Can the Seahawks chase Jared Allen? Plus a new mock draft

February 6th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Get this man in Seattle

Could it happen?

I’m fascinated by the idea of Seattle adding Jared Allen in free agency.

Pete Carroll says this team doesn’t have a big need outside of the current group. It’s more about inner improvement and keeping this Championship roster together.

But we know Carroll well enough by now to still expect a few fireworks along the way.

I remember going into the 2013 off-season expecting a quiet free agency. They needed to save cap money to roll over for future re-signings.

Surely they wouldn’t make a big splash. Could they afford it?

Then they go and trade for Percy Harvin and find a way to bring in the top two pass rushers on the market — Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

We’re unlikely to see that level of headline making again, but when has this team ever drifted quietly through free agency?

Whether it’s the public courting of Brandon Marshall, the big-money additions of Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, the Matt Flynn signing or the business twelve months ago — they’ve always been active.

Maybe the big story this year will be about just keeping the likes of Bennett, Golden Tate and Breno Giacomini, while penning Earl Thomas and maybe Richard Sherman to extensions?

Or perhaps there will be another gem or two along the way as the Seahawks look to get even better in 2014.

Out of all the free agents hitting the market this year, Allen is the most intriguing to me (possibly alongside Oakland’s Lamar Houston).

He turns 32 in April but still managed 11.5 sacks on a bad Vikings team this season. He’s only two years removed from a 22-sack campaign, he has 128.5 career sacks and whether he wins a title or not — there’s every chance he’s destined for the Hall of Fame.

Allen signed a 6-year, $73m deal in Minnesota (now expired). While he may still be motivated by financial gain, you wonder how much of a priority that is as he approaches the twighlight of a ring-less career.

And what better way to try and win a Championship than joining the team that just dominated the Super Bowl?

He still has plenty of tread on the tires, at least for another year or two. He seems to have the kind of personality that fits well with the Seahawks locker room and he’s played here the last two years — so he knows about the homefield advantage.

Previous interest in Allen was reported by Adam Schefter on the day of the trade deadline.

It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra hungry players on the roster amid a team of reigning Champions.

And yeah, he bumped into Darrell Bevell at a Taylor Swift concert. And divulged that information. So they must be tight…

Doesn’t it just seem like the perfect storm?

So how viable is it for the Seahawks to go after a guy like Allen?

Looking at the current cap situation, not viable at all. They’re right up against the budget with some big deals to be done over the next couple of years (Thomas, Sherman, Wilson…).

In order to keep their own key free agents, they’re going to need to create some room. Let alone to go after any other big names.

Yet I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to sign Allen, either.

Essentially it comes down to two things.

1. A series of cuts to the existing roster (contradicting Carroll’s penchant to keep the band together) in order to free up significant funds

2. Relying on a player being willing to accept a smaller contract in order to join the trendy Seahawks

Let’s start with #1.

Cutting Sidney Rice, Zach Miller and Chris Clemons will save approximately $20m.

Rice didn’t contribute much in 2013, so it won’t be too painful to depart with his near $10m salary. Miller and Clemons on the other hand are key veterans.

The issue with Miller’s deal is he’s being grossly overpaid. He earned $11m in 2013 and gets another $7m in 2014.

That’s considerably more than a healthy and productive Rob Gronkowski would earn, even with his big new contract.

Jimmy Graham will struggle to top $11m for a single season when he signs a new deal in New Orleans.

Nobody wants to lose Miller, but it’s about priorities. Can you replace him for considerably less money, and can you re-invest his salary in keeping a player like Michael Bennett?

Yes.

Nobody wants to lose Clemons either, but he’s seen better days. It’d be a painful cut, but perhaps a necessary one. Especially if we’re trying to come up with a way to go after Jared Allen.

These three cuts save you $19.6m. That should be enough to re-sign Bennett, Tate and Giacomini at least — while also tendering Doug Baldwin as a RFA.

It probably wouldn’t be enough, however, to also sign Allen plus other players such as Steven Hauschka, Clinton McDonald and Tony McDaniel.

Where can you make other savings?

Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane could be asked to restructure their deals. They’re both arguably earning too much ($8.5m & $5m) in 2014 and because the dead money involved is so small, you can maybe force their hand a little.

Russell Okung’s cap hit is $11m in 2014 and only $7.28m the following year — so there’s maybe a way to even that out.

Breno Giacomini — who earned over $4m this season — could be re-signed for less.

Any new contract for Earl Thomas could be structured so that the cap hit in 2014 is similar to (or even lower than) the $5.5m he’s already due on his current deal.

You might be able to conjure up another $7m or so. That’d give you a shot at Allen, but not the other free agents you’d ideally keep. That brings us onto point #2…

Relying on a player being willing to accept a smaller contract in order to join the Seahawks.

Seattle has never been more fashionable within the NFL. Suddenly, they have some serious chops in the open market.

Players enjoy playing here and the outsiders know it.

When you couple all the success with the enjoyment factor — that’s a winning combo.

I wonder how many prospective free agents watched that parade on the NFL Network yesterday and pined to be part of this franchise.

Then you throw in the other factors — the 12th man, the VMAC facilities and Pete Carroll’s user-friendly coaching style.

Players might be willing to take a financial discount to be part of this thing.

Some will, some won’t.

Those approaching the back end of their careers like Allen, might be willing to consider it more than others.

He earned $17m in 2013. His first year in Minnesota cost $3.3m, but after that he never took less than $11m.

Presuming you’re only signing him to a one or two year deal, he’d have to take a massive pay cut.

He also has to consider what’s realistic at this stage of his career.

32-year-old Osi Umenyiora signed a 2-year deal with Atlanta that paid him $3.75m in 2013 and brings in $4.75m in 2014.

However, he struggled to generate any early free agency interest and ended up settling on this deal.

Not only is Allen a better player, there’s every chance he won’t go through the slow dance Umenyiora faced.

The Seahawks would need to hope his market starts relatively cold (as we saw with Bennett and Avril) and then they’d need to hope he really wanted to play in Seattle.

If that’s the case, maybe he works for $4-5m over a year or two? To get that elusive ring?

That would still give you the necessary room to sign up your rookie class and make a few choice signings — perhaps keeping Hauschka and one of the defensive tackles.

It’s probably a long shot, but it’s interesting to consider nonetheless.

Of course you’d have to replace the departing players. Allen is your like-for-like switch for Clemons. With it being a strong draft for receivers you could replace Sidney Rice in round one (Brandon Coleman? Kelvin Benjamin?) and possibly target a tight end in round two to replace Miller (Austin Seferian-Jenkins? Troy Niklas?).

It’s food for thought at a time when everyone’s wondering ‘what’s next?’.

***UPDATE***

This also helps…

An extra $4m in cap room would be well received.

And while we dwell on what could happen over the next few weeks, here’s a new mock draft…

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

#1 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)

The best playmaker in the draft. If they’re going quarterback here, take Manziel.

#2 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)

Robinson is already a dominating run blocker. He has the limitless upside to develop into a great pass protector too.

#3 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)

This is a no brainer if he lasts to #3.

#4 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)

I’m becoming less and less convinced by all the ‘Cleveland loves Johnny’ talk. It could be a smokescreen.

#5 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)

You can build around this guy. Do they emulate Cincinnati in 2011 by going WR-round one, QB-round two?

#6 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)

Some teams will rate Lewan much higher than others. Atlanta needs to get tougher in the trenches.

#7 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)

He might end up at right tackle for the long term.

#8 Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)

He’s not a prototype passer for Norv Turner’s offense, but they need a quarterback badly.

#9 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)

The more I watch Evans, the more convinced I am he’s a top ten pick and a true #1 receiver.

#10 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)

Just a really good, competitive football player. Would look great alongside Megatron.

#11 Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA)

I’m still not overly convinced by Barr. Ray Horton’s arrival as defensive coordinator means they need a 3-4 OLB.

#12 Khalil Mack (DE, Buffalo)

Might be set for a Bruce Irvin-style switch to linebacker. Make the defense this teams identity.

#13 Zack Martin (T, Notre Dame)

He’d be a guard in St. Louis. Doubling up on the O-line isn’t a terrible idea. A Robinson-Martin left side would be a huge asset for this offense.

#14 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)

Every team in the league is looking for a rangy safety. The Bears need one badly.

#15 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)

Terrific athlete with the potential to be the next big time tight end.

#16 Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama)

I really like Kouandjio’s potential. He’s too good to fall deep into round one.

#17 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)

I’m now a believer. Donald’s worthy of a grade in this range for me, despite a lack of pure size.

#18 Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State)

Intelligent, grounded receiver with YAC value. Surprisingly not an elite speed guy though, so won’t WOW at the combine.

#19 Antonio Richardson (T, Tennessee)

Massive tackle prospect who could easily go higher than this. Miami desperately needs a left tackle.

#20 Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State)

With 10-wins and an elite defense, they might feel comfortable investing in the future. Carson Palmer in 2015 will be due $12m aged 36.

#21 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)

Green Bay needs to keep adding toughness to that defense. It’s way too soft at the moment and holding them back.

#22 Brent Urban (DE, Virginia)

Chip Kelly likes defenders with length and speed. Underrated prospect who will look great at the combine.

#23 Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)

Big, third down converting tight end. Would have an instant impact in this offense.

#24 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)

It’s not a great class for cornerbacks, but Dennard looks like the best available.

#25 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)

Had a productive season and turned a few heads in 2013.

#26 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)

Could provide a dynamic double threat with Josh Gordon. Definite first round talent for me. Playmaker and a safety net.

#27 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)

Charles Brown is a free agent, and they had too much insecurity at left tackle in 2013.

#28 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)

Imagine this offense with a difference-making big target to aim at. Put him alongside Steve Smith and enjoy.

#29 Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA)

Major upside interior lineman. Big-time athlete whose best football lies ahead.

#30 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)

Don’t be too surprised if he suffers a fall. 2013 was a big let down for Nix.

#31 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)

The Broncos really need to add a safety to that secondary.

#32 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)

I think you take a shot on a guy with this frame (6-6, 220lbs) and potentially 4-4/4-5 speed. Major upside.

86 Responses to “Can the Seahawks chase Jared Allen? Plus a new mock draft”

  1. Sam Jaffe says:

    Very good logic on what it would take to pursue Allen and get him. And the Taylor Swift connection is clearly not coincidental. But is he really an upgrade over Clemons? One year younger but otherwise I’m not sure he would get better numbers. Another problem is that luring any more free agents on the DL is hard to do because there’s such a heavy rotation, and the number of snaps would be pretty low (which corresponds to contract size). Another free agent that’s interesting to consider is Jimmy Graham. It would take two draft picks and a very top heavy contract, but I think he would be the big receiver that Seattle needs. I know he’s a tight end, but come on, he’s really a receiver. New Orleans is far more cap constrained than Seattle, and with fewer options to open room that Seattle does, so it’s not inconceivable that they could be forced into accepting the two draft picks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have very little interest in Graham. Terrific physical talent, but also an atrocious blocker with questionable effort. His pre-game battle with the Seahawks defense was bizarre and a total gaffe on his behalf. He seems a little ‘odd’ as a character. And his production, IMO, will be hammered outside of that New Orleans offense with Brees throwing the bombs.

      • Turp says:

        No way on Graham. He’s not worth a Percy deal. I just remember what Bennett said about Jimmy – ‘you hit him hard a few times, he checks out of the game’. Not a Seahawk.

      • bigDhawk says:

        I agree with everyone else here about no way on Graham. Even if he was not franchised I wouldn’t even give him the time of day. I do agree with you about Clem over Allen. Assuming Clem is cut, if the lowball money to bring back Clem or acquire Allen is the same, give me Clem back. Clem may not be the better player on paper between the two, but I feel he is the better player for us.

  2. cliff says:

    Honestly this is probably the best mock I’ve seen in a while. Every pick makes a ton of sense and the only one I don’t like is Lee to Detroit.
    Not sure we can afford Allen, but I think we can get someone we want to keep long term like Mebane to convert his salary to a bonus to save some money. If we can’t afford Tate long term for whatever reason I would still try to keep Rice for 3 mill a year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m really open to Benson Mayowa replacing Clemons if possible. Cost effective for sure. He showed up in pre-season, can he take the next step this year?

      • Michael M. says:

        Mayowa stepping up for Clemons is exactly the kind of move I want to see from this team this off-season. We are gonna have to continue to rely on cheap production from John Schneider’s gems if we are gonna keep the “unique talents” on the team. Tate is unique, and more reliable than Harvin. I really really wanna see a season of those 2 on the field together.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well, Harvin’s had a bad year with injuries. But it doesn’t mean it’ll keep being an issue. Get him on the field for a season and you’re talking about one of the top five receivers in the game.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          I’m bettin Clem would be up for a cap friendly deal so he can keep playing here.

        • xo 1 says:

          Absolutely. It will be fascinating to watch Schneider and Carroll to see if they have the uncommon courage to continue sifting and discarding. Ozzie Newsome has shown rare stones but this past year illustrates the risk. The Ravens had it easier, however, since they were old. Schneider and Carroll face the added dilemma that, should they wish, the Hawks could readily structure (and restructure) contracts to add an Allen and keep the core for at least two more years. There would be cap hell to pay thereafter.

          I am optimistic that the Win Forever philosophy will drive Seattle to make disciplined choices while poorly run organizations such as the Cardinals restructure Fitzgerald for temporary relief.

      • Robert says:

        I got the impression BM was more of a passing down speed rusher. Clemons is good vs the run AND pass. I wonder if Bruce Irvin takes over for Clemons after this year of learning to become a more disciplined run defender. That would also allow for KJ to move back to SLB and Malcolm Smith to get on the field more as WLB. Schofield, Boatright and Scruggs might have something to say, as well. Pretty exciting times!

        • Rob Staton says:

          I suspect they redshirted Mayowa with the idea of trying to turn him into a more rounded player.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          Has Bruce played much Leo this year? Has his run defense improved because it wasn’t any good last year at that position.

          • Robert says:

            I meant to speculate that his run defense may have improved after playing this year at SLB, which requires him to manage run defense responsibilities on nearly every play.

  3. AlaskaHawk says:

    I’m not sure that Allen is any better then Clemons. Why not just ask Clemons to take a pay cut next year? I seriously doubt any other team will offer Clemons more than 5 million. Like you said, players want to be on a winning team and some will take a discount. Especially at the end of their career. I would say the same about Rice, if you offered him a lower amount he might take it, and I doubt that he will get more than 6 million from anyone (Welker and Boldin were paid that amount).

    I like your pick at #32. I was looking at the draft board and there are about 5-6 wide receivers that are 6’5″ tall. So it is intrigueing to go for the big guy. If Miller is cut then we will need another tight end too. Considering all the blocking they do and very few passes their way I would favor a heavy TE.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Troy Niklas is the best blocking TE in this draft. Better than the mammothian Fiedorwicz, the pedigree’d Artie Lynch, and the inconsistent ASJ.

      Probably the best blocking TE I’ve seen since Miller, honestly. He is sometimes like another lineman in his ability to keep his QB clean.

      I would wait on it and take Fiedorowicz or Lynch in the fourth or something. There’s a lot of gray at the position this year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think we saw the first signs of regression from Clemons in 2013, not surprising given he suffered such a serious injury. Allen continues to be one of the best pass rushers in the league and had 11.5 sacks on a lousy team last year. Two years ago he had 22 sacks. He’s elite on his day. Still.

      • Turp says:

        I totally agree with this – Allen is a huge upgrade over 2013 Clem. And I would love to see the pressure we get with Bennett, Avril and Allen. Monsters.

    • Robert says:

      Clemons played his best game this year by far in the Super Bowl. Despite his age, his play might be trending up towards the 2012 level as he recovers completely from the knee injury???

      • Rugby Lock says:

        I’d have to agree there’s a good chance as it usually takes a year or so to get back to full speed.

    • xo 1 says:

      As cold hearted as it is, I agree that the Hawks have to test the market on Clemons. Based on last year’s results, I’m optimistic that his real market value is less than $5 million. He excels at a position that only translates to a limited number of schemes and I doubt Jacksonville elects to spent big money to add him as a mentor. The balance is making sure you don’t offend loyal soldier Clem and plant the seed with the team that Seattle doesn’t take care of its guys. They appear to have skated by the issue with Mike Rob last year, so maybe the Not For Long reality is clear enough to players that they shrug and move on. I keep coming back to the decision to pay Browner last off season when there was no contractual reason to do so. And Kam’s contract looks much better in hindsight than it did coming off a down year.

      I think the issue is different with a guy like Golden, who would be a voluntary free agent, than when you cut a guy like Clem, Zach Miller or Sidney Rice.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Didn’t we stick by Clem while he rehabbed his knee? He was unable to play for a season. That shows the level of support the Seahawks have given him. Due to his age I don’t think he will get a high contract from any other team.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          From what I’ve seen Clem is a pros pro. He understands the business side of it and I would think they’d be able to work something out. Or at least I hope so

      • Ben2 says:

        Not cold hearted. The 12’s will always have a place for Clem. But the organization helped his career blossom, gave him a contract that paid him 7 mil a year (setting him up financially for life as long as he doesn’t go TO with his $$), and he got a SB ring. It’s been mutually beneficial and sometimes you just need to part ways for various reasons.

  4. OakHarborHawk says:

    The only reason I can imagine us even signing Jared Allen is the fact his is a Viking and it is a stone cold fact that all good ex-Vikings wind up on the Seahawks. I could see him taking less money if it’s all guaranteed and for multiple years if it means getting that shot at some rings.

    The cap should be closer to the second number since CBS just made the deal with the NFL to air Thursday Night games for the first half of the season on CBS. Also I think the new TV deal starts this year.

  5. Durden says:

    As a long-time lurker on both this site and .net, I just thought I’d compliment you on the amazing job of covering the hawks you’ve done, especially during the non-football season.
    As I guess you know, thorough coverage of the NFL and especially Seattle isn’t always available here in Europe, and the draft almost never gets talked about, so this site truly fills a void for me at least.

    For me, Allen would only be interesting if he’s willing to come very cheaply. Otherwise I’d rather spend the savings from cutting Clemons on retaining some of the interior guys, and roll with the other pass-rushers currently on the roster. Though I guess Atlanta/Washington last year taught us the dangers of having to few, good pass rushers.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Durden.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Rob, how the even actual hell do you manage this?! ALONE!

        With a NEWBORN!

        You churn out extremely high quality material almost everyday.

        You’re likely not even human, I’m guessing. Or you’re the Russell Wilson of draftniks.

        • Jordan says:

          Seriously though. I love Field Gulls and a few other sites but every morning when I wake up I go straight to this site first to see if you have written anything yet. By far the best reads on the Seahawks, draft related or not. Keep up the good work Rob, it is definitely appreciated.

        • Rob Staton says:

          No time 2 sleep….

  6. Turp says:

    Man, I just can’t see the Raiders passing up Bridgewater for Watkins…they need a QB so bad (of course they need everything).

    • Rob Staton says:

      My feeling here is — some teams will view Bridgewater as a top ten pick. Some will view him as a borderline first rounder. And I want to represent that, not just give the top three QB’s to the first three QB needy teams.

      A lot of mocks just concentrate on needs. I remember in 2011, we all expected Washington to draft a QB with the #10 pick and instead they moved down and took Ryan Kerrigan. In that same draft, Cincinnati passed on the QB’s to take an elite receiver at #3, then drafted a QB in round two. I think Watkins is good enough to warrant a similar thought process.

      • Turp says:

        Would you see them going with Mettenberger in RD2 in this scenario?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Possibly. A.J. McCarron is a candidate, so is Logan Thomas (seriously). And keep an eye on Jimmy Garoppolo.

        • CC says:

          I keep thinking Mettenberger is the guy the Jags draft in the second – especially if Clowney is around. They might even drop down a few spots to pick up a few more draft choices and go for Dee Ford. I think Mettenberger could be a solid QB.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Mettenberger looks like a thorough bust to me.

            Stiff as a board in the pocket, not a tilt the field guy, can’t feel pressure, doesn’t go through progressions, not the best accuracy, was consistently bailed out by his outstanding WR tandem.

            Poor man’s Jay Cutler.

  7. BugJuice says:

    Love the free agency and draft strategy you propose although can’t say I’m a fan of signing Allen. The man has had a great career but at his age a decline is inevitable and the likelihood of injuries will increase markedly. Our defense was #1 in the league without him. I can’t see him adding the numbers he had last year with the limited snaps he will receive with our depth. I guess I just don’t see the benefit of having him being worth the cost (even at a minimal to moderately reduced rate.)

    Love the site, Rob. You do a fantastic job. Four days after the Super bowl I’m finally catching my breath. We are world champions. I look forward to the conversation leading up to the draft and free agency.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks BugJuice, appreciate that a lot.

      I think with Allen I’ll say this. I’ve always been a fan of his, right back to the KC days. For me he’s a sure fire HOFer. And when I watched him last year, I didn’t see a drop off. He was still the same guy.

      Admittedly in SEA’s defense he probably isn’t a 15-sack guy. But I do think he can be a 10-12 sack guy merely in a rotation. And I actually think there’s a chance he performs even better when he’s not out there on every snap. Let’s not forget, when he played on a competent D-line he had as many as 22 sacks. Last year he was virtually flying solo. Put him across from Avril and with Bennett inside — how do you defend that? Even if Allen doesn’t get the sack, the pressure would be relentless.

      It’s absolutely paramount they maintain the pass rush and if possible, improve it further. I’m looking forward to seeing Benson Mayowa in pre-season again and I’m open to them keeping Clemons too. But if there’s a way to improve it, I think you try. And Allen on the d-line next season on a 1-2 year deal for me is an improvement.

      • xo 1 says:

        “It’s absolutely paramount they maintain the pass rush and if possible, improve it further. I’m looking forward to seeing Benson Mayowa in pre-season again and I’m open to them keeping Clemons too. But if there’s a way to improve it, I think you try. And Allen on the d-line next season on a 1-2 year deal for me is an improvement.”

        Rob, you said it perfectly. I am optimistic that Pete and John will be just as aggressive this offseason as they’ve been so far. It’s more critical now. Sentimentality will wound far deeper than opponents. The Hawks have to continue to look for improvement in every facet.

  8. Cysco says:

    Hey Rob, thanks for pushing hard on the content this week. I’m so stoked for the offseason to see how this team gets even better.

    RE: Coleman, what kind of production could we realistically expect out of him in year one? Do you have any comparable players to look at and compare what they did in year one?

    Is it realistic at all to think he could have an impact next year or are we talking about another Christine Michael situation?

    • Jon says:

      I think with Coleman a very realistic expectation may be to compare him to Josh Gordon his rookie year. Not that he will go off like Gordon has in year two, but Gordons rookie season was 50 rec, 800 yrds, 5 TD. I think this is realistic for a Coleman type of player just based on ability and physical gift. He may not get that many catches in this offense but I think that is a ballpark.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think in Seattle’s offense he would have a limited role in year one. They have enough talent at WR to manage him. I think you’d be talking about a moderate number of catches, but a high yards per catch rating. He could be used as a big play specialist in year one and a red zone threat. An estimate would be 400-500 yards with five touchdowns. But long term, he could develop into one of the best receivers in the league. The upside is there.

  9. Michael M. says:

    The idea of St. Louis going LT/LG in R1 is interesting. They’ve seen it work for SF and if they want to start keeping up in this division with the decidedly average Sam Bradford, they are gonna need to be able to run the ball. Only problem with this projection is that I can’t really see Clowney falling to #3 like this. Their were no trades in this mock, and I know Rob likes to mix it up to present different possible scenarios and conversations (which is appreciated… refreshing). That said I think it is highly probable that we see Clowney taken in the top 2.

    If I’m the Rams, I am really hoping the Falcons want Clowney (and they should). It’s entirely possible that they could trade down to #6 and still land Robinson. Jax just took Joeckel, the Browns have Joe Thomas (who is only 29 and healthy as an ox) and the Raiders could be hoping Watson bounces back from injury and develops. This would be my dream scenario if I’m St. Louis.

  10. rrsquid says:

    I don’t see how the 1st overall pick is not Clowney, especially after how the Super Bowl went. I’m not predicting it will be, but if I was drafting…

    • CC says:

      Teams panic on the QBs – I think Clowney needs to go to a team that can get him motivated.

    • OakHarborHawk says:

      I can see a run on defense in the first happening.

      The AFC only has a few teams that are playing good defense and the NFC North and East along with the Falcons are going to be rushing to get to the NFC West and South levels.

      We scared the pants off a lot of GM’s with our domination in the Superbowl.

      • Robert says:

        Great prediction…I think I will run with it and make it my own, if you don’t mind. Because I think you’re right!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ve projected Clowney #1 in every mock so far. It’s good to mix things up every now and again.

      • Mark says:

        This is one reason your mocks are so interesting. (Plus, you got a lot of experience the previous years.) Too often I think people target certain players for certain teams and the mock draft is adjusted to make sure those selections happen. It may not be overtly done, but there are way too many mocks that pair a particular player with a particular team.

  11. Stuart says:

    Rob, you have done it again, another really cool mock draft. You make the off-season so enjoyable with your daily blogging. Your ideas and insights as well as the ideas and insights from the regulars make this site #1 website in my mind for our Seahawks.

    You do so much for us Rob that you should put up some more advertising streams to help generate more revenue for all your efforts. No one here cares. We all want you to keep doing what you have always done for us and we will help support you when we can.

    I know that Texas really wants to get a QB but when you have the #1 pick and Clowney is all yours, you have to take him. As you have said before Watt and Clowney together, oh man, legendary, or something like that…

  12. Kenny Sloth says:

    What’s your opinion on Ifo Ekpre-Olomu from Oregon? He’s long, extremely physical, and could challenge HaHa Clinton-Dix for best name in the draft.

    • JR says:

      Ekpre-Olomu is staying at Oregon this year.

      Rob: With Pete saying that this team has no needs in this Draft could we be looking at them trading up and getting that special player. Pete wants a big wide receiver and this year could be a good year to trade a couple draft picks to move up and get Mike Evans.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I would love to see that happen. Although I think they need to keep some of those later rounders, they need to start planning for life when some of the valued backups and depth players move on in free agency. Re-stocking is vital.

      • Mark says:

        Looking at the draft order and common trade value chart, I would love to send our 1st and 4th to New England to jump right ahead of SF. :)

      • Jeff M. says:

        Trade up with what? From the trade value chart our 1st and 2nd is only enough to get to #20. Since we already spent our 3rd this year on a wideout, that would already mean we only pick once in the first half of the draft.

        Getting to a place to pick Evans would certainly require next year’s 1st, and even that only gets us to around #13 (estimating our next 1st’s value at 300 points based on standard one round discount and the assumption we make the playoffs again).

        That would mean spending three consecutive 1sts, plus a 2nd and 3rd, plus $60-odd million all on the receiver position. That only makes sense if you agree with Cris Carter’s evaluation of the guys we have instead of Doug Baldwin’s, and by the way the advanced stats over the last couple of years definitely favor Baldwin’s take.

  13. Robert says:

    Off subject, but there is a very interesting dialogue between Beast and Coach on Super Bowl Sound FX. Beast aggressively drives home the point that he wants to keep scoring more points. He implies that when we don’t, it’s because Coach won’t let us because he wants to play D and conservative on O. I suspect Beast did not like our 2nd half approach to the Saints game or probably any of the late season games where we did not allow our O to attack the opposing D with our best dynamic play. http://www.nfl.com/video/nfl-films-sound-efx/0ap2000000324310/Sound-FX-The-Legion-of-Boom-dominates

  14. Cysco says:

    If the cap goes up to 130mm that would be awesome. Just glancing over the numbers, it sure seems like we shouldn’t have much of an issue keeping the band together.

    We’re essentially at 130mm today.

    Cut List
    Rice – $7,300,000
    Clemons – $7,500,000
    Miller – $5,000,000
    Bryant or Mebane – $5,500,000

    Those four moves get you $25mm under the cap before you do anything else. I’m assuming there’s another 2-5mm to be had by restructuring or releasing others so let’s just call it $27mm under the cap.

    That should be enough to get the others the bump they deserve.
    Bennett – $7,000,000
    Earl – $8,500,000
    Breno – 3,500,000

    With money left over for rookies, maybe offering Tate something “reasonable” and maybe re-doing Sherman.

    Hard to imagine not getting the core to stay together unless someone just offers Bennett stupid money. (I’m looking at you Raiders)

    • James says:

      I don’t understand the urgency to re-sign Earl Thomas this year. His R1 rookie contract will pay him over $5 million for 2014, so he is hardly in the same situation as Sherman. To re-sign Thomas in 2015, you could retain Mebane/Bryant in 2014. Otherwise, one of them would have to but cut this year.

      Miller is a very good TE, but is overpaid. Cut Rice, Clemons and Miller, and you have $20 million cap savings. This could be enough to sign Tate, Bennett, Giacomini and re-sign Sherman. Then, cut Mebane and Bryant after the 2014 season to have the cap to re-sign Thomas, Wright and Wagner. Lynch and Avril will have to also go after the 2014 season, to sign Russell Wilson.

      In short, by letting Rice, Clemons and Miller go now, and say goodby to Mebane, Lynch, Avil and Bryant after the 2014 season, then you can re-sign the core guys. But here is where the draft is impacted….because we would have to replace a starting WR, DE, 2 DTs and a TE from the next 2 drafts. Look for a DT and TE to be the top 2 picks this year.

      • Rob Staton says:

        If you let Thomas and Sherman both run through to 2015 without extensions, you run the serious risk of losing one of them. You can only franchise one player, so unless you get both signed before free agency you could be in serious trouble.

        The reason you’d re-sign Thomas now is because you can escalate his contract, maintaining his $5m cap number (or increasing it slightly) for the 2014 season. That way you’re not impacting the salary cap this year, but you’re still tying him up long term.

        And then if tals with Sherman don’t work as planned, you have the option to franchise him in a year and keep both.

        • James says:

          Thanks, Rob. Now I get it….re-signing Earl now, with his cap hit already at $5 mil, could be done without really impacting the cap much at all for a couple of years.

          The best scenario is probably to re-sign Bennett, Tate and Giacomini with the money from releasing Rice and Clemons this year; then do both Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson next year when Mebane, Bryant, Lynch and Avril come off (or are released from) the payroll. That would be a lot of talent to replace all at once, but PCJS have a couple of drafts to get ready. Miller’s cap money will be used to good effect somewhere in there also, whether he is released or restructured.

  15. zztown says:

    Zach Miller isn’t going anywhere. His cap number has gone down and he is definitely not replaceable. He is one of the best blocking TEs in the NFL AND one of the best route running and pass catching TEs in the NFL. Put them together and he is virtually irreplaceable.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d argue the only players who are irreplaceable on this team are Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas.

      I’ve read the arguments that say he’s undervalued etc. I don’t undervalue him. I think he’s terrific at what he does. But I also don’t think a great blocking tight end is worth $7m. In this scheme or any other.

      I think he’ll take a pay cut personally and stay.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I’d like to add Kam Chancellor to that list of irreplaceable. And Marshawn Lynch but he will have to be replaced in the next two years. It seems like our identity is built around the awesome secondary and our hard running style.

        I agree that Miller should take a pay cut, but I think we could replace him with a rookie. We really don’t use our tight ends much for passing. So why not get another tackle (or defensive tackle and convert them) and use them for a blocking tight end? Now we have our heavy 300# blockers and if they can occasionally catch the ball in the middle, thats even better.

      • zztown says:

        He’s only blocking because the blocking TEs they get keep getting hurt. Miller is one of the best receiving TEs in the league. No way they cut him. He’d get snapped right up and he’s too valuable. Look for him to get more involved in the passing game next season. Probably the best dual purpose TE in the NFL.

      • bigDhawk says:

        ET3, Sherm, and Russell are my absolute irreplaceables. And I define irreplaceable as players who we absolutely must pay market value for to retain long term, at the expense of anyone else on the roster. Granted, ET3s game allows the rest of our secondary to play the unique way that it does, including Sherm, but Sherm is so transcendentally smart that I feel he adds an irreplaceable element to the function of the secondary. Yes, the presence of ET3 would allow us to plug someone else in, but we would not be as good…not nearly. And I don’t want him franchised. Whoever we have to cut, whoever we have to part ways with, those three players must be paid and not messed around with. (I would add Cam to this list also but he is already paid).

    • CC says:

      Miller makes too much for a TE – especially in our offense. He’s a great player, but he isn’t a core guy. Just like Rice, he was a well paid FA – and now we don’t have to over pay FA.

      • zztown says:

        He’s a great fit for this offense. That’s why they gave him the big money in the first place. He’s making less than last season. They’re not touching him.

  16. Jim Kelly says:

    I love picking 32nd.

    Go Hawks.

  17. Burner says:

    Rob, Kiper has us taking Allen Robinson in his latest draft. Thoughts? Any chance you can run the rule over him?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s not the type of receiver I expect they’ll target. The positives are he’s a fantastic character guy, great YAC ability in the open field and has good height and hands. He’s not a burner though and despite the YAC qualities, won’t run a really fast time at the combine. I think they’re going to look for pure size — 6-5/6-6, 220-230lbs with rare athleticism. A guy they can turn into a monster.

      • Kory says:

        The bust rate on those really tall WR’s is scary though. I read your article talking about drafting TE’s early being scary… i’d think you would use the same risk adverse train of thought drafting a freakishly tall WR.

  18. James says:

    Rob, the tall WRs you have highlighted for the Seahawks are interesting prospects, however I do not believe PCJS would draft either of them in R1 or R2. The Seahawks have a proven history of only going for high motor, highly competitive guys in the draft. PC confirmed that this week, as if we didn’t already know. Those tall WRs have a history of slack effort and in-and-out competitive drive. PCJS have never drafted this sort of player.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure I entirely agree there James. I wouldn’t say Coleman has ever lacked effort. Technically he can improve, but effort wise I’ve always been more than satisfied. Benjamin has mental errors (some awful drops) but I’ve also seen him destroy guys blocking, he’s taken over games and dominated at the second level.

      I agree that they’ve avoided guys with questionable effort, and too right. But I don’t think they’re only looking for ultra intense characters who stomp around like Earl Thomas after every player. I don’t see either Coleman or Benjamin as low-motor players.

  19. Stuart says:

    Rob, could you add a few players who you believe could be options in R-2 for us? Honestly most mocks are a joke in regards to the Hawks picks. Yours however are #1 by a landslide. With the extra names it gives us a chance to learn of more players.

    An example would be the TE for Notre Dame. Speaking of TE’s, loved the piece you did a while back. Please feel free to do another one anytime:).

  20. Yasin says:

    My draft done at Fanspeak, got Kouandjio in the first, Coleman in the second, Jean-Baptiste in the fourth(!!!), Brent Urban early fifth(yay!), L’Damian Washington(6’4″ qith potential 4.39 speed), and Troy Niklass in the seventh. Thoughts Rob?

  21. Bez says:

    Love this draft. I agree with lots of it but a few points from my studies.

    Urban in the 1st, as per my previous comment, seems a huge reach?
    I would love to see Dennard and Gilbert drop to 24 and 25 but don’t see it happening. I see Gilbert as top 15.
    Many people think there will be loads of QB’s in the first but I have a sneaky feeling they will slide into later rounds, especially Carr.
    I really see Antonio Richardson slipping into to 2nd. the drop off in talent at OLB means that many names like this will slip.

    thoughts?

    • Bez says:

      Gilbert to the Chargers makes me excited. My top CB and a perfect fit. If not one of the top 2 CB’s then Cyrus Kouandjio if he falls