The only scenario I’d want to go offensive line at #32

February 18th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Breno Giacomini -- underrated, under appreciated, our guy

By now I think you know my stance on drafting an offensive lineman at #32, but here’s a quick recap…

— Whatever o-line you put on the field, Russell Wilson is going to get hit. That’s not to say he didn’t get hit too often in 2013, but he’s always going to get more punishment than other quarterbacks. Pete Carroll wants to be the best scrambling team in the league. His words. That comes with a cost.

— Arizona, St. Louis and San Francisco are going to create pressure. That’s an unavoidable fact. Russell Wilson is going to get sacked by these teams, because the NFC West is loaded with defensive talent. You simply cannot shut down Robert Quinn AND Chris Long. You can’t dominate San Francisco’s excellent front seven. And the Cardinals were ranked #2 on defense by DVOA. The 49ers have the best o-line in the division and they can’t stop Colin Kaepernick getting hit. The defenses are too good.

— I think it’s a poor draft for guards, outside of Notre Dame’s Zack Martin moving inside from tackle. Even then, you wonder how he’d react to a positional switch. The likes of Cyril Richardson and Gabe Jackson were found out at the Senior Bowl, while Xavier S’ua-Filo is more upside over proven ability. David Yankey looks like a classic Stanford lineman — technically gifted within that system, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the next level.

— I think it’s a very good draft for offensive tackles. Yet three out of the first four picks last year went on offensive linemen. SIX of the first eleven picks in 2013 were either tackles or guards. Any top-tier talent on the o-line isn’t going to hang around. Teams are putting these guys right up there with the quarterbacks. By the time Seattle’s on the board at #32, it’s a major stretch to think there’s going to be a really good offensive tackle just sitting there waiting to be snapped up.

— I know people disagree, but I reckon the Tom Cable project is working. J.R. Sweezy continues to develop and let’s remember, 2013 was only his second year as an offensive lineman and his first as the unquestioned starter. We’re seeing a lot of potential in Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie. I’d let Cable try and add a couple more later round/UDFA players to the group while further developing the current incumbents.

One final point, and it’s the one that winds people up the most — I don’t think you need a brilliant, elite offensive line to win a title.

A lot of people complain about Seattle’s line, yet they’re Super Bowl champs.

Name me the last team who won a Championship and the offensive line was considered ‘great’.

It certainly isn’t Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Green Bay, New Orleans or Pittsburgh — the last six Super Bowl winners.

Denver won the AFC this year without their stud left tackle playing more than two games.

For me, it’s all about managing situations and finding ways to win. Seattle spent most of the year in damage-limitation mode, reeling from a spate of injuries to Russell Okung, Max Unger and Breno Giacomini.

Wilson got hit too much in their absence, but they still won games.

Why?

Because they managed the situation, working their gameplan to suit. It didn’t always look pretty — but they lost only one game during the OL injury crisis.

I often hear people quote where Seattle’s line was ranked by PFF or some other format. Do these rankings take into account who was starting for most of the season? It’s OK saying they were only 17th for run blocking. But that’s 17th for run blocking with your left tackle, center and right tackle missing multiple games.

An average end-of-season ranking for run blocking when you’re fielding a line of McQuistan-Carpenter-Jeanpierre-Sweezy-Bowie for part of it could actually be perceived as a positive.

I actually think if this unit can stay healthy, they can thrive. They’re well coached by Cable. They know the scheme (such an underrated factor) and each other.

Drafting in the late first round doesn’t always guarantee results (see: James Carpenter) and throwing another rookie into the mix might actually have a negative impact next year.

Do you really want a late first round tackle trying to stop Robert Quinn, Calais Campbell, Chris Long, Aldon Smith etc etc?

*shudders*

In an ideal world they re-sign the underrated Breno Giacomini and pick up one or two more guys for Cable to work with.

But what if they can’t keep Giacomini?

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility he’ll get a relatively attractive offer in free agency. He’s a solid right tackle who plays with attitude — and he’s now a Super Bowl champion. There’s a few teams out there with plenty of cap room who can afford to maintain the average of his 2012/2013 salary (around $3.5m).

I suspect age (he turns 29 in September) plus the strength of the tackle class in the draft might put teams off, and he could end up being a bargain re-sign for Seattle.

If he does walk, that’s when I think you start looking at the position at #32.

Bowie, for me at least, looked a lot more comfortable at guard against Arizona and New Orleans (playoffs). At times he struggled at tackle, particularly the game on the road against the Cardinals.

The fact Bailey sat while Bowie played is a hint the Seahawks don’t see Bailey as a right tackle.

If you lose Breno, you have to replace him.

But will there be a guy sitting there at #32? This is the big question.

As noted earlier, the league is placing a high premium on offensive linemen. Will there be any left?

I’d need to see one of Cyrus Kouandjio, Morgan Moses or Antonio Richardson waiting there to even consider it. I’m going to do more work on Richardson before the combine because I’ve seen quite a lot of negativity on him recently.

Kouandjio is likely to be long gone, while Moses could be snapped up by Baltimore, Miami or Arizona.

If anything the likelihood of a rush on tackles would make me even more determined to re-sign Giacomini.

I’m not being blasé about the offensive line. I just feel better luck with injuries can provide the biggest boost in 2014.

It’ll be a major improvement if they simply aren’t forced to start Paul McQuistan at left tackle for weeks on end, put a 7th round rookie at right tackle and fit in a 2010 undrafted free agent to replace you’re Pro Bowl center.

For me, a healthy line of Okung-Bailey/Bowie/Carpenter-Unger-Sweezy-Giacomini… works just fine.

But if they lose Giacomini, I have to respect tackle becomes a much greater need.

Yet it’s just as likely we’ll see major changes to the defensive line due to free agency and cuts (Bennett? McDaniel? McDonald? Clemons? Bryant?).

Let’s not forget what made this team the best. Even if you manage to keep Michael Bennett, the others would need to be replaced.

And if the receivers and offensive tackles go early this year, it increases the chances of a really good defensive lineman making it to #32.

Food for thought.

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103 Responses to “The only scenario I’d want to go offensive line at #32”

  1. HawkTease says:

    Posted on .NET and I’ll repost here:

    Duvernay-Tardif could probably be had for a 5th-7th round pick.

    Canadian right tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a very physical player that mixed it up with East Carolina defensive end Derrell Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Duvernay-Tardif muscled Johnson around when he was rushing from the left side in one-on-one pass rushing drills. When Johnson went to the right side of the defensive line he used his quickness to his advantage with greater success.

    Duvernay-Tardif also got physical and showed a mean streak against Purdue defensive lineman Bruce Gaston, Jr. as the two briefly scuffled after a drill.

    https://www.pewterreport.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=9581:inside-the-east-west-shrine-practices-1-15

    Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OT, McGill, Height 6050, Weight, 321

    Duvernay-Tardif first caught my attention when I attended the Montreal at McGill game during the 2013 season and I was excited to see him at the East-West Game. Historically, offensive linemen who played college football in Canada really struggle at all-star games as they have trouble adjusting to not having the one yard buffer between the offensive and defensive lines. However, it was clear from the first practice that he had spent time preparing for this change and handled it remarkably well. His foot quickness and flexibility are both NFL starting caliber and combined with his ability to take coaching and improve throughout the week, I believe he is an outstanding developmental prospect with a real opportunity to become a starter in the NFL.

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/66785894

    10. T Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGil – Along with Dozier and Leno Jr., Duvernay-Tardif was the only offensive lineman to consistently display knee bend and good lower body athleticism to mirror. He held up better than many big school prospects.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/46020/351/norris-e-w-shrine-review

    [i]5. One of the more pleasant surprises here has been McGill offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. I had never heard of the Canadian before this week, but he has proven he belongs. Predominately playing right tackle, he’s proven to be technically sound and surprisingly adept at handling both speed and power. Most Canadians who have been here have been either not quite athletic enough or technically raw, but in two days of watching him pretty intently I’ve seem neither issue with Duvernay-Tardif. Others have noticed as well, including his opponents on the D-line, who have had nothing but good things to say about him. One prospect from a major BCS conference told me he’s the best tackle he’s ever played against. Keep him in mind on the draft’s third day and hope your team takes a flyer on him.

    http://football.realgm.com/src_article/2400/20140116/10_things_ive_learned_from_shrine_week/

    http://youtu.be/13e3WEbeD6k?t=2m12s

    Some cut-ups: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/1279374/laurent-duvernay-tardif

    He pancakes or pushes his assignment 20yds upfield on virtually every play. The man finishes.

    Oh yeah, he’s also not your typical “communications major”. Dude is pre-med. Also, you can clearly see his athleticism on pull blocks. Versatile enough to fit in any scheme and I think he can play every position along the line.

  2. DawgDav says:

    Great article and I agree with almost everything here except the conclusion that the Seahawks should continue relying on UDFAs and late round picks if one of those elite OTs is unavailable. The motto is “always compete” and right now the OL, particularly at tackle, is sorely lacking in competition. The fact that you were not impressed with Bowie at RT is exactly the reason I expect them to draft an OT early on. There isn’t a reasonable backup for Okung right now and Giacomini is up in the air as to whether he returns. Even if he does, who is competing with him? Who is his eventual replacement (after all, he is 29)?

    I think Seattle picks an OT early even if it’s not in the 1st. Fact is, even if the current line looks “fine” on paper, that’s not good enough and never has been for PC and JS.

  3. Cannonater says:

    To nit pick, the ’09 Saints offensive line WAS great, they were 1st in FO’s run-blocking and 4th in pass-blocking that year. Check it: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2009

    That being said, I agree with everything else in the article.

  4. ivotuk says:

    Thank God! Someone who thinks the same way I do! We’ve been burned too often on first round offensive linemen and why bother when have Sweezy, Bailey and Bowie? That’s our starting group right there at RG, LG and RT.

    Sweezy is an athletic ass kicker with an attitude. The ONLY offensive player that I’ve seen compete with him when it comes in to getting in to a low ‘tarantula’ like stance is Okung. Both of those guys bend their knees and squat which gives them the ability to get under a defensive players pads.

    I know you won’t agree with me on this one, but I want Stephon Tuitt at 32. I think he will be a Dockett/Campbell type talent and a steel that late in the first.

    Keep up the good work Rob!

  5. David Ess says:

    kind of off topic, but i enjoy Brian

    There are rumors that @ShowtimeTate signed a 4 year extension. I have no credible confirmation of this.— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) February 19, 2014

  6. Ben2 says:

    Totally agree with your article, Rob. An under appreciated element of professional development (and in this analogy sports) is augmenting strengths i(in a constellation of strengths and weaknesses).People tend to focus on their weaknesses and attempt to shore them up constantly and probably only ever reaching mediocrity in that category. Why not focus on improving a strength and thus becoming elite in something; ie the seahawks defense and the “need” area is Dline. I wouldn’t mind though, if the Hawks got a guy like Moses or Richardson if one fell and they were BPA. We have the luxury of getting the BPA because of our depth, and a RT that could slide over to the left and play well there would be nice.

  7. Ben2 says:

    I’d be jacked up if we got Hageman ala your last mock

  8. Stuart says:

    Other than the 2010 draft when J/S had two early 1st rounders, he has not done well in the first round. Carpenter would be the player to measure his acumen for 1st round OT’s. Even if Breno leaves, they might wait until day 3 anyway because of the success with Bowie and Bailey by our coaching staff.

    Since Tom Cable will be around for at least 1 more season, let him try for a re-peat of his 2013 success with rookie lineman. Late round gems, PC/JS know how to find and Cable knows how to coach em up.

    How did PC/JS miss so bad on Carpenter regarding his personalitydesire/work ethic/motivation???

    • CC says:

      Carp seems to be one of a bunch of highly talented Alabama players who have been less than stellar in the pros. My thoughts are that they are so pampered at Bama that they really aren’t highly motivated. They’ve won the national championship and they’ll get drafted high and are set. Eddie Lacy is the only guy who might stick from the last few drafts – they are either busts or injured. Even this FO can make a mistake now and then.

    • Kyle says:

      It was pretty clear that the Hawks were going to take an offensive lineman in that draft, and I remember being really excited when Gabe Carimi fell to us. Some people thought he was the #2 OL in the class, and we were going to get him!

      I just saw some of Carimi’s recent *cough* NFL highlights today, and he looks like the one of the worst offensive lineman I have ever seen, and I remember being mad the we had passed on him in the draft. Carpenter is no stud either, but was Carimi the alternative?

      That’s just how the draft works. Since PCJS have taken over, they have the best draft record in the NFL. Sometimes you swing and miss. Meh, it happens.

      • Belgaron says:

        They tried to acquire the best run blocking offensive linemen they could find. For pass blocking, they have tried to teach them up. Carpenter is a real pile driver but last year he couldn’t run (due to his injuries) until after training camp was over and he had to try to get into shape as the season went on, and it showed. He is a guy to watch in a contract year. He doesn’t need to get any stronger, just quicker and lighter on his feet so he can find the leverage to apply his brute strength. And that will also show up in pass protection. Lynch could have some huge games next year if he pulls it all together. Could they really be stopped in short yardage situations? He could be key to the offense taking a big step forward in Wilsons 3rd year.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Carimi in round one really was an awful pick. Classic JAG.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I wanted Nate Solder so damn bad. Imagine him across from Okung right now. With Tom Cable coaching. Ugh.

        DAMN YOU BELICHICK!!!!!

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      “How did PC/JS miss so bad on Carpenter ”

      Well, if I assume you are correct and concede we missed on him — what OT did we miss on?

      If you’re going to use revisionist history to make that kind of assumption then you need to provide an example of who we should have picked for that position at that selection.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they were so determined to improve the run game, and Carpenter was an elite run blocker for Alabama.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      It was Tom Cable’s pick.
      Per Seattlepi “Tom Cable said he told Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider before the NFL draft that if he could have any two offensive linemen available, he’d take Alabama tackle James Carpenter and Wisconsin guard John Moffitt.”

      Source: http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2011/04/29/seahawks-draft-has-been-a-dream-come-true-for-tom-cable/

      • jeff says:

        Yeah, I think Cable is an excellent coach but I am not convinced he is the best selector of linemen. That said I do like Bowie, Bailey, and Sweezy which all of whom I am sure he had a say in but early in the draft maybe let the scouts handle the talent evaluation.

        Cable can tell them what he wants in an OL instead of selecting specific players.

  9. Sam Jaffe says:

    Another possibility at 32 (albeit a slim one) is Taylor Lewan. A lot of people have him mocked in the top 10, but I just don’t see him as a legitimate left tackle. If the GM’s agree, then nobody will take him in the top 25. If he falls that far, then he could end up at 32. I think there’s a better chance of him being available at 32 than Richardson or Kuandijo.

    My favorite sleeper is Matt Patchan of BC. He was a five star recruit that endured a string of injuries and when he finally got healthy, the team’s otherwise indistinguished running back breaks every record in the book. Because of the massive quality at OT this year, he’ll be available in the 4th even if all the NFL loves him and his medical file checks out.

    • Kyle says:

      You also have to consider that there are OTs on the market as well. Monroe, Gross, Veldheer, Albert, Oher, etc. Quite frankly, I think that Monroe might pull in some nice LT money while the rest may pull the market down in anticipation of the draft which may end up lowering Breno’s price.

      The draft is not the only factor because there are a lot of OTs out there in free agency. I doubt that Breno will get similar offers to those guys, so the Hawks may be best served by waiting and seeing how FA plays out. Frankly, I am convinced that Breno is a solid RT, but if popular opinion is any indicator, then Breno’s pay grade may be below the other FAs.

  10. Kyle says:

    I’ll admit that for a long time, I was on the “Giocomini sucks! Get rid of him.” wagon. Then he got injured and I realized how bad my perception was when I could not wait for him to return. A lot of people (including me) only recognize individual offensive linemen when they screw up. When they do all those little things right, I just don’t notice it and just give the credit to the QB or RB. **fart noise + finger gun to me head**

    Quite frankly, I think Breno is better than any one who could be drafted at #32 outside of some unimaginably insane draft fall.

    I’ve been occupying some of my free time with draft simulators and I am having an incredibly difficult time trying to justify taking an OL over a DT, WR or TE. Last year, KC and Jax made picks that were just lateral moves. Swapping out 1 OL for another. Now, Jax has moved on from their previous LT and KC is about to do the same. In the short run, it doesn’t seem like either team made a long run improvement. Therefore, I don’t like the idea of Seattle having to make a lateral move to replace Breno (should he leave) in the 1st if it done at the cost of a player who can potentially be a true play maker.

  11. Michael M. says:

    Rob, did you know that the banner at the top of the page still shows last year’s players once you are in a specific article?

  12. KyleT says:

    Who is ranked higher on their board: Antonio Richardson , Allen Robinson or Ra’shede Hageman? Assuming BG, GT and MB all leave in free agency? Personally I think it’s Hageman!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure they’ll have much interest in Robinson. Out of the three I’d say Hageman.

      • KyleT says:

        I kind of disagree about Robinson. He is the closest thing to a possession receiver in the first few rounds of the draft outside of Mike Evans. I’m assuming they will value this quality above the home run hitters we end up talking a lot about here like Coleman, Benjamin, etc.

        The guy they just brought in from the CFL is the very definition of a possession receiver. And we know John brings in bodies that match the teams draft needs so he doesn’t feel foced to draft for need over talent.

        I would bet Robinson is near the top of their WR draft board behind guys like Evans, Watkins, etc

        • MJ says:

          I disagree simply because Robinson, though listed as a bigger guy, plays like a much smaller WR. His hands are not very good and he looks awkward as a Red Line player. He is really, really good at YAC though. I think he’s redundant with Tate/Harvin.

          I’d be looking more for a guy who can absolutely dominate the red line. It’s too bad Jarvis Landry isn’t 6’3″ because his skill set would be perfect for Seattle.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It’s not just about possession. It’s about size, the ability to ‘win the red line’, wingspan and we know they like speed. Pete doesn’t just want a tall receiver. You know he wants a beast — +6-4, great size, unnatural speed and a jump ball specialist.

          That aint Robinson.

          • Kyle N says:

            It does look like he wants to get a Big Mike Williams replacement (Harper kind of fit that mold except he was a bit shorter and didn’t have as good of ball skills as they would have hoped). I am just not sure that Benjamin or Coleman really fit this mold. Coleman specifically doesn’t seem to make a lot of plays in the red zone and it’s hard to tell how much of this is the offense and how much of it is him just not being that giant target. I think the dream for them would be Evans. He’d be most familiar with the type of QB Russell is (Evans is really special for a scrambling QB) and he looks like he could be that go to guy we would really like to have in the red zone. Too bad he’ll go top 10.

            Wow, there are a lot of Kyle’s on here. Must be a good Seahawk fan name.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Coleman actually had ten touchdowns in 2012, including great evidence he can be effective in the red zone. Rutgers’ offense in 2013 was a complete embarrassment and this, for me, is the main reason for a lack of production.

              He is 6-6 and 220lbs. If he runs well, really he’s a prototype physically for what the team is looking for.

              Benjamin is a classic big man and I’ve no doubt will be high on their board. But I do agree Evans will be high on the list, it’s a shame he’ll be long gone as you say.

              • KyleT says:

                I’m really not sure how you can say Coleman is the prototype of what they look for. He looks a lot like Stephen Williams, who we cut last year because we simply do not value very highly an outside tall receiver with speed that does not play with physicality or the ability to win a jump ball.

                I feel like there are two different types of receivers here, it’s rare when a player satisfies both types like Mike Evans, and we have no shot at this type of player. Our draft history shows when we are willing to give up one of these qualities to get what we really want we sacrifice speed and in some cases height to get a guy that plays bi,g plays physical… again that guy is not Coleman.

                I would love to see a post that fully outlines these two types and attempts to explain what we are really looking for based on what we have available from Pete and John and their tendencies, because not only do I disagree, but it drives me nuts that there seems to be no substantive material behind claims we would draft Coleman as a priority and I would love to be educated if I am just that ignorant.

                • Attyla the Hawk says:

                  Kyle, I have to disagree.

                  Look at who we have acquired for that role. Mike Williams. Sidney Rice. Stephen Williams. And now Chris Matthews. All 6’4″ long type guys. If anything, if you look at who we acquired (and let go), the pattern couldn’t be more unmistakeable. I wouldn’t assume because we let guys go, that it indicates we aren’t interested. We have ONLY targeted bigs for the X and that continues today.

                  We want size and length at our X. That can’t be more clear.

                  As for Robinson, I don’t see him as a candidate. Given a choice, I could see Devante Adams due to his more explosive nature. Robinson is a good WR, but really not a difference maker on the outside. We like explosive guys like Tate or big guys like Rice/Williams. Robinson is a smooth receiver and if he tests better than expected I could see it. On tape though, he isn’t much of a YAC threat and he’s not a big red zone target. I do like his ball skills however.

                  • KyleT says:

                    You are completely missing my point.My point is that there are multiple types of those tall long type guys. Some offer great speed and explosiveness on the outside, some are slower but catch everything thrown their way even when contested. A guy that has both of these abilities combined generally goes in the first 15 picks. A guy with one of these two qualities goes in the range we are going to be drafting at. My point is that Coleman is the tall fast home run hitter that we do not value as highly as trying to find the tall, slow possession guy. Robinson is more of possession guy, there are probably others in this draft but I have not found them yet.

                    I agree Coleman could develop and have all kinds of potential, I just don’t see this ability on game tape on day one. It does exist for Robinson and probably a few others.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Let’s be right here Kyle, that’s not why Stephen Williams was cut. He was cut because he isn’t good enough. When he was signed Carroll was gushing about his size/speed combo, saying he always liked receivers like that and they were hoping he’d fit the bill.

                  I think PC has made it clear he’d like a receiver with size and plus athleticism. That doesn’t mean they’ll definitely draft Coleman, but he’s an option this year.

              • Kyle N says:

                You are right. Going back to look at the 2012 tape I see more examples of his potential as a great red zone target. However, he doesn’t always (actually he very rarely) appear to be high pointing a ball and some of these catches were just because he beat (or some blown coverage) the guy on him. I think this needs to be a critical coaching point because a 6’6 guy catching his passes in his chest and lap isn’t making use of that benefit. But I see what you’re talking about with some corner fades in the end zone where you can see how big of an advantage his size is. I think he’s most intriguing because of his size and how it looks like when he gets to the next level he can take it all the way (saw multiple examples of him just being the fastest guy on the field in a foot race). I think I’m much less high on him than you though because what I’m seeing with his lack of high pointing the ball and trys to avoid hands catching. I think late 2nd round would be a reach for me, although I think because he’ll be a freak at the combine, he’ll get taken too early.

                • KyleT says:

                  This is exactly my point! Regardless of his size and speed, he is not the big possession receiver we are looking for. I can’t think of a single guy like him that we have highly valued.

  13. Belgaron says:

    Increasing the talent level and depth on both lines is a constant goal of the team. Cable had some guys he liked in the upper rounds of last years draft but they didn’t end up being there when the picks came up.

    We know Seattle has no qualms about taking the 64th best prospect (from the hive mind boards) at 32 if he is their guy, meaning he excels in an area that fits what they want to build the team around. And they feel he is the best talent on their board which takes into account who they have on the team.

    Looking at some of the top prospect boards, I think you are right that at this point there doesn’t appear to be a match at 32 but things can change.

    Okung and Unger are pro bowlers capable of being all pros. Carpenter is the strongest guy on the team and will benefit from being able to run this off season and in camp this year. Sweezy is the quickest offensive lineman on the team. Nobody should be upset if Giacomini comes back. He has cut down on the mindless penalties. As a unit, they gave up no sacks in the SB. They are very high on Bowie, he could have been a much higher draft choice if he’d stayed with one solid college program. The future is bright even with the group they have right now but you can expect 3-4 more competitive faces. How could anyone be shocked if they found another Bowie and Bailey this year. If this line can learn to play well in practice against the best defense in the NFL, they should do well against the NFC and AFC west this year.

  14. Ukhawk says:

    Agreed, long term strategy of hawks will be not to spend high picks on the o-line. But who do they look at mid- to late?

    Thoughts on Seantrel Henderson?

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      I think it’s very unlikely we take him. He couldn’t even start for his own college team. Our staff is going to vet him and I’m pretty sure the Miami coaching staff is going to give him very poor reviews.

      He’s going to be an alluring player if he makes the 6th round based on physical talent. But he doesn’t really even flash occasional quality. His bad plays just dominate the tape. Calling him inconsistent is an insult to inconsistency.

      Our scouting style really puts a premium on game tape. It’s not good for him. It’s also very limited unless you see footage of him on the sideline not playing (coaches decision).

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not a fan. Really inconsistent in college. Not a great run blocker despite massive size. Don’t like his character background, there’s a few issues there I struggle to tolerate.

    • Josh says:

      One thing working in his favor, he was recruited by Pete and was set to attend USC until the sanctions hit.

  15. Spireite Seahawk says:

    I’ve had my head turned towards this Yankey fella and seen him in a mock where we take him at 32. I’m interested in what you mean by his skills “not translating” to the NFL. Surely you are either good enough, are able to be coached up to the required standard or arent good enough full stop.

    Could you elaborate more.

    • Ben2 says:

      I’m not a scout…also, I don’t want to speak for anybody, but my understanding of Yankey and comments about him being a “technician” are referring to him not having enough functional strength to get by in the NFL/face NFL D-linemen. His technical prowess and the scheme he plays in allow him to be successful against college d-lines.

      • MJ says:

        Pretty much spot on with my take on Yankey. I really worry about his functional strength when he’s not pulling so much, as they do at Stanford. I just don’t see a guy that makes the OL that much better that warrants spending a 1st round pick on.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Stanford offensive line uses a very strict blocking scheme. The guards are constantly pulling, sometimes on entire drives. It’s unique that they’re asked to move around more than they block 1v1. The tackles are also extremely well supported by extra blockers — TE’s or just another offensive lineman. For a stretch with Luck they were very difficult to beat. Stanford pumped the line, could use 1-2 WR’s or rely on the TE’s and had AL calling plays at the line based on what he saw. It was textbook.

      In 2013 they had nowhere near that success. In the Rose Bowl they were pushed around by Michigan State. That final drive was telling, they kept trying to run and got absolutely nowhere. MSU were just too physical up front and exploited the constant pulling and movement.

      At the next level when they’re taken out of this scheme, so often we see guys struggle. Yankey for me is not a physically brilliant guard. He’s average. He isn’t going to stand up to Justin Smith like even James Carpenter can. In fact I think he’d get pushed around by the Niners. But there are guys like him available every year without needing to go with a first round pick.

  16. Phil says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Jonathan Martin. Since he’s still under contract with Miami, I guess we’d have to make a trade with them if we wanted him. I’m not at all familiar with his game, so I’ll leave it to others to argue for/against him. He played in the LA area in High School, so PC may be familiar with him.

    I haven’t mentioned Incognito because IMHO, we wouldn’t want him.

    • MJ says:

      2 things on Martin:

      1) He’s really just not a very good player. Very finesse and suffered from the Stanford technician thing that greatly overrates the individual talent. Again, Stanford does so much moving/pulling that these guys seem to struggle when it comes to mano y mano type trench battles.

      2) His attitude/resolve/mindset most definitely doesn’t fit in with Seattle. I don’t care that he’s a weird guy, but he really folded like a lawn chair rather quickly. I know Miami is dysfunctional, but it is rather shocking to me that he simply left the team. That’s a huge red flag.

      • Kyle N says:

        Exactly what I would have said. People love to talk about the most talked about players and scenarios where they are on their team. In some cases (T.O.) it’s warranted because they can play the game at a high level. Other times (Teo, Martin, Tebow) they just aren’t great football players are their popularity far exceeds their talent.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t want either Martin or Incognito personally.

      • bigDhawk says:

        I’m probably one of the biggest proponents of the nasty, mauling OL, and I’m dead-set against Incognito coming anywhere near the Seahawks.

  17. Phil says:

    I’m off topic, but with the Seahawks signing Chris Matthews, a big (6’5″, 225#) WR from the CFL, does this mean that they don’t go WR with the #32 pick? The video at http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2014/02/18/seattle-seahawks-sign-cfl-receiver-chris-matthews/
    is pretty poor.

  18. Kenny Sloth says:

    Paul Richardson of Colorado is lightning fast and so quick off the ball. 6’1, but looks like a generous 175. Doubt he’s someone we’d consider, but definitely one to watch.

    • Kyle N says:

      Haven’t watched any tape of him. Does his size prohibit his ability to block? I don’t think the Seahawks want a WR that’s a major liability as a blocker especially with the emphasis on the run game and fly sweeps/WR screens from Harvin.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Eh, he just gets in guys way. He’s not a bad blocker for his size, but I wouldn’t consider it a plus of his.

  19. AndrewP says:

    Rob- I have a scenario I’d like for you to humor me on, and it involves how the ever-thinking-out-of-the-box Hawks will look for a Tackle in this draft…

    I think they might look for a TE or even DE with wide shoulders and good feet that they could stash on the practice squad and potentially convert to Right or even Left Tackle down the road. There are plenty of players at TE/DE that, while athletic, are simply one step too slow to excel in the NFL at these positions. However, with the right coaching, time and patience, maybe there is a potential starting Tackle (that can be had on the cheap) hidden in those bodies, somewhere. College teams try this all the time with incoming freshmen, and I think the Hawks might start a thing in the NFL as they are already doing this with DT to OG shifts. Heck, the NFL has been doing this type of transition for years with basketball players becoming elite TEs.

    Curious for your thoughts…

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s very possible, Andrew. We’re seeing a lot of defensive converts to the OL in college and we’ve seen Sweezy switch in Seattle. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cable is looking for 290-305lbs, long defensive lineman who can potentially switch to tackle. I think this is more likely than a TE convert, but the better athletes are playing DL in college. So if you want athletic offensive linemen, you have to consider stuff like this. Seattle are already ahead of the game with Sweezy.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I feel like Urban would actually make a great OL prospect. He has such great punch and push. Poor leverage, and might not have the lateral agility necessary to excel in a ZBS.

        • Kyle N says:

          Interesting. The problem with that is that Urban will go at in the 2nd round at the very latest. Do you want to draft a guy and switch his position (and not just like a DE to LB switch) with a high draft pick?

  20. Kenny Sloth says:

    Some Late round LEO/SAM types.

    Kasim Edebali- Boston College. Has a variety of effective moves, but seems way weaker than a DL should be. Will not hold up against NFL competition if he doesn’t bulk up. Looks longer than his 6’1 listing, and it shows when using his stab and swim moves. Really struggles to maintain his balance. Gets bullied at times, but shows surprising power for his size.

    Not a Leo or really SAM, but James Morris of Iowa is a phenomenal ILB. Cerebral, Thumper, Agile, Takes on blocks. Natural power. Ticks all the boxes. Really like this player. Maybe not necessarily for the Seahawks, but this is a great guy that some team will love having.

    Preston Brown from Louisville is another athletic LB that I like.

    And my personal favorite: DeMarcus Lawrence- Boise State. Doesn’t have the best array of pass rush moves and struggles to disengage, but was playing way out of position as mainly a 5 tech in Boise State’s 3-3-5 nickle that they seemed to run a lot. When playing at the 7, he got great pressure consistently with a great get-off and a crazy high motor. Plays with the kind of fire that he can get penetration inside with a bullrush at 248. Great run defender. The Ideal Leo.

    • HawkTease says:

      My favorite mid round prospects are DE/OLB-Aaron Lynch 6’6/255/4.5-4.6 and DE/OLB-Christian Jones 6’4/240/4.4-4.5. Both have 1st round talent imo.

      • MarkinSeattle says:

        Aaron Lynch was a pre madona at Notre Dame. His teammates hated him and were happy when he left. Granted, he was lovesick and perhaps he has matured since then (his mother is very grounded). Now having said that, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire this past year at USF (2 sacks?!?).

        I also seriously question your projected speed of a 4.5-4.6 for Lynch. He came to college as a 4.8 guy and 250 lbs. The inside scouting opinion of Lynch was that he would excel as a 3-4 DE, but would be an average college 4-3 DE. His strength is that he can bulk up to 275-280 lbs without losing any quickness. He has an extremely fast first step, but he isn’t straight line fast. The problem with Lynch is motivation. He was whiny and didn’t work hard at ND or USF, nor did he maintain the weight and strength to be successful (no clue if the USF coaches wanted him at that weight).

        Unless he lands in the right situation with the right motivation, he will end up being one of those great physical talents who doesn’t put in enough hard work to succeed. It might work with the Seahawks, but I think he would have to sit on a practice squad for a year, resculpting his body. I also have a feeling that there is a better than even chance he would end up with a Chris Harper attitude (I am better than everyone else, they are just too dumb to realize it).

        For the Seahawks, I would seriously look at him around the 5th or 6th round, if you think you can motivate him. It might work well in this locker room (or he would crap out by the start of the season).

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Absolutely agree with this. Aaron Lynch has a decent “motor” (idk if you can call it that. He plays pissed off.) But he runs hot and cold. He’s a mystery and I think could be a decent pass rusher for a 3-4 team from the 5 tech if they run a hybrid kind of scheme. Basically I don’t believe in his ability to two gap.

          • MarkinSeattle says:

            Kenny, good observation. He was asked to two gap and ND, but didn’t maintain it. I don’t know if it was a lack of understanding, or just a propensity to always go for the big play. But there were a lot of plays his freshman year where he quickly shot a gap and the RB to the other hole for a big play (in many cases, too quickly shot the gap).

            Now having said that, he does have phenomenal quickness and a first step. I actually think that he has the chance physically to grow into a lineman very much in the Michael Bennett mold. That is if he can get his head on straight and learn to work hard.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I’ll believe Christian Jones has 4.5 speed when I see it. Solid 4.6 guy. Not a target for this team. One can expect an Ahmad Brooks-lite career for Jones.

  21. Kenny Sloth says:

    ROB ROB ROB!!!!!! Look at Calvin Barnett from OK state. Lightning fast off the ball with some severe leverage issues. Prototype 3 tech that will be around in the late 2nd. A lot of technical issues, but he really oozes that Geno Atkins potential. You’ll love him, for sure.

  22. kevin mullen says:

    Even if Carpenter was cut and Giacomini was to walk, I still think we have the depth (currently) to take both hits for each position. But ask me of the two, I’d love for Giacomini to come back, love the attitude and moxy of Breno. He’s a good fit with that group that needs his “take no sh*t” attitude. But I don’t think our line is in need of a 1st Rd pick, Cable can work wonders with less draft investment.

    If we stay at #32, I still think WR or DLine (pass rushing interior or DE) would make more sense for this team as is. If Bennett walked too, that’s a bigger hit than say Tate leaving. If the rumors are correct: Bennett asking for Suggs and/or Kruger money might be just a bit much for a DE/DT hybrid. I just hope that there’s a mutual agreement of $7mil-$9mil/yr. Anything above that might be too much for JS/PC.

    • MarkinSeattle says:

      I believe that Bennett should get as much money as he can. He will only get the money as long as he can earn it (Clemons is exhibit A, as he is going to be cut or take a big pay cut this year).

      Now having said that, I think that Bennett’s free market value is $7m/yr, maybe $8m tops. Bennett works so well in Seattle because he doesn’t have to play 100% of the snaps and get worn down. Ask him to play every single snap and I don’t think (and his past has shown) that gets anymore sacks than he had this year. Being a long second down and third down specialist allows him to focus on the pass rush. Getting more downs on first down will wear him down but won’t result in very many more sacks (which will offset the sacks he doesn’t get from being tired).

      What Bennett should consider, but I doubt he will, is it better to sign for $9m/yr on a 5 yr contract and then be cut before year 3? Or is it better to sign a $8m/yr 4 year contract, and play through the fourth year (or at least the third year).

      It is funny, we see these players sign big contracts for 5-6 years with a high yearly average. Then 2-3 years later, they are being cut and will make substantially less. That is why he should look for the most money possible. But only playing 50-60% of the snaps on a Seahawks team may result in better longevity. The long contracts are always a myth. These players are really only signing for a 2-3 year time period (unless they are a QB). So what can you do to keep that contract in years 3 and 4? The ironic thing is loading an extra $1m inn those years can mean the difference between staying or being cut. If Red was making $5m this year, would there be a word about him being axed?

      Bennett is also going to have to contend with a very crowded FA market this year.

      • Kyle N says:

        Depends on how much guaranteed money he would get. $9M/yr for 5-6 years with very little guaranteed money would be a big risk on Bennett’s part for the later portion of his contract. The team could cut him without taking on much dead money and lots of salary cap relief (ex: Clemons except Clemons deal was shorter). However, this is Bennett’s last chance to get a long term deal. If he plays out a 4 year contract he’ll be a 32 year old DL which means that MAYBE he could get a 2 year deal if he’s still playing at a high level. I think Bennett knows this and is trying to maximize his earning potential now. That means lots of guaranteed money with a 4 year minimum. Is the market there for him? I don’t know, but that’s certainly what he’s going to want.

        • kevin mullen says:

          He’s definitely taking advantage of this offseason, whether it’s here (and from what I’ve read/heard, he loves LOVES Seattle but he’ll leave he’s floored with another offer and/or the team is close enough to compete for the playoffs) or elsewhere.

          Quite honestly, given how this season played out, not sure why Russell Okung has the 2nd highest cap number heading into 2014 season.

          http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/cap-hit/

          • Kyle N says:

            The best players in the NFL aren’t necessarily the ones making the most money. Okung was taken with the #6 pick in the draft before the renegotiation that’s just what it took to sign a top drafted LT. Look at Russell, Earl, and Richard as an example of people not getting paid enough. I think if you are upset that Okung is the 2nd high cap number, you must have been furious about Zach Millers $11M cap hit in 2013. The NFL is a league of lengthy contracts and a player won’t always get paid what he deserves from the previous years production.

            You can’t just restructure every player after every year. That would make the whole “contract” system totally useless and the Players Association would be up in arms. But you also can’t just cut Okung unless you think you could use that money to make your team better and I think most people (and certainly the Seahawks) would agree that the team would certainly not be improved by cutting Okung and trying to use that money to find a replacement.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              I don’t agree that Okung is worth 11 million. He is a half season player due to injuries and every time he is injured it throws the offensive line out of whack. I see him playing out his contract and either taking a big pay cut or being replaced. We really can’t afford not to have a second left tackle ready to step in when he is injured.

      • kevin mullen says:

        If Bennett was tagged, he’s due $11mil or so. If considering this year at $5mil, next year’s $11mil, he’ll average $8mil for both seasons with absolute no guarantee beyond 2014. It averages out to what he probably deserves and/or competitive salary JS/PC would be asking. I’d be ok with that tag if necessary, obviously eats a lot of cap though…

        • Kyle N says:

          I think there is 0% chance that Bennett would get tagged. This wouldn’t really help the Seahawks organization out in anyway. Paying Bennett at $11M for a year would be grossly over paying him, especially if he continues to play only about 50% of snaps (he better get past 75% if he’s getting 11M/yr). They also would have to deal with another contract situation the very next year when they will have to be dealing with a ton of other big deals.

          This also wouldn’t give any benefit to Bennett. Sure, he’d make a lot more money than he should get for one year. But players like to have job security at the same time. He definitely played well enough to deserve a multi-year contact with lots of guaranteed money. I think he’d be a pretty unhappy guy if they were to throw the franchise tag on him (making it almost like a second “prove it” year right after he’s already proved it).

          The only benefit that could come of this would be if Bennett’s play massively goes downhill and the Seahawks wouldn’t have to worry about him being on the books for a lot more years. However, in this case it also hurts the Seahawks because, well, they are wasting $11M in cap space to a player that isn’t playing well.

  23. MarkinSeattle says:

    Rob, you have been pretty impressed with Zach Martin up to this point (from a technical standpoint). I am curious whether or not you would draft him if he slid to the Hawks at 32 and we lost Giacomini to free agency. Do you think that he would fit into Crable’s system? It also sounds like he might be the most likely to be able to step in and play.

    My impressions are that he isn’t a real mauler, but he is technically sound run blocker. Having watched him at ND most of his career (and what I have also heard), is that he has extremely quick feet. Not necessarily in a foot race sense, rather I don’t recall anyone beating him to the outside in a straight end rush (I am sure that he has been beaten with a delayed blitz or stunt, but that is a communication issue). That makes me think that even with reportedly shorter arms, that he has a decent chance at sticking at OT (since the primary job of the OT is prevent DE’s from getting around you or getting you off balance to go through you). I also wonder how well he will do going against 330+ DT’s in the NFL at guard (although his feet may be quick enough to do well at pulling).

    Now having said that, as a Hawks fan, I want to see more mauling OL and I am leery of spending early draft picks on OL when you can find good ones late. I would focus on rare talents you might find in this draft (particularly the strong WR corps), as well as the traditionally difficult DL pass rushers that we have had trouble finding in the past. After all, prior to this year, we had one decent DL pass rusher on the team. Those guys are few and far between in the later rounds.

    • Kyle N says:

      Really good point. People love to talk about how great PCJS are at finding talent in the later rounds and UDFA. Great CBs, LBs, OL, even WR (Baldwin/Kearse). You know a notable exception? DL. It just seems like DL talent is hard to come by in the later rounds and nearly all of the Seahawks success on the DL has come from free agency (e.g. expensive). I would look to the Seahawks focusing on collecting talent on the DL in the early rounds and hopefully getting cheaper and younger at the position (especially with some huge contracts looming).

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m a huge Zack Martin fan and would love him on this team — even if he’s not an obvious fit. I think they want length at tackle (height, arms) and Martin is slightly more compact than they like. But even so, what a player. Put him at guard or tackle for me. One of my favourite players to watch in college football the last couple of years.

  24. Radman says:

    The time to start finding money under the cap is here.

    Right Tackle should be where that starts. IMHO, letting Breno walk unless he takes a less than market contract makes too much sense.

    When we start paying 30 year old vets who play less than critical positions at league average levels more than paltry salaries is when the ‘win forever’ stuff goes out the window.

    Breno should walk unless there’s some kind of serious pay drop. And Breno probably shouldn’t take that, because he’s earned a decent paycheck for what should be his final contract.

  25. bigDhawk says:

    I would argue that we won a SB in spite of our OL, not because of it, and the reason for that was Marshawn Lynch. If Turbin and CMike are our RBs behind this line all season, even when healthy, there is no way we win the division much less the conference, and likely not the SB. So in my mind, the premise that our OL is good enough as constructed only holds true as long as Lynch is playing at the level we have come to take for granted. How much better would he be if he did not have to regularly make tacklers miss four yards behind the LOS after the interior of our line got beat over and over?

    I’ll admit that using high draft picks is not the way to go about upgrading the OL this year (although if Billy Turner somehow happens to be on the board when we pick in the 4th, his phone better be ringing with a 206 area code). I have not looked into the possibilities of free agency or trades much yet, but somehow, some way I want to see serious competition on the entirety of our interior line, maybe even a little a t LT. God forbid, if we ever lose Lynch for any reason we will see just how in need of upgrading our OL really is if we do nothing this offseason and hold pat.

    • Kyle N says:

      They actually call from a 425 area code. Their facility is on the Eastside and there is a Russell Wilson quote where he sees the 425 ringing.

      • bigDhawk says:

        OK, you got me :-) But who’s to say that some other front office person doesn’t make the call from his cell phone with a 206 area code?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure I agree with that Big D. I think Lynch actually went through a pretty mediocre spell during the season when the run blocking was pretty good. The league is full of running backs who aren’t spectacular but remain productive and don’t play behind amazing lines. I don’t think the Seahawks necessarily need to field either an elite RB like Lynch or an elite OL to be very productive.

      • bigDhawk says:

        What you are calling a mediocre spell I see more as Lynch shouldering the entire offensive burden of this team. Had there been a lesser back or backs playing in that situation, that mediocrity would have become disaster. Just having a productive running game behind an un-amazing OL is good enough for a lot of teams around the League (even Denver), but I don’t think it is good enough for us as an entirely run-oriented offense.

        The rest of our roster has been transformed to elite status by PC’s Win Forever philosophy and Always Compete system, with the exception of the OL. This is just somewhat unseemly to me. There is no reason why we should settle for an OL that is only good enough. Marshawn is an elite RB, Russell is an elite QB (in terms of just winning), and they both deserve an elite OL. The same way PCJS have created an elite defense I am confident they can and should do with the OL eventually.

        • Rob Staton says:

          During that mediocre spell he was leaving big plays on the field. Sorry, but he was. One of the great things about being in the UK and relying so much on NFL gamepass is we get All-22 tape very quickly and the second time I watch the game is usually all-22. There were big running lanes he was ignoring, over-reading the play and running into traffic. Even in the playoffs he made a couple of questionable reads against the Saints.

          The run blocking for most of the year was very good. Even during the most injury hit phase it was good. And considering the division we’re playing in and some of the opponents we faced in 2013, nobody should’ve expected to dominate every week. Especially when more and more teams set out to take away the running game.

          We have a very good offensive line and it was decimated by injuries last year. It’s better than ‘good enough’. When they were fit and healthy we saw what they can do in that Super Bowl. I think fans of NFL teams across the league have major unrealistic expectations about their offensive lines. Like it’s readily achievable to simply create a perfect five-man team that never does anything wrong. In reality, that’s very difficult. The best ranked line in the league in 2013 only got their because Peyton Manning throws the ball so quickly. I keep getting quoted stats by PFF and yet within their top ten rankings for the OL in 2013, Washington, Dallas, Cleveland, Minnesota and Detroit are all there. The worst line in the league? 10-6 Arizona.

          I’m not concerned about this line n the slightest and how it’s impacting the Seahawks. With a ridiculous amount of injuries, they still managed a 16-3 season and a Championship.

          • RadMan says:

            That line of reasoning can apply to every position group on the entire roster: they won the championship, no need to improve!
            The front office drafts relative to their roster, not to the league. If they feel they can upgrade their O line with the draft, they will. Relative to the rest of the team, the O line is rather weak. It also may lose depth and a starter. It also has had injury and consistency issues. It not at all unreasonable to think they’ll look to improve the group regardless of what rings they’re wearing.

            • Rob Staton says:

              My point isn’t that they definitely definitely won’t draft for the O-line. It’s that the O-line isn’t as bad as some people are making out.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Michael (in his limited playing time) had very similar yards per carry to Lynch. Turbin was well below both them.