Mel Kiper’s first 2018 mock & thoughts on Derwin James

January 18th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Before we get into Mel’s mock, this week I was invited onto the Pedestrian Podcast (courtesy of the UK Seahawkers). Please check it out below and have a listen…

Mel Kiper published his first 2018 mock draft today, with the Seahawks taking Derwin James at #18:

“James is tough to figure out, but Seattle would be thrilled to get him here. He’s super talented and looked like a top-five pick as a freshman at Florida State in 2015, but he missed the entire 2016 season because of a knee injury. James had a solid 2017 season with 84 total tackles and two interceptions, but scouts wanted to see more. At his peak, though, James is a typical Seattle safety and fits what it looks for. Kam Chancellor’s future is up in the air after a neck injury, and the Seahawks could need a replacement.”

Regular visitors to the blog will know I’ve been saying James is a bit overrated — but I’m starting to think my view is part of the consensus. Kiper has him at #18, I had him at #21 in my mock draft. I think he’s going to go in the mid-to-late first.

My argument for him being overrated was based on projections of a top-10 slot, which are/were unrealistic. But I also think it’s important to work through some of the hype with James — one of the biggest names in the 2018 draft but not necessarily one of the absolute best prospects.

Physically he looks the part. I’d expect a good vertical jump at the combine and some nice explosive testing marks. I don’t think he’ll be the fastest or the most agile but he’s about 6-3 and 211lbs so that’s not a big surprise.

In the Nike SPARQ testing he had the following performance:

Height: 6-2
Weight: 202lbs
Forty: 4.52
Short shuttle: 4.27
Power throw: 40
Vertical: 37 inches
SPARQ: 113.34

It’s a reasonable workout for sure. Yet if you compare it to Lorenzo Carter’s at Georgia, there’s a bit of a difference:

Height: 6-5
Weight: 234lbs
Forty: 4.63
Short shuttle: 4.32
Power throw: 41.5
Vertical: 40 inches
SPARQ: 129.75

James is a box safety well suited to playing up at the line of scrimmage. He’s a sure tackler and occasionally delivers a big jarring hit. His run defense is extremely disciplined. Look at the play below and the patience he shows before shedding Damien Harris’ block and making the tackle:

He is capable of creating a fear factor on crossing routes and that’s one of the reasons he’ll be a first round pick. This is textbook — reads the play, classic form on the hit and makes it count:

Here’s another example of his tackling form. Anyone who’s watched Lamar Jackson will know how difficult he is to tackle in space. James executes his attempt perfectly:

Put him up against a bigger receiver and he can gain position and make a play on the ball:

These are some of the areas where he’s going to excel. If you want someone who can run and hit effectively as a box safety, James will provide some value.

Sadly, James just doesn’t make enough plays beyond the hits and tackles. It’s why Kiper starts his blurb with the line ‘James is hard to figure out‘. Brock Huard said the following about him today when assessing Mel’s pick for Seattle:

“Freak show. Five star, #1 recruit in America just a few years ago… There’s an unbelievable Youtube — when I did some Florida State games — of him in a weight room jumping some 50 inches on a pad. An adonis. You’re not supposed to be that dynamic at that size. So unique gifts and all that, kind of fits Pete’s eye and scouting eye. Not nearly the productivity. Where is all of it on the field? Let me see that come to life. Where is that play after play after play… you don’t see those two back each other up and that’s why he’s probably going to be a mid to late first rounder instead of some of the safety’s we saw last year taken in the top ten.”

We’re talking about a decently explosive athlete. Not the fastest, I wouldn’t expect a great forty time. But he’s explosive. And big. But still a box safety.

And unfortunately, you see moments like this:

He’s the last line of defense in the video above. He’s playing deep — and in that situation, he just has to do better.

How is he covering in the short game? This is where Minkah Fitzpatrick excels. In the video below, James is covering Florida’s Antonio Calloway in the slot:

You could say it’s a mismatch in coverage and any right minded quarterback will exploit that. If you’re taking a safety in the top-20, however, you want more than he’s showing here.

While he’s very good at the LOS, you also see some misses. Damien Harris in the video below takes him out of the play quite easily. If the hope is that James can be Kam Chancellor — with Kam’s limitations and strengths — well Kam never looked like this attacking a running back in pass-pro:

James is far from a bad player. He’s good and will likely will go in the first round. Is he a treasured blue-chip prospect in the same tier as Tremaine Edmunds, Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson and Bradley Chubb? No, not for me. And he might not be in the second tier either.

So what about his fit in Seattle?

With Kam Chancellor retiring, being able to land a dynamic strong safety with great size could be perfect timing. There are a couple of things that are important to remember though:

— In the Carroll era, the Seahawks have only drafted one defensive back in the first two rounds. It’s Earl Thomas, a future Hall of Famer. Carroll’s track record in Seattle is to draft DB’s later and coach them up. It’s a plan that has worked emphatically so far. It doesn’t mean they won’t take James in round one but history tells us they’d have to rate any safety or corner very, very highly to pull the trigger.

— How important is it for the Seahawks to invest their top pick in a strong safety? If Earl Thomas stays in Seattle they could re-sign Bradley McDougald and have a good pairing. Ultimately, what is best? Earl & McDougald plus the ability to use the first rounder on someone else? Or having Earl & Derwin James?

Ultimately it probably comes down to this — Carroll’s ability to coach up a safety versus the need to repair or manufacture a running game. In the last two years Seattle failed spectacularly to run the ball. They can’t make it a hat trick in 2018. And if they draft James at #18 — they won’t pick again until the second half of round four. That’s a significant wait to do anything about the offense.

Further notes on Mel’s mock

— Kiper has Josh Allen at #1 to Cleveland. I also mocked that in my projection. Not because I think Allen is the best QB in the class — there’s just too much noise at the moment suggesting John Dorsey (Browns GM) believes he is.

— Vita Vea drops to #19 in Mel’s mock. Maybe I’ll be wrong but I’m 99.9% certain he will not fall that far. Top ten prospect.

— Mel includes Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews, UCLA tackle Kolton Miller, USC defensive end Rasheem Green and UCF corner Mike Hughes in round one. I need to watch more of Green and Hughes — I’ve not studied them at all. I was surprised to see Andrews in round one (I’m not convinced he’ll go in round two, let alone the first) and Miller’s inclusion also raised an eyebrow. Perhaps most surprising though was Pittsburgh tackle Brian O’Neill at #16. I need to watch some of his tape.

— Kiper has Billy Price falling to the Panthers at #24. Interesting.

— He also only has one running back (Saquon Barkley). It’s worth noting that Kiper is Lord Commander of the ‘don’t draft RB’s early’ clan so it’s not too surprising. Still, it goes to show the options Seattle would have if they wanted to trade down significantly — possibly into round two. There wouldn’t just be good options at running back — but also on the O-line (Wynn, Ragnow) and defense (Carter, Vander Esch, Settle).

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174 Responses to “Mel Kiper’s first 2018 mock & thoughts on Derwin James”

  1. Nick says:

    Excellent summary per usual, Rob.

    I too noticed the lack of RBs in his mock draft. Would you take the over or under of 3 RBs in the 1st? I’d take the under. That leaves Seattle in a really nice spot to drop back late into the first round or second and still land a top RB.

    I’m beginning to wonder if they see the available RBs in this order: 1) Ronald Jones 2) Nick Chubb 3) Sony Michel.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think there’s a decent chance at least two running backs go in round one. If not, advantage Seahawks.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      No. 1) Nick Chubb. Don’t know about the rest, but think “tough.” Not explosive, not great feet (though I’m sure those would be great), but “tough”.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Chubb is plenty explosive though. Was one of the best testers ever at SPARQ. Incredibly explosive qualities. He’s just got choppy footwork at times.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          Good points. I don’t think I worded my post very well. I’m saying that from what I’ve heard from somebody who heard it from the staff (and to be fair, it could have been from somebody who is no longer there, since it was shortly before the mass firings), their priority was on finding a “tough” running back. No mention of any other quality.

          So I’m just saying that as we ooh and aah over various backs in the class, keep that priority in mind above all else.

          • Rob Staton says:

            That’s interesting if true. I suspect it is to be fair. Toughness is vital. They need reliability and physicality. And that’s what Chubb brings.

            Although I also think Ronald Jones II is incredibly tough too.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              I think he’s one of the toughest runners in the draft. If Lynch is the standard for that metric…RJ2’s not as strong or physically punishing as Lynch. But he’s tenacious like Lynch, rarely goes down on first contact like Lynch and even has that same low, wide stride Lynch used to keep a strong base/balance while cutting through traffic.

              I know you comp him to Charles, with good reason. He also reminds me of Edgerrin James. He may be a wee bit lighter than PC’s ideal, but dynamically/stylistically, I think he’s perfect for SEA. I hope they’re able to repeat last year’s start of 2 modest trades down to mid 30’s where I think they can take RJ2.

              • C-Dog says:

                I thought Kerryon Johnson showed some toughness trying to run with that banged up shoulder in the Iron Bowl.

                One thing I noticed about Carson was how he would pull himself off the field after a few carries.

                Sounds like Seattle might be looking to add a bonafide work horse back. Chubb, Johnson, Jones 2, Penny could serious targets.

            • Icb12 says:

              My vote for toughest back is Vic Enwere

              Not the athlete of other prospects. Not going to be a high pick.
              But he brings a toughness and an attitude to his runs.

              I would be ecstatic if Seattle picked him up as part 2 of a double dip at RB
              He’s played too heavy for 3 years at Cal. The one year he was trimmed down he looked very good.
              At the very least he could make the roster as a FB

  2. Brandon Adams says:

    If that many RB’s were still around by #18, it would only be more reason for Seattle to risk trading down.

    • Nick says:

      Absolutely. I’d bank on it. And if they drop back to say, 33, and if Ronald Jones (or whoever their top RB available is) gets picked up, then you identify your #2 and pick him. Methinks Chubb is that guy.

      • H says:

        Well, in this scenario Billy Price is still there. I want to tap into this Rb class as much as the next guy, but a shot at one of the best players in this class at a position group that is so hard to find elite talent in.
        That just so happens to be one of our major weaknesses. Id really consider taking my chances on Carson and some day 3 guys at rb

        • Nick says:

          H, the instinct for selecting a top G is good. Clearly, the OL needs to be addressed, but we’ve been giving up a lot of high draft capital on the line for years now (Ifedi, Pocic, Brown via the trade). That approach was acceptable and advisable when we had a Defense in its prime. But we’re moving away from that period in Seahawk history.

          We need to retool the defense and make it younger. One of the top 3 picks for us, i think, will be OG. I just think when you select someone early on, you want to do so with someone who’s ceiling is HUGE. Is Price’s ceiling and impact on the Seahawks as high as someone like Ronald Jones or Arden Key?

          The answer could be yes. It could also be no.

          • RealRhino2 says:

            Been thinking about this quite a bit. Not sure getting a very good guard is that important. I know the impact of a GREAT guard is quite valuable, but once you’re past that, I think just having a good guard is fine. And a quick glance at the rosters of playoff teams shows you that you don’t need to use high draft picks to get that. Tackle might be a different story, but unless the guy is Steve Hutchinson, I’d pass in the 1st, and probably in the 2nd.

          • H says:

            I agree with everything there
            My thinking is just that, if certain player comes along, that you never have the chance to get. Not neccesarilly, but especially, if they play in a major area of need. You just have to pull the trigger
            People have suggested Edmunds, Vae and Davenport as guys theyd be happy to stick around at 18 for. Price is that level of talent for me. A future all pro guard or center.

            This is all likely redundant because i just cant see him falling to us, but Kiper is well respected so you never know.

  3. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob you seen DeShon Elliott the safety?

    Solid second rounder with upside for me.

  4. Sea Mode says:

    Haha nice, Rob. Now you can just conveniently link to this piece from now on every time someone comes and asks about Derwin James in the comments!

    While you’re at it on that OL O’Neill, here’s another OL I saw in a first round mock that for me was pretty out of the blue.

    26. Atlanta Falcons – James Daniels, OG/C, Iowa (6-4, 295)
    This pick may be a bit of a surprise to some people, but I have James Daniels graded as a first round center and the best interior offensive lineman not named Quenton Nelson. He does not turn 21 until September, and I think he can play guard or center at the next level given his mobility, power, and reliability in both pass protection and the run game. Daniels puts on a clinic with his reach blocks, and if you put him in a zone blocking scheme, I strongly believe he will have multiple Pro Bowls in his future.

    Even if you don’t end up rating him as highly as this guy (Jonah Tuls), which seems likely given he doesn’t even have Price in R1, that last part about ZBS fit could be intriguing as another stron R2 option for us.

  5. mishima says:

    Could see Vea dropping to #18. Top 10 talent, but not top 10 need for most teams.

    If there is a run on QB and/or RB, could see some elite talent available at #18.

  6. Dan says:

    We can’t forget about Delano Hill either. He was not spectacular at Michigan, but he was very steady and a rock solid tackler. Is it worth spending the 18th pick to get a sexier version of Hill? It wouldn’t surprise me if he turns into a solid contributor after a year of being coached up by Pete.

    • Jason says:

      I was thinking the same thing about Hill. Also Thompson and Mike Tyson. I feel like we would be looking at corner rather than safety.

    • BobbyK says:

      Hill got the redshirt year at SS just like Chancellor did. While he won’t be that good, he should be a contributor in ’18 if he’s worth anything at all. They don’t draft guys in the first three rounds to be bench guys in year two. Now, some of their picks and day two (rounds 2-3) have turned out to be busts but that not their hope on draft day. I think Hill is going to start if he showed a lick of potential practices last year.

    • 80SLargent says:

      This was exactly my first thought when I first saw the article and having Seattle draft a safety in the 1st round.
      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
      Did Kiper gloss over the fact that Seattle drafted THREE safeties last draft? Granted, one of them was converted to CB (Tyson), but the point still stands. They made a concerted effort to address the position, and I’d expect it’s much more likely that Delano Hill sees the field very soon than Seattle wasting their only pick in the first four rounds of the draft on a freakin’ box safety.
      The only way Seattle uses a first round pick on a safety is if they end up trading Earl Thomas, and that should also be in the category of “highly unlikely”.

    • Patrick Toler says:

      We know basically no thing about Hill and Thompson as pros. Whether SS is even a need depends a lot on the Hawks evaluation of them

  7. will_ says:

    Do you take into account this is James’ first year back from a major knee injury? His two worst plays above were in his first two games this season (granted, the Florida game was at the end of the year).

    Also, I think it’s a little revisionist to say Chancellor never “looked like this attacking a running back in pass pro.” Maybe not in Seattle, but Chancellor had similarly bad plays as James while in college.

    I think James went from wildly overrated, to now possibly underrated as everyone pushes him down the board.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it’s revisionist history. You’re asking us to reflect back 10 years ago to a guy who was playing linebacker and safety vs what he’s done in the pro’s since. And to be honest, I can’t remember Kam getting dumped at the LOS by a running back at Virginia Tech.

      I think his stock is about right now. He is, and has been, a mid-to-late first rounder.

    • Mark Souza says:

      And what if James has already reached his post-surgery ceiling? You are assuming there’s more, but there’s no evidence there is.

  8. DC says:

    No Tim Settle in his 1st round mock?

    I was watching tape of Maurice Hurst looking for a potential interior pass rusher for the Hawks. It was kind of meh. He was getting pushed back at the LOS. Then onto Settle. My eyes popped out of my head. TS just flat out penetrates. Personally I think he’s the best DT in the draft and a high 1st round pick. We shall see.

    • peter says:

      different players but I like settle as much as veae. I think seattle would be silly to not consider either if they could draft either.

      • DC says:

        Agree. I think they are both easily gone by #18. Not holding out hope as it would just piss me off. Please keep Settle out of the NFCW! And Green Bay.

        • peter says:

          could be right.. while kiper was busy getting his do’ hairsprayed on tight for the draft season and old walter football was busy trying to fit more page counters and dancing bears on his CompuServe looking page they didn’t expect settle to declare.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Settle is being highly underrated.

      • DC says:

        That usually sorts itself out by draft day. As a RS Soph it’s possible that draftniks weren’t ready to focus on a guy they projected wouldn’t come out. Both Aaron Donald & Sheldon Rankins went from 2nd rd projections to actual top 15 picks. Settle really does remind me of Tez. He has that funny looking pear body shape but just gets into the backfield.

        • Ralphy says:

          I agree with you guys. I couldn’t get over how small Seattle’s D line looked at the end of the season. They were getting pushed back time and time again. I really think the front 7 is what will be addressed with their first pick.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I think they need to go and find their next Tony McDaniel in FA — and at the same price as McDaniel.

            • Ralphy says:

              I agree Rob. They also need to figure out if Reed and Naz Jones can stay healthy or not. They looked like a different team when those guys were playing,

              • Rob Staton says:

                I hope they box clever again on the DL. It was always a strength of theirs. Finding Clemons, bringing in Bennett and Avril on the cheap. They were able to add interior guys without big investment. In a way they’ve managed that again with Reed and Naz. But the Sheldon trade, if it’s a one year rental, was a huge gamble to cover up the botched McDowell pick (and I’m comfortable saying botched — that guy was a flag waiting to happen, something was going to happen).

                So cheap, stout, big, angry bad ass D-liners like McDaniel please and find some productive value on the edge. Get the magic going there again.

  9. RealRhino2 says:

    Hot take Thursday: Not even sure Derwin James is a 1st-rounder. Why would he be? I’ve seen him be decent in curl/flat coverage, but I’ve also seen him lose guys and just drift. I’ve only watched one game, but saw a whole lot of nothing special.

  10. RWIII says:

    Rob: What do you think about having Ifedi at left guard? What are the chances that Larry Fant is the Seahawk opening day right tackle?

    • DC says:

      Is Larry George’s brother?

      • RWIII says:

        My bad: George Fant

        • DC says:

          Just joshin you. Guessing here that in a perfect world George Fant gets a healthy year to study under Duane Brown. I really hope Ifedi takes a big step forward this year at RT. Let the Hawks focus on finding a couple of starting caliber OG/T types. I’ve got to believe that we will sign one in FA and draft another. At the rate we lose OL each year, depth & versatility are huge. Makes guys like Isaiah Wynn & Braden Smith that much more attractive if they can play multiple positions on the line.

      • peter says:

        not football related but I didn’t know until now that George fant’s brother is serving a,20 year prison sentence.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think I’d rather keep Ifedi at right tackle for his sake — to aid his development.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        Justin Pugh at LG. Ifedi at RT and Fant the swing. Thats my vote anyways.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          Pugh would be my first option, but if he is too pricy 10-12M / year, then I would move Ifedi to LG…. he just seems like that could be his most natural fit. Then you can play “plug in a RG” with all the spare parts on the team already and draft a RT. I would not count of Fant being ready week #1…. and I would rather see Brown retained at LT.

        • DC says:

          If Pugh’s back checks out. Idk what the market rate will be for him after missing the last 8? games but with ties to Solari and the obvious need in Seattle it seems like a decent match.

          • 80SLargent says:

            I don’t know what Pugh’s market is, but if Seattle giving (edited by admin) Joeckel $8M last year after he tore every ligament in one of his knees is an indication, count me out.
            For my money, I’d rather Seattle look at D.J. Fluker. He’s a year younger than Pugh, and there’s a good chance he’ll cost quite a bit less. He’s huge, and he’s not Jamarcus Webb. Put him next to Ifedi.

        • DC says:

          Some are projecting that Miami could cut RT Ja’Wuan James for cap relief. I remember him getting some recognition on the blog back in 2014. He went higher than many projected.

          • Ralphy says:

            In defense of the Hawks paying Joel 8 mill last year, you have to pay more to get a player to sign a one year deal. I think we all agree we would rather have him at 8 mill last year than at 6 mill a year for three years.

      • Mark Souza says:

        I’d rather see an open competition with consideration for moving Ifedi inside for the sake of Russell Wilson’s health. Sure, Russell is all world at scrambling, but if you make a habit of dodging on-coming traffic on the freeway, eventually that’s not going to work out for you no matter how nimble you are.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Ifedi’s pass pro was not the problem. It was penalties and run blocking.

          • Ty the Guy says:

            Ifedi has some issues with pass pro. He struggled with speed rushers. But I guess you could argue, who doesn’t? In college, once he got his paws on a defender, he could usually win the battle. Haven’t seen that translate to the NFL the way I’d expect a 1st rounder to.

            That being said, we could do worse. I would love to see some more talent added via the draft or FA.

            Either way I am excited for your TEF scores to come out after the combine!

            • Rob Staton says:

              Don’t get me wrong — Ifedi isn’t perfect in pass pro. Far from it. But he took major steps forward this year and he most needs to work on limiting the penalties and executing in the run game.

        • Patrick Toler says:

          Both Ifedi and Fant have legit promise, but Ifedi’s shown more on the field for all the criticism he gets (and for all the rave reviews Fant’s offseason received from Carroll). I am also perfectly happy to see them compete opposite Brown.

  11. TTownHawk says:

    He reminds me of Justin Evans from last year, big bodied safety who can deliver some highlight reel hits and solid against the run, but may struggle in pass coverage. Almost like a small framed linebacker. Evans went towards the end of round 2 if I recall. Not saying James drops that far, I do believe he is more athletic. I’m just not sold on him being worth taking in the first.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Interesting food for thought. Though Evans was a big hitter poor tackler IIRC, whereas James is better at tackling in general to go along with the big hits.

  12. Sea Mode says:

    Good news for your guy, Vol.!

    Texas DT Poona Ford accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

    An intriguing late addition by the Senior Bowl, the staff of whom was no doubt swayed by the early rave reviews of Ford at the Shrine Game. The 5-foot-11, 309-pound Ford posted 20.5 TFL over the past three years. Ford turns his lack of height into an advantage, gaining tremendous leverage on the inside to go with his powerful hands and quick feet. Draft Scout’s Dane Bruggler compares him to Pittsburgh Steeler DT Javan Hargrove.

    Quick practice clip: https://twitter.com/JeffRisdon/status/953368947944054785

  13. Sean-O says:

    Safety appears to be a position of need potentially if/when Kam retires but what’s everyone’s take on Delano Hill? SEA spent a 3rd rounder on him so they must feel he’s got potential.

    Hell, they drafted two additional safeties last years too (Thompson, Tyson) so I’m not convinced they go safety at this point with the only choice they have in the first three rounds.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I would like to see Hill play. Hes a great box player. I guess the team probably know how he has progressed since he has been with the team a year now. If Kam does retire and they dont resign McDougald that say right there that Hill could be the guy

    • lil'stink says:

      I loved the Hill pick when they made it. I almost feel like they have to try and let Hill play next year. If we re-sign McDougald it means we will be spending more than any other NFL team on the safety position in 2018. McDougald was a great get at just under $2 million, but keeping him seems like a tough sell for me if the initial reports of him getting $6 million APY or more are accurate.

      I’m not against keeping McD but I think we are in a position where tough decisions will have to be made.

      Depending on how aggressive the front office is in pursuing McD might give us an idea on what they think of Hill.

      • Capt. Poopy says:

        I tend to agree with that, plus allowing him to walk gives us another shot at a higher comp pick. Knowing JFG will probably net us a 3rd, the McD maybe a 4th?

        I want us to re-sign Sheldon Richardson though – and think he could be our next Michael Bennett. His versatility is amazing, and he’s still so young.

      • Matt B. says:

        I think re-signing McD is going to be more dependant on how they feel about Tedric and Delano, assuming Kam retires and they like Delano at SS I could still see them wanting to keep McD (if it’s not too expensive) as a hedge for injuries to either Hill or Earl. I really worry about Tedric and wonder at his place given his lack of speed, hard to see him fitting into this defense unless they change the scheme to make it way easier on the FS. Do we know if he’s a special teamer? I don’t feel like I remember him making any plays on ST. On Tyson, I think they view him more as a S to CB conversion project.

    • Del tre says:

      Hill should add some speed and better tackling than McDougold. We’ll have a rangey 4.4 guy down in the box and hopefully much like Kam he will learn to master pass coverage. I think people are forgetting how good he was on Michigan’s defense. I like Tederic, if you start him he’ll make big plays but he’s also so slow that its tough to expect him not to give up big plays.

  14. Sea Mode says:

    Senior Bowl rosters released today:
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000907799/article/2018-reeses-senior-bowl-rosters

    Invites from Shrine game (as far as I can see):
    Brett Toth (OT), Army
    Poona Ford (DT), Texas

    (Really interesting that S Tracy Walker said he also received an invitation to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., but chose the East-West Shrine Game, in part because he got their invitation first and the game features some of the top college seniors in the nation. Hmmm…wonder how many players do this if given the choice because they maybe feel they have a better chance of standing out against the lesser competition at the Shrine game…? Certainly the Senior Bowl gets you a lot more scout and media attention though.)

    A few recent scratches and names who will NOT be on those rosters:
    WR Anthony Miller
    DT Maurice Hurst
    LB Rashaan Evans
    CB Anthony Averett
    QB Mason Rudolph (inj, will go for measurments and interviews)

  15. line_hawk says:

    How does he compare to Deion Jones?

  16. Ed says:

    I’m just hoping a lot of QB go top 15 and 1 or 2 are still in need.

    Allen
    Rosen
    Darnold
    Mayfield
    Jackson
    Rudolph

    All possible top 20, especially with how good Wentz/Watson/Goff have played. Cousins/Bradford

    Browns (18′)
    Jets (18′)
    Broncos (18′)
    Dolphins (upgrade)
    Bengals (upgrade)
    Redskins (18′)
    Cardinals (18′)
    Ravens (future)
    Chargers (future)

    After 18, teams that need QB:

    Bills (18′)
    Steelers (future)
    Jags (18′)

    • Ralphy says:

      Just posted this above, but I’ll bet you Mason Rudolph slides in to the first round just like Brandon Weeden did. Lets all hope theres a run on QBs in the first. I love seeing teams trade up for guys like Paxton Lynch!

    • Ty the Guy says:

      I’ll take the Bills 21st and 22nd picks for #18.

      Then trade down at 21 and pick BPA at 22…..

      Pipe dream.

  17. Dawgma says:

    If Vea is there at 18 our FO won’t even run to the podium, they’ll just tear down the whole set.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      I was just taking another look at Kiper’s mock, and as is my first inclination when I see a player mocked to us that I don’t like, I was thinking “Is he serious? If that’s how the board falls, we aren’t taking that guy, I’d take . . .” And then I look at all the guys mocked after our pick to see who I’d take.

      And I realized Rob is probably right about there being only a dozen or so “real” first-round talents, because other than Vea, I didn’t see one other guy after our pick that had me excited. As in, I can’t believe that guy could still be there, I’d take him for sure. I mean, there were some nice players, sure. Carlton Davis, Billy Price, maybe a Connor Williams and slide him inside to guard. But nobody great.

    • Sea Mode says:

      lol, so true. was thinking last night that for as much as we talk about the needs and options at RB, OL, LB, the most classic pick for this front office right now would have to be Settle or Davenport. (assuming Vea is long gone)

  18. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    This Tom Brady hand injury smells fishy. Almost a rope a dope type of deal. The Patriots are notorious for keeping a lid on injuries… and magically he is injured and it is in the press. The Jaguars HC is taking the right approach. Game plan and scheme as if he is not injured. The Jaguars team should be chirping less on social media…. save it for after the game. Now there is the little detail of 1-13 vs the Patriots that seems like something to check out, if you are into friendly wagering. The point spread seems a bit too much as well…. which is why I think there is something fishy going on.

    • DC says:

      Every off season Tom Brady is sent into deep space at near light speed returning just in time for the regular season. That keeps him aging at about half the rate of us Earthlings. His body double shows up for all of the workouts and pre season baloney.

  19. Kenny Sloth says:

    Safety Toni Harrison the first female field player in CFB

  20. millhouse-serbia says:

    Rob, you are really great in evaluation the talent. I read a lot of mocks, and yours are like litmus paper. What we read here we can expect to read somewhere else after few weeks.

    And I have 2 questions for you.

    1. Would you give ET + 18th pick, to go in top 10 and take Edmunds?

    2. If somehow Edmunds is available at 14 would you give KJ Wright and 18 to take him at 14.

    And your top 11 list, is it random or you rank them?

    • Sea Mode says:

      Not Rob, but I would open door #2 in a heartbeat… but would try to ask for a swap of one of our R5 for a R3 to be included as well. I mean, we are only moving up 4 spots in exchange for a 28 year old, Pro Bowl level player.

      We would save $7.2m on the cap if he were traded and get a stud replacement who is not even 20 yet.

      • millhouse-serbia says:

        4 spots on draft value char are 200 point. That’s 78th pick. I think that’s the value of KJ Wright.

        • Sea Mode says:

          Fair.

          Was just desparately trying to maneuver in some way that would allow us to pick early and not wait until R4 to pick again. Don’t see any way JS lets that happen.

      • Mark Souza says:

        Earl will be 29 before he plays a down next year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t make that trade. I really like Edmunds but all you’d be doing is swapping him for Earl and not having another pick for four rounds. So it’s a big non starter IMO. Neither would I trade KJ to move up and get him.

      My list isn’t a ranking.

      • Ralphy says:

        I think those trade ideas aren’t even close. Why trade up for a guy that you hope develops in to the player you used to trade up for. KJ is a damn good player.

        Every year, after the draft we talk about how we should have known certain things would happen because of what they have done in the past. A good example is them passing on all of the good CBs last year ( with a history of always waiting on the position). Well they have never traded up in the first and they always trade back. They also have no history that I can recall of trading away great players. I don’t think that will start now.

        • Sea Mode says:

          You get a guy that adds more speed to your defense, 10 yrs younger than KJ, on his rookie deal for 4 years, and with a higher ceiling IMO than KJ.

          Don’t get me wrong, KJ is good. But for how much longer and at what cost? We’ve already seen 3 recent “golden handshake” contracts come back to bite us, should we plan to risk another one…?

          • Ralphy says:

            No we need to be willing to move on just like the Patriots do. This idea however leaves us with the same amount of holes as we currently have. I would prefer to trade down and acquire picks.

          • Patrick Toler says:

            I like KJ a lot, but I think he’s a legit candidate to be cut. Of course you need to find a reasonable replacement.
            You can’t pay all your vets and sticker price anymore; not now that Russ is making big money and you are wanting to invest in the offense. For me you make sure you secure the big 3 on defense (Wagner, Thomas, Sherman) and evaluate everyone else to see if you can get cheaper while not completely falling off at their position.

            • Rob Staton says:

              There are two reasons they won’t cut K.J. — one is the cheap nature of his contract, the other is it is soon expiring.

              He’s a very underrated player for this team and the club control is good for now. No reason to part ways this year. He and Bobby will be the leaders in 2018.

  21. Sea Mode says:

    Haha, Mayock on Jordan Thomas puts it perfectly:

    A lot of people are talking about him. At 270 pounds, he has an amazing catch radius and really good hands. Everybody knows he’s a tight end except for him. He wants to be a wideout. Some people have even talked about making him a tackle. He’s a really good athlete with quite a wingspan.

    Another scout summarized my thoughts perfectly as well: “TE… ridiculous frame… does he want it?”

    Look at this effort vs a 5-11 CB and tell me… https://twitter.com/junioraumanac/status/954102702371475456

  22. AlexUk says:

    Has or could Rees Odiahimbo played/play LG? I quite like what he brings and there is room for growth here. I like – at this stage and pre draft and free agency – this line up: Brown – Odiahimbo – Britt – Pocic – Ifedi.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He could. I quite liked the look of him at LG in pre-season.

    • mishima says:

      LG or swing tackle is probably his position moving forward. Agree with your projected lineup, but think only LT and RT are set. Britt is probably a lock at C, but could see him moving back to OG. How Solari views Cable’s ‘guys’ will be very interesting.

    • Patrick Toler says:

      And let Fant compete with Ifedi. Hopefully you’re adding one more Guard to compete as well.

  23. drewdawg11 says:

    I dismissed James so early in the season that I had to go back and re*watch. Some really fun plays, and some “how is this guy a defensive back?” plays. The guy is just nit going to be a cover guy. He’s a glorified linebacker. Can he improve? Of course. He needs some serious coaching and time.

  24. Cameron says:

    Rob, would love to get your thoughts on Dorance Armstrong Jr from Kansas, and whether you think he would be available in the second half of round 2 or early round 3 (where the Seahawks could be picking for the second time if they trade down from 18), or if he’s good enough that there’s a good chance he’ll be snatched up in the early second.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll see if I can take a look at him soon.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I have been asking for him to Cameron. Thanks Rob. From what I have read he is hard to read because he is a great player with 10 schmeds around him.

        • peter says:

          can’t wait to see his combine numbers. truly brutal watching his clips. 10 schmeds is pretty accurate. not even sure how he ended up with the jayhawks.

  25. Sea Mode says:

    Note on one of my favorites so far this year:

    @JoshNorris

    NC State’s Jaylen Samuels is now listed at RB, not FB, on the Senior Bowl roster, so expect him to see a bulk of his snaps there.

    6:35 AM – 19 Jan 2018

  26. Sea Mode says:

    “You want to separate a guy, because I do nearly every day in front of the team at practice, it’s Poona Ford. Poona Ford, because if you’re a defensive player on our team and you want to see the fanatical, championship effort that you need to play with snap in and snap out, then you need to look at number 95. If we can get 11 guys on the defense playing as hard as Poona Ford, look out.”

    – Todd Orlando, Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator

    Good read:
    http://insidetexas.com/poona-ford-when-a-career-embodies-a-program/

    Let’s hope this guy is still around in R5 because of his height (lack thereof). He only had one year of proper strength and conditioning at Texas and probably hasn’t hit his ceiling in that regard. Combine that with the character described above, and you could get a steal.

  27. Sea Mode says:

    FWIW, Rob, Pitt OT Brian O’Neill had 3rd highest pass block efficiency among draft-eligible tackles.

    https://twitter.com/PFF_College/status/951295365382377472

    • Rob Staton says:

      Planning to have a good look at him later today.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I’m starting to think this is a better OL class than I’ve given it credit for.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Interior is pretty good. One of the stronger areas. Tackle is underwhelming again.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            A few tackles are really popping up.

            I’m gonna judge this OL class based on how high or low Connor Williams goes. Litmus player hahah

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Crosby looks really really good on closer inspection.

          His finishing of blocks in the run game despite his size really springs Freeman, who I thought actually flashed a shoulder in some of the tape from last year. He’s got a great stiff arm and jump cut, but he only really runs three plays. Such a hard to project player.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            How about run blocking? Lets get back to some road graders.

            • Kenny Sloth says:

              I said run blocking.

              He’s strong despite his lack of elite size. He’s a fluid athletic mover. Explosive on contact.

              Finishes at the second level. He doesn’t get moved and you can see him win at the goalline.

              Not certain that it would translate to the next level. he still plays high, so perhaps with refinement he would improve too.

              • Ty the Guy says:

                I like Crosby. Saw him mocked to us on a random website. I don’t think he is a 1st rounder, but definitely worth a hard look.

                RD 3-RD 5

  28. Brazilianguy says:

    The best thing that could ever happen in my opinoon s a really great run for QBs in the top 10. That could make Vea or Settle slide to 18, resign Richardson to play 5T a la 2012 Big Red, and roll with a line of

    RE Clark
    3T Reed
    1T Vea/Settle
    LE Richardson.

    That would create a massive front seven that could relieve Wagner and Wright from the run game duties. Inagine teams trying to gameplan their double teams on a team with Settle and Richardson?

    Either that or trade down, imo.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Yeah, I would love to get a nice DL player. Settle or Vea after a trade down

      It depends on Mike B, Avril, Richardson, and McDowell.

      The only two sure starters, no question marks, are Reed and Clark next year.

      Lot of questions to be answered throughout FA in the leadup to the combine.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I would be willing to bet no matter what player is available to us at 18 they will trade back.

      • lil'stink says:

        Don’t forget about Naz Jones. The nagging injuries were a bummer, but he certainly flashed at times.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Nagging injuries and flashing are what I call ???’s

        • Volume12 says:

          He was better than Sheldon Richardson. Hands down.

          • Capt. Poopy says:

            I think he had a better showing, but I believe Sheldon is still the better player. Naz has so much promise though – and I have rooted for him (more than any other rookie) since I started paying attention to him after the draft.

        • C-Dog says:

          I definitely sensed the vibe from Pete Carroll that they could be looking at Naz Jones as a starting DT in 2018. He said towards the end of the season that they are expecting big things from him, and feel that his projectory in his second year to be similar to Jarran Reed’s.

  29. Greg Haugsven says:

    Another way that we can look at these mock drafts is to not concentrate who the person had the Hawks picking at #18 but who is available at the end of the first round (around 29 or so). And who is gone from the first round completely. Most likely we will be picking around 29 or 33 anyways.

  30. LLLOGOSSS says:

    Rob, one problem with what you said: Kam Chancellor is not retiring, his indications are that he will attempt to come back. If he does not retire, the team owes him a prohibitive amount of guaranteed money to cut him. Until he actually retires, I think you’ll see that Michigan Safety we drafted last year as the heir apparent.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Kam Chancellor is very likely going to retire.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        He doesn’t seem to think so. Not saying you’re wrong in the end, but I don’t think that’s his intention right now. Seems to think he can do what “they say can’t be done,” and seems to think he’ll be along with the team when they play in London, though, “the travel will suck.” He also said his hardest hit in the NFL hasn’t happened “yet.” Just reading his words, he seems committed to a comeback. The other thing is, even if he isn’t ready to play by the start of next year, he stands to lose a substantial amount of guaranteed money by retiring. If he thinks his career is even just postponed, I don’t think he’s likely to give back or leave money on the table, and more likely to rehab during the year until he’s either cleared, or until it becomes absolutely clear that his return isn’t feasible. The alpha in him won’t take no for an answer, at least not in any timely fashion as it pertains to next season, and until it becomes crystal clear he’d be a fool to turn down the money in the interim.

        • Rob Staton says:

          With respect — he basically said he hoped to be in London a few times. We also have Pete Carroll saying quite explicitly he thinks Kam will find it very difficult to play again, plus multiple well sourced reports that retirement is likely.

          We’re not talking about a minor problem here or whether he has the energy for another slog of a season. We’re talking about a guy who might face life changing consequences if he plays again. Kam will retire. And if he tries to play again, I highly doubt it’ll be in Seattle.

          • LLLOGOSSS says:

            I guess we’ll see. I also cited a few other quotes from him above, not directly related to the London question (says when others tell him something can’t be done he’s going to do it, and also says he hasn’t delivered his hardest hit in the NFL, and also didn’t say he’d “like” to be in London, he said he WILL be in London), and also the situation with his guaranteed money on the table; i.e., retirement isn’t financially in his best interests. He might make the Seahawks cut him first. Again, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’m saying if you’re right Kam doesn’t know it yet, and he seems to disagree. With respect nobody knows his situation any better than he would right now, including Pete, who has admitted several times that it is Kam’s choice whether he pursues this or not.

            I think we all might be pleasantly surprised.

  31. DC says:

    Since Carroll took over the team in 2010 I just wanted to look back at some of the notable trades/veteran FA acquisitions that have taken place contrasting the Offense and the Defense. There have been some good and bad on each side of the ball but overall and not surprisingly, the value signings and trades that have netted the best fits for Seattle have primarily occurred on the Defensive side. I’m sure I missed some important ones but there are enough to illustrate the difference.

    Defense

    Traded DE Darryl Tapp to Philadelphia for DE Chris Clemons and a 2010 fourth round draft pick.
    Signed S Lawyer Milloy.
    Signed DB Brandon Browner
    Traded CB Kelly Jennings to Cincinnati for DT Clifton McDonald
    Signed DE Cliff Avril.
    Signed DE Michael Bennett.
    Signed DT Tony McDaniel
    Signed S Bradley McDougald
    Signed DE Dion Jordan.
    Traded WR Jermaine Kearse and 2018 second- and seventh-round draft picks to New York Jets for DT Sheldon Richardson and 2018 seventh-round draft pick.

    Offense

    Traded 2010 second round draft pick and 2011 undisclosed draft pick to San Diego for QB Charlie Whitehurst and 2010 second round draft pick.
    Traded fifth round pick (#139) to the N.Y. Jets for seventh round pick (#236) and RB Leon Washington.
    Traded two undisclosed draft choices to Buffalo for RB Marshawn Lynch
    Signed WR Sidney Rice, FB Michael Robinson
    Agreed to terms with QB Matt Flynn
    Traded a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-round draft choice to Minnesota for WR Percy Harvin
    Seahawks trade C Max Unger & 2015 1st Round draft pick to New Orleans Saints for TE Jimmy Graham & 2015 4th Round draft pick.
    Signed K Blair Walsh.
    Signed OL Luke Joeckel.
    Agreed to terms with RB Eddie Lacy
    Traded 2018 third-round draft pick and 2019 second-round draft pick to Houston Texans in exchange for left tackle Duane Brown and 2018 fifth-round draft pick.

    I have high confidence that finding value on the defensive side of the ball will continue. Pretty rock solid track record there. That’s why I’m not so worried about commencing the inevitable salary purge that’s coming for our high salary veteran defenders (I will greatly miss them though).

    • 503Hawk says:

      Nicely done. FWIW here are my “grades” for some of the acquisitions.

      C Clemons: A- The best LEO Seattle has ever had and a pivotal piece in instilling Pete’s attitude.
      B Browner: B Another pivotal piece. DO you remember when he de-cleated 3 Cardinals on one play?!
      C Avril: A- Highly under rated. Wish he could teach that strip sack to the youngsters.
      M Bennett A- I would rank higher if not for all of those penalties.
      D Jordan: INC If he pans out… WOW! Watch his hand technique. Truly has the potential for a special player.
      S Richardson F (for “frustrating”) Has all of the tools. Production doesn’t match up.

      L Washington B Only knock is that he only lasted a couple of years.
      S Rice INC Huge untapped potential.
      M Robinson A I still think he was the missing key to the SB48 team. One of my all time favorites.
      P Harvin F I never liked that trade. Would have rather kept G Tate. (Who by the way is a unique WR)
      J Graham C Crazy talent. Coaching staff tried the square peg in round hole. Blame them more than Jimmy.
      D Brown INC We will have to wait and see.

      Whitehurst, Flynn, Walsh, Joeckel, Lacy: F, F, F , and F!!!

      THE BEAST: A If he wasn’t such a @#$% diva he would get an A+++. One of my all time favorites. Right up there with Largent, JL Williams, K Easley, Tez, & Big Walt.

      Nice list DC! Thanks.

      • Volume12 says:

        Notice a trend with their FA acquisitions and draft picks….???

        • 503Hawk says:

          O vs D? Yah.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          For sure for Free Agency. Low risk high reward. Committing huge dollars on outside free agency usually isnt the way to go. One year prove it type then extend them to bigger money.

          • Volume12 says:

            This.

            All the bargain bin signings and draft picks pay off. The high end picks and signings that fans get excited about? Don’t.

            • Volume12 says:

              Which says to me, Seattle sees some really good pockets of talent in rounds 5 and 7 this year.

              • Volume12 says:

                Either that or they see the pockets in rounds 4. Which is the round that trading 5ths and 7ths would get you into for example.

        • Patrick Toler says:

          I hope trend indicates that they will continue to go cheap in FA for defense. They have consistently found undervalued players on all three levels who excell in their system needs them in both the draft and FA. If they are going to spend big for an outside FA, I expect it to be on the offensive side of the ball.

      • Volume12 says:

        No Lynch, no SB. He was so instrumental in RW’s development. So he’d have to be the most important acquisition in Seattle’s history.

  32. Kyle B says:

    Have people talked about Carlton Davis yet and I missed it? I saw his highlight tape on youtube and then I was able to find the tape against Mizzou as well as Miss St. This guy is good! If anyone else knows much about him let me know! They also focus on kick-step down at Auburn. You can see it in the cover 2 sets more in the Miss St game

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I would guess the reason he hasnt been talked much about is because CB isnt a big need. Sherman, Griffin, Coleman, Maybe Maxwell and Shead, Thorpe.

      • Kyle B says:

        I get that totally. I am not saying you draft this guy in 1, 2, or 3 but some outlets have him going early 4th/ late 3rd. Also Elliot is back as well can’t forget about him.

        • Volume12 says:

          He’s really good. Big, long press corner that you can leave out on an island. Can over anticipate throws, but he gives ya a little bit of everything. Don’t care that he grabs or gets ‘handsy.’ All young/college corners do.

          Early 2nd for me. Could see DQ down in Atlanta absolutely love him.

        • Volume12 says:

          Another really good CB who is neck and neck with Ohio St’s Denzil Ward for best nickel back in this draft for me is L’ville’s Jaire Alexander. Was banged up this year but his body of work is outstanding.

  33. Volume12 says:

    I love Jalen Ramsey. ‘Gronk ain’t never played a corner like me before.’

  34. Matt B. says:

    One thing I haven’t seen talked about too much yet here (and I apologize if it has and I missed it) is talk about potential offensive FA’s that we could potentially add. Say they move on from Joekel, Graham and Richardson and we are looking for them to spend some more money on the offensive side to even out the cap hit. Is there any offensive FA’s that we would be excited about adding?

    I know there’s been some discussion of LG, with Norwell and the Giant’s OLers as possibilities. Do we see any FA WR’s or TE’s that we think would be worth adding? Or for that matter, if you could hedge taking a RB in the draft with a FA add, any that you think are worth adding with our limited cap space?

    • Matt B. says:

      Adding on to this, I feel like this class seems pretty weak at WR and TE specifically, and if we lose Graham and Richardson I would think the FO would try to play FA at those positions rather than utilize a weak draft class especially with our lack of picks.

    • Volume12 says:

      I say go get DE DeMarcus Lawrence and TE Trey Burton.

      • DC says:

        Trey had 5 TDs in 23 catches regular season catches. Ehh, not bad!

        I assume you wanted Lawrence at #32 in 2014?

  35. 503Hawk says:

    This is a response to AlexUk’s thread on the O-line.

    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).

    • AlexUk says:

      Yeah I actually prefer Ifedi back at RG being honest. But then if that happened I’m not that comfortable with Pocic at RT. Seems like a step back again. I’m not so sure the clamour for Fant at RT is justified either, although I have to say I was looking forward to seeing what improvement he was going to make last season before injury. But then if we are switching to a more power based scheme I’d like to see what he can do. Overall, after free agency and the draft, out line will have some good depth to it I think next season.

  36. Volume12 says:

    Wow! Not competing at the SR bowl:

    HB Sony Michel
    HB Nick Chubb
    EDGE Lorenzo Carter
    LB Rashaan Evans
    CB Kamrin Kelly
    LB Josey Jewell
    LB Shaun-Dion Hamilton
    OG Billy Price
    QB Mason Rudolph
    WR Anthony Miller
    DT Maurice Hurst
    WR Courtland Sutton
    LB Skai Moore
    OL Martinas Rankin
    DE Duke Ejiofor
    OL Frank Ragnow
    DT Derrick Nnadi
    DE Harold Landry
    LB/EDGE Davin Bellamy
    WR Darren Carrington
    OL Braden Smith
    CB Anthony Averett
    OT JaMarco Jones
    DE Bradley Chubb

    • Rob Staton says:

      Massive disappointment. Some of the names are expected either because of injuries or the guys who played in the National Championship. But more than a few names you’d prefer were in Mobile. A fantastic looking Senior Bowl took a big hit.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yeah, it looks butt now. Price and Jones, the Ohio St O-lineman, declined so they could continue working with LeCharles Bentley, but I gotta wonder how teams are gonna react to the guys who don’t have a legitimate reason (injuries as you said) to not be there.

  37. […] 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 […]