#RapidMock Grades: Seattle Seahawks

SEA 1 25     @Michael_RA Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
SEA 2 47 CLE STL @Michael_RA Marvin Austin – DT – North Carolina
SEA 5 156     @Michael_RA Owen Marecic – FB – Stanford
SEA 5 157 BAL   @Michael_RA Julian Vandervelde – G – Iowa
SEA 6 173 DET   @Michael_RA Greg Salas – WR – Hawaii
SEA 7 209 CLE   @Michael_RA Nathan Enderle – QB – Idaho
SEA 7 242     @Michael_RA Chris Conte – SS – California


DT Corey Liuget – Grade: A
I like this pick a lot. The Seahawks need impact players on the defensive line and had a lot of troubles when key starters there went down in 2010. Liuget can come in and compete for the starting job at the 3-tech position and could provide depth at the 5-tech defensive end spot as well. This versatility will serve him well – he could be a penetrating pass rushing DT or move to the end and provide a spark if Red Bryant fails to recover from his knee injuries or goes down again, and he should see plenty of playing time in year one. With Brandon Mebane’s status with the team up in the air, this gives the Hawks a lot of breathing room, further reenforcing the strength of the pick. Liuget is arguably one of the best pass rushers at his position in the draft, and could be a boon for the Hawks’ defense as he fits the profile as Carroll’s “premiere interior pass rusher” at the 3-tech position.

DT Marvin Austin (traded 4th round pick in exchange for 5th rounder and a move up 10 spots in the 2nd) – Grade: B +
Another good pick in my mind. Marvin Austin is arguably a top-10 talent but has fallen in stock due to the fact he missed the entire 2010 season after being dismissed from North Carolina’s program. Austin is another versatile player that could come in and play at pretty much any position on the line, from 1-tech to 3-tech or provide depth at the 5-tech defensive end position. In tandem with Corey Liuget, Austin may have most value at the 1-tech position. Pete Carroll describes the 1-tech spot as “a player who likes to mix it up. We want a big guy in there who likes to get down and dirty. He is going to get doubled a lot on the run and pass and is going to get down blocked a lot. He has to be a tough player.” This pretty much sums up Austin, and as Doug Farrar noted:

“Austin bounds off the snap pretty quickly for a guy his size (6-foot-2, 309 pounds) and immediately looks to slip off single blocks or split double-teams. Uses a good rip move to help win the leverage battle and is practiced enough with his hand moves to wrestle a blocker to the ground without getting busted for holding. Has an interestingly effective spin move out of the one-tech spot; Austin seems to always be looking to disrupt.”

The only reason I don’t rate this pick as an A+ is because the cost to get Austin in the trade-up combined with the fact a DT was picked at the first round spot as well. Overall though, a big pickup and the Hawks’ defensive line would be immediately formidable. Combined with Red Bryant, Colin Cole, and possibly Brandon Mebane, the depth at the line is no longer an issue.
FB Owen Marecic – Grade: B-
The Hawks have no true fullback on their roster and Marecic is a very good start. He’d come in and presumably start on day way clearing lanes for Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett. He’s a good blocking FB and should help in pass protection as well. I personally like fullbacks and think they should be used more frequently, so this is a good pick in my mind. Only reason I don’t rate this higher is that the Seahawks basically went all of 2010 without a real FB so I don’t know how much they’d be willing to use a 5th rounder on one. I see an UDFA H-Back/Fullback/Tight End hybrid coming in and playing at that spot more likely or Jameson Konz may pan out in that position.

G Julian Vandervelde – Grade A
Love this pick. His size concerns will lead him to fall, but he’ll be a great value in round 5. He plays with a mean streak and will be a great addition to the Seahawks shaky line. An academic All-American, he’ll bring intelligence to the position and will fit well with the Zone Blocking Scheme Tom Cable will be implementing.

WR Greg Salas – Grade B+
A great possession receiver that could be very effective in the slot. With Brandon Stokely unlikely to return, Golden Tate a big question mark, and Deon Butler’s health up in the air, Salas could come in and start on day one. He’s got solid hands, is good at finding the soft spot in the zone, doesn’t mind going up for it in traffic. By all accounts he’s a fierce competitor that possesses good size and excellent body control and is a good downfield blocker. Needs polish on his routes but overall a very good value in round 6. I’ve heard him compared to Hines Ward.

QB Nathan Enderle – Grade C+
A good flyer at this point on the Idaho signal caller. I only give this a C+ because of the high need on the roster for a QB and the fact that he’s slow, which runs contrary to the Hawks’ stated desires for a QB. However, overall I don’t mind this strategy. The Hawks will likely look to Charlie Whitehurst to carry the load and possibly try and pick up a FA QB after the lockout is lifted. Enderle could develop nicely backing up Whitehurst or a FA and could provide the Hawks with some value as trade fodder down the line. If they’re really lucky he could become starter material.

S Chris Conte – A
Good late round pick, considering he has been mocked in some situations going much earlier. A converted CB, he switched to safety in his senior year and thrived there. I like this because he is a hard hitter and has good size but can also excel in pass coverage due to his experience at corner. A lot of the great safeties are former corners and their coverage skills make them great contributors. Conte is a good pick because the Hawks lack depth at safety with the probable departure of Lawyer Milloy. He could also provide depth at corner in a pinch.

Overall Grade: B+
I liked Rally’s picks – while the first two picks were spent on defensive tackles, I actually like this strategy. It likely won’t happen, but the Hawks’ defensive line would be scary good with Liuget and Austin in the trenches. This would pay huge dividends for every other position on the defense. Pressure on the QB created by the duo immediately makes the corners, near the worst in the league in 2010, that much better. Owen Marecic will be a boon to improvement of the rush game, something the Hawks have stated is their top priority in 2011, as will Vandervelde. Salas is a potential starting slot receiver in year one. Enderle is a good flyer with some potential and could prove to be good depth or even trade material down the line. Conte is a good solid pickup and was 1st team All Pac-10 his senior year. Good value in the 7th round.

Danny Kelly


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