Tuesday draft notes: Alex Anzalone shines

September 13th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

— Florida linebacker Alex Anzalone is one to seriously monitor for the 2017 draft. His performance vs Kentucky on Saturday was intense — including 1.5 sacks and five solo tackles. His closing speed, play recognition and versatility to play coverage and rush the passer makes him an intriguing prospect. See for yourself:

Anzalone is a redshirt junior so declaring for the draft is likely if he maintains this level of performance. He’s eerily similar to Clay Matthews Jr — the same hair, 6-3/241lbs frame and intensity. For the Seahawks he could be an option in the Bruce Irvin role. Watch this guy if you get a chance.

— Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson is an interesting case. You’ll see a lot of mocks projecting him in the top-10. He has the ideal frame but at the moment just doesn’t play like a top-10 prospect. Robinson has heavy feet despite his athleticism and he doesn’t play with the kind of control we saw from Laremy Tunsil a year ago. There were a couple of times vs Western Kentucky where he didn’t really seem sure who he was supposed to block. The potential is there and the league demand for athletic tackles has never been greater. That could keep him in the top tier for 2017. At the moment he’s not entirely living up to the hype. That said, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Seahawks if a tackle with upside and potential suffers a bit of a fall and maybe comes into range.

Adam Schefter predicted today that Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer would be the #1 pick in next years draft. I found that surprising given he started the year swapping drives with Malik Zaire. I watched Kizer vs Nevada and Texas and there’s certainly a lot to like. He’s big but not immobile, he has a decent arm and he made some nice throws against the Longhorns. Yet on Saturday there were also some issues:

On one pick he horribly undersold a deep ball when the WR had gained perfect downfield separation. He misfired a couple of other times downfield and as a runner he’s more ‘elusive’ than a threat to break off gains. Does he really look like a future #1 pick in the video above? He also has limited starting experience and although DeShaun Watson has had a middling start to the season — it’s staggering to think Kizer has jumped ahead of him based on this evidence. With the likes of Watson, Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette eligible next year — it’s hard to imagine Kizer being the top pick.

— It’s rare that the top recruits end up becoming the top draft prospects but that could be the case with this years draft. Here’s a list of players who were all part of the same recruiting class and given 5-star ratings:

DeShaun Watson
Malik McDowell
Calvin Cook
Cam Robinson
Bo Scarborough
Malachi Dupre
Jalen Tabor
Marlon Humphrey
Joe Mixon
Adoree’ Jackson
Leonard Fournette
Jabrill Peppers
Myles Garrett
Da’Shawn Hand

It’s strange to think Hand was ahead of the others and yet plays, so far, basically a spell-role for the Alabama defense. Garrett, Peppers and Fournette are top-tier prospects for next years draft while Humphrey, Dupre, Tabor, Robinson, Cook and Watson are all slated for round one.

Malik McDowell is really boom or bust. Against Furman he had one really good play shedding a block and pursuing the running back for a big loss. He was also dumped on his backside by a tight end at one point and drifted out of the game against a major underdog opponent. When he uses his length he’s adept at disengaging and working into the backfield. Too often though his technique drops and he becomes ineffective. I’m not sold on his ability to go as early as some are predicting.

Adoree’ Jackson is an incredible athlete but what is his role at the next level? Can he become a bona fide corner? Joe Mixon has a high ceiling but major character concerns that need to be checked out. As a talent he has a NFL future but nobody will touch him without doing major background checks on his legal case.

Bo Scarborough has the potential to be the next great running back at Alabama but so far has been used in a committee. We’ll see if his role develops over the course of the season.

— This should be a much better draft for tight ends. If Eric Ebron can go #10 overall than O.J. Howard is an absolute shoe-in for the top-15. Howard has Ebron’s occasional lapses in concentration but he’s an even better athlete with major upside as a pass-catcher. Jake Butt is Mr. Dependable — a Greg Olsen type who does everything well. Evan Engram is a better blocker than his 6-3, 227lbs frame suggests but he’s a really dynamic pass-catcher.

If you missed this weeks podcast — don’t forget to check it out here.

21 Responses to “Tuesday draft notes: Alex Anzalone shines”

  1. Coleslaw says:

    Who is the defensive end next to him in that video? I’m wondering about a lack of speed/ agility because that DE goes five yards out of his three point stance in the same amount of time Anzalone got to the QB with a jump on the snap. Just something I noticed.

  2. The Hawk is Howling says:

    Thanks for the write up Rob, you really are the best Seahawks writer im the world and we are so fortunate! Hey boy’s just found this news out on a local news site. Quite a few moves, most notably the release of Tharold Simon.

    Go Hawks!

    http://komonews.com/sports/seahawks/seahawks-make-flurry-of-roster-moves

  3. Nathan says:

    Sorry to get off topic so quickly, but my first read of that name was ‘Alex Analzone’

    • The Hawk is Howling says:

      Ha ha, that would be quite a Football name Analzone. Scoring TD’s or making sacks from the back! Highway to the “Analzone” Danger zone.

    • DC says:

      Perfect segue to Jake Butt. “Mr dependable” sounds good to have on the team. For all of the experimenting we’ve done at TE no one has yet to improve the offense as much as Miller did when he was healthy. He fit perfectly into the run first, punch you in the mouth mentality and helped cover for suspect OT play with great blocking. He had pass catching ability. Butt, Vannett & Williams would be a solid group.

      I’m so interested this year to see if Graham &/or Willson can become indispensable weapons on offense, aka “core players”. If not, what would Willson fetch as an FA from another team? If the FO decides Graham just isn’t the right fit $10 million sounds like enough to add help on the O line or add an extra pass rusher(interior preferably) and maybe some left over money to give M Bennett a bit more coin. If traded I would guess we’d get something in the neighborhood of a 4th round pick.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        We have to remember, Vannett might very well be the TE we are looking for….. but, I would not be adverse to adding another TE…

  4. The Hawk is Howling says:

    Just saw Marshan Lynch went on an expedition with Bear Grylls. So Damn Awesome!

    Enjoy!

    https://youtu.be/eMnKzsYvHAs

  5. C-Dog says:

    Anzalone looks like a really interesting player. Shoulder injury cut his season short last year, but if he stays healthy and makes plays like that, probably wouldn’t be too hard for him to decide to declare. Definitely think Seattle might be looking to add a player like this.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      If he is even 75% the prospect that Clay Mathews was coming out of college.. he will be gone by pick #20. I think the pick might better be spent elsewhere on the roster. If the guy could play some DE on passing downs, then he would fir the LB/DE role which was more or less Irvins role on the Seahawks.

      • C-Dog says:

        I don’t know a ton about him, but I think he’s more of a traditional linebacker, not so much DE, and a really good one. Which is fine b/c the team has Clark and Marsh.

  6. Volume12 says:

    IDK if OL Cam Robinson is a tackle at the next level or a guard.

    He’s a finisher in the run game though man.

    Another mauler in the run game is SD St OG Nico Siragusa. This SD St team has quite a bit of NFL talent overall.

  7. Ukhawk says:

    Tharold Simon released – didn’t see that coming?! Know he hasn’t lived up to expectations nor been able to stay healthy but I’m still disappointed esp post- Sherman’s comments.

  8. Kenny Sloth says:

    Great stuff, Rob

    Really like Evan Engram. Athletic Jordan Reed type option. Should go early in the 2nd

  9. Ed says:

    Kearse to SD?

  10. Javiosullivan says:

    KeiVarae Russell cut by Chiefs. We don’t know if he has a serious injury or red flags but I would like see in Seattle

    • vrtkolman says:

      Surprised to see a third round pick cut…. very surprised. Chiefs fans say that he was simply beat out by another rookie DJ White. I’m still skeptical though, 3rd round pick and all.