Breaking down Todd McShay’s second mock draft

February 3rd, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

ESPN analyst Todd McShay today published his second mock draft. He has the Seahawks taking Andrew Billings (DT, Baylor) at #26. We’ll continue to break down the McShay and Mel Kiper mocks to look at options for Seattle in the first round.

McShay on the pick

“Billings has freakish weight-room strength that he puts to good use as a run defender. A great athlete for the position, he displays an impressive combination of quickness and power. Billings improved his consistency as a third-year starter, and that led to him playing the best football of his career in 2015 (14.0 TFLs and 5.5 sacks).”

Reaction

Billings would theoretically replace Brandon Mebane. He’s strong enough to play the nose and provide some level of disruption. The Seahawks have generally gone for quickness and unique athletic traits when spending early picks on their defense. A powerful Mebane replacement would arguably contradict that approach. Is the roster improved by replacing Mebane with a 19-year-old rookie? They’ve been able to plug players into their D-line using free agency. Spending a first round pick on Billings would be a departure from that.

Other players who were available at #26

Noah Spence (DE, Eastern Kentucky)
Spence proved he’s a top-15 talent at the Senior Bowl. He still has to convince teams he’s a changed man after his departure from Ohio State. The reports from Mobile were positive in that regard — and Spence appears destined to go very early in round one. There just isn’t anyone else with a similar combination of speed, agility, hand-use and technique. In a class littered with powerful DE’s, Spence stands out. If he does somehow last until pick #26 — the Seahawks have to consider him.

SDB projection: #12 overall to New Orleans but could go higher

Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson)
Tipped by many to go in the top-15, Alexander is an aggressive and confident cornerback. He plays bigger than his listed size (5-10, 190lbs) and carries himself like a top NFL corner. With one or two key injuries at the position (Kendall Fuller, Will Redmond) and Tre’Davious White and Cam Sutton opting to return to LSU and Tennessee respectively — Alexander could be competing with Eli Apple to be the top cornerback in the draft. Whether the Seahawks would consider him or not depends on length. They generally avoid cornerbacks with sub-32 inch arms.

SDB projection: #8 overall to Miami

Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
Possibly the best left tackle in college football in 2015 (Laremy Tunsil missed most of the season), Coleman combines ideal size with a gritty attitude. He’s the complete opposite of the passive Ronnie Stanley — Coleman loves to get to the second level and punish a linebacker. He talks trash to defenders. He enjoys the competitive side of the game. Teams will do their homework on his medical report after he beat cancer. His age (24) could be an issue for some. If you want a tackle or guard with an edge, Coleman provides fantastic value. A top-20 talent.

SDB projection: #23 overall to Minnesota

Jason Spriggs (T, Indiana)
The best of a pretty bad bunch of tackles in Mobile — Spriggs was generally hit and miss (just like his college career overall). He’s long and athletic and looks the part. There are some technical deficiencies in his game though — he gets beat too easily on the inside counter and his kick slide is a little laboured at times. Some believe he has to move inside but how many teams want a guard at nearly 6-6 and 301lbs? There’s a lot of upside here if he gets the right coaching. He might need to start at right tackle and eventually move across.

SDB projection: #30 overall to Denver

Nick Martin (C, Notre Dame)
Dangerously underrated, Martin was the best offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl. A picture of consistency, Martin — like his brother — was born to be an offensive lineman. He has ideal size to work inside (6-4, 300lbs), plays with a fantastic physicality and doesn’t lose many 1v1 battles. The only obvious difference between Zack and Nick is quicker feet — this isn’t really a problem with Nick working at center. If you’re looking for a prospect who can start in year one and just get the job done — this is your man. He’ll be a quality starter for the next few years and like his brother, could be a perennial Pro-Bowler. The Seahawks say they want consistency and physicality in the trenches.

SDB projection: #26 overall to Seattle

Leonard Floyd (LB, Georgia)
Floyd’s a bit of an enigma. He could easily be the next Aaron Maybin — overrated based on his athletic skill set and largely ineffective because what is his best position? At the same time, there just aren’t many human beings that move as well as Floyd at 6-4 and 231lbs. On one play in 2015 he covered a teams #1 receiver running down the left sideline on a deep route. Is he a good enough pass rusher to compliment his speed and agility? He had 4.5 sacks this season and six in 2014. In Seattle his most likely role would be to replace Bruce Irvin but he’s better suited to the 3-4.

SDB projection: #19 overall to Buffalo

Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
Fuller might be the most dynamic receiver in the draft and could easily be the first wide out taken. His ability to shift through the gears and separate is staggering. Yes, he has the occasional drop. However — there arguably hasn’t been a player entering the league with this level of raw explosion since DeSean Jackson. Fuller is a well-spoken, respectful individual with a good understanding of the game. The Seahawks probably won’t take a receiver in round one — but Fuller is their type of wide out. He has a shot to be an instant impact player.

SDB projection: #24 overall to Cincinnati

Kyler Fackrell (LB, Utah State)
Another incredibly underrated player. Fackrell’s sack numbers (only four in 2015) are misleading. PFF ranked him as one of the most disruptive players in college football and they’re absolutely right. Fackrell is a splash-play specialist. He impacts so many snaps. So while he might not always get the sack, his ability to move the quarterback, force bad throws and dictate protection is invaluable. In Seattle he would act as a pure edge rusher rather than replace Bruce Irvin. He’s a highly competitive individual with a chance to emulate Clay Matthews’ early success in the pro’s.

SDB projection: #25 overall to Pittsburgh

Cody Whitehair (T, Kansas State)
Although he played left tackle for Kansas State in 2015, Whitehair is certain to move inside to guard or center. He only has 31 and 3/8 inch arms at nearly 6-4 in height — length to make a T-Rex blush. In Mobile he took to the left guard spot with ease. Whitehair is extremely well balanced, a natural knee-bender and he understands leverage. He’s powerful and athletic and should be one of the safest picks in the draft. He’s not quite as accomplished as Nick Martin and would need a bit of time to adapt if he switches to center — but he’s solid..

SDB projection: #29 overall to Arizona

Players off the board in McShay’s mock

Sheldon Rankins (DT, Louisville) — #10 to the New York Giants
Vernon Butler (DT, Louisiana Tech) — #22 to Houston
Braxton Miller (WR, Ohio State) — #24 to Cincinnati
Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State) — #25 to Pittsburgh

204 Responses to “Breaking down Todd McShay’s second mock draft”

  1. CC says:

    McShay and Kiper may be decent analysts, but they seem clueless on what Seattle looks for in players. Obviously, they may not be able to go in depth with every team, unlike you Rob who looks at every possible angle.

    Let’s hope Martin is available and that is the pick. I’d really like to see us upgrade the OL. It will allow Russell to be that much better going forward.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      They do great analysis, but when the rubber hits the road they wiff on almost every pick out of top 5

      • Tien says:

        To be fair, as CC pointed out above, they don’t have the time to obsess over the Seahawks roster and moves like Rob and the rest of us.:) They’re amazingly well-informed on most of the players available for the draft and that’s about all that we can expect from them and any accuracy on their predictions is just gravy.

        • Jdub says:

          The one who seems to always have the scoop on the Hawks, as Rob has pointed out, is Tony Pauline. I believe he called the interest in Clark last year. Definitely someone to follow as the draft approaches.

  2. Volume12 says:

    I think this is the year to go DT. Not necessarily in the 1st, but there’s 13-15 guys that will be gone before the end of round 2.

    OT Jason Spriggs is gonna have a Lane Johnson like combine.

    And Miss St DT Chris Jones will jump into the 1st two rounds after the combine as well.

    Maybe they just take a hybrid D-lineman that can work inside and out, but they need something on this D-line.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Butler is pretty unique. I wasn’t sold on him at first, but he checks a lot of boxes for SEA. I think they’ll like him as well, and if he is available at 26 it will be a tough choice. But in the end I just can’t see them taking a DT that early.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I suspect, just a hunch, that if the Seahawks ever do go DT in round one it’ll be a quick-twitch, athletic interior rusher.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          And those guys go too early for SEA to have a chance at drafting. Unless one falls due to injury, like Dominique Easley.

        • roland jose says:

          How about this oline, Fahn cooper on the left or right depending on if he competition with gilliam, Tretola at left guard, Martin at center, Dhal or glow at right guard and the loser of gilliam/ cooper match in the octagon at right tackle. unfortunentely this is a pipe dream considering the other holes and depth at DT, CB, RB, WR, and LB. What do u think of Ron Blair is he gonna go earlier? he seems like a Bennet Replacement, or do we already have his replacement in Clark? The trenches is the Key on both sides of the ball.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I think Blair can be worked into the rotation as an interior rusher. He can add some size if needs be. I like the players you named for the OL. Lot’s of good options in the trenches this year.

            • roland jose says:

              do u think we are better off letting both okung and sweezy go and going with a whole new oline?

              • Rob Staton says:

                It’s something to consider. With limited resources to keep a large number of UDFA’s — and with one of the strengths of this draft being OL — they might be better re-signing the likes of Lane, Rubin etc and moving on from Okung and Sweezy.

                • Roland jose says:

                  I agree, a young talented oline signed up for the next 4 year’s, keep the defense together, a few rookie defensive tackles and CB to develope for the future, an LB in case irvin leaves, and “Win Forever”, might just workout!;), as long as we keep drafting for the future.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yeah. I get that.

        He might be too similar to Frank Clark, but Clemson DL Shaq Lawson intrigues me. Has an incredibly ‘Seahawky’ kind of character/personality.

        I just wonder if he could work inside too. He has the ability to take over games.

        He’s rumored to be a pretty freaky athlete.

    • Hughz says:

      I can’t see the Hawks taking a DT in the first round simply because the don’t want to pay more than 5 mil for DT. I’m not sure of the rookie salary projections from year 1 through 4 but I imagine it’s over 5 mil. Only if they see an Aaron Donald type player do I see them taking a DT in round 1.

      • Volume12 says:

        I think one of the more fascinating debates is gonna be the man-child A’shawn Robinson.

        Overrated? Sure. But, he’s one of my pick to kill the combine.

        Not saying Seattle would take him, nor should they, I’m just speaking in general.

      • C-Dog says:

        It’s an interesting situation at DT this year for the Hawks. This looks like a deep class. Couple that with the age and contract status of Mebane, and Rubin for that matter, I think this could be a year in which they change that approach. Even if they bring both players back, it’s probably likely on very short term deals. I think Rob is right, that a first round pick would be for a pass rusher, either one that shows that, or has the upside and measurables they feel they can clearly mold into one. It will be really interesting to see how things shake out at the combine, and personal workouts.

        Also, I think the full contract for someone drafted at 26 looks to be about $8 for the full length, so unless I am missing something, that wouldn’t be a huge hit on the annual cap, it would be cheaper than signing a quality vet.

        • franks says:

          I think one of them is gone, just looking at the cap numbers and how much better we could be with interior pressure.

    • bobbyk says:

      Jonathan Bullard is that guy, but Hawks need OL or pass rusher before that.

    • KyleT says:

      Finally someone else seeing what I see in Chris Jones 🙂

      • KyleT says:

        IMO he is the most well rounded DT. He’s near unblockable 1on1, yet can split or anchor a double team without giving ground against the run. He can play all 3 interior DL positions.

    • franks says:

      Xmas list getting a good well rounded dt in the 2nd, other R1-3s on the O LINE and sign Maxwell or thurmond, Ben Watson, loadholdt, win SB.

  3. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Yeah, I can’t see SEA taking a DT in R1. Maybe Butler, maybe Rankins (based only on their reported R1 grade for him). And I can’t see them passing on Spence, who notwithstanding his off field issues, is probably the best pure DPR in the draft, for a Mebane replacement.

    • Volume12 says:

      Someone’s gonna roll the dice on Noah Spence early.

      He could end up going in the top 5. IMO he’s the next Khalil Mack.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        All he needs to do is show at the Combine – in the performance tests and interviews – and he has a shot to be the 1st defensive prospect taken.

      • cha says:

        I wonder if Marcus Peters’ success will keep him from slipping too far. Not the exact same circumstances, but still…

  4. Steele says:

    Billings would be an intriguing pick. At 6-1 310, but with both power, mobility and pass rush, he has drawn comparisons to Aaron Donald (6-0 284). And perhaps Dominique Easley (6-2 285), who was on the Hawks shopping list before NE got him. If they want that kind of player, Billings would not be a bad choice. The downside I see is that he benefitted from playing next to Oakman, and he did have a knee injury.

    I think it’s possible to take DTs and pass rushers early, and still address the o-line with Dahl/Tretola, Joe Haeg, etc. in rds 3-4. You just miss on Nick Martin and Shon Coleman.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I really don’t see the comparison to Aaron Donald or Dominique Easley. Billings is a very different player IMO.

      • Steele says:

        I have read others making the comparison. You don’t see it, I don’t fully buy it either, but if there is any merit to it, it’s worth consideration.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Donald and Easley are all speed, incredible hand technique, explosion and gap shooting. Billings is a totally different player. The only thing they have in common is the ‘DT’ next to their names.

    • KyleT says:

      Billings plays incredibly undisciplined in regards to gap control. He plays out of control. Watch how many big runs go right through his gap. Seahawks are not going to like his tape.

      • Ty the Guy says:

        Based on physical tools alone, I really like Billings. However, as pointed out above, he plays with less than desired discipline. The Hawks are all about doing your job. Gap control is key. If he could be harnessed in though, I believe you’d have a double-team muncher in Billings.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        For me it’s hard to gauge. Baylor does a lot of slanting where they line up on one shoulder, then cross the face of their man to attack the gap on the other shoulder. You can see this repeatedly because all of their DL surge the same way.

        It can make it look like he’s abandoning his responsible gap at times. Really it’s kind of a weird thing to do defensively. It’s not something you’ll see us do much except for Bennett.

        I would say this could be systemic.

        • KyleT says:

          good point, you might be right. If so, it’s a terrible idea, as it leaves huge holes for people to run through.

  5. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    UCLA LB pipeline continues. Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Myles Jack and now 5-star top OLB prospect Mique Juarez 6’2″ 225lbs has signed a letter of commitment to UCLA.

  6. cha says:

    Rob, who would you say is a decent NFL comp for Fuller?

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s some D-Jax to his game. Not a direct comparison but similar explosive speed.

      • troy says:

        Devin Smith is a “poor mans” version Will Fuller, Fuller’s hes just flat out better in every aspect. I would also throw a little of Ty Hilton’s game into comparison.

  7. EranUngar says:

    Just to point out that something i said regarding our latest mock – “freakish weight-room strength that he puts to good use as a run defender. A great athlete for the position” merits the remark “The Seahawks have generally gone for quickness and unique athletic traits when spending early picks…”

    But Martin, with slower feet is the underrated first pick….

    We either enforce the SPARQ freak rule for top picks or we don’t.

    • James says:

      Don’t believe Carpenter was a SPARQ freak and we took him in the 1st so there is precedent.

      • Volume12 says:

        Carpenter wasn’t a SPARQ freak, but IIRC (without looking) he had a score of 108, which is pretty damn good, and way above the median.

        Not freaky, but SPARQ-y.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Why didn’t you finish quoting Rob?

      “The Seahawks have generally gone for quickness and unique athletic traits when spending early picks…on their defense.”

      Key words being “on their defense” – they don’t need SPARQ freaks for the OL. Martin doesn’t need quick feet to be a pro-bowl center.

      Also, not sure there’s a rule for anything SEA do in the draft. Best we can do is look to precedent.

      • nichansen01 says:

        Defensive tackle and Center are different positions. Also, why can’t the front office value athleticism while at the same time valuing technically sound, strong and proven players at a specific position?

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          I think the actual results leaguewide kind of affirm the opinion that there really aren’t technically strong OL players being produced at the college level. I think Cable is correct in his statement that we pretty much have to start from scratch with technique. Because we hear this opinion echoed all across the league. It’s not just us that see a lack of preparation and coaching amongst the incoming OL prospects.

          Thus far, it seems the magic combination of athleticism, attitude and intelligence hasn’t been touched on to identify which prospects will emerge as good pros. Maybe it’s really just a crap shoot and you have to bring in a slew of prospects and get lucky.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I said Nick Martin had slower feet than his brother Zack, the #16 overall pick in 2014. Not that he had slow feet.

      • Greg haugsven says:

        Just looked at all the past draft picks of the Seahawks since Pete and John have been here and they have drafted exactly zero centers. They had Unger but that’s still interesting.

  8. Steven says:

    If the board falls to Seattle like that, do they even make a selection? It seems more likely that they’d try to trade back and pick up another mid-round selection.

    • Ground_Hawk says:

      I thought that at first also, but after thinking about it I would like to see the FO address the o-line with their R 1 pick. If their guy isn’t there then I think you are right with the idea of trading back, but not for the sake of adding another late pick.

    • purpleneer says:

      The board falling like that seems like the least likely situation for the Hawks to move down more than a pick or two. I’d be shocked if it fell like that and the Hawks didn’t feel like one of those guys was an absolute steal.

  9. RealRhino2 says:

    Billings not a first rounder, for me. At least four guys in Rob’s list of “still available” prospects I’d take before Billings.

    • Greg haugsven says:

      One thing cool about Billings though is he is young. If he panned out he could sign a second contract at 23.

  10. Alexander Hudson says:

    Rob, who do you think the Seahawks might target in FA at DT? I feel like just bringing back Mebane and Rubin wouldn’t be good enough, since neither offers much pass rush ability. Could they take a look at Jason Jones again? He’s been known as a pretty good interior pass rusher over the course of his career (why they brought him aboard in 2012), but he did suffer the dreaded patellar tendon injury in his first year with Detroit (where he’s been since his one-year stint in Seattle). Superficially, his stats the last two years look decent since coming back from that injury (5 sacks in 2014 and 4.5 in 2015), but those can be misleading. He might be a decent value signing, I’d guess in the 2-4 million range.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Firstly, I do hope they’re able to re-sign Rubin and Mebane. Not giving up a single 100-yard rusher in 2015 is pretty incredible. They deserve a lot of credit.

      The key for me is the nascar and nickel packages. So the way to improve the pass rush there is obviously for Clark and Hill to have a bigger impact in 2016 and add another rusher. If Olivier Vernon’s market is cool I hope they at least consider him. I would look at Ian Williams from SF. Jarvis Jenkins in Chicago. Henry Melton. Anywhere you can find value and the ability to work into the rotation. I would also look for value in the draft — Ronald Blair III is one to watch I think.

      • KyleT says:

        How can you say this after watching some of the games last year, especially their final game. They won’t beat Carolina without a pass rush on 1st or 2nd down. They won’t put the nickel package even out on the field against a team like that.

    • Coleslaw says:

      I think they look for value again at DT in free agency and if they don’t find anything and have to let mebane or rubin go I think they might make a push for rankins, he can move around the line and something Pete said about Bennett sticks out to me with Rankins “he’s too quick for the guards and too strong for the tackles”

      • Volume12 says:

        Rankins is the best one gaping DT. Would fit Seattle’s scheme perfectly.

        His knee is gonna need to be checked out come combine time, which could push him down the board.

        I’d flip Todd McShay’s picks. Rankins will go in the bottom half of round one, and Billings won’t get outta the top half IMO.

        • Coleslaw says:

          He has huge upside at DE too, powerful but quick hands that knock people off balance, he’s my pick if he’s there.

          • Greg haugsven says:

            Haloti Ngata is a FA as well. Has ties to the NW

            • Greg haugsven says:

              One thing to remember to is that the Seahawks don’t sign free agents for more than 3 million or so. They don’t want to mess up there comp picks. All those DT signings ate relatively low money, Graham and Harvin were trades and Cary Williams was a street free agent. There is a good chance we wont sign any UFA’s that aren’t our own.

              • Greg haugsven says:

                Over $4 million that is.

              • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

                Cary Williams blew one comp pick for the Seahawks. Disappointing.

                • Greg Haugsven says:

                  He was a street free agent, those don’t count against the comp picks. That’s why I could see them waiting through free agency to sign an offensive lineman or two that get cut.

                  • Coleslaw says:

                    Irvin and okung have to net us 3rd rounders, sweezy probably a 6th, lane probably 5th and kearse probably a 5th. Could ease the pain of losing these guys and drafting their replacement

  11. subterranean says:

    I doubt that there is a point at which the trend of “they haven’t drafted X in the first round” turns into “they won’t draft X in the first round.”

    • Rob Staton says:

      Someone I trust once told me there are positions the Seahawks won’t consider in round one unless you’re talking about a truly exceptional prospect that dictates a different mindset.

      • bobbyk says:

        Did they mention the positions? I’m pretty sure you said CB was one of them last year since they are so good at developing them.

        I would think SAM is another position. I know they drafted Irvin, but he was drafted to be a Leo. He never turned into the replacement for Clem that they were hoping for. However, they found a nice home for him at SAM on first and second downs but it certainly wasn’t by design or part of their master plan.

        I wonder if a straight out guard is another position? They drafted Carp to a (right) tackle and that failed so, like Irvin, a different home was found for him where he couldn’t be as bad at. Maybe they would consider Coleman or Martin at #26, but not Whitehair?

        CB is kind of a unique spot to not take in the first round, but guards and strong side LBs (who can’t rush the passer) don’t seem as important, as does fullbacks or lesser used spots these days. I doubt they would have taken Ray Guy either. 🙂

        • Rob Staton says:

          RB and CB were two. Would have to be other-world types. Didn’t go through every position though so there could be others. Looking at what they’ve done over six drafts (plus what they’ve done in FA) for me is a strong indicator. There are plenty of trends.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Irvin was not that bad at DE, but they wanted to get one more player on the field that could pass-rush and keep him on the field….. Bennett / Avril and Irvin all played more snaps together…. overall the athleticism in the LB and DE went way up by doing this….. imo

          • Greg haugsven says:

            You can almost remove all but 4 positions, QB, RB, TE, Safety, DT, and CB. That would leave DE, LB, WR and OL to choose from. That’s going off history.

          • Coleslaw says:

            I think we have a chance to upgrade our D without Irvin. I think he is best at DE and frank clark can take his spot there on passing downs, (don’t want Clark playing too much tackle) and if we get a guy who can eat blocks and cover downfield we could have another 70+ tackler instead of Irvin’s 30 or whatever, Fackrell is who I’d go for for that role since he can get after the QB too. Really wish we could’ve kept malcolm smith

            • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

              Let’s say OL in first round, then they can grab a very nice DT type in the second. Top of the shelf guy, no… but they really don’t need a 1st round guy.

              I’m not seeing Fackrell making it to the bottom of round 2, so if you want him, better grab him in the first round. But grabbing him, blows up my theory they will go 1st, 3rd and roughly 5th rounds with OL picks.

              • Greg Haugsven says:

                I’d like to see KJ Wright move to the SAM and draft a guy like Deion Jones. Maybe use him a little like the Cardinals use Buchanon.

                • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

                  I wouldn’t rule out anything right now. I think the defense will be changed slightly, to better combat TEs killing them over the middle.

                  • Coleslaw says:

                    Yeah he could easily go in a bad spot for us, but I guess my main point was that Irvin wasn’t an exceptional linebacker and we could upgrade the SAM spot with a mid round pick

    • EranUngar says:

      A word of caution regarding who they will or won’t pick in the first round:

      Since 2010, when this new FO took over, the Seahawks have only picked 4 players in the 1st round and those were all picked from 2010 till 2012. Those 4 are Okung and Carp – OTs, Thomas – Safety and Irvin – DE.

      That sample is almost meaningless to allow anybody to base assumption on “history”. If anything, the Seahawks draft history is to trade their first round for an established player with at least 4 years of NFL under his belt.

      Carp and Okung where athletic enough but not SPARQ freaks. Earl and Bruce were freaks.

      Everything else is hearsay without any “historical” backup.

      The one thing i did see in those years is a blunt force approach to “fixing” or “filling needs” by FA and draft. As JS once stated – we rank players compared to the players we already have. (I.E. the poorer we are, the higher the new candidate is ranked)

      In the past we assumed that the Seahawks will only draft Tackles for their OL since players that failed to win the Tackle position in collage are deemed inferior. I’m glad that we now value different skills needed inside the line and do not discard Guards or Centers. I honestly believe that each player should be evaluated according to his individual merits and the more “General rules” you enforce, the more likely you are to miss on a great player. I still remember Bitonio possibly not having ideal arm length…

      This year they face a task that is way bigger and more complex than ever before. They never faced such an exodus of UDFA (17) including 7 starters without the means to keep most of them. Add to it their statements regarding improving OL play and pass rush and you get a very difficult draft to forecast. We’ll know more once FA is over. (We may not have a first round pick at all….again)

  12. Coleslaw says:

    I would like Martin in round 1 just based on his play, but I think they might be able to address a different need and sign a veteran center who can call plays, which brings me to my question. Do you think Nick Martin is ready to call adjustments at a high level? Has he shown he understands enough to take over the ZBS? Thanks.

  13. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Few thoughts on Billings:

    1. He’s probably my very favorite prospect in this entire draft. He has some freakish athleticism in a player of his size.

    2. He is about as close of an approximation to Vince Woolfork as I’ve seen since Vince came out in 2003. Billings is quite a bit more than merely a nose tackle. He displays a seemingly supernatural ability to close a short distance. There are plenty of instances where he makes plays in space that honestly a man his size has no business making.

    3. Potential. It is really just insane how good Billings is at 19 years of age. This is a player who from a functional strength standpoint is the strongest player in this class at any position. If you’re a team that wants to get tougher — you are adding a guy who pretty much could be the gold standard of that metric in the NFL for a decade.

    Seattle likes athletic pass rush players. What they also like is unique quality. Billings has that in spades. He’s not Aaron Donald in type — he’s not going to run a 4.68. Billings is a completely different breed of DT who uses good speed and agility with elite strength to beat his opponent. I think Billings can be every bit as disruptive as Donald in our scheme. He looks incredibly difficult to handle when he does line up over a guard as a traditional 4-3 DT.

    Seattle is a team that wants to do one thing above all else defensively. They want to defend the run. Billings’ ability on the DL in this regard is going to be like having Earl Thomas in your secondary. He’s going to be able to play like an extra man. Seattle can cheat their run defense if they wish and commit one less player simply because Billings can play like two men.

    We do that all the time with Thomas’ range. Billings is similar in this regard. Not unlike Woolfork for the Pats — Billings is likely to make stars out of the players to line up to either side of him.

    That kind of impact is rare. When I see Billings play, I’m seeing a nascent Cortez Kennedy in terms of special quality. They are both stout players with vines for arms and play with amazing leverage. I honestly think whoever ends up drafting Billings is buying a player who is just at the point where his ability is going to skyrocket. He’s productive now. But he’s just barely maturing. This is a player who should get ridiculously better.

    • Rob Staton says:

      This is such a glowing review that I’ll go back tomorrow and re-watch three games to see if I’ve missed anything.

    • bobbyk says:

      With that kind of optimism, I’m going to check out some games right now.

      • Volume12 says:

        Ran a 4.94 40, 32″ vert, 9’6″ broad jump, broke Mark Henry’s power lifting record at 16-17 years old, lifts 400 pounds, and squats 690 pounds.

        This kid is gonna be a top 10 pick. He’s a much better player than Amobi Okoye, the last teenager to be drafted.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          I tend to agree, if his measurables at the combine are in the 5.0 range and he throws up 35+ reps of 225….. he will be gone by #20 pick.. and most likely top 10.

          I had thought he had some problems following ro chasing down plays from the backside or away from the action… I could be wrong.

          • Volume12 says:

            Check out the clip of him chasing down a Kansas RB 60 yards downfield. Unreal!

            • Steele says:

              You all know, of course, that a lot of this will be rendered academic. The combine and SPARQ will push guys like this into the stratosphere. Happens every year!

      • Coleslaw says:

        Really like the idea of being able to cheat our run defense a bit, I feel like that was a majorly underrated part of Red Bryant’s game that we haven’t really had since.

    • C-Dog says:

      Yeah, I’ve been one pretty interested in Billings all season long. Interestingly enough, the other DT I’ve been pretty intrigued by is Sheldon Rankins, and was pretty happy to see the report the Hawks view him as a first rounder. From what I gather, it seems where Rankins has the maturity, skill, and ability to play multiple positions on the DL, Billings has the raw freak physical talent. I’ve read where he compares to Mebane some, but I’ve also seen him viewed as a 3 tech talent in a 4-3 in a lot of write ups as well. From, what I’ve watched here and there, he looks like a beast.

      I’ve also read that some scouts viewed Oakman as the beneficiary of playing on the line with Billings, not the other way around.

      The fact he’s only 19, I actually see as a big plus for the long range, and incentive to draft him. I believe ET the Third was a raw baby coming out of college, as well. Even if they bring back Mebane and or Rubin, these are probably very short term deals. Can’t have enough DL, and if you got a chance to pick up a good one in the draft, love the idea of pulling that trigger.

    • Josh says:

      I don’t consider myself a film expert by any means, but I went and watched the game vs Oklahoma this year. I saw some good and some bad. On a fair number of plays he was able to collapse the pocket. On what seemed like too many plays he blew into the backfield and the RB ran right by him. In fact watching this my biggest takeaway was Perine is a hell of a RB. I saw some things to get excited about and some things that were kind of meh. Considering he’s only 19 I can see the excitement over him. Just not sure I see the elite potential you do Attyla.

      • C-Dog says:

        It should also be pointed out he played hurt though out much of last year, but came on and played better at the end of the season once he got healthier. He’s going to be raw coming in, that’s why it’s unfair to compare him to Donald who was pretty polished at Pitt.

    • SeventiesHawksFan says:

      Wow. He sounds like a truly special player. I’ll be curious to hear Rob’s thoughts after he gives him a more thorough review.

    • FattyAcid says:

      Did you just kinda compare him to Cortez?? I’m on board!!

    • KyleT says:

      He does have some incredible strength and athleticism, but plays with almost no gap discipline.

      • C-Dog says:

        Gap discipline can coached up at the next level, what you can’t coach up is freak athleticism and power.

      • Robert says:

        Is playing with gap discipline his assignment in Baylor’s scheme? It appears to me that he has some freedom to go make a play.

    • Robert says:

      Billings is at the top of my Seahawks wish list. His play in the trenches is dominating. The myriad of ways he defeats blocks to penetrate and make plays suggests a prospect who will transition quickly to the pro game. He will command double teams like Mebane, but offer much more as a pass rusher, particularly when teams pass vs our base defense. This is currently a vulnerability because we get little pass rush from Mebane or Rubin and opposing QBs can simply step up in the pocket to avoid our DEs. I think this kid is a very special player, but doubt he’ll be available in the 20s.

  14. matt says:

    In Mcshay’s mock I’d take Shon Coleman in a heartbeat. Followed by Spence, trade down-adding an early 4th, Spriggs, Martin. Coleman is an absolute beast who would upgrade either tackle spot or LG if Okung is retained. Spence is too explosive on the edge to pass on.

    I’m a big fan of Billings, and would be very happy to get him, but see more value to be had at DT later in the draft. This is a deep class and think we’ll use the chance to get younger and cheaper on the interior DL, just not in the first round. There’s ‘pockets’ of talent at DT in the late 1st-early 2nd rounds(Billings, Butler, Washington, Clark) and mid 3rd-early 4th rounds(Ward, Day, Latham, Gotsis, Hargrave) .

    • Volume12 says:

      Jihad Ward could sneak into the top 40. Very similar to Denver’s Malik Jackson.

      This is the year to go DT. These defensive tackles are going to steal the show at the combine and test through the roof.

      • matt says:

        Can see Ward playing in any scheme, so you’re probably right Vol12, he could go early day 2.

        Agreed. DT is too strong of a class top to bottom not to get one.

        • Volume12 says:

          And a lot of these guys will end up becoming even more disruptive and better, or sneaky, pass rushers from the interior due to better coaching, and having multiple guys to occupy blockers.

      • Wall UP says:

        I still like Hargrave @ 56 playing 3T and spelling Bane (whom they should keep with Rubin). You really can’t rely solely on Bennett for inside push. He would fit right in that rotation.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          If I’m ranking the DTs that I hope Seattle acquires in some fashion in the top 4 rounds:

          1. Billings
          2. Hargrave
          3. Rankins
          4. Ward

          I think Billings is special. Defensive tackles, not unlike Offensive linemen — tend to really come into their own at 22-23 years of age. Physically, it’s hard to really dominate at a younger age. Even the recent greats like Suh and McCoy didn’t really blossom until their 4th years. Billings looks like he’s on that precipice where he’s going to explode physically. Already at just 19, he was very productive with 16 TFLs on the season playing hurt for almost half the season at a position and role that doesn’t encourage statistical production.

          I think Hargrave has excellent interior pocket collapse. In terms of disruption value I think those two are the tops on my list. These two both just look like they cannot be blocked clean and consistently move toward the passer. When you watch either of them in one on one situations, even on plays they don’t reach the QB, they are generally an arm’s length away by the time the ball is delivered.

          While yes, he emerged onto the scene in the post season exhibiitons. That just merits going back and reviewing his season. When you look at him play the lesser competition you see what you hope to see from him. He dominates.

          That has value for Seattle. Because with our ends, they produce excellent edge pressure. I can see Billings and Hargrave both getting ‘clean up sacks’ — which is something our DTs don’t get right now. Because they aren’t of the caliber to force the issue. Hargrave and Billings look like players that will be very difficult for OL to create a stalemate along the LOS.

          Rankins to me is a more boom/bust type. He possibly gets more sack numbers than the other two. But I think he’s also going to be more invisible on plays than the other two.

          Ward is a good project. I like him better than I did Jaye Howard as a project. I am doubtful he outplays a healthy Jordan Hill. So that probably means he’d get good playing time since Hill has had trouble staying on the field.

          • C-Dog says:

            I like that list, but if it were mine, I would find room for Butler, I think he is genuine upside to his game, with pass rush being something he could develop more at the next level.

            I personally don’t see Rankins as a potential bust. I think his floor might be higher than many, but his ceiling might be lower than some. I think he’s been a pretty solid player for Louisville, who has played all over their line.

            In terms of Ward comparing to Howard and Hill, I kind of always liked Howard over Hill. I know Hill had a solid break out year in 2014, but I’ve always thought of him as a limited athlete with a good skill set, if that makes sense. Not overly strong, no elite quickness, but some nice wiggle, and way too often injured. Not a SPARQ athlete, but smart, skilled and when healthy, finds a way. Good floor, not a great ceiling. I think there’s a decent chance Ward’s ceiling could be much higher.

  15. Volume12 says:

    What do you guys think of Utah’s DL Jason Fanaika?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Meh

    • matt says:

      Think Fanaika fits better as a 3-4 DE. Don’t see enough explosion for him to stay at DE for us. Could gain 15lbs and be an inside rusher, maybe. Plus motor. Doesn’t look like a very good fit for the Hawks.

  16. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Rob, my ears perked up today when I was listening to a draftnick on the radio discussing Spence. He used the words… “he reminds me of Von Miller”. If this is remotely close to what the majority of GMs are thinking, the dude is going top 5. Von went #2 and if he has a nice SB, he will remind teams/GMs the value of explosive edge rushers. This draft is lacking a ton of them.

    I think he would, at worst, go at #7 to SF, but #6 is the Ravens and #5 is the Jaguars…. both have a need for some pressure from the DE/OLB position. At #4 and #3 Dallas and Chargers could also be a strong consideration…. I mean EVERY team is looking for these types of players.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      If there’s any truth to today’s rumors regarding Kaepernick, SF may yet be in the market for a QB in R1.

      • matt says:

        Both Lynch and Wentz would fit Chip Kelly’s offense very well. Think the 49ers are more than a QB away from being contenders, and would be better off rebuilding upfront on both sides of the ball and getting more explosive play makers.

      • Steele says:

        I continue to think SF will part with Kaep, for both on and off field issues. It’s a tired relationship that should end. Chip Kelly might choose to piss off management and the fans by keeping Kaep, but some kind of fresh start with a new QB would energize a struggling franchise and help Chip win over fans.

      • Wall UP says:

        If your #1 receiver doesn’t want you I doubt that would be a good marriage.

        • bobbyk says:

          This doesn’t seem to make much sense because he’s such a perfect fit for what Chip wants in a QB. I actually think he’ll have a good year next season with Chip as his coach. I don’t think Chip is an awesome coach for the 49ers or is going to make them win… but for the QB position, he’s going to help Kaep individually/statistically.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            If CK7 is not receptive to teach or learning a new offense or getting done dirty by the FO…. then they need to cut bait and move on. It would be the best for the 49ers and CK7.

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              Spence would be a perfect pick. He could slide into Irvin’s role Maybe then be a future replacement for Avril. Clark and Spence could be the new Avril and Bennett. Your probably right though Charlie, he’s going to be gone. I remember in the past talking about Odell Beckham and Aaron Donald both being liked by the Seahawks and boom, there both drafted around 12.

              • Greg Haugsven says:

                We need to stop it with the CK7 🙂

                • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

                  Von Miller was drafted #2… and that is who Spence is drawing comparisons to….. I think he will be gone long before #12

                  • Attyla the Hawk says:

                    Spence is not Von Miller. That’s pre draft hyperbole at it’s very finest.

                    Von Miller was in the ‘will he be #1 overall’ conversation. Spence is floating around in the top 7-15. He’s not even as good a prospect as Khalil Mack was (who likewise was considered in the conversation of being a real alternative to Clowney).

                    There’s no shame in being a early/mid first DE type. Look at the guys taken in 2011 in that 7-15 range (Aldon Smith, Watt, Quinn, Kerrigan).

  17. Jeremy says:

    Rob, in one of your mocks I’d like to see your take on if the Seahawks trade their 1st pick. I could see them maybe trading back into the mid second for a day 3 pick. They don’t seem to like their first round picks, maybe its that fifth year option. When they have used their picks, they have decided not to pick that option up. I’d like to see Martin as their top pick, but I don’t see it happening. Partly because I believe they will move back, and partly because…every year you pin point certain players that nobody talks about. Pretty soon, after the combine, after the pro days, these players rise so far up the board they are out of the Hawks reach. It’s about time Schneider gives you a call. You would be scary good if you had all the time, and all the resources.

    As of right now, DL is a big question mark. I really wish they could have extended Rubin before the season ended. If they have some doubt about their ability to fill the hole through free agency, I’d be happy with this pick. I don’t think that will be a problem, so I wouldn’t be super excited with this pick.

    • bobbyk says:

      I don’t see them trading this pick. I think a few years ago was unique in terms of them not having a 3rd round pick and them wanting to trade down badly to get another pick. They moved out of the first and got a 4th rounder from the Vikings so they’d have 4 picks in the first four rounds.

      This year is different in terms of them “needing” more picks, imo. Not only do they have their 3rd round pick like they didn’t a couple of years ago, but they will have two of them thanks to Maxwell signing in Philly.

      In this scenario, I think they are more concerned with quality over quantity. This draft also seems deeper than the one two years ago when they traded down, too. You could say that means they should trade down then, but with their need/wants on the lines of scrimmage, I can see them standing pat and taking the best lineman, unless of course, they want to tap into the depth of the early second round and try to trade into the second so they can pull a Tyler Lockett trade from last year to add more draft capitol to move up in the second round with their current pick (instead of third round like Lockett last year).

      • Greg haugsven says:

        How about for Joe Thomas? Anybody in?

        • bobbyk says:

          Nah. I’d rather have a 8-10 year starter like Martin or Whitehair. They are so much cheaper for the first 4 years, too, in comparison to Thomas making about $10 million (granted, this is “cheap” for the best LT in the NFL).

          • rowdy says:

            I’m not a fan whitehair. He’s great at pass blocking but doesn’t look to have any drive at rin blocking and no intensity imo

      • Coleslaw says:

        It’s possible that they trade back to around 35 and still get Martin

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          I would rather not get to cute and get “their” guy in the 1st round.

          • Coleslaw says:

            I think it’s about a 2 mil/year difference in salary and the draft is deep they could manage with more picks even if he isn’t there

    • SunPathPaul says:

      I agree 100% with Jeremy…

      Rob, you inform us extremely well…I always seem to know more than anyone I speak with, and although I do read a lot of headlines stuff, this is my only real draft source. You have hit on so many players I see no one else mentioning…

      Kudos, and Thanks

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      “They don’t seem to like their first round picks, maybe its that fifth year option. When they have used their picks, they have decided not to pick that option up.”

      I wouldn’t say this is predictive. Here’s kind of what we know that should be predictive:

      1. We don’t want to draft in R1 if we don’t think a player is an R1 guy.

      Seattle has been picking in the mid 20s or higher for years now. It seems most years Seattle hasn’t considered more than 20 prospects worthy of an R1 pick. What that tells me is that they consider what’s likely to be there and if it’s worth standing pat. This year we’re picking lower than in years past. I’m guessing that the last #25 pick we had we wished we hadn’t traded for a veteran.

      2. We are tight on the cap.

      This wasn’t true when we traded for Harvin and Graham. Doesn’t mean we wouldn’t entertain the idea. But from the current cap reality — if we trade for an alpha veteran, then it’ll cost the draft pick plus whomever we have to cut to get under the cap. So I think this to be highly unlikely.

      I wouldn’t harp on the ‘we haven’t used the 5th year option’ fact. It’s merely a method to extend players. Seattle has extended it’s players that it’s deemed worthy (Wright, Wilson, Wagner, Chancellor, Thomas, Sherman). The 5th year option is expensive and not always a good idea to use.

      3. Type of need matters.

      In 2013-15 we were looking for explosive offensive weapons. Those come at a magnificent premium. The options in the mid 20s to later are very very modest.

      We need big uglies this year. Interior pass rush and offensive linemen. If we’re looking top shelf OT — the pick won’t do. If we looking at interior OL or DT, then we’re in luck. This draft is just loaded with these kinds of guys.

      4. We like picks

      And we’re heading into the draft with 9 of them. So there isn’t the need to get to the 9 picks we desire in every draft. For us to move down, it’ll take more reason than normal to add picks. It’s not out of the question. Because we like lots of picks. And we like ‘pockets of talent’. Trading back when you have a lot of similar options is something we’ve done a lot of.

      Truthfully, this last point is about the only reason I can think of that Seattle would trade down. I would highly doubt we trade our pick before draft day as we’ve done in the past for veteran players. I think the cap issue will prevent that going forward for us.

      I do think that there is a real possibility that a legit R1 guy slides to us. If a good OT does happen to slide I think Seattle jumps on it. Considering for a moment the difficulty we’ve had in getting adequate talent there. And I think Seattle will hold off/wait to see if that happens. If not, I could easily see them moving down some.

  18. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    There is also a slim chance that if 2 compensatory draft picks belonging to other teams should be disqualified, that the Seahawks could receive a 4th compensatory pick as compensation for the loss of O’Brien Schofield. If this should occur, the Seahawks would add a 10th pick which would be the #254 overall pick, the last pick of Rd. 7/last pick of the draft.

    Very interesting…. Mr Irrelevant, make it so NFL!

    • Jon says:

      and why would this happen? other teams picks being disqualified?

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        There was an article on fieldgulls about the picks for Seattle in 2016. This was a note on the bottom of the article. Perhaps tampering or something.

  19. Steele says:

    Here is a very tough and skeptical look at DT Adolphus Washington by Matt Waldman and Ryan Riddle, who played D line next to Brandon Mebane at Cal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryJSfPaDCZc

    They point out that the NFL overvalues physical attributes while undervaluing playmaking and things like recognition (Washington is meh on both on this film). What’s also interesting is that Riddle doesn’t sound impressed with Mebane, his former teammate.

  20. Ed says:

    Rob, if the draft falls as Mayock has it, would it ever cross JS mind to trade next years 1 for another 2 this year.

    1st Billings
    2nd Martin (from trade)
    2nd Fackrell (trade up)

    Even going Martin and Fackrell in 1st and early 2nd would be awesome.

    • Ukhawk says:

      I’d do the reverse, next years LEO class is lights out

    • Rob Staton says:

      Just a hunch, but I suspect they wouldn’t make a move like this. Willing to trade #1’s for veterans having established the class/market/needs — yes. Willing to overpay in one draft and potentially hurt yourself the next year — I’m not convinced.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        Schneider has touched on this subject before.

        Specifically, he has stated that when he trades picks, he does so based on known quantity. That is, he trades for existing players. Not future draft value.

        This has borne out both ways. He doesn’t like to trade future picks (don’t know who you’ll miss on), nor does he want to trade for future picks (don’t know what you’ll be getting).

        I believe that as a FO, we’re kind of fundamentally disinterested in dealing future picks — whether it’s to get them or give them up.

        • Volume12 says:

          Next year’s draft, in particular, could possibly be one of the best.

          • Miles says:

            The Seahawks are pretty much in win now mode though. What good is it to trade a present commodity for a future commodity when our prime championship years are this year and next, most likely. The future doesn’t exist right now as far as I am concerned. We need to build for now.

            And honestly, how realistic is it that the window will close if Russell Wilson stays a Hawk. He is an elite QB now or at least borderline elite and can lead us to the promised land without a star-studded cast. That’s just my opinion.

  21. Brad says:

    Hey Rob, most years, usually when Schneider trades away a first round pick, he talks about how many players the Seahawks feel actually have a first-round grade.

    Maybe because it’s so early in the draft, there seems to be very little consensus about individual player rankings. Judging by an assortment of mock drafts, a bunch of players are either really overvalued, or really undervalued. Evaluators really seem to settle players into spots post combine.

    It makes me wonder though, how many players the Seahawks would value, as pure first round grades? It also makes me wonder, as someone who I really respect for your Seahawks-specific player evaluations, how many true first round talents do you see in this draft?

    I always appreciate your insights – Thanks for the regular draft updates Rob!

    • Rob Staton says:

      When I looked at this in November or December I guessed in the late teens for R1 prospects — however, I know my opinion has changed a lot since then. I will do another article covering this very soon.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I would say that this year’s R1 crop seems unusually deep. We all follow Rob’s take on this closely (obviously or we wouldn’t be here day after day). But right now it kind of feels about 22-23 deep. And we still have yet to see the combine shake out. Figure you lose a couple to bad testing/measurements. But add about 5-7 for good testing.

      Now Seattle has said repeatedly that their board is generally set before the combine. But I take that to mean that they already have a strong idea of how guys are likely to test to begin with. For us on the outside it’s often times more of an eye opener.

      This draft kind of feels like a 2013 draft. Good players to be had in the 25-31 range. In particular good guys that we are needing in that range.

      • purpleneer says:

        I think they do have a good idea on most, but I doubt even if they didn’t that they would make dramatic shifts in grades on anyone in the first couple rounds. Teams who change their grades much based on the combine testing (not medical check or interviews) make a lot of mistakes and anyone who has much tape against decent competition should have their grade pretty much set by how they look actually playing the game.
        The statement I have an issue with here is this “Figure you lose a couple to bad testing/measurements. But add about 5-7 for good testing.” I can’t see that much change on a good team’s board due to testing numbers, even though some bad teams will do it.

  22. Ukhawk says:

    Pauline has Martin as Rd 1/2 and Kelly as Rd 3

    Jeremiah has only Kelly in his top 50 at 35. Here’s what he said: Kelly was a three-year starter at center for the Crimson Tide. This is an easy player to evaluate. He has ideal size, toughness and awareness. In the run game, he has quick feet to fit up, turn and wall off defenders. He can create movement against opponents over his nose. He takes excellent angles to the second level and he has the agility to adjust in space. In pass pro, he shoots his hands in tight and steers defenders. He can bend and anchor easily and he’s assignment aware. Overall, this player has Pro Bowl potential and should be ready to start Day 1.

    Curious to know people’s take and whether on can last til Hawks Rd 2 pick.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I see four centers that should be starter grade day 1 in this draft for us:

      1. Martin
      2. Kelly
      3. Allen
      4. Glasgow

      I don’t think it’ll be difficult to make a good upgrade even with our R3 pick. Kelly and Allen to me just seem like they’ll appeal to Cable. Tough and smart interior players. Guys with a nasty edge. Vocal leaders.

      I can see both of them appealing in the ‘locker room fit’ category. They aren’t SPARQ dudes. I’m not sure exactly how that will apply for us given the constraints of what we’re looking to add according to Carroll (OL and interior pass rush).

      Generally, we’ve opted for athletic projects with the notion that we’re going to coach them up and they’ll be useful in a year or two down the line. If we’re still looking long term — I would see that would matter. If we’re wanting guys who can compete and contribute in 2016 then I think it’ll come down to more than just testing. Skill and intelligence will play a bigger part.

      I think that we already have projects on this roster. And I would guess that we’ll probably add some late round athletic projects in this draft. But if we’re going early it’s to get a guy who won’t have an 18-24 month learning curve.

      I see all four of these guys somewhere in between Travis Frederick (2013) and Weston Richburg (2014) in terms of quality. I like them all better than Marcus Martin and Travis Swenson from 2014. It’s actually pretty rare to see this many good looking centers.

      • Volume12 says:

        Generally, Seatle has drafted athlete’s in the early and later rounds. The mid rounds seem to be guys who are less SPARQ-y. However, that’s not always the case, nor does it have to be that way.

        Michigan St C Jack Allen appears to be the nastiet of the bunch. A bully or ‘head buster’ if you will.

        As you said, football IQ plays a big part in the O-lineman that TC prefers.

        And while Jack Allen might not be a world class athlete, I think he makes up for and checks off every thing else.

        • Miles says:

          And we can get Allen in the 2nd or maybe even the 3rd round. If that’s who the Seahawks want to target they can use their 1st rounder to bolster the defense or get yet another WR. The latter would be considered a luxury pick though. With Baldwin, Lockett and Graham in the fold, we really don’t need a spectacular 4th WR, especially if PRich comes back healthy.

          I was just thinking about this: PC/JS like to draft based on how much of an improvement it adds to a certain position. Patrick Lewis filled in admirably as our starting center. However, Nick Martin probably would be an improvement. But, by how much? Conversely, if Okung departs, Gilliam likely moves to the left side. That leaves Britt to play RT barring a better player gets involved. Shon Coleman, if available, would be a vastly bigger improvement on Britt than Martin would be on Lewis.

          Thus, by the strategy of drafting for most improvement at a given position, the addition of Shon Coleman would be more valuable to the Seahawks than Nick Martin.

        • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon says:

          Not to undermine the philosophy of the FO over the last few drafts- but maybe they could give that whole athletic upside/sparq of the charts mindset. These freak athletes are not panning out- although Irvin did find a way to contribute. I for one, am begging them to just draft the best football player at a position of need. Get a Day 1 football player who doesn’t need to learn a new position or who won’t translate to the NFL. Perhaps it is time to buck trends and just get 3 or 4 solid football players in the first couple of rounds.

  23. Old but Slow says:

    It would be interesting to know how McShay and Kiper have done in the recent draft mocks in anticipating what the Seahawks would do. I am not personally site sophisticated in how to dig up this kind of info, but I would be interested to see what someone more skilled could come up with.

    Are these guys just evaluating guys as talent level and not paying much attention to what teams tend to do, or they doing the opposite? Are they forming their drafts on what they would like to see, or on what they expect to see.

    It can be attractive to develop a list of players by skill level, but that would put most of the qb’s in the late 2d or 3d round, in my opinion, but team needs skew the thinking, and the demand for specific talents, like qb, pass rusher, wr, and LT seems to push players too far up the list.

    The Seahawks have some real needs, and Rob seems to have an handle on that. While Martin seems a logical first step of rebuilding the offensive line, I am skeptical that our front office will agree. While they are smart, practical, and have shown some brilliance, they have taken some odd shots at their early picks, and I don’t expect anything different this year. I only have hope that they continue their brilliance with the later picks and we can find some real contributors in this draft.

  24. […] Rob Staton broke down Todd McShay’s mock draft and looked at other options at No. 26. […]

  25. Trevor says:

    This DT draft class reminds me of the WR a couple of years ago when Beckham and Landry etc. came out and we passed on Bitonio to trade back and take PRich.

    If they are going to go against the grain and take a DT early this could be a good year to take one.

    Coleman and Spence have been my choices for our 1st round pick all year and nothing has changed in that regard. Spence will be a top 10 pick most likely now so may as we’ll stop dreaming about that one. If Coleman rises as I expect he will then my next 3 choices for RD #1 Eli Appple, Sheldon Rankins, Spriggs.

    Love Martin but just think a quality Centet can be had in Rd 2 or 3.

    • Volume12 says:

      I agree. I think this year’s DT class is ver similar to 2014’s WR class.

      Personally, I was hoping for AR15 aka WR Allen Robinson or WR Jarvis Landry that year.

      However, once Landry’s SPARQ score was calculated, I knew he wouldn’t be our 2nd rounder.

      Every year under PC/JS, Seattle has drafted freak athletes with upside in the 2nd. Golden Tate, Bobby Wagner, C-Mike, P-Rich, Frank Clark, and even Ali Marpet and Mitch Morse fit into that category.

      • Trevor says:

        I know Landry was a real favourite on this blog and it got me on both him, Martavius Bryant and Allen Robinson. I was really hoping we were going to take Bitonio with pick # 1 and Bryant / Landry with our second pick.

        Looking back it would have been the perfect scenario. Even blind mouse find cheese sometimes.

  26. Volume12 says:

    One guy I like, but don’t is VA Tech’s Dadi Niolas.

    He’s got so much potential and athleticism, yet it doesn’t always show. Plays outta position in a 3-3-5 defense just like Bruce Irvin did. Has the overcoming adversity/growing up early than most, box checked. Matter of fact his upbringing is very ‘Seahawky’ as is his personality. Kind of a ‘I hate the media’ thing, and there’s the Haitian connection.

    Rumored to run anywhere from a mid 4.4 to a 4.63 40, 38″-41″ inch vert, squats 475, has only been playing football for 5 years. Great length too.

    I wanna see his 10 yard split and 3 cone times. He’s another prospect I think that could blow up the combine.

    Might be just me, but I’d be willing to roll the dice on this guy with our 3rd round comp or 4th round pick, if he lives up to his rumored ‘freaky-ness.’ Looks like one of the few OTTO’s in this class.

    • Volume12 says:

      Dadi *Nicolas.

      • Steele says:

        I’ve been pushing the idea of Dadi for a while for his pass rush. He has potential. I see him as a rd.3-4, but as we all know, the combine is going to determine it. Ridiculous freakishness will push him into rd.2.

    • Trevor says:

      He flashes and is athletic but man he has some bad tape. Also seems to have suspect attitude. he is the type of raw athlete the Hawks may see value in where others don’t though.

      • Volume12 says:

        IDK about round 2, that’d be a little high. Maybe if he was statistically coming off the year he had last year.

        The suspect attitude thing. Until we know what was meant by it, like Zach Hodges last year, it could be teams trying to send smoke screens.

        Tape isn’t good, but the traits are there.

  27. Miles says:

    Look at the bevy of talent available to Seattle in this mock. If this is the case, in my mind, Seattle MUST address defensive line by re-signing Rubin and spending to add another DT (Jaye Howard) and at least one other cheap DT. That can free them up to spend the first round pick on either Martin or Coleman. For me, that is IDEAL. Re-sign Jeremy Lane as well and I feel the main components of our offseason would be settled.

  28. Brandon says:

    Kind of off topic, (not really as this still addresses seahawks future) but ian rapoport just broke a possible story on demarco Murray and the eagles being unsure of his status next year. With that being said, im a huge proprietor of the homegrown techniques JS and PC use and we have some gold in rawls. What are your thoughts on a possible FA signing of murray? How would this affect the draft, if at all?

    Also would just like to note that even though it feels like our hawks should still be playing, this site gives me so much hope for the future and especially the next 6-9 months while we wait. So thanks for everything rob! Keep on keepin on man!

    • Miles says:

      Do you really want to spend money on an aging RB that doesn’t know our system when we have a cheap and dynamic runningback in Rawls? The only free agent RB I have my eye on is Matt Forte. He could jump in and be a perfect 3rd-down compliment for us. If we can get him at about $2-3m for one year, that would be really cool. If we are able to retain Christine Michael then we don’t need to draft a RB at all.

      • Volume12 says:

        Forte may cost too much, but he’d be a perfect 3rd down back. Essentially a younger Freddy Jackson.

        Pass on Murray.

        • Miles says:

          We will see Vol.12. I have read Forte’s market will be cool. Either way, I think the Seahawks will field a really good RB unit.

          • cha says:

            Another name to keep an eye on is potential casualty / dump for a late round pick CJ Spiller. He hasn’t done much in New Orleans but has speed, hands, and the ability to step in as #1 back if there is an injury. The wheel route would be a great weapon for him.

            Dream guy for me though would be Chris Ivory. He’s the closest thing style-wise to Marshawn out there (besides Not Fat Eddie Lacy). But he’ll probably be too expensive.

            • Trevor says:

              I love the idea of Spiller as a Vet 3rd down back behind Rawls and Michael.

              Another guy to think about if he is healthy is Reggie Bush. Pete obviously knows him well and you could likely get him on a Vet min deal if we wants to try and get a ring.

            • Steele says:

              Ivory is going to be expensive. Teams like NE will need a guy like him. Spiller, on the other hand, is a scatback change of pacer, a la Sproles, Shane Vereen, etc. For diversity, he would be nice to have.

    • purpleneer says:

      Not remotely interested in Murray. Spiller’s worth exploring

  29. Miles says:

    New mock draft! I am trying to change it up each time. Obviously this is just for fun and not accurate. For example Shon Coleman will not be available at 56.

    26: R1P26
    OLB NOAH SPENCE
    EASTERN KENTUCKY
    56: R2P25
    OT SHON COLEMAN
    AUBURN
    90: R3P27
    G DENVER KIRKLAND
    ARKANSAS
    121: R4P26
    FB GLENN GRONKOWSKI
    KANSAS STATE
    193: R7P4
    C GRAHAM GLASGOW
    MICHIGAN
    215: R7P26
    OLB TRAVIS FEENEY
    WASHINGTON

    • Miles says:

      Just want to point out that I picked Denver Kirkland over Sebastian Tretola in Round 3. Weighing the two, Kirkland just looks like a more intimidating lineman to put at LG than Tretola. He is freakin’ huge. If he can blow people off the line like the Seahawks want, he could be a good pick up to add power and a bullying force on the OL.

      • Steele says:

        Miles, Kirkland is indeed interesting. I’ve seen him floated as a rd.2 or so, ahead of where Tretola is projected.

    • Trevor says:

      Miles if we get Spence and Coleman in Rd #1 and 2 I won’t care who we draft for the balance of the draft it would still be an amazing draft.

      • Miles says:

        So unlikely, but hey-No one really had the foresight to see how great of a pick Lockett was last year. If we knew we could get a player like that in the 3rd, we’d have been banging tables so hard that they crumpled.

    • troy says:

      Since you’re throwing up your wishlist, figured I may as well 😉

      RD1-
      – OT Shon Coleman-
      – DT Andrew Billings-
      – WR Will Fuller-

      RD2-
      – DT Vernon Butler-
      – OT Germain Ifedi-
      – DE/OLB Kyler Fackrell-

      RD3-
      – LB Deion Jones-
      – $LB Miles Killebrew-
      – CB Rashard Robinson-
      RD3-
      – DE/DT Jihad Ward-
      – OG Sebastian Tretola-
      – LB Jordan Jenkins-

      RD4-
      – LB Eric Striker-
      – DE Charles Tapper-
      – OG/OT Joe Haeg-

      RD5-
      – C Jack Allen-
      – LB Victor Ochi-
      – DT Matt Ioannidis-

      RD6-
      – C Graham Glasgow-
      – DT Luther Maddy-
      – WR Mike Thomas

      RD7-
      – DE Ronald Blair III-
      – RB Tyler Ervin-
      – DT Hassan Ridgeway-
      RD 7-
      – OT Fahn Cooper-
      – DT Quinton Jefferson-
      – LB Travis Feeney-

      UDFA

      – DE Greg Townsend Jr-
      – QB Vernon Adams Jr-
      – OT Adam Bisnowaty-
      – QB Trevone Boykin
      – DT Darius Latham-
      – RB Kenneth Farrow-
      – DE Alex McCalister-
      – OT Jordan Swindle-

      • Trevor says:

        Nice list

      • Miles says:

        Thanks for throwing your prospects out there! This is a really cool way for me to get familiar with a lot of the names out there. So Bisnowaty is a projected UDFA now? Was he that bad in the Senior Bowl?

  30. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    New Jon Ledyard scouting report on Paul Perkins. Ledyard gives Perkins a R2 grade, says “the Bruins star could be one of the steals of the draft.”

    http://thedraftwire.usatoday.com/2016/02/04/2016-nfl-draft-scouting-report-ucla-rb-paul-perkins/

  31. Trevor says:

    What do you guys think about bringing in Reggie Bush as a Veteran 3rd down back if he is healthy and will come in on a vet min contract?

    Pete obviously knows him and he might be an ideal fit if he is healthy and is motivated to get a ring.

    • Miles says:

      On vet minimum, you should consider it. The problem is he really didn’t show anything last year and got hurt. I think there are better options out there, even Fred Jackson.

    • cha says:

      He might have some value in the passing game & being a 2nd option for PR & KR if Lockett gets banged up or needs a breather. But as a 3rd down RB who needs to pass block / team leader veteran type I’m not super enthused about it. I’ll trust PC’s instinct to know his guy & utilize his strength but Bush wouldn’t be a secondary FA market pickup at best in my book.

    • purpleneer says:

      Nope

      • bobbyk says:

        No. Also, I think some bridges were burned with Bush with respect to the allegations while at USC that helped in the sanctions of the program.

  32. Miles says:

    On vet minimum, you should consider it. The problem is he really didn’t show anything last year and got hurt. I think there are better options out there, even Fred Jackson.

  33. Volume12 says:

    BTW, someone asked about Indiana’s RB Jordan Howard being a 3rd down back. I had my doubts about that, I always liked this guy, but I’m watching this kid catch passes outta the backfield, he looks no different than Freddy Jackson does catching it.

    JS/PC want to be the bullies on the block again? Pair this cat with Thomas Rawls, who his style is similar too, and Seattle might just have the most physical running game in the league again.

    RB Jordan Howard is day 3 value. Big time.

  34. nichansen01 says:

    Unrelated.. But looking ahead to 2017, who are going to be the top prospects? The ones that stand out in my mind are:

    Jonathan Allen (DE), Tim Williams (LB), Leonard Fournette (RB), Jabrill Peppers (S/CB), Nick Chubb (RB), Myles Garrett (RB), Tradavious White (CB), Cam Sutton (CB), Deshaun Watson (QB), Derek Barnett(DE), Jalen Tabor (CB), JuJu Smith Schuster (WR), Charles Harris (DE), Dalvin Cook (RB), Lewis Neal (DE), Cam Robinson (OT), Royce Freeman (RB), Desmond King (CB), Roderick Johnson (OT), Pat Elfein (G), Jared Davis (LB), Malik McDowell (DT)

    It appears that next years strengths are at safety, corner, running back, linebacker and defensive end. A few good qbs to.