CFB week 6: Jachai Polite could be the answer

It’ll be interesting to see how the Seahawks approach their off-season plan — although adding to the front seven seems like an obvious priority. K.J. Wright is out of contract, Mychal Kendricks might be unavailable to be re-signed, Dion Jordan so far hasn’t done enough to warrant any long term faith and Frank Clark is a free agent.

Assuming they keep Clark, that could leave the following target areas:

— Linebacker
— Speedy DE
— Interior rusher

This would work perfectly with the options expected to be available in the 2019 draft. The strength of the class, without doubt, will be the defensive front seven. That was further highlighted on Saturday.

The combine will be fun to watch this year. The Seahawks don’t draft mediocre athletes to rush the passer. They’ll look for quickness, explosive athleticism and upside. We saw that with Rasheem Green and we’ve seen it with Clark and Bruce Irvin too. It’s easy to forget what an amazing athlete Cliff Avril was with his sensational 1.50 10-yard split.

They want great athletic qualities. It’s why I think they might take a look look at Jadeveon Clowney if he reaches free agency.

The D-line 10-yard splits will be a key test in 2019. Seattle has the bigger, explosive base-end types. They perhaps lack that quickness off the edge. Florida State’s Brian Burns (discussed below) could be a big-time option here to add some great speed and length. He might be pushing his stock out of range for Seattle. Another name to keep an eye on is Jachai Polite at Florida.

The LSU @ Florida game was a fascinating watch. LSU linebacker Devin White was again terrific (and will be a very early pick in the 2019 draft). Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has been playing nickel corner this season having previously featured at safety — but he had a big impact on the game and could be an option for Seattle with Earl Thomas departing and Justin Coleman also a free agent.

But the most impressive player was Polite. He’s been on our radar before. A year ago we highlighted his effort and possible interest to the Seahawks.

LSU consistently shifted two blockers to Polite’s side to chip and disrupt his flow. The plan failed. Despite the extra attention he lived in the backfield — recording two sacks, a QB hurry, a forced fumble and several pressures.

He’s not the longest at 6-2 and 260lbs but he’s well put together. FSU’s Burns is long, lean and athletic. Polite is extremely fast but more compact. His first-step quickness is exceptional and he often wins with get-off and the ability to bend and straighten to the QB. On one pressure he used a terrific spin move:

Florida’s D-line is talented. Jabari Zuniga — also draft eligible — is no slouch either. He had a sack and 1.5 TFL’s in the game. It was interesting to see LSU make it abundantly clear who they feared the most. Polite was doubled on nearly every snap and still made plays. That’s the kind of thing NFL teams notice.

Combining a quick, dynamic pass rusher like Polite with Clark and Green could be a way forward for Seattle. He looks like he’ll have a fantastic 10-yard split. If he gets to the combine and puts on a performance, remember the name Jachai Polite as an early round option for Seattle. He has six sacks so far this season.

— Brian Burns is a name to keep at the forefront of any Seahawks/draft discussion. He’s really quick, long and athletic. He’s having a fantastic season and is probably the only bright spot for Florida State so far. In a one-point loss to Miami, Burns recorded two more sacks (now seven for the season) and three TFL’s. He’s the real deal. I’m starting to think he could go in the top-12 range:

— Miami’s Joe Jackson also had two sacks in the game and is another name to monitor in this loaded D-line class. He’s up to five sacks for the season.

— Another week, another great performance by Colorado quarterback Steven Montez. We’ve been saying for weeks — he’s the top QB eligible for 2019. While the other big names have generally flopped or been far too inconsistent, Montez is the one who looks special. Size, deep-accuracy, great arm, mobility, improvisation. He led the Buffs to a 28-21 win over Arizona State and they remain unbeaten.

— It’s a shame we have to wait a year for Montez’s team mate Laviska Shenault Jr. to be draft eligible. He’s the most dynamic weapon in the PAC-12 by far and a future star. He scored four touchdowns against ASU.

— Tight End isn’t going to be a strong position (again) in the draft in 2019 but one player who could work his way into the top-40 is Stanford’s Kaden Smith. He has the size and athletic traits to work as a blocker and receiver. He caught eight passes for 120 yards against Utah at the weekend in a disappointing Cardinal defeat. A lot of the focus is on Bryce Love but Smith could be the higher pick.

— Isaiah Buggs has six sacks already. Alabama’s had a pretty easy route to 6-0 so far but it’ll be interesting to see how Buggs gets on in the tougher games ahead. Going into the year I thought he was the best run-defending DE eligible for the draft. His sack production on top of that could push him into the top-45 range.

— Damien Harris is being used in a rotation of running backs at Alabama. Don’t be mislead by that. He’s still the real deal. Ideal size, explosive traits, speed, power. Harris will be coveted by NFL teams and for me is the clear #1 back in this class ahead of Benny Snell Jr and Bryce Love.

— Dre’Mont Jones is having a big season for Ohio State and that continued in a win against Indiana. He collected another sack to take him to 4.5 for the season and also recovered a fumble. He’s done as much as anyone to bolster his stock this year.

— If you draft a Clemson defender in the first round next year, you’ve probably made a smart move. The Tigers defense smothered Wake Forest. Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence are first-round locks but Clelin Ferrell will likely be the first name off the board. He had another sack on Saturday and will probably go in the top-five.

— I’m not sure how much of a problem this is because I’ve only seen one Houston game this season but Ed Oliver doesn’t have a sack in five games so far. He had 1.5 TFL’s in a win against Tulsa on Thursday. He’s extremely quick and will likely have a fantastic combine. You’d like to see a bit more production though.

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  1. DavidinBellingham

    An intriguing class of D-line and pass rushing talent this coming draft. Thanks for keeping us in the picture Rob.
    Question for you Rob (and anyone else who wishes)- if you were to compare this coming draft’s D-line/pass rush talent to a previous year, which year would you choose?

    Thanks, David

    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to think of a comparable year. But it looks similar in depth/talent to the 2014 WR class and the 2017 RB class.

      • DavidinBellingham

        Thanks Rob. I appreciate your response. Those were both top quality groups.

    • Volume12


      Von Miller, JJ Watt, Cam Jordan, Mo Wilkerson, Cam Heyward, Marcell Dareus, Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, Robert Quinn, etc.

      • DavidinBellingham

        Thanks Volume 12. I hope we can land one of the great D-linemen this coming draft.

  2. H

    Whats the record for first round Dline? Seems like there’s so many names emerging its ridiculous. Someone is going to be getting a steal somewhere.
    I wish we had a second round pick so that we could potentially be getting two pass rushers who would typically go round one.

    • Hawktalker#1

      You’re in luck. As we all know, the Seahawks love to trade down their number one pick so we almost certainly will end up with a number two and some other pick in trade.

      But it will also likely be a year without a number one pick after they do that.

      In the year with such poor draft capital, not sure there any other options either.

    • Volume12

      I believe it was 8 in 1985. Bruce Smith, Chris Doleman, and Kevin Greene were apart of that.

    • Volume12

      I was wrong. 2011 had 11 ironically enough.

  3. H

    Where do we stand on ‘Hollywood’ Brown?

    Just another deep threat or something more?

  4. Volume12

    Yes please!

    Polite is special.

    • cha

      But does he have good manners?

      I’ll show myself out.

  5. Volume12

    Ed Oliver gets double teamed so much and still averages 8 tackles a game, but there’s something about him I’m just unsure of. I can’t figure it out. He’s not Aaron Donald. I don’t care what anyone says.

    Maybe he’s just not a finisher?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s definitely not Aaron Donald. Not even sure why people started making that comp. They’re very different players.

      • Volume12

        Not even the same body type either.

        Another thing on Polite if you wanna add it to your piece. He leads the nation or is tied with 4 FF. Which for me and I’m sure for you too has always been important, creating TO’s, but now more than ever due to the fact you can hardly hit the QB.

    • cover-2

      Might be the next Glenn Dorsey. Dorsey was highly productive in college, but he was just a guy in the NFL. Dorsey combine #’s were that of a late round pick, but he was draft in top-10 in the 1st round. Oliver looks like he should have a good 10-yard split time, but right now he needs to go to a pass first team that just looks to shut down opposing teams passing games. Probably not a good fit for the Seahawks.

  6. John_s

    Oshane Ximines with 7.5 sacks on the year. People can sleep on him because he comes form a smaller school but he’s a beast

  7. cha

    Naz Jones inactive again. It appears Poona, Stephens and Q-Jeff are taking his snaps.

    • Hawk Eye

      not a good sign.
      Malik out for good, and Pocic apparently outplayed by Sweezy
      Darboh cut, Hill not looking good at safety, only one of 6 2nd and 3rd round picks playing well (Griffin)

      Rees cut, Prosise injured or not playing this year, Vannett outplayed by Dissly this year and not showing he is more than a JAG

      only 1 out 7 3rd round picks in those 2 years playing well. That cripples the team.

  8. Volume12

    Baylor WR Denzel Mims (6’3, 200 lbs). This guy is freaky. On my list of potential Seahawks.

    Not a great route runner being from Baylor, but a naturally athletically gifted weapon. Extremely rangy for his size. Dynamic. Jump ball specialist.

    Unreal catch here:

    Has dominated Oklahoma 2 years in a row (Denzel Mims vs Oklahoma 2017):

  9. AndrewP

    What are the drawbacks of Polite? Just a bit undersized to be a top-15 lock?

  10. Volume12

    Pay Frank already. Damn

    • Trevor

      Agree 100% getting more expensive every game.

  11. Kenny Sloth

    “I like Mike Davis. I. Like. Mike. Davis.”

  12. AlaskaHawk

    Ferkin Rams – 11 yards a carry.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Nice touch pass from RW to Lockett, I think that Rams secondary will be open all game.

  13. Trevor

    Wow did you see Fluker man handle and pancake Suh on Mike Davis TD run. That was awesome! Those type of plays are how you become the bully again.

  14. Volume12

    Imagine that. Using play action. Huh.

  15. Volume12

    Boy does Seattle miss KJ. Just no answer for Gurley.

  16. Volume12

    Tedric Thompson will be compared to Earl and it ain’t fair, but woof.

  17. AlaskaHawk

    This game is like watching pro basketball. HIgh scoring and no defense.

  18. Volume12

    Can we stop throwing short of the sticks on 3rd

  19. Pran

    3rd and short…hawks line up, burn a time out and don’t change the play mike Davis gets buried… well played

  20. UKAlex6674

    T2 taking Cooks soul and then coming up with the pick off. BOOM!

  21. AlaskaHawk

    Minor miracle to be tied at half time. Our guys came to play – no matter the odds. Great effort!!!!

  22. Gohawks5151

    Trade Russell!!!! For a first and some Gatorade! 😂

  23. AlaskaHawk

    Wheee the Seahawks came to play. Nice TD pass RW.

  24. Gohawks5151

    Fluker has repeatedly tossed Suh on the ground. It is fantastic

  25. Trevor

    People can call Pete a dinasour but this is exactly what he wants. Pound the ball in the run game and deep shots off play action. So far this is like Pete’s dream game on offense.

    We have a nasty OL in the run game! They are moving people and finishing.

    • Volume12

      Carson and Davis is a great 1-2 punch. Still can’t figure out what the Penny pick was all about.

  26. Volume12

    This is a great game. Loving it.

  27. cha

    I don’t get many right so I’m gonna take a bow.

    “cha says:
    October 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm
    The sad irony is the path to victory Sunday could be a tough, pound it out running game against the Rams. The Vikings ran the ball 13 times last Thursday. 13 times! And they have Cook and Murray! Carson and Davis need to tote the rock.

    The Rams have been traditionally vulnerable to a solid rushing attack. Sweezy, Britt and Fluker vs Brockers, Suh and Donald will be great to watch.”

  28. Pran

    3rd and 23… pressure on Russ …a screen play would have got us field goal. Ridiculous last 2 drives(except Lockett’s catch).

  29. Volume12

    Hahaha! Pete’s TO backfired.

  30. Domovan

    Why did we call timeout as they are punting? Geez. Marred an otherwise excellent performance

    • Rob Staton

      Because we would’ve lost 40 seconds

  31. Sea Mode

    Why in the world the timeout when their punting unit came on? I couldn’t believe they even sent the punting unit on with just inches to go. I’m at a loss for words, Pete…

    • Aaron

      Most, if not every team in the NFL calls a timeout there. I was thinking Heccker was gonna do a fake punt pass again, and maybe the Hawks thought the same thing. Yes, a loss is a loss but the Hawks are not a dumpster fire, they’re pretty decent. Still predicting a 7 to 9 win season. On to London!

    • Gohawks5151

      Because the clock was running.

  32. Volume12

    That was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Pete got got. Outcoached with that last TO. WTF?!?

    • Rob Staton

      No he didn’t. Timeout made sense. Brave call by the Rams and good execution by them.

  33. AlaskaHawk

    Did pretty well until the last drive. Not a good time to choke. Oh well, Rams still have the Seahawks number.

  34. MyChestIsBeastMode

    Pete is a moron for that TO. Punting team was out there and he gave them a chance to reconsider for a high percentage play… I have always stuck up for Pete, but that TO just made me blow my lid. What a waste of a great effort by the team.

    2TOs and nearly a minute is more than enough to get into FG range…

  35. Forrest

    Good game! Like I’ve said, this was the game I was going to judge the rest of the season by…9-7, but competitive, still a season away from being really good. Mini rebuild without blowing everything up may be possible, we’ll see. Go Hawks!

  36. Stephen Pitell

    Given the relative lack of talent of OLmen, and now a plethora or pass rushers, even if we get a great pass rusher out of this draft, I fear for our own OL against what seems like will be at least two great pass rushers on every single team in the NFL.

    What are there, 10 great pass rushers? 20? and one or two OLmen? Unless we somehow are the only team that doesn’t get a bust, we already face team after team with great pass rushers…. it truly is worrisome.

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