Everything you need to know from the combine today

February 21st, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

News Flash: Seahawks like really good football player

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.

For the full list click here.

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.

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…

And this little go-between is a classic…

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?

Jason La Canfora has an interesting piece on free agent Jared Allen.

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.

61 Responses to “Everything you need to know from the combine today”

  1. Colin says:

    It sounds like the big issue brewing in SF is Harbaugh wants more control over personnel- and Trent Baalke isn’t budging. Wouldn’t surprise me if Harbaugh does what ended up happening at Stanford- pissing everybody off and going somewhere else.

    Does anyone else find Mike Florio to be a bit of an ankle biter? Never been a fan of his work, and to watch him constantly criticize his fellow media members and make silly predictions (like how Pete Carroll wasn’t going to get the Seahawks job because the NFL brass wouldn’t let him in light of the USC issues- LOL) is amusing. It’s quite humorous.

    • Rob Staton says:

      One of the big no-no’s is calling fellow journalists out publicly. I don’t get that and don’t like to see it.

      As for Harbaugh, unless he’s given the kind of power Carroll has in Seattle (doubtful) or a massive pay rise (possible), I wonder if he’ll end up flirting even more with other jobs if/when his contract expires? He’d need all the freedom Carroll is getting. Miami would be an option I guess, Stephen Ross wanted him last time. This is fun to speculate about… :)

      • Colin says:

        In fairness, Florio isn’t a journalist. He’s a lawyer hiding behind a website pretending to be a journalist. His writing reflects that.

        What’s really fun to speculate about- is if the Niners start to decline even slightly- how things internally are going to change there. If things are not all well and good with 3 consecutive NFC/Super Bowl appearances…. boy. That’s not a good relationship.

      • Belgaron says:

        Florio is a clown. Would love to see a competitor to PFT.

        Santa Clara peaked in 2012, they will finish #4 in the west this year and Harbaugh will jump ship. Baalke will be fire in 2015.

  2. KyleT says:

    I would just add that Jordan Hill had the best 20 yard shuttle time of any DT in last years draft. His was more in the range of a TE and LB. I have noticed PCJS tend to draft guys on the line that do well in this metric, both on offense and defense.

  3. kigenzun says:

    As far as trading up for Donald…
    Is it possible the #32 packaged with the #64 could get us high enough (Top15 say) to draft him?
    Or would it take even more, like next years first as well, or something crazy like that?

  4. Ely says:

    This is really turning into a fascinating offseason. The Hawks will have some very interesting decisions to make but should get real quality players with their first two picks. I think it should be one of the more entertaining combines in the last couple years. For what its worth I hope Harbaugh doesn’t leave the niners. He is so much fun to root against and it would take away from the rivalry in my opinion. However it will be fun to watch if he just keeps getting more and more bitter! I’m also going to miss Sid. What a class act and its unfortunate that he couldn’t stay healthy this year.

    • Belgaron says:

      It’s time to add juice to the St Louis rivalry because they are going to be the biggest competition in the next few years.

      • Michael M. says:

        Could be, but it all depends on Bradford. I’m just glad that we clearly have the best QB in the division!

  5. bigDhawk says:

    Great write-up of today’s combine news, Rob. About PCs comments on Manziel, they are a perfect microcosm of just how completely different – and better – the Seahawks organization is run than all others in the NFL. In perfect alignment with PCs Win Forever philosophy, his Manziel comments reflect an admiration for what the player CAN do, and do it better than probably anyone else. In stark contrast, what has been the consensus narrative from the rest of the NFL? – what Manziel supposedly CAN’T do. “He probably wont be a great pocket passer…he probably can’t take a much physical abuse and will be injury prone..he probably won’t be a great leader or team mate…he probably won’t have a great work ethic…he probably doesn’t love football as much as being a celebrity…etc.”

    Granted, some of those concerns may prove to true, especially in a system that concerns itself with worrying about what its players can’t do. But in the hands of PC and a system that can morph to put its players in positions to excel at what they do well, Manziel would probably be the elite player that PC sees in him. In the hands of just about any other system in the NFL, I don’t think Manziel will ever amount to much long term.

    Thankfully we already have our prodigy in Russell Wilson, who in any other system would likely have been squandered as well. To echo Russell’s words after the Super Bowl, thank you Pete Carrol and John Schneider for giving him an opportunity, one that Manziel likely will not have, which is a bit of a shame.

  6. red says:

    Looking at TE on the bench press Joe Don Duncan 35 reps biggest hands of the tights ends looks more like a H-Back played Div II only one video out there on him. Unique guy says he has lined up at TE FB HB nifty guy in the open field drags a lot of linebackers for YAC. I kind of like this guy as a fifth Round pick.

  7. Rob Staton says:

    Troy Niklas is Jake Matthews’ cousin.

    Small world.

  8. Brad says:

    Re: Jared Allen, do you think he could be seen as a replacement for both Clemmons and Red Bryant?

    With Cliff Avril posting similar numbers to Clem at the Leo and Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa in reserve we have depth and potential development at that position. Jared Allen would provide an upgrade in the pass rush over big red, but we would result in playing more of a conventional 4-3. Would that fact alone prevent Pete Carroll from perusing this possible move?

    • williambryan says:

      I wouldn’t think so. Allen, especially late in his career, isn’t going to get all those snaps. Which is another reason why Seattle should be high on his list. He can rotate, stay fresh throughout the season.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I could see Allen replacing Clemons if they’re so inclined. But it’d depend on whether it works in terms of salary.

  9. Stuart says:

    Antonio Richardson, those are some very impressive numbers with those long arms of his. If he is available at #32, is he now a player on the maybe list?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Only if Breno walks.

      • CC says:

        Sentreal Henderson – I know he has a lot of red flags – but he is a heck of an athlete. This is a guy who Petey might want to rehabilitate. There are a few guys that could fit in the zone blocking schemes in the lower rounds Urschel Penn St – and the kid from Nevada Bitonio

    • KyleT says:

      His 10 yard split and 40 time are amazing for his size as well. This guy is an athletic freak that may need some coaching and time but has the potential to be great. If he’s there at 32 and if we do not resign BG…he may be the guy we take.

  10. Jon says:

    I have heard suggestions that PC talking up C-Mike may be attempting to raise the value of a trade situation. The suggestion was C-Mike or Turbin but I don’t buy these as possibility. Turbin has been on the field and has not proven to be of great enough value for teams to give anything up for him. C-Mike has not seen the field, and I could not see him as having risen his value in the last year.

    This is not at all a suggestion, but if there are thoughts of trading a RB, might it be Lynch. He did very well in the playoffs, but was a bit slow the last half of the year. Is it possible the Hawks would even think of moving on from him before he loses a step? I don’t think so, but we also have not been able to see the same things that our FO has in regards to C-Mike and they are the only ones that know why he was

    • Jon says:

      Sorry, The FO are the only ones that know why he was inactive.

      Just an against the grain thought that may be a shocking move that nobody would ever see coming
      I am probably going to get it for this hole thought so let me have it.

      • David Mast says:

        I don’t see a trade with a RB happening. PC/JS have already stated clearly that the 2013 draft class was all about the future, and the 2013 draft class was told that/knew that. The Hawks are at a stage now where they can pick for what they need in the future, not make pics that they need right now. Not saying that’s exactly how it is, but that is how I see it. Look at Baily/Bowie, both will be starters in the next few seasons, if jot next. Michael will be Lynchs replacement. Dereck colemN & Spencer ware, Mike Rob’s replacement. Jordan Hill,Jessie Williams, maybe reds replacement. Eventually mebane.

        What makes the Hawks so good is there ability to find the talent they find valuable, and coach them up to standards. Look at Sherman, Maxwell, Chancellor, Lane, etc… The list goes on and on, they coached them and taught them how they want them to play, instead of just jumping right into it in the first season, I believe it makes you a better player. Not to say people who jump right in aren’t good, but that is why we have great success with our late round picks. The Coaches value a lot more than the numbers /stats a player can put up

        • Jon says:

          This is kind of my point, C-Mike being the replacement for Lynch. PC said that he has the greatest potential to break out. The question for me is when C-Mike takes over for Lynch based on what has been said, not if he will take over for him. This year? next year? It all depends on when the FO knows that C-Mike is ready. I don’t think a trade is likely either, But just thought of sharing something that nobody has mentioned as far as the possibility of Lynch being gone.

          • David Mast says:

            Ok I gotcha now, didn’t understand at first. I think we will see a big increase in Michael this year. Maybe even gaining more and more snaps as the season goes on? I believe it all depends on how well Lynch plays. I believe Lynch will finish this year then be done. Either cut or retire. I don’t see him playing anywhere else but you never know. I wish he could be our RB coach in a few years from now hahaha

            • dtrain says:

              Marshawn will end his career as a Raider. Now that he has a ring, it could be sooner than later. I agree that he plays this year out, CMike and Ware (or another pick) get a bunch of the workload, and we trade him for a late rounder to Oak next year. It will make Lynch happy and we can apply $ saved to Wilson’s new deal. I believe they will trade Turbo to JAX for a 7th on draft day. Gives Gus a cheap 3rd down back for two years.

              Btw…I have been touting Niklas–hoping he would declare. He is the best Miller replacement option. Draft him, make him your 3rd TE this year. Maybe use him as leverage to negotiate Miller down a little. Then cut Miller next year and apply $ to Wilson.

              • David M says:

                Interesting thought on Lynch to Oakland, makes since, he really does love his hometown. I like the thought of Ware & Michael as the feature backs, where ware will be a 3rd and short, Goal line back. Kinda like how Carolina uses Mike Tolbert. Id hate to see Turbo go but that is a high possibility. But we will still need a Speedier back, or u think Ware can do that behind Michael? Or if the y don’t resign Tate, maybe DAT as punt returner and a RB at times?

                • dtrain says:

                  I actually think C-Mike is the speedy back. Like you said, maybe someone for the goal line. I know they think Ware is the perfect 3rd down passing game back (hands, blocks). If they draft a guy, i bet its a bruiser in the 5th-7th…maybe one of the small school guys. Personally, of all the backs, I think the BC kid most resembles Lynch with that wide base-style. But I think he is a 3rd rounder.
                  Great question about punt returns…does anyone know who the electric ones are in this draft?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think they’re planning to trade any of the RBs.

      • Jon says:

        I agree, but I was addressing the thought that people would assume that the Hawks would trade C-Mike or Turbin, but I have not heard about trading Lynch. Though I have heard multiple comments on various discussion boards about Lynch being a possible cap casualty next offseason at 9m. I do not like the idea, and I don’t think that a RB will be traded, but more so I was making just another possible scenario no matter how unlikely.

  11. cha says:

    Rob, would it we wise or feasible to use the depth of the 2014 draft this year to trade down and bank a 2015 pick or two while still getting value in 2014? Ala the Denver/earl Thomas pick trade? 2015 might be a good time to have extra picks available since some more tough decisions will have to made with the star player contracts up.

    • Rob Staton says:

      In order to get a high 2015 pick they’d pretty much have to trade the #32 away and settle with just the #64. That would be painful in such a strong draft, to not pick until #64. Plus as discussed, it appears to be very difficult to trade the #32 pick.

  12. MJ says:

    Time to start seriously considering Troy Niklas as an option at 32. Niklas would be such a Seahawky pick. Absolute freak show of an athlete. Plays like a Seahawk. I’m actually starting to love this idea. Basically a 3rd tackle who can move the chains and dominate in the red zone.

    • Cameron says:

      Co-sign. I was thinking 1st round is too early to take a TE, then I thought, pick #32 is practically the 2nd round, so why not? I don’t care if we get a big WR or a big, pass catching TE at that spot. Either way, if we can get a big red zone threat I’ll take that as a win.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I think it’s generally a bad idea to say a pick is too high for any position. If they’d be a difference maker, you take em.

        Have loved Niklas since he was a 3rd round option.

  13. Kenny Sloth says:

    I thought you knew this. Yeah. He’s part of the fabled Matthews tree.

  14. John W says:

    Martavis Bryant is my sleeper pick for the Hawks at 32. 6’3.5, 211 lbs and will run a very good time on Sunday. This is a guy that can take the top off a defense and people will be talking about him after the weekend. I guarantee Pete loves this guy.

    • MJ says:

      I was thinking about this too. I am really in line with Rob, when he says that the 1st round history of PC/JS is spent on guys with rare qualities. Bryant would certainly qualify with the HWS. I think he runs a sub 4.35, which would be insane at that size.

      • MJ says:

        Not saying I’d take Bryant at 32 (no way), but that would be a very Seahawk 1st rounder.

        • Jon says:

          What I don’t understand is this “Seahawky” thing to do drama. Are we talking about Irvin (it seems that he was going to be picked up in the next few picks, let alone make it to round 2), Okung or Thomas (the went about where expected), Wilson (they waited a full extra round beyond what JS was comfortable with).

          I understand that “Seahawky” is a suggestion that they draft out of the ordinary, based on some elite potential especially early on and the do it very well. Based on reports, I do not see them taking players 2-3 rounds early simply because of elite potential. Perhaps we should rethink what it is to be “Seahawky” when it comes to the early rounds and recognize that just because it may be an interesting pick on first glance they have not tended to fall in love with a player to the point of drafting them several rounds early.

    • Rob Staton says:

      #32 would be way too high IMO. A good athlete but there are so many holes in his game. If they don’t go receiver early, he could be an option in R4-5.

    • CC says:

      I like Bennett too

  15. Ben2 says:

    Benjamin was in the 30s now he’s in the top 20 because he’s big? Ah, even I could see that from the highlight reels I saw. Why the jump? I’m not saying I disagree, it just seems a bit of a knee jerk reaction based on size, which any layman could see 2 weeks ago or more

  16. Kenny says:

    What is your take on Anthony Denham. Monstrous size at 6’4, 235 with the biggest hands out of the group at 10 1/2. I have seen him highpoint and block well. Could be had in the 2nd I believe. Just a big freak who if he runs even decently and can jump a bit should be a major target for this team.

  17. Cysco says:

    It’s laughable that so called “experts” throw out a mock like this:

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2014/mock-drafts/bucky-brooks/190601

    So according to this Bucky Brooks character Donald doesn’t even get drafted in the first round and Evans falls to #17. Why don’t they give that money to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about like Rob.

    • Ray says:

      I find so many of the mock drafts are similar in that they just churn out the top fifty lists with no thought to a teams needs or scheme. I often laugh when I see a 5’9″ 175lb cb mocked to seattle cause that’s where the computer spit him out!!

  18. Ehurd1021 says:

    Just wanted to hear anyones opinion on Timmy Jernigan (FSU- 6″2,298)? Very violent hands at the LOS and plays with great leverage, could anyone see the Hawks drafting him.