Combine day one links & Sean Spence tape

The combine is underway with offensive lineman and kickers/punters on board for weigh-ins and interviews. The Seahawks GM John Schneider also spoke to the media in Indianapolis today.

WalterFootball has all the measurements for the offensive lineman at the combine. Kelechi Osemele – an underrated guard and tackle prospect from Iowa State – showed impressive size (6-6, 333lbs) and the longest arms of the group (35 7/8 inches). There’s quite a lot of interior line depth and although there’s not a cluster of talented center’s, Peter Konz is only slightly behind Alex Mack for the best positional prospect since Nick Mangold.

Paul Kuharsky reveals that Austin Davis, Chandler Harnish and Jacory Harris will be the ‘throwing’ quarterbacks at this year’s event. It means the trio will stay for all four work-out days and throw passes during the defensive drills. Davis: “I was not invited initially; it was a late invitation. I think I throw to the tight ends on Saturday. I’ll go with the quarterbacks on Sunday — I’ll do everything the quarterbacks do. Then I’ll stay here on Monday and Tuesday.”

Ross Jones was present for John Schneider’s press conference. According to Jones, the first quarterback mentioned by Seattle’s GM was Brock Osweiler. Osweiler turning pro came as a shock and many teams may still be going through the tape to get an angle on the ASU quarterback. He’s a unique player and could be set for a major rise up the boards. For me, he’s clearly the third best quarterback in this class.

Clare Farnsworth reports confirmation from Schneider that Marshawn Lynch will remain a Seahawk. An affordable franchise tag of around $7.7m makes keeping Lynch a certainty. ‘Beast Mode’ would rather not be franchised – many candidates for the tag have the same stance – but it seems the most likely scenario right now. Although the Seahawks would like to get a long term deal completed, the fragile nature of the position dictates how much they’d be willing to commit.

Edward Aschoff says Trent Richardson won’t work out at the combine, or Alabama’s pro-day. Instead, he’ll appear before scouts in a personal work-out at the end of March. It’s seen as a precautionary measure after minor knee surgery, but it’s somewhat of a blow with Richardson among the players expected to put on a big display this week in Indianapolis. He’s an elite player and shouldn’t see a big hit to his stock.

Todd McShay ranks the defensive line prospects using different categories. McShay says Quinton Coples is the draft’s best pass rusher, with Jared Crick the best run-stopper. Coples and Michael Brockers are ranked as McShay’s top two defensive lineman.

McShay also looks at outside linebackers and hybrid’s. He ranks Sean Spence (see below) as having the best overall instincts, just ahead of Courtney Upshaw. Zach Brown is credited with the best range versus the run, with Upshaw top for tackling, take-on-skills and third-down capabilities. The final one is crucial regarding the Seahawks – with the team looking to find a player that can offer a similar impact to Aldon Smith in San Francisco.

I’ve added game tape for Sean Spence below from the games against Kansas State and Florida State (thanks to JMPasq). Although undersized, Spence is ideally suited to the WILL and will offer a quick impact in the NFL. He’ll always be somewhat of a liability shedding blocks and helping to set the edge, but if you can provide good run defense up front Spence will offer natural instinct, speed and leadership. He’s underrated because of his size and while he won’t suit every team, Seattle’s big front three and desire for speed at linebacker makes him a very real possibility in round two if he’s still on the board.


  1. Hawkspur

    I like the look of Osweiler of all the QB candidates after Griffin (based almost exclusively on what I’ve seen on this site) and was interested to see that Schneider mentioned him first. It’s worth noting perhaps (or perhaps not) that shortly afterwards he mentioned Tannehill’s name twice.

  2. AlaskaHawk

    Osweiler will be a big project. Literally. But not as big as Dontari Poe, har har.

  3. Rob

    Yeah there was no relevance to mentioning Osweiler first – not even sure why it was pointed out. I just needed an ‘in’ to talk about the press conference! 🙂

  4. Matt

    Spence seems a bit too aggressive at times and a bit of a liability. Normally I wouldn’t care about that, but I wonder if it has to do with his size. He can’t afford to wait back and take on O-line reaching the 2nd level, because he can’t shed blocks that well, so he has to beat the RB/OL to the hole. When it’s a play-action, though, he’s way to far up on the line and gives up coverage in the middle. Love his speed, but you have to hope he can add 10-15 pounds to take on those blockers.

    @Rob, have you heard anything on Osweiler almost quitting football because he wasn’t getting playing time and that he tried to join the basketball team, but then only stayed with football after injuries gave him a chance to play? It was posted on another draft site site by an ASU fan. It’s the internet, so take everything with a grain of salt, but I already didn’t like he came out as a junior seeing how much another year would have helped him. If it’s true he almost quit, I’d be a bit worried on character issues. Not a lot but a little. I just hope the front office does their hw if they want to be the team taking the chance on him.

  5. PatrickH

    JS mentioned Osweiler in the context of this year’s QB prospects coming in all sizes – from Osweiler (tallest) to Russell Wilson (shortest).

    He has high praise for Josh Portis. From his words, I got the feeling that Portis is their hope for the long term QB solution. That won’t stop them from getting another QB – in free agency or the draft – for competition. It’s interesting that they are looking for a tough player who can ” … knocked the crap out of a receiver himself, or something …”. I wonder which QB prospect this year fits that profile?

  6. Rob

    Matt – I’ve seen an interview with Osweiler discussing his decision to take up Basketball, but as you point out it never happened. I’m not sure how close he actually came to giving up football, but we have to remember here that the guy was a very highly recruited basketball player. When you aren’t starting football games and you can see your career slipping you by, I think that has an impact. I wouldn’t say it’s so much a judgement on his desire for football, because I’ve seen plenty of other things about the guy that makes you realise how much he loves this game. Namely – the decision to snub basketball in the first place. He turned down Gonzaga to play football.

    Patrick H – It is interesting that he praised Portis, but again I think we can read too much into stuff like that. Praise is an easy way to avoid stirring anything up. Negative comments make a story, positive comments make you think of a different question. Portis is/was an UDFA and will still need to be a one-in-a-thousand find to ever become a regular starter. I think he’s a long term project in the ‘we’ll see’ category rather than any kind of firm idea he’ll ever amount to anything.

  7. FWBrodie

    Just had a vision of a Seahawks’ week one linebacking lineup of Upshaw, Wright, and Spence (S,M,W). Oh baby, that’d be cool.

    Seems drafting Spence would require a move by the Hawks though.

  8. Derek

    Rob- So you think will Upshaw will split time with Bryant on the end? I think he could be the long term solution there as well. He obviously doesn’t have the size but he could have the strength to be a solid run defender, correct?

    If we do get Upshaw in the first, then I agree with Rob that we go RB in round 2 with either Polk or Martin. That could leave us with someone like Keenan Robinson in the 3rd who can play Will or Sam. Rob you mention that Ronnel Lewis played DE last year but was an OLB the season before that. Would he be a good fit? Could possibly be a LEO?

  9. Glen

    If Upshaw doesn’t make it to 11/12 (praise jebus the coin flip is in a few hours and we’ll finally know) and TRich is there Pull the trigger on him…and pray Chandler Jones is around in the 2nd…if Upshaw is there take him, and still hope Jones is there in rd 2…rb rd 3…pre combine that’s my wish list

    As an administrative note does anyone know if we alternate with KC every other rd for the 11/12 pick ? ie rd1 pick 12, rd 2 pick 11 etc

  10. Colin

    Todd McShay has endorsed Brock Osweiler as the solid #3 QB in this draft. I think that is worth noting.

  11. Rugby Lock

    Spence quite frankly in a lot of ways looks like a liability. It just seems like he has no ability to shed blocks and that bothers me. He has a lot of speed but just gets washed out way too easy IMO. If you’re able to protect him he will make plays but… He needs to play in space so I wonder if a move to SS would suit him. I would much rather have Brown or Kuchley than Spence. But Good Lord… what a flanker or eight man (rugby positions) this dude would make… sigh…

  12. MLT

    The same todd mcshay that said curry was a non miss and guranteed star? Yeah I throw everything mcshay and kiper both say out the door. Sometimes I think they just put names out in competition against eachother to say they said it 1st. Screw both those guys rob clowns on both!! Hahaha

  13. MLT

    I like osweiller but not because mcshay said it. Osweiller has been discussed on this bog since the day he declared.

  14. Derek

    In fairness, I could probably count all the draftniks who didn’t think Curry would be a star, on one hand. The dude fooled everyone.

    Osweiller looks a solid option. It’s just I don’t know where he fits in if we want to go with the DE and RB first two round combo. I also think we will have answered the QB situation in FA and therefore not draft a QB before round 5, unless Cousins or Osweiller fall to round 3 or 4.

  15. Davis

    Rugby- If you think Spence can’t get off blocks and gets lost in the shuffle far too much I think you need to re-think your endorsement of Zack Brown. Spence gets off blocks much better than Brown does.

  16. Michael (CLT)

    Where does KJ play with Spence playing WILL?

  17. MLT

    Ya your right derek I admit I was pumped the day we drafted him. But since then I have learned not to so much just follow the big wigs. Sites like these break players names way before them(carpenter)

  18. Derek

    It depends if we keep Hawthorne or draft another LB to play strong and allow KJ to move to MLB. I believe PC and JS want to move KJ to the middle at some point because of his height and length (6’4″) but that also depends on our options at SAM.

  19. Derek

    Ya I agree Rob and Kip are ahead of the pack on a lot of players. I feel a lot of the big guys at ESPN and NFL network are told to like or not like certain players so they can have a controversy and debate certain players.

  20. Doug

    Like the last time we talked about him, I felt he was too small. He will get murdered by any NFL Olineman past the LOS, I think most TE’s will bury him. I think he is a real good college LB that just doesn’t have the size that translates to the big boys dance. Not a lot of difference between him and Brown, both too undersized….IMHO

  21. MLT

    I agree 100% with you derek! And I was just about to say if we draft spence in minds of being a starter strong side and moving kj to midde that would make hawthorne the odd man out. Idk if I’m to keen to that though, hawthorne still has years left in him kj still has a lot of work to do and things to learn he isn’t ready to step in @ middle and take charge of this defense yet. Let him learn more and keep hawthorne for 3 more years in my opinion. And also wasn’t hawthorne strong side before he took tatupus spot? If they want kj in the middle so bad why wouldn’t hawthorne be an option to move over?

  22. Brian

    Love Spence’s tape. I think he looks more solid than Zach Brown – Matt, if you think Spence was too agressive, Brown seemed to overrun everything. Brown may just have a more NFL type body, but I like what Spence does on the field.

  23. Chooch

    OK guys, i’m in a live mock on So far I took Upshaw in round 1, I made some wacky trades, and got down to mid-late 2nd where I took a reach on Cousins. I like him, and didn’t like anyone else available very much, so I figured I might as well lock him down.

    Now we’re in the third…. I have 2 picks, our’s and Cincy’s. There’s a few picks to go before we are up, but Spence is not taken yet. Should I take him if he is there? He could play WILL, move KJ to MIKE, and Upshaw at SAM? Or would Upshaw be more of a situational DE? I feel like Spence would be a steal in the 3rd.

  24. andy

    Someone else questioned where Upshaw would play in this D as well? SAM makes the most sense to me but then again maybe he would just be a 3rd down 5 tec…… Your expert opinions Rob/Kip????

  25. Meatwad

    So, picking 12. That won’t negativly impact the Hawks pick too much. The Chiefs are not likely canidates to pick up an edge rusher, are they? Chiefs trading their pick? Wondering how losing the coin toss may impact Seattle’s pick in the draft.

  26. Michael (CLT)

    Letting Hawthorne go seems to be “stealing from Peter to pay Paul”. Why not pay a guy who you know is decent, and draft an Audie Cole in the 2nd or 3rd round.

    Tatupu had amazing instincts, and played amazing for three years. If three years of amazing is the goal, Spence may be that.

    That said, you are now putting KJ in a position he is not as skilled at, and you still have not addressed SAM… unless you draft Upshaw.

    Now you’ve spent your first two picks on linebackers. A major sin in most football minds.

  27. Tom T.

    I just read on that the Bills have shown as much interest as any team in Upshaw. We might be picking whoever falls to us between Richardson and Ingram.

  28. PQLQI

    @Michael (CLT)
    the major problem with drafting LBs so high in the past has been the amount of salary cap that you would have to commit to the position (a la Curry) if you had a highly drafted rookie and a highly paid veteran. In this case, if you draft Upshaw and Spence (though I’d prefer Bobby Wagner at 43), that will only account for 2.5 million a season at the position, and probably somewhere around 6 million at the position even with 7-8 player depth and the special teams guys. Also, if you draft Upshaw, he is essentially going to be playing DE half the time and OLB the other half, and could potentially be part of the plan for the replacement for Clemons at Leo. So you will be shoring up multiple positions and addressing the defense’s two greatest needs.

  29. AlaskaHawk

    Coples, Ingram or Upshaw are all a great fit for DE. With Curry, Branch and Perry right behind them. They will be doing the physical portion of the combine on Monday if you want to watch.

    Upshaw has the added bonus of being able to play outside linebacker. I’ve heard the rumors about the Bills picking Upshaw, but there have been other articles saying no. Mostly the early part of first round is determined by (1) how much teams trust Coples and (2) which teams pick a DT or CB instead of DE.

  30. Ben

    We flipped and got the twelfth pick. Damn.

  31. Hawkspur

    I would think that has severely decreased the chances of drafting Richardson. Let’s hope that there is Schneider/Carroll approved pass rush available at 12.

  32. AlaskaHawk

    Our chances for Richardson went from 10% to 5%.

  33. Michael (CLT)

    Interesting to see how many of us have come round in investing heavily in the linebacking corps. If we were a true 3-4, I could see it. Not in this crazy 4-3 over.

    Perhaps I’m the only one that noticed, but KJ was starting to apply pressure from the WILL. His coverage skill were improving, and he is a solid tackler. What I’m not so sure of is his ability to get off blocks. I am pretty certain Spence will struggle with block shedding. Playing WILL would protect him in that category.

    Chicago has had one of the greatest linebacking corps (Briggs/Urlacher) for years. Alas, they were only good when they had a QB. And yes, Rex Grossman was amazing that year. Amazing enough to beat Seattle in its prime.

    No more ealy LB picks please.

  34. 1sthill

    I would be all for drafting Spence in the 2nd round, if we don’t get a defensive player in the 1st round. I think PC has said he is willing to give up size for speed at the Will LB. If we drafted Spence I think he could easily get “Rookie Defensive Player of the Year” by playing on our talented defensive. IMO he is the Earl Thomas of linebackers with his initial quickness, ability to quickly change directions, speed, instincts, and undersized player for his position.

  35. Michael (CLT)

    Has Ruskell returned as GM?

  36. FWBrodie

    You won’t see a WLB take the rookie of the year award unless he puts up double digit sacks. Just isn’t involved in enough plays and people see the stats first with rookies.

  37. Ben

    Seems like talented pass rushers transcend their position whether lb or d-line in terms of the draft and value. And it seems like the only reason they’d be going after a more traditional tackling machine in the first (as opposed to a pass rusher) is if the board didn’t fall how the fo was hoping. I heard somewhere that Schneider said that Carroll was intrigued with KJ at the mike. Seems like they’d bring back Hawthorne even at the WILL or other spot, but if not they’d have to address lb as one of the biggest holes. Besides pass rush, qb, rb, I see lb and te as biggest questions depending on FA and if they bring back Carlson.

    Derek made some great points above addressing the lb stuff. Hope this isn’t too redundant.

  38. Ben

    Don’t know if this is the right discussion, but curious whether anyone (or Rob) thinks Carlson will be resigned or TE be addressed in draft? Also Rob and Kip seem certain that a trade for qb is likely. Then which qb of the many likely to fall to 4-6 rds are the frontrunners? After Rob’s hints, I looked at all the qbs in the nfl and the likeliest choice for value seems to be Palmer. There aren’t many other obvious options. So if Palmer comes in and they get a later round qb, could they still sell the farm next year for Barkley with most of their other pieces in place? Would they take four qbs to camp?

  39. Michael (CLT)

    Barkley will not happen without a massive fail in 2012. Now that fail can be for Barkley or for Seattle. If it happens to both, they pick someone else. If it happens to one, they pass like two ships in the night.

    Seattle will eventually need to “be willing to FAIL”. Meaning, Andy Dalton like players early in the draft need to be taken. To avoid such risk, is a slower approach to fail. Both may fail. One at least embraces opportunity.

  40. Rob

    Derek – I do see that, but I also see a defense that will adapt and shape differently to others. They will likely use a lot of 3-4 looks if they get Upshaw, using him and Clemons off the edge but maintaining the big bodies in the middle. But they can flex Bryant out, use a four man front, push Bryant inside – lots of options to keep an offense guessing which is what you need. Upshaw would be a fantastic pick for Seattle, the only problem is he’d be a fantastic pick for Miami and Buffalo too.

    Michael (CLT) – I think you could pretty much play KJ Wright at any of the linebacker positions. He’s incredibly versatile.

    Andy – as I mentioned to Derek, I think you’re using him in many different looks. He could play as a 4-3 end, 3-4 OLB, he could be used at linebacker in the 4-3 in certain aggressive sets. Such a fine overall football player.

    Ben – I’m not sure about Carlson, it depends what the market is like for TE’s. I’m not convinced he’ll get a great or even good offer so might end up back in Seattle. We’ll see. I hope they give Morrah and McCoy more shots and doubt they draft a TE this year unless the value is too good. Regarding QB’s – yes I think they could be aggressive for QB’s in 2013 even if they trade for a veteran this year.

    Michael (CLT) – It wouldn’t take a massive fall. Barkley isn’t a can’t miss athlete which limits is ceiling despite the technical brilliance he owns. I could see him going 5-10 which is very achievable for Seattle if they want to deal up. Even so, a lot can happen this year that dictates the top picks. Nobody projected RG3 early 12 months ago, nobody projected Cam Newton early 24 months ago.

  41. Misfit74

    Interesting to note that no 2012 combine participant has Okung’s arm-length (or better) of 36″.

    I love Okung and if there’s one guy I love on our O-line as a 10-year rock, it’s him. Unger is developing nicely, as well, and there are a few decent OGs in this class.

  42. Misfit74

    Heh, Okung also busted out with 38 reps on the bench (225lbs), which would be tops in this year’s crop. 🙂

  43. Ben

    Cheers Rob, makes good sense.

    Misfit74, love Okung. Way to dig that up.

  44. Misfit74

    Correction: I missed David Molk, who posted 41 reps (Michigan). But, he’s a 6’1 Guard with 32″ arms. 😉

  45. 1sthill

    FWBrodie- I was a little overzealous of saying Spence could win the Defensive Rookie of the Year, but if you look at the recent past history of that award it goes to a LB. I just don’t think this year has a DE, DT, or 3-4 OLB that is going to put up double-digit sacks in his rookie year. There is not a stud pass rusher in this year’s draft, which is why I think a LB will once again win the award. 10 of the last 12 years a LB has won the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Cushing, Mayo, Willis, Ryans, Vilma, Bell, and Urlacher are the LB’s that won the award without having double-digit sacks. You are right that the Will LB does not see enough plays, but I think opposing teams may choose to run more often to the weak side of our defense. With Bryant and Wright playing the strong side I think teams will shy away from running their direction. With Spence’s instincts and speed he might be able to get some of impact plays in coverage. PC is fairly aggressive by blitzing with our LB’s and I could see Spence getting 4 to 6 sacks as a rookie. Again, I am just coming from the point of view that I don’t see a Von Miller, Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul or Aldon Smith type player in this draft. IMO the only elite defensive player in this draft is LSU CB Morris Claiborne and corners do not normally win DROY.

  46. Christon

    I’m not a fan of Spence at all. 1sthill said that he might be the Earl Thomas equivalent of LBs. I just don’t see it and here is why:

    He has okay instincts against the run (he has a very difficult time properly reading zone option reads correctly), tackling is a huge problem – when he fly’s in recklessly he tends to miss a lot of tackles and he gets dragged pretty frequently when he can square-up the tackle resulting in an extra 3-5 yards for the offense.

    He can’t shed a block to save his life – even away from the line when there is a blocker out in front of a RB he usually won’t be able to make the tackle resulting in a hugh play down the sideline.

    He WR/TE tend to get lost when he has to drop back against zone coverage.

    Finally, he won’t be able to match-up against the majority of TE’s in the league – I believe every team will motion TE’s his direction because of his lack of size and his inability to get to the QB if he gets block by anyone. The TE could block him out of the way and release freely to be open in the flat consistently against.

    Overall, I think he would be the kind of guy that you would put in to shadow Darren Sproles or Kendall Hunter – but not be an every down player and that’s why I feel he isn’t worth more then a fourth round pick.

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