Seahawks need to be ready… like the Ravens

February 12th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Georgia's Alec Ogletree is one of three talented prospects that could suffer a fall

Yesterday I wrote a piece asking whether the Seahawks could learn something from the Baltimore Ravens. Today, I’m going to take it a step further.

Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome has consistently managed to get value out of the draft. One way he’s achieved this is by taking advantage of the mistakes of others. He’s taken calculated risks when others ran a mile, used common sense and snatched at any opportunities presented to him. Newsome was ready and waiting when Ed Reed was still on the board in the mid-20’s. He repeated the act when Ben Grubbs, Michael Oher and Jimmy Smith fell into the same range. He was able to trade down last year and still managed to get Courtney Upshaw in round two. And when he’s been presented with picks in the top-15, he’s drafted Terrell Suggs, Haltoi Ngata and Joe Flacco (after a trade down).

When Tim Ruskell traded up to take John Carlson in 2008, he dealt with the Ravens. Newsome drafted Ray Rice with Seattle’s pick.

It’s not all been perfect — he chose Kyle Boller at #19 overall in 2003. I also appreciate I’m not shocking anyone by simply highlighting one of the leagues best GM’s is actually good at the draft.

The point I want to make here is to highlight the opportunistic way Newsome has gone about his business. He traded up for Ngata, Flacco and Oher. He knew the value on offer when trading down with Seattle in 2008. He’s built a team by sensing opportunity when others sensed danger. When certain players suffered unexpected falls, he’s made the necessary moves to get them to Baltimore. In some cases that meant a small move of just a single position (Ngata). In others it means being a little more proactive (Flacco).

Picking 25th overall, the Seahawks have an opportunity to mimic the Ravens. This draft is going to be so unpredictable, I think we could see two or three players reach the late teens unexpectedly. There may be an opportunity for the Seahawks to seize the initiative and make a small move up the board. That’s something John Schneider will have to judge. They be be able to sit tight but dropping to #25 is a lot more substantial than say #17-19.

Newsome has proved that sometimes you have to be proactive. The Seahawks are yet to trade up in a draft in the Carroll/Schneider era. This could be the year to do it.

So who could fall into a position where such a move is likely? Keep an eye on guys with character concerns. When the combine kicks off later this month we’ll start to find out who interviewed badly and who is a concern for scouts and GM’s. Baltimore’s previous picks are a great example of the types of players that can fall. Micheal Oher was a storied prospect made famous by a book and (in my opinion) a lousy film. Character concerns saw him drop from top-ten certainty to late first rounder. Jimmy Smith is one of the best cornerback prospects I’ve ever scouted. He also fell due to character concerns. In both cases, the media speculated they would fall. As it happens, they fell right into Ozzie Newsome’s lap.

Both players offered supreme physical talents with limitless upside, but there was enough suspicion with their character to provoke a fall. There are more than a few players who could also fall for similar reasons in 2013. Here’s three examples:

Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia) — (see tape vs Kentucky below) He might have the biggest upside in the 2013 draft and his tape against Ole Miss will get anyone buying into his potential. However, he’s missed games due to drug related suspensions and he has quite a passive off-field personality. It’s a limited sample size, but he comes across quite distant in interviews and he’s not the kind of confident talker you see with Khaseem Greene. Some teams will decide he’s more upside than proven production and might be turned off by his personality, forcing a drop. Those suspensions also need checking out. Personally I still think he’s a top-15 lock, but I thought the same about Jimmy Smith. He’d make a great WILL in Seattle’s defense and it’d be very difficult to pass up the chance to bring him to the North West.

Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri) — Another player with the athletic potential to get anyone excited. He’s a brilliant three-technique with a relentless motor and he should be a top-ten pick on talent alone. Richardson also had to play JUCO football because of bad grades, flip-flopped over his decision to attend Missouri despite a previous commitment and was suspended at a crucial time in the 2012 season for violating team rules. His personality might rub some people up the wrong way — but as a three technique you kind of want to see a bit of fire and brimstone. ESPN notes on his draft profile: “Mental capacity and maturity level are being closely investigated by NFL scouts.” He’s unlikely to get past the Cowboys if Monte Kiffin has any sway in Dallas — he tried very hard to recruit him for USC. It might cost only a third round pick to get above Jerry Jones if he falls, however.

Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU) — This isn’t a suggestion necessarily for the first round, but he’s a player to monitor in rounds two and three. At times Montgomery has looked the part of a dynamic pass rusher alongside Barkevious Mingo. Yet there are so many lingering issues with his attitude and work rate. He started the season on the bench as a wake-up call from the coaches and then an image started doing the rounds on the internet that wasn’t exactly flattering. I’ve seen Montgomery listed in some first round projections but he’ll need to flash big time at the combine to get over these concerns. Even so — the Seahawks are likely to consider adding another LEO following Chris Clemons’ ACL injury. At 6-5, 260lbs they could get a bargain in the second or third round if they’re willing to take a shot on a talented but floored prospect.

Never underestimate the perception of a ‘sure thing’ versus a risk. GM’s, scouts and coaches love high character players with big time potential. Nobody is talking about Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene at the moment, but wait until he impresses at the combine. Not only will he flash the athletic qualities befitting a converted defensive back, he’ll also blow teams away during interviews. And that could potentially put him ahead of a guy like Alec Ogletree who has a higher ceiling, but also a much lower floor.

Despite thinking that one or two players could fall in the draft, I can’t bring myself to express this in a mock draft. When you pair the Seahawks with a player expected to go much earlier, it just looks like wishful thinking. You almost want to see other people making those projections so you can refer to it and make it seem that little bit more possible. Let’s just say it’ll be a nice surprise if it happens. In tomorrow’s mock though I will have a team ahead of the Seahawks falling for Khaseem Green, and that’ll mean a different pick at #25.

81 Responses to “Seahawks need to be ready… like the Ravens”

  1. Colin says:

    I think the best move for the Seahawks is exactly as your article suggests, Rob. They need to sit tight and see who is available at 25. I just don’t see anyone in this draft who really warrants a move up the board. Someone will fall, as the case happens every single year.

    What are your thoughts on Datone Jones? Could he be a round 2 selection if the Hawks went LB or WR in round 1? I can’t make up my mind on the guy.

    • Colin says:

      Oh, and you might want to consider an article on how slot corners and right tackles are similar… no one has a really good one. Might open some eyes here.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I would do but I kind of feel like I’d constantly need to be linking back to it. I can honestly say I couldn’t name you five non-Seahawks who play right tackle or slot corner in the NFL. I might recognise the names when looking over the list, but nobody has great players in those positions. They are two areas you manage. I long for the day that we all accept that.

        • JW says:

          So is the argument that since you can’t name any there are not good ones?

          Some very good teams have very good right tackles. Some very good ones don’t. Some bad ones do. I don’t think anyone sets out to have a bad one. We can make the same statement about a lot of positions.

          • Colin says:

            The argument is that Right Tackle and/or nickleback’s are not high priority positions. They are not make or break talents that win Super Bowls. Right now the Seahawks have, in my opinion, an above average right tackle in Breno Giacomini who is not appreciated by enough Seahawk fans.

            • JW says:

              There’s really only 1 position that is “make or break”. Sure, some positions are more important than others, but at the end of the game it’s about talent and how you scheme and how it fits your offense and how you want to build your team.
              We could point to teams that have terrible WILB, or bad Guards, or sub par receivers, or running backs, or weak MLB. It doesn’t really say much. Many of the playoff teams this year had very good right tackles- Vollmer is excellent. Andre Smith is excellent. Clady is very good.

              It’s just a position, like most others. Nothing special about it in most regards.

              • Colin says:

                You are right, it isn’t special in most regards, but there is a fairly large segment of fans who think it is. It’s a misconception because of how often we hear about the value of a great left tackle. It’s great to have a stellar offensive line, but it’s an overplayed tune and not essential to winning a Super Bowl.

                • JW says:

                  Yeah, that might be a fair way of putting it. What I would resist is the idea that it doesn’t matter, or that there’s not excellent right tackles out there. There are some very good ones, and they have an impact and allow flexibility in scheming like any other good player. But it’s certainly not a requirement. There are good teams with bad ones, too . My opinion of Breno does not match yours, but I do feel he’s acceptable- I find him to be average. Unless something really weird happens in the draft I fully expect him to start next season, and that will be fine with me. Not excited about it but not worried about it, either.

              • A. Simmons says:

                When did Clady get moved to RT? After his knee injury? He used to play LT at a high level. Andre Smith was drafted to be a LT. They must be salvaging him at RT. He’s a top 10 draft pick LT that didn’t make it. Just like Carpenter was drafted to play RT, we’re trying to salvage him at the G position. Show me first round tackles drafted to be RTs. I want that list.

                • JW says:

                  I meant Clabo, not Clady.

                  The discussion isn’t first round picks, it’s good right tackles. There are several very good ones out there, like any other position, and they offer a team value, like any other position.

                  • JW says:

                    btw, a team that drafted first round tackle to play on the right side? SF. The team that physically dominates the O line. Another team that spent a high pick on tackle after already having a good one? Patriots. A team that quick passes all over the place.
                    Lots of ways to win in this league. No need to rule out a position before hand. Better to take it on a case by case basis.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    The Patriots also need to max protect Brady because as good as he is, he’ll never be mobile. San Fran spent a high pick on Davis, and they are fairly unique in that regard. That’s two examples compared to the many others clearly feeling they don’t need big splashes at right tackle. Seattle has a good right tackle who compares favorably to the rest of the league. They’re unlikely to win or lose any more games in 2013 by replacing Breno. There are much bigger needs that will help the Seahawks win more games.

                  • JW says:

                    I agree.

                    The question was asked which teams drafted a first round right tackle, or draft pick that would move an existing tackle over. I’m just providing two examples. There are some very good Right Tackles in the league who are also on pretty good teams. And some good teams with bad ones, and bad teams with good ones. But yes, you don’t have to have one to win. Obviously, it helps to have a good one. But we could say this about a number of positions. That is all.

                    Just want to reiterate- I agree that Breno is acceptable. The Hawks can win a super bowl with Breno. But I’d not blink if they signed a low cost competitor to push him, either.

                  • TWTS says:

                    One thing has been reiterated over and over the past few weeks is that Newsome always takes the player on top of his board. He took guards in the 1st and 3rd rounds of the 2007 draft, Grubbs and Yanda, and took crap for it. Both have made Pro Bowls, Grubbs left last year and they replaced him this year with second round pick Osemele, who played very well. I agree that RT isnt a big need, but if Fluker is one top of their board at 25, they should stay true to it.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    They also had holes at those positions. They didn’t draft Grubbs and Yanda for the sake of it. They drafted Osemele because Grubbs had left the team. It’s one thing to fill holes… it’s quite another to draft for positions that aren’t needs. And anyone thinking Fluker is going to be any better in pass pro at right tackle… that’s not what I see on tape. He’s extremely susceptible to the speed rush and I suspect he’ll end up playing guard. The Seahawks already have Carpenter, Moffitt, Sweezy and McQuistan. They aren’t going to do this.

                  • Colin says:

                    I’d rather see Schneider trade down rather than take Fluker.

          • Rob Staton says:

            No the argument is no teams have these storied right tackles that people seem to long for. There are a heck of a lot of Breno’s in the league. It simply is not a position teams pump a lot of value into.

            • JW says:

              Well that’s not the argument you made above. I just don’t think right tackle is in any way unique from a number of other positions. like i said, a number of teams have very good RTs, others do not. Nothing special about it in that regard.

              I also feel that there’s a misunderstanding of the discussion a bit. Is it ‘longing’ for a ‘storied’ right tackle to want a good one, or a better one? Or, an improvement from league average? If a fan wants a team to draft a right tackle because they think it’s the BPA, and the present RT is league average (or arguably much worse), is that so unreasonable? I think not. It’s hardly a longing for a storied RT, it’s just, you know, wanting a good player at a position. There’s a lot of middle ground there that can be decent conversation without making it one extreme or the other.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Seattle has a good player at right tackle.

                • JW says:

                  I respect your opinion on it. I think he’s decent enough. Others I respect think he’s bad.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Well they need to go back and watch the tape against a cluster of elite pass rushers and watch Seattle’s top-five running attack then. Giacomini had a fine season after a rough start.

                  • JW says:

                    PFF response to that is that Marshawn Lynch and Russel Wilson are more credit to that than Moffitt/Sweezy and Breno. Based on their methodology and the consistency in other positions, I find some worthiness in it, as I do in some of your analysis as well. I don’t think anyone has the market cornered on the matter and prefer a meta-analysis approach, which leaves me to feel Breno is an average talent, and a place they could stand some competition. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s a first or even third round problem.

                  • Brian says:

                    Giacomini the last half of the season was well above ‘average’. I don’t remember him giving up a single sack or QB pressure on a critical down that changed the outcome of a game.

                    And the penalties that were game changers happened before the offense found it’s identity with RW.

                    Of the positions needing help on the team, RT is pretty far down the list. And I would be very, very, very surprised if PC/JS think this is a priority that would warrant a high draft pick, regardless of who is still on the board.

        • Cole says:

          Ravens do. And they just won the Superb Owl.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Tackle is one of Baltimore’s biggest needs. Oher can’t play blindside as hoped and has been bumped to the right. Their situation at left tackle is pretty poor.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I’m really warming up to Datone Jones. Not necessarily from his game tape. It’s not bad, but it’s not eye popping either.

      What I do like about him is that he has shown productivity, with physical gifts that I think translate extremely well for the next level.

      Not unlike Dontari Poe last year. Except with Poe, his tape was borderline bad. Even playing against lesser competition. Jones at this time, appears very light for a DT (280), but very stout as a DE. We’ve talked about him here as a Jason Jones replacement as a result. He’s essentially the same size as Courtney Upshaw was coming out last year.

      But Jones has broad/massive shoulders. And he has an extremely powerful trunk and lower body. Further, the guy carries virtually no added weight anywhere. He is a tweener, who could very easily carry an extra 15 pounds effortlessly.

      At 295, he’d be a guy who compares favorably from a measurables standpoint to Sheldon Richardson. Jones showed outstanding hands at the senior bowl early. To a point where he routinely made a standard OL split appear cavernous. But as the week progressed, he seemed to disappear and didn’t have that ability to play off his hand fighting skills.

      He is a guy who has tremendous burst and strength. But it appears that he is intent on being a DE right now, when I believe strongly that his career is going to be made at the 3. He needs to develop the ability to work in close with an OL in addition to his excellent ability to shuck and blow by an OL with his hand fighting skills.

      His natural distribution of weight is a very excellent base on which to add on additional weight. Strong legs and upper chest affords functional strength. Poe had a powerful lower body, but didn’t have Jones’ strength in the upper torso. He also didn’t have Jones’ productivity or even one aspect as NFL ready as Jones’ ability to use his hands/quickness to burst to the backfield virtually untouched.

      At 25 or later, we’re going to need to accept a level of necessary development. That’s why they are drafted where they are. In the world where a team looks at what a guy can do, Jones can burst free by way of his hand fighting skills. It’s like a pitcher with an awesome fastball. You need to have a changeup to be effective. Jones needs to develop his.

      The Jones of today, isn’t a great 3 tech option. I think there is a lot of room for positive development with him. More weight and additional skill development could push him toward a very productive NFL career. These are additions that I can see as reasonably achievable.

      • Recon_Hawk says:

        I’ve only just really started to focus on Jones, but my initial gut feeling was similar to yours in that he reminded me of 15lb lighter Sheldon Richardson. This breakdown of yours has me wanting to go watch some more tape.

        IMO, the Jason Jones role is as important to the pass-rush in nickel defense as even Bruce Irvin’s role, and Bruce was drafted at #15. I would definitely think the front office could be looking to upgrade that position with at least the #56 pick, maybe even #25.

      • Colin says:

        I agree with you on Jones. He is a guy who has good production along with the frame to handle some more weight at the next level. He could end up being a pretty good player if handled right.

        As for Poe, I never understood the hype. Big body that did nothing on the field and suckered a team into thinking he’d magically turn into a formidable defensive tackle.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          As for Poe, that kind of thinking happens all the time. If you believe that player development is a key component to adding talent to an NFL club (which I do and the Seahawks most definitely do), then it’s not just about what you see on tape.

          These draftees are never as good a pro as they are in April. It’s why it takes some players (yes, even the Henry Meltons and the Geno Atkins) years before they reach their potential.

          If you accept that, then Poe isn’t just suckering a team into thinking he’ll be something he isn’t. Every player is going to become something he isn’t. Poe’s tape was disappointing. And it should have been a red flag and definitely was for some teams. But you can’t coach a guy to have that kind of physical ability.

          Now, if you go to some of the Chiefs fan sites, you will see that there is a pretty good consensus that Poe is working out ok and is clearly improving. Most of the ‘Poe was a bust’ talk comes from fans like us. Guys on the outside who all we know, he didn’t blow up the NFL immediately. So it’s inferred that he stunk up the joint. But those that watch him week to week don’t feel that way.

          I made the connection, because I see Datone in a similar way. I think he would have to bulk up and change his physique. Just like Mebane did for us. He’s a guy who is about as light as he can possibly get. He’s a powerfully built guy with physical elements that to me indicate he really should be playing around 300-310 pounds. For whatever reason, that’s not what he envisioned for himself. Datone does distinguish himself from Poe, in that his production was better.

          But both prospects will come into this league having to add elements to their game. They will need to develop into something they aren’t *right now*. And honestly, I think that’s the unknowable formula that is key to Seattle’s success in the draft. We are elite at getting prospects to develop into more than what they were when they arrived.

          Our true genius, I am convinced, is that as an organization we are excellent at seeing what players can be. Not what they are. And it manifests itself each year with what appears on the surface to be a collection of reach picks. It’s because we as amateur draft pundits can’t account for that half of the formula. It’s just not available to us.

          Today, it’s hard to see where Datone fits. Add 20+ pounds on him with some additional skill development and you have a powerful/active everydown 3 tech who has the basic physique to anchor well if a run is directed at him, as well as possessing the unique ability to win a 1 on 1 assignment almost entirely unblocked. He is very much like a pitcher with a 99 mph fastball but no secondary pitch.

          He’s a guy, who if elements are added to his game, could be better than Richardson in my mind. I can’t account for how likely *could* is. Richardson today is clearly better to me. But Richardson also kind of appears to be a nearly finished product. And it’s a good product. I know he’ll develop as all rookies tend to do. But it’s hard for me to envision him being much improved from where he is right now.

          • Colin says:

            Melton and Atkins aren’t as large as Poe. I’m not sure Poe will ever be a pass rusher, something the other two do very well.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I see him in that R2-3 range. I’m not sure how he fits in the NFL… not a five, not a full time three or an orthodox 4-3 end. His best position might be the role Jason Jones played in Seattle which limits his stock. Could be ideal for the Seahawks in round two.

    • Dan says:

      Well I’m not sure Rob was suggesting we wait to see who falls to 25. I think this is more of an article that justifies moving up if the right guy slips past the top 15. The question is, who’s worth moving up for? And who do we need to move in front of?

      • Rob Staton says:

        Really it’s a matter of being ready. Waiting to see who falls, then deciding whether to act (therefore trade up) or stay put. Baltimore made some calculated, cheap moves up the board to get cornerstone players. Depending on who possibly drops this year, Seattle might have to consider doing the same. Not big moves by any means. And sometimes the beauty of a situation is knowing there are 2-3 guys you really like and being guaranteed to get one, so staying put is sometimes the best thing to do.

        • JW says:

          I’m always impressed by the teams that stay put and let the picks come to them. Pittsburgh last year with Decastro was a great example of that. They had a need and just rode it out. A draft like this one could really reward that strategy as well as being ‘ready’ to pounce on an opportunity. There seems to be a lot of options for any well played strategy.

  2. Troy says:

    Rob what are your feelings & thoughts on possibly signing Osi Umenyiora in Free Agency? A 1-2yr/$3.5-$7Million…

    • Rob Staton says:

      It depends on the price. I’d be interested, but not for a kings ransom given his age. And it depends what he’s after. He has to Championship rings. Is he motivated to get another, or to ensure one last healthy pay day?

  3. James says:

    There are more than 10 DTs or DEs with first round grades. At least one or two of them will be there when the Seahawks pick, and I believe that is the direction they will go. The D line is just too important in regards to what Seattle needs to do to improve their major flaw from last year. John and Pete will make a great selection in that spot. Sorry Rob, but I just don’t see them going LB in R1. Too easy to fill that spot in the mid rounds. I just watched some more tape on Dion Jordan, and it is ridiculous how quick his feet are at his size. He can be a Leo, despite being 4 inches taller and a little heavier than their 6’3″, 245 lb standard set by Clem and Bruce. If a guy like that is there, that will be the pick. They will then have a wealth of WR, LB and DB gems with their next picks. Add one decent FA and the Seahawks are Super Bowl ready.

    • James says:

      …a couple of more thoughts on Dion Jordan: at 245 lbs, he is too light for a typical 4/3 DE; and also lacks the run-stuffing heft for a 3/4 OLB. In short, he is the ideal Leo, but his limited fit in more traditional Ds may help him to fall into the Seahawks lap at # 25. He won’t time in the 40 as well as Bruce, but his film shows someone amazingly quick. He, Bruce, Clem and maybe a FA fill-in (Freeney, Umenyiora??) would provide a tremendous outside rush. Now, land someone like Datone Jones or another DT in R2, and let’s meet at the QB. Dan Quinn may add a little more creativity to some blitz schemes, find a nickel from Lane, Thurmond or the draft, and a better dime safety also, unless Guy develops further, a Will LB in the mid-rounds, and could be the top D in the league.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think Jordan will be a top ten pick. Had him falling last week, watched more tape this week. He won’t fall past New Orleans at #15.

      • Brian says:

        I would not be surprised to see Guy make a pretty big jump this year. Which would follow the general talent trajectory of development and progress for late round players who make the team.

        A healthy Thurmond and more NFL ready Guy should provide meaningful coverage improvement for the nickle and third down package. Won’t change anything on the D Line and pass rush. But they are a likely one part of the total solution.

    • Trudy Beekman says:

      I don’t see anything impressive out of Dion Jordan. His Fresno State tape was pretty good, but against USC and Stanford he looked pretty pedestrian, and really didn’t flash anything justifying a pick in the first 2 rounds.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure many people thought they’d draft a second LEO to pair with Clemons last year. I wouldn’t rule anything out, especially linebacker.

  4. Zach says:

    Don’t get me wrong I love how JS has drafted so far, but like you said Rob he hasn’t moved up to get anyone yet and I’m hoping he isn’t completely opposed to the idea. If Richardson or Floyd falls past #15 I would be VERY disappointed if we didn’t make a move to get one of them. It seems to me we are one Richardson away from a SB as long as Clem is healthy.

    • Belgaron says:

      In 2012, Seattle traded down 4 picks in the 2nd round to acquire 5th and 7th round picks. So one could say they moved into position to take Korey Toomer and Greg Scruggs. While these two are still works in progress who will be back to compete this year with the success this front office has had, you’d have to applaud the acquisition of additional picks.

      I can’t remember where I saw that 2013 draft picks 10-41 will be comparable in talent. If that is true, not much is lost by being patient and choosing wisely. Having lived through the Timmay Ruskell approach of converting 3 picks into two and then drafting the top fullback, deep snapper, and 2nd kicker still on their board with the late picks, I’m not a fan of moving up and drafting only 4 year starters from big programs with unblemished characters, but I digress. But that’s not to say they shouldn’t keep trading up in their bag of tricks if it makes sense.

  5. Ed says:

    Some FA we should look at:

    DT – Melton (CHI) max
    DT – Dorsey (KC) was a 4-3 3 tech DT who got put in a 3-4 system. Was a beast at LSU
    DT – Marks (TEN) good pass rush DT
    TE – Cook (TEN)
    DE – Johnson (CIN)
    OLB – Kruger (BAL) could play leo until clemons comes back
    WR – Bowe (KC) not for max money
    CB – Munnerlyn (CAR) perfect nicke corner

    1st #1inside rush #2 3 down wlb #3 receiver weapon
    2nd #1 receiver weapon (wr/te) #2 inside rush #3 3 down wlb
    3rd #1 3 down wlb #2 receiver (wr/te) #3 inside rush

    • Eric says:

      Melton would be best, but look for CHI to franchise him.
      Dorsey is very interesting. A bust at KC in terms of pass rush (he’s decent against the run), but like you say, that could be because he’s playing out of position and in the wrong defensive alignment. He was dominating in College.

      Starks (MIA) is probably the best option available. Not a long term solution, but he could be a key addition in getting to the big dance
      Bryant (OAK) wouldn’t be a bad acquisition. Of all the available DTs, his style of play is the most similar to Alan Branch (when Branch was in his prime)
      Umenyiora (NYG) isn’t a solution unto himself, but he could be effective in rotation and wouldn’t cost much.

      Even with our defensive needs, Bowe (KC) is the one who could make the biggest impact overall. He is the premier downfield receiver available. Sorry Wallace (PIT), and Fitzgerald (ARI), Bowe can stretch the defense further. I doubt Fitzgerald will be available (no way ARI lets Fitz go to a division rival), and I think Bowe is a better fit, if not just a better receiver outright, than Wallace. The only question is whether Reid sticks with Branden Albert at LT and franchises him, or decides to franchise Bowe and take Joeckle with the #1 instead.

  6. Stuart says:

    I am not trying to ask a stupid question it’s that I just dont know… Is is possible to play your base D as a nickle and if so what about finding a DB that would be perfect instead of the big focus on the WLB? Are there any teams that play this way today with success?

    • kevin mullen says:

      That’s the point of having Khaseem Greene as the pick at #25, this dude has “faster Derrick Brooks” written all over him. This dude can cover and be a sideline to sideline guy, and pardon my San Diego Spanglish, but this dude is the sh*t. Not sure about the pass rush skills per se, but check out 1:46 of video, he can create disruption and playmaking ability. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2n2iXjoUms

      If he were on board, I’d be totally fine with this pick. He allows versatility, and he takes no sh*t from anyone, a real enforcer.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      That’s what a lot of teams are looking for the ‘big nickel’.
      I think Khaseem Greene, Phillip Steward and Alec Ogletree could all fit this role, but as a LB. Greene and Steward in particular havve great coverage abilities.

      • Snoop Dogg says:

        I love Phillip Steward! In all honesty, I would love taking him in the first round is he has Bobby Wagner speed with the #25 pick! (He certainly has good enough production) Imagine the uproar about him going in the first round! Mel Kiper screams REAAACCCHHH!!!!!!!!! F- draft grade!

        I would love this scenario!

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          I wouldn’t. God. I’d be pissed. We could get him sooo much later.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          I would be pissed too.

          Mainly because I have had the sense that this FO really is good at projecting when to take players. Obviously they have players they really like and that fit. And they will reliably ‘overdraft’ players slightly to make sure they get their man.

          Steward is very likely a late day three pick if he’s taken at all. He will definitely be there at the start of day three unless some other team just pulls his name out of a hat.

          I have every expectation that we’re going to have another ‘worst draft in the history of drafts’ kind of grade after it’s all done. That’s ok, because our organization is crazy like a fox that way. I’m pretty sure three quarters of the guys we take will be players I’ve barely heard of either.

          If we took Steward at 25 overall, I think that could merit the expected grade. Drafting players ahead of grade somewhat is ok. Throwing away draft value of that scope is not.

    • Brian says:

      God I f-ing WISH. Does anyone disagree that our first and second down ‘base D’ was massively more effective than our third down and end of game defensive package?

      I am of the very firm and resolute belief that the entire third down / passing down scheme is far more problematic than our personnel. The scheme itself sets the players on the field up for failure, plays to their weaknesses, and allows the offense to dictate to us.

      Let’s summarize first and second down: Press coverage at the LOS, take away the corner and outside of the field, Kam in the box, ET in position to make it nine up front within a second and half from the snap, disciplined gap control, LB’s in a position to be fast to the sidelines if neceessary, every yard is challenged. The middle of the field is the only thing that might be open and it is still a mess where any receiver is going to get hit HARD most of the time.

      Now let’s summarize third down: Soft zone. Nothing is challenged at the LOS and receivers can freely all over the damn field. Corners taken to the sidelines. ET deep and cannot get to the LOS most of the time. Kam deeper and usually responsible for a middle zone where he’s out of position most of the time. LB’s running to zone and getting there late and when the ball comes out and not in a position to make a play on the ball, but they do get to make a tackle after the catch. Their OC dictates to us. No gap covered because we are in deep zones. But we do take away anything longer than 25 yards or a touchdown on a single play. Third down conversions galore.

      This is far more the problem than personnel. And it’s why we didn’t get home field. Lost to Detroit. Lost to Miami. Almost lost to Chicago. Lost to the Falcons. And didn’t make the Super Bowl.

      And it’s much worse problem than our pass rush.

  7. Kenny Sloth says:

    Dion Jordan is slow. He should not be projected as a Leo. I watched every. Single. Ducks game this year. He’d make a great Sam, but is a pretty pedestrian pass rusher. Certainly not the quick twitch athletic spped rusher necessary for the Leo position.

    • Zach says:

      I agree 100%

    • Trudy Beekman says:

      Also agree with him not being a LEO at all. I don’t know what this kid’s position should be, but I don’t think it’s SAM either. His biggest strengths are his measurables and athleticism. He has also shown to be versatile as he can drop into coverage. I look at this kid and think he should be playing TE.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I was thinking that, too. I don’t like the idea of switching a first round draft pick’s position greatly, even if they have played it before and could possibly excel there. I think his best fit is at 3-4 OLB. I.e. not on the Seahawks. Not sure why he is getting so much demand from fans.

        Honestly, I think he’ll be a bust whatever position he plays. I just don’t see the ‘athleticism’ that is being touted so highly. He looks slower than Datone Jones.

  8. Kenny Sloth says:

    Could you possibly doing a piece highlighting possible free agent options, Rob?

  9. Darnell says:

    One thing that I noticed about the Ravens, and it will be interesting to see if the Hawks do this given their desire to be young, is that when their window for the superbowl opened up they were willing to add solid players in the twilight of their careers wanting to play for a winner on short deals (Birk,Boldin,McKinnie).

    Makes you wonder if say,Seymour, Freeney, Osi will be possibilities.

    Youn can’t enter the draft with the issue unadressed, because if the draft doesn’t play out like you like you end up seriously handicapping a superbowl caliber team.

    • mjkleko says:

      What you said at the end there pretty much falls in line perfectly with what they did to address the QB situation last offseason. Pursue Manning, sign Flynn, yet if the opportunity presents itself, grab a QB in the right place. Something tells me if they had managed to wrangle in Mr. Manning, Russell Wilson would still be a Seahawk. Peyton would sure would have been sore about gettin’ beat out by a rookie.

      Freeney is very intriguing, more so then Osi I’d say, due to the fact that he still has considerable speed whereas Osi has had more of an apparent decline in first step from a casual observation. I’d be curious to know if Osi is completely over his foot problems that have hindered him the past few seasons. In the end, Dwight may be a little too similar to Bruce and I could see JS/PC wanting to diversify a tad bit more in their pass-rush personnel.

      Shoot damn, I can’t wait for March 12th.

    • Vin says:

      That’s a good point you’ve brought up, and I actually do believe that if a veteran player was available who the Hawks felt was one of the final pieces to the puzzle, that they’d go after him. I remember reading an article on Schneider where he mentioned that the Packers went after Reggie White, thinking he was what they needed to take it to the next level. And same goes with Charles Woodson. First and foremost the Hawks will want to draft, promote from within and reward those core players, but if Schneider truly lives by the Packer way, then Im sure he’ll be looking at those vets that have just enough tread on their tires for one last push.

  10. mjkleko says:

    Dan Snyder disagree with this and everything else under the sun that doesn’t pay him money.

    But in all seriousness, it’s exciting that the Seahawks as a franchise is reaching the point where the draft represents an opportunity to add the best possible players throughout the entire roster without specific targets. In the past i found myself getting so worked up with draft picks under the Tim Ruskell regime, where I’d be furious they took so-and-so over whoever. Since Schneider has taken the reigns, it’s more like a pleasant surprise when a pick is made, with the players positives becoming so much more revealing then his shortcomings. I also appreciate that I am surprising no one with this opinion as well.

    While I certainly believe defensive line will be an early target (I would do backflips if Jarvis Jones, Floyd, Mingo or Ogletree fall to #25, also know as “the Impossible”), I feel an under the radar free agency pickup may be in store. Desmond Bryant has been mentioned before and while he is not the most explosive player in the league, he does offer some intriguing physical attributes that fall in line with some of the things Pete looks for. And speaking of the Ravens, another name I thought would be interesting to try and bring to Seattle is the large and a little bit versatile Arthur Jones. He’s a RFA and on a Super Bowl team, so I would put the odds at him being interested in signing a sheet or the Ravens letting him go being pretty much close to zero. But maybe with a Ring on his hand, the monster Flacco deal and several defensive leaders leaving, greener pastures might be intriguing.

    Besides a marginal move like that, a large splash in FA along the D-line is pretty unlikely, save bringing back Jason Jones in my opinion. It will be interesting to see if Jaye Howard can crack the lineup with a year under his belt and Quinn coming to Seattle. But back to the draft, even if one of the aforementioned names “falls”, there’s no guarentees JS/PC make the pick given their track record of going against the grain. For all we know, they may get their #14 rated player in the draft and it could be someone completely out of left field.

    Interesting stuff as always, Mr Staton. Keep up the excellent work.

  11. Eric says:

    Rob and fellow citizens of Hawk Nation:

    Been thinking about our need for a WILL backer, and I’m now of the opinion that it’s as big of a concern as the pass rush going into 2013. I also think that unless the right DT is available at or near enough to #25 (i.e., Richardson or Floyd, but maybe also Short and/or Hankins), JSPC will look to replace Leroy Hill with the ‘Hawks’ first pick. The question becomes, who? For me, the top LBs who would fit well into the WILL position are: Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Khaseem Greene (and maybe Kevin Minter).

    As between Ogletree and Greene, even if Ogletree is still on the board when we pick, I like Greene better. IMO, Ogletree plays more like a SS than a LB; he’s fast and athletic, and is best in short coverage or pursuing the play from behind. However, he doesn’t like to take blockers head on, and he seems to shy away from the point of attack when it is directed at him. I watched several Georgia games this past year, and I just don’t think he’s very good against the weak side run. Like I said, I think he’s really a SS.

    Greene, on the other hand, while maybe not as fast or athletic, is a much more physical player. He has better than average coverage skills (though perhaps not quite as good as Ogletree), he’s as good at running down plays from behind, and he’s much better at taking on the point of attack against the run. To top it off, Greene seems to have the right mentality to play on PC’s defense. So between Ogletree and Greene, I prefer Greene.

    But what about between Greene and Jones? What if Jones is still available at #25 (a possibility given concerns over his spinal stenosis)? Arguably he’s the best LB in the draft. But does he have more upside than Greene, given those health concerns? What do you think? Who would you prefer?

    Also some final LB thoughts: (1) Kevin Minter is an intriguing prospect, especially if he has a good showing at the combine, and might also be on the board when we pick; (2) I wonder how interested we’ll be in Jonathan Bostic given Dan Quinn’s familiarity with him from Florida. We may not need a MLB because we have Bobby Wagner, but if Bostic is still available, I wouldn’t be surprised if we select him on day 2; and (3) Sio Moore could be a day 2 steal.

    Let me know what you think…

    • Recon_Hawk says:

      I basically agree on all your thoughts on the prospects you named. I’d choose Greene over Olgetree, too, but I think had Tree been playing WLB last year instead of MLB (where I think he’d struggle at the NFL level), his tape would have been much better.

      If Jones is still on the board, I would take him in a heartbeat, but medical clearance and all that is beyond me. If the kid is healthy, he’s a top-15 talent. Only thing I worry about his any bad history between Jones and Pete, seeing that at USC Jones was medically stopped from playing. But who knows.

      I really agree with you Sio Moore. I feel he’s a linebacker who can fit any teams system and will have a productive career.

      Last thing. I don’t place the WLB anyone near as main a concern as upgrading the pass-rush. Its a chance to add a good player, true, but compared to the Defensive line, its a secondary need. Last year, The Will spot held its own pretty well. Both Smith and Hill could, theoretically, still be the two guys there next year, and they could probably perform the same they did last year, possibly better if Smith starts and continues to develop. For that main reason I don’t put the WLB it the same level as pass-rush, which was crap last years and only gotten worse with the injury to Clemons.

      • Eric says:

        Fair enough Recon. There’s no denying that a lack of pass rush killed our season. I’ve no problems upgrading the D line in this draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Jarvis Jones’ potential to land in Seattle will be impacted by the USC thing. I know Pete didn’t necessarily play the most active role there, but the doctors within his program basically told Jones to retire. I think that does have an impact. As for everything else you’ve written Eric, I completely agree. Love Greene and Ogletree and think they’re both fantastic fits that do fill a need.

      • Eric says:

        Thanks for your thoughts Rob. I live in LA and remember how that went down with USC and Jones. As a Huskies fan I was glad he ended up in the SEC. But that was long before he became the best LB prospect in the draft, medical issues or no. In fact, the only reason he’d be around at #25 is because of that issue. Otherwise he’s a top 5 pick.

        On a separate note, would you consider analyzing the option of selecting the best player available vs. targeting a specific player who otherwise might not merit a 1st round pick?

        As an example, I’m thinking of last year’s draft: Irvin wasn’t the BPA overall still available when we picked; however, he was arguably the BPA at a specific position/need. Moreover, JSPC concluded (and probably correctly) that he wouldn’t make it to their 2nd pick, so they took him in the 1st. I can easily see the same scenario arising where Greene is the BPA at WILL, and although not necessarily a 1st rounder, we take him anyway because he won’t be there at #56.

  12. Bishop says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is the trend of Seahawks fans thinking that PC/JS can do no wrong. They were in complete rebuild the last three drafts, so they filled their rosters from the draft with positions of need. It worked as they went for what fit their scheme. Now, they have a target on their back and they have a few major needs to be addressed, but it doesn’t mean every pick will be a homerun. Fans of this team have been spoiled due to the riches of the 2012 draft and think it will just continue in the same formula of drafts prior. They need to once again draft smart and draft the players they want.

    I am one who still believes they should plug some of their holes in free agency. The youth movement has been great and is running on all cylinders, but veterans in their few key needed positions would be a major boost. Sign the major names to extensions, but still have enough money to grab a couple of vets to balance out the team.

    • Colin says:

      Your argument makes no sense at all. You make it sound as though the players they found in the later rounds of 2010,2011, and 2012 were just a fluke.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I feel he makes a valid point. We can’t rely on late round steals. Nor should we expect even one per year.

        • Colin says:

          They have made their mistakes (CW, EJ Wilson) but really they found tremendous talent in so many different places. I don’t think anyone believes they are perfect, I think most all of us have a ton of confidence in their decision making.

        • Bishop says:

          @Kenny,

          Thank you. What I’m saying is that there are far too many fans that believe there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Have they been doing great with the majority of their draft? Yes.

          @Colin,

          My point is that it’s not going to happen in every draft. This draft, only a few of these guys are going to make the team.

  13. Dave says:

    Should be noted that before trading up for Flacco, the Newsome first traded down with the Jags. Very shrewd and well played.
    I can’t help but feel like one of our biggest needs is depth at the FS position. What kind of prospects are available in later rounds, or could the Hawks be tempted to spend an early pick like it’s rumored they would have done had Mark Barron got to 12 last year?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the Barron stuff was a bit of a red herring. A bit like – the Seahawks had him rated highly on their board but were never likely to pull the trigger. I can only report what I was told, but I’m led to believe they were almost certainly going to go pass rusher in R1 from a very early stage. And if they identified Bruce early in the process, they probably settled on him quite quickly. I doubt any or many players would’ve shifted that focus.

  14. drewdawg11 says:

    Ogeltree doesn’t really stand out on film, to me. Half the time, he looks like a safety trying to muster the courage to stick his nose into the fray. He’s tall and fast, but isn’t overly physical by any means. Greene is a nice player, but I don’t believe that he will be the BPA at 25.

  15. [...] draft, we’ll see more than a few shocks in round one. That could mean some unexpected falls. And as discussed yesterday, the Seahawks need to be ready to pounce if certain opportunities [...]