The combine is underway with offensive lineman and kickers/punters on board for weigh-ins and interviews. The Seahawks GM John Schneider also spoke to the media in Indianapolis today.
WalterFootball has all the measurements for the offensive lineman at the combine. Kelechi Osemele – an underrated guard and tackle prospect from Iowa State – showed impressive size (6-6, 333lbs) and the longest arms of the group (35 7/8 inches). There’s quite a lot of interior line depth and although there’s not a cluster of talented center’s, Peter Konz is only slightly behind Alex Mack for the best positional prospect since Nick Mangold.
Paul Kuharsky reveals that Austin Davis, Chandler Harnish and Jacory Harris will be the ‘throwing’ quarterbacks at this year’s event. It means the trio will stay for all four work-out days and throw passes during the defensive drills. Davis: ”I was not invited initially; it was a late invitation. I think I throw to the tight ends on Saturday. I’ll go with the quarterbacks on Sunday — I’ll do everything the quarterbacks do. Then I’ll stay here on Monday and Tuesday.”
Ross Jones was present for John Schneider’s press conference. According to Jones, the first quarterback mentioned by Seattle’s GM was Brock Osweiler. Osweiler turning pro came as a shock and many teams may still be going through the tape to get an angle on the ASU quarterback. He’s a unique player and could be set for a major rise up the boards. For me, he’s clearly the third best quarterback in this class.
Clare Farnsworth reports confirmation from Schneider that Marshawn Lynch will remain a Seahawk. An affordable franchise tag of around $7.7m makes keeping Lynch a certainty. ‘Beast Mode’ would rather not be franchised – many candidates for the tag have the same stance – but it seems the most likely scenario right now. Although the Seahawks would like to get a long term deal completed, the fragile nature of the position dictates how much they’d be willing to commit.
Edward Aschoff says Trent Richardson won’t work out at the combine, or Alabama’s pro-day. Instead, he’ll appear before scouts in a personal work-out at the end of March. It’s seen as a precautionary measure after minor knee surgery, but it’s somewhat of a blow with Richardson among the players expected to put on a big display this week in Indianapolis. He’s an elite player and shouldn’t see a big hit to his stock.
Todd McShay ranks the defensive line prospects using different categories. McShay says Quinton Coples is the draft’s best pass rusher, with Jared Crick the best run-stopper. Coples and Michael Brockers are ranked as McShay’s top two defensive lineman.
McShay also looks at outside linebackers and hybrid’s. He ranks Sean Spence (see below) as having the best overall instincts, just ahead of Courtney Upshaw. Zach Brown is credited with the best range versus the run, with Upshaw top for tackling, take-on-skills and third-down capabilities. The final one is crucial regarding the Seahawks - with the team looking to find a player that can offer a similar impact to Aldon Smith in San Francisco.
I’ve added game tape for Sean Spence below from the games against Kansas State and Florida State (thanks to JMPasq). Although undersized, Spence is ideally suited to the WILL and will offer a quick impact in the NFL. He’ll always be somewhat of a liability shedding blocks and helping to set the edge, but if you can provide good run defense up front Spence will offer natural instinct, speed and leadership. He’s underrated because of his size and while he won’t suit every team, Seattle’s big front three and desire for speed at linebacker makes him a very real possibility in round two if he’s still on the board.