Notre Dame center Nick Martin might be underrated

January 29th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

There are some good, hard-nosed center’s in this draft class. That’s a good thing for a Seahawks team looking to get physical. And while it’s unclear what they intend to do at the position (draft, free agency?) it does seem likely they’ll be adding a new center at some point.

Seattle’s line play improved dramatically when relative novice Drew Nowak was replaced by Patrick Lewis. Nobody would argue Lewis is a top-tier center — but his knowledge of the position, understanding and ability to make the right line calls was pivotal in a mid-season offensive turnaround. Solidifying this position over the short term (veteran signing) or long term (rookie) could be an off-season priority.

The overall depth available (you might be able to find a starter in rounds 3-4) could push the Seahawks to address other needs early. That said, I’m starting to wonder if Notre Dame’s Nick Martin might be underrated.

He’s the brother of Zack Martin (the #16 overall pick by Dallas in 2014). Zack played left tackle for Notre Dame and was pretty much considered a future first rounder the minute he walked on campus and so it proved. He’s since moved inside to right guard where he’s established himself as one of the best in the league.

He was considered a clean prospect. Not overly spectacular but a nice mix of athleticism, grit, maturity and dependability. When I sat down last night to really study his brother Nick — I saw a lot of the same characteristics. Nobody will argue they’re the same player — Zack is more athletic — but there’s not a million miles of difference.

The video above is against Ohio State — the toughest opponent Notre Dame faced last year. Take a look for yourself. I didn’t see a single snap where he even looked flustered. Some of the play calls were dubious (a lot of shifting the protection which felt unnecessary) but Martin just excelled throughout. There were a handful of occasions where the rest of the line dropped 2-3 yards behind the LOS to protect while Martin remained at the line blocking his guy better than anyone else. He knows how to work an opening up the middle in the run game and his pass protection is sound.

He can move around and pull when required — plus after watching three Notre Dame games in the last 24 hours he’s certainly willing to get to the second level. Like his brother appeared to be going into the NFL — he’d be a nice fit in the ZBS. He’s a block-finisher which is good to see and he plays with an edge. He plays with balance, setting his position and locking-on. These are all things the Seahawks are almost certainly looking for.

There really isn’t much to nitpick here. Like his brother, Nick Martin is just a really solid future NFL starter.

A serious knee injury in 2013 appears to have taken away some of his explosion and perhaps is the separating factor between Nick and Zack. That said — if you’re after a really dependable interior blocker with the bloodlines, attitude and ability to start quickly — this feels like a wise choice. For a team like the Seahawks that suffered so much uncertainty at the position — you’d know what you were getting from your center with this guy.

So how early could he go?

I’ve seen him ranked predominantly in the middle rounds although interestingly Tony Pauline gave him a first or second round grade last week. That might be about right actually. He’s going to be a multi-year starter. He has decent size (not too big but not as squatty as Jack Allen or Evan Boehm) at 6-4 and 296lbs.

He could easily go in the top-50 picks.

If you imagine a scenario where the top offensive tackles are off the board by #26 (and the best pass rushers) taking a good center might not be such a bad idea for the Seahawks. They’d still have to draft or sign another tackle and find a replacement at left guard — but this is also a deep draft at tackle and the veteran market might provide a solution at either position. They might be able to trade down from #26 (as they’ve been known to do) and still look at a guy like this.

It’s something to consider. Martin wouldn’t necessarily be a flashy pick but if the Seahawks want a player they can trust to start in week one and be a solid starter — they could do a lot worse.

I suspect a few people will cringe at the idea because he’s perceived not to be a first or second rounder. The league might be judging this player differently though. And if you knew a lot of NFL teams were looking at Martin early — would that change your perception?

I sense Nick Martin is being underrated in some quarters and don’t underestimate the power of bloodlines. Even if he doesn’t end up going in the top-50 — he might be a coveted center at the end of round two. If the Seahawks were able to add a first round tackle or guard and come back in round two with a center like Martin — they could feel pretty good about their O-line going forward.

142 Responses to “Notre Dame center Nick Martin might be underrated”

  1. Justin Noonan says:

    Rob- would you rate Martin over Glasgow or Kelly at this point?

    Also, how do you think Garnett would fit on our line (as say a second round pick)? I know we run some variation of the ZBS, which favors more athletic and agile linemen. Garnett is more of a north/south power guy, but he seems to be more athletic than some of the linemen that Cable have drafted, guys like Moffit or Britt. Poole and Carpenter also weren’t overly agile players. If not Garnett, who do you like at LG?

    Lastly, do you think Glo could be a wild card option at left guard. He’s listed at 310 now, so he’s got decent bulk, and his game is predicated on power and burst. He’s also a tough, nasty player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would rate Martin as the top center available as of today.

      Garnett — there’s just something every time I watch him that puts me off. His conditioning doesn’t look great either. I’m not overly keen to be honest.

      I would be very surprised if they moved Glowinski to LG. They have a type at LG and RG and never even look at Glow as a LG in the last camp while trying three others. Look for 325lbs and length at LG.

      • bobbyk says:

        Like one of the guards from Arkansas.

      • Hawkfan086 says:

        Here’s my issue wouldn’t Cleveland be in the market for a Center in rd 2 when they lose Alex Max?

        • Rik says:

          Cleveland drafted Cam Erving in the first round last year as a center. I think he filled in at guard several times due to injuries, but they were looking ahead to possibly losing Mack after this year.

  2. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Martin is my favorite C in this class. I could see a trade-down to pick Martin in the early-mid R2.

    BTW, I still like Glasgow in R3, but I thought he looked much more comfortable/capable at RG yesterday than he looked at C earlier in the week.

  3. Nick says:

    This draft screams “trade back”. We all are looking for tendencies of PCJS and that is certainly one of them.

    Lots of good C/G/OT options for Seahawks in top 50 territory. With added capital, they can move up to get “their guy” in 3rd round, like they did with Lockett.

    You could imagine them going

    Rd 2: Martin
    Rd 2: Butler
    Trade up R3: Striker
    R3: Cooper

  4. Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon says:

    So after watching the tape- there were 3 really stand out things that I noticed watching Martin.

    1. He has a great initial punch. That is a must have for an NFL O Lineman. It is quick and violent. He was able to fully extend on his man on most occasions and that really helps keep the leverage on the defender. The defender wants to get in to your pads, so they can get skinny and creating a disadvantage for the O Lineman. His was really looking good.

    2. He has a nice pad level and feet. Every college lineman on O and D almost stands straight up anymore, but Martin’s pad level was pretty consistent for a guy that tall. His weight was usually over his hips and not at the tips of his toes. That makes it hard to bull rush and to swim him. Solid

    3. He owned #37 the whole game. And that kid looked that he was a pretty solid LB and a good athlete to say the least. But Martin didn’t let him get anything going. Being able to neutralize consistently one of the defense’s playmakers like that is pretty remarkable. That was impressive.

    At the end I have to say, ND’s QB was one-read rubbish. Yikes. He made some okay throws but gee whiz, this is exactly why I can’t watch a CFB game unless I am scouting someone. The defenses are mostly non-factor and so many one-read athletes impersonating a QB make it just unwatchable for me. Thank god we found RW when we did. Because if our future was coming up through the CFB system- that would give me nightmares

    • matt says:

      Took a couple notes watching the Senior Bowl practices; punches and locks out well, quick feet, great balance.
      Very similar to what you saw Jarhead. Martin looks like a solid 2nd round pick.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I believe #37 is Joshua Perry, one of the top 4 or 5 OLBs in the draft.

  5. Miller says:

    How I hope & pray the Hawks use their top picks on both O & D-lines. Would love to see a plug-n-play center & tackle on O, and some speed rush to get to the QB. Can you imagine if JS hits on three play makers this year!

  6. Volume12 says:

    ND C Nick Martin was a prospect I was high on, then came down off of, but I gotta admit. Going back and watching him, I liked what I saw. His is similar to his brother in certain ways, and appears to be just a tough, gritty, really solid football player.

    Josh Garnett. Can this move to his left? I only see him going right. I wanna like him. Tough, trash talker, physical, good size, but I’m having my doubts about him. Also has a sloppy body.

  7. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    @LukeEasterling: Killebrew’s attitude & work ethic were fantastic, always in coach’s ear after plays, yes sir/no sir, etc. 2/2

    I find Easterling to be an accurate and credible source.

  8. EranUngar says:

    Thank you Rob, I really like where you are going with this one.

    We are no longer building a team for a possibly bright future. We are maintaining a SB contender during the peak of our championship window. Most of the key pieces are in place and the parts we bring in must not fail.

    It is less about a dream potential ceiling and more about a sure thing providing the minimum we need on day one. The long term “high potential future & sub par present” projects should be moved to the back of the roster and the late rounds of the draft.

    Martin sounds like the guy to plug in and not worry he will drag us down. I would love a few such picks over a SPARQ freak that Tom Cable may turn into a great player in a year or two. I think there is such a thing as a good football player and I want us to get those guys rather than guys who are physically built like all pros.

    Center is the most cerebral of the OL positions. It’s that guy who by doing a good job makes others around him do a better job. The less he has to learn about how to play his own assignments the more he can invest in learning how to read and direct the unit around him. Martin sounds like the kind of player i would like to have during a championship window rather then a sparqy DT convert that may or may not become great after costing us a wasted year or two on the roster and a few loses once he actually maned his position.

    I loved the Lockett pick last year because Lockett looked like the most NFL ready pick they could make. His polished route running and everything about his play looked more mature than most WRs in his class. If we can invest our top pics on NFL ready players to support an already elite team around them we’ll do much better than if we keep investing in future potential over present performance.

    I know it goes against the vibe here but i think we have enough “tilting the field” talent. Find the guys with the highest base floor right now and leave the guys with the highest future ceiling at our positions of need.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “I know it goes against the vibe here but i think we have enough “tilting the field” talent. Find the guys with the highest base floor right now and leave the guys with the highest future ceiling at our positions of need”

      The Seahawks are not going to change their approach though — and this piece wasn’t an attempt to suggest they will. They will continue to look for field tilting talent. They will continue to draft high upside guys early in the draft that they can coach up. Martin is a plug-in-and-play type and he’s very accomplished already — but he’s not a slouch. Nobody should expect the Seahawks to do anything differently in the draft this year. Their way of doing things created this monster. It just so happens that this year they appear to be looking for toughness & physicality up front to go with some of the other physical check marks.

      • Volume12 says:

        Agreed. Not expecting them to do anything different. Why would they? It works. No such thing as too much field tilting talent. It’s a great problem to have.

        And I’m with Rob again. The theme to this year’s draft will be physicality, and toughness.

        The high upside/freak athletes in the early rounds, ‘meat and potato’ types in the mid rounds, projects in the late rounds, and 2-3 studs in UDFA.

      • EranUngar says:

        Rob, i know you are not suggesting they change their approach. I am suggesting they should amend it somewhat. Building a team from nothing and maintaining a high quality roster are not the same. When we rely heavily on their “history”, we should remember that it spans over 5 years not five decades.

        To imagine that they learn and adapt or that they change their targets according to the team they already have is not outside the scope of smart management.

        We have all seen the cost of a center out of nowhere learning the position during his first NFL starts. Those who do not study the past mistakes are doomed to repeat them and JS is too smart for it.

        I am not saying they are looking for a slouch but i do expect them to try and get the best NFL READY center to play as a center rather than someone who’s credentials are only defined by inches, pounds and seconds.

        Am i really that wrong to think they will adapt and improve? aren’t they always say that they constantly aim to improve everything including their own way of doing things?

        • Thorson says:

          I think this is a good point, Eran. Of all the line positions, center seems most complex. Guards and tackles have to learn footwork, hand position and coordination with their line mates, while center has to learn all of the above along with calling the protections. It may be easier to convert a D-line prospect to guard or tackle than center for this reason. The Nowak experiment showed us this, if nothing else last year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Seahawks have to compromise on their athletic SPARQ standards. However, the value that an experienced college center brings, in terms of the mental aspect of the position, may hold some appeal to the Seahawks. Along those same lines, I would be surprised if Sokoli ends up at center. He’s so athletic, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t a 3-sigma athlete at guard and tackle as well.

    • lil'stink says:

      Completely agree with the last paragraph. The first 2 rounds of the last 3 drafts have had an incredibly poor yield to date when it comes to flashy skill position guys. Percy Harvin, Christine Michael, Paul Richardson, and Jimmy Graham. Solid, plug in and play guys at positions of need are what we need to maintain short term success, not skill position players with a lot of upside. I think we have hit on enough of those players the last few years to “play it safe” when it comes to our top one or two picks.

      Hitting on some of those high reward guys obviously would go a long way towards longer term success. But when you whiff on them, and pass on solid players in the process, it can end up tilting the field in the wrong direction.

      • Volume12 says:

        When you hit on so many mid rounders and UDFA’s, you can roll the dice early in the draft.

        They”ll continue to do what they do.

        • red says:

          We have probably a better batting average UDFA then rounds 5-7.

        • lil'stink says:

          Yes, but with all the talent we were able to draft from 2010-2012 and acquire in FA all we needed to do was hit a solid single the last few years instead of sending Adam Dunn to the plate. Hindsight is of course always 20/20, but I think there’s a lesson to be learned somewhere.

        • Minnesotan says:

          What’s done is done and nobody’s going to be flagellating in public, but I hope when the personnel guys meet internally they’re a little less cavalier about evaluating their own days 1-2 performance. The personnel capital burned up in ’13 and ’14 could very easily be the reason we’re not playing for 3 in a row right now.

          Personally I’m far from convinced that extracting all-pro talent on day 3 is a repeatable skill, but whether it is or isn’t, making efficient use of high-leverage early draft picks is a GM core competency.

        • bigDhawk says:

          There’s a time and a place for all draft strategies. To just continue to do what you do at the exclusion of reasonable self-analysis is myopic and a recipe for getting passed by.

          True, doing what they do worked from 2010 through 2012 – so well, in fact, they built a championship roster from scratch in what is probably the greatest three-year stretch of drafts any team has ever had. But it hasn’t been working from 2013 to the present, at least not nearly so well.

          Granted, you don’t want to make a living out of consistently passing up low-floor/high-ceiling players for the opposite, but that’s not to say there isn’t a time and place to do exactly that, in a calculated way. I think the OP is arguing we are in that time and place, where the right move might be to take more of a known quantity to plug a hole where we know we can get it, instead of always swinging for the three-run long ball early, like the Adam Dunn analogy suggested. I tend to agree that drafting the known quantity, as the opportunity reasonably presents itself, is the right way to go this draft.

  9. Alexander Hudson says:

    Rob, what do you think of the Hawks signing a guy like Kelechi Osemele (LG for the Ravens) and pairing him with Martin at C and Glowinski at RG (or Sweezy if they decide to re-sign him)? Osemele won’t come cheap (probably $8-9 million per year), but he’s got the size they like at the position (he’s listed at 6’5″ / 333 lbs), he comes from a ZBS, and he’s shown an ability to play tackle in a pinch, which gives him the versatility they like in their lineman. He’s also young (26), so you’d have a chance at 3+ years of continuity at interior OL. Not sure if the front office wants to spend that much, but if they’re going to make a splash, Osemele would make a lot of sense. I think they probably have room to make one big signing or re-signing this offseason. For what they’d be getting from Osemele, I think it’s worthwhile to let Okung, Sweezy, Irvin, and even Lane go to higher bidders.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t be in favour of a move like that personally. For starters, I can’t see them spending $8-9m on an outside free agent to play guard or right tackle. In fact I’m 99% sure that won’t happen. They’ve made it clear their intention is to keep this team together and improve it. So spending top-tier offensive tackle money on Osemele would be a stunning event IMO.

      I would expect to see them try resolutely to keep the likes of Lane, the two DT’s, Kearse and at least attempt to keep Bruce etc. After that, and depending on what they’re able to do, I would expect to see some choice moves in the veteran FA market. Value moves. Possibly a cheap OL (Loadholt if cut?) and some extra depth for the DL. Then the focus turns entirely to the draft — where they should be able to piece together a nice tough O-line for next year. There are a ton of tough guys in this class for the OL.

      • Alexander Hudson says:

        Very good points, Rob. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        I agree. The FA market will not be where Seattle goes and spends big money. Continue to bring in modest priced FAs and keep who they have….. just need a little more production out of the draft picks in 2016. They honestly need 3-4 guys to pan out…. and it will be back to the playoffs again.

  10. WALL UP says:

    Christian Westerman LG/OC 6-3 296

  11. Robert says:

    Good looking prospect, but I am not much of an expert st evaluating college Oline play and extrapolating to the NFL level. I wonder if Nowak is back in the competition. He’s had months to work on his line calls. That was a big thing…that Russ had to make the line calls when Nowak was playing Center, And that responsibility took away from Russ focusing on pre-snap reads. Also, Pete mentioned Sokoli will be competing at Center. I have no idea why Sweezy is so cruddy at passpro. He has great athleticism and it was reported that he put on 20 pounds of muscle in the off-season. I often wonder If Cable spends too much practice time rehearsing the nuanced footwork and choreography required in the ZBS? And all that focus leaves little time for teaching/practicing passpro skills? That’s my best guess and I think Pete is going to insist on better passpro!

    • WALL UP says:

      “Quick-­twitch, athletic guard who comes from a football family and has been working on his strength and athleticism from a young age. Offensive line coaches will appreciate Westerman’s technical savvy and zone scheme teams will covet his fluidity and blocking ability on the move. A move to center is not out of the question thanks to his body type and quickness and his draft stock may be helped by a potential ability to offer roster depth at several offensive line positions.” – Zierlein

      Compared to Alex Mack and could be available @ 98 the 3rd RD Comp pick.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWTtKudbsDU

      • Volume12 says:

        Big fan of Westerman. Tough, grity, plays with a mean streak.

        Originally played in the SEC for Auburn, former 5-star recruit, and there’s something to be said about LeCharles Bentley taking this guy under his wing along with Shon Coleman, and a few others.

        If George Whitfield is the ‘QB whisperer’ and Dieon Sanders is the ‘CB whisperer’ we should start to mention Bentley as thst guy for O-lineman.

        Of course, not every guy that’s under those three’s tutelage wil succeed or prosper, but the odds are greater.

        • Volume12 says:

          Forgot to mention. He was on Bruce Feldman’s ‘top 20 freak athletes’ list this summer. He’s said to have crazy strength.

          • red says:

            played LG at ASU wonder if Seattle likes him only RG/C . For we tend to go larger dudes at LG.

          • oz says:

            I like Westerman a lot. I have to laugh when I hear negative feedback on Garnnett. Reminds me of a certain guard out of Stanford who was drafted by the Steelers.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I highly doubt their plan to get improved O-line play is to revert back to Drew Nowak — who wasn’t just benched, he was cut — and is now only on a future’s contract.

      • Robert says:

        Clearly, the Center position is open competition at this point. I just wondered if Nowak was in the competition…or if he would be competing for Guard duties? I did not mean to imply that I think the FO’s master plan features Nowak as the incumbent.

  12. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    @LedyardNFLDraft: Nick Martin told me he’s 100% healthy right now. Working hard to play C and G at high level. He Thought he was better at C in ’15. Martin said he wants NFL teams to know he’s a hard worker and a finisher. “Im always gonna play to echo of whistle no matter what.”

  13. bobbyk says:

    The only bad thing about taking a center in the first round is that wasn’t a position of extreme need by the end of the season. The biggest hole was at left guard. As we enter the off-season, the biggest hole on the line is still left guard.

    However, if Okung leaves, that means left tackle (or tackle in general if Gilliam moves to the blind side) is an even bigger hole than left guard due to its importance. Drafting a center does nothing to address either of those two spots.

    With that being said, I have absolutely no problem with Martin if he becomes a stud center. And things can change in a hurry before the draft with free agency. Lets just hypothetically say they sign a pair of veterans like Incognito or Mathis to play LG and Loadholt to play RT, then the pick of Martin makes much more sense for 2016 if they don’t believe in Patrick Lewis.

    I hope Coleman or Spence is there though. That’s who I’d ideally like at #26. Coleman looks like he could be a stud LG, too. He’d give the flexibility of giving them a LT, LG, or RT in his rookie year. And I love pass rushers, so I’m all about Spence.

  14. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I tend to like the idea of going center in 1st round. I however think Martin might be gone by #26. I have a funny feeling his bloodlines will get teams excited about his upside and voila gone by pick #26.

    I also thought a guy mentioned a few days ago might actually be worth keeping a very close eye on. OT F Cooper ability to play either LT or RT and be available in the later rounds.. screams Seahawks to me. I see it as a great value pick in the mid rounds.

    The weakness of this mock draft is the lack of pass-rushing talent, but I will assume Seattle will bring in some type of cheaper FA to help when the 90 man roster hits training camp.

    Round 1 (1) RYAN KELLY, C
    Round 2 (1) GRAHAM GLASGOW, OG
    Round 3 (2) JAYRON KEARSE, SS / PHAROH COOPER, WR
    Round 4 (1) LUTHER MADDY, DT
    Round 5 (1) FAHN COOPER, OT
    Round 6 (1) JAMES BRADBERRY, CB
    Round 7 (2) DEVON JOHNSON, RB/FB / JABARI HUNT-DAYS, ILB

  15. Volume12 says:

    Speaking of toughness and physicality. One guy that epitomizes that is Michigan St C Jack Allen.

    I wasn’t really a fan of his until this week. Thought he would struggle with bigger, stronger interior players, due to his size. He proved me wrong there. And I thought his athleticism would be a hindrance. Again, he seemed to prove me wrong.

    Doesn’t have great size, but man, I came away impressed and he could really appeal to TC.

    Good technique, gritty, nasty, appears to have a high football IQ, and comes from a pro style offense.

    Another guy that’s been knocked for lack of size, could be a great fit for Seattle.

    • Trevor says:

      Really like him a lot too Vol. He is just one tough SOB. If we take a 3rd -4th Rd Center I would be happy with him. He definitely has the nasty the Hawks want but not sure Cable will like his athleticism. I would really like the pick though.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Huard just agreed with u over on the espn Kjr blog. He single out Allen as a player described by coaches as the ‘alpha’.

      I too am worried about size but maybe it diversifying the competition vs Sokoli

      • Volume12 says:

        He’s what I call a ‘head buster.’ Just looking to punch ya in the mouth.

        • Ukhawk says:

          Id have to rank Ryan Kelly as the best C prospect. Wondering a couple of things:
          Will the a Hawks want a shorter centre due to RWs height?
          Will Kelly and other incl Martin, Allen, Blythe, Tuerck be available later due to the fact the centre class is deeper?
          Martin is not even in Zuerliens top 100

    • Wall UP says:

      I’m glad to see that Allen is getting his due. I have not waivered on the belief that drafting Allen @ 90 Rd 3 and Coleman @ 26 would complete the building process of ‘His Guys’ for Cable. The only problem now is that Allen is climbing up boards and may take a move up from 90 in Rd 3. I trust JS on this getting done.

      The ‘Captain’, no doubt, will bring the right attitude up front. He’s the epitome of Cables’ depiction of ‘ORNERY’.

      Many think that Okung may price himself out of resigning with the Hawks. Injuries have been his thorn, to say the least. I think Okung is cognizant of those flaws and will adjust his price. But, when healthy, Okung and Coleman would present one of the better bookend tackles in the league. It would also give Gilliam more time to develop backing up both RT & LT, and be that blkg TE as before.

      If they can’t keep Sweezy, Mad Dog will do well @ the right side of the Captain and after his 1st yr @ his new position Britt should fall in line with Allen’s directions. Communication is key for their success, along with a little nasty mean streak. With this attitude up front and the bookends keeping Russell clean the offense will be lights out.

  16. Clayton says:

    John Schneider was on the radio recently, and he talked about positional need versus best player available (talent). He basically said that if you draft for need and the player doesn’t pan out, it’s a double-whammy because 1) you are now left with hole in that position of need and 2) you could have picked up that BPA. So maybe this changes the Seahawks’ draft predictions?

    • bobbyk says:

      There’s a blend of BPA vs. need. They admitted reaching for Britt because there would be nothing left later (they didn’t have a third round pick that year). They had to have OL there and could not go with BPA because the need was too great. I don’t think they will go anywhere other than either line of scrimmage with their first pick, but it wouldn’t totally shock me if they did something else if that player was, for example, a non-lineman but was definitely in their overall top 10. How could they justify taking the 26th ranked player at a position of need when they could take a different position but perhaps it was the ninth overall player on their board. However, that pick would set up them to “take a lineman at all costs” in the second round, regardless if that lineman isn’t close to being as high as who might be available.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Let’s say Jaylon Smith dropped to #26…. they have to pull the trigger. The guy is a top 10 and possibly top 5 rated player in the whole draft. Yes he has the knee issue, but his upside is massive, if he can get back to 99% of what he was in college.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          That is how the Seahawks played the second round with Clark last year. It’s been so long since the Seahawks had a first round pick that it feels strange.

  17. CC says:

    Question for everyone – is there a reason we don’t stay with Patrick Lewis? It makes sense to draft another center – and maybe it is completion, but it seems like Lewis could improve, he’s only 24.

    • Ross says:

      It’s a good question. He’s young, he’s under contract for at least another season once he’s tendered, and he already has some familiarity with the system and players in Seattle. Lemuel Jeanpierre, Unger’s backup for a number of years, was on the roster all season and yet they stuck with Lewis.

      I’m not entirely convinced he’s THAT good though. Better than Nowak? Sure, but I would hope any player who’s played their position for five or so years would be better than a guy who’s only been at it a few months. He certainly helped ignite a dominant stretch of games by improving the line calls in pass protection, but when it came to facing St Louis, Minnesota and Carolina, teams with great interior pass rush and stout run defense, the offensive line regressed. So while think he’s certainly capable and I want him on the team, I think he’s ultimately limited.

      Seattle plays Aaron Donald twice a year. There’s a decent chance we’re going to play Carolina most seasons for the foreseeable future, and that means a whole lot of Kawaan Short and Starr Lotulelei, potentially in the playoffs. We need to start building an offensive line that isn’t a complete pushover against these guys. I don’t think Lewis, from what I’ve seen, is part of any long term solution.

      • bobbyk says:

        He could if the people on each side of him didn’t suck as bad as Britt and Sweezy. I can’t think of a guard combo that sucks worse.

        • oz says:

          And for that very reason we need to draft Garnnett!

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            There’s a lot to like about Garnett. He’s big, strong and nasty. His style of play reminds me a little of Suh (at least up to the whistle, not after). He seems to have a Seahawky attitude and mentality that would fit in the locker room, and of course there’s the ‘hometown’ connection.

            But if you’re drafting him because you think he can stifle Aaron Donald twice a year, you’ll probably be disappointed. Garnett’s achilles heel is the quick twitch interior pass rusher, and while that statement describes many NFL OGs, Garnett in particular struggles when he’s beat off the snap. Once he loses leverage by letting the defender get underneath him or a step by him, he rarely recovers. Maybe that’s coachable. Rob’s right he does have an odd shape, but so does Andrus Peat, and he had a decent season for NOR.

            I think Garnett would be a good pick in latter half of R2, depending on who else is available.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I say use him this year, draft one in the third round this year to eventually be his replacement. Kind of how they possibly did with Glowinski and Sweezy.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          This would be my approach. Unfortunately, leave Martin to another team and grab a C prospect in the middle of Day 3 somewhere you can add to the mix to push/replace Lewis next year. If we spend an early pick on the OL, should be OT.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            If they grab a guy on OL, I could care less what position he plays… he just has to come in and ultimately be a starter. C, OG, or OT.

      • sdcoug says:

        I don’t disagree with looking to upgrade, but those ‘regression’ games against StL, Minn (weather), and Car also coincided with us inexplicably going away from the quick passing game in the first halves

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          They went more to the run into a wall 1st 2 downs and then run 15-20 yard routes….. absolutely not what the line was built for ultimately.. 3-4 second sustained blocks on passing downs. I did think the OC got out schemed a bit….. just didn’t look ready when the games kicked off, but at half time… pulled the crap together and made it respectable.

      • Steve Nelsen says:

        They have Sokoli slotted to compete with Lewis next year. They could draft a center and have Sokoli compete with Glowinski at RG. Allen in the 4th could work.

        The priority for OL would seem to be improved pass blocking, particularly at LG. Coleman or Spriggs would seem to be the best fit for #26.

    • KD says:

      Look, we have Tavaris Jackson, and we just signed Matt Flynn. We just drafted Wilson. Let’s add a little competition and see what happens.

      • CC says:

        Thanks everyone – sounds like he is okay, but he doesn’t have a big enough upside for him to be able to contain good interior lineman.

        So if we look OL with the first pick, thoughts on what our biggest need is? Russell O didn’t do himself any favors with his email, maybe he’ll stick around, but Sweezy is likely moving on.

        Spriggs didn’t hold up against the better players today, so he’s moved down the list for me.

  18. rowdy says:

    What would you guys think if the hawks pick ivory in fa instead of drafting a guy. I always liked the way he played and I don’t think he would cost to much. A season vet stop gap with a monstrous RB class coming out in 2017. It wouldn’t stop us from using a late pick on the position and no one sees them drafting one til late anyway.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      I have a feeling the starter will be Rawls, the backup will be Michael and the third down back will either be Fred Jackson or a draft pick. Not that I’m really going out on a limb.

  19. no frickin clue says:

    Rob, check out K.J. Dillon from West Virginia. I don’t love the idea of losing Kam at SS, but if the team decides they need to move on when his contract ends, then Dillon could be groomed as a replacement.

  20. KyleT says:

    My new FA scenario:

    So, I put all of the 2016 contracts into a SS, factored in the RFA’s, ERFA’s, draft picks and Lynch being cut while subtracting 5m for IR. This resulted in around 16m being available for FA.

    I then graded each of our UFA’s and the existing roster and ranked them based on the biggest delta between UFA and the roster. Irvin, Mebane and Rubin graded out the highest. Followed by Lane and Okung. Kearse/Sweezy were graded as largely replaceable.

    Each were given a salary range I think the Seahawks would pay them, and the only UFA’s I can see re-signing are Kearse, Sweezy, Mebane and Rubin.

    With that my favorite FA scenario is the following:

    Sweezy – 2016 2.5m, APY 3m
    Kearse – 2016 2.5m, APY 3m
    Rubin – 2016 2m, APY 3m
    Wilkerson – 2016 8.5m, APY 11m

    In 2016 this totals as 15.5m, definitely within this FA scenario.

    What do you all think?

  21. nichansen01 says:

    Joey Bosa- What’s all the hype about. He looked strong in the video but nothing to get overly excited about in my opinion. why is he being touted as a potential first overall pick?

    • Volume12 says:

      Watch what he did last year. When teams put on the tape to study a prospect, they’re looking at his whole body of work, not just one year.

      He checkes a lot of boxes.

      • bobbyk says:

        Whenever I watched Bosa and Spence on the field at the same time, I leave more impressed with Spence from ’13.

    • Rik says:

      He was single-handedly destroying Notre Dame’s line in the early part of the bowl game. He was disqualified for spearing (helmet into the chest of the olayer, bad call in my opinion) when the score was 14-0. Once he left the game, the Notre Dame quarterback actually had time to find receivers. If you re-watch that game, Bosa’s impact is really clear. He’s a difference maker. Ohio State has enough talent that even with Bosa and Washington out for the game, they still beat Notre Dame pretty easily.

      • icb12 says:

        Bad call? That was one of the most obvious calls I saw all season long.

        • Rik says:

          It is exceptionally rare that a helmet-to-helmet hit results in a disqualification. It is a personal foul. Why does a helmet hit to the chest produce a disqualification? Call the personal foul – fine. Disqualify the player? Bad call in my opinion. Didn’t matter, though. Ohio State overwhelmed Notre Dame without their two of their best defensive players, Bosa and Washington, both of whom will likely be picked in the first round.

  22. EranUngar says:

    Chad Reuter’s 4 rounds mock had us picking LT Willie Beavers in the 3rd round (and Glasgow in the 4th).

    I haven’t seen a lot here about Beavers, he has interesting size 6’4″, 324, 34″ arms.

    Lance Zierlein: “Loose, fluid athlete for the position with very good foot quickness and agility. Quick out of his stance and is eager to get into his target first. first. Easy, natural mover in space and has all the traits to be effective as a zone scheme blocker. Has the quickness to get to difficult second level blocks. Uses staccato choppiness in his pass sets allowing him to make quick, power step back inside against slants, twists and counter moves.”

    Played 40 games for west. Michigan at LT.

    ROB, VOL12, what’s your take on the guy?

    • EranUngar says:

      Here is his tape against Michigan st. – http://draftbreakdown.com/video/willie-beavers-vs-michigan-state-2015/

      Very strong lower half, could be an option for us at LG. He was actually moved to guard at the senior bawl.

      • oz says:

        Certainly like him better at guard than LT.

        • John_s says:

          Nothing that impressed me. Had trouble getting his hands on guys. Not sure if move to guard will allow him to engage the defender. It would be a Britt project all over again

          • EranUngar says:

            OK, but he is no another Britt. He has the lower body build for strong burst out of his stance. He shows surprising agility and foot work for a guy that size. I would not want to see him at T handling the kind of speed NFL edges bring but within a phone booth with his size he could be a good pass rush blocker and he has that Carp size to push people off the ball the way they want at LG.

            I can see him as a possible day 3 pick.

            • Volume12 says:

              I liked what I saw outta him against Ohio St, but he was described as ‘the worst player at the Senior bowl.’

              I do think he’s a day 3 pick, but late day 3. He’s a good ZBS O-lineman. He faired much better when they put him at tackle instead of guard. But your right, he’d be much better suited as a LG.

              IMO, he’s a draft and stash kind of guy. Keep him on the PS or IR for a yer or two.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Are we Beaver believers now?

  23. KD says:

    I have a question for you Rob,

    You have spoken several times about why you became a Seahawks fan. If you had become a fan of the Browns instead several years ago, would you still have the same enthusiasm for the NFL and college football that you have now? I understand that it might be a very difficult question with innumerable variables, but could you imagine yourself as a blogger for another team?

  24. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Latest estimated FA LT market values:

    @spotrac: NEW: Calculated Market Valuations:
    #Bills OT Glenn: $10.9M
    #Seahawks OT Okung: $8.2M
    #Raiders OT Penn $7M
    Full list: https://t.co/N1XvMghU13

    I’d rather have Penn @ $7M than Okung @ $8M. But I think I’d rather build through the draft than sign a 32 yo veteran.

  25. Ben2 says:

    How about a draft of Coleman at #1 and trade up for Martin in the 2nd? Our O-line would be set for 4-5 years!

  26. nichansen01@gmail.com says:

    Terry Poole at left guard? If he gains some weight he has the size the Seahawks like. Could we already have drafted are future left guard? Britt had been a total disaster and liability, much like Sweezy. He had the two worst guards in football last year.

    Was it just me or did it appear that the line play best with Rawls at running back?

    And I would favor having someone as athletic as sokoli, arguably the NFLs best athelete, at center rather than Martin. Sokoli has had a season to study the craft. Let him compete with Lewis for the 2016 starting role.

    I’m a huge fan of drafting Coleman in the first.

    I know some people will disagree, but I can’t help but like the idea of a lineup of
    Coleman- Poole- Sokoli – Glowinski – Gilliam

    Each player is young, but seems to have what the Hawks like at the position. I think Gilliam is going to improve in leaps and bounds over the offseason, though I have given up on Britt. He was just awful all season long, while Gilliam looked excellent in a few later games.

    • Volume12 says:

      I’m a fan of Terry Poole myself. Thought he looked good at LG during pre-season.

      He’s gonna be given a chance, that’s for sure.

      • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

        I don’t remember how he looked at guard, but I remember watching him at right tackle. I came away thinking his form looked sloppy but he did the most important thing he had to do… He blocked his man. PFF really liked him when I looked at their preseason grades. I think he only played right tackle for part of the first preseason game and Gilliam played tackle the rest of the preseason for full games.

        I would be really happy if all three of our oline picks in 2015 panned out to be starters a season later.

  27. Volume12 says:

    CB Diondre Hall is bad guys. Awful technique, can’t tackle worth a lick, plays scared, awful pursuit angles. Ughh. Pass.

    • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

      I highly question our need to draft a corner. The class looked good at first but now it is starting to look thin at the top after both Cam Sutton and Tradavious White dropped out.

      If he resign Lane, I beleive Shead and Burley are RFA and Simon is coming back from injury. Then there are the two Nebraska corners and Trovon reed who will compete with Tye Smith, last years defensive back selection, for the sixth spot of the team.

      Lane, Burley, Shead and Simon are all locks for the roster in my mind. Shead we can keep as a backup safety, Burley can get sacks and can play nickle when we put lane outside. Simon is a good oustide corner when healthy and should compete with Lane and Shead for the starting job opposite Sherman, while Smith could make the 53 as a backup. It becomes a deep group once lane is resigned.

      • Volume12 says:

        Even if they keep Lane, I still think they draft a CB. Every draft under PC/JS they’ve selected 2 positions. CB and OL.

        In today’s game/style, you can never have too many good CBs.

        I don’t think they’ll take one before round 5 though.

        You can draft for future needs, and there’s nothing wrong with red-shirting your selections either.

  28. Steele says:

    I really like Jordan Jenkins. Tough, explosive, offers position flexibility as a OLB and DE pass rusher. In other words, a guy who can help replace what might be lost with Irvin.

    I am afraid he is getting attention. Had him in rd. 3 but he may go much higher.

    • Volume12 says:

      Love him too.

      Here’s the thing. Guys are moving up boards now, but wait until the juniors show up at the combine. Their gonna push most of these guys back down the board.

  29. Steele says:

    In case you didn’t listen to the recent Davis Hsu interview at FG, he brought up a good point about D line. Rather than continue with the same kind of rotation with guys like Bane and Rubin, why not target a 3-tech who can do it all like Kawann Short? The question is if there are guys like that out there.

    • Volume12 says:

      I Think Sheldon Rankins can be that guy. He’s unique. Can play end, but isn’t necessrily a DE, can line up at 1-tech and 3-tech, but teams will pass him over, because he doesn’t have great size for a lot of backwards, old school thinking teams.

      If he appeals to Seattle now, wait until combine time. He’s gonna be a SPARQ monster.

      • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

        If Sheldon Rankins has an impressive showing at the combine, no way he lasts until 26.

        Usually 3 defensive tackles are taken in the first round of a draft. But this year it seems different, Butler, Billings, Nkemdiche, Reed, Robsinon, Clark and Rankins all seem deserving of first round selections. Some people are even touting penn states DT Austin Johnson as a potential first round pick.

        • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

          My two paragraphs are connected because even though Rankins deserve to go higher than 26, there are so many other tackles that could go in the first this year that dropping to 26 is not out of the question.

        • Volume12 says:

          I should say, he’ll be a SPARQ monster for his position and size.

          Why can’t he last until 26? A’shawn Robinson will be a big time riser, Jarran Reed is the best DT in this class, AustinJohnson, Vernon Butler all have better size than Rankins does.

          He’s not a fit for every team. If he goes before the end of round 1 and teams think they’re getting the next Aaron Donald, then the joke is on them.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          This is the DT Aaron Donald effect. Now teams are over valuing the position, looking for the next “great” disruptive DT in the draft. Seattle will be looking for someone who can push the pocket, but if they are really stout vs the run and average on pass rush…. Seattle would be fine with it in my estimation.

    • Robert says:

      I’ve had the same thought. Mebane and Rubin are a great tandem vs the run. But Mebane is getting older and often teams pass when we are in base defense. This is a problem because the tandem of Mebane and Rubin produce very little pocket disruption and the opposing QB can consistently just step up in the pocket to avoid Avril and Bennett. I would be elated if we could find an every down DT who can anchor vs double teams AND disrupt the pocket. Aaron Donald and Kawann Short nearly single handedly destroyed the Seahawks offense this year. I am hoping for much better pass rush up the middle and much better passpro in the middle as off-season priorities!

      • Rob Staton says:

        “If we could find an every down DT who can anchor vs double teams AND disrupt the pocket.”

        Unfortunately, this isn’t really any different than a team like Houston hoping they can find a franchise quarterback while picking in the 20’s. There are about 6-7 every down DT’s that can anchor vs double teams and disrupt the pocket in the entire NFL. And if you want one, you better be picking early.

        • Robert says:

          I agree that an elite DT is a pipe dream. But Hill has been a big disappointment for me because of all the missed games and the inability to disrupt the middle of the pocket consistently. Kawann Short blew up our Oline early and threw our offense out of rhythm, which altered the entire trajectory of the game. With the great pass rush we usually get from our DEs, our team would be much better in game deciding pass situations if the opposing QB was not able to simply step up in the pocket to avoid our ferocious pass rush from the DEs.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Sure, but there’s a couple of other things to consider…

            — Seattle preaches gap discipline. It’s why they’re able to defend the run so emphatically. Not giving up a single 100-yard runner in the regular season is an incredible achievement. That in itself slightly weakens their ability to rush from the interior on early downs. The issue they had was the nickel or nascar package didn’t always perform as expected.

            — Kawann Short is a truly unique player. I’m not saying this with glorious hindsight — if you google Seahawks Draft Blog and Kawann Short you’ll find my articles stating how I thought he was a legit first rounder and should’ve been an option for the Seahawks that year. Those types of player aren’t readily available. And while it would be nice to have a version of Short, there are probably also fans saying, ‘Let’s draft a franchise QB in round three like Russell Wilson’. It doesn’t happen very often.

            — I wouldn’t write off Jordan Hill just yet. He had a disappointing 2015 season but look how he finished 2014. Plus it’s a contract year. And let’s also consider that Frank Clark will be a year further along in his development too. So there is reason for optimism and it’s almost certain they will add to this group too.

  30. John_s says:

    Shawn Oakman is going to get drafted by Minnesota and Mike Zimmer is going to turn him into a stud like he did Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap.

    He already turned Danielle Hunter who didn’t have great college tape into a nice pass rusher his rookie year

  31. Trevor says:

    I have been banging the Drum for Noah Spence as the best option for the Hawks in Rd #1 if Shon Coleman is gone. Forget about that unless huge red flags come up off the feild there is no chance he gets outside the top 10. Likely to the Bucs at #9. He is the best pass rusher in this draft IMO and that includes Bosa.

  32. nichansen01@gmail.com says:

    Here is my personal list of prospects who deserve to go in the first round:

    DT:
    Robert Nkemdiche
    Jaran Reed
    Kenny Clark
    Sheldon Rankins
    Andrew Billings
    AShawn Robinson
    Vernon Butler
    DE:
    Joey Bosa
    Deforest Buckner
    Kevin Dobb
    Shaq Lawson
    Emannuel Ogbah
    Lb:
    Jaylon Smith
    Reggie Ragland
    Myles Jack
    Darron Lee
    Jordan Jenkins
    Leonard Floyd
    CB:
    Jalen Ramsey
    Vernon Hargreaves (Even though some on this blog disagree)
    Mackensie Alexander
    Eli Apple
    S:
    Jeremy Cash
    Qb:
    Carson Wentz
    Jared Goff
    Paxton Lynch
    Wr:
    Laquon Treadwell
    Corey Coleman
    Will Fuller
    Braxton Miller
    Michael Thomas
    Tyler Boyd
    OL:
    Laremy Tunsil
    Jack Conklin
    Taylor Decker
    Germaine Ifedi
    Shon Coleman
    Ronnie Stanley
    Jason Spriggs
    Cody Whitehair
    Rb:
    Ezekiel Elliot

    Anyone I should add or remove? Also, this list numbers 40, indicating a rather strong draft class. I don’t know what the seahawk’s list would look like but it would probably be shorter. Last year I beleive their list included 16 prospects.

    • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

      Noah Spence should be on this list also.

      • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

        Haven’t watched a lot of penn state. DT Austin Johnson might deserve to be on this list as well.

      • Volume12 says:

        Cash, Jenkins, Clark, Dodd, Boyd, Hargreaves, and Conklin and Ifedi might go lower than projected.

        But, I see what ya did. Listing guys that could go in round 1 and highlighting the 1st round talent this year. It’s why I think Seattle keeps their 1st.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Ogbah is the guy I can’t peg ….. he might go top 10 or slide to the bottom of the first round. All the scouting reports generally say he is explosive and a difference maker. NYG seem to be the most constant mention of where he would land…. even though he is raw. Maybe they see a player who is unmolded clay, needing some refinement to become the superstar pass rusher.

      Lawson is also someone of particular interest. Doubt he makes it out of top 25 in draft.

      Nkemdiche is a mess off the field, this will drop him quite a bit.. maybe high second round.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      You left off one QB, Cook. I personally think he is not worthy of a 1st round pick, but multiple mock drafts and draft rumor / scuttle butt imply he might sneak in the the bottom of the first round.

    • Trevor says:

      Like the list. Spence should be there along with the CB from V-tech Fuller.

  33. Volume12 says:

    CB Diondre Hall blows another tackle, and gives up back to back receptions.

    Those 34-35 inch arms mean nothing if you don’t play with some fire and passion.

    • nichansen01@gmail.com says:

      Unrelated, but What exactly is it that turns you and Rob off of Vernon Hargreaves? He’s been remarkably production turnover wise. Is it the shorter arms? Stature? Stiff hips? I hear he plays with a lot of passion.

      • Volume12 says:

        All of the above.

        I can’t speak for Rob, nor should I or have to, but it’s not that I dislike him. Just think he’s overrated and more of a 2nd rounder

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      So Hall has hurt his stock….. maybe he will be around in the 4th round… good value pick.
      He just needs a bit of guidance from the Seahawks CB whisperer 😉

      • Trevor says:

        I hope that Hall stinks right on through the combine and we get an elite athlete with freakeish length as our annual 5th round development CB.

  34. nichansen01 says:

    Is Kenny Clark declaring for the draft or not? Still deciding?

  35. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Martin and Garnett look good next to each other as a C-G duo. They did a nice job on this drive, and finished by opening up a big lane to the goal line for Dixon.

  36. Soggyblogger says:

    I’ll be surprised if the Hawks draft C in the early rounds. If they actually believe Sokoli is our future Center than I’d see them take the best OT. However, they very well might trade down to gain more picks. Then if a center was available they might pull the plug. The thing is, the Hawks method is to grade players versus who they would be competing against, and the ceiling for Sokoli is as high as it goes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Hard to pin the future on Sokoli though after all the struggles at C early last season.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Centers are so undervalued in the draft. Why not pick a player who has 3 or 4 years experience? It really doesn’t make sense to try to train someone to be a center.