CFB week 5: D’Andre Walker is definitely legit

I’ve got Ole Miss vs LSU and Ohio State vs Penn State to watch over the next couple of days. I watched Tennessee vs Georgia live and wanted to write about one player who continues to stand out.

D’Andre Walker is terrific. And he seems like a great fit for the Seahawks and the way they play defense. He can attack the edge. He has the speed to run across the backside and tackle. He can play in space. He’s incredibly quick and sudden. He’s intense and plays with attitude. He’ll chase after the ball carrier.

Walker jumped a 33 inch vertical at the SPARQ tests in High School and his 4.16 short shuttle is in Leighton Vander Esch territory. You see that agility and explosion show up time and time again. Against Tennessee he stunted inside from the edge and got a big sack. It was such a fluid, sudden movement. Tennessee had no shot at picking it up. He chased, he harassed. On one play he drove the left tackle into the backfield with a bull rush.

He is the star in this Georgia front seven.

The only downside was a needless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a shove after the whistle. It extended a drive that led to points. Kirby Smart took Walker out of the game for a while as a punishment. It all seemed a little over the top:

He came back into the game and with 3:24 to go — set the edge vs the run, released from his block, hit the RB and forced a fumble. Turnover.

Walker’s not getting much attention which is a surprise. Keep an eye on him though. Big talent, great athlete. One to watch.


— Despite his good reviews, I wasn’t blown away by Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery when he played Michigan. Yesterday, however, he collected four sacks against Stanford. That’s unusual for a DT. I’ll try to find the tape. Tillery also had two further QB hurries.

— Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen had a similar performance against South Carolina. He had three sacks, four TFL’s and a hurry. The first sack was on a backside pursuit (almost a safety in the end zone), the second he was unblocked stunting inside and the third he just flat out beat the left tackle for speed and bend leading to a sack/fumble. Allen had numerous other pressures too. He’s had a very productive start to the season and he’s making his case for round one. He’s not the only Kentucky player making a big impression. Running back Benny Snell Jr looks like he has a big future in the NFL too.

— Florida defensive end Jachai Polite has always been fun to watch but he’s had spells of inconsistency and injury. I caught a little bit of the Florida vs Mississippi State game yesterday and noticed his two sacks. He’s a little bit undersized (6-2, 260lbs) but he plays with a fantastic motor.

— Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones has snaps where he looks really quick and smooth. On one play against Penn State he used an effortless swim move to get into the backfield and force a big TFL. For his size he’s extremely nimble and light on his feet. I just wish he combined that with a little bit more power and explosion. At the next level he won’t always be able to rely on being quicker. There are times when he’s blocked too easily out of plays or moved at the LOS. His quickness is rare but in order to go very early in 2019 you’d like to see a little more power if he’s projecting as a defensive tackle.

— Auburn’s Derrick Brown isn’t a heralded player but he’s a fantastic defensive tackle with a big-time NFL future. He had a sack, two TFL’s and a hurry against Southern Miss. He’s a 6-5, 325lbs plug-in interior presence who can control the line, play with a nasty edge and provide enough pass-rush to make plays in the backfield.

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  1. CHawk Talker Eric

    Watching Florida vs MSU.

    MSU OLB Willie Gay, Jr. 6’2″ 236lbs is making some nice plays.

  2. CHawk Talker Eric

    I’ve seen all 5 UGA games so far this year. Agree very much about Walker.

    Also like Georgia WRs Ridley, Hardman and Holloman and RBs Holyfield (yes that Holyfield), Swift and Herrien. Holyfield is right in SEA’s wheelhouse for size, speed and athleticism.

    The center Lamont Gaillard is pretty good too.

    I know Bama gets all the love, but that Georgia team is right there at the top of CFB this year.

  3. Alaskahawk

    Watching Stanford vs Notre Dame. Two good running backs in Love and Williams. I got to root for the pac but Williams looks great.

    • Alaskahawk

      Couple good defensive players : jr cb Love with notre dane. Kareem with nd. Reid D-Tenn for Stanford.

  4. CaptainJack

    @pedestrian, Jake Browning… 23/25, 277 yards, 1 TD and a rushing TD, zero interceptions, and now owns the record for most career passing yards at Washington. UW beats 20th ranked BYU 35-7. But tell me more about how UW is the 6th best team in the pac 12, and tell me more about how Jake Browning will “struggle” against BYU.

    …. some people man… so ignorant

  5. MarkinSeattle


    Would be curious to get your thoughts on some of the ND players, specifically CB Love, DT Tillery, OG Bars and QB Book. I didn’t think ND looked that great going into the year, but Book looks very accurate and they seem like a very good offense when he is in there. He seems to have field awareness, although he also seems very comfortable throwing it short. Not sure how much of that is game planning with his lack of experience or what he is most comfortable throwing.

    OL is obviously not at the level of last year, but Bars seems like a pretty good player. I have never been in love with Tillery as a DT, doesn’t strike me as being all that quick or physically impressive, so I am shocked he destroyed the Stanford OL. Although ND has gotten surprisingly good pass rush on the DL this year, not sure if he is benefitting with quicker players around him taking off the double team. Love looks like a top flight CB, very physical but I am curious about where you think he fits in the draft.

  6. MarkinSeattle

    Rob, thoughts on the ND Stanford game and in particular the following ND players: QB Book, CB Love, OG Bars, LB Coney, and DT Tillery.

    I will say that this is a completely different O with Book in at QB. Kid has been very accurate and he has good field presence.

    Also, how much of this game was a good DL for MD versus a bad OL for Stanford?

    • Rob Staton

      I didn’t have access to the game but I saw Notre Dame against Michigan. Wasn’t blown away by Tillery despite his good reviews from that game but I see he had four sacks last night so will need to check that out. Will no doubt get an opportunity to watch ND again soon so will keep an eye on the group you listed here. Stanford are overrated IMO.

  7. Ben Ft. Worth

    Rob, what do think of Joe Burrows chances of being a starting QB in the NFL? I know there are better QB’s, I just wanted to hear you’re take on him.

    • CaptainJack

      Burrows? He is a pretty good college quarterback but he doesn’t excite me thinking about him as a pro.

      Justin Herbert might be the real deal though. Herbert is the only draft eligible qb i see starting in the league. Tua is on another level but he will not eligible this year.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s good to see LSU have an actual capable QB for a change. Clearly is a big boost for them. Not sure he has any particular pro-prospects in terms of the next level but the LSU passing game is watchable this year so we can all be grateful for that. Good to see the Tigers playing well.

      • GerryG

        Agreed Rob, LSU always has so much talent it is a shame the lack of competent QB play torpedoes their chances and can make their games unwatchable. Not this season.

  8. Volume12

    Draft crush! Florida’s Jachai Polite is so damn nasty. Dangerously explosive, ridiculous bend, just scratching the surface. Don’t sleep on him he’s the real deal.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s played well the last few weeks. Need to be consistent though and stay injury free.

      • Volume12

        Definitely needs to stay healthy.

      • Volume12

        Some Takk McKinley in his game.

  9. H

    Does McKenzie Milton deserve more credit as one of the top draft eligible QBs?
    Doesn’t have a crazy arm, but very mobile, and accurate from in and outside the pocket. Plus the dude just keeps winning.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he deserves more credit as a good college passer but we’re talking about a 5-11, 185lbs QB.

      • H

        You’re probably right, sub 6′ QBs do rarely work out in the NFL… rarely 😉

        • Rob Staton

          Unfortunately for him it’s not just the height. At 185lbs he’s slight too. Russell is a freak athlete with size, just lacks a couple of inches in height.

          • Kenny Sloth

            He’s tiny. Doubt he truly measures up to Russ outside of height

    • Volume12

      ND St’s Easton Stick does. He’s that dude.

  10. John_s

    My guy Oshane Ximines with another sack totaling 6 for the year. Also had a block of an XP

  11. Hawktalker#1

    Excited about the game today. My 8 year olds first NFL game ever and he start with Hawks vs Cards. Currently in transit on chartered bus loaded with Hawk fans. Outrageous. My son (and I) are in heaven.

    • Rob Staton

      Have a great time!

  12. Volume12

    The 2018 RB class was wildly overrated huh?

    • Rob Staton


      • Volume12

        Not yet?

        • Rob Staton

          You posted that less than an hour into week four of their rookie seasons.

          It’s a bit of a ‘Seahawks twitter’ take.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Yup All busts

  13. cha

    La Canfora takes the dog out for a walk for the Steelers.

    “The Steelers would also be open to swapping their disgruntled running back for Seattle’s Earl Thomas, who has asked for a trade and clashed with management in Seattle, but sources said there has been no contact between those teams to this point.”

    It still doesn’t make much sense but it’s out there.

    • Rob Staton

      Not really. Of course the Steelers would entertain that deal. Earl is playing, Bell isn’t. They could continue to play him and seeing as they’re set to lose Bell in the off-season anyway, it’s a win-win for them. They’d only stand to benefit from the deal.

      The Seahawks aren’t doing this. It’s a 0.01% chance type of scenario. They just spent a R1 on a RB. They aren’t going to trade for Bell and then pay him his millions to get him on the field. Not happening.

      • cha

        I wasn’t arguing for it.

  14. Sea Mode

    Thanks for the notes, Rob.

    So, per the asking price for Earl is two R2 picks. More than the R2 + R3 they paid for Duane Brown.

    Seems like a good ask, though unlikely to be met. I can only imagine they would still jump at the chance if offered a R2 + R3.

    The Steelers reportedly want a R2 + a “good” player for Bell, so it seems just as unlikely. But at least the asking prices have now been made public.

  15. Sea Mode

    Man, what is happening in Chicago? 38-3 at halftime!?

  16. Volume12

    About time CBS switched from the Phins/Pats to the 1 good game of week 4 (Cincy/ATL)


    This is good stuff

    • Kenny Sloth

      Watch soccer people

      • Volume12


  17. EBurgz

    Carson is inactive. Let’s feed Penny 20+ carries and see what he can do with this group up front. I’m tired of hearing about how bad he is when he really hasn’t had an opportunity. Hope Carson is back to start next week against the rams at home.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      +1 Hope Penny goes off!

    • Trevor

      Sounds like a plan.

      Dissapointed Carson could not put back to back weeks. Rob had been consistent in commenting that Carson had not proven he can be a bell cow back at any level and I think the injury issue is clearly why. That is why the Hawks went RB in Rd #1. Durability is a huge factor for any RB evaluation and why so many teams go with comitees now. Just another thing that made guys like Beast Mode and Bettis so unique. So durable despite he tough running style.

    • Del tre

      Im all in on this plan, but i have a bad feeling we abandon the run and end up passing. I really hope we don’t even if the run isnt effective right away.

    • Eburgz

      Aaaannnnddddd Mike Davis gets the start. Guess I’m just glad they are running it but man I’d like to see what we have in penny. I like Davis but we know what we have with him.

  18. Volume12

    No Chris Carson today? Yikes.

    • 12th chuck

      probably a discipline issue. I haven’t heard anything, but, kept him out a half already “winded”? sounds fishy

      • Volume12

        Something with his hip. He was running and cutting pre-game. Probably just precautionary.

      • H

        Seeing as he was questionable with a hip injury, id say its that. No need for the conspiracies.

  19. cha

    Reed with another sack! Having a great start to the season.

  20. Volume12

    Mike Davis is goodt!

  21. Aaron

    Looks like a non-contact ACL or Achilles tear for Uncle Will…shame! Have to pick up another TE this week and/or promote someone from the practice squad.

    • Aaron

      Possibly even the dreaded patellar tendon rupture too according to @ProFootballDoc…

      “Review of limited #WillDissly video has me worried for patella tendon rupture like previous
      @Seahawks #JimmyGraham suffered.”

  22. Volume12

    Josh Rosen is a stud. Slinging it. Get that man some help.

  23. Pran

    Hate the 2 min offense. What’s up with all the short and middle throws. Horrible 4th down call. Not a single downfield shot…what happened to all the speed. Two horrible 3rd down conversions…Baldwin falling down short of 1st down. Time to cut losses with seabass and recoup a 4th comp pick.

    • Volume12

      Seabass is washed.

      Schotty is a timid, conservative play caller. It’s terrible.

      • Pran

        Blown time outs. Rookie outplaying Russ. 0/9 3rd down. Defense tired… it takes a miracle to win this game.

  24. icb12

    Anybody else notice Davis telegraphing plays?
    He leaves his mouth guard hanging out when he isnt getting the rock it when he scoots out to the flat.
    When he’s toting the rock he actually puts it in his mouth.

  25. Volume12

    I don’t wanna be this guy, but it’s becoming more and more pressing. Why’d Seattle take Penny? A 1st round pick is the 3rd best back on the team.

    He’s shown some flashes today of who he was coming out though. Adding that extra weight seems to have taken away his strengths. Explosion and the ability to stretch a D.

    • CaptainJack

      I remember I was in absolute shock at the pick. Maybe the biggest reach of the draft.

    • icb12

      Agree on the weight. Not sure whos at fault for that.

      But honestly- why is it becoming more and more pressing?

      He’s got 20 total carries. In the immortal words of Aaron Rodgers – R-E-L-A-X. He’s a rookie with 20 carries.
      I would have liked to see him touch it more today but oh well.
      I personally still hold the opinion that penny is the most talented back on the roster.

      • Volumes12

        lol. For real? He’s the backup to the backup.

  26. CaptainJack

    I am not a superstitious person, but I truly believe this stadium has some sort of curse on it. It killed Sherman, Chancellor and now Thomas… not to mention Dissly.

  27. Aaron

    The Earl Thomas saga is over…

    One of the following was going to happen…

    1. Traded
    2. Cut
    3. Retires
    4. Extension

    Just didn’t see this one coming…

    5. Season ending injury

    3rd round comp pick it is…sigh!

    • Rob Staton

      They won’t get a 3rd round comp pick. Because they’re going to need to sign FA’s.

  28. Pran

    Well played Russ.. let’s make him a RB. Worst passing game despite best rushing game. No respect for Russ from that defense

  29. Gohawks5151

    Im not sure why the past 4 years the injury bug keeps bitung us. It is as responsible for the decline of this era as anything else. Im Hoping we are classy enough not to pile on Earl for injury. Replay of the collision with Kam. Break on shin looks like

  30. Alaskahawk

    Wow Seabass finally hit one. Go Hawks!

  31. Sea Mode

    Thank goodness we eeked that out. Injuries would have stung even more if we had taken the L.

  32. Volume12

    Man I feel for Earl. Shouldn’t of gave the finger to the Seattle sideline, but what a mishandle by this FO. Now they’ll get absolutely nothing for him.

    The coaching on this team is just bad. Quit wasting RW. He’s as good it not better than Goff, Wentz, Mahomes, close to Brees and look at what those offenses are doing. LA and KC is a HS level offense built around sweeps and RPO’s.

    • Aaron

      Don’t we get a 3rd round comp pick if he hits FA? I guess if it’s a season ending injury then maybe just an injury settlement and he’s done here. Have to question the FO over not dealing him before the draft or season. Hindsight is 20/20 so I don’t blame them for wanting at least a 2nd rounder, just a shame it ended like this. The middle finger to the Hawks sideline pretty much sums up the ungrateful end of the LOB. They did not go quietly into that good night. On to LA.

      • Rob Staton

        The Seahawks will only get a comp pick if a.) he gets paid a big contract and b.) the Seahawks don’t sign any FA’s themselves.

        Look at this year. They lost some big money FA’s in Graham and the two Richardson’s. And they’re going to get sweet FA simply because they added guys like Dickson, Stephen, Fluker, Brown etc.

    • SeaHusky

      Pete has always relied on superior talent over scheme in all of his coaching stops, from USC to Seattle. When is the last time that coaching has won us games through superior scheming? Our philosophy has always been “line up your best 11 versus our best 11 and I bet we can outmatch you.” When that doesn’t work, there’s no scheme whatsoever to rely on. It’s fun to be talented enough to never have to adapt schemes against any team, but only when we truly have enough talent to do that.

      Pete and Schotty are trying to pigeonhole a player of Wilson’s caliber into a rookie, game-manager role week in, week out.

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