The ‘trading up for Sheldon Richardson’ article

March 1st, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Could Sheldon Richardson fall into range for Seattle to trade up?

When I was asked by Kenneth Arthur and Jacson Bevens who I thought Seattle should take if they had their choice of any player in the draft, it was an easy question to answer.

Sheldon Richardson.

Seattle’s defensive scheme is pretty creative. For the last two years they’ve used size up front in base while utilising a specialist LEO rusher. In nickel and passing situations, they’ve been pretty attack-minded. Bruce Irvin and Jason Jones were brought in for the ‘money downs’. And while I accept that Irvin has been talked up as a prospective full-time LEO, he made his money at West Virginia as a third down specialist. And I have no real issue if that’s all he ends up being in Seattle.

I don’t expect the Seahawks to make any great changes to this plan, which is why I projected Datone Jones to Seattle at #25 this week. Whether they use a first round pick on a nickel three-technique remains to be seen. But I think they’ll draft one, as Jason Jones re-signing seems unlikely. And we’ll see the specialists in for those obvious passing situations. We may also see a continuation of size at the one, three and five technique.

I still think it’d be great to get a defensive tackle who offers the pass rushing quality of a so-called ‘specialist’, but also has the ability to feature on early downs. Someone who can double up with the LEO and cause real problems on early downs. After all, the issues with the pass rush were not limited to simply third downs. In terms of a pure three-technique, Sheldon Richardson would be the ideal choice.

He’d represent a considerable downgrade in size from Alan Branch, but Richardson’s still incredibly strong at the point of attack. I thought for the most part Georgia’s John Jenkins struggled against Alabama’s offensive line in the SEC Championship. In the second half, Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker dominated Jenkins and the rest of the Bulldog’s D-line. Missouri on the whole didn’t fair much better against the Crimson Tide earlier in the season, but Richardson as an individual gave Alabama headache’s throughout.

If the Seahawks are going to start a 6-2, 290lbs defensive tackle (in other words, an orthodox three-technique) I think he has to be stout against the run. The NFC West is different these days. St. Louis and San Francisco make up one quarter of Seattle’s schedule every year. And both of those teams are going to try and beat you with the run. For all the hype around Colin Kaepernick and the investment in Sam Bradford, Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher will put a team on the field that wants to ram the ball down your throat. Seattle knows that.

It doesn’t mean you have to overreact and worry too much about what they’re going to do, but you have to be able to match-up at the same time. In using size and specialists I think the Seahawks are trying to get the benefits of both attack and defense. Pro-active and reactive. They can play stout on early downs to limit the run and capitalise in favourable down/distance situations later on.

Richardson isn’t going to anchor the run, but he’ll not be a liability either. He needs to be more disciplined and learn proper gap control. Yet he also plays with great leverage and 30 reps on the bench press was equal to Jesse Williams — so he has good upper body strength.

The fact that he’s capable against the run just makes his pass rush quality all the more exciting. He’s incredibly mobile and quick on his feet, has a great burst, he’s able to drive blockers back into the pocket but also show that great first step to beat a man with speed. He’s sparky — getting into a lineman or quarterbacks head (just like all great three-technique’s do). The motor never stops running, as witnessed by his willingness to chase to the sideline on the off-chance he might be able to make a decisive tackle. When he finds room to get into the backfield, he runs up the gears and finishes. While the sack numbers for 2012 weren’t great, he’s got as much potential as anyone to be another Geno Atkins (middling college production, superb as a pro).

Simply put, he’s one of the best players in this year’s draft. I personally cannot see him getting past Carolina at #14. Others disagree. Todd McShay has him as the #16 overall player on his post-combine big board. And today Daniel Jeremiah predicted he’d fall to Dallas at #18.

The Cowboys would undoubtedly love to get Richardson. Monte Kiffin tried in vain to get him to commit to USC during his time in the JUCO ranks. He stuck with Missouri, who’d originally sent him to California to improve his grades so he could feature for the Tigers. It’s unlikely anybody in the NFL has a better insight into Richardson than Kiffin.

I found him to be an engaging character during his interview with the NFL Network in Indianapolis. His personality seems confident without pushing it. Scouts Inc, in their 2012 report of Richardson, stated: “Mental capacity and maturity level are being closely investigated by NFL scouts.” There may be a few skeleton’s we don’t know about and I don’t even want to begin to speculate. It could also just be an overreaction, given he had to go and play in the JUCO ranks. After all, he’s a three-technique, not a quarterback.

Going back to Jeremiah’s mock where Richardson falls to #18 — if he starts to drop, what would it take to move up?

I’m fairly confident we won’t see any blockbuster trades where the Seahawks move into the top ten. To get up from #25 you’re looking at two first round picks and a mid-round pick as minimum compensation. That’s not a deal I think this team will be particularly interested in. In Jeremiah’s mock the Seahawks wouldn’t have to move up that far.

The old draft chart is fairly redundant in the new CBA, as witnessed by the sheer number of first round trades last year. Picks 2-7 all changed hands with no obvious rhyme or reason. The biggest jump saw Dallas move up eight spots from #14 to #6 to select Morris Claiborne. The deal cost the Cowboys their second round pick (#45 overall). According to the old chart, the Cowboys overpaid by 150 points.

Seattle would also need to move up eight spots to get ahead of Dallas. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a viable trade partner, considering they don’t meet the Seahawks again for a while and play in separate conferences. Would a straight up deal for Seattle’s second round pick (#56 overall) get it done? Would the Seahawks be willing to make that kind of move? In a deep draft, it’d be tough to part with a late second rounder. Yet the prize of landing Richardson could help solve the teams greatest remaining need.

On the old trade chart, the #25 pick would’ve been worth 720 points, with the #17 pick worth 950. Seattle’s #56 pick is valued at 340 points. Technically, the Cowboys would be getting a great deal. Combining Seattle’s third and fourth round pick creates 209 points, making it a better deal for the Seahawks. Given the teams success in rounds three and four so far — again — it’d be a tight call.

But as we touched on, the chart isn’t that accurate any more and teams appear to be prepared to look at a deal on face value and make a judgement call. How else do you determine Tampa Bay being able to move from #36 to #31 last year for basically swapping fourth rounders with Denver? According to the chart, that trade was worth a third or fourth round pick straight up. The Buccs got a steal (even more so considering that pick turned into Doug Martin).

If the Steelers want to accumulate picks and are looking to move down anyway (perhaps eyeing a particular player), they might be willing to take a deal worth a single third rounder. Moving from #25 to #17 to get Sheldon Richardson for a third rounder would, in my opinion, be a fantastic trade. What it basically comes down to is your opinion of Richardson versus whoever else is likely to be available at #25. Would you be willing to give up a second, third or fourth round pick to move up?

Of course it’s all fantasy football at the moment. Projecting trades in the draft is like trying to guess the lottery numbers (well, nearly). There are too many factors that have to align for these things to come off. However, for anyone hoping there’s a chance Sheldon Richardson lands in Seattle in April — they’ll need to start considering what it’ll take to move up. Because there’s hardly any chance he lasts until #25.

85 Responses to “The ‘trading up for Sheldon Richardson’ article”

  1. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Getting an every down 3 tech is worth #25 and #56. I’d even throw in our third if it meant having to move up to 13.

    I would think that scenario to be possible, considering the needs that Tampa has. They need CBs, FS and a slot guy. Now if Milliner drops to 13, I would have to think they’d pull a Schneider and scuttle the draft day trade in place to take him. But it’s a safe bet he’s gone. And if so, then there is a cluster of 2nd tier guys that Tampa would have a good chance to take their pick from. It’s possible there won’t be another corner taken between Milliner and #25.

    The only thing that might scuttle that deal would be if Tampa elects to take Vaccaro. He’s however a strong secondary consideration in terms of position. They need outside corners badly. However, if they view Jefferson or Reid as a suitable second option, then Tampa — at 25, #43 and #56 — could end up with solving all three of their needs pretty handily. At 56, they’ll probably be choosing between the Baileys, Swopes etc. prospects. Or they could easily double up at corner since they really need 2 of them and come away with really AWESOME prospects at both to pair with Barron. And still have a second third round pick as a bonus prize.

    I think Tampa’s pick at #13 can be had. It’s a deep draft for the talents they are looking for. Our second round pick for them specifically is probably as attractive as a very high second round pick in a typical year. And our first round pick is probably close to a late teens pick in a typical year for what they are looking at.

  2. Eric says:

    Rob,

    Assuming Lotulelei’s heart checks out ok, if both are on the board when a trade up is possible, which would you take?

  3. other ben says:

    The trade value chart has never been adhered to strictly by every team but it is a good place to start when considering trades.

    It was developed by Jimmy Johnson in the 90s, at a time when rookie contracts weren’t as inflated as they were got during the peak of ’08-’10. With the new CBA, rookie contracts are much more in line with those of the 90s than those of that period. If anything, the trade value chart is more relevant now than it was at the end of the last CBA, just a couple of years ago.

    And if we look at the 1st-round trades from ’12 that only involved ’12 picks (so we can ignore the effects of future draft pick depreciation and the incredible trade up for a franchise QB by the Redskins), most of the trades were within ~10-20% of the trade value chart. One notable exception was our trade back in the 1st to get extra picks.

    While I’m ambivalent about the idea of trading up for guy like Sheldon Richardson (pass-rushing DT seems like a pretty boom-or-bust position) and agnostic about our FO’s willingness to do it (this FO is successful because of a high volume of draft picks and needs depth), if we did this I’d be really excited.

  4. Hawksince77 says:

    Rob,

    A few thoughts. After reading Danny’s article on FA D-lineman (http://www.fieldgulls.com/2013-nfl-offseason/2013/3/1/4041576/nfl-free-agency-2013-a-closer-look-at-some-dt-targets) it looks like a rich field with several good options for Seattle, both on the interior and outside. That seems to make it less likely they’d want to spend so much draft capital on one player.

    Second thought: Seattle’s current regime has yet to trade up – far more likely to stay put or trade down. I understand every year is different, and they have fewer holes to fill, but do you think enough to have them change their previous modus operandi? Just as a Seahawk fan, the players traded up for haven’t really worked out (Carlson, Butler, for instance).

    Finally, I can name more big-time first round defensive line busts than I can first round Pro-Bowl defensive lineman. Perhaps that’s just me, but it seems like every year half the big-name first rounders amount to zilch. Now that could be entirely the fault of scouting, and we assume Seattle won’t make bad scouting decisions, but still. I suspect PC/JS would much rather take a guy later in the draft, a player highly motivated to prove himself, than a guy that feels entitled after getting drafted so high.

    Regardless, I share your enthusiasm for landing a truly elite player at the position, and will celebrate if JS pulls off some kind of trade that nets such a player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not blown away by the available FA’s. As soon as Melton and Starks get the franchise tag, I’m contacting Alan Branch’s agent and looking at the draft. As for the edge rushers, well Johnson will be tagged and I think Kruger is overrated. Avril turned down $30m over 3 years in Detroit. Spencer will be expensive.

      I think it’s too small a sample size to say trading up would be a change in philosophy. Essentially, they’ve had three drafts. So I don’t think moving up would be against their modus operandi necessarily. It really depends on the situation.

      I appreciate the high number of busts among defensive tackles, but I always say you have to judge every player on their own merits. If 99 defensive tackles taken in round one bust, it doesn’t mean the 100th can’t be a hall of famer. A team cannot run like that. They have to look at Richardson and see if he can improve this team. Not live in fear of previous players and rely on later round picks. Now they might identify a mid/late round DT they like and maybe they go that route. But they won’t let previous drafts influence their decision in round one this year.

      • Michael says:

        I don’t think past draft history should eliminate the possiblity of a trade up from our consideration. Did anyone predict the Patriots trading up twice in the first round last year? I’m not saying I’m gonna bank on it, but I wouldn’t really be that surprised to see a trade up this year.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        It’s not just to avoid busts, but something more fundamental to the philosophy (as I see it, anyway). People get all impressed by Seattle’s drafts and the players they have added the past three years. But right now, the only high draft picks that have solidified their status are ET and Okung. Tate (at 60) hasn’t been that great (yet); Carpenter and Moffit have yet to impress (although they both might still); Irvin is clearly a question mark, although both Wagner and Wilson appear to be hits. I could argue, though, that they have found more players taken after the 3rd round that contribute, or at least as many, than the first three.

        They have also cut or let go mid-rounders in Legree and Durham, for instance. But this is my point: it’s not just about selecting the better players to draft or sign in FA. It’s about the practice of sifting through the players and rewarding those who work harder or play better to stick around and start.

        For this strategy to work, they need more players to apply it to. Therefore, they will value the two picks it takes to move up for one player more if they draft two players instead of one.

        If they move up for a player, no matter how confident they are, there is some chance that player fails; injury, attitude, whatever. If they instead draft two players they increase the odds of successfully adding to the team.

        That’s why I think they are loathe to give up picks and prefer to add them. They are confident they will bring guys in, at any point in the process, that have a chance to compete for a place on the team. Prior to submitting a player to that process, they won’t really know.

        • Hawksince77 says:

          You have guys like Sherman, Chancellor and Wilson who were drafted mid-round that no one predicted would be high-quality starters, and Sherman already and all-pro. Baldwin is another example, leading the team in receptions as a rookie. I am not sure everyone fully appreciates the full extent of the process: it’s not just about selection; it’s about evaluation and a commitment to keeping/playing the best players. The latter part of the process is almost more important than the first.

          • Other Ben says:

            Their strategy requires volume. For every Kam or Sherm there’s a Legree or an EJ Wilson. When Legree was drafted, there was talk that he would be a major part of the defense and get a bunch of snaps; when Sherman was drafted there was a lot of talk about Byron Maxwell and Brandon Browner. No draft pick is a sure thing and this is doubly true when you’re picking high-upside guys like we are.

        • Trudy Beekman says:

          I love that this is the system that JS has brought to Seattle, but I think this year is a bit of an outlier. You are losing maybe only 2 starters on your entire team in Branch and Hill to FA. Jason Jones and Hauschka could also not bet re-signed. 10 draft picks, plus possible compensatory picks means how many guys make your team? Do you use all those picks to let other talent-hungry teams trying to imitate your model scavenge all your cut players and your practice squad? Jacksonville and others will do just that this year, and you could have potentially wasted as many picks on guys that don’t make the team as you would have used to lock up a guy that could have Warren Sapp or Dana Stubblefield production in this system. Detroit signed Kris Durham to be their immediate #2 receiver.

          The obvious argument is that you can’t predict which guys will stick and which won’t, so you have to throw as much at the wall as you can to ensure you find the guys that will produce. It’s a difficult scenario, and IMO you try to consolidate a couple of your back-end picks, hopefully 4th or later, to move up a few spots if there is a guy like Richardson still there at say 17.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            That’s a good point, when considering starters. But there is lots of room at the back of the roster to improve and lay the foundation for the future. Mike Morgan, Jeron Johnson, Jeremy Lane, Kearse, Maragos, Howard, Rishaw Johnson, Winston Guy, Jeanpierre, for example (there are others).

            Some of these guys are already the future — I don’t know which ones, but probably one or two, maybe three. The others can likely be upgraded, and that’s not counting the practice squad.

            So if you had a perfect draft, and all 10 players were keepers, there’d be room.

            But it won’t be perfect, and some guys we really like will stumble (who thought BMW would be cut at the beginning of the year?) Bring ‘em in, weed ‘em out, I say.

        • Ray g says:

          Out of 8 premium picks you’ve listed, 2 are all pro, 3 have played in the pro bowl, 3 were roty candidates and two were finalists. (Robbed I say!) 5 are starters and all have started!! What’s not to be impressed about??

        • BCHawk says:

          I generally agree with what you are saying but I would expand it to say that PCJS are looking for value where ever they can find it. Their goal is to bring guys onto the roster who will contribute more than what it costs to acquire them (in draft capital and cap space) to acquire. This means looking at all possibilities (UDFA, very raw talent, evaluating guys outside their position, small schools, CFL, guys with injuries, ect.) with an open mind and asking what can this guy do for us now and what can he do in 1-2 years with excellent coaching and conditioning and not focusing on what they can not do.
          An area they have been very successful in getting value in later round picks with RW and Sherman being the standouts. An outcome of this philosophy is that they are less likely to find value in A-list free agents and the 1st round of the draft because every other team is evaluating and bidding on the same guys. However this does not mean that they don’t look, they evaluate every possibility. So I don’t think that trading up contradicts their philosophy as long as they think they are getting a good deal but getting a good deal trading up in the 1st round is unlikely. it would require a huge differnce in grade between Richardson who they thought they could get at 25. Trading back is more likely.

          Yes the system requires volume but we do have 12 picks and that the loss of 1 or two picks will not damage that as the volume will come from other sources.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            I think you are exactly right: they are seeking value for their draft capital and cap space.

            As you point out, that means they would have to value someone like Richardson extremely highly to meet their criteria of maximizing value if they have to give up a mid-round pick (2-4) to move up.

            On the other hand, if Richardson (or another top prospect) due to something PC/JS think they can overcome, they will have no trouble making the pick at 25. And if someone doesn’t fall, or they don’t see the value at 25, and can make a trade for more picks, they will do that.

            It will depend on their grading and how the draft falls out (obviously).

  5. Cysco says:

    It’s such a tough call for me especially when you start putting names to what those pick could be. Say it takes your first and second to move up.

    Richardson
    or
    Khaseem Greene & John Simon

    Or maybe it’s your first, third and a fourth

    Richardson
    or
    Datone Jones, Ryan Swope & Zaviar Gooden

    Given PCJS’s track record, one has to have faith that the first four rounds will result in starters. Does the addition of Richardson improve the team more than the addition of 2-3 other starters? I don’t know the answer to that.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      This was a team that was top 5 in almost all areas and #1 total in points allowed. Despite being pretty much schematically broken in terms of missing a fundamental piece. We scotch taped that bad boy plenty. It’s also a testament to how much talent/fit is currently on this roster.

      A good/very good everydown 3 tech could easily push that defense into a Ravens/Tampa Bay title team stratosphere. I’d go so far as to say it would eclipse those and approach early 90s Cowboys quality. I can tell you Dallas couldn’t have pulled off our cover 3 concept even with Deion Sanders.

      This isn’t a Philadelphia Eagles style of mish mash of misfit talent. Richardson is a great/unique fit and something we are completely missing. He’s the capital of our defensive arch so to speak.

      I’d give up Khaseem Greene, John Simon and whatever we’d get in round three for that in a heartbeat.

      • Cysco says:

        I can see the logic, but put it in perspective of last year’s rookies to get an idea of what those picks can mean. There’s no reason to think our FO can’t make equally important picks this year.

        So, say it’s our first, second and third as you proposed above.

        Richardson

        or

        Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson

        That’s the kind of key tallent we found in rounds 1-3 last draft. Are you willing to give up the chance of hitting that well again for one player? What if John Simon is this year’s Russell wilson – The uber-productive, incredibly smart and hardworking player who most say is to small to play their position in the NFL? What if Khaseem Green is this year’s Bobby Wagner – a non-sexy LB prospect who comes in and solidifies our LB group as the NFL’s top for the next 8 years. What if Ryan Swopes becomes the next Bruce Irvin – a combine darling that backs up the athleticism with production?

        That’s a lot of “what if’s”, but our FO makes those types of scenarios believable. Put another way, If there were a re-draft from last year each of our first three picks would be 1st rounders. (probably high-first rounders) If you believe we can do equally good this year, would you give up three first-round caliber players for Richardson?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well in fairness, as good as Irvin, Wagner and Wilson were… Carpenter and Moffitt have not had the same success from just a year previous. With hindsight you could argue moving up in 2011 using the #1 and #2 picks could’ve been very worthwhile. So it swings both ways.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Carpenter and Moffit were Tom Cable picks, not John Schneider. They went to Cable and asked who he wanted and they got the guys he responded with. So, assuming that won’t be the case again. Schneider should pick us winners..

        • Dawgpack says:

          The big what if, is if this guy turns out to be the next suh… I’d call Detroit amd trade our 1, 2, and 3 for him….

    • Michael says:

      When you put it that way, it makes me rethink it for a second. Then I watch Sheldon Richardson play again and find that I am probably willing to give up even more if need be.

  6. Belgaron says:

    With picks 50-80 projected by some to contain Khaseem Greene, Ryan Swope, Da’Rick Rogers, Bennie Logan, Zaviar Gooden, and Terron Armstead, I’d rather be acquiring more picks in that range than giving them away.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I doubt Rogers goes in that range given his background, and I think Greene goes 19-40. Swope could be off the board before #56 while Armstead (at the moment) is a combine warrior, Logan is really ‘meh’ on tape and Gooden I’m yet to get into. I’m not sure that list would dissuade me from trading. But I take the overall point. It’s a deep draft and it would be painful to lose an early-ish pick. R3-7 I’d be more willing to deal.

      • Belgaron says:

        Trading for a final piece like Richardson is definitely worth considering. I’m just not sure this is the year to do it. As you say, the depth is great especially at some positions like receiver and defensive line. If they continue to get 5-6 new high caliber contributors every year, they are setting themselves up to be a perennial powerhouse. That said, their method of letting good players come to them will probably only ever fill 90-95% at best of their ideal team and they may at some point have to make a few targeted moves outside of their preferred methods to get some final pieces. Especially now that the quarterback is in place.

  7. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Apologies in advance for the mega post:

    We have 10 picks this draft. If we were to move up — WAY up to get Richardson and were willing to part with our top three selections — then who might be the willing parties:

    Teams/Needs

    #9 NY Jets: QB, OL, CB, WR, RB, LB, S
    #10 Tennessee: S (2), OG (2), DE
    #11 San Diego: OT, WR, DT (run), CB, RB, OG, MLB, S
    #12 Miami: LT, WR, CB, OLB
    #13 Tampa Bay: CB, S, WR
    #14 Carolina: DT, LT

    Possible deals:

    #9 NY Jets.

    This team is a train wreck. I can’t see them selecting anything other than one of the big 3 LTs if they are on the board. If they don’t do that, then I have to think it’ll be QB if Barkley/Smith are there. If all 5 are gone, I see this pick in play. Because they need SO many upgrades and they can get quality at a lot of what they are looking for outside of LT and QB this year.

    Don’t dismiss Idzik’s hand in a deal here. Their cap situation is dire. They need a LOT of cheap rookie contracts to start getting healthy again. Dropping down to #25, #39, #56 will get them starters at OL, CB or WR. And 2 third round picks could get them another OL starter and/or CB starter. If you add a Revis trade — then NY would get a huge start on their needed rebuild. They are in worse shape than we were in 2009. They have to gut that team.

    Overall deal potential: Contingent on run on talent. Either non existent or very high.

    Resulting draft: #25, #39, #56, #72 and #87

    #10 Tennessee.

    They have significant needs. Interior line is a huge one. I know I’ve seen Rob mock DTs to the Titans and Richardson specifically, but from what I’ve read and from a family member in the area that follows the team, interior OL is the first one to come out of everyone’s mouth. Honestly, I see this as a Cooper/Warmack pick and probably a lock at that. In terms of pass rush, the consensus seems to be a need at edge rusher.

    They drafted two very good DTs in Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug in 2011. I suspect the occasional mock of Richardson to Tennessee is probably a nod to where he *should* go. But I think there is virtually no chance Tennessee takes a DT in R1. They are also similarly set at OLB with Zach Brown. DE (edge rusher) or an OL is going to be this choice.

    Overall deal potential: Very low

    Resulting draft: #25, #40, #56, #70, #87

    #11 San Diego.

    This is a team in the midwinter of it’s title window. It is a team that has a LOAD of needs. They will take a LT if he drops there. Otherwise, this is again a team that can fix a LOT of their particular issues with a trade even as low as our #25.

    Overall deal potential: Good, but conditional on LTs leaving the board.

    Resulting draft: #25, #45, #56, #76, #87

    #12 Miami.

    This is a team needing weapons. It’s also a team losing it’s franchise LT. Like the others above, if one of the big three is on the board, they are taking him. Beyond that, I’d have to think they might be looking at dynamic WR Patterson or Austin. If they aren’t married to any of those three, then a trade like that Could solve 2 years worth of holes.

    Overall deal potential: Strong

    Resulting draft: #25, #42, #54, #56, #77, #82 and #87

    That draft would be just ridiculous. Can you imagine what Schneider could do with picks like that?

    • Michael says:

      “I can’t see (the Jets) selecting anything other than one of the big 3 LTs if they are on the board.”

      How do you figure this? I’m pretty sure they have D’Brickashaw Ferguson signed for another 5 years. Am I missing something here? Maybe I’m wrong on this, but I don’t think their cap situation is so dire that they would replace a franchise Left Tackle in round 1 just to save some coin.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I will second Rob and say I wouldn’t want to trade more than a first and third to move up in the first. In fact I would rather it was a fourth and all those 7th round picks we got. It’s hard to see a future for them.

      Another way to go is trade higher in the second. There would be more choices and it might only cost us a fourth or fifth.

    • Eric says:

      Idzik or not, I wouldn’t put any faith in NYJ acting rationally. Rex just ain’t right in the head.

      I hadn’t considered MIA as potential trade partner. Interesting to consider though.

      In the end, I’m not convinced this is the draft to trade up if it costs us our 2R and 3R picks, even if it is Richardson (if we could do it for our 2R/4R, then perhaps ).

      Maybe that’s just because I’ve been resigned to Richardson going way before 25 for a while now.

      Or maybe it’s simply forced me to look more closely at some alternate scenarios that, upon closer inspection, look very promising.

  8. Clayton says:

    Initially, I was pounding the table on trading up for Sheldon Richardson at any cost. But that was before Rob posted an article on Kawann Short. As Richard Sherman says, “numbers don’t lie”, so here they are: 186 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 49 tackles for loss, 15 passes defended and eight blocked kicks. His tape that Rob posted was also pretty impressive. The negative things that I’ve read about Short is that he takes plays off and that the motor wasn’t always running. At the combine, Short admitted that there were times where he was too tired and should have tapped out but it wasn’t his character. He weighed in at 299 lbs, which is 16 lbs lighter than his listed weight in college (he was probably playing heavier than that). I suspect that the lost weight could help with the stamina issues. I think Short has a better anchor but Richardson has better pass rushing abilities. Richardson is probably the better prospect but not for what Seattle would have to give up in order to get him. Just my thoughts.

    • LantermanC says:

      I agree with this. I would love Sheldon, and would even trade 1,2,3 for him, but the fact that we can probably get a Short or S Williams if we don’t trade up also acceptable.

      It’ll be curious to see what FAs we sign before the draft. Seems more likely that we’d shore up needs through FA and then bring in drafts “to compete” so we don’t rely on them too much (or at least be forced to rely on them). We utilized Wagner, Irvin, and RW well, but we didn’t HAVE to rely on them, it just so happened that they played well enough that we used them a lot.

    • Trudy Beekman says:

      I agree with this also, but this is assuming Short falls to us. Kawann Short’s tape is catching up to his stock in the Mock-Draftosphere, and he is a solid 1st Round prospect that looks like a combo of Sheldon Richardson and Sylvester Williams. He has slimmed down to clearly define himself as a 3-tech and as I don’t see either Richardson, Floyd, or Lotulelei (pending) falling out of the Top 15, Dallas is going to take a real long look at him at 18. I just see these guys’ stock continuing to rightfully climb, and that could leave us looking at something like Hankins, Sylvester Williams, or Datone Jones if you want to draft DL.

      I wouldn’t hate any of those picks, but none of them seems like good value for various reasons. Hankins obviously isn’t a 3-tech, and while he’s the best pure NT in the draft, I don’t think there is a place for him to start on this roster. Williams I would be okay with if PC is truly committed to running such sharply contrasting defensive packages, and you want more of a run-plugger that can generate some pass rush at 3-tech, but you should probably just re-sign Branch and look at upgrading somewhere else. D Jones is a J Jones replacement, and if the Hawks do this, I have faith that they will get the most out of him. But it doesn’t seem like the highest percentage play when you can get a top-tier TE, an immediate starter at WILL, maybe an elite OG, or a major upgrade at WR.

  9. Michael says:

    Well, Melton has officially been franchise tagged… Darn.

  10. Robert says:

    Trading up for SR is too expensive for a team that is 3 for 3 in their draft history quests to obtain 1st round production from mid round draft picks. I think John Simon is our guy. Is he to short or does he have an advantage with that lower center of gravity? Is his 40 time too slow or is he the fastest runner chopping, swimming and spinning through offensive linemen? Are his arms too short or some of the most violent and effective hands and arms I have seen? I think Simon can step right in to Clemons spot and be an immediate play maker and disruptive force vs. run and pass. This prospect is consistently disruptive on nearly every single play!
    I think we should figure out a way to trade up in the 2nd round and/or add more 2nd round picks to get guys like Swope, Mark Harrison, Brandon Williams, Zaviar Gooden, Sio Moore…

    • Belgaron says:

      I think Simon sounds like a fantastic leader and football player, I’m just not convinced he will have the same impact against NFL offensive lines. If he was JJ Watt or Justin Smith’s size, he’d be a top 5 pick. He still could be great but I’m not sure people realize how good Clemons has been the past few years and how hard it is to have a huge impact right away at the pro level.

      • Cysco says:

        sounds like the description of a certain Wisconsin QB a year ago. :-)

        If Wilson has taught me anything, it’s that we shouldn’t dismiss a player simply because of size. The tape doesn’t lie. The dude can flat out play.

        • Belgaron says:

          I don’t disagree with that sentiment, the difference is QBs don’t wrestle with Mammoths every play.

          • Dawgpack says:

            RW wasn’t supposed to be able to see his receivers over those same mammoths.. I haven’t scoured his tape to testify this, but he has been playing at his size his whole career. At some point or another he faces an NFL size (maybe not skill wise) tackle or whatever at some point in his career. Some guys learn how to play with what they were born with. The only problem is he cant turn the corner like it seems is needed at the LEO spot.

  11. Stuart says:

    Great write up/topic and extremely entertaining posts gentlemen! I can see this from both side of the ledger. As much as I would love to have Richardson, there is no way I would pay our 1st, 2nd AND 3rd with our brilliant JS. More thoughts coming after play time with the kids.

  12. The Ancient Mariner says:

    Given the depth of this draft, I think we might well be able to move up to get Richardson for less than 1/2 or 1/3/4; but I’d still do the latter without too many qualms, and the former if I absolutely had to. I appreciate PC/JS’ ability to find starters in rounds 3-5, but we can’t bet all our marbles on that. We need more depth in the front seven on D — it’s the only area, imho, where we *need* depth, as nice as it would be to add some on the OL and our receiving corps — but we need a couple starters more, and we badly need one great talent at 3-tech. If we can come away from this draft with Richardson and a Wright/Wagner-caliber prospect at WLB, that would be enough to make it a success, I think.

  13. GreyLion says:

    Rob,
    I cannot see the production in the clip you included. Richardson gets pushed around and run around and through. What am I missing here?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure what I can say, GreyLion. I see a guy working on his own (zero help from a mediocre Missouri line) against the best o-line in college football and having as much success as anyone has. I don’t know if you were expecting four sacks and a domination, but nobody does that to Bama. I felt this was a very encouraging piece of tape and when I watched the game live, I got pretty excited about Richardson for the first time.

    • Phil says:

      GreyLion – I agree. ‘Bama has a great college football O line, but I don’t think that the lines that Richardson will be facing in the NFL are going to be any less impressive. I don’t think he’s worth moving up in the draft to pick, particularly in a draft where (1) there is so much talent available , but (2) no clear consensus on who the top 10 talents — or even the top 25 — are.

  14. David says:

    Rob you talk or talked highly of Jordan Hill as a R3-R4 guy, what is it that you see from him that makes him less valuable then richardson, i hope that doesnt come out as dumb, i just was thinking if we dont get Richardson would Hill be a bad alternative for where you project him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Hill would be a decent option in R4-5. The main difference is athleticism and ability to offer consistent pressure. Richardson looks like a perennial all-pro in the making, I have little doubt he can have an impact on the right team. Hill is a guy with much more limited upside. He’s someone I’d take a flier on. As much as I like him, I’m not banking he’ll be a success at the next level. I’m confident Richardson will be.

      • Phil says:

        Rob – I’m having trouble reconciling your confidence that Richardson is now “the guy” with your past comments about how difficult it is to find a 3-Tech, how many Rd. 1 3-Tech picks have been bombs, and how the really good ones have come from later rounds. Just curious. I understand that sometimes your posts are designed to draw responses and are not necessarily indicative of your own positions. But, this one seems real.

  15. Stuart says:

    I would love to have Richardson but what would the ulitmate price be? If it’s our 1 and 4 HELL YES but 1 and 2 is too steep. If we go 1st and 3rd that could do it. Your #1 draft choice is supposed to be your best drafted player hands down. That player should be drafted as an everydown starter day 1. The past two drafts have been seriously underwhelming, a player drafted to play tackle who could not make it and had to be switched to guard plus he has a problem staying healthy and Irvin who was well “a pass rush specialist only.”

    From that standpoint I would be thrilled to get Richardson in Round 1 but that means we will have to sign free agents (young players who will be cheap) to make up for the lost picks. There are some good young TE’s available in FA. Today’s vote is yes to trading up for Richardson with a 1 and 3, that is wishful thinking Richardson makes it all he way down to Pittsburgh at 17.

  16. Ron says:

    At the Combine, PC made the comment that both he and JS do not take the mindset that the team is just 1 or 2 players away from contending. Pete specifically mentioned in the context of that statement in regards to bringing in a couple of old FA vets, so if you took that literally, you could make the case that the statement didn’t apply regarding drafting a player. So, although it isn’nt out of the question that they move up for Richardson, if it’s a small move – I,m having a hard time convincing myself that they do, given these comments, and JS’s propensity to add picks (move down) I think they will stick with their philosophy and try to make as many upgrades across the board, increase competition at need positions and pick at their given spots, maybe move down with the 1st pick, if we miss on players on their board at that spot.

    • Belgaron says:

      I think most of us have them needing 5-6 players or even 7-9 to be truly close to the team they dream of. They need a couple more years with the same yields they’ve been getting the past three years. We all want a team that stays at the top.

  17. GreyLion says:

    Rob,
    Thanks for the response. I see that you put a lot of value on the competition which I will remember and try to account for.
    What do you think of Sylvester Williams? Below is a link to video of his play that impresses me.
    http://draftbreakdown.com/sylvester-williams-vs-clemson-virginia-tech-2011.
    Another is http://draftbreakdown.com/sylvester-williams-vs-virginia-2012 where he is often double teamed and sometimes triplr teamed and still makes takles and rushes the QB. I also don’t see him taking plays off.
    Thanks again.
    GL

  18. Madmarkus says:

    I think we will find ourself in the same position we were 2 years ago. We was looking to trade back from 25 and there was no takers and we drafted Carpenter. I’m getting a feeling that we’ll end up with Kawan Short and I hoping that his showing up at senior bowl and the combine at a lesser playing weight shows that he’s begining to become enlighten. I just don’t see JS/PC leveraging that many picks for Sheldon with our other needs. To much talent in other areas in this draft could be so much more help. I said earlier about Sydney and Zach being on there 3rd year of their contracts. The receiving corp has no depth and if Sydney, Zach, and Baldwin get injuried as has happened who does RW throw to then.
    Wouldn’t ya think with the depth of receivers in this draft Rob at this time getting young receivers on low contracts would help the team with the resigning of defensive starters in the coming years?

    • Ray g says:

      I agree about the depth of this draft allowing us to fill multiple needs, for now and the future. Rice and miller or both obvious cap targets. But I would argue that you could put browner and kam c in there as well. If Jon banks slips to the us in the 2nd I think you’d have to consider him. With his length and ball skills he could make the transition to ss or stay as a press corner. I’m just saying that building depth at all positions is the best hedge against the cap crisis that’s just around the corner if that insane contract flacco just signed is any indication!!

  19. AlexHawk says:

    Adam Schefter ‏@AdamSchefter
    Former Eagles DL Cullen Jenkins, who visited Giants on Friday, is scheduled to visit Seahawks on Monday and 49ers on Tuesday.

    Whats everyone thoughts on this?

  20. Snoop Dogg says:

    In the first round if we don’t move up for Sheldon, I can see one of many great picks possibly still being available like: Desmond trufant (nickel corner), kawaan short (DT), Tavon Austin (WR), Jonathan cooper (OG), Tank Carradine (DE).

    In the second: Zavier Gooden (OLB), Shamarko Thomas (Safety), Brandon Willams (DT), Margus Hunt (DT), Markus Wheaton (WR), Ryan Swope (WR), Justin hunter (WR)

    Would you really be willing to trade two of these players (plus any later round draft picks also needed to trade up) for Sheldon? Tough call!

    • Eric says:

      IMO:
      Cooper will be gone by 25.

      I don’t understand all the hype over Austin. So he’s quick. Big deal. We’ve already got small-stature speedsters on the team. Why would that be so high a priority for us that JSPC spend our #1 pick on him?

      Tank is interesting, but do we really want another LEO with ACL issues?

      Trufant is among the best DBs in the draft, but again, is our need for another DB so acute that it should be the very first thing JSPC addresses with the first pick?

      I like Short. A lot. But not necessarily more than several other DL prospects who should also still be on the board at 25 (yes, I’m talking Datone Jones).

      I like all your choices for R2, but not necessarily in R2. Of the players you list, only Hunter and Swope (and maybe Wheaton) are legit R2 picks (Hunter may even go in R1). Love Brandon Williams, but he should be available in R4. Tougher call on the others, but I suspect they’ll all fall past R2.

      The more I think about it, the less I’m in favor of trading up, unless we can do so without giving up our R2 and R3 picks, or perhaps our R2/R3 picks in 2014.

      • Belgaron says:

        While a healthy Tank Carradine is agile enough to play Leo and be successful, he is big enough (6’4″ 276) to play up and down the line and be successful. The upside could be much higher than another good Leo in the rotation. The reason for the appeal is you’re not going to find that kind of talent and productivity at 25 already demonstrated without some other risk, in this case fully recovery from a nasty injury, but he’s young and modern techniques have had success shortening the time to get fully back from that. Personally, I’d be ecstatic if they took him.

  21. seasacker says:

    Longtime lurker, first post. I think whats missing in this draft speculation is perspective. JS/PC will not go into the draft with any obvious needs. Think about last year, everyone worried about QB,DL and they sign Flynn, Jones, Branch. This front office will fill all obvious holes with free agents or trades before the draft. They may not be the big name free agents but i believe they will be very active in the market so that you, me and the guy on the moon will say “man, they fixed it all and we haven’t made a pick yet.” We are so close to being elite, i have total trust in this front office. My two cents. Thank you for this website Rob, i love it.

    • Belgaron says:

      You are dead on in that assessment. This front office is focused on building long term. They are not as shortsighted and impatient as fans tend to be. But they have proven to be shrewd talent evaluators and last year they dominated the draft even while pundits tagged them as failures. Many are now copying their methods either by emulation or hiring Seattle guys.

  22. Dan says:

    If Richardson costs too much, or if we have to move up too high, I’d prefer a trade down into the second round and a trade up with mid round picks into the second round. I agree with what people are saying here in that we don’t have enough holes to fill to warrant 13+ picks. Having 3 picks in the second round would allow us to grab some great prospects.

    • Robert says:

      100% agree!!! WR Ryan Swope, DT Brandon Williams, DE John Simon, WLB Sio Moore and WR Mark Harrison are all on my Wishlist! I think only my first 3 will be drafted in the 2nd round…

  23. Burner says:

    Bjoern Werner seems to be in free fall. Could he drop as far as 25 and would you take him Rob?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would take him yes, unless a couple of other guys I also like are still around. Werner isn’t a natural LEO but the value at #25 is too strong. I’d advise him to get back up to his 2011 weight and look to use him in the same way Houston uses J.J. Watt.

  24. Misfit74 says:

    I like the idea, but in this particular draft losing a 2nd would suck. Maybe a pair of picks like a 3rd and a future pick is another possibility? Guys that aren’t clear-cut, elite pass-rushers as 3-techs worry me a bit, though. I don’t want a Sedrick Ellis type that is supposed to be able to do both, yet doesn’t have enough juice to rush the QB like people may have though. Even if Ellis as an example isn’t the best one, the point is the same: if the guy can REALLY rush from the interior then it might be worth it. Otherwise, get a guy you like somewhere else, somehow else. Guys like Sapp or recently Gino Atkins are just so damn rare – even if they come billed as ‘the next great pass rushing 3-tech’. Gerald McCoy, who I like a ton, comes to mind as the last one I liked so much I’d make this type of move for, and perhaps the jury is still out on him, but I don’t know about Sheldon Richardson. Is he THAT special?

  25. jasflo says:

    If we were to move up in a trade with the Jets I wonder if we could include Flynn in that trade. The Jets are one of the last couple teams left that may be in the market for a starting quarterback Maybe something like our 1st, Flynn & a 4th/5th. That’s a trade I’d have to really think about if I thought SR is the real deal.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Jets are not going to pay nearly $15m for Sanchez (contract guaranteed) and Matt Flynn.

      • Misfit74 says:

        How do the Jets improve at QB w/out paying Sanchez 15m guaranteed AND another player’s contract, too?

        • Rob Staton says:

          If they draft a QB at #9 the cap hit would be $2.2m (what Kuechly was paid his rookie season). That would make the combined sum of Sanchez + rookie $10m. If the Jets draft a QB in round two, the added cost is minimal. So they can improve at quarterback without needing to acquire a player via trade who is due millions in 2013.

          • Misfit74 says:

            Thanks for the response, Rob. That makes perfect sense.

            Although I think it’s still within the realm of possibility the Jets don’t want to suffer another year at QB be it Sanchez or a Rookie, they may have to overpay this year at QB to try and win with a veteran. Jobs are surely on the line and pressure is high. Depends on if they think there is a veteran (such as Flynn) who gives them a better chance to improve this year. That is Tim Ruskell thinking, which I don’t like, but I think there are some realities that could force a move for a veteran prior to moving on from Sanchez as early as next year (depending on the cap ramifications and his role, of course). That said, there are cheaper alternatives if you want a stop-gap, such as Matt Moore, for example.

          • Misfit74 says:

            Of course, today this is released from the Seattle Times (found via Rotoworld):

            “The Seattle Times suggests the Jets might be Matt Flynn’s “most likely suitor” on the trade market.
            The Seahawks would likely be willing to accept a late-round pick for a backup quarterback owed $5.25 million, $2 million of which is guaranteed. It can’t hurt that new Jets GM John Idzik was in Seattle’s front office when Flynn’s contract was negotiated and has an idea of Flynn’s value. Flynn would be a solid fit for Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast scheme.”

            Link: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/seahawks/2013/03/04/re-evaluating-the-market-for-matt-flynn/?syndication=rss

  26. JW says:

    The discussion around the draft pick value chart is interesting. It was (at least to my understanding) created by Jimmy Johnson before the top picks become so crazy expensive. So there was a period of time in which the values followed the chart closely but then it deviated- Oakland coudn’t get rid of the Jamarcus Russell pick, iirc. So, some argue that the chart value is more relevant now than it was before. of course it was never meant to be a rigid slide rule and it’s all context dependent on talent and need, but it will be interesting to see if the value chart is more representative of trades now than it has been more recently.

  27. Hawkfin says:

    Love Sheldon Richardson!
    He’s our #1 rated DT!

    Here are our ranks after full evaluations:

    First round pick if we go that route: (Can’t give details tonight)
    1. Sheldon Richardson – 6’4, 295, 30 Bench, 5.02 speed
    -He stands alone to us. Super fast on tape. He’s really the only and best DT that we like for the first round actually. If he’s gone, I might want to go another possition. We like this for our first round pick a lot! (He’s right there with Patterson/WR for our likes)

    2. Sylvester Williams – 6’3, 313, 27 Bench
    -This might be surprising to some. First round grade still. Good frame, bull rusher with power, plays hurt, spin move even. Like the entire package he has to offer.

    3. Kawann Short – 6’3, 310
    -Solid player. We like him a lot. Leader for loss of yards lost. Good run stopper with the ability to rush the passer. We see a few issues with him for a 1st round pick.
    But after him, we see a whole lot more issues with other DT’s.

    _____ 2nd Round / Drop Tier______
    4. John Jenkins – 6’4, 359, 30 bench
    -Massive player -Boom or bust? – Huge or fat? But we like him. He’s a huge man, but really moves well. He could be major trouble to stop. Good run clogger.

    5. Star Lotulelei – 6’4, 325, 5yr sr.- We down graded him a lot. Not a favorite. Plugged him here.
    6. Jesse Williams – 6’3, 320, 30 bench, 5yr sr.

    _____ 3rd Round / Drop Tier______
    7. Brandon Williams – 6’2 341, 38 bench, 5.37
    -We put a extra high mark on him. Like him. Compact bull rush, good production and did good in Sr. Bowl. Concern was small school and limited video on him.

    8. Sharrif Floyd – 6’3, 305, 4.92 but sure looks slow on tape
    -Wanted to take him off the list. Don’t really like him. Hope he’s gone. He’s rated in the first round so here he is. :)

    9. Johnathon Hawkins – 6’3, 320, 5.31
    10. Akeem Spence – 6’1, 305, 37 bench

    _____ 4th Round / Drop Tier______
    11. Chris Jones – 6’2, 302, 30 bench, 5.33 – Put a extra “Like Mark” on him.
    12. Jordan Hill – 6’1, 303, 28 bench, 5.23 speed – Put a extra “Like Mark” on him.

    ___ 5th Round+______
    13. Josh Boyd – 6’3, 310, 32 Bench, 5.14 – Put a extra “Like Mark” on him. He can cause pressure.
    14. Abry Jones – 6’3, 313, 30 Bench – Injury History. Better Jr year. Not a great sack guy
    15. Kappron Lewis-Moore – 6’4, 298 – RISK, tore ACL. But, he could be good.