Will the Seahawks concentrate on upgrading their interior line?

March 18th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Ryan Kelly could be an option for the Seahawks at #26

Seattle’s starting tackles might be on the roster already. Garry Gilliam could be switching to the blindside and J’Marcus Webb could be starting on the right.

With an emphasis seemingly on greater competition this year — nothing is set in stone. It’s at least possible, however, that these two will emerge as the projected starters.

Hidden within a piece of classic football rhetoric (you win games in the trenches) is a feeling that you need a great left tackle to win. The reality might be a little bit different. According to Football Outsiders, these were the top ten teams for pass protection in 2015:

1 St Louis/Los Angeles
2 Baltimore
3 New York Jets
4 Oakland
5 Arizona
6 New York Giants
7 New Orleans
8 Pittsburgh
9 Atlanta
10 Washington

Of that group, one team benched their left tackle during the season (Baltimore), the Giants started a rookie, Pittsburgh started Alejandro Villanueva and the Jets had a player (D’Brickashaw Ferguson) that has been touted as a cap casualty for a few weeks.

Only Washington fielded an elite tackle in Trent Williams.

In the NFL’s top 100 list for 2015, only four offensive tackles were listed. Most teams in the league are not starting a great NFL left tackle.

The four offensive tackles starting in Super Bowl 50 were Michael Oher, Mike Remmers, Ryan Harris and Michael Schofield.

It’s an overrated thought that a brilliant left tackle is vital for a successful O-line. Really it’s about creating a chemistry. Knowing what you want to do and finding players that can execute.

In fairness the Seahawks have never hidden what they want to do. Their identity is to run the ball as a priority — so they generally target good run blockers. That doesn’t mean they can’t do a better job consistently pass blocking. And it’s consistency they lacked — nothing more serious than that.

This Tweet shows how productive Seattle’s O-line was in the second half of the 2015 season:

The key is to produce that level of performance over 16 games, not eight. Having big name or ageing veterans is not vital to achieve that. Better depth and competition — plus an injection of young talent — could be the key to finding the right blend.

In 2015 the Seahawks didn’t do a good enough job stocking the shelves. They had automatic, unchallenged starters at new positions and too many players struggled early — especially at the two guard spots and center.

While many focus on what the Seahawks need to do to replace Russell Okung, the more pertinent question might be — how do they upgrade the interior line?

If they believe they can get by with Gilliam and Webb at tackle (much like the Panthers succeeded with Oher and Remmers) — improving at center and guard could be the focus.

It was often the interior that created issues for Seattle. Certainly against the Rams and Panthers they had trouble inside.

Teams want to contain Russell Wilson by having their edge rushers sit. If the pocket collapses, Wilson will try to scramble and it’s an easy sack for the DE just anticipating the move. If they can protect inside to force teams to attack the edge — it not only keeps the pocket clean but it gives Wilson a better chance to improvise because the edge rushers are committed.

Cris Collinsworth raised an interesting point this week in a mock draft. He had the Seahawks taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly:

The more football I watch, the more I’m convinced that center is a very underrated position. The other thing I’ve noticed is that edge rushers are almost entirely dependent on the interior rushers getting a push that keeps the QB from stepping up in the pocket.

So many teams put a premium on the center’s ability to get to the second level that they sign smaller centers that can move. I would put the premium on strength and size that could hold the point and allow my quarterback to step up. The Seahawks need help along that offensive line, and losing Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham trade last offseason hurt, but combining a talented young center like Kelly with Russell Wilson would give the Seahawks a communication tandem that would last a decade.

There are two thoughts here…

1. Collinsworth acknowledges the importance of interior protection and how it impacts the edge rush.

2. Everything the Seahawks do on offense from here on in will be designed to build long term relationships with Russell Wilson.

Make no mistake, Wilson is the heart of Seattle’s offense now. Drafting Tyler Lockett gives him a target he can grow with for multiple seasons during his peak years. The decision to trade for Jimmy Graham was inspired by a desire to aid Wilson. Any future moves on the O-line will also likely be with Wilson in mind.

Maybe there’s a type of O-liner the Seahawks think Wilson needs? It’s worth considering. Maybe that wasn’t obvious when they drafted him? Perhaps that’s why they’ve allowed the entire starting O-line from the Super Bowl to depart?

Wilson is, after all, a very difficult quarterback to block for because of his improvising quality. Extreme athleticism on the line might be increasingly important — along with mobility and the ability to sustain a block.

They’ve maybe decided he needs greater interior protection too. He has the escapability to see the edge rusher and avoid taking a sack. It’s not quite as easy when the interior O-line collapses.

Building a relationship at center for the long term might also be seen as a priority — as Collinsworth suggests. Whether they make that move in round one remains to be seen — there will be options later on.

They might draft a highly athletic tackle who can move inside and offer competition at a couple of spots. It could mean drafting a pure guard (something they’ve tended not to do — but might be more open to it for the right guy). It could mean a new center.

Athleticism, grit, toughness, physicality and run blocking are likely to be the things to look for. Spending two early picks on the O-line appears inevitable at this stage. Let’s look at some of the players potentially on Seattle’s radar if they try to upgrade their interior line…

Ryan Kelly (C, Alabama)
A powerful, physical player who loves to battle and scrap. He’s ranked in the top eight for SLA and is in the 80th percentile for NFL linemen in terms of size and athleticism. He size in the lower body, plays quite top-heavy and could be jolted back without a firmer base at the next level. He sometimes gets stuck hand-fighting at the line. Some see him as a top-25 talent — but there’s a pretty good chance he’s there at #26. They’d have to take him in round one due to his toughness and athleticism. He won’t last too long.

Germain Ifedi (T, Texas A&M)
An absolute physical freak of nature with better tape than people recognise. He has ideal length, size and mobility. He’s in the 98th percentile for NFL linemen and he’s the top SLA O-liner in the class. Mock Draftable says his nearest physical comparison in the NFL is Kelechi Osemele. He could slot in at left guard and provide a similar impact for a fraction of the cost. This is what he’s capable of. He’s capable of being a future left or right tackle — but could really excel at left guard.

Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
A terrific football player who’s battled cancer and pushed himself towards a NFL career. He’s a fantastic blocker off the edge but could be a beast inside. He too has ideal size, length and mobility. He’s much older than Ifedi and injury means he’s been unable to test at the combine or the Auburn pro-day. There’s a medical question mark here but if Ifedi’s off the board he’s the best tackle-or-guard option. He’d be a top-25 pick with a clean bill of health.

Connor McGovern (T, Missouri)
McGovern is far less flashy than Ryan Kelly and would need to transition to center — but he has the ideal frame and base for the role. Unlike Kelly, McGovern has tree trunks for legs and he can squat 690lbs. Nobody is shoving him backwards once he sets 1v1. He’s also a terrific athlete — ranked #4 in SLA and in the 87th percentile among NFL linemen. He appears destined for a similar rise to Mitch Morse — who also played left tackle at Missouri before kicking inside.

Joshua Garnett (G, Stanford)
A local player, Garnett suggested it’d be a ‘dream come true’ to play for the Seahawks during his combine press conference. Garnett is massive and powerful and does a terrific job in the run game. That would interest the Seahawks. What puts him at a disadvantage is he’s one dimensional and a pure guard. Coleman, Ifedi and McGovern can play 2-3 spots and that appears to be important as the Seahawks work out this line. There are reportedly some concerns about Garnett’s conditioning and he’s only 16th in SLA, in the 67th percentile for NFL linemen.

Christian Westerman (G, Arizona State)
Westerman is really fun to watch. He didn’t blow up the combine athletically as expected but he’s a gritty battler who moves around freely and gets to the second level. He’s a candidate to play either guard spot or center. He’s in the 76th percentile athletically and is a rising prospect. Some have compared his size, frame and athleticism to that of Alex Mack. He could be a good option at #56.

Cody Whitehair (T, Kansas State)
He played tackle in college and had a lot of success. Unfortunately, he’s a T-Rex with 32.5 inch arms at 6-4 and 301lbs. That means he almost has to play guard or center at the next level. His balance, physicality and natural technique has had people suggesting he could be another Zack Martin. Although he plays guard for Dallas — Martin was Notre Dame’s left tackle but moved inside due to short arms. Whitehair will provide someone with a solid option at guard or center in the #25-40 range.

Graham Glasgow (C, Michigan)
Jim Harbaugh, not that he’s biased at all, labelled Glasgow a first round talent before the Shrine Game. He had a tough week when facing off against Sheldon Rankins at the Senior Bowl but otherwise was terrific. He has similar size to Max Unger and plays with great attitude and ferocity. He might be available in round three but he could be one of the big value picks in the draft. He has the flexibility to play guard. Glasgow ranked 10th in SLA in the 76th percentile.

Nick Martin (C, Notre Dame)
There’s so much to like about Martin’s game. He performed modestly at the combine but that isn’t his stage. His tape is arguably better than Ryan Kelly’s — he doesn’t get stuck in traffic blocking for the sake of it at the LOS. He progresses nicely to the second level, knows how to twist a D-liner to create a crease and he has the bloodlines. He’s not going to blow people away physically but he’ll be a tough, solid pick for someone in the top-50. He can also play guard.

Joe Dahl (T, Washington State)
One of the major highlights of the Senior Bowl was watching Dahl and Nick Martin combine as a center/right guard combo. The two appeared to hit it off and developed an immediate chemistry. It’d be great to see that partnership at the next level. That said, neither player is particularly brilliant physically. Dahl is in the 51st NFL percentile, Martin in the 32nd. They might be overmatched against superior athletes. Dahl might be an option to provide competition at right guard, center or right tackle.

There are others we could include. Denver Kirkland and Sebastien Tretola might appeal due to their size, Evan Boehm and Jack Allen are smaller center’s but offer genuine toughness. Le’Raven Clark is raw but has a high ceiling.

It’s a good enough class for the Seahawks to grab a couple of cornerstone players for their line. Guys they can build and grow with. The strength of the class arguably suggests they take a versatile, athletic tackle at #26 (such as Ifedi) and then focus on the interior with their second O-line selection.

If they can stop the pocket collapsing inside and give Russell Wilson time to make a good decision — this line can succeed in pass protection. We know Tom Cable will prepare them adequately to run the ball.

355 Responses to “Will the Seahawks concentrate on upgrading their interior line?”

  1. southpaw360 says:

    After reading this article please get Ifedi and McGovern. Gilliam, Ifedi, McGovern, Glowinski and Webb as the line sounds pretty good to me.

    This blog is my drug. I check over and over and over daily to see new articles and read the comments. I LOVE it! Thanks!!!!

  2. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    A good and timely read. Plenty of OL talent in this draft for a team needing help at that position group.

    More and more, Ifedi emerges as THE guy for SEA in R1. The right talent available at the right time.

    What do you think of Isaac Seumalo?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not seen his tape yet Eric.

      • Volume12 says:

        CHAWK, the scout at Keenan Reynolds pro day was Todd Brunner.

        He’s the northeast/east coast scout.

        Wasn’t sure if you saw my response on the other article.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I did, and thanks for pegging him.

          We’ve been talking about OW’s like Tyler Ervin. Reynolds may be the best OW in the draft.

          • Volume12 says:

            I love Tyler Ervin. Such an explosive, one cut, upfield burst.

            Reynolds I like as a BJ Daniels guy.

            • CHawk Talker Eric says:

              @ChaseGoodbread: Keenan Reynolds 4.56u 40 and a 37″ vert at Navy pro day.

              He’s a far superior athlete than BJ Daniels. But I get what you’re saying in that he can play 3 offensive positions – QB, RB and WR

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Rob, I would recommend going back 2-3 years and watch his tape from then.
        I don’t really fallow much CFB, but when they were talking Huskies and Beavers on the radio… his name constantly came up… as a difference maker and possibly the best center in CFB circa 2013. Then he had an unfortunate injury, derailing his career… and is only recently getting back into form. He was solid pblocking for Mannion…. he has always been a fav of mine for Seattle to pick in round 5 or 6. Tremendous value and upside.

        • Coug1990 says:

          Seumalo was a big time recruit out of high school and was fantastic as a true freshman. His father Joe Seumalo was the defensive line coach for the Beavers at the time (his father is now at ASU). If he can get back to where he was before his injury, he could be worth a long look.

          • manthony says:

            Yeah wasn’t he a 5 star recruit? OSU don’t get a lot of those, that’s why I remember, and remember him being a coaches son, was just recently wondering what happened to him. Couldn’t remember his name though

    • troy says:

      Rob what if the Hawks take Ifedi @ #26 and then Coleman takes a slide and is sitting there @ #56? I don’t think its out of the question and is a realistic scenario to consider.

      • lil'stink says:

        Or take Kelly at #26 and then trade up for Coleman.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I think it’s unlikely Coleman drops that far and if he does — there has to be a medical reason.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        I think some of the OL guys might slide more than we think…. FA showed us that most teams have addressed there needs on OL… and it would be a luxury pick for them. Seattle is probably the one glaring example, if you judge the fan response to the moves or lack of FA moves.

        If you are going to dive into the deep end of the OL pool, might as well go all in this year… since the quality of OL players available might arguably reach into the 4th round. Draft C, G, T in 1st 3 rounds…. cheap OL depth at the worst and a group that can grow together in the next 2-3 years, (borrowing a Trump catch-phrase) becoming a tremendous unit.

        • Ben-Ft. Worth Texas says:

          While I agree, that the line needs to be addressed, I’m not so quite sure that the 1st 3 picks, or even 2 will all be Olinemen. We still need to address the RB, LB, DE, DT, and CB positions. In a perfect world, I’d like to address the OL, DL, RB, and OL positions with the 1st 4 picks.

  3. CC says:

    Yes please concentrate on the O-line! I’d like to see the best OT at 26 unless all of the top 8 are gone. I’d be happy with Glasgow or McGovern in the 3/4 or both if somehow that could happen. But center seems a bigger need than G right now.

    1 – Decker/Ifedi
    3 – Glasgow
    7 – Thuney NCState – or maybe Benenoch

    I appreciate that historically Seattle has done a good job drafting most positions, but they have gotten cute drafting OL. Either by overdrafting guys or missing. I’d like to see if Cable could coach up pretty good OL and make them solid starters in the NFL rather than wanting guys who he can train up from scratch.

    In theory, we have drafted a bunch of guys on D the past few years who should be getting playing time this year – Marsh, Clark, KPL or Pinkins, the oft injured Simon or one of the DBs that we’ve been collecting.

    • Volume12 says:

      Benenoch is likely to be a top 100 pick. 4th round is probably the lowest he goes.

    • H M Abdou says:

      Honestly, I don’t feel very confident in Tharold Simon. He’s too tall, and he plays too tall. Sherm is also tall, but he changes direction and moves like a shorter CB.

  4. Volume12 says:

    Great piece Rob.

    I know I don’t say it enough, but I continue to be blown away by what you do. Impress the hell outta me.

    Anyways, I agree. Grabbing an OT that can play inside as well or vice versa, and an interior O-lineman that can play 2-3 spots are gonna be extremely important for Seattle to hit on.

    We’re seeing how important versatility is by how they’re putting together this O-line.

    I do like Jason Spriggs as a pure tackle and Josh Garnett as a pure guard.

    They said JS had Oakland LG Gabe Jackson on the phone, 2-3 years ago, but didn’t draft him for whatever reason. I’m wondering if they might feel the same way about Garnett?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Thanks man — and thanks for your continued contributions to this community.

      • Volume12 says:

        Oh, your welome my man.

        Some great football minds on here.

      • RWIII says:

        Rob: If what you are saying is true about the Left Tackle position. Then why can’t a player like Germain Ifedi come in and start at left tackle.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He could certainly come in and compete there. He might be better at LG.

          • Grit21 says:

            Rob has continually pointed out the liability defenses face when applying the edge rush against RW. For as often as it works, it is equally capable of forcing RW out of the pocket to cause an explosive play. The best success against the hawks comes with the interior rush, e.g. donald, short, etc. Against conventional wisdom (sound familiar for the Hawks?) it may behoove them to build the line from the inside out. That said, if the Hawks go OL 1st rd, it may likely be a player who can initially contribute on the interior with the option of bumping out to tackle later.

    • Ohchi mama says:

      I like the idea of Springgs in the first round

  5. Ground_hawk says:

    With Okung gone it seems wise to pick up a tackle prospect at 26, and then someone who can handle the interior in with either the 2nd or 3rd round pick. If they decide to go defense with the first pick, it would have to be for any of: Rankins, Ogbah, or a deathbacker (LSU D. Jones type). If they could pull that off then interior o-line would be a must IMO for both the 2nd and natural 3rd. Any thoughts?

    • Rob Staton says:

      This is the plan touted in the piece:

      Draft an Ifedi type who can play RT or LG. Decide in camp who is the guard and the tackle between Ifedi and J’Marcus Webb. Gilliam starts at LT.

      That way you upgrade the interior, you also have depth at tackle. And then you grab another interior OL in rounds 2-3.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I’m starting to catch on to McGovern as the 2nd OLer taken. So much strength, especially in his legs. I imagine he’s immovable 1v1 in a phone booth.

        • dave crockett says:

          He was unfortunately miscast at LT this year for Mizzou. He was forced to play the left side when other recruits either didn’t pan out or got hurt.

          • Volume12 says:

            Highly versatile, weight room warrior, freak athlete, good length, and we know about TC’s relationship wit former Mizzou HC Gary Pinkel.

          • Madmark says:

            Its not that guys like McGovern or Dahl are miscast. Its because they are the best OL on the team so they end up being the teams best option at tackle spot.

      • Michael M. says:

        I just hope they can decide in the first couple weeks of camp, instead of still shuffling guys around right before the regular season.

      • Ground_hawk says:

        I definitely agree with you, but what I’m saying is that if they don’t go tackle in the 1st, which seems unlikely, then it would have to be for someone like Rankins, Ogbah, or D. Jones. You know what I mean?

      • HD says:

        I have read some think Martin could be around in the 3rd round. Maybe with the depth a D tackle…Seattle uses the first two picks for a center and T/G….and why not one of the 3rd round..Ifedi, Martin, Dahl…wouldn’t that be sweet…and still get a DT later in the 3rd….use the 4 and 5th for a RB and LB…6th for a DB…(2) 7 receiver, FB

  6. Steve Nelsen says:

    Typically, interior offensive line positions are not filled with early draft picks.

    Who are the athletic, under-the-radar interior linemen who could be available in round 4 or later?

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      And before I forget, I want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your pieces Rob. Each one is thoughtful and the comments that they bring out are something I look forward to every day.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There are a few — but I suspect it’ll take a higher priority this year. I’d recommend this here for the info http://theyoungscout.wix.com/fantasyfootball#!sla-scores-2016/m2hr8

    • Volume12 says:

      Isaac Seumalo, Joe Thuney, Connor Wujciak looks like an OL-DL convert, Parker Ehinger, Alex Redmond, Hal Vaitai, Brandon Shell,

      Not a ton of big, mauling LG types though, unless your looking at guys that aren’t athletic.

      • Volume12 says:

        After the 4th I should say.

        • manthony says:

          V12, I think Rob or someone mentioned something about Oregon DT Alex Balducci.
          Do you think he’d be a conversion project? To me, he looks more suited on the ol then DL in the pros.

          • Volume12 says:

            We both did.

            Possibly. You could be right.

            Personally though, I like him at DT. Could go anywhere from the late 5th-UDFA. Nice DT to develop.

            Check out BC DT Connor Wujciak. He’s a perfect candidate to flip over to the O-line.

            • Volume12 says:

              Add Ferris St DT Justin Zimmer.

              He’s in the 99th %tile when moved to the O-line.

              • manthony says:

                Cool ill check em out, I keep seeing Zimmers name pop up around here, and we all know how much JSPC love the freak athletes, I think you might be onto something there

  7. Scraps says:

    Panic! Panic! Garry Gilliam at left tackle! Rookies all up and down the line!

    I better get my daily dose of reason.

    Ah…… Thank you, Rob.

    • STTBM says:

      I like Gilliam, but I think its fair to wonder how much to expect from him at LT when he was among the bottom in the league in pass pro at RT last season? Not playing terribly well at RT is generally not seen as a good reason to get moved to LT.

      • Rob Staton says:

        It was his first year starting in the league.

        FWIW he coped very well vs the speed rush and just needs to improve his upper body resistance/power.

        • STTBM says:

          I like Gilliam, as I have said. And I agree 100% that he has the footspeed and agility to play LT someday–he just needs to gain some more heft and strength. My concern is that since he has limited starting experience at any T position, and was obviously still learning competence at RT, putting him at LT is a huge risk and puts a ton of pressure on him. It could be a case of too much too soon.

          If Seattle does indeed move Gilliam to LT, they must be convinced he can handle the physical and mental side. And despite my irritation with Cable, he certainly has more knowledge in his little finger than I do in my whole body.

          • mwstretch says:

            I agree with your comments on GG. He’s obviously smart enough, still in a learning/coachable phase. But more than Cable, this is on Gilliam. If he works as hard this offseason as last year, he will be ready for the challenge.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          His bull rush defense was lacking, but that could be as much an experience factor playing in the NFL. I expect him to make a nice jump in ability year #2 at tackle.

  8. dave crockett says:

    This has been my feeling all along. I think all that “QB Master’s course” for Wilson is about getting him to be better at understanding protections and not taking sacks.

  9. dave crockett says:

    One guy I’m curious about is Auburn’s Avery Young. He’s a 3yr starter, 6’3″ and 328#, a mauler. He’s a candidate to move inside. Nobody’s talking about him, which may mean there’s not much to him. Still. Intriguing.

    • H M Abdou says:

      He might turn out to be a good O-lineman, but truthfully he’s probably a poor fit for the Seahawks’ scheme. He’s more of a man-blocking or power blocking type lineman (such as the ones the Patriots use).

      It’s common knowledge that all teams use some combination of zone blocking and man blocking (no team is just pure zone or man). But in Seattle, Cable uses primarily zone blocking, and Avery Young probably isn’t what they’re looking for.

  10. STTBM says:

    Its very frustrating to me to see Stats used in a vacuum, as this article does. Like so many others have done, it fails to take into account the competition. Seattle’s resurgence along the line coincided with, among other things (starting Lewis at C over Nowak), a soft period of the schedule.

    Seattle, after losing to Carolina, beat an atrocious Niners team, scored 13 points at Dallas and won by a single point, lost to the Cards, and beat the Steelers (Who gave up 30 points like clockwork), the reeling Ravens, the Defensive Powerhouse Browns, a Minnesota team with no passing game and FOUR top Defensive players out, and a Cards team with nothing to play for, while losing to the Rams. Thats right, our O-line helped hang a fabulous 17 points on the Rams.

    Last year, starting Nowak in place of Lewis was passed off as a smart idea, one that wouldnt hamstring the team. Then when that was proven false, the narrative was it was ok to stick with Nowak, he’d improve, and Seattle could still win Homefield or at least run the gauntlet and still win a SB…until that too failed the smell test and Lewis was belatedly inserted into the starting lineup.

    Cable has given us no reason to trust his judgement when it comes to LG, RG, RT, C, and now we’re supposed to blindly trust he knows what he’s doing at LT? Because Carp worked so well at RT…then so well at LG in a ZBS…Moffitt was a keeper…There was Bowie, a clear G who was never given a shot to even compete at LG or RG, instead forced to play out of position at RT. Then Britt, who so far has been utterly awful at RT AND LG, just like Carpenter. In fact, Britt has been even worse than Carpenter ever was–the only difference being Carpenter was tremendously overweight in Seattle, while Britt is not.

    Cable’s lines have ranked worse each year he’s been here, and far below where they ranked in Oakland. He’s repeatedly failed with his Draft choices and Free Agent acquisitions. I think its high time to wonder if like many Head Coaches, Cable has reached his ceiling and is in decline.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You keep banging the drum on the schedule, but cherry pick your arguments. Pittsburgh’s secondary is a mess. Their front seven is not. Minnesota fielded a first round DT, Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter and Brian Robison. Arizona ‘didn’t have anything to play for’. Yeah right.

      Even when you’re not facing elite defenses — you still have to pass protect.

      If there’s one thing worse than ‘stats in a vacuum’ it’s ignoring the stats that don’t suit your argument to emphasise a point.

      Seattle’s O-line improved significantly in the second half of the season. It’s just a fact.

      • STTBM says:

        Dang, I posted my comment in the wrong spot. Sorry about that.

        Yes, Seattle’s line improved in the second half of the season. But the competition should be taken into account when judging just how much that line did or did not improve.

        I find it telling that when faced with a healthy Top-10 defense in Minnesota in the playoffs, and against Carolina on the road, Seattle’s line fell apart. (And yes, I do realize the extreme cold affected Seattle negatively in Minny). They still werent even close to being good enough to get us to the SB, let alone winning vs the Broncos.

        I failed to mention that I do appreciate your concern for the line, and your writing skills. Your article is well written, and I enjoy reading your opinions on players and where Seattle should concentrate their efforts.

        • Coug1990 says:

          Then competition should be taken into account for the entire season. Seattle’s offense finished 4th in both scoring and yards. Yet, we know overall they did not have a soft schedule.

          I think some may be too close see the Seahawks in isolation. They see warts, real and imagined, and forget that every other franchise has just as many, or even more problems than the Seahawks.

          Some times things just happen. The other team just plays outstanding. Heck, today Michigan State, the team many experts had picked to win the NCAA basketball tournament, lost to a 15th seeded team. Talent wise, coaching, etc., that should never happen. Yet it did because sometimes things like that happen.

          • STTBM says:

            Yes, the whole year should be taken into account. But the first half of the year–with Nowak–was an anomaly, or the baseline/bottom line if you will. That is as bad as it gets, having a C who cant make the line calls and half your line blocking one play, the other half blocking another. They wont let that happen again.

            Just as the second half stats are a bit misleading, as they were generally played vs inferior defenses or vs teams that were affected significantly by injuries. I don’t mean Seattle played no defense of value, just that most weren’t over the second half of the regular season. Pitt was ranked 11th in scoring D last season, second in sacks, and in the top 6 in run D. (their Achilles heal was third downs and Pass D).

            And we still had plenty of qb pressure, especially vs the Rams. The sacks were drastically reduced, but pressure was still an issue when facing good defenses. That isn’t to say the line didn’t improve, just that they still had a ways to go.

            You make a good point about possibly being too myopic when viewing the team. Its true I know more about their roster than any other team, so of course I will notice the warts more. But I’m not expecting our line to dominate great defenses in pass pro, just hold their own most of the time, and dominate most D’s in the run game. That’s what Cable’s offenses used to do–he usually ranked in the top 10 in run blocking (not just yards, but actual blocking) and managed to get his guys into the low 20’s in pass pro. SInce coming to Seattle, he has not managed to achieve nearly the same results, though the lines struggles have been masked by Lynch’s heroics and WIlson’s Houdini act.

            And you are correct, some Sundays a superior team just doesn’t have it. Seattle came out flat vs AZ the first game, and vs the Rams both games, for instance. ITs always important for the players to take an oppoenent–every opponent–seriously. Same with the coaches. There were a couple games last year where it seemed our coaches didn’t bother to even gameplan, just trotted out the same tired plays, and it cost us. Of course that could have been because once they got to game time, the line wasn’t executing well enough to run much of the gameplan–that happened several times when Nowak was playing, namely vs the Rams and after.

            As for comparing teams, I don’t bother comparing Seattle to most teams, like the Browns. I’m only interested in comparing them to teams that are competitive year after year–the Pats, GB, Denver, Pitt, etc. We max out the salary cap, have a great owner and FO, and wonderful facilities; there’s no reason we cant expect the best out of the Seahawks every year.

            But yes, its wonderful to expect excellence, rather than blindly hope for a single playoff win a year.

    • vrtkolman says:

      “A Cards team with nothing to play for”, haven’t heard that one in a while. That is one of my favorites. I guess they didn’t have anything to play for against Carolina either? If this is true, Seattle didn’t have anything to play for against Arizona either, or even St. Louis for that matter.

      • STTBM says:

        It was the last game of the regular season, and playoff seeding was over. Even the play by play guys noticed AZ didnt seem to have their head in the game. Thats what I meant by nothing to play for.

        Seattle was UP for that game, and had a lot more on the line, pride-wise, after Wilson played badly and the defense folded at the end of the last Seattle/AZ game.

        It was not surprising that Seattle showed up more ready to play than AZ, given the circumstances. Had we faced them in the playoffs, the game would have been much closer.

        • Scraps says:

          Everybody knows this, though. You can come up with an argument for every game, back and forth, up and down, if you want to cherry pick to support your argument. At the end of the day, we have the game as played, and the eight games as played (and of course, they season as played — which Rob is not excusing, you know).

          • Scraps says:

            Sigh. “=the= season as played”, I meant.

          • STTBM says:

            I don’t see picking 8 games and noting only one defense in the top 11 where we played well on offense and won as cherry picking. The other top 11 defenses we faced–AZ, the Rams, and Minny–either beat us (Rams) or played pretty poorly, AZ because they didn’t have their head in the game as playoff seeding was set, and Minny due to losing their best player at each position group on D.

            Especially since we fell utterly flat vs a healthy Minny D and Carolina in the playoffs. That was the true test of our line’s progress and ability, and in the end they failed utterly.

            Its hardly cherry picking to note that the stats can be interpreted differently if you look closer.

            In the end, it doesn’t matter. Obviously the line improved over the second half of the season, but equally obviously it didn’t improve enough. This year, as always, I’m hopeful we get it right and that position group wont hamstring our SB dreams.

  11. vrtkolman says:

    A very interesting tweet here:

    DAVIS HSU ‎@DavisHsuSeattle
    Okung gave SEA last word (right to match) they declined is what I heard

    Seattle was simply ready to move on from Okung. Either that or his shoulder is far worse than being reported. Either way, Seattle didn’t want him back at a ridiculous team friendly deal. That is very telling.

    • STTBM says:

      Seattle may have been willing to match his one-year deal, but I doubt they would be interested in the Team Option, since it was pricey. They set a value for him, and werent budging. We’ll all find out if they made the right decision…

      • hawkdawg says:

        Don’t understand this. It was a TEAM option, as you say. They would either decline it and squeeze him down, or let him walk. All their choice.

  12. STTBM says:

    Pittsburgh’s overall defense was not good, and Seattle threw the ball against them, as everyone did. Their front seven were hardly world-beaters.

    While Minnesota had some quality players like Griffen (Robison is well past his due date), they were very much a different defense without so many starters. They were weak up the middle without Joseph, one of the absolute best DT’s in the NFL. Losing safety Harrison Smith also gutted their pass defense, as missing Barr wiped out the overall effectiveness of their LB corps. They lost a key, Pro Bowl quality player at every single position group on their D that game (Secondary, D-line, Backers). To say their D was top-notch that day is simply not correct. Losing those starters decimated that defense, and left it a shell.

    You seriously are presenting the argument that Minnesota’s defense was stellar the first game we played–minus their best DT, their best LB, and their best S? You cant be serious.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Again, Pittsburgh’s secondary is awful. Their front seven is not.

      I am saying Minnesota’s defense wasn’t as bad as you’re suggesting on the day in terms of the personnel on the field.

      And can the attitude please STTBM.

      • STTBM says:

        Im not bringing attitude, I was simply incredulous at position. As I said in an above comment, I appreciate your writing and your analysis of players.

        I simply disagree with your apparent opinion that the line improved to the point it isnt a major concern going forward. I agree, they improved. The stats bear that out. No one can deny they were much better with Lewis at C and the offense took off. But again, it was generally vs lesser defenses, and when faced with two top-10 healthy defenses, they struggled.

        You are correct, Seattle’s line did well vs the Steelers in pass pro, and I looked them up, they were ranked very high vs the run, and also had 48 sacks, one behind the second best team in sacks, NE. (But one can point out teams threw the ball A LOT vs Pitt because they sucked at defending it, which in turn leads to higher sack totals).

        Seattle’s line also struggled mightily with AZ, until AZ’s D softened up with a 19-point cushion, just as they did later in the season at Carolina.

        I guess we just read the tea leaves differently. I would certainly love to see Seattle make hay with a low-cost line; more money for skill position players never hurts. We’ll see how it shakes out.

      • RWIII says:

        Rob: I just think the offensive is going to be fine. You have Russell Wilson who NOW gets rid of the football really fast. You have Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael and someone in the draft the Hawks will be fine running the football.

        Rob: I said earlier that Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls makes the offensive line better than it actually is. I said if before and I will say it again.

        Or as Mark Schlereth would say. Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls can cover a lot of “Warts”

        • H M Abdou says:

          Hahaha, wow, so ironic that people are now referring to Christine Michael as someone dependable! I’m loving it, as I am a big fan of CMike’s.Rob is well aware of this 🙂

          Hopefully Michael can continue where he left off late last season, especially as he demonstrated vs Cleveland and Arizona. He and Rawls (and insert draftee or UDFA) will do a fine job as RB’s, I’m sure.

    • vrtkolman says:

      Those same players were out the following week and Minnesota held Arizona to 23 points IN Arizona.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      If you listen to the scouts and league guys talk about Cable, you get a professional reasoned analysis of his skills as a coach and player developer. There is a podcast on Fieldgulls right now with Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting. Eric says, “Cable is the best offensive line coach in the NFL.” He and other scouts often discuss “what Tom Cable would be able to do with a guy like that” or how a player like J’Marcus Webb might improve “with a great line coach like Tom Cable.”

      Offensive line talent is a problem throughout the league. That has nothing to do with Tom Cable.

      Seattle has been able to develop NFL starters from DL and TE converts. That has everything to do with Tom Cable.

      The zone-blocking system is designed for run-first teams like Seattle and Seattle’s running stats have been among the league’s best every year behind Tom Cable lines.

      When Seattle offensive linemen have hit the free-agent market they have regularly received contracts in the $5million/year range. Seattle has consistently replaced them with players making close to the league minimum and continued to run well. That extra salary capacity is owed to Tom Cable.

      • lil'stink says:

        Doug Farrar said he sees Cable as the guy who wants to try and succeed with less talented players, simply because he thinks that will say more about his coaching talent. I really, really, really hope that isn’t the case.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I highly doubt that is true. It sounds ridiculous.

          • Steele says:

            Why is it ridiculous? Tom Cable is a man with an ego and an attitude. He is no choir boy. Let’s not forget how he was in Oakland.

            Not only does he enjoy proving people wrong, and doing things he thinks others can’t, his approach has been money-saving for the Hawks organization. You can look at the results a couple of different ways. Some of it wildly successful, some of it not.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Because who in their right mind would actively encourage inheriting weaker talent just to prove a point?

              Tom Cable says to the ‘Hawks ‘give me these traits in a prospect, these physical skills, this level of athleticism and I’ll work with that’.

              Could be first rounders, veterans, late rounders, mid rounders.

              That’s not wanting weaker players to prove a point. That’s knowing what you want in a prospect physically, what this team wants and being flexible in how you acquire that talent.

              • STTBM says:

                Well, Cable has said he will take a guy with Grit and a nasty attitude onfield over talent every time. In practice, it was obvious Moffitt was a better all-around player than Sweezy when he was benched by Cable for the Sweezebag. It was also obvious that Bowie was utterly miscast as a RT, but played very well at RG vs AZ when Sweezy was out with a concussion. But Cable insisted Bowie “handt done anything amazing”, even though many believed, as I did, that Bowie’s performance was better than anything Sweezy had shown to that point. And Bowie was never allowed to compete with Carp at LG, even though he was physically the exact physical specimen Cable usually wants at that positon.

                When Bowie was cut and snatched by Cleveland, Cable and Carrolls comments showed they weren’t happy with Bowie’s attitude and weren’t too upset to lose him–especially Cable. Bowie had the talent, but Cable didn’t care, he wasn’t Cable’s guy and Cable wasn’t going to give him the chance to succeed.

                Now, whether or not that was fair we’ll never know. We wotn ever know exactly why Cable wouldn’t give him a shot at LG, but it looks to me like he was sandbagged by Cable, for whatever reason. But not being talented enough was not the reason.

                As for Cable possibly trying to prove his own Coaching ability by converting D-linemen and deliberately building a line out of castoffs, it wouldn’t be the first time an Assistant Coach pulled that trick. Chudzinski nearly ruined Cam Newton by making to offense overly complicated, in order to showcase his own offensive know-how. That team put up points, and he had fancy plays, but they lost games because of it. However, he got what he wanted–a HC gig. Of course, he failed miserably at that and was fired after a year.

                Coaches bury more talented guys on the bench all the time, for various reasons, including trying to buy time for a prospect the Coach advocated for who is struggling, to personal beefs, to refusing to use guys brought in by the GM if said coach didn’t want them. (Holmgren did this to Jason Babin after Ruskell traded Holmy’s pick Boulware to the Texans for him. To this day, Babin hates the Seahawks and Holmgren for how the coach treated him during his brief time here).

                Its far from certain that Cable is making decisions for reasons other than fair competition, but it has appeared that way in past seasons and surely woudlnt surprise me.

                • Adog says:

                  Not sure if this will add anything on coach cable, but his high school coach at snohomish high…dick Armstrong used to come up my high school…concrete high and coach help the high school team after he was retired from snohomish. He was very beloved by all players on the team…so maybe cable had that going on for him? Until then I only knew that you blocked your guy no matter where he went. Coach Armstrong was very adamant that you block gap over linebacker. This might explain why coach cable has such big and tall guys in the interior of the line…to win the a and b gaps. Gap over linebacker makes more sense for running the ball… It’s a bit confusing if your pass blocking. Coach Armstrong coached quite a few players who went on to play or coach in the nfl…one of them…curt marsh who played for the raiders…came up to practice one day and we got talk to him and pass his super bowl ring around.

        • Scraps says:

          That’s climbing inside his head. I hate that from the media (and fans).

          • STTBM says:

            But to take the human element out of it is ignoring a huge part of what goes on. We’ll never know what happens on the inside–not totally–but to pretend every decision is based on pure science and competition is disingenuous.

            Sometimes, despite having great talent, its addition by subtraction when a player is dumped. In Bowie’s case, that may well have been true. Its also possible some of his bad attitude was because he wasn’t being given a fair chance to compete at the position he was most suited for–LG, and to some lesser extent, RG.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          One could make the case that PCJS are cut of the same cloth.

          But to make that assertation, would mean you’d have to ignore all of the OL prospects that Seattle has been highly linked to in the last several drafts. That list is pretty long (Zach Martin, Ju’waun James, Mitch Morse, Ali Marpet, Jake Fisher, Kyle Long). Those were guys that were linked to us very early in the process before their stock began to rise.

          I don’t think Cable feels that way at all. The decision on who to draft really is a collaboration. I think Cable’s input on who to draft early has been spot on. Almost perfect. The reality is, that those prospects just haven’t been available and that happens through no fault of your own.

          Seattle has been adding the Plan C and later prospects every year. That doesn’t seem by design, but by circumstance. The one time we just took a leftover so we didn’t have to go with a late round fallback option turned out to be a pretty significant waste of a pick.

  13. Trevor says:

    After reading the terms of that Okung deal he has accomplished the exact opposite of what he had hoped to. He proved that athletes really do need agents who specialize in negotiating to protect their rights and get max $.

    Kind of sad really as it sounds like the Hawks offered him a fair deal originally and he declined so they moved on and who can blame them really. I have said since he first hurt that shoulder that that type of shoulder dislocation injury was a bad injury for an OT. If he is not healthy by camp they don’t owe him a cent. He got fleeced plain and simple.

  14. largentquicks says:

    I’m still hoping the hawks pick up two quality O lineman within their first 4 picks in round 1-3. What are your guys’ thoughts on the availability of a quality guard/center prospect being available for the hawks in round three. Assuming they take their top LT prospect in the first round left on their board (Ifedi, Decker, Spriggs, Coleman), I’d still like them to take the best player available or get the best value with their second round pick. What are the chances that someone like Glasgow, Whitehair, or Mcgovern or Westerman are there with our first 3rd round pick?
    Thanks again Rob for all that you do. I come here daily for my Seahawks fix and am always happy to read the community discussions.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Out of Garnett, Glasgow, McGovern, Whitehair and Westerman, at least two and maybe three should be drafted after round two. I don’t think they will all be gone by the time Seattle picks.

  15. RWIII says:

    Thomas Rawls is EXPLOSIVE!!! If you can give Rawls a CREASE Rawls is going to EXPLODE through the hole. That is something Marshawn Lynch was not able to do.

  16. STTBM says:

    I like McGovern, Martin and Westerman. If we draft any of those three in the second-third round, I will be plenty happy. Garnett might be too much of a plodder for the ZBS, but then again, Cable LOVES him some huge, slow-footed LG’s. He might be exactly what Cable wants at LG. And I like that he’s a local kid and really wants to be a Hawk. (Carpenter seemed like there was somewhere else he’d rather be…like in bed napping lol!).

    Dahl spent one season playing for my Montana Grizzlies, and no one was surprised when he moved on and up at the end of the season. Everyone felt he would make his way to the Pros, and I think measurables aside, he’s just got what it takes to be an NFL lineman. Whether thats in Seattle or not I have no idea, but my gut says he’s going to be a successful player.

    Apologies for the multiple comments, finding a blog to settle in with since the Tribs died has me bursting at the seams a bit…

    • Rob Staton says:

      No problem at all. Don’t worry about the number of comments. You’re more than welcome here.

      • RWIII says:

        Rob: I am REALLY EXCITED about this draft. The strength of this draft is offensive and defensive lines. This is perfect for Seattle. I also KNOW that Seattle will find a running back and a linebacker somewhere in this draft. They probably will also find a cornerback in this draft. I am pumped for this draft.

        • STTBM says:

          Im always pumped for the Draft. And I always like our Drafts, at least at first lol!

          Im secretly hoping Sheldon Rankins falls and we get him in the first. I cant see drafting any O-line position except LT in the first and dont see one I like that is likely to be there at 26. G’s and C’s can be found in the second and third round every year–you just have to skip the Britts and Moffitts lol!

          Could totally see Seattle trading down yet again, and trying to get another pick in the third round by dropping into the second. Still need to replace Irvin, as Pinkins is an unknown and who knows if we sign the GB guy Neal. Not to mention the depth needs at RB, S, Corner…

          Being a WR guy, Im curious to see where Keyarris Garrett from Tulsa goes. The guy is a total beast, 6′-3″ tall and over 200 lbs. He’s not built as thick as Brandon Marshall, but he put up a sub 4.6 40 (I think it was 4.53) so he’s faster. He’s not getting much buzz in draft discussions, but this kid is competitive and has all the tools.

          We once made a trade for a WR from Tulsa. Worked out pretty good…

    • GeoffU says:

      Watching the Cougs, Dahl and Dom Williams were the two players going pro that really stood out to me as having a shot to make it. Just seemed a step above everyone else on the team.

      • SMSCOUG says:

        Dom was not a step ahead of Gabe Marks. Sorry, but Marks will be a better pro IMHO.

        • GeoffU says:

          I can get behind that, I was thinking of only players coming out this year though. Luke Faulk should also have a good shot at the pros. Some players in the secondary.

  17. JT says:

    Isaac Seumalo and Joe Thuney should be added to the list.both were great college OLs who tested well at the combine. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started to get some draft hype, and I am surprised they haven’t gotten much so far.

    • matt says:

      Both good players. Brandon Shell and Spencer Drango at RT/LG and Tyler Johnstone at LT/RT are 3 others that have their strengths, and could be day 3 options. We’ve been spending a ton of time hashing out OL options in the first 2 days of the draft, rightfully so, but it’s time to start digging into day 3 targets.

  18. GerryG says:

    At this point I could see, and be very about them drafting 3 OL in the first 4 picks. They have some cap $ to spend on some more DL depth (which is where they like to get their DL from).

    Seems like they absolutely need a Tackle, Guard and Center, with each of them having a realistic shot to compete for a starting job.

    Thanks again Rob!

  19. Steve Nelsen says:

    If the Seahawks draft Ifedi and McGovern in rounds one and two, that would be the type of draft that solidifies the middle of the OL. And I would be happy with that.

    But, for the sake of discussion. What would we have in four years? A couple free agents who would net us some comp picks in all likelihood. I don’t think that any offensive lineman is going to be come a “core player” for Seattle. And the zone blocking system doesn’t require core players to succeed.

    Seattle’s identity is its run game and defense. We will need to replace Bennett and Avril in a couple years in all likelihood. Probably Kam too. Those are all core players.

    Would it make more sense to use your draft capital on an edge rusher like Ogbah instead of a guard in round 1? Or a second round pick on a fast playmaking linebacker like Deion Jones? What about a hard-hitting deathbacker like Keanu Neal in round 1? Or maybe Tapper in round 2? Those guys all have the potential to become core players.

    You could even make a case for an offensive weapon like Braxton Miller having a better chance to make an impact in year 1 and develop into a star than an interior offensive lineman.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s an interesting point. However — you might prepare a pass rusher to replace those guys, they might take over as a starter in year four of their rookie deals have one great season and then receive Olivier Vernon money.

      At least the OL guys start immediately and play for four years. A rotational DE might not start until late on and end up leaving regardless.

      • RWIII says:

        Steve/Rob you both make good points. However, I have been stressing the fact that the Hawks should be drafting a pass rusher in the 1st or 2nd round every year. Last year the Hawks got Frank Clarke in the 2nd round. Cliff Aril and Michael Bennett are not getting any younger.

        Last year Denver had Von Miller, Derek Wolf,Malik Jackson and DeMarcus Ware and they still traded up and took Shane Ray in the 1st round.

        • Ohchi mama says:

          Drafting a talented and disruptive de is difficult and dt even more difficult. Now it usually takes a couple years to develop especially outside the talent range we have been drafting.
          Making it even more difficult. So let’s stop beating a dead horse

          Clark and Marsh are those proponents or replacements for Avril and Bennett and besides they are still peaking for at least another two years so we are good.

          Now our team needs to hit on ol. We were simply manhandled on the ol by Carolina this year. We simply do not have the talent to compete against the likes of Denver Carolina ne patsies and Arizona’s offense. Simply put we are in dire need of hitting on ol talent and Pete and John recognizes that so they will prioritize for that hopefully through one draft and that’s this year.

          Let’s recognize them for what they have done and trust them. The fact we won a superb owl after having the worst talented team in less than five years after their arrival is simply unheard of I this day and age.

          In fact I wouldn’t be surprised outside of a handful or two fans from this reply entries can remember just how crappy and depressing it was to be a Seattle sports fan in the 80’s 90s and early 2000s. And even worse yet before the 80’s.

    • Ground_hawk says:

      This is what is great about this blog, it’s a sanctuary for the 365 Seahawks fans. To me it has to be either left tackle or an explosive defensive player at 26, but there are a few different ways the FO could go. It’s this flexibility that makes being a Seattle fan so much fun, and why I am more excited than worried about the future of this franchise.

    • Dingbatman says:

      Would it make more sense to use your draft capital on an edge rusher like Ogbah instead of a guard in round 1? Or a second round pick on a fast playmaking linebacker like Deion Jones? What about a hard-hitting deathbacker like Keanu Neal in round 1? Or maybe Tapper in round 2? Those guys all have the potential to become core players.

      Agreed. P/C mentioned the O/L as an area they hope to improve and I’m sure they have their plan to do so. But this team is and has always been build around it’s defense and if a true impact player is available at #26 (Keanu Neal please! please!) it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see them pounce. If as Rob says the two tackles are already on the team and the focus is on the interior O/L they might have some breathing room.

      Another factor is Tom Cable’s comment that college O/L aren’t ready for the pro game. There may be guys already on the team that they have plans for that we don’t know about. Sokoli, Glowinski, Poole and even Nowak have all had a years coaching and could be ready to step up.

      Finally, I wonder if P/C’s comment on “cohesion” was in reference to Okung’s chronic injuries. It is difficult to build cohesion when one of your starters consistently misses 25% of the season.

      Great blog Rob! I’ve really enjoyed seeing how your perspective has shifted and honed-in as the off season has progressed.

      • Steele says:

        Dingbat, if they want o-lineman who might start sometime sooner, then drafting top prospects is the way to do it. Cable’s approach is cheaper and riskier, and takes longer. You might get duds from either the top or the bottom, but the odds that a top prospect fails is less. They are more talented.

        So if they want starting o-linemen (if is the key word here) sooner, I see no way they can afford to use the top 3-4 picks on other positions of less urgency. The good ones are gone by rd.4.

    • GeoffU says:

      An excellent discussion to have, Steve. I couldn’t argue with the team taking that approach.

      Ogbah is intriguing, but the draft seems weak in the pass rush department, I don’t know what Pete was thinking that they’d look to the draft for that. A skill player falling is always an option. O-line however seems to have good talent (unless we’ve all got it wrong? which is certainly possible) for this draft, that plus our need in that area, and it just seems to make sense. Of course, Seattle doesn’t always do what seems to make sense 🙂

  20. Naks8 says:

    I like the depth and thought process we have going here. If we bring in either a t/lg prospect then we let him battle out vs Webb for rt, and if he doesn’t win then he can compete at lg. I think for this year, if we get a g/c guy he can compete with Lewis for c, but probably play g until he gets the line calls down. I know many want to upgrade Lewis immediately but I kind of like the guy as a player. The line improved a lot with him making calls and he’s a natural center. Plus the thing that struck me the most was how upset he was after the Rams game and how he vowed not to play that way again. That’s some fight and how a competitor should be. Plus, almost anyone we put at c will get his ass kicked by Aaron Donald so it’s not fair to think that a rookie is going to fair much better. All in all I like the competition we are building and I could see rd 1 – g/t, then I think if our guy isn’t there you might see us wait until 3/4 til we get the center/guard of the future.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      These are the questions that make this draft really interesting. No denying the appeal of McGovern in R2, but maybe you go for a Bullard or Tapper or DJones instead, and wait on Glasgow in R3.

      I mean, how much difference is there between McGovern and Glasgow? Enough to forego a shot at a defensive prospect?

      • Naks8 says:

        Ya, like rob keeps reiterating there’s depth for interior lineman in rounds 2-4. If we can get a quality guy in a different position in round 2 or 3 might as well since there are a lot of options still left on the line. The next lineman we draft can have a little time to develop in year one unless he just shines as a rookie.

  21. red says:

    If max tuerk is available in third anybody think we take him and convert to G if we drafted Kelley in round 1?He could be C2 as well if needed opening up extra roster spot.

  22. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    RIP Tray Walker. Such a sad situation.

  23. Steele says:

    Great update, Rob.

    And what Collinsworth says is absolutely on target. Having a great center is like having a great QB, and having a solid interior is the key to a lot of things. Russell had far more difficulty stepping up in the pocket and taking off if needed. It is far more tough to escape outside. And the run game is far easier with a solid push up the middle.

    I would have rather they have taken a top center last offseason.

    Now as much as we are discussing the importance of all of this here, there is still no guarantee that JSPC/Cable will do any of this, no matter how much sense it makes. They may just go the other way and make due with Lewis/LJP/Nowak types, and BPA the top of the draft, try to field this draft’s conversion projecs and SPARQy UDFAs.

  24. Clayton says:

    Rob, great article as usual! Couple thoughts… There’s no doubt that interior linemen are valuable on the field, but what about their draft value? Value on the field does not necessarily equal draft value, does it? Remember David DeCastro in 2012? Arguably the best player in college, but played guard. Also, I’m thinking that it is going to be really tough to replace someone at SAM because finding the athleticism at that spot will be hard to find. They’ll have to be fast enough to cover the tight end (strong side), be strong enough to shed linemen, be fast enough to protect the C gap on outside runs, help on inside run plays and rush the passer on third downs. That’s the skill set that Bruce Irvin had and it might be something that the Seahawks spend their draft capital on finding.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think we might see a lot of athletic tackles shifted inside to combat the superior defensive athletes.

      • STTBM says:

        I think that is an excellent point, Rob. Offensive lines across the NFL are struggling. One of the reasons cited is the rise of Spread offenses in college. But another key reason is that College teams and the NFL are taking the best athletes and making them Defense–LB’s and DE’s who run 4.5-4.7 40’s and have insane agility, corners who run 4.3 40’s, safeties who are over 210 lbs and still run 4.5 40’s or better….

        This is new. In past decades, guys who could run like that were WR’s and RB’s or played basketball. Now they play defense, and O-linemen cant handle that athleticism.

        Plus, we’re seeing guys who are freaks of nature–Chancellor, Vonn Miller, Khalil Mack, Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, JJ Watt, etc. These guys are not only fast and agile, but strong as ox’s and nearly as big, in many cases. You just cant expect any O-lineman outside Tyrod Smith or Trent Williams to hang with freaks like this.

    • Volume12 says:

      Gonna be hard to find a like for like replacement in regards to Bruce Irvin and the SAM spot.

      Here’s the thing though. A SAM is on the field for less than 50% percent of the snaps. Is it that important?

      You can have a couple guys combine to do the job.

      Perhaps let ‘Pink’ and KPL battle it out with an Obum Gwachum developmental type of prospect, and an off the ball LB. Tons of those guys in this draft.

      I got a hunch that they’re looking for another Malcom Smith.

  25. Steele says:

    Can we get a reminder again why the rumor that the Seahawks may make a trade for a veteran pass rusher?

    If getting existing investments to pay off/continuity are the themes for this front office, then why wouldn’t they just increase Frank Clark’s workload and get something out of Marsh?

  26. Ed says:

    The last two years has solidified how I feel and this article hits on it. Wilson and Hawks have real trouble with inside rushing teams. Wilson can make most people miss rushing from the outside, so let Gilliam and ? man the outside and beef up the inside. Maybe getting a splash player in the 1st round, then get your starting G and C in the 2nd and 3rd. Fix the middle of the line and Wilson will stay cleaner and the rushing game will improve as well.

  27. subterranean says:

    This draft presents me with a weird feeling – at once excited at adding more talent to the OLine but also that sense of “what are they missing out on” because Britt and Poole didn’t work out. I just want them to really hit this time so next year we can talk about bringing some more bully’s onto the D side of the ball. I’d love for them to be in a position to draft the Keanu Neal of 2017 and not having to patch another hole on the O Line

  28. Steele says:

    Mike Neal is a jack-of-everthing/good at no one thing kind of player. I hope they take him with any thoughts of him being anything more than a backup rotational.

    As for Chandler Jones going to Arizona. One huge reason he’s going there is so he can hang out with Jon, who trains in Arizona. They can smoke dope together.

    • Rob Staton says:

      “One huge reason he’s going there is so he can hang out with Jon, who trains in Arizona”

      You might just be making a ‘dope’ joke — but he had no say in where he was traded. The team took the best offer.

    • GeoffU says:

      Clark I’m very excited about, but Marsh has yet to get a sack in 21 games. I can’t remember him even getting close. While I think he’s a sound football player, I doubt he’ll ever be a good pass rusher. Just not explosive enough. Bennett, Avril, and Clark are pretty much it. We definitely need to add some talent.

      • GeoffU says:

        Whoops, meant to reply to Steele above:

        “If getting existing investments to pay off/continuity are the themes for this front office, then why wouldn’t they just increase Frank Clark’s workload and get something out of Marsh?”

        • mwstretch says:

          I disagree on Marsh. He really came on strong on special teams, and that has often been a pre curser to contributing more on defense. I’m not saying he’ll be a top option, but I could see him contributing in the rotation, and specifically, yes with sacks. He also set the edge well on some run plays.
          Also, Jordan Hill is in a contract year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him have a career year.
          That being said, I agree with your overall point. We need more depth on the D-line, and a proven, cheap veteran would be a nice addition.

          • GeoffU says:

            Agree completely, he was a BEAST on special teams, and yes did good against the run. Would love to be proven wrong on the pass rush part, I hope your right, just would consider that a bonus. Forgot about Jordan Hill for some reason, but again not expecting it from him at this point. Just think we need one or two more pass rushers to truly dominate on defense.

            • mwstretch says:

              Definitely agree with the need for more pass rushers.

              • H M Abdou says:

                IMO they especially need starting INTERIOR pass rushers (not just situational, but starting), even though I know Pete likes to have big run-stuffing DT’s in base defense, then kick Bennett inside and have the SAM LB rush from the left outside.

                I’d still like to see the team replace one of their starting 2-gap DT’s with a 3-technique type of pass rusher (who is also decent-to-good vs the run).

                Having said that, some names that intrigue me in this draft for that particular role: Nkemdiche, Clark from UCLA, Justin Zimmer, and of course Sheldon Rankins. I do admit that in order to get a Rankins or Nkemdiche, it’ll probably need to happen in round 1, which means we’d miss out on Ifedi, most likely.

  29. Jarhead says:

    With all the great information available in this article about different awesome prospects who are pretty good athketes and have great tape, and we still get the Ifedi love fest. I just don’t understand it. C is the most important spot on the line now that LTs have been trivialized. It is the base of your offense after the QB. We could get Kelly and have a future all pro and Russell’s left hand man for 10 years, and STILL get a stud road grating run blocker like Whitehair, Coleman or Westerman at 56. We could get two definites. Two ‘are’s and not a ‘maybe’. There is no current evidence based correlation between SLA and future potential. Period. Look at how many young guys have struggled after being overdrafted combine heroes. Zack Martin and Taylor Lewan are probably the last two recent most successful OL taken and neither set SLA on fire. I really hope we get some combo of Kelly/Martin/Whitehair/Coleman/Westerman. It would give our OL a total shift in personality. We would have great young talent whose best attribute is being a great blocker, not being long and athletic. After seeing some ofthe recent struggles SLA OL have experienced, I am very weary of the looks like Tarzan plays like Jane types

    • Rob Staton says:

      Jarhead — it’s not a love fest. He’s mentioned as a likely candidate among many propositions.

      There’s no problem with you not wanting the team to select Ifedi — but at least do it in a respectable way.

      I’d also argue it’s extreme wishful thinking on Whitehair or Coleman being there at #56. Westerman maybe.

      • Jarhead says:

        No not the article- more the comments section. I could have made that more clear. I did find it refeeshing and exciting to talk about some other players who we could potentially grab though. As for #56, I am hoping that one of those 3 at least will be there. Saying that at least one of the solid options should be there unless the board totally tilts and goes sideways. One point in the article that I thought was really sound is the idea that compability with RW could become the bigger leading factor in selecting new offensive talent. It could drastically change who they acquire through drafts and free agency. IE Look the killing that Dallas Clark made being Peyton’s go to guy. And we resigned Kearse at probably a much higher price than most teams were willing to offer. That is somethig to consider

        • Ohchi mama says:

          Mind you I’m no draft buff as I’m just starting to get into it.

          But I don’t see how Kelly is a first round talent outside of being marketed as one. There are possibly other centers in this year’s draft based on available tape and the minutes I spent watching them that reveals gems that are equivalent or even superior to his overall blocking skills. If I a casual and even noobie fan can see what pros like Rob is talking about I really don’t see why drafting him in the first round is a good idea, especially when similar talent is available most likely in the second to third round.

          Now in hindsight if we continue to draft barely servicable ot’s and players who can barely protect Wilson’s blindside or his exposed ribs coming from the right side and he gets cracked a couple times in the game i assure you we will see a disrupt and short career or a man who will be running for his life and not helping the team win games.

          Although I agree with you giving Wilson a pocket he can step into comfortably is a priority. We all saw the change to his game when he learned to take thar extra half a second as he took a step forward was crucial to the development to his game. And as good as he is our team mentality still is time possession, run first keep our defense fresh and off the field as much as possible as our priorities.

          With that in mind we need quality ot’s either on the left or right side along with a superior guard again either on the right or left side that fit the budget. I know that’s a hard word for people to head but we do have a cap.

          So keeping our defense with the ability to run and drop passes over the top like the 2005 team is ideal. I believe that’s what Pete and John are striving for. Fortunately for us we found a hof qb who is both a game manager but game changer and fortunately for us Pete and John will adapt to the given talent we have on our team as well as adapt to changing nfl conditions….ie the ol talent in the league is extremely difficult to draft.

  30. Gaeilgeeijlander says:

    Do you think that 26, 56, 90 & 124 for Joe Thomas, 32 & 65 would work?

      • Gaeilgeeijlander says:

        Under that scenario we can still grab Kelly at 32 and start the DT run that is sure to happen in the 3rd round. Cleveland gets 4 picks in the top 124 and unloads a veteran with a large contract. Is it worth it to Seahawks, in your opinion? Similar kind of trade to move up for Lockett last year.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I doubt Cleveland would want to trade Joe Thomas for what amounts to a third rounder & change.

          I’m also not sure why they’d want to unload a large contract — they have $40-50m in free cap space.

          • GeoffU says:

            And I’m not sure why we’d want to pick up a large contract.

          • bobbyk says:

            Granted, this is the last front office, but the Broncos offered a first AND a second for Thomas. The Browns wanted a little more and the deal was called off. With that being said, if the Browns said ‘no’ to a 1 and 2 about five months ago, I’m pretty sure there’s no way they are going to trade Thomas for a third round pick now. No way, Jose.

  31. Greg Haugsven says:

    How about this?

    Rd1 Ifedi
    Rd2 Tapper
    Rd3 Glasgow
    Rd3 Hargrave

  32. GeoffU says:

    If we get two of these guys I would be ecstatic. Could even get three. Dahl really expected to go in the sixth? Would have to take him at five though, since we’re at the tail end. a A whole new cheap o-line for at least the next four years, what a coup.

  33. matt says:

    “Cody Whitehair (T, Kansas State)
    He played tackle in college and had a lot of success. Unfortunately, he’s a T-Rex with 32.5 inch arms at 6-4 and 301lbs. That means he almost has to play guard or center at the next level.”

    You’re most likely correct that Whitehair will move inside in the NFL. 32.5″ arms shouldn’t be considered T-Rex status though. Joe Thomas has 32.5″ arms and it’s worked out alright for him at LT. Length is definitely a desirable trait among OT’s, but feel like it’s being a bit overvalued in the evaluation process.

  34. Volume12 says:

    Seahawks scouted DT Justin Zimmer and EDGE Matt Judon this year FWIW.

    Zimmer only has 31″ arms, so he’s more than likely an OL convert for a team like Seattle.

    SPARQ score higher than JR Sweezy’s.

    • matt says:

      Was really hoping Zimmer had at least 32″ arms. Bummer.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I think they were measured at 31 5/8″ to be exact. Maybe they get measured at 32″ next time.

        He also has 10 1/8″ hands FWIW.

        • Volume12 says:

          Actually, IDK what Zimmer would be for Seattle. Perhaps they do like him on the D-line and would overlook his length since he’s such a phenomnal athlete.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            I know it’s against lesser competition, but Zimmer’s film is outstanding. Non stop motor, relentless pursuit of the ball, plays sideline-to-sideline and through the whistle. He’s versatile, can make an impact from the interior or outside.

            There wasn’t much film of Soko, but none of it was very flattering. Unlike Zimm, Soko just wasn’t an impact maker on defense.

            • matt says:

              Agree that Zimmer should stick at DT. Watched his highlight tape again:
              http://seahawksdraftblog.com/justin-zimmer-dl-ferris-state-is-one-to-watch

              I stand by this:
              matt says:
              January 6, 2016 at 11:52 am
              Wow what an impressive highlight tape! Displays great balance and some bend to go along with obvious strength and athleticism. He runs the ball down all over the field and doesn’t give up on plays. It’s impossible to gauge a consistent motor on a highlight tape, but Zimmer looks to be nonstop-will require more research to be sure. Fantastic looking 4-3 DT/3-4 DE prospect! Rare athlete at 290+lbs.

              Watching tape on Sokoli before last years draft it was clear that he was not a DT, and a high upside OL convert candidate. He basically just locked out the C/OG and watched the play, showing little awareness and no moves. Zimmer’s tape is VERY different. He looks the part of a penetrating DT who can collapse the pocket in our defense. The technique is raw, but there many impressive traits to work with. While Zimmer has the athleticism to be a OL convert I think he should stay on DL.

              Zimmer is raw, but shows off the athleticism to create instant penetration. He has special athleticism for a 300 lb athlete that can’t be taught.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                He posted a 4.40 SS and a 7.01 3C, at 6’3″ 302 lbs. Those are elite agility times.

                Compare it to fellow Michigan pro day attendee EMU RB Darius Jackson, who just might be the best athlete in the draft. Jackson ran a 4.35 40yd, jumped 41″ vertical and 133″ broad, and posted a 4.27 SS and 6.89 3C.

                Zimmer was only 0.13s/0.12s slower in the SS and 3C, respectively (basically a tenth of a second slower), but weighs 80lbs more.

                • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                  Comparison of Zimmer to Aaron Donald:

                  Zimmer – 6’3″ 302lbs, 4.85 40yd, 32″ VJ, 117″ BJ, 4.40 SS, 7.01 3C, 44 BP
                  Donald – 6’1″ 285lbs, 4.68 40yd, 32″ VJ, 118″ BJ, 4.39 SS, 7.11 3C, 35 BP

                  Zimmer is 17lbs heavier.

                • matt says:

                  Wow nice context!

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Judon could be great example of the depth in this draft class on the d-line. They can add a couple draft picks and UDFAs and really improve the rotation.

  35. mwstretch says:

    Rob, Out of the center prospects, do you see certain guys fitting in better with the zone than others? And is it possible Collins is getting extra buzz because he plays for the Tide?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s weird really because Seattle runs a zone scheme but has had some elements better suited to man (mauling LG with massive size, bigger C).

      Max Unger is 6-5 and 308lbs but worked well in zone. I think you’re right on Kelly.

      Personally I like the idea of Cody Whitehair, Christian Westerman or Connor McGovern at center for zone.

  36. Baldwin says:

    Jesus. You blink on this blog and there’s a great new post with 150 comments. Great stuff as always, Rob.

    I’m very concerned about the OL. 7th in sacks the final 8 games is kind of my issue. We got it fixed at the expense of early loses (in part) that cost us any home playoff games and we just blew it up again. Not one position in the starting 5 is likely to be the same with Gilliam moving to LT and 2-3 rooks and Glow. Can only hope they get it sorted in preseason and we don’t open with STL or CAR.

    I like Ifedi at LG (Conklin day dream) and McGovern at C in particular. Beef up the interior.

    I hope Webb is our new swing T and not a starter. Maybe a late pick on Dahl or Fahn to compete at RT.

    But goodness, that’s a lot of rook OLs that need to hit from a regime with a very bleak record drafting OL.

    • H M Abdou says:

      Unlike the vast majority of people making comments on this blog, I personally am intrigued by Sokoli as a center. I’d like to see what he can do, given his out-of-this-world SPARQ athleticism. Ifedi at pick 26 makes sense.

  37. Corn Bread says:

    I just watched a couple of game tapes on Deion Jones, he sounded like an interesting prospect. His game tape against Alabama and Auburn is HORRIBLE. In my opinion he doesn’t tackle well at all, he seems lost on the field in coverage, he also chooses to fill the wrong gap during running plays, and in fact the majority of the big runs happened to take place in the portion of the field he vacates. I was not impress with his ability at all. Has anyone seen any of his game tape and have a difference of opinion?

    • Volume12 says:

      His coverage ability is one of his strengths and one reason scouts like him. He does give up ground at the POA, but just like Ohio St LB Darron Lee he goes around or eludes blocks rather then taking them head on. In a 4-3 scheme where DTs keep their LBs clean, he’s a perfect fit.

      Try not to focus on tackling skills. Even if a guy has great tackling technique, PC will change that and teach/indoctrinate him the ‘Seahawk tackling form.’

      He does need to get stronger.

      But, he’s got great insincts, always around the ball, breaks things down quickly, good pursuit player, fantastic blitzer, instant impact on STs, nowhere near maxed out in terms of potential, team leader, intelligent, high character cat.

      He’s a ‘see it, chase it, hit it’ prospect.

      • sdcoug says:

        Speed is the ultimate disruptor. Even when he doesn’t wrap up, those type of guys unhinge plays before they can fully develop, and allow other fast teammates to clean up

  38. Corn Bread says:

    Anyone have any opinions of Geronimo Allison out of Illinois? He is a WR 6’4” 200 lbs. Seems like a possible late round flier the Seahawks might take. He blocks pretty well in the run game, and catches the ball well with his hands.

    • STTBM says:

      I haven’t seen anything on him, but he sounds interesting. I like Keyarris Garrett of Tulsa, he is 6′-3″ tall and 215 or 220, runs a legit 4.55 40, and led the nation in receiving.

      Steve Largent went to Tulsa, and he turned out pretty well…it would be pretty awesome to score another sleeper WR from the same college nearly 40 years later…

      • Corn Bread says:

        Awesome thanks for the heads up, I will see if draft breakdown has anything on the kid. I would recommend checking out Allison out. His QB was not that great, but Allison seems to make the most of his receptions.

  39. Josh says:

    I think Rob has done an amazing job laying out potential scenarios for the draft. It’s going to come down to what players they have to have. If it’s an OL they might grab them in the 1st. If it’s a different position they might burn their 1st on them knowing the OL depth is there after the 1st. The more I think about it, the more I think they don’t go OL in the 1st. I think they will grab a guy like Ogbah, Neal, Tapper, Bullard, etc. And count on the depth available on the interior OL available after the 1st.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Unless there’s an historic run on OTs in R1, I just don’t see how SEA passes on one of the top 6 or 7. Any of the ones realistically in play – Ifedi, Coleman, Decker or Clark – could play 2 or 3 OL positions, providing day 1 competition at RT and LG.

      Rob may be right that SEA’s 2016 OTs are already on the roster (GG and JW). But even if that’s true, there’s precious little depth behind them, and there’s no developmental OT prospect for the future. SEA need to replenish the OT position, even if it’s with someone like Clark who needs a season to develop before he’s ready for prime time.

      • matt says:

        “Rob may be right that SEA’s 2016 OTs are already on the roster (GG and JW). But even if that’s true, there’s precious little depth behind them, and there’s no developmental OT prospect for the future.”

        Thinking the same thing. If Gilliam get injured who’s replacing him? Webb is not a LT. Ifedi is the only one of the consensus top 8 OT’s who doesn’t have LT experience.

  40. GeoffU says:

    Rob, is there any way to get percentile and SLA numbers on current and former Seahawk offensive lineman? Wondering how they stack up.

    • Volume12 says:

      Okung 95.9% 36″ inch arms
      Carp 66.4% 34″ arms
      Moffitt 30.6% 33″ arms
      Sweezy 96.9% 34″ arms
      Britt 62.7% 33 1/2″ arms
      Scott 79% 34 3/4″ arms
      Poole 73.6% 33 1/4″ arms
      Glow 80.1% 33 1/8″ arms
      Soko 99.7% 34″ arms

      Crosd off any O-lineman that has sub 33″ arms it would appear.

      • Steve Nelsen says:

        This is great information. Thank you.

        Hope to see if Sokoli’s athleticism translates to production on the field this year.

        And it is intriguing to imagine Ifedi’s at left guard with his size, length and athleticism.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          That’d be some athletic OL with Soko (99.7%), Ifedi (97.8%), McGovern (88.6%) and Glow (80.1%).

          I’m sure GG is up there as well. His pro day results:

          6’6″ 306lbs, 5.03/2.91/1.68 40yd, 35 VJ, 113″ BJ, 4.56 SS, 7.59 3C

          No idea what his arm length is though.

        • H M Abdou says:

          Totally agree with both of your points: I also would like to see Soko play center, and I’d like Ifedi at 26.

      • GeoffU says:

        Nice, thank you. They do seem to go for arm length, whether intentional or not. Since there’s not even one outlier, it’s probably intentional?

        • Volume12 says:

          I think so.

          That’s the one thing they all have in common, huh?

          Gilliam, Lewis, LJP, GG weren’t drafted, or rather, they didn’t select them, so they’re more than likely outliers.

      • matt says:

        Interesting stuff Vol12. The 33″ arm requirement crosses some great interior OL prospects: Westerman, Whitehair and Martin.

        • Volume12 says:

          Looks that way, but at the same time, I’m not completely sold they would.

          If a guy makes up for it in other areas, it probably wouldn’t be a big deal.

          One things for certain. It’ll be interesting to see who they do select on the O-line this year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll see what we can do.

  41. J Boy says:

    Noticed that PFF has a pretty low opinion of Ifedi. He was listed as an overrated prospect, and here’s what they wrote about him:

    Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
    Outside of the Texas A&M pipeline and the right tackle’s pipes for arms there really isn’t much to get excited about with Ifedi. The smoothness and change of direction ability we saw last year from his teammate Cedrick Ogbuehi did not at all pass on to Ifedi. And while his arms are long, he routinely lost the first-punch battle. Ifedi actually posted a negative pass blocking grade for A&M, yielding five sacks, three hits, and 18 hurries on the season. In all likelihood he’s a guard at the next level, but I’m not sure that will magically alleviate his issues.

    I don’t think they appropriately take into account his athleticism and overall “ceiling”. Rob- what do you think about this assessment?

    • Volume12 says:

      Houston seems to be high on him too.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I saw they gave him a private workout today:

        “Growing up in Houston, Ifedi has always been a Texans fan and would love to play for his hometown team. He’s developed a friendship with Texans left tackle Duane Brown.”

        • Nolan says:

          Have the Texans been in Houston long enough for him to be a life long fan? Am I that old I always think of them as a new team

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Ifedi is one of the most divisive prospects in the draft. Lot of extreme opinions on both sides of the debate. I think his tape is better than some have suggested but that’s just my take. If he plays LG I think he has the potential to be the best guard in the NFL.

      • Ohchi mama says:

        Oh my I better watch his tape again. Unfortunately there’s nothing really for me to view on YouTube.

        However I like his ability to shadow players to move about in the trenches and drive people when he decides to use leverage technique and his natural power in the 2014 tape vs Bama. I like him as a guard and whenever he decides to bend and use his superior hands over his head and shoulders he is straight nasty!

        Please correct me if I’m using the right verbage, still learning the nuances to the game and love to learn.

      • H M Abdou says:

        Good point on Ifedi, Rob. Ifedi at pick 26 just makes too much sense. Perfect fit in the power guard (LG) role.

    • sdcoug says:

      I think one thing to maybe consider is the QBs at A&M last season. I’m a big A&M fan and watch a lot of their games. Neither Murray nor Allen were very experienced and spent a lot of the season flip-flopping and trying to hand the job back to the other. While not Manziel, they both were scramblers and would quickly drop their eyes looking to run. As we are so familiar with Russ, sometimes this puts your line in bad spots, and it isn’t always their fault. In fact, both those young QBs just bolted with the commitment of Tate Martel

  42. matt says:

    Via Tony Pauline- “One of the stars during today’s Michigan workout was Eastern Michigan running back Darius Jackson. The ball carrier measured 6000, 220 pounds, posted a 41-inch vertical jump and an 11-1 broad jump, and completed 20 reps on the bench. He was fast in the 40, timing in the mid 4.3s on many watches. The Detroit Lions spent hours with Jackson after the workout, driving back to EMU with him and watching film.”

    Very impressive workout! Jackson fits the size mold we target. Decent numbers in senior season- 208 carries. 1078 yards. 5.2 ypc. 14 TD’s. 20 rec. 208 yards. 2 TD’s. Had 20 rec. his junior year too-might be a 3rd down back.

  43. david ess says:

    I like the idea of going Kelly @26 and possibly trading up in the 2nd like what has been proposed on here before and taking Coleman.
    I honestly wonder if Coleman will slide as he hasn’t participated in the combine or a pro day or did I miss something?

    So excited for the draft..sounds dumb but I took that Friday off..and well because the draft falls on my bday so I don’t sound like a total nerd when I fill out a leave request haha.

  44. swisshawk says:

    If we concentrate on interior OL in the draft which scenario would you prefer? (I would take a DT in every scenario in round 3)
    a. LG Ifedi, C McGovern, 3round LB (Feeney?)
    b. LG McGovern, C Kelly, 3 round LB
    c. LG McGovern, C Glasgow, 1 round LB (Neal, Smith???)

    • swisshawk says:

      I would say:
      a. very verstile OL-combo
      b. best interior OL-combo
      c. best value overall

      but i really cant decide :'(

  45. ulsterman says:

    Like all the guys you’ve listed Rob, would honestly be happy grabbing three of them with first four picks, though think it’s more like they take two and also grab some dl/pass rushers. They could then look at likes of Tuerk/Boehm, Tretola/Thuney, Haeg/Cooper/Lewis in later rounds.
    Rob how viable an option is Dahl as tackle? He certainly seems to have the skillset. Would love to see him as a Seahawk

    • reggieregg says:

      I don’t see how Dahl can be rated so low when he was great in pass pro actually ranked like the best pass pro tackle in college or something.

  46. ulsterman says:

    Btw Jarhead, I’m with you in that I hope they don’t try to be too cute or get carried away with physical measurements – I want guys who are athletic but also good at the fundamentals of their position.

    • Rob Staton says:

      One thing to remember there though — there’s a feeling, at least within Seattle and I’d guess around the broader NFL — that fundamentals and technique start from scratch at the next level. College teams are not preparing O-liners for the pro’s. The blocking schemes are so basic.

      If your calling card is technique in college but you aren’t a fantastic athlete — there’s a chance you’ll end up being a guy who just gets overmatched. The technique that won for you in college is totally different in the NFL and you’re not physically good enough to handle the bigger/faster/stronger defensive players. Luke Joeckel is a classic example of this.

      If you’re having to train O-liners from scratch however good their fundamentals were in college, you might as well shoot for the guy with incredible physical upside. One — his size/strength/length/athleticism gives him at least a shot of competing. And if you get the technique right you have a guy who can have a long career.

      • Ulsterman says:

        I just think there are so many other things that come into it – toughness, dedication, attitude etc that can’t be measured at the combine – it’s why guys like Russell WIlson make the people who wrote him off look so stupid in hindsight. I think the seahawks have been burned a few times recently drafting players with the right physical profile and believing they can coach them up and it hasn’t worked.If drafting was just about getting players with the right measurements it would be easy.
        I think it’s more likely that a guy who’s mastered his position in college is going to be a safer option than an athlete who can’t get the basics right. The seahawks need help now, they don’t need projects who may never pan out.
        This is more an argument against likes of LaRaven CLark than anyone you’ve listed. I know atheletism and measurements obviously are important too.

        • Ohchi mama says:

          The ones who appear to have mastered their position and have the talent are usually off the board by the end of the top ten picks.

          Every football player that makes a career out of pro football all have to have toughness dedication attitude and etc to last.

          Even finesse players like Deon Sanders had those qualities despite his reputation. So it’s a mute point to continue driving the point about needing to be a man? To play football.

          Ifedi happens to have athletic skill to play tackle with the natural ability to transition as a guard in the NFL. While natural guards in college don’t have the headroom and will likely transition to bench if they can’t muster it in the NFL.

          I don’t see why this level of thinking is difficult to comprehend. Most prospects in general don’t pan out if they did we wouldn’t need 7plus rounds to draft players. Carol is not a genius he’s just smarter than most I guess.

          He figured hmm let’s draft talented Athletics and see where they fit in and boom it works. We won a bowl and we continue to contend despite the injuries despite the unfair schedule despite the league hating the pnw. Despite how much the NFL and country by and large fondles the balls of Tom Brady and now Denvers president.

          Let’s trust Pete and John and give the league the middle finger. We will continue to contend at the very least to 2017 despite the shitty and passable line. Remember we won’t mostly through our superior defense and Pete and John’s got that shipz on lock down

          • Ulsterman says:

            My point is that if you have one player who is a very good athlete and been a top player in college against another player who is an outstanding athlete but just an average player, I’d take the first player. And its not just about toughness or “being a man” it’s football intelligence,quickness and ability to learn etc.
            It’s just my opinion and I realise seahawks do place big premium on physical measurements, but they’re not infallible and I think when they have missed on draft picks it’s because they’ve become too focussed on that aspect.
            Also I’d repeat the point that the need players on online who can come in and contribute immediately. At no point BTW was I having a go at Ifedi, who I’d be happy with. I just want them to draft players ready to step in and not go overboard on SLA or sparq attributes.
            If technique etc wasn’t important why even bother watching tape and discussing hand techniques, kickslide etc?

            • Ulsterman says:

              Players on oline not online

              • Ow stubs says:

                I agree with you in part.
                Let me try and explain. I leaned this while playing flag football. So mind you I know little

                An athlete in college who is sound fundamentally and can pass block and run block well in college will most likely be overwhelmed in the nfl simple because the best defensive players should know how to exploit the weaknesses of the given opponent.

                For example I like sprigs he’s known to lack power . If it’s true and he doesn’t fix it. The opposing dline will expose that weakness. If he did fix that issue well that only one part of many parts where the defensive player or players in font of him will try and exploit.

                An offensive lineman in the nfl has to match the dline in front of him and match them athletically as well. Someone whoS reaction is relatively slow will have a hard time with players like Michael Bennett. Ol who are fast but have a crappy technique can be massages into learning how to react to faster opponent like mb and block him.

                If the athelete or ol is both slow, weak, in the nfl they will be posteriZed Over and over and over.. Someone who is athletic can compensate better than someone who is both slow and weak And will have a better time managing a beast like mb.

                Proper technique is extremely difficult we are talking about more than just skill, hand and coordination, hand fighting, balance, explosion, improvising, communication, mental, and physical and maybe even spiritual adaptation and all done in the blink of an eye. The way defensive players move nowadays is simply remarkable.

                Someone who isn’t athletic will most likely wash up. Now if they are gifted like a line man who is strong as a bull and can’t be powered or bowled over that limits some of the techniques of the dline man.

                Watch some mma you will get a sense of what I’m trying to illicit from what’s his face Joe rogan and the other dude

      • Soggyblogger says:

        Doesn’t this philosophy justify waiting for Sokoli? His ceiling is the highest of all.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yes but he has a four-year contract so there’s plenty of time to wait and see how he pans out. But they also need an option now. Which is why I think McGovern is a good pick for Seattle. He can play guard and center, possibly tackle too. It means they can move him if Sokoli ever works out.

      • Steele says:

        “however good their fundamentals were in college”

        Some of it translates into the pro game, a lot of it does. Are we being too absolute with this? It’s not a simple thing.The ones with discipline, work ethic, smarts, AND athleticsm can be found throughout the draft.

        The ones who succeed with years of high level college competition under their belts, at their positions, have advantages over those with less experience, less quality competition, and (Cable types with) no experience at position.

        • Rob Staton says:

          In the modern NFL if you can’t hold up physically, good luck. If you’re limited, you will be found out. There’s a reason the entire NFL is struggling to find good offensive lineman. It’s not because of a lack of competition in college or work ethic.

  47. Trevor says:

    I think if we draft Ifedi and McGovern as Rob has mocked then that is in fact fixing the middle of the line.

    As Rob has pointed out the best comp for Ifedi is Osemele who is a great Guard. I think that is what Ifedi will be. For me he is a guy who could end up being a pro bowl level LG in our system.

    As for McGovern I think he would be our 2016 Center with great strength and athleticism for the position he would also have pro bowl level potential in a year or two. I prefer Kelly who is a natural Center but he will be gone by the time we pick in Rd #2. That being said once McGovern gets the nuances of the position and line calls/ protection etc. he may in fact have much higher upside than Kelly.

    So I guess what I am saying is by drafting Ifedi and McGovern even though they are both college Tackles we would be in fact be drafting our LG and Center of the future.

    2016 OL

    LT Gilliam, LG Ifedi, C McGovern, RG Glowinski, RT Webb

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Kelly is about as complete a C prospect as I’ve seen.

      But even so, I think McGovern has higher upside. He’s a man of rare and freakish strength. Plus he has OT experience.

    • lil'stink says:

      There’s no guarantee that McGovern starts at center his rookie year. Seems like he could be a good fit eventually, but if it’s immediate improvement on the OL you’re after I’m not sure that’s the best move. Mitch Morse was certainly able to make the transition, but that learning curve might not be so steep for other guys. Maybe McGovern could compete for LG his rookie year, then slide over to C in 2017? Nice thing about McGovern is that he could project to play numerous positions on the OL, which is something Cable obviously likes.

      Either way, it certainly seems like a very deep OL draft for interior lineman. Hard not to like our chances of getting at least one or two solid players.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Why would Morse be able to make the transition, but not McGovern? Both are very smart, both have OT experience, both measure similarly, though McGovern is a superior athlete.

        Morse – 6’5″ 305, 32 1/4″ arms, 9 1/4″ hands, 5.14/3.04/1.86 40yd, 31″ VJ, 112″ BJ, 4.50 SS, 7.60 3C

        McGov – 6’4″ 306, 32 7/8″ arms, 10 3/8″ hands, 5.11/2.93/1.73 40yd, 33″ VJ, 109″ BJ, 4.65 SS, 7.50 3C

        • lil'stink says:

          Not saying McGovern couldn’t. I just don’t think it’s as easy to do as we might like to think, and it speaks to what a really solid football player Morse is. It’s not about the measureables, but rather all the other things it takes to be a center.

          I think a rookie coming in with no experience playing center would have a tough hill to climb to start come week 1 over Patrick Lewis. Lewis obviously isn’t spectacular, but he is a known quantity, which I think will give him a leg up in 2016 coming on the heels of the disastrous Drew Nowak experiment. The nice thing about McGovern is that he could play multiple positions on the line, so he certainly wouldn’t be a bad pick in the 2nd round.

        • matt says:

          Those are very similar testing results between Morse and McGov. Wouldn’t say McGov is a superior athlete by any means. Marginally better…sure.

  48. Dingbatman says:

    Player A

    PRO DAY RESULTS
    40-yard dash: 4.84 and 4.88 seconds
    Vertical: 38 inches
    Broad: 9 feet, 11 inches
    Short shuttle: 4.36 seconds
    3-cone: 7.25 seconds
    Bench: 31 reps of 225 pounds

    1 year NFL experience

    Player B

    COMBINE RESULTS
    40 YD 20 YD 10 YD 225 BENCH VERTICAL JUMP BROAD SHUTTLE 3-CONE DRILL
    5.11 2.93 1.73 33 33 9’1″ 4.65 7.50
    No NFL experience

    Player B: Connor McGovern
    Player A: Kristjan Sokoli

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Player B has always played OL
      Player A has not.

      • Dingbatman says:

        Understood. Although Justin Britt played O/L in college while Gilliam (our starting right tackle and possibly starting left tackle) was primarily a tight end. It’s not an entirely serious comparison but with Tom Cable’s comment about college OL not being ready to play in the NFL it remains to be seen how well they have developed the likes of Last years OL draft picks.

  49. STTBM says:

    Unless Seattle is positive that either Webb or Gilliam is the real deal long-term at LT, then I think the only O-line position they should draft in the first round should be a legit LT. If Ifedi isn’t a sure bet at LT, and maybe only a G at the NFL level, I feel they should pass, trade down a bit, and take LeRaven Clark or someone like that. Clark is supposed to have a high ceiling, and isn’t being talked about with as much varying opinions as Ifedi. I don’t mind that he may not be ready to step in immediately, as you can certainly say the same about Ifedi.

    I could see taking a C, one who actually played C in a Pro Style offense in college, but then again, you can find good C’s in the second through fourth round every year.

    Whatever they decide to do, I just hope they get at least two solid players on the O-line out of this draft, a LB replacement for Irvin, and players with upside to fill in at RB, DE/DT, and DB. Maybe this year we don’t get our pass-rush prospect stolen by NO or someone like happened last year with Obum Gwacham….

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      Ifedi has the long arms and athleticism to be a left tackle. He could end up as a Hutchinson type guard. Clark has all the physical tools, including elite footwork, to be a Pro-Bowl left tackle. Both need a lot of work on their mechanics. Ifedi could be a competent starter at guard as a rookie. Clark could start at right tackle but it would likely be a bit of a mess at times. He would probably benefit from a year on the bench like Gilliam.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Clark could start at LG as well before kicking outside.

      • J says:

        The difference is Ifiedi is a great athlete, while Clark is marginal.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Where’d you get that opinion?

          40 yard times for comparison (Clark didn’t perform jumps or agility drills):

          Ifedi – 6’6″ 324lbs 5.27/3.04/1.79 40yd
          Clark – 6’6″ 316lbs 5.16/2.99/1.80 40yd

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Agree. Ifedi will never be a very good LT. It’s starting to drive me nuts to hear people talk about how “athletic” a guy is, because that can take so many forms. Straight-line speed, quick cutting ability, strength, lower body explosion, coordination, etc.

      IMO, Ifedi simply does not move well enough to be a good LT. If you tell me he’s going to be a great guard, I say no thanks at #26. We can get a very good guard in R4.

      If we are taking a bit of a project OT in R1, it’s Spriggs for me, grabbing a C later.

      • Volume12 says:

        I like Spriggs myself.

        However, I don’t think he’s a project. I mean, he does need to get stronger, but every O-lineman drafted eds some type of work.

        There seems to be a big misconception about rookies. Teams don’t just draft them and say ‘away you go. You don’t have to get coaching. You don’t need to pick our playbook and learn it.’

    • Rob Staton says:

      Danny O’Neil speculated during the 2015 season they saw Gilliam as the left tackle of the future. He has the skill set for it.

  50. rowdy says:

    The new nickname for are oline should be the scrap heap lol

  51. nichansen01 says:

    Take this scenario:

    Titans – Laremy Tunsil
    Browns – Carson Wentz
    Chargers – Jalen Ramsey
    Cowboys – Myles Jack
    Jaguars – Deforest Buckner
    Ravens – Joey Bosa
    49ers – Jared Goff
    Dolphins – Ronnie Stanley
    Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves
    Giants – Darron Lee
    Bears – Ezekial Elliot
    Saints – Sheldon Rankins
    Eagles – Eli Apple
    Raiders – Keanu Neal
    Rams – Paxton Lynch
    Lions – Jack Conklin
    Falcons – Leonard Floyd
    Colts – Taylor Decker
    Bills – Jason Spriggs
    Jets – Germaine Ifedi
    Redskins – Jarran Reed
    Texans – Corey Coleman
    Vikings – Laquon Treadwell
    Bengals – Josh Doctson
    Steelers – Andrew Billings
    Seahawks – ?????????????

    All of Tunsil, Stanley, Spriggs, Conklin, Decker and Ifedi are off the board, as well as Keanu Neal…

    Top options:

    Ryan Kelly – Pure Center
    La’Raven Clark – Tackle/Guard
    Shon Coleman – Tackle/Guard
    Cody Whitehair – Tackle/Guard
    Josh Garnett – Pure left guard
    Nick Martin – Pure Center

    Other players to consider : Emmanual Ogbah, Shaq Lawon, Noah Spence, Kevin Dodd, Robert Nkemdiche, Derrick Henry

    For me, I would take Kelly in this situation. What are your thoughts?

    • troy says:

      RD1 OL Coleman
      RD2 DL Tapper
      RD3 OL Westerman/McGovern
      RD3 DL Ward
      RD4 OL Graham Glasgow/Joe Dahl
      RD5 LB/DE Feeney
      RD6 CB Robinson
      RD7 RB Tyler Ervin
      RD7 WR Mike Thomas/Marquez North

      • Volume12 says:

        Just a heads up, but Ervin is a 4th rounder.

        • troy says:

          Thanks for the insight. That being said, Tony Pauline has him pegged as a 6th RD pick FWIW. Just curious where and how do you base projections for players? Specifically what source/site do you find to be the most accurate?

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            It’s a consensus thing. Instead of just taking Pauline’s rank by itself, take a look at what some other scouts/draftniks think. Just search his name on twitter and you’ll find not only what people think at any given time, but how he’s trending, which is equally important. Right now Ervin’s stock is rising.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          I suspect McGovern will go late 2nd to mid 3rd… there is too much ink on him for a drop to the late 3rd round pick. I also think Seattle only has 1 fourth round pick.

    • lil'stink says:

      I would add Jonathan Bullard to that list as well. I know he isn’t pegged as being a first rounder, but I think he could be what we are looking for on our DL.

    • Volume12 says:

      Shaq Lawson looks like he’s gonna fall a round or two. He’s got injuy concerns over his shoulder.

      For a guy that wins with power and a bull rush, and extending/using that length to keep blockers off of him, you have to be concened how that’ll affect him at the next level against bigger, stronger opposition.

      • Steele says:

        And yet people are clamoring for Travis Feeney and his bad shoulder.

        • Volume12 says:

          I don’t think Feeney got red-flagged at the combine though.

          And Lawson’s shoulder could end up checking out.

      • kenny sloth says:

        I was just watching tape of lawson after hearing he would fall. Looks like a solid player really aggressive good hand use gave other guys fits
        Worrisome though that he seems to be having trouble turning the corner?
        Perhaps the injury was affecting him as he was too often looking to counter inside

        • Volume12 says:

          Yeah, definetly worrisome.

          You might be right. Maybe it did affect him.

          If Frank Clark replaces Bruce as that 3rd pass rusher at DE, Lawson could be a guy to replace Clark. If that makes sense.

          His shoulder could be fine, and as Rob pointed out about Kikaha, even if it still is a concern, it only takes one team to ferl comfortable about it and select him.

          But, say he does fall to the end of round 2, hypothetically, he becomes very appealing and mighty tempting.

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      For me personally ally it’s still tackle. I would go Coleman

    • bobbyk says:

      Personally, I don’t see Nick Martin as a pure center. I think he can/will be a Pro Bowl guard, too. Just because the Seahawks have traditionally looked for 325 pound guys at left guard, it doesn’t mean every team believes in that philosophy.

  52. lil'stink says:

    Mike Morgan re-signed. No contract details yet. Nice move to bring back a leader on ST and competition for the SAM position.

  53. Madmark says:

    Don’t be surprised if the Nowak experiment isn’t over. Clint Gresham the long snapper was released. Somewhere a while ago I read that he was doing 50 long snaps a day for practice that he did on his own. I really believe Nowak will be on the roster starting the year.

  54. Sea Mode says:

    Terms for Christine Michael’s contract are out:

    Christine Michael one-year Seahawks deal: $725,000, $675,000 salary, $25,000 signing bonus, $25,000 roster bonus
    — Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 19, 2016

    Looks like another win for JS.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      It is a win for both sides. CM needed a home and was almost out of the NFL. Seattle needed depth at RB and he fit what they are trying to do. This might be one of the most under rated signing by Seattle when it is all said and done.

    • Jake says:

      If he plays the whole season like he played after he returned last year he should earn himself a nice little payday somewhere in 2017. As it stands right now, our OL and RB group pretty much has to be the cheapest in the league. Pretty sure Condotta tweeted something about the current OL having a lower cap number than sweezy himself this year

    • GeoffU says:

      Indeed, that’s basically the vet minimum.

  55. neil says:

    For me it is east, pick 26 should be a top notch center. Center is the o line position that requires the most intellegence. It is the centers job to adjust the blocking assignments on passing downs, and alert the qb to possible stunts. Unger had that, that is why he is sorley missed. Size, athletisism, and mostly brains, I hope they can find someone in the draft.

    • While I wouldn’t have a problem with us drafting a potentially elite Center like Kelly at 26, I don’t think you can discount the current Stanton thinking; draft McGovern and move him to Center. If he has the intelligence, the athleticism, the size, everything you want in a Center except being a college Center, I say take that shot. Why? Because Webb scares me, and there is no guarantee that Gilliam is ready to go at LT. I hope he is, but if you want a OT who has a shot at starting in his rookie year, he is only going to be available to us with our 1st pick.

      I believe we NEED a OT and a Center from this draft, and could really use a third OLinemen taken in the first 4 picks as well, and hell a OLinemen taken in the 6th or 7th round wouldn’t hurt either. Ifedi at 26 to compete at RT (hopefully earns it) which can push Webb inside to LG (benching Britt our worst OLinemen). That way we just upgraded two positions. Gilliam goes to LT and hopefully he is good, at least solid and improving game by game (like he did at RT in ’15). Then we draft a G/C, if the Hawks LOVE McGovern and believe he can play Center, great. If the Hawks LOVE Glasgow and want him at Center, great. But either way upgrading Center is a priority. Not because Lewis sucks, but because of how important the Center position is.

      Starting the season with our interior line having been upgraded (Webb > Britt, McGovern > Lewis, Glow > Sweezy) would be great. Yes it is likely Okung > Gilliam LT, and hopefully Ifedi > Gilliam at RT, but hopefully Gilliam is at least solid, not a liability at LT.

      Upgrading the interior is key though, with that pass rush being what disrupts Russ most. Outside DE’s don’t really pin their ears back on Russ given his scramble ability and his ability to run, they more-so attempt to contain Russ while the interior pass rush beats Britt-Nowak/Lewis-Sweezy. But if Webb-McGovern-Glow can be upgrades across the board, can hold their own and protect Russ, then maybe Russ looks more like second half of 2015 Russ not first half.

  56. Jake says:

    Looks like Mayock started doing some actual study after the combine. Now has Ifedi, McGovern, and Glasgow in his top five at T, G, and C respectively after previously having none of them ranked.

    • southpaw360 says:

      I’m not a fan of Mayock. He is always late to the party in my opinion. I think he reads others blogs/mock drafts and doesn’t really have his own opinion. Maybe that’s just me? He is so bad I always have to look so I guess he is doing his job.

      • H M Abdou says:

        I agree with CharlietheUnicorn’s response, and would add that I think Mayock’s analysis is pretty good, and if nothing else, is completely impartial. He favors no teams, schools, front offices, etc. He gives his unbiased opinions. And he doesn’t just say that a prospect is good or bad; he EXPLAINS in detail what he likes and doesn’t like about each player he looks at.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      Mayock got paid alot of money by NFL teams to evaluate talent. He might be late to the party, but he also hopped on prior to the draft.

  57. Jake says:

    I think you’re probably right to some extent. With his tv responsibilities now, I think he’s just relaying things he’s heard a lot of the time – especially early in the offseason. I’m sure by draft day he’s well schooled on the prospects, but I don’t think he’s discovering any hidden gems before the masses

  58. drewjov11 says:

    I don’t know that I see Kelly as a truly elite player. He’s good, not great. Lots of whiff blocks if you watch him long enough. He gets to the second level, but sometimes he looks lost and he doesn’t square up. I guess I’m nitpicking. Still, not in the first round.

    • Darnell says:

      Another thing is that while Rob mentioned the importance of positional versatility, and how Ifedi, Coleman, Whitehair, Martin, Dahl and Glasgow provide that versatility while Garnett does not, I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere that Kelly is anything but a center and doesn’t bring the versatility that the others do.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        You are drafting him to play center. His expertise and familiarity with the position are the main assets to picking him (in 1st ro 2nd round). The team has to believe he can lock down the position for the next 6 years and grow as RW grows in the offense.

  59. kenny sloth says:

    Revisited some tape on Germain Ifedi really came away impressed by his footspees, but really needs to work on his punch. Placement too. There are many techniques to manipulate your opponent, but his hands were way outside and he appeared to catch the rusher instead of jarring him. Doesnt give up much pressure, but doesnt get many defeats with his technique.

    • Trevor says:

      I watched Ifedi a lot today as well and was pretty disappointed to be honest. For a man his size you are right he really does not seem to show a ton of power. At the college level I was expecting him to dominant physically and I did not see much of that at all. Perhaps it was just the games I watched but it must be the same stuff everyone else is watching online. He is obviously a freak based on his measurable’s but I really don’t see it on tape. That being said I am certainly no scout and will defer to Rob who thinks he could be special.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You are 100% correct on Ifedi’s punch. It’s the #1 area he has to improve as a priority. It’ll make his life so much easier.

      • Trevor says:

        Rob why do you think that is? Is it something easily coached or is it beause of his arm length or something like that. He is obviously strong enough.

        Also I love his aggression and you can tell he can’t wait to get to the 2nd level but often he looks lost when he gets there and cannot seem to find anyone to block. Is that a scheme / coaching issue that can be easily fixed.

        No one looks more like an NFL OL than Ifedi. He would definitely be the 1st guy off the bus.

  60. Trevor says:

    I am more worried about the OL than anyone but after spending 4 hours today looking at Ifedi, Conklin, Decker and Spriggs I am not sold on anyone of them as sure fire pick. All have huge flaws and are going to need to develop. I think Webb will be our RT no matter who we take. None of these guys has a proper kick slide or good footwork even Conklin and Decker who are supposed to be more polished. I think the only day one starting Tackle in this draft is Tunsil. All the analyst love Stanley and I think he has bust written all over him.

    After Tunsil then Coleman is definitely my favorite tackle. He needs work too but is a nasty run blocker and would be an awesome LG his rookie year then could start at LT or RT in year #2 if needed.

    Therefore I think the Hawks will use the depth on the OL / DL in the draft to surprise us all and go with an impact defender at 26.

    Rd#1 Ogbah, Rankins, Neal, Lee (If one of these guys is available then I hope they are the pick)

    Rd#2 Coleman or LaRaven Clark (I love Coleman but think he could fall because of injury and age if he is not then Clark has legit LT potential)

    Rd #3 Westerman, Mcgovern, Martin, Glasgow (One of these quality interior line prospects will be there in Rd #3 and all could compete at for a Center /Guard spot in year #1

    Rd#3 Javon Hargrave, Willie Henry -The depth at DT will allow us to add a piece to our DT rotation and some youth.

    *A Wildcard at the end of Rd#3 could be Jaylon Smith if still on the board. My favourite player in the draft prior to injury. Even if he has to red shirt a year I would like the pick.

    Rd#4 Prosise, Marshall or Ervin – Hav to think we will add an RB in the draft. Prosise would be a perfect 3rd down compliment to Rawls and Cmike

    Rd#5 Akron LB Jatavius Brown- Love this kid great speed and is undersized LB who can just flat out play. Huge chip on his shoulder.

    Rd#6 David Oneymata – Developmental DT prospect with huge upside

    Rd#7 Justin Zimmer – SparQ Freak could be another Cable convert project but would love to see him get a shot as a 3Tech DT
    Rd#7 Developmental QB like Driskell perhaps.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Here’s the flaw in the plan though Trevor — if you don’t go OL at #26 you’re banking on Coleman or Clark being there at #56 and that’s no sure thing.

      If you get to the end of round two and they’ve gone — and some of the better interior guys have gone too — it’s panic stations.

      You’re not going to find an OT with flawless technique at the end of round one. The four guys you mentioned are all athletic though — and in some cases physically excellent — and with pro coaching could be extremely productive at the next level.

      • Coug1990 says:

        Which is what the team did when in a round about way admitted they did when they took Britt. They wanted to trade down. They wanted to take Richardson. There was a run on lineman and they were left taking Britt.

        • Trevor says:

          Agreed but that draft was not nearly as deep in OL talent as this one. That draft in general was incredibly weak.

      • Trevor says:

        That is a good point if the top 8 tackles are off the board it would be a bad situation. I agree all the 4-5 tackles at the end of Rd #1 we discussed are gifted physically I just don’t think any of them are day #1 starters at Tackle. In a year or two I think all of them could be solid tackles but there is a ton of coaching and technique refinement required. I think Conklin, Ifedi and Decker could be quality LG day #1 based on physical prowess alone.

        My thinking was that the Hawks may go with the impact player if he was available.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think all four will be day one starters personally.

          An impact player is nice but we have to consider the Seahawks already have Bennett, Avril and Clark at DE and Wagner/Wright at LB. On the O-line, they have Gilliam, Lewis, Webb and Glowinski. You can live with the existing DE’s and win a ton of games. Ditto the linebackers. Not so much with the existing O-liners.

      • Darnell says:

        Absolutely. That is the risk.

        But, in a way, I am leaning towards the impact defender value at 26 being greater than the value of a flawed OT at that point. They’d have to be comfortable playing this season with Gilliam/Webb as the tackles, doubling up on a couple guys from your interior list in rds 2 and 3, and revisiting the OT position in the 2017 free agency period and/or draft.

        Admittedly, that would be a plan B , but a plan B that could look something like:

        1 Ogbah
        2 McGovern
        3 Glasgow
        3 Hargrave
        4 K Marshall
        5 Dahl

        I have to wonder if the OT position in Seattle may be devalued as a benefit of the QBs ability and the nature of the offense. There just aren’t many plays in this offense that allows opposing DEs to pin their ears back a go after RW – not a lot of 5,7 step drops; most of the shotgun passes feature Russ catching and releasing; a heck of a lot of plays where the run action and RWs mobility keep the DEs honest and where the dline moves with the motion of the oline; in the run game the DEs often have to slow play it because of RW’s running threat. This isn’t Hasselbeck/Holmgren or Warner/Martz being intensely dependent upon the greatness of Jones and Pace.

        • Trevor says:

          That would be an interesting draft really like the Hargrave pick in Rd #3

        • Rob Staton says:

          It’s worth noting that Ogbah also has flaws. It’s easier to measure a DE’s success because of sacks and TFL’s but for all his athleticism — there are plenty of issues with his tape. I would rather focus on what he does well — but it’s important not to classify the OT’s as flawed and not consider that a lot of these defensive guys are flawed too.

          The best way to emphasise that is — there is no way a player with Ogbah’s unreal combine and 13 sacks in 2015 lasts until #26 unless he has flaws. Just like a guy with Germain Ifedi’s upside doesn’t last until #26 unless he has flaws.

          Whoever they take in round one, they are going to need some work. The key is to draft a player at a position of need with the potential to be great. Right now — no need comes close to the O-line. If they don’t draft a D-liner they’ll still have Bennett, Avril and Clark. Compare that to the existing O-liners on the roster…

          • Darnell says:

            It’s a good point. Everyone is flawed, even guys as high up the draft as Bosa and Buckner.

            And agreed, edge rusher production is much easier to identify than that of those who play Oline.

            I do however, remember at some point in the past, JS saying something along the lines of when you abandon the board and value in order to reach for a need you do it to the detriment of the depth of the team.

            Though I’d be perfectly happy with an olineman at 26, I think the likes of Neal, Lee, Ogbah, Apple, V Butler are straight up better football players than the OL group.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think JS has said that a few times — but whether it’s PC overruling him or something else, they’ve also consistently prioritised self-confessed needs. Run blocking 2011, speed in the front seven 2012, touchdown makers 2013, return man and an athletic TE in 2015.

              Some of the names you listed are better — I don’t think Lee will get close to #26, Apple too. Neal possible but a great player. But we have to think — what gets this team back to a Super Bowl? It has to be, without doubt, upgrading the OL. And the OL guys are not so bad that you feel guilty taking them. They’re still first rounders. And the depth at other positions (eg D-line) is good enough to still get options later — that will not be the case at OT.

              • Darnell says:

                That’s fair.

                Coleman, Decker, Ifedi, Whitehair, Kelly are all 1st round caliber – no doubt about it; especially Ifedi if you compare him to Ogbuehi coming off a knee injury going in the first (plus Ifedi plays with a nastier disposition).

                Easier said than done, but given that those guys constitute a handful, it sure would be nice to get some additional value by falling back and getting one at 30 or later (ammunition for a jump up should Bullard, Martin, Henry (??) or one of the above oline still be hanging around in the mid-2nd).

          • Trevor says:

            Good point about Ogbah. He kind of looks lazy at times or at least disinterested on tape at least to me which I am sure would be a knock. Do other people see that as well or is it just me?

            • Rob Staton says:

              His effort is appalling at times.

            • Darnell says:

              Yep.

              Though to be fair to dline prospects I saw that in JPP, J Houston, G Hardy, K Short when they were coming out too. Clowney floated and hasn’t been able to find a motor in the NFL. So, definitely a tricky situation.

              Though you have to be careful of the guys who hustle their asses off in college and inflate their sack totals like Darryl Tapp, Michael Sam and Nick Reed.

    • Trevor says:

      I guess the crux of my arguement is that if we are drafting someone who is not going to start as a tackle and we have Webb signed for 2 year to likely stat at RT are we not falling into the James Carpenter trap and drafting a LG for the nest two years at pick #26. The may develop into true tackles and be much better guards than Carpenter was but still a LG at pick #26 might not be the best value.

  61. Coug1990 says:

    Rob, I apologize because this is the Seahawks draft blog. But, I have been wanting to ask for weeks and I just could not wait or not ask any more because they won again.

    Just how big of a story is Leicester City in England right now? What are your thoughts on them? From 7500km away, it seems like such a wonderful story. Thanks.

    • Trevor says:

      I have been following it too Coug. Unreal given that league has no salary cap. Rob can they pull it off?

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s enormous. There is no realistic comparison in American sports. It will be, with no exaggeration, the greatest story in modern day team sports.

      A sporting miracle.

      • Trevor says:

        Is it the coach / system by Claudio Ranieri or young players who have just hit their stride or just a perfect storm of everything bouncing their way. With only 7 games to go it surely seems like it is possible now.

        Was Ranieri well respected prior to this? I only remember his name for getting sacked by Greece around the 2014 world cup.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think it’s a combination of the bigger clubs spending too much money, their players earning too much money — and a Leicester team that has played without fear, with great organisation and spirit — and has just bloody gone for it.

          Ranieri has a good reputation. A character. Hasn’t won major trophies but a quite big name in the sport.

          It’s a truly exceptional story.

          • Darnell says:

            Interesting that you use the term ‘miracle’, seeing as the USA’s miracle on ice could be a somewhat apt comparison (college kids beating the Red Army).

            Is it a team of grinders, so to speak? Or are there a handful of guys destined to inevitably be sold to the bigger clubs?

            • Coug1990 says:

              I thought the same thing about his use of the word “miracle.” It is aptly named here in America “The Miracle on Ice.” It really was a miracle that a team of college kids beat a team of professionals that had played together for years (like National Teams in football/soccer) in the Olympics to ultimately win the gold.

              But, they are different in that the Olympics were a two week tournament and the other is a 38 match season. Leicester is a great story and if they hold on, I would think there may be a movie or two made about this season.

              It is great to watch from afar. I can only imagine seeing it in England and those from Leicester? I think my head would explode.

              • Rob Staton says:

                Imagine the guys from the Miracle on Ice needing to do it about ten times in the season (beat a much stronger, favoured opponent) while also having to be the best over another 28 games.

                The whole country is behind Leicester over here. It will be the greatest thing I’ve seen in sport if they win it.

            • Rob Staton says:

              A real mix. Effort, endeavour, energy, skill. Some will move on (Mahrez will be at Barcelona or Madrid next year) but it’s an incredible group.

  62. Trevor says:

    Rob have you taken a look at Eric Mclain (Clemson), Joe Thuney (NC St) Joe Haeg (ND St.) as late round Guard options? They all have tackle experience and could likely play all over the line.

  63. Trevor says:

    Jatavis Brown from Akron. Put this guy on your watch list. He is undersized at 5-11 225lbs but ran a 4.4 40yd and 33 reps on bench at his pro day. He was incredibly productive his entire college career and plays with a monster sized chip on his shoulder.

    Really hope he is our LB pick in this draft perhaps 5th round which I know is a lot higher than projected. I know everyone loves Feeney but he will require a 3rd round pick and has the injury concerns. Not Brown who is tough, durable, leader and play maker.

    I know that Mac is not the SEC or Pac 12 but this year alone he totaled an amazing 116 tackles (20 for loss), 12 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles while starting all 13 games at WILL linebacker.

    Rawls was an incredible find out of the MAC last year. I hope it is Brown this year for us.

  64. Nate says:

    Rob, GREAT work!

    Any thoughts on trading up in the 1st to grab the OT from Mich St…maybe to #18 where he’s projected. What would that take? The 3rd we have and #26, knowing we have the comp 3rd pick. Thx for all your work

    Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t totally oppose it — but I think Conklin is going to go top-12.

      What I think might happen is — go OL at #26, then trade into the late 30’s or early 40’s from #56 to draft a pass rusher like Jonathan Bullard.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      I’m not Rob, but I’ve read — and think myself — that there are really only two guys you can be absolutely certain will end up as LTs in this draft (more than, yeah, you can get away with this guy at LT, but he’d be better off at . . . .): Tunsil and Stanley. Conklin could probably be okay, maybe Decker, probably Spriggs and Clark with some added strength/technique work, respectively.

      So are you going to move up for a guy you might ultimately have to put at RT or LG? I don’t think that’s worth it. Positional value isn’t there, IMO.

      And I echo the thanks to Rob for all the work and discussion points.

  65. EranUngar says:

    Rob,

    For the past week i can not post comments from any of my home computers. After click “Submit Comment” it sends me back to the top of the page but the comment is not posted.

    It doesn’t happen when i do the same (same name and email) from my work computer. It is very frustrating.