How Russell Okung’s departure impacts the draft

March 17th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

For starters, is anyone really surprised?

The Seahawks had an opportunity to extend Russell Okung’s contract well beyond the start of free agency. Unlike Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and several others — they let his deal play out.

Rightly or wrongly, they decided long ago that Okung wasn’t a priority. A player they’d rather not lose? Perhaps. But his $10.6m average in Denver is not crazy money for a left tackle. They could afford to keep him. They chose to prioritise other players in free agency and let him walk.

Seahawks fans have been tracking the free agent tackle market for several days — but did the team show the same level of interest?

Let’s run through what actually happened:

— The Seahawks reportedly made a strong offer to keep Okung — which he chose not to accept in pursuit of more money. An improved offer was not forthcoming despite Okung making several visits to other teams.

— Despite hinting that Seattle was interested, Donald Penn never arranged a visit with the Seahawks. He was set to visit with the Giants before agreeing a $14m, two-year deal to stay in Oakland. There’s no real indication that the Seahawks made a big push to sign Penn.

— Kelvin Beachum was reportedly set to visit Seattle last Monday but instead travelled to Jacksonville where he eventually agreed terms on a $4.5m one-year contract with an option to extend to four-years for $40m. Were the Seahawks really that serious about signing Beachum?

— Seattle was pretty quick to touch base with J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell and signed both players.

It’d be foolish to think the Seahawks don’t have a plan here. They allowed several veteran tackles to sign elsewhere without much of a fight. It might not be clear what the plan is six weeks out from the draft — but make no mistake, the Seahawks will know what they want to do with their self-confessed off-season priority.

So again, why is there no reason to panic?

It’s likely they will spend at least two early picks on the offensive line. The Rams started two rookies on their line in 2015 and were ranked #1 pass protection by Football Outsiders.

They could still add further veterans (they are still in the running to sign Ted Larsen).

The Broncos just won a Super Bowl with the following O-line protecting an immobile, now-retired quarterback: Ryan Harris – Evan Mathis – Matt Paradis – Louis Vasquez – Michael Schofield. The only big name is Mathis who is 35 this year. Vasquez has since been cut and they allowed Harris to sign a modest deal in Pittsburgh.

Let’s not forget the success of the Carolina Panthers in 2015. A year ago their big addition on the offensive line was Michael Oher — fresh off a hugely disappointing spell in Tennessee. Oher’s cap hit in 2015 was $2.4m.

Tackle was seen as a big need for the Panthers — and yet they crafted their line with a certain type of lineman that fit the personality of their team.

Here’s what I wrote on February 1st about Carolina’s O-line:

At right tackle they’re starting Mike Remmers — an undrafted free agent from 2012. He’s 26-years-old and already on his sixth NFL team. He was snatched from the Rams practise squad. His cap hit for this season is $585,000.

Cam Newton is generally well protected. The Panthers gave up 33 sacks during the regular season — the same number as the much vaunted Dallas Cowboys O-line and 13 fewer than the Seahawks.

Carolina are built to win in the trenches and they’re doing it without first round offensive tackles. The Seahawks have to consider a similar path.

Ryan Kalil (center) and Trai Turner (right guard) are Carolina’s two best offensive linemen. Kalil is a pillar of consistency, the unquestioned leader up front. Turner is the ultra-talented, physical guard playing next to him.

This is the strength of the unit.

The Seahawks might attempt to emulate the Panthers by producing a consistently performing O-line built in the same way.

This is something to consider moving forward. Perhaps the Seahawks, like the Panthers, think they can win without elite offensive tackles? Perhaps they believe the interior is the key?

(By the way, for those suggesting the tackles cost Carolina a Super Bowl — watch this).

Perhaps they intend to start Garry Gilliam at left tackle and Webb at right tackle? Perhaps their focus will be to upgrade the interior O-line?

That could mean drafting Germain Ifedi to play left guard. That could mean drafting Ryan Kelly to start at center. It could mean ploughing resources in rounds 2-4 into the interior line.

Just because the Seahawks aren’t paying big money to a name tackle doesn’t mean they cannot succeed. The Panthers and Broncos showed that in 2015. But they will need to upgrade at guard and center to create the same kind of success.

Many will ask whether the Seahawks will trade for Denver’s Ryan Clady as a reaction to losing Okung. Why would they give up a pick and pay Ryan Clady — a more injury prone left tackle than Okung — $9.5m a year? If they were willing to make that kind of investment they surely would’ve just kept Okung?

The only likely way Clady lands in Seattle is if he’s cut and receives a cold market. He missed 18 games in the last three seasons. The Broncos made the Super Bowl twice without him.

On the plus side — the Seahawks now have some cap room to play with. Don’t be shocked if they make a move because there’s little point sitting on that available salary. Trading for a pass rusher could be a possibility — as the Cardinals did recently with Chandler Jones.

That would enable them to add an impact veteran possibly using their second round pick — before fixing the O-line at #26 and in round three.

They’re also reportedly visiting with Mike Neal, formerly of the Packers.

454 Responses to “How Russell Okung’s departure impacts the draft”

  1. Michael M. says:

    Just give me a line that can run block. That’s all we need. RW is gonna get sacked a bunch either way, so why pay a bunch of money trying to make it a little better? Limited ROI given our offense/RW’s style of play.

    I think Gilliam will be fine at LT and unlike Okung, might even start all 16 games. Give me Ifedi or Coleman at RT and do some cool Tom Cable stuff in R3-4.

    Not worried. Happy for Okung. Glad we didn’t beat Denver’s offer.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think there’s a chance the two starting tackles are already on the team. The interior might be their focus now.

      • HawkPower12 says:

        I think your point about competition is the biggest. They will draft accordingly, and only they know where Sokoli and Glowinski are at really. So without that personal experience that they have, tough to know which spots they deem top. Maybe they go all out and draft 3 OLineman. I wouldn’t mind. Ifedi, McGovern, and Glasgow!!! Wow

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          New Orleans has plenty of success with average tackles and good interior, I know there a pass first team but I believe in creating a clean pocket from the inside. Give me above average interior and we’ll be OK.

          • rowdy says:

            Is anyone on are line average though,

            • Miles says:

              Garry Gilliam got paid a performance bonus just last week. It was the highest on the team. I don’t know how exactly those bonuses are determined, but that he was paid the most makes me feel good about him playing LT next year.

      • Steve Nelsen says:

        The way things stand now, Gilliam is the only guy on the roster who can play LT.

        Britt was rated as the worst LG in the league last year. He could move back out to RT. Webb was rated the worst RG in the league last year. He could compete at RT although he was awful there last year for Oakland. Poole has the size for RT.

        Lewis/Sokoli at center.

        Glowinski at RG.

        Poole has the size to compete at LG. So does Webb. But this is clearly a position of need. Garnett has the run blocking ability Seattle prefers but questionable athleticism. And Seattle has never drafted a pure guard before the 4th round.

        • 75franks says:

          no, britt can not move back to RT. was even worse outside

        • Willyeye says:

          Gilliam is ranked #63 amongst Tackles, one spot above #64 Breno Giacomini. There are another 13 Tackles ranked below that. Webb is ranked #48 (48 of 77) on the Tackle list. Okung is ranked #31 on the same list. One big difference, Webb and Gilliam both had 16 starts. Okung didn’t. More importantly, Gilliam improved all season long…very few Tackles do well in their rookie season. Look at some of the high draft picks last year that went on to start at Tackle. Flowers was ranked #74 on the list while Greg Robinson, a #2 overall pick in his second season, was ranked #73. Gilliam could end up better than both of them…give him a chance. BTW, Sowell doesn’t qualify for the actual Tackle list, but if we take his grade, he would be the #36 ranked Tackle, only 5 spots behind Okung.

          In the Guard rankings, Webb’s (not on the Guard list so I used his Tackle grade and inserted the grade onto the Guard list) grade was just three spots behind Sweezy’s (#66), and he graded out 7 spots higher than Britt (#75 of 81; not worst in the league).

          Webb is FAR from the worst at his position, and Sowell has the potential to contribute if he’s no longer behind Jared Veldheer on the depth chart.

          These pickups are not as bad as some may think they are. I believe them to actually be great pickups for the money the FO spent on them. With a little luck, Gilliam, Webb and Sowell could end up being starters on an average Hawks O-Line this year. I’d be thrilled if the line performed at an average level.

          • ClevelandDuck says:

            Strong post, Willyeye.

            I note that it proves rowdy’s point, however, that the line may not have anyone who even grades out as “average.” Webb rates better than I anticipated, but is only average-ish at tackle, where he may not even line up. (I am optimistic that Gilliam will continue to improve.) Your point about young offensive linemen is right but scary, since the Hawks seem to be pinning their hopes on young blood. Perhaps, as you suggest, tackle is harder than guard for rookies?

            I’m left hoping that there is something about the methodology that under-recognizes Seattle’s approach to protection. My eyes are not persuaded that’s the case, however. As ever, Rob’s perspective is informative: In a league where resources are severely constrained by a salary cap, Seattle may not believe that a good line is important to winning.

          • Steve Nelsen says:

            Great post. I am a bit more optimistic now about Webb:

            Where did you get you ratings?

          • GeoffU says:

            Gilliam can also catch touchdown passes

      • HD says:

        It’s interesting you should bring up the center of the line for the Seahawks and the draft…Collinsworth Put up his first mock today…Look at this Rob…at #26

        26. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
        The more football I watch, the more I’m convinced that center is a very underrated position. The other thing I’ve noticed is that edge rushers are almost entirely dependent on the interior rushers getting a push that keeps the QB from stepping up in the pocket. I like Kelly’s size. He should be able to hold his ground in the passing game to allow Russell Wilson to step up, get some movement on tough double teams, and still have the quickness get to the second level when needed. So many teams put a premium on the center’s ability to get to the second level that they sign smaller centers that can move. I would put the premium on strength and size that could hold the point and allow my quarterback to step up. The Seahawks need help along that offensive line, and losing Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham trade last offseason hurt, but combining a talented young center like Kelly with Russell Wilson would give the Seahawks a communication tandem that would last a decade

        • Rob Staton says:

          Collinsworth makes a strong point.

          I still have some reservations about Kelly (skinny legs, has he got that lower body base/power) but Collinsworth’s pick and reasoning makes sense.

          I do prefer Connor McGovern personally.

    • TJ says:

      Not trying to open old wounds, but I think we learned the value of a strong interior when we lost Hutchinson

      • Miles says:

        “Well we lost Hutchinson. Oh well, at least we still have Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack. We’ll be fine.”

        Nope.

  2. Volume12 says:

    I’m intrigued by Mike Neal. Not a big time pass rusher, but a versatile player that Seattle might be interested in.

    • Ground_hawk says:

      Also an alumni of Purdue like Cliff Avril, so there could possibly be some locker room cohesion already.

    • GeoffU says:

      Best fit as LEO or Michael Bennett/interior rusher clone?

      • C-Dog says:

        He was a DT at Purdue. My guess would be DE/DT in the Bennett mold with the ability to play LB. Kind of a swiss army knife. Interesting player.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yes. DE, and can would slide inside on 3rd downs,

        • C-Dog says:

          As Anthony Hardgrave, Jason Jones, and MiKe B have all proved be. He would be a good signing, IMO. While he played LB recently, a lot of his pass rush still came from the inside for GB.

    • Hoberk Unce says:

      My Packer relatives are saying Neal can’t cover well and, though he can rush the QB, he’s not so good at chasing down shifty RBs. Maybe if he bulks back up like he was early in his career he can play some LEO.

      • Miles says:

        If he was brought here, I imagine he wouldn’t be asked to do any of that. Rush the passer on third down, kid. NASCAR package hero.

  3. Robbie says:

    Who would they trade for a pass rush? Or who would you suggest?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I could throw a few names out there as possible targets. Nobody thought Chandler Jones was available until he was dealt.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Paul Kruger?
        Cameron Wake?
        Everson Griffen?
        Jurrell Casey?

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Melvin Ingram?

            • Rob Staton says:

              Nah. Let’s just see what happens. Might not have a deal they can do. But I bet they’re looking.

            • TannerM says:

              Doubtful. He’s a T-Rex – very small arms – and they passed him up for Irvin a few years ago.

              But how about someone like Barkevious Mingo? The guy was a Top 10 pick four years ago and hasn’t gone a true opportunity in Cleveland. I doubt he’d come at a huge price. The Browns are rebuilding (when are they not?) and need some more picks to try to make something of an offense (they’re down two starting linemen and their top receiver from last year, plus their never-ending black hole at quarterback).

              I’m not saying it would happen, but Mingo was drafted off his athleticism, so it would be interesting to see what Seahawk coaches could do with him.

              • H M Abdou says:

                Mingo would be interesting, but more likely they’re looking at some obscure players that most football fans haven’t heard of.

              • ClevelandDuck says:

                I live in Cleveland. I don’t think it is accurate to say Mingo hasn’t gotten a true opportunity. He has suffered from continual scheme changes and injuries, but the Browns have tried to give him the position for four years. He hasn’t held it. To reiterate a point I’ve made several times before, when I watch Travis Feeney, I see Mingo – down to the shoulder injuries and top-drawer athleticism. I don’t think there is much reason to hope the light bulb will suddenly go on for Mingo.

  4. vrtkolman says:

    It’s a well structured deal for Denver. Rob, do you have any guesses of which tackles could be cut or available in a trade? I don’t really want Clady unless they can nab him for a very late round pick.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I can’t think of any. I wouldn’t be too worried — as noted by the tackles in Denver and Carolina last season. The interior is the key for me.

      • vrtkolman says:

        I think you are right. Russell can handle edge rushers pretty well already, it’s the pressure up the middle and blitzes that kill him.

        • Shadow says:

          We do have to play Aaron Donald twice a year. It was the interior pressure that shut down our offense and forced the pick-six in Carolina. Building up the interior OL should be and almost certainly will be a priority. I just want a significant investment of some sort in one more tackle to go with the interior OL reinforcement.

          • GeoffU says:

            Hurts even more having a short QB. New Orleans/Drew Brees model is a good one to follow.

            • H M Abdou says:

              GeoffU: that, my friend, is an EXCELLENT point. Russell is capable of playing primarily from the pocket as Brees can. Drew is only about 1.5 inches taller than Russ.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        But it was the tackles that cost Carolina the Superbowl. I don’t trust Webb out there; I’d still spend R1 or R2 pick on a RT.

        • lil'stink says:

          In all honesty I’m not sure anybody was going to beat Denver that day.

          • RealRhino2 says:

            Many teams would have. It was right there for the taking for Carolina. Sure, they pressured Cam, but Carolina also didn’t both giving Remmers any help, which was a terrible decision. Also, most games, those two strip-sacks/QB fumbles are just sacks, Carolina punts, Denver again fails to move the chains.

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              Andre Smith just signed with the Vikings. They now have 4 tackles. Kalil, Clemmings, Smith, and Loadholt. Could Loadholt again be an option?

  5. bobbyk says:

    I hope Clady gets released and signs with the Seahawks (although early reports are they are trying to trade him). His injury last year (ACL) was in May so he’s had plenty of time to get healthy. He also played in all 16 games as recently as 2014 and has played in every game for 6 of his 8 years in the NFL. Granted, he has missed plenty of time in two of the past three years. I would totally disagree that Clady is more injury prone that Okung though. If Okung would have had this same injury he has right now in September, he would have missed all of ’15, too.

    All I know is that I know our guys will enter 2016 with an improved OL. When Pete says they are going to do something, they do it. He’s going to try to “nail” it.

    Random thought: Crazy how you can get a Chris Long for $2 million and a Jermaine Kearse for over twice that when Long is the better player, imo, for ’16.

    • bobbyk says:

      I wonder the chances that Gilliam plays LT and Britt moves back to compete at RT? As of today, I’d say the line could be:

      LT Gilliam (Sowell back-up; Bailey role)
      LG Webb (or Britt)
      C Lewis
      RG Glowinski
      RT Britt (or Webb)

      The only position I truly feel good about it RG. For some reason, after I watched the Glowinski film after we drafted him last year… I really couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t picked higher (nor why we hadn’t discussed him). The only thing that really boggled my mind was how we took Poole higher after the Glowinski tape was so much more impressive.

      • Shadow says:

        I’m a big believer in Glowinski and expect him to be a significant upgrade over Sweezy this year.

        • RWIII says:

          Shadow. You are asking a lot to say Glowinski is going to be a significant upside over Sweezy. If Glowinski plays as well as Sweezy you got yourself a 32mil guard.

          • Willyeye says:

            Sweezy was ranked #66 of 81 by PFF this year…wouldn’t be my idea of a $32 million Guard. Why do you suppose the Seahawks let him walk? Not that PFF is perfect, but they’re usually not too far off.

          • H M Abdou says:

            Willyeye is right. Sweezy is so overrated.

          • STTBM says:

            Glowinsky played better in his one game at RG than Sweezy has in any game of his career. But thats not saying much; vs AZ, Fat lazy Michael Bowie did as well. Sweezy was perhaps the single most overrated player on this team. The guy was still laughably inconsistent in run blocking, and a total liability in the passing game.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Hard to project the line until after the draft. Lot’s of changes forthcoming.

      • manthony says:

        There were a few posters in here the realm liked Glow before the draft last year.

        Rob was vocal about Poole too. When I watched tape of Poole last year before the draft, I thought he’d have some difficulty on the edge and was thinking he’d do well at left guard and still think that. I think he can beat Britt out for sure, wouldn’t take much

        • manthony says:

          *that really liked Glow

        • STTBM says:

          Gregg at the news Tribune has said Glowinsky amazed him, and looked as if he belonged in the NFL right from the get-go. Cable chose not to play him, but at least we have one solid prospect on our line.

          Also, it looks to me like Carrol has finally had enough of Cable picking his starters and refusing to allow competition. From the moves Seattle has made, it appears the team is once again opening positions up to competition. May the best man win.

      • James says:

        Poole appears to be yet another OL failure. In a sea of great draft picks at virtually every other position on the team, our OL drafts have been C-minus at best. My understanding is that Cable is given great latitude in picking the OL, and his draft history pales next to John & Pete. Is it time for John and Pete to take over the OL draft, with Cable having the same input as any other assistant coach?

        • HI Hawk says:

          A failure already? How many times was Shead released and bounced around the practice squad before he became a solid starter and super sub? I’d agree that Poole has a lot further to go before we really know what he can be, whereas Glowinski looked like a starter in waiting in limited action. I don’t think that means we should write him off all together though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The best ability is availability.

      Clady has missed 18 games in the last three seasons. The Broncos made the Super Bowl twice without him.

      • phil says:

        Joe Thomas – 144 consecutive starts ….

        • Rob Staton says:

          But for how much longer?

          He’s 32 this year.

          • phil says:

            I would be happy if we could get two years from him while we let the rest of the OLers mature under his on-the-field tutelage.

            • Coug1990 says:

              But, what is the cost? If the Seahawks do not have to give up much and get him on an inexpensive contract not using up cap space, I am all in. However, paying another outside player a lot of money is just going to make Bennett and Chancellor mad.

              • phil says:

                You can’t manage the front office worrying about making players mad. Is paying more money to Bennett and Kam going to make the Seahawks a better team?

                • H M Abdou says:

                  I’m willing to part with Kam for the right price.

                • Coug1990 says:

                  These are still human being with feelings. There are reasons why the Seahawks just do not bring in anyone into the locker room. Having more upset players when you can avoid it is something that they do think about. Do you think that some of Kams play had to do with him psychologically not being all in as he had been in previous years?

                  You have to be fair to players. But, I do not believe that JSPC will trade for Thomas, so in my opinion, this is irrelevant anyway.

                  Good discussion though.

                  • Miles says:

                    One of the things that people say a lot is “Oh yeah, I would sign that guy, for the right price …”

                    Of course. There are a lot of good players in the NFL that would be great to have for low cost. Saying you would take someone like Joe Thomas on a nice deal makes me laugh. We would all love to have Joe Thomas. But why would Cleveland give up his relatively team-friendly contract for anything less than a screaming deal? They have all the leverage.

                    The vast majority of big-name free agent signings involve a Brinks truck of money for the player. It is very very rare that you get players for the “right price”, and that is typically if they are either very old AND very injured OR considerably less effective at their position.

    • HawkPower12 says:

      Kearse went from $2.35mill to $4.25mill. That is peanuts, especially when the cap went up by so much…Gambling on a Rookie to replace him would have been a huge risk. The WR class is so-so, and our depth is yet to be proven…

      Hope we draft Marquez North too…late. Chris Long sounds good, but the DL draft is solid…and younger/cheaper.

      • HI Hawk says:

        2016 Chris Long is not the same as 2013 Chris Long, and he has been declining steadily since 2012. I’d rather bring back Chris Clemons if it’s a one year deal, regardless of the age disparity. Less injury prone and would be a great example for Frank Clark.

    • GoHawks5151 says:

      I agree. 2 major, unrelated injuries which happened to be season ending. History of dependability until then. Just because Denver won a championship without him doesn’t mean that Seattle should turn down the opportunity to get a proven talent at a possible bargain price. Granted the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league but they also have a comeback player of the year award for a reason.

    • STTBM says:

      Actually, I was surprised Kearse got so little love on the FA market. Guys like Muhammad Sanu and Travis Benjamin–severely limited players who cant play all the WR positions–received far bigger contracts than Kearse. Of course, Sanu’s deal has been widely panned across the league.

      Long has been an absolute non-factor for two years. Who knows if he ever gets it back?

      Meanwhile, Kearse is improving each season, and isnt injury prone or old.

      • HI Hawk says:

        Kearse’s contract is a steal for a solid #2 WR. Even if you look at him as a #2B to Lockett’s #2A, it’s still exceptionally affordable since Lockett’s on his rookie deal.

  6. Shadow says:

    “Perhaps they intend to start Garry Gilliam at left tackle and Webb at right tackle? Perhaps their focus will be to upgrade the interior O-line?”

    I’m fine with Gilliam at LT and definitely believe in upgrading the interior O-Line. Seattle’s press release for Webb listing him at tackle does lend credence toward your theory that they have him slotted at RT. I just believe that Webb is the weak link in this scenario. He was a serviceable guard for Oakland but truly dreadful when he had to play tackle, and if Carroll and Schneider are counting on him to be able to hold down the starting Right Tackle spot, I believe they have made an enormous miscalculation.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I’m still hoping he just ends up as depth.

      • bobbyk says:

        I don’t think they’d pay him that much to be depth. I think he starts at either LG or RT.

        • vrtkolman says:

          It’s all about the competition though. Seattle isn’t going to hand him a starting job just because they are paying him $2-3 million a year.

          • bobbyk says:

            Offensive line is the only unit on the team where players get handed jobs though. Think Carp, Moffitt, Britt. They didn’t do anything to win a job. Heck, Carp and Moffitt were given the right side the time of the draft. Britt will have to compete now, but if Cable wants something (signing Webb) then that’s the way it is. Nowak was clearly worse than Lewis, but he had more upside so Cable went with the long-term guy in his opinion at the time, rather than the more effective player. Only after things got so bad did they go back to the back-up (who was better). As Rob has said many times and I agree with that they viewed Lewis and his potential as minimal so they went with the player (Nowak) who was terrible, but viewed as a better long-term option (not the person who won the “competition”).

            • Seahawcrates says:

              Britt beat out Winston for right tackle as a rookie. Then he was selected over the buffet line of Poole, Sokoli, Bailey, etc at left guard.

              • Coug1990 says:

                Plus, Bailey was all but given the LG spot, but he played his way out of starting. So, I agree with you that nobody is given a job if there is competition. The teams seams to believe, as Rob has stated, that there was not enough competition for their liking.

                • H M Abdou says:

                  Yeah, Bailey ATE his way out of starting!

                  • Coug1990 says:

                    Damn, I hate when I spell “seems” wrong. Bailey sure messed up. Now, he is someone else’s issue.

                  • STTBM says:

                    Thats not true. Bailey was praised by Cable and Carrol last year for showing up much lighter and in great shape. However, he just wasnt very good at LG, so they benched him. That was one spot where they didnt stick with a player who stunk–though Bailey’s replacement Britt wasnt any great shakes at LG either.

        • KingRajesh says:

          Do we forget Russell beating out Flynn?

          • bobbyk says:

            You’re right. Competition happens on every position on the team. Except OL. Cable has too much of a track record of handing jobs to people he wants to give them to.

            • KingRajesh says:

              Sweezy won the job over Moffitt.

              • manthony says:

                Going from Moffit to Sweezy was a downgrade

                • KingRajesh says:

                  Going from a drug addict to anyone is an upgrade.

                  • manthony says:

                    What are you the King of? Noobs?
                    Blackmon would improve JAX.
                    Gordon would improve CLE.
                    Hernandez would improve NE.
                    Irvin improved DAL.
                    Romanowski improved every team he was on.
                    Do you think everyone’s an upgrade over UFCs Jone Jones?
                    You sound ignorant and like you haven’t watched much football. Try and get some info from differing outlets and not just ESPN.
                    Your takes are pedestrian and unoriginal.

    • Ignorant says:

      Given the Shorts, Donalds and Campbells of the League, I’m all in for drafting Ifedi to play LG and play with a weaker RT in 2016

    • lil'stink says:

      As much as Webb struggled at tackle (and I watched his last few games) I still think he has more potential than Britt at that position.

      • HI Hawk says:

        I think the best competition this offseason is going to be LG/RT. Not sure how it will shake out, or who will officially be in the competition – but it should be fun to watch. The contenders we know are Webb, Britt, Poole, and Sowell; I think it’s practically a sure thing we add a couple of rookies to the group too. Despite mixed results so far, hopefully we see improvement through competition amongst the ones we know already.

  7. Trevor says:

    Rob I really like the idea of upgrading the middle of the line and would love Ryan Kelly at #26.

    I really like Mcgovern as well in the 2nd. Could he play LG for the Hawks or do you think he is a C in the NFL?

    • Volume12 says:

      I agree about Ryan Kelly.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not sure — but I’d prefer to try him at C.

      Seattle has generally liked mauling size at LG.

    • lil'stink says:

      Kelly is going to be a stud, but if Ifedi or Coleman are available at #26 they would still be hard to pass on IMHO. Rob’s piece on Bullard makes it tough to overlook him as an option as well. I like Joe Dahl in the fourth round to take over for Patrick Lewis in 2017.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      We haven’t seen Sokoli play so it is easy to overlook him but the way the Seattle FO carried him on the roster all year and spoke about him, I think it is clear that Sokoli will be the competition for Lewis at center in 2016.

      • James says:

        Sokoli just doesn’t look anything like a C to me, so I wonder if he will be permanently moved? Pete and Cable have gushed about the notion of having such quickness at C, but he just doesn’t have either the squat power or the taller core thickness. I have long wondered, since Sokoli is such a sparq-god, why is he not at OT? Surely he has the quickest feet and most spring in his legs of any OL in the league?

        • Nem Beselek says:

          I’ve been saying that same thing for months. Why bulk Sokoli up and rob him of most of his athleticism? Let him use his athleticism at tackle, and be happy with the results.

  8. Trevor says:

    Since we know OL is likely to be a need unless they pull a trade off. Here is my top 6 list at Tackle and Interior OL.

    Would love to see how other people rank those 2 positions.

    Tackle
    #1 Tunsil
    #2 Conklin- I would so love to see him on out OL as our new RT in 2016
    #3 Shon Coleman- Has been my favourite prospect at #26 since the year began
    #4Germain Ifedi
    #4Taylor Decker
    #5 LaRaven Clark

    Interior
    #1 Ryan Kelly
    #2 Connor Mcgovern
    #3 Christian Westerman
    #4 Josh Garnett
    #5 Nick Martin

    • Jarhead says:

      Whoa. I would Kelly is 1a and Martin is 1b. Those other 3 guys are not the ltrchnical wizard that Martin is

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Agreed, but McGovern and Westerman are two of the strongest prospects in the entire draft, and two of the best interior OL athletes. Martin is an excellent technician. But he lacks the athleticism of Kelly, McGovern or Westerman.

        • ClevelandHawk says:

          The draft is deep in technically savvy, experienced college centers with middling athleticism and decent size. In my view, no reason to prioritize Martin in an early round when you can pick up a functional equivalent in the fifth round. I’m also not sure that Martin or the mid-round college centers offer huge upside over Lewis. My sense is that the shiny newness of rookies cause us to overestimate the chance that any college lineman is an upgrade over a veteran journeyman.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            There’s nothing special about Lewis. Not a great technician, not a great athlete. He was an UDFA and went from GBP (PS) to CLE (PS) to JAX to SEA.

            Martin would be an instant and appreciable improvement over Lewis.

          • Jarhead says:

            You are making it seem like Martin is one step above an insurance salesman. He is the most technically gifted C in the draft. And his athletic profile is above average. So it isn’t like he is such a slug thatvhe can’t make it in the NFL. Comparing him to a 5th round pick is a huge overstatement. I think he will be a 10 year pro and multiple pro bowler by the end

          • Jarhead says:

            And you want to thriw out middling athleticism, some other “muddling” atheltes- Ryan Kalil, Nick Mangold, Travis Frederick. Not one player with over 30 reps pn bench, a run under 5 seconds, or a vert over 30. And I think they are doing just fine for themselves. All about 6’3″ and 300 lbs. All capable of handling NFL defensive interior linemen at an elite level. Once again, for NFL O lineman the most import part of being a great blocker is the ability to actually block people. Athletic profiles are overrated on the O Line. Tom Cable laments the skill sets of college O Lineman- never once did he say that O Lineman come out of college not fast or quick enough. An Offensive Lineman wins with sound technique, hand play and a fast first step. After that first step, it is all about technique and staying in the D Lineman pads. With great footwork, you can easily outmatch a faster and stronger D Lineman.

    • Bayahawh says:

      I’d love to see the Hawks trade back a few picks and select the best available C, hopefully Kelly. Then use the capital gained in that trade to move up in the 2nd and pick Garnett for LG.

      RT – Webb/Poole
      RG – Glowinski/Pericak
      C – Kelly/Lewis/Sokoli/Nowak
      LG – Garnett/Britt
      LT – Gilliam/Sowell

      It wouldn’t be ideal but they’d have 4 very young starters in Gilliam, Garnett, Glowinski and Kelly. Might find a DL to OL convert later in the draft for depth.

    • H M Abdou says:

      Rather have Ifedi than Coleman, much higher upside.

  9. Hawksince77 says:

    A couple of quick points:

    1 – the Broncos destroyed the Panther line in the SB, sacking a mobile QB six or seven times.

    2 – having a quality offensive line matters

    3 – Seattle’s line at the beginning of 2015 was a disaster, and led directly to several losses

    4 – everything else being equal, the better the players, the better the line

    5 – JS/PC have spent a lot of draft capital on the line, more top draft picks than any other position group

    6 – to repeat, the offensive line is important

    7 – protect Wilson and the Seahawks will win

    8 – agree there is a plan. Don’t be surprised if includes a trade for the best LT in the league

    9 – or drafting a tackle with the first pick (nothing controversial about that) and/or interior linemen in the second-4th round.

    • Trevor says:

      Really hope you are right about #8 then they add Kelly, Mcgovern or Martin to play Center.

      I think this team is loaded in all other areas and is primed to win muliple super bowls if we can keep Russ upright and open a few running lanes.

      I agree with Rob though the interior of the OL is the most important place to start with Russ at QB.

    • bobbyk says:

      Re: Pass Rush

      As bad as the OL was to start last season, lets not forget that the defense blew every game, too. The defense had a 4th quarter lead in every game. Every single one. It wasn’t the OL out there giving the opposing QB all day to throw.

      We all agree and acknowledge the OL must improve, but the pass rush needs improving, too.

      • sdcoug says:

        Not arguing cause I think you are touching on both sides, but it’s all so interrelated. The D certainly needed to tighten up and had breakdowns we haven’t been accustomed to, but our constant 3-and-outs put our D in innumerable bad positions. It kept them constantly on the field. It couldn’t run off time or pick up a first down to at least flip field position. It couldn’t tack on field goals when most times that’s all it would take. Gah..im frustrated just thinking about it! Haha

        • David says:

          I’m thinking bring back to the Bengals game in particular where the offense w not nearly 3 and out on every drive in the 4th quarter and then overtime. Yes the D gave up the lead but if the offense gets into Cindy territory once in the 4th quarter, Hawks probably win the game.

          • Seahawcrates says:

            It was a three system failure, though. In addition to the inability to sustain drives and burn the clock, the defense gave up ragged chunks of yards, and special teams couldn’t pin the Bengals back. Any one of the three meet standard and that game is a win.

            • STTBM says:

              Wilson also had Lockett wide open in overtime for a 70+ yard TD and got buck fever and whiffed on the throw. The game was over–all Wilson had to do was deliver the ball. Instead, he waited too long–as he does all too often–faced pressure, and then threw up a duck jump ball that Lockett had to wait for that gave the DB time to get back in the play.

              Wilson did that at least four-five times last season, throwing late jump balls Lockett had to wait for rather than leading him downfield. But the Cincy game was the most egregious example all year. I nearly threw up when he missed that throw…

              • Del tre says:

                Same thing in Carolina Baldwin was wise open and Wilson missed it was on a drive that ended up in 0 points too

        • Coug1990 says:

          The Seahawk defense could have gotten 3 and outs as well. They didn’t. This is like saying the Mariners should have given Fernando Rodney bigger leads, so blowing saves were not really his fault.

      • Nolan says:

        Agreed OLINE wasn’t good but we did have leads the D couldn’t hold.

      • STTBM says:

        Yes, the line is important, as is the pass rush. But what really broke our defense last year was Cary Williams. Every game we lost came down to the D blowing leads because guys were out of position. Why were guys out of position? Because they had zero trust in Williams to do his job, and on any given play, at least one guy was trying to do his neighbors job instead of his own job. Guys in the secondary were sick of Williams giving up every third down and long, and you could see even the LB’s were worrying about him rather than their own assignment.

        With Lane back, and hopefully Shead as well, this wont be such a problem.

      • James says:

        Agreed… although our OL play in the first half of the season was as bad as I have ever seen on an otherwise good team, the primary reason we lost the games we did was the defense. They collapsed in the 4th quarter, and gave up the game winning drive in every loss. This was due to a sophomoric blitz scheme which they rarely employed, for good reason, and due to the wrong personnel in the nascar package. (did I say nascar, I meant to say vanilla) All our DTs except Frank Clark would just allow themselves to be steered right up field, and the slowest QBs in the game would just step up in the pocket and find all day to throw. Only Clark knew to lay back and pounce as the QB stepped up.

        • STTBM says:

          To be fair, I think Seattle used their ends to push the QB up in the pocket, and often Clarks job was to wait for that and then pounce. Each play has certain responsibilities for each player on the D, they arent just madly chasing after the qb willy-nilly.

          Calling Seattle’s blitzes vanilla or simplistic was accurate all too often last season, while the DB coverages often seemed needlessly complex. Consider it the break-in period for our new DC Kris Richard.

          This year I expect a much better performance from Richard and the D. Having Lane and Shead at outside corner rather than C Williams should get us on track, and help Richard be able to call whatever coverage and blitz he desires. Last year there was plenty of talk about how Seattle had to abandon coverages they wanted to run because Williams couldnt do his job.

    • KingRajesh says:

      How many other teams are going to have as many talents on the O-line as the Broncos did?

      Having an O-line matters, but would you rather have a top tier O-line, or Sherman, Wagner and Chancellor? We’re paying a TON to the defense, and some positions HAVE to be cheap to counteract that.

      • Coug1990 says:

        As I wrote yesterday or the day before, according to FO’s, only one of their top seven pass blocking lines made the playoff’s. On the other hand, three of their bottom five pass blocking lines made the playoff’s.

    • Rob Staton says:

      1 – Here is what the Panthers O-line had to deal with https://vine.co/v/i1lg0wgpZQe

      Good luck blocking Von Miller on that turf.

      2 – Look at the article again and remind me which of Carolina and Denver had a quality offensive line

      3 – And Seattle’s line in the second half of the season played pretty well

      4 – Draft

      5 – Yep, so they’ll do it again

      6 – Also important is a great defense, QB, running game — things Seattle has

      7 – They didn’t protect him brilliantly in 2014 and won

      8 – I doubt that highly

      9 – This I agree with

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        One of my favorite vines in a long time.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        cool – a mini debate.

        1 – no further comment. The game speaks for itself.

        2 – making or winning the SB doesn’t argue for a position group one way or another. Teams have won having terrible run games, pass rush, defense, passing offense…on and on and on. Denver had a historically good defense in 2015, and that defense won the game. It wasn’t their future HOF QB, or a mediocre offensive line that made the difference. There is no one recipe for sustained success. Having said that, what Seattle needs to dominate is a competent offensive line. Both for rushing effectiveness and pass protection.

        3 – until they ran into good defensive interior lines in the Rams and Panthers. A competent offensive line probably makes the difference in those games.

        4 – draft, yes, for future years. But starting rookies is difficult to do (although not impossible). College doesn’t produce NFL-ready offensive linemen – or at least, that is the current thinking.

        5 – no doubt

        6 – completely agree, which is why it is such a waste for this team to go into 2016 with a crappy offensive line.

        7 – 2016 is not 2014, and 2015 a better comparison. There were two weaknesses to the 2015 Seahawks: the offensive line and the secondary. Now, as Seahawks fans, we are spoiled. We don’t want to go to the playoffs – we want to win consecutive SBs, so our standards are really high. Re-signing Lane may prove sufficient for the 2016 secondary, I don’t know. But improving the offensive line is the real opportunity for this team to dominate in 2016.

        8 – we’ll see. No sense in arguing about it. Either it happens or it doesn’t. We’ll know soon enough.

        9 – okay then.

        • GeoffU says:

          That wasn’t the only reason Carolina lost. Their vaunted run game had suddenly turned to poo

          • H M Abdou says:

            Jackson and Wolfe did a magnificent job in that game.

          • Del tre says:

            Honestly am I the only person who thinks that j Stewart is an average running back? The guy has a really solid o line plays in the easiest division and every play has the threat of cam newton running and yet still only averaged 4 yards per carry. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carolina tried to find a replacement

      • bigDhawk says:

        Our OL was terrible all season. The only times it looked good were when we switched to quick pass mode and stuck with it, which covered up a lit of shortcomings. Whenever we got away from the quick pass the OL reverted right back to its true terrible nature. The playoff game against Carolina is a perfect microcosm.

        • Rob Staton says:

          This isn’t entirely accurate BigD.

          It’s a common misconception that Seattle switched to a quick passing game. They actually hit more downfield passes in the second half of the season than any team in the league. Their offense is based on run the ball, explosive pass plays. That hasn’t changed. Carroll mentioned during the season multiple times they changed nothing — they just protected better, Wilson trusted the protection and got the ball out quicker.

          • Coug1990 says:

            Not to mention that getting the ball out fast is a recipe all over the NFL for covering up for a line.

          • Nolan says:

            When we were able to run we were able to pass the D cost us Rams green bay Carolina, Arizona regular season games not the o line. Online wasn’t great but we make one stop at the ends of those games we might be singing a different tune

          • STTBM says:

            Even Bevell admitted they changed the offense, as noted by Dave Boling and other professional writers. They made a real emphasis on getting the ball out quicker, and it showed. That ddidnt mean Seattle gave up on throwing the ball deep, just that they bided their time and recognized they had to help the line out by not always holding the ball long periods of time.

            Its ridiculous to say they changed nothing. Thats Carrol-Speak and nothing more. They didnt change their overall offense or philosophy, but they most certainly did start calling more quick reads, changed the route combinations more often to quicker plays, and in general tried to get the ball out faster. And it worked.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’ve never denied they focused on getting the ball out quicker. That does NOT equate to a short passing game though as has been suggested.

              They just made sure Wilson trusted the protection and did what he was supposed to.

              By the way — we don’t tend to call people ‘ridiculous’ in the comments section of this community. Just a heads up.

      • STTBM says:

        Seattle’s offensive line did improve, but against inferior defense. We walloped on teams like Baltimore, the Browns, an AZ team with nothing to play for, etc. We couldnt do a heck of a lot vs great defenses, and when we got to the playoffs, our line was exposed for what it was; bottom of the barrel. It wasnt just the cold in Minny, it was Minny’s defense that made our line look more than mortal. And Carolina took us apart in the first half.

        • Rob Staton says:

          You conveniently missed off the Vikings and Steelers regular season games I see there…

          I suspect Carolina would’ve took anyone apart that day. They blew up the interior — the area identified for major work in this piece.

          • STTBM says:

            Steelers Defense was one of the worst in the league and showed that when we played them. When we beat on Minny, they had FOUR Defensive starters out; Anthony Barr, their starting S for much of the game, Linval Joseph one of the top DT’s in the game and others. That defense was a shadow of itself, as the playoff game showed.

            Any way you slice it, Seattle’s O-line was dreadful until they were down by 30 points vs Carolina.

            It makes no sense to judge the first Minny game without taking into account their four backups on D. That would be like Seattle losing Wags, Sherm, Bennett and Thomas and then saying another team scoring 30 points on us shows how great their offense is.

            • Rob Staton says:

              The Steelers secondary is/was awful.

              Their front seven is not.

              Seem to remember Everson Griffen and a first round DT playing for Minnesota, plus Brian Robison and Danielle Hunter. No need to discount that game unless you want to try and force a particular opinion.

  10. HawkPower12 says:

    Tight end LaQuan McGowan — 6-foot-6 1/8, 405 pounds — ran the 40-yard dash in 5.55 and 5.41 seconds. He had a 24-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-2 broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 5.47 seconds and the three-cone drill in 8.25 seconds. He also performed 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

    Any takers as a ‘swing whatever’?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I wonder what his SLA works out to be. Those numbers aren’t bad considering his enormous size.

    • Elliott says:

      405 Pound tight end?

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      He is clearly a unique player at that size so you know Seattle is interested.

      He could fill the Jumbo TE role and maybe even the goal-line FB role.

    • GeoffU says:

      He’s certainly a “unique talent.”

      Should try him at fullback though.

      • HawkPower12 says:

        Seems he might be the next Tukuafu type Seahawk player.

        Just wall out people…

        • Miles says:

          Tukuafu is 280 pounds. He is also pretty athletic with a 32″ vertical and a 1.66 10 yard split at his pro day. I don’t know what McGowan’s 10-yard is, but I don’t think fullback is his best position because there has to be a little bit of agility to move people. I would doubt he has that.

          A tight end is not really a place for him to be either, in my opinion. If you line him up as a tight end, he’s really just a sixth OL, which is really something can find on the current roster. DT makes the most sense for him. Just eat space up.

  11. Hawksince77 says:

    Why trade for Thomas?

    1 – he is the best at the position in the league

    2 – will cost what needs to be spent on the position anyway (2016 first round pick)

    3 – his contract is affordable for the next three years

    4 – keeps from entering the draft with a massive hole on the roster

    5 – Okung was the first pick of this regime, indicating the value they put in the position

    6 – prevents the need to depend on a rookie (or a really crappy FA) in a critical position

    In sum, not an ideal situation. Cost both significant draft capital and cap space (which they have) to get Joe Thomas. But doing so is as near a sure thing as possible, and it’s rare such talents become available for trade.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why not to trade for him…

      1 – He’ll cost at least a first rounder and likely more

      2 – He’s 32 this year and would be an extreme short term measure

      3 – They just chose not to re-sign Okung, so they clearly back themselves without an elite tackle

      4 – How critical was tackle for the Panthers or Broncos? Not at all.

      • Trevor says:

        Rob agree with all points except #4 it was critical for the Panthers when it mattered most in the SB. The lack of quality OT was incredibly obvious and exploited by the Broncos. We all know no one remembers who lost the SB even if it is an interception on the 1 yd line.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        1 – quality LTs cost – Okung was the 6th overall pick, if memory serves.

        2 – three years doesn’t seem short term to me, and that’s the length of his contract. How old was Walter Jones when he retired? Age probably isn’t an issue, and Thomas comes cheap in those three years.

        3 – I don’t know how this follows. Because they chose not to compete for Okung for what he was asking says nothing about how they value the position. Plus, they can get Thomas much cheaper over the next three years. This plays to their strength of resources, having more draft capital than cap space.

        4 – the last SB doesn’t reduce the need to protect the QB’s blind side. Trading for Thomas would secure the two tackle spots, allowing them to focus their remaining resources on the interior.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Three years is incredibly short term. Walter Jones retired aged 35. He barely missed a game for 11 years and then bang.

          Seattle’s issue hasn’t been protecting the blindside. It’s their inability to protect the interior.

          If you’re pinning your hopes on Joe Thomas — prepare to be disappointed. They’re going to draft two OL early. If they make a trade it’ll be for the defense.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            “If you’re pinning your hopes on Joe Thomas — prepare to be disappointed. They’re going to draft two OL early. If they make a trade it’ll be for the defense.”

            Well damn, if you are so sure about that, no reason to discuss it any further.

          • sdcoug says:

            Personally, I would be happy with 3 years for the type of upgrade we’re talking. I mean, we only got 4 from a recent first-rounder (Irvin)

            • Rob Staton says:

              But you’re banking on his 33rd and 34th years in the league.

              That’s the issue.

              Plus — protecting the edge hasn’t really been the issue. It’s inside.

              It seems to me like there’s a need for the reassurance of a ‘big name’ at tackle and that will solve the ills. Really — it’s about creating a functioning O-line for the future with improved play in the interior. Two early picks, extra competition. Let it rip.

              • sdcoug says:

                Yes, I am banking on future years from an incredibly productive and durable player. If it doesn’t turn out that way, I use his cap space somewhere else when the time comes. We hope to have a SB window in four years; well right now we do. Right in front of us.

                And having a stud LT and improvement inside isn’t mutually exclusive. We have other draft picks that can be used for a guard and/or center.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I’ve preached the Championship window as much as anyone — but eventually you have to start drafting and developing your own talent. Spending a first round pick on a 32-year-old on the premise his level of play and durability continues well into his 30’s is just a total non-start for me.

                  • sdcoug says:

                    Look I get both sides of the argument, and my previous posts will show I’m a big proponent of building the interior. But I don’t agree that drafting and developing your own talent can only be done with your 1st pick. One minute we point to our roster full of studs (how many first-rounders there?) that we’ve developed, and the next it’s constantly pointed out that Seattle maybe has 17 players graded as a First Round talent..but the idea of using that asset on a tremendous player for NOW doesn’t work? No one else has to agree (that’s the beauty of this well-informed blog), but for me it works

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    I have no issue with trading for genuine talent. But for 32-year-olds? That’s a different question IMO.

                  • sdcoug says:

                    One thing no one has even mentioned…we will have some real youth, inexperience and several outside FAs on the line next year,and that’s ok. But Joe Thomas not only instantly upgrades LT, he also makes your LG better. And who better to be a leader this line needs and grab these guys by the collar and pull them along? He sets a new tone on your line

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Why does he make the LG better? Because he’s experienced?

                    Okung was experienced but didn’t improve Britt.

                    I’m not trying to be overly negative about the prospect of this trade. I understand why some fans want it. But it’s extremely highly unlikely. They’re going to use the draft to upgrade the line and that’s cool. I think we should embrace that — and having young guys on the line without a Joe Thomas doesn’t necessarily equate to problems.

                  • sdcoug says:

                    Well correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall plenty of discussion here about the benefit of having a stud to your side.

                    Where did I say not having a Joe Thomas equates to problems? I said it could be a real benefit

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    You’ve lost me here, sdcoug. I don’t recall suggesting you said that.

                    Anyway — I’ve said my piece on Joe Thomas. I highly doubt the Seahawks will trade #26 for a 32-year-old. I do think they will invest two high picks on the OL. I think if they do trade for anything — it’ll be a veteran pass rusher. Let’s see how this plays out.

                  • sdcoug says:

                    “and having young guys on the line without a Joe Thomas doesn’t necessarily equate to problems”. I took that as you suggesting I said it would be a problem; I only said it would be a benefit with him.

                    Look, don’t get me wrong, I agree it probably won’t happen and I hope and expect we invest high picks on the Oline. So really I’m not trying to argue. I just think there is strong merit to adding Thomas. I appreciate your responses and opinion

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    And I appreciate the healthy, well mannered debate.

                • RWIII says:

                  Sdcoug. Thomas is 31 years old. Marshawn Lynch is RETIRED at 29. Sorry but Joe Thomas’s best years are behind him.

              • Steve Nelsen says:

                Maybe just one early pick Rob if they are comfortable with Glowinski at RG and see Sokoli as the replacement/competition for Lewis.

                That would leave Britt back at RT. But it would free up a lot of picks to add a LB and some DL in rounds 2-4.

                • ClevelandHawk says:

                  I think that’s a possibility. My guess is that it will depend on how the draft unfolds, as well as how the team feels about Sokoli’s and, perhaps, Poole’s development last season. Rob is right that offensive line is undoubtedly the priority and preference, but I’m optimistic that Britt, Moffitt, et al,, have reinforced the futility of forcing a draft board.

                  To your point, the Seahawks have several other areas where they need to bring along some young talent.

        • Troy says:

          I just checked Jones, 2008 was his last season that he played before injuries took over, he was 34…so I would expect at most to get 2 good seasons from thomas, and even then thats assuming he is the equal of walter jones

        • Bryan C says:

          Walter Jones is a poor comparison to most LT as he was unable to take any anti inflammatory medicines and once he suffered an injury he was done. Most other LT do not have that limitation.

          • Trevor says:

            Plus he had micro fracture surgery which is often a career ender. But boy was Big Walt ever amazing.

          • Coug1990 says:

            Other than Anthony Munoz, comparing any lineman to Walter Jones is futile. Few play as well as he did at his age. There are lineman that play at that age, but generally not at a high level.

      • Miles says:

        If getting Joe Thomas costs us Germain Ifedi, I would say no. If you can somehow get Joe Thomas AND Ifedi, then I say yes. You are then covering both your short term and your long term while also addressing the interior.

    • bobbyk says:

      With the Browns in obvious rebuild mode, I see Thomas getting moved this off-season. The previous regime wanted a ransom for his last season, but now Moneyball guy is going to want him gone. Seriously, if you’re the Browns, what is more important? A 31-year old player for a team destined to be horrible for a few more years or a pick that can be part of the future? Who cares what anyone thinks… what is a computer going to choose? Old player on terrible team or pick(s) for future growth? Duh. Computer boy is going to get rid of Thomas. The only way I can see them keeping Thomas is if football people in the organization tell computer people that they have to keep him to save their new QB while he’s developing. I’m not saying the Seahawks would trade for him, nor am I saying they wouldn’t. Just saying that I bet Thomas is available to all this off-season.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Alternatively — if you’re drafting a rookie QB and intend to start him, Thomas could be vital.

        • bobbyk says:

          I said that in there (“football guys” vs. “computer” boy).

          • Coug1990 says:

            You do realize that every NFL team uses analytics now and that the owner of the Seahawks is also a “computer boy.”

        • Trevor says:

          Rob I completely get the idea of keeping Thomas to protect Wentz but this is the Browns we are talking about. Couldn’t they use our pick at #26 to draft Ifedi or another LT and let him develop with Wentz?

          • Rob Staton says:

            Why trade Thomas only to spend the pick you get on a replacement?

            • Trevor says:

              As you said he only has 3 years left and the Browns are in complete rebuild. They need to look long term.

            • Hawksince77 says:

              Three reasons:

              1 – cost less in cap space

              2 – draft the younger player to target their emergence a few years down the road

              3 – they get more than a first for Thomas, perhaps next year’s third.

            • phil says:

              “Why trade Thomas only to spend the pick you get on a replacement?”

              $$$$$

              The Browns would have to conclude that the $$ they have invested in Thomas could be better spent elsewhere. And, they may think they can get 75 per cent of his production for, say, 15 percent of the cost. They are in a position that they have to make some changes. Having a stud LT and a mediocre group of skilled players doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.

              • Rob Staton says:

                The Browns already have $46m in free cap space.

                • sdcoug says:

                  Honest question Rob; not trying to be snarky here. Do you follow American Baseball (MLB)?

                  DePodesta is a baseball guy. MLB non-contenders try to align their assets to become contributors (a core, if you will) at the same time. That’s why a staff Ace gets dealt at the trading deadline. Will David Price be an asset on your losing team and help you win a few more games? Of course he will. But your team sucks and David Price won’t be there when you turn things around. Further, trading David Price allows you to attempt to speed that process be acquiring good prospects.

                  It’s telling that the Browns have ample cap yet didn’t spend it, isn’t it? This after watching your four best players walk when you could have chosen to overpay. Joe Thomas may not be traded, but I guarantee DePodesta has thought long and hard about moving him for younger, cost-controlled assets that will grow together

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    Not much of a baseball fan, but I’ve read about DePodesta, so I take your point. But wouldn’t even Podesta know that if he’s going to spend the 2nd pick on a QB, he needs to keep him upright. Or at the very least from getting injured. He let Schwartz and Mack walk. Thomas is the only OLer left. He’s signed to a reasonable contract. The only reason DePodesta trades Thomas is because he gets a stupid offer for him.

                  • ClevelandHawk says:

                    Well put.

                  • sdcoug says:

                    CHawk Talker: again, he can draft a tackle that is much younger and cost controlled, one that will be around as Cleveland improves. If he needs to keep his QB upright, cannot a tackle drafted at 26 do that? Cause this entire thread is devoted to that very claim, that a lineman at 26 (or J’Marcus Webb) is just fine to protect our franchise QB

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    “If he needs to keep his QB upright, can a tackle drafted at 26 do that?”

                    Of course they can.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    SEA can do the exact same thing – draft a tackle at 26 who is much younger, cost controlled and will be around as RW and the rest of the OL improves. Why would SEA opt for a 32 yo who costs more in 1 season than whomever they could take at 26 for his entire rookie career?

                    You offered an argument as to why CLE would want to move on from Thomas, which also applies with equal validity to SEA. But you haven’t offered an argument as to why SEA would want to take on Thomas, other than your personal preference for Thomas over a rookie OT.

                • Coug1990 says:

                  Yes, the Browns already have plenty of cap space, that is something that the Seahawks do not.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Because we aren’t in win now mode, we are in win forever mode. IOW, we aren’t desperate.

      Short version, for what Joe Thomas will give us in terms of production/value in the next three years, we will get about the same production/value from our #26 pick over the course of his career. But we will be paying $30 million or so for that production in the form of Thomas, while paying only $8 million or so for that production in the form of the draft pick.

      Paying way more for the same thing is generally a bad idea.

      • Trevor says:

        In order to win forever you have to win now.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          And if you don’t win now, you end up being the Browns because you have nothing to replace your core. That’s before you even get into whether having a great, expensive LT is the best use of your resources (it’s not, IMO).

          • Trevor says:

            How many 1st round picks does Sea have on the roster? The answer is 1 Earl Thomas. This team has not been built on 1st round picks.

          • Trevor says:

            Comparing one of the best LT of all time to the production of a rookie is laughable. If you want to argue long term potential or cap space fine, but Joe Thomas will be light years ahead of anyone we draft at 26 the first couple of years.

            • Coug1990 says:

              The Seahawks FO do not mind trading first round picks. However, they have never traded one for older than 28. I just do not see it happening.

      • phil says:

        …..”we will get the same production/value from our #26 pick….”

        RR2, your optimism is impressive. Sounds like you either think nothing of Joe Thomas, or you think that elite LTs are a dime a dozen.

        • sdcoug says:

          Exactly; bold presumption to think we automatically get anywhere near the same production from #26.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          I may not have made my point very clearly, so it’s understandable that it was misunderstood. What I’m saying is that on average, the total value of what we’ll get out of Joe Thomas for the three years we’d have him is the same as the total value of what we’ll get out of the #26 pick over the course of that draft pick’s career, NOT that the #26 pick will be as good as Joe Thomas.

          In theory, Thomas would give us great LT production for 3 years. The #26 would give us average NFL LT starter production for many more years. The total value of those things, as measured by PFR’s AV (a quick-and-dirty tool, I admit, but about the only thing that lets us compare apples to apples here), is about equal. But we’d be paying way less for the production given to us by the #26 pick.

    • Trevor says:

      Preaching to the choir! We can win an Sb now lets worry about the next 3 years while we have Russ, Sherm and ET under contract.

      We can draft a guy to develop behind Thomas. For example Stephane Nembot out of Colorado who has the size, length and athleticism but needs a couple of years to develop. Trade the #1 for Thomas and take Nembolt in the 6th and you have his replacement if 2019.

      • HawkPower12 says:

        What a feisty and active conversation! Nice.

        The Oline needs FRESH blood. They will draft well, and we will celebrate!

    • Mike says:

      The biggest problem with continually trading our top draft pick is that we lose team control of a solid player for 4-5 years at a reasonable price. Sure, we could swing an miss, or foul one off (Carp?) with the draft pick, but great teams stay great through the draft and with smart, targeted trades and acquisitions.

      Consider New England. They’ve stayed relevant for 10+ years largely by acquiring as many rookie contracts as possible (trading 1s for multiple 2s and 3s). They’ve also been measured and smart in their acquisition of free agents and trade targets.

    • Nolan says:

      1 being the best at his position in the league has meant jack shit to his team his entire career.

      2 how do we even know he is the best ? It’s not like the Browns offense has ever been really good running or throwing despite having him and Alex max on the line.

      • manthony says:

        Winner winner chicken dinner. Great points Nolan. Everybodys passionately clamoring for a guy who is 32 and has never been to the playoffs.
        Looking for pieces to pit us over the top and he’s the guy everyone wants?
        Im selling on Thomas

    • Darth12er says:

      Not to add any fuel to the fire here but I’m split on this possibility. If we were willing to pay Okung a similar salary, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t trade for Thomas (even for an extra first).
      -he has played in every single game, but has never played an extra post season game
      -he won’t turn 32 until December, if age is that important it should be noted
      -he is an upgrade from any other LT, including the draft
      -given the recent signings, and the rising cap, his yearly cap hit is manageable
      -3 year contract, their last 2 1st rounders only lasted 4 years.
      -you could argue championship window
      -Self confessed need

      On the flip side
      -we have his age, possible decline or injury
      -the cost of a first round
      -even if we don’t keep our pick 26 after 4 years, we’re saving 2 picks..not trading pick 26, and the possible comp pick if he leaves
      -you could argue future
      -draft

      In th end, this is why I’m just a UPS driver, and not running a front office. it’s fun to speculate and play mock GM. I think as long as Russell Wilson is our QB, we’re in a championship window. So I would prefer to build the line through the draft. Draft somebody who will be ther with him for the next 10 years.

  12. Grit21 says:

    As always great perspective. My only concern is that last year’s Cable o-line couldn’t really block for the run let alone the pass. It seemed like a talent issue. Those early games that we were winning, then lost, seemed like a great time to grind the rock and keep the d off the field. They couldn’t do that and the Hawks lost very winnable games.
    I thought the line improvement was more a product of Wilson’s improved play than better line play. The best example of this were the Stl and Car games at the end of the year. Against superiorinterior pressure, RW never stood a chance. I hope the “plan” addresses this.

    • Steele says:

      Grit, I agree. I’m not sure that talent is there. Yes, those losses were terribly frustrating to watch.

      But the experiment hasn’t had a lot of time, either.

      Now if you believe that the Hawks have a comfortable 3 year window for another SB, and you don’t mind another season with similar growing pains and struggles, you let the experiment continue regardless. It’s “all okay”.

      I would rather them hedge the bet, bring in some toughness and experience, and bring back the dominance and swagger. I don’t think the window is 3 years. The more pressure they allow Wilson to be exposed to, the more potential trouble.

  13. Draft Nix says:

    I’m not so sure they’ll try to spend the remaining cap just because it is available. Unused cap can carry over to next year, so it might be worth it to have that carryover to help extend guys next year (Or bring in new players).

  14. Christian says:

    Rob / everyone else,

    Seahawks are on the clock at #26.
    Decker, Apple, Lee, Dodd, Ifedi, Spriggs and Ogbah are all still available.

    Who do you take?

    • Christian says:

      Oh, and Fuller, Butler and Clark available too.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      No other FA acquisitions between now and draft day?

      Ifedi, Decker, Spriggs, Ogbah, Lee, Apple, Dodd. In that order.

      • Christian says:

        Yeah it’s as of now, it’s an ongoing mock draft and there’s so much I like to choose from. Thanks for your opinion Eric 🙂

      • POB says:

        Lee
        Ogbah
        Decker
        Spriggs
        Ifedi

        No interest in Dodd in the 1st.

    • KingRajesh says:

      Ifedi or Decker, depending on what you want.

      Personally, I’d be happy with a 3/4 or 4/4 O-line draft in the first 3 rounds, although I am of the opinion that we’ll probably need to move Kam Chancellor and replace him. I’d take our 4th, package it with Kam for a team that needs a SS, and get Keanu Neal in the 2nd – maybe if we’re targeting the Raiders, throw in a 2017 pick or something.

      Ifedi, Neal, McGovern, Glasgow, and Sheldon Day in the first 3 rounds? SIGN ME UP.

      • Trevor says:

        King if we got those 5 guys in t the first 3 rounds I think it would be an incredible draft.

      • phil says:

        I’m all in for trading Kam and ??? to position ourselves to draft Neal. We need to maximize all the draft capital we have this year and with the strength of our roster, I see more value in trading picks for proven veterans (so long as we can afford them) and in packaging picks to move up in the draft. In other words, I would like us to add guys who have an immediate impact, not guys who get cut or end up on the PS.

        • Darth12er says:

          Personally I think Kam is going to have his best year ever. The chip on his shoulder has never been bigger than right now. I wouldn’t trade him for a first round pick. He is going to scare the living crap out of receivers this year! If they want to get back to being the bully, they need Kam.

    • bigDhawk says:

      All 10 of those players are available at 26? Wow. Trade back 10 spots and assure yourself one of them.

      • JS says:

        Without any FA acquisitions, I would take the offensive linemen first, then Lee. Ogbah’s effort is disappointing to me and his athleticism doesn’t show up on tape, so I don’t want him in round 1. I wouldn’t draft a CB in round 1 because they brought back Lane. I wasn’t impressed by Dodd at all. Decker is a nasty, plug and play RT. They can slide Gilliam over to LT and still draft another interior OL in round 2,3,4. Spriggs is a pure tackle with several intriguing traits. I think Ifedi’s gonna be a guard in the NFL, which limits your draft plan unless you draft a developmental tackle later. Lee is so athletic, he would be perfect for Irvin’s role, but they need OL in round 1.
        Decker
        Spriggs
        Ifedi
        Lee
        Ogbah
        Apple
        Dodd

  15. Trevor says:

    Rob really wish you had not hi-lighted Keanu Neal because now I really want to see him in a Hawks uni. Watch some Gators games today and boy he is a torpedo back there. He would definitely bring the Boom back to LOB.

    I rarely see him mocked in Rd#1 but I think is is a lock to be a 1st round pick.

  16. Jarhead says:

    So what does the comp pick look like for Okung? Defintely a 4th but could he net us a 3rd?

  17. Ben says:

    So with the signing of Okung in Denver, where does that leave Seattle’s compensatory Rd selection pick’s, “currently” at?

  18. Ben says:

    Seriously Jarhead?

    • Jarhead says:

      I don’t understand your question. Are you wondering if I know what comp pick we wil get next year, or are you upset that I don’t appear upset that Okung walked?

      • Ben says:

        Not upset at all bro. We just posted at the exact same time, about the exact same question. I was being sarcastically funny. (3:22pm) LOL

        • Jarhead says:

          Oh okay. I had commented on another post right then so I didn’t even see that. Haha

          • Ben says:

            But personally, I’m sad to see a homegrown guy go. I’m not too broken up about it because of all the injuries he had. For some reason to me, he always seemed to have the worst timing when it came to false starts. We wouldn’t hear from him for awhile, then when it was like 3rd and 2 with the game on the line, BOOM, false start Okung. Is it just me? Anyways, I like Rob’s idea of beefing up the middle line. I mean it makes sense. Hell, a lot of what Rob says at this point to me is practically scripture, lol. We do need some road graders in the middle as well as some stout guys who can pass block the fuck out of the middle. I would love to get a Kelly and McGovern or Ifedi. I love guys that can play all over the line. I also think that RB and CB depth are must gets out of this draft and would be pleasantly happy if we landed a DT and DE as well, somewhere in the top 2-3rd rounds.

  19. Nathan_12thMan says:

    This makes me happy:

    >The Rams started two rookies on their line in 2015 and were ranked #1 pass protection by Football Outsiders.

    And this:

    >Davis Hsu: looking back over my texts and he nailed pretty much everything spot on… this contact has been pretty much 100% spot on this entire free agency period. – Clem visit, Thurmond retire, “trying” on Lane, Out on Okung, We will sign Webb, Mike Neal visit…all days before they happened- Says Draft 2 OL high RT @mrtommygman: @DavisHsuSeattle Does he have anything about how we figure out this O-Line?

    ———————————————

    It would be interesting to see things play out how you described in this article Rob;

    >Perhaps they intend to start Garry Gilliam at left tackle and Webb at right tackle? Perhaps their focus will be to upgrade the interior O-line?
    That could mean drafting Germain Ifedi to play left guard. That could mean drafting Ryan Kelly to start at center. It could mean ploughing resources in rounds 2-4 into the interior line.

    Unfortunately I hear awful things about Webb so I am scared of him starting on our line, especially if Gilliam struggles at LT and Webb sucks at RT. Have you watched Webb’s tape at OT and G? What are your thoughts on his play?

    It would be interesting though to use our 1st on a Center (Kelly). I am not sure how I feel about that, it depends on how big of a difference there will be between Kelly, Glasgow and say McGovern if he was converted to a Center. Obviously something you can’t know with certainty until you see it.

    • Draft Nix says:

      Personally, I’d like to see the Hawks take the best OT at #26, and then take two more bites at our Apple of an O-line (Martin or McGovern and Joe Dahl in the 2nd and 4th round). Any combo of Martin/McGovern/Dahl would give us highly athletic interior players who also give a lot of flexibility. Dahl could compete at OG and C. McGovern could compete in the interior or maybe even as a swing OT. Martin would give us great competition at C. Plus, this would give the O Line great battles at almost every position. Gilliam and out first round OT could compete for LT. Loser would move to LG or RT (or be swing T). Webb could compete at RT with whoever loses out at LT and/or with Britt even. Glowinski, Soko, Lewis, Sowell, Dahl, Martin/McGovern would compete for the 3 interior spots. Great competition at every spot, and great and inexpensive depth as well.

      The rest of our picks 3rd round – best DT available (or if a fantastic skill player falls too low). The rest of the day three picks would be for depth on our defense and maybe a TE.

      • Hmmm. For me it depends on how the FO feels about McGovern & Dahl and the positions they play (& can possibly play; ie Center) and how the FO feels about Glasgow. If we are going to pick THREE offensive linemen, I’d personally like to see us grab OT at 26th overall (compete for RT against Webb), McGovern or Dahl (quality depth hedge and competition, potential to beat Glow for RG) and Glasgow to be our pure Center (gotta assume he beats Lewis for the starting Center job).

        If the FO is CONFIDENT that either Dahl or McGovern can learn Center quickly and be a consistent quality snapper who knows the playbook and OL protections just as well as Lewis or better, then scratch the Glasgow pick (unless they LOVE him). I still feel weird about drafting a O-linemen like McGovern or Dahl and them not being able to play LG, where we really really need to upgrade away from Britt. If the 26th overall OT beat Webb though, it is possible he (Webb; 6’7, 333 lb) could compete with Britt for LG and the best player (yuck) win.

        In that situation the O-line would look like:

        LT: Gilliam
        LG: Webb or Britt
        C: McGovern or Dahl or Glasgow
        RG: Glowinski
        RT: 26th overall pick

        The situation to pray for if that happens is that either Britt shows real improvement coming out of the off-season (technique and consistency have improved), that Sokoli is ready to compete for Left Guard and maybe he is better than both Britt and Webb and wins the job.

        • Draft Nix says:

          I would totally be OK with that scenario too. The nice thing about getting three early (first four rounds) draft picks on O line is that it would give us so much flexibility with the line (since all of Cable’s lineman usually play at least 2 spots) and the best depth we’ve had in a very long time.

          LT: Gilliam
          LG: Webb
          C: Martin/McGovern/Glasgow
          RG: Glowinski
          RT: 26th overall

          In that scenario, we would have Lewis, Soko, Dahl, Britt, and Sowell as back ups (three veteran backups with extensive starting experience..Britt/Lewis/Sowell). Plus you’d have bright prospects with high ceilings who could step up if needed in Dahl and Soko (depending on how they develop).

          If Gilliam doesn’t work out at LT, you could switch him back to RT (where he played last year), and try our rookie first rounder at LT. There are just so many options here for Cable to really go “mad scientist” on the line.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Two early picks on O-Line? Ifedi and McGovern would make 2 good ones.

  20. bobbyk says:

    If anyone remembers Kenny Easley…

    I had a chance to interview him recently and wrote a four-part series about him. This is the last article about this Hall of Fame candidacy:

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/seahawks-nfl-history/2016/3/17/11223406/kenny-easley-the-enforcer-part-iv-hall-of-fame-candidacy

    • Scraps says:

      It’s great! Go and see!

    • Trevor says:

      Thanks for the link I loved that guy. He was the kam of his era and that is when I started following the Hawks.

      • TannerM says:

        Thanks for that. I wish I had been able to see Easley in his prime. He sounded incredible.

        • Scraps says:

          Think of Chancellor, only turned a notch, with better covering.

        • Feldor says:

          Ronnie Lott wanted to be Kenny Easley. He named him in his Hall of Fame speech.

        • C-Dog says:

          I saw him lay out a Cleveland Browns WR along the sideline from the 200 level of the Kingdome on the opposite side of the field. You could hear the crack echo inside the dome, there was this gaspy pause from the crowd, quickly followed by the roar, circa 1984. Back when boyz on defense played without the wide number of restraints there are today. One of the most intense football moments I’ve seen live.

          My favorite Seahawk outside Cortez Kennedy. It’d be nice to see Seattle land another beast on the interior of the D line like that guy was some day.

    • phil says:

      Being a UCLA grad, I followed Kenny during his college days and then he and I ended up in Seattle at about the same time.

      Some people don’t know or don’t appreciate what a great punt returner he was. I later lived in Atlanta when Deon was playing there and Kenny’s punt returns were almost as good as Deon’s.

      I haven’t read your article yet, but wasn’t Kenny the complainant in a lawsuit vs. the Seahawks regarding the alleged over-prescribing of tylenol and a subsequent kidney transplant he had? He has always seemed to be one of the guys who has never received the acclaim he deserves.

      Now I will read the article ……

      • phil says:

        Great series bobbyk.

        Maybe you can write about Dan Doornink, “Dr. Dan”, a third-down RB who played with the Seahawks about the same time. The guy had a phenomenal ability to pick up first downs regardless of the yardage required, either as a runner or receiver. I remember a playoff game vs. the Raiders at the Kingdome — I had season tickets in the top row — when Curt Warner was injured and Dr. Dan started and had something like 30 carries in the game and was virtually unstoppable.

        As I recall, Dr. Dan left the game and went to medical school and is now practicing in eastern Washington.

        Sorry for the ramble ….

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I’d like to see a story on David Sims, RB from GaTech. Drafted late in 1977, led the NFL in rushing TDs in 1978, Then ruined his knee at the beginning of the next season.

      • C-Dog says:

        I remember him doing punt returns. Steve Largent always said he was by far the best athlete that he ever seen.

        Yeah, he did sue the Hawks for over prescribing.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      My favorite ‘Hawk of all time.

      Very cool bobbyk. Nice work!

    • Ukhawk says:

      My fav Seahawks of all time

    • Darth12er says:

      You did this article? Very cool! It was painful to wait for the continued articles, at least they were only like a day apart. I rocked his jersey back in the day. Wish I still had it, I’d let my girls wear it to school haha. In fact, maybe that will be my new jersey purchase. He was a freak! Very nicely done, a lot of new information for me.

  21. Coleslaw says:

    I want to see them go get Arian Foster, he could be a great 3rd down back with Rawls on first and second.
    Then we could draft:
    1. Shon Coleman
    2. Kenny Clark
    3. Josh Perry
    3. Tyler Ervin
    4. Joe Dahl
    5. Marquez North
    6. Sebastien Tretola
    7. Vernon Adams

    • Trevor says:

      That would be a nice draft!

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Agree. That’s a sweet draft. But why take Ervin with Foster on board? They can carry only so many RBs.

        • Coleslaw says:

          He could compete with Michael for the third spot if Foster and Rawls were to split carries and would be solid replacement for the third down role if Foster got hurt, if Arian stayed healthy we would just be grooming Ervin for a year or two while he bulks up and gets ready for a bigger role. A few years from now we could have a 3 headed monster of Rawls, Michael and Ervin.

  22. Lewis says:

    I think there’s more going on here than we know. Okung’s deal is 1 yr/5 million prove-it with potential for 8 and an option there’s every reason to think they will never pick up. I have to think that if JSPC wanted to keep him, they could have beat that.

    I think Rob is right. I think they have a plan. I think they have someone targeted and are flirting with various people like Beachum to disguise that.

    • Trevor says:

      That would be a nice draft!

      • Trevor says:

        Sorry posted to wrong thread

        • Lewis says:

          *sniff* it’s ok. No one loves me.

          • David says:

            I think that Seattle made an offer, Okung shopped around, Seattle pulled their offer and signed Webb, Ryan, Lane, etc and by the time Okungs price came down Seattle had spent that money and to save face Okung signed a bad deal that looks big but is actually a 1-year w $5m guaranteed with his upside capped and no backstop on his downside.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Which demonstrates that they have a plan.

              But before they knew what Okung would do, they couldn’t plan, so they made him an early offer. And when he declined to test the market, they withdrew it and moved on from him at that point in time.

  23. Scraps says:

    I don’t care about not chasing Thomas, or any 30-plus expensive item. If following free agency in sports — not just football — has taught me anything, it’s that pinning your hopes on an 30-plus expensive item is asking for disappointment. And especially in football, where the existence of the cap makes a failed free agent deal that much more awful.

    I’m nervous about a rookie, but I would be more nervous in the long run chasing expensive free agents. I’m not happy about losing Okung, but I was not happy much of the time with him….

    This screams “let Pete and John work it out”. Despite what a few fans (particularly one commenter-fan who never seems to be happy here at this blog), when I think about all the other teams, I relax.

    • GeoffU says:

      I agree completely. John’s strategy has always been to play the young guys. Yes, it backfired at the beginning of last year, but that’s how we stay competitive year in year out. Beginning of most years are going to be like that, just different positions at times.

    • Steele says:

      “nervous in the long run chasing expensive free agents”

      In the short term, plugging in good veterans on short not-unreasonable deals, and giving the rookies two years to become anything.

  24. Trevor says:

    Rob did you know Coleman tore his MCL during the Geogia game but it was only diagnosed as a sprain so he sat out Idaho and then played Alabama and Memphis with the torn MCL. That is a tough kid. I know you think Ifedi has more upside but Coleman is who I want on the Hawks to Anchor the OL.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      You know I am starting to think that there is a fair chance that Seattle could get both. Coleman’s inability to work out at the combine or pro day plus his cancer history plus his age (24) and his MCL could push him back to 56.

      • Trevor says:

        It might but I just would hate to miss on him. I still cringe every time I hear Bitonio’s name.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          It’s a difficult choice between Ifedi and Coleman.

          Didn’t know about his MCL tear, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least considering his cancer history. Dude is junkyard dog tough.

          I know this will make you cringe Trevor, so I apologize in advance, but if it came down to either Ifedi or Coleman at 26…the athleticism and upside favor Ifedi. Wish we had Combine numbers for Coleman. Steve may be right that we could get both if Coleman slips due to his low profile now.

        • Steve Nelsen says:

          Bitonio was always going to be a guard and Seattle didn’t need a guard that year. They needed a right tackle.

          If it helps, Bitonio’s sophomore year was a dropoff from his rookie year.

          • Jarhead says:

            Haha You are correct on that, but our LG was Britt. Even Bitonio’s drop off is light years ahead of Britt

      • allen says:

        Steve I’ve been starting to think the same. When Rob mentioned that we could possibly move up to the mid 40’s by trading our 3rd round pick, I started to daydream about taking Ifedi in the 1st and then Coleman in the 2nd, giving us two good players to compete at LG and RT. We’d still need a C, but the size, strength, and athleticism of the line would be massively upgraded.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Maybe you could get both.

      Like you Coleman > Ifedi for me so I’m torn about the idea of waiting & hoping Coleman is there at 56.

      IMO If the was certainty or u could ideally you trade down in the 1st and up in the 2nd and get

      Coleman + Kelly/Martin?

      Or how about

      Coleman + Garnett and Tuerck in 4/5

      For all the commentary on how the Hawks take tackles for LG, Garnett ticks so many boxes for me that I think he’s a great pick in the 2nd – Long, athletic, powerful, nasty, pro style experience, intelligent

  25. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Okung: The real numbers are…. 1 year 5 M non-guaranteed / incentives up to 8M (SB play 16 games etc), Broncos team option for 4 years 48M with 20M guaranteed at start of 2017 league year (March 2017).

    Two names to keep a particular eye on as FA progresses

    LT Ryan Clady is expected to be on the trading block and most likely will be cut, due to his 9-10M year salary. Seattle will be in the mix for his services. He could be viewed as an upgrade over Okung.

    LT Eugene Monroe is also rumored to be on the trade block / likely to get cut. Another viable option for cheap dollars on the open market, if he does indeed pop loose from Baltimore.

    • Steele says:

      I would be pleased with either or both, but if they didn’t want to pay Okung, they won’t pay these guys double digit salary increases.

      Clady is better than Okung, I think.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        The point is they could possibly get both of them in for 5M each. This would be a massive upgrade over paying 1 guy 8M.

  26. Trevor says:

    Auburn coach or Shon Coleman

    “I think Shon’s upside is out the roof,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “You’re talking about a guy that really only played two years of SEC football and you see how much he improved from the first year to the second year. He’s one of those physical presence guys.

    “He’s a football savvy guy. He’s a leader. He’s a mature guy. I think his upside is unbelievable. I think he’ll be a big-time left tackle for someone. It’s going to be fun to watch him develop at the next level.”

  27. Trevor says:

    If we don’t make any moves or trades before the draft I would like to see the following in Day #1 and #2 of draft.

    Rd1 Draft Shon Coleman
    Trade our 2nd and 3rd to Saints for pick #47 (need to get ahead of Ind, Wash)
    Rd2 #47 Ryan Kelly
    Rd#3 Comp Javon Hargrave
    Rd#4 Travis Feeney
    Rd#5 Tyler Ervin

    2016 OL LT Gilliam LG Webb C Kelly RG Glowinski RT Coleman

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I think SEA could get higher than 47 for 56+90. Points-wise, 42 is a dead even trade for 56+90.

      • Trevor says:

        Even better. I just know that Wash and Ind could use an upgrade at Center so I thought we had to get in front of them. Jacksonville may go Center as well and if they did we would be out of luck. I just think Kelly is far and away the best Center in this draft class and brings a ton of leadership and toughness.

    • matt says:

      Getting Coleman and Kelly with our first 2 picks is the ideal OL draft outcome. I like the idea of trading up for Kelly. An OL of Gilliam, Webb, Kelly, Glowinski, Coleman has athletic upside and would be able to play together for the next 2 years.

    • Devil w/ a Seahawks Blue dress on says:

      Boy, would that be a winner of a draft for me.I would LOVE to get Kelly and Coleman or Ifedi. Hargrave is a dog in the trenches and Feeny at the LEO spot could be a great get. Then a COP back in Ervin very quick and athletic.

      If we can’t get Kelly, I would love to get Glasgow.He is grit defined and just screams “I’ll punch you in the face and you’ll enjoy it, damn it!”

      Hey Rob, wanted to say I read your blog couple times a day and wanted to thank you for all your hard work.And we should probably thank your wife for being so patience with us taking all your time. Thanks

  28. Steele says:

    It’s possible for them to succeed without signing any above-average to good veteran offensive linemen. The question is, is it a good idea? We will see, won’t we.

    Given that Cable’s job is secure, and whatever he wants, he gets, then clearly the plan all along was not going to be a remade line with name veterans. I, and many of us, wanted them to go more in such a direction. I wanted to see them anchor with two good solid veterans for a few seasons. But realistically—realistically, not hoping— it has always been about continuing what they started last offseason. What they’ve got is it. Gilliam, Sokoli, Nowak, etc. Add some rookies, and “value” free agents unwanted elsewhere (Webb/Sowell). Period. They invested in a long term project, and they will see it pay off (or not).

    I think every team has to be evaluated as a separate case, each with their own circumstances, opponents, coaching, schemes, etc. You have to look at each roster. Can’t really compare. The Rams and Panthers made what they had work. NE has had their issues with OL, but they have their unique issues with injuries. They have also invested in good college OLmen. They have made big FA moves over the years. They have a tall QB in Brady, and a timing offense that makes up for OL deficiencies. The Broncos? Stacked with offensive skills players, heavily stacked on defense. You can help hide a less than great offensive line if that is the case.

    The Seahawks can be viewed as stacked on defense, but hardly stacked on offense. The defensive veterans are not young anymore, still good but a notch less dominant. The offense remains Russell, making due with a bit of a mess of role players.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “The offense remains Russell, making due with a bit of a mess of role players.”

      Very unfair on Baldwin, Lockett, Graham, Rawls, Lynch previously etc.

    • vrtkolman says:

      How is Seattle not stacked at the skill positions?

      • Steele says:

        Besides Lynch, there were no great talents playing with RW in two seasons since Rice and Tate left. Lynch got old and hurt, JFG was not F and not a good fit. Baldwin is a #3 playing as a #1, Kearse is a #4-5 playing as a #2, Lockett is yr2, is small, and has not proven to be a top NFL WR yet. Rawls, rookie. TEs, role guys.

        Russell+ question mark o-line+ role and somewhat role+ players.

    • Coug1990 says:

      Come on, last years team was not the 1992 Seahawks offense. Even as good as Russell is, it does not account for the Seahawks finishing 4th in yards and 4th in scoring. All around, this was a better offense than some of you are giving it credit.

  29. Mike L says:

    re: RO’s contract..I wonder what kind of “incentive payments” can be built into a LT’s contract (or any OL for that case)…other than just being healthy enough to play from week to week. Unlike DL’s (sacks) or RB’s (yards) ..the position doesn’t seem to generate any other “official” stat based measures that could be easily incorporated into a contract.

    • sdcoug says:

      I thought i read it was for games played …meaning, he needs to stay healthy to have any chance of those remaining 4 years being picked up.

      • Mike L says:

        that makes sense…I guess we should be cheering him on (health wise) next year so we can max out our comp pick

  30. Trevor says:

    Rob are there any 3rd down RBs in the draft that you think would fit with the Hawks as a mid-late round pick. I know you like Prosise but I imagine him as a Day 2 guy.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve struggled to find many RB’s I like after closer inspection. I watched some more Ervin yesterday after the report about Bevell meeting with him. He can be Lance Dunbar. Think they might go with a veteran third down guy. But they will draft a RB.

      • TannerM says:

        Bevell showed up at his Pro Day today, along with the Lions and Raiders’ OCs. There’s also talk that Ervin could sneak into the bottom of round 3… Pick #97 perhaps?

  31. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Clarification: Former 49ers and Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith, who is serving a one-year suspension that does not end until November, is eligible to sign with any team now as an unrestricted free agent, per an NFL spokesman. ~ ESPN

    Could he be a guy that Seattle kicks the tires on as a low cost FA later this spring/summer ?

    • HOUSE says:

      He seemed to have tried to clean up while playing in OAK. I think the kid needs GREAT mentorship. I personally wouldn’t mind giving him a shot, but I think its TOO much baggage.

      • Steele says:

        Besides major baggage (and do you want more Frank Clark type baggage/Dallas Cowboys type mercenary front office moves), do you want someone who will be unavailable until the season is virtually over?

        • HOUSE says:

          I feel what you’re saying… In essence it’s like a player coming off PUP… I don’t think he’s worth the trouble, but he also isn’t Greg Hardy’s situation…

  32. Andrew Gettman says:

    So we know a few things:

    Seattle is in a great spot pertaining to the cap. They can use their space to make a lopsided veteran trade, roll it over into the next year or use it on any other free agents left in the cold.

    Seattle now has built in flexibility for the draft. They have no pressing need and can truly draft based on value. What happens if they have a #1 tag on Doctson/Coleman with everyone else grading out at #2? Based on history, I would say they roll with their ranking and we salivate at the new shiny toy. Conversely, if they don’t have a #1 grade on anyone left and they can pick up some assets, would we be shocked to see them move back?

    As much as it pains me to say this, it’s a logical plan because now the draft can come to Seattle…

    By the way, I am really trying hard not to envy New England. They get a #2 for someone they were going to lose. They roll the dice on two players (McClellin and Long) that could be PLAYERS. They, more than any other team in the league most resemble Seattle. Just when everyone is zigging, they zag. Sure, they are not perfect, but if we just did what they did, I would be over the moon!

    • Trevor says:

      Some very valid points. One thing about this front office is they go with what they believe and really don’t care what anyone else thinks. It has served them well to date. Agree with you completely on NE.

      • phil says:

        I also agree about NE. They are showing that you don’t have to hang your head in despair if you don’t have a rd. 1 pick in the draft.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I guess I don’t see what others do in Long and McClellin. Long is washed up and McClellin was never anything more than average, and mostly a bust. Is this just a factor of “New England signed them so they must be good”?

      • Ed says:

        Yes. It’s like watching basketball in the 80’s. Every turnover by Bird or Magic was the other players fault. NE is always talked about with drafting great. But it’s pretty average, it’s gameplanning and adjustments.

        • Andrew Gettman says:

          I understand the sentiment about Long and McClendin but let’s phrase it another way. If a player is amazing and they put up stats, don’t get hurt and hit free agency they will most likely have the world handed to them on a silver platter with a monster cap hit and tons of guaranteed money. Conversely, if they don’t produce, have sketchy medicals and did not do anything last year, they have to settle for whatever is left.

          In the case of McClellin, he is one sparky dude with a history of being a good teammate. Much like last year, the Patriots are placing a cheap bet on a guy who can be a terror for their scheme. Does he have production? No, but he still has potential at a fraction of the cost.

          Long is the veteran version McClellin. Solid dude. Sparky. If he stays healthy, he is an absolute steal. If not, se la vi. Seattle wasted $7m on Cary Williams so how can you fault NE for doing the same?

  33. Trevor says:

    I wonder if Jaylon Smith is worth taking a flier on with our 3rd round comp pick. His medical sounded pretty bad but even if he red shirts an entire year he would be a steal if he can come back at anything close to what he was prior to the injury. I really believe he was the best player in the draft prior to that awful Fiesta Bowl injury.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      I don’t know if he goes on Day 2. Recovery from nerve damage is very difficult. You can’t expect him to play in 2016 and there is a very good chance he never plays at all.

    • KingRajesh says:

      I wouldn’t touch Jaylon Smith until Day 3. Maybe burn the 5th on him?

      Nerve damage in the knee is almost impossible to come back from. The RB the 49ers drafted a bit ago had a less severe version of what happened to Smith, and he could never get going.

  34. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    With respect to SEA making an ARI-NEP style trade for a vet OLB/DE/EDGE pass rusher…

    TannerM may be on to something with Barkevious Mingo. Seriously athletic, under performing/producing in CLE’s 3-4 base scheme.

    Combine results:
    6’4″ 241lbs, 33.75″ arm length, 4.58/2.68/1.60 40yd, 37″ VJ, 128″ BJ, 4.39 SS, 6.84 3C.

    All those numbers pretty much tops for the LB position group in 2013.

    Not sure if CLE wants to part with him, or if 56 is enough compensation. But it’s an intriguing idea.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have a slight hunch that SEA has adapted it’s view on the use of a LEO. Bennett, Clark both bigger, think Avril is too. Think they might be a team that now looks for more traditional DE size but has explosive athleticism with it (unless of course we’re talking about the second coming of Von Millee).

    • Mike L says:

      How about Kam, our 1st pick this year, our 3rd pick next year for Thomas and Mingo??

      • nichansen01 says:

        That would be awful…

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I’d swap 56 for Mingo. But I wouldn’t make the trade for Thomas. SEA need to take an OT at 26. One of Ifedi, Decker, Spriggs or Coleman.

        • Mike L says:

          Rookie OT vs future HOF’er?? I’ll go with Thomas. We’ll have plenty of draft capital next year to pick up a developmental OT..who can then understudy under Thomas. Plenty of good prospects in rounds 2/3/4 this year to bolster the LG-C-RG positions…

          • sdcoug says:

            Agreed.

          • Mike L says:

            just to finish my thought on this..I’d be very happy to open camp this year with a starting line of Thomas/Webb/Lewis/Glowinski/Gilliam…that would be a huge upgrade imo over what we had last year….and has the potential to be one of the better lines in the league.

          • Coug1990 says:

            I know you disagree and that is OK. But to me, trading a first rounder for Thomas would be short sided and a panic move. I just do not think it is the way to go, nor do I think it is the way the Seahawks will go.

            A team needs cheap talent. Thomas may be a talent, but he is not cheap and the Seahawks are already close to the cap. Plus, they have players that want to renegotiate for more of that pie.

            • mishima says:

              Agree. All things considered, I think Gilliam is a better OT for the Hawks’ style of play: more athletic and better in space.

              If they can nab Ifedi or Coleman in the first and C, later, the line looks set and promising.

      • TannerM says:

        I seriously doubt Cleveland is interested in giving up a third member of their offensive line, especially their superstar left tackle, when they seem primed to take a quarterback in the first round again this year. No matter how much we say “we want Thomas,” it takes two to tango.

  35. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    From Pauline:

    “Offensive guard Josh Garnett also looked really good in drills, easily moving about the field and showing good punch. 49ers coach Chip Kelly was enamored with Garnett, spending time with the offensive lineman and seen talking to his agent.”

  36. Matt says:

    This deal is shockingly bad for Okung. I am absolutely amazed that Denver just got a top tier LT in his late 20s on a 1yr $5m deal. Okung has made an absolute fool of himself here and every team in the league must be begging for more players to represent themselves after this utter catastrophy. Lets assume that Okung can stay on the field for the first time in his career and clear all $8m, thats roughly what he got paid this year and he ends the season going on 30yrs old with no leverage whatsoever while Denver has all the leverage to sign him or not, and they most likely wont.

    now if Okung follows his career path he will play 13 games, make about $7m and Denver will probably walk after a year or renegotiate down.

    THis never would have happened had Okung used an agent.

  37. Scott says:

    Now that the dust is settling on the Okung deal, we see that it is really a 5 million dollar prove it deal with an option that the Broncos will likely never honor. In the end Okung gets almost an identical deal to Kelvin Beachum. I almost feel sorry for the guy but the fool had to go and represent himself. Now I’m more pissed off because he probably could have gotten a deal with just as much real money from the Hawks. Instead he is being duped by Elway into a pipe dream contract. A real agent would have protected him from signing garbage like that.

  38. Jeremy says:

    Had an interesting thought on my way home tonight. The Seahawks have exactly one first round draft pick (Earl Thomas) on the roster from the JSPC era. Instead, they’ve been able to stock their roster from rounds 2-5 and some shrewd UDFA’s. There’s more than one way to build a championship roster.

    • Volume12 says:

      Interesting you bring that up actually.

      About ET being the only 1st round pick on the team.

      I saw something today that said, ‘no team has ever won a SB with one 1st round pick.’

      Now, there’s been a lot of talk of teams haven’t won a SB with a mobile QB, and other stuff too.. JS/PC showed us otherwise.

      So if the do trade that 1st, kinda makes ya think, ‘hmmm…’

      Is the way they use the draft and how they go about spending those 1st round picks the new model in the modern day NFL?

      • Volume12 says:

        *only one 1st round pick on the roster.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        You mean the new model is making terrible trades, losing guys to retirement, failing to re-sign valuable free agents and making bad draft picks? 😉 Don’t think so.

        More like a team that had the great fortune to get a very good QB with a 3rd and had a borderline HOF-level RB come to them cheap because his personality rubbed his old team the wrong way.

        Let’s pump the brakes a bit. We have yet to win big with this Lynch-less roster.

        • FourSeasons says:

          I would say we won big with a Lynch-less roster last year. He was either injured or not a big part of the game plan for most of the year and especially when we went on our run to end the season.

        • Volume12 says:

          Bad draft picks? I highly disagree there. Your not gonna hit on every one anyways.

          Using UDFA perhaps better than any other team in the league, proving that a dominanr defense could win a SB in the age of high powred offenses, trading your 1st round picks for dynamic players, knowing where pockets of value of and talent are, knowing who to re-sign and who to let walk, putting faith in dirt cheap FA acquistions that have the potentislto be much better players in your scheme. Changing the way teams draft CBs.

          It was not great fortune they got RW. It takes some big balls to trust your draft board, and stick to your player evals, despute popular opinion that says otherwise.

  39. POB says:

    Something of an unconventional mock, but how would you guys feel about the following:
    Rd 1-Kelly
    Rd 2-Jaylon
    Rd 3-Another OL (McGovern/Glasgow/etc)
    Rd 3-Hargrave
    Rd 4-F. Cooper
    Rd 5-Developmental CB
    Rd 6/7-Whoever JSPC like

    I’m not sure that Jaylon falling to 56 is realistic, but it’s not inconceivable we could move back a bit from 26 & up a bit from 56 without sacrificing overall draft capital & still end up with Jaylon/Kelly. I think Kelly has a very high floor–he seems likely to become at least an average NFL starter. While he wouldn’t fit the usual Seattle profile of a special athlete in Rd 1, Jaylon in Rd 2 would certainly qualify. Hopefully some combo of KPL/Marsh/Clark?/Pinkus can fill in for Irvin and allow Jaylon a year to recover. The front office hasn’t hit on a real star in a few years, and Smith has the chance to be just that if he can get back to form.

    • Trevor says:

      I like that draft. I would prefer to wait till the 3rd for Smith but if he can come back in 2017 it would be worth it.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I think of Kevin Costner sticky note in Draft Day that said” it’s Vontae Mack no matter what”…ours needs to say ” it’s the best tackle on the board no matter what”

        • Steve Nelsen says:

          I don’t know about that. They could have had Okung on a modest 1-year prove-it deal and chose not to do it. That signals to me that they are valuing their tackle need a lot lower than we are.

          If they are comfortable with Britt back at RT, then you don’t need to draft guards early. They seem set at center after tendering Lewis and giving Sokoli a year to develop. They might even already have their guards in Webb and Glowinski.

          Draft McGovern or Dahl for depth and use the rest of the early picks to add some defensive playmakers: Ogbah, Neal, Tapper, Deion Jones – they could get two of those guys.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            “They could have had Okung on a modest 1-year prove-it deal and chose not to do it.”

            Don’t know if that’s how it went down. SEA made Okung an offer before he went on his FA tour. He declined, and they withdrew it. Just because DEN went on to sign him to a 1-year prove it deal doesn’t mean SEA ‘could have’ as well. I mean technically they could’ve matched it. But practically, they moved on from Okung when he declined their initial offer.

            “That signals to me that they are valuing their tackle need a lot lower than we are.”

            Maybe this means they’re cool with the OTs on roster. Maybe it means they have a trade or FA signing in mind. Maybe it means they like their chances of landing the OT they want in the draft. Too soon to say, but I suspect they’re not content to sit with what they have.

  40. Ed says:

    I was one of a few beating the door down to get rid of Okung and Sweezy last year. I’m glad they didn’t overpay. Now don’t get cute. Get a OT and OG/C (that have played the position ) in 1st and 2nd or 3rd and let them gel with Gilliam and Glowinski.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Looks like the plan.

      • Sea Mode says:

        I’m going to put out an option that might be labelled “getting cute” but I think is worth considering:
        R1: K. Neal (or other if any special player falls)
        R2: trade up using our R3 pick- Coleman
        R3 Comp: your favorite tough guard
        Day 3: JS works his usual magic

        I don’t want to give up on the Sokoli project at C, so I’ll take P. Lewis another year while he develops and pass on drafting Kelly. I guess only the FO knows where it stands right now, but keeping him on the roster all year tells me they have good reason to hope.

        Not passing on a playmaking defender with true 1st-round measurables. Defense first. Maybe fills less of a need (although as deathbacker he could fill a sort of need) but adds in value I think.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m a huge Keanu Neal fan — but they have to take one of those tackles early. Can’t risk them all being gone in the late 30’s or early 40’s.

          • GeoffU says:

            They really need to draft two O-lineman in their first four picks and not just because they’re needs. It’s really a perfect year for it, the talent’s there, and I think Schneider’s seen this a mile away. I’d be shocked if they didn’t. Just makes too much sense.

            • GeoffU says:

              I’d also be surprised if they move up or down from #26. Move up and most likely lose #90 and miss out on potentially a good player, move down and you again risk losing out on an even better player. It’s only worth it if for some reason there’s a massive run on tackles and there’s no one left.

              Still, you’d have to trade back into the second to make it worth it. Is 2 2nd’s and 3 3rds better than 1 st and 2 3rds? Most likely not and I think it’d take an extreme scenario for it to be.

          • RealRhino2 says:

            Agree. Thinking about this drifting off last night. If nothing else, losing Okung should give us focus and clarity regarding our early draft pick(s). Got real simple all of a sudden. Order the good right tackles in the way you prefer (I think I’m at Conklin, Decker, Ifedi, Spriggs, Coleman) and take the best one on the board at #26.

            That gives you (probably): Gilliam — Webb/Britt — Lewis — Glow — #26

            Then you can have all the freedom and flexibility you want to go for other positions and upgrade C/G later in the draft.

  41. Volume12 says:

    My thoughts go out to Baltimore CB Tray Walker. That’s some sad stuff man.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Players need to leave the motorcycles off the to do list, until after they have played their career in the NFL. Sad and unfortunate outcome.

  42. Scraps says:

    Now Mike Florio — who I don’t really trust — is saying that Okung’s contract is actually a 1-year $5 million deal, with all the rest at the Broncos say-so, if they are happy with Okung.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/03/17/okungs-deal-sounds-better-than-it-is/

    If that’s true, I wonder why the Seahawks didn’t match.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not a priority for them clearly — and they have other plans.

      • Scraps says:

        Well, yes, clearly; I was just surprised. I thought $5 mil was reasonable….. But, Pete & John I trust.

    • mishima says:

      Like Ungar for a 4th, losing Okung for a potential 4th round comp seems like a great move. Okung’s injury history, like Ungar’s, made it pretty difficult to build ‘cohesion’ and develop ‘consistency.’

      Looking forward to 5 young guys staying healthy and seeing what they can do.

      • Ground_hawk says:

        This is how I am looking at it too. When healthy both Unger and Okung are probowl level talent, but with all of the time that they missed because of injury they were always something of a liability. I’m of the belief that adding younger and healthier talent to the o-line is going to help this team greatly.

  43. mishima says:

    Rob, if the Hawks draft 2 OL early, do you see it as a sign they’re moving on from Sokoli and Poole or just bringing in more competition?

    Carrying them on the 53 most of last year suggests their value. Starting to think true C is their priority.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t personally hold out any great hope for Sokoli and Poole — but I suspect they’ll be bringing in as much competition as possible. Depth on the OL is vital in 2016 plus better talent.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Sokoli is enough of an athlete that I think they’ll find a way to exploit that. Poole on the other hand, seems destined to remain a PS player.

  44. Saxon says:

    I know Luke Joeckel hasn’t been great in Jax, but the guy is only 24 and could still develop. Now that the Jags have signed Beachum I wonder if Gus might do us a solid and ship him over for a 3rd? His base salary is only around $3 million. His contract expires at the end of 2016, I believe, so it would essentially be a prove it deal. Worth the risk for the 2nd overall draft pick in 2013.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s been a major disappointment. A classic case of a technical blocker in college getting overmatched against superior athletes.

    • GeoffU says:

      Not worth a 3rd in my opinion. Class is deep on the o-line, we pretty much know what Luke can do, why not take a chance on someone in the 3rd who could be better? And cheaper and on a four year deal?

  45. Trevor says:

    It looks like they are trying to eliminate all forms of chop / cut blocking. This is a big part of the ZBS that Cable teaches. Do you think he will adjust his system and will this impact the type of players they look to draft?

    • GeoffU says:

      The chop block is already illegal in college, so no it won’t change the type of players we draft. I don’t think the rule’s that big of a deal, Seattle can still cut block, just not when that player is already engaged with another player.

  46. STTBM says:

    While Denver has been able to continue playing well despite many injuries across the line, they won one SB in three years. Carolina has won nothing. Seattle has been unable to win a SB since jettisoning Giacomini and Unger, their highest paid players other than Okung.

    While Denver has been able to from a functioning line with minimal investment, Seattle has not.

    While I am not a fan of devaluing the O-line to the point these teams do, the bigger problem is Seattle’s line has gotten worse for two straight years; there’s zero proof that they can be successful like Denver with that philosophy. Even if other teams can do it, Seattle hasnt shown they have the talent scouting or line coach to succeed.

    • mishima says:

      Agree. For all their brilliant moves, they went into last season with Britt, Nowak and Sweezy as starters and were on the outside, looking in, at mid-season.

      Seems like they’re addressing it. The draft will be telling/critical.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Seattle, Denver and Carolina have combined for five Super Bowl appearances in three years.

      On no occasion did any of the teams field an elite O-line during the regular or post season.

      It’s just not accurate to say Seattle (or Denver and Carolina) haven’t got the ability to succeed without great line play or coaching up front.

    • Coug1990 says:

      Isn’t this cherry picking an argument? Seattle and Denver playing in two and winning one Superbowl is more than 30 other teams. So while Seattle has not won a Superbowl since losing Giacomini and Unger, they still are more successful than 95% of other teams. Winning a Superbowl is hard. It takes skill and an unmeasured luck.

      Seattle also outscored Denver last season by almost 80 points. So, I do not agree with any of your opinions. They have shown they can put together a Superbowl winning line and Cable has coached a Superbowl winning team. Heck, you mention Breno, who do you think scouted him and brought him to Seattle? Who do you think coached him while in Seattle?

      • STTBM says:

        I never said Seattle doesnt have the ability to win without a great line or coach. But I am skeptical that they can/will win by taking the devaluing of line talent this far. As I said, they dont have to field a line line Dallas’ to win it all, but banking on turning a bottom-level RT with one year of starting experience into your LT, and surrounding him with Glowinsky, Lewis, Britt and Webb as your starting line, with Epic Fail guys like Sowell as the swing backup is tantamount to Team Suicide, IMO.

        Seattle HAD to outscore Denver by 80 points just to struggle to 10-6 because their defense was a mess for much of the season. I cant see how anyone would bet on Seattle being able to beat Denver last year–they would have eaten Seattle alive had we somehow escaped Carolina.

        Last years team just had too much emotional baggage from the last SB, to say nothing of the ravages of injuries and the FA disaster that was C Williams.

        • Volume12 says:

          Too early to say with any certainty what Seattle’s O-line will look like next year. Nothing is set in stone.

  47. POB says:

    Rob, 2 questions: Who do you think is the lowest-rated player that JSPC would take over an OL? e.g. I assume if Jalen Ramsey somehow fell to 26, the Hawks would bite. Who is the generally least well-regarded such player that would tempt the Seahawks enough to cause them to ignore their OL holes?

    Do you think the FO will have any interest in Jaylon Smith in Round 2?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think that player exists POB.

      It has to be an O-liner.

      Smith is likely to drop into day three IMO.

      • POB says:

        I think that would be a mistake. Obviously Ramsey is not going to fall to 26th, but if he did, I’d pull the trigger on him over Spriggs/Ifedi?etc in a heartbeat and deal with the OL issues in Rds. 2 & 3.

        Personally, Darron Lee is the consensus lowest ranked guy where I’d give serious consideration to putting off OL until Rd. 2.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sure — Ramsey falling though is like saying if the Texans were willing to trade JJ Watt for a 4th rounder… neither scenario is going to happen.

          IMO Lee is a sure-fire top-15 prospect. But even if he fell — the Hawks can’t take any chances on the OL. Lee is good — but he’ll be pointless if the O-line is a mess.

          • POB says:

            Agreed that Ramsey won’t be there. That said, based on what you’ve said re: how the Seahawks set up their draft board, I’m not convinced that the difference b/t Lee & KPL (or whomever they have slotted in as the SAM at the moment) isn’t just as big as the difference b/t Ifedi & Webb. Beyond that, even if they went non-OL in the first, I’d be pretty confident they could pick up a solid interior prospect in Rd. 2 (Martin, ASU guy, McGovern).I’m admittedly also probably higher on DLee than most.

            I’m basically just saying I hope the Seahawks don’t focus exclusively on their OL issues to the exclusion of even being open to other possibilities. Limiting your options in that way seems counterproductive.

          • STTBM says:

            Many folks argued endlessly in 2009 on other blogs that Seattle should take a LT no matter what, because it was a need. The Jason Smith fan club was in full swing. I disagreed with taking a need position regardless of talent then, and I feel the same way today. If a player Seattle has pegged as a top-15 talent is there, and the only T’s left are guys Seattle has a second round or lower grade for, you take the talent.

            However, if your board is close on talent, go ahead and take the position of greater need.

            Too many times Ive seen Seattle reach due to positional need, and its never turned out well–certainly not on the O-line. Thats how we ended up taking Carp over Wilkerson, despite Carp being lower on our board. That was an unmitigated disaster, made worse since Carp actually is doing ok now that he’s not stuck in a ZBS he isnt suited for.

            • STTBM says:

              It wouldnt surprise me one bit to see Seattle drop down to the second round yet again. Nor would it surprise me if 2 of the first 3 picks were O-line. I just dont want to see them reaching for any more players like Carp or Britt or P-Rich, for that matter.

              Thanks for the replies!

  48. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Some buzz on Ifedi

    @BenFennell_NFL: Ifedi has functional strength/lower body power to get movement in run game, but also has light feet to kick out or open up on inside moves..

    @NDTScouting: Was surprised how much I liked him [Ifedi]. He is in my top 30 players.

  49. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    @TonyPauline: Justin Zimmer/DL/Ferris State: 44 reps on bench at Michigan pro day…details in a few

    I like Zimmer

    • Jake says:

      I know it’s been discussed on here about how little bench press may matter…. That’s still an eye-popping number

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        @Some of the times are all over the place, but thus far I’ve been given the following: Zimmer measured 6024, 302 pounds, completed 44 reps on the bench, posted a vertical jump of 32 inches and a broad jump of 9-9. His 40 times ranged from the high 4.8s to the low 4.9s, while his 3-cone times were as fast as 7.10.

        Zimmer did defensive line drills and no offensive line drills. I’m told most of the teams in attendance at Michigan pro day have approached Zimmer for one-on-one interviews.

        Read more at http://walterfootball.com/proday.php#c2HkwR39q53sXCXD.99

  50. vrtkolman says:

    On one hand I think the Seahawks have put themselves in an unfortunate position with regards to the draft. They have to draft OL early and those players have to hit, otherwise the O line will be in deep trouble next season. I hate drafting for need over BPA. They are going to lose out on some possible studs like Keanu Neal.

    On the other hand, I feel like Seattle’s BPA approach the past few years hasn’t really worked out. That led to the awful Percy Harvin trade, the Graham trade which doesn’t look good yet (could change though), and Christine Michael. Maybe forcing their hand could be a refreshing change. Landing two good starters on the O line could lead to a pretty good O line, maybe nearing as good as the 2012 line.

    I haven’t considered the scenario where ALL the good tackles are off the board at 26. That includes Ifedi and Coleman. What are the chances of this happening? Probably not high… if it does happen though what does Seattle do? Do they take a Justin Britt level reach with Le’Raven Clark?

    • Rob Staton says:

      If the tackles are gone… take an interior OL.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Tunsil
      Conklin
      Stanley
      Decker
      Spriggs
      Ifedi
      Coleman

      I’d have to go back and check but I think the highest number of OTs drafted in R1 of any draft in the past 6 years has been 5. It’s difficult to imagine that 7 OTs would be taken in R1 this year. Teams do have needs besides OTs.

      • vrtkolman says:

        Yeah I think you are right. It would be extremely unlikely.

        • matt says:

          It’s likely that 3 of the top OT’s are available at #26-Spriggs, Coleman, Ifedi. Coleman is the OT I want, but would be happy with any of those 3.

    • James says:

      After Tunsil, Stanley and Conklin are taken, there are not that many teams left that need an OT enough to take one in R1. Many OTs have been plucked over the past three years, not to mention the FA movement, and the slots are getting pretty full. It is virtually certain that of Decker, Ifedi, Spriggs, Clark and Coleman, at least two and most likely four, will be there at #26.

      If the consensus of the mocks is correct that Decker will be taken by the Colts, very few projections show any of the other OTs going before the Seahawks select. If Seattle can therefore choose among Ifedi, Spriggs, Clark and Coleman – it is anyone’s guess. Clark is appearing on more-and-more scouting reports as at least the equal of Ifedi and Spriggs, and a number of respected analysts now have him rated the highest among the three.

      All four are multi-year experienced starters, show lots of “grit” and are rare athletes with optimal size/weight numbers. The problem is they all come from some variation of the loathsome spread offenses, so their mechanics are unsound and you have to try to project. That means that we can only surmise so much from the tape, and really need to know more about their character, maturity, intelligence, etc.

      Spriggs is the best sparq athlete and clearly should be able to handle pass pro from the left side in time; Ifedi and Clark are both proto-types, massive with strong cores, long arms and quick feet, but both are really raw, so which has the better temperament; Coleman is an elite prospect also, but older and with a major health risk on his charts, but the better run blocker.

      If I had to guess, I think the Seahawks would prioritize Spriggs, Ifedi, Clark and Coleman in that order, but we have no way to know what sort of grit our coaches and scouts see when they look the guy in the eyes.

      • Steele says:

        There is still time for a scenario in which all of the top tackles are gone. And if that unfolds, then they go interior, as well as take a lesser tackle somewhere along the way.

        Why should we expect Cable to approach this draft any more logically or predictably than previous ones? Maybe he avoids the top tackles, even when they’re on the board.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Some funny things could still happen on the way to Draft Day.

          Ryan Clady and/or D’Brickashaw Ferguson could get cut. Either would be a welcome addition at the right price.

          I’d prefer either of them to Donald Penn who signed a 2-year $11.9M deal with OAK.

  51. Steve Nelsen says:

    There seems to be two approaches developing for this draft.

    Option 1: Draft 2 OL early. Ifedi or another T in round 1. An interior lineman in round 2-4. McGovern, Garnett, Kelly or Dahl all could be options.

    Option 2: Start Webb and Britt at LG/RT, Gilliam, Lewis/Sokoli, and Glowinski fill the other 3 spots. Draft best player available.

    We haven’t really talked about option 2 because it seems so awful. But, there are some positives. It would be very cheap and young. They would all be able to play together for the next 2 years and develop cohesion. Sokoli and Glowinski are very athletic. Britt just had his rookie year at RT and was thrown in at the last minute to LG so he potentially still has room for growth at either spot. They continued to start Carp every year even after he washed out at RT and was considered a liability at LG. Is it really so unlikely that they would do the same for Britt?

    Other ZBS teams in the past have won championships with minimal draft investment in the offensive line. Alex Gibbs, the godfather of the modern zone-blocking system, was quoted as saying he could teach anyone to block in his system – they just needed a minimum level of quickness and athleticism.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I suggested precisely an idea for option 2 earlier today in this thread if you want to see the discussion above:
      http://seahawksdraftblog.com/how-russell-okungs-departure-impacts-the-draft#comment-269408

      I certainly won’t be complaining if they take a T in R1 though, and that seems most probable if nothing else changes between now and the draft, but I think there is still an argument to be made for BPA over need on the OL. I’m open at least to entertaining it. Your points about the ZBS are helpful as well.

    • Steele says:

      Option 2 BPA seems more in line with the way they have operated.

      They seem to have the utmost confidence in youth and Cable’s projects, and are in no hurry to rush the process. They seem to believe that they can win a SB in any given season regardless of ongoing projects.

  52. matt says:

    Some impressive numbers coming from Akron’s Jatavis Brown: 4.38-4.44 40. 35.5″ VJ. 33 reps.

    • trevor says:

      Just seems like a typical seahwak pick. A little undersized so not recuited by big schools and plays with huge chip on his shoulder. If we don’t take Jones from LSU this kid would be a great subsiture in the mid rounds. Really like him a lot and he is more athletic than I thought.

  53. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    PFF’s in depth look at Okung’s deal with DEN paints an ugly picture:

    “PFT has obtained the official details of the five-year-not-five-year, $53-million-not-$53-million contract Okung signed Thursday with the Broncos. As previously reported, it’s a one-year, $5 million deal with an option on the rest of the contract.

    But it’s not even a $5 million deal for one year. He has a $1 million workout bonus, a $2 million base salary, and a $2 million roster bonus tied to being on the 53-man roster for any one game. So, basically, the Broncos are giving Okung $1 million to participate in the offseason program, with an option before Week One to pay him another $4 million to actually play for them in 2016.

    Not a single penny of the deal is guaranteed at signing…

    To summarize, Okung has obtained the ability to earn $1 million to participate in the team’s offseason program, with no guarantee he’ll even be on the opening-day roster in 2016 — and no guarantee he’ll earn anything more than the $1 million bonus for participating in the team’s offseason program.”

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      @ProFootballTalk: Text from a high-level exec with a team that wasn’t pursuing Okung on his deal with Denver: “We would have paid him more than that.”

      @ProFootballTalk: Why was team that would have paid Okung more than Broncos did not pursuing him? Team believed Okung wanted $10M per year.

      Well, reports were widely circulating that he wanted around $13M APY, so that team wasn’t necessarily wrong.

    • vrtkolman says:

      So Denver can but him before the season even starts and they would just be on the hook for $1 million? Wow, what a strange deal. I have to think Okung’s shoulder injury is more serious than let on. Denver isn’t exactly a great fit for him either. They will be extremely run heavy next season, his body is going to take a major beating.

    • Ground_hawk says:

      I wonder if his shoulder injury is a lot more significant than anyone outside of any of the NFL FO’s know?

      • vrtkolman says:

        You read my mind! I wonder if they keep Clady now until the season begins… If they need to cut Okung because of his shoulder, Clady would be a major need for them.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Unless I’m mistaken, there’s no contract provision compelling DEN to make a decision on Clady before the start of the regular season. He’s under contract, so his $10.6M cap # for 2016 is already figured into their overall cap space, and OTC reports they have about $10M available already. Cutting him anytime before the season would save $9.4M against the cap, essentially doubling their current space.

          I’m sure Elway doesn’t want to pay $10M for Clady if he doesn’t have to. But it’s not like they’re hard up against it and need the space.

          • HOUSE says:

            You are correct. I think if he’s cut after 1 June, part of the cap hit could be counted against next year’s cap (if they’re hard-pressed to sign someone else).

            Owing painted himself into a corner, over-estimated his value and was probably hurt by SEA’s offer. If DEN is “truly” where he wants to play, he’ll have to work extremely hard for it AND have to stay healthy…

  54. Volume12 says:

    Keep an eye on read option QB Keenan Reynolds.

    2nd time Seattle has sent scouts to check this guy out.

  55. Barrt says:

    I find I very interesting how quickly people forget about a former player who blew up the combine with insane numbers by the name of Bruce Campbell who was also drafted by Tom Cable. At that time he was the head coach of the Raiders. Cable moved Campbell into guard. He lasted one year with the Raiders. Draft pundits across the league had mocked the very talented Campbell in the top ten. Even guys like Mel Kiper Jr.

    Its nice to be in the 90th percentile of super humans but I think over thinking and over analyzing happens a lot around this time of the year. If it comes down to Ifedi or Colman I hope it is not only based on physical talent. Look up Campbell if you want. He is a freak, playing in the CFL now.

    • Rob Staton says:

      In fairness — Campbell’s tape was an absolute mess. The only people mocking him in the top ten were those thinking the Raiders would pull a typical Al Davis move.

      He went where he should’ve gone in the draft. A day three pick. Hard to use him as an example on why freaky athletes won’t work. It’d be like judging athletes on Tyler Johnstone for example, #5 in SLA for this class.