Breaking down the draft class: Rashaad Penny

Before getting into Rashaad Penny the player, a few thoughts on the pick:

1. The Seahawks took the guy they wanted not the consolation prize

Whatever your thoughts are on Seattle drafting a running back early, two points are indisputable. The Seahawks set out to fix the run as a priority. They appeared set on taking a running back with their first pick. And rather than keep trading back and ending up with their second, third or fourth choice, they took the guy they really wanted.

It’s refreshing to know they got their guy. We’ll never wonder if they missed out on target #1. With a pick of the whole running back class aside from Saquon Barkley, they genuinely wanted Penny. Not Nick Chubb. Not Sony Michel. Not Kerryon Johnson or Ronald Jones II or Derrius Guice. They landed the guy they sought the most. They didn’t get cute. Pete Carroll stated, emphatically:

“I don’t mind telling ya, this pick fires me up. I am jacked about this pick.”

It’s not uncommon for Pete to be ‘pumped’ or ‘jacked’. It’s fair to say though, this was an especially ‘jacked’ Carroll. They really wanted Rashaad Penny.

2. Rashaad Penny + Rasheem Green = better than the alternative

The Seahawks could’ve taken Harold Landry (overrated) or Taven Bryan at #27 and waited until round three to take a running back. That would’ve been fine if you were content with Nyheim Hines, Mark Walton, Kalen Ballage or Chase Edmunds being trusted to help ‘fix the run’. Those were the four running backs taken after pick #76.

So what would you rather have? Rashaad Penny, the running back they really wanted, and Rasheem Green — a player who, according to one unnamed AFC regional scout, “probably would have been a top-10 pick next year“? Or Harold Landry and Kalen Ballage?

I’ll go with option A.

3. The good running backs were always going to go early

How often did we talk about at least six running backs being off the board by pick 50?

#2 Saquon Barkley
#27 Rashaad Penny
#31 Sony Michel
#35 Nick Chubb
#38 Ronald Jones II
#43 Kerryon Johnson

Six were gone by #43. The predictable rush on running backs occurred right in the range everyone expected. Royce Freeman lasted until #71 (I personally thought he’d go in the top-65) and Derrius Guice dropped to #59 due to well publicized character concerns.

If you wanted one of the top runners you couldn’t hang about. The likes of John Kelly (sixth round) and Bo Scarborough (seventh round) clearly weren’t viewed positively by teams in the league. This was most definitely a case of ‘go early or miss out’.

The Seahawks acted accordingly.

4. Stick to your guns

I like to try and learn from every draft. There’s always a lesson. I’ve already mentioned my regret at being swayed to pick a cornerback (Isaiah Oliver) to be Seattle’s first pick after spending a whole draft season talking about the running game. Another lesson also became evident after a few days. One I should’ve already learnt from.

In 2012 the first player we talked about immediately after the 2011 draft was Bruce Irvin. Here’s the piece and here’s an exert:

He’s the best kept secret in college football. Last season he recorded 14 sacks and yet received virtually no hype. West Virginia pulled off a masterstroke appointing Dana Holgorsen as their offensive coordinator and future head coach. He was the mastermind behind Oklahoma State’s free-scoring offense which consistently churned out talent at running back and wide receiver. The Mountaineers will have a productive offense next season and with Irvin leading the way on defense they’re an outside pick to go unbeaten next year. That’ll help to put this guy firmly on the map.

Make no mistake this is the most devastating, dominating and exciting player you’ll watch during the 2011 college season.

Then when the college season started and West Virginia strangely used Irvin in a three man front, we only occasionally talked about him. And we projected him as a third round option by the 2012 draft like most people.

The ideal LEO, as Pete Carroll later called Irvin, had been identified almost a full year before the Seahawks drafted him. And rather than keep that thought firmly in our minds, we looked at other players at the business end of the draft coverage.

Six years on, history repeated.

The first running back we talked about during the 2017 season was Rashaad Penny. Here’s the piece and here are some of the notes:

San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny is a player to start paying attention to. Listed at 5-11 and 220lbs, he’s right in the ball park for Seattle’s size preference at the position…. A true all-rounder with great speed, thickness and athleticism — he’s a Senior running back to watch for the rest of 2017.

That was in September and in a follow up piece in November, there was this:

It’ll be interesting to see how Nick Chubb tests following his knee injury. We’ve often referenced his performance at one of the Nike SPARQ combines. If he gets anywhere near that again and the medical checks are OK, he could go very early.

There are others to mention — Bryce Love, Derrius Guice, Damien Harris, Ronald Jones and Royce Freeman to name a few. The one I’d keep an eye on the most at the moment is San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny.

He’s having a fantastic year with 1368 and 12 rushing touchdowns (plus 136/2 as a pass catcher). He has six career kick return touchdowns and he combines toughness, elusiveness and the ability to break off big plays. He’s in Seattle’s size bracket (5-11, 220lbs). He also talks well in interviews and is elevating his team to a strong season.

I’m not sure where Penny will go in terms of round. We’ll need to see how he tests. Yet if the Seahawks did move down into rounds 2-3 to accumulate more picks, I wouldn’t bet against Penny landing on this team.

We focused on Penny during the college season and then during the draft season spent more time on Ronald Jones II, Nick Chubb and others. It’s something to remember and learn from going forward.

So, what does the tape say about Rashaad Penny?

The thing that really stands out is his burst and suddenness. His straight-line acceleration is impressive. When he finds a crease and gets to the second level, he’ll be a threat to break off big runs. He’s a different type of back than they’ve had in the past. Marshawn Lynch was a generational power back. Thomas Rawls was an angry, aggressive runner constantly seeking contact. Christine Michael was all lower body explosive power. Penny isn’t the most explosive player and he doesn’t have the Rawls running style. He’s a lot quicker though.

It might indicate a desire to have more explosive running plays. Even a year ago they seemed to be looking for a more physical approach. Eddie Lacy was supposed to provide size and power (but emphatically didn’t). Chris Carson was more explosive than fast (4.58 forty vs 37 inch vertical). Before he got injured Carson showed an ability to fall forward. He was tough to stop and physical rather than quick.

Penny has 4.47 speed. He’s a home run threat. And maybe they wanted someone who will do the fundamentals well but also provide that X-factor ability to score at any time?

He’s not just about ‘speed’ though. According to PFF he had 1295 yards after contact in college — more than any other running back in the 2018 draft. Not bad for a player who was only a one-year starter. He also led the class in missed tackles forced.

Put on the tape and plays like this are quite frequent:

Want to see a bit of Baby Beast Mode?

Or a bit of Baby Beast Mode Blocking?

Can he be an asset in the passing game? This play suggests he can:

So there’s plenty of the toughness you want to see. He also gets on with the job. Because while all the highlight runs are nice, perhaps the most exciting part of his game are plays like this:

It’s third and three against Stanford and they’ve got eight defenders lined up close to the LOS. They know it’s a run. They’re going for it anyway. ‘Hand it to #20’. He finds his gap, gets skinny through the hole and plows forward for a 14-yard gain.

How many 3rd and 3 conversions did the Seahawks have from their running game last season? Zero?

It’s not a big, gaping hole he exploits here. At one point it looks like #57 is going to make a play but Penny is just too quick. And then you see the physicality to finish the run and get the most out of the play.

This is what fires me up most about this pick. Not a play like this:

Or this:

Or the huge game he had against Arizona State:

Whenever you take a running back in the first round you expect some electricity. Penny will provide that in spades. He’ll be the proverbial threat to score any time he touches the ball.

But what I really like about his suddenness, finishing ability and toughness is the way he’ll effectively help Seattle sustain drives. Hopefully, he’ll provide the kind of balance that has been non-existent for two years.

Mike Mayock described him as a ‘weaver’. You can see why. He’s not an ankle breaker and certainly doesn’t possess anything like Saquon Barkley’s jump-cut (but who does?). He uses subtle motion to deceive defenders:

This is likely why one of Bob McGinn’s sources said of Penny:

“I don’t think he has good feel or a lot of niftiness.”

He’s still, essentially, a 220lbs runner. ‘Niftiness’ would be a rare trait. Another of McGinn’s sources added:

“Makes guys miss. Got great contact balance.”

And that sums it up. He isn’t going to be DeSean Jackson in a 1v1. He still makes guys miss in his own way. And that contact balance shows up time and time again with the way he finishes runs, gains the extra yards after contact and forces the broken tackles.

Overall this is what the Seahawks are getting:

1. A runner who can be in on any down or distance

2. A sudden, quick runner with burst and acceleration

3. A player who can be a legit returner on special teams

4. Someone who drives through contact and finishes

5. A patient runner who will work through traffic to convert short-yardage situations to extend drives

6. A threat to score any time he gets the ball in his hands

7. A player with ideal size for the position, above average speed for his frame and explosive traits

8. A player with no durability concerns

9. A possibly solution to their greatest single need — fixing the run

What does he need to work on? The usual stuff. Most running backs need to work on pass protection when they enter the league. Penny isn’t unique there. There aren’t many Ezekiel Elliott’s in college. Penny, in fairness, wasn’t even asked to do much pass-pro in college.

There are also occasions where he misses a cutback lane in the way Ronald Jones II doesn’t. That’s not to say he isn’t capable of dynamic cuts to make big gains. He is. But occasionally he’s more north-south and doesn’t feel the cut to make more of the run. It’s a minor quibble and an easy teaching point.

His vertical jump (32.5 inches) was a little lower than they’ve preferred in the past and was well below the attempts of Saquon Barkley (41 inches) Kerryon Johnson (40 inches), Nick Chubb (38.5 inches) and Ronald Jones II (36.5 inches). His broad jump (10-0) was only the joint 12th best among running backs at the combine. Chubb (10-8) and Johnson (10-6) both faired better.

Ideally this is an area where we’ll see some improvement once he enters a pro-training program.

Why did Seattle draft him ahead of some of the other runners available? Let’s run through the list:

Nick Chubb — highly explosive, ideal size, great attitude but one-paced, not a passing game threat, injury history with the knee

Kerryon Johnson — very powerful and physical runner and set the tone for Auburn in 2017 but high-cut frame and upright running style encourage injuries and he’s been banged up

Ronald Jones II — extremely quick and dynamic with star-potential but smaller than ideal size, there were some concerns about his pre-draft process (injuries, poor meetings) and might need to be part of a duo

Sony Michel — very versatile, mature and productive but legit concerns about bone-on-bone knee issue and lack of explosive traits

Derrius Guice — Tough, physical runner but major concerns about his maturity, focus, character and had a bizarre pre-draft period (and was banged up in 2017)

Royce Freeman — Very fluid, smooth and productive runner but unfortunately he’s a big back who runs like a smaller back

Then you look at Penny. He has ideal size, plus speed, enough explosive attributes, major production, high character, physicality, can catch the ball and he has no injury concerns.

Seattle needed a running back. They need to fix their running game. Rashaad Penny gives them an opportunity to create a ‘run-aissance’ as Kenny Sloth has been calling it in the comments section (nice work Kenny).

Rashaad Penny & Shaquem Griffin jerseys are now available via the NFL Shop. To purchase either, check the blog sidebar.

I promised podcasts and here are two. One with Kenny at Field Gulls and another with the Seahawkers. Both are running through the draft classes in full. Please listen to both if possible:

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  1. DC

    It was really a ‘feel good’ draft. Seemingly a lot of solid players. Hopefully the 4 year declining trend bottoms out and reverses itself over the course of 2018. It’ll be exciting to watch new growth.

  2. Jake

    This is thorough, rational, and very well-reasoned. Essentially the exact opposite of what you get on Seahawks Twitter — which is kind of perfect, considering the topic 🙂 Thanks Rob! Tremendous breakdown.

  3. Greg Haugsven

    Great write up Rob. Im very jacked about this pick as well and cant wait to see him run this September. It will for sure be interesting to see how the backfield will shape up next year.

  4. FresnoHawk

    I’d say that’s a dead on analysis of 2018 RB draft. The short comings for the early 2nd round RB’s drove me absolutely nuts during this combine season It was like a rash that wouldn’t go away. Rashad Penny looks like a Super Star to me I’m really excited.

  5. FresnoHawk

    Guice getting into shouting match with Coach resulting in worst interview team ever had. Bo Scarbough losing his mind last fall. Durability issues with most of the top backs. This RB class scared me a lot.

  6. Rawls

    Curious about his ability in the pass game.

    • Lewis

      Look at the highlights from the Senior Bowl. He hasn’t had tons of receptions, but I defy you to watch the play down the left sideline, how smooth and sure-handed he looks, and tell me he won’t be an asset in the passing game.

      Once he spends some time learning to block, he’s going to make this offense so much better. Once again, defenses will be tripping over themselves trying to figure out if the play is a run or a pass.

      • Awsi Dooger

        Yes, I was surprised the Senior Bowl clip wasn’t used here. That is Penny’s highlight moment as a pass catcher. I also remember the replay with his teammate Kameron Kelly on the sideline in the background, waving Penny toward the goal line and not surprised at all that his fellow Aztec was dominating.

        Very good player but he is a bit heavy legged and not as nifty and flash quick as someone like Ronald Jones, or the comparison to Arian Foster, who was more of a one-cut glider. There is some Jay Ajayi but smoother and generally better at everything.

        I don’t like the “top 10 next year” nonsense for Rasheem Green. That is Happy Adjuster garbage that basically invalidates everything that scout ever says from this point forth. If you want to make a point…fine, but don’t take it to insulting level. When someone is top 10 caliber you see it now and it was already evident a year ago. The exceptions are so few and so insignificant compared to the examples they aren’t worth mentioning. Then when a guy does vault into the top 10 out of nowhere it normally turns out he didn’t deserve it.

        That scout flunks his job.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Yeah it was a big time play by Penny, beating Warner in coverage and Yiadom to the end zone. Initially thought Penny ran a wheel route, not the case. This was a simple route to the flat, Penny ran up the sideline on a scramble drill, when Benkert slid outside the pocket. Even more impressive! Take a look in the link below. Mayock even says, ” That’s a showcase for Penny’s athletic ability.”


        34 yard run out of the shotgun @ 1:30

        73 yard td rec @ 4:30

        • Mark Souza

          The highlight video Rob posted on 4/26 contains a few instances where Penny receives the ball pretty deep, 30 – 35 yds downfield. There is also an instance where he ran a crossing route over the middle and the QB threw too high. Penny climbed the ladder and snagged it one handed, makes a man miss, and turns it up field. The man has hands and will be an asset as a receiver out of the backfield.

  7. sdcoug

    It’s been said multiple times, but I am thrilled to see JS/PC maneuver to start the positional runs of interest (Penny, Dickson), rather than solely trade back repeatedly until they could scoop the last one or two of a pocket. The reality of a fluid board and draft position won’t allow for this to always be the case, but I hope to see much more of this “get your pick of guys” in future drafts.

    • 503Hawk


    • Logan Lynch

      I was literally going to comment the same thing. Dissly to a lesser extent too. Many of the early TEs were strictly receivers. Smythe went shortly after and he was probably the 2nd best blocking TE after Uncle Will.

      Green may have been one of those “pocket” guys, but he has major upside IMO. I understand that a lot of his ceiling is based on projection due to him being so young, but hopefully he lives up to it. As Rob mentioned, some scouts thought he would possibly be a top 10 pick next year and we got him at 76? Yes please.

      • Volume12

        May take a year or so, but Green is gonna be a monster for Seattle.

        • cha

          I’d like to see him in very limited snaps this year on D. Just that sort of non-schemed “just go in and disrupt things” type role. Have him in the weight room and team meetings learning the scheme all year and then he can impact 2019 as so many Hawks defensive draft picks have.

        • Logan Lynch

          I can be patient if it means seeing him and Clark terrorize opposing QBs.

          You think he stays in that Bennett hybrid role?

          Also, was I hearing things, or did Pete say somewhere along the line that they want him to gain about 15 pounds?

          • Kenny Sloth

            He’s a kid. Ras has a ton of room on his frame.

            Impressive that he had as much strength on that lean body

            • Sea Mode

              I think Pete said he would add 15 lbs before the season even started.

          • C-Dog

            Having watched the kid a fair amount, I think he is an ideal player for the Bennett role, even if he adds 15 more pounds. I totally agree with, Volume. Green can be really special.

            • AlaskaHawk

              He already weighs 275 so he isn’t light for a defensive end. I’m assuming they want to rotate him into the middle too.

      • sdcoug

        Dissly was the other one, but I couldn’t remember who! I knew I left someone out. They had a reason they wanted him, and they made sure they got him.

    • McZ

      They took control of the draft to a degree, that forced the Vikings to trade up for Daniel Carlson(k, Auburn) in R6.

  8. GeoffU

    I live in San Diego and have a few SDSU roommates, so I’ve seen quite a few games. I remember the first time I saw him run and I said to my roommate, “That’s a Seahawk running back right there. If he’s available, we are so picking him.”

    Another thing of note I never see get talked about, but SDSU’s qb and passing offense was pretty bad. Penny was the offense, everyone knew it, and still no one could stop him.

    • Ed


    • Matt B.

      How was SDSU’s O-Line? I’m extremely excited about the pick and think he’ll have a lot of success but even the best RB’s can have difficulties with some of the line play we had last year.

      • GeoffU

        They had some big guys, but were very young and inexperienced. Had four new starters and one very solid senior guard. They were godawful in pass protection, but ok in the run game but how much of that is because of Penny? The offensive line was a big reason for their two consecutive losses on the season.

  9. cha

    Just from those clips in this post and some of the youtube highlight reels it appears Penny is somewhat balanced between juking and initiating contact, which I really like. Gives him just that little extra bit of daylight in the open field he can exploit.

  10. brett

    I like how he uses his blockers so well and understands the pacing of his run. The slight hesitation he gives to let his blockers do their thing (really notice this in the kickoff return above against Wyoming and I also saw it in the Stanford game tape). He’s not a million miles an hour all the time and run right past your blockers in a hurry ala Rawls.

    Also – when i watched the Stanford game tape what I liked was the subtle moves he makes to avoid contact in the backfield, then he puts his foot in the ground and goes. This talent is why he put up the Yards After Contact numbers he did. He’s not a bruiser (but not soft either) but he understands “how” to run and use what is given to him and he has the burst to make that gain a meaningful one.

    And as Rob said in his piece, he knows how to get “skinny” which will really transfer to the NFL when those huge creases you see in college become rare.

    • Volume12

      Penny for me is an ideal sidekick or compliment for RW. A slasher.

    • Volume12

      Has great vision and you mention that burst. His burst through the hole jumps off the screen. Defenders better get their whole body in said hole or they won’t slow him and if that happens he’ll outrun a defense.

      His game breaking ability was perhaps only rivaled by Bryce Love’s.

      Impressive for a dude that only started playing football his SO year in HS.

  11. Jeff

    Something to ponder: If the 49ers hadn’t drafted McGlinchy, might the Seahawks have lost out on Penny? If the mystery team who wanted to trade for Penny was the Patriots, that might very well have been the outcome:

    McGlinchy falls to 18.
    Seahawks trade 18 to Cleveland for 33 and 35.
    Patriots take Penny at 31.

    So maybe the 9ers drafting McGlinchy HELPED the Seahawks unwittingly.

    • Jujus

      agreed i was bummed with the 49ers move thinking it ruined our plan, but I think everything fell perfectly.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Considering all the hype for players in the second round – I doubt that Cleveland would have traded up with a two for one. They got two great players just by standing pat.

    • Mark Souza

      Jeff, I think you’re right. I think they thought they could drop back into the early second and still get him. Problem was, all the offers on the table involved dropping back too far. Little did they know, if they had been able to pull off the trade they wanted, they’d have lost their guy.

  12. 503Hawk

    Rob, my man… Now that’s a write up!!! This is perhaps one of your best yet and I have been following you for years (2011?).
    I know the other picks wont have such an in-depth write up, but man you could use this for your resume’.
    Serious as sin, I really hope you land a big time gig.
    (BTW; another feather in your cap… You articulate extremely well on the podcasts. They have become something I really look forward to.)

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you 👍🏻

  13. Volume12

    Anyone remember when Rashaad Penny outshined Saquon Barkely in their head to head matchup in 2016?

    Penny: 3 touches, 192 yds, 1 TD
    Barkley: 9 touches 88 yds

    • Volume12

      My point is, Pete may have found his NFL version of Reggie Bush. And by that I mean a guy who actually has the size to hold up against NFL defenders while having a similar skill set to Bush at USC. I’m not comparing the 2 just the possibility of how Pete may want to use him.

      Schotty also gets a RB he can use on all 3 downs in some form or fashion. And a guy who routinely got better as the game wore on.

      • Lewis

        And I’m all for moving Prosise out to receiver as a number of folks have suggested. Having Baldwin, Lockett, Prosise and Penny on the field together with Dickson/Dissly sounds like fun to me.

        Let’s spread guys out a bit, get back to some misdirection plays. Let’s keep the defense off balance, get the ball out faster, and start getting some chunk plays from short passes and runs.

        • j

          The problem is he was moved off WR for a reason. He had trouble getting playing time at ND until he moved to RB.

          • MarkinSeattle

            The reason Procise was moved to RB wasn’t a deficiency in his game. ND had lost a bunch of RB’s to injury and going pro early and had literally run out of players.

            • Mark Souza

              Exactly right! He was force into service at RB because there was no one else – much like the situation with Montgomery in Green Bay.

        • cha

          I don’t think Prosise is best suited to regularly play 1 on 1 with a CB or a Safety.

          I am attracted to the idea of the 2 RB set with Prosise and another runner, then motioning Prosise out wide or slot to exploit a matchup. He can take a LB or a box safety off the snap, and it gives RW a pre-snap read on the defense.

          • DC

            I’m excited to see some smash mouth Seahawks football. Get Penny running behind The Hammering Panda. The NFL is no longer prepared for this. We’re sending Dissly followed by Hill followed by Penny/Carson/Davis. It’s the kind of play that travels well. It’s going to be fun. Is the OL going to be improved? That’s the big question.

            I hope we get back to the kind of team that win or lose, the following week you are going to feel the hurt after playing the Hawks.

            • Coleslaw

              Sending Britt on a pull, send Hill in between him and Dissly with Penny chugging along behind him. Outside zone runs are gonna be legit this year. Seal block on seal blocks.

            • FresnoHawk

              Yup Hammeeing Panda real deal

          • Lewis

            Semantics really, but yes, that’s what I mean, using him in the slot, not matching him up with a corner.

            And I’m with you, DC, I want to see some tough physical running and I think it’s that in combination with the other things Russell can do when he has time, and the rest of what Penny brings to the table in the passing game, can really keep a defense on their heels. Then you have a guy like Khalid Hill to punch it in.

            • Mark Souza

              I wouldn’t mind seeing him lined up consistently against corners. He’s as fast as they are and he’s bigger and stronger. With work, he could use his size and strength to advantage the way Anquan Boldin did, only he’s way faster than Boldin ever was.

        • Ishmael

          The thing with Prosise is that a lot of his injuries have been weird fluky ones. He’s not a guy with bad calves or anything that keep blowing up. Maybe he is made of glass, or maybe he’s just been incredibly unlucky and he’s about to have a great run of health. He’s no less likely to break his arm at WR than he is at RB.

          • Chris

            While that’s entirely fair, it should be pointed out that his response to those injuries has left me – and quite a few others – feeling a little uncomfortable about Prosise’s toughness. Injuries that most guys might come back from in 3-4 weeks stretch into 2-month guessing games – will he be in the lineup this week? Pete says he’s close! Huh, I guess he wasn’t quite ready, maybe next week!

            Fluky injuries are one thing. Lacking the ability to bounce back from such injuries is a whole ‘nother thing, and I think we should all be regarding Prosise with extreme wariness going forward. If, that is, he manages to stick on this team.

            • Drew

              Last year he had a fracture in his shoulder blade. How many times do you ever hear of that? With how much you use your shoulders and amount of stress/force put on the shoulder blade, it wasn’t very surprising to me that that injury took longer for him to heal from. Now his ankle injuries and I think he had a groin one as well are the ones that are more worrisome.

              • Mark Souza

                That wasn’t last year, it was 2016. Here’s his injury history.


                1. Hip flexor

                2. Hamstring

                3. Wrist

                4. Scapula

                2016 Games Played = 6


                5. Groin

                6. Ankle

                2017 Games Played = 5

            • C-Dog

              This right here. Dave Wyman has pointed out numerous times playing with guys in the league who have been gifted college athletes and when they get dinged up, they don’t want to go. They aren’t use to it, and they don’t feel “right.” The thing is, everybody plays hurt in the NFL, it’s unavoidable, and if you can’t do it, you’re probably not going to last long. If Prosise is one of those guys Wyman has referred to, he better figure it out fast, or he’s going to be off the roster soon.

              People can say what they want about RW, he’s robotic, doesn’t always see the whole field, whatever, but his toughness can never be a thing questioned. What he did playing through an entire season on a sprained knee, a torn pec, and a high freaking ankle sprain was beyond impressive.

              • Thy Hawk is Howling

                Yeah C-Dog way to bring up Wilson’s toughness and determination!
                We’re so fortunate he’s our QB General!

                With Procise, JK Prosise he has to know it’s go time or nobody is going to give him a second contract. I compare him and what P-Rich went through we can hope it’s exactly the same outcome, minus leaving us

                Still can’t believe the contract Paul got? I don’t blame him one bit for taking it.

              • Ishmael

                Unfortunately that’s the attitude that’s led to a league of opioid addicts

                • Thy Hawk is Howling

                  Elaborate Mr Always Sunshine!

                  Seriously it’s just a fun game and they make lot’s of money it’s a choice.
                  Now I’m all for reinventing the game a bit and making it less violent while protecting bodily harm and most importantly brain injuries.

                  Now I feel bumbed out, I’m going to go pick up garage in a park.


  14. Lewis

    If Penny doesn’t have feel and niftiness, then I have no idea what those words mean, because I think he has plenty of both.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Definitely has a lot of shimmy in his jukes

      • hawkdawg

        He shimmies, but he doesn’t break ankles. That what was so great about a healthy Marshawn. He could make Ray Lewis literally fall down with a juke on one play, leaving him a total mess on the ground…and the next he could flat-out “run through a motherf*cker face.”

        But Penny looks good to me. I think he needs an actual hole more than Marshawn did, or at least a crack, but give him that and we’ll be good.

        • Chris

          It is axiomatic that nobody but Marshawn can do the things that Marshawn does. You shouldn’t be expecting Penny to be Marshawn, because he ain’t.

          He’s Rashaad Penny, and he’s a whole different type of animal.

        • Mark Souza

          That wasn’t really Marshawn’s game either. Marshawn was a unique blend of balance, toughness, vision, and just enough wiggle to keep people from hitting him square. More typical of Marshawn was a small juke before contact where the defender that had him squared up, though he might still make contact, it was off center with one arm or a shoulder, and being off center, off balance, defenders usually spun off to the ground while Marshawn kept trudging ahead. Making people completely miss wasn’t really his game. He made people miss just enough that they couldn’t make solid contact. And because of Marshawn’s strength and balance, defenders were off the mark just enough that they couldn’t complete the tackle.

          He was one of a kind. I don’t know if I’ll see another one

  15. Thy Hawk is Howling

    I really am so Happy we drafted Rashaad! I watched a couple interviews and he is very articulate and humble. He praises his teammates and keeps it real with his words!

    I’m thinking about being cryogenically frozen so I don’t have to wait another day for Pre Season.

    Anybody know a place that takes instalments?

    Thanks for All you do and your passion for the Seahawks Rob!

    • Hawk Eye

      glad to see you back out of retirement…..

      • Thy Hawk is Howling

        I Appreciate you Hawk Eye!

  16. Kyle

    I have had time to digest the Penny pick. Although, I still prefer RJ2 I understand the pick. Pete has his positional ideals, he stuck to them. What made me scared was watching him run through gaping holes SDSU made and how that would translate to the NFL when there are hardly any holes that large, ever… The thing that gives me the most security is his vision on returning kicks. He flew through tight spaces repeatedly doing that. Then watching more game tape and not highlight reel you see that he gets skinny and can make things happen in tight corridors.

    All in all, I think we had a great draft. Everyone and their moms are grading us as D- or F for draft grade. They don’t get that we have different ideals. We believe in our Oline, got help in the best blocking TE, amazing FB, and PENNY. The man who has the stats to back up his selection. The league see us as crap, and we just keep on winning, with our own style mind you.

    Go Hawks.

    • Mark Souza

      I didn’t see many gaping holes in his video, which was one of the reasons I liked him so much. Sure, he knows what to do with a gaping hole, every back does. But his world is one of small cracks. That SDSU line was not a world beater. They had a lot of injuries and had to play three freshman part of the year. He took it all in stride and kept producing.

  17. Largent80

    Pumped and Jacked yet again. AHHHHHHhhh…. it was worth the wait.

  18. HawkfaninMT

    Who would you conepare Penny’s ceiling and floor to in the modern days of the NFL?

    I feel like his ceiling is similar to a healthy Arian Foster (although I can’t recall his pass blocking chops)

    I’m not sure about his floor though? Any suggestions?

    • Rob Staton

      No obvious comparison springs to mind.

      Although Penny referenced Arian Foster when interviewed on Brock and Salk.

    • Volume12

      He’s pretty unique when you think about it in terms of comparisons so it’s a good question.

      I see a guy fairly similar to Saquon Barkley.

    • Ely

      I like the Arian Foster comp. Penny always seems to be moving forward even during his cuts. They might not be as flashy as the joystick player like Lesean McCoy but he’s shifting gears and always moving upfield as opposed to jump cuts stopping his momentum. He might not juke defenders out of their cleats but he’ll be past them by the time they adjust their angle.

    • Andy J

      More Shaun Alexander than Curt Warner, imho.

      • FresnoHawk

        Rashad Penny runs like Curtis Martin!

      • drewdawg11

        I thought of the Alexander comparison myself, except he runs through contact more frequently than Shaun did. He’s also faster. But yes, I definitely see the similarities.

    • Simo

      Emmitt Smith! Let’s hope his ceiling is even half as high.

    • Chris

      He reminds me a lot of Eddie George. Now, George was quite a bit bigger, at 6’3″, 235 – but it feels to me (and I’m going entirely off misty, water-colored memories here) that he and Penny shared a lot of stylistic traits. George could exploit very small creases, he was a higher pad-level guy, he had elite burst and vision, and he was insanely strong in traffic. Penny does these things as well.

  19. Ashish

    @Rob I agree with you on taking RB in first round. Kenny has his views why he will not take RB in first round which i think is prejudice than rational.
    Happy to see JS/PC didn’t get cute and missed opp to take best RB they want. I’m sure if we would have got 2nd it would have been top OL – Guard. But not end of the world we got what we can and need for now.
    Love the punter pick too, another goal to improve our ST and will be better contract than Ryan. Ryan has been great player but he is 37 can’t have one more bad year.
    Other draft picks will get chance to compete, but these two gave us F grade and i believe these two picks will be called BEST picks after 3 years by same so called “Draft Pundits”.

    Once again great job @Rob this year as always. Please keep writing your thoughts on players progress UDFA/Draft picks.

    New stars in making Go Hawks!!!

  20. Ukhawk

    I hoping he makes all those around him better. Hitting the hole faster, letting his blocks develop, getting outside as well as running inside with authority, relieving pressure on RW in the pass game and maybe creating more 1v1s upfield for passcatchers


    Well, that 3000 podcast ended abruptly! Much as it seemed frustrating for the both of you clashing like that, Rob, it was quite entertaining for the rest of us, and very worthwhile. Both viewpoints have merit and I was interested to hear you both out. Kenny got a bit excited there, but nothing wrong with that — reminded me of Pardon the Interruptuon, which I love.

    I’ll say that — while I think it’s important to hear his take — I’m more inclined to agree with you. Something that wasn’t discussed enough is that although a franchise-changing QB is absolutely the best thing for almost any organization to draft, it’s also likely the most difficult to project. I know you touched on all the draft busts at QB, but it’s more than the bust rate — it’s how exceedingly hard it is to be correct about that position prospect as opposed to other prospects. It’s not hard at all to evaluate Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, etc., to name a few that were used as examples. Yes, there are many draft busts at RB, also, but no recent QB prospect outside of Andrew Luck has warranted the kinds of sure-fire draft grades that those top RB’s have elicited.

    Also missing from Kenny’s argument is: what if NYG simply didn’t believe in the talent at QB this year? It’s entirely possible — even probable — that even in a blue-chip QB class like this one no QB becomes a top-10 player at his position. 1st round QB’s are busts even more often than 1st round RB’s, and the success rate is dismal. The Giants had all the information at their disposal and chose to go with a player they felt totally confident in. I’ve heard it referenced often that teams just don’t want to swing and miss in the 1st round. Just don’t miss. That’s why superior talents often fall because of off-field concerns, while solid (if unspectacular) players fill out the bottom of the round. It’s all about making sure you get commensurate return on your investment.

    All that said, I think the Giants would have been well-suited to take their pick of the QB’s this year, but in no way does that mean that Saquon Barkley is a poor value, in my opinion.

    • Thy Hawk is Howling

      Excellent comment LLLOGOSSS!

      I’ve always wanted to know the meaning of your Username please!


        Hey thanks much. The name comes from a band I used to front, since dissolved. I used it for a lot of my handles, though, and it’s stuck around. The word is Greek: “logos,” and it actually means “word,” or “the word,” root word/suffix for all things “-ology” (geology, etc.), “-logue” (epilogue) and a bunch more, I think including “logic,” etc. I’m not religious in the slightest, but the earliest Greek texts from the Bible referred to God’s incipient, seminal speaking in Genesis as his “Logos,” so I thought it would be cool to add some “reverberation” of sorts, like a big booming omniscient voice, or echo. Hence the “LLL-SSS.”

        And now the mystique is gone. Haha.

        • Thy Hawk is Howling

          Wow that was so detailed and fascinating. My user name is music related also it’s a Mogwai album and I as well Play and Love Music! Reverberation is my favourite effect!

          Cheers M8, I’m gonna attempt to find your music! I appreciate you sharing that with me!

          Go SDB!

          • LLLOGOSSS

            Here’s a link to a couple tracks. Just a mic in a room, but you get the idea.

            • Thy Hawk is Howling

              Adam you are awesome I really love your music and Singing! You have to be inspired by Jeff Buckley!

              I’d Love to jam if you’d want I could come to you, for I Live on Mercer Island. I have a car and Drums which is what I’m most talented at. I also play guitar, bass, and piano and enjoy singing.

              We could write a SDB theme song Also!

              I can play all styles of music especially on the Drums. I sure hope you want to jam some Music!!!


              • Thy Hawk is Howling

                Here is my YouTube page. Most videos are loop progressions I made up just then on my TC Electronics Ditto Looper II. A few acoustic songs th

                • Thy Hawk is Howling

                  Oops bad time for an accidental send. Where was I?

                  A few acoustic songs that are my own, the Nirvana cover I actually made up the ad-libbing on spot to reflect my feelings at the time. I really want to play upbeat groove Dynamic Rock right now. High Energy positive, and fun!

                  I’ve placed many a Craig’s List ad( Yes of course I use it, it’s My List) and well people have this attitude in Seattle about being an Artist. I do not I play music because it’s fun and as you people all know I want to express my feelings. I’ve been meaning to record myself on the drums so after I’m done with some work I’ll get on it.

                  So here’s my YouTube.

            • Thy Hawk is Howling

              This is my favourite Band and Album right now, They’re from Australia just like our new Punter and Ishmael our SDB Brother!

              You’re welcome My People!


          • STTBM

            Wow, a fellow Seahawks fan who digs Mogwai! Keep on the positive and things will keep getting better…

  22. Sea Mode

    ADB coming in at 99 on the NFL top 100 list. He’s gonna be even angrier!

  23. Sea Mode

    Kenny, on the last thread you said you wanted a look at the Seahawks’ board. Here’s something I started putting together a couple years ago, but never finished. Some things have changed as well in the war room setup over the years, but I think it gives a pretty good idea.

    • Sea Mode

      And here are the colors of the cards for the 2017 draft class:


      The “C-word” is Comprehensive.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Man…. That was intense.

      Really feel like a fly on the wall.

      That’s pretty cool you did that Seamode

  24. Lewis

    Great, great article on understanding the lack of hype surrounding Penny:

    “The unfortunate reality is that negativity is more productive in terms of notoriety and retweets and those sort of things than having thoughtful conversations that go beyond the surface and the easy answer,” CBS Sports analyst Aaron Taylor said. “Ultimately, to not understand what Rashaad Penny was capable of or the type of career he had while at San Diego State is ignorance, laziness or both.”

    • Lewis

      This is particularly notable as well:

      “The Seahawks’ due diligence included offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer phoning Jeff Horton, SDSU’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach, on the eve of the draft.”

      Certainly suggests that they hadn’t locked this in weeks ahead of time.

      • Mark Souza

        I don’t know about that. It sounds like one of those “if we’re really doing this, let me make one last phone call” due diligence things.

    • Austin D Hall

      Thanks for posting this article. I enjoyed it. I’d still like to know more about his back-story. It’s probably out there and I just missed it.

    • McZ

      It’s called “not invented here syndrome”.

  25. Coleslaw

    Rob I just wanna say sticking to your guns is awesome but I think it’s no coincidence that we talked about all these guys the same year that you spent a lot of time on more than one scenario. The more diverse the talk the better IMO when you’re trying to project the plan.

    • Coleslaw

      I commended you when you mocked a corner at #33 and although it wasn’t accurate, it helped everyone learn and I still commend you for that. Personally I’m extremely glad we talked about all the other backs extensively, and wouldn’t change it for talking about Penny all year, just sayin. Talking about all of them gave us insight into why Seattle chose Penny, and we can use the knowledge we have on those guys to make more informed decisions on who we look at.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Kind of boring when even Pauline knew it would be Ifedi

    • Coleslaw

      It’s like the saying (idk if it’s really a saying lol) you learn more from your mistakes than your success.

    • Rob Staton

      Fair points

      • Coleslaw

        Had a great time this year man. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

  26. Coleslaw

    On a scale of 1-10, how Pete Carroll would it be to have Penny and Lockett return kicks together and do a bunch of laterals and stuff to break the coverage lol. And Penny can block for Lockett too.
    That first clip of Penny, hes dragging that dude and still gets outside the tackle.

  27. Pedestrian

    Definitely feels like this draft was geared towards (or heavily weighted) on player character. Are they ‘all in’? That was part one of the mission Pete and John set out on, that, and fixing the run game. I’ve got to say I feel they’ve done exactly that. Even if Rashaad Penny was a bit of a reach. I’ve come around to seeing the potential and can envision the culture of the team this season. I’d give a draft grade of A- solely based on those two reasons. A little disappointing they didn’t draft Mata’afa, and still scratching my head on Jacob Martin – but hey that’s why John is the GM and I’m not.

  28. Coleslaw

    Another guy to watch this year, TJ Edwards ILB, Wisconsin

  29. JimQ

    A closer look at how a RB can be hyped as the best thing since sliced bread, but when you take a closer look at stats you find he may not be the best after all. The stats say Barkley is indeed a very good RB, however, Rashaad Penney beats him (and all of the other RB’s) when you look at the performance statistics. I saw Mike Mayock say when discussing the Penney pick that Mr. Penney was the second best return guy behind Sequon Barkley. I really like Mike Mayock a lot but he, like many
    others, spouts hype about such an all-world RB like Barkley that doesn’t quite hold up to a closer look. I think Mike Mayock just thought Barkley was a superman RB, so he must be a superman return guy as well. However, hype overriding facts is never a good look IMO.

    On to the statistical comparisons:

    —-Rashaad Penney, 2017 rushing;
    13-games, 289/2248/7.78-ypc, 23-TD’s, 22.23-carries/game, 172.92-yds./game.
    Situational stats: long-95-yds, 81 for 1-st downs, 58 for 10+yds, 29 for 20+yds.
    5-100-yd. games, 6-200-yd games and 2 games with: 53 & 69.
    –Additionally, Penney is #6 in career-yards-per-rush average in the NCAA since 1956, that’s over 60 years, with a career 7.5-yds per rush average.

    —-Sequon Barkley, 2017 rushing; (56.5% of Penney’s rushing yards)
    13-games, 217/1271/5.86-ypc, 18-TD’s, 16.69 carries/game, 97.77-yds./game.
    Situational stats; long-92-yds., 49 for 1-st downs, 29 for 10+, 14 for 20+
    4-100-yd. games, 1-200-yd. games and 8 games with: 88, 47, 56, 75, 44, 63, 35 & 77.

    —-Rashaad Penney, 2017 receiving;
    19/132/6.95, 2-TD’s, 1.5-receptions/game, 10.15-yds/game
    —-Sequon Barkley, 2017 receiving;
    54/632/11,70, 3-TD’s, 4.2-receptions/game, 48.6-yds. game. (Finally Barkley wins one).
    –They threw the ball to Barkley more, does that make him superman?)

    —-Rashaad Penney, 2017 KO returns:
    17 returns for 582-yds. a 30.65 average & 2-TD’s.
    —-Sequan Barkley, 2017 KO returns:
    15 returns for 426-yds. a 28.40 average & 2-TD’s.

    —-Rashaad Penney, Punt returns:
    2 returns for 70-yds. & 1-TD
    —-Saquon Barcley, Punt returns:

    —-Rashaad Penney, Total All Purpose Yards, 2107.
    rushing 2248-yds, receiving 132, KO returns 521, punt returns 70.
    327 total plays, 2971-yds, 9.1-yds/play, 228.5-yds/game
    (50-yds a game and 1 full yard on every play more than Barkley)

    —-Saquon Barcley, Total All Purpose Yards, 2017 (78.3% of Penney’s total yards.)
    rushing 1271-yds, receiving 632-yds, KO returns 426, punt returns 0
    286 total plays, 2329-yds, 8.1-yds/play, 179.2-yds/game.

    If you have read this far, you’ve probably seen that Rashaad Penney beats out Saquon Barkley in almost EVERY statistical category. The KO return category may turn out to be the real clincher. I give it a 1 in 4 chance that the 1-st time Rashaad Penney touches the ball in his very 1-st game, that he will take it all the way. After all, he had 2 of them last year and is exciting every time he touches the ball. Hang on for one hell of a ride in both the rushing category and the return category, Penney has illustrated that he can pretty much do it all. Oh, and he’ll learn to be great at blocking too.

    KO returns are important but, unknown to some, the Seahawks just got one of the best ever. Penney is tied for #1 in the NCAA since 1976 (over 40 years) with 7 career KO return TD’s. Penney is #4 in the NCAA since 1976 (over 40 years) with a 30.23-yd. average KO return. Pretty neat.

    I have a feeling that a lot of people didn’t look at Barkley’s body of work too much, everyone was hyped about his leaping over a few guys and making some flashy plays, some of which could get him killed in the NFL. Barkley is a really great back, but in my opinion Penney is not only a slightly better all around running back but he also fits the Seahawks system extremely well. PC was “glowing” after this pick was made, I think he really likes Penney a lot.

    All of the above statistics are from which is one of my favorite sites, there is an amazing amount of information there once you learn where to find it. Stats aren’t for everyone but the have their uses as a comparison tool. Penney is best appreciated at 1/2 speed on tape, many of his moves in the open field are very subtle and easy to miss at full speed, think about that concept for a minute! And, yes I’m aware SDSC, etc. etc. BUT watch him, he’s the real deal & I’m so excited.

    • Rob Staton

      I will say… Saquon is the real deal. And Pete made reference to that too. A truly, incredible talent the likes of which we’ve not seen in a long time.

      • JimQ

        It’s going to be a lot of fun comparing them (during and) after their first NFL season. MAYBE, it could end up being another situation like “little” RW vs: “all-world” Luck with are determined by the team around them. I can see that happening for sure. The most talented RB in the world can underperform if he isn’t used properly or doesn’t have much support from the talent around them and/or poor coaching. To my eye
        Barkley has a lot of flashy plays but disappears at times whereas Penney was pretty consistent in every

    • Lewis

      Jim, I’m going to disagree with you about the “clincher”.

      One of the things I had a hard time with when trying to settle in on which backs I liked this year is that so many of the plays you see, from all of them, are them running free in space. Either that or they fall down when a defender looks at them.

      I firmly believe that if you had put Saquon Barkley on our time last year, the result wouldn’t have been any different. Why? Per PFF, when contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage:

      Barkley 0.46 57th out of 58
      Penny 3.32 1st out of 58

      Now, we all hope that the change in coaching staff and scheme is going to help the line perform better, but if Penny can continue to do anything close to what he did in college, make 3 yards on plays don’t go according to plan, it is going to be a huge asset for this offense.



    • Thy Hawk is Howling

      Thanks for the time and effort JimQ awesome comparison and makes me even more excited for Penny!

      Go Hawks!

  30. icb12

    Call me crazy.

    But I don’t particularly want to see Penny Returning kicks.

    I like that he CAN..

    But I don’t want our 1st round RB, a guy we drafted to potentially change the fortunes of our running game; playing in what is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous and injury causing plays in football. By all means, hand him the rock 30 times a game. .. but please Pete… don’t risk his health on kickoffs.

    If he got injured during a kickoff I would be very irate.

    • Coleslaw

      I’m also in this boat

    • AlaskaHawk

      Agreed – I want one of those offenses where they don’t even care about running the kick off back. They would rather put the ball in Wilson and Penny’s hands. When your offense is that good then you know you will do alright.

      • Mark Souza

        Me too. We picked up a UDFA who runs 4.19. Let him do it.

    • Austin D Hall

      I cant’ remember the last time a Seahawks player was injured while returning a kick. Maybe it wasn’t long ago and I forgot about it, but if it has been several years then I’d like to see Penny return kicks because he’s really good at it and the risk seems worth the reward.

      • JimQ

        Better KO returns = better field position, Penney provides that and returning is part of his DNA. There were way too many KO returns that ended inside the 20 yard line last year. Also a 90-100 yard return for a TD can be a game breaker, Penney can do that. I believe PC wants a guy to bring some excitement to the return game ala Leon Washington from a few years back and he found the best guy to do that as a big bonus to their RB selection in Penney.

    • 80SLargent

      Remember when they had Earl Thomas returning punts? He wasn’t pulled from those duties because Pete was afraid of him getting injured. It was because it turned out he was bad at it. Penny is just as likely to get injured on a running play as he is on a kickoff return. I say let the young man eat, but manage his touches. Hopefully the other guys in the backfield can stay healthy.

      • Sea Mode


        Penny is 220 lbs. with an A+ durability grade. I’d much rather have him back there than Lockett if injury is what I’m trying to avoid. Lockett has taken a beating back there, though fwiw his injury didn’t come on ST either.

        Which of the two is the better returner is another question. We’ll see if Lockett fully has his speed back now that he’s 2 years removed from the injury. At the end of last year it seemed to be looking better.

        • D-OZ


        • 80SLargent

          I was at the last game against Arizona, when Lockett outran Patrick Peterson to house a kickoff return. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with his speed.
          It’s really cool they have two ace options on their return teams.
          I think Penny ends up doing kickoffs, while Lockett returns punts.

          • Mark Souza


    • C-Dog

      I’m fine with him not doing it, especially once he takes over the starting gig at RB. If they are going to go Carson initially as RB1, and want to take advantage of Penny’s return skills, that’s one thing, but is Penny is RB1, I’d just as soon let Lockett return them

    • Simo

      You’re not crazy, its a valid concern, but teams frequently put their best players in special team situations, not just skill guys either as Earl, Kam, and other key starters play a lot on ST. These players are also risking injury by playing ST, are they not? Certainly Earl is as/more important to the team’s success than Penny, at least at this stage of their careers?

      If Penny is the best kickoff returner on the team, you about have to try him out there. If he can get an extra 10-15 yards on returns that field position can be valuable, and he probably has a better chance of breaking one big than your other options.

      Gotta be smart, but you can’t play to cautiously in this game either!!

  31. Coleslaw

    Watchout for FSU DE Brian Burns, AKA the guy who played across from Josh Sweat last year. He’s 6’5″ about 220 lbs, with a 7 foot wingspan, going into his junior year. His freshman year he led all freshman with 9.5 sacks. Also had 10.5 TFL. Can drop into coverage on TEs and speedy slot receivers according to his coaches. They also said they think he has 1st round potential.
    He had 8 less tackles than Sweat this year, 1 more for loss, and 1 less sack. Although he had 4 passes defensed and 3 forced fumbles, with a fumble recovery, all to Sweat’s 0.
    If he comes in this year at over 235 hes gotta be one to watch

    • Coleslaw

      Josh Allen outta Kentucky fits that same mold but is 6’5″ 230. Good production- 8.5 TFL 7 sacks, 4 FF in 2016, 9.5 TFL 7 sacks, 2 FF and 3 passed defensed in 2017. Can also play MLB.

  32. Clayton Russell

    While I was watching here in the UAE, with my co-worker from Australia I gave him a breakdown of who to watch and my thoughts on what Seattle would do. The trade down was obvious, I thought another was also likely possible. When they called Penny’s name, I was like ok, I’m not made and hey I like the player. I think after observation, Seattle did not want to take the left overs. So, basically they initiated the run on RB.

    I watched one interview with Penny during the Senior Bowl, I think that’s what it was, Penny said, he basically tried to follow an Ezekiel Elliot style of running. No dancing, no East and West just North and South, cut and go. Watching some videos, I think he does just that.

    Offense will be interesting, good thing we’ve got one of the best QBs in the league. The schedule is tough, regardless I’m thinking we will be in a good position for next year’s draft.

    Hail to the Seahawks. .

  33. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Wait a second, you pull a fast one Rob…. Griffin already has a number and jersey for sale?

    • SoCal12

      From what I’m seeing online there’s a Shaquem jersey for sale with no. 49 and a Rashaad Penny with no. 20. Can’t find anything that can confirm these are their roster numbers however, so idk if these are official yet or just placeholders. I think I’ll wait til the season starts and everything’s settled before I get mine though.

      What’s cool though is that Shaquem’s already number 5 in jersey sales already. Though 49 is a bit of an odd number. I figured that number might be a little bit of a number non grata with this team considering the team that 49 is normally associated with…

      • Logan Lynch

        Pretty sure these are just placeholders. Penny could get 20 since that was his college number. McKissic currently has it, but he just switched to it since DeAndre Elliott is back and had 21 before he got hurt (and then McKissic took it). We should know shortly since rookie minicamp starts soon.

        Shaquem at 49 would be pretty nice actually. That’s both a LB/S number which is what I hope they train him for.

        • Logan Lynch

          Should’ve finished my morning sweep around the internet first before posting. Penny is #20 for sure. He announced it on Instagram.

          Interested to see if Dissly gets 86 after all the Zach Miller comparisons.

          Rasheem Green was 94 in college. If he shows up with that number at rookie minicamp, that could be pretty telling about the future of Malik.

          • Kenny Sloth

            I wouldn’t mind him in 79?

  34. Coleslaw

    Man, Dissly is such a good blocker… he demands you battle with him, if you try to juke him you’re on the ground, if you engage him completely you’re gonna be locked out of the play and turned away from the tackle. And hes a very nice receiver. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in strength. Hes a load on his own, throw it to him 20 times a game to wear out the defense, to heck with a running back.
    You know, I’m feeling a whole lot better about being the bully. Teams are going to be dealing with us this year, instead of vice versa.

    • Hawktalker#1


    • Chris

      As a Husky season-ticket holder, I saw Dissly play a lot this year. He was a low-volume receiver, but it felt like he caught everything thrown his way, and always for big, important gains. He was a chain-mover when they needed him to be.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Like how fundamental Dissly is as a pass catcher. Clean catches, with both hands , and puts the ball away quickly- high and tight. Is a load to tackle after the catch.

        Someone on here compared Dissly to Mark Bavaro. Think thats a great comp.

  35. EBurgz

    Rob, you seriously killed it this draft season. Your call on Trey Flowers from the combine was great. You were right about guice falling due to character concerns (I stoped defending him after the news surfaced that he lied about combine questions). You called the 6 backs before pick 50 thing and were totally right. I wasn’t suprised by a single pick we took until the DE from Temple and that’s because of your awesome analysis (and the commenters!)

    Thanks for giving me a place to defend Earl (and guice/penny). I wish you would have stuck to your guns with the early RB pick so you could have rubbed it in all the well known draft guys faces but all in all you were still the very best at covering the hawks and what they might do this draft. The hawks themselves would be lucky to have you but idk what I’d do without your blog on my daily commute.

  36. GerryG

    My 4 year old daughter wears her Seahawks jersey at least twice a week, she loves its so much. Her name is Aspen but we call her Penny most of the time. Looks some lucky little girl will be getting a new jersey once she learns how to spell/read her Knick name!

    • Sea Mode

      So cool!

      Makes me think of the video of that girl a couple years back excited to get a Rawls jersey for Christmas, then he was nice enough to set up a meeting with her. Maybe give it a shot! 😉

  37. Ishmael

    One thing that’s striking watching Penny is how absolutely abject Pac 12 defences are. Forget analytics, the next great revolution in football is teaching guys how to close down space and make a tackle in the open field. Unbelievable stuff.

  38. LouieLouie

    Hey Rob:
    You totally nailed the logic and the strategy behind this pick. One thing the Seahawks still have in the NFC West: the best Quarterback. Goff is a distant second. The rest are still wet behind the ears. Wilson was still the best QB without a running game or an OL last year. If the running game starts going, the Hawks could be very competitive this year. I think they secondary will be ok.

  39. Saxon

    Great write-up, Rob. You nailed every reason Penny made sense (or is it ‘cents’?). Considering all of the sexy names at the position and, conversely, Penny was getting zero love from the media, I’m really proud that PCJS stuck to their evaluation. They chose wisely.

    Excited to read your Tre Flowers eval. Gotta good feeling about him. Looks physical and quick on tape, with enough agility to succeed at corner once Pete coaches him up.

  40. Nathan W.

    I listened to the 3000 Mock Draft podcast and I came away feeling rather dismayed… It has been stated by Pete Carroll that the run game and stopping the run is integral to what we want to do as a team. Why, then, would we pass on our choice of running backs this year? This draft was perfect for us in the sense that there were a whole crop of highly talented backs that deserved to go early. In their day 1 presser, JS even stated that they would have taken Penny at 18… imagine the explosion of confusion and doubt then….

    Rob, this site has been a daily stop for reprieve from college and work. Thanks for all of the quality insight and well-reasoned scenarios for the Seahawks draft this year! I know you might be kicking yourself for having Isaiah Oliver early in your mock, but seeing the real dearth of CB talent this year, it would have been entirely possible for the Hawks to go ahead and get their Sherm replacement. I think your constant analysis that all told us that the Hawks would go RB/OG early is something you can find solace in.

    Thanks again!

  41. Ukhawk

    Just watched PFFs analysis in Penny and the main point was they liked him in many ways better than Barkley. Would imagine this has been highlighted already…

    It also gives me great confidence given his production, fit & skillset especially given his experience in playing in a type of offense/run game alongside a ‘challenged’ passing game where he faced stacked boxes on a consistent basis.

    Nevertheless, I usually don’t like PFF but it seems like icing on the cake. I’ve gone from surprised we took Penny ahead of others, to mildly upset they didn’t wait longer, to almost a perfect 20/20 hindsight view that he was the perfect pick at the perfect spot. This is mainly with the benefit of following Robs blog & podcasts … well done you, Rob

    • Logan Lynch

      PFF is actually pretty high on quite a few of our picks this year. Analytics was a bigger focus this year it seems. PCJS mentioned it multiple times during the draft pressers.

  42. McZ

    FieldGulls has a nice piece, how other fandoms reacted, when their team picked. Apart from Jax, they are all 50:50, and the poor brats in Cleveland are slowly falling into despair.

    So, it’s the professional opinion that counts. Here, we should quickly discount Reuter who gave us a D, while the Rams got am A. Selling your pick to acquire Brandin Cooks is an A, trading down and acquire a top RB, a top DE and the #4 OT/#1 LT of the draft is a D.

    Others are even dumber. I guess, pro football opinion these days falls flat couple of magnitudes compared to the discussions at this place. And this is Robs merit. Thanks a lot for that.

    I think, as Hawks fanatics, we should find consolation, that this draft not only brought us 6 definite starters, that we wanted, but also a prospect QB having a high ceiling from what I saw. Plus, a handful of pretty staggering signings in UDFA, with Lundblade, Philipps, Ford and Carew being 53-roster candidates, and Caleb Scott being a McEvoy-clone, who can actually act in the slot and catch the ball. Also happen to like Marcell Frazier and Ka’raun White.

    This is a draft, that turns around things. It will create competition up to a point, where very few.have their place for sure. We cannot have asked for more.

    • GerryG

      6 definite starters?

      Ill give you 3 probable starters (Penny, Green, Punter), and 2 maybes (Dissly, Flowers), and 1 guaranteed high-level contributor (Griffin).

      That is still a really good draft.

      • Simo

        Very possible Penny and Green aren’t game one starters as well, although you would hope they can become starters quickly. Don’t see Dissly, Flowers, Griffin, Jones being starters this year unless injuries move them up.

        Now I’m not trying to be overly critical of these guys, just don’t think they will be starters right away. It takes time for rookies to learn the system, get comfortable with the pro game, possibly get stronger and add good weight, so its hard to expect great things immediately. They can all still have some very positive impacts in games this season though, and that’s probably a more realistic expectation.

        I do see Penny becoming RB1 by the third game or so, and having a huge role and decent success!

        • GerryG

          Yeah my projection is long term, not rookie year

        • JimQ

          I’d hope that Penney would be extra motivated to be nothing less than RB1, kind of goes along with the first round pick thing. IMO, Penney will not be given the starting RB position, he’ll TAKE IT..

          • Mark Souza

            I think McZ could be right. I include our UDFAs as part of our draft class, and I have no doubt Khalid Hill will be a starter (our sledge hammer), and so may long snapper Tanner Carew.

      • McZ

        We have a whole season to find out, and by the time we we are playing Wildcard, we will have 6 starters. It’s bold prediction Wednesday.

        • AlaskaHawk

          I’m giving this draft a solid B. My feelings of despair are not about the players they picked – its about the mismanagement of picks over the last 4 years. Between contract extensions that came back to bite the Seahawks, future draft picks traded away, and multiple injuries of which at least two were permanent injuries to key players, the Hawks dug themselves into a hole. As you probably know the team has only had two first round draft picks in the last 5 years. The lack of replenishing first round talent shows.

          So I give the draft a B and the General Manager a D over the last five years.

          • McZ

            IMO, there are players drafted in R1, and then there is first round talent. I think, Ifedi is the former, but never will be the latter.

            I think, to keep a 53-roster competitive, you have to nail at least 4, better 5 players. 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 we failed miserably this. The jury is out on 2017, with Naz, Shaq1, Ethan and maybe Carson we are just spot on.

            This years class will prove much better. It starts with Jamarco Jones learning from and ultimately outcompeting Brown. Tanner Carew will replace Tyler Ott, Dickson will replace Ryan. Shaq2 is a heck of a versatile beast, he will get his own playbook of atrocities. Gurley, you can run, but you cannot escape.

            I absolutely love the Lundblade and Phillips signings. Less so Ohnesorge, but just let them compete. The OL last year was a friggin disaster, not a single player improved himself. This will, this has to change. The Hawks are doing now, what I tell my friends a few years… If an OLiner needs 3-4 years to learn in the NFL, you better take a hungry late-rounder than an established first rounder.

            Lundblade IMO could carve out to be the next Norwell. I laughed out weirdly when Oakland drafted Kolton Miller at #15.

  43. Forty20

    Rashaad is actually a pretty good interview. He doesn’t stumble over his words and paces his answers quite well.

    It is a lengthy video but his Senior Bowl media session is a good watch/listen. Penny is humble throughout but exudes quiet confidence in his own ability and cites that the validation of his team mates was more than enough when prompted about any perceived slights for missing out on the Doak Walker and Heismann gongs.

    If you want a shorter interview that touches on similar matters there is also this four minute clip.

    I know you need a few dogs in the roster to give your line-up a hardened edge but it is really hard not to like Penny. He doesn’t shy away from the fact that he needs to improve his pass protection and seems like a really grounded kid. Can’t way to see him in the preseason.

  44. peter

    Rob, love these post draft break downs. also really enjoyed the podcast with kenny.

    i think you two are great foils for one another. Enjoyed hearing some clarity about why running backs are bad value from a cost stand point.

    however i agree with you and additionally have some thoughts on the matter.

    namely outside of qb it could be argued that and maybe qb ss well that no position is worth a second contract.

    that there is no wr, de, kt, cb, etc that on their own produces even value (being a championship) to be worth a high pick or any of the money that the top 15 wr’s make, per example. i dont know how many on the blog are familiar with the baseball idea of ” wins above replacement,” but essentially by saying running backs are just as good in the late rounds as early rounds the anti running back crowd is arguing that that you get just the same amount if wins (value) from any running back slotted anywhere.

    the problem is baseball is a solo sport where every action can be measured individually so you can have mvps on losing teams and even the best pitcher cab have a losing record. I’m not sure you could ever really view football that way.

    finally though in the great debate of value. maybe Bradley chubb is worth more than Barkeley. but what if simply….the giants, like mysekf, don’t think that any of the draftable qbs are better than manning, and that the two tackles, etc aren’t better than or worth more then existing players on the roster.

    • Mark Souza


      That’s what I think as well. Kenny’s argument was that statistically, the run game isn’t nearly as important as the pass game, and therefore spending high picks on running backs is counterproductive.

      The truth is, much of the value running backs and a good running game provide aren’t directly statistically linked to the running game, or statistically tracked at all. Winning the time of possession battle doesn’t show up in running game stats. Wearing down the opponents defense isn’t tracked anywhere – but you know it when you see it. Keeping your defense off the field and fresh also isn’t on the stat sheet. And making the passing game more efficient with play action by distorting the defense toward the LOS instead of back in coverage shows up in passing stats so might further mislead people to believe the pass game is far more important. Whenever the Hawks had a strong running game, they were winning on the field. I want the running game to dominate again, then we can talk about whether it makes the team better.

  45. Georgia Hawk

    Lookng at all the PC/JS drafts, I think you can see a direct correlation between the drafts we used to fill definitive holes and needs and the ones where we could use some “luxury” picks. the 2010-12 years are some of the best drafts in history (including arguably the single best draft by any team) followed by some VERY rough years. I think this year was a return to the style of those first few years. We drafted players we needed to fill legit holes. There weren’t any “luxury” picks or trades for players that could be considered luxury pieces. PC/JS drafted the best players on THEIR boards at positions of need. Pundits blasted it, but they did the same in those early years and look how those turned out.

    I am pretty happy with this year’s draft. They didn’t compromise at any point and took guys they valued in spots they saw value. So what if they took a RB at 27? If he was the highest rated player at the highest position of need, who cares what the perceived value is? Penny at 27 was seen as better value than anybody else available and better than the alternative they could’ve had by trading down. Barkley was seen as better value to the Giants than any of the QBs thy could’ve had at that point. if 20 years from now Barkley has had a HoF career anod none of the 4 QBs still on the board lasted more than 4 years (a distinct possibility), will KA still argue they should’ve taken a QB cause the “game devalues RB?”

    I loved the Penny pick mostly because its the first time in many drafts I didn’t feel like the Hawks had to settle for somebody they had rated lower. They got the guy they really wanted. To me that have the value of the RW3 or BWagz picks, both of which were “bad value” at the time. A 5th round CB converting from another position….hmmm where have we seen that one before?

    • Sea Mode


      Right on!

  46. Greg Haugsven

    What option looks better on paper?

    Option A:



    Option B:



    Option C:



    Option A is how we started 2017
    Option B is how we finished 2017
    Option C is how we could start 2018

    • cha

      Don’t forget Walsh in 2017, Seabass in 2018. If Janikowski is his normal self that helps tip the scales to 2018.

      Overall, definitely less name recognition in 2018 than 2017. But performance-wise I don’t see a massive dropoff.

      DL will be interesting. Can PC projects Jordan and Marcus Smith give the Hawks 16 games of 2017 level production (or better)? Can the two FA additions plug holes and provide some leadership? Can Reed take the next step and make life a little easier for his linemates? Will Green contribute much as a young rookie?

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Great breakdown. That defense looks pretty damn good. Maybe not the historically dominant defenses that we grew accustomed to, but a solid top 10 unit. Think people are sleeping on Mingo and Jordan. They’re both in a perfect position to succeed, in the Irvin and Bennett roles, while playing for likely their last big payday. Griffin is going to make an impact getting after the passer as well.

      Gotta add Janikowski and Dickson upgrading Walsh and Ryan.

      • Mark Souza

        Wait till next year’s draft. The D will start to show signs of dominance again.

    • 503Hawk

      Very interesting comparison. Nicely done.

    • Darnell

      Interesting comparison.

      I legit thought the team that started 2017, on paper anyway, was a contender. But the game isn’t played on paper.

      Bad kicker, bad oline, injuries, Sheldon not being nearly the player he was adverstised to be – just an inherently flawed group.

      This 2018 team, who knows. Floor could be as low as 7 wins, but the ceiling? No one saw Philly coming last year, but they were an extremely cohesive team (key word) that with great coaching was greater than its parts. Of the guys on their Super Bowl roster how many were high-end #1s ? Kelce, Lane Johnson, Ertz, Graham and Fletcher Cox.

      The Hawks high end core is more than good enough if the supporting cast and coaching steps up.

  47. FuzzyLogic

    I have to say after watching some Dissly tape I’m impressed. He is the type of TE that’s makes the most out of everything he’s asked to do. His blocking is better than any TE coming out that I can remember seeing. He will be like a 6th O-linemen, which I’m not mad about.

    He is also a very capable receiver to my surprise. He catches so smoothly and his after the catch ability is pretty sneaky. He knows how to kind of arm-sway guys out of the way like Jason Witten.

    Dissly is exactly what the Hawks need in a TE. Very excited over here in the great Northwest.

    • BobbyK

      It’s amazing that Jimmy Graham is such a good football player and so much better (most likely) than Dissly ever will be and yet Dissly is better for the Seahawks than Graham. Graham will potentially be a Hall of Fame guy, while I’ve never heard of a Ryan Hannam (great blocking TE) type guy getting anyone HOF consideration.

      • 503Hawk

        Ryan Hannam was even a better blocker than Zach Miller. Seems like “job security” for some young college guys to develop their blocking.

      • LouieLouie

        Hey Bobby:
        It’s Superbowl rings that I’m rooting for. Not Hall of Famers. I also thought they misused Jimmy Graham. The team was better off letting him go (although he did catch a boatload of TD passes in ’17).

    • vrtkolman

      Pundits keep saying that blocking tight ends are easy to find, but is that true? I can’t name that money off the top of my head. If O linemen are not getting developed in college, why would it be any different with tight end blocking technique?

      • Mark Souza

        I haven’t noticed a ton of them. In fact it’s becoming rare. People gush about receiving stats and they don’t even track blocking in stats in football. Couple that with the fact that the highest paid tight ends in the league also have the highest reception stats. So try to convince a kid that what he should really concentrate on is blocking.

        I think Dissly is what he is because he started as a lineman and was later converted to tight end. So for a lot of years, blocking is all he did.

  48. cha

    The banner on the side has jerseys for Griffin and Penny for sale. I’m guessing #49 for Griffin and #20 for Penny are official? Have any others been announced?

    I like 49 for Shaquem.

  49. vrtkolman

    Is Rashad Penny really getting criticized because he runs through open holes that his line creates? When did vision stop being a skill? This is refreshing after watching Rawls and Mike Davis run with their eyes closed into the backs of their linemen.

    • Kenny Sloth

      +1 i have been guilty of this.

      I’ve also since seen evidence of him creating holes and using his agilith to get around the corner

      • vrtkolman

        He does setup his blocks really well. I’m excited to see what he does in preseason.

    • Simo

      Love this post! I just wanted Rawls to actually run through a hole (even if they were sometimes few and far between) rather than try to run into defenders. It is nice when your RB can adapt to the blocking he gets and make positive runs! This will be a great pick.

    • Darnell

      Crazy isn’t it? A guy getting knocked for making it look easy and natural.

      You can have physical measurements coming out the wazoo, but if you don’t have instincts and vision you’re Trent Richardson.

  50. Millhouse-serbia

    • cha

      Oh yes please!

    • vrtkolman

      That’s the ideal scenario now that we didn’t trade him.

    • Coleslaw

      No crap? I hope so. In order to get him on a relative discount (highest paid S) sign him an extra year than “ideal” and put a clause that if we cut him that last year, he still gets a bit, but we still save. Gives him a comfortable contract, gives us clarity and an opportunity for both sides to walk away happy 1 year early.

      • Coleslaw

        So a 3 year deal worth probably $38M. 20M guaranteed. Give him a $2M raise this year, plus the signing bonus. Year 2 load it up! 15M ish. Leaves $10.5M for the final year, normally there wouldn’t really be any guaranteed money left but the clause could be if hes cut he gets like 3M no matter what. Pushing the fully guaranteed to 23M. That’s a almost 2/3rds fully guaranteed contract.
        I’d sign that contract if I were Earl, and I’d sign him to it if I were John

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          Why would he sign for 38M, when he will be looking for 45-50M….. only way to make the lower number happen is to increase the signing bonus to say.. 25M (instead of 20M).

          • Coleslaw

            Because we’re not going to pay him even $15M a year, he can hold out and make less money if he wants, or he can take the respectable raise and continue playing, hit the market again in 2 years. Hes too smart to hold out, its counter productive and would hurt his value even more next year if he misses the whole year. Hes older, a 3 year deal going into his 30s gives him a couple years of security, could give him the option to hit the market after 2 years, or take the money in year 3 if things go south for him. Hes not 25 anymore, playing is more and more risky the older you get, security in your contract becomes more important with age too.

          • Coleslaw

            Hes not gonna get $15M APY from anybody. His cap is like 13.

            • Tecmo Bowl

              The safety market dried up this year. Think $13 apy is top $ too.

          • AlaskaHawk

            At his age the guaranteed money should be more important than the overall amount.

            • Lewis

              I’d prefer to guarantee as little money as possible beyond this year, if possible. But go ahead and guarantee this year. I wonder if it is possible to trigger guaranteed money, like a roster bonus. If you are on the team at X date that year’s salary becomes guaranteed.

  51. Rob Staton

    FAO everyone

    The next write up on the draft class will not come today.

    My laptop is being looked at to see if it can be fixed or not. Apologies for the delay.

    • Shadow

      No worries. I hope that it can be fixed!

    • Misfit74


      • RWIII

        Rob: No problem. Maybe your laptop blew a fuse from being overworked.

        BTW: I don’t know why the Seahawks don’t hire you as a scout. When I read your postings I feel like I am getting Seahawk inside informtion.

    • LouieLouie

      Not to worry, young man. Just keep those tidbytes coming (a little lap top humor there).

  52. vrtkolman

    Jags are not using the 5th round option on Dante Fowler. Wonder if we kick the tires there? He’s got ridiculous agility off the edge.

    • Misfit74

      Shane Ray, as well. Potentially an Avril, Bennett off-season next year. We must lock up Frank Clark though.

      • RWIII

        Agreed. Frank Clark has to be locked up. Maybe the parole board will let him off for good behavior. Lol

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          Ray has not shown anything…. not worth the number that he will be looking for…
          Fowler has flashed, but would Seattle pay him north of 10M / year… highly unlikely.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Kevin White is the name that has me excited. Thought he looked like a can’t miss WR prospect coming out of WV. 6’3″ 215 4.35 40 great production. This year is huge for his future. The Bears aren’t counting on him this year, getting Robinson, Miller and Gabriel. Its very possible he could be had on the cheap next year. This biggest ? is he made of glass like Prosise?

  53. Justin Mullikin

    I don’t get the generational talent tag on Barkley. It seems like every year we see a generational talent at rb. 2017 -Fournette 2016- Elliot 2015 Gurley. All great players. All deserve to be drafted early. But generational talent should not happen every year…

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure the others have been called generational, or that Barkley has really. I think we haven’t seen a player like Barkley in many, many years (a point also made by Pete Carroll).

  54. RWIII

    I knew it was a “joke” when I read that Jason La Confora said a 1st and a 3rd for Earl Thomas. That would have been a “DREAM” trade. Now E.T. was missing in action today. If E.T. is made at anyone he should be made at the Cowboys. After all the Cowboys didn’t think he was worthy of a 2nd round pick. Let alone a 1st round pick. Dallas was only willing to offer Seattle a third round pick. So obviously Dallas doesn’t think that highly of E.T.

  55. Coleslaw

    I’m sure hes somewhat known here but Raekwon Davis is gonna be a beast. Calais Campbell but bigger. Dude looks like he has an 8 ft. Wingspan

  56. JimQ

    Looking over the UDFA haul & I think their scouts dug really deep and found some very interesting players that we’ll see in training camp. We can probably assume that metrics used in this draft by the Seahawks would still generally apply to the UDFA signee’s as well. It would seem that the Seahawks have changed their priority and player ranking systems to put emphasis & a higher value on things like Injury history, character, love of the game & grit. We draftaholics will likely need to adjust accordingly in the future.

    IMO, there are several (4, 5) of the UDFA’s that have a very real shot at making the 53 and those that don’t make the 53 are likely to be joined by 2 or 3 others on the practice squad. Bringing me to my next point of view. Why doesn’t the NFL expand the practice squad # of players to say 25, maybe with the ability to designate, for example 5 of those 25 as untouchable? The NFL doesn’t have a farm league or even a farm system. The 53 vs: some have to sit every game is stupid also. IMO a few changes could help promote better player safety because a lot of starters/backups play through injuries that may be made significantly worse. This makes a lot of sense to me.

    • Sea Mode

      That’s a great point at the end there about players pushing through injuries.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      “Why doesn’t the NFL expand the practice squad # of players to say 25, maybe with the ability to designate, for example 5 of those 25 as untouchable?”

      Wondered the same thing- think 15 is more realistic. Dont know how closely y’all follow the NBA, but this year they let teams sign 2 players per team on a 2 way contract. The player could spend like half the season in the minor league and the other half on the NBA team. Not the best description, but think its very similar to what JimQ is saying.

      Would love to see the PS expand to 12+3 players on ‘2 way’ contracts(team holds players exclusive rights) that can bounce between the PS and 53 man roster seamlessly.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I”ve wondered why they don’t increase the practice squad also- 25 seems like a good number for development. Or increase the starting squad size. More players getting paid the better. And they do need a team to practice against, so it totally makes sense to increase the squad size.

    • Simo

      Have never understood how the league settled on 53 for the roster number, with injuries playing such a large role in the end product. And then only 46 of the 53 can be active on game day?? More developmental players training with and learning from legitimate pros would only make the game better.

      Also agree that increasing the practice squad makes sense. A lot of really good players with excellent potential are going to left searching for other work!

  57. Trevor

    Earl is a proud guy. How do you think he feels that his beloved Cowboys would not even give up a 2nd round pick for him?

    I thought the chances of him resigning were slim to none but after the public way he was basically shunned by the Cowboys and the rest of the league I wonder if he realizes his best option is to sign a reasonable 3 year extension for the Hawks. Play like the All Pro he is and retire as an all time great Hawk and HOFer.

    • 503Hawk

      He must feel like the hot chick who can’t get a date to the prom.

      • RealRhino2

        Keep in mind, though, that it really almost never makes sense to trade for a player you then have to extend at full market value. It amazes me that real NFL GMs don’t get this concept even though it’s at the core of even the simplest of salary fantasy leagues. If the Cowboys believe Earl is worth $12 million/year, why would they pay $12 million/year PLUS a 2nd-round pick? There’s no “trapped value” there. The only reason to do it would be if the player’s skillset is extremely scarce and there’s a big need for it, or if you are willing to hurt your franchise for the future for a short-term gain because you are on the cusp of a championship.

  58. James

    Interesting note> Chad Reuter of ranked the top UDFA rookies most likely to succeed, and put the Seahawk’s Marcell Frazier DE/Leo of Mizzou at #1. Poona Ford, Texas NT, also ranked #12.


    • Greg Haugsven

      I still cant believe he wasnt drafted.

  59. Hawktalker#1

    Great analysis and review of what Quem will add to the team:

  60. JimQ

    RE: The new punter Dickson, did anyone hear, during the PC/JS presser that JS said ” he can put a lot of spin on the ball” and held his arms wide! MAYBE punts will be a lot harder to catch and return because of that unique kicker feature???? That would seem to fit in with the special teams additions. A few returner fumbles may be the desired outcome, talk about changing field position? This could be an overlooked factor many are sleeping on. That ability could make the punter a real “offensive weapon”. + The Seahawks gain a couple million in cap space without Ryan. Perhaps an overlooked value pick, maybe?

    I say this after having had the opportunity to catch punt and kickoff returns (with some extremely mixed results), although that was over 50 years ago, I can say, nothing can change about the HIGH talent that is required to catch a high, tumbling ball with numerous players coming at you with bad intentions. The very last thing that a returner wants to see is a ball that is, in addition to the wind, the height and tumble rate, moving sideways anywhere near the catch point. That makes fumbles not just happen, but LIKELY to happen. Dickson could very well be a tremendous asset in the kicking game. Damn, the deeper I dig into the selections & UDFA signees it’s easier to see the future plans and admire the acumen of the Seahawks scouting department. They need to get a firm “Well Done”.

    • FresnoHawk

      Special teams is gonna improve big time this year!

    • sdcoug

      Most punts spin, based on the ball coming off the outside of your foot (at least, if it’s done correctly). Will be interesting to see he is able to affect the catchability of those kicks. The bigger part of spin is influencing the directional bounce of a ball when it hits the ground, whether that be tumbling forward, spinning sideways, or bouncing back (similar to english in pool). At this he is pretty adept.

      By the way, I absolutely love this pick and the determined move up to secure him. I don’t get the blowback from some fans.

      • JimQ

        A lot of punters can put spin on the ball, JS was referring to a unique capability (holding his arms wide to indicate ball movement). I read that as maybe a significant hook or slice and certainly kicking a ball that dies consistently near the opponents goal line. JS & PS also mentioned something about Dickson’s ability to do a 60+ yard drop kick, indicative of a strong leg I would guess. Dickson may have some unique characteristics that are very unusual for an NFL punter.

        An excerpt from, “”Dickson is a rugby-trained kicker who has the ability to kick for distance and hang time, but his most precious talent is how he can deaden the ball inside the opponents 10-yard line. He was actually named the MVP of the bowl game he played in by kicking 10 of his 11 punts inside the opponents 15-yard line. Seven landed inside the 10-yard line, four inside the 5-yard line, and none were touchbacks.”” (Actually he played Aussie rules football and not rugby.) I think they may have found something with this guy.

      • FresnoHawk

        Hawks get laughed at every year and most years those laughing eat crow. At the end of the day pundits discredit themselves. Dickson is a stud that will wreck havoc on the NFL!

    • LouieLouie

      Now if they could just find a place-kicker.

      • Hawktalker#1

        Agreed. With all the focus on the run game and even the punting game, hard to understand why more focus isn’t directed toward a PK that actually impacts putting points on the board and that ultimately is responsible for winning or losing at least a couple games a year, which can be the difference in getting to the playoffs (and winning them) or not getting there.

        • Sea Mode


          • HawkfaninMT

            I said Janikowski to these guys a couple threads ago… not sure if they are dismissing him because of age, or what but the Hawks have addressed special teams vigorously this offseason

            • Lewis

              Janikowski at 80% is still better than most kickers in the league.

              • HawkfaninMT

                No argument here

  61. UKAlex6674

    While we can all agree this years draft and UDFA haul is good, don’t sleep on the 2016 class just yet. I really think this is the year we will see the good stuff from Ifedi, Prosise, Vannett, Odiahimbo and Q-Jeff. Reed is already established but I think he will take it up another notch this year. I think Ifedi this year will really show how good he is.

    The thing I am excited for more than anything is the real chance the players have to get those starting spots. Before, as many people have correctly posted, when the big names where on the roster no one was going to get a look in. Now, it’s totally different. It feels so fresh.

    Most exciting off-season for a while!

    • john_s

      I wish i shared your optimism for the 2016 class. Ifedi I just don’t see it, Prosise was injured in college and that has continued to the NFL some of it is bad luck, but i also think it’s body type. The tightly wound athlete that always has nicks and dings (Like Percy). Vannett, i am cautiously optimistic on. Odhiambo I didn’t see it in college and I am not sure about the pros. He’s already been passed by Pocic for guard. QJeff showed flashes, but can he stay healthy as well?

  62. Logan Lynch

    I know it’s Bleacher Report, but still an interesting article:

    The main SEA point is that the Penny pick “shocked” the other NFL teams. 12 teams were polled and none agreed with the value. The highest grade one of those 12 teams had was mid 2nd round. (Of course, we know that at least one other team wanted Penny so I’m glad they got their guy.)

    The most interesting point to me was the blurb about Maurice Hurst. Sounds like his heart condition is pretty serious and the Raiders were labeled “irresponsible” for even drafting him.

    Another nugget is that Holton Hill failed a drug test at the combine. Explains why he went undrafted.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Stupid matt miller. We already knew all of that

      • Rob Staton

        If this is the best info he got from the 12 scouts/execs… not much of a revelation is it?

        • Logan Lynch


          Does the statement that AZ had Josh Allen as the 2nd QB behind Darnold make you question their ability to evaluate QBs? Personally, I’m glad they got Rosen instead of Lamar Jackson.

          • Rob Staton

            Not at all. I think Rosen is the more natural passer in this class. A very talented football player. Fully expected him to go in the top-10.

            I would rather face a more conventional QB with our defense than a Lamar Jackson type. Tyrod Taylor looked like an all-pro against us in 2016. I think unpredictable is difficult for us at times. But I liked both Rosen and Jackson.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Yeah, seems like he just wanted the juiciest stuff and most of that is already out.

          Teams “shocked” by our first pick? Me too

          They probably thought they could steal him a full round later. (Which isn’t true, apparently).

          Very click-baity. “Insider Info” is such a cheap substitute for objective analysis and evaluation.

    • RealRhino2

      Why is it “irresponsible” to draft Hurst? He’s an adult. He wants to play. Plenty of loggers and commercial fisherman die every year on the job. They know and accept the risks. If he’s willing to do the same, who am I to stop him?

    • Lewis

      Hill had a diluted sample and told teams he has smoked marijuana 6 weeks prior. This has been known for weeks. I thought they usually did a retest in situations like that, but either that didn’t happen or he failed the retest.

    • Lewis

      The thing that’s most hilarious about this is that, with as many people who said before the draft that you might have the same grade on a guy at 25 as the guy at 50, the notion that Penny was a reach at the bottom of the first and belonged mid-second comes across as just plain ignorant of what this draft class actually looked like. It’s meaningless.

      • Kenny Sloth


        I spent so long anticipating us waiting around for the scraps at the end of these runs.

        Instead we got ahead of the 30’s got ahead of the 80’s where those pockets of talent began. Rasheem Green was one of thr steals of the draft imo.

        120 was a good spot for the Y TE as Smythe and Schultz went off the board shortly thereafter.

        Then we just killed the fifth round and took priority udfa after that

  63. Millhouse-serbia

    Matt Miller

    Seattle Shocked the NFL in Round 1

    I polled 12 NFL scouts or executives after the Seattle Seahawks selected San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny in the first round. Not one team agreed on that value. The highest grade I could confirm was a mid-Round 2 value from an AFC team.

    This doesn’t mean Seattle was wrong—just different. If Penny hits, the front office will look brilliant. But this is a team that’s lost some of its shine in recent years because of poor offseasons. John Schneider and Pete Carroll might finally be on the hot seat.

    • Rob Staton

      ‘Worst pick in the third round and the whole draft’

      — Matt Miller on Russell Wilson

      • Lewis

        Lol, right?

      • Logan Lynch

        Serious question for debate stemming from this. Which of the following was the worst pick in the first round that year:

        Trent Richardson – 3rd CLE

        Justin Blackmon – 5th JAX

        Brandon Weeden – 22nd CLE

        AJ Jenkins – 30th SF

        You could argue the first two picks are worse due to their early position and therefore larger pool of talent to choose from. But man, AJ Jenkins was BAD. So was Weeden, but he stuck around for a few years. Between Blackmon and Richardson, I have to say at least Richardson had a good rookie year with about 1,300 total yards and 12 total TDs. Blackmon smoked himself out of the league. He’s my choice for the worst 2012 first round pick.

        • Georgia Hawk

          DIdnt the Browns trade up to get Richardson? If they did that would make it the worst by far in terms of overall cost.

          • Logan Lynch

            They swapped the #4 overall pick for the #3 overall and traded a 4th, 5th, and 7th to move up for Richardson. They also got a 1st back when they traded him to IND later, so that could be taken into account too.

            • Georgia Hawk

              Totally fair, forgot about the subsequent trade to Indy. Probably Blackmon then. That high of a pick to be out of the NFL completely in a couple years? Man…

        • j

          Do we have hindsight?

          Knowing what was available at the date of the draft and nothing else. I’m going to say Blackmon. He failed multiple drug tests in college – way way too much risk. So it is between drafting a running back really high or drafting a high wide receiver early. Clearly the latter.

          Even if we do have hindsight, still Blackmon.

    • cha

      “John Schneider and Pete Carroll might finally be on the hot seat.”

      I love it. Other than Belichik and Pederson/Roseman, PCJS might have the most job security in the NFL.

      Milhouse, would you mind pasting a link in when you quote these pieces?

  64. Ground_Hawk

    Hey Rob, have you ever done an “Armchair GM” similar to Field Gulls? I read their article about the top scorers, for their event, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the top scorers this year are followers of your site. Could be something fun, but maybe you’ve already tried?

  65. JimQ

    If you live in New York, San Diego is a long ways out West, where they still have cowboys & Indians. The East Coast bias is everywhere, and that very much includes the draft “experts”.

  66. Logan Lynch

    Open questions: Taking into account draft position, expectations, fit, etc. which pick do you think is most likely to exceed expectations? Which one is most likely to disappoint?

    My most likely to exceed pick is Uncle Will. I think he’ll be an instant upgrade as a blocker, and if that’s all he does it will match the expectations for him. Any lift he can give us as a receiver is almost a bonus.

    My most likely to disappoint pick is Dickson. I really like him, but it seems like there are lofty expectations being placed on him. Some have said he’s the best punting prospect ever. If he comes in and just does an adequate job akin to a guy picked up off the street, that won’t live up to the capital invested in him.

    I considered guys like Penny and Green since they have the early round status to live up to. Griffin too, but people seem more open to acknowledging the possibility that he doesn’t work out than others. Just my one cent (obligatory Penny joke)

    • Lewis

      Depends on whose expectations we are talking about. I can easily make the case for Dickson being the most likely to exceed expectation, if those expectations are those of the National media.

      • Kenny Sloth

        In that case lets talk about Penny shutting everyone tf up, yeah?

        • Kenny Sloth

          Cuz (in addition to me) he has a strong chorus of doubters. Nigh on cacophonous

          • Logan Lynch

            Count me in as a Penny believer. I shied away from him here just because whether everyone likes it or not, he was drafted in the first round and will have that “first round draft pick” status attached to him for his whole career. I also think he’ll shut people up.

    • Kenny Sloth

      I think Green could usurp Dion Jordan for snaps by the end of the year.

      Ditto Tre Flowers with Maxwell. Dude is experienced, athletic, smart, has nfl bloodlines, and is likely an impact special teamer.

      • Logan Lynch

        Flowers was another one I thought of for most likely to exceed expectations. Problem with him is that a lot is expected of a Pete Carroll DB pick now for better or worse. Especially so in the 5th round!

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Green was one of my two favorite draft prospects, but I think he’ll need at least one, maybe even a couple, seasons, before he starts making an impact. I see his development similar to Frank Clark. He’ll play this year, maybe even make a splash play or two, but his prominence will come in year 3. Don’t forget it took Michael Bennett a few years before he became the terror he is (was?).

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          BTW my money’s on Penny (get it?) to make an impact. If Carson hadn’t been lost last season he had a legit chance at OROY. No reason to think Penny can’t have a similar season, only injury-free.

    • Georgia Hawk

      As bad as Ryan was last year (and really the last two years) if Dickson plays just at league average, the cap savings AND increase in production would make him the most valuable pick in my mind and have him out perform expectations by far.

    • j

      Tre Flowers could exceed expectations. Very well could be the starter early in the season in my opinion. I am going to say Green could as well – simply because a lot of people are treating this as a redshirt year for him. Not expecting a big impact in 2018 but expecting him to step forward the next year after NFL coaching and weight room.

      Most likely to disappoint is Penny. He is really good, but he also has the burden of being a hyped first round draft pick. And he has to earn playing time. It is highly likely he becomes a solid part of a running back by committee set up. 600 yards, 5YPC, a few impact special teams plays. Which would be great – but I feel wouldn’t meet “expectations”

      • Nathan M

        I like Flowers profile, but I don’t expect much from him for year 1. I think its more likely the 2nd year Mike Tyson project takes a big step into a role on D that for Flowers as a rookie. Elliott was also playing really well last year in preseason before the season ending ankle injury. I think a lot of people have forgotten about him…

    • icb12

      Most likely to dissapoint: Green. Not because I don’t believe he can’t be great- but because he was this years “potential” pick. He was drafted for what they think he could be. He could be a top 10 talent next draft. He could be the next MB. He could be… Lot of expectations from fans for a guy drafted on the future.

      Most likely to exceed. Dissly. He’ll slot in with Dickson and be the starting TE by halfway through. Under rated hands, hard worker, no nonsense, and a team fit.

      Most likely to be exactly what we want/hope/thought. Penny. He won’t exceed our expectations, but he won’t disappoint us either.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Just because he could be this and that doesnt take away from what he likely will be year one. And he’ll be solid value for a late day 2 pick.

        The expectation is that he’ll be redshirted and I think he’s likely to exceed that

        • icb12

          I’m not disputing value. Value takes upside into consideration. I’m not disputing the pick at all.

          But every scouting report on green is the same. You see the words like “future”, “potential”, “obvious upside”, “patient team” and on and on.

          The expectation is that he will become something that he currently is not.
          I’m not saying he WON’T become that; I think he will.
          The simple fact is that expectations based on future projections lend themselves to higher odds of disappointment in my opinion.

    • 503Hawk

      Nice thread.
      The only thing I will add is the rookie wall. Most of these guys are coming off of a 12-13 game college season. Their first professional season will be at least 20 games.

  67. Kenny Sloth

    We have a first round Polish kicker and a fifth round Australian punter on the roster. Sounds like a movie starring Dwayne the Rock Johnson

    Also our KR/PR were taken in the first and third rounds.

    Is this a Special Teams-aissance too?

    • Logan Lynch

      I tried to find something witty and/or interesting about either Tyler Ott or Tanner Carew, but no such luck. They must be the straight-laced authority figure to keep the rest of the ragtag crew in check!

      • Lewis

        Carew was the only long snapper invited to the combine.

        • Sea Mode

          When a long snapper has his own highlights video, you know he must be something:

          Tanner Carew – 2018 Reese’s Sr. Bowl

          (Even if it does look like it might have been uploaded by his mom… 🙂 🙂 )

          • Lewis

            Now I’m picturing Momma Carew making Campbell’s soup commercials

      • Kenny Sloth

        Oh I was so close to mentioning Carew. Big time special teamer too

  68. hawktalker#1

    I’m fired up about our new lightning fast tank of a RB. But then again, I am a Seahawks fan.

    In for a Penny . . .

    It just makes cents.

  69. Troy

    I’ll be the impatient ass hole and say where is the breakdown of our next pick Rob! lol

    • FuzzyLogic

      Rob already told us he’s not making one today. Laptop needs fixing.

  70. EP

    Salary cap for player wages? It’s getting out of control.

  71. john_s

    Matt Ryan gets an extension worth $30 mil/year and $100 mil guaranteed.

    The QB scale is out of control.

    Question is…. Would you pay Russ over $30 mil/year and over $100 mil guaranteed? Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers will be due an extension at the same time as Russ. My assumption by that point it will go to $35 mil/year with $120-140 mil in guarantees.

    I am torn on this. I love Russ to death, think he’s a great QB and having a great QB is so hard to acquire, but at the same time, no team has won the super bowl with a QB who is 20-25% of the salary cap space.

    • Lewis

      Yes, in a heartbeat. And if you think that figure is above 20%, you are mistaken. Salary cap this year is 177 million.

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