Friday, April 24, 2009

Answers to Your Questions (Draft Day 2009!)

by: Michael Steffes

So close, so close. I stayed up as late as I could last night working on the new digs in the desperate hope I can sleep well tonight. I am not counting on it. The draft is easily the best non football, football weekend of the year. It has turned into a year round speculative industry. So with out further ado... let me speculate.


Do you think they will be able to trade down either by nabbing Sanchez and trading him away, or via any other means? If so, how do you think this will come about? If you don't think so, who do you think they will take?~Griffin

I think it is a fifty/fifty proposition at best Griffin, and history is not on their side. However, I don't remember there being hype the magnitude of the hype Sanchez is receiving lately either. What the Hawks are benefiting from is that there are no real 2nd round Qbs available. In most years there is a second tier. This year it is dicey after Sanchez. If they move back it will probably happen while they are on the clock, and I would look for them to target one of the running backs and either an offensive linemen or defensive back depending on

In your opinion what is the bigger back up need, the one for Matt or the one for Walt?~Cousin Tam

That is a good one Tam, I guess I would have to say Matt. Only because whether or not people agree, the team has a plan in place to replace Walt. The expect Lock to slide over and Willis to man the right side. As for Matt, not so much. In my opinion, Seneca Wallace is not a starting QB in the NFL. If he were, teams would have tried to acquire him to be one. Good backups with starting potential are always in demand, but Seneca never has been. I also think that Ruskell, Mora, and Knapp, at some point, aren't going to be able to resist the urge to get their OWN qb. Remember they got stuck with Vick, and Hasselbeck is also a guy from a previous coach. They defintely seem to like Hass though, and with good reason.
Are the Rams really considering drafting Sanchez?~ LA HAWK FAN

Apparently they bought him a plane ticket to fly from LA to St. Louis tomorrow. Maybe they are. If they did, I have to say I think I would ridicule the pick. Alex Barron is barely a right tackle, and no QB will succeed with him at LT. They showed their hand when they cut Orlando Pace.

Who are your favorite prospects in Rd 2 and RD 3? What do you think the odds of us trading back into the 1st round to grab one of the runningbacks? (I thinks it's high if Moreno or Wells slide)~ Yung Hawk

Great question Kurt! I really like a couple of guys available at those spots. I like Alex Mack a lot as a replacement at center, but I am mroe partial to a center that may be available in the third, Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas. Another pick I wouldn't complain about would be William Beatty. He isn't ready to start right away, but he is as athletic as they come for a tackle and would fit the zone scheme well. Keep your eye on Conner Barwin. He was TE and then converted to DE did very well. He might develop into the next Patrick Kerney, plus they could play him in the red zone.

I have long suspected the Hawks could try to get back into the first for a RB, especially if one of those guys slides. It is a double winner, we get a good back and the Cards have to take the guy who is lower on their board. I like that move a lot, but Ruskell also likes to keep his picks. Having four 7ths means they could give up a second day pick or two though if they felt it was worth it.

And why isn't Donald brown rated the top back in the draft? he rushed for 2,083 yards and 18 td's and nearly rushed over 100 yards every game, his worst was 82 yards which is good. International MVP, 08 first team all big east, rated first in rushing in the NCAA Division 1 FBS. this dude can play I'd rate him number 1 rb prospect in the draft if not HAS to be behind Moreno at least. BEFORE WELLS! Wells is a bust. never 100% ~Hawkboy 13

I guess the best way to answer this question to remind you that the NFL draft isn't so much about college production as it is NFL potential. There have been numerous Heisman winners, and National Championship QBs who have fallen to the 6th and 7th rounds. Sometimes being a great college player means you reached your peak before others.

With Brown, he had a great year last year. He also did it on a ton of carries, which always worries teams. He is great guy from what I heard, someone described him as someone you would let your daughter marry.

As for Wells, who i feel obligated to defend here despite being a Michigan fan, because I said the Hawks will look at him. There are several things. First, he only missed three games in college, which isn't exactly a lot. He does seem to get slowed by nagging injuries. But he also is very fast for his size. A study done by Football Outsiders found that they only combine test that could effectively predict running back success was speed. As for the eyeball test, I just like the way he seems to avoid defenders with out losing speed. It is graceful. Plus, you never see DBs catch him from behind, at least not UM ones (grrrrrr!). Plus, he has got a great bubble!

I know almost everyone wants Crabtree but if we do indeed select him, what about the other WR's on our roster who have been working to become better like: Logan Payne, Ben Obomanu, Courtney Taylor, and Jordan Kent? I can't see all of them staying. Would they be trade bait or just let go? 2nd Question: Does Locklear really have what it takes to take over for Walter Jones? I saw that Ruskell said that was the case but I am not sold on him yet.~ IdahoSeahawksfan

I think that is a very valid question Idaho. Look, no one is saying that those guys are going to develop into the type player Crabtree could, but the question is do they need to? How many teams have more than 1 go to receiver. The Cards and Pats? Plus, neither of those teams have the receiving tight end John Carlson showed to be last year. There are only so many balls to go around. Right now, the team committed big money to Housh, they still have Branch who when healthy is good, and Burleson should be fine. He was their big play guy in 07'. Plus, Gregg Knapp is not going to use as many 4 receiver sets as we have seen in recent years. So with that group, the others need to be able to catch when asked to and play special teams. If the team plans on parting ways with Branch or Burleson, then I would think Crabtree is more of a possibility.

As for Locklear, I think this year will show us a lot. One will he rebound from last year, and two how important is the LT in the new scheme. Personally, i always thought Locklear played more like a left tackle anyway, he has great feet and a calm demeanor.

I may be the only one in the universe who thinks this is a good idea, other than Mike Leach, but if we pass on Sanchez, why wouldn't we look at Graham Harrell as a mid-round flier?~J

Well, apparently not, as you noted J, somebody else suggested (with out asking a question) that we should take Harrell. I however am not as high on him as you two. I think there are better options. Harrell didn't show much once he was taken out of his element at the Senior Bowl. Also, he hasn't been under center since before high school. Maybe he develops, maybe he doesn't. You don't have to take a big risk to find out, but like I said there are others I like better. Such as.....

Can you give us a brief scouting report on Brandstater? ~SA Chris

Great, I even get questions from other writers. I am going to give you a break and not tell you to look it up because you are hard at work on other projects for us. Since Scott Wright mentioned him to us back in Sept, I watched Brandstater a couple of times. Here is what I like...

He looks and throws like an NFL QB. That may not seem like much, but they less they have to change about a later rounder the better. When a QB comes into the league they need to learn how to read the complex NFL defenses they see, not new fundamentals. Also, in the games I watched the team let him make audibles, which shows me that he is at the very least "football smart." He isn't going to run away from you, and he is a bit of a sitting duck when rushed, but if he was on a team that protected him will he could lead an NFL passing attack. Brady isn't much of an athlete either, and that was what dropped him to the sixth. I only use the comparison because that is why most people want to wait to draft a QB right... the next Brady is out there somewhere!

Is Jordan Kent an NFL receiver? Will he make the team?~ Hawksince77 (sorry I could discern if you wanted me to address the hypothetical questions as well?)

Whether or not Jordan Kent is an NFL receiver is kind of in the eye of the beholder. He is a receiver on an NFL team right? The important thing to remember with Kent is that he has only played football for a handful of years. Because of this, he may make bigger strides from season to season than someone who has played all their life. Plus... hes got speed! Can't teach track speed! I think he makes the team again, but probably based on special teams. He and Taylor seemed to do well as gunners last year, in my opinion. They 5th and 6th receivers are mostly special teams players, unless the Titanic sinks again right? The team would have preferred Kent never play as a receiver if at all possible last year. Didn't work out that way though.

Am I so wrong for wanting a CB or a DE?~Citizen K

Why would you be wrong for that? If this team found a way to improve both their pass rush and their coverage you would have to predict the defense would be damn good again. Unfortunately, this team has spent three years building the defense at the expense of the aging offense, and if they don't start to get younger on the O, it won't matter how good the defense gets. It takes points to win, and besides offense sells tickets!

In your opinion, which top 10 draft prospects will be the first to make a drunken pass at Suzy Kolber? And more importantly, will he succeed?~Stallz

If Stimpson was a top 10 pick I would defintely say him, however, I am not sure I would pick him in the top 1o if I was building a Flag Football Team! nuk nuk nuk.

Out of this class.... hmmm, I am going to say Sanchez I guess. He seems like a pretty smooth operator, guessing by his metoric rise. Plus I hear he was at a Broadway show with one of his teachers last night? Cougar hunting perhaps? I kid, I kid!

Which current Hawks this year look to have either:

A) A break out year, ala Burleson two years ago or Carlson last year
B) Return to form, Brian Russell anyone?
or unfortunately
C) A disappointing one, ala last year's JP, Russell, Spencer, Kerney, Jackson, Tapp, Jennings, and the 12th man field advantage. ~ BW

Lets see.....

Breakout year, I am going with Chris Spencer. He showed flashes last year, he just needs to stay healthy. Somehow a contract year always seems to make that happen.

Return to form, I am going Lofa Tatupu. Pro Bowl # 4 next year... Book it!

Disappointing season, for me that would be Mike Wahle. I think the Hawks will give him every chance to play again next year, but I think the Panthers may have had this one down. He just never jumped off the screen to me, despite all the talk about how he was going to replace Hutch from the writers. I fear he may be heading down hill quickly, but I will hope he is not. The Hawks need to draft some interior linemen tomorrow though for sure.

Steffes: What's the drink of choice tomorrow during the draft? IDAHO

Tomorrow, it is looking like Coke Zero or Buckler N/A Beer? I don't drink. On Sunday it is coffee, coffee, and then a little more coffee. M0re importantly what is to eat? Yummmmm.

How much will Housh and a possible Crabtree ( acknowledging growing pains) help/hurt Branch, Burleson, Carlson, and Hass? How much would a healthy/improved passing game help the half decent run game of last year?~BW

Well, I will comment on Housh helping the other receivers. We can talk Crabs if the Hawks take him tomorrow. To be honest, I don't expect him Crabtree to make much of an impact in year one anyway. My guess is that he holds out for a while, as a lot of picks do and then has trouble adjusting.

Anyway.... Housh essentially replaces Bobby, but is a bigger target. He and Carlson will work the middle and Branch and Burly will work the edges, IMO. If you look at that, I guess you would expect that the outsides would get one on ones, that can only help them. What will help Branch and Burleson the most is a sudden case of health! If they stay healthy, they should be fine. All together a good passing attack will only help the rushing attack, and vise versa. Balance is the biggest killer to defense. It stops teams from situationaly substituting and keeps em' guessing.

Why is there such a stigma against moobs in the northwest where they rarely get a chance to shine? If they are proudly displayed in the woods with no one around, are there any screams?
If a Seahawk addict goes to LA, does a tan make moobs sexier? ~BW

If by Moobs, you mean Man Boobs, well I have no idea why there is a stigma, but one certainly exists. Even Phil Mickelson can't escape it and he has a hot wife, cute daughters, and a leer jet. Mickelson might be able to answer the one about the woods for you, as that is where he hits half his tee shots! I don't have Moobs, but a tan probably makes them sexier. Especially if it is a golfers tan like mine!

What's going on with Ken Lucas?~bolcfog

The Hawks will wait and see how the draft goes, as will Kenny. He wants a starting job with starters money, and the Hawks probably aren't willing to go there yet. Somebody might if they miss out on a corner they are targeting. If he cant get it he will probably come here due to his comfort level with the city and new DB coach Tim Lewis. Remember the Hawks inked a bunch of vets, like Larry Tripplett after the draft last year. Doesn't mean they will make the team though!

That addresses OREGONHAWKs question as well. Yes, I expect the team to ink a few vets next week. Got to fill out that roster right!

Does anyone know what a keef blunt is? ~Zach

I certainly do Zach, and my guess is that Leroy Hill does as well! Don't go overboard, we don't want you passing out before the second round!

Is the new 90210 as terrible as I think it is?~FancyPants

Best question of the night for last! It is f**king awful! I stopped watching it a couple months ago. But Tracy tells me Donna came back the other week and was separated from David Silver. Let me tell you...never saw that coming! I wonder if it was the meth in his toe or the cheating again! Hopefully Donna doesn't run to Ray this time!

I am watching Fringe right now.... It is like the X Files, the early years, all over again. Lost is still my favorite. Neither compare to the original 90210!

Everybody have a fun and safe draft day. Not that I wont hear from you before then, or vice versa! Remember... support the sponsors when you stop by over the weekend. Many, many, many times. Lets hope Ruskell makes Dan Snyder his beeeeatch! It is about time he came out ahead on one of these trades! Peace!