Breaking down Lance Zierlein’s mock draft

Another day, another national pundit projecting Derwin James to the Seahawks at #18. This time it’s the turn of Lance Zierlein.

All three of’s draft bods (Zierlein, Brooks, Jeremiah) have Seattle taking a defensive back. Mel Kiper also had them taking James in his opening gambit.

This is a popular pick among the talking heads.

Here’s Zierlein’s note on James to the Seahawks:

“James feels like a perfect fit in Seattle, and he’s a positive influence in the locker room, too.”

We’ve debated this topic a lot so I don’t want to go over old ground too much. I do want to recap a few things though and also share a few further thoughts on the fit.

I’m certainly not opposed to the pick. As noted ten days ago, James has a better athletic profile than first thought. Pete Carroll is a master secondary coach and has only drafted one defensive back in the first two rounds since he arrived in Seattle eight years ago (Earl Thomas). If he makes it two this year, it’ll say a lot about Derwin James’ potential. Carroll knows DB’s.

There are other things too. The blurb in Zierlein’s player profile catches your attention:

“Absolute alpha in the locker room. Comes up to handle film sessions on weekends. When he talks, players listen.”

This quote from an anonymous NFC Scouting Director is also interesting:

“He is going to be the dude in any locker room he ends up in. That’s his makeup. Physically, he’s probably more talented than Jamal Adams but Adams was more consistent as a player. Derwin is still learning so he has a sky-high projection if his play can catch up to the talent.”

The Seahawks are going to lose some alpha’s this year. It’s more likely than not that Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril won’t be on the roster in 2018. Earl Thomas might be traded. Who knows what happens with Richard Sherman? And while Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright will likely remain and new voices are emerging (eg Jarran Reed) they’re going to lose the key architects of the LOB era.

Perhaps Derwin James can help fill the void?

He is a good player. Whenever I talked about him in the past as ‘overrated’ — that’s because he was being projected as a top-10 lock. For me, he was always a mid-to-late first round type. The term I liked to use was ‘he’s more Eric Reid than Eric Berry‘. Funnily enough Reid was the #18 pick in 2013.

Now the national consensus is that James will also go in that range. It feels like a fair value for a player of his talents. He’s physical, delivers punishing hits, flashes occasional big-time athletic ability and he has the size to be physical at the line of scrimmage. He is what he is though — a box safety.

It’s worth considering at #18. Undoubtedly. There are also some factors that make me question how likely it is they’ll actually go in this direction.

For starters, if the Seahawks are able to re-sign Bradley McDougald and don’t trade Earl Thomas, they’re much less likely to consider drafting a safety early (if at all).

Carroll has only spent one high pick on a defensive back of any description and that was Earl Thomas. He and John Schneider have emphatically found later round value at cornerback and safety. Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Shaq Griffin, Jeremy Lane, Justin Coleman, Walter Thurmond. The free agent addition of Bradley McDougald.

It’s going to take something truly special for the Seahawks to take a DB in round one. James, for all his physical potential and leadership skills, didn’t make enough plays in college. At least not enough to be completely convinced he can be a X-factor on your defense. Thomas, in comparison, had eight picks in his final season at Texas.

Carroll might think James has untapped potential. It’s equally possible he thinks he can fill this role without needing to spend a top-20 pick.

For example, how much is Eric Reid going to cost on the open market? I’ve got some thoughts on that coming tomorrow (plus some other notes on free agency). If you can get Reid without breaking the bank, is the difference between Reid and James that significant?

Zierlein compares James to Eric Berry in his prospect write-up. Berry was the #5 overall pick in 2010. If James truly is a comparable talent, he likely won’t last to #18. Which makes me wonder if the comp to Reid is more fitting.

Carroll has also highlighted the importance of repairing the running game and that really has to be the priority. Two years of horrible production isn’t going to cut it. Seattle desperately needs their running game back. It’s central to everything Carroll holds sacred.

He possibly (probably?) believes he can coach up a defense, develop talent and put together a strong unit. They’ve struggled to do that with the running game. One way or another, this is likely to be addressed first and foremost.

If they trade Earl Thomas for a high pick, clearly it opens up the opportunity to address both the defense and the running game early. Until that happens, however, it’s hard to imagine they’d take a safety at #18 and then wait until the second half of round four to do anything about the offense.

It’s also worth noting these mocks don’t include trades, so the writers are somewhat hamstrung in what they can/can’t project. Zierlein’s scenario would present an ideal opportunity to trade down.

Big name defensive players remaining available works in Seattle’s favour. Earlier this week I posted a mock draft where Atlanta traded up from #26 to select Maurice Hurst. The idea was the Falcons jump ahead of Dallas for Hurst. Zierlein has the Cowboys taking him at #19 — so it’s not an implausible suggestion.

Not only that, Marcus Davenport and Derwin James are available too. With Dallas (#19), Detroit (#20) and Buffalo (#21, #22) possibly focusing on defense, it’s a good spot for the Seahawks to field offers.

Furthermore, Zierlein only has one running back (Saquon Barkley) going in the first round. So the Seahawks could trade down once or twice and still address their run game.

One name stands out more than most — USC’s Ronald Jones II.

I think he has a star quality you see from time to time in college football. Odell Beckham Jr had it. DeAndre Hopkins had it. It’s a combination of physical quality, attitude, athleticism, the ability to make the improbable happen and the character that befits a top pro.

The comparison that we’ve discussed over and over is Jamaal Charles. And Jones II isn’t just a little bit like Charles. They are eerily similar. If you missed the piece a few weeks ago, watch their college highlight tapes back to back.

Having the opportunity to move down into the early 30’s, acquire extra picks and take Jones II would be a great start to a new era of Seahawks football. Increasingly, however, I think the chances are he won’t last that long.

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  1. Ben

    If it weren’t for injuries, wouldn’t we have had a great RB situation the past couple seasons? I just have a hard time thinking we should go RB high when we could work to solidy our O-line and D-line further and find another Rawls/Carson with hopes they don’t get injured….

    With our luck it feels like we’d draft a RB high and then he’d just get injured and we’re in the same predicament again (though perhaps Carson will come back ready to rock).

    • Rob Staton

      I think ‘great’ is a stretch. Carson showed well but Rawls has collapsed, Lacy was awful, Prosise is made of glass, they cut Collins. They need more.

      • Sea Mode


        And as much as PC loves him some Carson, he still wouldn’t anoint him the lead back and savior of the running game. Just kept saying along the lines of, “we like him a lot, but he’s got to get back out there and prove it on a consistent basis.” Wise approach, IMO.

      • cha

        Is there any definitive answer on what has happened to Rawls? Has the org specifically ever said the two major injuries have hampered him?

        I seem to recall there was a rumor around the Twitter-verse that he had completely dropped the ball on blocking and so basically got himself benched in 2017.

        • Rob Staton

          I think he tries a bit too hard sometimes and loses control. He started to drift towards reckless and it impacted a lot of things — reads, blocking, field awareness. Rawls is such a likeable guy because of his intensity and passion but it needs to be channeled in the right way. Unfortunately the best thing for him might be a fresh start somewhere else. The injuries also seem to have got to him.

          • Ishmael

            Passion and intensity are very overrated qualities in professional athletes – at least on the field. Much better off with guys whose blood runs cold.

            • Greg Haugsven

              You just hope for Prosise to stay healthy. HI’m and Carson could be a Ingram and Kamara duo.

              • henry

                “Its all about the running game folks” just watching the jaguars vs seahawks felt like a Identity theft documentary. They completely took our blue print and ran with it….literally. Not only were our players left salty but also us fans. Long story short…We need a great RB pick this draft. Jones or Mitchell are my top hopes but I wouldnt be mad if we get chubb either. Carson showed flashes but duel headed monster is what the doctor ordered.

              • Mark Souza

                “You just hope for Prosise to stay healthy.”

                We’ve been hoping for 4 years and it’s just not happening. He gets hurt easily and doesn’t seem to be able to play even with small dings. Fool me once shame on you, fool me five times and just call for the men with the coat whose sleeves tie in the back. Time to move on.

  2. Southpaw360

    This is my favorite time for this blog. I love all the updates and articles to prepare for the draft. Thank you for all you do!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you for reading 🙂

  3. FresnoBrad

    “It’s gonna take something truly special to draft a DB in round 1” I love this statement & it represents my optimistic hope for our draft. My feeling is going into the draft we will set ourselves up to be in position to draft a DB in round 1. Obviously much work needs to be done to put ourselves in that position.

    • Rob Staton

      Considering it’s one of the weaker draft classes for DB’s, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much that they’re going to set themselves up to do that.

      • FresnoBrad

        My hope is Derwin falls to the back of round 1.

  4. Sea Mode

    Sorry if it’s off topic, but I decided to watch some different Saquon Barkley highlights today, a bit more extended. Goodness, once again, this guy is straight out of a video game, and a cheat code at that! Watching other RB highlights after him makes everybody else look ordinary and boring.

    If nothing else, check out the play at 3:03. He jumps 5 whole yards and over a guy… and keeps running. Mercy!

    “A Generational Talent” ᴴᴰ || Saquon Barkley Career Highlights || Penn State RB #26

    I’d give our whole 2018 draft for him in a heartbeat. Just call it a draft and start lining up the potential UDFA calls to fill out the roster depth… 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      A truly incredible talent.

      • henry

        Rob who does barkley resemble if any in the nfl?

        • Rob Staton

          Barry Sanders?

      • New Guy

        Why can’t the Seahawks have nice things?


        • James

          SB is far and away, the best back in this draft. I’d still rather have a back that spends less time getting nailed in the backfield trying to make something happen. Don’t get me wrong, he’s brilliant more often than not, and that alone warrants a top 10 pick. However, he has periods of time where I scratch my head. For every big gain, he also has a run where he succumbs to weak arm tackles as his eyes are focused downfield on the big play, and not what is right in front of him. He often gets too cute before hitting the hole, drops passes more than you’d like and occasionally whiffs bad on blocks.

          I can watch highlights all day, but its the plays they don’t show on youtube that I’m concerned about.

          Grain of salt: His line wasn’t great, and he was shouldering a lot of the offensive load. Either way the guy is a stud, but not having isn’t the end of the world to me. Too many other options fit our scheme just as nicely.

          Thanks for the great blog Rob!

    • Sea Mode

      And I wanted to get a look and have a listen to him speak, and came away thoroughly impressed. 4 min interview:

    • Nick

      I felt the same way. I had to stop watching his games because it made me so upset that we weren’t going to get a talent like that.

      A good running back can completely change an offense (no matter what Seahawks Twitter suggests) and Barkley is one of those talents.

    • Ishmael

      He’s so stupidly good. Every now and then someone pops up saying they think he’s overrated and it’s just, like, what are you watching? Even taking into account the usual ‘special insight’ contrarian draftniks have, it’s an insane take. He’s a bit like if you smushed Gurley, Elliot, Freeman, and Rawls (at his absolute best) into one player. He’s got absolutely everything, could be an all time great if he lands in the right situation.

      • 503Hawk

        Let’s hope that the right situation is NOT in the NFC West!

        • SoCal12

          Thanks to Jimmy G for dropping the 49er’s draft position with his wins. I was groaning at the thought of the Niners grabbing Saquon at #2 when they still had that spot with lots of mocks projecting him there. The thought of Todd Gurley, David Johnson, AND Saquon Barkley in our division was giving me nightmares.

          • H

            +1 I was really rooting for san fran down the stretch there.

    • EP

      The highlight at 7.14 does it for me. The game against Iowa. Somehow creeps along the sideline, turns himself into a statue, sends the LB flying and then bursts away downfield. Incredible, humans aren’t meant to move like that.

      I think Rob said this recently about Ronald Jones as well, he looks like a star. Him and Barkley are the two in this draft that look like anything will happen once that ball is in their hand. Clearly they’re not power RBs in the mould of Lynch but it wasn’t just his ability to smash defenders that made him so appealing, he burst off on huge runs as well. I think that’s what we need. Yes it might sacrifice that “bully” identity and they may not be completely viable on the goal line but I think Chris Carson can be, based off the limited exposure we’ve had to him. We need a guy next to Wilson that forces the defence to stack the box. A genuine star, be it as Marshawn Lynch that stiff arms your face off or a guy like Ronald Jones who cuts through your defence like a knife through hot butter.

      As for the defence I echo the sentiment that Pete can coach anybody up to be a god player if they’ve got the mentality for it. I trust whatever decisions he makes regarding free agency/cuts/trades. I do think it’s necessary to keep hold of some of the stars though. I think one of the safety’s go, be it trade or retirement. I’d keep Sherm, because he’s my fav player (as good a reason as any) and I think Avril retires and Bennett gets traded or cut. Just my opinion though. Seems likely that anything could happen and they could all go.

      • Patrick Toler

        While Jones II’s size keeps him from being a punishing power back, on of my favorite things about him is that he is absolutely an effective inside runner. He is quite physical, with the balance to run through contact.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          RJ2 creates his own yards as well as any RB I’ve ever seen. Speed, suddenness, agility, balance, vision, patience, intelligence. Add 25-30lbs and you have another Saquon Barkley. Ok maybe that’s a tad overstated, but I’m sayin.

          As for punishing, no he won’t knock players back or wear them down like a heavyweight prize fighter. Rather, he’ll shank a defense to death as he knifes for 4-6 yards per carry, over and over.

          I saw a lot of him this year, and he does his best work in a rhythm offense. When Darnold had the Trojan offense running plays with a steady cadence, that’s when RJ2 really gashed defenses.

          When he’s on it, Russell Wilson runs one of the best rhythm offenses I’ve ever seen. I think Jones could be prolific with SEA.

          I probably would spend 18 on him. Fortunately I don’t think they have to. I think they can trade down towards the back of R1 and still get him. But that’s it. I think his basement is 35.

    • H

      Couldnt agree more, he’s the most excited about a player coming out ive ever seen. Can only hope he ends up in the afc

  5. Brandon Adams

    So just to be clear here, Rob, since you’ve never mentioned this before…you’re saying Ronald Jones II bears similarity to Jamaal Charles? 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      Have I mentioned it a few times? I lose track 🙂

      • Nick

        It’s an apt analogy. The #25 and all!

        • henry

          The Texas tesla… cant get enough of his highlights even though we probably draft back and draft and OL or DL ugh….

  6. FresnoBrad

    What is the status of George Fant? Is he a LT or not? We’ve already bet the two previous season on Fant is Carroll giving up on Fant?

    • Rob Staton

      Nobody knows what they’re planning with Fant. He could stay and compete at tackle, could move to guard, could be given ample opportunity to recover. It’s a fluid situation.

      • Adog

        I would think they move fant to left gaurd for a year…or two, and let brown teach him…then put him at left tackle.

        • Thy Hawk is Howling

          I believe Fant will be our Right Tackle. He’s a Basketball player so he’s got the insticts to react quickly catching and passing balls. So on the snap he should be on it just as Ifedi tries to do hence the false starts. If I was Solori my line would be


          That’s looking good from an on paper perspective.

          GO Hawks!

          • Hawk Eye

            just not sure about the whole switching sides thing. Some guys can do it, but the muscle memory on some guys just keeps them on one side. Like Avril would always rush from the one side. Or Brown trying to play RT in the pro bowl and giving up the game ending sack.
            all that said, I trust Solari will get the right guys in the right place. He probably knows as much as we do, maybe even more, about o linemen

            • GerryG

              I agree with you in principle, but Fant played LT for all of 16 months? If anyone can switch easily it’s him

        • FresnoBrad

          9 months to recover from ACL (May) by March they should know where he stands. Keep in mind Pete said Fant will be a great player once he recovers, Pete also said Fant clearly had the best camp of any Seahawk player.

      • TJ

        With Solari replacing Cable, nobody knows what they are planning at any spot on the line. I would expect Solari to put his own stamp on the line, maybe in a big way.

    • Patrick Toler

      I’d like to se Fant and Ifedi competing opposite Brown. Solari could shake things up, though.

      • Rad_man

        I’d like to see their line be good enough to make Fant what all evidence suggests he is- a depth developmental project.

  7. Rowlandice

    Well until we know EXACTLY which holes in the roster need the most attention, we’re gonna see these mocks showing us taking DB’s and OL. I’m thinking it’s almost lazy research when making a mock pick to the Hawks and say they need help on the OL or new boom in the LOB. I’m of the opinion the largest hole on the “current” roster is RB. There’s enough depth in this draft at RB to drop down and still get an upgrade over what’s currently on the roster. That will help them in the running game AND allow them a bit more draft capital to fill other noticeable weakness elsewhere on the roster. This year seems like we need more cheap talent than ever before and I’d be SHOCKED if they didn’t trade down at least twice.

    • FresnoBrad

      Row I completely agree last year I was hoping we were going to draft Kareem Hunt. Besides Barkley I don’t see 1 back in this draft that looked as good as Hunt in college.

  8. Ishmael

    Zerlein’s pick of Josh Allen to the Jets would be the most Mike Maccagnan move ever. Lock it in.

    Some interesting picks in these mock drafts. All seems pretty fluid, which says to me it’s not a fantastically strong class once you get outside the top 10 or so guys. Going to be a whole soup of players who are there or thereabouts and it’s just a who you like situation.

    • LeoSharp

      Josh Allen isn’t worth a first-round pick. His objective statistical profile is so bad he’s essentially bound to fail. Guys like Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, and Russel Wilson at least showed on paper they had the capabilities of being pro bowl QB’s however unlikely that may have seemed based on film study. Josh Allen is the complete opposite. Analytics cannot guarantee success but they are very good at weeding out who is likely to fail.

      • Rob Staton

        Analytics don’t get to take the field though

        • LeoSharp

          That is why failure is a lot easier to predict than success.

          IMO objective measures of potential should be placed ahead of measures such as tape when considering 1st round picks to help minimize risk.

          • Rob Staton

            I think it should always come down to this…

            Judge every case on its own merits.

      • Ishmael

        I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole. Two good drives in the Senior Bowl shouldn’t outweigh two seasons of abject mediocrity. Maybe he’ll be the exception to the rule though?

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I dunno. He did play for Wyoming after all. Who’s helping him look good on that team?

          Give him a stout line, a strong RB and a fast WR and see how he does.

          I know he could be another Todd Marinovich, but dang if he doesn’t look the part.

          • Mark Souza

            Physically, he has everything you want in a quarterback, except one thing. He’s not consistently accurate. Some of his throws are accurate, but often they’re not. He reminds me of another recent quarterback prospect who was also physically gifted, and highly regarded, but somewhat inaccurate – Blake Bortles.

      • Awsi Dooger

        That’s an excellent point — “Analytics cannot guarantee success but they are very good at weeding out who is likely to fail”

        I couldn’t agree more. It took me several years to accept it. Once ranges are established there isn’t as much value being higher in the acceptable range than lower within the range, but you darn sure don’t want to be outside the parameters on the low end.

        For example, I really admire the DraftCobern guy. He is quietly doing some breakthrough work, evaluating player trends all the way back to 1969. Last week he posted the guys who flunked the measurement test criteria at the Senior Bowl. The tight end crop was an absolute disaster, including many of the big names. I would be very vary of subjectively trying to pretend that doesn’t matter. Analytics is easily the greatest breakthrough in all the decades I’ve followed the draft. Tape study will forever be biased and flawed if held as an absolute:

        Josh Allen is earning debate everywhere, largely due to that low completion percentage. I’ve been high on Allen but I can’t toss the concerns. I think he is going to alternately thrill and frustrate any fan base who ends up with him, often on consecutive possessions.

        Many, many studies have been done on low completion percentage in college and how it rarely translates well to the NFL. I remember Football Outsiders doing it. I remember a college professor doing it. Recently a poster on reddit did a related study on the 2002 to 2014 quarterback crops. His conclusion was that 58.5% is the cutoff point in college. Below that, the results are a disaster. Obviously Josh Allen falls below the range.

        I don’t want to post the link here because I did it earlier on another forum and it posted in full instead of as a clickable link.

        To find the article, just Google the phrase, “Why 58.5% is the magic number for QBs…”

        • Rob Staton

          I would never argue analytics don’t matter. But they aren’t gospel either. Which is why I think every player has to be judged on his own merits. On the matter of completion percentage — I wouldn’t ignore that outright. But surely we also appreciate the difference between a good or bad completion percentage at Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, where you’re operating in extreme spread offenses against the weakest defenses in college football vs playing with a miserable supporting cast at Wyoming. The chances of success are quite different. And maybe Allen deserves most of the blame rather than the supporting cast — but I think the point still stands. We’re not comparing apples with apples. How would Baker Mayfield or Mason Rudolph perform at Wyoming and how would Allen perform in the Big 12? We’ll never know.

  9. Nick

    So I’ve revisited Kerryon Johnson and yeah, as Rob and many in this community have said: he’s legit. What I came away most impressed with was his catching. He looked super comfortable turning his head and locating the ball and then getting up field. That skill makes him a 3 down back for sure.

    Moreover, we know that he fits Seattle’s size needs and he’s an SEC runner that put the team on his back. He could very well be available in the early second round.

    • Nick

      Also, fwiw, I think Royce Freeman is a legit feature back. He’s not as physical as Seattle will want, but in the tape I’ve watched he does run over people—just not as much as you would think given his size.

  10. Nick

    The sweet spot for RBs seems to be that second round. If they love Johnson, Freeman, or Chubb—they could very well get any of these backs from 33-40. Trading back just seems like such an obvious choice for PCJS. There’s simply too many holes on this team for them to take a player at 18.

  11. Ashish

    @Rob Staton no one is considering the DB’s we drafted last year Delano Hill, Mike Tyson, Tedric Thompson who has now one year under their belt and have chance to contribute this year. What’s your thoughts?
    IMO Hawks should take RB as their first pick followed by guard (OL)

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a fair point. Too soon to write those guys off

      • Omar

        My mock draft is trade back to pick 22 and get a 2nd round pick from the Bills. Trade back AGAIN and get picks 35 and 65 from the Browns and select : Pk(35) RoJo. Pk(53) Duke Ejiofor. Pk(65) Frank Ragnow

        • RWIII

          Omar: What makes you think Buffalo would a 2nd round pick just to move up four spots(From 22 to 18) I don’t see that happening.

      • C-Dog


        Waaay too early.

    • BobbyK

      My stereotypical viewpoint of guys drafted mid-late third round are this… groomed to be important contributors in year two.

      My thoughts of our 3rd round guys last year (and early-4th)…

      Griffin… our best pick/value in the entire draft. Not saying much with Mr. ATV “leading” the way, but Griffin is a stud moving forward.

      Hill… we know nothing. He did about as much as Kam Chancellor did as a rookie. This will be a telling year. Based on draft position, he should start at SS this year, imo, if he showed anything to the coaches.

      Jones… nothing special as a rookie – which is what you expect – I don’t know of too many rookie DTs who dominate from the get-go… However, this guy looks like a good player moving forward. He’s legit. Not Pro Bowl good, but definitely has the future of a guy who will be well-above average.

      Darboh… I saw nothing to think he’s going to be good. He had a few chances, but don’t sign me up as being impressed. I know being a rookie is hard, but he was a rookie that really didn’t show many flashes either.

      Thompson… What I saw in the preseason wasn’t good. I couldn’t believe how slow he looked vs. his college film. That being said, we saw nothing in the regular season and his head was probably spinning in the pre-season, too. I’m more comfortable calling Darboh the “worst” of these rookies because I saw nothing of Thompson in the regular season.

      • H

        I agree on all the others, but i thought Naz really flashed his potential. If he can stay healthy next season, i expect him to make a big contribution. Look at the jump Reed made this season and i thought Naz looked more impressive as a rookie
        I would say pro bowl future is not out of the question

        • Greg Haugsven

          I agree Bobby that we didn’t see anything. But the question is did the team? Obviously we really don’t know, hopefully they did.

          • C-Dog

            One interesting thing that I’ve got a few times with Pete. When asked about the play of Sheldon Richardson a few times through the course of the season, he would say positive things, but also add complimentary things about Naz Jones. He did it again when asked about the improvement of Jarran Reed.

            If it’s a pattern, it’s probably a strong indication that they are pretty high on him.

            Also, Davis Hsu tweeted at the end of the season that his inside guy said the team is really high on Griffin, Naz, and Carson, and think they are all studs.

            Naz is kinda the reason I don’t think they’ll make a serious play to get Sheldon resigned, personally. I think he only comes back if his market is cold, and wants to bet on himself on a one year prove it deal.

        • TomLPDX

          I agree with H, Bobby. Naz has the most potential of the entire group, including Griffen.

      • Patrick Toler

        I appreciate these in depth breakdowns! My perspective is a bit different though. Way too early to judge any of these guys as “worst”. Griffin we saw enough of to judge as a huge success, Jones we saw a decent amount of. Darboh we saw very little and it’s very common for receivers (especially after 1st round) to take time to develop. I’d say it’s not too surprising for a rookie to look slow as they jump a level, especially when their role is as critical as the single high safety.

      • C-Dog

        I kinda disagree on Naz, Bobby. I thought he flashed stronger than Jarran Reed did as a rookie, and think his ceiling could reach pro bowl level or on the cusp.

      • Gohawks5151

        Naz looked better than average and is primed for a big jump. Griffin looks great and is in for a jump too. I would think Hill takes steps forward maybe in a sub package. For some reason im way more in on Moore than Darboh. Dont forget they cut FREENY to keep Moore. They see something.

  12. 503Hawk

    Just saw this; UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin invited to the Combine!

    • Greg Haugsven

      He just has Seahawks written all over him.

      • H

        Im starting to think he goes day 2. Ergo before seattle can get him

        • TTownHawk

          This would surprise me. His talent level certainly warrants day 2 consideration, but I think the hand scares teams off. At least as far as using a 2nd or 3rd rounder. I think he ends up going early day 3. Rd 4 feels right. I hope the Hawks can bring him in! His story is incredible, his work ethic is unquestioned, and I think he would love playing alongside his brother.

  13. Aaron

    Anybody made a comparison between Ronald Jones and CJ2K? I think Ronald Jones is a mixture of both Charles and CJ2K.

    • Austin D Hall

      I like that comparison. Runs a little more upright like CJ2K. Looks to have a similar build. I’m also 100% on board the RoJo hype train and wouldn’t mind one bit not trading back and spending #18 on him.

  14. Greg Haugsven

    If you could get Jones and a second rounder (late) you would have to be doing back flips.

  15. teejmo

    So, the winner of the Alex Smith sweepstakes is… the Washington Redskins?

    • RealRhino2

      Think that’s good for them. Relationship with Cousins probably beyond repair, or it would have taken a lot of $$ to fix it. Smith should be just as good and allows them time to groom a successor.

    • lil'stink

      It’s Jimmy Garapolo. He just sent a thank you note to Dan Snyder.

    • SoCal12

      I’m curious where Kirk Cousins goes now. Denver? Jacksonville? Pittsburgh? I would say Cleveland but I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemies.

      • C-Dog

        There was some word coming out of the Senior Bowl that Denver is the heavy favorite to land Cousins, and the second favorite being Arizona.

      • TTownHawk

        I think he ends up on the Jets. They have by far the most cap space of any QB needy team not located in Cleveland and Kirk has already expressed his desire to go to a contender. They can offer him $25mil/year and have plenty of money leftover to add a few key free agents. And they already have some nice young pieces on that roster.

        • Smitty1547


    • Hawk Eye

      the winner is Jesus. Apparently Kirk lets him make his financial decisions for him.
      Along with RW, Wentz, Foles and probably more than half the other qbs and players in the league. I am surprised Joel Olsteen is not a player agent.
      Beyond the question of “is there a god”, does anyone think he/she would get involved in football? Nothing else more important to deal with than multi millionaire athletes playing for billionaire owners?
      Nothing more annoying than hearing an athlete on a winning team say it was gods will. Does that mean he hates the other side? Was teaching them a lesson?

      • MSL

        Are we doing religion bashing on here now? FWIW, I usually hear a “God is good” or “glory to God” not “it was God’s will that we won.”

        • Hawk Eye

          Russell did say god spoke to him after the int in SB 49 and said it was part of his plan.
          Cousins has repeatedly said that he talks to god about what do to with his contract, and god keeps telling him to ask for more money.
          The players keep bringing it up. And saying things are out of their control when they do control them. I would rather hear them talk about how they prepare and to take responsibility for their decisions

        • Hawk Eye

          i am not bashing religion, but I am bashing people who twist it so they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.
          Russell blamed god for a bad throw
          Cousins says god wants him to have more money
          it should be
          Russell – I did not make a great throw, should have thrown it where only the wr could get it. I will do better next time.
          Cousins – I want as much money as I can get, I am greedy.
          But they both want the excuse, I prefer the person who takes responsibility so that he can analyze properly to improve

          • Mark Souza

            I don’t think RW’s pass in SB 49 was bad. I think it was a bad play call – perhaps the stupidest play call you could have made in that position. I didn’t disagree with the idea of passing in that situation with the thought that if it falls incomplete, the clock stops, and you have a time out left, and two more plays with the freedom to either run or pass.

            Here’s where that play broke down. First, the thing scaring the daylights out of NE was that we were going to hand the ball to Marshawn, who they hadn’t been able to stop all day. As a result, they predictably packed the LOS in the center of the field. Why on God’s green Earth would you pass into all of those bodies. The odds of something bad happening were huge.

            Second, with the Pats fearing Marshawn, why didn’t the Hawks play fake to Marshawn to play on those fears and get everyone to commit to the LOS (mistake one). Then roll Wilson out on a boot, dragging a tight end across the endzone to give RW a run pass option. Odds are RW could have walked in with the defense so committed to stopping Marshawn.

            If someone does slide out to cover the TE, now he has to decide whether to stick with him and risk RW walking in for a TD, or leave his man to pressure RW only to have him throw the pass. And if everything went to hell and the Pats somehow cover every option, it’s an easy throw out of the back of the endzone, and you are set up for two run plays to Marshawn.

            The second RW dropped back without even a play fake, I started screaming at my television. But I never blamed him. I blamed the sideline for calling in such a lame play.

            • :Nem Beselek

              I have thought about that same play type scenario about ten thousand times since that scrappy Sunday.

              Have a heavy power formation to the left, fake it to Shawn, have Willson or Baldwin, maybe both, slide across the end zone while DangeRuss rolls right. Preferably Russ just walks in to end zone, but a pass to one of the receivers would be fine too. The beauty of this type a play is that if everybody is covered, you just have Russ throw it out of bounds. You still have two more plays to run the ball in with Shawn. Instead of what actually happened.

              Everybody was expecting a play right up the gut. Even though it was a pass instead a run which was the expected play, all the hell that was breaking loose right in the middle of the field makes a pass right there a really bad idea.

              Okay, last time I complain about that awful play (probably).

  16. Joshia Smith

    Good breakdown Rob. I know that the Seahawks will probably trade down multiple times but I certianly don’t think that it is essential for them to do so. I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about how they need to find a way to accumulate picks because they don’t have a second or a third rounder. Why? There have been recent drafts where they completely wiffed on players in the 2nd and 3rd or the players who they picked in those rounds got hurt and didnt contribute much the first year. And yet, we survived.

    • HENRY

      Totally agree with you. Schneider has missed on alot of second and third rounders. If ronald jones falls to 18 pull the damn trigger and get him. Everything else will fall in place with a great running game.

  17. Seahawk Crazy

    I know a lot has been written about Earl Thomas and his future with the team, but there are some things on my mind I’d like to discuss.

    I’d like to see the Seahawks move towards a team driven culture vs an individual star driven team. Shorter contracts, less egos and drama. It makes me like the team a lot less with all of the threats of hold outs and complaints via twitter and things like that. Yeah, I know these guys risk their health, and that football is a business and like any business people have to look out for their best interests. But the Earl Thomas thing with the Cowboys just makes me want to see him shipped off to the Browns. Just no team loyalty. Others have different takes on this and can shrug it off. I’d just like to see that kid who is a fan of Earl and the Seahawks see that situation and question the whole point of being a fan.

    I was a big supporter of Bennett and his social causes and individuality, but I hear reports of his being accosted by police in Las Vegas were shown on camera and his story doesn’t really stand up with the video. Does anyone know more about this?

    Outside of political stuff with Bennett, he has become hard to root for as a football fan. The constant penalties, the starting fights after the whistle. He looked slow this year, but he did have a pretty serious foot injury that he played through.

    It would be refreshing to see some football without all the drama, but I guess thats what we signed up for. This team has given us a lot of excitement over the last 6 years, so I can’t completely discount the colorful personalities.

    • Ishmael

      I think the efforts by the teams and media to dehumanise the players is one of the worst things about football. The more personalities in the game the better IMO.

    • C-Dog

      Not to dive back into that whole worm’s nest, but personally, I’d treat what the police combined into their video with skepticism. Firstly, they pursuing office had his body cam shut down, and secondly, anyone can cut together tape to show the narrative they wish to tell.

      Also, my understanding of the LVPD, because the town is solely dependent on it’s tourism, they have a policy to come down with extra piss and vinegar one anyone who they perceive as creating a public disturbance of threat. Kind of why, more than anything else, I tend to think Bennett wasn’t making stuff up.

      • Hawk Eye

        I had police put a gun to my head for a minor traffic offense in Niagara Falls, Canada 35 years ago. And I am white, Canadian, did nothing threatening. They just wanted me to pull over faster, even though there was no shoulder to do so. They were just all full of piss and vinegar, and it is illegal for them to even pull their gun without some sort of life threatening circumstance. So if cops in Canada feel they can get away with things like that, not a stretch to see a lot worse in the US. The whole thing with 100’s of videos, EXCEPT the cop who Bennett accused of making the threats says a lot to me

        • C-Dog

          Interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

          • Hawk Eye

            I consider myself lucky to have had eye opening experiences at a young age.
            I have since always been skeptical about police power, especially when the police investigate a police problem.
            I had an accident a little later and I learned how lawyers and insurance companies work. Highly respected people lie for money – a lot.
            I don’t think I am a pessimist, but I am a pragmatist. I am pessimistic about the growing power of government and police, less privacy in western society. We are going down a slippery slope my friends.

        • Mark Souza

          I saw the same video. Police sweeping in, shouting for everyone to hit the floor. Some did. Most kept on fleeing – with good cause, it was thought there was an active shooter in their midst. The police didn’t take anyone of those people to the ground, or put a gun to their heads. It wasn’t until they came to Bennett, who also elected to flee rather than lay down, that they decided that not obeying their commands warranted a gun to the head, a knee in the back and handcuffs. Dozens elected to run for safety despite police commands to drop, but only one was singled out. And they were wrong.

  18. drewdawg11

    I just watched the super bowl 48 highlights from NFL network, which I recorded the other night. What really stood out was how hungry they all played. No offense to the legion, but they haven’t looked like that in a couple of years. They’re still really good, but that intensity and attention to assignment football isn’t there anymore. Age, success, guys leaving, they all factor in. It’s time to find the next group, I think. I really appreciate what they all did for this team. That can never be forgotten. It’s just time. Bobby is the one untouchable for me from that veteran defensive group.

    • lil'stink

      Teams also know how to attack our defense. As players get older, lose a step, or miss games because of injuries things get exacerbated. I believe Holmgren said keep the defense young and hungry, and pair the with an experienced offense. It might take a year but I think that’s hopefully the goal for PCJS’s vision for our team from this point on.

      • Hawk Eye

        excellent point about other teams attacking our defense. No one seems intimidated by it anymore.
        I would almost hope for a new scheme just to throw them all off for a few years – as long as it worked, of course.

      • GerryG

        Yes they know how to attack our D, but it cant be glossed over that Jax basically runs our scheme, and they were really good this year. Quinn runs it, and it is trending upward as he gets the staff to run it. The Kyle Shannahan chose to bring in a guy who runs a version of it. So the scheme does work, and is still seen as effective.

    • MSL

      I kind of agree. They seem to have lost some hunger, which is to be expected somewhat after you’ve been well fed. I too miss the young hungry guys. Guys who wanted a ring more than they wanted a new contract, more guarantees, or to play for their childhood team. Those guys were fun.

    • Mark Souza

      Hungry and fast. Everyone on that defense was so fast.

  19. C-Dog

    Alex Smith is set to be traded to Washington, and signing a $94 million deal. Could Kirk Cousins be on his way to Arizona? Denver?

    • Greg Haugsven

      Hopefully not Arizona.

      • Hawk Eye

        Az has no cap room

    • teejmo

      Those two are definitely on the short list. I’d wager the Cardinals are the favorites – of the teams in the running for a starting QB, they’re arguably the closest to being a playoff contender with a young defense and weapons galore. The only downside is arguably the offensive line, but Cousins has got plenty of experience dealing with that.

      • C-Dog

        There was some word floating around the Senior Bowl that Denver is the heavy favorite to land him, followed by Arizona. He wants to go to a team that is poised to win now.

        • teejmo

          Yeah, those two are probably the best bets. John Elway got his Super Bowl on the back of a veteran QB, and after two disappointing seasons on the backs of his draft selections, he’s probably gonna go all in on the veteran again. I just figured the Cards would be more attractive based on the two reasons listed above. It doesn’t help that there’s talk the Broncos are shopping Talib.

    • FresnoBrad

      I fail to understand Washington’s thinking?

      • Hawk Eye

        McCloughlin made some interesting points about Cousins recently. Said he was not elite and he spent too much time preparing to leave and where else he would fit, plus he wanted top $$.

    • FresnoBrad

      Jets maybe

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Jacksonville all day… they are coming back intact.. and frankly, won despite their QB play in 2017.
      If they have the same defense and a top 10-15 offense in 2018.. start printing SB ticket for them.

    • Sea Mode

      The Redskins basically traded Kendall Fuller for Alex Smith straight up, since they will likely get the R3 pick back next year for Cousins comp pick. The real cost was having to give him $71m guaranteed though!!! I guess that’s the price for the guy who led the league in passer rating this year. (104.7) Better him than Cousins?

      I’m thinking the Browns go back in for McCarron for R2P33. It was reported they also tried to trade for Smith, but Smith laughed at the thought saying, “1-31 sounds amazing…”. Rob’s right about Earl to Cleveland not likely to be on the horizon.

      I’d say Cousins to Denver makes the most sense at this point. He has some familiarity with the Jets OC, but says he wants to win and not only follow the money.

      Perhaps one of the Vikings QBs to Arizona along with a QB via the draft.

      • Sea Mode

        Tyrod Taylor to Arizona might be interesting, pairing him with David Johnson and giving him some legit WRs to throw at. Mike McCoy knows how to adapt to his players’ talents.

        And the Bills use their two R1 picks plus whatever they can get for Taylor to trade up like Rob projected in his last mock.

  20. millhouse-serbia

    Does anyone know how is it possible to make an official trade before new league begin?

    • C-Dog

      Teams can agree to a trade now, but it doesn’t become official until March 15th.

      Seattle and New Orleans reached agreement on the Jimmy Graham trade days prior to March 15th.

      • millhouse-serbia

        Ok. So we can expect something to happen with ET in the next couple of weeks. Trade or extension. Because I think that they will re sign either Mcdougal or ET, and I think that they don’t want to let MCdougal hit FA if they plan to keep him.

        And if they don’t resolve ET situation before march 6th, it will be harder to make a decision on Mcdougald. It may happen that they re sign Bradley and after all they might not find trade partner for ET for proper value.

        I hope that you understand what i want to say. 😀

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I know the speculation is about ET going to DAL. And for good reason. But I bet Quinn would love to pair ET with Keanu Neal. That’d be a hell of a backfield – ET, Neal and Trufant.

          If they’re going to trade him, pick 26 and maybe a player like Justin Hardy or Duke Riley (or maybe even Sambrailo) would be reasonable compensation.

          • D-OZ

            ET to the Chargers ???? 🙂

            • Trevor

              Chargers or Jags makes a ton off sense IMO. Plus keeps Earl out off NFC.

            • Hawk Eye

              Dallas has no cap room and I can’t see SD paying ET what he wants and they don’t have huge cap space either.
              Atl has less cap room than the Hawks with lot of young players looking for $$
              Oak has about the same as the Hawks and has to resign Mack
              Jags cap space is getting smaller and they will have issues in a year or two.
              Not easy to see a team with cap space and a need beyond SF and Browns
              but of course, there are teams willing to move things around to get the right guy

              • C-Dog

                I suspect if Seattle deals Thomas they may have to take on the contract of another player for the other t am to fit Thomas their cap.

                • Rob Staton

                  Detroit could be an option.

                  New defensive head coach, $50m cap room. Washington also seems to be feeling quite bold at the moment.

                  • Hawk Eye

                    both Det and Wash have cap room

          • C-Dog

            I could see Atlanta getting involved. End of the day, I still think Dallas would be the heavy favorite. If Seattle shops him, you want multiple teams showing interest. Any team on the cusp of a championship would.

        • Patrick Toler

          Maybe, yet per Earl the Hawks haven’t even reached out to his agent to talk extension yet. I’m in the minority who still think Earl stays. I think they will try to extend him later in the offseason (like most of their extensions). If they can’t extend him, I tend to think they will let it ride into his final year and be willing to deal with him as a FA. Either, sign him then, tag him, or worst case you see him walk for the comp pick. I’d take that risk to try and keep him. First ballot HOFers don’t come around to often.
          Also, McDougald’s versitlity is nice, but as a full time player he’s a SS for me. I’m not sure I see he and Earl as an either/or situation.

          • C-Dog

            That is possible. I think more likely in a prior year. I kinda think they don’t ride out his final year, though. Either he signs or he’s dealt and they may not want it to linger.

          • Mark Souza

            I wouldn’t mind keeping him for a couple more years, provided he doesn’t hamstring the team. But I think that’s what he’s setting himself up to do. He wants a third contract. He wants the big bucks. That will hamstring the team against the salary cap for years, and in the last half of that contract, he probably won’t be worth the money. If he’s willing to play out his current deal (he’s under contract for the 2018 season), keep him. If he looks like he’ll be good for the season after that, tag him. If he makes noise that he’ll hold out to force that third contract, trade him.

  21. Dale

    When it comes time to pick be it at #18 or #30, if Wynn and RoJo and Davenport are available who would the Hawks take? When’s the last time the Hawks passed on a dynamic pass rusher? But they really need a star a RB… No, they really need a long term answer next to Brown. Remember what it was like with Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson… I can argue with myself all night. What do you all think would happen?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      It’s really a shame SEA can’t get both RJ2 and Wynn. They’re my “perfect draft” scenario this year.

      • Trevor

        Agree draft those two and run game fixed!

      • Misfit74

        Guice and Wynn are my ideal scenario.

        • Misfit74

          I think Fant has a good shot at starting RT. We fill LG, our line could look like this and I’d be encouraged along w Solari at the helm.


  22. CharlieTheUnicorn

    The Redskins “trade” for Alex Smith…… a rumored 3rd round pick and CB Fuller.
    I think the underlying story is that the Redskins might be going for a young QB in the top 2 rounds… to groom for 1-2 years to sit behind Smith. If this is the case, the top of the draft got a whole lot more interesting.

    I actually think, the Redskins might swing a deal with the Browns now…… Smith to the Browns for their 2nd for example….. Browns can absorb the contact easily.. and Redskins get a free 3rd round pick, a viable CB and do not take the big cap hit or have the long term salary cap to worry about.

    I certainty think the recently traded QB Alex Smith story hasn’t wrapped up for 2018. Stay tuned!

    • teejmo

      If that’s the case, then why bother with the contract? Word is they reached an agreement with Smith on a four-year extension with $71 million guarenteed – that’s quite the investment if they only plan on him starting for a year or two. Also doesn’t sound like flip material. Then again, this is the team who let a younger version of Smith coming off three pretty good seasons walk for a 3rd comp.

    • Sea Mode

      It doesn’t work that way, Charlie. Once he signs that deal, the Redskins are on the hook for all the signing bonus, even if they traded him right away.

      I don’t think it is about the draft either (although they could certainly draft a QB if they like one, but now they need a CB too…). IMO negotiations had already gotten too ugly with Cousins and they didn’t want to risk going into the off season and Cousins possibly ditching them, even if they were to finally cave in and meet his contract demands. That bridge was burned long ago.

      So in the end, smart move by the Redskins to secure themselves the services of at least a good QB, albeit at the cost of a good, young CB with 2 years left on his rookie deal and a hefty contract for Smith. You don’t want to be one of the teams in “QB hell”, wasting years searching, paying money and spending draft picks, and perhaps never finding.

    • cha

      Washington basically “gains” a late 3rd round comp pick in 2019 by walking away from Cousins as well. That was always probably part of the plan, trade for Smith or not, but this just locks it in.

  23. Chris

    This running back class, man. There’s so many balls in the air right now that I’m not even willing to rule out the Hawks somehow nabbing Barkley. But when I think of guys that they absolutely could get without dramatic moves, I continue to fixate on Rashaad Penny. Showed well at the Senior Bowl. Had an absolutely tremendous season, was damn-near heroic in his bowl game, can run over defenders or by them, depending on the situation, and can catch the ball a little bit out of the backfield. He’s not Marshawn Lynch – nobody is – but he’s got some of that balance and vision that Lynch had, and he looks significantly faster than Lynch on tape.

    Am I completely bonkers thinking this guy would be an amazing Seahawks back?

    • Sea Mode

      You’re not bonkers at all. He’s really good. He could be the Kareem Hunt of this RB class, if you will.

      I just want to see how he tests though at the combine to see how explosive he really is or if level of competition was a big factor.

      • Mark Souza

        I’m a fan as well. He was impressive. And as for explosive, I watched him catch that swing pass in the Senior Bowl and outrun the entire secondary to the endzone. I’m not worried that he isn’t explosive enough.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Nah man you’re not bonkers at all. Penny has a lot going for him-great burst, finds and hits the hole hard, runs through arm tackles, HR hitting breakaway speed, ideal RB size, elite production, bellcow who can tote the rock 30 times a game, elite return man(bonus!).

      Couple concerns when watching his tape: ran almost exclusively out of I form with a lead FB-things the Hawks have recently moved away from(could change), my biggest concern is he doesn’t show a great jump cut to make defenders miss-more shifty and subtle with his cuts, questionable 3rd down skills-hands, pass pro-is he a 2 down back?

      I’m a big fan of Penny just not sure how well he fits our offense, as it has been run the last couple years. Things could drastically change under Schottenheimer though. Penny is a similar, way more talented, RB than Lamont Jordan who had a couple good years under OC Schottenheimer.

  24. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I was thinking about something while I was reviewing the above comments about Fant…..
    instead of trying to make him an OT (project)… try him as your inline blocking TE???

    He would not be expected to block the best of the best…. and has the athleticism to perhaps be a sneaky TE in the slot for quick slant passes… I’m not totally convinced he is a longterm LT, but I could see a viable fit at TE.. next to Vannett.. and

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Nah Fant is an Olineman. When Fant first signed with Seattle was the time for PC to make the positional call-Fant is up to 320 pounds now. He or whoever misses the starting cut can be used as a 6th OL at times though-like Tobin fairly often was used last year.

    • 503Hawk

      Agreed. I mentioned that a few weeks ago. I think it has merit.

  25. Sea Mode

    The one who is really licking his lips after hearing about the Alex Smith deal and waiting to see what Cousins gets on the market: Jimmy Garoppolo!

    • Hawk Eye

      double edge sword for us there.
      JG gets big deal and ties up a lot of cap space for a competitor, and then in a year or so, Russell gets a bigger deal and ties up more cap space for the hawks

      • vrtkolman

        Russell is getting a bigger deal no matter what happens. Remember, Arodg is getting his deal done first.

      • cha

        “ties up more cap space for the hawks”

        The guy was like 99.9% of the Hawks offensive output last year. Unless he demands something insanely out of proportion, he’s worth what he gets.

        • Hawk Eye

          goes with the territory
          all QB’s make big $$ unless they are on their rookie contracts.
          That is why it was such a huge deal for the Hawks to have him on a cheap deal before, they could spend more on areas where most teams could not

          • cha

            For sure. That’s the too-often-overlooked factor when teams trade a fortune in draft capital to move up and get their QB. If he’s good in year 2-3-4, you’ve generated about $15-20m/year of salary value over his rookie deal.

  26. Trevor

    I know I am in the minority but I think a decent option at RB via the draft would be Mark Walton (Miami) or Kallen Ballage (Ariz) in the 4th and Kamyrn Pettaway (Auburn) in the 5th. Both guys have the potential to be elite RB and would compliment each other well.

    2018-19 RB
    -Chris Carson
    -Mark Walton or Ballage
    CJ Prosise
    -Kamyrn Pettaway

    This would be a young dynamic group that with an improved OL could be really good.

    • Sea Mode

      I like how tough Walton runs and I like Ballage’s plus athleticism, but at this point for the Hawks, with what we’ve seen the past two years, I just don’t think “decent” is enough.

      • Trevor

        If we add a solid LG I think fans are going to be surprised with the improvement in run blocking next year and all the RB will look better.

        No one would have looked good behind that OL last year. Look at Collins after he was traded. At least 50% of the run game issues were the OL and blocking scheme IMO.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t really see LG being the difference maker here. I’m open to adding one, but it’s not like that one position is/was the issue.

          Much more of the issues are down to the quality of RB. We only have to look at how Carson performed and produced vs the rest. They can’t just keep relying on low-level FA’s and late round picks at RB. It’s time to get some talent at the position. And this is the year to do it.

          • mishima

            Pete stressed the running game and team speed as his off-season priorities. Which need do they addresses first?

            Have been assuming best player available with a tilt to RB, but reconsidering and could easily see them focus on elite D speed, early/often.

            • Hawk Eye

              I think RB is one of their top 2 picks, and speed at LB and edge in the top 3 or 4
              just a guess, but I am hoping for lots of fast, hungry young talent added to the d in the draft.

              • mishima

                Went into draft with Lacy, Rawls, Prosise and only took a 7th flyer on Carson, last year, when, you could argue, their needs were greater.

                Fiction: Say they had signed Latavius Murray instead of Lacy or traded for Jay Ajayi, would we even be having this discussion? Outside of Barkley and Jones, is early 2nd RB significantly better than early 4th/5th? Maybe not to PCJS who seem confident that they can identify/develop late round talent at CB and RB.

                Size/speed at Edge, LB, OG, then RB in later rounds and FA.

                • Hawk Eye

                  i could see them passing on RB early for the reasons you just stated.
                  everything is guesswork at this point as we don’t know how the FO rates the available players in the draft, and who they sign and let go before the draft, etc.

                • Rob Staton

                  I think we can say with a high degree of certainty they won’t wait until the later rounds to address RB.

            • Rob Staton

              Well, he mentioned LA were faster after the 42-7 game. He only talked about the run game in his end of season presser. Team speed is important but #1 priority this off season is finally fixing the run.

              • mishima

                Agree: Fixing the historically bad run game is #1 priority. How they fix it will be interesting.

                PCJS have had success in FA (Lynch) and found quality late in draft and/or UDFA (Carson, Rawls, Collins, Ware). Early? Got burned (C. Michael). Last year, they thought Lacy, Rawls, Prosise were the answer.

                How PCJS fix the run game will probably be different than how we want them to fix the run game. Maybe replacing Bevell/Cable with Schottenheimer/Solari is their big fix.

                I’ll bet they don’t take a RB until the 3rd/earliest. Hope I’m wrong.

                • mishima

                  ETA: Traded for Lynch, not signed in FA.

                • Rob Staton

                  I think you will be. Too important and too good a class early.

          • Trevor

            We will have to agree to disagree on that. I think our Guard play was awful last year and had a huge impact on the run game.

            • Rob Staton

              The O-line as a whole didn’t play well.

              But the new coach is going to be tasked with sorting that out. The problem wasn’t just an issue with one guard position that is solved by spending yet another high pick on the OL.

              Eventually you have to focus on other areas. I’m not against another high OL pick but it’s not the priority IMO.

            • vrtkolman

              Joeckel had a few decent games but for the most part, I agree he was awful. I don’t really get what their plan was with Aboushi. He was someone who has always graded out well in pass protection but terrible in run blocking. If Carroll wanted to prioritize the run last year, why did they start him for so long?

          • Ulsterman

            Chris Carson’s last two games: 12 for 42, 3.5 average; 11 for 34, 3.1 average. His previous two games were better, but let’s not pretend he flourished behind the Oline.
            And it’s a fair point to compare Collins’ success with the Ravens compared to his struggles with the Seahawks.
            I’m hopeful that at least some of it was to do with Cable’s scheme rather than just personnel

            • Rob Staton

              I think we can all agree though that Carson looked good and played well.

              • GerryG

                And did it during the worst performing time of the year OL-wise

          • Mark Souza

            “Much more of the issues are down to the quality of RB”

            I don’t totally agree with that. That line sucked. Too often it was a race to the handoff point between the D-line and our running back, and all to often it was a tie. You can’t win in those situations. Look at the tape. More often than not, the defense was penetrating our O-line on running plays. We don’t win the push at the line of scrimmage, in fact we are getting beat right there.

            Will a new rookie guard fix everything? Doubtful. But will a new road grader of a guard combined with a new O-line coach and maybe a new blocking philosophy make a difference? It might.

            If you have a line that wins the war up front, your running game will look good no matter who is running the ball. If your line is a sieve and being pushed back, it doesn’t matter who’s back there, it’s going to be ugly. And I’ve had enough of ugly. Build that line into something and keep them together and you’ll have good football for a decade.

            • Rob Staton

              It’s a combination of the two Mark. I think people get caught up too much in a ‘chicken or the egg’ type debate. Seattle has invested in pieces on the OL now and it needs to be structured sufficiently. My point was, it isn’t just a ‘well the LG sucked and that was the main issue’. The RB issue on an individual position basis was more vital. We had a terrible bunch of RB’s once Carson went down. Lacy offered nothing. Rawls offered nothing. We relied on Mike Davis and JD McKissic. And the reason Lacy and Rawls failed wasn’t just an OL problem.

              Both units need to be improved but the OL improvement needs to come from within, a tweak of scheme and a new voice. The RB improvement needs to come in terms of new personnel.

  27. Hawk Eye

    for all the talk of the Hawks being in cap hell, here are a few comparisons for 2018

    Chiefs over by $9.2 mil, before Smith trade
    Eagles $7.5 mil over (so no repeat SB probably)
    Pitt over $3 mil, and still have to sign Leveon Bell

    Dolphins, Ravens, Cards and Falcons between $8-10 mil
    Hawks at $14 mil
    Raiders, Pats, Jags, Cowboys, Pack and Panthers all $14 to $20 mil available
    Cowboys have to sign Lawrence and Martin is on last year and wants top $
    Giants, Chargers, Bills Broncos, Saints are at $23 to $32 mil. Brees is a FA, Bills and Broncos have no QB

    lots of teams facing cap issues and will have to make tough choices

    Vikings have $53 mil, but no QB
    Rams have $43 mil, but a few big FA’s + Donald wants his$$ and Gurley and Goff coming up soon also.

    49’s, Browns have over $100 mil
    Colts, Jets, Bucs Texans, have $56-77 mil

    • vrtkolman

      The Rams are kind of in trouble. $43 million seems like a lot until you see their expired contracts. They must deal with LaMarcus Joyner, Trumaine Johnson, Mark Barron, and Sammy Watkins. All 4 are huge contributors and will easily average over $10 million a season. I don’t think they should re-sign Watkins, he’s a flashy stats guy who kind of crumbles in big moments. But, of the 4 listed above I think he’s the one they prioritize. They have already had 2 of their offensive coaches get poached, they can’t afford to lose another key guy for Goff. Good news for us.

      That’s probably most of their cap room if they decide to keep all 4 and “keep the train moving”. You are right, they have big players coming up as well including Aaron Donald who already held out once. Therefore I think if SF has a big off season they could easily win the West next season. Seattle could too.

      • Hawk Eye

        and the Rams probably take a step back next year. A lot of guys had career years and they had few injuries. Lightning rarely strikes twice like that

      • Del tre

        There are 3 guys who are gonna be asking for 20 million a year in Donald, Gurley, and Goff. Goff is a few years out but with Trumaine Johnson’s contract being up this yeartheyre going to be up right against the cap quickly.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Hawkeye- great breakdown. Puts in perspective how the Hawks aren’t alone. Imagine being a Cowboys fan, who are up against the cap every season. They pretty much have to cut Dez to keep Lawrence.

  28. vrtkolman

    Scot Mccloughan‏

    “I would have never traded Kendall. He can play inside & outside, he’s high character, young & a football player”

    Scot must be having a ball right now. Redskins ownership and high level management is seriously a cluster.

    • LeoSharp

      It really was a terrible move. Alex Smith is an average QB who’s going to be paid a big contract.

      The Browns, Broncos, Giants, Jets, and Bengals are the teams ahead of the Redskins in the draft that are in need of a starting QB There is also the Cardinals who they would have competed with in free agency. Despite the competition, there are enough QBs to go around

      This is one of the thew years the draft has 3 legitimate QB’s to be drafted in the first round plus there are guys like Mason Rudolph and Luke Falk who are solid players and could probably be at least average players. Additionally, Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith would have gone to one of their competitors. That’s 7 QBs and Josh Allen for 8 teams.

      Signing a rookie wouldn’t guarantee success but they have basically given up on competing by agreeing to sign Alex Smith to a large deal while also giving up on a good player and a good pick. Their 7-9 team is now less talented than it was last year.

      • Rob Staton

        I’m not sure I agree. It’s not an amazing trade but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as some have suggested in the national media. If you’re picking at #13 you easily run the risk of missing out on the best rookie. You also have to find a hedge for that — so you could go into the season with someone as mediocre as Geno Smith being your best option if the draft doesn’t work out in your favour. Even if you get the rookie, you’re almost having to start them straight away.

        At the very least with Smith you get a competent starter who has shown, if nothing else, he can be very efficient and lead a team to the playoffs. He’s a mature, focused individual. Minimal drama. Look how he handled the drafting of Mahomes. Exemplary.

        And now you can draft a QB this year, next year or the year after and do what Kansas City did. Use Smith as the placeholder.

        It was a costly trade but it’s a quarterback league. Not a great deal but not a terrible one either IMO.

    • cha

      Robert Griffin III‏

      Some how…Some way…they will blame this on me. No doubt
      7:30 PM – 30 Jan 2018

  29. KingRajesh

    Is there an argument for signing Wilson to a new deal this year?

    Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Ryan, Big Ben, Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota could all be signed by the time Wilson’s contract could be negotiated (around the start of 2019’s training camp).

    I fully anticipate that Aaron Rodgers will get around 30m APY.

    • Aaron

      No need to sign Wilson to a new deal, just trade him to NFL Purgatory in Cleveland for some great picks this year and be done with him. Just kidding. There’s quite a contingent on Seahawks Twitter that thinks we should trade both Earl and Russ to the Browns.

      As to your point, Russ isn’t a FA until 2020. I’d wait until either during or after the 2019 season to ink a new deal. I imagine the Hawks will be in a much better cap situation then. By the end of 2019 or earlier I fully expect Jimmy,

      • Aaron

        Oops, comment was sent before I was done. I was saying I fully expect by 2019 or earlier that Jimmy, Joeckel, Lacy, SR, McDougald, PRich, Sherm, Earl, Kam, Cliff, Bennett, and KJ to all be gone. Yes, we’ll have to extend some guys like Clark and possibly Lockett. However, our cap sace is going to be much better by the end of 2019 than it will be this offseason or next. I do expect Russ to get $35+ mil a year in his next contract, maybe even over $40 mil a year. Really depends on Kirk Cousins upcoming mega contract.

    • Sea Mode

      I think the Hawks have it set up at least right now so that nobody is signed beyond the 2020 season, when the new CBA will be negotiated. It’s expected to be ugly. I think all parties will just want to wait and see how it goes down before committing.

      • Hawk Eye

        that is about the change. Cannot stop signing guys beyond 2020 because of the CBA.
        Otherwise you start losing your talent. But you can try to load up on younger players in the rookie deals to hedge the potential issue.

        Based on the last 40-50 years of negotiations, what makes you think the players will win or even have a chance?
        They have the shortest career in all the major sports and the worst union leadership. That means the current players cannot afford a long work stoppage.
        The new deal will be very close to the old deal, business as usual.

        • Hawk Eye

          about to change….

          hey Rob, we need that edit button (I know, I know, wordpress issue)

  30. Grant

    Rob, LOVE your site! I read it everyday (there’s a new article/post). Appreciate all your work!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you Grant, it really means a lot. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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