William & Mary’s Tre McBride definitely one to watch

February 13th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

So far the 2015 class of receivers have carried a similar theme. Outside of the top three (with Amari Cooper looking like the most natural wide out to enter the league since A.J. Green), nearly every prospect has a pretty obvious flaw. Here are some examples:

— Jaelen Strong is a terrific high-point catcher who frequently takes the ball away from a defender. He could have an eye-catching vertical at the combine (basketball roots in his family) but a lack of suddenness going into breaks (and urgency), the inability to separate and the relative dependence on circus catches to make plays is problematic.

— Sammie Coates and Breshad Perriman are both incredible physical talents. Coates is ripped and has the look of a leaner T.O. Perriman is big, bulked up and explosive. They flash first round athleticism and late round hands. You can’t trust either player. Sure, they’ll make difficult grabs look easy, get you a few chunk plays. And then they’ll kill a drive with a really lousy drop.

— Dorial Green-Beckham has everything you’d want in a #1 receiver — size, length, hands, speed and he’s a YAC-threat. If Cooper is the most natural receiver since Green, DGB has the highest ceiling since Julio Jones. He should be a top-15 pick. But he probably won’t be because the off-field concerns are legit and serious.

— Devin Smith, Phillip Dorsett, Nelson Agholor and Tyler Lockett all make plays. Smith and Dorsett are incredible athletes capable of making catches downfield. Agholor is just a really competitive, athletic player and Mr. Consistency for USC. Lockett had a terrific Senior Bowl and will be a nice option for someone. Yet all four players are small and could be one-dimensional (Smith/Dorsett downfield receivers, Agholor/Lockett slot receivers).

Whoever you choose you’re going to be taking a preference. A team that needs a good possession receiver who can make plays in the red zone might be able to look beyond Jaelen Strong’s lack of suddenness. If you lack explosion on the outside and are willing to gamble on upside, Coates and Perriman will be attractive. If you do your homework and feel comfortable rolling the dice on DGB — the upside potential is huge (but so is the possible downside).

It was refreshing to finally find a prospect who is quite rounded.

Tre McBride at William & Mary is a fun player to watch. He’s not enormous at 6-2 and around 205-210lbs. It’s about the same size as Sammie Coates. He does appear to have good length (long arms) and he looks big on the field. Aside from length he is supposedly capable of running a sub 4.4-forty. I’m not sure about that, but if he can time in the 4.4’s it’s good enough.

Hands? Very good and consistent. He’ll make several circus grabs and will fight for the ball and pluck it out of the air. He seems to have similar body control to Strong — locating the ball, gaining position and timing his jump to beat the defender.

Look what he did to West Virginia in 2013:

You need to work on his routes but that’s not surprising. He should do more with the double move on the first grab in the video above but that’s teachable. He’s competitive and sparky — he’ll celebrate after a big play. Look at 0:39 in the highlight video at the top of the piece and notice the red zone catch where he tees the ball up using his foot like a soccer player. You’ve got to love that level of improvisation to score a touchdown. Talk about doing whatever it takes.

I’ve seen three games and he’s made two bad plays in the lot — two late drops against Richmond that spoiled an otherwise terrific game. I’m still searching for other negative plays.

It’s very difficult to find a prospect with this level of control and timing. It’s why Strong remains somewhat appealing despite his lack of wheels. Throw in what looks like a good wingspan and you’re talking about a big catch-radius. It’s not just about competing for the ball either — he’ll settle into a zone and fight for extra yardage. He can improve as a run blocker but you see the willingness to do it and the want to get involved. In one play he knocked a guy on his backside. He also returned kicks for W&M (2013 CAA Special Teams player of the year).

He made an impression in the Shrine week with Chris Kouffman observing:

“One could easily argue that McBride not only looked like the most talented receiver during week, but also the most polished. That is an amazing accolade for an FCS player. His speed and precise footwork were noteworthy. He showed the most consistency in separating from man coverage and catching the ball.”

The scary thing is — you’d expect he can get better. He’s said to have tremendous speed (we’ll find out at the combine) — let’s see even more explosion on those breaks especially on shorter routes to create openings. Let’s see him beat a guy consistently deep to take the top off a defense. He’s willing to work over the middle and take hits — at the very worst he can work in the slot or the seam. Based on what I’ve seen I think he can blossom into a more rounded receiver and line up anywhere. It just might take a year to get him there.

And the final point is the character. There’s a lot of unimpressive interview footage out there involving this class of receivers. Strong is quite surly. Perriman is a bit of a goofball. Devin Smith is hit and miss. McBride is well spoken, polite and offers thoughtful answers. Take a look:

I hope he tests well enough to be in contention for the Seahawks. He seems like the kind of guy you can work with. I’ll wait until after the combine to make a projection on where he might go, but he has the athletic/character qualities to warrant some attention and development. With a lot of the receivers in this class you’ll end up having to live with a trait you don’t like (lack of speed, drops, character concerns). McBride at least gives you a more rounded starting point. There are other wide outs with bigger upside in this draft. He’s not going to be an early pick. But he has a shot to make it and he’d be a nice project for a team needing a receiver.

125 Responses to “William & Mary’s Tre McBride definitely one to watch”

  1. CC says:

    Nice write up as usual Rob!

    Another guy I noticed at the senior bowl is Dezmin Lewis from Central ARK – 6’4″ – 215 with likely 4.5 or so speed. He reminds me a bit of a raw Sidney Rice. I still want that tall WR who can make plays and help Russell out with some fades and jumping to get the ball!

    All things being equal, if we look at the second or third tier WRs, I would love a tall guy.

  2. Ross says:

    Since I think we should take multiple receivers in the draft, Tre McBride looks like good value in the later rounds. A bit of Golden Tate, a bit of Jordy Nelson. Not noticeably big or fast but finds a way to get the ball in his hands. I’m interested to see how consistently he can get separation. Perhaps he doesn’t need separation most of the time, but I think Seattle needs someone who can get a step the cornerback on a consistent basis. Philip Dorsett has ridiculous speed, so does Devin Smith, but are quick as well as fast? Can they use their speed on shallower routes? I feel like we know more what we’re getting with Funchess and Strong.

  3. matt509 says:

    Tre McBride looks like a really good prospect. Do you think Seattle will look at him like Norwood last year, and if so is it likely Seattle goes in a similar direction as last year? Maybe trading back and drafting someone like Smith/Agholor and then grabbing McBride later. It would give us 6+Richardson.

    The 6 being Baldwin, Kearse, Matthews, Norwood, then the two draft picks. Maybe completely redshirt Richardson.

    • matt509 says:

      What about Georgia Tech’s Darren Waller?

      • Dave says:

        Darren Waller looks like a move TE. He tracks the ball well and hand catches the ball cleanly. Playing at Georgia Tech, he knows how to block and more importantly takes advantage of the few passing plays they have. I watched the 2014 Miss State game and just rewatched the GT offensive plays. He beat zone coverage really well. I thought that I would see the scramble drill more more but when QB Thomas tucks the ball, he runs and doesn’t look to throw like RW.

        • matt509 says:

          I think if Seattle where to go that route they would just draft a TE. If they draft Waller it would to groom as a big time #1. My guess is they would pass on someone like McBride and gamble on Waller.

          • Volume 12 says:

            W&M WR Tre McBride also comes from a run heavy offense, and I’d venture to say he’s every bit the run blocker that WR Darren Waller is.

        • MFNewguy says:

          I tossed out this guy out on a previous thread, so its nice to see someone else putting his name out there. The common knock on Waller was that he wasn’t a good blocker, more of a body block kind of guy. But I do like his size 6-6 242 and reportedly runs a 4.52.

          The other WR from Georga Tech looks interesting.Deandre Smelter 6-2 220 according to the schools Web site. Only played 2 years of college football. Is coming off an ACL tear though. He was the primary target before going down. Also returned kicks his Jr year.

        • bigDhawk says:

          Thanks for the Waller love. I was pounding the table for him at the end of the college season but was shouted down by some who didn’t think he dynamic enough, or some such thing. I see Waller as an even bigger version of Matthews, and the two of them on the field at the same time would be epic. On single high safety looks, at least one of them will have always a 1-on-1 matchup they can win vertically. If defenses choose to go two deep safeties and double both of them, then that clears the box for Beastmode and Russell.

          Yep, sign me up for two towering receivers like Matthews and Waller.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            I like it bigD

            Considering how RW plays QB like a point guard, take a basketball-centric approach to this offense – in this case like the mid-80s Houston Rockets and the twin towers Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon.

            2 towering WRs, each commanding safety help in man coverage. It’s pick your poison for a defense – Leave your corners in 1v1 where they can get beat, or drop the safeties and let loose the Beast.

        • CC says:

          Really good points on Waller – he’s someone I’ve had my eye on for awhile. I’d love to see Seattle pick him up!

      • Lenny says:

        When I first looked into him I came across this quote in an NFL.com article:
        Analysts also have dinged him for a passive demeanor, and Waller agrees with the assessment; he says he has to get to the point where the “passion for the game is just there rather than having to think about it.”
        Just going off that it doesn’t sound like he would make it in the Hawks locker room. Maybe he was just being humble though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure they’ll need to trade down this year to get the guys they like with ten picks. Norwood was a very obvious candidate for Seattle because of his skill set — superb in the scramble drill, excelled with limited snaps, competitive, good hands, chunk plays. You don’t see those traits really with any WR in this class. McBride though has a nice combination of speed, size, hands, character.

      • dave crockett says:

        The “excellent in limited snaps” trait is criminally overlooked. Seattle’s offense, even if it becomes more pass-oriented in the post-Beastmode era, is still going to be a spread it around offense. This is not gonna be Romo throwing to Whitten and Bryant, with everyone else fighting for scraps. The offense under Bevell is pretty equal opportunity. It also doesn’t do a LOT to scheme receivers open with trips, bunches and the like.

        Seattle I don’t think will have much use for a guy whose value comes off volume catches, or who needs a lot of complex route combos to get himself open. Lots of volume guys need an offense designed around them, designed to get them open. (That was my big concern with Tavan Austin, that you’d have to do so much to get him open he might not be worth the trouble.)

      • bigDhawk says:

        This was the comp I was going to use. McBride looks like a slightly more athletic version of Norwood, which is a good thing.

        Another thing JS said in his interviews this past week on local radio regarding any potential upgrade to the WR group was that it could be a player no one has considered. By that, he meant the receivers already on the team that had not had their chance yet, specifically Norwood. While it’s likely that we will take at least one receiver in this draft, it may be that the front office thinks we already have the players on the roster necessary to upgrade the position, and they just need a chance to get on the field. With PReach out for likely most of next year we will certainly get to see a lot more of Norwood.

      • Belgaron says:

        Isn’t it eleven picks plus maybe a twelfth still owed from Raiders for Flynn?

        • Rob Staton says:

          JS said ten picks on Brock & Salk last week.

          • SunPathPaul says:

            From my research it all depends on if we get a 4th Compensatory pick for Clinton McDonald in the 6th round. If we do? 11 picks, if not…10…

            I have to say I love McBrides tape! He looks like he would fit well for chunk rainbow plays from RW! He can certainly go up and get it!

            As far as JS’ comments about upgrading WR, maybe he is confident in Douglas McNeil III, WR 6-3 200, 26 R Bowie State. We have him on a futures contract, so if he is like a 6-3/200# WR that can make the roster, then we have a guy to replace the horrible Bryan Walters, and it can shift what we look for as in WR.

            We also have David Gilreath WR 5-9, 170, 26, 2 Wisconsin
            Kevin Smith WR 5-11, 214, 23 Washington

            If either of these guys can replace Bryan Walters as a PR/KR, then major upgrade…
            Makes we wonder how good these guys are…esp McNeil III…

            This article makes McNeil sound intriguing…
            http://www.fieldgulls.com/2015/2/12/8029479/seahawks-roster-free-agents-pre-draft-receivers

            Thoughts?

            • Rob Staton says:

              Intriguing, but ultimately he’s a camp body with a chance to try and make the roster. This is a need that has to be addressed at some point in FA or the draft.

              • SunPathPaul says:

                We deinately do need WR and TE I believe. And with 10-11 picks, and over like $20 million more being spent on the Defense, we need to grab talent for the offense at an affordable price through the draft.

                One Big WR, One Speedy WR/PR/KR, and a versatile big TE…We’d be flush!

                PS – Need a BIG WR to make Chris Matthews more dangerous…thus usable

  4. Volume 12 says:

    He’s an exciting guy. Would be a nice 4th round pick up or so.

    Kind of struggles to separate, but like you said, seems to have a lot to work with. At the very least, he could still be a jump ball specialist for us, somewhat in the mold of a WR Dez Bryant, although slimmed down a little. Love his personality too.

    I’d be very happy personally, if Seattle was to come out of this draft with a Nelson Agholor and Trey McBride. 2 guys I don’t think you can go wrong with.

    • CA says:

      I’m thinking that Pete goes after Agholor big time. Love the return game aspect and the USC roots to add a playmaking edge to this offense.

  5. Dave says:

    Mcbride really adjusts well to poorly thrown or back shoulder throws. He’s really flexible and will twist to make tough catches look easy. I know he’s supposedly a 4.4, but I didn’t see him separate from the defense after the catch. He kept getting caught at the 10 or 20 yard line in his highlights. He’s definitely a good PR and KR, waits for blocks and takes off in the right crease. And he fair catches when he’s supposed to. He had some huge returns but none that went to the house to reiterate his 4.4 not translating to the field. He’s definitely good blocker, his defender got locked down, because offensive player never hold, right?

    Hey Rob, are you going to do a write up on tight ends? I hope you do at some point. Thanks for the great reading and conversation — the best cure for the Super Bowl hangover.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m planning on doing another piece on Maxx Williams soon. Will go through some of the other TE’s post-combine. I think there’s a pretty good chance they sign one in FA.

    • Mike Gartman says:

      I am not a Seattle fan, but found this by googling Tre McBride, as I am a W&M grad. One thing you guys may not know is, Tre had some of the worst QB’s in W&M history while he was there. So his stats are pretty impressive considering the lack of talent around him.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Thanks for the info Mike!

        • Mike Gartman says:

          For example, in 2012, the year of the WV game above, Tre had 897 receiving yards and 10 TD’s. The total receiving yards for the entire team were 2076, and total passing TD’s were only 16. He accounted for 43% of the receiving yards for the team.

          In 2013, W&M passed for 2040 yards, and 10 TD’s. McBride had 801 yds and 5 TD’s

          And in 2014, W&M passed for 2064 yds, and 11 TD’s. McBride had 809 yds and 4 TD’s

          We were a heavy run team with a good running back Michael Abdul-Saboor, and not good QB talent, so Tre was heavily guarded and still came up with some great stats.

  6. Volume 12 says:

    Sorry to change the subject, but has anyone heard of C. Michigan HB Thomas Rawls?

    He looks like a Seahawk HB. Flat-out physical specimen, 5’10, 217 lbs. Could be a good mid to late round guy, but I can’t find video on him.

  7. Volume 12 says:

    By the way Rob, I love how your not just not presenting us with WRs purely based on physical attributes, i.e., size.

  8. Dawgma says:

    That guy’s body intro is pretty otherworldly. Not seeing the top end speed or elite quickness but there definitely looks like a solid player there. Almost like Kearse plus two inches and bionic hands.

  9. Dawgma says:

    … Should be body CONTROL…

  10. kevin mullen says:

    Great body control and high points. And I preface this that JS once mentioned this to an interview when scouting but Tre McBride’s got a huge ass. Probably what will separate him at those “catch in traffic” situations. He’ll win a ton of jump balls with his ass alone. Definitely a WR to keep an eye on.

  11. TurnagainTide says:

    The player he reminds me of is…Jarvis Landry. He isn’t playing in the slot for an SEC team and he is not a burner but has just about everything else you want.

  12. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Let’s go way off the radar on a guy that caught my eye…. when he was originally with Arizona

    Tyler Slavin, WR, New Mexico Highlands (Div 2) Height: 6-2. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    He is a third day draft prospect to watch. He was the Offensive Player of the Year for his “new” conference.

    I see him as a 7th round type of player or Undrafted Rookie FA add onto the Seahawks 90 man roster.

  13. Robert says:

    Have you checked out Diggs? Great football instinct and makes a lot of big plays. He’s a return specialist who sets up his blocks brilliantly and explodes into cutback lanes. He’s makes some pretty amazing plays as a WR, as well. Average size, good speed, very explosive and sudden. He might be on our radar as a mid round play maker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYxFESYGYvY

  14. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Love this prospect.

    1. Solidly built.

    2. Outstanding foot work. His feet are very very quick. Looks like he should be able to pick up and apply new tricks at the NFL level quickly.

    3. Release on the line is incredibly crisp. He has little to no wasted movement. Explodes from his stance immediately. This and his agile footwork should allow him to get open almost immediately at the next level.

    4. Skills. He possesses what I call the ‘it’ factor for receivers. He tracks the ball well, but more importantly, he recognizes and reacts to the ball faster than most other receivers. He sees and recognizes where the pass will be and is already adjusting his route before coverage even knows a pass is thrown. He plays like the ball is his own cherished personal property.

    5. Interested to see his combine numbers. Doesn’t necessarily appear to have that extra gear. Certainly has great footwork and suddenness. Could be an outstanding possession type receiver. Honestly, could be exactly what Seattle needs: A guy who can get open quickly in the intermediate range and convert third downs.

    Kind of surprised, and maybe I’m alone in this opinion. But he appears to me to be a bigger/more solid version of Bobby Engram. His release and footwork are very reminiscent of him.

    As to range of where he goes, he’s definitely on fans’ radar. Kind of like everyone’s favorite 4th round prospect in the league.

  15. Clayton says:

    Rob,
    Sorry for going against the grain here, but with emergence of Chris Matthews, I think Seattle’s deepest position group is WR. Baldwin, Kearse, Matthews, Lockette, Norwood, Richardson (hopefully healthy) is pretty talented group where each shows a lot of promise. Really, with any other position group, there is at least one player in that group that you would feel uncomfortable playing. But at least for me, not WR. I think it would be a waste of a first round pick in drafting a WR to improve the roster. OL, TE, DB, DT are position groups that need to be improved.

    • Cysco says:

      I wouldn’t call half a game’s worth of production “emergence”. Let’s not hang our hats on a player who for the entire season had a hard time cracking the active roster. Matthews is an interesting prospect who very well might be able to contribute next year, but he is so far from a sure thing.

      Regarding the rest of the receivers, the word “pedestrian” is actually a pretty good word to describe the group. I would disagree with your statement that it’s a Seattle’s deepest group and that it’s pretty talented. There isn’t a single player in the group who strikes fear in a defense. Not a single one who can consistently create separation and get himself open. They’re like a garage full of Hondas. Sure they’re ok cars but don’t you think your soon-to-be $120mm QB deserves a porsche or ferrari?

      It’s like I say every time this topic comes up. If our receiving corp were better, we win the Super Bowl. I think you should feel very uncomfortable about a receiving group where your #1 and #2 receivers are undrafted free agents and the receiver who is targeted to win the super bowl is ricardo lockette.

      • MJ says:

        Totally agree. I think Pedestrian is very apropos. They are not bad, but they don’t keep anybody up at night. It feels like a collection of #3 and #4 WRs pigeon holed having to be the main guys.

        Oddly enough, the fact we are a running team, IMO, makes it more necessary to have a big time perimeter threat. I honestly think if you take Dez Bryant off the Cowboys, you see their run game take a massive step backwards.

      • Ross says:

        I think that since we almost won another Super Bowl, people are forgetting about Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. Schneider and Carroll didn’t want this group of receivers to be all we had. They signed those two players to be X factors, to be reliable targets, to be weapons that dictated what the opposing defense could do.

        There is no finish line. Rice and Harvin are gone, but we can’t stop looking for that X factor. It would be unfair to the other players on this team not to.

        Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch deserve a Dez Bryant.

      • Ed says:

        That’s a huge stretch of a statement. We can do that for every position and coaching.

        If the OL got us 1 yd on the FG drive.
        If the D didn’t give up 14 points in the 4th quarter.
        If we changed up our D scheme and played more zone because our depleted secondary.
        If we didn’t get overly conservative and go 3 and out drives consistently in the 2nd half.

        If Kearse doesn’t make that miracle catch, we don’t even get to the point of the bad call/bad throw/bad route situation.

        Could we upgrade the overall talent at WR. Yes. I would also say Kearse, Walter and Lockett may not be back, so it may be a bigger need.

        Our biggest needs:

        DL (need better inside pass rush)
        OL (too many injuries and ineffective 3rd and 1 conversions)
        TE (need big framed all around TE)
        WR (as much as people say get the big jump guy, we also need a quick shifty guy i.e. harvin)
        CB (lane hurt/simon not playing well/maxwell gone)
        PR/KR (hope either the WR or CB can return kicks as well, need a threat)

        Of those positions, first 3 rounds should be BPA in those areas

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          “OL (too many injuries and ineffective 3rd and 1 conversions)”

          This is patently false.

          Here are our conversion rates by distance (compared to the 12 year NFL average 2000-2011

          Seattle rate – down/distance – NFL average:

          82% – 3/1 – 78%
          63% – 3/2 – 60%
          68% – 3/3 – 54%
          47% – 3/4 – 51%
          48% – 3/5 – 49%
          69% – 3/6 – 45%
          41% – 3/7 – 41%
          35% – 3/8 – 37%
          44% – 3/9 – 36%
          50% – 3/10 – 34%
          17% – 3/11+ compared to 19% average at 3/15

          Our 3rd and short is above average. We’re talking fairly small samples but it’s at a very high rate. At third and medium/long we’re pretty much average with a couple outliers

          Our issues stem more with the fact that we faced a large proportion of third and long sitations (3/6 or more). That accounted for 54% of our total third down scenarios. Only 26% of the time did we manage to get into third and short. And in particular, we faced third and very long (11+) 21% of the time. Almost as many 3rd and 11 or more as third and 1,2 and 3 combined. In that distance, we were woefully below the NFL average.

          Ultimately, I’d say that Seattle’s biggest issue offensively, is their inability to convert the 3rd and 5 to 3rd and 10 range. In that regard, we are NFL average. That liability often times taints our play calling options. We don’t have a reliable chain mover type of receiver who can effectively work the 4 to 8 yard range. Limiting our play options on 2nd and long and third and medium.

          Although sack rates definitely factor into that. When we are sacked on first down, the likelihood of us punting on that series of downs is a staggering 85%. On second down sacks, that number is around 80%. So getting sacked (of which we incurred a large number), were literally drive killers. But sacks are often times prime indicators of pressure in general. Often times incurred when facing good defenses to begin with. The division we live in is always going to skew our offensive numbers in that regard.

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            Correction, we faced 3rd and 7 or more 54% of the time. With us facing 3rd and 11+ 21% of the total 3rd downs. So almost half of our 3rd and long were of the 3rd and very long variety.

          • Ed says:

            Stats can lie. Look at the Chiefs game. Look at the Superbowl. Look at the NFC championship game. We may convert a heavy percentage by your stats, but when it’s really important, we don’t.

            Okung 59/80 games (of those 59 games, plays hurt a lot and not the same guy)
            Unger 51/80 games
            Carpenter 45/60 games

            And all 3 of those guys have contracts done within the next 2 years (carpenter this year).

            Not saying we don’t need a receiver, but Baldwin has always done a good job on 3rd down. Bevell passing scheme is below average, get some ingenuity there and some better pass protecting, throw in a quick twitch guy or fitz type guy and we are golden.

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              Obviously we had one of the worst games of the year in the SB in terms of 3rd down efficacy.

              The Chiefs game and the NFCCG we weren’t poor in 3rd and short. The problem with the chiefs game is that 4 of the 6 3rd downs we converted were on a single drive. Lots of 3rd and punt situations.

              But cherry picking the worst games is the surest way to get stats to lie.

              It’s also worth noting though, that Seattle managed to put up 24 points offensively. Which with this defense should be enough. Seattle faced 3rd and 5 or more 6 of the 10 situations. We didn’t do well on third down and that was a big factor. But New England also cheated their defense to achieve that. And Seattle burned them multiple times. The end result was, we took what they allowed. They wanted to force punts in that situation. NE simply did extra well in third and short. Otherwise our 3rd down situations and conversions were nearly normal for the entire year (especially considering the small sample size).

              I’m not saying Seattle was good on third down. We weren’t. And that narrative pretty much ran all season long. Seattle was average to below average in the third and medium or more. Offensively speaking, that’s a big liability. Especially since we find ourselves in that situation more than your average teams.

              Ultimately, more than a red zone target and completely ignoring red zone TD percentages — Seattle needs to be better at converting the 3rd and 4 or more. The goal in all this is to increase scoring.

              Consider, that our scoring rate per drive was 42% on the year. However on drives where we converted at least one first down, our scoring rates jumped up to 60%. And of the total points we scored (including defense and special teams) for the entire year, I estimated 54% of them were attributable to drives where we converted a third down.

              We averaged close to 4 additional plays and 17 additional yards for every single 3rd down we converted. If you increase the conversion rates by one or two per game — that has a big impact. Seattle is quite good at stringing together chunk yards with extra plays. Staying on the field and getting more shots is just huge.

              Also, it’s worth noting that while Harvin was kind of seen as a big liability for us, the reality is, plays where he was targeted or involved in resulted in 6 conversions and 2 failures. Harvin was a good 3rd down player for us. That’s the value of having a difference maker kind of talent. He had the ability to turn over the downs. Acquiring a good receiver who can get open quickly in that 4 to 10 yard area of the field would be monstrous for our ability to convert on 3rd down. That kind of receiver isn’t necessarily your big throw it up there talent.

              There is also a reason Revis covered Baldwin. Doug is exceptional at converting 3rd downs. He was targeted 29 times, and converted 22 and failed 7 times. He has that good burst of quickness to get open quickly. Adding another talent capable of doing that makes it so defenses can’t cheat on our best 3rd down option without opening awesome opportunity elsewhere.

              Also, oddly enough one of our worst players as far as 3rd down conversions/opportunities was in fach Marshawn Lynch.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Great information here.

          • Ho Lee Chit says:

            We led the league in offensive penalties with 130. That goes a long way in explaining our offensive shortcomings. Surprisingly, we had a league fewest 70 on defense. If we eliminate the false starts and holding calls we would be awesome on offense with the guys we have.

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              ” If we eliminate the false starts and holding calls we would be awesome on offense with the guys we have.”

              That makes sense.

              But in reality, pre snap penalties (42) on offense still only led us to a 38% conversion rate in that series of downs. Motion and substitution penalties didn’t hinder us as much as I would have guessed.

              And that does make sense, because with a penalty, you still retain the down. We had good success converting or overcoming pre snap penalties.

              The effect on stalled drives is almost negligible.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      I don’t think WR is the deepest group but it is far from a disaster area. People forget that it takes a receiver at least a year before they can play in this league. Only a few make the jump directly to the starting lineup. Matthews, Norwood Lockette and Richardson have hardly played. We have a lot of talent in the group but it is inexperienced talent at the NFL level. The guys coming out are inexperienced, too, and will not upgrade the performance on the field. PC wants receivers that know the playbook and have reliable hands. That takes at least a year of practice against the LOB.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’d disagree with you there Clayton. We’ve seen precious little from Norwood — who turns 26 this year. Lockette — he’s a special teams gunner and I shudder at the thought he might be the ‘go-to’ target again in another big game. Richardson might miss the whole season or at least most of it. Matthews — so far is a one-game wonder. Baldwin and Kearse have been solid for the most part but neither played particularly well in the NFCCG or the Super Bowl. We’ve gone from a depth chart of Rice, Harvin, Tate, Baldwin and Kearse to the last two guys on that list being #1 and #2. When Wilson has eight seconds in the pocket at the end of the first quarter in the Super Bowl and can’t find an open receiver — that’s scary.

      It’s not the only need on the team but Wilson deserves at least one better target. On the offensive line you’re lining up two first round picks & two second round picks, two pro-bowlers. At DB you’ve got three All-Pro’s and three of the best in the game. At DT you bring back Mebane and Hill. At receiver and TE you’re talking about a handful of late round picks or UDFA’s. They just need more. And I think they know it.

      • Ed says:

        Agreed, just don’t want to force the issue. I would prefer a quick twitch guy. Maybe get a big 6’6″ TE and a hate to say it (Harvin type athlete) that can get YAC and return punts/kicks.

        I don’t think we hold on to Lockett, Walter or even Kearse (he can make plays, but if we put a 3rd/4th rd tender that’s where we get players).

        WR: Baldwin/Norwood/Matthews/Richardson and maybe a FA (Jackson) and draft pick (Dorsett)

        • Volume 12 says:

          I think Seattle will look for a possession WR ranging anywhere from 6’2-6’5 to give them a Sidney Rice body type receiver.

          I also think they’ll take a slot WR that’s either explosive, or an athletic quick twitch type to replace Percy and or Tate.

          And as Rob said, look for them to add a FA at the TE position, and then add a developmental blocking TE with upside later in the draft.

        • Cysco says:

          Ed, regarding my comment about the seahawks winning the super bowl with better receivers. I don’t believe that’s a stretch at all.

          The offensive line played well. The defense did what it needed to do. The patriots were always going to score. It was up to the D to keep Seattle in the game. They did.

          The position group that failed was the WR group. Wilson had all day at times to throw and the receivers just couldn’t get open. When the Hawks were in a position to go up by three scores, it was Kearse who dropped a perfect dime to kill a drive. When luck smiled down on them and put them in a spot to win, it was poor execution by the WR group that cost them the game. When a CFL player has to come in to provide a spark, you have issues.

          It is clear to the majority of outside observes that the weak link on the seahawks is the WR group. It showed itself big time in the super bowl.

          • Ed says:

            I just don’t buy it. You can do that with the lb crew or the dl or our 2nd corner. They all played worse then our WR did. Really only Bennett and Sherman had good games. I agree we could upgrade the position, but that is not the reason we lost the SB.

            You could count on one hand the number of times he did have 10 seconds. The Pats hardly ever (if at all) blitzed. They spied Wilson, dropped their lb into coverage and played man on the outside. It took us almost an entire half to figure out how to beat it. And we did. Matthews made some big plays and we started stretching them out. 2nd and 3rd quarter, we took the lead by 10. Game should have been over. Instead, we never changed our philosophy on D and they torched us. We did change our philosophy on O (and went back to the offense that couldn’t do anything in the first quarter) and it torched us. We gave the game to NE just like GB in many ways gave the game to us.

            Did the WR play a part, yes. But they are not by far the reason we lost that SB. Injuries, poor gameplanning and poor adjusting were a bigger reason we didn’t go back to back.

            • Volume 12 says:

              The receivers may not have been THE reason we lost, but they definite didn’t help. Was it a coincidence that once Seattle got a WR in there who could high point the ball and fight for contested pass , like a Golden Tate, that’s when they started putting points on the board and moving the ball?

              ‘You could count on one hand the number of times RW did have 10 seconds.’ I’m sorry Ed, but do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? A QB should never have 10 seconds to throw the ball. And the fact he had at least 5 different occasions, the fault is then on who?

              Please don’t tell me your going to put this game on a defense that is not only historic, but has kept us in and won how many games for us, because our offense lacks the personnel to keep drives moving that in turn keeps one of the games’ best ever defenses fresh?

              • Ed says:

                I’m saying that a number of reasons kept us from winning the SB. You keep making excuses for every other position but WR. Our D had been historic, but you are not historic if you give up 28 points. Was it dink and dunk. Yes. They studied the SD game and didn’t learn from it. We got out coached and out schemed. Was it the fault of the O that the D got tired, yes. Especially when we constantly went 3 and out in the 3rd and 4th quarter. But don’t hang solely on the WR. As I said, injuries and the inability to adjust were way bigger reasons we lost.

                I’m not disagreeing the position needs to be upgraded, just arguing the point that poor WR cost us the SB.

                • Volume 12 says:

                  Ed, I never said poor WR play was the main reason we lost. Just that it was incredibly frustrating watching RW have all day and no one could get open or come back to the ball. P-Rich would have negated some of that, but it was a big factor.

                  I’m not completely disagreeing with you. I too think that injuries were the main issue. And not just the injuries that were suffered during the game (Avril, Lane), but the guys on IR. And yes, I’m somewhat glad DQ is gone. His play calling is very vanilla and he hardly ever took advantage of the athletes we have on this D.

                  So, because our defense gave up 28 points, that means they’re no longer historic?

                  As far as ‘making excuses’ for every other position but WR, this group has 1 guy with upside/potential. P-Rich is more than likely out for the year, Norwood is 26 and a guy I don’t think even makes this team out of training camp.

                  • Ed says:

                    Cysco did. I think we all basically agree on the same thing. We need to upgrade the WR corp. Heck, you don’t think Norwood makes it, I’m not sure Lockett and Kearse (would take a 4th rd tender) get resigned.

                    Get a FA or waiver (Jackson/Marsahll/Cobb) and draft one. If you get Jackson/Marshall, draft a quick twitch guy (Dorsett). If you get Cobb, draft a big guy.

                    2015 WR – Jackson/Baldwin/Dorsett/Matthews would be better than current

                    or

                    2015 WR – Cobb/Baldwin/Coates/Matthews would be better than current

  16. JaviOsullivan says:

    Rob, waiting to see the combine to confirm but what do you think is best for Seattle?

    Dorsett, Smith, Hardy or McBride? Dorsett and Smith probably a little higher, 2rd but I think Hardy and McBride is very interesting in 3rd or 4rd round.

    It is difficult to choose one of them. All are good and similar.

    • Ross says:

      I like Smith and Dorsett but I want to know if they’re more than just threats down the field. Their speed and ability to separate on deep routes is nothing to sniff at, but I’d prefer a more complete receiver.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Out of the three I think the best fit might actually be McBride. He’s bigger, can high point the ball superbly, has excellent control. I think they need a possession receiver with plus athleticism. Smith and Dorsett are dynamite in terms of speed but I suspect a more rounded prospect is needed.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I have to agree with ya Rob.

        I think Seattle will really like WR Tre McBride. He comes across to me as a bigger version of Golden Tate.

        By the way, when are you doing your piece on USC WR Nelson Agholor?

        • Rob Staton says:

          In the next few days. Got a few irons in the fire right now.

        • Dave says:

          Just watched some highlights on Agholor. He is a really good PR, sets up his blocks and will cut back to find open lanes and beat over pursuit. Also, he’s a creative finisher. He doesn’t get tackled at the 10 yard line. He has an extra gear and a Shaun Alexander-like will to score. With him being 6’1″ and 180 lbs, is he redundant to a Paul Richardson? I would argue that he’s not due to his return ability. What do you think he runs his 40 in? 4.4, 4.5?

          • Volume 12 says:

            I’ll say a 4.47 or 4.48. Just a guess.

            This is why I like Agholor for Seattle’s 1st round pick, or 1st overall selection. Yes, I said 1st round. As Rob said, if Seattle truly wants to get ‘their’ guy when it comes to the receiver position, they’ll almost certainly have to reach, i.e. Justin Britt last year. I don’t think Agholor is a reach though.

            He’s a tremendous athlete, he’s not blazing fast, but is a quick-twitch type. His production is insane and Seattle usually takes great athlete’s with outstanding production that are ‘under the radar’ of everyone else.

            No one is going to outwork this kid. Never takes a play off. He’d be a tremendous fit in the locker room as well. His route running is actually quite amazing and nuanced. He’s so young, yet so NFL ready.

            Basically you’d be getting a mid 1st round talent a year early. He is not 180. He’s a 190-192 pounds. Pretty good physique, but definelty has the body to add another 7 or 8 pounds.

            Is he redundant to P-Rich? Absolutely not. I see P-Rich as an x receiver in the mold of Desean Jackson, while Agholor givers you a true mismatch in the slot. Think Emmanuel Sanders with Victor Cruz size.

            And his KR and PR skills are truly a bonus. He’s definitely one of the best returners in this draft.

  17. Soggyblogger says:

    The WR position group also has BJ Daniels in it…..apparently. Pete said something to make us think Daniels will be used or at least tried at WR. 5’11” and 217 pounds. Thoughts?

    • Volume 12 says:

      I personally see BJ Daniels as a gadget player. If people aren’t expecting much out of WR Chris Matthews, I’d expect much less from BJ, other than the odd return or trick play.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Heard that too — it’s hard to judge whether he can be effective without seeing him play the position.

    • Ho Lee Chit says:

      At BJ’s Pro Day he made a joke about just wanting to play. He said after the workout that he was going to go take a few snaps as a long snapper. He was willing to play any where. I suspect his attitude has not changed and he is looking for a way to get on the field behind Russell Wilson. He ran a 4.6 at his Pro Day four months after breaking his ankle. I suspect he would time better than that now.

  18. Volume 12 says:

    One thing that really stood out to me about the JS interview a couple of days ago was when he said something among the lines of: ‘This is going to be a really cool draft for us. Our board is setting up nicely.’

    Am I the only one that was absolutely giddy over this statement?

  19. Pontic says:

    I don’t have anything to add to the conversation. Just wanted to say ‘thanks’ to you, Rob, for all the analysis. It’s been a great distraction the past few weeks.

  20. HOUSE says:

    I’m thinking McBride is a 4th rd pick. His FCS pedigree is what I think will keep him out of the top-3 rds. That said, I think he can have a productive career.

    On a side note, Henry Melton’s Option was declined by CHI and he is a Free Agent. Is he worth a 1-2yr prove it deal? I think he is…
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/14/cowboys-decline-option-on-henry-melton/

    • Volume 12 says:

      Hmmm. Seattle did put forth quite the effort to get him last year. I think this may be their FA signing on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a really good fit.

      Possible FA signing’s of TE Jordan Cameron and DT Henry Melton? I dig that.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Five sacks last year for Melton but several people saying he under-performed. I don’t know. Hardly heard his name mentioned and the Cowboys were on the TV over here virtually every other week. Bayless talked about the Cowboys nearly every day and frequently name-checked the D-players for Dallas… he never touched on Melton’s performance. I liked him in Chicago but wonder if he’s the same player after suffering a serious knee injury and pushing 30.

  21. Volume 12 says:

    Rob, I’d love to get your take on a couple pass-rushers. I know it’s really a need, but you can never have enough of them, and these 2 guys could be had from the 3rd round on and down.

    A. Louisville DE-LEO Lorenzo Mauldin- Extremely high character, gives a ton of effort, and a truly amazing upbringing. Colorful character.

    B. Oregon St DE-LEO Obum Gwacham- Gil Brandt called him ‘Ziggy Ansah lite.’ Another high character/high effort guy, who was a former WR with some impressive length.

    Do you think either is a good fit for Seattle to bring along slowly and develop?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Watched Mauldin twice and thought ‘meh’. Not gone back since to review his tape. Will do at some point but wasn’t blown away on the first viewing.

      Gwacham I haven’t seen and whenever I watch Oregon State I’m always drawn to CB Steven Nelson.

    • Geoffu says:

      I disagree, I think outside of WR pass rush is our next biggest need. Having a QB and getting to the QB are the two most important things to winning in the NFL, in my mind. The end of the Superbowl felt like the end of the Atlanta playoff game, zero pressure on the QB. Once Avril went down Brady had all day. Losing Clem and McDonald bit us in the ass a bit. And the game before that we lucked out that Aaron Rodgers was playing on one leg or I think that game’s a different story. Even then we couldn’t stop him from getting the tying field goal (Also similar to the Atlanta game).

      Irvin is inconsistent and Bennett needs some reduced snaps to be more of the absolute monster he is. They need help. It was great to see Hill’s emergence, but the dude can’t stay healthy. We absolutely need another rusher.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I agree and they do need one more guy, but unless it’s a truly unique or special guy, I don’t see it being addressed early.

  22. rowdy says:

    Has anyone watched the highlight tape of Douglas McNeil on fieldgulls?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Kf66-eYxY
    It might be the CFL but it’s impressive non the less

    • bigDhawk says:

      He definitely looks a degree bigger,faster, stronger than anyone else on the field but arena league is such a clown show. It’s hard tell anything. Can he run routes? Does he run block? Is he a ST contributor? Will the LOB eat him alive in practice? I’m interested to find out this and more about him.

      • rowdy says:

        Absolutely but when comparing to the tre Mcbride tape who plays low level talent every week you have some of the same challenges. I’m not saying he’s hold off on drafting a wr because of him. But he does put on a high pointing clinic and has size.

      • Ho Lee Chit says:

        He looks like a duck swimming in a bath tub. On that tiny field his long strides and height are being wasted.

  23. HOUSE says:

    I just saw on Instagram (can’t find a credible source yet) that SEA is trying to work a deal for Brandon Marshall. I know last week I had seen some things about Marshall possibly being cut by CHI. Here is what he is owed (under current contract

    2015: $7.5 million
    2016: $7.9 million
    2017: $8.3 million

    He’ll be 31 y/o in March? Thoughts?

    • Ross says:

      He’s certainly a guy I’d like to see on the Seahawks, regardless of his age. That price tag is a bit steep for this team though. Unless we’ve got some cuts coming up (Banger, Miller, TMcD), he’d probably restructure. Chicago was a mess last season, so it’s no surprise his numbers were down. Still caught 8 touchdowns.

      • Cysco says:

        I’ve been a proponent of trading for Marshall before he’s cut for a few weeks now. Just makes too much sense.

        Marshall’s contract is actually a pretty good deal. He’s on the books for around $7.5mm next year and would get up to $8.5 in the third year. For the type of production he’s capable of, that’s a value. Heck, he’s not even in the top-10 for most expensive WRs. (correct me if I’m wrong someone, but the prorated money stays with the original team’s cap. Correct?)

    • Rob Staton says:

      Too much at his age IMO.

  24. John_s says:

    You had a post about Funchess earlier but this was posted today. The second jump where his eyes are level with the rim shows off some incredible explosiveness

    http://instagram.com/p/zIJDvbtw3q/

  25. Volume 12 says:

    Rob, in regards to the draft, do you think Seattle targets a 1-tech, a 3-tech, or a guy who could play a little of both?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Mebane’s looming departure (contract ends after 2015) makes me think they look at both. I’m not totally ruling out a move for Suh any more. They’ve done well adding interior DL in free agency so let’s see what they do this year and what holes need to be filled.

  26. Erik says:

    I really like Tyler Lockett WR/PR/KR KSt game. I like his versatility (WR/PR/KR). Our ST return game both on punts and kick offs sucked all year and with 3 WR’s contracts up (Kearse, Lock, Walters) and P Rich hurt-WR is def going to need reliable impact player and I think Lockett can be great addition to Seattle scheme.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      If we don’t get Dorsett, I’d love some Tyler Lockett! A draft pick that fills a WR role plus a KR/PR roles, is very important for next year!

      If Bryan Walters is on the roster in 2015, we had a failure of a draft at WR… I’d like to replace R. Lockette, and Kearse if possible…McNeil the 3rd anyone?

  27. Ukhawk says:

    On top of your watch list, I’m interested in seeing performances of:
    DL
    Jarrett
    Covington
    Orchard
    Golden

    OL
    Smith
    Oredon x 2
    Fsu x 3
    Ok x 2

    WR
    Lewis
    Waller
    Smelter

    CB
    Johnson
    Gunter
    Smith
    Glenn

  28. […] 4.41 and looked really, really smooth. He’s one of my favorite players in the draft — we wrote about him here. That is a fantastic time to go with his natural competitive spirit, ability to make chunk plays, […]

  29. […] McBride (Williams & Mary) A Seahawks Draft Blog favorite coming into the combine — McBride showed up big time. He’s 6-0 and 210lbs and ran a 4.41 with a 38 inch […]