Pete Carroll admitted last week the Seahawks are considering adding another pass rusher and he saw a few attractive options in the draft.
So what type of player have they looked at in the past and how does it help us identify possible targets in this class?
Since 2010, the Seahawks have drafted the following EDGE/DE types:
— All of the players ran a sub-4.30 short shuttle. Irvin and Clark both ran sensational times (4.03 and 4.05 respectively).
— Irvin and Clark also ran elite 1.5 10-yard splits. Marsh ran a 1.70 and Gwachum a 1.66. So an elite time doesn’t appear to be critical even if it’s appealing.
— It’s a mixed bag in terms of explosive traits. Irvin (10-3, 33.5), Clark (9-10, 38.5), Marsh (9-6, 32), Gwachum (10-1, 36) all have different results in the broad and vertical.
— The TEF results also vary. Irvin (3.41), Clark (3.25) and Gwachum (3.38) all performed well but Marsh (2.84) was much less explosive. If you’re unfamiliar with TEF or don’t understand why we use it on defensive linemen, there’s an explanation here.
— All of the group had +33 inch arms.
— Three of the four ran a 7.08 or faster in the three cone, with Obum Gwachum running a 7.28.
There are bits of pieces of info here but nothing strikingly consistent apart from arm length.
Now let’s look at the 2017 class…
— No D-line prospects ran a short shuttle anywhere near as good as Irvin or Clark. Carl Lawson had the fastest time at 4.19. Trey Hendrickson (4.20), Solomon Thomas (4.28) and Jordan Willis (4.28) were the only other sub 4.30 runners.
— In terms of 10-yard splits, Jordan Willis (1.57), Haason Reddick (1.59) and Trey Hendrickson (1.59) all ran in the elite 1.5’s. Terrell Basham, Carl Lawson, Takk McKinley and Derek Rivers all ran a 1.60.
— Myles Garrett (4.21), Haason Reddick (3.93), Solomon Thomas (3.83), Jordan Willis (3.70), Ife Odenigbo (3.61), Derek Rivers (3.57), Carl Lawson (3.54) all performed very well in TEF.
— There are over 30 players that topped a 3.00. Here are the prospects who scored a +3.00 with +33 inch arms:
Josh Carraway — 34 1/4
Taco Charlton — 34 1/4
Daeshon Hall — 35 5/8
Tanoh Kpassagnon — 35 5/8
Jeremiah Ledbetter — 34 1/4
Takk McKinley — 34 3/4
Carroll Phillips — 33 3/4
Dawuane Smoot — 33 1/4
Jordan Willis — 33 1/2
Deatrich Wise — 35 5/8
If we isolate this group for now, let’s see how they tested in the short shuttle and 10-yard split:
Josh Carraway — 4.44, 1.72
Taco Charlton — 4.39, 1.70
Daeshon Hall — 4.38, 1.67
Tanoh Kpassagnon — 4.62, 1.69
Jeremiah Ledbetter — 4.56, 1.72
Takk McKinley — 4.62, 1.61
Carroll Phillips — 4.37, 1.64
Dawuane Smoot — 4.39, 1.68
Jordan Willis — 4.28, 1.57
Deatrich Wise — 4.36, 1.70
Considering they haven’t drafted any player with a +4.30 short shuttle, the times by Takk McKinley and Tanoh Kpassagnon (4.62) stand out negatively. Jordan Willis obviously looks like a fit (not a surprise considering he had one of the best combines regardless of position). The times run by Taco Charlton, Daeshon Hall, Carroll Phillips, Dawuane Smoot and Deatrich Wise aren’t particularly troubling even if they’re reasonably below Obum Gwachum’s 4.28.
Can we learn any more using the three cone?
The following players from the list above (33 inch arms, explosive traits) all ran comparatively well to Seattle’s previous draft picks:
Jordan Willis — 6.85
Daeshon Hall — 7.03
Carroll Phillips — 7.06
Deatrich Wise — 7.06
Taco Charlton — 7.17
Dawuane Smoot — 7.18
Josh Carroway — 7.20
The following ran much slower than Seattle’s picks:
Tanoh Kpassagnon — 7.46
Takk McKinley — 7.48
Jeremiah Ledbetter — 7.55
A pattern is more or less forming here. The likes of Jordan Willis, Daeshon Hall, Taco Charlton, Carroll Phillips and Deatrich Wise could be safely on their radar.
That said, there’s not a stand-out piece of data here. Not in the way they’ve consistently taken cornerbacks with size and 32 inch arms. Not in the way they’ve looked at the short shuttle marks at linebacker. Not in the way they’ve highlighted explosive traits on the O-line.
With so many explosive defensive linemen in the class, they might be willing to take one even if their short-area quickness isn’t as good as the likes of Irvin, Clark or Marsh.
The 33 inch arms is a trend but would they really rule out Alabama’s Tim Williams for having 32 3/4 inch arms? Or Derek Rivers? Or Tarell Basham?
And are they willing to look the other way if a prospect runs a really good 10-yard split, such as Trey Hendrickson, Terrell Basham, Carl Lawson, Takk McKinley and Derek Rivers?
These are questions we’ll be able to answer with greater confidence after the 2017 draft (assuming they do add a pass rusher).
It’s also worth considering the rush linebackers. We’ve already highlighted how T.J. Watt and Tyus Bowser compare physically to Khalil Mack. So how do they compare to the D-line class?
— Both have +33 inch arms
— T.J. Watt ran a 4.13 short shuttle, faster than any defensive lineman at the combine (Bowser didn’t run a short shuttle at the combine)
— Bowser (6.75) and Watt (6.79) ran faster three-cone times than any of the defensive linemen
— They both ran elite 1.59 10-yard splits
— Watt (3.64) and Bowser (3.61) both excel in TEF
Essentially Watt and Bowser would fit right in with Seattle’s previous pass rush picks. Sadly, both could go in the top-45.
That’s probably the case for Jordan Willis too. So if adding a pass rusher in rounds 2-3 is a target for the Seahawks — Daeshon Hall, Carroll Phillips and Deatrich Wise are perhaps more likely to land in Seattle.
They could, of course, repeat what they did last year. Move down in round one and then trade up in round two.
By this point you’re also probably wondering about interior rushers. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find them in this draft class.
There are some markers to focus on. The three interior rushers they’ve drafted previously all ran quick short shuttle times for their size:
Jordan Hill — 4.51
Jaye Howard — 4.47
Quinton Jefferson — 4.37
Jordan Hill, the highest interior rusher drafted in the Carroll/Schneider era as a former third round pick, scored a 3.09 in TEF. Jaye Howard only scored a 2.62 and Quinton Jefferson didn’t perform a broad jump.
In the 2017 class, Eddie Vanderdoes ran a 4.39, Ryan Glasgow a 4.50, Jonathan Allen a 4.50 and Malik McDowell a 4.53. These are the quickest short shuttle times among interior defensive linemen.
Only Vanderdoes from the four names above scored a +3.00 in TEF (3.04).
So while a lot of fans are clamouring for another interior pass rusher to be added, it’ll be tough finding one in this class.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on confirmed VMAC visitors, especially any prospects not invited to the combine. It’s a good way to identify potential targets and highly athletic prospects we haven’t discussed here.