Three players in focus: Anderson, Chesson, Chubb

November 9th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s still too early to get a proper handle on what Seattle’s future needs are. An upturn in the running game or accomplishing the desire to become the bullies again would change things. The Seahawks are a good team but they’re not bullies.

It feels like we should be looking at Ifedi and Reed types again. Attitude, grown men, big men. Nasty edge.

It’s why I’m focussing a lot on Utah tackle Garett Bolles (a guy who looks like he was made to play for this team). He would provide even more physicality, size, grit and edge in the trenches. This looks like a strong draft for defensive linemen and linebackers so a DE/DT or a LEO/LB type could also be on the radar in the first few rounds. Extra running back competition (bell-cow even?) seems likely. They’re also good enough and deep enough overall to focus on players who just fit what they look for regardless of positional need.

I wanted to write about three players today. One I’ve focussed on before, one is a new name and one we’ve only really discussed in the comments section.

Ryan Anderson (DE, Alabama)
I’m not sure whether Anderson is long enough or twitchy enough for the Seahawks, although he was a four-star recruit. Either way, the guy has just consistently made plays for ‘Bama this year. Every single week he turns up. His stat-line is incredible — 12.5 TFL’s in just nine games, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, seven more QB hurries and countless other splash plays.

As a pass-rusher he fires off the LOS with a great burst (his split could be good), he understands leverage and hand-use. He’s not an explosive athlete but he converts speed-to-power well and he’ll dip his inside shoulder before winning to the outside. He attacks the edge and he’ll stunt inside. His effort is fantastic, he plays with his hair on fire.

He reportedly has 31-inch arms and you can see he has issues disengaging at times when a blocker really locks on. He also appears to have average range and there’ll be some concern if he’s asked to play more as an OLB/DE hybrid that he could be exposed in coverage. As a pass-rusher he’s just so fun to watch though — and he’s a valuable locker room presence (good for quotes, bit of a joker, leader, grown man). Only last week he discussed changing his number to #4 to honour injured safety Eddie Jackson. He’s well matched to the AFC North. His value for Seattle will depend on his combine performance but his production, edge, nasty play and grit are unquestionably ‘Seahawky’. You could imagine his personality in Seattle’s locker room. It’s just a question of his fit as an athlete.

Jehu Chesson (WR, Michigan)
One of my favourite players coming into the season, Chesson has been relatively quiet so far. He has 416 receiving yards and just two touchdowns. That’s actually similar to last year — before he exploded into life in November. Last weeks 112-yard, one-score performance vs Maryland suggests it could happen again.

The great thing about Chesson is his value in multiple facets of the game. He’s a terrific gunner with great speed to be a major player on special teams. He’s scored a touchdown as a returner too (vs Northwestern, 2015). He’s possibly the best blocking receiver in college football and a real asset to the running game. He leaves everything on the field as a blocker — just throws himself into it and he’s big and strong enough to sustain blocks. He also has terrific speed and quickness. If he works on the unnecessary extra steps he takes occasionally coming out of his breaks he could be an explosive receiver. He’ll chew up a cushion easily and he’ll be able to fight against man coverage.

Chesson is the perfect compliment of athlete and competitor. He’s a well spoken, personable individual who doesn’t complain about his role on the team and does the dirty work every week without much of the reward. He has tremendous football character and a clear love for the game. Stats or no stats — the guy screams Seahawks. Receiver isn’t a major need but if they want a longer target who can contribute in so many different ways — Chesson could be a second day option.

Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
I’ve watched a fair bit of NC State this year and Chubb has stood out on each occasion. He really impressed during the farcical Notre Dame game (played in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew). The conditions were about as bad as you’ll see at a football game and that clearly impacted the two offenses. A five-yard run was a minor miracle. Chubb still played well and collected three sacks through sheer effort and physicality. He succeeded against Mike McGlinchey too.

Overall he has 13.5 TFL’s in nine games, six sacks and two forced fumbles. He’s added weight over time, going from about 225lbs as a three-star recruit to a listed 275lbs now. I think his playing weight is probably nearer to 265lbs and he’s an EDGE rather than an inside-out DE/DT type.

He’s the cousin of Nick Chubb (RB, Georgia). At the Nike SPARQ Combine in 2013 Nick had an elite performance. I’m not suggesting Bradley is capable of anything similar — but it will be interesting to see how he works out if he declares in the off-season (he’s a junior). Bradley’s brother is a linebacker on the Lions practise squad (Brandon was an UDFA this year). He ran a 4.68 at his pro-day at 235lbs with a 1.60 split. If Bradley gets a split in the 1.5’s or at 1.60 he becomes very interesting.

He does show a nice get-off, he’s quick to accelerate off the snap and he contains the edge well in the running game. Chubb works well to finish when he gets into the backfield — he’s tough to shake off and he handles space well (he did a good job on a TFL vs Dalvin Cook last weekend, Cook couldn’t dodge him even with so much space available to make a move or bounce out wide). He’s the impact player on NC State’s defense with a nice blend of attitude, edge, power and quicks. Much will depend on his workout (forty, split, three-cone, explosive tests) but if he’s a good enough athlete he could be one to monitor. It’s worth noting that Rivals listed Alabama among interested parties during recruitment. With so many twitchy EDGE rushers going early (Garrett, Williams, Smoot etc) Chubb could be a second rounder with value.

40 Responses to “Three players in focus: Anderson, Chesson, Chubb”

  1. Trevor says:

    Rob another great write-up. I love Anderson’s game and attitude. One of the best in CFB. Have to think he would fit right in with the Hawks. If he has 31 ” arms does that not almost exclude him regardless of his combine?

  2. C-Dog says:

    Thank you this, Rob. Now that these deplorable US elections are done, this board will continue to be a refreshing distraction, and your work is always greatly appreciated.

    In your mid season report card for the Hawks, would you have perhaps their biggest defensive need is Lb/edge, or DT/DE?

    Just curious. My thinking has been more towards a plan behind Bennett, but I’m starting to feel that a tough as nails type with could athleticism to set the edge might be the much stronger need. I’ve been thinking this clear back to Arizona game that a lack of presence at the SAM is starting to take some toll.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think their biggest need on defense is either another DE/DT type who works inside as a pass rusher for the money downs, or a classic three-technique pass rusher type. Unfortunately, really good 3T’s are about as rare as they come. There are a lot more options these days at DE/DT or EDGE. Quite like FSU’s Derrick Nnandi though. Bigger than a natural three but has some inside rush.

      • C-Dog says:

        You also seem fairly high on Florida’s Caleb Brantley. Would you peg him as a potential early round pick?

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think he looks like a solid second rounder. Impacts games, good pressure up the middle. Not sure if he’ll be special at the next level but could be a good piece for a team.

  3. Brandon says:

    Great write-up Rob. This is a little off topic, but I just keep falling in love with a back the comments has talked about before, D’onta Foreman. I know its still early, but where can you see a guy like this falling to? I’m crossing my fingers for Bolles in the first and then Foreman in the second.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m struggling to get overly excited about Foreman for a few reasons. Firstly, the BIG 12 is an absolute joke. Nearly every team has a terrible defense. Production in that conference is a given and it does take the edge off his stat line a little bit.

      Secondly, he was a two-star recruit and he’s a bit of an overachiever. That’s good and I have time for that — but the Seahawks have consistently drafted running backs in rounds 2-4 with an explosive athletic profile and a specific size type. Turbin, Michael and Prosise are virtually clones in terms of athletic profile. They seem to like guys who are about 5-10 and 225lbs. Foreman isn’t expected to be a brilliant tester at the combine and he’s listed at 6-1 and 249lbs. That is a major difference compared to the backs Seattle has drafted early in the past.

      He’s a really fun player to watch and if Seattle took him I’d happily admit I was overly down on him and I would look forward to seeing if his college game translates. I suspect against bigger, faster, stronger players at the next level he will not stand out as much and will struggle to do what he’s doing for Texas and dare I say — he might appear pretty average at best. I’m not really banking on him being a Seahawk unless it’s a day three pick where the value is too strong.

  4. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State) – I tend to agree he could be a nice addition to the Seattle DL rotation, but they have been tending toward guys who can play both DE/DT (for the most part). So I’ll bring up someone who might be a fit and has some scheme flexibility… a guy who I have liked for 2 years.. and appears to be a fit size / athletically… Devonte Fields, OLB/DE, Louisville (6’3.5 / 240+).

    **The only non-fit for Seattle would be the DV problem he had when younger…. this would of course need to be looked at and investigated further before taking a swing at him in the draft.

  5. John T says:

    Hi Rob, I was wanting to hear your take on UNC RB Elijah Hood? After finally getting healthy he ran strong last Saturday. If he keeps it up and looks like the physical runner from last season, any interest in him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He ticks Seattle’s boxes in terms of physical profile. He is their ideal size (based on draft history so far) and he had a terrific Nike SPARQ combine so the expectation is he will perform on a similar level to guys like Turbin/Prosise. Tough runner, good personality. He’s on the radar for sure. He might be the most likely RB in this class to end up in Seattle.

      • John T says:

        He does seem like the best option for what we’re looking for that will be available to us. I can see grabbing him and/or possibly De’veon Smith a few rounds later. Hopefully Rawls gets back to form so RB is less of a need.

        With the limited prospects for LT/RT have you given a look at Storm Norton out of Toledo? He was 6-8 in High school. Long arms. Played basketball, football and baseball. His dad had to get him underage ID at the of 12 because when he showed up to play he was bigger than the other teams coaches. Being athletic at that size while that young is impressive.

        I’m not the best at judging line talent, would appreciate other opinions.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          I’ll check him out!

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I’m still banging the drum for Samaje Perine. I can’t ignore Rob’s observations about the lack of competition in the Big 12, which might make Perine look better than he is. But he reminds me a lot of Lynch. He’s not as physically gifted, he doesn’t have the start/stop or agility, but he is extremely difficult to tackle, especially 1on1, and he loves to take it to the defender. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but he can win a footrace against defensive secondaries if he gets outside or finds a lane. He’s as physical as any college RB I’ve seen in the past few seasons, which may contribute to his injuries. But in that sense he’s a bully of a runner, and SEA want to be bullies again.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            I just think we need an intelligent athlete in the backfield.

            Perine is a little stiff for me. His injury history is also concerning.

            Has a lot of Thomas Rawls to his game. Certainly an option.

            Haven’t seen any interviews, is he the right character for our backfield?

            • Volume12 says:

              He don’t like the media. At all.

              His style is why he gets banged up. Although this is the 1st year he’s missed any time IIRC. And like Rawls, who’s style is conducive to getting hurt, is one reason why I think they want Rawls in a RBBC.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                “He don’t like the media. At all.”

                Another reason he reminds me of Lynch :)

                I don’t think he’s that similar to Rawls, in that Rawls is the more dynamic athlete. But I can see why you make the comparison as they’re both physical runners. From what I’ve read, Perine is insanely strong. He claims he can do between 30-40 reps on BP, and can squat 600+ lbs. He is a bit stiff – he doesn’t change speed much (or easily), and he’s a one-cut and go type of runner.

                Here are some excerpts from Daniel Jeremiah’s scouting report of Perine:

                “Perine is an aggressive, pounding runner who is very difficult to tackle one on one. He doesn’t dance and waste time behind the line of scrimmage. He is decisive and excels at running through contact. He lowers his shoulder and bounces off of defenders. He also picks up his knees and avoids getting tripped up when he runs through clutter. He has exceptional balance (see long TD vs. TCU). He doesn’t have “wow” speed, but he piles up a lot of long runs. He isn’t used very often in pass protection, but he shows a willingness to stick his face in the fan when he’s used as a lead blocker. He has made a couple de-cleating blocks on the perimeter. He caught just 15 passes last season but he has soft, reliable hands.

                He isn’t a nifty, elusive runner. He wins a lot of one-on-one battles in space, but power is usually his method of choice. He doesn’t make many defenders miss. He has decent play speed but he is a monotone runner, which means he doesn’t show much acceleration or explosion. I love his competitiveness and believe he can develop into a solid pass protector, but he doesn’t have much experience in that area. Hopefully, he’ll be used more in the passing game this fall.

                Biggest takeaway: Perine is a pure power runner and he provides a physical identity for the Oklahoma offense. I see some similarities to Michael Turner when he was coming out of college. They have similar builds and rarely go down on first contact. They both have exceptional balance and excel in short-yardage situations.”

                • Volume12 says:

                  Yeah, I don’t think he has many weaknesses. He might be one of the more complete backs in CFB.

                  Might not he a home run hitter in terms of breakaway speed, but he’s still able to break of big gains. Effective in the passing game when used, wouldn’t be asked to pass protect much. Not a 3rd down back. They got Prosise for that role. He’s got decent wiggle for a bigger back.

                  Without putting words in his mouth, I beleive Kenny comps him to Rawls because of their physical, lay their bodies on the line type of style. Rawls is much more of a slasher however.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    I also think this De’Veon Smith kid from Michigan is interesting as a day 3 guy.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    Perine has a great low center of gravity, terrific ‘sweet’ feet, the power you describe, good hands.

                    I see some Michael Turner, but also a much bigger Maurice Jones-Drew.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    I like him as the lead back in a RBBC arrangement. He can wear down a defense with his physical play, which sets up guys like Prosise and CMike for big gains late in the game.

                    I think his value in the R4 range and would be a solid pick for SEA then.

                    Reading Rob’s posts, I’m leaning towards Bolles in R2 – either after a trade down from R1 or with their R2 pick, depending on how long he’s projected to last. Otherwise I’d prefer an EDGE/DE type early – one of Lawson, Barnett, McDowell or Smoot Wish I had more CFB game time in this year.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    Kinda see him their too. Bolles. At least currently. Who knows after the combine and what not if he declares. I think he will though.

                    Love Carl Lawson. But, UCLA’s ‘Takk’ McKinley is my favorite EDGE this year after ‘Bama’s Tim Williams.

                    I’ve cooled a bit on Derek Barnett.

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    I don’t remember anyone bringing up Tyvis Powell’s huge block that took out two guys on Locketts punt return

  7. Volume12 says:

    Florida International TE/WR Jonnu Smith to miss the rest of the season after his pregnant girlfriend threw boiling water on his head.

    What is wrong with people?

  8. Volume12 says:

    Does anyone else think Michigan’s Taco Charlton is very similar to Chandler Jones?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Me. That’s exactly who he projects. Will fill out his frame as a pro, too

      • Volume12 says:

        Exactly. He’ll get better as a pro too.

        BTW, Seattle scouting the Michigan vs Iowa on Saturday night.

        • East Side Stevie says:

          Cant wait for that game there are some players I love on both teams. Iowa is built in the trenches but they lack talent at the WR position. They have one of the best corners in the country and are pretty young at safety. CB Greg mabin plays opposite of king, I think michigan will look to expose mabin but at times he has made plays. Josey Jewell and Bo Bower are the definition of blue collar Big 10 Linebackers, they will make most of the plays that the D Line doesnt already make. Keep your eye on 2nd string RB Akrum Wadley he is a play maker, and a dual threat RB he catches the ball well.

  9. Ukhawk says:

    Really like some some Taco. Really quick feet and closing speed for a taller guy. Also think he could play at 5 and move inside to rush as he fills out

  10. D-OZ says:

    I’m high on Taco!!!!! Would look good in a Hawk uni..

  11. GoHawks5151 says:

    Thoughts on Arden Key DE from LSU? Token LSU clone of Barkevious Mingo or Sam Montgomery or a bit more? I kinda like him as a defensive athlete and he showed out against Bama in a game of defensive stars.

  12. Tim says:

    Does anyone think the Seahawks would want to draft Cooper Kupp in the 2nd or 3rd day? He’s got good size at 6’2 200lbs. He’s got really good hands, uses his body to shield defenders. Scouts say he’s one of the best route runners in this draft. But the thing I like most about him is that he always refuses to go down when he’s a ball carrier. Watch him stiff arm defenders! He looks like a bully to me.