Breaking down the draft class: Malik McDowell & Nazair Jones

A lot of the reaction to the Seahawks draft class has been based around one question:

This was a great draft for cornerbacks. Why did they wait until pick #90 to take one?

The answer lies in the first sentence. It was a really deep, solid group of cornerbacks. This was a year where you could find one in round three. It wasn’t a draft littered with interior defensive linemen. If you wanted one, you had to get in there early.

Let’s use the gradings (compiled by Lance Zierlein) as an example:

Interior D-line grades for players available in the #26-35 range:

Malik McDowell — 6.2
Chris Wormley — 5.8
Demarcus Walker — 5.6

Interior D-line grades from pick #90:

Montravius Adams — 5.6
Nazair Jones — 5.5
Jaleel Johnson — 5.6

Cornerback grades for players available in the #26-35 range

Kevin King — 5.8
Quincy Wilson — 5.7
Ahkello Witherspoon — 5.7
Fabian Moreau — 5.7

Cornerback grades from pick #90:

Shaquill Griffin — 5.6
Cordrea Tankersley — 5.7
Cam Sutton — 5.6

If they’d drafted Kevin King (5.8) and Montravius Adams (5.6) the total grade value is 0.4 weaker than Malik McDowell (6.2) and Shaquill Griffin (5.6).

That’s not insignificant.

The aim had to be to come out of this deep class with more than one potential defensive starter. By drafting the D-liner first and using the depth at cornerback to your advantage — the Seahawks addressed two positions in a satisfactory way.

Furthermore, they weren’t the only team to use this approach. The Dallas Cowboys, despite an extreme need in the secondary, took Taco Charlton with their first pick despite admitting they had a second round grade on him. The reason? They knew they could get cornerbacks later. They couldn’t get a pass rusher they liked later.

I mentioned this in our draft review on Saturday — but it feels like we all got caught up in the ‘cornerback depth hype’. When you’re constantly told by the pundits that it’s a great cornerback class, there’s a tendency to let it re-shape your opinion on what the Seahawks should or shouldn’t do.

Following the defeat to Atlanta in the playoffs a lot of people were talking about improving the O-line as a priority and possibly targeting Calais Campbell in free agency. Cornerback was seen as a need because of the Deshawn Shead injury — but we also knew how the Seahawks operated. Wait until the mid or later rounds and draft to develop.

Somewhere between January and April, a lot of people (myself included) determined cornerback (slot or outside) was the main need.

It absolutely was one of the needs — but not any more or less important than interior pass rush of the offensive line.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself the Seahawks would draft a player the coach and GM specifically compared to Calais Campbell and a technically gifted offensive lineman from the SEC — the January version of you would probably be doing cartwheels.

Furthermore, Shaquill Griffin isn’t just a guy they found among the scraps of a good cornerback class. In 2016 he ranked fourth for passes defended in the NCAA:

#1 Tedric Thompson — 23
#2 Ahkello Witherspoon — 22
#3 Rashard Fant — 20
#4 Shaq Griffin — 19

Notice Seattle drafted #1 and #4 in passes defended. Griffin also ranked sixth in the nation for pass break-ups (15) and he had four picks.

So while we can quibble about McDowell’s perceived effort problems in 2016 or the boom-or-bust nature of this pick — let’s also realise there’s a very clear method behind what the Seahawks did on Friday.

Ten days before the draft I wrote a piece about McDowell visiting Seattle, noting I didn’t think he would be picked by the Seahawks because of his personality and nature. A typical Seahawk is Nazair Jones (who we’ll come onto in a minute) — all fire and brimstone. McDowell didn’t really fit the bill.

Ultimately I called that one very wrong. McDowell’s potential and upside, plus Seattle’s relentless search for a dynamic inside/out rusher, was much more important than the personality he expressed to the media.

In fairness we did acknowledge that he could be a target if they traded down:

If they do ultimately draft him, they’ll believe in the size and quickness — they’ll think he’s possibly worth the risk because his talent is extreme. If they did select him you’d give them the benefit of the doubt because of his extreme ceiling. D-liners don’t have to be press conference stars but they do need to be ready to go to war every week. We saw Nkemdiche in Arizona in 2016 with his great physical profile basically be a total non-factor as a rookie. The fear has to be that McDowell could be similar.

That said — there aren’t many players with the ability to anchor and bull rush inside combined with the quickness to play the edge and get to the QB. He could be really good. Can you trust him to be great though? And if he falls to #26 with this physical profile, isn’t that in itself a warning sign?

It might be that they’re willing to trade down, possibly into early round two, and that could be the type of range where they feel comfortable taking a chance on McDowell.

It’s time to put those words into practise and give the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt. You’d never question his potential — it was always about his character fit in Seattle. Now that they’ve actually drafted him, it’s time to focus on what he brings to the team.

For starters, he’s always had a very natural and rare athleticism for his size. Here’s a recruitment video from Rivals before he committed to Michigan State. Immediately you can see why he’s different:

McDowell makes it look so easy. He was already listed at 6-6 and 292lbs when he entered college. He was a legit 5-star recruit, garnering offers from Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Oregon, Notre Dame, USC and UCLA. When you see all of the big names on the list — you know he’s special.

Really that’s what you see in his MSU tape too. When McDowell’s playing at his best, he makes it look ridiculously easy. Teams will throw a double team at him and he has the foot speed and quickness to just side-step both blocks and break into the backfield. On other occasions he’ll drive the double team into the backfield. He bends the arc as an EDGE rusher better than most 260lbs rushers and there’s evidence of him one-arm bull-rushing a guard into the quarterback’s lap.

In one play against Purdue in 2015 he lines up opposite the left guard and has the foot-speed to stunt to the outside, round the left tackle, draw a holding penalty and destroy a pulling tight end who came in to support the tackle. He made the sack. It’s an incredible play for a player with his size.

In a 2015 play against Oregon, McDowell drove the center three yards deep his own backfield on fourth and goal leading to a turnover on downs. The rest of the LOS remained stationery.

When pundits say he can be absolutely dominant at the next level and one of the top players in the NFL — they aren’t exaggerating. That’s his ceiling.

So why did he last to pick #35?

You don’t really need me to point it out by now. He slouched through the back-end of a bad season for MSU in 2016. The sight of him walking around in the backfield as heated rival Michigan scored a touchdown was the straw that broke the camels back. He started the year being touted as a top-10 lock. By December nobody was talking about him.

Still, he had a chance to regain some momentum during the off-season. Yet the reports from the combine were not positive:

“Worst interview we did,” said one team. Added another: “Awful interview. Awful.”

“Does he love football? Is he going to work? I can’t figure out what makes this kid tick. He might be the type who, maybe he falls and it lights a fire under him. I don’t know. But I need that light on more often, and he didn’t like it when we asked him about that. McDowell might never fully show his full skill, but passing on him also means you’re missing out on a potentially rare talent.”

This is maybe where the Seahawks have an advantage in their approach. Some teams will pair his introverted personality with a questionable love for the game. Carroll and co. likely just see another opportunity to develop a unique talent.

‘Learn the learner’ as Carroll said in one of the press conferences during the draft.

After all — there aren’t any reports of any off-field incidents. He’s never been arrested. He’s never been kicked off the practise field, fought with a teammate or failed a drugs test. There are just some sloppy games at the end of a bad season.

There are some technical flaws that are well advertised. His pass rush repertoire is quite basic. He generally plays out of control, going all-out to get into the backfield while often ceding a running lane or failing to handle his assigned gap. His over-exuberance was well highlighted in a rush against Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramcyzk when he put his head down and charged at Ramcyzk, who just nudged him to the ground using his momentum against him. The running back piled on top and took him out of the play. It was too easy.

There are possibly justifiable reasons why McDowell struggled with technique. His stance isn’t particularly good when lining up inside — but then he was asked to play nose tackle for MSU. It’s an ill-fit for a 6-6, 295lbs lineman and likely only came about because he was the only player on the roster capable of absorbing double teams. It’s not unfair to suggest he compensated on technique just to survive — because despite his unique size and talent, he’s not a nose tackle.

Because he’s shown evidence of a productive bull-rush, extreme power and fantastic heavy hands — it’d be nice to see him first and foremost develop a consistent power move. This could help him create more splash plays and play within himself more. You don’t always have to have a clean run to the QB if you can shove the guard or center into the quarterback. You’re also better placed to keep your eyes up and read what the running back is doing.

These are fairly minor things overall and you’d expect a 20-year-old to need some guidance. Coming to work every day with Michael Bennett could be the best thing that ever happens to McDowell. It should also help him come out of his shell a little bit as a character too.

He’s one of the most natural, rare athletes at 6-6 and 295lbs. Considering there aren’t many really good interior rushers in the NFL — you can certainly argue this was a shot worth taking. Especially given Seattle’s desperate need for an interior rusher stretching back many years.

The Seahawks ranked third in sacks last season with 42. The team in first place, Arizona, had 48. They blitz a ton so it’s understandable — but they also had Calais Campbell anchoring the line and controlling the offense. It’ll take time for McDowell to get anywhere near that level — but if he can disrupt the interior, command extra blockers and make life easier for the edge rushers — watch out.

Seattle wants to use a four man rush to make plays in the secondary. When they put McDowell, Bennett, Clark and Avril on the field — they might have the most dangerous four-man rush in football.

Notes on Nazair Jones

For this study I watched two games — Duke and Stanford.

The first thing to notice about Jones is his personality. It seems Red Bryant-esque. It’s hard to know for sure but watching the North Carolina games he looked like the emotional leader. High intensity, big personality. The type of BAMF a lot of us wanted to see drafted this year.

It’s fun to think about Jarran Reed playing next to Naz Jones in base. That’s a couple of dog’s right there. It’s even more fun to think about Malik McDowell and Quinton Jefferson rotating in for passing downs. The future of Seattle’s D-line appears to be in good shape.

Jones’ length really stands out on tape. Like McDowell he has nearly 35 inch arms. He can press a blocker and keep his frame clean. He’s got a really nice initial punch to jolt O-liners off balance. It helps him control his gap and make plays in the run game — plus quite often he disengages to make plays in the backfield. He had 9.5 TFL’s in 2016 and broke up three passes.

He’s tailor made to play inside. He’s strong in the lower body with minimal bad weight. He carries 304lbs very well on a 6-5 frame. He’s not too heavy and that helps when he occasionally has to work down the line and chase down a running back.

We highlighted after the draft that short-area quickness appears to be important for Seattle’s D-liners. Jones ran a 4.63 short shuttle and Malik McDowell a 4.53. Jordan Hill ran a 4.51 in 2013 and Jaye Howard a 4.47 in 2012. Quinton Jefferson ran a superb 4.37.

While Jones is the slowest of the group in this area, he still flashes that sudden change of direction and ability to exploit gaps when he wins with initial contact. There was one play against Duke where he just won with get-off to break into the backfield and before the quarterback had time to think, Jones was hitting him for the sack.

It was assumed he might just be a Tony McDaniel replacement — someone who can be stout and anchor the LOS on first and second down. There’s at least some potential for Jones to be more than that. If nothing else, he’ll likely be more of a threat on those early downs to create some pressure.

He can also compete. In the Bowl game against Stanford (the one where Solomon Thomas dominated) Jones had a really strong performance. On one sack he fights through traffic, ploughing through the center and one of the guards to get to the QB.

His get off can be really good. You see examples where he times the snap count to perfection and just wins because he’s the first man off the ball.

Jones is also patient and importantly for this scheme — his gap control is good. He allows plays to develop before reading the running back and making the stop.

It’s possible I just watched Jones’ best two games of the season. I’ve seen it suggested he needs to be more consistent, that he doesn’t have effective counters and he isn’t much of a pass rusher. I didn’t see much evidence of that and I think playing within a loaded D-line rotation will mean he can be a better pass rusher than people realise.

I feel a little bit guilty for not spending more time on him during the draft season because his play and intensity is a good fit for the personality of this defense. I’ll admit I was put off by his lack of explosive traits (8-5 broad, 24.5 inch vertical). With a stream of brilliant, explosive D-line athletes entering the league — Jones tested very poorly. We missed out on discussing a really fun player due to a red herring on athleticism, so that’s on me.

That’s possibly one of the reasons he was available in the late third round.

Jones has the attitude and skills to be a valuable addition. He appears to have the character to develop into a strong voice in the locker room over time.

When Seattle won the Super Bowl in 2013 they had a loaded D-line rotation. For the first time since 2013, they seem to have the same kind of depth following this draft.


  1. southpaw360

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve checked back about 100 times today hoping it would be up. Now I have to read it……..

    • AlaskaHawk

      I really enjoyed the depth of this article. Who knew our picks at secondary had defended so many passes? Amazing indeed!!!! And fits in with my notion that sometimes people get caught up in the combine numbers to the detriment of just picking great football players. Thanks Pete for picking some ballers!!!

      • Naks

        Great research. We all did fall in love with these sexy db picks when we knew the Seahawks are all about value. Kind of like last year when everyone else was grabbing the next von miller we got value picks

  2. Sean-O

    Another stellar article Rob!

    I think another to look at things is this. If you have young and/or inexperienced corners, what’s one of the ways to make things easier on them? Pressure the QB like crazy as to where they have to don’t have to cover quite as long.

    Also, hopefully this d-line rotation will help generate more turnovers….

    • Redhawk87

      More pocket pressure –> more distractions for the QB. More QB distractions –> more mistakes –> more interceptions. QBs will have to either risk a sack or throw without ensuring the DBs can’t cut the route. Sometimes the QB will make the throw, but it greatly increases the chance of our young DBs using their athleticism to impact the play.

  3. PPast

    Excellent as always. How does Quinton Jefferson compare to Naz? Do we know if Jefferson is healthy enough to challenge this year?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Jefferson is quicker and that shows in the testing results. More of a pass rusher. Jones more of an all-rounder.

    • Nathan_12thMan

      Well, he’s up and running;

      Whether or not that means he’s 2 weeks or 8 weeks away from being cleared for full practice/play, I have no clue.

    • RealRhino2

      Remember QJeff’s college coach doing a radio hit last year after the draft saying he needed to get stronger to play the run better and be a better all-around player. Don’t think Naz has that weakness.

  4. GerryG

    Really excited about the young core of DT assembled the past 2 years. Lets hope they can develop and stay healthy.

    More youth needed soon on the edges.

    • Coleslaw


  5. Trevor

    Great write up as always Rob!

    Have to admit a DL rotation 10 deep feels like 2012-2013.


    Really anxious to see the impact of the new DL coach as well he seems to have gotten great results from lesser talent in the past.

    • Trevor

      I guess 9 deep not 10 🙂

      • Naks

        Keeping Bennett and Avril fresh will only help us more on third down. McDowell and maybe Jones can play that anchor end role like red Bryant on run downs so we get some beef.

      • 80SLargent

        Add Garrison Smith, there’s 10.

    • DC

      Rubin, Reed & Jones provide the beef.

      Avril & Bennett have been killing QBs for years.

      Clark is taking off.

      McDowell & Jefferson represent hope for that interior pressure to tie it all together.

      Marsh? Special teams ace at this point.

    • nichansen01



        He’s right, fellas.

    • nichansen01

      Dion Jordan can unlock his potential under Carroll. Could be a steal of a pick up. I’m excited. Superb D-line depth now.

      • Trevor

        Great point about Jordan! If he can even scratch the surface of his potential then it would be 10 deep.

        • Redhawk87

          If Jordan does ball out in camp, and Marsh and Jefferson are healthy (I would consider them near locks if healthy), then yeah, I could easily see DL having 10 players. That’d leave 4-5 for the LB position (2 starters 2-3 backups in case of IR/Special Teams) and 11-12 for the DB position (5 starters, 6-7 backups).

          LB locks (2): Wagner, Wright (no idea who would win the remaining 2-3 spots)
          DB locks (10): Sherman, Chancellor, Thomas, Lane, Shead, Griffin, Thompson, Hill, Thorpe, McDougald
          (I would bet on Desir/Elliott/Tyson being the remaining primary competition)

          • nichansen01

            Why not play Marsh at SAM.

            • Redhawk87

              Because that’s not going to be a position in our defense.
              DE – DT – DT – DE
              MLB – WL
              OCB – NDB – SS – OCB

              Our personnel and scheme are built towards only 2 LB, with SAM replaced by NDB. Better for coverage. CB role if more WR, SS role if more RB/TE.

              • josh

                And this is the most exciting thing about this next season. 4 stud rushers going after the quarterback while we have excellent coverage. Our interceptions will be up this year because of improved d-line

                • Smitty1547

                  I think there will still be times short yardage and goal line where we will have a Sam in play, just not significantly as it has been.

            • LLLOGOSSS

              They tried it in camp last year and he didn’t make it very far in the competition. Pumpkins made it farther than he did, and he was eventually cut. They didn’t like him out in coverage.

              • LLLOGOSSS

                Lol, *Pinkins, but if we ever hear of him again let’s all please call him pumpkins.

    • RWIII

      You are forgetting about someone. . What about Dion Jordan?

  6. Nick

    These were the two players I was most excited to hear about from you, Rob. I think your “big picture” perspective about this draft is spot on.

    What were we all complaining about last season? Interior pass rush, bad special teams play, and O-line. They addressed all of those this offseason. Especially on the D line.

    They did it in a way that didn’t break the bank and in fact set them up extremely well to 1) either have the replacements for Rubin and Bennett or 2) have enough tape of these guys to know they need to draft D-line again.

    This is savvy roster management all around. Off the top of my head, there are only a few positions on this team (QB,TE) where we don’t have an obvious replacement for a player. That is a level of depth that is outstanding and should not be taken for granted.

    Genuinely, imagine if Clark, Reed, and Rubin all go on the IR next year. We would still have Bennett, McDowell, Avril, Jefferson, and Jones as viable options to put out there. That gives us so much flexibility and means that we can still be a competitive team even if we get hit with the injury bug.

    • PDXBen

      Or hopefully less snaps and less fatigue= less injury. We gotta have better pass rush to win in the playoffs. That’s where the lack of interior pressure killed us – Bennett and Avril coming off the edges but the QB just steps up into a clean pocket – hopefully not any more! Go hawks! Wanna be the bully again soooo bad!

    • RWIII

      Don’t even talk about injuries.

    • lil'stink

      I’d add LB to the list of postitions where we have questionable depth. After KJ and Wagner it’s a bunch of guys you don’t really want on the field for any length of time.

  7. Steve Nelsen

    I was one of those who thought Seattle should prioritize Calais Campbell in free agency. And I missed on the potential for Malik McDowell to provide that same type of play even after he visited the VMAC because of his label for being lazy. I am optimistic that he will respond very positively to the D-Line coaching and the leadership of his teammates. One of the quickest ways to improve your outside CB play is to generate interior pass pressure that forces quick throws into windows that may be obscured by lengthy defensive linemen.

    Adding Naz in the 3rd round doubles down on the long 3T and bolsters the D-line rotation. That will help keep the older guys fresh late in games and late in the season like 2013. I think he can grow into the type of 5-sack 3T that Rob pointed out has been missing from the rotation since 2013.

    Bennett, Avril, Clark, McDowell, Reed, Rubin, and Jefferson is a top-tier NFL 7-man rotation.

    • Jujus

      I was the exact same as you brother. I almost cried when I saw how much CC went for in FA nad that we didnt get him. Hedging our bets on Q jeff seemed to risky to risk another year of a superbowl window-dynasty. Malik Mcdowell is the perfect player and the only reason I didnt scream him as the pick more was because I was barraged with EVERYONE on the Oline/CB hype train.

      Imagine a game like back in 2013 where we have a solid lead and every down is a passing down… Shits going to be nuts sack/int Free for all I cant WAIT.

      • Jujus

        I also really think we got hosed by the steelers last year at pick 89 when they nabbed Javon Hargrave. I really think they targetted him and were forced to do the Q jeff trade as a result of barely missing on him.

      • RealRhino2

        I was hoping for McDowell all along (well, to be fair, I would have been good with J. Allen, too). I never wanted a DB at #1, and didn’t quite understand why everybody did. Unless it was a unique guy like Melifonwu or maybe B. Baker, why run to draft a DB when there are 10 others you could get the next round that are similar? Rob’s point at the beginning is the obvious one: when the draft zigs, you zag. If there’s a ton of depth in one group, grab the last good guy from some other group.

        If it makes anybody feel better, Greg Cosell did a “scheme fit, team fit” mock draft and he selected McDowell for us, saying he was the perfect guy for us.

        • jujus

          I was hoping for j allen if he fell then malik.

  8. sdcoug

    Jones is a mean ol dog in the middle. Exceptional angles and timing; granted, its a highlight tape but he repeatedly hit the RB at or behind the line instead of 3 yards downfield.

    Love the McDowell pick and upside. Boy can he get skinny in a hurry

  9. cha

    Does McDowell feel like a guy for 2017 the Hawks will have a simple playbook/plan, like Bruce Irvin’s rookie season? Just pass rush downs and pin your ears back and go for the QB. Then in future seasons, develop him more as the true inside/out threat?

    Naz Jones seems like he’ll get more snaps in 2017 than McDowell as more of a base guy.

    • Jujus

      He can literally play anywhere. Depending on the game situation they might try him at edge on some early downs we will have to wait and see but I cant WAIT.

    • Coleslaw

      I think you’re right. Year 1 is probably best spent learning pass rush skills and that role would allow him to focus specifically on that. I think he could move around the line a bit year 1 though, he’s too good to not be used like that. Him and DE with Bennett next to him would cause all sorts of problems for one whole side of the O line. Add in Wagner screaming in and someone is going to pressure the QB big time

      • Hawk Eye

        we can’t expect too much in year one, look at Clark his first year.
        so much for them to learn, and Pete won’t let him play if he is not sticking to his lanes.
        But I do expect him play in the Nascar package and just go after the Qb, and hopefully get 5 or 6 sacks
        Year 2 and 3 is where he should blossom

        but with 2 rookies and 2 2nd year DT’s (one who did not play), the run defense may suffer a bit also

        curious to also see Jordan and if he can do anything. He is a freak athlete, but did nothing in 3 years in Miami that would get you excited. really depends if he really wants it, sure hope he does

        • Coleslaw

          We still have Rubin! He’s still gonna start early downs. I was talking about McDowell in Nascar, wasn’t very clear. I meant moving around the line in pass rush situations, I don’t want to overload him too early, let him become a dominant pass rusher then next year or a couple years later he can be a 3 down player, playing anywhere we want

  10. DC

    Now that the 2017 draft is over, just one more shout out Rob. What sets you apart and makes this site the best is your humility. You make it about the Seahawks.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    • rdgaydeski

      I second that, you are the man Rob and we all appreciate your hard work and dedication. Thanks for another great draft season!

      • Hawk Eye

        i will third that
        no idea where you find the time to do it
        but glad you do

  11. jack

    Thanks for the post, Rob!! It’s funny how we can all get locked into a particular assumption about how a draft will unfold and miss the bigger picture. Last year everyone was surprised the Seahawks picked three running backs in the draft, but generally everyone overlooked a clear need for the team. Seattle exploited a draft where most teams avoided running backs, allowing better players to be available later on. This year they allowed other teams to load up on DBs early and picked their BPA at other positions early.

    Schneider is happy to exploit the strengths and weaknesses of a particular draft, even if it means passing over a player they really (like Kevin King) because they know they can still get quality at the position later on. Gotta love that strategy in the bigger picture, even if it means I was pulling my hair out when the Pack got King.

  12. nichansen01

    I’m super excited about naz and Malik, but I also think Dion Jordan will make an impact.

    I’m just worried about the offense.

    • Cysco

      I don’t think you should be that worried about the offense. This is the deepest and most experienced OL we’ve had in a few years.

      Britt will be playing for a contract
      Ifedi should improve
      Fant should improve
      Joeckel may not be a star, but he’s serviceable and experienced
      Pocic is probably the most “solid” OL draft pick they’ve made in the last few years

      Plus the depth they have in Glowinski and Aboushi

      They’ve in a better place on the OL than they’ve been in a while. (granted that’s not saying much)

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        There’s a reason why Joeckel was a top 5 pick. He hasn’t fulfilled his promise yet, but he still has the chance. He’s a skilled technician who has several pro seasons under his belt. Just like Britt, he’ll be a better player for the experience. And just like Britt, Joeckel is playing for a contract as well.

        As much as I like Pocic and am hopeful he can make an impact this year, I am mindful of how long it’s taken Joeckel to improve, and he was a much more highly regarded prospect than Pocic.

        • Hawks22Fun

          I feel we have to give the hawks and OL some kudos…

          I think Luke on a winning team and with Tom Cable, he will improve and hopefully be a quality LT…

          I see this:

          LT Joeckel, LG Rees/Glow, C Britt, RG Pocic/Aboushi, RT Ifedi

          It may sound odd, but that would be 2, yes TWO first round picks playing Tackle! Not to mention a 3/5, 2, 2/5 at the other spots…

          Add in Fant, Senior, & Roos and his 41 reps in as Depth, Heck YES!

          • DavidM2

            As in, Andy Heck yes?

            (I couldn’t help myself)

      • Sean

        My fear is improving is not enough. Our o-line was atrocious last year, what if it is still really bad especially with a bunch of guys playing new positions again.

  13. Lewis

    The sack on Kizer at 1:09 is just crazy.

    • Jujus

      Disclaimer- this is the best Oline in CFB. Malik is a generational type player – imagine if he had gone to alabama he would have gone #1 or #2 in the draft.

      • nichansen01

        Yup. I think he is going to be the best player from this draft class.

        • Lewis

          He certainly has a chance to be. Don’t think anyone denies the athletic ability. Hopefully he has the heart/desire to want to be the best. If he does, with the people he will have surrounding him, he will be tough to stop

          • Del tre

            I found myself thinking that beforeni watched his tape. I’ve seen a few videos on youtube reviewing his tape and he doesn’t play like he isn’t hustling. He pursues the ball, has no real reported incidents. If anyone can make this kid great its PC. On a seperate but related note, i think Nkemdiche is a bad comp, his tape is nowhere near as dominant as McDowells.

      • Mike

        This discussion thread is getting me really fired up. I cannot wait for training camp to open

  14. nichansen01

    I don’t understand why Cassius Marsh cant take over Bruce Irvin’s sam role. Let him play sam on a few snaps a game and then work him into the pass rush rotation. Perfect sam plus frees up a roster spot for dion jordan to play d-line.

    • Lewis

      Not sure there’s a major need to. Suggestion seems to be that we will have 3 LBs on the field even les than we already did, in name at least.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure we’ll see much SAM in 2017.

      Probably only about 20% again.

      • Naks

        I’m excited for big nickel. So many teams have 3 wr or pass catching te that it will be great to have safeties that can match up or blitz. It gives us more flexibility and better pass coverage

  15. CHawk Talker Eric

    “Coming to work every day with Michael Bennett could be the best thing that ever happens to McDowell.”

    Totally. I was initially skeptical of SEA’s interest in him because of the attitude concerns. But if there’s a coaching staff, locker room, and organization that can help Malik achieve his lofty potential, it’s SEA. He couldn’t have gone to a better situation, with flexible, relaxed and respected coaches, savvy all-pro veteran mentors, the “all in” team-wide ethos and culture of winning, and of course the Nation of 12s.

    I think the first time he makes a play at the CLink and hears the roar of the crowd, the fire in his belly won’t just light, it’ll go nuclear. Straight legit, he has the potential for DROY honors.

    What I really like about him, beyond the pass rushing factor, is how well he plays the run. He’s a very aware DL when he’s playing the run (yes he can get a little reckless on rushes). He can stand his ground at the LOS (even vs double teams) and stack and shed blocks with almost unreal ease, and he has the length (and strength) to make plays in a surprisingly large area around him.

    Also, when he’s plugged in, he’s all effort, from snap to whistle. He may have taken off plays and games here and there, but when he “showed up” he rarely failed to finish, and fought hard to make a play, even if he initially missed or was late. He’s not lazy, or a slacker or anything like that. He’s just looking for something to believe in. A reason to go to war and will himself to victory (because he has the physical tools to win whenever he wants). For whatever reason, that was missing from his experience at MSU. Maybe he didn’t believe in his teammates and/or coaches. Maybe he just wanted to get to the pros and had no time for college. Doesn’t matter. I think he’ll find what he’s looking for at the VMAC.

    The most promising thought about Malik is that, thus far, he’s relied purely on his innate athleticism to be as good as he is. I can’t wait to see how much better he does after his technique has been refined and Bennett and Avril have taught him their best tricks.

    • nichansen01

      Great comment

    • Poko

      SEA is the best team for him,and he is a guy who has high priority for SEA.
      our DT didn’t do anything in pass game.His rushing would help DB.

  16. PPast

    Several posters have mentioned this year’s VMAC visitors. Which of those drafted were 2017 visitors and/or were visited by the team? Apologies if this has already been answered.

    • Ross

      From WalterFootball, Malik McDowell and Shaquill Griffin both came in for official 30 visits.

      • Volume12

        Mike Tyson was too. No one caught it.

        • Volume12

          JS said the same thing to him. ‘Remember our conversation?’

  17. Ed

    Rob, you keep knocking yourself for not getting McDowell and Pocic right. But I think you did, you were just looking at the tree and not the forest. You constantly say JS/PC draft looking at what you can do, not what you can’t. You just forgot that message. Can McDowell be lazy, yes. But he also can be a close Aaron Donald. Same thing with Pocic.

    As for Pocic, he is the type of lineman I have wanted them to draft for awhile. Not a great athlete, but a smart, solid, experienced lineman. As opposed to the athlete without a lot of experience.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, this blog and your talents are aces.

    • Hawk Eye

      well said
      and I totally agree with the o line comment. Need some technical expertise on the o line. That is safer than the raw athleticism that leads to complete whiffs

    • Mike

      He also nailed the fact that very few cornerbacks met the Seahawks requirements for arm length and overall reach. He stated that far more safeties meet that threshold than cornerbacks and the Hawks drafted 3 safeties in this draft and one pure DB. Rob killed it once again with his analysis

  18. Joshua Smith

    The Seahawks have done well for themselves to avoid spending early round picks on corners. Think about it. Doesn’t it seem like a disporportionate amount of good NFL corners were late round picks or UDFA relatively speaking? (When compared to other positions). Furthermore it also seems like a disproportionate amount of early round corners are complete busts in the NFL. It is for this reason, and because I personally believe that cornerback should be the last priority when building a defense, that I am thrilled with this draft. I only wish that they had managed to get an actual tackle prospect, like Ramzyck, rather than Pocic. I still like the Pocic pick though because of his solid college production.

    • Joshua Smith

      I will always take an elite pass rusher over an elite corner to build my defense around. Elite pass rushers and good defensive front sevens dictate to offenses, whereas offenses can generally avoid top corners. Your secondary isn’t much better than your weakest link when it comes to playing man, so a lot of times good corners can have very little involvment in the game even if they are neutralizing an elite WR. But offenses have no choice but to deal with pass rushers on every down, and D-linemen are the ones that draw penalties on offenses, hit the QB and rattle him, and stop the run.

    • RealRhino2

      Numbers don’t seem to bear that out. Looked at CBs drafted between 2000 and 2015 who had made Pro Bowls, all but a handful were 1st-round picks. Adrian Wilson, Asante Samuel and Sherman were the best that weren’t. After that you’d find one or two later picks that made one PB.

      Checked DL and the “hit rate” for late-round guys seemed slightly better. OTOH, there may be more CB “busts” just because there are more guys. And ultimately, I think that’s what makes our pick make the most sense. There were 20 good CBs, three good interior DL. We got one of three.

      • GerryG

        Marcus Butler, Josh Norman are pretty good. (UDFA and 5th rd).

        • Joshua Smith

          *Malcolm Butler, but yeah. Chris Harris too right?

  19. rowlandice

    Did you see Naz rumbling with the ball?! Players were bouncing off of him. Give him a shot at FB!

  20. John_s

    I really love the diversity of the DT’s that they’ve drafted.

    Jarran Reed and Nazir are the run pluggers, 2 down lineman the team loves
    Quinton Jefferson a pass rushing 3 tech
    Malik a combo of the 2

    Mix in the versatility of Bennett and Clark and we have the makings of a deep, versatile from.

    All we need is another LEO type with Avril.

    • Joshua Smith

      The thing is, most teams pass on more than 50% of their first and second downs. Good to have run stopping specialists too though for sure.

      • Coleslaw

        Then we should be really excited, McDowell and Jones both could develop into 3 down lineman!

  21. Lord Snow

    You have me convinced.

    Nice article.

  22. BobbyK

    “When they put McDowell, Bennett, Clark and Avril on the field — they might have the most dangerous four-man rush in football.”

    Yep. The NASCAR package in many circumstances went from Marsh playing outside and Clark inside… to McDowell inside and Clark outside. It’s only one body different, but I can’t stress how much more impressive our pass rush is going to be because of it.

    I don’t care if McDowell plays anything other than NASCAR – if he can just do that effectively with some interior push… this pick was worth it. We had trouble getting off the field last year in some 3rd and long situations. This pick is potentially huge.

    All opponents had to do with Marsh was put a warm body on him and he most likely wasn’t going to help make a play as a rusher. Now, McDowell may command some double teams. He may not garner fancy sack numbers, but make no mistake, the defense may/will be changed for the better.

    • HawkTalker #1


    • GerryG

      There hasn’t been a rookie DL in this era that plays more than 20-25 snaps, be interesting to see if that holds

      • GerryG

        The Carroll era that is

    • Joshua Smith

      I dont know if just the addition of Malik and Jefferson will take our pass rush to one of the best in the NFL, but I hope so

      • Redhawk87

        Well, we were #3 in sacks last year with just Bennett, Avril and Clark being true pass rushers…
        Marsh is a ST who can DE, not vice versa.
        Reed and Rubin are run stuffers, not pass rushers. They serve a fantastic purpose on this defense, but that purpose is not generating QB pressure. The rest of our D-line was thin, generating little to no pressure between them.
        Now we’ll have another true DT who is good both against the run and has pocket crushing ability, as well as two combo DTs-DEs (Jefferson and McDowell) in addition to all our primary starters. Our D-line will have vastly better depth beyond the top 3, allowing for more frequent rotations to ensure freshness, and those rotations will be able to keep up and generate pressure.
        So, I do think that upgrading D-line depth from mediocre to good (with great potential) would improve on our status as already one of the best in the NFL.

        • Robert

          Malik is gonna be pretty stoked when Pete tells him he doesn’t have to get a sack or penetrate in order for our defense to win the play. With our great DEs, we will win the play if Malik just pushes his man backwards into the pocket to destroy any opportunity for the QB to step up. And he won’t face many double teams either. I predict that Malik’s game translates well to the NFL game and that he will have a big synergistic impact on the overall effectiveness of our defense.

        • Joshua Smith

          We did have good sack numbers, but how many of those were coverage sacks? Not to mention there are varying degrees of not getting pressure if that makes any sense. You may get a sack or a QB pressure on 40% of your attempts, but if on the other 60% of attempts it takes you 10 seconds to get pressure, then are you really as good as your sack and total pressures say you are? Not disagreeing nessacarily, just throwing that out there because while we did compile good sack numbers there were so many passing plays were we could not get any pressure at all for 8 or more seconds.

    • Joshua Smith

      Getting off the field on third and long has been a problem for at least a couple seasons now. Its maddening and must be really frustrating for the secondary.

      • BobbyK

        Exactly and the biggest culprit has been the lack of interior push on money downs.

  23. D-OZ

    Did anyone listen to the JS pres-ere. Talking about the O-Line. Didn’t even mention Glowinski. They are going to bring Joeckel along slowly. ACL/MCL. Unclear if he will be ready to start the season. They are high on Roos. I have watched a lot of his game tape and was very impressed.

    • Ishmael

      Yeah, I don’t think they’re super keen on Glowinski. He’s just a guy, replacement level.

      • peter

        Decent prospect for the later rounds but like a good deal of late round prospects it doesn’t seem to be getting better for him.

        He’s played in apparently 26 games? It’s hard to believe that.

  24. Ishmael

    I really like Naz Jones, he’s got that swag. Infectious personality, can see why the Hawks wanted him. Going to be a great fit in that locker room.

    • DJ 1/2 Way (Sea/PDX)

      Agree. His tape looked better. Maybe it was the music.

    • C-Dog

      Man, I gotta say, that guy packs a load into the ballcarrier. The dude is looking to bring the hurt. Very excited to see what he brings to the rotation.

      • Mike

        I LOVE the Red Bryant comparison. We have been missing the junkyard dog mentality for a few years. It was said that the Seahawk defense would take your lunch, eat in in front of you, and shove the wrapper down your throat. I think we can get back to that now with the stud additions to the D-Line in the last two drafts. I am stoked!!! I think Reed will have a similar improvement in his second year to what Clark had in his second year. We are going to be monsters!!!

  25. East Side Stevie

    Is there a list of all of our UDFA signings anywhere?

  26. Awsi Dooger

    I have to thank the commenter here who linked to draftcobern a couple of weeks ago. Interesting site that I wasn’t familiar with. He wrote quick summaries of every early pick. The Malik McDowell comparison was to Richard Seymour coming out of Georgia.

    However, he was even higher on Kevin King, writing that his profile suggested multiple Pro Bowler more than any cornerback in his class. Throughout King’s career in Green Bay I’ll think of him as a Seahawk who got away. That’s why I don’t understand all the opening paragraphs and conclusions in this post. If Green Bay doesn’t take King to lead off Day 2, how do you know Seattle still picks McDowell instead of King? If that happens then all the rationalization is out the window. In fact, it’s reversed.

    Mock drafts are laughably fragile and so are the post draft summaries. When we’ve actually gotten a peek at war rooms in real time often it’s chaos and uncertainty right down the the deadline. Then naturally the brain trust has to pretend it was ultra sophisticated and everything fell exactly as they envisioned and they got just the guy they wanted. Meanwhile, it’s a jungle of conflicting opinions. These aren’t results. They are opinions. No chance a general manager can forecast opinions from across the league. Green Bay took King so now Schneider and Carroll describe all the positives of Malik McDowell and everyone can feel happy that the Seahawks outsmarted the league again and addressed their number one need in interior pass rush.

    I have an advantage because I worked in Las Vegas sportsbooks as supervisor. The dynamics were similar. We’d be in that sportsbook office each morning ironing out our opening line. Often there would be confusion and disagreement galore. But as soon as you opened that door to walk into the sportsbook itself, and in front of the wise guys waiting to pounce on your offerings, you had to adjust your tie, unveil the numbers, wait to see what happened, all while pretending it was unfolding just as you thought it would 15 minutes earlier. Laughable.

    • C-Dog

      I think it was said that the three players Seattle targeted in the trade down were McDowell, King, and Cam Robinson. Who they had 1, 2 and 3 is anyone’s guess, but I would say that they probably were pretty aware of the likelihood of Green Bay going corner and that guy likely being King.

      • sdcoug

        Exactly, CB was a massive need for GB. If King was really the target, the guy they had to have, I don’t think we chance the trade-back from 31. They knew there was a real likelihood king would be off the board by 34

    • Volume12

      King is a boom or bust prospect too.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        Doesn’t king have a medical risk.. some type of hip issue? Heck, every player is a boom or bust in the draft… except the QB the Bears took…. he is going to bust hard.

    • Robert

      I like my happy world where not everything is bullshit. John said Malik was the target all along. I’d rather just believe that is true then.

      • Jujus

        John even said pre draft – “he tells his son its wrong to Lie so he wont lie to us” I believe him.

    • Smitty1547

      Which one can i ask, I lived in vegas for a few years 90-93, just curious.

  27. AndrewP

    An alternative thought on McDowell, and perhaps it will lead to an entirely different conversation, but…

    He gets docked for mailing it in after Michigan State’s season went south. I’m here to offer a reason why that’s not so bad. Like it or not, college football has become an extension of the NFL: A ‘look out for numero uno’ business. He always figured he was going pro after this season, and after they had lost the chance for a special season, what was likely the bigger motivation: Setting himself up for the future, or playing games of little consequence? As fans and alums of particular universities, we can want players to give it their all all of the time, but, we are not in their shoes; we do not have our livelihood riding on it. McDowell did. Maybe he chose to use his chance for future employment above all. If you can fault him for that… we’ll, all I can say is you’ve never been in his situation.

    Bottom line: I’m going to slow down on questioning his commitment/motivation and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Hawks got at least 3-4 good years out of him, and will frankly be more surprised if they don’t.

  28. Victor

    I think even more that Malik can be our bigger version of Aaron Donald. I am even happier now than on draft day. He was dominant in high school this video is incredible. Nazair is a load inside but he still can develop into a pass rusher as well. Teams that draft ahead of us will be kicking themselves in a couple of years once they see how dominant Malik can and will be and the best part of this is he is only 20. Dion Jordan will be gravy if he shows any resemblance of his college days but if he’s healthy he can be a force as well. This defense can and will be dominant again.

    • Ishmael

      Aaron Donald is one of the best three defensive players in the league. If McDowell turns into anything close to him it’ll be a pick for the ages.

      • nichansen01

        I think McDowell has the ceiling of top three in the league. His potential is limitless. Which is why I love the pick so much.

  29. Coleslaw

    Delano Hill is really impressive. I he’s truly a CB/safety hybrid, and his box presence is almost like the new age linebackers we see like Deion Jones. He has the awareness to break on a short pass or run, which I think would be really useful in the slot. 4.47 runner, doesn’t hit too hard but he is solid, strong tackler. He could be the guy we match up with TEs. He can definitely play in the box as a SS, too. Even free safety. The kid’s a baller

  30. dave crockett

    I don’t know anything with certainty about McDowell’s personality, but it is not uncommon for college coaches to ask a kid to do too much too soon. An immature kid struggles on a bad team (on the heels of a good team stocked with beloved upperclassmen). His is the only name anyone knows so he gets all the criticism. He can’t handle it and checks out as things go sideways.

    Maybe PC/JS think, “we can reach him,” which is certainly what they thought with Christine Michael (womp womp). But, another possibility is that they never planned to bet the farm on McDowell becoming a star anchor of the next defense. After all, they traded down twice. Further, they’ve made it clear they were kind of indifferent between three different players including him.

    So maybe the plan is to bring McDowell along by asking him to do less, rather than more. They mention Calais Campbell, and for those who have forgotten he played a limited role on passing downs for much of his early career. He was there to get some interior push, help open things up for the marquee pass rushers and blitzers, and block the occasional throw. Many wondered whether he’d ever develop into anything more.

    Maybe getting the best out of McDowell is not about aiming for superstardom. Rather, its about finding a role for him early, letting him master it, and building from there.

    • C-Dog

      I think you hit it right on the nose. I’m sure Carroll has a specific plan for him, probably in the NASCAR. I wouldn’t count him out of base packages either.

    • Robert

      No more double teams. And he’ll be a part of a Dline rotation instead of playing ~90% of the snaps. Bennett will teach him the hands fighting and other dirty dog tricks.

  31. Hawks22Fun

    On a side note: Marshawn Lynch continues to dis the coach that made him a star, Pete Carroll…

    Lynch only cares about the money, and his fame… #SadState

    • nichansen01

      Definitely animosity between those two parties

    • GerryG

      Mr Allen signs the checks, and had to sign off on not going after the bonus I’m sure.

      People will find fault with anything. Geez.

    • DC

      I didn’t see him diss Pete in that link. What did he say?

      • Saxon

        It’s what wasn’t said. Beast Mode thanked 12s and Allen but not coaches.

        I don’t blame him. Coaches cost him and his teammates a ring. Bevell should have been fired after the worst call in football history. He is one of the big reasons we’ve had issues with our locker room.

        • DC

          I thought it was a very classy move from the best RB this franchise has ever had. Love the guy and hope to see him in the Super Bowl. Just make sure we wear the white jerseys…

        • Dingbatman

          Didn’t thank his teammates either…

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Some of the greatest plays in NFL history were when Lynch was in Seattle. Essentially, he resurrected his career and is a borderline HoFer RIGHT NOW. He drops 750-1000 more yards onto his total…. he is in. The pairing played out…. 1 ring… can’t ask for much more.

      • Jujus

        I can, HE QUIT ON HIS TEAM! PERIOD AND END OF STORY, he refused to always compete, he just became so absorbed in himself post sb49 and left the brotherhood.

        I appreciate his past effort but he is a trash teammate as far as im concerned.

        • BayaHawk

          Cool story! Sounds like you spent a lot of time in the locker room post SB49 and saw specific occasions where he quit on his team. Can you tell us those stories otherwise it just comes off as conjecture.



      For real dude? I’m definitely a tiny bit tweaked that he forced his way out of town and kept the bonus while sitting out a year of championship window (a year in which we were charged a cap hit for him to keep the bonus…),

      but you’re going to take an instance where he went out of his way to thank the fans and try to take offense to that? Sounds like you made up your mind a long time ago.

  32. Saxon

    Fantastic write – up, Rob. I wish I trusted the coaches Svengali abilities, but after failing to polish the turd that was Percy Harvin, I am skeptical of their transformative powers. Malik appears to have some poor character traits. The NFL is littered with guys like him: ton of physical ability yet lacking real desire. They tend to bust out of the league within 3 years. Truthfully: Do you see a guy that loves the game? I don’t.

    I respect that the front office wants to swing for the fences. Malik is Unique. Probably a gamble worth taking and they at least hedged their bet with all the trade downs. Still, I have much higher hopes for the rest of this draft class. PCJS found a bunch of JYDs (junk yard dogs) that compete like crazy. Malik would be a monster if he had that kind of fight in him. I just don’t see it.

    • SeventiesHawksFan

      There is play after play after play of Malik terrorizing offensive lines with ferocity. Yeah he also took plays off. But the tape shows he can and does bring it. Not sure what you were watching.

      • jujus

        was playing hurt, surrounded by High school level talent, no one on that team will make the nfl.

        • jujus

          How can you say “lacking desire” you have no way of knowing who he is. All you see is film and others opinions.

    • Rob Staton

      Percy was a special case though. McDowell might not be the greatest interview — but he’s not Percy.

      • D-OZ


        • BobbyK

          McDowell has never choked coaches and gotten away with it, nor threatened to kill them and gotten away with it. The rap on McDowell is he’s lazy, whereas the rap on Percy was that he was psycho.

      • C-Dog


  33. DC

    2017 playoff prediction

    NFC West Champ, Seattle (duh!)
    NFC North Champ, G.B. (duh!)
    NFC South Champ, Atlanta?
    NFC East Champ, NYG
    Wild Card, Tampa Bay
    Wild Card, Washington

    AFC Title Game, Oakland over N.E. (I can’t put them in there again)

    NFC Title Game, Seattle over G.B.

    Super Bowl LII, Seattle over Oakland… we’re back!

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      So you are saying the Cowboys do not even make a WC ? I find this hard to believe. They have improved their defense in the draft and FA…. they might not be lights out on offense, but might only need to put up 26 points and go 11-5/12-4 range. Dare I say Dallas might win the NFCE….. I’m not totally sold on the NYG.

      • Coleslaw

        I agree, I think Dallas wins that division and the Giants are the wildcard, then I’d probably say TB next cause dat offense and they’re my second favorite team

        • peter

          I think it’s a toss up that division seems like it can go either way next year with Giants/Cowboys.

    • D-OZ

      I would say NFC East champ> Dallas, Wild card> Eagles, Think your right on Tampa Bay being the other W. card.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I think the NFC West could be are’s for awhile.
        Bold Prediction:
        The Cardinals finish last in the division.

        • Greg Haugsven

          Cowboys are on a rotation right now. Good year bad year, 2017 is time for bad year.

        • Jujus

          cardinals tie the rams for last in the division. Theres no way Jared goff keeps them from being last in the NFC west.

  34. Josh emmett

    I like that no one really had a handle on what they were going to do rob. More info for us Seahawk draft hooligans. You a BAMF

    • Mike


  35. Volume12

    Don’t like the ‘he’s lazy’ narrative I see in some posts. So a 295 lb 20 year old KID that plays the most physical demanding position on the defensive line and plays a little over 90% of the snaps with a bum ankle takes a few plays off (he also wasn’t happy that he lost a bunch of his buddies)? Like he’s the only O-lineman doing this. Can’t fault these guys for that.

    Now. Does his body language rub people the wrong way? Absolutely. And his effort could be better, but lazy? I don’t see that.

    ‘Self-scouting.’ They missed out on an interior rusher with the same issues last year in Chris Jones. Difference is, ‘Leek’ can rush outside like a 270 pound guy or from the inside like a guy well over 300 lbs. He’s a dude. Think about it. 20 years old. He’s younger than most of the JR’s in CFB right now.

    • Volume12


    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Dave Wyman had a funny line on the radio. He said “show me a DL that doesn’t take a few plays off during a game”. Another caveat is they brought in a different DL coach, who has a nice pedigree and can spice up the coaching on the DL. Perfect pairing of established personnel on the roster, coaching and “risk” to go for it.

      The depth they stacked up at the DL is impressive. Kind of reminds me of 2013 and the number of quality CBs they had… who went on to make big money in FA.

      • Volume12

        Bingo. They all do it. Every single one.

        Sometimes I think fans turn on tape expecting pass rushers to dominate every snap. These guys and in the NFL will only win about 5-7 snaps. Anything more than that? That’s special.

      • C-Dog

        The biggest knock on Cortez Kennedy when they drafted him was that he was known to “occasionally” take plays off.

        I think another thing fans should consider with this pick and Naz Jones, is how much Seattle rotates the DLiners. Last year, that rotation got really thin, and Jarran Reed (not known for his pass rush) was seeing 60% of the snaps factoring in the NASCAR because of that depth. Depth is huge in Seattle, and if more guys are factoring in, chances are fairly remote they are going to be taking plays off to get in there.

    • C-Dog

      +100. Absolutely.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think he got a bad rap for watching that one running touchdown that wasn’t in his area. Everyone who watches it admits he wouldn’t be able to stop the play, yet they want him to run over there and do what from behind? Flop on the pile like a whale?

  36. Volume12

    Naz Jones. This kids lateral mobility is unreal! Love his pursuit skills. He chases everything down once into the backfield. He’s an old-school 5-tech that’s perfect for that Alan Branch, Tony McD role at the 3. Just a wall in run defense. Love the strength and length as well. Another young guy.

    Also love his character. Runs camps in his community for less privileged kids? Awesome. Was Paralysed from the waist down at 16 years old? This kid won’t quit on you. If he can get through that, there’s no obstacle in this GAME he can’t respond too. I’ll go to war with dudes like that every day of the week that ends in a Y.

    • Coleslaw

      Yes! He’s so quick to the ball for a 300+ lbs guy. I really like his potential and how he can bring some rush to the base line. Him and Reed make a nice pair for the future for sure

      • Dave

        Pad. Level. Leverage.

        • DJ 1/2 Way (Sea/PDX)

          The three cone test has multiple changes in direction. This is harder for the big guys. On film, it sure looked like his first change of direction was really quick, and that the point of impact was really hard.

    • Robert

      First 5 seconds of that video impressed me. First clip, he’s entering the locker room ahead of game prep time wearing a suit and well groomed. Then in the locker room, with his uniform on, the team is ramping up the intensity as Naz is holding this heavy gauge chain. He is all about that bizness!

    • C-Dog

      I think fans are really going to dig this dude. One of the other things I like about him is how be packs a pretty serious pop into the ball carriers. Him and Reed together are going to be some bad men with bad intentions.

  37. Volume12

    So NO’s signs Adrian Peterson. Oakland gets Marshawn Lynch. Denver signs Jamnaal Charles.

    All great moves…. In 2014.

    • Hughz

      Yeah it will be interesting to see if any of them can stay healthy for a full season. I’m rooting for Lynch. He may rub people the wrong way but he balls out on the field.

    • Dave

      Lacy might have the most yards out of that group. I think he’s going to get 850-1100 yds in 2017.

      • Coleslaw

        That’s definitely realistic, 53 yards per game gets you 850, 68 gets 1100. I think we could see Lacy, Rawls and Prosise break the 500 yard mark.

    • D-OZ


  38. Coleslaw

    2018 seems like a good draft for DEs. Walter Football has Harold Landry ranked #4 and Duke Ejiofor #6, both studs. They could already be looking at these guys, we know now from the Justin Senior pick they aren’t scared of down years, so all these guys seem like good targets. Bennett or Avril need a replacement soon, if we want to get a good one we probably can next year

    • Coleslaw

      Current future DL:

      Pass Rush: Clark Jones Jefferson McDowell

      Run Defense: Clark Jones Reed McDowell

      Future DL with 2018 1st round pick:

      Clark McDowell Jones Landry
      Clark McDowell Jefferson Landry

      • D-OZ

        There is a whole slew of DE’s coming up in 2018 and more will surface. A lot of OT’s I like also. That LB from the Longhorns is lights out.

        • Greg Haugsven

          I think a DE could for sure be on the horizon for 2018

          • Jujus

            Yeah but if we win the SB as planned how will we really get a good DE? We need to think of players we can leverage into a 1st rd pick patriots style imo…

            • Jujus

              And im not referring to Sherman, Rawls if he has a bounce back year could be a trade asset.

            • Coleslaw

              Ejiofor is the #6 ranked DE, I don’t know if 6 DO go in the first, someone should be there

  39. Dave

    Rob, thank you so much. SDB and Fieldgulls are my go to read when I want Seahawks news.

    I just watched the 2016 Michigan Ohio State game with more interest due to our recent picks. Amara Darboh made clutch catch after clutch catch. He caught the ball with his hands on fast ball slants. He had a huge TD beating Gareon Conley.

    Delano Hill showed great instincts especially playing closer to the line of scrimmage. He had the take down on the 4th down play at the end of the game. I didn’t think Ohio State converted but it was called a first down on the field.

    Rob and other posters, I’m sure you’ve watched this game. How did you think Darboh and Hill did? I also watched Darboh vs one Shaquille Griffin. Darboh beat him on a post and took it to the house. The 4.4 guy beat the 4.3 guy and it wasn’t even close.

    • Coleslaw

      Griffin does have a tendency to get beat, badly.

      I actually watched that game earlier and I think Hill looked great, in that one game he got a pick as FS, multiple TFLs and multiple PBUs, he really balled out. One play that really stood out to me was when Ohio tried to pick him, he looked so smooth, didn’t get touched and made the tackle almost as the ball arrived. Great instincts and the athleticism and tackling to capitalize.

      Darboh killed it, too! He got a lot of separation on Lattimore and Conley. Like you said he was making clutch catch after clutch catch. The announcers said he was something like 9-15 for 90 yards, Idk what point of the game that was, but that tells me he can get first downs and just do his job. Considering it was against the best secondary in the nation, thats pretty impressive!

    • Rob Staton

      Post coming on both soon.

      • D-OZ


    • GerryG

      Shaq Griffin is most likely to work on the outside this year, but will essentially redshirt and play special teams. Unless he comes in and just figures it out instantly (which has yet to happen, even Sherm came in mid-season)

      • Trevor

        +1 I think Griffin is a first year red shirt for sure.

        • Greg Haugsven

          I agree, it takes awhile to learn there system. Sherm.only came in because he had to for injury reasons

    • Dave

      Darboh beat Lattimore on the TD, not Conley. He also dropped 2 balls. Granted they were thrown behind him, he should have caught both.

  40. FresnoHawk

    Building & reenforcing DL extends the careers of the rest of the defense! NT from FSU could be final piece in 2018. Looks like we have a Super Bowl team this year unless our kicker gets the shanks.

  41. Myfanwy365

    Will get round to reading the article shortly but just wanted to highlight something Rob mentioned in the podcast, finally got round to listening on the commute.

    Draft Grades given out by people where it doesn’t match up to what they expect, I have the perfect example. Danny Kelly RT’d the articles by Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report(bleurgh)

    Malik McDowell – “But there is a rule when grading Seahawks draft picks: If they avoid drafting an offensive lineman, they can get no higher than a “C.” And when they trade down with an obvious line choice like Cam Robinson on the board, well…”

    Ethan Pocic – “It’s too late in the game to start giving the Seahawks “A” grades for drafting offensive linemen. They get a maximum of “C” when they draft non-linemen. Think of picks like this one as an overdue term paper: even if it’s a fine effort, points have been taken off for lateness.”

    Shaq Griffin – ” Griffin’s measurables should remind everyone in Seattle of a certain slightly-disgruntled current employee. Grade: C+”

    Delano Hill – “We’ve reached the Let It Be/Abbey Road era for the Legion of Boom. The golden age suddenly feels long ago. The best the Seahawks can hope for is to get the guys on a rooftop a little longer and try to coax some harmonies from them. Which means it’s time to look to the future, first with Shaquill Griffin a few selections ago, and now with Hill.

    Man, this safety class is good. And man, the Seahawks have a lot of third-round picks. Grade: C+”

    Naz Jones – “But isn’t it funny how, with approximately 157 third-round picks, they keep going out of their way to not grab a little more offensive line help? Grade: C+”

    Amara Darboh – “Fine pick. The usual carping and moaning about the Seahawks needing offensive linemen applies. Grade: C+”

    Tedric Thompson – “The Seahawks haven’t realized yet that drafting an entire new Legion of Boom will not matter at all if Russell Wilson finally takes that one hit too many behind the offensive line they steadfastly refuse to upgrade. Grade: D-plus.”

    Mike Tyson – “So, the Seahawks saw Earl Thomas get hurt, had a meeting with Richard Sherman that got a little testy, then started hyperventilating into a paper bag and drafting defensive backs. That’s as good an explanation as any for this draft class. Unless they are innovating the 1-1-9 defense. Grade: Poor.”

    Justin Senior – “But he’s an actual offensive lineman, not the 14th defensive back selected by the Seahawks. And drafting actual major-college starting linemen to be starting linemen is a big positive step for this team. Grade: Good.”

    David Moore – “A stumper. Not an offensive lineman. Grade: Poor.”

    Chris Carson – “Carson has the combine results, but man, there are so many other third-down options out there. The Seahawks have had a strange draft. Grade: Poor.”

    I hope this goes down as well as their 2012 Grades did

    • Robert

      Damn it…why’d I read this?

      • Myfanwy365

        Sorry, just found it interesting & infuriating. I suppose we’d have got an A for drafting only O-Line according to Bleacher Report. Kind of over-egging any kind of joke

        • Rob Staton

          Mike Tanier’s pre-draft writing was equally frustrating. At least he’s consistent.

          His reasoning on the McDowell pick is, ‘Well Cam Robinson was there’. There’s a reason he lasted as long as he did. The rolling ‘not an O-line pick’ narrative isn’t funny either.

          A waste of time.

        • GerryG

          Said it before: Friends don’t let friends read Bleacher Report. I have not looked at it in years; it’s the TMZ of sports. (perhaps they have improved, but I doubt it).

          • Kenny Sloth

            To their credit; I found this blog 8 years ago because I was looking for the best draft websites around and this one was listed….

            Funny how these things work out. Used to think Matt Miller was the pinnacle of pundits. But I was like 13, so. Pretty forgivable haha

            • Myfanwy365

              I do love @AwfulWhiteQBs constantly ripping on Miller. I once read Bleacher Report, I didn’t know any better back in 2011

              • Ishmael

                Ha, I love @AwfulWhiteQBs.The comps between the UDFA Jerod Evans and the #2 overall Mitch Trubisky are… Interesting.

            • RealRhino2

              Matt Miller is fine. Were these grades not supposed to be a joke? That read like it was a bit. If you take this stuff seriously, one of the most frustrating thing about being a sports fan, IMO, is having to deal with national media having only a 5,000-foot view of your team while you know it from the ground up.

              Everybody just keeps repeating we need OL. In the 3rd round? Do they just want us to keep drafting Glowinski and Odhiambo over and over again? How’s that going to help? We have interior OL depth, we just need to develop them, not keep drafting them.

              • Kenny Sloth


                except for the part about Matt Miller.

                He’ll say anything.

    • Drew

      Sounds like we should have drafted OL with every pick according to that guy

    • Trevor

      That is simply oversimplified and uninformed work. Trainer is one of the worst writers on a notoriously ill informed site.

    • peter

      I’ve got to assume this is a bit:

      I can see a pundit being confused by not picking Cam Robinson. But after that who else would they go after? THen to nag on picking Pocic? I mean even in my hesitation for liking that pick he was probably the best Olinemen at any position left in the draft.

      Bleacher report is hard to handle. The draft grade for the best draft class in the PC era was the start…the Wagner/ Wilson year…then truly capped off by the articles questioning the “blackness,” of Wilson…I mean not for nothing but who really gave a crap about what Percival Harvin thought about anyone on the team? That guys legacy is basically the biggest waste of draft capital and a KO return in a game that was already going south for the Broncos…

    • Ishmael

      Is he joking, or serious? It’s really weird tonally. It’s like ‘haha just joking, no but actually for real.’

      • Myfanwy365

        If he’d done it twice it’d be ok but he’s basically flogging a dead horse here

    • Mike

      How often has Bleacher Report been right? Not often. When they have their nuts on the line like Schneider and Carroll I will listen to them more. I remember how hard the 2012 draft was bashed and this draft reminds me a lot of that one. Schneider is playing chess when the reporters are looking for a game of checkers. Besides the Seahawks addressed the O-Line in the off season

    • Coleslaw

      Remember when Bleacher Report was good? Pepperidge Farms remembers

  42. Alex

    Not that we should give to much credence to it because after all it is from the NFL network, but this link puts into good perspective the Seahawks draft. Some teams as you will know only had three, four or five picks. Looking at it overall, the more I think about it, and largely due to the great reasoning by all in here, I think that this draft is a good one for us. I still stand by my thoughts last year will end up being a good one also. I think we are in very good shape!

  43. EranUngar

    Two years ago the Seahawks used thier first pick in the 2015 draft to draft a player that we hardly paid any attention to. It was a very talented player with incredible physical measurments but we ignored him because of his off the field issues. It turned out that the Seahawks spend a lot of effort to check that player at depth and we are all better for it.

    And now we added a protypical Seahawks DL dog (Naz) at the 3rd round and a question mark with our first pick?

    Does that sound right to you all?

    No, it doesn’t add up. This FO has been around the block long enough to not waste or risk a bust with their first pick of the draft. That should be especialy true when the “red flags” where a matter of public knowladge and said player does not boast some utterly insane measuments (see – Michaels). There were planty of insane measurments and available talent when the Seahawks picked Malik. There was no reason to take a flier on a risky project when this roster could use help on many positions.

    That should tell you one thing – The Seahawks did their homework (again) and they are confident that whatever raised those red flags is solvable within their system. If they picked him with their first pick, it’s time for us to ignore those issues and take a look at the player and what he can do. It does not take long to realize what this guy can do and what it could mean for this defense if this guy is another Frank Clark type of pick.

    On a more general note –
    In a draft class with so many insane physical profiles we have picked Pocic, Malik&Naz and 2 of the top 4 pass defenders in the draft. Yes, TEF, SPARQ and other measurables are easy to find and should be taken into consideration but the Seahawks are picking football players, not athletes.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not true that we hardly paid any attention to Frank Clark. We talked about him a lot:

      • Kenny Sloth

        Plus you literally said ten days before this draft “if we trade down we might target McDowell”

        But I understand the sentiment, and I agree. I don’t think we looked at enough guys. For all the OL I watched, I couldn’t call Pocic and Senior as targets?!

        We handcuffed ourselves with measurables and parameters this draft class.

        • Dingbatman

          If Pocic had played the last year at right tackle rather than center I suspect he would have been right up there with all the other potential OL targets that were discussed on this blog over the course of the draft season.

      • EranUngar

        I was here every day during the 2015 draft. I know we talked about Clark. It always felt like we go thru the motions because he is such a great candidate and it’s a shame he could go undrafted. We never thought that there is a chance the Seahawks pick him after JS’s open and public statements regarding DV issues.

        It was always in the spirit of “Some team may draft him” but not us.

        I felt a similar vibe regarding McDowell this year and I fully justify it on both occasions. I want to believe that they will not draft a domestic abuser or a guy that is not ready to give it all for this team and that is how we should evaluate future picks.

        Therefor, once they do draft such a guy, i tend to believe that they did their due diligence and those issues are not a hindrance for this player’s future.

        If you felt this was a knock on SDB or you – it certainly wasn’t. It was a statement regarding what I think the FO found out about those players and what we as fans should feel about it.

        In other words – I was saying “WOW this guy is not a lazy selfish bum. great that we got him”

        • Rob Staton

          John Schneider didn’t make those public comments about DV until after they selected Frank Clark though. The basis of the debate in 2015 was more about — we know Clark’s background. We appreciate that some people will not want the Seahawks to draft him. However, we are going to look at the player as a prospect and judge what he is on the field. It was never in the spirit of ‘some team may draft him but not us’. It was more — this is what he is as a player and that’s really good. But it’s a sensitive issue and let’s remember that when discussing him.

          With Mixon we did the same thing — but that genuinely was a ‘someone will draft him but not us’.

          Absolutely no offense taken — but it was incorrect to suggest we didn’t pay Clark much attention. We paid him more attention than most other players leading up to the 2015 draft.

    • Trevor

      I disagree about Clark. Rob covered him a ton and was a big fan of his talent. I had him mocked to the Hawks in Rd #3 because of this blog.

      I think Clark will be a pro bowler this year and lead the team in sacks. Locking him up long term is going to be a huge challenge but of great importance IMO.

    • Trevor

      I agree Earnunger about the Hawks really focusing on the player not the testing #s this year. To me it seems like this draft their regional scouts and JS ran the show with coaches signing off. It will be interesting how it plays out.

      The only guy who I think was picked more for his testing than play was Griffin. He is the ideal athlete phyical for Pete and Richards to mould into a Hawks CB but his tape was just OK IMO and I think he takes a year in the Hawks system before he can start. I think he was drafted with the idea of eventually replacing Sherm.

      • peter

        I agree he takes a year but Seattle will need to look for an additional outside corner. Well maybe not need if Lane/Desir/etc pan out. Though I’m intrigued to see what they do with Tyson. it’s already said they plan to focus on him being a CB

  44. 6x2 Stackmonster

    Let’s remember this for a second…Malik McDowell is 20 years old. There’s a lot of potential for growth as a person there. I think it’s easy to judge people through the lense of the educated middle-aged “white” professional. What kind of family life did this kid grow up in? Did he have mentors to teach him how to act and talk to people? Did he show up to the weight room? What was his work ethic like there? Was he a good teammate? Was he coachable? I remember the first time I heard Cortez Kennedy talk after he got drafted and thinking that he was just a dumb jock. Sometimes these guys are really oversized, talented boys still learning to be men.

    • Trevor

      The fact that he is 20years old is a huge point. Can you imagine what this guy is going to look like in a couple of years in an NFL training /diet / workout plan. People keep referring to him as a Calias Campbell clone but if he can learn his craft and pass rush moves I think Mario Williams is another comp.

      I will say him quitting last year scares the hell out of me though. How will he react when times get tough and they do for all young players at some point. To ignore this and the huge bust potential as a result would be silly.

      In all the euphoria over his talent and potential lets not get too excited yet and remember there is a reason every team in the league passed on him despite all that talent.

      I think if any team can help him mature and become a great player it is Pete and Hawks staff / culture but I still think it is 50/50 at best.

      • Mike

        Every team passed on Russell Wilson at east twice and passed on Tom Brady at least 5 times. Sometimes GMs are drafting not to get fired and they pass on risks because they do not have the record to fall back on. That is why guys like Schneider and The Patriots can grab risky people cheap and looks brilliant a few years later

  45. Trevor

    My 10 bold predictions for 2017 NFL draft picks

    #1 Daeshon going to Panthers will end up being a star much like Kwan Short several years ago he was a steal. My bold prediction is he will have more sacks than former Aggie team mate Myles Garrett in 2017-2018

    #2 Defensive Rookie of the Year will be Mailk Hooker who along with Quincy Wilson are a huge upgrade to that Colts secondary. I think Hooker will be a star and have a Marsus Peters like impact with 8 Ints +

    #3 Joe Mixon will be the Offesnive Rookie of the Year and combine with fellow rookie John Ross along with AJ Green to finally help the Bengals win a playoff game.

    #4 Making the trade to all Rueben Foster to end up with the 49ers instead of the Saints will haunt the Seahawks for many many years to come as he becomes a multi year all Pro.

    #5 Ethan Pocic combines with Just Britt, Germain Ifedi, George Fant and Luke Joeckel to finally in the 7th year of the Tom Cable era becomes a unit that is not graded in the bottom 1/3 of the league in 2017 and 2018. Then in 2018-2019 the OL shocks the world and becomes a strength of the team.

    #6 Leonard Fournette has a Marshawn Lynch type impact in Jacksonville who be come a run based offense with that incredibly talented defensive unit and they win the NFC South in a shocker over the Titans and Texans who also make the playoffs.

    #7 Deshawn Watson leads the the Texans to playoffs in year #1 and Super Bowl in year #2 much like Russ did with the Hawks. The Browns will be known as the team who passed on both Wentz and Carson.

    #8 Hassan Reddick and Buddah Baker have an instant impact on the Cardinals defense and once again the NFC west becomes a division known for Powerhouse defenses as the 49ers also sho dramatic improvement.

    #9 Tedric Thompson wins a starting job as the nickel CB and leads the team in Interceptions

    #10 Mailk Mcdowell is a situation interior pass rusher year #1 as he struggles with gap control on early downs giving Pete fits. He does have an impact though as a pass rusher with 5 + sacks. In year #2 the light comes on as he becomes a dominant 3 down player and by year #3 he is a pro bowler whom people refer to as the steal of the 2017 draft.

    • peter

      Nice work. I’m not as scared of the west yet as others.

      the 49ers have no QB right now: Hoyer is the definition of Average. And average isn’t going to cut it. Reuben Foster? Who knows. Possible drug worries, possible shoulder worries. Plus is Bowman going to start right away or will he still be rehabbing?

      AZ. Still no QB. Palmer is a 100. Fitz is almost 100. They got some good pieces but they need to hope Palmer has a see-saw style bounce back year for him, one bad. one good. Seems to be his routine. I like the pieces they have added but if you can’t get the offense moving?

      And The Rams. Jared Goff…that’s pretty much my whole narrative on them.

      As for the Browns I thnk they get to about 6 wins this year as that the rest of their division is feeling mortal. For me and I have no stake in it they set themselves up very well for the 2018 season. Like how the Raiders took about 3 years to clean up all their FO hell that had been created before Reggie Mckenzie got there.

      • DC

        The 49ers seem in a good position to make a poach effort next year for Kirk Cousins. They have bottomed out and are on the mend.

      • Redhawk87

        I think the Browns made very smart moves this offseason and during the draft, coming away with 3 1st rounders and a 2nd rounder next year, as well as 2 1st rounders and 3 2nd rounders next year. That’s a crazy good haul over two years. I would not be surprised if they try to keep the pick churn, trading a 1st rounder to move back pretty far in the 1st to gain just an extra 1st rounder in the following year, creating continual draft capital each year.
        With substantially improved O-lines and D-lines, new very good LB and S, a talented TE for whoever is the QB, a talented K, and a bunch of picks to load up at other needs next year, it is very easy to seem them as a team on the rise.
        I would bet that the Browns have more wins than either the 49ers or the Rams.

      • vrtkolman

        I agree with you, it’s hard to not see the 49ers and Rams being two of the worst teams in football. No more of the Jeff Fischer curse either, he always seemed to have PC’s number. The Cardinals are in decline, and if they have to start multiple rookies that is probably not a good sign.

    • vrtkolman

      Those are some big takes there! I agree with #2, probably not 8 INTs but he will have a huge impact. I am so, so glad Arizona did not take Hooker.

      • Ishmael

        He’s going to play Jacksonville twice, and the Texans twice. Eight is probably conservative!

    • Jujus

      On malik – the times where he doesnt keep his gap it seems he is “trying to do too much” to compensate for being surrounded by HS level talent. In fact I see it more as a counter for the “lazy” arguement. He would try ttoo hard to carry and it would blow up on him 50% of the time. Other times he would destroy plays and be hustling all the way to the ball.

      The more I think about it I think we might try him sporadically on the edge in some downs but exclusively on passing downs as the pass rushing Dt 3T

    • vrtkolman

      I’ll add one, last year’s draft class ends up being a red shirt class, as forgotten players make big strides. Odhiambo wins a starting spot on the line and plays very well. Vannett wins the #2 job over Willson and performs well. Reed takes a huge step forward and becomes the next Michael Brockers. Jefferson has a high pass rush productivity grade in limited snaps. Ifedi still struggles at RT, but is a bit more consistent and flashes as a dominant player.

      This year’s class ends up being the same. Only McDowell and perhaps one of the DB’s (my money is on Tedric Thompson) ends up seeing any significant playtime at all. The rest all red shirt, leading to more cries from the fanbase about another wasted draft.

      • Trevor

        I agree about last year and think Vannett and Prosise will have significant roles on the offense. I also agree with your take in Ifedi and Reed but have my doubts Rees wins a starting spot.

        I think the breakout player for the Hawks this year will be PRich. He is finally healthy for an off season, knows the system and ended the year on a real strong note. I think he will be WR #2 next year with Locket coming off the injury and have 50 catches + 800 yds + and 6 TDs +

        • vrtkolman

          Pretty high on PRich too, but his injury history is really concerning. I wonder if Pete is comfortable giving him more snaps.

    • vrtkolman

      We will see if this 49ers administration is better than the last, who allowed Arik Armstead to play all year with a busted shoulder (forcing him to have yet more surgery in the off season). Foster’s shoulder is a serious issue, and probably should red shirt this season to allow it to heal 100%.

    • Lord Snow

      “The seahawks get the #32 pick in the draft 2018 – without a trade down.”

  46. Trevor

    Watched some Darboh tape and he looked terrible against the Buffs secondary but awesome against Ohio St. He is a hard guy to read because he seemed to struggle with press coverage and getting off the line against the Buffs to get any separation, despite being such a physical guy. Then against the Buckeyes who seemed to play more off coverage he looked awesome.

    One thing all Hawks WR seem to excel at is getting off the line against press with Doug B being one of the best in the league with both footwork and hand usage. Hope he sticks to Doug B hip as a rookie because if he does and can improve in this area he has a chance to be a legit #3-4 after Doug, Locket and PRich who I think will have a monster year.

    • nichansen01

      Seattle is a great team to go to in order to improve in that area.

  47. LeoSharp

    After looking over the roster I’m pretty confident the 45 players listed will be on the final 53 if everything goes as expected.

    There’s probably only 2 spots on the roster that aren’t already accounted for, likely between DB/LB/DL/OL
    Meaning players like Tyson, Jordan, Hunt, KPL, Senior etc are really competing against each other.
    Which of these guys adds the most value?

    (X) minimum I expect on the roster.

    QB (2)
    Russel Wilson

    WR (6)
    Doug Baldwin
    Tyler Lockett
    Paul Richardson
    Amara Darboh
    Jermaine Kearse
    Tanner McEvoy

    TE (3)
    Jimmy Graham
    Luke Willson
    Nick Vannet

    OL (8)
    Germain Ifedi
    Justin Britt
    George Fant
    Luke Joeckel
    Ethan Pocic
    Rees Odiambo
    Mark Glowinski
    Oday Aboushi

    RB/FB (5)
    Eddie Lacy
    Thomas Rawls
    C.J. Procise
    Alex Collins

    LB (5)
    K.J. Wright
    Bobby Wagner
    Michael Wilhoite

    DL (9)
    Michael Bennet
    Cliff Avril
    Frank Clark
    Nazair Jones
    Jarran Reed
    Ahtyba Rubin
    Quinton Jefferson
    Cassius Marsh
    Malik Mcdowell

    DB (10)
    Richard Sherman
    Shaquill Griffin
    Nieko Thorpe
    Deshawn Shead
    Jeremy Lane
    Earl Thomas
    Kam Chancellor
    Delano Hill
    Tedric Thomson
    Bradley McDougald

    ST (3)
    Jon Ryan

    • Greg Haugsven

      That’s a pretty fair list Leo. The only thing I see is that Shead will probably start on the PUP but looks good to me.

      • LeoSharp

        I included Shead because once he’s healthy he just replaces whoever was on the roster in place of him anyway.

        • Myfanwy365

          I’d reckon on them taking 9 OL, possibly over one of the WR or RB

          • LeoSharp

            I think the addition of Pocic gives them the flexibility to let Hunt sit on the PS. I think he doesn’t get poached over Collins or McEvoy who both showed promise last season.

            Oline depth projection
            1st: Joeckel, Odihambo, Britt, Pocic, Ifedi
            2nd: Fant, Glowinski, Pocic, Aboushi, Pocic
            With Glowinksi also being the 3rd RG, Aboushi being the 3rd RT and Odiambo being the 3rd LT

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              It’s still unclear if Joeckel will be able to start the season. And even if he does, it’s unclear if he’ll be capable of starting at LT.

              I think LT is Fant’s position to lose.

              Also, I think there will be a good old fashioned competition at C, and it’s possible Pocic wins and Britt moves to G or T. Wouldn’t concern me much because as one other commentator put it, Britt’s improvement last year was more about him finally adjusting to the pros, and less about finding his true position.

    • nichansen01

      I really want Dion Jordan to make the team… over Marsh even

      • cha

        His potential is intriguing but Marsh fills a ST role so they’d need to fill that elsewhere if they keep Jordan over Marsh. Maybe one of the free agent LBs.

      • LeoSharp

        Dion Jordan is essentially this year’s Damontre Moore, if he plays well at 280 then he more than likely makes the roster. Just means there’s only one spot for all the remaining DB/LB/OL/TE to fight for.

        • Kenny Sloth

          They’re dropping his weight and moving him to LB

          • nichansen01

            Where did you hear this.

            • Redhawk87

              Kenny keeps saying this, but they’ve stated the opposite. They’ve stated he’s competing for a DL roster spot. Dion Jordan is not going to be a LB.

        • Redhawk87

          I wouldn’t be surprised if they have 9 true DL (excluding Marsh), 4 true LB (no Marsh), and Marsh purely stays as a full time ST with occasional injury fill-in duties to either WLB or DE. So that’s 14 roster spots. 12 more for the DB position (the Seahawks more often than not carry 24 Offense 26 Defense 3 ST).
          DL: Bennett, Avril, Clark, Jefferson, Jones, McDowell, Rubin, Reed, Jordan
          LB: Wagner, Wright, ***TBD***, ***TBD***
          DB: Sherman, Thomas, Chancellor, Shead, Lane, McDougald, Griffin, Hill, Thompson, Thorpe, ***TBD***, ***TBD***
          (DB competition primarily between Desir, Elliott, and Tyson)
          Other: Marsh

        • Jujus

          I think having Marsh as a lb/De will keep him filling 2 slots on the roster in 1, so I think he makes the roster. And you never know he might take a step forward, and with the interior pressure Malik provides can actually show up 5+ sacks?

          Fingers crossed.

    • Redhawk87

      I wrote on this before, but I would actually consider it likely that they release Kearse this year as opposed to next year, saving $2M in cap space and a roster spot, and give that roster spot perhaps to Grayson (who likely won’t be sneakable to the PS).
      Other than that, I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of the players you put down makes the roster, with the only question being who else makes it.

      • LeoSharp

        I could see them cutting Kearse but I don’t think it’ll most likely happen during the season..
        Kearse just offers too much, (leadership, experience, availability, versatility) the only other WR on the roster who can offer all of that is Baldwin. They would save 2 million but a 3.6 million dead cap hit isn’t insignificant either. I think Darboh needs to play well and Lockett needs to be fully healthy before they consider cutting him.

  48. Logan Lynch

    Not sure if it was mentioned anywhere because I haven’t looked, but this story from ESPN is pretty cool. All 4 members of the same high school secondary getting shots in the NFL. 2 drafted (Jourdan Lewis and our own Delano Hill) and 2 more with minicamp invites.

  49. Kenny Sloth






    • nichansen01

      a 280 lb linebacker.

    • Ukhawk

      At the current +280lbs?

    • Jujus

      You are trying to trigger me and its not going to work…


  50. Redhawk87

    Rob, if you are going to do a write-up of Shaquil Griffin, he spoke on Brock and Salk on Monday. Apparently he does not like his name shortened to Shaq, rather Quil (spoken like “Keel”). Since we’re going to be talking about him a lot this offseason (and hopefully as a future start of the Seahawks for many years), I think we should start getting used to calling him ‘Quil Griffin.

  51. millhouse-serbia

    @ JT

    Have you done scouting reports for earlier drafts as you did for 2017?

  52. Ukhawk

    Definitely thought Malik was a possible 1st pick for our hawks when previewed on the blog:

    ukhawk says:
    April 18, 2017 at 9:25 am
    Some very good points made questioning McDowell’s character, intensity, skill set and I agree all these concerns are valid.

    That said, I think he should be a target in R2; especially considering the strong locker room, coaching staff & excellent winning atmosphere Seattle can offer.

    Really enjoyed Brett Kollman’s video review of McDowell & liked some of the points made. Ultimately he is a prospect with elite physical tools who flashed dominant skills in run & pass and who is very young & under developed. He undoubtedly wore down (mentally & physically) as the bad year progressed at MSU but as with many DT prospects, his intensity & dedication have been questioned.

    Personally I believe he is similar to Calais Campbell in terms of make-up & upside. A guy who also slipped into R2, who was also questioned for similar concerns coming out of Miami, a guy with a unique skill set who can play inside/out, made multiple pro bowls and a guy who we wanted to sign in the offseason.

    Definitely not in R1 but maybe a risk to take in R2

    • Ukhawk

      Now I’m even more pleased:
      -he’s in the perfect situation to learn and grow, he’s awesome raw material, imagine if he learns a countermove or two?
      -It’s going to take some time for him to mature, grow & learn but based on his natural ability he could impact as a DPR from day 1.
      -we still got a great OL & DB prospects in the process, seems like the order played into the strengths of the team from a development perspective. 3T is a higher priority as u can’t develop what isn’t there, lots of OL development already in progress but more material required, & their DB development from later round guys is PCs specialty
      -Love how PCJS are aggressively addressing a weakness by tripling down on the inside rush position (Jefferson, Jones, McDowelol) – just like they did at DB & RB
      -best comp is Calais Campbell, but better yet it’s a younger, faster version than the $14m man. Check out these highlights and tell me if this doesn’t look eerily resemble Malik?

      • Ishmael

        He’s got more to work on than just a couple of different moves though. Needs to work on his feet in a big way, sets a very narrow base, plays too high, plays way too recklessly, isn’t scheme disciplined, needs to learn how to layer his moves and not be so predictable, plus all the attitude stuff. There are reasons why he wasn’t productive last year, and why he fell to where he did.

        His best tape is awesome, but there’s a lot of very ordinary stuff out there as well. I’m not expecting him to have a huge role in his first season.

        • Ukhawk

          Guess I’m more interested in what he can do rather than what he cant

  53. Jujus Calais Campbell : How to do the Swim Move How to do the Bull Rush : Calais Campbell

    get these to MAlik STAT!!

  54. Coleslaw

    Malik loves football more than Obi

    • Ishmael

      That’s an interesting one man. I was talking about it a couple of threads back, I’ll try find it. Okay, this is what I was thinking a few days ago:

      ‘It’s funny, this is absolutely insane to speculate, but I wonder if he’s just a bit too nice and well adjusted for the Hawks. They really want chippy, insecure, manically driven dudes who are out to prove the world wrong. Everything you see and read from/about Melifonwu suggests he’s a nice kid who’s pretty good at football and generally enjoys his life – he’s not pissed off for greatness. Football isn’t as important to him as some other guys, it’s not a defining part of his identity.’

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see why we have to make comparisons like this.

      I suspect both enjoy the game of football.

      • Coleslaw

        It wasnt really meant to be too serious, just shining light on the fact that the guy we all wanted at 26 had the same issues and that Malik shows more passion on the field

        • Rob Staton

          Melifonwu was one of a number of players we discussed, I’m not sure he’s the one everyone wanted per se.

          I don’t think there’s much to be gained from comparing ‘who has more passion’. They chose McDowell, Melifonwu ended up in Oakland. I’m not sure the California branch of the Seahawks would’ve drafted a player with a lack of ‘passion’. But it’s time to focus on the players they drafted.

          • Coleslaw

            You might not think it’s necessary, and that’s fine, I’m still going to speak my mind

            • Rob Staton

              Well congratulations.

              Some people wanted Obi. I seriously doubt those people are overly concerned he went to Oakland instead. I highly doubt Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton drafted a player lacking in ‘passion’. There’s nowhere else to really go with this.

              I’m not sure the people who did want him want to have this rubbed in their face either. That’s not how we roll here.

              • Coleslaw

                Im not rubbing anything in anyone’s face, I wanted obi! I was trying to convince people on McDowell by saying if they thought obis concerns were ok then they should be ok with McDowells. It was not meant to be taken too seriously like I said, just a quick way to change open people’s minds to McDowell

                • Kenny Sloth

                  Where’d you get that fancy dancy passion measuring stick.?

                  Would be been real helpful about a month ago when we were talking about both as our two most likely picks.

                  Perhaps they used the four meetings with Obi as a smokescreen. Perhaps they wanted more every time. Perhaps they knew immediately with ‘Leek that he has more passion than Melifonwu.

                  I thought your comment was incredibly derisive to fans of both players, kind of insinuating neither had much passion.

                  But hey, at least that’s coachable

                  • Coleslaw

                    Well all I can say is you read too much into my comment

              • Coleslaw

                Honestly I don’t see how my comment could be taken as anything offensive, I don’t know why you jumped that far ahead for one sentence. It’s my opinion, it’s no different than what everyone else here posts.

                • Kenny Sloth

                  “He has more passion” is not a statement of opinion.

                  We also use facts around here to support our opinions.

                  You ain’t new, Cole.

                  • Coleslaw

                    Im sorry I’m not making posts to your standard.

                  • Kenny Sloth

                    We can’t all be Seamodes, buddy

                • Rob Staton

                  Ok fair enough. I thought you were making a point about people wanting Obi. If I was mistaken I apologise.

              • Coleslaw

                I can’t help but feel there are still some hard feelings from my past mistakes.. I don’t know what else I can do, I’ve apologized, made sure to not be offensive, and just try to be a contributor to your site. I love it here and am grateful for all you do, I’ve expressed that multiple times, I’m not trying to play victim I just feel like honestly you don’t like me too much lol. I could’ve just changed my name and nobody would know the difference, but I chose to correct my mistakes, stick around and prove I’m not an ass. Idk I just don’t want to have my past stick with me, you know?

                • Kenny Sloth

                  There’s nothing personal at play here man. I like you, and I like your contributions and hard opinions. You’re usually coming from a very smart place with your comments. My biggest fear is people will stop commenting when I disagree with them, but you have to be prepared for people to take exception to what you say.

                  And if someone does call you on something and you can’t back it up, just recant with grace.

                  Sometimes commenters on here are too smart for their own good. Trying to backpedal or reframe their argument.

                  Kudos for not changing your name. You’re someone I look forward to arguing with 😉 lol just kidding

                  • Coleslaw

                    I try to put as much thought and fact checking into my comments as I can, sometimes I’m just pressed for time, or can’t find the words at the moment. I never have foul intent with my comments, ever. It’s impossible to tell people’s tone on the internet, that might be why I seem offensive sometimes

                  • Kenny Sloth

                    Not offensive at all man.

                    Most smart people have a wry wit and you’re no different.

                    Rob doesn’t like to beat a dead horse, I’ve found (who does).

                    And at risk of doing so myself I’ll just say again; I like you here, just keep doing what you’re doing and not blur fact from opinion or baseless arguments that can’t be’re fine. Nobody’s any more important here just as long as we follow the same code.

                    Analysis to improve our understanding of Seahawks drafts.

  55. ulsterman

    Another name to watch on dline could be shaniel jenkins who was a star of last preseason for dallas before he got injured.
    Also really looking forward to seeing what a fit again jefferson can do.

  56. Heliopause

    The more I think about the “motivation” issue the less concerned I am about it. McDowell figures to be getting, what, 20-30 snaps a game at the start? Maybe a little more, maybe a little less? Motivating for that many snaps with a winning team ought to be no problem, as opposed to motivating for 60-80 snaps with a bad team. And the only way he’ll get more than those 20-30 snaps is if he earns them, in which case motivation will have been a non-issue..

  57. Victor

    Some of you take what other people say and run with it but i like to make up mind on Malik and he is not lazy and he has the most natural ability of any lineman in this draft. In my opinion he will Dominant and he has special physical gifts it is easy to compare him to Campbell but he is way more athletic and by the way our Dline coach Clint Hurtt is a pass rush specialist coached Campbell at Miami so this is encouraging. Malik has all pro potential i compare him to J.J. Watt because he can play everywhere. Nazair Jones is a run stopper with a little wiggle. He is a powerhouse with quickness to shoot gaps. If Jordan is healthy he will make this team because he is blessed physically.

    • Kenny Sloth

      A few things I would personally disagree with are

      Him being more athletic than Campbell.
      His tape didn’t show an insane athlete, but a man amongst boys to be sure.
      He’s stronger than he is quick and quicker than he is fast. His combine numbers were pretty accurate for me.he could lose some weight and be a little smoother working outside

      He can play any position ala JJ
      Nobody is JJ Watt. There just isn’t another one. He’s significantly less athletic and less versatile.
      We saw from his tape last year that he isn’t really much of a nose tackle. I think he’s limited to 5 tech and 3 tech in our scheme. Would love to see him come down to the 280 range.

      He clearly doesn’t realize how good he is. This kid isn’t even close to his ceiling. Could be the highest in the draft.

      Actually nevermind on that last part. This class had Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette in it.

      • C-Dog

        My hunch is that within a couple years, odds are pretty decent that he will be the starting 3 tech that plays three downs that most have been clamoring for the last number of years, but will be flexible to move into other spots, depending on the match up. Carroll was quick to point out that he’s flexible to play a number of spots, and both he and Schneider referred to him the pass rushing 3 tech they’ve been searching for.

        While he was an ill fit for nose at Michigan St last year, I don’t think he was all together terrible. He’s shown he an anchor inside if he needs to. I see the Watt and Campbell comps, but I would go back a few more years and throw out the Richard Seymour comp, and then I would co back several more years and throw out the Keith Millard comp, guys that won inside with length and explosion.

        I think the one thing that might move him to 5 tech is if Naz Jones or Q Jeff explode onto the scene in a big, big way inside, but either one of those two guys could also be a candidate for the 5. Q Jeff could find a nice home there with the depth at DT now.

  58. Victor

    Youre right Malik can play the nose and jj doesnt.

  59. Victor

    Malik has Reggie White potential he can be a game changer he also playedinjured last year high ankle and a rib ailment there is nothing lazy about that.Malik will be special.

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