Friday draft notes: Cesar Ruiz declares for the draft

January 3rd, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

This was one of the big dominos to fall in January. While a lot of the focus is currently on Tua Tagovailoa (and with Chase Young also predictably declaring today), this could get lost in the wash.

However, Ruiz is a player to monitor. For me he’s a top-25 talent. Michigan didn’t have a great start to the 2019 season and a big part of their turnaround was the performance of Ruiz next to Ben Bredeson anchoring the O-line. They provided the platform to smash Notre Dame, win against Iowa and hammer Michigan State.

Watch the way he handled Alabama’s Raekwon Davis in the Citrus Bowl. Davis hasn’t received as much publicity during the last two seasons because his sack numbers dropped off a cliff. He’s still a 6-7, 315lbs behemoth who can hold the point and clog lanes, provide some quick pressure and work down the line. Ruiz bullied him at times.

He was the best SPARQ tester at center in 2017 with an overall score of 97.92. He’s 6-4 and 319lbs. As we noted yesterday, PFF crowned him the best pass-blocking center in college football in 2019 and he allowed just eight pressures in 447 snaps.

Ruiz is the complete package at center. He has the size, the physicality, the athleticism and the production. He’s shown grit in his life — coping with losing his father at the age of eight. He’s a good talker with a good personality. Teams will enjoy meeting with him during the draft process.

I don’t think he will be available to the Seahawks. Similar quality center’s have been off the board before they’re likely to pick — which will be no earlier than #21 overall. However, he might be a consideration if he did last.

The Seahawks have a call to make on Justin Britt’s contract. This is no review of Britt’s performance. He’s been a highly consistent and valued starter. I don’t think people realise how difficult it is to find a center who you never really talk about. It’s to Britt’s credit that he simply held down his job for multiple seasons — leading an O-line that has improved (even if people aren’t willing to recognise it).

That said, he is currently recovering from an ACL injury. Seattle is facing a big off-season where they need to rebuild their pass rush and defensive line. They have cap space to spend but might need even more. Cutting Britt would save a considerable $9m. They could re-sign him, of course, at a cheaper price.

It may be that Britt, due to his recovery, could remain available after the draft. If the Seahawks were open to drafting someone like Ruiz, they could set up a hedge (Ethan Pocic or re-signing Joey Hunt). Then if the draft plan didn’t come to fruition, Britt could still be an option.

We have to consider a lot of different things when the off-season eventually begins. There will be moving parts.

The absolute #1 priority will be to fix the pass rush. I noticed people questioning why, in the recent stats piece, we didn’t talk about ‘nickel’ and ‘base’ defense. I’ll get hammered for this — but it feels like a fan creation, simply because the Seahawks are not acting conventionally in this instance.

Nobody has any stats to represent why it can be blamed — it’s simply blamed. Yet K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks actually have very reasonable performance stats in coverage. Kendricks gave up 7.9 yards per completion — the 18th best mark in the league among all defenders and was higher than any nickel cornerback. Kendricks also gave up 6.7 yards per target — the same number as Devin McCourty and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Wright was even better with 6.3 yards per target — marginally weaker than Malcom Jenkins’ 6.1.

There’s a laundry list of stats when it comes to why the pass rush was a major problem. The Seahawks were among the worst teams in the league for sacks and pressures, their run defense was poor and they missed far too many tackles. While Kendricks was the chief culprit in the missed tackle stakes — he started poorly and improved as the season went on (perhaps indicating a greater comfort level in his new role). The defensive line, as a group, were among the worst offenders for missed tackles too.

Are people willing to consider that a much improved D-line that actually creates consistent pressure could make the whole ‘base defense’ issue a moot point? And what numbers are there to indicate that Kendricks being on the field instead of Akeem King was responsible for Seattle’s defensive regression?

Fixing the D-line will be the #1 off-season priority. So having the optimal amount of cap space to make this happen will be important. If you can make a saving without reducing your performance, it’s something to consider. And that might be why the Seahawks consider swapping out an $11.4m center for a player on a rookie contract.

They’ll also be wary of suffering the growing pains they endured in the past when going young on the O-line. The fact they might also need to replace Germain Ifedi and Mike Iupati could be enough to dissuade them from making more changes than necessary. It’s something to consider during the process though — especially given Ruiz’s supreme talent.

If they get the defense sorted in free agency, it does open up draft options on offense (receiver, tight end, O-line) with some of their early picks.

If they need Ruiz and are lucky enough to land him, it’ll be a fine choice. Ruiz, Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson and TCU receiver Jalen Reagor should be higher in the mock drafts you’re reading (if they’re even included at all). K.J. Hamler, Shaun Wade and Brandon Aiyuk also deserve more attention.

Tight ends turning pro

It’s interesting that Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet and Stanford’s Colby Parkinson have both opted to turn pro. In what is widely considered to be a down year at the tight end position, they might be trying to capitalise.

Parkinson was, surprisingly, used mostly as a ‘big receiver’ at Stanford. They love to run the ball so it was frustrating watching Parkinson during the season. There was very little to get into in terms of blocking.

I’ve watched two Notre Dame games today. Kmet has some ability to get to the second level and find nice areas in coverage to be a factor. As a blocker he was so-so — there was nothing particularly spectacular. It’ll be an area he needs to work on. Reportedly he was given a second round grade by the committee.

I kind of feel the same way about Parkinson, Kmet and Florida Atlantic’s Harrison Bryant. They all more or less do the same job as a big receiving target and all need to develop their blocking virtually from scratch. For that reason, testing is going to be important for all of them. We need to see them at the combine to get a proper angle on their true potential.

The Seahawks need to add a tight end at some point during the off-season but they also need an X-factor. Someone who can provide a safety valve but also with the dynamism and athleticism to create mismatches and take the pressure off Russell Wilson. They could do with their answer to George Kittle and Tyler Higbee. Will Dissly could be the man, of course, but after two serious injuries in little over a year they could do with reinforced depth at the position.

We know they value the short shuttle and three cone drills at tight end. I still think Hunter Bryant (who ran a 4.35 short shuttle at SPARQ) could be the best bet. He has the agility and quickness they need to be a receiving threat. He can make the big play and settle down in zone to provide an easy target. He’s also shown more as a blocker than the other three names mentioned above. He could be a plus version of Jacob Hollister.

The Seahawks could also review the trade market — with David Njoku (4.34 short shuttle, 6.97 three cone) seemingly on the way out in Cleveland and O.J. Howard (4.16 short shuttle, 6.85 three cone) long being linked with a move out of Tampa Bay. Both players, as former first round picks, might be expensive though.

Thoughts on an intriguing cornerback

With the news that he was turning pro, I decided to check out LA Tech’s star cornerback Amik Robertson. PFF gave him the best coverage mark (91.3) in college football. His 14 interceptions and three career pick-sixes is the most for active college football players and his 48 passes defended is tied for second-most among active players.

In 2019 alone he had 60 tackles, five interceptions and 16 pass break-ups. He has special teams value too.

When you watch him play he’s incredibly physical and gritty. He makes great reads, understands the game and has the athleticism to break on the ball. His tackling is excellent when he needs to get up near the line and make a hit. He looks quick and there are no apparent issues with recovery speed.

In watching interviews with him he’s a very confident player but not in an arrogant way. He’s likeable.

The issue is size. He’s 5-9 and 183lbs. The Seahawks haven’t taken a cornerback earlier than the late third round and they love length. Are they going to be interested in someone with Robertson’s profile? It seems unlikely unless he lasts into day three — even though he’ll be projected solely as nickel in the NFL.

Seahawks fans might not like it but they haven’t placed a lot of value on the nickel position. They got Justin Coleman in a value trade and spent a sixth rounder on Jeremy Lane. They’ve always shopped in the bargain bin here and I’m not sure that’ll change for Robertson — even if there are things to like about his game.

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174 Responses to “Friday draft notes: Cesar Ruiz declares for the draft”

  1. Eli says:

    Any inklings on Greg Olsen? Reports and comments made by him make it seem like he’s on his way out in Carolina. I think it’s more likely he would retire and go into broadcast, but if he’s set on playing he could be a good stop-gap option for allowing Dissly to heal up and help bring along Hollister and a rookie TE.

  2. Sam L says:

    If the Seahawks go with a weapon for Russell with their first pick what positions do you think they will target with their second round picks? I think some depth at DT could be a target and possibly a corner. Maybe they go oline or stick with the theme of helping Russ and get another weapon.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It depends what they’ve done in free agency. As noted in the piece, there’s a lot of moving parts. They need to prioritise the D-line and pass rush but they’ve also got calls to make at LG, C and RT and they need more weapons for Wilson.

  3. Ukhawk says:

    Rob. I think you’re into something here.

    Get younger, cheaper and add 4-5 years if continuity on OL then spend the savings on DL, sounds like a good possibility !!

    The same could be said at RT where it may cost almost similar to retain Ifedi or maybe Fant?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Possibly but you also don’t want a situation where Brown and Fluker are your only two experienced linemen. I feel like we’ve seen that show already. You need some experience up front, some grown men.

      • Ralphy says:

        Drafting a plug and play OL that allows you to save a ton of money is the most logical projection so far. I would love to see them draft Ruiz and have options with Britt. He could resign for less or they lose him all together, but take that savings and add to the DL. That should be the first priority. Once the front four is set it will make the rest of the defense look a lot better.

      • Ukhawk says:

        Don’t disagree, Rob. It’s a balancing act. Hawks have actually done very well by retreading experienced OL at relatively cheap rates.

        But if they are confident the guy they draft is an upgrade per their draft philosophy and they can integrate them, then I say go for it.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I would agree. There’s going to be some give and take across the different units to make sure the DL improves and other areas don’t regress. But there’s seemingly a pathway and a blue print they can follow with the options in FA and the draft that we know about.

  4. Paul Cook says:

    Question, and it may be a dumb one…is Ruiz projected as solely a center? Does anyone have him as a potential OG as well?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He played right guard at Michigan too.

      • Paul Cook says:

        Thanks. I was just wondering about the flexibility issue in regards to either Britt returning on a more CAP friendly renegotiated contract, or Pocic playing center (is Pocic a potential injury bust in terms of what we had hoped from him?) in the event that he was available and truly considered.

        There’s no doubt (it can’t be said enough) that DL is the top issue to address. Just got to strategically keep the CAP as low as possible for the likely heavy spending we’re going to have to undergo there.

        Ruiz for Britt addresses that a tad, it seems to me. Perhaps replacing Ifedi with a reasonably resigned Fant might as well.

        I don’t know…

  5. Seahawkwalt says:

    Great article Rob.. Have you had a chance to check out Malik Harrison OLB OSU? If so, what are your thoughts. Do you have a favorite lb this year?
    Thank you!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I haven’t had a chance to study him properly so want pass judgement yet. I’ve not spent too much time on LB’s generally for two reasons:

      1. The Seahawks have a type and I want to wait until after the combine to study the ones they’re most likely to show interest in.

      2. They invested a lot at the position a year ago and Pete Carroll is already talking about bringing Kendricks back.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Baron Browning is the Ohio St. LB who is actually an equal athlete to Dylan Moses in SPARQ scores coming out of HS, but has underwhelmed so far in his college career.

  6. Paul Cook says:

    I thought I heard that RW and Ifedi were the only two Hawks who didn’t miss a snap at their positions this year. Is that true?

  7. James Z says:

    I never thought I would say this, but I would be stoked if the SH’s could get Ruiz! I grown to appreciate centers over the past 4-5 years, mainly due to the info and education I’ve gotten through this website. I would hope that if the SH’s did get Ruiz that there would still be a WR that fits what they’re looking for. Is that the case with the plethora of WR’s available? After watching SF’s Samuel smoke the SH’s, I’d love to see them catch lightening in a bottle, and do to the 9ers, what Samuel has done to the SH’s.

  8. Dale Roberts says:

    Whether you believe in the PFF grades or not the grades do give a framework to compare performance. The grade scale is 0 to 100 but for offensive linemen it’s more like 25 to 91 so a replacement level offensive lineman score would be around 58. Based on that we’re just above average which lines up with our middle of the pack line ranking by several publications. BTW, the Rams have had a disastrous year on the OL… yay!

    My takes are that loosing Britt really hurt, Ifedi is slightly below average even without his 13 penalties, Iupati is hanging on but won’t get better, and Jamarco Jones is overrated. Fluker gave up 6 sacks and Ifedi gave up 6. Together they’re not a good combination. The one thing Ifedi does is eat snaps. Fant was our second best lineman and if we find a blocking TE in free agency it won’t surprise me if Fant assumes the right tackle position. Hunt is not a long term answer at center.

    Brown snaps:793 sacks:1 penalties:2 PFF:74.1
    Iupati snaps:793 sacks:1 penalties:2 PFF:60.3
    Fluker snaps:863 sacks:6 penalties:7 PFF:60.4
    Ifedi snaps:1107 sacks:6 penalties:13 PFF:55.9
    Fant snaps:462 sacks:2 penalties:1 PFF:62.2
    Hunt snaps:613 sacks:3 penalties:3 PFF:56.5
    Britt snaps:613 sacks:2 penalties:1 PFF:62.0
    Jones snaps:317 sacks:2 penalties:1 PFF:49.5

    LA Rams offensive line:
    Haverstein snaps:616 sacks:5 penalties:8 PFF:50.9
    Noteboom snaps:376 sacks:0 penalties:1 PFF:39.7
    B Allen snaps:563 sacks:1 penalties:5 PFF:58.6
    Blythe snaps:966 sacks:2 penalties:3 PFF:50.3
    Witworth snaps:1097 sacks:1 penalties:14 PFF:72.8
    Demby snaps:146 sacks:3 penalties:2 PFF:26.4

    Great linemen for comparison:
    Z Martin snaps:1114 sacks:0 penalties:2 PFF:88.1
    Nelson snaps:1042 sacks:0 penalties:3 PFF:91.0

    Good linemen for comparison:
    Jones snaps:437 sacks:2 penalties:2 PFF:72.7
    DeCastro snaps:995 sacks:2 penalties:4 PFF:71.0

    Average linemen for comparison:
    Scharping snaps:938 sacks:3 penalties:6 PFF:56.7
    J Davis snaps:975 sacks:4 penalties:4 PFF:59.1

    • Donovan says:

      This is good info. Jives with the eye test. Thx.

    • bv eburg says:

      Thanks Dale,
      Lot’s of work there.
      The line appeared middling to me which is probably one of the reasons why our offense was middling in scoring.
      Typically I prefer youth on the defense line and veterans on the offense line but as currently constructed it might have to go opposite. Could see them spending free agent dollars on speed rushers for the D and draft picks for the offense.

  9. charlietheunicorn says:

    Something has to be said for a guy being available for every snap on the OL. One of the great worries headed into the 2019 season was that the OL might have guys breakdown, due to their history of making it 12 games or so a season. I still think Ifedi is worth bringing back, if for no other reason, he is playing better than years past and he is available every game.

    With Ifedi and Brown at RT/LT, then it makes it easier to fill out the center of the OL.
    Haynes / Jones / Fant might also be viewed as a future starter at OG, so they might already have some built in continuity within the building. If they really believe this, then a pick in the 1st of a quality center can’t be ruled out. The OL hasn’t held up due to injury and fresh quality OL players might be necessary.

    As you said Rob, the number of moving pieces on offense and defense, personnel wise, might be staggering. FA will sort out many of the problem areas, then we might have some hope of focusing on some guys in the draft that could plug and play for Seattle in 2020.

  10. charlietheunicorn says:

    Bobby Wagner voted to his 5th All Pro team.
    This is some elite company he joins. Someday, we will see him in Canton.
    Enjoy the man while he is here, we certainty are living in the golden age of the Seahawks.

  11. Donovan says:

    Sign me up for the “experience on offense, youth/athleticism on defense” way to allocate roster resources. Perhaps I’m scarred by the Hawks O-Line debacles circa 2015-17, but I wouldn’t want more than one youngster starting on the O-Line. That doesn’t rule out Ruiz – if he’s a stud, there’s always an exception to the general principle – by all means take him.

    If anything, I’ve been a little disappointed that Pete didn’t play the defensive youngsters (Blair & Amadi) more this year. Would have preferred to see their growing pains than the mediocrity that was sometimes on the field.

  12. Bigten says:

    With these other TEs declaring, that leaves the possibility of pushing Hunter Bryant down the board doesn’t? Maybe making him available with the second or even possibly a third? Would love that value.

  13. After doing a little research on Amik Robertson a few days ago he might be my favorite player to go after right now. I agree with you though as they might need to take him with one of the seconds to get him and Im not sure they want to do that if they only view him as a slot corner. To me though he for sure has some Honey Badger qualities to him where he could also play some safety as well. He is a smaller dude but you know what they say. Its not the size of the dog in the fight its the size of the fight in the dog, and he is a dog.

  14. Volume12 says:

    So Clowney has 1 of, if not the game of his career against the 9ers in week 10. And then shows up on the injury report a week or two later. It’s pretty obvious he’s not 100% and sucks he couldn’t build off that performance. These are the breaks. *sigh*

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      I look at it like this…. at less than 80%, he still impacts the game on almost every play.
      I was initially hesitant to pay the man before the last 7 weeks, but now I’m board. He is exactly the type of player Seattle needs on the DL and in the locker-room. A foundational piece to build around for the next 3-5 years.

  15. Zxvo3 says:

    Rob, what’s your opinion on Van Jefferson from Florida? From the highlights he seems like the quick and sudden type of receiver that the Seahawks like. He’s also listed as 6’2.

  16. EranUngar says:

    Re OL: Rookie offensive linemen are usually abused in their first year in the NFL. Even good ones. When you look at successful rookie linemen you usually find them surrounded with 4 veterans, most of which are not in their first year with the team (continuity and synergy count…). Hence, I believe they need to keep Brown, Flucker and Fant/Ifedi LT, RG and RT. Beyond that they need either a player already on the roster or a valued vet to men C/LG. Beyond that, they need to draft a quality OL in the 1st 3 rounds. A center like Ruiz helping free 9M would be perfect, especially if some of the saving goes into a decent LG.

    As for the Base vs Nickle: Playing more base this year made sense considering the specific talent they had with their LBs trio. It was a call dictated by personal rather than defensive philosophy. Since Kendricks (and his 4.4 speed) is likely gone next year, I believe we’ll see more Nickle next year. It could be 3 safeties with Blair or 3 CBs with Ugo if they believe those players will step up next year but if they are not comfortable with those guys playing half of the snaps – They need to invest (draft/FA) in a quality Nickle back.

  17. Sea Mode says:

    Another OL name to monitor, especially if he drops. Vol brought him up back at the beginning of November. Could be another Jones/Haynes type of redshirt stash and develop. Coming off Oct. Lisfranc injury that required surgery.

    Dane Brugler
    @dpbrugler
    8h

    #FresnoState OT/G Netane Muti has decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Muti has top-100 talent, but the medicals are going to be a red flag for teams. Could end up being a day 3 steal if he stays healthy.

    But his injuries really will be a huge concern. These are serious injuries:

    Muti established himself as one of the most promising offensive linemen in recent Fresno State history with a standout redshirt freshman season in 2017. He has only managed to play five games in the two seasons since, however.

    This is the third season cut short by injuries for Muti. A ruptured Achilles ended his 2018 campaign in the team’s second game at Minnesota. He also missed his true freshman season in 2016 with a similar injury.

    Here are higlights (yes, OL highlights vid!) from his redshirt freshman season, ICYMI:
    https://youtu.be/PtcpNPJfwMg

  18. Sea Mode says:

    lmao 🤣😂🤣 This is right up there with the “types of DBs” video!

    https://twitter.com/WeAreBigGuys/status/1210310407195439105

  19. James P says:

    Rob – what do you think of Vic Beasley as a potential FA acquisition? I’m not suggesting he’s THE answer, but he’s a good age, has decent production, tested extremely well and might be our best shot at getting someone who is at least similar to Bruce Irvin. He would give us an instant uplift in speed off the edge, if nothing else. I’d also want at least one more FA or high draft pick pass rusher, but he has me more intrigued than some of the other potential names out there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s very likely that on top of some more ‘proven, impact’ moves they will also add a reclamation type project too. Someone who can be added to the rotation and potentially play on a prove-it deal. Beasley could be a candidate for that if is market is cool.

      • James P says:

        Thanks Rob – as has been the case in previous years I think they’ll attack this from multiple angles. I’d also want to see more of a sure-thing signed, plus a high draft pick if the draft falls that way. But as part of a rotation I think he could be useful, and he would give us a different type of rusher to anything that’s on the roster currently.

  20. Sea Mode says:

    This guy will be the “Hunter Renfrow” of this draft.

    You can crown him the king of contested catches right now. Not the most explosive or fast, but just dang good. Could be a reliable weapon in the slot.

    James Proche Career Highlights
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwS3fkUPh7s

    I only found him because I was looking at his teammate WR Reggie Robertson. Keep an eye on Robertson for next year. He’s got serious speed.

  21. Kenny Sloth says:

    Hurry up Rams offense

  22. Sea Mode says:

    Sorry, not Seahawks related, but can they just fire him already? So wierd.

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    · 50m
    Sources: Former #Packers coach Mike McCarthy is headed to Dallas to speak with the #Cowboys. The team has not announced anything on coach Jason Garrett, though they are expected to move on from him and are laying the groundwork for a search.

    Jane Slater
    @SlaterNFL
    35m

    I guess Jason Garrett and the Cowboys are now in an open relationship 🤷🏼‍♀️

  23. Sea Mode says:

    Wow, Shaun Wade going back to OSU.

  24. Sea Mode says:

    Another one of my guys.

    http://seahawksdraftblog.com/cfb-week-2-burrow-lsu-impress#comment-448619

    Reese’s Senior Bowl
    @seniorbowl
    · 27m

    The @Reeses #SeniorBowl would like to welcome DB Essang Bassey (@EBassey21) to the 2020 Senior Bowl! @WakeForestFB #GoDeacs #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE

  25. Sea Mode says:

    Saban won’t get all his guys back.

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    10m

    Alabama OT Jedrick Wills has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Considered one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

    If I had to guess, I would say Tua declares. Another year in CFB too risky IMO. At least now, he will most likely still be a mid-high R1 pick for a team that wants to throw another dart at the QB board.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it all depends on what he hears from teams. He reportedly has a medical meeting coming up. If it’s bad news on the hip, teams will find out. And they will inform him that he won’t go as early as hoped this year. In that instance, there’s not much to lose coming back if teams are scared off anyway. If it’s good news on the hip, yes there’s significant risk in returning.

    • Volume12 says:

      I love Willis. One of my favorites.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I’m wondering whether he’s been reading the internet though. Everyone saying he’s a top-15 pick. He didn’t get that from the committee. To me he has a compact frame, limited footwork. Don’t see a can’t miss tackle, I see a player who could be excellent at guard.

        • Volume12 says:

          You know as well as I how starved the professionsl ranks are for O-lineman. I’m not saying he will, but there’s gonna be some surprise picks in the top 10. Especially with the lack of usual jr declarations.

          I personally think he’s terrific. Bully in the run game. Outstanding lower body strength. His pass pro needs some work. I don’t think he’s a LT, but I think he’d be more than fine at RT. Maybe G is his best spot. Might be better in a phone booth.

        • Volume12 says:

          OMG. I just realized it’s WILLS and not WILLIS. lmao

        • Sea Mode says:

          So kinda Jonah Williams all over again?

  26. Volume12 says:

    He struggled in their bowl game. But he’s got size, length, speed, range. Penn St LB Cam Brown.

    Cam Brown vs Pitt (2019):
    https://youtu.be/5Zsc-A3r_6M

    • Sea Mode says:

      Just saw he accepted Sr. Bowl invite today. Nagy says they waited as long as possible before extending the last invites so that they could get as many of the good eligible juniors as they could.

  27. Volume12 says:

    While Cesar Ruiz would/could be a pretty ideal pick, why do I get the feeling that JS will take a liking to Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz if Britt is cut?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’ll prefer Ruiz. I think the whole league will.

      • charlietheunicorn says:

        Do we have a read on any other teams “clearly” needing help at Center and could be in the market for his services? Will he make it to pick #20? If he does, is he a guy worth trading up for?

        • Denver Hawker says:

          I was trying to research this too this morning. Hard to say until we get past free agency, but as it stands, reading other fan blogs, the Bears and Chargers appear to be most in the market for a top pick IOL.

          Bears are in a pickle with cap space and no R1 pick. Chargers pick early and won’t go IOL that high, however they could trade up from their R2- they’re my pick for the top competition for Ruiz.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Same MO trade back w teams that need QB or that want to overdraft lineman

          • charlietheunicorn says:

            Miami is the one to watch, they have a need at center and also have 3 1st round picks prior to Seattle’s pick.

          • McZ says:

            I’m not sold on Ruiz as a first rounder due to position value, but he is a certain second rounder.

            Having done a couple of mocks myself, I hate picking at #26, while I find myself lacking a pick in the #70-80 range. If there is no top 15 player falling due to market dynamics at WR and OT, we will trade back.

            Talking about OL, any assortment out of Van Lanen, Runyan, Bredeson, Ruiz, Throckmorton and Lemieux would do for me.

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    “Tight end Zach Ertz (ribs/back) has been cleared to play for Sunday’s Wild Card Weekend game against the Seattle Seahawks, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garfaolo. ”

    Circle the Eagles TEs, they are the key to winning the game on defense for the Seahawks.

  29. Aaron says:

    Texans o line giving me 2015-2017 Seahawks flashbacks.

  30. Frank says:

    It would be really cool if Ruiz slide to the Hawks, although already prepared for the hawks to trade out of the first round for extra picks.
    I don’t really understand the mental hold up on base vs Nickel, Kendricks has cornerback speed and agility, and misses tackles at a higher rate than an average LB. what’s the real difference between having a LB who excels in pass coverage, compared to a CB that plays the run tough. It all seems like moot point, we just run a tweeter LB/DB and I don’t think it matters whether you call it base or Nickle, when it’s just something in between.

  31. charlietheunicorn says:

    Houston Texans

    Taking a second big dump in playoffs (2 years in row). Bill Obrien get fired for this?

  32. Paul Cook says:

    Props to Buffalo. They really cam to play today.

  33. Trevor says:

    Props to Texans for coming back like this in 2nd half. Watson reminds me a lot of Russ in that he never gives up no matter how bad he is getting beat up.

  34. Trevor says:

    What can Josh Allen do with 4 min on the clock trailing by 3. Going to be interesting.

  35. Eburgz says:

    Darren Fells has been a great stopgap tight end for the Texans. Good blocker and a reliable target with mismatch size and good hands. He’s on a 1 year 1.5 million dollar deal and I think he could be a stopgap option for the hawks next year.

    Also, love watching Tremaine Edmunds play. One of my favorite prospects the last couple years. So big and fast and only 21 years old. He looks like a Dragon Ball Z character.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not against a Fells type signing but I also want some dynamism at the position too. SF and the Rams have it.

      • Eburgz says:

        That would be nice. Maybe draft a Hunter Bryant in that scenario. I at least want to make sure we have good blockers with sure hands that can get open. Fells got abused in pass pro earlier in the game so I’m mostly going off reputation with his blocking ability. I had him in fantasy football and he was a reliable target, he was eventually replaced on the FF team by higbee who got rolling late this season after Gerald Everett went down.

        If we want to make a legit splash at the position to try to get what SF has I’m a big Hunter Henry fan. When he’s healthy. Kittle is the best tight end in the league so that’s a tough thing to match. I think higbee is not on the same level but still a good player, I prefer a healthy Dissly though.

  36. Paul Cook says:

    Interesting game it was. Buffalo just doesn’t quite have the offensive dynamism yet to compete at the top tier level. But they might get there if they make the right moves.

  37. Paul Cook says:

    Wow. I didn’t think Buffalo was going to get the ball back.. Surprise, surprise.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Seahawks fans would’ve been crying about PC’s conservatism, had he done the opposite of Houston and Buffalo’s nonsense at the end of this fourth quarter.

      • Paul Cook says:

        That one was a really close call for me personally. I was close to 50/50 on that one. I think I would have had a hard time faulting either way.

  38. charlietheunicorn says:

    Why wouldn’t you kick a short range FG, to go up 6 with 1:30 left?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Pete would’ve done and would’ve been hammered on twitter.

      • charlietheunicorn says:

        Should have handed it off to Marshawn right? 😉

        • Paul Cook says:

          That Houston kicker wasn’t a solid pro kicker. It wasn’t sure thing/gimme that he hits it. On the other hand, 20 inches for Watson on a sneak to end the game. No more defense seeing the field, end it right there and go home.

          I could see either way.

  39. Aaron says:

    Hausch$!!!

  40. Sea Mode says:

    If I’m Buffalo, I’m doubling Hopkins 100%.

  41. Sea Mode says:

    What a terrible tackle attempt by Hargreaves.

  42. Sea Mode says:

    Man, and I thought our offense looks bad at times…

    • Volume12 says:

      TBF, it’s the playoffs. Offenses outside of the running game typically take a backseat to defenses.

  43. Paul Cook says:

    OMG! How did Watson get out of that? LOL

  44. Volume12 says:

    DeAndre Hopkins bumped his gums all week long about Tre’Davious White. Why? That dude is a defensive MVP caliber player. Probably the best corner in the game other than Gilmore.

  45. Paul Cook says:

    Houston needed that win. Buffalo can build off that loss.

  46. Volume12 says:

    Can I say it Rob? 😉

  47. Ertz in and Lane out. Having Lane out helps our pass rush for sure even though he would have been hobbled. Ertz in is huge for them. We just need to pound everytime he gets the ball.

  48. line_hawk says:

    Man, the balance of conferences has shifted towards the AFC with all these young QBs. Lamar, Mahomes, Baker, Deshaun (not to mention top 15 guys like Tannehill & Allen). The NFC looks old and slow. Basically, it means there won’t be a powerhouse team with a young stud QB in the NFC in the next few years.. which would be good for the Hawks.

    Its complete reversal of early 2010s when NFC was filled with young studs like Wilson, Kaepernick, Luck, Newton, Rodgers, etc.

    • Volume12 says:

      Tannehill has to be comeback player of the year. Doesn’t he?

      • Trevor says:

        1000% yes. Amazing the turnaround he has made in his career.

        Helps that Derrick Henry is a flat out beast and that OL is really good.

      • line_hawk says:

        Yes, he is doing great. He showed flashes in the past, so would be interesting to see if he can maintain this consistency over a full year.

        But, the way he is playing this year is a proof of how bad it makes Adam Gase look. If I were the Jets, I would have got rid of him.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Good shout

  49. Pickering says:

    Jacob Martin got his 6th sack today. Clowney has 3. I know, sacks are one measure.

  50. Volume12 says:

    Remember when Derrick Henry wasn’t gonna be good because he was too tall, whatever that means, and wasn’t physical enough? That aged well.

    • Aaron says:

      Dude is a frickin beast! He’s doing it against 7-8 man boxes this whole half.

    • cha says:

      I was secretly hoping the titans would give up on him like Buffalo did with Marshawn.

    • Trevor says:

      Aren’t they saying the same thing about Harris this year. He is not Henry but he is going to be a really good NFL RB as well.

      • Volume12 says:

        Good point. If they haven’t, they probably will.

        I was ‘meh’ on Harris coming into the year because I thought he was too much of a East/West back for his size. Played too much like a scat back. While he still has that attributes, he’s become a completely different runner this season. Have been blown away by him.

  51. Pran says:

    Henry.. smashmouth rushing.

    Hindsight.. he was there in 2nd round

    • Eburgz says:

      He’s also a free agent this offseason. Not too late if we want him. Henry and Carson would be a BAMF backfield.

  52. Eburgz says:

    Lots of seahawky looking RT options early in the draft if we don’t address it beforehand. I really don’t like the idea of paying Ifedi big money.

    Isaiah Wilson
    Prince Tega
    Jedrick Wills
    Mekhi Becton
    Wirfs?

    Other guys getting love too like Austin Jackson and Josh Jones but haven’t studied them and don’t look like the big maulers Solari likes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t know why people think Ifedi will get ‘big money’.

      I also don’t know why people think drafting someone in the same range as Ifedi will automatically provide better results.

      • Ashish says:

        I agree, Hawks will not handover big deal to Ifedi even he would have great through out his tenure. I would rather pay Ifedi decent contract, he played decent this year. Ifedi was not great and he is scapegoated in my opinion.

      • Eburgz says:

        I’ve heard chatter of 10+ million a year but who knows. Just based on the market I don’t think it’s crazy to think that.

        Idk if we would get better results. Similar results and not having to play a middling tackle 10+ million a year is what I’m thinking. Ifedi has played well enough this season if you ignore his penalty problem. Just saying there are some decent options in this class that might have a chance to be decent NFL right tackles in our system. It’s not the case every year. Rather use a big chunk of cap space elsewhere. If Ifedi is affordable that changes my thinking totally.

        I’m all for signing Ifedi to a deal in the 5-6 M APY range. A bit more even. I think his best football is ahead of him and he’s durable. But just can’t stomach 10+ million a year for a guy that kills drives the way Ifedi does with his ongoing penalty problem. Guarantee he has one tomorrow.

        My favorite solution is trading for Trent Williams to play RT and backup brown at LT. Hoping fant is really affordable an is kept also.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      I would keep Ifedi if his price is in the 5-6M range. If that is “big money”, so be it.

  53. Aaron says:

    Titans had a good first half, but can Vrabel dethrone The Evil Empire???

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      Keep pounding the rock, stay true to who they are…
      the almost INT right before the 1/2 was a big chance for Titans.. missed.

  54. Aaron says:

    Pats can’t stop Henry right now. They’ve tried multiple heavy box formations.

  55. John_s says:

    Noah Igbinoghene, CB from Auburn declared for the draft.

    Interesting prospect. Both parents were track athletes, went to Auburn as a WR and returner, switched to CB sophomore year and is very raw but has the physical abilities to mold in to starting CB

  56. Volume12 says:

    Vrabel you coward. Don’t make them beat you, go beat them.

  57. Hawks4life says:

    Are we going to witness the end of an era? Will Brady be able to make one final drive? All I know is Derrick Henry is a man amongst boys! What a great Saturday for playoff football!

  58. Volume12 says:

    F**k yes! Inject BB & Brady getting knocked out in the Wildcard round into my veins! The student beats the teacher.

  59. Troy says:

    Fuck ya the wicked witch of the East is dead! Fucking retire already Brady!

  60. Aaron says:

    THE EVIL EMPIRE IS DEAD!!! IT’S OVER…FINALLY!!!!!

  61. John_s says:

    And this folks is why running the ball still matters.

    Tannehill 8/15 72 yards
    Derrick Henry 34 182 yards

    Running game, Defense and special teams is a recipe that wins games in the playoffs.

    • Lil’stink says:

      Can’t wait to see what stats Ben Baldwin cherry picks to try and prove running doesn’t matter.

    • Matt says:

      Yep. Titans are making off season plans this morning if they hadn’t been able to run the ball. And I’d sure as hell love to have Henry on my team.

      One thing I find funny about the whole “running the ball doesn’t matter/running backs don’t matter” nonsense, is that you don’t read anything from those same analysts stating that “stopping the run” doesn’t matter. I think we’d all agree that a D that can’t stop the run is not good and is going to have a hard time winning game. But if the running game doesn’t matter, then it follows that stopping the run wouldn’t matter either.

  62. Volume12 says:

    I wonder if the Pats bring Brady back next year. That might be a .500 team with Brady at the helm. He’s washed. That was probably the worst big game of his career .

    What do you guys think?

    • Aaron says:

      For the sanity of the other 31 teams, please let it be over.

      • Lil’stink says:

        I’m definitely sick of all the “Brady needs more help” excuses. Great defense, good OL (could you imagine if Wilson had that much time to throw?), capable RB’s and WR’s. If he was still a great QB he shouldn’t need the best TE of all time to look like an elite QB.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Brady is still good enough to win a superbowl. Add three wide receivers/tight ends and a running back and they would have scored twice that amount of points. Even on the final drive- Edelman dropped a first down pass.

      It wasn’t Brady so much as the support team. Which should be a cautionary note to the Seahawks.

  63. charlietheunicorn says:

    Rumor:

    Brady will go to the Chargers.. for 1 last show and a big payday.

    • I could see Brady play for the Chargers for one year he is California guy and I am pure guessing that his wife likes warm weather and lose that damn parka.i could be wrong. I think Carson playing in his first playoff game could be huge for the Seahawks but what concerns me is beating Philly twice in one year in Philadelphia that’s tough thing to do.

  64. Von says:

    Shaun Wade heads back to OSU. A little surprising to me.

  65. Sea Mode says:

    We might end up losing some guys in the front office. Always good to hear we have admirers around the league.

    Mike Garafolo
    @MikeGarafolo
    24m

    With the #Seahawks facing the #Eagles, keep an ear out for Seattle’s Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer in the forthcoming #Browns GM search. Sources say Jimmy Haslam admires the Hawks’ sustained success. Depending on who the coach is, those two could emerge as strong candidates.

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    18m

    The obvious candidates with ties to these two: Former #Packers coach Mike McCarthy and #49ers DC Robert Saleh, who worked in Seattle early on.

  66. Sea Mode says:

    Crazy to step back and think of that. Real change of guard in AFC from those 3 to Mahomes, Jackson, Watson. (Burrow)

    Albert Breer
    @AlbertBreer
    2h

    The AFC has been repped by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger in 15 of the last 16 Super Bowls (and 16 of the last 18). Next weekend will be the first divisional weekend without any of the three in 17 years.

    That year, Ben was a redshirt sophomore at Miami of Ohio.