Monday draft notes – Odell Beckham impressive again

October 7th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

First round talent? Maybe so

LSU’s Odell Beckham is a player I want on the Seahawks roster. In fact if they lose Golden Tate in free agency, Beckham would be an ideal replacement. He’s incredibly polished, has huge hands and has underrated athletic qualities. He’s also an explosive kick returner. Against Mississippi State he stood out again with nine catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He was the best player on the field. Beckham isn’t quite the big, physical receiver Seattle lacks (he’s 6-0 and 187lbs) but I don’t care. He still high points the ball (see his first TD here). He’s a smooth, fluid runner (and his second here is evidence of that). You need playmakers like this. I mentioned his hand size — and while I don’t have the measurements — it looks unnatural for his height. He absorbs the football into his mits. I don’t think this is going to be a great draft, although we know how that can change quickly. Right now I’d happily give Beckham a late first round or early second round grade.

Part of the problem with this draft class appears to be all the negativity out there. Marqise Lee at USC — once a sure-fire top ten lock — has suffered a knee injury, loss of form and seen his stock fall as USC drifts into farce. Dominique Easley, looking so good to start the year, picked up a fresh ACL injury. Notre Dame’s highly rated nose tackle Louis Nix looks cumbersome and heavy and he’s struggling to have an impact. Anthony Barr at UCLA hasn’t quite lived up to his hype, while Bradley Roby at Ohio State hasn’t looked anywhere near as good as last season. Ha Ha Clinton Dix has been suspended for the year by Alabama.

Even the anointed top prospect Jadeveon Clowney has got involved in the ‘bad news draft’. He decided to sit out South Carolina’s game against Kentucky with bruised ribs. That’s not too shocking. The reaction of Steve Spurrier, however, painted the situation in a different light. “(If Clowney) wants to play, we will welcome him to come play for the team if he wants. But if he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to play. Simple as that.” If Clowney is protecting himself for the NFL, it’s his prerogative. But it’s not a good look. A lot of this will be forgotten when he turns up at the combine and puts on a display for the ages. Right now he’s copping some flack. And it’s a long way until February.

Clowney wasn’t the only one making headlines this weekend. Colt Lyerla — a controversial figure at the best of times — has walked out on Oregon. Or he was kicked off the team. Whatever you want to believe, it’s still a mess. Lyerla has all the physical qualities you want in a modern NFL tight end, but you have to seriously question his mental make-up after this. Let’s not forget, this is the man who made ill-advised conspiracy theorist tweets about the Sandy Hook shootings. He didn’t feature against Colorado due to a team suspension, he’d been warring with Head Coach Mark Helfrich for most of the season. He’ll probably get a chance in the NFL, even if it’s as an UDFA. But he can forget any chance of being an early round pick.

On the subject of tight ends — and it’s a position Seattle might look at in the 2014 draft — it’s hard to see any going in the first round. Austin Seferian-Jenkins looks out of shape and had a crucial drop against Stanford. Eric Ebron had another good outing for North Carolina and recorded another nice touchdown. He looks like a solid second or third round player to me rather than a day one pick.

On a positive note, it’s a good year for offensive tackles. It’s the position of depth in this class. Even so, they all kind of blend into one. There’s no obvious stand out. Cyrus Kouandijo, Jake Matthews, Zack Martin, Taylor Lewan, Antonio Richardson, James Hurst. All could be first round picks, but who’s the #1 in that group? Whoever wins that particular race, it’s not too early to expect a cluster of tackles to go in the top-15 picks.

It might be time to start considering Clemson’s Vic Beasley as a first round pick. He’s not the biggest pass rusher, but his get off and pure speed is almost as good as Bruce Irvin’s. You can’t argue with his production either. Two sacks against Syracuse on Saturday made it 16 in 12 games during the last two seasons. This year he has eight sacks in five outings. I watched the game at the weekend and Beasley was constantly in the backfield — stunting inside, bursting off the edge. He made good plays against the run too. I’ve not seen a pass rusher as accomplished as Beasley this season.

Team mate Tajh Boyd had a productive day in the stat column (455 yards, five touchdowns) but we’re not seeing a jump in consistency from last year. At his best (vs LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl) he looks the part of a first round pick. But last year he had a tendency to miss on simple throws, making life difficult for his receivers. We’re still seeing that. He had two picks against Syracuse, including a bad overthrow over the middle. It should’ve been a simple connection, he just missed. I kind of feel like we’re waiting for the day Boyd and the Clemson offense hit a wall. Last season that came against Florida State. The Tigers play FSU in two weeks.

Brandon Coleman continues to toil a little for Rutgers. I found out this week he’d had surgery to reconstruct his knee during the off-season. Is it hampering his progress? And did it impact he decision not to turn pro in 2013? He doesn’t look the same player so far and while he had a big catch and run against SMU, he was wide open on the play. The other receivers at Rutgers are getting the production. Coleman has so much upside but appears destined for a mid-round grade at best unless things pick up soon.

38 Responses to “Monday draft notes – Odell Beckham impressive again”

  1. Ryan M says:

    Rob,

    Long time fan of the blog and again smooth post weekend write up. This for one, makes me happy. I see no possibility of the Seahawks picking in the top 20 and therefore enjoy top talent struggling.

    The PC/JS tandem have shown an incredible knack for teaching extremely talented athletes to be Men on and off the field. If I had the opportunity for a well rounded player at pick 32 or a Marquis Lee who lost his composure for a year its a no brainer. I know there are valid reasons for all of these struggle but I simply choose to believe in second chances, and there are none better in the NFL than our 2 leaders at hitting home runs on second opportunities of the mental game. The core we have breeds success and Dynasties capitalize on that.

    PS side note but love the blog on WP. I work for WP Engine and would always be willing to hook up a fellow Seahawk fan!

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I’m not sure we rate Lee very highly. He’s not really a world-class athlete. Doesn’t have the measurables. Not very scrappy. He probably tests around Robert Woods level. The only difference, really, for me, is route running vs. open field ability.
      I don’t think Lee will be as good of an NFL player as Robert Woods.

      • Ryan M says:

        I agree that was a poor example. I was going more metaphorically ie top 10 prospect going into the season that fell because of multiple on/off field issues. As long as the player loves football and has talent Pete tends to give them a shot at least.

  2. 12th_Bob says:

    Still looking out for Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, might be the highest picked WR’s but the WR picks always shock me considering who is taken first and how far some guys seem to fall on draft day. I have no idea what Seattle goes for first although with Rice’s salary and Tate set to hit FA I really believe WR is what they are going to address in the first 2 rounds and am anticipating a trade down to the 3rd with the 1st or 2nd round pick.

    A big bodied possession WR could probably be had later, Brandon Marshall went late, as did Boldin so I could see Coleman picked up in the 3-5 range unless someone falls in love with an amazing combine performance.

    Agree on Beasley, pass rushers go early so a 1st round pick on him wouldn’t surprise me. Not too sure about him, he has made an impact but I can never be fully on board with pass rushers, hard to judge who will flame out of be really good.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Still looking at Vic Beez with an early second. He’ll stay there until he destroys the combine.

      Coleman will probably still squeeze into the first round. Probably to the Seahawks. He seems to be falling. We’ll be picking late and love athletic ability.

  3. MJ says:

    Great read Rob…I had high hopes about this draft heading into the year, but it’s looking pretty poor.

    Regarding Beckham, I absolutely think he is a 1st round talent. He just gets it. For a very good athelte, he’s an incredibly natural WR. He catches the ball naturally, high points well, great route runner, and has an explosive second gear to separate. He’s listed at 187, but I think he’s closer to 200. To my eye, he looks bigger/taller than Golden Tate and unlike Tate, I think he’s a day 1 contributor.

    Any thoughts on Ra’shede Hageman. He looks like he would intrigue this FO as he’s a raw athlete with immense upside.

    And just an FYI Rob, check out Marcus Peters for UW. IMO, he’s the best all around CB in college football. He’s a redshirt sophomore. I think he could be a dark horse of leaving early. Extremely fast, physical, and long. He’s a sticky cover man, but is still an explosive tackler/blitzer. I really think he’s the one guy who shoots up boards that has little fanfare right now.

    Great work and congrats on the little one!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not seen any of Ra’shede Hageman this season unfortunately but what I saw last year was pretty ‘meh’ to be honest. I’ll give him a chance though. Thanks for the tip on Peters I’ll check him out.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I’ve seen a fair bit of Hageman.

        On the hoof, he looks like a monster. Really looks abnormally big even compared to big 10 competition.

        He’s explosively quick on the line. But he just rarely translates that advantage into penetration. When he does get penetration, it’s usually him guessing on a gap and throwing his shoulder through. On many plays, you can see him get sealed easily and doesn’t even seem to be aware that the runner is taking the other gap he vacated until he’s well past the line of scrimmage. If the goal of a DT was to block an OL, then he’d be excellent.

        He is lacking when you watch him on tape. It’s hard to fathom really. He just doesn’t put OGs in measurable distress. Whether it’s a run or pass. When lined up facing a lineman, he just pops him and extends his arms to push him back. Allowing linemen to absorb the push and reset completely.

        I’m not high on him. He should be so much more than his play shows.

  4. kevin mullen says:

    Well, we’ve had so much success with 4th round receivers that it’s only fitting for Coleman to Hawks in the 4th. I’d take a flier on him in late 3rd if he were still hanging around and we hadn’t addressed that “jump ball” receiver/TE position.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s actually got another year of eligibility. So he could stay at Rutgers. And that may be for the best, especially if he isn’t healthy.

      • kevin mullen says:

        Being that this year hasn’t shaped out to be the expectation we had for Coleman, staying another year would probably be to his benefit.

        On another note: man I wish NO would let Graham test FA, he would probably the perfect fit for Russell. I know its wishful thinking but he would elevate this offense to another level.

    • Chris A says:

      Success with receivers in the 4th round? Durham and Harper? No..

  5. Ukhawk says:

    Rob. Thx for responding on the precious article and great update on this one. Saw the Coleman injury news last week hence my post. Couple of comments…

    Surprised to see your comments re TEs, agree off field will impact but believe some are ranking those 2 as R1 prospects like Seattle based Rob Rang. Do you think they are not as dynamic in their assessment or are they projecting just talent or further out toward the combine?

    Another one who may be getting marked down is Sutton but he’d sure be one to look at for the Hawks as Bennett isn’t a try 3t. Again any update on him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t agree with Rang there if he’s saying there are first round TE’s. First of all, very few tight ends are going in round one. Some very solid tight end prospects (eg Zach Ertz, Coby Fleener) have dropped into round two. Lyerla’s off field issues will keep him anywhere near the early rounds while ASJ just looks out of shape and he isn’t doing a good enough job. Neither will he do anything at the combine to help his stock — he’s going to run a slow 40 yard dash.

      I am not a fan of Will Sutton. He’s just a guy in my opinion who got a load of publicity based on his production last year. On tape he’s completely underwhelming and has a limited NFL future. And this year he doesn’t even have the production — one sack in five games.

      • Ukhawk says:

        Thx for the reply again, the insight is great and makes sense. You watch the tape so would know better than me !

      • Kyle says:

        I wonder if ASJ is simply more suited to a traditional offense as opposed to UW’s new fast paced offense. It may just be the case that he’s not not a great fit in Sark’s new scheme, but then again it shouldn’t matter too much with a player with such tremendous talent. I have noticed though that a ton of Price’s throws are to the sidelines, and he doesn’t seem to throw much to the traditional TE zone, i.e. intermediate pass in the middle of the field.

        Personally, I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a 1st rounder, probably in the 15-20 range. Even if he is graded as a 2nd round talent, the 2nd round really starts around the 25th pick which is were early 2nd rounders bleed into the first and borderline 1st rounders fall into the 2nd. How insane would it be if the Hawks drafted ASJ and Coleman. As for Lyerla, this past week has shown that he probably does not belong on a team who’s motto is “Always Compete”.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s more than just scheme. ASJ looks heavy, like he’s added weight. You’re not going in the top 15-20 as a tight end if you’re running a 4.8. He looks like a 4.8 guy right now.

  6. Ukhawk says:

    True 3t

  7. Turp says:

    Odell looked crazy good this weekend. Explosive after the catch and high points the ball very well.

  8. Stuart says:

    Rob, coming out of college, who do you think is the better receiver between “Hopkins” last year and “Beckham” this year?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I still like Hopkins, who on a technical level was nearly flawless. He’s suffering in Houston at the moment because Matt Schaub is having a meltdown. Beckham is the more explosive player but Hopkins is such an intelligent and naturally gifted receiver.

      • House says:

        Rob,

        If you were GM for a day, would you have traded for Percy Harvin OR would you have drafted DeAndre Hopkins?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’ve flip-flopped on this one a few times. I was initially against trading for Harvin when he was being touted as available due to all the apparent baggage. When they made the deal, however, I supported it simply due to the background knowledge the team had on Harvin through Carroll (recruited him heavily at USC) and Bevell (offensive coordinator in Minnesota). They know a lot more about this guy than me, so who am I to argue? As much as I liked Hopkins, Harvin had the potential to be a leading playmaker in the NFL. It was hard not to buy into the deal.

          When it became apparent he needed surgery and would miss time this year, I cringed a little. Whatever anyone says, Percy has injury history in his career. And we’re paying him an elite contract, a contract that will make it difficult to keep other players on the roster as we look to re-sign our stars. But now that we’re edging closer to seeing him finally take the field (fingers crossed) I’m falling for the deal all over again.

          At the end of the day, it’s difficult to make a good team even better — and adding Percy managed that. Seattle is crying out for an elite receiver. And Harvin has a better shot of being that compared to DeAndre Hopkins — although I suspect Hopkins will have a nice career in Houston if they sort out the QB situation.

          • House says:

            Rob,

            We’re in the same boat… I’ve been back/forth about it as well.

            I took your suggestion and looked at some film of Beckham. He’s got BIG-play ability written all over him. I read that Beckham’s hands are 10 5/8″. Not sure how accurate that is, but those are MONSTER on a 5’11″/6′ guy.

            I suspect Rice is gone after the season (due $8.5M in ’14) and I’ll leave Tate up in the air as well. I like Tate’s upside and versatility and the dude’s got “spunk”. I’ll agree Beckham could come in and earn field time.

            Jermaine Kearse is playing well and he’s not small @ 6’2″, 210lbs. Could he potentially be our #2 guy?

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think Kearse has earned more playing time with his performance. If they can find a big red zone target I’d happily roll next year with Harvin/Big guy/Beckham/Baldwin/Kearse. Finding the big man is the tough part.

              • Attyla the Hawk says:

                Some big guy candidates I’m liking thus far:

                Allen Robinson 6’3″
                Dante Moncrief 6’2″
                DeVonte Parker 6’2″
                Devin Street 6’3″

                All four of these should get attention in the 25-60 range depending on need. I’m not as high on Moncrief, but like Robinson and Street very much. Parker is streakier, he shows ridiculous hands, and then can muff an easy one. But Parker has a very real ability to create separation that you can see even on passes that don’t go his way. He has the highest potential IMO, based on plays he does make. Improve consistenvy and he could be a very strong pro.

                Street is the only senior in this group so there is a good probability these guys improve between their So and Jr years.

                The crop of bigger guys goes well beyond Coleman and Evans and Matthews. If you are looking for a big, there are good prospects with size who play physical too. Are they sure fire prospects? Nope. But they are legit R2 prospects and we aren’t picking in the top 20 anytime soon.

              • kevin mullen says:

                So you expect Tate and Rice to be gone by next year? One or the other but not sure on both. Despite Harvins flexibility, I think Tate stays and possibly Baldwin goes, even though I like Baldwin more. I could see Doug leaving for Indy or maybe NE if money is right.

                • Attyla the Hawk says:

                  Baldwin is a tougher question. The 2nd round tender value for 2013 was 2.0 something million per year. We didn’t draft him so we can’t give him a tender of same draft pick.

                  That in and of itself is a big big raise. For what is essentially our 4th receiver. Is he worth it? Well he is productive now, but his role is always going to be small and even much more so with Harvin’s return. I don’t see 4th receivers making that kind of money. Especially 4th receivers of the slot only variety.5

                  I’d say that cost is too much. He is worth that as a #3. But he will never be that for us. A later round guy who could be taken for Baldwin’s skill set:

                  Alex Amidon WR Boston College.

                  Tate to me is worth more to resign, even if he’s in the 5m range. And if you are considering Beckham in the first because you are assuming you lose Tate, then I’d submit that the equivalent alternative moves are:

                  Keep Tate and a #1 pick
                  Keep Baldwin and forfeit your #1 pick

                  Tate’s cost, if he’s replaced by Beckham is the #1 pick used to replace him plus the #1 pick salary. Option A is about a 6m expense. Option B is about a 3m expense plus the loss (use) of the #1 draft choice.

                  There are a lot of quick/shifty slot guys with Baldwin’s skill set. They don’t require day 1 picks to get. You can often get them in day 3. Amidon will be there in the 4th and probably the 5th.

                  I suspect we’d like to pair Tate and Harvin up a lot. It aligns with our desire for strong YAC receivers. That’s not Baldwin or Rice. Rice is the big contract that increasingly looks to be trimmed. There are non day 1 options to succeed him.

                  I could easily envision a draft that retains Tate and Harvin, succeeds both Baldwin and Rice and allows us to do what we want with our 1st round pick as well. Which if history tells us anything, we will try to move back and collect more picks.

                  • House says:

                    I understand what you’re saying. I personally want Tate to stay. I don’t think he’ll command Big $$$.

                    What happens with Baldwin could be interesting. His high praise of Luck becoming the greatest QB of all time leads me to believe he may want to be apart of that.

                    A guy I watched a bit last year and plays bigger than he shows is Jared Abbrederis. He’s Russ’ former teammate and reminds me a lot of Brian Hartline. Not the flashiest guy, but a sure-handed reliable target that moves the sticks. I’d suspect he is currently a 4th-5th rd pick as of now

                • Rob Staton says:

                  On current performance Rice won’t be here on that contract. Re-signing Tate could be an issue. Receivers are getting over paid in free agency looking at previous years. I’m not sure they can afford to pay Tate what another team will. No doubt they’d like to keep him, but such is the situation. They’ve paid Harvin big money. They need enough free cash to pay Sherman, Thomas and probably Bennett.

                  • Colin says:

                    I think Tate will be a highly sought commodity on the market. I firmly you believe that if you put him in an offense with a higher volume of passes, he’d go over 1,000 yards routinely.

      • Alex says:

        The thing with Hopkins that was so unique about him as a prospect was that he was able to run the whole route tree. For most WR prospects, this is the one single biggest area of adjustments in the NFL. Consequently, it actually shouldn’t be a surprise that Hopkins has adapted as quickly as he has.

        If one compares Hopkins route running vs say Mike Evans or Jonathan Baldwin in a prior draft, there is a huge contrast.

  9. Kenny Sloth says:

    JULIO!!!

  10. AlaskaHawk says:

    I want to keep both Tate and Baldwin. It will be hard to replace either one. They both have made major contributions to the team, and both have speed and good hands. I can see Taye getting 6 million as a no. 2 receiver, and Baldwin getting 2-4 million. I don’t think more – both Welker and Boldin are getting paid in the 6 million range.
    We need more good receivers- not less.