What I think we learnt from the Super Bowl

February 3rd, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

1. Everything is easier when you can rush with four

If you’d never seen the Kansas City Chiefs play before, you might’ve expected some new-age football last night.

People make it seem like they’re playing a different sport sometimes.

Yet all it took to make them look pretty normal for three and a bit quarters was a good four-man pass rush.

You could clearly see Patrick Mahomes was flustered. The Niners were able to drop bodies in coverage and still create pressure. This wasn’t rocket science from the Niners. It was simply talent up front allowing them to play what is, essentially, a very conservative scheme. The same used in Seattle.

This wasn’t Gregg Williams’ 10,000 different blitzes or Todd Bowles sending the house every down. It was simply a quality pass rushing quartet enabling everyone else to take away the deep threat and explosive plays. Mahomes either didn’t have time to throw downfield or players simply weren’t open.

The Niners don’t have a Legion of Boom secondary. They have some good players but there’s no Earl or Kam. Richard Sherman looked like he’s nearly 32 towards the end of the game.

They have good, young, quick linebackers. Again though, not of the Patrick Willis standard or Bobby Wagner at his peak.

The 49ers’ defense works so well because they can rush with four. It’s actually as entertaining to watch as anything else in the sport. A truly excellent and dynamic pass rush is exhilarating. The Niners possess that.

The Seahawks need to acquire the pieces this off-season so they too can reliably rush with four (as they could in the Bennett and Avril days). That’s the only way their scheme can function properly and it’s mission #1 this off-season.

They can’t go out and draft two top-five picks and two top-20 picks like the Niners while also trading for Dee Ford. They can add pieces to their D-line though — starting by keeping Jadeveon Clowney — to provide a much more consistent and threatening group in 2020.

They need talent. No hoping a rookie pans out or that a guy with a busted shoulder and history of injuries can ready himself to play. Talent and production and quality. That’s the order of the day. They have the cap room to make it happen and the draft picks to use if needed in the trade market.

Get Clowney back in the building and get him a proper partner to get after the quarterback. Clowney is a supercharged Michael Bennett. Now go get a Cliff.

2. The Seahawks need a quality tight end

It’s pretty remarkable watching the 49ers offense. Everything is very well crafted and executed. It seems relatively straight forward though. They’ll motion Kittle across the line to get a nice match-up then have him run right across the formation. They’ll have Kittle run across the middle to draw the safety then have two receivers run routes in behind. They’ll use misdirection to set up tricky little perimeter runs.

We’re not watching new-age football here. A lot of it’s just good execution.

What’s indisputable though is how much George Kittle just makes it all tick. Without him, it runs the risk of all being a bit basic. If you guard the perimeter and you don’t have to double Kittle, you’re really just dealing with a fairly standard set of concepts. As soon as Kittle’s on the field they can move him around to get him matched up against certain players, he draws coverage to open up team mates. Even when he’s covered you can throw it up to him. And he’s such an outstanding blocker.

Kittle is an absolute game changer for the Niners. He’s their best player on offense and you could even make a case for saying he tops Nick Bosa for most talented player on the roster overall.

The Seahawks aren’t going to be able to go out and get a George Kittle. 30 other teams would love to do the same. They need something though. Someone who can provide those same mismatch opportunities. A really dynamic tight end is a vital piece to any offense.

It’s not just Kittle either. Look at the impact Travis Kelce has in Kansas City. Tyler Higbee has developed into a massive part of the Rams’ offense. Where would the Eagles be without Zach Ertz? Look at the impact of Darren Waller for the Raiders.

Whether it’s through free agency, the draft or via a trade — tight end is a vital off-season need, second only to the pass rush.

3. They have to come up with a plan to defend the perimeter run

The Chiefs played somewhat like the Seahawks in this game. They didn’t really turn it on until the end, when a roaring comeback sealed the win. They remained balanced, finishing with 29 runs for 129 yards to go with Mahomes’ late flourish. This felt a little bit like the week 17 Seahawks/Niners game, with the Chiefs simply finishing the job.

They were also fairly terrible at defending the perimeter run.

The 49ers might’ve had a variety of ways to try and deceive the Chiefs but essentially, they tried to get the ball-carrier to the left edge with blockers in front time and time again. And it worked. They essentially looked the Chiefs in the eye and said, ‘we’re going to do this until you find a way to stop it’.

I’m not sure they were ever going to find that answer. In fact, had they stuck to it at the end rather than putting the ball in Jimmy Garoppollo’s hands, we might be talking about a Niners win. Tyrann Mathieu was screaming on the sidelines at one point in frustration. Frank Clark was burying his face in an oxygen mask. For all the talk afterwards of not losing hope — Mahomes looked dejected for most of the second half. The Niners were comfortable — much like they were in week 17.

It brought back a lot of bad memories.

The Seahawks were so bad at defending the perimeter run, Pete Carroll listed it as a specific area for improvement this off-season. If they’re going to face the Rams, Niners and Cardinals for six games a season, they need to come up with a solution.

I suspect the base-defense plan for 2019 was partly to try and handle this. We saw Bill Belichick use safety’s in the last Super Bowl to stymy some of LA’s misdirection and stretch plays. Mychal Kendricks isn’t a safety but he runs a 4.4. Again, people can criticise the end product but I think the plan made sense.

Seattle has speed at the second level but I think it needs aggressive quickness too. When teams get to the perimeter like this, you’re going to face blockers. You’re going to need to work through traffic. You’re going to need to battle a bit and then make a tackle. You’ve got to be more physical than the guy across from you.

Too often the Seahawks got pushed around in these situations. Nobody could get off a block. Receivers and tight ends were handling their guys. Heck, even Aaron Rodgers managed to block Cody Barton at Lambeau.

Next time, stick him on his backside. Or be quicker to the ball.

This is also an area where improved tackling can help. As we’ve discussed a lot, Seattle’s tackling form was statistically very poor in 2019.

If a team tries to attack the perimeter and doesn’t get anywhere early in a game, they’ll probably move off it pretty quickly. Otherwise they’ll keep going to the well, just as the Niners did. Seattle can’t allow opponents to keep going to the well in 2020.

4. The Niners have a great coach and a highly talented team but…

If you don’t trust your quarterback to run a two-minute offense with three time-outs on the board before half-time that’s a problem.

Garoppollo is neat and tidy. He executes a lot of what Shanahan needs him to do. For the most part he delivers a pass that is on-time, to the right receiver. They didn’t fluke 13 wins and a Super Bowl appearance. The quarterback played his part.

He’s not special though, is he? It’s possible the Niners will be right back in contention again next year. They are rich in talent on the D-line and with Kittle. Shanahan, despite blowing two healthy Super Bowl leads, is a tremendous coach and figure-head.

They’re in the Jared Goff zone though. Both Garoppollo and Goff have been to Super Bowl’s and they’ve been paid hefty salaries. Yet you just know they’ll never quite be great.

There’s a new era of young QB’s coming through — DeShaun, Lamar, Mahomes, Dak — paired with Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. I don’t think any of those players depend on scheme. In Los Angeles and San Francisco — the coaches and the scheme are the most important factor. Not the quarterbacks.

Given Shanahan’s clear qualities, visision and veto on decision making, it’s surprising that he didn’t think Mahomes or Watson were worthy of being his QB in 2017. Instead they took Solomon Thomas at #3 and eventually traded for Garoppollo on October 31st that year. Hindsight is a great thing, of course. Thomas was excellent at Stanford and hasn’t delivered in the NFL. Imagining this Niners team with either at quarterback, however, is a scary prospect.

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337 Responses to “What I think we learnt from the Super Bowl”

  1. Ralphy says:

    Rob don’t you agree that the Chiefs should fire Andy Reid? He started every playoff game slowly. Whats he doing? Start fast. 🙂

    • Ralphy says:

      Jokes aside, I really feel like OJ Howard has the potential to be a Kelce or a Kittle. I really hope they can pry him away for a draft pick.

      • CaptainJack says:

        Disagree.

        If Howard had the ability to be a George Kittle, he wouldn’t be a second string Tight End in the Bucs.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yes, because that’s how it works. If you’re not a star with the first team you play for, the ‘ceiling sheriff’ comes round and takes away all your upside and potential and gives it to someone else.

          • 34shadow says:

            I think there is truth to both sides. Usually, when a 1st rounder does not make an impact with his first team, the odds of him developing into a great player suffers. However, it isn’t a hard and fast rule.

            We’ve seen plenty of players blossom when they changed teams, off the top of my head I remember: Big Mike Williams, Clemons, Mawae and McCrary.

            I’m not sure what the value of OJ Howard is to the rest of the NFL, but if we could get him for a decent price, I’d be stoked. He can block, he can catch and he has a skill that isn’t replicated on the team.

          • CaptainJack says:

            C’mon man.

            Kittle is tops in the league. Broke an nfl record last season.
            Howard in year three didn’t get starting reps. Banking on him to suddenly blossom into an elite tight end just because of a scenery change would be ill-advised to say the least

            • Rob Staton says:

              So what? Marshawn was what, third string in Buffalo?

              Howard has the talent and the potential. We can all see TB isn’t a great fit for him and we know why.

  2. That was a very good read Rob. I am amazed at your football knowledge sometimes and ability to write it so succinctly.

    • Sean Vernon says:

      I agree with your posts except i don’t believe the Hawks don’t have enough speed at the 2nd level and reason we couldn’t cover TE’s. KJ Wright is slow and shouldn’t be retained. Love Wags but he’s really slowed down more than most want to admit cuz he’s a HOFer. Can’t rely on Kendricks. We’re no longer a sideline to sideline backer trio.

      The two 2nd rd picks from Utah last year gave us nothing and that continues to be an issue. We wanted to build special teams, well, how about the OL/TE in rd 2? Even bbk was a depth special teams pick. We’re not as talented as PC/JS believe. RW saves us 5-7 games a season. It’s just not that great of a roster. We need so much help in the trenches, its more like a 3 yr project. Love the team, don’t love the personnel.

  3. Russ says:

    Thanks for the write-up Rob. Hope you’re feeling better!

    As far as finding us a Cliff – what about Vic Beasley? He’s someone who’s sack numbers make him look more productive than he’s been, but he fits the athletic profile of a Seahawks’ edge guy to a T and would bring immediate speed to the line. I also think that the league could be down on him based on the news coming out of Atlanta, so it could be a nice value way to address a significant need.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m still pretty ill to be honest Russ. Writing this at least gave me something to do sat in bed.

      I just don’t have any faith in Beasley being a solution. I’m not against signing him on a cheap prove-it deal to work in a rotation as a project. But if we’re hoping he’s the next Cliff I think we’ll be sat here in 12 months talking about the same need.

      • cha says:

        Related

        Atlanta Falcons

        @AtlantaFalcons

        BREAKING NEWS: We will not pursue negotiations with Vic Beasley this offseason.

        • Russ says:

          Fair points Rob. And Cha, I think short, cheap deal makes sense. With the bad press that he’s getting, I always wonder if it’s a situation where he’s really that bad or if his stock has just fallen because of expectations vs. how he turned out.

          Rob – rest well. Maybe enjoy some hot Ribena.

          • Von says:

            Beasley is a guy that simply doesn’t love football. It’s simply a means to an end for him. Hard pass unless it’s a 1 year 2-3 million dollar deal, and that won’t happen.

            • JJ says:

              I think before signing Beasley, if that happens we would definitely get some insider information from Quinn.

            • GoHawksDani says:

              I don’t get the hate for Beasley. He has the physical talent. He didn’t put up monster numbers recently. But put him on the niners line, and the only thing would keep him getting 10+ sacks are the heavy rotation. Falcons are not a good or exciting team. Beasley is not a Miller or Clark or Bosa or Clowney…but he would be the 2nd best lineman after Clowney (and probably provide more sack than him).
              Not saying they should only get Beasley, but if he wants to come here, and would do it for a 7-8m, and they’d also trade for Campbell/Von Miller it’d cost around the money ONLY Fowler would cost.

              I’d take a line of:
              Clowney – Reed – Campbell – Beasley
              over
              Clowney – Reed – Poona Ford – Fowler

  4. Brett says:

    I would add one more “want” to the list on offense. Both teams (and the Rams, among others) use a lot of fly sweep motion (whether they hand the ball off to that player or not) to force defenses to stay honest and defend the perimeter. I’d love to see the Hawks draft a WR that can threaten the perimeter. I am by no means a draft guru so for those that are, what players coming out do you like that would fit this type of role?

    We need another Percy Harvin w/o the baggage. If that player could also handle return duties that’s a huge bonus.

    • Russ says:

      Solid observation Brett. Could that person be Tyler Lockett? If the Seahawks got someone like an Austin Hooper at TE and added a WR in the draft for depth, then maybe we could see Lockett get back to the Pro Bowl level returner while finding more creative ways, like sweeps, to get the ball in his hands.

      • Brett says:

        Lockett from his rookie year for sure. He’s not that player anymore. Too many injuries. That’s not to say he’s not a better player now, but he had a suddenness in his rookie year that our current offense would benefit from.

    • LLLOGOSSS says:

      Kick returner is actually a pretty major need in its own right. I’ve honestly never really been too impressed with Lockett; yes, he’s faster than most (but not as fast as his All-Pro season), but does anybody want to see him hit the hole in the middle of the field? Can he deflect some contact and keep trucking? I’m always a bit worried, and am rarely exhilarated when he’s returning the rock. Couple that with his expanded role in the offense, and I’d love to see someone take that job. Someone truly dynamic with the ball.

    • My thoughts are the 49ers had opportunity in the third they really didn’t take avantage of,and SF had the ball with 6 Minutes left in the game leading 20-17 and went 3 and out and ran off 42 seconds off the clock . my thoughts were oh no big trouble for SF. I agree with your last article we need more pressure on the Highest priority.i believe that Mychal Hendricks will come back because of his athletic ability and he brings some attitude

    • Eburgz says:

      Tyler Lockett is the guy that we’ve mostly used for that fly action. He had -5 rushing yards on the season in a handful of attempts.

      laviska shenault is the guy I’d draft to do that sort of stuff. We don’t do to much of it currently but we also don’t have anyone on the roster that does it well.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Shenault doesn’t really do much of that though. When he was used in the running game it was almost, strangely, like a short yardage and red zone power back. I’m not sure he’s quick enough.

        It’s probably better suited for an Aiyuk, Ruggs, Reagor or Hamler.

        • Bob Johnston says:

          I would love to see the Hawks get Ruggs – they’d have (3) 4.3 guys, the possibilities blow my mind.

    • Cheese22 says:

      Kind of like this guy?!

    • Sea Mode says:

      Jalen Reagor is your man.

      Or Brandon Aiyuk as 2nd option.

      Speed on the perimeter, RAC, and added KR/PR value are exactly why myself and many others haven’t shut up about these guys for the last couple months.

      • dcd2 says:

        I wonder if SF would take a conditional pick or someone like TT for Dante Pettis. He was a healthy scratch for them time and again. Seems like he’s in the doghouse there, and we know he can return kicks.

  5. Tony says:

    9ers will be good next year. But they surprised people this year and caught some teams off guard early. Add to the boost in schedule difficulty and massive loss of draft picks and tight salary cap. I could see some issues like the rams had this year. Still a fantastic dangerous team. But teams will prepare to stuff the run and make adjustments. Plus there D will struggle to be as dominant. Even looking at the last half of this year, the pass rush lacked in getting home compared to the insane numbers they put up in first half.

    Hawks have an amazing opportunity to become the unquestioned top dog in the west. The offseason is completely in there favor. Draft stock, salary cap room, clear fixes to their issues and a core that is clearly defined. Something there rivals in the nfc do not have. All that is needed is health in 2021 and I can see a dominant run again.

    I can see mahomes being back to the super bowl a few more times. He struggled early but like Russell, he has an amazing talent and can take over any game.

    One thing to note. Will players look at jimmy G and have confidence going forward? Could this be like the seahawks demise of defense and offense split? Super bowl losses tend to react harshly to teams. But looking at the seahawk consistancy and RWs growth, players needing that ring will bank on that guy. He has built an unwavering belief of optimism with pete. FAs and players see it and while years ago it was scoffed at not lasting, that has changed. Weve seen the excitement of players wanting to be here, and trusting it. PC was still trying to prove his way in 2013 and 2014. But most believed he built a histiric defense and once that ends so will the dream. But now hes sustained it. I see the recruiting this year working, I see them catapulting on this perfect scenario. The 9er loss makes it even more of a perfect timing.

  6. RWIII says:

    Totally on board on pass rushers. Clowney and one pass rusher is not enough. The Hawks need Clowney and two pass rushers. Also the way the 49ers/Rams run the football the Seahawks MUST figure out the run defense.

    I would liek to steal a few plays from the Rams/49ers playbook. The Rams/49ers run some fake Jet sweeps. The 49ers also run a TON motion. The percentage is very high.

    Also: I am totally on board for adding weapons for Russ.

    • Kingdome1976 says:

      I would be ok with Davidson. But I thought he was a second round type talent.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Auburn spelled him. He’s basically a project interior guy. There’s some talent there but also limitations. Not long enough to play 3-4 DE but full-time 3T is a project.

        He also has 32-inch arms. He won’t be Seattle’s first pick.

        But Grant Delpit won’t last to #39 either, which says all you need to know.

  7. Ashish says:

    I will take Cesar Ruiz without a doubt. We need C in long run and this might be best time to do it.

  8. dcd2 says:

    If we do not address TE in FA, I’m liking Adam Trautman from Dayton. Showed well at the Senior Bowl. Reportedly an excellent run-blocker and was named conference POY. 6’6, 255.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Nah, he’s 6050, 251. Definitely one to study more closely though after his Senior Bowl week, along with former LSU TE Stephen Sullivan, who has much better length.

      • dcd2 says:

        They look about the same size to me. Both right around 6’5/250ish. Do you mean arm length?

        Sullivan was a WR convert, right? I’ve read that his blocking is atrocious.

        What I’ve seen on Trautman: Nice highpointing, uses body well, makes contested catches, runs through tackles, finishes off runs after catch by lowering the shoulder, nice jukes for a big guy, seems like a willing blocker.

        Also what I’ve seen: sloppy routes – almost always does a kind of shuffle step before his breaks, gets held up at LOS too easily, had some issues with drops, low level competition.

        Will be interesting to see how he does at the combine. He looks like a good athlete.

  9. Mark says:

    Thanks Rob. Great analysis as always. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    One of the big websites – I think it was NFL.com – had us taking Ross Blackstock last week. Is he a 3-technique? Any thoughts on him as a player?

    Also, what is a “greasy chip butty”? It sounds very unhealthy and now I want one…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thank you Mark. Still feeling really rough so hope it goes away soon.

      Ross Blackstock looked perfectly fine to me. Decent player. Shows some quickness at times. Nice frame. Nothing major stood out on tape. I didn’t watch him and think — ‘wow look at the upside here’. I thought he was fine. Not someone I’m particularly excited about. And I’ll say this — unless he rocks up at the combine and puts on a show, he won’t be Seattle’s pick. They’ve always gone with special traits with their first pick — until 2019. And then Collier did nothing as a rookie. So if Blackstock is an average tester, they’re not going to do that again. Especially with the guy being from the same school.

      As for a greasy chip butty. It’s actually quite delicious. We call fries ‘chips’ over here. Except our ‘chips’ are thick cut. If you go to a fish and chip shop you can ask for a chip butty, which is basically a chip sandwich. If you butter the bread it’ll become a bit greasy but that’s fine. It’s only butter.

      The Sheffield United fans (for those who don’t know, I live and work in South Yorkshire where the Premier League team Sheffield United are one of the local teams) have an anthem they sing at the start of each half set to the tune of Annie’s Song by John Denver. Included in the lyrics are reference’s to things Sheffield folk used to do back in the day. A chip butty, a gallon of magnet (ale), a pinch of snuff (look it up) and a night out. It makes for a good atmosphere when it’s sung. And it’s famously called the ‘greasy chip butty’ song.

  10. Davido says:

    About our DLine, I get the point that we would ideally get another Avril and Bennett but thats really hard to find. When we moved on from Sherm we went with Shaquill who is a signi

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not that hard to find. There are plenty of pass rushers in the league and some are reaching free agency. Re-sign Clowney and add a partner.

      • Stephen Pitell says:

        What about Rasheem Green? I believe he is showing all the signs of developing into a fantastic DE. He is very young and showed significant progress from year one to year two. He may not become Avril next year, but then again, he might. Spending too much on a FA DE would only serve to reduce plays for guys like Green, QJeff (if we re-sign him) and hopefully a much improved LJ Collier. Personally, I expect Collier to be moved inside or just never develop, but assuming there was a good reason to draft him in the first place, signing superstars for megabucks will limit the growth of some potential talent we have already drafted. Especially, Green.

        • TatupuTime says:

          Green looked good at times and hopefully he makes a jump this year. Banking on Green, QJeff and Collier is foolish though. Can’t have enough D-line. If they hit in FA and someone like Green steps forward you just have more of a rotation. When the Seahawks D-Line was really rolling their guys all had relatively low snap counts. They came in fresh and came at you in waves.

          • Davido says:

            Green is one of the hardest players to judge for me. He had the production by getting the sacks the others couldn’t but he doesn’t impress on film. He doesn’t seem very quick nor very strong. He built quiet some muscle last offseason. I hope he can grow even further into his frame and become at least a good rotational piece. But no way PC and JS rely on him to play opposite to Clowney. We will get another edge guy I think.

          • Bigten says:

            That’s like saying the Niners were dumb for trading for Ford because it would hinder the development of Bosa. Or drafting Bosa was dumb because it hindered the development of Buckner. You can never have enough DL. And if Greeb or Collier are anything worth developing, having a supporting cast around them will do nothing but help that development.
            This isn’t even mentioning the fact, if we don’t add anyone else, I would guess Clowney chooses to leave. He isn’t going to want to play on a weak line again.

    • Davido says:

      Oops didn’t mean to send.
      So, Quill is very different athlete which shows that Pete can adapt with the maintenance of a few variables e.g., length.

      For the DLine that could mean that we don’t need another Avril to be good. Clowney, while playing very different from Avril, is a very fast player. Maybe he can blossom with pressure of his shoulders. So imagine we could get Campbell or Armstead on the other side on early downs (Clowney, Reed/x, Poona, Campbell/Armstead) and one of the two inside on pass rushing downs that could solve the problem and should be able to rush with 4. You could get a cheap situational rusher in FA or in the draft, that got speed but might be lacking size for early downs or maybe Quem can grow into that.
      This is just one of the many scenarios that might fix the issues.
      What I’m trying to say there are more ways to fix the Line than get the most Avril like guy in FA.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think you’re focusing a bit too much on the name ‘Avril’ and not enough on the fact it’s really just about finding some speed off the edge, which Seattle has practically none of at the moment. You need that.

        • Davido says:

          I think Im missing what you exactly mean by that. If you look at the 9ers who have the best front 4/7 in the league, who is there speed guy? Bosa?
          From what I know he doesn’t win with speed as the main attribute neither is he the best athlete I think. Clowney is faster than him, right?
          And there are other teams with better DLines than ours that don’t have a Bosa, he might be a generational talent.
          I totally agree on getting someone that rushes with speed for passing downs to compete with Quem, he should not be the only option for a team. But I think our starting front four doesn’t necessarily need speed. (Look at the scenario I mentioned earlier).

          If you disagree, how would Campbell for example make sense then? You want to get him and someone like Fowler, Ngakoue,x ? And spend big money on 3 defensive ends?

          • Rob Staton says:

            Nick Bosa ran a 4.14 short shuttle. He’s winning with speed. He’s one of the twitchiest, quickest defenders in the league.

            They also have Dee Ford.

            They have plenty of speed. We have none. Clowney has never been a guy who wins with speed.

            You absolutely have to have it. It’s not even a question.

            I’ve explained already what they’d need to do if acquiring Campbell.

            • Davido says:

              Thanks for clarification you helped me understanding football a bit better now.
              I can not find where you explain the Campbell thing. In your post you talk about a duo of Clowney and Campbell. Where is the speed then?
              I totally agree to adding speed to the rotation, never said anything different.
              I am talking about the starting front four, the lineup on paper, only. Because you wouldn’t pay big money to Ngakoue or Fowler to add a rotational piece, right?

              • Rob Staton says:

                If you read through the articles and comments I’ve posted I’ve explained what they might do in most of these scenarios.

                • Davido says:

                  I went through all your comments on the Calais post but I can’t find an answer. The only thing I could find is you saying that Von Miller+Calais would make them much better. Im still wondering how to fix the speed issue while adding someone like Calais or Armstead.
                  Before you mentioned a couple of times that we must add speed in other articles where you also show the scenarios. But those scenarios do not work while going for Calais, do they?
                  Signing Clowney, Campbell/Armstead and another costy, speedy DE in one free agency seems a bit too much right?

  11. Henry says:

    Rob, I can’t help but come back to what Brock Huard has been saying on their weekly podcast about this team (and we know he speaks to people from the team): They need to get faster. He said something on one of the podcasts about how “If I know John Schneider and knowing Pete after speaking to him every Monday after games, they are looking in the mirror and saying we need speed on defense.”

    We know Bobby isn’t as fast as he was, but the biggest culprits seem to be KJ, Macdougald, and whoever lines up opposite from Clowney. With Cody Barton playing at the end of the year and Blair hopefully coming into the fold, that should improve, but that comment still resonated with me. Pete has always been about size and speed on defense and it probably hurt watching KJ, Macdougald, Lano Hill, and Tedric get routinely outran. The Cards, Rams, and 49ers all have multiple WRs and RBs that can run. We need to counter. Maybe we need to say goodbye to KJ and Macdougald

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think the problem is KJ and McDougald but I do think they need more speed. Cody Barton is faster than KJ but I don’t think the Seahawks would’ve been any better had he been starting instead.

      They need some quickness up front. Offensive tackle’s are not challenged — ever — by speed when they face Seattle. It is really, really hard to have to keep getting back to the line and handle a great EDGE rush. Seattle has a bunch of big ends, some ineffective, and nobody with any dynamism.

      They also need more aggressive speed at the second level. It’s not just about how fast you run either. If you see a team run to the perimeter and they have TE’s and WR’s trying to block, you’ve got to dumb them on their arse. Seattle did not do that ever in 2019. They were passive, too easily handled. It was embarrassing watching Cody Barton get blocked by Aaron Rodgers. Where is the toughness and ferocity and menace? Sometimes you’ve just got to beat a block and say, ‘not today’.

      And of course, your tackling as to be sound too.

      So part of it is speed. But part of it is also aggression and execution. Win more LOS battles. Just go out there and stop the perimeter stuff.

      • Rob4q says:

        There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way KJ Wright played this year. I though he was the best defender for us in most games aside from Clowney. He made a ton of plays and really kept the defense at a decent level when they really needed it!

        I think it was clear that Wagner was not 100% and that affected his play in the second half of the season. I think Reed also had some injuries that affected his play as well.

        I hope Barton comes back a little stronger and can play looser – he looked like a rookie out there with how he processed things. Same with Blair.

        They do need more speed on defense, but they also need a better rotation on the D-line. Poona, Reed, Clowney and then add to it!

        • Rob Staton says:

          I want to see more aggression from Barton. Too often looked like a boy playing with men. Go and hit someone. Get off a block. Make a play.

          • Henry says:

            Barton got better throughout the year and will be light years ahead next year. He had some bad plays for sure, but he has room to get better. KJ and MacDougald look like they are on their last legs. If it wasn’t for Ken Norton, KJ would be cut this year to clear some money and Macdougald can’t be counted on to be healthy and playing well consistently. I’d say between those 2 and Tre they were what teams would key on and attack.

        • Davido says:

          I totally agree here. Bobby+KJ might be one of the slowest LB duo in the league, in addition with a slow McDougald that makes a pretty slow Defense. (Diggs didnt run a good 40 but looks fast in game to me)
          Neither KJ nor McDougald are the problem since they played well, but as a whole, the defense needs some speed, aggression and maybe craziness to add to those guys that play really smart technically polished football. I hope Blair can bring some of that next year since he ticks all those boxes.

        • GoHawksDani says:

          I feel Bobby was a bit slower than usually, but he also had to clear up more issues with KJ/Kendricks/Barton.
          KJ was all over the place. In some quarters he was the absolute best defender, in other he was the absolute worst.
          Tackling was a huge issue for all LBs

          • Davido says:

            KJ was feasting on those screens. McDougald also impressed me a lot at times. Especially the Eagles game but even in the Packers game he had his moments. But somehow this defense doesn’t click. There are some good pieces but something is missing. Probably its the passrush and if fixed, everything looks better again.

  12. JamesZ says:

    You nailed it, Rob, again! I have one question around the TE issue: If (big if here), Will Dissly were 100% healthy at the start of the season, would he be that guy? My sense is a ‘no’, primarily because of speed/quickness. I would love to see the ‘Hawks get another TE, good hands, big yet quick and an eager blocker. 2 TE’s for Wilson (and RB’s/WR’s-for blocking) to rely on would be awesome.

    • Russ says:

      If healthy, I think that Dissly could absolutely be that guy. He might not have the athletic profile of a Kelce or Kittle, but his dynamic ability changed the offense when he was in there.

      I think part of looking that this is that we saw what happened without him. We can’t fully trust him to stay healthy yet, so lets get a guy like Hooper so that we have the high end talent and the depth.

      To your point, having something like a Hooper/Dissly 2 TE set with Lockett and Metcalf on the outside and Carson in the backfield – that’s an extremely versatile, dangerous offense for opposing defenses.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Will Dissly is perfectly capable but after two serious injuries in back-to-back years we can’t rely on him being available. We need to discuss alternatives and hope he can get back on the field, stay on the field and have the kind of career he’s capable of down the line. He has a big future potentially so there’s no rush for him to come back and be the #1. They need to add someone else to handle that role.

      • Ashish says:

        TE with good blocking skills and decent catching is must. Dissly might not available at start of the season or may not be 100%. Irrespective to Dissly health, we need to have strong backup. With hawks team having not so good luck with injuries we need to have good backup across all position.

        • Rob4q says:

          Agree – great write up Rob!

          Seems like there are more than a few options out there at TE and we do need to add one for sure. The Hooper article was spot on for sure! There are other guys too, possible trade targets that might make sense. But they need to add to the group and then have Dissly + Hollister + ???

          I think we’ll see the D-line and TE addressed in FA so they can focus the draft on the types of players they really like – the athletic freaks!

  13. neil says:

    When all is said and done though, the team with the best defense lost to an innovative and dynamic offense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      That’s the laziest, weakest review of the Super Bowl I’ve read so far Neil. So congrats.

    • Dale Roberts says:

      And the team with the most points at the end of the game was the eventual winner… lol (just giving you the burn dude). Actually I’m not sure I agree with your point. The San Francisco defense and offense was the best for three quarters. In the fourth quarter both the SF offense and defense choked. Garropolo had 36 yards passing and an interception for a 2.1 quarterback rating in the fourth quarter. The KC touchdown to go up by four was mainly on a big play where SF had a miscommunication in the defensive backfield. The San Francisco defense has a great defensive line but the rest of the group, especially the defensive backfield is not extraordinary. Finally San Fran got beat by a defense that stepped up in the fourth quarter, a future hall of fame coach, and most of all a future hall of fame QB.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Not even close to what I saw.

      SF was running sweeps and inside screens and double passes.

      KC had a really conservative gameplan

  14. rowlandice says:

    I thought KC’s defense was pretty good last night. To me, besides KC’s quick strike offense, they’re DEF play was pretty impressive. Chris Jones and Frank Clark were tremendous.

    • Volume12 says:

      Jones shoulda got MVP IMHO.

      • Coleslaw says:

        Mahomes deserved it IMO but Jones was not far behind. The argument for Jones is sound. But Mahomes had his hand in 3 TDs, and was stellar in the 4th to take the game.

        Stats win these days, but Jones was wrecking the game all day. Wish we could get him 😥

        • GoHawksDani says:

          And also threw 2 INTs and most game wasn’t able to keep drives alive. Damien Williams had better stats: 104 rush yards (6,1 yards/attempt), 29 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 1 rush TD.
          And yeah the offense put up 21 unanswered points, but that wasn’t only Mahomes. And the defense prevented any scoring from SF after 20-10. I like Mahomes, but he was only good in this game (while he usually great)

  15. Pran says:

    Did Sherm also blame his coach for trying to make Jimmy MVP instead of sticking with ground attack.

  16. Matt says:

    Great stuff Rob. My takeaways align very much with yours.

    The only thing I will deviate from (and this is semantics) is TE. Again, semantics, but I think I’d go with 3rd option in the passing game. It’s always foolish to laser-in on a draft target, but this is why I am banging the table for Reagor or Aiyuk.

    I absolutely think we need a TE, but I think a dynamic 3rd WR that can run jet sweeps, screens, and slants is critical for this offense. Get a reliable TE and a dynamic 3rd WR and I think this is an unstoppable offense.

    Again great work and hope you are feeling better.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I still think there’s every chance their top pick could be a WR simply due to the quality of the class. Or that they could add a veteran WR. I think a new WR will be added at some point on top of the other needs.

      • Miami Hawk says:

        You are on point. TE and DL are the obvious needs if I can see it a mile away I am pretty sure they arent overlooking it. One of the things we lost when Dissly went down was his blocking ability and its effect in the run game. A dual threat TE can truly be a game changer for the offense since he makes both the run and pass better and is not a situational player that telegraphs what you are going to do. I get they are going to probably grab another WR since they seem to be falling off the trees this year but what really are the options at TE in the draft. Earlier in the season you mentioned Henry at UW and he looked pretty dangerous as a receiver but I didn’t really notice his blocking. Is there anybody in the draft we could get that would fill that roll?

  17. Dale Roberts says:

    San Francisco has done a great job of managing their cap. Jimmy Garropolo is a relative bargain at $24 mil/apy thru 2022. Dee Ford at $16 mil/apy thru 2023 and Nick Bosa on a rookie contract until 2023 give the Niners an enviable set of rush bookends. However, Arik Armstead and Sheldon Day are UFA’s this year while DeForest Buckner and George Kittle will be UFA’s in 2021. To Rob’s point, the four man pass rush, not just their DE’s is what make’s this defense special. Armstead, Day, and Buckner are critical pieces. George Kittle is the straw this stirs their offense and he’s not going to be cheap. All three of their linebackers are young and either really cheap or at worst very affordable. Their defensive backfield is nothing to write home about and Sherman while aging will a UFA in 2021 will likely not be offering a home town discount. The Niners have decent window through 2022 before salaries become bloated by success and they begin to feel the pain of late round draft choices and a more difficult schedule. Let’s hope the Super Bowl loss hangover come to fruition and 2023 will them wondering what happened to the team that was great for one year.

    • Davido says:

      I don’t exactly get where they handled their cap well. They paid quite a bit of money for Ford and Alexander given their production they were not steals, neither is Jimmy G. Sure you don’t pay him Russ money but he is nowhere near Russ’ production. Besides that, you got a lot of guys on rookie deals that you got by constantly picking early and being good at drafting. So yea they drafted well but besides that I don’t think they did anything special. Besides Sherm I don’t know if they have anyone outplaying their contract.

    • 34shadow says:

      The 49ers have not managed the cap well at all. They are in the bottom quarter of league in cap space and they haven’t extended their best players on either side of the ball. Let me repeat that again, their best players (McGlinchey, Kittle, Samuel, Buckner, Bosa, Warner) are all on their rookie deals. They will all have to be extended starting next year and not a one of them will be cheap.

      As good as Sherman was, they have $14M into him next year and he is a candidate to get cut unless he takes a pay reduction.

      The 49ers will be good next year but, after that, all bets are off. In fact, I think they’ll sink like a rock because my guess is that they try to hold it all together in 2020, sign guys to back-loaded contracts and shoot for the moon.

      • Dale Roberts says:

        Using rookie deals is part of managing cap space. Dee Ford was out a long time with injuries but when he played he was an impact player and he’s relatively cheap. Kwon Alexander has a very cap friendly deal and $25 million is not a lot for a franchise QB these days even if he’s not Russell Wilson. Ronny Staley is an upper level left tackle they’re only paying about $12 million/apy. I can’t wait for them to implode but they’re is a good place for the next two or three years.

        • Davido says:

          I think 25 mio for Jimmy G is not cheap. I think he is massively overrated because he plays in a very good team. But sure if you count drafting well as “good cap management” they did a very good job. They formed the most talented roster in the NFL (maybe second).

        • 34shadow says:

          Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander and Jimmy G are not the reason why the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl.

          Dee Ford is the #5 defensive end in the league. He isn’t close to that.

          Jimmy G is #8 for salary but is the definition of an average QB, so not a good deal there either.

          Kwon Alexander is the #5 inside linebacker. Again, his performance is not there as well.

          Joe Staley is #4 for LTs so he is being paid about at his performance.

          Again, the Niners have not managed cap well. They will pay for it this offseason and it will only get worse from there.

    • cha says:

      I feel like everyone in this particular comment thread has made valid points.

      The only thing I’d add is there is always a price to success in the NFL. Any team that gets deep in the playoffs faces very tough decisions the following year or two. Unless you’re NE with a dark wizard as your HC and a QB playing a ridiculously under-market contract in a seriously weak division. Good Lord what a perfect storm that is.

      Just look at this year’s deep playoff teams

      Tennesee – $52m cap room, but no QB signed, their feature RB is a FA, and Conklin is likely gone

      KC – $16m cap room, and Chris Jones is a FA and the spectre of a Mahomes contract looms large

      Baltimore – $27m cap room but getting super-max value from their rookie QB contract, and their two biggest cap hits in 2020 are Earl Thomas and Marcus Peters. Oof.

      GB – $23m cap room, uncertainty at RT and need some WR complement for Rodgers

      To be clear, I’m not saying those teams are in deep trouble. They can make some cuts and maneuver things to make their situations more manageable. But they all have some tough decisions to make in the very near future.

      Look at the Rams. NFL’s darlings in 2018 and missed the playoffs in 2019 and they’re almost certain to lose Brockers and Fowler, and gave up significant draft capital for Jalen Ramsey, who they have to get cracking on signing to an extension.

      For sure the Niners have to be very shrewd this year and next if they want to remain competitive. It could be argued that maintaining a successful team takes a whole nother skillset than building a successful team. Can the Niners do it? That’s the question isn’t it?

  18. CaptainJack says:

    While I wouldn’t mind Okwara, how much of an impact guy can he be year one? If he can’t make an impact year one we’re better off trading that pick for a guy who can.

    We need pass rush improvement desperately.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Depends who he’s playing with. If they load up the DL and he’s part of a rotation, he might have a good role. If you’re relying on him, no chance.

      • Submanjoe says:

        And that’s the key. Can they retain Clowney and pair him with someone, will Blair and Barton and Collier and Amadi, take a good step forward next year, can Green continue to develop and…dare i say…seize the job…? If those things happen, or at least some of them, and they add a speed rusher, some interior depth and another weapon for Wilson, they will be an even more dangerous team…

  19. Sea Mode says:

    Marcus Mosher
    @Marcus_Mosher

    Here is the 2020 IDL class sorted by TFL production:

    https://twitter.com/Marcus_Mosher/status/1224403289648902144

    Just a different angle to give us some names to look at. Mustafa Johnson didn’t declare. I went straight to James Lynch but he looks so stubby, pudgy, and relatively slow, I can’t believe he has those numbers. He must be an excellent technician is all I can conclude. Can’t even see where he would really fit at the next level tbh.

    Let us know if you find any of the other lesser talked-about names worth looking at.

  20. BoiseSeahawk24 says:

    Hey Rob, any thoughts on Tips Galea’i out of Utah State?
    Seems like a nice LB chess piece with great size (6’5″, 235) and rushing ability (10.5 sacks in 2018).
    Maybe I’m just optimistic about drafting another LB from Bobby Wagner University.

  21. Dale Roberts says:

    Our biggest hurdle in free agency will likely be Indy GM Chris Ballard, a star in the making who will have $90 million in cap room and eight draft choices in 2020. Indy’s top needs are offensive tackle, defensive line, and edge rusher. Sound familiar? The other teams to watch will be Tampa Bay and Miami who also have $90 million in cap space and whose top three needs are offensive tackle, QB, and edge rusher. It’s likely that none of these three team will be able to fill their defensive line and edge rusher needs in the draft which means they’ll be shopping for defensive line/edge help at the same store we will. Ugh.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it’s that much of a hurdle.

      Seattle — Russell Wilson
      Indianapolis — ????

      That’s massive.

      Plus Indy had a load of cap room last year and barely did anything. I’m not worried about Miami (will sign ex-NE guys) or Tampa (it’s Tampa).

      • Coleslaw says:

        Agreed. No contender has the $ we have. Or the draft picks we have for that matter. We shouldn’t have a problem retaining Clowney and trading for another DE if we choose to.

        • Dale Roberts says:

          I agree that Russell is the key. However, remember that Indy was a contender until 2019 and that’s largely a quarterback issue. What if they get Phillip Rivers as bridge to their QB of the future. Rivers (or Brady or Brees) makes them instantly a contender. They’re not Cincy, Cleveland, Miami, or the Jets (I accidentally type the Jests… Freudian slip?).

      • GerryG says:

        Plus no state income tax, legal weed, Pete Carrol

        • Dale Roberts says:

          -I know it makes NFL recruiting easier but an income tax would make our taxes a lot less regressive.
          -Weed yes, now if the NFL would join the 21st century and realize “Reefer Madness” wasn’t historical fact.
          -I think Pete could make a lot more money by just selling his anti-aging formula but yeah, let’s keep him as long as we can.

        • Mark Souza says:

          GerryG – that should be our state motto.

      • Miami Hawk says:

        Thats funny that you say that about Miami because its pretty much true. I live down here and the AFC East is the most incestuous division there is. Its actually comical how coaches, GMs, and players rotate around between the teams over here. With an ex NE coach here and ex Dolphin coach at the jets and the GMs going in circles its like a Benny Hill episode sometimes.

  22. Frank says:

    Bummer the bug is still getting you Rob, get better soon bro.
    I was fully expecting the 49ers to win that game before it started, as when great defense meets great offense in the Super Bowl the advantage has typically gone to the stronger defense. With two weeks to prepare I expect that pattern to be a permanent staple of the SB.
    Shanahan is getting to much grief online about not being aggressive enough before half time, the media can second guess but if Jimmy G had thrown a pick right before half and the cheif had gotten three out of it he’d be getting hell for that.
    Speed kills, and the Chiefs have an absolute track team. I’m definitely less against a first round pick being spent on a wr after watching that game, and watching the Seahawks vs Broncos afterwards for reference. (That version of the Hawks would have abused either of the teams from last nights SB). We always pine for a return of the Avril/Bennett days, but Tate, Baldwin, Kearse, and Harvin where some straight weapons and you could really see it when it was time to put the game away.

  23. Ashish says:

    How much blame does Ken Norton deserve for Seahawks’ poor defense?

    Start from 25’min good discussion

    https://sports.mynorthwest.com/766336/how-much-blame-ken-norton-deserve-seahawks-poor-
    defense/

  24. cha says:

    TE news:

    Vernon Davis has retired

    Gregg Olsen is officially a street Free Agent

  25. What is everyones thoughts on if they will keep K Wright? We all talk about getting faster on defense and mostly that has to do with the linebackers. The secondary for the most part are all fast guys. The lineman are generally not that fast so that leaves the LB’s. Bobby isnt going anywhere so that really leaves KJ. Yes there is getting faster off the edge but that doesnt help you chase down would be ball carriers. KJ had a great year and he is valuable to us but I dont think you get faster with him still on the team. Im not advocating one way or another but getting faster to me would be moving on from KJ.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It comes down to this.

      Would the Seahawks have been better with Cody Barton playing? Considering he’s faster? The answer would’ve been clearly no.

      So for me this isn’t the issue. The lack of speed is most prevalent in the pass rush. For the perimeter stuff it’s about getting off a chuffing block by a WR and making a damn play. Go and hammer someone.

      • Miami Hawk says:

        Barton looked like a little kid out there running in circles when he was in. Maybe he will improve but I wonder how much of the poor tackling was the result of his inexperience and the poor safety play. When Diggs was in and somewhat healthy everything seemed to improve noticeably. Its hard to make tackles when the guy who should make it is out of position and you have to come in at a bad angle to fix a missed assignment.

    • Dale Roberts says:

      I think they’ll keep KJ unless when push comes to shove they have to have the cap space to pull in that star Russ wants or the rush end they cherish. I do think Barton is going to be good with another year in the system and an NFL weight room.

      • Sean Vernon says:

        Sorry Dale but there’s no chance we keep KJ wright at $10mm? snowballs chance in hell. Decent Wills are a dime a dozen. We need the $7.5mm cap savings for an impactful player in the trenches. An overhaul is needed on the OL and the DL needs Clowney +2. BBK/Barton needed more PT and reason I was hoping they’d insert them for more p.t. so they could take a step in 2020. NO NO NO to KJ in 2020.

        KJ being the 6th highest paid Hawk is a travesty. Time to say bye, bye!

        • Davido says:

          Part of him being 6th is that we didn’t pay many others yet. Roster construction is not as simple as replacing any starter with a free agent.
          We have to be aggressive on many other positions this offseason. Especially if we let go Britt too. I could totally see us paying him one more year to maintain some continuity. Not only is he our starting outside LB he is also the backup for ILB if Bobby ever goes down for a game or too. I don’t want to see Barton or BBK there.

  26. Coleslaw says:

    Thankful to have made it to another #DraftSZN.

    Love you all and big thank you to Rob for continuing this community and all your insight.

    Time to dig in.

  27. Volume12 says:

    God I love it when one of these draft ‘analysts’ compares a player to someone and Jim Nagy, you know, an actual person with NFL scouting experience just sh**s all over it with an, ‘not even in the same stratosphere.’

  28. Kenny Sloth says:

    Would you want to pick up Hoop and OJ Howard?

    • Zeke says:

      PFF doesn’t seem to see Hooper as highly as some:

      “Hooper has developed into a solid receiving option, but he’s more of a dependable, complementary piece rather than a mismatch creator. Since 2016, Hooper has gained 75.5% of his receiving production on targets defined as holes in zones or underneath the defense (think drag routes, flat routes) — by far the highest percentage in the league. Add to it that Hooper has just a 58.9 receiving grade against single coverage since 2016, and it’s clear that his production has largely been a product of the situation in Atlanta. All that said, Hooper is a mid-tier run blocker who can take advantage of being surrounded by good playmakers on the outside, and he has value as a complementary piece in the passing game.”

      • Rob Staton says:

        So basically:

        1. He gets his yards in a way a TE is supposed to.
        2. Here’s a bunch of grades we don’t have to explain.

        • BobbyK says:

          I think Hooper could really excel with the Seahawks, as he did with the Falcons. They have Ridley and Julio. We’ve got an emerging DK and Lockett. He’d be just fine in Seattle (and good).

  29. Dale Roberts says:

    What was the intent of the Soul Train choreography the Chiefs pulled on the five yard line? Aren’t you supposed to wait until you score to do the dance moves?

    • Brett says:

      I was cracking up at that. A little slice of Motown in the SB. Genius!

    • Aaron says:

      It was like a boy band dance move, and it was classic Reid. However, the genius in doing that motion for me was in the simple fact that it was so bizarre that it would catch the defense off guard simply by looking so strange. Maybe a SF player chuckled at how weird it was or thought “what the…???” for a split second. That’s all it takes to make them lose focus. Football isn’t always about the most intricate play designs or the most elaborate of defensive schemes, it’s also about intimidation and confusion, about causing mapses in judgement and sanity. It’s a mind game as well as a physical one.

    • john_s says:

      It was a beautiful play.

      First the KC oline alignment. They lined up power right with their LG lining up to the right of the center.

      Second, as the defense is trying to identify the alignment of the oline, KC throws in the motion to further confuse the Niners

      Third direct snap to the RB with Mahomes faking a pitch to the right. Mahomes fake pitch freezes Sherman and Greenlaw and Moseley, Ward and Warner hesitate a split second.

      And somehow Beienemy is not HC material

    • Simo says:

      Worked to perfection! Pure brilliance…although it would have been pure madness if it hadn’t worked!!😉

    • TomLPDX says:

      This was the best play of the entire game! I loved it!!!

  30. Eburgz says:

    How do you guys feel about Cole Kmet?

  31. Ashish says:

    Olsen visiting Bills and Redskins
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001101045/article/panthers-release-greg-olsen-te-to-visit-bills-redskins

    Hope he signs with skins, less competition for Hooper

  32. HawkfaninMT says:

    1) Yes sir! I feel like this has been addressed via many discussions and will be the main topic until after the draft and probably into June.

    Two names that I’m interested in that aren’t in the splashy category but could bring some speed are Vic Beasley (mentioned several times) and Kyler Fakrell from GB. Adding these two along with splashing some money at Armstead could help to add speed off the edge and also add a presence to set the edge on rushing downs. Keep Reed and the DL is shaping up nicely IMO.

    I’m not nearly as up on the draft picks as y’all, so I will reserve judgement here. But whomever they could add at value to this DL would be icing on the cake.

    2) At TE I feel like all the options have been touched upon…
    FA- Hooper (big bucks most likely)
    Draft- See above
    trade Njoku or Howard

    My vote here is to trade a 2nd for Howard and use him to hopefully reach his potential. Wish he would have been at the Pro Bowl so PC and RW could have gotten a sense about him. Certainly has the physical traits to play that move TE, dictate some coverage, and seems to be a willing blocker when asked

  33. Debra says:

    I’m a female who loves seahawk football however I don’t watch any college games. I have really enjoyed following the draft blog the past few years then seeing who gets drafted by the hawks and other teams. Thanks for all the information Rob!!

  34. BobbyK says:

    I really felt like I was watching the 1985 Super Bowl (from the ’84 season) last night through 3 quarters when Dan Marino was stifled by the 49ers. You’re right, Rob, he was totally flustered and off by Bosa and Co.

    Then he pulled a Russell Wilson. The greats can come back and do crazy things, even when they shouldn’t. Boom – Mahomes does some great things, gets some help, and is now a Super Bowl Champion. Good for the Chiefs.

    Now Russell Wilson needs a Frank Clark and Honey Badger (kind of reminds me of an Earl Thomas and, well, Frank Clark) type of talent to help him out on the other side of the ball. Lets hope they can get it done this off-season (shore up the defense and add a weapon for Russ).

  35. And now PFF gave us Trevon Diggs in latest mock draft. I mean what the fuck…and I don’t read those mocks to see what they think about seahawks pick ( I know who to read about it 😁) but I want to see what are other teams needs etc.. but when I see Seahawks pick I am like they are wrong on at least 90% other picks …

    • Mark Souza says:

      I read them (and most times laugh). Clearly they don’t know, or care to research the kinds player the Seahawks draft or look carefully at what the team’s needs are. I’ve often seen us paired with a short DB with short arms (because Flowers had a rough year), or making a huge reach for a mediocre OL (because Russ was sacked 49 times). Occasionally I’ll find the mock drafter’s bias when. for instance, Grant Delpit falls to 31 and SF takes him – ah, a Niner’s fan.

      What I look for in most of them is not who they have us picking, but who is still available after we pick. Those are the players who might be available to us when it’s our turn.

  36. EranUngar says:

    I think the team needs are pretty clear to everyone here, the question that remains is the priorities as far as cost benefit to the team. The one constant first priority is to resign Clowney, after that it is not so clear.

    I fully agree that speed at DE (Avril) is a need but IMO it comes behind a monster in the middle (McCoy/Campball…). Without collapsing the pocket upfront it’s too easy for quality QBs to step up and avoid the speed rushers.

    If we still have the cap for quality speed rusher after the above moves, go get one. If not, add lower quality speed rotation piece for obvious passing downs.

    I am fully on board with the need for a quality TE and while we can not put all our eggs in the injured Dissly basket, he is still on the roster and proved perfect for that roll when he was playing. IMO, investing major cap space in another TE is money we need elsewhere. I would like to see a blocking vet as an insurance policy (see Ed Dickson) and a day 2 pick to shore this position.

    The OL needs a LG and RT plus possibly a center for cap reasons. Money needs to be paid to Fant/Ifedi for continuity and I dare say that better protection could help RW more than another vet target. A great plan can be drafting a center high and using Britt’s cap for someone like Brandon Schaff or Andrus Peat.

    The WR rich draft class comes in perfect timing for us. We need a quality 3rd target, a PR/KR player that will actually return the ball when needed and a quick and physical player that can run sweeps etc. If our first pick is not used on a Center, this is what it should be.

    The cap space looks very big right now compared to other contenders but so are the loses (Clowney, Reed, RT…). This team is clearly in a win now situation in the prime of RW’s career. JS was never one to over structure contracts and mortgage the teams future but with the coming rise in the cap due to the new CBA, this is the perfect time for two contacts with a nice signing bonus and lower first year cap hit (Clowney + DT/DE). It will save 10-15M in 2020 cap space vs contract APY and that translate to one more game changer on the roster. This may be the biggest strategy move for this off season.

  37. DougM says:

    Do you have an opinion on Kenneth Murray Oklahoma?
    Thinking of increased speed and aggression at the second level.

  38. DriveByPoster says:

    Pretty good article for a sick man, Rob. Good work!

    As I wasn’t much invested in the result of the Superbowl, I spent the game watching Sherman on most plays. He was one on one with Hill or Kelce most of the time & kept them pretty quiet. I thought he had a pretty good game, apart from getting torched at the end there.

    It set me to thinking though. The left-side of the ‘hawks D in the LOB era was historically great & the opposition Offence just simply could not play on that side of the pitch. Avril coming off the left edge, KJ & Wagz filling the gaps outside & in, Sherman happy to step up & tackle the outside runner because he knew that Earl was covering behind him & Kam, more often than not, coming up to make a big tackle in the backfield before runners even got moving. I think we are in a position now to look back & have a bit more perspective on just how good they were. It’s no wonder that the current Defense looks like a pale shadow in comparison.

  39. Cyrus says:

    Rob I believe that the seahawks need to make sure they get a good return man this offseason wether it be through the draft or free agency, have you done any scouting on potential wrs dbs or rbs who double as return men? And could you see the hawks picking a player for there return skills alone similar to when they traded up for lockett?

    • Mark Souza says:

      The league is changing, and has changed a lot since we drafted Lockett. Returns have almost been legislated out of the game. When I watch games anymore, I look to see how many returns get past the 25, and by how much. Then I factor in the risk of taking a 10 yard penalty as a result of the return (or a fumble). Most times it’s not worth the attempt. I wouldn’t be investing a lot in looking for return skills unless they coincidentally come with something else, like a brilliant receiver with tremendous upside that you were going to draft anyway.

      • Cyrus says:

        We still need somebody to make teams want to kick it into the endzone, that packers game we had terrible starting field position because they kicked it short every time and homer is not a good return man

        • Mark Souza says:

          In college, the returner can fair catch a kick-off in the field of play and the ball is spotted the same as if it was downed in the endzone. Does the NFL have this rule?

      • GoHawksDani says:

        That would be 10000% true…BUT teams usually don’t want touchbacks because of this and they kick most of the time short of the goal line. Instead of long kick, they go for the high kick that goes between the 10 and the goal line. If the ST is good it’s unlikely to be returned back more than the 25 line and obviously fumbles and penalties makes it even more risky for the return team. Unless you’re someone like the Saints when they just can’t risk a big return.
        So I think we need a good return man not because to have great returns necessarily, but to force the team to kick it for the touchback (and if they fail we can have some big returns). And it’s only for the KR. The PR stayed mostly the same.
        WR3 won’t have 80+ catches. Most likely with our rungame he’d have around 30-40 catches a year, so in order to justify a high pick he needs to have a good return skill too

  40. I just can’t believe it. Brugler also gave us Diggs in his latest mock.

    At least he had Kinlaw high and Delpit at first, but after McKinney.

    • Volume12 says:

      This is just my guess why we’re seeing McKinney higher.

      Delpit is a FS and McKinney a SS. ‘Bama runs a middle close defense in regards to their safeties.. FS high in the MOF w/ the SS down in the box= middle closed. The NFL is doing more and more of that.

      We aren’t seeing too much of the middle open anymore. Both safeties lined up high=middle open.

    • TomLPDX says:

      Millhouse, Dane started the article out with this statement:

      “Mock drafts within 48 hours of the NFL Draft are about accuracy. Mock drafts any other time are about examining plausible scenarios, especially this far out.”

      So with that, I took his mock with a grain of salt and as a talking point. Rob himself has stated that he puts mocks out there to create discussion about potential players and their fit with the Seahawks. When he put Delpit to the Cowboys I thought it was a decent move. Do I agree with the rest? No, but it makes you think about the needs for teams. The Cowboys need Safety help.

      As for Diggs, I don’t know enough about him to make a judgement but I do know that Tre suffered this year and we have to ask ourselves “do we need to bolster the CB position sometime during the draft (not necessarily the first round).

      It’s just fodder and food for thought.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The issue I take here is — it’s all well and good saying mock drafts are for examining plausible scenario’s. Yet nearly all of the mock drafts I see online rarely change or adventure down a provocative line of thought. Brugler hasn’t brought a suggestion to the table — for example, a mock with Tua falling — and presented it for discussion. He’ll likely just keep churning out mocks like the rest of them with the flavour of the month adjustments.

        I used to love perusing mock drafts but now I can’t stand them. Especially at the moment because they’re all repeating the same ‘plausible scenario’s’ (such as Delpit behind McKinney) and nobody is explaining anything.

        • TomLPDX says:

          That’s where the grain of salt comes in. I actually think your position on Tua is on the mark. I wouldn’t wager the team on one player that is so unknown at this point (don’t go there, Miami).

          Rob, one thing you’ve taught me is to keep an open mind about players that we target (as Seahawk fans) and you and our crew have a definite idea of what our needs are. It allows me to look at these mocks with dispassion but gives me a little insight into other team needs. Although, I have to admit, if they are this far off on the Seahawks, how far off are they on the other teams.

          • Rob Staton says:

            It’s a valid remark. It’s staggering really how little effort goes into some of these mocks. Putting a cornerback with Seattle in R1 in 2020 is just lazy, let’s be honest. We all know it isn’t going to happen. It wouldn’t take much to find that out. And if they get something so wrong for Seattle, you know they’ve not done the work with the other teams either.

            I’ve not done a mock in weeks but when I do my next one, I’ll go on forum’s and team need pages and the ourlads depth chart to get at least some idea of what a team will do. It’s a bit boring but at least you’re not getting basic things wrong.

  41. cha says:

    Andrew Whitworth decides to play another year.

    Will be interesting to see how the Rams work their cap this offseason. They have $14m room and need to sign Whitworth, assuming they want him back. Also need to get cracking on a mega extension for Jalen Ramsey.

    And with any real “cuttable” guys that can provide big cap savings.

    Dante Fowler and Michael Brockers have played their last snaps as Rams.

  42. EranUngar says:

    “Rapoport later added the Seahawks are another team Olsen plans to visit”

    Interesting….

  43. Denver Hawker says:

    McShay has hawks taking Terrell Lewis in mock released yesterday. Will be interesting to see how he tests.

    Also didn’t think his Mock was terrible, for whatever that’s worth.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Lewis!?!?! Really???

      He didn’t show anything in Mobile. How is he getting R1 talk?

      • Denver Hawker says:

        His Top 20 seemed consistent with most other mocks and then it was a crap shoot. Had several guys on there that seemed R2-R3. At this point we probably all need combine to separate the 20-50 guys. Too much conjecture being made based on a one game performance or potential.

        In case of Lewis, people reference his game against LSU.

      • Henry Taylor says:

        I’ve found his actual game tape to be incredibly underwhelming, as well as the injury history, round 3 at best to me.

  44. Here is a straight up question to the crew. Would you want Austin Hooper or OJ Howard? With Hooper you have to pay big TE bucks to an outside free agent but with Howard you get to have him for one year (maybe two) to see if he is a good fit and he is lower money right now but you have to give up draft capital to get him.

    • cha says:

      Both good options.

      As a better fit for the offense and another weapon for RW, Hooper.

      As a better fit for the overall team structure? Howard. You can pour more free agent $ into fixing the pass rush to really round out the roster.

      I’m inclined to lean Howard.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      I was thinking about this myself today, Hooper is the safer option because he’s been a consistent performer for Atlanta. But Howard has elite upside, coming out of the draft I absolutely loved him, but with both Alabama and now Tampa he hasnt ever produced to his potential.

      For me personally, I’d take the gamble of OJ. With Russel Wilson he could be an absolute weapon down the field, a miss match nightmare who can block. Basically what they wanted Jimmy G.

      • Davido says:

        Im not a big fan of Howard because I don’t trust our team to develop him to his potential. I don’t see why he should be significantly better with us than he is right now. Instead of spending draft capital on acquiring him for maybe only 1 year I would prefer going the safe route. Also we are in a championship window now, I want players that make us better immediately.

        • Mark Souza says:

          My concern with Howard is does he want it? With Hooper, the upside isn’t as high, but you know he’s going to give everything has, and he’s going to try to be better.

    • Trevor says:

      Howard for me for sure. Dissly and Hooper are similar guys to me. Dissly is a better blocker and Hooper a little faster but both solid all around TE who get open.

      Howard is much more athletically gifted and could be a true seam buster for the Hawks. He just seems like the perfect compliment to Dissly and I think well worth a 2nd round pick.

    • Eburgz says:

      Hunter Henry > OJ Howard > Austin Hopper for me

      I’d rather not pay Austin Hooper top of the TE Market money. Not a fan of signing red chip players to blue chip contracts.

      • Rob Staton says:

        But in terms of tight end’s in the league, he is a blue chip. And you’d be paying him at the top end of the TE market, not the WR or OT market.

        • Eburgz says:

          So like 10M per year?

          I’d rather sign Olsen to a cheap deal and roll with him and Willie D. Use the money for a tackle or DL

          • Rob Staton says:

            So what tackle are you getting for $10m these days? The chances are it won’t be a good one and more likely it’ll be an overpay.

            And there’s plenty of remaining money for DL.

            The fact is Hooper is at a great age, is a known good blocker and an extremely useful and reliable receiver. He had one drop in 2019. People might not realise this but the league is not flush with great TE’s at the minute. You’ve got Kittle and Kelce and the next three in the second tier are probably Hooper, Henry and Ertz. Hooper has been top five for receptions for the last two seasons. Olsen is 35 next month and barely played. He’s never been a blocker. You want to roll with a guy who has missed 18 games in the last three seasons and a player who has suffered two serious injuries in the space of a year instead?

            I’ll pass on that.

            • Eburgz says:

              Hooper isn’t a blue chip player. Period.

              Use the money towards Jack Conklin would be my suggestion. This is not the hill I want to die on. There’s worse ways to spend 10M.

              I think Conklin, Dissly, Olsen, Hollister/Draft pick > Fant, Dissly, Hooper, Hollister

              • Rob Staton says:

                You are not getting Conklin for $10m. That’s a fantasy.

                Hooper is a top five player at his position. Period.

                • Kyle says:

                  You can easily make the argument of five guys who are better at his position. Not even sure he’s in the top tier of elite TEs.

                  Elite=
                  Ertz
                  Kelce
                  Kittle

                  Second tier=
                  Rudolph
                  Hooper
                  Henry
                  Ebron
                  Njoku (could be elite but who knows)
                  Cook
                  Howard

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Thanks, you’ve just proved Hooper is a top five TE. Because aside from the obvious, there’s no way any of the others that I didn’t list are better.

                  • dcd2 says:

                    Ya, I would rate Hooper above all the guys on the lower list. You could make an argument for Henry or Cook I suppose.

                    I would say Waller & Higbee belong and that list instead of Rudolph and Ebron.

                    Either way, Hooper is a really good TE. He’s also reliable, which I would trade for ‘untapped upside’ at this point in a FA TE.

              • GoHawksDani says:

                Fant, Hooper, Dissly, Hollister + Beasley OR Conklin, Dissly, Olsen, Hollister?

                For me it’s hands down the first pack.
                Olsen is basically Dickson. Dissly got injured two years in a row. Hollister is a backup.

                Hooper catched the passes ~80% and 77%. He was featured and feared so it’s not like defenses just forget about him.He’s got 9,3 and 10,5 yards/rec. 7,5 and 8,1 yards/target. He had 30 and 41 first downs.4,4 and 5,8 rec/game. Averaged around 41 and 60 yards/game. 4 and 6 TDs. Never fumbled.

                He’s not the same level as Kittle. But he’s absolutely the best UFA. And he’s around the best potentially available. To me Hooper, Howard and Henry is more or less on the same level. Some differences, but mostly the same.
                You could potentially save ~6,5m by trading for Howard, but Howard is really a wildcard player, and last year of his contract. If he sucks, it was a bad gamble, if he’s good then you also have to pay him around 10-12m

                If we have the money to sign someone WHILE also take care of our FAs and strengthen our DL, I’d rather keep the draft pick

            • Zeke says:

              “And there’s plenty of remaining money for DL”

              Does this mean a DL of Clowney, another top edge rusher, and a couple of $10M DT to go with a starting RT?

              Almost seems to good to be true….

              • Rob Staton says:

                No, if you think they’re signing two $10m defensive tackles on top of two high priced edge rushers you’re going to be disappointed.

                • Zeke says:

                  I was hoping to have two out of Leonard Williams/Campbell/Reed ect to go with Clowney and another DE and a RT😞.

                  Then If they still had the room to add a $10M TE, bonus.

                  Just seems like the offense will be fine if they can fix the first half issues and play the whole game like they do in the 2nd half.

                  Also pray Dissly can finally stay healthy…

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    To me the D-line just needs an injection of quality. It’s not about 3-4 ‘big names’. It’s about a quality star addition (not replacement for Clowney) and then you can build it up with other guys who aren’t going to break the bank. They need to make at least one DL splash though.

  45. Trevor says:

    Off season is officially here. Bring on the combine so we have some testing numbers to really narrow down who could be Hawks targets. Really hard until then. I would like to see the Hawks take the following route.

    -Cut (Dickson, Thompson, KJ) $13 mil Cap Savings
    -Restructure and Extend Britt $5 mil Cap Savings

    Free Agency (Defense)

    -Sign Jadaveon Clowney or Chris Jones ( 5 yrs /$110 mil)

    -Sign Dante Fowler (4yrs /$75 mil)

    -Sign David Oneyemata (DT / NO) and athletic BAM who excels against the run and can collapse the pocket. I think he is every bit as good as Reed at half the price. (3yrs /$20 mil)

    -Sign Kendell Fuller (CB / KC) Really talented CB who excels in the slot but struggled when KC moved him outside. I think he could be an elite CB in our scheme. (2 yrs/ 12 mil) Structured as basically a 1 yr deal with a team option.

    -Resign Kendricks (1 yr/$5mil) pending legal and physical

    Free Agency (Offense)

    -Sign George Fant as your starting RT (4 yrs $35 mil )

    Draft

    Trade 1 #27 to the Bucs for 45, 76 and 175
    Trade 2 #59, 76 and 173 to SD for #37

    1.37- Jalon Raegor (WR/ TCU) Ideal compliment to DK and Locket and elite kick returner.

    2.45- Isiah Wilson (OT / Georgia) Steal here to bring and develop for a year then take over at RT

    2.64- Trade for OJ Howard – Provides Russ and athletic seam busting TE who can also block

    3.100- Willie Gray Jr (LB / Miss St) – Hawks need to add speed at LB and Gray is an under rated Day #1 starter if his medicals check out.

    4.130- Rashard Lawrence (DT/ LSU)- Run stuffer with a good motor who can push the pocket.

    4.143- Steve Sullivan (TE/ LSU)- Athletic TE who reminds me a little of Nick Vannett without the injuries.

    5.175- John Kelly RB (UCLA) – Star at the Senior Bowl who would provide nice depth and a 3rd down option.

    6.214- Lamar Jackson (CB/Nebraska)- Long protype developmental CB to come in and provide some depth/ competition.

    • Trevor doing some work here. Did you put your flannel shirt on and grow out your goat to look like JS? All good options that are fun to talk about. For me I just dont think they will give a large contract out to an outside free agent (Jones/Fowler). I could be wrong but it just doesnt seem like John’ style.

    • Henry Taylor says:

      I like the ideas a lot here. Only issue I have is Raegor being on the board at 37 is nigh on impossible imo. The more I watch him (he’s become one of my favourites to watch this year) the more convinced I am he’ll go in the top 20, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he wound up the best receiver in this class.

      • Davido says:

        Im scared he runs a supreme 40 might be gone early, then I realize that many receivers in this class are super fast. Comes down to which teams prefer which players but I would love either him or Aiyuk.

        I like the offseason plan however I would like more improvements on Defense. This is a team with a capable offense and a pretty terrible D. Just signing Fowler does not do enough to fix the issues imo.

    • cha says:

      The free agency portion I like. Fan sentiment seems trending toward cutting Britt but I definitely see an extension coming. Good call.

      Although no way do the Hawks cut KJ. They’ll keep him one more year.

      And I’m having trouble wrapping my head around $11m on defense for one spot (Fuller+Kendricks). If Fuller is out there in the second wave of FA, sure sign him for less and let him compete with Ugo, Kendricks, and Barton.

      The draft it feels like neither Raegor or Wilson will be there at those spots. And let’s get a RB in there..*cough* Anthony McFarland *cough* to work with Homer and let Penny come back at a reasonable pace.

      • I still want Amik Robertson to be our slot corner / honey badger so the Kendall Fuller signing would probably mean that dream wouldnt come true.

        • Trevor says:

          I like Robertson a lot after I checked him out based on your posts. Wish he could have been at the Senior Bowl or Combine. Maybe that will mean he falls a little to Day #3 and the Hawks nab him with one of their 4th rounders. I would be all for that. I just think Fuller could excel with Pete coaching him up and should not be too expensive.

      • Starhawk29 says:

        McFarland is pure electricity. I don’t know if he is physical enough to be successful (or hold up due to injury) but he reminds me a lot of Dalvin Cook or Jamal Charles. Pure explosion

  46. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Hope you’re feeling better Rob. I hate being sick with flu. It’s worse the older I get.

  47. Dale Roberts says:

    Miami Hawk’s comment about inexperience causing people to be out of position which leads to bad tackling was right on the mark for Barton, Blair, Griffin, Amadi, and Flowers. Other than those players we unfortunately we aren’t that inexperienced. The defensive line simply lacks the physical prowess to get those good angles and safeties Hill and Thompson haven’t progressed with mental aspect of the game which led to many completions where I thought Earl or Diggs would have been there a second or two earlier. If the five young players mention above take another step forward and the defensive line gets an infusion of athleticism this can be a very good defense.

  48. Dale Roberts says:

    I understand McDougald at $5 million would be an expensive backup but I hope we keep him. Maybe we extend his contract but reduce his APY to $3 million and give him some guaranteed money. When is the last time we went through a season where both of our safeties played every play of every game? I can’t imagine a better swing safety than McDougald. He’s kinda like a sixth man in the NBA, not really a starter at 30 years old but very, very valuable.

    • Eburgz says:

      Eh… he’s the starter and the undisputed leader of that secondary until proven otherwise. I hope Blair could take his job but at this point he’s the odd man out.

      • BobbyK says:

        He’s not the leader of the secondary. Even Pete credited Diggs with better play of Mcdougald because when Diggs called the plays – it freed up Mcdougald not to think and only worry about himself. That’s not an undisputed leader of the secondary. I think Diggs is the clear leader of that unit moving forward. Just me.

        • Eburgz says:

          Diggs makes them feel that way because he’s on the back end and they trust him to play assignment sound football in the deep part of the field. He talked about in interviews how he hung back and didn’t really impose himself on the locker room like how he did in Detroit. I wouldn’t doubt if he (diggs) grows into that role but Bmac was the leader on the field and the sidelines of that secondary 100%

          I’m talking about a leader of men. Someone that dudes rally around and don’t wilt under pressure. The dude that gets everyone fired up pregame. The guy that takes the dude having a tantrum on the side and makes them chill.

          I’ve never been a fan of having such a limited athlete at safety but he seems to make due. Wish he could set the edge like ole bam bam used to.

  49. neil says:

    Just got back to the computer. In reference to my earlier post which drew some snide remarks, the point I was trying to make without bloviating is ” defense doesn’t always win championships”. I agree the Hawks defense needs to be upgraded, but if they are not going to get more creative with the offense, the Hawks won’t be in a Super Bowl any time soon. In my opinion.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You said in your original post:

      “When all is said and done though, the team with the best defense lost to an innovative and dynamic offense.”

      No Neil. This was not the story of the Super Bowl at all.

      With about six minutes to go in the game, that ‘innovative and dynamic offense’ had been completely handled. They weren’t creating anything. They were aggressive on fourth down. That was it. By all means credit Kansas City for a terrific late flourish against the odds. But this was not one in the eye for defense and a nice shiny gold medal for ‘new age football’. I’d also remind you that KC were supremely balanced, didn’t do anything tricky on offense at all really (unless you think a direct snap or a pitch is ‘new’). They ran a balanced offense and made some key plays at the end of the game in a dramatic comeback.

      Unfortunately you’ve fallen into a trap that many other Seahawks fans have. You’ve listened to too many people bad-mouthing Seattle’s offense. If you actually look into the numbers you’ll see they have a top five DVOA offense, they’re highly explosive, attacking and exciting. This despite missing so many key players.

      There’s nothing wrong with the offense, it’s production or it’s way of doing things. They can be better and can add more. You always can. You’re looking at this completely the wrong way. The Hawks won’t win a Super Bowl with an atrocious defense and a slightly more creative offense. They were BOTTOM FIVE in most of the key defensive statistical areas apart from turnovers. Break out of the mindset that Seattle’s offense is the issue. It isn’t.

    • San Fran lost that game because KC has an uber athletic QB who can make plays all over the field and can run when necessary. San Fran like every defense has trouble containing athletic creative QB’s. Outside of their very fluke loss to Atlanta, San Fran lost to Lamar Jackson and Russel Wilson, two QB’S that are athletic and creative. San Fran also struggled with Arizona, again Kyler Murray extreme athlete and creative on the move. San Fran cryptonite is mobile creative QB’s outside of those teams with a QB like that. San Fran unbeatable with that pass rush.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think San Fran lost just because they showed you have to play for every minute in the big game. They dominated from half time and should’ve won comfortably. But for some reason, with 6-7 minutes to go, they had no answers. Offense or defense. Nobody made a play. And while KC deserve a ton of credit, they didn’t really do anything other-wordly. San Fran just went ice cold at the worst possible time. When KC had their ice-cold moment, they still left themselves six minutes to make amends.

  50. Trevor says:

    Just read a mock from Charlie Campbell on Walter Football. I don’t care for their rankings or much of what they do to be honest but he has rated pretty high on

    He mocked the Hawks in Rd #1-2
    -Grant Delpit (one of my favourite players in the draft)
    -Jeff Gladney (I think he will be a top end slot CB)
    -Raekwon Davis (Calais Campbell physical profile)

    Not realistic IMO but talk about an infusion of talent to the defense!

    • Not sure we draft Delpit due to what we already have at the safety position.

      • Trevor says:

        I think Delpit can play anywhere in the secondary to be honest. He would be an awesome chess piece to build around with Diggs, Griffen and Blair.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s another mock though where Delpit drops deep into R1.

      Why?

      When is someone going to explain this, rather than just mocking it?

      The group-think on Delpit is bizarre.

      • Trevor says:

        I know I don’t get it either. I read a bunch of places this week where McKinney was the highest rated Safety by NFL teams and it made no sense IMO. I hope they all keep thinking that way till #27. He is the one DB I hope the Hawks would forgo other needs for and take if they had the chance.

        • Ashish says:

          It’s crazy but let say hypothetically Delpit is available when hawks on clock #27, if you are GM/HC will you take him? Or it’s just no brainier?

          • Mark Souza says:

            Not Rob (obviously), but could you imagine a scenario where Delpit falls to us, and we then move up in the 2nd high enough to take Raegor? Drop the mic, we win the draft.

    • Trevor says:

      Meant to say he rated pretty high on correct picks in his final mock the last couple of years. Had 11 right last year vs (3) Tony Pauline, (5)Bob McGinn, (8) Jeremiah. Not that any mock draft really makes much sense this early in the draft process except to generate discussion.

  51. Trevor says:

    Was reading some stuff from Tony Pauline today and he expects Dante Fowler to end up in Atlanta. Said he wants to play there and the Falcons plan to address pass rush in free agency.

    That really sucks if it is the case but it probably also means they let Austin Hooper walk. Can’t blame them to be honest. Hooper is a nice TE but not a top of the market guy IMO and that is how he is going to be paid.

    If Fowler ends up in Atlanta and Quinn goes back to the Cowboys I don’t really see a lot of other great speed rush options in the free agent market. Really hope we can get one of those two guys to team with Clowney.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well, he said Fowler would like to play in Atlanta. He then said if they offer a competitive deal he expects him to end up there. The problem is they probably won’t be able to offer a competitive deal unless his market stinks.

      • Trevor says:

        I just think he is exactly what the Hawks need on the DL I agree that the Chiefs have to keep Jones they would be insane not to so Clowney and Fowler just seem like the best scenario for the Hawks. I know it will be crazy expensive but they are both really young. With those two anchoring the pass rush, Wags in the middle and Diggs looking like a play maker at Safety this defense would have the pieces to build around for the next 3-4 years.

        • icb12 says:

          Fowler blitzed a lot this year, he had 35 Pressures; but also had 49 blitzes.

          Everson Griffen had the same number of pressures and 0 blitzes.

          I guess I just have a healthy skepticism that adding Fowler is going to be “exactly what the hawks need on the DL”. I’m just not buying that.
          Would he be an upgrade- yeah, not doubt. But i don’t think he would push the team over the top.

          • icb12 says:

            For what it’s worth.. I’m not suggesting Griffen would be a better choice.. just using him for comparison sake. Trust in JSPC we must.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Also just read this tidbit from MMQB which could be interesting to take into account for future mock drafts:

      That Falcons owner Arthur Blank brought up left guard as a need spot—most owners generally aren’t getting into the weeds of offensive-line talk in the offseason—underscores how big a part of 2020 the line is for Atlanta. Before the start of last offseason, GM Thomas Dimitroff promised Blank that he’d get the line fixed, and he spent two first-round picks on linemen to do it (Chris Lindstrom, Kaleb McGary). Now, after some injury issues in 2019, both Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn need for the return to come on those investments, because the most powerful guy in the building, clearly, is watching it closely.

      https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/02/03/super-bowl-liv-kansas-city-chiefs-andy-reid-patrick-mahomes-san-francisco-49ers-mmqb

      • Trevor says:

        Dan Quinn is in a tough spot with that roster IMO.

        • I dont see Fowler going to the Falcons as they have no cap space. They are going to need to do a lot of maneuvering to be able to fit him in.

          • Going through the Falcons contracts there isnt really a lot of savings they can make by cutting players except about $8 million by cutting Alex Mack. If Arthur Blank was promised by the GM that they would fix the line this cut doesnt really make sense. The only way to really gain cap space is to restructure which would just kill them down the line.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Tbh, I just can’t see Fowler as an amazing player. Hooper is a better TE than Fowler is a rusher. He had solid numbers, but Rams also had a solid line with solid backend. I feel like Fowler is being overvalued and Beasley is undervalued.

      Last year Fowler 6 PDEF, 2 FF, 1 FR, 11,5 sacks, 58 tackle, 16 QB hits, 16 TFL
      Last year Beasley 2 PDef, 2 FF, 0 FR, 8 sacks, 42 tackle, 12 QB hits, 8 TFL

      Career averages
      Fowler (with last year) PDEF 3,25, FF 1,5, FR 1,5, 6,875 sacks, 35,25 tackles, 10,75 QB hits, 8,5 TFL
      Beasley (with 2016) 1 INT, 2,4 PDEF, 2,2 FF, 0,4 FR, 7,5 sacks, 31,2 tackles, 9,2 QB hits, 7,2 TFL

      Fowler (without last year) 2 PDEF, 3,3 FF, 1,6 FR, 5,3 sacks, 27,7 tackels, 9 QB hits, 6 TFL
      Beasley (without 2016) 2,5 PDEF, 1,25 FF, 0,25 FR, 5,5 sacks, 29,25 tackles, 7,5 QB hits, 6,25 TFL

      If you remove their best year they are pretty similar. If you add their best year they are also pretty similar.
      Who know if Fowler’s recent jump is a trend or just thanks to a good year (contract year) and Aaron Donald?

      Not saying Beasley is as good as Fowler. But I doubt because last year we should give him around +10m APY. Feels a bit risky. And if you get Jaguars-Fowler you have a 18-19m APY guy who can deliver 4-6 sacks a year

  52. charlietheunicorn says:

    Soooooooooo

    TE Olsen is in Seattle talking to the Seahawks about a deal.
    I don’t love the move, but if they sign him to a modest deal, I can’t hate it either.
    They need some help at TE via FA, draft…under a rock… anywhere they can find some help tbh.

  53. charlietheunicorn says:

    So, theoretically, you could sign Olsen and acquire Hooper and Dissly returns to form in 2020….. not a bad 3 combo TE group to have… nice flexibility and everyone can block and do damage in the passing game if needed.

    • TomLPDX says:

      Do we really want Olsen? I don’t.

      • charlietheunicorn says:

        Olsen was decently productive in 2019. He put up almost 600 yards and 2 TDs.. getting passes from…. Kyle Allen… who is no great shakes. He could be very productive for a modest price. Value pick-up.

        • Kingdome1976 says:

          I have always liked Olsen. He is real deal team leader and really good player. Yes he is in the last year or so of his career but put him and Dissly together for at least next year and we might have our TE needs possibly met. Not long term but still it’s getting a true vet and leader at a position of need for probably a cheap price. I’m in.

      • Jeff M. says:

        To take the Hollister/Luke Willson role on a bargain deal? (He’s made a bunch of money already in his career and has opportunities to make more in the broadcast booth, if he’s coming here it’s because he wants a chance to win) Absolutely.

  54. Ashish says:

    I thought I have seen worst but this guy just crazy.
    https://www.fantasypros.com/2020/02/2020-nfl-mock-draft-2-0-two-rounds/
    #27 – Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Biadasz (IOL – Wisconsin)
    The Seahawks don’t mess around in the draft. They’ll take a player projected to go in the 3rd round at pick #27 if they love him. Biadasz is a coach’s dream with his makeup and just happens to fit their biggest need.

    • Ishmael says:

      The thing that drives me crazy about this is the idea that these random mock draft guys have any idea where a player is actually projected to go – or what that even means. Projected by you, every other mock you’ve copied, area scouts, GMs? Genuinely tilting.

  55. Ishmael says:

    Say for some bizarre reason the draft cognoscenti are right and Delpitt falls, you take him and laugh your way to the bank right? Play some big nickel and go nuts.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      Rumor on the local airwaves in Seattle is that if Seattle can get the DL shored up in the offseason, they will go back to more of a 3x S “Big”Nickle and/or 3x CB Nickle looks in 2020.

  56. Awsi Dooger says:

    Agree with the point on tight ends. Using a standard tight end these days is simply leaving too much on the table. The single most glaring difference I saw in these playoffs was the disparity in athletic ability and maneuverability between the two tight ends among the #1 and #2 seeds in the AFC — Mark Andrews of the Ravens and Travis Kelcie of the Chiefs. Andrews is a good player but he is a limited Point A to Point B type. He’ll never create a play or positively evolve a play away from schedule. Andrews actually may have been the single most influential player in how that Titans playoff game unfolded when he couldn’t jump 6 inches off the ground on a high but very catchable pass from Lamar Jackson on Baltimore’s first drive. It turned into an interception and then a 7-0 deficit.

    Kelcie and Kittle can create their own shot, to borrow basketball vernacular. I think we’ll see more and more of that type. It is time to explore college basketball rosters for that type of shifty athlete and not the Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham rebounding types.

    The 49ers win if they stop the 3rd and 15 play. They attempted a stunt on the right side. Stunts normally aren’t used on such long yardage plays. I was very surprised when I saw the strategy. Bosa got some penetration but was detoured inside. Armstead got around the corner but simply wasn’t sudden or explosive enough to bother Mahomes in time.

    IMO, the 49ers greatest error was not recognizing that they needed to accelerate the tempo on the play action plays in the second half and specifically the 4th quarter. It reminded me of a college game like Oregon vs. Auburn early last season when all the cute stuff from Oregon (and 49ers) worked splendidly early in the game, and somehow the coaching staff had no idea the opponent would eventually turn up the intensity and begin to attack, especially up the middle. Herbert and Oregon seemed to think it was unfair when Auburn got aggressive. Likewise Garropolo got happy feet and didn’t adjust well at all. I thought San Francisco needed those deep motion looks from Samuel to be twice as snappy during crunch time, and have some wrinkles out of them, like pivot and then quick dart. Instead they seemed content to drop back leisurely and be surprised that the Chiefs were attacking as if a Super Bowl outcome were at stake.

    FOX does the best job using enough of a delay to bleep the F words. I have to say I never understand the need to use the F word. This is the singular moment of Andy Reid’s coaching career yet he had to be bleeped 3 times at the end of the game and soon after the game ended. That may seem like no big deal now but when you look back to relive it years or decades later then it’s going to stand out as stupid and unnecessary. That word adds nothing.

  57. Coleslaw says:

    At the very least Olsen could probably contribute early in the season after a full offseason of rest. This could be helpful for Will Dissly. If Olsen stays healthy, bonus.

    I dont want to give him more than $4M/year though. And I prefer other options. Maybe we’re just trying to stir up interest in him so someone else will get him lol

  58. Coleslaw says:

    What do you guys think about signing Rodney McLeod to be our Big Nickle? Hes quick, hits like a train, recovery speed, can blitz effectively, can cover TEs, etc. The dudes a stud and I think he would fit in perfectly on the field and in the locker room. Put him on the field with Diggs and Blair and let’s have some fun lol

  59. Coleslaw says:

    Sign: Clowney, Fant, Olsen, Armstead, McLeod, Scherff, Griffen, Hollister, Thorpe, Turner, Woods

    Lose: Reed, Ifedi, Britt, Ansah, Kendricks, Iupati, QJeff, Brown, King, Hunt, Jackson, Moore, Roos, Dickson

    Just an example of how we could spend big for a super bowl run.

    Draft a Center, WR, and either DE, OG or TE with the first 3 picks.

    2. Julian Okwara DE
    2. Brandon Aiyuk WR
    2. Cesar Ruiz C
    3. Anthony McFarland RB

    DL: Clowney, Armstead, Woods, Griffen (Green, Collier, Okwara, Poona, Griffin rotating)

    OL: Brown, Fluker, Ruiz, Scherff, Fant

    WR: Lockett, Metcalf, Aiyuk, Turner, John Ursua?

    TE: Dissly, Hollister, Olsen

    S: Diggs, Blair, McLeod, Amadi, BMac

    RB: Carson, Penny, McFarland, Homer, AJ Dillon

    LB: Wagner, Wright, Barton, BBK, Griffin

    CB: Griffin, Flowers, Thorpe, Draft Pick

    • GoHawksDani says:

      I like overall.
      I like Green and have hopes for him, so maybe I’d try to go for Reed/Onyemata instead of Griffen+Woods, so the line would look like:

      A, Clowney – Armstead – Reed/Onyemata – Green/Collier/Okwara
      or
      B, Clowney – two from Reed/Onyemata/Poona/Collier – Armstead

      I like your OL. Maybe if we wanna go cheaper/different we could draft an OG. I’d keep Hunt. He’s cheap, knows the system, we need a backup and also a hedge for the draft pick.

      I’d go with Ursua and Moore instead of Turner. Like Ursua more, and Moore can return punts. I’m fine with Aiyuk, would prefer Raegor, but he might be gone by then.

      I want more young, talented TEs. I’d be super happy with 2 or 3 TE sets (where one of them is not Fant lol). Dissly has injury history, Hollister is OKish, Olsen is old. I’d like either an FA sign a trade or a medium/high pick.

      That safety group is dope

      RB group is superb. Carson for the thunder, Penny for the lightning, McFarland for the shiftier boom (feels like he’s between the previous two), Homer for the quick outs and passing game (not familiar with Dillon)

      I’m fine losing Kendricks. I think Barton might have “IT”, he’s just green. He got a bit better as the season went on, I think he’ll be fine.

      Not a huge Flowers fan, but I’m OK with him. As long as we get a baller nCB

  60. we are speaking about Jordan Phillips here so :

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/1224700878730551296?s=19

    Am I reading this correct? He had 25 pressures and 9.5 sacks? How is that even possible?

    • Icb12 says:

      For what it’s worth, pro football reference has him down for 20 pressures. And they are pretty clear that number includes sacks\hurries\and knock-downs

      • icb12 says:

        I also don’t know where that pressure number came from for Adams, PFR only shows 16 pressures for Jamal Adams. Adams also blitzed 90 times. Soooo yeah. Stats are fun. Obviously they are only part of the equation. But fun none the less.

        Calais Campbell. 33 pressures, 6.5 sacks, 16! Knock-downs. Half the time he was just a hair too slow. Age is showing! 😄

  61. DC says:

    I don’t expect the Hawks to pop $15M/yr on a RT but… If they did & it was Jack Conklin (the All Pro version), I wouldn’t mind. Until, that is, he goes out with a major injury. Then I’d mind.

    That would of course mean saying goodbye to Ifedi, Fant & Britt. This draft looks pretty good for adding a C and a swing T.

    Chances are slim, we have other needs, yada, yada, yada…

    • Rob Staton says:

      Exactly, it’d be a poor use of resources. Fant is a cheaper re-sign and the draft is good at OT. It is not good on the DL or at TE. The off-season has layers and you have to tick enough boxes in the right ways.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Personally, it all depends on what’s important to you. There has been a lot of Hooper talk. What’s more vital? A TE making upwards of 8-10 million AYP, or a RT who fixes your RT issues for a bit more? Save the money at center with a restructure of flat out release, draft Ruiz. Then you go Conklin at RT and suddenly your bookends are a strength. Running game, pass pro all improve. Penalties go down, (drive killers for a run-oriented offense). You still have money for the DL. Just food for thought. He’s a really, really good RT.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Without a shadow of a doubt, the tight end is more important.

          Right tackle has nowhere near the level of importance many will have you believe, especially among Seahawks fans. It’s a position, especially in Seattle, that nearly always has help on that side. Having someone who can take coverage attention at the second level is enormous and vital. I laid out in the article the ways in which a good TE can be used in pretty basic scenarios to devastating effect. It’s not a coincidence that KC and SF both feature elite TE’s, or that last year’s winner’s saw their offense collapse after losing theirs.

          It would be a far better use of resources to get a top TE in the building and then use the strength of the draft (which includes OL) to address a potential RT hole. But I expect they’ll re-sign Fant anyway for a reasonable cost. That’s what it’s about in an off-season. Assessing the best areas to invest, where the strengths of the draft are and how to solve as many issues as possible. If you spend $15m on a right tackle, you then don’t have a TE. So you force it as a draft need, in a weak class. Rather than addressing TE and then accepting the riches on offer at tackle in the draft. You also already have an in-house candidate for RT, unlike at TE because of Dissly’s injury record. And you spend a huge chunk of cap space on a position which isn’t vital despite what some will have you believe and Conklin isn’t a future LT either. He’d have the second highest cap hit on the roster as things stand. That’s a poor use of money and I like Conklin.

          • drewdawg11 says:

            You have stated that playing youth on the line is a poor move. Now you are lauding the depth of the tackle draft to justify pushing the Hooper angle from a previous article. As I have stated before, I coach football. I have for around 20 years. I love Hooper. I did when he was at Stanford, and I wanted us to select him. I think that he would thrive in this offense. Also, if Dissly does come back, it creates a lot of options. Still, you are greatly underselling the value of a RT in the modern-day NFL. In our own division, Chandler Jones rushes almost exclusively against RT’s. Bosa has flopped to both sides to find a mismatch. If you are to believe silly PFF, Ifedi was consistently the worst starting RT in the league, and in the bottom 3 in every category. His penalties stall drives. Double-digits on the season. His pass pro is atrocious. He doesn’t even get much push in the run game, (stalemate should be his nickname). Conklin, on the other hand, is consistently excellent in the run game and is a better pass protector with a fraction of the penalties and mental mistakes. That makes everyone better. Fewer 2nd and 15’s and third and longs is a blessing to a run-oriented offense. If you sign Hooper, he’s not staying in to help the RT in pass pro. He’s your shiny new toy who is going to be used in the passing game on passing downs. You were on to something with Ruiz and I am all for him being the pick. You go cheaper at center then you can spend more at RT and still fix the defense and that’s the truth. Now with Conklin, you have bookend tackles and you can still draft a developmental player to groom. Fant is a solid pass-protector, but he also doesn’t get much push in the run game. I truly want to do something about the glaring and obvious shortcomings of the RT spot, and Conklin is the best of the bunch. Edge players on defense are so vital, and tackles are the equivalent on the offensive side of the ball. If you win that edge more consistently you can control the flow of the game.

            • Rob Staton says:

              “You have stated that playing youth on the line is a poor move. Now you are lauding the depth of the tackle draft to justify pushing the Hooper angle from a previous article.”

              Just because I have promoted the benefit of a more experienced offensive line doesn’t mean I’m now tied to that eternally. The simple fact is the Seahawks are going to have to fill a number of needs this off-season. It’s a good offensive tackle draft and a crappy TE and DL draft. You have to play the hand you are dealt. Besides, I’ve already said numerous times I think they will re-sign Fant. So there’s no contradiction here anyway.

              “Still, you are greatly underselling the value of a RT in the modern-day NFL. In our own division, Chandler Jones rushes almost exclusively against RT’s. Bosa has flopped to both sides to find a mismatch.”

              No, I am not greatly underselling the value of a RT. It’s a simple fact that in Seattle and most places that position gets extra help. That doesn’t mean I think you can just put anyone at right tackle and everything will be OK. I simply do not think it’s worth making Jack Conklin the second highest paid player on the team.

              And you shouldn’t think that either. I don’t think Ifedi was the worst right tackle in football and if PFF suggested that they’re a bunch of fools. But let’s for a second say he was. Seattle had a top five DVOA offense, were highly explosive in the pass and the run and had a strong season offensively. So if Ifedi was that bad, it kind of proves my point for me.

              Besides, Chandler Jones abused Jamarco Jones if memory serves. He was playing left tackle. I’m not signing a player to handle Chandler Jones in two games. The Seahawks hammered Arizona in Arizona and in week 16 were without so many players it was ridiculous. That was the problem there — injuries. Not Chandler Jones. Nick Bosa did very little against us in either game.

              “If you sign Hooper, he’s not staying in to help the RT in pass pro. He’s your shiny new toy who is going to be used in the passing game on passing downs.”

              Yes, he would be staying in to help the RT. Come on, you’ve seen Seattle’s offense. He’d be playing TE in Seattle. I don’t know how anyone who watches the Seahawks would refer to a tight end as someone who would be a ‘shiny toy’ used on ‘passing downs’. They spent two years trying to turn Jimmy Graham into a blocking all-round TE FFS.

              “You were on to something with Ruiz and I am all for him being the pick.”

              Yes, I’m starting to get the sense you’re one of those fans who agrees with anything as long as it involves spending money or picks on the O-line and gets a bit chesty when anyone suggests any investment in any of those fancy things like the skill positions.

              Look, it’s as simple as this. You play the hand an off-season deals you. Seattle has a few things to address. It needs to solve the pass rush problem. It’s weak in the draft but strong in FA. So that’s where you deal with that. They need a tight end. Again, weak in the draft but one of the most productive TE’s in the league is a FA. So it makes sense to target him. They need to determine whether to keep their O-line guys or replace them. They also need another receiver for RW. Both the receiver and OL positions are strong in the draft. So that’s a great plan. You might want to spend $15m a year on a right tackle but you’ll be disappointed when they don’t.

              • DC says:

                😆 Mr. Rob you are predictable as punch. Good on ya.

                We all want to win another Super Bowl. Whether it’s via path or player A, B, C or D through Zed matters not. It’s the result that counts.

                • Ashish says:

                  If we go based last year history on how PC/JS deal their off season i.e. understanding what’s in draft etc. I bet they will sign DE/TE/DL – big names. OL some vet on cheap deal like Mike Lupati. They know they can draft OL/WR/RBs. By signing in free agency they will able to select players without any pressure. Like they don’t have to behind edge players who are not in big numbers, they can relax and select O-Line WR which are strength of draft.

                  • DC says:

                    Last year we needed pass rush help & proceeded to trade away our best pass rusher. 🤔

                    The OL has to at the very least maintain their level of play from last year or all of the ‘sexy’ toys won’t mean ‘S’.

  62. Kingdome1976 says:

    This is the year that Pete and John MUST make the right decisions across the board. We all have basically no idea on how they will proceed but this is the year.

    I actually think an Olsen signing would be a great move. It would maybe placate Russ on getting more help on offense and be a cheap move for a position of need in the short term. We need all the money we can muster to upgrade the D-line and getting Hooper at TE for instance might take too much from the old wallet this year.

    If we don’t get it right this year I fear for the worst….

  63. Ishmael says:

    I’ve spent the last couple of hours watching Delpitt to try and work out why he’s falling, still got no idea. He’s a technically dreadful tackler, gets his head in horrible positions (serious brain/neck injuries waiting to happen), swings his arms at people, throws his entire body at knees when he wants to bring someone big down. It’s not good at all. But the attitude is fine, he’s not contact shy, he’s just clearly never been taught how to tackle properly in his life. And it’s not a hard skill to get better at if you want to. If you want a Seahawks comp for his tackling style, Earl Thomas isn’t too far off. He sucked, still isn’t great, and he’s borderline HoF. In a sport as marginally gains obsessed as the NFL, it’s always surprising how low tackling fundamentals are on the list of priorities.

    Other than the tackling, which is an issue he shares with 90% of players, he’s a flat out star. Range, playmaking, size, character, has it all. There’s probably going to be the temptation to give him the Honey Badger treatment and play him everywhere, but I’d quite like to see him left at FS and let him rack up the All-Pro votes. If he falls anywhere near the Hawks I’d be absolutely pounding the drums.

    • Frank says:

      I like his size/speed combination for covering Te, but watching his tape saw a player with stone hands, and poor tackling technique. To me he’s well suited as a box safety/Lb hybrid, as he’s a hitter but lacking in ball skills. I don’t see a fit with him and Blair on the field together, especially with Q and McDougald still on the team.

  64. Frank says:

    Adam Trautman> Olsen or Howard, but likely will be snatched up before Seattle hits the board. Disley and Trautman together would be a nightmare for defenders.
    AJ Dillon would be ideal as a fullback/ power back in late rounds, surprisingly fast for going 250#.
    I’m extremely curious how Terrell Lewis does at the combine, although again I get the feeling that if his numbers look good he’ll never make it to the Hawks pick.
    Maybe it’s just the time of year, but I’ve been looking at this as an extremely top heavy draft, and starting to find more and more 2-4 round gems.
    Can we please just have the combine now? I need numbers to chew on.

    • Von says:

      If we don’t dip our toe into the Hoopers or Howard’s, I’d be interested in bringing in Darren Fells. 6 7” 270 pound TE. I’m note sure what type of blocker he is but with that size you’d think he’d be good. Good red zone receiver who had 7 TD last year and only was paid $1.5 mil. 33 is a little older but he was healthy last year.

  65. Donovan says:

    Probably Pie in Sky, but I’d entertain making a Godfather offer to the Browns for Myles Garrett and O’Dell Beckham. Would net you two superstars. Say 3 first rounders?

    • cha says:

      Maybe if Garrett were squeaky clean. I’d be afraid of giving up a kings ransom, and then signing him to a huge extension (which you’d logically want to do) with that sword of Damocles dangling over his head. One more outburst and now you’ve lost him for half the season. Or more.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I doubt the Browns will accept any offer for Garrett. He is too important.

  66. Charlie Campbell draft stock report on Xavier McKenney:

    “n speaking to sources across the league, McKinney is the consensus top safety for the 2020 NFL Draft, with teams having him graded significantly higher than LSU’s Grant Delpit. McKinney is viewed as being a versatile defender who can contribute in a variety of ways in pass coverage as he can play strong safety or free safety, plus handle some man-to-man coverage. In the ground game, McKinney is solid as well. He could be a top-20 pick this April.”

    • he also said team sources think Wills is top 12 pick and could be first OT, Raekvon Davis is 2nd or 3rd round pick (and last year everyone thought he is first round pick),and biggest surprise for me is Greenard as late first or second round pick.

      • Bigten says:

        To be honest, I hope this holds true. Raekwon in the late second could be a huge steal, has the physical tools to excel, and had a sophomore year to show he can produce. Give me him in the late second please.
        As far as Delpit, I again hope it rings true. McKinney hopefully runs similar to delpit, so they stay this way. I know it’s not a huge need, having grabbed Blair last year, but we were also talking about the possibility of getting Jamal Adams. First two rounds of Delpit, Raegor/Hamler, and Davis would be incredible. We all love Raegor, but we also loved McLaurin last year and saw him as a first rounder. And last years WR class was arguable much weaker. I see there being some surprises available in day 2. Another option would be YGM instead of WR in the second. Saw some projections that he will run in the 4.5s, but even if he runs in the 4.6s, would that be fast enough? A draft of Delpit, YGM (4.6 speed), and Davis would sure be huge defensive upgrades. Then will out the third and 4th with Wr and RB (with the assumption we add Hooper in FA. Would make for a stellar draft in my opinion.

      • Rob Staton says:

        When Greenard runs a 4.9 we’ll see about that.

      • Volume12 says:

        Walterfootball 🙄

        How does he know what NFL teams will do in April when NFL teams themselves don’t?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Do we know what track record Charlie Campbell’s ‘sources’ have?

      Because I don’t much of any of this from McKinney based on the Alabama tape and what about everything Delpit does? Plus, we’ve already heard from Tony Pauline’s proven sources that the Alabama guys all received lower than expected grades other than Tua.

      I’m not buying any of this.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Maybe “sources” want Delpit to drop

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’ve thought there’s probably a bit of this going on.

          Bet Cleveland, Arizona, NYJ would all love a bit of obscure Andrew Thomas BS out there.

        • McZ says:

          Maybe sources are acknowledging that Dallas and SF are the only teams in the high-end saftey market, and even they are questionable to invest that much in the position.

          McKinney is a player who is better attacking the LoS and is a more consistent tackler, which seems a must in the Cowboys system. He also had better production overall in 2019.

          So, while I agree Delpit is the better overall player, backfield general and ball hawk, the Cowboys pick makes sense.

          Would SF walk over Delpit at 31? Certainly not.

          • Rob Staton says:

            No McZ. This is not true.

            McKinney is not ‘better attacking the LOS’. He was simply used over and over and over as a blitzer. That’s not ‘attacking the LOS’. That’s Alabama overmatching most of their opponents and having the luxury of being able to chance free runners to the QB.

            When Delpit makes plays at the LOS it’s because he’s brought up in run support or he reads-and-reacts and flies to the ball. That’s proper attacking the LOS.

            Neither is McKinney a better tackler. He isn’t. He whiffs as much as Delpit.

  67. JJ says:

    Anyone checked out Bryce Sterk from Montana State as a later round edge option? I have only seen highlight videos so hard to judge.

    • dcd2 says:

      Tony Pauline talked him up a bit after the Shrine game. I haven’t watched any film on him, but I spent some time in Bozeman, MT., so my ears perked up when I heard his school.

      The comments were on the Shrine game winners/losers of his podcast. It’s called BLEAV, or I just searched by his name.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        Bryce was originally at UW. Good length and athleticism, couldn’t get on the field. Mt St. gets a lot of our transfers because of the head coach’s connection at UW. Got a chance to hear him speak and talk with him. Great dude.

  68. Matt says:

    Not going to re-litigate your responses to other posts, but I’m actually coming around to the idea of spending money on Jack Conklin. He’s young (25). He has great athletic ability. He could play LT if Brown goes down – and honestly, might be the LT of the future.

    A big reason I’m for the move, even if we sacrifice FA$ on TE is that I just don’t think you draft an OT that does anything for a few years – and I’m just not sure you can do that in RW’s prime. I fully understand the counter regarding TE, but I think I would trust a Dissly/Rookie TE/Olsen combo to work out. Dissly proved that you can be a limited athlete and function at a really high level in this offense if you can block a bit and catch the ball. I don’t think this position, on this team needs to be that dynamic. As long as you can adequately block and catch balls on 3rd down – that’s all you need IMO.

    Again – I really think I’m coming around to this idea that “you need to spend $ on pass rush and OL for guys that can contribute right now.” I really just don’t trust what the college is putting out right now, without having a top 5 pick. This really is a timeframe issue for me, not about trust in the FO to find the right guys long term (if that makes sense). We need guys ready to go, right now. I think we can get a rookie LB, CB, WR, or TE to contribute – just not seeing it with Pass Rush and OL.

    My ideal scenario:

    Restructure Britt. Cut Dickson.

    Sign Clowney, Conklin, Leonard Williams, and 2 middle class Pass rushers.

    Draft speed at WR, Defense, and find your OC of the future that can challenge Britt from Day 1.

    Thanks Rob.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Let’s just take a step back here though.

      We’re talking about Jack Conklin. Not Lane Johnson.

      A year ago Tennessee opted not to take his fifth year option. I’m glad he had a good final year and will now cash in. But he’s not a left tackle of the future. He’s a right tackle who would be the second highest paid player on the roster as things stand if he gets a deal at his $15m APY projected level.

      Nothing about the Seahawks ‘only’ winning 11 games in 2019 and losing in the divisional round was down to the right tackle. Spend the money in areas that can actually improve the team.

      It’s not going to happen. And I like Conklin. But no.

      • drewdawg11 says:

        I still like Hooper and if they target him and sign him, I’m good. I also like the idea of at least exploring a trade for Diggs. I don’t think they can do both, obviously. I really wouldn’t mind keeping Fant short-term and drafting 2 OL relatively early. The trick will be finding a tackle after round one and with one of those second round picks. Ruiz is on the board for me. Also want to come away with Willie Gay at some point, and Darnay Holmes for the slot/return man. Man, if Wilson were to fall I would be the fool trading back up in round two to secure that dude.

      • Pete said multiple times he doesnt want massive changes up front. Here we lose our RT and our C here. I would much rather have Fant at his price then Conklin at his price. I just believe that Britt is going to be our center.

  69. dcd2 says:

    Rob, I was going to ask you to give a mock draft simulator a go, just to see who you might go with VS mine. I had 30 minutes to kill before my conference call, so why not.

    Having never done one prior to 5 minutes ago, I can now see that they are utterly pointless.

    It didn’t give me any of the comp picks, so I had 1,2,2,4,5

    I ended up with:

    Caesar Ruiz
    Brandon Aiyuk
    Isaiah Wilson
    Anthony McFarland
    Jeremy Chinn

    This was on ‘thedraftnetwork.com’ which was the first google hit. While it was completely useless in terms of garnering any helpful info, it did succeed in entertaining me for a few minutes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I can’t handle the projectors because the rankings are so out of whack unfortunately. But any draft that includes Ruiz, Aiyuk, Wilson and McFarland is a winner for me.

  70. Levi S. says:

    Aight lets see:

    Cuts: Dickson, Thompson, Britt ($17m freed)
    Cap: 76m
    Signings:
    – EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (5 yr $21m/yr)
    – CB Byron Jones (3 yr $18m/yr)
    – C Matt Skura (2 yr $9m/yr)
    – EDGE Jordan Jenkins (2 yr $6m/yr)
    – DT Quinton Jefferson (3 yr $6m/yr)
    – OT George Fant (4 yr $6m/yr)
    – DT Tyeler Davison (2 yr $4m/yr)
    – TE Greg Olsen (1 yr $4m/yr)
    – Backup QB with the extra money

    Draft

    Trade: 1.27 and 3.100C to IND for 2.34 and 3.75

    2.34: EDGE Julian Okwara
    2.59: DT Justin Madubuike
    2.63: OT Isaiah Wilson
    3.75: CB Michael Ojemudia
    4.130: WR Bryan Edwards
    4.143C: C Darryl Williams
    5.155: TE Devin Asiasi
    6.215C: EDGE James Smith-Williams
    7.242: LB Charles Snowden

    Starting Lineup:
    QB: Russell Wilson/backup
    RB: Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny/Travis Homer
    FB: Nick Bellore
    WR: Tyler Lockett/John Ursua
    WR: D.K. Metcalf/Bryan Edwards
    TE: Will Dissly/Greg Olsen/Devin Asiasi
    LT: Duane Brown/George Fant
    LG: Phil Haynes/Jamarco Jones/Ethan Pocic
    C: Matt Skura/Darryl Williams
    RG: D.J. Fluker/Shane Lemieux/Ethan Pocic
    RT: George Fant/Isaiah Wilson

    DE: Jadeveon Clowney/LJ Collier/Rasheem Green
    DT: Tyeler Davison/Quinton Jefferson
    DT: Poona Ford/Nazair Jones/Justin Madubuike
    LEO: Jordan Jenkins/Julian Okwara/James Smith-Williams
    SAM: Shaquem Griffin/Cody Barton/Charles Snowden
    MIKE: Bobby Wagner/Cody Barton
    WILL: K.J. Wright/Ben Burr-Kirven
    OCB: Byron Jones/Tre Flowers
    OCB: Shaquill Griffin/Michael Ojemudia
    NCB: Ugo Amadi
    SS: Bradley McDougald/Lano Hill
    FS: Quandre Diggs/Marquise Blair

    P: Michael Dickson
    K: Jason Myers
    LS: Tyler Ott
    RET: Tyler Lockett/Travis Homer/Ugo Amadi

    • Rob Staton says:

      The Seahawks won’t pay $18m a year for Byron Jones.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Where does Shane Lemieux come from? I don’t mind most of those draft choices.

      I’d much prefer to keep Britt for the same money you have them paying to Skura.

      And do you really think LJ Collier is ahead of Rasheem Green on the depth chart?

      Also, I’m almost certain SEA will draft a RB on Day 3.

  71. Davido says:

    I still hope that Green will step up to be at least a key rotational piece. This DLine needs more than one big FA signing. It has been shown that the best DLines have plenty of depth.

    I think Rob, you had Green mocked in the first round once and there was talk of him being a potential top 10 pick if he stayed in College for another year. So im sure you have watched plenty of tape on Green. Why did everyone say he has such a high celing? He doesn’t look very quick nor super big to me. He has a good frame tho. And can you or anyone else tell me what is holding him back currently? Is it justified to remain hopeful for him?

    I know he developed this year already but he didn’t look nowhere near a supreme talent to me yet.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Exceptional size and athleticism. Tested superbly. Did an excellent job against Billy Price in the bowl game who was a R1 pick. Could rush with speed/power inside and also threaten off the edge. Had major upside.

      I think he needs a lightning bolt up his backside. He doesn’t seem to play with any real intensity or aggression. He’s quite a passive player. One with all the tools but unless you know how to use them, it isn’t going to work. I think he needs to come out of his shell a bit and play with greater urgency.

    • Coleslaw says:

      Hes still young. I think hes only 21 still. Hes only going to get better and I think hes already become a rotational piece. Hes doing OK and hes not natured fully yet, so hes learning how to win with technique. Once he gets stronger he’ll have a much easier time against NFL OLmen.

      • Davido says:

        Yes he is still almost 2 years younger than LJ Collier. He was a rotational piece because we lack alternatives. With rotational pieces I mean something similar to the Eagles 2 years ago or SF this year that had at least 5 starting caliber DLine players. Just having 3-4 good pieces isn’t enough to be feared.

        I share your observation Rob. He looks so uninspiring to me, he never jumps out on tape with us. Let’s hope we will feed him good steroids this offseason.

  72. Sea Mode says:

    Jim Nagy
    @JimNagy_SB
    ·30m

    A favorite pic from 2020 @seniorbowl. Dayton TE Adam Trautman and Lenoir-Rhyne SS Kyle Dugger—the two small-school players we delivered invites to on campus this fall. Both have a good chance of being 2nd round picks. That’s what our game is all about!

    https://twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1225181120234508293

  73. Coleslaw says:

    I’ve officially fallen in love with the idea of McLeod as the 3rd safety. He probably could be had for $10M/year ish. The defense would look so different going from Kendricks to him.. much more speed, bigger hitting, better disguises, better for outside runs, better tackling, better matchups.

    The guy is the perfect fit as far as I’m concerned and hes solidly #2 on my wishlist behind a speedy DE.

    • Coleslaw says:

      The coverage skills from a safety like him will instantly help out the pass rush, too. There will be more time for the line to get home and more coverage sacks.

      No way we don’t go 3 safety imho.

      I’d say that in order of who I want to be the 3rd safety, it goes Delpit, McLeod, McKinley, Dugger.

      There are also other safeties we could target like Devin McCourty, Jimmy Ward, Anthony Harris, Haha Clinton-Dix, Clayton Geathers, Adrian Phillip’s, Damarious Randall.

      I want to see 1 of these guys in Seattle.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      Its a good idea but why don’t they just do it with what they already have? They already played a fair bit of 3 safety looks the last few games albeit with Hill doing basically nothing. Blair is the SS of the future and should be a year better. Move Mcdougald to that 3rd safety spot

      • Rob once again thank you for your article it brings me something that I have been thinking about lately and that’s something Pete has brought up and you have as well and that is the Bully needs to be back . Coldplay once To see fear in your enemies eyes . We had that and some how I think we lost some of that . I am interested in your thoughts on that.

  74. Rad man says:

    Nice write up.

    No way kendricks is running a 4.4 at 29 and 7 years in the league though. The plan to run base I think was more a result of them not having a nickel they liked. Not a great plan in the modern NFL.