Picking up the pieces: Defense

March 17th, 2013 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Sylvester Williams- should he last- would be a major contender for the #56 pick

(Be sure to check out Rob’s article on Gavin Escobar earlier today where he compares the San Diego State playmaker to Anthony McCoy.)

For months we’ve studied this roster, listened for clues, and scoured the press wires for rumors.  We looked into contract situations and tried to determine where Seattle might want to get younger or more cost effective.  We worked hard, and I would like to think we were on the right track.  The performances at the NFL Scouting Combine helped finally bring the picture into focus.  We felt that Datone Jones was probably the favorite in round one, with a receiver (perhaps Ryan Swope) being a likely target in round two, with an outside pass rusher perhaps being a target in round three (Corey Lemonier, Brandon Jenkins, Cornelius Washington, etc).  I would have felt very comfortable with that trio of projections.

Seattle had money to spend, but most of it was rollover cash and the team has myriad priority free agents just over the horizon.  John Schneider said that he might “dabble” in free agency.

Instead, he posted at least arguably the most electric opening to free agency in the league this year.  Had Percy Harvin been a free agent, Seattle would have signed, in my opinion, three of the top five free agents available, with Harvin topping the list. It was a masterful showing that completely shattered the previous draft model we had developed.  I doubt there has ever been a more exciting opening to free agency for Seahawks fans than the one that just passed.  So much for the “stand pat” theory.

There isn’t much money left to spend, but I have to believe Alan Branch will return.  Seattle needs depth for both Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane as well as a defined rush defense oriented 3-tech.  If you were Branch, and the money was close, would you prefer to return to Superbowl favorite or play for a rebuilding team such as Jacksonville that probably doesn’t have him in their long term plans?  If Branch does leave, there are options in the draft.  And if Seattle does retain Branch, adding a well rounded 3-tech or a pure interior pass rusher project still makes plenty of sense in the long term.

I think Steven Hauschka will probably be back.  That plus the money for draft picks essentially uses up what money the team has left.  After that, it will just be a matter of signing extensions for next year’s players, and figuring out where that money will come from.

Seattle could probably skip the 2013 draft and still win a Superbowl next season.  They are set just about everywhere with an average or better starter.  This means that the 2013 draft will shift focus to three new areas:  drafting for value, drafting for specific roles, and drafting for potential future needs.  Here’s how I think the 2013 draft priorities will look after free agency adjusted the team’s big board:

Defensive Tackle

I am a huge fan of the Michael Bennett addition.  Letting him leave in the first place was among the bigger mistakes of the Tim Ruskell administration.  Having watched him last season, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he took off in production when being moved away from the 3-tech and more towards a Justin Tuck type role.  Bennett has enough explosive upper body power to bully tackles and tight ends for cheap sacks, and he’s fast enough to run around an off-balance blocker.  If he’s moved inside, he’ll draw a lot of double teams and he won’t capitalize on that power move so much.  He also graded very highly by Pro Football Focus as a run stuffer, so it would hardly surprise me if he essentially steals Red Bryant’s starting 5-tech job by next year (along with the money that Red Bryant would be making).  I think he can manage as a 3-tech but at just 274 pounds I think he’s probably only a situational player there.   And given his obvious value at strong side end, I think it’s wise to get him reps there as often as possible.

This means that Seattle probably shouldn’t consider the 3-tech issue fixed just yet, especially since Alan Branch and Clinton McDonald are still free agents- and Jaye Howard is far from a shoe-in on the next 53 man roster.  I personally view Bennett as being half a 3-tech, and we have several 3-tech spots to fill.   We still need to add interior pass rush specialist depth and at least one- preferably two- run stopping specialists.  We need to always at least have the option of lining up an extra big body with Brandon Mebane to protect Bobby Wagner in obvious rush situations, since Wagner will often struggle with free blockers.  It would also be nice if those run stuffers had at least some pass rush ability.

I think Seattle will try to retain Branch and then add one more “Alan Branch type” and one more “Jason Jones type” in this draft.  If Sylvester Williams reaches the #56 pick, he could be strongly considered since he is a terrific all around defensive tackle- similar to Alan Branch with more pass rush ability.  Bennie Logan is a solid option as a “Alan Branch” type as well, though I view him as more of a mid-round prospect that will be an average NFL player.  I think he moves well for his size and defends the run well, but he isn’t a sensational athlete and didn’t dominate at LSU.  Abry Jones is an under the radar option from Georgia’s loaded defense who fits this mold too.  He might be had in the 7th round.  Jordan Hill is a mid-rounder that may not be great against the run but controls gaps very well.

It appears Clinton McDonald might not be back, and if they replace him it will probably be with a pass rusher type who possesses 4.8 forty type speed (since McDonald and the departed Jones both ran the forty in that area).  Obviously, if Datone Jones reaches our pick, he would be a terrific addition, but that seems extremely unlikely at this point.  Kawann Short isn’t that fast, but he could make sense too, though he’s also highly unlikely to reach us.  There are some intriguing projects in the mid rounds, but most of them did not play defensive tackle in college.  Lavar Edwards, Malliciah Goodman, and Joe Kruger all possess size and speed similar to Jason Jones, but unfortunately all of them played defensive end in college.  John Simon was a end/tackle hybrid in college and might be an option as well.

(Note from Rob – Clinton McDonald was tendered by the Seahawks. This means he’ll be part of the roster in 2013 unless another team signs him to an offer sheet. If that happens, the Seahawks get a 7th round pick as compensation.)

Lavar Edwards’ combine numbers read a lot like Datone Jones with longer arms.  Edwards:  6’4″, 277 pounds, 35.5″ arms, 4.80 in the forty, 1.64 ten yard split.  Jones: 6’4″, 283 pounds, 33″ arms, 4.80 in the forty, 1.63 ten yard split.  Jones is a deserving 1st round pick.  Edwards played very few interior snaps, but showed excellent explosion off the snap and good power.  He’s not going to blow you away with his tape, but he has the tools to be a high upside pass rush 3-tech.  Goodman is a similar story, with measurables that compare to Greg Scruggs.  Joe Kruger- brother of Paul Kruger- played mostly as a 3-4 defensive end and excelled with a more physical style of play.  I think his conversion to the 3-tech would be more streamlined than Edwards or Goodman.  Kruger is 6’6″, 269, ran a 4.83 in the forty, and has the core strength to play inside.  He also has a lot of potential to add weight on his frame if needed.  There’s also John Simon, who I’ve talked about before.  I think Simon will be a star for some lucky team as he plays much bigger than his size.  Armonty Bryant might be a possibility if Seattle thinks he can handle a hybrid role.  He has the quickness and core strength for it.  I expect most if not all of these options be available in the middle rounds of the draft.

Defensive End

Cliff Avril was given Leroy Hill’s number, which means he can play either defensive end or linebacker.  If Seattle views Avril primarily as a LEO, that means they are already carrying one more defensive end than they did last year, so adding another seems doubtful.  If they view Avril as a linebacker that can sub at LEO, then it’s conceivable that they might draft a LEO if there is a value they just can’t say no to.  Perhaps an athletic pass rusher like Corey Lemonier, Margus Hunt, Devin Taylor, or Cornelius Washington.  Ty Powell, Trevardo Williams, and Jamie Collins could be potential considerations, but I personally view all three of them as linebackers.

Quite frankly, I think this years’ defensive end class is stunningly weak.  The only defensive end I even like as a value pick is Corey Lemonier if he reaches the 2nd or 3rd round.  I think that John Schneider would probably agree with me, and I think the spending spree at defensive end shows it.  This was a much stronger free agent defensive end class than draft class, and I think John Schneider was absolutely right for getting the Seahawks in the mix there.

I wouldn’t completely rule out a defensive end addition, but I think it’s very unlikely.  It would have to be a “too good to turn down” value such as Corey Lemonier or Margus Hunt in the mid rounds.

Linebacker

As I hinted at in my “USC backup crew” article, I don’t think Seattle views linebacker as a pressing need, and since then they’ve added a potential part time linebacker with 4.51 speed in Cliff Avril.  Given the quality that Mike Morgan and Malcolm Smith showed in limited looks the last two seasons, I think we are likely to see them starring in a Moffitt/Sweezy type platoon at weakside linebacker in 2013.  Avril will likely replace KJ Wright at SAM in some situations and might also see some action at WILL when he’s not lining up as a defensive end.  Given that Avril played on the strong side at Detroit and has linebacker experience in college, I could see him being a really nice piece on our defense from the SAM spot, acting a bit like a 5th lineman.  I’m actually a little geeked about the pre-draft status at linebacker right now.  We have weapons in the linebacker crew.  A complete array of them.

That doesn’t mean we couldn’t try to add another.  I’m pretty sure Seattle will at least try.  Unfortunately, this is a below average linebacker group across the board and it’s particularly unimpressive if you are searching for linebackers that run legit 4.4 and 4.5 type times like Pete Carroll does.  Of all the linebackers Pete Carroll has acquired so far, only run stuffing SAM KJ Wright did not run a forty in the 4.4 or 4.5 range.  That speed matters when your primary Superbowl threat also plays in your division and is built around a running quarterback who clocked in at 4.53 in the forty.

Zaviar Gooden makes sense, but does Seattle like him enough to spend a third or fourth round pick on him?  That’s a big investment for “competition” with Mike Morgan, Malcolm Smith, and Allen Bradford.  Maybe AJ Klein later on?  He’s a bit on the slow side for Pete, but he’s a good football player and can close in a hurry.  Maybe Cornelius Washington, even though he was more of a defensive end at Georgia?  Jamie Collins is getting some 1st round hype as a 3-4 outside linebacker.  Ty Powell has a lot of burst and thump to his game, but like AJ Klein his speed might be fringe for Carroll.  Trevardo Williams is probably fast enough.  Most people think he’s a defensive end, but I see him as a linebacker due to his non-aggressive style of play.

I wouldn’t be stunned by a selection of Khaseem Greene or Alec Ogletree, but after running in the low 4.7s, I have to think that’s not going to be fast enough and the investment for either might be too big given the other needs the team has.  We’ll see.

Cornerback

It seems extremely likely that Seattle will draft another corner.  Seattle drafted a corner in 2010, they drafted two corners in 2011, and they drafted a corner in 2012.  It’s been a bit of a tradition to take one every year, not to mention the results of those picks have caught the attention of the NFL.

The Seahawks also appear to be parting ways with Marcus Trufant, so there could be a roster spot to fill.  Then there is the rumor about Seattle showing strong interest in Robert Alford, who may not even reach Seattle’s pick in round two.

Pete Carroll has never drafted a corner earlier than the 4th round.  Is it possible that he might set a new high water mark for that position this year?  It’s been estimated that as many as twenty corners could be drafted in the top 100 picks.  It’s a very deep defensive back class- loaded with prospects that ran in the 4.4s and 4.5s.  Seattle could probably wait til the late rounds again, but there is the risk that a deep class might be picked dry by then.  Seattle’s interest in second round prospect Robert Alford certainly raises questions, as does Walter Thurmond and RFA Brandon Browner’s statuses after next season.

One thing to remember is that Seattle is not exclusively looking for corners over six foot tall.  Walter Thurmond is 5’11”.  The rumored Alford is 5’10”.  Jeremy Lane is exactly six foot.  Being over six feet tall helps, but isn’t a requirement.  Speed isn’t a major requirement, although I think Seattle will probably prefer players with a well rounded game that can elevate to the football and press well at the line.

A few of my favorites are Iowa’s Micah Hyde, Georgia’s Sanders Commings and LSU’s Tharold Simon.  Hyde is a well rounded corner that has so-so measurables but excellent tape.  Commings was a consistent difference maker on a great defense, and moves extremely well for someone standing 6 foot tall and weighing a Browner-esque 216 pounds.  Simon is a great cover corner despite being 6’2″ and over 200 pounds.

Seattle will almost certainly draft a corner, and that selection might happen anywhere in the draft.  My guess is that we’ll see them take one in the round 4-7 range just as they did in years prior, but spending a pick earlier would not shock me.

Safety

With Chris Maragos still a free agent, I suspect Seattle will take a long look at a fairly potent free safety group this year.  Maragos wouldn’t be expensive to retain, so he might be back after the draft concludes if Seattle doesn’t find an option they like.

I think safety will probably be a late priority.  Two safeties I like:  Earl Wolff and Jakar Hamilton.  While Shamarko Thomas is drawing a lot of attention for his athleticism, Wolff wasn’t far behind in his combine performances.  Wolff had a hit and miss tenure during his wolfpack career, but his speed and style are reminiscent of a rookie Earl Thomas.  Wolff will probably be a 3rd or 4th round pick, but he could be a player to watch if he slips during the draft.

A more likely late round option is Jakar Hamilton.  Once a talented safety for Georgia, he suffered an injury and lost his starting job to two excellent safeties, Shawn Williams and Baccari Rambo.  Hamilton faced the prospect of graduating without getting to play, so he transferred and played last season for South Carolina State.  Hamilton faced a steep academic hill to climb when he joined South Carolina State and had to take 19 credit hours during the Spring semester and another 18 credit hours over the Summer.  His defensive coordinator called it “probably the biggest hill to climb of anybody [he'd] seen come into [SC State's] program.”  Hamilton isn’t just a determined player, he’s also a gifted one.  He stands 6’1″, weighs 200, but runs in the 4.4s.  He’s very strong in run defense but has the speed to play corner or free safety.  Not only could he back up Earl Thomas, he might even be able to free up Kam Chancellor at strong safety to play other positions for a few snaps here and there.

Like corner, it’s really hard to guess who Seattle will draft.  It just seems very likely that they will take one, somewhere.  They might even take two, if they feel that they want more competition for Winston Guy and Jeron Johnson in the big nickle packages.

Fitting it all together

Here is a rough guess of what John Schneider’s draft pockets might look like on defense right now:

Defensive Tackle: Rounds 2-4; might add an additional DT in the 4-7 range.

Defensive End: Unlikely to be drafted, unless value presents itself.

Linebacker: Rounds 4-7, waiting for UDFA a possibility.

Cornerback: Probably rounds 4-7, but earlier rounds shouldn’t be ruled out given the expected early rush on the position.

Safety: Rounds 4-7.

In summation, Seattle is looking for depth on defense almost exclusively, with the only starter type player being a run stuffing 3-tech that can also rush the quarterback some.  Someone like Sylvester Williams or Bennie Logan.

85 Responses to “Picking up the pieces: Defense”

  1. Scott Allen says:

    Great post Kip!

    In my perfect world I’d be really happy with many of your suggestions but since we are dreamin’ here, my wish list is;

    rnd 2: Sylvester Williams
    rnd 3: Bacarri Rambo
    rnd 4: Zaviar Gooden
    rnd 5: Sanders Comming
    rnd 5.2: Marcus Lattimore
    rnd 6: Mark Harrison
    rnd 7: Dustin Hopkins

    That’s my most recent version of Christmas in April.

    Sound good to you?

    • You missed a 7th. : ) We had three 7th’s before the Harvin trade.

      I think Rambo is solid but not amazing. Cool name though. I don’t think Seattle will draft safety that early anyway. Replace Rambo with an offensive tackle, ditch the kicker and use the two sevenths on DL, QB, or safety, and I think our draft would look a lot like that.

      I like the rest of the picks, though personally I’d go more offense heavy in this draft.

      • Maz says:

        What do you think about something like this Kip?

        2 Margus Hunt or Brandon Williams or Vance McDonald
        3 Brandon Williams or Vance McDonald or Jordan Reed
        4 Vance Mcdonald or Christine Michael or Devin Taylor
        5 Christine Michael or Quinton Dial, Armonty Bryant or Devin Taylor
        5 Armonty Bryant or Quinton Dial or Mark Harrison
        6 Charles Johnson
        7 Jordan Campbell
        7 Cooper Taylor

        Do you know much about the smaller school guys listed here? I.e Johnson, Campbell ,C. Taylor?

      • Maz says:

        What do you think about something like this Kip?

        2 Margus Hunt or Brandon Williams or Vance McDonald
        3 Brandon Williams or Vance McDonald or Jordan Reed
        4 Vance Mcdonald or Christine Michael or Devin Taylor
        5 Christine Michael or Quinton Dial, Armonty Bryant or Devin Taylor
        5 Armonty Bryant or Quinton Dial or Mark Harrison
        6 Charles Johnson
        7 Jordan Campbell
        7 Cooper Taylor

        Do you know much about the smaller school guys listed here? I.e Johnson, Campbell ,C. Taylor?

        • Clayton Russell says:

          I would be happier with this now that we have addressed some of our defense issues.

          2. DT Sylvester Williams or a big wide body to clog running lanes (John Jenkins)
          3 LB Sio Moore / Khaseem Greene
          4 WR DaRick Rogers
          5 OT Oday Aboushi or Xavier Nixon
          5 LB Jelani Jenkins or Etienne Sabino
          6 CB Tharold Simon
          7. QB Zac Dysert

          I am also a fan of Lemoiner, Gooden and Holloman at the LB spot and am not opposed to taking Jordan Reed if available in the 3rd especially if there are taller receiver available in the 5th (6’2 or taller)

      • UGAHAWK says:

        Kip, great write up. I almost, however, did a spit-take when I read Jakar “the Hitman” Hamilton’s name. He had really high expectations when he came to UGA, especially by Todd Granthem (DC). I ran into Granthem at a restaurant/bar in the spring of his first year, after spring practice. He had a few drinks, told lots of great stories (Parcells wanted to draft Spears with 1st pick instead of Ware of 05 draft), but one thing stood out more than anything. I asked him what player was he most excited about after he’s seen all the film and gone through all the practices. He said Hamilton. I was expecting Houston, Boykin, or even Ogletree. Obviously Hamilton never panned out. Word was he couldn’t pick up the playbook. Think there may have been more to it, especially now since you we’re able to find him. Keep up the great work!

    • Madmark says:

      I just don’t see Sylvester Williams dropping to us late in 2nd round and if we didn’t resign Branch. I’d have to hope
      rd2 Brandon Williams
      rd3 Travis Kelce
      rd4 Zavier Gooden
      rd5 Oday Aboushi
      rd5 Nickell Robey
      rd6 Quinton Dial
      7th Damon Stafford
      7th Colby Cameron

      • I think he’s got a solid chance. Brandon Williams is more likely, I agree.

        • The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

          No doubt. But do you really think BWilliams is worth a RD2 pick?

          • Madmark says:

            Man I tell ya i’ve haven’t seen a lot of the small schools DT but I have been looking thru all DT in this draft from 1 to 60 and theres a big drop after 2nd round or they are nose tackles which we don’t need. Thats how i found Quinton Dial and Glen Foster (Jason Jones type) and was willing to use a late round pick for them. Both are UDFAs but I think Teams would use 6th to 7th rounder on projects for such an important position.

    • Misfit74 says:

      I would absolutely crap my drawers if we got Lattimore in round 5.

  2. Cameron says:

    I couldn’t disagree more about this years DE class. I think it’s one of the better in memory. Zeke Ansah, Dion Jordan, Bjoern Werner, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Corey Lemonier (note: I am aware some of these guys are listed as OLB, but they are all pass rushers in my mind). Heck, I would even put Damontrae Moore in that group. Sure, his combine was a disaster, but go watch the guys tape – man is flat out a football player. If he can play football that well while being apparently week and slow footed, imagine what he would be like if you got him in the weight room?

    If Moore falls to us at #56 I think we have to snatch him up. We are set for pass rushers at the moment, but Avril and Bennett are here on short term deals and Clemons is 32. It’s such an important position I wouldn’t be surprised if PC went there in the 2nd round.

    • Scott Allen says:

      I know we have no shot at Ansah considering his intrigue level around the league but I love the guy. He’s obviously a beast and if he’s as good as he is now with so little experience, I think he could become a dominant player with the right coaching.

    • Ansah has no idea what he’s doing and his tools are overstated. I think Jordan will probably fail as a 4-3 DE since he struggles to bend around the edge- I think he could be good as a LB but not at DE. Bjoern Werner I like, but he had a very disappointing combine. Mingo is quick but can’t shed blocks and didn’t produce. Sam Montgomery is awful across the board, and has LSU coaches badmouthing him. I like Lemonier, but his upside is a slower Cliff Avril. Damontre Moore has a Lawrence Jackson type pass rush skillset.

      You didn’t even mention the one actually awesome pass rusher- Jarvis Jones. I love Jones, but he’s probably a top 10 pick. I’d be fine with Werner, but he’s probably a top 15 pick. If Lemonier is there, I think Seattle might consider him.

      There are other options that are decent (Tank Carradine, Alex Okafor), but they don’t have the speed and athleticism that Pete probably wants. I do like Armonty Bryant a ton, although I don’t consider him a LEO. Brandon Jenkins is a solid option in round 3, but overall, I’d say this is a much weaker and more over-rated group than any of the previous drafts from recent years. Even the guys who are really being celebrated for their athleticism are at a much lower level of athleticism than guys like Bruce Irvin or Von Miller.

      • Morgan says:

        I’m loving the injured and small school DE’s: Quanterus Smith, Walter Stewart and Caleb Schreibies.

        • Quanterus Smith is okay, but he looks like he probably runs in the 4.7s. I don’t think he’d be fast enough for Pete and I don’t think he’s an ultra high upside guy.

          Walter Stewart looks like a 4.7s guy too- and a lot of sites list him in the 4.8s.

          Of the players you mention, Caleb Schreibeis is my favorite. I don’t think he’s a 4-3 DE in the NFL, and even if he is, he’s a 4.7s type guy so I’m skeptical Pete would draft him. That said, I see a lot of Mike Vrabel in his game and I think he’d appeal to a team that likes slower 3-4 OLB types like Pittsburgh or Baltimore.

          • AB says:

            Walter Stewart’s pro day was the other day I believe Mid 4.5s if I remember correctly. Health issue of course. But I’d be a fan of we can grab him.

            • I usually tack on an extra .05 to .10 for pro-day times. Players almost always run faster on them, sometimes a lot faster. Stewart did not look fast on tape, though it’s possible he wasn’t 100% in the games I saw of him. I’m not sure.

      • Scott Allen says:

        I agree about Lemonier. He is great and I would love to add him to the cadre of beasts on the D line despite being our build up in FA. I also agree with digs on the duo from LSU. What is it about that school. They are so good at cranking out defenders with high talent/speed, massive hype, huge egos, and a fate to under perform.

        I have to disagree about Ansah though. I know his tool set is still under developed but he has a nose for the ball and the speed and strength to get to it through traffic. I think his biggest issue as a young pro will be biting on misdirection and over running players. If I had money to wager, he’ll have good numbers in sacks and TfL with in a couple of years.

        • I think Ansah’s a solid 3-4 end, because he has the power for it and teams don’t ask much of 3-4 ends. He’s hopeless looking inside though, and at LEO he has no repertoire. His speed is good but nowhere near as earth shattering as people make it out to be. He might do alright as a 3-4 OLB, I guess. I think if a 4-3 team takes him though, he’ll probably bust spectacularly.

  3. The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

    Great post Kip. Thanks for shinning some light on players I hadn’t really looked at, in particular Hamilton and Edwards. Gonna take a closer look at those 2 for sure.

    I doubt there’s any chance DJones makes it to #56 (actually, didn’t Cleveland and and NO lose their 2nd RD picks, making ours #54?), but Short and Sly Williams just might. Between the 2, I like Sly better. What say you? There are a couple other DTs who should be available late, but this comment is getting long enough so I’ll leave them out for now.

    I think it’s entirely possible KGreene falls that far. I know folks around here are kind of down on him after his slow 40 at the Combine, but as I noted in an earlier post, he improved his time to 4.61s at his pro day. He also added 4.5″ to his vertical over his Combine performance, which is encouraging. I know he’s still not that 4.4-4.5 speedster PC likes for his LBs, but he’s not that far off. Plus, Greene plays faster than his 40 time would indicate, what with his keen anticipation and hawkish nose for the ball. Something about him just says Seahawk to me.

    Incidentally, with respect to some of the other LBs in the draft, I don’t see enough difference between Gooden and Collins and the current USC backup crew to warrant spending anything more than a Day 3 pick on either. I think they’d be intriguing values if they’re available that late, perhaps too much to pass on. But anything earlier and I just dunno.

    I’m still very bullish on John Simon and Armonty Bryant, particularly if Simon is available in the 3rd and Bryant the 4th. Simon is a tad difficult to place on D (love his game, just don’t know for sure where he’d play), but I’ve got a suspicion that Bryant could develop into a right decent LEO.

    BTW, except for bringing up Hauschka, thank you very much for limiting this discussion to defense. It’s nice to focus on that side of the ball again. Nonetheless, I am compelled to ask what you think about Caleb Sturgis in the 4th or 5th?

    • They did lose those picks. We jumped from #58 to #56.

      Given our current needs, if both Sly Williams and Kawann Short were available, I’d probably take Williams because we need a well rounded DT more than a pass rush specialist at the moment. Kawann Short would be a great addition too, especially if Dan Quinn is serious about blitzing.

      • Regarding pro-day 40 times, they are almost always faster than combine numbers, usually by .05 to .10 seconds. So I don’t really put much stock in Greene’s pro-day time. If he had run a 4.45, it might be different. And it’s not like he looks fast on tape, either.

        I’d rather keep Hauschka than spend any draft pick on a kicker, unless that kicker has Legatron type leg talent or Blair Walsh type accuracy talent. From what I’ve read of Sturgis, his accuracy and range sounds pretty much exactly like Hauschka’s, maybe slightly worse. Hauschka is money inside 50, and beyond 50 he has the leg, but hasn’t done as well accuracy wise (in a very small sample).

        • I think Khaseem Greene is worth keeping an eye on, I just think that kind of investment for a non-speedy linebacker feels unlikely. They could just wait til next year and get a good linebacker with speed instead, or maybe their backup trio produces a star.

  4. Justin says:

    Hi Kip. Another good article!
    I’d like to see an article by you or Rob on Johnthan Banks (CB, Mississippi State) and his fit with the Seahawks. He seems to be a Richard Sherman protege. If he lasts to #56, is this the type of “luxury pick” we can watch for?
    Thanks. Keep up the great work!

  5. Leonard says:

    I think you are undervaluing Greg Scruggs a bit. He along with Bennett should handle the Jason Jones position well. Scruggs was so very raw but he took to the 5tech and a bit lesser to the 3tech like an early round hyped up prospect would be expected too. He only played one year in highschool so he was pretty far behind in college. With his body, athleticism and learning curve I expect him to get plenty of snaps in the JJ role.
    I’m also not ready to count out Jaye Howard for the nickle 3tech spot either. This might just be wishful thinking on my part though. He was the 1 DT I wanted out of last years draft. He had a very explosive get off and could cause havoc in the backfield. Let’s hope his new coach can teach him some good technique to go with the first step.
    I have a feeling they are going to try to find a monster DT to fill in for Branch. Big, long and strong arms & hands. Also has to have quick feet. Someone who can collapse the Line letting the ends pick up the scraps. These guys are hard to find. Maybe Sly, Jesse & Brandon Williams or Montori Hughs. Even though Quinton Dial played 5 tech more at Alabama, the man is a Beast and I think he could play 3 or 5. Jenkins and Geathers from Georgia are interesting options if they and athletic enough.

    • I LOVE Scruggs, but he is more of a DE than a DT, IMO. Not a great interior run defender and he shines more as a pass rusher from the 5-tech spot.

      I like Howard more than most, but his run defense is abysmal and Seattle’s LEO role puts added emphasis on run defense at the 3-tech since the gap between the 3-tech and the LEO is wider than it would be for a typical DE. That’s the reason why Howard didn’t make the active roster almost at all last season- I think Pete Carroll considers run defending competence to be a minimal requirement inside.

      I would be surprised if Seattle drafted Jesse Williams. I think he’s a good player but he’s purely a nose tackle or 1-tech. Zero pass rush ability. Montori Hughes has no pass rush ability either, but has a ton of strength- reminds me of Red Bryant. Brandon Williams is on the radar, I’m sure, though his run defense is surprisingly bad for his size. I am highly intrigued by Quinton Dial and a few days ago I asked Rob to put in a compilation request with JMPasq for some Dial game footage. Not a fan of Geathers but John Jenkins is really interesting to me. Jenkins would probably have to play a Red Bryant type role. He’s inconsistent but can really dominate physically at times. Like Red Bryant, he plays like a pissed off Ogre.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Great analysis Kip. I agree with Leonard that we need a young energetic run stuffer. Branch may not return, and we can’t predict how Red will play. A Jesse Williams type makes sense in the second. Our options would be wider if we moved up in the second, but I doubt that we would trade more than a 5th so it probably won’t happen. It gives us someone to build around. Having said that- we might find that NT type in later rounds.

        This year we may go for a smaller, quick slot corner. Who could fit that role in the mid rounds?

      • Bird says:

        It just occurred to me reading your take on Jesse Williams is that I haven’t seen depth behind Mebane discussed anywhere. Given that 3-tech is still an area to fill in, should depth at the 1-tech be a consideration given that the list of pressing needs has shrunk with the addition of Avril and Bennett?

  6. CFraychineaud says:

    Kip-

    I agree with you that Bennett has proven himself as a quality end production-wise when compared to what he is able to do as a 3-tech. He is not horrible at 3 tech by any means, however, his talents get washed when he gets doubled and is unable to use his power to push a single guy around. HIs run defense has been pretty outstanding and recently graded out to what we usually expect from big red. My thought is this… if they plan to use Avril as the LEO, and think that Bennett is strong enough of the POA to anchor against the run on early downs, could the big red role switch to him completely?

    Also, if that happens, why couldn’t Red maybe move inside to the 3-tech on early downs. Red currently is good at taking up blockers and usually plays well vs the run. He has an incredibly strong upper body and should be able to help get some push up the middle to make the QB hang back for our outside rushers to get at. I’ve kinda viewed Bryant as a much lesser Ngata. If Ngata played in a 4-3 defense, he could play either of the DT roles, but would probably play the 3 tech on our line. Now I realize Ngata is much better at rushing the QB from the 5-tech than Red, but maybe the same could be true for us. MY only real concern is that Bryant doesnt have the anchor (Big Thighs or Butt) when compared to other big DTs like Mebane. In the 3-tech spot, the guys can usually be slimmer though for pass rushing, except I’m mainly talking about on early downs.

    The nice thing will be having Bennett, Avril, and Irvin all in on pass rush downs, or when we pull ahead with an early lead. So they can just pin their ears back. What do you think the chances are that we could see Byrant running in the 3-tech some during pre-season, so we can go to a more traditional 4-3 look, while still having a quality run stopper @ LDE with Bennett? Also, even though I know its been brought up and usually to some distain, it almost seems like we have more of a 3-4 type personel recently. With KJ being able to play MLB, it would move Wagner to the roaming MLB, with Avril and Irvin on the outsides. Mebane could probably anchor at NT, and then we’d have 2 5-techs.

    Anyway, great post as usual.

    • They might try giving Red Bryant another crack at DT, but I doubt they’d make that decision until the preseason is over. They’ll go into the draft counting Bryant as a DE, I’m sure.

  7. I discovered a very promising UDFA read option QB tonight that has me excited. He’s a guy nobody is talking about. I’ll probably do a post on him tomorrow night.

    • The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

      Hmmm, might he be from an FCS school, perhaps in the Ohio Valley Conference???

      • Miles says:

        I think I have a good idea who it is. I’m not going to give it away though. But if it is who I think it is, I’m excited.

  8. Michael says:

    “Pete Carroll has never drafted a corner earlier than the 4th round.”

    This is true so long as you are only talking about Pete Carroll here in Seattle. Actually the first draft pick Carroll ever made was first round corner Chris Canty for the Pats back in 1997. Of course Canty was out of the league before he turned 25, so perhaps that selection has helped shape the new and improved Pete Carroll.

    • CFraychineaud says:

      How do you know that was Carroll drafting him rather than the GM for the Patriots back then? This is the first time that I’m aware of that Pete has been able to make the final decision, even though he makes it WITH our GM now. If it came to it, I think Carroll would get the last call here.

  9. Ukhawk says:

    Unfortunately Sly will be gone by #56 if other teams have 2-3 bites of the cherry before our hawks. NB, NFP has Williams ranked above Richardson. Unless JS aggressively trades up, we’ll be forced to resign Branch and draft BPA is my guess.

    • We’ll see. I get the sense that teams like but don’t love Sly Williams. There’s no buzz around him at all on places that link to NFL sources. I think he probably won’t reach us, but he’ll be a closer miss than some might think.

  10. Maz says:

    Looking forward to that write up Kip. Was just starting to take another look at QB’s myself. Late rnd prospects. Kinda like Jeff Tuel. Keeps his eyes downfield. Seems to be able to make all the throws. Can throw a nice deep ball. Has typical size. Like his mobility in the pocket. NE supposedly bringing him in for a visit. Any thoughts?

      • Miles says:

        Haha, “No.” Geeze. I haven’t watched very much Jeff Tuel. I will probably check him out a bit in the weeks leading to the draft. I’m thinking the Hawks should not draft a quarterback this year. Perhaps to sign one as a UDFA is an interesting idea, but there isn’t much upside to drafting one unless a good player with good value slips to us (like Barkley, or Matt Scott if he falls to us in the 6th). The fact is we are probably keeping Flynn this year. Amidst a weak quarterback class, I just don’t see the upside in drafting one when there is so much depth at some of the other positions.

        Wherever you envision the Seahawks drafting a quarterback, scrap that pick and select the most fit defensive tackle available.

        Ideally the Seahawks can wait until next year to see if Flynn’s trade stock improves. Then we can draft a quarterback and maybe sign a veteran on the cheap.

  11. TJ says:

    “Letting him (Bennett) leave in the first place was among the bigger mistakes of the Tim Ruskell administration.” Ruskell had his share didn’t he…

    With all the talent on the roster, I just cannot believe that Seattle has any intention of keeping 8 draft picks. I just think that if they stay put and draft in each spot where they are currently slotted, they will end up cutting 5 of those players. I think that if there was ever a year for them to package picks to move up, this is the year. Maybe they don’t trade up into the 1st round, but maybe they move up to the top half of round 2 and/or 3 to target someone who stands a better chance of not only making the roster, but actually seeing the field.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      Agreed TJ. So much talk has been about how PC and JS ‘do this and that’, and that is how they do it!
      Now we see after getting Harvin, Avril, and Bennett- they don’t have ANY real set patterns, outside of let’s give ourselves the best chance to win!!

      Given that, and as you said, why draft players to only cut them, why not bundle a few, move up and grab 3-4 quality guys that might actually play??

      As far as the kicker goes everyone, why NOT draft a bigger leg like Dustin Hopkins(has accuracy too), and save that 2 million cap hit of Hauscka?? He IS dependable, but why not roll over his salary and replace him with an inexpensive and possible upgrade??

      • Jim Q says:

        Dustin Hawkins, 2012 Season
        Extra points: 65 of 66, 98.5%
        Field goals: 25 of 30, 83.3%, longest=56-yds,
        1 to 29-yds= 9 of 9,
        30-39-yds= 5 of 6
        40-49-yds= 6 of 9
        50+-yds= 5 of 6
        http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/player/_/stat/kicking/sort/fieldGoalsMade

      • IIRC, didn’t Hauschka sign after the draft last year?

        He’s still unsigned right now.

        I’m guessing that Seattle goes into every draft, see what happens at kicker, and if they don’t get one they like in UDFA, they sign back the previous guy.

        They really undervalued Mare too. I just assumed that was because of Mare’s age, but it could be that Seattle is content with changing out kickers every few years.

    • The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

      Good point TJ. But then I think that this draft is pretty deep in several positions, perhaps deep enough that at least 1 of our mid- late round picks could make the final roster. Plus, and this is a bigger reason for me. there are a couple of very interesting prospects coming off major injuries who may not be contributors this season, but have huge upside for 2014 and beyond. Specifically I’m thinking Marcus Lattimore and Cornelius Washington. Not sure Washington makes it past R3, but if he does, I’d take a chance.

  12. Scott Allen says:

    I know he might not be available for any of our picks and choosing a DB with our second seems highly unlikely, but despite all that, what do you think about Darius Slay?

    I thought he looked really fluid and fast at the combine. I haven’t had the chance to see much tape on him but I am intrigued.

    • Slay is probably a 2nd rounder right now. May not make our pick. I have a 5th round grade on him personally. Great athlete, but his game is more like Trufant/Lane than Sherman/Browner.

  13. Scott Allen says:

    I find myself noticing that we have a lot of high end personnel now that we intend to use in nickel packages. How likely do you think it is that our opponents in the west might try to incorporate no huddle calling on third downs to reduce our ability to sub players?

    • SunPathPaul says:

      That’s why I think WE should do that! Let Russell Wilson practice no huddle as one style of attacking on offense, and put the pressure on their D. Go for the quick lead, then switch to the beast-mode running game to burn the clock…

    • Wouldn’t be surprised. Didn’t Washington kill us early on with an up tempo offense or am I remembering that wrong?

  14. SES says:

    Nice article.
    Position wise I agree w/ much that has been said…
    “Man-eating” DT who can get some push
    WILL – I love the playmaking ability of K Green, but I could see P/J going status quo this year
    Then I see a lot of depth / backup / development type picks that would include CB, SS, FS, OT, TE, and last but not least, QB. Look forward to your post on your new discovery there.

    Also, would love to see JS wheel & deal to get a third rounder back for next year

  15. Jeff M. says:

    I am hoping to hear soon that we’ve re-signed Alan Branch to a cheap one- or two-year deal, but I haven’t even heard any rumors of talks or progress (of course, nothing about him visiting other teams either, so…). I think we have to start considering what the Seahawks will do in the draft if they *don’t* have Branch in the fold–and essentially I think that would have to make drafting his replacement (or replacements…see below) our top priority.

    Branch plays two (or three, depending on how you count) roles on the team. He’s the big 3-tech on rushing downs but also serves as the primary backup to both Red and Mebane. Right now our only depth at 5-tech would be Bennett (and switching over to a much more orthodox 4-3 on early downs) and we have no backup 1-tech.

    So if we draft a “pure 3-tech” early (and I agree that Sylvester Williams would be fantastic if he falls–he was actually the guy I thought had the best tape when I was considering our options at #25 before the Harvin deal), we’d probably need to add a guy who can backup the 5- and 1-tech a couple of rounds later–maybe a Montori Hughes if we can get past the off-field concerns, or a Kwame Geathers/TJ Barnes-type.

    But we should also consider the possibility that we’ll be looking for more of a Branch clone (a big run-stuffer who can play any of the 3-, 5-, or 1-tech) at #56. The guys who might be there that fit that mold are John Jenkins, Jesse Williams, and Brandon Williams, just going off of the little bit I’ve read about each of them. I’d love to see some more analysis on these three and how they’d fit our scheme (and Branch’s role if he’s not retained).

    • The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

      Before the Bennett signing I was of the same opinion – gotta resign Branch or draft more than one potential DT to replace him. But as CFraychineaud pointed out above, Bennett could very well take over the 5T position, with Big Red moving to the 3T on early/rushing downs. After all, Red’s strength is holding against the run, and he’s big enough, strong enough and savvy enough to warrant double teams. Also, with a genuine pass rush threat at the 5T in Bennett, most RTs will have their hands full just keeping him out of the backfield. This frees up Red to do his thing inside (he can penetrate the pocket after all) especially one-on-one against the OG, or it forces teams to double him with the C (freeing up Mebane).

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        One big DT would be enough. We just need some new blood in there. Let them get trained up to replace someone next year. Jesse Williams would be perfect.

  16. peter says:

    Nice post Kip!

    Your post about he back up LB crew actually has me thinking that we may NOT be drafting a WLB this year, and have a much much quieter unspectacular competition for that spot with the four players mentioned Smith, Morgan, Bradford, Toomer(?). For me someone who can absolutely collapse the pocket is a necessity. I’m not sure if that guy is there at 56, or in round 7 but even a ridiculously outsized 3 tech in the form of Jenkins or Brandon Williams, or the almost inversely proportioned John Simon, or for me the mismatched Margus Hunt (whom I believe to be better rushing from inside then outside) is what I would like to see.

  17. Nolan says:

    Sly Williams, Sanders comings, mark Harrison, armonty Bryant are my four wants for the hawks this year.

  18. Colin says:

    I would not mind seeing Bennett play some 5 tech on early downs. I love Red but my God is it painful to watch him get no pressure on the Qb every snap.

    Sylvester Williams has a mean swim move, but not much else. A tad inconsistent but he could provide early down rush from the inside.

  19. Madmark says:

    I think in a few ways we shot ourselfs in the foot with our trade to Minnesota who now have 3 draft picks to pick before us and they need DTs and a reciever. The talent depth for DT isn’t very deep but the need is league wide and teams will be grabbing them early. I could see Williams gone at end of the 1st rd as I think he’s much better than Short. I’d feel more comfortable with resigning Branch to a 2 year contract. He knows the scheme and he has the experience.
    Quinton Dial is an interesting prospect and I do mean propect. He’s a 2year JUCO transfered for Alabama but didn’t play 2012 and then played with injury this year on the championship team with very few stats to see. He didn’t do the combine due to having toe surgery. He’s got the size to play tech 3 or 5 spot, mostly playing the 5 on alabama. I haven’t seen him on anyones draft other than Drafttek and i watch him go from UDFA to pick 118 and rumours has it the Patriots might be interested in him as a project to relieve Wilfork. To me if we grabbed him in the 5th round I thinking he could at least make the practice squad if not replace Howard, at the most become a backup to Red or Branchs spots to me thats a good 5th round pick.
    Glen Foster quietly had a great pro-day at Illinois, He seems like he has the size that can fit him into a Jason jones spot and i had been watching him since looking at tape of Akeem Spencer looks like a late round or UDFA guy to watch for.
    Damn I do like John Simon but I’m conflicted to know where he fits in. When a coach praises you like his you take notes and want him for your team. He has that leadership being 2 time captain for OHIO St. but he just doesn’t have that pass rush. He’s the strongest 270lb guy you will every meet and I’m at a lost to where to put him especially with our 2 FA DE.
    Thank god FA isn’t over and i still have some time to see which of our guys return before making a decision on drafting a DT in the 2nd round because the way i see it there’s not much promise at 56.

  20. peter says:

    I disagree here. The need for an amazing DT is of course league wide, but no one has apparently solved the rubic’s cube on how to draft one. Did we screw up? Time will tell, but when Dockett, Melton, Atkins, our own Mebane, were all picked after the 1st round, it sure seems like a crap shoot to me.

    I like John Simon as well as many people on this site, and it’s hard to say where he could play, but just an FYI he may have played at 270 at some time, but he came to the combine at 257lbs. Which as far as scheme fits goes, makes him a little on the slow/short side for the Hawks if he is not a scheme transcendent player.

    • Simon dropped weight to appeal to 3-4 teams looking for big OLBs. He’s a legendary workout warrior- I’m sure he could be get back to 270+ by August.

      There is no Melton, Atkins, or Mebane this year. Trust me I’ve spent probably 50+ hours looking. Melton ran a 4.65 and Atkins a 4.75. If they were in this DT class, there is no chance they’d be 4th rounders. They’d probably go at least in the 2nd round based on their athleticism alone. Just look at the hype Datone Jones is getting for his 4.80.

      • peter says:

        Would simon even need to get back up to that weight? I know you like him at the nickel 3tech, but In odd looks that involve Avril at LB -or- something like that, in my mind I could see Simon playing at around 260lb(ish)…I really don’t know, him at the 3tech could work as well.

        I understand what you are saying, in regards to speed, etc. My point is that for example, Shariff Floydd goes 5th overall, has a great career, that’s fantastic, he’s supposed to, he’s gong fifth overall or whatnot…but if Abry Jones goes in the 5th round, and in two years has a ten sack season rushing from the inside, everyone will wonder why he wasn’t selected sooner….I selected him by the way, because Georgia is SO LOADED it’s hard to tell who may be hidden on that team…

  21. Rock says:

    i cannot see them going primarily defense in the draft when most of the big contracts are on the offense. We have to have replacements in place for Rice and Miller if we expect to manage the cap and keep the talent on the defense. A space eater is needed on the D Line if Branch and McDonald are not re-signed. We lost Omiyale from the O Line so a player or two is needed there, as well. We will find spots for all of our draft picks because we need to keep the roster young and affordable. I would not be surprised to see Rice traded for picks.

  22. Ed says:

    I can agree, Rice has at best this year left as a Hawk. Maybe we trade him this year for Colts 2nd round pick.

    If so:

    2nd Hopkins
    2nd Williams

  23. The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

    Goodbye Obomanu. Hello +$2.5m in cap space.

  24. DHawk says:

    Thanks for the great article Kip. A couple of quick questions:

    1. Does Montori Hughes have comparable pass rush ability to Mebane and would he be good in a rotation at 1-tech? (I noticed that at times he can be pretty quick for such a big player, and he’s strong enough that he doesn’t get knocked off his feet a lot…..I’ve seen some of the gap penetrating D-lineman in this draft class that can explode through a gap but sometimes get pushed to the ground in the process, which somewhat nullifies the effectiveness of the penetration).

    2. I’m intrigued by your intrigue in Quinton Dial, so I look forward to that analysis. He played more DE at Alabama, do you see him playing some 5 and some 3 or being more of one or the other?

    3. I haven’t heard much hype about Nick Williams of Samford, but he seems to be showing some impressive athleticism:

    NFL Combine: 6044 309, 34 1/8 arm, 4.94 40, 1.63 10 yard split, 28 reps, 33″ vertical, 9’03” broad, 4.65 20 shuttle and 7.55 3-cone

    Pro Day: improved his 40 time to 4.86 while still weighing 309 in slightly adverse conditions (cold).

    The 40 time compares to Datone Jones and Lavar Edwards and his 10 yard split ties Jones and beats Edwards (1.63 vs. 1.64). His vertical ties Edwards and beats Jones. His broad jump in only 1 inch behind Jones and his 20 shuttle isn’t far behind Edwards (4.65 vs. 4.51). I really like Edwards 3 cone vs. Jones (7.32 vs. 7.03), and Williams is behind those two at 7.55 – but Williams is doing all this while being bigger and weighing 30-35lbs more than those two. When you compare Williams 3 cone to Sylvester Williams he’s much faster and comparable to Sharrif Floyd (7.4). He’s also faster on his 10 yard split than Floyd (1.63 vs. 1.68) while weighing 12 more pounds. In short, he’s been pretty impressive in his workouts.

    Nick only played 1 year of High School football, so he was lightly recruited:

    http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/nick-williams?id=2540279

    But scouts liked him a lot at the combine:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/02/25/nfl-combine-defensive-linemen-risers-sliders/1946803/

    “Williams was the top small-school performer of the day. At 309 pounds, he ran 4.94 in the 40, posted a vertical jump of 33 inches and a broad jump of 9 feet, 3 inches. Scouts were impressed with the way Williams effortlessly moved around the field and easily changed direction during drills. He’s now getting middle-round consideration by teams who feel Williams can line up in a variety of defensive schemes.”

    http://draftmaniacs.com/2013/03/06/combine-recap-defensive-line/

    “Nick Williams-Samford (6-4 309 lbs.): Small school defensive tackle. Smooth in on-field drills and changes direction well. Has the size for a nose tackle but moved well enough to play 3 technique in a 4-3. Ran a 4.95 40 yard dash, 33” vertical jump and broad jumped 9’ 3”. Opened a few eyes with his workout.”

    And he had a good pro day:

    http://www.abc3340.com/story/21619125/defensive-lineman-nick-williams-impresses-scouts-during-samford-pro-day

    http://www.alabamas13.com/story/21592717/samford-pro-day-report

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/03/samford_players_perform_at_sch.html

    Kip or Rob, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to look at this guy, but he looks interesting. If you have looked at him, any thoughts on his ability for our defense?

    • Hughes pretty much has zero pass rush ability right now, and isn’t fast. Very strong though, and a fluid mover, he might make a solid Red Bryant type specialist at DE.

      I’m intrigued by Dial too, but am waiting to see a full game before I make judgements.

      I watched Nick Williams a few weeks back and was highly unimpressed. Seemed to be just getting by against low level competition. I didn’t think he was an NFL player.

      • Sometimes I change my mind on prospects, but I remember it being a fairly emphatic “yuck.”

        • DHawk says:

          That’s good to know about N. Williams, thanks. There wasn’t much tape on him and I was curious. It’s a tough year to mine for mid-round 3-tech/DT sleepers as you stated earlier. I feel the same way as you, have looked at countless video and just can’t see that super sleeper pick other than maybe a Kaleb Ramsey, but I’m not even sure if he’s going to be able to hold a pro day.

  25. Jim Q says:

    I recall, when watching the Shrine game, that DE-Devin Taylor had a pretty exceptional first half. During a sideline interview, he was asked essentially “what got into you” to produce such a performance. From my notes, I see he had about 7 tackles including a sack in that first half. Devin Taylors response, which I para-phrase here, was something to the effect that the very basic offense he was playing against allowed him to not worry as much about keys and assignments and he could just go balls out on every play, which he surely did. This left me wondering if he might be a candidate to put on about 15-20 lbs of weight room muscle and convert to the 3-tech.

    His measurables are pretty “Seahawky” and I could see him doing a good job at DT with the possibility of him also playing some DE in some schemes. His various scouting reports seem to indicate his biggest negative is that he’s a little stiff. I could see that being less of a negative with him rushing up the gut in a more straight line. He could probably be better at that than as an edge rusher which requires more flexability.

    Devin Taylor, 6-7, 266, 36″ arms, 10-3/8″ hands, 4.72/40, 14-reps, 35″ vertical,
    10′-8″ broad, 4.30 shuttle, 6.89 cone.

    He’s probably a round 4-ish pick and obviously would require some development but he could maybe be ready to roll as a replacement down the line in a year or two while doing spot duty this season. Thoughts?

    • I’m not a fan of Devin Taylor, personally. He’s a lot like Margus Hunt- not a natural football player and those types almost always bust.

    • The CHawk Talker (aka Eric) says:

      I watched him pretty closely during the Combine since it’s hard not to get excited about his measurements. But I came away thinking PASS. Forget the numbers, which weren’t bad (except for BP); it was his balance, or rather a complete lack thereof. He always seemed out of position, bending too much at the waist and craning his upper body way out.

  26. Scott says:

    Great read, thanks…

    I notice you don’t have any mention of an O-Line pick.

    Do you think the Seahawks feel so confident about their O-Line that they wouldn’t consider bringing in another big body for competition? It seemed to me that the ‘hawks had trouble keeping the opposing DT’s from pushing the middle of the O-Line into the QB. That is just my impression – I wonder if you would agree with that.

    I realize that who gets drafted where is not just about need, but about need + pick value. So if a great value fell in their laps early they might take it. But I also wouldn’t be surprised at a mid-round O-Line pick…

  27. Barry says:

    Another great post Kip!

    I love the prospect that Lavar Edwards is, and think he develop a lot along the same lines as Henry Melton.

  28. Misfit74 says:

    This is some fantastic insight on the DL and DE class, especially. I learned a lot. Much appreciated, Kip.

  29. Leonard says:

    Pete Carroll has described his ideal weak side LB as being the fastest LB on the team. The only linebacker in the draft that I see that can even come close to this is Zavier Gooden. I wouldn’t be very excited by that pick though. He avoids contact too much for my taste. Jelani Jenkins has speed that would be close to Wagner and I think he could be a good fit.
    Aside from those 2 I’m really not seeing anyone under a 4.55. There are a few mid 4.6 guys that I really like but for the sake of this question let’s assume Carroll won’t take anyone who runs over 4.55. Are there any big DB’s that could bulk up a little and make the switch to LB as a pro?

  30. James says:

    Really nice in-depth write-up, Kip….so good that I read it twice. The R2 pick could potentially come from many different positions as you note: DT, OT, LB, TE, CB or S. The D-line depth is so good this year, it seems very likely that is the way John & Pete will go. LB is very unlikely, since I can’t imagine Pete drafting a Will LB in R2 unless he runs a sub-4.5, and there are none to be had this year. I doubt the Seahawks will trade up in R2, since the price from the trade chart, even to go up 4 slots, from 56 to 52, would cost their second, their fifth and their seventh…just don’t see it, since John is perfectly capable of finding elite talent in any round. The more picks that John keeps, the better the odds he hits another home run — and we all know that another John home run or two in this draft, combined with the additions of Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, will put this team in place for a championship.

  31. seattlesetters says:

    I’m all for re-signing Branch then drafting BPA. The Seahawks have A LOT of rookie contracts coming up for renewal over the next couple of years and we are bound to lose some of our core players. That’s just how it is. I’d love to have a few really good players …. regardless of position or need … waiting in the wings to step right in to replace an Earl Thomas or a Kam Chencellor or a Richard Sherman or a KJ Wright.

    Not saying I want to lose any of these guys, but the possibility needs to be planned for. If we get a great safety falling to us at #56, take him! Same goes for a great corner or a great OLB, DT, DE, RB, WR, whatever. We simply don’t have a ton of “need” at any one position next season, but we will always have a need to keep top talent at all positions coming into the program.

  32. hawkdawg says:

    Not sure Bennett is what we want in a Pete Carroll 5-tech. He’s very light at 274, and our defense is designed to funnel plays to the 5-tech. If we don’t want him at 3-tech on running downs because he’s not great with double teams, he could get completely swallowed at 5-tech in this defense. Plus he’s got pass rushing skills we don’t want to waste by having him beat up.

    By the same token, Red is not a 3-tech. He got switched because he’s slow off the snap, and can’t keep his pad level consistently low. When healthy, though, he’s a great anchor at 5-tech–very hard to move.

    We need Branch re-signed, or a rookie 3-tech/1-tech hybrid. Or Scruggs or Howard to step up.