Podcast, Vernon Butler & the facts on TEF

April 12th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

In this weeks podcast Kenny and I get into some serious draft talk with just over two weeks to go. Check it out…

Sometimes these visits are about due diligence, sometimes teams will seek to complete a physical profile, sometimes it’s about seeing how a player handles himself in a facility and sometimes it’s about seeing how they interact with everyone from the cleaning staff to the coaches.

In the case of Vernon Butler, I’m guessing it’s a bit of everything.

He had a rather underwhelming combine where he recorded the following:

40-yd: 5.33
10-yd: 1.82
Vertical: 29.5
Broad: 8-8
Bench: 26

When he performed at his pro-day — there was a big improvement across the board:

40-yd: 5.19
10-yd: 1.77
Vertical: 3.5
Broad: 9-3
Bench: DNP

As a bit of a late bloomer in terms of his college career, it wouldn’t be a shock if they’re spending a bit of extra time working out what he is at the next level.

TEF was created essentially to judge offensive linemen. However, we can at least use it to compare the O-liners and D-liners. Germain Ifedi is 6-6 and 324lbs, while Vernon Butler is 6-3 1/2 and 323lbs. They have similar size and length — yet Ifedi is a 2.95 using TEF and Butler is a 3.13.

That’s not an insignificant difference.

That’s partly the reason why they might be looking very closely at Butler. They’ve consistently taken explosive, difference-making athletes early in the draft. Butler is, according to TEF, quite a bit more explosive than Ifedi. Having to handle his physical profile at nearly 6-4 and 323lbs makes him intriguing.

That said — and this is probably another reason why the Seahawks are meeting with him — he’s going to need to be a pass rusher. He only had three sacks in 2015. Why? He has the physical tools, Louisiana Tech’s schedule was pretty pathetic last year. Why wasn’t he more productive?

That’s a question they’ll no doubt be trying to answer during this visit. As good as Butler’s physical profile might be, it’s unlikely the Seahawks take a big body with minimal pass-rush ability in round one.

Butler could be an option if the likes of Sheldon Rankins and Jonathan Bullard are off the board and they decide to take a defensive player at #26.

The facts on TEF

There appears to be a misunderstanding with TEF (Trench Explosion Formula) and I wanted to take a moment to just clear a few things up.

(The original explanation, which carries more detail, can be found here)

The point of the formula is NOT to determine who will be a great player at the next level or who I think the Seahawks should and shouldn’t draft.

The point was to create a formula that could:

1. Help us understand Seattle’s approach to drafting offensive linemen

2. Help us project who the team might consider in this draft class

I’m seeing a lot of comments saying things like, “I disagree with Rob that they should draft this guy” or “I disagree that a 9″ broad jump matters”. This is not the argument we are making.

TEF is based on Tom Cable’s self-confessed ideal physical profile for an offensive lineman. That includes at least a 31 inch vertical, a 9″ broad jump and 27 reps on the bench press. We created a formula that combines all three tests to provide an overall score.

We then used the formula to see if there were any patterns in Seattle’s previous drafts. What we found was Mark Glowinski, Terry Poole, Kristjan Sokoli, Justin Britt, Garrett Scott, Ryan Seymour, Jared Smith, J.R. Sweezy and Gary Gilliam all matched Cable’s physical ideal — with Michael Bowie (a seventh rounder) the only exception.

When we looked specifically at the 2014 and 2015 draft classes, we also saw the Seahawks specifically selected players that fit the ideal and avoided those who didn’t.

For example, there were only five O-liners with a +3.00 TEF score available to the Seahawks last year. They drafted three of them with back-to-back-to-back picks. In 2014 they selected Justin Britt in the late second round and the next player who was ‘TEF enough’ was Garrett Scott — who they also drafted four rounds later.

If you want, you can ignore this evidence and put it down to coincidence. Personally I think that would be a big mistake. There’s significant information here to tell us the Seahawks probably use a more sophisticated albeit similar formula when deciding which offensive linemen to draft. There’s too much consistency in their approach.

When we identified six players who pass the TEF test in this years draft class, we projected they are the ones most likely to be considered by the Seahawks. That is all. It doesn’t mean they’ll be great and other players won’t be. It’s not a performance review. It’s a projection based on what we know about their draft habits since 2012.

If you want to root for another player to be drafted early — feel free. Again, this is not a personal view or opinion — it’s a formula designed to try and help us understand what the Seahawks are doing.

For me only good comes from this. The selection of Justin Britt caused a lot of confusion — TEF has given us a chance to understand it (click here) even if you didn’t agree with the pick. If they take Connor McGovern and Joe Dahl in this class, we can say we saw it coming. And if they break from recent tradition over the last four years, it’ll give us an opportunity to ask questions as to why.

There’s very little reason not to embrace the information here. If it argues against the Seahawks drafting your favourite player — there’s not much I can do about that personally. At least you received the warning so you won’t be too disappointed if, come the end of the month, the Seahawks don’t do what you want them to do.

Finally, we’ve talked about Joel Heath potentially being this years D-line to O-line convert. Sounds like it could be a distinct possibility:


Considering Seahawks trade scenarios in rounds 1-3

April 11th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Sheldon Rankins might be the one player they’d consider trading up for

Here’s a review of some of the significant moves made by Schneider and Carroll:

— Traded a third round pick to San Diego and swapped second rounders for Charlie Whitehurst

— Traded day three picks for Leon Washington and Lendale White

— Traded a fourth round pick for Marshawn Lynch

— Traded out of the second round in 2011 before drafting John Moffitt

— Traded down from #12 to #15 in 2012 before selecting Bruce Irvin

— Traded a first, third and seventh round pick to Minnesota for Percy Harvin

— Traded up in round five to secure both Tharold Simon and Jesse Williams

— Traded out of the first round in 2014 and then made a further move down before selecting Paul Richardson

— Traded a first round pick and Max Unger for Jimmy Graham and a fourth round pick

— Traded up in round three to select Tyler Lockett

Should we expect more of the same this year?

Looking at pick #26

Most teams will probably give out 10-16 first round grades in this class. That’s usually a fair estimate. The first ‘talent wave’ of this draft won’t last long. A longer ‘second wave’ will follow.

If they stay put, the Seahawks are likely spending first round money on a second round prospect. There are two things to consider here:

1. Are the players available at a key position of need significantly better than the players available in the early second round?

2. Is the right deal available? You’re not going to trade down around 8-12 picks without being sufficiently compensated.

The first question is an interesting one. It’s a fair projection to suggest they’ll focus on the O-line and D-line early. Based on the research we’ve done on both areas, they might be looking at the following quartet:

— Sheldon Rankins
— Jonathan Bullard
— Jason Spriggs
— Germain Ifedi

We haven’t seen Shon Coleman test yet — so he could also be added to the list. They might be willing to consider a freaky athlete like Bronson Kaufusi earlier than other teams. They’ve spent a lot of time in this draft process with Vernon Butler so he too might be an option. We could add several other names too.

Some of these players might be available in round two. Then it comes down to the value of a possible trade. Why would a team desire the #26 pick? Is it too high for a quarterback (Denver don’t pick until #31)? What are the Packers targeting at #27? These are the things to consider.

The trade up in round one scenario

Sheldon Rankins is a pipe dream in terms of lasting until #26. His floor might be Oakland at #14 or Atlanta at #17. He possibly doesn’t get beyond New Orleans at #12. I included him above because he could represent the one possible trade up talking point in round one.

According to the slightly outdated trade chart, it’d cost 300 points to trade up 10 spots with Detroit. That would cost Seattle their second round pick. It’d be a rich price — but an argument can be made that Rankins might be worth it.

It’d be a risky move because they’d have to wait until round three to address the O-line. For that reason alone you can probably cast this idea into the garbage right away. Yet of all the players in this draft — Rankins is probably the one they’d at least have a discussion about. He’s explosive, fills a big need and can play DE-DT.

The trade down in round one scenario

Although I’ve zoned in on a few names — the Seahawks might have a slightly longer list of realistic targets with their first pick. My projection is based on the types of players that match-up with their recent draft history and ideals (plus their biggest needs).

They might fear missing out on filling a need. Dropping down from #26 could mean they don’t get that D-line or O-line guy they really like. Getting cute isn’t likely the plan this year unless they’re convinced ‘their guy’ will still be there at the top of round two (as we saw with Paul Richardson in 2014).

That said, what if Ifedi is off the board (not unrealistic) or Bullard (not unrealistic)? What if they’re not totally enamoured with Jason Spriggs?

Moving down this year might be more a case of bad value. And if they start to move onto their ‘Plan B’ list — trading back once or twice could be a possibility. A prospect like Bronson Kaufusi, Willie Henry, Connor McGovern, Kyler Fackrell, Joe Haeg or anyone else you want to put out there — they would provide much better value after moving down.

It’s unlikely they’ll have to resort to such a tactic and one of Bullard, Ifedi or Spriggs (or another target) should be there at #26. But it’s this type of scenario that would probably lead to a big move down, even if it only brings back the odd fourth rounder.

The trading up in round two scenario

The Seahawks were bold and aggressive to secure Tyler Lockett and they might repeat the act in round two this year. Let’s say they secure an offensive lineman at #26. What if Jonathan Bullard just lasts into the early part of day two? Or another defensive lineman?

For the price of a third round pick — will they make a move to secure their two biggest needs?

Seattle’s original third rounder could get them as high as #42 overall per the trade chart. That’s a jump of 14 spots. They might even be able to pull off a similar move to the Eagles in 2014. Philadelphia moved from #54 to #42 with Tennessee for just a fourth rounder (#122 overall). The Seahawks own the 124th overall pick this year. Will lightning strike twice?

A team would need to really want to move down to accept only a fourth round pick as compensation. It’s worth throwing out there though.

If it has to be a third rounder — the Seahawks do have the security of a third round compensatory pick. So they would still pick late in the third. That might give them the confidence to make a bold move in round two.

The trading down in round two scenario

The value at the end of round two and early round three is pretty good. Like most draft’s there’s a drop off at key positions after day two.

Trading down into round three from #56 is unlikely to generate much more than a fourth round pick and for that reason it might be unappealing. Yet securing an extra third rounder could be interesting.

The Eagles have two third rounders and appear to be in somewhat of an aggressive rebuild under Howie Roseman. Their two picks (#77 and #79) are worth 400 points. Seattle’s pick at #56 is worth 340. This type of deal might also cost the Seahawks a day three pick (#124 is worth 48 points) and some change but it would be a way to secure four players instead of three on day two.

It’s a classic piece of rosterbation — but ultimately the Eagles would swap two third rounders for a second and a fourth. The Seahawks get two third round picks to add to their pair of existing picks in the third.

The trading up in round three scenario

It’s not just the Seahawks looking for explosive athletes that can play on the offensive line. There’s a lot of buzz around Joe Haeg and Joe Dahl — two of only a handful of players who got a +3.00 grade using TEF.

If the Seahawks want either player, waiting until the end of round three might be a gamble. Moving up, especially if they address defense at #26, might be a way to sufficiently address the O-line (eg: Bullard-R1, McGovern-R2, Dahl-R3).

Seattle’s fourth round pick could move them up from #90 to #80. If they’re willing to throw in other picks they might be able to move up a little higher — in a deal similar to the Tyler Lockett trade.


TEF follow up: 2015 class & thoughts on the center position

April 10th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Are the Seahawks really letting Tom Cable pick his guys? Or are they looking for explosive athletes to combat the likes of Aaron Donald?

The Seahawks drafted three offensive linemen last year — Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski and Kristjan Sokoli. All three players passed had:

— At least a 9″ broad jump

— A cumulative score in TEF that matches Seattle’s ideal physical profile (31 inch vert, 9″ broad, 27 bench reps)

If you missed it here’s an explanation of what TEF (Trench Explosion Formula) is and why it matters.

Here’s every offensive lineman drafted in 2015 along with their TEF scores:

(ID = insufficient data to calculate)

Brandon Scherff — 2.90
Ereck Flowers — 3.07
Andrus Peat — ID
Cedric Ogbuehi — ID
Laken Tomlinson — 2.95
Donovan Smith — 3.02
Mitch Morse — 3.45
Jake Fisher — ID
Rob Havenstein — 2.34
Ty Sambrailo — 2.52
Ali Marpet — 3.09
Jeremiah Poutasi — 2.49
A.J. Cann — 3.19
Hroniss Grasu — ID
Jamon Brown — ID
John Miller — 2.91
Chaz Green — 2.67
Daryl Williams — 2.56
T.J. Clemmings — 2.95
Tre Jackson — 2.23
Arie Kouandjio — ID
Jamil Douglas — 2.76
Andrew Donnal — 2.71
Jon Feliciano — 2.43
Terry Poole — 3.12
Shaq Mason — 3.02
Max Garcia — 2.89
Mark Glowinski — 3.34
Jarvis Harrison — 2.77
Robert Myers — ID
Tayo Fabuluje — 2.29
Tyrus Thompson — 2.74
Ian Silberman — 2.94
Andy Galik — 2.62
Kristjan Sokoli — 3.75
Cody Wichmann — 2.55
Anthony Morris — 2.88
Austin Reiter — ID
Jake Rodgers — 2.81
Bobby Hart — 2.36
Austin Shepherd — 2.25
Corey Robinson — 3.04
Laurence Gibson — 3.16

Trenton Brown — 2.23
Denzelle Good — 2.76

Of the 45 drafted offensive linemen, only 11 scored a +3.00 using TEF. Ereck Flowers, Donovan Smith, Mitch Morse and Ali Marpet were all off the board before Seattle’s first pick — leaving only seven available to the Seahawks.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider have not drafted a single offensive lineman with sub-33 inch arms since 2010. That would also rule out A.J. Cann and Shaq Mason — meaning five TEF qualified linemen available.

Of that five, the Seahawks drafted three:

R4 Terry Poole
R4 Mark Glowinski
R6 Kristjan Sokoli

R7 Corey Robinson
R7 Laurence Gibson

Considering the arm length issue with Cann and Mason, the Seahawks didn’t actually pass on ANY TEF qualified lineman between Ali Marpet leaving the board and Terry Poole being selected. In fact after Marpet’s selection before Seattle’s second round pick, they proceeded to draft the next three TEF qualifiers to leave the board.

It looks like a calculated decision, just like the selection of Justin Britt in 2014 (explained here).

The evidence continues to stack up in support of the formula. This front office appears to be narrowing it’s search to the most explosive offensive linemen in each draft and picking from a select pool of players.

Here’s a quick review of the evidence we’ve found in the last week:

— Since 2012 they’ve only drafted players that fit the criteria we’ve identified in terms of TEF and the broad jump

In 2014 Justin Britt was the last TEF qualified lineman in the draft available before Garrett Scott in round six — explaining why Seattle took Britt when they did and then added Scott later

— In 2015 they drafted three of five players that beat the TEF test

— Of this years combine group, the following five players in the 2016 draft are ‘TEF enough’: Jason Spriggs, Connor McGovern, Alex Redmond, Joe Haeg, Joe Dahl

— Brian Bobek (3.39) and Vi Teofilo (3.84) are two non-combine invitees that fit the TEF criteria. Anthony Fabiano scored a 2.98. Bobek probably has sub-33 inch arms given his smaller frame. Teofilo definitely misses out on arm length (30 3/4 inch arms).

I suspect the Seahawks use a more sophisticated albeit similar formula. I’m not convinced Laken Tomlinson’s 2.95 would’ve ruled him out considering he jumped a 9-0 in the broad and had the size/length they like. By the same token, I think Germain Ifedi’s 2.95 puts him in contention this year.

John Schneider admitted after the 2015 draft they got all the players ‘they had to have’ apart from one. It’s a safe prediction that this was Mitch Morse. His 3.45 TEF score was by far the highest in the O-line class and would’ve been an ideal replacement for Max Unger at center. Seattle’s fumbled approach to the position last season was possibly a direct impact of missing out on Morse — who they maybe expected to last until the late second round.

That said, the purpose of TEF is not to identify the most explosive/athletic offensive linemen and assume the Seahawks will draft them. It’s more about eliminating those who don’t meet the criteria and focusing on those who do.

For example, Jason Spriggs is clearly the best TEF lineman in the 2016 draft with a 3.54. That said, they might be more inclined to target Connor McGovern (3.29), Joe Haeg (3.06) or Joe Dahl (3.05) with a later pick. Likewise they might think Ifedi’s 2.95 is freaky enough for a 6-6, 324lbs lineman with 36 inch arms.

We’ll find out in less than three weeks whether we are truly onto something with TEF. If their draft habits continue as they have since 2012 — it probably won’t be a coincidence.

It could also prove that actually it’s not ‘Tom Cable picking his guys’ in Seattle. It’s the Seahawks working to a coordinated plan to find explosive offensive linemen to combat the growing disparity between college O-lines and D-lines.

Is center an outlier?

I’ve been asked a few times if the center position is relevant for TEF considering the decent number of ‘mediocre’ athletes playing the position effectively in the NFL.

I think if anything, TEF might be even more important at center in the modern NFL.

Kristjan Sokoli scored a 3.75 before the 2015 draft. That legitimately makes him a generational athlete entering the league. The Seahawks not only converted him from defense to offense — they strictly placed him at center.

When asked about Sokoli in his final press conference of the 2015 season, Pete Carroll stated it was their intention to keep him at center and give him more time to learn the position. He called Sokoli an “exceptional athlete”, adding if he can make it work they’ll have “one of the really good athletes at center”.

It’s pretty obvious why they are interested in this kind of move. Aaron Donald scores a 3.63 in TEF. Geno Atkins is a 3.65. Sheldon Rankins is a 3.52. Ndamukong Suh is a 3.28.

This is the type of player you’re facing in the NFL these days.

Seattle’s plan to try and create a 3.75 counter punch is, quite frankly, brave and brilliant. If it comes off they will be visionaries (again). While some in the league hope tough, hard-nosed and overmatched players can handle the Donald’s, Atkins’, Suh’s and Rankins’ — the Seahawks have what appears to be a much better plan.

Fight fire with fire.

Mitch Morse as a 3.45 TEF star would’ve been ideal and it goes to show that not only the Seahawks are conscious of the changing face of the NFL. The Chiefs knew what they were doing.

Connor McGovern (3.29) can play guard or center and, if drafted, could compete at both positions in camp.

The argument for going O-line at #26 over defense

When you put the entire 2016 class of defensive linemen through TEF, there are 27 players who pass the test compared to six offensive linemen.

While there are plenty of reasons to argue for Jonathan Bullard in round one — and it’d be a strong case — he is comparatively explosive to Vernon Butler, Hassan Ridgeway, Matt Ioannidis, Willie Henry and Anthony Zettel. Other prospects like Joel Heath, Charles Tapper, Ronald Blair III, Javon Hargrave and Yannick Ngakoue actually tested significantly better.

The pool of explosive defensive linemen to pick from is substantially greater than the O-liners. In turn, if you don’t take an offensive lineman at #26 — you run the risk of missing out because there’s no guarantee McGovern, Dahl and Haeg are going to last deep into rounds two and three.

Hatching a plan

In 2014 the Seahawks likely didn’t take Joel Bitonio because his explosive grade (3.03) was similar to Justin Britt’s (3.00). Taking Bitonio at #32 would’ve prevented them getting the receiver they wanted (Paul Richardson, who clearly fits their profile at wide out). Whether you agree with the plan or not — the Seahawks made sure they drafted two players they felt really comfortable with instead of one.

In 2016 — they likewise will concoct a plan to get two players they really like in rounds 1-2 instead of one. So while the players they actually select might confuse and befuddle fans and the media — we know better than to react like that.

The ideal pick?

It’s arguably Sheldon Rankins. He is, without doubt, the most explosive defensive player in the class with an incredible 3.52 TEF score at 300lbs. He has the physical profile to be as good as any defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s also very capable of playing D-end and wouldn’t need to come off the field at any point.

Unfortunately he’s highly unlikely to last until pick #26 and should be a top-15 pick. Assuming he’s gone, O-line at #26 looks the most likely option.


Jets trading for Ryan Clady is good news

April 9th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Fresh from an epic 16-hour round trip (should’ve taken six) in my ‘day job’ — here’s a very quick post tonight on some good news for the Seahawks.

With D’Brickashaw Ferguson retiring on Friday, it created a gaping hole at left tackle for the Jets. They’re tight under the cap and still need to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick — so all signs pointed to the #20 pick being spent on an offensive tackle.

Not any more.

Trading for Clady is a bit of a shocker. He has a horrendous injury record and a reasonable salary under his re-worked deal. It’s a risk by the Jets, especially if they swap places with Denver as the team paying him to be on injured reserve.

They might still go O-line at #20 (possibly a guard who can play tackle — like Germain Ifedi). Yet at least now there’s a realistic chance they don’t go O-line in round one.

There aren’t many teams between 17-25 that are expected to look at players like Ifedi or Jason Spriggs — so this could be a boost to the Seahawks assuming their #1 priority in this draft is to spend an early pick on a lineman.


Friday draft notes: Kiper’s mock & D’Brickashaw’s retirement

April 8th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Germain Ifedi is an option for the Seahawks — and the Jets

Mel Kiper’s mock draft

It was an interesting update from Kiper this week. He made several lurching changes between his mock 3.0 and his latest update — moving dramatically away from the opinions he’s voiced in recent weeks:

— Kiper dropped one of his favourites A’Shawn Robinson from #16 to #31 in his latest projection

— Kiper moved up Ezekiel Elliott from #20 to #6 this week

— Germain Ifedi wasn’t included in the first round in Kiper’s third mock but now he’s at #20 to the Jets

— Robert Nkemdiche was the #19 pick to Buffalo in Kiper’s third mock but now he’s not included at all in the first round

— Paxton Lynch was not a first round pick in mock 3.0 — yet he’s going at #15 to the Rams in mock 4.0

Some of these moves completely oppose Kiper’s opinions on the First Draft podcast this year. He’s been a big supporter of A’Shawn Robinson and talked about Paxton Lynch as a second rounder.

He certainly has some sources in the league — and the dramatic shifts we’ve seen between his two mocks are worth recognising.

Expect the distinctly average Robinson to fall (probably into round two), Lynch to go a lot earlier than people think, Ifedi to go in round one and Nkemdiche to fall (and fall and fall…). Stuff we’ve covered on here.

Unfortunately those sources aren’t likely Seattle based. He has the Seahawks taking Eli Apple a week after projecting Kendall Fuller at #26. The Seahawks not only have depth at corner, they also re-signed Jeremy Lane and have not taken a CB before day three under Carroll and Schneider.

On the board for the Seahawks as alternatives were Jason Spriggs and Jonathan Bullard.

The impact of D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s retirement

The now former left tackle has created a huge need for the Jets three weeks before the draft.

His immediate retirement leaves them with a hole at LT. In this weeks mock draft we had them taking Germain Ifedi (as did Kiper) — and it’s a pick that makes even more sense today.

Whether it’s Ifedi, Jason Spriggs or Taylor Decker — the Jets appear destined to address that need now. It’s problematic for the Seahawks because it creates a rival. In the second half of round one there aren’t many teams that are likely to go offensive line:

#16 Detroit — Flirted with signing Russell Okung but chose not to and they probably have greater needs on defense for now

#18 Indianapolis — They spent a first and second round pick on two tackles but they might consider an interior lineman or an upgrade to their soft defense

That might’ve been it. Buffalo, Washington, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are likely to go in other directions. Houston are a possibility but receiver might be the focus there.

Now the Jets are a legit option to go left tackle in round one.

Some teams don’t consider Ifedi a possible LT. Personally I think he’s worth trying there for a team with a vacancy. Kelechi Osemele made that adjustment and they’re similar physically.

Aaron Wilson says the Jets are showing interest:

Ifedi has worked out privately for Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin. At the Aggies’ Pro Day workout, Ifedi worked out privately for Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable. The New York Jets also have displayed interest in Ifedi.

Jason Spriggs is a more natural left tackle but doesn’t have the brutish size of Ifedi — who is likely to be a ‘safer’ pick because he can play guard or right tackle.

Taylor Decker’s mediocre physical profile might drop him down plus he’s generally considered a right tackle only in the NFL.

If the Seahawks want Ifedi — they might have to keep their fingers crossed at pick #20.

Tony Pauline provided some interesting info earlier today:

During pro-day at Texas A&M earlier this week I posted the visit list for Germain Ifedi at WalterFootball. Absent from the teams on the list were the Seattle Seahawks yet most people I speak with feel Ifedi is a great fit for the team at the end of round one. The recurring comment is “Ifedi is a Seattle Seahawks type of lineman.”

It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment. He was 0.03 away from reaching the ideal 3.00 in TEF and that’s pretty much an extra rep on the bench press. He has freakish size and length plus explosive power (32.5 inch vertical, 9-1 broad jump at 324lbs).

In many ways he might be more ideal than Spriggs who posted a much higher TEF score. The Seahawks have looked for massive size at left guard or right tackle — the position Ifedi would play in Seattle.

Pauline also had positive things to say about Joe Dahl’s stock:

Washington State offensive lineman Joe Dahl is building some momentum for himself and there’s a belief he could land in the second day of the draft. Teams like his athleticism and ability to adjust, something I spoke about during Senior Bowl week, and fee a bit more strength would complete his game. Dahl’s visit and workout schedule is loaded and includes the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Bucs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts.

This isn’t a big surprise. The Seahawks aren’t the only ones looking for explosive offensive linemen. The entire league is.

Dahl is one of the top 5-6 athletic blockers in this draft. The idea he was going to last until round four (for example) is/was fanciful. The Seahawks might have a pool of O-line options (Spriggs, Ifedi, McGovern, Dahl, Haeg) but if they want two of these guys — they’re probably going to have to take them before the end of day two.


Guest Post: Germain Ifedi vs Jason Spriggs

April 7th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Written by guest blogger Kenny Sloth

An ice cold take.

The Seahawks have finished at or near the top of the league in rushing yards over the last few years, while their pass protection has consistently ranked, in the kindest of light, as decidedly below average. Since the season ended the draft community has relentlessly thrown a litany of linesman at pick 26 hoping something sticks. While Jack Conklin, Ryan Kelly, and others may turn into exceptional pro’s, they do not fit the parameters by which the Seahawks have built their line since Cable’s arrival.

Thanks to the exemplary research and dedication committed by Rob, he has been able to reverse engineer a sort of paragon for the ‘Hawks tendencies towards more highly athletic lineman among the college ranks. Through even more research he has managed to narrow down the most likely of picks and our attention now rests on two of the more athletic, decorated offensive linemen available in this class.

Key Stats Jason Spriggs
— Four year starter
— Former tight end
— Blocks guys to the ground
— Struggles to redirect weight inside
— Struggles to match power 1v1
— Not a mauler
— Only missed one game due to injury
— 2,000 yard rusher 2014
— Two sacks allowed in 430 pass calls

Reminds me of: Nate Solder

The best tackle at the senior bowl, great movement on double teams, doesn’t get to the second level with enough zeal to be considered a power scheme guard. Limited to a zone scheme, even then he may struggle inside. Very eager in protection. Strong punch, relentless hand use. Turns shoulders way too, early bails out of his stance and allows inside penetration. Doesn’t give help inside.

At the Senior Bowl, to end an interview he says, “I’d like to show…everybody that I can play with the best of the best… that’s what I’m about to prove”. I wouldn’t want to be the GM that tells him they’re gonna pass. Answers very honestly and to the point. Looked so so smooth without pads at the combine. Plays with a similar instictive fluidity

Ya’ll wanna see an athlete?

Who says white boys can’t jump?

Key Stats Germain Ifedi
— Three year starter
— RG as a freshman All-American
— Played RT while Cedric Ogbuehi auditioned for the NFL
— Missed two games with sprained MCL last season
— 2nd team all SEC this year

Plays way too tall, patient sometimes too much so, late with hands, sloppy, inconsistent placement. So toned, looks like 300 lbs. Great footspeed, great recovery. Kick slide not very fluid, sloppy all over. Cable didn’t seem very impressed when working him out at the Texas A&M pro day. Lunges.

Ifedi seems to offer very little during his interviews at the combine. Strikes you as shy and extremely intelligent. Sounds like a leader. Speaks like he ran that OL, Spriggs seems like he was simply the best player on the OL. Takes ownership of losses. Not very emotional. QUIET.

Radio team for A&M had to turn up his mic repeatedly during a guest segment including himself and Mike Matthews. Traveled to the senior bowl even though he could not participate. He’s quiet but always smiling. Very eloquent. Construction Science major. Interned with a company that then became contracted to build the A&M stadium. Some background in this piece.

He gets knocked a lot for staying on the right. But he makes it clear in several interviews that it was for the freshman LT who was uncomfortable on the right. Very versatile.
Germain played at 335lbs. Says he’ll eat a bowl of fruit and some eggs and gains five pounds. Weight could be a concern. Hasn’t spoken to Johnny Manziel since he left.

Spriggs Vs Ohio State
First pressure he gives up due to a failure to redirect weight inside. Plants hard and sells out to stop speed rush of Joey Bosa who cuts it upfield effortlessly and puts Sudfeld in the dirt. Showing a very weak punch and allowing every OSU player inside his chest. Doesn’t have the length of Ifedi. Pushed back twice in a row on the goal line. Bails whenever Bosa is lined up against him. Bosa kept slipping trying to make an inside move. This could’ve been a much uglier matchup.

Spriggs dives at Bosa everytime he slips. Blocks guys out. Seems always to get punched in the face and recover, counter attacking. Eager to punch, inconsistent strength of punch. Misses the wing block at the second level way too much. Lacks hip torque to turn edge rushers inside in the run game. Not satisfied with bad blocks, always readjusting hands and trying to get leverage, knee bender. Doesn’t surprise defenders with punch, stops when he punches. (fun game because the QB changes due to injury from a pocket guy to a scrambler).

Spriggs Vs. Michigan State
First play he smacks Calhoun out of the way, fingers to the face leave him unable to react to pass right by him. More than one way to block a dude. Rob is right in that he is the best combo blocker in this draft, but when he knows he is isolated on an island he seems to just bail on the first step.

Inside is wide open. Got caught on an inside stunt. Low positional awareness for the TE convert. Put two guys on the ground with combo blocks then looked around for another. Hands all up in the facemask on several plays. I like it though. Beat badly inside on a quick concept again. Inside leg swinging free out from under shoulder == bad news bears. Loses interest in plays early on. Has run game syndrome, never clears the pile.

Ifedi Vs. Mississippi State
Down blocks very aggressively. Active hands. Constantly pushing, constant leg drive. Stomp slide kick slide. Beautiful initial step, but reverts to stomping, heavy feet. Phenomenal mirroring. Put Chris Jones on his ass. Took a paw all up in his facemask and threw the dude aside. Runs at opponent with arms extended. No punch? Patient, excellent mirroring. Same dude put his hands in his face, forced a hold. Easy to see because of poor hand placement. Allowed another hurry due to poor punch. Seems to duck for a wing block and whiff 2-3 times a game. Perhaps bad technique that pops up from time to time. Struggles to stay engaged at the second level,

Ifedi Vs. Alabama 2014
Old scheme same problems. Gets driven back because he doesn’t punch the DL. First year at RT apparent. All American guard in 2013 and played guard in highschool, I believe. Doesn’t punch and push. Kick slide showed so much improvement from 14 to 15. He used to do like a weird shuffle feet chop. No solid base, easy to drive back. Not afraid to clear the pile. Once he gets his hands on you you’re down. Strong as an Ox.

Ifedi Vs. Alabama 2013
Playing guard in front of Manziel, Ifedi showed the same lack of punch, but got to show off his absurd movement skill at his playing weight. Pulls so fluidly for someone his size.

If I had to give these prospects a one word summary I would call Spriggs relentless and Ifedi stolid. Spriggs will block you to the ground and dive at your neck while standing over you. He’ll get beat around the edge only to crack the dude after the QB rolls out. He’ll also leave wide open rush lanes and miss a second level block, but not for a lack of effort. His length is not superb, but certainly passable. Struggles to shift his weight and mirror. Fast hands. The kind of guy you can go to war with.

Ifedi is constantly contributing. His long arms and fast footwork offer few openings for opposing pass rushers. Seems to lack confidence in his punch and technique. Not a fiery guy but a leader and someone your players can look up to. Literally. In an interview Mike Matthews said Ifedi had just weighed in at 335lbs, midseason. This is a dude that has two inches and 15 pounds on James Carpenter. Too bad he doesn’t use his weight on the field. You could’ve told me Spriggs was the heavier of the two and I’d believe it. Ifedi at times is the Hulk, just no way around this guy. And it’s not a case of ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane’. More often than not he’ll revert from his Hulkish down blocking, to his very timid, Bruce Banner alter ego, struggling against the bull rush of guys he could conceivably have 100lbs on.

If I’m the Seahawks it’s really all about how I view my current group. Am I willing to bet on Gilliam at left tackle? If so, I take Ifedi because of his versatility and tremendous upside at multiple positions. If you want to add to the competition at left tackle you take Spriggs and hope that he can contribute elsewhere in the event that he loses out. I’m not convinced Spriggs is a viable option at guard, due to his lack of base power and inability to add much to his frame. There will likely be a steep learning curve with Spriggs at any position.

That being said, left tackle is the most valuable position on the line and we know Gilliam can contribute at other spots. Spriggs is a real TEF guy, rating as the most explosive pass blocker in this draft, while Ifedi’s poor bench press keeps him out of the Seahawks ideal zone, though he rated very similarly in both of the jumps despite weighing 25lbs heavier at the time.

Spriggs is a converted TE that will have a few rough spots to smooth out, but it’s apparent to me that he has all the tools to succeed at LT in Seattle and could provide a plus starter at other positions.

Ifedi on the other hand is a former guard that has actually gotten smaller since the transition. He played at 335 and still moved well. Ifedi is almost the total inverse of Spriggs in that he could be a pro bowler at every spot, but probably won’t compete for the blindside job.


NFL mock draft: 6th April & Seahawks status check

April 6th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

With three weeks to go this is how I’m looking at Seattle’s options:

1. Will Sheldon Rankins (yeah right) or Jonathan Bullard (more likely) make it to #26? If not, it’s hard to identify the DE-DT they’d be willing to take in round one. They haven’t drafted a defensive tackle earlier than round three (Jordan Hill) and there are players with Hill’s underrated explosion and agility likely to be available in rounds 2-3.

2. If it isn’t going to be Rankins or Bullard, the safe money is on an offensive tackle. Germain Ifedi and Jason Spriggs are the most likely options based on everything we’ve covered that appears to be important to Seattle for the O-line. Size, length, tackle experience, unique traits, versatility, and explosive athleticism.

3. The four first round players I’m focusing on are Rankins (the pipe dream), Bullard, Spriggs and Ifedi. Rankins is such an explosive player (more on that in a bit) it’s almost certain he won’t be there at #26. If he is, run to the podium. Shon Coleman could also be in contention.

4. At #56 we’ll more or less know what they’re likely to do based on their first round decision. If they go defense at #26, expect them to take an offensive lineman in round two. If they take an O-liner, it seems likely they’ll add some kind of pass rusher with their second pick.

5. If it’s offense at #56, Connor McGovern could be their version of Mitch Morse. He’s the second most explosive lineman in the draft after Jason Spriggs, he has the tackle experience and he can play virtually any position on the line. Joe Haeg could be an alternative choice if they go offense in round two.

6. If they’re picking defense in the second round, Willie Henry has the DE-DT capability. He’s not far off Jonathan Bullard in some of the testing and ran a nice short shuttle. Kyler Fackrell is a DE/SAM who could be intriguing at #56 and Bronson Kaufusi’s size and agility makes him a unique talent. Charles Tapper and Ronald Blair III could also be options.

7. Could they take a wildcard in round two? Of course. Running back and wide receiver could be considered. They’ve drafted two receivers in the second round (Golden Tate, Paul Richardson) and one running back (Christine Michael) so they have previous here. Kenneth Dixon’s ball security is an issue but he’s their type. I’m not totally sold on Devontae Booker but he’ll go in the second or third. Braxton Miller could be a player they look at. They might even consider Tyler Ervin if his stock continues to rise.

8. In round three they’ll have options on the offensive line (possibly Joe Haeg, Joe Dahl) and running back (Ervin). There’s a general feeling in the league that the depth on the O-line and D-line drops after the third round. I still think Stanford receiver Devon Cajuste is primed to be a target possibly as early as round four. He’s extremely athletic for a big receiver, he run blocks very well, he maximises his targets in a run-first offense and is very close to Doug Baldwin.

Before we get into this weeks projection, I wanted to talk about four prospects I spent some extra time looking at today.

Sheldon Rankins (DT, Louisville)
Only listed at #26 on Daniel Jeremiah’s latest big board, Rankins is arguably the most explosive defensive player in the draft class. His combination of a 34.5 inch vertical, a 9-10 broad jump and 28 reps on the bench press at 299lbs is far superior to nearly every other defensive lineman available. He’s more explosive physically than Robert Nkemdiche.

When we put his numbers through TEF he had an incredible 3.52 grade. Even though TEF is set up to judge offensive linemen relating to Seattle’s physical ideal — it’s still a useful tool to see how the defensive tackles match up. Rankins’ score blitzes every O-liner in the draft other than Jason Spriggs. He is simply a lot more explosive than people realise.

In comparison, DeForest Buckner is a 3.33 in TEF and Jonathan Bullard is a 3.18. Rankins is going to be considerably more explosive than the vast majority of interior offensive linemen he’ll face at the next level. He’s a candidate to put up big time sack numbers and cause major disruption working at the three and five technique.

Noah Spence (DE, Eastern Kentucky)
I made the mistake of reading too much into Spence’s disappointing 4.80 at the combine. Looking at the rest of his numbers there’s a lot to like. A 1.62 split, a 35-inch vertical, 25 reps on the bench press, a 10-1 in the broad jump and a 4.35 short shuttle. He has the quickness and change of direction to work the edge. These numbers prove he’s a great athlete — and his bench performance is good for his size.

The concern from Spence shouldn’t be that he underwhelmed at the combine. It should be his one-dimensional style (speed rush) and the character concerns that led to his departure from Ohio State. For those reasons there is a slight risk factor that could see him drop into the top half of round two. That still wouldn’t be a bad slot for a player who has essentially had to rebuild his career.

Kyler Fackrell (LB, Utah State)
Here are Bruce Irvin’s combine numbers compared to Kyler Fackrell’s:

Bruce Irvin
Height: 6-3
Weight: 245lbs
Vertical: 33.5 inches
Broad: 10-3
Bench press: 23 reps
10-yard: 1.58

Kyler Fackrell
Height: 6-5
Weight: 245lbs
Vertical: 34.5 inches
Broad: 10-1
Bench press: 15 reps
10-yard: 1.62

There’s virtually nothing between the two players.

An argument can be made for a SAM/DE not being a priority for the Seahawks. They can start a mix of Mike Morgan and Cassius Marsh in that role if required — plus Eric Pinkins may also challenge.

Yet there’s also an argument to be made for adding Fackrell. He’s very similar to Bruce Irvin and would be able to do, essentially, the exact same job. It’d be a like-for-like replacement.

Both John Schneider and Pete Carroll have talked about their desire to add someone to the defense who forces turnovers. That could very easily mean a DE-DT type who can work inside on third down. Yet if Sheldon Rankins and Jonathan Bullard are unavailable at #26 (not terribly unlikely) the Seahawks are going to struggle to find that type of player. Willie Henry, a possibility in round two, also might not make it to #56.

In that scenario — Fackrell makes a nice alternative. He’s a splash play artist who impacts the quarterback. His flawless character and passion for the game are also appealing. The Seahawks might prefer to add a DE-DT but if they can’t — Fackrell’s combination of size, length, athleticism, character and impact could make him Seattle’s pick at #56.

A’Shawn Robinson (DT, Alabama)
Everyone’s heard about Robinson’s upside and potential. Daniel Jeremiah, who considers Robinson the 17th best player in the draft, states:

“He has outstanding height, bulk and athleticism for the position. As a pass rusher, he flashes an explosive first step as well as an effective slap/swim move. Overall, Robinson has all of the tools to be a dominant three-down presence but he hasn’t put it all together yet. His best football is ahead of him.”

When I watched tape of Robinson I thought he was distinctly average. No explosion, minimal impact, very few splash plays let alone sacks. He was too easily blocked and didn’t play with any great strength, power, quickness or intensity. He just looked good aesthetically. By that I mean he carries 307lbs very well. He doesn’t have a sloppy frame — he’s chiselled.

I suspect appearances in this instance are deceptive. He looks like he should be very athletic. The truth is completely the opposite — and backs up the disappointing tape. Robinson’s best football isn’t likely ahead of him.

Vertical: 26 inches
Broad: 8-10
10-yard: 1.79
Three cone: 7.80
Short shuttle: 4.74

I collected the data for all of the defensive linemen in this draft that weigh more than 285lbs and worked out the average for each test. Here are the results:

Vertical: 29.7 inches
Broad: 9-2
10-yard: 1.75
Three cone: 7.65
Short shuttle: 4.63

In relation to the defensive tackles or bigger DE’s in this draft class, Robinson tests below average in every single category.

He is thoroughly miscast as a player with upside who didn’t quite play his best ball at Alabama. His ceiling, physically, is pretty low. Robinson might prove to be an average defensive tackle at the next level who isn’t a liability and does a decent job defending the run. That’s all well and good, but he isn’t special.


Kyler Fackrell had his pro day today, we’re waiting for news on how he performed in the three cone and short shuttle. He did improve his bench press mark from 15 to 17.

Germain Ifedi also had his pro day today and went through drills with none other than Tom Cable. If Ifedi’s on the board at #26 he could be Seattle’s pick.

First round

#1 Tennessee — Laremy Tunsil (T, Ole Miss)
#2 Cleveland — Carson Wentz (QB, North Dakota State)
#3 San Diego — Jaylen Ramsey (CB, Florida State)
#4 Dallas — Myles Jack (LB, UCLA)
#5 Jacksonville — Joey Bosa (DE, Ohio State)
#6 Baltimore — DeForest Buckner (DE, Oregon)
#7 San Fran — Jared Goff (QB, California)
#8 Philadelphia — Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)
#9 Tampa Bay — Vernon Hargreaves (CB, Florida)
#10 TRADE Los Angeles — Paxton Lynch (QB, Memphis)
#11 Chicago — Jack Conklin (T, Michigan State)
#12 New Orleans — Sheldon Rankins (DT, Louisville)
#13 Miami — Darron Lee (LB, Ohio State)
#14 Oakland — Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)
#15 TRADE New York Giants — Ronnie Stanley (T, Notre Dame)
#16 Detroit — Reggie Ragland (LB, Alabama)
#17 Atlanta — Leonard Floyd (LB, Georgia)
#18 Indianapolis — Andrew Billings (DT, Baylor)
#19 Buffalo — Kevin Dodd (DE, Clemson)
#20 New York Jets — Germain Ifedi (T, Texas A&M)
#21 Washington — Jonathan Bullard (DE, Florida)
#22 Houston — Corey Coleman (WR, Baylor)
#23 Minnesota — Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)
#24 Cincinatti — Josh Doctson (WR, TCU)
#25 Pittsburgh — Keanu Neal (S, Florida)
#26 Seattle — Jason Spriggs (T, Indiana)
#27 Green Bay — Jarran Reed (DT, Alabama)
#28 Kansas City — Shaq Lawson (DE, Clemson)
#29 Arizona — William Jackson III (CB, Houston)
#30 Carolina — Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson)
#31 Denver — Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama)

Second round

#32 Cleveland — Karl Joseph (S, West Virginia)
#33 Tennessee — Ryan Kelly (C, Alabama)
#34 Dallas — Vonn Bell (S, Ohio State)
#35 San Diego — Taylor Decker (T, Ohio State)
#36 Baltimore — Le’Raven Clark (T, Texas Tech)
#37 San Francisco — Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
#38 Miami — Emmanuel Ogbah (DE, Oklahoma State)
#39 Jacksonville — Xavien Howard (CB, Baylor)
#40 New York Giants — A’Shawn Robinson (DT, Alabama)
#41 Chicago — Chris Jones (DT, Mississippi State)
#42 Tampa Bay — Noah Spence (DE, Eastern Kentucy)
#43 TRADE New York Giants — Sterling Shepard (WR, Oklahoma)
#44 Oakland — Robert Nkemdiche (DT, Ole Miss)
#45 Los Angeles — Michael Thomas (WR, Ohio State)
#46 Detroit — Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
#47 New Orleans — Austin Johnson (DT, Penn State)
#48 Indianapolis — Nick Martin (C, Notre Dame)
#49 Buffalo — Braxton Miller (WR, Ohio State)
#50 Atlanta — Cody Whitehair (G, Kansas State)
#51 New York Jets — Travis Feeney (LB, Washington)
#52 Houston — Joshua Garnett (G, Stanford)
#53 Washington — Joshua Perry (LB, Ohio State)
#54 Minnesota — Kenny Clark (DT, UCLA)
#55 Cincinnati — Willie Henry (DT, Michigan)
#56 Seattle — Kyler Fackrell (LB, Utah State)
#57 Green Bay — Tyler Boyd (WR, Pittsburgh)
#58 Pittsburgh — Vernon Butler (DT, Louisiana Tech)
#59 Kansas City — Kamalei Correa (DE, Boise State)
#60 New England — Devontae Booker (RB, Utah)
#61 New England — Jihad Ward (DE, Illinois)
#62 Denver — Hassan Ridgeway (DT, Texas)
#63 Carolina — Kenneth Dixon (RB, Louisiana Tech)


How TEF helps explain the Justin Britt pick in 2014

April 5th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks took Justin Britt in the second round of the 2014 draft

John Schneider spoke to ESPN 710’s Brock and Salk show today. He had this to say about the offensive line class in the draft:

“It’s a good group. It’s better than it has been in several years. There doesn’t appear to be as many drop-offs, if you will. I remember talking to you guys about Justin Britt. We felt like we needed to take Justin right where we did because there was a huge shelf there, a big drop-off. This one looks pretty consistent all the way through at this point.”

Yesterday we revealed a new equation called the ‘Trench Explosion Formula’ (TEF). It combines a prospects vertical jump, broad jump and bench press to create a rating that directly compares to Seattle’s self-confessed ideals for the O-line.

The formula is explained in great detail here. It paints a pretty clear picture on Seattle’s O-line/draft philosophy.

The Seahawks have not drafted an offensive lineman since 2012 that has graded below their cumulative ideal using TEF. Justin Britt in 2014 had the lowest grade and even he scored a perfectly ideal 3.00 using the formula.

In yesterday’s piece I suggested the Seahawks reached for Britt because he was the last player on their board in the round 2-4 range that matched their physical ideal. Today we have the proof — and it backs up what Schneider told ESPN 710 today.

Only four offensive tackles were drafted between Seattle’s selection of Britt in round two and Garrett Scott, who they drafted in round six:

#64 Justin Britt 3.00
#66 Morgan Moses: 2.69
#67 Billy Turner: 2.83
#140 Cameron Fleming: 2.45
#149 Kevin Pamphile: 2.96
#199 Garrett Scott: 3.27

Remember, anything at 3.00 or above matches Seattle’s cumulative ideal for explosive offensive linemen. They haven’t drafted any player with a sub-3.00 since 2012.

This 2014 sample doesn’t look at all like a coincidence. The Seahawks were willing to reach for Britt because he matched their performance ideals in the explosive tests (vertical, broad, jump). No other offensive linemen available at the end of the second round got close to that level.

If nothing else, it proves we’re onto something with our new formula.

Ultimately, had they missed out on Britt — there’s a very strong chance they wouldn’t have drafted a tackle in 2014 until Scott in round six. They had a gaping hole at right tackle and needed to get one.

Reaching for Britt looks like a classic example of what Pete Carroll often refers to. They draft for their team — not everyone else in the NFL. The Seahawks clearly want explosive offensive linemen and they have a standard they appear to be sticking to. TEF shows Britt was explosive in comparison to Seattle’s self-confessed ideal. Moses, Turner, Fleming and Pamphile were not.

When Schneider talks about a ‘big shelf’ in 2014 and how this draft is different — it likely means they can add guys who fit their proposed criteria without needing to panic and fear missing out altogether.

In the first round they can consider the likes of Jason Spriggs and potentially Germain Ifedi and Shon Coleman. Later on they’ll have the option to target Connor McGovern, Joe Haeg, Joe Dahl and Alex Redmond. They should be able to draft two players they really like in rounds 1-4, without ever feeling like they have to reach.

We talked more about TEF in this weeks podcast. Don’t forget to check it out:


Introducing: The Trench Explosion Formula (TEF)

April 4th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Jason Spriggs attempts the vertical jump at the combine

Last week we looked at a basic formula devised by Pat Kirwan to determine explosion and athleticism. Kirawn, who is close to Pete Carroll, added a players broad jump, vertical and bench press statistic together to create an overall ‘explosion’ score.

For example:

Jason Spriggs
Vertical: 35
Broad: 9.7
Bench: 31
Overall score: 75.7

Anything over 70 was considered explosive.

The problem with the formula is it diminishes the broad jump. If you jump a 9-7 like Spriggs you’re only 0.6 points better off than a prospect that jumps a 9-1.

Spriggs’ score with a 9-7 broad jump: 75.7

Spriggs’ score with a 9-1 broad jump: 75.1

Clearly the broad jump is disproportionately represented.

We needed to create a new formula that shows greater value to the broad. This is especially important because as we noted last week — the Seahawks appear to place an extra special emphasis on the broad jump when drafting offensive linemen.

Here’s how BodyBuilding.com describes the test and how it compares to the vertical jump:

“The broad jump expresses horizontal power, which is more specific to football motions than vertical power. Vertical power helps you go up for a ball, bat down passes or hurdle defenders; horizontal power helps you cover the full 5300 square yards of the ironed grid. A pure acceleration step expresses horizontal power.”

Tom Cable admitted a year ago that the ideal athletic profile for a Seahawks offensive lineman is as follows:

Vertical: 31 inches
Broad: 9-0
Bench: 27 reps

I refer to this ideal as ’31 — 9 — 27′.

We can use the following calculation to compare any offensive lineman to Cable’s ideal:

1. Vertical ÷ 31
2. Broad ÷ 9, then cube the result
3. Bench ÷ 27
4. Add the results together

I cubed the broad jump to give it greater emphasis. This is explained later in the piece.

Here’s what the ideal (31 — 9 — 27) would look like using this formula:

1. Vertical: 31 ÷ 31 = 1
2. Broad: 9 ÷ 9 = 1, cubed = 1
3. Bench: 27 ÷ 27 = 1
4. Added together the ideal score is 3.00

What is the benefit of the formula?

1. It provides leeway. If a prospect scores a slightly less than ideal score in the vertical jump, they can still achieve a +3.00 if they excel in the broad jump and/or bench press. A really explosive broad jumper who doesn’t quite bench 27 reps isn’t being severely critiqued for missing the ideal in one test.

2. We’re comparing a prospect to the self-confessed ideal of Seattle’s offensive line coach. Rather than just adding up a set of numbers, the grade is directly relevant to the Seahawks.

Why cube the broad jump score?

Let’s use Jason Spriggs’ score to highlight why this is important:

1. Vertical: 35 ÷ 31 = 1.13
2. Broad: 9.7 ÷ 9 = 1.1
3. Broad cubed = 1.26
4. Bench: 31 ÷ 27 = 1.15
5. Added together Spriggs’ score is 3.54

Spriggs’ 9-7 in the broad jump is arguably more impressive than his 35 inch vertical or his 31 reps on the bench press. Without cubing his 1.1 score in the broad it would actually be marked as his weakest test. Instead it is correctly highlighted as his best work.

This is significant given Seattle’s clear interest in explosive measurements in the broad jump.

Does the formula have a name?

It tests the explosive physicality of players competing in the trenches. Let’s go with the ‘Trench Explosion Formula’ or ‘TEF’ for short.

How does every Seahawks offensive lineman drafted since 2012 score?

Here’s the first revealing bit. Every single player tested at or beyond Seattle’s ideal of 3.00:

Mark Glowinski: 3.34
Terry Poole: 3.12
Kristjan Sokoli: 3.75
Justin Britt: 3.00
Garrett Scott: 3.27
Ryan Seymour: 3.10
Jared Smith: 3.35
J.R. Sweezy: 3.13
Gary Gilliam (UDFA): 3.09

Only Glowinski, Sokoli and Smith actually achieved Cable’s ideal of 31 — 9 — 27 in all three tests (vertical, broad, bench). Yet when we put every prospect into our new TEF formula, they all test cumulatively above the ideal.

Justin Britt, the weakest tester of the group, still scores a perfectly ideal 3.00. The formula also represents Kristjan Sokoli’s incredible athleticism (no player in the entire 2016 draft class comes close to Sokoli’s 3.75).

We have no way of knowing for sure — but it might be that while the Seahawks are willing to concede a lower than ideal 31 inch measurement in the vertical jump or a few reps below 27 in the bench — they might insist on a cumulative ideal of the three key tests plus at least a 9″ broad jump.

So what about the 2016 class of offensive linemen?

When I put every offensive lineman through the formula, only six players hit the ideal mark of 3.00:

Jason Spriggs: 3.54
Connor McGovern: 3.29
Alex Redmond: 3.10
Joe Haeg: 3.06
Joe Dahl: 3.05
Joe Thuney: 3.04

Shon Coleman hasn’t performed the necessary tests due to injury and wasn’t included.

The defensive linemen in this class performed significantly better than the O-liners (we’ll come onto that in a moment). However, only two players (Sheldon Rankins, Dean Lowry) got close to Jason Spriggs’ score of 3.54.

Tony Pauline reported today that Spriggs is expected to go in the last third of the first round. He looks like a very realistic option for the Seahawks at #26 based on these findings.

With a growing discrepancy between offensive and defensive players in terms of athleticism — Spriggs is the offensive lineman best equipped to compete physically with the best defensive players in this draft and the league in general.

It’s not unrealistic that the Seahawks have a similar shortlist of only a handful of names. In 2014 the Seahawks ‘reached’ for little known Justin Britt in round two. People wondered why they made that pick — with the perception it was just down to Britt’s wrestling background and a healthy dose of Tom Cable admiration.

Britt scored an ideal 3.00. If the Seahawks in 2014 were working from a small target pool of 4-6 players that achieved their ideal explosive rating, Britt might’ve been the last prospect available they were willing to select. Put into this context, it arguably makes Seattle’s thought process much more understandable (even if you don’t agree with their philosophy to focus on explosive athleticism on the O-line).

What about the players grading below the ideal?

Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 2.97
Germain Ifedi: 2.97
Brandon Shell: 2.91
Ryan Kelly: 2.84
Jake Brendel: 2.83
Joshua Garnett: 2.83
Christian Westerman: 2.82
Isaac Seumalo: 2.81
Tyler Johnstone: 2.81
Jack Conklin: 2.77
Le’Raven Clark: 2.74
Nick Martin: 2.67
Graham Glasgow: 2.66
Evan Boehm: 2.51
Taylor Decker: 2.50
Cody Whitehair: 2.47
Sebastien Tretola: 2.16

What stands out?

— While Cody Whitehair jumped a 9-2 in the broad, his weak efforts in the vertical and bench hammered his score. He is well beneath the physical standard of Seattle’s drafted offensive linemen since 2012.

— Taylor Decker is marginally better than Whitehair. His combination of tests were mediocre across the board and like Whitehair, it would be a major departure from their previous draft habits if they were to select him at #26 this year.

— Germain Ifedi didn’t hit the ideal mark because he managed 24 reps on the bench instead of the ideal 27. I suspect the Seahawks would be completely satisfied with a score of 2.97 due to his size. Ifedi does have unusually long 36 inch arms which is probably worthy of the extra bench reps to get him to 3.00. He jumped a 32.5 inch vertical at 324lbs.

— Ryan Kelly and Jack Conklin, two big name prospects that are widely considered ‘athletic’ offensive linemen, both tested well below Seattle’s cumulative ideal for explosion. Only four defensive linemen at the combine tested worse than Kelly using our formula and only three worse than Conklin. The reality is neither player is that athletic compared to the players they’ll be competing against in the trenches — and they aren’t among the most athletic offensive linemen in this draft either.

Is size a factor?

It’s difficult to incorporate size into the equation. We know the Seahawks have certain physical ideals at other positions. They haven’t drafted an outside cornerback, for example, with sub-32 inch arms.

Equally they haven’t drafted an offensive lineman under Carroll and Schneider with sub-33 inch arms. That could equally be an important marker. Of the six names above who scored higher than 3.00 — only Joe Thuney has sub-33 inch arms (32 1/4 inches). That could rule him out.

If a prospect has unnatural size and length (Germain Ifedi) that could also factor in if they fall just short of the 3.00 ideal.

What can we deduce from all of this?

We’ll find out later this month but of the combine attendees, the Seahawks might be picking only from the following offensive linemen:

Jason Spriggs
Connor McGovern
Alex Redmond
Joe Haeg
Joe Dahl
Germain Ifedi

Shon Coleman could be added to the list in the future, plus any pro-day/VMAC standouts that didn’t perform at the combine.

Is there a wildcard?

We know they like a defensive convert project. Michigan State’s Joel Heath is an ideal candidate at 6-5, 293lbs with 34.5 inch arms. He scored a 3.21 which would’ve put him third on the list of offensive linemen behind only Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern.

How do the defensive prospects compare?

It often gets said that the best athletes are choosing to play defense in college. This isn’t always easy to prove. People look at Jason Spriggs’ athletic profile and wonder how a prospect like Sheldon Rankins can even begin to compare.

After all, does this guy really look like one of the most explosive athletes in the 2016 draft?

Actually, that’s the perfect way to describe Rankins.

Yes he’s 6-1 and 300lbs. He also scored superbly in the three explosive tests. His score is a 3.52 — second only to Dean Lowry among defensive linemen and outscoring every offensive linemen apart from Jason Spriggs.

Rankins is much more explosive than Robert Nkemdiche, Shawn Oakman and Emmanuel Ogbah. Looks, in this case, can be deceiving. This is why he is without a shadow of a doubt going in the top-15. This formula gives us evidence to argue that case now.

But what about the defensive group overall?

Six offensive linemen reached Seattle’s ideal explosive score of 3.00 using TEF.

Twenty-six defensive linemen scored 3.00 or higher.


That’s even without the likes of Kevin Dodd completing the necessary tests.

If you were sceptical about those league-wide concerns about overmatched college offensive linemen — here’s the proof you were waiting for. This is also the argument for the Seahawks focusing on explosion and upside when drafting their offensive lineman.

Defensive line grades using TEF

Dean Lowry: 3.54
Sheldon Rankins: 3.52
Robert Nkemdiche: 3.47
Noah Spence: 3.46
Yannick Ngakoue: 3.44
Shaq Lawson: 3.43
Shawn Oakman: 3.36
Ronald Blair III: 3.35
DeForest Buckner: 3.33
Javon Hargrave: 3.33
Charles Tapper: 3.32
Lawrence Thomas: 3.32
Joey Bosa: 3.29
Emmanuel Ogbah: 3.29
Romeo Okwara: 3.28
Matt Judon: 3.27
Connor Wujciak: 3.25
Shalique Calhoun: 3.24
Andrew Billings: 3.23
Joel Heath: 3.21
Jason Fanaika: 3.19
Jonathan Bullard: 3.18
Hassan Ridgeway: 3.11
Matt Ioannidis: 3.09
Willie Henry: 3.08
Anthony Zettel: 3.05
Bronson Kaufusi: 2.98
Giorgio Newberry: 2.93
Carl Nassib: 2.92
Maliek Collins: 2.91
James Cowser: 2.89
Kenny Clark: 2.86
Vernon Butler: 2.85
Kamalei Correa: 2.84
Sterling Bailey: 2.79
Chris Jones: 2.75
A’Shawn Robinson: 2.65
Sheldon Day: 2.62
Austin Johnson: 2.55

For comparisons sake, J.J. Watt is a 3.82. Which is hardly surprising.

What stands out?

— Is this an important test for defensive linemen and the Seahawks? Maybe. Jordan Hill scored a 3.10 when I put his numbers through TEF. Seattle spent a third round pick on Hill — their biggest investment on a defensive tackle so far under Carroll and Schneider.

— They also seem to value the short shuttle at defensive tackle. Their two highest picks at DT (Hill, Jaye Howard) both tested very well specifically in the shuttle.

— Jonathan Bullard tests well — but he’s not on Sheldon Rankins’ level of freaky athleticism. Bullard is a good athlete but not exceptional in terms of explosion compared to the overall D-line class. The options at #56 (Willie Henry? Hassan Ridgeway?) are comparable using TEF. It’s also worth noting Bullard has value elsewhere — he plays with great gap control (vital in Seattle), grit and he had a good 10-yard split (1.66). He also has tremendous character. You still have to ask whether he’s truly special enough for the Seahawks in round one? He might be — but it’s a no-brainer with Rankins.

— Ronald Blair III, according to the TEF formula, tested better than DeForest Buckner and several others. His 3.35 is 0.17 above Jonathan Bullard and 0.17 below Sheldon Rankins. All three play DE-DT and Blair III exactly splits the two big name prospects. He also ran a 4.53 in the short shuttle — 0.02 seconds slower than Jordan Hill. That said, his 10-yard split is only OK (1.75) and his three cone was poor (7.95). He’s explosive but doesn’t appear to have great short-area quickness bizarrely.

— A’Shawn Robinson has been mocked to the Seahawks on several occasions by the national media and is often praised for his athletic upside and potential. He not only scored very poorly compared to his defensive line peers, he’s also less explosive than nearly all of the offensive linemen. This vindicates the distinctly average tape we saw at Alabama. He’s not an explosive player.

— The Seahawks seem unlikely to draft a run-stuffer or one-technique early in the draft. I suspect the testing of players like Kenny Clark and Austin Johnson using this formula likely rules them out in the first two rounds. There are more explosive options available elsewhere.

— Bronson Kaufusi’s rare agility is freaky and unique. He’s 6-6, 285lbs and ran a 4.25 in the short shuttle which is incredible. His 2.98, however, doesn’t really indicate either way how well he fits as a DE-DT. If he was a 3.20 — watch out NFL.

Here are some of the best combinations of TEF + agility. Most prospects seems to have a flaw — such as Blair III’s three cone of Shilique Calhoun’s 10-yard split.

Ronald Blair III
TEF: 3.35
Short shuttle: 4.53
Three cone: 7.95
10-yard: 1.75

Jonathan Bullard
TEF: 3.18
Short shuttle: 4.56
Three cone: 7.31
10-yard: 1.66

Joey Bosa
TEF: 3.29
Short shuttle: 4.21
Three cone: 6.89
10-yard: 1.69

DeForest Buckner
TEF: 3.33
Short shuttle: 4.47
Three cone: 7.51
10-yard: 1.77

Shilique Calhoun
TEF: 3.24
Short shuttle: 4.25
Three cone: 6.97
10-yard: 1.77

Jason Fanaika
TEF: 3.19
Short shuttle: 4.39
Three cone: 7.06
10-yard: 1.68

Willie Henry
TEF: 3.08
Short shuttle: 4.53
Three cone: 7.57
10-yard: 1.75

Matt Judon
TEF: 3.27
Short shuttle: 4.52
Three cone: 7.67
10-yard: 1.66

Shaq Lawson
TEF: 3.43
Short shuttle: 4.21
Three cone: 7.16
10-yard: 1.64

Dean Lowry
TEF: 3.54
Short shuttle: 4.38
Three cone: 7.26
10-yard: 1.70

Noah Spence
TEF: 3.46
Short shuttle: 4.35
Three cone: 7.21
10-yard: 1.62

What does all this tell us about Seattle’s potential draft plans?

— The most likely offensive tackles to be drafted at #26 could be Jason Spriggs and Germain Ifedi. We might be able to add Shon Coleman to the list.

— The Seahawks would probably love Sheldon Rankins to fall (but he won’t).

— Is Jonathan Bullard special enough to warrant a first round pick when there are comparable players in terms of explosion available beyond round one?

— Connor McGovern, Joe Haeg and Joe Dahl could be possible targets in rounds 2-3 for the offensive line.

— Willie Henry could be interesting to Seattle — and he’s close to Frank Clark (if that means anything).

— Keep an eye on Joel Heath as the next possible D-line to O-line convert on day three.


Explosion scores and ideal measurables on the O-line

April 1st, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Jason Spriggs is one of only two ‘explosive’ offensive linemen in the 2016 draft

I want to put a bow on this weeks discussion on O-line measurables. Yesterday’s evidence clearly suggests the Seahawks put a lot of draft focus on the broad jump when looking for offensive linemen. Can we take it a step further?

Pat Kirwan, who is close to Pete Carroll, discusses a way of calculating explosive athleticm in this article:

Every time a ball is snapped to start a play there is a critical element of explosiveness that takes place. When two players collide in an attempt to physically dominate each other, the athlete with the edge in explosiveness has the best chance to win the confrontation. It could be a blocker vs. a tackler, a tackler vs. a ball carrier, or many other examples of winning at the point of contact.

Explosiveness is defined in the dictionary as a violent release of energy, a sudden outburst. Football is a series of explosions. How do you measure it in athletes trying to play NFL football?

Take the vertical jump, standing broad jump and the bench press test results and add them together. If the combined score is over 70 there is a reason to consider the candidate at some point in the draft process for his explosiveness.

Kirwan’s formula is flawed because it diminishes the impact of the broad jump. A superb 9-7 only achieves a 1.2 point advantage of a below par 8-5. That said, the data still provides an interesting comparison between the previously drafted Seahawks linemen and this years class.

This piece by Davis Hsu and Danny Kelly also offered some interesting quotes by Tom Cable:

“The really cool thing about this group: All of them are broad jumpers of 9-feet or more, they all vertical over 31-inches, they all can lift 27-plus, and they all can change direction the right way.”

Softy pressed him, “You mention 31, nine, and 27-plus, is that kind of the barometer for you? Do you have a set of numbers that you say, okay, if i were to create an offensive lineman from clay, these are the numbers in the broad jump, the vertical leap, the bench press that I’m looking for. Are those the numbers that you’re looking for — the ones you just quoted?”

“Yeah,” replied Cable.

I went back to have a look at the O-liners drafted by Seattle since 2012 to confirm how they performed in the vertical, broad and bench press. You’ll find the information below, plus Kirwan’s (and possibly Carroll’s) ‘explosion’ number in brackets after the players name:

Mark Glowinski (71.5)
VJ 31 BJ 9-5 BP 31

Terry Poole (65.5)
VJ 31 BJ 9-5 BP 25

Kristjan Sokoli (79)
VJ 38 BJ 9-11 BP 31

Justin Britt (64.8)
VJ 29.5 BJ 9-3 BP 26

Garrett Scott (68.2)
VJ 33.5 BJ 9-7 BP 25

Ryan Seymour (68.2)
VJ 29 BJ 9-2 BP 30

Jared Smith (70.2)
VJ 32.5 BJ 9-7 BP 28

J.R. Sweezy (66.5)
VJ 36 BJ 9-5 BP 21

Garry Gilliam UDFA (63.7)
VJ 35 BJ 9-7 BP 19

Of this group, only Glowinski, Sokoli and Smith actually qualify for the 31 — 9 — 27 discussed by Cable. The same three players are the only ones to top Kirwan’s ‘explosive’ marker of 70 points.

This would tend to suggest that as long as you perform well in the broad (the greatest test of an athletes explosion) they’re willing to make concessions elsewhere.

Let’s now review the 2016 class (I’ve only included the prospects that achieved Seattle’s +9-foot marker in the broad jump):

Jason Spriggs (75.7)
VJ 35 BJ 9-7 BP 31

Halapoulivaati Vaitai (61.5)
VJ 29 BJ 9-5 BP 23

Brandon Shell (61.9)
VJ 30.5 BJ 9-4 BP 22

Joe Haeg (incomplete)
VJ 30 BJ 9-3 BP DNP

Alex Redmond (67.3)
VJ 28 BJ 9-3 BP 30

Joe Thuney (65.8)
VJ 28.5 BJ 9-3 BP 28

Cody Whitehair (50.7)
VJ 25.5 BJ 9-2 BP 16

Germain Ifedi (65.6)
VJ 32.5 BJ 9-1 BP 24

Joe Dahl (68.1)
VJ 31 BJ 9-1 BP 28

Connor McGovern (75.1)
VJ 33 BJ 9-1 BP 33

Jake Brendel (62)
VJ 28 BJ 9-0 BP 25

Joel Heath (68.5)
VJ 33 BJ 9-5 BP 26

Of this group, only Jason Spriggs, Joe Dahl and Connor McGovern hit the 31 — 9 — 27 mark discussed by Cable. Spriggs and McGovern are the only two ‘explosive’ linemen according to Kirwan’s formula.

The Seahawks haven’t stuck stringently to those two marks in the way they have with a +9-foot broad jump. 31 — 9 — 27 seems like more of an ideal than a prerequisite.

Justin Murray, who reportedly visited the VMAC this week, had a 29.5 inch vertical, a 9-8 in the broad jump and 20 reps on the bench press at his pro-day. That only creates a 59.3 explosion score.

Broad jump >>>>> everything else

We can still decipher some information from this data:

— Cody Whitehair’s explosion score is significantly lower than any of Seattle’s drafted linemen since 2012. That and the fact Carroll and Schneider have never drafted an offensive lineman with sub-33 inch arms suggests he might be an unlikely fit at #26.

— Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Brandon Shell and Jake Brendel also scored significantly lower than the least explosive lineman Seattle has drafted since 2012 (Justin Britt).

— Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern tick every single box. Length, tackle experience, broad jump, 31 — 9 — 27 and explosion score.

— Joe Dahl’s explosion score is similar to Garrett Scott’s, who the Seahawks really liked. He also qualifies under 31 — 9 — 27. The only thing he lacks is a +70 explosion score and he’s pretty close at 68.1. Based on this information there is every chance he will be high on Seattle’s wish list alongside Spriggs and McGovern.

— Germain Ifedi is three bench reps short of qualifying under 31 — 9 — 27. Considering his 36 inch arms, the Seahawks are probably willing to let that fly. His explosion score is 65.6 but being able to jump a 32.5 inch vertical and record a 9-1 in the broad at 6-6 and 324lbs is likely to be explosive enough for any team.

— Joe Haeg didn’t do the bench press at the combine or his pro-day. Barring a surprise performance similar to Cody Whitehair’s 16 reps, there’s no reason to discount him from any projected Seahawks target list.

— Le’Raven Clark and Shon Coleman are yet to test fully due to injury. They are candidates to both test explosively and come close to Cable’s ideal physical profile.

— Joel Heath, a player we’ve discussed as a potential D-line to O-line convert, had a 33 inch vertical, a 9-5 in the broad jump and recorded 26 reps on the bench press. That’s pretty close to the 31 — 9 — 27. He has a 68.5 explosion score — third only to Spriggs and McGovern.

Since 2012 the Seahawks have not selected any of the 15 best O-line performers in the short shuttle or three cone at the combine. It’s worth noting, however, that Spriggs (4.44) and Haeg (4.47) both tested well in the short shuttle.

We’ll find out how accurate this data is in a few weeks. At the moment, it’s not unfair to consider the Seahawks will draft from the following offensive linemen:

Jason Spriggs (Indiana)
Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M)
Connor McGovern (Missouri)
Joe Dahl (Washington State)
Joe Haeg (North Dakota State)

Le’Raven Clark (Texas Tech) and Shon Coleman (Auburn) could also be on the list depending on how they eventually test. Likewise Joel Heath (Michigan State) if they see him as the latest defense-to-offense convert.

As it happens, Spriggs and Ifedi are being largely projected in the last third of the first round and McGovern, Haeg and Dahl anywhere from rounds 2-4.

Clark and Coleman are also candidates to go in the late first.

If the Seahawks wanted to draft two offensive linemen early, they could probably achieve it with this group even if they chose not to spend their first round pick on the O-line.

I want to finish by reaffirming why this data is important. None of this information is a catalyst for NFL success. The reason why we’re focusing on it — and why the Seahawks appear to put a lot of stock in it — is the growing discrepancy between defensive and offensive athletes.

This is highlighted by the fact that Jason Spriggs had the best broad jump by an offensive lineman at the 2016 combine with a 9-7. Fifteen defensive line prospects beat that mark.

The entire NFL is struggling to find good offensive linemen. It’s an easy physical calculation to think if you put a guy on the field who broad jumps a 9-10 at 300lbs (Sheldon Rankins) against a player who broad jumps 8-0 (Evan Boehm) there’s going to be a problem. One player is significantly more explosive than the other.

Sheldon Rankins’ explosion number is 72.5. That is superior to any offensive lineman in the draft apart from Jason Spriggs and Connor McGovern. At least Rankins vs Spriggs/McGovern would be a fair fight. Boehm’s explosion number is only 60.5.

It comes back to Pat Kirwan’s quote from earlier in the piece:

When two players collide in an attempt to physically dominate each other, the athlete with the edge in explosiveness has the best chance to win the confrontation.

Considering the way college offensive lines are used these days — Tom Cable and other coaches have complained that they are having to virtually train rookies from scratch with only a few exceptions. If that is the case, it’s not unfair for a team to consider the following — why not coach up the player who is at least physically comparable to the defensive lineman standing on the other side of the LOS?

And the NFL’s top offensive linemen — how do they test?

Joe Thomas, Andrew Whitworth, Joe Staley, Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, Terron Armstead, Jason Peters, Ryan Clady, Taylor Lewan, Lane Johnson. They all had a +9″ broad jump.

Meanwhile the Seahawks have announced the re-signing of Chris Clemons. This adds another rotational piece to the D-line and increases the likelihood the Seahawks won’t take a pure edge rusher with their top two picks. They already have Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark and Chris Clemons to rotate.

It probably increases the chances that they’ll focus on offensive linemen, adding a DE-DT hybrid, defensive tackles and SAM/DE hybrids in the early rounds.