We're up to draft pick #25 and it brings us the Seattle Seahawks represented by vherub. On a team otherwise devoid of a true superstar, a dynamic playmaker would be a welcome site. Next up the Jacksonville Jaguars represented by schnifin.
To understand the Seattle Seahawks is to understand Tim Ruskell. Ruskell was brought into the fold after the 04 season. In 2005, Seattle posted a 13-3 record and was beaten by the Steelers in the Super Bowl. In Ruskell's first draft, he found a gem and immediate contributor in Lofa Tatupu in the second round. His mantra is often best available player, and this year, that player is Kenny Phillips.
There are pundits clamoring for a tight end or wide receiver- the departure of Hackett, age of Engram, injuries and the lack of a playmaker at TE are easy talking points. But there is no consensus pass catching AND blocking TE. Dustin Keller is poor at blocking and they already signed Putzier. On the WR side, they used the 3rd round pick in 06 for Burleson and their first pick last year for Branch. And while neither has been spectacular and there were durability issues all season, has it mattered? Last year Hasselbeck had one of his best years as a pro with a 28/12 TD to INT ratio, 62% completion rate and a 91.4 QB rating. Not bad at all considering teams were facing the sad remains of Shaun Alexander or career backup Maurice Morris. The Seahawks addressed RB by adding Duckett and Julius Jones, whether they will be good free agent additions is uncertain, but unless a RB beast is still on the board, Seattle would skip this position as well. In fact, there are some who think Seattle skips this draft slot entirely. If both Brohm and Matt Ryan were still free, there is a good chance a team makes a deal. Some have pointed to the Falcons giving both 2nd round picks for the Seahawks first. Tempting, but there are no trades in this mock and those guys might fall completely out of round 1 in this draft.
What about OT? Seeing as how Maurice Morris had a 4.5 ypc vs Alexander's 3.5 ypc last year, I don't think it so dire as to reach for players that might be gambles in the first round. Round 2 or Day 2, definitely, but not at this slot.
Which brings Kenny Phillips back to the picture.
Seattle has little depth at safety and more importantly, the starter, Brian Russell was very poor in 2007, especially at stopping the run- and you need to stop the run when playing Gore, Jackson and Edge six times a year.
Kenny Phillips should immediately challenge Russell for starting time, and if he performs as expected, will replace him by mid-season. I see Phillips as a Bob Sanders type, with the player intelligence and ferocity Sanders brings. He is a smart, team leader type and will round out one of the league's best secondaries.
In final consideration, I think the recent rule change regarding force-outs is going to have a serious impact. It will further hurt the development of division youths, Leinart and Alex Smith and take away a lot of sideline passes, forcing passes towards the middle. In Phillips, Seattle gets a hard-hitting, run-stopping ball hawker out there who can intelligently adapt and gets a rule-narrowed field on which to roam.
#1 - Miami Dolphins, Darren Mcfadden
#2 - St. Louis Rams, Chris Long
#3 - Atlanta Falcons, Sedrick Ellis
#4 - Oakland Raiders, Vernon Gholston
#5 - Kansas City Chiefs, Jake Long
#6 - New York Jets, Glen Dorsey
#7 - New England Patriots, Dominique Rodger-Cromartie
#8 - Baltimore Ravens, Jerod Mayo
#9 - Cincinnati Bengals, Keith Rivers
#10 - New Orleans Saints, Aqib Talib
#11 - Buffalo Bills, Malcom Kelly
#12 - Denver Broncos, Ryan Clady
#13 - Carolina Panthers, Chris Williams
#14 - Chicago Bears, Brandon Albert
#15 - Detroit Lions, Leodis McKelvin
#16 - Arizona Cardinals, Jeff Otah
#17 - Minnesota Vikings, Derrick Harvey
#18 - Houston Texans, Rashard Mendenhall
#19 - Philadelphia Eagles, Jonathan Stewart
#20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Limas Sweed
#21 - Washington Redskins, Mike Jenkins
#22 - Dallas Cowboys, Felix Jones
#23 - Pittsburgh, Kentwan Balmer
#24 - Tennessee, Devin Thomas