Boxing Day mock draft

Imagine Seattle’s offense with one more great receiver.

The Seahawks are averaging 50 points a game in their last three outings. They’re running the ball efficiently. Russell Wilson is throwing the ball well. Everything is clicking.

But just imagine this offense with one more talented wide out to go with Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Doesn’t Wilson deserve to be complimented with more weapons? Are you not intrigued to see just how good he could be with another game changing receiver on the roster?

There’s a fear factor about drafting first round receivers, largely inspired by Matt Millen’s ill-fated tenure as Detroit’s General Manager. Between 2003-05, Millen selected Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams with top ten picks. The heavy outlay at the position made little impact on the team, with another top-ten pick Joey Harrington also becoming a top-ten quarterback bust for Millen. Since then, fans have often cited a distrust in drafting receivers early.

Is this a good time to mention Millen also drafted Calvin Johnson?

Here’s the thing – it doesn’t really matter what happened in the past. If 99 first round receivers bust, it doesn’t mean #100 won’t make the Hall of Fame. In the 2008 draft, no receivers were drafted in the first round. At the time it was assumed this was an example of the NFL ‘learning its lesson’. In reality, it was just a review of the draft class on the whole. A year later, six receivers were taken in the first round. And the success rate of the players taken in the subsequent three drafts is quite high.

2011 – A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Jonathan Baldwin
2010 – Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant
2009 – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt

That’s eleven receivers in total. Of the group, only the Al Davis-inspired Heyward-Bey is a calamitous bust. Green, Jones, Thomas and Bryant are among the NFL’s best receivers, while Harvin, Nicks, Britt and Crabtree are key components within their respective teams. Jonathan Baldwin has struggled to make an impact, yet Kansas City’s quarterback position is a mess and they’ll likely earn the #1 overall pick next week. Funnily enough, there appears to be a correlation between receivers drafted early being successful and whether they have a good quarterback throwing the ball. Funny that, isn’t it?

After all, Millen’s greatest mistake in Detroit wasn’t to draft three receivers in round one. It was to invest in a bad quarterback.

Really it’s not the receiver position itself that is the issue. It’s whether you can identify the right players and put them in a good situation. The Seahawks have their quarterback and the ‘good situation’. Who would bet against them identifying the right player if they do choose to draft a receiver?

That’s the direction I’ve gone in this latest mock. We’ll continue to look at a lot of different options in the new year. The pick I’ve gone with is a relatively inexperienced player who could fall simply for that reason. Brandon Coleman is far from the finished article. Yet his upside is incredible. This is the first time I’ve mocked him to Seattle, but it’s not the first time we’ve talked about him. His team, Rutgers, is taking on Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday. I wonder if an athletic Russell will be throwing to him in 2013?

Will he declare? It’s still a debating point. He told Keith Sargeant: “That was something I was going to think about after the bowl game, but right now I’m thinking about coming back for another year. I’ll just keep developing. I like this bond I have with this team, and I feel like I still have room to grow as a receiver.” He still sounds unsure, even if he claims to be leaning to a return. A big bowl performance can change things. So can a positive report from the draft committee. Ultimately what he has to decide is whether he’s more likely to take the ‘next step’ with more time in the college ranks in a run heavy system, or whether he’s better off turning pro. It’ll be a tough choice.

Just a first round projection today…

#1 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
The Chiefs need a quarterback. They don’t have a terrible roster. They have to do this.
#2 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Jaguars need a pass rusher and Werner could steadily move up the boards after a 13.5 sack season.
#3 Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
Only Jacksonville has less sacks than Oakland. Moore had 12.5 in the SEC this year for A&M.
#4 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
This is the starting point for whoever replaces Andy Reid. They have to repair the offensive line.
#5 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
He’s a physical freak. He could blow up the combine. If he does… then hello to the top five.
#6 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
The way Buddy Nix is talking, he’ll probably trade back into round one for a quarterback. If he keeps his job.
#7 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
Defensive end is the bigger need but three are off the board already.
#8 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
Elite potential. Vastly underrated. The complete cornerback.
#9 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
All the messing around at quarterback cannot happen again next year.
#10 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
He’ll move over to left tackle in the pro’s.
#11 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
He’s good enough to go in the top ten. So is Jonathan Cooper.
#12 Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia)
Top-ten potential. This would be a steal.
#13 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
He has a lot of upside, but he’s inconsistent.
#14 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Elam’s a dynamic defensive back who will make plays at the next level.
#15 Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
The X-Factor player of this draft.
#16 Kyle Van Noy (DE, BYU)
After everything he’s done this year, someone could draft this guy early.
#17 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
The Rams need to find a left tackle and Fisher looks a lot like Joe Staley.
#18 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
Athletic guard who could even switch to tackle. He will start for 10+ years.
#19 Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Another player who could really boost his stock with a great combine. A Giants type of pass rusher.
#20 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
The next best tackle on the board.
#21 Arthur Brown Jr (LB, Kansas State)
Don’t under-estimate this guy. He’s legit.
#22 Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
This gives Sam Bradford another weapon, but also solidifies the offense in general.
#23 DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson)
It’s time to start talking about this guy as a top-25 talent.
#24 Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
No, I don’t think Indianapolis drafts Tyler Wilson. But this could be the range where a team like Buffalo trades back into round one.
#25 Jarvis Jones (DE, Georgia)
Jones’ spinal stenosis could lead to a grade in the late first round.
#26 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Physically immense but undercooked and it could lead to a slight drop if he declares.
#27 John Simon (DE, Ohio State)
Just a solid, blue-collar pass rusher.
#28 Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State)
A smart team will draft this guy early. He’s the second coming of Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace.
#29 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
I think he fits best at the five technique in a 3-4.
#30 Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina)
Terrific pass-rushing defensive tackle who can line up at the one or three technique.
#31 Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee)
He had an excellent 2012 season. Thomas can play guard or tackle.
#32 Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Atlanta)
Atlanta could use an interior upgrade.


  1. Michael

    Is his name Bjoern Werner or Björn Werner? I have seen it both ways, and for some reason I get frustrated when people’s names are misspelled. Is there a German Seahawks fan out there that can help me out?

    • Alex

      I am not quite German but Danish. We do however have the same letter ø/ö. The letter is a contraction of the vowels oe. This combo gets used alot in our tongue and thats why we invented a new letter to represent it . So i guess both ways would be correct although if Björn should spell his own name he would probably use the ö.

      Bonus info. Björn means Bear

      Hope it helped

      GO HAWKS

      • Michael


    • CorkyAgain

      The two dots over the o in the second spelling are called an umlaut. Back in the days before computers and unicode, when people were using typewriters that didn’t have keys for umlauted vowels, the convention was to write them as vowel+e. (Easier than backspacing and overstriking a quotation mark to simulate the umlaut, which is what I used to do when I studied German back in the Sixties.)

      So either spelling of Werner’s first name is acceptable.

  2. Sam Jaffe

    I think Coleman is the kind of guy that either will drop out of the first round or will go in the top 15. There’s no grey smudges with him: every team will either think he’s just another tall athlete pretending to be a wide receiver, or they will think he is the next Calvin Johnson. If the former, he’s a late round pick. If the latter, he’s a top 5-15 first rounder. If he doesn’t get selected really early, then a team like Seattle (assuming they fall in love with him), know they can still get him with their second or third round pick.

    By the way, you’ve done such a thorough job of convincing me that Seattle needs a 3-tech, that I think you have to take a trade-up scenario. What if Lotulei or Richardson fall and could be had in a trade? I know it goes against the Schneider/Carroll philosophy of hoarding picks (as opposed to spending multiple picks on one guy), but everyone has their price. What would you say that price is for Seattle to make a move up? Keep in mind that Philly spent a fourth and a sixth to move up two spots in last year’s draft to get Fletcher Cox. What DT would Seattle be willing to trade up for and how much would they be willing to give up for him?

    I’d also like to eventually hear your thoughts on two players that might fit the Seahawks defense, albeit in unorthodox ways. John Simon has potential as a LEO end, although he’s not an edge-speed demon like the traditional prototype. And Jesse Williams has an intriguing quickness to his game: I think he might be being miscast as an NT. Maybe he could be a penetrating 3-tech who is stuck in a stereotype because that’s where Alabama wants him (NT is a much simpler position than 3-tech for someone who is new to football–just hold your block and you win) and also because of his skin color and astounding strength (being able to bench press 600 pounds is great for a nose tackle, but it can also come in pretty handy for an interior pass rusher). I’m guessing you disagree with me on this, but I’m curious to see how vehemently.

    • Brian

      “If the latter, he’s a top 5-15 first rounder. If he doesn’t get selected really early, then a team like Seattle (assuming they fall in love with him), know they can still get him with their second or third round pick.”

      I don’t think this is really true. The Seahawks “reached” on Bruce Irvin, but they did so because he wouldn’t be around when they picked in the second round. There are a lot of teams who will put other players ahead of Coleman on their board, but still value him among the top 40. I’m thinking especially of teams like Cleveland and Jacksonville.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Huge Jesse Williams fan. I will elaborate more if his name pops up later in the year. It is interesting that Rob sees him filling a 5 tech, when he started as a DT, and only moved to NT because of the departure of Chapman last season. There are a great many things I think make this prospect special but will save that for another conversation.

      Coleman however is a talent I’d hope we would move up to acquire. Really he’s the only prospect I see that even merits that kind of conversation.

  3. Stuart

    Our Seahawks currently rank #1 in the NFL in Defense in the points against catagory and our lead is now fairly substantial over the 49er’s. Imagine how dominate we will be with another solid draft…

    I just heard that Sherman will not make the pro-bowl. It’s hard to imagine a better DB in the NFL right now that him.

    • Michael

      What a joke… The pro-bowl is stupid anyway, and I would rather watch my grass grow than tune into that anti-hitting cuddle fest.

      Sherman is easily one of the top 3-4 DB’s in all of the NFL, so they can keep their stupid trip to Hawaii. ‘Hawks fans are just fine with the #1 defense in the land.

      • Michael

        just looked at the rest of the pro-bowl rosters… they are absolutely laughable.

        Jeff Saturday somehow made the cut (behind Unger) despite not being good enough to start on his own team.

        The defense is more than 35% Niners while the Seahawks league leading scoring defense sent only 1 defensive player in Earl Thomas (not even starting). The one extra INT that Tim Jennings has over Sherman is great and all, but what about Sherman’s 3 forced fumbles, 4 extra passes defensed, and a sack to boot. Sherman has had a better year than Patrick Peterson too.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s frankly laughable that Sherman didn’t make the Pro-Bowl… and Jeff Saturday getting in again makes it even more farcical than his last call up. They should scrap the whole thing. Just have an awards ceremony for positional groups and an All-Pro team judged by the coaches and players.

          • adog

            just read the article on Sherman’s court case\appeal…at yahoo sports, and he really had a solid case. I think that anybody who did not vote for Sherman due to the cloud of the PED test\use, would reverse their vote once they delve into some of the details of the testing procedure he underwent. On another front, the incoming salaries of Rice and Miller will pretty much make or break this draft for Seattle. Do they restructure? Does the Carroll\JS pay them as signed? Who goes and who stays? Miller is more important to the style of offense this team plays than Rice. Yet Rice is their most dynamic guy on the outside, and the only receiver that represents size and speed. In a perfect world we keep both of them, however i have the feeling that if one goes it will be Rice. No matter the need and lack of depth at reciever, i think Seattle will go defensive in the first round. A. Brown makes more sense to me as a late first rounder, or perhaps one of the Williams on the dline. I just don’t think you take a receiver at the bottom end of the first. Yes there were plenty of bust in the top ten at WR recently, but i would say there is much much higher rate of busts in the late first round.

  4. Chris

    I’m not convinced Coleman isn’t just a tall, fast guy.

    He doesn’t seem to naturally have great hands, and he doesn’t seem particularly agile either.

    But then again, for him to slide to the Seahawks, he’d have to have imperfections.

  5. G.C

    Out of the box idea came up with and looking for some opinions. We all know there was that report of moving Kam to LB last year, which I was never really to high on. I know Kam has had someting nagging him like a minor groin injury (I believe) all year thats hurt his ballhawking skills. However what if we could draft a guy like Eric Reid then move Kam to the WILL?

    I get quite excited envisioning lining up say Earl at FS, Reid at SS then Kam at the WILL. Usually against sets like 3WR and 1TE, Reid’s quite big (Seen him at 6′ 2″ 212ish) and think Kam could def provide better pass rush than most while I’m sure still would be stout in coverage. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      Personally I’m against the idea. I trust the source where that report came from regarding Kam moving to LB, but I don’t believe it was ever a likely proposition and was probably a smokescreen. Firstly, Barron was never dropping to #12-15, that became apparent as the process developed. Secondly, teaching Kam a new position at this stage in his career just seems detrimental. I’m also not crazy about his ability to transition to the WILL. I’d be interested in Reid in (for example) round three because he is a talent who has fallen a little this year. Big guy. Would love to see him in some nickel sets.

      • williambryan

        There’s been reports that Carroll really likes Winston Guy but as of yet we haven’t seen anything from him. So I wonder if that third safety spot will be a position of focus this offseason?

      • Attyla the Hawk

        It’s not that far fetched. Chancellor played the bandit/rover position at Virginia Tech so he would have had some experience with learning new positions.

        It may be more common to have more of these ‘safety turned linebacker’ types if teams begin to adopt more college principles (no huddle, WR in TE bodies, zone read options). Ogletree and our own Shaq Thompson are showing that the transition from strong safety to linebacker is getting pretty seamless.

        I personally wouldn’t move Chancellor. He’s great at his current position and he’s a mismatch maker where he stands. If they want to get a Will safety they should probably draft for it.

        • Norm M

          I agree, keep him where he is at. It’s hard to find a punishing athletic safety that can cover and defend the run. A 235# beast can still intimidate even with the new “no contact” rules the NFL has imposed, ask SF. There is nothing like a clean hit across the middle (or along the sidelines) to make even the best receivers get alligator arms.

  6. Clayton

    While I am intrigued about the potential that Coleman brings, the thing that concerns me is that while he has freakish size and speed, where’s the stats? Shouldn’t he be dominating? Why isn’t he thrown to more?Yes, I hear you that potential is enough to warrant a first round pick, but the guys who had potential but were raw in college (like Jason Pierre Paul) had stats. Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and AJ Green were all dominant in college. While Coleman’s stats are good, they’re not eye-popping.

    • Michael

      I’ve now had to remind a couple people that Coleman is a RS Sophomore. If you compare his stats to Green or Jones from their 2nd year of college ball you will see that he is right in line with expectations. Coleman’s 10 TD catches this season are as many as Jones and Green combined for in their 2nd seasons in 2009.

      The thing that would make this pick a steal for the ‘Hawks is that given another year of development at his current trajectory he could very well perform at the A.J. Green/Julio Jones level. If this year of development occurred at school like it did for Jones/Green he may end up a top 5 pick and necessitate a massive trade up to be within reach.

    • Rob Staton

      He actually equalled the Rutgers record for touchdown catches in a single season this year and will break the record with a score against Virginia Tech. That goes to show what kind of a programme he’s playing at – this is not a prolific passing offense. Very run orientated, not a prolific QB behind center. You could argue his stats are impressive for the offense he’s playing in.

      Also worth noting – A.J. Green never had double figure touchdowns in a season (highest he had was 9 in 2010). He also never topped 1000 yards at Georgia in a season. In Julio Jones’ second season as a starter in Alabama, he had 596 yards and four touchdowns. Jones also never reached double figures for touchdowns in a season. Coleman has ten this year – as mentioned… equalling a Rutgers record. It took Calvin Johnson until his final year at Georgia Tech to top 1000 yards and +10 touchdowns. In his first two years as a full starter, he scored 6 times and 7 times, with +800 yards on both occasions. This is Coleman’s first full year as a starter and he’s got to ten scores.

      When you compare Coleman’s numbers to those two guys, it looks less of an issue.

  7. madmarkus206

    The rebuilding of this team in the few years under Pete Carrol has been nothing short of amazing. Remember when he took over this team he had full control on player and coach decisions. the team was made up of beat up players from the 2005 SuperBowl team and a lot of overpaid free agents.
    John Schnieder was made GM all i can say is Ya. But Tom Cable who is the Assistant Head Coach and also the Offensive Line we hired in 2011 was the deal of the century. The Guy who was fired after leading thee Oakland Raiders as the head coach, to an 8-8 season with a strong running attack. He’s the secret weapon and mid way thru the 2011 season Marshawyn Lynch got some schooling on the zone block scheme.
    The last 3 drafts has excited at the amount of talent that been brought in here and stuck and the few who have stayed from the 2009 team. Lets start with 2010 draft.
    1st pick Russel Okung RD1 pick 6 Left Tackle , Oklahoma St. , injured early with high ankle sprain, 2nd year tore muscle, 3rd year well he quietly doing his job.
    2nd pick Earl Thomas RD1 pick 14 Free Safty, Texas , what can i say , stepped in day 1 starter and pro bowler next 2 years.
    3rd pick Golden Tate RD2 pick 60 Wide Receiver, Notre Dame, showed spurts for a couple years, but he s starting to stepup this year
    4th pick Walter Thurmond RD4 pick 111, Corner Back, Oregon, he moved in to starting CB spot until injured.
    5th pick Kam Chancellor RD5 pick 133, Strong Safty, Virginia Tech, sat behind Lawyer Milloy a year and then just exploded onto the scene last year.
    6th pick Anthony McCoy RD6 pick 185, Tight End, USC, he s been waiting for a QB to throw to him and now he starting to pick it up.
    7th pick Dexter Davis RD7 pick 236, Linebacker, Arizona, hw filled in for 2 years , but this year is on injured reserve.
    The trades were crazy for seahawks searching for a strong defensive players and a running back. 4th we traded for Lendale White never worked out. 4th for Kevin Vickersen , hes gone now. 4th EJ Wilson DE didnt work. but luck had it we got Leon Washington 5th round trade and he still returning KR and PR for us today and fills running back also.
    The trade for Marshawyn Lynch was the highlight of the year and resigning instill a certain physical nature to this team, he inspires that aspect not only to his Offensive Line but also to the Defense. The run in beast mode in the playoff game with the Saints screwed us for the draft but set the future tone for this team.

  8. Stuart

    To everyone,

    With the success we are having as a team, some of our coaches are likely to be snatched up. We know that PC/JS will be back but what are your thoughts on;

    -Tom Cable?
    -D. Bevell?
    -K Norton?
    -G Bradley?

    • Michael

      If the football Gods are kind, we will have another year or two without any of these guys getting poached by other teams around the league or college ranks. I am really hoping that they realize just how special this team has a chance to be, and want to see it through for at least a few good runs at the Superbowl. I am also holding my breath that our geographical isolation works in our favor for once, and keeps the band together as long as possible.

      I think Tom Cable is worth paying HC money if it will keep him around, and making Bradley the highest paid DC in the league would only make sense since he is currently fielding the best defense in the league. Bevell is showing exactly why PC/JS hired him, and I would hate to lose him if for no other reason than keeping the QB/OC continuity going. Not to mention the offense’s 50 point per game average over the last 3 contests.

      For those reasons, if I had to pick one to lose the obvious choice would be Norton. It is ironic because he is probably the least likely to leave considering he has been with Pete Carroll for essentially his entire coaching career (since 2004 at USC) and has turned down promotions before to stay with Pete. I really like what Norton brings to the table as he is the only one of the 4 who was a legitimate NFL player. If a 2x All-Pro with 3 rings doesn’t bring some credibility into the meeting room, who does?

      So to sum up, I hope that Paul Allen has a few blank checks already made out to these guys and that the incredible drive and positivity of Pete Carroll is enough to make these guys consider putting off a promotion for a few years.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the one most likely to get a shot is Gus Bradley. But then it’s down to how much he wants to take ‘any’ job, or whether he believes if he waits a little a better offer will come along. He has a history with Monte Kiffin, the defense has got a lot of publicity. I can see teams looking at him as an option. I think the others will be OK.

      • Michael

        I read somewhere that the Eagles were looking at Bevell for their next head coach.

        • Rob Staton

          Someone tweeted his name among a list of five candidates. I think Chip Kelly gets that gig.

          • Michael

            that would be interesting. Seems like a good fit with the athletes on that roster. Hope it does happen because I would hate to lose Bevell and the rapport he and RW are building.

  9. Brian

    If we were to draft Coleman, what would our ideal receiver situation be? I suppose . . .

    Split End: Coleman
    Slot: Golden Tate
    Flanker: Sidney Rice

    Coleman is lined up off the line with a big cushion in the video above. Can he handle playing up on the line? Should we leave Tate at split end/x-receiver? If so, how do we use Coleman?

    • Michael

      I don’t see how we could draft Coleman and not put Tate in the slot. Golden’s skill set is most suited to the slot to begin with (great hands, good after the catch, less size), and would certainly do more catching the ball 0-5 yards from the LOS than those other two could.

      Brandon Coleman is my ideal 1st round pick for the Seahawks this year, and just thinking about him and Sidney on the outside with Tate and Baldwin working inside and underneath is enough to convince me that a trade up would even be worth it. I would gladly give up our 1st and 2nd rounder to get Coleman. Dallas went from #14 to #6 last year and it cost them the 45th overall pick. If Seattle is sitting around #25 in the first round, the 2nd rounder should be able to get us into the 13-17 range assuming there is a team looking to move down (there always is).

      • Rob Staton

        I think they could use a lot of 3WR sets and Coleman is capable of lining up just off and running over the middle. Some of his best plays for Rutgers have come on a crossing route with YAC. I think it’d add a nice dimension to the offense to have a huge, fast target who can line up in different positions and compliment Tate and Rice.

  10. Jay

    The receiver that I am most intrigued with is Markus Wheaton. I think that our offense really lacks that super fast deep threat, and having him might make us more explosive. Rob, I know you’ve talked about him before, but what are some of his pros and cons? And do you think he has a role in our offense?

    • Rob Staton

      He has great speed, he can break off big runs in space. He’s pretty consistent. He reminds me a lot of Mike Wallace. He’ll look for blocks at the second level and will get involved, plus his character is flawless. The cons are pretty obvious – size. He won’t win jump balls and a lot of this offense calls for jump balls. Even Golden Tate is being asked to do this. Wheaton won’t have success there. And I just wonder if he fits exactly what they’re looking for because of that. I think his best fit is running underneath and going deep, but in Seattle they run more PA, developing routes, take shots. I’m a little concerned in Seattle he’d be limited to deep routes only and could become a bit predictable.

  11. A. Simmons

    The thing I like about taking a great receiver is with Russell at QB, you know the QB will push any new receiver with talent to maximize their potential. When you have a coach and QB as focused on excellence as Pete and Russell are, any receiver we draft should reach their potential fairly quick. Just look at how Tate has progressed playing with Wilson. Tate looked lost his first two years, this year he is making amazing plays. Sidney is looking better. Baldin is making even more spectcular catches than last year now that he is healthy. Zach Miller is having his best season since he’s been here. Anthony McCoy is starting to look like a steal. A quality QB enhances the value of a high quality receiver. If this big freak Brandon Coleman comes here, he’ll maximize his potential. It could be real high with Russell Wilson tossing him back corner fades or jump balls. We really need a great jump ball receiver with the touch Russell puts on the ball.

  12. Michael

    If Brandon Coleman comes out and falls into the 20’s, the ‘Hawks will be in the perfect position to get the other half of their “Wilson to ______” catchphrase, and it is pretty rare in this day and age to do it in that order. Good QB’s make teams good. When you are good it is that much harder to add talent around your passer. Good WR’s do not make teams good. Thus pairing an elite QB with your standout WR typically happens in that order.

    Stafford to Johnson
    Ryan to White
    Schaub to Johnson
    Manning to Harrison
    Aikman to Irvin
    Culpepper to Moss
    Warner to Fitzgerald

    Can you guess what all of these tandems have in common? If you said that the WR was already there just waiting for his other half to show up so they could start making plays together, you would be correct! This is the most common way to assemble a topflight QB/WR tandem for obvious reasons.

    Fortunately, the Seahawks already have a franchise QB and will likely be in the playoffs for many years to come. Unfortunately that sucess will make finding an elite WR to pair with RW much more difficult (or more expensive).

    So the question is; how do you get that dynamic playmaking pass catcher when you already have the far more elusive franchise QB? The answer… Brandon Coleman. Well maybe not Brandon Coleman in particular, whether or not he will be a difference maker may not be known for another year or more. But a player like Brandon Coleman is the answer to that riddle.

    But Brandon Coleman’s do not grow on trees. A true #1 WR that is available in the 20’s does not come around often. We saw two of them in 2010 with Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant. Before that you would have to go all the way back to 2005 when Roddy White was taken at 27 or 2001 when Reggie Wayne went at 30. The point being that you can’t simply pass and try to get next year’s Brandon Coleman. Odds are next year won’t have one.

    Schematically speaking the 3-technique is this teams greatest need as Rob will gladly tell you, but I would argue that Brandon Coleman would be the better choice even if Sheldon Richardson or Star Lotulelei were still on the board. If the Seahawks decide not to gamble on a potential #1 now, they might not get the chance to for another 5 years.

    • A. Simmons

      You forgot to mention the best: Montana to Rice.

      Rice came after Montana. So that kills your theory right there.
      Torry Holt was chosen the year after Kurt Warner signed with the team and his first year starting.

      You should never forego choosing a great wide receiver because of the order you draft them.

      • Michael

        That actually doesn’t kill my theory at all, it supports it! The Niners were in the same position then that the Seahawks are now. Had they not chosen Rice with the 16th pick that year they would have had to wait 4 more years before Andre Rison was available in the 20’s of the 1989 draft.

        Wait, did you actually read what I wrote? I did not say you should forego choosing a WR because of the order, in fact I said the opposite… The point I was trying to make is that it is more difficult to find a great WR if you already have a great QB, and must therefore be willing to gamble when one is available later in round 1.

  13. Marcus


    The front office has shown a real eye for talent in all levels of the draft. However, I’m sure this across-the-board success in the past few drafts is due in no small part to an excellent coaching staff developing the talent. As the team’s national profile grows, other clubs will inevitably look to poach assistants (and players).

    Can you imagine the o-line being this successful without Cable? What’s your analysis on the Seahawks’ long term ability to maintain an upper tier staff? (For example, a few have written about Harbaugh’s extreme intensity working against him in the long run) Does their salary count against the cap in any way? The most successful businesses grow their own. Is/Are “the next man/men up” already working in Seattle?


    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to tell whether the line would be as successful without Cable, but the scheme is firmly in place now. I suspect it won’t be much of a concern – as good as Cable is, he’s tarnished a little by his time in Oakland. Not on the field, but off it. Perhaps unfairly. And I think he’s going to be in Seattle for a time to come yet. Coaches salaries don’t count against the cap, so they can pay him whatever they want to stick around. One thing to note with Pete Carroll – at USC he always preached ‘next man up’ with his coaches. When a coordinator moved on to a Head Coaching gig, he applauded. He replaced. And he had even more success. So losing staff members won’t be too much of a concern for Carroll. He’ll know what to do.

  14. SES

    Michael makes a good point about the coaching staff. I too have worried about this. Our success has brought some unwanted attention as other teams attempt to duplicate Seattle’s near miraculous turn around. I would argue that many of the current players, and consequently the team as a whole, would not have had nearly the success they are having without the tutelage of this staff. This is half the battle of building a contender and P&J have done an outstanding job.

    Just saw the Pro Bowl teams last night. Would love to see your thoughts not only on this years selections, but also a line by line analysis of the three years of the P&J regime including FAs.
    503 Hawk fan

  15. SES

    BTW. Here are my “selections”.
    OKUNG – I’ve been banging his drum sense day one. Now that he is healthy, look out!
    ROBINSON – Even better than last year.
    SHERMAN – A true play maker, arguably the best CB in Hawk history.

    LYNCH – Have to give it up to “AD” Peterson.
    FARWELL – Another FA gem.
    WASHINGTON – Has lost a step.
    CLEMMONS – Stiff competition at DE.
    THOMAS – Great center fielder, average open field tackler.
    UNGER – Smart, still struggles w/ the bigger DTs / NTs.
    RYAN – How valuable has he been to our success?

    MEBANE – Again, stiff comp at position.
    CHANCELLOR – His hip seemed to slow him down earlier in the year.

    Love to hear comments from you and other true blue Hawk fans.
    PS – What about rookies OTY and exec OTY.

    • Michael

      I’m not sure I can agree that ET is an “average open field tackler”.

      Of course he’s not gonna punish guys like Kam Chancellor, but I wouldn’t expect (or want) him to at his size. However I think he is well above average in the lines that he takes and not getting juked. Sure most guys will probably “fall forward” if he is taking them down alone, but he seems to always get the stop (even if it is by the shoelaces), and that is what really matters for a free safety.

  16. Zach

    Actually, I’d quibble a bit with the idea that Heyward-Bey has been a bust. He was bad in his first two years, but has actually played well more recently, and that’s despite playing for a dysfunctional organization with bad quarterbacks.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s still only averaging 500 yards a season with 10 touchdowns in four years. This year there are two players with more catches, yards and touchdowns on the Oakland roster. It was a classic Al Davis pick, based purely on a forty yard dash time. It’s hard to classify DHB as anything but a bust at this stage given he was the #7 overall pick.

      • Zach

        I dunno, I’d be curious to see what he looks like on an actual team.

      • Colin

        RICHARD SHERMAN IS CLEARED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. LouieLouie

    Hey Rob: One error I think that you made is where you have the Hawks picking. I think they’ll be picking at number 32.

    • Norm M

      Nice… I agree.

    • Rob Staton

      I like your style, LouieLouie… 🙂

  18. Wes

    I completely agree with the logic of drafting a WR in Round 1. Lets get a young playmaker that can grow with Wilson and be a dynamic pairing with him for a decade or more.

    Not sure that Coleman is the guy I’d want. He has the size but not the production. I just worry about guys who are that big not being the elite all around athletes you may want. There aren’t many Calvin Johnsons.

    Rob, what about Terrance Williams from Baylor? He is such an exciting player. I bet WIlson would love throwing deep to him. Do you think he is not even a first round talent?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not totally sold on Williams to be honest, I think he’s a late second/early third round type. 6-1/6-2, 205lbs… but unlike Robert Woods, DeAndre Hopkins and Markus Wheaton, I don’t see enough of a skill set to make up for a lack of elite size. He’s a body catcher – that always bothers me a bit. His effort blows hot and cold and others have raised maturity issues.

  19. stuart

    “If” PC/JS feel that Coleman is the real deal, I would be fine trading our #1 and #2 for the chance to trade up and draft him. My preference though would be TE Ertz in R-1 and WR Wheaton in R-2 but in this mock that is not possible.

    Scenario A;WR Coleman R-1 and R-2, TE Escobar R-3
    Scenario B-TE Ertz R-1, WR Wheaton R-2

  20. stuart

    Which scenario would you choose? What are other scenarios?

    Scenario A; WR Coleman R-1 and R-2, TE Escobar R-3

    Scenario B: TE Ertz R-1, WR Wheaton R-2, DT BPA (Sutton?) R-3

    Scenario C: DT Richardson R-1, WR Wheaton R-2, TE Escobar R-3

    *subject to player being available

  21. Norm M

    Rob, I know Seattle is more in need of a pass rushing d linemen but what are your thoughts on Jesse Williams? Could he fill the Red Bryant role as a short term back up and longer term replacement? The next couple of years he could fill in as a run stuffer on first and second downs and learn the pass rushing role over time. He looks athletic enough and should have tremendous upside since he has only been playing football for a few years. Maybe it’s just the rugby player in me, but a guy with that background is intriguing. The guy is a beast. With the flexibility we have with this year’s draft it seems like an option. I still have concerns that if Red goes down we do not have a replacement, we all know what happened a few years ago when he was lost for the season. The future would be set with Irvin eventually replacing Clemmons and Williams replacing Red. Just wondering if anyone else thinks he could fill that role in time.

    • Rob Staton

      Size is the most important factor for the five technique. The role of the five in the 4-3 under dictates that. I think we’ll always see a 330lbs type in that role. Williams, for me, is more of a one technique or an orthodox five for the 3-4. For me his best position is the 3-4 DE. I would only consider him in Seattle if I truly believed he could be a penetrative force as a three tech. He has great athleticism, but I think he’s better at the one in Seattle’s defense. So I’m not convinced he’ll be an option for the Seahawks.

  22. A. Simmons

    When choosing a WR for Seattle, you also have to take into account that Russell Wilson is not like Stafford or Peyton. Russell Wilson is more like Tom Brady or Drew Brees. He doesn’t lock onto a particular receiver. He spreads the ball all over the field. You don’t really want one guy that is going to be “the man” at receiver. You want a bunch of very good receivers that threaten the entire field.

    That’s what I like about this Rutgers. He adds another element to the receiving corps with his height and size. An element Pete Carroll likes. Russell can make that element dangerous just as he makes all of our receivers stand out.

    While Russell is here we’ll probably never have the perennial number one receiver. Not because one of our guys doesn’t have that talent, but because Russell will never be that type of QB. So even if we draft a guy with that level of talent, he’ll never put up number one receiver numbers other than maybe TDs.

    • MJ

      Great post/point. RW has shown the ability to spread the ball around. I think we will determine a WR ability by YPC rather than sheer yardage. I am amazed how often there are 7 guys who make catches in a game. I think that’s a really rare trait for a young QB who doesn’t necessarily have that rapport of knowing his WRs really well, yet.

      All that said, I do agree we need another high end WR. I think Coleman or Patterson would be gold, and I am actually coming around on Justin Hunter. I think he is still getting the rust off from injury. He looked all world prior to and has sneaky amazing athleticism that is hidden because of how smooth he is. Lastly, I love the ideaof Escobar as well. Really impressed me in his bowl game.

  23. GH

    Here’s the article I was referencing before about drafting WRs in round 1. Note it doesn’t have anything to do with Millen.
    there’s a lot of spin offs on this theme of ‘hood ornaments’, from there.

    One could argue the Hawks already have the other pieces in place, or not. Food for thought.

    • GH

      and here’s some more historical figures on the history of drafting WRs in the first round.
      If you look at the track record of teams projecting WR talent, and also the performance of teams without “true #1 WR”, it paints an interesting picture.

      I’m not leaning for or against, but I do think it worthwhile to cast a cautionary glance in this direction

    • Rob Staton

      “You should add a flashy wide receiver only when all the other pieces of a great team are in place: a great driver (the quarterback), some sporty tires that provide plenty of traction (the offensive line and ground game), a powerful motor (the defense) and a great transmission (special teams) that allows you to change gears quickly and effectively.”

      Time to draft a receiver, then.

      • GH

        🙂 yeah, maybe. But I think the point made is they are add ons and not things to build around. I’m definitely on board for DT/LB before WR, and I think probably both. To me there’s a lot of value in the mid rounds this year. I’m going bulk shopping in rounds 3-5 for WRs if I’m running a draft this year.

  24. Bubbagill

    Rob wouldnt it be wiser for the Seahawks to pick up Percy Harvin( and yes steal another minn. player) from Free Agency and draft an outstanding playmaking OLB to replace Leroy Hill….justa thought.

    • Rob Staton

      Harvin is not a free agent until 2014.

      • Bubbagill

        I know but ESPN was stating that Harvin wanted out of Minn. Besides we all know Hill production will start dropping in the next couple of seasons.

        • Rob Staton

          It’d probably cost a second rounder to get Harvin.

          • Bubbagill

            Rob, He is a proven elite playmaker, and what was your thoughts on a Will Backer for this upcoming draft.

  25. Carl Shinyama

    If the Seahawks do go with a WR, I’m actually hoping for Markus Wheaton.

  26. Barry

    This is frustrating. Wilson has been sacked 4 times already in the first half. 2 by Chris Long who is by no means a slouch, but at the same time the guy only had 8 sacks coming into todays game for a reason. I think the fact that we got out to some easy scores that lead us to controlling and dictating the tempo and feel of the game was over estimated a bit and past weeks, as well as our O-line. So far the Hawks are losing this game when they have great field and short down and distance because of sacks on the QB.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s give the Rams credit here. They’re among the league leaders for sacks, if not #1. And I can list a ton of elite pass rushers we’ve shut out recently.

  27. Barry

    Thats true, but the guys who are hurting us are Long and Quin. Who had 8.5 and 9.5 respectively, coming into the game. Fisher knows how to get the who team involved when it comes to getting after the passed thats for sure.

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