SPARQ receivers, Manziel madness & DeSean Jackson

March 28th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

I’d encourage everyone to check out this article by Cablinasian at Field Gulls.

The Seahawks take SPARQ seriously. It’s a calculation of different variables (40 time, three cone, vertical, broad jump, bench press, height, weight) to provide one overall score.

Until this year, Nike had an online calculator that worked out SPARQ scores with relative ease. It’s no longer available, so Cablinasian has put together his own formula (calling it rSPARQ) so we can review the 2014 receivers.

To see the grid listing all the players and their projected scores, click here.

Unsurprisingly, Jeff Janis is ranked at #1 and it aint close. If anyone ‘won’ the combine, it was Janis.

Height/weight: 6-3, 219lbs
40 yard dash: 4.42
Vertical: 37.5 inches
Broad jump: 10.3
Three cone: 6.64
Short shuttle: 3.98
Bench press: 20 reps

Janis’ rSPARQ score is 137.4 — 5.5 points higher than the second placed receiver (Brandin Cooks).

He’s an incredible athlete, certainly the type Seattle is unlikely to ignore.

But working out how he fits into the 2014 draft is incredibly difficult.

He played at Saginaw Valley State, so he’s a small school player. It’ll be a steep learning curve when he gets into training camp — and even with incredible athletic skills, you’re never really sure how a guy like this will adapt.

He could fit like a glove, thrive on the improved competition and work to develop as quickly as possible. Or he could just be completely out of his depth.

He’ll be a 23-year-old rookie in 2014.

If you’re so inclined you can watch over 45 minutes of coaches copy tape on Janis to get a feel for the type of player he is:

He has small hands (9 inches) and it tends to show up on tape with some clumsy drops. His catching technique could use some work — he doesn’t really attack the ball in the air and he’s not a reliable catcher in traffic.

Having said that, there are some eye-catching grabs too and he’s a legit deep threat.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if someone like Seattle took a chance on him in the round five range with the idea of red shirting him for a year.

Looking at the rest of the rSPARQ scores, Brandin Cooks (131.9), Martavis Bryant (127.4), Donte Moncrief (122.0) and Odell Beckham Jr (120.1) all score highly. There’s a genuine chance all four could go in the first round — or at least the top forty.

I also find it interesting that Kelvin Benjamin and Brandon Coleman are right next to each other on the list (Coleman — 106.6, Benjamin — 104.1).

It really makes you wonder what Coleman’s stock would be like if he had Jameis Winston throwing the ball instead of Gary Nova.

Manziel madness

Here’s Ron Jaworski, praising Johnny Manziel’s pro-day…

For those who aren’t aware, Jaws previously stated he wouldn’t take Manziel in the first three rounds of the draft. A truly hyperbolic remark right up there with last year’s “Colin Kaepernick could be one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL”.

Merril Hoge — who spends his time watching tape with Jaws and Greg Cosell — offered a similar assessment, claiming Manziel had “bust written all over him” giving him a “zero or a one” out of ten in the following categories:

– Decision making
– Playing within the structure of an offense
– Throwing into “voids”

Here’s the video for the rest of Hoge’s critical review:

Again, the “zero or one” out of ten remark is pure hyperbole. But hey, it’s Hoge’s right to be critical. I’m not here to argue Manziel is Andrew Luck or even for that matter Russell Wilson.

But what does irk me slightly about the three musketeers — Jaws, Hoge and Cosell — is the fact they all seem to be living in 1974.

The NFL has changed. It’s different.

Yes, there’s always room for a 6-4 pocket passer. Those types of players still exist.

Yet we’re now in an era where mobility is crucial. The top college athletes are playing defense and the offensive line talent simply can’t match-up for the most part. That’s starting to filter into the NFL.

Being able to escape pressure, extend plays and improvise is vital in the modern game. It’s not just a case of being able to stand on the spot and make three or four precise reads any more. You might need to make two reads, get out of the pocket, keep your eyes downfield or just take what’s on offer and run for a few.

The read option hasn’t been found out as a passing fad. It’s here to stay as a valuable wrinkle for a specific game plan.

Manziel should be judged on how he works within the game today.

You can still make a case for needing better decision making or initial work within the pocket going through reads. But in context, he does most things perfectly well.

You can’t block J.J. Watt. When Seattle beat the Texans in 2013, Watt had their decimated offensive line for dinner. The Seahawks only won that game because Russell Wilson could escape the pocket, extend plays and create a little magic.

Most people remember Matt Schaub’s careless pick-six to Richard Sherman as the key moment. For me it’s the 90-yard drive from Wilson to make it a one-score game. He faced crucial third and fourth down calls. He was under constant duress. He dragged the offense kicking and screaming into the end zone with sheer escapability and inspiration.

Joe Flacco would’ve gone three and out on that drive — while eating a face full of turf courtesy of Watt and co.

Players like Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and even someone like Aaron Rodgers are having success because of their mobility — not just because they operate within the pocket standing tall chucking bullets around the field.

They’re built to deal with players like Watt and Robert Quinn.

All we’ve heard from the Jaws/Hoge/Cosell trio is Manziel isn’t a good enough pocket passer. He’s too frantic, leaving the pocket too soon and creating chaos for himself.

And yet here’s a guy who thrives amid chaos. I’m not suggesting he runs the football twenty times a game or remains quite as reckless with his body as we saw at Texas A&M. But Manziel’s ability to be creative, to buy time and to make plays downfield is everything you want to see.

Embrace him. Build your offense to enhance his strengths and limit or improve his weak spots. Acknowledge that he’s different to the Joe Flacco’s of this world and ‘different’ can still win a Super Bowl.

If your preference is a conventional system and quarterback, just say. But don’t make out a guy like Manziel can’t succeed unless he’s willing to conform to your conventional ways.

Seattle won a Super Bowl by being thoroughly unconventional.

Going back to the original video — which is essentially Jaws offering a gushing review of Manziel’s pro-day — I fully expected a much more positive impression going forward.

And then I read this quote, courtesy of PFT:

“I certainly would move him up a bit… I moved him from the fourth round to the third round.”

How generous.

He then revealed his top-five quarterbacks for 2014:

What a surprise — tall, immobile pocket passer Zach Mettenberger comes in at #2.

“When you watch him on tape, this guy has an NFL skill set.”

Of course he does. He’s tall and a pocket passer. Boxes, ticked.

I long for the day when the band of brothers — Jaws, Hoge and Cosell — are able to admit the game is changing. That we don’t have to build a football team based on age-old formula’s and specifics.

But let’s not hold out any hope. Fast forward to 28:30 in the podcast below:

When Cosell is asked — twice — to name a player he missed on in the draft, he refuses to answer the question. Even when pushed by Ross Tucker, he finds a way to avoid offering even one name.

I’ll give you two names, Greg.

Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.

And they succeed not just because of the benefit of great defensive play either. This is the NFL in 2014. Unconventional quarterbacks like this can thrive.

Johnny Manziel won’t fail just because he’s not an orthodox passer. We shouldn’t be judging him like there’s only one way to succeed at the position.

DeSean Jackson cut by the Eagles

The Seahawks were linked to Jackson for a while, and then those rumours were denied.

Now that he’s a free agent, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if they looked into this — even if it’s an exercise in leaving no stone unturned.

Jason La Canfora seems to think there will be interest…

This article raises some off-field concerns and it could limit his potential to sign a new long term deal.

The Seahawks have an estimated $15.2m in remaining cap space. Much will depend on background checks not just relating to the gang-stuff, but also the questionable work ethic noted in the article.

Pete Carroll hasn’t shirked away from players with character flags — yet even he will be cautious on this one. Carroll has spent considerable time trying to end gang violence through ‘A Better LA’.

Albert Breer says the pair have some history:

He was recruited by USC, had an official visit and even attended a camp before committing to Cal. A week ago Jackson posted this picture on his Instagram account. It shows Carroll sat in his front room during a recruitment visit.

*** UPDATE ***

Jackson has released a statement in response to the claims made in the article above. Here’s an exert:

“I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible.”

93 Responses to “SPARQ receivers, Manziel madness & DeSean Jackson”

  1. Chris F says:

    Rob:
    Did you read the article about DeSean Jackson? La Canfora and Florio (PFT) are saying Seattle is one of the teams to watch in this story. I don’t want him. What do you think?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve added some thoughts to the bottom of this piece. I’d be interested at the right price (aka, cheapish) on a short term deal. But I’d also need to do enough homework that I can be reassured he’s going to be fully committed to the team (eg attends all meetings) and isn’t likely to be involved in any gang related activities. I genuinely hope a lot of this Crips stuff is just for show.

      • chavac says:

        Ironic considering Carroll’s youth programs in LA to keep kids out of crime/gangs.

      • Chris F says:

        Yeah, I suppose a one or two-year deal with very little guaranteed. I would worry about the impact it would have on the locker room, but I guess Carroll and Schneider are in a better position to make that determination than myself and I should defer to their (hopefully) good judgement.

      • cha says:

        It will be an interesting test case to see the interest / size of contract Desean draws. With the recent Aaron Herndandez and Miami Dolphins controversies, will teams really want to take the chance with a guy with these type of connections? Of course I know nothing beyond what the story reports, but how many teams would think of Desean as radioactive? Would Desean swallow his pride, realize he needs a change and that he might not be able to make $10m a year for the next couple years?

        And would Seahawks with tough-area upbringings (Lynch, Sherman) be able to assist Desean should the Hawks make a move like this?

        • Chris F says:

          Apparently quite a few teams (as many as 6 according to Schefter) are currently interested in Jackson. Your point about Lynch is a good one as apparently both Lynch and Mebane know Jackson well from their Cal days.

        • Rock says:

          After the problems Paul Allen had with the Jail Blazers I think the one rule he will have for PC/JS is the guys you hire represent everyone and must be beyond suspicion. No Aaron Hernandez types need apply. I am sure the Seahawks anguish over the PED problems. This is why Thurmond and Browner are gone. Flashing gangs signs on national TV is a sure fire way to buy yourself a ticket off every NFL roster.

  2. Adog says:

    I think manziel goes to the rams at number two.it’s a good fit for both him and the rams. Good defense …pared down offensive scheme…speed at wr…and a play maker at qb if they draft manziel. Sounds like a recipe for elite NFC west status.

    • Chris F says:

      I’m worried about them taking Watkins and Robinson or Matthews in the first. Is it just me, or does that sound a little scary?

      • Adog says:

        I’d be worried if they took manziel…however fisher has a outdated philosophy that 2 good players is better than one great player. Hence he’ll trade back and make a good roster better…but his team will remain mediocre without a playmaker at qb. Who has the best qb in the NFC west?we do. Who won the Super Bowl ? We did.

        • Kyle N says:

          I am with you there. I’m really hoping they trade out of the top 10 and miss out on guys like Robinson, Evans and Watkins.

  3. House says:

    We’d have to sell Jackson on a 2-3 yr deal on the cheap. Possibly incentive-laden and low guaranteed. A team like OAK will clearly out-bid us.

  4. me says:

    Michael Campanaro is another one I’m very interested in late round. Supposedly he grades out round 5-6, but his SPARQ is insane and he’s very polished at doing exactly what we need to replace from Tate (and when Percy inevitably misses 8 games). More if a luxury since I think we’re all pretty confident in Bladwin there but I wouldn’t be surprised if he came in on a late round flier.

    There enough big WRs with high SPARQ scores (a rarity most years) spread through rounds 1-5 that I’m pretty convinced We don’t leave the draft without one whether it’s Bryant in R1, whoever’s falls in R2, or a late round project like Janis. At some point the value will be there.

  5. KyleT says:

    Jeff Janis most impressive combine performance factor is his 10 yard split in the 40. 1.47 was better then anyone else and ties Harvins incredible stat on this. Very explosive. Can he be a red shirt understudy to Harvin this year? Worth a 4th or 5th to find out.

    Desean Jackson…give him a contract that forces us to choose between him and Harvin in 2015/16. We can do it. Or between him and paying Lynch his last year.

    • Kyle N says:

      I love the idea to red shirt him. He has the physical tools to be a star but just will need some time and the Seahawks can offer him time (especially if we draft a more polished guy earlier on).

    • Matt Mullen says:

      I think working with someone like Doug Baldwin, or Sidney Rice if we get him back cheap would be great for Janis. He clearly has an absurd amount of physical skill, but after watching that tape he has a lot of problems making the most of it. He makes a lot of impressive plays by just straight up destroying corners or safeties with his size and speed, but when he can’t just run past people he tends to disappear. He doesn’t make tough catches, attack the ball or go up and pull down throws….working with someone like ADB who makes a living making traffic catches, sideline catches and contested jump balls would be better for him to me than working with someone like Percy who also wins with physicality.

      In his defense however, the QB play I saw on that tape was very poor, and he had very few opportunities to make NFL-level catches because the balls simply weren’t thrown. I looked at a bunch of his 2012 film as well, and he almost seemed like a better receiver the previous year…..

  6. Jeff M. says:

    I think Jackson only becomes an option if the bottom falls out of his market to the extent that he’s willing to take a one-year, unguaranteed (so if the off-field problems flash even once, the team can immediately move on) “prove it” deal. There’s obviously still tons of upside there, and connections with Coach Pete and with Marshawn, the strong leaders in the locker room, etc. might keep him in line, but I wouldn’t want to risk multiple years or guaranteed money. The team that knows him best just made the call that he’s not worth it and that it was better to lose him for nothing.

  7. MarkinSeattle says:

    Oakland would seem to make a lot of sense on a lot of levels for Jackson ($$$, Cal, closer to gang friends, Oak is desperate to make up for their embarrassment in FA).

    • CC says:

      I agree with OAK – they also have money and need to make a splash. I’m not sure how much money Carolina has, but they desperately need a WR.

      I’m sure the Seahawks will talk to DeSean – but any offer is likely a one year prove it deal, probably only a $5m deal. The challenge I see is having 2 diva WRs on the team and since we don’t throw that much, it could make for a rough locker room.

      Manziel will be fine if he goes to the right team, but if he goes to the wrong place, it could be Tim Tebow part 2.

    • Kyle N says:

      I’d also look at the Jets or Panthers as possible options for him. Definitely better chances than landing in Seattle

  8. Miles says:

    Can the Seahawks even offer a $5 million contract for one year without seriously putting the status of Earl, Sherm and Russell in serious jeopardy? I know players will be departing next year and the cap is going up, but I would want to know that we can still keep those guys around before sending DeSean Jackson an offer.

    Having said that, Jackson is coming off a career year and would be well worth a prove-it deal. Whether that deal is actually realistic is questionable. There’s got to be some team out there willing to pony up the cash even if there are character concerns (JAX, OAK). I do wonder how much of an upgrade he would be over Golden Tate, and how he would fit into our system. His presence would also affect our draft because we’d be far less likely to draft a OBJ or Brandin Cooks. But a big receiver might still be in order.

    • Jon says:

      If we go into the season as is, we will have only 85 million accounted toward next years cap of likely around 140+ million. If they extend players this is what it will look like. by the beginning of 2015 FA period

      Cap situation 85 m accounted
      +ET extension this year at 10 m 95 m accounted
      +Sherm franchise 11 m 106 m accounted
      KJ Wright 5-6 m/y (3 m first year) 109 m accounted
      Wilson extension 8 m first year 117 m accounted
      Baldwin 4-5 m/y (2.5 m first year 119.5 accounted
      Kearse 2.2 m 2nd round tender 121.7 m accounted

      This would put us at around 20+ m left for players like Maxwell, Avril, LS Clint Gresham, T Jack, LS Gresham, Smith.

      By 2015 I expect they will move on from T Jack as the back up QB
      I would move on from Smith as Wagz contract is up after 2015 (Cant pay all three LB)
      Gresham will likely be around 1 m/y based on other LS in the league

      We could keep Avril or Maxwell with the addition of Desean Jackson on a 3 year type deal.
      If we pick him up on a 1 year type deal then we would be able to get both of Avril and Maxwell signed up for next year if that was the desire.

      This is not me fighting for Jackson necessarily
      I think our team is in a lot better cap shape than people would like to believe. at least through 2015

      • Jon says:

        second Gresham should not be there

      • Kyle N says:

        I think 2015 we will definitely see a Russell extension so might want to include than in 2015 cap as well.

      • Arias says:

        Where are you coming up with 85 million? Overthecap.com has total cap liabilities at 120 million for a 2014 cap number of 135 million leaving 15 million under the cap. Take out the 7 mil that needs to be reserved for signing rookie contracts and injury replacement players during the season and you’re left with a little over 7 mil left. Makes perfect sense that they only offered Allen 6 mil.

        • DoubleJ says:

          Think jons analysis is the 2015 cap not 2014?

        • Jon says:

          Spotrac.com gives us the numbers through the end of every current player under contract for any team. Cap hits per year throughout the contract, Dead money at each year if released, FA’s year etc. Just so I am clear I was thinking on memory when I said 85 m accounted for at this point. It is actually 89 m but this all remains the same on estimates with that total of 4 m adjusted.

      • DoubleJ says:

        Also am compelled to add that we have 7.5m potential savings with lynch in 2015 (I know, I know, hard to say about a legend) to add into this – I think we need to get emotionally ready for this to likely happen given everything else we need (or want to) fund in 2015 and beyond. I’d rather keep smith, or fund reasonable price for desean Jackson, or make damn sure we get avril or pass rusher locked up with that money.

        I also am not convinced we will sign Baldwin post tender unless for a good deal – particularly if we draft a round 4 or prior WR this year (or land Jackson at good price). A core of harvin, 2014 draft WR or jackson, kearse, maybe 2015 draft WR, and random 5th WR like lockette or udfa might be just fine for a 25 pass per game offense in 2015. Again that 4-5m (even if backloaded) could fund a lot of other stuff.

        • Jon says:

          I agree with all of this. My list is in order from top to bottom of how I would do business. Kearse should be before Baldwin with a 2nd round Tender. It seems that we have been quite good at picking up UDFA WR. This is quite amazing actually.

          Players that may be cap casualties in 2015 include:
          Miller (3 m)
          Lynch (7.5 m): This is certainly hard to swallow.
          Mebane (5.5 m)
          McDaniel (3 m)

          • Jon says:

            Wilson is midway on the list simply because he is still under contract in 2015.

          • DoubleJ says:

            Yeah mebane is another one we will have to look at particularly if hill, Williams, Scruggs, et al (plus probable 2014 draft pick) step up

            I’m with you that 2015 cap appears better than we think – I’m more concerned we are short a few pieces in 2014 due to cap space this year, and not sure how everything gets paid for in 2016 and beyond (though am glad for the compensatory picks in 2015 which will help)

            • Jon says:

              yes 2016 will start getting interesting. This is why I remain somewhat skeptical that Sherman will get signed long term. I understand that he is very good and I don’t want to loose him by any means, but it is not often that you can franchise a player and pay him less than his per year average of a contract would be. With the cap the way it is on this team, it may be advantageous to put off his huge numbers for as long as we can.

              2014 under contract (1.5 m)
              2015 Franchise (10-11 m)
              Then Give him his big contract 5 years, 60 Million with 30 M guaranteed 10m signing bonus
              2016 9 m cap
              2017 11 m cap
              2018 12 m cap
              2019 14 m cap (this year he will turn 31 and have only 4 m in dead money)
              2020 14 m cap (32 and 2 m in dead money)

  9. CC says:

    Boy, Cosell sure doesn’t give RW or CK any credit does he? Just admit you were wrong so you can have some credibility!

    • Rob Staton says:

      The whole answer to that 28:30 question is horrendous.

      • cha says:

        Makes me wonder if what separates a real scout from a talking head is the ability to say “hey, I missed on this guy” or “this guy found a great situation and it worked.” Or maybe it’s the difference between average scouts and good ones. But this resistance to change is patently absurd.

        RW has often said in regards to his being a shorter successful QB is not so much for himself but so that future kids who don’t meet the 6’5″, 230lb pocket passer mold will get an opportunity to play in the NFL.

        Looks like some minds might never get changed. Better win a few more Super Bowls just to be sure though.

        • dave crockett says:

          What I hate is that any mediocre schmuck will do for them as long as he’s orthodox. If he’s not then any flaw is a fatal flaw, evidence that only orthodox QBs can ever win. Of course, if an unorthodox guy has success then “he runs a simple offense”. Or, they hype any aspect of his game that’s orthodox as THE reason for his success. Meanwhile, they never talk about Rodgers’ or Luck’s escapability as a key to their success.

          In the Cosell-Jaws-Hoge Industrial Complex the pocket passer cannot fail. He can only BE failed.

    • Arias says:

      RW could put all this crap to rest by going out and throwing for 4000+ yards next year. That would rock.

      Then again, knowing the obstinate creatures that these motherfuckers are, they’d just claim he was a product of being surrounded by outstanding receivers like Harvin and (insert 1st or 2nd round draft talent here).

  10. bigDhawk says:

    If any coach and locker room can set straight the things wrong with Jackson, it’s ours. I would like to have him for whatever it takes, short of hindering our ability to extend both ET3 and Sherm this offseason. That said, I think he either ends up in Oakland like MarkinSeattle said above, or SF. All the geographical reasons why Oakland makes sense apply to SF also. Plus they are very much on record stating one of their top priorities this offseason is to obtain speed at WR, specifically to beat us. I’ll go out on a limb now and say he ends up a Niner, and I hope we get heavily invoved to drive the price way, way up.

    • CC says:

      Andy Reid and the Chiefs are reaching out to DJ so how horrible can he be. I have no idea if DJ is a bad guy or not, but these guys trashing him is bad. If he wanted to sign for a small short term deal great.

      • Arias says:

        Being in Kansas City would probably be much more beneficial for him than being a short 4 hour hop to LA if reports about the influence of hanging out with the wrong people in the reports are true. Whether he’d recognize the benefit is more questionable.

    • Kyle N says:

      I still would so don’t count out he Jets or Pamthers. Both have a big need at WR and enough cap room to make a deal (much easier than for teams like Sea SF and KC)

      • Are you high? the panthers only have about 4 mil in cap space, most of which they need to spend on paying draft picks and maintaining some emergency funds. 14 million in dead money does not make for a pretty cap situation!

  11. cplus says:

    Rob- Cossell seems pretty down on Bishop Sankey too. Thinks he won’t break any tackles at the NFL level. You still a fan of Sankey? Curious of how you’d rank the top 5 RBs you’ve watched in this class.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just think he’s a really talented running back with as good a shot as anyone in this class of working out. As for breaking tackles, if people want him to be Marshawn Lynch they’ll be disappointed. Sankey is a rotational runner who can hurt teams in many different ways.

      I haven’t spent a ton of time on this group with Seattle well set at the position. But I think teams will get great value later on — Carey, Seastrunk, Sankey — they all might fall a little bit further than they should.

      • Ben says:

        You want a RB, then I’m going back to the LSU well again!!! I’m talking ’bout Jeremy Hill baby!! BIG bruiser with shifty moves and has some speed and can hit the hole hard and make defenders miss at the 1st AND 2nd levels. The SEC is where it’s at! Best conference hands down. It’s where a majority of the top end talent lies. Sanky would be cool, but I’d take Hill over Bishop in a New York minute!!!!

  12. Kenny Sloth says:

    On Manziel; Ok.. I’m a believer. I think the only things holding him back are arm strength and frame. He’s a poor man’s Russell Wilson. I think Manziel is Russell’s lesser in basically every category. Except Swagger. He seems highly coachable and determined to get better. He sees the whole field, but his deep balls have a ton of float and he doesn’t lead receivers down field. He also doesn’t have a laser underneath to squeeze into tight windows. His mechanical issues from last year have been cleaned up a lot. He still takes too many hits and showed a lot of pain this year. I’m not sure he’ll be able to sustain through 16 nfl games with his slight frame. He weighs the same as Russell did coming out, but he looks really lanky. I think he’s going to try his best and be a hard worker. Wouldn’t mind him on my team.

    Can one get a stronger arm by working out, or something??

    • Kyle N says:

      He’s a lot bigger looking now compared to his heisman year. He’s added some muscle and looked more sturdy during his pro day.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I’m talking about this year. He went down several times for several minutes. You’re right that he does look bigger, but he still has a very narrow frame.

        For the record, my #1 QB is Bridgewater. He does everything I want in a QB. Maybe a career game manager, but if I’m the Texans, I’m salivating over what he can do with a good running game behind him. He’s going to learn the game very quickly. Throws receivers open, can run an offense, he’s got zip on his balls. Needs to shore up the deep acc. but who doesn’t?

    • Arias says:

      My understanding is that arm strength gradually does increase as QBs are in the league a few years and enter their prime. For instance, Manning’s arm strength was greater in his prime than coming out of college. But its probably get diminished marginal utility when it comes to trying to train for it within the window of the draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Sure. You can improve arm strength.

      • RadMan says:

        Looking at ourlads stats on QB mph throws is interesting. Seems as though as long as a baseline of about 54 mph is reached, arm strength is meaningless. No good QBs below that mark. Lots of bad ones above it. Russell is 55. As is Flacco. Very tight grouping around 55-56. Lots of horrible QBs at 59/60 (tops). Very small spread overall. How much does 2 mph matter over 25 yards? Lot less than release, anticipation, timing, and accuracy.
        Take home message might be arm strength is just about a minimum threshold. After that, it’s meaningless relative to other skills. Does Manziel have more arm strength than, say, Ponder (51)? He throws about like Locker, to me… (54). Hard to eyeball. Good enough to look at other things.

  13. DawgDav says:

    B/c I’ve already been beating the drum hoping you’d take a more in depth look at his tape, per Cablinasian in the comments: “We don’t know quite who the top six guys are yet — a bunch of them didn’t complete all of the SPARQ-related drills at the combine. I estimate that Cody Latimer would come in at 135-142, for example. I don’t know his shuttle time, but the distribution of 40 and shuttle times are enough to provide a reasonable good guess at what it likely is (gut reaction is 4.05-4.20ish).”

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I really like Latimer in the fifth or something. Not good at projecting rounds. Fearless receiver.

      • DawgDav says:

        Not directing this at you b/c it seems to be the generally accepted view at the moment but I don’t understand why so many fans and analysts seem to think that he’ll just be “available” in the 5th. He hasn’t been getting much pub b/c he was out for the combine drills with foot surgery and played at IU (which isn’t exactly a football Mecca) but he was given a third round grade by the advisory committee and NFL teams don’t give weight to publicity. Rumors from scouts since his pro day are that he could be taken as high as early in the second.

        As Rob notes, NFL teams, and the Seahawks specifically, jump at a chance to develop elite athletes (Jeff Janis, Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, Brandon Coleman for example) and Latimer has tested as top two or three athletically and is already well ahead of others, like those I listed, on tape. Plus, he also produced more than any of them in college despite poor, rotating QB play.

        • Ted says:

          Totally agree with you here. I think Latimer is more highly regarded by teams than analysts and fans at the moment. There was an article after the pro day saying that he was a second round talent and had plenty of teams talking to him. With all of the good WRs in this class, he may be a good value pick if we can’t get a guy like Bryant or another first round talent who slides on draft day (OBJ, Lee, etc.). I would be elated if we could trade back out of the 2nd into 3rd round and take Latimer plus get that extra pick. I’m looking forward to Rob’s thoughts after digging into some more tape.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll get to Latimer shortly. I’ll see if I can’t look at some of his tape tonight.

      • DawgDav says:

        Awesome. I’m very curious to hear your thoughts. Latimer is definitely not without his faults but he is interesting. Also worth a note that there is some tape of the Mizzou game up on YouTube that isn’t available on DraftBreakdown (it’s not a great cut up but worth a look given the lack of game tape).

  14. Stuart says:

    Henry Melton, still young, coming off an injury, GOES FOR THE MONEY.

    Jared Allen, twilight of his career, slowing down but still solid, $70-$100 in career earnings, opportunity to play less-thus prolonging his career, 5-1 odds (Best in NFL) of winning Super Bowl next season, GOES FOR THE MONEY..

    DeSean Jackson, would be smart to sign a 1 year deal with Seattle, opportunity to prove himself as a solid citizen, lots of friends on the team, play on the winning team of next seasons Super Bowl, GOES FOR THE MONEY.

    Professional Athletes go to the highest bidder 97% of the time.

    Can someone tell me why we have not re-signed Earl Thomas yet?

    Can someone tell me why we don’t look to extend the contracts of some of our young talent now, before they become FA’s?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Who says we aren’t trying?

    • Colin says:

      There’s no rush. Earl will get re-signed, so will Richard. They aren’t becoming UFA tomorrow.

    • Philip says:

      “Professional Athletes go to the highest bidder 97% of the time.”

      Is that really a bad thing for the sport? Do we really want a lot of situations like LeBron, Wade, and Bosh loading up the Heat in the NBA or Gary Payton and Karl Malone taking a lot less money to join Kobe and Shaq in LA for “a shot at a ring.”

      I’m not saying players should make their decisions purely based on money — and I’m glad that many players want to play in Seattle if the money is close. But I don’t think players taking significantly reduced salaries (as Melton or Allen would have done to join the Seahawks) in order essentially to try to buy themselves a ring is necessarily good for the game.

      (And EVERYBODY — regardless of vocation — pretty much goes to the highest bidder 97% of the time.)

    • woofu says:

      Perhaps the team is not holding up the extensions.

      Even “our guys” may not be immune to the lure of top dollars. Another point is that once the initial ring is attained the money is even more important to them?

  15. Colin says:

    Cosell is officially an embarrassment. You can tell he drinks his own Kool Aid.

  16. KyleT says:

    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1282973/zach-moore

    I want us to take this guy. Curious what you think rob. 5th round type of guy? Yeah it’s division II competition, but he just flies off the ball. Several different pass rush moves, really impressive. His 10 yard split on the 40 is phenomenal too, like elite LB good. Yet he’s doing it at 270 lbs. Can he add 15-20 lbs and be an elite 3-tech? Or be a Bennett clone? The guy has a nose for the ball as well

    • oz says:

      I have been aware of Moore for a while now. I like him a lot. Two good prospects in the state of Minnesota.
      Careful, Harbaugh may be listening????

    • Madmark says:

      I have him as my 6th round pick. He has the Raw athleticism but would definitely need at least a year to be coached up.

  17. EranUngar says:

    Thank you Rob for outing the C-H-J trio for what they are. I’ve been on that wagon for a long time. It’s not just their old fashioned views, it’s that attitude of being perfectly and irrevocably right all the time at a field were no one can be right always. Everybody gets it wrong about quite a few of those players. Teams spending millions on scouting and evaluation get it wrong every year.

    However,

    If a team picked someone they didn’t value high enough – The team is WRONG.

    If the player turns out to be very good – It’s because of the players around him and not the player itself.

    If a whole team full of players they didn’t value wins the SB – It’s the Bronco’s FAULT for losing it.

    You can’t win with those guys. Idiots.

  18. Troy says:

    Rob,

    Have you checked out any tape on OL Duvernay-Tardif? He came to McGill University as a 253-pound defensive lineman as a freshman before being switched over to the offensive side. Since then, he has settled in at left tackle and become a dominant force. Duvernay-Tardif had a private workout on Thursday and the 6’5″, 300LBs turn in 40-yard dash times of 4.94 to 5.08, posted 34 reps on the bench press, 4.59-second shuttle time and broad jump 9’6″. Just like to get your thoughts on this prospect if you get the time. Thanks for all you do and bring to SDB!!

  19. kevin says:

    Based on those spark Ratings I would think the Seahawks board will be 1 Martavis, 2 Jordan Bryant. Would be happy with either at 32.

  20. Madmark says:

    Johnny Manziel upon a closer look was redshirt his 1st year like RW. Who I figured was as good as anyone to compare him too. Both these guys were redshirted there first year in college. Johnny grab the starting spot on his 2nd year where RW didn’t really take over till week 5. Johnny stats for his 2 years as a starter were much better that the total of 2 and half years of RW in N.C. State. More passing yards and rushing yards. Now here where the story turns.
    Johnny opts to leave early and go into the draft. Where RW goes to Wisconsin and puts up some outrageous stats and I mean they are incredible. I mean 225c/308a for 3,175yds ,33TDs 4INT, and add 6 rushing TDs with a efficiency rating 191.8. In that one year RW matured to the point that he had nothing more to prove in college. What I’m trying to say is I believe is he probably should have stayed in school another year to mature. I think if he can work his way thru his 1st year with out losing confidence, he has the ability to get better. One thing he will have to learn immediately is to run out of bounds and get better at sliding. It he continues to run like RGIII for 779yds he career won’t be for very long.

  21. CC says:

    Rob – what do you think about Taylor Martinez? He is a fantastic athlete – do you think he could switch positions? Since Seattle worked him out, I’m intrigued. Thanks!

  22. Scott Allen says:

    I’m glad to read this article. I’ve long thought Jaws a insufferable wind bag. Every year making harsh criticisms of players with his unquestioned hubris. It bothers me that in this day and age of information, that no one throws these proclamations back in their faces. I would love to see accountability in media.
    Oh wait, I forgot….THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. I suppose I can dream, but as long as entertainment comes before truth, that will never happen. Although, maybe we could suggest to network tv producers that these guys would be far more entertaining if we could expose their ignorance on camera, a live eating of crow. I’d watch.

  23. Jim Q says:

    IMO – DeSean Jackson was cut primarily for disrespecting his coaches (and/or head coach Kelly himself). Many, many moons ago when I played the game, arguing or talking back to coaches – disrespecting a coach, other players or the team in general were grounds for immediate release from the team. Other types of bad behaviors including missing meetings, lack of effort, giving up when down, etc. were somewhat less of a concern and were often punished less unless it became a habit the player refused to change.

    Coach Kelly is in his very first year as an NFL head coach and I don’t think he will put up with a player that “argues with coaches”. IIRC, Kelly had some similar problems his last couple of years in college ball with multiple players he had to cut. IMO – coach Kelly is sending a clear message to his players that the Eagles under his watch won’t put up with all of Jackson’s type of BS. I think the reason for his release goes well beyond just being about gang stuff, but that’s what the media is all over now. Team chemistry doesn’t adapt well to a player that consistently gets away with multiple offenses, but disrespecting coaches is a different deal altogether and I don’t think Kelly would stand for it at all, he’s wound too tight.

    • Arias says:

      I’d be more inclined to think that might be the case if there was some incident where he was openly insubordinate that we could point to. Fact is, just 4 days prior Jackson was reported to have had a really good conversation with Kelly to clear the air, and it went well enough that he texted his teammates that he would return next season.

      That to me seems to indicate that Kelly was on his side and wanted him to return. Giving up that kind of production can’t be easy for any coach, much less one that runs the kind of offense Kelly does. But it sounds like there were other higher ups within the Philly organization that overruled him, or at least talked him down from his position with a proponderance of evidence that made the risk of retaining him too great.

  24. Stuart says:

    Good stuff Jim.

  25. Beige_White says:

    I realize that vast majority if not all of folks here will kill me for saying this but please DO NOT DRAFT any white receivers, I don’t care how precise their route running is, what he scored on wonderlick or how well his SPARQ numbers may ended up being, no caucasian WRs. Period.

    Times of Largent and Bambi are long gone, players like Wes Welker and Decker are a dying breed. Lets not waste out pick on a white WRs..rather we traded the pick than waste on a caucasian WR.

    Just had to spit this out and yes, I am white.

  26. Madmark says:

    Nice article on the SPARQ for OL on the Seahawks. They say 90-95 is good. The 3 guys we drafted last year were all above 100 and Sweezy was on top with 120.5. L Duvernay-Tardiff who they had come in has a 129.0 and was 2nd on the tackle draft list behind Taylor Lewen. Joel Bitinio was 4th with a 120.3. The one guy that surprised me the most was Trai Turner OG LSU who I was taking with our first 5th round pick. His was 105.6. Does Seattle grab their OL using the SPARQ ?