Monday draft notes: What will KC do with the #1 pick now?

March 4th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Andy Reid is making life interesting in the NFL

Crazy in KC

The Chiefs turned an already unpredictable draft on its head tonight. By agreeing a new 5-year contract with Dwayne Bowe, it allowed them to spend the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert.

It means Albert will earn $9,828,000 in 2013. Considering the Chiefs already have right tackle Eric Winston under contract (4-years, $22m), it seems unlikely they’ll be spending the #1 pick on Luke Joeckel or any other offensive tackle.

They could theoretically move Albert back to guard, a move he’s been vocally opposed to. He played guard at Virginia. It still seems like a costly exercise. They’d have the 2013 #1 pick playing left tackle, Albert and his near $10m salary playing guard and Winston is taking up $7m against the cap this year as the right tackle. Sure, a good offensive line is important. But that looks like overkill.

Albert could also hold-out if they force him to change position. He knows any future big contract will be predicated by his ability to continue as a blind-side blocker. Nobody is going to pay multi-millions for his services as a guard. Surely the Chiefs didn’t just pay $10m for a headache?

So what happens now with the #1 pick?

They may intend to try and recoup picks after the Smith-deal with San Francisco — although that’s easier said than done. Why does anyone really have to get above Jacksonville and Oakland to own the top selection? The Chiefs saying they’d like to trade down would be like any of us saying we’d appreciate a night on the town with Megan Fox, with an invitation for coffee afterwards. Well.. duh. Neither situation, sadly, appears likely.

Bowe’s cap hit will likely be substantial after signing a long-term contract. The offensive line is now very expensive and Alex Smith is due nearly $10m in both 2013 and 2014. Jamaal Charles’ six-year contract pays him over $4m this season and next. They have playmakers, a line and a quarterback earning big money. A serious case can be made for the Chiefs turning their attention to defense.

If they stay put, I think it might come down to two guys — Dion Jordan and Sharrif Floyd.

There’s not a desperate need for an edge rusher in Kansas City with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston on the roster, but Jordan showed at the combine he has genuine elite athletic potential. I do think he has a chance to become a star at the next level. No offense to Mr. Houston, but putting Jordan across from Hali would create one of the best pass rushing tandem’s in the league. It’d certainly ask a few questions of Peyton Manning in Denver. Andy Reid knows he doesn’t just need a new offensive direction, he has to find a way to stop Manning to win the AFC West.

It’d be unusual for a team to draft a five technique with the #1 pick, but it seems like a lot of teams are really high on Sharrif Floyd’s back-story, upside and physical attributes. If he’s been graded as the best player in the draft then he has a shot to go first overall. If they have ambitions of transitioning to a 4-3 in the future, he’s also scheme diverse. The contract at #1 isn’t so big these days that you’re paying a ridiculous salary for a position of secondary importance. It might only be a matter of time before we see a non quarterback, left tackle or edge rusher go first overall.

Right now, I’d put Oregon’s Jordan down as the favourite to be the top pick.

Whatever happens, Andy Reid is making the off-season fun already.

Seattle’s options at defensive tackle dwindling

Sadly, neither Henry Melton or Randy Starks will be available in free agency. Both players were tagged by Chicago and Miami respectively. The two most attractive options for Seattle in free agency are no longer available.

Other players, such as Oakland’s Desmond Bryant or unattached Cullen Jenkins, are still out there. Jenkins is having his visit to Seattle today. Who knows, maybe he never makes that trip to San Francisco (his next scheduled stop)? The Seahawks also have the option of re-signing Alan Branch.

I suspect they’ll do something, whether that’s before March 12th with Jenkins or during free agency. The Seahawks only have two out of contract starters — Branch and Leroy Hill. Although not a starter, I think they view the Jason Jones position with equal importance. He too is a free agent. Going into the draft needing to replace two defensive linemen isn’t a desirable position to be in. It makes some degree of logic to at least entertain the possibility of a modest free agent investment to keep a few options open.

Depending on the price, I’d welcome Branch back at this stage. I think he’s had a solid two years with the team despite being asked to fill a position that’s quite foreign to a player of his size (three technique). The fact he can cover Red Bryant at the five and play inside has some value. Teams switching to a 3-4 this off-season might be willing to pay him more money to fill the nose tackle slot. At the right price, I say bring him back.

It is disappointing to see both Melton and Starks leave the market. It’s not a huge shock that Chicago held onto their prize asset, but it’s only recently that Starks emerged as a tag candidate in Miami. A likely target for Seattle based on his ability to anchor versus the run while still collapse the pocket, Miami made the right move keeping him alongside Paul Soliai. It’s basically a one-year $8m rental for the Dolphins.

While this is a good year for defensive tackles in the draft, there isn’t really anyone you want to fight for at #25. It’s easy to say in January and February (as we did) that this is a deep class. You could draft a Sylvester Williams, Kawann Short, Johnathan Hankins or Jesse Williams (for example). As we get closer to the draft though, most of those options just seem, well, underwhelming. The options at defensive end (LEO), receiver and tight end however seem more appealing.

Players to receive the franchise tag: Jairus Byrd (Buffalo), Henry Melton (Chicago), Michael Johnson (Cincinnati), Anthony Spencer (Dallas), Ryan Clady (Denver), Pat McAfee (Indianapolis), Branden Albert (Kansas City) and Randy Starks (Miami).

Notable players who weren’t tagged before the deadline: Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Aqib Talib, William Moore, Brent Grimes, Cliff Avril, Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Amendola, Desmond Bryant, Jared Cook, Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings.

Matt Barkley back in pole position?

Here at Seahawks Draft Blog, we get a lot of things wrong. It happens. But one of the things I think we’ve got right this year is not buying into the Matt Barkley-is-garbage bandwagon.

Today I noticed two articles to support that stance. The first — by NFL.com’s Albert Breer — notes different quotes from personnel executives, GM’s and scouts on whether anyone can usurp Geno Smith to be the first quarterback off the board. The consensus generally seems to be that Barkley can:

One NFC personnel executive said that Barkley, from a “football smarts” standpoint, is rare, comparable with Andrew Luck when he came out last year. In fact, when asked on Monday if anyone could pass Smith, the exec texted to say, “I think (Barkley) already has.”

Second, Barkley’s 2012 stumble is explainable. He lost his left tackle, Matt Kalil, to the NFL, and an injury to his center, Khaled Holmes, left USC’s line in shambles. A series of injuries at tight end didn’t help, either. Besides all that, the locker room melted down around him.

Barkley admitted to some NFL folks in Indy that he tried to do too much as a senior. An NFC general manager who still likes Barkley said, succinctly, that the quarterback’s problem was that he was “coloring outside the lines” last fall.

I don’t know if it’s a California thing, or a USC thing, but a lot of people have been quick to come down on Barkley. The guy can play. Take away Russell Okung, injure Max Unger, have Pete Carroll replaced with Lane Kiffin and swap Seattle’s defense with eleven scarecrows and let’s see how Russell Wilson does in 2013. That’s basically what Barkley had to work with. The Trojans were a complete shambles last season.

Was the quarterback blameless? Not at all. But it’s funny how similar statistically he was in 2011 when many considered him a top-ten pick. Those condemning Barkley love to point to the fact he had Marqise Lee and Robert Woods to throw to. So did Max Wittek when he laid a couple of eggs against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.

The other thing people love to point to is a lack of arm strength. Nobody will ever argue that Barkley has a big arm. He doesn’t. But neither is he Kellen Moore-standard as some joker suggested recently. That really is a laughable comparison.

He won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Teams utilising a vertical passing offense won’t show much interest. Others who are prepared to play a similar way to Seattle — run the ball, lots of play action utilising a point guard quarterback — will probably love the guy. To quote again from Breer’s piece today:

Barkley is at his best when he’s playing quarterback like a point guard, focusing on setting up others to make plays rather than being asked to make plays on his own.

He also notes:

One NFC personnel executive said that Barkley, from a “football smarts” standpoint, is rare, comparable with Andrew Luck when he came out last year. In fact, when asked on Monday if anyone could pass Smith, the exec texted to say, “I think (Barkley) already has.”

This brings me to the second article I wanted to highlight today, written by Dan Pompei from the NFP. He notes that the focus within the NFL right now is to find the next Russell Wilson. Not by drafting another underrated 5-10 quarterback, but by finding a player that shares the same level of work rate and football IQ to put themselves in a position to be successful:

“The reason quarterbacks have success is because they are leaders,” one NFC general manager said. “Russell Wilson absolutely reinforces that. You have to feel comfortable with that. Did Christian Ponder have everything you look for? No, but he had some leadership to him. I’m not surprised he went in the first round. Minnesota got comfortable with the leader. That’s a valuable trait, over the arm strength.”

So which prospect in this draft has the best combination of intangibles and ability? According to multiple front office men surveyed by NFP, it’s Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley. As a result, some believe his stock is back on the rise after taking a season-long dip.

Different execs lauded Barkley for his anticipation, his communication skills, his personality that lights up a room, and his pocket presence. Another said he had the best instincts and ability to see the field.

Asked which quarterback was most impressive in terms of conveying leadership in his combine interview, one general manager said, “I think Barkley is special that way. He has some ‘it’ factor to him. The personality is there with Barkley. We ask them questions, try to get a feel for how much they love football, and see if they have a special trait that makes people want to be around them and listen to them. It all comes through with him.”

(Pete) Carroll has a better feel for Barkley than most because he coached him at Southern Cal. “No question Barkley is loaded with intangibles,” Carroll said. “He has everything everybody wants. He has had it for some time. He knows what it’s like to be on a big stage at an early age and handle it impeccably.”

When push comes to shove, some GM’s and coaches will be prepared to go into battle with Matt Barkley. They’ll know they need to surround him with a supporting cast, but they’ll work on that. For everyone who thinks this years group of quarterbacks is mediocre (it isn’t, it’s just not as good as last years), wait until you see what 2014 has to offer. I think Barkley will look like a pretty good investment in twelve months time.

I also suspect he’ll be the first quarterback off the board unless someone really has fallen for Geno Smith (it could happen). I think both could be top-10 picks. But Barkley certainly won’t be dropping into round two or even round three as some have suggested.

Lemonier, Joeckel and Swope game tape

Two pieces of game tape for you today. The first shows an interesting Corey Lemonier vs Luke Joeckel match-up from 2012. Well, it would’ve been an interesting match-up. But this is 2012 Auburn we’re talking about. And it’s hard to rush the passer when you’re 21-0 down at the end of the first quarter and 42-7 down at half time. We talked about Lemonier on the blog yesterday.

The second shows Texas A&M receiver Ryan Swope vs Auburn and Mississippi State:

101 Responses to “Monday draft notes: What will KC do with the #1 pick now?”

  1. Nolan says:

    I’m trying to move and you are distracting me…. Thanks!

  2. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Officially have a man crush on Swope. This guy seems to make an impact on every play.

    Interesting that only 5 players had 10 yard splits under 1.50 seconds. Swope’s was almost identical to Tavon Austin’s.

    His quickness and smoothness is evident on tape. But I especially love how readily and effectively he blocks downfield.

    To me, he has a lot of Tate/Engram/Hines Ward to him. Way more than Austin, I think he’s a guy who can sense a play breaking down, and diagnose where he needs to go to before others do. He just always seems to be where the ball is going to be before everyone else gets there. Even if it’s an ad lib play.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Swope does surprise me too. He just feels like a good fit. RW scrambling and Swope swooping around and getting the first down. Plus he seems to be thick built. I think he can take a punishment and keep on ticking.

      Mark Harrison, Rodney Smith, Brandon Kaufman, the small school guy WR Terrell Sinkfield, who has been working out with Gray in Minnesota, also tested today in front of Seahawks’ scouts today and according to FoxNews, clocked a 40 in 4.19 seconds.

      These gems are out there late, or even as UDFA. Getting Swope and a TE like Escobar would flush us out with talent and depth in one year…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Swope ad lib’s better than any college WR I’ve ever seen.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        That would go supremely well with Russell Wilson’s Scrambling ability… match made in heaven.

        • Dave says:

          At the 7:29 mark in the Swope video, who makes the blow-up block? Was that Swope? Because that looks like “the Largent block.” Woah, man crush! Can we get him at #54?

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        I made that exact comment. His ability to turn a broken play into a home run is better than I can ever recall.

        And for us specifically, I think it means more than to any other team in the NFL. How many times did we see Russell extend a play into the range of pure absurdity. And our receivers running their routes and then standing around not having any idea of what to do after.

        Swopes just has a knack for seeing the field as it will be and having the instinct to already be at a full sprint to the undefended area before anyone clues in on what’s happening.

        I think his unique talent for that complements Wilson’s ability to scramble and extend plays perfectly.

        I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm for the prospect but I am unable to shake the firm belief that he’s this year’s Irvin pick? The kind of pick that seemingly has no business being called on day one, yet has every GM cursing John’s name that they couldn’t nab him in day 2. I have a hard time feeling comfortable with him passing through to 56. Still possible, maybe even probable. But I think Kip may have hit it square when he identified him as one of those ‘can’t leave the draft without him’ prospects.

        More than anything, I’d love to see what Swopes and Wilson could do as they develop and become attuned to each other like so many QB/WR pairs that develop in the league together.

        This guy is just WAY more than a slot receiver to me. He’s a guy that can work the 10-25 yard zone with quality. He’s not a slot guy that you have to invent gadget stuff to be good.

        • Snoop Dogg says:

          I still love Tavon, but is there anyone else I would rather have at 25 then Swope? My guy tells me know. I might want to take him even as a first round pick.

          • shamus mcgee says:

            I am loving Swope, just not sure I could pull the trigger in the first on him though. He is one of those “don’t want to lose him” types though… I think he could easily replace Obomanu’s production and at a cheaper cost to boot… love it at #56 – maybe even 25….

  3. Cameron says:

    Somethings not right with Lemonier. Sure Joeckel is a geat tackle but I’m just not seeing the explosiveness and get off like I saw in some of Lemonier’s 2011 tape. Is it just me or does he seem delayed in his snap anticipation? Half the time, Joeckel is pretty well set up in his stance before Lemonier even moves.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Joeckel wins the day here, that’s for sure. It’s hard to tell really. I mean, Auburn are 21-0 down at the end of the first quarter and clearly playing like absolute crap. They’ve conceded 42 points by half time. It got to a point last year where they pretty much went through the motions and unfortunately, Lemonier seems to have been caught up among that. The guy is a fiery competitor who plays with an edge, but I think there’s only Russell Wilson that’d be playing at 100% when you’re 42-7 down at the half.

  4. Dan says:

    http://www.totalpackers.com/2013/03/04/hey-everyone-lance-easley-is-still-a-dick/

    We’re we this vehemently angry about the super bowl loss to the Steelers?? I know the call was bad, but this is a little too much..

  5. Stuart says:

    Remind me again, if the Packers got a W in that game, would they have had the home field against SF? If not STFU!

  6. Colin says:

    Swope could be the next Ed McCafferey.

  7. Dan says:

    Ok.. After DT, WLB, and WR. What’s our biggest need in your opinion?? Draft talk is getting a little repetitive for me.. I’d say nickle corner but I know a lot of 12’s want a replacement for Giacomini

    • Rob Staton says:

      Repetitive? The draft is wide open. There’s a new wrinkle every week.

      Seattle’s biggest needs for me are DT, DE, WILL, WR and TE.

      • shamus mcgee says:

        Right there with you on that Rob… I’m a little tired of hearing RT is a BIG need… sure, if they want to draft a potential successor to Breno thats fine but it isn’t a dire need. I think Breno’s contract is only 1-2 years more anyway. His penalty issues get way overblown in my book.

    • Dan says:

      I know the Albert tag opens things wide open but it probably won’t change who remains at #25… But it is certainly an interesting wrinkle. Opens up a lot of possibilites for teams to trade up.

      And my problem with DE is that we already have clemons signed for two more years. As long as we don’t draft a player that’s in between a LEO mold and a Jason Jones mold, we’d have three LEOs for a full year (assuming clemons/irvin don’t get injured next year, God forbid). I’d rather get a stop gap veteran signed for one year and focus on other needs.

  8. dave crockett says:

    I think some of the Barkley hate is misplaced disdain for Lane Kiffin. Add in the fact that Barkley started ever since he was a freshman and you get the whole thing that familiarity breeds contempt.

    • My theory is that a very high percentage of people are reactionary, lazy, stupid, non-investigative and collective-minded. As the saying goes, common sense isn’t very common.

      I think that’s what bothers me about it. The Barkley anti-hype is so easy to see through. And yet so few actually do.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        In our combine oriented society- we prize strong arms on tall guys. While forgetting that Joe Montana was known more for his accuracy and touch.

  9. Geoff says:

    Joeckel’s pretty dang good, huh? Glue hands. Almost as good as Ryan Swope’s blocking.

  10. Stuart says:

    Since the Buffalo GM has publically stated he wants a franchcise QB in this draft, maybe he will trade up for the KC #1 and KC will slide down to 8 and collect a 2nd rounder from Buffalo too. KC will still get a great player and they nearly made up for the cost of acquiring QB Smith. Seems like a winning trade for KC. Maybe KC kicks back a 5th or something?

    It will be interesting to watch Barkey evolve. Somehow if he was available for Arizona and they passed on him they could regret that as a franchise blunder of the ages. If we didnt have RW we would be all in for Barkley.

    Talk heads, group-think, Barkley will rise back where he should be in the draft. Rob called it here first.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Great shout on Buffalo moving up, Stuart. Makes you wonder if they’ve already talked about a potential deal… perhaps why KC were so aggressive to get Smith? If they knew they had a high second waiting from Buffalo anyway, they would essentially by dropping seven spots to acquire Alex Smith. Might do a bit on this tomorrow.

  11. Clayton says:

    Rob, if you took all the #1’s and #2’s from each position group in the draft, at what position group would you say has the biggest margin from the #1 to the #2? To me, it seems like it’s at the cornerback position. Furthermore, I think Dee Milliner is arguably the only clear cut #1 at his position. Could he make NFL history by being the first corner to be selected as the #1 pick in the draft?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I agree completely, cornerback by a mile. Milliner is so far ahead of the rest of the pack. Could he go #1? I wouldn’t rule it out, but they have an exceptional corner already in Flowers. Reid has a long history of drafting defensive linemen in round one.

    • Milliner’s really good. People undersell him when they say he’s not as talented as Peterson or Claiborne. I think he’ll be a better corner than both. Peterson is a freak talent but he has big holes in his game. Claiborne was a hype job that I never bought into. Milliner is just great at everything, like a better version of Joe Haden. Haden’s had a really nice NFL career so far.

  12. Nolan says:

    Don’t get me wrong I’m so happy we found Wilson in the draft last year, but man if we wouldn’t have this would have been a perfect year to move up and grab Barkley because he is under valued.

  13. Sam Jaffe says:

    The big news on franchise tagging day is that no tight ends were tagged. I think Seattle is going to go hard after Cooke. If they don’t get him, then they’ll go hard after Fred Davis. If they don’t get him then they go hard after Dustin Keller. All three should have been tagged IMHO. Amendola too–how can the Rams let that guy walk?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Amendola is a hard one to work out. I mean, what is his value? I suspect the Rams are willing to roll the dice to find out, then match the offer. I hope Seattle doesn’t spend big money on any of those three TE’s personally. Never been blown away by Keller, Davis just had a bad injury and Cook flatters to deceive a little bit. The $11m they have invested in Zach Miller probably suggests they won’t make a splash on a FA tight end.

      • Michael says:

        Not that I think it’s gonna happen, but what would Zach Miller’s cap hit be if we were to cut him?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Around $9m I think, which would only be a minimal saving.

          • Sam Jaffe says:

            Another option for the Seahawks front office is to go after Amendola assuming that the Rams will match. When you have a player who is hard to value, that means there’s a lot of potential to push up his value by bidding on him, and then hamstringing a division rival with as big a contract as possible. It seems Machievellian, but it also sounds pretty smart. I’m as worried about the Rams next year as I am about the 49ers.

            Another issue with Zach Miller is the concept of doing an extension to his contract to make this year’s cap hit more palatable, allowing Seattle to go after another offensive weapon in free agency. The same could go for Rice. Right now, both their salaries are acceptable because of the excellent cap shape the team is in. But extensions would allow us to be heavy hitters in free agency, not just interested observers. If I were in the front office, I would look at 2013 as the best possible opportunity to make it to the Super Bowl. Next year, the chickens start to come home to roost in regards to the young players who will deserve mega-contracts. And it keeps getting worse each year after that. This is the year to go all-in, if PCJS would ever do that.

    • Steeeve says:

      I don’t know if there’s much purpose in going after a free agent TE. We’d be fine with Miller and McCoy, and this is an excellent draft to pick up a joker-type prospect on day 2 or 3. PCJS seem to like Sean McGrath as well. I wouldn’t be shocked to see 4 TEs on the opening day roster.

  14. Belgaron says:

    I don’t think KC will stay at #1 if they have any options at all.

  15. Leonard says:

    I love Ryan Swope as an option for Seattle in round 2. The only small problem I can see is his hands only measured out at 8 1/8″. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him much in college but could it be a problem in the NFL? Are NFL and college balls different sizes? Could it be a problem in climates that are colder and wetter than Texas? I feel like I’m nitpicking here but what the heck else am I going to do untill draft day?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a fair point. I’m not sure how it would effect him personally, it’s not something I’ve looked at closely (small hands vs cold weather). I suspect he could well be on Seattle’s radar, but Miami would be smart to make sure he’s reunited with Tannehill.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        Normally, I would be concerned. But Swope has excellent hands. He is extremely reliable as a receiver and it doesn’t seem to matter if he’s closely defended or not. He catches a lot of passes where his level of open is pretty much identical to what you’d expect at the pro level. He is such a reliable bail out of jail option that balls get forced his way repeatedly.

        The fear with small hands, is that he’s going to have a tough time catching passes under duress. But the evidence shows that he’s extremely great at catching those kinds of passes. I would say it’s a limitation he’s conquered.

    • Chris says:

      I did notice he doesn’t have the greatest handle on the ball (not during the catching phase, but while running around) from some of the stuff I’ve watched on him. I was wondering WTF before I looked for his hand size out of curiousity and sure enough found his hands were very small.

      I don’t know if it matters much, but it does worry me when small college guys with even smaller hands are about to start getting drilled by NFL players.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        The Dolphins have 2 Round 2 picks, both before us. The way Tannehill and Swope play together, it might be hard for him to make it past Miami… they would be smart to grab him. They need WR help, and they all ready have chemistry in the same offense…

  16. kevin mullen says:

    I thought KC’s defense was average to above average on paper, it was their offense that was killing them in terms of turnovers: they’re first 8 games, they turned it over 29 times. ‘Hawks first 8 games was 13 turnovers. And just

    KC’s offense left their defense to hang dry, too many turnovers by the QB’s and probably some had to do with their playcalling. I thought their defense was better than the stats and record shows. If they do go defense first, I would suggest they pick up someone that can ball-hawk like Dee Milliner.

    Obviously I don’t thinks he’s the first overall pick but if there’s a defensive player that KC needs it’s Milliner. Him and Eric Berry would shut down half to 3/4 of the backside alone. KC should move down, even if it’s only in top5, and draft Milliner.

    • kevin mullen says:

      By the by, just for kicks and giggles, walterfootball.com has a 2014 mock draft in which a certain team in the Pacific Northwest wins the 2013 Superbowl and picks last in the first round… oh how I wish this comes true!

      http://walterfootball.com/draft2014_1.php

      • Rob Staton says:

        From the mock: “Breno Giacomini was constantly abused this past season.”

        Errr, no he wasn’t.

        • kevin mullen says:

          I laughed at that too, though in defense of that criticism, Breno did cost us a few plays early on, especially in that Brown’s game.

          But hey, another RT for the first round for you!

        • Brian says:

          I’m not saying you’re wrong, but several stat-based sites say that Breno was pretty bad this year. Most notably Pro Football Focus.

          https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/01/28/ranking-the-2012-offensive-lines/2/

          • Rob Staton says:

            I’m pretty sure Pro-Football focus also had Earl Thomas as the 29th best safety.

            They don’t distinguish how they make their rankings. I suspect that the penalties early in the season had a major impact here with Breno’s rating. Not only was he part of a running game that dominated all year, but he also more than held his own against some of the NFL’s best pass rushers.

          • Breno had a ton of penalties and that really hurt his value. He settled down near the end of the season and was one of the better RTs in the NFL during December and January, IMO.

        • Madmark says:

          I think he played great for the season except early on in the season the penalty was stopping drives and thus slowing up the progress of the offense. Now though i think it’s more about last game with St. Louis. He had a very hard time with Chris Long. Oday Aboshi falls to round 4 happens i take this guy at pick 120. Hes got pass rush down and with Cable and teach him to run block this guy could an All Pro for years on the other side of another All Pro.

          • Rob Staton says:

            St. Louis blitzed like crazy, so did Washington. The entire line struggled against that. If you rush seven vs five you’ll lose. It’s something Wilson has to learn to deal with as a QB and work it to his favour. He’s not there yet.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The thing that let KC down more than anything was bad quarterback play and offensive play calling. Those two key things have been addressed with the addition of Alex Smith and Andy Reid (an experienced play caller).

      I don’t dispute that Milliner would be good for them — creating a fearful secondary including Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry. But as well as improvements on offense, they also need to stop Peyton Manning (and to a lesser extend, Philip Rivers). The best way to do this is put a brilliant pass rush on the field. Dion Jordan could be the next great NFL pass rusher. The more I watch, the more I think his best football is in the future. Justin Houston is a good football player, but there’s nothing wrong with adding another excellent pass rusher to play alongside Hali. Houston was a third round pick wasn’t he? So he’s cheap.

      Reid regularly drafted defensive linemen in Philly. Most years he went in that direction. I think we’ll see it again with either Floyd or Jordan.

      • kevin mullen says:

        I agree with your assessment that the AFC West goes through Denver but if we look back at that Ravens/Bronco Division game, Baltimore’s pass rush wasn’t really there. They sacked him, I believe, a couple times but it was the coverage that killed Peyton. Corey Graham kill Peyton with two crucial picks. Oh and he’s 6’1”.

        I see Andy Reid going a different route with this new team, he sees that they are only a few pieces away from being above .500 and possibly a wild card playoff berth.

        • Barry says:

          It was painful to watch a very solid Chiefs team be undone in games because of pathetic QB play. If Reid can get a fraction out of Smith that Smith showed the last few years and Rivers can resurrect his play the AFC west could be a very competitive division once again. Not sure how much a change in scheme will hurt that chiefs team but a 10-6 record isnt out of the question.

  17. Ely says:

    Jeez, I want to draft Swope in the first round just so we can be sure the Niners don’t get him. Nothing killed the Hawks like the short quick receivers this year and I hate the thought of Kapernick extending plays with his feet only to find Swope open every time. I don’t think Swope will be sitting on their bench like Jenkins. I was all on the Hopkins train as far as receivers went but Swope may have taken the lead not to much smaller at all and a lot faster and quicker. Also I just really like the idea of reversing the stereotype with a star QB that’s black and a star receiver that’s white.

  18. Derek says:

    Hey Rob,

    Is there a receiver in this class that is similar to Mike Williams? I see the Hawks wanting to get a receiver like him again. In 2010 with Hasselbeck Williams had 65 receptions and around 750 yards I think. Obviously with Jackson who was less accurate he didn’t get as many looks the next season. However now that we have an accurate QB again, do you think they look to get a big bodied receiver again? Maybe even bring Williams back in for training camp.

    • Derek says:

      This is also regarding the thinking that in an interview after one of the drafts, I remember PC/JS talking about how important it is that draftees bring something different to the team. I really like Swope but I feel like he might be to similar to Tate or Baldwin for PC/JS to consider drafting.

    • Madmark says:

      there tape on Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers. Hes built close to Williams at 6″3″, 231 LBs, does 4.46 in th 40 and a vertical leap of 38.5 . nI hoping to grab with the pick Oakland gave us, pick 131 .

      • Derek says:

        Ya after I posted this I saw him. Round 4 sounds about right. I wonder what Rob thinks about Hopkins or Woods at #25 if the Hawks wanted to go receiver. Both are reliable types. Hopkins has closer size to Harrison but looks much better after the catch and better routes. Would be nice if they went Hopkins Round 1 then defense rounds 2 and 3, then Harrison in round 4.

        • Derek says:

          It is also interesting to note that of the 3 drafts of the PC/JS era, in every draft the majority of players drafted have been defensive players, with only 3 offensive players coming from the 2012 draft.

        • Madmarkus says:

          favor down is my post, I love hopkins , i actually am drooling for him

        • Rob Staton says:

          I like both Hopkins and Woods, but I think they go DL in round one.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There isn’t really that big, heavy receiver who can shift. Mark Harrison at Rutgers might be the nearest thing.

      • Phil says:

        Could Jordan Reed play WR? His 4.76 at the combine makes me say no, but on tape he looks like he could. 6’3″, 236#.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think so. Of all the TE’s in this class I’d say Ertz is the one who would be most comfortable working at WR. He ran the conventional routes at Stanford.

  19. Brian says:

    I would rather have a true x-receiver than Swope, but he at least seems like a Golden Tate type guy who can perform at least competently outside or in the slot. Is that perception accurate? If we draft Swope does he push Tate to the slot, or vice versa?

  20. Christon says:

    Probably won’t happen but Imagine Ertz in round one, Swoope in Round two? The offense would be pretty unstoppable.

    What stands out to me is what a good down field blocker he is for a WR.

  21. Dave says:

    What happened with the Cullen Jenkins visit?

  22. Dregur says:

    While I really like Swope, he sorta seems redundant to me. I see a lot of Tate in Swope, but unless he goes in the 3rd or 4th rounds, I’m not sure the Seahawks take him, as they already have that player in Tate. Depending on what falls, I would not be unhappy with Swope, but my thinking is that there are other WR’s that would fill a void in the skillset of the WR group instead of another Tate, even with additional depth.

  23. Madmark says:

    I see alot of K.C. in the same team we had in 2011. They have very talented defensive that needs some touches and the offense can run the ball but they lacking the QB presenses just like we was when we finally the next found RW. This year with Andy Reid and the grab of Alex Smith I believe they solved they QB presense and will be pushing Denver in the Division.
    The franchise tagging has robbed me of my hope to get an experience position filled so i ‘m force to accept that 1st will be a Defensive Tackle.
    As far as Swope I dont see him Golden Tate but more a better doug Baldwin type slot guy. why not doug was injuried for a bit last year. Coming across the middle is a dangerous place besides Seattle runs sets of plays with different wide receiver packages. I could go with swope because i am using my 2nd round on a receiver. I have to i ‘m still evaluating WR and i love DeAndre Hopkins and I know he,s not going to be in the late 2nd round to get. I think this is where I trade up to me that play maker for RW. I heard Swope compared to the great Steve Largent but faster. I dont think so, Hopkins is so much more like the better version Larget. He grabs the ball from the Air and neatly tucks in and is ready for the hit or keeping jetting down the field. He has Normal stats until ya get to his hands . 10.5″ I believe and with the ability to always seem to jump at the highest point to snag the ball out of the air.
    I thinking my my 5th rd pick at 151 and 2-7ths rounder the later ones I’m probably being to cheap maybe the late 5th and 6th round and if so who do i move up to trade with to get him.
    Think RW throwing to Sydney Rices replacement in the future and having for at least 4 years if not longer. This receiver just makes me flat out drool.
    What price rob would it take to make it happen and who would work in trading with?

  24. [...] Be sure to check out Rob’s article on Andy Reid below if you haven’t seen it already.  Rob tends to post articles in the early afternoons, [...]

  25. Michael says:

    Am I the only person that thinks Alex Smith is still pretty mediocre? I keep seeing all these people talking about how KC has solved the problem at QB, and now they are practically Superbowl bound…

    I feel someone needs to point out that the pre-2011 version of Alex Smith was pretty much a train wreck, and even after his recent “Harbaissance” (patent pending) he was unable to match his career high of 18 touchdown passes. That’s right 18 TD’s is his 8 year CAREER HIGH. Here is a quick list of people that have met or surpassed Smith’s single season high mark:

    Christian Ponder
    Mark Sanchez
    Tyler Thigpen
    Jason Campbell
    Kyle Orton
    Gus Frerotte

    I know he manages to avoid turnovers and Andy Reid is supposed to be great with QB’s but come on… Gus Freaking Frerotte has thrown as many TD’s in a season as Alex Smith ever has.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He is mediocre, a captain checkdown. But KC think he’s the answer which is why they spent big on him. They think they’ve solved the problem.

  26. Madmark says:

    I never said he was a great QB abd they make it to superbowl. I think K.C. will run the ball and that Alex will manage the game with play action passes. He actually pretty good in that style of game.

  27. TWTS says:

    Rob, have you discussed any lesser know free agents at DT? One name Ive seen a few times and he seems like an intriguing player is Sammie Lee Hill. He’s 26, 6’4, 331 pounds and has been buried on the Lions DT depth chart. I dont know much about him, but Lions fans seem to think he’s a nice player and PFF has given him good grades, he’s apparently not explosive but is effective at pushing the pocket.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve not delved too far into free agency. We’ve done a few pieces touching on the options out there. Lee Hill’s name has come up before but the problem with players like that are if he’s buried on a depth chart, he isn’t playing. And in the few opportunities I’ve watched Detroit in the last few years, he either hasn’t played or hasn’t played much at all. So I can’t really offer much of an opinion on him.

  28. Troy says:

    Do you feel like Desmond Bryant would be a good fit for the Hawks? What are the chances we land him & what sort of price tag do you expect him to come with? Also would it be a stretch to think that Jared Cook could be brought in to give us the ability to run 2 TE set giving us that much needed pass-catching TE to compliment Miller? Hes got such a high ceiling but has done little up to this point in his career so maybe he could he be had @ a reasonable price?

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      Despite the arrest and the small sample size in terms of work, Desmond is going to do pretty well for himself. The tagging of Melton and Starks really has shrunk the UFA pool to pretty much Bryant and nobody else.

      He is a guy who is still quite young — about the same age as Bruce Irvin. He’s developed physically into a 3 tech DT, after having bounced around between DE and DT.

      It’s hard to judge his expected return. He’s young, and has only recently burst onto the league scene. The Raiders thought enough of him to give him a big tender in his RFA year. So internally, despite modest statistical success, he was seen as a very valuable RFA that they didn’t want to let walk.

      Obviously the case can be made that his career bloomed late as a result of being a UDFA, having to bulk up to fit a role, and also the fact that he was buried on the depth chart under a high priced/productive FA in Richard Seymour. Not unlike Sherman’s situation. He was buried behind Trufant and only got to shine for a brief period once Tru succumbed to injury. The NFL is a lot like that. Unlike Sherman, Bryant had to spend a few years physically building up his body to match his role. Sherman was physically ready the day his name was called.

      The last half of the season, with none of these impediments to hold Bryant back, he flashed high quality, 1st round grade play. He has length, and demonstrates excellent ability to attack a gap in a 1 gap assignment. The question will ultimately come down to: Aberration or Illumination.

      He is only 27. Certainly his age/expected return on contract fits with other premium FA contracts we’ve entered in to. It’s a position of great need. He is probably at this stage better or equal to any DT we’d get at 25.

      Obviously we have other positions we’d love to upgrade at 25 other than DT. WR and OLB are 2 of them. In terms of using UFA and the draft to provide the maximum upgrade, then Bryant is probably closer to what we can hope to get in quality as opposed to taking a DT at 25 and employing a UFA receiver or OLB.

      Bryant would not preclude us from taking a DT later in what is a deep draft pool either. He provides the flexibility to take a longer range approach to a day 2 or 3 prospect too. Taking Bryant could lead to a draft that looked like:

      1. DeAndre Hopkins
      2. Lemonier/Brandon Williams/Sylvester Williams
      3. Sio Moore/Jaime Collins/Swope
      4. Trevardo Williams/Montori Hughes/Steadman Bailey/Zavier Gooden/John Simon

      Taking DT out of the R1 conversation opens up a lot of good Seahawky type prospects at 25. It also doesn’t preclude us from taking a guy in the draft on day 2.

  29. Eric says:

    On second thought, I think this belongs here so I’m reposting it.

    Rob, I know you’ve touched on this before, but I am compelled to bring it up again: Glenn Dorsey.

    He’s a DT playing out of position for KC; he was an absolute beast at LSU where he remains the most decorated defensive player in the school’s history:

    2007 Nagurski Award Winner
    2007 Lombardi Award Winner
    2007 Outland Trophy Winner
    2007 Lott Award Winner
    2007 Bednarik Award Finalist
    2007 Walter Camp Award “Player to Watch”
    2007 Consensus All-American
    2007 First-Team All-American
    2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
    2007 First-Team All-SEC
    2006 First-Team All-American
    2006 First-Team All-SEC
    2006 First-Team All-American
    2006 First-Team All-SEC

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s a titanic bust. Playing the five tech in the 3-4 and the three tech in the 4-3 are different roles, but not to the extent where a guy who has been on the periphery in terms of impact is suddenly going to be having a huge impact. If he was a 5th round pick instead of a former #5 overall pick, nobody would be interested.

  30. SunPathPaul says:

    We just signed a TE basketball player to a 3 year deal.

    Fells is a 6-foot-7, 280-pound tight end who worked out for Seattle on Tuesday. Fells was slated to have a pro day, yet he impressed people within Seattle’s organization enough to warrant a contract offer without one.

    He spent the past year playing basketball for Libertad Sunchales in Argentina. He also has played professional hoops in Mexico, France, Finland and Belgium.

    The brother of New England Patriots tight end Daniel Fells, Darren Fells played college basketball at University of California, Irvine.

    Do we think this guy will play right away? Can he catch? What does this do to the draft angles??

    • SunPathPaul says:

      It really appears that PC and JS do NOT want to use a draft pick on a TE. They really want that TE for free…

    • Rob Staton says:

      None of us know anything about him, so it’s hard to judge whether he’ll play early or if it changes anything regarding the draft. I suspect he’s merely shown enough potential that they wanted to make sure he was in Seattle’s training camp, not somebody else’s.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        Well since they hired him for 3 years, I think they see potential there. If we just imagine that he is a working TE for Seattle next year at 6-7, 280!? Damn! He should be able to block. Let’s hope his speed and hands can do the job too. If we imagine he can, we have another weapon all ready. Add in stephen Williams at 6-5, and if we take 1 WR 1 TE, we might have some sick depth THIS year…hmmm…

        I hope this under the radar ventures end up as more than a practice squad fellow…

        Seriously, add in Wheaton or Bailey, maybe Fauria… depth depth depth… then the cream rises to the top through the competition! exciting

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          My wish for a 280 pound blocking tight end has come true. But wait, he can also be trained for other positions! Three year deal sounds serious.

  31. Rob Staton says:

    Wilson for me is the very definition of a point guard. He facilitates — it’s just that he’s fantastic at it. When you watch a great point guard he also doesn’t just pass the ball, he makes stuff happen. So for me Wilson is ideal for the point guard role Seattle highlighted.

    I would be very concerned with Barkley in Arizona. Their offensive line remains a joke. They do not have a ground game. They basically have Larry Fitzgerald and he turns 30 this year. That’s not a good combination. The thing is, their setup to me screams like they’re going to try and force it. They’ve brought in the coach that worked well with a rookie QB last year despite having a bad line, few weapons etc. They’re trying to recreate what happened in Indy. And it won’t work. Indianapolis and Andrew Luck didn’t have to play Seattle, San Fran and St. Louis in six games last season.

    Barkley needs what Seattle has — good ground game, play action, competitive receivers. He’ll get a competitive receiver in Arizona. That’s it.

    I think he would’ve been a great success in KC. I think he’ll struggle in Buffalo. New York Jets wouldn’t be a nightmare for him (seriously). Don’t rule out Philly. He’s not an obvious Chip Kelly type, but Chip loves Barkley and appointed a pure WCO offensive coordinator.

    As for great point guards – the legendary San Fran QB’s. Luck is a classic PG. Basically any QB that plays smart football, can show a little improvisation, and gets the ball to his playmakers without trying to force anything.

  32. A. Simmons says:

    I’m very interested in seeing how well Alex Smith does playing under Andy Reid. Reid has been built up as this great QB guru, yet he has only had one QB flourish under his coaching: Donovan McNabb. Andy Reid’s entire background is as an offensive line coach. He coached QBs under Holmgren, but is there any question that Holmgren was the expert? What has Andy Reid done since Jim Johnson passed away? Doesn’t seem like much. Seems Jim Johnson’s expertise helped tremendously.

    Let’s see if Andy Reid can resurrect his reputation. I think the Alex Smith move was a poor move if they paid a 2nd and 3rd. If it is an exchange of picks, I think the value will be more in line with Smith’s actual value. I have very little faith in Alex Smith. But I’ll freely admit if I’m wrong and he excels in KC.