What’s next? Frank Clark, the Seahawks & the draft

April 16th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Seattle’s next big decision is about Frank Clark

A full stop on the Wilson contract saga

I’d recommend this piece from Michael Silver reviewing the moments that led to Russell Wilson agreeing terms with the Seahawks. It highlights how both sides compromised to get a deal done and how the Seahawks, while clearly committed to keeping their star quarterback, were unwilling to change the face of NFL contracts forever. They stuck to their plan and it worked.

What happens with Frank Clark?

Let’s get one thing straight. If the Seahawks want to pay Frank Clark, they can.

An increasing number of people are trying to convince you that there’s only one way to succeed — their way. That all you have to do is follow their rules. Follow their formula. Their way of playing offense. Their way of team building.

This isn’t the case. Not in football and not in many other sports. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ blueprint. Getting rid of your good players and trying to replace them with cheap, unproven rookies is fraught with just as much danger — probably more in fact — than building around a small core of extremely talented players.

There are consequences. You will have to make savings somewhere. The Seahawks have a Head Coach with a track record of developing defensive backs. They could churn through young talent at corner and safety in order to save money.

You also have to draft well. The Seahawks did a fine job picking the likes of Frank Clark, Tyler Lockett and Jarran Reed. They found a franchise quarterback in round three and previously built a legendary defense on the cheap.

The idea that paying quality players is a death knell for your chances of succeeding is an illusion. And with so many young quarterbacks set to be paid over the next three years, most of the NFL will be facing the same challenge.

It’s possible the Seahawks believe the price is too high for Clark. He’s an excellent young pass rusher with further room to grow. He’s not, however, a game-wrecker like Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack. The next contract he signs will put him in their pay range. Yet weaker players such as Trey Flowers are earning $18m a year. This is the going rate these days.

My prediction is that Clark will play out the 2019 season on the franchise tag and won’t sign a new deal or be traded.

The cost for a defensive end isn’t likely to change too much in the next 12 months. With Wilson signed, it’s possible the Seahawks could franchise tag Clark again in 2020. If he takes another step forward in 2019, you might be more inclined to pay him elite money next year.

Assuming they can get a deal done with Bobby Wagner — and that should be fairly straight forward given his importance to the team — there’s no real reason to rush on anything with Clark. That’s the bonus of knowing the franchise tag is available next year following Wilson’s extension.

Signing him to top-level money seems premature given it still feels like we haven’t seen the absolute best of Clark. There’s more to come. If he proves it in 2019, he’ll fully deserve a big extension.

Despite rumours to the contrary, trading Clark still seems unlikely for two key reasons.

Firstly, this is an outstanding draft class for defensive linemen. Every team in the league is trying to find a financial advantage. Trading a high pick, giving up the chance of owning a cost-effective rookie and claiming the chance to pay Clark +$65m guaranteed isn’t logical unless the Seahawks are willing to give him away like the Chiefs and Dee Ford.

Secondly, Seattle’s pass rush wasn’t that great in 2018 anyway. Trading away their best defensive lineman would create a serious hole.

For all the people saying ‘just trade him’ — you can’t force teams to make a great trade offer. It’s possible the offers aren’t there — plus the desire to pay him a long-term extension isn’t there. If that’s the case, there’s no other option but to play out the 2019 season.

What kind of a trade might work?

Forget about a high first round pick. Forget about conservative GM’s like Chris Ballard in Indianapolis being prepared to give up first round picks.

The kind of scenario that could potentially get this done is the one we proposed in early March.

Essentially it would involve a swap of first rounders.

The Seahawks would need to pick in the top-12 to justify trading Clark. That’s their only chance to replace him with a top-tier pass rusher from this rookie class.

My original proposal involved the Bills and I’ll continue to use them for the purpose of this example. You might prefer an alternative team.

Here’s the idea — the Seahawks get #9 and the Bills get #21. Buffalo then gives the Seahawks their second round pick (#40) and possibly a fourth round pick (they have two this year).

That way the Bills still get a chance to spend a first rounder to build around their young quarterback. They also acquire a quality pass rusher. The Seahawks can try to replace Clark with a top-10 pick and they get the opportunity to fill out their draft board with extra picks in rounds two and four (taking their total to six instead of four).

They could draft someone like Rashan Gary or Montez Sweat (or trade down and look at Clelin Ferrell) while gaining the #40 pick to spend on a receiver or a nickel hybrid.

Of course if they simply keep Clark they can trade down from #21 as many times as they want and collect a receiver, nickel or another pass rusher anyway.

Thoughts on the draft

It’s still difficult to project what might happen considering the Seahawks are destined to trade down from #21 to acquire more picks. They’ll probably trade down more than once too.

The biggest need is arguably adding to the pass rush but the depth of the D-line class offers some possible relief there. If they want to they can wait on that area. It depends who lasts into range. If they trade Frank Clark this becomes a much greater priority.

It’s a top-heavy receiver class. While there’s some relative depth later on, the best players will go early. With Wilson’s contract signed the Seahawks might feel obliged to provide him with another weapon — especially with uncertainty over Doug Baldwin’s future.

The nickel/safety/hybrid position is equally a bit top-heavy. And while many still think the Seahawks are looking at these players to replace Earl Thomas — I maintain they’re looking to replace Justin Coleman. Seattle played a lot more nickel last year and utilised Delano Hill as a big nickel. The safety hybrid’s in this draft are running in the 4.3’s and 4.4’s so can easily handle nickel duties. Plus many of them (Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Juan Thornhill, Darnell Savage, Amani Hooker) lined up at nickel in college.

These are the three areas to focus on with the first pick.

I’ll have a new mock out tomorrow.

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163 Responses to “What’s next? Frank Clark, the Seahawks & the draft”

  1. Coleslaw says:

    Nice piece, Rob. I’m so glad that Wilson signed. It went from confusion to the worst case scenario to the best case scenario in a matter of 24 hours. What a roller coaster that was. Glad it’s over. Extremely glad about the outcome.

    Now it’s time to do work on the rest of this roster. No more distractions. This team is well set and ready to compete right now, I cannot wait to see what we add in the draft!

  2. What do we think of the possibility of Delano Hill playing that slot CB role full time. He has very similar numbers that Chauncey Gardner does. Now he may end up winning that other safety position opposite McDougald but he could be an option as well.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Sure, it’s an option.

      But he played well enough at strong safety — and it’s a better fit for him.

      • GoHawksDani says:

        I also think Hill is better at SS, but isn’t McDougald would be a more interesting guy at strong safety too? Sure tackler and can cover easily RBs and TEs. Not bringing a massive boom, but way better cover guy than Kam was. If we would have a ball hawk FS who can cover ground quickly and has high football IQ I think it would be better. I know it’s just a dream and Hawks set on the safeties, but I would absolutely love McDougald at SS and Savage at FS

    • John says:

      +1
      2 years and my first post, my english is so bad and i have shame for that. I am Brazilian. Rob, thank you! You are amazing.

  3. Zxvo3 says:

    My 2 players I would want the Seahawks to draft 1st would be Terry McLaurin or Juan Thornhill. Both are great athletes. McLaurin would be a nice weapon for Wilson to have while also being insurance for Doug Baldwin. Thornhill can play nickel and replace Justin Coleman. He can be a weapon on the defense by playing multiple roles as a big nickel.

    • JC3 says:

      Assuming they find a partner to trade down, why would they draft a S/ slot in 2nd if they keep finding Sherm, Kam, and Flowers in 5th or 6th rounds? I don’t disagree with you that both are excellent talents but I just don’t see them taking either one of them first.

      • Zxvo3 says:

        I totally understand your reasoning about the nickel position. But why wouldn’t they target a wide receiver with their first pick. Baldwin isn’t playing for much longer unfortunately and as Rob said they might feel inclined to get Wilson a new weapon.

  4. Eli says:

    Studying what happened with recent DE contracts makes me thing negotiations hopefully won’t be as difficult as they need to be. The most recent ones:

    Dee Ford – 5 yr./$85m – actually a really bad deal, it’s essentially a 1 yr./$19.75m deal, consisting of $8m bonus and $11.75m first-year guarantee. Niners can get out of the contract after the first year if they choose.

    Trey Flowers – 5 yr./$90m – first two years full guarantee and third year partially guaranteed, total commitment is 3 yr./$21.93m + $28.07m bonus.

    Demarcus Lawrence – 5 yr./$105m – only first two years guaranteed at $23m total + $25m signing bonus, third year guarantees on 3rd day of new season (which is why we’ve seen $65m guarantee but the Cowboys aren’t on the hook if they don’t want).

    I think given that these contracts aren’t as outrageous as they may seem on the surface it would be smart to try and get something done sooner rather than later. I don’t think the Ford contract is a realistic comp given its really just a 1-year, but something around Flowers and Lawrence, plus a few million, would be great. Lawrence got $48m guaranteed and Flowers got $50m guaranteed.

    • Coleslaw says:

      I think the Lawrence deal would be the best for Clark. We hold control for a long time, he gets paid. By the 3rd year we can sell and the contract wont hurt his stock, or we can just keep him until he demands a new deal. High signing bonus is what we want too. If we could get him on that extension I’d do it by 5:00.

  5. Coleslaw says:

    If the Bill’s trade scenario is realistic, I think we HAVE to consider it. Montez Sweat to replace Clark on a rookie deal with a 5th year option+ better day 2 and 3 picks than if we trade down from 21, it’s a no brainer. Almost too good to be true.

    We could even trade down from 9 and get a load of picks, talk about rejuvenating the roster.

    If trading Clark gets you either of those options, we gotta try and get that done.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Listen — I’m not saying it’s possible. I just think it’s the only realistic deal that would suit a buying team and the Seahawks.

      • cha says:

        Looking at the teams above the Hawks in the draft I don’t see much fit for a Clark trade. Unless the Raiders want to get crazy and can talk Clark into working with them on their cash flow issues.

        Maybe Cincinnati? Can JS talk them into trading #11 and John Ross for #21 and Clark?

        I can’t see the Bengals making a move like that.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The Bengals are so cheap, they’d probably try and pay Clark in Monopoly money.

          I think the best chance of any deal is the Bills and it’s with a deal like the one proposed here. But even then — I still think it’s more likely Clark plays on the tag in 2019.

          • charlietheunicorn says:

            There is a reason they have been called the Bungles for a long time….
            ……terrible owners and GMs.

            • I like the trade idea with the Bills. Playing devils advocate Im not sure the Bills are in win now mode so not sure if it would work for them? But for sure It could benefit us and I would think they would really have to consider it.

    • JC3 says:

      The strategy is keep you own home-grown talents, and I believe Hawks will eventually re-sign Clark to a long term deal.
      I think their order of priorities now is Clark, Wagner then J. Reed. They went to last 2 SB with two replacement level DT, but do you think they can do it without Cliff & Bennett? DE might just became the second most important position behind QB, so why trade him if you got the leverage to keep him?
      PAY THE MAN OR SOONER OR LATER YOU GONNA PAY UP ANYWAY.

  6. Ed Shen says:

    Rob,
    I’ve been following you for 4+ years, and this is my first comment – I know what I don’t know, and don’t want to impose my ignorance of the draft on others. But this is not about the draft – it’s about journalism. Your coverage of the RW saga has been exemplary. You were one of the first, if not the first, to really bring fans’ attention to the RW negotiation as the critical issue of the offseason. You said that Rodgers’ (agent) hard nose tactics would be a possible issue. You called out most of the pre-negotiation media comments as noise (with the possible exception of Scheffer). And you even mentioned at some point that a settlement around $35M/annual would be close to a no-brainer for the Hawks. That’s a pretty good record, imo. Great work.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks Ed, I really appreciate those words. I want this blog to be a useful resource for all Seahawks fans. Knowing that some of you get some enjoyment out of it means a great deal.

  7. jdk says:

    Great piece Rob.

    You are absolutely right. There isn’t only one way to win a championship, but there might be an optimal way to build a team that gives that team the greatest probability of winning over a long time frame.

    Ironically, one person who seems to really believe there is one right way to win is Pete Carroll. Despite not having the personnel on defense and coming off an atrocious rushing year, Pete decided to keep trying to win with defense and the run game, even though he had the most important piece in the league, an elite quarterback.

    Thank god we still have that guy, because until Pete builds another elite defense, Seattle’s chances rest on Wilson’s shoulders.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Pete doesn’t believe there’s only one way to win. Pete has simply picked his preferred way of team building. He doesn’t go around telling anyone else they’re an idiot for disagreeing with him. Unlike Seahawks Twitter.

    • GerryG says:

      I can’t even begin to express how much I disagree with this. Pete knows what his identity of a football team is. But that is not the same as being thick headed and forcing a run first system. End of 2015 they chucked the ball all over the field. They passed 60% of 2017.

      Last year they ran a lot. They also were pretty good at run blocking and rush yards, and despite some decent returns here and there, pretty poor in pass blocking. The right side of that line was still a liability in pass protection. Pete is no dummy, he knew that he couldn’t protect his QB as well as he would like. He also had a plan with a new OC who was brought in to hold RW more accountable, get him to learn pocket presence, and maybe having him continue to run for his life behind improved but still below average pass pro was not the right move to continue Wilson’s growth. Remember pressure % of the Seahawks OL was still bottom of the league last season.

  8. Hawksince77 says:

    The RW contract is very good for Seattle, better than I thought possible. Four years (not three) and just a bit more than Rodgers, a number sure to be eclipsed within a year, two at the most. RW didn’t go for every dime he could squeeze from the NFL. Good for him. And the team.

    As for Clark, my only concern is an extended holdout. Didn’t he insist that he wouldn’t sign the tender without getting an extension? Or am I remembering that wrong?

    Now that RW is signed, Seattle could be perfectly comfortable letting Clark play on the tag – if he is willing to play. Or is that even an issue?

    The next best news would be word on extending Wagner. That would be awesome.

    • He said he would abstain from signing it and participating in team activities until he got a deal done. In essence he’ll show up just in time for the season. It wouldn’t make any sense for him not to play for that kind of money considering the relatively minuscule amount he has made in his career so far.

  9. D says:

    Chances of Clelin Ferrell being there after trading down? He’s one of my favorite players in this draft and deserving of a top-15 pick in my opinion. Mock drafts seem to be all over on him, sometimes lasting to late 20s.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not after trading down. Probably not at #21 either.

      • Duceyq says:

        I think all the scenarios you’ve presented seem very likely. I rember asking you if a trade Clark plus pick swap as an option and I think you were of the mind you described in your piece. Curious to know, do you think Seattle would be open to trading Clark in this years draft for a 1st next year with maybe a sweetener thrown in?

        • Rob Staton says:

          No I think that’s unlikely. They need picks this year.

          • Duceyq says:

            Rob, what are thoughts on practice squander Kaplan Reed? Could he perhaps be Justin Coleman’s replacement? Has NFL experience with the Titans and Pro day numbers look good.

            4.38 forty-yard dash, 1.57 10-yard-split, 41.5 vert. Also is 5’11 199 lbs.

            Maybe SCB could be solved in house and could push FS up in priority based on your assessment.

  10. Dale Roberts says:

    The reasons a team would trade for Clark are a) they’re getting him cheap or b) they’re on the verge of contending and believe Clark would put them over the top. The only contender I could find with the need, draft capital, and a high enough but not too high first round pick is Atlanta but I they’re already up against the cap. I think Rob is correct, there isn’t a trade partner that makes sense right now so Clarke will be playing on the tag. The questions this year will be Clarke’s attitude and whether he gets injured because he held out though camp. I obviously don’t want to lose Clarke but I’d be more distraught about losing Jaran Reed and his pressure up the middle especially considering the likely smaller salary for a DT versus a pass rushing DE.

  11. charlietheunicorn says:

    John Clayton mentioned that the Seahawks have extreme cap flexibility within 2 years. They literally can sign anyone for any price and not be impacted. Frank Clark, done. BW, done. So, all the chicken little the sky is falling talk is garbage right now……

    Now to come up with more than 4 draft picks…..

  12. Gohawks5151 says:

    I think Clark signs a D Law type deal. I think Bobby signs a fair deal too. And I think in 3 years those deals won’t be bad at all. If anyone is at risk of being gone I think it’s Reed. This next year is huge for him. Could be a regression candidate. He’s a good young player but I think they will hedge him with Trystan Hill or maybe Simmons. I love Bobby but I think Clark is more important than people give him credit for. QB play and pass rush are an effective Super Bowl combination.

  13. JimQ says:

    I can’t even imagine what it feels like to get a $65-million dollar check handed to me. In financial circles, an old tool used to account for compounding interest is the “rule of 72”. It very simply allows you to determine how long it takes to double your investment at any given rate of return. You simply divide the #72 by an interest rate. IE: a $1.00 investment at 15% = 4.8 years, when it doubles & becomes $2.00. (Another example for clarity, $1.00 invested at 10% takes 7.2 years to double.) So, 72 divided by 15% = 4.8 years. This means that $65-million invested at an average rate of return of 15% annually, (which is a medium to high risk, aggressive but achievable % of return) the $65-million becomes $130-million in 4.8 years & IF reinvested at the same rate for an additional 4.8 years the $130-million becomes $260-million. This clearly shows the power of compounding interest.

    If RW invests the entire $65-million with a competent financial advisor, and the investments yield an average 15% return, that $260-million would make a very nice down payment for him (and probably a group of partners he forms) to buy the Seahawks team in about 9-1/2 years from now (—IF— not way sooner). That time frame may very well line up pretty close with RW’s retirement from the game. He does, really want to be an owner, coupled with the current uncertain nature of team ownership, this huge deal should set him up extremely well to actually accomplish that and remain a Seahawk for life. Today, with this contract, RW = King of the PNW and, as I believe they say in England, Long live the King.

  14. Trevor says:

    Frank Clark on Twitter this evening

    “They lied to me”

    Hate twitter and how you can read into anything but that does not sound great no matter how you look at it and Frank seems like a pretty emotional guy.

    • CaptainJack says:

      He clarified on Twitter the tweet was about family issues he’s dealing with. Nothing to do with football.

      • LLLOGOSSS says:

        A likely cover.

        The histrionics of young millionaires on twitter, smh. In either scenario it’s regrettable to let your every emotion loose in the public eye.

        And troubling for Seattle if it was referring to his “other” family.

  15. CaptainJack says:

    Back to draft: here’s a potential late round gem for some team

    Jalen Dalton, DT from North Carolina. 6’6 and 300 pounds, but ran a 4.8 40. 6.5 sacks 12.5 tackles for loss last two seasons. Combine snub.

    Getting a Chris Jones vibe. Sign me up!

    • Awsi Dooger says:

      I remember Dalton. He was a very highly rated recruit at defensive end. Then he gained a ton of weight in a short period of time. Apparently he ate anything he wanted because North Carolina wanted him to move inside. But it was sloppy weight and he never looked like the same guy. Maybe he finally rededicated himself and lost some of that weight. I never thought he looked as effective at tackle as the lean guy I remembered from those recruiting videos. Could be a swing type.

      That reminds me…last year there was a long list of former 5-star recruits who hadn’t fully panned out in college, for whatever reason. I always keep an eye on that list for potential value. Often it is defensive line and linebacker types. This year I haven’t paid as much attention to those former elite recruits. Apparently I have plenty of company because I have not seen the list promoted at all on the high profile draft sites. Rob was mentioning some of the 5-star sleepers here last year. Maybe everyone has been preoccupied with other matters. That angle didn’t lose all value lickety-split.

    • Duceyq says:

      Captain Jack,

      You wouldn’t happen to have a vertical and bench press numbers on him?

  16. CaptainJack says:

    Also I will say this again. Clark will play for Seattle next season.

    No team is going to offer what the Seahawks would want. Period. Not in this draft class.

  17. RWIII says:

    Just for the record. Brock Huard said he would not pay Frank Clark. He wants Clark to play another year before he gives Clark the big contract

    BTW: Rob has convinced me to keep Frank Clark

    Let me say this. I don’t want to lose Bobby Wagner, Frank Clark or Jarran Reed. This might shock some people but my first choice is to get a deal done with Jarran Reed. Reed is the youngest of the trio. Reed had a break out year. Reed had 10.5 sacks last season. It is much more difficult to find interior pass rushers then guys coming off the edge. Dallas threw stupid money at Dexter Lawrence. Lawrence is now making more money than Kahlil Mack/Aaron Donald. Donald/Mack in my opinion are better players than Lawrence. Now Clark is expecting Dexter Lawrence money. Why not? Frank Clark is a better player than Lawrence. In my opinion of the three players, Clark will be the most difficult to sign to long term deal. But hear is the good news. I think John Schneider can get a deal done with both Wagner/Reed. Which would leave the franchise tag available next year for Clark if John Schneider chooses to go in that direction.

    • OakHawk says:

      Demarcus Lawrence. Dexter Lawrence hasn’t been drafted yet.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The question is, will any other team pay him Dexter Lawrence money? Based on discussions of the tight cap situation, I would guess no. Offer him 15 million a year with 50% guaranteed, and start negotiations.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Negotiations will have already started and if they offer that, Clark’s camp will laugh in their face. It’s $3m APY less than Trey Flowers.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          It doesn’t matter what other players got. What matters is what other teams are willing to offer Clark. What teams do you think will offer him 18 million + for a long term contract?

          • JohnH says:

            If they didn’t have to give up draft capital for the chance to do so? Most of them. Clark is young and what, top 10ish as a pass rusher?

  18. Dong says:

    Jarran Reed?

    Rob, you do fantastic work.

  19. Zachary Scott says:

    I smiled when I read this because I was thinking of the same scenario of a trade with Bills for Frank Clark. While I am not against paying your best players, I also think the value for Frank could be really great for Hawks with draft capital + cap capital. I do have the same concerns over trading a great DE for the prospect of a high draft pick. It’s a gamble but the payoff and flexibility could be REALLY good.
    Thanks for your great work, Rob!!!

  20. Hawkin says:

    Mock Draft

    Pick 21 : Green Bay via Seattle – Dwayne Haskins QB (Packers repeat history with heir apparent)
    Pick 30 : Seattle via Green Bay – Jeffery Simmons DE (Seahawks brass loves this kind of value)
    Pick 75 : Seattle via Green Bay – Khalen Saunders DT (hawks double dip here taking advantage of depth)
    Pick 84 : New York via Seattle – Joe Jackson DE (great athlete and piece to build a line with)
    Pick 95 : Seattle via New York – Jace Sternberger TE (this May be a bit early, but they get ‘their guy’)
    Pick 124 : Seattle via New York – Lonnie Johnson CB (could be gone before, but this would be rich value)
    Pick 159 : Seattle – Michael Deiter OG (not a day 1 starter, but potential is there)
    Pick 180 : Seattle via New York – Christian Miller OLB (great value here, adds depth to what is an oft injured LB core.

    I could see another trade playing out to get picks in round 7, but I didn’t want to over complicated it on the first go.

    • Benjamin Daviis says:

      OMG!!!! I died laughing!!! Russell Wilson got out of this too apparently as well as all of his teammates!!!! Lmfaoooooo!!!!!

    • Sea Mode says:

      This is the best EVER! 😂🤣😂🤣 I hope Lockett somehow makes it into a TD celebration next year!

  21. Madmark says:

    When I first came to this site there was a guy who always thru out 2 players he didn’t want Seattle to pass upon in the draft. I like to ask others including you Rob what 2 players do you want to see on the Seattle team this year.
    For me its Tysten Hill DT UCF and David Sills V WR WV.
    Going forward I believe Hills is a perfect Seattle prospect the same as they got with Irving, Clark, and the guy who didn’t work out. The other I’m completely excited about I truly believe that Seattle was at WV pro day for a reason and sometimes you have to asked why this guys we are looking at did so well. Then you find the other guy who helped. David Sills V is that WR Seattle has been looking for. Forget about the 40 time and look at the results and you will find Sills had change from QB to WR completely and he has a nose for the end zone. This is my sleeper of the draft who will go far and if he’s in Seattle he’s perfect for the touch passes that Russes throws to the corner. Forget the 40 time this guy is the next Steve Largent on this team.I like ya all to post 2 players you can’t see Seattle not getting but make it real Kyle Murry doesn’t count hehe

  22. WALL UP says:

    Allen Bailey could be a great pick up for outside-in DE/DT, 5tech/3tech role.

  23. drewdawg11 says:

    First off, thank you Seahawks for keeping Russell Wilson! He was a must keep. As for the draft, I’m so absolutely in love with Jeffery Simmons’ film. I would be willing to redshirt himnto get an all-pro DT in the near future. If he’s at 21… man, that’s tough. Also, I’m thinking Paris Campbell would be a great asset to this offense in the fact that he’s such a Swiss Army knife who can free up Tyler Lockett even more. Clelin Farrell won’t fall to us, but he’s another guy I love. You know they’re going to trade down, so I guess we need to focus on guys who could go from 28-34. Paris, Chauncey, someone like that. But Simmons is in my personal top 10 even with the ACL.

  24. EranUngar says:

    I love Frank Clark. I believed he is going to be a game changer after he was drafted and posted an article about it way back then –
    https://www.fieldgulls.com/2015/7/14/8958001/frank-clark-could-be-the-real-deal

    However, Frank became a key starter only last year once Bennett and Avril were gone. I believe that if healthy he will have a game changer season in 2019.

    That brings me to the trade/extend Clark issue. As Rob made very clear, the kind of DL talent available this year makes it impossible to imagine a team will willing to offer top picks for the right to pay Clark the kind of money he demands. Without those picks you can’t replace Clark and still use your top pick to trade back for the extra picks we desperately need to add to our 4 picks.

    The best solution for the team is actually to play Clark under the TAG in 2019. They can tag him again after the season is over and be in the same place next year (FA player under the TAG) but facing a less talented DL draft class and with the extra knowledge of how Martin/Green/2019 DL pick are performing.

    However, Clark made it clear he will not report to the team activities until he has his contract.

    This may drag on. There will not be a pre-draft Clark trade. The team will need to evaluate their options during OTAs and decide if they sign Frank before training camp or keep him on the TAG until the season begins.

    My money is on a Demarcus Lawrence kind of contract in July.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      What other team would offer him a Lawrence contract? As you mentioned, there are a lot of defensive ends being drafted. Most teams are guarding their cap space – probably because they know how much their rookie QB will cost now that Wilson has set the market. And Clark is good but not a game changer.

      So offer him 15 million a year for 4-5 years with 50% guaranteed, and start negotiating.

  25. Doug says:

    Any idea what type of OL Solari coached teams tend to go for? I’ve seen a lot of projections online for S, DE, DL, TE and WR, but not much talk about OL, which worries me because I’m still not sold on anyone but Brown. Thanks for all your work covering the hawks!

  26. James says:

    Rob, the problem with trading Frank for a hi R1 is that what the Seahawks need is a 2nd DE to pair with Frank. Use your R1 to replace Frank, and you still need that 2nd DE. The only thing you gain is cap, but the team is worse off. The better analysts insist there is cap for Frank, Wagz and Jarran. My guess is we go WR, then DE, then S.

    • Simo says:

      Definitely agree with your logic here. Hawks would have to trade Frank for a high enough pick in order to draft a suitable replacement for him, and like you say, the pass rush is no better off. In fact, the pass rush would likely be significantly worse even if we could draft Gary, Sweat, Ferrell, etc, as these guys are not proven NFL pass rushers yet. Here’s to hoping they work out a fair deal with Frank! It shouldn’t kill our cap situation going forward, especially if he’s one of the core group that will lead this team forward.

      It’s hard to predict the order of draft picks since its so dependent on the value of the remaining players when our first pick eventually happens. Could be WR if their guy is available, but might be DE or TE or S if the value is right.

  27. RealRhino2 says:

    Why don’t we just sign him to a new deal? That seems better than the tag.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Because they might not want to make that commitment.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        I see you wrote about that above, but don’t really understand why. He doesn’t need to take a big step forward, his production has already been on par with a the group of Lawrence, Ford, D. Hunter, Flowers, all contracts ranging from 15-21 million/year. If he takes a big step forward he’s just going to be that much more expensive.

        The one thing that makes sense is that he’s probably cheaper on the tag this year than the likely yearly total of an extension, so I guess that makes sense to have him play the year at 17 and deal with a long-term contract when the cap number forces them to. I’d hate to lose him, though. My favorite player to watch on the Hawks.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He’s not a game wrecker. Not yet. He can be. That’s the next step he has to take to warrant Mack and Donald money.

          • Simo says:

            Its difficult to make any educated guesses here since we don’t really know what Pete/John are offering Frank (if anything beyond the tag in 2019). Seems more clear that Frank wants a deal on par with D Lawrence though, and if I had to guess the Hawks would prefer a deal closer to that of T Flowers. If true, that’s not an insurmountable gap, and hopefully they can find some middle ground.

            I for one would love to lock Frank up now before he becomes a game wrecker like Mack or Donald. The price will jump big time if he has a monster 2019, and we’ll feel like we got a fantastic bargain! If he doesn’t take that next big step, we still get Frank on a fair deal for a very good DE.

  28. matty says:

    Great info Rob, luv reading your opinions
    only just started following the ins and outs of the draft the last couple of years (been following Hawks/NFL since late 80’s)
    Any chance Seattle use their first pick if someone they really like is still there?
    All the main players from last year are still around and the coaches seem confident about the players on the fringe and your comment “Getting rid of your good players and trying to replace them with cheap, unproven rookies is fraught with just as much danger — probably more in fact — than building around a small core of extremely talented players”

    • Rob Staton says:

      They can’t pick only four times. They have to trade down from #21.

      • RealRhino2 says:

        You said it there, Rob. Nothing makes that point better than running a mock draft and seeing how little you come away with compared to all the holes you’d like to fill! I did a short one on a simulator (no trades), came up with:

        1 – TJ Hockensen (value just too good, worried about Dissly)
        3 – Erik McCoy, C/G (wanted Edge, DT, CB, but value too good, hedge against Iupati & Fluker)
        4 – Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn (just grabbed a guy with 32″ arms for depth)
        5 – Mike Edwards, S, Nebraska (didn’t like any of the remaining DL, really, so get competition/ST)

        Where’s the DT? The DE? All the stuff I wanted going in, just didn’t like the choices at those spots with two long-term starters at TE and iOL available. Argh! We need more picks!

  29. Trevor says:

    Rob what are your thoughts on TE Dawson Knox? Looks like a great athlete and potential vertical threat at TE but I can’t find much tape on him. I know Jim Nagy seemed to be a fan.

  30. GoHawksDani says:

    Trading Clark feels like a great mistake. Unless you can trade him for a top10 pick AND like a second round, then it feels bad. But you wrote that that won’t happen, and I agree.
    The Bills trade would suck because what happens:
    It’s like trading 1/21 for a 2nd and 4th round picks which would be a really bad trade, and also trade Clark for the 9th pick which would also be a mediocre trade. If Clark goes I really want the top 4 rusher to be available, I don’t mind if it’s DT, DE or EDGE. I feel like they’ll be gone by #9.
    And we have to remember…the Hawks probably already wants a passrusher. They would likely want a DT to play next to Reed (or at least in rotation with Poona) and an upgrade for the other DE. Picking in the top10 seems fun, but it would still leave us with a hole. Comparison for a trade like that and a more regular trade back and situation:

    Clark trade:
    ADD: #9, 2nd round, 4th round, ~18-20m CAP for the future
    LOSE: Clark, #21

    Draft situation change:
    passrush is a brutal need, probably 2+ DL needed, at least one very high pick DE
    Additional 2nd and 4th round added, moved up

    I doubt we would want to move back from 2nd round to acquire picks and need a high pick for a baller DE. So we have 6 picks all together, 2 in the first 3 rounds. We can pick a passrusher with the first pick. A safety/nCB with the second round, in the 4th a mediocre WR and a not sure who TE, in the 5th a CB or DT. We still have some needs (CB depth or DT depth depending on last pick, FB), and I’m not sure how much of a quality TE and WR we can get in the 4th.

    Simple trade back scenario:
    Trade with Chiefs #21 to #29 and their 3rd and one of their 6th round pick
    Next one is maybe a stupid trade, but didn’t want to do with the Bills and might be a potential one:
    Trade #29 to Miami. They didn’t pick a QB with #13 but likes Grier and wants to pick before NE, so trade up and give the Hawks #48, #78 (R3), #151 (R5). Good value for Hawks, but the ‘fins are desperately wants to jump before the Pats.

    ADD: 2nd round, 3rd round, 3rd round, 5th round, 6th round
    LOSE: #21, money from the CAP (probably around 12-15 million more than a high pick rookie would mean)

    Draft situation change:
    Not much with the needs. We want some passrush, but it can be a later round pick, because we still have Clark to get 10+ sacks a year.
    Changed late first to mid second, added +4 picks, 2 third rounds a 5th and a sixth.
    We have 8 picks, 3 in the top3 rounds
    We could pick a really good WR (maybe Deebo or McLaurin can be selected there) or nCB/S (I think at least one of Thornhill, Savage, CGJ, Hooker will be available) or even a good second tier DE/DT in the mid second round (maybe Collier, Tillery, Simmons, Hill will be there).
    There will be pretty solid TEs in the 3rd still, we could get an OKish WR or Tell or Adderley here. Maybe Saunders and some other interesting DL will be also available.
    So with 2nd, 3rd, 3rd I think we can fill nCB/S, DE/DT and TE for example. In the 4th we can get an OKish WR (Sils or Jennings for example), we’d have 2 5th round picks so DT depth and CB could be fixed here and the 6th round pick could be used for Ingold.

    Much fuller draft with ton of exciting players. Yep, we’d have less CAP (~15m) by signing Clark, but if we can sign Bobby and also maybe Reed then I don’t really care.
    As you also said, we can make it work with cheap DBs and I think we can pick up RBs, TEs, WR also cheaper (WR by drafting mostly).
    I feel we need to put money in OL (not more money, but it’s an important part, so it’ll take money in the future), QB and some into the front7 (1 DT, 1 DE, 1-2 LB). The rest can be worked out by coaching, drafting and quality, cheap, steal UFA deals

  31. Hey Rob, now that the dust has settled, we’re all kind of reevaluating the Frank Clark situation. Without the looming threat of needing to use the tag on Wilson, the prospect of Clark walking for nothing diminishes. My initial reaction was either to simply let him play on the tag this (and maybe next) year, or just sign him to a Lawrence-like deal. It seemed fairly cut-and-dry to me, but now I think I may have conflicted myself again.

    You always have a great way with context; maybe you can help me put my thoughts together. Here’s what I did: I decided to do this quirky piece on what Patrick Kerney was being paid by the Seahawks when they signed him in 2007. The reason I wanted to do that was to show the numbers can look wildly inflated, but the percentage of the cap, as well as the caliber and positional value of players should stay relatively similar. It doesn’t though.

    Through the course of hopping around from random years and random defensive ends, I ultimately found that both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett signed their long-term deals in 2014. I believe they were both 28 at the time too. The two of them were a relatively effective duo, and our pass rush was very good then. I figured both must have commanded a similar APY/percentage-of-cap as Clark would be getting. They weren’t.

    Both of them signed four-year, $28.5M deals. Both of them at the time accounted for 4.8% of our cap respectively. That brought the combination of Avril and Bennett to 9.6% of our cap. As it stands when/if Clark signs his tag, he alone will account for 9% of our cap. If he were to get the deal Lawrence got, he would account for just a tick over 11%. This is where I’m having the dilemma.

    I can understand dedicating a double-digit percentage of your cap to generational talents like Miller, Mack, and Donald. We saw that the infusion of Mack into the Bears’ system transformed that team. I think it is possible Clark takes the next step and becomes that kind of player, but as it stands that isn’t what he is. We would be paying him as if he were. I have a hard time seeing Clark transforming a defense the way Mack did.

    So what do I do with this information? I understand the market is what it is, but that doesn’t mean it is the best use of finite cap space. Just because he commands it on the open market doesn’t mean we should pay it. In recent years we’ve seen the Patriots abstain from paying high-end pass rushers the big bucks. Meanwhile they acquired Bennett, and are paying him the much more palatable 5-6 percent of the cap. One has to wonder if the smart money is in guys on rookie deals, and in older defensive ends like Houston and Bennett that can still perform, but can cost less than half.

    I really like the tandem of Clark and Reed. They were cheap though. I liked the tandem of Avril and Bennett a lot too. I think Bennett and Avril presented the more consistent game-altering pressure on a week-to-week basis. I didn’t see consistency — I saw a ton of times where it felt like we couldn’t buy pressure to save our lives. Clark and Reed may have racked up some nice statistics, but I’m having a really hard time rectifying paying that combo 20% of the cap. The return on the investment of 2nd-round picks has been fantastic; will paying them twice the cap percentage as Bennett and Avril, and sacrificing any compensation you could get for them feel like as good of a return?

    We’ve seen what the team looks like with that space they will command being spent on other players. I’m really not inclined to think the team will be better when they’re the ones consuming it. To me it seems like through trade or free agency, that we could manage to get somewhat similar performance from our defensive line for a much smaller cost. The price of good pass rushers is outpacing cap inflation. That might be a trap we’re better served letting other teams fall into. Please tell me I’m missing something.

  32. https://m.imgur.com/a/E9IbtdM

    Here is board for first two days.

    In next cuople of days I will do horisontal board for all 7 rounds with Brugler’s grades, and I will mark with green players who are potential targets for seahawks (by what I read here and on twitter)

    • Sea Mode says:

      Nice work.

      Maybe you could have the blank column next to L.Z. be an average of the five board spots?

      • millhouse-serbia says:

        Blank column is for Matt Miller’s board.

        And I am waiting for Arif Hasan consensus board. He is taking into account all the boards (I think over 20 boards) and makes one final board with average ranks.

  33. Trevor says:

    This is by far the most realistic mock and info I have seen from a national media outlet. I think he might read the blog Rob. Except for Riley Ridley these are all guys who have been talked about on the blog. He even uses one of the trades with KC Rob had proposed.

    https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/seattle-seahawks-mock-draft-2019-seven-rounds-team-needs-picks-big-board-multiple-options-for-every-selection/

  34. Sea Mode says:

    Ok, Pelissero with more info on the Simmons injury that we didn’t have before. I now agree this almost rules out the already rather slim chance that the Seahawks’ might still be interested in taking him:

    Simmons told me at Mississippi State’s pro day that he also suffered what he called a minor meniscus tear, which doctors repaired — a procedure that can complicate recovery and delay the normal six- to nine-month timetable. Some teams have concerns about how quickly Simmons was off crutches and traveling around on visits barely a month after reconstruction surgery.

    […]

    “Before the injury, I think he would’ve gone top-20, even with the incident,” a college scouting director said. “Now, I think he still goes (in Round 1), just because people are going to run out of first-round guys they’ve got a real conviction on.”

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001026635/article/2019-nfl-draft-four-players-who-could-be-firstround-surprises

    • LLLOGOSSS says:

      I can see it still, the scout at the bottom says he’s still a R1 guy. If we were to be picking in the 28-32 range I’d consider it more likely than the early 2nd simply for the fact that the 5th year option allows us to redshirt him a year and still have four seasons of club control.

    • icb12 says:

      That doesn’t make sense to me. A meniscus tear is a pretty minor thing.

      I have had both of my meniscus’ worked on. One completely removed, and they other just cut off a little bit.
      In one I had what they call a “bucket handle tear”. Where my meniscus tore in a half-moon shape and would flip over itself. Imagine sticking a sock in a door jam and trying to close the door.. That’s your knee. My ACL tore in that same event. And the meniscus work I had done didn’t affect my ACL recovery.

      7-10 days for meniscus work, unless they are waiting for it to “heal” and didn’t actually repair/remove it. My first meniscus was just jelly, they literally just sucked it out of my knee and gave me some pain meds. 3 days later the swelling subsided and I went back to work.

      All that said- I’m sure that high level athletes get some sort of alternate surgery done. A new teflon meniscus or something fancy.

  35. No frickin clue says:

    It occurs to me that the folks arguing to trade Clark for a king’s ransom may have a bias to collecting lots of high picks. This *is* a draft blog after all. But among the four wildcards heading into the offseason, I’d say Reed is the odd man out, if the money tree runs bare

  36. Rob Staton says:

    Michael Lombardi says he spoke to a team this week and the Frank Clark rumours are real (about a trade) but nobody knows who the team(s) are involved in talks.

    I still maintain the only realistic way of getting this done is a swap of picks. At best a high second rounder. But then it’ll be very difficult to replace Clark and thus — if nobody ponies up, you might as well keep him on the tag.

    • SamL says:

      This really surprises me. Pass rush is a need for us even with Clark on the team, without him I’d be very worried. If we get a top 10 pick in a trade like you’ve suggested I’d feel a bit better but rookies take a little time to develop and are no sure thing.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Still has to happen though. And for me, I’ll believe a deal when I see it.

        The Seahawks were so pro-Frank. ‘Franky’s going to be a Seahawk’ etc. It’s hardly like Clark being tagged was a surprise and they’ll have hoped to get a deal done with Wilson. So, this close to the draft, to suddenly just bail on Clark and move him. Seems strange to me. And the only possible reason can be they can fill out their draft board a bit more and possibly, as proposed, move up from #21 to get the kind of cheaper replacement for Clark that would make things palatable.

        So I’ll believe a trade when I see it — even if clearly there are noises doing the rounds saying it’s possible.

        • Sea Mode says:

          I don’t want to go there because it’s total speculation on my part, but entertaining the idea of trading him only makes me suspect there is some aspect of either his long-term durability (with the arm injuries) and/or something intangible that makes them think he will fall off once he gets paid. Up to now, he’s been a hungry dog fighting and scratching his way up. Is that going to stay the same once he’s set for life?

          • Rob Staton says:

            I think it’s probably as simple as this — Frank is a really good pass rusher but he’s going to get Aaron Donald/Khalil Mack type money on his next deal. And he isn’t Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack. You can justify paying Wilson more than any other QB. Wilson is a magician. Clark is a good pass rusher. Not a game-wrecker.

            I think they thought they could get him on essentially the franchise tag amount of about $17m. Now it’ll be $20M a year at least. And I think they think that’s a bit much. So a trade is possible. But it all depends on what’s being offered. Otherwise he plays on the tag.

            • Sea Mode says:

              Agree. That makes the most sense with what we know at this point.

            • jujus says:

              I agree who Heartedly with you regarding clark.

              In my mind if we cant extend him now we have to trade him.

              The draft will be such an immense defensive boost to our team; and I think Frank we directly Benefit from having the High tide raise his ship- and concurrently will demand more money after he gets his 15-18 sack season.

              at the moment he is the main threat- teams have to plan around him, when we get other pass rushing threats he will be more destructive.

              Literally JS doing his job building the team will be the one thing that ruins our chance of retaining Clark.

              • mishima says:

                Clark is as likely to register 9 sacks as 18.

                He had 2 big games against OAK and GB, but also logged 0 sacks in 5 games, 2.5 (IIRC) in 6 games against division opponents.

                $20m is market, but an overpay.

                With potentially 7-8 picks, this year and 11-12, next, I’m confident JS/PC can replace SOME of his production at great value.

    • mr peapants says:

      could it be kc? moving to a 4-3, lost both there best pass rushers(-jones), and they pick late. not sure they have the money? thouights?

  37. Justin Lane visiting Seahawks.

  38. Alex Higgins says:

    Rob: any market for Justin Britt?
    We have Hunt and Pocic to compete for that spot. Looking for any way to increase draft picks!

    • Rob Staton says:

      No there’s no market for Justin Britt. And after years of trying to find some consistency and performance on the O-line, there’s no way on earth they try and move a good, young center.

  39. H says:

    Just to spitt ball, the Jets make a whole lot sense to me, they have the cap space, the need and they might want to use their top pick to get more help around Darnold (OL or Hockenson I guess).

    It’ll take a bit of trickery as I don’t believe they have a second round pick, but maybe they could arrange a deal to trade him on draft day after a trade down with someone wanting to get a QB (Denver for Lock maybe). Not sure the #41 pick would be great compensation, but if they don’t think a deal is likely to get done, and are confident they can replace within this class it could make sense.

  40. cha says:

    2019 Schedule release day at 5pm PST.

    NFL has released its International Games.

    CHI @ Oakland Week 5 at Tottenham
    CAR @ TB Week 6 at Tottenham
    CIN @ LAR Week 8 at Wembley
    HOU @ JAX Week 9 at Wembley
    KC @ LAC Week 11 at Azeteca Stadium ( I guess they’re trying again this year )

    There was a rumor SEA @ SF on Thanksgiving but some sources have shot that down.

  41. jujus says:

    Trade Down Mock – Missing Simmons but hitting THE D HARD

    Round 2 Pick 14 (WASH): DAndre Walker, OLB/DE, Georgia
    Round 3 Pick 20: Juan Thornhill, SS, Virginia
    Round 3 Pick 29 (NYJ): Trysten Hill, DT, UCF
    Round 4 Pick 20 (PITT) John Chominsky DE
    Round 4 Pick 22 Kaden Elliss LB
    Round 5 Pick 21 Jalyon Hurd WR
    Round 6 Pick 23 (NYJ) Derrick Thomas DB
    Round 7: Tanner Farmer OG

    • All I see is 12s says:

      I feel like Hill is one of those players that every team is hoping to get in the 3rd . But it will likely take a 2nd to get him.

  42. King_Rajesh says:

    I’d move Frank Clark for a 2nd, but I’d hope I could get a 2nd and like a 5th or something.

    The problem is NOT paying elite players top tier money, its paying top tier money to players who are not elite.

    Let’s be real. Frank Clark is a great player, but he’s not elite. You can’t pay great players top of the market salaries. Frank is a great pass rusher, but is merely average against the run. He’s not Khalil Mack, he’s not Joey Bosa, he’s not Von Miller, he’s not JJ Watt. He can’t do both which makes him not elite.

    In my opinion, the Seahawks only have two ELITE players on the team – Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. Perhaps you could throw Michael Dickson onto that list, but the Seahawks have him for 3 more years at a cheap rate so his relevance is lessened.

    Everyone else is fungible. The Seahawks need to be able to identify, draft, and develop cheap studs into being great players. That’s their job. Paying players that are merely great, however, is a fools errand.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If it’s only a second rounder I’m inclined to just keep him and let this play out.

      Seattle’s pass rush is already bang average. Getting rid of Clark and having little means of replacing him — it could be a death knell for the defense.

      • King_Rajesh says:

        I mean, you’ve got Naz Jones, Rasheem Green, Jacob Martin, and hopefully another DL draft pick or two that should be developing. Maybe Quem can get you some sacks from a rush LB position.

        If Green and Jones are busts and Quem is too light to get home, well then we’ve got problems that having Frank isn’t going to solve.

        When we (hopefully) trade Frank, I don’t think we need a like for like player. I’m hoping you can get 70-80% of the production for 5% of the cost and controlled for the rest of Russell Wilson’s contract.

        The Seahawks aren’t built to contend this year with poor depth and not a lot of draft capital (going all in for 2017 really screwed it all up, lets be real). This year should be about building for a push for 2020/2021. If the defense collapses then its Pete’s fault for not coaching the team well enough or Schneider for not drafting the right defensive pieces… We have to lean on Pete to get young studs to play hard and you lean on your Elite QB to get us to 9-10 wins this year.

        Next year is the big year.

        • Rob Staton says:

          No it’s not about next year. The Seahawks aren’t primed to be a top-3 legit contender but they were a 10-win playoff team with a young group and are developing. This is a defeatist approach. They should be targeting a tilt for the NFC West and a playoff run.

          Which is really weird considering your first paragraph. Because you’re optimistic about the D-line players and I’m not at all. That’s not good enough. They need more. Trading Frank Clark makes the situation 10x worse.

  43. Rookie DE’s almost never have the kinds of production that Clark had last year. Even the greatest of them take time to adjust to the pros. Trading Clark seems like a foolish move to me. I’d much rather sign him to a very long term deal and trade down from 21 for more picks. I believe we will be playing rookies on the DL very little this year, just like last year.

    Ford is going to improve and contribute greatly. Green and others will mature into the role of the other DE.

    I’d draft the best hybrid safety/slot CB we can find with our first draft pick – probably an early second round pick. Or big WR depending on the best player available. WR might be more likely given Pete’s success with later round DB’s.

    I could see us limited to 6 draft picks and hopefully a great UDFA or two. We are very close to having all the parts needed to go past the first round of the playoffs.

    Go Hawks!

  44. GauxGaux says:

    Rob, do see JUSTIN LAYNE as a potential NCB/S defender?

  45. Sea Mode says:

    Saw this in a Justin Layne interview:

    JM: You had some great teammates at Michigan State, but if you were going into battle tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?
    JL: Khari Willis.

    JM: You barely let me finish my question. You already knew.
    JL: Yeah, Khari Willis (laughs). He’s a big, tough guy, physically. He’s one of the smartest, most dedicated guys I’ve ever known. He wouldn’t let anybody beat us. I’d bring him with me, for sure. He has the mentality that I love to play alongside.

    • Trevor says:

      Layne is outside CB #1 for me in this draft class. He has everything the Hawks want in a CB and he is an A++++ athlete.

  46. JohnH says:

    I think this is some of your best work Rob, really great analysis.

    In my perfect world we’d let Clark play on the tag and then decide to sign or trade him next year. He’s good but not great, and he still disappears sometimes. If Green or Martin or (guy drafted this year) really turns up the heat and Clark looks good, we could get a lot of value for him that I just don’t see us getting this year.

  47. astro.domine says:

    To me, losing Clark next year isn’t the worst outcome. We get another season of a young, highly-motivated pass-rusher with no long-term investment, and then we get a 3rd round pick and a bunch of cap relief in 2020.

  48. Belfasthawk says:

    I want to add to the comments on Rob and his service to this lovely little community. Long time listener, second time poster etc (the last time to verify a Staton appearance on the Nolan show! <–niche UK reference).

    Anyway, thanks Rob for your even handed and interesting takes on things. I always appreciate your tireless work.

    The thing I wonder about Frank and Jarran is this…

    I think they are the new core. Remember the whole thing Frank said about it being his d now? And I think the point is fair…is he worth 2 mill a year less than Donald? No. Is he worth three million a year more than Flowers? Yes. That is where the market it. And what will it be like in 2/3 years when Miles Garrett, Bose, Ngakoue get paid. We will be looking at 21 million and think it is a bargain.

    Similarly on Jarran, pay him too. What if he has another ten sack season? How much will he want then? They are two of the top 5 players on the team.

    But most crucially of all, pay them because who else is there who we will really want to build around over the next few years? Griffin is too inconsistent. Ifedi? No. Carson maybe.

    Baldwin will retire, Kam will come off the books and Britt won't be paid $11 million. There will be room to make it happen. And I wonder if it will send a bad message if they don't.

  49. Sea Mode says:

    Rob, Bob McGinn starting to publish a draft series, in case you still have a subscription. Regardless of his rankings, there are always some interesting quotes from NFL personnel.

    Evan Silva
    @evansilva

    Every year the great @BobMcGinn polls NFL scouts & execs on their draft evals. The ranking results for this year’s WR class:

    1 DK Metcalf
    2 Marquise Brown
    3 N’Keal Harry
    4 AJ Brown
    5 Parris Campbell
    6 Riley Ridley
    7 Deebo Samuel
    8 Hakeem Butler
    9 Miles Boykin
    10 Mecole Hardman

    11:32 AM – 17 Apr 2019

    • Trevor says:

      I have a feeling Pete will absolutely love Metcalf. He seems like the guy Pete has been looking for since he got to Seattle.

      No Terry Mclaurin? Maybe we on the blog have him rated higher than most. Also suprised not to see Emanuel Hall on that list. I think he is really under rated.

      Mclaurin
      Boykin
      Hall
      Jennings

      Based on those rankings these four could all be in play in Rd #3-5 for the Hawks if they go defense early.

      • SoCal12 says:

        Yeah I’m surprised McLaurin didn’t even crack the list. I suppose the lack of college production might be a concern for scouts. Other than that I can’t think of too many reasons. Could just be one big smokescreen, but If he ends up in the middle rounds somehow for us, I wouldn’t mind.

        • Rob Staton says:

          McGinn did a big review of McLaurin in his special teams piece which was published the day before. Here are some quotes:

          McLaurin has more than big-play ability and speed on his burgeoning resume. He’s also at or near the top of prospects set to become core players on special teams in the NFL.

          “He’s the biggest one,” a coordinator on special teams for an NFL team said. “He’s the top offensive player, for sure. It’s hard to find receivers that play good on special teams. This guy does.”

          “Terry might have taken over the title as the best (gunner) I’ve had,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said two days after the MSU victory. “It’s with great reverence I say that. You go back all the way to Brad Roby, to Devin Smith, to Denzel Ward, Gareon Conley. Terry is as good as there is.”

          Many wide receivers wouldn’t be caught dead covering kicks or jamming opposing gunners. Not McLaurin.

          “He is like the anti-wide receiver,” said one personnel man. “Zero diva. He understands special teams, and that’s how you get on the field. It’s just his whole mindset. Some guys say that and it’s bull—-. This kid really gets it.

          “He’s sharp. He’s at a different level. He’s so far above most college players when it comes to how he presents himself. There’s no way you miss on this guy. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a Pro Bowler (at wide receiver) but he’s going to be a really dependable player for a long time. There’s no downside.”

          McLaurin played special teams throughout his four-year career, finishing with 15 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

          “We’re all over him,” another NFL special-teams coordinator said. “No brainer. He’s at least a third-round pick.”

          “He gets down there so damn fast,” he said. “He’s a little stiff-bodied but he runs fast in a straight line, for sure. He has trouble breaking down sometimes to make tackles, but when he can line you up he’ll knock the hell out of you.”

          As a receiver, McLaurin’s statistics improved each year in receptions, yards, yards per catch and touchdowns. His hands are only average, one reason why his 35 receptions ranked fourth among the Buckeyes’ wide receivers behind Parris Campbell (88), K.J. Hill (69) and Johnnie Dixon (42).

          “His hands aren’t 100% natural and he’s got a little bit of straight-line in him,” one scout said. “He had a great Senior Bowl week, blew up testing at the combine and had a great pro day workout. He started out the year as a late-round pick and he’s probably worked himself into the third round.”

          • SoCal12 says:

            Thanks for sharing this Rob. Teally interesting stuff. So I suppose they value McLaurin more as a Special Teamer than a WR, which is why he didn’t make the top-10 WR list? My guess he’ll still go 2nd-3rd round, and I would love it if we were able to nab him somehow. PCJS do like their high effort ST guys.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Here’s what the sources say about the receivers overall…

              “Heck, no,” replied one scout when asked if he’d take a wide receiver in the top 25 picks. “The ability to not pan out is very high on all these guys. If you’re a team that just has nothing at wide receiver DK Metcalf will look good to you but you’re still going to be drafting someone to be better later. That’s what ends up happening when you reach.”

              “This is a (expletive) year for early receivers,” said one evaluator. “It’s just not a good class. I said last year it was a bad receiver draft. This is worse.”

              Cheer up, guys. The cavalry is coming a year from now. That is, assuming the ever-increasing number of underclassmen entering the draft surges forward in 2020.

              “This year the Chinese year is the year of the pig,” one executive said. “You’ve got defensive linemen that are pigs. Next year, it might be the year of the gazelle or something. Next year, from what I see, will be the year of the receiver. I’ve got 14 guys right now that look like they’ll be top guys.”

              • SoCal12 says:

                Really fascinating stuff. This makes me think we might go DL or DB first and wait on a mid-round WR. Then next year we might go with an early WR if we want a Doug replacement. Always interesting to hear what the scouts have to say vs. the media.

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Depends how badly they think they need a WR now because of Baldwin’s future.

                  If they think they need one they might feel obliged to get one quick otherwise there’ll be none left worth having.

          • Sea Mode says:

            Thanks for this. If there’s a chance we could get McLaurin in R3, I would love it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yep I still have the subscription. His sources don’t like this WR class.

      • SoCal12 says:

        I guess this matches with Schneider’s earlier quote about this WR class only being ‘decent’. I wonder this means they will likely wait on drafting WR until the middle-late rounds if they believe the other teams will too.

  50. cha says:

    I just wanted to take a second to say the amazing job the Hawks did with Clark. When they drafted him, there were legitimate questions asked about his character amid the DV incident and getting kicked off the Michigan squad.

    The Hawks FO understood the public & fans’ concerns about him and assured them that they had done their homework and felt like Clark could be a guy that would grow from the experience and that his past was behind him. They took some heat and decided it was worth the risk.

    They were right. Holy smokes were they right. To the point we’re talking about Clark being franchised tagged and being an ascending pass rusher in the NFL.

  51. pqlqi says:

    I find the dismissal of Frank Clark as great but not elite and thus not worth the contract a little odd. This is a FO that gave KJ Wright a top 8 LB contract the year before he broke out. They did the same with Kam Chancellor’s second contract, extending him the year before he became a recurring nightmare for opposing WRs and TEs.

    Frank Clark is one of 7 players in the NFL who have at least 9 sacks in each of the last 3 seasons, one of 10 players who have at least 8 sacks in each of the last 3 seasons. He moved into the top 10 in QB hits last season. He is exceptional and consistent. He’s been getting those sacks with a soft secondary behind him, one that in it’s quest to prevent explosive plays willingly permits the qb to get rid of the ball quickly for short routes, decreasing his opportunities for sacks. To top it off, he’s only just reaching his physical peak. For the last 3 seasons, he’s been as good as all but 7 or 8 defensive linemen in the league. And he’s still getting better. He’s been a model citizen. He’s grown into a vocal leader, giving Sherman a proper hand slap in social media.

    This FO doesn’t cap what it will pay a player for what they’ve done in the past, but rather what they expect in the future. And I think Frank Clark’s future includes getting significantly better for the next 2-3 years. He’s as good as Chandler Jones, he’s as good as Demarcus Lawrence, and he’s younger than both. The market rate for Clark is 18+ per season, and if Wilson’s contract negotiation is any indication (2nd year franchise tag salary as AAV), Clark’s contract will probably fall closer to $19-21m/yr AAV, just a bit shy of Khalil Mack’s. A team can go a decade without a pass rusher like Clark. You keep them if you can, and the Seahawks have the cap space to keep Clark, and every reason to believe that he will prove worthy of the contract.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Linebacker contracts are generally low though (and were until this year). Paying KJ Wright his last deal doesn’t remotely compare to giving Clark +$20m a year. He’d be among the top five non-QB’s paid in the league. Where was Wright on that list? 50th?

      There’s nothing odd about being honest on Frank Clark. He’s a quality pass rusher. He is not Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack. And it’s not a smear on Clark to say that.

    • King_Rajesh says:

      Clark is not as good as Khalil Mack.

      You can’t pay great players elite money or good players great money. That’s how you get into cap problems. The Packers are a great example. They paid BIG MONEY to Nick Perry, Matthews, and Cobb and expected double digits sacks out of the two and 1k yards out of the third, and didn’t get anywhere near that.

      If you’re anything less than elite, then you’re replaceable on an NFL roster by somebody that’s close to as good, but 5-10x cheaper. Bad teams overpay, good teams pay talent a commensurate rate, great teams let their good and great players walk away and get value back to replace them at significantly cheaper rates.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Clark isn’t as good as Khalil Mack. But he’s better than Trey Flowers.

        So unless you never ever want to pay anyone ever, sometimes you have to go with the market.

        Clark has the potential to be elite.

        I’m fine with people hoping a big trade happens because they’d rather use the draft to reload the D-line. But all this second-guessing over Frank is weird.

        • King_Rajesh says:

          If you pay players that only have the potential to be elite, sure there’s a chance the player grows into their role, but there’s also the risk that you get burned by the player never reaching the level that you need them to! If Frank Clark maxes out at great and never becomes elite, then you’re overpaying for him by at least $5m.

          That’s not a risk we need to take with the roster in the shape that it is.

          • Rob Staton says:

            You’re not overpaying him by $5m.

            There are pass rushers who are weaker than him earning $18-20m.

            Everyone’s a cap expert these days to go with an arch offensive play-caller.

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