Why Seattle’s (possible) 2019 draft plan needs to be challenged

July 28th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

Marquise Blair was a top-50 pick but what does the future hold?

The Seahawks used four picks in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft. They took defensive end L.J. Collier, safety Marquise Blair, receiver D.K. Metcalf and linebacker Cody Barton.

The Metcalf addition was an inspired one. His rookie season offers great hope for the future. He was even included in the NFL’s list of the top-100 players this week.

The Seahawks traded up to get him and that deal should be celebrated. It’s very surprising, with hindsight, that he lasted as long as he did (pick #64). It was an opportunity Seattle took advantage of.

If that was a major highlight, the other three picks warrant a serious discussion just 15 months on. This was a vital draft for the Seahawks at the heart of their reset, having just traded away Frank Clark for an extra first round pick.

We need to talk about the plan, the execution of the plan and how it’s hampered the team moving forward.

Let’s start with Marquise Blair.

The Seahawks drafted him in the top-50 and Pete Carroll, in his press conference at the conclusion of day two, gave the following assessment of what he’d bring to Seattle:

“We really like him attacking the line of scrimmage… blitzes well, tackles well, hits well. It’s his toughness that we’re really excited about. We’re going to zero in, make it focused for him as he starts out, at strong safety.”

Since making that selection at #47 the Seahawks have traded a fifth round pick for Quandre Diggs and now spent a kings ransom on Jamal Adams.

You can make a case for saying Adams is just too good and therefore the opportunity to acquire him is the only thing that matters. It’s still worth discussing and analysing the Blair pick though. A year later, they’ve basically replaced him. That blurb above from Carroll will probably be said about Adams whenever he next does a press conference. They drafted Blair to be the strong safety and after just 15 months they’ve now felt it necessary to spend two first round picks plus a fair bit extra to replace him.

I’ve had a few thoughts about the Blair pick in the past and I want to return to those briefly now. It’s well known that Carroll and John Schneider looked thoroughly miserable in their press conference immediately after the first round. See for yourself. There’s just no energy in the room.

They started with two first round picks and seemingly felt confident (based on their later comments that the board worked against them) they were going to land a top defensive lineman from a great positional class. There’s been a few rumours that their main targets were Rashan Gary and Brian Burns.

I think, based on what we’ve seen over the last year and a bit, that they specifically targeted two positions with their first two picks — D-line and safety.

Armed with #21 and #29 thanks to the Clark trade, I think they went into that first round believing they might be able to land Gary or Burns at #21 then Johnathan Abram, the Mississippi State safety, at #29.

That, in my opinion, would’ve been the double-dip that had them ‘pumped and jacked’. That, in my opinion, was their aim.

Instead there was a big rush on defensive linemen and both Gary and Burns were gone by pick #16. Seattle responded by trading #21 to the Packers, meaning they now had #29 and #30. My guess is they were still hoping to get Abram at #29 and would then, at least, have the comfort of getting one of their key targets.

Then the Oakland Raiders took Abram off the board at #27.

That’s why I think they were so disappointed when they spoke to the media. They’d missed out on the players they really wanted at both of the positions they’d focused on. And I think they still felt they had to address them. So rather than move on to other positions they went down their board and the next two names on the list were L.J. Collier (taken at #29) and then after trading down a bit more, they took Blair at #47 in round two.

I think they were determined to come out of that draft with a D-liner and a safety first up. I think the trade for Metcalf was a situation where they probably didn’t seriously consider him earlier but saw an opportunity they didn’t expect once they’d addressed the D-line and safety positions.

Sure — this is speculation and conjecture on my part. Ultimately though, they did go D-line and safety early and they’ve invested a lot of time and energy in both positions since. I think they’ve had a look at Blair and determined that he isn’t the player they need in that role. Or at the very least he’s going to need a lot of time and work. Thus, in comes Jamal Adams at a hefty price.

If this is even remotely accurate there are two lasting thoughts. One is that they’re now going to be tasked with creating a role for Blair, otherwise that pick will be a waste. You don’t draft in the top-50 for depth at strong safety — especially when you’re forced to pay a fortune to replace the player a year later. Thankfully Carroll did speak of Blair’s versatility after they drafted him and Schneider even said they thought he could potentially play corner due to his profile.

Secondly, it further reveals a little bit about the way Carroll and Schneider approach the draft. They seem to settle on the positions they’re going to address pre-draft. It was clearly running back in 2018, for example. They felt going into 2020 that they would get good value at the linebacker position at the end of round one and were willing to take one of a ‘big three’ who went in the second half of the first frame.

I don’t have ‘inside sources’ and would never claim to be that type of person. However, Kip Earlywine and I had heard from a reliable source prior to the 2010 draft that left tackle and safety were the targets with #6 and #14 — and that originally there’d been hope of taking Eric Berry at #6 and Trent Williams at #14 (before he shot up boards after the combine). In the end they took Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. The same source was adamant prior to the 2012 draft that they were selecting a pass rusher first (and took Bruce Irvin).

Carroll has also been fairly honest about their plans, such as prior to the 2011 draft when he talked of fixing the run as a priority before drafting James Carpenter (Alabama’s left tackle during Mark Ingram’s great career) or when he said speed in the front seven was the aim in 2012 (thus — Irvin and Bobby Wagner as the top two picks).

Having such clarity can be a good thing sometimes and can help you really zone in on certain players. Yet I also think they could be accused of being somewhat inflexible and run the risk of being caught out. I think that’s exactly what happened in 2019 and having attached themselves to two positions, they’ve ended up with a couple of players in Collier and Blair who are already fighting an uphill battle when they perhaps should’ve been willing to accept their fate and take more of a ‘best player on the board’ approach.

This contrasts to the way a team like New Orleans does things, for example. The Saints have had their own whiffs in the draft over the years. However, in 2019 they drafted Erik McCoy despite having already signed a veteran replacement for Max Unger. It was a clear ‘BPA’ pick. Then this year they selected the brilliant Cesar Ruiz (another center). Maybe it’s overkill but now they have two extremely talented interior linemen and one will simply transition to guard. I can think of worse scenarios.

I don’t want to make a habit of second-guessing draft decisions because it’s easy to do when things don’t go according to plan. However, the Seahawks face a bit of an uncertain future on the offensive line. They’ve moved on from Justin Britt and surely anticipated that possibility a year ago. Ditto Germain Ifedi’s future.

The following players were all drafted after Collier at tackle or center:

Kaleb McGary
Jawaan Taylor
Greg Little
Cody Ford
Elgton Jenkins
Erik McCoy

There were health/injury concerns regarding McGary and Taylor so it’s perhaps understandable why they didn’t bite there. I was never a fan of Little’s and always felt he was a bit overrated. Ford, Jenkins and McCoy however all oozed class and an impressive physical profile. It wasn’t surprising that all three played well as rookies.

Could or should the Seahawks have anticipated the run on defensive lineman? Should they have concluded that if the top D-liner’s and Johnathan Abram were off the board, they should have a Plan B that moved onto other positions such as the O-line?

Should some planning ahead on the offensive line have been a greater consideration in 2019 and 2020 given the overhaul this year, the now long term uncertainty at several positions and the fact they’re not going to find it easy to replace someone like Duane Brown in the future without a first round pick until 2023?

Again, I know I’m speculating about how they approached the 2019 draft. Aren’t these fair questions to ask though, given the state of the reset and the events of the last few days?

There are two other things I want to mention about this draft.

Firstly, the Seahawks put themselves in a bind at defensive end by trading Frank Clark. They almost had to do something to replace him. They created a gaping hole and were always going to draft someone to try and fill it. The lesson to be learned here is if you have one of the most explosive and exciting pass rushers in the NFL (who you were only able to acquire due to off-field issues) — you’re going to struggle to find an adequate replacement in the late first round.

The truth is Seattle drafted Collier and knew, immediately, they had to find players to start instead. They added Ziggy Ansah and then eventually traded for Jadeveon Clowney. Collier’s ankle injury didn’t help his situation. Yet him starting was probably a stretch anyway. He turns 25 in September and already seems to be facing a make-or-break year. Certainly nobody is talking about him this off-season, rightly or wrongly, as a viable option to dramatically improve a bad D-line.

The Seahawks traded away an excellent pass rusher, drafted someone to be part of the replacement solution, and have been trying to find better options ever since.

The other point to raise is Cody Barton’s status. The Seahawks traded up for Barton, just as they did for Metcalf. They gave up a fifth rounder to move up four spots — seemingly to get ahead of Indianapolis who subsequently drafted Bobby Oreke (another linebacker).

It’s not an astonishingly expensive move, admittedly. Yet the Seahawks clearly saw something in Barton and wanted to bring him in presumably as a potential heir-apparent to K.J. Wright. They’d just signed Wright to a two-year extension with an out after one year. They were preparing for the long term and clearly didn’t want to miss out on their preferred player.

Yet just as with Marquise Blair — a year later they used a considerable asset to bring in another player at the same position. They spent their first round pick, #27, on Jordyn Brooks.

If Barton only ends up being a backup player long term, it won’t be the end of the world. He was only the #88 pick in the draft — not a top-50 selection like Blair. If the Seahawks liked Brooks so much, using that pick (even after a trade up) on Barton isn’t going to hold them back.

Yet it’s still not a glowing review of how they feel about Barton (whose most memorable moment as a rookie was being blocked out of a play by Aaron Rodgers).

It’s interesting that of the four players taken in the first three rounds, this is the situation a year later:

L.J. Collier — trying to find better players to start ahead of him
Marquise Blair — traded a haul to replace him
D.K. Metcalf — excellent pick
Cody Barton — spent a first round pick in 2020 to replace him

The plan, the execution, the development of those players apart from Metcalf — it all comes into question. As we wonder why they’ve aggressively traded for Jamal Adams and consider why, arguably, the reset hasn’t gone as well as hoped so far — it all pretty much stems from that week in April in 2019 when they traded Clark then set about their plan for the draft.

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297 Responses to “Why Seattle’s (possible) 2019 draft plan needs to be challenged”

  1. DAWGfan says:

    One thing we know about the Hawks is they are willing to cut bait on a player if they think someone else is better. They gave Matt Flynn the opportunity and $$ but didn’t hesitate to start Wilson as a rookie. Maybe in their eyes they did not see enough in Blair to not go after an All-Pro in Adams. I am not giving up on Collier, I loved what I saw in him during his college career and if anything he should have a HUGE chip on his shoulders his sophomore season.

  2. TomLPDX says:

    I’m not going to blindly support Cody because he has a lot to learn and this year he needs to step up and prove it. I think he was drafted because of how poor we were the year before at depth for our LBers and we needed depth then. Same with drafting BBK. Depth move.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think BBK was a pure special teams pick. I think Barton was, especially with them trading up, an attempt to plan for life after KJ. And now they’ve had another go, albeit in round one.

      • TomLPDX says:

        I hope Cody steps up and makes an impact. That’s his best course. He is going into year 2 and he NEEDS to step up and make his presence known now.

        My feeling about BBK is that he was brought in to displace Shaquem. I love Shaquem and the story and all that but let’s face it, he doesn’t have the right stature (size, weight) to compete at the position he excelled at in college. Reminds me of Nick Reed, who we drafted in 2009. All heart and motor. Loved that guy…but was just not big enough to be a DE in the NFL.

        • Chris says:

          I really disagree on the hate for the Barton and the Brooks pick. I foresee that Barton is Wright’s replacement and Brooks is Wagner’s replacement. There’s that saying “you should groom a rookie quarterback behind a solid starter before throwing him out on the field” and what is the middle linebacker on the Defense? The Quarterback. I feel they’re letting Brooks learn behind the best and and when they’re ready to move on from Wagner there won’t be a major drop off in talent, same goes for Wright.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Barton needs to prove he belongs in the league. Forget about replacing anyone at this stage. He was bad as a rookie and had things happen to him that should never happen. He has to bring it this year.

            • Gohawks5151 says:

              He at least has complementary skills to Brooks. Pretty good in coverage. Had a nice playoff game vs the eagles dropping into his zone. If Brooks is Bobby’s replacement or at strong side after Irvin leaves, Barton could still play WLB. His worst plays were UGLY, but at least seemed correctable. Needed a year of pro weight program and experience.

            • BruceN says:

              That one play against Rodgers has stuck with you. I admit it wasn’t pretty, but that play doesn’t define his year (and sadly there were more). He didn’t play like the heir apparent to KJ but he had some good moments too. Let’s see how he does this year.

              Overall, your 2019 draft recap is pretty depressing. I recall at the time I hadn’t heard of Collier so I looked him up in one of the pre-draft ranking publications and he was, I think, ranked #29 or something in his position.

              • Rob Staton says:

                It has stuck with me but to be honest I think it perfectly defines his season. He made too many mistakes and that was the cherry on top of the cake. It was horrifying to see. You can’t win with linebackers getting smashed by quarterbacks.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Barton is a smart and diligent, studious guy. He sleeps and wakes up with the playbook. But he’s green and the play attitude (not a BAMF) is not a starter’s attitude. Maybe with more BAMFness around him he’ll pick up some. I wouldn’t write him off, but he won’t be a BWagz or someone like Kam

  3. Rusty says:

    Completely disagree! Barton’s most memorable moment was being stiff-armed by Kyle Allen …. ok with that out of the way

    On Blair – while the Adams trade is obviously not a vote of confidence for Blair … Maybe they’re not as down on him as it might suggest? If your third safety can slot in at FS and SS, which perhaps Blair can pretty nicely … I mean jeeze how many snaps in a season are at least one of your safeties injured? Last year McDougald missed 3 games, TT missed 10 games, Diggs missed 6. 1 guy backing up 2 guys can expect to see real playtime, is I guess my point.

    But yeah I hear ya. Weird kinda double-dipping by position while other positions are even now thin. We’re bursting with tight ends, linebackers, and kinda safeties. We barely have any depth DT’s, cornerbacks, or OT’s.

    Some picks scream ‘AHHHH WE NEED ________ POSITION RIGHT HERE

    • Rusty says:

      (Oops didn’t mean to hit submit yet!)

      Some picks scream WE NEED TO PICK A CERTAIN POSITION, other picks like Brooks and Damien Lewis felt like complete BPA (even if we disagree he was BPA). Nobody was mocking linebackers or guards to us

    • TomLPDX says:

      Barton was stiff-armed by Aaron Rodgers and Christian McCaffrey, I don’t recall Kyle Allen having that opportunity…but hey, I’m an old fart and forget things so whatever. The point is I haven’t written him off quite yet. Let’s hope he learns from his mistakes.

  4. Dave says:

    Understand where you’re coming from Rob, however if New Orleans drafting Centres in consecutive years is an example of going BPA then could we consider the possibility of it being the same for Barton and Brooks?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not really because I don’t think Barton had a good rookie season and he was a mid-round pick. McCoy was taken in round two weeks after they spent decent money on a center and then he had a terrific rookie season. Then they went and spent their native R1 pick on the same position a year later. So it was clearly BPA while Seattle’s felt like an attempted upgrade.

  5. dcd2 says:

    While it is speculation, I agree completely with your premise and think that the recent moves show that it’s probably closer to ‘spot on’ than ‘crazy talk’. That day 1 presser is still one of the more depressing views of Pete that I’ve ever seen.

    There is no doubt that they got ‘their guys’ this year though. We took Brooks over Queen, and traded up to take Taylor over: Okwara, Epenesa, Zuniga, Uche, Raekwon and plenty of other highly rated DL players. That trade up cost us a 3rd rounder to move up those 11 spots, so that pick in particular (IMO) needs to be right. Uche & Okwara were still there at where we would have picked in fact.

    Frankly we’ve been drafting pretty poorly for years now, but if you’re right about Gary/Burns & Abram, it shows how small the margin for error is. We missed Burns by 5 picks and Abram by 2.

  6. Strategicdust says:

    The reason and rationale behind recent drafts really does come into question. Having been a long time reader of this column, Rob and this group make a lot of sense in determining needs and best players to fill those needs. The players Seattle have actually picked have been puzzling to say the least. It just doesn’t feel like there’s a philosophy in back of it, at least not one you can point to. It feels at times as if these guys get a little too deep in the weeds in their analysis and lack that “take a step back and re-evaluate” voice in the room. There’s also the possibility that they’re actually not that good at drafting to be honest. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and being lucky enough to have Russ fall to them in the third round has covered an awful lot of mistakes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Pete says they need to add a certain type of player or a specific position and that sets the ball rolling for the off-season really. They see what the options are in FA and the draft and go from there. So if Pete says they need a DL and a safety and they like the look of the options on their draft board, it’ll likely be addressed in the draft. If not, they might address an area in FA instead. And a lot of teams will do it that way. I’ve not described anything ‘out there’. But I think the problem sometimes is when you become so zoned in on a position you might miss out on other opportunities as a consequence and I think we’ve seen that in recent drafts.

      For example — they were willing to miss out on D.K. Metcalf, IMO, because they felt they NEEDED a DL and a safety first and foremost. When Metcalf fell, they took the opportunity to move up and credit to them. But I doubt they were debating Blair or Metcalf at #47 because they were intent on adding a safety. And had someone else taken Metcalf — what a missed opportunity that would’ve been.

      This year they took a linebacker because I think they had their heart set on it. We’ll see in a few years whether they’ve should’ve drafted a tackle instead.

      In 2017 I think they had their heart set on an interior rusher. And once they missed out on Calais Campbell because of the price tag they talked themselves into Malik McDowell. The end product? He never played a down and they didn’t seriously consider TJ Watt instead.

      That’s the problem. A pre-determined target position and inflexibility. It’s cost them better players over the years and we saw in 2019 that when the plan goes wrong you end up forcing selections to fill your needs rather than moving on and accepting it is what it is.

      • cha says:

        Could very well apply to Free Agency too. They zoned in on Clowney and didn’t plan for anyone else, and had to scramble when they couldn’t get him to sign. Now look where they are on the DL.

      • mishima says:

        Myopic.

      • whit21 says:

        I think you conclusions are pretty good Rob.. I like to point to the 2014 Nfl draft of amazing WRs selected after they took Paul Richardson.

        Devante Adams
        Allen Robinson
        Jarvis Landry

        Even a john brown or martavis byrant in the 3rd/4 round. They selected Josh Norwood in the 4th round
        Notable later round picks were Quincy Enunwa and jeff janis.. with Willie Snead and Allen Hurns going undrafted.

  7. Big Mike says:

    It’s fine if you whiff on one of the four choices you’ve highlighted here Rob, not 3 of 4 as appears could well be the case. What the hell, maybe Blair becomes a stud corner. Color me skeptical. I have almost zero hope for Collier and Barton.
    If indeed 3 of the 4 ’19 choices end up being busts, it will reverberate for the next several years. It may even cost the franchise a future HOF QB because they’re busy trying to plug holes crap drafting have created rather than spending money on enhancing the roster causing him to move on as has been speculated as possible by PFF this week.

  8. Big Mike says:

    And btw, this may be your most spot on column of the entire offseason.

  9. cha says:

    Thanks Rob.

    You might be onto something with this position pigeonholing. And what’s unfortunate is the one time they broke out of that mold (trading up for DK) they knocked it out of the park.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t say the Metcalf pick was breaking the mould. I think they stuck to the mould with DL and safety first and Metcalf was just an opportunity that emerged that they took. Breaking the mould for me would’ve been taking Metcalf at #29 and accepting you missed out on the best DL’s.

    • TomLPDX says:

      I think John broke out of it for Jarran Reed also when he was available in the early 2nd round.

  10. Justin Mullikin says:

    You bring up great points. I like these kinds of articles. Pete and John are usually very open to the media about what positions they are looking at in the draft. As fans, we can also speculate pretty accurately what positions of need the Seahawks have.

    Blair and Barton were interesting picks because they seemed picks predetermined by a profile rather than football IQ and talent. Maybe that is the key here. They draft based on profiles rather than football IQ and talent. But that was not always the case. Interesting.

    Hindsight is 20/20 on the Clark trade. I was all for it. Clark was a young, talented pass rusher who had improved every year. The hope was that he would continue to develop into a premier pass rusher. The problem was that he wanted to be paid premier pass rusher money. We did not have it, we had to pay Wilson and Wagner.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I was all for the Clark trade too at the time. A difficult year needing to pay Wilson, Wagner and Clark. A lack of draft picks, suddenly boosted by an extra first rounder. A draft class highlighted by the D-line depth.

      But in hindsight they just created a massive problem. They traded away their only good pass rusher. The 2019 draft didn’t go according to plan. The Ansah project was a bust and they haven’t been able to retain Clowney. That in itself cost us a R3 for one season of play. The trade has pretty much been a disaster really. There’s no other way to describe it. And if you put Clark on this defense now… woah.

      • pdway says:

        You’re so right. And I felt the same about the Clark trade at the time (i.e. he’s good but not $20MM/year good, and a 1st and 2nd pick is a great haul for him – esp when we needed picks) – but it now looks like, as you put it, an own goal.

        And maybe, just maybe, we’ll think of the Adams trade the same way eventually? I really hate the argument that trading first round picks isn’t as important for Seattle because we’re not good at them, but we should have kept the bird in hand w Clark, and maybe we’re doing that now w Adams.

      • BruceN says:

        Clark was pretty invisible early in the season until the end and the Chiefs fans were quite miffed at paying him a fortune. I read plenty of Chiefs blogs. He had a few very good games at the end. Is that good value for $20M a year? Yes, he played well at the end, when it counted. but for $20M a year don’t you want an all season impact player.

  11. SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

    I’m just waiting for them 2 bring in some really big NT’s that way this whole 2019 draft process and Jamal Adams trade is really nothing more than them going to play a true run stuffing 3 4 defense with fast linebackers and dbs to shut down the quick passing game.

  12. JNSeahawks says:

    I like all the players they took in the 2019 draft and hope that a select few (Collier, Blair, Barton) step up this year. Having said that, I agree that their tendency to zero in on players or positions has limited their overall success.
    In hindsight, I wish they had held onto Clark.
    One thing to note with Blair, Adams, and Diggs is that versatility is a common strength. I’ll be curious to see if Carroll can get them on the field at the same time this season.
    Question- when you say “trying to find better players to start ahead of him” in reference to Collier, are you referring to fans like us or the Hawks front office?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Front office.

      Since drafting Collier they signed Ansah, Irvin and Mayowa, traded for Clowney, traded up to draft Taylor, drafted Robinson and we’re all hoping they might make another move or two before the season starts. That’s a lot of work and a lot of prospective players starting over a R1 pick.

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

        Pete always said can never have enough pass rushers

        • SeahawkeyezSubj80 says:

          Think we need to give Collier a year or more. I remember Michael Bennett commenting in a interview it takes a couple of years to develop into a quality defensive lineman with quality coaching. My take is we cant always draft in the top 5 and draft the Bosa brothers or Myles Garret which are exceptions to the rule.

          • God of Thunder says:

            This. The players we are discussing were rookies last year. I wasn’t blown away by them either but the jury is still out.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He didn’t add, “in order to make sure your R1 pick doesn’t have to start”

      • JNSeahawks says:

        Without question, that’s quite the plethora of pass rushers you just mentioned. Signing Ansah and trading for Clowney last off-season was unquestionably necessary given the lack of depth and experience they had going into last season. However, wouldn’t you say that they players they’ve signed/drafted this off-season profile as more pure edge players/ LEOs? For better or worse, it seems like they’re content rolling with Collier/Green as the inside-out rushers a la Mike B.

        • Rob Staton says:

          They also chased Clowney throughout March though and called him a priority. Plus Mayowa could play either spot. The point is really you’d expect a R1 pick to be the front runner to start, not someone you’re trying to cover up. But as the article suggested, I think they only took him because he was next on their DL board and they’d been caught short.

  13. Shibu says:

    It would be interesting to see how they adjusted, if at all, for this past draft if things didn’t go how they wanted last year. Do we think LB was their target for their first pick or was Brooks really the BPA at that point on their board? Or, if the reports were actually true, were they thinking someone behind them wanted Brooks and they didn’t want to miss out like before so they opted not to trade down?

    The Darrell Taylor pick would also be interesting to learn about. I wonder if they were always planning to pick a DE early because of how bad the line was last year, or if they felt like they needed to secure someone since Clowney didn’t sign and quite possibly messed up their offseason plans. Like most here, you’d hope they would have a backup though.

    I was also surprised that they decided to wait on the strength of the draft in WR. In years past we’ve gone over how they tend to attack the strength of the draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they already admitted they’d identified the linebacker position as strong in the late first and were happy to take one of the three who went in that range.

      Which means, in turn, they’d probably ID’d linebacker early again. And I suspect they’d already plotted a way to move up for Taylor after that. So it was probably quite planned and choreographed again.

      • Shibu says:

        I guess its at least nice to know that they probably got the players they wanted. Hopefully their plan works out for them and the team.

  14. 12th chuck says:

    would the last couple of drafts been the same if McDowell lived up to his draft potential? It shows how a whiff can really can hurt a team long term

  15. Nathan says:

    I’m completely down for an article (or series of articles) in which we look over and criticize the past few drafts (first 3 or 4 rounds only?) and the impact they’ve had on the Hawks. This one with 2019 is fun.

    Regarding Blair and Adams:

    Pete has made it clear why they traded for Adams; He is an ELITE, young talent, playing on a rookie deal, who lives up to being picked #6 overall. Adams isn’t blue chip, he’s platinum chip as someone on the Hawkblogger postcast said. You only get your hands on one of those if you have a top 15 (maybe even top 10) draft pick or you get extremely lucky (like SEA did with Sherm) later in the draft. A player with all of those attributes being available on his rookie deal is insanely rare. When the last time they drafted before pick 20 was 2012, you are gonna really struggle to find those hyper rare players (like a Kittle, maybe DK?) who are blue/platinum chip later on in the draft.

    So yeah, we have Blair, and it’s a bummer we drafted him and then made this trade but this leads to my next point that ties into everything: Pete Carroll isn’t going to be coaching for much longer. Pete is quite possibly in a “win now/last hurrah” mode. Get the Superbowl win, take a bow and retire. Russ is 31, his LT is 35, Bobby has a bit of juice left in him… it’s time to go all in, trade future firsts and get that HOF level safety that can do it all for Pete’s defense to play like it needs to in order for his team (how he has it setup) to make a deep playoff push. I think it’s been argued the foundation of a Pete defense is his safeties.

    This is what I think about when I think about our LT situation: Duane’s play is declining and he’s 35 years old. What are the odds we find even a competent LT without a first round pick until 2023? I don’t trust this FO to scout and draft OL in general. My bet is they will be either be starting Brown beyond 2021 (which would require an extension fyi) at 37 years old or they’ll be protecting ~33 year old Russell Wilson’s blindside with some JAG. This will be awful because Russell more than ever to stay healthy and to makeup for lost mobility will need quality pass protection.

    But again, I don’t think Pete cares much. I don’t think he is likely to be coaching anymore in 2022. And to be honest, I have been pounding the table for maximizing this teams odds (with Russell in his prime) to make another Superbowl. So here we are, using future capital that would most likely see results in 2023* at the earliest in order to upgrade a key position on this team to elite HOF level talent. We’re sacrificing our future (’23 & beyond) for Superbowl runs in ’20-’23.

    Does any of this matter if we win a Superbowl in the next few years? Add onto that the high likelihood we’d lose Pete after winning that SB. Obviously it’s not how you team build with longevity in mind but Pete is on his last hurrah and Russ is 31 years old.

    ————————————-

    *When is it safe to expect meaningful production from ’21 and ’22 first round picks? Likely 2-3 years into their rookie deals. Aka expect them to meaningfully contribute in ’24 and ’25.

  16. pdway says:

    Can’t disagree w anything in this article.

    On the three picks –

    Collier – kind of agree that he is in a make-or-break year given his draft level. He didn’t look bad so much as he was just invisible. Maybe it was the ankle. I don’t know – i’m trying to hang onto a little hope.

    Blair – is the enigma to me. Seems to have the tools. Strange to me that he can’t learn a scheme.

    Barton – looked overmatched in Y1. Maybe he’ll turn a corner, but seems unlikely from what we saw.

    Good piece – and your instincts seem right to me on this one as to what happened on draft day.

  17. Kevin Mullen says:

    Drafting JAG’s in 3 of 4 early round picks won’t win you “executive of the year” accolades. It is what it is. Better they realize it now as oppose to keep trying to make those guys fit year after year.

    Curious hypothetical question Rob: if you have #21 and #29, and knowing how the draft fell for 2019, would you packaged both to move up (and who would you grab?) or drop down like they did and pick what players?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I haven’t really studied that enough or revised the class or my feelings a year ago to answer that properly Kevin.

    • McZ says:

      The thing here is, that we are supposing that the Seahawks FO were caught off guard by the early DL run.

      This is a direct result of this FO not valuing relative talent and talent on positions of high valuation. Rob, for one part, predicted what would happen. There is something.ething wrong with their approach to the draft.

      That said, I remember wanting Montez Sweat or Andre Dillard at #21 and then moving into 2nd round from #29.

      The only player worth trading up was Josh Allen, and we have to wonder if that would have been possible packing #21 and #29.

      • mishima says:

        My only reservation with Sweat was his supposed heart condition. Still thought the reward outweighed the risk.

        Thought they would take him at #21, trade off #29.

        Hindsight: Could have walked with Sweat and Deebo Samuel. Instead, we got Utah’d.

  18. TatupuTime says:

    It’s an interesting (and very sad) potential explanation for what went down. If that’s anywhere close to what happened it’s inexcusable. I can’t for the life of me get around how defeated they looked after the 2019 first round. It’s totally OK for a draft not to come off like you anticipated, but by the time of the draft you should have run through these scenarios 100+ times already. It can’t have been unexpected and you have to be happy with the fallback plans.

    If one of Gary/Burns are gone by 12 what do we do? Option A trade up from 21 for the other because we have to have one. Option B sit tight and hope they make it to 21 and if they are both gone by 21 implement the fall back plan. Nothing should be a surprise in the first round and you should have 10 different plans. You can’t just go BPA in the NFL, but you need flexibility.

    None of the Seahawks individual moves have been horrendous to me, but the resource allocation makes no sense. You can’t have $25M tied up in two linebackers and also have fresh 1st and 3rd round picks at that position. KJ (love him) should have been long gone if this was the plan. Same with resources at teh safety position and the traffic jam of middling players they cobbled together at O-Line. Meanwhile there are only currently only two good DTs on this team and zero depth at that position.

    I’ve had a lot of blind faith in the front office for a lot of years, but the shine is really starting to come off. I’m sure there is a plan, but I definitely don’t understand it.

  19. DancingBuddha says:

    I agree with you, Rob, except I differ on the player. I think they were trying to get Darnell Savage, who was there at 21, Schneider also made an oblique reference to another team letting them down and “it happens” and I suspect that they thought they could get Savage at 29 after losing the pass rusher at 29.

    I suppose we’ll never know but I would be interested in your opinion Savage vs Abrams comparison as fit.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They traded away pick #21 to Green Bay who took Savage.

      I doubt they made that move without knowing GB’s intentions.

      And we know they wanted specifically a strong safety now.

  20. Doug Kaminski says:

    Good analysis Rob one year after the 2019 draft, thanks! I can’t disagree with anything though what comes to mind is your great Michael Lombardi interview you did with him earlier this year. He said (paraphrasing with single quotes as best as I can recall, not an exact quote)…’what most people don’t understand about the draft is that teams are drafting for 2 years out, not for immediate impact as many fans expect, though some rookies will indeed have some immediate impact.’ That struck a chord with me because I was one of those who expected/hoped for immediate impact at least of the high picks. So I for one would love to hear another of your analysis on the 2019 draft in another year just for comparison. Again, I can’t argue with your analysis at this point in time, but am curious how another year of development will affect the assessment.

    I also seem to recall either Lombardi or another one of your guest interviews explain that Belichick drafts people with a plan of when and who they would replace on the current team 2-3 years down the road and grades them as such. I used that to justify the drafting of Brooks this year. It struck me as the Hawks planning for longer term not necessarily immediate impact (though I’m hopeful!).

    Lombardi also said something to the effect that many teams make mistakes during the draft and gave some example statistic about how many QBs drafted in the 1st round have failed. So I’m using that crutch to not be as alarmed at the cost for Adams. Time will tell of course.

    Keep up the great work, I’m enjoying the learning process by your thorough analysis and forum discussions. thanks

  21. Max says:

    Yep this draft looks like it could be a major reason as to why the team is where they are right now…it could also be the 2018 draft,which is looking terrible.The 2017 draft is appalling.The 2016 draft is Jarran Reed,and that’s it.why does JS still get so much praise as this unbelievable drafter?i get it 2010-2012 was awesome but that was 8 yrs ago.I don’t necessarily want a new gm but I just find it amusing how the national media still think he’s a top 5 drafter

  22. Denver Hawker says:

    A bad draft is problematic for a number of reasons:
    – guaranteed money to players who don’t play
    – still need to pay money to players to fill their spots
    – and now, trade future draft capital to acquire those players

    I’m not willing to write off any of these guys after one year and how few reps they got. I agree with the premise that those draft positions should inherently see more playing time, but Hawks seem to consistently draft players before most people expect those players to be drafted.

    I see Barton and Brooks as complementary. Barton was out of position playing weak side last year. I think both Barton and Brooks could play Bobby and KJ roles. Shoot, Adams could play the Kendricks role also. They have versatile LBs and backs that can fill a number of positions. Time will tell if they’re JAGS of future stars.

    Collier is the outlier being first off the board, showing plenty of potential to be drafted there and then being mostly invisible when on the field. Strange.

  23. Ishmael says:

    Are there any teams out there who have had success paying top dollar for both a quarterback and a pass rusher this last decade or so?

    I think they’ve really struggled with how to build a team around Wilson’s contract. They’ve tried a few different things, and now they’re going with buying talent. It’s a pretty gross long-term way of planning, that has worked pretty much never, but they probably don’t have too many more years to work with.

  24. Denver Hawker says:

    Bosa extension- wow.

    Premier pass rushers just keep getting more expensive. Clark money looking great pretty quickly.

  25. I just want to say that my opinion is that this opting out is complete bullshit…they love their families and are afraid for.them…really? We dont love ours? We are going every single day at our jobs for 1000-30.000 times lower salaries with hope that we will get covid and kill someone we love?

    Ask Rob or anyone else here what would happen if he choose not to go to work…because he is afraid…he would be fired in blink of an eye…and it would be damn hard to find another job when he realise cahnces are higjer his(ours) kids will dye from hunger than from covid..

    Thats reality…here in my country covid exploded…I almost dont know family where no one has(had) it…lot of my colleagues, friends, members of their families has(d) it…and we are going to work every day…with full buses, have a contact with lot of people every single.day…

    and players are protected with this game covid plans hundred times better than any of us around the world…

    And.when I see not.to risk someones health because its only a game…great…then pay them like its only a game…give doctors, engineers, scientists milions.of dolars, and give players few hundreds or thousands…i mean its just a game…

    If I am owner, or commisioner, you opt out of this season..ok…we are opting you out from 2021 and 2022 season…

    • Darnell says:

      Players are paid relative to income generated. It is, somewhat, the free market and capitalism at work; though not entirely, as players would make closer to what they deserve without restrictions such as the salary cap and franchise tag in place.

    • Ishmael says:

      They’re giving up millions of dollars to try ensure the safety of their families. They don’t owe you anything, get a grip.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I don’t have any issue with players opting out. If they have that option and they wish to take it, that’s their call.

        What I have a problem with is the fairly basic suggestion that the league isn’t important and should stop because it’s just a game, without realising the regular testing and protocols make this a much safer prospect than nearly every other profession in the world. Plus if you just ‘stop’ sports you’re going to destroy thousands of lives as people lose their jobs, businesses and livelihoods because many people rely on this industry functioning. So just like everyone else, we have to come up with a way to live with the disease.

        • Trevor says:

          Well put Rob I don’t think enough thought goes into the long term economic and social consequences this virus has caused as a result of reduced freedoms, mobility and closures. We won’t know for years and I think the toll will be absolutely devasting. The social and economic costs of the closures will likely be far greater than the virus itself.

          I for one just can’t wait till football starts up again to have something fun to think about. I think we could all use some escape in these times that seem somewhat chaotic.

      • Trevor says:

        They are not giving up millions their contracts roll over. I guess is a young super star player opts out they could possibly be giving up a year of future earnings way down the road but that’s it.

        I don’t have a problem with players opting out it is their right to choose what they want to do but I agree with Millhouse in that I don’t see any need to make them put as hero’s or something. They are doing what they think is best for them and their families the same as all of us. I need to feed my family so o have to go to work and take the nessecary precautions not to get it spread this virus I don’t have any other option so that is what I do. The players do have options so each of them is making the decision they think is best. It is as simple as that IMO and not worth debating. It is what it as always been in a free society. People making decisions they think are best for themselves and their families. Nothing to celebrate or get upset about. Let’s just focus on the guys who are playing and hope they take the steps to get ready to play some great football all while taking the required steps to prevent this virus from spreading.

        Let’s all remember the NFL and all the pro leagues are multi-billion dollar entertainment industries the only reason they are evening starting up is so they don’t all loose out on billions in TV revenue. That is their free choice as well.

        We all have our own options that is the whole point of the blog but topic seems pretty simple everyone does what they think is best themselves. Nothing more and nothing less.

        • John_s says:

          They’re giving up a year of their career most likely in their prime. A year in the league is huge considering the avg career is like 3 years

    • Frank says:

      I’ve lost two close friends to Covid in the last few months and my aunt this week. Next time you think of opening your mouth, do the world a favor and don’t.

    • Group Captain Mandrake says:

      The difference is that no one is offering any of us money to opt out. I go to work every single day. But going to work for me means walking downstairs to my basement and turning on the computer. Come on, are you telling me that if your boss was offering good money to not come to work you wouldn’t think about it?

      Some of these players have new kids, or family with underlying conditions. They are literally giving up millions in some cases this year. And you think they don’t want to work? They don’t get to this level without working their asses off and being committed, and I would guess that most of them do not give up on things easily.That lineman for the Chiefs (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) who happens to be a doctor – and has been working in hospitals this whole time – said that if he was going to risk his life, it wasn’t for football. I’d say he probably has more knowledge about this than any of us.

      Think before you post stuff like this.

    • Simo says:

      Love these! Here’s to hoping Jamal’s play is infectious for the entire defense, and that he inspires Bobby to play like he’s 25 years old!

  26. Gohawks5151 says:

    Opinion: Nuke top 10 on NFL top 100 is weak. Didn’t have his best season. Julio did more with less. Hell, Lockett had 100 yrds less and one TD more with 20(!) less catches. Watch him be higher than Russ.

  27. Derek Baker says:

    Great analysis. One thing I always keep in mind is that draft boards cant always fall your way. We had multiple boards fall our way and the 2018 board definitely went south. I think if Clowney had played like we thought we may have him signed by now and have a much different outlook. You cant give $20M to a player who got 3 sacks. If he had stayed healthy and gotten 9.5 like the prior year maybe. 3 sacks? You would expect Clowney to be realistic and either take a prove it deal or not elite money. We all thought when they got Clowney that they got an upgrade over Clark. Clowney has just been nonsensical to negotuate with. Just proves the NFL is a crapshoot. For as good of moves as the Saints have made, they still havent gotten back to the Superbowl. We,ve got speed now, some youth at end and if we can figure out a way to get a Griffin into the rotation and Mebane for depth we will feel a lot better.

  28. Brik says:

    I think that you are right about them being too strict with who they wanted to pick in past drafts. That’s why we were all so surprised this time around. They learned from their mistakes. Instead of going after what they thought were the top needs, they went after who they thought were the top players available, regardless of the position that they played. They still needed to get pass rushers, but they didn’t try to reach for something. It’s better to have too much talent at certain positions than to get no better by picking back-ups in “positions of need”.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Exactly. I was about to point out the same thing. I think the 2020 draft validates Rob’s theory on the 2019 draft.

      If in 2019 they reached for positions of need over BPA, they decided they wouldn’t let it happen again and took their BPA (Brooks) over positions of need like Tackle (Isaiah Wilson) and RB (Helaire, Taylor, etc.).

      However, if we accept that that was the approach, now we can move on to debate player evaluation. And in 2020 there was a strong case that the talent at those other positions was equal to Brooks’ talent level, on top of being at a position of need, which is really the ideal draft scenario.

      My take on why they passed on the other positions with their R1 pick:

      – OT: this one especially hurts. It’s not at all often that a Tackle prospect of Isaiah Wilson’s profile is available late R1. Maybe they just decided to stick to the veteran route on the OL, as we’ve discussed before. Or perhaps they simply didn’t think I. Wilson has what it takes to project at tackle at the next level. Scarred by the return on the Ifedi pick a bit…? (And he wasn’t a bust or anything, was actually quite serviceable, if frustrating at times.)

      – RB: Seemed like a need with Carson and Penny coming off season-ending injuries, but they just couldn’t justify investing another R1 pick there, because their talent is good when healthy. So they went the veteran route for depth. I can get behind that choice in this case.

      • Brik says:

        Might have been looking for something they were more confident in. I can’t remember any of their first round picks who became stars, besides Earl. Okung was pretty good, but not what you want from a #6 pick overall. You want constant Pro Bowl level output. Like you said with Ifedi, and I think James Carpenter, they just need a hit so they can get their confidence back.

      • GoHawksDani says:

        If BPA, I think CEH, Wilson, Taylor, Dugger, Hunt, Delpit > Brooks.
        Wilson or Hunt especially hurtful as no idea how many seasons Brown can handle. And you won’t really get a franchise LT in FA.

        I think they went BPA + projected need (KJ will retire probably, they don’t trust Barton/BBK) + importance of the position for them (seems like they really value LBs)

  29. Evan says:

    Really loved the approach you took with this Rob. Definitely one of my favorite pieces from you, so thank you!

    And what an interesting thought that the FO is a bit more tuned onto position choices then we imagined. This leads me to a couple thoughts when I should be sleeping:

    1) was fixing the backfield a key position group to them this whole time? I thought maybe Dunbar was the end of their position focus but with the commissioner list happening so soon, maybe that focus came back and pushed Adams over the top?

    2) If their RB focus caused the Penny pick, is there some other tendency of the FO that has them pick non-standard players? I initially thought it was just different scouting, but I’m beginning to think they specifically look for players that are under appreciated instead of the best overall so they can trade down and still get them. This might explain why they are so hit or miss at best player available. Curious your thoughts!

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. I think it was an attempt to get faster and tougher at the entire second and third level, but they also needed to fix the pass rush which unfortunately they haven’t.

      2. I think the Penny pick was based on his size/speed, versatility as a runner/receiver/returner and the fact he had a fantastic health grade.

  30. Davido says:

    I agree with your article. I am not sure what their strategy was and if they just didn’t play the board well or made mistakes in scouting. But they just failed to improve the team sufficiently.
    I think this comes down to the focal point of maybe this offseason too. The miss on DLine (Lj Collier). For years now the Seahawks whiffed on the most important player they tried to draft. McDowell, Green and Collier. None of them showed enough to comfortably fill one spot on the DLine. Now their focus of the draft was Taylor as the one player they wanted to get.
    If you give up Frank Clark for draft picks and let go Micheal Benett you have to draft succesors or acquire them elsewhere. Good Dlinemen will not fall into your hands like other positions. Getting Avril and Bennett on their respective deals was a miracle.

    • Davido says:

      Most people agree that D and Oline are the foundation of a team. (Besides QB of course)
      Most teams spend their first round picks on those players for a reason. The Seahawks have gotten a few nice pieces in recent years. Dickson, Metcalf, Dissly, Griffin, Carson were all pretty good picks. So the last drafts have not been catastrophic. But in the meanwhile they couldn’t find a single Tackle nor DLine stud.

  31. Sea Mode says:

    Excellent article, Rob, generating an equally great discussion. This is prime SDB, folks! Cheers!

  32. Ukhawk says:

    Frank Clark Trade was an absolute disaster. Burns me up

    • GerryG says:

      And it didn’t have to be.

      The Malik McDowell curse won’t go away!

      • Tree says:

        Good article. I recall Rob Rang has similar thoughts on the Hawks targeting Abrams. I am sure they liked Collier a lot but probably in that 2nd round range. For this year, JS said they were not targeting a LB in the first round (they were also trying to trade back….maybe to take Taylor or another pass rusher at the end of round 1 or high round 2?) and to me it felt like a BPA pick with another good LB picked right afterwards. And I think drafting an OT during a COVID offseason would be a waste this year (last year it wouldn’t have been and JS said they were surprised more didn’t go off the board before they picked) whereas Brooks gives a potential immediate impact player (and we don’t just have to replace KJ but Wagner as well and find a SLB so really they need to replace 3 LBs). They also raved about Cody at least earlier in the year and he was playing SLB whereas I think they see him as a WLB or MLB). Kendricks looked great at WLB the year before but not did not look great last year at SLB. I am not writing off Blair or Collier though even if they were consolation prizes. Some players like JA walk on the field and are studs but most take time to develop. Blair is versatile and fast enough to play FS and having two ferocious hitters at safety would be amazing long term (and potentially in nickel packages this year if Diggs moves to the slot). Collier was injured and I think if you play him more on the inside on passing downs he all of sudden measures to be an explosive athlete. MB took 3-4 years to be good. Hopefully it doesn’t take Collier that long.

  33. DougM says:

    Players available at Seahawk picks thru first 3 rounds of 2019 draft, availability based on ratings by nfl.com. Just using nfl.com as an example to show results.

    Round 1 pick 29: LJ Collier 6.30
    DK Metcalf 6.80
    Jawaan Tayjlor 6.80

    Round 2 Pick 15: Marquis Blair 6.20
    Erik McCoy 6.70
    Parris Campbell 6.70
    AJ Brown 6.70

    Round 2 Pick 32: DK Metcalf 6.80
    Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 6.40

    Round 3 Pick 25: Cody Barton 5.90
    Mack Wilson 6.30
    Riley Ridley 6.30
    Christian Miller 6.30
    Julian Love 6.30
    Amani Hooker 6.30

  34. Sea Mode says:

    BWagz @ #13:

    #13: Bobby Wagner (LB, Seahawks) | Top 100 NFL Players of 2020
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYnwzKFRiqM

  35. cha says:

    The Seahawks are Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight trilogy

    Batman Begins – origin story as Pete & John leave a legacy of royalty (USC+GB) to forge their own path. Their scraping together a roster of ‘chip on their shoulder’ players to become something formidable mirrors Bruce’s journey through the world of crime and poverty and becoming Batman. A return to their rightful place and becoming an object of fear to the crime world as he returns to Gotham and defeats a great enemy (SB48 in NY).

    Dark Knight – He’s the reigning tough guy. Enemies are terrified of him. He can bully just about anyone. Just about. This confrontation with Joker (Bill Belichick) will take everything Batman’s got. In the end, the battle (SB49) leaves him scarred and broken, and stripped of his invincibility.

    Dark Knight Rises – this is where the Seahawks are now. It took years for Bruce to get over the events of SB49 and recuperate. Does he still have the ability to strike terror into the hearts of his enemies? A new enemy emerges (SF) that is unparalleled physicality and ferocity. The Seahawks are in that prison cave. Do they have what it takes to rise out of the pit? Can they make that leap to escape the pit without a rope (a good pass rush)? It’s going to take everything they’ve got. But that’s not the end. Bane has taken over Gotham and rules in fear. Can the Seahawks defeat him? Can PC and JS win this one and ride off into the sunset with Catwoman (another SB ring)? They’re going to have to give up everything – including their legacy – to do so.

  36. Volume12 says:

    How is this trade any different than the Bears going out and getting Khalil Mack? That safety position is as vital to PC’s defense as a pass rusher is to others IMO. And that’s because Adams is tailor made for the NFCW as well. He gives Seattle someone they can use against all 3 teams. Their strengths are his as well.

    Overall? It’s a good trade for both squads.

    • mishima says:

      Seahawks/Adams and Bears/Mack trades are very similar: 2 teams ‘going for it’ when they should be building out their rosters through the draft and free agency.

      Feels impulsive, not planned.

      Agree, though: Adams is the perfect fit for Carroll’s defense and the NFC West.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Come on V12.

      Khalil Mack or a safety?

      People keep going on about the importance of the safety in Pete’s scheme and yet they were prepared to start TT and Lano for how long???

      The impact of a good safety is clear but let’s not try and make out it’s more important that a legendary pass rusher in ANY scheme.

    • DC says:

      Pete & Johnny ‘the shiv’ Schnieder build their defenses from back to front to most people’s dismay (including mine). The back 7 are looking pretty damn solid. Would be nice to unearth a nickel. The offense has what it takes. We’re an effective LEO away from being scary.

      How’s your bro doing? I’ve been inter-web distancing a bit so maybe missed an update.

  37. GoHawksDani says:

    My biggest concerns now:
    1, Who will replace Brown? Without draft ammunition, without a ton of CAP space for following years?
    2, Adams will have a crazy amount of leverage after 1-2 year. You cannot trade for him and let him walk. You need to extend him, especially for this price. He can say 20m/year, 22m/year. If they cannot make a deal he’ll make 14-18m in FA either way. But if he walks PCJS faceplants bad. They gave up 2 firsts and a 3rd for a couple year rental. If they pay him 22m the entire NFL will laugh about them. They gave up 2 firsts and a third to an SS just to pay him also 22m avg

  38. C Dub says:

    (Puts in tinfoil hat) I want to believe that Pete and John are somehow punting on the season due to COVID stuff preventing the season from happening. All the short term deals on back up offensive linemen. The Adams trade disproves my theory though.

  39. Trevor says:

    I really enjoyed this article Rob and I think it actually answers questions I have had about the Hawks draft strategy for years.

    It always seemed like they were reaching with their first pick and taking a guy who was a position need but likely could have been taken 20 spots later. It has frustrated the heck out of me on draft day. The strategy you outline is likely why they have struggled so badly with their first pick.

    On the flip side when they actually see an elite talent who falls for whatever reason and they trade up it almost always works out well. (Locket, Clark, Metcalf).

    I know teams always say it but based on what you have outlined in this article it seems the Hawks
    Would have been much better off using the BPA strategy.

    I really like Brooks a lot and think he will be their best 1st pick in years but I also think they are going to really regret not addressing the OT spot last year Isiah Wilson was available.

  40. EranUngar says:

    This is a conversation I had with my best friend (a Giants fan) as the news about the Adams trade broke:

    He said “Wow you guys just got Jamal Adams”

    I said “Yes, fantastic player but 2 firsts and a 3rd, IDK…”

    He said “would you be happier if it was just a first and a 3rd?”

    I said “Yes, that would be a great trade IMO”

    He then said something that i have been thinking about ever since:

    “You get one the best defensive players in the NFL. He will play for you this year for nothing. He will play for you next year for a first and a 3rd that you think is great but you are unhappy because you’ll miss a 1st round pick in 2022?”

    I thought about it for 3 days.

    I decided to enjoy Adams in green and blue for free in 2020. I will hopefully enjoy Adams next year for a fair price of a 1st and 3rd.

    What happens in 2022? I do not know. I decided that i’ll care about it when the time comes.

    • Rob Staton says:

      So push tomorrow’s problems into the future?

      Such as how on earth they replace Duane Brown between next off-season and 2023?

      Or whether this will even be worth it with a bad pass rush?

    • mishima says:

      I don’t get it.

      Trades are not the only way to acquire talent.

      The Seahawks pissed away $60 million in free agency, then drafted poorly. THEN, they mortgaged the future…for a strong safety.

      Like waxing your car while the wheels fall off.

      • EranUngar says:

        I loved the waxing the car analogy.

        It illustrates perfectly the difference of opinions here.

        Adams is no waxing the car. He is a turbo charger. The wheels are not falling off.

        I better stop now…

        • mishima says:

          Improving one area while neglecting others doesn’t make your team better.

        • McZ says:

          If Ash Davis is doing what his package enables him to do (Taylor Rapp football IQ with a rocket engine), the Jets will look like geniuses.

          Same goes for Grant Delpit.

          The question is, why do we pay elite DE capital on a fringe position, where plenty of talent reaches the league frequently. Why is Rapp clicking, Savage, Gardner-Johnson, Thornhill, and Blair not?

          What scouting department picks Collier at 29? Even in full desperation mode this is a crap pick. It’s a waste, by design, and if you watch the OL talent we passed on the last two offseasons for high end headscratchers, you could fall into despair.

          The thing to me is, they really give up on evaluating, picking and developing talent. They had a single good pick, and he was a concensus top 50 player falling to 64.

      • john_s says:

        You’re already calling this draft class a poor class? May i ask why?

        • mishima says:

          I like Brooks, Taylor and Lewis, but they could have addressed LB, LEO, OG, TE better in free agency, then selected BPA with their selections.

  41. Silly Billy says:

    Does the narrative change about our defensive personal if we find out the the Hawks plan to run more nickel defense?

    To me, at least, I see a fantastic 3-3-5 “big nickel” look. Jamaal as our “big nickel” allows Blair to start @ SS. The 3rd LB becomes a DE/LB hybrid type, like Bruce Irvin (Shaquem Griffin?). Poona/J-Reed anchors the middle (probably want 1 more guy for depth), then hope that between Collier/Green/Taylor/Mayowa we find a decent DE rotation.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They haven’t traded the house for a big nickel

      • Silly Billy says:

        Okay, swap “roles” and put Jammal @ SS and Blair @ nickel safety. What changes? A Starting nickel back is still a starter

    • One thing is 100% sure. Adams is our SS for next 6 years.

      Pete did say after draft that they see Blair as SS, but on october 9 before week 6 he said they are zeroing him in at free safety.

      Blair’s future as seahawk is at FS or there isnt future at all.

      We will see.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Well they traded for Diggs.

        So his future ain’t at FS either.

        And the flip flopping at two positions is a red alert to them not knowing what to do with him.

        • Diggs barely played FS before seahawks and he is miles away from Adams as a player. When they traded for him we didnt evem know what position he will play. He played much more as a nickel and SS than FS before Seattle. I think they traded for him because they were short with safeties and NCB, they like him and he is versatile. Imo they didnt see 3,4 year starter at FS when they didn’t made a trade.

          Adams is locked at SS for next 6 years , and Diggs is far from locked at FS even for this season, and he is 27 and has only two more years on his current contract.

        • Submanjoe says:

          So if they flip flop on Blair and they don’t know how to use him, what then? I get it, the draft is a crapshoot. We don’t know who these guys are. We study. We make guesses. If the guy is wrong, but he’s on the team, shouldn’t the team still try and find the right guy? Point being, if they were wrong on Blair, sucks to us all and the team, but still gotta pick up the pieces and go forward.

          No guarantees about Adams at all, but its more probable than not he can succeed. He is a bona fide star, BAMF.

          And Diggs may only have another year or two here anyway. Perhaps in a year or two the team gains more insight into Blair and he develops. Perhaps not.

          The Adams trade is for right now, this year.

          Hopefully, another move or two is forthcoming…

          • Rob Staton says:

            “So if they flip flop on Blair and they don’t know how to use him, what then?”

            It’ll be a wasted pick and they’ll have botched the start of the 2019 draft.

            “If the guy is wrong, but he’s on the team, shouldn’t the team still try and find the right guy? Point being, if they were wrong on Blair, sucks to us all and the team, but still gotta pick up the pieces and go forward.”

            The problem is if you spend a top-50 pick player and then a year later feel the need to replace him via trade that includes more than two first round picks, that calls into question your judgement in an extreme way. That’s two firsts, a second, a third and a player invested in a strong safety for crying out loud. And yeah yeah, ‘it’s an important position for Pete Carroll’. So’s the D-line and they’re willing to risk the 2020 season being wasted because of their inability to fix the DL.

            • Submanjoe says:

              I don’t disagree with you.
              Hopefully, they can learn from their mistakes. Search for new processes to try and do better. Relentlessly refine, question, etc. For years I have thought Carroll is stubborn. I still think he is. I read this article to say, Carroll is stubborn. Zeroing in on guys, positions etc.
              But he does show an ability to make adjustments. And he is a prime motivator it seems too.

              I’m saying once the deed is done. Mistake or no. They must move forward.

              Also. On Dunbar. I wonder, would due diligence by the FO have unearthed some potential character flaws in him? I cannot get past his zoom media appearance and how ‘alls great’ and a few hours later news of his arrest breaks.. which had happened prior to his zoom media appearance. That to me shows a major red flag in his personality or character, that he could be almost ‘two faced’. Very disappointing, disturbing. He could do a media appearance and act like he is so excited, all the while knowing he was just arrested…

              All that said, i agree with the notion that this FO could do a much better job examining these players they sign, trade for, and draft. Stop loving what they could be. Sometimes a degree of strictness and accountability goes a long way.

  42. Austin says:

    I’ve been killed in here before for saying that Wilson covered a multitude of mistakes by the front office but it seems more obvious year by year. This is speculation but I wonder if Pete has too much say in personnel choices and if John was left alone to do his job the results(and process) would be much better. Will be interesting to see if John stays when Pete leaves and how things change in the future. The draft has been strange to say the least over the past few years.

    • mishima says:

      I’m surprised Schneider is still with the Seahawks.

      • Big Mike says:

        Pure speculation on my part, but my guess is John likes the town and is patiently waiting to take over as a real GM when Pete steps down with a more traditional GM/HC power dynamic.

        Either that or no one will hire him cuz they know Pete has final say in everything.

        • mishima says:

          Many reasons to stay (team, city, culture, etc.), but expect him to seek new challenges.

          • Big Mike says:

            It definitely is a gamble if he’s biding his time to become the full blown GM in Seattle because if indeed there is a new ownership group here in the not so distant future, they may want all new people (sycophants?) in place in the FO and on the sidelines.

  43. Simo says:

    Love this piece Rob! Couldn’t agree more with your assessments and opinions of how PC/JS focused on perceived positions of need and weren’t able to pivot to other options once their plan A broke down!

    They weren’t nimble and flexible enough when they needed to be. Collier was clearly a desperation pick since they just “had” to get a pass rusher following the Clark trade. Trading up for Barton seems downright ridiculous now after watching his rookie season, while the Blair situation is also extremely puzzling. No doubt Adams is a top player, but to punt on Blair already (or delegate him to backup and special teams duty only) seems like a whiff.

    I just wonder if similar things happen to other top teams? No question drafting players outside of the top 10 or so is still a crapshoot, so I have to believe other teams encounter similar situations where high picks don’t meet expectations and are replaced rather quickly. Teams are always searching for the right players in the right positions and it can take multiple tries to find the right mix! It’s unfortunate that this is happening to our team, but I just don’t think they are unique.

  44. Spencer says:

    I forgot that quote about them saying that Blair has the profile of a potential corner. The Nickel corner needs to be able to step up and deliver a hit, potentially in run defense off of the edge. Blair has the quicks to maybe make it work. I’d be curious to see if he can play there.

  45. Russ says:

    I appreciate your analysis on their draft issues here Rob. It has bugged me that during the draft, PC/JS seem content to trade down in the first to try and gain draft leverage, but then also come out and say, “we felt the need to get our guy”. The “getting the guy” philosophy seems to be more about getting their contingency plan at this point.

    One thing I do think with this Adams trade though is that they might be able to maximize what they get out of both Blair, Amadi, and whoever plays as their 3rd LB this year.

    Mychal Kendricks played 61% of the 2020 snaps in only 14 games last year. So it stands to think he would have been close to 70% if he wasn’t injured. He was used as a swiss army knife of sorts, with 70 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 INT, and 1 FF. Just like you talked about Clowney as a supercharged Michael Bennett, I think they’re bringing in Adams as a supercharged Mychal Kendricks of sorts.

    By having a guy that you can play back as SS, up at the line as a 3rd LB, or use as a big nickel, you can play the other guys based on matchup.

    Have a classic slot WR that you need to defend? Put out Amadi and have Adams stay as SS.

    Have a bigger guy who needs a little physicality at the line of scrimage? bring down Adams and put Blair at SS.

    Need a little bit more size to hold up against running teams? Put Adams at SS and run a 3 LB set with Brooks/Irvin/etc. as the 3rd LB.

    I’m not going to pretend that this does anything for our DL at this point, but you bring in a guy like Adams to be a guy who can do it all. If he really can, it simplifies the assignments for those young guys and allows them to be put in their best situations to succeed.

  46. Leonardo says:

    Jim Nagy tweeted that he thinks we will see Blair on the field next year at FS, with Diggs shifted over to nickel. I didn’t watch Diggs in Detroit but apparently he played nickel for three years at a good level, though he was better at safety.

    What do you think of moving Diggs to include Blair, Rob? I’m skeptical unless they really believe in Blair, having a FS that Pete trusts is crucial and unlocks so many other things we want to do. I’m pumped to see more Cover 1 this year with Diggs patrolling deep, Adams as an enforcer in the middle, and more man coverage from our corners (Flowers was quietly good in man last year while awful in zone).

    • Rob Staton says:

      I can’t see it all. Diggs was fantastic at FS and moving him makes no sense.

      • Big Mike says:

        Can’t see it either. Diggs was a true difference maker at FS. Much better chance they try to make Blair a nickel imo.

        • mishima says:

          I hope he can be a serviceable backup at FS and SS.

        • Logan Lynch says:

          I think it will be matchup based. Adams, Blair, and Diggs are all versatile. Play Diggs and Adams in base. Bring Blair in for Nickel and rotate their positions based on matchup. Big TE like Kittle? Put Adams on him and have Blair and Diggs deep. Smaller slot guy? Put Diggs on him and have Blair and Adams deep.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I’ve seen a lot of people say Adams can match up with Kittle.

            I don’t see that happening at all. They’re going to use Adams like Kam. And Adams isn’t a great match against Kittle 1v1. It’s not his game for me.

            • Logan Lynch says:

              Fair enough. Not many can match up with Kittle. I think Adams is the closest thing SEA has. Unless they put Wright on him like they used to do with Gronk. We all know how that turned out.

    • Ukhawk says:

      I agree we will see all three safeties on nickel packages – no doubt

  47. Hoggs41 says:

    This is a very fun watch. Jamal Adams with Baldinger and Jaworski.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StsMi-rms4M&feature=emb_err_woyt

  48. Jordan says:

    https://youtu.be/_AVsUBG3YDM

    Not sure if someone posted this but Samuel R Gold does a excellent breakdown on Adams. Rob, I think your initial take on Simmons was what the Hawks were actually interested in. Adams may not be as athletic as Simmons but he played all over the field like Simmons was projected too; and can likely fulfill that role for the Hawks. Adams may be replacing M. Kendricks as much as Blair this year. I can see us doing 3 S sets (with Adams as the third LB) depending on our matchups this year.

  49. Logan Lynch says:

    FYI if you didn’t know, John Schneider was on Peter King’s podcast that released today. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still fun to listen to. According to him, the trade talk for Adams didn’t start to get serious until about 2 months ago. He said in terms of the compensation, they viewed it as trying to move up from #27 (their pick in 2020) to #6 (where Adams was drafted) in a draft and what that would take. JS also talked about the need to get faster on D and talked mentioned Adams, Diggs, Blair, Amadi helping with that on the back end specifically.

    With camp not really ramping up for a few weeks, I wonder if there will be media availability Zoom calls before then?

    • mishima says:

      He should pretend Clowney is the #1 pick and go get him.

      • Logan Lynch says:

        They tried and offered him a fair deal based on the rumors and his lukewarm market. Clowney won’t accept less than what he thinks he’s worth. That’s not Schneider’s fault. At this point, it makes sense for Clowney to wait through camp and see if someone gets hurt and his market goes up.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would imagine so.

      But I doubt we’ll learn anything. Carroll hasn’t been asked a challenging question in 10 years. Only really Softy who pushes.

    • BobbyK says:

      Part of the allure of an NFL pick like Adams at No. 6 overall is that he will be relatively cheap for 4-years and then a team can pick-up his option. You get the guy 5-years for sure if he’s good.

      By getting Adams, while the Seahawks are getting a great player, they are also getting a guy who has already played 3 full years at making a reasonable salary that will not benefit them. This is the last year he’s cheap (supposedly having cost effective players is important to this regime). Then – good things cost money. If they had to dump Frank Clark for salary reasons to get cost effective replacements because of the salary cap, it doesn’t make sense to send picks for the opposite reason. The only different is 1-year of team control before he is going to make big bucks, yet Clark and being a pass rushing DE is valued more in the NFL than a strong safety. It really doesn’t add up.

    • Bradhawk says:

      +1

    • Bradhawk says:

      Watch out for Collier that’s the feeling I’m getting from Schneider and The plan has always been to groom Blair to be a knock em out Free Safety.

  50. Gaux Hawks says:

    T2 to KC… doesn’t that help our cap? thought I saw that in the comments section…

  51. Rob, very insightful article on Seahawks draft issues, particularly in 2019. This is discouraging but valid criticism of team draft history.

    I agree team appeared to draft Cody Barton to replace KJ and now drafted Brooks, which appears to be duplicate attempt to replace KJ Wright.

    However in 2020 Seahawks knew they wouldn’t have SS LB Kendricks because of knee injury so are now looking at replacing two LBers long term when in 2019 really only seeking to replace KJ. Yeah, they have Bruce Irvin this year to play SS LB but you could also make argument Seahawks are now considering Barton at SS and Books at WS for future.

    One feedback I have heard about Blair is that team is now realizing that he is not really a true Box SS due to being light weight, despite being a big bitter. Now the team is realizing he better fits as a future FS but is not yet ready to take over for Diggs. Your criticism of draft misses still is valid however as they spent high draft pick on a SS who isn’t working out as SS and is being replaced by Adams.

    History besides drafting Reed at DT and Clark at DE are pretty bleak, and of course they let Clark go.

    Giving up a first round for Sheldon Richardson and then not deeming him worthy to resign is damning

    Giving up draft capital for Clowney and unable to sign him…..

    Giving up significant draft capital for Adams…….unable to resign him?

  52. Rob Staton says:

    Colin Cowherd makes some fair points here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=470lGvukWMc

    People might not want to hear it but there are some good, well reasoned points nonetheless.

  53. dcd2 says:

    First big name in college football has opted out of the season. Caleb Farley – VaTech potential 1st rounder. Oh boy…

    https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1288565880985714693

    • dcd2 says:

      And now Damien Williams (RB-KC) is opting out as well.

      CEH is going to be ROY.

    • Volume12 says:

      Not sure about CFB this year. If it doesn’t happen, this years draft will be more traits based & projection than ever before.

      The NFL seems all in even if it’s a 10 game season or whatever.

      • dcd2 says:

        Yep. College football is about a 50/50 proposition IMO, and that’s probably generous.

        If they have to push towards a spring season/late start, I could see a lot of the top players choosing not to play.

        If the season doesn’t happen, the 2021 draft will be Rob’s biggest challenge yet.

  54. Volume12 says:

    DC, sorry man. Was at work. He passed away June 7th. 😢

  55. Hoggs41 says:

    FWIW, the Jets last year were number one in yards per carry in run defense at 3.3. Adam’s played a big part in that. Last year we were near the bottom at 4.9 ypc.

  56. HOUSE says:

    Don’t kill me, but I just saw on Bleacher Report under the title “1 Trade Each NFL Team Should Offer Before the 2020 Season Starts” had SEA trading the 2021 2nd rd pick for Yannick Ngakoue. If that would be enough to get him and we could possibly re-sign him in the $16-18M/yr range, screw it and just do it.

    Thoughts?

    • Bradhawk says:

      We drafted 2 Leo’s & signed 2 veterans who can play Leo. Clowney is not a true Leo even though he can play it. Clowney or the guy from the Vikings will work just fine but really Clowney is the perfect fit after trading for Adams we pretty much have to sign Clowney now. It was Clowney or bust before Adams now it’s even more urgent to get him

    • Scot04 says:

      I definitely prefer Clowney over Ngakoue even if both were Free-agents with no compensation needed.

      • HOUSE says:

        My thoughts of giving Ngakoue the edge over Clowney would be age/durability. YN also might be enticed by playing for a winner.

        I am actually in the belief that Taylor is going to have a decent year as a rookie. I think Mayowa could do well also. I would like to think Green and Collier have good years as well, but a miracle probably ain’t happening. Lol

  57. Today JS made an interesting point, he said that had he traded up to get Adams on draft day that is what he would ahve had to give up. And this is true, to trade up from say 27 to 6, you are giving up your first that year and would have to give up another 1st the next year. Yet at draft time Adams is still unproven. Now we get him for the same trade we would ahve had to have made on draft day and its the heist of the century.

    Am I missing something other than the few years of rookie contract we lose out on? JS explanation makes me a lot more comfortable with the trade when I think about it.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      Proven NFLers vs UnProven rookies.

      A fair criticism for Seattle as of late is that they have not developed enough players out of their more recent drafts. The first few years were (not saying this lightly) “Legendary”. Multiple potential HoFers within a 2-3 year draft time period.

      If you are not able to develop young talent (see overall Seattle as of late), then use the draft capitol and get a proven player. Especially with the next 2 CFB seasons being full of uncertainty as to if they will play and how many top tier players will participate. Crap shoot doesn’t even begin to express the 2021 and 2022 draft cycles after maybe the top 5 guys each class.

    • Denver Hawker says:

      The contract length and money matters here though. We get one cheap year with Adams, then near top dollar thereafter. They still need to come to terms on a contract also, which is a risk. They also gave up a quality player who was probably over performing his contract as it was.

      Trading on draft day is 4-5 years of cheap starting talent- that’s a big difference.

      • Jordan says:

        At the same time that great prospect could end up a bust or could have a career derailed by injury… It is risky but so too is betting everything on an unproven prospect.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Well there’s a lot more to consider there too…

      1. If you trade up in the draft you’re only giving up one ‘unknown’ future pick. The Seahawks are giving up two. So while everyone assumes they’ll at least pick in the 20’s for the next two years, the fact is we just don’t know.

      2. Adams is going to cost a LOT of money very shortly.

      3. When’s the last time someone traded two first round picks to move up for a… strong safety?

      4. They only drafted a player to play SS a year ago so they also sunk another top 50 pick into a non premium position.

  58. Denver Hawker says:

    OTC has $17MM in cap space available, which is maybe $10MM to spend. They could free more up with additional cuts, but safe to assume the big roster savings are done for now except for maybe Dunbar.

    That doesn’t appear to be enough to sign Clowney unless they backload a multiyear deal, which would have happened by now if it were going to happen.

    I’m ruling out Griffen as well at that price as he’d eat nearly all of it and last report says Vikings or Packers are likeliest landing spots.

    So $10MM for Snacks and Gordon perhaps? Is there anyone else out there that can improve this roster at this point with the money available?

    I’m afraid we’ll be rolling along with what we have now hoping for strong improvements in the young DL and reassembled Oline can gel quickly.

  59. LLLOGOSSS says:

    Good article.

    As we sit here today, all we can do is ask whether the plan has been a success or not, and wonder why either way. It’s reasonable to say that things are hard to comprehend right now; the direction and the execution seem perplexing.

    The good news is this time next year we will have the luxury to consider everything with better information: who is LJ Collier? Is he one of Rob Staton’s favorite players from the 2019 draft, or the guy who could barely get on the field? How will they involve Blair, and can he force his way on the field? They mentioned they were starting him at SS, but at several points last year they seemed to view him as a FS. Diggs is the clear favorite, but not as much as Adams, obviously. If the best players play, he’ll get an opportunity. Brooks seems like a BPA situation to me, and both he and Barton will have opportunities to become important Seahawks as time goes on.

    One thing you can’t say is that we aren’t fielding a competitive roster. These guys should all be pushing the veterans; I’m not going to write them off after their rookie seasons. We’re one Jadeveon Clowney away from having a very deep defense (Dunbar notwithstanding).

    Perhaps the most sensible way to understand it is the Seahawks are giving themselves options by bringing in their guys — players they believe in — and will let competition decide the direction of the team. That’s what built the LOB, after all, most of the important players weren’t anointed (only Earl and Okung come to mind).

    It’s the opposite of a sure thing based on the evidence we have, but so many of the clues we don’t possess. We really won’t know until we see it.

    If it founders we’ll stop trying to figure it out, it will be obvious they’ve failed. 2020 will be a big year.

  60. Mac says:

    Just imagine how better our team would look if we had taken AJ Brown where we took Blair and maxx Crosby where we took Barton. Two physical outside wideouts with Lockett.

  61. Brazilian Hawk says:

    Yeah, the trade for Jamal Adams doesn’t have anything to do with Marquise Blair. The more I look into Jamal Adams tape, the more I see a player that is beyond Kam Chancellor. He can be a DPOY-level player. He is just dominant wherever he lines up and he’s the best solution NFL has to match up against George Kittle. If we factor in our biggest competitor for him was the 49ers, that is too much of a power shift, there was no choice to be made but to go all in this one.

    Time to reach inside the pocket and wrap up Clowney.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Of course it has to do with Marquise Blair.

      They literally drafted him a year ago to do all of the things that they’re going to ask Adams to do.

      I appreciate some fans just want to be excited about Adams or prefer to be invested in the acquisition.

      But you can’t argue that this doesn’t call into question the Blair pick or represent an opportunity to critique their 2019 draft plan.

      • millhouse-serbia says:

        “They literally drafted him a year ago to do all of the things that they’re going to ask Adams to do.”

        While I completely agree with this, I think they changed their plan for Blair in the mean time (even before they traded for Adams).

        I think it has a lot with his ability to learn a game (By Pete its much harder to play SS than FS in his scheme). Mabe its hard to say this, but I have feeling they misjudged his intelligence.

        Blair will compete with Diggs for playing time at FS.

        And we had conversation yesterday about Diggs. I said he barely played free safety at Lions.

        I knew I saw somewhere that he said he doesn’t play safety for long time and I found a tweet from December 4th 2019 where he said just two years ago he made the move to safety position…

        And I found that in 2018 (the only season before seahawks he played safety almost all the the time) he played 50% snaps as FS and 50% as box/slot.

        And I cant find it but I am sure I read somewhere that he said he will be only better because this was his first year as a pure free safety.

        But it isn’t that much important…he was more than good last year, and for sure he is favorite to win that job for this year…

        But if Adams vs Blair for SS is 99-1%, Diggs vs Blair for FS is maybe 65-35%.(and that’s for this year)..And DIggs has only two more years on his contract and will be 29 after that…

        Just want to say that Blair pick would be totally wasted if he can play only SS…but at least I, still have hope he can be more than good player for us, but defenetly it will be at FS (if it ever happen)…

        • Davido says:

          This might be difficult to answer given how Pete and John work together. But let’s say Blair is a very good talent and reaches what was expected of him when he was drafted.
          Whos fault is it if he doesn’t see the field?
          John Schneider for acquiring too many safeties?
          Pete for not being creative enough with his scheme to adjust to having 3 good safeties?

          From what I think I know about how the Seahawks operate I think it is on Pete now. He has to deliver. He probably asked for all three Diggs, Blair and Adams. Now he has to show how he can make use of them.

        • Rob Staton says:

          If you draft someone to do a role, which they did, then you realise he can’t do it and then need to ‘find’ a different role for him, that should be critiqued.

          And if he has struggled mentally with picking up the strong safety role, I’m struggling to think of a role he will be able to learn.

          • millhouse-serbia says:

            If you draft someone to do a role, which they did, then you realise he can’t do it and then need to ‘find’ a different role for him, that should be critiqued.

            And if he has struggled mentally with picking up the strong safety role, I’m struggling to think of a role he will be able to learn.

            Unfortunatly, completely agree with both takes.

  62. Adog says:

    I wonder if Russel Wilson might opt out of playing this year. New baby, plenty of money, one ring, it seems possible that he might see opting out as logical.

  63. millhouse-serbia says:

    1. If you trade up in the draft you’re only giving up one ‘unknown’ future pick. The Seahawks are giving up two. So while everyone assumes they’ll at least pick in the 20’s for the next two years, the fact is we just don’t know

    Great point. This is what I am thinking all the time and what bothers me so much…If I were Schneider I would put a clause that if 2021 pick is top 15 then 2022 isn’t 1st but 2nd round pick.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m surprised there wasn’t a conditional nature to the deal. Because let’s be right… they just did a deal that everyone HAMMERED Houston for a year ago.

      Now Adams has 100% negotiating leverage because they don’t have a long term deal in place upon completion. The Seahawks CANNOT let him walk after spending this much. So he can ask for $20m and grab his junk and say pony up.

      At least a conditional nature to this might’ve protected Seattle. Alas, no. So get ready for the first $20m a year strong safety 😬

      • cha says:

        That was my first reaction to this deal. How could the Seahawks not condition an extension after witnessing Tunsil get 30% more than the highest paid LT in the NFL. THIRTY PERCENT MORE.

        • mishima says:

          Best case scenario: 2 years, then a tag and trade.

          • Simo says:

            If it comes to this they could presumably recover a decent chunk of the draft capital they just gave up for Adams, while having him on the team for two seasons at very reasonable cap hits. He would still be squarely in his prime at 26 years old and possibly even better than he already is now, which should make him highly desirable.

            Personally I hope they find a way to extend him at a fair (top of the market still) price. He just seems like the type of BAMF the defense needs!

  64. GerryG says:

    I cant believe camp is now underway, and the teams DT depth is a turnstile (facepalm)

    • Rob Staton says:

      I guess the answer to the question of is something else imminent to help improve the D-line…

      … was no. Nothing is imminent.

    • mishima says:

      Rest assured: Bryan Mone and Demarcus Christmas.

    • cha says:

      This makes no sense. How do you load up on OL and ignore the interior DL?

      We know RW can scramble and improvise and make do with a lesser OL. But to watch your DL be a bottom 5 unit and then let guys walk away…? I still can’t wrap my head around it.

  65. Volume12 says:

    Dylan Moses is the best LB in this class. Might even put Baron Browning and Nick Bolton behind him. I really like Micah Parsons, but his cover skills just aren’t there and there’s something I can’t put my finger on yet about him.

  66. GoHawksDani says:

    Cool little video with Adams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCeQFVtog7w
    He seems pretty smart, and love his perfectionist attitude. It’ll be interesting to see him lining up vs TEs and hopefully he’ll excell vs the rungame and they’ll let him blitz

    • Volume12 says:

      This is a perfect example of how his strengths align w/ the strengths of the other 3 teams in the division.

      Can match the 9ers & Kittle’s physicality
      ‘Zona loves to try and break you down by using space. Adam’s does that at a high level
      Rams love to use pre-snap motion and switch between their personnel groupings. Adams has the football IQ and traits to match

      Put him in the box and fabricate some pressure.

      • Rob Staton says:

        And if the QB has all day in the pocket it won’t make a jot of difference.

        • Volume12 says:

          Certainly can’t argue that they don’t need a couple more pieces along that D-line. At the same time, as weird as it sounds, I also don’t think their pass rush will be as bad as last years. Which admittedly, isn’t saying much.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I’m very worried about it. There were a few games last year where even Carroll said they had pressure because of Clowney. It was a one man show and even he acknowledged it (eg Philly in the playoffs).

            Losing him with Benson Mayowa and hoping a rookie and Bruce Irvin complimenting will be even as good as what they had last year, is unrealistic IMO.

            And then you add in the fact they haven’t even replaced Woods or Jefferson. It’s a staggering situation.

            • GoHawksDani says:

              I just re-watched week 10 game vs the 49ers. Obviously the very best game of Clowney, but we really need him. BUT also saw flashes from Reed. Sometimes if Clowney wouldn’t make the pressure Reed would’ve only 1-2 sec later.
              This team needs a guy who can deliver that kind of pressure and battle double teams. But Reed will be better than last year, that is for sure. Not a 10+ sack guy, but he’ll have between 5 and 8 sacks.
              Poona Ford also flashed some. He’s not a goalline guy, but he can penetrate well and get some sacks and TFLs. I think he’ll also have like 3 sacks and some TFLs.
              I fear that while Green will be a solid run defender outside, he can seal the edge, but he’s not a natural rusher. I think he’ll be good vs the run, but only get 2-4 sacks.
              I really hope Taylor will be a massive steal and a miracle. I hope Mayowa won’t start after like game 4-5. If we can get pressure from that side, and have a guy who can get like 7 sacks while in rotation other guys (combined) 8-10 sack and PC+KN will switch their mindset a bit and blitz more (with Adams, Flowers, Brooks, BWagz) we’ll be OK with the pressures. Probably not top10, but not bottom 10 either.

              My BIGGEST concern now is nCB. Throughout the season nickel was an issue. And vs the niners Taylor singlehandedly almost cost us the game. The holding/DPI when Griffin had an INT, couple of big plays given up, couple other penalties.
              You cannot play base vs 49ers, KC, Saints, etc. Especially without a top3 DL. Your LBs won’t cover WRs for a long time. And if you play with a weak nickel CB that’s also a problem.
              I just can’t wrap my head around this draft. Very few good outside corner with the desired measures, but there were some solid nickels slipping really far.
              I fear that other teams will kill us because:
              1, Flowers is not fluid or fast
              2, We don’t really have a good/proven nickel CB
              3, Hawks don’t like to switch corners based on the opponent

              What would I do vs the Hawks?
              Play hurry up offense without substitution, especially when they’re in base.
              Put you’re fastest guy across Flowers, put your best WR across the LB/nickel, and just pass to these two guys.
              Safety can choose where to help but with 2 big weak spot it’s a no win situation.

    • Volume12 says:

      This is a great video btw Dani & very informative, but it’s fascinating to listen to an LSU alum start to see at the next level what DB guru Nick Saban drills into his guys at the collegiate level.

  67. mishima says:

    Where I’m at:

    If you can’t fix the pass rush with #21, #29, #27, #48, 2 future first round picks and $110 million in cap space over 2 years, you should probably find another job.

    Said it.

    • mishima says:

      Stupid take and way too negative. Apologies.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Your being to hard on yourself. Maybe the Seahawks should realize that JS and PC have been subpar in their drafting and player deals for at least the last 5 years. I’m not saying it is all bad, drafting Metcalf and paying for Browner were good moves. But overall, the drafting has been bad and they have painted themselves into corners with their payments to veterans that often don’t perform or are only with the Seahawks for a year or two.

      It may be best to admit that PC is currently a better coach than a draft picker. And don’t bother bringing up the run to the Superbowl. As they say in the financial markets, past performance does not guarantee future performance.

      Having said all that, I’m real interested in the performance of the linebacker and two defensive ends he picked this year.

  68. dcd2 says:

    Could they try Blair at CB? We know they’ve been converting safeties to CB’s for years.

    They traded for Dunbar to be the 3rd CB, so we wanted to have at least 3. It’s looking like he’s out now.

    Next year Griffen is a FA, and Rob has suggested that we’ll likely let him test the market. Dunbar is Highly unlikely to be here, and we could be in a spot where we only have Flowers at corner next year.

    We haven’t drafted a CB apart from Griffen in 5 years and haven’t spent more than a 5th rounder on CB ever (aside from Griffen).

    Could Blair have enough of a profile to make the move?

    • dcd2 says:

      Teach him the kick-step, shorten the positional learning curve and create a guy that can back up/spell every position (in a pinch) with eyes on him taking Griffen’s spot next year, if he leaves?

      Ugo is too short to be anything but safety or nickel.

      Here are our current DB’s past the starters:
      Gavin Heslop
      Ryan Neal
      Debione Renfro
      Kamah Siverand
      Linden Stevens
      Neiko Thorpe

      If you’re like me, Thorpe is the only name you even recognize. He’s 30 and on a one year deal. The rest of those guys are 2nd year or rookie UDFA.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They could try him there.

      But it’s an incredible transition to make and would be a fairly unprecedented move.

      • dcd2 says:

        Flowers did make the conversion, so maybe they think they can do it again.

        If he doesn’t make the switch and we assume that Dunbar is not a player we can count on, don’t we need another CB then?

        Of course I’ve been saying the same thing about DT since before the draft and here we are.

        It just seems like a team that has tried to convert multiple safeties to CB, runs zone almost 70% of the time, likely lost their FA corner to legal issues, and has a talented 2nd rounder without a path to starting might try it.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Flowers also had the ideal frame for a Seahawks corner… and two years into his career they tried to replace him.

          • dcd2 says:

            Fair. We are also a Griffen injury or a year away from Flowers potentially being our only corner.

            I’m wondering if Blair is ‘close enough’ to what they look for to try to mold him. Everyone seems to be talking about moving Blair to nickel, or having Diggs play nickel with Blair at FS. Neither of those seem like great options.

            Considering we had Dunbar just go on the exempt list and our response was to trade for a SS, I can see them giving it a shot. We’re now stuck with having Corner as one of our positions of least depth. We also have a 6’1, DB with a year in the system, who has shown he’s struggling with the FS position and no clear path to get on the field.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      Didn’t Pete say that Blair would be competing with Amadi for the Nickel spot? Transition on the way already maybe. It could be the same setup Nagy mentioned with Diggs and Blair switched. If he kills it in that role would that remove the bust label some are rushing to put on him? How important was Thurmond to the SB season? Or without him in the SB loss? Can say the same about Coleman too

  69. Hoggs41 says:

    People continue to think that Adams is going to give us 5+ sacks this year because of his 6.5 last year. I dont think they realize that he was playing for a blitz happy coach in Gregg Williams. Now I would love to see 5+ sacks but I just dont see it happening under Pete and Ken.

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      Give him a 30% reduction for scheme and lets say he gets 4. He’s STILL the team sack leader….

      Whether that is more an indictment on the state of the team, or shows how bad ass of an athlete he is I don’t know…

      • dcd2 says:

        The former.

        Pretty sure the Lions had two guys with 7 sacks last year and that was the 2nd lowest “leader” on a team. Hawks were last with Green at 4.

        Our other ‘leaders’ on the DL were QJeff (3.5), Clowney (3), Ansah (2.5) & Jackson (2) and they’re all gone.

        The rush will be terrible and 4 may lead the team again.

      • Rob Staton says:

        It merely shows how terrible Seattle’s pass rush is.

      • icb12 says:

        Huh?

        Bradley M had exactly 0.5 sacks in his time in seattle.
        Earl has 2 sacks for his career…. And BOTH of them came Last year with the ravens.
        Kam had 2 sacks in 8 seasons with the seahawks.
        Diggs had 0 sacks with seattle.

        You’re crazy if you think adams is going to get 5 sacks.
        I’d put him down for 1. Maybe. If I’m generous.

        Unless Pete drastically changes the way the defense operates.

  70. Sea Mode says:

    For all of our concerns, let’s take a moment and thank our lucky stars we’ve got Russ…

    #2: Russell Wilson (QB, Seahawks) | Top 100 NFL Players of 2020
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQs7euQJE30

  71. Kingdome1976 says:

    I have to say I think Jamal Adams is exactly what we need.

    • Rob Staton says:

      No, what they exactly need is not the worst DL in the NFL

    • TomLPDX says:

      He’s part of what we need. We still need Cliff and Mike B type players to be back into the top #5 D

    • pdway says:

      Just seeing him in interviews and on social media, etc. – – I think he’s also gonna be fun. Charismatic, some star-power, loud and loaded w swagger. It’s 100% legitimate to be concerned about the lack of talent on the D-Line . . . but, it is also gonna be a good time watching Adams play for us.

  72. GoHawksDani says:

    Just watched Adams’ presser. Can’t help but to be pumped about him. Awesome guy, really smart. I still feel there were bigger needs and the price was a bit high, but totally see now why PCJS wanted him. He’s like a Bwagz for safety (in attitude and seems like a similar personality). If they give him a longer contract I’m ready to buy his jersey

    • Rob Staton says:

      Why? Because of a press conference?

      • GoHawksDani says:

        The way he carried himself during this presser.
        Not what he said but the way he said it. Watched couple of other videos too and the things he said seems to be his true nature.
        No issues (OK, there were some problems with the Jets FO, but other than that)
        No big injury concerns
        A perfectionist (almost all the guys say they wanna get better, but some I don’t believe…Adams I do), a team player, a leader, vocal, already gathering troops (talking with a lot of Hawks player), great connection with Diggs and Bobby.

        Seems like a super low risk and moderate to really high reward.

        Not from the presser, just other videos, but I love that he’s not just an athlete. He’s really good at reading opponents (OTs, TEs, the whole offense). That is great because even if he gets a bit older he can still produce.

        I just really hope Pete and Ken won’t use him as pure box safety (but based on the presser they might let him loose a little. He said something, like “they don’t wanna restrict him”).

        So after digging a bit further I started to like the SS/FS/LB/whatever…but after the presser I now like the person behind that jersey too 🙂

        I think this offseason was a mess, awful job from the FO. The Adams deal was the only OK part of it.
        If they’d have retain Clowney, add another outside rusher, keep Reed, draft a DT, an OT, a WR or RB, get a good nickel CB from somewhere AND add Jamal Adams as a cherry on top I think we all would welcome this deal. So I think the issue is not with the addition of Amads, but everything else unfortunately 🙁

    • JNSeahawks says:

      Agreed. I thought it was a great move from the start, even moreso now.

  73. charlietheunicorn says:

    Russel Wilson
    95-47-1

    Wowza

  74. cha says:

    Remember how when Khalil Mack got traded, everyone was wowing about the deal? 2 first round picks? Whoa.

    Then that first game as a Bear. He had a pick 6, a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble and recovery. Chris Collinsworth losing his mind on air. “I never thought I’d say a guy would be worth 2 first round picks, but this guy is!”

    That’s the kind of expectation Seahawks fans should rightly have for Adams.

    Only problem is he won’t be blitzing, maybe not at all. So there’s about 50% of his game changing, field tilting ability vanished into thin air. So he’s going to have to force fumbles and be a ball hawking INT machine to begin to get a return on investment.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wrote a couple of articles arguing in favour of Seattle getting in on the Khalil Mack deal.

      Imagine him playing across from Frank Clark in 2018. Or across from Clowney in 2019.

      Now think about the pass rush as it stands…

  75. Frank says:

    I’m usually not in favor of these high cost deals, but there are a few reasons I think this wasn’t a bad choice for the Hawks. The fact the Hawks have had a high first round pick in almost a decade, and the overall team talent has suffered because of it. Just for argument sake, you can look at this like trading 2 picks 27th or later for a top ten pick that’s a sure fire pro bowl player. I’d hardly consider that getting fleeced. He also fits the identity the team is trying to reestablish, and while the Hawks defense has been notoriously predictable this is a puzzle piece that opens the playbook to more exotic and confusing looks. More and more, in the NBA, and NFL teams have been transferring to positionless looks, with players that can prosper in numerous roles. Yeah, I’d have rather not traded Clark, I’d rather LJ and Penny hadn’t gotten injured, Wilson wasn’t so highly overpaid, and they’d been able to keep Thomas, Sherman, Bennet, Beastmode, but in the effort to win forever a youth movement was needed and given hitting on a few picks from the last couple drafts, this could still be a Super Bowl winning team. Hopefully Blair moves into being the nickel corner, and our pass rushers hit the ground running. We need some of our homegrown talent to develop, because no dynasty is made in free agency.

  76. Hawkcrazy says:

    Rob you indicated that if you traded 2 firsts before the draft you would at least know the position of one of those first round choices. In this case say 27. If you follow the standard assumption that next years picks get discounted by a round by delaying after the draft does the trade at 2021 first and third and 2022 first effectively discounted by a round become a 2nd, fourth, and second? Does the delay where you effectively take more risk as to the next seasons standings and where you pick effectively get offset by the discount into the future. Just a thought. Overall I think this was an expensive trade and notwithstanding anything else being a Hawks fan just hopes it turns out.

  77. RWIII says:

    There is some talk about Blair at cornerback back. If the Seahawks do use Blair. Here is what I think is more likely. The Hawks will have Blair at strong safety (in passing downs) Diggs will be the free safety and Adam’s will cover either the slot receiver or tight end. There will be times when Blair will have to cover slot receiver/tight-end. I also see Adam’s blitzing which give Blair other responsibilities. I don’t see Blair as a free safety (right now). Except in case of (God forbide) injury.

    Dave Wyman said that Adam’s will teach Blair a TON of information. What to look for depending on the formation. Another strength of Blair is that Blair is very good in the run game. He is a playmaker. But he does bite on the play action. I think Adams will teach Blair what to look for so he won’t always bite on play action. No doubt having Adams will benefit Blair greatly. It will be like having a coach on the field. Speaking of Wyman/Paul Moyer they both expect Adam’s to make plays all over the field. Moyer looks for good things from Blair this year.