Kyler Fackrell’s identical twin
Here’s an interesting note. Yesterday we mocked Kyler Fackrell to the Seahawks in round two. Look at this comparison with Obum Gwacham, drafted by the Seahawks a year ago seemingly as a Bruce Irvin hedge:
Kyler Fackrell measurables
Obum Gwacham measurables
The difference between the two is one pound in weight and Fackrell’s split is 0.04 seconds quicker. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re wondering whether Fackrell could be a target for the Seahawks.
By the way, the tape above is another exclusive video you won’t find anywhere else. Thanks to our man Justin P for some great work yet again.
They love freaky D-line athletes
Only two players have had a quicker short shuttle than Frank Clark at the combine since Pete Carroll joined the Seahawks in 2010 — Alex McCallister (2016) and Bruce Irvin (2012). Clark had the #1 short shuttle (4.05) in 2015 and the second best three cone (7.08). He also had an explosive 38.5 inch vertical — fifth best by a defensive lineman since 2010.
Basically, he is the definition of a NFL freak.
So how does Clark compare to arguably this years closest version — Emmanuel Ogbah? They are similar in size (6-3, 271bs vs 6-4, 273lbs). Ogbah’s 4.63 forty beats Clark’s 4.79 handsomely. Yet in the explosion and agility tests Clark is far better. Ogbah’s 35.5 inch is three inches shorter, his three cone is 7.26 vs 7.08 and look at the difference in the short shuttle — 4.05 vs 4.50. That’s significant.
Nobody in this class gets close to Clark’s combination of size and agility. Shaq Lawson managed a 4.21 in the short shuttle and a 7.16 in the three cone. That, plus a reasonable 1.64 ten-yard split, is the likely reason some are projecting him as a top-15 pick.
Clark’s combination of freaky size and athleticism is exactly the type of thing the Seahawks have looked for in the early rounds. This was clearly evident in the two trades for Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham — plus the 2012 selection of Bruce Irvin.
Nobody in this class has that type of talent. So if you’re hoping to see an EDGE drafted early as opposed to a SAM/DE or a DE/DT, you might be disappointed. It might be one of the reasons they look instead to a guy like Fackrell or a DE base/DT nickel hybrid.
What about defensive tackles?
Looking at the best defensive tackle performers in the three cone between 2010-2014 provided some interesting results:
Nate Williams — 6.99
Fletcher Cox — 7.07
Brandon Bair — 7.07
Vaughn Meatoga — 7.10
Aaron Donald — 7.11
Nick Fairley — 7.14
Tyson Alualu — 7.15
Mike Martin — 7.19
Jared Smith — 7.20
Ndamukong Suh — 7.21
Jared Odrick — 7.22
Kerry Hyder — 7.23
Derek Wolfe — 7.26
Tydreke Powell — 7.31
Jaye Howard — 7.32
Gerald McCoy — 7.32
Geno Atkins — 7.33
Marvin Austin — 7.33
Billy Winn — 7.37
J.R. Sweezy — 7.40
Sharrif Floyd — 7.40
The Seahawks drafted three of this list and converted two of them to offensive linemen. It’s not overly surprising when you look at the top 2016 O-line performers in this test. Tyler Johnstone and Jake Brendel rank joint first with a 7.31. Cody Whitehair is at #3 with a 7.32.
Jared Smith, a D-line to O-line convert project, ran a 7.20. There’s the difference in athleticism between defense and offense that everybody talks about.
It’s why Justin Zimmer might be a candidate to be their latest convert — if they can see beyond his shorter arms. Zimmer reportedly ran a 7.01 at his pro-day. Joel Heath — another player we’ve discussed as a possible O-line convert, ran a 7.44 — very similar to J.R. Sweezy.
If the Seahawks place a premium on the agility tests (three cone, short shuttle) — Bronson Kaufusi’s 7.03 at 6-6 and 285lbs compares well to the top names listed above if you consider him a candidate to work inside and out. He also had an excellent 4.25 in the shuttle.
Jonathan Bullard ran the best three cone for a defensive tackle this year at 7.31 which is comparable to Gerald McCoy and Geno Atkins. Sheldon Rankins managed a 7.44.
Why the short shuttle is important at DT
I was asked recently about Jordan Hill’s athletic profile. Looking through the numbers today brought up an interesting statistic.
Hill ran a 4.51 in the short shuttle. Here are some comparisons from this years class:
DeForest Buckner: 4.47
Emmanuel Ogbah: 4.50
Jonathan Bullard: 4.56
Sheldon Rankins: 4.59
Kenny Clark: 4.62
Javon Hargrave: 4.70
Hill only managed a 22.5 inch vertical and a 5.23 forty. His excellent short shuttle, 33.5 inch arms and big hands were likely what convinced the Seahawks to spend a third round pick.
Jaye Howard probably isn’t considered a major athlete by fans either as they recall the fourth rounder spent on him back in 2012. He actually had a 4.47 short shuttle. Again, look how that compares to the top performers in this draft class.
It’s not a definitive review of what they look for in an interior pass rusher — but they haven’t drafted many interior rushers since Carroll took over. The two best examples we’ve got suggest the short shuttle is imperative.
There aren’t many good short shuttle times among this much hyped DT group. As intriguing as Javon Hargrave is based on tape — he had one of the poorer shuttle’s (4.70), he only has 32 inch arms and his mitts are an inch shorter than Hill’s.
That said, Hargrave’s vertical is 12 inches higher and he ran a much quicker forty.
Perhaps Hargrave’s explosive jump and sprint are as intriguing as Hill’s great short shuttle? That’s one possibility. The other is they really value those short shuttle times and zone in on short area quickness and agility. If that’s the case, they might be more likely to focus on Bullard (4.56), Willie Henry (4.53) and Ronald Blair III (4.53) to boost the interior line. All three can work the DE-DT position we’ve been talking about.
On the subject of DE-DT’s…
Cassius Marsh had the second best short shuttle in the 2014 draft (4.25) second only to Jackson Jeffcoat (4.18) who the Seahawks signed as an UDFA. Marsh’s 7.08 three cone ranked third, again just behind Jeffcoat. Marsh’s two agility tests were better than Aaron Donald’s and Jadeveon Clowney’s.
If you’re wondering why he’s a candidate to switch permanently to SAM linebacker — there’s your answer.
If Frank Clark and Bruce Irvin weren’t evidence enough of this team pining for freaky athleticism and agility — Marsh is another classic example.
What about the offensive line?
We talked recently about the possible importance of agility due to Russell Wilson’s willingness to improvise. Yet since Wilson was drafted in 2012 the Seahawks have not selected any of the 15 best O-line performers in the short shuttle or three cone at the combine.
Indeed, Justin Britt had lousy times in both tests (8.14 three cone, 4.69 short shuttle).
However, that doesn’t mean the Seahawks haven’t recently focused on greater mobility on the O-line.
Kristjan Sokoli — who the Seahawks converted from defense to center — ran a 7.25 three cone and a 4.36 short shuttle.
Garrett Scott — a 2014 draft pick — ran an excellent 7.09 in the three cone and a 4.40 in the short shuttle. He wasn’t invited to the combine.
Earlier we highlighted Jared Smith’s 7.20 in the three cone. He was another defense-to-offense project.
There’s a number of names on the list from last year that theoretically could’ve been targets for Seattle. Jake Fisher, Ali Marpet, Cameron Erving and Ty Sambrailo were off the board before Seattle’s pick. All four ranked in the top-five in the three cone in 2015. Mark Glowinski, who the Seahawks did draft, ranked sixth.
Even Terry Poole managed a 7.66 three cone which is similar to Jack Conklin and Joe Dahl.
Athleticism and mobility, based on the 2015 class, might be a greater focus. And if you believe they were interested in Marpet or Sambrailo — then you’ll be invested in the possibility of Cody Whitehair, Joe Haeg or Connor McGovern being options.
The knock on Whitehair is they haven’t drafted a single offensive lineman with sub 33-inch arms in the Carroll/Schneider era.
The broad jump might be the measurable they focus on more than most based on recent history. Since 2012, Mark Glowinski and Terry Poole rank in the overall top-15 among offensive lineman (both jumped a 9-5). In this years class only Jason Spriggs beat that with a 9-7.
Joe Haeg jumped a 9-3, Cody Whitehair a 9-2, while Germain Ifedi, Joe Dahl and Connor McGovern all jumped a 9-1. Whitehair (1.73), Haeg (1.75) and McGovern (1.72) also had good 10-yard splits for their size — with McGovern adding a massive 33 inch vertical.
It’s another tick in the box for some of these potential targets. At least a couple of these players might be playing in Seattle next season.
Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark hasn’t completed a three cone or short shuttle due to a hamstring injury. He could also be in the reckoning.