Can the Seahawks afford a luxury pick in round one?

Todd Gurley would be a luxury pick for the Seahawks, so can they justify it?

The answer to the title is most definitely yes. They’re one of only a few who can justify a luxury pick. While we discuss, debate and (occasionally) fret about who will replace Byron Maxwell next season — it’s easy to forget the Seahawks have a good thing going.

They’ve already re-signed K.J. Wright and Cliff Avril for the long term. The only two significant starters they’re likely to lose (not including any imminent cuts) is Maxwell and James Carpenter. They could use reinforcements elsewhere but put it into context. More than half the teams in the league are going through some form of relevance-chase. Then there’s a cluster of teams like Detroit, San Diego, Carolina and Arizona that are close to contending but still seem pretty far away.

The Seahawks are part of a very small and elite group. The clan of legit contenders. New England is in the club. So is Green Bay. Baltimore is close but are they included? What about Dallas and Denver?

Very few teams in the league have it as good as Seattle — even without Maxwell and Carpenter. They have eleven picks in the 2015 draft and enough cap room to not feel completely restricted going into free agency.

A few problems will be solved in the open market. Darnell Docket has just been released by Arizona and could offer interior line depth while improving the pass rush. Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron could provide the dynamic big target Wilson badly needs in the passing game. Those two additions alone would allow the Seahawks to enter the draft feeling confident. And they might even add a veteran corner or offensive lineman in the second wave of free agency.

With their eleven picks they can get a receiver or two, a replacement for Carpenter at guard, a cornerback or two with length, further depth at linebacker and safety, another defensive lineman. They can manipulate the board and fill out the roster.

They can save a pick for a ‘luxury’ and not jeopardize the short term goal of the team (to return to the Super Bowl next season).

So what would constitute a ‘luxury’ pick?

Todd Gurley. There’s your luxury.

In 2013 the Seahawks gave up a first round pick for Percy Harvin. They weren’t on the clock until the late second round. Even then, they traded down before selecting Christine Michael — a SPARQ demon with incredible physical skills. He wasn’t likely to challenge Marshawn Lynch for snaps and would have a job on replacing Robert Turbin as the #2 running back. This was a shot. The kind of move a team rich in depth (as the Seahawks were in 2013) can make with confidence. They were planning ahead at the running back position.

The depth isn’t quite the same these days — mainly because the 2013 and 2014 drafts haven’t thoroughly replenished the loss of certain individuals. The Harvin fiasco robbed the Seahawks of a first round talent and a third round pick in 2014. But it’s still a deep group. How else could they survive an injury plagued season to return to the Super Bowl?

There’s no reason to believe they won’t be bold again, with an eye to the future.

Todd Gurley probably won’t play football in 2015. He tore an ACL on November 15th in a game against Auburn. He didn’t work out at the combine and admitted he won’t be ready for the Georgia pro-day on March 18th. Unlike other prospects in recent years, he’s doing the sensible thing. Don’t rush back just to make a token performance pre-draft. Let the tape speak for itself and get healthy.

Scientific advances mean ACL injuries are no longer the career death sentence they used to be. Adrian Peterson made a spectacular comeback from a similar injury. Chris Clemons also returned for the Seahawks in 2013 with almost no obvious side effects. Dr. James Andrews is working on Gurley’s knee and recently stated he was ahead of schedule. He also shot down speculation over the health of the knee, after Gurley refused to be examined by medical teams at the combine:

“I heard some fuss that Gurley wouldn’t let teams examine him and that’s just totally misleading… The team physicians I have spoken with who are there — and I have spoken to a bunch of them — were all happy about what they saw. I mean, they’re smart enough to know you can’t have 32 teams pulling and tugging on a knee just 3½ months removed from surgery. But the doctors I spoke with said he looked great and I’d say he’s probably six weeks ahead with his recovery.”

Gurley needs to go to a team that is prepared to let this process play out. Rushing him back in 2015 is not the answer. Accept the situation for what it is, let him build up strength and prepare for a long career. That approach is significantly going to impact his draft stock, but it’s totally necessary. He could’ve been a top-15 pick without the knee injury. Instead he’s going to fall to the late first round or even the second round.

I think it’s fair to assume the Seahawks are going to get a deal done with Marshawn Lynch. A fairly relaxed appearance on Turkish Television (yep) this weekend didn’t feel like the final days of a players career. Despite denials from the players agent, Jason La Canfora continues to report a deal will be done. It feels like a matter of time. The Seahawks need to know if he’s accepting the offer before March 10th when free agency begins.

Even with a new contract in his pocket, there’s going to be an annual ‘will he or won’t he’ discussion on Lynch retiring until the decision is finally made. He’s the new Brett Favre. Eventually he will retire and it’s going to leave a massive void.

Robert Turbin is a free agent after the 2015 season. The market for running backs isn’t great financially, but Turbin has very little tread on the tires. He might be a difficult keep unless the Seahawks intend to make him the starter after Lynch.

You might lose both Lynch and Turbin in a years time. I’m not convinced this team has anywhere near enough faith in Christine Michael to become a starter. They don’t even trust him to contend for the kick returners role — a position he filled for Texas A&M.

Gurley would be a luxury pick in terms of 2015 — he wouldn’t take the field. But in 2016 he could be a vital addition — either in support of Lynch or as the bona fide starter.

The decision to draft or pass on Gurley really comes down to four things:

1. Do you believe he can make a full recovery?

2. Is he special enough to warrant a redshirt season?

3. Can you live with another first pick in the draft providing minimal or no impact as a rookie?

4. Is the running back position vital enough to draft one for the future?

The first question we’ll never know the answer to as mere observers. The second question? I certainly think he’s special enough. You just don’t find many players with Gurley’s combination of size, speed, patience, home-run hitting ability and pro-ready skills in the passing game. I think the third question, ultimately, is the big one for Seattle. Having received virtually no return from their first and second round picks in 2013 and only a minimal return on their first pick in 2014 — this would be a big decision.

The answer to the fourth question would probably be ‘no’ for most teams. Yet the Seahawks want to run the ball with style and substance. It’s their identity. Replacing Lynch is going to be one of the biggest challenges in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era. Having the opportunity to draft a player as talented as Gurley to eventually replace Lynch is attractive. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to do it — but you’d understand it if they did.

Nate Liss at Field Gulls has written an article arguing the case for Gurley in Seattle:

“Would you take him? With all the damage to our secondary and players leaving in free agency I wouldn’t put up a fight if you decided otherwise, but I think deep down inside the idea of transitioning from one Marshawn Lynch to the next sounds like a pretty incredible prospect to all of us.”

I wouldn’t be surprised by the move. The Seahawks are projected to receive compensatory picks in the fourth, fifth (x2) and sixth rounds. If you’re able to land Julius Thomas and some D-line help in free agency, you can target receivers, offensive linemen, cornerbacks and defensive linemen with the seven picks you have between rounds 2-5.

We’ve seen talented players drafted in the late first/early second round while recovering from ACL injuries. Dominique Easley would’ve been a top-20 pick — instead the New England Patriots drafted him at #29 a year ago. The 49ers drafted Tank Carradine with the #40 pick in 2013.

There’s also this:

It’s possible, due to the injury, that 2015 wouldn’t count as an accrued season. Meaning if you draft him at #31, you can control his contract for six years.

If the Seahawks are going to remain contenders for several years, they’re unlikely to get a shot at a talent like Gurley without some kind of red flag forcing him down the board. This would be an opportunistic pick — a calculated risk for the long term benefit of your running game. They were willing to roll the dice on Christine Michael with an early pick — a player with character flags and an injury history.

At the same time — this is a team looking to remain on top in the NFC. Their four first round picks between 2010-12 (Okung, Thomas, Carpenter, Irvin) all started or had an impact in year one. 2012 feels like a long time ago.

Do you need to plan for the long term at running back? Do you need a player of Lynch or Gurley’s quality to establish a top running game? Can you afford to wait out the Lynch situation and simply address the problem in 2016, 2017 or whenever he decides to retire?

Lynch reportedly took offense to Darrell Bevell’s suggestion of a ‘running back by committee’ approach in 2014. Given the fractious nature of the relationship between player and coaches/front office, would drafting a running back with the first pick open up old wounds?

Hey — sign the new contract we really need you! By the way, meet your replacement.

Gurley has a tendency to get banged up. Aside from the ACL tear, he missed three games in 2013 with an ankle injury and finished the season playing hurt. He was spelled in two other games due to ankle and hip issues. Lynch is a freak of nature with the strength of two men. He’s avoided serious injuries as a consequence. Gurley played at around 230lbs at Georgia but slimmed down to 222lbs for the combine. He’s marginally taller and 7lbs bigger than Lynch. It remains to be seen whether he can be as durable.

Running back is a short career. A redshirt year is unlikely to have much impact on Gurley playing into his 30’s — rare for most players at the position. Stashing him for an entire season might be a hard sell if you don’t think it’s likely to extend his career.

College football always churns out running backs. Yes — 2014 provided a disappointing crop. But this year there’s depth and quality. Next year’s class will likely be fronted by the excellent Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State. How important is it to take Gurley compared to waiting until 2016 or beyond?

Will he be there at #31? The Baltimore Ravens could redshirt Gurley and re-sign Justin Forsett for another season. Arizona, Dallas, Denver and Indianapolis could also be in the market for a running back. How determined are the Seahawks to trade down from #31 to accumulate further picks in the middle rounds? I still think a trade down from #31 is the most likely scenario as explained here.

Will they ever spend a first round pick on a running back? Some teams flat out refuse to. I suspect it’d take a special talent to warrant the investment, but that’s the same for all teams in this modern pass-happy NFL. I think it’s pretty clear Gurley is ‘special’ — but the injury situation clouds the situation.

You can make a strong case for or against drafting Gurley. The Seahawks are one of the few teams who can justify it — but they might be more interested in adding an immediate impact player. It’d be a luxury for 2015 but a possible life-saver for the running game when Lynch hangs up his cleats.

He’s good enough to warrant the pick. But how keen are the Seahawks to add a ‘running back of the future’?


  1. Bob

    Absolutely not. This team is in dire need of immediate help at a plethora of positions, back to back poor drafts and picks have done a very poor job of replenishing depth. I don’t expect to have 2010-2012 drafts every year, but another draft like ’13 or ’14 will find this team losing its contender status quickly.

    Carrying 9 o and d-lineman, 7 linebackers, 4 safeties, 5 corners, 6 WR, 3 tight ends, 2 qbs, and 3 s/t/ will allow Seattle to carry 5 Rb’s. Coleman, Lynch, Turbin and C-mike should all be back next year. I believe Seattle can draft a RB in the mid rounds 3-5 and still get high value from it. This player won’t need to redshirt like Gurley, and might be able to split carries or get in on some returns. An immediate return on investment would be nice. Also, if Lynch retires in 2016 and Turbin goes, this back, C-mike, and a 2016 pick could round out the backfield nicely.

    C-mike (the worst pick of the PCJS era) and Preach (a small wideout with no return skills and a history of knee injuries) combined with the Percy debacle and a handful of other poor picks (Scott, Harper, Jesse) have completely taken away this teams “luxury” status.

    Great write up, just wanted to voice my opinion.

    Gurley, in my humble opinion, would be an awful pick.

    • Rob Staton

      “Another draft like ’13 or ’14 will find this team losing its contender status quickly.”

      I would disagree there slightly Bob. Sherman, Thomas, Kam, Wilson, Lynch, Wagner, Bennett, Avril and co will still be here. Depth is great but ultimately starting talent is the key to contention (and avoiding injuries, which is left to fate). At the same time depth can ease you through some of those inevitable injury issues.

      I’m not for or against drafting Gurley at #31. I’d be very positive about the move if it happened, but I wouldn’t be critical if they went in a different direction. If they do make the move — I still think there’s enough talent in rounds 2-4 to fill various holes.

    • HACK6

      Other than Cornerback, should Maxwell leave, what positions require immediate help?
      By immediate help you must mean starter level talent and other than Cornerback I just can’t see that.
      You realise that a team that came within a yard of a Superbowl is only losing 2 starters right?
      Take note that players such as Miller and Mebane atm are scheduled to return. I believe that if they feel there is a chance Gurley could be one of the top backs in the league then he is definately worth the risk. We have a roster that has a good chance to return to the Superbowl without a major contribution from the 31st pick.

      Great write up Rob, I love this Blog!

      • Greg haugsven

        I agree, there is no dyer need for help. Sure the receivers are suspect but we went to two straight super bowls. Same for the OL. The cornerback could be an issue but Simon played well during the season. The matchup against Edelman wasn’t good for him but you wont see a guy like that every week. I vote yes to draft him, but since we’re talking about him that usually means the Seahawks aren’t.

        • Dave

          Greg, losing Top Pot Tate still hurts. ’13 WRs >> ’14 WRs. I’m hoping we draft at least 2 WRs and get a TE in FA.

          • Greg haugsven

            Who would you want? Draft? And TE in free agency? Cameron for lower money more injury risk or Thomas more money but he stayed pretty healthy. I would vote for Cameron. Less risk of a deal since the dollars would be lower. How about receiver?

    • redzone086

      I absolutely disagree with your take on the past few drafts as depleting. I absolutely think Seattle can take a flier with their first pick. Heck they could still win the super bowl if.They just threw their 1st round pick in the trash and never got anything for it. All the pundits with the cupboard is bare b.s. need to step way back and look at the depth and players coming back plus Seattle’s ability to pick up free agents that can make a difference at very low cost. Big picture is elude several seahawks “fans”.

    • Hawkfan77

      Wow bob, over react much?

      You have no idea how the 2013 and 2014 draft will end up. Saying they are busts is some Mel kiper type of stuff…

  2. CA

    Love Gurley’s talent, but I think it would be a mistake to take him with our first pick this year. I’ll keep it short: it looks like he’ll offer no help in 2015 when this team clearly needs help in 2015 at positions I’ve mentioned in previous posts. TG won’t get us back to our third straight Super Bowl(still crazy to be able to type that) but hitting on a high quality receiver or pass rusher or CB or OL will be extremely valuable to get us back to where we want to be. I understand he could help us in 2016, but nothing is guaranteed in 2015. It’s time to reload.

    • Rob Staton

      For the sake of the discussion though CA, what if you add sufficient help in FA and rounds 2-5 (seven picks) to help get the team back to the Super Bowl? Is the difference between contention and missing out simply the player drafted at #31 contributing in year one?

      • Trevor

        I agree Rob with the way this team draft and red shirts to develop talent this years 10-11 picks are basically to replace any losses in 2016. Contributions in 2015 are just a bonus. That is the luxury of having a roster like ours.

        That being said I thought the Harvin deal definitely impacted our depth a little and I thought they got a little too cute the last couple of drafts. I hope they get back to what made them so great. Pick guys with unique talent / skill and then let the coaching staff optimize these strengths.

      • CA

        It’s impossible to tell at this stage in the offseason because we’ll know so much more about this roster in these upcoming weeks. I can say one thing for sure and that’s draft A where we take Gurley at 31 is less effective at getting Seattle to a 3rd straight SB as opposed to draft B where we look at another player. I just don’t want to look back on this draft in December of 2015 and say “darn, player X was available at 31 but hey at least Gurley should be back soon”. Player X could have 8 sacks, or 8 TDs or paving running lanes somewhere else by that time.

        Picking up player Y in FA is great but this team got to where they are by drafting effectively and I don’t think Gurley will be as effective when we have 2nd and 4th rounders who are groomed under Lynch and by next years draft we’ll likely be talking about another RB that maybe we haven’t scouted yet with less injury history. I’m so frickin excited- keep these posts coming Rob they are great while waiting around airports 😛

        • Rob Staton

          They’ll keep coming CA 🙂

        • redzone086

          You can easily look back and say “what if” with every draft. That can’t be used as an argument for not drafting someone or you never draft anyone. I believe oline depth and a skilled returner are a high team need but both are available cheap in free agency in the 3rd tear after the draft. Check Seattle is great at finding udfa that make the team as starters. How can we stress about “the first pick” when we have 11.

      • Jon

        Take a look at that round 2-5 info. 7 picks in four rounds is the truth!!!
        And that does not include Harvin, who if the Jets keep will add a fourth, and if they do not it will add a 6th which is only something like 4 picks into round 6, sooo…!

        Haha, I just realized if the Jets do cut Harvin the Seahawks will have 4 picks over the span of 10 total picks in the drafts!

  3. Trevor

    I think the identity of this team is a power run game and great defense. The key is Lynch. If he will commit to two more years and can co-exist with management then I would pass and look for his replacement next year as it seems like 2016 will be a good running back class and his replacement would have a year in the system before being asked to step in.

    That being said I am tired of all the drama around Lynch and the whole team wanted Wilson to be the hero crap. That is the type of thing that can be a real cancer and Wilson is the long term future. If they draft Gurley I think it says Lynch is basically playing out a 1 year deal.

    I would still love to see CMike get 20 plus carries in a game before writing him off. Not too often a 2nd rounder is written off with out even getting a real shot but I guess his practice habits must be scaring them off and with Lynch’s durability I just don’t see where he fits right now.

    • bigDhawk

      I think the biggest issue with CMike is his turnover propensity stemming from his inability to switch the ball to his left hand while running. He carries the ball exclusively in his right hand like Demarco Murray, and when running off LT or zone left it exposes the ball to the center of the defense. Murrray has always had fumble issues because of this and if the Seahawks let CMike on the field for any extended amount of time he would have the same problem. This explains why CMike has never seen the field, given how adamant PC is about ball security. Also he dances around so much making a million cuts, flailing the ball around in the process, exposing it to being batted loose, which could be the reason he has never been used on KO returns. It’s not something that is likely to change if it hasn’t by now.

      • Jake

        I think we haven’t seen a lot of CMike because Pete rewards practice habits whenever possible. Turbin is the more seasoned back and has always done an excellent job in Lynch’s stead. Turbin is as explosive through the hole as anyone playing the position, but is easily tripped up because he leans too much. That said, he has gotten better every year because he is an extremely hard worker. He would easily be a 1200 yard back if he got all of Lynch’s carries in 2015 or 2016. Also, when he gets tripped up – he always falls forward. I think his consistency paired with CMike’s explosion and big play ability would be absolutely fine if Lynch retires. I also think CMike is more talented than Gurley or any other runningback available.

    • Phil

      Trevor – I agree that “…. the identity of this team is a power run game and a great defense”, but I keep wondering what the team would be like if RW had a few more weapons to throw to, and our offense let him use those weapons. We’ve never had a chance to find out. The run-first personality of the team was already established when RW was drafted and we have all seen him mature as a QB within that system. But, what would the team look like if we put more emphasis on the passing game? We’ve seen glimpses of what a more-balanced offense might look like when the Seahawks have good field position, or when they run the two-minute offense, or when they are behind and they have to throw and those glimpses have been impressive. I just have this feeling that as good as RW has been, he might be even better given more weapons and more opportunities to use them.

      So, I’d rather pass on Gurley (and Gordon or any other RB) at #31 and focus on the WR and TE positions. I think the single-most area where the Seahawks can improve is on offense — more particularly in the passing game — and that’s where I’d like to see PC/JS focus in this year’s draft even if it means using 4 or 5 picks on receivers.

      * * * *

      Tre McBride seems to be a growing favorite of readers on this blog. I live in Williamsburg, VA, where McBride plays for William & Mary. I attend several W&M games each year and watch most of their games on TV when I can, so it has come as no surprise to me that McBride has climbed up draft boards as more folks see highlights of his game. But, just like the Seahawks — W&M is a run-first, defensively oriented team, with a RB (Abdul-Saboor) who is impressive. So, when I read glowing comments about McBride’s talents, I wonder what he could do on a team that featured him more than W&M does. What’s my point? Just that in some games, McBride seems to disappear and I can’t really tell if it’s because of the offensive scheme or because of his individual effort. There’s no doubting his abilities, but I wonder why I find myself forgetting that he’s on the field sometimes.

  4. Bruce M.

    First, the jury is still out on both 2103 and 2014. I continue to marvel at people willing to pronounce a final grade on a draft after one or two years. It’s a rare draft in which you snap up multiple Pro Bowlers who demonstrate that grade so quickly, as Schneider has also done, but that doesn’t mean that drafts that don’t meet that standard are grade-able as poor in 1-2 years.

    Second, Gurley’s explosion is truly impressive. That said, I don’t see him as “another Lynch” in virtually any way. His clips show massive holes that Lynch is lucky to get 4-5 times per YEAR, and he doesn’t Beast like him, either. To me, he runs more like Eric Dickerson than anybody else, not Marshawn Lynch or James Brown or Earl Campbell. Of course, Eric Dickerson would be great to have in your backfield, but the style of offense would have to change, seems to me.

    Lynch is a special, special back. We will not see the likes of him again anytime soon. Whether we could make Gurley as successful, I’m not sure. I fear that using Gurley like Lynch would simply injure Gurley, and reveal that our O-Line’s run blocking is not as good as Lynch’s numbers, or Wilson’s for that matter, make it seem…

    • Trevor

      I know this will sound like blastphamy because the Beast is such and incredible running back but I think a one cut runner like Gurley is actually a better natural fit for out Zone Blocking Scheme.

      Beast makes yards because of his incredible power and strength breaking tackles but he often missed the hole and is not a natural zone runner. He even admits it took him a while to adjust.

      I am not sure anyone can replace the Beast but a one cut power runner with speed like Gurley would have as good a shot as anyone.

      • Volume 12

        That’s just it. Lynch has rare lateral agility and he sinks his hips extremely well for a power back. If it took Marshawn Lynch awhile to figure out the ZBS scheme how long is it going to take a guy that might not even be a productive NFL back?

        • Jake

          Word has it that guys named Turbin and Michael have experience in this ZBS the Seahawks run… I don’t think Gurley is more talented or a better fit than those two. Just my opinion, but lets not forget how explosive CMike is just because he’s 3rd on THIS depth chart.

          • Rob Staton

            I think Seattle would take a little less explosion from Michael and a little more thought process, technical refinement, coaching, understanding of the offense…

            • Jake

              I agree 100%, but I don’t think cutting bait and hoping Gurley’s knee comes around is a better tactic than coaching Michael.

              • Volume 12

                I agree Jake. You can’t argue against C-Mike’s athleticism and YPC. IMO it’s just a mater of him growing up, becoming more accountable, a better teammate, learning the subtle nuances of the ZBS.

            • Jarhead

              SNAP! Rob is real in the field! As a well known and long term unbeliever of Michael, I think Rob hit the nail on the head. Do you REALLY think that Michael hasn’t been sufficiently coached in 2 years? RB is probably the absolute quickest positions in the NFL to learn. In 2 years the amount of coaching has not been sufficient? Isn’t that a lot like a parent of a lazy D student blaming the teacher for not “challenging” their child enough? Turbin looked pretty good in spot duty last year and he is without a doubt less physically gifted than Michael. Maybe hard work and just “cluing in” goes farther than raw natural ability

  5. Mike

    If we can afford a luxury pick, then why not Dorial Green-Beckham? WR is a much bigger need and even if we sign a big TE we still need size outside.

    I like Gurley as a player, but the injury history scares me more than DGB’s off-field troubles. We are not going to find a player that runs like Marshawn. We just aren’t. There’ve only been a handful of backs in the history of the NFL with his combination of power, balance, quick feet, and passion. Chasing a similar player in hopes of being Beast Mode 2.0 will just set us up for disappointment.

    I would surprised if we don’t start leaning on the passing game more over the next 2-3 years. Russell is ready to take on more, we just need to get him the weapons. Realistically, Baldwin should be the #3 receiver and operate out of the slot. We badly need to bring in quality at the WR position. Green-Beckham absolutely fits the bill and would be a monster in the red zone. Pair him with a signing of Julius Thomas (please) or Jordan Cameron (probably more likely to happen) and we’re well on our way.

    Improving the passing game will ultimately improve the running game as well and make it easier for whoever eventually takes over for Lynch.

    • Rob Staton

      “If we can afford a luxury pick, then why not Dorial Green-Beckham?”

      Drafting a receiver at #31 wouldn’t be a luxury. Drafting DGB specifically would just be a complete gamble given his very serious off-field red flags (that are legit) and very average combine performance (decent speed for his size, but terrible vertical and broad jump to go with short arms and small hands).

      • CamanoIslandJQ

        I think it may be possible (with Gordon’s somewhat underwhelming combine overall) that Gurley may be picked ahead of Gordon (maybe by N.E. or Dallas?). Considering the GM’s Wisconsin interests (and recent visits), could Gordon be the luxury pick if he’s still on the board at #31? Instead of a 2015 redshirt year for Gurley, Gordon could maybe put up some pretty nice #’s and gain significant experience a full year ahead of Gurley. Of course, if both are available at #31, the choices would seem to be pick one or trade down (for a nice return) to a team that wants either. Rob, if both RB’s were available, which do you think they choose?

      • pqlqi

        At 237 lbs, Green is remarkably athletic, with almost all of his competition weighing in at least 20 lbs lighter, many more than 35 lbs lighter. And while he doesn’t have long arms or big hands, they are not tiny, nor does it seem their length/size had any affect on his ability to catch a ball in traffic.

        DGB’ham 6’5″, 237lbs, 32.5″ arms, 9″ hands, 4.49/1.6 40/10, 6.89 3 cone, 4.45 short shuttle, 33.5″ vert, 119″ broad
        AJGreen 6’4″, 211lbs, 34.375″ arms, 9.25″ hands, 4.48/1.55 40/10, 6.91 3 cone, 4.21 short shuttle, 34.5″ vert, 126″ broad.
        DBryant 6’2″, 224lbs, 34″ arms, 9.75″ hands, 4.52/1.53 40/10, 7.10 3 cone, 4.46 short shuttle, 38″ vert, 133″ broad.

        Compared to Green, DGB is 1 inch taller, loses 2 inches in the arms for a net 1 inch shorter, and then he runs the 40 and the 3 cone in almost the exact same time as AJ Green but at 25 lbs heavier. AJ Green was a sure fire top 10 pick based largely on his athleticism. DGB is arguably quite a bit more athletic given the weight difference. Compared to Dez Bryant’s pro day (where numbers may be slightly inflated), DGB displays similar speed and quickness and less jumping capability, again with 3 inches of height and 15 lbs of muscle to make up for his “shortcomings”.

        It’s cool to slam him for his tape (I haven’t watched enough to know if you can) or his off field issues, but

        Saying he had a very average combine performance means you have a warped perspective of what “average” is… he’s as close to elite as it gets.

        • peter

          I take it to mean average combine as in DGB was/is a former Parade magazine all American who many felt he was going to come in and light up the combine. I thought his numbers were good but when a team such as Seattle Specifically tracks traits like lower body explosion a 33.5″ vert and a sub 10 feet broad is not exactly elite. I actually think DGB has pretty good tape and you can see the obvious WR that he is on the tape that exists. I know I’m going to bum some of you out when I say this but to me he’s a tall WR.

          You may me be wondering what that means. It means he’s tall. Literally when I watch his tape I see a guy a who is taller then a lot of DB’s but isn’t necessarily faster, can’t box out everyone, I’m sure he runs all the routes but I don’t see a lot of variety probably because he doesn’t need to or hasn’t needed to mix it up much from high school through college.

          There are a lot of little dudes in this draft who look way faster/quicker what have you in their routes and their cuts. There’s slower dudes who are more refined to gain their edge. There’s Waller and the Hawks already have Matthews who can box out and go up and get it better at this point. And for Elite numbers there’s the unknown possible later pick of a guy like Conley who makes up for his height/weight disadvantage by destroying, no hyperbole, DGB’s numbers at the combine.

          For me I would love to see two tall WR’s on the team and hope Matthews is one of them but unless DGB falls to the third I’m honestly not sold that what he does is actually a great fit for Seattle like Mike Evans for example would have been. DGB to Denver or New England where separation is gained through route manipulation and stacking WR’s would probably be devastating.

        • Rob Staton

          I’ll have to keep my warped perspective then.

          Darren Waller is 6-6 and 238lbs and managed a 4.46, a 37 inch vertical, a 10-5 on the broad jump and he had a much better three cone and short shuttle. Compared to those numbers and considering what a lot of the WR’s were able to jump, DGB performed an average workout.

          And there’s this too, where DGB is firmly in the middle of the pack and slightly better than Vince Mayle

          • OZ

            I like Waller over DGB, Period. No question. Isn’t even close…

            • Jake

              His tape is so mixed. He had a great Orange Bowl, but other than that he did nothing all year long. His teammate Smelter was the go-to guy and a much more competitive player despite being 4 inches shorter. Watch the ACC title game, Waller was pathetic. He got pushed around by small FSU cornerbacks (who are NFL quality).

              • Volume 12

                Not a fan of DGB either. Guy has small hands, short arms, and no explosion relative to his body type. Only knows how to run 3-4 routes.

                WR Darren Waller on the other hand has a higher ceiling. Teams draft for potential and want guys to get progressively better over a couple to a few years. DGB is maxed out IMO.

              • Volume 12

                I seem to remember 3 game altering plays he had in that particular game.

                5 rec, 73 yds, 1 TD for a 14.6 YPC average sounds like a Seattle receiver’s stat-line to me.

                35-40 catches, 450-500 yds, 5-7 TDs I would definitely take for a rookie WR in his first year playing in a limited type of passing game that utilizes 5-6 different wide receivers, and 2 or 3 TEs.

  6. Trevor

    Rob I love the idea of Julius Thomas and like you think he would be a perfect fit in our system. But I think the chances of us getting him are about the same as us getting Suh basically less than 5% probability.

    The Jags and Raiders both have tons of cap space and young QBs who need a security blanket like Thomas. I think he will join one of those teams for the simple reason they have the $ to get him.

    I think Jordan Cammeron is a slightly more realistic option and one I would be happy with despite the concussion concerns as long as the guarenteed $ is realistic.

    One thing for sure we need a big sure handed target that can provide a mismatch no matter who we have as a running back.

    • Rob Staton

      I look at it like this. If a team like Oakland or Jacksonville is willing to go way over the top and offer Thomas $10-12m APY you’re probably right. But if they’re offering within $1-2m of Seattle, he has this choice. Join a contender for the next four years and compete for championships or join one of two teams that are perennially rebuilding. Oakland and Jacksonville are pretty much at the bottom of the list in terms of appeal for free agents. Seattle’s in the top-five right now. And that has to play a part in this as much as the money.

      • Volume 12

        Plus the appeal of playing with a very good friend of JTs in Deshawn Shead and being already familiar with the PNW having played at Portland St.

        Some FAs for whatever reason think that Seattle is a no man’s land or ‘South Alaska.’

      • Trevor

        I a praying you are right Rob because he is exactly what we need and there is no one in the draft like him.

        It just scares me he turned down 5 years /40 mil from Denver so he is definitely looking to cash in and who can blame him. Need Pete to break out the old recruiting tricks 🙂

        • redzone086

          I wouldn’t say that Julius Thomas is exactly what we need. He had been injury prone and it took getting payton manning to see any results from him. Does he have amazing talent yes. But is he only looking to get paid or only play when he is the primary option? His blocking is suspect and you can also argue motives for his play going into a contact year. Just saying buyer be ware not don’t touch him. I’d say worse for Suh.

          • Bruce M.

            The latest I’ve heard (today) on Espn is that Denver is going to tag him, anyway….

          • Rob Staton

            Peyton Manning is the only quarterback he’s had.

      • Dan

        The only rebuttal I’d have for this is that while Seattle is an intriguing option for most free agents, that’s not exactly true for pass catchers. But… The majority of the homerun plays would have him as the number one option. He could get some big numbers in the TD category.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s a fair point Dan. They’d have to sell to Thomas he’d be a major part of the offense.

          • rowdy

            You would have to sell him on having limited opportunities and more of a decoy. Would you really want to force him the ball like they did with harvin? I think he would have to be happy with 3 targets a game on average.

        • rowdy

          Great point, everyone thinks a top wr won’t come here because of stats. Well, jt is a wr, it’s all he ever was. Plus it’s been reported he’s just looking for money. He’s also an injury risk. If you can expect him to sign for less to play for a contender you could expect dgb to straighten up for a contender. He would be 10 times cheaper and wouldn’t cost a third rounder. If JT really wanted to play for a contender he would stay put for 9 mil a year.

      • j

        Or he has this choice.

        Join Jacksonville or Oakland and get 100+ targets per season, or come to Seattle and work as a blocker or sit on the bench for more than half the game.

        • rowdy

          He can’t block though

    • Bryan C

      I agree on Jordan Cameron. Both Thomas and Cameron are injury risks but this comes down more to the salary and I believe Cameron will be significantly cheaper. Cameron has pretty good production with bottom barrel QB’s.

      The FA that could really put this team over the top is Suh. Not likely to happen but damn that would make a great D line rotation.

      • Volume 12

        There’s no TE in this draft or FA that even come close to the type of dynamic weapon and impact that JT or Jordan Cameron could make, They both have injuries risks, but that’s the nature of the game.

  7. Dan

    Looking at the comp picks, do you think there’s a chance Tate could be bumped up to a 3rd rounder? He put up some big numbers in Detroit last year.

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly not — there are only a select number of 3rd round comp picks and Seattle will just miss out.

    • Dan

      Damn. You’d think a pro-bowler with 1300 yards would get you more than a 4th.

      • Jon

        a lot to do with money. He is below pay grade compared to a few others who will only get 4ths. He surely can pass them. Stats and awards I sense are more of a tie breaking type of reward.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      It is not about the production, the comp pick is based upon the contract that was signed. I’m holding out hope for a 3rd round pick, but I’ll settle for a 4th….. now what to do with that pick????

      • bobbyk

        To a degree it is about the production, too.

  8. SunPathPaul

    I agree w some here that I still would like to see CMike actually get to play!

    They took him for a reason, give him a real chance!
    I feel like PC/JS are much better with defensive choices. Just look at their track record w offensive skill positions, and they are quite bad! We could have Jordan Matthews right now, and Joel bitonio, but NO- somehow a 3-4 round WR named Paul Richardson gets the nod. Look what that did- not much!

    I seriously hope Brennan Carroll can help them make better choices on drafting skill position players!
    They may like a “certain type guy”, but how about letting the talent count too!!

    • j

      Jordan Matthews wouldn’t have been Jordan Matthews here. Like it or not, WR have a limited opportunity to make an impact on our team. One or two opportunities to make an impact play per game at most.

      • Colin

        This is a very under appreciated point. What a guy does in one system does not automatically translate to another.

        • j

          If you switched Richardson and Matthews – fans would be saying Matthews was a bust and we should have picked Richardson.

          I also think our system needs a different type of receiver. When you pass as little as we do, you need those passes to count. The steady, productive guy who does well on 5-10 targets a game loses out to the big-play WR who can make an impact with 2-5 targets.

          One of the reasons why I like Devin Smith more than the pundits.

  9. Volume 12

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Seattle did take Gurley at #31. I wouldn’t be thrilled about it, but at the same time wouldn’t be totally against it.

    I know Gurley is a phenomenal talent and a generational back, but he may not even pan out. His injuries at such a young age concern me. Especially playing at the one position that takes the most punishment other than an O-lineman. Gurley IMO is a better fit for a power scheme than he is a ZBS. I personally don’t think he has the lateral agility for it. I also don’t think he’s a workhorse type of back, because of his upright running style.

    With that being said, he would be an extremely good fit for the RBBC that Seattle will eventually go with after Lynch’s departure.

    Seattle may take prospects ranked lower on most team’s boards than others, or surprise people with their draft picks, but they always fill a need. And Rob summed up Gurley perfectly. He’s a luxury pick, not a need pick.

  10. Ho Lee Chit

    Nick Chubb looks to be better than Gurley. If Lynch were to retire, I would sign DeMarco Murrey. Then in a couple years, I would try to draft Chubb. Every year there are a couple ‘All World’ running backs that come out. Then they flop. There is no guarantee Gurley would be any different. Knowshon Moreno is the last one that comes to mind. He has been mostly a bust in the NFL.

    • Michael (CLT)

      This… Nick Chubb should make all Gurley love cynical.

  11. rowdy

    If you want a explosive back that’s big fights for yards a great receiver and can block. David johnson Can be had in the third without the injury risk. If you haven’t watched him yet I suggest you do. He also can return kicks. Let him play special teams as a 4th rb this year then replace turbin/cmike after that. Regardless what lynch does after 2015 will need a back in 2016 and it would be great to give him a year in are system.

  12. Hawksince77

    After reading all of the combine/draft comments in recent weeks, a few thoughts have begun to jell.

    Drafting Gurley would be an exciting event for Seahawks fans, for all the reasons stated. But at the same time, the difference between what is already on the roster (Lynch/Turbin/CM) and Gurley, in terms of winning games or making the difference, may not be that great.

    Both Turbin and CM have been reasonably effective when given the opportunity. If I recall correctly, Turbin had several long plays called back due to penalties. His numbers would be even better, is the point.

    The real difference in the offense in the future can be in the passing game. Sure, still run to set up the pass, but make far more out of the passing game then we have seen recently.

    To that end, adding the receiving weapons provides the greater improvement for the offense, and for the entire team. Aside from the plethora of possible WRs that have been discussed on this site, there are three names I will toss out:

    1 – Maxx Williams. At first, I didn’t think much of him until the combine, and I realized how important it was to throw the ball to someone who will always catch it. Maxx doesn’t drop passes. He makes insane catches and routine catches every time. He is not huge (6’4″) but that’s a lot taller than most of the WRs being considered. He is not terribly fast (4.77 40, if memory servers) but had a good 10-yard split. Watching him reminded me of a massive Wes Welker, and I suspect he could be counted on in the same way. Great character and work ethic, he seems like he would fit right in. And he can block, unlike Thomas.

    2/3 – Darren Waller and Chris Conley. Both late round guys that have great size and athleticism. The little guys (Dorsett/Lockett) I don’t think have a place on the team. RW throws high and away – and needs the kind of receivers that can go get the ball (unlike Kearse in the GB game). If you get both guys late, either one of them works out, or not. Maybe it takes time to develop them. But that seems more like the Seahawk way as opposed to trading up to get one of the top WRs in the draft. And if someone you really like is there in the second (Tre McBride, for instance) you could take him as well.

    I think there is room for this kind of draft, because we only have one starting WR right now (Baldwin) and questionable TEs. Sure, we can sport have high hopes for Norwood, and Chris Matthews will be there to compete for a position, but Kearse is of questionable value, and Richardson out for awhile. When Brian Walters and Ricardo Lockette are your other WRs, there is room for improvement.

    As someone wrote above, Baldwin needs to play in the slot as the #3 WR (and not covered by the #1CB like in the SB).

    This leads to thoughts about the defense. The one option I think is absolutely insane is signing Sue. Let Miller walk; don’t go after Dockett or Julius Thomas. Sign Thurmound to a reasonable 1 year contract. Do what is necessary to fit him in.

    Landing Sue makes everything better. Sure, you could get someone like Paea cheaper, but wouldn’t be close to the same.

    That’s why I wouldn’t take Gurley at 31.

    • Hawksince77

      Suh – not Sue. Geez.

      • LadyT

        I agree on Suh if its possible. A lot of things would have to go right for that to happen though. Like what is his motivation? Is it money? I have been reading as many stories of his younger years in Portland as I can find. He appears to have a small close tite nit group of friends and family. He is a smart calculating type of person that seems to always be thinking one step ahead, not the brutish thug he sometimes portrays on the field.

        Its tough to figure him out, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he signed with the Seahawks for several reasons. To be closer to his family in Portland, to make a historic defense legendary and therefor himself transendent. He is friends with Warren Buffet for instance which was a surprise. He seems to want to be highly successful outside of football, so a run at glory with a legendary Seahawk defense and team would help to keep him relevant after football.

        Of course all this is moot if he just wants top dollar, but I have my doubts thats what motivates him no matter what he has said in the past.

      • Matt

        “RW throws high and away – and needs the kind of receivers that can go get the ball”

        Wilson throws receivers open because our WR’s lack separation skills. Lockett is one of my personal favorites in this draft. Watch his tape he gets open regularly and has good, not great, hands. Drops some easier ones, while making difficult catches. He’s a BIG 12 record setting KR/PR. Day 1 upgrade there no questions asked.

        Fast forward to 1:00 into the game. Lockett absolutely torches 2014 1st rounder Verrett in 1 on 1 coverage, getting 10 yards open, for a long TD! Lockett routinely gets separation in this game and all the others I’ve seen. He’s a stellar route runner, which we desperately need!

        • Volume 12

          Yup, Really like Tyler Lockett myself.

        • Morgan

          Holy cow i don’t think I’ve ever seen a stop and go quite like that. That was almost inhuman.

          • SunPathPaul

            I hope Tyler Lockette is on their radar. He would be a great addition as a WR that can get open, and as a dynamic PR/KR! His interview on 710 ESPN makes him sound like a perfect fit…

    • OZ

      If the F/O doesn’t re-sign Lynch, they will have to keep Miller. I think they will anyway.

  13. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Here is my ‘Ha’penny’ on Gurley. Love the guy, love the production in college, love the fit, injury concerns…. I just don’t see Seattle drafting him. They would more likely take a guy who can bang between the tackles. I had read somewhere that scouts have some concerns that Gurley might dance, look to bounce outside too often, at the NFL level.

    IF Seattle goes for a RB, round 2/3 would be the optimum spot to grab a guy. There would be great value in these rounds. There are 4-5 backs that could be front line backs in a year or two.

    Name a RB that I like for Seattle

    Mike Davis*, RB, South Carolina Height: 5-9. Weight: 217.
    Duke Johnson*, RB, Miami Height: 5-9. Weight: 207.
    Jay Ajayi*, RB, Boise State (Fumbles) Height: 6-0. Weight: 221.
    David Cobb, RB, Minnesota Height: 5-11. Weight: 229.
    Lavance Taylor, RB, Missouri Western (DIV 2) Height 5-11. Weight: 195.
    Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska (fumble issue in college / Combine standout) Height: 5-9. Weight: 205.

    If they go thumper, Ajayi would be a solid pick-up. Shout-out to Duke Johnson as well.
    If they want a very productive, “unique” multi-tool type of prospect…. take Ameer Abdullah. Love what he would bring to the table….. especially if you like the Andre Ellington type of RB.


    • Trevor

      I agree about Max Willams. If they can’t get Thomas or Cameron as a Free Agent then he would make a great plan B. I would be happy with him as a sure handed chain mover, Willson as a speed threat down the seam and Zach Miller as the primary blocker.

      I think Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron are still plan A which would mean cutting Miller most likely but. Max Willams, Willson and Miller would be a solid Tight End Group.

    • bobbyk

      I am very familiar with Abdullah and, yeah, the fumble thing is worriesome. That’s the only thing though. Granted, that’s huge though! He did get hurt last year but that guy is a workhorse, too. For those of you old enough to remember, he has some Joe Morris in him. He’s “too small” but he could carry the rock over and over again. I love the guy as a player and people who knew nothing about him found out at the combine – you’re not going to find a better character guy either.

      • bobbyk

        Abdullah could also do this as a rookie (return kick-offs for TDs)…

      • Volume 12

        Love Ameer Abdullah. Your on point about his character too. He’s another guy that in the middle of the night, he’ll wake up and do pushups and setups, because he thinks if your not working, then your getting fat laying there sleeping. Reminiscent of RW in my mind.

    • OZ

      Ajayi or Robinson, also like Colman and David Johnson.

      • OZ


  14. RealRhino2

    I think we can afford it, and wouldn’t mind too much. Bottom line is that if you are picking a RB, he better be special or he better be a 4th-rounder or later. Having a merely “good” RB does you no good, so don’t bother paying for it.

    As I mentioned on last post, though, a handful of guys the mocks have gone by #31 will still be there, though, if the draft stays to form. Looking at Jeremiah’s mock, let’s say five of Harold, Humphries, Goldman, Clemmings, Gordon, Dupree, J. Phillips, Peat, Flowers and DGB are going to be there along with Gurley. You okay with Gurley over all of those guys? Any of those guys?

    • j

      I’d take him over DGB and maybe Gordon. Otherwise – no.

  15. Jon

    I think for me it comes to a decision between trading back and selecting Gurley. If you could pull out a trade with a team like the Jets, Jags, Raiders, Titans, Buccanears, or another team more likely to be drafting in the top 10-15 next year, and you could get a 2016 top 15 pick then, you take that pick and wait for a prospect next year that has generational talent without the medical and otherwise uncertainty. By the way, a trade of that nature would likely include a 2014 3rd rounder so we would still get a player that could make an impact this year as well as a talent that would start the same year as Gurley would have any way.

    If you cant make that trade, I like the prospects of Gurley as essentially an extra 1st round pick next year.

  16. bobbyk

    In this time of speculation, all I know is this:

    After that Thursday night, day one of the draft, all of us are going to feel a bit dejected that the guy “we wanted” wasn’t taken. However, in the moments after the pick… most of us are going to read up on the guy and watch highlights and start getting excited about how jacked we are to see this guy play this fall.

    Right now, my flavor of the day goes back to the guy I wanted two weeks ago in Devin Smith. However, if they take a TE like Williams, OL like Erving, etc. I’m going to be jacked for the new pick.

    The thing with Devin Smith is that he’s a football player. Anybody who is a great gunner is a crazy psycho who isn’t afraid of hits and dirty work. Add that into the fact that he is fast. Even more important that being fast is that he’s quick, too. Some fast players are fast running straight ahead but they are not quick. Smith is both. Add the fact that he tracks the ball so well and it’s a deadly combination for a QB to throw a deep ball to.

    I think of Sammie Coates as one of those baseball outfielders with great speed. Naturally, they should play center field. However, they don’t get the necessary jumps on balls so they end up being like a Tim Raines or Vince Coleman… fastest guys in the league, but play left field because they aren’t the greatest at judging the ball and, therefore, guys who are slower than them actually cover more ground.

    Well, in the case of Devin Smith, he’s like a Gold Glove outfielder because he has the speed and quickness, but he adds that with a great knack for perfectly judging the ball in the air, too.

    If I were Russell Wilson and I was being selfish, I would want Smith before anyone else in the first round (who could realistically be there for the Hawks at 31).

    If we somehow added Smith AND Waller and his gigantic 6’6″ body/frame, I would FINALLY be in love with our WRs, instead of resenting them like I do now. It would also make Baldwin a much better player, too.

    • j

      Smith fits what we need in our WR better than he fits the league prototype. Like I said above, our WR get so few opportunities, they need to make the most of their targets. That means they must have good hands, but that also means that they must be able to generate explosive plays. Smith is a guy who can generate explosive plays. He was probably the best in the draft at it last year.

      Only question is his hands – I’ve seen some discussion in this area. Haven’t watched the tape so can’t comment myself.

      • peter

        I rewatched Devin Smith vs. Michigan St. I was thoroughly impressed with his gunner speed and his hands tracking deep balls in that game. I know it’s one tape but it looks pretty good to me.

    • peter

      Well that combo would have the benefit of putting Baldwin back into the slot where he would be a much more deadly player. I too am getting back on board with Devin Smith and think his blend of Speed, grit, hands, and hops could be a force in Seattle.

      • Volume 12

        That’s the one thing I love about WR Devin Smith, Well 2 actually. Explosive field-tilting type of athlete. And just a gritty, hard nosed character, with a big ‘Seahawky’ personality.

    • Drew

      I’m not against Devin Smith, but I think we can trade back and still get him in the 2nd half of the 2nd round. I wouldn’t want to pick him with our first two picks. I think there is a lot more game changing talent available and would be better value.

      • Volume 12

        I disagree. IMO there’s only 15 or so true 1st round talents in this draft. Trading back and getting ‘your’ guy in the early to mid 2nd round is just as valuable,

    • AlaskaHawk

      I’ll feel dejected on day one because after waiting all day the Seahawks will trade down to round 2 and I’ll have to wait until the next day to even see the Seahawks make a draft pick!

      • Volume 12

        LOL. I’ll feel the same way my man. Although when we get to Saturday of draft weekend, it’ll be like Christmas morning as a child for me.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I must be the only draftnik that absolutely hates Waller as a receiver.

      From a receiving/ball skills standpoint, he’s got to be near the bottom of any draftable prospect that I can ever recall. Does anyone have any decent tape on this guy? All I can find is people interested in his size and speed. But any cutup of him or Smelter just shows a terrible WR prospect.

      He looks visibly worse than Luke Willson in terms of getting open or making plays on the ball. I don’t see anything other than a cutdown to 75 type camp body.

      • Rob Staton

        Waller one of only two receiver in the whole of college football last year not to drop a catchable pass.

  17. Ross

    Difficult one. I don’t think wouldn’t be comfortable endorsing this decision either way until I knew who else was available at 31 and heard some trade offers.

    I agree that the Seahawks are in a very small group of teams who can afford this kind of luxury and still expect to compete, but I’m not convinced Gurley is so good that he’d be worth missing out on another extremely talented player who could offer a more immediate and potentially equally valuable contribution. If all my other favourite targets are gone, then I’d be happy with with us taking Gurley. If an Eli Harold or a Jalen Collins slip though, I think I would prefer one of them.

    Rob, your appearance on the Real in the Field Gulls podcast was some freaking great stuff, even if it’s just nice to listen to a more familiar accent talking football for once. You mentioned that you thought next year’s draft class is shaping up to be a really good one. Does that extend to the running backs? Marshawn Lynch will inevitably retire and leave a humongous void that must be filled. Is there enough talent in the this year’s and next year’s drafts that we could find his replacement from among the rest of the prospects, or would it be too risky to pass on Gurley and bank on a later round pick or the 2016 draft?

  18. bigDhawk

    Any projection of Gurley as a veritable Lynch replacement is off the mark. There will never be another Beastmode and he can not be replaced. When he finally retires we will have to shift to a RB by committee model and a player like Gurley with his injury history and injury risk going forward would not be a reliable player in that system.

    If we want to invest another high pick in a real stud RB I suggest waiting a year and targeting Leonard Fournette of LSU, 6-1, 230# man-child that’s going to have monster 2015 college season, then likely declare. He is a close to a feature back as we are likely to see post-Beastmode, but he would make a great pairing with Turbo in a platoon situation.

    • LadyT

      Yeah, he reminds me more of Steven Jackson for some reason than Lynch dont know why. Maybe its the more upright running style. I also agree that we get a RB when we need one unless there is a surprising drop by Gurley to like the end of the second.

    • GoHawks5151

      I think Fournette was a freshman this year. Gonna have to wait more than a year. Zeke Elliot from Ohio State looks like a “Baby Beast” candidate.

      • Jake

        There’s no “Baby Beast”. We have to get away from comparing him to other backs, no one combines his skills into one package. He’s a unique blend of power, agility, balance, and grit. He also has more burst than he gets credit for. Michael is not that similar to Beastmode as a runner, but he has his own unique set of skills. Most importantly, he is a very talented runner and he certainly has the fight in him. That’s what matters.

  19. CC

    I like Gurley as a RB, but I think we have bigger needs than RB.

    There is only one Marshawn Lynch – Gurley is not Marshawn and to have an expectation he can come in this or next year is unreasonable. And as much as this is a run first team and will always be, if it is Gurley, Michael or anyone else – the offense is going to have to be a bit more diversified and consistent when Lynch is gone. That is why I would prefer an O lineman or a WR at 31.

    Gurley might be fine at 31 – but I’d rather go a different direction.

  20. bobbyk

    I liked the earlier comparison of Gurley to Dickerson much better myself. Except Gurley looks like a better receiver (not saying he’ll be a better runner because Dickerson was an absolute stud in his prime).

    Can’t wait for free agency to start. Even if the Hawks do nothing (make a gigantic splash like Suh, make a Marshall trade, etc.), it’s always fun to watch everyone else spend like crazy.

  21. Dawgma

    I don’t even think Gurley will last until 31. If he does, we should take him in a heartbeat if we’re confident in his knee.

  22. GoHawks5151

    Stated this before but in my honest opinion the early and more successful drafts were about establishing identity. Thomas, Kam, Sherm Russ, even Carpenter showed a core value that PCJS wanted on the team. These past two drafts have been more concerned with depth and supplemental value. I would like to see another aggressive draft targeting people who reflect the tough competitive ideals of the team. That’s why Im hoping for Jalen Collins or Todd Gurley. Im not against trading back but i dont want to get into the pattern of trading back, just to trade back. It just reminds me of the drafts the Patriots (Hurts to type that name) drafts where they had a 2 picks in each of the first 4 rounds, and ended up with very little return. If we have an opportunity at 31, we should take it. Gurley is a stellar talent with the potential to be a “heart beat” kind of guy moving forward. Our Seahawks brand of football is a rarity that requires specific parts. We can’t afford to pass up players that fit.

    Rob, barring the pick of Gurley (or Gordon) early, what are your thoughts on Jeremy Langford from Michigan State as a running back option?

    • Rob Staton

      I like his athleticism and thought out of the RB’s at the combine he impressed the most. I think in terms of tape I prefer the RB from Northern Iowa.

      • rowdy

        I’ve been waiting for you to look a johnson! Would love for you to do a write up on him and hear what you think about him. I’ve watched a lot of tape on him and don’t know why he’s not talked about more. Other then being a smaller school guy he seems to check most of the boxes.

        • peter

          I’ve got a lot of time for David Johnson but you already nailed it why he doesn’t get talked about more. Even when I watch with rose colored glasses its hard to see at times if he’s making his cuts harder on himself then necessary or if his fcs Olin is just as bad as it seems and clog lanes themselves before he gets going.

          I will say that I love how when the run game gets shut down he becomes a super effective pass catcher like a move TE. And he has KO return skills. I just worry if he may need to be picked in a spot where the Seahawks like some other value.

  23. Jeff M.

    There are two questions there–first, can the Seahawks afford a luxury pick? This is probably yes. We can go position-by-position to figure out where there’s an absolute *need* on the roster:

    QB-No (obviously), RB-No (even if Lynch retires, we could go with a rotation of Turbin, Michael, and a late-round/UDFA to compete for a spot), WR-Maybe* (this is obviously a big *want*, but we’ll have starters back in Baldwin and Kearse, with Matthews/Norwood/Lockette/etc. competing for other spots until Richardson gets healthy), TE-No (could upgrade here, but we can also just roll with Miller/Willson), OL-No (four starters locked up, Bailey can step in if Carpenter leaves), DT-No (Mebane/Hill/McDaniel and could give Williams another year or add a guy like Dockett on similar deal), DE-No (Bennett/Avril with Marsh/Scruggs hopefully back from injuries), LB-No (starters all under contract plus KPL as backup), S-No (obviously), CB-Maybe* (if Simon and Lane were healthy it’d be no but if both are headed to PUP and Maxwell leaves we need a starter from FA or draft).

    So the only places where we might need a starter or near-starter are CB and WR–if those are plugged with mid/lower-tier FAs then we’re looking at where we can upgrade or build depth rather than filling holes, so a luxury pick in the 1st isn’t unreasonable.

    But the second question is whether a luxury pick at RB makes sense. First-round running backs just aren’t good value (even if Gurley were healthy this would be the case…). Look back over the guys who have been picked there–Adrian Peterson is the only “good” first-round pick in the last decade. Lynch has had a first-round-worthy career, but not for the team that drafted him, and maybe you get one or two good years out of a Chris Johnson, but those are pretty much the best-case scenario and mostly instead you get Trent Richardson/Doug Martin/David Wilson/Mark Ingram (the four most-recent picks–is it any surprise there haven’t been any since?).

    Sure other positions have busts, but on average you’re likely to get a long-term starter. Arbitrarily choosing another position, the most recent first-round DTs are Aaron Donald, Dominique Easley (who we would have loved as a luxury pick), Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd, Sylvester Williams, Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley, Corey Liuget, Phil Taylor, Muhammad Wilkerson… Those guys certainly all aren’t stars, but they’re almost all contributors. The same is true of first-round OLs, first-round DBs, etc.

    So yes it’s reasonable for the Seahawks to make a luxury pick in the first if there’s a guy they like (like they did with Bruce Irvin, using him just as a sub-package pass rusher to start with before converting him to LB…) but do it at a position with some value, not at RB.

    • Rob Staton

      Is there not more value at RB in Seattle given their genuine desire to make the running game their core identity on offense?

      • Jeff M.

        Look at the way Carroll and Schneider have gone about the RB position since they’ve been here…

        It was a real weakness when they arrived (rotation of Jones and Forsett) but instead of grabbing CJ Spiller at #6 in the draft like many predicted, they added Leon Washington and Lendale White for minimal draft capital in trade to compete with the options in place, then found an opportunity mid-season to grab Lynch for mid-round picks.

        Next season they continued to roll with Lynch, Washington, and Forsett, then added Turbin with a mid-round pick in the following draft to serve as backup. When they thought they saw great value in Christine Michael as a successor to Lynch they grabbed him–that’s pretty analogous to picking Gurley–but at the end of the second round, not in the first. And that’s the only time they’ve spent higher than a fourth at RB (and they probably regret it given how things with Michael have played out).

        I’m pretty sure this FO doesn’t see first-round value at RB either, and they’ve only used firsts on premium positions (OL, pass rusher, DB, wideout) to this point. Maybe if Gurley’s there at #63 (although, again, it depends what lessons they took from grabbing Michael at #62) but not in the first.

        • Rob Staton

          I think there’s a very real possibility they have the attitude of you don’t draft a first round running back unless they’re truly special. JS wanted Green Bay to draft Lynch in the top-20. I know they at least talked about Ingram and Richardson when they left Alabama.

          I actually think they’ve been quite aggressive at the position. They’ve gone after players and not just plugged in a late rounder or cheap FA. They’ve targeted players and spent what they needed to spend. Yes, they got value for Lynch. But spending your first pick in the 2013 draft on a running back when you already have Lynch/Turbin is quite telling. That to me suggests they would consider Gurley at #31 depending on the other players on the board and obviously the health of his knee. It doesn’t mean they’d take him though.

          • SunPathPaul

            Hi Rob. I remember last year an article that revealed JS going through losing a RB in which they didn’t have a replacement, and the team fell flat. I think C.Mike was a pick to ensure they had a backup for RB incase Lynch quit, or fell off.

            If they do it again this year, they will be using quite a bit of picks to ‘brace for the impact’ of life after Lynch. Since it is our identity, I get it, but just wanted to bring up that past article. I believe you posted it for us Rob…Thanks!! Great Job! The hawks should pay you for your opinion, IMO!

            • Rob Staton

              Thanks for reminding me Paul (and also for the kind words)

  24. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Hot off the SPARQ presses….

    Conley essentially blew out the combine… over 141 SPARQ.. which is better/more athletic than 98 % of WR in the NFL. ~

    • rowdy

      Not that big of a suprise looking at his numbers lol I hope the sparq scores are more available this year. Relying on fieldgulls mock sparq is cool and all but the real thing is better.

    • Cysco

      Maybe of more interest is the completely solid score put up by Tre McBride. 127.7, good for 4th best WR score in the draft.

  25. Kyle

    Okay, so if we draft Gurley I wont be mad. But honestly, and ive been banging my drum for him for the entire season, its not what id do. Id try to get a trade back scenario for a first next year and change this year if possible. If we are not talking trades, then id like to make an ol choice( I hate that I said this), yes and OL pick at 31. But like i said, if we take him im still happy.

    My wants for this draft(after the first round and not in any order):
    Devin smith- the guy can play ST and CAN PLAY Receiver. He would be a nice addition to our roster.

    Darren Waller- The dude is a freak, all this talk about DGB(me included) and this guy blows his numbers out of the water. PLUS he has great hands, not one catchable ball dropped.

    Tre Mcbride- He is another guy i really like, insane potential and im all about it.

    Connley- Not sure his first name, but I want him. When you see someone hit 140+ SPARQ score you drool. The guy was an animal. Now his tape is hit or miss, but i have to think his best football is ahead of him with NFL coaching and practice. Draft this guy in whatever round you need to to get him.

    I think 4 WR picks is to much, but i think three is the perfect number. If i had to cut one it would be between Smith and Mcbride. I think waller is a must get for our team. Connley is another guy i would hate to not see in training camp and watch develop over the next couple years. The other two, I would love to have, but i am not mad without them.

    Oh, i am also on the wagon for grabbing suh and never letting go.

    Go hawks, and SDB community for making these posts insightful and a must read. Rob, you are the man.
    That is all.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Kyle

  26. Robert

    What do you think of David Johnson? He’s big, fast and strong…had a great combine: He’s durable, a phenomenal receiver and good KO returner. He is a magician at making defenders miss. We could probably get him in the 3rd?

      • drewjov11

        That was pretty awful defense, too. I’m not sure about him. He runs so uprigt and his body reminds me more of a wr than a rb. He’s probably going to be solid player, but that run wasn’t special.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Size is good. Speed very good. Hands quite good. Decent blocker in pass pro.

      Running style kind of reminds me of Shaun Alexander. Seems like he’s indecisive on runs where he’s going to get contact. Has a lot of negative runs, which for Seattle is a big deal. Seattle almost requires their backs have the ability to single handedly turn a 3 yard loss into no gain. But whether it’s a 3 yard loss or a two yard gain, Johnson doesn’t exhibit a sense that he’ll take what’s there and make the most of it.

      Very good speed/size ratio. Doesn’t get particularly low. Tends to go down with arm tackles. Good form tackles drop him for virtually no YAC.

      The Alexander comp kind of applies here. He’s a run to daylight runner, and when given options, tends to avoid contact as much as possible. Even a handful of fetal position ducks on tape that make you wince a bit.

      In all, he doesn’t really seem to be a fit for the style and personality of rusher that Seattle has stated they want. For a big back, he doesn’t do a lot of the big back things when you expect him to. NIU’s O line is not great. So you get to see a lot of opportunities for Johnson to kind of make nothing out of less than something. But as you watch him, you keep waiting for him to do just that.

      Ultimately, I don’t see a back who gives us even what Turbin does at this point. But in terms of a roll over talent to replace Turbin in 2016 — he’s sufficient if he’s there end of 4th/mid 5th.

      I do not see a back who will contend as a starter for Seattle. If we were to pick him, I see us still in the RB market in the future for our next workhorse back.

      • peter

        As silly as it seems if they ate willing to convert bj Daniels wr I would actually consider David Johnson if he fell relatively deep in the draft. I agree his style is too upright but his chops as a recie er I think could be greatly improved on, plus he could do kick returns and be a deep back up at the Rb position. Also I’m not joking about this! I think his ability to catch and change direction on the move for YAC is way better then his overall ability as a RB. Finally comparing him to the WR at the combine he’d still be one of the more explosive performers plus comes with built in inline blocking skills and and a thick strong frame.

  27. EranUngar

    The question is not “can we afford a luxury pick?”, The question is “Is picking Gurley – a luxury pick?”

    If Lynch is not there, ready and eager to play, or if they have serious doubts Lynch will be there at 2016, picking a quality RB for a run first team about to lose it’s main weapon is A MUST PICK.

    We made the SB with the roster we currently have minus Carp and Maxi (with 17 players on IR). Anybody cares to predict the outcome of the season without Lynch?

    Yes, we need help at WR/TE, OL, DL, DB…but none is even close to what would we do without Lynch.

    If the FO is confident they have at least 2 years of Beast mode available then it is a luxury pick that we probably should not make. If they are anything but confident about it then this pick is a high priority pick at our position of greatest need.

    I hope it’s not. I hope Lynch is back. I hope we can add talent at WR or OL after adding DL and TE talent in FA.

    • Jake

      So Michael and Turbin should be completely given up on? Michael, if given 20 carries a game is going to be a human highlight reel. He is more talented than Gurley and he’s already on the roster, Turbin is a very good #2 back. I’d add depth if Lynch retires, not start over at RB.

      • EranUngar

        I’m not pretending to know if Michael is a human highlight reel or a bust. There are people that do know if he is the right guy for our offense. Those people did not see fit to let him have those carries in his two years with us.

        I’m sorry Jake but i take their actions over your words. For whatever reason the seahawks do not see Michael as highly as you. That’s enough for me to think that if Lynch is gone, Michael is not the answer.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I agree. I think the opportunities have been there for Seattle to demonstrate their opinion of Michael over the course of 2014. Lynch was sidelined frequently enough — even sitting out first series/quarters this year. Michael was often a healthy inactive this season.

        I, for one, don’t see the drafting of a RB as necessarily the death knell for Lynch in Seattle. Quite the opposite, I see the ravages of age and punishment already exacting a toll on Lynch right now. Adding a second workhorse caliber back to me isn’t a luxury at all.

        At best, it’s addressing strongly the reality of succession. It’s not about the next Lynch. Running backs are so different in style. It’s a position where unique qualities are so evidently manifest. No two great running backs are truly the same. And yet two different types can each be great in their own way.

        At worst, taking a workhorse back can easily coexist with a scenario where Lynch remains on effective on the team into 2016. Lynch already has shown he really can’t be expected to always be ready to play. He’s missed time in 2013 and 2014. His back is a chronic condition that always limits his availability even when he suits up. Adding a second back with alpha starter quality is a means to extend Lynch’s impact for this team as injury further robs him of availability.

        Ultimately, the position is important enough that when a back of sufficient quality and style presents itself, we should take him. We could talk about taking Fournette or Zeke Elliot in the future. But what if guys of those caliber are gone? As they probably should be expected to be. You can’t not take a guy in the current draft because you would rather have someone in a future draft. Opportunity and draft availability don’t often intersect that neatly.

  28. Cysco

    Pete’s, and the team’s motto is Win Forever, not Win next season.

    Pete’s, and the team’s identity is athletic defense and rushing-focused offens

    Given the pending retirement of Lynch at some point in the next two years the team has to be thinking about what’s next. Having a plan for life after Lynch is core to the team’s motto and identity.

    I can absolutely see the team drafting Gurley if he’s there.

    I also don’t get the notion that somehow drafting Lynch’s replacement is going to anger Lynch somehow. It’s not like the team is telling Lynch, “we’re going to pay you 10mil this year, but you need to come to camp and compete with this rookie coming off knee surgery for a role on the team.”

    I actually think there’s a good chance Gurley is there at the end of RD. 1. As Rob pointed out, there are very few teams that can handle the luxury of essentially slow rolling their first round pick this year. Baltimore, Seattle, NE are probably the only teams that would realistically be able to draft and redshirt Gurley.

    • lil'stink

      It’s not that going after Gurley would anger Lynch. It’s that it could send him mixed messages and make an already less than stellar relationship between him and the front office that much more strained. We all know how bad things can turn when a player loses trust and faith in his coaches. We all know that we will have to move on from him eventually. But if you are going to commit to Marshawn, then commit. Don’t hedge your bets by drafting a guy like Gurley.

      • Cysco

        I still don’t buy it. It’s not like the team is going to give Lynch $10m then go out and sign Demarco Murray. We’re talking about a red shirt rookie.

        Lynch knows he only has a couple years left. The team know it too. I can’t fathom Lynch losing faith and trust in the team because they draft a rookie Rb who probably won’t even play for two years. If Lynch were THAT sensitive, he would have thrown a fit about them drafting Michael. By all accounts, he and Michael get along great and there were no reports of anything remotely close to him being upset about it.

        Lynch knows he’s the heart of the offense, the top dog. Nothing is going to change that as long as he wears a Hawk’s jersey.

  29. MoondustV

    I would never draft a RB with this year’s #31 pick.

    The reason is simple: Seahawks didn’t lost SB49 because of “the call” and 2 TDs Brady and his weapons gained. They lost because of the 3 punts when led in 4th quarter.

    The dilemma when we face 3rd&5~9 is too obvious in regular season. Feed the beast? Throw to any of our WRs or TEs? You know the possibility of success.

    Besides, RW3 will get a big contract eventually. And you want to equip his weapons with sorry guys(Sorry, Baldwin) like Kearse, Willson and Norwood? I don’t have to remind you Lockette is never a good route runner. Poor pass targets will spoil the money we spent on RW3.

    And as some fellows have already said, we may never find another elusive RB like Lynch,
    his talent is unique. I don’t want to see the scene that when we need to rely on passing game in some situations and we simply have no good weapons.

    OL, CB or WR. As far as I know, a rookie that can replace Maxwell may not drop to #31, so just pick a G or a BIG WR. That’s what a 1st rd pick for.

    Anyway, good analysis Rob, although I thoroughly disagree.

    • bobbyk

      Everything we heard about Norwood last year until he got hurt in training camp was quite favorable. I don’t think it’s fair to write him off yet. It’s just not responsible after too many years of subpar WR play to count on him either.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure the piece is there to be disagreed or agreed with Moondust. It looks at the pro’s and cons of a move like this. I’m neither for or against drafting Gurley at #31. I’m just opening up the debate.

  30. lil'stink

    For the sake of argument I think that teams at the top of the heap can’t afford a luxury pick any more than teams at the bottom of the barrel. As Schneider recently said, the league pushes you to 8-8. The win forever mantra is great, but the first step to accomplishing that is to win now. Our window to go back to the SB should still be wide open next year, but it won’t be open forever. You don’t want to close that window a little bit for next year in the hope that you can open it back up for 2016.

    Seeing the forest through the trees is what keeps teams at the top for long periods of time; but when another Lombardi is right in front of you sometimes narrowing your focus a bit is the better move.

    • Rob Staton

      I understand the arguments saying, “no thanks” on Gurley because of positional value or injury concerns. But I’m unconvinced by the concern that somehow Seattle’s window will shut unless they draft a certain position or get a certain degree of impact from the #31 pick. It’s one player.

  31. hawkfaninMT

    I feel like RB has become a position that you do “need” to plan for per se. Definitely not to the point of picking someone that will not contribute for a year.

    There are so many scenarios with Lynch. But this post would act under the assumption that he will play this year, and probably not next. That would leave 5 options going forward.

    1) Use C-Mike and Turbin once Lynch retires
    2) Draft someone this year to take over next year (Gurley, Gordon)
    3) Sign a Free Agent this year to take over next year (Options?)
    4) Draft someone next year to start as a rookie (The usual route in the NFL it seems)
    5) Sign someone next year in FA while letting Turbin walk (HELLO ALFRED MORRIS!)

    I feel like we can effectively eliminate 1 and 3. Without a trade I worry about banking on the fact that we can draft a franchise back in the back end of the first where I anticipate them drafting next year. So that would leave us with options 2 and 5. I lean towards option 5 with Alfred Morris assuming he does not re-sign with the Redskins. Just my opinion.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I like the way you have listed options.
      #1 is the fallback position for when Lynch get hurt.
      #2 Draft someone, no need to go early here, it’s possible a mid to late rounder could replace Turbin or CMike
      #3 No need to sign a free agent, then we would have two expensive backs to pay
      #4 I would like to draft someone next year. We still have Cmike on contract. We may resign Lynch or Turbin.
      #5 Sign someone next year in FA, maybe. Next year is a long ways away. They would probably draft a RB anyway.

      I think #4 is the best option and will happen no matter who is signed in free agency, or even if Lynch is signed through 2016.

  32. Madmark

    You got to think farther ahead than just this year coming up if you draft Gurley. I’m actually all in if he even falls to 31. Being a 1st round pick we would get him for 4 years with and option for the 5th year. We redshirt him his 1st year as he rehabs his injury and he can study the ZBS. If most of you don’t remember it was halfway thru 2011 that Lynch finally broke down and went to Tom Cable and started to learn about ZBS.
    The scenario of 2015 would play out with Lynch on a 2 year extension, Turbin in last year of his contract, and Michaels with 2 years left and Gurley being redshirted with 3 to 4 years left with the option. You can see not much will be different until the next year.
    The scenario for 2016 would play out with Lynch with 2 years left, Turbin would be a UFA, Michaels competing for a spot RFA which we could tender a 3rd or 4th round pick, and of course Gurley ready to compete for his spot with 3 years and an option at a 4th year.
    What I’m not sure about is whether he’ll even be at 31 and if that happens I would go with Jalen Collins, Cameron Ervings, or a trade back in the upper 2nd round and get a Carl Davis.
    I thought I mention this but who’s to say Carpenter doesn’t get resigned if the price is right. Its not like he’s had a stand out career here.

  33. Jeremy

    Interesting read and I’d be on board with Gurley. Something tells me that Michael is going to be a highly drafted player that gets traded to a second team before establishing himself. The same thing happened to Ahman Green and Marshawn Lynch. I could even see Atlanta making a play for him since Steven Jackson is moving on and their running game was pretty ineffective even with Jackson there. With the Dan Quinn tie, i could see him poaching C-Mike as his running back for a 3rd or 4th round pick.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’ll be lucky to get a 7th for him personally. Since he came into the league he’s comfortably taken the position as Seattle’s #3 running back. His stock has collapsed.

      • Madmark

        I don’t know about. Michaels YPC avg. is pretty good I could see a 4th or 5th round pick.

  34. Volume 12

    Like others mentioned above, I’m a huge fan of and would rather have Nebraska HB Ameer Abdullah at the back end of round 2.

    Dude runs like a Seahawks HB with tenacity and anger. He’s a tremendous/high character kid. I didn’t know this about him, but he squats 650 pounds! What a beast. The only thing is that he’s not the 5’10-5’11, 220-225 lb. type back that Seattle usually drafts.

    He’s a dynamic weapon out of the backfield that fits a ZBS scheme quite well. Not saying that Seattle will draft him, but he’s an interesting option that for all we know could be just as or even more effective in the NFL than either Todd Turkey or Melvin Gordon.

    Miss St HB Josh Robinson is also a better fit in the mid to late rounds, Only ran a 4.7, but again his play speed is so much better. It’s great that some of these guys run a 4.4 40, but it’s more important what they run in pads. Robinson has a low center of gravity, runs behind his pads, and his O-line didn’t create lanes that a truck could drive through.

    • bobbyk

      As a long time Huskers fan, this kid is legit on and off the field He and RW would hit it off, too.

      • Volume 12

        Love that. ‘this kid is legit.’ Nice. Could definitely see Abdullah and RW getting along instantly.

        LOL. Didn’t mean to type Todd Turkey. Obviously should have been Gurley.

        • Matt

          The only thing that worries me about Abdullah is the fumblitis. He’s a lot like Michael to me. Home run hitter who has problems holding onto the ball.

          • Volume 12

            That’s a coachable issue my friend. Abdullah is more mature and has a better work ethic than C-Mike.

            I just don’t see a 6’1, 230 pound back with an upright running style being anything more than a flash in the pan.

  35. Attyla the Hawk

    I kind of see Gurley as the one realistic prospect available at #31 that we would scuttle any deal on the table for. Similar in every way to how the falling of Earl Thomas led to a similar situation in 2010.

    Had Gurley not been injured — I think it’s reasonable that there would be zero chance he’d have fallen to 31. We’re talking about a prospect that has been early day 1 since his freshman season. A healthy Gurley would compare favorably to even a Kevin White kind of prospect.

    You’re also talking about a prospect who is 20 years old. He won’t be 21 until well into training camp. This isn’t a senior/redshirt senior prospect. He very likely isn’t as good as he will be in a year’s time. Or two years’ time.

    From a talent perspective, he’d be a unique outlier at the 31st pick. The only caveat being his injury. We’ve seen that injury histories (or in the case of Okung, the absence of it) hasn’t been predictive of how likely it’s going to be an issue in the future. There are plenty of examples of players overcoming this injury in college with no ill effects and long prosperous careers as pros. Just as there are examples of players who never were the same.

    If we were talking about a 15th to 25th overall pick, then I could see the trepidation. The relative options available in that range would make a risk pick one of those franchise stunting decisions if it were to go wrong. At the end of R1 though, you’re not talking about passing on low risk/high reward kinds of players.

    You’re betting on the current rates of success in overcoming ACL injuries. Which is currently pretty high. It’s a measured risk but the reward upside is almost impossible to ignore.

  36. Mylegacy


    If we are to seriously contend this coming year (and for the next several years) we need…

    That “big red zone target” (even though we’ve a sleeper in Matthews). We need to start grooming the “Next Beast” (even though I think Turbin would surprise to the upside if forced to be the “man.”) We need “the guy to replace Maxwell” (Unless Simon’s injuries were the reason he seemed to fall off a cliff performance wise after a very strong mid season). We NEED the injured defensive STARS to all be healthy (there is NO light at the end of any tunnel IF two of these guys just don’t come back to being the Legion…)

    We have three tools to get them (and other tasty little morsels). Free Agency, the “Draft” and trades. Free Agency might just end up being the most important – because IF we can use Free Agency to solve one of the problems we have 11(ish) picks to throw at the rest. With 11 (ish) picks we have an excellent chance to get what we need AND perhaps actually be able to use a few of those draft slots to trade for a need, or even to trade for one (or more) draft slots next year.

    To me – the Free Agency shoe has to fall first (as far as one of our two addressable core needs are concerned – the third core need will have to be addressed by Doctors and prayers) before we can truly address what we could hunt for in the draft. Unfortunately, we must be patient. Patience has never been my strong point…

    • Rob Staton

      Absolutely, free agency will have a huge say in the draft plan. But with another eight days to go — I guess we need to talk about something 😉

      • hawkfaninMT

        Any chance of a post on who the Hawks will target at each position, estimated costs, who you think they will get, etc…

        • Rob Staton

          It’s a tough post to write. I don’t think they’ll do much in FA. Maybe go after Julius Thomas. Look at D-line depth and the veteran corner market. I can’t imagine a lot of deals.

        • cha

          It’s lots of fun but there are so many variables it’s tough. Projecting players cut, who slipped through to the secondary free agent market and who is available in the draft is too much of a task to present an accurate picture.

          One thing I had wondered – with so many draft picks this year, I wonder if there will be some trades for established veterans the Hawks could make to fill some gaps at a low cost.

  37. Steve Nelsen

    I love the discussion this post has generated. Here are my thought.

    I loved Rob’s idea in a previous post about coming up with a pool of possible players for each of the Seahawks picks rather than just one. I think Gurley belongs on the list for pick #31.

    The Seahawks draft for roster improvement. I think it is fair to question what Gurley adds to the roster in 2015 if Marshawn is back.

    There are several spots where I think we can all see the potential for starter improvement in 2015; WR, TE, LG (if Carpenter does not return) and CB (if Simon needs surgery that affects his availability for the start of the season). RB moves to the top of that list if Marshawn does not come back. And whatever happens with Marshawn RB is likely at the top of that list in 2016.

    I am not convinced Christine Michael is a bust. And I think it is possible that Robert Turbin could be a lead back if given the opportunity. But, adding a potential young franchise starting RB to play with Russell for the next 5 years might be the type of move that keeps this team at a championship level. It is the same thought process that Seattle had when they drafted C-Mike a couple years ago. I thought it was wise then and I would think the same thing if it happened this year.

    If the reports about Gurley’s recovery are accurate, then I don’t think we should underestimate what he could add to this roster in 2015. Marshawn’s back seems to be getting more problematic. Having an elite replacement could make the difference between continuing a championship run or not in 2015 if Marshawn can’t play.

    • cha

      I agree on Turbin and Michael Steve. I could see the Hawks going into 2015 with those two as the lead backs should Lynch retire.

      That said, I’d think that the Seahawks would feel a need to hedge against the loss of Lynch’s explosive plays, or put another way, that Turbin and Michael would not fully replace those type of plays that Lynch provided. So it would be fascinating to what degree and at what offensive position they would seek to fill that need. A downfield WR threat? The TE mismatch?

      Or do they simply open up the playbook a little more?

  38. Steve Nelsen

    I will be following the announcements about franchise tags today with interest.

    Two notes of possible interest to Seattle:

    Julius Thomas did not get the franchise tag from Denver.

    Ndamakung Suh did not get the franchise tag from Detroit.

  39. SunPathPaul

    A bit OT here, but if Marques Colston is cut by the Saints, should we consider him??

    His stats with the Saints reveals a top notch player…:

    NFL Records[edit]:
    Most receptions in a player’s first two seasons (168)

    Saints franchise records[edit]:
    Most career receptions (666)[15]
    Most career receiving yards (9,239)[15]
    Most yards from scrimmage (9,246)
    Highest receiving average (13.9)
    Most career receiving touchdowns (68)[15]
    Most total touchdowns (68)
    Most seasons with 1,000 receiving yards (6)[16]
    Most games with 100 or more yards receiving (27) (tied with Joe Horn)

    He is a 6’4″ / 225# WR who ran a 4.5 / 40… He is 31, I get it…but he would cost a lot less than Vincent Jackson…would he be a good fit for our WR room?

    • SunPathPaul

      If we did grab him, then we could draft 2 WR’s without worrying about their size, and could go purely for playmaking ability!

      Lockette, Diggs, Conley, McBride, Goodley, Bell, …etc. and maybe a late flier on a TE like Jesse James.

      • bobbyk

        Would the Sundance Kid be an option if we got Jesse James?

        • SunPathPaul

          Who is the sundance kid bobby?

          • hawkfaninMT

            Booby dates himself!

            • bobbyk

              It’s an Old West thing. It was actually Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kind of like Bonnie and Clyde and Billy the Kid. Bad joke, I know.

      • Volume 12

        Can’t wait for Baylor’s pro day so we can see Antwan Goodley’s broad jump, vertical, 3 cone, and short shuttle. Yes, Goodley is awkward at the catch point, but to my eye he can be used in very much the same way as Seattle used Percy Harvin. I know not a ringing endorsement, but he’s that kind of athlete and offensive weapon. Just a poor man’s version.

        He’d make an exciting KR/PR, could be brought along patiently, used in a variety of ways, and would 100% be on board with being mainly a special teams guy and ‘jack of all trades’ receiver. Absolute upgrade over B-Walt, and could be had with a 5th round pick, possibly 4th.

        Also has the back-ground, early in life adversity that we know Seattle likes in it’s players.

        • SunPathPaul

          I agree on Goodley Volume 12. The say he is a bowling ball WR that’s more like a RB when he gets the ball… He would be a nice versatile weapon, ala Sproles, and especially if he is a R4-5 pick…that’s great value!

          Volume 12, Rob and bobby? Does Colston sound like a good idea/fit for us???

          • Volume 12

            If he’s cheap why not? Maybe a one year/prove it type deal? As Rob pointed out, he became increasingly ineffective for the Saints, but you know who else has? QB Drew Brees.

            If he’s still there in the 2nd tier of FAs, he’s worth kicking the tires on IMO.

            About Goodley. One scout says ‘he offers unique versatility.’ As you said SPP, in the 5th round that kind of athlete/offensive weapon is tremendous value. Depending on his pro days numbers and overall SPARQ score, I could see Seattle really taking a liking to him. High character, humble.

            He does need to learn a route tree, as most receivers do, has the body and will to run-block, but needs to be more consistent at it. And I think he can go get the ball in traffic. Would love him as our return man/gunner/versatile weapon offensively.

    • Rob Staton

      He became increasingly ineffective for the Saints. I think I’d pass.

  40. AlaskaHawk

    Okay gang, lets say that the Seahawks went all in on a luxery pick by trading their first and second for a first round pick in the 20-21 range. Who would you pick?
    Jaelen Strong a 6’4″ wide receiver fronm Arizona State would be an immediate help.
    Jake Fisher a left tackle from Oregon?
    Or maye Jalen Collins, 6’1″ lockdown corner from LSU.
    How about Malcom Brown, a 320# DT from Texas?
    Or running back Melvin Gordon?

    What player would you pick?

    • Steve Nelsen

      I’m not sure Jake fisher is a LT at the pro level. I think he may be a guard at the next level.

      I don’t like Gordon that high after the combine. I’m not sure his style fits the Seahawks anyway.

      Collins, Brown and Strong are all solid players deserving to go in that range or higher.

    • SunPathPaul

      Jaelen Strong is only 6’2″… and I wouldn’t touch him that early…

      In the Early 20’s I go after a CB like J Collins, Byron Jones, a WR like D Parker if he falls… LB S Thompson, maybe a OT like Clemmings or Peat…

      We would have to really want the guy to move up! Most are saying this draft really only has 20 or so first round graded peeps. If it meant we got a 1st round talent, above others talent, why not!

      • drewjov11

        Jaelen Strong could be a better, cheaper version of jermaine Kearse. Jump ball, outside receiver but he’s probably got much higher upside. Neither guy gets really that open.

    • Madmark

      If those are my choices then Jalen Collins but he won’t be there.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The only reason I mentioned a Left tackle (your pick who you like) is that after next year the Seahawks could cut Okung and use his money to pay for just about any other free agent, or half of Wilson’s new salary. Strategy would be effective for four years after Okung left while the tackle was still on their rookie contract.

  41. Madmark

    I’m just so into FA mode at this time. think about a few of these players. The list as follows:
    Mike Iupati LG
    Ike Taylor CB 35(who better at my position than me on the top 100 hehe)
    Josh Wilson CB 30
    Ndamukong Suh DT 28 (tech 3 we have been talking about for the last 4 years)
    Darnell Dockett DT 34(He’s not done)
    Da’quan Bowers DE 25 (Resurrection)
    Jacoby Jones WR/PR/KR 31 (this is an absolute need on ST
    Ted Ginn WR 30 WR/PR/KR (No joke important position)
    Owen Daniels TE 32 (Solid)
    Julius Thomas TE 27(I feel we have Wilson for this part but need that blocking of Miller)
    Have no idea where they go but I thought to throw out some more crap for people to think on.

    • Steele1324

      I don’t think the Hawks should bother with anything that isn’t an upgrade. With they had the luxury of too many project types, but I don’t think they do, unless you stretch out the time horizon for winning a SB out a couple of years. Overpaying for mediocrity is even worse.

      Of this list, Suh and J Thomas are the only obvious upgrades, but they are $$ costly. I like Jacoby Jones but the question is whether he will offer a lot as a WR, not just a KR. He is not a good PR. If he can be a consistent deep threat WR, absolutely, otherwise, I think they can find others who can do the job.

      Iupati-$$, good run blocker, is not a good pass blocker. I guess that makes him somewhat Seahawky, but they should get away from this Cable type. I think Ike Taylor is done (and besides, he wants to reunite with Dick LeBeau in Ten), Owen Daniels is Zach Miller, so why bother. I think Josh Wilson is one of many mediocre rotational type corners.

  42. big dub

    I haven’t heard any news on Anthony Mccoy’ s status. I really like what I saw from him before his first injury only to do the same thing on the other leg. Can anyone comment on coming back from both repaired Achilles tendons. I remember a few pancakes from him and think he has did have some drops but overall I think athletically he is pretty good. Could that be our answer at tight end or am I just hopeful for the guy?

    • Volume 12

      He does have aloe of talent. If they keep him through FA and OTAs, he’s got as good a shot as anybody to stick on this team contribute. God willing he stays healthy of course.

    • Rob Staton

      There’s been very little news on McCoy. He’s missed the last two years through injury so you fear the worst for his career. Achilles injuries are a real bummer.

  43. Steele1324

    Does the Eagles-Bills trade that sent LeSean McCoy to Buffalo have ramifications for Gurley? They need a back now. Will the Eagles pursue him at #20? Can any team between #20 and 31 pass on Gurley, as well as accept a likely red shirt season?

    All of that would have to happen for the Hawks to get a shot at him, unless they trade up.

    The idea of Gurley stockpiled while Lynch plays a season and then phases out is increasingly appealing to me. We would have to worry as much about the future. (I do think Gurley is that good.)

    • Rob Staton

      I think there’s every chance the Eagles are going to trade their entire draft for Marcus Mariota.

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