35 prospects, one sentence on each

Something for the weekend…

(This is not a ranking list it’s just a bunch of thoughts on some players)

Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
The most talented player in the draft and the closest thing to Patrick Mahomes you’ll find in a prospect.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa)
The second best offensive prospect in this draft class after Kyler Murray.

Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
There are flashes of talent for sure but there are enough moments to make you think — would you really want to stake your future on him?

Nick Bosa (DE, Ohio State)
A complete pass rusher with the ability to start quickly and be a real force.

Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama)
It almost feels like people have forgotten just how dominant he was in 2019 and at times he was unstoppable.

Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
Just a fantastic player, a clear top-10 talent and it’s an absolute nonsense that people keep mocking him late in the first round.

Rashan Gary (DE, Michigan)
He’s been destined to be a high pick since High School and he just has a physical profile teams will be willing to gamble on.

Jeffery Simmons (DT, Mississippi State)
Simmons’ frame is reminiscent of Ndamukong Suh’s and that’s who he could be at the next level.

Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson)
Ferrell is very talented with good character but when he gets to the combine he’ll need to perform as well as the other top edge rushers in this class.

Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson)
Like Rashan Gary, the league has been watching Lawrence for a long time and there aren’t many human’s on the planet with his size and athleticism.

Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky)
He’s a great college pass rusher and you have to like his character and savviness but when you see tight ends handling him in the run game you have to wonder what this top-three pick talk is all about.

Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
You could never doubt Oliver’s effort, physicality and athleticism but it’s really hard to work out what his full-time position is at the next level.

Devin Bush (LB, Michigan)
Bush makes mistakes against the run and won’t be able to be as aggressive as he was for Michigan but extremely fast and physical linebackers like this will go in round one.

Devin White (LB, LSU)
He’s more consistent with less flaws than Devin Bush but ultimately they’re cut from the same cloth.

Jachai Polite (EDGE, Florida)
Polite is a top-20 talent because he combines relentless effort with enough speed and explosion to be a real threat at the next level.

Cody Ford (T, Oklahoma)
It’s not often you find a prospect with his size and fantastic footwork and agility.

Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
His size and athleticism are plus points but he could be more physical and he needs to track the ball better.

Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)
He has a better arm than some people think and poor mechanics are the reason why he sometimes struggles to generate velocity.

D.K. Metcalf (WR, Ole Miss)
He might be the biggest boom or bust candidate in this draft because you’ve got to love the rare size and athleticism but there are way too many focus drops, he doesn’t use his size like he should and there’s the neck injury.

Jonah Williams (T, Alabama)
He’s not athletic or long enough to play tackle and I’d have major reservations about his strength and power at guard or center.

L.J. Collier (DE, TCU)
He’ll need a strong combine to really propel his stock but Collier is as good as many of the ‘big names’ in this class when it comes to pass rushers.

Irv Smith Jr (TE, Alabama)
Some tight ends are the complete package and others (like Irv Smith Jr) are essentially big slot receivers.

Terry McLaurin (WR, Ohio State)
He’s a receiver who can stretch the field, compete for the ball in the air, separate with a quick release, block downfield and provide major special teams value.

Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
Murphy is tough and physical but lacks size and I’d really like to see how he’d fair at safety in the NFL.

Jaylon Ferguson (EDGE, Louisiana Tech)
He has the production and the athleticism but he’s so incredibly raw when it comes to technique.

Dre’Mont Jones (DT, Ohio State)
He’s in danger of being underrated as a dynamic interior pass rusher who had an excellent 2018 season.

Andre Dillard (T, Washington State)
Dillard doesn’t wow you with size or athleticism but he’s a pillar of consistency and the best pass blocker in this O-line class.

Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)
The speed and the length is massively appealing but he needs to have a good combine and prove to teams that his Michigan State exit shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

Parris Campbell (WR, Ohio State)
The nearest thing to Percy Harvin without any of the character problems and an extra 10lbs of muscle.

Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma)
Antonio’s cousin is incredibly quick and dynamic but I don’t think he’s as sudden as DeSean Jackson (who he’s often compared to).

Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina)
Built like a runner but has surprising shiftiness and he proved at the Senior Bowl he can get open with a fantastic release.

Rodney Anderson (RB, Oklahoma)
The most talented running back in the draft and if he can stay healthy in the NFL he could be great.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford)
An outstanding red-zone threat with great size but he needs to run well at the combine and show he isn’t going to need to rely on winning jump-balls to succeed.

Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
There’s definitely some potential with Lock and considering he could’ve been a first round pick a year ago it won’t be a shock if he lands in the top-10 this year.

Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama)
He’s really explosive and tough but people need to stop with this top-five pick silliness.

Most talented players in the class?
Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, Christian Wilkins, T.J. Hockenson.

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  1. Volume12

    Good piece.

    I’m so sick of reading scouting reports that say the same thing 4 different ways, are way too cute, and almost outhink themselves.

    Are these your top 35 or just some of your favorites?

    • Rob Staton

      Just 35 I picked this time. Could’ve done more but wanted a cut off point.

  2. Volume12

    Fairly excited to watch this AAF. The NFL desperately needs a D-league and they got some big names attached to this thing. Announcers, HC’s, a ton of former prospects that were debated/discussed in draft circles including here.

    • Aaron

      The NFL desperately needs a developmental league again ala NFL Europe. I really hope this league will do that, especially for the o line. Wonder what this means for the XFL?

      • C-Dog

        The XFL doesn’t want to be a developmental league. They want to be a competing league. The AAF is likely where it is at for developing NFL players.

        It’s been fun watching, so far. More fluid than I was anticipating.

        • Volume12

          Your absolute!y right. Vince McMahon ain’t ever gonna do anything to be second place.

          I know eventually there will be turnover amongst the players in the AAF, the NFL is gonna come for these guys bet, but if they let it happen during the season it’ll kill their product.

          That was some good football yesterday. I had high hopes and they exceeded it.

  3. Volume12

    Whooooo!!l I am fired the f*** up! You can actually hit the QB in this league.

  4. Ashish Dhanurkar

    @Rob thanks for all great write up. Already sick of nfl.com mock draft having hawks first pick as CB. At least check JS/PC history.

  5. C-Dog

    I appreciate this list and your takes on these players, Rob.

    I know we are talking a lot about the idea Seattle might take a QB early, there’s also talk of DL and LBs and some obsessions over safeties, but lately I think a lot about how Carroll wants to see improvements to third downs and I gotta say, Parris Campbell is the guy that I am thinking about a lot in this offense. Just seems like a guy PC/JS might be really tempted to add.

    • Simo

      Agree, another dynamic weapon for Russ makes a ton of sense. Imagine Lockett working deep routes, Doug working underneath, and Campbell working the short passing and screen game. With our running game, this would make for a difficult offense to defend.

      Recently read an article pairing free agent WR Adam Humpries with the Hawks, but would much prefer developing a rookie like Campbell.

      I won’t be surprised at all if the Hawks go this route, especially if they find a few affordable defenders on the free agent market.

      • GoHawksDani

        I wrote some offseason predictions for the Hawks…I think PCJS needs to drop this big receiver stuff. They tried with like 6 different guys. And yeah, it works to some extent, but Russ clearly doesn’t favour throwing 50-50 balls. He’s a risk-averse guy. He wants Lockett burning a CB deep, or running a great route. He wants Baldwin faking the life out of the secondary and get bluntly open. That’s why he likes scrambling.
        He could use another dude like these two. Humphries COULD be that. But he would cost too much money and they don’t have that and also probably don’t want to spend that much on a WR (especially a #3 WR).
        So I doubt Humpries, Randall Cobb or Cole Beasly would be signed.
        Potential FA targets for this role could be Phillip Dorsett or Tommylee Lewis (3-4 mil maybe). Dorsett is the better receiver but Lewis could return kicks/punts also

  6. RWIII

    I could see John Schneider trading down with New England. The Belichick has plenty of draft picks. So if Belichick wants to move up to target a player(quarterback?) he has the draft capitol to do do. Everyone assumes that Schneider will trade down. And after looking at these prospects. There’s plenty of good reasons to move down. Even though Schneider only has 4 picks in this draft. I get the feeling Seattle is going to do well. I am hoping Schneider can trade down a couple of times and end up with 6 or 7 picks. Last year Poona Ford was an undated free agent. Hopefully John Schneider & Co. can strike gold in the undrafted pool.

  7. KD

    This might be a bit off topic, but I’m wondering if we, and the rest of the NFL, were suffering from a Mandella Effect with regard to Tom Cable. I kept hearing that he was a brilliant OL coach, he’s such a great OL coach, and all this talk.

    Did we all just fall into a Mandella Effect to the point where we just believed that he was a great OL coach because we were told that he was? In retrospect, Tom Cable seems to have been the biggest hindrance to the OL

    Was there any actual evidence to suggest that he was talented at coaching OL? Which players did he actually coach up?

    • Rob Staton

      Well the season didn’t collapse in 2013 when they had to start Paul McQuistan at left tackle for eight games. Max Unger completely turned his career around under Cable. JR Sweezy went from a DL and seventh round pick to an accomplished offensive guard. Okung spent all his early years bar one under Cable. Breno was underrated at right tackle. After some growing pains Justin Britt developed into a good Center.

      Then they let everyone leave and asked him to work with an ultra cheap OL while they paid everyone on defense and Wilson.

      So he did plenty but it was time for a change after 2017.

      • GoHawksDani

        C’mon now. It was not like they took everything from him and that’s the reason why Cable is/was awful.
        2017: Ifedi (1st round draft pick by Hawks), Brown (pro bowler, 1st round draft pick, bit name), Pocic (2nd round draft pick by Hawks), Joeckel (first round bust, highly overpaid player by the Hawks), Britt (2nd round pick by Hawks, former bust, decent C)
        2016 yep. Full on trash: Sowell, Fant, Glowinski, Hunt, Britt, Webb, Ifedi, Gilliam
        2015: Okung (1st round Hawks pick (6th)), Gilliam, Bailey, Britt (2nd round Hawks pick), Nowak, Lewis, Sweezy, Glowinski- Yep, not a ‘boyz OL, but still… Okung, Sweezy, Britt are OK
        2014: Okung, Gilliam, Carpenter, Unger, (Schilling, Lewis, Jeanpierre), Sweezy, Britt
        He got his guys. The guys he wanted. He got a couple of first round guys, and he had some money to throw around (Joeckel contract, got Brown).
        A really good coach can turn even bad players to pretty good (just watch NE OL…I’m not a big OL guy, heard a couple of names from there, but yeah…nothing serious. No big names in the Pats OL, but still handled the Rams pretty well). Cable turned some awful players to mediocre-bad. But he couldn’t turn bad players to good. And certainly couldn’t make OK/good players to awesome/elite.
        His OLs were OK/good sometimes because of Lynch and there were a couple of guys with some talents (Sweezy, Britt). Those guys mainly needed to figure out their position and how to play OL.
        So yep…Cable was never a GOOD coach. He was an OK coach sometimes, but mostly sucked

        • Rob Staton

          They literally took everything from him.

          Let Okung walk. Let Carpenter walk. Traded Unger. Let Sweezy walk. Let Breno walk. The entire Super Bowl winning O-line left.

          They then asked him to build a line with guys like Drew Nowak, Bradley Sowell, J’Marcus Webb and others off the bargain bin. Cheap vets and rookies. Why? To pay for every other position EXCEPT the OL.

          People have this weird fascination with hammering Cable. It was understandable when he was here but why are we still talking about it? When he was left it was time to go. But don’t reinvent history.

          • GoHawksDani

            I never talk or even think about him, just reflected on this thread. I think Cable is a really dividing coach. Lot of people overestimate or underestimate him. He is not the antichrist, it wasn’t all his fault, and I think he’s not absolutely awful…but he’s mediocre at best and I don’t get why some people think he’s good or great. But the past is the past. I think Solari is good. Not because he’s a great coach, but his style and mindset is aligned much better with the vision of this org

    • C-Dog

      Cable lines have always been known to be good run blocking and poor pass pro lines. This was the case in Atlanta, Oakland and Seattle. I think towards the end of his tenure in Seattle his coaching got too predictable and there wasn’t enough variation to keep front sevens guessing any longer. Run blitzes became more effective against his coaching. IMO, he was the one coach Seattle needed to move on from.

  8. Dale Roberts

    I think you’re underrating J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. He’s obviously not a burner but he has Largent like quickness, really understands how to get open, and his hands maybe the best in the draft. Any QB in the league would love to have that safety value there on every play to keep drives going.

    I agree on Dre’mont Jones and as much as I want the Hawks to trade down I think he could be Michael Bennett.

    The more I see of Paris Campbell the more I wouldn’t mind him being our first pick in the draft. How long do you think he’ll last? Top 40? Top 50?

    One guy I thought you’d be higher on is Jawaan Taylor. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      I used the word ‘outstanding’ to describe an aspect of his game. I’m not sure it’s fair to say I’m underrating him.

      Plus it’s simply a fact that he needs to run well at the combine. I don’t see a guy who knows how to get open. I see a guy whose best aspect is his ability to box out, gain position and make contested catches. And that’s fine. He’s 6-3 and 225lbs. He’s never going to win with quickness and separation on a short or intermediate level. If he was doing that he’d be a top-10 pick like Mike Evans but he isn’t so will last a lot longer.

      Here’s Lance Zierlein’s view (that I share): “Arcega-Whiteside plays with functional quickness in spurts, but not enough to get away from tight coverage and he won’t run by many NFL cornerbacks on go routes.”

      We need to be realistic about these players. He is what he is. A big target who makes contested catches who is a good red zone threat. He’s not Julio, Evans or Josh Gordon. And again, that’s fine for what he is. I like what he does well but acknowledge the areas where he isn’t optimal.

      I haven’t watched enough Jawaan Taylor to comment.

  9. millhouse-serbia

    Rob, Zierlein listed Dremont Jones as 283lb. Can he play inside at all it that is his weght?

    • Rob Staton

      Yes on passing downs. Can play inside/out at that weight.

  10. Uncle Bob

    Pretty good commentary as usual Rob, I’m particularly in agreement on your Wilkins statement, he’s a stud it appears.

    With so much talent as deep into the draft as it looks this year, the combine performances may have even more significance than in most years. Each team likely has it’s “formula” for evaluation, assigning some kind of quantifiable equation to determine potential value, and the outcomes from the combine will shake up more boards than not I’d guess. Hope that JS’s head doesn’t explode when they calculate all the possibilities/permutations for trade down value with this group of youngsters.

    • mishima

      Wilkins is a top-10 talent.

      Sometimes I wonder if players drop because they don’t fit the ‘expert/pundit’ narrative that you have to be a dog to be disruptive. Wilkins is too smart, too well spoken, from a great family, etc. to confirm their bias. Easier to elevate Simmons and drop Wilkins for all the wrong reasons. Both will be great players and probably drafted in top 10.

      Bummer, but Clemson’s Ferrell, Wilkins and Lawrence will be gone, gone, gone before the Seahawks’ pick.

      • Rob Staton

        Familiarity breeds contempt. The same happened to DeShaun Watson.

        • Dale Roberts

          If one of these significant linemen drop, Wilkins, Dre’mont Jones, Lawrence, Simmons, would the Hawks still trade down? I’m not saying I expect this to happen but I’ve seen several mocks where these players have dropped into the second round so maybe 21 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

          • Rob Staton

            The Seahawks will trade down in any scenario

            • GoHawksDani

              I’m all about trading down, and I think the Hawks will do that. But if we don’t have glaring needs, just want some depth, wouldn’t it be better to get depth from FA (cheap vets for example), and using the rest of the 3 picks (maybe even trading down from 3rd). I wouldn’t stay for Jones, Simmons or Simmons…But if Murray, Wilkins, Lawrence, Hockenson or Polite drops to the 21st (not all, just one of the guys above)…yep, forget trade, get a guy who can potentially dominate.
              I really doubt any of these guys are Aaron Donald, but if a guy who has the potential to be the next Donald drops then forget trade and get that guy

              • Rob Staton

                You don’t build depth in FA. It’s more expensive for a start, plus shorter term with less club control.

                Someone as good as Aaron Donald is not going to drop to #21 so it’s a moot point.

              • Uncle Bob

                While we’re in harmony for the most part on that view/those quality of guys, look what happened last year. It was fairly well known that we really needed line backer help yet when VanDer Esch fell to them they still traded for lower pics that yielded Penny and Green. Only time will tell if the trade off is better, but it is a view to JS’s thinking.

                • mishima

                  While good players drop, Vander Esch probably dropped because of concerns with neck injury. Even in hindsight, I still would have passed.

                  • Trevor

                    Disagree completely. I would take one Pro Bowl level player over 2-3 rotational players all day long.

                    If this team had Vander Esch last year instead of Penny and Green it would have been a minimum 2 game difference plus Dallas does not have him and likely misses playoffs.

                    Plus you put Vander Esch on this defense right now with Bobby and you feel a whole lot better heading into this off season considering all the uncertainty surrounding the LB spot.

                    • Rob Staton

                      But in 12 months you might prefer to have Penny & Green, especially if Green takes a big step forward.

                  • Trevor

                    Agree that If Green takes the big jump we all hope then the trade back loos a lot better but the is a huge if.

      • GerryG

        If one of those guys does fall to 21 (<1% chance) Seattle has to take him. I don’t care if they only have 4 picks.

        • Dale Roberts

          I agree.

        • Simo

          Well be prepared to be disappointed, since its very unlikely the Hawks pick at 21. Unless Bosa or Q Williams was still on the board (impossible) the Hawks are trading back from 21. They might even trade back if these two guys were available

          This is a difficult year to stand pat, with only four total picks. Trading back from 21 is really the only way to accumulate the additional picks Pete/John so desire, it just doesn’t work very well trying to trade back in rounds 3-5.

          These guys are so confident if finding mid/late round gems, they trade down for more picks in that range even if there’s several “blue chip” guys still available.

          Trust the process, it will pay off!

  11. Saxon

    Gerald Willis III seems to run hot and cold but when he’s a true disrupter when balling. Rob, what’s your take on him? Also, Michael Jackson from the Canes. Interesting CB prospect.

    • Rob Staton

      Willis has some big splash plays in the run game but lacks size and the issue will be — how many early down snaps can he face to recreate those same splash plays at the next level? I don’t think he’s a specialist interior rusher like Dre’Mont Jones. He kind of needs those early down snaps. But he’s not going to control the POA and play the run. And there are times when he gets flushed out easily. He will have a good combine and excel in the short shuttle. Not sure about his fit or range in the draft though. Could see a team loving the production and agility and going for him early and could also see him lasting. He’s Landon Collins’ brother to there are bloodlines there.

      I’ve not watched Jackson.

  12. Duck07

    Hey Rob, always enjoy the content you put out and I’m waiting for the combine and the TEF results! Anybody that you think may surprise in the TEF scores either offensively or defensively based on any tests you’ve read of?

    • Rob Staton

      I think the O-liners will struggle in TEF this year. I think it’ll be fairly loaded on the D-line. It’s one of my favourite parts of the combine though — seeing who are the most explosive OL and DL. Can’t wait.

  13. charlietheunicorn

    Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
    The most talented player in the draft and the closest thing to Patrick Mahomes you’ll find in a prospect.

    If this the assessment from and/or all of the top 6 pick teams, then they HAVE TO grab this guy.
    Somehow, I could see him slip into the top 15 range…. and someone will get a steal. Jacksonville keeps popping up on my radar as the team that should draft this guy.

    The Chiefs downfall was not the QB play this season, it was the lousy defense…… which seems hard to believe, since they used to be top notch and dare I say feared just a few years ago.

    • GerryG

      Chiefs for all their faults on D can rush the passer and would be in the SB had Ford not lined up offside with a minute to play. Chris Jones got hurt at the end too.

  14. OregonHawk

    Wondering if the AAF is where we might see our next kicker

    • Rob Staton

      It certainly helps with options (which is the good thing about this league).

      Although personally I’d rather splash out on a proven kicker if possible (Gould, Gostkowski could be franchised).

  15. AndrewP

    Rob- While fully admitting I/you/we are hardly traching and technique experts, how easily fixable do you see Grier’s mechanical issues?

    • Kenny Sloth

      What issues do you mean specifically? He needs faster feet like all college QBs

    • Rob Staton

      That’s a good question. Here’s an example. I noticed when he gets out of the pocket and looks to throw downfield while on the move he does a good job keeping his eyes downfield. But when he comes to throw, sometimes he doesn’t set his feet well at all and thus the mechanics of the throw are all wrong and he loses all velocity.

      That’s not to say his footwork is good when he stays in the pocket. For the most part it’s ‘unique’ (to put it politely) but it seems to work. He jumps into throws sometimes. His great throw against Texas to win the game was a perfect example of terrible feet and mechanics but he nailed it and the pass had ideal velocity. And time and time again you see his funky mechanics actually working for him in the pocket or from the gun. But on the move — it’s very hard to throw this way especially downfield if you don’t set your feet. His shoulder doesn’t turn to the receiver, he throws front on and he loses any kind of power. He needs to take a moment, adjust his throwing angle and step into the throw. If he hasn’t got time to do this — throw it away and live for the next play.

      If you try and knock this out of him does it affect him in the pocket? Because he does actually make some of his best throws with the funky technique. Or do you have to simply live with the possibility that he’ll throw the occasional duck when he tries to make a play on the move? I think it’s probably the second option. He isn’t perfect, the technical side of things are not textbook but he’s a heck of a playmaker.

      • Dale Roberts

        Its seems that the conventional wisdom is that a QB either has a strong arm or they don’t. Why? You hit the weights, work on proper weight transfer, arm angle, and release and it’s gotta help. Opinion?

        • C-Dog

          Brees built up his arm strength in the pros. I think if you ask most pro QB coaches, arm strength is a really overrated thing. They are more concerned about accuracy, reading defenses, being decisive and throwing with anticipation than arm strength. QB just has to have enough arm to make all the necessary throws. Brees, Manning, Brady, Ryan, Cousins, and Rivers all had some questions of arm strength coming out of college and have made critics look silly.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I see a lot of pro QBs with bad mechanics. A lot of jump passing for instance. Or throwing off the back foot as they fall back. Or cross field passing as they run the other way.

        Most QBs have strong arms and get away with it. The bad mechanics can come from concern over getting cleats caught up in the field when they are tackled while passing. Or running for their life and trying to get the ball away. As long as they can accurately pass, I’m not worried about mechanics. It’s an issue when they are standing in a clean pocket and can’t hit a receiver, but that is observable in college.

  16. Eburgz

    So I think we’re gonna go defensive front 7 with our first pick. Based on projections, I put these guys into groups and jotted down a quick note on why each guy could last to our pick. We can be sure the guys in the first group (first two groups really) won’t be there. Not sure there’s any front 7 players outside these groups I’d be willing to take with our first pick (top 45 pick). I listed them roughly in the order I rate them.

    Group 1 No chance:
    J. Bosa (No doubt)
    Q. Williams (No doubt)
    C. Wilkins (no doubt despite the mocks where he’s available)
    D. White (off the ball linebackers seem to last longer than other positions, but white is too good)

    Group 2 Probably no chance:
    J. Allen (Size and run game concerns, too good to drop)
    R. Gary (underachiever but too freaky to drop)
    E. Oliver (tweener size, but too good to drop)
    C. Ferrell (if he tests well at combine, no chance he drops)
    J. Simmons (probably too good to drop. if he does, hawks won’t stop the fall)

    Group 3 Maybe there’s a chance?:
    J. Polite (tweener size concerns, character concerns, maybe he drops?)
    D. Lawrence (PED concerns, underachiever concerns, run stuffing DT’s sometimes last)

    Group 4 There’s a chance:
    M. Sweat (skinny and inconsistent)
    J. Ferguson (raw and underdeveloped)
    J. Tillery (inconsistent and character concerns)
    M. Wilson (inconsistent, instincts?)
    D. Bush (undersized and over aggressive)
    B. Burns (legit size concerns)
    D. Jones (undersized, run game concerns)
    Z. Allen (unathletic, bad senior bowl)
    D. Walker (injury concerns)

    Group 5 Not worth #1 pick but almost made the cut:
    C. Omenihu
    L. Collier
    V. Joseph
    T. Hanks
    R. Wren

    So I’ve got about 10 guys that are probably out of range of our pick and about 10 or so guys that might be in range for our first pick if we go D front 7 as I believe. No one else IMO is worth our first pick as far as defensive front 7. I think our pick is likely a guy coming from groups 3 (if they last) or more likley group 4. If I had to guess who I think will be our pick based on who we would pick out of who might be available when we pic, gun to my head Russian Roulette style I’m guessing Ferguson, Sweat, Tillery, Mack, Polite, Lawrence

    Are there any front 7 players that are worth a top 45 pick that I missed?

    Who are the other picks that fill in the spaces in-between those top front 7 picks?
    I’d expect atleast 3+ QB’s go early of: (Haskins, Murray, Jones, Lock, Grier, Stidham)
    3+ OL: (Taylor, Dillard, Edwards, Little, Williams, Ford)
    2+ WR: (Brown, Brown, Metcalf, Samuel, Ohio WR’s,)
    2+ DB’s: (Williams, Murphy, Baker, Love, Mullen, Rapp, Adderley)
    1+ TE’s: (Hockenson, Fant, Smith)
    0+ RB: (Jacobs, Harris, Singletary, Montgomery)

    • Rob Staton

      The first pick may well be a front seven defender but I think, if anything, your groupings argue why it might not be the case. The ones who will be left after they inevitably trade down are no more or less appealing than some of the other positions. In fact there are players in other areas that are more appealing. And considering the depth on the front seven stretches deeper into the draft, there’s every chance they won’t go DL or LB with the first pick.

      Lawrence, Polite, Sweat, Bush — the chances are these players will not available. The rest? Some are better than others but if you can get L.J. Collier in round three and a different position in round two that is favourable.

      I think any position is on the table. And Carroll’s press conference words back that up.

      • Eburgz

        We can probably count out a DB pick considering Earl has been the only DB picked early by this regime and it’s a bad DB class. (maybe Adderley as he was interviewed by the hawks). Hockenson we agree is a top 20 pick (the other top tight ends don’t fit the scheme) that counts out tight ends. RB we have Carson and just invested an early pick in Penny, probably will not burn another top pick on RB. that leaves OL and WR as possible picks. Hopefully we sign a contract with Russ so we don’t need to worry about QB unless Murray falls (the only worthy QB with hawks first pick IMO).

        QB: K. Murray

        DL: J. Polite, D. Lawrence, M. Sweat J. Ferguson, J. Tillery, D. Jones, Z. Allen

        LB: D. Bush, M. Wilson B. Burns, D. Walker

        OL: J. Taylor, A. Dillard, D. Edwards, G. Little, J. Williams, C. Ford

        WR: AJ Brown, M. Brown, DK Metcalf, D. Samuel, P. Campbell, T. McLaurin

        DB: Adderley

        I think our first pick is one of these 25 guys. I’d argue a couple of them aren’t available when we pick (guys like K. Murray, J. Taylor, J. Polite, D. Lawrence) and some aren’t really hawks targets for their first pick because they don’t fit. (guys like D. Jones, A. Dillard, Z. Allen, Adderley). Less than 20 picks I’d consider legit candidates for our first pick.

        any names your really want to add to that list?

        • Rob Staton

          I think there are quite a lot more to be honest.

          • Eburgz

            You got a couple names for a snowed in fan (besides Grier)?

            Excluding the prospects I listed I’m not seeing any other prospects that might be available and are worthy of using our first pick on. assuming a top 45 pick. The first post is basically my top 50 big board grouped by position.

            • Rob Staton

              I think it’s possible they’ll like Chris Lindstrom if he has a great combine. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if L.J. Collier move up a round with a good combine. Renell Wren will have a great combine so I would include him purely based on potential. These are just some off the top of my head. I think Kaleb McGary is a possibility. Gerald Willis III maybe. There are lots of options. The combine will help steer us in a clearer direction. I wouldn’t limit anything at the moment, we don’t have enough intel.

              • Eburgz

                Nice. I especially like Lindstrom. I have all those guys just outside looking in (like my other fringe front 7 guys Hanks, Omenihu, V. Joseph) along with guys like.
                OL: Risner, Jenkins, Bradbury, Howard,
                WR: Harry, Harmon, Hardman, Ridley

                I don’t think QB, DB, TE, RB are as likley for our first pick as DL, LB, WR, OL

                • Rob Staton

                  I think QB and TE are very possible depending on how the board falls.

                  • Eburgz

                    For me, only options are K. Murray and Hockenson with our first pick if we go TE or QB. And neither is likely to last to where the hawks end up drafting.

                    • Rob Staton

                      If they trade down into round two there are other options.

    • Dale Roberts

      I like seeing you doing groupings. It’s the most helpful perspective on the draft. I’d have a couple of difference but I think you’re pretty right. Nice job.

      My biggest bitch would be with Dre’mont Jones. Groups one and two are so close that it would take a major combine bomb for any of them to fall. Offensive tackle is the second thing behind QB that teams seem willing to over draft and as you noted there are at least five (six if your add Dieter) good tackles available. Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Houston, and Green Bay are in dire straits. If Jacksonville gets Foles then their next big need is left tackle, Minnesota is almost a surefire pick for a top talent to slide inside, and Oakland is well, Oakland and last year’s pick, Kolton Miller isn’t looking so good at left tackle. I won’t be surprised to see four, even five OL go in the first round but certainly in the top 40.

  17. Eburgz

    You have made a big change on your stance on Hockenson. In your article on 1/14 https://seahawksdraftblog.com/an-early-projection-on-legit-first-round-grades#comments

    I commented that Hockenson was a legit first round pick and I thought he deserved to be mentioned in the article. You responded that you liked him but you wouldn’t say a legit first rounder. Now you say he is a top 15 lock. Any reason for this change considering he hasn’t done anything since then? Just more film?

    • Rob Staton

      Yes, I watched more games. Four days after that article I wrote a mock draft and had the Seahawks taking Hockenson in round one after further study. On January 30th I had him going to Cincinnati with the #11 overall pick.

      I always liked him. And with more tape study I came to really like him. Remember, he was an unexpected late declaration for the draft. He wasn’t a player everyone was monitoring throughout the season.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I still think the projections are a little rich on him. I said back then that his floor was early second. Late 20’s sounds about right.

        I’m sure a less talented WR will be taken before him, possibly several less talented QBs too

  18. Eli

    A prospect I’ve taken an interest in is CB Justin Layne from Michigan State. Here’s what I’ve learned about him so far:

    – Former 4* WR prospect who immediately switched to defense. He’s listed at 6’3″ 185 lbs. and project to go somewhere around Rd. 3-5 of the draft. Doesn’t appear to be any testing info on him yet.
    – Finished this season with 72 tackles, and while he only had one interception he did have 15 pass breakups.
    – On film and in pictures his arms look to be long. He has an overall generally lanky frame that reminds me of Richard Sherman.
    – On his tape/highlight films I’m not a huge fan of his tackling, but, I did notice that he seems to be a willing tackler and he appears to have a general idea of leverage/physics. To me it just looked like he wants to go low on tackles at a guys ankles and he makes a lot of tackles with just his hands/arms.
    – His coverage of receivers to me could be described as “sticky”, at least from what I saw. He does a good job of staying with receivers and being too in their space for them to make a good play on balls.

    Wondering if you’ve had a chance to check him out Rob?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve watched two games but it was a while ago. Not sure what my thoughts were at the time, will go back and review those games.

    • Josh

      Layne caught my eye as well as a late round Seattle corner

  19. Nathan W.

    Love this breakdown of the Patriots D vs Rams O by Sam Gold. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLmyRYJHt4o

  20. jason p jones


    Been stuck at home due to snow and I must be checking your site 20 times a day. Just wanted to say thanks to you and everyone in the comments section

    • Sanders


      Lots of Seahawks fans snowed in at home this past week and most of this week.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks guys!

  21. BobbyK

    The more I think of it, the more I think the Seahawks will trade down (obviously) and then select a WR from Ohio State.

    Of course, this means that won’t happen or it’ll be a receiver from a different college.

    Also, I can’t explain how excited I am to see Rasheem Green next year. I was impressed with his development until he got hurt and never really seemed to find a groove or be part of the rotation with regularity after that. He’s younger than many of the guys listed above and I’m excited to see him in ’19. With him, Ford, and Martin… that’s three extremely young guys who can play the DL and/or rush the passer. That trio could make them feel that they can go with another playmaker (or LB if Wright or Kendricks don’t come back) with their first pick. Martin made some plays late in the season and became more of a part of things (with some near miss big plays, too). I’m really looking forward to seeing how those sophomores develop.

    • Sea Mode

      +1 this is still my sentiment exactly. Trade down into early-mid R2 and target McLaurin or Campbell. Prefer McLaurin because he offers more as a blocker and gunner as well, but would be happy with either. Campbell is a bit faster straight-line I think.

      Deebo Samuel I also like a lot, but he looks like a 4.45 guy to me, and I think they will go for the Ohio St. guys, who look to my eye to be 4.35 guys.

      • clbradley17

        I agree in preferring to pick McLaurin, he looked great at Senior Bowl week, and is a fantastic ST player, which Pete loves, has kept a lot of players here for years with just that attribute. After trading down like in the scenario Rob presented a couple weeks ago with Buffalo and getting 3 extra picks, wouldn’t be surprised if we picked up 2 WRs in the draft, one in rd. 2 like TM and another on day 3 like Gary Jennings of WVU. Tony Pauline said in his Shrine and Senior bowl practice podcasts how important it is for WRs to have speed and separation, but also make catches away from the body, and in this new video Jennings makes catches over the shoulder, away from the body, and is always fighting for extra yards for the TD or first down, another big plus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTtFnAMnTjY

        This takes into account that we sign some inexpensive 2nd-3rd level FAs on the D front seven, DBs, and/or various positions so we have less needs during the draft. Tre Boston or Eric Reid could be reasonably priced good safeties, and DTs like Anderson from the Jets or Covington from the Texans are both very good, in their mid-20s and won’t break the bank like a Clowney or Jarrett. We could potentially sign some of these outside options on D above or others at any position to a lower priced 1 year deal. We need to be frugal as well to retain our FAs, mainly Clark/Sweezy/Fluker/Kendricks this year and RW, BW and JR next.

        Tony Pauline is frequently on point with his assessments of draft stock, and he thinks McLaurin may last till the late 2nd round. http://draftanalyst.com/two-round-mock-draft-february-4 Would like to see us make Rob’s trade-down with Buffalo and another one within the 2nd to get an additional mid-round pick, then draft him there in the late 2nd. If we drafted these 2 WRs with great speed, separation and toughness, we could save on Jaron Brown’s salary to use in FA, and we’d be set with a WR core of Baldwin, Lockett, Moore, McLaurin and Jennings.

    • Trevor

      Great post and agree on all points. This is a very possible draft scenario and Campbell or Mclaurin would look awesome in a Hawks uniform.

      The development of Rasheem Green is perhaps the single most important thing this off season for the Hawks. If he can become a solid 5 Tech that can slide inside on passing downs then this defense looks a whole lot better.

      Martin just seems like a baller who is going to get better and better.

  22. Josh

    Any Hakeem Butler fans?

    • Dale Roberts

      You have to be a fan the problem I see is that he’s a bit of a boom or bust pick so where you get him is important. His claim to fame is size and an ability to win contested catches. He won’t be able to depend on that nearly as much in the pros as he did in college. He’s similar to Mike Williams so Pete’s gonna be attracted but for me I wouldn’t touch him before the third round. That said it’s a light draft for receiver so maybe he jumps up a bit.

      • Josh

        Yeah, I was thinking later in the draft. One trick pony. I’m interested for like 4th or 5th round pick

  23. Katal

    I get the feeling more and more that Parris Campbell could be the guy. Carroll and Schneider aren’t going to have the ammunition to get a top defensive lineman if they trade back, and they’ve never been a front office that settles for using a top pick on second tier players. Parris, on the other hand, is one of the best offensive weapons available, and has a skill set they clearly value, as evidenced by the trade they made nearly six years ago that brought Percy here. Seems like a fit.

  24. millhouse-serbia

    Here’s how one team’s scout summarized the arm strength concern with Grier:

    “Grier has good backup talent. I’m not sold on his arm. Lot of throws die on him when he can’t set his feet, and the great NFL QBs have to play with a muddled pocket 75 percent of the time. Requires a level of twitch, core power, arm strength to get throws off with velocity from unstable platforms. Grier doesn’t have that type of arm.”
    Read more at http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2019wgrier.php#8p7fQxmbfdRuk4Z1.99

    • Rob Staton

      This follows on from what I was discussing earlier and it’s a legit concern.

      You don’t need to be able to throw like Aaron Rodgers downfield while on the move but too often Grier’s mechanics eliminate velocity when he has to get out of the pocket. I’m not sure it’s a death knell for his career though. This is why you develop players. It’s also, at times, a bit too easy to insist a QB prospect has to be complete to warrant any faith. Wilson still has flaws but has so much talent to offset it. This could always be an issue for Grier but he does do a lot very well. So if I was inclined to draft him, I’d see if there was a development solution in addressing the problem discussed in this report. And it could be as simple as getting him to spend a solid year in the gym.

  25. GoHawksDani

    Because so many front 7 talents in this draft and some teams obviously want/need to draft for other position (WR, secondary, QB), is it possible or even likely that front7 guys who have question marks might slip further than in a regular draft?
    Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Devin Bush…You wrote things about them that makes me think these guys might not be a day 1 plug’n’play starter dudes. Needs to get stronger, or bigger or need more experience, figure out a couple of things.

    If there are 12-15 team who have more major needs in other areas or think that front7 is loaded and they can get an OK guy who is not much worse than the one they could get for example at 1/18 AND they could get the top 1-2 WR or CB or S or else…then is it possible these type of guys fall to the Hawks?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s very, very unlikely. Most draft prospects need some form of development.

  26. millhouse-serbia

    As it stands today I think we will trade back to late first, early second and with first pick take FS (Adderley or CGJ).

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think they will take a safety with the first pick. I think they like their current safety’s a lot more than the fans do. Also, both players would be a reach there (although I do like CGJ).

  27. Hicks

    Rob, depending on how the draft shakes out in round 1, maybe hawks do not want to completely trade out of round 1. Green Bay needs some additional help at WR, maybe trade #21 and Baldwin for their late 1st and 2nd. Maybe hawks get a little more than this, + a 6th? This enriches the offer to allow us to stay in round 1 and pick up a very valuable 2nd rounder. And if two picks are added, they then have a comfortable # of picks total.

    • Rob Staton

      I could see them only trading down into the late first for sure. But I don’t see any possibility of a Baldwin trade.

  28. clbradley17

    Rob, you asked if there were any subject suggestions a week or 2 ago. I’m pretty sure all the new followers would be interested, and this old man and probably lots of others could use a refresher on Seahawks criteria for each position with the combine coming up in just over 2 weeks. Remember a few things like CBs needing 32″ arms – not sure arm length/height/weight etc. needs for other positions. What tests at the combine are best for showing explosiveness for each position and why in your opinion?

    Also not sure if the Seahawks OL explosiveness criteria still apply since Cable isn’t OL coach anymore, but Pocic didn’t measure up even though JS/Cable drafted him, and we can see how that’s worked out. He doesn’t seem strong, fast or explosive enough at all to stop DL. Connor McGovern of the Broncos, who you and others pointed out did fit the criteria and they got in the 5th round from Missouri in 2016, recorded a positive grade on an NFL-high 15.5% of his run-block snaps in 2018 according to PFF. We selected Ifedi in the 1st, Odhiambo in the 3rd and Hunt in the 6th that same draft.

    • Rob Staton

      I have an extensive and detailed combine preview ready to roll the week of the event. Will have every positional preference, every key test and some possible targets. Will either be published as one huge article like the last two years or split into offense & defense.

      • charlietheunicorn

        I would prefer an (1 piece) offensive and then a (1 piece) defensive newsy spread.

        If I recall correctly, OL go early in the combine and the DBs go last…. each is an area of potential interest for Seattle. I especially would love to hear about your thoughts on the kickers in the draft 😉

        • clbradley17

          Thanks Rob. Looking forward to it. Here’s the combine schedule according to NFL.com:

          Tentative Combine workout schedule:
          » Friday, Mar 1: PK, ST, OL, RB
          » Saturday, Mar 2: QB, WO, TE
          » Sunday, Mar 3: DL, LB
          » Monday, Mar 4: DB

  29. Bill Bobaggins


    Apologies if I’ve missed this on another thread/post. But last year at this time, you were extremely high on Damien Harris. I recall you thinking he was one of the top 3 backs in the draft (if he were to declare). Just curious as to why that seems to have changed. Admittedly, I didn’t pay a ton of attention to him this year, but it looks like he had a solid season.

    Where are you thinking he lands?

    • Rob Staton

      I still really like Harris. But he had an underwhelming season in 2018 and didn’t improve his stock. Didn’t look quite as quick and explosive as previous. I think he likely still goes in R2-3.

  30. eburgz

    your favorite guys with a pretty meh opinion of LJ Collier.


    DJ said at senior bowl that Collier is “Twitched up”, we will see at combine. He has long arms so length isn’t the issue they make it out to be. One legit criticism that I agree with is his ability to anticipate the snap and fire off the ball. consistently late/slow out of his stance IMO.

    Him and Omenihu are my favorite DL guys that are projected to last past the first two rounds.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m going to go ahead and give a great big shrug of the shoulders to whatever that link says.

    • Volume12

      Wait. So they’re saying guys who will fill a specialized role aren’t ideal? This isn’t 1995 anymore.

  31. millhouse-serbia

    Kyler Murray: I’m fully committed to football.

  32. Volume12

    Can’t wait to see this dude at the combine. Baylor CB Derrek Thomas (6’3, 190-195 lbs.).

    Former WR, transfer from Temple. For playing only 1 season in the wide open BIG 12 he acquitted himself very well. Held one of the more explosive 2020 WR prospects in check. Top 75 talent Tylan Wallace, OK St.

    This is a really cool highlight. Very different.

    • WALL UP

      He looks great in coverage, staying over the top as well. He didn’t seem to be as physical against the run. Weatherspoon is similar in that respect. Check out their Bowl game Vandy. I like to know what you think.

      • Volume12

        Hard to say what he looks like off the highlight reel, but I like his physical profile.

        Who am I checking out?

        • WALL UP

          Derrek Thomas in the Texas Bowl game against Vanderbilt. He didn’t appear as physical on the edge against the run. That’s Witherspoon’s,(excuse the misspell) achilles in the run game when playing SF.

          Can Thomas hold up against the run? He most definitely can pass defend.

          • WALL UP

            After Vandy’s 1st possession and score from a screen headed Thomas’s direction, he was pulled in favor of #13. He reappeared in a later series against another successful run he way his way, and was not seen on the field in the remainder of the game.

            Perhaps an injury had something to do with it. But, there was no indication of an injury. It didn’t make any difference in replacing him, in a great deal. Keyshon Vaughn could not be stopped by any of Baylor’s players, even though they won the game.

            Derek Thomas doesn’t appear to be the physical type player that would fit Pete’s scheme. that’s one of the respected qualities that Sherm displayed that made him great. He was fearless against the run and still is. That quality appears to be lacking in Derek’s game.

    • Sea Mode

      Hmmm, I’m interested to know more.

  33. WALL UP

    Seahawks roster composition by draft round versus NFL
    Round NFL NFL Percent Seattle Seattle Percent
    1 242 14.28% 8 12.90%
    2 181 10.68% 6 9.68%
    3 181 10.68% 9 14.52%
    4 151 8.91% 6 9.68%
    5 158 9.32% 4 6.45%
    6 136 8.02% 3 4.84%
    7 95 5.60% 6 9.68%
    Undrafted 551 32.51% 20 32.26%

    This is from an interesting article of where the Hawk’s roster originates from the draft, as compared to the league. I hope it pans out the that way in 2019, with picks heavily in the 3rd & 4th Rds, after multiple trades from the 1st Rd.

    2. T(47) Renell Wren DT
    3. T(75) Khalen Saunders DT/DE/FB
    3. (84) Chukwuma Edoga OT
    4.T(109) Preston Williams WR
    4.T(116) Jamal Peters CB/S
    4. (124) Khalil Hodge LB
    5.T(144) B.J. Autry OG
    6.T(180) Malik Gant S
    6.T(195) Malik Carney DE/OLB

    A lot of emphasis is placed on finding a future QB, and rightfully so. There is no guarantee that Russ remains healthy throughout the season, and playing every game, as he’s done so far in his career.

    So, building a formidable defense, and having a consistently, perennial league leading running game,
    will allow whomever is in the QB position, the opportunity to still win games. Having Russ at the helm though, with these, wins championships.

    Most would agree that stopping the run, and creating pressure on the QB, has definitely been an area of concern. Those elite edge pass rushers may just pass by, as selections by the Hawks are made in the 2nd Rd, leaving them with other options at pressuring the QB.

    While doing so from the edge is the most notable way, putting consistent pressure up the middle will make outside pressure much easier to accomplish. The proposed first (2) picks, Wren & Saunders, could help accomplish this, as well as playing stout defense against the run.

    Again, investing in a future QB is something that JS is always thinking of, and planning for. But, at the same time, you have to protect your franchise QB and give him weapons to throw to, as needed, when the run game is stacked against. The next (2) picks, Egoda & Williams, can help provide the protection, and give the offense that much needed big target that will keep moving the chains.

    Help in stopping the run at the LB & CB positions is something that Hodges and Peters can provide, with the next (2) picks. Griffin wasn’t as strong against the run as you would’ve hope for. BWag needs help alongside him, with KJ no longer available. Jamal and Khalil can fill those (2) respective voids.

    The remaining (3) picks, Autry, Gants & Carney could also play vital roles behind, or competing with those starting LG, FS & DE/OLB positions that are currently being held by Sweezy, Thompson & Martin.

    There are plenty of potential UDFAs that will be available. I think that this is Pete’s & JS’s most exciting time period, in order to compete for those available UDFAs. Here’s a few that might become available that could help bolster that roster:

    Tyrie Cleveland WR (Jr.) Florida (#89 has great similarities to another #89.)
    Julian Rochester DT (Jr.) Georgia
    Ulysses Gilbert LB (Jr.) Akron
    Easton Stick QB (Sr.) NDSU
    *Alec Ingold FB (Sr.) Wisconsin
    *Travis Fulgham WR (Sr.) Old Dominion

    *(Could be drafted late)

    • Robert Las Vegas

      Rob I quick random question for you there are three teams without first round pick Dallas and Chicago and New Orleans .does any of these teams to trade back in first round of you had guess. Which one if any .

      • Rob Staton

        None really have the stock to do it. Saints the most likely to want to but they’d have to give up too much.

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