Breaking down the draft class: Delano Hill & Tedric Thompson

Delano Hill loves to tackle

If you want to know what Delano Hill is all about, watch the video above. It’s his performance against Ohio State at the end of last season.

One thing stands out — he’s a tackling machine.

Hill wore a number of hats at Michigan, lining up as a single high safety and in a two-deep zone, handling the LOS and covering the slot.

Tackling and versatility are his calling cards.

That’s not such a bad thing because in 2017 he’s going to provide competition and security. He’s not going to unseat Kam Chancellor or Earl Thomas and the Seahawks seem to really like Bradley McDougald as a ‘big nickel’.

Hill is one for the future. Chancellor didn’t start as a rookie either. They needed options and depth.

Let’s start with what he does well.

He’s an adept tackler. In the Michigan games I revisited for this piece I didn’t notice a single missed tackle. PFF ranked him tenth for tackling efficiency in 2016. It’s a surprise he’s only tenth.

Frequently he was the last line of defense as a deep safety needing to make a crucial stop. There were plenty of times, strangely considering Michigan’s talent on defense, where a QB, RB or WR managed to break into the open field for a big gain. On every occasion Hill eventually made the tackle.

Whether it’s close-range or in space, Hill squares up nicely and hits the mark consistently.

There weren’t any crunching hits of note but that’s probably in part due to his measured tackling form. He’s not a heat-seeking missile but he’s technically very assured. Don’t mistake that for a lack of physicality. He isn’t Kam but who is?

His speed shows on the rare occasions that he blitzes. Against Michigan State he levelled the quarterback on a blitz from deep safety, forcing an incompletion. When he can put his head down and go from 0-60 that’s when you see the 4.47 speed he had at the combine.

It also shows when he’s covering the flat. Several Michigan opponents tried to clear out the outside zone with an inside route isolating the safety against a quicker receiver. On each occasion, without fail, Hill read the play quickly, sprinted to the ball carrier and delivered a big tackle.

There are instances too where he showed well covering the slot. He surprisingly handled Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel on the two occasions they went 1v1. The first play was a hitch route from Samuel — Hill was touch-tight and even though the pass was errant, had it been on target Hill was in position to make a play. Here’s the coverage on the second play. It’s flagged but it’s an example of how well he stayed with Samuel (who ran a 4.31 at the combine):

He doesn’t make a lot of plays lined up at the LOS but there was one really good play against the read-option vs Michigan State. He had the awareness and speed to take away the option to the running back, forcing the QB to hesitate. He then levelled the QB for a TFL.

He also did a good job covering tight ends from the slot, was never boxed out and had no issue mirroring crossing routes against a bigger target.

Hill’s size is also a big positive. He’s 6-1 and 216lbs with 32 1/8 inch arms. His wingspan is even more impressive at 77 1/2 inches.

How good is that? See how some of the longer cornerbacks in the 2017 class compare:

Kevin King — 77 7/8
Gareon Conley — 76
Quincy Wilson — 75 7/8

Richard Sherman’s wingspan is half an inch longer than Hill’s.

Essentially, he has ideal Seahawks length.

Now onto some of his limitations.

We’ll come on to Tedric Thompson in a moment and really the two players are polar opposites. Hill has 4.47 speed but looks stiff when he lines up at free safety and needs to cover a large area of the field. Thompson ran a 4.60 but is rangy and quick.

Teams didn’t test Michigan deep all that often and it’s possible he was told to hold position and play quite a restrained role (like Jabrill Peppers at LB). Still, you’d like to at least see a handful of plays where he’s matching-up in space and making a break on the ball. On the few occasions when he was asked to handle the deep pass, he was a little bit stiff.

The stats lend weight to this argument:

Tedric Thompson PBU’s in 2016: 16
Delano Hill PBU’s in 2016: 3

He’s also not a physical tone setter when he lines up in the box and there were instances where he got blocked out of plays relatively comfortably by TE’s. He occasionally takes poor angles to the ball carrier when playing deep. He seems to be better working through traffic from the slot and he did a decent job containing the outside when he lined up at nickel.

Essentially he does most things very well but he’s more solid than spectacular. He’s a tackling machine who doesn’t miss — but he might not provide many big plays or turnovers.

Even so, there’s plenty for the Seahawks to work with here. Chancellor wasn’t the finished product as a fifth round pick in 2010 and Hill likely wasn’t drafted to start straight away. He has the straight-line speed and length they like, the character and attitude and he’s versatile. His highlight reel won’t be as interesting as Justin Evans or Budda Baker — but he might be the more rounded football player.

Tedric Thompson is faster than he tests

There’s one area where Thompson and Hill are very similar — and that’s their ability to cover the flat. They were uncannily similar when opponents tried to clear out the outside zone.

Apart from that, they are quite different players.

Sometimes a player plays faster than he tests. Thompson never looks like a 4.4 runner (he ran a 4.60 at the combine) but somehow, he still manages to fly around the field and make plays. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. He isn’t a twitched up dynamic athlete. Yet there he is, time and time again, playing the ball.

In fairness part of it is down to Colorado’s well coached secondary. The cornerbacks consistently win at the red line, narrowing the strike zone for quarterbacks and opening up major opportunities for the safety’s. If the receiver is getting caught up against the sideline, it just increases the space for Thompson to read, react and play the ball. Two of his picks from last year were 50% on his range and ability and 50% on the job of the cornerback.

Seattle also preaches red-line defense so hopefully he’ll get the same kind of advantage if he ever starts for the Seahawks.

Teams were reluctant to throw the ball downfield against Colorado. Stanford only attempted a handful of downfield passes with disastrous consequences:

1st deep shot — incomplete, tight coverage with safety help

2nd deep shot — Thompson interception by the left sideline, ball slightly overthrown and Thompson lays out to make a spectacular diving catch.

3rd deep shot — Thompson’s second interception. He’s playing centerfield in a three-deep zone, he makes himself small in coverage to deceive the quarterback and sits on a seem pass. Textbook safety play.

One of the big advantages Seattle has is the unwillingness of most opponents to challenge Earl Thomas. Colorado benefitted in a similar fashion with Thompson. Those who tried it on were generally punished.

Overall his performance against Stanford was very good. On one play he lined up at the LOS and took on the tight end, fighting off the block and drawing a holding call before dumping Christian McCaffrey on a stretch-run for a TFL.

He’s not the most explosive player but he’s tough. His tackling technique isn’t Delano Hill-good but I didn’t see him miss a tackle in the four games I watched for this piece. He’s not a big hitter but he seems to get the job done.

Against Utah he flashed exceptional red-zone cover skills working against the tight end. Utah schemed a clever route for the TE to block down and then sit behind the D-line uncovered. Thompson saw the play developing and broke on the ball, tipping it into the air and almost forcing a turnover on third down. The TE just stood in stunned contemplation, wondering how he hadn’t scored.

In the fourth quarter of the same game he covered the tight on an inside slant, again making a great break on the ball after gaining position early in the route.

And, unsurprisingly, he had his customary rangy interception with 10 minutes left in the game — running from centerfield to the right sideline to pick off a deep shot (think Earl Thomas vs Atlanta, 2012). He also picked off a hail mary against the Utes.

Thompson might not be the same type of athlete as Earl Thomas — but you’re going to think twice about taking him on.

Production wise, there wasn’t a better defensive back in college football in 2016. He led the nation in defended passes with 23, averaging 1.64 a game. That average is significantly better than his peers — Tre’Davious White for example at LSU only managed 1.33 defended passes a game.

Thompson’s seven interceptions trailed only Rasul Douglas and Tavarus McFadden (eight) and he ranked fourth in the nation for pass break-ups (16).

The Seahawks struggled to make big plays and force turnovers in the secondary in 2016. It’s probably not a coincidence they drafted not only Thompson but also Shaquill Griffin (four picks, 15 PBU’s, 19 passes defended — #4 in the NCAA).

Thompson’s best fit is at free safety and while he might be simply a reserve option to Earl Thomas — the Seahawks can at least feel better about the depth they have behind their all-pro. Nobody will ever fully be able to replace Earl if he gets injured again — Thompson at least gives them a better opportunity to avoid a complete collapse in a worst case scenario.


  1. KD

    Terrific write up, Rob. I’m still pretty surprised that they didn’t use a draft pick on a LB to add some depth behind Wagner and Wright.

    • GerryG

      My guess is they didnt see the depth talent there like there was in the draft, so they grabbed those 3 guys in FA as backup linebackers/ST.

      One of these safties or McDougal will play the nickel role, we may rarely see 3 LBs on the field this year.

    • no frickin' clue

      Agreed, although possibly because we will be running a 4-2-5 an awful lot? I was still surprised because I thought PC had said during offseason that he wanted to get Wags more rest during 2017 – played too many snaps in 2016.

      • KD

        Exactly my thought. Even switching to a 4-2-5 means that both Wagner and Wright could be looking at playing upwards of 95% of all snaps. While the rotation along the DL looks really good, which is precisely where you need to rotate players a lot, I’d be worried about burning those two out

        • lil'stink

          Yeah, the guys they signed in FA don’t inspire a ton of confidence if Wagner or KJ miss a game. And KPL is KPL. Hopefully someone steps up in training camp.

    • Mike

      We do not know what players will be cut over the next few months. Schneider and Carroll always seem to pick up a brilliant late sign up for this roster. I bet we sign at least one more vet linebacker before the season starts. Also we did sign vet linebackers in free agency. They are not stars but a few of them were highly thought of coming out of college. Who knows what they may do in this system

  2. GoffMann

    Thanks, Robb. When it comes to the Seahawks, no other “expert” comes close to you. For instance, in 2012 you predicted the Hawks going for Russell Wilson and Robert Turbin. Yeah, you flip-flopped the rounds but…still. Shortly after that draft, I was sitting in the Charlotte SC airport wearing my Seahawks cap. Some guy walks by and says, “Yeah Hawks! Do you know anything about that QB we took in the 3rd round?” Having seen film of Russell on your blog, I told him this kid was the “real deal”. Thanks to you, there is some Seahawk fan who remembers talking with another Seahawk fan in Charlotte, SC and thinking that guy (me) was a prophet. And all thanks to you and this great blog.

    • Mike

      +100. Rob is money when he talks about the Seahawk players. Look at how accurate he was when he said that a lot of corners do not meet the Hawk type of arm length and reach but a lot of safeties do. Looking at the draft he called it perfectly based on the number of safeties they drafted versus DBs

  3. DC

    The longer I sit with this draft the more excited I get about this class. We have got some real quality depth again after being thin for years.

    • Jusjamn

      Not to be a downer, but they are definitely due for a good draft. It’s been a while.

      • GerryG

        13 and 14 were bad.

        15: Clark, Lockett, Rawls. Plus Glowinski (we will see if he turn into an avg/above avg starter this year). That is 4 players that may not technically be “starters” but play a ton of snaps/big role. That is a success.

        16: Ifedi, Reed, Procise, Q Jefferson, Vannett, Odiambo, Collins. Jury is still out, although Procise and Jefferson both showed they can play, they just have to stay healthy. Two starters last year, and if Procise can stay on the field will play a key role (3rd down). Can Vannett/Jefferson turn into a starter/contributor? If one can that would be 4 players again, which would make it a success.

        • GoodHawk

          2013 is an outlier in my opinion since that draft was just horrible for everyone top to bottom. So weird that an entire draft can essentially be a bust.

          2014 is looking better with time. Britt finally had a good year and in the playoffs PRich finally showed some of the talent that made him a 2nd rounder. WR room is crowded but if he stays healthy I think he will be more of a factor.

          2015 was a great draft for sure! Clark and Lockett alone make that draft a success.

          Jury is definitely still out on 2016, but I still feel good about that one. Ifedi wasn’t good, but I thought he showed potential and am a little higher on him than others are. Same with Reed. Just need more time to develop. Hope Prosise’ career isn’t defined by injuries. Kid is mad talented.

          I think the John & Pete just had such amazing success finding mid-late round superstar talent that people’s expectations are skewed. They set the bar too high for themselves in a way.

          • hawkdawg

            Reed’s rookie year was substantially better than Ifedi’s. Reed showed that he will be a productive player in the NFL. Ifedi has yet to show that.

            • GoodHawk

              Agree. I just think Ifedi showed some signs of promise.

            • Rob Staton

              Reed also had the luxury of playing next to a whole bunch of talented veterans. Ifedi got the chance to start on a line including an UDFA rookie LT, a first year starter at LG and C, with a revolving door at right tackle.

  4. Rawls1234

    Looks like there’s a lot of competition for every spot except nickel corner. Do you see anybody on the roster that can beat out Lane? It seemed like he was the weak link in the secondary when everyone was healthy.

    • Redhawk87

      McDougald, Griffin, Desir, Elliott, Thompson, and Hill could each be competing in their own way for the Nickel position. Probably McDougald as the forerunner.

    • Rob Staton

      I think all of these safety’s are going be competing for that nickel spot. McDougald with the inside track. Expect a lot of 4-2-5.

    • Steve Nelsen

      I heard an interview with Thompson after the draft and he said the coaches told him to be prepared to play corner. I am assuming they meant nickel corner.

      • GoodHawk

        I think he could play outside corner if need be. I don’t think that’s where they envision him, his range is too good that he’s for sure better utilized over the top. But he has the coverage skills to do it IMO. No secret that P&JS love versatility.

  5. Ukhawk

    In the words of McShay, Rob your analysis is “killing it”

  6. southpaw360

    I have to think there is a CB/someone on the roster they are super excited about this year. Elliott is where I’d put my money.

    I was not super excited about this draft class initially. Now that Rob is bringing me off the ledge…I think it can be very good.

    • GoodHawk

      I’m excited about Elliot. Kid is a stud athlete and I actually thought he showed some promise when he filled in towards the end of the year. Needs a lot of development but he will be a solid role player.

  7. Ukhawk

    Love this….More validation…. and not a whiff of a rival playoff team nor NFC West rival ranked ahead of us … always competing:

    Teams That Added The Most Talent
    Following this past weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft that saw the Seahawks pick up 11 new players, staff at set out to evaluate which of the League’s 32 teams added the most talent by using NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt’s Hot 150 prospect rankings as a guide.
    Based off of Brandt’s rankings, points were assigned for each draftee, with Brandt’s No. 1-rated prospect receiving 150 points, the No. 2-rated prospect receiving 149 points, and so on. From there, each teams’ total points were tallied, with the Seahawks coming in at No. 8 overall with 419 points.
    Here’s what had to say about the Seahawks:
    Score: 419 points (6 players)
    The skinny: Seattle cracks the top 8 despite not picking in Round 1, and they are the highest-ranked team of those who made the playoffs last season. They made six picks in Rounds 2-3, and all but one of those selections cracked Brandt’s Hot 150.
    The players (points):
    No. 45: Malik McDowell (106)
    No. 54: Ethan Pocic (97)
    No. 59: Tedric Thompson (92)
    No. 94: Shaquill Griffin (57)
    No. 110: Nazair Jones (41)
    No. 125: Amara Darboh (26)
    The Cleveland Browns (No. 1), New Orleans Saints (No. 2), New York Jets (No. 3), Washington Redskins (No. 4), Baltimore Ravens (No. 5), Los Angeles Chargers (T-No. 6) and Jacksonville Jaguars (T-No. 6) were the seven teams in front of the Seahawks based on Brandt’s point s

    • RealRhino2

      Gotta be honest, I know you are just using Gil Brandt’s ratings, but I don’t love Cleveland’s draft. (Well, first let’s get this out of the way: The JETS? Is he crazy? They got Adams, Maye, and a handful of crap. Even if you liked the players individually well enough, are they building a team? Two safeties and two WRs, when they have needs all over the field).

      Back to Cleveland: Don’t love it. I know Garrett is everybody’s darling, but there are also many people with some reservations about him. He’s so athletic he could stumble his way into Mario Williams’s career, but don’t know if he’ll every be a true superstar. Enough dog in him? Peppers is a projection, Njoku is a great athlete but unpolished as a route runner and underwhelming as a blocker. He’s also a bit like Garrett personality-wise, mild-mannered. Kizer was good value, but if he doesn’t turn into a good QB, who cares? Roderick Johnson probably has worse technique than frigging George Fant, Caleb Brantley is lazy and punched a woman.

      Cleveland’s best two picks, relative to their draft position, were probably Ogunjobi and Zane Gonzalez, the kicker.

      • RealRhino2

        Oh, and I know you said no other NFC West team ranked highly, but I love Arizona’s first two picks and thought they added a solid guy in G Dorian Johnson. They really improved that D with Reddick and Budda.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Cleveland would be considered to have the best draft just by virtue of their trading around and accumulating three picks in the first round. I think they made a mistake not to pick Watson QB with their 12th = but that’s just me. I would rather Watson ended up with a more polished team anyway.

        So based on number of draft picks, I can declare Cleveland the winner in 2018 too. They have two first round picks, three second round picks, one in third, two in fourth, one in fifth, two in sixth, and one in seventh.
        And maybe next year they will actually draft a decent QB.

        • RealRhino2

          Time will tell. But Cleveland had two 1st-round picks in 2012, 2014, and 2015, and they are still terrible. Goal is players, not picks. Agree with you about 2018; they’ve set themselves up for success. But for 2017, gotta evaluate the players, and I don’t think it’s the slam dunk some people say it is.

  8. Ground_Hawk

    Great work, Rob! I think Earl is one of current Seahawks who is going to end up in the hall of fame, so finding his heir apparent is no small feat. I really liked the Thompson pick, and I’m looking forward to watching his play at the NFL level. Do you think Thompson could realistically take over, after Earl hangs up his cleats?

    • Rob Staton

      Replacing Kam and Earl will be even tougher than replacing Beast Mode IMO. It’ll be very difficult. Hopefully Earl will end up playing as long as Ed Reed and wasn’t overly serious about retirement. Fingers crossed. Thompson at least has some of the skills to cover a large part of the field at FS. He is a very useful backup option and well worth a R4 pick.

      • Redhawk87

        I completely agree. I would imagine that our defense could continue to operate at a good level as long as ET3 plays, and at a very high level as long as both Kam and ET3 keep playing.
        With our new players, they could probably do well filling in, and cause our secondary not to be a liability in case these players leave or are injured. However, nothing can replace our Safety duos’ unique abilities and we would in all likelihood be weaker without them.

  9. Misfit74

    I’m excited about these guys. We have specifically targeted things we need from our players and in areas we can get ‘handled’, such as the short passing game and routes teams often find success against us. We have versatility in how we defend in packages that feature more DBs than in our base sets. They are not only depth and potentially future starters but specialists, of sorts. The NFL is about matchups and what I see here are two guys that can matchup with TEs, inside receivers (large or small), and receiving backs. I think we’ve identified weaknesses in our personnel beyond the stud starters and can plug these guys in and utilize them more or less with various game plans and situational football.

    I love what we’re doing. #GoHawks

  10. cha

    I loved that the Hawks got someone so center field rangy in this draft and didn’t have to force it or fight their board.

    I was in the stands when Earl broke his leg, and after the shock of his injury wore off we all said ‘oh great, next play is a deep throw.’ Unfortunately prescient. Thankfully the game was well in hand at that point.

    Now, if Earl has to leave the field again, there’d be almost a mildly gleeful anticipation. ‘Go ahead, test our backup out deep!’

  11. Allen K.

    This last draft has just confirmed my theory on how Pete views the secondary (in general) and how it can be exploited. I don’t think you can pick one of the DBs drafted and call them soft. In particular, their first two DB choices have the reputation as tough tacklers against the run.

    I think this is why someone like a Kevin King might have been lower on Seattle’s board then other teams. Great coverage skills but was not rated highly as a run support/tough tackler. Griffin on the other hand had the combine numbers, size/arm length, etc but also known for being a tough kid with no qualms about coming up and tackling.

    I think Pete wants CBs that are not just big but hard/sturdy. Even though Sherm is long and lanky, he has shown a toughness and lack of fear when tackling RBs around line of scrimmage. So why should this matter to Pete so much? Well my theory is Pete knows that weaker CBs are susceptible to injury when providing run support which can lead to giving up big plays later in the game. Its one thing to cover a top NFL receiver in the 1st or 2nd quarter when the CB is fresh. Its quite another when said CB is suffering from a bruised shoulder or twisted ankle from getting trucked by Marshawn Lynch in the late 3rd/early 4th quarter.

    This is also why I think JS/PC valued Lacy in free agency. A big back who can break a tackle at the line of scrimmage and make it to the 2nd/3rd lever to punish opposing team’s DBs. Soften them up for explosive plays. I would suspect that the first game against Green Bay (assuming Kevin King starts), the rookie is going to get a several opportunities (by design) to tackle Lacy. Welcome to the NFL Kevin!

    • Volume12

      This was the draft to load up on DB depth.

      And IDK why it never dawned on me considering they both come from the Ron Wolf tree, but JS and Ted Thompson both fill needs the same way. They load up on them or double, even triple, dip.

      • AlaskaHawk

        They loaded up on secondary the way they loaded up on running backs in 2016. That’s fine with me!!

    • RealRhino2

      One trap to avoid, though, is thinking that just because a team didn’t take a guy it means they weren’t really high on him. Like, as high on him as the spot they could have taken him. Davis Hsu claims he had inside information that the Hawks considered King a top 30 player. So they may have passed on him at 31 not because they didn’t love him, but because they loved McDowell more.

      I take exception with the idea that King wasn’t a tough tackler. Well, put another way, with the idea that he had qualms about coming up and tackling. When I watched the UW this year, I thought ALL of their DBs showed a willingness to stick their nose in and hit somebody. King wasn’t that *good* at it, but not for lack of trying, more for lack of technique and bulk. He could have worked on both with Seattle.

      • GerryG

        Agreed, King is a great prospect, I cant believe they didnt absolutely love him. But they have a lot of success finding good corners. They have been trying to fill the role McDowell will play since day 1.

      • Allen K.

        “I take exception with the idea that King wasn’t a tough tackler.” Not my perception but scouts perception that made it into several draft evaluations. But I agree with most of your points.

      • Tecmo SB

        “One trap to avoid, though, is thinking that just because a team didn’t take a guy it means they weren’t really high on him.”

        Very true. To expand on that let’s look at the different ways they could have have gone with their first 3 picks. Keeping in mind JS said they had King, Cam and Malik in mind early.

        DT- Malik OL- Pocic CB- Griffen
        DT- Malik CB- Awuzie OL- ? huge cliff after the bottom of rd 2
        CB- King OL- Pocic DT- Jones
        CB- King DT- Ogunjobi OL- ?
        OL- Cam CB- Awuzie DT- Jones
        OL- Cam DT- Ogunjobi CB- Griffen

        It’s pretty clear that JS secured the most value and upside at our top 3 positions of need. imo He really let the board work in his favor, to add some splash and and quality depth. The trades back really rounded out the class too.

        • Stephen H. Pitell

          Yes! HOWEVER……by moving up by hook or by crook the three third round picks into a mid second round pick plus a mid round fourth we might have gotten:


          and less depth due to fewer picks. Is Awuzie worth it? Only Griffin or Tyson or Hill will tell. All three of them will compete at CB. THEN fooling us all, Thorpe wins the competition at CB making the rookies redshirts mostly – though one or two might find themselves starring on the ST’s.

          I’m pretty convinced Pete and John played this draft better than I would have. SHOCKING!

  12. Hawks22Fun

    After seeing Griffin’s and Tedric’s stats, WOW!

    I am blown away! I remember watching Colorado and definitely seeing a secondary that came to hunt/play!

    This is the infusion we needed!

  13. Greg Haugsven

    If you say Hill is a tackling machine but not flashy I think that is fantastic. To many times guys try to get Sportscenter hits where he doesn’t get the ball carrier down. Earl does this sometimes and it drives me crazy. That is a trait that I like.

    • Greg Haugsven

      We have another guy on our team that is a tacking machine who isn’t flashy as well. His name is KJ Wright.

      • Redhawk87

        Same with Wagner. Both our LB are truly exceptional tacklers. Wagner combines some great hits too, but both ensure their target can’t wiggle their way away for additional yards.

        • Stephen H. Pitell

          All the rookie DB’s have the potential to turn into various forms of the nickel or dime corner/safety hybrid. I think this team is morphing into a mutant hybrid.

    • Ishmael

      This. Drives me wild, exactly why I wasn’t interested in Justin Evans.

      • Greg Haugsven

        You mean Earl always trying to give knockout blows instead of just getting the guy to the ground?

        • Ishmael

          That too. Wait for the season, I yell about it all the time haha

  14. Volume12

    Tedric Thompson- Love the ball skills and range! He breaks things down so quickly it allows him to play faster than he tested. The football IQ looks to be off the charts.

    Love that production.

    He’s not gonna blow up blockers, but he’ll glide around the field, and fill run lanes, alleys, and gaps with explosive aggression.

    His tackling ain’t bad at all as mentioned, just needs better technique and that’s a coaching issue.

    Throwback guy right here. Makes big time plays in big time situations. Definition of a ball hawk.

    • Volume12

      His versatility will allow him to be featured in cover 1 and cover 3 looks *

  15. Volume12

    Delano Hill- why drafted so high? Because he doesn’t have holes in his games or bad habits. Those guys will always get taken earlier.

    Hill is a complete safety man. That attitude he plays with is incredibly ‘Seahawky.’ IMO his COD is better than Tedric Thompson’s. He can line up in the slot and probably in a pinch be used at WILL LB.

    Like his upside in coverage, but he is so fun attacking downhill. Very fundamentally sound tackling skills.

    He’s another throwback. As Rob mentioned, he’s not flashy, but he plays the game correctly.

    Had Hill been drafted by someone else? He’s an instant starter. Also like the fact he got great NFL coaching at the collegiate level.

    Seattle got a ton of ST’s help in this draft and a bunch of versatility.

  16. nichansen01

    In two or three years, do Hill and Thompson have starting potential? Or are these guys career backups.

    • Rob Staton

      If Earl and Kam are still playing in two or three years, they’re not starters. Their ability to become starters is tied to the longevity of the careers of the current starting FS and SS.

      What the Seahawks have done here is what a lot of people wanted. Depth at DB, preparing for the future if necessary and adding quality players to cover for any future injuries without spending premium R1-2 picks.

      • Naks

        Or they force their way onto the field by playing 4-2-5.

        • Rob Staton

          They seem intent on starting Bradley McDougald at the big nickel this year.

          • Eburgz

            What makes you think that?

            My thoughts-
            I think he has the inside track too, but also it’s an open competition for the nickel spot and the oustide corner spot with (lane the favorite to start outside and mcdougald in the slot). JS talked about Hill, Thompson, Griffen and Coleman all playing in the slot. I hope one of them balls out and wins the competition at nickle and lane starts outside and has a bounce back year. My one issue with the draft is I feel like this was the one position on the roster that we could clearly upgrade and I wish we would have taken a DB earlier even though I loved getting Shaq in the third. (actually I have a second issue with drafting no tight). Hopefully one of the guys we drafted becomes a better player than Obi, Baker, Awuzie, Maye (all guys I wanted for that role we passed on) and also hope McDowell is better than Wormley (who I liked better). It would be a bummer to come out of this draft with zero starters (it’s a real possibility) but I trust the coaches to develop these later round DB’s and hope McDowell fulfills his potential and pocic becomes a decent starting o-lineman (by year 2 at the latest).

            I’ll be following my picks for the Hawks (Baker and Wormley) and judging them against the Hawks pics for those positions/roles (3t/nickle). I don’t think I know better than the Hawks front office and I totally trust them but it’s still fun to follow your favorite prospects. My favorite players I wanted for the Hawks last year were Sean Davis and Shilique Calhoun and I’m still waiting for them to prove me right haha.

            • Eburgz

              Another likely scenario I see is Lane staying in the slot and one of Elliot/Desir/Griffen stepping up outside.

            • Stephen H. Pitell

              I agree that following the draft closely, and becoming familiar with players who end up on other teams makes the entire fandom thing more fun. That’s what I am here for. I’ll follow lots of guys now I wouldn’t have otherwise, including every Seahawk rookie drafted this year. I had my eye on McDowell as a possible only. Otherwise, nada. But now they are here, let;s hope for the best and root for everyone’s success.

      • nichansen01

        I guess what I meant is, if we move on from Kam and Earl retires… will we be scrambling for replacements or will we look to these guys?

        • Rob Staton

          It’s impossible to say today.

      • Hughz

        i am impressed with Hill’s highlights. I think this gives JS the flexibility to stand firm on Kam’s contract. I think Kam will be seeking $30M+ over a 3 year contract and will end up in free agency next year.

        • Hughz

          And I think some team will be glad to pay that. Sadly it won’t be the Hawks.

        • AlaskaHawk

          We don’t even know whether Kam will survive the season with out a major injury. We also don’t know how our rookies will work out. There is too much speculation about a players worth. Let Kam play out the year and then decide on his worth.

  17. nichansen01

    Also another thing to note is that Kam gets injured very often. We will likely see Hill on the field quite a bit this year.

  18. nichansen01

    It seems like the competition for right corner right now is between Shaquill Griffen, Neiko Thorpe and Jeremy Lane.

    I, personally, will be rooting for Griffen to win.

    • BobbyK

      Elliott is right there, too. He’s the one who replaced Shead in the play-offs.

      • John_s

        Pierre Desir was getting some positive comments at the end of last year too

        • Redhawk87

          I honestly don’t think Thorpe will ever get much CB playing time. He, like Marsh, are fantastic on ST but mediocre at best in natural defense positions.
          I bet Lane gets the first shot at outside CB, given hsving starter experience, with others aiming to beat him out by the bye week. Shead should be healthy by the bye, and is also an established corner. Elliot, Desir, and Griffin should all make the roster, barring injuries, and have the best chance to earn the starter spot going forward, getting the occasional snaps at nickel and in exhaustion relief (giving starters rests to keep them sharp).

          • Kenny Sloth

            Does Lane slide inside when in nickel?

            I dont think this is an open competition

            • Redhawk87

              They’d be in nickel during the vast majority of defensive snaps. Given he did not play well at nickel last year, and they’ve spoken of moving him to compete outside, it is explicitly an open competition the two cornerback spots (outside and nickel) not occupied by Sherman.

  19. GeoffU

    Very Seahawky. The more I find out about our picks, the more I get the feeling Pete and John got all the guys they set out to get.

  20. RWIII

    Rob: Excellent write up one Delano Hill. It seems like the Hawks hit pay dirt with Hill. Hill sure looked like a tackling machine in the Ohio State game.

    • Dave

      +1, love the Hill pick. Mich Ohio State was an epic game.

      • hawkdawg

        Really like the way he breaks down in the open field. Not tentative, but safe.

  21. RWIII

    John Schneider is amazing when it comes to the draft. Schneider targets players and he always seems to hit his target.

    • Saxon

      Well, to be fair, one of the reasons he usually gets the guy he wants is that he isn’t afraid to reach for a guy. We’ve seen this in a few drafts and it accounts for some of the middling draft grades Seattle has gotten over the years.

      But, you can’t definitively say he “always seems to hit his target” since we don’t know who he wanted and missed. There’s a lot of confirmation bias in the draft, insomuch as it seems like the players we selected were the one’s we really wanted, but it’s just a measure of who slipped to us on our draft board. Guaranteed Schneider actually missed a bunch of guys he thought would be there and weren’t.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think the whole draft mystique is way overblown with Seahawks. They have had some great picks and also some notable failures.

        The great picks that John Schneider and Pete Carroll built their reputation on:
        Right out of the gate, first round Russell Okung and Earl Thompson. Top 15 – yes it’s nice to know what sort of quality you can get in that draft position.

        Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman in 5th rounds or later. Got a couple diamonds in the rough.

        Most especially Russell Wilson in the 3rd.

        Free agent hires Bennett, Avril , and Graham. Great picks all.

        Those are the players that have made their reputation. All great picks and decisions.

        I’m going to end here on a positive note. I’ll just say that I lost that rosy glow of PC can do no wrong many years ago.

        • AlaskaHawk

          Oops forgot about our great Linebacking core of Wagner, and KJ Wright.

          And our best free agent: Marshawn Lynch – how could I forget him?

          • Comfect

            We traded for Lynch.

            • Nolan

              Also drafted JR sneezy in round 7 who is now a big money starter in league, signed Doug Baldwin Kearse, Walter Thurmond who was a damn good player, Byron maxwell who was a stud on the Hawks, they also found Brandon browner in Canada …. uts not that they can do no wrong it just that it becomes harder to fill holes and roles when they started they wanted to change just about every player on the roster so it was much easier to churn through talent and find more diamonds because you have more reps to give players, now the reps are more limited. Not that they haven’t made mistakes or picked players that haven’t worked out but I think there track record is as good as anybodys

              • Stephen H. Pitell

                Better than anybody’s. Otherwise, I sure wish we had a button to “thumbs up” it would save me writing “+1” and such.

  22. HawkTalker #1

    Anyone have a link to all the current Seahawk players on the roster, complete list including those drafted and UDFAs?

    • HawkTalker #1

      Interested to see it as the approach their cap number of players, pre first cut. What is the max anyway, 93?

      • Redhawk87

        Hey HawkTalker, the max is 90 players at this stage in the offseason. The first cut to 75 is typically after the 3rd preseason game, with the cut to 53 after the 4th.
        The current roster can be found here:

  23. millhouse-serbia

    Rob can you compare Obi and Hill as a potential “big nickel”?

  24. millhouse-serbia

    Rob I have just read some of yours texts from previous years(

    It is obvious that you can be a great scout, but just for the record you are great journalist too.

    • Stephen H. Pitell

      Rob’s a HYBRID Journalist/Scout and I wouldn’t be surprised if Pete and John wish Rob was less good or less well known at this point. He acts as a free scout for the opposition as to what the Hawks might be thinking. On the other hand, and re-thinking Pete and John’s reactions, perhaps they take Rob in stride as just another reality and affirmation that they are doing things right. They probably wish Rob well, and may make use of his reports as much as any other team.

      • Rob Staton

        I suspect they don’t even know who Rob is 🙂

        I think they’ve got better things to do than read my blog.

  25. Sea Mode

    JS make it happen!!! 😉


    #Vikings have released safety Cedric Thompson, per source.

    5:53 PM – 3 May 2017

  26. Sea Mode

    A good laugh…

    • Allen K.


  27. Sea Mode

    Looks like we are not done looking at the LB spot after all…


    • nichansen01


    • C-Dog

      He was formerly coached up new DL coach Clint Hurtt in Chicago. If they like Dion Jordan to be tried at 5 tech, they might want to add more competition at LEO.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Dion Jordan is probably a LB for us

        • Drew

          No he’s not. He’s 280lb and Pete has already said he’ll play DE/DT, not LB

  28. Sea Mode

    Awesome! I was hoping for this one.

    Brandon Cottom

    Thank you Lord! Blessed to be staying in Seattle! I’m back!!😈 #GoHawks #12thMan

    1:39 PM – 3 May 2017

    • NathanM

      Might have been replaced if we drafted a TE but a good fallback option, IMO. Hopefully healthy and able to take the next step this year.

      • Stephen

        i think they brought him in to compete at fullback

        • Shadow

          Yep, they had him playing fullback in training camp before he got hurt last year.

  29. Saxon

    Love the Thompson pick. Instincts for days. Raw foot speed isn’t helpful if you’re running the wrong way. Having a guy with average speed as your last line of defense is worrisome, but his smarts and moxie will mitigate that.

    While we can’t be 100% certain how other teams viewed Delano Hill, it does seem like he went a round early. I can’t believe we took this guy with CJ Beathard still on the board 🙂

    Rob, do you think Hill can compete at corner?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s unlikely he’d stick at corner. Better inside.

  30. Sea Mode

    So here’s what sold Dodds on Cyril Grayson beyond the 4.3 speed:

    It wasn’t just that Grayson looked good as a receiver, but also that Dodds knew that Grayson, who at that point didn’t have an agent, had not been training at one of the top facilities that help athletes prepare for pre-draft workouts such as EXOS or IMG.

    “He didn’t look out of place in workouts, he caught everything, and he had no agent, he’s obviously doing this on his own,” Dodds said. “It shows he’s a self-starter.”

    • nichansen01

      Would be so cool if he made the team. Wr competition is fierce this year.

      • Jujus

        Hoping he might show talent as the kr/pr since we didnt draft an heir apparent for no E

        • Redhawk87

          I really hope both Grayson and Darboh make the team. Neither would make it to the PS.

    • sdcoug

      This was from a cool story reading about Dodds scouting trips through LA, MS, etc. I would definitely recommend it to anyone curious about the pre-draft leg work. Anyway, it got me thinking. I have no doubt they were intrigued by Grayson and he’s the type of guy you’re hoping to have first shot at…but I wonder if making the Grayson signing highly publicized they were also hoping to draw attention away from their interest in Pocic a bit

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Grayson’s ST capabilities should put him over the top. They may start the season with Lockett and/or Shead on PUP and fit Grayson in that spot.

  31. Sea Mode

    I’m glad to hear at least one opinion that attributes Shaq Griffin’s struggles I saw on tape to coaching.

    Transcription of Hugh Millen discussing CB Shaquille Griffin on KJR Radio, May 1, 2017 by user Stevo’s on Field Gulls.

    “I watched this kid. Good body, good frame, runs well. I think he’s been coached poorly.

    He gives up the inside too much. The way he plays press, he has his hands-up at the line of scrimmage. Well, the Seahawks teach ‘hands-down’. He’s head-up or outside, why is he doing that? Seahawks teach ‘inside-eye’. There are a lot of things they’re going to do with him from a techniques standpoint.

    He doesn’t process route concepts in front of him, he gets beat where he is stuttering his feet, and you ask ‘why is he doing that?’ He doesn’t understand how the slot receiver is impacting him even though he is covering the outside receiver. So there are a lot of signs to me that he doesn’t have the polish mentally about playing corner.

    I think what Seattle feels like is ‘we’ll teach him the Seahawks way’. There are a lot of things he’ll do [differently] in their channeled outside coverage, like, he’s going to turn his ass to the QB, and he’s going to be playing inside-out, trying to stay on top, and he’ll never have to worry about deciphering those concepts.

    So there are a lot of reasons for them to feel that this guy can play their brand of cornerback.”

    • Kenny Sloth

      Dude for real. I got into a big fight with my DB’s coach in high school over this.

      “Why wouldn’t I use the sideline to tighten the window?”

      “Just push him inside to the seam!!!”

  32. astraeus

    Wow. Tony Pauline says 7 of Seahawks picks received 1st or 2nd round grades from the team.

    • nichansen01

      My predictions are that:
      McDowell got a first round grade
      Pocic, Griffen, Thompson, Naz Jones and Delano Hill got second round grades.
      And Darboh was the third round grade.

  33. Sea Mode



    Per source Seahawks waive RB Kelvin Taylor, son of Fred Taylor.

    6:42 AM – 4 May 2017

    • nichansen01

      Makes sense. Really crowded backfield.

      • Redhawk87

        Sheesh yeah… 12 players for 4-5 spots… with most of those spots already locked (Lacy, Rawls, and Prosise are 100% locks)

  34. cha

    Bob Condotta‏ @bcondotta · 29m29 minutes ago
    Carroll says he doesn’t think any team “would offer us anything that would make it worthwhile” to trade Sherman, basically saying it’s done

    Bob Condotta‏ @bcondotta · 31m31 minutes ago
    Carroll on his relationship with Richard Sherman: “I think it’s as good as it’s ever been.”

    Bob Condotta‏ @bcondotta · 32m32 minutes ago
    Carroll says Kam Chancellor still recovering from surgery on both ankles and not full speed yet.

    Bob Condotta‏ @bcondotta · 39m39 minutes ago
    Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle says Tyler Lockett “still a ways out” from being full go but says Jimmy Graham looks “the best” he has.

    • cha

      Bob Condotta‏ @bcondotta · 34m34 minutes ago
      Carroll say Earl Thomas is on track to be ready for start of season.

      • Sea Mode

        Best. News. Ever. (ETIII)

        • nichansen01

          My prediction is Tyler and shead start on PUP

  35. CHawk Talker Eric

    McShay’s waaay too early 2018 mock has SEA picking 31(NEP picks 32).

    • nichansen01

      I saw a mock with us picking Bo Scarbough. I would love that pick.

    • Rob Staton

      That wouldn’t be much fun

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Right? If we aren’t picking 32, then better to pick earlier.

        • Rob Staton

          I was more thinking about losing another Super Bowl to New England…

          • Bryan C

            We will be picking 32, with Oakland at 31. That will be an amazing Super Bowl, Beast Mode vs LOB.

  36. BobbyK

    LT – Fant, Joeckel, Rees (no particular order)
    LG – Joeckel, Rees (no particular order)
    C – Britt
    RG – Glowinski
    RT – Ifedi

    That’s what I took out of what Pete Carroll said today. Anyone else come to any conclusions? They obviously didn’t draft Pocic in the second round to do nothing with him, but this looks like a pretty good guesstimate right now if we use his words.

    • Drew

      I heard they are trying to find Joeckel’s best fit on the left side. If he settles at LT, then Glow/Rees at LG, Glow/Pocic at RG. If Joeckel settles at LG, Fant at LT and Glow/Pocic at RG

    • NathanM

      I thought Aboushi was supposed to be a key competitor at RG too.

      Semi-related, pre-draft interview with UDFA OL Jordan Roos:

    • Redhawk87

      Per the interview, the left side is right, and I think in that order given Carroll’s choice of words.
      Britt is not competing for any other spot. He’s staying at C.
      Aboushi v. Glowinski is an open competition at RG right now
      Focusing Ifedi just at RT right now
      Pocic will be training on the right side, with plenty of versatility.

  37. Peanut

    Just noticed we have some DB called Demetrius McCray on the roster? He any good?

    • nichansen01

      No clue

  38. JimQ

    I’m not sure exactly what this is showing other than the variability between 40 times and
    actual 10 yard get off times that imply the 40 yard dash isn’t the end all, be all. Also note the 40 yard dash is a track event and doesn’t relate directly to football. Lack of specific training and repetitions, and unnatural football moves, especially with using starting blocks is a very big variable to all of the participants. Might be a better overall speed test if all participants started from a standing position which would be a more consistent method of speed determination (eliminating the starting blocks and track style setup) for football players, but that is just an IMO.

    Some top Safety prospects – ranked by 10 yard splits. (xxx) = 4/24/17 ranking.

    FS-Budda Baker(42): 4.45/40, 2.59/20, 1.56/10
    FS-Marcus Maye(47): 4.47/40, 2.71/20, 1.57/10
    ——SEAHAWK——FS-DELANO HILL(119): 4.47/40, 2.62/20, 1.58/10
    FS-John Johnson(128): 4.61/40, 2.66/20, 1.58/10
    FS-Rayshawn Jenkens(173): 4.51/40, 2.61/20, 1.59/10
    FS-Marcus Williams(43): 4.56/40, 2.68/20, 1.61/10

    SS-Josh Jones(48): 4.41/40, 2.61/20, (2.5-prd day), 1.58/10, (1.5-pro day)
    SS-Obi Melinfonwu(52): 4.40/40, 2.55/20, 1.51/10
    SS-Shalom Luani(302): 4.55/40, 2.51/20, 1.51/10
    SS-Justin Evans(114): 4.60/40, 2.67/20, 1.57/10
    SS-Jamal Adams(3): 4.56/40, (4.40-pro day), 2.67/20, (2.57-pro day), 1.60/10, (1.58-pro day)
    ——SEAHAWK——SS-TEDRICK THOMPSON(207): 4.60/40, 2.68/20, 1.63/10

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