The confusing and wonderful 2019 draft

January 19th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Every draft class is unique and has its own positional strengths and weaknesses.

2019 seems more unique than usual. I’m not sure we’ve seen a class like this before.

From the heaving depth of top defensive linemen available to the relative unknown of the quarterbacks — this is a class that keeps people guessing.

And truth be told, I bet the teams are still working out how they feel about a few significant issues.

For example — who’s the best offensive tackle in the draft? It’s a premium position. Tackles always go early. As we saw with Mike McGlinchey and Kolton Miller last year, the perceived ‘best available’ don’t last very long — even if a prospect has flaws.

Several of the big names this year possibly need to kick inside to guard — Cody Ford, Greg Little, Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams. Some believe Washington State’s Andre Dillard is the best pass-blocking left tackle prospect — a sentiment that is gathering steam in first round mocks. Are you comfortable making him a top-20 pick?

A few months ago people were rushing to extol Alabama safety Deionte Thompson. He was touted as a rangy free safety with speed and playmaking ability. He was mocked as a top-10 talent. Then the reality kicked in. A September flourish turned into an indifferent overall season. It was discovered by some that he ran a 4.71 at SPARQ testing. One scout said the following:

“I’ve watched all the Alabama tapes and I can’t grade him… I don’t see the guy doing things.”

Now you’ll be hard pushed to see him in round one at all in internet mocks. Many jumped the gun.

At one point the receiver class was all the buzz with some suggesting it was a major draft strength. Players like Kelvin Harmon were suggested for the top-10. D.K. Metcalf was a first-round darling — despite the serious and well-publicised concerns about his serious neck injury.

Yet this weekend Tony Pauline reported the following:

“…scouts and general managers are complaining this will be one of the worst draft’s for prospects from the scoring side of the ball in a long time. Right now they project as many as 70 of the top 100 players drafted coming from the defensive side of the ball.”

And then there’s the quarterbacks. Justin Herbert didn’t declare, Jarrett Stidham underwhelmed, Drew Lock was up and down. Nobody knew who to mock early. Was it possible no quarterbacks go in the top-10? Maybe. Yet in the end Dwayne Haskins promoted himself into that range and then a quarterback everyone expected to play Major League Baseball threw his hat into the ring.

If you listen to Adam Schefter, Murray could be a high draft pick. Ian Rapoport was touting rounds 2-3. Some are mocking the late first. I think he’s the most talented prospect in the entire draft.

Does anyone seriously know where he’ll land? Do the teams?

How many expected him to even declare?

We’ve had a season of analysis with no consensus opinion other than it’s a great class for D-liners. We’re still seeing it now. The mocks are all over the place. The only consistent thing seems to be everyone acknowledges Nick Bosa will go in the top-two.

So how should any of us react to this? Mocks are supposed to be just fun conversation starters really. They’re an internet phenomena, by and large. For the talking heads, they’re a lot more serious.

Mike Mayock resisted posting one until the day before previous drafts. Todd McShay and Mel Kiper frequently tut and sigh on their podcast at the idea of putting one together. For those making a career out of projecting the draft — a mock is simply an opportunity to look foolish. You have your judgement questioned. For the rest of us, it’s just an exercise in filling the time between January and April.

Judging a ‘mockers’ credibility almost always usurps the actual analysis of the projection. I bring this up because I’m about to analyse Daniel Jeremiah’s first 2019 mock — one of the most out-there predictions I can ever recall. I’d rather stick to the subject matter if we can — but there are some serious ‘WTF’ reactions to be had:

— Josh Jacobs is projected as a top-five pick. Running backs have gone this early recently — but all were college superstars. Zeke Elliott, Leonard Fournette, Saquon Barkley. Jacobs was a rotational cog in Alabama’s offense and never had more than 640 yards in a single season. It’s unfathomable to think Jacobs would go this early.

— Jeremiah specifically describes Christian Wilkins as a “top 10 talent”. So why does he last to #25? No reason is given. It’s not unusual for a top-10 talent to fall to #11-15 (see: Odell Beckham Jr, Aaron Donald). Dropping to #25 is an incredible fall for a player you’re suggesting is a legit top-10 player — especially considering there are zero character or injury concerns.

— Jeremiah describes Dexter Lawrence as having a similar skill-set and playing style to Ndamukong Suh. If that is true — why does he have Lawrence dropping to #30? Surely any player with a remote likeness to Suh (I personally don’t like the comparison, I think Jeffery Simmons is much closer to Suh in terms of body-type and playing style) is going to go much earlier than #30 overall?

— Jachai Polite is a top-20 talent. Don’t take my word for it — one NFL scout says this: “Polite is really fast and explosive. Excellent off the edge. Top 20.” Jeremiah excludes him from the entire first round.

— T.J. Hockenson is a very talented tight end who will have a good combine and could easily rise quickly up boards. However, is he really going to go in the top-10? Since 2006, only two tight ends have gone in the top-10 — freak of nature Vernon Davis (2006) and Eric Ebron (2014). Even exceptional athletes like O.J. Howard (#19) and Evan Engram (#23) lasted well outside the top-10. Jeremiah has Hockenson going #8 to Detroit.

Adam Schefter recently reported the Miami Dolphins are willing to take a hit in 2019 and target the quarterback class in 2020. They’re focusing on the lines this year and are willing to endure a rebuild season. With that in mind — and considering Schefter is a trusted source — it seems unlikely they’d take a quarterback like Daniel Jones in the top-15. It’s definitely not impossible but seems improbable given the report just six days ago.

When I first read this mock I didn’t know whether to applaud the originality and the fresh talking points or question the thought process. I suppose, really, that’s what you want from a mock draft in January. Jeremiah perhaps does a better job than anyone of encapsulating the massive unknowns from within this class.

It’s also worth highlighting the parts of the mock that make a lot of sense:

— Greedy Williams and Jonah Williams aren’t included in the top-10 — two things you see often in mocks but, at least to me, seem unlikely.

— Deionte Thompson isn’t included in round one.

— Marquise Brown finds a home in the top-20. He’s an electric, dynamic receiver and you can tell he’s Antonio Brown’s cousin. He’s a talent and teams love game-changing potential. John Ross was a top-10 pick and Brown could easily go in the top-20.

— Andre Dillard is starting to get some serious attention as the best pass-blocking tackle and could easily work his way into the first round with a solid combine.

In Jeremiah’s scenario, the Seahawks would be on the board at #21 with Kyler Murray, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins and Jachai Polite all available. You’re talking about four of the best 10 or 12 players in the entire draft. In this scenario, a 2020 first round pick would be burning a hole in my pocket. Who wants it? Any opportunity to get two of the names above.

Before anyone gets overly excited, I wouldn’t expect any of the four to be available. Just as I wouldn’t expect Josh Jacobs to be a top-five pick.

Again, it highlights how much of a hard time we’re all having trying to work out this class. The order, the direction teams will go. Rather than pin this on the prognosticators and analysts and writers — I think it’s a review of the mystery behind the scenes. Teams, perhaps more than ever, have very different opinions on this class. They might need a Senior Bowl, a combine and some pro-days to get a proper steer.

It’ll make for an intriguing draft process. It’ll also be confusing and frustrating. It’ll get your hopes up and tear them down.

One thing is pretty certain for Seahawks fans though. They aren’t picking only four times in 2019. They will trade down from #21. It’s just a matter of how many times and who’ll be available when they’re finally ready to make a selection.

That’s the one thing we can be sure about.

Don’t forget to check out our latest mock draft, published on Friday, by clicking here.

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141 Responses to “The confusing and wonderful 2019 draft”

  1. Comfect says:

    This is a really well-balanced and thoughtful take, Rob. That is nothing less than I would expect from you, but it is also frequently anathema to the draft process, so much so that I feel I should chide you for it even though it’s extremely welcome.

    This is indeed a weird year, and weird things are going to go on in the draft. This is doubly true because given how up in the air things feel at this stage, I’m not sure you could have a consensus of what a “normal” (ie not-weird) draft would be. Unlike years where you could weigh a normal draft (this QB is #1, this DE is #2, etc) vs a weird one (hello Al Davis’s drafting style), I’m not sure there’s a “chalk” version of this draft yet.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Completely agree. There’s so much left to work out. The only thing set in stone, it seems, is the stock of Nick Bosa and the consensus take that it’s a great draft for D-liners. Everything else is up in the air. Would be fascinated to know what teams think about the class overall.

  2. Joseph says:

    Rob, there’s a safety out of Delaware Nasir adderley who draws comparisons to Malik hooker and even earl Thomas. The guy has great range to play center field, great ball skills (made an unbelievable one handed grab), and is a pretty good tackler. This guy actually plays similar to earl. What might hurt his draft stock is the fact that Delaware is a Division 1 subdivision school. But I like what I saw from this guy. If I’m pete carroll I’d feel it Nasir would be a must target.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would urge a great deal of caution to anyone comparing Nasir Adderley to Earl Thomas.

      He is not Earl Thomas.

      He’s not Malik Hooker either.

      I think there are things to like about his game and his highlight reel is chock full of eye-catching plays. Watching full tapes, however, there are things to like and things to work on. I think people are getting a bit over-excited with him.

      I don’t expect them to go safety with their first pick.

      • Trevor says:

        Hooker and Earl both have 4.4 speed and were 5 star recruits with crazy production at two of the top programs in the country. I like Adderley a lot and he has good ball skills/ instincts but he looks like a 4.5-4.6 guy to me and the difference as a ceterfeilder is huge. As we have seen going from Earl to TT.

        If Adderley runs a sub 4.5 at the combine with a 35” + vertical put me all aboard on the hype train but I have my doubts.

        The only Safety prospects I have liked for the Hawks to replace Earl and Kam over the last 5 years have been Keanu Neal , Malik Hooker and Derwin James. The were unique players that really don’t come around often at all.

        • Rob Staton says:

          A good assessment of the situation.

          And likewise, I was very high on Hooker and Neal.

          • Joseph says:

            Rob you’re definitely right between game film and highlights. I think time will tell based on how well he performs in the senior bowl, scouting combine, and pro day. But I know some draft boards are kinda high on him. Kinda looks like 1-3 rd type of guy. I forgot to mention that versatile who also played corner and special teams. I feel like teams would consider him the top safety automatically if he was in a good top division 1 college.

        • Joseph says:

          Trevor, I see what you mean. It seems like those type of safeties come around once in a lifetime. As I told rob, time will tell on his draft stock base on his performance in the senior bowl, combine, and pro day. It seems like it’s essential for him to run that 4.4 cause yea with tedric Thompson, he clearly showed he isn’t to succeed earl. But those are huge shoes to fill. It’s probably gonna be awhile until we find another Thomas like caliber player. I feel like if Nasir would be completely at the top of the safety class if he wasn’t in a subdivision school like Delaware and at a top division 1 college.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Playing for a small school didn’t hamper Marcus Davenport a year ago in terms of what people were projecting.

            Adderley has some talent it just seems to me that the hype factor has got a bit out of control on this occasion.

  3. Sea Mode says:

    Both guys Seattle interviewed making some nice plays.

    Godwin had two TDs on back to back drives in the 3rd Q and another big gain in the 4th. He just gets open easily. Case for Shrine Game MVP. Commentators mentioned he was a 5-star, #1 rated player in the country coming out of high school.

    https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/1086755655166246912

    Duhart made an incredibly athletic, full-extension, toe drag catch on the sideline to nearly convert a 4th down.

    • Volume12 says:

      Oregon had 2 of my favorite LB’s in this class, Troy Dye who returned to school and Justin Hollins. Hollins was lights out IMO.

      • Trevor says:

        Vol you have been high on Hollins for a while now and after this week I need to do a lot more work on him. He will get press for the sacks today but what impressed me most was how he set the edge and used his hands and length to keep blockers off him in the run game. He looks like the type of guy who could be a legit Bruse Irvin replacement with the ability to play SAM and rush the passer on 3rd down. Can’t wait to see how he tests. If he goes sub 1.6 10yd split he goes to the top of my board as a day #2 pick for the Hawks.

  4. Isaac says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if you see trades for proven offensive talent for high picks. If teams don’t need a d lineman why wouldn’t you take a shot making a trade.

  5. Coleslaw says:

    I totally understand your opinion on Thompson, he probably was overrated. But I don’t see a rangy safety and I still like him a lot. What I notice isnt his speed, but his explosiveness. Theres evidence on tape of him jumping crazy high at almost full speed while tracking the ball. Hes slim but can hit which to me shows explosiveness as well.

    I don’t see him at FS, I see him as a hybrid SS/Deathbacker. Covering TEs and RBs, and playing some zone. When I think of Deionte I always think of Obi Melifonwu. I think, man, Thompson is so much better than Obi ever was, not as big a freak, but a much better player. And we lost it for Obi, myself included. (albeit it was his potential that was alluring). I have really taken your thoughts on Thompson to heart, and it has impacted my outlook on him, but I feel a little different on his draft stock.

    I don’t think he’s just a guy who we take in round 5 to convert to corner, but I dont think hes a 1st round pick either (especially not in this class). But I think in the mid to late 2nd round, maybe early 3rd, somebody is going to get a very serviceable playmaker for their secondary. Assuming he proves to be as explosive as I’m expecting at the combine. Cheers.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not a fan of the idea of Thompson covering the middle. That, to me, is where he gets exposed. Bad angles, not quick enough to recover when he misreads. As I’ve said previously I think he’s basically a day three corner prospect the Seahawks take in R5 as a project. He’s not fast but he can tackle and he has long arms. He’s very lean. I think any time you put him inside you’ll likely expose his lack of size and quickness over a short area. Stick him outside and make the most of the length and the hand-fighting off the snap.

  6. Picks says:

    What’s not to be sure about? Dillard’s film is pretty darn good.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I like him.

      But there’s plenty not to be sure about. Even if it’s just because Cody Ford is pretty freaking awesome and could easily be tried at tackle first.

      • Picks says:

        I like Ford. But more so at guard. If I’m dead set at getting a LT, I’m considering Dillard or maybe Taylor

  7. Picks says:

    I agree this years draft is difficult to gauge. Lots of teams have changed staff / philosophies, it’ll be interesting to see how they work the boards. Combine will provide a lot of clarity.

  8. Trevor says:

    Pretty underwhelming Shrine Bowl with regards to next level talent.

    The two MVPs Godwin and Hollins were clearly the two most talented guys on the field and players to monitor going forward for the Hawks.

    Godwin looks like a Hawks WR and got seperation with ease. Was open a ton even when not target. Anxious to see how he tests but looks like and interesting prospect for sure as a former 5 star recruit.

    Hollins was a beast in that game vs both the run and pass. He showed nice burst off the edge in the pass game and seemed to set the edge well in the run game. He had the length and body type to be a legit SAM in the mould of Bruce Irvin. Really want to see how he test at combine. If he has a good 10yd split and agility #s I could definitely see him being on the Hawks radar.

    As for my guy Mathieu Betts sounds like he had a good week of practice but looked a little lost making the conversion to the US game today and really did little of impact. Appears to be a UDFA practice squad developmental guy at this point at best.

  9. Trevor says:

    Gerald Willis pulled out of Senior Bowl. Sucks because I thought he might be an option if the Hawks trade back a couple of times into the 2nd and I was hoping to see him compete.

  10. Trevor says:

    Rob I like your take on this draft class.

    I personally think it is the weakest class since 2013. I think if there was a draft to only have 4 picks this would be it. If as you mentioned in article Lawerence , Wilkins, Murray or Polite are on the board you pick the guy you want and run to the podium to grab a true impact player. If not the follow the normal route trading back to get additional lottery tickets on Day #2 and 3.

    • Picks says:

      Weakest since 2013, really? TE and DL are loaded this year, probably better than the past 3 years. A lot still unknown about QB prospects. OL depth isn’t the worst, certainly not 2013 bad. There are future starters to be had for sure at that position

  11. Volume12 says:

    Great piece.

    And for those that are into analytics, there were 9 guys pre combine who met the Pro bowl threshold. Only 1 on the offensive side.

    ‘Bama DL Quinnen Williams
    Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen
    Florida EDGE Jachai Polite
    Florida St EDGE Brian Burns
    Miss St DT Jeffrey Simmons
    Udub CB Byron Murphy
    ND CB Julian Love (why is he not in more mocks anyways)
    LSU LB Devin White
    Arizona St WR N’Keal Harry

    • Trevor says:

      Would love to see Burns come to combine in the 240-245 range and show the same burst!

      • Rob Staton says:

        Burns turning up at 245 is about as likely as the moon being made of cheese, sadly.

        • Eburgz says:

          You think adding 20 pounds is that far fetched? I think 235 is more likely. 20 pounds of good weight will take a little time but really isn’t that crazy for a guy with his frame. They don’t weigh in the same day as they work out, he could literally put on 10 pounds of water before weigh-ins by having a couple big salty meals and drinking a bunch of water. He could shed that by workouts as to not slow him down. I won’t be surprised is he shows up heavier than he played.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Yes I think it’s extremely far fetched.

            I’m very aware of how people can add/lose weight in rapid situations. I’m very actively involved in weight training and have covered a number of boxers quite closely in the day job. But Burns is not going to add 20lbs of water weight. Come on. The best case scenario is probably 10lbs in that situation with a LOT of effort. Besides, he’s been skinny and lean throughout his entire career and if he rocks up at the combine, he’ll still be skinny and lean even if the scales say he’s carrying a whole bunch of water weight around his midriff. He’ll just look like a puffy version of the same skinny, lean player. It’ll be a major tell and nobody will buy it.

            This is a legit issue for Burns. There aren’t any 225lbs pass rushers in the NFL who don’t play linebacker. We’ll see what he weighs at the combine. But teams are concerned about his weight and he does look a legit 225-230lbs.

            • Eburgz says:

              So we agree that he could put on 10 pounds of water weight and could likely to show up heavier than 225, at what I said is a likely 235 🤦‍♂️. He could have put on a couple pounds of muscle mass or fat in the time since the season too. Never did I say he would put on 20 pounds of water weight.

              And that putting on 20 pounds of good weight would take some more time. I also am involved in weight training and it is entirely possible over the course of a few months considering he is skinny and not close to maxing out his frame. He will be a little less shredded and puffy if he tries to add water weight and an astute observer would probably realize this. Still, better than showing up at 225 if you ask me. Most of the water gets retained in your muscle belly, not in your stomach. I’m 205 lbs and vary about 7 pounds a day without trying to.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Here’s what you actually said:

                “You think adding 20 pounds is that far fetched?”

                And I said:

                “Yes I think it’s extremely far fetched”

                And went on to explain why.

                So…. 🤦‍♂️

  12. Trevor says:

    My goodness the OL play at the Shrine Bowl was awful today. The disparity between OL and DL talent which Rob has discussed often seems to getting wider each year.

    I really think resigning Fluker and Sweezy makes so much sense. I also think locking Fant up long term is critical as well. Finding starting quality OT is next to impossible and Fant has so much flexibility now can play either side at OT and TE now as well. I think he is a must extension.

    As for the draft would still like them to add a high upside athlete on the OL as a developmental guy to pair with Jemarco Jones as so fresh blood to the OL room. Have not idetified that guy yet however.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s imperative they keep Sweezy and Fluker for those exact reasons. It’s a very good point.

      Anyone who thinks some mid round rookie is going to walk in and get the job done —- it’s not happening. I really like Michael Deiter. Am I trusting him to start immediately and be really good? No chance.

      Even some of the top-15 drafted OL are struggling these days. The league has a massive, massive problem on the OL. If I’m Seattle, I’m going veterans all the way.

      • Hawktalker#1 says:

        Really like the common sense in this thread.

        Also really looking forward to seeing what Jemarco Jones brings to the table. Was thrilled with his initial selection and glad we have him to add in 2019.

        I wouldn’t complain if we kept all our existing OL and didn’t use any picks on OL adds at all. UDFA and possible FA only. Interested in what it will cost us to keep Fant. Saw what I thought was a good article on the subject on FG, sure got me thinking . . .

        However, I will say my concern with Pocic’s production and place on the roster is growing.

      • Whit21 says:

        some of their selections at OL have always been head scratching when you see other teams that have a couple young guys and solid vets open up pretty good holes and pass protect.. Tyler Polumbus has been a guy whenever i see him and unknowns.. just get the job done..

      • GerryG says:

        The contract amount is huge with both of Guards, Sweezy barely played on second contract in TB, and missed some time this year. Fluker is not a 16 game guy.

        They need continuity and vets, but those guys need to be on reasonable contracts. They need to be aggressive with depth too.

    • Volume12 says:

      But, 90% of the OT’s in that game had 34″ arms or longer!

  13. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob this was one of my all time favorite reads from you and that’s saying something!!

    Such a refreshing beacon of clarity in what is ostensibly silly season.

    Hockenson top 10?? I think 32 is perfect for him. Top ten of the second round floor

    • Trevor says:

      +1 Hockenson. People getting carried away wanting the next Kittle.

      • Eburgz says:

        He’s not Kittle. But he is a better looking prospect than Kittle was coming out of Iowa. He’s got more receiving yards in his sophomore year than Kittle had all 4 years. Competing with Fant for targets. And a nastier edge in run blocking (maybe less of a technician though). We’ll see how they stack up athletically at the combine.

        There’s a reason why Kittle was a day 3 pick and TJ is projected round 1. Kittle has obviously developed into an absolute beast and is in a good system where he is featured as their only legit weapon. The reason they get compared is because there are obvious similarities; big guys that can run, block and catch everything, both coming out of Iowa.

        • Trevor says:

          Agreed that Hockenson has had more production and looks like a better offensive threat coming out but I just don’t see him as a top 10 pick more like a late 1st early second as Kenny said. If you remember Kittle had an insanely good combine and it had translated to the NFL. Will be interesting to see if Hockenson is that good an athlete. If he is then he is a round one lock but I am not sure he has Kittle’s speed.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I will say this about Hockenson — I think he might be one of the ten best players in this draft. Not sure he goes top-10 as stated in the piece. But I think he might be one of the 10-12 best. So something to keep in mind. He is very, very good.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              Maybe it’s just me but I think Hock has some Evan Engram to his game. He’s a deceptive athlete, quicker than you’d think, stronger than you’d expect, with sure hands.

              He’s got a nasty competitive streak that shows up when he blocks or fights through a defender to make a contested reception that I don’t recall seeing in Engram.

              Easily the best in his position group, and a tier above Smith Jr. or Fant.

              If he’s available in the late 20s to early 30s after SEA inevitably trade down, I’d be very happy if he was their first selection.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I agree. I think Hockenson is a terrific looking athlete. Could see him running faster than expected, like Engram.

                Love his blocking.

                About as good a tight end prospect you’ll ever see in the draft IMO.

  14. Ishmael says:

    I wouldn’t be too stressed by Jeremiah’s mock, the man isn’t an idiot. Far more likely that his editor told him to throw in a few weird picks to get some clicks, hype a couple of guys to start a conversation, drop some obvious high picks so you can come around on them later etc. etc.

    Draft season is so insanely long that if you try and take it 100% seriously from day dot you’ll go mad. Deliberately throwing in some left field picks probably helps him from getting sucked into the Draft Media consensus vortex where at a certain point everyone just happens to agree with each other and it definitely isn’t because no one wants to stick their neck out and say what they actually think

  15. AndrewP says:

    Rob & co…

    I feel obliged to bring up that I was asking for discussion re: Dillard two months ago.

    If someone could kindly send me a cookie, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Kindly thanks.
    AP

  16. charlietheunicorn says:

    Changing gears slightly, doesn’t seem inevitable that Antonio Brown will end up with the Raiders for one of their low 1st round picks?? They have cap space and need.. and frankly, that would be a very good pick-up for them… after ditching Cooper.

    And lastly, I’m pretty confident that Murray has a “guaranteed” top 10 pick in his back pocket, otherwise he likely would not have declared and went on to play baseball. That at least is my read on the whole thing. I also think he won’t make it past the Raiders 1st 1st round pick.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the Raiders make the most sense.

      They may decide they don’t want the drama though. In that case, the teams picking in the top 10 of R2 come into play.

    • Duck07 says:

      I don’t believe anything would prevent Kyler Murray from going to play Baseball if he’s not a high pick. If it reaches a point where he’d make more money playing Baseball over Football, then a team may waste a draft pick for a player who doesn’t sign his contract.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I don’t believe this scenario is very likely at all.

        By declaring for the NFL draft, Murray has made his commitment now. This idea that’s he leaving the NFL and the A’s hanging, all just to wait and see where the money is, just doesn’t seem like the situation at all. I think he acknowledges a couple of big things. One — he apparently did not have a very good baseball season last term. Compare that to being named the best player in college football as the Heisman winner. It seems quite likely he’s simply better at football — so of course you’d pursue that sport. Secondly — baseball will always be there. Look at Tim Tebow after all. If in 3-5 years it hasn’t worked in football, he can go back to the MLB. You can’t go and play baseball for 3-5 years then come back and be a quarterback. So it most likely isn’t a case of Murray just waiting to see where he goes in the draft. I sense he’ll be committed to football if he’s the #1 pick or the #50 pick. He’s giving this a shot because he knows, quite simply, baseball will always be a fallback if football doesn’t work out.

        • Elmer says:

          I have seen suggestions that Murray’s height might measure at about five feet, eight inches. If that is true you have to wonder, how short is too short in the NFL? 5’8″ would make Russel Wilson look like something of a giant by comparison.

          He is clearly an exceptional talent. After all, whatever his height is, he managed to win the Heisman trophy. At the next level though, you have to wonder at what point superior talent cannot overcome lack of height.

          • Rob Staton says:

            It wasn’t an issue at Oklahoma. Sooner’s O-line is very big, very tall. Think Wilson has shown once and for all height is an overrated issue. The modern game is very different to what it was 25 years ago. You’re not just snapping the ball under center, seven-step drop and throw. Very different game.

        • McZ says:

          And this is the problem with his stock; how can any team be sure enough he will be 100% football, if he always may choose to fall back to baseball? It may last for a single season at OU, but having a guy in the locker room with a plan B that may make him impregnable to coaching is a real risk. He needs to develop a NFL work ethic, and I can see him fail at just that. I, for one, see a lot of Winston in him.

          • Rob Staton says:

            He picked football. People overplaying this.

            He’s only going back to baseball if his career ends up like Tebow’s and he’s out of the league in 4-5 years.

    • Eburgz says:

      Imagine if he ended up with the Patriots.

      • Eburgz says:

        Brown that is.

      • Volume12 says:

        I could actually see that happening.

        He’d make a ton of sense for Indy too. Although Ballard believes he’ll have another draft class similar to 2018’s. I respect that, but doubt it happens.

  17. ActiongreenLRF says:

    Been waiting for your thoughts on the Paxton Lynch signing. Recall you were high on his draft stock.

  18. Zxvo3 says:

    Rob, what are your thoughts on Justin Hollins from Oregon? He was named the defensive MVP from the East-West Shrine Game. Seems like he has great athleticism and could be an option to draft in the mid rounds instead of drafting an edge early. Then the early pick can be used on a DT or TE like TJ Hockenson.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I know he tested quite well at SPARQ in Houston. He ran a 4.38 short shuttle albeit it at 205lbs. If he’s retained that quickness at a heavier weight it’ll be a big boost. He could improve on a 34-inch vert with more explosive muscle power. So the physical potential is good. I’m yet to watch his tape but might have a look today.

      • Zxvo3 says:

        Sounds good. The way he plays is very similar to D’Andre Walker. People sounded like they were impressed by his play. Tony Pauline said he plays well against the run (although he wasn’t playing against the best opposition).

        • JimQ says:

          I thought EDGE/LB-Jordan Brailford also had a good game, I counted 1-sack, 1-TFL, 1-FR & 2 or 3 QBH in his limited snaps. Seems about the same size as Hollins also and might be a little faster on get-off.
          One of numerous players I’ll watch closely at the combine.

  19. Kenny Sloth says:

    I hate Jared Goff’s game. WR flat anyone?

  20. Volume12 says:

    Wow. Didn’t even play the ball. How is that not a flag?

    • H says:

      I’m absolutely fuming about that no call.

    • Rik says:

      There is something seriously wrong if that ref isn’t fired. Helmet-to-helmet penalty and pass interference on the same play, and both not called.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The NFL will make changes now as a consequence of that play. I’d bet DPI is reviewable next season. This is the new tuck rule.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          These are game changing penalties. Needs to be some kind of recourse for dialogue when a ref gives another team 40 yards on an incompletion

    • cha says:

      Horrible no call.

      • red says:

        Run the ball on first second and third they probably have 35% chance to pick up first run the clock to 5 sec kick 25 yard field for win. Worst case get stuffed all three downs burn rams timeouts take the clock to 60 sec kick 35 yarder. Sean Payton plays it conservative Saints have 80-90 percent win probability.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Yes it was a horrible call. But Saints had a meltdown at offense and defense. They couldn’t run the clock out, and they couldn’t stop the Rams from scoring in 3 plays. I just don’t think the Saints deserve to be in the Superbowl. And this is without the Rams using their best running back , Gurley. As he had a bad day.

        • FresnoHawk says:

          Big spending wheeling dealing Saints & Cowboys should have traded for Earl Thomas! I have no sympathy for the Saints, Earl would have fixed many of their secondary issues.

        • mr peapants says:

          game shoulda been over. every year I watch teams lose games because of lousy calls. could the saints have played better. sure. but that doesn’t excuse the ref!!! one play CAN decide a game, and that was it. lets take the hawks first sb game against pitt. sure we could of played better, but those calls through out the game didn’t give us a fair chance. if any of the phantom or questionable calls weren’t made we probably win that game. just like the saints would have. tired of lousy refs. tired of people excusing them. something needs to change. go hawks

  21. AlaskaHawk says:

    Great game, both teams put in a good effort. The Rams are strong and worthy enough to go to the superbowl.

  22. Eburgz says:

    How about that no call. Human error? I’m no conspiracy theorist but damn did that look obvious from the couch. Really takes the shine off a great game for me. Saints had their chance and Goff made some great throws under pressure but still.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a definite flag, should’ve been called. I’m stating the obvious.

      However — I’m not one for conspiracy theories. I mean seriously — why would the people running the NFL even want to run a fixed sport? (Please don’t anyone answer that, it was intended to be rhetorical).

      I will say this though. The ref in that instance knows if he throws the flag it’s game over. It’s at least a little possible that he second guessed himself in that instance because of that fact. We need to help refs out by making penalty calls challengeable.

      Anyway, well done to the Rams. I miss being involved in these games.

      • Eburgz says:

        Tough pill to swallow for the Saints and their fans. Worse than last year if that’s even possible.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Unbelievable.

        I mean, I’m the first one to advocate avoiding a game-deciding call by the refs unless it’s absolutely 100% obvious. But that clearly, unmistakably WAS. Not even a “bang-bang” play in real time to give the ref the benefit of the doubt.

        For crying out loud, it was also about the most blatant helmet-to-helmet hit you’ll ever see.

        Great, so now we might be on our way to a super bowl between the two teams we hate the most (at least as long as the 49ers are still miserable).

        I mean, it’s not the Seahawks, so I guess don’t really care that much. But you just hate to see something like that happen to anyone.

        They should definitely do something like they do with VAR in soccer where the video assistant refs can at least invite the field refs to take a closer look. Agree with you, Rob, this will mark a before and after.

  23. FresnoHawk says:

    Saints secondary over rated and coach got rattled. Give it up to McVeigh he is a solid coach. Best case scenario for us was a Rams win.

  24. Volume12 says:

    The Saints season ending the way it has these last 2 years. Ya hate to see it.

    • Elmer says:

      I was hoping the Saints could do it, but kudos to the Rams. On to the next game. Patriots looked dominant in the first half. Will be interesting to see what halftime adjustments KC can make.

  25. Trevor says:

    Never been a Josh McDaniels fan but he is a great play caller and proves it week in and week out. Helps having Brady calling audibles as well of course.

    • Eburgz says:

      Everyone else playing checkers and Brady McDaniels and Bill playing 4D chess out here. 4 of the best 5 coaches in today’s games (the 5th being Carroll) and the the Pats guys are head and shoulders above the rest. No 1000 yard rusher, no 1000 yard receiver no 10+ sack guys. Only pro bowlers are Brady and Gilmore. No great returns on their early draft picks in recent years (excluding Sony I suppose). They still manage to turn water into fine wine. They limit mistakes (despite the picks today) and play physical team football with great scheming and execution.

      On a side note, wouldn’t it be great to have a BAMF like their fullback Devlin on the hawks.

  26. Sea Mode says:

    Dang, that’s long…

    Jim Nagy
    @JimNagy_SB

    Part of the registration process is getting hand, arm, wingspan measurements. @StetsonFootball TE Donald Parham (@Jiggydd_49) officially with 36 1/8 arms and 84 wing. And he has 36-inch VJ. Just throw it up to him! #seniorbowl

    4:51 PM – 20 Jan 2019

    https://twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1087150707055230978

  27. James says:

    For one brief, shining moment the Seahawks were the best team in football, destroying the greatest offense of all time in the Super Bowl, and because of their youth, were expected to be the next great dynasty. The dominance was built on the LoB, a secondary so good that it could wreck any other team. Add some Russell Wilson magic, some Beast Mode, and we could all envision a row of trophies.

    But, the LoB was never the same again, mainly due first to injuries, and then to hubris, and here we are, watching the conference championships. We consider that Belichick and McVay are superior coaches to our own, and Brady is in a class by himself, but then we remember that, even over these past two of years, we play the Pats and the Rams at a near-equal level.

    We are so close, and just need a couple of more emerging stars like Clark, Reed and Carson, to go along with Russ and Wagz. If John can do it again, and if Schotty can help Russ out with an underneath game, then it may be the Seahawks on tv this week next year.

  28. Trevor says:

    That Brady to Gronk combo is ridiculously good even when Gronk can barely walk much less run.

    I truly despise the Pats but what they have accomplished with Brady and Bilichek is the greatest feat in professional sports history as long as there is a salary cap I don’t think this extended run of greatness will ever be matched again.

  29. Eburgz says:

    Patriots Rams Super Bowl. This is my nightmare.

    Atleast I have the senior bowl to look forward to.

    Go rams? Ugh…

  30. Ishmael says:

    Going to be a sickener of a Super Bowl, worst possible outcome. The fan, and media, circlejerk is going to be awful regardless of who wins

    • From the NFL perspective it’s pretty great they have the LA market and the Boston market two major markets. Brutal no call in new Orleans game if the NFL is a copy cat league I wonder if more teams go the Rams did go all in sign a few agents make a few trades after all.by Russell Wilson does the best deep ball in NFL.Rob you are right Bree’s does look old .and even though the Seahawks lost to Rams twice by a combined 7 points the Rams have way more talent

      • GerryG says:

        Friend of mine that likes to bet NFL texted me saying “Brees shoulder has been hurt since mid-season, this has been widely talked about in Vegas/betting circles”

        • FresnoHawk says:

          Casino Bookies are told what information is allowed to be circulated to the sports pundits. Sean Payton is hooked on Pain Killers, very prevalent among coaches & players.

  31. Aaron says:

    This Super Bowl matchup makes me want to vomit. I dislike both teams, with a slight edge of dislike to the Patriots. Go Rams…*throws up in mouth*. Wait…if the Rams win then they’ll have to deal with a lot of big names, big contracts, and the Super Bowl hangover…”I’d buy that for a dollar!” Go Rams, you win that Super Bowl and in your hangover next year let those guys in the PNW reclaim the NFC West.

    • Bankhawk says:

      Aaron-dead on, mate! I was thinking just that earlier this morning. Let them cope with ever more stars lining up for a big payday, as well as the emergence of the odd bloated ego here and there in the locker room, Hopefully, just as we hit our stride!

      • Sea Mode says:

        Nah, man. I think playing in the SB is enough to do this to them, we don’t need them to win for it to happen.

        The way I see it, Belichick/Brady are already cemented as probably the greatest ever and likely beyond reach for a very very long time, so I say with a sigh just let that continue to be so and don’t give Goff and the Rams the bragging rights in the NFCW of being SB champs on par with RW and the Seahawks. Let them be the hotshots that went all out and fizzle out once they pay their QB, left to forever wonder what could have been. Especially after that friggin gift of a no-call that got them there in the first place…

        Of course, I’m really rooting against both here, just one more than the other. That’s about the only way I can cope with it.

        • Gohawks5151 says:

          After sleeping on it i have settled on this as well. F**k the Rams. Let them get bloated on contracts following this. I could see some regression from them anyways next year. Goff got to get paid. Maybe they pay to some of the Suh, Talib and Peters crew. Whitworth and Sullivan are old.

          Pats legacy is set and one more won’t up the stock of Bill or Tom so whatevs.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      You never know Belinchick could end up in Seattle!

  32. Ishmael says:

    Apart from everything else I hate about the Pats, that they play in a complete joke division really is something else. The Hawks have had to deal with an incredible Niners team, a very, very, good Cards team, and now a Rams team who are dragging the entire sport forward.

    The Pats have had to deal with what, one good Jets team with Mark Sanchez as the QB??

    • McZ says:

      Have you actually seen that roughing the passer call on Brady?

      Nobody but Brady gets calls like this, for years. This is not only about having a piss poor division (which may change soon enough), it’s about having officiating on your side.

      The NFL needs an icon flying his flag above their towers, and they have decided it’s this guy.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Really, The NFL is helping Mr. Deflated balls? Some one tell the Commissioner.

        I agree that as a sucky call. I think it was called from behind, probably looked like he hit his head.

      • Volume12 says:

        Such a gruesome hit too. Disgusting. No place in the game for that. Glad the league is cracking down on this.

  33. Burner says:

    Jon Ledyard has us taking Rashan Gary at 21 in his latest mock. You’d be happy with that I’d say Rob?

  34. Sea Mode says:

    Bucky Brooks mock draft 1.0.

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/move-the-sticks/0ap3000001011468/Move-the-Sticks-Bucky-Brooks-Mock-Draft-1-0

    TL;DW

    1. Nick Bosa (Cardinals)
    2. Josh Allen (49ers)
    3. Quinnen Williams (Jets)
    4. Rashan Gary (Raiders)
    5. Devin White (Bucs)
    6. Dwayne Haskins (Giants)
    7. Daniel Jones (Jags)
    8. Clelin Ferrell (Lions)
    9. Jawaan Taylor (Bills)
    10. Greedy Williams (Broncos)
    11. Cody Ford (Bengals)
    12. Jachai Polite (Packers)
    13. Marquise Brown (Dolphins)
    14. Dexter Lawrence (Falcons)
    15. Drew Lock (Redskins)
    16. Jonah Williams (Panthers)
    17. Andre Dillard (Browns)
    18. Greg Little (Vikings)
    19. Christian Wilkins (Titans)
    20. Byron Murphy (Steelers)
    21. Montez Sweat (Seahawks)

    He is a freak show off the edge. Does a great job of collapsing the pocket. Can come with a variety of techniques. I love the way he bull rushes, but also has the speed to turn the corner. He is going to be someone that impacts a Seahawks defense that is beginning to make strides under Pete Carroll.

    22. DK Metcalf (Ravens)
    23. Noah Fant (Texans)
    24. Jaylon Ferguson (Raiders)
    25. Zach Allen (Eagles)
    26. Kelvin Harmon (Colts)
    27. N’Keal Harry (Raiders)
    28. Dre’Mont Jones (Chargers)
    29. Kyler Murray (Patriots)
    30. Devin Bush (Rams)
    31. Deandre Baker (Chiefs)
    32. Josh Jacobs (Packers)

    Obviously this was from 3 days ago, so the order at the end is mixed up. But hey, at least someone hits on the type of pick the Hawks might actually look at (after the inevitable trade downs, of course).

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s an interesting mock.

      A few names I don’t think will get anywhere near round one (Harry, Harmon — maybe Metcalf) and Murray (IMO) is way too low. But some interesting talking points.

      Looks like the national media types are settling on Montez Sweat for Seattle.

      • Eburgz says:

        Heard it here first. They would be wise to copy you. Not that I think that’s what’s going on. Maybe.

        Like with DJ’s mock, l’d be bummed to see us pass on J. Ferguson and Z. Allen over sweat. But it seems like something the hawks would do, go with the guy who you think has more upside and trust your staff to develop them.

    • Volume12 says:

      I’m not sure I’ve seen a team reach a conference championship with so little at not just one, but both corner spots. KC needs starters on the outside in the worst way.

  35. Sea Mode says:

    At least it is due to injury and not just backing out. Either way, such a bummer.

    Sports Agent
    @andysimms

    More Sports Agent Retweeted D’Andre Walker
    Client @DAndreWalker15 wanted to compete in @seniorbowl very badly. This was very hard for him but the injury needs to be addressed. No choice. #NFLDraftSports Agent added,

    D’Andre Walker
    @DAndreWalker15

    Unfortunately, I won’t be attending the Senior Bowl. I will be getting a second opinion on my groin this week to ensure I’ll be ready for the combine. I am very disappointed because it’s such a great opportunity to showcase my talent.

    9:50 AM – 21 Jan 2019

  36. FresnoHawk says:

    I think practically every single player who did not play up to his ability or meet Pete’s expectations should be concerned about their job. If they’re lucky, Players have 3 months to get better or be replaced!

  37. FresnoHawk says:

    Utah Kicker Matt Gay is the clearly most obvious draft prospect for the Seahawks. He’s a Senior, won player of the week 3 times in 2019, and awards every year in college. He kicked a 66 yard field goal in warm ups at the Shrine game.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Yup, I’ve read he’s the best one this year. The guys were commenting during the game that there is that special, different sound when he kicks the ball. Kid’s got a leg.

      If they want to draft someone to compete with whichever vet they bring in, he’s probably the only one worth even drafting from what I gather.

  38. Volume12 says:

    Rams and Pats had the 2nd and 2nd fewest snaps played from their rookie classes.

  39. clbradley17 says:

    ESPN U has 2 hours each of North and South Senior Bowl practices Wed. and Thur. afternoon.