When it comes to the NFL Draft, talent trumps all. With that in mind, a few of the latest 2011 NFL mock drafts are going a different route when projecting the Seattle Seahawks first round pick, ignoring need and choosing the best available talent for Seattle. We’ve seen quarterbacks — namely Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett — connected to the Seahawks in various mock drafts, as well as offensive linemen — specifically Mike Pouncey — projected as the No. 25 pick. But lately, it’s been all about the cornerbacks.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang agreed with an earlier mock draft from Walter Football, pegging Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith as the Seahawks pick. Smith has plenty of talent, but questions about his character may have him falling by the time the draft rolls around. If he’s around at No. 25, the Seahawks may have to ignore quarterbacks and offensive linemen, snatching Smith up in the first round.
The Seahawks’ biggest needs are quarterback and the interior of the offensive line, but the team could throw a curveball should a cornerback of Smith’s talent fall into their lap. The 6-2, 210-pound Smith has top 15 talent but off-field concerns could push him down the board. His size and physicality, however, make him an ideal fit for a team looking for press corners.
There’s no doubt the Seahawks’ pass defense needs a boost, especially in the secondary. Rang notes Seattle gave up more than twice the amount of touchdowns as balls intercepted, showing a clear weakness at the cornerback spot. Smith could be an immediate impact player, stepping in opposite Marcus Trufant in the Seattle secondary.
It’s a curveball, ignoring the conventional wisdom indicating the Seahawks should take a quarterback if one of the top-four are available, but the logic behind it is sound. If Smith falls, the Seahawks should take a hard look at him, weighing whether his talent trumps the character issues at play. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have some tough decisions with that first round pick, leading to plenty of draft-day intrigue in the Seattle war room.
For more on the draft, check out the rest of our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream.