D-line vs O-line and thoughts on Baylor’s Andrew Billings

February 4th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Baylor’s Andrew Billings was mocked to the Seahawks by Todd McShay

Do you take a defensive tackle at #26 or begin to improve the offensive line?

A consensus opinion is emerging that the Seahawks are probably going to focus on the trenches in the draft. It makes sense — it’s a good class on both sides of the ball.

So what are some of the things to consider?

Pete Carroll said the priority was fixing the O-line

In the past when Carroll says they’re going to do something — they’ve gone after it aggressively. He wanted to improve the run-game in 2011 so they drafted the best run-blocking tackle in college football (James Carpenter) and a road grader guard (John Moffitt). In 2012 he wanted to add speed to the front seven so they took Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner in the first two rounds. In 2013 they wanted to improve the pass rush so went and added Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril in free agency.

The Seahawks haven’t had a glaring need since. Now they have. Carroll’s apparent determination to produce a consistently performing O-line could be all the information we need when it comes to the #26 pick.

What about the D-line though?

There isn’t anyone quite as disruptive as Kawann Short (pre-draft scouting report here) but it’s a deep class overall at defensive tackle. In a recent two-round mock draft I put nine DT’s in the first two rounds. Some would argue that’s a conservative projection.

This depth should filter into the early third round but then it starts to thin out. Alternatively, you should be able to find good options for the O-line later on. This is a loaded class at center and it’s possible the likes of Joe Dahl (T, Washington State), Fahn Cooper (T, Ole Miss) and the technically deficient with major upside Le’Raven Clark (T, Texas Tech) could be around in the middle rounds.

For that reason you can make a case for going defense first.

So will they go defense?

It depends on who they like. They haven’t really committed to perceived ‘value’ over ‘need’. They clearly liked Carpenter and Irvin a lot and took them earlier than most people expected. In 2014 they needed a tackle and a receiver but passed on several accomplished linemen (including Joel Bitonio) because they just had to have Paul Richardson. By the time they picked at the end of round two — their options on the O-line were very limited. Without a third round pick (Percy Harvin trade) they felt obliged to reach for Justin Britt to make sure they got a guy they liked. The options at receiver remained strong beyond Seattle’s second pick — Donte Moncrief and Martavis Bryant for example remained on the board and Jarvis Landry was taken just before they chose Britt.

Their desire to take Richardson trumped the fact that draft value was telling them to go OT first and WR second.

It doesn’t guarantee anything but history suggests they’ll judge the best way to upgrade their roster, find a guy they like and take them. If that player happens to be an offensive lineman — they probably don’t think twice. Even if they’re able to fill more needs by going defense first.

What kind of player do they need on defense?

They’d like a pass rusher. It’s not a frightening need with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark on the roster. They are potentially losing Bruce Irvin, however, and didn’t get any production out of Jordan Hill in 2015. Essentially they need the next Clinton McDonald or late-2014 Hill.

That’s assuming they retain Brandon Mebane and Athyba Rubin. With Carroll declaring Rubin as the best three-technique they’ve had in Seattle, it’s safe to bet he’ll be sticking around. Mebane earned $5.7m in 2015 and turned 31 in January. He might be willing to agree a team-friendly deal to finish his career with the only club he’s played for.

Keeping both could be important. While they want to upgrade the pass rush, they don’t want to weaken the run defense. Nobody ran for 100 yards against Seattle in the regular season. That’s a big deal.

They need someone who can work into a rotation and make some plays. It doesn’t need to be an every-down pass-rush DT (those are hard to find). It needs to be someone who can do what Hill did late in the 2014 season or McDonald in 2013.

Will this require a first round pick?

Let’s be real here — probably not. Assuming you keep Rubin and Mebane you’re talking about a rotational defensive tackle who plays a certain percentage of the snaps. Is that a good use of resources?

Alternatively you could argue they made a similar pick in round two with Frank Clark last year. Is that an indication they would be willing to take a role-player early? Perhaps — if they have unique traits like Clark (a genuine SPARQ monster).

There are some options later in the draft that could provide some value. Appalachian State’s Ronald Blair III is incredibly disruptive. If he can add another 5-10lbs he could be an interior rusher. He lived in the backfield against Clemson which is no mean feat. Keep an eye on that guy. Ferris State’s Justin Zimmer is another possible diamond in the rough and South Carolina State’s Javon Hargrave has a nice combination of technique and quicks.

What about free agency?

They’ve consistently found value here. Clinton McDonald, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams, Athyba Rubin. All were acquired at a modest price. Are there players who can have a similar impact in 2016? Is there a player who can come in and compliment what they already have?

Looking at the list of current prospective free agents — nobody stands out. Henry Melton hasn’t really been the same since his knee injury. He’s just completed an average season with the Buccs.

There could be a cap casualty or two along the way. A solution might not be evident just yet.

It’s worth noting that when he was asked about adding a pass rusher — Carroll specifically made reference to seeing what the draft provides. Money could be tight in free agency if they manage to keep a large number of their UFA’s. It doesn’t mean they have to take a D-liner at #26 though.

If they were going to go DT in round one, who would they like?

Tony Pauline noted the Seahawks have given a first round grade to Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins. At the Senior Bowl he displayed top-tier quickness, get-off and the ability to use a swim/rip effectively. The top interior pass-rushers in the league have this skill set. He has enough size to be an early-down DT and plays with terrific gap discipline — something the Seahawks value greatly for their run defense. His tape isn’t quite as brilliant as the way he destroyed Graham Glasgow in Mobile — but there’s a skill set and understanding that matches what they like.

Rankins is unlikely to reach the #26 pick. There’s too much talk about him right now. He’s being mocked in the top-10 by some. Pauline also noted Atlanta likes him in round one and they own the #17 pick.

So what about one of the other options?

Today I went back and reviewed three Baylor games to watch Andrew Billings. Yesterday ESPN’s Todd McShay mocked him to the Seahawks at #26.

Clearly there’s a lot to like — I’m just not convinced he’s right for Seattle. He uses his length well to keep blockers off his frame and generally does a good job to disengage. He shows great pursuit — on one play he ran 60-yards to chase down the ball-carrier and prevent a touchdown. Billings gets into backfield quickly and effectively when he finds the space to exploit.

However, therein lies part of the issue. His gap discipline is non-existent. Whether he’s told to or not, he frequently moves laterally off the snap to shift down the line, find a gap and run to the ball. That seems to work against a lot of the spread teams — especially West Virginia, TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. They separate their tackles off the line and almost put them on an island. It’s perhaps not surprising that four of his 5.5 sacks in 2015 came against these teams. Against Oklahoma though he was frequently caught off balance and spent far too much time on the turf.

He seems to use two moves — the bull rush or this lateral movement. Sometimes he’s capable of plowing his way through the LOS with sheer power. That’s what he does very well — and if he wins with initial power he can find the space to explode and finish. Unfortunately there’s little evidence of a quick get-off followed by a swim/rip to burst into the backfield.

At the next level he’s needs to win straight up 1v1. He might be able to do that with power and be an effective force. His use of length, arm extension and upper-body are intriguing. When he isn’t winning with the bull rush, however, he’s going to need to be quick-twitch to be an effective pass rusher and that just isn’t him. Give him space and he’ll finish better than any DT in this class. Finding the space might be the problem — and it did cross my mind whether he might actually be better suited playing the 5-technique to find an angle.

When he’s moving laterally he almost always concedes his gap — allowing running lanes to materialize. I suspect this will concern the Seahawks and will raise some questions — can he be taught to remain tight in-line and can he still be an effective pass rusher in this role? When he’s not able to wing it trying to find a route into the backfield — can he still win consistently? Can he take his game to the next level and learn to win with a get-off and quickness? Or does he end up being a pure one-technique who possibly does all the things Mebane does but doesn’t really provide consistent pressure?

To some extent he reminds me of another former Baylor D-lineman in Phil Taylor. He too was abnormally athletic for his size (he was 20lbs bigger than Billings), had a lot of upper body power and could sprint to the sideline in pursuit. He ended up being the #21 overall pick because of such an enticing skill set. He struggled to adapt to the pro’s and after being released by Cleveland following the 2014 season he hasn’t had another team.

That’s not to say Billings faces the same fate — but Taylor’s skills are reasonably similar. Like Taylor I could easily see him going in the #15-25 range because very strong, athletic nose tackles generally go early.

I’m going to spend time looking at some of the other options too. Vernon Butler (DT, Louisiana Tech) is a player I’m intrigued with because he has shown flashes of winning with quickness as well as possessing great athleticism at 325lbs with 34 inch arms. The comparisons to Muhammad Wilkerson are not ridiculous. I want to review my position on A’Shawn Robinson (DT, Alabama) a player I’m currently grading in round two and feel is overrated. I’ve settled on second round grades for Kenny Clark (DT, UCLA) and Jonathan Bullard (DT, Florida). Clark is a good run-stopper with limited pass-rushing skill. Bullard’s get-off is fantastic and he plays with high intensity — but he looks like an average athlete and appears to have a relatively low ceiling at the next level. Javon Hargrave (DT, South Carolina State) dominated at a small-school level.

I’m not sure there’s a better way for the Seahawks to improve in 2016 than if they sort out the O-line once and for all (particularly the interior). However, the number of good DT’s in the class and the overall depth on the offensive line makes this a debate that will rage on into free agency.

159 Responses to “D-line vs O-line and thoughts on Baylor’s Andrew Billings”

  1. lil'stink says:

    Any thoughts on Tyrunn Walker in free agency? Still fairly young, coming off an injury so he could be relatively cheap. Completely agree that re-signing Rubin and/or Menane and finding a Clinton McDonald type player in FA would go a long way towards giving us flexibility in the draft. Of course, it’s not an easy task to do, but I think it could be a huge key to any success in 2016.

    • C-Dog says:

      I think he’s one to monitor. I think the Lions really liked how he was coming along before he got injured, and may look to hang onto him. However, with this being a potentially very deep draft at DT, players like him might actually hit the market because teams can fill up those spots with rookies with cheaper contracts. Personally, I think Walker could be a player with a lot of upside.

  2. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Excellent points about SEA (1) drafting in accordance with they say they’re going to do, and (2) not being afraid to take their guy even if it seems like a reach. Makes me think Martin is almost an inevitable pick.

    Also, in Rob’s last post about McShay’s mock, I stated my opinion that there are only 2 DTs in this draft that SEA would take at 26 – Sheldon Rankins, and only because they supposedly put a R1 grade on him, and Vernon Butler because he’s physically unique and already plays with the gap integrity that SEA would coach him to do.

  3. Steele says:

    Excellent update, Rob.

    In terms of JSPC’s patterns, I would say that last offseason’s “glaring needs” were special teams, the idea of a big/target (in the wake of the Super Bowl). They went after these aggressively with Jimmy Graham and Lockett. In addition to Lockett, their “gotta have this guy” was obviously Clark, and for them, gone went the upper part of the draft.

    It’s impossible to predict what they will do. Much depends on how they feel about the existing roster. If Cable honestly believes in guys like Glow, Gilliam and Sokoli, if they still think Marsh, Hill, KPL, Pinkins, etc. will bear fruit, then they may go BPA.

  4. bobbyk says:

    Even if the team signs Rubin and Mebane (two guys on the wrong side of 30 when the season starts), you’ve also got Hill in the final year of his contract. This is definitely time to to get a DT if they like one.

    Really, they need to take a lineman in the first round. It shouldn’t have to be OT, OG, C, DT, or DE. Whatever player at whatever position they have ranked the highest should be the pick. If it’s a guard or defensive end, I don’t really care. Just get the best one you can.

    If they take a guy like Fackrell at #26, I wonder if they would double down on DT in the second round? They won’t be able to get on the DT train with their pick in the third round, but they could still get a good guard at that point. This wouldn’t address the OL like we all know they want to do, but it would still leave them with two picks to double down on it.

    There’s also no rule that says they could do a Tyler Lockett trade since they have that extra third round pick and trade some picks to get back up into the early third round to target a guy that they really like. (or go guard in the second and try to do a trade up for one of the last highly ranked DTs if any are left).

    The only thing bad about taking a DT in the second round is that those guys, if you don’t get a great one, take longer to develop and probably won’t give you a ton of help in 2016, whereas a starting left guard could/would start from day one.

    Of course, much of this talk could mean nothing if they pull a Jimmy Graham surprise and totally take care of a position we’re focusing on so much now (such as signing the stud guard from Baltimore [doubtful] or making another trade in which they deal a first or second day pick). I doubt anyone called the Graham trade, so it’s certainly possible – although not probable.

  5. FurryLittleBastard says:

    Great write up Rob. Looking back on the trade for Harvin makes me wish they would have kept their first round pick for Short. They really need to take a lineman in the first as pressure up the middle has killed the Seahawks.

    I say go o-line first, then d-line in the second, and please don’t trade back this year if there is someone still available.

  6. Clayton says:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000560990/article/kansas-coach-suh-only-dl-ive-seen-whos-better-than-billings

    Billings might be drafted much earlier than the 26th pick anyway. He also has the potential to be another Dontari Poe and get drafted in the top 5 because of a crazy combine performance. Even though there might be a small chance, I’m hoping he’s still on the board and Seattle pulls the trigger. He’s only 19 years old… Rob, is gap discipline something that he can get coached up on?

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Maybe I’m putting too much stock in the Oklahoma tape, but my reaction was nearly the same as Rob’s. Spent a lot of time on the ground or watching runners go by him, I came away unimpressed. As a project, if you just want bundle of physical traits you hope to teach how to play great football, okay. I want my first round pick to be able to play, though.

      I hope by “another Dontari Poe” you just mean a guy who shoots up the draft board b/c of a combine workout. Watching 30 seconds of Poe film tells me Billings isn’t Poe. The guy who seems closest to Poe to me is Butler. I’m engaging in hyperbole here, but another 30 seconds of watching Butler tells me I’d take him over Billings, easy.

      • C-Dog says:

        Out of Rankins, Billings, and Butler, if for whatever reason, all of them were sitting at 26, I think I was be most giddy about Butler if they selected him. To me, I know he’s unpolished at pass rush, but he just absolutely reeks of undeniable bad#ss. IMO, that is what we need on a path to getting back to being the bully team again.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        It’s worth mentioning that the Oklahoma game was his first after a two week layoff from an ankle injury that was suffered, then intentionally reaggravated in the WVA game. There was concern that he’d broken it or would be out for the year. How much of the tape was him being exposed? How much does the fact he returned from a nasty injury indicates toughness and durability? Is the game an outlier or did it foreshadow serious issues going forward? Hard to tell.

        Ron Wolf was famous for looking at your best tape and worst tape. And in particular the tape against the most talented opponents. In that sense, I’d say there are issues to sort out.

        Obviously you take the tape as is. Players play hurt. It wasn’t a powerful performance.

        And the issues with Billings I would say are legitimate. Like any prospect not in the top 15, you are going to have some things that don’t tick your boxes. Additionally, when you’re talking about a 19 year old prospect — you’re really not seeing the finished product in any real sense. Particularly when it comes to OL/DL prospects. Even good prospects really only begin to emerge as they become men (21-23 years).

        He does get knocked down a lot. And I’d say it probably is a byproduct of both being routinely double teamed as well as the real oddity of him using lateral movement to attack gaps. He seems to get washed out and/or driven down at times when he does this in 1 on 1 situations.

        The gap integrity issue seen on tape will not really be an issue we can comment on intelligently. Whether that’s by scheme or something he just does naturally will matter. And if it’s something that Pete even worries about in a prospect.

        What we know is that Pete is absolute in gap integrity. You simply don’t play if you can’t do it. But on the other hand, I’ve never actually seen/heard him talk about that as a trait he looks for in prospects either. So I don’t know if it’s something that is presumed can be taught. I suspect so. Otherwise we’d have heard about it as a criteria that is used to evaluate players in college.

        If there’s one thing that would concern me is that Baylor typically does a horrible job of teaching NFL fundamentals. Pretty much at any position. Even their WRs generally have effort/skill/grit issues. Their OL prospects have been similar. Guys just woefully unprepared for the kinds of things that NFL teams will demand they do.

        I’m left with the impression that if a player that has these kinds of flaws is still considered a 15-30 overall prospect at his age — this is a player with a lot of natural talent who has flashed dominant quality that should be imminently moldable and much better as he gets good coaching and matures physically.

        To me he’s not unlike Earl was when we drafted him at 20 years of age. Showed a lot of dominant ability. But Carroll and Thomas both admitted that Earl had to really reboot his play and approach in his second year in the NFL. Billings will have to do that too. Heck even Cortez had to do that when we drafted him.

        To consider Billings at 26, Seattle will have to prognosticate into the future a bit more than normal, given his youth. That’s something that we just won’t have visibility to.

        • Volume12 says:

          Ron Wolf was also famous for watching 5 minutes of tape, and if he didn’t like what he saw, he’d say ‘tape off. This kid don’t got it.’

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think there’s a very real chance Billings goes top-25.

      You can coach gap discipline — the question is whether he’ll be as effective as a pass rusher in a more rigid role.

  7. vrtkolman says:

    I’m all aboard the guard/center train at this point. I really think the only thing that will keep Seattle from leading the league in scoring offense next year is if we trot out the same (or close to the same) line we did last year. We play the Rams twice, Carolina, and the Jets. All have elite interior defensive players. It’s imperative the interior line gets fixed and I’m confident it will. Take Nick Martin at 26 and then draft DT depth in the 2nd round, and I think the rest will work itself out.

  8. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Well based on Rob’s review, Billings sounds like a player the Hawks don’t take before the third or fourth round. And who may not ever even start if his gap freelancing issues can’t be coached out of him. He sounds like a liability risk with Cary Williams type unsound and scheme busting ingrained habits.

    The above discussion also reinforces the need to make at least one starting FA OL signing (Wisniewski and Loadholt would be my ideal scenario) and a resigning of at least one of Rubin or Mebane heading into the draft to allow them to take the best linemen who fall to them in the first three rounds.

    Getting a few FA signings accomplished heading into the draft will take immense pressure off of having to make a Britt kind of decision. How much would we all like to go back to that draft and pick Bitonio and then a receiver like Martavis Bryant?

    • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon says:

      Hahaha Couldn’t agree more with this. It is really tragic to think about how much different this team would be with those two picks who actaully have produced at high levels since being drafted. The whole complexion of the last 2 seasons could have been different. Instead we have a nothing WR who never sees the field and a nobody OL who probably be kept as far as possible from the field. Man, when Schneider and Carroll get it right, it is an upper decker. But when they strike out, it’s like the bat flies out of their hand so hard that it maims some fan in the 8th row

      • SeventiesHawksFan says:

        In his recent radio interview Scheider talked about how a ‘need’ pick that disappoints is a double whammy. You don’t solve the issue you were reaching for. And you miss the talented player you would’ve otherwise taken. He might as well have just said ‘like when we took Britt in the second round’ haha.

    • C-Dog says:

      The thing is, if they see him a player they can mold into being more gap disciple, and he’s a SPARQ freak like Irving, Michael, and Clark were, they’ve shown they will snag those players high. I suspect if he blows up at the combine, he may get out of the teens, might even land in the top 10.

      • Volume12 says:

        That’s not fair to say about P-Rich. If he wasn’t hurt, would the consensus be the same?

        They wanted speed next to Percy Harvin that year, and it didn’t work out.

        Sure P-Rich was frail, inflated production coming from a heavy passing offense, had a torn ACL, and other knocks. He was a ‘risk.’

        Every player Srattle has ever drafted has been risky, raw, or knocked for something.

        Killing 4 drafts in 6 years is a great track record and hit rate.

  9. bobbyk says:

    You hear conflicting stories about Unger becoming a cap casualty in New Orleans. How ironic would it be to start Unger at C in ’16 with Sokoli serving as the back-up?

    That would seriously eliminate an important position of need heading into the draft and the Hawks could focus on left guard or DL at #26.

    Granted, Unger wouldn’t be cheap, but good things cost money (or high draft picks) and we know what a difference he makes for us.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Personally I think Unger was super lucky this season not getting injured. He was breaking down the last 2 years, I think that will continue next season.

      • C-Dog says:

        I think the Unger situation is going to gain traction for message boards and local sports radio fodder. The Saints are almost $4mill over the cap. If they cut Unger, there’s not a lot of dead money there. I can totally see an scenario he comes back a Hawk. He was a well loved player here by teammates and coaches.

        • CD says:

          Unger whiffs as much as Sweezy and delivers the ball low and slow in the shotgun too often. Most overrated Hawk in the last 5 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs them up and heads back to HI with his millions if he is cut.

  10. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    What is this crazy rumor about Seattle trading with the Eagles for Murrey. Sounds like Philli trying to get a market going for a guy who is about washed up.

    • bobbyk says:

      That report looked pretty bogus. It even said it was a “long shot.” Just someone writing something for the sake of writing it.

  11. Seahawcrates says:

    I’d like to see 2 of the first three picks devoted to the interior offensive line if the quality is there. It’s a big investment but in last year,s draft waiting to the 4th was problematic. Poole was cut and survived on the practice squad. Glowinski rarely played until Sweezy was injured. One solid game between to fourth round picks.
    Shoring up the interior has to be the focus.

    • FattyAcid says:

      ^this man, he speaks the truth. An excellent point. The OL does not need any more projects. If they can’t fix part of it in free agency, they should spend at least 2 of their top 4 picks there…maybe even 3. I like that line of thinking. That would leave room to add youth to the D Line, or draft a non-project CB if Lane leaves.

  12. Madmark says:

    Rd 1 Nick Martin C ND
    Rd 2 Deon Jones OLB LSU
    Rd 3 Sebastien Tretola LG Arkansas
    Rd 3 Javon Hargrove DT South Carolinia St
    Rd 4 Kelvin Taylor RB Florida
    Rd 5
    Rd 6 Joe Dahl G or a Connor McGovern RG one of these guys will be here
    Rd 7 Travis Feeney OLB Washington replaces Morgan ST.
    Rd 7

  13. WALL UP says:

    “Javon Hargrave (DT, South Carolina State) dominated at a small-school level”. He’s not getting much ink, that’s good. The one least likely could be a great pick @ 56.

    • C-Dog says:

      Every day I am becoming more and more a Hargrave fan. The only thing fully holding me back is V12’s consistent reminder that the Seahawks don’t draft at DL with less than 32 inch arms, and his are like 31 1/8s, or something like that.

      • Wall UP says:

        Remember Tez limbs weren’t that long either. Quickness & Power is a tough combination to pass on. The kid has it. Also, he’s a good kid as well, very teachable, humble person. Bane will take him under his wings along with Bennett.

        He’s a perfect fit for the rotation of Bane, Rubin, Hill, Hargrave & Heath as DTs. Rubin & Heath can rotate @ 5Tech on run dns. Bennett could go anywhere. There’s a lot of options with this group that will keep everyone fresh for the 4th qtr.

        • C-Dog says:

          You got me, I’m sold. What I remember most about Tez was how MASSIVE his legs were, and how he could just EXPLODE through two blockers and get to the QB before he could even fully turn to get the ball handed off to the running back. By far, my favorite Hawk of all time.

          They say Hargave sports a pretty impressive lower section himself. 6 sacks in a college game is ridiculous, I don’t care what level you are playing at.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      For what it’s worth, Hargrave to me is the premier interior pass rusher of all of these prospects.

      Not necessarily that he’ll lead the class in sacks. But for the ability to consistently stress and collapse the pocket even when he doesn’t win outright and secure a free rush.

      He’s not Aaron Donald in that way. He doesn’t have the ridiculous quickness to basically beat his man before the ball has reached the QB. He is a guy who will force QBs to speed up the process some and should prevent them from sliding up into the pocket to evade our edge rush. Hargrave just seems to have an almost teflon kind of ability where guards just cannot control him even if they are in position to do so. On tape, and in the all star games, he consistently just owned his gap almost at will.

      For what Seattle needs, that’s just about perfect.

      I’d be bummed if we don’t somehow come away with either Billings or Hargrave. I think Billings has the greater upside. But I think Hargrave has the more immediately translatable skill.

      If we’re going strictly by what Pete said he wanted — I guess Hargrave would be the first choice between them. If we’re looking at unique players (which dominates our first round criteria historically), then Billings would seem the choice.

      Of course, if the draft worked out like Billings/Hargrave/Westerman/Allen I think I’d pee my pants.

  14. KyleT says:

    Rob, this was a really cool write up of all of these thoughts out there on DT and OL of late. What do you think about Chris Jones? I really like what I’ve seen on tape and think he could be still there at our 2nd pick potentially.

    I think he offers pass rush upside and is very gap sound, anchors well against a double team.

    • matt says:

      Vol12 and somebody else(sorry don’t remember who) mentioned Jones in a previous spread, so I watched 2 game tapes on Jones earlier and came away very impressed. He knifed into the backfield with regularity and looks like a fantastic athlete with a great frame/length. His motor is a big question mark though. Didn’t see him even attempt to run down plays and was content to stay blocked at times. Jones’ ability to get instant penetration consistently is very intriguing.

      • KyleT says:

        Probably me on he other thread :)

        You’re right that was my one knock against him is that he either gets gassed or just doesn’t have the relentless motor. Would love to see him in our DL rotation though. He’s just a guy who doesn’t stay blocked for long and can play on all 3 downs

        • C-Dog says:

          He’s supposedly a fantastic athlete who is late to football, former basketball player, which gives reason to think his best football is ahead of him. The few Miss St games I saw, I thought he flashed pretty well. He definitely has the length they typically go after at 3 tech. If they by pass DT at 26, I think he’s definitely someone they might consider at 56, if he’s still sitting there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      To be honest, not a big fan of Jones personally.

  15. Trevor says:

    My favorite prospects for the Hawks
    Noah Spence
    Shon Coleman
    Eli Apple
    Sheldon Rankins
    Jaylon Smith

    Will all likely be gone before we pick in Rd #1. If not then I pray one of them is the pick. If not this is how I see the first 3 rounds of the draft going based on how JS has drafted and the needs they have.

    Rd#1 Vernon Butler (DT) L-Tech he is a unique athlete at his size and would be a perfect injection of youth to the DT rotation

    Rd#2 Nick Martin (C) ND- Perfect addition to our line and the C for the next 8 years. Love his game but don’t see him as a 1st rounder.

    Rd#3 Laraven Clark (OT)Tex Tech- He is an absolute mess with some of the worst technique I have seen. But he has a frame and athletic potential that is unmatched in this draft. He is exactly the type of player the Hawks look for. If Cable thinks he can convert DL players into NFL Olinemen imagine what he thinks he could do with Clark

    Rd#3 (Comp) Eric Striker (LB) Oak -A tweener so he will drop to 3rd round but a productive player who can rush the passer and an incredible leader. He will thrive in our locker room.

    If the draft went this way a lot of pundits would probably give it a low grade but it would sure up the trenches and give an injection of size and toughness.

  16. Coleslaw says:

    Rd. 1 Nick Martin
    Rd. 2 Tyler Boyd
    Rd. 3 Javon Hargrave
    Rd. 3 Eric Striker
    Rd. 4 Paul Perkins/ Desmond King
    Rd. 5 Joe Dahl
    Rd. 6 Le’raven Clark
    Rd. 7 Travis Feeney
    Rd.7 Michael Pierce

    • nichansen01 says:

      Desmond King is not entering the draft. if he was he would be a likely first rounder. Fantastic player in my opinion.

      • Coleslaw says:

        I just thought he was that under the radar haha, good to know

        • Volume12 says:

          WR Tyler Boyd is unique man. Like his game.

          Underrated athlete too. Should test insanely high.

          • Coleslaw says:

            I love him! I would be so excited to see Baldwin Lockett and Boyd with Jimmy inline… He’s going to be a steal for us at 56 if he’s there

            • Bernardo De Biase says:

              His tape is really impressive. I guess if the Seahawks like him, they’d have to use our 1st round pick. Doubt he lasts Carolina’s pick.

              • Coleslaw says:

                I don’t think he’ll go in round 1, out of all the positions receiver is what I’d guess to have a fall, and it’s a deep class. I only see Treadwell and possibly fuller or Coleman

                • Volume12 says:

                  It’s an okay class for WRs.

                  Depending on what Treadwell runs, I don’t think he goes any higher than the mid 1st round.

  17. Madmark says:

    Some madness has sweeped me up. I’m just throw this out there what about a TE. Does that count as part of the OL. Graham is not that inline guy. We have Willson but the rest of the TE suffered. I looked and I really like Nick Vannett TE Ohio St. would he even drop to 90. I would also say Anthony McCoy is retired. Will graham be ready to go next year a TE for insurance?

  18. Wall UP says:

    1) 29 Shon Coleman OT – Starting RT as Okung mans LT. Formidable bookends when healthy.

    2) 56 Javon Hargrave DT – 3T on passing dns spelling Bane. Fills McDonald’s role.

    3) 90 Jack Allen C – Gives the OL leadership and a nasty mean demeanor. Ornery starts here.

    3) 98 Jordan Jenkins DE/OLB – Never can have too many pass rushers. Can drop & play in space.

    4) 125 CJ Prosise RB – Third down back that will catch out of the backfield.

    5) 172 Avery Young RT/LG – Can play all positions on the line except center. Replacing Bailey.

    6) 215 Joel Heath DT/DE – Rotational player filling McDaniel’s spot.

    7) 223 Ugonna Awuruonye DE – Long & stout against the run with upside.

    7) 245 Marquez North WR – Big receiver fits the mold of a Hawk WR.

    FA Faan Cooper OT, Denzel Thompson CB, Montese Overton LB/SS, Evan McKelvey SS,

    Alex Redmond OG

    • nichansen01 says:

      Shon Coleman is gone at 26 and Jordan Jenkins is gone in the first or second, no way he lasts until the end of the third. Nice to hear cj procise and Ugonna Awuruonye mentioned again.

      • Wall UP says:

        I think Shon will be there. If He’s gone they trade dn. I was hoping the off field issues might drop him. If he’s gone Yannick Nakonque would be next.

        • Volume12 says:

          I think Coleman will be there too. Coleman might last until the 2nd round.

          No, it has nothing to do with his health.

          Look, I love the guy myself, but he’s raw, rumored to be an average athlete, has only 1 year of tape, and I’m not sure every team will see him as anything but a RT. Plus his age might make teams hesitant.

          Personally, I’d pull the trigger on him though.

          • Miles says:

            I have a question. Why are we assuming Shon Coleman will be there? I know he’s not talked about a lot. I know he has had unique issues with his health. But let’s just assume he’s cancer-free and his prognosis is good. Are teams really going to pass on a potential Pro Bowl left tackle? Is he really going to fall past even pick 15, much less pick 20? Logic tells me there’s no way, because so far he’s been presented to me as a polished left tackle. Those kinds of players don’t last until 26.

            So if somebody has the answer, can you please tell me: assuming health issues are of no concern, what exactly is going to cause Coleman to fall to the Seahawks?

            • Volume12 says:

              The fact that he has one yer of tape, he’s raw, rumored to be an average athlete, not every team s goingto see him as a LT, and he’s 25.

              Don’t be surprised if he falls outta the 1st.

            • Ground_Hawks says:

              I think that his age would be a factor, and also, something that was new to me, was that he only had one year of solid tape. From what little I’ve seen of his tape I was impressed! If he happens to be gone by 26 then great for him, but I’m feeling optimistic about other prospects that could potentially still be available if the FO keeps their natural pick; which personally I’m more unsure of given their past tendencies.

              • Volume12 says:

                It is impressive, but if he wasn’t 25, and only playing one year of ball, do you really think he woyld’ve declared?

                He had to.

    • Steele says:

      WallUp, I love those top four picks! But we won’t know if it will be possible until after the combine. The rest is also excellent.

      • Wall UP says:

        I can’t wait. So far, things look plausible @ their slots, except perhaps Jenkins. JS may use next years pick as well. Jenkins is worth it. We’ll see.

        • Volume12 says:

          I think you could get Allen with that 3rd round comp pick or in the 4th.

            • Wall UP says:

              I don’t know about that. One board has him @ 67 going to the Rams & 81 on two other boards. I was thinking 98 earlier, but all the talk about having a center going in the 1st, it concerned me that he may be gone by then. He’s probably the 3rd center taken from the draft after Kelly and Martin.

              I’m willing to wait until 90 in order to get Hargrave @ 56. If Allen is gone before 90, I’ll be pissed. But, Westerman would do well, maybe @ the 98comp or 125 4th Rd pick. He’s quick & strong with a little tenacity to his game. He’s a better Zblkg center than most centers out there. A great value pick @ 128.

              • Volume12 says:

                He’s not a 2nd round talent. I don’t care what Walter Cherepinsky says.

                He’s not going to test through the roof like a Marpet or Morse.

                Not every prospect that’s good is going to be a 1st or 2nd rounder.

  19. BamFan says:

    I don’t know what everyone is watching but in the first round, the biggest need for a relatively cost controlled (5 years) athlete who can make the biggest impact is definitely at cornerback effectively replacing Byron Maxwell. We have lots of depth of average unproven, inconsistent performers on the roster and practice squad. We need a slam-dunk cover cornerback and then everything else can fall in place shortly thereafter. Based on the depth in this draft, if a cornerback is available that matches our slot with the talent, Seahawks will go that way before addressing the trenches with the big ugly’s in the 2nd and 3rd round. So, if a cornerback falls to them at 26 that’s the way I see them going. There are heir apparents to every other position on this roster with some kind of talented player waiting in the wings but Tharold Simon, Marcus Burley, George Farmer, Tye Smith, Jeremy Lane (if resigned), Trovon Reed, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Mohammed Seisay all have commonalites when it comes to injuries and/or being unreliable or unproven in what they do. The biggest difference maker in last year’s Super Bowl was backfield play… Revis made a huge difference for New England in what they could do this year compared to last year. I still can’t forget how easy it was for the Patriots to pick on the left side of our coverage team even when we had Maxwell going hard. The loss of Lane was huge and the loss of Maxwell. So, I could see us doing our best to resign Lane and in my opinion we still need a coverage corner to seal that side of the field. I’m amazed that this issue has went on so long and still hasn’t been addressed. I’m not worried about our run defense (less than 100 yards a game) and I’m not worried about our run blocking. Pass protection is a concern but I’m believing in the investment from last years draft to be ready for this upcoming year. I’m still worried about getting picked apart when one or two of our injury prone cornerbacks goes down to injury once again. From my viewpoint, this is the biggest weakness and where good teams know to attack us. Whether it’s the seam route with tightends, or throwing to the outside against our weakest coverage, or throwing the inside slant, we’ve never replaced Maxwell or Thurmond (or now with possibly loosing Lane) to seal up this part of our defense. This will be addressed in the draft very early. I believe John Schneider is old school and you don’t draft a guard or centre in the first round if an elite athlete is on the board in a skill position with unique size, sparq, and athletic attributes that sets that individual apart. E.g. – taking Bruce Irvin over someone like Fletcher Cox when a dominant big ugly was available and we slid down and took our athlete. Some here might take issue with this and want to donate first round picks to fixing our O Line like Dallas but let’s compare where Dallas is in the standings and where we are, who would you rather have and who would you be wanting to sign long term to extended contracts? Which athlete is the harder to find a replace?Unless it’s a rare, unique irreplaceable talent you don’t spend such high draft capital on a talent that can be consistently found in a later round with minimal dropoff. You don’t find Richard Sherman’s in the 5th Round or Josh Norman’s or Darrell Revis’ or Charles Woodson’s consistently. When you do, you are Super Bowl Bound, much quicker than simply replacing a guard or tackle. Seahawks are going cornerback if the man they want is there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Unfortunately though ‘the man they want’ isn’t likely to be there.

      They’ve also consistently avoided early picks at corner in preference of training up their own guys later. That’s a firm philosophy of this front office and it won’t change unless there’s a truly special corner available at #26 — which is unlikely.

      • Coleslaw says:

        I was praying last year that Marcus Peters would fall, this was when we still had our pick in round 1, that dude is legit

        • Volume12 says:

          I trust that group of CBs over a rookie corner to learn the system.

          They need a CB or depth, but he doesn’t have to start right away, and probably isn’t going too.

          Ramsey, Alexander, and Apple are the only corners worth a 1st. And I doubt any of them make it to the end of round 1.

          It’s not a good class for CBs with plus length.

          • Trevor says:

            Agree completely Vol the only 1st round fits for Sea would be Apple or Ramsey and I am guessing both don’t get out of top 15.

            If Apple is there he would be a great pick though.

            • Matt says:

              The likelyhood of taking a CB in the first round went out the window when White, Sutton and King decided to stay in school. With these 3, Jackson and Peppers the CB class should be strong at the top in the 2017 draft.

  20. Steele says:

    Any thoughts on Vadal Alexander? Can play OG or OT, did pretty well in the Senior Bowl drills, kept everything in front of him. Better at run blocking, improving on pass blocking, best suited to OG. Good size and frame.

    • Volume12 says:

      Someone I trust dearly, tipped me off to this guy.

      TCU OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai- 6’5, 315-320 lbs.

      Rob, you heard of this dude?

      • bigDhawk says:

        La’Raven Clark type player, maybe with less horrendous looking tape. Comes from a similar, yet more productive spread scheme.

        • bigDhawk says:

          He’s also similar to Tayo Fabuluje, another huge, long TCU tackle taken by the Bears in 2015. I had my eye on Fab last draft. I generally like players coming out of TCU. Gary Patterson is a good college coach and I tend to trust the underlying quality of the players coming out of that program.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I have not. He has a video just published on Draft Breakdown though.

      • Wall UP says:

        That’s who I had in mind @ 172 along with Young. I seen him lunging quite a bit, not moving his feet enough. But, he’s solid. If Young is gone I’d go with Hala as a RT/LG.

  21. Volume12 says:

    I still like A’shawn Robinson. I think this kid is a man child. Very Seahawky personality, a ‘get off the bus 1st’ kind of player, still raw, I think he’ll be SPARQ’D up, great length. There’s someone on this ‘Bama squad that the Seahawks like. Maybe it’s a guy coming out next year.

    While Seattle has gone after FA D-lineman, to be fair, they’ve gone after young D-lineman in the draft. Jordan Hill, Jaye Howard, Jesse Williams, Pep Livingston, Jimmy Staten, and Frank Clark.

    All those guys are rotational players, and that’s the kind of prospect Seattle needs this year/draft.

    • C-Dog says:

      I think also, when PC/JS got here, they inherited a very good young DT in his prime in Mebane, and were right to extend him. They’ve only ever had to fill one position in FA, which is the other DT next to him. They always did it with cast offs, and they always played better here than where they came from. The honest distinction I see this year is Mebane is no longer in his prime, maybe even past that now, and is a FA along with Rubin, so isn’t a spring chick, either. There’s very good reason for them to re-sign both, but I also believe, it’s likely short term deals, and if this class is as deep at DT that it is looking to be, there is no reason why they shouldn’t look to draft a player of significant upside if he’s there, even if it’s at 26.

      It’s totally contrary to what they’ve done in the past, but also, in the past they haven’t had both their starter up for FA, and both starters weren’t 30 or older.

      I also think it’s interesting they didn’t draft DT at all this last year. Usually they do by the middle rounds, even if it’s someone from Middle Tenn St that nobody has even heard of before. Makes me think they were seeing this being a deep class this year, knowing Hill was coming on, just didn’t feel there was any need, and were waiting for this year all along.

      • Volume12 says:

        Valid points.

        And I’m not necessarilly advocating going DT in the 1st, unless it’s a Rankins, Butler, or Robinson, and even then I’m not totally convinced they would.

        But, there is good depth later on in the draft too. However, by the end of round 2, the really good ones will start to disappear.

        I’d capitalize on that.

  22. Volume12 says:

    I also have to remind myself, Seattle doesn’t draft blue chip prospects.

    • Steele says:

      Should we also remind ourselves that we were here last year, looking at o-lineman, Ty Sambrailo, Hroniss Grassu and the top centers, Mitch Morse, etc. Instead, they went Clark and Lockett, and conversion projects.

  23. C-Dog says:

    Here’s my draft the focuses mainly at getting back to toughness, and still adding to skill positions.

    R1. 26 Vernon Butler DT. Athletic with size and length they like at 3 tech, and a high level of bad@ss they will love

    R2. 56 Sebastian Tretola LG. Britt isn’t a LG, they need one, short arms or not, he brings the bad@ss to the OL Butler does the DL, and has the athleticism and ability Britt simply does not.

    R3. 90 Jack Allen C. Tom Cable loves the nastiness he brings to the run game.

    R3. 98 Paul Perkins RB. Adds to the backfield with Rawls, becomes the 3rd down back Jackson was.

    R4. 125. Victor Ochi OLB. Fiery competitor, can set the edge, and rush, pursue, Carroll will be intrigued.

    R5. 172. Daryl Worley, CB. 2Rd talent with size, and troubled past, maybe him available here.

    R7. 223. Robert Blair III DL. Active rusher inside/out, adds to the pass rush pie.

    R7. 245. Jaydon Mickens WR. Hawks love the size of Smith&Williams, LOVE the skill set of this Husky.

    Seahawks want to fix the OL as priority number one, interior OL first and foremost, in all likelhood. I think one piece will be adding a quality veteran, maybe even two, most likely a RT, and investing in the draft. Tretola and Allen to strike me as guys Cable would love to coach. He prefers players that are run blockers first and foremost, that can get to the second level, and that he can coach up to better pass protect if need him. These two bring toughness with that skill set he covets.

    Seahawks want to use the draft to improve the pass rush. They have solid edge rushers, the problem most of the year was interior rush. In Butler, they see a starter in the base that will bring a nastiness to the DL for years to come, and has the athleticism to grow as a rusher, they see him as unique. Ochi is a guy they saw jump out at the Shrine game. They will love his strength, long arms, and fiery spirit, be intrigued to take advantage of his rush abilities, and develop him as their starting SAM. He will fit right into this locker room. Blair they see as too good a player not to pass on, and develop as an inside rush specialist.

    They liked what Turbin did for the passing game, they will LOVE what Perkins will do. Daryl Worley is a classic mid round Seahawks CB pick, with some character concerns. They watched Mickens for years, they love his skill set, his route running, and ability to get open (a potential Baldwin clone), and add yet another Husky WR.

    • Volume12 says:

      Where’s the 6th rounder?

      Nice mock. Big fan of WR Jaydon Mickens. Explodes off the LOS, and is as griity as they come.

      • C-Dog says:

        %$&! I couldn’t get it in time and they passed it off to GB.. No wait, they are letting me have it back.

        R6. 215. Alex Lewis OT. Another bad boy with a mean streak Cable will love to coach. BOOM!

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I want to see Tretola at the combine.

      To me, he looks incredibly stiff. Like he doesn’t have the core strength to bend at the knees and get low. He does play very upright and his leverage looks pretty poor.

      Heard some whispers about his lack of flexibility in Mobile. One mention of him falling down forward in successive attempts to do a simple air squat past 90 degrees. That’s a movement that tests core strength and hip flexibility.

      The combine does a decent job of exposing those kinds of range of motion/kinetic issues. Given our scheme which puts movement at a premium I think that’ll matter a great deal to us.

      One to watch carefully.

      • Volume12 says:

        I see the same things.

        Not a fan of him or Denver Kirkland. But, I’m open to changing my stance.

        I’m a fickle bastard.

    • Madmark says:

      I watched the Jack Allen and what he has grit and he’s savoy but he lacks size and I think that will show in the pros. We are looking for the leader of this OL going forward into the future. Nick Martin just showed everyone that he can do play the center position and that it’s not over head at all. The next 2 picks you have could be a comfrontation. I think Paul Perkins isn’t going to be there at 90 and to be honest Tretola maybe. I like Tretola but I think we have better chance to draft him at 90 than Perkins.

  24. Steele says:

    I am looking at film of Maliek Collins and Darius Latham. Both DTs ranked by Tony Pauline in rd 3-4.

  25. EranUngar says:

    My mind is made up, pleased do not try to confuse me with the facts. This has never been more true when evaluating this year’s FA and draft.

    The turmoil cause by 7 starters possibly leaving for FA and our limited cap space forces us to make some hard calls. Add to it the desire to improve both OL and DL and the field is open to pick enough “facts” to support any course of action. I can easily side with fortifying the inside of the OL, adding key defensive players (DT/DE), drafting key replacements for possibly departing starters like Lane/Irvin/Kearse or just throwing it all and going BPA.

    Bitter images of Donald or Short destroying the inside of our OL are very fresh but i still remember Quin and Long abusing us just as easily. CAR’s first half with Cam standing free in the pocket was painful but it was followed by a shutdown in the 2nd half. We also remember how the LOB looked with sub par right CB and our esteemed core of LBs could be one injury away from nonexistent if do not keep/replace Irvin with equal talent. etc. etc. etc.

    When the water is so unclear, you can either second guess every direction or find enough supporting arguments for any course of action.

    The more i look at it the more i am inclined to side with a “moneyball” approach for now. Till FA provides many of the answers regarding what is left and what needs to be found, i feel comfortable with a “cost of position” argument regarding what we pick first.

    When i combine the Okung situation with the need to improve OL play and the cost of a quality LT, i feel like Coleman is our best first pick(if available).
    Lane, the savior of our CB2 position, was a 6th rounder, Sherm was a 5th, i’m fine with that pick delegated to day 3.
    Irvin, if he departs needs to be addressed in day 2.
    Unless some extraordinary DT/DE is there at 26, someone that is an absolute game changer, I think it can’t be our day 1 pick. If we resign both DTs or bring a replacement in FA, it’s likely to be a late 3rd rounder or a 3rd day pick.
    If we find they guy that can fortify the inside of the OL in the 2nd day, go for it. If he is not a clear improvement from day one it may be pushed further.
    If Kearse is gone, WR is a day 2 need. I have no faith in P-Rich becoming a reliable WR3. He might but i want RW to have the weapons needed to keep his level of pocket play improving.
    I can’t see us going for a Center on day 1. Even a great option like Martin is too much of a luxury pick for a team that has a somewhat functioning center and lots of possible issues elsewhere.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t see how anyone could call a center a “luxury” pick after the position played such a significant role in this team starting 2-4. Lewis steadied the ship — but they put him on the bench in favor of Nowak. That says it all.

      Doesn’t mean they’ll definitely take one in the first round — but if they did it definitely wouldn’t be a luxury.

      • EranUngar says:

        Sorry, maybe i used the wrong term. By the time we get to draFT PLAYERS, we may be without our SAM LB, our starting LT, one man short on our starting DTs and possibly without our starting RG and with a LG we wish did not start. Can you really see picking a great Center to replace Lewis as our high priority first round need?

        I can’t see it. We can add a vet at that position at half the cost of the same quality level vet at LT.

        I can’t figure out a way so far to keep enough of our starters with 18M so we can eneter the draft without more urgent immediate needs than improve on Lewis. If you can, i’m all ears.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Now that is a very fair question to ask. Especially because it’s relatively likely they will lose at least Irvin and Okung and possibly Sweezy too.

          However, I also think they will add a center at some point. So it comes down to the players available. If the C available at #26 is a far better player than the T options, or the LB or LG… do you fight the board? I would hope not. Because ultimately the idea is to create a consistent, productive O-line. Not just fill gaps. It all depends on who is available at #26.

          • EranUngar says:

            Yes, i think we both agree on that. Obviously, if you don’t have the players you want where you’d like them as far as value etc., fighting the board is useless.

            I still think that if you have a Coleman at 26, or Deker, you go for your future LT and hope you find a Center later, or next year when Lewis is after his RFA year.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Exactly Eran. The depth of top tier OT talent is shallow this year. Tunsil, Coleman, Decker, or Conklin are the only OTs worth a R1 pick. If one of them is available, SEA can pick him and wait on C until R3 or R4. But if they’re all gone by 26, the remaining OTs have question marks that make them risky propositions; taking the top C talent makes a lot of sense.

              Spriggs? Sure he’s athletic but he’s a 4-year starter at LT and still has big holes in his game. Has he reached his ceiling?

              Ifedi? Why didn’t he move to LT last year? Can he be a LT in the pros or is he strictly RT/OG?

              After that the OT talent drops off precipitously.

              In contrast, the talent at C/OG is much deeper. If SEA misses on Martin or Kelly early to take one of the top OTs, guys like Glasgow, Allen or even Dahl offer good value later.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I can see us doing either.

      1. Center was a huge liability for us. It’s still unsettled. And it’s proven to be critical. I can see us not messing around and getting a player we expect to be worthy of a second contract here.

      2. On the other hand, I think there are 4 centers in this class that all would provide quality at OC and each possibly being our day 1 starter even with a healthy Lewis. We also know that Seattle likes to get value up and down the draft. They may like, even love Martin. But they may like an R1 DT, with an R3 OC more than an R1 OC and and R3 DT.

      Seattle will draft with the totality of talent in mind. I could even see them going OT/DT/OC/OG in our day 1/2 picks.

      I think it’ll take either a special circumstance player or lack of willing partners to prevent us from trading back and picking up an R4 pick. Especially given that the critical needs Pete outlined won’t necessarily require a late R1 pick to address adequately.

  26. Trevor says:

    Something tells me with his length and frame we are going to take La Raven Clark much earlier than most people expect with the idea that Cable can mold him into something special.

    After the Senior Bowl the thought of this was scary but when you think about it they have been trying to convert DL into OL.

    If they took him with one of the 3rd round picks I would be fine with it as he could develop into a qaulity tackle if he responds well to coaching. There is no other athlete with his size, length, arm length and hand size in this draft or any in the last 4-5 years that I can remember. So the Hawks are the type of team most likely to take a shot I think.

    • bobbyk says:

      Say no to Ray Roberts, Jr.

      • Trevor says:

        Not saying I love the pick just saying what is likely to happen IMO. I prefer Cable working with him though than a guy like Sokoli who has never played OL in his life prior to joining the Hawks.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      Absolutely not a fan of Clark. So that probably means we reach for him and pass a guy I like. He could easily be this years’ Terry Poole.

      I just remember hoping to God that Rob was wrong on him. I was so smitten with Shaq Mason.

    • Nate says:

      Although Cable has taken on projects for the defensive line the Seahawks have never done so before the sixth round. I find it HIGHLY unlikely they would use anything more than a sixth round pick for Clark. Because he is just that a project. An intriguing one but still most definitely a project.

  27. oz says:

    On Jan.9 2014 I compared Aaron Donald to John Randle on this site. I generally look for a past NFL player that jumps out at me while watching tape.
    There was some talk of Yannick Nakonque on SBD, it has since died down. I started watching tape on him. I was impressed with the way he was able to bend the edge and finish, right away Derrick Thomas jumped out at me. I watched more tape, Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan St., Penn St. and Indiana. I came away very impressed with this kid.
    Come combine time I think he is going to be a very fast riser. I would love him to be there at #56 although I don’t think it’s going to happen, I want him on our team. (kid’s tougher than nails and knows how to stay healthy) Very important in the NFL. Can’t wait for the combine.

    • Trevor says:

      Oz I agree his tape looks really good but I think the combine is what may hurt him as I am not sure he will be the type of quick twitch athlete teams look for coming off the Edge. If he tests well then I agree he could be a big riser.

  28. subterranean says:

    Rob – I think you mentioned in an earlier response that you might take another crack at estimating how many first round talents there are in this draft. I’d be really interested in that as well. As someone who has only become an obsessive draft blog reader over the last year, I don’t know how this usually plays out, but right now I feel like the mock drafts on other sites are so all over the board that it looks like 50 different people are being projected for the first round, and every other mock has some new riser going into the 1st. I saw one the other day that had Eli Apple falling passed the 26th pick. That’s one thing I keep coming back to with the players mocked to the Hawks – are they legit 1st rounders or do they have some otherworldly trait that the Hawks would covet? Anyway, as always, appreciate the perspective you bring to this.

  29. Ukhawk says:

    Great article Rob

    I agree that they could go DL too in the first in lieu of OL

    But (as pointed out multiple times on the blog by you) the fact is no prospects hit the sweet spot of being available at 26 with the commensurate inside pass rush skills. Rankins come closest reminding me of an Darnell Dockett however that is in terms of skillset and not production -wise.

    What I do know is that PC will want above all else to maintain the #1 D. He will see it aging, want it to be get back to being the aggressor. So I fully expect an injection of FA and draft talent even if not in the top round.

    One intriguing idea put forward by Huard on ESPN is the possibility of signing Aldon Smith to replace Bruce. I initially balked due to character and suspension issues but have warmed to the idea. He’ll not be able to play til the 2nd half but therefore would be cheaper and could sign a shorter term, prove it deal. He’d possibly add to pass rush than Bruce and be an equal monster in setting the edge. Maybe it would be just a stop gap but boy what a way to supercharge the team for another playoff run and get back to being toughest kids on the block

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d be open to signing Aldon Smith.

      • Trevor says:

        Wonder what kind of deal it would take? He is a beast when his head is on straight.

        • smitty1547 says:

          Hate to say it but Id be on board as well, looks like Brandon browner would be available as well. So we could add to are lead in penalties if we wished

    • Trevor says:

      If he truly has his life sorted out and back on track. Aldon Smith would be a perfect mid season addition to bolster our pass rush for the playoff stretch run. Wonder what it would take with regards to a contract? I thought he was still under contract to the Raiders?

      • Miles says:

        It would look a lot like the deal Greg Hardy got with Dallas. A super incentive-laden deal with no guarantees that maxes out at around $13m for one year.

        Personally, I would not offer Aldon Smith that much money, even if incentivized.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Smith’s one-year deal with the Raiders contained a $1.25 million base salary, though Smith could have earned up to $8 million, a source told ESPN when he signed. The contract included a $250,000 per-game roster bonus and a $2.75 million bonus if he recorded at least 10 sacks.

      Probably would be offered much less now given 1) he cannot play for half the season and 2) he would be likely on a shooter leash with respect to future league disciplinary action due to bad behaviour .

      • bobbyk says:

        If they are going to play a fullback who starts “allegedly” accelerating more after hitting a car and driving it forward as he’s high as a kite, they may as well go after the pass rusher, a more important position, who doesn’t care if he kills people either.

        • Miles says:

          This is silly bobbyk. Here are some tweets that Danny O’Neill reported on about Derrick Coleman.

          Danny O’Neil ‏@dannyoneil Feb 2
          According to toxicology report from Bellevue PD investigation, Derrick Coleman was negative for synthetic cannibinoids.

          Danny O’Neil ‏@dannyoneil Feb 2
          The tests were run a second time, looking for specific chemicals from the open package found in Derrick Coleman’s truck. Also negative.

          So you can basically strike the allegation that he was driving high. I can see that you are putting quotations around the word “allegedly” like it doesn’t really mean anything. But it means a great deal! Coleman is innocent until proven guilty.

          Also, while Coleman allegedly accelerated when he hit the car, his lawyer can argue that he didn’t hear his car colliding with the other. He is legally deaf. Additionally, the police did not check Coleman for a head injury according to his lawyer. Coleman suffered a concussion in the accident. Therefore the charge of “hit and run” is questionable, since Coleman may not have known where he was after the accident, neither may he have noticed there was another car involved in the accident. These are arguments the lawyer can make.

          Is there proof here that Coleman didn’t do anything wrong? No. But is there reasonable doubt that he smoked marijuana, and intentionally drove another car off a road, and intentionally left the scene of the accident. There is a lot of reasonable doubt here. If this were any person, not just a Seahawks player, I would not indict him on any of the charges against him. That’s me if I am apart of that jury.

          • bobbyk says:

            Witnesses say that his car was accelerating after contact. It’s okay though if he’s a Seahawk and it’s not one of your family members getting hit.

            • Miles says:

              I think it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes people make mistakes and to consider that as a possibility in any criminal investigation. Putting someone in jail for a year or more is not something we can do just ’cause it seems right at the time.

  30. Steve Nelsen says:

    Pete Carroll listed improving the pass rush as one of the priorities for next season.

    Both Bennett and Avril played well and provided great pressure from the two end spots. The weakness in Seattle’s pass rush is the two DT spots.

    Rubin and Mebane played excellent against the run on early downs and anchored a superior run defense. They both freed up the linebackers to plug gaps. No running back had 100 yards against Seattle until Carolina in the final game of the season. But, as good as they both were against the run, neither provided meaningful pass rush on early downs. They are both going to be over 30 next year and they are both unrestricted free agents so whether you want to keep them or not, you may need to replace one or both.

    Seattle also got substandard production when they brought in rotational tackles for passing downs. Hill has not been able to recreate the flashes he showed in 2014. Clark flashed a bit in the NASCAR package during the second half of last year but he is more end than tackle. Are either of them a potential every down starter in 2016?

    Seattle needs at least one more DT that can provide some interior pressure/disruption. It would be ideal if they could get that production from a player who can play in the base package without giving up too much in the run. They have been remarkably successful adding veteran free agents in the past at modest cost. But, if they haven’t signed a veteran before the draft, I don’t see how they don’t pick one somewhere in rounds 1-3.

    They will need to add another rotational end rusher to replace the snaps they got last year from Irvin if he leaves in free agency but that need could be already filled by Clark. Clark might also be a potential replacement for Bennett and Avril in the future (they will both also be over 30 next year.)

    The other piece of the plan for pass rush in 2016 is that they clearly need to lock down Bennett. His production can’t be replaced and a holdout would cripple Seattle’s line. He has outperformed his contract and has earned a fair restructure every bit as much or more as Marshawn did.

    • cha says:

      Agree with you Steve.

      In my mind your comments clarify the huge opportunity for Jordan Hill to become a big contributor to this team. Will it be the end of 2014 Jordan Hill, with a sack a game and consistent pressure (and an acrobatic interception)? Or the 2015 Jordan Hill, swallowed up by nagging injuries and unable to stand out consistently? 2016 is a contract year so maybe we’ll see what the Hawks really have in him.

      • Steele says:

        I agree, Steve. I keep hearing how great Rubin and Mebane have been, no 100 yd rushers, etc. but the insufficient interior rush was a problem throughout the season. And one of the key contributors to them not getting to the SB. HIll has been a disappointment, and he is one of several guys who “should” be busting out, haven’t, and they are on the roster despite being uncertainties.

        • Ground_Hawks says:

          Hill’s game was an issue this season, and I think that most people expected him to carry-on his performance from last year. With J. Williams being cleared to play, maybe that will change the urgency of adding additional depth to DT? If not then I still wouldn’t want them using their Rd.1 pick on the position, because I think that the o-line is in more need of repair.

  31. Sea Mode says:

    Greetings to all! I have been lurking on this site since November and first of all just want to say thank you to Rob and all who make the discussions so interesting. I also read and post occasionally on FieldGulls but enjoy the calmer and more in-depth discussions in the comments over here.

    I don’t have time or know-how to watch tape on prospects, so your perspectives really help me appreciate the options the Hawks have before them come FA and draft time. That’s also why I haven’t commented much. I love strategy “games” and the NFL management is one of the best, so I can chime in on those thoughts every so often, but as far as scouting goes I can’t offer much than an informed fan’s opinion.

    Anyway, I wanted to add to the discussion with a theory for the OL this year. One simple and cost-effective solution could be to draft and/or sign a couple players with higher floors, albeit lower ceilings.

    It seems like the PC/JS philosophy of “doing it better than it’s ever been done before” drives them to look for home runs with each pick. At many positions (esp. on defense), they are good at hitting them and should continue to swing for the fences, but on OL in particular they have missed and maybe should start looking for solid base hits.

    My point is, I don’t think we need to bank our title chances on a Sokoli type turning into an all-world center, or a Sweezy type becoming one of the most agile run blockers in the league, or Okung staying healthy and playing back at his pro-bowl form, etc. while risking that they fall apart in the basics (pass protection, staying healthy) and we suffer the consequences during what is a clear championship window. Perhaps we could just grab a solid guy, with little potential to be a superstar OL, but with no significant injury history and solid in all the basics. We can win with an average to good OL, we don’t need five pro-bowlers (or their salaries) to get it done.

    I would tend to like the Nick Martin pick for this reason. Sounds like a safe bet with good upside. Maybe one of the projects will become a great player in the future, they can certainly keep developing raw and DL converts (as long as they are late round picks), but I don’t want (a) Russell Wilson to keep taking a beating like this season and get hurt or (b) the Seahawks to miss any more Super Bowl opportunities in the meantime.

  32. Madmark says:

    For Seattles offensive line Cable gets 3 picks. I resign Okung. Take Nick Martin C in round 1 and Sebastien Tretola LG in the 3rd. Now I got the leftside. I love Gilliam right where he’s at in ROT but is Glowinski rdy. I like Joe Dahl he reminds a Chris Gray but I thinking I got to go with my instincts here and grab in the 5th round Connor McGovern RG play Tackle in a pinch. Okung, Tretola, Martin, Conor or glowinski,Gillian.

    • franks says:

      I like your thinking but what happens when we have a tough matchup in the playoffs and Okung goes down? You just can’t rely on him to suit up.

      For this reason I would much, much rather keep Lewis and draft a tackle than keep Okung and draft a center. Lewis is steady and solid and he shows up every week and he’ll only get better and compared to guys in the draft he’s a known commodity. Is he good enough though, I don’t know.

      What do you see in mcgovern?

      • Madmark says:

        Connor McGovern is a is the strongest of the Offensive Line prospects who has mobility. He and alright tackle but from what I watch he will be a superstar Right Guard and if I need to in a pinch he has experience to play tackle. Don’t know what deal with Alvin Bailey is but this guy at least can takes Baileys ability to play multiple positions as a backup I really like him at RG.

        • franks says:

          I’m really hoping we bring Bailey back, I think he’s s great guy for depth at l8tr and he’ll slide inside when we need him to … But somehow he can’t seem to play RT. McGovern could be a good depth guy to pair with him…

  33. Miles says:

    The Saints are going to release Brandon Browner per reports. This is a player the Seahawks definitely need to consider getting back if they want to be the bully they once were on defense.

  34. franks says:

    Rob you nailed this post covered everything.

    Can you coach gap discipline? We used to have Quinn and he couldn’t get much out of Jay Howard or Jordan Hill. It’s out too late to weed out of guys systems by the time they get to the pros? Mc Gill looked good preseason and he’s gone. I don’t see Billings in R1.

    Any chance of doing a DT breakdown like the ones you’ve done before on the O Line? Volume says there are some ungodly number of nice DT prospects in R2. If so and the sweet spot for OT is in the mid rounds, this draft could be tailor made for us.

    The big question for me in round 1 is Coleman. Is he a pie in the sky or is there a chance that John sees the health issues and the age and sees him falling too far behind his value to resist? Can he become our Richardson this year? If he falls in the mid to late teens and JS sees tip ten, what trade up would be worth it? Next year’s R2? SB window is this year and that’s the only sure thing.

    • Miles says:

      “If he falls in the mid to late teens and JS sees tip ten, what trade up would be worth it? Next year’s R2? SB window is this year and that’s the only sure thing.”

      A lot of people here have been saying they don’t want to trade next year’s picks due to how much talent will enter the 2017 Draft. You can also look at it another way: Trading 2017 picks might be a valuable opportunity. If the rest of the league values the 2017 draft so much, the Seahawks can take advantage of that. They can trade next year’s pick, which is an unknown commodity, for a player they really like this year. If they want a starting left tackle and a starting center, and they want both Shon Coleman and Nick Martin, why not utilize the value of next year’s picks to get that? We know those are really good NFL prospects, so if they can solidify their OL in this draft, I could see us letting go of some of next year’s picks most definitely.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s certainly an ungodly number of DT’s that will go in rounds 2-3. However the only one who has the kind of quick-twitch speed I want to see for Seattle is Hargrave at South Carolina State. I will dig into this group overall.

  35. David says:

    Any thoughts on perhaps converting Antwan Goodley (PS last year, on futures contract for this year as WR) to 3rd down back a la David Johnson? He’s got the frame for it (5’10, 209), explosiveness (4.46 40) and has YAC ability – versus LBs and Safeties he undoubtedly would be a mismatch. Imagine the wheel route out of the backfield (like to Lynch late in the NFCCG game last year) to Goodley running against a LB.

    My feeling is that his skillset and size may have a tough time translating into a roster spot for a WR but could be potentially valuable as a Darren Sproles type guy (3rd down back, occasional slot WR and returner). I guess the one area he would need to improve would be pass blocking but he’s got the frame for it.

    Just a thought. Potentially save a 3rd round pick here.

    • Ground_Hawks says:

      Wow! That is a really interesting thought! I mean considering how well Rawls performed in the system, why not let there be no stone unturned? If it plays out like that then that could be huge. What an idea!