Looking at options based on Zierlein & Pauline’s grades

February 24th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

This could be the most unpredictable draft in years

Opinions were always going to be all over the place with this draft class.

With so few legit top-10 picks and a significant amount of depth in the middle rounds, a variety of views was to be expected.

I never expected it to be this varied, though.

For example, I think Abraham Lucas is a top-15 talent. He has a fantastic, ideal tackle frame. He ran a 4.30 short shuttle and a 5.03 forty at SPARQ, speaking to his agility and athleticism. He has good tape against players like Kayvon Thibodeaux. He had a couple of iffy reps at the Senior Bowl but for the most part excelled greatly.

Yet if you look at various ‘big boards’ he’s often graded in the third or fourth round, if not later.

I asked Jim Nagy, another Lucas admirer, why this was:

I agree with Jim. The lack of buzz doesn’t make sense. Particularly when I keep seeing this quarterback class being graded — not mocked, graded — in the top-40.

I’ve put together my own ‘horizontal board’ and I’ll keep adding to it and tweaking it as we go along. By the combine I’ll add an ‘undrafted’ range and will look to reduce it down to about 100-120 viable, draftable prospects for the Seahawks.

Here is the latest update (click on the image to enlarge):

Based on this board, a lot of players I really like won’t be there for Seattle at #41. Yet obviously just because I project a player in a certain range, doesn’t mean they’ll go that high.

I don’t want to eliminate players from the conversation for Seattle, purely because of my own personal opinions.

For that reason, I had a look at two other boards of people whose opinions I greatly respect. I might not agree with every projection Lance Zierlein and Tony Pauline make. I do know, however, that they put in the work.

Lance’s collection of draft profiles is an annual tour de force. Tony constantly offers year-round opinions and grades and begins watching tape again almost immediately after a draft concludes.

Neither gets enough respect or attention for that. There are a lot of ‘blaggers’ in the media pontificating about the draft who get a lot more focus.

Lance posted his exhaustive list of profiles this week (click here). I wanted to look at players he has graded within range of Seattle’s first four picks. The results were very interesting.

I limited this review to players graded within five slots of where Seattle picks. So for pick #41, I looked at the range of #36-65. For pick #71 I looked at #66-101.

Here are some of the players Lance ranked within range for Seattle’s top pick, suggesting they would be good value at #41:

Trey McBride (TE)
Joshua Paschal (DE)
Daxton Hill (S)
Dameon Pierce (RB)
Sam Williams (DE)
Travon Walker (DE)
Travis Jones (DT)
Tyler Smith (T)
Channing Tindall (LB)
Jeremy Rucker (TE)
Quay Walker (LB)
Cole Strange (C)

This list intrigued me because it aligned with a lot of the players we’ve talked up. Yet it also presented prospects I’ve assumed would be gone — such as McBride, Hill or Quay Walker.

At pick #72, the options on Lance’s board were even more eye-catching:

DeMarvin Leal (DE/DT)
Nicholas Petit-Frere (T)
Lewis Cine (S)
DeAngelo Malone (DE)
Logan Hall (DE/DT)
Max Mitchell (T)
Matthew Butler (DT)
Greg Dulcich (TE)
Perrion Winfrey (DT)

A lot of these players — Leal, Petit-Frere, Cine, Hall, Dulcich, Winfrey — I’d happily consider at #41. I’ve not had a chance to discuss Matthew Butler yet but I watched him this week and was extremely intrigued by his athleticism, upside and ability as an impactful interior lineman.

The intrigue continues into Seattle’s two picks in round four (#107, #114):

Myjai Sanders (DE)
Jalen Wydermyer (TE)
Drake Jackson (DE)
Tariq Woolen (CB)
Chad Muma (LB)
Abraham Lucas (T)
Montaric Brown (CB)
Obinna Eze (T)
Rasheed Walker (T)
Kerby Joseph (S)

I could’ve added more names but felt this was enough. Players, again, who I’d consider at #41 — available two rounds later.

Based solely on Lance’s rankings, you could draft Channing Tindall, Perrion Winfrey, Abraham Lucas and Jalen Wydermyer.

I’ve said a few times that I really like this draft class. This is why. I might be right about some players being very underrated but I’ll be wrong about others. At the end of the day, Seattle has four picks between rounds 2-4 and a huge opportunity to draft a quartet who can be part of a younger foundation moving forward.

Now let’s do the same exercise with Tony’s board.

With the top pick at #41, he has the following players graded in range:

Iken Ekonwu (G)
Rasheed Walker (T)
DeMarvin Leal (DE/DT)
Myjai Sanders (DE)
Brian Asamoah (LB)
Jeremy Rucket (TE)
Leo Chenal (LB)
Sam Williams (DE)
Daxton Hill (S)
Devonte Wyatt (DT)

Again, there are a whole host of players here we’ve written off as ‘out of reach’. Tony currently has Wyatt graded at #63 overall. I know he updated his board recently but I’m not sure if this was pre or post Senior Bowl. He would be fantastic for Seattle.

It’s also interesting that both Lance and Tony grade a player like Sam Williams in round two (as do I) yet he receives almost no national buzz.

Here are the options at #72:

Perrion Winfrey (DT)
Abraham Lucas (T)
Greg Dulcich (TE)
Drake Jackson (DE)
Trey McBride (TE)
Bryan Cook (S)
Trent McDuffie (CB)
Jake Ferguson (TE)
Lewis Cine (CB)
Kyler Gordon (CB)

The two Washington cornerbacks, often mocked in round one, would both be available on Tony’s board in round three. As would a whole host of players I’ve assumed would be long gone.

Now for the picks at #107 and #114:

Quay Walker (LB)
Tariq Woolen (CB)
Cam Taylor-Britt (CB)
Boye Mafe (DE)
DeAngelo Malone (DE)
Kerby Joseph (S)
Bernhard Raimann (T)
Chad Muma (LB)
Cameron Jurgens (C)
Montaric Brown (CB)

Another strong list of players, four of which I’ve been mocking in round one.

The combine next week will provide some clarity. I’ve been saying since September that I think the combine, this year, is going to be more important than ever. Players have an opportunity to propel themselves up boards with a good testing performance — because of the close proximity of grades and a lack of clear ‘blue chip’ players. I’ll be posting my extensive combine preview in the next few days.

The 2022 draft is going to be highly unpredictable. I know who I like and I have my own opinions. I suspect, though, that players I’ve more or less written off as potential targets could be attainable. And that’s exciting.

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53 Responses to “Looking at options based on Zierlein & Pauline’s grades”

  1. Mick says:

    Rob – I’ve noticed that Dameon Pierce is one of those backs who has a dominant carry hand (right hand in his case). He’s a stud when moving to the right, as the ball is shielded from defenders and he can land stiff arms with the free left hand. But when he moves left, the ball is exposed and he cannot land a stiff arm, so he resorts to initiating contact and trying to bowl defenders over, even in 1-on-1 situations. It should be a fixable issue, but (a) have you noticed the issue, and (b) does it weigh on your assessment at all?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not something I’ve studied closely. It wouldn’t put me off too much. Not considering his physical style explosive traits and what he’ll bring to the locker room.

      • Palatypus says:

        Ahman Green had this problem in Seattle. We gave up on him. Then he went to Green Bay and was a killer.

        • STTBM says:

          Yes, but he kept fumbling. We traded him for far too little, but dude was too much a fumbler to play in Holmgren system.

    • Jordan says:

      That was a visually awkward part of Christine Michael’s game.

  2. Peter says:

    Pretty fascinating lists for both of them.

    Intrigued to see how their lists change after the combine.

    Interesting to see Woolen and Brown in both lists in our range. Seems like seattle should be in a good position to have their bests drafts in years.

    Mafe in the fourth? One can dream.

    Winfrey in the third. I’ll gladly take it.

    • Palatypus says:

      Boye Mafe was measured at 6’3.5″, and 255 pounds at the Senior Bowl. He had 9.5″ hands, 33″ arms.

      Vonn Miller at the 2011 combine was measured at 6’3″ and 250 pounds. He has 9.25″ hands, 33.5″ arms.

      Miller ran the second fastest (4.53) 40-yard dash time and the fastest three-cone drill (6.70) that year in the linebackers group.

      If Mafe runs where we think he will…

  3. BobbyK says:

    I’m so sick of the lack of interior pressure that I’d love a scenario where they double-dipped at DT and get Wyatt and Travis Jones. I’ve said before that it’s obvious Pete cares nothing of the future, so I could see him dangle a 2nd round pick next year to get a pick early in the 3rd this year if a guy like Jones fell that far (or anyone, really).

    • cha says:

      I still want to know what happened with Jarran Reed.

      How the Seahawks went from “we’re rewarding and standing by a player coming off a 6-game suspension” to “we offered to restructure his deal because of the cap hit, he said no so we’re cutting him” was crazy.

      The Seahawks ate $5m in dead money, and got nothing in trade. KC snapped him up two days after he was cut and gave him a $5.5m deal. Still, he lost out on another $3-4m because of this.

      Nothing about this smells good.

    • Peter says:

      If pete burnt a second because they were going to get jones to pair with wyatt or lucas that’s fine by me.

      It’s burning picks for one year rentals and guys who don’t add value (harvin, adams) that’s my issue.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      On a similar vein of trading future picks I did see a pff trade suggestion of a 2022 4th and a 2023 2nd for Danielle Hunter. With his injury history I might prefer to make that 2023 pick conditional on games played, but we would be getting an elite pass rusher in his prime on a discount because of those injuries and the Vikings cap situation.

      • Rob Staton says:

        What article is that from?

        We all want prime Danielle Hunter in Seattle. But he’s played seven games in two seasons and that compensation would be more than they paid for Clowney.

        Further to that, he’s due an $18m roster bonus on March 20th. I would suggest, given his cap hit is $26.1m this year, that there’s zero chance they pay that and they cut him to save $18.6m.

        From there, you can try and sign him without any consequences in terms of draft stock.

        I’ve got an article coming on this.

        • Henry Taylor says:

          Fair points for some reason my phone refuses to paste the link, but if you search pff trade destinations they have an article a few days ago with some trade suggestions (including another ridiculous low offer for Russ).

          The argument made was basically the roster bonus acts as a deadline for the Vikings to either extend him, trade him or cut him. A player as good as he is even with the injuries, might be worth the picks to make sure you get him. And that is why I suggested the 2023 pick should be conditional. If we were able to get him for free I’d like that more.

  4. uptop says:

    This is Husky homerism, but I’d like to see Bookie Radley-Hiles on the team. I dont think he gets drafted due to his size, but hes a fun playmaker to be a slot corner. love to get him as a UDFA. Id rather see him than Ugo.

    And we need to do what we should’ve last year. Draft Jurgens. Model your team to beat others in the division. Get nasty to beat Donald. Get him titled!

  5. Bankhawk says:

    Really a fun, fun posting Rob. A nice read in a week when I’m feeling like I could really use something that puts a silver lining in the old cloud, there. 👍😁

  6. Rob Staton says:

    David Carr doubled down on Seattle not appreciating Wilson today:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icPEEIAVymw

    • Peter says:

      Riverboat Ron with an actual qb…could be scary good.

      Finally actually watching Carr on this. He’s not wrong ( and I was) about if Seattle thinks they could be better w/o russ. Good luck. This team. As is. With any of the young guns except mahomes, who turn it over more than him, that would be quite the sight to see. And without any of those guys….good bye FO.

    • Sean-O says:

      From the video, “they’ve already tried to replace him”. How?

      We all get lots of teams (WAS, PIT) would be better by trading for Wilson. Other than maybe Jeremy Fowler, no one looks at it from the other perspective. What would SEA do at QB? Why would a 70 y/o coach want to start over with a rookie (or inexperienced or inferior) QB.

      Just seems like lazy takes at this point.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Another question should be whether the Seahawks should be letting a 70-year-old Head Coach, with extreme short-term ambitions, have so much control over decision making.

        • MikeB says:

          No kidding. Honestly, if you wanted to do it right, the coordinators should have more draft input than Pete. They have the best shot of being a coach for the team in a few years time when these rookies reach that 2-3 year mark of their development. It can be dangled as an incentive to bring in coaching talent.

          Of course, the GM should be making better decisions, but its hard to point to that process working in recent history.

  7. HawkFan907 says:

    It is interesting to see some of Zierlein’s Pro Comps. Just looking at a half dozen or so blog favorites:

    Dameon Pierce – Isaiah Crowell
    Channing Tindall – Cody Barton (yes, our Cody Barton)
    Abraham Lucas – Jah Reid
    Boye Mafe – Rashan Gary
    Josh Paschal – Emmanuel Ogbah
    Devonte Wyatt – Maliek Collins

    Plus some bonus names comped to current/former Seahawks:
    Kyle Hamilton – Kam Chancellor
    Sauce Gardner – Richard Sherman
    Isaiah Spiller – Rashaad Penny
    Brian Robinson – Chris Carson

    • BobbyK says:

      I was so impressed with what little I saw of Robinson this year. I’d really love him to complement Penny. Carson is just so worthless because you know he’s going to miss a lot of time before the year every year, but he sure is a good runner for those few snaps each year.

    • Palatypus says:

      One of the great things about going to the Senior Bowl practices in person is that you don’t have some talking head constantly in your ear telling you how great Zion Johnson and Malik Willis is. You get to believe your own damn eyes.

      Earlier I compared Boye Mafe to Von Miller and I’m sticking with it. I think you draft him you get 11.5 sacks. That’s what I saw at the Senior Bowl.

      • Peter says:

        Really enjoy your viewpoint from the senior bowl.

        Interesting comp. Von played with a probably better team, had an amazing bend around the edge, but Mafe looks so strong. Probably my favorite player in the draft.

  8. One Bad Mata'afa says:

    I think WSU corner Jaylen Watson might surprise and go higher than people think. He could push his way into the 3rd and would be a solid+ value from the 4th on.

    Long but solid 6′-2″ , 188 lbs. Physical at LOS. Good ball skills. Good in run support

  9. Forrest says:

    Could you imagine getting the following in rounds 2-4:

    Channing Tindall
    Abraham Lucas
    Boye Mafe
    Montaric Brown

    Maybe a RB in the later rounds

    Combined with free agents:
    Chandler Jones/Harold Laundry DE
    Brian Allen C
    Jayron Kearse S
    Duane Brown/Trent Brown LT
    DJ Reed CB
    Akiem Hicks/Calais Campbell/Jarran Reed DT

    Pass on Diggs (too much risk with the injury)
    Cut Wagner

    • Peter says:

      Would love all of that. I can not see mafe lasting til the fourth round. Would love it but don’t see it.

      Agree sadly it’s probably a pass on diggs.

  10. Mike says:

    How does the community feel about deriq king? Maybe take a flier on him in round 6-7 or udfa. Could be a knock off kyler muarry

    • Rob Staton says:

      He is a definite UDFA and not even sure he gets a camp to be honest

    • Rob4q says:

      I’m hoping they take a late round flier on the local kid:

      Eric Barriere, QB Eastern Washington

      Per PFN: In addition to his strong arm, impressive decision-making, and pocket awareness, Barriere boasts another quarterback quality that is becoming the norm in the NFL. The Eastern Washington wonder is a true dual-threat quarterback. During his time with the Eagles, he has amassed 1,363 yards on 287 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns.

      While it’s important to point out that I’m not suggesting Barriere makes the leap into the first-round or that he’s the second coming of Lance or Wentz, a breakout for the quarterback prospect would represent a potential Day 3 selection next April as the top FCS passer in the class.

  11. swedenhawk says:

    wait… so you’re saying that all the ridiculous scenarios thrown out by the PFN mock draft simulator might actually be plausible!? 🙃

  12. Rob Staton says:

    Cowherd predicting Wilson stays in Seattle:

    https://twitter.com/theherd/status/1496951083154894866?s=21

    Which is extremely telling given it’s Cowherd and speaks to what we’ve been saying. Wilson, despite blatantly keeping his options open, knows Carroll isn’t going to trade him. So there’s no point kicking up a fuss again if it doesn’t get you anything other than criticism.

    And I think the only thing that changes this is a crap free agency, which forces Wilson to act.

    So basically, don’t have a crap free agency.

    • Mick says:

      I also wish we don’t get cute again in the draft. We have clear positions of need and we won’t cover them all in free agency, don’t draft a WR with your first pick again or a corner or DE nobody has on the list when there are obvious better players available. There are many good players and some will have to drop to 41, don’t trade down.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Adam Schefter here being quite pointed at the Wilson camp, well worth a listen: https://youtu.be/mqM2VO8KFhQ

      Fascinating really. I know there’s a section of the fan base so naive that they think this whole thing has been created by the media, but it’s clear to anyone who looks at this honestly that Wilson is very open minded about a trade, doesn’t align his views with Pete Carroll on how to win and is conscious of time ebbing away in his career.

      Yet Schefter is right. You can’t just sit around and hope for the Seahawks to divorce you. It’s up to both parties to sort this out one way or another. And I’m sick of this never ending keeping of options open.

      As I said last year. Trade him or extend him for 5-7 years. End this once and for all.

    • Gross MaToast says:

      Is there really a difference between Cowherd saying it and Wilson saying it?

    • McZ says:

      I just bet two boxes of beer, first that a crap FA is inevitable, and that we will rub our eyes for another round of dumb picks.

      I’m confident I will win both.

  13. L80 says:

    All of the scenarios with those players available is a salivating prospect for a team with SO many needs.

    However, they have made so many bad choices and trades/ackquisitions for so many years it’s hard to have any confidence in them to get the right players for whatever scheme they will run.

    HOPEFULLY the new defensive coaches can influence their foggy brains regarding said players. Because their track record is not good for almost a decade now.

    Agreed on the RW extension. There’s enough drama in all aspects and to eliminate that would be a huge boost for the team and potential free agents thinking about coming here.

  14. Happy Hawk says:

    extend Wilson now until he is 40.It is the Hawks best and smartest move. RW will end his career in Seattle and end up in the HOF. The biggest questions for me are how long Seahawk ownership will support the aging Carroll and what is JS real role in the organization?

    • Bmseattle says:

      Wilson has to want that.
      Seems pretty unlikely he would ever sign a deal like that, at this point.

    • TatupuTime says:

      I also don’t think Russ signs an extension without some kind of handshake deal with Jody Allen that Pete is only around for 1-2 years, and then after that they will hire an offensive minded coach and Wilson will be consulted on the hiring.

      If I’m Russ there is no way I’m interested in an extension at this point without something changing. And if things go poorly again this season next year he gets more aggressive and demands to be traded. His contract also is much easier to trade next year (not that it’s not doable for both sides this offseason as well).

  15. DriveByPoster says:

    I really like the concept of this article, Rob. It’s surprisingly easy to dig a trench for yourself when putting your opinions up on the interwebs. So doing a situation analysis based on the views of other reputable reporters is a really nice sanity check.

  16. JJ says:

    Rob,

    Are you going to do the live mocks like you did last year using PFN? Liked the thought process you went through when discussing moves.

  17. cha says:

    Gil Brandt has Clowney coming to Seattle and Reed signing with the Vikings

    https://www.nfl.com/news/2022-nfl-free-agency-team-fits-for-10-notable-free-agents

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d happily have him back.

      His price is a lot lower. He might be inconsistent but he also wrecks key games — as he did on the road vs SF and in the playoffs in Philly.

      People forget he was basically a one-man-band in 2019 with ZERO help.

      Put him on a roster with Taylor & Dunlap and he could be even better.