getting their deserved hype, and most should test well next Sunday. This is the Josh Allen, Nick Bosa, Montez Sweat, Jachai Polite, Brian Burns group. I’m not going to focus on them.

My focus is going to be on lengthening the Edge lineup by finding the next Yannick Ngakoue from this year’s class. I think there’s a lower tier of DE/OLB filled with names like Ben Banogu, Jordan Brailford, Malik Carney, Jamal Davis, Justin Hollins, Christian Miller, Deandre Walker, Wyatt Ray that isn’t getting the respect they deserve. Any of this group posting a sub-4.75s forty time and solid jumps should be considered good value in the 3rd-4th rounds. If you can properly develop one of these guys; this year’s 3rd round Kyler Fackrell could become 2021’s 10-sack player.

The biggest sleeper in this group athletically might be Jamal Davis. The one-time Pitt Panther transferred to Akron and kind of got lost in the crowd, but at 6’4″/240lbs, 82 tackles, 16.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 6 hurries, 6 PBU; Jamal has got a nice skillset.

Linebacker – field testing Sunday, March 3

Similar to how I feel about this year’s OL class is how I feel about this year’s LB class. It’s not a crazy athletic group. It’s more blue-collar, playing smart and tough. I don’t know if you find a Bobby Wagner this year…but I think there’s potential for quite a few KJ Wright’s.

I also kinda think the Combine dropped the ball at LB; missing invites for Khalil Hodge, Tre Watson, Joe Dineen, Jordan Kunaszyk, Malik Fountain. If you know how to predict NFL success; these guys should have been given a combine shot.

Hopefully one of Terrill Hanks, Otaro Alaka, TJ Edwards, Joe Giles-Harris, Bobby Okereke emerges from the Sunday session.

Unlike a lot positions; the 40 time matters here.

Safety – field testing Monday, March 4

The most problematic position group of this year’s defensive class. Not a lot of athletes, not a lot of blue collar, not a lot of future stars. I strongly suggest considering stealing from CB to build a safety.

Deionte Thompson can play, but he isn’t an athlete (and today was announced he won’t test due to surgery on his wrist). Jonathan Abram is the blue collar guy, but I’m spooked by his potential to stay healthy with his playing style. Nasir Adderley might be the best athlete in the group, but (unlike most) I don’t see a 1st round player nor star in him. Taylor Rapp is a well-rounded player, but his speed will surprise and disappoint people.

I’m left sitting here hoping that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and/or Darnell Savage can distinguish themselves from this field.

Cornerback – field testing Monday, March 4

This is actually a pretty interesting group for the Combine. We have SOOO many similarly graded players at corner this year. Potentially quite a few guys with 5th round tape but 2nd round athleticism. Tie-breakers can easily be made with athletic testing, to establish an “upside” edge over comparable film scores.

My group of 5th round tape, 2nd round athleticism:

Corey Ballentine
Jamel Dean
Isaiah Johnson
Jordan Miller
Derrek Thomas

Thomas is the name on that list that you need to watch for most. He’s going to run a 4.3s forty. Jordan Miller is also pretty freaky and should post some crazy jumps.

Specific to the Seahawks, of course you generally start with those CB’s with 32″ arms. Usually also 190lbs or bigger. But…this year Seattle is potentially finding itself in more need of a nickel corner type. This is the role Justin Coleman has played for the last couple years, but Coleman is in line for a fat payday in free agency and that likely comes on another team.

So what was Coleman? 5’11″/185lbs, 4.53s forty, 37.5″ vert, 10’04” broad, 3.98 shuttle, 6.61 cone. Slightly smaller build, but still big jumps like most Seattle CB. But the big difference is the agility scores. The other recent Seattle nickel was more of a hybrid in Jeremy Lane: 6’0″/190lbs, 4.48s forty, 42″ vert, 10’10” broad, 4.14 shuttle, 7.02 cone.

Names I’m interested in for the nickel spot (at the right testing and the right price): Xavier Crawford, Montre Hartage, David Long, Kendall Sheffield.

 

Postseason SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

It’s DRAFT SEASON!!!

Sorry. That’s my pseudo-silver lining of getting knocked out of the playoffs. With Seattle losing the wild-card round, Indy upsetting Houston, Philly upsetting Chicago, and Baltimore having a higher strength of schedule…we can expect Seattle to begin the draft at #21 overall. With only four picks currently allotted to Seattle, and a pretty strong draft class; it makes the most sense for Seattle to trade back.

I’ve designed four trades at various depths:

Oakland- #1.28 + #4.99 + #5.147
Green Bay – #1.32 + #3.75
Oakland – #2.35 + #3.66
Jacksonville – #2.38 + #3.69 + #7.198

Oakland already has three 1st round picks and may not need to move up, but as you can see they have a lot of options. Green Bay has 10 picks currently so they’d have the capital to move up. Jacksonville…I just sort of like that fit.

While I don’t think it is the most plausible option; here I’m going to do the second Oakland option and move back to #35…mostly because I really want that #66.

So adjusted draft board:
t-2.35
t-3.66
3.84
4.117
5.148

From there it’s a bit easier to trade back again to add some picks late in the 6th-7th. Detroit has two 6’s and two 7’s, so one possibility is moving #84 back to #88 and adding #6.187 and #7.206.

Final allotment:

t-2.35
3.66
t-3.88
4.117
5.148
t-6.187
t-7.206

For the player selections; I started to write a mock that answered the fan-consensus wish-list, which included getting a safety early. This is a pretty shallow safety class and I really didn’t like the results at the other positions I was getting after forcing a safety pick. So I pivoted to just writing what I hope and think is a good draft.

#2.35

Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was very nearly the pick here, but I’m just not a fan of getting behind my board. I prefer to draft from the depth of the class. I prefer to be working ahead of my board. Sometimes that has the perception of “reaching”…I like to think it’s more accurately being prescient and correctly valuing that which is otherwise undervalued. Offensive linemen are always undervalued in media mock drafts. They inevitably go higher than projected because of the difficulty finding them.

OL, Michael Deiter, Wisconsin

Deiter is one of a few interior OL that I’m especially interested in this draft. Two are currently at LG, one is at OC. Two have played multiple positions and could, likely, start at either in the NFL. Deiter has been the most versatile of the three I’m watching with work at all of OT, OG, and OC. I don’t think he has the length to play OT professionally, but I feel very confident he could play any of the interior spots.

My intent here is to allow the team to let one of JR Sweezy or DJ Fluker to walk in free agency, but extend the other; while also not being obligated to Pocic and/or Britt if they are not Solari guys.

Deiter (6’6″/310lbs) continues the great tradition of Wisconsin OL. Watching multiple games of his; I never seemed to find any minus plays. I never felt he was out-matched. And sidenote: a Wisconsin RB led the FBS in rushing with very nearly 2200 yards and 16 TD’s running behind Deiter and co. If Pete plans to continue with his offensive philosophy; I prefer to do it with someone the quality of Deiter.

In the 3rd round, with two picks, I think you try to take advantage of the greatest depth of this draft, which is the defensive line.

#3.66

The biggest challenge with studying DE for this draft is: which kind of DE do we need?? There is the the DE/DT hybrid that Michael Bennett once was. There is the pure passrush LEO that Cliff Avril was. There is the DE/OLB OTTO type that Bruce Irvin came to be, and that Mingo has sort of been. There is the 3-4 DE like Quinton Jefferson. Basically, you can find history of DE in every weight class: 240 (Martin), 250 (Irvin), 260 (Clark), 270 (Bennett), 280 (Jordan), 290 (Jefferson).

Further questions for the DE draft: what, exactly, is Frank Clark?? A 265-lb LEO?? Does his counterpart need to be more 245lb speed rusher, or 285lb DE/DT hybrid? Whose snaps do you want to take away from going forward? Jacob Martin or Quinton Jefferson/Dion Jordan? Those questions can only be answered by Coach Carroll (and by the players that continue to improve, force playing time, and not need to be upgraded).

Answers to those questions, minus what is off the board, gets you down to a shortlist somewhere in the range of: Jaylon Ferguson, Jalen Jelks, D’andre Walker, Christian Miller, Joe Jackson, Austin Bryant, Jordan Brailford. I like Malik Carney, too, but I can’t see him picked before the 5th round. Of this group, my hunch tells me Seattle narrows it down to Walker and Miller.

DE, Christian Miller, Alabama

I like Miller’s build (6’4″/244lbs). I like his intangibles (Bama permanent Captain). I like his production (8.5 sacks, 11.5 TFL, 12 Hurries). I’m not as sure about his tape. The tape feels like a lot of coverage sacks. Sort of reminds me of Rasheem Green’s 2017 season tape. Green was cleaning up a lot of Uchenna Nwosu pressures…Miller is cleaning up a lot of Quinnen Williams/etc pressures.

But, Seattle drafted Green. So what I see and what they see don’t necessarily match up. This is probably the lone pick this mock that I’m leaning more on what they WOULD do than what they SHOULD do.

#3.88

The 3rd round, for whatever reason, always hits me as the most important round in the draft. It seems consistently the last round where 1st round talent have slid due to positional value, mild redflags, or just not fitting earlier. The 3rd round can help you plan strategy for how to draft in the 1st and 2nd.

This player at this value is why I went a little off-script at #35.

S, Darnell Savage, Maryland

Unlike other positions where you narrow to a short list and then narrow again; Safety this year I only have a short-short list. Savage (5’11″/200lbs) is one of two that check off most of my wishlist: range, IQ, ballskills, tackling (we’ll find out about speed at the combine).

If Savage doesn’t come out of the Combine with single-high safety speed; I feel very confident with him as a box safety. He is excellent playing the run.

4.117

The 4th round is pretty wide open. Could be a nice WR here, could be a TE to hedge for Dissly’s health, could be CB depth. I’m going with LB and letting KJ Wright and his iffy knee walk in free agency. And really my pick is more like the profile of Mychal Kendricks’ skillset; in case we can’t re-sign him or he’s in jail.

LB, Tre Watson, Maryland

I started catching on to Watson (6’2″/236lbs) while watching Savage. I think he’s a hell of a football player. Really underrated. So underrated he might be available a round or two later than this. I won’t risk it.

Watson is a very well-rounded player. Showing high IQ, huge power, clean tackling, and upper-end coverage skills for the position (10th in the country in INT-5).

Kam Chancellor was always a linebacker miscast as a Safety. Watson is playing like Bam Bam but with more obvious casting.

5.148

This specific pick is my “Jacob Martin” pick for 2019. I love this guy’s makeup, comes from another AAC school, very solid tape and production.

DL, Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati

Broughton has some of the best get-off from a DL (either DE or DT) that I’ve seen all year. He’s currently listed 6’2″/290lbs, but looking pretty loose in the cage. I think I’d try to trim him down to more like 275lbs and try to get Michael Bennett out of him.

6.187

I think the last two picks have something in common: they are positions where this class doesn’t have obvious, elite players at the top end, and the back end is all over the place/dealer’s choice. I’m not sure which player(s) from each position will fall, but someone from a good list will be there.

At WR the list could run something like: Emanuel Hall, Darius Slayton, Greg Dortch, Terry McLaurin, Travis Fulgham, Keesean Johnson.

WR, Terry McLaurin, Ohio State

A lot of Seahawk fans are asking for a “big” WR…why? The 2018 season was all about Lock and ADB (and for a minute Moore) and their ability to make plays deep. I don’t see any reason to alter from that path. Hall, McLaurin, Slayton are statistically three of the top 20 deep threats in the country, and that includes underclassmen. Fulgham is in the conversation if you look at explosives rather than YPC.

I’m going McLaurin for his receiving, blocking, and special teams combo platter.

Here’s a look at McLaurin’s blocking.

#7.206

Cornerback is a similar story to receiver this year. There’s enough guys with enough upside, but not a clean profile or big enough buzz to go early, that somebody will fall. Maybe not to the 7th. Maybe you flip CB to the 7th and try to get Broughton later.

The shortlist goes: Justin Layne, Corey Ballentine, Xavier Crawford, Isaiah Johnson, Joejuan Williams.

CB, Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

I think Crawford is a really sneaky pick and could give you a slot guy should Seattle not re-up Coleman, but I’m going with the 6’3″/208lbs Williams.

The upside for Joejuan is massive. You get him any time day 3 you’re probably pulling great value.

Recap:

2.35- OL Michael Deiter
3.66- DE Christian Miller
3.88- S Darnell Savage
4.117- LB Tre Watson
5.148- DL Cortez Broughton
6.187- WR Terry McLaurin
7.206- CB Joejuan Williams

Obviously, it’s a defense-centric mock. But in a pretty strong defense-centric draftclass; it is appropriate. Plus, it adds reinforcements to the rebuilding Seattle defense which, contrary to the predominant conversation post-wildcard loss, is the weaker half of the ball for this team.

I would have loved to find slots to draft Florida RB Jordan Scarlett, WVU TE Trevon Wesco, and SDSU PK John Baron, but Scarlett just isn’t enough of a need, and the other two might fall to undrafted free agency. I prioritized what I thought wouldn’t go unpicked. If John Schneider can manage to trade some vet players for picks; all the better. But for now, getting back to our basic seven picks was a must.

2019 Underclassmen

By Jared Stanger

I believe the deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the 2019 draft is January 15th, and we’re already flying towards a new all-time high in terms of total players entering early.

It’s been tough to find a comprehensive listing, and certainly tougher to find one that can keep up with how fast and how many declares are coming. But I thought I’d post as many as I could, and throw in some video and a quick blurb about the players I’ve watched.

This took a few days to compile. And it will be outdated by Sunday.

Defensive End

Nick Bosa, OSU

Legacy player with the potential to end up at #1.1 overall.

Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State

Really productive season where he showed awesome upside, but wasn’t as consistent as I’d like and faded late. Reminds me a bit of Marcus Smith.

Brian Burns, FSU

Nice athlete with effortless first step. Getting first round buzz regardless of his thin frame. Very good production and intangibles.

Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan

Joe Jackson, Miami

One of the thicker-bodied DE this year.

Shareef Miller, Penn State

Jachai Polite, Florida

Super explosive in his passrush. A logical first round name.

Sutton Smith, NIU

Undersized passrusher akin to Shaquem Griffin that inevitably ends up at linebacker.

Defensive Tackle

Ed Alexander, LSU

Rashan Gary, Michigan

It’s lowkey pretty easy to find a single highlight from most of the players on this list. Not Gary. But go ahead and put him in your first round mock. I’ll pass.

Kevin Givens, Penn State

Dre’mont Jones, Ohio State

Somehow people are lower on Dre’mont than they are on Gary. That is asinine. Jones is the best interior penetrator in this draft. And there are a lot.

Ed Oliver, Houston

DL tweener without a ton of passrush, but with some injury and personality redflags. My intuition is that he will eventually underperform his draft position.

Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

Huge off-field redflag that deserves a round or two downgrade. But otherwise 100% a 1st round talent.

Linebacker

Devin Bush, Michigan

Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M

Joe Giles-Harris, Duke

Hugely productive player, but seemed slower in 2018 than as seen here in 2017.

Vosean Joseph, Florida

Interesting player. Especially if you can get away with him being a two-down player.

David Long, West Virginia

Undersized player but a ton of playmaking on tape.

Quart’e Sapp, Tennessee

Safety

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

I’m a huge fan of Chauncey. Great positional versatility. Solid tackler. This play here is my highest hope for him: rangy, thumping single-high safety.

Taylor Rapp, Washington

I think he’s a 2nd round player that could easily climb into the 1st due to a shallow safety class. Kind of a B+ player across the board…hitting, coverage, blitzing (probably more an A).

Cornerback

Blessaun Austin, Rutgers

Sean Bunting, Central Michigan

Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan

Jamel Dean, Auburn

Clifton Duck, Appalachian State

Justin Layne, Michigan State

Layne is as close to Richard Sherman’s profile as we’ve yet seen in 6-7 years. WR convert. Same size. And quickly developing skillset.

David Long, Michigan

Julian Love, Notre Dame

Greedy Williams, LSU

Undoubted 1st round pick. Probably the best pure cover corner in the class.

Offensive Line

Venzell Boulware, Miami

David Edwards, Wisconsin

I wasn’t sold on Edwards in 2017, and another didn’t do much more.

Cody Ford, Oklahoma

Pretty interesting player. Getting a lot of mid-late 1st round buzz now that he’s declared.

Nate Herbig, Stanford

Andre James, UCLA

Michael Jordan, Ohio State

Greg Little, Mississippi

Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

Connor McGovern, Penn State

Tyler Roemer, San Diego State

William Sweet, North Carolina

Jawaan Taylor, Florida

Taylor is a bit of a creeper…the more you watch him, the more you start to like him. Really powerful. Not the quickest but he compensates with intuitive play.

Quarterback

Daniel Jones, Duke

Good luck if you need a QB this year. Jones’ under-pressure reel is pretty awful.

Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

One of the better deep ball throwers this year. But otherwise unspectacular.

Runningback

Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

I was pretty interested in Anderson before he got hurt this year. There’s like a mix of Arian Foster and James Conner in there.

Alex Barnes, Kansas State

Darrell Henderson, Memphis

Justice Hill, Oklahoma State

Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

A short-stepping back like Thomas Rawls, but maybe a tick more speed.

Travis Homer, Miami

Was looking like a potential early round RB earlier in his Miami career, before injuries hit.

Miles Sanders, Penn State

Jordan Scarlett, Florida

I’m a huge Scarlett fan. I just want to see him work on his pass-catching.

LJ Scott, Michigan State

Devin Singletary, FAU

There will be people that find this blasphemous, but……….Barry Sanders.

Benny Snell, Kentucky

Mike Weber, Ohio State

Kerrith Whyte, FAU

Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

Wide Receiver

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford

Unbelievable redzone threat.

AJ Brown, Mississippi

Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Greg Dortch, Wake Forest

The odds are against Dortch becoming an elite receiver because of his size, but damnit if he isn’t a fun player to watch.

Jovon Durante, FAU

Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State

Mecole Hardman, Georgia

Kelvin Harmon, NC State

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Diontae Johnson, Toledo

DK Metcalf, Ole Miss

Jakobi Meyers, NC State

Anthony Ratliff-Williams, North Carolina

Riley Ridley, Georgia

Darius Slayton, Auburn

I’m a fan of Slayton. He’s got 4.3 speed and nice body control.

John Ursua, Hawaii

Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech

Preston Williams, Colorado State

Tight End

Keenen Brown, Texas State

Noah Fant, Iowa

Zach Gentry, Michigan

Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Alize Mack, Notre Dame

Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Dax Raymond, Utah State

Kaden Smith, Stanford

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Kahale Warring, San Diego State

Caleb Wilson, UCLA

 

I really love the way the underclassmen have sort of intuitively filled in the gaps of where the senior class is weakest. These TE and RB declares help tremendously. The only thing unhelped, really, is the Safety class. There just aren’t that many bodies even combining Senior and Junior years.

 

 

The First Round

By Jared Stanger

I don’t do mock drafts. I just don’t. Years ago I was talking with a friend of mine and I was telling her how I don’t care much for small-talk…for BS’ing with people. She says to me, “that’s because you research your bullshit.” I mean, she nailed it. So, in order for me to do a mock draft that I would feel comfortable publishing and being accountable for, I would first want to do enough research on all 32 teams in order to trust that I’m not bullshitting or short-changing any fanbase. But that is an amount of work I just can’t do while maintaining my real-life day-job.

I also don’t really like giving a point by point listing of how I value players. I’d rather see how everyone else values them, and then steal who I think is undervalued. Nothing about a draft matters except who you pull the trigger on when you’re on the clock on draft day. It doesn’t matter if you got a player that “fell” on draft day, it doesn’t matter if you “reached” on your guy…all that matters is: one year, five years, a career later…did that player give you the best value for who was available when you picked.

This will be as close to a mock as I’ll ever come, but really it’s more of a “big board”, and it’s not even “mine”.

The other reason I wanted to write this is: we are well into December and something that I started noticing months ago about the 2019 draft class is still holding true: there is very little consensus about the first round.

Now, this can mean one of two polar-opposite things: 1) it’s not a great class and media is forcing players up into the first, or 2) it IS a great class and there are just too many legit possibilities that could end up in the first. I’m leaning towards the latter.

In order to survey the draft landscape, I looked at 10 different first round mock drafts. I used mostly bigger outlets, and I only used a mock if it had been published since December 1st. The mocks I ended up using: Sports Illustrated, Draftwire- Easterling, Walterfootball, Sporting News, ESPN- McShay, CBS- Trapasso, CBS- Wilson, Tankathon, PFF- Renner, Bleacher Report- Miller. I would have liked to use someone from NFL Network, but I don’t think any have been published in December.

I’ll start with the most general of numbers from the results, and work towards the specific 32 names that end up with the highest scores/best 1st round probability.

Across these 10 mock drafts; 65 unique players were named. That’s a lot. Literally two rounds of players that at least one of these writers put a 1st round grade on. Of the 65; 16 were only named on one ballot. So 49 unique players were named on multiple mocks. Still a lot.

POSITION BATTLE

Position breakdown of the 65 (I made some executive decisions on guys like Josh Allen who could fit multiple positions): Offense 28, Defense 37. So that fits with the overall feeling that this is a better defensive draft.

11 Defensive End
10 Cornerback
9 Defensive Tackle
7 Offensive Tackle
7 Wide Receiver
5 Quarterback
4 Safety
3 Offensive Guard
3 Linebacker
2 Center
2 Tight End
2 Running Back

To me, the one surprise here is Cornerback coming in 2nd. I don’t think the narrative all year has been that this is a good Corner class (*caveat to the CB group: a lot of the guys named are underclassmen that haven’t declared). But the DL numbers fit exactly into the season-long narrative. Low Safety numbers do not surprise me. Low Linebacker number is partly due to me defaulting most of the LB/DE tweeners to the DE side. I believe there will be good LB value in later rounds as this class has better depth than ceiling.

The OT number is decent with the asterisk that many of them are college Right Tackles. Low TE and RB numbers are just good common sense for a first round.

Now, the position breakdown of the names that made the top 32 for this exercise:

8 Defensive End
6 Defensive Tackle
5 Offensive Tackle
4 Quarterback
4 Wide Receiver
3 Cornerback
1 Linebacker
1 Safety

This list puts an even finer point on the top end of this class. CB falls off telling us that most of the CB named are late in the round and with little-to-no agreement of which guys will crack the top 32. DL becomes the obvious strength of the class. RB and TE correctly fall completely out of the round (Noah Fant is the “first guy out” of any position on the outside of the 1st round).

It’s a pretty accurate snapshot of what I think this class feels like. Personally, I would steal a slot from WR to give to another position. Maybe LB, maybe IOL. And DT might be high by one; with teams looking to find a Jarran Reed dropping to the 2nd round.

There are 11 players that were named unanimously to all 10 mocks, plus 2-3 named on 9/10 ballots creates a very obvious first tier. I think the second tier is only 3-5 players long. There is a no-man’s land where it will be extremely hard to find correct value that sits between roughly #15-19 overall. And then the third tier is close to 40 players deep. That’s 40 players for 12 draft spots. If you can flip one pick between 16-25 into two picks between 20-60…I’d do it.

TOP 32

For each player in the top 32 players I will give their cumulative average score, ballot percentage, and pick range:

#1 – Nick Bosa, Ohio State DE

NICK BOSA
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
1.1 100% 1 2

#2 – Quinnen Williams, Alabama DT

QUINNEN WILLIAMS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
4.9 100% 2 15

#3 – Josh Allen, Kentucky DE

JOSH ALLEN
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
5.2 100% 3 10

#4 – Ed Oliver, Houston DT

ED OLIVER
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
6.7 100% 2 12

#5 – Justin Herbert, Oregon QB

JUSTIN HERBERT
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
6.8 100% 2 14

#6 – Greedy Williams, LSU CB

GREEDY WILLIAMS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
7.5 100% 3 12

#7 – Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB

DWAYNE HASKINS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
8.1 100% 5 12

#8 – Jonah Williams, Alabama OT

JONAH WILLIAMS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
9 90% 1 33*

#9 – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson DE

CLELIN FERRELL
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
10.5 100% 4 22

#10 – Devin White, LSU LB

DEVIN WHITE
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
12.5 100% 4 24

#11 – Deandre Baker, Georgia CB

DEANDRE BAKER
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
16.6 100% 7 24

#12 – Rashan Gary, Michigan DE

RASHAN GARY
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
16.9 80% 2 33*

#13 – Deionte Thompson, Alabama FS

DEIONTE THOMPSON
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
18.3 90% 5 33*

#14 – Jachai Polite, Florida DE

JACHAI POLITE
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
19.8 100% 11 26

#15 – Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State DT

JEFFERY SIMMONS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
20.1 80% 11 33*

#16 – Dalton Risner, Kansas State OT

DALTON RISNER
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
20.3 50% 8 33*

#17 – Greg Little, Mississippi OT

GREG LITTLE
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
20.6 90% 14 33*

#18 – Christian Wilkins, Clemson DT

CHRISTIAN WILKINS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
22.3 70% 7 33*

#19 – AJ Brown, Mississippi WR

AJ BROWN
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
22.7 70% 5 33*

#20 – Brian Burns, Florida State DE

BRIAN BURNS
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
23 70% 6 33*

#21 – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson DT

DEXTER LAWRENCE
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
23.1 70% 5 33*

#22 – N’Keal Harry, Arizona State WR

N’KEAL HARRY
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
23.1 60% 11 33*

#23 – Byron Murphy, Washington CB

BYRON MURPHY
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
23.4 80% 11 33*

#24 – Montez Sweat, Mississippi State DE

MONTEZ SWEAT
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
24.2 70% 15 33*

#25 – Derrick Brown, Auburn DT

DERRICK BROWN
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.1 40% 6 33*

#26 – DK Metcalf, Mississipi WR

DK METCALF
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.1 40% 10 33*

#27 – Will Grier, West Virginia QB

WILL GRIER
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.2 40% 6 33*

#28 – Cody Ford, Oklahoma OT

CODY FORD
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.3 40% 13 33*

#29 – Drew Lock, Missouri QB

DREW LOCK
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.4 40% 14 33*

#30 – Jawaan Taylor, Florida OT

JAWAAN TAYLOR
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.5 40% 8 33*

#31 – Kelvin Harmon, NC State WR

KELVIN HARMON
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
26.8 50% 19 33*

#32 – Zach Allen, Boston College DE

ZACH ALLEN
SCORE % BALLOTS HIGH LOW
27.6 60% 12 33*

Something that I didn’t include for each player, but that could be an interesting sidenote with inferences of player buzz; was the average inclusion score. Which is to say, of the mock drafts that included the player; how high was his average placement? Could also be considered the “bang the table” score. For example: where Cody Ford was included; his average placement was #16.3. If a single team/GM gets a specific draft crush on a player; this could be closer to where they’re drafted.

A few more inclusion scores:

Dalton Risner 7.6
Will Grier 16.0
Trayvon Mullen 16.0
Cody Ford 16.3
Daniel Jones 18.5
Marquise Brown 21.7
Raekwon Davis 21.8
Mack Wilson 23.6

SEAHAWKS

The Seahawks currently hold the #22 overall pick. Which, theoretically, would put them close to the range for a DE like Brian Burns or Montez Sweat. Certainly in line for one of a few RT options. Those would be the smart money positions to look at should Seattle not trade back.

If they prefer to trade back; some of the names that didn’t make this first round projection include a couple intriguing 3-Tech options in Dre’mont Jones and Jerry Tillery, small-school DE’s Oshane Ximines and Jaylon Ferguson, OG’s Michael Deiter and Terronne Prescod, and the second-highest rated Safety: Taylor Rapp. There were also a handful of CB names that scored very similarly (towards the 2nd round), but that don’t feel like a “need” right now for Seattle.

Senior Bowl: Offensive Line

By Jared Stanger

Most of the roster for the 2019 Senior Bowl were announced last week, so I’ll be spending some time working through many of the position groups. I’m beginning with Offensive Line.

The announced/accepted invites currently break down with 9 players at OT, 5 players at OG, and 2 players at OC.

Tackle

Yodny Cajuste, WVU

I’ve been watching Cajuste since his sophomore tape, and recently he’s become a consistent presence in 2019 mock draft first rounds. I think this is an overdraft. I don’t think he sticks at LT. I have him in the 2nd round.

Dennis Daley, South Carolina

I haven’t cut tape of Daley, but I did watch two games earlier in the fall. I didn’t see much there. He’s a bit of a waist-bender that projects as a backup for me.

Nate Davis, Charlotte

This is the only announced OL that I haven’t seen tape of. But with listed height at 6’3″ I have to wonder if he won’t spend time at Center, where the roster is currently pretty shallow.

Andre Dillard, Washington State

I first watched Dillard over the summer from his 2017 game tape and kinda dug it, and I’ve recently watched a couple more games from 2018 and it’s really impressive tape. This is now a guy that I’m really looking forward to see at the combine; in addition to the Senior Bowl. My only criticism as of now is that I’d like to see him add some weight (just, like, 4-5 lbs) to his 6’5″/306 current size.

Dillard really feels like the only college LEFT tackle on the roster that I could see sticking at LT. His footwork will catch your eye first, but he’s been one of the more advanced guys I’ve watched with his hand usage.

Chuma Edoga, USC

This is one of a few of the invitees I hadn’t studied before they were announced, but he’s the one I’m most-excited about now that I have. Unlike many of the guys playing LT for their college teams but look like pro RT; Edoga is playing RT for USC, but might be able to play LT in the league.

Tytus Howard, Alabama State

Another guy I hadn’t watched before this week, but my first impression was more moderate. The first tape I watched he was playing LT and didn’t stand out. The second tape I watched he was playing RT. I’m not sure when or why he made the switch, or if he flipped back and forth all year, but I, personally, preferred his tape at RT.

Kaleb McGary, Washington

I haven’t cut tape on McGary, but being at Washington I’ve seen most of the games he’s ever played. I’ve also been able to see him test athletically at UW combine’s. I think Kaleb is going to make a ton of money at the combine.

Dalton Risner, Kansas State

Risner is an interesting evaluation. He’s playing RT this year, with some expecting a move to Guard or Center. I’m not sure if that projection is based on “athleticism”, expected arm length, or ability at Tackle. To my eye; I think his athleticism is pretty good. I’m more worried about his ability. The first game I watched on Risner this year was vs Mississippi State and DE Montez Sweat.

Sweat is potentially a first round pick himself, so it’s an important game to evaluate.

Max Scharping, NIU

Scharping is the kind of OT that I always find myself liking. Similar to Jack Conklin or Ryan Ramczyk…super solid, non-flashy, lunch-pail kinda guys. Both of those guys have ended up in the first round (#8 and #32), but then moved to right tackle as pro’s.

Personally, I don’t love stamping a guy as a probably right tackle and in the next breath putting him in the first round. I don’t think that’s great business. But clearly the league will pay a 1st for a RT. So maybe Scharping will hit some helium in Mobile and/or Indy.

Like with Risner, Scharping had a 1v1 matchup with potential first round DE Brian Burns. Burns is a super-smooth, athletic mover and Scharping honestly won the day vs him.

Guard

Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin

Michael Deiter, Wisconsin

Of the five announced Guards; four of them are respective duos from the same schools. Two Wisconsin, two Oklahoma. I’m on record that I prefer the Wisconsin pair. I especially like Badger LG Michael Deiter.

Deiter has a similar profile to Dalton Risner. He’s played multiple positions, and there’s varied opinion of which spot he ends up at. I’m in favor of keeping him where he’s currently playing: LG. But there would be more value if he ended up at Center. He comes across like he’d have a good mind for Center, I just wonder how many teams want a 6’6″ Center.

Benzschawel also has good tape, but at Right Guard with less position versatility…less value, for me.

Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

I briefly watched some of his tape about a month ago and really wasn’t that impressed.

Ben Powers, Oklahoma

Dru Samia, Oklahoma

The Sooner pair feel overrated to me. Their tape looked like 3rd-4th round tape. I know this is the opposite of the popular opinion, but it’s where I’m at. It’s not bad tape, just not as special as what I’ve read from others.

Terronne Prescod, NC State

Prescod isn’t currently on the roster, but watching tape of his linemate at Center who IS on the Senior Bowl roster; I couldn’t help but wonder if Terronne will be joining him soon.

Prescod is a really thick, well-anchoring, great run-blocking LG. If the current Seahawks’ OL configuration is how Solari prefers his line; then Prescod would be more of the RG profile, with a guy like Samia (who reads athletic on tape) playing at LG for Seattle.

Center

Garrett Bradbury, NC State

There might have been other years that I would have like Bradbury’s tape more. He reads very athletic for a Center, but listed at 6’3″/300lbs I just didn’t feel he was consistently strong enough anchoring.

Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State

Jenkins, in a sense, is the opposite of Bradbury. He’s 100% anchor. If Elgton every gave up yardage to a bull-rush this year; I didn’t see it. It’s a little ironic that Jenkins is such a solid pass-blocking Center, but he plays for a team that is so heavy on QB running. I think he’ll hit more upside once he finds a legit, NFL passing scheme offense.

Jenkins also has position versatility to play Guard, if desired.

In terms of Seattle’s likely interests; JR Sweezy is on a one-year contract, so any of the LG’s should be a focus, with Deiter as my favorite. Germain Ifedi has another year after this, but Seattle sometimes drafts a replacement a year early to allow a redshirt. I’d love a 2nd rounder to spend on Scharping and let him backup both Duane Brown and Ifedi.

The Senior Bowl takes place in Mobile, Alabama Saturday, January 26th, with practices beginning Tuesday, January 22nd.