Seahawks sign Cliff Avril

March 13th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Hands up who thought the Seahawks wouldn’t do all that much in free agency?

Days after making a blockbuster trade for Percy Harvin, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have gone out and landed one of the premier free agents on the market. Detroit’s Cliff Avril was being linked with moves to Cleveland and Indianapolis early in the process, two 3-4 teams hunting for pass rushers who can work in space. Avril’s best fit was likely in the 4-3 and he’s en route to Seattle to pen a two year deal (according to ESPN).

Here’s what you need to know — he’s hitting his prime age (turns 27 in April) with 29 sacks and nine forced fumbles in the last three seasons. He’s 6-3 and 260lbs, so he’s in that LEO range. He ran a 4.51 at the combine in 2008 with a 1.52 split. That kind of speed will appeal to this front office. He’s a former third round pick coming out of Purdue.

Yes, he’s benefited a lot from the presence of Ndamukong Suh. This will be a big test to see if he can replicate those numbers without a dominating interior rusher. Yet the Lions thought enough of him to franchise him last year and offer a deal worth $10m per season over three years. He rejected those terms. It’s not clear yet how much he will earn in Seattle.

It’ll be interesting to see how much he’s earning, given Harvin’s new contract. The Seahawks suddenly look like a team chasing a title, sensing a window. They could’ve probably made a cheaper and more modest addition with John Abraham, Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora all on the market. They would’ve all been stop-gaps, however. This stands to be a longer term move.

My initial thought is what does this mean for Chris Clemons? He’s taking up $8.1m in 2013 and might not even be able to make it onto the field. Avril has some similarities to Clemons, he’s kind of a younger version. Can they afford to carry both players plus Bruce Irvin? Perhaps a more relevant question is if they’re all healthy during the season, can they be creative to get all three involved? Could they use more orthodox 4-3 looks, with Avril and Clemons rushing the edge? I suspect if they can afford to keep all three players, they will do. This is a team that appears to be leaving nothing to chance.

It’s probably a nod to the importance of Clemons in Carroll’s three years with the team. They’ve relied almost exclusively on him to create pressure in base defense. Losing him was a bigger blow than maybe we initially considered. Today’s news suggests they almost felt obliged to be aggressive here. They couldn’t afford to go into the season without a proven starting edge rusher.

Carroll consistently mentioned the pass rush needed improving. This hopefully takes care of one aspect — replacing Clemons’ production if he can’t go. It won’t solve the issue alone, however. Seattle still needs to either replace the departed Jason Jones (who ironically has signed for Detroit today) or add a pure-three technique who can start and collapse the pocket.

The signing of Avril also probably ends the concept of Bruce Irvin as the ‘ideal LEO’. Avril’s only signing for two years, but Irvin is already in his mid-20′s. He appears destined to remain a specialist. And that’s fine. He’s at is best with his ears pinned back rushing the passer, not over thinking the play call and selling out to defend the run.

In terms of how this impacts the draft, it could open the door for a weakside linebacker to be drafted early (Khaseem Greene? Arthur Brown?). Perhaps a defensive tackle like John Jenkins or Brandon Williams, or a smaller (!!!) guy like Kawann Short or Sly Williams? Maybe they go offense again? I wouldn’t completely rule out the tight end position, particularly if one of the top three (Ertz, Eifert, Escobar) falls to #56.

Once again Carroll and Schneider keep everyone guessing. In an off-season where nobody really expected Seattle to be big spenders, they’ve been ferocious. In an off-season of surprises, who knows what the next move will be?

In other big free agency news today, Wes Welker made a stunning $12m move to Denver. Tom Brady is writing a letter to ask for his Ugg’s back as we speak. In response, the Patriots quickly snatched up Danny Amendola as a replacement on a $31m deal. He’s requested Ugg’s bearing his initials. And yeah, the Patriots were willing to pay Amendola more than Welker. Jake Long appears to be choosing between the Rams and Dolphins. Louis Delmas is also meeting with St. Louis, while it was revealed they’re paying Jared Cook an astonishing $16m guaranteed. San Francisco added Glenn Dorsey.

Wednesday is usually mock draft day. We’ll do it tomorrow instead. Today is Cliff Avril Wednesday.

141 Responses to “Seahawks sign Cliff Avril”

  1. glor says:

    So now what does this do to our draft board! best player available?

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      Here’s what it does to the draft board: DT Rounds 2-7. And five more DT’s as UDFA’s.

    • Leonard says:

      I think thier strategy doesn’t change. Whoever is the biggest upgrade at any position will be the pick. D-tackle and WILL LB seem to be the weakest roster spots with the most upgrade potential. Don’t count out depth for TE, O-line or DB either if someone at one of those position slips that Carroll/Schnieder really covet.

      • glor says:

        I agree, TE and LB are both needs, I could see them moving on from Zack or Sid next year as there isn’t much dead money involved with either of those contracts after this year. So getting some more depth at TE makes sense.

        One thing I’m thinking we may see this year also, is some poaching. I mean the 9rs have 15 or 16 picks? They don’t have that room on the 53, so they are going to be trying to stash some folks on the PS, I could see us stealing a person or two if there are guys that we miss on that PC and JS really like.

    • Rock says:

      In round 2 we will draft a RT to replace Giacomini. He might kick inside to RG and be an effective 3rd OT.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Can we please have a day where we don’t talk about right tackles and Matt Flynn?

        • Hawksince77 says:

          Sure, can we talk about this guy?

          http://blog.seahawks.com/2013/03/06/seahawks-sign-basketball-playing-tight-end/

          I don’t know if you have already covered him, but do you have any specific thoughts?

        • Rock says:

          Can we please have an article where you do not beat the drum for a 3-Tech as the teams greatest need? That ship has sailed. The teams priorities are always addressed in FA and the team goes BPA in the draft. We will be fine at DT if they re-sign Alan Branch. We will not find anything better than Branch in the draft. The priorities are to give RW more weapons and more protection because he is the franchise. They also had to back fill for Clemons. Mission accomplished.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I’ve written plenty of articles discussing an array of needs… mocked receivers, defensive ends, tight ends, linebackers to Seattle. Last time I checked, we haven’t signed a defensive tackle or three technique.

            I’m tired of talking about right tackles and Matt Flynn. We have a right tackle. Flynn is a backup.

            • Troy says:

              A backup that has value, that value is debatable & open to discussion. Despite the “low trade market” pitch & talking heads spinning what they deem that worth is, the price tag for a starting QB in the NFL always generates profit. & in most cases much higher than what was originally appraised by so called experts, the point is these assessments are generally & grossly inaccurate. When Matt Flynn is traded & goes on to have a success else where, it’ll be interesting to read/hear/see all the naysayers rebuttal, that being said I will take great pleasure watching as they eat crow “Bon Appétit!” ;)

      • Belgaron says:

        They want more agility in their Gs and they already have McQ, Moffit, and Sweezy competing for RG with a hope that Sweezy is the RG of the future as soon as he figures it out. He’s the most athletic OL they have. Plus the anticipation of Carpenter making a road grader difference at LG.Carp is the wildcard, if he plays close to his talent level, he could really make an impact on thid star-studded offense. If Breno just avoids the flags this unit will be way above average.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Still a need at the WILL. Khaseem Greene anyone?

      • Nolan says:

        If he is there at 56 for sure

      • SunPathPaul says:

        For R2? YES YES YES. He would ‘implement the Russell Wilson drive on the defense, by what I saw of his character…

      • Ryan says:

        even if its a mild trade up. I would gladly throw in our second 5th rounder to move up a few spots and guarantee we grab Greene. I am excited for this team. If we grab Greene or another solid LB in round 2 we can get a DT and i like the odds of Scruggs, Howard and Draft pick competing to replace Alan Branch.

      • Troy says:

        Greene would be nice but I like Arthur Brown better. It would be nice if our draft played out something like this:

        RD 2- Arthur Brown or Kawann Short
        RD 3- Zaviar Gooden or Da’Rick Rogers
        RD 4- Montori Hughes or Mark Harrison
        RD 5- Le’Veon Bell/Marcus Lattimore, Jordan Hill, T.J. McDonald
        RD 6- Ricky Wagner, Mychal Rivera, Marquess Wilson
        RD 7- Dustin Hopkins, Miguel Maysonet, Duke Williams

      • A. Simmons says:

        It’s pretty obvious the focus will be on WLB and interior defensive line. You can find quality talent at LB in the 2nd round.

      • Drew says:

        I would love Khaseem Greene!

  2. Chris A says:

    Pete Carroll, John Schneider, I love you both. You can have my babies.

  3. Joe the Jarhead says:

    Holy Makerel! Can’t slip anything past Rob. Haha I almost fell out of my chair on this one. Seattle, most feared D in the NFL. Done deal. Now we have our premier top tier pass rusher

  4. Ely says:

    Shocking. You have to wonder if he will have the same impact without Suh and Fairly In the middle. Reports are its a multi year deal. So much for building through the draft. On the other hand the draft is that more wide open for the Seahawks second pick.

    • Leonard says:

      They have always built through the draft and supplemented the roster with key young veterans. Miller, Clemons, Flynn, Robinson, Lynch, Branch and Rice. Nothing new here.

    • Turp says:

      That’s the big question to me too, Ely. Was Avril’s production all a result of Suh/Fairley pushing the pocket?

      And the need for a legit 3tech continues….the only large missing piece left!

    • Trudy Beekman says:

      The advantage of having Suh/Fairley inside is that you create 1-on-1′s. Our scheme did the same for Chris Clemons, which is why he had such big production so I don’t see why it wouldn’t for Avril … he is a perfect fit. A concern I have is how smoothly he will transition from LDE to RDE, and is his repertoire of moves going to be as effective against LT’s as RT’s. I can’t speak for his run D or his pass rush moves, but that get-off of Avril’s is unbelievable. Very happy with this signing and keeping the faith that the cap situation is something they have planned out exactly in the coming years.

  5. Sam Jaffe says:

    Possibility number one: John Schneider mortgaged their future and signed Avril to a monster contract that will cause the team to fall apart in 2014.

    Possibility number two: Cliff Avril swallowed some humble pie and took a moderate contract.

    Possibility number three: Avril signed a one year contract so he could re-enter the market next year with monster sack numbers.

    Possibility number four: John Schneider called up Roger Goodell and said “We really like this guy but we’re out of cap room. Is it ok if we go over the cap?” Goodell: “Sure, we all know the cap only applies to Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder. We’re going to the U2 concert together right?”

    • Nolan says:

      Poor rob probably has to rework his whole mock draft… I’m interested in the numbers for this deal, and what it means to the future of some of the existing high priced talent and future high priced talent on this team, I’m so excited to see what this team looks like now. I wonder when the cuts will start, so much for those of us who thought it would be a boring free agency period. Two young playmakers is quite the hall

    • Ben says:

      2 years 15 million

  6. bballpapa says:

    Rob? Kip? Thoughts????

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve added an article with some thoughts. It’s a stunning yet exciting move. Can’t wait to see what happens next…

      • bballpapa says:

        Thanks Rob! your work is greatly appreciated for those of us who are Hawk fans. I always enjoy your perspective.

  7. Pretty shocked about this, thought we would go cheaper for an Osi or Abraham, crazy.

  8. Joe the Jarhead says:

    I think we ARE in BPA Heaven right now. We can go in any direction. At this point, hoping for an Artie Brown fall, Khaseem Greene, and maybe a ’tilt the field’ playmaker in Tyrann Mattieu as a flyer who doesn’t necessarily fit the big corner mold, but is ferocious, is a ball hawk and multi dimensional db who fits the mentality of our team. And Pete isn’t afraid of a reclamation project. With these signings we are definitely in Win Now mode

  9. Vin says:

    Wow! I’m not if I like this deal or not. I’m still trying to recover from the Harvin signing. Where’d all the $ come from? Looks like JS & Pete are going All-In on the next 2-3 years. Go Hawks!

    • Turp says:

      Don’t jump to conclusions :P. No contract details released. I would bet Avril’s market was not as good as he thought it would be, and we got him on a moderate deal. I don’t think this means good things for Clemons or possibly Bryant, either.

      Like the player, though, and it was a position of need. Turns 27 this year. Thoughts on adding Avril, Rob?

      • Madmark says:

        Actually letting Clemens go would save us 8.2 million on the cap. More than likely he starts season on pup list he won’t play for 8 weeks then a couple weeks of xonditioning to actually start a game. Someone suggested we extend his contract a year and transfer that cap money over the years extension in order to keep him. Its hard to have 6.5% of your cap money going to a player who might start in the 11th game next year. Hate to say it but I think Clemons may not be here much longer. It’s a shame because he done everything Seattle ask of him and much more.
        Its just business like it or hate it.

        • Mjkleko says:

          This is incorrect. Cutting Chris Clemons would save a mere $2,33m in 2013. Better off keeping him with the team and hoping he can contribute towards end of season. As we’ve seen, if the team finds itself back on the road in the playoffs, having as much pass rush as possible is huge. Not going to face anything but the best at QB position.

    • Leonard says:

      They had more cap room than most teams. Most of the core players are still on rookie contracts and when it comes time to pay them, many current big contracts will over 30 and probably gone.

      • Turp says:

        Only when compared to the NFC. Many AFC teams had a lot more cap space than the Hawks.

        Contracts will be interesting when we need to resign ET, Okung, etc.

        • Sam Jaffe says:

          Okung won’t be too much of a problem–he’s already in the 9-11 million range, so his next contract won’t be that much bigger. Earl Thomas will be similar mild increase. It’s Richard Sherman that I think now becomes too expensive. And RW, of course, will break the bank. But that’s what the bank is there for, right?

          • SunPathPaul says:

            When watching Sherman talk recently, I get a feeling that because of our ‘college relaxed’ environment, that RW and Sherm, ET — will be chill about breaking the bank. And the cool thing is, after Flacco broke the Ravens bank now— it shows and reveals what happens when greed for 1 overpowers the TEAM. They let go SO much talent. They might fall badly this year because of that…

            If they do, our Seahawks might be ‘chill’ to keep the team ToGether! That would B awesome to C!!!

            Go Hawks! SuperBowl Number one in your Sights!!!!!

    • Jim Q says:

      Just a thought…..Maybe the Pete Carol 5-year plan to success for the team is the same length (5 years) as his contract. I’d assume he’d wan’t to have a “contract year” or two going into his renewal contract sit down with Paul Allen. All in.

  10. Sam Jaffe says:

    This definitely means the end of Chris Clemons long-term. But I doubt they cut him this year–the cap savings would be minimal. Might as well keep him knowing that he’s got one year to recover and make some great plays to prepare for his last free agency contract.

    • Leonard says:

      Are there any rules against cutting players with injuries like Clemons?

      • Sam Jaffe says:

        Good question. It’s my understanding that you have to come up with an injury settlement if the injury happens during the season the player gets cut. The next season it’s fair game. I still don’t think they cut CC. He’ll be too valuable in the playoff run. And the cap savings are minimal, if not negative, if he’s cut in 2013.

  11. G.C says:

    Boy…that esclated quickly.

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      Watching that compilation sure gives you an appreciation of his wingspan (can you say Ted Hendricks?) He also seemed to come off the right side most of the time, which makes his sack totals even more impressive. Unfortunately, the clips are only his sacks–I’m interested to find out how he does against the run. That will be even more crucial now that he won’t be lined up next to Suh. One more thing: the end of the clip shows Willie Young’s sacks, which are just as impressive. You can see why Detroit was willing to let Avril walk.

  12. Sam Jaffe says:

    This also means they will definitely re-sign Alan Branch (unless they somehow get Roy Miller to agree to a super-cheap deal). I think they add one more vet at DT–but only from the absolute bottom of the bargain bin–Mike Patterson maybe? I also think they feel that Malcolm Smith is ready at WLB. If all that falls into place, then they can go balls-to-the-wall BPA in the draft. My best guess is that means Markus Wheaton in the second round. (Let’s hope that Rob is right about Matt Barkley going in the first round or else PC will use the second rounder on him for third string qb).

  13. drewdawg11 says:

    DT is still a need. Olb is still a need. I’d also love to see a strong safety who can cover, as well as support the run. With these new additions, guys like browner, Kam, and rice are probably not going to be back after 2013. Might as well find their replacements now.

    • Belgaron says:

      Much more likely to see money come off the books from backup QB, RT, Rice and Clemons next year plus cap expected to go up.

  14. Nolan says:

    Espn reporting this is a 2yr deal no money yet

    • Turp says:

      Sourced from Shefter -

      The Seattle Seahawks have reached agreement on a two-year deal with former Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

  15. kevin mullen says:

    Lukewarm on this, hopefully it isn’t too much commitment. I don’t mind the splash the ‘Hawks are making, love hearing about their transactions here in SoCal, but it’s starting to feel like a Superbowl or bust type of season.

    On the other hand, it’s starting to get clearer by each transaction that the 2nd round pick will be WILL, 3tech DT, or possibly Nickel CB (if they don’t come to terms with Woodson…fingers crossed!).

  16. Bill Bobaggins says:

    Per John Clayton – 2 years at $15M. Nice deal. John Schneider = magical wizard.

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      That means they still have about $4 million for this year’s cap, after they pay for rookies. That means one or two more cheap veterans are still coming–or they could just save it for rollover. But whey would they do that now? This is the year of the superb owl for Seattle.

      • Belgaron says:

        They only spent around 4.5M on Harvin and subtracted 2M (1st round draft choice budget). They should have more than than $4M left.

  17. woofu says:

    Like I said elsewhere,,,,Petes not going to coach forever.

  18. E says:

    In case anyone was wondering about his production last season, I was pretty disappointed, as a Lions fan – really did not make an impact on games. I asked Justin Rogers (the beat reporter) about it and he said that Avril was playing with a bad back and missed quite a bit of practice time because of it.

    Hopefully for you guys, the back will be healed by the start of this season.

    • Bill Bobaggins says:

      Hey man…he’s averaging 10 sacks per year over the past two years. I’ll take that.

      • E says:

        Against our common enemy, the 49ers, he seemed to just get pushed around last season.

        His sacks last season seemed like weak sacks – if that makes any sense – maybe more the result of QB stupidity.

        I think his QB pressures were down in 2012 from 2011, going from 41 to 20.

        The deal seems like a good one though – hopefully his back issues are cleared up and he’ll bounce back to 2011 form.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Interesting insight there, E. Thanks for heading over to share.

    • A. Simmons says:

      He looks like Chris Clemons on tape. Long, fast, with some skills. He’ll work for us. Seems like Detroit uses more traditional DEs.

  19. Sam Jaffe says:

    “Tom Brady wants his UGG’s back”…LOL

  20. Sea-Town says:

    Love it! Didn’t see it coming. I know we didn’t see much of Jaye Howard last year but can he or Scruggs become a 3-tech and provide a rush fromthe DT position?

  21. Madmark says:

    I can’t remember where i saw the article about Chris Clemons. If we settle and injury claim with Clemons we have to pay him his contract in full but the money wouldn’t apply to our cap something in the tune of 9.5 million. This is the sad part of business if there no injury claim and we release him the savings is like 8.2 million. Its hard to pay 6.5% of cap money for a player that will start the season on the PUP list and probably won’t see the field till the 10 game and thats if thing go as planned.
    The author suggested extending Clemons contract by 1 year and pushing the cap to next year as the only we could reasonibly keep him. The shame of the whole thing was Clemons did more than what Seattle ask him to do.
    What a dillemia to be in do we keep him, pay injury and keep cap, or do we work new contract to help keep him here an extra year?

  22. awm says:

    The “wish list” is getting smaller! They are obviously going ALL IN for a Super Bowl in the next couple years. I say consolidate the 9 to 11 picks they still have for like 3 or 4 picks and try to move up in the 2nd thru 4th rounds. Get a WILL, 3 tech and either a TE or nickel corner.

  23. Jeff says:

    Really like the idea of going WLB but with how much of the cap is invested in the offense the offense is going to need to become a draft priority very soon.

  24. Hawkfin says:

    :D – Well done! I was thinking Abraham, this is amazing. Wow.
    Just LOVE Schneider, Carrol and what they continoue to do over and over again!

  25. Nolan says:

    @AdamSchefter: RT @DangeRussWilson: Welcome big man @cliffavril I luckily don’t have to get chased around by you anymore! #ChampionshipOffSeason
    #GOHAWKS

  26. Chris says:

    Relating more to the Harvin signing … I’d now be pretty surprised if they took a TE in the 2nd round.

    As Harvin’s best position is in the slot, we’ll likely see a lot less 2 TE sets than we did before, as Harvin would be lined up with Rice on the outside in those formations. Harvin can do that, but it’s not in his wheelhouse.

    • Belgaron says:

      I don’t think they’ll lock him into the slot, especially with 2 good slot receivers on the team, he’ll play all over. He could be the 3rd down RB.

      • Chris says:

        Yeah, they’ll move him around. I just mean compared to before we’ll probably see more 3 WR sets. He’s more useful in some personnel groupings than others.

  27. Hawksince77 says:

    Despite the major acquisitions in Harvin and Avril, I don’t believe we are seeing anything different from PC/JS than we have in previous years. They have always pursued ways to improve the team, and shown a willingness to sign big contracts and take risks. This isn’t selling out to make a championship run. This is simply another chapter in ‘Win Forever.’

    What I think has changed is how the league perceives the Seahawks. Suddenly players like Harvin and Avril see Seattle as a contender, and a team that can make them look good, and a team that will be rewarding to play for. Remember when Seattle was the place for WRs to go and die (Branch, Housh)? Or recall when Seattle was the place for future HOFers to go to finish (Harris, Rice)?

    Not anymore. Seattle will contend for the next several years, and everyone knows it. Where a V. Jackson or a Brandon Marshall wouldn’t make a deal in the past, and a Peyton Manning wouldn’t give them the time of day, PC/JS have changed that, and it’s rewarding to watch.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      That’s Franco Harris and Jerry Rice, if you were wondering.

    • Hawkfin says:

      I agree – We are trying to win now, but were also built for the future too! We are amazingly young.
      We are becoming a Dynasty with Schneider and Carrol leading the way. The right way!
      Well done FO. Every peace is put together perfectly.

      It’s refreshing to have a GM in Seattle sports that knows wtf they are doing. FINALLY. :D
      You earn respect around the league, and we are doing it. And guy’s want to come here.

      P.S. – Don’t forget about the little nugget we already got at TE. He might be something.
      I’m thinking we won’t go TE in the 2nd, but you never know if a top one does drop. Not a bad move.

      I’m still thinking DT in the 2nd round. Maybe LB in the 3rd or 2nd.

      • JW says:

        I agree that they are building for the future and winning now, but let’s win something before we start with the dynasty talk!

      • Madmark says:

        I going to push for TE in the 2nd and his name is Travis Kelce. Hwe has Tom Cable guy written all over him. 6’5″ 260 lbs nice big target for RW that blocks can play multiple spot espiecially in a pistol formation.
        I believe theres a run on the few TEs in this class. The late end of 2nd round i think Travis Kelce would make the best replacement for Zach if it should come to that.

    • Belgaron says:

      I agree. We should have seen it coming that they wouldn’t leave large chunks of cap space on the table with the window opening.

    • Rock says:

      I think Sherman running his mouth actually helps Seattle attract a little attention, We are not noted for having swagger.

      • SunPathPaul says:

        Rock, if you look at his last interviews on NFL AM, he seems to be retracting his persona a bit.
        Playing a little more calm and subdued… Like u said, “get the notice’, we sign Percy and Avril, then “chill”…

        LOL

      • Rob Staton says:

        Personally I think he needs to tone it down. And given what JS and PC said about the whole Bayless thing, they agree.

        • Barry says:

          I think it was good in the sense that it does bring attention and respect from a players stand point to Seattle. But after all the talk that is going on about the Hawks every team they play is going to want to show that the Hawks aren’t all that. Last team that got this much off-season talk or hype without winning a SB was the Eagles and their dream team.

  28. Lou Thompson says:

    You run a very informative and quality website here. I can always count on a nice video to corroborate your opinion or it allows me form my own. We may not always agree on future NFL prospects, i.e. Matt Barkley, but we do agree on most that you list.

    Keep up the quality work and thanks for keeping Hawk fans in the “know”.

  29. PatrickH says:

    Wow, I am stunned. Two surprising moves in 3 days! I am excited but also nervous about the cap room situation next year.

    I don’t think the Hawks can afford to re-sign Alan Branch anymore (unless no other team wants him). I think it’s possible that the 2nd round pick will be a big DT like Brandon Williams for the Alan Branch role, and the 3rd round pick will be someone like Lavar Edwards for the Jason Jones role.

    BTW, how did Cliff Avril perform against the run? (I am not familiar with the Lions situation.)

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      Brandon Williams doesn’t fit the Alan Branch role. He’s too short. They like really tall, really big guys for that role. Williams is a Nose Tackle. The two Georgia guys, John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers work for the Alan Branch role. But you also really don’t want a rookie there. You need someone with NFL skills in hand use and gap control. That’s why Branch is so valuable there (at the right price). Roy Miller served a similar role in Tampa (number 1 run defense).

      As for the Jason Jones role, I don’t think anyone outside of Datone Jones fits it well–and he’ll be long gone by #56. I would guess that PC is altering his demands for that role and has a number of possibilities in mind in the draft. Remember that the word when Dan Quinn was hired was that he would bring more blitzing. If that’s the case, then the Jason Jones role might just turn into Alan Branch on all three downs. Or maybe just draft Margus Hunt and have him play all four positions on the defensive line at once.

      • PatrickH says:

        I guess Richard Seymour is still available as a veteran stop-gap at the 3-tech position (assuming that he’s willing to play with a cheap contract and not opt to retire), and maybe Scruggs can develop and be the Jason-Jones type of player.

        • Barry says:

          I havent got to watch Seymour much the last few years. But when he was younger he was a special talent. I’m surprised we didn’t extend the cheaper veteran deal to him in hope he signs with a winner. He did get a ring with the Pats but no one can enjoy playing in the atmosphere like Oaktown the last years of their carrier.

  30. Snoop Dogg says:

    I think Seattle either goes Ryan Swope with their second rounder or Brandon Williams, John Jenkins, Zavier Gooden. Funny thing is that I like both of these players better than any of the late round 1 prospects…

    • Chris says:

      Swope? I feel pretty confident they’re done with WR other than late round developmental guys.

      As it is Baldwin is barely going to see the field unless someone gets injured.

      If they went WR in the 2nd I’d be downright pissed.

  31. Ed says:

    No Swope. WR would be a major waste of our 2nd rd pick. We need WLB and DT. Those are our biggest needs and one needs to get addressed in the 2nd.

    2nd Greene/Short/Williams
    3rd Gooden/Bostic/Hill

    • Belgaron says:

      Agreed. They’re already loaded at slot.

      • Snoop Dogg says:

        Yeah, but I definitely think that Swope wouldn’t be a slot reciever as much as a 4.2 speed deep threat? He is only one inch shorter than Darius Heward Bey right? How come one is suppose to be only a deep threat and he other is supposed to only be a slot? Can you give me reasonable facts?

        • Davison Phipps says:

          It’s easy to think the Hawks are loaded at WR, but I could still see them taking one in the second or third. Tate will be a free agent after 2013, and will probably try to find a team where he can make a bigger impact. Rice could be a cap casualty. If they both go, we’d be looking at Harvin and Baldwin in 2014. Swope seems like an unlikely fit at this point – both he and Harvin seem like they’re best used in the slot, even though they both have the speed to be deep threats.

          We’ve become accustomed to rookies making significant impacts, but I just don’t see many positions where a rookie is likely to be a big improvement. WLB and DT look like weaknesses unless Carroll thinks the young depth is ready to step up. Still, if the right player isn’t there the Seahawks could go in any direction with an eye toward replacing guys that leave via free agency. Browner might be gone soon, so some competition for Lane may be in order. I know Rob’s a fan of Giacomini, but it might not hurt to develop a promising tackle to replace him. They could even take a look at RB, depending on how they view Turbin and how much they plan on using Harvin in 3rd down situations.

          Exciting times; expect the unexpected!

    • Madmark says:

      It really won’t matter on Ryan Swope, he’s been pick by scout going to the panthers at 44 and i can see him getting pass Miami. The other night i was trying to figure who Ryan Swope remind me of and it hit me Steven Smith of the panthers.

  32. Leonard says:

    I think it would be a mistake to lock into any position for any particular pick. Always be open to talent anywhere. If there are only 4th round talent DT’s or LB’s on the board at 56 but also a 1st TE like Ertz or maybe a 5 tech DE that could replace Red in a year or two (very hard to find) then pick the best player and figure out another way to address DT and LB. The front office has proven to be creative.

  33. Vin says:

    In watching videos, I think all his sacks came against the RT. I can’t imagine he’d have the same success against the LT….can he? That’s why I personally hoped for Abraham or freeney since those guys have been goings against LTs and still getting the job done. He sure moves fast and is basically a bigger Clemmons. I just hope the transition to RDE is pretty seamless and he enjoys early success. Kudos to getting what was thought to be one of the premier DEs for a modest contract that doesn’t strap the team long term. Go Hawks!

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      Pass rushing from the right is always harder because the QB can see you coming. All the great sack artists rush primarily against the left tackle. Yes, LT’s are harder to beat. But if you do, then the QB doesn’t know he’s being sacked until his shoulder blades are popping out of his rib cage.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, I’m wondering how natural it’ll be for him coming from the opposite side. Not all guys are equally adept pass rushing from both sides.

      Might be a “competition” for the LEO role, with the loser playing the Irvin role from last year.

  34. Ed says:

    Agreed about matching talent with position, but those are our biggest needs and if it’s close, we need to pull the trigger on the 3 tech or will backer

  35. AgentJ says:

    Surprised not to see anyone talking about runningbacks. They may just promote one of the guys hanging around in camp, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 2-5th round pick spent on a runner. In the mold of Lynch or Turbin.

    • Sam Jaffe says:

      Agreed that RB is now part of the draft plan, now that Leon W. is cut. Also, keep in mind that Harvin will often line up in the backfield, although he’ll count on the roster as a WR. That means that the front office can now look for a third Lynch/Turbin body type to ensure that skillset is there regardless of injuries. While I don’t think anyone can replace Marshawn, I do like Spencer Ware of LSU and Jawan Jamison of Rutgers. Both very different body types (Ware is a little scrawny and Jamison is short) but similar punishing running style (never taken down by first tackler) and capacity to shoot through lanes. Both should be available at the end of the 6th round. Anybody else have any favorites for that role?

      • Dawgpack says:

        I think these guys will want a Leon type of back. Someone shifty and quick. Or if they think lattimore can come back from his injury, I’d snap him up in a heartbeat.

  36. Eric says:

    It’s interesting to note that Avril turned down a 3-year $30M offer from DET, but accepted a 2-year $15M deal from SEA. I think that says a lot about the allure of signing with a legit SB contender. It would seem as if those rumors of attitude problems between Avril and DET based on contract $$ were, at best, erroneous.

    • Davison Phipps says:

      Well, he turned that offer down last year. He might have taken it this year.

    • Rock says:

      Agents misjudged the market last year. They expected the salary cap to increase significantly. It did not. This is the new reality. Teams are releasing more guys before their deal expires. This is creating more FA competition.

    • Belgaron says:

      There are only so many buyers with money left under the cap (and agents are paid to keep track), and when the music stops, players grab what they can get. Clayton is reporting that Avril’s motivation in coming to a strong defense is that it enhances his chances to rack up the sacks so when this contract ends and he is till only 28, he can score one more good sized contract.

      Some people say he won’t have the same impact without Suh and Fairley but he’ll have Seattle’s defense behind him. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to make an impact.

  37. Eric says:

    Regarding LBs – Arthur Brown ran a 4.58 in the 40 at KState’s pro day yesterday. He didn’t run the 40 at the Combine. While not necessarily fast for a LB in an absolute sense, his time is still good enough to have been 3rd best at the Combine (and about 0.15s quicker than Greene). He also managed a respectable 21 reps on BP.

    • Belgaron says:

      That would have made him tied for sixth at the combine after Zaviar 4.47, Roman Buchanan 4.52, Jelani Jenkins 4.54, Tevardo Williams 4.57, Johnathan Willard 4.57, and tied with Bark Mingo 4.58. Maybe you aren’t counting Buchanan and Willard because they are scrubs that are unlikely to be drafted. As a prospect, CBS has him ranked behind only Mingo amongst this group. For all his speed, they have Zaviar ranked only 12th (3-4th round) with Jenkins 13th. They put Brown 4th, if that holds he should be draft mid 2nd round but maybe he’ll drop.

  38. Eric says:

    Regarding TEs – Joe Fauria ran a 4.78 40 at UCLA’s pro day. While nowhere near as fast as Gragg (4.50) and a tenth of a sec behind Eifert, it’s essentially the same time as Ertz (4.76), and better than Escobar. Plus, he is still recovering from a nasty groin injury that kept him from participating in the Combine (except for the BP). The injury kept him from attempting either the vertical or broad jump yesterday as well. BTW he put up 17 reps on BP both at the Combine and pro day.

    I’m sure most of you are asking, so what? Well, he’s clearly a red zone threat. And he’s projected to be available on Draft Day 3 (or even an UDFA).

    Here’s what NFLDraftScout.com had to say about him today:
    Tight end Joseph Fauria had more on the line after suffering what appeared to be a hip injury during East-West Shrine Game practices, which caused him to miss most of the combine workout. Fauria accelerated smoothly during his timed drills but is not an explosive runner. When pressed, the source estimated him to have run in the 4.8s in the 40-yard dash. He was impressive during positional drills, demonstrating very good burst in and out of his breaks during short- and medium-range routes and catching the ball cleanly.

    Fauria isn’t an explosive threat down the seam but uses his 6-foot-7, 259-pound frame well around in the red zone, as evidenced by the fact that he led the Bruins with 12 receiving touchdowns as a senior and leaves with 20 over his career, tied for third in school history.

  39. Eric says:

    And finally, ESPN’s Ashley Fox had this to say about the ‘Hawks on Monday after the Harvin trade:

    They have their quarterback, a creative offense, a workhorse running back and now one of the most difficult players in the league to defend [Harvin]. All the Seahawks really need on defense is a skilled pass-rusher who can help close out games. They’ve got the league’s best secondary and were the No. 1 defense in points allowed last season. They are very close.

    • Bruce M. says:

      This front office has me shaking my head. 2 years for $15 million for Avril is steal. I’d rather have him straight up over Krueger, and look what Krueger got.

      Hell, look what Avril turned down just last year from Detroit….

      • mjkleko says:

        It’s remarkable how quickly the bottom fell out on this free agent market. It only took ~55 free agents to sign and suddenly very few teams are capable or willing to met out any big deals. Combination of new CBA effecting teams player acquisition philosophies via the draft and low cap ceiling. Free agent corners have just gotta be cursing the incoming class, Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan’s contracts seem miles away..

        • Turp says:

          The CB market seems ridiculously deflated; I was wondering how much the new CBA affects FA now.

  40. loudon says:

    At first I was leery of this signing but now am feeling like we got a Clemmons clone.Let’s go DT, TE, Will, OT, FS, in the draft.Was that Kyuss playing?

  41. A. Simmons says:

    Why are you to intent on writing off Irvin, Rob? You have mentioned Irvin as not the ideal Leo so often it’s obvious you have a bias against the guy as a starting Leo. You think Carroll and Schneider would write a guy off they picked after one year? That’s your assessment of how they work?

    Did you see Avril’s contract? Two years. The same as Clemons contract. Looks to me like they are still pretty intent on Irving being the starting Leo. Seems Avril’s contract was nothing more than an insurance policy to cover for Clemons and still give them a window to develop Irvin rather than force it.

    Why the dislike of Irvin on this blog? Why so quick to write him off?

    • hawkdawg says:

      Perhaps Rob thinks that Irvin is at least two years away, if he can do it at all. Jury is still out. Glad he is on the team, myself, but he does seem to get swallowed up quite a bit…

    • A. Simmons says:

      Ever since the Irvin pick, it just seems there is an intent to force Irvin into this situational pass rusher role and declare him not adequate as a starting Leo. I don’t get it after one year. I certainly don’t think Pete has given up on Irvin. It’s just strange and I wonder what the motivation is. Both Kip and Rob often include snippets in their articles indicating that Irvin is only going to be a situational pass rusher and isn’t a starting Leo as though the decision is made and we’re done with the Irvin experiment after one year. Do they have some kind of inside information concerning Irvin? Are they both that down on the guy that they don’t think he’ll bulk up and learn the position at the NFL level? It seems like a very premature prognostication.

      • Belgaron says:

        You are correct, Irvin is till improving. Clemons was not rookie of the year either. Predicting ceiling production versus where players are when they are drafted is extremely difficult, look at how Red Bryant has improved under Carroll and his staff. Irvin will have the benefit of new coaches this year that have had great success as defensive line coaches, it will be interesting to see how he improves under their tutelage.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Actually I dislike Irvin as a first round pick, and I dislike his limp effort on the playing field. He needs to find his inner warrior, he needs to become a junk yard dog who’s only wish is to tackle the QB while ripping the football from his hands.

        In defense of Rob – he supported Irvin right up until end of season – I know because I had many disagreements with him.

        I’ll just lay down the situation , irvin would have been okay if he were a 4th rounder without a lot of expectations. As a first rounder he wasn’t acceptable in the second half of the season. If he can’t put forth more effort he will be cut after three years. That’s my prediction, another first round failure. It’s really up to Irvin to prove me wrong- but he is going to have to play with a lot more toughness and total determination.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I don’t think being a pass rush specialist is a bad thing. It’s not inside info or negativity, it’s just making the most of Irvin’s skills. And for me that means Raheem Brock role instead of Chris Clemons.

      • Misfit74 says:

        I think they wanted two high-quality pass rushers available (at minimum!). With Clemons injured, we would otherwise had to rely on Irvin as an every-down player. Also, Clemons is aging and coming back from an ACL. This gives us an every-down starter at LEO and allows Irvin to stay in his complimentary role. It gives is a minimum of two pass-rushers at our disposal and instead of barely getting by with rushers we’re solid and deep. Perhaps even great.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not a case of writing anyone off, it’s about appreciating how a player can best help a team. Irvin is a productive third down/passing down specialist. He’s at his best with his ears pinned back, not selling out to defend the run. Is he going to become a starting LEO at age 28 (assuming Avril isn’t re-signed or another player added)? I’m not sure. Can he be a sack specialist with 10-12 sacks from his role? Absolutely.

      For me that’s not writing anyone off. It’s just making the most of his skill set.

  42. James says:

    With the Seahawks R1 and R2 draft selections, most of us would have been thrilled with a fill-in Leo and a good #4 receiver. Instead, we get an All-Pro wide receiver and a Pro Bowl caliber Leo, and still have our picks from R2 on down. If I am dreaming, please don’t wake me up until after the Super Bowl.

  43. burkholderj says:

    You were right Rob it was Khaseem Greene all along!

  44. Richardfg7 says:

    I can see Avril and Clem lining up on the edge with Irvin walking around freaking-out the QB. Then Earl comes from nowhere and gets the sack. Great stuff!