Day two review: Seahawks take Christine Michael & Jordan Hill

April 26th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

When push comes to shove, you just can’t beat an impact player.

It seems that’s what the Seahawks are hoping to get from their first two picks in the 2013 Draft — running back Christine Michael (Texas A&M) and Jordan Hill (DT, Penn State).

Although the selection of a running back that early will be a surprise to many, Michael completely fits the criteria for a Seahawks pick.

1. They want to emphasise the run as the main identity of the offense.

2. Ever since Marshawn Lynch signed his contract extension, I’m led to believe there’s been a feeling within the team that they need to find ways to extend his productivity. Lynch is such an important focal point with his punishing running style. The key here is to find someone who can spell Lynch (who does get banged up from time to time as you’d expect) without taking away any of the intensity he brings to the offense.

3. Pete Carroll regularly stock-piled 5-star running backs at USC. It’s no surprise they’ve started looking to add to their stable of backs. I don’t think the idea was ever been to just have one bell-cow and that’s it. Maybe other priorities took precedent the last two years, but they’re now in a position to start accumulating talent at the position.

4. Michael fits the team’s scheme and ideology perfectly. He’s a one-cut runner with superb balance. He gets up to top speed quickly, rarely goes down under first contact and has the potential to make big plays.

5. His best football is ahead of him. The Seahawks are not scared of a project. They aren’t afraid to take a player who’s suffered two serious injuries, fell out with his college coach and overslept at the combine, missing two team interviews. They’re constantly looking for what a player can become with the right guidance rather than what he isn’t. Michael could — could — be a star.

On Thursday I ranked Christine Michael as the 17th best player in the entire draft and the #1 running back. I appreciate my rankings are no more important than anyone else’s. However, we did spend a fair amount of time discussing the possibility he could come into play for this team in round two. And while there were needs elsewhere, this does make a lot of sense.

They didn’t just draft a #3 running back today. They drafted a guy who will ensure the team has a prolific runner on the field at all times. With the greatest respect to Robert Turbin, he doesn’t have the same level of upside or intensity as a runner. The big biceps look intimidating, but it’s power in the legs, vision and the ability to make a great cut that will lead you to success in this offense. Michael ticks all the boxes. Turbin still has a role, but he’s more likely to adopt the #3 position now. It’ll be a fun competition between the two this off-season.

Seattle was going to find it difficult to make a tangible improvement to the team without a round one pick this year. By taking Michael, they managed it anyway. There was a lot of talent at other positions on the board, however. It’ll be interesting to watch Arthur Brown’s career in Baltimore, given the Ravens traded with Seattle to get the Kansas State linebacker. They also passed on Travis Kelce, Larry Warford and Keenan Allen.

Jordan Hill is another player we focused on at various times this off-season. I actually went away from him when I saw reported interest in multiple big free agent defensive tackles. They were looking at 6-5+ guys who were all well over 300lbs. They eventually signed Tony McDaniel and I wondered if they’d look for even more size in the draft. The intrigue with Hill never disappeared, however. And I’m glad he’s a Seahawk.

You’re talking about a guy who played at around 290lbs last year at 6-1 and yet completely held his own against much bigger lineman. He’s a tough guy, a fighter. But don’t start thinking he’s purely physical. He has some moves. He has burst. And he can get into the backfield.

The best example of this was his performance against Wisconsin. He dominated, quite frankly, against the hulking group of 6-6 monsters the Badgers consistently field in the trenches. That’s when you start to believe that he can do this in the NFL.

He could be over-matched and we’ll only find out when he gets started in the pro’s. Again, he’s not a big guy. Yet he’s beaten the odds so far to become a major factor for Penn State and the way he led that defense in the face of adversity last year was admirable. You’ll want to root for him. And he’s the nearest thing Seattle has to a three-technique, even if he spent a lot of time at the one in college.

The Seahawks have ten picks tomorrow including one in round four and three in round five. Considering the talent still available and the success they’ve had in the later rounds so far, that’s an enticing prospect.

Elsewhere…

49ers hit a home run
They were always likely to have one of the best drafts due to the sheer number of picks they own, but credit to the Niners for their work so far. Eric Reid, Tank Carradine, Vance McDonald and Corey Lemonier is a formidable looking quartet. I think the Jets have had the best draft so far, followed by Baltimore. San Francisco is a close third. On McDonald — it makes you wonder if that would’ve been Seattle’s pick at #56. The Niners traded above the Seahawks, after all. I guess we’ll never know.

What’s going on with Barkley and Nassib?
I’m a big fan of Matt Barkley. Others like Ryan Nassib. I don’t think many expected they’d both last until round four. Need isn’t exactly strong at the position this year (a rarity) but it’s still surprising to see both players hang around this far. Neither should last long tomorrow. A fourth round salary is fantastic for a good backup and both players will have trade value in the future if they succeed in spot duty. Tyler Wilson is also yet to be drafted.

Other big names remain available
Here’s a collection of names who remain available: Quinton Patton, Jonathan Franklin, Khaseem Greene, John Simon, Sanders Commings, Ryan Swope, Marcus Lattimore, Jesse Williams, Stepfan Taylor, Baccari Rambo, Denard Robinson, Jordan Mills, Alex Okafor. When you get to this stage, you start to question why some of the big names are still on the board. Are there injury or character concerns for example? Did the media misjudge these players? Did we? It wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see smaller school prospects and a few obscure names leave the board before some of these players. Yet it’s a good example of the value that remains available going into day three.

Bills rolling the dice
No team is taking more chances it seems than Buffalo. They draft a quarterback with all the physical tools you’d ever want, but in college it seemed like he needed to know where he was going with the ball pre-snap and he never really improvised. They draft Kiko Alonso, a guy chosen to be an aggressive athlete on defense but who comes with his own question marks. They go for pure speed with Marquise Goodwin, but he didn’t look like a natural receiver on tape. You’ve got to love the Robert Woods pick, but overall they’ve gone for difference-making athleticism. If it works, it’ll be an exciting offense to watch. But there’s quite a lot of boom or bust here.

Ravens always get it done
The Matt Elam pick at the end of round one last night was terrific value. To get Arthur Brown today is incredible. They consistently make great picks within that organisation. It’s incredible, inspirational. The year that they finally move on from Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, they maybe just drafted their replacements for the next decade. Ozzie Newsome is a genius and that’s why they’re the Super Bowl Champions.

Seattle’s remaining picks:

Round four – #26
Round five – #5, #25, #32
Round six – #26, #31
Round seven – #14, #25, #35, #36

Best eight players on the board?

#1 Matt Barkley QB
#2 Khaseem Greene LB
#3 Quinton Patton WR
#4 John Simon DE
#5 Sanders Commings CB
#6 Ryan Swope WR
#7 Jesse Williams DT
#8 Baccari Rambo S

Some other names to keep an eye on: Nick Kasa (TE), Denard Robinson (RB), Luke Marquardt (T), Duke Williams (S), Stefan Charles (DT), Michael Williams (TE), Russell Shepard (WR/CB), B.J. Daniels (QB), Kyle Juszczyk (FB), David Quessenberry (T), Reid Fragel (T), David Bakhtiari (T), Jordan Mills (T), Xavier Nixon (T), Philip Thomas (S), Ryan Otten (TE),

46 Responses to “Day two review: Seahawks take Christine Michael & Jordan Hill”

  1. Cameron says:

    I think it’s time to move up the board and take Matt Barkley. Good back-up at very least and easy flip potential.

    • Colin says:

      I don’t think you move up the board for him. You sit tight, and if he falls to you, take him.

      I’d really love to see John Simon or Khaseem Greene on this defense. I feel one of those two could be the next late round big impact Seahawk.

  2. Michael (CLT) says:

    Draft is a waste. Michael’s is an injury and mental illness waiting to happen. Hill may be beat out by Howard and/or McDonald. Couple that with SF punking us for a TE we wanted in Vance McDonald… too funny.

    I am pissed.

    • LadyT says:

      Wow. Maybe they should just hire you to run the front office. Getting punked for Vance McDonald, please. You would think they just drafted Vernon Davis. What SF does is independent of Seattle. If they moved up to “punk” Seattle for a TE that Seattle may or may not have had on their board then they are the ones that got punked. Somehow I doubt that was the reason they moved up.

      • Cameron says:

        Yup. San Fransisco had themselves a great draft, but they are arguably worse at a few positions than they were 3 months ago. I doubt Eric Reid is going to replace Dashon Goldsen’s production, at least right away, and I believe Vance McDonald is a clear downgrade from Delanie Walker. They drafted two guys to play OLB in their 3-4 – good picks, but at a position they appear to be relatively set at.

    • AndyEch says:

      You’re either a horrible pessimist or a Niner fan with too much time on your hands.

      Seahawks wanted Vance McDonald? How do you know? Listening to John Schneider’s comments tonight, they were really high on Michael and had to take him even though RB is not a position of need. Watch some tape- Michael could end up being the best RB in this draft.

    • Madmark says:

      I feel vindicated I when I saw Christine Michaels article I immediately pushed Travis Kelce to 3rd round and put this guy in the 2nd. I got my pick right and I’m a little upset cause there was no way Kelce was going to make it to 87 and it funny he was draft next after Michaels. We run the ball more than any other team last year and a 3rd of our pass plays are off of play action pass. This is a great and you need to take off the blinders your wearing because its a done deal.

    • Brett says:

      Judging by your comment, it’s almost like Schneider hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt based on, oh I don’t know, his entire draft history. If you’re not convinced by now that these guys know what hey’re doing, you’ll never be.

    • Ray graham says:

      You mad bro?

    • Robert says:

      All your comments suck with negativity and ominous foreboding. The last 3 Drafts, everyone trashed our Draft decisions. Now they laud our FO Draft decisions as genius. Quit punking and whining…

  3. Colin says:

    Personally, I think there are too many people who view the draft as a means to fulfill needs. Drafting for value is not sexy, but very important. You cannot just draft for need. The comments about the Niners having a great draft because they fulfilled needs WITH value is bullshit. It seems sexy BECAUSE they got need with value but that’s not always true. You miss on a ‘need’ pick, and you’ve only magnified the problem. The Seahawks aren’t in a position where they need to force this issue. Christine Michael could be the Aaron Rodgers of the RB position; taken purely for value at a time when the need wasn’t there.

    Hill is solid if not spectacular. I’m not sure what else Pete and John could’ve done, taken Arthur Brown at 56? Sure. It would’ve been a “safe” pick, but Christine Michael is a potential homerun, and I love that. I wanted Brown, but his addition doesn’t solve all the Seahawks ‘problems’ (I use that term lightly).

    Relax. Things are okay.

    • Don says:

      Things are not okay.

      Arthur Brown doesn’t solve all of the Seahawks problems? He would have solved the hole at OLB, a lot more than a 3 string RB would with the first pick the Hawks had in the draft!

      I am very disappointed with what the Hawks did in the draft. Draft a 3rd string RB to be used only on punt coverage instead of drafting higher rated players to fill needs, like Khaseem Green or Brown would do,. Then to pick an average DT like Hill with your next pick, when there are higher rated players left?

      Very discouraging.

      • Leonard says:

        Is there really a hole at OLB? They are going to be in nickle at least a third of the time, so that’s Winfield’s spot. They are going to try Irving and Avril at SAM which moves KJ to WILL and they like the guys they have there already a lot more than you do (no offense but I will trust Pete) so how many snaps are really available? Weak side LB just isn’t a position of great value for this team so Brown doesn’t have the value to them that he does to you.
        Just stop using the word rated. You don’t know how high anyone was rated. None of us do. None of the draft pundits or Internet scouts do. They drafted the guys that will benefit the Seahawks and there scheme the most.
        Just accept it. This is a lot more complicated than you understand. Go ahead at be disappointed that they didn’t get the guy you liked but understand that your guy’s particular skill set might not work on this team as much as it would with others.

      • Colin says:

        Well Don, if you’ve listened to Pete Carroll at all this offseason, OLB was never a priority. They seemed content with the guys they had.

  4. Leonard says:

    I’d add Shamarko Thomas to the watch list. I think he’d be a great back up for Earl Thomas.

  5. erik says:

    jessie williams has knee issues like chris polk which is scaring teams according to cbssports

  6. Leonard says:

    Anyone else find it amusing that we are hearing the exact same criticisms that we did the last few years? They traded down and didn’t get the player they probably wanted. They reached for a guy when better players where on the board. They don’t need a “pick a position”. Who cares about scheme fit when there are ratings to worry about?
    I hope the same people are bitching next year for the exact same reasons after they luck their way into the Super Bowl.

    • Cameron says:

      I find it amusing. I think we are doing great. We have a good football team with few glaring needs and can afford a draft like this, taking a BPA approch. I think Christine Michael will establish himself quickly as the #2 RB, a change of pace, 1 cut and go type of player. We also know that Pete Carroll values special teams, and I think we should expect to see Michael return punts and kicks. I don’t think we will see Harvin fulfilling that role except for certain situations due to the obvious injury risks.

      • Robert says:

        Agreed. Harvin’s greatest value might be the attention opposing defenses have to commit to PH, which opens up opportunities for all our other dangerous weapons…so let’s keep him healthy!

    • Robert says:

      I find it annoying. Our FO has earned our trust. A ridiculous % of their decisions ultimately reveal genius. We are just Internet scouts. If they don’t take my guy, I will have a hissy fit with my keyboard…I really wanted Kelce and Brandon Williams. But I am warming up to the idea of CM as a contributor: platooning, special teams, insurance if Lynch is hurt and grooming a very talented heir apparent…

  7. CFraychineaud says:

    Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
    Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
    BJ Daniels, QB, South Florida
    Ryan Robertson, QB, Central Washington
    Zac Dysert, QB, Miami-Ohio
    Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M 2-62 Seahawks
    Jeremy Wright, RB, Louisville
    Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida
    Denard Robinson, RB/WR, Michigan
    Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
    Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
    Justin Veltung, WR, Idaho
    Russell Shepard, WR, LSU
    Martel Moore, WR, Northern Ilinois
    Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
    Tyrone Goard, WR, Eastern Kentucky
    Eric Rogers, WR, Cal Lutheran
    Perez Ashford, WR, Northern Illinois
    Greg Herd, WR, Eastern Washington
    Terrell Sinkfield, WR, Northern Iowa
    Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers
    Ryan Otten, TE, San Jose State
    Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
    Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado
    David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State
    Ryan Jensen, OL, Colorado State
    Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech
    Armonty Bryant, DE, East Central
    Rufus Johnson, DE, Tarleton State
    Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton
    Datone Jones, DL, UCLA 1-26 Packers
    Sheldon Richardson, DL, Missouri 1-13 Jets
    Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State 3-87 Seahawks
    Sylvester Williams, DT, NC State 1-28 Broncos
    Stefan Charles, DT, Regina
    Michael Brooks, DT, East Carolina
    Semsi Tokolahi, DT, Washington
    Isaac Remington, DT, Oregon
    Luke Batton, LB, Kent State
    Craig Wilkins, LB, Old Dominion
    Brice Butler, WR (CB), San Diego State
    Brian Watkins, CB, Oregon State
    Dontra Peters, CB, New Hampshire
    Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State
    Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU 3-69 Cardinals
    Brendan Melanophy, DB, Fordham
    Duke Williams, S, Nevada
    Justin Glenn, FS, Washington
    Anthony Watkins, SS, Oregon State
    Cooper Taylor, SS, Richmond
    Quinn Sharp, K/P, Oklahoma State
    Kevin McDermott, LS, UCLA

    I copied the list of players that visited the Seahawks with the addition of a few of the players that our scouts met with at the senior bowl or combine. Plus a few that have been linked to us recently. Figured it would be nice to see a list going into the last day so we can keep track of what is still available there since 7 of the 10 we drafted last year was from the visited list.

    Will be fun to try and keep it updated as tomorrow’s draft continues.

    10 picks in the rounds where we got Sherman, Chancellor, Turbin, and many other contributors. I’m excited.

    • CFraychineaud says:

      damn the tabbing or spacing didn’t work out for the pick location and team that selected the player.

      oh well.

  8. Michael (CLT) says:

    Seattle basically said “no mas” to the 2012 4th round. Turbin is relegated to ST, which I’m not sure he can play, and Howard is now officially a goner.

    Nice.

    • Tomahawk says:

      Even if that turns out to be true, our FO has an insanely good success rate and we need to trust the big picture with them. Our team sucked three years ago and is now arguably the best team in the NFL. These guys know a lot more than we do. As for Turbin, he’s at least a hell of a #3 back, with is more a testament of how stacked this roster is.

    • Colin says:

      Turbin is not going to play special teams. Get a grip on reality man.

      • train says:

        Turbin has and will be a ST contributor. Pete even said it in the presser. In fact, CM will be on the coverage and return teams. Its the value of picking great athletes that are tough players.

    • Brett says:

      Uh, Turbin already plays special teams.

      • Belgaron says:

        Yes, but he is not going to be relegated to an ST-only player, he will be part of the rushing rotation. His number of carries will depend on how well he competes for them–as it should be.

    • Robert says:

      Thanks for another nimbus cloud, CLT (Cannot Laugh Today)…

  9. Madmark says:

    I must be missing something here. Turbin isn’t going nowhere he’s going to get his plays. All the player on the finally roster will get playing time how they preform determines there time. Charley Martin and Jermaine Kearse all got time on the field so don’t think cause we got another back that Turbin is going away.
    Green bay won superbowl but they had a few running backs. The next couple of years they are close but all their RB are injured and Arizona had a bad line but all there running backs were injured. I want Kelce TE so bad the only original draft pick from my mock in January but to get him I have to give up Michaels and at this point and time I’ll take Michaels here and give up Kelce as I did in my mock when I move Kelce to 3rd round. I was hopeful to get both but I just knew there be a run on TEs this year.

  10. PatrickH says:

    The Jordan Hill selection reminds me of K.J. Wright’s selection 2 years ago. At that time, of the group of tall, long-arm OLB prospects, KJ was the last one left when the Seahawks took him in the 4th round. This year, of the few DT prospects who had demonstrated significant pass-rush ability at the college level, Jordan Hill seemed to be the last one left when the Seahawks took him (except perhaps for the undersized John Simon, who may be transitioning to 3-4 OLB role at the pro level). I could be wrong, but the rest of the remaining DT prospects seem to be run-stuffers only.

  11. Leonard says:

    Hey Rob or Kip, do you guys have an opinion or guess on how they are going to use Turbin going forward? Maybe try him returning punts or using his speed on jet sweeps? Could he put on some more weight (mostly lower body) and take on short yardage and H-Back duties? Or just stick as a 3rd RB with +-5 carries a game, more in mop up time and injuries?

    • train says:

      Turbin proved to be a viable 3rd down back; pass pro, screens, wheel routes, runs, etc…he loses the role as the #2 changeup carries on 1st&2nd down and gains the LW plays (few for sure). Just makes us dynamic and versitile.

  12. Madmark says:

    Seattle rushed 536 times last year. Lets lessen the load a little on Lynch 350, Michael 95, Turbin 75 and Harvin 26.

    • A. Simmons says:

      Sounds good. Christine Michael sounds like a high energy personality. Guy must have some serious will to come back from two bad injuries and produce. I hope he can stay healthy. Durability issues can be rough in the NFL. Then again the knock on Adrian Petersen entering the NFL was his durability. He held up fine. Even after his ACL tear, man came back with a vengeance. Christine seems to have that kind of mentality.

  13. A. Simmons says:

    Rob, I’d love to read an evaluation of Jordan Hll as a one tech and then a projection of what he might do as a three tech. According to Jordan Hill on his conference call, he mostly played one tech at Penn State. It is my understanding that the one tech lines up to take on a guard and a center. That means Jordan Hill at 300 lbs was lined up to take on double teams and be Penn State’s Brandon Mebane.

    That is interesting given he is viewed as undersized and weaker. Perhaps he looks that way because he was going against constant double teams (a guard and center) at only 300 lbs. How did he do against single blocks? Was he able to effectively deal with double teams playing one tech at Penn State? He must have been able to anchor somewhat to be able to play one tech. If he was anchoring against double teams and essentially playing a position normally manned by a larger man, that would be an intriguing prospect to line up at three tech. See what he can do against constant single blocking.

    • A. Simmons says:

      Jordan Hill’s motor seems very high. The guy moves around a lot. His hand fighting is pretty good. He keeps the hands moving. He seems to have good quicks. He seems to be able to slip off a block and quickly accelerate into the pocket to disrupt the QB. He has active hands. Doesn’t let his arms get held down. For a guy as short as he is, he gets his hands up to knock down passes. Even when cut block, he gets up and keeps on pursuing. Good nose for the ball as well. Seems to follow the ball carrier laterally and doesn’t lose sight of him.

      Definitely not the most powerful guy. I watched quite a bit of video and he doesn’t seem to require double blocking. Just a very active, aggressive player with a nose for the football that outworks the guys he’s going against. I’m intrigued by his play. You definitely want a high motor, aggressive player at the three tech position. Wear the guards down with activity.

  14. [...] “Seattle was going to find it difficult to make a tangible improvement to the team without a round one pick this year. By taking Michael, they managed it anyway.” —Rob Staton, Seahawks Draft Blog [...]

  15. JeffS says:

    What strikes me the most is that Pete Carroll looked actively unhappy.

    It looked like it was takng all his energy to keep his negative emotions under control.