Monday’s draft thoughts

January 21st, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Senior Bowl gets under way

Day one started with measurements and a weigh-in. It was disappointing to hear that Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown wouldn’t be attending due to injury. Another linebacker — Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene — impressed during coverage drills. Seattle sent scouts to a few Rutgers games this year (per Chris Steuber) and while many assumed it was to observe giant receiver Brandon Coleman, the main focus could’ve been Greene. I see him as a solid second or third round option. He appears to fit what the Seahawks are looking for at the WILL.

Margus Hunt showed off an impressive physique and confirmed his stature at 6-8, 277lbs. Hunt also has 33 inch arms — good length for a defensive end. Alex Okafor came in at 6-4 and 261lbs with 33 inch arms. Kawann Short flashed an impressive 6-4 and 308lbs (lighter than expected), while John Simon came in at 6-1 and 256lbs.

Sylvester Williams didn’t get rave reviews for his body type, apparently looking a little sloppy in the midriff. He measured 6-2 and 313lbs with 33 inch arms. That’s quite big for a potential three technique, although Seattle has used 325lbs Alan Branch in the role for the last two years.

Jonathan Jenkins looked every bit a future nose tackle at 6-4 and 359lbs. According to Shane Hallam the Seahawks set up an interview with the Georgia prospect.

After speaking to Sylvester Williams yesterday, it seems like the Seahawks are putting in the leg work to check out this defensive tackle class. Jenkins would appear to be an unlikely option given his massive size and lack of pass-rush, but it’s worth doing due diligence this week. With three high calibre defensive tackles set to hit free agency in mid-March (Randy Starks, Henry Melton and Desmond Bryant) it makes sense to check on the prospects in Mobile to weigh up options. There’s more on Williams and Florida’s Sharrif Floyd later in today’s article.

Many of the offensive lineman impressed — D.J. Fluker showed off a compact frame with little body fat but still came in at 6-5 and 355lbs with 36 inch arms. At that size the big question will be mobility, even if he doesn’t have a sloppy frame. I think he’ll end up being an excellent guard as opposed to a starting tackle. Eric Fisher measured at 6-7 and 305lbs with 34 inch arms. He’ll likely be the second left tackle off the board in April.

Kyle Long started working at right tackle during drills and has shorter arms at 32 inches, which could have an impact on whether he starts at tackle or guard at the next level. It was a similar case for Justin Pugh (31 inches).  Teams are looking for tackles with a long reach and a strong punch. Shorter arms aren’t a death sentence by any means (Atlanta’s Sam Baker had this issue going into the draft) but they can impact your stock.

Sanders Commings measured in two inches shorter than Georgia had him listed (5-11, 223lbs). It shouldn’t be too much of a concern though, especially given his recent display against Alabama in the SEC Championship. I like Commings as a possible Seahawks target at corner.

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson helped his stock by measuring at 6-2 — there had been some concerns he would come in at around 6-0/6-1. Height is much less of a taboo these days following Russell Wilson’s brilliant rookie season, but it would be a concern for his namesame who has a slingy, low release point. He had the smallest hands among the quarterbacks (between 8-9 inches). E.J. Manuel and Ryan Nassib led the group for hand size. Landry Jones had a disappointing first work-out according to eye witness accounts.

Wilson was apparently the best of a mediocre bunch today, spreading the ball around and connecting on a big play to Terrance Williams in 7v7 drills. Williams also had some issues with body catching, something that flashed up as a consistent problem on tape during the season. Reports suggest Markus Wheaton is looking smooth early on — he’s the best senior receiver so this should be no surprise.

For thoughts on the Senior Bowl work-outs I’d recommend following Tony Pauline on Twitter. He’ll also post practise notes on his website Draft Insider.net — such as the following on Ziggy Ansah: “Played in spurts but when he was on Ansah was terrific. The athleticism, explosion and power is there but he really needs to improve his overall techniques and polish his game.”

For a full breakdown on all the height/weight checks, click here (courtesy of NE Patriots Draft).

The Miami Dolphins web site provides a nine-minute podcast on how the players performed in drills. It’s worth a listen.

Rob Rang at CBS Sports has a breakdown of his observations on day one.

SB Nation has put together a ‘Senior Bowl’ hub where you’ll find multiple articles discussing events in Mobile.

Further thoughts on Slyvester Williams and Sharrif Floyd

Seattle’s pursuit of the defensive tackles at the Senior Bowl sparked my interest in the position again this week. It’s no great shock that the Seahawks are looking here — it’s the teams greatest need. Whatever happens this off-season, they need to come away with a defensive tackle capable of collapsing the pocket. Alan Branch has done a fine job during the last two seasons, but he isn’t a pass rusher. The 4-3 under scheme that the Seahawks are using requires a pass rusher at the three-technique position.

Sharrif Floyd and Sylvester Williams are two players that continue to interest me, but for different reasons. There are also some concerns.

I’m constantly going backwards and forwards with Sharrif Floyd. One minute I’m convinced he’s better off concentrating on the five technique position in a 3-4 scheme, the next I’m looking at his frame and imagining ideal three-technique size and some incredible raw potential.

I’ve talked about his background before (click here) but if you want a quick recap — he had a tough upbringing without his parents, was scrambling around looking for basically anywhere to live during High School. He was going to school in the same tattered old clothes every day. Floyd had to raise money on his own by making and selling brownies to get a plane ticket to attend an All-Star game in Texas — despite being a 5-star recruiting prospect.

And despite all of these hardships, he got on with his life. He’s a well spoken, driven individual. This is a man who has had pretty much everything thrown at him and not once has he complained. He’s a true inspiration.

I did some further digging on Floyd over the weekend and found some interesting information. Pete Carroll recruited Floyd in 2009, inviting him to USC for a visit. Pretty much every major school was trying to convince him to join their programme — and the Trojans were no exception. Floyd wrote a blog for Sports Illustrated during his recruitment experience. And he had a few interesting notes about his time with Carroll:

“I had a few opportunities to meet with coach Pete Carroll once before the game and than Sunday morning, prior to my departure. That last meeting was really chilled as we had breakfast on the beach. We spent some time just talking, and we didn’t talk football that much. We walked around for a bit after breakfast, just taking in the scene along the pier.

“I found out that he’s a great man and I enjoyed just being able to see him as a person and not the coach on the sidelines. I liked being able to talk with him about life.”

Of course he eventually committed to Florida, but despite a cluster of interest from all of the major schools — it seems like USC were in the running all the way. That suggests Carroll was pretty keen to bring him to Southern Cal. He made a policy of only going after out-of-state prospects who could be potential first round NFL picks.

Carroll already knows about this guy. Eventually the Seahawks are going to lose this edge when players recruited by the Trojans have all moved on to pastures new. For now, this front office continues to benefit from a unique insight courtesy of the Head Coach.

Combine this with Dan Quinn’s two years as Floyd’s defensive coordinator at Florida and the Seahawks barely have to scout the guy. I noticed an article from March 2012 where Quinn referenced his best position was defensive tackle, rather than end. It’s interesting that Carroll also saw him as a fit for his scheme at USC and both coaches will have insight into his strengths and weaknesses, which will help if you’re trying to manufacture an impact in year one.

Rest assured if the Seahawks do pass on Sharrif Floyd it’ll be more than an educated guess on his NFL potential.

We know he’s off the charts in terms of character and has the ideal frame for a three-technique at 6-3 and 298lbs. He’s only really scratched the surface of his potential in college. And he’s young – he won’t even turn 21 until late May.

What does the tape show? He has a lot of areas to improve if he wants to make the most of his obvious physical quality. Floyd takes a lot of wasted steps. He often lacks an explosive first step off the snap which is one of the big no-no’s when you’re looking for a three-technique. He plays with a lot of heart with a high motor, but he sometimes lacks that nasty streak you love to see for the position. He has almost a tendency to play too nice at times. There’s not a lot of evidence of a pass-rush repertoire or even one move that he can rely on. He’ll need some technical refinement to become an effective interior pass rushers in the NFL.

At the same time he shows well against the run and does have an effective bull rush. Mobility wise you can’t ask for much more and that’s why you can’t ignore this guy. Any player that moves this well at nearly 300lbs will interest a good defensive line coach. If you can teach him to judge a snap count and find that little edge by improving his first step, he could be effective. He looks to have long arms so there’s no reason why he can’t master the swim move. In one of the videos below you’ll see he more than holds his own against prospective t0p-five left tackle Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M.

It’s very easy to put 2+2 together and get 5 sometimes. The recruiting history with Carroll and the Dan Quinn-connection makes Floyd one to monitor, without any guarantees he’ll be on the teams radar. In terms of pure potential he’s off the charts — and there could be enough people banging the table to take a chance on him in April. The only concern will be if he’s almost too much of a high-upside project. Can he have an impact immediately? Can he rush the passer in year one? Fellow Gator Jaye Howard — another of Quinn’s former lineman — had absolutely no impact as a rookie and spent the year on the inactive list. The Seahawks need an interior presence now, not in 2014 or 2015.

Sylvester Williams played most of 2012 nursing an ankle injury — and it showed at times. Fair play to him for competing through the pain barrier, but he lacked the kind of burst and freedom we saw in 2011.

He’s bigger than most three-techniques, but you have to assume Seattle wouldn’t be put off by that given their use of Alan Branch previously. It does help against the run — and Williams is difficult to shift, eats up space and stands his ground well. He understands leverage and generally plays with good pad level. Even if he underwhelms as a pass rusher in the NFL, you’re going to get a fine run stopper.

The two things I think you want more than anything in a three technique are explosion of the snap and attitude. You can’t be a nice person and play the three-tech. These guys are not generally nice people on the football field. They’re outspoken, often leaders on the defense. One of the great things about Sheldon Richardson is the fact he’s a prototype for the size but he also has that sparky attitude.

Williams isn’t the same in that regard, but he does explode off the snap. Considering he’s 313lbs, he gets off the line really well and combines it with a superb swim move to penetrate. His technique is something to behold in this area, as he’ll slap an arm away and with such fluidity before escaping into the backfield. It’s unnatural for his size. Whether this will be equally effective against veteran pro-lineman remains to be seen, but there’s a lot to like here.

He too has had an unusual path to the NFL. At one point he almost gave up the game, dropping out of High School. He went to work making radiator parts for large trucks and had something of an epiphany moment — deciding he truly did want to make football his career. Since then he hasn’t really looked back — walking onto Coffeyvile in the JUCO ranks and then eventually getting his chance with the Tar Heels.

It means he’s going to be a 25-year-old rookie. That’ll put some teams off, but it’s worth noting that Bruce Irvin also turned 25 in his first season with the Seahawks. Team scouts from Seattle met with Williams on Sunday upon his arrival at the Senior Bowl.

There are a handful of concerns that I have here. One — he has a body type more suited to the one-technique. While his swim move and burst is impressive, will the quickness we’ve seen in the college ranks translate to the next level? Smaller, squatter lineman have often had greater success in the NFL at the three-technique. Two — he’s almost given up on football once before, so can he be trusted to keep the fire burning once he gets paid? Does he appreciate that the NFL should really be the start of his career, not the climax of a smaller journey from that car-parts workshop back onto the field?

Williams is a talented player who deserves a lot more hype than he receives. But he’s a classic defensive tackle prospect. By that I mean — tantalising skills but a constant, nagging element of doubt as to whether it’ll all translate to the next level. There’s a reason why there’s barely any good three-techniques in the league — it is such a difficult position to judge and get right.

Want a great example of this? Geno Atkins had three sacks in his final year at Georgia and zero sacks the year before. He ends up being a fourth round pick for Cincinnati and now he’s the best three-technique in the NFL. Work that one out. I suspect it all comes back to what I was talking about earlier — this position is as much about attitude, scheme and a natural feel for the position as it is about physical skills. Atkins is 6-1 and 300lbs. He’s squat, he masters leverage and he explodes into the backfield. He’s a constant disruptive force. There are better athletes out there, but he just gets it.

It’s really difficult to project how an undersized defensive tackle will translate to the pro’s. And you can gamble on upside and fail. Even the ideal prospects for the position — like Nick Fairley — can take a while to adjust or just flat out struggle.

Weirdly production in college doesn’t always translate to the next level. Sharrif Floyd only had three sacks in 2012 and two came against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. Sylvester Williams had six sacks this season. Yet can we really rule out the possibility either will be enjoying 12.5 sack-seasons like Geno Atkins in the future? There was no precedent for Atkins having a season like that before he arrived in Cincinnati. Alternatively you could just as easily envisage both players struggling at the next level due to some of the issues we’ve discussed in this piece.

I’ve included tape of both Sylvester Williams and Sharrif Floyd at the bottom of this article. Three videos per-player.

Free agency options

The defensive tackle issue could be a problem filled in free agency. Signing a proven commodity would eliminate some of the boom-or-bust issues of having to take a guy in round one of the draft.

Randy Starks (named to the AFC Pro-Bowl roster today as an alternate) could provide a cost effective answer, but at 29 he’s approaching the final throngs of his career-peak. Henry Melton will need to escape the franchise tag in Chicago, but the former running back could be a blue-chip signing. It’d come with a hefty price tag though. Desmond Bryant is less spectacular but also young and coming off a good year for the Raiders. It seems unlikely Oakland will be able to re-sign him given their serious cap problems and he too could be a potential target.

Signing a veteran tackle would allow the Seahawks to consider adding a physical freak like Margus Hunt to play some edge rush or maybe even take over the Jason Jones role. Getting an interior presence signed and sealed before April 25th would make such a proposition more likely.

Of course, they could do things the other way around. Cliff Avril will be a free agent this year and Detroit will not use the franchise tag to keep him. He was offered a contract worth $30m over three years in the summer, but turned it down. He’s been a productive pass rusher for the Lions in recent years and fits the size requirements of a LEO. He ran a 4.51 at the combine with a 1.50 10-yard split, which is certainly quick enough to interest Pete Carroll. It’s just a case of price and whether the Seahawks want to go big on a pass rusher of Avril’s nature. He’s certainly benefited from the presence of Ndamukong Suh over the last three years.

What works against Avril is that he’s in the second tier of pass rushers. We’re not talking Mario Williams territory here, far from it. As soon as you start talking about a deal worth around $10m a year, I think it’s less likely the Seahawks would bite. He’s a player to keep an eye on though. He turns 27 in early April, so a three-year contract with big incentives wouldn’t be a complete non starter.

Osi Umenyiora would be a cheaper, shorter term option similar to Raheem Brock’s arrival in Seattle. He’ll be 32 next season and coming off a year where New York relegated him to spot duty. Even so, he’s a proven commodity and wouldn’t cost anything like the outlay you’d have to spend on Avril.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how the Seahawks play free agency. Whatever they choose to do is going to have a major impact on the draft, even more so than usual.

Shrine game notes (offense)

A big thank you once again to guest blogger Morgan Goulet for providing us with his take on the Shrine Game over the weekend. Be sure to check out his notes on the defensive players if you missed it from yesterday. Today, Morgan focuses on the offense:

Collin Klein was the first QB to set foot on the field on Saturday and the Heisman candidate had a lot of questions about his skill set to answer. He had a difficult week of practice and not much changed after the whistle blew. He completed 5 of his 13 passes with an INT in a scattershot performance.

I have no idea what Southeastern Louisiana QB Nathan Stanley was even doing suiting up. I was excited to see what Louisiana Tech QB Colby Cameron could do, though. Pete Carroll had casually mentioned that it’s be nice if they could find someone that can “do what Russell Wilson does,” which I assume means run the complete playbook and minimize turnovers. Cameron had just finished a season where he threw for over 4100 yards with only 5 INTs. On the way he broke Wilson’s record for passes completed without a pick. Here he had one of the worst passes of the game, flinging an out late to a covered receiver, and well to the inside instead of the outside. The pass was picked and returned for a TD. It was pretty ugly and summed up the evening for the East QB’s. Fortunately for Cameron, he has plenty of better tape with a Tech program that was actually pretty decent this year.

The West QB situation was only a bit better. Seth Doege got the start despite Tony Pauline’s flat “he can’t throw” dismissal earlier in the week. He didn’t really show that he could throw on Saturday, either. Matt Scott was uncomfortable on the field, calling two timeouts on one series because he couldn’t get the play call right. He did turn what I thought was a poor decision to pass into gold on a long TD throw to Mississippi State WR Chad Bumphis. Georgia CBBranden Smith was closing fast but jumped a fraction of a second early, and the ball slid right past his fingers and into the arms of Bumphis who raced untouched into the endzone (helped by an uncalled block in the back on S Cooper Taylor by Nevada TE Zach Sudfeld). The pass itself was a thing of beauty, and was probably the prettiest of the evening in terms of touch and trajectory.

Scott ran a very effective ZRO offense at Arizona but needs some work. He does a good job of keeping his eyes up and scanning the  field as he’s scrambling, but locks onto his first read and lacks downfield accuracy. He’ll also need to play a little bit safer as he’s slide-averse and had to leave consecutive games with concussion symptoms this season. With the mobile QB revolution in full swing, Scott is going to be drafted this year and that team will spend the time to hammer out his rough edges because he is fully capable of performing in an offense like Seattle’s, but he needs to be a better passer; even his mediocre 60.3% accuracy rating was buoyed by a lot of short passes. Western Michigan’s Alex Carder was the final QB to feature and he showed the poise required to get a shot at the tail end of the draft, despite also tossing a pick.

There was a good mix of running backs on display. Vanderbilt’s career rushing leader Zac Stacy showed off an absolutely nasty stiff arm and some bounce to find holes at the line, but whiffed on an easy swing pass. Texas A&M tailback Christine Michael has near-ideal size at 5’11 and 225lbs but brings with him the baggage of a falling out with the A&M coaching staff. He lost time to junior Ben Malena and also to freshman Trey Williams, who emerged as a dynamic threat. Michael still managed to lead the team in rushing TD’s with 12 on only 88 carries. He has a good jump cut and not a lot of mileage on the tires.

Leon Johnson had a pro-bowl year in 2012, but his age and contract might make him vulnerable. Enter Kerwynn Williams. A fellow Utah State alumnus with Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner, Williams is a shifty and quick and did it all for the Aggies last year, running for 1507 yards with 15 touchdowns and added 45 receptions and another 5 scores. Williams finished his career with 235 rushing yards against Toledo in the Idaho Potato Bowl. I really hope his name gets called by Seattle on draft weekend.

Production for the wide-outs was limited by the horrendous QB play, but there were some plays made. Bumphis almost broke a hundred yards on his four receptions and the aforementioned touchdown. He showed he can catch the ball but his draftability probably hinges on his combine numbers as his size and production are unremarkable. There were a lot of big receivers on both rosters but despite their size, the quarterbacks just couldn’t find them. The 6-4 Corey Fuller out of Virginia Tech made a nice move to juke Aaron Hester out of his cleats on the way to converting a first down and 6-4 Marcus Davis of West Virginia pulled down a nice 16-yarder, but that was it. Even the impressive array of TE’s didn’t contribute. All of the tight ends on the East roster were 6’6″ and 250+ lbs and only Chris Pantale from Boston College managed a reception. The biggest name on the West, UCLA’s (and former ‘Hawk TE Christian Fauria’s nephew) Joseph Fauria, didn’t play due to an injury incurred during the week.

All talk of the offensive line starts with Arkansas-Pine Bluff OT Terron Armstead. Armstead slammed, slid, twisted, and contorted his 6’5 310 lb frame anywhere he had to to keep the quarterback clean. I’ve heard rumblings about him having to kick inside to guard but to me it looks like he carries his weight like a tackle. He is toolsy but doesn’t completely lack technique. For comparison’s sake I’ll say he looked better than former Hillsdale grad and Raiders third-rounder Jared Veldheer looked in his All-Star game, and Veldheer went on to win the Raider’s left tackle job a few games into the season. Armstead isn’t the physical freak that Veldheer is but I think he’ll find success on Sundays. The middle of the line was typically a mess but TCU guard Blaize Foltz looked solid and warrants the attention he’s been getting. He was alert and active and used his 6’4, 315 lb bulk to hold his ground as best he could against the talented East front four.

Sylvester Williams & Sharrif Floyd game tape (three videos each)

68 Responses to “Monday’s draft thoughts”

  1. Cade says:

    Hi Rob. Thanks again for all your fantastic analysis and the work you put into this site. Its a daily treat to read.

    I reviewed some other tape of Sheldon and saw the light. He is a beast.

    What is your analysis of guys like Scruggs and Jaye Howard when Seattle drafted them and what do you think of them now? Do you feel like they have the potential to become key contributors?

    Clearly they are not as talented as Richardson or Floyd but how would they compare to those types of players?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I liked both players. Howard was a perfect ‘see if he’s the next Atkins’ type pick. I had him with a third round grade and they took him in the fourth. Was one of the more disappointing acts of 2012 that he never put himself in position to earn game time. Scruggs looked better than the stat sheet suggested. Great physical specimen, great build. Looked good at his pro day (there was some video of the Rutgers pro day doing the rounds). He looked like a pure 4-3 end to me but obviously Seattle has tried him inside as a nickel rusher. Neither compares to Richardson and Floyd really. Richardson is a protoypical three-technique type while Floyd has a great frame for the position, athleticism and the ability to play end in a 3-4 if needs be.

      • Belgaron says:

        With Carroll/Schneider effectively filling out their full roster with year 4 coming up, there will be many more mid to late picks that don’t earn playing time in year one or even year two. Whereas if they had drafted them a few years ago, they may have gotten playing time right away, the team is just getting deeper. We just have to hope that these guys are capable and ready to be the “next guy” when they get their shot. Howard and Scruggs could still surprise.

      • Cade says:

        So there is optimism that they could develop some over the off season and Quinn could utilize Howards and Scruggs assets in a more effective way this upcoming year?

        What do you think the ceiling is for those two? Quality Depth players tops?

        After some serious roster review and examination of the 4-3 under scheme Pete wants to run its pretty evident that we dont have anyone suited to be an above average 3 tech. Do you know what PC/JS solution for 3 tech was going into the season? I know they were rotating guys in for passing and run situations.

        Can you do an article on our Defensive Line personnel. Who plays which positions and possibly what specific strengths or skills are necessary for each position. Something basic that helps those who are learning identify the skills to look for in a guy we want to draft for a specific DLine position need.

        If not thats cool. I know you are very focused on Draft related things and this is more seahawks team info/Dline evaluation and education

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        Honestly, if you look at the late round picks that have stuck, they really tended to play from the beginning. Howard strikes me as a Kris Durham/EJ Wilson kind of pick. Neither of those guys played hardly at all, and were replaced fairly quickly.

        Scruggs played, meaningful minutes. Kind of like Chancellor did in his rookie year. If a guy doesn’t play and is even inactive, I wouldn’t have any level of optimism that they will be on the roster after cut down day.

        Pete has been pretty candid about who you can expect optimism for, because if the guy can play, he does. Those that don’t typically stay guys that don’t.

        I don’t really think it has much to do with depth or lack of opportunity. Pete has been absolutely great at giving guys opportunities to play and develop. He believes in getting game snaps for guys that are part of the future. Even if it’s in a limited role.

        Don’t expect Howard to be a part of this equation.

        • Elijah says:

          When PC/JS decide that a player isn’t going to play for them, they let them go immediately. EJ Wilson, Mark LeGree, all these guys were cut before the season even started. Yet players like Jameson Konz have stuck around. I wouldn’t count Jaye Howard out yet.

  2. Dan Barber says:

    Given the importance of the LEO position in this defense, don’t you think it is the most important need given the uncertainty of Clemons for next year?

    • Rob Staton says:

      No — for the reason that even with Clemons in the team last year, the pass rush wasn’t good enough. Whether you play Clemons, Irvin or anyone else at the LEO, they need a proper three technique to support that side and make the 4-3 under’s front work.

  3. Zach says:

    Rob, thanks for the daily articles. I really look forward to reading them.

    After watching Williams & Floyd I must say Floyd looks like the better prospect to me consistently. But on some downs Williams almost flawlessly swims right through the O-line like they weren’t even there. Hard decision but I’d give an edge to Floyd at this point.

  4. Dan says:

    Is there any chance Floyd makes it to our second round pick? It would be nice to have our pick of the best WR / TE / DE at 25 given the potential value at the bottom of the round.

    • Zach says:

      There’s no way Floyd makes it to #55 in the second round. I think our best bet is to take the best DT @ #25 and take the best available WR/TE @ #55. My ideal two rounds would be to trade up with Flynn/and or picks to nab Sheldon Richardson and then take maybe Markus Wheaton @ #55. But a more reasonable outlook would be to take the best DT @ #25 and trade up in the second to take the best WR/TE.

      • SeaMeat says:

        watching tape Hopkins just jumps out and I would pleased as punch to see him picked by the Hawks. I truly hope they can address some of the puss rush and interior through free agency so the 1st round pick could be a guy like Hopkins and in the 2nd begin to address defense from that spot on.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s very unlikely. I suspect there’s going to be very good value at WR in round two.

  5. Morgan says:

    I wonder if – and this is a big if (I’m hesitant to even post it) – given their late drafting position and a 3-tech they like not making it down the draft board, they instead take a stud 1-tech that has fallen…and then move Mebane back over to 3-tech. I know, I know, they tried it before and it wasn’t a huge success. But it was a previous regime bringing in Colin Cole that didn’t have success with it, not a first-rounder with actual talent. Maybe they think they can do it right this time.

    I don’t like the idea myself, but with all the contracts on defense coming up soon I feel like they might try to work with what they’ve got and how they suspect the draft board may fall.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I guess it would all depend on whether Mebane can provide that needed dynamic interior rush. Unfortunately, he didn’t show that when he played there previously.

      • Barry says:

        I think drafting a stud DT in the first is pretty high on the list. Our run D down the stretch wasn’t the best. If say someone like Jesse Williams is there and PC and JS know/believe he can anchor the line and be or become a Wince Wilfork or Casey Hampton well it doesn’t seem like a choice we would want now. But in the long run might be a great move. Maybe with a space eater like that Mebane could be more of a disruptive force at a 3-tech.

  6. Belgaron says:

    I’m wondering if they will ask for any money back (deferred in a renegotiated deal) from Red or Mebane. They were so stout last year and at the beginning of this year, then Red’s Foot plus maybe a bit of big contract complacency made these two look closer to replacement level than the havoc causers we know them capable of being from past performances. I’m really looking for Mebane to come into camp this year in shape and showing some ferocity and Red coming in with healthy feet.

    Second, I wonder if the Hawks will bring in former USC Carroll Trojan Fred Davis or soon to be former Packer Jermichael Finley in for a “recruiting trips”. While Finley showed a better attitude in the second half, he is owed $8M if they keep him on the roster past March, I guess they could redo his deal. Davis may be interested in coming back to the west coast and the ‘Skins could have money tied up in league penalties. Where everyone mocked Sidney and Miller for career suicide by coming to a QB-less team that “would kill their fantasy value”, I’m sure many 2013 free agents will tell their agents that if the Seahawks call, they are interested. That said, Seahawks generally only like young, personally known larger contract free agents, or more cost effective older, personally known players, so they may not have the budget to look at free agent Jokers. But a guy like this could really expand the offense especially against teams like the Falcons, who Seahawks play again this year in Atlanta.

  7. Jlkresse7 says:

    What are the odds we make a deal that allowed us to get both Floyd and Hunt in the first two rounds? That would be awesome

    • Cade says:

      From alot of mockups that would require 2 picks in the first round. We could possibly get Hunt at #25 and then Trade Flynn + a package of picks( maybe our 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th or something) for someones #15 – 20. Chance of getting either Floyd or Maybe Richardson at 15.

      That would leave us with: Hunt, Floyd or Richardson, a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th.

      Ya this could be unrealistic. Im just playing. I have no idea about point values for the draft picks in a move like that or if someone would have demand for Flynn in that draft range of the first round.

      • Cade says:

        Maybe the Jets at no.9 cause they need a team rebuild and could use alot of picks. Not sure they would have cap room for Flynn and they expressed the desire for a very dynamic QB which Flynn is not.
        Plus I bet we would need to give up alot better picks than I put in my prior comment. But hey, Izdik is a guy we know..

        Jets should just cut the whole team and start fresh with this years draft. Or not.

        Noone in the 11-20 would have any desire for flynn I think.

  8. NMD says:

    One TE FA option I’ve been thinking about is Delanie Walker from the 49ers. I’ve always liked him and he’s pretty much what I was hoping Cameron Morrah would be although he has had some issues with drops this year. It also takes a guy away from our biggest competitor and may give us some extra inside information them.

  9. A. Simmons says:

    I get the feeling Pete wants upgrades along the defensive line period. I don’t think Mebane, Red, or anyone else is safe. I’m not surprised they were talking to a 350 lb nose tackle. The run defense regressed to a level that is unacceptable given the investment on the defensive line. Red can talk a good game, but he’s not playing up to snuff. They can get better at that position. Getting someone behind Red pushing him is necessary in my opinion. I am definitely not one of those fans that wants to keep a guy around because I like them as a player or their story. Produce or get the hell off the field as far as I’m concerned. That’s how I feel about Red Bryant right now. He was slower this year. Less effective holding against the run and getting penetration on the line. And all around not as good as last year. He needs to step up. With San Francisco’s offensive line, we need big guys that can mix it up in the trenches. We don’t have time for nagging injuries every year reduce effectiveness.

    Out of the two players Floyd and Williams, I prefer Williams. Seems like a better penetrator with polished technique. I don’t think we can afford another high upside guy that hasn’t developed as a football player. We already have that player in Bruce Irvin. We need a polished interior defensive lineman.

  10. A. Simmons says:

    What about Michael Bennett from Tampa Bay? He might be a possibility in free agency. We drafted the guy in Mora’s only year. Dan Quinn liked him a lot. He had a very productive year as a pass rusher. He’s about the same size as Jason Jones. He’s going to be on his second contract. Seems like a productive player we might be able to get on a modest contract to provide versatile pass rush ability.

  11. Zach says:

    We need Melton. Put him next to Irvin and watch out.

  12. Colin says:

    Not too impressed with Sharriff Floyd. He seems like a good run stuffer and he’ll provide you a bit of push, but he doesn’t have the pass rush to really warrant a 1st round grade for our team. He also falls down entirely too much. IMO he seems fit to play the 5 tech in a 3-4 scheme.

    • Colin says:

      Just heard a VERY interesting point on Brock and Salk. They played a Pete Carroll clip with him saying not all these picks will make the team because of the point they are at in the rebuild process. Salk then pointed out that if they aren’t going to make the team, maybe it brings incentive to make a trade up the board (easier said than done). Good point though.

      • Senepol says:

        If only it were as easy as saying “oh, we have 7 slots and 10 picks. Let’s just draft the 7 guys that will make the team anyway and not draft those extra 3.”

        Obviously, there’s risk/reward here. If PCJS ARE able to do that, it’s a huge win, but if they aren’t it puts the team at a disadvantage. Given JS’s trade downs over the years and his background in GB plus PC’s Always Compete mantra, I think it’s far more likely that the Hawks will acquire even more picks than make a dramatic move up the board.

        Of course, I could see them making a modest move up, for the right player and price, and trading down later to still get 9-10 guys out of the draft. I just wouldn’t expect a Julio Jones style move.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Perhaps… but then you could also argue PC will want those picks and players to compete and push the existing players.

        • Turp says:

          5 picks in the last two rounds…all lottery tickets to me. Use all 5 and hopefully 1 or 2 stick. Lose some of those picks and the late round gem becomes less probable. I would be surprised if they moved up and lost picks.

  13. Snoop Dogg says:

    What do you think about Sanders Cummings? He is fairly short for a Seahawks corner at 5-11, but at over 220 lbs. do you think he either A) turns into a great press/zone corner or B) replaces Kam Chancellor with better coverage?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I like him a lot.

    • dave crockett says:

      Arm length/wing span will be more informative than height. It basically tells you the converse of catch radius for a WR. I don’t think Seattle would rule out Commings based on his height, because he’s pretty long. (I don’t know how well he covers because when I think of Georgia I think of WRs running all over the place like free-range chickens.)

      Commings has a 76.28″ wing span and over 31″ arms. That’s pretty good length on a 5’11″ guy. Not jaw-dropping, but Commings is right there with a lot of taller guys. (Weirdly, UGa safety Bacari Rambo is a T-Rex. Sure, he’s 6’0″ 215#, but only has a 73.28 wing span with 30.48″ arms.)

      Compare Commings to Dwayne Gratz from UConn. He is also 5’11″ but has a marginally broader wing span (76.58). On the downside, Commings outweighs him by 20+ lbs. The other UConn CB, Blidi Wreh-Wilson is clearly Seattle material. He’s 6′ with a 77.48″ wing span. But, he only weighs 192#.

      There are a couple pretty long safeties. Jonathan Cyprien, from FIU, has been RAVED about. He is just over 6′ and has a 76.58 wing span. So, again, not significantly broader than Commings. TJ McDonald, the USC safety, has the broadest wing span among the DBs (by my count) at 78.28″. WOW.

      South roster: http://www.seniorbowl.com/files/Heights%20Weights%20Scouting%20Weigh%20in%20SOUTH.pdf
      North roster: http://www.seniorbowl.com/files/Heights%20Weights%20Scouting%20in%20NORTH.pdf

  14. Bishop says:

    Hey Rob, with the amount of picks Seattle has this year and the amount of rookies that won’t make the team, what is the best direction to go? Trade picks to move up or trade picks for the 2014 draft?

    What are the chances in Seattle packaging picks to trade with the Bengals with their #37 pick or Miami with their #42 pick? Also, Seattle being able to stay put with the 2nd round pick.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s extremely difficult to project trades, almost impossible. I always think it’s best to expect no movement and see what happens. I suspect they’ll stay put at #25 or move down a little bit, and target defense early.

      • Bishop says:

        That’s what I’m thinking as well, but I’m talking about moving up after the 1st.

        I understand all these other mockers thinking Seattle needs a WR with the first pick, but had they actually watched the games, they could see that the pass rush was almost non-existant when needed most. They’re going to have a hole at LEO and they definitely need a 3-tech….glad there’s a mocker who actually knows and understands Seattle’s main needs.

    • Chris says:

      I think this would be a good year to start giving up current picks in exchange for higher value picks next yet. Not with the 1st through 3rd rounders necessarily, but with some of the lower picks.

  15. Zach says:

    I wonder if Barrett Jones will be available in the second.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I suspect not, but he’s a pure center IMO and Seattle is sorted at that position.

      • Zach says:

        The scouting report says he can play good at any position though. I think he would be invaluable to have since he is so versatile and because of his character and work ethic.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I do not agree with any scouting report that says that. He is a pure center for me. I think some of these reports assume he can play multiple positions just because he kept switching at Alabama. But he ended his career at center for a reason and that’s where he should stay. He will be a first or second round pick at that position.

  16. Tomahawk says:

    Hey Rob,

    How ’bout the lengthy corner out of Oregon State that supposedly excels in the slot? Do you see on on the Seahawks’ radar, and if so, which round?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Jordan Poyer? Late second rounder for me. Could be on Seattle’s radar but might be bigger priorities in R2.

      • dave crockett says:

        Turns out he’s not THAT long. He’s 5’11, 183#, 30.58″ arms, 73.58″ wing span.

        He may be good, but he doesn’t bring a LOT of length to the table.

  17. Zach says:

    Rob ~ What do you think of Brandon Williams? Maybe we should pick him up in the 3rd.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I know almost nothing about Brandon Williams unfortunately. No access to Missouri Southern tape.

      • Bishop says:

        Rob, the only tape I was able to find on him was almost like a silent film. They shot it in a close up from behind and from the furthest point of the stadium they were playing at. It was hard to watch as they didn’t even show where he was on the field.

  18. Zach says:

    I’ve been checking out alot of video on the DT of players coming out in the draft and I’m starting to think we should use 2 of our first three picks on DT. Logan from LSU is a projected 4th rounder? Seahawks should nab him up in a hurry as far as I’m concerned. I am starting to think we should get something like this in the first four rounds.

    1. Sylvester Williams DT
    2. Barrett Jones OT
    3. Bennie Logan DT
    4. Gavin Escobar TE

    • Rob Staton says:

      I doubt Escobar lasts until the fourth and I’m not a fan of Logan. I also doubt Barrett Jones makes it that far and Seattle is good for a center. He’ll struggle to play any other position.

  19. Barry says:

    Hey Rob, I was wondering your thoughts on Chris Jones DT out of Bowling Green? I haven’t had a chance to see any film on him but he is the 3-tech size and has posted some nice numbers that have improved every year he was in school.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He was very productive. I’ve seen some tape where he’s shown flashes but he’s a little inconsistent. He’s definitely someone to monitor in the mid rounds.

      • Barry says:

        Interesting, I looked him up on the images and with the pads off he looks a bit soft, shoulders aren’t sculpted ect. That would be a knock to the work ethic, but a possibility for and to correct that inconsistency.

        I’m interested in seeing it, if I can find his film Vs FL, Va Tech, Ohio, and SJSU.

  20. pqlqi says:

    Rob,

    Between a healthy Branch and healthy Jones, the team is likely to only offer one of the two a contract – I would think Jones. If that were the case, we’d have our pass rushing 3T set up, and a bigger DT that could play a rotational (and eventual replacement) role with Mebane, Bryant, and Scruggs might be a target. Someone more along the lines of a 6’2″ to 6’5″ 320-340lb player.

    Just my thought. I’m sticking to it. I’d love a Dontari Poe type player for sure.

    • Bishop says:

      Jones is clearly the wild card and he didn’t do himself any favors during this season for free agency. Injuries happen, but just a bad time for him to go through that with this possibly being his big chance at a splash in the market. Seattle should be able to retain him for cheap.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a possibility. I just think they need to find a guy who can play the first two downs, offer run support but also get at the passer consistently. A natural three-technique. There are almost too many specialists involved in Seattle’s pass rush. Time to get a little more orthodox IMO.

      • dave crockett says:

        Unfortunately, no one in the draft really fits the description “natural three-technique” after Sheldon Richardson; not without a lot of caveats and wishful thinking.

        Natural 3-tech is starting to take on the pall of “left-handed starting pitcher” – everybody wants one and the demand far outstrips supply. I think that’s a large part of WHY Seattle uses an unorthodox 3-tech like Branch. Even ultra-orthodox 4-3 teams like Chicago and Tampa have trouble finding guys to plug into that spot. Chicago got lucky with Melton. Melton was Sweezy before Sweezy was Sweezy.

        I think, at the end of the day, Seattle will just have to pay for an explosive, pocket-pushing FA 3-technique (or target a young guy using Flynn as a trade chip). Then draft a guy in the mid-rounds who has the tools and the motor and hope you get lucky like Cincinnati did with Atkins.

        But in this draft, especially early, I kinda feel like maybe in our discussions we aren’t letting the board come to us. Seattle needs to give some STRONG consideration to developing the next generation of the three big guys in the base defense. Consider:

        1. Red’s Plantar Fasciatis — That’s a repetitive stress condition. Not only will it re-occur, it will impact his off-season conditioning. In the second half he could no longer consistently set the edge vs. the run. That is a FUNDAMENTAL problem for this defense.

        Are we really so sure this roster couldn’t stand to spell and eventually replace Red with a guy like Jessie Williams?

        2. Mebane has no sub — I am beginning to think that maybe Alan Branch is taking a little TOO much heat for the lack of interior pass rush. God love him, but Mebane doesn’t push the pocket like he used to. And, the roster lacks another real 1-technique who does what Mebane does. Mebane was never notably bad, but he made fewer and fewer plays as the season went on.

        Are we really so sure that a guy like Sylvester Williams couldn’t be a “swing” player at the 1-tech and 3-tech, spelling both Mebane and Branch (assuming he re-signs)?

        You pick up a Jessie or Sylvester Williams at 25 and you know what you’re getting. You take another shot at a Jaye Howard type in the mid-rounds, because you’re no more likely to get a pass rushing DT early than in the middle rounds.

        • Turp says:

          Great post. I like the fact that we can slide Williams over to 1tech if needed. Red’s condition is pretty crappy for us. He makes too much guaranteed for the Hawks to do much with.

  21. Barry says:

    Atkins had a great sophomore season then it looks like some of the good coaches in the SEC paid him more attention. He also tore up the combine showing great explosiveness, 34 reps at the bench and a 4.75 40 with a 1.68 ten split. That’s what you look for. But its hard to tell how the draft will work out, some years a great forty gets you into the top two rounds. I remember hearing concern about Atkins character also.
    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=64492&draftyear=2010&genpos=DT
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/354322-2010-nfl-combine-results-georgias-geno-atkins-stars-at-combine
    Sometimes falling helps the player help himself as much as the team who drafts him.

    With our picks I think we are sitting pretty to get a player that can have a impact along the front four. Considering JS and Pete have show a great knack for knowing the break down a player needs for their scheme.

    • dave crockett says:

      Interesting point re: Atkins.

      It suggests that largely what you’re looking for, from a scouting perspective, is tools and motor.

      The ACTUAL sacks are as much a function of context as anything (including how smart the QBs are that you face).

  22. [...] just gets edged out this week by Florida’s Sharriff Floyd. I talked about him in greater detail on Monday and although he’s divided opinion somewhat on this blog, I do think he’ll receive some [...]