Offensive line & wide receiver big board

March 24th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

No problem…

NOTE — Just because I’ve put a certain grade on a player (eg first round) doesn’t mean I expect them to go in that range.

This isn’t me projecting where players will go. It’s just how I’m ranking them on March 24th (for whatever it’s worth).

This is such a good class, I expect players with first round grades to last into round two. There’s every chance Brandon Coleman lasts until #64, or Brandon Thomas.

Offensive tackle

Round one

#1 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
#2 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
#3 Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
#4 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
#5 Zack Martin (T, Notre Dame)
#6 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
#7 Brandon Thomas (T, Clemson)

Round two

#8 Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
#9 Antonio Richardson (T, Tennessee)

Cyrus Kouandjio would’ve been on this list — probably in the top three — before the combine. News of a potentially serious knee problem worries me enough to take him off the board.

He’s received high-profile support from people like Dr. James Andrews recently, who claimed there were “wear patterns” on the knee. These were present throughout his college career, having no obvious impact on his play.

Yet when you hear the term “arthritis”, alarm bells have to go off. It’s a shame for Kouandjio who looked terrific at Alabama against some top level opposition. But unless it’s a late round flier (ala Jesse Williams) I’m not making any investment here.

Seattle is unlikely to get any shot at Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan (despite his recent trouble with the law). Joel Bitonio, Morgan Moses and Brandon Thomas can all play tackle at the next level, with Moses perhaps the best fit on the right side.

One of the big plus points for Bitonio is his ability to fill multiple spots. He could play guard and backup left tackle. In that scenario you’re trusting Michael Bowie or Alvin Bailey to start at right tackle.

Offensive guard

Round one

#1 Joel Bitonio (Nevada)
#2 Zack Martin (Notre Dame)

Round two

#3 Marcus Martin (USC)
#4 Xavier Su’a -Filo (G, UCLA)

I’m really not a fan of the pure guards available in this class. I wouldn’t draft David Yankey in the first two rounds, ditto Cyril Richardson.

Gabe Jackson doesn’t look like a great fit for Seattle and probably suits a man-blocking scheme. I’ve not had a chance to look at Penn State’s John Urschel.

The best players available are converts. Bitonio and Zack Martin both played tackle in college, while Marcus Martin was a center. On the plus side I think Bitonio is a possible Logan Mankins clone while both Martin’s should make extremely competent guards at the next level.

Wide receiver

Round one

#1 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
#2 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
#3 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
#4 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
#5 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
#6 Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson)
#7 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
#8 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
#9 Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)

Round two

#10 Jarvis Landry (WR, LSU)
#11 Paul Richardson (WR, Colorado)
#12 Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State)
#13 Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State)

The strength of this draft is at wide receiver. I’d be surprised if all nine of the names I’ve listed for the first round were gone by #32 — making for great value at the end of day one.

There’s a cigarette paper between Watkins and Evans at the top.

We could see five or six receivers off the board by the Jets at #18. Even if such a rush occurs, there’s plenty of remaining fits for Seattle.

Martavis Bryant is tall, long and fast. He’ll make chunk plays downfield, he can run away from a defense. There’s a little Randy Moss to his game. If he’s switched on he can become a big time receiver at the next level.

There aren’t many 6-6, 225lbs receivers who run in the 4.5′s like Brandon Coleman. He’s a rare prospect who had the misfortune of playing in a lousy college offense. In the right system, Coleman can become a star.

Brandin Cooks is a smaller playmaker who commands attention wherever he lines up. Oregon put three defensive backs on him in the Civil War game. He was a production machine last season and had a terrific combine.

Donte Moncrief’s tape is frustrating to watch, but so is Ole Miss’ offense in general. He has ideal size and speed and you just get the sense his best football will come at the next level (depending on what team he plays for).

I like the round two options, although out of the four names listed there’s a bit of a gap between Jarvis Landry and the rest.

I’m guessing people will mention the absence of Jordan Matthews. Right now I think he’s a third round talent. Great stats, good measurables. Very average tape.

I’ve been putting it off for a while but eventually I’ll get round to doing an article on Matthews explaining my opinion in more detail. This piece by Sigmund Bloom is worth reading and covers some of the issues I have.

To answer the final question in the Tweet at the top of the piece — “Who do you take before who, between the two?” — it really comes down to who’s available.

Here’s a combined OL/WR board for the first round:

#1 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
#2 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
#3 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
#4 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
#5 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
#6 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
#7 Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
#8 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
#9 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
#10 Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson)
#11 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
#12 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
#13 Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
#14 Zack Martin (T, Notre Dame)
#15 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
#16 Brandon Thomas (T, Clemson)

If the intention is to grab a receiver and an offensive lineman, really it depends on what you get at #32. If you take a receiver in the first round, you’re looking at the offensive line options at #64. And vice versa.

I’d lean towards a receiver in round one due to the sheer quality of the position this year. But if a player like Joel Bitonio is sitting there at #32, I’d find it tough to pass.

Meanwhile the 2014 compensatory picks were announced today. Unsurprisingly, the Seahawks weren’t awarded any additional picks.

114 Responses to “Offensive line & wide receiver big board”

  1. Ben says:

    Praying we move up to get OBJ or stand pat to get Bitonio or Landry. I’d be doing happy dances for any of those three with my first rd pick.

  2. Steve Nelsen says:

    Great stuff, Rob. Where would you slide Stephon Tuitt into this list?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It really depends on the health of his foot and the shape he’s in. Has he kept the weight off post-combine? Is that going to be an issue? Is the foot healing? Lot of question marks here.

  3. Kenny Sloth says:

    Fantastic. Why is Taylor Lewan so low? I really liked his ability to block in space.

  4. Hay stacker509 says:

    If bitonio is there at 32 the hawks almost have to take him or another top rated T/G and then at 64 if either Coleman or Bryant are there that would be my choice for the hawks. I can’t see them doing something else honestly. It just makes to much sense (IMO). Which is why they might not even do either because it makes too much sense. Hahaha

    • David M says:

      Haha exactly my thoughts, what makes since to us, is usually the exact opposite of what JS/PC do

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I’ve seen draft boards with Bitonio at the bottom of the second round – so it’s hard to say. Some people say he will play guard and that alone usually bumps players into the second.

        • Ulsterman says:

          The nfl.com draft site has Aaron Donald as a 4-5th round prospect in their analysis of him. You have to wonder how much they bother to update these things.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      Agree completely.

      Offensive line is top heavy. After pick 40, things get dicey. WR will last well into the 3 rd in my opinion.

      OL at 32. WR at 64 for me.

  5. JC says:

    This is useful, there’s now a proper calibration of Rob’s Bitonio and Coleman football man crushes… I disagree with both, and would rate Cooks and Adams higher, but that’s what makes a mock draft.

    • Jon says:

      Well he has seldom listed Coleman in a piece for a couple of months now because he feels that he has said enough. Bitonio has only been a mention for a few weeks in reality, so based on these to things perhaps we should praise his ability to attempt to be genuine and fresh while still being honest in what he looks for.

      Others bring up Adams or Jordan Matthews religiously. We all have favorites and Rob has very much put an in depth argument on the table as to why he likes and dislikes players.

  6. Chris says:

    No Jordan Matthews from Vandy? I really like him.

  7. SHawn says:

    Im just not as sure as most of you are that we go WR-OL in the first two rounds. I agree those are the needed upgrade positions, but Schneider has NEVER taken a WR in the 1st (except Harvin). And Tom Cable turns undrafted players into potential starters (Bailey).

    I doubt he lasts, but if there is a run on both WR and OL in the first round, Ryan Shazier could be our pick. Wanger, KJ, Malcolm, and Bruce are not all going to be here forever.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure saying Schneider has never taken a WR in the first holds that much weight. He’s only spent four first round picks as a GM. And none of the classes between 2010-2012 had this kind of quality at receiver. Furthermore, he’s drafted two tackles, a speedy pass rusher and a safety. So there’s quite a few positions he hasn’t drafted in round one so far.

      As for OL — Cable has been able to find starters, but as a regime they’ve also shown they’re more than willing to spend high picks on the OL.

      On Shazier — it’s possibly true that Wagner, Wright, Smith and Irvin aren’t going to be here forever. But I’m also not convinced replacing Malcolm Smith or even K.J. Wright for that matter is such a priority that a year in advance you spend a first round pick on that potential problem. And we found Wright in the 4th and Smith in the 7th — so you could just as easily argue we don’t need a first round pick to solve that eventual need.

      • SHawn says:

        Im not saying we definitely wont take a WR or a OL, Im just saying that there a lot of other prospects that fit our scheme, that could fall due to the depth at other positions. I am sure, that whoever we take, it will be the best player on our board, regardless of position.

        IMO, Shazier will be close to the top of our board if he is there at 32. And Im saying that we shouldnt focus so much attention to one or two position groups, even if they are both the deepest positions in the draft, and our two biggest needs.

        • Jon says:

          While you are absolutely right that there are other positions, it is widely believed by fans (not all but many) that the first two picks will likely be OL, WR in either order. Rob is not the only one, and this piece was a response to specifically look at WR and OL from a tweet that he received.

          • SHawn says:

            I’m not trying to come across as argumentative. I’d just like to see some attention paid to other positions. I’m interested to know what Rob thinks about the players at these other positions, like Shazier.

            • hawkmeat says:

              I have watched tape of players mentioned in the comments that I had not paid attention to much. I value others thoughts and opinions, so why not add a snippet of a player(s) you think may fit the scheme? Nice to read other views.

            • Jon says:

              I should have stated that I agree with you about Shazier. I was just trying to settle what the topic actually was. I think if we were to make that selection we may trade Smith. His value could never be higher, but we may not be able to afford him in the future.

              • Radman says:

                I really like Shazier as a seahawk prospect. If he’s there, picking him makes a lot of sense. He’s an explosive athlete, produced in college, and seems to have good instincts. A lot of the LB crew is nearing the end of their rookie deals, and it seems this regime isn’t too keen on spending much there.

                As much of a need as the OL and WR are, I’d put edge pass rusher on the list just below them. Perhaps a lot depends on what they think they can get later on in the draft.

                I like the strategy of picking up FA Dlineman on prove it and cheap deals, because it’s a position where you usually want guys in their later 20′s than early 20′s, but there’s a risk and a cap cost in this strategy, if relied upon solely. Shazier or some other LEO/LB prospect makes some sense, too.

                • Michael says:

                  I like Shazeir aswell I would love a trade back to early rd 2nd to pick up a Coleman , Bitonio and shazeir

    • Belgaron says:

      Cables has worked with what he’s received. In interviews, he’s made it clear there have been guys he liked that were taken before the ‘Hawks could draft them.

    • hawkmeat says:

      The front office mentioned the past couple drafts they didn’t have high grades on the group of WR. They also have drafted WR in the first two rounds, Tate was drafted in the 2nd. They had Tate much higher on their board according to J.S.

      This class truly has some potential stars. I think they will take bpa, and that would include OT, WR, DE.

  8. YDB says:

    Thanks for putting this together. I know things like this take quite a bit of time and effort.

    I agree with your list for many of the players except two.

    I really like Donte Moncrief quite a bit more than you seem to.

    And, I am not a big fan of Benjamin at all. Aside from his height/weight, there is not really much that I see special in him. He runs very poor routes, has bad hands, if very stiff, he is only an average athlete, looks much slower on tape than his timed 40, and can’t separate consistantly. He is a 23 year of sophomore, one year wonder that was surrounded by weapons, and had a heisman winning QB throwing him the ball. What could possibly go wrong?

    • hawkmeat says:

      It sounds like we agree on Benjamin. He does look stiff after watching him in a couple games, and nothing screamed out “I am special”. I am pulling this from a small sample size though, and maybe they were mediocre games.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Exactly, so it becomes a question of coachability. Do they think he has the mental capacity to succeed? I hope they bring him in for a private workout, personally. He has the ability to seperate. Seems like almost a dirty player. He abused Louichez Purifoy.

      • YDB says:

        I guess that is a question if you want the staff to coach up a subpar athlete with poor hands just because he is big.

        The separation he gained on Purifoy looked to be either by means of blatant holding, or initiating contact past 10 yards. He may have trouble finding success with that technique in the pro game.

  9. Madmark says:

    I’m all in for a Joel Bitinio in the 1st and I think Donte Moncrief could very much be there at 64. I really like that and I would have to thank Bo Wallace the QB of Ole Miss for being so bad.

  10. David M says:

    here link to the new Real Rob Report for those that haven’t seen it yet! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_a3sxjShlI good stuff!!

  11. monkey says:

    I have to ask about two players who I am personally high on, curious to know what round talent wise, you see them.
    Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin and Billy Turner OT N.D.S.U.
    I know you briefly mentioned Jared with me before, but I never got your overall impression of him, and with Billy, I believe he may be one of those mid round (3-4?) germs that go on to be really good in the NFL, and probably should have gone higher in the draft, except that the school they played for was small.

    • Jon says:

      I dont know of many germs that go on to be really good, you may be right though. ;)

    • Rob Staton says:

      Abbrederis is a R4 for me… maybe a round either side of that.

      Turner I haven’t had a chance to spend much time on yet but he’s someone I’ll check out soon.

      • williambryan says:

        do you put much stock in Abbrederis having chemistry with Russell Wilson? Kind of how Kris Durham found some level of success when reunited with Matthew Stafford?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t put too much into it. It exists, but it was only one season two years ago. Whether they’ll have the same success or chemistry at the next level is hard to project.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Turner’s got chicken legs. He needs a year in the weight room get his bubble bigger. He’s got a great kickstep, but I think he’d get pummeled by a bull rush and not be able to anchor against the talent of the NFL. He also gets lost at the second level. I didn’t like his pulling, but I think he made that porous line better

  12. monkey says:

    *Gems, not germs…sheesh

  13. James says:

    How would we get through the off-season without your blog, Rob? Many thanks from the hard-core 12′s.

    The two guys on your list who deviate from the consensus mocks are Bitonio and Coleman. The national scouts think that Bitonio is under-sized, but you make the great point that he is the same size as Mankins coming out of college. Tom Cable loves these smaller, athletic guys (see JR Sweezy), and if the Seahawks select Bitonio, you will have scooped the “experts.”

    With the great talent at WR and OL, I think we all want to see Seattle go there in R1 and R2, but I have to tell you that, if Jared Allen slips away, we may have to go with Dee Ford. With Clemons gone, and Avril a FA next year when we have to sign Russ and Sherm, we could be seriously in need of a Leo. At least he fits Pete ideal: 6-2, 255, electric fast and super competitive…. but we all would prefer to tap the value at WR and OL this year.

    • Matt says:

      How would we get through the off-season without your blog, Rob? Many thanks from the hard-core 12′s.

      i second that! Been looking for a site like this for years!

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I don’t like Dee Ford’s skillset, much. And he’s pretty polished as a pass rusher, which demonstrates a lower ceiling to me.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Potentially!

      • James says:

        I’m not much of a fan of Dee Ford either, especially in R1. But I have been whistling in the wind for months now, eagerly looking forward to tapping the talent at WR and OL in this draft, but it is suddenly dawning on me that the Sehawks have a huge emerging need at Leo/DE. Especially if we lose out on Jared Allen, but even if he signs, it is probably only for one year. Avril is a FA after this season, and unfortunately I don’t believe the Seahawks will have the $8 mil of cap available to re-sign him. With Bruce Irvin coming up short at Leo and moving to LB, suddenly Mayowa is our only Leo for the 2015 season, and we have no clue if he can play, though PC/JS seem to like him enough to carry him all season on the 53-man. Looking a couple of moves ahead on the chess board, Leo is the priority need for this team, not a #4 WR or a backup OL ( if we intend to start Okung/Carpenter/Unger/Sweezy/Bowie). However, Pete and John reached for Bruce Irvin, so I think they learned their lesson and are disinclined to reach for Leo again at #32. They will just have to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the middle rounds, most likely.

        • James says:

          ….one advantage to finding a Leo in the middle or late rounds is the lack of competition from other teams for the position. Very few teams are looking for the Leo skill set. If they run a 4-3, they are looking for 6-4, 270 DEs, or 6-2, 240 OLBs. A 3-4 team is looking for OLBs who can rush the passer, but who also can play the LB run defense position. A pure Leo is about 6-3, 250, with 4.5 speed, uber fast pass rusher, but very limited in LB play. The guys with this skill set are often overlooked as tweeners, and PC/JS can grab their guy (hopefully!).

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m not sure it’s a huge need. If Seattle has to start Avril and Bennett as book ends it’ll still be better than most pass rush combos in the NFL. Throw in Mayowa and possibly another in the mid or late rounds and the situation isn’t too desperate. And Allen or another veteran could still sign.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          It’s pretty sweet that there are a bunch of Chris Clemons comps in this draft.

  14. CC says:

    Finally! Someone who feels the way I do about Cyrus and his “arthritis” – I’ve got a couple of friends who think he’s a slam dunk pick and I think he isn’t worth the investment.

  15. Stuart says:

    What is the true story of Cyrus’s knees/arthritis? I have anywhere from he is fine, 1st rounder or he is damaged good, 5th round risk.

    Thanks for putting this list together Rob. Now it looks like you will have to do one that includes DT and DE too. That list would be awesome!!!!!

    Moncrief is young, something like 21 years old at time of draft. Read in a few places that his coaches feel his potential talent is through the roof. I hope we draft him at #64. He likely wont contribute to much in 2015 but after he gets seasoned, we could have our legit #1 WR.

    • Jon says:

      this is the process. some teams will take him off the board, some will move him way down. it only takes one to still go rather high.

    • James says:

      I’m an Alabama alum, so maybe I can offer some background, though only a doctor with access to the records could answer the questions. Cyrus K was the #1 OT recruit in the nation, out of the Wash, DC, area. His parents are immigrants from Africa and have prominent careers. Cyrus’s brother Arie is a year older and is entering his senior year at Bama, and is the starting left guard. Both brothers had severe knee injuries, Arie’s actually worse than Cyrus. Cyrus is the ideal size for a LT, about 6-7, 325. His is very lean, not overweight at all, and light on his feet. He slides well and pass blocks like a pro. He also plays with a mean streak. He graded exceptionally well in a number of important games, ie vs LSU, the NC game, etc, etc. That said, something is wrong, in my opinion. He was inconsistent this season, to the point of poor play in the bowl game. It would not surprise me if bad knee structure runs in his family (see Arie). His downhill slide continued in the off season, where he had a poor combine, etc. If his knee is unsound, he may never play well again. But if his knee is healthy by this fall, or even by the next season, and if he can therefore play at his level of a year ago, he is a top ten LT talent. This is the classic boom or bust pick. He will either wash out, or someone will land a pro bowl LT with a R2 pick. If a doctor told me definitively that his knee is OK, and if he was there at #32, I would take him in an instant. He is far better than any player that could be acquired in that slot. But my guess is that the doctor is not going to say that.

      • Madmark says:

        Since your an alum whats your take on Anthony Steen who played the RG spot. I was thinking he could be a nice grab in the 4th at pick 128.

        • James says:

          Steen is the classic grunt. He is very limited athletically, but will give you everything he has. My impression of Tom Cable is that he either wants a monster at guard, such as James Carpenter (350 lbs and the strongest guy on the team), or he wants an elite athlete with an attitude, such as Sweezy (with his super combine numbers/see Bitonio). Steen is neither. His size is maxed out, and he is neither a monster nor an athlete, so I don’t see a good fit with the Seahawks, although Steen is the kind of guy who plugs in and plays in the league for years, just doing his job.

      • CC says:

        Thanks James – this is great info! He looked so good at times, but for me, we can’t risk another guy who isn’t going to be healthy on the line.

    • Rob Staton says:

      On Cyrus — several teams failed his medical at the combine with some sources quoting arthritis. Since then he’s sought experts to back up his knee is fine. It’s been denied that he has any ACL issues but wear and tear on the knee is undisputed as Dr. Andrews himself confirmed. It’s a major concern and oddly he didn’t work out at the Bama pro day.

  16. Belgaron says:

    That’s a thought provoking board and a great post. To truly match the ‘Hawks board I think you’d have to add in DL, LB, DB, and TE. Those other positions may not match up at 32, but it would not be unexpected for them to drop from 32 to 47 to add picks or move up in other rounds. And at 47, some of your 1st round list will still be available.

  17. Don says:

    Very good report. Interesting article about Jordan Matthews, thank you for linking this. I have been on the Matthews bandwagon for awhile now, so I was very interested to see and hear the critisism of Matthews by Sigmond Bllom.

    The main complaint by the author was he lacked explosiveness, yet he has a better 40 than most WR. With every example I saw of Matthews getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage as proof of lack of exposiveness, it was because of the bad blocking that every WR would have had the same result with. In each negative play I could not see another WR doing any better in the same situation. Every receiver has drops, either by a lack of concentration or a badly thrown pass, but Matthews has a reputation of being a sure handed receiver.

    Martavis Bryant has a reputation of drops but that is overlooked because he is tall and fast. Coleman is slower and doesn’t catch with his hands, but he is tall.
    Matthews may not be exposive, but he is sure handed like Laundry, but taller and faster.

    • Matt says:

      I’m a fan of Matthews too. The article made some sense. JM isn’t going to be getting any screen passes in Seattle. The points that Matthews has a knack for finding the soft spots in zones, turns his head and looks at the QB both seem perfect for the Hawks with Wilson running around biding time. I’ll admit though that there are better choices at #32 for Seattle, completely sold on Bitonio, but if JM is there at #64 I’ll be yelling at the TV for us to draft him! haha

      Laundry has the best hands in the draft. JM is solid but not in his class in the hands department. Matthews is a way more explosive play maker though!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have to disagree with Matthews’ hands. I’d compare him to Kelvin Benjamin. For the most part a good catcher, but capable of ridiculous drops. I’ve only recorded one really bad drop from Bryant in the 2013 games I’ve watched. Coleman does catch with his hands but is inconsistent. Landry and ODB are on a different level to Matthews in that regard. And I think Bloom is trying to argue that explosion is related to a 40 time. On tape he doesn’t have an explosive get off.

      • Matt says:

        Rob- You’re right about the hands department. Matthews and Benjamin have inconsistent hands. They both drop some easy passes, but also make some big time catches. With these 2 prospects I’d say they both have good hands, with the great catches balancing out the occasional drops. Agree that Laundry and ODB both have top notch hands. Watching tape on the few games I’d have to say Mettenburger is over rated. Those 2 WR’s made him look a lot better than he is. Thought so before watching tapes, and they reiterated my initial view.

        The 40 is somewhat related to explosiveness. I think it’s more of an indicator of top speed than explosion. The short shuttle and 3-cone drill measure short area burst/quickness. The jumps are indicators of explosion along with the 10 yard split. Allen Robinson WR is a prime example how the combine tests measure these traits. He has some escape ability with above average quickness, which show up in his 4.00 time in the SS and 7.00 in the 3-cone-both solid times. His 127″ broad jump and 39″ vertical show along with the shuttles show Robinson’s explosiveness. This explains why he’s able to get separation to get open so often. The 4.60 40 time is evident when he gets caught from behind at times. He doesn’t posses ideal deep speed for the NFL, but has the athleticism to succeed. That’s what I see from his tape and it’s backed up with his combine times. Not every player is the same on the field as the track, so the combine results don’t always accurately portray the players athleticism. D’Anthony Thomas is a waaaay better athlete on tape than he tested in the combine.

  18. jdtjohnson says:

    Hey Rob

    Wondering if you did any scouting of Stephen Hill(NYJ) 2 years ago? Off the top of my head, I don’t remember anything and it wasn’t a position we were looking for, but I’m curious what your impression of him was predraft, and how he would have compared to Coleman or Benjamin? He’s a size/speed guy that thus far hasn’t panned out…although he is entering “magical” season 3, and has had poor level QB’s throwing to him. Anyways, I’ve been on board for Coleman since last year, but curious about the predraft reports on the three guys and how they would have compared without the NFL performance bias impacting Hill’s scouting report.

    Thanks

    • Rob Staton says:

      I actually quite liked Stephen Hill — which obviously looks bad today. He made some incredible plays at Georgia Tech and like Demaryius Thomas, some of his inconsistency could be put down to the triple option. Some of the catches he made, wow. There was a ton of potential there. I’ll say this — it hasn’t worked out for Hill in New York. But if he was released, I’d give him a shot. He’s worked under multiple OC’s and never with a competent quarterback.

      I prefer Benjamin and Coleman to Hill personally.

      • Jon says:

        I appreciate that you call it like you see it and admit as much years later. Some would back track and contradict there original thoughts when a player does better or worse than expected. Props to you sir!

        • Kyle N says:

          It’s definitely admirable, but it’s not exactly admitting “I was wrong”. If Stephen Hill was drafted by the Broncos, do you think he would have put up Eric Decker numbers? It’s quite possible. Just like I could easily see Kaep being a major bust had he been drafted by the Jags or Raiders. Part of the game is projecting how a player will do when they get into the NFL given their skillset, but another part is how a player will project onto a current team. E.g. Being a WR on a team with Geno Smith at QB isn’t good for your stats.

  19. Ukhawk says:

    Hi Rob. Question addressed on whether to go WR/OL at 32 but might depend on who is more likely to be there at 64. Many big boards have Bitinio at end of 2 to 4 & Bryant/Moncreif/Coleman the same. If you were JS, do you still take Bitinio hoping one of the 3 WR makes it to 64? Apols if you already implied this above….

  20. MJ says:

    So we need a big WR threat in the redzone? JS had success switching Sweezy to the OL and gets endless praise for doing so. How about making another similiar move. The Raiders are set to trade or release Terrelle Pryor who’s pro day went like this, ran a 4.38 and 10’4″ broad jump at 6’5 230. He lost his job to McGloin last year, it’s time for a position switch. I think that’s the type of savvy move JS/PC make. Here’s a taste of Terrelle Pryor at WR in college….

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lrZYZktLdns

    • Matt says:

      Terrelle Pryor is obviously a better athlete than QB. He could make the switch if he was open to it. After a year as a WR Pryor could be a monster!

  21. hawkfaninMT says:

    On the Comp Picks Topic:

    The Niners got a 3rd basically for losing Goldson. In my opinion the rest is a wash. I realize that projecting comp picks is a crapshoot, but the Hawks should expect at least 13rd based on the Niners award this year.

    With that assumption, is it more likely the hawks would be willing to deal next years picks for picks this year? Say, a 3rd next year and 5th this year to get a 3rd this year? I really like the value of a bunch of guys projected to go in the 3rd this year, and it burns me a bit that the Hawks don’t have one!

    • Matt says:

      Baltimore got 1 3rd, 2 4ths and 1 5th that’s a huge haul! SF is in a great position to trade up in first round of the draft like they did last year.

      Was thinking the same thing with leveraging 2015 picks to get in the 3rd round of this incredibly deep draft.

  22. Barry says:

    This class reminds me of the ’96 class, but possible deeper when it comes to the wide receivers. With such a talented bunch IMHO you need to minimize the risks by looking at the mental side of the WR to maximize the picks potential. If all these guys are receiving such high grades for the long terms you would want the most mature and/or driven out of all of them and that’s quite possible to get at the back end of the first round.

    Also with us having a franchise QB it wouldn’t be bad to get someone with the same personality traits as Wilson.

    With a class strong in one or two positions like this history dictates that someone slips to Rnd 3 or later who can perform at a pro-bowl level.

    I’m not too worried who we get at pick 32 if we do go receiver just based on how great a crop this is.

  23. MarkinSeattle says:

    I think a lot of the success the Seahawks had was due to the ability to rotate their DL, keeping them fresh later in the year, and wearing down opposing OL over the course of the game. Taking a step back from this off season for a minute, the loss of 3 out of our 8 man DL rotation has me a little worried. Which is why I am not convinced that if the right DL was available at #32, that we wouldn’t jump to select him. A Jared Allen signing would help this tremendously, but regardless, age is also an issue. Older players tend to get hurt more frequently and they wear down quicker over the course of the season. Even with Allen, we would have three 30+ year old players on the DL rotation, and a couple only a year or so away from 30. We do have some younger players in Williams, Hill, Scruggs and Mayowa, but they are all unproven (which means they all won’t succeed). Now factor in injuries during the preseason and during the regular season (which will likely claim a couple of guys next year), and I can definitely see us looking at getting another DL. This is especially true if Allen doesn’t sign with us. I do think that we will select a WR in the first two rounds no matter what, I think OT is one place we may wait until later in the draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think this is a fair point, but I think the early options (even round two) on the defensive line are very poor. Unless someone like Aaron Donald suffers a shocking fall, it’s hard to make a case for any DLer at #32.

      • MarkinSeattle says:

        I was mainly thinking of Tuitt, as it sounds like he will be available at that pick (or a good probability). Other than Donald or Tuitt, I don’t think anyone else is a good fit at that spot. I like Urban, but especially with his injury concerns and inability to really work out, I would look at him in the 4th or 5th round.

        If Bontonio and Tuitt were both on the table, I would lean to selecting Tuitt. If Donald was on the table, it would be a no brainer.

    • Michael says:

      I politely disageee. Why wouldthe you use a 1s round pick on a rotationa player?l dlineman isnt something they are looking for with the first two picks. If we are talking about top ten even 15 yes go get Donald or something similar but the options at 32 for a simply average rotational guy no thank you we will wait.

      • Belgaron says:

        It’s all in the grading. They summate individual scores for each potential guy to be drafted and compare the scores against what they have on the team. The greatest differential within market value is where the pick goes. For example, in 2011, they considered taking Wilson in round 1 but correctly gauged his market value to allow them to select him in round 3. That doesn’t always work but they do very well overall as their track record demonstrates.

        They clearly grade highly for guys with something elite about them (football skills, length, wingspan, cone drill speeds, 40 time, etc.) In the case of Donald, he is elite in multiple categories. He would grade very well against what they have on the team.

        Don’t be shocked if they take a TE, DB, or LB with their top pick. It’s all in their ability to pick the guy who would be the biggest upside to the team, not just this year but for the foreseeable future. It’s not a lock that it will go WR/OL or DL. It’s how they ended up taking several RBs last year.

        • Radman says:

          exactly. And, ‘rotational player’ is not always a fair way to judge impact. Guys who can make a big impact on limited plays still make a big impact. Many teams rotate DL these days, and the trend is increasing. Sure, a guy can have more chances at impact with more snaps, but in the end, impact is what’s measured, not snaps.

        • Michael says:

          I agree with most of the thought there but lets be honest there are positions “that can be upgraded now or for the forseeable future” that we know arent just going to be drafted high. Example Cb. Do you really see seattle in the second round draft a player for Cb or Oline? CB can be upgraded and seattle isnt replacing any player in the cb position it lost this year or last with free agents or high draft picks. Anyone whom freefalls to seattle is going to have a red flag waving sky high. Now there are positions they value ie leo, ol, defensive captains like Thomas and Wagner. I honestly believe they would have rather missed Russell Wilson VS losing a person like Wagner and thats why they waited till round 3. Again the hindsight that it worked and both are probowl players is amazing but we really can hedge bets they arent saying that they belive if they have an upgrade at Rt availabke that other positions like rb would some how even be looked at even if an upgrade there was available. Im saying really I am sure we dont draft a rb at all this year and there is no one that will make it to us that is worth a second or higher round pick this year and even Donald isnt worth whatever it would take to acquire him to this team. Believe we will add dline players but not in the first two pick.

          • Michael says:

            I meant to say whatever it cost to trade up to acquire Donald would be too much to give vs waiting for other depth and gems we will get.

      • MarkinSeattle says:

        I think that Carroll will always try and use the DL as a rotation, with run stoppers and pass rushers. You have to look at it instead as picking up a pass rusher, and one that will soon replace the existing pass rushers on this defense. Run stoppers aren’t very valuable and are easy to find at inexpensive prices, while pass rushers get a premium in this QB driven league.

        Given the age of Bennett (he may have 3 good years left) and Avril’s pending FA, our only other pass rusher has moved to LB, I think we are quite thin on guys who can rush the passer. Remember what happened two years ago with Clemons went down. With no pass rush, this defense went from a top 5 defense to a team that couldn’t stop anyone.

        Tuitt does have the size to be an every down player if we need him to be. At 303 lbs, he can hold up against the run and his 19.5 sacks the last two years show he can get after the QB as well. Given how much harder it is to find a good pass rusher (and the premium to sign them) compared to a RT or OL, I would invest in the pass rush depth for the future over an OL if either of Donald or Tuitt was available.

        • Michael says:

          If you look at who Tuitt has faced his big games isnt against great guards he has faced. I like your passion for him but Im a rounds 2-4 on Tuitt. Not an option in rd one. He is not even a huge run stopper. I dont see a Carroll motor on him.

  24. Miles says:

    Rob,

    Imagine the Hawks get OBJ at 32. Great, we have our Golden Tate clone. But then, Brandon Coleman falls to us at 64. Is it possible you take two WRs in the first two rounds, even though you’d like to get a OL in that range, too? In this scenario, the Hawks could get two completely different styles of WR with lightning potential. It would leave us a little short handed on the oline, and maybe we totally look over a Brent Urban, but wouldn’t this just make one of our perceived weaknesses into an overwhelmingly dynamic strength?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s definitely an option. Seattle is a good enough team not to have to fight the board. Shoot for value. Plus Baldwin and Kearse are not contracted long term.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Defo onboard, or maybe Cooks/Bryant or Benjamin/Coleman or any combo thereof. With No1 WRs so hard to find, why not double down?

      • Ukhawk says:

        should read “potential” No1 WRs

      • Matt says:

        A double down on WR’s is a possibility, but they’d have to have different skill sets. Benjamin/
        Coleman are too similar. The Cooks/Bryant combo would be potent as would a number of the possible WR combos.

      • Ben2 says:

        Ughhhh, I like OBJ big time you mentioning drafting 2 recievers in a deep WR class reminded me of the 2 2nd rd recievers in a deep WR class when Zorn was their HC….both busts. Still, I wouldn’t be against a double dip at WR….better odds to at least get one stud

        • Ben2 says:

          Zorn w/Washington (not hawks)

        • Matt says:

          That year the Redskins drafted 2 WR’s in the 2nd round, Thomas from Mich St. and uhhh that guy from Oklahoma(Kelly?), was one of the weakest classes for WR in recent memory. I remember Thomas being the first WR drafted around pick 38? Totally different circumstances than this year’s absolutely loaded WR class. Understand your point though. If you miss on 2 high picks of the same position you’re still in need of upgrading that position, and the rest of your roster is left without reinforcements. The double dip strategy worked for Carolina last year at DT though. Works both ways.

  25. Ukhawk says:

    Rob. Great write up, posted this on the blog on 22nd:
    Based on current big boards I’d like to see:
    R1 OL Bitinio (or Benjamin/OBJ/Cooks if available)
    R2 WR Bryant/Coleman/Matthews (or Bitinio/Moses/Kouanjio if R1=WR)
    R4 DL Urban/Daquan Jones
    R5 LB Tripp/Starr
    R6 CB Gaines/Colvin

  26. CC says:

    Rob, have you had a chance to look at Devin Street? I know you can’t look at everyone, but I think he’ll be a day 3 guy who could surprise.

  27. Ukhawk says:

    Would like to see a write-up on Moncrief, to paraphrase another blogger…
    “To me he is up there with the other 1-2 rd projected WRs, if not better
    He’s 6.2-220/39.5vert/132broad/4.4 40/1.5 10!
    36 g/156 rec/2371yd/15 yd/r /20 TD all with a non-NFL caliber QB in the best conference in the NCAA!!
    Would like to see a write-up on Moncrief, to paraphrase another blogger…
    to me he is up there with the 1-2 rd projected WRs
    He’s 6.2-220/39.5/132vert/4.4 40/1.5 10
    36 g/156 rec/2371yd/15 yd/r /20 TD all with a non-NFL caliber QB in the best conference in the NCAA
    Watch the tape, he’s big, long, fast, quick in breaks, runs good routes, blocks well and he’s young. This guy is legit & very Seahawky

  28. plyka says:

    My two favorite WRs at a spot that the Hawks can pick them are:

    Martavias Bryant and Brandon Coleman

    I really hope that both of these guys are there so the Hawks can take their pick. They are PERFECT for what the Hawks need. Here are my thoughts on them:

    1) I actually like Bryant’s physical ability better despite the difference in size
    2) Bryant’s major weakness is route running. He stopped running on a lot of throws, and if the QB cannot count on you being where he is going to throw the ball, then it’s a HUGE problem. Luckily this is something that can be solved.
    3) Coleman on the other hand has great route running, especially for his size. he didn’t have any quit in him at all.
    4) Coleman seems to have less bust risk because of his mental approach to the game

    All that said, despite liking Bryant’s physical ability better than Coleman’s, I think I would rather take Coleman. I think Coleman is NFL ready while Bryant has a lot of project to him. Bryant also has a lot of bust potential because I could see this guy quiting, not giving 100%, or just failing mentally.

    I would take Coleman over Bryant if I had my pick, but both are incredible talents that I cannot believe may be there at pick #32.

  29. plyka says:

    Regarding the battle of WR vs OT in the first round, I say you HAVE to pick WR. Obviously this depends on the players available, but if your top reasonable OT is that (say Bitano) and our WR is there (Bryant/Coleman), you have to go WR. The reason is that WR is a position where talent is more important, in my opinion.

    I think the author of this blog has agreed in the past, that dominat offensive lines are not created on just high draft picks. in fact, you can build an elite offensive line with only 1 high draft pick, if any, necessary. I think you need a high pick at LT, but the rest really should be made with middle or deep draft picks (or undrafted as in the case of Bailey).

    WR is completely different. Of course you will get UDFA or late round picks who are good. But I don’t think you can get one who is great. Of course if you search throughout the years you will find a few WRs that were picked late that ended up being HOF, but the numbers are small. If we look at the best WRs in the game today, you see 1st round talent:

    Calvin Johnson
    Larry Fitz
    Dez Bryant
    Demarius Thomas
    Brandon Marshall
    AJ Green
    Julio Jones
    Percy
    Alshon Jeffires
    Josh Gordon

    These are the elite of the elite. Obviously all of these guys are picked in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft. I haven’t checked but i’m pretty certain. That’s because WR is a position where talent is supreme in my opinion.

    • Philip says:

      You say that dominant offensive lines are not created on just high draft picks, that you can build an elite offensive line with only one high draft pick. But that’s just as true for an elite receiving corps.

      The ’89 49ers receivers were about as dominant as any corps has ever been. They had just one 1st rounder (Jerry Rice), a 3rd rounder (John Taylor), a 9th rounder (Mike Wilson), and a 5th round TE (Brent Jones).

      The only receiving corps that may have been more dominant that them (at least that occurs to me right now) would be the ’90 Rams. They also had only one 1st rounder (Torry Holt).

      Last year’s Broncos, supposedly the greatest offense ever, only had one (late) 1st rounder (Demaryius Thomas). Wes Welker was an UDFA.

      It’s just not true that you need more than one high draft pick (if you even need that) to have an elite receiving corps. And we have Percy.

      You also list ten of the best receivers in the NFL today and point out that all of them were drafted in the first or second rounds. Here are 10 of the best tackles. Every one of them was drafted in the first round — most of them in the top 10 picks.

      Trent Williams
      Ryan Clady
      Joe Thomas
      Joe Staley
      Jordan Gross
      Tyron Smith
      Nate Solder
      Jake Long
      Duane Brown
      Brandon Albert
      Russell Okung

      I’m fine with drafting a wide receiver in round one if that’s the best value. But I don’t think you can make an objective case that the receiving corps is hands-down more important to spend high draft picks on than your offensive line.

      • Philip says:

        *that should be the ’00 Rams

      • Rob Staton says:

        On the Broncos — in fairness they didn’t just have Demaryius Thomas. They also lined up a second rounder (Eric Decker) and Wes Welker was a big free agent acquisition with a proven record. They had a very talented collection of receivers.

        There’s more than one way to skin a cat, to coin a phrase. Some teams thrive because of great defense. Others thrive because they have a great passing game. In some cases a very good offensive line has helped teams win a title (although not recently). I’d argue no one aspect is prevalent in every recent Super Bowl winner other than the presence of a top quarterback. If you have that you have a shot. Outside of QB, there’s no position that is more important than the next to build a winner. Just as long as you know what kind of team you want to be and you can build accordingly.

    • Matt says:

      Marshall was a 4th round pick. Jeffries and Gordon 2nd rounders. Bryant, Thomas and Percy were all after pick 21 in the first. The others were top 6 picks though. Yes most of the elite talent goes early in the first round. That’s why players go early, and the worst teams have the best chance of drafting the top talent. You could make the same list for every position and find that most of the elite were drafted high(in respect to their position).

  30. Steve Nelsen says:

    “I’ve not had a chance to look at Penn State’s John Urschel.”

    He looks average athletically to me and maybe a bit undersized but he is scrappy and super-smart. I think he would make a solid mid-round pick. Some analysts think he might play center but that is beyond my skills to evaluate.