I wanted to take a look at who would be drafting ahead of the Seahawks, were the season to end today. Now of course there are still ten games left to be played so things will no doubt change over the remainder of the season. Right now the Seahawks would be drafting eighth. Without a doubt the top need for the team is a quarterback. We’re all assuming that Pete Carroll and company will take one in the first round. With there being three solid choices to choose from right now, the Seahawks should be able to land one of them.
Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley and Landry Jones are the clear top three. Luck easily being not only the top prospect this year, but possibly of all time. We heard all that hype with Aaron Curry being the best linebacker since Patrick Willis too. Where is he now? Each of the three QB’s is 6′ 2” or taller and will be taken in the first round barring an injury or major character flaw, such as Ryan Mallett’s last season. The clear goal from a fans perspective is to get one of these guys. Depending on who is drafting ahead of the Seahawks, that may not be such a sure thing. Lets take a look shall we?
2012 Draft Order ( As of Oct 25 )
1. Colts 0-7
The Colts would do the smart thing to draft Andrew Luck, becoming Peyton Manning’s eventual replacement. Luck would be able to sit a few seasons behind possibly the greatest QB of all-time and come in as Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay. The team could also trade the #1 selection and receive a boat load of selections in later drafts. Last I read, this specific pick was worth three future first round picks and possibly more second rounders added to that. That would be a sweet pot for any team to reload on young talent.
Projected Pick: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Rams 0-6
The Rams shouldn’t be a threat to draft one of the three QB’s. They already have their QB of the future in Sam Bradford. The team may instead draft Steven Jackson’s replacement or get a receiving threat to give Bradford some ammo. The Rams do have many holes to fill so their selection isn’t very clear, aside from it not being a QB. It’s too early to take a HB or WR so the Rams will instead focus on protecting Bradford, taking the best tackle in the draft.
Projected Pick: Matt Kalil, LT, USC
3. Dolphins 0-6
If there is a team that is a sure lock to draft a QB it has to be the Dolphins. Since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have not had a passer that could be considered a franchise QB. They invested in Brandon Marshall and have a decent running game with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas. The line has it’s anchor in Jake Long. That leaves Miami free to take Landry Jones. Jones, like Luck and Barkley, is only a junior so it isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility that he could return to Oklahoma, but that remains very unlikely.
Projected Pick: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
4. Vikings 1-6
The Vikings gave Donovan McNabb a chance as the starting QB and have now turned to their own first round selection, Christian Ponder instead. If Ponder plays well, I don’t see them taking another QB in the first round of the 2012 Draft. The defensive line used to be a dominating force in the NFL at one point. The Williams’ clogged the middle like no other DT tandem. Now Jared Allen is the Lone Ranger and the Vikings desperately need to regain that defensive swagger. Look for them to improve their pass rush by taking the best DE in the draft.
Projected Pick: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
5. Cardinals 1-5
Everyone knew the Kevin Kolb trade was risky. So far it turns out that risk is not paying off with the Cardinals sitting fifth from the bottom of the NFL standings. It’s too early to give up on Kolb and draft his replacement though. The Cardinals have far too much invested in him to spend the amount of money that would be required in taking a QB in this slot and there are other needs that must be addressed. The offensive line is struggling and it has to be taken care of for Kolb to find success. Larry Fitzgerald is too valuable of a player to not have a top offense set up and in place.
Projected Pick: Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford
6. Jaguars 2-5
Seeing a trend here? Yet another rookie QB has taken over the team not even a year after being selected. The Jaguars just came off a very impressive defensive performance over the Ravens on Monday Night Football. For the Jaguars to be able to be taken seriously, they’ll have to add some pieces for Blaine Gabbert to play with. Maurice Jones Drew gives the Jaguars a top ground game. Now they have to add an aerial assault to balance their attack.
Projected Pick: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
7. Panthers 2-5
Cam Newton is playing above expectations. Even for the #1 overall choice of last years draft. Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams make for a potent offense. The defense needs to be addressed with this pick and though I think it’s too high for a CB, look for the Panthers to take the best one in the draft. The defensive line and linebacker positions are all options however.
Projected Pick: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
8. Seahawks 2-4
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks squeak by thanks to the embarrassing loss to the Browns and are in a position to draft USC QB Matt Barkley, who we all know has ties to Carroll. More than any other position, the teams future at quarterback has to be taken care of. Barkley offers the team a chance to move on from the only franchise QB this team has had in the last two decades, Matt Hasselbeck. Whether he sits behind Tarvaris Jackson for a year or not is uncertain, but I doubt the team has the luxury of allowing him to ride the bench. They’ll end up throwing him into the fire before next season is halfway through.