How will the Seahawks approach adding a defensive lineman?

March 24th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

This is the second time I’ve seen someone suggest that the Seahawks want an inside-out type rusher as opposed to a pure edge or defensive tackle.

The Seahawks are minded to shut down the run with cheaper, bigger bodies in base. Then it’s time to unleash the hounds.

A player of this description is flexible enough to play a high percentage of snaps. You don’t need to take them off the field in base (they can play end) and they can move inside in nickel or nascar.

If the idea is to get bang for your buck — this type of defender makes sense. Since Bennett joined the Seahawks, it’s generally the type they’ve gone for. Even though Cassius Marsh and now Frank Clark have dropped weight — they both played a similar role in college.

That said, I doubt they’re married to the idea. If the draft provides an opportunity to add a talented defensive tackle instead so be it. This could be as much about an ideal rather than a priority.

So who’s out there?

DeForest Buckner will be long gone, Robert Nkemdiche is possibly going to fall out of the first round and might not be on Seattle’s board. Sheldon Rankins seems likely to go in the top-15.

Jonathan Bullard is one to monitor as we’ve previously discussed. He’s also one of the hardest prospects to assess in terms of draft range.

Tony Pauline is projecting him firmly in round one. Yet Bob McGinn’s anonymous scouting source had the following to say about Bullard:

“He’ll go second or third round just because of limitations on flexibility.”

He won’t fit several schemes. He’s not an ideal five-technique and yet he plays his best football off the edge working the B Gap. With the Seahawks generally using 3-4 personnel in their 4-3 scheme — that’s probably a good fit. Other teams might see him as a tweener.

Todd McShay today mocked him to #46 overall to the Lions:

“He lacks elite physical tools, but he grows on you the more tape you watch. He’s a high-motor player.”

Daniel Jeremiah has Bullard at #43 on his big board:

“He lacks the girth to consistently hold up vs. angle blocks and double teams. As a pass rusher, he uses his quick feet and hands to work through edges of blockers. He lacks knock-back power as a bull rusher. Overall, Bullard doesn’t fit every defense but he can be a disruptive presence on the inside.”

Scouts Inc offers the following take:

“He might not be a first round pick like former Gator defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd (Vikings, ’13), Dominique Easley (Patriots, ’14), and Dante Fowler (Jaguars, ’15) but Bullard should hear his name called on Day 2.”

Opinions are clearly mixed. Tony Pauline’s first round grade probably matches up with several teams in the league — as does Bob McGinn’s source suggesting the second or third round.

How far do the teams let him fall? Is he the best option for the Seahawks to fill this need?

Pauline has Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper in round two. He also played inside and out at college and blew up the combine with a surprisingly brilliant athletic display. He was one of the few D-liners to post a 1.5 10-yard split and he ran the fastest forty (4.59) despite weighing 271lbs.

As an athletic profile, that’s outstanding. He also has 34.5 inch arms and posted a 34 inch vertical.

Athletically he might as well be wearing College Navy right now — but here’s the thing. When we all thought he was probably a 4.7 runner his tape was palatable. Now that we know he’s an athletic freak of nature you kind of want to see more. You want to see him dominating — because we know he’s so much better physically than anyone else on the field.

The Seahawks might be able to buy into his upside — but he never got close to the kind of performances Frank Clark showed at Michigan. He dominated.

Tapper never really did.

Here’s Scouts Inc’s take:

He is a three-year starter who has the length and two-gapping ability to fit as a 5-technique in a base 3-4 defense. He continues to develop as a pass rusher and came on late in the year with all seven of his sacks coming in the final six games. Tapper projects as a fringe Day 2 prospect who should add immediate depth and quickly develop into a starter along a front line.

Ronald Blair III might come into focus again. He didn’t have a great combine but he has the size (6-2, 284lbs, 34 inch arms), first step quickness and he performed well in the short shuttle (Blair III’s 4.53 beat Bullard’s 4.56). He has his supporters but round two might be a bit rich.

Sheldon Day worked inside and out for Notre Dame. His production isn’t great (four sacks in 2015) and although he’s a very active player, he didn’t spend a lot of time in the backfield. He’s also small in stature at 6-0 and 293lbs with 32.5 inch arms. He did manage a 1.69 split which is decent for his weight and he had a very nice 4.50 short shuttle. It’s hard to imagine a player of his size on Seattle’s D-line, however.

Jihad Ward likely isn’t athletic enough for Seattle, Bronson Kaufusi might be more of a pure edge and after that the options aren’t great.

So it brings up two thoughts. Do they like a guy like Bullard enough that they can’t leave the draft without him? Remember, the Seahawks identify areas to get ‘their’ guys. If Bullard gets the special ‘we have to have him’ treatment he could be their pick at #26. If he’s a guy they like but can live without because they want to go O-line first — then they’ll have to see what’s available in round two.

Getting a guy they like on the O-line and D-line (one way or another) is probably a safe projection for the Seahawks in rounds one and two.

If the top DE-DT’s are off the board, other D-liners might come into focus.

McShay had UCLA’s Kenny Clark on the board at #56. Clark had one of the better workouts at the combine — looking sharp throughout the drills.

He’s 29lbs heavier than Bullard but had a similar 10-yard split, a forty time that was only 0.13 seconds slower and there was 0.07 seconds difference in the short shuttle. They are different players but Clark’s athletic profile for his size could be appealing.

He’d provide a like-for-like replacement for Brandon Mebane in terms of style and position. He’s a classic one-technique. Adding him to Seattle’s D-line rotation could give them a nice, cheap Mebane replacement for the next few years.

Willie Henry’s technique needs work (drops his head way too much) but he also does things very few guys his size can do. In round two, he could also be an option. He’s close to Frank Clark.

We’ve noted Kaufusi — who aced the agility drills at the combine despite being 6-6 and 285lbs.

Austin Johnson plays with his hair on fire and I think the Seahawks will like that even if he isn’t an amazing athlete. They might be willing to turn a blind eye. Jordan Hill isn’t a big time athlete and Johnson plays with real intensity. Here’s McGinn’s source:

Fits multiple schemes. Late first, early second. Like him. Plays more 3-technique but he can play nose.

Maliek Collins also had a great short shuttle and is a former wrestler. Joel Heath’s athletic performance led us to wonder if he could be their next O-line convert — but could they work him into their D-line rotation as a surprise pick? Quinton Jefferson also tested well for agility. Adolphus Washington, aka the forgotten man, didn’t have a good combine on top of some character concerns late in the season but he might be the closest comparison in this class to Malik Jackson.

Chris Jones had an underwhelming combine for a player of his potential — an issue that seems to sum up his pro-prospects. Here’s what McGinn’s scout said about Jones:

He could easily be in the top 50 but he is such a dog. He’s an underachiever.

The Tweet at the top of the page insinuates the Seahawks wouldn’t be interested in Emmanuel Ogbah based on scheme fit — but athletically he’s an intriguing proposition as more of an EDGE.

It seems likely that the Seahawks will use their first two picks to address the trenches, whether it’s an O-line then D-line combo or vice versa. While adding to the offensive line might be Pete Carroll’s self-confessed priority — getting another DE-DT hybrid (and some extra depth at running back) might be next on the list.

142 Responses to “How will the Seahawks approach adding a defensive lineman?”

  1. Nick says:

    Rob, doesn’t Sheldon Day have a similar build to Jordan Hill?

  2. MJ says:

    Good stuff per usual, Rob.

    I gotta say…it seems so obvious that SEA will go OL/DL in R1 and R2, that I’m pretty much bracing myself for something unexpected to happen. I know that’s a cliche thing to say on a Seattle board, but the more obvious the type of picks these become, the less confident I am that they will happen.

    All that said, I do think Bulllard seems like a guy they would naturally like. And I think we all know that if PC/JS absolutely have to have a guy, they will use the necessary capital to acquire him.

  3. Trail Hawk says:

    Rob, and all others, I was looking at RB and how the draft has been for the last few years. 2014 and 2015 you have 8 taken before the 4th, 2013 6 taken. I constantly see CJ Prosise ranked at 9th or 10th best this year. If we take a RB in the 3rd who do you take, Ervin or Prosie? I like what Ervin can bring but I have to say if he’s still on the board take Prosise.

    • Volume12 says:

      I take Ervin every day of the week that ends in ‘y.’

      Prosise is a bit of a one year wonder, a lot of upside, but at the combine he did not look good, dropped everything.

      For me, the negatives outweigh the positives.

    • Wall UP says:

      You’ll have to pick him before Chip does at 68 their 3rd Rd pick.

  4. Seahawk in LA says:

    I agree with your comments that Marsh and Clark seemed to be drafted to fit the Michael Bennett mold–so it’s weird that they have both since dropped weight to get into the LEO mold. Clark is especially weird to me because he showed a proclivity for making plays from DT in preseason and during his limited regular season snaps and now is seemingly too light to play in there.

    • C-Dog says:

      I thought that was a bit weird, too. I think it shows they’ve continually looked for a Mike B type, but I think what Mike B does is very difficult. He just has that knack, and he has years of experience doing that.

      This is just me, but I don’t think Clark was necessarily totally comfortable inside. He said during training camp that he’s never done it before. He made some splashy plays here and there, but sometimes would get washed away. I think they probably see his value as an edge rusher now. On the flip side, Jonathan Bullard has done a lot inside, and I believe he is on the record saying he wants to play 3 technique. I think he’s probably the best shot in this draft at being a Mike B type.

  5. cha says:

    “He’d provide a like-for-like replacement for Brandon Mebane in terms of style and position. He’s a classic one-technique. Adding him to Seattle’s D-line rotation could give them a nice, cheap Mebane replacement for the next few years. ”

    Just going off of the Mebane comp, do you think the late 2nd round is a good value for Clark? I know spending a 1st round pick on a space eating DT who has more value in the run game than pass rush isn’t the best investment of draft capital. Is the low 2nd a good range for that?

    Does Clark have ‘plug him in Week 1 at One-Tech’ ability? Or untapped pass rush potential that would make picking him at 56 worth it?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ideally round three for that position but depends on who’s available at #56 and their thoughts on Clark.

      I’m not sure any DT is plug in for week one.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      He’s not a pass rushing DT, but he can collapse pockets and drive blockers into the RB at the point of attack.

  6. Sam Jaffe says:

    Rob,
    I like your analysis of the various potential picks. Bullard does seem to have Seahawks written all over him. And your impression of Tapper is interesting. Do you think that he was used in the wrong manner by the Oklahoma coaches? They certainly had a cornucopia of talent in their front defensive 7 and might have channeled the ball towards Striker, who was clearly the defensive leader. If Tapper was coached to occupy space, rather than attack, his athleticism might turn him into a fairy tale story in the NFL. That’s exactly what happened to Bennett at Texas A&M. Unfortunately, you might be right that he’s simply missing the “spark” that a dominant defender needs to have. One thing upon which I disagree with you is the concept that the Seahawks will draft a 5T or 1T in the 2nd round. They have a record of drafting three-down starters in round one and two. Since the draft is so deep in that type of player, I’m confident they’ll wait til round three for a player like Kenny Clark (or whoever else fits that profile).

  7. Naks8 says:

    For rb what do you guys think about the madden as a udfa? He ran a 4.56 and is a pretty physical runner. Plus the usc tie in

  8. ItsAboutTheDefense says:

    Everybody wants an Interior Lineman who can penetrate and collapse the pocket, as well as be stout against the run. Are there any of those in this Draft? If not, any reliable Penetrators?
    There’s also a surge towards bookend pass rushing Demons (ala Von Miller & Demarcus Ware). Are Avril and Clark the Answer here for us, or do we bring in competition from the Draft?
    What about the spot Irvin occupied? Is there someone in this Draft who can stay on the field for 3 Downs? Set the Edge and put pressure on the passer?

    • Volume12 says:

      I think they need a DE that can kick inside on passing/3rd downs, and a NT.

      SAM doesn’t concern me at all. They come off the field on 3rd downs as the nickel defenses become more important.

      Look at where they’ve drafted OLB’s. None earlier than the 4th round.

      • Volume12 says:

        Avril, Clark, and I’d bet they add a cheap vet.

        Then there’s Marsh, and back of the roster guys like Ryan Robinson and Josh Shirley.

    • Del tre says:

      I could see Willie Henry accomplishing that maybe not year 1

  9. Shoreline Bill says:

    If Kevin Dodd, DE out of Clemson is there at #26, I can’t see the Hawks passing on him.
    Their pass rush needs some help and he is a Seahawk value kind of guy:

    1. a little under the radar due to an injury in 2013- check.
    2. An underclassman with untapped potential – check.
    3. size, length, athleticism and high motor – check.
    4. Production as a starter in big games – check.

    • Volume12 says:

      Shaq Lawson too. Not as versatile as Dodd and might not get outta the top 20, but he’s a ‘Seahawky’ kind of character.

      Checks off all the same boxes except for being a little under the radar.

      • RWIII says:

        I like both Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd but so do a lot of other NFL teams. Those guys will be off the board when the Seahawks pick at 26.

    • badjujus says:

      kevin dodd is a piss poor athlete who is 24, there is no good linemen with his measurables. He is a risk and more then likely will be a bust.

      • Steele says:

        Both Dodd and Lawson have issues. I don’t see either as Seahawky.

      • Shoreline Bill says:

        12.5 sacks in 2015, 3 against Alabama in the national championship game is not piss-poor production. All I’m saying is the Hawks always seem to surprise everyone in the early rounds.

        • H M Abdou says:

          And not always in a positive way. Schneider and Carroll have a well-earned reputation for being good at finding talent and using it effectively. But they’re not infallible. They’ve hit it big on some late-round guys, but most of their late-round picks in the past few years haven’t worked out (many are not even on the team).

  10. AcePig says:

    Interesting to note that Hassan Ridgeway was given a second round great by the draft committee. Might explain why he left early. His sophomore tape (playing next to Malcom Brown) is much better than last year’s. Could be an option in round 3.

  11. Steele says:

    Besides a repost of the NFL Draft Bites Ogbah riddle, no attempt to decipher what it means, or whether there is any merit to it? Ogbah is a better pass rusher than any of the names mentioned here.

    And how much merit in two mentions of inside/out? Bennetts don’t grow on trees. Of course that is the ideal, but finding it is another story.

    Finding the magic inside/out is just as difficult with this draft as finding a great edge. Almost to the point of saying “pass” on the idea in the first few rounds, which (most of us believe) should focus on OL. And go back to free agency and see what’s possible there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve heard from two sources, this being one, that they’re looking for an inside/out. The other source is trusted and I won’t say any more than that.

      It’s my understanding that is what they’re looking for.

      Some think Ogbah can play inside/out. I’ve seen it suggested. We also have to consider — with his athletic profile and production, there’s a reason why he generally only gets graded in the late first or early second round. And one of the reasons is the issue noted by NFL Draft Bites.

    • ItsAboutTheDefense says:

      Agreed Steele. Would love to know what the cryptic message actually says. Also, who is darylconrad and how does he know something about Ogbah?

  12. Madmark says:

    This article is why my Draft has turned out the way it did. I’m all in for a Connor McGovern and if I can get a trade into the first part of the 2nd round I take him. Would love the extra pick to maneuver up or down. Even a pick between 124 and 171 would help. I don’t think each reaching to grab a guy that will start on Oline at the being of the season. The only thing set on Oline is Garry Gilliam is the LT all other position are open. McGovern will compete Webb and Poole for the RT and LG spot. I got to try him out at the RT spot first and if that doesn’t work move him inside to LG which is where I hope he goes.
    Now its my pick 56 that I really like and that is a Austin Johnson DT from Penn St.. Our defense relies on gap integrity and Johnson is very good at it. He had 75 tackles and has the ability to bull rush and collapse the inner pocket. There’s just so much more that meets the eye with this guy.
    The next pick of Tyler Ervin is really a great pick and absolutely a Seahawky pick. Speed with big play potential and you get some assurance with a Lockett seeing more touches as a receiver. This guy could make the difference in the 4th quarter where a defense has been worn down with the pounding of a Rawls and Michaels. Joe Dahl is my next pick at 97. This is my center convert. He’s tough but most of all he’s got great work habits and has an ability to retain information. He’s played the tackle spot and Seattle will like that. If anything he could be ready to start the year after when Lewis contract is up. I’m sure I’m going to caught hell for this pick. I chose to take Nick Vannett TE from Nebraska. 1 piece of the puzzle missing from are running Game is a Zack Miller type. I need an in line TE who I can teach the ZBS scheme and to help my running game going into the future. We haven’t drafted a TE since Anthony McCoy and we really can’t afford to buy another Zack Miller who knew the scheme already. I see this guy being another Travis Kelce. I don’t mind Jimmy Graham but in my definition of TE, he’s not one. I did think about Travis Freeney here but I think we need to set the offense going in the right direction. DeAndre Elliott CB Colorado St. he’s got size but will he make the competition this year for backup. The next pick is Odiambo Rees OG Boise St. I think this guy drops here because of injuries. I have to take him because he has so much upside. If he can stay healthy he could be steal of the draft. Kavon Frazier S Central Michigan Big guy that can deliver a hit and very good special teams appeal. Any Janoviche FB Nebraska , this guy can fill in for Coleman and I mean special team also. I always have a hard time with last picks but I thinking a QB just because Jackson isn’t getting younger or cheaper hehe. If we got a trade down you pick the round and who you would use it for.
    26 Connor McGovern OL Mizzoui
    56 Austin Johnson DT Penn St.
    90 Tyler Ervin RB San Jose St.
    97 Joe Dahl OL(C) Washington St.
    124 Nick Vannett TE Ohio St.
    171 DeAndre Elliott CB Colorado St.
    215 Odhiambo Rees OL Boise St.
    225 Andy Janoviche FB Nebraska
    last pick QB?
    of course that’s how i’m looking at it right now.

  13. Gotta Be Bennett to Win It says:

    Rob,
    I know you’ve written that you don’t think Rankins falls to the Hawks at 26. If, for some reason he did, would the Seahawks pull the trigger? Or does he not check the inside/outside box?

  14. Steele says:

    Given the theme of this piece, although I almost hate to bring it up, what about Shilique Calhoun? We has the profile of an inside/outside, should be a good run defender and pass rusher. Rob, you’re not a fan.

  15. Trevor says:

    Keanu Neal invited to Chicago for the draft. Looks like his first round potential is not a secret anymore.

    • Al says:

      They were talking about him on the latest First Draft podcast. Mel and Todd seem to have got round to watching his tape recently and like what they see. I think one of them even had him as their 3rd safety after Von Bell and the kid from West Virginia.

  16. Greg Haugsven says:

    What weight range would we look for an inside out guy? Seems like itight be between 270 and 275( Bennett is 272) . Some of the mentioned guys are closer to 300.

  17. Greg Haugsven says:

    If you wanted an OT and a Bennett type with your first 2 picks it’s going to be tough sledding getting that OT at 56.

  18. Willyeye says:

    Rob, what do you think would be the chances that JS could work out a trade with the Vikings for Center Nick Easton?

    Last year, the Seahawks picked Kristjan Sokoli in the 6th round. He was said to be our future Center, even though Sokoli had never even played O-Line. Kristjan Sokoli was the #1 Sparq O-Line guy…in fact, he had the highest Sparq score ever.

    Just behind Sokoli at #2 Sparq for 2015 O-Line prospects was Center Nick Easton. Easton went undrafted last year after playing Center at Harvard University. He was picked up as a UDFA by the Ravens after last years draft. In the 2015 preseason at Center, Easton had the highest PFF grade of any player on the Ravens team. His preseason grade of +9.1 was the highest of any Center in the preseason, and it was the 7th-best grade of all players in the preseason. The Ravens then proceeded to trade Easton to the 49ers for a 2016 7th round pick. The 49ers then traded Easton and a 2016 6th round pick to the Vikings in exchange for LB Gerald Hodges.

    The Vikings acquired Easton to be a backup Center. The Vikings starting Center, John Sullivan, needed back surgery in October 2015 and he was placed on the IR. Backup Center, Joe Berger, replaced Sullivan, and that’s when they got Easton as backup for Berger. It turned out, Berger received all kinds of accolades for a breakout year. Easton never ended up playing last year.

    So anyway, Sullivan will be back as starter for the Vikes, and Berger will once again be his backup. This leaves the Vikes with an extra Center. I think it would be an awesome idea to work out a trade for Nick Easton. The Hawks could likely get him for very little value…maybe a 6th or 7th round pick. Whatever the Vikes want, I’d give it to them. If the Hawks could put this together before the draft, it could save them a 1st or 2nd round pick, and they could use maybe a late round pick and have Lewis, Easton and a draft pick compete for Center in TC.

    Easton is a Sparq BEAST. His NFL percentile was at 97.3%. To compare to 2016, Connor McGovern is #1 at an NFL percentile of 89.6%…Ryan Kelly is #12 at 55.4%. I think Easton would be a HUGE upgrade over any Center in this year’s draft, and he could end up being the Hawks Center for years to come.

    • H M Abdou says:

      It’s an interesting idea. I have to admit, I’d still like to see what Soko can do, but haven’t heard much about his development as a center, or even as a guy who could play guard.

      I don’t know anything about this Easton guy, and have never watched him. So I can’t say one way or the other if he’s a good prospect at center for this particular team. Being a SPARQ beast did intrigue me, but I’ll have to watch some video of him to form an opinion.

    • BHarKnows says:

      Just read a bit about him from the Vikings acquired him over on Daily Norseman. Seems like he was considered a developmental center best/only suited for a ZBS. Sounds like people were concerned about athleticism. Which is weird given all the stats you just posted. It’s an intriguing option but I’m not sure he’d be any better than Sokoli or even push to start. He also wouldn’t be anything other than center and the Hawks seem to covet OL who have experience at multiple positions. But if it costs a 7th rounder I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing him in for competition sake. Hell, maybe do it after the draft if they are worried about center and use one of the two 7ths we have next year to grab him.

    • Trevor says:

      Love the idea Willeye! He is a natural C with a year in the NFL plus he ticks all the boxes athletically. I say make the move and bring him into compete with Lewis and Sokoli for the starting spot next year.

      Nice find!

  19. C-Dog says:

    Some interesting options for DL there.

    While Rankins and Bullard seem the ideal fits, I keep going back to the play of Austin Johnson, and the upside of Willie Henry. In fact, considering how Henry was used, he was sort of an inside/out for the Wolverines 3-4. I think a lot of his pressures came from end to tackle twists inside.

    As for Johnson, not sure how highly the Seahawks would view him, his combine wasn’t stellar, but when you look at him play, the guy is just a baller. Total force of nature. I think he said it himself, he wants to be a 3 tech. Definitely has the fight in him for it.

    • Volume12 says:

      I keep going back to Penn St’s DL Carl Nassib.

      Can he play inside? Too tall? Is he just scratching the surface of his potential? If he benefitted from Zettel, Johnson, and their FR or SO (name ecscapes me) playing alongside him, surely he would with the likes of Bennett, Avril, Rubin, etc.?

      Is Nassib what we all thought Shawn Oakman was gonna be, production and grit wise?

      Love the production, motor, the way he competes, and his character. Trash talker (watch him stalk the sidelines of an opposing team on one of his cut-ups), competitive, team captain/leader.

      What is he?

      • Volume12 says:

        *work ethic, not competitive. I said that twice.

      • EranUngar says:

        Vol, I keep going to Nassib too.

        The crazy thing about this guy is that he never started a football game in his life till 2015. Not in high school or in college. He was 220 pounds walk in that was kept due to character, effort and work ethic.

        He gains 60 pounds of muscles and finally gets the chance to start last year. His production this year is unbelievable for a “rookie”.

        It could have been his flash year. He could be exposed at the NFL level and his lack of experience may hinder his first year or two.

        But, there is another option. If this was just his first year as a starter, he could be much better next year. We could be getting a potential all pro that just started to rise.

        I know i’ll keep track of this guy, hopefully in blue and green.

  20. H M Abdou says:

    I know he scares the daylights out of everybody the way he threw teammate Laremy Tunsil right under the bus re: the hotel incident, but I would just LOVE for the Hawks to get Nkemdiche. I’m telling you that guy will be a STAR in the NFL.

    Also: I now would rather have Connor McGovern over Ifedi. Having watched some video of Ifedi, I just think he’s much too raw and has way too many flaws. McGovern fits the SPARQ-y Seahawks much more than Ifedi. To wit:

    http://3sigmaathlete.com/rankings/ol/

    I know it’s kinda taboo to refer to another blog, but this was a good write-up on Ifedi. There are some alarming videos of Ifedi on this page:

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2016/3/7/11169624/nfl-draft-2016-germain-ifedi-scouting-report

    So, my personal (very unrealistic) wish list is:

    1. Robert Nkemdiche
    2. Connor McGovern
    3. Tyler Ervin
    4. Travis Feeney
    5. James Bradberry
    6. Justin Zimmer

    • H M Abdou says:

      If Sheldon Rankins is available at 26 I’d definitely take him over any player at any position who is likely to be available then. But I just don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to be on the board even past the middle of the first round.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not the throwing Tunsil under the bus that scares me. It’s the very real and very serious issues he and his brother have that are going to prevent them from having even a basic pro career. And until they both address they have a problem and own it — you might as well throw the pick down the drain.

      • H M Abdou says:

        Ok, fair point about Nkemdiche. When I suggested drafting him at 26, I think I was overly dazzled by his upside and paid insufficient attention to his on-field, and more importantly, off-field flaws.

        Bad idea. They shouldn’t draft Njemdiche. But what about Rankins? Definitely I would take him at 26. Excellent value there, and he would fill a glaring need – interior pass rush. Rankins can play in base because he’s good vs the run also.

  21. EranUngar says:

    Rob, you have just illustrated why this draft is so frustrating.

    IMO, we are stuck in between at 26 and this pick will be decided only at the last minute.

    The list of talents above are great picks at rounds 2-4. None of them screams a great 1st round pick at this point. The talents the really merit a first round pick like Rankins etc. will probably be gone by 26. If none of them drop and we want to get the DL prospect, we are better off trading back into the late 30’s or early 40s.

    I see a similar situation with out OL picks. I believe that Ifedi, Clark, Coleman, Spriggs will all be there at 26 as well as McGovern, Martin and others. Many of those will still be there at the top half of the 2nd round as well. If we do not have a “must have” within that group, trading back is smart.

    I do not know how they rate those guys but if they see the same picture I see, The smart move would be to try and get as many picks in the 2nd round. Trade back from 26 for an extra 3rd/top 4th pick and try to use our 3rd pick plus this new pick to trade up into the 2nd round.

    If we could get picks at the late 30’s, mid 40’s and our 56th pick we could get 3 great value picks.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree. Rankins would be a great pick if he were to fall if not a trade back to the early 2nd would allow them to get a similar level of player.

      With Cleveland signing RG3 perhaps they will take a non QB at #2 and then want to trade back in Rd #1 in front of Denver to take Lynch. Even there 2nd and 4th would provide great value for that pick.

      I like the idea of trading back I just think it will be hard to find a trade partner in the early 2nd for the reasons you mentioned as there are not many players special enough to make a team want to move up.

      Someone may want to move up in front of the Cards to take Keanu Neal as well.

  22. EranUngar says:

    I am still very puzzled by the plan for Frank Clark.

    Everything about him screamed Michael Bennett. Perfect size and the rare athletic ability at that size&weight. He was never a burner like Avril or Irvin but he is very fast for his size and strength.

    He played exclusively on the edge in college so his first year inside would be a “work in progress”. I predicted that by his 2nd year he will be a monster working outside and inside.

    His profile is as good if not better than most of the guys on the above list.

    So, if the Seahawks are really looking for that type of a player, why did they direct Clark to loose weight and become an edge rusher exclusively?

    Is that a knock on what he showed as an inside rusher or a vote of confidence regarding his huge potential as an edge rusher?

    • cha says:

      They seem to have done the same with Marsh as well.

      This reminds me of how the Hawks changed Irvin’s role over time too.

      Not that it’s a bad thing, just would like to know the thinking behind the decision.

    • Madmark says:

      The new Chris Clemons type leo.

    • Steele says:

      JSPC must have anticipated losing Irvin, and simply want to utilize existing investments.

      But I agree, EranU, that Clark seemed to be the Bennett heir apparent. So I’m with you, it’s weird.

  23. David M2 says:

    These guys are interesting from the South Dakota St. Pro Day.

    South Dakota defensive lineman Drew Iddings — 6-foot-5 3/8, 290 pounds — ran the 40-yard dash in 4.74 and 4.78 seconds. He had a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-8 broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.64 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.78 seconds. He also performed 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Iddings worked out good at the pro day, and could be a free-agent pickup for a team following the 2016 NFL Draft.

    South Dakota linebacker Keyen Lage — 6-2, 230 — ran the 40 in 4.62 seconds on both attempts. He had a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-4 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.32 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.12 seconds. He performed 18 reps on the bench. Like Iddings, Lage is a possible rookie free-agent pickup for an NFL team.

    Wondering what both guys measureables are? Iddings could be an interesting DL to OL convert. Lange has pretty explosive numbers too. Wondering what Iddings SPARQ is those seem like some pretty freaky numbers for a man that size.

    Both seem like interesting FA developmental prospects. Would Iddinngs potentially be another Skokoli like pick?

    • David M2 says:

      Safety Kavon Frazier — 6-0, 215 — ran the 40 in 4.52 and 4.55 seconds. He had a 40 1/2-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-8 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.29 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.96 seconds. A defensive backs coach from the Cincinnati Bengals put Frazier through his positional workout. He had a real good pro day, and showed good hands and only had one drop
      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/kavon-frazier?id=2555536

      Seems like a candidate for a developmental “Deathbacker” type hybrid, or a big physical corner with 32.5″ arms.

      • Mike L says:

        you had me at “developmental Deathbacker”

        • David M2 says:

          Why thank you.

          Here is some more info on Iddings Prep background. Cable likes his wrestlers…

          Prep:

          A three-sport athlete…as a senior earned 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries….also blocked three passes and two punts…earned all-state honorable mention and all-conference honors…voted to play in South Dakota’s all-star game…named his team’s most valuable defensive lineman…in his career posted 69 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries…in wrestling finished fourth at the state tournament twice…in track has earned all-state and all-conference honors twice…won the state championship in the high jump twice and has cleared 6-9.

  24. Mike L says:

    As we stand right now…I would be very happy with a Bullard/K Clark/Ervin/McGovern haul on the first two days of the draft. Use some of the cap space to add a FA vet or two for competition/depth on the OL..try to find SPARKY small college guys on day 3/UDFA for some of the other needs (WR depth, OLB, Safety, FB)…

    So..given my history of being able to predict what the Hawks will do on draft day..we can rule out this scenario.. :<)

  25. Mike L says:

    oh yeah..+ draft Derek Watt as a FB/TE/special teams hybrid somewhere in the later rounds…

    (because you can never have too many Badgers on your team)…

  26. H M Abdou says:

    Sheldon Rankins is the guy. That’s who I hope PC/JS target in the 1st round, even if it means a slight move up the board to land him. And Rankins kills 2 birds with 1 stone, gives you an interior rush AND he can play in base defense because he’s also very good vs the run.

    • Trevor says:

      Rankins is my choice for round #1 but I am almost certain he will be gone in the top 15. If not then for sure he would be the perfect fit! I just don’t see JS trading up. It would be worth one of our 3rd rounders if that was enough.

      If not Coleman would be my pick as the ideal RT for the Hawks. Athletic, long and nasty. Already a great run blocker and gets to the 2nd level really well. This would allow us to move LG where he would be much more effective IMO.

  27. EranUngar says:

    Another quote by PC linking DL and draft:

    “Fortunately, in this draft, too, there’s a lot of defensive tackle prospects, and maybe we’re fortunate enough to nail a guy somewhere throughout the draft,” he said. “That would be something we’ll be watching. I think a lot of teams will be. There’s just an attraction to that spot this year. There happens to be more guys than we can ever remember that are graded highly enough to be drafted. So it’ll be a good spot in the draft.”

    Other then specifically calling the name and the round…he said it all.

    • EranUngar says:

      And….if they feel there are plenty of draftable DTs, JS will not waste his first round pick on one when he could others later.

      • Trevor says:

        So if they are not going to take a DT and you think they are definitely not going OL with the first pick, who or what pisition are they taking?

        • Trevor says:

          Pete also said that Clark would be taking Bruce’s snap as an Edge rusher so I am not sure what you think they are going to do in Rd #1 if it not OL, penetrating DT or edge rusher.

          • Madmark says:

            Frank Clark new look is kindia like a Chris Clemons. The future loe going forward.

          • EranUngar says:

            Trevor,

            If you look back, i always said that the most likely round 1 pick will be OT. Not because we desperately need one to save the OL but because the way they evaluate talent compared to what they already have would make OT the best value pick.

            I also said that the smartest move would be to trade back. You know i did because you replied to it.

            I honestly have no idea what they will do at 26.

            There may be someone they value more than we do. Someone they feel they can’t leave this draft without. He could be DL or OL. If that guy is a top 2 rounds guy they’ll take him 26 and get the job done. If not, it’s BPA or trade back.

            • EranUngar says:

              OHHHH, I almost forgot. Shame on me!!!

              If not OT or DL – I WANT KEANO NEAL.

              He may not be a “a position of need” pick but he would put a huge smile on my face.

            • Trevor says:

              Ok I thought you were against going OL early. I am with on trading back as long as it not too far. Seems like there will be a ton of value on the board at the start of day #2.

              • EranUngar says:

                You got me all wrong Trevor.

                I am against the OL panic. I do not agree that the FO sees OL as a disaster area in need of total renovation.

                Like everyone else i see the OL as a group that could certainly benefit from an influx of talent and if the right guy is there for them at 26, i’ll be happy with that pick.

                I do not love the reactions here towards anything that is not OL picks so i voice what i see as reason to balance it.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  “I am against the OL panic. I do not agree that the FO sees OL as a disaster area in need of total renovation.”

                  Nobody on this blog (or the comments section) has made an assertion to panic.

                  Other websites, sure. Twitter, yes. Not here though.

      • ItsAboutTheDefense says:

        One wonders if they’ve graded anybody as a potential immediate starter on the interior D-Line. A possible 3 Down Guy like Bennett.
        I’d guess Rankins and Bullard could both fit the bill.
        Do you find a way to get one of those, or do you wait on a later round guy who could get good someday?

        • Trevor says:

          I take Rankins all day long if he is there at 26 as he is unique to this draft and penetrating 3 down, 3 tech DT.

          • ItsAboutTheDefense says:

            I Agree, Trevor.
            So I say, spend the Draft Capital that you must and get Rankins.
            The choice means less new guys, but the quality of The New Guy would make a massive difference.

            • H M Abdou says:

              Here’s the bonus with Rankins: he can play every down. You don’t have to substitute him out on 3rd down, because he’s a very good pass rusher as we all know. You can play him in base defense, because he’s also very good vs the run (he’s not just a situational interior rusher like Clinton McDonald).

              To me, he’s the one guy I’d be willing to reasonably move up the board in round 1 to get.

        • EranUngar says:

          The better your current roster is, the less likely it is for a rookie to become a day one starter. Cracking the starting lineup of the best defense in the NFL in the past 4 years is even harder.

          With the way NFL offenses are playing lately, the guys manning your Nickle defense are just as important as your starters on base defense even if they are not strictly 3 down players.

          • ItsAboutTheDefense says:

            But NFL Offenses are designed more and more to try to keep the other teams situational guys on the bench. The value of a guy who can play 3 downs is great.

            • EranUngar says:

              The more that happens, the more teams will will start with Nickle as base. They already do that against pass happy teams starting 3Wrs and 1TE.

              It would only increase the value of the Nickle players.

              • ItsAboutTheDefense says:

                You’re making my point.
                Rankins looks like the player you’d design for the interior of any D-line you’re going to see the Seahawks throw out there.

                • H M Abdou says:

                  I know it sounds crazy, but you and I are in complete agreement on this point. Carroll doesn’t normally use a 3-tech in his base D, but with a guy like Rankins, I bet he’d be willing to at least tweak things a bit to get him on the field as much as possible. Maybe he would have Rankins add 10 lbs or so and play him at 1-tech?

                  Bottom line is: who are the Seahawks going to face in the playoffs/super bowl? Teams like New England, Green Bay, and Arizona. Teams that primarily PASS the ball. So having a guy who, ok, maybe isn’t quite the run-stuffer that a huge 340-LB guy like Mebane was. But Rankins is no slouch vs the run.

                  Sacrifice just a little bit of run-stuffing for a huge upgrade in pass-rushing is the point I’m making.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    Those teams become dangerous when you can’t stop the running game.

                    It’s why Denver easily handled Carolina in the SB.

                    Our mistake was trying to stop Newton. But, shut down the run game, and they become one dimensional. Then your pass rushers can tee off, like Denver’s did.

            • H M Abdou says:

              Exactly, I completely agree. This is even more true with the better teams, the ones Seattle would face in the playoffs and Super Bowl. Those teams have the high quality personnel to feel comfortable passing on 1st down.

  28. Madmark says:

    Rob wonder if you ‘ve heard any word on when Will Beatty will be working out for teams before the draft. If he’s healthy he could be the steal of the FA. Whats your opinion?

    • Trevor says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Would love to see him brought in as competition for the RT spot. I thought he was actually pretty good when healthy. Certainly an upgrade at tackle to Webb who is more suited to be a guard.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not a huge fan — he’s into his 30’s and coming off a big injury.

  29. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    SPARQ Showcase:

    @LedyardNFLDraft: Sleeper Watch: Southern Utah TE Anthony Norris. 6’3, 248 lbs., 10’2 hand, 33.5” arms, 81” wing-span, 4.77 40, 41” vert, 10’8 broad

    @utahEC: BYU pro day: Mitch Mathews (WR, 6’6″) putting on a show. 38″ vert, 129″ inch broad

    • EranUngar says:

      6’6″ with a good vert and good hands sounds too good to be true.

      Here is why – he is slow (4.7 40) and :

      “Mathews is a more slightly-built wide receiver. He excelled during games when opposing defenses played zone or gave him space at the line of scrimmage. When playing elite defenses that were physical and could play man-press, Mathews was ineffective. Against the three best defenses BYU faced in 2015 (Michigan, Missouri and Utah), Mathews compiled a total of six catches for 32 yards. All three of those defenses were able to keep Mathews in check by bumping him off of his routes and being physical. Mathews does not have the strength to beat good corners who muscle him up.”

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I wouldn’t dismiss a prospect based on 40 time alone. 38″ vertical and 129″ broad are elite numbers for any athlete, especially one who is 6’6″ and 250lbs. Plus 40 time isn’t the be-all, end-all metric. For example, check out his agility in the 3C. Again, 6.87s is an elite result, regardless of size or height.

        @criddler21: 6.87 Mitch Matthews 3 cone

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Not sure if this is accurate…

          @HeyDSean: Unofficially tabbed WR Mitch Mathews in the 4.3 range on the 40 dash. Just short of 4.4.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Not confirmation but it’s close

            @drewjay: Star of the day at BYU pro day is WR Mitch Mathews; turned some heads with his 40 times.

            • Mr. Offseason (Miles) says:

              I was just about to post these numbers. I got beat! If that 40 time and vert is true, he is Calvin Johnson-like. Full numbers:

              BYU WR Mitch Mathews unofficial pro day:
              6’5 1/2″ 222
              40: 4.46-4.48; 4.41-4.44
              225: 12 rep
              VJ: 38″
              BJ: 10′ 9″
              20S: 4.15
              60S: 11.28
              3C: 6.88

              • Mr. Offseason (Miles) says:

                Also have to think about Kris Durham. Mathews is not significantly more athletic than Durham was at his pro day, and not insignificantly either. Main takeaway from this fact? Athleticism means almost nothing if NFL football is not the player’s strong suit.

                • TannerM says:

                  But unlike Durham, Mathews actually had production: 152 career receptions for 2083 yds and 24 touchdowns. And most of that was with run-first (second and third) quarterbacks and backups.

              • matt says:

                Wow that’s an impressive day from Mathews!

                With a better QB this would have been a huge game from Mathews. BYU v Utah St:
                https://youtu.be/o8nwJFnIYHA

                Rob had us taking Cajuste in the 4th round, and it fits the draft history. Mathews does too. He’s an explosive, tall, jump ball artist, who shows route running ability, catches with strong hands, makes big special teams plays, good production-led team in rec, yards and TD’s each of the last 2 seasons.

                Highlight reel:
                https://youtu.be/SGqaJDmh2EQ

  30. Trevor says:

    No is in rebuild mode and needs to add a ton of talent to make the defense respectable. Not sure if it would be enough value but how about give them our 3rd and 4th round picks + a 4th rounder 2017 to move up in 1st and 2nd

    Trade out 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th to NO for their 1st and 2nd.

    Rd1#12 Sheldon Rankins (DT Louisville) 3 Down penetrating 3 Tech. Would provide a dimension this team has sorely missed.
    Rd2# Shon Coleman (RT Auburn) Coleman is athletic, long and nasty. He ias already a great run blocker. This would allow Webb to move into Guard and really shore up the whole OL
    Rd3 Comp # Tyler Ervin (RB SJ St.) Dynamic RB who Rob has discussed in detail recently
    Rd#5 Joe Dahl (OL Wash St.) Flexible in that he can play all over the line and he would compete with Lewis to start at C in 2016.

    Not saying I would propose this because we could fill some other needs with those two extra picks but if we came out of Day #1 and #2 of the draft with Rankins, Coleman, Ervin then I would be very pleased.

    • Trevor says:

      Since we likely won’t trade up then I think players who will realistically be available.

      Rd#1 Shon Coleman
      Rd#2 Charles Tapper
      Rd#3 Tyler Ervin
      Rd#3 Comp Graham Glasgow
      Rd#4 Jatavius Brown

    • cha says:

      Well that’s a great way to take advantage of the 2016 and (likely) 2017 comp picks – trade your “regular” picks and use the comps as in-essence substitutes for your regular picks.

      Of course the deal would need to be contingent on Rankins being available at 12 – he’s one of the few players I’d think of trading up for.

    • lil'stink says:

      I wonder if Marcus Burley has much added value in a trade primarily involving draft picks. He could be a cheap starting nickel CB for someone next year and we appear to be pretty deep at CB overall. Can’t see us trading up into the top 15, though.

      • cha says:

        Personally I’d rather keep Burley and instead of drafting a 5th/6th round CB project, draft another position. Given the struggles of new corners to adapt to the system it’s worth holding on to what you already have.

  31. Steele says:

    With all of the attention currently on Ifedi/McGovern/Glasgow/Spriggs and a little bit on Coleman, I wonder if we’re forgetting about some of the names we were interested in earlier.

    Tretola
    Nick Martin
    Joe Dahl
    Joe Haeg
    C. Westerman
    Jack Allen
    Ryan Kelly
    Max Tuerk
    J Conklin
    Whitehair

    The menu for rd 1-4 is loaded.

    • Volume12 says:

      I like Shon Coleman, but he scares me.

      Yesterday when PC gave a small scouting report on what attracted them to OL Webb and Sowell, he mentions their health.

      Then I keep going back to what JS said at the combine, ‘SRT.’

      Is Coleman reliable?

      • Darth12er says:

        Coleman is still my realistic favorite option in round 1. But the idea of having 2 players running around in the secondary that can light you up, Kam and Neal… I would love that!

    • Madmark says:

      I run to the podium and screen we draft Jake Conklin if he was there at 26. I have Joe Dahl as a center convert. Joe Haeg is an interesting prospect for future tackle spot could go early 100″s.

      • Volume12 says:

        I think we’ll take an O-lineman early, one in the mid rounds, and one in the later rounds.

        Try to get 2 starters. But if not, one starter, one backup/depth pick, and a developmental/PS pick.

  32. Volume12 says:

    Found our 2nd VMAC visitor.

    Clemson RB Zac Brooks was the 1st, and the 2nd…?

    Florida DL Jonathan Bullard.

  33. Robert says:

    I wonder what our FO will do. With Mebane gone, they could probably find a replacement in the mid rounds that can anchor vs double teams and keep our LBs clean. But teams pass a lot vs our base defense and it would be nice to get a DT run stuffer , who can also drive the G or C back into the pocket. Our ferocious pass rush from the DEs would be much more effective if the QB cannot step up in the pocket. In the past, they have been content to stuff the run to get to long yardage passing situations. Then they go NASCAR. The DTs are primarily penetrators. But I have often wondered this off season if they might add a DT run stuffer that can also disrupt the pocket. If so, he might be able to penetrate at times, but would be most effective at driving the G or C back into the pocket.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Do teams pass a lot vs. our base D? I honestly don’t know the numbers on this.

      • H M Abdou says:

        New England sure did in Super Bowl 49.

      • Robert says:

        They do. I always come back to that Bill Walsh expose on the DT prototype of being able to anchor vs double teams AND push the G or C back into the pocket. We have never really had that, but it seems like an area that would create improvement in our defense and synergise well with our exceptional pass rush from the edges.So many times last year, it seemed like we had great pressure from the edges nullified when the QB simpy stepped up in the pocket. To me, it seems like the one greatest area where we could significantly improve our mighty defense. I wonder about it often with the departure of Mebane and some intriguing DTs that could do both available at #26 this year. Rob very well might be right…he thinks they will be happy to have a solid block eating DT like Mebane who can be found after round 1. And they will try to replicate the passing down penetrator that Hill failed to become last season.

  34. Nate says:

    I have a bold feeling that the Hawks will draft either Bullard or Alex McCalister.
    I am back on board the draft Spriggs train, if Bullard isn’t available/trade up for. Let him duke it out at LT with GG or RT with Webb worst case.
    But watch them go and do something crazy like draft Keanu (Reeves) Neal or LB?!

  35. Nate says:

    Imagine Hawks draft Spriggs and McGovern, and then later get DL McCalister, RB Marshall and QB Reynolds.
    That would be sick!

  36. AlaskaHawk says:

    March madness is upon us. I hope everyone had a chance to watch some college basketball. Some awesome games last night including a miraculous win by Notre Dame with three steals in the last 20 seconds. And a hard fought win by Syracuse over Gonzaga.