Notes on Mississippi State’s defense in the Outback Bowl

January 1st, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Tony Pauline is reporting interest from the Seahawks in cornerback Jamal Lewis. He’s not the only player they might have their eye on from the Mississippi State defense.

This is an interesting group. It starts with Jeffery Simmons at defensive tackle, who we discussed last week. Simmons had the best three plays to start a game I think I’ve ever seen from a defensive tackle in the Outback Bowl.

On the first defensive snap of the game, he was far too quick for the right guard and just exploded through the A-gap to drop the running back for a four-yard loss. On the next play he controlled the right guard at the LOS and the running back, opting to run right at Simmons, sprinted straight into an area with no lane. Then, on third down, Simmons used a swim move to beat the center with ease and hammer the quarterback for a sack.

This game was a collectors item. For most of the year, Simmons had to handle double teams. It limited his ability to make plays as a pass rusher but he still recorded 14.5 TFL’s (and added 2.5 more in this game). It gave us an insight into what he’s capable of facing a consistent 1v1 opportunity.

With 8:53 left in the third quarter, Simmons drove the center into the backfield with a fantastic bull-rush before disengaging and sacking the quarterback. At the start of the fourth quarter he ploughed his way into the backfield and hit the quarterback (at the same time as Montez Sweat, who had a nice rush off the edge too).

Simmons is the real deal. He has a frame comparable to Ndamukong Suh. He has minimal body fat at 6-4 and 300lbs. He’s big, powerful and highly athletic. He controls the LOS as a run defender and has the quickness and explosion to be a playmaker. Issues off the field dating back to High School might put off some teams. If he can convince people he’s a changed man, he’ll likely be a very high pick in the draft.

Safety Johnathan Abram might be the best in a very average looking year for the position. He’s tough, physical and lays a hit. There are some concerns about his athletic limitations and a big combine will be necessary to max out his stock. He had a mixed day in this game.

Early on he had a big tackle for a loss, reading a WR screen and making a nice break on the ball to force a six-yard loss. There were several well timed hits and he helps set the tone on the back-end of the defense.

He also gave up a 75-yard touchdown. Lined up in the slot, Abram was caught staring at the quarterback allowing a receiver to run straight by him. It was a huge, back-breaking blown coverage. As the safety, he must’ve known he didn’t have deep help? What was he doing focusing on the QB and allowing that receiver to get downfield uncovered?

Abram often lines up in this position with the option to blitz. With 13:29 left in the third quarter he was quick enough to get to the quarterback. He met in the backfield with Montez Sweat, who was given the gift of a blocking tight end to beat.

There were other iffy moments. He was flagged on a pass interference call on a deep shot to the left sideline and was beat in a mismatch against tight end T.J. Hockenson, giving up a big 22-yard reception. He made amends with a decent stop on third down on the following drive, to give Mississippi State a shot to win.

Overall he’s a good player but I get the sense Seahawks fans, spoilt by Earl Thomas, want elite play at the position. There’s nobody in this class capable of quenching that desire.

Jamal Peters wasn’t targeted until there was 1:09 left in the first half. On a deep shot to the left, Peters did an excellent job squeezing his receiver to the sideline to take away any opportunity to make a catch in bounds. Great technique. He also made a big special teams stop to start the second half on a kick-off return. Peters limped off the field with 3:39 left in the third quarter but it didn’t look too serious.

Montez Sweat is long, lean and quick. You can imagine the Seahawks liking his frame and style as a potential LEO rusher. He was pretty quiet apart from the plays already mentioned above. It’s difficult to determine his stock. I’ve watched a lot of Mississippi State’s games from 2018. There weren’t any horrible games where he was hammered in the running game. Josh Allen at Kentucky had some of those. You wouldn’t say run defense is a strength for Sweat but he didn’t look like a liability either.

That said, we’re projecting to the NFL here. He looks about 240lbs with a very lean frame. If he’s going to play early downs, he’ll need to convince teams he can be explosive and strong at the point and help set the edge. That’s a big ask at his size. If he gets to the combine having added a few pounds of muscle and tests well in the 10-yard split, vertical and broad jump — it’ll help. At the moment it’s fair to wonder if teams will merely see him as a situational rusher capable of making an impact albeit in limited snaps. The combine is big for him. To his credit, he knows how to use his length and keep his frame clean and he’s a long-strider with great initial quickness.

Whenever you watch Mississippi State, sophomore Willie Gay Jr. makes a big play. He’s one to watch for the future. He had a huge, game-changing interception at 17-6 to Iowa. They quickly scored twice to lead 19-17 (aided by a special teams fumble by Iowa after the first score).

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116 Responses to “Notes on Mississippi State’s defense in the Outback Bowl”

  1. Lukas says:

    Great article. I watched the game live from the stadium and Simmons was by far the best player on the field. This guy simply does it all.
    Sweat was off the field for many of the early downs. Thats not a good sign for his draft stock in my opinion. He didnt look like a first round pick to me. The same can be said about Abram for the reason you pointed out. I don’t think Simmons will make it out of the top 15 and the Seahawks probably wanna trade down anyway, but him next to Reed and Clark would be awesome.
    Thanks for all of your insight by the way!

    • Rob Staton says:

      If Sweat doesn’t have a big combine he could last deep into the draft. Middle rounds might not be his floor. Some character concerns according to reports and has to show he has the potential to play early downs.

      Simmons, on the other hand, is a fantastic talent.

  2. Trevor says:

    I think Simmons is exactly the type of player we need in the DL to take this group to the next level. I just don’t see JS pulling the trigger after what he said when Frank Clark was drafted. Simmons seems like a good kid who did something dispicable and he will be a 1st rounder I just don’t think it will be with the Hawks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I thought the same a few weeks ago but the more work I or anyone else does on Simmons, he’s spent the last three years on a mission to prove he’s a changed man all while attempting to make amends. This team is too open-minded to write off a guy like this. Doesn’t mean they’ll draft him if he’s there. But I don’t see any reason to think they wouldn’t be willing to.

      • Lil'stink says:

        “We would never, ever, take a player that struck a woman” – John Schneider

        Don’t know how JS spins a Simmons pick to the local press and numerous area woman’s/domestic abuse advocacy groups. Assuming Jody Allen retains ownership that’s also another angle. Who knows who has her ear. She could very well dictate that he not be on their draft board.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I feel like I’ve addressed this though.

          Simmons didn’t have that video come out last week. It was years ago. So he’s had a chance to try and develop as a man and make amends. And to me, it certainly appears he has done that. The Seahawks employed Tom Cable for years. So I think they see redemption as a meaningful act.

        • Trevor says:

          That quote was the basis of my thinking as well. Not sure how he spins that with the video no matter how long ago it was. That is the problem with making definitive statements they don’t give you much wiggle room to evaluate individual circumstances.

          If JS was going to change his stance Simmons is certainly the type of player and image makeover that could convince JS to make the pick. He seems like the type of player and turnaround story that Pete would love.

        • Ishmael says:

          I wouldn’t take it too literally. They’ve picked up players who have done worse things to women than Simmons since then. It was a silly throwaway line that sounded good but doesn’t actually have any relevance to how they’ve behaved as a franchise. They believe in the power of redemption and second chances. Maybe they wouldn’t draft a player with a DV background, but they’ve certainly signed them when it’s been convenient.

          All that said, while I thought what Simmons did was disgusting – it was significantly less bad (in my eyes) than some of the vile domestic violence acts we’ve seen players commit – and get excused for – over the past few years. Josh Brown at the Giants, for example, was absolutely reprehensible. The entire Giants organisation (even Tom Coughlin, the great man of character) have plenty of blood on their hands over that.

  3. Coleslaw says:

    I would love Simmons in Seattle. Clark, Reed, Simmons, Jones, Ford, Martin, Stephen, Green would be a nice group, add Brian Burns after he falls to round 3 and that’s a stacked DL

    • Rob Staton says:

      If they drafted Simmons, I’d prefer a veteran FA addition to bookend Clark. Allow Ford, Martin and Green to develop.

      • Coleslaw says:

        Fine by me! Margus Hunt or a Bruce Irvin reunion would be awesome! I actually think it’s very likely Bruce returns, since he loves Ken Norton Jr. so much.

        If we got Bruce back, Simmons, Andy Isabella and Jamal Peters along with keeping all the players we think we should, I would be extremely happy with the offseason

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m not expecting Bruce back. He had that chance it seems, picked Atlanta.

          Would prefer a different option. Would be very interested in Terrell Suggs. Just see where the value is. Will be a lot of options. Not sure, with this draft class, any of the DE’s will get mega money on the market. I’d like to aim higher than Bruce or Margus Hunt though.

        • Sea Mode says:

          Would love that draft class! Will pass on Bruce though in FA.

          Just my opinion, but unfortunately for the Seahawks, I see little chance of Isabella making it past R2. His stock will explode when he runs low 4.3s (maybe even cracks 4.2s?) at the combine, and he will probably catch a lot of attention winning his 1v1’s at the Senior Bowl practices as well. But hey, we can always hope…

          That’s why I am really hoping Riley Ridley comes out and flies a bit under the radar given his limited production in Georgia’s offense. He’s just really, really good and is the type of WR that would fit perfectly in Seattle. Reliable on the targets he gets and willing to do the dirty work on ST and blocking. They said in an interview that Riley has always been the more athletic of the Ridley bros. as well.

  4. RWIII says:

    Would love to see Jeffrey Simmons on the board for John Schneider to grab. However, I think it is highly unlikely that he will be sitting their when the Hawks are on the clock.

    With that said it would be awesome to see Simmons lining up next to Jarran Reed.

  5. Zxvo3 says:

    Rob or anybody else, who do you think would be the better fit on the Seahawks: Jeffery Simmons or D’Andre Walker?

  6. Rob Staton says:

    Kyler Murray >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dwayne Haskins

    Not close.

    • cha says:

      From my totally untrained eye, Haskins looks like a middling NFL QB who won’t lose you games but won’t carry the team to wins either. Murray looks like a guy you can build around and have that crazy improvisation that lifts the team 3-5x a game.

  7. Kenny Sloth says:

    7-6>23-28

    • Josh says:

      Rob, what are your thoughts on Jacob Martin’s potential? Do you think he has the tools to improve into a solid DE or will he be a rotational guy?

    • Golfstud84 says:

      Kenny-

      Follow from a far and love you and volume12 input, I respect your opinion but if you think Herbert is the next big thing you got a lot coming.. he is a primary read qb who reminds me of josh Allen without the legs.
      Big arm but can’t survey the field, could be why he came back? Draft grade 2/3 round?

      As a husky fan, I can’t wait to show the ducks what a top qb actually looks like when Eason plays him next season. #dawgs will be back

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Thanks for the love man.

        I mostly agree with you on Herbert. I thought be was wholly underwhelming all year. And I think he doesnt have a very big arm at all. He’s a decent touch passer and can be very creative and tough. He’s a very smart dude, will probably score well in interviews people will like his build and think they can work with him probably.

        But no, not my cup of tea at QB

        I love some good natured ribbing among fans. Fair play to your Huskies for making it to the Rose Bowl. OSU has gotten a couple over on Oregon before

  8. icb12 says:

    I’m going to say it.

    Fromm is Georgias Jake Browning. He’ll get you to the dance, but he isnt going to bring home the hardwear for you. I’d have pulled a saban at the half and swapped QBs Kirby.

    Oh and the Playoff committee got it right. The excuses are flying already. missing Walker, Missing Baker, guys werent motivated because the game didn’t mean anything. Whatever. Bottom line.. Georgia didn’t win the games they needed to to get in. And they just got soundly whipped by a 4 loss Texas team.

    And bevo went after uga. That was fantastic.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I agree with the excuses. The Sugar Bowl is the annual SEC team mails it in bowl. Auburn last time it wasn’t a playoff, Alabama twice, Florida, Arkansas. That’s the recent history of the bowl for the SEC. All tepid losses.

      And they were missing their best defensive players. Looked like Georgia we’re going through the motions against a highly motivated Texas.

      • CojackTX says:

        How many times can an “excuse” be applied before it becomes either inexcusable or trite? I think the fact that these excuses are built up even before the game suggests an attempt to control a narrative and create the illusion of a self-fulfilling prophecy which can easily be written off for reasons which have nothing to do with the actual game. It seems to me that if now 3-loss Georgia was so deserving and head and shoulders above all but Alabama, they would have had all the reason in the world to prove a point in the Sugar Bowl. Instead, they got whooped on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Walker or Baker wouldn’t have changed that.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Come on, surely you appreciate the track record of the Sugar Bowl for the SEC team who doesn’t make the playoff or NCG? There’s a long history of unmotivated teams playing in that game and losing.

          Georgia vs Clemson = a far better contest than an overmatched Notre Dame.

          People can keep citing losses (a terrible counter IMO which I’ve been over before. Georgia weren’t playing Syracuse, Michigan and USC). Only one team has given Alabama a game this year. Notre Dame never ever looked like a competitive playoff team.

          But who cares anyway? Not sure why this is such a sore point for people.

      • FresnoHawk says:

        Texas is a good team lots of NFL talent, play making QB that combo can beat anyone. Those WR’s for Texas are good and the Texas Defense is good, you can see why Poons Ford is excelling year 1 in the NFL.

    • Volume12 says:

      Kirk Herbstreit just moved Georgia up in his rankings after this loss.

      A 2 loss team in the CFB playoff. lol. If Georgia was the 3rd best team for losing to ‘Bama, how good is Texas? Wasn’t the BIG 12 bad or something?

      Seriously though, this game was almost a carbon copy of Georgia’s loss to LSU.

  9. C-Dog says:

    Would love to see Simmons line up alongside Jarran Reed, but that Jamal Peters dude is a really, really interesting looking player that Seattle is supposedly high on. I smell the likelihood of Seattle doing some trading to finagle a few day two picks getting stronger and stronger.

  10. Sea Mode says:

    Kenny, wow, Pulisic to Chelsea for €64m! Will remain on loan at Dortmund until the summer.

    Whatcha think?

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      Wrong flavor of Football, brother!

      Truthfully, unless it affects his play for the USMNT, I don’t care where he plays. Wherever he can get the best experience that does the most for the men’s team is where I want him.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Right, that’s exactly what I’m asking opinions on. Dortmund has been a great place for him to grow, though this past season under new coach Favre he has played mostly off the bench from what I understand. Is playing under Sarri at Chelsea the right option for his career? Does his signing perhaps mean Chelsea are preparing to lose Hazard? Time will tell.

        But yes, of course, this is the wrong blog for an extended discussion on that, but just wanted to give at least a mention of it to Kenny and any other USMNT followers on SDB. 🙂

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’d fear for his development. So many players go to the Premier League to sit on the bench. We’re all delighted over here to have guys like Jadon Sancho at Dortmund instead of City’s reserves. Hope he gets games.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            +1

            Yeah SeaMode, this has been the rumor for a few weeks now. I kind of like Sarri as he has a distinct style that players can play through, but that should be a given at this level (usa has a bad standard of coaching).

            I agree with Georgia that we’ll need him to get minutes for it to matter at all

            But he’s currently the 25th highest transfer fee of all time so that might be a given.

            I would’ve greatly preferred he go to Liverpool to be reunited with Klopp (I really like his teams’ style) and apparently they did put in a bid.

            I won’t mention some recent fan controversies at Chelsea that made me tag “anywhere but Chelsea” on his transfer rumors.

            Are American athletes super special or something? Like especially gritty? Seems like it sometimes.

            • Rob Staton says:

              They’re lucrative commercially I imagine.

              Or at least the best one is.

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                True. If he plays any kind of regular football his jersey will sell really well regardless of the club he joined.

                I underestimate a club’s willingness to pull the trigger on this deal with more than footballing merits in mind, but that is likely bred from my minnow league mentality tracking Americans and MLS transfers that rarely tip the scales

                • Sea Mode says:

                  Yeah, Liverpool would have been cool. Wonder what they bid. I imagine Klopp knows Pulisic’s on-field value better than anyone, so would know when the ask was too much.

                  And Rob is spot on about commercial value. You get a country’s big star, you get a ton of followers in that country. Practically all of Mexico became ManU fans because of Chicharito. Many suspect that my Barça bought Coutinho because Nike wanted a Brazilian star there after Neymar left. (Nike might have even paid for the transfer too, who knows…)

                  And with the World Cup set to be in the US in 2026, Pulisic could become even more valuable in that sense. But yeah, sure hope he plays regularly.

        • Georgia Hawk says:

          I don’t follow Premier league nearly close enough to know how to answer that one. From the sounds of it though, its a pretty bad move for his career, barring a major injury or other transfer out of Chelsea.

  11. Sea Mode says:

    Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll Wild Card Tuesday Press Conference notes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILyBX9zQj0w

    In general:
    – Excited for playoffs. Lots of new guys who haven’t been before.
    – We won’t change the way we go about it.
    – Blocked punts were fixable stuff, just some technique that can be cleaned up. No worries.
    – What did PC see back at 4-5 that made him confident they could end up 10-6? Restructure of OL just needed to come around, and once that happened, they were already excited about the RBs. We’ve grown defensively, given up some plays, but the heart and soul, speed and youth and leadership were all there. Helps that we’ve been through that already in past years.

    On Dallas:
    – Good matchup. They play like we like to in many ways: run the ball, take care of it, play def, ST.
    – They started slowly like us, then put together 7/8 to finish the season. Teams can grow a lot during a season. Lots of factors, just depends on how you handle the challenges.
    – Amari Cooper is explosive, dynamic, all the routes. He´s got it all. Adds a lot to their team.
    – Jaylon Smith is a great story. Seahawks met him and were impressed with how strong his character was. Very special in interviews. Incredible player.
    – Elliott, 1400+ yds and 77 catches. The ball is always in his hands.
    – Similarities between Dak/Russ. Both can hurt you with their legs. Mobility makes guys special.
    – Blake Jarwin at TE has stepped up after Witten and is obviously someone we will have to pay attention to.

    On Offense:
    – Shuffling OL vs. Cards was a challenge, missed some communications. Fluker is back.

    On Defense:
    – What makes BWagz such a great tackler? Has speed, power, length. He´s the whole package.
    – 10.5 sacks for Reed. 3rd DT in franchise history to make it to double digits (John Randle, Cortez Kennedy). He’s grown up into a well-rounded football player. Was always a great run defender, and has now expanded his game.
    – Jacob Martin brings a spark. High-energy, high-effort. Very skilled technically as a pass rusher. He’s been knocked around a bit by bigger OTs, but is finally figuring it out now, at a great time for us. He will continue to play a lot.
    – King is ready to step in for Shaq if needed. Got fooled on one play last week, but has played well. We trust him technique and scheme wise, as you have seen we can move him around as needed because of that. Bright player. “Runs real fast, big kid, just kind of like we like them.”

    On Injuries:
    – Sweezy is moving around, out of the boot, will try to go. Game time decision.
    – Shaq Griffin is talking positive, but they will test him on Thurs/Fri.
    – Rashaad is looking good, took it easy on him the past 2 weeks. Full go now.
    – TT is going this week.
    – Delano Hill going to IR. Hip is cracked (non-displaced fracture). He can move around just fine, but simply can’t play with it. He played his best game last week, and will be back in the mix to compete for the future. Full recovery expected. WR Malik Turner is back with us from the PS in his roster spot.

    • H says:

      That’s such a shame about Delano, he’d really stepped up the last couple weeks. At least the timing with T2 coming back is ideal.

  12. clbradley17 says:

    Simmons looked great against Iowa, and he could be awesome in a DT rotation with J. Reed, Poona, Naz and Jefferson. Hope JS is creative in acquiring some more picks, there are very good D players on every day of the draft. Have heard Tony Pauline mention lots that he projects as day 3 picks, and he was dead on last spring about Poona being a UDFA, as well as many other of his assessments.

    If we get a DT with our 1st, do you think we should pick 2 pass-rushing DE/LBs with some of our other picks, or just 1? Really like Justin Hollins of Oregon, and he also looked great in the Redbox Bowl against Mich. St. with 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 TFLs. Seems to have a Montez Sweat long lean build, and Tony Pauline mentioned a few weeks ago he’s outperformed his higher rated teammate Jalen Jelks. “In 12 games Hollins has totaled 57 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks, topping Jelks in each category. He also broke up seven passes, forced four fumbles and has five hurries. He’s similar in size to Jelks as both measure 6-foot-5.5 and tip the scale around 245 pounds, though Hollins is slightly faster. I gave him an early sixth-round grade over the summer and believe Hollins will be a steal in the middle of Day 3.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSpyELnO0pY

    I can see us getting Simmons in 1, possibly after trading down slightly, the best available DE/LB in 3, Zuniga if he drops some or Gustin if healthy, or CB Peters, a safety like Bell of Fresno St. or Adderley in round 4, and Hollins in rd. 5. Another LB, although an inside LB who’s looked outstanding is Cal’s Jordan Kunaszyk, 6’3″ 235, 133 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 FF, 3 passes defensed, and had 14 tackles and an interception against TCU in their bowl game. May be available late day 3. https://www.ganggreennation.com/2018/11/8/18058130/2019-draft-prospect-ilb-jordan-kunaszyk-cal-bears
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-F0LKH9MW4&t=170s

    • Sea Mode says:

      Thanks for the names. I will add them to my list and be taking a look later on.

      Personally though I don’t think they will use any draft picks this year on LBs. Maybe some UDFA competition, but they are clearly intending on moving forward with Kendricks, and will probably retain KJ on a discount deal. Mingo is learning WILL as well and Calitro is a good enough backup if Bobby or the others can’t go. I guess I just see the other needs as greater with our limited stock.

    • Morgan says:

      Adderley is my favorite S in the draft. It’s hard to get a handle on how teams are looking at the position because it’s overall pretty meh, but this guy is so impressive. Fearless, and with good hands. I think he’ll go earlier than the 4th though.

      I think the FO will have an interest in D’Cota Dixon out of Wisconsin if he lasts later in the draft. Overcame a lot in his life and lives and breathes football. They seem to love it when a good player also has a good backstory.

  13. clbradley17 says:

    On a sour note, didn’t see it in the Arizona game recap comments or here, but noticed on Field Gulls a few hours ago that unfortunately Delano Hill has a fractured hip suffered in the AZ game and is out for the playoffs. Just when he was looking very good the last 2-3 games stepping up for other injured players. Going to be thin and hurt at DB Sunday with Hill out, TT still hurting as well as Griffin with a hurt ankle being a game-time decision.

    On the lighter side, these Seahawks all-access videos are great, this one before and during the Cardinals game:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfMNlxpzKxc

  14. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob/others, how about Chris Pulisic to Chelsea? Third highest Chelsea transfer and it more than tripled the highest fee for an American (previously like 17m)

    I think that’s more than has ever been paid for an Englishman too.
    (But let’s don’t pretend Jadon Sancho isn’t the better player)

    Thoughts on this and why it’s an absolute FACT of REALITY that USMNT will play in a World Cup final before England wins one.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The USA will never play in a World Cup Final Kenny. Sorry.

      I don’t really have anything big to say on the deal other than he’s joining a team notorious for signing players, not playing them and then loaning them out. Yes it’s more than any English player but the English players rarely leave their clubs. If Kane joined Real in the summer we’d be talking £150m at least.

      I hope it works out for him. The cynical side of me thinks Chelsea saw a commercial opportunity to tap into America.

      • cha says:

        “joining a team notorious for signing players, not playing them and then loaning them out”

        Where’s the benefit in that? Is it just pure marketing and jersey sales?

      • Georgia Hawk says:

        “The USA will never play in a World Cup Final Kenny. Sorry.”

        I don’t know whether to rage and hate on you or cry in abject agreement. Guess all I can say is that the same was said for the Hawks and the SB at one time, and larger shocks have happened in the world of sports. the Miracle on Ice comes to mind.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        USMNT*

        USA has won triple the world cups that England has total.

        I promise you I will never watch Chelsea for Christian Pulisic, so let’s hope they weren’t banking on that. I only watched BVB when they played my S04.

        We already have players tied up in their loan system and it’s fine, but I doubt anybody would be satisfied with Pulisic on loan, Rob. Especially anybody with any vested interest in Chelsea.

        • Rob Staton says:

          USA haven’t won three world cups Kenny.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            We absolutely have won 3 world cups 😁

            Here in the States the womens team is Queen.

            Doesnt surprise me you dont count em seeing as your birds are shite /jk

            Didnt they fire their manager for being racially insensitive? They need Southgate.

    • H says:

      Well England just made the semis with a young squad and first time manager, whilst the US sat at home so…

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I think it’s widely accepted that the USMNT is an highly inconsistent footballing nation.

        Our qualification process was a shambles. Our federation is an elitist joke.

        I somewhat think the American athlete is special. I Look at our ability to dominate virtually every other international sport. Just thoroughly dominate the field.

        The sheer incompetence it’s taken to squander such brilliant infrastructure and turn the highest youth turnout of all sports into that mess? Absolutely baffling.

        We were unable to qualify over a Panamanian side that scored all of one goal in garbage time in the group stages.

        Mexico yearns for el quinto partido. A fifth game.

        We need consistently better competition. MLS is improving Panama and Costa Rica more than the US.

        We just spent a year with a caretaker coach that has like no background of high level coaching.

        That’s why it made me mad to hear England fans saying that’s who we were when we last played. Showed a total lack of perspective. I get you’re riding high because football (almost) came home, but the USA’s future has literally never looked brighter.

        If you aren’t worried about what the US will do to your national team in the coming years, you’ve a surprise waiting for you in 2026 at least.

        It’d be our pleasure to bounce you from the group stages in the USA.

        (It’s very hard to talk nicely about the USMNT so I’ll talk bad about England)

        • Rob Staton says:

          America dominates the sports they spend money on.

          There’s a reason why USA, China and Russia dominate the medal table at the Olympics every year.

          Money and population.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Can I be honest with you Rob?

            I hate American soccer

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            “Whatever happens with Pulisic at Chelsea, America’s insistence upon ignoring FIFA rules is robbing PA Classics, the club that developed Pulisic, of about $730K in solidarity payments off the transfer fee. Tragic.”

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Also, who’s to say England isnt the next Netherlands or Italy?

        European qualification is getting tougher faster than Concacaf qualification

        Even in an expanded field I dont think English players have the willpower or strength of character/manliness to get past powerhouses like Iceland. Basically theyre all dumb and I hate them. Lol all jokes H

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          >your players aren’t manly

          >how about our women’s team

          Lol

        • H says:

          The roar of the three lions is the mightiest and manliest sound on either side of the Atlantic.

          And with figures like Harry Kane, a grounded and iron willed hero at the helm (who’s staying at Spurs his whole career, thank you very much with that £150m to Madrid Rob 😉 ) and the cool, suave, tactical mind of the waiste-coated warrior Gareth Southgate replacing the premadonnas and incompetent Italians and Swedes of years past. The English National team shall shall put all the misfortune and pain of the past where it belongs.

          Football will yet come home my friend. You guys can keep your breast stroke World Record.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Beautiful! I hope for a day when American soccer is worthy of such high praise.

            The Pulisic transfer has brought all of American soccer’s insecurities to the fore.

            Fair play, that was a really good point Rob made. I wish we played each other more often. Hopefully the next time we’ll have a real coach at the helm.

          • McZ says:

            Have you ever heard about Adam Peaty? He’s the Brit being the fastest breast stroke swimmer on earth.

            I think, England has a great gen of football players in the making, basically swept the youth tournaments the last few years.

  15. JJ says:

    What is a good site to look at early entrants into the draft?

  16. Mexican Hawk says:

    Sorry if covered already, question on Delano. How big of a loss is it Rob. To me it’s quite the dagger. Had been playing well as of late. Now subject to no more injuries to Tedric and Bradley. Bradley prefers to play strong more than free. Delano seemed a better compliment.

    Injuries hit all so can’t complain, just tough to swallow. Here’s to Shaq being good to go.

    What a close matchup with Cowboys! Evenly matched teams. Pete superior to Garrett, Russell way superior to Dak (though I really like Dak). Their crowd is really not into it, but they play way better at home than on the road. I think Dallas hits a wall if they beat us, Seattle has a bit more of a chance to advance if we beat them.

  17. line_hawk says:

    Now that the regular season is over, I have been thinking of the year.

    To me, it looks like they over-achieved this year, partly due to lack of competition in the NFC. If this was a normal year, they would lose two of Packers/Vikings/Panthers and go 8-8.

    But to the point, unlike 2011, when I knew that Kam, Sherman, Thomas were going to be perennial pro-bowlers, I have a hard time picturing that with anyone on this team. The only pro-bowlers they had this year are Wagner and Dickson. The rest are just prospects that we are high on. I would have hoped at least 2-3 young guys in the defense to break out but so far that hasn’t happened. I can’t look at one guy and say with certainty they will make the pro-bowl in the next 3 years. They are not bad but there are just average.. no difference makers.

    Also, the 2017 draft class seems terrible (Carson is the best player so far and he has only had one complete year since high school). How can they blow so many 3rd round picks is a mystery to me? Procise, Darboh are out of the league in 2 years. Odhiambo, Naz Jones are meh. How much time does Rasheem Green need?

    The 2018 draft also looks like a mixed bag. Only Dickson seems like a hit. Everyone else is just a prospect at this point. Penny and Green have underwhelmed; the rest have contributed here and there but that’s about it. No home runs except the punter.

    I know this is a negative take but in all the hoopla about making the playoffs, is this team 2 draft/FA players away from contending? It doesn’t seem that way to me.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you’re absolutely right on a lack of defensive stars. They need more. 3-4 more actually — at least if they want to reach the top. They also need better depth.

      However, I think you’re being too negative about the draft classes. The 2018 group has looked strong and it’s way too early to judge Penny and Green. 2017 is still to be determined. Moore has flashed and Carson has been a revelation. There’s still time for Hill, Jones and Thompson to come good. Shaquill Griffin is a two-year starter. McDowell at the top of the draft was a big blow given they never even got a pre-season out of him. Pocic is trending towards being a bust but Unger had a rough start back in the day and then came on strong so let’s see.

      • DC says:

        Seattle also started Unger at OG before his move to C where he became a pro-bowler and All-Pro.

        Best guess is that when Pocic was drafted the Seahawks were planning to move on from Britt… And then they didn’t.

      • line_hawk says:

        Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a negative take. 2017 & 2018 group are just prospects at this point. No one has jumped off the screen where you can say home run (except Dickson & Carson if he can stay healthy) They might develop, they might not.

        It takes the shine off the year a bit. This is nowhere close to 2011. The offense will need to carry the load for some time! And signing RW becomes urgent priority.

        • RWIII says:

          Line. I think you are being way too critical. In this league it takes a couple of years to fully develop. Take for example Ifedi. It took him into his third year to develop . Jarran Reed is having a monster year in his third season. Delano Hill was coming on strong in his second season. Flowers and Griffin look like the real deal at cornerback. Nick Vannett has become a dependable tight end. Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin are rookies. Green is only 21. It is rare for 21 year DE to come into the NFL and set the world on fire. For two years no one was saying anything positive about Ifedi. With Ifedi’$ big frame he is IDEAL for run blocking. LH: If it makes you feel better to be negative, by all means be negative.

          In my opinion JS/PC has done a fantastic job of reloading in one season. No Jimmy Graham, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril, Sheldon Richardson., Paul Richardson, Earl Thomas and they got into the playoffs. What more do you want?

    • cha says:

      I agree with you about overachieving and the need to stock up on defensive talent. But just out of curiosity, you don’t see Frank Clark and Jarran Reed as talents to build around?

      • C-Dog says:

        Frank Clark and Jarran Reed definitely look like pro bowlers to me. The league just hasn’t caught up to them yet.

      • line_hawk says:

        I do see Reed/Clark as borderline pro-bowlers. I don’t think they are on the Bennett/Avril playmaker level yet. But, they are on the trajectory and odds are good they will get there.

        The thing is though, outside of these two, who can you point to that you are confident will play at an elite level next year. Or the year after. May be Mcdougald but his play also seems to be affected a bit since Tedric came along.

        For Carroll’s vision of running the ball and closing the circle, the team needs a top defense. And for that, they need more dogs.

        • C-Dog says:

          I think Clark has surpassed Avril and Bennett and Reed is definitely on his way to that. I think Tre’ Flowers has a chance to be pretty special, especially considering this is his first season ever playing corner.

    • Eburgz says:

      No, the team is not 2 draft/FA players away from contending, they are zero players away. This team is contending right now.

      We could use a couple more studs on defense no doubt but our last two drafts (especially 2018) have been super solid besides McDowell & Darboh. We haven’t had a ton of draft stock and haven’t been picking early. Looking at other teams 2017/2018 drafts might help to give some perspective (ignore the saints 2017 draft haha). If not for McDowell’s accident I’d say the drafts were really good.

      A couple guys have gotten hurt but almost every pick from those drafts has made big contributions to this team. Still time for some of these young guys to develop into probowl talent, doesn’t mean they aren’t good players now. I think Flowers was a home run of a draft pick, Dissly looked like one too before the injury.

      • line_hawk says:

        If by contending, you mean being the wild card in a weak conference, then yes they are there. But, if you want them to be the 1 or 2 seed, then there is still work to do. Its no coincidence that no wildcard team has been to a Superbowl since 2010.

        At this point, Seahawks will go as far as Wilson takes them. That might be fine this year given the state of the defense. However, Carroll has a vision for the team – run the ball and play great defense. The defense is currently 14th in DVOA. That’s not great. They need a great defense to take the next step.

        As regards to draft, they had 11 picks in 2017 draft. If Griffin, Hill or Thompson turn into elite players, then this draft might become solid. But, currently, its far from solid.

        Malik McDowell – Out of football
        Ethan Pocic – Might be cut next year
        Shaquill Griffin – Up and down year
        Delano Hill – Up and down year
        Nazair Jones – Healthy scratch most year
        Amara Darboh – Out of the league
        Tedric Thompson – Mostly down year
        Mike Tyson – Out of the league
        Justin Senior – Out of the league
        David Moore – Up and down year
        Chris Carson – Yes, finally a hit

        2018 is too early to judge IMO.

        • Hawk Eye says:

          I think you are going out of your way to try and be negative about this.
          Nothing wrong with not seeing it through rose coloured glasses, but you also have to look at the whole team and where they were in the spring.
          The team has exceeded expectations and the play of young players has to account for at least some of that.
          I doubt Pocic is cut, remember how bad Britt was his first 2 years?
          Shaq did not have a great year, but he was probably an average cb. I expect Pete to help him improve and be an above average cb
          Hill was down but played well lately, I think he competes for a starting job in 2019
          Naz – seems like they are sending him a message, let’s see if he gets it.
          Darboh, still on Hawks roster, IR, but fair to call him a bust so far
          Tedric, probably below average FS, probably ends up as a decent 3rd safety
          Tyson was playing for Houston, but JAG. 6th rd pick,
          Senior, no argument, but 6th round pick
          Moore, still raw, 7th rd pick. He will get better
          Carson, pretty big hit

          Penny and Green, 1st year,
          Dissly – looked great before injury, probably the starter at TE in 2019
          Dickson – pro bowl rookie
          Flowers – pretty good CB for a rookie safety, maybe better than Griffin already
          Shaquem. Good ST, let’s see if he can use his speed on D. Will not get outworked
          Jones – IR, but looked like a decent back up
          Poona – pretty good UDFA

          • C-Dog says:

            I came across some analytics that noted Tedric has quietly given up one of the least amount of passes against a FS in the league. That suggests that at least in pass coverage he has done his job. I don’t think he is currently great against the run and he doesn’t have near the range to make a play that ET had, and Seattle fans are really spoiled by FS play.

            • Rob Staton says:

              It’s as simple as this.

              How many deep posts did we give up with Tedric at FS?

              Because if the answer is ‘very few’ or ‘none’ — he’s doing his job.

        • Eburgz says:

          Being in the playoffs is exactly what I meant about contending. The 1 and 2 seed still go home if they lose a game, just like us. That’s why they play the games.

          So your saying getting 7 players out of a draft isn’t solid? We can’t hit on every 6th round pick dude and there’s only 53 spots on the team. Like I said, take a look around the league. Where you see “up and down year” I see flashes of awesomeness and some inconsistency from young developing players. We’re not talking about a bunch of first rounders, I wonder how many pro bowlers came out of that class that we even had the ability to draft. I wanted to draft Buddha Baker and Kittle so I know there was room for improvement but I stand by solid. Hopefully a couple of these guys have big postseasons and change your mind.

    • John says:

      You can’t say they only made the playoffs because of a weak conference may as well say that every year with a different excuse like they only missed it this year because the falcons did good

  18. Pickering says:

    I agree the ‘Hawks will probably go D front 7 early in the draft and that’s where depth needs to be built. But realistically when can the team expect those drafted to make significant contributions?

    Rasheem Green was looked at as a ‘prospect’ and contributed very little this year. Given his age and limited pro experience, how much more can we expect from him next next year?

    Should Seattle instead look for a free agent if they want greater D7 help next year?

    Does anyone have a general sense how long it takes D – and O – linemen to mature into solid pro players?

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Pete said by the second year he can determine what they can do it. Anyone on the roster with more than 2 years of experience Pete knows what they can do but he doesn’t know what they will do. What they will do seems to up for much debate! Lol

  19. charlietheunicorn says:

    I still think Seattle will draft one RB this cycle. If you follow the logic or needing RB by committee…. you need some dudes at RB. One or Two are likely not going to be back with the team, so you are down to approximately three…..

    ….now that I think about it, would trading for or picking up (if he got cut or was a FA) Fournette?

    Are we sold on him as the type of back they need or would the off the field stuff at the end of the season be enough to dissuade the Seahawks from picking him up and going full draft to find another dude.

  20. cha says:

    Maybe the dumbest tweet of 2019 on only its second day.

    ***************************

    Greg Gabriel
    ‏@greggabe
    Follow Follow @greggabe
    More
    Football fans for years have been critical of scouts because Antonio Brown slid 6th round. I think we’ve seen in the last few days why. There were issues while he was in college, so he fell. Teams know what they are doing
    4:03 PM – 2 Jan 2019

    • Ishmael says:

      Galaxy brain stuff. Pass up a likely HoF career because the guy is a diva. Teams have no idea what they’re doing. If they did there’s be more than a handful of okay teams every year

    • Volume12 says:

      This tweet ain’t it.

      The NFL never drafts prospects with red flags earlier than the 6th. Never.

  21. C-Dog says:

    https://sportsradiokjr.iheart.com/content/2019-01-02-jarran-reed-proves-hes-more-than-just-a-run-stopper-with-105-sack-season/

    Great write up from Curtis Crabtree on the evolution of Jarran Reed’s pass rush, what DL coach Clint Hurtt recognized out of him going back to his Alabama days and what he thinks lays ahead for the big fella.

    Salient gist is that plenty of guys can offer inside rush but getting a dominant run defender to do it makes for a top level every down player. Pretty exciting stuff, IMO.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Thanks for the link. Funny that it was Chicago that called to offer the trade up we used to draft Reed…

      And Hurt has been a coach we perhaps forgot to mention recently as we’ve praised the others. He’s done a great job as well and from what I understand, the players really love him as well. Great hire.

      • C-Dog says:

        Absolutely. It was also Hurtt that pushed for Poona to get more substantial playing time. Poona’s PFF grades through the month of December are off the hook good.

  22. Ishmael says:

    I’m less convinced than ever about the need for ‘stars’ to succeed in the NFL. You obviously need at least one or two in important positions, but past that I’m not entirely sold. If you can get competence out of your entire roster, and get everyone bought in and committed to a gameplan, then you’re doing better than at least 75% of the league – and that means playoffs. just have to look at the Vikings this year. Loaded with stars, fractured team that wanted to be five different things. Pats have a regressing Brady and that’s about it, although it does help playing in the worst division in football.

    It was amazing to watch the LOB Hawks, but there are more ways to win than stars and scrubs

  23. Volume12 says:

    I like that guys post up above.

    17 of 22 starters were drafted by Seattle, but they can’t scout or draft. Do they have needs? Yes. Who doesn’t?

  24. FresnoHawk says:

    This draft is set up perfectly for us with several tall pressman corners in the middle rounds.

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