Mel Kiper’s mock: Who was available for the Seahawks?

January 14th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

First of all, if you missed this weeks podcast don’t forget to check it out (see below). We had Matt Brown on (he attended the National Championship game) and talked about the Seahawks/Panthers game this weekend.

Mel Kiper published his first 2016 mock draft today. I’ll keep using the ESPN mock drafts (via Kiper and Todd McShay) to look at players we aren’t considering because we assume they won’t be available.

For example, I personally believe Shon Coleman is worthy of a high grade and don’t expect him to get out of the top-20. I also appreciate many others feel differently — whether that’s down to his age (24) or battle with cancer.

Both Kiper and McShay had Coleman available for the Seahawks in their respective initial projections.

I broke down McShay’s first mock here. Today let’s look at Kiper’s mock to see who was unavailable to the Seahawks in my projection last week:

Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)
My projection: #5 overall
Kiper pairs the Seahawks with Apple using the #26 pick. I think this would be a fantastic get for Seattle. Although they trust their ability to find and develop cornerbacks in the later rounds, Apple appears to be a good fit for this team. He doesn’t get beat deep and keeps everything in front — plus he’s long and athletic. He generally tackles well in the open field. Plugging Apple into the position across from Richard Sherman would prevent the almost annual problem solving they need to do at cornerback.

Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
My projection: #6 overall
He’s officially declared for the draft now and I’m still shocked people aren’t looking at him as a viable early first round pick. I believe he is eligible for the Senior Bowl and hopefully he receives an invite. Coleman has everything you want in a tackle prospect — nimble feet, a decent kick-slide, the ability to lock-on and finish, the desire to reach the second level and punish linebackers and he plays with an edge. His age (24) doesn’t bother me. If you get five good years out of him it’ll be worth it.

Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU)
My projection: #8 overall
White is still deciding whether or not to declare. I still believe he’s destined to be a fine pro with the upside to be excellent. He’s very athletic and a typical cover corner. He offers something as a kick returner and was singled out for the coveted #18 jersey (reserved annually at LSU for the most respected, high character player on the team). He’s not quite as long as Eli Apple but if he does declare it’s hard to imagine him not going in the first frame. Coaches will want Tre’Davious White on their team.

Darron Lee (LB, Ohio State)
My projection: #10 overall
Kiper doesn’t have Lee in the first round, which is pretty surprising given the way he performed in 2015. If there’s one player ready and waiting to launch his stock into the top-15 it’s this guy. On the field he flashes great instinct and patience — but he also has the closing speed and burst to race to the ball and finish. He’s an effective blitzer and can cover with ease. Character wise he’s perfect — a well spoken, mature individual. He’s a perfect package for any team needing a defensive cornerstone and could easily fit into Seattle’s defense.

Corey Coleman (WR, Baylor)
My projection: #17 overall
At times in 2015 he looked unstoppable — a genuine game-changer with a unique skill set. His ability to make all kinds of catches (contested, deep, explosive break, high-point) made him a Heisman contender. Then Baylor’s quarterback got injured and his production fell off a cliff. He went from record-setting numbers to M.I.A. The big test now is to find out whether he’s the brilliant athlete he appeared to be in college. Can he run in the 4.3/4.4 range? If so — the flair and quality he showed in the first half of the season could tempt a team to see if he can be another X-factor receiver.

Michael Thomas (WR, Ohio State)
My projection: #21 overall
With decent size (6-3, 210lbs) and deceptive mobility — Thomas could easily wind up as a productive NFL receiver. Urban Mayer doesn’t use a wide-open air raid offense ideal for mass production. Thomas’ stats aren’t outstanding — but he always seemed to be making key plays for Ohio State in 2015. He basically pulled down Kendall Fuller’s pants in week one with a brilliant stop-and-go route for a touchdown. He showed tremendous agility on a juking lunge to the end zone against Notre Dame. The Seahawks might consider an athletic, big receiver if they lose Jermaine Kearse.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)
My projection: #22 overall
A player who makes things happen. Unlike Derrick Henry he doesn’t require huge gaping lanes and a seam to run into and accelerate. Elliott takes the hit and moves the pile. He’s adept at blocking in pass protection and he’s a useful tool in the passing game. He’s a physical runner with the ability and speed to be a home-run hitter too. The Seahawks are going to be moving on from Marshawn Lynch. It’s perhaps unlikely they seek to pair Thomas Rawls with a first round partner — but Elliott is a talented prospect.

These are probably the positions to monitor based on Seattle’s possible needs. With Russell Okung (T), Jeremy Lane (CB), Bruce Irvin (LB) and J.R. Sweezy (G) the big-name free agents in waiting — they might need to replenish at one or two key positions.

It’s also worth noting today that Tennessee cornerback Cam Sutton and Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams both officially announced they aren’t turning pro. They could both easily be top-15 picks in 2017.

127 Responses to “Mel Kiper’s mock: Who was available for the Seahawks?”

  1. Steve Nelsen says:

    How much tape do you think Kiper watches? I can’t imagine even half of these guys being available when Seattle picks.

    I would love to add a linebacker like Lee to the defense.

    • Volume12 says:

      Lee would be a great selection.

      I’ve been focusing on the LB’s lately, particularly the guys from the SEC, and one kid jumps off the screen at me. It’s like watching Bobby Wagner again. IMO he’s just as good as Darron Lee.

      Florida LB Jarrad Davis. Has this infectious energy about him that the other Florida defenders seem to feed off of. He said he’s returning to school, but like Will Fuller, may end up changing his mind.

      Play speed is special, read and react skills, sifts through trash, highly explosive, good in coverage, slippery pass rusher, very aggressive, gritty, and just has a ‘Seahawky’ swag and vibe to him.

      I’m tellin’ ya, this Jarrad Davis is legit and a future stud at the SAM ‘backer position.

      • Nick says:

        Oh my goodness, you weren’t kidding. I spent the last thirty minutes watching tape and he is legit. Do you think he could fit into Bruce’s role – if we let him go?

        Or do you think we’d select him even if we kept Irvin?

        • Volume12 says:

          I do think he could place Bruce’s role at LB. Obviously he wouldn’t line up as a DE and put his hand in the dirt.

          He’s got some Lavonte David to his game.

          I’m not even sure he’ll declare, and I don’t think they would draft him if they kept Bruce.

  2. Attyla the Hawk says:

    I would not be disappointed with the Apple pick either.

    Not merely from a ‘complete the LOB’ perspective. But also consider that by the time Apple reaches his second contract, Sherman will be in his 30s. Apple would provide immediate dividends on day one, while also being a very good bridge to our next incarnation of shut down #1 corner at a time when Sherman may be losing some of his efficacy.

    This roster is mature. Which means to a certain degree — Seattle can now start drafting for continuity. You can’t maintain that if you let future issues linger until they become a need. Because as we’ve seen in the last few drafts, sometimes need and availability don’t intersect.

    Apple would be a very sound pick in his own right as a #2 guy. An elite prospect for that role. Give him some years to learn from the smartest CB in the league and he could be a worthy heir apparent if need be. Or if Sherman defies age — give Seattle the luxury of having two #1 quality bookends to the secondary.

    • Volume12 says:

      Me either.

      And not only would it be a sound pick and solve a long term need, but if Seattle re-signs Okung, the only holes/needs to be filled would be CB or LB (if Bruce leaves).

      Another guy I’m personally high on, and is perfect for a cover 3, is Houston’s William Jackson. He’s the type of raw, high upside, athlete that we’ve seen this team target early evey year.

      Probably not a 1st rounder, but would a great day 2 pick.

      • Mike B. says:

        This could be the draft in which the Seahawks break tradition and pick a CB earlier. I wouldn’t doubt that they draft three DBs in total–perhaps one pure Seahawky CB (tall, rangy), one more all-purpose DB who’d stick at CB (nickel or other), and one SS in the Kam mould.

        William Jackson–he fits the Seahawky profile. I watched some tape from his junior year and wasn’t terribly impressed, but he seemed to improve as a senior, and is likely 2nd-3rd round material. A later-round CB candidate who also fits the profile is Deiondre Hall from U of Northern Iowa. Film on him is limited, but from what I’ve seen (and read), he has the goods. Hall is more like a round 3-5 pick. And let’s not forget about one of Rob’s favorite CBs, Zack Sanchez from Oklahoma, who’s a very fast and physical player despite a relatively small build. I have a feeling that Seattle will pick at least one of those guys (Jackson, Hall, Sanchez).

        • Volume12 says:

          I’m not sure if he’ll have the arm length, or Sanchez, but G-Tech CB DJ White is one of the most gritty, tough, technically sound corners in this draft.

  3. Hawksince77 says:

    I would be interested to hear what people think about the possibility/desirability of retaining some of these free agents, specifically:

    1 – Lane. My thoughts: I can’t imagine there would be a big market for him after the league has experienced Maxwell, and to a lesser extent, Browner. He was a late round pick (if memory serves) and seems worth far more the Seattle than anyone else. This seems like a no brainer to me.

    2 – Okung. My thoughts (as I have stated them previously): it seems that Seattle should strive to begin next year without having churned the o-line again. This year was a near disaster. Starting rookies too many years (Carpenter, Sweezy, even Okung, etc.) He shouldn’t demand any more than he’s worth, and it’s worth paying a good LT.

    3 – Irvin, the tough one, in my mind. Already dissed by Seattle by not picking up his option. Playing out of his mind (at least that’s the impression I have had). Unique in terms of size, speed and versatility. Yet has already expressed his belief that he will be playing elsewhere next year, most likely Atlanta. Will likely command a premium contract. Is he worth it for Seattle to pay? I don’t know.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      The point of this discussion (should have included this in the original note) was that the answers will obviously impact the first round of the draft.

      Or maybe not. Perhaps Apple still gets selected (or considered) even if Lane is retained. And if someone
      like Shon Coleman drops, and he’s everything Rob thinks he is, he might be worth a late first round pick even if Okung remains.

      Again, Irvin is the difficult call. Not sure how he gets replaced.

      • lil'stink says:

        I think if Apple and Coleman are both available when we pick you have to go with Coleman. Even if we re-sign Okung. The worst case scenario would be to not have either Okung or Coleman. Not sure how excited I would be if Gary Gilliam is starting at LT next year.

        I would imagine at least one of Lane or Shead will be back next year, Burley should be back, the Tharold Simon project could turn for the better next year, and the team thought enough of Tye Smith to keep him on the 53 instead if the PS.

        As much as I like Irvin I don’t think we should open up the wallet for him. I imagine someone will make him an offer that would be tough for us to match. And his comp pick will be able to be traded – that could be something to consider especially if it’s a potential 3rd rounder.

        PCJS have proven to be adept at finding DB talent in later rounds. I don’t think you can pass up on a guy like Coleman if he’s there. Of course, there are likely to be moves between now and the draft that none of us see coming.

    • Volume12 says:

      I hope they retain all3. Athyba Rubin too. Okung should be the priority IMO.

      Bruce is the hard one. They’ll probably offer him a deal, but is he going to stay?

      • Hawksince77 says:

        Should have included Rubin in the discussion, but I don’t think there is any way he isn’t a Seahawk next year. Too valuable for the team, and shouldn’t be that expensive to keep.

        • bobbyk says:

          Rubin’s wife sat behind me at the Vikings game on Sunday (I assumed it was his wife). I hugged her after the Wilson-Lockett completion and again after the Walsh FG miss. Had no idea who she was. Anyway, Rubin found her after the game and gave her the fumble he recovered and we got to talking. She said he absolutely loves Seattle (how could he not after coming from Cleveland) and wants to be resigned. They haven’t located to Seattle yet because when he signed it was only a one year deal, but they hope to make Seattle home (they currently live in Florida where all or most of the family is). I got the impression that if any deal is close financially that he’d sign with the Hawks over anyone in a heartbeat (and that includes either Florida team where they wouldn’t have to relocate).

    • cha says:

      1-I think Lane should stay on a one year deal or if they can get him reasonable enough, a two year deal. He’s not only able to play a pretty good corner spot he’s a special teams standout.

      2-Maybe I’m too sentimental but I lean towards continuity too HawkS77. I get the sense that Okung and the Hawks will work out a deal that is fair for both. I’d still take Coleman if he’s available.

      3-Irvin typically has good games vs Carolina so here’s a big chance to make his case for Seattle to pay him, or to the market that he’s worth a rich FA deal.

      Others:

      *Rubin should be retained.
      *Shead needs to stay too.

      * Burley if you can get a reasonable deal
      *Kearse if you can get a reasonable deal

      • lil'stink says:

        Burley is an ERFA next year so I would expect him to be back for one more year and he won’t cost much.

        • bobbyk says:

          Burley and Shead aren’t going anywhere with being restricted FAs. If they sign Lane, I really don’t see them having a major need at CB (with Smith developing, too). I see Simon as having a tough time making the team (Burley is so good on ST, whereas Simon isn’t), as we know they’d go their usual route with a late round corner with long arms. Lane has really impressed me this year though. With that being said, I wouldn’t advocate for Apple (or a CB) if Lane is resigned, but I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed to get a talent like Apple with the #31 pick either. It’s stupid to let a good football player go past you in most instances and take a lesser player at a different position. If Apple is there, he’s going to be BPA so you take him.

          I see Irvin as a good player who is going to get paid. He really hasn’t been a major difference maker this year, simply a very good player on a great defense and this is him “motivated” to get the big bucks. He’s a little older than the upcoming FAs from his rookie class and I don’t see him as a must have back guy. When he comes back (if resigned), he won’t have that contract year carrot hanging in front of him either. Some guys don’t need a carrot in front of them (like a Baldwin) and some do. Which is Irvin?

          • Volume12 says:

            I like Burley, but counting on him to be anything more than a 5th or 6th CB would be a mistaske. Talk about an injury machine.

            Not in any particular order, but Seattle’s 2016 CB core will probably end up being, Sherm, Shead, Lane, rookie, Smith, Burley. Seisay and one other cat on the PS.

            Simon is a wild card IMO.

            • Steve Nelsen says:

              The guy I like on the PS is Stanley Jean-Baptiste. I was hoping the Hawks would draft him a couple years ago but the Saints took him in the 2nd round. He has Seahawky length and athleticism.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Lane is a much different CB than Maxwell and Browner though. He has legit 4.3 speed and can play in the slot. It seems like his skill set would translate to other schemes more than the other two. I really hope we can keep him but I would not be surprised to see another team throw a good amount of money at him.

    • franks says:

      The problem with Okung is your churning your line midseason when he’s on it. You never know if you’re gonna have your LT this week. And this was his ROOKIE contract. Notably absent from the Panthers loss and I believe Bailey as in for him in last year’s SB. You think he’ll find the fountain of youth and next time will be different? He’ll be older and even more fragile. Next time will be worse.

      The only way he’d be helpful would be on an incentive-laden contract that depends on starts and games played. And even then you have to pay someone else to fill in for the games he misses which will happen even more often as he ages.

      I’d like to keep Bruce around. Every year he gets better and he can do so many things. Worth a big contract? I don’t know either. Like you said he had a great year. When a team hits on a player you’ve got to figure they’ll want to keep him around.

  4. smitty1547 says:

    Atlanta might not look as good as it once did, yes it’s home but team fell apart. Oakland with Ken could be an option. At this time last year I was all for letting him go, however he really played well this year and without a lot of the dumb personal fouls.

  5. Javiosullivan says:

    Of all the names you say, I like Shon Coleman and Darron Lee. In my opinion, I think only five players to choose Seattle in the first round: Shon Coleman, Andrew Billings, Kenny Clark, Jonathan Bullard and Darron Lee.

    Shon Coleman: My favourite OT to Seattle in the first round. Will depend on what happen with Okung, I think Okung finally re-sign.

    Andrew Billings: Great DT, power, athletic, disruptive, sacks. Top 15 talent, surely not available when Seattle choose and can find a good DT in rounds 3-5.

    Kenny Clark: Another great DT, the same as Billings. First round talent, late 1st-high 2nd selection. Might be available when Seattle select.

    Darron Lee: I like this kid. If Irvin goes he would be the perfect substitute. The problem will be if he will be available in 25+ pick? Seems like its ready to go high 1st round.

    Jonathan Bullard: Underrated prospect. Full package, fast, good hands, rush inside, tackle, sacks. Imagine putting training every day alongside Michael Bennett… probably Bullard would be my pick in 1st round.

    *
    Okung retained.
    Shead retained.
    Rubin retained.
    Lewis retained and draft C.
    Sweezy go. We have Glowinski.
    And JON RYAN RETAINED haha

    • Jeff M. says:

      Sorry to say, since I love Jon Ryan and what he’s been through with this franchise, but I won’t be surprised if it’s his last year. The punt game is the one part of our special teams that FO has as below average (good on place kicks, average on kickoffs, good on kick returns, best in league on punt returns)–he hasn’t really seemed to get much distance/hang-time or to be able to place his punts that well this year (although I thought he had a pretty solid game post-face plant in the ice bowl conditions last week). The savings between his 1.5m and paying a UDFA 450k or whatever aren’t that great, but if that extra 1m in cap room lets them bring back Rubin or Kearse? If he can win a second ring next month, I wouldn’t even be that surprised if Ryan retires and saves them making the decision.

  6. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I think Seattle would look long and hard at ND LB Smith if he were available at the end of round #1. LB/DE appears to me to be a need spot. Depth at LB OLB or MLB is needed. If Irvin leaves, then it becomes more acute….. I’m not sold on the depth guys filling in for the current starters.

    I’m not seeing Apple slip to the bottom of the 1st round, too much upside and too many teams desperate for quality CBs. OT Coleman falls into the same category for me…. legit OT NFL quality are hard to find and develop. Someone will take a swing on this guy around pick 22 range.

    The guy, who I have zero expectation of being available, would be Zeke Elliot. However, if he slides to Seattle someway/somehow…. he would be exactly what they would be looking for as a RB with explosive upside and versatility. They could gently bring him into the league with Rawls taking the load.

    The value might be in the WR ranks, the 4-6th best WR might be available….. and would really push the team into the next phase of it’s evolution…. RW and the 3 Amigo WRs. I’m looking for sudden, explosive, speed and hands.. more than raw size. A polished WR would be ideal.

  7. bobbyk says:

    If Okung and Lane are resigned, I see the biggest need on this team (again) as being a pass rusher with our first pick. I took flak for saying that last year, but the team used it’s first pick on Frank Clark so at least the decision makers agreed based on their actions.

    Avril and Bennett are getting older (though still studs) and Bennett is not always happy with his contract. Jordan Hill is going to be a free agent after next season and Mebane and Rubin are free agents in a month and a half. Irvin and his situational pass rusher role probably won’t be around either. Whether it’s an interior DT who can rush the passer or more of a Leo type of edge guy (which Irvin fills in with situationally), I see another pass rusher potentially on the horizon in the first couple of rounds.

    The Giants beat the Patriots twice because they knew you could never have too many pass rushers, whereas the Seahawks didn’t have enough after injury so the Patriots whipped on them in the 4th quarter 11 months ago. If Okung and Lane do come back, I don’t see any other position as being a glaring need so taking a DL early is fine.

    As I said last year when talking about Danielle Hunter, it’s not like having five offensive linemen and those guys pretty much play every snap so if you have bad depth – nobody is going to know. But if you have four good DL starters and no decent depth, those bad depth guys are going to be exposed. If Justin Britt plays on 100% of the offensive snaps, nobody notices or cares. If Bennett plays in 85% of the defensive snaps, people say he’s going to get overworked. You need good/great depth.

    I agree that I’d like Shon Coleman though if he fell. Although I just mentioned above that you don’t need great depth (but for sure you want to have it) on the OL in comparison to the DL, one thing you can’t forget is that Okung, if resigned, is an injury machine. He’s never played a full season and he’s getting to the age where players regularly sustain more injuries, not less. Even though he’s the starting LT, you know full well that you’re going to have to go about a quarter of the season with someone other than him at LT so the tackle depth is imperative (Coleman would beat out Gilliam anyways, imo) unless you believe Alvin Bailey is a good enough band-aid at tackle for 2016.

    Lots of “ifs” and many ifs are dependent on what happens in free agency. I still get sick about Sheard last off-season and how we didn’t have the money to sign him (he’s awesome with the Pats, as we knew he would be).

    And there’s THIS season to be jacked about this coming Sunday. Can’t wait.

  8. KD says:

    Thank you 49ers for hiring Chip Kelly!

    • Steele says:

      Surprised. First they didn’t offer Chip the job, talked to Jackson, etc. Coughlin, Shanahan, then, backed into a corner almost, went back to Chip. Let the soap opera and office arguments begin.

      • TannerM says:

        If Chip Kelly is solely focused on coaching, then this actually may be a good hire for the Niners. He won twenty games his first two years in Philly and only after his successful powerplay did the team collapse. Since he’s not going to be in charge of personnel (still Trent Baalke’s job), he might actually be focused this time around. Of course, he might get a bit pissed off if Baalke comes down to the field to coach the DB’s again.

        • vrtkolman says:

          Baalke and Jed are a joke, as long as they run the show it doesn’t matter who is coaching SF.

          • red says:

            Good luck finding a good defensive coordinator toi pair with Chip. Plus roster is more Harbaugh than Chip wonder how this is going to work.

        • Steele says:

          The Kelly hire is high stakes. They had the chance to “right the ship” by going back to the Bill Walsh family tree, something that fans and former 49ers were clamoring for. A nice methodical rebuild, Jared Goff in the first round, the decent Gabbert as a placeholder. Instead, this. Abrasive power mad Chip with poor people skills, certain to piss off many players, a gadgety offensive scheme and little contribution to defense. A Kaepernick resurrection is a stretch, and also a move that I think most Niner fans don’t want.

          This is all good for the rivalry with the Seahawks, though. Kaepernick can reacquiant himself with his favorite receiver, Richard Sherman.

          • bigDhawk says:

            Are you referring to Mike Holmgren, from the Bill Walsh family tree? I agree this is great for us. Another easy-to-despise, high profile HC that we can have a high expectation of curb-stomping twice a season. Love it.

  9. DC says:

    From the FO’s perspective I’m guessing they see Bruce Irvin in a similar light to Golden Tate. Both very good players that took a while to develop and probably did a bit more than their fair share of “un-smart” stuff during their time with the Seahawks. Neither guy makes it into the “core player” category. The Hawks will make an offer to Bruce and he will most likely get a higher one. He walks.

    What I would rather do with the money that would have been earmarked for Bruce is to continue our trend of buying Defensive Linemen. Rubin is coming back barring something really weird. The guy I’m hoping for this year is the Broncos’ Malik Jackson. He’s a fresh 26 years old this month(Jan 11). He’s from LA and played at USC in 2008-2009 for one Pete Carroll & transferred to Tennessee when PC left for Seattle in 2010. He’s versatile on the DL lining up at DT and DE throughout his career. He’s a decent pass rusher, part of the current #1 defense and he’s still getting better as a professional player. We need some “veteran youth” on that line.

    Add another pass rusher via the draft to Malik and hope we can make a seamless transition from our 30ish year old starters to the next generation while having tremendous depth in the mean time.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Also to add, Bruce will be 29 next year I think. That’s pretty old to be starting an expensive 2nd contract. What if he starts losing his speed after year 1 of 4?

    • Ukhawk says:

      Love me some Malik even over retaining Irvin

    • Steele says:

      You need more than “decent” pass rushers to replace what Irvin brings. If they somehow land a GREAT new pass rusher to plug into the system, I’d be more comfortable watching him walk. As for Golden Tate, you could make a strong argument that he should have been retained. He has been an excellent receiver for the Lions.

      Unless they replace Irvin’s pass rush, I’m not sold on losing him.

      • DC says:

        Malik Jackson was “decent” with 5 sacks and 45 combined tackles.
        Bruce Irvin was “GREAT” with 5.5 sacks and 38 combined tackles.

        Frank Clark is the guy replacing Irvin’s pass rush going forward. Malik Jackson would add another element to our defense as an interior rusher. He can go DT or DE. He’s also 26 vs BI at 28.

        Avril, Bennett, Clark, Jackson, Hill + a rookie would be a damn fine rotation of pass rushers. Then you’ve got Rubin & someone(Mebane?) as your big boy run stuffers.

      • drewjov11 says:

        Why does anyone believe that he’s a good pass rusher? He’s mediocre at this particular skill.

  10. EranUngar says:

    Kiper’s mock draft leaves a very exciting list of candidates. Like many of you stated already, picks like Coleman or Lee are linked to losing Okung or Irvin to FA.

    Allow me to turn that connection upside down.

    The Seahawks have a long list of players heading into FA and not enough cap space to sign them all. Obviously the two big names (and the biggest cap hits) are Okung and Irvin. Resigning both, while possible, will put a lot of stress over the cap structure. Two more big contract guys for a few years will leave the FO with very little cap flexibility. From a pure cap flexibility point of view, resigning only one of the two is the preferred move. Irvine = Rubin + Lane + Kearse, Okung = Rubin + Lane + Sweezy.

    If you accept that logic, having a Lee or a Coleman likely available by the time the Seahawks pick could affect the decision of who we keep and who we let go.

    That link works both way. Releasing a key player pushes the need for a quality replacement high in the draft. Having a quality replacement available when you drat can make releasing a key player that much easier.

    • Steele says:

      This is all true. But Irvin is a unique talent. To replace him, they would need multiple players. A great pass rusher+ a LB + cover. I think he is worth it. Let’s remember that earlier this season, Rubin wasn’t that impressive, we were not happy with anyone on the o-line, Kearse was still Kearse. Are any of these as irreplaceable as Irvin? The truth is somewhere in between, I think.

      • EranUngar says:

        Irvin is indeed a very unique talent. His role with us reflects his special talents. However, he is not a classic SAM the way PC’s defenses played in the past.

        Replacing Irvin may be very hard indeed but replacing our SAM LB may be possible. It will change indeed the way we play that position and who we use on nickle packages etc. but it may all work for the better of the team.

        It is not an easy call, having Irvin and Okung and Sweezy and Lane and Ryan and Shead and Mebane and Rubin and Lewis would be perfect but we do not have the Raiders cap space. Some of the calls regarding who leaves may be effected by knowing we have a valid replacement available when we pick.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I don’t see Irvin as being unique. He is very good at his position and familiar with the Seahawks scheme. The right linebacker chosen in the first or second round can replace him. And whoever replaces him will have their own skill set.

          • cha says:

            This defense has grown & evolved with players coming and going over the years. The massive 5 tech Red Bryant is no longer part of this D for example. If Irvin departs they may not have a clone replacement ready to go on the team or in the draft but they will adjust.

            There will be other variables at other positions that shift things around. Clark taking on a more prominent role and becoming a regular producer, Marsh getting more reps, etc.

          • Volume12 says:

            Irvin’s athleticism is what makes him unique.

            • C-Dog says:

              Agreed.

              It’s interesting to note that Jason La Canfora did a write up this week going over the free agent player from each team he felt is a must keep player. For the Seahawks, he chose Bruce Irvin over Okung, and felt the Seahawks would let Okung test the market. It’s interesting considering how close La Canfora seems to be with sources of the team. That’s a lot of $ tied up with the LBs, but considering how much time Bruce spends with his hand in the dirt, I think there is a case for it.

              • Volume12 says:

                Interesting indeed.

                I could see that. As long as PC is here, they’re always going to be a dominant defensive team.

                • C-Dog says:

                  Yup, and it would consistent with rewarding players on the defense. Considering Bruce is such a swiss army knife, and Pete loves versatile players, it makes sense. Plus considering the dearth of OTs coming out in the draft, maybe they would feel they can land a decent one, and potentially shift Gilliam to LT if need be. The thought still makes me cringe big time, but they would know his potential at LT better than any of us.

              • Steele says:

                I may lean towards La Canfora’s view. I know we have discussed Okung’s importance, but maybe that should be revisited.

              • Rob Staton says:

                La Canfora usually on the money with Seattle. I think it’s very likely Okung tests the market to discover his true value. He might return to Seattle after — but only if he isn’t getting major money. Mebane and Bennett previously tested the market and came back to the Seahawks.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      “If you accept that logic, having a Lee or a Coleman likely available by the time the Seahawks pick could affect the decision of who we keep and who we let go. ”

      It doesn’t work that way. Draft is about 2 months after UFA signing period. Decision on who to keep has to be made well before the draft.

      • EranUngar says:

        Attyla, I know the time table. However, i think a team must take the draft options into account when making their FA decisions. If they foresee a quality replacement available for them where they pick it should be a part of their plan. Just like drafting Wags in the 2nd round and giving him immediately the keys to the MLB position, they may have a SAM in mind to mitigate the loss of Irvin.

        When you consider the long term approach to building your roster, the next draft must play a part in it.

        • matt says:

          Yep this is why I’ve been saying for over a year that Irvin is on his way out. This LB class is very deep with potential day 1 replacements likely available in day 3. Many of us have been looking for players who mimic Irvin’s elite athleticism and versatility, myself included. We don’t need a clone, all we need is a player who can set the edge, play his assignment, tackle well and cover the flat. Irvin’s versatility is a nice bonus, but is not a must in a replacement. There are a number of LB/Edge prospects who could fit the bill on a rookie salary.

          • Tien says:

            I’m with you Matt. Irvin’s very athletic and a great fit in our D but is he a vital/irreplaceable piece like Wagner or ET or Sherman? For me, he’s not. Okung may not be irreplaceable but since he’s our best OL on a line that doesn’t have a lot of talent or depth, unless the FO already have a comparative or better replacement in mind, whether through the draft or FA, for me, the smart decision is keeping Okung over Irving. In fact, even if Coleman drops and we draft him, I wouldn’t mind keeping Okung even in that scenario. The stronger our OL is, the more dangerous and potent, Wilson & our offense can be!

            • matt says:

              ” In fact, even if Coleman drops and we draft him, I wouldn’t mind keeping Okung even in that scenario. The stronger our OL is, the more dangerous and potent, Wilson & our offense can be!”

              Absolutely! Coleman could start at RT or LG. Making Gilliam a nice swing tackle or Britt a versatile OG/RT backup. If Coleman is sitting there at 31 for us then we should take him in a heartbeat. If not go another route. No need to force picks.

  11. J says:

    I don’t know if I’d resign either. Okung has injury problems, but as the second best tackle on the market will get paid. Perhaps too much where the risk is too high to justify the contract. I think Gilliam is a better fit at LT than RT and it would be nice to see what he could do there. That being said good LT are hard to find.

    I think Sweezy has a ready replacement in Glowinski so he walks. Irvin is great but also 29. A long term deal at that age concerns me.

    In order of priority it goes Okung>>>>>Irvin >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Sweezy.

    Lane, Rubin plus perhaps land a FA of our own.

    • Volume12 says:

      All of a sudden it seems like every guy that approaches 30, people say, ‘he’s getting old and could start falling off a cliff.’ What?

      The only positions that should be worried about when a guy does get close to 30 years old is RB and OLB. Every other position, players can still be effecive well into their 30’s.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        They can be effective but you have to evaluate their injury history. Okung has got stuck with the injury prone label. And why not? Two of the key players approaching 30, Graham and Lynch, has been injured most of this season. is it worth signing a 40 million dollar contract with that aging player or better to sign an 8 million dollar contract with a healthy younger player?

        • Volume12 says:

          I get it considering Okung.

          It’s Graham and Lynch’s first time missing any games. I believe that Lynch has played hurt these past couple years anyways.

          But, I keep seeing people worrying over Irvin, Bennett, ‘Bane, Avril, etc. Pass rushers and DTs tend to get better with age.

          Younger isn’t always better, nor are rookies for sure things.

          I find myself asking, ‘how many starters do peole expect to find in one draft during said rookies first year?’

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            Finding a rookie that has been trained up and in his first free agency is perfect timing. Even if they are already on the team like Irvin.

          • matt says:

            “I find myself asking, ‘how many starters do people expect to find in one draft during said rookies first year?’”

            1-2 starters. 2-4 rotational players. A few projects.

            After free agency we’ll only need 1 starter at LB or OT. Our roster is stacked and fluid. JS has done a masterful job. We will be able to go BPA basically throughout the entire draft. If we’re able to find just 2 impact players it will be a successful draft. Anything more than that is country gravy.
            Mmm gravy. 🙂

            • Volume12 says:

              ‘And french fried taters. Mmm…’ Ha!

              Spot on. 1-2 starters, 2-4 depth/rotational players, 1-2 projects, and a stud UDFA.

              I’ll say it again. Any time a team can leave a single draft with 2 immediate starters, it’s a homerun.

  12. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Tedd Ginn (spelled it right this time) is listed as questionable for Sunday vs SEA. That would be a big loss for CAR, as he’s their only deep threat.

  13. Ukhawk says:

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/25448392/nfl-draft-big-board-title-game-solidifies-stock-of-prominent-prospects

    Pretty good list of 1st round candidates, and while I don’t agree on a few (Cook, Clark) I do think it highlights the depth & the fact our Hawks will end up with a quality player even at 31

  14. Trevor says:

    There is a great group of accepted invites to the Senior Bowl this year. It should be fun watching the drills etc. again this year. Really hope Shon Coleman gets an invite.

    • Volume12 says:

      I think Coleman will.

      Maryland DT Quinton Jefferson just accepted an invite to the senior bowl and he’s a 4th year junior as well.

      • Darnell says:

        Joe Dahl OL (WSU) and a big CB from Samford got invites; which could be interesting for Seahawk purposes

        • Volume12 says:

          Possibly.

          The past couple years though, Seattle has drafted CBs from the Shrine Game IIRC.. And WRs from the Senior bowl. Could be something there like a trend or model, or it could just be circumstance.

  15. Darnell says:

    I’m intrigued by a couple big CBs that the Seahawks could potentially have some interest in.

    Artie Burns – Miami

    Rashard Robinson – ex LSU : hasn’t played for various off-field issues since his excellent freshman season.

  16. cha says:

    Ian Rapoport Verified Account
    @RapSheet
    #Broncos signed DE Derek Wolfe to a 4-year contract extension worth $36.7M, source said. He wanted to stay in Denver, could’ve gotten more

    Ian Rapoport Verified Account
    @RapSheet
    For #Broncos DE Derek Wolfe, he gets $17.5M in guarantees on his 4-year, $36.7M deal ($9.175M average).

    • C-Dog says:

      He’s a good player. It will be interesting to see what happens with Malik Jackson. The one potential free agent DL I’m very interested in is former Hawk Jaye Howard with KC.

    • matt says:

      “#Broncos DE Derek Wolfe, he gets $17.5M in guarantees on his 4-year, $36.7M deal ($9.175M average).”

      No wonder Michael Bennett wants a raise…he deserves one.

  17. Ukhawk says:

    Got a feeling Beastmode is gonna unload on Carolina

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I think Lynch will do damage in the passing attack… his soft hands will be perfect for hot reads off of blitzes. Sneak him out inot the flat and dump the pass to him.. then let him do his thing in open space… truck fools.

      • Ukhawk says:

        Yep, know he’s never done exceptionally well vs Carolina on the ground but I think he puts the Hawks over the top of the his week just based on his will, mojo, energy….

        Been such a force in getting us to the top, I’m hoping he gets that fairytale ending and rides into the sunset. I want a good day Ning to his time in Seattle. I want Lynch to end up being appreciated and in the debate (as he should) as the greatest Seahawk and one of the best RBs of all time.

  18. Volume12 says:

    One guy I wasn’t sold on earlier in the year, but after going back and watching some of his games on my DVR, I’m now pretty high on is Michigan St WR Aaron Burbridge.

    This kid is grit personified man. He just has the look and style of a Seahawk receiver. Listening to him talk, he’s articulate, comes across intelligent, and has that Seahawk wideout confidence, swag, and chip on the shoulder.

    He’s a poor man’s version of Tyler Lockett. Built simlarily to Golden Tate without the thick lower half. A very underrated route runner too. Good run blocker, makes tough NFL grabs, good YAC, quickness, and catches eveything.

    Someone is gonna get a steal in this cat.

    • Matt says:

      Glad to hear you came around on Burbridge. He’s going to be a solid pro. Theres nothing too special about his game but he’ll do all the little things to help the team win. Thinking early day 3 on Burbridge. I’d like to see us get more of an impact WR earlier in the draft, but would be cool getting Burbridge. He fits the mold of a Seahawk WR.

      • Volume12 says:

        Day 3 on Burbridge sounds about right.

        I may be disappointed, but I think he’s going to be impress some folks during the senior bowl practices and game. His ability to win the red line and win on quick, short throws, combined with his character should help solidfy what a polished wideout he is.

        Nothing to special about his game, but that’s what the mid rounds are. Your solid, ‘meat and potatoe’ prospects if you will.

  19. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Oh yeah, Lynch made the BUS and the PLANE for Carolina.

  20. diehard82 says:

    What about Rubin and Mebane? Aren’t they free-agents also? Carol has gushed about both, and while Bane is getting long in the tooth, if they don’t re-sign Rubin, what then? Hill hasn’t been able to stay healthy for long stretches or proved much IMO.

    • Steele says:

      Pete gushes about everyone. Including guys he eventually lets go.

      The interior D line does merit attention. Coming into the season, the hope was a great front with Bane back to super form, Rubin playing great, Hill stepping up, lots of youth and depth, etc. This hasn’t panned out. Bane hasn’t fully recovered to old form, Rubin has been just okay. We have spent a lot of time in here concerned about the interior pass rush, and that is still an issue.

      • C-Dog says:

        I think there’s a decent chance they bring back both. They may value bringing back Rubin over Mebane because he’s younger, and may have had the slightly better year. I can see them extending Rubin, and moving him to the nose, where it’s probably his more natural fit, if there is another younger 3 tech on the market worth adding. it will be interesting.

        I think Medane and Rubin have been solid this year versus the run. They two gapped brilliantly against the Vikings last week. I think that’s what they offer. I do think there are match ups where having a 3 tech that is more of a penetrator would give the defense a better advantage.

        It will be interesting with Chip Kelly now in the division just what decisions they decide to make in 2016 on the defense.

        • Volume12 says:

          Tuba and ‘Bane have been outstanding. No. 1 rush defense in the league, not allowing a single 100 yard rusher, what more do you want outta your DTs?

          Last year everyone thought DT was a need and they didn’t touch a single one in the draft.

          This year’s class at DT is a lot better than last year’s, but again, who are these instant impact interior pass rushers?

          2017 is loaded with really good 3-techs.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Professor Clayton has an interesting piece on ESPN about SEA’s defense in their last 6 road games. It’s the best in the League by far. Here’s some of the meat:

            “Since Week 7, including the wild-card playoff round, the Seahawks’ defensive numbers have been dominating. They’ve given up 200.7 yards a game, 74.3 fewer than the next closest team, the Kansas City Chiefs. They surrendered only 3.77 yards per play during those six games…Total QBR ratings in those six games were 29.8.

            The Seahawks have been successful stopping the run in those six games, allowing only 55.7 yards per game. But the 145 passing yards per game in those six road stops is 40.4 better than the next closest team, the Dallas Cowboys.”

            • Volume12 says:

              Wow! How spoiled are we? Our D gives up a couple TDs or a couple long drives, and some say’ we played o.k. Our defense wasn’t thst good.’

              • Ukhawk says:

                Lot of this has to do with who they played and the quality of the opposing QBs

                • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                  Not with respect to holding opponents to less than 56 rushing yards per game.

                  • C-Dog says:

                    I think Seattle’s defense has morphed this year into becoming a better run defense than pass. The presence of Rubin, coupled with the Cary Williams effect the team had to overcome in the LOB. I also think the bottom line is Coach Pete is always going to adjust things to the strength of his roster. This year on D, I think it was about the LBs, and having 630 lbs of beef in front of them two gapping, shifting to nascar packages when need be.

                    Honestly, I think this is the product of superb coaching. I think it’s Pete. He’s done it now with 3 different DCs. That’s kind of why when we all stress who we think we should keep, or who we should bring in, I think the reality is, this defense is going to be good no matter what. Maybe they keep Irvin. Maybe Mike Morgan is fully capable of handling SAM until a rookie is ready. Maybe they keep Mebane/Rubin, maybe the bring in a whole new cast.

              • matt says:

                Very spoiled! Our D didn’t look nearly as good as years past, and we still got the #1 spot. The bar has been set incredibly high. Steel Curtain, Mid 80’s Bears, early 00’s Ravens high…maybe higher.

  21. franks says:

    The question for me is, were either of Shon Coleman or Apple to fall lower than you grade then, and higher than Kiper, say to the mid or late teens, what would it take in today’s draft market to trade up, and how much capital would one of them be worth? Coleman would be worth it, I think, given the alternatives and the value he’d provide relative to cap space, compared to them.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      It would cost a R1, R2 and R3 pick to move up from the bottom to the middle of R1, from say 31 to 16. I like Shon Coleman a lot, but not enough to make that trade.

      • franks says:

        So you mean we’d be sending our late r1, plus our late 2 and late 3?

        If Coleman’s graded in the top ten by our staff and he falls, I’d pull the trigger on that, wouldn’t think twice. Especially if he’s the only guy at that level available to us. If we sign Michael and the fa’s on defense, this could be our only “Need”.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I don’t see a guy worth trading up for….. they have enough picks to pick up some quality depth at various spots on the roster… reloading with young talent. There isn’t a guy in the draft, that realistically will be available at the bottom of the first round, that is worth mortgaging the future and premium (inexpensive) picks for….

      • Volume12 says:

        I actually think rounds 2 and 3 are the ‘sweet spots’ or where the ‘pocket of talent’ is at in this year’s draft.

        • matt says:

          Yep. Thinking a trade up in day 2 is likely. Especially since the 3rd round comp pick is not tradeable. Do we really wait to select twice in the late 3rd? It makes a lot of sense to go trade up there.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            They had 2 picks late in R4 last year and went with a double shot of OG. Interestingly, they took Poole before Glow; also Shaq Mason and Max Garcia were picked in between them so there was a little pocket of mid round OL talent.

            Trading up makes sense only for the right player. Lockett was the right player, and they moved up for him. But it wasn’t cheap. It cost their R3, R4, R5 and R6 picks to get him.

      • franks says:

        Yeah I don’t know, I think starting left tackle is a bigger question mark, going forward than all round depth. Okung plays fine for the money he’ll want, but he doesn’t play enough.We need a LT for 16 games and three to four in the playoffs and furthermore if Coleman can do that, there will be more money for the rest of the roster.

        But ideally we’d be looking for more than depth in the second and third, we should be looking for starters or niche guys who can impact games now. A couple of those, and maybe only one of them would work out, to fill our biggest hole? I’d do it.

        • matt says:

          I get your concern with Okung-he’s constantly knicked up and misses games. What he hasn’t done is miss an entire season.(knock on wood) Other teams are spending top LT $ for guys like Clady, Monroe and Peters that have spent full seasons on the IR. To date this hasn’t been the case with Okung. He’s not the greatest LT, but we could do a lot worse. Shon Coleman is a fantastic looking LT prospect, but lets not kid ourselves by saying he’s an iron man, all pro shoe-in. He missed major time dealing with leukemia, admirably, which can come back to rear its ugly head. We’ve traded 2 first round picks for proven NFL impact players(Harvin and Graham). To me that shows how JS/PC value their first rounder. Drafting is an imperfect science, so if you can get a proven player with that pick, that’s more valuable to them. With our draft history I think it’s very unlikely that we trade up in the first. Never know though.

          There’s impact to be had in day 2- Clark and especially Lockett proved that. We have 4 picks in the top 100. There’s a great chance at getting 3 impact players by the end of day 2. That’s before day 3 and UDFA’s where our bread and butter have been.

        • Volume12 says:

          franks, that’s what the 1st three rounds are for my man. You know that. Your looking to get starters there, depth or backups in rounds 4-5, and project/high upside picks in rounds 6-7. Now, if your mid to late round selections end up becoming starters, even better.

          Even if you pay Okung, there’s enpugh money left to keep other guys. $34 mil going into FA is pretty damn good, and that’s before we cut or lose some players. We should have righr around $37-$40 mil.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m always dubious of moving up in R1. The cost is nearly always too much in comparison to moving from the early second back into the first. Teams have moved from the late 30’s into the end of round one and swapped picks in a later round. To move up from the 20’s to the teens seems to cost at least a third rounder if not more.

      • franks says:

        wel that is the sentiment and the stats bear it out. But what if they know Coleman is the guy? Just a thrd rounder and you can upgrade that R1 to “sure thing” and plug the biggest hole on the roster at low cost at one of the hardest positions to find talent for.

        I do get it that statistically it isn’t a “good idea'”.

  22. DC says:

    Whatever we do as far as FA signings and such, this last off season proved how nice it is to have some extra cap space(we didn’t) heading toward the season for flexibility and bargain hunting when opportunities arise. Obviously the big extensions given out took precedence. I would expect the team to carry a bit more of a cushion this year.

  23. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Momma Lynch said “He ready”.
    I believe her.
    Let’s have a game for the ages, with #24 leading the charge.
    Go Hawks!

  24. Ukhawk says:

    I’m all about this action, boss…

    Lynch is already the active leader for rushing touchdowns in the playoffs with nine, but he needs just one more score to become the seventh player in NFL history to reach double-digits in the postseason. The other six:
    Emmitt Smith (19)
    Franco Harris (16)
    Thurman Thomas (16)
    Terrell Davis (12)
    John Riggins (12)
    Marcus Allen (11)

    The next closest active player? LeGarrette Blount, who’s scored seven in his playoff career.

    Lynch is also just 83 rushing yards away from reaching 1,000 in his postseason career. Again, only six other players have rushed for 1,000 playoff yards:
    Emmitt Smith (1,586)
    Franco Harris (1,556)
    Thurman Thomas (1,442)
    Tony Dorsett (1,383)
    Marcus Allen (1,347)
    Terrell Davis (1,140)

    The next closest active players? Ray Rice (750 yards) and Frank Gore (646 yards). Lynch currently ranks eighth on the all-time list, while Rice and Gore rank 16th and 24th, respectively.

  25. Barry says:

    Rob is spot on about Paul Perkins. Shouldn’t make it out of early day two.

    I don’t remember have such conflicted feelings about a running back as I do Derek Henry. I stay away from “faster” power backs that go down with the first touch. Its the same reason I hated the early pick of Trent Richardson and loved Eddie Lacey. But Henry covers so much ground in very little time I think his straight line football speed may not reflect his 40. If he can learn to lower those big shoulders and run out of broken tackles he maybe a special back… maybe. Otherwise he’s the biggest speed back in history.

    • Volume12 says:

      I don’t get the love for Eddie Lacy. He’s one of the most overrated backs in the league. He’s fat, soft as a peach, and doesn’t seem to have a passion for the game.

      There’s a reason we passed on him.

  26. smitty1547 says:

    Lacy, Ingram, Henry, i would not take a one!