Seahawks like Aaron Donald
According to Tony Pauline, the Seahawks have a lot of time for Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
This isn’t a major revelation. He’s a fantastic football player, should be a top-15 pick and deserves to go as high as defensive prospect not named Jadeveon Clowney.
Pauline: “I’m told the Seattle Seahawks brass love Donald. In fact (a) source mentioned the Seahawks made Donald a lot of money based on the way they played their defensive tackles in 2013.”
It’s a shame he has almost no shot of making it to pick #32. A real damn shame.
Pauline also quotes sources suggesting Donald could run in the 4.5/4.6 range, after initially reporting the 4.7′s. Nothing would surprise me. This guy is a star in the making and only a really short-sighted front office will overlook him based on size.
Carroll speaks at the combine
Pete Carroll spoke at the podium with a few interesting observations. You can hear the full press conference here.
– Despite the occasional hand-wringing over Christine Michael’s future role, Carroll spoke very positively about the second year receiver…
“He’s really talented and he’s a really exciting guy in our program. Probably has the most breakout potential out of anybody because you haven’t seen much of him yet… We’ve seen him, we know that he can do really special stuff.”
– Carroll spoke warmly about Sammy Watkins, a player the Seahawks have no shot at drafting…
“I was watching Sammy Watkins take the stage as he gets measured today and I think he was like 6-1 and 211 pounds or something like that. What separates that guy? What makes him such a great football player? It’s all the other elements. It’s not his height-weight-speed. It’s all the other stuff that’s part of his makeup, his gifts. Also the experiences he’s had, the coaching he’s had, the opportunity to play with great players.”
– When asked about the blueprint for his defense, he had this response…
“We want to be more and more aggressive (up front), always with speed.”
– In a separate, shorter piece with ESPN he made the following comments about Johnny Manziel. And he’s right…
“You better draft this guy… he’s an extraordinary football player.”
Receiver measurements and why Seattle will look for a ‘beast’
I’ve hand picked some key names, but you can see the full list via Walter Football.
Davante Adams — 6-1, 212lbs, 9 inch hands
Odell Beckham Jr — 5-11, 198lbs, 10 inch hands
Kelvin Benjamin — 6-5, 240lbs, 10 1/4 inch hands
Brandon Coleman — 6-6, 225lbs, 9 1/4 inch hands
Brandin Cooks — 5-9, 189lbs, 9 5/8 inch hands
Mike Evans — 6-4, 231lbs, 9 5/8 inch hands
Jarvis Landry — 5-11, 204lbs, 10 1/4 inch hands
Marqise Lee — 5-11, 196lbs, 9 1/2 inch hands
Donte Moncrief — 6-2, 221lbs, 9 1/8 inch hands
Allen Robinson — 6-2, 220lbs, 9 1/2 inch hands
Sammy Watkins — 6-0, 211lbs, 9 5/8 inch hands
The average hand size of a receiver over the last five years is 9 1/4 inches.
Some initial thoughts…
How weird is the human body? How can 5-9 Brandin Cooks, with his 189lbs frame, have the same sized hands as 6-4, 231lbs Mike Evans?
That is crazy.
I also find it interesting that Brandon Coleman at fully 6-6 and 225lbs has hands that are nearly an inch smaller than Odell Beckham’s Jr’s.
I’m going to reserve making any big judgements until after the weekend when these guys have worked out, but I will say this…
The Seahawks, if they’re going to draft a receiver early, they’re going to want a beast.
Not a middling 6-1/6-2 guy who runs a safe and steady forty time.
I’m talking about a monster who is big, fast and might have a few flaws, but is just a nightmare to gameplan.
If they don’t have great size, then they’ll need to be a tremendous athlete.
Look at the draft history under PC/JS.
In 2010 their two first round picks were Russell Okung (great mobility, long arms) and Earl Thomas (4.3 speed, electric athleticism).
The year after they drafted a man-mountain in James Carpenter — not a brilliant athlete, but incredibly huge with an impressive run blocking résumé at Alabama.
In 2012 Bruce Irvin was the top pick — a 4.4 guy and another big time athlete.
And last year their top two ‘picks’ were essentially Percy Harvin and Christine Michael.
Each year at the top of the draft they’ve gone after difference making physicality, speed or athleticism. Later on they’ve been willing to consider a John Moffitt or Jordan Hill. But early picks = nothing average.
And that’s what we should be looking at when it comes to the #32 pick. Even if that player is far from the finished article, they’re going to be special in terms of size or speed.
I suspect they’ll probably have Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans right at the top of their list. It’s a shame neither player will get close to #32 — in fact both could be top ten picks.
Evans doesn’t just have the size — on Sunday he’ll show the speed. And he has 35 1/8 inch arms. That’s just incredible length.
To put that into perspective, in the last five drafts the average arm length for a receiver is 32 inches.
Benjamin isn’t too far behind Evans with 34 7/8 inch arms — he too is going to run well for a 240lbs monster.
For a time they may have wondered if Benjamin would last to the late first, but after the weekend he’ll be considered a top-20 lock. I have no doubts there.
After that I’m not convinced there’s an obvious size/speed receiver fit unless Brandon Coleman has a terrific work out.
Don’t get me wrong, the list above is filled with good receivers. But a lot of them are similar to what the Seahawks already have.
If they’re going to draft a bigger target and a red zone threat, it might be time to start looking at Troy Niklas. If he runs well with that physique, he could be their guy.
He’s already a sound blocker with incredible size (6-6, 270lbs). How well is he going to run? We’ll find out tomorrow.
This could be an option for Seattle — especially with Evans and Benjamin likely to be long gone.
It’s also worth monitoring Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ work out. He was a former 5-star recruit, after all. And USC showed some interest during recruitment before Carroll left for the Seahawks.
OL and TE bench press results
Russell Bodine, a guard from North Carolina, had the most reps (42). He’s 6-3, 310lbs with 32 inch arms.
Here are the some other hand-picked results. Again, Walter Football has the full list.
Cameron Fleming — 34 reps
Gabe Jackson — 30 reps
Ja’wuan James — 22 reps
Cyrus Kouandjio — 21 reps
Taylor Lewan — 29 reps
Marcus Martin — 23 reps
Zack Martin — 29 reps
Jake Matthews — 23 reps
Morgan Moses — DNP
Antonio Richardson — 36 reps
Cyril Richardson — 25 reps
Greg Robinson — 32 reps
Xavier Su’a-Filo — 25 reps
David Yankey — 22 reps
Jace Amaro — 28 reps
Eric Ebron — 24 reps
Marcel Jensen — 24 reps
Colt Lyerla — 15 reps
Troy Niklas — 27 reps
Austin Seferian-Jenkins — 20 reps
It’s worth noting arm length for these players and the total reps. It’s much harder for Cyrus Kouandjio with nearly 36 inch arms to bench press than it is for someone like Jake Matthews, Zack Martin or Taylor Lewan.
Antonio Richardson’s 36 reps with 35 inch arms is positively freakish. We talked all year about how he could make a move up the boards. This might be the start of the hype train leaving the station.
In terms of the tight ends, Jace Amaro and Troy Niklas performed well considering their +34 inch arms.
Running back and quarterback measurements
A few other choice notes…
There were no major headlines involving the top three quarterbacks. Johnny Manziel is listed at 5-11 and 207lbs with big hands — 9 7/8 inches.
With hands like that, it’s safe to say John Schneider likes this guy.
Average hand size for a QB is around 9 5/8 inches. Considering there are very few quarterbacks under 6-0, that’s impressive for Manziel.
Blake Bortles is 6-5 and 232 lbs with 9 3/8 inch hands. Teddy Bridgewater is 6-2 and 214lbs with 9 1/4 inch hands.
I don’t expect the Seahawks to draft a running back, but for the record Carlos Hyde is listed at 5-11 and 230lbs, Bishop Sankey is 5-9 and 209lbs and Lache Seastrunk — who could run a fantastic time this Sunday — is 5-9 and 201lbs. You can see the rest here.
The weirdest story of the day award goes to…
The Cleveland Browns, who apparently tried to trade for Jim Harbaugh.
#Browns don’t deny they tried to trade for rights to Jim Harbaugh. Team spokesman Zak Gilbert said club conducted an extensive search…
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) February 21, 2014
Plus there’s this addition from Mike Florio… “A deal that would have sent multiple draft picks to San Francisco was in place between the teams. But Harbaugh ultimately decided not to leave the 49ers.”
And then this…
Browns never reached out to Harbaugh. HE TOLD THEM HE WANTED THE JOB when they called on Roman & Tomsula. — Joe Lull (@LullOnSports) February 21, 2014
And this little go-between is a classic…
— Jed York (@JedYork) February 21, 2014
This is so Harbaugh. And clearly something isn’t right in San Fran if he really is entertaining this switch. Seahawks begin negotiations with Michael Bennett’s agent According to this tweet…
What is Jared Allen’s market?
Can he beat the collapsing pass rusher market for veteran players?
There’s been some talk that free agency could take a battering this year, due to the sheer quality and depth of this draft class.
However, it’s not a great draft for edge rushers. And this could actually benefit the likes of Allen and others when the market re-opens next month.
Even so, the Seahawks might keep an eye on what happens here. They reportedly showed interest before the trade deadline. If they cut Chris Clemons and with the cap growing to $130m — is there a chance to work out a cap-friendly deal to help Allen win a ring?
Sidney Rice makes it official
Adam Schefter broke the news earlier. I guess it’s now official.
The number #12 will remain on the left side of my chest no matter what! Grateful for the opportunity to share so many special moments w yall
— Sidney Rice (@sidneyrice) February 21, 2014