With only a few days left in Seattle’s 2008 season we take a sneak peak at the 2009 NFL draft and what players the Seahawks might be looking at selecting with their top 10 pick.
For today’s story on the draft I talked to Rob Rang, a senior analyst with nfldraftscout.com. As you know, Rang has a wealth of information on the draft, and we’ll be checking in with him periodically throughout the draft process. I want to say thanks to Rob for taking the time to talk about some of the top picks in this year’s draft.
Like myself, Rang is a T-Bird alum and teaches freshman English at his former school, Mt. Tahoma, for his day gig. I plan on talking with Rang often to help keep up with the draft process throughout the next four months.
I videotaped our entire conversation, and with the help of TNT video guru Joe Barrentine, we broke the video down to digestible chunks based on what we believe are Seattle’s draft needs. You can view the videos below, along with a few of the top players at each position. As always, Rang provides good information on some of the players Seattle might be targeting heading into the draft. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts on Seattle’s draft prospects in the comments section.
View the intro below, and I’ve provided links to each conversation on each position.
Listen to Rang’s conversation on receivers here.
The skinny: Although he hasn’t declared, most observers expect Crabtree to be a part of the 2009 draft. If he does, Crabtree will be the best receiver available because of his size, ball-catching prowess and overall playmaking ability.
View Crabtree highlights here.
Rang’s take: "What excites me about him is that fact that he’s still very explosive out of his breaks. He doesn’t necessarily have that long speed. … But at the same time he’s explosive, not just quick, but explosive out of his breaks and he does get that separation. And he has deceptive speed over the top, so I think he can be a deep target that way."
The skinny: A redshirt sophomore who has yet to declare for the draft, Maclin is perhaps one of the fastest receivers available. He has great ability as a returner but is still raw as a receiver and needs to work on his pass-catching skills.
Rang’s take: "He’s a very similar player in terms of big-play ability as Joey Galloway. … He’s much more of a project as a route runner. He does have that explosiveness, but at Missouri he’s been allowed to freelance a little bit and he does need to work on that area.
Listen to Rang’s conversation on defensive tackles here.
The skinny: He was suspended last season because of academics but has rebounded with a good senior season, leading the Eagles in sacks with seven.
Rang’s take: "He’s more a mid-to-late first round pick. But he’s a prospect that if they wanted to address the middle of their defense, you put him next to Mebane and I think he would be a good fit at that point of the draft."
Terrence Cody, Alabama (6-4, 375)
The skinny: Known by Crimson Tide fans as "Mount Cody," he’s a decent athlete who moves well for his size. But there is some concern about how he can control his weight at the next level.
Rang’s take: "He’s a little bit better fit as a 3-4 (defensive alignment) nose guard. He can hold up at the point very well that way. But he’s not going to give you anything in terms of pass rush."
Listen to Rang’s conversation on offensive linemen here.
The skinny: Smith is another underclassman expected to leave. He won the Outland Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the country. Smith probably will not sneak past the top five because of his size and dominant run-blocking ability, but there’s concern about his weight and conditioning.
Rang’s take: "I’m not quite sure if he fits in beautifully with what Seattle tries to do because he’s not a great pass-blocker, but he’s absolutely dominant in the running game."
The skinny: A first-team AP All-American, Oher returned to the Rebels for his senior season after declaring for the draft as a junior. He has the physical tools, but inconsistent play during the season might have his draft status sliding.
Rang’s take: "A dominant pass-blocker in terms of he has the pure, natural tools you’re looking for. But again he’s a player that, while he has been very successful, you do want to see a little bit more consistency, a little bit more toughness."
Rang’s take: "He’s a player that while not necessarily a great left tackle fit, he could fit in nicely at right tackle should the Seahawks decide Sean Locklear is ultimately the replacement for Walter Jones at left tackle."
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (6-3, 218)
The skinny: The Heisman Trophy winner is an underclassman and is undecided on whether he’ll return to Oklahoma for another season. He has good mobility and is very accurate throwing the ball.
Rang’s take: "With the West Coast offense you’re talking about a precision offense based on timing and accuracy, and he has those things. So he makes some sense."
The skinny: He’s another underclassman still undecided in a down year for quarterbacks. Stafford has good arm strength and pocket presence.
View highlights of Stafford here.
Rang’s take: "The strongest arm in the draft. A player that absolutely has been able to put Georgia on his back at times and carry them to the promised land. But at the same time does throw the ball into coverage a little bit."
Listen to Rang’s conversation on cornerbacks here.
Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State (6-0, 205)
The skinny: The senior has started all four years at corner for the Buckeyes. An all-around athlete with speed, he can also come up and provide good run support.
View highlights of Jenkins here.
Rang’s take: "He’s solid. He’s reliable. He’s a very good player. He’s a good guy off the field. He’s everything you’re looking for."
The skinny: The younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. The redshirt sophomore has declared for the 2009 draft. He has great natural ability, but some draft observers believe has not improved from last season. Another bad sign, Davis was benched during the year by Illinois head coach Ron Zook as a wake-up call.
Rang’s take: "He’s a spectacular athlete. But he’s not quite the football player that Malcolm Jenkins is, although he may be a better player someday."
Listen to Rang’s conversation on safeties here.
The skinny: O’Dea grad is a hard hitter who can run and play in space. A first-team All-American and son of former NFL lineman Stafford Mays, Taylor has not declared for the draft.
View highlights of Mays here.
Rang’s take: "With Taylor Mays you have a chance to get a player who I think can be a Pro Bowler for a long time."
The skinny: The senior is a physical player who’s great in run support, but there are concerns about how he plays in space. An ankle injury has plagued him this season.
Rang’s take: "They move him up (for run support) so much that he’s almost like a linebacker."