This could be one of the
toughest picks to call in the entire draft. Seattle has needs at tight end,
defensive tackle and along the offensive line. They also might look to get a
running back and a wideout as well.
Many have predicted Seattle
to go with either Kentwan Balmer or Dustin Keller with the first pick. However,
I just don’t see the value in selecting either of those players with this
Balmer was very inconsistent
at North Carolina, having one big year before he left Chapel Hill, while Keller
is a one-dimensional player whose value has been overrated because of how he
did at the combine in shorts and a T-shirt. If he was as good as people claim,
he would have had the hype beforehand. He appears to be a Mike Mamula type to
me – a workout warrior who doesn’t live up the hype that one workout
creates. He’s got considerable receiving skills, but his blocking is non-existent
and he’s only average at getting separation.
On the other hand, Baker
is solid in every facet of the game. He’s not as talented as Jake Long
and he doesn’t have the huge upside of Chris Williams or Ryan Clady, but
his four years of starting experience plus his technical skills make him a solid
prospect to look at with the 25th pick.
Baker has good feet and
he can play on either side of the line. He’s been at left tackle for the
Trojans, but he could allow Sean Locklear to eventually move over to take Walter Jones’ spot when the Hall-of-Famer finally decides to call it quits. Seattle
also needs to add some depth after the departure of Tom Ashworth.
Yes, this will probably
be seen as a reach, but Seattle needs to add another top tackle prospect and
I believe Baker fits that bill.
As Doug stated
in the first article of this series, Seattle could very well be looking
to pick up extra selection and either trade down in the first round or drop
into the second. Then Seattle would have its choice of players depending on
where they end up selecting. Someone like Nebraska OT Carl Nicks, Notre Dame
DT Trevor Laws, Auburn DT Pat Sims or even LSU WR Early Doucet with their first
selection would be solid a few selections lower.
Don’t rule out the
chance Seattle looks to bring in the top safety in the Draft if they stay at
25. Miami’s Kenny Phillips is a player Seattle could use as an athletic
backup in his first season and then look to push either Deon Grant or Brian Russell for the starting spot in 2009.
Second round, 55th
Pick overall -- Chad Henne, QB, Michigan
This pick makes so much
sense it’s ridiculous.
Talk about a player that
is tailor-made for the West Coast offense. Henne is a player that teams have
started to really fall in love with. He’s got a strong arm, he throws
a very catchable ball and he’s smart.
At the Senior Bowl, Henne
ran a West Coast attack and at Michigan he put up solid numbers in a pro style
offense that called for him to be smart with the ball.
Jim Mora seems to love the
West Coast offense and Mike Holmgren is one of the founding fathers of the most
prolific offensive scheme to ever influence the NFL. Henne would benefit from
being able to sit behind Matt Hasselbeck for two or even three years while the
latter likely finishes his stellar Seahawks career.
Seattle addresses either the defensive tackle or tight end position
at this point. Fred Davis, who is a better blocker and a more complete player
than Keller should still be available or Seattle could take a chance on Texas
A&M’s Martellus Bennett.
At defensive tackle, Sims
may still be available or Seattle could move up and select Laws or they could
even look at taking a running back late in the second.
Third round, 86th
pick overall – John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame
After he impressed at his
pro day workout, Carlson moved up many Draft boards so he may not fall this
far. However, if Seattle opts to fill other needs, he would be an ideal candidate
right here if he’s still available.
Carlson is an excellent
athlete who is an above-average blocker, but he lacks elite speed so he doesn’t
get the sort of separation to set him apart as a receiver. His run-after-the
catch skills are outstanding though and he is very physical, something Seattle
has lacked from their tight ends over the past couple years.
Another player who could
go here is Tennessee TE Brad Cottam, but his injury issues are a concern. Texas’
Jermichael Finley is another player who, should he fall a bit because of his
inexperience, might get a long look from the Seahawks at this position.
Seattle needs a young runner to bring along. Players like T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones are just stop-gap guys who are better role-players than feature backs.
The reason the Seahawks signed them is because they wanted to eliminate that
need heading into the Draft.
However, should a player
like Georgia Tech’s Tashard Choice or Tulane’s Matt Forte fall to
this spot, the Seahawks may well decide they are too much of a value to pass
Fourth round, 121st
pick overall – Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma State
I don’t have the man-crush
that Doug has on Jamie Silva, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Seahawks
decided to go that direction. I don’t think they will, however.
If someone with Bowman’s
skills is available, I think you have to go that way. He’s got great size
and excellent hands. What he doesn’t have is elite top-end speed. However,
in Seattle’s offense, you don’t necessarily need that to be successful.
The Seahawks need to get
another body to come in and plug into their offense. Bobby Engram won’t
be around forever and who knows how Deion Branch will come back from his offseason
Bowman already runs relatively
crisp routes and he’s adept at blocking and he’s got strong hands.
He has some lapses in concentration at times, but he’s a solid pick with
the 121st overall selection.
The Seahawks continue to build depth along either the offensive or
defensive line. Marcus Dixon out of Hampton is a player I’m very intrigued
by. He has good size and can play a number of positions, but he’s probably
a better fit at defensive end.
Sixth round, 189th
overall – Athyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State
If Rubin is here and the
Seahawks haven’t taken a defensive tackle, he’s the guy. He’s
got great bulk and he’s got a very quick first step. He won’t collapse
the pocket, but what he will do is occupy blockers with his strength and wide
base. That will allow players like Julian Peterson and Lofa Tatupu to run free
and wreak havoc on offenses.
Brandon Mebane needs another
run-stuffer to come in and, assuming that Marcus Tubbs never returns to the
form he had in 2005, Seattle could find a gem late in the Draft by selecting
Seattle gets their defensive tackle in the first or second round and
addresses depth in the secondary or in the backfield here. There are lots of
good scat-backs available in this year’s draft and a great late-round
find would be either Missouri RB Tony Temple or Colorado RB Hugh Charles.
Seventh round, 227th
overall -- Brandon Coutu, K, Georgia
Seattle needs a kicker,
so why not pull the best one available in the Draft and likely one of the best
come out of college in the last five years?
Coutu has a strong leg despite
injuries to his hamstrings and he’s very accurate.
Seattle adds another tight end to the mix late on day two in the hopes
he can make the final roster as a blocker ala Ryan Hannam. Joseph Tuineau from
Southeast Missouri, with his size (6-8, 288) and speed make him a guy who could
work his way into being another tackle on the field.