Senior Bowl preview — Shrine game notes

January 20th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Margus Hunt will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl preview

It’s Senior Bowl week and thanks to the efforts of former Cleveland GM Phil Savage, it’s going to be a good one this year. Savage has led a concerted effort to improve the event, allowing fourth-year juniors to attend and working on getting as many of the top eligible players to Mobile. There are always high-profile absentees, but credit to Savage that many big names will be on show.

So who won’t be there? Montee Ball (RB, Wisconsin), Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah), Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia), Chance Warmack (G, Alabama) and Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina) will not attend. Manti Te’o also pulled out, something he’ll probably live to regret given recent events. Matt Barkley (QB, USC) will also continue his rehab from a shoulder injury and won’t compete.

Apart from that it’s a strong year for the Senior Bowl, particularly on the north roster. Work outs begin at 1:30pm tomorrow. I wanted to highlight some of the key players to monitor from a Seahawks perspective…

North roster

Alex Okafor (DE, Texas) and Margus Hunt (DE, SMU) could be book-end pass rushers for the north roster. They’ll split time with John Simon (DE, Ohio State).

Okafor has ‘LEO’ size but I’m sceptical he has enough burst and pure speed to interest the Seahawks. His first step can be a little sluggish at times. Having said that, he ended the year with a very strong display against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl and for a 260lbs defensive end, he plays the run well. Hand use is key for Okafor and he’s shown consistently good technique.

Hunt is a physical freak and one of the more unique players to enter the league in recent years. He needs to prove to scouts he has natural football skills and a feel for the game. He can’t appear lost out there, either in the workouts or the game itself. If he finds a comfort zone early in the week, he’ll have the opportunity to really boost his stock in Mobile. I have a feeling he’s going to have a big game at the weekend.

Simon (DE, Ohio State) is vastly underrated, a relentless pass rusher and two-time captain for the Buckeye’s. Whoever drafts Simon will not be disappointed. He’s undersized, but he makes up for it in so many ways. He’s likely to see some time at linebacker as well as end given his side, but I like him better playing at the line of scrimmage.

Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina) and Kawann Short (DT, Purdue) are also part of the north roster. Imagine a line with Okafor and Hunt at defensive end and Williams and Short playing inside. Williams is already receiving interest from the Seahawks per Shane Hallam:

I’m going to do a bigger piece on Williams this week. He’s the most likely option for the Seahawks at #25 if they want to draft an interior pass rusher. He struggled with an ankle injury for most of the 2012 season so it’ll be good to see a healthy Williams in Mobile. Short blows hot and cold on the field — occasionally flashing brilliance as a penetrating force, then disappearing for long stretches. He has round one upside, but he could fall into round two or even three because of his inconsistent nature.

The north roster is also loaded at linebacker, with several potential Seahawks. Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State), Kevin Reddick (LB, North Carolina) and Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers) are players to monitor, although Brown is probably the only potential first round pick from that trio.

There are four defensive backs I’ll be keeping an eye on. Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State) is a 5-11 corner with a competitive nature and good cover skills. Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB, Connecticut) stands even taller at 6-1 and fits the criteria for a Seahawks corner. Phillip Thomas (S, Fresno State) can be a big time playmaker but has a boom or bust nature. Will Davis (CB, Utah State) could be a fast riser after a very productive 2012 season.

On offense — Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan) has an opportunity to solidify his position as the #2 left tackle in the draft behind Luke Joeckel. Kyle Long (T, Oregon) is going to get a ton of attention this week and could be a quick riser due to his bloodlines. Brian Winters (G, Kent State) is another player to keep an eye on while Justin Pugh (T, Syracuse) is also expected to attend under the new rules that allow fourth year juniors to participate. Pugh is a character and he has good size — he could kick start a run on the second tier tackles in round two.

At the skill positions, Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State) is a terrific player and could be given the chance to show off his extreme speed this week. It’ll be interesting to see how Denard Robinson (QB, Michigan) works out at running back and receiver. Kenjon Barner (RB, Oregon) and Jonathan Franklin (RB, UCLA) both had strong seasons in the PAC-12.

The three quarterbacks on the north roster are Mike Glennon (QB, NC State), Ryan Nassib (QB, Syracuse) and Zac Dysert (QB, Miami OH). I had a chance to watch some NC State tape this week and Glennon deserves some of his recent hype. He didn’t have a great Bowl game, but when he’s given time in the pocket he looks like an accomplished passer. He could be a first or second round pick. I’m not a fan of Nassib’s personally, but he has the kind of physical tools that’ll fool somebody to force a reach. I don’t like his ‘one-speed’ fast ball or accuracy and feel in the pocket. Dysert is a trendy late round option but I think he’s a limited player unlikely to have much impact at the next level.

South roster

There isn’t quite as much depth on the south roster. I’m most excited about the south’s group of defensive backs. Sanders Commings (CB, Georgia) has Seahawks written all over him — he’s 6-2 and 216lbs. He plays as physically as you’d expect for his size. He was probably Georgia’s stand-out performer against Alabama in the SEC Championship. Keep his name on your radar. Bacarri Rambo (S, Georgia) is way too talented to receive such little attention during the 2012 season. Part of that is due to minor off-field issues. He’ll be a starter in the NFL. Shawn Williams (S, Georgia) is the other safety at Georgia. He’ll be a second or third round pick.

Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU) is one of the more intriguing players to monitor. I’ve watched a fair bit of BYU tape now and you can just tell looking at his frame that he has incredible upside. Physically, he looks a lot like Justin Tuck. However, he’s incredibly raw as a pass rusher. I can’t knock his run defense — he shows a good punch at the point of attack, he’s difficult to move out of position. Yet he doesn’t always flash a great edge rush. Is it a technique issue? Can he tap into the physical potential? I like the way he’s moved around (rushes from the interior as well as the edge), but this is a good opportunity to flash his athleticism and get teams salivating over honing his technique.

Ansah is likely to line up alongside Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Georgia) and Malliciah Goodman (DE, Clemson). Jenkins is a pure nose tackle with limited pass rushing skills, while Goodman showed enough against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl to warrant a watchful eye during the post-season.

Among the linebackers are two players I intend to look closer at over the next few weeks — Zaviar Gooden (LB, Missouri) and Nico Johnson (LB, Alabama). The big name is Chase Thomas (LB, Stanford) — a potential second or third round pick.

There’s some talent among the offensive lineman. Lane Johnson (T, Oklahoma) is a pure technician and could be the third left tackle off the board in April. Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee) had a terrific year for the Vols and can play tackle or guard. Oday Aboushi (T, Virginia) has starter potential at left tackle and Larry Warford (G, Kentucky) is a massive 345lbs guard with third round potential. It’s a nice group of tight ends too — Mychal Rivera (TE, Tennessee) and Michael Williams (TE, Alabama) will both make a roster in 2013.

Terrance Williams (WR, Baylor) is the biggest name at receiver. He suited the system at Baylor and I want to see if his speed translates to a foreign environment. There’s no doubting he has talent — and he was among the most productive receivers in college football this season. However, I’m a little concerned he’s a one-trick pony. His effort was sometimes inconsistent too and he won’t be able to get by at the next level running mostly deep routes. Cobi Hamilton (WR, Arkansas), Tavarres King (WR, Georgia), Quinton Patten (WR, Louisiana Tech) and Ryan Swope (WR, Texas A&M) all have mid-round value. Swope is going to make a fine slot receiver.

I like two of the running backs on the north roster — Andre Ellington (RB, Clemson) is a do-it-all type and should be a good receiver out of the backfield, while Stepfan Taylor (RB, Stanford) moves the chains and deserves a lot more hype. I’d draft either in round three.

It’s a big week for the quarterbacks. Fair play to Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas) for attending, likewise Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma) and E.J. Manuel (QB, Florida State). Wilson is a mobile gun-slinger with a vocabulary superior to any of the other eligible quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. Say what you want about Bobby Petrino, but his offensive schemes demands a lot of the quarterbacks. There’s not a great deal between Matt Barkley and Wilson to be the #1 quarterback in this class in my view. The hype for Jones is long gone, but don’t forget we’re only a year removed from many people touting him as a first round pick. He’ll be lucky to go in round three. Manuel is more of an athlete than a passer and might struggle to have much impact at the next level.

Shrine game notes (defense)

Many thanks to guest blogger Morgan Goulet for compiling this report on the Shrine game over the weekend. This piece covers the defense, he’ll have a report on the offense to come.

The mouthy and athletic Keith Pough tweaked an ankle early on, but displayed some impressive athleticism to thwart a cutback run in the third quarter, stopping on a dime, changing direction and making a diving wrap-up of the ballcarrier. With Leroy Hill’s status uncertain as the highest-paid LB on the Seahawks roster, WLB could be a position of interest come draft day and it just so happens that that’s where Pough has been spending his Saturdays.

A.J. Klein and Sio Moore also represented for the linebacker class but are two very different types of players. Klein brings his lunch pail to the field, Moore brings an energy drink. Klein was sticking his nose in the pile just about every time he was on the field, while Moore was a bit more careful in deciding where to throw his 229-lb frame. Once he made the decision, though, he wastes no time in getting there. Moore looks to have speed to burn and showed it by picking good angles and flying to the ball-carrier, especially on a nice backside loop where he traversed from one sideline to the other to make the stop. Klein looks to have a little Heath Farwell in him.

The defensive line was the story today, at least, the good part of the story. Devin Taylor stepped out of the shadow of Jadevon Clowney and walked right into the bank. How you hide 6’7″ and 270 lbs is beyond me but South Carolina found a way to do it. Taylor turned opposing offensive linemen into cardboard cut-outs today, and made Kansas guard Tanner Hawkinson his personal blocking sled. Stepping away from the carnage he left on the field for a moment to do a sideline interview, Taylor said the difference today versus the regular season was he didn’t have to play within the SC defensive scheme. He could improvise. See ball, get ball. Taylor had two sacks and two forced fumbles and likely ended the careers of several aspiring blockers. He did lose contain once, in the first quarter, but Taylor is all upside and this was a nice coming out party for him. He went on to say that he wasn’t going to get carried away, that he knows during a game to maintain a level head and not get too high, nor too low. Who does that sound like?

Maryland must have a really good defensive line coach as both A.J. Jenkins and Joe Vellano showed off fine technique to beat their man. Maryland transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4 this year, with the 315-lb Jenkins anchoring the line at nose and Vellano shifting from his 3-technique spot, where he amassed 94 tackles as a junior, to end. Vellano has bulked up to 300lbs from the 280 or so he played at last year. It looks like it’s robbed him of some of his short quickness but he’s still tenacious in pursuit and is a sure tackler. He also does some impressive hand-fighting and even uses a spin move (to varying success). In the first quarter lined up over West C James Ferentz and chucked him so violently and with such suddenness that Ferentz stood up as if shocked – and Vellano just ran right by him into the backfield. I’m interested to see where they go in the spring as they have tools to work with; Francis with his apparent strength and good first step and Vellano with solid technique and unstoppable motor.

Also getting some push into the backfield was Princeton DE Mike Catapano. I didn’t see a lot of moves but he uses quickness and leverage to his advantage and even reached up to get his mitts on a pass at least once. He’s 6’4, 270, and should find a place to play on Sundays next year. I kept my eye out for David Bass, the Missouri Western State DE that was the talk of the town leading up to the game, but I’ve scanned and re-scanned my notes and the only thing I have is “91 – ?”. It’s a good thing the money is made during practice, I guess.

A few performances stood out for the defensive backs. Making a positive impression was Notre Dame safety Zeke Motta. Motta has good size at 6’3 and 215lbs, but also doesn’t get lost in space and is a sure tackler. He’ll make a solid strong safety at the next level. There were five total interceptions in this game but I’m loathe to actually congratulate anyone on any of them, as most were gifts. The Seattle secondary was mentioned a lot but the seemingly analogous players didn’t really show up. Richard Sherman’s pod-person Aaron Hester out of UCLA used his 6’3, 195 lb to miss tackles and draw two PI calls. Kam Chancellor clone Cooper Taylor lacks the assassin’s creed that Kam brings and the re-digitized Earl Thomas suffered a failure to launch as Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas is missing from my notebook. I don’t even know if he ever hit the field. Two corners from big programs did flash at times today: Miami’s Brandon McGhee and Georgia’s Branden Smith. Smith misplayed a pass that went for a touchdown early but had the stick-to-it-iveness to come back later and get a pick off of Alex Carder, who had the distinction of almost looking like a QB today, and not just Ronnie ‘Sunshine’ Bass.

Adam Schefter — Barkley will be the top quarterback

For the last few weeks on this blog, we’ve touted Matt Barkley as a potential first overall pick despite a lot of talk to the contrary. So it makes perfect sense that the week we move Barkley into the late first in the latest mock draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggests Barkley will be the top quarterback drafted. You’ll have seen a lot of projections this week on NFL.com and from Mel Kiper with no quarterbacks in round one. That won’t happen. Take it to the bank. We could see multiple quarterbacks taken in the top-20. The position is too important. And today’s information from Schefter suggests Barkley will be the guy to go earliest.

Kansas City and Andy Reid make a lot of sense for Barkley. It’s just whether or not the Chiefs see enough value to address their one defining need with the #1 pick. But if they intend to wait until round two, they might find that most of the top QB’s are already off the board.

74 Responses to “Senior Bowl preview — Shrine game notes”

  1. Nolan says:

    Thanks for giving us this great article as a distraction from a game the hawks should be playing in

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s difficult to watch, aint it?

      • James says:

        We witnessed the difference between the Seahawks and 49′ers, in a very similar game last week to this, with SF running a better D scheme with better front 7 players, able to make the big stop in the final minute to win the game. So that’s why we are watching the Senior Bowl, to find those players to give us the edge. If we can emerge with an elite pass-rushing DT or DE end this draft, we can move past those guys next year. And Julio Jones shows the need for an elite WR if we are to get to the top.

        • I’m kind of amazed that Atlanta made it as far as they did. You take away Ryan, White, Jones, and a 36 year old Gonzalez, and they are a 3-13 team. A barely elite pass offense is all they have.

          • Cade says:

            They would have represented the AFC in the SB though if they were in that conference. Gosh that Patriots Ravens game was bla

  2. Tomahawk says:

    If we address the D line in FA, could you see us going both WR and TE with the first two picks?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It might be hard to justify TE in the late second depending on who’s on the board. I suspect they’ll make one defensive addition in free agency — I’m still going to project Randy Starks for now — and then spend one of the first two picks on a pure pass rusher.

  3. Seth says:

    Hey Rob did you get a chance to watch the NFLPA Colligate game? I watched a little of it and the DT from Wyoming and he was doing a great job getting into the backfield. Sure the competition is less at Wyoming but Utah State isn’t a hot bed either. He might be a good depth option in the late rounds.

  4. Zach says:

    Starks had a pretty bad second half of the season. Some think being in the trenches for the last nine years is finally taking a toll.

  5. I like Sylvester Williams and Kawann Short. My problem is, they are going to be almost exactly the same player that Alan Branch was. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Alan Branch, but isn’t the goal to fix the pass rush? Burning a 1st round pick on a good, well rounded 320 pound 3-tech that might get you 3 sacks a season won’t do that.

    I really like Simon, but he is going to have massively exploitable weaknesses against mobile QBs. In a way, he’s kind of like bizarro Bruce Irvin. One is fast and the other is slow, one is not very strong while the other is beastly, but in different ways, both Irvin and Simon possess obvious pass rush ability while also having obvious exploitable weaknesses against the run. You can run right over Irvin, and you can run around Simon. In the open field, mobile QBs elude Simon with about as much ease as they elude Red Bryant.

    Not mentioned in this article is Matt Scott, who I am a huge fan of, and who fits our GM’s QB criteria like a glove. He was 3-4 for 81 yards in this game for the West team.

    Watched some Keith Pough the other day and was not a fan. He’s decently fast, but was getting pushed around like a free safety while playing less than stellar competition.

    Devin Taylor is ultra raw, even more so than Margus Hunt. Lots of raw DEs in this draft with plus size/athleticism, with Ansah headlining the list.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Shrine review included here was a focus on the defense. There will be an offensive version to come, which I presume will include Matt Scott.

      I think Williams is a far superior pass rusher to Branch. He has a stunning swim move, he consistently gets into the backfield. My only concern is whether it translates. He’s not a great athlete like Richardson and I’m fearful he’ll just be another bog standard DT at the next level. It’s possibly the hardest position to judge unless you’re watching Ndamukong Suh. I remember thinking Gerald McCoy would be insane at the next level, but he’s been injured and OKAYish. I’ve watched a lot of Williams and Sharrif Floyd tape today and the more I watch the more confused I become. It’s really enough to make me just want to throw money at Henry Melton if he hits FA. Floyd is a better athlete for what it’s worth but man that swim move by Williams is something else. Carroll recruited Floyd. Visited with him.

      • Zach says:

        Melton would be awesome but I doubt Chicago will let him go. Williams is our best bet in the draft unless we move up to get Richardson. The Seahawks are so close right now. We really need get a bit lucky in the draft and FA on the D-line.

        • Turp says:

          Chicago is in a tough spot. They desperately need a left tackle, and they only have 13.3mil in cap space. If they resign Melton they will have to rely on a first round LT making it to their pick (20). Basically – a guy like Eric Fisher has to be the real deal for them, or Cutler is in for another bruising year. Working against them is that the QB needy teams (like KC, Ari, Buf) are also very much in need of a LT. If they don’t rate the current crop of QB’s highly, and LT’s go early…the Bears are screwed.

          If they sign a LT in FA, then there’s no money for Melton. I don’t think Melton resigning is a slam dunk at all.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I agree… but I suspect they’ll try to re-sign Melton and be aggressive in the draft to get their LT. Or maybe they prioritise a guy like Jake Long? But that would also be very expensive and they have a new hole to fill with Melton.

            • Turp says:

              Do you think the Bears would reach for DJ Fluker or Kyle Long if they spend their dough on Melton? Assuming Fisher and the other LT’s are gone (like your last mock). Obviously, I’m very interested how the Melton situation plays out, as he seems to fit perfectly with our scheme and the JS FA philosophy (unless his contract demands are unreasonable).

              • Rob Staton says:

                They could probably get Lane Johnson at #20. I doubt they take Fluker that early, he could end up playing guard in the NFL. Long — we’ll see. He could be a fast riser.

          • Belgaron says:

            They have 13.3 now, they’ll probably also find some space by cutting a few.

      • Turp says:

        Rob – would you pass on Williams if Hopkins or Ogletree is available? Or even Khaseem Greene?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Round one is way too early for Khaseem Greene in my view. I’d be all over Ogletree if he’s there at #25. No regrets. Whether I’d take Hopkins ahead of Williams would depend on which receivers I believed would be available in round two and what I was able to do in free agency. I like both. I probably like Hopkins more, or at least trust him more. But the difference between Seattle being sat at home this weekend and hosting the title game as the NFC West Champions was a lack of pass rush. And one way or another we have to address that IMO.

          • Turp says:

            I struggle with Hopkins vs Williams in that scenario. If Kip is right, and the remaining tackles at that point are slightly better Alan Branch clones, then I’d want Hopkins all the way and hope we at least got a stopgap in FA (Starks). Keep scoring, keep the pressure on opposing defenses.

          • Seconded on Khaseem Greene. I was blown away when I saw him in the first round of a few notable mocks drafts this past week. I haven’t scouted him but I’ve seen two of his games and would tentatively give him a 4th round grade (and really, I’d prefer to not draft him at all).

            • cliff says:

              K. Greene in the first is a joke. Watching tape on him makes me wonder how he ever was a safety. Plus he well get destroyed trying to stop the run at the next level. We need a new wLB but I hope it’s not Greene.

      • True, Branch is more of a “pass rush with power” type, although I think his pass rush contribution is under-rated. Still, I’m not seeing a future 8 sack player when I watch Williams. Not much of a first step and he can’t really explode into a gap. Even Mebane could do that for his first couple years.

        I see Williams as being a good, well rounded DT that will use his size (320 pounds) to plug his gap while creating occasional pressure. In terms of the final result, I’m basically expecting him to be Alan Branch+. If Williams reaches his ceiling and turns into the next Randy Starks, then he’d be a good pick, but it wouldn’t fix our pass rush.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’ve done a fair bit of homework on Sharrif Floyd tonight. Carroll certainly liked him during recruitment. I wonder if he’s one of the players (like Irvin, Sherman etc) that sticks in his mind from those days. We’d have as much info on the guy as any team in the league with Quinn’s two years coaching him.

          • James says:

            I was impressed with the limited tape I’ve seen on Floyd thus far. Perfect 3-tech frame, good motor for a big guy, and a nice quick move to get into the backfield. It would not surprise me if we go to him at #25, especially if we pick up a free agent DE to fill for Clem short term (Prof Clayton is pushing hard for a one yr contract for Umenyiora). We should all go back and try to figure why Geno Atkins went in the 4th round, and what attributes he had that should have shown why he would become exactly what we need.

    • Morgan says:

      Pough did get pushed around, but I think all the linebackers did, really. I had to look for positives at that position where I could find them, positives that aligned with what has already been established with whatever tape can be found. Pough can move in space and can find the ball, and generally does a good job of avoiding blocks if not always being able to shed them. He can get fooled but has the ability to recover quickly. I think he’d be a solid 5th rounder with more production that Korey Toomer had, but I reckon Toomer’s measureables will be better.

      Trying to find someone that can potentially take over for Hill is fun, especially considering Hill himself was a 3rd-round starter. At this point last year I was sold on Miles Burris, but so far this year I’m still comparing.

      • For me one of the most important aspects of LB play is simply if the guy even looks like a LB. If he’s getting pushed around and shying from contact that’s a big mark against him. If he’s attacking blocks and shrugging them off, if he’s hungry for contact, those are the signs of a future NFL linebacker.

        This is even more true for Seattle, who has built a physical brand of defense. Even their smallest player (Earl Thomas) plays like a bull in a china shop.

        • Morgan says:

          I think part of this is Howard’s defense. Pough reads first and then chooses what to do, and what he does is take the best path to the ballcarrier. He does this well enough to avoid the soup most of the time. In space, he has made several Kam Chancellor-worthy hits where he meets the receiver and separates him from the ball. There is some tape of him riding a TE right into the sideline to make the tackle so I think he has it in him.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          If you believe this, then I’d have difficulty pegging Ogletree as a first round pick. He is a LB that to be effective has to be pretty clean. He doesn’t attack lead blockers well at all. If a guard gets to him, he isn’t going to lay a finger on a ball carrier before he’s made 7 yards. The difference between Ogletree and Brown in this regard is striking.

          Task Ogletree with a zone to defend, or a hole to shoot through, and he’s incredibly great at those elements. Put someone in his way and I’m not convinced he’s as physical as Marcus Trufant.

  6. Zach says:

    Rob ~ Who in your view would best fit on our D-line in the first round?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Without doubt Sheldon Richardson. But I think he’ll be long, long gone by #25. And I’m beginning to think Sharrif Floyd might be #2. More tomorrow.

      • If there is some optimism to be had, a lot of mocks are dropping Richardson into the mid 1st range. If that holds up, there is non-zero chance that he could reach our pick, and could possibly entire Seattle to spend some of those 10 draft picks and move up.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It happened to Nick Fairley so it could happen to Richardson. He also has some lingering issues — he had to got the JUCO ranks because of bad grades. Almost switched on his commitment to Missouri while in the JUCO ranks to go to USC instead to play for Monte Kiffin. Then double backed on that to go to Missouri. He was outspoken within the team and let himself be heard, plus had the suspension for skipping class and then seemingly complaining about the punishment. He won’t fit every scheme and in some cases there are teams out there that need DE+DT and therefore might go for the edge rusher first. It’s interesting that Kiffin is now at Dallas. That might be his floor at #18 although they need offensive line help like crazy. If he gets past New Orleans at #15 then Seattle has a shot.

          • Michael says:

            IMO the only way Richardson ends up in Seattle is by giving up our 1st and 2nd rounders to get up to #14 (Panthers). It’s almost a perfect match value chart wise (#14 = 1100, #25 & #57 = 1050) and if we swing and miss on getting Melton/Starks I would be fine with that move.

            I don’t think it will get to that point though. This FO has shown a preference to battle their shortcomings on multiple fronts, and I find it hard to believe that they will rely soley on the draft to fix the pass rush.

            If I am somehow “freaky fridayd” into John Schneider’s body, I will give Melton a call tomorrow and convince him to accept my offer of many many dollars. I will also snatch Osi up for substantially fewer dollars to fill Clem’s role while he is rehabbing. This will allow me to go BPA when the draft roles around, and I will just sit back and cross my fingers for one of Ogletree, Hopkins or Ertz to be there at #25. After that I will probably go live it up for a night or two before seeking out some sort of witch doctor to switch me and JS back into our own bodies. I would also give Russell Wilson a great big hug before leaving and whisper something akin to Dorthy’s farewell to the Scarecrow in his ear.

            • cliff says:

              I think it also depends on where John Schneider thinks the greatest depth is at this draft. Previous years he said there was great depth past the 5th. If this is true this year we could trade with Carolina (passing the Saints, giving up our first and second) or trading up right before the cowboys pick giving up our first, third, and another later pick.

              • SunPathPaul says:

                I would rather keep 25, and use our extras and maybe Flynn to move up in the 2nd and 3rd… We have a good team with depth, so we need Quality VS. Quantity… I still prefer offensive weapons in the draft, and D in FA. RW needs weapons so we outscore teams.

  7. Same twitter feed mentions that Denard Robinson was chatting with a Seahawks scout (and also Miami).

  8. Zach says:

    What about Sam Montgomery?

  9. Jlkresse7 says:

    Dream scenario would be for a guy like olgetree or Richardson to fall to us but those odds are slim. I’d like to get your opinion on Cobi Hamilton and Quinton Patten as mid round options for the hawks if we go defense first or we don’t get a chance to take Hopkins

  10. Zach says:

    Can Irvin be a legit LEO if he adds more strength? I remember hearing Shneider right after he drafted Irvin say that he would become our LEO in time.

    • A. Simmons says:

      Irvin’s size isn’t the problem. It’s his lack of technique. Adding 10 lbs of muscle will happen naturally with a pro level nutrition and weight lifting regimen. His technique at the moment is lacking, specifically his hand fighting skill. He doesn’t know how to keep an offensive lineman’s hands off him. It’s a very important trait at the NFL level. If you can get beat by a strong hand punch and a lineman can keep you at bay with his arms, you’re not going to be very effective.

  11. hawkdawg says:

    Sorry, if this is OT a bit, but does anybody know who will replace Ryan in the Pro Bowl, since he got injured. Griffiths, Rodgers and now Ryan are all out. I’ve read conflicting reports. Some say our man Russell as the third alternate, some say Stafford, some say Eli Manning… Looks like Brees is definitely in….

    I remember Russell mentioning in his exit conference that he had a shot.

  12. Michael says:

    Rob/Kip, if the price wasn’t an issue, would Cliff Avril be a fit at Leo?

  13. dave says:

    Rob, if we dont get melton or startks in FA then i hope JS trades up to get Sheldon Richardson, you have said it and the tape shows that he is very good at interior pass rush and we need that, so if he falls to say 15-18 range with teams like NO and DAl maybe wanting him what would it take to move say 10 spots? something like our 25,3rd and 6? or maybe a future picks?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s hard to project trades. I like Richardson a LOT but I’m very cautious of trading up for a DT. The position is so difficult to judge. Unless you’re moving up for Suh, I’m not sure you can project it sufficiently. It’s maybe the hardest position (3-tech) to scout.

      • Michael says:

        The Saints traded up to the 7th overall pick to get Sedrick Ellis. Not sure they are terribly happy with that move in retrospect.

        Rob, speaking of Sedrick Ellis; what do you think of him as a Seahawk if the Saints don’t re-sign him?

        • Rob Staton says:

          He’s not been anything like the force people expected. There’s a note of caution (along with Brandon Graham) to not read too much into the Senior Bowl. Ellis dominated in Mobile, but has barely managed to repeat that success in the NFL. Pete knows all about him of course. I don’t think he’s the answer to our pass rush concerns.

  14. KingRajesh says:

    What do you think about EJ Manuel, and do you think he might be a good backup for Wilson if we get rid of Matt Flynn?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s more of an athlete than a passer. Not a natural quarterback, very basic skills. Later round value as a possible backup, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him to win a game with his arm.

  15. CFR says:

    What are your thoughts on Mathieu?
    Read this article on him and couldn’t help but think that he’s EXACTLY the type of player that the Seahawks would love to have in their secondary: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/40968/321/a-violent-collision-seeker

    Imagine him playing as our slot corner: the secondary would be downright lethal. Add an even moderately improved pass rush and DL, and you could have a formula for a truly elite defense. I doubt they’d grab him in round 1 (although who really knows with them?), but could you see them being interested in rounds 2 and beyond?

    Appreciate any input (from Rob or anyone familiar with him), thanks!

    • Morgan says:

      I’ll have to admit to being a fan, despite the fact that I don’t think he can cover. I just love his instincts, his violent tackling, and that he just somehow always seems to make something happen. It just seems like an ineffable quality for him. He’s also a visionary – in interviews he describes the way he prepares with some similarity to how Russell Wilson does. He talks about visualizing the entire game play by play, and says you have to do that to be great. These seem to be Carroll buzzwords.

      I don’t know how he’d fit into a total NFL playbook, but those last two plays vs the Falcons where Winston Guy whiffed one pressure on Ryan and was blocked out by another? Mathieu makes those plays, without a doubt.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He can play, no doubt about that. I’m just not sure how you can trust a guy like that enough to draft him with even a mid-rounder. He’ll be lucky to be drafted period. He needs to prove to teams he can stay away from drugs and concentrate on football.

  16. [...] to guest blogger Morgan Goulet for providing us with his take on the Shrine Game over the weekend. Be sure to check out his notes on the defensive players if you missed it from yesterday. Today, Morgan focuses on the [...]