Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Mel Kiper, Seattle and Rodney Hudson

By Rob Staton
Mel Kiper has been taking a look at all the teams' efforts this off season as we build up towards training camp. His review of the Seahawks is favorable, praising the new regime's determination to improve competition by bringing in fresh faces (particularly at defensive end). However, Kiper made one point that really stood out. Speaking of newly drafted left tackle Russell Okung, Kiper suggested pairing him with a long term addition at guard. Ben Hamilton has been signed as a veteran presence in year one - but long term what is the plan?

One prospect I rate particularly highly is Florida State interior lineman Rodney Hudson. Last October I wrote this piece on the Seminoles guard and suggested he could be a first round pick. If I were to recommend watching anyone closely in 2010, it's Hudson. With the Seahawks investing in Alex Gibbs as line coach, Hudson is the prototypical guard for his zone blocking scheme. He's not the biggest at 290lbs, but he's quick, strong and smart. Without doubt nobody impressed me more than Hudson last year.

In Kiper's team review of Seattle he has a section called, "Next April's pick, now". For the Seahawks he suggests Hudson: "He's a guard, so he probably doesn't go early, but Hudson is my early best in the class at that position. He'd look great next to Okung for the next decade."

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Seahawks & Tate agree to terms

By Rob Staton
Only two of Seattle's 2010 rookies remained unsigned after Golden Tate agreed terms with the Seahawks today. The deal is reported to be worth $3.26m over four years and was first announced on Tate's twitter account. The Notre Dame playmaker will be available for the start of training camp and leaves just Earl Thomas and Russell Okung awaiting to reach a deal. As with Aaron Curry last year and John Carlson before that, it appears unlikely either pair will be signed for the start of camp. As things stand, only two first round picks have been signed as teams wait for others to 'set the market'. A short delay is fine, however both are slated to start and play large roles this year. They can't afford to miss too much time.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Prospect preview: Ryan Mallett, QB

By Rob Staton
One of the prospects I'm most looking forward to watching in 2011 is Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. I had a chance to watch the Razorbacks a few times last year and knowing there was a possibility he'd declare early, kept an eye on Mallett. Regular visitors will know I've been equally critical and praiseworthy of his performances to date. Consistency has been an issue and he's yet to truly pair touch and finesse to his obvious physical talents. A rocket arm and above average size (he's a well built 6'7") will interest scouts, but he still has a lot to do to really put himself in top ten reckoning (although he's fully capable of that).

A great game to watch if you can is last year's Florida vs Arkansas encounter. In all honesty, the Razorbacks should've won the game and ended Tim Tebow's dreams of an unbeaten season a lot earlier than the SEC Championship defeat to Alabama. Mallett was wildly inconsistent on the day. On one play, he delivered a picture perfect long bomb downfield for a huge touchdown, catching his receiver in stride. I'm not sure any other college QB right now could've landed that play. However, on a closer venture into the Gators red zone, he over shot a wide open full back in the end zone for a sure-fire six points.

You just got the feeling in a close game that ended 23-20, Mallett left some points on the field that day.

Indeed it was the big games he struggled in mostly last year. Against teams Arkansas were expected to dominate, Mallett enjoyed a solid completion percentage and racked up the bulk of his 30 TD's. Against the like of Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss - he registered completion percentages of 44.4, 34.3 and 35.3 respectively. That has to be better in 2010.

Mallett's also still recovering from a broken foot which has kept him from working out fully this spring. Arkansas and Mallett will deny the impact this has had on his growing development, but only results will give us a defining answer.

Sean Bartlett has featured the Razorbacks QB in ESPN Insider's most recent prospect review: "For all Mallett's ambition of becoming a complete, cerebral QB like Peyton Manning, there will still be hints of instinctive, Favre-like gunslinging in his game, so long as his arm will allow him to put balls in windows other QBs wouldn't even consider. If he hits on just a few more of those bombs this season, Mallett won't have to wait long to shake Roger Goodell's hand on draft night."

A good year could put Mallett in the top ten reckoning. He's very much in any discussion that involves Jake Locker, Andrew Luck or any of the other big name quarterbacks expected to be part of the 2011 draft. None are a lock and Mallett is no different. If he can become more consistent and find that level of touch to compliment the cannon, he'll go early next April. Whatever happens, the tools (rightly or wrongly) might stop him falling too much - but he has plenty to work on.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Marcell Dareus inleligible for 2011?

By Rob Staton
Potentially huge news out of Alabama today - defensive lineman Marcell Dareus has reportedly been ruled ineligible for the 2011 college season, according to The Tuscaloosa News. The same report says Alabama will appeal the decision. However, CBS Sportsline's Dennis Dodd put the issue to coach Nick Saban at the SEC media day and received a negative response. "That's not true" stated Saban, bluntly. The revelation follows further concerns that a number of UNC prospects (including Marvin Austin) were in danger of missing the season after interacting with agents. Losing Dareus would be a major blow for the Crimson Tide and would deny scouts and fans the chance to watch one of 2011's top draft prospects before next April.