Tuesday draft notes: Deshaun Watson deserves credit

January 10th, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

Deshaun Watson led Clemson to a National title

Watson wins Championship, should be a high pick

Deshaun Watson is the latest victim of familiarity. Increasingly we’re rushing to criticise and lament big name college football players. Every problem is over-analysed. Every hole examined.

When do we get back to focusing on what a player can do?

Very few of these prospects are the finished article. Players like Andrew Luck or Von Miller are rare. Look how long it’s taken Jadeveon Clowney to have an impact.

This year already we’ve seen criticism of Leonard Fournette and Jabrill Peppers. Fournette just runs over, around or past SEC defenses and wins a poll among NFL staff vs Ezekiel Elliott. Peppers only averaged +6 yards per carry on offense, recorded 15 TFL’s and was a constant threat in the kicking game at Michigan.

Expectations have never been higher. That’s part of the problem with access. Ten years ago you’d maybe get a chance to watch a live game without being able to pause and rewind TV. Opinions were often recycled from your favourite draft expert.

Now you can log onto Draft Breakdown, take 100 opinions from various Twitter accounts and find condensed, full College Football games on YouTube. If you want to find a flaw in a top prospect, it’s not hard.

Watson started the year being touted as a potential #1 overall pick but that quickly changed after a few difficult games. He still led Clemson to a National Championship against possibly the best defense we’ve ever seen in college football. It’s a unit loaded with first round picks. He had 41 touchdowns this season compared to 17 picks. He has prototypical size, a good arm and the kind of mobility teams love.

He can improvise. He can create as a runner. He has the character and personality to lead a team.

Are there flaws? Yes. Some of his turnovers this season were careless and reckless. Yet overall he has a 90:32 touchdown/interception ratio in college. He’s been a relentless winner on a team that was previously never quite been able to get over the top.

There are so many positives. Would he improve a team like Cleveland or San Francisco? Absolutely. Is he a superior prospect to the #1 pick last year? Probably.

There’s probably a lesson for us all here. There’s a constant need for people to Tweet opinions, offer ‘takes’ and provide relentless mock drafts. There’s nothing wrong with critiquing players and assessing what they can and can’t do. Just maybe spend a bit more time on the ‘what they can do‘ bit.

Watson could and probably should go in the top-10. I can’t believe there are bad teams in the NFL without quarterbacks that won’t be significantly better off with him under center.

Offensive tackles will likely go early

Ryan Ramcyzk declared for the draft today, joining Garett Bolles. Cam Robinson will likely follow after last night’s game.

Watching the NFL playoffs over the weekend highlighted once again the major issue teams have up front. This isn’t exclusively a Seattle issue. Most of the league is looking for help.

The New York Giants have a top-10 pick at left tackle and another first rounder at left guard. Weston Richburg the center is a second round pick. Their right guard is a former third round pick by Miami. The right tackle is a seventh rounder.

Looking at what Giants fans were saying after their blowout loss to the Packers — almost universally they believed rebuilding the O-line was their #1 need.

They won’t be alone.

There was a surprised reaction when Kansas City gave the 2013 #1 overall pick Eric Fisher a contract extension worth $12m a year. He’s been OK but not great. The thing is, the Chiefs would rather keep him than have to replace him. And they’ve paid a high price to retain Fisher — a fairly modest player based on what we’ve seen so far.

With an increasing shortage of good offensive linemen in college, those deemed to be of a certain standard will go early. Jack Conklin wasn’t a perfect player last year. Some graded him in the second or third round. He went eighth overall after a very good combine — Tennessee took a shot and it paid off.

Bolles, Ramcyzk and Robinson will likely have the same experience. There might be better players on the board but ‘best player available’ is just a cliché. Most teams go by ‘best player available at a position of need’. A hell of a lot of teams need offensive tackles. The good ones will not last long in April.

Quick thoughts on the Seahawks

When I mocked David Njoku (TE, Miami) to Seattle in round one last week, I expected a lot of push back. It’s not a huge need with Jimmy Graham on the roster and it’s only a year since they spent a third round pick on Nick Vannett.

The chances are they will go in a different direction. As good as the win was against Detroit, we’ve seen some holes on the roster this year. Whether it’s help for the running game or reinforcements on the D-line — they will have some things to address barring a special end to the current season.

In defense of the pick though — we know the Seahawks will not settle for a middling physical profile with their first round pick. From Germain Ifedi’s hulking size and explosive qualities to Bruce Irvin’s quickness or Earl Thomas’ range. They’re looking for special — even if it means a lot of coaching up.

That doesn’t have to mean an insane combine — but you’re going to need to stand out physically one way or another.

We know they’re unlikely to take an undersized cornerback in round one unless they run like Patrick Peterson. We know they’re unlikely to take a pass rusher with all of the production but a mediocre set of measurements.

Njoku is a freak of nature. A 6-4, 245lbs monster reportedly capable of running in the 4.4’s and jumping 2.09 metres in the High Jump. That’s the kind of special we’re talking about for a coaching staff always happy to try and turn potential into an X-factor.

Until we reach the combine we’ll struggle to confidently judge who else might be on their radar. There will be defensive linemen, offensive linemen, running backs, defensive backs, linebackers, receivers — whatever — that will come to prominence at the end of February.

Until then it’s hard to talk in any kind of depth. We need details. Let’s hope there are several remaining Seahawks games to fill the sizeable gap between now and the combine.

110 Responses to “Tuesday draft notes: Deshaun Watson deserves credit”

  1. Kenny Sloth says:

    Amazing work Rob

    You’re gonna hate me for this, but

    Jabrill* Peppers

  2. DC says:

    Wondering how many QBs go in the first round if a “panic” sets in for the needy teams. Those in play and current draft slot;

    1. Cleveland Browns
    2. Santa Clara 49ers
    3. Chicago Bears
    4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Bortles a bust?)
    6. NY Jets
    12. Cleveland Browns
    13. Arizona Cardinals
    25. Houston Texans
    28. Pittsburg Steelers (opportunistic pick)

    Could Trubisky, Watson, Mahomes & Kizer all go in round 1? With so much depth on defense this year those teams might be more inclined to pull the trigger early on a QB.

    • sdcoug says:

      only one team, but it has been reported a big reason Jax went with Marone as HC was because he strongly backed Bortles as being salvageable. Can probably cross them off the first-round qb list, but otherwise…yeah, alot of teams with QB issues

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Still have to see how FA sorts itself out. Think Jags try to fix Bortles, Romo goes to Jets or Bears, Texans stick with Osweiler or Savage, and neither of the “plan for the future” teams (Steelers, Cardinals) go QB in R1. Still have that window, have more immediate needs. Also think Jimmy G could be in play in trade, and Kaepernick may again get a shot somewhere. He has looked okay in the second half.

      So I think we are really looking at:
      Browns
      49ers
      Bears/Jets
      Bills

      as legit R1 QB options.

    • Alaska Norm says:

      The need for a QB will help Seattle in a trade down situation. I can see any of the top 12 teams with a QB need looking to trade back into round 1 if they pass on their pick.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        You are right. I guess I should have said that in my post, above. A team such as the Cardinals and Steelers might be a candidate for a trade up into the back end of R1 with their R2 pick for a guy they want to stash.

        • DC says:

          If Kansas City flops in the playoffs again because of Alex Smith’s limitations I might add them to the QB needy group as well. Or they can just hope that Tom Brady starts aging in regular human time and that Big Ben falls apart.

  3. Volume12 says:

    And to be fair, there’s gonna be some guys Seattle takes where they flush the stopwatch and combine score down the drain.

  4. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    “There’s nothing wrong with critiquing players and assessing what they can and can’t do. Just maybe spend a bit more time on the ‘what they can do‘ bit.”

    So true. We’ve talked a lot on the Blog about this mindset. JSPC look for what a prospect can do then find ways to let him do that as much as possible.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      I’m not a fan of the “look at what they can do” philosophy. To me, it makes sense to talk about what a player can do only in conjunction with what they can’t do. You need to consider both to see if they fit your team’s needs. I’m fine with taking limited players, as long as you can find a role for what they can do. This is part of my problem with a guy like Peppers or some of the bigger RBs with straight line speed people talk about. Sometimes the situations in which they would excel just don’t happen that much at the NFL level. Or they can do things that aren’t really valuable. Or they can do them, but you have other guys that do them better.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I have an issue with players picked because of their SPARQ scores or good combine, but not showing skills on the playing field. Too many times I’ve read about some player being physically talented but rough. They had plenty of time to show their skills in college, if they haven’t then it won’t magically show up later. And there are a few players that get downgraded because of the combine (or get stuck with the tweener label) who have the toughness to fight their way into a starting position. Look at some of our UDFA like Baldwin who have become our best players.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that if they can’t block and tackle in college, it is unlikely they will learn how in the pros. Sweezy being the exception!

  5. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    FWIW Draftwire has Watson going to SF @2. And they have SEA taking Cam Robinson @27.

    I’ll admit Robinson looks like a blue chip OT prospect. And he had some good moments in the title game last night. I just don’t think he’s Seahawky.

    BTW, what do you think about Ramczyk? You haven’t discussed him much if at all.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There are some nice moments from Ramczyk but I wonder about his next level potential. Bolles for me is the top tackle. You see everything you want from a pro OT on tape. I think Ramczyk is #2 or #3 depending on how teams view Robinson’s personality.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      Ramczyk most likely won’t participate at the combine due to injury. May end up like Shon Coleman and not able to test at all even by pro day.

      OT is an obvious need for Seattle, but it’ll be hard to think we’ll be in play for any of the three aforementioned OTs if they don’t test well.

      This draft looks like there will be a lot of really good testing athletes. I would guess that all the OTs in this class would struggle to test as well as Germaine did last year.

      I would expect from here to the combine (and perhaps up to the draft itself), we might be debating non special OT prospects versus special players elsewhere. Make no mistake, if we take Ramczyk or Bolles or Robinson in the first, we’re going to be passing on players who will most likely make pro bowls in their careers at other positions.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        Think you are right about that; no matter who we pick, it’s going to be hard knowing that a lot of pro bowl guys at other positions are probably going to go after we pick. Oh well.

        Even before FA, I think our draft strategy starts with figuring out if Ifedi can/should slide out to RT and if we can/should count on Fant or Odhiambo to man LT next year. If they are sitting there thinking, “Worst case scenario, if all we get from Fant is what we got this year, we’ll be okay,” that makes things a WHOLE lot easier. And if you think you can and should move Ifedi out to RT, that makes the draft a WHOLE lot cheaper. Because then instead of “having” to have one of Ramcyzk, Bolles, or Robinson (Garcia? Lamp?) in R1, we can go BPA to shore up the defense/RB/TE/WR and pick up a swing tackle or guard in the 3rd-5th round.

  6. CA says:

    Show me OT, Edge, WR, and DB with the first 4 picks and I’ll be smitten as a kitten with mittens.

  7. Nick says:

    To me, an all-round TE who has a high ceiling seems like a great first round pick for SEA.

  8. DC says:

    South Florida’s RB Marlon Mack might interest the Hawks. He’s not a “big” back but shows some quickness and power and is a decent receiver. Lines up wide fairly often. Might provide some of what Prosise brings. Redundancy isn’t bad in this case.

  9. Jason says:

    Since it will be difficult to get a tackle in this draft class how is it looking for guards? Assuming we do not make a big splash in free agency anyone worth a look day 2 of draft?

  10. DC says:

    Idk who our 1st pick will be this year, seems like it could go any number of ways. But I would be quite fine with our 2nd & 3rd picks being USC’s OT Chad Wheeler & OG Damien Mama.

  11. AlaskaHawk says:

    I don’t think you got much flack over the Njoku pick. Perhaps because Seahawks fans would like to see a difference maker on the offense. We all know the need for a tackle or two. But they just aren’t as shiny as a new receiver or running back. So a tight end like Njoku would be a nice new shiny toy – along with the idea that Willson isn’t being used much and can be replaced by someone better.

    Along those lines I expect you to swing around to running backs before the draft. Foreman or McCaffrey could be real special, depending on the role. I favor picking up a big guy that can handle the load.

    Defensively, any of those linebackers and defensive linemen from Alabama could make a big difference on defense. I expect the best of Alabama defense to be gone by the end of round 2.

  12. Ed says:

    I’m all for difference makers with first two picks. RB/DE/DT/WR. Then some competition on the OL in 3rd.

    On a side note, what is Del Rio thinking. Raiders offense was great. Stuck to the run, used the outside receivers well and used TE in the seam.

  13. Ukhawk says:

    Here here. Like the idea of Njoku as it means we’d get an elite guy and allow PCJS to follow the NE model by playing our own version of Hernandez/Gronk with JG/Njoku. He’d might even address the Mike Williams hole BUT
    – I wonder if this has the most impact or if we can alternatively resign Willson at a reasonable rate. Big IF, but allows a draft in a different spot
    – Does he look great because he hasn’t been over-analysed? Opposite of DeShaun Watson
    – Is he only good vertically/speedwise or can he make the tough, contested catches using a big catch radius? For this reason I tend to lean towards Engram in R2.

    Wasn’t against Njoku I just think you are correct in that given current needs & potential impact, we will sort thru other prospects who may have equal potential to Njoku but may be a better fit.

  14. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Seems Watson suffered from the same thing that Cam Sutton caught this season.

    Although Sutton was injury related — seems everyone has forgotten about him entirely.

    • Trevor says:

      You are right. He definitely has the skill set to be solid NFL corner if he can stay healthy. I still think he ends up as a 2nd rounder if he tests ok at combine and physical checks out.

  15. Kenny Sloth says:

    OT, but Jimmy Graham and Cliff Avril are locks for comeback poty and Walter Peyton man of the year, no?

  16. Ukhawk says:

    A decent watchlist for guys who might fit Hawks prospect profile for Rd1 is below. The order is based on Rob’s last mock draft. First note, the top 17 prospects funnily enough could probably be a mirror of Seattle’s exact draft board bar Trubisky. I’ve not included 2 other QBs who might be taken earlier too, which brings into play for the #26 pick the following: 3 safeties/deathbackers, 3 3Ts, 3 bigger cover CBs, 2 dynamic TEs & 2 Edge pass rushers:. Hawks will be spoiled for choice..

    #1 Myles Garrett (EDGE, Texas A&M)

    #2 Mitch Trubisky (QB, North Carolina)

    #3 Jonathan Allen (DE, Alabama)
    
#4 Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan)

    #5 Solomon Thomas (DE, Stanford)

    #6 Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)

    #7 Reuben Foster (LB, Alabama)
    
#8 Garett Bolles (T, Utah)

    #9 Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)

    #10 Jamal Adams (S, LSU)

    #11 Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama)
    
#12 Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State)

    #13 Ryan Ramcyzk (T, Wisconsin)
    
#14 Tim Williams (EDGE, Alabama)

    #15 Mike Williams (WR, Clemson)

    #16 Takkarist McKinley (EDGE, UCLA)
    
#17 Zach Cunningham (LB, Vanderbilt)

    #18 O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)

    #19 Quincy Wilson (CB, Florida)

    #20 John Ross (WR, Washington)

    21 Charles Harris (EDGE, Missouri)

    22 Sidney Jones (CB, Washington)

    23 Demarcus Walker (DE, Florida State)
    
24 Taco Charlton (EDGE, Michigan)
    
25 David Njoku (TE, Miami)
    
26 Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
    
27 Budda Baker (S, Washington)
    28 Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee)

    29. Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan)
    
30. Malik McDowell (DT, Michigan State)

    31. Jalen Tabor (CB, Florida)

    32. Justin Evans (S, Texas A&M)

    33. Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss)
    
34. Obi Melifonwu (S, Connecticut)

    35. Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State)

    36. Chris Wormley (DT, Michigan)


  17. Kenny Sloth says:

    On Watson; I’m not sure if he’s a difference maker at the next level.

    He seems at best a creative game manager.

    Low release point. Not the best arm.

    He is creative, but you have to put him in a scheme to succeed.

    He will be what most probably classify as a “bust”. I wouldn’t go that far, but he’s a red chip prospect and I don’t think he could take a team to a super bowl victory.

    • Trevor says:

      That is what makes the draft so much fun. Everyone has a different opinion and no one really knows how good any of these guys will be.

      You see Watson and see a creative game manager and red chip prospect.

      I see a guy who did something in back to back championship games that no other QB in college football came close to doing. He put up 800 yards and passed for 8 TDs. In two games. How many passing TDs did Alabama give up all year.

      I think the most important traits for any QB we cannot ever really measure as fans or at the Combine

      1) Is he a leader of men
      2) Is he intelligent enough
      3) How does he react to adversity
      4) How hard does he work
      5) How tough is he physically and mentally.

      All those things come before arm strength and footwork as without those it does not matter. That is the difference between Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning / Russel Wilson and Jamarcus Russel.

      All these guys like Gabbert for example who are athletic, have a big arm and then one good year in College end up going in Rd #1 but they have never lead thier team to win anything or faced any adversity. Then when they get in an NFL locker room they fold.

      Players know players and when I watch how that team followed and believed in Watson it says miles more than a breakdown of his throwing motion or release point.

      I bet if you asked the Browns players who they would like as thier QB it would be unamanous based on the reaction from NFL players after last nights game. I just hope he does not end up with SF or Ariz.

      • Radman says:

        How’d you like to be the GM who has to explain to the fan base why you picked some unheard of QB or some O lineman with you’re #1 pick instead of ” that QB who beat Alabama for the national championship”?

        I think Watson is a battle tested prospect with pelts on the wall. You roll the dice but at least with Watson you can point to something to defend yourself with if it blows up.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          In the past 30 years, Cam Newton is literally the only national championship-winning QB that has been a good NFL QB.

          If you are worried about picking a “winner” to satisfy your fans you should not be a GM.

          • RealRhino2 says:

            Wait, I take it back. Jameis Winston has been good. So recent I forgot!

            • Trevor says:

              Marriotta never won CFB but he won a ton of games. Wentz won the FBS. I am not saying they have to have won the CFB. But they should at least show they can win consistently and lead a team. You can’t say that about most of the recent early round busts.

              Wilson, Dak, Cam, Winston, Marriotta Wentz are what appear to be the next wave of NFL QBs and they were all leaders who showed they could win and except for Cam who is a physical freak have all shown mental toughness and intelligence.

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                Dak Prescott never lost less than 4 games in a year in college.

              • RealRhino2 says:

                Problem is, many good college QBs win a ton of games because it’s the most important position in football and the talent disparity among programs is so great that merely by having a good QB you win a lot. And many of those winning leaders don’t turn into good NFL QBs (as many as do).

                Top of my head, Matt Leinart, Vince Young, Connor Cook, Kevin Hogan, AJ McCarron, Tahj Boyd, Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Matt Flynn, etc., etc.

                Somebody said find the leadership and intelligence first. I go the other way. Find the skills first, and then pass if they don’t show that other stuff. Either way, you have to have both, IMO.

                • Trevor says:

                  You are missing the point Rhino. Every one of the guys you listed above with the exception of Mcoy, Tebow and Hogan had character issues.

                  Leinhart and Young are fair comps but both guys had huge red flags when it came to character as work ethic. That is not the case with Watson.

                  I guess we will have to wait 5 years and see if Watson is a legit NFL starter or if the new guys on the screen Kizer and Trubisky were the better choice.

              • DC says:

                Wilson & Cam aren’t really the next wave, they’ve been winning division titles for a while now, they’ve arrived. Only one has a ring!

                • Radman says:

                  If you’re not worried about the fanbase you won’t be a GM for long. It’s a political and PR job, too.

                • AlaskaHawk says:

                  Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson all arrived at about the same time. The first three were considered to be best of the class. RG III was ruined in Washington. The other three are still playing. Only Wilson has earned the superbowl ring, and also had a superbowl defeat. Cam Newton has one superbowl defeat.

                  Overall they are a talented class that can do well when surrounded by the right players and coaches.

                • Kenny Sloth says:

                  If you wanna talk about the next wave let’s bring up Marcus Mariota.

                  Jameis Winston is gonna be slingin it for a while.

                  Derek Carr came out the year after Wilson.

                  Don’t be surprised if there are some classes that simply don’t have a first round worthy QB.

                  That doesn’t mean nobody will pull the trigger, but I don’t believe in these QB’s.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I dont think he has very strong intangibles.

        • Trevor says:

          You don’t think Watson has strong intangibles? Why? I have never heard anything but amazing things about his character and leadership.

          What have you heard or seen to make you say that?

          • drew says:

            Watson graduated Clemson in 3 years while leading a team to the National Championship 2 years in row and winning it this year. He clearly puts a ton of time and work into football but also works hard and is smart enough to graduate in 3 years. He has intangibles. I guarantee you his teammates would follow him anywhere, especially with the toughness and determination he showed. Look at all those hits he took from ‘Bama, and he never backed down.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              Plus I haven’t heard any weird stories or controversies about him or about his night life. Apparently he is not out partying and ripping the town apart. BORING!!! Yet that is what it takes to be successful.

              • Kenny Sloth says:

                He’s too boring.

                He’s almost submissive in interviews.

                I think he sits comfortably in his amazing coaches shadow

                He just looks like every other Clemson QB to come out recently

                • Kenny Sloth says:

                  By all means take your tier two QB.

                  I bet you wanted to draft Andy Dalton in the first, too!

                  • AlaskaHawk says:

                    Unfortunately that is the way the draft is played now.

                    Good old days: pick a QB in rounds 3-7 (after you have picked the important players) and let them sit behind your current QB for three years while they learn your system.

                    New style: Worst teams in the league draft raw meat QBs and throw them to the lions (and packers and bears, ha ha) in first game of preseason.

                    What fun it is to watch another promising QBs career ruined behind a bad offensive line.

                • Drew says:

                  Wouldn’t most people say that Russell Wilson is too boring? How he conducts himself in interviews doesn’t matter in winning football games. That can be coached up just like anything else.

                  He’s also actually a spokesman for Habitat for Humanity, as his family got a house from them back when he was a kid, and after working on one of their houses (Clemson does it their bye week every year), he approached H4H that he wanted to do more.

                  http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/13780893/deshaun-watson-giving-back-organization-community-gave-chance-following-dreams

  18. Donald says:

    I would like Njoku if they use him as a WR, much like Mike Evans (6’5, 2014 1ˢᵗ round, 7th pick). He would be faster than Evans. Does he catch with his hands or his chest? He would be tough match up when paired with Graham and Willson on the same play.

  19. Radman says:

    I don’t think the Seahawks need more offensive weapons. Russ. Baldwin. Graham. Lockett. Rawls. Prosise. Richardson. They’re good on skill weapons for the first round.

    Inthink they need pass rush. Find me another frank Clark type. Like what Pete said in his press conference today ” if I ever end a season not saying we need more pass rush, something is wrong with me”. ( or something to that effect).

    We have enough playmakers on O. Need some more on D. They are getting a little older.

    • Donald says:

      On defense, there are 2 guys that I would like the Hawks to draft that rush the passer:

      Demarcus Walker (DE, Florida State)

      Jabrill Peppers (S, LB, QB, PR, anything else, Michigan)


      They set themselves apart from the others.

    • C-Dog says:

      They could very well go that direction with that first pick.

    • RWIII says:

      It seems like every year John Elway is drafting defensive lineman early in the draft. I don’t know about you. But this strategy makes perfect sense to me. Hawks need to take a password rush specialist in either the first or second round Last year John Schneider traded up in the second round and took Jarran Reed. Reed has been solid for the Hawks. Folks you cannot have too many good defensive lineman.

  20. Old but Slow says:

    After watching games on Draft Breakdown, looking for future Seahawks, I tend to get bored some and so I like to watch some fun guys. So far, John Ross, especially against Cal and Boise; and a little RB, Tarik Cohen from NC A&T (5′ 6, and 173) who is athletic and sudden as anyone.

    Any other just for the fun of it (Ross is more than that) players to break the monotony?

  21. Darth 12er says:

    Personally, I’d like to see Marcell Reece come back next year. Anybody have any thoughts on if there is a chance he will be back?

    • Old but Slow says:

      Reece and Procise both practiced today and will be available Saturday according to Carroll.

      • Smitty1547 says:

        I’m with you he needs to come back, he can block and catch passes out of the backfield as well as add some experience and toughness. Never really understood why we got rid of Michael Robinson to be honest.

    • Volume12 says:

      I think so. He fits what they look for in a FB. His versatility is a big plus. Should be relatively cheap, and against SF one of the announcers mentioned that he’s quickly established himself as a leader in the locker room and on the field. Plus, they seemed worried about him not playing this weekend.

      All in all, I’d say the chances are good he’s back.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        I would imagine they would let him test the market them.bring g him back on a one year deal if he had limited interest

      • Seahawcrates says:

        Seems right in line with Cottom’s body type and skill set. Cottom appeared to have won the job at fullback in camp before blowing his achilles. I never understood the fascination with Tukuafo. He couldn’t move in space to hunt backers or DB’s. So what could he do? Reece gives them that multiplicity Pete loves as he has already split out wide multiple times and been thrown to. I’m looking forward to Transformer football with two tight ends, a fullback, and halfback all in tight. Defense brings in their heavies on 2nd and four and presto-changeo Procise, Reece, Graham, and Vannett all motion out wide to join Baldwin and you’ve got mismatches galore.

      • D-OZ says:

        I think so too…

    • DC says:

      Dang, I only just realized he was a Husky from the dark ages. Welcome back Marcel!

    • C-Dog says:

      I think it would be very solid move bringing him back for next season. This team needs his leadership and skill set.

  22. Seahawcrates says:

    I’ve been reading through various debates on whether Seattle went to more power run blocking than zone blocking to explain their running success against Detroit. I think the emergent use of Reece explains a lot. Hawks once again have a functional fullback to help clear the wash. Any thoughts on the role Reece played to improve the running game and what value a full-time fullback would bring to next year’s run game?

    • C-Dog says:

      Reece was clearing lanes through the second level when he was in there. PC made a big point today about the importance of him having a clear understanding of the Cable system, and that there are multiple formations they can use him out of. IMO, this might have been the best veteran signing they did all year.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Agree. It is not just important that a FB can block, but but how he reads the play, because he reads the hole first and then the RB reads off his block. So his vision ends up being almost equally as important as the RB himself.

        Add to that another skill like pass catching, which creates mismatches vs. LBs, I and he becomes a great asset to the offense.

        Hope he can mentor Cottom during the off-season too.

  23. Volume12 says:

    I still feel like Clemson RB Wayne Gallman is gonna be a steal. He’ll probably slide on draft day because he doesn’t necessarily give you the flash, but this dude can play.

    Runs hard/aggressively, love the way he sets up or let’s his blocks develop, great vision, quick feet, one of the best pass protecting backs (blitz pickup specialist), good hands, sharp cuts, excellent quickness, creates for himself, just a playmaker. Very well suited for a zone scheme.

    As of December 14th he had 8 rushing TDs in 5 games against top 25 teams. More than any other FBS player. Talk about playing your best in big games.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      That’s exactly how I feel about him bro.

      I really want to knock him for his lack of flash, but man is he a load.

      The problem I have is that Clemson offense is built around Watson making things happen and that doesn’t work at the next level.

      Mike Williams and Gallman should be important cogs for teams at the next level and will know how to fit into their roles.

      I think Watson will be overwhelmed and try to do too much as a pro.

      I think he has pro bowl potential though. I’m certainly not going to say he doesn’t deserve to go in the first.

      I just don’t have a first round ‘grade’ on him

    • D-OZ says:

      V-12 how does Gallman compare to Bell from the Steelers. They seem similar to me. Whats your take?

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Not Vol, but Bell is the most patient creative runner in the league.

        Gallman flashes athleticism, certainly has more than decent hands and exhibits a tough running style.

        Probably not as agile as Bell. Maybe more of an Arian Foster?

        Vol is better at comps than I am 😉

        • Volume12 says:

          Bell is by far the most patient runner in the league. Bell is the best RB in the NFL and the modern, 3 down back.

          Arian Foster is a spot on comp. So many similarities.

          And the draft board said Williams and Gallman were the most pro ready.

    • Old but Slow says:

      Gallman seems the epitome of the “square to the LOS” back.

  24. Ukhawk says:

    This ATL game is going to be season defining

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Definitely.

      If we lose its over.

      Haha just kidding. You’re right. If we lose it will be an abject failure of a season. If we have a conference championship berth we can at least take solace and pride in that appearance.

      I like our chances both in Dallas and at home against Green Bay.

      This Falcons team ain’t no joke

    • nichansen01 says:

      Every playoff game is season defining for every playoff team.

    • Rik says:

      The thing is, the first game against Atlanta was only close because of multiple blown coverages by Seattle. That game might have been a 16 point blowout instead of a squeaker. I’m actually very confident (especially with Prosise and Reece active), and I wouldn’t be surprised if we win big.

  25. Trevor says:

    Some new tape on Bolles. He will end being a top 10 pick. So wish we could get him but seems like a pipe dream.

    http://draftbreakdown.com/video/garett-bolles-vs-colorado-2016/

      • Trevor says:

        Another great find Rob.

        He really is an incredible playerI have to admit. The more I watch the more I like him but the more disappointed I get because that guy is just way yo good to get out of the Top 15. If guys like Joekel and Fischer are top 5 picks then Bolles is an even more impressive prospect.

        On some running plays I have watched the last couple of weeks he drives his guy 10 yds downfield. Plays nasty and through the whistle but under control. Keeps his hands inside so well and is not a grabber. That is why he is so rare in his consistency in pass protection.

        He is every bit as pro ready as Conklin, Stanley and Tunsil were last year. I think Tunsil was the most physically gifted OL prospect I had seen in a long time but he did not have Bolles attitude.

        Conklin is probably the closest comp from last year. I think Bolles is a more natural pass protector than Conklin but Conklin was the best combo blocker to come out of college in years.

        Most OL prospects need a ton of coaching and technique work but I really don’t see many technique issues with Bolles. I know people knock his age at 24 but I view it as a benefit. He has a wife and new baby so his motivation should be at an all time high.I don’t think that being 24 should make any difference. If a team can get 8 years out of an LT I think they would be happy.

        Shon Coleman and Conklin were my favorite OL last year because I liked their nastiness and run blocking. I thought they would make ideal RT in our system. Bolles offers this and is a much more natural pass protector. He could come in and start at RT/ LT day #1

        I am 99% sure he will be gone before we pick even possibly to Car at #8 but if somehow he is there I think JS should run to the podium. I would not even be opposed to trying to trade up in front of Den if he is on the board. After a franchise QB the rarest commodity n the NFL is a franchise LT or 3 Down interior pass rusher. If the Hawks can get one I would love them to do everything possible to make it happen

  26. Trevor says:

    Can’t wait to see Prosise and Reese in the same backfield. Go two tight end set with Graham and Willson and wow the options in passing and running game are off the charts. How do you even cover that. They could even send out Reese and Prosise wide from that set or power run. Going to be fun to watch.

  27. Trevor says:

    Cool Story

    I guess when Warrick Dunn was in the NFl he set up a charity to build house for under privileged families. Back and in 2006 Dunn handed over the keys to a house to a single mom and 4 young boys. One just happened to be Deshawn Watson.

    When you hear stories about the things these NFL guys do in the community somethings the cynic in me thinks it is just about image but stories like this put it in perspective. Think about Avril he is going to build 11 houses down in Hati for families who have been devastated.

    I guess Watson has been working with Habitat for Humanity and plans to start a foundation like Dunn when he turns pro to pay it forward.

    Just really cool stuff!

  28. JT says:

    Here’s a good ESPN article breaking down the new wrinkles in the running game the Hawks used with success against the Lions: http://www.espn.com/blog/seattle-seahawks/post/_/id/24154/pizza-theory-iso-lead-helped-spring-seahawks-rb-thomas-rawls

  29. C-Dog says:

    Simulated Mock Draft: The Calais Campbell Effect.

    Arizona allows Calais Campbell to enter FA, and Seattle goes big, enticing him to sign, giving Seattle a healthy DT rotation of Campbell, Rubin, Reed, Jefferson, and Garrison Smith for 2017, not to mention added interior rush of Frank Clark and Michael Bennett. Arizona Cardinal fans flip out, and LA and Santa Clara fans throw their season tickets up in the air in frustration.

    26: R1P26
    LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM
    VANDERBILT

    58: R2P26
    S BUDDA BAKER
    WASHINGTON

    90: R3P26
    CB KEVIN KING
    WASHINGTON

    105: R3P41
    OT CHAD WHEELER
    USC

    184: R5P39
    RB JOE WILLIAMS
    UTAH

    211: R6P26
    FB FREDDIE STEVENSON
    FLORIDA STATE

    229: R7P8
    EDGE DEATRICH WISE JR.
    ARKANSAS

    Seattle uses their first pick on a position not considered the biggest need, but it’s the highest rated player on their board, and he’s such a smart, instinctive, active playmaker at the LB position, they gotta do it.

    Then in R2, they find another playmaker for their defense in local wonder Budda Baker. But are the done on the defense in R3? Nope, they take another Husky in Kevin King, and with that pick, they have created present and future depth on all three levels of their defense, that should be illegal.

    At the end of R3, they swoop in and grab Chad Wheeler to add competition for the OL. Middle round picks of Joe Williams and Freddie Stevenson add depth to the RB situation. Wise Jr gives them another DE/DT player to develop.

    2017 breakout player candidates include Quinton Jefferson, Tanner McEvoy, and Alex Collins.

    • nichansen01 says:

      Forgot about Jefferson. Hope he can stay healthy next season.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I think I like this group.

      Especially Budda in the second

    • Hawktalker says:

      This has got to me one of my favorite Seahawk mocks yet. However, I will say I have serious concern with Fant continuing at anywhere near his current performance level at LT. IMO this is a hole that has GOT to be fixed. Not sure if he needs to be the #2 LT for another year or what, but I think that has to be fixed. That being said, we either need to get a better LT replacement in FA, using a upper pick in this draft or by bringing a couple hundred UDFAs to compete and find that diamond in the rough missing link.

      With all the upside the team has, leaving this glaring hole would be a rediculous shame. Someone tell me Chat Wheeler could be that guy, please someone . . .

      What a truck load of great D talent injected into the LOB if we could pull this off!!! Wiping off the drule just thinking about it. Great work. However, picking Njoku in there and using as a receiver in deceptive jumbo packages or just splitting him out for matchup problems does’ hurt my feeling much either. But really nothing like watching an even better LOB stick it to opponents.

      Sure love this blog . . . Appreciate Rob and everyone’s contributions!!

  30. Matt says:

    It’s an interesting position we are at as a team in terms of drafting for need, I keep going back in forth in terms of which positions they would look at taking high this coming year. Obviously this past season has been a difficult one with more adversity than we are used to, however, is it a roster issue or lack of talent at a certain position?
    The tendency is to point towards the O-Line, however, as noted above, most teams are in the same position that we are in terms of looking for O-Line talent, overpaying for it, or drafting it high. We just spent a 1st rounder and a 3rd Rounder on O-Line, would we really go back to the well again? It doesn’t feel like it would necessarily be that helpful when we look at how long it can take these new prospects to pick up the system (Ifedi) or when all of the best OT’s look like they will be long gone before we pick. Also, Pete seems to be on the track of developing the players we have and seeing positive progress in terms of that mindset. I think how we approach O-Line going forward will be the most affected by whether Cable remains as our O-Line coach or if he gets a head coaching position somewhere (looking unlikely based on the dominoes that fell today).
    Also, I think we can’t emphasize enough the role of injuries this year. Russell’s injuries and the RB injuries have certainly hindered the progress of our offense and defensively we have had Kam, Bennett, and most importantly Earl out for periods of time as well as members of our LB corp. When you look up and down at our healthy roster, I really wonder where the holes are.
    Given this position, I think we can truly draft based on BPA this year and try to find “game-changers”. I see a lot of talk recently about Willson being let go into FA after this year due to his limited usage as a receiver, however, I’m also seeing a lot of chatter about how much of a help he was in run blocking against Detroit. What we haven’t seen really any of this year is Vannett, I’m curious whether it’s just due to depth at this position that we don’t see more of him, or if he’s not ending up as good of a prospect as they were hoping.
    To me the biggest hole we have on the roster is at WR, specifically Kearse. Unfortunately the FO seems to disagree with that, but it seems like he always gets the single man coverage due to teams focusing in on Baldwin and Graham, however, we’ve been atrocious at being able to take advantage of his matchups due to his deficiencies as a receiver. Apparently he brings a lot to the table as a blocker and with his familiarity with Wilson, but I really wish they would open the competition up again at receiver. Especially with how Richardson played in Det. Honestly, I could see some of the faster TE’s, Engram and Njoku being brought in as WR as opposed to TE in order to provide a tall but still fast body out there to take advantage of mismatches in the secondary.
    D-Line is always a good place to reload, but we’ve got a pretty loaded group as-is with Bennett, Avril, Clark, Marsh, Reed, Rubin, McDaniel… DT may be a higher need depending on how long we keep Rubin and McDaniel.
    In any case, it will be a lot of fun to watch what they do this year. Despite how this year has gone, I look at the roster and find it hard not to feel like we still have one of the best teams in the NFL and be extremely optimistic for the future.

    • Old but Slow says:

      Nice post. I agree that the team is now in a position of really taking best player, with less emphasis on areas of need. I can’t remember ever looking at a draft this way, and it is comforting to know that there is such talent all across the lineup.

      JS/PC have shown interest in players with special skills, and this draft, it seems, offers them the perfect opportunity to express themselves. The intrigue is wondering what they will do.

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