Robert Alford

March 23rd, 2013 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Robert Alford is a master in coverages, yet blunders against the run

After a very impressive Senior Bowl and a strong NFL Scouting Combine performance, Robert Alford has been given some attention on youtube in the last month, meaning we can finally say something meaningful about his NFL prospects and how he fits the Seahawks.  Alford was linked to the Seahawks in the past couple months, over at rotoworld, if memory serves.

What’s interesting about that rumor (which I will post when I find it) is that Alford is not likely to be a late round pick, unlike most of Pete Carroll’s other investments at the position.  Alford ranks 105th on Tony Pauline’s big board (about halfway between our 3rd and 4th rounders), and pre-combine there was a lot of talk that suggested he was a “lock” for the second round.  Then again, a lot of the round two hype was pre-combine when Alford was expected to run in the 4.2s, which he didn’t.  Still, Alford could be a surprisingly early pick in an unpredictable corner group.  Would Seattle take a corner at #56?  That seems unlikely, but with needs being toned down by a strong free agency, Seattle legitimately has the option to go corner early should they choose.

Alford’s game is antipodal in its extremes- almost like a cornerback version of Bruce Irvin.  He is one of the better coverage corners I’ve ever scouted, and is excellent at tracking the ball carrier in run support.  Unfortunately, he’s miserable at making open field tackles or finishing sacks despite showing promise as a blitzer.  For a guy that presses at the line like he’s 6’2″, he tackles like he’s 5’6″.

Southeastern Louisiana used Alford mostly in press.  Alford gets a great press at the line and he can often sustain it for many yards down the field.  Once he releases that press, he has excellent ability to stay in the hip pocket of the receiver.  He has a good sense of knowing when to look back for the football.  Alford played at a low level of competition, but receivers struggled to shake his coverage even slightly.  Alford knows how to look for the football and overall I’d give him close to the highest grade possible in press/man coverage, with the only caveat being his level of competition.

Alford also shines in zone, showing some of the best polish and instincts I’ve seen in a good while.  When he releases a receiver, he continues to move with a plan in mind.  There is never indecision in his zone coverage.  Once he drops a target, he’s already drifting to the next logical one, standing close enough to jump the route on a poor throw.  I really can’t stress enough with words how instinctive and polished he looked while doing this, the term “natural” comes to mind.

Alford explodes in short areas and would be a nice tool to have on corner blitzes.  His instincts at tracking ball carriers is way up there- roughly on par with Manti Te’o.  He knows where runners are going almost before they know it themselves.

It’s so disappointing then that Alford struggles with missed tackles and bad angles in close spaces.  In a lot of ways, you could compare his run support to Zaviar Gooden: shot out of a cannon, but sometimes that velocity causes him to blow by the target.

Alford ran an official 4.39 forty at the combine, one of just five corners to do so.  Alford’s speed translates on the field, though more in the short area than in the long one.  Alford nearly returned a kickoff for a touchdown during the Senior Bowl but was caught from behind by Desmond Trufant, despite the fact that Trufant was only one hundredth of a second faster on his track forty.  That hints at Alford’s field speed being a notch lower than his track performance.

Teams tested Alford in cushion coverages, and to my eye he seemed far less impressive.   Then again, I never really liked conservative cushion coverages and always felt they put the defensive back at a disadvantage on anything other than a deep ball, and Alford isn’t going to be burned on the deep ball.  Seattle would use him in press and in zone, and he looks excellent in both of those.

While Alford’s ability to finish a tackle worries me greatly, I remember the philosophy this front office goes by.  They are always looking for special players who’s best football is still ahead of them.  Alford’s issues certainly seem coachable, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he was coached out of them in year one.  In terms of size and coverage ability, he has some similarities to Walter Thurmond, who is outstanding when healthy.  Alford has that competitive edge that you know Pete Carroll loves.  You always have to be careful when a player is linked to a team- it being lying season and all.  That said, I’ve seen enough to think that Seattle’s rumored interest in him is probably genuine, even if he doesn’t physically impose the way that Browner or Sherman can.

49 Responses to “Robert Alford”

  1. Maz says:

    This would be an interesting draft for us. My smaller school guys I like for the Seahawks at the moment.

    2 Brandon Williams DT

    3 Vance McDonald TE

    4 Robert Alford CB

    5 Armonty Bryant DE/DT

    5 Jordan Campbell LB

    6 Jayson DiManche OLB
    7 Cooper Taylor S

    7 Mike Catapano DE

    7 Terence Davis WR

    7 Terrell Sinkfield WR

    • Leonard says:

      Thanks for all the links. I love looking through all the video of small school guys who no one has seen before. It’s getting harder and harder. I was really excited when the Hawks picked Lane last year. I’ve been focussing on LB and TE lately and a guy you mentioned intrigues me: Jordan Campbell. He looked good at his all star game and has ties to Carroll from USC.
      Another small school guy I really like is TJ Knowles from Sacramento State. He is a 6’7″+ TE with very long arms and big hands. Looks fairly athletic too. He can really high point the ball. Reminds me of what they hoped for with Evan Moore. He just had his pro day on the 20th but I haven’t been able to find any results yet. I don’t know how to post links on my iPad but searching for his name on YouTube brings up tape from his Junior College in 09 at the top.

      • Maz says:

        You’re welcome sir. I really really like Vance McDonald @ TE. I think he has all the physical tools to be one of the better TE’s in the league, especially with more coaching. He was top 5 in multiple categories at the combine, including the bench press and the 40. Is a good blocker on film. Played out of the slot a lot, was asked to be a receiving threat @ Rice. I don’t see a whole lot of negatives in his game. He did everything he was asked to do on film. If he went to a bigger school, he may have been the top rated TE in the draft. As far as Jordan Campbell is concerned, I really like his work ethic and skill set. Was ranked highly out of H.S. went to USC. Transferred after all the activity with Reggie Bush went down. Had some family issues come up, from his own words and left the school he had transfered to. Had difficulty in getting into a big program after that. He found a small school that would give him a shot, and has done nothing but the best with it. Played a lot of running back as well. Benched 225lb 39 times @ 5’11 240 or so. Can play OLB for Seahawks and will be a beast on Special Teams at the least. Runs a 4.5 forty.

  2. Dan says:

    Great find Kip,
    Definitely somebody I’d want on the team for the right round. He probably can’t play the nickel this year but he’d be great insurance if Browner doesn’t resign.

    I agree with you on cushion coverages. Case and point would be the Huskies defense over the last several years. Doesn’t work.

  3. Sam Jaffe says:

    My biggest concern about Seattle’s defensive backfield this year is a holdout from Browner. If he doesn’t get extended, he might hold out, causing disruption to the backfield. If that happens, then Thurmond and Lane are waiting in the wings. But the front office might be thinking that they should prioritize “play-now-ability” in drafting a corner rather than “play-in-two-years ability”. That’s why I think Jonthan Banks of Mississippi State is on their radar in round two. But Alford does look exciting as a developmental prospect. Kip: What do you think of his capabilities in covering the slot?

    • Nolan says:

      I don’t think he will hold out he lost a lot of leverage with his suspension last year. I also think he is on his third strike in the disciplin process so I just can’t see him holding out being as he has established a foothold in the nfl after being xialed to cfl for so long. I could be wrong but I don’t see it with browner

    • Any reason to think Browner would hold out? He’s a RFA next season, and players usually don’t hold out before a RFA year.

  4. Nolan says:

    Okay this is really long feel free to skip it as it is out of context in this thread

    Prior to the Seahawks acquiring Percy Harvin there was one player in the Draft that I desperately wanted the Seahawks to draft Da’rick Rodgers. He was a blue chip recruit at Tennessee were he was to star with Justin Hunter, however those plans crumbled quickly Justin Hunter suffered through injuries, and Da’rick Rodgers ended up getting kicked off the team, and JC Transfer Cordell Paterson now figures to be the first of the trio drafted. I became enamored with Da’rickRodgers because he was being pushed down into the second round despite having what was described to me as first round talent. I though this would be a great way for the Hawks to solve their pass rush issues with their first pick and be able to solve their receiving issues in the second round with a 1st round talent. When I mentioned this on the message board I was met with he wont get picked because of his character concerns, nobody would tell me what those concerns were so I went and I dug into it and I found out why he was kicked off the team, how he conducted himself at his new school, and what he had to say about himself and his troubles. First though I want to let everyone know why it was that I became so enamored with him in the first place.

    ” Rogers is a virtual Julio Jones clone, exhibiting an exciting combination of size, strength and explosiveness, Rogers was expected to serve as the complementary piece to Justin Hunter in 2011, but stepped up once his teammate was injured and went on to lead the SEC with 1,040 receiving yards in 2011. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in six games, one short of a Tennessee record, and earned First Team All-SEC honors by the media and league coaches.” Rob Rang wrote that about Rodgers, he also listed his strengths as ” Despite playing in the ultra-physical SEC, Rogers proved too strong for most teams to consider pressing. He’s also versatile, showing the ability to line up outside, as well as in the slot. While it is easy to get excited about Rogers’ size-speed potential, one of his greatest attributes is simply his toughness, as he absorbed several big collisions on games viewed and never dropped a pass due to a hit while at Tennessee. Rogers is a powerful runner who fights for additional yardage and has the agility and speed to run away from the pack for explosive plays.” Rob Rang is not the only evaluator to like him however Derek Stephens of Field Gulls and fame also liked him, and David Hsu also of fieldgulls fame mentioned him as a favorite on twitter not that long ago as well. Barry Every of and fame had this to say about Da’rick “On the Hoof: Appears to be a thick, muscled-up cross between an outside linebacker and a slightly shorter Calvin Johnson. Needs Improvement: Must improve route running. Has a tendency to round off his routes and allow defenders to make plays on the ball. Most Impressive: Possesses excellent body control with strong hands that allow him to catch balls when covered. Rogers also has tremendous size and strength, which are used to break tackles in the open field. Conclusion: Once he learns to run precise routes, Rogers could have a Julio Jones-type impact at the next level. He will be able to outmuscle and use his deceptive speed to beat most defensive backs. ” So now hopefully you all see why I was excited when I found out this guy could be in play for the Hawks in Round 2, but of course there was a reason he was available in round 2.

    Why was Da’rick Rodgers available in round 2? According to Don Banks at sports illustrated it is because ” The former University of Tennessee receiver was given an indefinite suspension by the Vols after failing a third drug test for marijuana. Ruh Rooo as Scooby Doo might say. Rob has made the suggestion as have others that with weed being legal in Washington the Hawks might be more worried about people who have had a problem with the wacky lettuce suiting up in blue on Sundays. I am not conservative when it comes to recreational drugs, and we know that weed has been a problem for singers, presidents, and yes even professional athletes in college. The Seahawks own Percy Harvin and Leroy Hill have struggled with weed in their past themselves, and really the only player I can remember having a debilitating Weed issue in the NFL is Ricky Williams and even so if he was a second round pick he would be among the best second round picks of all time. However weed was not the only issue he had at Tennessee, it was reported that he also had run ins with his coaches. The Hawks just acquired Percy Harvin who has had run in with his coaches on every level, and granted he is a proven on field performers at the NFL level, but still that is proof Hawks would take on a player with similar reputation as Da’rick Rodgers. So now you know what his character issues are lets take a look at his time with Tennessee Tech.

    At Tennessee Tech Da’rick Rodgers had one great season he now is the owner of a school record ten touch down season, he also hold the single game reception and yardage record but we know that he would do well against competition much lower in level then the SEC, the more important questions was how was his character at Tennessee Tech. I e-mailed everyone I could associated with the school, I received a few responses including one from Jamal Ferguson the editor of the school news paper and a DJ for the school radio station. Jamal told me that Da’rick was hardly ever seen on campus unless it was in the food court, and that he thought he was taking online classes. He also said that he had not heard of any issues with Da’rick at Tennessee Tech. I also got a direct quote from Tennessee Tech Head Coach Watson Brown via a school staff member Robert schabert “We had no issues with Da’Rick after he came to Tennessee Tech. He was a good team guy, did everything that was asked of him, and had no issues with behavior off the field.” Then there is word from Da’rick him self about his attitude that were taken from his media availability at the combine courtesy of Don Banks at SI ” “It’s simple, immaturity,” said Rogers, when asked to explain his dismissal from the Vols. “I had to take full responsibility, look in the mirror at who I was and what I was doing wrong. I did those things when I went to Tennessee Tech and it humbled me a lot. I’m still working on those things. It’s a work in progress. I play with an edge, and I had to learn to control that edge off the field also. I had to learn how to fix my flaws, and life got easier.” So over the past year he has cleaned up his life, and says that he has matured so now we have to ask our selves some questions.

    The first and most important question is how much potential do we think Da’rick Rodgers has? If you think he can be even close to Julio Jones then I think that makes a huge difference in if you think the Hawks should draft him. If you think he can be a really good receiver like maybe as good as Sydney Rice that is another thing, and I guess if you think he sucks then I don’t know why your still reading. I think he can be somewhere between Sydney rice and Julio Jones. The second question you have to ask is how much these character risk bother you? To me they don’t if he can pass 10 drug tests at Tennessee Tech, and the drug tests at the combine I believe he has put his weed problems to bed. As far as arguing with coaches I think a lot of great players argue with coaches I think in college it would be even more likely for emotions to get the best of a player and for those emotions to be taken out on the coach, and if he was smoking a lot that can lead to irritability when not high so that could even help to explain that. If I was in charge and he is there for the Hawks 2nd round pick I would pick him in a heart beat.

    • Snoop Dogg says:

      I think DaRick Rogers is very similar to Dez Bryant…. and he is a boss!

      • Snoop Dogg says:

        I think the second round has better recievers than the first almost! I mean, what is the difference in player quality between a DeAndre Hopkins or a Markus Wheaton. A Ryan Swope or a Tavon Austin? A Chris Harper or a DaRick Rogers? A Chris Cragg or a Justin Hunter? Honestly this draft is stacked at the WR position!

        (Side note: This draft is absolutely terrible at pass rush DT’s.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Rogers is in a very similar position to Mathieu. The headache factor is so strong, that the value is considerably weak. It’s a massive risk. A risk that this team doesn’t need.

        • Nolan says:

          Fair enough, but I think this is the exact risk that we can and should take… If he really washes out of the league it’s only one draft pick. How many guys wash out of the league for behavioral reason pacman is still in the league for Pete sake. Plus his issues are not even that bad arguing with coaches isn’t the end of the world it’s not like he shoved his coach down by the neck ( Percy harvin) and he was tested ten times at Tennessee tech and didn’t fail once so he either quit smoking or figured out how to cheat the tests. I think we have an ideal situation for him, with a real leader like Russel Wilson and an established core of guys at WR that he won’t be cuddled with star treatment he will have to earn his way.

          Matthieu is only borderline effective player with out the issues, there would still be size questions and questions on if his game would translate to the next level. He also didn’t even bother to play at another school after getting dismissed from LSU instead he got in trouble again after getting booted from school. I don’t think they are similar at all.

    • I am a huge fan of Rogers, but I’m also a fan of Titus Young. Sadly, neither one will ever be Seahawks most likely. Rogers has quite the rap sheet with two coaching staffs.

      Part of Pete’s success as a motivator is finding motivated, unselfish players. The few times he made exceptions to that rule, it didn’t work out (Lendale White, Kellen Winslow, etc). Harvin is kind of the one big exception, but where Harvin differs from a guy like Young/Rogers is that Harvin’s problems stem specifically from his competitive nature. He just wants to win, and the fight he got into his coach over was for finding more touches for AP.

      FWIW, I’d be just fine with taking a chance on Rogers. I just really doubt Pete would feel the same.

    • DJ says:

      Finally watched some videos of Rogers and I can see why you’re enthusiastic. He’s a force of nature out there and is quite different than anybody we have on the team right now. He’s got the height of Rice, but is quite a bit bulkier and way more tenacious after the catch.

      How is he as a blocker? One thing that jumped out to me watching Ryan Swope is how eager he is to block. We now have a lot of talented receivers and I think it’s important that the guys we have contribute to the success of a play even if they aren’t the target. Is Rogers going to be a prima donna if he isn’t getting the ball all the time?

      • Nolan says:

        I don’t think so he went to Tennessee after they already had Justin hunter who was going to be the number 1 guy there until injury happened, I assume he could have went somewhere else and been the number 1 wideout.

    • Recon_Hawk says:

      Outstanding post, Nolan. I really appreciate the hard work you spent in finding out more about this guy.

      I’m a big Rodgers fan, as well. IMO, he’s an obvious first round talent, but like most prospects with character concerns, none of us really know how much he’s changed since his previous issues got him in trouble. The whole grading attempt from armchair scouts like many here (including myself) are pretty much worthless as we all place a different value on character concerns and since we usually only have a sliver of information to go by. These NFL teams will need to do their homework, somewhat like you did Nolan (props, again.)

      To some people, no matter how many UA’s Rodgers passed, he’ll always be a diva receiver, not worth the trouble. But to me, I see opportunity. The weed thing does not bother me as much as it might others. He’s was a 20-year old kid at his time with Tennessee who made some bad life choices. People make mistakes. Some continue to do them and others learn and move forward.The fact Rodgers passed 10 UA since at TTU, well, that speaks well about him and his goal of “fixing his flaws” which is the only thing he can do at this point.

      If there’s honesty to his claim of improving and helping himself, Pete and John are the types to recognize that and draft him accordingly, and usually at a discount. You mentioned Harvin, already, but McCoy, Irvin, and the re-signing of Hill are all moves Pete and John made that most fans would have been against. (Not to mention players on our own team who have been suspended for PEDs, yet continue to get public support from Pete)

      Fortunately, there isn’t a take-him-off-the-board mentality with P&J on prospect’s with “criminal” backgrounds like many teams/fans have (and I use the term criminal lightly). If there is a player who’s willing to admit their mistakes and work on their faults, they have shown they’re willing to take the risk. In the case of Rodgers, I hope he’s moved past his drug problems and immaturity, for his sake, and if he has, I’m sure he’ll be on the Seahawks radar.

      • Recon_Hawk says:

        *Rogers…every single time I misspell his name lol.

        • Nolan says:

          Good point we risked far more with Irvin then we would with Rodgers. Irvin was a first rounder and had been in far more trouble the Rogers has ever been in. He also got in trouble right before the draft.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            You forget that PC has history with Irvin. And obviously, based on that history, PC felt Irvin’s problems had much to do with the environment he’d been, and if put in the right environment, Irvin could shine bright like the diamond he is (sorry, couldn’t resist).

            I’m not saying Da’Rick is any different. Heck, his problems might also be because he was running with a bad crowd. But without any personal knowledge of the situation, I don’t see why PC would risk spending his highest pick in the draft on a prospect who might cause way more problems than he would provide benefit. Especially given how strong the receiver corps is with the addition of Harvin.

      • Rob Staton says:

        One thing to remember about off-field concerns… Seattle tends to only really act from a position of strength. They’ve taken chances on guys recruited heavily by Carroll (Irvin, Harvin), scouted heavily by Schneider (Lynch) or guys who went to USC and played under Carroll and other coaches (BMW, McCoy, Lendale etc). I don’t think it’s a surprise that a lot of these moves have panned out as a consequence.

        When there’s been players where they don’t necessarily have a relationship and therefore a lot of background info, they’ve moved away. Jimmy Smith is a good example. There was never any indication what so ever that they’d go after Dez Bryant in 2010 despite clearly feeling they needed a bigger, explosive receiver — that’s why they looked into Brandon Marshall (didn’t pull the trigger, though). So they’ve been quite selective.

        I’m led to believe drama followed Rogers from recruitment and then throughout his time at Tennessee. Run-ins with the coaches, off field incidents, failed drugs tests. He seems to have been a loose cannon. As with Mathieu, it’s not often that teams sack off their best players suddenly. And reports came out during the combine that the Tennessee Tech coaches weren’t giving him a glowing reference.

        I get that this team likes to roll the dice occasionally, but I think they’re all calculated moves. I’m willing to be proven completely wrong, but I’ll be surprised if they go after either of Mathieu or Rogers.

        • MattK says:

          Good point about them taking risks from a position of strength in the past. I would say, though, that if Smith was available to them again in this draft that they now have the internal leadership on the team to keep him in check. Something they didn’t have in 2011.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Nice argument on behalf of a player you clearly like. And there is a lot to like about him.

      I, for one, could NOT care less about cannabis and drug tests, unless he kept on failing them, which he didn’t.

      What I do care about, and what I think says all you need to know about Rodgers, is that despite his obvious physical talent, a MAJOR college program said “no thanks”.

      • Chris F says:


        You are right to say that a major college wasn’t willing to put up with Da’rick Rogers’ behavior when he was 20, but I think the real question is whether or not you believe anything has changed since then.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Apparently not enough for his current coaches to at Tenn Tech to give him any kind of positive endorsement.

          The following is from Rotoworld:
          “Tennessee Tech coaches were bothered by WR Da’Rick Rogers’ attitude during his one year with the program, according to CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman. Apparently ‘they were skeptical about just how much (Rogers) really had matured,’ after transferring from Tennessee, per Feldman.”

          • Chris F says:


            I hope you didn’t take offense to my post as none was intended. I only know that I’ve done things in my life that in hindsight I was none too proud of. I guess that’s why I’m a strong believer in redemption.

            It is probably a moot point as there is an increasing buzz surrounding Rogers and in all liklihood he would not be available when we pick at 56 anyway. However, consider the following:


            If Da’rick Rogers IS available at our pick, I am sure that our FO will give him the consideration that he is due. I have faith in their judgement as to whether his seeming contrition is genuine or not and whether he would be a worthwhile addition to the team.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’m not really sensing this increasing buzz, Chris. The only thing I’ve heard about him this off-season is the point Eric highlighted about his coaches at Tennessee Tech. The bare minimum he needed from the 2012 season was a glowing reference from them.

              • Chris F says:


                First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank you and Kip for the hard work that you do. I have been a regular reader here for some time and have only recently felt the inclination to express my opinions.

                As for the “buzz” surrounding Da’Rick Rogers, I would imagine we are both interpreting the term differently. For you, it likely is a reference to how various NFL teams, their front offices, scouts etc. are talking about a certain prospect and whether that talk is increasing or decreasing. Because I lack access to this type of insider information, for me it is more about how often I see a prospects name appearing in the assorted blogs that I frequent, how much they are being mentioned by the media and whether they are moving up or down the boards of the scouting sites I utilize.

                Like Nolan, I have been intrigued by Da’Rick Rogers for some time now. Initially he was thought to be a definite mid-round pick, projected to go sometime between the 3rd and 4th rounds and I had even seen grades for him as low as the 5th. Lately however, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who thinks he will make it out of the 3rd round which is one of the reasons I believe he won’t make it out of the 2nd. As you know, if teams picking in the lower part of the draft are targeting a particular player expected to be off the board in a certain round, they are compelled to take that player a round earlier or risk losing him to another team.

                In the case of Da’Rick Rogers, one team who seems to be paying an inordinate amount of attention to him is the New England Patriots. Because they pick so low in the draft, if they expect to land a player with a 3rd round grade, they simply have no choice but to take him in the 2nd. The reason I think he may be chosen even earlier than the Seahawks 56th pick is simply because if I can figure this out, I believe that any other team that covets him can as well.

                In closing, let me say that I believe that the Percy Harvin trade has likely decreased any chance that the Seahawks would take Da’Rick Rogers with their 2nd round pick. IMO, if a player who filled a glaring need such as a Sylvester Williams were available, they would have no choice but to take him instead, even assuming that they could get past Rogers’ checkered past. That said, I think that if the draft doesn’t present them with the opportunity to fill a need, they would at least give Rogers consideration. Of course I would defer to their judgement as to whether that choice would be a wise one.

                Da’Rick Rogers on where he should be picked in the draft:

                ” I have no preference, any round. If they want to take me in the supplemental draft, I am ready to go. I’m ready to put on a uniform and make my way and earn my way on to a team.”

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Absolutely no offense at all Chris. I totally welcome discourse and debate. I think that’s what makes SDB the truly wonderful forum that it is – with my sincerest appreciation and deepest respect to Rob and Kip who toil endlessly to provide nourishment for my Seahawk LOVING soul.

              Ironically, I was one of the few commentators plugging away for Tyrann Mathieu in another post because, like you, I also have made poor decisions that I wish I could rectify, and I have benefited from second chances and redemption. Having said that, I stood up for Tyrann mostly because the worst he’s done is let cannabis derail his football career, and because by all accounts, his problems stem from hanging with a bad crowd since childhood. For me, Tyrann is the proverbial flower that grew out of a patch of weeds (pun INTENDED). With just a bit of proper gardening, there’s no telling how high he can fly (sorry, can’t help myself).

              Da’Rick seems to be a different kind of trouble. I have very little information about his situation, other than what the rest of us do. But that’s enough to tell me his upside, no matter how big that may be, is tempered too much by his red flags to make him someone I want to see in Wolf Grey on Sunday. I don’t say that lightly either, considering his physical talents are extremely impressive.

              In the end, however, In JSPC I trust.

              Footnote: My personal opinion is that maybe Da’Rick would make a better CB than WR. I dunno, there’s just something about his game and attitude that makes me think he has a chip (or a boulder) on his shoulder. For whatever reason, two different coaching staffs have not been able to channel that into something more consistently productive. But I wonder, somewhere in the theater of my mind, if with all that attitude and anger, he wouldn’t make a great shutdown corner.

          • Nolan says:

            Not that I’m arguing with that report but I got a direct quote albeit through a third party from Tennessee tech head coach that Darick did every thing he was asked and was a team player.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              I don’t doubt you Nolan. But, in all fairness, that quote isn’t what I would call high praise. It’s basically saying he gets a “C” grade. I expect an A-level talent to give A-level effort, especially after his disgraceful departure from TN. Also, it’s troubling to get mixed signals from his coaching staff, and in the end I have to go with what they’re saying publicly.

    • christian says:

      Da’rick was the #1 rated receiver in my catch radius piece so I do believe he is ultra talented but I was kinda hoping for a olb/dt combination in 2nd and 3rd and he probably won’t be around in fourth which us why I like josh Boyce out of tcu or mark Harrison of Rutgers, I liked both their tapes and some other guys look interesting from purely measurables perspective cause I haven’t seen their tape yet. Tavarress king, etc honestly i think part of it is players you pick but part of it the teachers/coaches you got in place and we’ve got some of the best.

  5. James says:

    The nickel CB question raises an interesting issue…. surely the Seahawks aren’t going with Marcus Trufant at that position again? So, why is he still on the roster? Wouldn’t it be a favor to him to have released him by now so he can latch on with another team? If Walter Thurmond could ever stay healthy, he will be an outstanding nickel, but no way to rely on that. Jeremy Lane seems more of an outside guy to me. We will definitely see John/Pete draft a nickel guy in the mid-rounds.

    • I’m 99.999999999% sure Trufant has played his final game in Seattle. I’d be a little surprised if Seattle even asked him back for competition purposes.

    • I don’t think Seattle really cares about whether you are an inside/outside corner or not. For example, Browner would be an ideal nickle CB at his size and (lack of) speed, but we’ve played him outside the whole time. Sherman started off as a nickle guy before injury moved him into a starting role. Thurmond and Lane have an outside skillset but have played a ton of nickle. I think our team pretty much views all the corner spots as being non-specialized, and they just want their best corners to see the field as much as possible without worrying over roles.

      • It would be very nice if Thurmond stayed healthy this year and Browner moved into the slot though. Pretty soon Seattle will have to consider moving Browner anyway because of his age/speed, and Thurmond is better than Browner (IMO), but hasn’t been able to show it because of his health.

      • Recon_Hawk says:

        Kip, why would bigger, slower guys be better nickel corners?

        They usually cover the speedier, smaller slot guys and aren’t really required to play the rush as it’s passing situation. Plus, playing closer to the QB you would think you’d want speed if you like to blitz that nickle CB. Personally, I think Browner would fail hard if he was an inside guy.

        • While there are smaller/quicker slot receivers out there, most players that play in the slot are bigger/tougher since the position requires them to go over the middle so much. Also, tight ends are getting increased usage out of the slot.

          Another factor- slot receivers are far less likely to attempt taking the top off a defense than an outside receiver would. If Browner has a weakness, it’s getting beat deep, so putting him in the slot greatly reduces that problem. He’d also have more help over the middle than he would in one-on-ones outside. You’d have a few games where he gets abused by guys like Welker- who’s actually slower than Browner but quicker- but those games would not be the norm. Someone like Browner would be a very nice matchup against tight ends, too.

          It’s very common for top shelf corners to move into the nickle role and then eventually to safety as they age and slow down.

          • And if Seattle does draw a really unfavorable quickness matchup in the slot, they can always adjust by putting a quicker corner like Thurmond in the Nickle spot for those games if Browner is getting killed. I think Seattle views their corners as interchangeable. I just think Browner would gain a lot of advantages from being used against tight ends and slot receivers.

            • Morgan says:

              I still see Browner’s strength as outside. Sure he’s not a blazer but his best attributes are his press jam and his ability to squeeze against the sideline, both of which vanish inside. I don’t see him with the agility to play inside. I can definitely see him as a SS in a Kam Chancellor enforcer role, though. BB can flat out hit when he wants to. That’s probably how he’ll see out his career, eventually.

  6. sdcoug says:

    Trufant is a free agent; he’s not on the roster

  7. adog says:

    i think that JS\PC might go defensive backs…over defensive line this year…at least in rounds 2-5. Not sure what the prospects look like this year besides d.Trufant, but i think they have a better handle on finding playmakers in the defensive back field as opposed to the d-line. This trend might be true for the entire league, but i expect that the front office has more options\targets in rounds 2-5 on dbs than d-linemen. Yes, that position has the most depth on the team, and i expect them to reinforce that depth with more competition. I think they would have taken Barron over Irvin last year if given the chance in the first round. Not sure if Sherman has a long term future on this team, i love his game, but i think he might become expendable by the time his contract year comes up. The market for “shutdown” corners has cooled considerably…see Revis…and i think this is result of faster linebackers who specialize in coverage and in teams basically playing a tampa 2 safety scheme. All in all the defensive schemes trending in the nfl seem to be taking the pressure off of corners.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Geez I dunno adog. I think you’re off claiming the market for shutdown corners has cooled considerably based on Revis. His market was cool because he’s coming off major knee reconstruction and he’s totally untested post op. Plus, there’s still a month to go before draft day, and buzz around the League is that TB just might pull a trade for him prior to that. Whether or not that actually happens I suspect will be determined more by what NYJ wants for him as anything else.

      As for Sherm, I’m not sure a pro bowl CB entering the prime of his career is expendable on any team.

  8. Miles says:

    Dude Kip thanks for posting this. If anyone follows my posts in any meager kind of way (I don’t know why you would) you know that I’m a huge Alford fan. I think this guy is going to be a great NFL corner. He needs a little bit of fine tuning but I think he could come in and be the nickel corner right away if need be. And then replace Browner if Browner finds a way out in the next couple of years. I would take him in the second round but if we could get him in the third??? Oh my god.

  9. Stuart says:

    Sherman, a Seahawk for life!

    Thurmond, if he get’s injured in pre-season, personally I cut him and move on…

    WR Rogers, part of me gets excited thinking Rogers could be the #1 in 2014 when Rice is out. The troubles that come with Rogers are considerable. I say no way the Hawks would use their R2 or R-3 pick on him but if he was sitting there in R-4, how could you not draft him? 1st round talent that probably falls to round 3.

    Would the Hawks take him in R-3 if he was still sitting there? Hmm…we will soon find out…good post, thanks.

    • Depends on what the injury to Thurmond is. Player with his level of talent deserve more patience than he’s received from our fan base. Let’s say he breaks his leg in week 4 of the preseason. Releasing him is an option, but I’d prefer to IR him and that way there is a good chance that you get comp pick consideration if he departs the following offseason.

      • Morgan says:

        I agree 100%, Thurmond is pretty damn good when he’s on the field. I’m not averse to trying to find someone to play slot in case Thurmond can’t go, though. Alford looks like a good choice and can return punts, something we’re lacking right now as Harvin has historically only returned kickoffs. I also like BW Webb, who I think would be ideal inside.

        I’m still on the books as a fan of Mathieu’s game, I love his tackling and nose for the ball if not his traditional coverage. Probably too many question marks as Rob has said, but I think he’d thrive in our scheme. He probably ends up in Cincinnati though, as they seem to take on every headcase out there.