Thursday draft notes: Ja’Wuan James in round one?

April 24th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Could Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James land in round one?

Mark Dominik is the former GM of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was fired at the end of last season, so he went through the usual process of plotting for the upcoming 2014 draft.

He’s now working for ESPN as an analyst and shared a couple of interesting Tweets last night:

There’s nothing revelatory in suggesting Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews will be first round ‘locks’. But it’s the name on the end of the list that is really fascinating.

“James”.

As in Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James.

I don’t get the sense Dominik’s Tweets were just one man’s opinion — they were more a consensus view among league personnel. We’ll probably see more receivers and tackles drafted in round one than just the names listed above. But this is the first suggestion James is in any way a ‘lock’ to go in round one.

The position has become so key in the NFL. That was never more evident than last year when three of the first four picks were spent on offensive tackles. I’m not sure any of the trio are superior to Robinson or Matthews this year — but in a draft without obvious top-end talent, teams loaded up on the best tackles.

Overall nine offensive linemen were drafted in the first frame. We might not reach that number in 2014, but it’ll be close.

Not many people expect the top three (Robinson, Matthews & Lewan) to get out of the top ten. And yet there’s still multiple teams who won’t allow themselves to end day one without a new tackle.

Could James be the next man up? It appears that could be the case.

Tony Pauline noted today that first round buzz on Cyrus Kouandjio — which always appeared to be a bit of a damage limitation stunt — is inaccurate. If teams were failing him on his medical at the combine, he’s going to fall. Perhaps in a big way.

Pauline mentioned Joel Bitonio as a possibility for the Dolphins which shows how far he’s rising up the board (and rightly so). The options in rounds 2-3 aren’t great so any team without a Tom Cable will feel some pressure to find a blocker in round one.

James, Bitonio and Morgan Moses could all be first round picks.

And a reminder — Cable worked out James and team mate Antonio Richardson at Tennessee’s facility at the start of April.

Falcons trading up to #1?

Jadeveon Clowney is reportedly travelling to Atlanta for a short work out. His agent previously suggested he’d only do one single work out — presumably for the team that’ll end up drafting him with the top pick.

Of course there’s every chance Houston does something else at #1 and the Falcons grab him at #2 after trading with St. Louis. Yet if the Texans are serious about moving down surely they’ll simply agree to any offer the Rams are prepared to accept to move down?

On the Falcons — last year had been brewing for a while. To some extent it’s similar to Seattle’s sudden and dramatic collapse at the end of the Holmgren era. And while Matt Ryan is younger than Matt Hasselbeck and injury free — the rest of the roster is beaten up, ineffective and filled with holes.

Clowney would provide some edge pressure but the main issue is an overall lack of talent and depth. If anything they’d be better off trying to move back from #6. The NFC has become a brutal endurance test — and the Falcons are as finesse as they come. Clowney is an exciting talent, but he’s not going to bring a hard edge to a pretty soft looking unit.

If the Falcons did move up to #1 we could see something like this in the top ten (I still believe Detroit will trade up too):

#1 Atlanta — Jadeveon Clowney
#2 St. Louis — Khalil Mack
#3 Detroit — Sammy Watkins
#4 Cleveland — Greg Robinson
#5 Oakland — Jake Matthews
#6 Houston — Blake Bortles
#7 Tampa Bay — Mike Evans
#8 Minnesota — Aaron Donald
#9 Buffalo — Taylor Lewan
#10 Jacksonville — Johnny Manziel

This would actually be a good thing for the Seahawks. They want the QB’s to come off the board early.

I’ve played around with a number of scenarios from 11-32 with this top ten and in every single one there’s an appealing option with the last pick in round one. Whether it’s Joel Bitonio, Morgan Moses or one of the top receivers (Latimer, Benjamin or Moncrief) — Seattle aren’t without options. And there’s always a chance they’re the team highest on Ja’Wuan James.

Latimer with another pro day

According to Tony Pauline, Cody Latimer will work out for at least 23 teams tomorrow at Indiana. He only did certain drills in a previous work out due to a foot injury. He’s since visited with several teams including the Seahawks.

Without doubt for me Latimer is one of the most exciting players in the draft — and also one of the most underrated along with Bitonio. This quote from Pauline sums up why he’ll be very appealing to many teams:

“There are a number of reasons for his ascent but the two things I continue to hear as the biggest factors are 1) his 4.43s forty time at pro-day and 2) the way Latimer consistently wins out for contested passes.”

A 4.4 forty and winning contested passes — words to light up Seattle’s war room.

It’s not just that though — his run blocking is superb, he doesn’t drop passes and he’s one of those ‘basketball’ athletes who comes into the league and just takes off.

He’s a special talent and the Seahawks will be fortunate if he’s available at the end of round one. He’s one of 30 players who will attend the draft in New York.

128 Responses to “Thursday draft notes: Ja’Wuan James in round one?”

  1. Ed C. says:

    So close to the draft. Two things Rob.

    1. What about trading next years first for another second this year? Maybe Cleveland/Jacksonville/Minnesota

    Then go Latimer/Bitino/Easley (or smith). Gives us a #1 WR and replacement for Okung and Avril.

    2. With how well we draft CB, you think Sherman for Suh would even be thought about?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m always cautious of spending future picks, especially when you already have a good team. I’d rather go into every off-season with my #1 in tact. I’m a huge fan of Latimer and Bitonio but this would still be a tough sell. If I wanted both players badly enough I’d try and find a deal that sees you trade up from #64.

      Sherman won’t go anywhere, and neither should he.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      There is a reason Suh is available. Suh is the anti-comPete.

    • Arias says:

      Suh for Sherm? That’s sacrilege man.

  2. Michael (CLT) says:

    J James may have the best feet in the draft for OL. I am surprised it took this long for the buzz to start. Pauline’s site has a writer that has banged the table for this guy for months.

    I honestly think the only guy that Seattle will take over a true right tackle (e.g. No Bitonio) is Latimer.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yep Jon Dove has been a big fan of James all year.

      I’m not sure Seattle is that zoned in on a right tackle, especially given there aren’t a ton of options there at #32. And if James is a lock for round one he likely won’t be there at #32.

    • House says:

      I remember talking about JuWuan James back in January and the thought was “limited upside, strictly a RT”. The hype on Tiny Richardson seemed to be about 500% of any talk that James had. Its amazing how much changes in less than 100 days.

  3. bigDhawk says:

    OT: Anyone think the acquisition of Pryor so close to Wilson’s divorce announcement is more than coincidence? My heart broke a little when I first heard. I wish no harm on anyone involved, but this is honestly shocking news, and who knows what potentially devastating things are happening in Wilson’s life right now, things that may effect his playing ability or viability next season. I sure hope not, but could we see a starting QB competition next season, especially if something has happened that effects the Seahawks’ desire to extend him long-term? Apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll bet all the money I own the two things aren’t related. Seattle loves crazy athletes. Pryor is a crazy athlete.

      And I’m uncomfortable discussing Wilson’s divorce on here. This is a draft/football blog. Speculating on a man’s divorce isn’t a topic we should be debating IMO.

      • Belgaron says:

        To me, the Prior acquisition is akin to the drafting of Michael, its about the confidence of Seahawks organization to convert incredible talent into star football players. If they could, they’d have crazy athletes top to bottom.

        • woofu says:

          I am amazed at the number of people who seem to believe that getting a Pryor type player is only a BUQB or WR move. Frankly if Pryor came in and outplayed RW he would be the starter.

          I don’t expect it but you can bet the farm if it happened the Hawks would be elated and ANY player they bring in they do so with the idea that they can compete to start. They are never shooting for “almost”.

          • Arias says:

            But I could bet the farm that it won’t happen and I’d win because I’d be right.

            People see him as a low cost backup option because that’s what he is. Your saying “if Pryor outplayed RW he would be the starter” is about as useful as me saying “If a two mile wide asteroid were fall from space tomorrow and land on top of my head I’d be dead”. Ok, yeah that might be true. But the probability of it happening is so exceedingly low as to be almost negligible. That makes the marginal utility of considering such questions pretty much pointless.

    • Michael M. says:

      No offense bigDhawk, but this is one of he most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. Russell Wilson is our QB. Pryor is not even close to the echelon below him.

      • Arias says:

        Indeed bigDhawk. Actually as far as development go, I wouldn’t even put Pryor at 50% the QB Wilson is. Maybe 33% and that’s being generous to Pryor. The only thing he can do better than Wilson is the ability to run for more yards when he tucks it in and turns upfield.

        Every other aspect of Pryor’s quarterbacking is poor and compared to Wilson he is far inferior. Poor pocket presence, poor and slow to read defense, poor ball placement, poor anticipation of his receivers, arm strength limits deep ball, slow throwing mechanics make point of release time longer than expected, all aspects of his quarterbacking skillset are so poor it’s almost obscene.

        So no, I’m absolutely sure you’re 100% wrong to think they were concerned about Wilson’s divorce, so thought Pryor would be a superior starter with his walloping high single digit quarterback IQ. He’s a great athlete though.

    • Robert says:

      Ridiculous speculation…the most likely scenario is that RW’s obsession with football (IE works out 6 days per week during the OFF season) strained the relationship. My heart broke a little…anyway, is Pryor going to be our new quarterback or what?

    • Colin says:

      Madness.

  4. Rob Staton says:

    I’ve spent the last hour watching some more Ja’Wuan James tape. I can kind of see why he could go in round one. Also watched another Morgan Moses game and wasn’t overly impressed. I’m leaning towards James >>> Moses with two weeks to go.

    • Robert says:

      Well, then…James vs Bitonio – pros vs cons???
      James long arms and great strength despite BP, but much slower to 2nd level are my initial observations…

    • House says:

      James has an amazing kick-slide. I have been hoping to be our pick @ #64.

      I understand Moses has a bigger “upside” and flexibility to possibly play LT, but I pick James as well.

      Any objections to drafting James @ #32 if Bitonio/Latimer are gone?

    • Mattk says:

      Two things cause me hesitation to call James a first rounder. His lack of nastiness and his game against Missouri. His tape showed a few missed 2nd level blocks and an ugly play in pass protection where he got blown back off his feet, giving up a sack.

      I think somewhere in the 2nd round is better value, but I see where he could be the #32 pick. He has the athleticism to play the zone blocking scheme and cut blocks with ease which is a requirement in Cable’s linemen. Even more, pass pro is his best attribute imo and if there was a college right tackle who projects better as a LT, it’d be James, which I think the Seahawks will value seeing as the idea is to look for a swing tackle in the draft according to Pauline.

  5. Don says:

    The Hawks can either sit back and see who is left for them to take (passive approach), or trade up to the appropriate pick and take the guys they want (aggressive approach). This year I choose the aggressive approach.

    We all believe the Hawks greatest positions of need are WR and OL which should be addressed in the first two picks. I think they should trade whatever number of this years picks to move up and get Latimer in the 1st rd and Bitonio or James in the 2nd rd. Sprinkle in a 7th rd pick and UDFA’s and you are good until next year’s draft.

    As Super Bowl Champs, draft for quality rather than depth. They already have depth.

    • Cade says:

      The theory sounds okay until… you consider that drafting in numbers for the Seahawks is the same thing as drafting for quality. We as fans have this perceived idea of quality and then next thing you know we have 3 low end picks performing higher than most of the leagues first or second rounder.

      We also have a lot of spots to fill between this year and after next. Our depth will be severely depleted if we don’t restock continually.

    • Colin says:

      Cade is right. You have to replenish what you’ve lost in addition to looking for quality. This team has certainly lost depth.

      • Robert says:

        Maybe, time will tell. We have a stable of young prospects at various levels of development in our system. And PC is the master of developing the next man up! My prediction is that numerous players will step up out of obscurity and fill the voids. Some will be contributors, while others will become fan favorites.

  6. David M says:

    I say we move up into the late teens early 20s. Why? We can get the player we want that WILL MAKE AN IMPACT THIS YEAR. and second, we will have a lot of comp picks next year. Your not gonna see another WR class like this for a long time, so why miss the opportunity?

  7. SunPathPaul says:

    One thing I do know-

    If Seattle took the chance and made ‘whatever’ kind of trade for Mike Evans- Then I’d be totally satisfied!!! He would fit perfectly with Harvin, Kearse, & Baldwin long term!

    • SunPathPaul says:

      …and if the new Q-joker type player is born with Terrell Pryor, that would be a fearful combo.

      Imagine Jermichael Finley added to the TE’s?!!? WOW Scary

      • Robert says:

        In my Seahawks fantasy, Pryor becomes a red zone terror, our young DL prospects ball out, we get Latimer and a T prospect that plays well immediately and some high upside guys to develop and Lyerla joins RW’s church.

      • Colin says:

        I don’t think adding Finley would make much difference unless you start really throwing the ball much more. And given our dedication to the run game, I can’t see that happening in 2014.

    • David M2 says:

      Mike Evans is a hothead, may have maturity issues, better off taking a gamble on Martavius Bryant, Moncrief, or Coleman, or better yet, just really hope that Latimer or Bitonio is there at #32

      • JeffC says:

        Imagine if he somehow got drafted by a team like the Giants and decided to take himself out of a big game and Tom Coughlin responding to that. Because in the pros, they are going to try, and many times succeed, in getting under Evans’ skin.

  8. Michael says:

    I love the agressive approach. You go get players you love and than then find athletes in the late round. I dont believe that seattle has any problem with depth this year or next. I honestly dont like selling next years stock but honestly can we say we will be picking outside the 29-32 range next year? Qhat are we gaining by not getting who we want instead of taking whatever is available. I say carp is a great example of that method.

  9. Colin says:

    I wonder how much Bradley Roby being charged with Operating Under the Influence affects his draft stock.

  10. Darren says:

    To add fuel to the fire on trading up…picking up a reciever on a five year rookie deal is cost effective compared to trying to buy one on the free agent market. If they like moncrief or benjamin enough it makes sense. Seems those two are within close range. Problem is if we trade a fourth we’d be down to only five picks in this deep draft. Could we package our 1st and next years second to move up 10 spots and get our guy?

    • Colin says:

      That’s an awful lot to give up for a guy not named Sammy Watkins.

      • Darren says:

        I guess it depends on how the FO rates these reciever prospects. My purely speculative eye appreciates moncrief and he goes a mere two spots ahead on this mock….to the niners. After him were looking at grades in Rd 2 and beyond. I’d be cool standing pat and grabbing say Coleman at 64.

        I thought Miami would prefer an OL so bitonio there makes sense.

        • Colin says:

          I would not give up a 1st and 2nd for a WR not named Sammy Watkins, IMHO. Evans is a real good player, but not a must have stud.

          Coleman at 64 would make me giggle.

          Throw Easley in somewhere in round 4…. I’m buying lotto tickets.

          • Robert says:

            Easley is a phenomenal talent. It all comes down to the facts about his knees and why he had 2 such injuries. Just bad luck or a weakness or propensity for knee injuries? I would not be a bit surprised if we scooped him up at #32! I mean, he’s ready to play THIS season and looked pretty awesome at a recent workout attended by scouts and media.

            • Colin says:

              Two things have to happen to take Easley at 32:

              1.) The team must be absolutely certain his knees are not going to be an issue.

              2.) Other players available would’ve have to grade out vastly inferior- something I don’t think is going to happen.

              I don’t see him going in round 1.

      • Drew says:

        Agreed!!! Sammy Watkins is the only one I’d give up that much for…almost as much as Aaron Donald.

    • CC says:

      Couldn’t the same be said for a great OT or DE? If the FO think a WR is the best guy available at 32 it is great, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t looking at this spot and thinking about the 5th year option. I don’t think they think like that.

  11. Stuart says:

    Premature-edraftulation…draft still two weeks away…

    Somebody please comment on the big lose from yesterdays resignations of Seattle’s #2 man behind JS?

    What does this mean?

    What about the timing, two weeks away from the draft?

    It seems that Arizona or St. Louis or pick a team would pay this man handsomely for information, don’t ya think?

    • CC says:

      I’m guessing he’s under some sort of confidentiality agreement for a bit of time – likely after the draft. This would be pretty standard for someone at his level leaving a position like this. Now, after this year, could he share certain things about how the Seahawks analyze players, but he is able to take his own views and assessment standards if he developed them himself. He just can’t take any “Seahawks” ideas with him. That of course would be difficult to establish, so basically after this years draft, he can rent himself out to the highest bidder.

  12. CC says:

    I like James a lot – I like him more than Richardson and think he’s been underrated compared to Richardson. I like Bitonio too – but I’d be happy with either of them at 32. James IMO has a nice upside and I was happy to see that Cable went and worked them out. His had to handle a lot of fast SEC rushers and he held his own. He may need some work as a run blocker, but he looks the part.

  13. CC says:

    And can I just say – I’m annoyed that guys we like who have been a bit under the radar have been found out!! I’m pretty sure they all are reading Rob’s blog for all the finds!

    Rob, you may have to start throwing out misinformation!

    Thanks again for the great read!

  14. Steve Nelsen says:

    James was the top of my list at 64. Dominique Easely would be a great pick at 64 if he’s there. I think Stanley Jean-Baptiste develops into a Pro-Bowl corner and I would love him at 64. But I am concerned all 3 of those guys may be gone.

    I think there will be wide-receiver the Hawks love at 32. And I think there is a fair chance that they take a defensive lineman.

    • Drew says:

      No way our front office spends a 2nd rounder pick on a DB. We turned a 5th round pick into a potential future hall of famer! And Maxwell was a 2nd round pick as well with elite performance. I hope they target Dontae Johnson in the 4th or Antone Exum/Walt Aikens later.

  15. bubba gill says:

    Rob I know this is off topic. How do you think Russel Wilson will be after the his divorce. Will he be consumed with his craft, and have a milestone season, or will he be simply occupied by his heartbreak. If you could write about either situation. Just give me some credit on my team s best website

    • Matt J says:

      Not only does Rob host an awesome Seahawks blog, he moonlights as a divorce grief counselor…

    • Robert says:

      He will likely crumble into a morass of apathy and depression and begin to shoot heroin into the veins of his non-throwing arm. Or, he will continue to demonstrate virtue of character like he did when his father became gravely ill, declined rapidly and ultimately died. RW managed to graduate from college in 3 years, played professional baseball AND elite QB/team captain for 2 different colleges while occasionally driving all night long to visit his ailing father, returning to college classes the following morning. So Bubba, I assure you that that RW has attained a level of self mastery that few ever contemplate. He is in complete control of his focus and mindset. He would never disgrace himself or the memory of his father by choosing to wallow in self-pitty. The preparation is in the separation – he’s not like most people…

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m uncomfortable discussing a man’s divorce. It’s his business. Anything I write about it would only be speculative and based on no facts. He needs to be left alone to deal with this situation.

  16. EranUngar says:

    WOWWW…..

    I’ve been hammering the trade up drums for a while and suddenly it’s buzz word here. I think it would be a smart move only if the draft goes horribly wrong for us.

    Giving up a lot to jump into the the teens is too costly. Carp is a reminder that not all 1st. round picks are gold. The bust ratio is 35-40% on 1st. round prospects. You don’t want to invest so many high picks on those odds.

    What i believe is that we should get our quality guy at the end of the round. There is enough talent around and one or more should be there. However, if the draft really goes all wrong, QBs are dropping and that list of candidates becomes dangerously slim by the early 20’s the obvious move would be to trade up with Cleveland. The scenario were QBs are dropping means that the Browns will have the QB they want at 26. All the teams behind them already have a franchise QB so trading back to 32nd is not a risk for them. The first team that could be interested in a QB after Cleveland is Houston at 33rd. It should be an easy call for them to trade back 6 spots for a 3rd next year and it would get us 5 extra potential candidates to pick from. One of those candidates is the guy we wanted at 32nd.

    I fully agree that our strength is in nailing some of the late round picks and developing those players into superstars. We should not sell out multiple picks and loose on those guys, especially when we have just 6 picks this year. Keeping our top 2 picks this year and next year is also a major need to keep the roster buildup.

    That’s my take. It’s probably all wrong…but…

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      A trade up would really disappoint me.

      Now, trading a 2015 2nd for Cleveland’s 7th pick in round three… Now we are building something. The 3 rd round will be loaded.

  17. Dtrain says:

    Paradigm shift here…watching Deone Bucannon tape tonight. He is almost the exact mix of ET/KC. He can play the half, play quarters, rock the deep 1/3 and roll into curl/flat…all while laying the WOOD on anybody with a football in their hands. He has ball skills and a Seahawk D disposition. He looks like an option that fits in the Hawk mold…draft him, incorporate him into what they do best; cover 1 and 3…playing 3 safeties vs 11/12 personnel…In cover 2, Bucannon on the half with ET, Kam as the coverdown LB (frees up Irvin as a rusher in that package)…cover 1 & 3, rolling Kam and Deone as curlf/flat and man on #2 guys with ET in the high hole,into underneath coverage…Kam is amazing at this, even vs the best slots & TEs…allows for Wagner and Wright to be the ILBs in that look–they are great pattern read droppers with instincts to handle hook/curl in cov 3 and backs out in cover 1. All of this may free up Wags, KJ, and Kam as blitzers as well by having the extra SS type (Bucannon) rolling up in coverage behind the blitz. At 32, this is a VALUE pick that I can see Carroll tinkering with as an opportunity to EVOLVE his defense (I am convinced they will have to change some scheme minus Big Red and Clem).

    • Dtrain says:

      …and as a bi-product, it would take the pressure off drafting a LB to replace next year’s FAs (Wright & Smith) with a high pick this year.

    • Matt J says:

      Good post, the Hawks would make this type of move that nobody sees coming.

  18. Hawks420 says:

    I’m really hoping all 3 qb’s go before round 2… or 4 qb’s for that matter. Plus if 8 or 9 o-linemen came off the board it would push some great players down to #32. Here’s my dream team if so.

    R1 Cody Latimer 6-3 215 4.38-40time Basketball roots, great blocker and a TD machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZXQcakwFAc

    R2 Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6-5 265lbs 4.7?40time Basketball roots, great blocker and a TD machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMQrnlGDkU

    R3 CB Kieth McGill 6-3 211lbs 4.51-40time (trade are 4th and turbo/2015pick for the Jag’s 3rd) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6qv3hVhKzA

    R5 OT Seantrel Henderson 6-7 331lbs 5.04-40time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrNwGYM5uaE

    R5 FS Marqueston Huff 5-11 196 4.49-40time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TWd7En8-m0

    R6 WR L’Damian Washington 6-4 195lbs 4.43-40time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV1WGA9jvh0

    BTW Every time Terrelle Pryor runs on the field I will be yelling, Seneca package…

    • Drew says:

      I highly doubt we draft a tight end, especially one that high. We don’t have a need there and I don’t think he would make are roster better. Also with your trade scenario….Don’t think Turbo gets traded, as much as many of us fans would like to see it, its very uncommon to trade a player on draft day.

      • Hawks420 says:

        Your probably right. This is more my wish list than trying to guess what PC/JS are going to do. But I do see TE as a future need and I don’t have faith that McCoy or Willson can block if Miller went down. Plus I think ASJ becomes the first TE of his kind. A hybrid red zone threat (ala jimmy/tony) and superior blocker (ala miller) I love Zac Miller and will miss him when he’s gone but I do think are roster would be better if he blocked the way he does and was a 6-5 ex-basketballer with speed….

        And I kinda em a washington guy all out… Hell, I thought Jermaine Kearse would be making SB winning catches for the Hawks (dream come true). Glad to see Trufant retire as a Hawk too, he was Richard Sherman in Gary Payton’s body. I wish the best for him in his life after football.

  19. Adog says:

    I’m not sure that Carroll/ Schneider believe in the franchise qb model. As much as I’m agog with Wilson , it’s reasonable to let him walk. Defense and running the football are the cornerstones of this team. Is it a myth that the 19 mill plus a year qb is fundamental to a championship ? I think so. In the salary cap age, I think the first team to abandon the “franchise qb ” model…could be a dynasty. How do you get by without a franchise qb? Elite Defense, special teams and a zone blocking offense that features a west coast passing offense of bubble screens, jet sweeps , read options and play actions.

    • Colin says:

      You can’t be serious.

    • Dtrain says:

      I agree to a point (anyone is replacable at the right price)…but, can you pay a CB 13m in a system that consistently turns out superstar DBs from scratch and NOT pay a Super Bowl QB with great big-game savvy? Which position do you pay the big $ to…or, with the big cap bumps coming up, can you time it up by paying both AND maintain cap integrity over the long haul? Wilson is the QB FIT here. His tenacity is exactly what this staff would search for relentlessly w/o him on the roster. Think of all the QBs in this draft–all have big ? marks–sure, one or two will hit the mark, but there are 9 (Bortles, Manziel, Carr, Grappiolo, Bridgwater, Savage, Mettenberger, McCarron, Murray) that could be drafted in the first 4 rounds…meaning a lot of wasted picks, clipboard holders, and heartaches trying to find a Champion. Name next year’s 1st round QBs off the top of our heads…not good odds. When you have a franchise QB, you pay him. The Hawks are in an envious position as they may be able to save a few million as it times up prior to huge cap increases in ’15 & ’16. Wilson takes care of the ball. He motivates those around him. He contributes to the run game, which is the primary mission of the offense…and, he’ll never have to be paid like Rogers, Manning, Brady, Brees…because his stats won’t dictate those $. He is in a word, a bargain.

      • Robert says:

        Yeah, let’s talk about that 13m CB. I believe there is a strong possibility that PCJS will decide the best Win Forever move on their board after this season is to create a blockbuster trade. This would free up significant CAP AND generate an embarrassment of Draft capital. The move is contingent on other CB’s continuing to develop, which seems likely. Buy low (5th round); sell high!

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sherman, Wilson and Thomas aren’t going anywhere.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            I’m not so sure about that. Sherman above 10 million starts to look bad for the team. Because we also have to sign Thomas and he is worth as much as Sherman. Then we have Maxwell coming up in a year, and other cornerbacks and four linebackers that all will be due raises. Someone will be let go. I know everyone loves Sherman, but his contract would pay for four good linebackers.

            The other issue is simply envy. You pay one player a lot more then everyone else and it irritates them. Sure Sherman is elite, but so are Chancellor and Thomas, and possibly two other cornerbacks that we already have. Who has more of an impact, Shermans interceptions and deflections? Or Chancellor and Thomas hitting someone so hard that they don’t make another catch? Who put Vernon Davis out of the game two years ago? Who made Crabtree flinch and drop the ball this year? Who chases down the receivers that get past Sherman? They are all part of a secondary that has to play as a unit. So I don’t believe in paying any one of those three significantly more then the other two. That would be a big mistake.

            • Colin says:

              Sherman is getting $10 million/year plus. You can take that to the bank.

            • Michael (CLT) says:

              To not pay Sherman devastates credibility Seattle has built in the league. Not rewarding players who outperform their contract is a serious black eye.

              Now, making a fair offer and not finding common ground changes the dynamic. We are a long way from that scenario.

              • Colin says:

                Not only that, but if Maxwell plays at a Sherman-esque level as AlaskaHawk suggests, he’s gonna get a pretty large payday next year. In which case, you can’t keep both. So it’s a bit hypocritical to suggest you can’t pay Sherm big money because you need to keep Maxwell and others, and then suggest Maxwell is in the class as Sherm and expect to keep him for less than a near Sherman deal. It’s gonna be one or the other.

                • AlaskaHawk says:

                  My main point is that if you pay one player 13 million plus – which is probably what Sherman can get from someone, then you create ill will among the other 3+ secondary who are just as elite as Sherman.

                  Plus we need to pay for a whole team, not just one player. The only exception to that is Russell Wilson who isn’t replaceable.

                  • Colin says:

                    I don’t believe that at all. I think the other members in the secondary know how good Sherm is and is worth the money he is gonna get.

                    Now, if Sherm were being imported via FA. THAT is a different story.

                  • AlaskaHawk says:

                    Speaking of free agents, that is exactly what happened when they brought Percy Harvin in. We are paying him 12 million a year. But the Seahawks aren’t willing to pay Golden Tate 6 million a year so he went to another team. Tate was our leading receiver last year. Next up for negotiations is Baldwin, will we be able to keep him? Probably not if he wants 6 million like Tate. Baldwin was also the leading receiver on the team in his rookie year.

                    The way this is playing out with receivers is very similar to what is happening in our secondary. The choices are to pay for one elite player or two really good players.

                  • Arias says:

                    The other other DBs that aren’t as elite as Sherman aren’t going to be paid like him, so your ‘creating ill will’ argument makes no sense. Only Thomas is on a similar level and he plays safety which is a different pay scale than corner. It’s not going to create ill will if Earl gets 10 mil and Sherm 13 mil because that would be in line for the top paid salaries at those their respective positions. It’s not going to create ill will with Chancellor because he already signed his contract last year and is not as elite at his position as Sherman is to his. It’s not going to create ‘ill will’ with Maxwell because he’d be the first to tell you that Sherm deserves more because Sherm is the better player. It’s not going to create ‘ill will’ with Jeremy Lane because 1) he’s a slot corner and 2) he hasn’t even moved into a fulltime starting role on the defense yet so he knows he’s in no position to have ill will towards anyone.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’m not even sure why we’re debating this in the week the news broke a deal was close.

              Sherman isn’t going anywhere. He’s an elite cornerback and the best in the NFL. If players are so riddled with envy how does any successful team avoid implosion when 3-4 of the guys get paid? It’s not even a small concern for me.

              He’s going to get paid. He should get paid. Everything is good with Sherman in Seattle.

          • CC says:

            Smart people make smart decisions – these 3 guys are special. The FO knows it – that is why they have been willing to part with good guys and good players like Red, Clem and even Golden – because they know how important these 3 guys are. Half the field is closed off with Sherm – the other half becomes smaller because of Earl. Russell makes big plays, doesn’t make mistakes, understands the game – you cannot find QBs like that every year. Once you find one – you keep him!

    • Hawks420 says:

      A few fax to debate your theory

      #1 the team your describing will need a qb that takes care of the football. Wilson had the least interceptions in NCAA history. Pryor has more INT’s than TD’s in 11 nfl starts.

      #2 the Matt Flynn signing.

      #3 how long it took us to find a qb who could win games. (all the way to the SB)

      Plus Kenneth Arthur found his only weakness = unwillingness to grow 2 inches. I just read this over at field gulls today and really liked it. http://www.fieldgulls.com/kenneth-arthur/2014/4/24/5643542/russell-wilson-nfl-draft-prospect-complete-history-seahawks

    • Robert says:

      You kinda maybe almost have a good point. These kids coming out of college are very skilled. The plummeting draft stock value of RB’s is interesting and relates. I definitely think the Baltimore GM should have read your post BEFORE signing Flack-o. But RW is different. He can throw it all over the yard when we need him to – like the Atlanta playoff game. But his elite characteristic is that he makes the plays to win games when you really need it. We could blow a lot of teams up if PC let’r rip. But he likes to slow the game way down and limit possessions. RW was a magician last year. I do not think any other QB in the league wins a Superbowl last year if they were our QB. Time and again, RW was lambasted by relentless pressure behind our turnstile OL. But he always made the plays when it mattered the most.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Wilson isn’t going anywhere.

      • Adog says:

        Well take a close look at the cap…our franchise qb is the lowest paid qb on the roster. Next year he should become the highest paid player by a long shot. It seems uncanny that one team can pay three players the top salary for their positions. Wilson will get 20 mill plus a year …in Seattle or elsewhere … He is elite. Same story with Thomas and Sherman…they will be the highest paid players at their positions. There is a reason that the fourth guy that comes after kam earl and Sherman looks great. It’s not all coaching … It’s called mutualism. It’s unorthodox because qb’s are seen as instrumental to team strength…but when I hear big balls Pete say that they can win with tjack, and barely shrug his shoulders, I believe him. Perhaps it is function of the always compete program…every qb he had at USC was phenomenal until they got to the pro’s. If his program is a upshoot from his USC one… They replaced a qb every three years.

        • Rob Staton says:

          When he says they can win with TJack, he was probably referring to the odd game not a championship. Wilson will get paid in 12 months and be here for years.

          • Adog says:

            Ok…say he gets paid…who gets cut? Who follows Tate out the door? Lynch is probably a good candidate …. Harvin as we’ll…Wagner? Maybe Thomas? Is this a logical trade off? They seem to have lynch’s replacement …do we trade up for beckam or cooks? Are they protecting jj. Johnson in case Thomas leaves? If so…safety becomes an option…Buchanon maybe c.prior? O yeah and how many playoff games has the packers won since they started paying Rodgers. 20plus a year? On that note I hope we take a flier on shaw out of s.carolina…he can progress to his 3rd and 4th reads as well as any qb this year coming out.

            • Colin says:

              Irvin, KJ/Bobby/Byron Maxwell will probably be leaving.

              They are replaceable. Finding another franchise QB is another matter.

              I’m not sure why you are so certain the Seahawks could lose Wilson and not miss a beat, but that’s a fairly frightening thought.

              • AlaskaHawk says:

                Maxwell had numbers as good as Sherman. He isn’t that replaceable.

                • Colin says:

                  He’ll get an offer from John next year and if he doesn’t take it, we’ll just have to replace him. That’s always the challenge, keeping the guys you can and having good enough scouting/drafting to replace the guys you can’t.

              • Adog says:

                I’m looking at the always compete program and I’m seeing a revolution…I’m seeing a coach who puts the qb position on the same pedestal as the guard . I’m seeing a front office that understands that the old function of building a team around the qb is doomed to mediocrity with the modern salary cap. Instead we have a front office that builds a qb around the team.

                • williambryan says:

                  I don’t think you’re looking at what you think you are looking at. PC and JS both have put Russell Wilson on a pedestal with their words and actions and rightfully so. They are not reinventing the wheel, they are just doing things better than anyone else (the mantra of PC’s Winforever is “to do things better than they have ever been done before”) so Richard Sherman will be paid accordingly, as the top CB in the league and the perfect representation of what the team is all about. Earl will be paid as the best safety in the league but will be well below Sherman’s numbers because business dictates that safeties do not get paid as much as corners. Most everyone knows Earl is more valuable, a better player, but if anyone thinks Earl will make more money than Sherman, they are ignorant of the way the NFL works. And Russell Wilson will probably end up being the highest paid QB in the league because he deserves to be. And none of that will hinder the team because the cap will continue to rise, and based on their track record, JS and PC will do well in the draft and UDFA to keep the team in a position to compete. It’s a gross waste of time and stress to worry about Sherman’s or any top hawks contract.

                  • Adog says:

                    I don’t know…I think Pete will change his nickname from big balls Pete to big money balls Pete.

                • JeffC says:

                  I know the offseason is alive and well when fans forget how hard it is to find and develop a franchise qb as the hardest position in pretty much any pro sport.

                  The seahawks will be more than happy to lock up Wilson long term with a contract in the 15-20 million dollar range and they won’t look back.

        • Colin says:

          If we had TJack starting last year, we’re 9-7. At best.

          Do not take good QBing for granted.

          • CC says:

            Amen! There is a reason why these guys who can play make big bucks – because everyone knows how hard it is to find a good QB!

          • JeffC says:

            I’m not getting the sudden mood to take Wilson for granted. Especially when it wasn’t too long ago we were so starved for a franchise qb we were all salivating for Matt Flynn for god’s sakes.

    • Darin says:

      Sorry I’m not seeing the logic behind your think here. Schneider came from the Packers who have had two franchise QBs 16 years with Brett Favre and now they have Aaron Rodgers. Pete Carroll while at USC was always loyal to a single QB, he never had an open QB competition with a starter firmly entrenched.

      Even with a very good defense, the team didn’t play as well as they did this season with either Tavaris Jackson or Matt Flynn at the helm.

      Even teams that won Super Bowls with running the ball and defense have had above average QB play. Look at Pittsburgh, While Roethlisberger isn’t putting up numbers like Manning or Brady, he has been the cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s last two trips to the Super Bowl.

      Russel Wilson will get his big contract and the Hawks will be set at QB for years to come.

      • Michael (CLT) says:

        Agree. It is an interesting perspective. Without Wilson I think you are looking at a 9 win team. Wilson is a rare player. I would suggest that big contracts go to the rare player that also serves as a team leader. Thus, while Maxwell has and uses the same rare Sherman skill set, Richard is the leader and receives the big contract. Maxwell goes to another team for big money and the expectation of a leader role.

  20. James says:

    Is this April Fool’s Day, or something?

  21. Connor Jackson says:

    I do NOT understand for the life of me why we aren’t talking more about Dominque Easley from Florida. Honestly, go put the tape on of him and your jaw will drop. The dude is just as good as Aaron Donald but the man had two critical knee injuries and I get that I really do, but for me this is a total steal at #32. Risk reward is off the charts for me. I’ve been following along with the Bitonio train for the last month or so, but after watching tape on Easley…. until someone can convince me otherwise I will be upset if Easley is there at #32 and we don’t nab home because I am whole heartedly convinced he’s not making it even close to us at #64. Also, I understand that OT/OG, WR, & DE are the top positions of need but in my opinion this talent is to great to pass up. Seriously everyone needs to go watch some tape on Easley and then tell me your not on the bandwagon with me ha! Go Hawks!

    • Robert says:

      He is phenomenal! It all comes down to the inside scoop on his knees and the Why(?)…

    • Rob Staton says:

      We’ve done three big posts and debates on him in the last week. We’ve talked about Easley a lot to be fair.

    • CC says:

      I love Easley and would be okay with him at 32 – but RT is IMO our biggest need. He may not even make it to 32 – ala Tank Carradine – some team may redshirt him.

      • Colin says:

        Tank Carradine was a 2nd round pick.

        • Connor Jackson says:

          You have talked about him Rob I’m not saying that. I just wonder why there isn’t more hype around him. He’s going to be ready for the season and Easley said after his first big injury he came back faster afterwards. I just watch his tape and I’m blown away. I think of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, and Dominque Easley on passing downs and that’s simply unfair. Can’t have enough discussion about Easley in my opinion. If the knees are cleared… he’s a bigtime option at #32 in my humble opinion.

  22. Cysco says:

    A Trade up is seriously unlikely.

    #1. it takes two teams to trade. I don’t see anyone in the upper 20’s that screams “trade with me” All those teams have holes that need to be filled and the talent in that range is just too good. The only real candidate I see is New England, which may come into play if there is a receiver Seattle wants that they fear SanFran is going to take.

    #2 The Cost. Even IF you found someone to trade with it would cost a minimum of this year’s second. Find the trade value chart online somewhere and keep in mind future picks receive lower value so it would probably take This years 1st, 2nd, 5th or this year’s 1st, and next years 2nd & 3rd. I can’t imagine PCJS being ok giving up that much draft capitol.

    3. If there’s any trading, it will be trading down. Even that’s a long shot since not many teams are going to see #32 as value. Baring Seattle’s dream player (probably Latimer) being there, I imagine they will try really hard to drop into the 2nd round.

    4. Easley. His name has probably been typed on this blog more than any other over the last week. With good reason. If Seattle were able to drop back to the mid 2nd round, I could see them grabbing him. At 32 it’s probably a stretch. But at #47?

    I think there could be an opportunity to drop back a lot into the 2nd round. I’m not talking a team at the top leaping back into the 1st, I’m talking a team in that 47-51 range wanting to make a big move up. I could see Seattle agreeing to move back from #32 to say #47 in exchange for a 3rd rounder this year.

    That gets you Easley and Coleman in the 2nd and nets you your missing 3rd round pick. I can see a scenario where the Cowboys do this.

    • Cysco says:

      Being down here in Dallas, I’m pretty convinced that Jerry wants Johnny Manziel. It’s not a position of need for the team, but Jerry is all about making the big splash. If Manziel fell to them at 16, The Cowboys are still going to want a player that fills a need. I could see them trading back into the 1st for our pick and grabbing a defensive player.

      I can also see Manziel making it to #16. #7, Tampa Bay I think is the magic spot. If he lasts past there, I think he’s in for a big fall unless a team trades up. Dallas is Manziel’s floor.

    • Emperor_MA says:

      Why would you get Coleman in the second? Dude has never shown anything above fourth round talent. If we take him before the fourth round, I will be bummed. His height does not make him a good receiver. Watch the tape!

      I do like Easley, though, if his knees check out. The bad thing here is, if the knees are indeed OK, he won’t be there at #32 let alone in round two.

      I think our #32 is in play if a guy like Bridgewater or Manziel is still available and Houston hasn’t selected a QB yet. I suspect Bortles and Carr to be the first two QBs taken (not sure which order, though) and there may be someone looking to move above Houston if there is a QB they like still available. Jacksonville, Cleveland (if they don’t grab Carr at #4 or #26) and Minnesota (if they don’t go QB at #8) are all possibilities. So is Tampa Bay and perhaps even Oakland.

      I realize that no one has ever traded out of the #32 spot but with Houston needing a QB in the #1 slot, if they don’t take one in round one there really could be movement this year if a couple of QBs are still on the board.

      • Colin says:

        There’s not much a receiver can do when the QB is hardly qualified for the job.

        Coleman has a ton of upside, but there are some things to clean up.

        He won’t fall to round 4.

      • Cysco says:

        If coleman was in the same playing situation as Benjamin, I think he’d be talked about the same way Benjamin is. Also, keep in mind had Coleman declared his sophmore season, he was projected as a late first or early second.

        He had a great sophmore season (700+ yds, 10 TD) and suffered a knee injury before the 2014 season.

        NO way he lasts to the 4th round

  23. David says:

    Judging from the SPARQ articles over on Field Gulls, it seems like neither Tennessee tackle is in the Hawks mold.

    Bitonio is though, along with Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff and Matt Patchan. The last two would be good to keep an eye on in late rounds.

    • Rob Staton says:

      SPARQ is a nice tool to judge certain players or positions. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves that the Seahawks are using it to rule players in or out. I’m not sure Carpenter or Moffitt were SPARQ demons.

      • SHawn says:

        They were not. What they were were massive run blockers with a nasty attitude. Even if they have a low SPARQ, their attitude put them back into play.

        That said, I dont see that nasty side with either of the Tennessee tackles, although Im glad to see James is finally getting more attention than Richardson, who is severely overrated IMO.

        Id be okay with Martin or James or Moses or Bitonio at 32, but none are at the top of my board. They are the fall back plan. Same with most of the receivers. I think our top targets will be defensive STUDS that could fall.

        Shazier has been at the top of my board since January. Barr is up there too for me. With all the hype around him I very much doubt Donald even comes close to 32, but he had been on my board early on. If his knees check out, Easley should be very high on our list.

        After all those guys come the receiver group we have all discussed in length here. My personal WR board goes: Beckham, Lee, Cooks, Latimer, Benjamin.

  24. Clayton says:

    Rob, is it common for a right tackle on a team to be a better player than their left tackle? Just wondering if you might have any insight as to why the Tennessee coaching staff put Juwuan James on the right side.

    • SHawn says:

      I have no idea if their QB is lefty, but they would do something like that for a lefthanded QB. James was absolutely the better pass protector of the two.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not overly common but it does happen. Tyron Smith for example played right tackle at USC and has since developed into one of the best left tackles in the NFL. Richardson is a freakish human being — an absolute man mountain. I can see why they wanted him on the left side of the line. Yet James is just so much more polished. He should have a long NFL career wherever he gets drafted.

    • JeffC says:

      It’s an interesting question. I don’t know when the left tackle came into prominence (perhaps when Lawrence Taylor dominated the NFL) but in the 70’s the best pro tackles were usually right tackles (Ron Yary for the Vikes, Rayfield Wright for Dallas, Dennis Harrah for the Rams, George Kunz on the Colts, Bruce Armstrong on NE, etc). Art Shell was a left tackle on a left handed throwing team with Dave Casper on his side. Same with Munoz and Boomer throwing lefty. The transition came at some point, but when Cincy or Raider fans argue for Munoz or Shell over Walter Jones, I always counter that Big Walt was on an island. You wonder if it will ever switch back.

  25. Stuart says:

    That is very interesting about Matt Miller over at Bleachers. Seriously, he is absolutely horrid about draft predictions. Do any of you remember his video about the Seahawks making the dumbest pick in the draft when we chose Russell Wilson?

    Rob, it’s true that the word is out on you. Other so called draft prognosticators are hitching their wagon to your ideas and thoughtful analysis. How else can you possibly explain the new direction by so many people?

    This just in…the Seahawks have a new opening in the front office…

  26. [...] When Mark Dominik comes out and names a list of first round locks – I think we can take that on face value. And when a newspaper like the Miami Herald backs that information up in relation to the Dolphins’ grades — again, I think it’s safe to take it on face value. [...]