Updated mock draft with trades: 12th February

February 12th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Jadeveon Clowney -- trade target for the Buccs?

I don’t want to pump out the same mock draft every week.

So here’s my first projection for the year that including trades.

There were six in-play trades during the 2013 draft. In this mock, I’ve also included six (detailed below).

I’ve also tried to mix up a few of the projections. I’ve dropped some personal favourites from the first round and moved some guys up. The draft is never predictable so even if some of these picks are a little ‘out there’, that’s kind of what I was going for.

Now the trades…

Cleveland trades the #4 & #35 picks to Houston for the #1 overall pick
Amid all the chaos in Cleveland, you just get the feeling they’re not finished making headlines. They’re in exactly the same position as 2012. Two first round picks, they own the #4 selection. That time they allowed another team (Washington) to take the initiative and get RGIII. Anyone else get the feeling they won’t let lightning strike twice?

This would be a good deal for Houston too. Despite a small move down, they still get a quarterback at #4 and can look forward to kicking off day two with the first and third picks in the second round.

Tampa Bay trades the #7 & #38 picks to St. Louis for the #2 overall pick
Back to back trades to start the draft? Yeah it might be unlikely. But Houston and St. Louis have aggressively signalled their desire to move down. The Buccs could use a brilliant pass rusher to kick start Lovie Smith’s defense and this just makes so much sense — for both teams. If the Rams are targeting a tackle in the top ten, they’ll still get a good one at #7.

Carolina trades the #28 pick and a 2015 first rounder to Minnesota for the #8 overall pick
The Panthers suddenly are contenders. They have a great defense. They have some nice pieces on offense. What they lack is a top-tier big receiver. They’re coming up against Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson and Jimmy Graham twice a year. Why not get their own version? Mike Evans is a scrambling quarterbacks best friend — and he could provide Cam Newton with a fantastic alternative to Steve Smith. It’s a big price, but it worked for Atlanta when they dealt for Jones.

In this scenario the Vikings have seen the top three quarterbacks go off the board quickly. They luck out here, grabbing another first round pick and targeting the next best quarterback later on.

Miami trades the #19 pick & a third rounder to St. Louis for the #13 overall pick
The Dolphins’ #1 need without a doubt is left tackle. They made a big move to get Dion Jordan last year, but a similar jump into the top ten will be expensive. Instead they’re likely to see how the draft develops. If a guy like Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan drops, they’ll be ready to make their move.

The Rams continue to accumulate picks in this mock. By the end of day one they’ve drafted Taylor Lewan and Brent Urban, while adding an extra second and third rounder.

The New York Jets trade the #18 & a late rounder to Chicago for the #14 overall pick
Rex Ryan needs to build an offense. Geno Smith didn’t have a great rookie season, but look what he had to throw to. Eric Ebron and Marqise Lee are both still on the board, and this deal isn’t expensive. The Bears were looking to move down in this projection, knowing their targets would be available in four picks time.

San Francisco trades the #30 pick and a fourth rounder to Philadelphia for the #22 overall pick
The 49ers have a whole host of picks again this year. In 2013 they moved from #31 to #18 to get Eric Reid. That deal cost them a third rounder. This is less of a jump, so they only surrender a fourth. If there’s a player San Francisco can’t imagine leaving the draft without, they have the ammunition to be aggressive.

The Eagles on the other hand need to do a lot of work on that defense, so any extra picks will be gratefully received.

Here’s the complete mock, including trades…

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CLE (#4) TRADES WITH HOU (#1)
#1 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
The way the Browns are being run these days, would a big move like this shock you?
TB (#7) TRADES WITH STL (#2)
#2 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina) TRADE
The Buccs need an edge rusher and Lovie Smith doesn’t waste any time going up to get his man.
#3 Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
I bet they would’ve loved a shot at Clowney, but they know they can get a quarterback for the long term here.
#4 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
They move down to #4 and still get the guy their coach probably wants.
#5 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
With the quarterbacks off the board, they take the best player remaining.
#6 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
This would be a gift for Atlanta. A genuine steal. There’s so much to like about Robinson.
#7 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
I just get a feeling that a lot of teams picking in the top ten will prefer Lewan’s run blocking over Jake Matthews overall skill set.
CAR (#28) TRADES WITH MIN (#8)
#8 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M) TRADE
Carolina, sensing a window of opportunity, make a big splash jumping up 20 spots to target a game changing wide out.
#9 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
Buffalo reunites E.J. Manuel with another former Seminole. He has immense upside.
#10 Khalil Mack (DE, Buffalo)
Could play end or even 4-3 linebacker in Detroit. Don’t they have enough weapons on offense?
#11 Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA)
I’m still not overly convinced by Barr. Ray Horton’s arrival as defensive coordinator means they need a 3-4 OLB.
#12 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
Forget the lack of size. He’s an absolute terror and should be taken very seriously as a prospective top-20 pick.
MIA (#19) TRADES WITH STL (#13)
#13 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
After a bit of a fall, Miami grasps the opportunity to move up and get the left tackle they need. St. Louis is happy to move down again.
NYJ (#18) TRADES WITH CHI (#14)
#14 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
NYJ leapfrogs Pittsburgh to get a safety net and playmaker for the offense.
#15 Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama)
No Ebron? No worries. The Steelers take the next guy on their board and get a left tackle with major upside.
#16 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
Whether they re-sign Eugene Monroe or not, this has to be an option.
#17 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Of course the Cowboys need a defensive lineman. But Jerry Jones does what he wants. And in this mock, he wants Marqise Lee.
#18 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)
After moving down a few spots, the Bears add a safety to their defense.
#19 Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)
Adding to an already fearsome defensive line, Urban could be J.J. Watt-lite.
#20 Antonio Richardson (T, Tennessee)
A monster of a left tackle with a nasty edge. They’ll need a guy like this in the NFC West.
#21 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
Green Bay needs to keep adding toughness to that defense. It’s way too soft at the moment.
SF (#30) TRADES WITH PHI (#22)
#22 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
If he runs in the 4.3/4.4 range, teams are going to show a ton of interest. San Francisco has the ammunition to move up.
#23 Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
Big, third down converting tight end. Would have an instant impact in this offense.
#24 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
It’s not a great class for cornerbacks, but Dennard looks like the best available.
#25 Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA)
The best guard in the class, with amazing athletic potential.
#26 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Could provide a dynamic double threat with Josh Gordon.
#27 Zack Martin (T/G, Notre Dame)
If he falls into the 20′s, he’s going to make someone very happy. Can play tackle or guard
#28 Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State)
They made a big move down after the top three QB’s left the board. In today’s mock they target Carr with this pick.
#29 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
Big interior presence who didn’t have a great 2013. The heir apparent to Vince Wilfork.
#30 Ha Ha Clinton Dix (S, Alabama)
The entire secondary needs to be upgraded. After trading back, this looks like a good match.
#31 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
The Broncos really need to add some quality and youth to that secondary.
#32 Ra-Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
Has the size and raw athleticism this team goes for in a defensive tackle.

Oh…

And watch this…

(especially the part at 4:52)

98 Responses to “Updated mock draft with trades: 12th February”

  1. dave crockett says:

    Very interesting mock!

    Could hardly get a higher upside guy at 32 imo.

    I wonder. Do you see Hageman as strictly a DT or is he a 5 technique?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not in the way Seattle uses Bryant, but he could be a five in an orthodox 3-4. For the Seahawks I think you use him predominantly as a three, but he could be another Bennett. He has the upside to move around the line.

      • Kyle says:

        I would like to think that Hageman could play the 3-tech for early or short yardage downs, and then move to the 5-tech on obvious passing downs. However, there are so many moving parts on our line I’m not sure how this shifting would fit into everything (considering Avril usually replaces Bryant on passing downs and if we keep Bennett then he will probably be moving all around the line as well).

        • Troy says:

          Seattle trades the #32 pick and a 2015 first rounder to Minnesota for the #8 overall pick

          The Hawks are a big time favorite to make another title run next year. They have a great defense. They have some nice pieces on offense. What they lack is a top-tier big receiver. They’re coming up against Fitz, “A MEDIOCRE Crabtree and Vernon Davis twice a year. Why not get their own version? Mike Evans is a scrambling quarterbacks best friend — and he could provide Russell Wilson with a fantastic alternative to Sidney Rice. It’s a big price, but it worked for Atlanta when they dealt for Jones.

          In this scenario the Vikings have seen the top three quarterbacks go off the board quickly. They luck out here, grabbing another first round pick and targeting the next best quarterback later on.

          WHY NOT US??!!

          • Phil says:

            Troy – I like it. Why not us?

            Looking at our current roster (before possible free agency losses), adding a quality big WR (Evans) will have more impact on the Seahawks than adding a player to an already stacked defense.

            If we lose Bennett and we choose not to re-sign Clemons, then I can see us going defense.

            Too many variables to deal with this early in the morning ….

          • Jeff M. says:

            That’s really poor value for Minnesota, unless they think we’re likely to miss the playoffs next year. From the trade value chart our #32 + 2015 first should get us to around #18, not #8.

          • bigDhawk says:

            I don’t like the general idea of going all in to move up for any WR in a draft so deep at that position. As Jeff M Points out it would take a lot more than two 1s to move from 32 to 8 and WR is not the position to make that kind of a move in this draft.

            • troy says:

              The point system youre refering to isnt a great source and doesnt dictate what a team’s FO does, doesnt do or how they value draft picks. I dont put a lot of stock into “the trade value chart” Need proof to what Im saying? Look no further than the Redskins they gave up four high-value draft picks over three years: their No. 6 overall pick in 2012, their second-round pick in 2012, and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. Just to move up 4 spots! Thats beyond POOR VALUE for WASH, thats terrible but they did it. Im not suggesting this is how things will indeed play out, the probabilty is low but I was simply following suit to Rob’s analyst and asking a legit question… WHY NOT US

          • BugJuice says:

            Argh, I think we all like Mike Evans but I’m not sure I would put him in the same class as Julio Jones. Comparing that scenario to Atlanta’s a few years ago is a stretch. I would agree with bigDhawk; selling out for any one player like that, particularly with this front offices ability to draft well from all positions, would be a mistake.

  2. Vincent says:

    Hey Rob,

    I was wondering what your thoughts on Stephen Tuitt. I like him for pick 32. I know he played in a 3-4 at ND. I feel like he can play the 3-tech for us. He’s known for his pass rush. He’s younger than Ra-Shede, only 20 years old. He still has time to fill his frame out. Do you think he is a possibility at pick #32?

    • Rob Staton says:

      To be honest I’m not sure Tuitt needs to fill out his frame any more — he’s already listed at 320lbs. For me he looked like a very average player for most of 2013. Great size (he’s also 6-7), the role I’d consider him for is Red Bryant’s five tech position. But Tuitt lacks some of Bryant’s power and edginess at the POA. He’s a better athlete, but Red isn’t in the team to run around. I’m a little surprised at why Tuitt is so highly rated by the national pundits. It took him most of the year to have an impact. Had a nice sack against USC and that was probably his best game. I will go back and review his tape before the combine.

    • Kyle says:

      Honestly, I don’t think I’d look too much into age when drafting a player unless they were like a Brandon Weedon or Chris Weinke. Players have such different bodies that some will break down when they are 28 while others can play till 35. Not to mention the salary cap prevents you from keeping all your players anyways, so regardless you might lose them after 4 years (when they’d be 24 or 25).

      • Belgaron says:

        The younger a player is, it definitely adds to his potential value all other things being equal. That’s not to say the same player at year or two or three years older isn’t worth drafting but it pushes down their value.

        G

  3. Kyle says:

    Love these mock drafts. Great job Rob.

    Just got some things (ok a lot of things) to say about how I see the Seahawks drafting.

    So much of what the Hawks decide to do in the draft depends on what happens in free agency (like everybody else has already said). PCJS are incredibly smart in whom they draft and to just say they have the luxury to “take the best player available” is not giving them enough credit. JS is an absolute mastermind when it comes to being the architect of this roster. He’s not just great at evaluating talent, but also constructing the roster to win for the long term (aka salary cap management). This means looking ahead to future stars that will need to get signed (RW, RS, ET), structuring contracts in a way that in any given year they could free up extra cap space (Clemons, Bryant, Rice, Mebane, Miller) if the player isn’t performing at the same level from when they signed. I believe they also break everything down by position group to see how much money is allocated there in comparison to the rest of the team and identify places they need to get younger and cheaper because of big contracts on the books or soon to come on the books (Harvin, Bennett). I think all of this needs to be factored in when deciding how the Seahawks will be drafting.

    The Seahawks FA to keep an eye on are: Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, Breno Giacommini, Doug Baldwin, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald, Steve Hauschka
    The cuts to keep an eye on would be (in order from my most confident to least): Rice, Clemons, Bryant, Carpenter, Miller, Mebane.
    I’m also assuming that we can’t afford or just don’t want: Walter Thumond III and Paul McQuistan.
    We have other free agents, but those guys are role players at best and would likely get resigned as a backup option to a need not met in the draft.
    Position Groups:
    QB: I don’t think it’s likely that we draft a QB in any round this year. I expect Tarvaris Jackson to get resigned because he’s actually shown to be a very solid backup (excellent pre-season last year) and will be affordable because there is no team in the league that would be willing to give him a shot at starter anymore. B.J. Daniels is on the roster with a futures contract to get us to the obligatory 3 on the depth chart. With Wilson being young and good, I just can’t see them wasting a pick on a QB. Might they bring in a FA or UDFA to camp? Maybe, depends on if they want to get even cheaper than Tarvaris at backup.
    PCJS know that eventually they’ll need to give Russell Wilson a big time contract. Because of this I can see them putting extra focus on young players now, so that when Russell needs to get signed, they have gotten cheaper at other position that are currently taking up a lot of cap space (DE). In the meantime, they’ll continue to take advantage of the fact that they spend less on the QB position than any other team in the league and will probably sign a few 1 year prove-it contracts with veterans.
    Draft Priority: Extremely low to nonexistent.
    RB/FB: After the last two drafts, I think drafting a RB/FB will be a very low priority in Seattle. I highly expect Mike Rob to retire this year. He’s a FA and he will likely not get resigned by Seattle or any other team because FB just isn’t in demand and teams like to go on the cheap there. This leaves the RB situation as Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, and Christine Michael. The FBs would then be Derrick Coleman and Spencer Ware. Obviously Marshawn will be the starter and he’s on the books until 2015. I don’t think there is any chance that he gets cut after 2014, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 2015 is his last year in Seattle. The backup gig will be interesting. Some other commenter posted about trying to trade Turbin for picks (or package him) and I think that is a fantastic idea if possible. Robert Turbin is a solid running back, so this is no knock on him. I have no doubt that he could be a starter in the league for some teams. However, right now his usefulness to this team is almost negative. He will no longer be returning kick offs (thank god) and is in the way of developing what I think most people would say is an RB with a much higher ceiling in Christine Michael. I think trading him now while he still has decent value (young and potential) would be a great idea and I’d be excited to put Christine Michael in that backup role. If this scenario plays out I can see the Hawks drafting a late round RB that doesn’t fit the “feature” back mold and would be more a guy like Jacquizz Rodgers or Andre Ellington. This player would be a 4th-7th or UDFA type player. I would also say that there is very little chance that the Seahawks take a FB, unless they are not as confident in either Spencer Ware making the switch or Derrick Coleman. If that’s the case then maybe a late day 3 draft, but I still think this is very unlikely and that they go into camp with DC, SW and probably a cheap veteran or UDFA at the FB spot.
    Draft Priority: Low, but with late round possibilities if Turbin is traded.
    WR: This seems to be the position group that everybody likes to talk about on the Seahawks the most (ok, second most). I’m assuming that they cut Sidney Rice and I’m going to assume that he goes elsewhere because I still think he’s worth more money than we would be willing to offer (no way we’d go past $3M). I honestly don’t know what the Seahawks will do with either Golden Tate or Doug Baldwin. I’ll talk about those scenarios in a second. This leaves Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, and Ricardo Lockette as the active roster members (Bates, Clark, Walters on P.S.). Those 3 are definitely not going to cut it. Here are the 4 possible scenarios I see happening:
    Scenario 1: The Seahawks let Golden Tate walk, and tender Doug Baldwin as a 2nd round, another team puts out and offer and the Seahawks choose not to match. In this case getting a WR becomes a huge priority for the Seahawks. Percy Harvin is an excellent player (and using up a lot of cap space), so getting a young good WR on a long deal at a decent price becomes draft priority #1. In this case I think they have options about which WR they target as well. They could go after a tall guy, or even another small quick guy that could be a Golden or Baldwin replacement and just put Kearse out at flanker. However, I think this is the least likely scenario to happen as it would put way too much pressure on the Seahawks not “missing” on a prospect and having to sign a veteran guy to a short deal for more money than they’d want to. If this happens though, the Seahawks WILL draft a WR in the 1st or 2nd round. Remember, if they tender Baldwin as a 2nd round and somebody matches, then they’d get possibly a 3rd round pick from the team that gets him. They could even draft another in late rounds as well.
    Draft Priority: Very high, almost assured a selection in the 1st or 2nd round. Maybe another in later rounds.
    Scenario 2: The Seahawks let Golden Tate walk, tender Doug Baldwin as a 2nd round, and retain him for $2M a year. In this case Doug would maintain his role as the guy in the slot that can also play outside, Percy would be Percy (used all over) and Kearse would play outside. However, I don’t see the team just settling for Richard as the 4th WR and this would also making drafting a WR a high priority, just not as high as if they lost both GT and DB. Also, in this scenario it would put more emphasis on getting a bigger WR than a smaller guy because you want to have diverse skill sets. After PCJS gets done evaluating the WR draft class, this will become the most likely scenario to happen in my opinion. I would choose Baldwin over Tate because he’s cheaper and seems to have a different skill set compared to the other receivers on our roster. If it does, expect them to draft a WR in the 1st-3rd round for sure, with potentially adding 2 to the roster.
    Draft Priority: Very high with emphasis on a tall WR in the 1-3rd round. Maybe another later in the draft as well.
    Scenario 3: Seahawks sign Tate (let’s say $5M) and tender Doug and don’t match. I can definitely see this scenario happening, but it wouldn’t be my preference. Tate and Kearse and more similar than Baldwin and Kearse, so they really aren’t retaining a unique skill set (except for Tate’s ability on ST). Tate will also come at a cost higher than Baldwin in a position where a lot of money is already going to Percy. I think whether or not this happens depends on what they can get Tate for and what other teams are offering him. He’ll give us a little hometown discount, but probably not that much. If this happens, again expect the Seahawks to draft a WR, but maybe not as early. Because they could be targeting a tall guy or a slot guy, I could see them getting it anywhere in the draft without much pressure to get a guy in the first few rounds (although I’m sure they would if a guy fell that they really liked). Anywhere from 1st-7th round seems possible.
    Draft Priority: High with a good chance of a WR drafted in the 1-4th round and possibly another one late.
    Scenario 4: I think this is the scenario that intrigues me the most. This would be that the Seahawks sign Tate and keep Baldwin. The reason this intrigues me the most is because it reminds me a lot of where the team was at last year, with the exception of Rice being replaced with Kearse. In that situation they went with a 4th round guy in Harper who ended up not even making the team. Would the Seahawks then draft a WR this year in the first 3 rounds this year? I honestly don’t know. I think the position could use an upgrade to get a tall guy, but I’d be concerned about where he’d fit into the mix. Maybe he could hang on as the 5th guy (beating out Ricardo), but a 1st or 2nd round guy on a 5th WR seems like a total luxury thing. Luckily the Seahawks are in a luxury position, so it could happen. I secretly hope this is the scenario that happens though because I really like Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin as players.
    Draft Priority: Medium. Drafting a WR is almost assured, but could happen anywhere in the draft. Emphasis would be on a taller WR, but a slot guy wouldn’t be out of the question depending on what type of contract Doug signs.
    TE: Zach Miller is the every down guy who is primarily used as a blocker, but is still a plus pass catcher/route runner. The potential problem with him though could be his cost. Luke Willson is used as more of the Joker TE and I think he had a great rookie year and expect his blocking to continue to improve (he looked pretty darned good toward the end of the year). McCoy is also coming back and he would be more of a last resort Zach Miller replacement as he can block well, but also seems to underperform in the passing game. If the Seahawks end up cutting Zach Miller (I actually find this very unlikely), then look for a replacement to be drafted in the first 3 rounds. ASJ in my eyes would be a perfect fit with McCoy to fall back on if ASJ needs time to develop. If the Seahawks keep Miller, I’d still look at the possibility of them getting a replacement for him and making him a possible cap casualty in 2015 ($5M in savings). This wouldn’t be as high of a priority, but if a guy they liked fell to them at this point I can definitely see it happening. Don’t count on them drafting another joker TE. Willson looks to be a great find and they wouldn’t save a roster spot for a 2nd joker in their run first scheme. Summarized: If Miller gets cut look at a TE in the first 3 rounds, if he doesn’t then look for one between 2-7, but it’ll be a Miller (and McCoy) skill set, not a joker.
    Draft Priority: Medium high. Zach Miller won’t be around forever and they will definitely need to get cheaper at this position in the coming years, but still retain a good blocker. Anywhere in the draft would be possible.
    Offensive Line: For how much we liked to complain about the offensive line this year, they actually were a big improvement over the previous year. Some of the same problems still linger though. Notably, injuries, penalties, and inconsistent play at guard. McQuiston is gone. It was nice to have a chameleon on the offensive line, but he is just not good enough at any one position to get resigned. I honestly believe they resign Giacommini. There is no way he’d command the same money he got this past year and he’d be worth resigning for a few years at a couple million just for continuities sake. Unger’s play slipped this past year, Sweezy remains just an average player, and Carpenter seems on his way out (I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they just straight cut or try to trade him). Bowie didn’t look too bad at LG when he played, but he’s still largely unproven. Okung is elite when he’s healthy, but he doesn’t ever seem to be fully healthy. I think this makes offensive line a huge priority in the draft. As a solid LT Okung takes up a lot of cap space, so they need to get better on the line, but without overpaying a FA. I can see them putting priority on inside guys, but I wouldn’t be surprised by a tackle either. I definitely expect to see an OL guy drafted in the 1-3rd range, and can see them getting up to 3 guys total in the draft. I think they’ll make this an area of emphasis as I’m sure they’d like to get a long term (cheaper) replacement for Giacommini and Carpenter, and even have a contingency plan for replacing Unger if his play continues to decline.
    Draft Priority: High with a pick likely between rounds 1-3 and possibly 3 taken in the draft.
    Defensive Line: I honestly think this is the primary focus of PCJS for every single year. Clemons will be cut. He was a solid Seahawk, but his salary is much too high for his level of play and not a lot of money, so the cap saving are too important. Same can be said for Red Bryant. Michael Bennett just brings a lot more to the table and will be a high priority and probably expensive. To justify spending that money on him, he’ll take over Red’s spot (5-tech) on early downs to start getting more snaps. Mebane will stay. I don’t know what to expect from McDonald or McDaniel as it depends on what their value will be to other teams. I have a feeling other teams will be willing to pay them more than the Seahawks and both will walk. This leaves little doubt in my mind that the Seahawks will again try to go after 1-year prove it (or twilight of career) deals for guys on the line. Getting a solid LEO will be huge (Allen please!!). Maybe the Seahawks move Irvin back to LEO, but I actually liked him a lot more as a SAM linebacker and I think they did as well (although with Malcom Smiths emergence, maybe they move Irvin to LEO so that he gets more PT). However, the Seahawks will need to get cheaper on the D line as well. They spent the most combined on DE and DT in the league and it wasn’t even close. This was because they had a lot of guys on their second deal or 3rd deals, or expensive but short prove it contracts. They need to supplement this with some youngsters. Mayowa looks to have promise, but they’ll definitely add more guys in the draft. I think every spot on the line will be a high priority. Avril’s deal will be up next year and if he has another year similar to this one (and we had resigned Bennett) then there is just no way that we could afford to keep him. I except them to really put the most focus here even though I see most people talking about WR and OL (well, not on Seahawks Draft Blog).
    Draft Priority: Extremely high. I think this is our most likely 1st round pick and would be shocked if at least one doesn’t go in the first 3 rounds. I can see 3 DL getting drafted easily (with one definitely being LEO and another 3-tech).
    Linebackers: I think this might be the most interesting position group for the Seahawks. Unlike the DL, the linebackers are all on rookie deals. The 49ers have really shelled out for expensive linebackers (considering they easily have the best ones in the league) and have saved money on the DL, while the Seahawks have saved money on linebackers and have spent heavily on the DL. However, over the next year the Seahawks will also have shelled out for their secondary. Where does this leave the linebacking core with Smith and Wright being free agents at the end of next year (and Wagner and Irvin at the end of 2015)? I don’t know how much Smith and Wright would command (depends on their play this upcoming year), but we can’t keep everybody from one of the best defenses of all time. Because of this I think it would be extremely wise to draft some linebackers as a backup plan if you aren’t able to sign both Smith and Wright. I haven’t really scouted linebackers that much this year, so I cannot give an estimate of where the Seahawks will be looking to draft them.
    Draft Priority: High with a WILL or SAM candidate the most likely (Wagner isn’t going anywhere).
    Defensive Backs: Earl Thomas is the best safety in the league. He will get a contract extension signed before the first regular season game of this upcoming season. I don’t know how they’ll structure it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his cap hit went up for this year. Richard Sherman is the best corner in the game. I think they make it a priority to sign Thomas first, but I don’t think they would let Sherman walk. If they can’t get a deal done this year, they always have the franchise tag to fall back on and then work on a long term deal in 2015. Cam is already getting paid. If Maxwell keeps this up, he’ll also need to get paid. This is probably a good problem to have. Unfortunately when your players are this good you can’t keep them all and Maxwell would probably be the one that they’d let go (like Thurmond this year). Because of this they will be drafting CBs this year; however it’ll be in the later rounds like they did with everybody else. Expect 1 or 2 CBs after the 4th round. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a safety drafted as a Maragos replacement that is cheaper. This would be late round or UDFA as well.
    Draft Priority: Medium low: They’ll need to keep filling in CBs considering they keep getting priced out of the ones they draft. Except no DBs to go before round 4, but with the chance of a few going after that.
    Special Team: The team will sign Hauschka to a deal, but they won’t sign him to Dallas Cowboys kicker money. Ryan is on the books already and will also keep that position on lock.
    Draft Priority: Nonexistent.

    Here is how I see each round breaking down (in order of how badly I want to see them)
    Round 1: DE, DT, WR, or OT
    Round 2: WR, OT, DE, DT
    Round 3: Nobody?!?
    Round 4-7: 1 CB, 1 OG/C, 1 LB, 1 DT
    Of course I highly expect PCJS to do some trade down trickery to acquire more picks (not to mention getting some compensatory picks).

    • Eli says:

      Nice work man. Good break down

    • Ray says:

      Wow, great break down Kyle, I agree with a lot of what you say here. The only caveat I would place on it is that PC/JS are so unconventional in their approach to the draft. They value unique and extraordinary athletes above all and seem to pay very little heed to the conventional “needs” aspect of drafting. Following that logic it really wouldn’t suprise me to see a running back or a quarterback drafted even thou there seems to be no real need for one or the other. For example I think if a player like Aaron Murray fell to them that his skill set is so in tune with what they do I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him taken. Now that may not be the best example but it underscores my point, which makes mocking the draft so fun with this team. You simply can’t dismiss ANY position as an area of little need and instead must focus on trying to sort thru the players looking for ATHLETES!!! It’s very cool in my opinion and what makes Robs blog such a must read for the 12th man. Go hawks!

      • Kyle says:

        I would tentatively agree with you that it definitely seems like PCJS value extraordinary athletes, but I think that saying that they just target the best athletes out there regardless of need isn’t giving them enough credit. This roster is masterfully built and they aren’t just drafting for next years needs, but they anticipate everything and draft for situations that will occur years in the future.

        I don’t think it’s impossible for them to draft a QB. I think there is actually some discussion that could be had about the value of a CHEAP good QB (which Russell Wilson won’t be after 2015 or even sooner). Am I suggestion that they let Wilson walk? Absolutely not, as I think he’s integral to our success. But all our players are integral to our success and paying Wilson Joe Flacco type money might seriously hinder our ability to keep a lot of other guys on our team. I will personally make a guarantee that the Ravens will not win a Super Bowl under Flacco’s current deal. Yes, Wilson is much better than Flacco and I think we could still win one with him getting a mega deal, but the rest of our roster will be much thinner giving us less room for error. Ok, this is all nonsense because we are definitely going to keep Wilson, so back to the point. We could also draft a QB that we really like and use him as trade bait 2 or 3 years down the line. I honestly think the NFL is going away from this though because the number of success stories with home grown talent far outnumber any FA QBs (are there any success stories of FA/Trade QBs besides Manning in the past few years? Alex Smith or Jay Cutler maybe??). Not to mention massive failures like Matt Cassell, Kevin Kolb, Matt Flynn, and to a certain level Matt Schaub ruining it for everybody else. Will somebody bite on Kirk Cousins or Ryan Mallet? Probably, but I’d say odds are stacked against them. That being said I can see the Seahawks drafting a guy that can be had for cheaper than Tarvaris who they could trade for a pick a bit later, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        Lastly, I totally agree. You can’t dismiss any position area, but I think the grand focus of the Seahawks draft isn’t as simple as ‘best player available” but with the entire roster and future roster in mind.

    • cade says:

      Id be careful about saying that the Seahawks WILL pick a certain position in a certain round if a scenario my occur.

      This FO may have 1st or 2nd round grades on a guy(s) in the 3-6th round. Then they choose to fill the obvious need voided in the scenario not in the expected round but in the rounds they can get their guys at the best value.

      • Kyle says:

        I totally agree with you. Being that declarative with the Seahawks will inevitably result in failure. However, I was feeling like putting myself out there a bit and I’ll still stand by that statement if we don’t retain Tate and Baldwin (which I think is unlikely).

  4. Stuart says:

    What a fun mock draft Rob! Kyle, nice work buddy! What a BONUS to my afternoon this is, love it!

    • Kyle says:

      Thanks! I love this blog and think Rob does a great job with everything. I just have so much pent up Seahawk thoughts in my head I just had to write them all down!

      Glad I found this outlet – my wife was getting pretty annoyed (and that’s saying a lot because she’s also a huge Hawk fan).

      • Kyle says:

        I should also say that I think the Seahawks have an idea of “can’t miss” type prospects where guys who they have high up on their board slip a lot to them. Christine Michael would be an example of this. I think most of us were pretty happy with the Lynch+Turbin combo for the near future, but I think PCJS saw a can’t miss prospect who can be at the elite level RB late in the 2nd round (I think most of us would also admit that Turbin wasn’t an elite can’t miss guy, but rather a serviceable starter if needed). Therefore through all my thoughts about position needs out the window if they see a building block for the future.

        • Jarhead says:

          That begs the question: if he is a “can’t miss”, why wouldn’t he see even a modicum of snaps even in garbage time? To me “can’t miss” means they are the finished article, ready to go, plug and play, ie Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Max Unger. Michael is light years away from a finished article and I still don’t feel the FO believes they are remotely set for the future at RB. I think Michael was a poor decision based on physical measureables (much like Bruce Irvin who remarkably has found a way to contribute), and as insurance against Percy Harvin’s fragility. I believe they thought he could be a kickoff return/YAC guy, but he has completely underwhelmed them as evidenced by his scarcity of field time. I think you are far overstating how Schneider and Carroll viewed Micheals

  5. Nate Dogg says:

    Hey Rob, have you had a chance to look much at Dominque Easley (DT Florida)? Tore his ACL so I don’t expect to see him in any first round discussions, but he was a force before he got hurt.

    I ask because, as interesting as guys like Urban and Hageman are, there seems to be some similar guys that would be available later (Easley, Sutton, etc). Schneider talks a lot about knowing where the talent drop offs are in a draft, and DT seems like a pretty deep group.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have, and I’m a huge Easley fan. Absolutely dominated the start of the season. But the ACL injury is his second in quick succession. You fear for a guy’s career when he’s getting regular injuries like that. I’d love to take a chance on him in the middle rounds because he’s an exceptional talent. But the injury history is a major red flag.

  6. jeff says:

    As a Beaver having to watch Cooks in SF would be the worst case scenario.

  7. Kyle says:

    Rob – have you had much of a chance to look into linebackers yet? Specifically guys who could play on the outside in SAM or WILL spots. What are your thoughts on some of the prospects in the draft after Mack that the Seahawks might be interested in for possibly replacing Wright or Smith in a years time if they end up being too expensive for us to keep.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not yet… not spent much time on them at all so far. I will probably wait until after the combine now, see how certain players time. Seattle loves speed at LB.

  8. Seth says:

    Rob what happened to Kyle Van Noy? Last year you said he could play LEO for us but I haven’t heard you or anyone for that matter talk about him. Do you still like him to play LEO or have you moved on to other needs?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I want to see him run. I’ve seen conflicting reports on how quick he’s going to be. Admittedly his 2013 tape wasn’t as good as the way he excelled in 2012. He had four sacks for the entire season, and three came in one game. Compare that to the 13 he had the previous year. The tape backed up the lack of production, he just didn’t look anywhere near as explosive.

      The combine will be a big deal for him, he needs to run well at that size to get some momentum back.

  9. Jon says:

    So I have been wondering with the Bennett talk. If we make space for him, but he will not move down far enough for us to sign him up, would it be possible to franchise him and turn around and find a trade partner. Even more than the compensation in the trade which I think we could get something decent (maybe 2nd round), would be the fact that we could make sure that he does not go to the Division or Conference Contenders.

    Would we be able to fetch a 2nd for Bennett after franchising him?
    Do I remember correctly that the Hawks once traded a first for Deion Branch when the Patriots had Franchised him?

    • Kyle says:

      I see what your saying and from a Seahawks perspective that would make a lot of sense. However, no teams will be willing to do this.if we franchise him which would probably be around $10M for a year (average of top 5 DT or DE depending on how he’s classified). The reason no team would be wiling to trade for him then would be because they’d have to give up a draft pick to just rent him for one year at a really high price being that he’ll be a free agent again the next year. That just doesn’t make sense unless some team is just desperate to get him for a year and willing to give up a lot.just can’t see this happening (unless it’s the Raiders because they have tons of cap space and very little sense).

      • Kyle says:

        I should also say that Bennett is a really good player and I doubt the Seahawks would shop him because his play was a huge part of the teams success.

      • Jon says:

        yeah, the cap figure is big, but what happens when you trade a player most times is that the team pre-sets a contract with the player. For example, last year we Percy Harvin was on the block and the hawks worked a deal with the Vikings. Before it was signed sealed and delivered, Harvin and Seattle negotiated a contract that would be signed at the moment of the official trade time. This would be how the teams involved would approach any trade.

        • Kyle says:

          Good point. When would have Percy’s deal been up had we not struck a deal? Can’t remember. That situation was a bit different as Percy was a high profile guy with injury problems and wanted out of Minnesota so I’m sure the Vikings felt lots pressure to get the most out of him as possible before he would inevitably leave. This isn’t the case with Bennett.

          • Jon says:

            It was this year which was the last of his original contract.

          • Jon says:

            With Bennett (And at this point I must remind everyone, myself included, that I hope we can in fact sign him), I think the biggest reason for this is to be sure that he does not land in the NFC (especially the west). The secondary concern for me is the draft pick (maybe a 2nd I think, but even if the best offer was a 3rd or 4th then we still get to choose a team hopefully in the AFC so that we will never have to face him more than once every 4 years unless in the SB.

          • Jon says:

            For me also keeping him away from our immediate rivals is a beg factor. Second to that is the draft compensation.

            • Kyle says:

              I think the reason why I can’t buy into this is for the simple fact that I think the Seahawks would consider the “best case scenario” to be to retain Bennett in a multi-year deal (Maybe $7M a year for 4 years or something? Is that too low?). This guy is just an absolutely beast. He lives in the backfield and that type of inside pass rusher is so hard to find and replace I think we should just pay the guy. There is nobody on our current roster that could replicate this and finding it in the draft isn’t guaranteed (or even likely).

              • Jon says:

                I feel like 7m per year would be wonderful. Get it done. But I just wonder if that will be the cost, and ultimately I agree. I want Bennett to stay. But with his comments regarding no hometown discounts, I feel like there must be some crazy numbers being given to him that his agent may feel he can get on the open market. I want him on the team more than any UFA of ours from this years group, and more than Clemons, Rice, Bryant, Miller, Mebane and even Avril. But I cant say that I really want him more than, Wagner, Thomas, Sherman, Wilson, Baldwin (I like Baldwin over Tate as a receiver), and perhaps Maxwell, Wright due to age, though not as much as the others.

                It really is a great problem to have, being so good at every position that you don’t want to loose them.

  10. John says:

    Rob,

    Would you draft Dominique Easley? And if so, where would you consider drafting him coming of an ACL tear?

    Don’t think Seattle will get him, but just really liked his tape and was bummed when he got injured.

  11. Josh says:

    I keep thinking back to this one point. We have to protect Wilson. All of these stories coming out after the Superbowl that Wilson had a shoulder injury for a good chunk of the end of the season just emphasize this. If Breno and Okung are healthy, that’s a big improvement. Hopefully Unger’s performance was just injuries as well. I think they might have to look hard at a guard if they fall to us. S’ua-Filo would be excellent. I just don’t think we can allow Wilson to take the kind of abuse he did this season, again.

    • Kyle says:

      Some of this is still on Russell to get the ball out faster. I’m sure part of this is because he is hesitant to not make a mistake, because he knows he can make a play with his feet, and occasionally WR not being open.

      Overall I agree though. Interior of the line needs improvement as I remember multiple times Carpenter or Unger just getting owned at the LOS and Russell instantly needing to scramble. Do you think S’ua-Filo would beat out Carp (or Bowie)?

    • Cysco says:

      How many times was Wilson sacked in the Super Bowl?

      The reality is that the Seahawks offensive line isn’t that bad. They faced off against some seriously good defensive lines to end the season. IMO it’s pretty much impossible to give Wilson a lot of protection playing in this division.

      Drafting a guard would equate to pretty much no improvement in the line play IMO. We’re not going to find someone vastly superior to what we already have.

      There is more than one way to neutralize a pass rush. You can try to stop them with brute force (relying on the o-line to hold up) or you keep them on their toes. The return of Harvin will be huge. Acquiring a big receiver will help a ton. Using plays that help wilson get rid of the ball faster would be nice.

      My money would be on Seattle spending to off-season working on faster hitting plays on offense and finding players that can help with that. I don’t think they’ll go as far as trying to mimic Denver’s pace of play, but I think we’ll see the tempo increase next season.

      • Kyle says:

        I don’t think using the Super Bowl as an example really proves much. Denver’s pass rush was basically non-existant, NOT just because of our offensive line, but mainly just because of a huge lack of talent (missing the only guy worth something in Von Miller). 12 of our 16 regular season games will be against NFC teams and this includes 2 games against the 49ers, 2 against the Rams, 2 against the Cards, and 1 against the Panthers. Those are probably the list of the best DL’s in the league (besides us of course). I think always improving the OL is a must. This doesn’t need to happen in the early rounds, but if Cable finds a guy he can mold in the middle or later rounds then I say just go for it.

        The rest I totally agree with. OL isn’t the only thing that has to do with neutralizing the pass rush and I fully expect them to improve in those other areas as well.

        • Cysco says:

          Using the super bowl shows that the O-line is fine against “average” defensive lines. Any struggles during the regular season can be chalked up to either injuries or facing elite competition.

          There’s no easy solution that will solve either of those. We can obviously continue to find depth to help cover injuries, but there’s no way we are going to improve the line in any noticeable way when you’re stuck with playing the teams we played in the second half of the season. All you can hope to do is have the O-line be “good enough” and do what you can on offense to keep the DL on their heels.

          There is no silver bullet to make the OL noticeably better.

          • Kyle says:

            I don’t agree with your assessment of not being able to improve the line play besides getting healthier. Agree to disagree I guess.

            • Cysco says:

              never said you can’t improve it. What I said is that even improving it isn’t going to make that big of a difference. Improving it to a point where it can stand up to the best defenses in the league is a pipe dream.

              Think about what level of offensive line you would need to truly protect wilson against the likes of SFO, STL, ARZ, NO, CAR etc. To do that, it’s more than just adding a new left guard and right tackle. You’d be talking about inserting all-pro level players at ever offensive line position. Even then, those defenses are going to bring the pressure.

              I’m all for trying to improve the line, but I’m also realistic in my expectations. I don’t think investing in any early OL pick is a good investment since the actual impact on the team would be minimal compared to what we have.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The weakest area of the team is offensive line. Everyone knows that. Just like we know that we will face three other elite defenses twice a year. So we need a good offensive line. Not just to protect Wilson but also to make our run game effective. We can’t live on Lynchs yards after tackle forever.

      PC made a good stab at upgrading by picking up Bowie and Bailey last year. Long term we need to keep drafting until we have a solid, injury free offensive line.

  12. CC says:

    We’re picking 32 – Super Bowl Champs!!!

    Rob, since we have a few redshirt DT/DE from the last few years – Hill, Scruggs, Mayowa (sp?) and probably someone I’m missing – I’m wondering what you think of those guys and whether they could get into the rotation if/when Bennett and Clem leave. I keep seeing Petey running this like he had to at USC – your guys leave as seniors or juniors and you have to reload. So last years guys learned the system, this year in the mix – and a new crop next year. Do you think that is part of the plan for Petey and Johnny?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Since we won the super bowl everyone’s been calling them Petey and Johnny. I just have way too much respect for that noise. (; Mr.Schneider, Mr.Carroll.

      • CC says:

        I’ve been calling them Petey and Johnny since they came on board :o) mostly because I was a bit skeptical of Petey when he came from USC – of course, I am over that.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I definitely think it’s part of the plan. They clearly like Mayowa. Hill is a R3 pick and Scruggs did well as a rookie. But I still think there’s room for an early pick, especially if they lose McDaniel and/or McDonald.

      • CC says:

        Thanks Rob – I’m just hoping that we have guys who can rotate in if we lose some of these veterans. I’d also like to see if Schofield stays around – I like his versatility.

  13. House says:

    I would really like to see us draft an OT and watch Bowie/Rookie battle for the RT position. Bowie looked good at RT and could even move to LG permanently. Bailey showed a lot of promise when filling in at LG/LT and think he best fits inside or as the swing OT. I know there are talks of him being too short for RT (6’3″) but he’s got good arm length and very good footwork.

    A great fit at RT for us is Juwuan James. He’s an established RT that hasn’t missed any time in college. I hear his upside could be limited as he could only play RT, but with Bailey locking up the backup LT position, playing RT is what James’ job would be…

  14. Ralphy says:

    I love this mock although I wish it was the Hawks trading up for Evans!

    • Troy says:

      Seattle trades the #32 pick and a 2015 first rounder to Minnesota for the #8 overall pick

      The Hawks are a big time favorite to make another title run next year. They have a great defense. They have some nice pieces on offense. What they lack is a top-tier big receiver. They’re coming up against Fitz, “A MEDIOCRE” Crabtree and Vernon Davis twice a year. Why not get their own version? Mike Evans is a scrambling quarterbacks best friend — and he could provide Russell Wilson with a fantastic alternative to Sidney Rice. It’s a big price, but it worked for Atlanta when they dealt for Jones.

      In this scenario the Vikings have seen the top three quarterbacks go off the board quickly. They luck out here, grabbing another first round pick and targeting the next best quarterback later on.

      WHY NOT US??!!

      • Cysco says:

        Fun to dream about, but I just don’t think it’s in Seattle’s DNA to make a draft trade like that. #32 this year and #32 next year wouldn’t be enough to get that trade done. The team needs to keep the prospect factory churning. They can’t afford to lose draft picks.

        • Kyle says:

          I still don’t get why everybody falls in love with trading up. Sure, there are examples of it working well (Julio Jones), but there are a ton of examples of it not being a sustainable way to run a team. I mean look at the Falcons even. They just came off a horrible year and Julio Jones didn’t even play. Yes, this isn’t because of just one trade up, but this would have never happened to a team like the Patriots.

          If you were to name one team that you think was a dynasty in the 2000′s you’d say the Patriots. They have been known for continually drafting down to acquire more picks, so that they can keep their roster young (and cheap) while retaining a majority the prospects that they hit on. (Disclaimer: This method only works if you have good talent evaluators to make the picks which I think most of us agree PCJS is). I’d rather copy this type of method than the Al Davis/Jerry Jones method of sexy draft days that fizzle out.

  15. Kenny Sloth says:

    The Real Rob Report is just the best. Do yourselves a favor:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cwi4qZfeQs#t=126

  16. John says:

    Rob,

    Two prospects I’m interested in for Seattle are Jared Abbrederis and Kelcy Quarles. Probably both 2nd rounders. Have you looked into either of them much, and if so, what are your thoughts?

    • Emperor_MA says:

      I am intrigued by both. However, I’d imagine both are available in round three and one or both might even make it to round four.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d have them both in the R3-4 range. Abbrederis I think is a pretty limited receiver in terms of the next level. Cracking college receiver and if you put him on a Denver/New England type offense I think he could turn into a bit of a production machine. But in a big hitting, big play offense like Seattle’s I’m not sure he’s what they need right now. Quarles I want to see test well at the combine. He had a very good 2013 but it’s not obvious as to why — he doesn’t appear to be a brilliant athlete and there’s not an abundance of great technique on show. So he’s a guy we need more information on.

  17. EdC says:

    During the season I wanted us to resign MB. Now I don’t. Not because of what he brings, but what he will cost. He will probably be looking for $8 mil and that seems too much for a rotational D-lineman and Thomas/Wilson/Maxwell/Sherman all needing deals in the next year.

    I almost say let BG go too, but I feel he won’t cost that much.

    Look at all the D-linemen coming available. Smith/Johnson/Allen/Tuck/Ayers/Houston/Wooten/Spencer. Maybe we can get 2 to play for 1 year deals (Allen Houston)

    If BG MB GT all leave and we cut Rice Miller Clemons I would say draft wise:

    1. rush lineman/TE (ASJ)
    2. Coleman
    3. rush lineman if not taken in 1st/O line

    • Kyle says:

      If they sign MB to an $8M/year deal then he won’t be a rotation guy anymore I’d predict that they would cut Red Bryant and MB would play 3-tech on early and short yardage downs and then move to 5-tech on obvious passing downs. That way he’d increase his snap count to become more of a “full time” player.

      • Kyle says:

        Actually they might have him play LEO (assuming Clemons is cut) on early or short yardage, and then move him to 3-tech on passing downs and put Irvin (or Mayowa or somebody drafted) into the LEO spot and put Avril in on the right side for passing downs.

        • DavidInBellingham says:

          I would happily sign Michael Bennett for $8m/yr and not use him any more than this year. He is terrific pass rushing and also effective against the run. Why use him more than we did this year? Our method of rotating defensive linemen works.

  18. James says:

    Rob, are you still interested in Arie Kouandjio? I havent heard much about him lately from anywhere and was curious if he’d be a solid mid-round pick to maintain depth on the O-line?

  19. Josh says:

    I posted this over at .net, but here’s someone to maybe keep an eye out for.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/bruce-feldman/24441428/small-school-starr-ready-to-shine-at-nfl-scouting-combine

    1-AA LB, 6’4 250 everyone is swearing he’s going to break the 3 cone drill record. Was productive in his games vs FBS schools.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Really really technically awful. Gets fooled on read options. Doesn’t finish plays. Looks hyper athletic against lesser competition. Should test like Khaseem Greene did last year.

      Does not contain. Very poor in coverage. Doesn’t offer much in the way of pass rush from a standup spot.

      Could potentially fit as a Will or Heath Farwell backup.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      What if we moved him to TE. He’s really agile and could be a great weapon if he’s got the hands for it.

  20. Belgaron says:

    For me, the first indicator of an awesome off season would be how much dead cap JS is able to avoid. For example, if he is able to keep guys like Rice, Miller, and Clemons at lower numbers without having to cut them and take on dead cap it would theoretically lead to a stronger team next year than if they cut/resign or cut/sign cheaper FAs. The downside to this is PC won’t keep any sacred cows. For instance, let’s say Clemons agreed to take a pay cut and then came into camp and just looked average while 3-4 other guys look fantastic. JS can’t negotiate with Clemons and say if you take this number we’d be sure to keep you until the end of the contract because that’s not the way PC works. It is a huge challenge for JS to be able to sell players on coming back for less and sharing cap back with teammates who have shown they deserve it. But on the flip side, Clemons may have no interest in playing for Oakland or Buffalo or somewhere else for a few million more yet watch his buddies have a shot at another ring.

    All else being equal, Seattle wins ties against most other organizations because all these talented players being cut will be interested in playing for Carroll and playing for a highly competitive ‘Hawk team. The question is, can they compete when Seattle can only offer $2M less than the best offer? 3? 4?

    • Kyle says:

      Limiting dead cap is certainly the ideal that many front offices strive for (Green Bay would be an extreme example of this). However, there is a reason that restructuring isn’t the end all to salary cap issues. Not only do you want to open up cap space, but you ALSO want to open up a roster spot for a young guy. You can’t “win forever” if you hold onto aging veterans and not having a space on your team for rookies and other up and comers. I think even if Rice and Clemons are willing to restructure to give us a good deal, the Seahawks would STILL cut them because of this reason.

      Look at today for example. Nate Burleson got cut from the Lions even though he would have agreed to a massive pay decrease just because they won’t think he fits on the roster anymore.

      • Belgaron says:

        It is possible that Clemons has lost enough to be beat out. It’s also possible the Super Bowl showed it just took a little longer to get back to full speed after the injury in DC. They definitely can’t afford to bring him back at the current deal. It all comes down to what his agent believes the free market could provide, how much better that is than Seattle’s restructured offer, and if the difference would be worth uprooting and stepping away from his best chance at a second ring.

        Dead cap money is just a complete waste. Seattle could still have great success next year with $10M in dead cap. But if they can find a way to reduce that, it would be a good early sign of a very successful offseason. I’m sure JS has a plan B and C but I suspect plan A would be find a way to restructure deals to avoid the wasted cap, at least for the guys that are way overpriced versus the rest of the team for next year.

        • Kyle says:

          Another thing to keep in mind about asking players to restructure is potentially ruining players trust in the FO. Some people are quick to dismiss this, but this a a big deal to players to not feel like they are just being worked over by the FO.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Well. We fill our locker rooms with guys who want to win. Money’s a big deal to these guys, but winning is the ultimate reward.

            • Simon M says:

              I am hoping the the FO can operate like the All Blacks manage to do in rugby, albeit a totally different organisational environement. The New Zealand team (and to a large extent South Africa do the same) are never in rebuilding mode. Every year, one or two guys, even those who have been stars, are eased out of the front line and replaced by up and coming youngsters, who have a solid grounding of experience to hepl bring them along. If the success the Seahawks have had in the draft can be sustained, the loss of one or two expensive free agents in any one year can be survived. But it is not easy!