Five defensive linemen to monitor & cap casualties

March 13th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

We’ve talked a lot about the lack of pass rushing depth in this draft. Yet it’s still worth considering the limited options.

The Seahawks have selected a defensive lineman with one of their first two picks in each of the last five drafts (L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Malik McDowell, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark). With D-line being their biggest need by far this off-season, it stands to reason they’ll consider extending this run to six.

That could come in a couple of different forms too.

The Seahawks were at their best when they had multiple edge rushing options. The Clark-Bennett-Avril trio or the Clemons-Bennett-Avril trio previously were highly effective (along with support from Bruce Irvin). They might be able to sign two edge rushers in free agency but three might be a stretch. If so, the Seahawks might seek to find a third wheel in the draft.

They also might need to replace Jarran Reed or Al Woods.

Currently they have three picks in the first two rounds — #27, #59 and #62. I think this is the range where if you want a pass rusher — you need to consider it. The options will evaporate quickly.

At #27 one name stands out. Julian Okwara is 6-4, 252lbs and he has 34.5 inch arms. He also has 10 1/4 hands. That’s the profile of a LEO pass rusher. Despite looking quite lean and light on tape he’s surprisingly powerful — as shown by his 27 reps on the bench press at the combine.

He didn’t do any drills because he’s still recovering from a broken leg suffered during the 2019 season although he did appear at #10 on Bruce Feldman’s 2019 freak list:

Okwara’s speed is why he cracked the top 10 this year. Notre Dame has clocked his top speed at 21 mph — a time you’d expect from a speedy wideout but not from a 6-5 pass rusher.

The quickness shows up during games too. He beats tackles quickly to the corner. He has excellent get off and the ability to convert his speed into power. As noted recently, he ranks highly in terms of pass rush win percentage and pressures and 33% of his tackles at Notre Dame were for a loss.

He’s the most obvious LEO candidate and should be a top-40 pick (especially with the limited options in this class). If the Seahawks prioritise adding an extra EDGE in the draft, he could be their top pick.

With their picks in round two I think there are four options. I’m not convinced any or all will last to the end of round two. However, we saw them make a small trade up for Jarran Reed in 2016. They’ve also been prepared to trade up for D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in recent years.

The Florida pass rushing duo of Jabari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard stand out for differing reasons.

Greenard is a highly impressive individual. He was established as a team leader quickly after transferring from Louisville. His interviews are mature and enjoyable. He carries himself like a pro off the field and teams will love his character and attitude.

On the field there are some key strengths. His run defense is very impressive at 263lbs. You can play him on early downs. He has unnatural length (35 inch arms) for his height (6-3) and he’s powerful enough to stun offensive tackles, create separation and then play the ball carrier. He did this against Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson at 350lbs.

As a pass rusher he’s not a sudden, explosive rusher. You don’t see many easy wins with quickness and burst. It wasn’t a surprise that he ran a 4.87 at the combine — that was expected.

However, his 4.34 short shuttle and 7.13 three cone are both excellent times. That’s in Seattle’s wheelhouse for a player at his size based on players they’ve selected in the past.

His 17.2% pass rush win rate isn’t among the leaders in this draft but it’s similar to A.J. Epenesa (17.5%). At the end of round two here’s what you’d be getting — a prospective team leader who will fit into your culture beautifully, a player who can set the edge but still provide some spark as a rusher, has a deep repertoire and can potentially play either side of the line.

Zuniga is a different type of player. He’s much quicker off the edge than you’d think. He doesn’t always show it consistently but he has tremendous get-off. That’s no mean feat for his size. He’s incredibly well put-together at 6-3 and 264lbs. He looks like a BAMF pass rusher.

At the end of 2018 I was mocking him to the Seahawks in round one. He chose not to declare and return to Florida. He and Greenard were on fire to start the 2019 season before both got hurt. As a consequence his stock never really took off.

As noted in our combine coverage — he was the only pass rusher who got close to running a top 10-yard split. His 1.61 time is on the brink of elite. The fact he’s doing that at a muscular 264lbs is all the more impressive.

He also ran a 4.64 forty — a great time for his size.

Not only that, he’s incredibly explosive. He scored a 3.76 in TEF — the top score among defensive linemen this year and the fourth best score among D-liners since we started using the formula:

Myles Garrett — 4.21
Ben Banogu — 4.05
Solomon Thomas — 3.83
Jabari Zuniga — 3.76
Ed Oliver — 3.72

He also led the class in weighted TEF with a 99.2 — similar to the top offensive linemen like Tristan Wirfs. He is a sensational combination of speed, quickness and explosive power.

His pass rush win percentage was a healthy 20% although his pressure percentage is a more modest 15.8%. That perhaps correlates with the flashes he shows but not necessarily a level of consistency.

Even as I’m writing these words I’m tempted to bump him up with Okwara. With the complete dearth of pass rushers in this class he could go earlier than many are currently projecting. His inconsistent play, the 2019 injury and a nondescript Senior Bowl could keep him on the board.

If you want to take a shot on an athletic pass rusher and if Okwara isn’t an option, Zuniga is the best bet. He’s not the long, lean LEO type like Okwara but he has a skill set that can threaten off the edge.

I wrote in detail about Curtis Weaver a few days ago so I won’t rehash the whole article here. Essentially he lacks the prototype size, frame and length for the Seahawks (or anyone else). Yet his pass rush win percentage and pressure percentage are among the best in the class and his 4.27 short shuttle can’t be ignored. It’s comparable to some of the top pass rushers in the NFL currently.

If the Seahawks consider him despite the lack of traits he could provide a specialist rush edge to the rotation. I suspect he’ll be a second or third round selection.

The final name is a defensive tackle and another player we’ve discussed a lot already. For years the Seahawks have looked for their answer for Calais Campbell. Raekwon Davis could be the latest attempt to find a solution.

The two players are physically similar:

Calais Campbell
Height: 6-8
Weight: 290lbs
Arm length: 35 3/4 inches
Hand size: 9.5 inches
Forty: 5.11
10-yard: 1.74
Vertical: 29.5 inches
Broad: 9-3
Three cone: 4.69
Short shuttle: 7.45
Bench: 16 reps

Raekwon Davis
Height: 6-6
Weight: 311lbs
Arm length: 33 7/8 inches
Hand size: 11 inches
Forty: 5.12
10-yard: 1.78
Vertical: 28 inches
Broad: 9-3
Three cone: 4.86
Short shuttle: 7.95
Bench: 24 reps

There are some clear similarities. The forty times are practically identical and they both recorded a 9-3 broad jump. The vertical jumps are similar.

Davis performs better in the bench press but his extra size and shorter arms provided an advantage. Campbell was quicker in the three cone and short shuttle but he was also 21lbs lighter than Davis.

On tape they can be similar too. Davis plays end as well as tackle. Despite his height he anchors superbly and doesn’t lose many leverage battles. He’s strong at the POA and can absorb blocks to fill gaps. He’s much more athletic than you’d expect from a player of his size and he’ll work across the line and sprint to the sideline to chase ball carriers and quarterbacks.

Look at how he turns the corner:

A lot of people focus on his lack of production. That will be an oversight if the NFL does the same. The key is to unlock that potential. It’s there. We’ve seen it. Yet if he never even scratches the surface of Campbell’s ability as a rusher — there are still so many positives.

Tony Pauline and Lance Zierlein both think he should go in round one and I agree. The complete lack of momentum behind his stock and the lack of pass rush production could see him drop. After all — it happened to Jarran Reed.

I suspect you might have to move up from #59 to land him. I’m not sure he lasts that deep into round two. There isn’t anyone like Davis in this class though. You’d be getting a solid contributor who can start quickly and do a lot of the things you want at the next level. The upside potential will be the difference between his selection being a useful pick and a great pick.

These aren’t the only options. Yetur Gross-Matos didn’t do a complete workout at the combine so we don’t have a full data set for him. I really like LSU’s Rashard Lawrence. Justin Madubuike had a terrific combine but it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly his role would be in the NFL other than specialist interior rusher. We also didn’t see Joshua Uche or K’Laivon Chaisson at the combine.

In other news…

According to Lance Zierlein, Tee Higgins ran a 4.58 at his pro-day, a 4.53 short shuttle and jumped a 31 inch vertical. These are all horrible numbers.

Higgins said he skipped the combine because he needed a ‘rest’. He’ll be able to chill out during the first round of the draft too because he’ll be having a quiet night.

A flurry of teams are cutting players today to create cap space. The Vikings parted with Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes — probably in an attempt to franchise Anthony Harris. The Bengals cut Cordy Glenn and the Lions cut right tackle Ricky Wagner. The Titans parted with Delanie Walker and the Chargers cut Brandon Mebane.

Keep an eye out on potential Seattle interest in players like this. They don’t impact the compensatory picks. Is Glenn finished or could he provide a solution at guard or right tackle? Wagner played with Russell Wilson at Wisconsin. Does Joseph have enough pop left to come in and secure the interior of Seattle’s D-line? Can Walker provide a move-TE draft hedge and is a reunion with Mebane a possibility?

There are likely to more names to add to the list as the weekend goes on. We should also find out what the Seahawks plan to do with their own potential cap casualties.

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153 Responses to “Five defensive linemen to monitor & cap casualties”

  1. Volume12 says:

    Greenard and Van Jefferson are 2 more guys that had formals with Seattle at the combine.

    • Volume12 says:

      As did ULL OL Robert Hunt.

      • Volume12 says:
        March 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm
        As did ULL OL Robert Hunt.

        Walter Football’s visit tracker says we had a private meeting with ULL G Kevin Dotson. Here’s what PFF.com said about him after three games this year.

        G KEVIN DOTSON – LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE – 89.7 GRADE
        Just like Jordyn Brooks above him, Dotson has played a ton of football for the Ragin’ Cajuns with 2,583 career snaps coming into 2019. Dotson has always graded well in the run game but has taken a leap in 2019 with a current 91.4 run-block grade, which is the fourth-best nationally among all offensive linemen. In addition, Dotson has maintained his strength in the passing game and has yet to allow a QB pressure on 78 pass-block snaps thus far.

  2. Volume12 says:

    Anyone checked out Texas S Brandon Jones?

    • CojackTX says:

      Watched every game he played. Came in as a 5-star recruit and battled through injuries for most of his career. He has really good speed and shows flashes in pursuit, but probably not physical or sturdy enough to be a box safety. As a free safety, he has some issues tracking deep balls which has created some big plays that could or should have been intercepted. I think he may be best suited as a nickel, but don’t think he has great length. He is by all accounts a very hard worker and appears to have a good football IQ. Would definitely be a good special teams player. Everything I have hear on him suggests he will be a mid-rounder.

      • Volume12 says:

        Even though played in 3 less games I liked his tape from ’18 better than this years.

        I’d agree with everything ya said except for him being a nickel. Thought he was solid. Looks like a good depth piece and STer too.

  3. Lewis says:

    Having a potential game-wrecker in the middle like Davis would be great.

    • Rob4q says:

      I wonder if the Hawks will be looking harder at Davis if Reed leaves in FA? As in he could be a potential replacement and play alongside Ford and whomever else they add. Might be easier to add to the DT group through the draft or FA instead of paying Reed…especially if they do something like re-sign Clowner and trade for Ngakoue!

      Seems like they are going to have a lot of options with their first three picks this year. FA will be telling as to what they still need to get done. Any of the EDGE rushers above would seem to offer some of what they are needing. They all could be appealing to the Hawks for different reasons!

      Thanks again Rob for all you do to keep us informed. This has become my main source for not only draft & Seahawks info, but for the NFL happenings as well! As soon as there is news worth talking about, you have something out about it and the comments section is outstanding!

  4. TomLPDX says:

    Looks like the Jags officially tagged Ngakoue.

  5. GoHawksDani says:

    Great content! Only issue is that I’d also like the Hawks to take one of these rushers lol 😀
    What would you project for Linval’s contract?
    Somewhere along 7m APY 3 years 13 GTD?
    Bit more consistent than Reed but maybe lower ceiling and older.
    I wouldn’t mind the Hawks getting him.
    Joseph + Reed for 18m APY 3 years 28m GTD
    Get Griffen, re-sign Clowney, get maybe Wagner to play RT and the draft is wide open.
    Get one of the mentioned rushers (Okwara, Davis, Zuniga, Greenard is my order).
    Get one good OL guy (Wilson, Ruiz, Cushenberry, Prince, Sternberg maybe in that order).
    Get Bryant or Trautman in R2
    A WR3 in R3 (Claypool, Edwards, Jefferson, Duvernay are potential options)
    An RB in R4 (Akers, Kelley, Perine some names)
    Maybe a nickel CB, an outside CB and an LB with the rest of the picks.
    I’d be happy with that scenario.
    But with that FA I feel we could even draft an S or LB earlier if PCJS wants and a great player is available

  6. Vin says:

    Haven’t read any of it yet, but much appreciative of the time and effort. Thanks Rob! Looking forward to whatever it is you wrote about.

  7. Rob Staton says:

    I tell you one thing I can live without.

    The media acting like the moral authority.

    Sports journalists harping on about right and wrong.

    If free agency goes ahead… so be it. If it doesn’t… so be it.

    Spare me the lecture on what we should all be thinking.

    Here’s a tweet a lot of people could do with reading: https://twitter.com/LordAshcroft/status/1238574207866474497

    Furthermore — my office was packed on Thursday. It will be next week too. That’ll be case for most people around the world when they have to continue working on Monday. Not to mention all the tubes and trains and shopping malls that will be full of people.

    But the NFL can’t have five key front office staff in the same room, conducting Skype calls with free agents, having local doctors conduct medicals — purely because the aesthetics are wrong because the world is dealing with a pandemic?

    Come on.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Call out of work, heard 👂

      • Rob4q says:

        So here is my new Seahawks offseason plan, locked down COVID-19 version!

        Resign: Clowney, Reed, Fant, Jefferson, Hollister, Malik Turner, Hunt, Geno Smith, Akeem King,

        Sign: Everson Griffen, Benson Mayowa, Rick Wagner, Linval Joseph, TJ Carrie, Dion Lewis,

        Trade:
        Tedric Thompson to LV Raiders for WR Keelan Doss
        Ethan Pocic to Den for 2021 6th round

        Release: Lano Hill, Ed Dickson,

        Restructure: Britt, KJ Wright

        Draft:

        Trade 1/27, 4/133, 2021 1st round to LA Chargers for 1/6, 5/151
        Trade 2/64 to Phil for 3/85, 3/103, 4/145
        Trade 4/144, 4/145 to Balt for 4/125
        Trade 5/154, 6/214 to LA Rams for 5/175, 6/199, 7/234

        1/6 – Isaiah Simmons, LB
        2/59 – Hunter Bryant, TE
        3/85 – Jon Greenard, DE
        3/101 – Cam Akers, RB
        3/103 – Robert Hunt, OT
        4/125 – Chase Claypool, WR
        5/151 – Ben Bartch, OT/OG
        5/175 – Darnay Holmes, CB
        6/199 – Antione Brooks Jr, S
        7/234 – McTelvin Agim, DT/DE

        Offense
        QB: Wilson, Smith
        RB: Carson, Penny (PUP), Homer, Akers, Lewis
        WR: Lockett, Metcalf, Claypool, Turner, Ursua, Doss
        TE: Olsen, Dissly (PUP), Bryant, Hollister
        C: Britt, Hunt,
        OG: Fluker, Haynes, Kyle Fuller, Bartch
        OT: Brown, Fant, Wagner, Jones, R. Hunt

        Defense
        DE/EDGE: Clowney, E. Griffen, Green, Collier, Greenard, Mayowa
        DT: Ford, Reed, Jefferson, Agim, Joseph,
        LB: Wagner, Wright, Barton, Simmons, BBK, Griffin
        CB: Griffin, Flowers, Holmes, Carrie, King
        S: Diggs, McDougald, Blair, Amadi, Brooks

    • cha says:

      Just witnessed a tragicomedy of sorts at my local grocery.

      Walking down the TP aisle, I see the shelves are empty. Zero TP. None.

      Older man just then turns down the aisle. Eyes bulge at the empty shelves. Looks around. Finally his eyes cast onto a roll of paper towels.

      He picks the roll up, examines it intently. Looks back at the empty TP shelf. Then back at the roll. Then back at the empty TP shelf.

      Then sighs defeatedly, tosses the roll into his cart and moves on.

      You could’ve set it to “Pagliacci”

      • Rob Staton says:

        I can just imagine him processing the situation… how will the texture feel… the rigidity?

        Then the fateful acceptance of the situation.

        • Volume12 says:

          I was just at the store and overheard a lady say she didn’t like how soft tp felt. What the f**k?!? Can’t imagine sand papering your a**hole.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Does she use regular printer paper, perhaps?

            Or a newspaper?

            Or maybe cardboard?

            I almost need to know.

            • Volume12 says:

              Yeah, there’s a lot to unpack there. Pardon the pun. She ended up not buying any from what I saw. 🤷‍♂️

          • mishima says:

            I never understood those gas station squares. Like waxed butcher paper. Seriously, wtf?

            • Volume12 says:

              That stuff is the worst!

              I hate having to take a deuce in a public place. I’ll go home if I can help it.

            • Paul Cook says:

              Absolutely one of the worst consumer products of all time. A class action lawsuit should have been brought against that company on behalf of all a-holes.

              • DC says:

                Keep a travel pack of baby wipes in your vehicle or backpack at all times for when ‘nature calls’ and a public deuce becomes unavoidable. They’re a great ‘closer’.

      • EranUngar says:

        I just can’t understand the world wide charge on the TP shelves.

        After watching many deadly virus sweeping the earth movies my top priorities are set:

        1. Ignore TP, make sure you have something you can shit.

        2. Make sure you have something to kill the hungry neighbor that stocked on TP.

    • Ashish says:

      Rob, I understand where you are coming from but where I live near Seattle situation is very tense. School, offices and colleges are closed. People who works online are working.
      It’s feeling like some movie plot of late 90’s with some biological attack

      • Rob Staton says:

        I’m well aware of the issue Ashish. Europe has been announced as the global epicentre of the virus in the last 24 hours. We’re facing even greater challenges here at the moment.

        But the points raised still stand.

        I don’t need the media to lecture me on what is right or wrong about free agency. Especially when millions of us around the world will be expected to get on with things as per usual next week and will put ourselves and others in much greater risk of spreading the disease than a few GM’s Skype-ing from home.

    • Lewis says:

      The nfl is fortunate that their season is not about to start. It certainly makes sense to use any/all precautions, such as with offseason programs and the like.

      I think there is some value in taking the “modify as needed, but we will continue on” approach right now. A bit of normalcy, if you will, when the more immediate concerns have been shut down (with good reason).

    • BobbyK says:

      Best. Rob. Post. Ever.

  8. Katal says:

    Absolutely convinced that if he’s available, Davis will be Seattle’s first pick. He checks all the boxes: he’s physically unlike anyone else they’re in position to select, he fits a need, and the Seahawks love taking defensive linemen early in the draft.

    I suspect they’ll trade back so they have ammunition to get back into the mid-third round if necessary, then take Raekwon early in day two, ala Malik McDowell.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Unless they think they can get him just a bit later. JS has many times been one to risk it and play the draft board game.

      Though I absolutely agree he looks like the most obvious Seahawks Target so far in this draft and they will be looking to get him.

  9. Nick says:

    This article is a nice “refocus”. Seattle has a precedence of drafting DL early and we need pass rush help badly. Don’t overthink it.

    Drafting a DL/DE with your first pick as SEA means they can really let the board “come to them”. WR and OT’s depth this year is very conducive for good players being in the back-half of the second round.

    Out of the names Rob listed, the two that get me the most excited are Zuniga and Davis. I’d add Yetur Gross Matos, but until we hear about his pro day numbers…I can see Seattle loving the character and backstory of YGM.

    • Coleslaw says:

      I wouldn’t call it “letting the board come to them.

      Most of the OTs and WRs will be gone by 59. You will be left picking the scraps.

      So you’re reaching to draft the last DL on the shelf at 27, then likely the last on the shelf OT and WR at 59 and 64. That is more like bobbing for apples at 9 pm right before the carnival closes. Only a few apples left.

      • king. says:

        Bingo. Using resources based on need instead of striking where the market has true value is a mistake.

        It is okay to have a two year plan instead of pushing all in this year.

  10. Chase Cash says:

    I know the draft is after FA, but it feels like the hawks will trade back and draft OL with their first pick where ever it may be. How long do you think Okwara, Zuniga, etc will last? Is 59 reasonable for one of them or might they trade up? Thanks for all the hard work Rob, it doesn’t go unappreciated.

  11. The more information that comes out on Okwara the more I like him. In this class he will probably be gone by 27, and even if he is there Seahawks will still probably trade down, but I think he is my guy I hop ethey draft.

  12. mishima says:

    Would like a slight trade down from 27 and trade up from 59/62 to secure Davis and Okwara or Zuniga.

    • Kyle says:

      I’d like that too, if they’re available. I suspect Okwara is a guy that won’t show up early in a lot of mock drafts but will go early. Maybe also with Davis and Zuniga, at least earlier than forecast.

  13. Paul Cook says:

    I’m getting a bit titillated by the idea of R. Davis on our line of late. Images of him collapsing the pocket dance in my head from time to time. I wonder what it would take to move up in the 2nd round to nab him if he was still available?

    Yeah, I hope this virus thing doesn’t screw up the FAcy and draft stuff. Seems like it could be worked around. What else do we got now as sports fans? I’m anxious to get on with it. Have something to occupy my mind with beyond the usual responsibilities.

    • Kingdome1976 says:

      Well considering I didn’t see much ‘collapsing the pocket’ in college I don’t have high hopes at the next level.

    • Kingdome1976 says:

      Not a terrible read. It cured about 5 minutes of boredom.

      I think a better philosophy is fix the pass rush and the back end will perform a bunch better because they won’t have to cover for long. It makes life easier and cheaper for the team in the long run. I guarantee you flowers/griffin/diggs & mcdougald will look a whole lot better if we had a better pass rush.

    • TatupuTime says:

      It’s been an interesting concept. Really they both need to work. There were times last year (too many) where the opposing QB wasn’t pressured for 4+ seconds. No matter how good your secondary is it’ll start breaking down at that point. A good secondary allows the pass rush to get there more often. I still think the ideal is to be able to create pressure consistently with 4 rushers. Rob has said that many times on this blog. That front 4 of SF elevated their entire defence. Pete’s system also requires pressure from just 4.

  14. BobbyK says:

    Good read. Thank you.

    I will say this: it may not be much of a pass rushing class, but if the Seahawks can get a guy with one of their picks in the first few rounds who turns out to be a good pass rusher – it’ll have been a great draft for pass rushers for us!

  15. Zxvo3 says:

    Can some of you help me settle this debate with my pals? Sorry it’s kinda off topic.

    Would you rather lose in the super bowl or not make the playoffs at all?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Depends on the context

      • Lose in the Super Bowl every time. That’s easy.

        • Zxvo3 says:

          That’s exactly what I’m saying! They’re trying to tell me that they don’t want the heartbreak. But I say if you don’t even want to make the playoffs then you can call yourself a loser.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        For instance, I’d rather miss the playoffs with Russ than lose the Bowl with Brady

        • Zxvo3 says:

          My pals live in Atlanta and they say they’d rather not make the playoffs then lose in the super bowl. This makes sense since they did lose in the 28-3 heartbreak, but in general I would still rather make it to the super bowl.

          • mishima says:

            Imagine being a Bills fan.

            • TJ says:

              When I think back to the Bills 91-94, I remember a really good team that had a really good run. They fell short, but damn, Kelly, Thomas, Bennett, Smith, Reed, etc., tat was a fantastic team. I still fonly remember watching them. Better to lose the SB than not make the playoffs.

          • TJ says:

            Our Seahawks are 1-2 in the SB. As much as the losses hurt, I’m still glad they have been to 3 Super Bowls. Ask a Cleveland or Detroit fan if they would be OK making it to the SB if it meant a loss… bet they would be.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      Okwara is really athletic and all, I think he’s a liability against the run. Some days he’s good, some days he gets rag doll’d. When Zuniga was healthy in ‘18 he was a disruptive force. Refinement was the last piece of the puzzle, but he had a nightmare 2019 with injuries. He showed how athletically gifted he is at the combine, and he’s healthy again. I would not have any issue trading down and taking him. So many really good players this year, but he could be a steal.

    • king. says:

      I’d rather make the playoffs than not, but making the playoffs is not the goal. I would rather have two deep playoff runs and three zero win seasons instead of consistently winning .6 playoff games.

    • tatupuTime says:

      I’m taking the Superbowl every time. Any given Sunday and all that. This guy has cheered for too many mediocre sports teams to not appreciate the success (and drama!) of the PC/JS era.

      That said, generally I want the teams I cheer for to have a good chance to win it all – or be bad and accumulating good young players. The most frustrating thing in the world is an average team. You don’t draft high enough to get a franchise player and you know you aren’t good enough to ever make a run. If you are average you need to blow it up and rebuild.

  16. Eburgz says:

    Appreciate the article. Some good names to monitor for sure!

    A couple guys that aren’t mentioned in the article I’d like to get your take on are Terrell Lewis and Marlon Davidson. I’m not sold on either but I think they are some of the limited quality DL players in the draft (Devon Hamilton and Leki Fotu to a lesser extent also)

    Like Okwara (and Yetur Gross-Matos), Lewis has the LEO body type. I know injuries are an issue.

    Davidson is a totally different guy. At his worst you can say He’s a probably just a 3T with limited size/length and athleticism. At his best he’s whoopin guys up and down the line of scrimmage.

    Mock: tryna be a little realistic
    R1 OL Wilson
    R2 DL Zuniga
    R2 WR Mims
    R3 LB Gay Jr.
    R4 DL Hamilton
    R4 RB Dillon
    R5 CB Omejidia
    R6 OL Onwenu

    • Rob Staton says:

      Lewis —- highly cut, lots of injuries, didn’t see much in 2019.

      Davidson —- was spelled on run downs despite being a 300lbs end. Will have to move inside or play in a 3-4.

    • Trevor says:

      That would be an incredible haul of draft picks if JS could pull that off I would do backflips.

    • drewdawg11 says:

      Davon Hamilton is underrated and I would take him over Marlon Davis, (not first round). We know what Hamilton is. He’s a DT, and he’s a powerful, athletic one who makes plays against the run and also can push the pocket. Davidson is… a big guy with no true position. Saw Davidson making some big time plays against future NFL guys like Bredeson, Ruiz, Biadasz. Saw him throw Biadasz into his own QB. I think he did 33 reps at the combine and ran just over 5.00 at 322 lbs. he’s a mauler in there and I hope that he’s in our rotation next year.

    • Von says:

      I think this is a realistic mock draft Eburgz. I’m not sure Mims lasts until the end of round 2, but a number of high impact receivers might, such as Hamler or Aiyuk.

      I also think Wilson will be there in the first, and they might just sit tight and not trade back for a change and take him to secure the 5th year option on him.

      Well done!

      • Rob Staton says:

        Hamler, Aiyuk, Mims… none of that trio will last to the end of round two. Could easily all go in R1.

        • Eburgz says:

          That’s why it’s just kinda realistic. All those guys could be gone where I have them drafted. Still, lots of good players fall every year, tough to say if these guys will or won’t be there. I sure didn’t expect Metcalf to be available at the end of r2. Good news is there’s lots of interesting options at WR that I’d be willing to grab with one of our top picks.

          Lamb , Ruggs, Jeudy , Shenault , Reagor , Mims , J. Jefferson, Aiyuk , Hamler , Higgins, Claypool. Could all these guys be gone by the end of R2?

          Then there’s guys like B. Edwards, V. Jefferson and many more if we decide to wait until after R2.

          • Rob Staton says:

            1. Let’s be right though — we talked about Metcalf falling last year quite a lot. Especially when he was being projected into the top six. This website was always tempering those views and it wasn’t that much of a surprise.

            2. A lot of those players will be gone by the end of round two, yes. The week of the combine two reporters suggested 15 would go in the first two rounds. Of that list the most likely to be available are Claypool and Higgins. And they’re probably not drafting Higgins.

            3. Bryan Edwards won’t be far behind some of those names if the health checks are OK.

            • Eburgz says:

              All good points.

              Big props to you for calling the fall of Metcalf. Although I believe he fell even further than you were mocking him. Terry McClaurin is another guy that fell way down despite proving himself to be a quality player (mystifying really how he fell so far). My point is that good players fall in the draft every year and with the number of good options at WR this year you would think there’s gonna be some value somewhere. Maybe Van Jefferson can be this years McClaurin and we nab him in R3.

              15 in the first two rounds would be crazy but I suppose it’s possible. My thinking is that some WR’s may get pushed down the board a little due to the large supply of them in the draft this year. Hopefully it’s the Hamlers and Reagors that get pushed down while the Higgins and Pittmans get nabbed up. Maybe the demand for quality pass catchers is so great that they all get drafted early. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

              • Rob Staton says:

                The Metcalf situation was pretty obvious I don’t deserve and props. He had a serious neck injury during the season and had problematic agility testing.

                McLaurin was a player we liked a LOT on here. I personally had him in R1 very early but the overall feeling was mid-round and so it proved. Reagor and Hamler have been projected early throughout the process.

        • Von says:

          I don’t see anyway that Hamlergoesin the 1st. But that’s ok, like I said above, SUCH as players like Hamler & Aiyuk. Can’t wait to find out.

  17. Eburgz says:

    Top “half dozen or so” DE free agent hawks targets. Hoping we get 2 of these guys (especially top 4)
    Clowney
    Griffen
    Fowler
    Quinn
    Armstead
    Beasley
    Ogbah
    Lawson

    Lots of DT options also. Just sign Reed and leave these guys alone unless someone is a bargain IMO.
    Reed, Reader, Onyemata, Phillips , Joseph, Billings, Butler, Mebane, Harrison, Suh, Jernigan, McCoy.

    And thats a top 20 DL free agency wishlist. My ideal scenario is we sign Clowney, Griffen and Reed from these lists then trade for Calais Campbell with a R4 pick (assuming asking price for Chris Jones and Yannick Ngakoue are too much) and draft 1-2 guys to add to the rotation/competition.

    DL: Clowney, Reed, Ford, Griffen, Campbell, Green, Collier, Draft pick (let’s say Okwara in this case).

    • Still the option of Bud Dupree. The Steelers have $1.5 million in cap space so they cant tag him.

      • Eburgz says:

        Yeah, could be an option for sure. Need speed on the edge and he has it.

        I assume some crappy 3-4 team like the jets overpays him. Bit of a 1 year wonder at this point and I’m not sure he’s a scheme fit considering he played as a stand up outside linebacker for Steelers (maybe he could fit, not ruling it out). I almost excluded Armstead and Lawson from the list for other reasons to have it at 6 guys to match Pete’s half dozen statement.

      • McZ says:

        The Steelers have -2m in cap space. They have nowhere to go but cutting a big name… a bigger name than Dupree.

  18. CaptainJack says:

    The name Linval Joseph pops out to me, but I’m not sure how much he has left in the tank. But it would be the type of signing we’ve liked to make in the past years.

    • BobbyK says:

      Kind of like getting Kevin Williams again. He had a really good year for us the one season he played (after his prime was clearly over and he was cut from Minnesota).

  19. CaptainJack says:

    More and more I’m liking the idea of Okwara as the first pick.

    It’s not just his ideal measurements. He just plays like a Seahawk, if that makes any sense.

    I like Davis also but only in round two, recovered from a gun wound to play his best game in my opinion against Florida state. I think he’d add a hard edge or intimidation factor to our dline that outside of clowned, it just overall lacks.

    2 of the top three picks being dline sounds extreme but might be necessary with the way free agency is looking.

  20. EranUngar says:

    With so many players not testing in the combine and the NFL canceling both pro days and team visits – I really wonder how they get those crucial tests done in a way that will satisfy everybody…

    The NFL needs to sign it’s Media contracts in the few months. That will be the base for the cap over the next decade. With the financial risks of COVID-19 on everybody’s mind, how it affects the numbers in that contract and future CAP values will have an effect on the risks teams take in FA contracts.

    Things just got way more complicated…

  21. WALL UP says:

    Linval Joseph would be a BIG FA acquisition. No pun intended. But, pairing him with Reed would not only solidify the middle against the run, it would bring inside pressure against the QB. Joseph is a game wrecker inside, which Joey could testify to from the last game against MINN.

    He had 3 sacks last year, which is about his avg over his career. That says a lot, coming from a player that is consistently being doubled playing NT. He would be an upgrade over Woods, and he’s 1 1/2 yrs younger.

    More than likely he ends up in NE. I’m sure BB is going to be all over getting Joseph in NE. But, Joseph @ 8-9mil, Reed @ 10mil would be great signings.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m pretty sure if Joseph was still as effective as that they wouldn’t have cut him.

      He’s 32 this year. It’s about the age when a lot of players start to decline at that position.

      I’m not going near him for $8-9m.

      • All I see is 12s says:

        Agreed. On the other hand cuts like Joseph and Mebane should deflate the market for someone like Harrison.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think Harrison is an attractive option.

          The Seahawks need someone long, physical and mean in the interior. Not a big heavy plodder coming to the end of a career.

          Joseph is more appealing to me but would need to be cheap.

      • WALL UP says:

        I wouldn’t put Joseph in that declining player category too quickly. Joseph is a Monster in the middle that teams still game plan against. I’d ask Joey or Russ if Linval still has it, or not.

        MINN is in a cap nightmare that mandates cuts from their roster. Griffen was first, now Joseph and Rhodes. Outside of Rhodes, these are tough cuts to make and yet imperative. Who could they release, Rudolph, Diggs? Coach Zimmer calls Joseph, “The best NT he’s ever seen.” Zimmer has been around the rodeo for awhile I’d say. He had no choice but to release him.

        Who knows, they may even try get one them back, if the prices out there are “cheap.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on someone’s roster for 8mil. The Hawks paid a 35 yr old TE 7mil. Linval is 31yrs old. He will be 32yrs old in Oct this yr. Not quite on the decline stage as yet.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I didn’t say he was bad. But he’s in his 30’s and was just cut. Declining is a fair assessment. I’m not against signing him but not for $8m.

          • WALL UP says:

            They released David Morgan as well. He’s another player worth looking at. That’s another surprise cut.

  22. Fonkie says:

    Of that group, Zuniga is the guy that stands out to me. He has get off, some bend, ability to rush from multiple spots & makes plays in the run game. If he is healthy, he’s my pick to put in the rotation next season with the ability to become a big time player. Where does he go is the big question?

  23. Sea Mode says:

    Looks like asking price is a flexible R2 pick for Trent Williams, but then a huge contract number to sign him:

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    ·2h

    To be clear, as @MikeGarafolo noted, teams aren’t yet willing to meet the #Redskins’ asking price of a second-round pick for Trent Williams. But I’m getting the sense they’d be flexible there if Williams reaches a reasonable deal with another team. A few moving parts here.

  24. Sea Mode says:

    Possible visit scheduled:

    Tre’ Williams
    @Trew30_
    ·1h

    Should’ve been on a flight to Seattle today.. i miss ball already [Loudly crying face]

  25. LLLOGOSSS says:

    Rob, it seems like we’ve talked about some of the reasons these edge rushers could last into round 2, but I still don’t have a great grasp on why Okwara hasn’t generated a lot of R1 excitement. In a class so lacking in pass-rush talent, in a league where rushing the QB is such a priority, my normal inclination would be to say a guy like Okwara would be over-drafted — maybe he will be, yet there is so little buzz around him relative to what it could be.

    His numbers seem to indicate he’ll be set up for some degree of success at the next level, his testing and physical profile seem to tick a lot of boxes. But I’m no scout: what about him doesn’t suggest Top-20 pick to you?

  26. Rob Staton says:

    Sports media at it again today.

    ‘It’s a disgrace if NFL free agency starts’

    (despite the fact it can be done from home on Skype and workouts can be filmed and medicals conducted locally)

    Meanwhile most of the world will be expected to do their job on Monday, carry on as normal, be in a crowded office or train, buy groceries from a busy store, fill their cars with gas from a pump touched by hundreds if not thousands.

    • Edgar says:

      ^^^^^best comment I’ve read today-
      +1

      • Rob Staton says:

        It pisses me off.

        ‘The aesthetics are wrong’

        No. I’m a NFL fan. It will actually be uplifting to me to see the league finding a way to continue amid the crisis. Million dollar transactions will be happening all over the world. Rich people will still be making money on Monday. Is it only the sports world where people aren’t allowed to do it? Because it might take up everyone’s Twitter timelines??

        Most of us can’t work from home. We’ll be expected to carry on as normal. Who among us on here will be in an office containing 100 staff on Monday? And we’re saying a GM and a Head Coach can’t get together at a house with the pro-personnel director or have a conference call on Skype? Or players can’t video their own workouts? Or have localised medicals?

        • I think we as sports fans ( not just American football) need free agency. We need to keep our minds occupied. There is no gathering so it does no harm to proceed as planned.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I completely agree.

            We have to be able to live. We have to be able to continue where possible.

            And again — people will be at work and it’ll be business as usual on Monday in ways that are FAR more likely to spread the disease than NFL free agency taking place.

            Thankfully, it looks as if it will take place as planned and the only question involves the format of the draft (and I think it’ll be fantastic — and necessary — if the draft coverage is limited to a studio): https://twitter.com/VSiNLive/status/1238854786318921728

            • BobbyK says:

              Exactly. I was just in a school full of kids. This next week I am expected to teach my classes (and I am fine with it). I will have almost 100 students walk through my doors. I’ll be standing in the hall between passing time in a high school with over 200 more students. I’m pretty sure NFL GMs working remotely is a lot better than being in school.

              I went to Walmart earlier today and it was its usual busy self with probably well over 100 people in there. I also hit the drive thru at McDonalds (where there was plenty of people inside).

              The people I feel worst for are the health care workers.

              • Volume12 says:

                Absolutely. I Feel for those as well and the people who have parents or loved ones in nursing homes. I understand the precautions. It still dorsn’t make it any less sad that they can’t visit or see the onra they love in troubling times.

              • hawkdawg says:

                …and restaurant workers. 50+ restaurants have closed in the Seattle area over the last 2 weeks, more to come. Owners are reporting 90% reduction in customers.

            • cha says:

              Jim Nagy made a couple interesting points on Twitter a couple days ago about the effect on scouting that this virus problem could have. That it might actually lead to some smarter decisions.

              Pre-draft visits, prospects that have attitude questions can play nice for a couple hours, and front offices can lean towards dismissing their scouts’ concerns about character etc because the player has successfully been able to be a good boy for a job interview. And resulting in teams talking themselves into taking talented/troubled players.

              Now with visits being limited, there might possibly be a more objective viewpoint taken on these type of players.

              I’m sure there are flipside issues, but it’s an angle I hadn’t thought much about.

        • Eburgz says:

          Preach!

          I know I’m not shutting down. My employees cannot afford it and I can’t afford to pay them not to work. We’re mitigating what risk we can (avoid crowds, wash hands, etc.) but otherwise the show must go on.

          I think most everyone that works in big office environments is working from home here in Seattle. But the point remains that some of us don’t have to option to work remotely (like the nfl can for free agency).

          I’ll be bummed if they postpone free agency. Especially if it’s just due to the optics.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Exactly. Most of us will be carrying on as usual — while taking all precautions to try and stop the spread of the disease. But we’ll be in busy offices, meeting people, sharing indoor spaces.

            That won’t stop.

  27. cha says:

    !an Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    Source: The #Redskins have franchise tagged standout G Brandon Scherff after attempting to do a long-term deal.

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    Rob,

    In these trying times across the globe, thanks for keeping new content on the site to take our minds off the real world for a few minutes. Stay safe in Jolly Ol’ England.

  29. Paul Cook says:

    I totally get the “starve the virus” strategy. Best way to beat it. The NFL, it seems to me, is kind of in a unique situation here, however. They can make and coordinate decisions and processes that vastly limit human to human contact and still get enough of its business done to better ensure that the NFL reboots intact once we come out of the other side of this crisis. Bread and circuses. We love our circuses, and the NFL is one of the biggest and best that we’ve got.

    I don’t know. Just a crazy time. Everybody’s trying to figure out where that line is now.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m obviously not an expert but I’ve read a lot about this situation. You can’t starve the virus. We’re past that point now. If you lock people away for a month… it’ll only take a handful of people to start spreading it again when everyone goes back to their normal lives. Then what? Another month in lock down? Only for the same thing to happen again down the line?

      It’s creating a lot of debate around the world but I’m actually in favour of the way we’re doing it over here. You try and manage the peak to occur at a time when you’re best prepared to handle it, you accept that a lot of people will have it and you try and get out the other side with one solitary peak rather than numerous waves.

      But nobody knows the ideal plan.

      And while I’ve dabbled in the subject here — I think most people would prefer this to be a place that can be a distraction when needed. So let’s try and stick to football wherever possible.

      • Paul Cook says:

        Starving the virus is just a term used to mitigate a dramatic spike in cases that overtax the medical preparedness system, to limit the number of potential “hosts” for the virus at a given time. I have close friends and family working in the medical community now out here at ground zero in Seattle who are terrified of that potential spike that they fear is forthcoming. That’s all.

        Anyway…best to you on the other side of the pond.

      • Aaron says:

        Don’t you know we’re all gonna die from coronavirus Rob, so that should be the only thing we talk about…our impending doom.

      • Alex Higgins says:

        Rob: love your football analysis; hate your pandemic analysis. We need to flatten the curve so the health care system isn’t overwhelmed and millions die from otherwise non-lethal conditions. A slow curve upward is much better than a spike. Not one serious person is advocating otherwise. Now, back to football….

        • Shady_Hawkster says:

          Thank you Rob for being the best in the business, and I think we can all agree that draft talk will be a welcome diversion for the near future.

          But I have to agree with Alex and the similar comments here. The US medical community is sounding alarms that our hospitals are on track to be overwhelmed in the next couple of weeks. We need to be mindful of what we communicate on the subject and look out for eachother’s safety.

          Speaking of safeties, I cannot wait to see Marquise Blair next year. Been rewatching Rain City Redemption lately and oh goodness do I miss Kam more than ever. This defense needs some damn teeth.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I have been mindful. In a conversation in a football comments section about the virus I have simply reiterated the views of the experts setting out the policy in our country. They have gone to great lengths to communicate their plan and reasoning (the same cannot be said for most other countries, especially in Europe, let’s be honest).

            I haven’t issued a public service broadcast.

            And it’s all about protecting the most vulnerable and making sure public services do not reach breaking point, as explained in this video superbly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl6tTwxzCi8

            That video makes sense to me. If you hate what it represents, and therefore hate ‘my view’ I don’t know why.

            • Shady_Hawkster says:

              I definitely don’t ‘hate’ what that video represents, because that’s a responsible view of the situation. I may have misinterpreted before but had thought you had come off as kind of shrugging off the idea of reduced public contact as a means to slowing spread. I’m not looking to fight, it’s just that many of my fellow americans (including some friends) are not taking this seriously at all and think it’s just people panic buying toilet paper.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Absolutely not. My position isn’t shrugging anything off. It’s simply what is in that video. I don’t even think I hinted at a view that was shrugging anything off. I very clearly said I supported the plan being used here.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I find it interesting that people are equally telling me they ‘hate’ my opinion on the subject and telling me to stick to football but are more than happy, from the same position of total lack of expertise, to tell me why I am wrong.

          How internet-y.

          My opinion is based on the expert advice administered by the scientists advising the government in the country where I live. They have gone to great lengths to communicate with us, answer questions and front up. I accept their plan, because they’ve been honest about it and gone into great details unlike most other countries, even if none of us know what happens next because there is no ‘clear’ way of getting this right. Even if you think there is.

          If you ‘hate’ that fine. But understand where those views originated and that none of us, yourself included, knows exactly what is best.

          This video explains the situation (and what I’ve argued) very well:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl6tTwxzCi8

          Don’t really know what there is to ‘hate’ about that.

      • Bayahawk says:

        My sister is a teacher in London with two small children. She has to take a bus and multiple trains to get to Notting Hill and is exposed to hundreds of people during her commute. She disagrees with your take 100%.

        If you aren’t a medical expert in the field, don’t give coronavirus advice. Stick to football.

        • Rob Staton says:

          1. I haven’t given any coronavirus ‘advice’.

          2. Has she got an opinion on the NFL’s league year being able to start on time? Because that’s the only thing I’ve expressed a strong opinion on. Otherwise I have reiterated the views of the scientific experts setting the policy in our country —- people with clear medical backgrounds who have worked to combat Ebola, HIV and Cancer. They’ve also communicated very effectively with us why they’re doing what they’re doing with great honesty and openness. So I value their opinions over anyone else’s, frankly.

          3. If she is allowed to disagree with my opinion 100% and that is supposed to carry some weight, why am I not allowed an opposing view?

          4. I also have two children, face a daily commute and work in the public sector. Not sure why that was relevant but there we go.

  30. Paul Cook says:

    And agreed. I like my circuses and American football one of my favorite circuses.

  31. Coleslaw says:

    They cant postpone free agency 2 days before the legal tampering period, right? I think we’re in the clear

    • TomLPDX says:

      I actually think they are waiting on the CBA vote tonight and tomorrow will make a call to delay FA or not. We’ll see.

      • Rob Staton says:

        People who love to speculate have speculated this.

        Reporters who report have said consistently that the plans haven’t changed.

      • Lewis says:

        I can’t imagine why the owners would want to delay free agency. What do they have to gain from such a move? For the players, it’s different, and high profile guys are less likely to sign if a new deal seems close, because there could me a major jump in the cap.

  32. Paul Cook says:

    We’re so close to this logjam starting to unclog with the CBA and FAcy. Dying to see what moves the Hawks might make with the first tier FA’s? Clowney, Fowler, Ngakoue, Reed…what will it be? I can’t remember the last time where FAcy was such a high stakes game for the Hawks.

    It’s funny, but reading as I do all the local Hawk pundits, they are all over the place on this FAcy thing. It’s kind of amusing.

  33. Zeke says:

    I wonder why they’d worry about comp picks now, but not a couple years ago when the signed all those journeyman vets Mingo, J Brown ect? Also seems like if you’re throwing comp picks away, at least sign impact players?

    If someone can explain. thanks in advance.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well I don’t think they are worrying about comp picks now.

      And a couple of years ago I think they expected Joeckel and Lacy to get a shot somewhere… the NFL said ‘no thanks’.

      • BruceN says:

        Rob, did you see the news on Calais Campbell and the Ravens?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yep. Tweeted about it but will throw down some thoughts in a post later. Just taken the kids for pizza. I asked for coronavirus pizza. The waitress didn’t laugh but my kids did.

          • BruceN says:

            Look forward to your post. I’m pretty disappointed by it and think the Ravens outscooped us.

            That’s pretty funny. Got to keep your sense of humor. Enjoy the pizza with the kids.

  34. BruceN says:

    Aghhhhh. JAX traded Calais Campbell to the Ravens for a 5th round pick. And Ravens are working on an extension with him. If true, extremely disappointing. Huge missed opportunity. This was exactly what you suggested we do and I agree 100% we should have done. I thought it would take a 2nd. But a 5th??

    • hawkdawg says:

      My reaction, too, at first. But I gotta believe the Hawks knew about it, and didn’t want in.

      The Jags had every incentive to fish around for a pick higher than 5th round. If anybody puts out bait, the Hawks know about it.