Seven prospects: four overrated, three underrated

April 6th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

A quick disclaimer for this piece. If I say a player is overrated, it just means I think they get too much attention either in the media or amongst fans. It’s the opposite for the underrated group.

For example — I have Jordan Matthews as overrated and Brandon Coleman as underrated. I think both players probably go in the second round. The difference is one players gets talked about an awful lot, the other gets almost no attention. That’s the gist of the piece.

Overrated

Dee Ford (DE, Auburn)
A player it’s tough to imagine going in round one, despite a lot of mocks suggesting it’ll happen. Ford can run. He has a nice get off and if he gets a route to the quarterback he can be successful. But here’s the thing — one dimensional pass rushers very rarely work out at the next level. When Ford is forced to use his hands, shed a block or make a counter move — he comes unstuck. He struggled badly against Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) and had a really quiet night against Alabama despite getting some favourable match-ups against their tight ends. He’ll need to play in an extreme wide-9 formation, rushing from a distinct angle straight to the quarterback. How many teams can really accommodate that? And for a 6-2, 244lbs rusher you’d expect better times than a 4.59 and a 4.54 at his pro-day. Speed-to-power is crucial for a defensive end. Watch Cliff Avril — he mixes it up. He can beat you off the edge, but he’s also willing to get stuck in with a bull rush. He counters, he sets up a lineman over 4-5 snaps. Ford is a million miles away from that and can only be projected as a specialist right now. He’s already 23 years old as a redshirt senior. If you’re taking a chance on a rotational pass rusher, target Marcus Smith or Demarcus Lawrence later in the draft.

David Yankey (G, Stanford)
In terms of pure size it’s hard to complain. Yankey’s 6-6 and 315lbs with 34 inch arms. He played some tackle at Stanford before kicking inside. He looks like a tackle. And he plays like a big lumbering guard. The combine backed that up — he ran a 5.48 with a 1.87 10-yard split. OK — guards don’t have to run fast. They don’t have to be great athletes. They need to be country strong and play with attitude. Well, Yankey’s 22 reps on the bench press ranked among the lowest for offensive linemen. So he’s not a great athlete, he’s not very strong. And on tape he spent most of his time doing what all Stanford guards do — pulling out of position and blocking from favourable angles. I hate the Cardinal blocking scheme — it’s backed up by multiple TE sets and technically so precise. It doesn’t translate to the next level. Yankey, quite frankly, fits only in a man-blocking scheme that values size — and yet he’s very likely to get shoved around by tougher, more athletic defensive linemen. He’s got John Moffitt written all over him and there are several better guards available in this draft. It’s hard to see him being much more than a third round pick, but he’s regularly touted as the best guard in the class or even a late first rounder.

Timmy Jernigan (DT, Florida State)
What is he? He lacks the size (6-1/6-2, 298lbs) to play nose tackle — and yet it’s probably his most natural fit for what he shows on tape. He has the size, however, of a three technique. And yet he has an average get off, he’s rarely in the backfield and he’s just not very good at rushing the passer. He had 4.5 sacks in 2013 — two of which came against Idaho. Stats aren’t everything, which is why you put on the tape. He just doesn’t have enough splash plays — and think about the talent he played with at FSU. It’s so hard to get excited about a player like this. He’s at his best taking up a couple of blockers and making life easier for others. But you can find players like that in the middle rounds. He’s strong — but still manages to be overpowered from time to time. You’ve also got to have serious question marks about his stamina. He was used as a rotational player at FSU and got tired way too easily. It was cringeworthy seeing him take himself out of the game right at the crucial moment of the BCS Championship. I don’t like his footwork either — too many wasted steps. For a guy who’s consistently mocked in the first round — there’s just something so underwhelming here. Aaron Donald is five times the player — constantly involved and a major impact prospect. Even in round two, Jernigan would be an underwhelming pick.

Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt)
If you just looked at stats and the combine, Matthews would be among the top players in the draft. He had a lot of production over multiple years at Vandy — and he showed off 4.46 speed, big hands and long arms in Indianapolis. He’s also a relative of Jerry Rice. Unfortunately the tape just isn’t that great. A lot of his production is generated by screen plays — and the success of these plays is totally reliant on whether the blocking’s good or not. Matthews isn’t elusive, he isn’t shifty in the open field. When he gets great blocking he’s got the speed to really exploit it. When he’s covered up, you’re in trouble — unlike, for example, a guy like Brandin Cooks. He drops more easy passes than people believe. Yes — he tries to catch the ball away from his body for the most part and he’s also capable of making some spectacular grabs. But he also has drops that’ll make Kelvin Benjamin blush and he lets the ball get into his pads too often. Despite the size (6-3, 212lbs) he’s not overly physical down the sideline and he has marginal impact in the red zone. He doesn’t win too many contested passes. He’s pretty ‘finesse’. He’s not a bad receiver by any means, but he’s not quite as good as some people will have you believe. A grade in the round 2/3 range seems fair.

Underrated

Jarvis Landry (WR, LSU)
Yeah, he had a combine to forget. He clearly wasn’t 100% and ran a shocking 4.77 as a consequence. He probably should’ve just waited until the LSU pro day which takes place on April 9th. Here’s the thing though — football is predominantly about guys you want to go to war with. You need to accumulate a bunch of players you know are going to turn up every day and work to improve. You need players who will lead by example, put the team first and be prepared to do the ugly things (blocking, special teams). Crucially at receiver, you also need a guy that on 3rd and 5 you can trust to make a play. Jarvis Landry ticks every one of those boxes. He’s a fierce competitor, a special teams demon, a clutch receiver on key downs and he’s also capable of making the ‘wow’ plays downfield. He high points the ball superby, he has huge 10 inch hands and doesn’t drop the ball. He has one of the best highlight reels in the 2014 draft (see above) with the #1 moment a tremendous one-handed touchdown grab against Arkansas that has to be seen to be believed. There are very few negative plays on tape — he’s a picture of consistency. The only issue really is the bad combine and the serious doubts now about whether he’s athletic enough to make it at the next level. I think we need to learn from players like Anquan Boldin — who also fell as a consequence of a 4.7 forty. Sometimes you just need to trust the tape and take a chance on a guy who deserves a shot. Whoever gets Landry next month won’t regret it. If I’m a good team needing a receiver, I’m not ruling out the late first.

Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
What’s the difference between Coleman and Kelvin Benjamin? Easy. Jameis Winston. Athletically there’s very little difference. Benjamin’s heavier (240lbs vs 225lbs), while Coleman ran a better forty (4.56 vs 4.61) and had more reps on the bench press (21 vs 13). But they had the same vertical (32.5 inches) and three cone (7.33). Benjamin has slightly longer arms (34 7/8 inches vs 34 inches). On tape you see similar positives and negatives. Neither player high points the football well enough and this’ll be a teaching point as a rookie. Both players have careless drops. And yet both players are just insane, incredible athletes with the potential to become dominating #1 receivers. One players is graded as a likely top-20 pick, the other is graded anywhere from rounds 2-4. And that brings me back to the main difference. Benjamin had a Heisman winning quarterback throwing darts against weak ACC defenses. Coleman had Gary Nova lobbing ducks in possibly the worst passing offense in the NCAA. Words cannot sufficiently describe how bad Rutgers were on offense last year. Here’s the bottom line — there just aren’t many humans like Brandon Coleman. He has devastating potential — how many 6-6, 225lbs receivers run away from secondary’s that include first round picks for an 80-yard touchdown scamper? If he lands on the right team — watch out. He could be another Josh Gordon.

Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
I’m not quite sure what Bitonio has to do to get a little love. Even Mike Mayock recently naming him as the #5 tackle on his board hasn’t led to any extra attention. It’s quite staggering really that players like Xavier Su’a-Filo get first round grades as frequently as they do — and yet Bitonio is a presumed second or third rounder at best. For me, there’s a significant talent gap between the two. For starters, the tape is excellent. Bitonio held his own against a Florida State defense that basically tee’d off after building a commanding advantage. You sit there waiting for the breaking point. When is he gonna cave? And it never happens, even in a blow out. He easily handled — and occasionally dominated — UCLA’s Anthony Barr. And against lesser opponents he’s also looked the part. I want to go back and review his performance against Demarcus Lawrence — because from memory he had a terrific game against Nevada (although from memory, he mostly rushed the right side). Athletically he’s almost identical to Logan Mankins entering the NFL, with an exact replica of a college career too. That gives you confidence he can develop into a top guard. But he tested so well at the combine — as well as any of the top left tackle prospects — so why wouldn’t you try him at tackle first? And then there’s his blue collar attitude and flawless character. Just draft the guy. He looks like an 8-10-year starter and a very safe pick for any team needing a stalwart on the offensive line.

83 Responses to “Seven prospects: four overrated, three underrated”

  1. Ralphy says:

    What a great highlight reel for Landry! Where do you see him being picked without a dramatic improvement on his Pro Day 40 time?

  2. Cameron says:

    Couldn’t agree more with this list. I do think Dee Ford will be a first round pick. Look at the guys who went early last year – Dion Jordan, Mingo, etc. I remember thinking there wasn’t much special about those guys. I liked Ansah but he was so raw. It’s such a valued position and though I don’t think Ford will go as high as those I have to think New Orleans or Dallas and other teams desperate for and edge rusher will give him strong consideration.

  3. Michael says:

    Im just hoping Seattle can get Coleman. I REALLY believe that Carrol, Wilson, and a year with our team and Coleman will be absolutely dominant. I say look what they did with less talented players like Kearse who had hands to be laughed at in college. I want Bitonio to replace Okung after watching the Rams and niners games again this weekend and seeing him in a boot. There aren’t many players im pounding the table for. I have my likea and dislikes but if we can pull in the two above I could handle bringing in whatever else they dream up.

    I really feel like the draft is what will sustain seattles reign but this draft gives them a chance to pluck players and to solidify high priced positions and continue plugging in roll players in the salary cap era. I want to make this years without draft more important than next years. Im not sure thats how seattles FO sees it but man is it hard waiting to see what they do to make us scratch our heads in rd one.

  4. James says:

    Rob, I believe you have categorized these players correctly. Dee Ford is the player that might project to the Seahawks, due to their need to groom another Leo, but he just doesn’t seem like a good fit. He is a pure speed guy who certainly doesn’t have the game of Avril or Clemons. The other overrated are simply not bigger/faster/stronger. Landry is a winner, but with the same skill set as Jermaine Kearse, so he may simply be a luxury. Bitonio could be the guy. He would be an uber-athletic guard, in the mold of Sweezey (and Mankins of course). Is he too light to be a right OT? If he could play R OT, then he would provide the versatility to maybe be the guy? Coleman is the guy to watch. I imagine they prefer Benjamin, but maybe they see the same thing as you….someone even more athletic but whose stock suffers due to his QB’s failings? He probably won’t be there at #64, so it will have to be R1 or not at all. My belief is that Pete & John only go WR for a Split End, and that guy must be 6-4 or more, or they will go in a different direction.

  5. me says:

    I don’t want to touch Coleman with a 10 ft pole. He’s got bust written all over him. He’s one of those cases where scouts say “upside” when they mean “how can someone with so much physical talent be such a middling football player?” I’ve seen him graded rd 3-4 and that seems about right.

    I also really don’t understand your hate for Matthews. Sure he caught a ton of screen passes – he was the only weapon on the team and its a classic way to get your star WR a few extra touches per game. Of course he doesn’t wrack up yardage when they’re poorly blocked. Neither does Percy Harvin 9 times out of 10. I suppose I’d see him ideally as a 32-48 pick so I don’t see him as horribly overrated.

    Totally agree in the pass rushers and Yankey, though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      First off — let’s not use the word ‘hate’. I don’t ‘hate’ Matthews. I don’t think he’s as good as a lot of people will have you believe. I disagree that Percy Harvin doesn’t make things happen 9/10 times when the blocking isn’t perfect. Harvin is an explosive, elusive football player. He might get you 4-5 yards on a broken screen. Brandin Cooks does it regularly. Matthews, for all the screens he takes, needs great blocking or you’re looking at a loss of yards. He just isn’t a shifty playmaker at all in the open field despite his speed.

      There’s a lot of talk of his production and measurables. I think on tape he’s pretty average. The point on the screens is just one example.

      As for Coleman — let’s have some details on why he’s going to be a bust. For me he’s a guy any coach would love to develop. Doesn’t mean he’ll work out, but when I write upside I genuinely mean it. The Rutgers offense was a joke last year. Not a total excuse for some of is quieter days, but a fair excuse overall.

      • oz says:

        In all fairness Mathews stock is based on potential like a lot of other prospects. At the Senior Bowl it was evident that he needed coaching and he responded well. He is raw.
        I don’t think he will be asked to run a lot of screens for what-ever NFL team he goes to. I would like to see him compete for the ball better on down-field throws. I believe he can be coached up. Second rounder to me though.

    • Chris says:

      Agree.

      The continual bagging on J.Matthews seems a bit overblown. He’s certainly not more “finesse” than a lot of these guys, and who really cares what he looks like on a screen pass … that should be Percy getting those anyway. He’s got all the measurables, competes for balls, and is a pretty natural athlete. Sure, he isn’t going to juke people out of their shoes with the YAC, but outside of Watkins none of these guys are perfect.

      Also I don’t see the Coleman and Kelvin thing too much. It’s true their measurables are very similar, but Coleman just looks super stiff to me while Benjamin is a very fluid athlete. Benjamin looks like a naturally agile basketball player out there, while Coleman just looks like a big and reasonably fast guy, but with almost no WR skill-related attributes or agility. Getting separation is the only thing I’m worried about with Benjamin due to his top speed, but he’s big enough he could switch to a receiving TE if necessary.

      • MJ says:

        I don’t think Rob is “bagging” on him. The nature of this article will inevitably make the “overrated” players seem like they are being hated on. I agree with Rob that Mtthews is very Colston like and needs to be in a high volume passing attack to succeed. For a team like Seattle, I too see him as a low end #2 WR. His measurables are great but you hardly see it on the field (which was the main concern prior to the combine was speed). I really have concern with his ability to separate. In an offense like SEA, every pass counts and I’m not sure I’d spend a R1 or R2 pick on him.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          This. It’s going to come down to his ability to separate on a consistent basis, overall
          I really like watching him play, but he has to be able to create without being the focal point to succeed at the next level

      • Rob Staton says:

        Continual bagging? I’ve written one piece suggesting he’s overrated. It’s just an opinion, and not one I feel like I’ve forced on anyone.

        • Madmark says:

          It’s not you rob. Everyone seems to have a favorite receiver including me. I don’t really care as much on the receiver issue. Lets end this and grab Bitinio at 32 and which every WR left at 64 we take the best one.

      • CC says:

        I think for some of these recivers, it is where you pick them. Maybe Coleman isn’t a first rounder, but if you get him in a later rounds, he might be a good pick.

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob, I think you’re underselling Matthew’s ceiling. Sure, his production was manufactured at Vandy, but his athleticism and determination are well documented. Isn’t it possible he is coached up to win the redline and get separation? Teach him to box out and win with his footwork instead of relying on athleticism. He doesn’t show a propensity for these kinds of things, but neither does say Donte Moncrief. We’ve discussed his projection before and I’ve definitely soured on him quite a bit since, but I’m not sold on the idea that he can’t become a number one at the next level. I want to dig a little more.

    And yes, Lawrence mostly rushed from the left against Nevada. I think Lawrence compares extremely favorably to Cliff Avril. Freakishly huge hands. There are some intriguing LEO’s in this class.

    On a similar note; in what round are you targeting edge rusher for the Hawks? Any LBers you want to highlight, I’ve noticed few that stick out.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I just don’t think Matthew’s is that type of guy. I think if you draft him expecting him to develop into a redline winning, physical jump ball specialist you might as well draft him to play tight end. It’s just not his game. He’s best lined up in the slot, working the middle, finding the soft zone and getting a ton of targets. For me he’s a fantastic fit for New Orleans. That kind of offense. They put their key guys (Colston, Graham) in the slot. They like height in that middle zone. Seattle doesn’t throw much over the middle — they take shots to the sideline. It’s an ill-fit.

      Moncrief is different IMO. He can eat up a cushion outside superbly and does a very good job creating separation out wide. Seattle loves to throw quick hitters outside (or they did to Tate) — and Moncrief is elusive enough to be a real handful there. He also has the natural size and ability to work the sideline. He just needs to show stronger hands in certain situations. Essentially you’d be changing one specific skill with Moncrief and ending up with the player you wanted with fantastic athleticism to boot. With Matthews you’d be trying to reinvent the wheel.

      Edge rushers I’m not crazy about in this draft. I’m hoping they find a diamond because the range where Lawrence and Marcus Smith go I think will be too early for Seattle. Linebackers — not spent a ton of time on them. Ryan Shazier I like more and more with every watch though.

  7. Stuart says:

    Good list Rob, I can’t wait for the draft.

    1. Latimer
    2. Jarvis
    3. Coleman

    My WR preference of those three, what does the community say?

    • Michael says:

      #1Coleman
      #2 Latimer
      #3Jarvis

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Latimer
      Coleman
      Landry

    • Madmark says:

      at 64
      1. Moncrief
      2. Latimer
      3. Coleman

      It just has to be this way cause I taking a Joel Bitinio at 32 who will make a difference in the run and pass immediately. After Watkins, Evan, and Lee all other receiver will need some coaching while Joel will bee playing.

      • Redzone086 says:

        Bitonio will be gone by 32 by my calculations. I think for Seattle the hardest part is do they reach for their guy and take him early? I mean they must pick at 32 like Rob has said realistically no one is going to be trading up for the 32nd pick if they haven’t already for the 29th or 25th pick. We know Niners will have traded up so really that pick is someone else’s to trade away. The options are use next years draft stock to move up themselves or sit a wait for left over red flag players.

        I’m not sure that Seattle’s front office sees players the same as us because they took Irvin Mid 1st when I had him out of the first altogether due to position projection & need plus his red flags of past.

        The thought that any of us are putting down anyone that someone else likes in this draft is more like saying I prefer rocky road over sherbert Ice cream. We would all build the team differently. I like the thought you can’t teach strength, grit or speed but you can coach a player into your system. I would argue a players fit if they have two of those three or less other than that we are going SPARQ and having fun till the Draft.

        • Madmark says:

          I had Bruce Irving in round 3 in my mock draft. Didn’t think he was a 1st round guy and I still don’t.

    • Hay stacker509 says:

      Coleman
      Latimer
      Bryant

  8. CC says:

    It is really interesting how each year the “experts” build up a bunch of players, who are busts. Dee Ford, Yankey and Jerrigan – I completely agree with you that they are overrated. I’m a bit on the fence on Matthews – he may not end up being a star, but could he be a good second or third receiver? I think he could do that. He got a lot of love right after the season, but it seems to me that due to the other receivers pro days and combine results, he now isn’t as hyped as he once was.

    Thanks again Rob for these great articles! I always learn something and you always make me re-asses my initial thoughts on guys. Now, sometimes, I still stay with my assessment, but it makes me think. Great stuff!

  9. Vin says:

    Great post, Rob, although I must admit that I believe in what you say more so out of blind trust than the fact that we see things the same. I’ve followed SDB long enough to believe in what you say. With that being said, of the players you listed and not listed, who do you believe might be the players that end up on the opposite end of their perceived outlook now? We all know hindsights 20/20. Without naming names I’m sure there were prospects who you thought would pan out and vice versa. Thanks Rob.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Plenty. I thought Von Miller would struggle to match his draft spot and didn’t like the way Denver were planning to use him. I had Cameron Jordan as a top five pick (he went #24). I really liked Stephen Hill’s potential and talked up Blaine Gabbert. I really liked Courtney Upshaw in 2012 and felt Matt Barkley would maintain a first round grade. These are just ones off the top of my head.

  10. Gramsci says:

    Why is Bitonio (22 reps ) not as weak as Yankey (22 reps)?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Great point.

      But this test moreover tests endurance, not sheer strength. This is where one consults the tape and the tape says that Yankey was moving when he hit his targets more often than not. Bitonio was just flat out punishing guys from the snap to the whistle. His tape is impeccable.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve never tried to talk up Bitonio’s reps to be fair. The difference is Bitonio tests on an elite level in every single category apart from the bench press. He’s comparable to Robinson, Matthews and Lewan in every test. And he had 22 reps on the bench. Yankey isn’t just a marginal athlete, he doesn’t have the core strength to compensate.

  11. David M says:

    Rob, what do you see from VA Tech WR D.J. Coles 6-5 235lb, 4.48 40, not sure on other measurables… Late round or UDFA. he is big and can block well. Not many catches because of injury, but out of 19 catches, 6 were for TD catches. Could be someone to watch

  12. Jordan says:

    WOW. I want Landry on the Hawks. Dont care when or how. I just want it to happen. He is flat out awesome

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I think he’ll go to some lucky team before he becomes draftable by the Hawks. Simply not athletic enough to make the squad, y’know?

      • Adog says:

        Landry is growing on me. Anytime I hear comparisons to boldin , I get excited. Landry would fit nicely with Baldwin in the Seattle passing scheme…pretty much take a deep shot or find a zone while Wilson scrambles. Boldin opens up the San Fran passing offense as in he always seems to find hole in the defense. Could Landry bring this same innate ability to anticipate the qb’s throw?

  13. EranUngar says:

    Overrated/underrated and perception -

    Perception matters.

    The Seahawks drafted RW in the 3rd because perception indicated that no one else would pick him sooner. If the perception on Bitonio indicates he will be there after 63 picks – we don’t have to pick him on the 32nd even if we see him as top 20 talent and value.

    The reason i keep check a lot of mocks is just that – to see what the perception is and integrate it into possible draft strategy. It matters.

    As i mentioned in a pervious post – Bitonio and Latimer are nowere to be found in 1st. round mocks and in many cases not even in the 2nd. A good value player at 32nd is an absolute steal at 64th and that effects draft strategy. If both are there at 32nd you could pick someone else (say Hageman…) and get ready to trade up in the 2nd if you feel that both are about to go.

    I think that perception plays a big role in how this FO plans its draft strategy as indicated with the RW pick.

    • Madmark says:

      I.ve seen him projected between 40 to 50 he’ll be long gone before 64. Don’t believe Drafttech they have him at pick 171.

      • oz says:

        Draft Tech is not as well schooled as Rob. In my opinion the site is pro- SEC and Big 12 or is it Big 10? I’m showing my age now….

    • Redzone086 says:

      Realistically your point is about as helpful as a pre free agency mock draft and not factoring trades changes the draft format of projected players. You must make boards for a reason. The biggest single factor we do not know is how does Seattle rank its board?

    • LantermanC says:

      It’s a fair point that you don’t want to draft a guy when you think only you have such a high grade on him, but it only takes one other team to see what you see to miss out on him.
      Most people didn’t have Bruce Irvin in the 1st, we took him in the middle of it. Most people didn’t have Bobby Wagner in the first 3 rounds (at least I don’t remember them having him that high), we took him in the 2nd. If we think the Pats or some other team is high on Bitonio and he’s there at 32, I think we take him there, rather then risk it.

      • Madmark says:

        I said before I don’t think Irving was a 1st round pick and I still don’t. As far as Bobby Wagner he had a 2nd round grade and you could clearly see they traded back hoping to get a pick but Kendericks went just before our pick so they went with plan B and got Wagner. Really after the first 20 picks you have no clue where the draft will go. That’s why we call it a MOCK draft.

  14. EranUngar says:

    J. Matthews – NOT OVERRRATED.

    He is rated just right.

    He is not there in the top 1-8 receivers even with his production size and speed. That would be overrating him. However, at the 8-12 place on the WRs list he is a steal IMO.

    I looked over the tapes again, read some opinions etc. and this is my take on the guy -

    He is a fearless competitor. He doesn’t ever shy from a hit during or after the catch even when going cross the middle. He is a very smart receiver and his level of study and preperation is on an RW level. His route running is polished and smart which is usually a problem for rookie receivers. He is an eager blocker. You can trust him to be were he needs to be on time. He is great at reading the ball quickly and positioning himself to make the catch instinctivly. He had a few nice high ball catchs in traffic or when challenged and a few nice onehanders. He suffered from poor QB play just like others but he never looks stiff and adjusts as good as any. He did run a lot of screens etc which is not what we need him for but having the experience to use his speed and run after catch is not a great minus in my book. With safties concerned with Harvin i think he could be a contributer.

    The one thing he didn’t do that well is get quick seperation against man coverage. It could have something to do with teams dedicating all the attention to him since he was Vandy’s only weapon and half of thier pass yards.

    If he was mocked to be a 1st. rounder – I’d agree he is overrated but if he happens to drop to 64th he is a steal. I have a passion for smart receivers. With pro trainning i can see him being very effective.

  15. Cysco says:

    If there’s any shot at going:

    RD1: Bitonio
    RD2: Coleman

    Sign me up. That would be my dream draft.

    Regarding Overrated/Underrated tag, I look at it as a value proposition. Which players, when drafted where they’re being projected, have a better chance of over delivering on that draft position? Which ones have a good chance of not living up to their draft position.

    By all accounts, Bitonio is a late first round pick. MASSIVE value – hence, underrated.

    Matthews between 10-15? Rob pointed out there are reasons to believe he won’t live up to that draft position. Overrated.

    • EranUngar says:

      Matthews is at best 8-12 among wide receivers only. I haven’t seen any mock placing him in the first round not to mention 10-15. No one ever rated him so high. As a 1st rounder he will indeed be overrated but at the end of the 2nd he would be a steal.

      As for Bitonio – “By all accounts Bitonio is a late first round pick” – Bold statement. Here are the mocks by all cbs experts – Rang, Prisco, Kriwan, Bruger and Wilson. None found Bitonio worthy of a 1st. round pick, not one.

      http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/mock-draft

      While i agree with Rob about his talent and potential, by all accounts of cbs experts he is not a 1st round potential.

    • LantermanC says:

      2nded on dream draft. Those are the 2 players I’ve keyed in on. I won’t complain if Landry is there instead of Coleman, but I like variety in my Wrs, and Coleman provides something we don’t have.

  16. House says:

    I personally like both Bitonio and Coleman and would be THRILLED if we got both of them in the 1st 2 rds.

    I think Bitonio could come in and IMMMEDIATELY push/take the starting LG job. I’m assuming Bitonio would not be the only OL drafted and that’ll make cracking the 53-man extremely difficult. Breeding excellence is a GREAT thing… Van Roten has previously shown starter capabilities and Schilling was someone Cable previously liked, but was snagged a few picks before us.

    LT: Okung/Bailey/Hauptmann
    LG: Bitonio/Carpenter
    C: Unger/Jeanpierre/Van Roten
    RG: Sweezy/Schilling
    RT: Bowie/Bailey/Hauptmann

    I have liked Coleman since last year and I will admit Latimer is growing on me. I obviously don’t know how it will go, but if Bitonio is there @ #32, I wouldn’t pass on him. I think we can grab a WR in rd 2.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      My thoughts are it is easier to find a left guard in Carpenter/Bowie/Bailey than a right tackle. So lets draft for right tackle and set up a competition.

      • House says:

        I can agree to an extent. I personally think an “ANSWER” at LG is more important than RT.

        RT: Bowie showed promise last year in this 7 starts @ RT and Bailey could potentially push there as well. He has excellent footwork, leverage and hand usage. I personally like JuWuan James at RT and I know Coach Cable visited Tennessee last week.

        LG: Bitonio is “can’t miss” to me. I have been a big supporter of Carpenter and hopefully he’s knees and ankles are finally close to 100%. It is amazing how the human body works. The kid has the power/strength to literally move a mountain, but a feew inches of ligament (ACL) stops him from that.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I like Carpenter’s potential. It just doesn’t seem like he has maximized it yet. Mostly I think it is more important to have an okay line that is injury free then an excellent line that is hurt half the season. I have high hopes for Bowie and Bailey and want to see two more offensive linemen to compete with them. 2014 will be a turning point for the offensive line. Going into the year we need a right tackle. After the season there will be decisions made about Okung and Carpenter. Lots to think about! Possibly even turnover at right guard if he gets outplayed by someone else.

  17. Madmark says:

    Sweezy has the highest SPARQ rating on the OL and this help him to be the athletic RG his 1st year converting from a DL. Bitionio SPARQ is higher and he’s bigger and should have no problem taking LG spot from Carpenter. If the OL suffers Injury (such as Okung) then Bitinio could slide into that LG spot. No matter what happens next year I just think he’s a better pick for 32 and the best value there. Pick 64 we just have to wait and see what WR are left and I’m banking that Moncrief is still on the board at 64 and I fell this would be the best value there. If he’s not I’ll take a Latimer or a Coleman, 1 of these guys will still be there at 64. I believe no matter what Bitinio will start day 1 and I’m not so sure I can say the same for the WR after Watkin, Evan, Lee, or Cook.

  18. Kyle G says:

    Hey Rob, quick question.

    What is it that separates Watkins and Beckham? The only obvious thing I see is Watkins has slightly superior size.

    Beckham looks more natural at receiver also.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Watkins is the complete package IMO. Just does everything really well. Hard to find any fault in his game. I’m a huge OBJ fan, but Watkins can make an offense productive with even a barely competent QB.

  19. Madmark says:

    Field Gulls been doing the SPARQ ratings of the 2014 draft by position. they already did the OL and currently out now Apirl 7th is the ratings of the WR and a few comments on them. Sorry you Latimer fans no SPARQ as he did not do combine so you just have to read the flattering comments about him.

    • James says:

      Our 12′s brethren over at Field Gulls are doing an amazing job of analyzing potential Seahawks draft picks based on the sparq ratings….which by all accounts, John and Pete rely on a great deal in their quest for bigger/faster/stronger. Acutally, they do assign a sparq to Latimer based on projected times, and he grades out very high. Moncrief and Latimer grade out as the most likely picks in R1, based on their sparqs….but Field Gulls actually gives a higher film grade to Martavis Bryant. Add Benjamin to the mix, and it certainly seems that one of these four guys will be the pick if they go WR at 32. Rob’s worst-case-scenario notwithstanding, it is very difficult to imagine all four of these guys being gone at 32. In that unlikely event, it will of course mean that several other highly rated prospects will fall, such as Shazier, Hageman, Tuitt, etc…..add to that group Bitonio, Moses and Su’a-Filo, and there are your potential Hawks.

      (note: Christine Michael’s sparq rating is the highest ever for a RB, beating out guys like Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden and Adrian Peterson. And….Chris Harper got an F-minus in sparq, making you wonder how in the world he was selected by John & Pete….somehow they got it into their head that he was the next Anquan Boldin?)

  20. Nate Dogg says:

    I don’t know how rare Brandon Coleman really is. 6’6 is rare, but there have been several 6’5+ receivers the past several years. Here is a list of a bunch of guys with similar (or better) measurements to Coleman:

    James Hardy
    Stephen Williams
    Ramses Barden
    Chas Gessner
    Limas Sweed
    Walter Young
    Rodney Smith
    Chaz Shillens
    David Nelson
    Martin Nance
    Derrick Moye
    Mike Williams
    Clarence Moore
    John Madsen
    Matt Jones
    Andre Holmes
    Malcolm Floyd

    Calvin Johnson and Vincent Jackson are the only guys from the 6’5 and taller group that really stand out, and they blow Coleman out of the water in just about every conceivable way.

    It’s easy to get caught up with Coleman’s (and Benjamin’s) height, but the reality is that being 6’6 with a mediocre 40 time doesn’t equal a high ceiling or any likelihood to succeed. Coleman might be a better prospect than some of the guys listed above (some of which were UDFA), but there isn’t much of a basis for giving him a significant bump in potential based on his height.

    • Nate Dogg says:

      Also I just want to say that I feel like I’m only ever disagreeing with you, but by and large I agree with your thoughts and really enjoy the work you do :)

    • Rob Staton says:

      Coleman didn’t run a mediocre forty time.

      • Nate Dogg says:

        His forty, tree cone, and shuttle are all mediocre to poor for the position. They may not be mediocre when you take his size into consideration, but there isn’t much evidence to suggest that being a couple inches taller negates that athleticism deficit relative to his competition.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Size absolutely makes a difference. A 4.5 at 6-6 and 225lbs is terrific. You can’t compare his time to Brandin Cooks at 5-9 and 185lbs. There’s nothing mediocre about his forty time or his ability to run away from DBs.

          • Nate Dogg says:

            Are there examples of guys with height overcoming combine times that are average or worse for the position? It’d be one thing if he demonstrated some exceptional skill in games, but he hasn’t really done that (Gary Nova complicating factors noted). Taking him in the first or second round just seems like a gamble based completely on his height.

            • Kip Earlywine says:

              If you are a bigger receiver that means you’d want a bigger corner on him, and bigger corners tend to run slower. The 5’10, 4.3 speed corner you can cover Cooks with might be totally dominated by a 6’6″ WR, and the 6’2″ corner you put on him instead might struggle to keep up with a 4.50 time.

              Coleman has had a few games where he’s looked like a top 10 pick, but he’s also really inconsistent. I value consistency but it’s not required to be a good NFL player. Cordarrelle Patterson was and still is inconsistent but you can easily see the value he brings just from his unique traits and the problems he creates for defenses.

        • Redzone086 says:

          What is the logic for Coleman’s forty ran in the 4.56 range being poor? I can’t say its amazing but we wouldn’t be talking about him if it was 4.45 he would be in the top 3-4 WO to be drafted. I honestly think “IF” we bash Coleman we should speak more of his character and “grit”. I’m not attacking anyone’s opinions I just think the forty time Is way over rated in terms of pass or fail. The bigger issue is can they be taught within the system to bring contributions equal to pay. The fact that in forty yards you ran 0.03-0.1 seconds faster will only matter “if” we are racing forty yards and ball position and catching/leaping doesn’t matter.
          System also counts as Rob has pointed out recently what a player does well can be highlighted in one offence and buried in another.
          Here is a great list of people to be lined up next to and based solely on forty times Coleman has a great chance to succeed.
          2014
          Benjamin, Kelvin Florida WO 4.61
          Evans, Michael TA&M WO 4.53
          Lee, Marques USC WO 4.52
          Landry, Jarvis LSU WO 4.77
          2013
          Hopkins, DeAndre Clemson WO 4.57
          Woods, Robert USC WO 4.51
          2012
          Floyd, Michael Notre Dame WO 4.47
          Kearse, Jermaine Washington WO 4.58 FYI
          Quick, Brian Appalachian St. WO 4.55
          Wright, Kendall Baylor WO 4.61
          Sanu, Mohamed Rutgers WO 4.67
          2011
          Green, A.J. Georgia WO 4.50
          Bldwin, Johnathan Pittsburg WO 4.50

          • Nate Dogg says:

            Lee and Landry’s times were a disappointment, and Landry is likely injured. Evans, Hopkins, Woods, Floyd, Wright, and Green all had better game tape and generally better non-forty times.

            Gary Nova complicates things when talking about Coleman’s play on the field, but it’s not uncommon for college QBs to suck. AJ Green played with Joe Cox, Jonathan Baldwin played with Bill Stull and Tino Sunseri. Michael Floyd played with Tommy Reese. Mohamed Sanu played with…. Gary Nova. All of those guys managed to build a better case for themselves than Coleman has.

  21. James says:

    If the Seahawks go Leo in R2, here is a link to a nice review by Pat Kirwan of the likely suspects:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/pat-kirwan/24516640/plenty-of-defensive-line-linebacker-talent-outside-first-round

    • oz says:

      I think they will go LEO or DE with one of their first two picks.

    • hawkfaninMT says:

      To this point, could we expect to see a post about Leo prospects and where they could be drafted/how each fits our scheme?

      I know I have seen some names like Smith, Lawrence, martin, Chriton, etc… Where do you think the Hawks would target these guys, and where would they be on the Big Board?

      • James says:

        Based on value, I believe the signs point to the Seahawks going WR in R1, and Leo in R2 (see one of the guys in Kirwan’s article above). Talent drop-off at those two positions is dramatic by the Seahawks next pick in R4. The mid to later rounds will see selections for depth in the O and D lines, I suspect, where John and Tom Cable work their magic and find the hidden gems.

  22. Kip Earlywine says:

    Good stuff Rob. I love that you are willing to stick your neck out and give an actual opinion and stir discussion.

    Personally, I agree with you completely on Ford, Matthews, Coleman, and Landry. I don’t know much about Jernigan yet.

    That said, I do feel that the media has it right with Yankey and Bitonio.

    Bitonio first. I am hearing a lot of talk that scouts view Bitonio as an NFL guard. There is a noticeable lean in Bitonio’s stance and my first instinct was that he’d end up at guard as well. He also played for a non-BCS conference, and his overall game just seemed like more effort than dominance. Usually effort guys from smaller conferences take a bigger hit from the jump to the NFL.

    Though I like his overall game, I think he fits better in a pure zone environment like what Green Bay runs. He just doesn’t have much ability to drive players if he doesn’t beat them with quickness at the snap. At best, he could be another Max Unger who wins with quickness and great technique, but Unger himself is kind of a fringey guy in a sense and we saw just how much his play suffered when he battled through minor injuries last season.

    I have nothing against him, but what Seattle needs is some power inside. We already have two quick/small guys in Sweezy and Unger, and last season that lack of power was exposed and really hurt our interior run game.

    I think Seattle’s grade for Bitonio will probably be around their #64 pick. And I think that’s fair all things considered.

    With Yankey, we all know that bench press is really more a measurement of work ethic and endurance than actual strength. Yankey’s bench total was as good or better than either Sweezy or Unger, and it was actually superior to Red Bryant’s, who was probably the strongest player on the team during his time here.

    Yankey’s forty was slow, but his 10 yard split was average. John Schneider himself recently referenced the 10-yard split when asked how he evaluates OL.

    On tape, Yankey moves with incredible efficiency and is one of the best 2nd level blockers in this draft. Every step Yankey takes is so smooth it almost looks choreographed. He is outstanding on pulls and though it’s true the scheme asks him to do less athletically, he has good enough movement technique to overcome his mediocre footspeed.

    What I really like about him is his ability to push bodies around in straight up contests of strength, which belies his low bench total.

    He also has fantastic pass protection technique. The year prior he played left tackle and only allowed a couple of sacks all season.

    I’m always a little wary of OL from schools famous for their offensive lines, Wisconsin made Moffitt look good, Alabama made Carpenter look good, Stanford made Martin look good. Of course, Martin had off-the field issues that likely factored in his performance, and another Stanford alum, David DeCastro, actually had a very good season in 2013.

    The way Seattle has gravitated towards big lumbering guys like Carpenter, Bowie and Bailey in recent years, I definitely think a lack of amazing athleticism won’t keep Yankey off Seattle’s boards. And personally, I think he’s got the best tape of any guard in this class. I think right now he is probably going to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, and I think if anything he has a chance to be a little under-rated depending on how late he goes.

  23. Kip Earlywine says:

    One other thing, I would love to see Seattle make an exception to their speed bias for Landry. Guys that win contested throws like he can have an easy path to NFL success.

  24. EranUngar says:

    Just watched some tape again on Paul Richardson from Colorado.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnlKFbW7fZw

    His plays fast, really fast. great hands, needs some beef but could be a great 4th round pick.

  25. Steve Pitell says:

    After last year’s draft, Pete said they had their eye on some OL but the group got picked over before the Seahawks got a draft so they took CM who they felt was better value for the pick. Then they didn’t go OL until late. Now, I love the potential Bowie and Bailey represent, and I am quick to say we may not need to draft an OL in the first, but it makes sense to me that with the loss of Giocomini and McQuistan and knowing they wanted to spend a top pick last year, why isn’t it assumed we will pick an OL?

    As far as WR goes, with Harvin replacing Tate, and Kearse’s improvement, we don’t need a WR as much. If we can get Rice back, the reasoning is bolstered.