Combine preview: Possible targets for the Seahawks at #26

LSU linebacker Deion Jones could be a very realistic option for the Seahawks at #26

The Seahawks have consistently drafted unique traits and athleticism in the early rounds. They also value production:

2010 — Earl Thomas had eight interceptions in his final season at Texas
2010 — Golden Tate won the Biletnikoff
2011 — James Carpenter was arguably the best run blocking tackle in college
2012 — Bruce Irvin had 22.5 sacks in two seasons at West Virginia
2012 — Bobby Wagner had four sacks as a senior and 478 (!!!) career tackles
2014 — Paul Richardson had 1343 and 10 touchdowns in his final year at Colorado
2015 — Frank Clark’s tape was actually really good with many splash plays

Earl Thomas — 4.43 forty yard dash
Golden Tate — 4.42 forty yard dash
James Carpenter — massive size (34 inch arms, 321bs)
Bruce Irvin — 4.50 forty yard dash and an elite 1.55 10-yard split
Bobby Wagner — 4.46 forty yard dash
Paul Richardson — 4.40 forty yard dash, 38 inch vertical
Frank Clark — 4.64 forty yard dash, a 1.59 10-yard split and a 38.5 inch vertical

With the combine starting this week, here are candidates for each need position that could fit the criteria. Let’s see how different this list looks in a weeks time…

Deion Jones (LSU)
The Seahawks are probably going to have to replace Bruce Irvin — and it’s probably going to be with an incredible athlete. Kevin Pierre-Louis, their last high(ish) pick at linebacker, ran a 4.51 and jumped a 39 inch vertical. Jones is an explosive athlete and plays with a real aggression. He might only be 6-1 and 219lbs but he’s a terrific run defender and hits with authority. He’s a natural working in coverage and had a very productive 2015 season (99 tackles, five sacks, one pick six). He also has tremendous value on special teams as a gunner. If he tests well he’s exactly the type of impact player they’ve looked to add in the early rounds. Keep an eye on him.

Le’Raven Clark (Texas Tech)
Offensive tackle
It wouldn’t be a total surprise if five offensive tackles are off the board before Seattle picks. If they have to come away with one in the draft — they might be looking at a bit of a reach at #26. Clark is technically deficient but Tom Cable believes nearly all college offensive linemen start from scratch when they turn pro. The Seahawks like unique traits and it doesn’t get any more unique than +36 inch arms on an athletic 6-5, 312lbs frame. Clark is a freak of nature and if you can coach him up on the technique (stop getting beat inside!) he has a chance to be special.

Christian Westerman (Arizona State)
Interior O-line
The Seahawks might be unlikely to draft an interior offensive lineman in round one but Westerman could be a fast riser at the combine. Yesterday we highlighted his ability to bench 315lbs twenty times. Couple that with the athleticism you’d expect from a highly rated national recruit (he garnered interest from Alabama, Ohio State and Florida). Westerman is physical, incredibly mobile, excellent at the second level and knows how to read a defense. He could line up at center or guard comfortably. Expect an impressive performance in Indianapolis that’ll have people talking about Westerman as a day two pick. He could sneak into the first.

Derrick Henry (Alabama)
Running back
All eyes on this guy — the possible star of the show this year. Bucky Brooks suggested last week he could run a 4.4 and jump a 42 inch vertical at 6-3 and 242lbs. Brooks apparently worked around Henry at High School. If he tests as well as that he’ll smash Christine Michael’s unreal performance in 2013 — and we know the Seahawks were impressed enough to take him in round two. Henry won the Heisman after a 2219 yard, 28-touchdown season. The running game is Seattle’s identity and while they’re probably more likely to add a running mate for Thomas Rawls in rounds 2-4 — they’re also partial to field-tilting athleticism. Henry has the production they love — if he adds ‘world-class athlete with out-of-this-world size’ to his résumé there’ll be several teams considering him in round one.

Chris Jones (Mississippi State)
Defensive tackle
Jones is a former #2 overall national recruit with first round size (6-6, 308lbs) and athleticism. He had a tremendous game in 2015 handling LSU’s prolific run-attack and combines natural power at the point of attack with sharp hands and the ability to disengage and wrap-up. He’s not a fantastic quick-twitch pass-rusher and is better suited as a disciplined run blocker with the power to control the LOS. The Seahawks haven’t taken a player like that earlier than round four. They’ve relied on the veteran free agenct market to replace base starters on the D-line. If they were ever likely to take a player early for this role — it’d have to be someone with Jones’ upside.

Adolphus Washington (Ohio State)
Interior rush specialist
You’ll often hear people gushing over the defensive line depth in this draft. You won’t often hear people admit it’s not a great class for interior pass-rushers. Sheldon Rankins will go early because he can do it — but nobody else in this class does it better than Washington. His ability to deceive blockers with a classic head-fake, explode to gain position and use length (34 inch arms) to keep linemen off his frame is excellent. He’s the nearest thing to Malik Jackson in this class. Jackson’s about to get a contract worth more than $9m APY in free agency. Washington might provide a cheaper alternative. His production was inconsistent and that could be an issue, although length and quickness is a valuable commodity.

Xavien Howard (Baylor)
There are two cornerbacks I’ll be watching particularly closely at the combine — Howard and Houston’s William Jackson III. They both appear to have the size and length Seattle craves — but also the athleticism and playmaking skills to go early. Howard is 6-2 and 200lbs and looks like a terrific athlete. In the games I watched in 2015 he frequently ran the route for the receiver — putting him in position to make a play on the ball. He had five interceptions in 2015. He’s not going to test as well as Byron Jones a year ago — but Jones came from nowhere to go in round one. Howard and Jackson III are candidates to do exactly the same. The Seahawks are more likely to target a combination of raw length and athleticism on day three (like usual).

Will Fuller (Notre Dame)
Wide receiver
The emergence of Tyler Lockett and the amount of investment pumped into the receiver position makes this unlikely. That said, there’s no point ruling it out completely with Jermaine Kearse becoming a free agent and Doug Baldwin facing the same opportunity in twelve months time (not to mention Paul Richardson’s injury history). Fuller is a dynamic, explosive receiver who glides when he runs and quickly shifts through the gears. He does a good job separating with a quick break and he’s a threat to break off YAC every time he has the ball in space. In 2014 and 2015 combined he had 2352 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. If Fuller goes to a team with a decent quarterback — he could be a major impact player.

Kyler Fackrell (Utah State)
Edge rusher
Any prospective Seahawks edge rusher is going to need to run a ten-yard split in the elite 1.5’s. Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin and Frank Clark all achieved that. After Noah Spence and Joey Bosa the options are very thin. I wouldn’t expect Kevin Dodd or Shaq Lawson to achieve a 1.5 split. I contemplated including Leonard Floyd at this spot — but he’s better suited to linebacker where he can run and cover. Fackrell gets the nod because his get-off hints at a fast split. He’s a splash play specialist who lives in the backfield. PFF graded him as one of the most productive pass-rushers in 2015. Clay Matthews ran a 1.49 split at the USC pro-day on a fast track. Let’s see if Fackrell can get into the 1.5’s in Indianapolis. I’m sceptical.

The combine will bring other players into focus. Hopefully an edge rusher really emerges as an option. It’ll be interesting to see if some of the defensive tackles can separate from a deep class. Who are the cornerbacks that fit Seattle’s strict criteria? And is Derrick Henry as insanely athletic as Bucky Brooks’ suggests?

It’ll be a fun week.


  1. CHawk Talker Eric

    Kamalei Correa is getting a lot of love around the twitterverse.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Seriously, could Correa replace Irvin? How does he compare to Fackrell?

      • vrtkolman

        He seems like a high effort, low upside guy to me. Maybe he will surprise in the combine though.

        • Steele

          I agree. High effort, not a special athlete. Don’t think he or Fackrell replace Irvin.

          • Volume12

            He seems too content to stat blocked at the LOS and let the play come to him.

            I don’t think he s a great athlete and his arms look really short.

            More of a Markus Golden type of LB.

  2. Coleslaw

    Shillique Calhoun – Combine Darkhorse

    • Rob Staton

      Very underwhelming college career though.

      • Coleslaw

        If he runs a sub 1.60 ten yard split does it really matter? I feel like they’d take anyone who does that.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s my point though — his get off looks average and that’s what a ten yard split measures. So hard to imagine him running a 1.5.

        • LantermanC

          One problem about the combine I have is that the 40, and the 10 yard split are both taken from a track position, as if they were lining up fro the 100m dash, which is not how people line up in football. So while a fast 10 yard split is indicative of initial acceleration, I think a slow time wouldn’t necessarily indicate a lack of burst. Just another reason why drills and tape are important for scouting (though if looking at Myles Killebrew, I would say the 10/40 may have a bit more weight because as someone mentioned, it’s hard to tell just how fast he is given the level of his competition).

          This comment doesn’t have to do with the above comments about Shillique Calhoun, just making an observation on 40 yard dash times. I’ve seen some people just stumble out of the blocks on their 40 because they’ve probably been trained on how to do the start upon their senior year ending, and they still don’t necessarily have the form down come combine time, while others were track studs and have the form down pat.

  3. CHawk Talker Eric

    I think Kevin Dodd could post a 10 yard split in the 1.6’s – similar to Aaron Donald.

    • Rob Staton

      The one key issue I have with Dodd is get off.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Exactly. For a while I couldn’t tell if his first step was slow, or his reaction. Now I believe it’s his reaction. He should test well in the 40.

        • lil'stink

          I remember that one of the knocks on Danielle Hunter in last year’s draft was his almost comically bad timing and get off from the snap. Watching both of the Vikings/Seahawks games I think he has improved vastly upon it, the difference is really noticeable. Makes me think it can be corrected with some coaching and practice.

          • bobbyk

            I remember that well about Hunter. I wouldn’t say he greatly improved upon it here in Minnesota (although he has) because the scheme Zimmer runs doesn’t require a DE like Hunter to immediately attack. It’s more read and react and that fits to his strengths.

            • Steele

              The impression I got with Hunter is that he was raw all around. Technically poor.

              Dodd looks good to me. Underrated.

  4. AlaskaHawk

    Jones size at 6-1 and 220 seems light for the linebacker position. Maybe he would be better as a replacement for Kam? Couple years of seasoning and he could slip into the strong safety position.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not an issue in the modern day NFL. Deone Bucannon is 211lbs and that is profile for the position these days. The fact Jones is arguably quicker and more athletic at 220lbs is a bonus.

      KPL was only 230lbs. Wouldn’t be a stretch for Jones to get there and he might be there already. He doesn’t look smaller than KPL.

      • Greg haugsven

        It will be interesting to see Jones weight. I’m betting he’s closer to 230.

      • bobbyk

        Is it me or is there some similarity between Jones and Derrick Brooks? I’m not saying Jones will be a HOFer, but I do see a fast, quick, and strong weak side linebacker. KJ had a great year at WILL this past season but I don’t see Jones as a replacement for Irvin. I see him as a replacement for KJ, who would replace Irvin. Is that how you guys see it too?

        • Greg haugsven

          That’s exactly how I would see it boobyk. Your Will is going to be your faster guy.

        • Steele

          Deion Jones is undersized. So is KPL. If you want smurfs running around, fine. But if you want more of a one for one Irvin replacement, neither makes the cut in my opinion.

          • Rob Staton

            Deion Jones is 6-1.

            Bobby Wagner is 6-0.


            • Volume12

              This is the modern day LB.

              One of the best defensive rookies was former LSU LB Kwon Alexander.

              There’s him, Telvin Smith, Jelani Jenkins, Deone Bucannon, Mark Barron, Shaq Thompson, Mychal Kendricks, Ryan Shazier, Malcom Smith, and I know I’m forgetting about 5-7 more guys.

              • Naks8

                This does seem like the new trend, but these guys also seem to miss around 2-4 games a year because of injuries. Maybe that’s a coincidence, but it could also be because their frames are a little slight for the high impact of playing the position.

            • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

              I don’t think smurf is the right word. Shrimp is the right word for guys like Jones. Bruce has speed, size and strength. He could be counted on at the point of attack to hold his ground. I don’t care what they say about the new NFL because this guy will get washed in the run game. Flat out. As a matter of fact that is one of his bigget deficiencies from his college game. Now as a mid round pick, with the intent to do something creative with his athleticism, okay that is something different altogether. But does anyone think that last year, we were a Deone Buchannon away from having it all figured out. I would phenomenally disappointed with Jones as a first round selection. There will be other guys available at impact positions that can instantly upgrade the team. I see Jones being an ancillary piece, not an integral

              • bobbyk

                I watched a couple of Jones’ games tonight and I don’t footage where he’s consistently blocked or pancaked by one blocker (I see him avoiding in the NFL, too). In one of the games, I saw it a total of one time where he got driven back by a blocker who got engaged. He’s slippery to block. Some guys have an uncanny ability to shed blocks. It’s as if there is something inside of them that allows them to do this. It reminds me of Brady and Marino in the pocket. Those two guys don’t have the right to navigate the pocket the way they do but they are the best at it I’ve ever seen. They aren’t fast or quick, but they are quicker simply taking one step to avoid a rusher in comparison to someone supposedly fast and quick like a Mike Vick in his prime. Jones has the look to be a fantastic WILL in a 4-3 defense. He looks like one of the safest picks that might be available at #26. I think he’s about as safe as Martin and Whitehair and that’s a compliment.

              • Rob Staton

                “But does anyone think that last year, we were a Deone Buchannon away from having it all figured out.”

                Nobody is making that claim though. If they don’t select an OL in round one are people going to despair before the other 7-8 picks are made? Not to mention free agency?

            • cover-2

              Wagner 240 lbs Jones 220 lbs!

              • Rob Staton

                Wagner 2303lbs pre-draft.

      • John_s

        Telvin Smith is around the same weight.

      • Martin

        If I remember correctly MVP himself Malcom Smith was something like 215 when he came out.

    • Ben2

      That’s why we have a 330 lb 3-tech ….to keep your linebackers clean to make plays! If he tests uber athletic id be into jones

  5. CC

    It will be interesting because in so many years it sounds like Seattle doesn’t rank as many players as first rounders as others. Desire, grit, intangibles – all things they look for. I hope we get a player on either line that can make a difference. I’m interested to see what Clark and Jones do and whether we see any rumblings of SEA talking to them. For OL, I want to see Cable take a OL guy in college into an elite player. I’m tired of his projects – because it hurts the offense. I’m not sure who is making the calls at OL, but if it isn’t Pete – he needs to get in there and get it figured out.

  6. DavHawk

    Great article as always Rob. I have to disagree with your assessment that it wouldn’t be a total surprise for 6 OTs (Tunsil, Stanley, Decker, Conklin, Spriggs and Coleman) to be off the board by pick #26. Going back 10 years to 2005, that has happened only once, in 2008, which was a banner year for tackle depth coming out. Most years range from between 2 and 4 tackles taken by #26. If less than 6 are taken that would leave at least one of Spriggs, Conklin, Decker and Coleman available, which pretty much every major mock draft out there at this point. Clark is very interesting as you note but he seems like more of a trade back target.

    I also appreciate your inclusion of the corners here as the cb testing seems important to the Hawks (but I assume that as in the past they will wait until the mid-rounds). In addition to Xavier Howard and William Jackson, I’d like to see how De’ondre Hall tests as well as the the weigh in and testing results for Daryl Worley, Maurice Canady and Rashard Robinson. Seems like a deep draft for tall cb’s if a handful of them have the arm length the Seahawks seem to covet.

    One other random note, I’m curious as to how Dadi Nicolas does in the agility testing (short shuttle and 3 cone). He reminds me of a slightly lighter Bruce Irvin (athletic freak playing out of position in college due to necessity) who would be an interesting WLB convert project. Supposedly, he looked good in LB drills at the senior bowl and he’s a long freaky athlete that they could target late. Curious as to your thoughts!

    • Rob Staton

      I watched a lot of Dadi Nicolas before last years draft (before he chose to return) and was really disappointed. Just didn’t see a guy that interested me much at all. If anything I thought he looked worse in 2015. Getting 2.5 sacks in a big year is a big disappointment. The referee incident bothered me too.

      On the tackles — I understand the historical statistic. However, the league has a real void when it comes to good O-liners. I think more and more over the next few years are going to go early. In 2013 three of the first four picks were O-linemen and that year five were off the board by #26. I expect Tunsil, Decker, Spriggs and Stanley to be gone. Coleman should be gone but we’ll see. Conklin is a bit of a wildcard and might not even be considered a tackle by NFL teams. Wouldn’t rule it out though — especially because teams know once this group has gone you’re pretty much missing out.

  7. Nick

    What am I missing with Jones? He just doesn’t seem to be worthy of a top 50 pick.

    • Rob Staton

      Range, the ability to cover with ease (broke up a couple of key passes in 2015, including a key fourth down vs Florida). Excellent, sure tackler. Hard-hitter. Ability to work across the line and finish. Five sacks shows he can be an effective blitzer. Excelled as a special teams gunner. Despite lack of brilliant size shows no weakness in the run game. Haven’t seen him miss a tackle in any game I’ve watched so far. Ability to cover, work against the run & special teams makes him a true four-down player. Major upside and could run in the 4.4’s.

      • Nick

        Ok, I’m going to dig into more tape. Thanks for the reply, Rob.

    • Steele

      I don’t think he’s worth it either.

      • Volume12

        Why? What’s not to like?

        • rowdy

          That was my thought, out of all the guys rob listed he’s the only pick l really like at 26. I like washington too but more in a nobody else is left kind of way. I’d put fuller in the first too but that’s it out of the list.

          • Rob Staton

            One thing to note — I could’ve put one or two other D-liners or O-liners here. But wanted to limit it to one guy per position.

            • rowdy

              I’m sure, I generally try so stay in the confines of the post. I really Jones though and think he can do everything they want in Irvins role.

        • Nick

          I just watched three games worth of tape on Jones. I can see what you like about him Rob and V12. His hip fluidity is really something, as well as his speed. He’s a tough, hard nosed defender. I didn’t see a ton of splash plays, but there were only three games. I read he was named Defensive MVP of the LSU team and was a finalist for the Butkus award. Impressive resume for one year.

          Would you expect him to fill Irvin’s role? Or sit behind KJ and Bobby and learn the trade, while acting as a special teams ace in the meantime (seeing as he’s only had one year of being a starter under his belt)?

          • Rob Staton

            If they draft him in the first two rounds I’d expect him to start immediately. Either at the WILL or SAM.

            • Volume12

              Agreed. Too much speed and playmaking abilities to keep off the field.

              It’s not like on passing downs they couldn’t bring more of a pass rusher on the field. Here’s the rub with that though too. He’s a great in coverage, so they might not have to.

              He also gives you instant impact on STs.

              • Nick

                Interesting. Would you prefer him over Fackrell? Outside of Darron Lee (who is clearly a top 15 talent) would you say Jones could be the Seahawks “guy” to replace Bruce?

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  You draft Jones to replace the player that Irvin is now (LB). You draft Fackrell to become the player Irvin was supposed to be (LEO).

                  • Volume12

                    I prefer him over Fackrell. Much more fluid.

                    CHAWK summed it up pretty damn well I’d say.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            I could see him having real difficulties filling the SAM role effectively. Not seeing a guy who has edge setting at point of attack in his toolbox. Irvin was really good at that.

            If drafted, I’d expect KJ to move. And in that — I’m not sure Seattle wants to make that move. KJ is playing out of his mind right now and has the greatest impact right where he is.

            Not saying Seattle wouldn’t make this move. It’s just that you don’t have to spend a first round pick on a SAM any more than you need to spend it on a run stuffing DT.

            I think that Irvin at SAM was borne out of failure of plan A. Not an end game ideal for Seattle. I don’t think Seattle covets unique athleticism at the SAM position that highly. I don’t think Seattle necessarily cares to replicate Irvin’s athleticism at that position. It just ended up being an embarrassment of riches for a player who failed at a more premium position.

            I could see Jones getting drafted by us. But I think it’s the most unlikely of the ones we’ve tossed about the last month or so.

            • HI Hawk

              I agree with your assessment that Jones doesn’t fit the SAM in Seattle, in any way, shape or form, for basically the same reasons. I disagree about Irvin failing at LEO though. Irvin at SAM was borne more out of his versatility than anything else, he needed to be on the field because he, Clemons, and Avril all needed to be on the field. His strength at the point of attack made it possible to have both a run-stuffer and elite athlete at SAM, but guys like Irvin (and Avril) don’t grow on trees. Could be a guy late in the draft with great length and good enough athleticism though, someone more in the mold of KJ is a more likely replacement. I don’t know if that guy exists in this draft, but the position is not a premium position on this defense, so I don’t think it will take a high investment to fill the SAM part of Irvin’s job. He has additional value as a pass rusher, which is why he’ll earn a huge payday.

              The only reason I will concede that a mean, nasty, run stuffing LB like Ragland isn’t the ideal replacement for Irvin is because Irvin’s primary backup for the past two seasons has been Mike Morgan, another elite athlete, too light in the shorts to set the edge. I’m not the GM, so I am basing this on the Seahawks apparent preferences, not what I think. Moving down the depth chart at OLB, KPL & Pinkins are more elite athletes, as was Malcolm Smith before them.

              The way I see it is that SAM and WILL are very different in this defense, they aren’t just interchangeable OLBs. The SAM takes on at OT or TE on every down and has to seal the edge, the WILL is free to read and react as the big men eat up blocks in front of him. Setting the edge is not something you’d ask KPL at 225 lbs to do, or Deion Jones at 215 lbs. Irvin is 260+ lbs, they tried Marsh out at SAM – 255+ lbs, KJ at 250 lbs was the SAM before Irvin. Even after going thought past draft history and signings, I still think the starting SAM is either going to be a new 250 lb guy built like KJ, KJ himself, or Mike Morgan (after he puts on about 20 lbs).

  8. nichansen01

    What are the chances that Bryce Brown, Christine Michael and Chase Coffman stick around through training camp and are on the 53 next season?

    • bobbyk


      • Greg haugsven

        I’ll take the under. Brown’s 2.9 ypc is gross.

        • Coleslaw

          He was used as a goalline back, had 2 touchdowns if I’m not mistaken

          • Greg Haugsven

            He had plenty of carries in the middle of the field.

    • Steve Nelsen

      All three were street free agents. It is highly unlikely all three stick. Brown seems almost certain to get beat out by competition. Coffman will face competition too so his chances depend on his blocking and whether Graham starts the season on PUP.

      Michael seems the most likely of the three to make the roster but they will have to work out a deal with him as an RFA and he also has to show that the maturity he demonstrated at the end of last season is for real.

  9. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Seattle tends to stay in the base defense more often than not… wouldn’t Deion Jones be a liability in run stopping at LB, he is only 220 lbs. He would be a fantastic SS however, the right size and speed combo. I understand the athletic part, but I’m not sure how the football player part fits in Seattle (at LB).

    • Rob Staton

      He’s a fantastic run defender, despite his size.

      Wagner was 233lbs and ran a 4.45 at his pro-day. KPL was 232lbs and ran a 4.51. They’re looking for explosive athletes first and foremost. Irvin was explosive too. I suspect Jones is more like 225lbs-230lbs. Deone Bucannon is 211lbs. This is the modern NFL.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I’m just thinking how Seattle would hold up vs the Panthers rushing offense. They need some big men in the front 7 to slow them down.

        Perhaps Seattle will change up their defenses more in 2016, to throw some new looks at QBs????

        • Rob Staton

          The Seahawks didn’t give up 100 yards rushing to any player in the entire regular season in 2015. They don’t have any issues defending the run. I also can’t see the Seahawks changing anything on defense — they had the #1 scoring defense again last year and have been the very definition of elite for four years.

          FWIW — Carolina drafted Shaq Thompson at #25 a year ago. He’s 6-0 and 228lbs. This is the modern NFL.

          • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

            Modern NFL aside Rob, Carolina also has Short and Lotulelei in the middle, with Keuchley and Davis as the other backers. Shaq Thompson was never an impact player in the run. He was a back half and intermediate difference guy. You keep saying “Modern NFL” but it is STILL the NFL. Everyone in the NFL is light years ahead of even the cream of the SEC. Ryan Shazier is a much better athlete than Jones and is constantly injured. Wagner is such a bad comp because he is squat- like a solid piece of muscle. He is more like Sam Mills. Freakish. Jones is just small and quick. I will agree to disagree with you and Volume 12 about Jones. I would be fine with 3rd round jab, but there are much better choices for our first round selection I feel. Much more vital positions on the team than a WILL backer

            • purpleneer

              I think Lavonte David is another “smaller” LB comp that hasn’t been mentioned. If you get that, it would be just fine.

            • Rob Staton

              And the Seahawks had a D-line that didn’t give up a single 100 yard rusher all year.

            • Volume12

              So if the took Deion Jones in the 3rd you’d be in favor of that pick?

              What’s it matter what round they take an O-lineman?

              Say they find a starter in the 3rd round for example, just as likely, and take Deion Jones in the 1st, then they stiil accomplish the same thing/goal, correct?

              • monkey

                Yup Volume 12, I think you’ve nailed the real problem they are having. It’s the “but, but, but vallluuuuue” argument. Fans don’t tend to look at value the same way that GM’s do, mostly because fans are influenced by the media with talking heads that constantly yammer away about value, without really understanding what it even means.
                If you asked Mel Kiper the question you posed above about why it matters, I guarantee the answer would be “value” or “positional value” or something along those lines.
                But once training camp starts, all that nonsense goes right out the window, no one cares who got drafted where, all guys like Pete Carroll care about then are “who do we have to compete at linebacker and offensive line?” So long as they got the guys they wanted for those positions, it doesn’t matter one tiny bit which round they got them in, or if Kiper thinks they could have gotten more “value” out of their first round pick by taking someone else.

    • sdcoug

      Speed to make early contact and/or avoid blocking is huge, especially when your D is full of speedy guys. Aside from making a tackle, just knocking a guy off balance or causing an adjustment or slight delay allows the rest of the D opportunity to swarm for the kill

  10. Steele

    I hate the combine. Measurables have become far too important. Certainly the athleticism is important, but performance over a reasonable period of time and Senior Bowl should weigh more heavily. Would rather have football players than guys who get first round grades and rewarded with huge jack for three month physical training programs.

    Of the names listed in this piece, none are worth #26. Only Westerman and Chris Jones interest me. And I don’t think either is worth #26. Most look a bit like reaches.

    • Steele

      The other reason to hate the combine, in addition to how it distorts, is that those who do well shoot up the boards, putting them out of reach. If you like a guy, you want him to do well enough to prove themselves athletic, but if anything, you want them to get less notice, not more!

      • Volume12

        Not every guy that tests through the roof will be outta reach or rise way up the board.

        And the combine is extremely important. It let’s teams evaluate guys on an even/level playing field, and they all get the exact same measurements.

    • Rob Staton

      “Would rather have football players than guys who get first round grades and rewarded with huge jack for three month physical training programs.”

      You’d be happy with a team full of Scott Crichton’s then? He was a football player with no athletic value.

      I hate to put it as bluntly as this Steele — but you are aware of Seattle’s history in the draft under PC and JS aren’t you?

      • Steele

        Obviously a balance of proven football talent and athleticism is the goal. I think the balance is often out of whack, more towards the latter. All teams are guilty of it to varying degrees.

        JSPC’s drafts have not always been great. The last three offseasons could have played out differently. Most of you disagree. That’s fine.

        • Rob Staton

          The list at the top of the article emphatically shows the Seahawks are extremely conscious of finding sensational athletes that have proven production in college. It’s crystal clear.

          • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

            But Rob, is their drafting history really that immaculate? Look at the times they have gone out on a limb for their super athletes. It has been nearly a resounding failure. Irivin found a way to be productive but not in the original planned way, Michael was a bust, Richardson has contributed next to nothing, Harvin was an unmitigated disaster. I say when they have drafted good football players, where football playing ability was the more prominent trait and their athletic ability was more incidental, their success rates skyrocket. Then you get the Wilsons, the Chancellors, the Wagners, the Baldwins, the Shermans, even Lockett was a multi talented football player more than an athlete who played football. Now if you are merely considering being correct on WHO the Seahawks pick, then I stand corrected. But if it is more about who would most help the team, then give me a good football more than an athlete. But yes, my views and the Seahawks view of what that is differ greatly. Where I see Bitonio as a potential SB victory this year all things considered, but we got Richardson who is fast I guess

            • purpleneer

              I’d have to say Harvin and Richardson aren’t good examples for your case here. Both have substantial performance resumes beyond testing results. They both were also increased injury risks and Harvin had a personality issue, but they were high-level on-field performers. And Baldwin didn’t exactly light up the college game, so he’s not really a great example on the other end; weren’t his agility numbers a big draw?

            • Rob Staton

              “But Rob, is their drafting history really that immaculate?”

              Yes. No team hits on every pick. Look at what they’ve built, what they’ve achieved.

        • Michael M.

          Steele, the other thing to consider is that it is much easier to turn a great athlete into a great football player than it is to turn a great football player into a great athlete. This is especially true if you’ve got a proven great coaching staff.

      • Steele

        Actually Scott Crichton was pretty good. One of the better prospects coming out of OSU. Who knows. He may still be good for the Vikings

        • Rob Staton

          He is/was rank average. A total non-entity.

  11. Volume12

    W. Virginia S KJ Dillon. This guy is increcibly ‘Seahawky.’

    One of the most unique defensive players in the draft.

    He can cover TEs down the seam, RBs in the flat, WRs in the slot, rush/blitz off the edge, play the deep half of the field, and can also drop down into the box.

    Gritty, athletic, always pursues the ball, big time hitter, high football IQ, plays fast, covcovk

    • Volume12

      Meant to say cocky/confident, isn’t worried about padding his stats, and you can really feel his presence on the field.

      Listening to his interviews, he just sounds like a Seahawk.

  12. Trevor

    I am really anxious to see how Eric Striker runs and measures at Combine. He has bee my favorite player from a leadership character standpoint the last couple of years. He has been incredibly productive in college but I am not sure it translates to NFL.

    I have always thought he might be a great 3rd round replacement for Bruce. Not nearly as athletic but more instinctual and a better all round football player coming out of college.

    What are peoples thoughts on him.

    • cover-2

      He is too small for LB on the Seahawks, he is a SS if drafted by the Seahawks.

  13. Coleslaw

    Okay I’ve been thinking about this since it popped into my head, if we got a smaller, fast linebacker like Cravens or Jones do you think we could move Kam to Sam and have them play SS?

    • Rob Staton

      Not in the slightest I’m afraid.

      Chancellor nowhere near athletic enough for Seattle at LB and he’s their ideal SS.

      • Coleslaw

        Damn, I’d love to have him blowing up the LOS every play..

  14. seahawks509

    Hey I want everyone’s opinion here. I think Mackensie Alexander could be a top 7 pick. I see a lot of people are not that big of a fan of him. I see Ramsey more as a S and I think GMs will see it that way. So I think Alexander will become the #1 CB on the board.

    • Volume12

      Not a big fan of Alexander honestly.

      I do love his toughness, grit, and his trash talking.

      But, I think he’s gonna measure in at like 5’10 with short arms. No picks or only one in two years is concerning too. I know INTs can be overtated, but I worry about his lack of ball skills.

      Love Florida St DB Jalen Ramsey. I see a bigger version of Tyrann Mathieu. A chess-piece in the defensive backfield. Extremelty physical and an incredible athlete.

  15. Jack

    Rob, what do you think of this super early mock draft? This is assuming all of the good OTs are off the board in round 1, Rubin/Lane/Okung/Mebane are resigned..A lot of assumptions, but that’s what makes these fun! The projections are based on Tony Pauline’s rankings and Fieldgulls’ article on comp pick projection

    R1-26. Ryan Kelly C/Alabama
    R2- Jordan Jenkins OLB/Georgia
    R3- Karl Joseph S/West Viriginia
    R3*- Jonathan Williams RB/Arkansas
    R4- Avery Young OT/Auburn
    R5*- Willie Henry DT/Michigan
    R6*- Tyrone Holms DE/Montana
    R7- Marquez North WR/Tennessee (from Dallas)
    R7- Braxton Deaver TE/Duke

    Here are some notes on the rationale/thinking behind the picks: Ryan Kelly seems like a big reach, but he’s the player this team needs. Just listen to his interviews and you can see how he and RW will fit perfectly. This team doesn’t hesitate to reach for players they really like. Jordan Jenkins is a solid LB that doesn’t have major weaknesses. Has some pretty good production and would be a nice replacement for Bruce at a fraction of the cost. Karl Joseph can be summed up by one word: playmaker! Watch his highlight tape and see how he is just relentless in his pursuit of the ball. Team captain and forces a lot of fumbles and plays in the slot. Arm length will be huge to see if he firs.

    Jonathan Williams is the most underrated player in this class. Alex Collins gets the headlines, but some think Williams will be a better pro. Bret Bielema raves about his skills and his perseverance. Grew up in poverty and moved across the country multiple times. Worth noting he had a season-ending injury and his value will be lower, which the Seahawks pounce on (see Luke Willson). Avery Young has the arm length and versatility Seattle craves, playing LT and RT at Auburn. The rest of the picks are guys that have immense potential and would probably be camp bodies.

    Keep up the good work on the site, Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the kind words Jack. My honest thoughts are — can’t see Kelly at #26. I think he’s a good, solid center but not as good as Nick Martin and more of a guy who goes top-50 than top-30. Jenkins — I want to see his 10-yard split. Not convinced he breaks the 1.5’s to be in contention to be in Seattle. If he does he’d be a good option but might be off the board at #56. I also think Willie Henry will go in the third round. Appreciate the mock though.

      • Volume12

        Jack, you bring up a great point and something that Rob has reminded us on numerous occasions.

        Seattle isn’t afraid to ‘reach’ for their guys, and/or select BPA at a position of need. They just do things a different way.

        It’s hard to mock draft for this team before the combine.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          It is hard to mock draft for them… period. 🙂

          • Greg Haugsven

            I agree Charles, it’s basically throwing darts. There pick 26 will probably be someone who was in the 40’s as far as a big board is concerned.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      IMO KJ Dillon is the better S from WV.

    • Willyeye

      The Hawks have 31 total FA’s when you include RFA’s and ERFA’s. If they sign none of their FA’s, that would leave them with ony 22 guys from last year’s team. They have around $29 million in cap space right now. If they re-sign Rubin/Lane/Okung/Mebane, those guys could cost as much as $20+ million…adding $7 million for the draft class, that will leave them about $2 million to fill the other 12 or so holes in their roster. That would force them to start most of their draft class…they wouldn’t even have a punter or a backup QB. A more realistic scenario is that, of Irvin, Rubin, Mebane, Okung, and Sweezy, 4 of them will have to be allowed to walk. There just isn’t enough cap space.

  16. Robert

    The X factor is how the FO assesses current developing players on the roster. Which guys are poised to step up, win jobs and/or contribute this year? I’ll be disappointed if they take a LB or RB in the 1st. Russ is the most elite player on the team, maybe the entire league. And all he needs is good protection up the middle. The only 2 games we lost late in the season were arguably because our GCG passpro was leaking like a sieve.
    I hope our FO decides to significantly upgrade our middle Oline without gambling that Cable can produce a miracle with some obscure blob of clay.

    • Rob Staton

      I might do a piece on this tomorrow — but if they ended up taking a LB or RB in round one it’s safe to say they would’ve addressed the O-line in free agency.

      • Robert

        At LB, I hope Pinkins made a lot of progress in practice last year after the switch. He has great quicks and good length. I envision him playing WILL and KJ moving back to SAM. He would certainly be an upgrade in coverage, but can he hold up in the run, setting the edge, playing assignment correct? Has KPL figured it out yet?
        I drool over the thought of Henry in the open field, but Rawls looks to have an elite skill set of hitting even the tiniest crease with incredible quickness or finding a Plan B. Then he makes tacklers miss in the hole with efficient little moves. He has the speed to beat LBs to the edge and cut back against their pursuit. I’d feel bad if the FO decides to take Henry because he is relatively slow to the hole, but eventually breaks big runs. I am hoping we are evolving into a dynamic offense that spreads out the D and moves the chains. Rawls is perfect for that!

        • Volume12

          Who’s your favorite player that is either coming off a red shirt year, was on the PS, or signed to a future’s contract?

          • bobbyk


            • Greg Haugsven

              Maybe a Tye Smith as well. You really didn’t hear much about him.

          • Robert

            I have high hopes that the stable of young CBs will provide a big upgrade over last year in the slot, opposite Sherman and depth. I am hoping we don’t have to spend on Lane because we have very little $ and Lane will be expensive. This will allow us to play less zone and get back to playing more of our dominating man coverage which disrupts timing and synergizes dramatically with our pass rush to often provide suffocating defense and increased turnovers.
            I also hope Glowinski will provide a big lift to the consistency of our passpro in the middle.
            I hope Hill can finally put it all together and become a pass rush force up the middle in Nickel defense. Our DEs will do most the damage. We just need to take away the QBs ability to step up in the pocket.
            I have big hopes that Pinkins and KPL can provide great play at the WILL spot with KJ moving back to SAM.
            I’m not counting out Sokali to blow away the competition this summer. His athletic potential is off the charts. The fact that he is an immigrant from a war torn country who has decided to make it his mission in life to make his country proud is inspiring. Sometimes when the heart of a man aligns itself with a great purpose outside of himself, he becomes unstoppable! I think this kid is working around the clock while we blog about drafting college kids!

          • Steve Nelsen

            I think that one of the three CBs – Simon, Jean-Baptiste or Farmer – makes the leap. Shead could also step up with a full offseason and camp to focus on CB.

            I think either Burley or Seisay takes the slot CB role.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            Sokoli. Although Pete mentioned he’d take another year. Seeing him in limited duties in last years’ preseason was tantalizing. Guy probably runs faster than Mack Strong did.

            Then the trio of Tye Smith/Simon/Jean-Baptiste intrigues. We need some percolating depth this year. Hoping 2 emerge. Need at least one I think.

            Farmer I’d be intrigued by but I suspect he needs a full training camp to continue to learn his new craft. Like Sokoli probably one to watch in 2017.

            • purpleneer

              Have I crossed my threshold yet of too many mentions that I think Sokoli is working at the wrong position?
              I feel pretty decent that the corner group will provide something. There’s multiple promising players and one who just needs to stay healthy has actually performed at least competently in the NFL.
              I’m also hoping the development and adjustment is quick enough for Pinkins; his future at LB could be exciting.

        • Rob Staton

          Agreed — but I’m also certain they won’t expect Rawls to carry the running game. They’ll get him a partner.

          Just watched Henry vs Texas A&M and he did a great job getting skinny through the tight running lanes to explode into the secondary. Very impressive, maybe his best tape so far.

          • Robert

            Despite the rap, I think Henry plays impressively on plays that are not blocked up real well. He batters away and falls forward for an additional couple yards. And then Bang! When he gets to the 2nd level, he’s unstoppable!

            • HI Hawk

              Henry reminds me of Shaun Alexander in just about every way except height. He’s tougher than he seems but definitely doesn’t Beastmode like you’d expect given his size. He’s a lot faster than he looks, and he’s AMAZING at maximizing the slightest crease with great vision and decisive cuts. Some will remember Alexander as soft, what I remember is determined to fight when necessary, but more of a contact avoider when no touchdown was possible. He had an unreal nose for the endzone/first down, and he remained healthy throughout his career right up until the age of 29. Sound familiar?

      • monkey

        I sincerely hope that is the case, and would be willing to bet that will be the case. I seriously doubt that the Seahawks want to go into the draft still looking to fill holes in the O-line. I fully expect at least one (likely a guard) free agent O-lineman and possibly even two (a center) will be obtained in free agency before the draft starts.
        I often think that doing mock drafts, and even talking about the draft in any serious way at all before free agency isn’t an exercise in futility, as free agency changes the way that the draft is approached SO MUCH.
        Of course, even exercises in futility can be fun sometimes…

  17. Gray

    Is there any other WR’s that warrant a first round selection by the Hawks if available at #26?

    • Rob Staton

      I think there are players that could warrant a pick in that range — Coleman, Treadwell, Thomas, Boyd. But Fuller and Coleman are the best examples of athleticism, suddenness and production (what Seattle has looked for). I think Coleman will be off the board at #26 so I chose Fuller.

      • Michael M.

        Is Coleman better than Fuller in your mind?

        • Rob Staton

          It’s close.

      • Spireite Seahawk

        Josh Doctson never gets any love on the site. I think he could be a sleeper for the late 1st.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Probably because of his expected lack of speed/explosion.

          Tools wise, he’s the best WR in this class. I like him very much. But unfortunately we’ve seen this song before. Pete has repeatedly spurned big WRs we’ve expected them to take. And what we’ve heard from him is that he passed on guys because they didn’t have the blend of size and speed they want.

          And they passed on the likes of Moncrief and Matthews in 2014 — two 6’2″+ guys who ran in the low 4.4s.

          Given they passed on those very good measurables in 2014 when they had very real need at WR — makes it almost impossible to believe they’d opt for Doctson.

          • Spireite Seahawk

            I agree he’s an unlikely target go the Hawks but I felt he should be in the conversation for the top of the first.

  18. Rob Staton

    Got a piece lined up for tomorrow that will provide a scenario where a DL/LB/RB pick early makes more sense (because they already addressed the OL). More tomorrow.

    • Volume12

      The talent level at OT drops off pretty quickly after the 1st 4-5 guys, but it wouldn’t shock me one bit if they do address the O-line and continue to add mid rounders.

      Although I do think they gotta hit on at least one O-lineman in this draft.

      • Rob Staton

        The piece will cover the need for at least one provisional starter on the O-line to be drafted.

        • Volume12

          Got cha. Looking forward to it.

  19. Volume12

    Rob, I know you touched on the subject of taking Miss St DT Chris Jones in the 1st. And yes he’s under-acheived, and this DT class is pretty deep, but I think their gonna love this guy.

    I know they value extreme production in their 1st and 2nd round picks, but he’s a special talent IMO and is a complete DT.

    Ecspecially if he kills the combine like we all think he will, combined with his upside, length, size and versatility, he might be too tempting to pass on.

    I guess what am I getting at is, he checks off every box but the production one.

    • Rob Staton

      Chris Jones’ upside and ability vs the run will certainly appeal. I just wonder whether they’ll ever consider drafting a guy in round one to play base and control the run. Especially when they can basically select Tony McDaniel and then Ahtyba Rubin from obscurity to do the job. Rubin was, for the role he was asked to do, pretty sensational after all (zero 100-yard runners). And I think their scheme is set up, for the most part, for the base defenders to create opportunities for their playmakers rather than be the playmakers themselves.

      • Volume12

        And that’s my debate as well. I can see them loving this guy, but at the same time I can see them not taking a DT until the 3rd.

        I thought ‘Tuba’ was fantastic. Really can’t get much better for what they ask of him.

        I also think Chris Jones can be much more than just a base down run defender.

        And at what point does signing guys like Tony McD just become a band-aid?

        • Rob Staton

          I think they’re pretty happy with the band aids to be honest. Cole, Branch, McDaniel, Williams, Rubin. They just plug guys in. Not sure they think they need a long term solution there.

          • Volume12

            I completely understand that side of it too. I follow their trends and draft model, so I don’t think their gonna deviate from that. They’ll just continue to do what’s worked for them.

            Maybe I’m in the minority with you and some others, but I don’t think they need to shift or change their defensive philosophty at all.

            Have you had the chance to look at Kentucky’s Cory Johnson at all?

            • C-Dog

              I gotta say, on this subject, while I agree it’s really hard to see them taking a base down DT with there first pick, I continue looking at Austin Johnson, and I just drool, more, and more, and more. The guy looks like a total war daddy in the middle. Solid recognition, power, relentless motor, and can bull rush like nobody’s business. He looks every bit like a player that has “it,” just not the quick twitch against the pass. If there is one guy in this draft who’s not a quick twitch interior line man that I would love to see them land, it’s him. Probably won’t happen. Washington, Rankins, Henry, Jones, and Latham are probably higher on their list.. for all we know, gosh, maybe it’s Quinton Jefferson later in the draft they like, but I just see Johnson, and hope they’d consider him. I think he’s going to be a really good player at the next level.

              • franks

                Do you think he’ll be there in R2?

                • Attyla the Hawk

                  It’s possible.

                  Much will depend on how the run on talent develops. Recall in 2012, it was a really great year for DE pass rushers and LBs. Seattle was definitely in that market.

                  Teams largely passed on LBs (Kuechly the outlier) — but the run on DE talent didn’t start till we picked Irvin at 15. Then the dominoes started to fall.

                  If the DL run really gets cranking in the 20-35 range then I think Johnson will go before that. If it skips around a bit he could fall. Teams like to bank on talent dropping in a deep class and getting another need filled earlier. But like any commodity, when a run develops then people begin to alter their decision making to meet the market reality.

                  • C-Dog

                    Yeah, I think there’s a pretty good chance he doesn’t get out of R1. I could even see him go before 26. I think he’s a player, while other DTs will get more hype, teams are going to be more into him. I think Seattle would stand a better chance of landing Washington, or Nkemdiche in the 2nd.

          • Willyeye

            I hope they don’t sign McDaniel this year. He didn’t look very good this year…he was ranked the #110 DT at PFF this year. It might be nice if they could occasionally collapse the opposing pocket. I’m hoping they find a gem of a DT in the middle rounds.

          • franks

            It’s working to a large degree no doubt but we need to get some inside pass rush from somewhere. More frequent blitzing could work but Richards has nt been timing them that well. I think we need more wrinkles. Zone blitzing here and there and stunting, and sending Bobby and Kam up the middle. We need to get more pressure up the middle.

        • KyleT

          I agree, I think C.Jomes has the ability to be elite against the run and collect 5-8 sacks a year playing all downs. He’s almost always taking on a double team, and when you see him go 1on1 he doesn’t stay blocked for long.

          I know the Seahawks value the run stopping ability, but I think they have used the FA stop gaps out of not having any other choice. There were several plays on base downs against teams like Carolina this season where the QB had 7+ seconds before throwing to a wide open receiver. Teams with good QB’s, and a decent O-line and running game can destroy us with our current base down no pass rush philosophy.

          You saw it with Carolina, Cincinatti, Dallas (2014), etc. it’s our biggest weakness on D when the back 7 is playing good zone technique.

          • Robert

            That’s what I noticed with Jones. He is often double teamed and holds up well. He’s a great run defender. But on base downs when the opposition decides to pass, he can stress the middle of the pocket better than our current DTs. I expect us to re-sign our 2 big run stuffers, but they are getting older. If the FO can draft their DT for the future, they might pull the trigger early. That being said, I can totally relate to Rob’s opinion that we don’t need pass rush out of our base DTs because we win games by stuffing the run and going all NASCAR on long yardage downs.

            • franks

              I could see us letting Mebane go if Ruben gets signed and Pete feels confident in drafting a good one early.

              • Rob Staton

                Drafting a Mebane replacement early seems unlikely.

                • franks

                  I was thinking they might slide Rubin inside. If they’re sod on someone like Jones, Austin, moving up for Rankins, ..

          • purpleneer

            I’m with you here. The current NFL is so willing to throw on any down, I want my base DTs to at least be able to push the pocket and if single-blocked be able to shed. Mebane used to do both extremely well. Jones looks like he can absolutely be an any down player and even be a dangerous pocket-pusher in the 3rd-and-long package.

            • Rob Staton

              So you want to go away from what has worked for four years, providing the #1 scoring defense consistently and the definition of an elite unit?

              I’m not sure what people expect any more. Perfection?

              • Robert

                I loved our run D last year. Mebane and Rubin were phenomenal. Hopefully, we can re-sign both for under 8 million. But they are getting older. And we not be able to re-sign both. Either way, we’ll be acquiring DT talent one way or another. As the game constantly evolves, our FO has been innovative in many ways. I expect we will always emphasize stopping the run first. I am curious if they will invest more Draft capital to acquire a double team eating run stuffer who can also stress the pocket a bit more on pass attempts vs our Base D. Or if they will be content to invest mid round Draft capital on a prospect similar to Mebane, who can anchor vs double teams, but provide little pass rush. It’s just a interesting subject to discuss what they might do there with the unsigned, aging veterans. It’s definitely not a complaint about our awesome D!

              • purpleneer

                I think you’re overestimating how one-dimensional Mebane, McDaniel, and K Williams were in previous years and underestimating how much Mebane has become so since. He was far more disruptive to the passing game than his sack numbers suggest. Even without accounting for opponent adjustments, the model is changing because while they’ve been able to find solid vets, some of that effectiveness was based on Mebane being more unique than we realized. His early career took off when he got moved to the 3-tech and he showed good disruption ability, then he brought some of that ability with improved stoutness when he got moved back to nose.
                And of course I’m not saying the system needs to be dramatically changed, or that we dramatically deemphasize stopping the run. But the team’s model has already changed without choosing based on cap use and where certain players are in their careers. It always needs fine tuning, especially as other teams adjust to it, coaches and players are lost, and how easily players who fit can be acquired changes.
                It isn’t possible to max out all of the ways a team can be improved, but preferred ways like adding dynamic passrushing depth might not be feasible, at least not as easy as it was in 2013. Plus, I think Chris Jones can do that too, just maybe not as directly as getting lots of sacks himself but at a minimum by taking away a QB’s step-up space.

                • Rob Staton

                  I see no evidence of the model changing other than when they swapped Red Bryant for more Michael Bennett snaps in 2014 — an inevitability.

                  • purpleneer

                    That’s not an insignificant change. Mebane has changed the kind of player he is. It’s likely Irvin is gone and his replacement will a different kind of player. I like Clark and hopefully Hill gets back to being productive, but the cap space and player availability makes the 2013 pass-rush depth really tough to replicate. If Irvin’s replacement is more like Deion Jones, the edge depth is more used and there’s less roster and cap space to carry as many situational specialists (or the same level of quality).
                    There’s always a chance I’m jumping the gun on countering adjustments and changing landscape, but if you’re willing to consider D Jones and adapt to today’s NFL there, why not similar adjustment in front of him? Offenses with balance that avoid “have to pass” situations and those with QB play and weapons to abandon the run completely have made hay against the Hawks.

                    • Rob Staton

                      “Mebane has changed the kind of player he is”

                      What evidence is there to support this?

                      “Irvin is gone and his replacement will a different kind of player”

                      They coped just fine when Malcolm Smith was starting ahead of Irvin in 2013.

                      “There’s always a chance I’m jumping the gun on countering adjustments and changing landscape, but if you’re willing to consider D Jones and adapt to today’s NFL there, why not similar adjustment in front of him?”

                      You’re not adjusting. They started Malcolm Smith down the stretch in 2013 ahead of Irvin and Morgan got in ahead of Irvin late in 2015. They drafted KPL for that spot. They found a way to accommodate Irvin’s skill set. Moving to a more conventional linebacker is not a sea-change in philosophy.

                  • Robert

                    We might soon, is the point. Because Mebane and Rubin are both 30+ and unsigned. I predict they try to sign them both. I also think the most likely DT Draft choice would be for a prospect who pushes Hill and ultimately replaces him as a passing down rusher up the middle. But if the right DT falls, they might invest a 1st round Draft pick and he might be a base down player who also provides some pass rush. They likely will improve on their successful model by drafting talented young players to replace the aging veterans, preferably after a year of grooming.

                  • purpleneer

                    ““Mebane has changed the kind of player he is”

                    What evidence is there to support this?”

                    It’s in the non-sack pressure stats, which I’ve shared before. Pre 2014 injury, he was really disruptive (probably the most disruptive true nose in the league) to go along with being stout. If he were still that guy, an extension would have been the choice over asking him to take a pay cut last year and his FA market would be hot despite his age.
                    Even beyond that, all the other stuff is showing subtle adaptability and I’m not arguing for more than that for the most part.
                    There’s also still the difficulty in replicating the quality of depth they had when both Avril and Bennett were non-starters along with McDonald.

                • Robert

                  By the way, thanks for the awesome articles, which really set the tone, provoke thoughts and create the possibility for awesome discussion!
                  Great points, Purpleneer!

            • Robert

              Bill walsh, the great 49er coach was a mentor to Pete. In his writings which breakdown his target attributes for various positions, he states that his DTs must be able to anchor vs double teams and push the G back in the pocket on passing downs.

    • Trevor

      I agree Vol about the Hawks very likely looking very closely at Chris Jones in Rd. #1 he is already a solid run defender and I think he has the skill set / explosion potential to be a 3 down DT with 6+ sack potential.

      Rankins is my favorite DT and Jones is a very close second. I think he would be a great 1st round pick and give them a long term solution at DT hopefully along with resigning Rubin.

      • Volume12

        I love DT Chris Jones. One of my favorite players in this class.

        What I failed to get across, was this. Like Rob, I don’t think Seattle will ever take a DT early unless it’s a Sheldon Richardson or someone similar to him. But, those guys go early.

        However,if they were to take a DT early it’d be a guy with Jones’ or Rankins potential.

        I’m just not sure they see it that way.

  20. Steele

    Of the undersized OLBs, as of right now, I would take Eric Striker over Deion Jones. Striker is, if anything, even smaller. But his 40 is better than Jones’. Most importantly, his game. His pass rush and blitz are what sets him apart. I will take a guy who has pass rush instincts in his blood over a jack-of-all.

    • Trevor

      Striker is my favorite prospect in the draft from a character / leadership standpoint and I would love if he was the Hawks 3rd round pick after going DL/OL in Rds 1 and 2.

      I don’t think he is nearly as fast or the athlete Jones is but he is very instinctual and a great blitzer / pass rusher. Not sure he will have the speed the Hawks want in an LB but my fingers are crossed that he is. I just flat out think he is a good football player and think he would look great in the Hawks uni.

    • vrtkolman

      I love Striker’s intangibles and character, but I think overall Jones is the better player. He just screams Malcolm Smith on steroids to me, and I think Pete would love that profile.

  21. Greg Haugsven

    This is off topic but would you rather have a released Martellus Bennett and say $5 million additional cap dollars and release Jimmy Graham or have Graham? I think Bennetts skill set fits the Seahawks better.

    • Steele

      Most may disagree, but I would take a lot of starting caliber tradtional NFL TEs over a diminished Jimmy Graham. I would take Jared Cook over a diminished Jimmy Graham, on this team. JG on another team might be a different story.

      • Steele

        (Exaggeration/joke re: Jared Cook.)

        • bobbyk


          • Greg Haugsven

            We’ll see if it worked after next year. It usually takes a year for a receiver to really get in sync. More often than not its doesn’t work out but I hope I’m wrong.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Martellus Bennett wants a lot more than $4 million. His contract demands/distractions are one of the reasons he is expendable. We already have one unhappy Bennett.

      The front office is committed to giving Graham a year to see if their plans work.

    • Rob Staton

      Graham. Bennett has never been on JG’s level. And he probably isn’t going to sign a $4m contract.

    • Attyla the Hawk


  22. MisterNeutron

    Most if not all of those guys should be available in the early 2nd. If Seattle is able to pull of a trade similar to what they did with the Vikings in 2014 (down 8 spots, #32 to #40, plus Minn’s 4th round pick), I think that they’d do that with little hesitation. I’m looking at the teams who pick 6-9 spots after #26, so CLE, TENN, DAL, and SD. Those are picks 32 through 35.

    More thoughts:
    – I can see Dallas valuing Derrick Henry quite a bit and wanting to trade up to get him at 26. I also see Henry slipping to Carolina with that 30 pick.
    – So many free agent variables, but if Seattle keeps Okung and loses Sweezy, I can see them taking Cody Whitehair or Westerman with their first pick. Also, Westerman at center seems like a definite possibility. They could then take another OG in a later round.
    – With Irvin likely gone, Deion Jones makes a lot of sense. Unless Jones has a stellar combine (which he might), I don’t see him being taken in the first round, so an early 2nd pick should be doable. Not worried about his weight/strength–if he needs to add 5-10+ lbs (or maybe even a full stone), I’m sure he could.
    – Adolphus Washington should be around in the late 2nd. I can’t imagine him being taken in the top 50. I’d put money on that. Maybe a fiver, tops.
    – If the Seahawks don’t draft a RB in the 2nd, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them trade up using some combination of their native 3rd round + other to move up and snag Collins, Perkins, or someone else, similar to what they did with Lockett last year.
    – Xavien Howard is impressive, but I don’t know if Seattle would take him before the 3rd. He could easily be gone by mid-late 2nd.

    • Coleslaw

      Tennessee is probably the most likely, they’re going to trade the #1 and will probably want to move up so they have 2 first round picks and still a ton more

    • bobbyk

      Dallas is looking for picks so I don’t see them in the market to trade up unless they are able to trade down from four. I could see Tennessee doing it only in the same scenario (as Coleslaw mentioned, too).

      I don’t see a rebuilding Cleveland willing to trade picks away. They need as many as they can. Also, with the stat geeks helping out, I think it’s quite clear that having more picks is better than trading them.

      The Chargers may be most willing and I only say that because they sucked last year after having high expectations going into the season. If they lose again, they are all going to be fired. If you’re the GM in SD, you are more willing to get a guy earlier who you think can most definitely make an impact this year.

      The Giants are a team with the 10th overall pick. I could see them trying to move up back into the first round, too. Same deal – their GM is getting fired if they don’t win in ’16. Same with Jacksonville (who currently pick #5 overall). They could be willing to come up from early in the second round for the same reason as New Jersey.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I have a problem with a trade down, not because it would be a bad strategy, but who would warrant another team trading up. I think only QB Cook would garner any legit interest late in the first round. The value would not be right, since there would not be enough of a market. Would another 4th or 5th round pick be worth dropping back 6-8 spots???

      • franks

        Yeah it doesn’t sound realistic for our pick. And trading up to the “first round” tier might be expensive.

    • Willyeye

      A #26 overall pick traded down 10-12 spots should net the Hawks a 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Unless a team is really desperate to move up, SEA will need to trade down at least 15 spots to net a R3 pick. Somewhere around 41-45. For any team picking earlier, the combined value of their R2+R3 is greater than #26.

        I suppose SEA could value an additional early R4 pick enough to trade with someone in the 30’s, but points-wise that isn’t a good trade.

        • Greg Haugsven

          It would also save us money on the cap. First year cap hit at 26 is about $1.5 mill. It drops a lot into the second. Just something to think about as well.

        • franks

          Wow, I thought it would tags easy less than that to get a third. I’m probably remembering the desperate trades.

          Rather trade into the 30s if it’s a high 4th.

          • franks

            Man the Swype on this phone sucks.

            “Would take way less”

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              Points-wise, the most even trade would be 26 to CLE for 32 and 100 (assuming 4 R3 compensatory picks 96-99)

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Probably the only way that happens is if a run on OTs develop and there’s few left. Or if a team needs a QB – passes on one early — and one is left on the board (not unlike Bridgewater was).

        Typically it’s run on talent driven. Last year, the Rams got a steal dropping 16 spots in R2 — netting an R2, R3 and R6 pick. But 16 is a significant drop.

        Cowboys did the same in 2014. Moved from 47 to 34 at the cost of their R2/R3.

        So the price is about right. Although Seattle is typically very poor at getting good ‘value’ from trades as far as draft stock goes. If we dropped 12 spots from an even better position I’d give us a 5% chance of getting the same deal that the Redskins/Rams got for second round drops in the last two years. We just are very not good at getting the most bang for our buck as far as that’s concerned.

    • franks

      I think you’re right, but if Fuller’s available and John wants him, I’ll bet we stay put.

    • Darth 12er

      Mr, I like the humor in your post.

  23. Trevor

    If the hawks sign Okung on a 1 yr deal or not at all then I could definitely see two of the guys listed above in Robs article being the top 2 picks

    Rd #1 Chris Jones
    Rd #2 La Raven Clark

    • Greg Haugsven

      Could end up with Gilliam at LT and Britt back at RT.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I like the combo of Rd 1 Westerman and R2 Martin. Of course a case can be made for several others (Tretola etc) along the OL. It would not have as much sizzle as the pick of Lockett last year, but I’m ok with that.

      • Greg haugsven

        Where would Westerman play. He’s to small for what they like at LG, Glowinski would have the lead at RG and Martin would be your center.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Westerman might have a higher ceiling in that he’s a better athlete. But Martin is the better prospect. I’d take Martin first.

        • franks


    • Robert

      LRClark may have a ways to go to iron out his technique. His upside is off the charts. Technique issues aside, I think he is a Day 1 improvement over Britt’s rookie year at RT if Gilliam moves to LT.

      • franks

        Almost as scary as giving Britt a second try, for me.

        • Robert

          Me too. I was just trying to quantify how bad I think Britt is.

    • franks

      That wouldn’t be bad at all. It might take a year to stay helping us though.

  24. KHawk

    Just out of curiosity. Does it help you more when we click on the website or your ad?

  25. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Cowboys dodged a huge bullet a few years back. They could have taken Manziel with their 1st round pick, but Jerry Jones had the card taken from his hand with the name on it…. his son shrewdly took took Martin instead. That is what a quality draft should look like, take the OL guys to keep your QB upright.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      That’s kind of a red herring. Manziel was never a R1 talent so the pick would’ve been wasted anyway. If Jerry was set on a QB and wanted Carr or even Bridgewater instead of Manziel, there probably wouldn’t be as much room to criticize. In fact, if they had Carr on their roster, they might have remained in the playoff hunt.

      • franks

        You don’t think so? I remember that wasn’t the media consensus but Pete had a high opinion of him.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        JJ said multiple times he wanted to draft Manziel……. even mid way through last season. He was infatuated with him and his play in college.

    • Robert

      Cue up Tweets of Manziel drunk again in Vegas and Romo in a sling. Jerry Jones is a football loser!

    • Darth 12er

      Now the Cowboys just need a QB – who a actually stays upright. I do envy their line, but they won’t be able to keep them all when their rookie contracts are up.

    • Darnell

      Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between quality of oline and Qb’s ability to stay healthy. See Romo and Dalton; or Russ this past year for the inverse.

  26. Coleslaw

    I really like Deion Jones too, if we got him I’d want him to bulk up to at least 235 or 240 if it’s possible, if not I could see him at will, but don’t necessarily like the idea of moving K.J. out of his spot. But I think Jones could be a really good speed blitzer and coverage guy, if Kris Richard’s specialty is blitzing, we could want to give him another rocket to play with.

    • bobbyk

      He’s definitely a rocket. Watched his games against Florida and E. Michigan tonight. Good stuff. Uncanny ability to make blockers miss him.

    • MisterNeutron

      Deion Jones just turned 21 in November, so he’s hardly filled out his frame yet. I’m sure he could bulk up as much as needed over the next year or so.

      • Steele

        The question again is whether you want an Irvin replacement, or just a LB minus pass rush. If the latter, fine, if the former, no.

        • Coleslaw

          True linebacker, we don’t need to replace with one player, Frank Clark is half of the replacement and a linebacker will be the other half.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          “… or just a LB minus pass rush.”

          If you mean that Deion Jones can’t pass rush, or that he’s less of a pass rush threat than Irvin, Jones had 5.5 sacks (and 13.5 TFL) in 2015.

          Irvin has 22 sacks in 4 seasons with SEA – 5.5 per season. Seems pretty equal to me.

          The one advantage Irvin has over Jones is length – just length, not so much size. I thought Irvin played better at 245 than he does at 260.

          • purpleneer

            Jones may have the pass-rush ability, but there’s a couple easy ways to play devil’s advocate and discount those stats as any kind of assurance. You’re comparing college stats vs NFL stats, which often fail to correlate. I haven’t gotten around to watching much of Jones yet, but I’d wager that most of his sacks are on blitzes as well. Doing with your hand on the ground is rather different, and how you get stats matters.
            I do like the idea of Jones, but even if he ends up basically replacing Irvin’s spot on the defense, I’d be shocked if it didn’t change things. Irvin is extremely difficult to replicate.
            And I agree that Irvin is better at the lighter weight, but 245 is still noticeably more than 220.

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              Yeah I didn’t mean to suggest Jones is a 1-to-1 replacement for Irvin. Rather I was just pointing out that Jones can get into the backfield and make plays. Not sure what you mean by most of his sacks are on blitzes. That’s pretty much how LBs get sacks unless it’s off a busted play.

              Also, I expect Jones will add about 10lbs between Combine and opening day.

              • purpleneer

                My point was kinda like what some say about Irvin playing 2 positions, that he was able to get pressure with his hand on the ground. Far from vital to get from a LB, but not meaningless.

            • Rob Staton

              Bruce Irvin was benched for Mike Morgan for spells in 2015 (most people didn’t realise this) and Malcolm Smith replaced him in 2013.

              They don’t need a Bruce Irvin to play that spot. It could just as easily be a Deone Bucannon or Telvin Smith type. That’s Deion Lewis.

              People are spending wayyyyyy too much time focusing on the weight. It’s irrelevant. Bucannon is 211lbs. Telvin Smith was 218lbs at his combine and plays at 223lbs.

              • MisterNeutron

                Let’s remember our Newtonian physics, folks:

                f = m*a

                So a smaller guy like Jones who can accelerate quickly can pack just as big of a punch as a bigger dude who accelerates slower.

              • Robert

                I didn’t realize that. Did you notice any likely reason for the benching? Injury?

                • Rob Staton

                  They preferred Morgan in those games. Bruce didn’t have a great year in 2015 (or 2013).

  27. franks

    Good point about Fuller still being an option, considering the contract status of Kearse and ADB.

    Westerman who I’ll admit I’ve never heard off sounds more like someone for depth at RG or competition at center. Can he push for Lewis’s spot? Could be someone to move back for but I don’t think you take an inside OL in the first unless you’re being on him starting.

    Clark sounds perfect for the bottom of the second. Spriggs in the first?

    • franks

      ” betting” on him starting.

    • Rob Staton

      He’d supplant Lewis easily IMO.

  28. CHawk Talker Eric

    Westerman or Whitehair?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Also, I think Martin is the best C prospect since Pouncey in 2011. Martin’s not enough of an athlete to go as high as Pouncey did (15), or even Cam Erving (19), who may have a higher ceiling but isn’t anywhere near as good as Martin now. But I think he’s better than Frederick.

      • Volume12

        Good question.

        Whitehair, Garnett, and Westerman are the 3 best G’s in this class IMO.

        But, Garnett looks better suited for a team like the Raiders. Sloppy midsection and flabby.

        Westerman has unique length for a guy of his size. Whitehair’s length is a bit concerning.

        I don’t think they could go wrong with either. I know I didn’t answer your question, but I’m leaning more towards Westerman.

        • MisterNeutron

          Westerman for the greater athleticism and higher ceiling? If they drafted Westerman with the idea of moving him to center, they’d probably go with Patrick Lewis for as long as needed. Trusting Westerman to be the center of the future seems like a high-risk, high-reward proposition considering how early they’d likely have to draft him. (All this applies to Whitehair as well.) But center is such a crucial position it might be worth it.

  29. EranUngar

    Yes, over the past 6 drafts, the Seahawks did prefer unique traits and athleticism plus production with their top 2 rounds picks. Those are basically the two “measurable” characteristics of the best available candidates. Most NFL teams covet those attributes as well.

    Rob also mentioned in the comments section – “Look at what they’ve built, what they’ve achieved”. He is right, they have done an amazing work overall.

    JS has repeatedly said that they also constantly review and evaluate their own internal draft procedures with the aim to improve those as well.

    When I look at the above list of top picks (plus Okung and Britt), I can’t help thinking that “Look at what they’ve built, what they’ve achieved” has less to do with those top picks and more to do with their later picks or trades involving late round picks. Kam, K.J., RW, Maxi, Sweezy, Gilliam, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockett, Rawls (Lynch and Clem) has made this team what it is. Adding the Harvin fiasco and the current Graham contribution to the top picks equation does not help at this point in time.

    If I am JS, addressing my stuff as we evaluate our top draft picks, this is what I would say:

    Out of possible 12 picks in the top 2 rounds we picked 9 players and traded for 2 more. The first trade was a disaster and the 2nd trade is yet to yield the benefits we were hoping for.
    Out of 9 top picks Only 3 made it to the top (pro bowl, all pro), one of them may be released right now at the end of his rookie contract (Okung). Another of our top 3 draft picks (Irvin) was drafted to play DE and ended as our 3rd best Line Backer and will probably be gone now that his rookie contract is over.
    Two more players (Tate, Carpenter) did not merit extension and were released once their rookie contracts ended.
    Both receivers (Tate & P-Rich) combine for 2,500 yards in 6 seasons.
    Only 2 of those potential 12 picks are currently under their 2nd contract with us and other than Frank Clark we have serious questions regarding possible extensions for the rest.
    If our goal is to use our top picks to draft players that will be part of the hard core of this team for years to come we have not done a stellar job of it so far.


    If this is indeed how they feel regarding their top picks, making some adjustments to the profile they are targeting with their top draft picks is not out of the question. That in turn could change what we think are “candidates for each need position that could fit the criteria”.

    Personally, I think they should be thinking outside the box we have defined for them here. It could bring a top pick of a position group they never drafted high (CB, DT) or a player that does not look like a typical Seahawks pick.

    Or, they are perfectly happy with what they did in the past and see no reason to change it by one iota. After all, what do I know, right?

    • Volume12

      Or are we placing too much emphasis on 1st round picks?

      After all a 3rd to half of NFL rosters are made up of mid, late, and UDFA selections.

      Only 2 1st round picks on Seattle’s offense and defense amongst the starters the past 3-4 years. Why would they change what’s worked for them?

      That would be the biggest mistake they ever made. All of a sudden you deviate from your team building criteria and what you do schematically? Just so they can trot out a 1st round pick and say ‘look at us. We nailed a 1st rounder.’

      How many teams that made a deep run into the post-season had their 1st round pick either staring or was a difference maker? One? You win with the core you got.

      • EranUngar

        I agree Vol.

        They should change nothing about how they build the roster with late rounders and UDFAs. They do that better than any other NFL team. I started my comment saying they have done an amazing work overall.

        I was reacting to Rob’s post above that was focused on top draft picks.

        I pointed out that maybe ‘look at us. We nailed a 1st rounder.’ and we nailed our late rounders + UDFAs could actually be better then just nailing the later picks.

        If they feel that way, they should keep doing what they are doing regarding the later picks and perhaps change something regarding they way they pick the top picks. Is that so wrong?

      • purpleneer

        Amazing as the overall team-building has gone, we want this to become more of a dynasty and the 1st and 2nd rounds seem like the best area to do better. Just a little fine-tuning; no method is perfect or even keeps its effectiveness for long as successful teams learn from each other.

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt they’ll change Eran. After all — their early picks since the great 2012 draft are:

      Harvin — would’ve been great and has been great, but proved to he a head case. Still helped Seattle win its first Super Bowl though. His best game was the most important.
      Michael — didn’t work initially but he’s back now and we’ll see what he does this year. Jury’s out for now.
      Richardson — clearly very talented but hasn’t avoided injuries. Hard to anticipate.
      Britt — a clear reach to avoid missing out. Close to a not unexpected bust.
      Graham — an elite player who unfortunately got injured. Clearly better than any options at #31 a year ago.
      Clark — very promising start. Could be great.
      Lockett — already great.

      Not a disaster. Not a bad review of their plan. Some misfortune on injuries and Harvin being a jerk — but clearly a lot of talent.

      • EranUngar

        Rob, we have been here evaluating those draft classes. I remember your favorite picks and mine for those top picks. Looking back at the players they ended up picking compared with the players you had (or even my favorites), I can’t help but feeling that JS’s magic manifests itself more from the 3rd round and later.

        Yes, the overall result is incredible. I can see the logic behind those top picks and the misfortune that derailed many of them.

        I still feel that trying something slightly different with their top 1-2 pick may not be a bad idea.

        • lil'stink

          It’s hard not to agree. The lack of return we have had on our first and second round draft picks the last 3 years is a big reason why we didn’t win one more SB the last 2 years.

          Sure, the way Pete and John have done things has built a very talented roster and put us in a position to be good for years to come. But it’s also part of the reason why they haven’t been able to get over the top the last 2 years.

          It’s about trying to learn from past mistakes in an attempt to not repeat them. It’s about letting your philosophy evolve so that it doesn’t become dogma.

          • franks

            I think the first round drafting is similar to the first quarter play calling. They only picks they got undeniably right in R1 so far were Earl Thomas and Okung. They should just go with the conventional wisdom and pick the bet guy that’s left who isn’t a punter or James Carpenter. Crazy to think how good we’d be if they let Rob make the first pick.

      • Steele

        Harvin, CMike, Prich, Graham. Hardly a set of great decisions, in my opinion. They could have done much better at the top. Lockett and Clark get a lot of love, not from me, but I will always believe they could have done that offseason and draft differently, gotten more depth, and (I do think) other outstanding playmakers.

        • Rob Staton

          So you’re down on Lockett and Clark too?

          Do you see anything positive about the Seahawks, Steele?

  30. EranUngar

    Here is an interesting article by Rob Rang:

    Some interesting names like CB Xavian Howard with Seahawks size, OT Pearce Slater (HUGE SIZE), WR Keyarris Garrett and others.

  31. Corn Bread

    Which is the better value for the center position? Martin at #26 or Glasgow at #89? I watched the tape on Glasgow against the Florida Gators and was impressed with his blitz recognition. He also does a tremendous job getting to the second level and holding his blocks.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      These are the questions that determine draft picks.

      Depends on how soon you want a return on the investment. Martin is a day 1/game 1/year 1 starter and an immediate improvement over Lewis. Glasgow might take a season to earn the starting position. Or even if he does win it in TC, he’ll need a season to become what Martin is now.

      • EranUngar


        And the question is never just this player or that.

        What would make the team better –
        Martin and a DT/OT picked at 89 or Glasgow and a DT/OT picked at 26 (Say Rankins or Decker)?

        And, if that DT/OT at 26 can be counted upon to be a starter, he will free the cap space needed to keep Okung or Mebane. Hence we can get an extra vet OG or a vet pass rusher for the DL rotation. Wouldn’t that be nice too?

        The question is the always the overall improvement of the whole team. It’s easier to answer when you compare two players playing the same position and drafted at the same point. It gets kind of crazy when you try to evaluate better value at different spots or different positions.

        • Steele

          “Martin and a DT/OT picked at 89 or Glasgow and a DT/OT picked at 26 (Say Rankins or Decker)?”

          EranU, you raise an excellent point here. As of right now, I lean towards whatever frees up more cap space, but it’s a tough call.

          Is Okung expendable? Do they need both Mebane and Rubin? Or either?

        • cha

          “And, if that DT/OT at 26 can be counted upon to be a starter, he will free the cap space needed to keep Okung or Mebane”

          Unfortunately that’s the reverse order of things. Okung’s team will be decided long before draft day, probably Mebane’s too. That would force the Hawks into drafting for a guy who could contribute right away. Going into the draft being boxed into a specific need isn’t the best strategy (Britt).

          • EranUngar

            You are correct. The FA decisions will be made first. However, they are not made in a vacuum. They are made as part of an overall team plan.

            It goes like this –

            Considering that this draft class is heavy in LOS talent and we can not keep all 7 starters turning FAs, we need to make some hard calls. If Okung is unwilling to resign at a rate we can afford and demands 10M a year, we let him go knowing we can find a Tackle at 26. We sign Sweezy for his attitude and stability and get another vet OG to compete/replace Britt or Loadholt to play RT. We keep Lewis for continuity and draft Glasgow for competition and the future.

            Or, we resign Robin and if Mebane is not willing to come aboard at 3.5M or less, we let him go knowing that we can find a replacement that can add more pocket pressure at 26 or trade back and still get a good run stuffer.

            The team strategy in FA and draft are interconnected and should be planed as a whole.

            Being “boxed” into a specific need is as bad as signing all possible linemen in FA and ending up with needs that are not within the strength of this draft class and no change/improvement on either side of the LOS.

    • Rob Staton

      Both very good players. Seattle might be more attracted to Glasgow’s size.

      • franks

        Rob do you think we’ll have any interest in Quentin Coples?

        • Steele

          Franks, I have been wondering about Coples. Great coming out of college. Then he wound up being miscast as a DT and a LB. He didn’t crack the rotation at Miami. He is still only 25.

          Sign him to a prove-it deal as a 4-3 situational pass rusher. At the very least, you get a rookie-like rotational with some upside. He has things to unlearn.

          • franks

            He would definitely be an interesting guy for the rotation. Probably would have some things to unlearn but he may have learned a trick or two since he came to the league and he won’t cost a draft pick or a lot of cap room. Still only a year older than some rookies. Wasn’t Bruce 24 that year?

        • Rob Staton

          I have zero interest in Coples.

  32. Steele

    I wonder how many spots Noah Spence drops because of his history with ecstasy. Not enough for him to fall to 26?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s a top-12 pick in the making.

  33. cha

    Ian Rapoport Verified Account

    #Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins signed a 4-year extension worth $35M, source said. $21M in guarantees. Was to make $5.5M this year, now makes $10M

    11:58 AM – 22 Feb 2016

  34. Steele

    There isn’t a lot of enthusiasm in here for Leonard Floyd. But my number one bugaboo for this offseason is pass rush and Irvin, and I am afraid they just won’t find an edge rusher of Floyd’s caliber in this draft.

    Here he gets sacks, plays outside and inside, covers receivers well. What’s not to like, besides his weight, which he can add to?

    Perhaps taking him would be somewhat of a reach, and there is OT and DT etc. to worry about. But losing Irvin, you have KPL (potential bust), Morgan is an FA.

  35. Soggyblogger

    We’re just treading water waiting for the combine. That said, I question anyone who is labeled “can’t miss” or “day one starter” because we have all seen those players fail. And few if any of us has access to the interviews. The Hawks FO has access to it all, and yet they like to trade down rather than up, and that demonstrates their philosophy that NO ONE is a sure thing, and therefore MORE is better.

    More draft picks is better, and that argues in favor of letting many FA’s go to other teams. Result: Compensatory picks of the future. Trade down for more picks to increase the odds of hitting on someone who turns out to be a hidden gem. (I’m looking at you, Thomas Rawls)

    I think it is getting more and more difficult to find someone to trade with as the practice becomes more popular. So they may have to use it this year. I’m afraid Rankin will not be available, and he is the only player I am confident the Hawks would take if he IS available. The rest of them are completely a mystery to me.

    Given Rob’s success rate at recognizing talents the Hawks SHOULD have taken, I wish they would employ him to help them covertly, and turn this site into a misinformation source. All us fans of this site would suffer sort of, but the Hawks might benefit and we would benefit from that.

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