Mel Kiper's first mock draft for 2011 serves as a good conversation starter for NFC West fans looking forward to April.
I'll continue with a look at his plans for the Seattle Seahawks, who hold the No. 25 overall choice.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Kiper's give: Everything about Mallett's arm screams top 10, but he could fall a bit as a player who needs to develop footwork and the willingness to bite off only as much as he can chew. That said, Mallett's game progressed in 2010. He showed improved accuracy and a willingness to move around and consider the dump-off passes he often passed up as a younger player. With a year of development, he could be a good value here and a long-term answer for the Seahawks. It'll be asked, but my sources tell me the Seahawks prefer him to Washington's Jake Locker -- at least right now.
Sando's take: Passing over Locker for another quarterback would stir debate locally, for sure. Mallett is listed at 6-foot-6 and 238 pounds, so he has the height to see the field. The Seahawks are without an offensive coordinator for now, but if they stick with a similar offensive system, as expected, Mallett's strong arm would fit their plans to strike well downfield. The Seahawks have also valued mobility. Scouts say Mallett moves well within the pocket and can extend plays, but does he have the mobility to threaten the perimeter on bootlegs and the like? Are concerns about his maturity overrated or are they evidence against his worthiness as a first-round selection? Seattle does need to find a long-term quarterback, but the team has needs throughout its roster.