Archive for April, 2021

LIVE STREAM: Reaction to the D’Wayne Eskridge pick

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Robbie and I jumped on a live stream after Seattle drafted D’Wayne Eskridge in round two. You can check out our views on that (and many other topics) below…

Here are a couple of quick thoughts…

— I like Eskridge. To me he looks like a poor man’s Tyreek Hill. He can get downfield to stretch a defense in the vertical passing game but he also competes for the ball in the air, he’s a chain mover and you can be creative with him. He’s a little older than ideal (24) but he’s also someone who adds a needed element to the offense.

— I don’t agree with punting on this draft in the way Seattle has. Essentially their class comes down to Eskridge now. Yes it was a unique year with a lot of uncertainty but it was difficult watching certain players leave the board. With the most explosive O-line class in years, to not tap into it feels like a missed opportunity. The numbers are depleted now. And the future remains unclear with so many positions (LT, RT, C, TE, CBx2, FS) containing out of contract starters after 2021, with a likely Jamal Adams extension set to lower their available cap space.

— There’s still value to be had on day three. I would like to see the Seahawks take a shot on a high-upside talent in round four. Bobby Brown (DT), Joshua Kaindoh (DE) and Shaun Wade (CB) spring to mind. I think they still need depth at running back (Kylin Hill?) and D’Ante Smith remains appealing as a potential tackle project.

Updated horizontal board with drafted players removed

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Live blog: 2021 NFL draft (Round 2 & 3)

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Welcome to the live blog for the 2021 NFL draft. I’ll be giving reaction to every pick as they’re made. Feel free to use this as an open thread but please no tipping picks.

At the end of round three I’ll be hosting a live stream offering reaction to Seattle’s move(s).

Here’s a watch-list for Seahawks fans…

#33 Jacksonville — Tyson Campbell (CB, Georgia)
This was rumoured. I have no idea why the Jaguars have taken another corner. For me Campbell doesn’t contest enough passes and his agility testing bothers me.

#34 New York Jets — Elijah Moore (WR, Ole Miss)
This is an outstanding pick. The Jets are having a tremendous draft. AVT and Moore to pair with their new pick, not to mention Mekhi Becton a year ago? What a start for Joe Douglas.

#35 Denver (v/ATL) — Javonte Williams (RB, North Carolina)
Outstanding player. In a couple of mocks I had Denver moving up for a running back. Their GM came from Minnesota. Williams is tough, physical and will run you over.

#36 Miami — Jevon Holland (S, Oregon)
He was receiving a lot of late buzz but I’m still a bit surprised he went this high. There’s not a lot of tape to get into.

#37 Philadelphia — Landon Dickerson (C, Alabama)
The Eagles take a shot on Dickerson’s health. There’s no doubting his personality and his character. Yet there’s no getting away from the fact he’s had an injury every year of his college career.

#38 New England (v/CIN) — Christian Barmore (DT, Alabama)
The Patriots trade up for a player I thought was pretty overrated. I’m not convinced he’s the dominating, disruptive DT many think he is.

#39 Chicago (v/CAR) — Teven Jenkins (T, Oklahoma State)
The Bears move up for the second time in the draft. Jenkins fell for health and character concerns. He’s explosive but I think some of the chatter about him has been OTT. He’s not as good as some will have you believe.

#40 Atlanta — Richie Grant (S, UCF)
He made a big impression at the Senior Bowl but his testing was mediocre and it feels like a forced need here.

#41 Detroit — Levi Onwuzurike (DT, Washington)
The Lions are rebuilding through the trenches and good for them. He has great agility and movement for an interior player. He has power and motor. There’s a lot of potential here.

#42 Miami (v/NYG) — Liam Eichenburg (T, Notre Dame)
He was getting a lot of talk late in the process. He has short arms, his kick-slide isn’t much to write home about. He’s a solid player who I’d prefer inside at guard.

#43 Las Vegas (v/SF) — Trevon Moehrig (S, TCU)
Another trade. There’s a lot of movement early in round two. He’s a solid safety. Nothing blows you away but he’s consistent and does a bit of everything. A calming influence in the secondary.

#44 Dallas — Kelvin Joseph (CB, Kentucky)
He really came on in 2020. He’s a top athlete with the LSU pedigree and profile. They needed a corner and they get a good one here.

#45 Jacksonville — Walker Little (T, Stanford)
This is very interesting. He was once considered a top-20 talent. An ACL injury and an opt-out later, nobody had a real grasp of where he would land. He holds in the top-50. He has all the tools to be a starting tackle.

#46 Cincinnati — Jackson Carman (T, Clemson)
I didn’t have him on my board. I didn’t see anything. I thought he looked heavy and sluggish. He has short arms. There were no testing numbers. Not sold.

#47 LA Chargers — Asante Samuel Jr (CB, Florida State)
They had a need and he has a pedigree. I think the name recognition helped him but the tape was pretty good. I preferred other CB’s in this class though.

#48 San Francisco — Aaron Banks (G, Notre Dame)
I liked Banks’ tape but was completely put off by his pro-day and dropped him two rounds. He ran a 4.92 short shuttle and he’s not explosive. His split was a 1.91.

#49 Arizona — Rondale Moore (WR, Purdue)
It’s an interesting pick. He’s a gadget player for me. He had some injury issues. Bit boom or bust really. Doesn’t really offer any downfield threat despite his size and athleticism.

#50 New York Giants — Azeez Olujari (DE, Georgia)
Obviously the injury issues have dropped him significantly and that has to be taken into account. However, he was excellent at Georgia and he has top-level potential.

#51 Washington — Sam Cosmi (T, Texas)
He’s very explosive and he has starting potential. However, he needs to learn how to finish and he has technique issues.

#52 Cleveland (v/CAR) — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB, Notre Dame)
His lack of size was seen as a concern but there’s no doubting what he does well. It’s a surprise he lasted this far.

#53 Tennessee — Dillon Radunz (T, North Dakota State)
I think he’s a guard, although admittedly he looked decent at tackle at the Senior Bowl. He’s just not very big or long.

#54 Indianapolis — Dayo Odeyingbo (DE, Vanderbilt)
I love this pick. Odeyingbo was a top-15 player for me before he tore his achilles. He’s well worth taking a chance on.

#55 Pittsburgh — Pat Freiermuth (TE, Penn State)
I love the value here and the Steelers added two excellent weapons with their first two picks.

#56 Seattle — Dee Eskridge (WR, Western Michigan)
I’m stunned they didn’t trade down. They really do appear to be punting on the draft overall. Eskridge is a dynamic, exciting player. For me he’s a poor man’s Tyreek Hill. He can get downfield, he competes for the ball in the air, he can move the chains. He’s an excellent kick returner. He’s an older player but he has speed and talent.

When I interviewed Jim Nagy before the Senior Bowl, we spoke about Eskridge:

I don’t have an issue with this pick. I like Eskridge. I just wish they had more picks. There’s so much talent left on the board. They have future holes that need to be filled.

#57 LA Rams — Tutu Atwell (WR, Louisville)
I think this is an odd selection, given his size and testing. It suggests they might’ve been targeting Eskridge. They surely had far bigger needs?

#58 Kansas City — Nick Bolton (LB, Missouri)
He’s an old-fashioned thumper. This isn’t a typical Chiefs pick — they usually go for upside and freaky athleticism. He is a physical tone-setter.

#59 Carolina — Terrace Marshall Jr (WR, LSU)
He played well in a disaster zone season for LSU last season. They have some weapons in Carolina but do they have the chops up front?

#60 New Orleans — Pete Werner (LB, Ohio State)
He’s explosive, athletic and he’s just always around the ball.

#61 Buffalo — Carlos Basham Jr (DE, Wake Forest)
He’s athletic but his tape is underwhelming and he blows hot and cold.

#62 Green Bay — Josh Myers (C, Ohio State)
This is a terrific value pick. The Packers smash it out of the park, landing a potential 10-year starter at center. He is legit.

#63 Kansas City — Creed Humphrey (C, Oklahoma)
I’m surprised the centers lasted this far. He’s explosive and tough and the Chiefs have prioritised their trenches yet again.

#64 Tampa Bay — Kyle Trask (QB, Florida)
I wouldn’t have taken him ahead of Kellen Mond or Davis Mills.

I’m going to end the live blog now and jump on a live stream reacting to the Eskridge pick. I’ll start a new blog post for that.

Thoughts ahead of day two of the draft

Friday, April 30th, 2021

— For those interested in the Huddle Report mock draft accuracy scoring, I finished in the top-10 again this year (and am now in the top-10 for five-year average).

— I think based on how Pete Carroll spoke on Wednesday, the Seahawks are primed to draft for what they will perceive to be value. Trading down from #56 would seem like a near certainty with only three picks but my prediction is they won’t drop any lower than the range they took Damien Lewis a year ago (#69 overall).

— There are plenty of attractive options available, with strong depth on the O-line, receiver and at cornerback (all possible target areas). I hope the Seahawks would also be willing to consider a player with outstanding upside at a different position, such as Texas A&M defensive tackle Bobby Brown.

— What could the Seahawks have done at #23 had they not made the Jamal Adams trade? Looking at what’s available, they could’ve traded down into the top of round two and still had a shot at Elijah Moore or Dyami Brown, any of the top centers, Javonte Williams, Teven Jenkins or rolled the dice on Azeez Olujari. There are plenty of good players at great value on the board.

— Here are some of the names I’m keeping an eye on and why…

Elijah Moore (WR, Ole Miss)
Having assumed he would be a top-25 pick I’m intrigued to see where he lands. He plays above his size, is incredibly competitive and dynamic. It’s a surprise Rashod Bateman and Kadarius Toney went ahead of him.

Dyami Brown (WR, North Carolina)
Brown does two things really well — he gets downfield and makes huge chunk plays and he runs the routes to enable you to move the chains. I’ve had him pegged as a top-40 pick but if he lasts, he would be a fine option for Seattle.

Bobby Brown (DT, Texas A&M)
Quite simply one of the best athletes in the draft. The Seahawks have had a lot of success in the late second and early third going for upside. Brown is 6-4 and 321lbs with 35 inch arms. He ran a 1.68 split, a 4.58 short shuttle and he’s explosive. His tape is good too. He has massive potential.

Ben Cleveland (G, Georgia)
Whether guard is a need or not any more, there isn’t a tougher player in this draft. He’s the Mountain from Game of Thrones and he’ll kick your arse. The Seahawks need more players like this.

Quinn Meinerz (C, UWW)
He ticks every box for the Seahawks — explosive traits, size, length, character, strong Senior Bowl performance. If he lasts to the late second he should be seriously considered.

Creed Humphrey (C, Oklahoma)
A very explosive, dynamic center who plays with an edge, excels at combo-blocking and loves to reach to the second level.

Josh Myers (C, Ohio State)
Big, physical and consistent. Myers should find a home in the top-50 but if a lack of testing drops him, get ready.

Landon Dickerson (C, Alabama)
His injury record is horrendous but someone, eventually, will take him and he has All-pro potential.

Javonte Williams (RB, North Carolina)
He screams Seahawks. A tough, punishing runner who is a yards-after-contact machine. He probably won’t last too long today.

Kendrick Green (C, Illinois)
A player as explosive as Quinn Meinerz simply without the length. As an alternative he could be a good option. Like Meinerz he’s played predominantly at guard but he’s spent a bit of time at center.

D’Ante Smith (T, East Carolina)
Long, explosive, athletic and tough. He had a good Senior Bowl. He needs time in the gym to work on his pro-physique but he’d get that in Seattle, settling behind Duane Brown.

Spencer Brown (T, Northern Iowa)
Incredibly athletic, explosive tackle who is a lot taller than Seattle usually goes for but many people see him as a project left tackle who just needs time to work on his technique.

Dee Eskridge (WR, Western Michigan)
Ultra-quick and dynamic, a player who can both move the chains and get downfield. He competes for the ball and he’s a special teams dynamo.

Buddy Johnson (LB, Texas A&M)
A much loved, heart and soul linebacker who shone at Texas A&M and had the agility testing Seattle craves at the position.

I could add about 20 more. There are plenty of others who also ‘fit’ the Seahawks. I just didn’t fancy writing out my whole draft preview again (click here to see it).

Here’s an updated horizontal board with the players already taken removed:

— I loved the Jets trade in round one, essentially only really giving up a third rounder to go from #23 to #14, to get Alijah Vera-Tucker. They are building through the trenches and now have two studs to anchor their O-line. Superb.

— I was very content to see San Francisco take Trey Lance. He is not worth three first round picks. And sure, neither was Mac Jones. I was a lot more fearful though of Jones executing in Kyle Shanahan’s offense though.

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Live blog: 2021 NFL draft (Round 1)

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Welcome to the live blog for the 2021 NFL draft. I’ll be giving reaction to every pick as they come in. Feel free to use this as an open thread but please no tipping picks.

#1 Jacksonville — Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)
The obvious pick. Lawrence gives the Jaguars a chance to be really good in the future.

#2 New York Jets — Zach Wilson (QB, BYU)
He had a tremendous season, jumped off the screen right away and he has the rare ability to play in structure and deliver some improv.

#3 San Francisco 49ers — Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)
I think this is good news for the Seahawks. Lance is inexperienced, I thought his pro-day was unconvincing and while he has an ideal athletic profile — I thought he deserved a similar grade to Jordan Love.

#4 Atlanta — Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)
The right pick. Pitts is a quality player, they’re tied to Matt Ryan for two more years. They added quality and impact.

#5 Cincinnati — Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)
Joe Burrow reunited with his #1 target. A combination that was unstoppable in 2019 at LSU. There’s enough tackle depth to get one later on.

#6 Miami — Jaylen Waddle (WR, Alabama)
They needed a playmaker and he’s a dynamic, downfield threat. As with Burrow and Chase, there’s familiarity with the quarterback.

#7 Detroit — Penei Sewell (T, Oregon)
The Lions take a tackle. Sewell has talent but lacks ideal length. There have been some questions this off-season but you can’t argue with the decision with Detroit launching a rebuild.

#8 Carolina — Jaycee Horn (CB, South Carolina)
I ranked Horn as the #1 cornerback on my horizontal board. He’s long, highly athletic, competitive and his coverage is watertight for a big defender.

#9 Denver — Patrick Surtain (CB, Alabama)
Reportedly a lot of people viewed Surtain as a top-five player in the class. It’s not surprise a rookie GM with a defensive Head Coach went in this direction.

#10 Philadelphia (v/DAL) — DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)
I like this move. The Eagles needed a quality receiver and getting Smith here is a justifiable move by Philly.

#11 Chicago (v/NYG) — Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)
The Bears flirted with a Russell Wilson trade, missed out, and now they’ve moved up for Fields. He has technical flaws, he’s poor under pressure but he’s a great athlete. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

#12 Dallas (v/PHI) — Micah Parsons (LB, Penn State)
He’s a very talented player but it’s pretty clear the Cowboys were deflated when the top two corners went off the board.

#13 LA Chargers — Rashawn Slater (G, Northwestern)
I think he’s a guard although no doubt they’ll try him at tackle. I didn’t think he played with much of an edge.

#14 New York Jets (v/MIN) — Alijah Vera-Tucker (G, USC)
AVT is an absolute class act. This is a superb move — trading up, reinforcing their O-line and building through the trenches.

#15 New England — Mac Jones (QB, Alabama)
In terms of attitude, grit, processing and execution — Jones is top notch. He’ll be on a mission in New England. He has the ideal mentality to try and be the guy after Tom Brady. He won’t be fazed.

#16 Arizona — Zaven Collins (LB, Tulsa)
Tony Pauline is the #1 draft insider for a reason. He called this a week ago. Collins is like a great big bull running loose around the field.

#17 Las Vegas — Alex Leatherwood (T, Alabama)
Mike Mayock has a type and that’s fine. But eventually you can’t let that overrule actual talent and ability. Leatherwood isn’t worth a top-20 pick.

#18 Miami — Jaelen Phillips (DE, Miami)
An outstanding player with elite potential. This is a brilliant pick for the Dolphins. He has everything you look for in a pass rusher.

#19 Washington — Jamin Davis (LB, Kentucky)
It’s fine, adding more to your defense. And Davis is very athletic. Yet there are tons of long and short term needs on offense and eventually you’ll need to focus there.

#20 New York Giants (v/CHI) — Kadarius Toney (WR, Florida)
I’m surprised he’s gone before Elijah Moore. Toney emerged in 2020 and he’s very athletic, quick and has an edge to his play. Yet there are questions about his consistency and whether he’s more interested in a music career.

#21 Indianapolis — Kwity Paye (DE, Michigan)
The Colts often target highly athletic, dynamic athletes and that’s what Paye is.

#22 Tennessee — Caleb Farley (CB, Virginia Tech)
He has length and he has cover skills. There are also plenty of injury concerns and is he willing to get in there and make a tackle?

#23 Minnesota (v/NYJ) — Christian Darrisaw (T, Virginia Tech)
He doesn’t finish well enough, he doesn’t ‘wow’ you. He has a reasonable frame but he never felt like a must-have tackle. O-line was a key need though.

#24 Pittsburgh — Najee Harris (RB, Alabama)
He’s an ideal fit for the Steelers. This is their type of guy. It’s easy to imagine him having a lot of success here.

#25 Jacksonville — Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson)
Familiarity with Trevor Lawrence, plus explosive talent, made this understandable. It’s not a huge need but they’re building for the long haul and acquiring talent.

#26 Cleveland — Greg Newsome (CB, Northwestern)
It’s a bit of a surprise that they went cornerback here. Newsome has some positive characteristics including reasonable size and good speed.

#27 Baltimore — Rashod Bateman (WR, Minnesota)
This is also a surprise. The Ravens have needs on both lines and they’ve not been able to make the most of their receivers. Bateman is solid but Elijah Moore is much more dynamic.

#28 New Orleans — Payton Turner (DE, Houston)
I’m pleased for Turner. He was a great guy to interview. He has a ton of potential with ideal size and length. There was plenty of talk today that he could sneak into the late first round.

#29 Green Bay — Eric Stokes (CB, Georgia)
I’ve liked Eric Stokes for a long time. He’s really consistent with ideal size. He’s a much better coverage guy than Tyson Jackson. Good pick.

#30 Buffalo — Gregory Rousseau (DE, Miami)
What you need to know is in 2019 he had a ton of sacks, he has 34.5 inch arms and he ran a 1.57 split. There’s something to work with there.

#31 Baltimore — Jayson Oweh (DE, Penn State)
I had him going to the Ravens just at #27. He has an elite physical profile but had no sacks in 2020. He did improve his run defense though.

#32 Tampa Bay — Joe Tryon (DE, Washington)
Tryon is a remarkable athlete with bags of potential. Adding him to an already dynamic pass rush will be another feather in the cap for the Super Bowl Champions.

Overall I’m happy with my mock draft and how things played out. Here’s an updated horizontal board with the players taken removed:

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Final horizontal board & thoughts

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Here it is — my final horizontal board…

(click to expand)

You’ll see I’m higher than most on the following players:

Bobby Brown (DT, Texas A&M)
Buddy Johnson (LB, Texas A&M)
Kellen Mond (QB, Texas A&M)
Dyami Brown (WR, North Carolina)
Cam McGrone (LB, Michigan)
Ben Cleveland (G, Georgia)
Javonte Williams (RB, North Carolina)

I think there could be real value to be had in days two and three. This is an offensive draft but there is reasonable depth across the board.

For example, at some point taking a chance on a Dayo Odeyingbo or Shaun Wade could pay real dividends. Players will fall for a variety of reasons — opting out, injuries, poor play in a weird 2020. It does feel like, more than usual, there could be opportunities to deliver value.

The Seahawks will probably trade down from #56 to add to their paltry tally of three picks. There’s plenty of offensive line depth to make a strong pick even in round three. That feels like a very viable option in what is the most explosive O-line draft in years.

Receiver is another possibility but with so many options, they might prefer to wait (as they did a year ago, selecting Freddie Swain in round six).

Darrell Taylor’s status plus Aldon Smith’s legal issues could make an EDGE more of an option than it otherwise would be. Tony Pauline paired Seattle with Jayson Oweh in his mock draft. It would be their type of pick.

Adding at running back, cornerback and linebacker also feels very possible.

Tomorrow we’ll post our ‘watch-list’ for day two.

I’ll be hosting a live blog later, reacting to each pick. I may do a live stream at the end of round one. I had a Covid-jab yesterday and it’s hit me like a ton of bricks, so I’ll play it by ear.

If you missed our pre-draft podcast check it out here…

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Final 2021 mock draft, Pauline & Wingo, more…

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

A poor press conference

The Seahawks pre-draft press conferences are usually quite frustrating. They’re an exercise in trying to say nothing.

Today’s took things to a whole new level.

The plan was clear. Blame the media for the Russell Wilson saga and keep repeating that they didn’t say anything until today because it was essentially a non-story.

The problem is, that doesn’t make any sense.

If this was a non-story — say so.

This could’ve been nipped in the bud immediately. There was no need to have any drama, or prolong this as long as they did.

What benefit was there in keeping quiet, watching this grow and fester and dominate the news agenda?

Furthermore, the suggestion that this was a mere media creation is simply false. In fact it’s so false it insulted everyone’s intelligence to keep repeating it.

Wilson’s agent literally went on the record and sent a list of four trade suitors to Adam Schefter, the NFL’s #1 insider.

Thank goodness for Joe Fann — the journalist who finally, some 25 minutes into the press conference, put that point to Seattle’s top-brass.

This is the Pete Carroll show — and the off-field stuff long ago started to resemble the actual games.

Hectic, haywire, kind of taped together as they go along, confusing and exciting in equal measure, it’s not always clear what the plan is and the conclusion at the end could be absolutely anything.

And for all the positive chatter and attempts to deflect today, I think the following is a fair opinion to hold — this roster doesn’t look good enough to win a Championship and the ‘non-story’ will be back next year if the 2021 season ends in more of the same.

Trey Wingo & Tony Pauline

Thank you to PFN for inviting me to be part of today’s pre-draft press conference. Here are my questions about the Seahawks, including discussing the Wilson saga which apparently was a non-story…

Final 2021 mock draft

This is my final projection to be submitted for Huddle Report scoring.

I tend not to include too many trades in a final mock because you increase your chances of being wrong. You’re not only slotting players, you’re creating deals too.

Nevertheless, I think a couple of moves are likely.

#1 Jacksonville — Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)
#2 New York Jets — Zach Wilson (QB, BYU)
#3 San Francisco — Mac Jones (QB, Alabama)
#4 Atlanta — Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)
#5 Cincinnati — JaMarr Chase (WR, LSU)
#6 Miami — Jaylen Waddle (WR, Alabama)
#7 LA Chargers (v/DET) — Penei Sewell (T, Oregon)
#8 New England (v/CAR) — Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)
#9 Denver — Rashawn Slater (G, Northwestern)
#10 Dallas — Patrick Surtain (CB, Alabama)
#11 New York Giants — Micah Parsons (LB, Penn State)
#12 Philadelphia — Jaycee Horn (CB, South Carolina)
#13 Detroit (v/LAC) — DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)
#14 Minnesota — Alijah Vera-Tucker (G, USC)
#15 Carolina (v/NE) — Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)
#16 Arizona — Zaven Collins (LB, Tulsa)
#17 Las Vegas — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB, Notre Dame)
#18 Miami — Jaelen Phillips (DE, Miami)
#19 Washington — Christian Darrisaw (T, Virginia Tech)
#20 Chicago — Elijah Moore (WR, Ole Miss)
#21 Indianapolis — Kwity Paye (DE, Michigan)
#22 Tennessee — Jamin Davis (LB, Kentucky)
#23 New York Jets — Teven Jenkins (T, Oklahoma State)
#24 Pittsburgh — Najee Harris (RB, Alabama)
#25 Jacksonville — Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson)
#26 Cleveland — Christian Barmore (DT, Alabama)
#27 Baltimore — Jayson Oweh (DE, Penn State)
#28 New Orleans — Greg Newsome (CB, Northwestern)
#29 Green Bay — Creed Humphrey (C, Oklahoma)
#30 Buffalo — Joe Tryon (DE, Washington)
#31 Baltimore — Landon Dickerson (C, Alabama)
#32 Tampa Bay — Azeez Ojulari (DE, Georgia)

Mock draft competition

A year ago, community member DC set up a mock draft competition. He’s doing the same this year. Here’s his message with advice on how you can enter…

Welcome to the 2nd Annual SDB Mock Draft Competition!!!

It’s time to assemble your official 2021 mock draft entries for submission on this thread prior to 5pm Pacific Daylight Time on Thursday.

NickATL was the winner in 2020 & his life has been a breeze ever since.

Other than a couple of minor tweaks the setup is the same as last year.

The skinny…

Pick 12 players that you think Seattle will draft. They can be in any round, at any pick & you can use the same pick multiple times.

The goal is to get the most ‘hits’.

For tie breaking purposes, please format your picks by overall pick number (56, 129, 250, etc.)

You can go here for a visual of who holds each pick in the draft. If you feel the need to explain your mock please do so below your entry so that I can score it without working too hard.

How to WIN?

1. Whoever gets the highest number of correct players drafted by the Seahawks with their 12 picks shall be crowned the winner!

2. In the event of a tie, whoever has their correct players selected closest to their actual overall draft number is the winner. (Ex; Blogger A guessed 101 & the actual slot was 150 for a difference of 49. Blogger B guessed 194 & the actual slot was 184 for a difference of 10. Blogger B wins.)

3. After your 12 selections write the number of picks that you believe the Seahawks will actually make. 3, 5, 7? Whatever. This will serve as the next tie breaker.

4. If none of the above have sorted things out then it will go to a coin toss.

Let the competition begin!

Here is my sham of an entry for 2021,

80 Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
111 Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
111 Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
129 Keith Taylor, CB, Washington
129 Shaun Wade, S, Ohio State
133 Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
188 Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
188 Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia
218 Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State
218 Israel Mukuamu, S, South Carolina
229 K.J. Britt, LB, Auburn
250 Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

7 Total picks

Enjoy! –DC–

Good luck to everyone taking part.

Tomorrow I will provide an open thread, thoughts on each pick and a live stream discussing the first frame. From Friday we’ll have detailed analysis on all of Seattle’s picks.

If you have enjoyed the draft coverage this year, please consider supporting the website via Patreon (click the tab below)…

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Live stream (4:45pm PST): Seahawks draft preview

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Rob Staton & Robbie Williams discuss the upcoming NFL draft and debate what the Seahawks might do. Plus we run through a mock draft simulation…

An interview with Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade

Monday, April 26th, 2021

I’ve always been a fan of Shaun Wade’s and I I think you’ll enjoy our draft week conversation — check it out below…

Three mock draft simulations for the Seahawks

Monday, April 26th, 2021

Please don’t forget to subscribe to the channel…

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Guest post: Russell Cook proposes a defensive switch

Sunday, April 25th, 2021

This is a guest post written by Russell Cook

Maximizing the Seahawks defensive potential – a switch to the 4-2-5

We know the Seahawks are at a crossroads right now.

They have a beleaguered starting quarterback, are staring down the barrel of paying a player that might not fit their defense and have very little in the way of resources to address a number of needs.

So what can the Seahawks do about it? A lot actually. If you haven’t seen it, check out Rob’s mini-dissertation on the subject showing us what that could look like.

But what if they don’t do anything?

The last 2 years, Rob and many of us in community kept saying they needed to get help on the D-line. And what happened? A hail mary trade for Clowney and a horrible start to the year defensively until we were bailed out again by the Carlos Dunlap trade.

Until they make moves, we can’t assume the Seahawks are going to do anything. We have to look at the roster as it stands and see what the vision could be. Today, I’ll focus on the defense and look at a change that was proposed a few years back.

In 2017, this blog’s esteemed proprietor wrote a couple of pieces discussing how the future of the Seahawk defense could be the 4-2-5.

I think that time is now.

What’s the scheme?

A 4-2-5 is a scheme with four linemen, two linebackers and five DBs.

Instead of rewriting blog posts through my amateur eyes in an attempt to tell you how the scheme works, I’m just going to steal a bunch of information from Rob’s posts.

From Rob’s April 2017 piece, here are the key intentions of the 4-2-5 as described by TCU’s Gary Patterson and a quote from Rob to tie it all together:

— Provide a simple scheme that promotes execution and athleticism

— Take away an opponents run game

— Establish an eight-man front

— Find a way to counter-punch while playing ‘bend-but-don’t-break’

— Out-hit the opponent, create takeaways and eliminate big plays

— Find ways to blitz using your DB’s

“Patterson writes about the 4-2-5 like he’s just finished watching the Seahawks defense”

Stealing from Rob’s February 2017 piece, here’s a discussion around the “Buffalo Nickel” defense and why we would have considered it back in 2017:

“There’s a defensive scheme based around the concept, as explained by John Turney:

“Buffalo was a 4-2-5 defense that showed a Cover-3 look with a post safety (or middle-of-the-field safety).”

“Nickel defense was the same personnel, but it was a 4-2-5 defense that showed a Cover-2 look, with the safeties near the hashes.”

“It’s unclear how prepared the Seahawks are to adopt this type of formation. By now we know what they are — a defense focusing on execution.

That said, the Buffalo defense isn’t straying too much from Seattle’s current scheme. As Thurney notes, it’s a single-high safety cover-3 concept. The only difference is instead of a SAM you’re fielding a nickel. This DB still has some of the responsibilities of the SAM (defend the run, cover the TE) but you’re giving up some size to have a better athlete on the field.

This wouldn’t be a great departure for the Seahawks considering how often they fielded two linebackers and a nickel corner (Jeremy Lane) in 2016.

While they might prefer to simply acquire a really good SAM — if that player isn’t available, this seems like an alternative.”

Would the Seahawks really consider this?

Pete likes to have his SAM on the field in base formation and we saw just how intense that could be in 2019 when the Seahawks were in base defense 68 percent of the time.

But we have seen years where the Seahawks used a ton of nickel. In 2016, Jeremy Lane played 71.39% of snaps, third most from a CB behind Sherman and Shead.

In 2018, Ken Norton Jr’s first year as DC, Justin Coleman played 67.81% of the defensive snaps. Lano Hill played 32.29% and was occasionally used as a big nickel.

2018 is also the year where Wright was injured and only played five games. If we look at all three of these seasons, we see the potential for flexibility. Pete will play base or nickel at varying rates depending on who he believes gives them the best possibility for success. In 2016, that was Jeremy Lane. In 2018, that was Justin Coleman. In 2019, that was Mychal Kendricks.

Last year we saw another evolution in that adaptation in the form of a 33.5% blitz rate. Pete prefers to get pressure rushing four and dropping seven into coverage. Yet last year the Seahawkws didn’t have the personnel to get pressure rushing four, so he and Ken Norton Jr. blitzed like crazy with Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, and KJ Wright.

I’m not saying that a 30%+ blitz rate is the ideal end-state but it shows some flexibility to do what it takes based on who you’re putting on the field.

So why switch to 4-2-5 now?

For the same reason we played base defense 68% of the time in 2019 and blitzed 33.5% of the time last year – personnel.

Football Advantage does a nice job of outlining a 4-2-5 and the personnel needed to make it successful. I’ll start off each section with some key quotes from that article as I discuss Seattle’s personnel for the 4-2-5 to set expectations for what the scheme is looking for.

So how does Seattle’s current roster stack up for the 4-2-5?

Defensive Line

“A strong, big-bodied, traditional nose tackle who can clog up the middle of the offensive line.”

“Defensive ends and linebackers who are smaller in size but quick on their feet to cause problems in blocking”

The defensive line is the weakest argument for the 4-2-5. Defensive ends are often hybrid outside linebacker types, ala Bruce Irvin, and should be able to create pressure with a quick first step and good speed.

That being said, the key thing is to be able to create pressure. Carlos Dunlap was able to create 16 pressures in eight games. Kerry Hyder Jr. created 32 as Nick Bosa’s replacement. Regardless of what scheme they run, the Seahawks will be counting on them for significant contributions in addition to needing growth (or at the very least, not regression) from Alton Robinson, Darrell Taylor, LJ Collier and Rasheem Green.

As far as the nose tackle, or 1-tech in the current scheme, both Al Woods and Bryan Mone fit that like a glove. Poona Ford could spend some time at nose as necessary, though I’m expecting he’ll be the primary 3-tech in base formations.


“The Mike is probably the one player on the field in this alignment that needs to play with a little hesitation, reading an offense quickly first and then picking up his responsibilities based off what he sees, rather than just rushing straight to the line to plug a hole.”

“The Sam is one of the most versatile players on the field in a 4-2-5 alignment, as he is tasked with putting pressure on the quarterback, making stops in the run game, and covering receivers as well”

Right now, on this roster, the Seahawks don’t have a proper SAM linebacker to fit Pete’s standard scheme. Brooks is likely penciled in as the starting WILL.

Neither Barton or BKK project as a SAM in a 4-3 under scheme. With limited cap space and limited draft capital, it’d be difficult to find an impactful player to play the Bruce Irvin role in this defense.

What the Seahawks do have is an ideal linebacking core to handle the 4-2-5.

Bobby Wagner has been anchoring the MIKE position for years and this scheme asks him to do what he does best. Read the defense, flow to the ball and be solid in coverage. That’s what we want from Bobby Wagner. We don’t want a repeat 100 blitz season.

Jordyn Brooks is a great fit at the 4-2-5 SAM especially on early downs. He’s got terrific athleticism, showed a knack for flowing to the ball and had some flashes in pass coverage. While the position calls for blitzing versatility, I wouldn’t expect a ton of blitzing from Brooks in this position. I’d expect extra pressure to come primarily from other places on the field.

Which brings me to the DBs.

Defensive backs

“The most important attribute in the secondary is speed and coverage ability.”

“The free safety and strong safety have similar assignments to defenses in other more “base” alignments. However, they are used to either blitz more often or provide run support near the line of scrimmage, or when a cornerback blitzes, they have to compensate with more coverage responsibilities.”

If you think about this 4-2-5 argument as a multi course meal: The defensive line is an amuse bouche, the linebackers are an appetizer and the DBs are the main. (Don’t worry, there’s dessert).

Combining descriptions from Gary Patterson and Football Advantage, the 4-2-5 is looking for speedy DBs that can afford to be undersized, that you can also use to bring pressure.

In that sentence, we’ve just described 5 DBs on the Seahawks roster: Jamal Adams, Ugo Amadi, Damarious Randall, Marquise Blair, and DJ Reed.

At this point we’ve seen Jamal Adams blitz more times a game than anyone else in the PCJS regime, so we’ve got that covered. Amadi has already shown some propensity to be able to blitz (22 times in 2020). Damarious Randall had a nice season in Cleveland in 2019, getting 2.5 sacks on only 19 blitz attempts, and has played nickel before. The jury is still out on Blair but we know they feel comfortable starting him at nickel. Reed wasn’t asked to blitz much last year (nine times, one pressure) but with his great quickness and awareness, even at 5-9, he’s a perfect fit as a 4-2-5 CB and is all but guaranteed to get the starting nod at one of the outside positions.

If you look back at the Buffalo Cover-3 diagram you can find a DB to fit every position. Jamal Adams stays at SS but gets to live near the LOS. Quandre Diggs still slots in as the single high FS — a position where he’s done very well in since coming to Seattle. Reed takes one of the outside corner spots. Competition at the nickel between Amadi, Randall, and Blair. Competition at the final outside spot between Witherspoon, Flowers, Desir, and Randall (if not Amadi and Blair as well).

Switch to a Cover 2? Jamal essentially moves to the WILL role and the Nickel moves back to the 2nd high safety. Who on our roster has experience in nickel and safety? Right, the same 3 names we have in competition for nickel role.

So at a high level, we have quick, versatile, read and react DBs playing downhill and competition to determine the best player at a couple of the starting positions. I could almost hear the echoes of excited gum chewing as I was typing that sentence.

We don’t know what the rest of the offseason will bring. We could see Russell Wilson traded, we could see Jamal Adams traded, we could see contracts restructured to bring in another key piece, we could see the Seahawks pick 3 players in a draft and call it a day.

But if the season were to start tomorrow, I’d really hope that the first snap of the season, we see the defense line up in a 4-2-5.

The best reason to switch to a 4-2-5 (Dessert)

Seattle’s area code is 206 (pronounced 20sickness, shout out Blue Scholars) but the eastside 12s dial 4-2-5 to start their phone calls. Defensive calls could all be shout outs to Seattle’s eastside brethren and sistren across the bridges. Imagine game day where you hear Bobby screaming out “REDMOND REDMOND REDMOND” “KIRKLAND KIRKLAND KIRKLAND” “QUAH QUAH”

Run out of towns for calls? No worries – just start using Kirkland brand products from our lovely local Costco, “MARCONA ALMOND! MARCONA ALMOND!”

If that’s not enough of a reason to switch schemes, I don’t know what is.

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