The Seahawks Look to Fill Minor Gaps
Time for some 2013 NFL Draft Predictions. After an outstanding season in Seattle, the Pete Carroll era looks to be on the brink of something beautiful in the Emerald City.
In three years, Carroll and GM John Schneider have created a solid core of young guys – through excellent drafts – that have bought into the system at hand, grown together and play at an elite level.
The season has finally come to an end, so let the off-season begin.
Starting February 9th, there will be regional combines commencing across the states. This will continue until February 20, when the NFL Combine will take place in Lucas Oil Stadium.
This week-long event – which tends to define players’ draft stocks all too much – will be followed by more regional combines.
Free Agency will begin on March 13, which always tends to stir up some life into the otherwise quiet off-season.
Then, on April 25th, the 2013 NFL Draft will finally begin.
This is one of the most exciting times of the year for any football franchise – but especially the Seahawks, considering that their front office personnel seem to deliver gold year-in and year-out in nearly every round.
While Pete Carroll is damn near impossible to predict in the early rounds, it still is fun to hypothesize and garner theories on the future of the team.
Other factors – such as the combine results and free agency moves – tend to sway the draft in drastic ways as well.
But with that being said, here is a mock of the first five picks with the Seattle Seahawks current roster at hand:
1. Jesse Williams, DT Alabama 6’3″ 320 lbs
With the aging Leroy Hill becoming a free agent and a glaring need at an outside linebacker with zone coverage skills, the dreamer in me would take Alec Ogletree with this pick.
But being realistic, I don’t believe Ogletree will be available this late in the round – especially considering his showing in the Senior Bowl.
So I went with Jesse Williams. The Senior out of Australia is a pure specimen of mass. Weighing in at 320 lbs, Williams will be just the fit for the interior need on the defensive line.
New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is expected to make a smooth transition into Gus Bradley’s old scheme, having prior experience with the program. Pete Carroll noted that Quinn’s first priority is to improve the pass rush, but also the run defense.
Last season the defense held their opponents to 84.9 rushing yards in their first 8 games, but then allowed 121.3 in the final 8.
Because of his size, Williams has garnered the nickname “Tha Monstar” – and will easily fit into the physicality of Pete Carroll’s system.
He is expected to shatter the bench press reps record of 56 at the combine this year, but he also claims he will impress the scouts in other areas – apparently he runs a 4.71 40.
2. Khaseem Greene, OLB Rutgers 6’1″ 230 lbs
Since we couldn’t get Ogletree in the first, we fill the need here with Khaseem Greene.
Greene is very similar to Ogletree in many ways – was a former safety, excellent coverage skills, great speed and a solid wrap-up tackler.
The only differences between Greene and Ogletree is the size of both their physiques and their universities. Ogletree is a much larger name when is comes to prospects, but their production was very alike:
Greene – 137 tackles, 6 sacks and 2 interceptions
Ogletree – 112 tackles, 3 sacks and 1 interception
Granted, Ogletree did miss 4 games due to a broken foot. But that also gives credit to the durability of Greene.
Greene has tons of upside, and his strengths fit the weaknesses of the Seattle defense – mainly zone coverage on third downs.
However, he has a small frame and many believe he won’t excel at the professional level. Sound familiar Bobby Wagner?
3. Marquess Wilson, WR Washington State 6’4″ 185 lbs
Definitely my most controversial pick – and just a little biased – but I am going with my boy Quess’ out of my alma mater, WSU.
Prior to the 2012 college football season, Wilson was one of the nation’s highest-touted wide receiver prospects and was projected to be a late first round-early second round choice.
But as everyone is aware, Wilson’s attitude and new head coach Mike Leach’s stern coaching style didn’t exactly mesh.
Wilson ended up leaving the team late in the season – claiming physical and emotional abuse from the coaching staff. Further investigation proved to find no such abuse, and Wilson then recanted his statements.
It is not surprising that many will disagree with this pick, considering Wilson’s drama-queen attitude and his thin frame that was already in question as an NFL prospect.
That being said, Wilson is still one of the most talented athletes in this draft. The fact that he will likely slide this far is a godsend for Seattle, and they would be foolish not to pick him up.
He has a long frame – 6’4″ – is a subtle burner as a deep threat – career average of 16.9 yards per reception – and has an elite jump-ball ability that tops every prospect in the draft.
4. William Gholston, DE Michigan State 6’7″ 278 lbs
Here is where the need for a pass rusher is addressed.
William Gholston is a beast of a human being, and will add size to the already stout defensive line.
Gholston was a 5-star recruit out of Michigan. He received offers from nearly every program, but decided to stay in his home state and signed with the Michigan State Spartans.
Throughout his three-year tenure at Michigan State, Gholston put up solid numbers – yet never reached the potential many believe he has.
His sophomore season was his strongest campaign, posting 70 tackles (16 for loss), 5 sacks and a forced fumble – earning him Second Team All-Big 10 honors.
He digressed a little his junior year, only gathering 59 tackles (13 for loss) and 4.5 sacks. He did however have 10 passes defensed. This on account of his 6’7″ frame – a tool that J.J. Watt has utilized at the professional level.
With questions about his motor and lack of production, Gholston has dropped from a 1st round talent to a middle round pick.
Seattle would be taking a risk on him, but the ceiling is high on this kid and the reward could pay huge dividends.
5. Chris Faulk, OT LSU 6’6″ 335 lbs
With the inconsistent play on the right side of the Seattle offensive line, J.R. Sweezy was often exposed. He gets some leniency, however, considering he is transitioning from defensive tackle and it was his first year in the league.
What many will fail to realize was that Sweezy was so often put on an island because of the poor play from Breno Giacomini.
If the right tackle is constantly getting beat to the inside, it forces a lot of stress on the right guard. Add that to the inexperience of Sweezy, and you have a mess on your hands.
Giacomini had a few strong outings on the season, but the only consistency he carried was a plethora of penalties.
There is a weakness at the right guard position, but there is youth there between Sweezy and John Moffit, so that can be addressed later.
The tackle needs to be addressed, and Chris Faulk could be the man for the job.
Faulk has played against plenty of talent in the SEC, and produced early in his career.
Because of the talent on the defensive line at LSU, Faulk’s production was often overshadowed. However, he was ranked no. 24 on Rob Rank’s Big Board entering the 2012 season.
Unfortunately, Faulk suffered an ACL injury in the season opener, so his stock has fallen tremendously.
If Faulk can have an effective rehabilitation process and become the man he was prior to the injury, Seattle would be getting a steal in the fifth round.
These are just hypothetical fits for the current weaknesses on the roster.
Fortunately for us, we have youth at every position and there are very few holes in this well-built program.
While I do believe these players would all be great contributors to the team, I am sure we will all be surprised by Carroll and Schneider’s picks come April.
But even if you haven’t heard of the guy, I think our front office has earned our trust by now. Counting down the days till that draft clock starts…