With less than 10 days to go, in this edition of the podcast we run through some of the big talking points and yesterday’s ‘mock draft with trades’. Check it out:
I noticed a few interesting comments in response to yesterday’s mock draft. The general gist was that Germain Ifedi had become ‘our guy’ and that we were ‘overrating’ his talent.
I want to take a moment today to clarify a few things.
This blog is very active during the college football season and not just in the January-April ‘draft months’. We spend a lot of time reviewing different prospects, discussing options and debating team needs.
Among the players we focused on and considered were: Shon Coleman, Will Fuller, Keanu Neal, Derrick Henry and Nick Martin. That’s just a small sample.
When we get this close to the draft — we have a lot more information to hand. We have combine and pro-day numbers to review, we know what the team did in free agency and we know the holes they need to fill.
The reason we’ve projected Ifedi to the Seahawks frequently isn’t necessarily based on a personal assertion that he’s going to be the next Walter Jones. While you may not like the pick or have a certain opinion on Ifedi — it doesn’t mean the Seahawks will agree with you.
Simply selecting the most popular player for the Seahawks and creating a mini campaign for that prospect isn’t something I want to get into. I see on social media almost a cult-like status developing for Ryan Kelly. And yet when we look at Seattle’s draft history under Carroll and Schneider (no pure center’s drafted, focus on explosion) Kelly would be something of an outlier.
The intention is not to create a fervour for one guy and then react to the inevitable disappointment when the Seahawks do something else. The aim of the blog is to review what is most likely — focus on a collection of players without picking favourites and try to understand why they might be drafted by Seattle.
If they go in a different direction — that’s good because we can look at the reasons why.
Yet the selection of Ifedi in this instance is not just a personal fantasy lived out in print form. It’s a pick made because whether you like it or not — it makes sense.
— Our TEF study revealed and helped us to understand Seattle’s focus on explosive athletes on the offensive line. Ifedi ranked #3 only to Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern in weighted TEF.
— Respected Draft Insider Tony Pauline has twice reported interest from the Seahawks in Ifedi, noting recently: “Most people I speak with feel Ifedi is a great fit for the team at the end of round one. The recurring comment is ‘Ifedi is a Seattle Seahawks type of lineman’.”
— The Seahawks have looked for size (320lbs) at right tackle and left guard. Look at J’Marcus Webb, Justin Britt, James Carpenter and Robert Gallery. Ifedi’s physical profile is a perfect match.
— The Seahawks have consistently looked to draft unique traits and athletic upside early. Ifedi has 36 inch arms and jumped 32.5 inches in the vertical and 9-1 in the broad. That’s freaky at 6-6 and 324lbs.
None of this means the Seahawks will definitely draft Ifedi — but I’m sure you can accept why the projection is being made.
From a personal point of view I’d like nothing more than for the Seahawks to draft Shon Coleman. Regulars during the 2015 college will know how highly we rated him, including this piece from mid-October titled:
‘Is Shon Coleman the best tackle in college?’
You hear a lot about Ronnie Stanley, Taylor Decker, Jack Conklin and a few others.
Not enough people are talking about Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman.
He has everything you want in a NFL starting OT. He’s too powerful for college defensive linemen — when he locks on it’s over. He doesn’t get beat with the bull rush. He drives people off the ball in short yardage situations. He has that nasty element to his game you want to see — and he LOVES to get to the second level. He can kick-slide with fluidity, takes good angles and he isn’t troubled by speed off the edge. He has a very natural shuffle and mirror and he maintains balance at all times.
I’ve watched several Auburn games this season and I’m struggling to find many flaws.
He’s a monster.
Not only is Coleman an inspirational human being — his attitude in beating cancer is positively fantastic. Watch this video below:
This quote stands out every time I hear it:
“When I found out it (cancer) was in remission I knew it was time to get back to business.”
The words are said with a confident nod and a steely look in his eye. No thoughts other than ‘get me my pads’.
His tape, in my view, is fantastic. Punishing, physical. He frequently speaks about his passion for run blocking. No offensive lineman in this draft plays with his edge. He’ll dump you on your ass before leaning over to tell you it’ll happen again on the next play. In pass protection he handled Texas A&M’s sensational edge rusher Myles Garrett just as well as Laremy Tunsil did.
Here’s Coleman blocking possible top-15 pick Leonard Floyd into the parking lot despite playing with a torn MCL:
Auburn left tackle Shon Coleman vs Georgia's Leonard Floyd. Drives him off the screen. First round lock. pic.twitter.com/uoqZdXlKun
— Rob Staton (@robstaton) November 14, 2015
In so many ways he is an ideal Seahawk. Grit, passion for the game, overcoming extreme adversity, physicality, attitude, run blocking.
If the Seahawks draft Coleman I’ll make my wife give me a high-five.
The problem, however, is that Coleman is recovering from a torn and repaired MCL. The Seahawks just let an often-injured Russell Okung depart for Denver. Are they going to take a chance on a player that has endured the most terrifying health problems already in his career and now has a knee injury?
Especially when there are alternatives that are younger, with as much upside and are currently healthy?
These are the things I have to consider when putting together a mock draft. It doesn’t mean I don’t want them to draft Coleman or that I prefer him over Ifedi.
My best case scenario is probably similar to a lot of people’s. In fact even those who want to go in a different direction will probably approve of my ideal draft:
— Add explosive, physical, tough, punishing linemen on both sides of the ball in rounds one and two
— Find a way to add one of Vernon Butler, Sheldon Rankins or Jonathan Bullard
— Hopefully they’re satisfied with Shon Coleman’s health and draft him too
— Find a running back who can compete for snaps immediately with Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael
— Increase the competition and quality of the O-line with at least one, maybe two extra additions in the middle/later rounds
— Add a big, athletic, physical receiver in rounds 4-5 to compliment the quicker options they already have
— Draft a hybrid secondary prospect (or two) on day three with major athletic upside and see if they can play safety/linebacker/deathbacker
In this scenario you’re getting an amped up, explosive defensive lineman who can play DE and DT. Players gravitate to Butler and he was the heart and soul of the Louisiana Tech defense. Bullard likewise has amazing character and plays with a major chip on his shoulder.
Rankins is the most explosive defensive lineman in the draft based on our research.
Coleman loves to hit people in the mouth and bully linebackers at the second level. He’s a terrific run blocker with a desire to play in a scheme like Seattle’s. He can also slot in at left guard or right tackle.
The rest is straight forward — help at RB, WR, DB/LB and more competition on the O-line.
However — I make this projection without any knowledge on Coleman’s knee injury or what his physical profile is (he hasn’t worked out). I don’t know whether Butler lasts until #26 — Rankins almost certainly won’t.
So we work from the information we do have — and what might be likely or possible.
If it was down to me the Seahawks wouldn’t have traded for Percy Harvin in 2013 and would’ve taken DeAndre Hopkins — in this piece I talked about how he was a legit top-20 talent:
Time to start a new bandwagon. A DeAndre Hopkins shaped bandwagon.
Without any doubt at all, he’s a stud. Any doubts about this guy need to be firmly removed following an incredible solo-performance against mighty LSU yesterday. He’s a top-20 talent who may go later… and a smart team will be ready to capitalise.
Or they might’ve gone for Kawann Short with their pick at #25 — who we declared should’ve been on their radar in round one:
Nobody should panic if Kawann Short is the best defensive tackle available when the Seahawks are on the clock. He’d be a fine choice with the #25 pick.
Ultimately the Seahawks drafted neither and went for the upside and fireworks of Harvin. Yet if you disagree with that move and other subsequent moves — you take away one of the main reasons this team has succeeded with personnel. Their desire to find special talent they can develop is what brought Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and others to this roster.
We have to project what they might do — not what we hope they do. So if Ifedi is the pick at #26 in our final mock draft (FYI I haven’t decided yet) it won’t necessarily be because we think he’s gods gift to pass protection (although I do think his tape is better than some people are willing to give him credit for).