Ogbuehi suffers torn ACL, Stanley staying & random thoughts

January 13th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Cedric Ogbuehi faces a challenging comeback from injury — how much will this impact his draft stock?

It’s been revealed Texas A&M left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi suffered a torn ACL in the Liberty Bowl. Ogbuehi had a rough season. He struggled to adjust to the blindside after a good year at right tackle in 2013. Unlike Jake Matthews (who made a similar switch the year before) he just looked flat out bad at times — giving up nearly double digit sacks. Bob McGinn recently quoted an unnamed scout suggesting he was “soft” and “never practices”.

I wouldn’t want to draft Ogbuehi in round one — even before the injury. Not even to play right tackle. But the physical upside is so high (as evidenced in 2013, when he handled Dee Ford among others) — someone would’ve done. There are better options out there, more reliable options — even if nobody touches on the extreme value Joel Bitonio provided last year.

Would I redshirt him as a later draft pick? Possibly. It depends how legit the “soft” and “never practices” concern is. If you can trust the guy to do what it takes to get back — then you consider it. Personally I’d rather look elsewhere for O-line depth.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Stanley has opted to stay at Notre Dame for 2015. Andrus Peat (T, Stanford) & Ereck Flowers (T, Miami) are the top-two blindside blockers in this class for me. They share similar traits — solid in pass protection, capable of a little technical enhancement. They both lunge occasionally and get intro trouble. But they’re both long with a great punch, they’re both light on their feet. They should both go very early. T.J. Clemmings (T, Pittsburgh) flashes greater upside but has such limited experience at tackle and you never know how that’ll translate. He could be a long-term fit at guard.

Here are some quick-hitting thoughts. I’m contemplating doing another mock draft tomorrow:

— The more I watch Eli Harold (DE, Virginia), the more I think he could end up in the top ten. He’s long, he’s lightning fast. He converts speed to power better than I first considered. He’s got a repertoire. He’s going to tear up the combine as a former 5-star recruit. He’s not the finished article, but he really is about as good as it gets in terms of a D-end you bring in to develop.

— On the other hand, I think Bud Dupree (DE, Kentucky) might last a little longer than I first imagined. He’s an excellent player, don’t get me wrong. But he’s not the best rounding the edge as a pure rusher. He frequently struggles to turn the corner, being guided away from the QB by the tackle. Is he a natural edge rusher? He’s at his best working in space, fighting to the ball carrier. He has a knack of being in the right place to make a play. But he’s not a sack artist and probably won’t be at the next level. He might be best working as a linebacker hybrid. He’s athletic enough. He should still go in the top-25 and will be enticing to 3-4 teams.

— Dante Fowler Jr (DE, Florida) is the best all-round defensive player in the class. What a playmaker.

— Jordan Phillips (DT, Oklahoma) is a monster in terms of size and athleticism — but he can do a better job absorbing double teams and taking advantage when he’s blocked 1v1. His hand-technique can be better to disengage. He can be coached. A ton of teams are going to love the opportunity to get this guy right. Size, speed, power, playmaking qualities. He has every chance to go in the top-15. Phillips, Eddie Goldman (DT, Florida State) and Malcom Brown (DT, Texas) should go quickly.

— The more I watch Jaelen Strong (WR, Arizona State), the less I understand the first round hype. He doesn’t look particularly sudden or athletic. He can jump — you can see the family ties to basketball. But he’s not particularly big or fast. He knows how to box off defenders but 1v1 he doesn’t always win — he doesn’t eat up a cushion, turn the defender or create separation with an explosive break. He admitted when he arrived at Arizona State that he’d never lifted before and was working on core strength. I think we’ll see a decent vertical at the combine, but not a great forty or bench. I think round two seems reasonable, especially with 3-4 other receivers likely to find a home in round one.

— Danielle Hunter (DE, LSU) is pretty overrated. Great athlete, yes. Great football player? Not at all. He shows absolutely nothing in terms of technique as a pass rusher. He’s just a bull in a china shop. More often than not he ends up easily blocked and jumping to try and deflect the pass. I don’t think I’ve seen him produce one good edge rush in three games. He has no sense for the ball carrier. He has great length — he has a ridiculously low body fat percentage despite weighing 240lbs. He’ll no doubt perform well at the combine but he’ll need a ton of work.

— On the whole Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon) debate, I think it comes down to this. Are you a creative-minded coaching staff, willing to accentuate his skill-set and work towards a system that emphasizes scrambling, ball control and some read-option elements? Or are you stuck within conventional wisdom — determined to force a quarterback to sit in the pocket and throw +30 times? Mariota needs to be a point-guard. We aren’t talking about a conventional pocket passer. Tampa Bay needs to work out what kind of team it wants. And if they just want a big and strong quarterback chucking bombs — they aren’t going to get it with Mariota.

55 Responses to “Ogbuehi suffers torn ACL, Stanley staying & random thoughts”

  1. Matt says:

    Rob, what do you think would be an accurate NFL comparison to Bud Dupree?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Very difficult question. For me he’s a less explosive version of Irvin. Could play linebacker and work on rush downs. Not the same kind of athlete, but maybe a little more polished and ready to start.

      • Dan says:

        Am I wrong to think of him similarly to Courtney Upshaw? I haven’t seen a ton of Dupree, but that’s who he reminded me of. Sturdy build, solid rusher but not dominant off the edge, just a good football player.

        • Volume 12 says:

          No, that’s not a bad comp. Dupree doesn’t WOW me so to speak. Also doesn’t seem to posses great length. When I watched him this year, on some plays it’s like he jogs to the pile or ball carrier.

          What about his teammate DE/OLB Za’Darius Smith? Mid round type guy, is there any appeal there though?

          That DT they had Melvin Lewis may be a really solid late day 3 pick though.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Fair comparison. Slightly better runner, less size (not as thick).

  2. Volume 12 says:

    Here’s some under the radar type guys who intrigue me on the OL. In no way am I saying these guys are high draft picks, just some depth picks, projects, but eventual starters or guys who could surprise and end up starting.

    TCU OT Tayo Fabujule: 6’7, 340 lb.- This kid is massive, great wingspan, raw but with a ton of potential.
    Kentucky OT Darrian Miller: 6’5, 295 lb.- Great athlete for the position, moves extremely well, tough as nails, and pretty versatile.
    Louisville OG John Miller: 6’3, 315 lb.- Doesn’t have great size, but is a flat out road grader. Great run blocker, good technician, plays with some attitude/nastiness.
    West Virginia OG Quinton Spain: 6’4, 332 lb.- Again flat out road grader, good run blocker. Reminds me of OL Michael Bowie and OG James Carpenter if they were mixed together, raw.
    Arkansas OT/OG Brey Cook: 6’6, 316lbs.- This guy is ‘country strong,’ comes from coaches who always produce NFL O-lineman. Can play inside or outside, flat out nasty.

    • bigDhawk says:

      I like Fabuluje. He had a solid season on a TCU squad that probably should have been competing for the national championship. Some character concerns though. Here’s a good article on him from a local Fort Worth newspaper:

      http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/mac-engel/2014/08/a-big-key-to-tcus-qb-situation.html

      • Volume 12 says:

        Thanks bigD, I’ll check it out.

        As a side note, Wisconsin OL John Moffitt and former OK St/JUCO school OL Michael Bowie also had character concerns didn’t they?

      • Volume 12 says:

        All that transferring shit is pretty strange.

        If his true passion is football, this kid is a fantastic prospect. Moves better and more athletic than Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio. Seems like he has that nasty attitude needed to play on the OL.

        To be fair to Tayo Fabujule though, don’t his parents live in a war torn part of Nigeria that the terrorist group Boko Haram rule over? Tough to focus on a game if that is the case.

  3. TwistedChopper says:

    Eli Harold is starting to remind me a bit of what happened in the 2013 draft with Barkevious Mingo and Ziggy Ansah. Both of these guys were really unpolished guys coming out of school, but shot up the draft board because they projected as possibly elite pass rushers with the combination of measurables and getting good coaching for technique.

    Mingo has been a disappointment as a pass rusher, but otherwise has become about a league average player and Ziggy has had a bit more success (15.5 sacks in 2 years) although not yet up to his potential of where they drafted him.

    Harold is more comparable to Mingo in terms of size. I don’t remember Mingo super well other than the fact that I wasn’t very high on him because he completely disappeared in games at times and didn’t really make good use of his speed because he really only knew one move (straight to beat guys around the edge). I like Harold a lot more and he seems to have just overall better football sense (that thing where the guys seems to always be around the football).

    What do you think of this Rob/community? Do you think teams will reach for Harold because of the need/hardness to find elite pass rushers and what Harold could turn into?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think I see a bit of Brian Orakpo in him, with maybe more upside potential. Ansah was very raw with tools, I think Harold is a better speed rusher with slightly less bulk. Mingo comparison is fair in terms of the type of gritty, speed rusher he can be. I think any self respecting defensive coach needing a pass rusher is going to want to work with Harold. More so than a lot of the other pass rushers in this class.

      • TwistedChopper says:

        This is really an intriguing class of potential DE/OLB at the top of the board. If Harold does indeed move into top 10 that might mean 4 or 5 DE/OLB drafted in the top 10.

        Others being Gregory, Leonard Williams, and Fowler (lots of people high on Shane Ray as well)

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing (shades of 2013) – Owa Odighizuwa reminds me of Ansah, only with more experience.

      • Volume 12 says:

        If we’re talking about the next potential DE Ziggy Ansah, check out Oregon St DE-LEO Obum Gwacham. Former WR, L.A. kid, fantastic speed and length, high character, extremely raw, but as I mentioned may be this year’s Ziggy Ansah. Not as talented and more of a 3rd round type guy, Exciting prospect.

  4. Kyle says:

    Hi Rob, have you seen any tape on Darren Waller (WR) out of Georgia Tech? I noticed some of the analysts talking about him at the Shrine game practices. Do you think he might be a big-bodied option for the Hawks?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think his size is the most appealing aspect. Not a great athlete to be honest. Looks like a later round type. I noticed some talk today he might turn into a project TE at the next level.

  5. cha says:

    Agree on Mariota, Rob. He had a TD throw that was very RW-like. Scramble out, draw the defender to him, and then flip it to the open man the defender just dropped. He’s got a great skillset for those type of plays and if the Seahawks win the SB again, maybe the league will wake up to the value of using Mariota’s skill set that way.

  6. TwistedChopper says:

    Excited for you to possibly do a mock draft tomorrow Rob. I always like looking at different ways that the board could fall. Drafting really is an art and the idea that guys could slide because they only fit a couple teams scheme really seems to play a role.

    I personally think the top 12 or so of the draft this year will be incredibly exciting. As of right now there isn’t any consensus #1 with the guy most often mocked there having a below average game in the NCAA Championship (ya, it was mostly because of LOS issues).

    One part that I think will be very interesting is the lack of top end QBs (subjective I know) and the complete lack of depth at QB after the top 2 guys. Also, it seems more teams than normal don’t need a QB in the top 12 picks. The Bucs, Titans, and Jets project as the only “QB desperate” teams to me there and most of that is because of other earlier picks of QBs not working out (Mike Glennon/Josh Freeman, Jake Locker, Geno Smith).

    However, there are some teams who you look at who could surprise with a QB selection. Yes, the Bears just invested (unfortunately) a lot of money in Jay Culter, but they might be looking for a replacement. The Jags, Raiders and Vikings just drafted guys last year who look to show a little promise (emphasis on “a little”), but you never know. The Redskins and Rams both have super high draft picks at the QB spot who just can’t seem to be health and underperform even when healthy. That just leaves the Falcons and Giants as teams that probably won’t look at the QB position at all.

    However, because of the lack of depth at this position and teams only in marginal need of QBs at the top of the draft, this might make for a lot more unknowns going into the draft. Generally the top 10 is hard to predict, this year it’s probably going to be damn near impossible.

      • Cysco says:

        I think this will be one of those years where you see movement back into the tail end of the first round by teams wanting to take a QB.

        Teams like STL and Chicago probably won’t be willing to spend a high first on a player like Brett Hundly or Bryce Petty, but a late first? Why not take the flyer? I could also see ARZ looking to take a QB early this year. They saw what life without Palmer was like this year and it wasn’t pretty. Don’t they need to start thinking about life after their 35yo QB?

        There may only be two QBs worthy of a first round grade in the draft, but that won’t stop teams from drafting QB late in the first in order to get that extra year of control.

        What does that mean for Seattle? Who knows. It just makes the second half of the draft that much harder to predict. Hopefully it means pushing a player down the draft board that would have otherwise gone earlier.

  7. Johnny says:

    Rob, do you think there’s any chance the ‘hawks take a flyer on DGB? I understand the ref flags and I would not bothered in the slightest if we passed on him, but his physical tools are undeniable. I guess my question is, if we were to draft him, what’s your opinion on how well Carroll and Co. can “control” him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think any receiver they draft early will need to be the type they can trust 100%. The type who will grow and develop along with Russell Wilson. The type who will share his passion for the game, share his work ethic. Look to strike up a genuine chemistry. I just cannot see them believing that guy is DGB. And if the rest of the league passes before Seattle is on the clock — he has serious issues. I see it like this — he’ll either be long gone or probably not worth having.

  8. Ross says:

    I don’t understand the stigma against mobile, athletic quarterbacks anymore. It’s been shown repeatedly that they can be successful. RGIII’s problem was a complete unwillingness to protect himself, and, at least recently, Kaepernick’s problem was an almost complete change of direction in offensive philosophy that exposed his weaknesses and provided little to no support. With the right system Mariota can be really good. I hope he’s picked by a team that wants to extenuate his strengths and build around him. I hope to god he’s not picked and shoe-horned into being a total pocket passer, because that would just be a waste of his ability.

  9. James says:

    Rob, what is your analysis of Luke Willson as a potential SE? After watching the Seahawks – Panthers game, and seeing how effective Benjamin was even though he is a weak route runner… just simply because of the mismatch his size causes — and how fast Willson is, and watching him often line up wide — what if he dropped 10 lbs and moved to SE?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’s ideally suited to playing TE. I’m not sure he’s sudden enough as a route runner, or agile enough. For example, he’s not going to chew up a cushion and explode into a break. I’m not convinced any self respecting corner is going to get beat deep by Willson. But match him up over the middle against a linebacker and he’ll win a lot of battles.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        He’s a tough one to figure out. If you look only at his measurables (including his pro day results), you’d think he’s the answer to SEA’s receiving needs.

        And yet, he looks like he runs routes in rubber boots, and at times, he tries to catch like he’s wearing oven mitts. He has straight line speed, but as you say, he lacks suddenness. He also doesn’t seem to have much elusiveness, or a sense of finding that soft spot in coverage, and he doesn’t catch well in tight windows.

        He’s tough and selfless as a blocker, even if he’s not the greatest at it. He can catch if you put him in space (which he usually is whenever covered by a LB) and if you hit him in stride, he can run away from some defenders. He improved considerably in 2014.

  10. kevin mullen says:

    If Tampa is willing to take a little “Texas A&M” playbook/offense, they already have Evans there ready to go. If we just replaced Johnny Football with Mariotta, Evans is more than apt to provide the scramble drill that he’s probably accustomed to.

  11. MJ says:

    Rob –

    What are your thoughts on Phillip Dorsett? I think he is a guy who is definitely in play at the back end of R2. He is smaller, but his speed/agility is otherwordly. From the minimal viewings I have seen, he plays with a pretty good fire and I actually saw him high point some balls despite his lack of size. I think the most appealing trait, is that he really looks like he has a natural feel for route running. This might be blasphemous, but his movement skills and ability to gear up/gear down, remind me a lot of OBJ.

    Just curious what you think. I had heard his name a bit before but finally got around to watching him. I really think he could be dynamite in this offense and I think if he has 2 more inches, I think people would be talking about him as a top 40 pick.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Talk about a big play artist. His ypc is insane.

      Also, he’s battled back from some adversity and shown the type of grit that would mesh with SEA.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Liked WR Phillip Dorsett earlier this year, but as I watched him more and more, there was too much head dropping or shaking of the head. Doesn’t seem to take the game ‘one play at a time.’ It’s almost as if a certain play didn’t go his way, he’d shut down or pout. If he’s bitching about not getting every play called for him, how is he going to be an in NFL offense where he may end up getting 2-3 targets a game? Definitely some diva aspects to his game.

      He is a great athlete, with track star speed.

      • MJ says:

        The speed/agility and the ease in which he can change gears is really, really special IMO. It’s one thing to be Ricardo Lockette fast, it’s another to be able to understand how to vary those speeds to set up a DB. To my amateur eye, it looks like Dorsett does this at a high level.

        I will look more to watch for the Diva stuff. Admittedly, I just loosely watched some of his highlights to see what the fuss was about. Thanks for the insight!

        • Volume 12 says:

          The ability to vary those speeds, change gears, sink his hips in and out of his breaks, and turn the hips of the DB that’s covering him, is one the main reasons I think Baylor WR Antwan Goodley is a perfect fit for this team. Bigger, stronger, and barely slower than Dorsett.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Track star — legit 4.2/4.3 runner. Major big play threat. I haven’t seen the moments Volume 12 mentioned, but the evidence I saw he had that alpha male type attitude I like to see in a WR. Only thing is I’m not sure he’s consistent enough or whether the speed will translate enough to make up for his tiny size. I think he’d be worth a look in the late third or fourth if he’s there.

      • MJ says:

        Thanks Rob…he’s really intriguing. The size is definitely an issue, but man, the speed is for real and he looks very fluid (aka body control). That’s the problem with these track guys (more often than not); they have incredible straight line speed with poor ability to change gears, twist their body, etc to actually adjust to catching a football.

        It’s my biggest fear with a guy like Sammie Coates. Checks every box except “body control” and natural receiving ability. This is the reason I bring up Dorsett (despite the size) is that I don’t see a track guy playing football. I see a football guy who happens to have track speed.

        Great stuff!

  12. UK Hawk David says:

    Hi Rob, loving the site. Quick question – if Kevin Norwood was to be drafted this year (as opposed to last year), where would you project him being selected? Just interested as I know how deep 2014 was for WRs and didn’t know if you thought he would have gone earlier, later, or the same in a ‘normal’ WR class. Cheers.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think in the same range. He was perfect for Seattle really — maxed out limited targets at Alabama, great in the scramble drill. Tough and gritty. A lot of teams wouldn’t be too interested in that given his production was modest and he’s already in his mid 20’s. Seattle was all over it. But those aspects would always keep him in a range where it’d be up to Seattle when they wanted to pull the trigger.

      • UK Hawk David says:

        Thanks Rob; as much as I enjoy looking forward, sometimes it’s nice to reflect. Talking of the future, here’s hoping Norwood can have a big game on Sunday.

  13. hawkfaninMT says:

    Carry over thought from the Devin Smith post…

    When looking at a WR, do you think the Hawks put more weight on a WR that can be a special gunner, or a special KR/PR?

    By that I mean given all other intangibles, measurables, stats, and skills equal out, but WR “A” is a great gunner, and WR “B” has a knack for big plays in the return game… Who do you think they take?

    • Volume 12 says:

      WR ‘B’. The great gunners and ST players are usually reserved for the late part of day 3 in the draft. Yeah, I know PC puts his best players on the field in all aspects, but I’m not so sure that CB Jeremy Lane, WR Ricardo Lockett, LB Brock Coyle, FS Deshawn Stead, etc. are exactly Seattle’s ‘best players.’

    • Rob Staton says:

      Tough one to answer. I think it depends whether Lockette sticks around.

  14. Jason says:

    Any word on Kasen Williams going into the draft?

    • rowdy says:

      I believe he’s a senior and has to. Should be a udfa also

      • TwistedChopper says:

        He didn’t look healthy all year. His limp from breaking his leg break never went away, and he wasn’t a burner the begin with either. UDFA is really the only option for him and he’s going to have to prove that he’s back to full health to stick on a roster.

        • John_s says:

          IMO Kasen needs to look into being an HBack in the Niles Paul/Jordan Reed type. He doesn’t have the speed or quickness to beat CB’s but him working the middle versus LB’s and Safeties, he could be really good

          • Matt says:

            Kasen Williams looked like a shell of himself all season until their bowl game, where he finally looked healthy. He was a big time recruit and had shown some explosiveness and ability to high point the ball prior to this season. I’d be surprised if he was drafted. Could Kasen be the next Kearse in Seattle? It would be great to see! Hope he’s able to show some speed when the combine/pro days come around.

          • TwistedChopper says:

            He’d definitely be interesting a the HBack spot, but he would definitely need to add weight/strength or he’ll get obliterated when trying to block DE’s.

  15. Volume 12 says:

    One potential HB prospect I think is a sleeper and have a feeling that Seattle will be extremely interested in is LSU HB Terrence Magee. Played 2nd fiddle to LSUs no. 1 HB Kenny Hilliard, but has less wear and tear on his tires and much more potential. He didn’t start last year and I’m not sure if he did this year.

    LSU HB Terrence Magee: 5’9, 217 lbs.- 4.5 40 yard dash/ 2014 CFB stats: 112 rush att., 571 yds., 3 TDs, 17 rec., 171 yds. 2013 CFB stats: 86 rush att., 626 yds., 8 TDs.

    This kid is in the Seahawks wheelhouse in terms of height and weight, maybe an inch short, but so what? He’s a great athlete with a really powerful frame, was a former QB in High School and also a former baseball player. Another thing that seems to appeal to Seattle’s FO. He’d have an instant connection to RW.

    He’s a consummate team player, was one of LSUs leaders, and was said to have served as a role model for the under-classmen. He’s a great kid, high character, another one of those ‘yes sir, no sir’ type guys.

    Plays extremely hard, is tough & durable, has great vision and really quick feet, which would enable him to fit into a ZBS team. His awareness is outstanding and helps him contribute to being one of the better pass-protecting HBs in the country. For such a tough runner he’s also very elusive too. Is one of the better pass catching HBs I’ve seen this year and makes guys miss coming out of the backfield. And like Georgia HB Todd Gurley, he’s a pretty enticing return man as well when LSU used him in that role.

    Seattle could take this guy in the late 3rd or in the 4th, even if Marshawn Lynch is there, and bring him along slowly. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Lynch does leave or retire if they still drafted this kid. And we all know Seattle seems to like those prospects out of LSU (such a physical and fast program that plays with attitude). Wanted to bring him to everyone’s attention. Watch out for LSU HB Terrence Magee guys as someone the Hawks might bring into the fold.

    • Matt says:

      Magee is an intriguing late round prospect. If Beast Mode sticks around there’s no reason to draft a 4th RB though. Michael is a high upside, big time athlete who rarely sees the field. I do agree about his prospects just don’t see us taking a RB if Lynch stays. If he leaves, for whatever reason, I’d be on board with Magee. I like Josh Robinson out of Miss St. a lot as a mid round target. IMO

      • Volume 12 says:

        Why? It will basically be a comp pick. ‘Always compete.’ Address a possible need before it becomes an issue. Red-shirt him, stash him, PS him, etc. Always nice to have someone waiting in the wings. Also think Lynch would or does enjoy mentoring the younger backs.

  16. EranUngar says:

    Rob, i just had an idea….

    We let Lynch retire after his 2nd ring, let Miller go (ouch)….we sign Murray for 5M a year…draft Maxx the TE….and we are left with just enough to sign….Fitzgerald till PRich is back to health. Get our 3Pete…and live happily ever after…

    • EranUngar says:

      can you tell my youngest son finished his military service earlier today and we just finish a bottle of single barrel Jack…

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d love a shot at Fitz — I just suspect he has too much respect for Arizona to join another NFC West team. If there’s a chance I hope they go after it.

    • John_s says:

      Murray at 5million? I think he will want more at the very least he will be seeking more guaranteed money than what we would want to give.