Shawn Oakman, Duke Williams won’t enter 2015 draft

December 29th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Scratch off two names on our pre-Christmas first round watch-list. Shawn Oakman and D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams won’t be part of the 2015 draft.

Both players had an opportunity to go early. Both players also have a lot to gain by returning.

Oakman took a big step forward in 2014 after a quiet first year at Baylor (he transferred from Penn State). He recorded ten sacks and 18.5 TFL’s. He’s built like a Greek God and could’ve been a very high pick with a good combine. He can also make clear improvements — he often struggles to disengage and get off a block. He can get even stronger and his goal should be to emulate Calais Campbell. He can be a more athletic version if he can keep getting stronger. It’s achievable.

This is a loaded defensive line class and while there’s nobody quite like Oakman — he’s likely to be a slow burner in the NFL instead of an impact player. He would’ve had a hard time getting ahead of more rounded prospects like Dante Fowler, Randy Gregory, Bud Dupree and Leonard Williams. In 2016 he could be one of the first defensive linemen off the board if he continues to develop.

Williams only moved to Auburn last year after switching from the JUCO ranks. He had an immediate impact and quickly became the go-to receiver for the Tigers, despite the presence of Sammie Coates. With only one year of experience in the SEC, he’ll get a chance to improve his technique and just get more quality snaps. He could be special. He has everything — size, length, hands and attitude. He was unlikely to walk into the NFL two years removed from the JUCO’s and suddenly explode onto the scene. Now he has a chance to work on his craft and potentially be the top 2016 receiver.

Elsewhere, Indiana’s superb running back Tevin Coleman is heading for the NFL after making an announcement today. According to Tony Pauline, Texas’ brilliant defensive tackle could play his final college game tonight too:

You can watch Brown in the Texas Bowl later — it’s a good match-up against the biggest offensive line in college football (Arkansas).

I still believe the Seahawks are destined for an offense-focused early portion of the 2015 draft, barring some surprising free agency moves. They’re keeping the defensive core together and know what they have on that side of the ball. The offense needs work and an injection of talent at key positions. Marshawn Lynch continues to be spelled early in games — hinting at more serious health concerns than perhaps we appreciate (and potentially an increased likelihood that he retires in the off-season). If that’s the case, Seattle could easily be in the market for one of the top running backs.

Receiver obviously remains an option too. Kevin White today scored a 49-yard touchdown for West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M… provoking this Tweet…

We can but dream.

Meanwhile Dan Kadar at Mocking the Draft has published a new mock draft today. He has the Seahawks picking at #32 — selecting Maxx Williams (TE, Minnesota), a player we discussed recently. Draft Breakdown published Williams’ tape against Michigan this afternoon:

70 Responses to “Shawn Oakman, Duke Williams won’t enter 2015 draft”

  1. redzone086 says:

    I could see White or Strong being Seahawk targets at WR.

  2. redzone086 says:

    Not Sure Maxx is your typical Seahawks first round pick but he shows plenty of potential. I liked his footwork and positioning on blocks. His hands were used well and seems like he catches away from his body extremely well.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’s the kind of player they might consider later, but in round one they’ve consistently gone after big-time athleticism or size plus major college production.

      • bigDhawk says:

        I agree that the Seahawks tend to go with upside picks early, and Maxxi – though polished – seems like mostly a finished product, at least physically. Good prospect, but what you see is probably all you will get without much upside. Not worth a first or second round pick but fair game after.

  3. GoHawks5151 says:

    Dang. Was really excited about Williams. Agree with the trade out first round unless Gurley, Brown or Dupree drop.

  4. Rob Staton says:

    Expect a post on Ohio State receiver Devin Smith tomorrow. This guy is the real deal. Fantastic, fantastic player.

  5. Ed says:

    Defense pretty set outside of rotational DL, but I don’t see us spending a 1st on rotational now after locking Avril too.

    Turbin has played real well and Michael has shown enough that we could survive without Lynch next year if he decides to go.

    We need a threat (no consistency or presence) and OL (Unger, Okung and Carpenter have a year at most left).

    1st Beckham-Green (OKL) or Funchess (MIC)
    2nd Drango (Baylor)
    3rd Harrison (TA&M)

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ed — I know you keep making the point on Unger and Okung but I’ll keeping providing the counter — do not assume they are going to be tossed away. To suggest Okung in particular has a year ‘at most’ left is just crazy talk IMO. They love what he brings and they know how difficult it is to get a left tackle in this league. The good ones are like gold dust and they will not be picking in the top-ten anytime soon.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Since we’re talking OL…

        This was a make-or-break year for Carp, and although he didn’t “make” it, nor did he break it.

        During the mid-season stretch when Bailey started at LG, I thought that was pretty much the end of Carp in Seattle. But he’s played well enough since he’s returned that if he’s willing to play for (about) the same pay as this year, then I’m sure he’ll be back.

        Maybe Seahawk fans expect too much from their LT. Walter Jones will do that to you. But Okung is a top-flight LT. He has problems with injuries, but he plays tough, meaning both that he will get injured playing that way, and also that he plays through many of his injuries. Few of us (me included) have any idea what he’s played through this season. When he’s in the lineup however, he rarely makes a mistake.

        There’s definitely a drop off at C from Unger to Lewis/LJP. Then again, Lewis progressed in the last couple of games. If you fault his performance against the Rams, remember he took on Aaron Donald, probably the best pure 3T since John Randle.

        Bailey is everything McQuistan wasn’t. Unfortunately he can’t play center.

        • redzone086 says:

          No,no,no,no,no,no…. He makes more than plenty of mistakes. I absolutely see Britt and Okung in the same light. Notthe same level because they are playing ddifferent positions with different skill sets but they both don’t grade put to me at there positions at even average players. Now on Okung I would say that if they get a low ball figure to keep him great if not let him go. BRITT needs to grow up and play for his life.

          • peter says:

            They in essence paid for okung next year. He’s guaranteed 7 mil whether he plays or is cut. Britt grades out as a near excellent run blocker…which is what the team wants. I’d love it if his pass pro suddenly got amazing but I’m not sure the FO cares all that much.

            • JeffC says:

              “I’d love it if his pass pro suddenly got amazing but I’m not sure the FO cares all that much.”

              I’m believing this. Which is why I also don’t necessarily believe they will look for the next Zach Miller in the draft. If they are leading the NFL with the best running game in a decade without Miller, I don’t see them expending resources to find his clone. When Salk rails on Pete during his weekly appearance about pass blocking and penalties, Pete giggles.

              I think they look at RW’s escapability skillset as part of the pass blocking answer.

              • Coug1990 says:

                This is the reason why I disagreed with Rob on the best offensive player on the Seahawks. He said Marshawn and I said Russell. The offense is set up for the running game more than the passing game. The team defaults to lineman that are better run blockers than pass blockers.

                Plus, the receivers are average. Yet, Russell is still able to make magic. I know all of us would rather the team get a great receiver and better pass blocking lineman, but there is only so much money to go around and so far, you cannot argue about the big picture results.

                • JeffC says:

                  Agreed. It wouldn’t surprise me if as part of his assignments it is RW’s responsibility to gauge the right side pass rusher and if Britt has him under control or not, then make the decision to step up, stand in the pocket, or scramble. I suspect they are more interested in pass blocking on the left side, his blind area, which is perhaps why PC criticized Bailey last week when it looked like he was better pass blocking than Britt.

                  I have given up trying to determine what they will draft. They truly do things differently and we have no idea what direction they will go. As you say, it is hard to argue with their methods when they win home field thru the playoffs despite how the season started in the first 6 games.

                  • Volume 12 says:

                    Right now it’s hard to gauge who they’ll draft, but once the all-star games are over and the combine, and teams can start interviewing, working out players, and bringing them into their facilities… not so much. Every year there’s 6-7 guys that Seattle will take and who actually will fall under one of those categories, making it easier to see where their true interest lies. Of course a couple of those name will probably be smoke screens.

              • peter says:

                That may well be part of the formula for pass pro. Also to the chagrin of many I can’t help feel that Britt will begin to get a sense of the malleable pass pro assignments with continued playing time and understand or hopefully anticipate possible RW scramble routes in the pocket like for example Norwood and prich are doing in their WR routes.

      • Ed says:

        I’m not saying next year (like I have been wanting). I just think they have pretty much locked up our D (assuming Irvin gets taken care of and boy would I love Maxwell too). That really leaves O line and a threat the biggest needs and with Unger and Okung having expiring deals soon (6/7 million each is pretty expensive and would assume they could get more than we offer next contract, wouldn’t it be wise to get some talent there?

        We agree on a weapon in the first (TE or WR; Beckham or Funchess), would you think they go rotational DL over OL help?

        We get Marsh and possible Mebane back next year, Hill has exploded and Williams might resign a one year.

        • redzone086 says:

          I just don’t see how you lock up every defensive position in a always compete team.

        • Ben2 says:

          That’s why I think a DT could be in the mix for our 1st rounder. Mebane, Williams, and McDaniel are all old (and mebane is coming off injury). Jordan hill has proven himself and we like to rotate at DT…I’d like to see contract extensions to BWags & Irvin on defense and RW on offense – that means we gotta look at cap savings – Maxie too expensive (especially when it’s our specialty to develop low round, “cheap” CB prospects), maybe cut Mebane, Zach miller gone, maybe get rid of Unger and give his $ to Sweezy….tough decisions but being young and hungry is good too! Go Hawks!

          • Volume 12 says:

            If Texas DT Malcom Brown or Florida St DT Eddie Goldman are there on the blared when Seattle picks, the yeah I could see them taking a DT in the 1st. Both of those guys are more than likely top 2o locks though. Drafting a DT in the 1st is a waste of resources and draft capital in my opinion. Draft you run stuffers 3rd round and after. This draft class is loaded with mid to late round DTs.

        • Ben2 says:

          I’d rather trade a 3rd or 4th for Gordon or Blackmon as opposed to use a1st for Beckham-Green. Same behavior-bust risks BUT the former have proved themselves in this league and we don’t risk as much draft capital on a potential complete bust (and that’s what you get if a player’s behavior destroys their career).

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think they’ll just fill in depth on the O-line using later round guys or even UDFA’s. Might be wrong, but that’s how I see it right now.

      • bigDhawk says:

        But isn’t the point now that Okung is not a good NFL LT? He is always hurt, never playing anywhere near 100% when he actually makes it on the field. I’m to the point that Alvin Bailey – fat and all – is as good an NFL LT as Okung right now, and maybe a tick better. Granted, a bookend, franchise LT is almost as hard to find as a franchise QB, but Okung is not that, if he ever was, and probably won’t ever be. With that given, I have to side with Ed and say that Okung won’t be with us for more than another year, certainly not for franchise LT money.

        • williambryan says:

          Someone put up the stats on here that painted a clear picture that The injury prone label for aiming is a misperception among the fans. I like Bailey when he is in there but Okung is a top 5 LT to me and would be paid as such in free agency. And the evidence of the team Continuing to perform well even with fill ins and undrafted players, along with the underwhelming selections of Carp, Moffitt, and Britt leave me feeling like OL should not be a priority at the top of the draft.

  6. chris says:

    i can’t see them letting okung go , but i can see them letting unger go or asking him to restructure. it doesn’t matter how good he is if he can’t stay on the field for more than 6-7 games a year the team is better off going in another direction at center.

  7. Chrs says:

    Rob,
    I read on RotoWorld that the Browns are at a crossroads with Josh Gordon. They suggest he could be had for a 3rd rounder. He’s signed cheaply over the next 2 years and would look great in a Seahawks uniform. We have the type of locker room that could help him with the off field issues. I know its highly unlikely, but still a 3rd rounder? They’d surely consider it, right?

    • CC says:

      I’m sure they consider it – but Gordon is not about team – he’s about himself. Given what happened with Harvin and even Thurmond, I don’t see Seattle looking at Gordon. Maybe they give Blackmon a chance, but again likely only if he is a free agent.

      • Coug1990 says:

        Pete and John have given players second chances. So there is that. However, they also look for players that love to play football. I am not sure that Gordon loves to play football. He may like to play football, but I don’t really think he loves to play.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Gordon is a total liability at this stage. It’s kind of a fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me type of situation. You give up a third and think you’ve got this amazing talent on the cheap. But why are you getting him on the cheap? Because the following month he’ll earn another suspension or whatever. I want Seattle to get a dynamic receiver like this as much as anyone, but I want a dynamic receiver who actually cares about his career, wants to be great and is prepared to make football his #1, #2 and #3 priority.

  8. Ho Lee Chit says:

    I think our only real need going into the draft is for a PR/KR guy to replace Tate and Harvin.

  9. peter says:

    I like ty Montgomery but not in round 2. I know old Walter (ahem) Football (cough) keeps picking him for us in the second but just going over his stats vs. Our other 2nd round Wr’s and he’s no where close in terms of production. He does have decent return some skills which is good but its not like those are even amazing just better then some.

    I know its apples to tennis balls and he only has KR chops and no verified PR chops but for the category of Seahawks chancy fourth round pick I’d like to see them select Antwaan Goodley he’s the same size as Tate, did pretty good on KR (the same as Montgomery) for his first two years…then really ramped as his WR production to the tune of 1300 yes and 18 tds his junior year. Yada yada….a superior track and field athlete…blah blah…biletnikoff watch list….just throwing out ideas at this point.

    • JeffC says:

      Walter Cherepinsky is pretty lazy in his analysis, but he was the only draft blog site that picked PRich going to us last year. I don’t read him much anymore, but have to tip the cap to him for that one pick.

      • peter says:

        Yeah that one was pretty weird…all last draft season I honestly couldn’t buy it. Though I too was lazy and didn’t check the prich, woods, lee connection until after the draft. Walters actually good about, with the other guy…Chris I think….by giving draft fans a lot of names to pour over and examine.

  10. Ralphy says:

    Rob what do you think of O’Leary out of FSU? He doesn’t look very big but he makes big plays in every game I watch.

    I love the Josh Gordon idea. I also would like to check in on Justin Blackmon. Both are potentially huge upside guys if the Hawks locker room gets them on the right track. Good low risk high reward moves in my opinion.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      I love O’Leary. Here is what I would do.

      R1. Cameron Erving (OT, OG, C)
      R2. Nick O’Leary TE
      R3. Tyler Lockett WR,KR

      • Drew says:

        If Erving lasts to the 32nd pick I’d be really surprised.

      • Drew says:

        Also I don’t think we have that much of a need at TE to draft one in the 2nd.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Gordon is a bust. Forget him.

        Don’t know much about O’Leary other than highlight reels, but he looks like a mid-rounder. Also, he doesn’t really give Seattle anything they don’t already have on roster when Miller returns, other than some cap space.

        Erving however is a fantastic prospect. He’d look great in a Seahawk uniform. Unfortunately he’ll be long gone by 32.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure on O’Leary in this system with limited targets and a run-heavy focus. I think he’s better suited to a New England style attack. Would be a good fit there across from Gronk.

  11. Volume 12 says:

    Rob, after watching some of the bowl games last night I was wondering what you think about a few names. Now these guys aren’t 1st rounder’s by any means, more of the mid round types. So, what are your thoughts on W. Virginia OG Quinton Spain, Clemson DT Grady Jarrett, and Arkansas DT Darius Philon? Philon has some amazing length for a DT.

    Can’t wait for that WR Devin Smith article by the way.

  12. icb says:

    Anybodys thoughts on Boise State’s Jay Ajayi?

    To me Gurley is a no brainer if he is available.
    But Ajayi, he’s good. He blocks, got good hands, fast. I suspect he has talent to burn and can only get better. And in theory he should be available a little later on in he draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not overly keen. Good numbers this year but looks unspectacular in terms of speed/power. Too many spin moves. Wonder if he’ll be much more than a marginal talent at the next level. I will look at more games and review that opinion but for now I’d put him in the third round range.