With the Seahawks learning last week they Buffalo" target="_blank">will lose their fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills in compensation for Marshawn Lynch, I figured it might be worthwhile to provide an updated mock draft following my first attempt for the Seahawks earlier this month.
At the same time, the NFL Combine will be taking place this week in Indianapolis, and with it we should expect to see some movers and shakers as players rise and fall across the board.
What makes this particularly entertaining is seeing how perceptions change about players after this week once they are put under the microscope.
So once again, let's give it a go; nevertheless I will continue to offer my disclaimer...
Disclaimer: All picks guaranteed wrong come April...or your money back!
For the Seahawks, a defensive pick in Round 1 would make a lot of sense to shore up a few holes while helping this unit inch closer to elite status.
At the same time choosing with either No.11 or No. 12 pick would seem to have them either getting a pass rusher too soon (Melvin Ingram) or missing out entirely (Quinton Coples). What's funny is that by next week those names could be reversed.
Honestly, though I'm not in love with either player, I think the 'Hawks could benefit from trading down as a means of finding a someone just as good (if not better), and make up for the missing Marshawn Lynch pick somewhere later on in the draft.
Enter Courtney Upshaw.
Imagine someone who can play linebacker just as well as rush the passer when playing along the line. That kind of versatility can be found in other potential players like Whitney Mercilus, but I'm opting for Upshaw given his track record and pedigree playing under Nick Saban at Alabama.
Fellow Featured Columnist Darin Pike does makes a valid point that the free agent market has a number of solid options at defensive end available, but I'd prefer if the 'Hawks get a youngster to grow with this unit from day one of his career.
For the sake of continuity I'm going with Cousins, but Kirk Cousins 3rd Round Pick" target="_blank">moving him up a round.
What I really want to say is that the 'Hawks will go after the best option once Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and presumably Ryan Tannehill are gone. So for those of you playing along at home, feel free to pencil in Nick Foles, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, etc...
Seahawks management is trying to play it cool with GM John Schneider being quoted as saying recently, "I just know if you panic at the position, it can set the organization back. So we’re not going to do that.”
By Round 2 they might need to pull the trigger.
Then again they passed on Andy Dalton last year...so who knows?
Forgive me, I did go to Vandy—that much is true—but I can see Hayward being capable of meshing with the 'Hawks young and very talented secondary.
Walterfootball.com believes,"Hayward has enough size and ball skills to fit any NFL defense. He also is aggressive defending the run. Hayward could be an underrated prospect who will reward the team that drafts him."
You can argue that it's a little early for the 'Hawks to make a move on a defensive back given the team already has three Pro Bowlers from the past year, but this pick ranks as the "Can't Believe He Was Still Available/Best Player On The Board" selection in 2012.
Depending on his performance in Indy, he could be a steal at this point or slip down a bit, which could lead to a potential flip-flop with the next pick depending on his Combine evaluation...
Linebackers: The 'Hawks are likely going to need them.
Whether either or both LeRoy Hill or David Hawthorne stay or go, the odds are this unit is going to need someone who can make a difference long term. Similar to drafting Courtney Upshaw, I believe this defense should be built to last...a long time, instead of signing a free agent.
Acho is someone worth keeping an eye on as I listed him as one of the top prospects the team should keep a close eye on in the later rounds.
I'm afraid we can't turn back the clock and get the first few years of Lynch's career.
Instead, the 'Hawks will finish paying off the Bills for taking the "Beast" off their hands last season by surrendering this year's fifth-round pick.
Hopefully he's back next season, otherwise...
At this point, that losing the fifth-round pick as compensation for Marshawn Lynch hurts quite a bit, and leads me to wonder if it would benefit the 'Hawks to move down in Round 1 to pick up another pick in a later round before Round 6.
Meanwhile, much like everyone else mentioned here, it will be interesting to see how Ganaway fares at the Combine.
This could be a selection worth mocking by next week if he puts together a solid performance.
Nevertheless the 'Hawks will need to either find a home for the former Baylor back or draft someone just like him whether "Beast" stays or goes.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke would seem to agree in his Free Agency Primer - NFC West.
"Seattle needs to make it a focus to find more depth at running back. Assuming Lynch is back, he’ll team with Leon Washington to take the majority of the reps. Adding a third-down-type back would be nice—Forsett could have had that role, but he’s been a disappointment."
Best case scenario, Ganaway is the Seahawks third down muscle to help the 'Hawks move the chains as a solid compliement to an already stellar run game.
Worst case scenario...he's the Seahawks third-down muscle complimenting Leon Washington?
How about a compromise?
Ganaway becomes the third down muscle by complimenting Trent Richardson for the next decade?
As I've said before, it's hard to take anything more than an inspired wild guess what any team will do with their last pick.
To this point I've had the 'Hawks lean more towards selecting pieces to help round out their defense. The temptation is there to continue this trend with either defensive end Olivier Vernon from the University of Miami or my sentimental favorite defensive nose tackle Hebron Fangupo of BYU to finish things off, but deep down it's the offensive line that worries me more.
Watkins, at 6'4", 340 pounds, could be someone worth keeping an eye on at the Combine for better or worse. I could picture his size being seen as a problem to some, leading to his stock to drop a bit if he can't run. If he's still available in Round 7 he might be worth taking a chance on.