Raiders trade Terrelle Pryor to the Seahawks, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 22, 2014
This is interesting.
Given Oakland’s apparent willingness to cut Pryor if a trade wasn’t forthcoming, it’s unlikely to be for much. (Update: The Raiders and Seahawks say it’s a 7th round pick in 2014).
GM John Schneider: "Terrelle is an incredibly explosive athlete and we’re excited for him to come in and compete." http://t.co/uUGnVQAkyy
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 22, 2014
Here’s a theory for you — Seattle may wish to try him at a different position. Pryor’s desire is to stay at quarterback and he’s made that quite clear. So on the open market, he wouldn’t necessarily choose the Seahawks as his team if there were multiple suitors.
(They’d also be last on the waiver wire list as Super Bowl Champions)
Now, he doesn’t really have a choice. He’s a Seahawk. So if they want to switch his position — he can either buy in or force his release. I’m not sure a player with Pryor’s underwhelming résumé needs to be pulling any moves like that.
He didn’t attend a combine as a supplemental draft pick in 2011 — but he did hold a pro-day. At 6-6 and 240lbs he reportedly ran as fast as 4.38 and as slow as 4.54 depending on whose clock you want to trust. Even if he managed just a 4.5 — that’s impressive at that size.
Could he end up switching to receiver or tight end? Perhaps. You could argue it’s worth a shot for both player and team. He turns 25 in June so time is running out if he’s going to make his starting quarterback dream a reality.
Top four set?
ESPN's Adam Schefter said he expects Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack, and Sammy Watkins to be the first 4 picks in the draft.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) April 21, 2014
Clowney, Robinson, Mack and Watkins have developed into something of a consensus top four among many pundits. Working out which order they’ll go in — and to whom — is the big question.
I think we should expect some movement in the top five. The Detroit Lions have brought in several top players for an offcial visit — including Clowney, Mack and Watkins. Nobody expects any of that trio to fall to #10 — so what are the Lions doing? Is it a smokescreen? Is it advanced scouting?
Or is it just a sign they’re planning to move up for a top prospect rather than settling for whoever lasts until the tenth pick?
They’ve shown a lot of interest in Sammy Watkins in particular. Trading with either the Rams at #2 or the Jaguars at #3 is possible. The Atlanta Falcons have also expressed some interest in moving up.
As for the top pick — there’s been a lot of talk about the Texans selecting a defensive player over the last few days. First Schefter suggested that’s what Houston would do — and today Peter King reported they might prefer Khalil Mack or Greg Robinson to Jadeveon Clowney.
Perhaps this is the cynic in me — but doesn’t this all seem like a bit of a late smokescreen? If the Texans want to draft a quarterback — and that still makes the most sense — they almost certainly would prefer to trade down. They need to convince teams they have legitimate interest in a Clowney, Mack or Robinson. Essentially, you better be willing to trade up to #1 or risk missing out.
In the end if the Texans can’t trade the top pick they might just take a Clowney or Mack after all. They might not be able to convince themselves that a QB is worth the top pick. But the timing of these reports and the sudden shift in media momentum from Blake Bortles at #1 to suddenly a defensive player — to me at least — hints at a classic red herring.
Adams, Richardson the latest receivers to visit Seattle
Davante Adams/WR/Fresno State visiting the Seattle Seahawks today: http://t.co/H3CamCa8ae
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 21, 2014
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 21, 2014
The Seahawks continue to visit mostly with receivers and offensive tackles. As you can see in the Tweets above, Fresno State’s Davante Adams and Colorado’s Paul Richardson are the latest two in question.
Adams is a player I’ve wrestled with for some time. On the one hand, you see plenty of evidence of him competing for the ball in the air. He wins numerous jump balls in the end zone and that’s what the Seahawks want and need. He’s a sparky, competitive individual with great character. He was ultra productive in Fresno’s prolific passing offense and he has tremendous leaping ability — a 39.5 inch vertical was impressive at the combine.
But there’s just something keeping me from ranking him alongside the Cody Latimer’s of this draft. If you split the receiver class into three with Watkins, Evans, Lee and Odell Beckham Jr in tier one, I’d put Adams in the third tier.
Size-wise he’s just average (6-1, 212lbs) and he has small nine-inch hands. He ran a 4.56 at the combine — the same time as 6-6, 225lbs Brandon Coleman.
While he has great leaping ability — there are just other players with much more explosive athleticism. Donte Moncrief is bigger at 6-2 and 221lbs, but ran a 4.40 and matched Adams’ 39.5 inch vertical. He also recorded an 11 on the broad jump. Latimer likewise shares all of Adams’ hop but blows him away when it comes to size and speed.
I like his get off (and he recorded a 1.53 10-yard split on his second combine run) but he’s a little one paced. He’s not as reliable catching the ball as Latimer (who is?) and while he made some really nice contested catches in 2013 — he also had some basic misses.
You can only play the opponents you’re handed and fair play to Adams for dominating his conference. But you watch Fresno State take on teams like Wyoming where the defensive backs just didn’t look like they knew what they were doing. Time and time again Adams was left wide open. Against the one meaningful opponent they had last season — a poor USC by Southern Cal standards — he was fairly good. Not great.
I can see why the Seahawks are taking a closer look purely because he competes so well for the ball. Not great size or speed, but he’ll make plays and be fairly consistent.
While a player like Latimer or Moncrief would offer terrific, X-factor athleticism and the ability to develop into potential stars — Adams looks like more of a role player. But when I write that down, I realise that’s kind of what Seattle has apart from Percy Harvin. Role players. Receivers who run in the 4.4/4.5 range and don’t have great size — they just compete every down. They go up and win 50/50 passes. That’s Davante Adams
He could be an option at #64 if he lasts, which is debatable. A lack of explosive athletic skills probably keeps him away from the first frame.
Richardson is a slight 6-0 and 175-180lbs. He did run a 4.40 and jump a 38 inch vertical at the combine.
What I think the Seahawks will like about him is his ability to make plays at the sideline despite the lack of size. He’s shifty to get away from press coverage. He’s capable of spectacular grabs in tight coverage. He has the speed to run deep and make explosive chunk plays. Despite not playing in much of a passing offense — his route running is a positive (breaks well, drives off DB’s).
He can act in trick plays and actually threw a touchdown pass against Oregon in 2013. Richardson might also have a role on special teams.
He does have the occasional bad drop. Funnily enough there are times where he explodes into a route, creates huge separation and then fumbles an easy catch. And while he does a great job competing despite a lack of size — there’s no getting away from the fact he’s tiny. Will he have the same success working the sideline against NFL cornerbacks? Probably not.
He’s a difficult one to project because anyone looking for a spark-plug might take him earlier than people expect (R2-3). But he could also last beyond that. And I think he’ll need to last for Seattle to consider drafting him.
If you want to track who Seattle is meeting with before next months draft, I’d recommend following Davis Hsu on Twitter. He’s put together this neat little chart to see who is visiting with the Seahawks:
Seahawks Pre-Draft Visit Tracker with Color Coding & Round Grades pic.twitter.com/0PkJXhK5lJ
— Davis Hsu (@DavisHsuSeattle) April 21, 2014
It’s probably no coincidence that it’s dominated by highly rated receivers and offensive linemen with a lot of later round linebackers thrown in.
Nothing’s set in stone, but it’s a safe bet to assume the Seahawks will target wide out and the O-line early — with further offensive tackle depth plus the usual collection of linebackers and DB’s in the later rounds or UDFA.
Anthony Barr really falling?
While I thought in season #UCLA OLB Anthony Barr would go Top10, more scouts I talk w/ see him going mid/late 1st round
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) April 21, 2014
John Middlekauff is a former NFL Scout turned radio host.
This is another recent discussion point. I have sympathy with this Tweet and with Todd McShay’s criticism of Anthony Barr. There’s no doubting his upside — but if you’re expecting him to come in and rack up sacks as a rookie it probably won’t happen.
He has to get stronger. There’s no question there. He’s played two years on defense and he’s not capable of engaging pro-offensive tackles, fighting off blocks and doing what he needs to do to be an effective rusher. That’s not to say he won’t get there — he has the length and size to make it happen. But he needs to land with a patient team.
Then you throw in a 4.66 forty at the combine. His ten yard split was good (1.56) but it’s not a blazing time. If he ran in the early 4.5’s you could justify a high pick on the explosive factor. Yet Barr didn’t really wow anyone in Indianapolis.
He might be one or two years from being the finished article. And in a league that demands instant gratification — will a bad or rebuilding team at the top of the draft have that level of patience? I’m not sure.
Yet there comes a time when the value is too good. If Barr is there at #32 it might be difficult for Seattle to pass. They can afford to bring him in and groom him. Playing with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril drawing attention will also help.
The problem is there are teams ahead of Seattle who will feel the same. The mid-20’s is probably Barr’s floor. But he’s one to keep an eye on.