Leighton Vander Esch declares for the draft

December 21st, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

Anyone who watched the Las Vegas Bowl would’ve noticed #38 for Boise State. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch forced a fumble sprinting to the left sideline to demolish a WR screen, had a sack blitzing up the middle and recorded three TFL’s and 12 total tackles.

Now he’s turning pro.

It had been believed he would return to Boise State but today he declared for the 2018 draft:

“It has been the honor of my life to play for the team I always grew up following. I would have given anything to have had this opportunity. Because my love for Boise State runs so deep, this was the most difficult decision of my life. I feel now is the best time for me to pursue another childhood dream – playing in the National Football League.”

He was named MWC defensive player of the year for 2017, recording 141 tackles. He’s 6-4 and 240lbs and according to Tony Pauline, is set to be an early round pick:

Scouts believe Vander Esch is the player people are sleeping on at the linebacker position, as many have compared him to former NFL star Brian Urlacher — another Mountain West product. There is a belief Vander Esch could end up sliding into the bottom half of Round 1. As we reported back in November, the Week 11 riser was described by many in the scouting community as a special player at the next level.

Brian Urlacher is quite a complimetary comparison. He was the ninth overall pick in 2000, running a 4.57 at 258lbs and a 10-2 broad jump. Pauline thinks Vander Esch could post similar numbers:

I’m told Vander Esch could run as fast as 4.6s in the 40 at the combine and post a vertical jump near 37 inches. On film Vander Esch is everything an NFL team wants in a starting linebacker. He’s tough, instinctive and versatile and can stay on the field for any situation.

Considering how important this draft could be for the Seahawks, the more quality prospects that declare the better. They only have one pick currently in the first three rounds and need one of two things:

1. To draft an impact player in round one
2. Attractive trade down options to make up for the lost picks

In our mock draft published this week we suggested an impact defensive player or a quality running back was attainable from this draft class. Players declaring that fit either bill can only be good news.

Whether Vander Esch is an option for the Seahawks is debatable. He looks like a classic middle linebacker. He appears to have the range to play outside too — but this is one of the positions where the Seahawks have a legit MVP candidate. Tremaine Edmunds is a little different because he can roll down to the EDGE and play some LEO. Vander Esch is more of a Bobby Wagner type linebacker.

Still, he’s a fun player to watch and a nice addition to the 2018 draft class.

This is looking like an increasingly strong class for linebackers. It’ll be interesting to see how the Seahawks view the group. Pete Carroll talked a year ago about adding to the position. They didn’t draft a linebacker and instead brought in veterans on one-year contracts.

Aside from Vander Esch, we’ve talked about Edmunds at Virginia Tech and Roquan Smith at Georgia. Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards might not tear up the combine but he’s a really active, tough, physical player. Eventually I’ll get around to watching Uchenna Nwosu at USC (word on the street is his stock will depend on his forty) and Texas’ Malik Jefferson.

Today I’ve been watching a bit of Rashaan Evans. He is very intriguing. Take a look:

I’m going to spend the rest of today watching more of Evans.

Here’s an article from earlier this year detailing what the Seahawks have looked for in a linebacker previously.

There’s also a group of defensive lineman and EDGE types I want to delve into (Sam Hubbard, Marcus Davenport, Lorenzo Carter). This is on top of the continued focus on the running back class.

Whoever the Seahawks bring in during the off-season, the modus operandi has to be to regain the physical edge Seattle had from 2011 onwards. They were big, strong and beat opponents up. They haven’t been that team since 2014. That’s the type of player I think we’ll end up focusing on for the defense. A younger defense and improved running game could easily be the off-season plan.

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204 Responses to “Leighton Vander Esch declares for the draft”

  1. Trevor says:

    The more talent coming out at LB the better as I think it is a position that has to be addressed this off season with some young depth at a minimum.

  2. Trevor says:

    Brady Henderson tweet

    Of the 28 players the Seahawks drafted from 2013-2015, only five are still with the team. By comparison, six Pro Bowlers remain from their 2010-12 drafts.

    Maybe Mccloughin was pretty important. He is on the market. I wonder if they consider bringing him back?

    • Sea Mode says:

      Or just pay him $20k per scouting report from his consulting business.

    • TatupuTime says:

      Think two things are different in those two periods (aside from McCloughin who I think is a great college evaluator):

      1. Somewhere along the line they seems to have been a shift from drafting for starters with huge upside to taking backups and role players to fill in for current pro bowlers.

      2. There are a lot more teams that are now drafting similarly to the Seahawks and the attributes they are looking for. Sherman and Chancellor would be drafted a lot higher if they declared in 2018 draft for example.

    • Hawk Eye says:

      McClouglin keeps leaving places for a simple reason, he is an alcoholic. Anyone who has ever had to deal with one knows that is not sustainable. Can’t blame the Hawks or 49’rs for letting him go. The whole Washington thing is murky, Between his past and the history of Daniel Snyder, there is a small novel to be printed.

      • 12th chuck says:

        2010-12 drafts , Carroll had his own scouting reports on whom he recruited to go to usc. If we do get new coordinators, I hope they are from the colligent level it also doesn’t measure the # of starters drafted early on and trying to draft for depth.but to be clear, they had some whiffs as well

  3. Volume12 says:

    Just me, but I think Rashaan Evans is the best LB in this class and a phenomenal talent. Top 10 talent. Doesn’t mean he’ll go top 10 its just how I view him.

    It’s gonna sound weird, but he’s a better EDGE rusher than most of these DEs. Junkyard dog man. Pretty versatile. Violent hands, can play inside and then on passing downs he’ll make some money plays.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Per Bob McGinn’s scouting sources, they think he slips into late R1. So could be in range for SEA.

    • Sea Mode says:

      The speed with which he closes on the ball carrier is 2nd to none.

      You think Jerome Baker will declare? He could be another Deion Jones type speed.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        It looks like Earl closing in on the ball carrier with an extra 30 lbs. It will be interesting what hos 4o time is.

      • Volume12 says:

        Tough to say. I think LSU has the next Deion Jones again in Devin White, but he’s only a SO.

  4. Greg Haugsven says:

    Man Evans looks fast on tape.

  5. H says:

    If were talking lb I’ll bring it up again. Shaquem Griffin has everything you look for, except two hands. Great athelticism, strong tackler, good in coverage, can rush the passer, NFL bloodlines. And just so much grit. Honestly my favourite player in this draft.

    • Pickering says:

      I agree. Does anyone have a sense when he could be drafted? Or if he will be drafted?

      • East Side Stevie says:

        4th or 5th round would be his ceiling (I dont think GM’s want a LB that skinny with 1 hand missing). BUT, if he puts on some weight and a lot of muscle things could change, he has tremendous speed and a non stop motor. Very tough and gritty backstory. High character kid. He already has said he isnt going to play in the secondary.. and I dont see any GM wanting to put him on the Dline… he’s just undersized to play DE.

      • H says:

        Almost impossible to tell, there’s just no frame of reference for a guy like thay
        His is game makes me think of watching Hasaan Reddick last year and we know how that turned out.

    • peter says:

      Honestly, if you look at his pass breakups and overall efficiency I’d look for him on any team that wants to run a Deonne Buchannon/ Deione Jones style hybrid LB. One was a safety and one was an LB. All three are about the same size and Griffin has excellent, coverage skills for an LB plus some great outside pass rush.

      His knock is how well he can improve his tackling.

      I think Seattle not because it would be a great story but rather Seattle truly needs to stop the bleeding on third and long and it would be nice to have a player that can cover in short areas and/or rush the passer assuming Seattle ever want to try to do that again (snark off!)

  6. Peanut says:

    When you say that the LB class is good, do you mean the top 10 LBs are good, or that all through 7 rounds there are solid LBs?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I mean there’s a group of several linebackers with talent.

      It’s impossible to say what the depth will be like at this early stage. I generally refer to a position being good for a class if there are multiple R1-2 types.

      • JimQ says:

        Probably not a Round 1 pick, but maybe a consideration if he’s there in mid-Rd-2 to late Rd-3, if the Hawks should happen to find a pick or two in that range: This OLB should do pretty well at the combine & in the all star games. Speed at LB is a big +.

        OLB-Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss, 6-021/230, 4.63/40 +/- Haynes led Ole Miss with 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He finished as Ole Miss’ career-leader in both sacks (32.0) and TFLs (47.5).

        • Rob Staton says:

          Liked Haynes a lot when he burst onto the scene. We didn’t have an Ole Miss game broadcast over here this year to watch him.

          • JimQ says:

            In the event that the Seahawks are unable or unwilling to get an edge rusher early in the draft, considering their modest draft capital, a guy I like a lot on day-3 is DE-Justin Lawler. Being from SMU, level of competition is a concern as well as his 40-time (looks like he plays faster than indicated, maybe he has short area burst?, The combine may show that). If nothing else, this kid seems to have a knack for blocking kicks & his other #’s aren’t too bad either.

            DE-Justin Lawler, SMU, 6-036/258, 4.84/40????
            Currently ranked #153-overall, proj. Rd 4/5. at draftscout.com
            2017: 13-games, 74-tkls, 42-solo, 15.5-TFL, 9.5-Sacks, 2-PBU, 10-QBH, 2-FF & 3-blocked kicks.
            2016: 12-games, 65-tkls, 45-solo, 15.0-TFL, 6.0-Sacks, 7-QBH & 2-blocked kicks.
            2015: 12-games, 64-tkls, 43-solo, 9.0-TFL, 5.0-Sacks, 1-PBU, 2-QBH, 1-FF & 1-blocked kick
            per: cfbstats.com

  7. Volume12 says:

    Just watched him for the 1st time and good lord is UTSA DE Marcus Davenport is about as unique as they come. 6’7, 255 lbs., plays fast and loose, can buzz the flats, drop into coverage, excellent pass rusher. Can play OLB, MLB (3-4), and DE. So much length and

    2nd round talent for me. All the tools in the world. Think he’ll blow up the combine.

    Look at the power he plays with.

    Marcus Davenport vs N. Texas (2017):
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZK0zebWzz0

  8. Sea Mode says:

    Wow, missed this guy as I went through the RBs. Nice vision and, above all, incredible burst. Might just be that level of competition is making him look better than he is? Still, for now, I’m impressed on first look and compelled to watch a bit more.

    6-0, 205
    2017: 211/1091/12, 5.2 YPC

    Dontrell Hilliard || “Untouchable” ᴴᴰ || Official Tulane Highlights
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM_KxCeC05c

    We know who we like early, but if the Hawks decide to go with defense early, are there good fallback options later on at RB (R4 and beyond)? Maybe Lavon Coleman for Damien Harris. This guy could be a fallback for Ronald Jones II. Though in a sense, I guess we could say that McKissic is already our fallback option for that size RB.

  9. Ground_Hawk says:

    What’s everyone going to be watching out for during these last 2 games? I’m hoping to see some life out of the offense, to start, and some effective pass-rushing secondly. As of now, those two dimensions of the Seahawks game are lacking, and it’s killing them.

    Also, I’m interested in Oklahoma’s DE/OLB Okoronkwo as a possible 2nd rounder, but he is listed at 6’1″ 240, so his arm length will be crucial. Any thoughts?

    • FuzzyLOgic says:

      Big fan of Okoronkwo because of his pass rush moves. But his size isn’t ideal and I would be surprised if he had any arm length of note.

      • Ground_Hawk says:

        With the array of pass rush moves, how quick off the snap he can be, and his relentless pursuit, he reminds me a bit of Hasson Reddick. Maybe a tier below Reddick, but still an interesting prospect.

    • Volume12 says:

      James Harrison type.

  10. C-Dog says:

    The Vegas Bowl was my first time taking a close look at the Boise St this year. Although I had to pretend hating watching my wife’s Ducks get systematically handled (which kinda made me fall off the Royce Freeman bandwagon a bit, frankly), I really enjoyed watching Vander Esch doing almost everything for that defense.

    I also really enjoyed watching Cedrick Wilson. If we get on the top of WRs, love to get your take on that guy, Rob.

    A few other backer’s that kinda grabbed my eyes a bit, outside of Evans, have been the speedy Jerome Baker, TJ Edwards (like his savvy in coverage), UCLA’s Kenny Young I thought looked solid, USC’s Cameron Smith has a nice thumber quality, and I’ve really like watching Keishawn Bierria’s motor.

    Love to get folk’s thoughts on some of those guys, Rob, V12, etc?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Baker definitely has some athletic potential but I thought he had a mostly underwhelming season. Someone to keep an eye on at the combine.

      • C-Dog says:

        Kind of a wild take.

        I remember right after the 2017 draft, some draft guru went on the local radio 950 and raved about how much he loved the Delano Hill selection, and comped him to Thomas Davis. Thought he had a lot of instincts, range, and kind of an alpha personality that made him a natural leader. He actually thought that Seattle’s plan might be to have him fill out a bit and convert him to LB.

        Seattle never showed that in the pre season, but is it crazy to think that if they extend McDougald, Hill might be tried at LB as a way to get his talent on the field?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Possibly. He was only 216lbs at the combine though and looked relatively maxed out. Davis is about 20lbs heavier.

          The thing with Hill, for me, is he hasn’t been involved but neither was Kam in 2010. Yet Pete talked a lot about Kam — they knew he was developing into a stud even during his redshirt year. We’ve heard precious little about Delano Hill. Might mean nothing but I was hoping he would be being talked up by now, likewise Amara Darboh.

          • C-Dog says:

            Good points. Both have been quiet, but activated. It will be interesting to hear what Carroll thinks of each player when the season wraps up.

            Darboh at least has seen play time but RW hasn’t really been going his way much. Whenever I see him out there, I think “ cool, there’s 84” and then the play goes somewhere else.

            • Greg Haugsven says:

              Your right, you don’t hear much chatter about either of the two Michigan guys. Hopefully next year you hear how much they jumped from year 1 to 2.

    • Volume12 says:

      Feel the same about Baker as Rob. Like Kenny Young and Bierria quite a bit. Wisconsin has a couple LBs that are intriguing. Edwards looks like more of a thumper at MIKE. Same with Can Smith.

      There’s a guy from Arkansas St names Jovan Rolland-Jones (6’2, 244 lbs.) Haven’t checked him out, but he’s got some buzz going for himself. More of a pass rusher.

      • C-Dog says:

        I think JimQ brought up this guy las week. I intended to watch that bowl game he was in last week, but got sidetracked. The more we start discussing these players, the more LB seems like a likely position that the team targets.

        I keep going back to the debacle last week and think of just how fast and athletic the Rams were on defense. That used to be Seattle. LB doesn’t have to be with the first pick, but it’s going to be a interesting process seeing how they finagle the draft this year. Seems like there has been a concentrated effort to get younger on the DL and with the DBs, not so much at LB.

    • peter says:

      It’s okay to fall off the Royce Freeman train. If Seattle ran a different OLine he would be someone I’d consider. I saw a poster here compare him to Shaun Alexander. Which I think is fair. If Seattle utilized a more pure spread or alternately a real pro style rushing attack I think he’d be great. At his size I’d like to see him lay the wood to finish runs a bit more.

  11. Totem_Hawk says:

    That kid from Boise St jumped off the screen in The Las Vegas Bowl…he is a hitter and a good player

    • TJ says:

      As a Boise State alum, I watch every game. Vander Esch has jumped off the screen all season. He is a fantastic football player who makes a ton of plays.

  12. Hawk Eye says:

    well, the painful part of this draft is only 1 pick in the first 3 rounds and some holes to be filled.
    They need some impact players on defense, an impact RB and some offensive depth to replace guys who are leaving. If they trade players for picks, then those guys also have to be replaced.
    A lot of what they will do will be determined by the players they picked in the first 3 rounds of the last 2 drafts. Those guys have to be able to play and make a positive contribution. Few players make great impacts as rookies on good teams, it is usually the 2nd and 3rd year when you feel the impact (or lack thereof). I am willing to bet that in 2019 we will have a draft class that makes an immediate impact, but that will probably be more because of opportunity and because there is a good chance the Hawks are not serious contenders next year, unless they get lucky with some pics and with health.

    • C-Dog says:

      I’m thinking that they could be eyeing a bulk of players from the last could drafts to step forward next year. There could be a player or two that are kinda after thoughts right now that could take a big step forward next year on top of young players that have flashed this year. When Carroll took over Red Bryant was an afterthought, and they found a niche for him because the opportunity was there. If they clear House a bit on some older players, that’s going to open up opportunity.

      Maybe Vannett takes a big step forward. Maybe Odhiambo makes a quality LG. Maybe we finally get a healthy season out of CJ Prosise. Maybe, with a few older players gone, Delano Hill steps up as a new leader, or Naz Jones.

      Also, unless there is an absolute blue chip stud sitting where they are picking, I would expect them to trade back to get a day two pick.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        They had seven 3rd rounders the last two years. I agree that a few of those guys have to step up.

        Prosise…has all the talent in the world (main reason we beat New England last year) but is glass
        Odhiambo…has had a rough start but maybe 3rd year is a good one for him
        Vannett…if Graham and Willson both walk he will see some serious snaps
        Darboh…probably will take over for PRICH
        Hill…could see snaps next year if Kam comes back but maybe big contribution in 2019
        Jones…has shined when given snaps, might be a reason Sheldon wouldn’t come back
        Griffin…Is already a starter

        • GoHawks5151 says:

          Feel like Moore is the diamond in the rough of class outside of Carson

        • Volume12 says:

          Jones has been more impressive than Richardson. At least for me has. Odhiambo should be the LG.

          • Hawk Eye says:

            Richardson is the better player and better athlete, makes more run stops.
            But if you want to talk VALUE? It is Jones, hands down.
            Would love to see Rees step up and become a competent LG. He seems to have the basic body type and potential power to do it.

            • C-Dog says:

              Not going to disagree, but with the scouting reports on Jones kinda suggesting that he would probably be an early down run stuffer, I will say that the biggest and perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the training camp visit I had at the VMAC was seeing just how active he was in the pass rush drills. He showed an athleticism I was not expecting. I am really high on Naz Jones. I think his ceiling might be higher than some folks expect.

              One of the main reasons why I want Mike B to be around next year is to continue imparting his wisdom on guys like this, while also being active in the rotation. Even if Malik McDowell’s cleats never touch the training camp turf, Jones, QJeff can really take advantage of further playing along side Bennett.

              • Ground_Hawk says:

                +1

                The younger players need that veteran presence to help get their craft down.

                • Hawk Eye says:

                  no big upside to letting Bennett go
                  His lack of production lately is because of injuries that he plays through and partly because he worked so well with Avril. He is not old and can still produce for a few more years. He does not show up at voluntary workouts, but works out with a lot of pother players in the off season. He does not lack effort.
                  I don’t buy into the “he is a problem because he is an activist”. Holy crap, people should be proud he stands up for others, he is a leader and not afraid. Should be afraid of the people who don’t like him for what he does, that is the real problem.
                  I know he is a bad loser. Wish he handled that part better. But Jordan, Brady, and most great players are bad losers. That is what makes them winners on the field. Better to have a team of players that hate to lose than one who loves to win.

          • peter says:

            I’m not doing a whole seinfield style “what is the deal with tom cable,” bit here……but he or someone is drafting these guys. Why do you suppose they are fooling around with Rees’ development so much?

            That interior is past it’s “sell by date.” and pocic/joekel lack power to handle interior pressure. Seems to me as Seattle’s season drifts away it may be time to put Rees’ in to really evaluate what you have or don’t have.

            I hope Pocic gets stronger next year so I’m not going to pass an opinion on him yet but Joekel just isn’t that strong.

            • C-Dog says:

              I think there is some word out there that Pocic was not a Cable Guy, and they took him without his consent. I think Pocic can and probably will get stronger.

              • Hawk Eye says:

                I agree. He will get better and stronger. I doubt Joeckel will though. He is not a kid, pretty much maxed out on his strength and it is not enough to be a real good guard.

        • peter says:

          I kind of feel like Darboh is more suited for the previous Kears role. Difficult catches uses strength as a variable. Prich at one point in his life was supposed to be a burner, field stretcher type. You see that from time to time and of course he makes the difficult grabs as well.

          I hope come draft time Seattle with limited stock tries to find someone with a bit more YAC open field creativity in the style of Tate.

  13. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rewatching 2013 nfc championship game because i need the hope.

    Also the availability….

  14. Greg Haugsven says:

    We talk about wanting to spend that first pick on an impact defensive player or an RB. If it’s a defensive player what position? I say LB. We have some youth on the DL with Clark, Reed, Jones, and McDowel. CB has Coleman and Griffin. Safety, Earl looks like a possible extension candidate and Kam could be back with Hill behind him. When it comes to LB we have no one beside Bobby and KJ. If we draft a young fast LB he could play SAM year 1 then take over for KJ year 2 if they don’t resign him. Seems like you could get more value going LB then RB versus the other way.

    • C-Dog says:

      LB or DL for me. I would say edge talent, but if Vita Vea somehow slid to Seattle’s pick, could you imagine the excitement? That would be a massive shot in the arm on a local level, and for the team.

      • Trevor says:

        I say Vita, Settle, Wilkins if one of them falls. If not LB/Edge (Edmunds, Key, Davenport)

      • peter says:

        I’m all for Seattle building the Defense up in whatever way they need to. If Vea dropped and Seattle stays at it’s current or possible pick I’d love to see him in Seattle. Defense to me is pretty fascinating how there are many ways to go about it but as the LOB starts to wane maybe Seattle becomes a nasty front.

        I’d like to see some emphasis on a LB as the dropoff from Wagner and Wright is pretty severe.

  15. Greg Haugsven says:

    We have talked about Vander Esch, Edmunds, Roquan dmith, Evans. What do we know about Dorance Armstrong?

    • LeoSharp says:

      He’s light at 246lbs hard to project him as a long term DE in a 4-3 more likely a SAM/Situational pass rusher or a 3-4 OLB. He was very productive his sophomore year and is projected to have first round athleticism but I can’t see how he’d be a piece to build around in a 4-3 unless he put on about 10-15 pounds.

  16. Volume12 says:

    Outside of Antonio Brown, the rule really does seem to apply to WRs. If you can’t get one before the 5th round, wait until UDFA.

  17. LeoSharp says:

    I think this team has a realistic shot of being serious Superbowl contenders with a a great off-season and a bit of luck.

    First, I’d start by adding young coaching talent for all phases of the game and have them legitimately compete for their positions

    Move on from:
    Jimmy Graham, Sheldon Richardson, Paul Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, Terence Garvin, Oday Aboushi, Michael Wilhoite, Byron Maxwell Blair Walsh and trade/cut Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Cliff Avril, Jon Ryan if possible then Kam Chancellor as well

    Sign: Which shouldn’t need to be more than 25mil
    Bradley McDougald, Luke Wilson, D.J. Alexander, Matt Tobin, Austin Davis, Dion Jordan everyone else will likely cost pennies
    Free agent tight end, guard and defensive tackle

    Trade out of the 1st round into the 35- 50 range. the 1st along with this years 4th should be enough capital to convert into an early 3rd and an early 4th
    Draft
    2nd Marcus Davenport DE
    3rd Rashaad Penny RB
    4th Leighton Vander Esch LB
    5th Kameron Kelly CB
    5th Jarvion Franklin
    6th Kicker
    7th Punter
    7th LB

    Doesn’t have to be exactly these guys. They’re just the ones I’ve seen the most of. However I honestly think Rashaad Penny will be the best value RB in the draft by quite a wide margin. Similar to Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, C.J. Procise (If he stayed healthy)

    Next year should return
    Deandre Elliot, George Fant, Deshawn Shead, Chris Carson, C.J. Procise and Maybe Malik Mcdowell

    Going into training camp with a group of 53 that looks very familiar. Quite a bit of depth at every spot except CB and DT. A lot of youth and opportunity and a group of returning starters who don’t have an extensive injury history

    QB: Wilson, Davis
    RB: Penny, Carson, Davis, Franklin, Procise, FB
    WR: Baldwin, Lockett, Darboh, Moore, McKissic
    OT: Brown, Ifedi, Fant
    OG, Free agent, Pocic, Tobin, Roos
    C: Britt, Hunt
    TE: Free agent, Willson, Vannett, Swoopes

    DE: Clark, Bennett, Davenport, Jordan, Jackson, ?Mcdowell
    DT: Free agent, Reed, Jones, Smith
    LB: Wagner, Wright, Vander Esch, Mcdonald, Alexander
    CB: Griffin, Shead, Kelly, Elliot, Thorpe, Coleman
    S: Thomas, Hill, McDougald, Thompson, Undrafted

    K: Draft/undrafted
    P: Draft /Undrafted

    • Dylanlep says:

      i wish vander esch would be available in the 4th but wont happen

    • peter says:

      though I like a lot of those players none of which are from power 5 schools. seattle typically drafts no more than 2 players from non power 5 schools.

      btw, when I bring this up I’m not trying to dissuade anyone because every year I like those kind of players. I’m just working with what we know about Seattle’s tendencies.

    • Sea Mode says:

      The problem I’m seeing is that there seems to me to be a gap in the RB class that fits poorly with our draft positioning as of now.

      There are about 8 real difference makers at the top that I think will go in R1-R2. (Barkley, Harris*, Jones II, Guice, Chubb, Love, Johnson, Michel). Then there is a huge gap before the perceived role players come in R5-R7. In early R3 you might find Penny, but is he that much of an upgrade over Carson and Davis?

      This leaves Seattle in a tough spot because if they really want to fix their run game, they need that difference maker, which means that they have little other choice than to use their top pick. But if they want to add a defensive stud first and wait for the RB, even trading down in R1 and recouping a R3 is not likely to solve that, because I don’t think there will be any RB left who is good enough to take at that spot.

      So if they are in a spot to grab a defensive stud in R1, I say forget the trade down and get the stud, and deal with the RB position in FA and a couple late flier picks/UDFA guys. Just dumping Lacy and getting that room healthy might be enough for next year.

      One positive thing is that Carson has already recovered, so they should be able to get him back to full speed and judge where he is before the draft. If they think he’s fully back, then Carson/Davis + McKissic/Prosise might be enough, along with some UDFA competition. And they know next year’s class looks to be loaded with RB’s at the top as well and they can wait until next year for that. Or, of course, they could try and sign Hyde in FA, which would allow them to go defense early.

      • peter says:

        the way you lay it out for a defensive stud first makes a ton of sense . and I think that’s in the realm of possibility. personally id like to see as in sort of a 1a vs. 1b thing a difference maker at RB just slightly over a defensive player. my case for this comes simply to watching the defense gassed and witnessing Wilson forcing throws just a bit more than he might have to if seattle could control the clock and set themselves up with better down and distance.

        I will say if there’s a year to jettison anyone or trade back even a little for some draft stock this might be it. if seattle can get a high second/low first and a third they may still be able to get a unique defensive player and a great running back.

        this year it feels like there are about 8 intriguing rb’s (more to come post senior bowl, things change post combine) but as it is on average over the last 6 years only 4 rbs are taken in the first two rounds.

        what I think seattle will do will come down greatly to these last two games and how high their draft position is.

        • Volume12 says:

          Just because they haven’t taken a player from outside the P5 doesn’t mean they won’t. I bet they would’ve taken Ali Marpet had he been there in ’15.

          • peter says:

            yeah but you and both know they have a type. plus this rough mock draft has only players from non power five schools.

            they should have gone up and got marpet or Teron Armsted. the power five thing I think limits them almost as badly as it did for Tim Ruskell.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Not having the R2 is a killer. I suspect they will look to get it back, one way or another. Or another first.

  18. Millhouse-serbia says:

    JS will deal some older stars for draft picks and ET is among them by Silver..

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      Who? Not a lot of trade value. Getting 4th-7th round picks doesnt really help you. We would need 2nd and 3rd rounders

      • Dylanlep says:

        I think you could get a second for Earl at least. Shoot, the jets got a second from us for sheldon.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Maybe Earl, just not sure we want to trade him. Maybe trade him and sign McDougal?

        • DC says:

          Watch New England grab Earl for their 49ers’ 2nd round pick.

          It would be nice to get another 1st round pick obviously. Then we could use one to pick early and the other to do the standard trade back and accumulate more picks. I don’t see any of our “aging” players that could get a 1st rounder or near it other than Thomas. Sherman could be a possible trade deadline guy if he recovers in time and still balls out like he always has.

      • Volume12 says:

        So you can package those picks and move up.

        They got 1 pick from the first 3 days and need at least 3.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      Do you have a link for that?

    • C-Dog says:

      I think Seattle could land a 1st for Earl if it’s a contender looking for the player to out them over the top. He’s a generational talent, and I don’t think he’s slowing down.

      I’ve been pretty resistant to this idea. Still am, but apparently Silver spent a bunch of time over the weekend with Schneider, so I’m willing to accept a Where there is Smoke, There is Fire scenario.

  19. Sea Mode says:

    Aaand the LB class gets even deeper!

    San Jose St. University junior linebacker Frank Ginda has officially decided to forego his final season and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. The 1st team All-Mountain West Conference linebacker led all FBS players in total tackles with 173 this season. The 6’1” 242 pounder recorded the second most tackles in a single season since 2006, only behind former Boston College standout and Carolina Panther Pro-Bowler Luke Kuechly in 2011 (191 tackles). Ginda, a true junior, finished up his college career with 351 total tackles, 29 TFL’s, 9.5 sacks, 7 PBU’s and 6 forced fumbles in three seasons.

    Scouts comend Ginda for his instictual play and his ability to show up every Saturday.

    Ginda is consistently around the ball making positive plays for the defense. Sources close to Ginda tell me the linebacker is a workout warrior and they expct him to be one of the top performers and testers at his position during NFL Scouting Combine held in Indianapolis in late February.

    http://draftanalyst.com/second-mountain-west-lb-entering-draft

  20. Kenny Sloth says:

    Lock your doors.

    Georgia’s freshman are coming for your college team

  21. Jacob M says:

    I’m really intrigued by rashad Evans. Very good pass rusher as well as someone who from all the games I have watched from him has natural instincts. I feel like this blog is going to fall in love with him. Has great closing speed. The only thing I’m not sure about is about his positioning, could he play the WIll lB for the Seahawks. Also not sure about his size, we’ll have to wait to see how he measures out. From the the film I’ve watched on him he looks capable of being a star in this league. He could really help us if we where to lose KJ. He is a great run stopper as will as good in coverage. The Seahawks really need to focus on the front 7 because if any team is going to beat us it’s going to be run first and formost.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      He runs like Earl in a LB body. I’ll be I retested in what his 40 time is. If he is a 4.5 guy watch out .

    • C-Dog says:

      I would imagine that he can play all three spots, no problem.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Plays like his hair’s on fire. Hope he tests well. Gritty.

      Fun to watch.

      • peter says:

        Evans or Edmunds? Or is it too early to get a feel prior to testing for either? Or should I say testing will help separate the two.

        • Jacob M says:

          For me either one would be perfect in our system, but I’m not sure if our current draft pick would warrant that selection if we where going to pick one of them it would be best to trade back for a early second IMO.

  22. swisshawk says:

    The Browns give the #1 pick to us as a gift, what do you do? Draft Barkley? Bradley Chubb? Trade back?

    • C-Dog says:

      Trade back hoping to land either Chubb, Barkley, Vea, or maybe Nelson.

    • cha says:

      Contact the top 7 teams, tell them Baltimore, Washington, Buffalo, and Denver are offering the moon for a shot at the top QB. Tell them to send their best offer by noon of draft day. See if you can reel in a sucker with an RG3 to Washington level package.

      With your top 7 pick draft Barkley.

      Use some of that massive haul to trade up for Vea.

      Rest of draft OL, DE, CB, blocking TE.

  23. Hawk Eye says:

    Deal with reality before reality deals with you.
    I think that applies to this years Hawks. The assumption was they would play great in December because they always do. But they played better in December before because they had more talent and were healthier. We can’t live by the myth that the D has 8 pro bowlers so it will be great, or that they might start slow, but will finish strong. Slow starts create situations where you have less room for error and you also give your competition confidence they can beat you. And just because you drafted pro bowlers in the 5th round before does not mean you will again.
    The Hawks used to win and were dominant. That is not true anymore, but too many on the team, on and off the field, thought they could, and still think they still can, even though they are not.
    Maybe 1 or 2 more loses hits them in the face and forces a turn around starting next year.
    Athletes need to be confident, but confidence that defies the reality of the situation will not fix things. I hope that JS and PC take a good look at what happened this year and come up with the right answers and solutions, or next year will be worse. I don’t mind if they have a worse record next year but put the pieces in place for another 4 or 5 year run that includes a couple SB appearances. But a another year of bandaids on the same problems will not end well.

  24. peter says:

    Recent players that have caught my eye and I’ll be watching for at the East west Shrine game:

    1. Davontae Harris CB, Illinois State. 6-0 195lb. Long, rangy corner. Not a many Int’s as I would like but excellent pass breakups. Good in run support. Pretty good with TFL’s. Former Track stand out in 100 meter and 200 meter dash.

    Here’s a player when I watch him on tape against FCS titans (joke, sort of ) of NDSU bison, and Eastern WU I wonder what would have happened to this guy had he not had to get his intestines surgically repaired before his senior season in High School? Would he have played for a big program? I don’t know but I really like this dude’s game and Seattle needs CB’s. Even if Sherman comes back.

    2. Tre flowers SS, Ok. State U listed: 6-3 200lb. All big 12 first team. All big 12 second team (2016) Tackling machine for OSU. 10 PBU, two int’s, excellent in run support. I will say this I have scoured the internet for clips of this player and at least on youtube I have only found corny highlight reels so he’s more of an intriguing prospect now than anything else.

    I think there are way better Safeties and CB’s I am listing out there. But Seattle has shown that the late rounds for better or worse are the rounds they make their hay with their backfield. Minus Earl Thomas of course.

    Also, I’m sort of looking at what kind of players Seattle could get without trading back a bunch and or trading premier talent.

  25. Hawk Eye says:

    interesting take on what to do with Sheldon, and a bit about Earl
    https://chawktalk.com/2017/12/22/schneider-should-tag-and-trade-sheldon/#more-10749

    not sure anyone will give them what he thinks for Sheldon in a “sign and trade”, or more accurately, a “trade and sign”.
    He notes that Thomas says “no matter where he will be playing, he will be balling”. He seems to think Schneider resigns him to a new contract, and he is a big key to the way the Hawks play their D. But He has had some off days this year, has always missed a lot of tackles and I wonder if they might not trade him. And to who? What other GM has given up high picks as much for Schneider for non QB’s? I cannot think of another team that has traded some many high picks in the last 5 years. It seems most other teams trade guys like Darius for next to nothing to get rid of their contracts, but the Hawks have paid in draft picks and salaries. Harvin, JG, Brown and Sheldon came at a very high draft capital cost. Questionable results to date, worse when you compare their salary to the lost draft picks and the domino effect that has as well. Especially combined with a bunch of draft whiffs like Michael since 2013 and limited impact players added through the draft. This overall strategy to add the missing piece has lead to more holes in the roster. While they can all be justified individually, I think it is harder to justify them when you combine them all. I think Brown and Sheldon are justified, even though the team results are not there this year. But the loss of picks and cap space from Percy and Jimmy are being felt on the field today.

    • C-Dog says:

      It’s an interesting idea on Sheldon. I’ve thought about that, myself. The thing is, when you look at his production this year, and then the group of talented DTs coming up through this draft, I have a really hard time projecting what Sheldon’s market will be.

      Rob mentioned this the other day regarding the article that came out stating that the Jets and Sheldon has mutual interest in a reunion; he brought up the idea that the source of the writing could have been Sheldon’s agent trying to drive up his price in FA due to a down statistical year and character concerns.

      If Seattle did this, I’m not sure they get a 2nd and 3rd, either. Maybe they get a 3rd and a 4th, or something.

      As for Earl, man I’d really hate to see him go. I named my cat Earl. However, outside of RW and Bobby, I think he’s the one who nets the most in return. If hypothetically Seattle dealt him to a contender for a first and a 3rd, they would have a lot more flexibility in this draft to move around, especially if they find a trading partner in a QB hungry team. You could be looking at a scenario where suddenly Seattle nets multiple Day 1 and Day 2 picks to find a solution at RB and also infuse talented youth on the defense

      If the one FA they retain is McDougald, and he moves back to FS, but they mitigate the loss of Earl by adding more speed and athleticism up in the front seven, I could see that as a way to go moving forward.

      Still, though, if they don’t trade Earl, and work out an extension, have him and Bobby hug it out, I would be totally fine with that 100%. You keep a premier FS around for a while, maybe drop back in R1 to add a day two pick, add one impact player on the defense, and a RB who can reliably handle the load,.. yeah, I’d be totally fine with that.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Who in their right mind would trade for a franchised player?

      1 year at an absolute premium price?

      They really need to step back an reexamine their Madden 08 GM style

      • peter says:

        maybe seattle? 😁

      • Hawk Eye says:

        actually, they trade for his rights and sign him to a contract. Hawks did it for players before, rarely happens, NFL GMs are dinosaurs.
        Pretty sure they would have an agreement on contract first.

  26. swisshawk says:

    Who would you take if all of the following players are still alive at our 1 pick (~#18)?

    LG Price
    DT Vea
    DT Settle (if he declares)
    LB Edmunds
    LB Evans
    CB Jackson (if he declares)

    • C-Dog says:

      Vita Vea, 100%. It would take me two seconds to fill out that draft card. Not very many human beings on this planet are 6-5 340lbs, and can move like that. Bobby Wagner would probably be the happiest Hawk on that defense.

    • LeoSharp says:

      Jackson looks to be an elite CB so he could replace Sherm next year or a few down the line
      Vea and Settle are both very overrated imo don’t think either are worthy of top 20 picks
      Price isn’t a great fit due to his skill set
      The team only needs a starter at SAM unless that move on from KJ Wright so would be a best player available type move. I can’t really see Evans as a first rounder either

      • LeoSharp says:

        Vita Vea simply hasn’t ever produced at a level close to what Haloti Ngata did in college. He’s big, athletic and Polynesia and I think that’s as far as that comp goes. He’ll disappoint based on expectations

        • peter says:

          ngata has more tackles that’s it. his best year he had 9 tfl’s to 5.5 for vea. however vea had 5 sacks to there’s 3.

          it’s actually a lot closer of split for tfl’s and sacks then you might imagine. I remember ngata crushing the bench press but I wonder if vea is going to be faster in the ten yard splits, etc.

          my comp to ngata has nothing to do with their background and everything to do with being huge dudes that can move and wreak serious havoc plus they both play(ed) in the pac 10-12.

    • Trevor says:

      Vea or Settle for sure. Rare athletes at that size.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Evans or Edmunds. We need youth at LB. We have some nice DT’s already.

        • peter says:

          I’d almost rather see a great lb. I’m not quite secure about the dline especially if Richardson goes but I went back and watched some Derrick nnadi FSU and is be into him later assuming some sort of trade back.

  27. peter says:

    1. vea

    2. Edmunds or Evans

    3. price

    vea is a freak like ngata before him. the two lbs because seattle has ZERO meaningful depth behind wright/Wagner. and when seattle has had a great defense they seem to have had production from another outside lb…irvin,Smith to a degree.

    price…. I’m making my own train and hopping on it that says seattle isn’t going to get a good run game going until they find a serious back….or….they find multiple backs. injured procise, rawls in a doghouse, davis maybe, Carson a good but already severely injured player (see rawls) mckissick, lacy? if you want to lead in rushing and lead in production from your running back position the numbers don’t lie. players that lead in production for multiple seasons are 3 times more likely to have been picked in the first two rounds.

    not saying there aren’t players picked or signed later, but simply stating what the numbers bear out.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I go number 2. We need some youth at that position and there should be some good options for us.

    • C-Dog says:

      Vita Vea, and it’s not even close. Love me some Reed and Jones, maybe Jones moves into the Red Bryant role, but Vea on that defense line? That could legitimately wreck an offensive game plan.

      TV sets don’t do him justice, you need to see him live and in person to see just how impressive he is. I think he goes top 5.

      • peter says:

        I think the team that takes josh Allen over him is blowing it. agree about him top 5. I might like him better or at least the same as star lotulelei

        • C-Dog says:

          Much better athlete that Star Lotulelei. Some will put into question his motor, but I don’t see the issue, myself. I would love it if he fell to Seattle, but personally, I think the chances of that happening are about as likely as Barkley falling to him. You can not coach what Vea has.

    • Jacob M says:

      At 18 I would probably go for Price, having a good offense and good running game would do just as much for the defense as a good player would.

    • Volume12 says:

      In regards to the Ali Marpet situation me and you were talking about in another thread.

      How were they gonna move up and get him when they planned on moving up to get Lockett if he slid into the 3rd?

      • Volume12 says:

        * on another thread

      • peter says:

        I think it’s more about moving up and taking marpet over clark. I think seattle could have still got Lockett by enhancing whatever they do for less move up to get Lockett and used a bit of those resources to move up two spots to take marpet instead of Clark.

        first I don’t care about draft value. you go up and get whatever player you want in any round frankly and win then none of it matters.

        second in regards to that whole marpet, Clark, Lockett triangle that all comes on the heels of trading for Jimmy graham who three seasons later we’re talking about moving on from.

        and this year spending a,second on Richardson to all ready move on from. I think the real issue us thinking that “that draft value,” sucks, so let’s burn picks on stars and not bei ng honest with the state of the team. in hindsight which sucks, Jimmy graham…or marpet, clark, Lockett and an older Unger? yeah.

        a second round pick this year or a 14 million dollar run stuffer? the pick.

        • Volume12 says:

          But your still not answering the question. How do you move up in the 2nd and 3rd rounds? You don’t care about draft value but the teams pulling the triggers on these trades do.

          As for Jimmy they saw a clear need and didn’t feel like there was anyone in that draft who could bring to the table what he brought.

          • peter says:

            that’s why I mentioned hindsight. you don’t trade for Jimmy. you keep your natural first. you trade that to whomever and get marpet an additional third which you turn into Lockett and you draft clark in your natural second.

            as per clear needs. I wasn’t opposed to the trade for jimmy then or now. what I am opposed to is seattle acting like the roster is great or good enough and there is NO one between rounds “x and y” that could improve the team in deficient areas. and that’s what a few years of this m.o. seems to be. this year per example there is Davenport, guice, Harris, Edmunds, Evans, and perhaps as the draft goes maybe more intriguing first and second round talent that seattle won’t be able to access. this thinking is starting to come to head however with limited cap space, not great depth.

          • peter says:

            and I’m not arguing with you here but when they thought if Jimmy graham as a need, I wonder what that need was? they had won a super bowl with a great RB and average pass catchers.

            people talk about Pete going hormonal but I think he does that with players that he thinks are going to be “amazing.”

        • Rob Staton says:

          Clark >>>>> Marpet

  28. Millhouse-serbia says:

    Sheldon and ET to Browns for 33 this year and second round next year. 😀

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I’d die. Thats trash.

      I think Earl is the 1 player on defense this team cant function without.

      I need a first for each.

      Otherwise what? We get another Pocic and a McDowell the year after?

      Player for pick trades are really risky. So many unknowns for both sides.

      • Jacob M says:

        I would be not very careful about trading earl, we have a HOF safety and those don’t just grow on trees.

        • Jacob M says:

          Nvm that “not” don’t know where that came from.

        • Trevor says:

          Agree but his is turning 29 has a ton of mileage on a small frame and wants a huge $ extension. If I could get a 1st for him I would make that deal all day.

          If Earl was 24 I would not trade him for (2) 1st rounders

        • lil'stink says:

          Guys look me Earl definitely don’t grow on trees. But he’s getting older, and next year will be the last year on his contract. He will likely be lost keep no for a huge payday, and someone will likely give it to him. I wonder if the Seahawks will think twice about giving Earl, with all the miles he has, a 4 year deal that could land at $50 million or more.

          Next year could be somewhere between a retool and a rebuild. It pains me to say it, but if you could get a late first round pick (or equivalent) for Earl I think you have to consider it.

  29. Trevor says:

    How much fun would it to be the Browns GM this draft season

    #1 Barkley- Run game fixed behind a solid OL (Thomas, Zeitler, Bitonio)
    # 4 Mayfeild – Franchise QB with the right kind of attitude to turn that Browns culture around
    #33 Ronnie Harrison – Tone setting Safety they desperately need in secondary

    Adding Barkley and Mayfeild with WR Coleman and Gordon has the makings of the most dynamic young offense in the league.

  30. Ryan L says:

    Anyone watched Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech? My first time watching him today vs USF. He has a slim build and a similar game to Lockett/Prich. Screams like a guy Seattle would fall in love with. Per TT boards, he’s a junior slated to go in the middle rounds and may declare early to provide for his family.

  31. Volume12 says:

    USF QB Quinton Flowers would be a great backup for Seattle. Late day 3 type of guy.

  32. Icb12 says:

    What’s the status of Tedric Thompson, has he been mentioned by PC or JS this year?
    With all this talk of trading earl I’m just wondering if the replacement is ON the roster or would we immediately have to replace him? Is mcdougald the Earl replacement in these scenarios?

    • Volume12 says:

      That’s just it. If ET is traded than FS becomes one of if not the biggest need on the roster.

      I mentioned earlier in the year that Seattle should’ve taken Eddie Jackson instead of ‘2 fumble recoveries’ Tedric Thompson and the response was ‘where would you have played him?’

    • lil'stink says:

      Thompson looked pretty bad in preseason, and it wasn’t even against starting competition. Might just need more experience at playing the single high position. IIRC he also has a discouraging history of concussions.

  33. Volume12 says:

    Keep your 👀 on Jacksonville St’s DB Siran Neal (6’1, 205 lbs.) Junkyard dog. Plays every position in the secondary. Tone setter. SR bowl invite.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5QrFj8M2cHI

  34. Sea Mode says:

    So it seems almost certain Kam is going to stick around and collect his salary next year, regardless of how effective his play is. If it turns out to be the case that he becomes deadweight, any chance we can send a team one of our R5 picks to take on his salary, Osweiler style? Or is this a case where the Hawks are going to want to play it out and end on good terms so he can be an example of how Seattle “takes care of their own” and be brought in as a coach down the road?

    Do you think it is worth a R5 pick to gain $9.8m in 2018 cap space? (I do)

    I’m against trading Earl, unless he really firmly wants out. If that were the case, maybe we could ask for an early R2 from a bottom feeder (to be used for our RB pick) and package in Kam’s salary with it, supposing they are a team with a ton of cap space.

    I suppose this could just be to gain leverage in early negotiations, but the tone of these comments from Earl do have me a bit worried:

    Asked about his feelings about his future entering the final year of his contract with the only NFL team he’s know, Thomas, who turns 29 in May, said: “I know whoever gets me, I’m balling. That’s it. I know I’m hot.

    “It is what it is.”

    Chancellor, of course, is now facing his career being in jeopardy because of a season-ending neck injury.

    I asked Thomas if, almost five months later, he still feels the Seahawks’ deal to Chancellor makes him believe he (Thomas) has a place here with Seattle.

    “I don’t know. Actions speak louder than words,” Thomas said.

    “I don’t know.”

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/nfl/seattle-seahawks/seahawks-insider-blog/article190915279.html

    One thing is for sure. The faster they sign McDougald, the better. Without him locked down, they have little credibile leverage with Earl and no sure option to replace Kam either.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not convinced Kam will be inclined to stick around just to take a salary. Doesn’t seem like him to me. And Mike Silver reported if Kam does return, it likely won’t be with the Seahawks.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        If the Seahawks did trade him like you said we would still owe $7.5 million in dead money so the net would only be $2.3 million instead of $9.8

    • Andrew C Taylor says:

      Kenny Easley my favorite seahawk of all time. I remember Bobby’s articles on Fieldgull’s and it is certainly a great story and Bobby gets huge kudos for all his efforts in getting Kenny into the Hall where he belongs.

    • Rob Staton says:

      That is amazing, fantastic. Absolutely brilliant.

      BobbyK — you’re a credit to Seahawks fans. That was really emotional seeing Kenny Easley thanking you in his speech. Great job on the way you worked to make this happen. Way to go.

  35. Greg Haugsven says:

    If trading Earl was an option, what would you rather have?

    Option 1:

    Earl Thomas

    Option 2:

    Bradley McDougal
    1st round draft pick
    $4-$5 million more in cap space