Breaking down the draft class: Poona Ford

May 15th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Seattle’s Super Bowl team wasn’t built on first round picks. They were a bunch of disrespected and under-appreciated players with a point to prove.

The early picks played their part, especially Earl Thomas, Russell Okung and Bruce Irvin. But the Seahawks succeeded because they found star players in unlikely areas. A franchise quarterback in round three, a lockdown corner in round five, a #1 receiver as an undrafted free agent, a legendary running back on the scrap heap in Buffalo.

Many of those players had clear talent. They simply didn’t fit in with conventional NFL wisdom. They were too short, too big, too slow, too difficult. The Seahawks gave them a chance to show they could excel anyway.

Poona Ford is in exactly the same situation.

I don’t often do write-ups on undrafted free agents. The Seahawks signed a bunch immediately after the draft. Two of the most talked about signings were Ka’Raun White and Taj Williams, two receivers. Both were cut almost immediately.

A draft pick will get a little more leeway.

In Ford’s case though, I wanted to put something together. I’ve already written about Shaquem Griffin here and it’s going to be hard to assess Michael Dickson and Tre Flowers. I’m no expert on punting and Flowers played safety for Oklahoma State. It’s hard enough to judge safeties using TV copy tape. It’s even harder to judge a cornerback convert.

So for that reason I thought I’d write about Ford — a player we often projected to the Seahawks in our seven round mocks.

Perhaps more than any of Seattle’s undrafted free agents, it feels like he has two things working for him:

1. A familiar burning desire to prove a point and a major chip on his shoulder

2. A worthwhile skill set, undersold by a lack of conventional size

Russell Wilson was too short. Richard Sherman too tall and slow. Kam Chancellor needed to convert to linebacker.

Players with something to offer — they just didn’t match a consensus positional ideal within the league.

For Ford, it’s his height.

You don’t see many 5-11 defensive tackles in college or the NFL. We’re seeing increasingly bigger, faster and more athletic interior linemen.

Ford can play. He didn’t suffer due to a lack of attention. He played for Texas. It’s just unusual to look at a 5-11 defensive tackle. The NFL isn’t looking for that.

Where does he fit in?

Is he a possible three technique or is he mainly a space-eating one tech? Does he have the necessary sand in his pants (303lbs) if you want him to play the nose?

The thing is, there is a lot to work with. And Ford has an unusual attribute that might make teams really regret their decision not to take a flyer on him in the later rounds.

Yes — Ford is 5-11. However, he does have 33 inch arms and a +80 inch wingspan. That isn’t normal. He has longer arms than Vita Vea and Taven Bryan. They’re 6-4 and 6-5 respectively.

In an interior battle, this is a fantastic weapon.

Ford’s height actually becomes something of a positive. Because he isn’t 6-4, offensive linemen are going to find it hard to win with leverage. There isn’t the big target to punch and jolt. You’ll struggle to get into his pads. The lower man usually wins in the trenches and Ford, by his nature, will often be the lower man.

The problem for shorter DT’s (at least the ones without the quickness of Aaron Donald or the explosive qualities of Sheldon Rankins) is they can often be overpowered. This is especially difficult if they have short arms. Even if you’re the lower man — if the other guy can keep you off his frame easily, you’re not going to win many battles.

Ford’s length and height will mean he’s not only able to win with leverage — he also has the length to hand-fight and combat guards/centers.

He’s not the most explosive tester or the quickest. That will be the challenge. At the next level can he still do all of the things we saw at the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl?

At the very least he has a shot.

Case in point — watch him vs Will Hernandez (drafted #34 overall):

Hernandez has 32 inch arms. You can clearly see Ford engage, swim and get off the block. This snap highlights Hernandez’s occasional laboured footwork and he can’t recover. Ford wins, he’s into the backfield and absolutely nails the quarterback.

If he can win like this against Hernandez, a player the New York Giants liked enough to take with the second pick in round two, he has a chance to stick in the league.

Leverage really matters and this is going to be Ford’s calling card. His height and length make him a really unique player. Here’s another snap from the Senior Bowl. Look at the way he gets into the pads of the O-liner and just drives him deep into the backfield:

Can he counter? Yes he can:

Here’s another angle. It’s against Bradley Bozeman, the Alabama center:

When you see a snap like that, it’s hard to imagine how he went undrafted. Ford had a great Senior Bowl week:

And it merely followed up a stand-out performance at the Shrine Game:

Here’s what Tony Pauline noted about Ford at the Shrine Game:

Ford was not as dominant as Senat yet was pretty darn good. He was probably quicker off the snap, played with better leverage and displayed a wider variety of moves. He was impossible to stop and even hammered bigger opponents such as Cody O’Connell of Washington State on occasion. Ford has size and scheme limitations but will be playing on Sundays next year, which is pretty amazing considering he wasn’t even graded by scouts entering the season.

The size (height) and scheme issue is why he went undrafted. He isn’t going to be a five technique, he might not be able to anchor your run defense. He’s probably out for the 3-4 teams. You’re going to need him to be able to rush the passer at his size.

This isn’t a talent issue. It’s a conventional wisdom issue. One that might prevent him from having a successful pro career. But he offers a lot — he might just need an opportunity.

Here’s further evidence of his first-step quickness and then power/leverage to drive his blocker into the backfield:

It’s very hard to understand why someone didn’t give him a shot on day three.

And then there’s the chip on his shoulder. Why wasn’t he invited to the combine? The fact he went undrafted probably justifies the call. He saw the positive in the situation:

“I’m used to being at a disadvantage… I’m a strong person, and I use that to my advantage. God don’t give his biggest battles to the weakest person.”

His coach, Tom Herman, was a little more irked about it:

“Why Poona Ford wasn’t invited to the combine, I’ll never know”

Mike Mayock agreed:

“Here’s what I think about Poona Ford… A, he should have been invited to the combine. The Big 12 defensive lineman of the year, productive, tough. I think what’s happening is that so many juniors are coming out this year, they’re holding spots for juniors and kicking some of the seniors out. But there’s no doubt he should have been invited to the combine.

“You get drafted at one area if you’re a run-only defender, and you get drafted earlier if you can affect the pass game… I think that’s what people have to figure out about him.”

Herman also raved about Ford during an interview with Brock & Salk on 710 ESPN.

“He’s a captain. He’s going to be a 10-year starter in that league. I’ve been doing this a long time… there’s three defensive tackles in my 20-years of coaching that I’ve seen that I would say have elite, elite, elite work ethic, determination, drive — play after play after play. That would be Casey Hampton way back when I was a graduate assistant in 1999… the second one would be Ed Oliver who had the opportunity to coach for a year at the University of Houston… and then Poona Ford. He’s on that list. He’s explosive, he’s powerful, he’s so strong. To me he’s the perfect nose guard.”

The Seahawks have done it several times in the Pete Carroll era. Taking a chance on an underrated player due to his size? So Seahawky.

Poona Ford has a chance to make it. We’ll see if he can be Seattle’s next great find.

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!

195 Responses to “Breaking down the draft class: Poona Ford”

  1. Look Who's Hawkin says:

    Not too many times you can say this, but I will be SHOCKED if Ford isn’t on the 53 man roster to start the season. The kid can flat out play.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I’ll be shocked if the FB Khalid Hill doesn’t make the squad.

      • STTBM says:

        Ditto for both players…

      • hawkdawg says:

        The only clips I’ve seen of him are running and passing plays. Moves well for a guy his size, looks athletic and all, but he would be on the team for his blocking first. Anybody see tape on his blocking??

        • Look Who's Hawkin says:

          I have not, but I will assume if Seattle showed interest it was for his blocking abilities. If he can catch and run a bit, just a bonus?

          But side note, I would imagine the majority of clips on a FB found on YouTube would be of the “highlights” variety, unfortunately it is usually tough to find highlights of blocking (even if it is an integral part of one’s game). Not sure if that is where you saw tape, but could be a factor.

          • j says:

            Perhaps look for highlights from the Michigan RB and see if he is in any of them?

            • Mark Souza says:

              Here is video of Khalid Hill blocking -vs- Ohio St.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iG7oSVbnGw

              I was not impressed. People tend to get by him and he is not dogged in his blocking. He seems to hit and release his man. He needs to keep after people until the whistle blows. He definitely needs to get better to survive training camp.

              • WALL UP says:

                I saw the same thing. He doesn’t seem to have a natural feel of finding the target and executing the block squarely. Perhaps his running mode kicks in, and he runs past his assignment instead of blocking them.

                Fowler would be a better blocking FB, whereas Hill could be utilized more as a weapon. I’d go with Fowler and hope Hill makes it to PS.

                • Pedestrian says:

                  Agreed here. Dlineman seem to shake him off his block pretty easily. Just doesn’t latch on. He looks fully capable. I’m betting he can be coached up, physically it’s all there

                  • Mark Souza says:

                    I hope so. He has the physique. Right now I think his first love is getting the ball. He needs to shift that to being known as the baddest ass blocker in the NFL, or he’ll be gone.

      • cody says:

        What if poona plays FB and then rotates in on early downs/pass rushing situations!

        • Roger Davis says:

          I thought the same thing. I actually went a step further… 3rd and 1 put Poona in at running back and a defensive tackle/end in as FB.

          I am sick and tired of Wilson, on 3rd and 1, getting the ball, stepping BACK a yard or two, and handing off to someone who gets tackled the same nano-second as the hand off.

    • RWIII says:

      After reading Rob’s report. I am surprised someone didn’t take him in the 2nd/3rd round. I am shocked that Ford was not drafted. Unbelievable.

      • Mark Souza says:

        There is a tendency lately to rely too much on measureables instead of what your eyeballs tell you when reviewing video. Poona has found a way past what some would call deficiencies and done what he’s had to to produce at a high level.

        Poona’s too short. Shaquem is missing a hand. But have you seen them play?

  2. cha says:

    Love the writeup. Thanks Rob.

    Put another way, the Seahawks finds all have standard reasons for being passed over by other teams but also have a rare skillset that the Hawks have been able to utilize. Poona’s is his strangely odd body shape. That natural low pad level combined with the wingspan of a man 5-6″ taller is a fantastic combination to have in the trenches.

    I’d love to see him as a jolt of energy guy in his rookie year. Maybe come in for 20-25 plays and disrupt a team’s plans on first and second down 5-7 times a game. Then let the interior rushers loose on 3rd down.

    • Ben Ft. Worth says:

      Isnt that Carroll’s motto: “We’re not worried about what guys can’t do. We want to know what guys can do”, or something like that.

      • Look Who's Hawkin says:

        I think it’s a great motto. That is the biggest mistake draft “experts” make IMO is focusing on what a guy can’t do vs. what he can do. I have always been of the mindset that if a guy can play, he can play. Russell Wilson is a prime example.

        • Mr. Offseason says:

          It’s a pretty good argument. I think that’s why Rashaad Penny was viewed as a reach. If he had played at Ohio State I feel confident no one would have batted an eye.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Don’t forget Griffith! He’s got the ball poker that causes fumbles.

  3. Trevor says:

    Great writeup Rob and I think Ford has as good a shot as any rookie to make this squad.

    I think we likely go with a DT rotation of Reed, Jones, Ford and the 2 vets the hot from the Vikings. Then on 3rd down Rasheem Green will move inside as a pass rusher.

    Looks like a solid group to me with a nice mix of youth and experience.

    • cha says:

      I could see Ford taking a DL spot traditionally assigned to the “hey let’s get a veteran DT for $2million” spot which would be great for line stability.

  4. Anthony says:

    Let the football god’s bless us with a great find on the Dline after what happened to Malik McDowell last year!!!

  5. Ross says:

    You know who else had a body and drive like Poona? Warren Sapp. Tell me Sapp on this DL doesn’t get you excited! I’m wondering who does he beat out at DT? We kept 4 at DT last year. We now have Jones, Reed, Stephens, Johnson,and Jefferson adn some other scrubs. I’m excited about Poona – just not sure who leaves to make room.

    • Trevor says:

      If he plays well enough to make the squad either Johnson or Stephens. I think they will go with 5.

    • hawkdawg says:

      Sapp was lightning quick off the snap. Don’t see the same get-off from Poona, but frankly there are very few whose first step is that good. Poona could still make it, though, if he can anchor at one tech or penetrate at three. I’m intrigued by his arm length at that height….

  6. Stephen Pitell says:

    Wow. This is the best ever article I have ever read of yours, and you maintain a consistently high level of content. This article also highlights that you should not limit yourself to being a draft blog. This blog is so much more. Spread your wings. This was great reading and great analysis. Thanks.

  7. Greg Haugsven says:

    If they keep him that would most likely be 5 defensive tackles after Stephen, Johnson, Reed, and Jones. You guys think if Ford makes it that they would keep the other 4 or would someone get bumped?

    • cha says:

      I haven’t scouted Stephen or Johnson to see who matches Ford position wise but I can’t imagine either one is locked in to a roster spot, especially if Ford can translate his college skills to the NFL in short order.

      But there’s places to sneak a 5th tackle onto the roster if they want. Penny and Lockett are the returners. Pocic could be the #2 center. Shauqeem could be WLB and SS backup.

    • C-Dog says:

      I could see them keep five if they feel may Naz can also play 5T. I think the thing is about Poona is that there isn’t another DT like him on the roster. He can make a niche for himself. All the other guys are taller players.

  8. Elmer says:

    Rob, was Marcell Frazier (UDFA DE from Missouri) ever on your radar?

  9. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Seattle went back to a simple philosophy, draft who fits your system….. not who you can make fit your system. Case in point might be OL picks of recent years. They might have went back to the mental part of the game, which is that they are looking for guys with something to prove… or nothing to lose. Some would call them “dogs”, but most people (such as Coach Knox) call them football players.

  10. Jason says:

    What other udfa’s are you guys excited about? Think have a chance to make 53? Also, who do you like from practice squad?

    • Look Who's Hawkin says:

      One guess is Jacob Pugh. I noticed they gave him the biggest signing bonus if I recall, and I know he was a guy they expressed interest in pre-draft. Probably going to end up keeping a FB as well, given Schotty’s affinity for the I. So maybe Hill? I was excited about the scat back from TTU – his name escapes me right now, but should be good competition for McKissic and co.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        Pugh’s Mockdraftable comps are interesting. Khalil Mack, LVE, Josh Sweat, Nigel Bradham. Obviously this doesn’t mean anything about him as a character, but he has a good athletic profile. 34 3/8″ arms. Essentially a roster mirror for KJ, but a better athlete. Again, that doesn’t mean that Pugh is actually good, but I agree that he could be exciting.

      • Elmer says:

        Justin Stockton. I was expecting the Hawks to sign him.

  11. John_s says:

    Really excited to see him in preseason. He compares very close to Grady Jarrett and I would have thought a team would have learned from Grady dropping and would have picked Poona.

    https://twitter.com/Americanfbcamp/status/979068452160884737?s=20

    40: 4.94
    Pro agility: 4.47
    Vert: 29
    3 cone: 7.4
    Bench: 24
    Broad: 9’3

    • Look Who's Hawkin says:

      Goodness I just pulled his combine profile (Jarrett) – Rd2 grade and the Falcons got him in Rd5? Boy was that a steal. And he obviously played up to his potential.

  12. STTBM says:

    I love Poona Ford, but I have to say: He’s a Timmay! Numbskull pick all the way….He’s Chuck Darby 2.0!

    Which is a good thing. Ruskell did well at times, and Darby was a great signing. I think Ford has massive potential, especially considering Carroll’s preference for running a Hybrid 3-4; a 4-3 with modified 3-4 personnel; we haven’t been able to replace Clemons at Leo, so the scheme had adapted, but Ford fits Carroll’s Thing…

    He’s gonna be good!

    • Spj6196 says:

      Not sure about that, considering they were in the SB the very next season w/o Clem, after he was cut.

  13. Old but Slow says:

    Here is a bit of feel good icing for the cake from the Seahawks site:

    https://www.seahawks.com/news/tuesday-round-up-pro-football-focus-grades-seahawks-linebackers-best-in-nfl

    Nice stats for Quem.

  14. Pedestrian says:

    Was very excited to get this guy. Hoping he and naz Jones make a good duo

  15. sdcoug says:

    Those arms. When he’s down in his stance, those arms almost prop him up to 6’4″ haha. Getting to the QB is fun, but I love me a Big Nasty that can disrupt a pocket or play before it even has a chance to materialize. He’s powerful, quick, and has that reach.

    Maybe a weird analogy, but in baseball, a pitcher with a different arm slot can confound batters as the ball appears from a different spot and travels a different plane than they are used to seeing. Big Poon might have some similar advantages. OL are used to a standard…same hand placement, same target-size, etc. A bowling ball like Ford may cause some problems

  16. C-Dog says:

    “To me he is the perfect nose guard.” That last sentence from Herman has me really excited. I’ve always that Jarran Reed might be much better served as a base 3T. He’s a good nose, but I would love to see him more at the other spot. If Poona comes on and can win the leverage and folk lift centers like Mebane did, that would be huge. It’s interesting that the team lists him at 313lbs. That’s kind of closer to Mebane size than Rankins.

  17. A, Chris says:

    A++

  18. H says:

    Woo, new article! My train ride to work has been pretty dull as of late.
    Appreciate all you do Rob.
    I dont think Ive ever been as excited for an udfa as I am with Poona, the league will come to regret writing this guy off. The combo of him Reed and Naz should hopefully be a dynamic trio for year to come.

    Suh and Donald who???

  19. Troy says:

    Hawks fan rejoice Rob has bestowed upon us a new article! Thanks for referencing the old Queem article, will give that a re-read shortly.

    Man, you got me stoked for this guy! With his tape and how he performed at the senior festivities, it really is hard to understand why he wasn’t drafted. But hey, if he can join Doug Baldwin as a future great undrafted free agent Seahawk while dominating on the Dline, I will take it!

  20. Jeff M. says:

    Aaron Donald is <6'1" with 32 5/8" arms. His height was one of the knocks early in the process even while he was dominating college football (never understood how people didn't have him in the top-5 to start with, but there were a lot of sites calling him a mid-round pick before the combine).

    Or for a different type of player but with a similar body, Brandon Mebane was 6'1" with 32 7/8" arms. The "fireplug" DT is one of my favorite archetypes and there's definitely multiple avenues to success there, either if he can explosively shoot gaps or if he can use leverage and anchor–Ford looks like he has a good chance at being able to do both.

  21. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Legion of Poona

  22. UKAlex6674 says:

    His presence will allow Wagner and KJ to clean up behind him. Another player with a high energy motor like Shaquem.

    This season will be FUN!

  23. Largent80 says:

    Hawks needed an interior lineman to generate pressure and they found one without using a draft pick. STELLAR work.

  24. hawkdawg says:

    I thought it was interesting that the Hawks did not have to pony up top dollar for UDFAs to get Poona. That might end up being a very good use of $8000….

    • Madmark says:

      Most likely we didn’t have to pay a lot cause he probably believed his best chance to make the roster would be in Seattle and with what had happen here.

  25. LLLOGOSSS says:

    Thanks for another article, Rob. I’ve been feinding! Checking the site twice a day…

  26. Logan Lynch says:

    I love me some Poona. I just hope he stays assignment sure during training camp and preseason. We’ve had DT in the past that have flashed, but played out of position on defense and didn’t last. T.Y. McGill being one example. Pete wants these guys to follow their role and not go off script first and foremost it seems.

  27. FresnoHawk says:

    Most competitive camp in years. If things go well in camp & pre season we could win the Super Bowl this year if things don’t go well in PreSeason it’s gonna be a frustrating year that’s how I feel right now.

    • Hawktalker #1 says:

      What things to you point to a potential Super Bowl?

      • FresnoHawk says:

        In camp I’ll be looking for chemistry on OL & RB’s

      • Fresno hawk says:

        We reshaped team & culture this off season we’re ready to play ball & win now. I view all teams that have at least 1 unit on offensive or defense 3 levels and a dominate running game as Super Bowl contenders. Seahawks have the best Line Backer corp in the NFL so they qualify.

      • MyChestIsBeastMode says:

        I would say any team with a top flight QB has a shot. There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty and/or potential that needs to be realized on the roster, but I think they’ve got a shot as good as any of the power NFC teams. Our team is better now imo than the banged up squad that handled Philly last season.

  28. Mr. Offseason says:

    I think one player to compare Ford to is John Randle. Randle was also undersized at 6’1″ 287 pounds, went undrafted out of another Texas school (Texas A&M-Kingsville) and was an incredibly disruptive D-Tackle. I really think this might something close to what the Seahawks are getting, ideally.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      My buddy Lorenzo Neal FB put John Randel on his back like a little girl. Baltimore DT Saragusa went head to head with Neal and got his bell rung. Poona way bigger than Randle, also watch out for “little Lo” we call him Lorenzo’s son Purdue’s starting DT for 2019 draft especially when his team mate is in Hawk camp.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        John Randle was from a different era… when 300 lb lineman were not terribly common….. now 330 or bigger is not uncommon…. hell of a player.

      • Coug1990 says:

        Lorenzo Neal. John Randle. Which one of these players is in the Hall of Fame? Which one of these players has the second most sacks in NFL history for a defensive tackle?

        • Hawk Eye says:

          Randle was a lot like Aaron Donald. Same quickness, “undersized”, relentless.

        • Elmer says:

          Did Cody O’Connell get picked up by anybody?

          • Mr. Offseason says:

            From the Spokeman Review on April 28th: Offensive lineman Cody O’Connell has not signed a deal, but says he has minicamp invitations from Indianapolis, Kansas City and Washington.

            But he didn’t get picked up anywhere yet.

        • Fresno hawk says:

          If Titans would have beaten Rams in SuperBowl Lorenzo Neal would have made Hall of Fame! Ask Eddie George or Ladamien Thomas they’ll say it!

          • Spj6196 says:

            Lol…stop it. I loved Neal, but stop. He wasn’t no Mack Strong.

            • FresnoHawk says:

              As a Saint Lorenzo broke 2nd round rookie RB Mario Bates jaw because Mario challenged Lorenzo to a fight. Lorenzo’s left handed quiter is legendary round here. As a result Saints put Lorenzo in dog house and didn’t play him. John Randal met Lorenzo on the practice field and Lorenzo tossed him around like a rag doll, what do you expect from a former NCAA Heavy Weight All American. Early in Lorenzo’s career he was in the wrong place at he wrong time but he quickly turned it around and became a role model player and is currently a role model citizen.

            • FresnoHawk says:

              Currently there is a push from fans to get the best blocking FB Lorenzo Neal in the history of the NFL into the Hall of Fame. Again “Little Lo” son of FB Lorenzo Neal could be a future DT star and will be available for Hawks to draft. If is dad as a smaller NFL FB knocked the crap out of legendary Ravens DT Tony Siragusa imagine his son as a bigger 6″2 300 plus NFL DT that was groomed by a DL guru at Purdue.

              • Coug1990 says:

                It is very hard for backs who carry the ball to make it to the HOF. A back who doesn’t is not going to be elected.

  29. WALL UP says:

    Great piece Rob..This is the best fit for Poona. That’s the reason he signed for a lower price than expected for his talents. The same talents that were on display in Texas are what he will be asked to do here. The Mebane comp is precise assessment of how they want to use him.

    There may not be as much junk in his trunk as that of Mebane. But, that low center of gravity and quick feet will suffice until that development is made, in time. I just know he’ll see a ton of film on Bane’s cocked off the center stance at pre-snap, and him exploding thru his assigned gap to blow up designed run plays. This will be fun to watch.

    If they decide to keep Martin at DE, I have them keeping (10)DL:
    1. Clark DE
    2. Reed DT
    3. Johnson DT
    4. Jordan DE
    5. Jones DT/DE
    6. Green DE/DT
    7. Stephen DT
    8. Ford DT
    9. Smith II DE
    10. Martin DE/OLB

    If they do decide to keep Martin as an OLB/Leo, with the LB group, that may open a spot for Jefferson. But, his injured past may crop up again to preclude that from happening.

  30. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Poona is built

    *wait for it*

    Ford Tough

    • Hawk Eye says:

      as someone who owned a few Fords over the years and then switched to Japanese (and only regretted doing it too late), I say this.
      I sure hope not!
      You don’t see Fords or GM or Dodge in most 3rd world countries. All Japanese, even though they are more expensive. As one of them explained to me, “we are too poor to be cheap”

      • Group Captain Mandrake says:

        How’s the old joke go? 90% of Fords are still on the road. The other 10% made it home.

        • Hawk Eye says:

          wow!
          that many??

          I mean the ones that made it home……

          • Group captain mandrake says:

            well, it’s pretty non-scientific. I didn’t crunch the numbers.

            • 503Hawk says:

              Group captain mandrake
              Is that from Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove…”? Hilarious movie!

              • Hawk Eye says:

                should be a mandatory movie to watch in high school.
                Funny, but with a message we need to heed.
                They would have to do a remake to get kids to watch it today, but who compares to Peter Sellers to pull it off

    • LouieLouie says:

      Ouch! That’s cruel and unusual punishment.

  31. Coleslaw says:

    Seahawks are signing former Navy and Ravens receiver Keenan Reynolds, I remember this cat coming out had quite the hype.
    Also signing former Chiefs LB Dadi Nicolas.

  32. John Morgan says:

    Watching that clip, Hernandez was pulling out to block for a screen pass. Freeze it at 0:19 and it’s really pretty obvious. It was the front-side pressure and the quarterback’s poor pocket awareness that led to the sack. Poona looked dangerously close to falling on his face.

    Anyway, the preseason will tell the story. Leverage is important, of course, but 5’11” 303 is relatively tiny. And a guy who had four sacks total during his college career probably isn’t Aaron Donald or John Randle. Donald had, y’know, 29.5 and won the Nagurski, Bednarik and Outland trophies.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Who compared Poona Ford to Aaron Donald?

      I mean let’s be fair here. We’re talking about an undrafted free agent and a player drafted #13 overall. This piece is merely here to highlight the positives of an undrafted free agent capable of making the team.

      And personally, I’d rather focus on the positives right now. Because everything else in the Seahawks twitter/blogosphere is pissing and moaning about the running game not being important anymore, Mike Solari isn’t any good and complaining about Pete Carroll inviting a clinical psychologist to the facility.

      • cha says:

        Agree. This blog is like “seahawks therapy” for all the people not quite ready to abandon ship.

        • Rob Staton says:

          If there’s cause for criticism, we’ll go there. But I’m not going to set out a massive agenda and ram it down your throats. I’m not going to seek negatives. It’s May. Let’s look at the team, give people and players a chance. Then judge.

          I wonder sometimes if the modern internet and social media creates a saturated market. We hear too many opinions. Too many takes. Too many stances to defend to the death.

          Football is supposed to be fun. Not an exercise in trying to find the latest edgy take.

          • Ishmael says:

            Might like this piece Rob – https://archive.fo/g4mfx

            Think it applies to the the weird segment of armchair GM fans (and actual GMs, let’s be real) who seemingly get no pleasure from the game at all. Everything is an exercise in spreadsheets. How soon can you cut a guy before he hits the cliff aged 24, why would you want your team to win when you can get delicious draft picks, and how dare player x have non-football related interests.

      • seanmatt says:

        The fact that the positives about the Seahawks includes an undersized undrafted DT says a lot about the health of this franchise. I appreciate what you do, Rob. This site is going to be one of the few things that will make next season bearable. We’re gonna be picking top 5 next year and I hope that you highlight players who don’t fit the Pete/John mold as their is a good chance that they wont be back next year.

        • Lewis says:

          Uh, I would have been thrilled to have this player with a pick in the 6th or 7th. His draft status is irrelevant. What matters is whether or not he can play. Poona Ford could be a space eater in the middle with some upside as a pass-rusher, something they are always looking for.

        • hawktalker#1 says:

          Ouch. A little early to condemn the Hawks to one of the bottom five teams in the league and even with what could be a list of “concerns”, the Seahawks don’t have a reputation of failing that completely. The Seahawks definition of failure is not making a deep playoff run. Failure is not going 1-31, or begin one of the bottom five teams in the league. Seattle would consider both of those far beyond failure and would fall more in the dumpster-fire category. Fortunately Seattle has so may positives, even when they are working on putting together all the pieces they need, that they never get a sniff of the dumpster and I predict they won’t approach the dumpster this year either. Miss the playoffs, possible. Dumpster-fire, not a chance.

          • Seanmatt says:

            The 2008 Seahawks share your optimism. You often don’t see a cliff till you fall off it. Last season was actually the warning and we are in a worse spot now than we were then. All empires e2ventually fall.

            • Del tre says:

              Huge difference between Hassleback and Wilson. Wilson alone will get us to 7 wins. We lost old guys who might as well have already been gone by the end of the season, the defense is younger and the offense has a legit running threat.
              Poona is just a nice bonus, he is a UDFA we are high on, hardly an indicator of the health of the franchise. I get it, my brother is highly pessimistic regarding the Seahawks season, seeing those big names gone hurts but, if we are filling in other holes in the roster and have adequate replacements (which we do for Bennett, Sherman and Avril) the team isn’t going to necessarily be worse off for it. The hawks have had a hole at LOLB for several years, having Shaq lets us slide KJ over and have 3 legitimate linebackers and gives much needed speed on defense and will help neutralize backs like Johnson and Gurley. Comparing this team to Holmgrens run seems like a bit of stretch considering how the rosters were built, not to mention the fact that we just upgraded our offensive coordinator in a major way (let’s be honest Bevell cost us at least 10 wins in total over the last 2 seasons)

            • Rob Staton says:

              Not at all. In 2008 they had their hands over their ears trying to desperately drag the last dregs of a window. This year they have been thoroughly proactive to prevent the same crash.

              • seanmatt says:

                Last year was essentially 2008 but we had enough talent that we didn’t completely tank. We delayed the rebuild a year and squandered draft capital. The team is not being proactive, they are being reactive. It’s gonna be a brutal year.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  It’s nothing like 2008.

                  Ridiculous comparison.

                  They won 9 games for crying out loud and could’ve had more, despite a horrendous injury list and no running game.

                  In 2008 they went 4-12 and only got to four wins because the team rallied in Holmgren’s last home game.

                  They just aggressively spent the off season moving the old guard on, rather than hoping for the best with them. They don’t have an ageing QB leaving his peak. They do have several players that can lay claim to be among the best at their position.

                  So let’s give this 2008 stuff a rest please.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The big positive in 2012 was a mid round undersized QB.

          Chill people.

  33. bankhawk says:

    If I was to make my list of gratitudes in this life, not having a Twitter (or a Facebook) account would be right up there. Everything I see and hear from a plethora of other sources confirms what my gut instinct tells me-that I’m better off without those inputs to my psyche in a world that already abounds with trouble and strife.

    But when I do sit down to make that list, I know too that right after a forgiving family, a job I don’t hate and a few precious life-long friends, I will be sure to put having come to an ảwareness of SDB and you, Mr Rob Staton as I’ve come to know you through your posts this past year right up there in the top 5! Just sayin how much I’ve come to value your forthrightness and balance in all your posts as much as I do your football acumen. Plus 1, for that last post, and what you bring every day, Rob!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thank you — it means a lot to read that.

      And trust me — you’re not missing anything on social media! It’s an echo chamber for a very select collection of views. And the rest is just never ending abuse and people not being nice to each other.

      • 503Hawk says:

        Nice posts, both of you. SDB is very inviting yet still remains civil.

      • 503Hawk says:

        Nice posts by both of you.
        Also liked cha’s ‘This blog is like “seahawks therapy”’

        I can go to almost any other site, about any topic and hear nothing but negativity, criticism, and angst. SDB is one place I can go and read well thought out civil opinions about my beloved team. It allows me to escape from the real world for brief moments.

        Thanks again Rob and SDB Nation.

  34. D-OZ says:

    Trust in Rob, Pete and John. 🙂

  35. WALL UP says:

    When we look back at this draft in a few years, this 2018 draft class will be viewed in a more positive light by the pundits that have scowarderd the Hawks selections.

    Besides the contributions that are made by Penny, Griffin and even a punter that was categorized as reach, the greatest reason will be because of the contributions of Poona Ford. The Best Steal of the draft.

    He should have a long 10yr+ career in the league baring injury. Besides his talent, the one thing that they can’t measure is his heart. He is a warrior.

  36. HawkfaninMT says:

    OL/Solari vs Cable Question:

    Cable was very much a “most athletic, best 5 guys will be on field” type coach. He got them in positions then taught the position. Will Solari take the same approach? I ask in regards to RT, Ifedi vs Fant. Cable would have let the two compete and the most athletic player, deemed best, would start at RT. But it seems that Solari is a bit less worried about position versatility, and more interested in getting guys to a position and letting them own that spot. I hope Fant is allowed to pushback aided I for the RT spot. As much as it would sting to see the 1st rounder on the bench, I want the best player at the position to play.

    • Hawktalker #1 says:

      +1 It wouldn’t bother me one bit to see Fant start if he was the best player

    • BobbyK says:

      I believe this will prove to be our best OL in ’18…

      LT – Brown (Fant/Rees/Jones)
      LG – Pocic (Rees)
      C – Britt (Hunt)
      RG – Fluker (Ifedi)
      RT – Fant (Ifedi)

      Sucks that Ifedi was a recent #1 pick and is on the bench, but I want the best players to play. I think they’ll keep 9 guys (Roos will make the roster if there is an injury to any of the above). I think Ifedi will be okay, but think Fant has a higher ceiling (which is weird on paper due to their draft position).

      I think Jones will make the team, but will be one of those guys occupying a roster spot all year and yet never making the active roster on game day (think Coutu or Sokoli).

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Why do we expect Fant to beat out Ifedi?

        The return on his development is going to diminish and stagnate. Flipping his position isn’t going to help. Pete keeps referring to Ifedi being in his second year at tackle.

        I also think he’s just a more talented blocker than anybody on the right side of our line. Every stat points to Ifedi being right in line with OL development in the NFL and should be ready to make the jump this year.

        I just think it’s weird how fast we bet on the unproven raw athlete over the experienced incumbent. Who has actually flashed some really really great moments in his young career.

        Why do you think George Fant will be better at a new position (in a relatively new sport) than a guy whose biggest issue (penalties) is likely to revert to the mean?

        May I remind you that last year was Ifedi’s first NFL season at RT? Why would George Fant’s go any better?

        Unless it’s really just nerves for Ifedi and he’s just not got the awareness despite his obvious intelligence then a raw raw guy like Fant isn’t taking his place unless they’re really uncomfortable at RG and want GI there.

        Dude has talisman potential on the OL. Maybe you bench it to send a message, but unless Fant was just always a RT all along I cant see them benching (admittedly one of my favorite players) Ifedi

        • H says:

          I think the optimism for Fant comes from two factors
          Ifedi has been pretty mediocre to downright awful the last two years. He could improve and fans would be wrong to dismiss him, but being sceptical is entirely valid.
          And, more importantly, Fant looked great in preseason last year, you could tell how dissapointed Pete was to lose him. They really thought they had a gem there. Its not a lot to go on, and he’ll obviously be switching position, but I think most fans, including myself, have an easier time believing in the untapped potential of Fant than that of Ifedi.

          • Old but Slow says:

            My fantasy is that Fant pushes Ifedi to RG and Fluker becomes a reserve at both guards.

            • Kenny Sloth says:

              +1 thatd be an amazing indicator foe the future.

              If Fant pushes Ifedi out of his spot that would be one of the most impressive camp battle victorys since Russell Wilson beating out Matt Flynn.

              He definitely did look good at LT in preseason last year. Too bad that’s not the position that we’re talking about.

              It’s just illogical to me to think the raw new player to the position would to better than a player in his second year.

              It’s like just because Ifedi started at zero last year, now that he has some experience we’d rather start at zero again just because we like his backup?

              The bench Ifedi crowd is almost as bad as the trade Russells and fire PCJSs imo

              Like yeah he wasn’t perfect last year, but I can’t think of any reason to play Fant over him. What are we expecting to get out of it? Because improved play is the least likely outcome for me

              • cha says:

                “If Fant pushes Ifedi out of his spot that would be one of the most impressive camp battle victorys since Russell Wilson beating out Matt Flynn.”

                Fant has already had many huge victories.

                Making the roster as an UDFA with literally no experience at the position.

                Getting playing time in his first season.

                Pushing the veteran he replaced to the bench. Starting 10 games.

                Being minted the starting LT his second year.

                If Fant applies the same dedication and skill to his recovery and learning RT, I see no reason he won’t give Ifedi all he can handle in an open competition for the RT job.

                • Kenny Sloth says:

                  You raise some awesome points about Fant’s work ethic and high standing with the coaches stemming from his great development.

                  It’s a difficult projection. I suppose one could make the argument that Fant has experience and proven ability to learn these elite skills pretty quickly.

                  It’s also worth discussing the fact that Schotty could come in and totally upend the OL depth chart.

                  But otherwise, Fant is behind Ifedi in every single way and it would be a massive upset to see Ifedi benched. He’s a weapon and it just doesnt add up that he’s not a top 5 blocker for this unit.

                  The greatest regression we will see from Ifedi is in his penalties (which is, imo, the only reason we’re talking about him. Everything else about his performance last year was on-par with what an NFL front office shouls expect from a second year OL).

                  Considering Ifedi switched positions and still showed the same amount of growth that would have been expected had he remained at guard, I still see Ifedi as a pro bowl candidate this year. Just needs to play clean and score a couple highlight blocks with a revamped running game.

                  Do you feel that way about Fant?

                  I don’t. Fant has never really flashed anything more than above average competency at the position for me.

                  Just because Fant can hang in the NFL, athletically, doesn’t mean jack for his technical skills. If Ifedi’s biggest issue is the actually the snap count or knowing the plays (its not) as some have suggested, then that’s ok. You can teach that. We believe in our coaches. Its why Fant is even on the roster.

                  Don’t conflate Fant playing some games and not looking out of his depth with Ifedi absolutely mauling guys when he gets ahold of them.

                  Ifedi is a monster. Players just usually take time to develop. Especially on the OL. Let’s not pretend for a second that Fant is somehow further along in his technical development.

                  The problem with Ifedi isnt mental, it’s been breaking his bad habits. I wrote about it predraft. He’s highly intelligent and really tough and just that big bouncer/ leader type. But he leans pre-snap. He’s explosive off the ball, usually the first guy fired out. He gets way outside his man’s frame. All of these are going to be scrutinized and penalized at the next level and as soon as he was moved back to tackle, these old habits resurfaced and Cable the OL guru was able to work him into better shape towards the end of the season.

                  Ifedi much like Fant is currently on such a strong development pace for where they entered the league.

                  It is just really frustrating when fans scapegoat individuals that don’t deserve the brunt of criticism.

                  If you want to blame someone, blame the RBs, that’s why half of them are gone. Even that’s disingenuous when it was a team failure and its going to take a team effort to restore our run game to it’s former glory.

                  • DJ 1/2 Way (Sea/PDX) says:

                    It has been mentioned before. How about Fant as a big tight end? Blocking only, in the Winnebago package with another TE or two on the other end.

            • Hawk Eye says:

              my fantasy is – opps, wrong site

              I just want 5 competent o linemen, don’t really care who was drafted where.
              Would like to see Ifedi take a step up, would like to see Fant grow and find a place.
              Compete and progress.
              The o line will be the key to the season I think. Pete will get the D going, maybe not like 2012 to 2014, but better than most expect. I think the kicking game will be top 5 this year. Not worried about the receivers or tight ends or RB’s if the line is middle of the pack or better.

              • Troy says:

                My money’s on Ifedi, call me crazy but I tend to believe the guys only going to get better with more exposure and another season under his belt. Side note, I’m a butcher and just wanted to share Ifedi has been coming in to the store a lot lately, besides being a very large solid human being that casts a shadow and dwarfs my 6’1″ 200 lb frame he appears to be in great shape and focused. Dude is seriously jacked up and ready to bring it plus it doesn’t hurt that the stuff in his cart is all high quality. Let’s just hope he turns the page and proves to everyone why they selected him in the 1st RD

                • Kenny Sloth says:

                  That’s pretty cool Troy. I really like Ifedi and think he’s everything you want from an OL. He was born like 1 year and a day before me so I always thought that was cool.

                  He’s talked before about how hard his weight training is. Have you ever heard of him having weight problems or bad weight? Dude is a pro. In college he played at like 345+

                  He put on the pounds just lookin at a snicker.

  37. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Finally got the royal wedding over with, back to football.

  38. Hawktalker#1 says:

    Who diverted from football for that? Apologies in advance to our UK friends.

    • Rob Staton says:

      And here was me thinking you’d all be booking your trips to Windsor considering how glorious it looked today 😎

      • Hawk Eye says:

        looking forward to the day when we are not celebrating things related to “the divine right of kings” and put the money and time to better use. But my wife loved it,

        • Rob Staton says:

          I am not a royalist but every time I read an argument like this I feel obliged to point out that the royals bring in £1.8 billion via tourism and provided the single biggest contribution to our economy last year.

          Without the royals our economy would be absolutely shafted. They bring in so much more than they take out, not to mention the great charity work they do. William and Harry also come across as great blokes. I’d have a pint with them any day.

          And yesterday many, many small businesses would’ve benefited from the wedding. Not to mention the free advert we had across the world as people everywhere viewed Windsor looking absolutely stunning in the beautiful sunshine. I bet we bring in even more next year through tourism as a consequence of the Royal Wedding.

          I was completely nonplussed about the Wedding before yesterday and was a little bit tired of the round the clock coverage (made worse by working in an active newsroom). But I’m willing to say — I saw most of it yesterday. And I thought it was delightful. Britain putting its best foot forward. People having a great time. A celebration of the modern western world. And we know how to throw a party.

          I think we’ve grown too cynical as a species. Sometimes I wish we could just smile.

          • H says:

            God save the Queen

          • Hawk Eye says:

            point taken, can’t disagree with what you said. At least not to my wife.
            But at the same time, sad that we have not outgrown monarchies as a species, at least now their power is token, except for their wealth.
            As someone who has read way too much history, and traveled a lot in the 3rd world, I find it hard to admire the rich and powerful, but not all things are black and white.
            Cheerio.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think, if we’re really honest, our monarchy have no true power.

              • CestrianHawk says:

                Our monarchy has had no real power for the last 400 years.

                • New Guy says:

                  I prefer to come here for content on the NFL.

                  There are plenty of other sites for social or political content.

                  .

                  • CestrianHawk says:

                    Oh dear, do forgive me. Personally I’ve never felt the need in the last eight years of reading this blog to overtly object to the odd off-topic comment. The quality of the site and the major posters overwhelms any such minor transgressions. Obviously your mileage varies.

                  • Hawktalker#1 says:

                    I totally get your point, but it’s hard for any community not to get off topic at some point in time. Fortunately those times are very controlled here and I feel like they are very minimal. You can go down the rabbit hole and start a blood feud in a matter of seconds if you’re not careful. And you see that happen on lots of different blogs and sites. I hope and doubt that will ever happen here.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    It’ll never happen here. I won’t allow it.

                    But I also don’t feel the need to immediately shut down any non-NFL related conversation, particularly in May.

                    I think the members of this community have shown they are very capable of keeping things cordial and on topic 99% of the time. A brief indulgence due to the Royal Wedding won’t change that.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Certainly a respite from the foggy, damp country that we are typically shown over here.

        Leicester City and an American Princess? England’s still the land of fairy tales haha

  39. Albert Butler says:

    So he’s short with long arms. He’s a orangutan.

  40. Hi Rob once again I thank you for your article it was really good I enjoyed reading it. I have a question for you is do the seahawks have enough depth at the offensive line. D J missed some games last year and Rees O has missed some games due to injury. Do you feel like we have enough quality backups for the offensive line

  41. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob, got any plans for the World Cup? Just watching the three lions from home or do you try to catch as much as you can?

    Group stages will be weird for me with no US to follow. Frees me up to watch objectively

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll generally watch every game I can. Working on sports radio has its perks — I’ll be spending many days in June/July say watching the games in the office 🙂

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Ah blessed indeed. I’m trying to catch as much as I can because I’ve taken the event so for granted in the past. I can only imagine how the Dutch and Italians feel.

        I really like a Brazil-Germany final. They’re both just scary deep. So is France but they are so inconsistent. I could even see an overrated US side giving them a tough go when we meet in our pre-World Cup friendly.

        • Sea Mode says:

          France could field a competitive team just with those not called up the the national team.

        • Sea Mode says:

          I’m not so sure about Brazil. All the individual talent in the world, but they need strong coaching to work as a team.

          Germany is just a machine and integrates their next generation of players seamlessly into the national team.

          France could field a competitive team just with those not called up the the national team. But, yeah, they are pretty up and down.

          Argentina on paper is amazing, but they often underwhelm and depend too much on Messi.

          I wouldn’t count out Spain as a favorite either. They have the talent and the experience and the core group has been playing together for a long time. Iniesta’s last ride. We’ll see if their strikers can find their form.

  42. Hawktalker#1 says:

    WHAT IF . . .

    What if what all the analysts, Twitter fans and the questionably informed are wrong and the additions of a blocking TE, Fluker, some new OL prospects, returning young prospects and the competition mill on the OL in addition to a stronger RB group with Penny and a FB allow Seattle to turn the corner next year, possibly shocking NFL onlookers, and the Seahawks can actually run the ball again and protect Wilson in a serviceable way for the passing game? For this excercise, just say it’s true.

    Ok sure, there may be other question marks on the team, but most of those (i.e. Defensive secondary and WR) are of much less concern to critics than the OL and running game.

    So Seattle ends up getting to a place where these changes are a reality.

    How far can they go in 2018 with the team they have? Where might they still be stopped (or not)?

    • Old but Slow says:

      I like your point, and it does seem reasonable that the season could be strong. As always, injuries and such can be deadly, and luck plays a role. But that luck can run our way, as well, and it seems that we are due for a good stretch.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If they can run the ball and avoid another horrendous injury situation, they can go all the way. No doubt. Doesn’t mean they would, but it’d be possible.

      • Hawktalker#1 says:

        Hey Rob,
        Wasn’t sure you’d chime in on is one, but so glad you did. Like many fans, I can be a little overly optimistic and hopeful, but before the season starts and with RW, why not?

        Made my day/evening to have you give this much hope for what is possible for them this season (assuming they stay healthy, etc) even though they are in a “rebuilding” year (tongue in cheek) and are only favored in 3 games for the entire year. Some already have us as a pick’em for last place in our own division. Ouch.

        Besides having the Hawks do well this year, I am also looking forward to serving crow around the league and the NFL in general. Can’t remember the last time the Hawks have been so underestimated/disrespected. Honestly, I think most opposing coaches know better than to underestimate this organization, but the analysts and media don’t have any issue with it.

        Go Hawks!!

        • Hawk Eye says:

          the simplicity and laziness of the media is brutal.
          Hawks did not draft a tackle in round 1? Give their draft an F. The generous ones gave them a D, and they all said it was because they did not draft an o lineman until the 5th round.
          Hoping we can give them sour grapes for desert after your main course of crow.
          I think Pete loves being underestimated and will use it to his advantage.

          • Rob Staton says:

            And they keep forgetting Seattle’s third rounder went on Duane Brown!

            Imagine if, during the draft, that trade was announced. They would’ve loved the move.

Leave a Reply