Looking at Daniel Jeremiah’s first mock draft

January 19th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Another day and another mock draft by one of the higher profile pundits on ESPN or the NFL Network. This time it’s Daniel Jeremiah’s turn. He has the Seahawks taking a cornerback at #18:

Isaiah Oliver (CB, Colorado)

Oliver has excellent size and speed. He can locate and play the ball down the field. The Seahawks are likely headed toward a rebuild in the secondary.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. The Seahawks aren’t taking a cornerback in round one. They have consistently waited until later in the draft to take CB’s. If there’s one position in football Pete Carroll is clearly very comfortable drafting to develop, it’s cornerback.

Even when they had an opportunity to draft Kevin King with his unique size, length and athleticism — they passed in favour of waiting until round three to get Shaq Griffin. Indeed Griffin — a late third round pick — is by far the highest pick they’ve spent on a corner since 2010.

Instead they’ve started 5th round picks, 6th round picks, free agents from the CFL and UDFA’s. This has never been a position Carroll has looked at early.

Jeremiah’s point on change in the secondary is accurate. And it’s true the defense is going to look very different going forward. An early pick on a DB is unlikely though, as illustrated here by Kenneth Arthur at Field Gulls. In fact you could argue they’ll probably never take one in the first round unless they end up picking in the top-10 and a Jalen Ramsey or Patrick Peterson are sat waiting for them.

As for Oliver, he’s not a player I’ve spent much time on personally. Here’s what an anonymous scout told Bob McGinn about his pro-prospects:

“He’s a solid third-round talent who may go earlier if he impresses or fools personnel staffs with his elite athleticism at the combine and pro day,” said one scout. “He does have make-up speed … average instincts and inconsistent reaction to short and intermediate routes … just average physicality in run support and as a tackler.”

Elite athleticism is very appealing to the Seahawks. Average physicality and mediocre run support is not.

It’d be unfair to criticise Jeremiah or Mel Kiper for their picks at #18 (Kiper also had Seattle taking a defensive back). They’re not Seahawks fans, they’re unlikely to have intimate knowledge of team needs or the philosophy Carroll uses to draft certain positions.

If anything they’re following the narrative to a tee. The Legion of Boom era might be over. Completely. And given how important the secondary was to Seattle over the years, repairing and rebuilding it will be seen by many as a likely course of action.

However, that is unlikely to be Seattle’s priority this off-season.

For starters, it’s at least somewhat possible that both Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas will remain with the team. If they re-sign Bradley McDougald, Justin Coleman and Byron Maxwell and continue to develop Shaq Griffin — that’s a useful looking secondary. None of this is improbable.

Secondly, they drafted a number of defensive backs a year ago. As well as Griffin they brought in Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson and Mike Tyson. It’s possible they will get an opportunity to stake a claim before the Seahawks write off their chances.

Thirdly, we’ve already heard Carroll speak directly about the need to repair the running game. It was the outstanding theme of his end of season press conference. Carroll’s arguably the best developer of DB’s in the NFL. Being able to field a strong secondary is within his grasp even if there’s major change coming. Fielding a strong running game has been an overwhelming problem ever since Marshawn Lynch left.

They simply haven’t been able to manufacture even an average running attack.

The crisis that occurred this year can’t be underestimated. Russell Wilson was the leading rusher, only one running back scored a touchdown and that was gadget player J.D. McKissic and they pretty much played with one arm tied behind their backs all season.

Carroll and co. will get this defense going again. Probably not to 2013 levels, maybe not 75% of what they once had. He’ll put a defense on the field though to compete. It’ll be younger, cheaper and feature new faces. Carroll’s a proven builder and will likely go about this the way he did in 2010-2011. It’s also entirely possible he’ll retain three elite players in Thomas, Sherman and Bobby Wagner.

The running game on the other hand is on its knees. The offensive line needs an overhaul in terms of the way it functions, with personnel changes possible too. The running backs are ineffective bar one man — a 7th rounder who spent most of 2017 on injured reserve.

They clearly want to be tough, physical, productive and punishing in the running game. And they’re so far away from that — this is the unit most likely to get attention.

Interestingly in Jeremiah’s mock, Billy Price (C/G, Ohio State) was still on the board at #18 and Isaiah Wynn (T/G, Georgia) went at #23 to the Rams. These are two of my favourite players in the class and it was reassuring to see Wynn listed that highly (more on him here). It’s extremely possible he works into the first round discussion. If the Seahawks had their second round pick available to get a running back, I’d be banging the table for Seattle to take Wynn with their first choice. He is a terrific player.

All of the running backs are on the board expect Saquon Barkley too. This projection shows quite clearly how beneficial it’d be for the Seahawks to move down and try to acquire multiple day two picks to try and repair their running game.

I also think the mocks by Jeremiah and Kiper prove how few legit first round prospects there are. There’s very little consensus aside from the very top of round one. By the time you get into the 20’s — there’s a lot of unexpected picks.

This isn’t a good cornerback class for example, yet both Kiper and Jeremiah are loading their first round with corners. Both include a tight end — yet neither player (Mark Andrews or Hayden Hurst) really warrants that type of placing (we might not see a TE drafted before the end of round two). Harrison Phillips — a likely top-100 type who could get into round two with a good workout — is also listed in round one.

This is a draft class that save for about 10 names is still really working itself out. There are about 18 places in round one up for grabs, with the Senior Bowl and Combine likely to determine who makes it. The strength of this class is not going to be in the second half of round one. The players going at 45 are not going to be that different than the players going at 20.

It’s good news if you’re hoping Seattle trades down. If there’s a big cliff at about pick #15-20 (and if the late first round is going to be a bit of a jumbled mess) — teams might be very interested in trading up to #18 to get at the last few remaining players they actually like in round one.

Here’s my own mock draft if you missed it earlier in the week (with the Seahawks trading down out of round one):

#1 Cleveland — Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
#2 NY Giants — Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
#3 Indianapolis — Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
#4 Cleveland (via Hou) — Bradley Chubb (EDGE, NC State)
#5 Buffalo (via Den) — Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
#6 New York Jets — Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
#7 Tampa Bay — Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
#8 Chicago — Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA)
#9 San Francisco — Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
#10 Oakland — Orlando Brown (T, Oklahoma)
#11 Miami — Billy Price (C, Ohio State)
#12 Cincinnati — Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, Alabama)
#13 Washington — Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
#14 Green Bay — Tim Settle (DT, Virginia Tech)
#15 Arizona — Mike McGlinchey (T, Notre Dame)
#16 Baltimore — Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)
#17 LA Chargers — Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
#18 Cleveland (via Sea) — Denzel Ward (CB, Ohio State)
#19 Dallas — Arden Key (DE, LSU)
#20 Detroit — Leighton Vander Esch (LB, Boise State)
#21 Denver (via Buf) — Derwin James (S, Florida State)
#22 Denver (via Buf, KC) — Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
#23 LA Rams — Harold Landry (EDGE, Boston College)
#24 Carolina — Taven Bryan (DT, Florida)
#25 Tennessee — Joshua Jackson (CB, Iowa)
#26 Atlanta — Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)
#27 New Orleans — Lorenzo Carter (LB, Georgia)
#28 Pittsburgh — Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
#29 Jacksonville — Courtland Sutton (WR, SMU)
#30 Minnesota — Derrick Nnadi (DT, Florida State)
#31 New England — Ben Banogu (EDGE, TCU)
#32 Philadelphia — Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)

If it played out like this (with the Seahawks acquiring day two stock) — they’d have a good opportunity to address the running game (RB, OL) and/or add to the defense.

One final thought for today — if you can come out of this draft class having taken a couple of players from Georgia, you’ve done well. There’s a reason that team came agonisingly close to winning the playoffs despite starting a true Freshman quarterback. Wynn, Michel, Chubb, Carter, Wims and others. That was a loaded group.

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208 Responses to “Looking at Daniel Jeremiah’s first mock draft”

  1. Volume12 says:

    Round 2 is looking like the sweet spot right now.

    The vibe I’m getting from these mocks, and in fairness it’s a bit too early for them, is that the end of round 1 is going to be messy. Teams will get desperate so we’re probably gonna see over drafted AJ Jenkins like selections. Raw, young, should’ve stayed another year type names.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I agree completely. If these mocks are anything to go by, the end of round one is going to be a horrible mess. The good news is — that might strengthen Seattle’s hand at #18 if a team wants to tap into the dregs of the legit talent.

      • Volume12 says:

        ‘ The good news is — that might strengthen Seattle’s had at #18 if a team wants to tap into the dregs of the legit talent.’

        I think that’s exactly what will happen.

        And I’m starting to think that Seattle loaded up on late day 3 picks for a reason. Either they see pockets of ‘really cool’ talent there or they see pockets of talent in round 4 and will use those to move up. We know JS always sets up their team needs in correlation to the strengths of the uocoming draft class. And while he went all in this year, I don’t buy for a second that he didn’t have a backup plan.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          I said it in the last post. The way to view these mocks isn’t to look who we picked at 18 but to see who was picked late and who would still be available at 33 if we did indeed trade with Cleveland.

          • peter says:

            I’m fine with a corner mock. there are teams,after us that could use a corner so hopefully a team like Cleveland feels the need to get ahead of dallas/detroit.

        • peter says:

          the only thing that concerns me about not moving up to the fourth is that seattle has not had any substantive production since Luke Willson from any pick taken in the 5th round or beyond.

          now saying that this draft sort if sets up nicely for a big churn ala 2011-12 era where they may be more roster spots available, which is why i think they haven’t been able to get production out of the late picks.

          (2017 class excluded do to an incomplete year by Carson.) also production for me is defined by as little as Willson’s contributions and not rawls who may very well get the axe this year.

    • cha says:

      Agree Vol12 and it’s why I think there will be multiple opportunities to reap some tasty picks from chumps wanting to trade up.

      If the bottom of the first round is a mess, there will be lots of suitors wanting a shot at those QBs that are still on the board at 18. If you can get a OL or a RB later, you will but QB’s are just too highly prized.

      The Hawks bilked a primo 3rd round pick for Paxton Lynch. They might even do a 2017 and trade down a couple times and really smash the piggy bank.

  2. joel says:

    I’ve heard and read you and Kenneth discuss Seattle’s draft tendencies for DBs so many times now that I laughed when I saw Kiper’s and Jeremiah’s picks at 18. While I hope a really great DE or OL option falls to 18 I fully expect them to trade back anyway. Regardless, a DB at 18 just seems incredibly improbable. Hell, they even have Deshawn Shead (assuming he’s 100% and on the roster).

  3. Aaron says:

    I always laugh when mock drafts have us pick a CB in the first round. They clearly either don’t know Pete Carroll enough or are following a narrative. It’s a situation that I excuse though because I’d likely do the same if I were doing a mock for a team I didn’t know. As for What the Hawks should do, I still say trade down into picks 33-40 and pick up a late second or early third round pick. Theres going to be tons of value there. I would only pick at 18 if a truly game changing generational talent is there, an absolute stud that cannot be passed over, another Earl Thomas caliber player. Don’t think that’ll be the case. Trade down, acquire a pick or two on day two, and focus on RB, interior OL, and then defense.

    • Volume12 says:

      I 100% agree and never quite got that either, but this year does make sense for why they’re mocking DBs to us.

      Really good chance that Kam isn’t back, there’s the whispers of ET wanting out, Sherm coming off an injury, and Seattle built this D from the backend forward. So they see the writing on the wall so to speak and I’m guessing are predicting Seattle will panic due to all that.
      .

      • Turp says:

        You’d think they’d give us a Safety instead….makes me feel like a CB is even more lazy

      • Dylanlep says:

        Agree Vol, I don’t think it is totally unjustified with the CB projection. Seattle often drafts a year early for need, Sherm is in the last year of his deal, turning 30, a lot of potential cap savings if you let him walk instead of resigning … I guess its not totally out of left field for me.

        I don’t have a qualified opinion on say Josh Jackson, but if he tests well, hits the arm measurables, etc, that would seem to merit consideration. If they viewed him as a potential pro bowler, I wouldnt like it if they passed on him simply because he was a CB and they dont draft CBs in round one and instead moved down just to draft a lower ceiling player at a position of need.

        • Rob Staton says:

          But the ‘take a corner later’ approach isn’t just a philosophy, it’s proven to be highly successful in Seattle. Mainly because the best DB coach in the NFL is Pete Carroll. The need to take a CB early isn’t really there because Carroll finds his guys and coaches them up. We just need to look at the results.

  4. Turp says:

    Hi Rob,

    Would you be able to do a piece on the various trade down scenarios? And by that, I mean teams who have the picks, the need to trade up, and who have a relationship with JS? I’d love to see the top 5 and then watch you hit one of those on draft day!

    • DC says:

      Here’s the picks in a user friendly visual, pending the remaining games.

      http://www.tankathon.com/nfl/full_draft

    • DC says:

      If the NY Giants did pick Barkley as DJ has mocked I could see our #18 for their #34, #66 & a low 2019 pick for a QB they like.

      The Jets have #37 & #49 for the right guy at #18. We could get our pick back! They owe us on that.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        37 and 49 would be ok. Would you rather have 33 and 63 or 29 and 61.

        A…37and 49 (Jets)
        B…33 and 63 (Browns)
        C…29 and 61 (Jaguars)

        • Ralphy says:

          Thank you DC for posting a logical trade scenario! I often times roll my eyes when I read trade ideas on here so way to go. There’s a logical one that makes sense. Thank you for not combining Earl Tomas and pick 18 for the Browns #1 pick, or Russell Wilson for all of the Browns picks.

  5. Greg Haugsven says:

    Arden Key at 32. I could see him in a Hawks uniform. Freak athlete that could play some Leo/Sam that has top 15 potential with some character flags.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’d be Malik McDowell 2.0

      • Trevor says:

        Agree the only difference is Key’s effort has never been questioned. That is what I hated most about the Mcdowell pick. His effort was awful and he flat out quit at times.

    • Trevor says:

      If he checks out off field he would bd a steal there. I wonder if the Mcdowell mess would make them gun shy.

    • peter says:

      character issues….not to be Tim Ruskell here but after burning two 2nd round draft picks on one character issue guy (Malik then Richardson to restock that loss) I’m adverse to that idea.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Frank Clark was a second rounder with character flags as well . That one worked out Ok.

        • peter says:

          Frank Clark never gave up on plays.

          • peter says:

            not saying Arden does or not. but Malik was getting killed here last year for standing around. clark would have been nowhere near us had he finished the season, with no problems.

            • Ralphy says:

              I agree that Clark is a good comparison for the Hawks rolling the dice in the second round again on McDowell, but McDowell did have more red flags.

              Have we heard anything on him medically? Will he be in camp? My first thought when I heard the trade for Richardson had happened was if McDowell is back next year, then that is like having a second round pick in camp from 2018.

  6. peter says:

    seaside, or anyone,

    I’ve seen Seamode praising Poona ford a lot. what,are the DT arm length cutoffs? is it 33 inch length or is that not a thing? and do they have official measurements for the shrine game?

  7. peter says:

    also saw,V12 post the list of non attendees for the senior bowl. pretty lame. that was looking like an almost college all-star game.

    that said a lot of those guys it feels like we know what they are about so hopefully some late round types can make a name for themselves in the other players absence.

    • Ground_Hawk says:

      I agree, but it makes me appreciate RB Rashaad Penny more though. Statistically, he has nothing to prove, but him agreeing to sacrifice his health, for another shot to showcase his talents is a commendable move. In my evolving mock draft, he is one of Seattle’s 2nd round picks; I have them trading back from R1-18, and acquiring two 2nds.

      • peter says:

        agreed. more teams see what he’s about and get a chance to talk to him could node well for him to go up a round.

  8. Volume12 says:

    John Clayton is saying Seattle will offer $5.5 mil to P-Rich but no more. Thinks they’d rather pay Lockett when he’s due. As would I. Much better receiver.

    I like P-Rich a lot, and hope they keep him, but he’s replaceable.

    And if Mike Solari likes big, huge road graders inside at guard and quicker, longer, athletes at OT it would make sense for them to swap Ifedi and Pocic. However, that leaves LG wide open. There’s no one on the roster that fits that profile. Fant should be the backup LT and Odhiambo the backup left guard.

    • Trevor says:

      I really could see Fluker at LG next year.

    • Dale says:

      Why not Fant at RT? If you’re looking to get your best players on field it seems silly to leave Fant on the bench.

      • 503Hawk says:

        I think Fant will be the “Zach Miller” sixth lineman.

        • New Guy says:

          Omigosh…. it just occurred to me – Fant as the combo 6th lineman/ tight end/ understudy left tackle. What a great utilitarian usage of his talents, background and future direction.

          .

        • Dale says:

          Inventive idea 503Hawk, that kind of thought is what makes this blog fun. Nice job.

        • peter says:

          nice. I’d like to see that happen.

      • 80SLargent says:

        Personally, I’d like to see them get away from the “Cable shuffle”. This means, keeping “left side guys” on the left, and “right side guys” on the right. I don’t think having Fant as an understudy/backup to Duane Brown is such a bad thing.
        There’s so many ways Seattle can go with their O-line, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do. Surely they’ll add some guys, but there’s already some pretty good talent there too.
        I’m just glad they got a guy to coach who, among other things, doesn’t seem so welded to the ZBS.

    • 503Hawk says:

      I see next year’s line as: Brown, Odiahimbo, Britt, Ifedi, Pocic.
      I know Pete said Ifedi would stay at RT but I wonder if Solari will move him inside (more of a mauler) and Pocic outside (more athletic, more skilled, better in space).

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        How is Pocic more athletic than Ifedi? Or more skilled or better in space?

        • hawkdawg says:

          He has better feet, and is quicker off the snap, without jumping it. What he lacks is anchor at the point. That is one thing Ifedi has in spades.

    • Brandon says:

      Swapping Pocic for Ifedi sounds like a terrible idea. Could’ve kept Cable to move a guy out of a position of strength while making most of your line change position again.

  9. Volume12 says:

    Not that this is set in stone and they could deviate from this stragety if this is in fact even their go to strategy, but the past 2 post-draft pressers were JS letting us in on how they seem to operate. Identifying prospects early. Either a year out or in the summer. Guys that either slip for whatever reason (injuries, red flags, down year production wise) or JS/PC know won’t go as high as draft media.

    Or someone that blows them away at the combine who fits a position of need and meets their thresholds.

    So, my question is this. Who could some of those guys be this year? HB Nick Chubb?

    • peter says:

      so you’re positing that we should look at players that had a down sophomore or junior year?

      I like that as an exercise.

      you couldn’t have predicted either but I’m super into Frank Ragnow, because his injury though now technically “an injury history,” I think drops him.

      and CB Holton hill, Texas. three game suspension from the team. but Hermann is kind of a good as a coach. his numbers popped after last year’s extensive talks about cb’s not tackling. 51 tackles, two int’s, 6 passes defended. 6’3″ 195_200 lb.

    • peter says:

      as per Chubb I think pc is going to have time for a player like him.

      • Ralphy says:

        One of my good friends sons plays with Georgia. The stories about Chubb in the weight room are legendary. Its talked about all of the time. I think the Hawks are going to love seeing that. Plus Chubb is known as being a great person and competitor. I have a feeling the Hawks will be all over him.

        I do like the idea of trying to identify the second round slips due to injury or red flags. The Hawks hit on Clark and missed omniscience’s McDowell, but we always have previous evidence of what they are likely to do.

  10. 80SLargent says:

    Nice piece Rob, two thumbs up all the way.

    Go Hawks.

  11. Dale says:

    A big part of executing a mock draft is knowing team needs. How hard is it to pick up the phone and ask Rob Staton (or any one of several Seahawk analysts) for information or just read Rob’s blog? Daniel or Kiper are supposedly experts so I can’t give a pass to either of them for not doing their research.

  12. Nick says:

    Some excellent analysis on Chubb’s intelligence. Great running lane awareness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGhMfkny-pA

  13. Dale says:

    A couple of questions:

    1) How valuable is the linebacker position opposite KJ Wright in Seattle’s scheme? They spent a #15 pick on Bruce Irvin but seem to have devalued that position since he left.

    2) Do we have an Earl Thomas replacement on the roster? ET runs a 4.44 40, Bradley McDougald ran 4.70 40 and has been our best ET replacement to date. Delano Hill runs a 4.47 40 is a SS candidate but doesn’t have free safety skills. Hill’s draft profile says, “Below average play speed and range from high safety”. Tedric Thompson has better free safety instincts but only runs a 4.60 which might not cut the mustard in what is a very demanding position for Pete’s defense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a demanding position in the variation of Pete’s defense we’ve been able to use. Without Earl they might go back to more Tampa 2. At the end of the day, they nearly didn’t have Earl in 2010. And would’ve had to do quite a lot different as a consequence.

      • Ralphy says:

        Two things about nearly missing on Earl.
        1. I remember being worried sick when the Eagles traded up to get in front of the Hawks with pick 13. I had seen Earl play in person and was enamored with him. Thankfully the Eagles took Brandon Graham instead.
        2. After the Graham pick I was freaking out that we were going to find that Carroll was drafting all of his USC guys and they would take Taylor Mays. Thankfully they didn’t take Mays and instead drafted a HOF player. Thankfully Carroll didn’t show extreme loyalty to all of his USC guys and instead did things like cut them for being hungover (Lendale White).

    • 80SLargent says:

      1. I don’t remember the exact percentages, but Seattle spends most of the time in a nickel defense.
      2. No. I’m not sure anybody really “replaces” Earl Thomas. We’ve seen Seattle’s defense without Earl the last couple seasons, and McDougald was a clear upgrade over Steven Terrell – even though Terrell was perhaps even a bit faster than Earl. We also haven’t seen Pete deviate in scheme even when playing those other guys, and I don’t see him doing it going forward.

    • Del tre says:

      McDougold didn’t play enough games for us to judge how he’ll do over an extended stretch, doubt he would remain effective. Remember the Tampa game with Terrell? Probably didnt think he was too bad after that game but boy oh boy were we wrong. He’s a decent strong safety, if we keep him thats likely where he’ll play.

    • Thorson says:

      One other small point: I doubt ET still runs a 4.44 at this stage of his career. His otherworldly range is probably a combination of still being relatively fast but also, and perhaps most importantly, his knowledge and experience having played 7 years in the league. It’s entirley possible Hill and Thompson are as fast as ET is now, but lack the anticipation and recognition that comes with experience. Thompson in particular showed evidence of having this in college where he was known as a ballhawk. He needs the reps to apply this to the pro game. We know JS drafts a year or more ahead of perceived need, so he and PC must have a plan for these two beyond special teams aces.

  14. Isaac says:

    I feel like as we have gotten closer to each draft the mockers started leaning on guys like rob more. You start seeing it in the articles that are being written. They start sounding exactly like robs blog. 🤔

  15. Matt says:

    I’m typically not huge into non-OT 1st round OL, but if we pass on Billy Price….oh boy, will that hurt.

    For those of you who have only watched highlights, go YouTube him when he breaks down film. The guy is brilliant. He can play C or G. He’s the type of guy who leads your OL for a decade. It’d be foolish to pass on a blue chip talent like that, who has a high-level brain.

    • H says:

      Id really love Price and would consider taking him at 18
      I just really wish we had a second round pick because it would suck not to get a running back

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Seems like the only way they would go BPA at 18 (e.g., Price or Settle) is if they sign a “strong” FA RB like Carlos Hyde, or maybe Alfred Morris. That way they could wait until Day 3 to add a RB to the roster.

        Otherwise the best play is to try to repeat what they did last year – 2 modest trades down to the early/mid 30s netting an extra R3 and R4 pick, then take one of RJ2/Michel/Chubb (in that order for me).

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          I really hope they don’t sign a FA running back unless he is very inexpensive. RB is a young young man’s game and it’s been proven many times that rookies can come in right away and tear it up.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            IMO the draft should be for the leo/Sam position and RB and FA should be for finding good our left guard.

  16. Trevor says:

    If the Hawks wanted they could add 4 free agents on offense 27 or younger for a total cap hit of less than 20mil and fill most holes on offense with proven talent.

    The focus on defense in the draft where they have had much better success identifying talent.

    -Carlos Hyde RB to team with Carson, Prosise and a late round rookie like Kamyrn Pettaway from Auburn.
    -DJ Fluker to come in and play big mauling run blocking LG next to Duane Brown.
    -Terrell Pryor to be that big red zone WR and fill some of the void left with Graham leaving.
    -Trey Burton TE from Eagles. Really under rated seam busting TE who can block.

    • DC says:

      The Hawks are pretty close to being in a “cap hell” situation going into 2018. According to OTC & spotrac we have either $13.8-$14.8M in available cap space. Accounting for draft pick allocation, practice squad, Injury Replacements and proven performance escalators (referencing John P. Gilbert’s Nov 4, 2017 article numbers @ FG) we are looking in the neighborhood of $8M. So even using the higher #, $14.8M – $8M = $6.8M to sign FAs.

      Guys likely to leave or rumored to retire would save,
      Lane + $4.75M
      Avril + $7.125M
      Chancellor + $2M
      Bennett + $3M

      So if all 4 of those guys are off the roster we are sitting at $23.7M or so. Lots of teams have more than that so with competitive bidding, getting all 4 of your targets would be a challenge. DJ Flucker and Trey Burton would be a nice haul though, while hopefully retaining McDougald & Maxwell.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Justin Pugh and Austin S Jenkins could be as well.

        • DC says:

          Like that combo too. Please just let the guys we sign be healthy, effective & bargains!

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            Pugh won’t be a bargain, but the OL coach might talk him into a reasonable deal..
            say 10M / year range.

            • DC says:

              For someone coming off of a back injury that would be a scary investment. Granted idk the details of his injury.

            • H says:

              He also had some really bad games last year, not that i payed too much attention to individuals on the Giants line but the hype around him seems unearned.

              • C-Dog says:

                He struggled when they were forced to move him to RT, but played better at LG. He’s been a really good guard in this league. I kinda think Seattle might easily get out priced for him.

      • GerryG says:

        John Ryan has to be gone, saves a little more there

  17. Alex Higgins says:

    Does it make sense to trade kJ Wright if you can get a 2nd round pick? Clears space and Hawks seem to know how to find LBs.

    • peter says:

      not sure wright is going to get higher than a fourth. every year Chris collinsworth says it on Sunday night football that wright is the most underrated lb in the league….i just think he’s a man forgotten.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        don’t trade KJ
        glue guy, low maintenance, not easily replaced, not old

        • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

          Completely agree about KJ he is a great player and a big part or our defense while being relatively cheap for his production and veteran presence.

          Keep Sherm, KJ, Thomas most definitely!

          Go Hawks!

    • C-Dog says:

      I think the players that have the most trade value are RW, Wagner, and Thomas. If Seattle is looking to trade someone for high picks, it’s going to be one of those three.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They wouldn’t get a second rounder for KJ.

  18. Old but Slow says:

    Pauline at Draft Analyst reports that David Wells TE San Diego St is a very good in line blocker, like another OT, as I think he said it. And he catches the ball well. Round 6 or 7?

    • Old but Slow says:

      However, he has never thrown a perfect game. 🙂

    • Sea Mode says:

      I saw that comment too, but then checked and Wells only has 31 3/4″ arms, 76 3/4″ wing. Not that he couldn’t be a late round pick, cause all the guys in the late rounds are going to have their shortcomings, but I think that lack of length might be a game breaker for them if they are looking at him as a blocking TE.

      Vannett has 34.5″ arms, Luke Willson 32.5 (but he ran a 4.51 40yd with a 1.53 split), Anthony McCoy 34″ arms, Jimmy Graham 35″, etc.

  19. DC says:

    If we really are moving on from M. Bennett & Cliff Avril AND we can’t really say whether McDowell will ever play that puts us in a pretty poor spot regarding pass rushers. Not to mention, is Sheldon Richardson a core player worthy of a big money contract after one year of decent but not spectacular play?

    We’ve potentially got Clark & Jordan at DE with Reed & Jones at DT. Kind of thin. That leads me to believe that an early pick has a good chance of being that outside/inside DL guy that we’ve detailed so often in years past.

    I looked at 4 guys who might fit the profile size wise.
    Sam Hubbard, DE OSU, 6′-4″ 265
    Chad Thomas, DE Miami 6′-6″ 275
    Rasheem Green, DL USC 6′-5″ 280
    Duke Ejiofor DE Wake Forest 6′-4″ 270

    From the small sample size I watched, Chad Thomas was the hardest to “see” and I mean that in a positive way. He was my favorite of the group for the Hawks sake. Really seems to play fast. Green at #2 would have that outside/inside versatility and looked solid too. Ejiofor could fit that type also. Hubbard was probably my least favorite of that group. If we do trade back into the 2nd round I wouldn’t be surprised to see a DL selected with one of our 2 hypothetical 2nd round picks.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      You would think if Avril retires and they don’t resign Sheldon they would keep Bennett. I can’t see them moving on from all three of them. McDowell is a wild card. That being said you have to think that edge/leo has to be a priority.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I had mentioned earlier that Arden Key being picked at 32 in Jeremiaha mock could potentially be a Seahawks target.

      • DC says:

        Regarding Bennett it depends on how the FO sees next year. If we’re going into full transition mode then it makes some sense to move guys now and take the pain cap wise in 2018 rather than spread it out into future years. Agree that pass rushers are a priority.

    • Old but Slow says:

      This is where I see a place for Tim Settle. The Cortez Kennedy comp is right on. Short, squat body and quick twitch movement, power, intensity and an insane submarine move. I cannot remember a DT getting that low and that effectively. He must be a nightmare to try to block.

      • DC says:

        When the dust settles (I’m a dad now) Settle could easily go top 10 or near it imho. Dude has got something special going on. He is my favorite player in this draft that I’ve watched any tape of. Would make a great Hawk.

        • peter says:

          Both of you need to stop it right now! Settle is my absolute favorite defensive player in the draft and provides something Seattle has never really had under PC. To have a guy with that quickness and speed in the middle, even if he were to get double teamed, just keeping Bennet, Jordan, and even Wagner clean for the tackles would be amazing.

    • peter says:

      what specifically did you like about Thomas? He has excellent size but curiously very little production. I’m not saying that’s the end all be all but it is something to consider.

  20. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    If the Browns come to you and say…. here is the #4 pick ONLY for Earl Thomas
    would you do the trade? The expectation some other team (Dallas) would trade a 1st and 4th for him (maybe round 3… if possible.)

    Why I bring this up…. if you get the #4 pick, would you stand pat as the Seahawks and grab…
    Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame) with the pick, more than addressing the OL or should Seattle look to trade out of the pick for a boat load of other picks. If available, Barkley would have to be on the list to take at #4…. no matter who is picking in that spot.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I think I would say yes. Ideally I would want to trade back. You could turn that #4 pick into a bunch of good assets. You could get Price or Wynn later and probably whatever RB you wanted besides Barkley and get a stud defensive player. McDougal would then replace Earl

    • DC says:

      What if it was Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman & our #18 pick for the Browns #4 Charlie? If the Browns sign a QB in FA & then use the #1 pick on Barkley then maybe that is a package they would consider. It would certainly take more than Thomas to get that pick.

      • peter says:

        I’d almost do that. I get allegiance. I really do. But to get the 4 spot would allow Seattle to do some dealing with QB needy teams for some serious capital.

        The old and new draft value chart would allow Seattle to move down to oddly back to 17 (per example) and this is just points wise get the first pick in the second, third, and fifth.

        As per Old but Slow, maybe I’m at the crosshairs of this era but having a defensive player at the level of Cortez (if possible) would be amazing.

      • peter says:

        I’ll also add…..I’m a big believer in Seattle taking the medicine this year and getting the best the can for all the aged vets. I understand that is hard to take and to do but to me that is the best move going forward. PC is still the head coach but Schneider is here for longer on his current contract.

        I’m not stirring to pot on purpose here but what about:

        Earl for a high second.

        Sherman (passes his physicals) for a mid third

        Bennett for a mid to late third?

        Before people say I’ve lost my mind….I counter with Earl on a third contract, really? and/or a low third round comp pick, maybe. Sherman, I love this dude but he’s going to be 30 coming off of a very serious injury and how much longer is Seattle realistically going to get top-flight production out of him. And finally Bennett. For me Bennett goes due to cap space, age,and when the bottom falls out it’s going to really fall out.

        • C-Dog says:

          If Dallas offered it’s R2 and R4 picks, and DT Malik Collins for Earl Thomas, do you take that?

          Seattle gets a mid range R2 pick, a young talented DT that can mix in with Jones & Reed assuming Richardson is gone, and adds an addition mid round pick. At 18 Seattle could more easily feel compelled to stay if an unexpected player slides to them, or do the typical JS trade back for a high R2 and a high R3.

          If the net result = Nick Chubb, LB Uchenna Nwosu, or maybe OG Will Hernandez, and then maybe add some freaky edge rusher like Josh Sweat, or some big red zone target like Simmie Cobbs, Seattle could walk out of this draft with three impact players and a young DT still on a rookie deal.

          Something like that could sway my opinion of trading Earl Thomas. Picks and a player.

    • peter says:

      I’ll see you Barkeley and raise you Tremaine Edmunds-or-Tim Settle and the next best RB in that scenario.

    • Donald says:

      I would say “YES!, right now, no questions asked, done deal” Then pick Barkley at #4, then trade #18 for top BPA DL, and BPA OL.

    • Icb12 says:

      Yes.

      ET only for 4.
      I do it.

      I move Sherman to FS.
      Start Griffin, Shead/maxi, McDougal.

      But Barkley has to be in play

    • LeoSharp says:

      If you stay put the only serious option should be Bradley Chubb. You can always sign Andrew Norwell free agency and there is loads of value to be had at RB. Is Saquon Barkley’s impact really that much greater than someone later in the draft?

  21. Donald says:

    I am ready for a major transition, the full monty.

    Trade Thomas for a 1st rd pick. Trade Bennett for 2nd rd pick. Keep Sherm. ET already expects to be gone and expressed who he wants to play for. So, trade him to Dallas for the #19 pick.

    Hawks now have two 1st rd and one 2nd rd pick.

    BPA RB
    BPA DL
    BPA OL

    • Icb12 says:

      Crazy talk

      But to expand on the craziness. I’d package 18 and 19 together to the browns or colts for Barkley.

      If I’m trading ET3 I’m going all out for the best RB.

      • Jason says:

        In what world does Bennett get you a 2nd round pick?

        • Mac says:

          In fantasy world lol the only way we’d get a 2nd round pick in a straight trade, would be a 2021 2nd round pick for him now lol We could use him in a trade up though. 4th, 5th & conditional future pick with Benett for a 2nd. Even then it’s slim as probably a mid to late pick

      • Bigten says:

        Love this, Barkley is someone that is going to change games at the next level. Look at what Zeke has done for Dallas and what fournette has done for jags. A RB like Barkley can change games.

  22. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Positions Seattle will not address early in the draft
    (value not right or position has depth on team already)

    TE, QB, P, LB, S (SS or FS)

    Positions might address early in the draft (round 2-4)
    (depth might be a bit short on Seahawks or Draft has some nice value in this range)

    OG, FB, WR

    Positions they will address early in the draft (round 1 or 2)

    DL (DT/DE), LEO, RB

    I think it is pretty clear they most likely will go DL with their 1st pick (#18), but I expect a trade back and they will try to then fill holes at DT/DE/LEO early and a 2nd/3rd round RB (–>Sony Michal). I anticipate the greatest change over to most likely happen in the front 7 and on the DL specifically.
    Key is intriguing and very likely available late into the 1st round, Vea would be a nice fit imo but not likely to be available at #18…. Nnadi was a guy I liked last year… and might be a late round 1 or early round 2 target for Seattle.

  23. Ishmael says:

    I will completely implode if we trade Earl. Gen-u-ine meltdown unless we’re somehow able to get Barkley out of it.

    • Del tre says:

      Agree 100% we just car get the value back.

      • peter says:

        do you think earl gets a third contract? because if not with the rising salary cap he may only net a 4th round comp pick the following year still requiring seattle to find someone to replace him.

        I’ve stated this before but I think seattle is closer to a great dline than a great secondary at this time and for me it behooves seattle to make the dline amazing so that the lessened secondary can still perform at a high level.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          You would think it would be third contract or trade, one of the two.

        • Del tre says:

          Ok who replaces him? And don’t say McDougold because i doubt he can adequately replace Earl over the course of an entire season. It would be better to give Earl another contract as a safety is a lot more likely to last than a corner. Over the course of his career he’s proven to be pretty durable, i dont think we are respecting how much Earl means to this defense which is hilarious because the defense gave up a td+ more a game without him. He’s what makes the defense go, better to keep him than to try and replace him with a late round safety who won’t have a quarter of the speed or instinct.

          • peter says:

            but I’m projecting to losing him next year. I’m not convinced a third contract for a player that has missed 7 games the last two years is a great move.

            also Earl could play somewhere else after next season and seattle wouldn’t necessarily get anything back for him. of value except maybe at best a late third rounder in a comp pick. so then they’re still searching fo r his replacement.

            I think him and Wagner are basically irreplaceable to the defense. however seattle needs to avoid a similar situation that Kam is in no ing forward.

  24. KD says:

    I still don’t see a rational reason to not take Saquan Barkley #1 overall. With CLE holding the #4 pick as well, it just strikes me as a way to get the best overall player in the draft and a QB not named Rosen, with whom there seems to be a mutual disinterest.

    Just my thought, and I brought it up before, so I will just leave it at that.

    • Ed says:

      Ditto.

      #1 Barkley
      #4 Chubb

      Get Cousins and Norwell as FA

      Then you have Cousins/Barkley/Gordon for skill and Shelton/Garrett/Chubb for DL

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Because you probably don’t get your pick of QB, which is easily more important than even the best RB in the draft.

  25. calgaryhawk says:

    The one question in my mind before the whole off season gets into full swing would center around how does Seattle’s changes to the coaching staff impact what they do in the off season. I assume that scouts, GM, Head Coach and the complete coaching staff get to have their say in personnel. In other words, Shottenheimer will no doubt want slightly different type of players than Bevell wanted. Does Shottenheimer want a bull in the china shop type of RB or a slash, speedy, deceptive type of RB. Maybe even a pass catching RB added to the present group of running backs. Does he want a first rate fullback? I am pretty sure this greatly impacts what Seattle does at the draft.

    • Ed says:

      Agree to a degree. I think outside of Cable and the OL, PC dictates it all because it’s his philosophy offensively (run and protect the ball) and defensively (cover 3, 4 man rush and make them dink and dunk). The Hawks have 3rd down back in McK. They need a workhorse type back. It will be interesting what kind of OL they pick. I hope it reverts to guys with experience at their positions, instead of athletes Cable thought he could mold

  26. Hawk Eye says:

    Carl Smith back as QB coach, according to Ian Rappaport.
    hmm, not sure that is the “Hope and Change” we wanted.
    was Hoping Russ would have a Change of the voice in his ear….. (other than Jesus, I mean)

    • Ed says:

      Sounds like maybe Zorn as QB coach. I’m in

    • C-Dog says:

      Carl Smith has been with Pete Carroll for ages, and Carroll has mentioned before how much he relies on his sage advice. Schottenheimer will probably be some of that new voice.

    • Aaron says:

      Rumors are Jim Zorn is a possible QB coach candidate. Carl Smith would move to a different position in the staff. I think Zorn is a great fit for Russ should it all pan out. Russ needs all these third party voices and opinions that have been removed from the Hawks situation these past couple seasons.

    • Volume12 says:

      Hahahahah!!! Yes! A man older than dirt. That’s what the Seahawks need. I thought they were gonna get younger?

  27. HawkfaninMT says:

    A couple points of clarification:

    I feel like Irvin was drafted to be Leo. Lots of talk that PC used a high pick on the third LB spot with Irvin, but that wasn’t his intended role when drafted. Or am I wrong?

    Another name I feel is being left out of much of the DL talk is Marcus Smith. I see no reason why he should not be brought back, especially if the growing thought is that Avril really is going to retire. Is there a date, or NFL mandated deadline that we can look towards for decisions on a Kam and Cliff? Would be nice to know prior to the draft, right?

    • Ed says:

      They may have roster bonuses do soon. My guess would be mid to late Feb

    • Del tre says:

      Irvin was drafted as an end and moved to linebacker in his second season. They put priority on the trenches with early picks. If Vea, Edmunds, or Tim Settle are there i have a feeling thats the way the Hawks go. They’ll get faster on D next season with Delano at SS, hopefully they’ll be able to steal a speedy linebacker and then the defense is back to having a balance of veteran presence and speed. However if they don’t see any of those guys there I’d expect them to trade waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy back and take a running back, then a wideout, and then I’d expect the rest of the draft to be focused on making the defense faster. Bobby is really all we have in the front 7 in terms of speed. We need a guy that can take over for KJ Wright on 3rd down and someone who will take the pressure off of Bobby when facing backs like Gurley. Pretty confident that getting that speed and getting back to gap discipline willbe the difference between sweeping the Rams and getting swept by the rams, which is what will decide the division.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Note: Irvin was the DE pick, but the fit was more LEO… after they brought in Avril and Bennett.

        This is also around the time Rob and others started to refine their “calculations” about what Seattle looks for in a DE or LEO or LB…. 10 yard time, TEF, SPARQ, arm length… etc

  28. Gohawks5151 says:

    No mention of Edmunds being mocked to SF? Wow. What a night that would be…

  29. Sea Mode says:

    In other NFCW news…

    The Titans have completed an interview with Rams OC Matt LaFleur for the team’s head coaching job.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      This kid is only 12 years old!

      He would follow in McVays footsteps as one of the youngest head coaches ever

    • cha says:

      Wonder how much of that is residual shine from McVay and their year. How much does the Rams’ success was due to LaFluer?

      • H says:

        Agreed Mcvay is very much the oc there. According to wikipedia he is both oc and hc, clearly that is wrong though.

  30. Seahawk Crazy says:

    A few thoughts.

    Rob was quick to notice the Hawks interest in McDowell last year. It will be interesting to see which players they bring in to the VMac this year. I remember the eye rolling over the McDowell pick, and unfortunately, it ended up being justified on some level. He just seemed so un-Seahawky. I could see an early pick of D Line again.

    To me, it seems like the Hawks will definitely trade back. Theres just no way they go without a 2nd or 3rd round pick. The other alternative would be trading a player on the roster for a 2nd or 3rd, which I’m sure will be endlessly speculated on this site.

    Like most fans, I was unenthused by the choices of coaches, but I am starting to come around. KJ Wright had good things to say about Norton, and Schottenheimer might have a good energy for the team. Solaris is the one I am most excited about, really seemed like Cable and Bevell had done all they could. (Sorry Cable and Bevell apologists.) Go Hawks.

  31. Volume12 says:

    I gotta think that with Mike Solari being a no nonsense in your face coach, that if Ifedi is even half as bad as he was this year he’s gone midway through the season. And yes he was bad. How many times did his penalties put Seattle’s offense that’s not built nor will ever be behind the sticks? 20 penalties and no one else had more than 15? That’s not an issue. It’s a problem.

    • Volume12 says:

      And with Solari who likes to run ‘wide zone’ and Seattle needing a running game, gotta get a physical WR who excels in down field blocking.

      Colorado St’s Michael Gallup fits that bill perfectly.

    • Rowdy says:

      I’ve been hearing a lot of nfl guys weigh in on the hawks oline with the coaching changes and a good amount of them thinks the problem is the players just aren’t any good. Brown and britt being the exceptions. I’m wondering if the new coaches make big changes to the players on the line.

  32. Volume12 says:

    Does anyone else miss the awesome rivalry between Pete’s Seahawks and Harbaugh’s 9ers? God damn man. Every one of those matchups felt like a bowl game. A blood feud.

    • cha says:

      I do. I made every hawks home game against the niners in those years and they were a blast.

      I think 2012 was my favorite:

      * Lynch opening the scoring, cutting through a tenacious Niner D like butter
      * Baldwin with the midfield bounce off the chest–tip-with-your-knee catch for a huge gain.
      * Davis getting hit by Chancellor on the toughest clean hit since Ronnie Lott (he got flagged because it was so violent)
      * Sidney Rice catching the ball 8 feet out of bounds and somehow toe tapping it.
      * Sherman appealing his suspension and getting to play – returning a FG try for a TD (Red Bryant on the block!)
      * The Niner CB trying an MMA style supplex on Baldwin and getting flagged, Baldwin popping right up and asking for more please
      * Baldwin skying to high point a TD catch in the end zone then ballerina-tapping his toes in. Nobody in the stadium thought he caught it and was in. He was.
      * The Niner D basically exasperated all game at RW’s Houdini act.
      * Harbaugh losing his mind on the sidelines multiple times.

      And of course, the birth of the Pete Carroll Robber Baron gif. All time classic.

      Top it off, it was Harbaugh’s birthday.

    • C-Dog says:

      I can see that rivalry getting reved up again quickly. The 49ers are going to have a ton of cap space, and on top of extending Jimmy G, I think they are going to make crazy free agency splashes.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      These “feuds” are what make football great.

      Ravens vs Steelers and Patriots vs Bills and Chicago vs Vikings…. just a few examples.
      The 49er owners are complete morons. They might have stumbled upon another good coach… but they could have had sustained success for the last 4 years…. had they kept JH. Cautionary tale, don’t run good coaches out of town, you might not get back to that level of success for many years. (Tomlin and reports he might be ruin out of Pittsburgh).

      • Rob Staton says:

        The 49ers are the perfect illustration of why timing is everything with coaches. Mainly because they’ve changed coaches so often.

        You can get a year when Shanny is available, or Jim Harbaugh. Or you can be left trying to find an internal candidate (Tomsula) or needing to settle on a re-tread people were reluctant to hire elsewhere (Chip).

        Picking your moment to go into a coaching search is vital.

  33. Volume12 says:

    K-St K misses a gimme. There’s Seattle’s next kicker. Lol

  34. drewdawg11 says:

    I know that he had an inconsistent year and struggled through some injuries, but I feel like Harold Landry is going to make a doffference for someone in round two. His season last year was phenomenal, but he had some struggles this year so his stock may be down. He’s not perfect, and he can get swallowed up on the strong side run, but he could be cliff Avril eventually.

  35. LLLOGOSSS says:

    Get the band back together.

    I see no reason to take massive dead-money hits to move on from our declining core, nor do I see a substantial reason to trade players like Earl Thomas who as early as this past season we would never imagine being without. This season was trying on everyone — players, fans, and coaches. I kinda think people are overreacting, though. For all our warts (and there were many, and they were substantial) we could have been a 12-4 team last year with Steven Haushka instead of Blair Walsh.

    How much does it cost to keep Michael bennet next year? The answer is not his total compensation — you have to subtract the dead money; that’s a sunk cost. The answer is you can have Mike B for about 2 mil. Think about it. Do you want him playing 90% of your snaps? No, probably not, go ahead and let someone compete for those snaps, but would you pay 2 mil for 50% snaps from a healthy, more refreshed Bennett? C’mon… he played on a lisfranc injury all year and still had 8.5 sacks.

    People talking about moving on from Sherman are blowing my mind, he’s still one of the very best in the business. Great, great player, and despite the drama of last winter, an amazing teammate. A Seahawk through and through. And please, just… stop with the talk about moving him to FS… just stop.

    Like Mike B, people are taking it for granted that we are moving on from Earl Thomas because of the Dallas thing. Remember that both of those players were saying, “When they kick me to the curb.” They were pouting and being dramatic and afraid that the losing would cost them. Earl Thomas is still Earl Thomas, guys… every bit of an All-Pro. Integral to our scheme, and a guy that can single-handedly karate chop your team to victory once or twice a year. If you can get a top-10 pick for him, I guess… but I don’t see that happening as a one-year rental.

    Kam Chancellor is owed a LOT of guaranteed money. People, he’s not retiring just yet. Maybe he never plays again, but he’s not “retiring” and leaving tens of millions on the table if there’s even a chance he comes back. The fact is, he thinks he’s playing next year. I’m not a doctor — and neither is Rob Staton, as far as I know — but Kam knows more than we do, wouldn’t you think? All we know for sure is that Pete thinks it’s unlikely, but that it’s “Kam’s decision.” As of now I think it’s much closer to 50-50 than people think. Ditto for Cliff Avril who is and always was a steal at 7.5 mil, and who also has stated he wants to continue his career. Now, since Cliff’s money is not guaranteed, maybe he gets cut if he’s not ready for training camp (and maybe brought back on a lesser one-year deal?).

    The point being I see no need to move on from effective stars in Sherman and Thomas, no benefit in cutting Mike Bennett (he costs you 2 million to keep), and no reason to count out Chancellor OR to hope he doesn’t play (costs us a lot of money either way, he’s not going to just give it back), or to count out a return of Cliff Avril, perhaps at a bargain mid-season if he’s ever ready.

    Believe it or not we are still in a championship window. This is probably the last year of this core group if they still stand to earn near top dollar. Give me one last ride. The problem with this team was injuries, depth, offensive line, RB, and kicker. We can address all of those without dismantling a legendary defense.

    Look at our position groups and tell me you wouldn’t want this:

    DL:

    Clark
    Reed
    N. Jones
    Richardson
    Jordan
    Bennett
    McDowell?
    Avril?
    Draft

    That’s a fine group especially if one or both of McDowell or Avril can come back. It doesn’t become a better group without Bennett, and no, you don’t generally find replacement players in FA without grossly overpaying. There’s a reason finding Bennett and Avril was a coup.

    LB:

    Bobby
    KJ (why is anyone talking about trading KJ….?)
    Draft
    Draft
    Draft

    This position group needs depth, badly. I seriously hope we can address this with some athletic freaks for Norton to coach up. Still, we’ve two of the very best in the business.

    CB:

    Sherman (comes back healthy, this is not a career ender)
    Griffin
    Maxwell
    Coleman

    Hey, that’s a really nice start. A really promising group to add onto.

    S:

    Thomas
    McDougal?
    Thompson
    Hill
    Chancellor?

    If Kam comes back this is, again, one of the very best position groups in football, with exciting depth behind them. Although they didn’t get much playing time, this team is still very excited for both Hill and Thompson. A lot of unknowns here, it is worrisome if we want to be serious about winning next year. Why make it even more unknown by getting rid of your one known quantity in Earl Thomas? Here’s what we know about Earl: he’s an All-Pro. Sounds good to me…

    Regarding the offense: As much as you might not want to hear it, the OL is largely set. Any improvements are likely to come from coaching and players already here, though for the right guy a 1st or 2nd round G could make a difference. We aren’t paying an Offensive Lineman in free agency. The money earmarked for that is now being paid to Dwaine Brown. After that look at this line: All-Pro LT making $12 mil, Pro-Bowl C earning top-5, first round pick at RT, second round pick at RG. Reese Odhiambo was a 3rd rounder. The investments have been made in the OL, for better or worse.

    What we can do is draft a stud RB, recommit to the ground game with a revamped scheme, and pray for the OL to take the next step under new leadership. It’s really a shame that there isn’t much TE talent in this draft, because we desperately need a new Zach Miller type to solidify the run game. Jimmy is a detriment there, but if you believe what Pete says they’d “love” him back. I think you have to stay open to the possibility at the right price; I’ve heard John Clayton predict something in the range of 3 years 21 mil., and I think you’d have to strongly consider that for 10 TD’s and maybe something closer to 2016 in terms of receptions and yards.

    I could go for a mid-range FA WR if Richardson leaves.

    Long story short the pieces are in place to take this team back to where we were. Transition is inevitable, but you should make these rookies and sophomore players take jobs, not award them (just because we’re all shell-shocked from missing the playoffs). This was a snake bitten year, but if the ball had bounced our way (off Blair Walsh’s foot, namely) there’s no way people are sitting around talking about “trade Earl Thomas,” and I’m surprised even Rob is swept up in that possibility.

    Reload. Reinvest. Absolutely bring up a new crop, but transition is not the same as rebuild. A strong draft and better execution in the running game and we’re back in the mix, which is all you can ever hope for.

    • Volume12 says:

      You checked out Stanford LB Bobby Okereke (6’3, 234 lbs.)? Does a little bit of everything. Will be a day 3 steal for someone. Length food days, instinctual, excellent in coverage.

      Or Arizona St’s DJ Calhoun? Rangy as hell, seeks out contact. A head hunter.

      • Volume12 says:

        * length for days. Hahaha

        • LLLOGOSSS says:

          I’ll take it! Would be great to have another SAM who can rush the passer on 3rd down, or at the very least someone who we can rely on if either Bobby or KJ go down. That outside run late against the Jags was another play that cost us a game (looking at you, Wilhoite…).

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            Good thought out post triple LLL. We can all speculate all we want and its fun debating either way but ultimately none of us are John Schneider and we have no vote. It appears as if we will have around $12 million in cap space with a full 51 roster so someone will have to go to create some cap space. You have to think Lane and Ryan will be goners. These questions will be answered in the coming months.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              Lane for sure, he’s been on the bubble for awhile (though I’ve always appreciated his max-effort). Probably time for Ryan, too, but you have to come up with a replacement — we can’t “Blair Walsh” it and think it’ll be easy. Likely Jimmy’s salary is off the books or substantially reduced. Joekel’s 9 mil. off the books. We’ll see about the Richardsons’.

              I will say, I think finding some thrifty/smart moves in free agency will be important, like the Tony McDaniel type that Rob mentioned, and maybe a WR of some utility, but past that I don’t think we should be handing out big contracts to guys we don’t know. Save that for extensions. We haven’t paid for a big FA since the Rice, Gallery, Miller days, and that mostly backfired on us.

              So, I don’t know that it really is necessary to clear so much payroll. What would we use it for? In my opinion, you extend Clark, maybe $9 mil. annual, you get a deal done with Sheldon Richardson for $8.5 mil. annual, you re-sign PRich at our number if possible ($5.5 mil) or else let him walk, and same with Jimmy. Use the rest for minor roster tuneups and roll over anything extra.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Again though, it’s not about payroll this year. It’s about initiating the inevitable churn now and making sure by 2019 and beyond you’re in a much healthier cap position.

                And that’s important, because it’s the time you’ll be needing to pay Russell Wilson a billion dollars and likely looking to be actual players in FA for the first time in a long time.

                • HawkfaninMT says:

                  Hi Rob-

                  You have made this point a few times and I totally understand you point of view on MB. I feel like, if cut this offseason, it’s a 2M savings this year and 8.5M next, was that right? What if he plays this year, and is released next offseason? Obviously we don’t save the 2M, but I gotta imagine we still save some of that 8.5M (or whatever the number was), right?

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Basically they save about $2-3m this year by cutting him and about $1.5m more if they do it the following year.

                    The difference is minimal really because he signed the new contract only a year ago.

                    The point of doing it now is you accelerate the change. You’re freeing up a lot of money in 2019 that you won’t have unless you make the move now. Plus it also allows you to potentially pass that 2019 money on to Frank Clark, who is entering the last year of his contract. If he signs an extension this off-season (and it’ll be wise not to let him get near FA) you can move that money around.

            • Hawk Eye says:

              what do you mean we have no vote??!!
              I thought we were going to make all the decisions and that we are not playing an imaginary game like a bunch of kids on their computers.
              reality sucks

              back to the post, I like your thoughts on the D 3L and the oline also.
              I tend to think Graham is not coming back. I just think they want tougher as well as better blocking.

      • D-OZ says:

        Been checking out Okereke, in the same mold as the USC kid both very athletic and interesting backgrounds.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s time for change. It’s strikingly obvious. We’ve been through some of the reasons here: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/why-the-defense-has-to-be-younger-jones-ii-charles

      …but they cannot continue to pay +$90m for the defense and considerably less for the offense. They’re getting old and beaten up and what’ll happen isn’t ‘one last go’ it’ll be more injuries, more wasted time and continued regression. It’s much harder to blow things up and start again than transition. It’s best to start change but do it gradually, not just go all in on the last dregs of a great era.

      This isn’t about savings in 2018 or anything else. It’s about sustained success for years to come. They need to get younger.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        So you want the young guys to gain experience and go through the same maturation that the old guard benefitted from. I’ll buy that as a reasonable approach. Though to me that takes us temporarily out of the championship window, and I still think this roster is plenty talented to compete at a very high level, health providing. Yes, we can expect injuries, that’s why we need depth we can believe in and turn to, not the Michael Wilhoite’s of the world.

        “One last ride,” might be wistful wanting… but I tend to also think that some of these injuries were freak (Kam, Avril), and others were bound to happen (Sherman, Bennett) due to use — but those players will finally get the treatment and rehab they needed. It’s a long offseason for those guys, they’ve never had that before.

        My whole idea is the new guard should have to take the jobs of the vets. If we’re not saving much money in 2018, let the new guard earn everything. Remember that’s how Sherman, Chancellor, KJ, Russell, Doug, and even Bennett and Avril became starters. They weren’t anointed, they forced their way onto the field.

        By all means, if we have young pups ready to lead us back tot he playoffs then let them prove it, and I’ll accept that, fully. But no cap savings means, to me, you play your strongest hand until you’re forced to settle for less. If they can’t take jobs, then they’re not our best players.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s time to stop thinking about the window and start thinking about sustained success. Teams don’t have to keep going through blow ups and rebuilds. New England are the perfect example of a team that churns. That’s not to say Seattle should mimic New England, but simply hoping that one great group will roll back the years until the point where you’re suddenly left in a hole isn’t the way to go about this.

          If they just hope for the best next year and keep it going, they’ll just have end up with the same problems. 10 guys not practising every week, key players missing for long stretches or landing on IR. This is a tough business and we have beat up players. You need energy and speed on defense and it’s lacking in a way it wasn’t in 2012.

          They also need to start re-balancing the roster spend and there’s no point putting that off any more.

          And I hate to be the one being negative about this — but this group isn’t winning a Super Bowl. That time has passed. It’s time to find the next core who can deliver that. They have the QB, they have a couple of good pieces like Bobby. But the supporting cast is lacking. Badly. We have an old, big name, expensive roster incapable of winning in a way they did in 2013. That’s the reality. And they need to find the next four or five young, ‘pissed off for greatness’ defensive players who can come in and play like their life depends on it. Just like the last bunch did from 2011 onwards.

          • LLLOGOSSS says:

            Rob you make a great case and represent it well. Always rep your work to everyone.

            I wonder, though, who are the big name stars who can’t deliver? Let’s name names. I guess it’s time.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think it’s more of a collective issue. This is a team that has had between 5-7 years together during this run. That’s bigger than your usual run — especially for a defense. Not with this many big names earning big contracts.

              Sadly defenses wear down. And they get old quickly. Often the cliff edge suddenly emerges. I can’t tell you that Michael Bennett or Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman are suddenly going to regress as individuals. But as a collective there might be a dip, they might be increasingly susceptible to injuries and they might miss games.

              Bennett for example I don’t think had a bad year at all in 2017. But he played hurt all season. And while he had the production to an extent, it also felt at times like the eye test matched up with the fact he was hurt. Earl, Sherm, Kam, Cliff, Bobby, K.J. — all missed games. To me sticking with the same core will mean more of the same, it’ll delay the inevitable need to start getting younger on defense and to try and clear cap not just for 2018 but in future years.

              I think Seattle’s 2018 record is likely to be similar whether they ‘bring the band back together’ or initiate a churn. This isn’t a dominant team any more. It doesn’t mean they can’t get to the playoffs or make a post-season run. But it isn’t 2012-14. And IMO — the quickest way to getting back to that is to start the change now and hope 2019 is a year when you look like a formidable beast again. While accepting they can compete in 2018 — they just won’t reach their previous highs.

              And I’ll stress again — none of these decisions I believe are going to be made to get cap room in 2018. This is a bigger picture thing.

              • mishima says:

                I thought I was the downer. 😉

                2018, cut your losses. 2019, rebuild: lots of picks (potentially 4 comp picks) and cap space.

                So, would trade ET (Cowboys’ #19), Sherman (4th), Bennett (4th). Cut Avril, Lane. Extend Brown. Re-sign McDougald. Let Kam do whatever he wants.

                Trade #18 and #19, draft 4x early on day 2, 6x on day 3.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  I don’t see it quite like that. I think 2018 is compete like crazy, lean a bit more on the QB, your key defensive stars and hopefully a brand new running game. Initiate the change to get younger. Probably don’t win 12-13 games but make the post-season. And then after another off-season, two drafts and two FA periods of transition you might’ve sufficiently reloaded to be the best team in football by 2019.

                  • mishima says:

                    Agree. I was just being drama.

                    I do think the decision to trade or extend ET will affect everything. If you can’t work out an extension, you have to trade him for late 1st or multiple Day 2 picks. Owning #18 and #19 might put Seattle in a position to decide where Lamar Jackson and/or Baker Mayfield play next year: rare and valuable situation, allowing them to play both picks off highest bidders. Dreaming.

                    I want them to move on from Sherm, Bennett, Kam, Avril, ET, but don’t think they will. At least 2 stay, appeasing fans, but delaying necessary rebuild for a year.

                    Will half-measures be enough in 2018? Or will they table important decisions, like whether to extend core players or lose them for nothing?

                    On a positive tip: I like this team going forward. On D: Clark, Jordan, Reed, Naz, Wagner, KJ. Griffin, Hill, possibly McDougald and Sherman at the Safety positions. On O: Fix the run game, restore discipline, let Solari do his thing with OL. Even with a mini-rebuild, could be a 10 win wild card team, next year. Go Hawks!

        • schuemansky says:

          You are most probably right that the old guard is still better. The problem though is that there is no way to keep ET, RS and MB, resign Sheldon Richardson and do new deals with McDougald, Coleman, Maxwell, Jordan… the cap is just not there. So the point is not if we should try to start the transition. We just have to.

          • LLLOGOSSS says:

            Cutting MB only saves $2 mil., I’d rather have him for that, even as a rotational player. Give Sheldon Jimmy Graham’s money. Done. Give PRich Jeremy Lane’s money, plus Jon Ryan. If Kam comes back you don’t need McDougald — he’s a stop gap to Hill and Thompson anyway. If Kam doesn’t come back that’s a huge relief if salary, more than enough for McDougald and Maxwell (who should be quite cheap — much more valuable to us than the rest of the league, obviously). Jordan is an RFA. Is Coleman a free agent?

            Then, all that non-guaranteed money from all the non-essential players comes off the books next year and we can go wild, extending and signing.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              Forgot Joekel’s 9 mil. Is coming off the books, too. Give some to jimmy and some to the next Tony McDaniel.

              • schuemansky says:

                We have about 19m of cap. Take off 5m for rookies and IR. Add 7 by cutting Lane and Ryan. It is 21m (keeping fingers crossed on Kam). From that money you would have to sign Richardson, Graham?, McDougald?, Coleman, Maxwell, Jordan, PRich? It does not work.

            • schuemansky says:

              MB cut post June will get 7m cap space. Jimmy is a FA, so his 10m are already out of the cap space calculations for next year. Same goes for PRich. If Kam does not come back, his cap hit is 7,5m in case he retires, if his injury guarantee kicks in it is 19,5m. Between McDougald, Maxwell, Jordan and Coleman we talk about at least 10m APY.

              • LLLOGOSSS says:

                Yeah but post June who would we be able to spend that on? Likely no one of substance.

                • Greg Haugsven says:

                  Ideally they could shed a little fat this year and a little next year so you dont have to do it all at once. You could rip the band aid off but that could make 2018 a long year. Can’t wait for it all to begin.

                • Greg Haugsven says:

                  You wouldn’t need to spend it on anyone, you could just use that money as your cushion going into the season. That post June 1 (which is actually May 12th) is also a day where you can sign free agents and it doesn’t count against your comp picks.

  36. Volume12 says:

    I think it was Sea Mode who mentioned him, but man, ND TE Durham Smythe has 3 down NFL TE written all over him.

    Nothing eye opening, but excellent inline blocker, good/stong hands, runs good routes, his physique is impressive (dude is cut), good size. Can be had on day 3.

    • D-OZ says:

      I watched a pretty good TE @ the East-West Shrine game Thomas was his name (I think ?) They played out wide mostly. Had a nice block on a run play. 6′ 5″/ 270 looked athletic for such a big guy.

  37. peter says:

    draftniks and Rob, with the senior bowl coming around the corner any names previously discussed or not that you have your eyes on?

  38. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Some Shrine Game Buzz

    USF DT Deadrin Senat, went from late round to mid round pick.
    Explosion off the snap / dominant at 1v1 drills
    PST WR DaeSean Hamilton, route running and toughness were noted.
    Late round pick now, could climb higher due to being 6’1″ 207
    Miami DL Chad Thomas, got an invite to Senior bowl.
    Athleticism and ability to bend the edge or hold up vs the run.

  39. D-OZ says:

    A lot of good looking defensive prospect’s @ the Shrine game. I liked the OT project named Senat also.

  40. D-OZ says:

    Northwestern showed today….

  41. Thy Hawk is Howling says:

    Brilliant post LLLOGOSSS! I would love to hear more enthsiastic, detailed, and positive writing from you! Maybe you could do a guest piece if Robbie would be cool with it!

    Cheers Man