Combine wrap up and day seven thoughts

Sheldon Richardson... we can but dream

The combine is over for another year and this is always a pretty exciting time, more so than the event itself. The work-out’s highlight prospects you know little about, make you want to dig out the tape again. Cornelius Washington being a great example (I’ve put the request in for some game tape so stay tuned).

But it’s not just the unknowns that you need to check back on. It’s some of the big names too. Damontre Moore had a disastrous combine and could sink as a consequence. A few weeks ago he was pretty much a consensus top-20 pick, but what if he’s there at #25? I think it’s incredibly unlikely this team would draft any defensive end running a 4.95, but what if it was just a bad day at the office? What if he improves at the Texas A&M pro-day? These are the kind of questions you have to ask. We have to find out if a pathetic combine display is the real truth here and recalculate his stock.

Datone Jones is getting a lot of publicity at the moment and he did have an impressive work out. Yet I feel obliged to feather the breaks a little bit here. Running a 4.80 at 280lbs is not insane, difference making athleticism. Cam Jordan ran a 4.69 despite weighing a little more in 2011. J.J. Watt ran a 4.81 at the combine, but weighed 290lbs. If Jones needs to add weight to be a permanent interior feature, he’s not going to get any faster. On tape I watch his run defense and cringe at the thought he could be an every down three-technique for Seattle. As we’ve discussed before, being able to match-up with San Francisco is paramount for the Seahawks. And that means being big, aggressive and nasty up front to combat one of the leagues best offensive lines and a dominating power-running game. Can Jones deal with Mike Iupati? Or maybe even a double team? If he’s below average against the run, is he a good enough pass rusher to compensate? There are about ten UCLA games out there, we need to get into them and decide if the sudden hot favourite amongst mock drafts really is a realistic option at #25.

Barkevious Mingo’s tape was rank average in 2012. Flashes of quality, flashes of anonymity. A classic nearly man for the most part, he just did not impact any games last year. None. And while Bruce Irvin might’ve been a specialist for West Virginia, he made two or three plays a game that made a difference. Irvin’s sack numbers were right up there with the best college football had to offer. Mingo on the other hand was more reputation than production. I watched five LSU games recently and thought ‘meh‘. Mingo, Bennie Logan, Sam Montgomery — they all kind of played like they were coasting along. “We’re LSU, we’re going to the NFL, we’re the s**t.” That’s the impression I got. Other people like Mike Mayock watch the tape and make the same judgement. Then you see his combine performance and he looks incredibly athletic. You realise that there are a few teams out there who probably fancy their own Bruce Irvin. And if Irvin can go at #15 overall, then why can’t Mingo? So what’s his range? Is he a realistic option to drop into the 20’s? And is he an option for the Seahawks?

The defensive backs performed today and there were some interesting results. Who ever thought David Amerson would run a 4.44? He had a disastrous 2012 season but as a possible converted safety, that kind of speed will do. Dee Milliner’s 4.37 guarantees him a spot within the top-six picks I’d say. The only question mark with Milliner was straight line speed. Now there’s absolutely no reason to suggest he isn’t the complete cornerback prospect. He’s not a beast like Patrick Peterson or Morris Claiborne, but certainly good enough to be a pimped-up Joe Haden. Xavier Rhodes helped himself with a 4.43. Will Desmond Trufant make it passed Tampa Bay at #13 now that he’s run a 4.38? Tyrann Mathieu managed a 4.50 but yeah, the ridiculous off-field issues. I’m even more of a fan of Sanders Commings for Seattle after his 4.41. But what happens to Johnthan Banks after a 4.61? Not good for a potential first round pick, but not a death sentence given Joe Haden’s awful combine in 2010.

Tomorrow is mock draft day and it’ll be fun to see how things have changed after everything that happened in Indianapolis. I wanted to end today with an interview between John Clayton and Pete Carroll (see below). Seattle’s Head Coach is nothing but honest (again), admitting he has to get an interior pass rusher and another LEO. They seem to be the two top targets, although he does admit linebacker and receiver are also needs. This could be a classic smokescreen especially if they add a veteran LEO in free agency (Umenyiora? Avril? Freeney?) or a defensive tackle (Melton? Starks?). Assuming they don’t make the big splash, then it stands to reason that the first round pick is probably going to be a defensive lineman of some kind. They’ve attacked key needs so far, that probably isn’t going to change this year. And they need pass rush help more than anything.

Free agency begins on March 12th and it’ll be fascinating to see if the Seahawks re-sign Alan Branch. I suspect they’ll want to stay big and stout up front on first and second downs — they’ll need to against the 49ers and Rams. Signing Branch takes a lot of the bigger-bodied tackles in the draft out of the equation. Then the priority could be replacing Jason Jones with a more dynamic rusher inside. That’s where Datone Jones could fit. For me, that role is ideally suited to him. Is it worth a first round pick? Perhaps, if it helps Seattle get off the field on third down. I just need to be absolutely sure Jones is ‘special’ enough to go that early. I’m still a sceptic, for now.

Alternatively, they could go after another LEO. I think it’s more likely they pursue a Corenlius Washington or Corey Lemonier in the mid-rounds rather than spending another first round pick. But what if that unexpected player falls? Is Barkevious Mingo for example better value than Datone Jones? Or maybe there’s a defensive tackle they can rely on to play in any situation — Sylvester Williams for example — who is big enough to defend the run at a decent level but also offer one or two impact players as a pass rusher per-game? Is Kawann Short an option? Or a player we’re not talking about, but should be?

Finally, is there any way what so ever they can find a deal to trade up and get Sheldon Richardson? It’s probably a pipe dream, but watching his interview at the combine made me want him in Seattle even more than before. I can’t see him getting past Carolina at 14 as a worst case scenario. But man, it’d be good to see him in Seattle. If only…


  1. John

    Rob I’ve been hoping for the Sheldon Richardson fall for awhile now. I truly believe we would be in good shape to solve our DL issues with him in the first and Lemonier in the later rounds. The only way I see it happening tho, is if there is a run on the top OL talent and QBs (like in 2011 where Ponder, Locker, etc. shot up boards). But even then it seems unlikely.

    I’ve been going over mid-round DT prospects to try and find a developmental guy. But always seem to come back to Richardson. It really sucks looking at a prospect like that and expecting not to get him.

    • Rob Staton

      The only chance for me is if he somehow gets past Carolina at #14 and then you can maybe do a deal with New Orleans or Pittsburgh. But I have him in the top ten right now and nothing at the combine made me second guess that. And seeing the interview I linked to in this piece, he seems like an engaging guy who probably interviewed very well.

  2. Ed

    I would like to see:

    FA: Dorsey (KC-3 technique); Kruger (BAL-leo); Munderlyn (CAR-nickel corner)

    These aren’t top names, but would really free us up to do anything in the draft:

    1st Hopkins (wr) assuming richardson/floyd gone (can be a #1 his 2nd year)
    2nd Jones (dt)
    3rd Lemonier (leo)
    4th Bostic/Gooden (wlb)

    • Rob Staton

      Kruger will be over-priced, the talk is he’s destined to reunite with Chuck Pagano at Indianapolis. That will be a mega deal. Dorsey for me is a bust. A big name that people remember because he went at #5 overall, but a bust. And there’s not so much difference between what he played in KC and what he’d play in Seattle to believe he’ll suddenly turn it on. The only two free agent DT’s I’d be interested in are Melton and Starks and both could be franchised.

      • Ed

        Kruger makes sense. Dorsey played in a 3-4 and was supposed to eat up blockers. He was a penetrator for LSU and that’s what he would be for us. I’m not saying we wouldn’t draft a DT because we had Dorsey, but I think he has more value for us. Melton I think would put us in a pinch in 2 years, but would be ok if he isn’t franchised by Chicago

        • Snoop Dogg

          I’m not so high on Kruger. He seems like a pass rusher with a great skill set, but one that really doesn’t translate we’ll to the LEO position. More strong than fast.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m just not feeling Dorsey turning it on as a 28 year old pass rusher just because he’s in a four man front. He and Sed Ellis are both gigantic busts. I’d rather re-sign Alan Branch.

          • Eric

            Not sold on Dorsey either. Not crazy about Branch though. If we want a big body up front, I’d rather draft Brandon Williams or Akeem Spence in one of the later rounds where we have 2 picks.

            I’ve made it no secret I like Datone Jones, but I totally understand your concerns. However, keep in mind that he had very little support at UCLA, so the defense was simply unable to take advantage of his disruptive play. Also remember that Rick Neuheisel was his coach for all but this last season, hardly a defensive mastermind. Finally, Jones sat out all of 2010 with a broken foot.

            Jones’ strength is getting into the backfield/penetrating the pocket. He did plenty of that this past season, but the Bruins couldn’t capitalize, so instead of looking like a play disruptor who sets up his teammates, he ends up looking like he loses the ball and/or overruns plays (which he does) . Give him some time under better coaching (look how much he improved under Mora Jr.), let him work with the D line as a unit, and I think he becomes everything Jason Jones was supposed to be.

      • Misfit74

        It’s funny about Dorsey because I saw an interview with Scott Pioli on NFLN and he was giving some analysis. He named a few KC players throughout various positions and mentioned Dorsey as a guy who could really play when describing talent KC had or that were FAs from the team. He clearly omitted Tyson Jackson’s name but seemed to pump up Dorsey a bit.

        Of course, he’s sitting at home and on NFLN, but he genuinely thought Dorsey could play and seemed to infer Tyson Jackson wasn’t a player. Jackson went #3 overall…

        Melton would be a great addition. I’m not as hot for Starks to come to Seattle, but any help we get for the D-line might be welcome.

  3. David

    Rob i havent heard anything about Tajh (SP?) Boyd, is he in the draft? i tried looking things up but didnt see anything, im really interested in him as a mid – late round pick if available.

    I hear were supposed to get 2 more picks for Compensatory (sp?) i wonder if we could/would Pkg our 1st + Flynn+ late round picks to move up to get Rochardson

    • Rob Staton

      Boyd didn’t declare for the 2013 draft. As for moves up, Flynn has zero trade market. We’re seeing this with Alex Smith generating interest and there seems to be nothing about Flynn. I think to move up it’ll take picks. Personally, I think the chances are they cut Flynn.

    • jeremy

      Additionally, you cant trade compensatory picks…and yes, I think Flynn gets dropped, or at most a conditional/7th rounder

  4. Ed

    Boyd stayed.

    Richardson is going top 15, easy. That would take at least our 1st and 2nd. I think we stay pat, or trade back and take some positions that other teams are passing on (wr/lb/te)

  5. Colin

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a big trade with Seattle in the draft this year. Maybe a trade out of the 1st round for another 3rd and 1st next year (I’d LOVE that) or maybe they go big and try and trade up.

  6. Ryan

    Thoughts on blidi wreh-Wilson as a Seattle prospect?

    • Rob Staton

      Late first early second round guy. Fits but probably goes too early for Seattle.

      • Ryan

        a shame, he looked so natural running around today. He has the height-length-speed that JS/pc like.

        • Morgan

          I like Wilson also but agree he’d be just out of our range. There is a poor-man’s Wilson in the draft, though, LSU’s Tharold Simon. I think he’d be available in the range PCJS usually go trolling for DBs.

  7. Ed


    Trufant made some money today. UW baby

    • Rob Staton

      He certainly did.

  8. Michael (CLT)

    It is hard for me to fathom how wrong I have been regarding coach Carroll. Dude is simply consistent, honest, and driven to win with integrity. How can the USC experience be so supposedly tainted with this guy. I just seems impossible.

    Thanks Pete. I hope to get old with ya coaching the ‘Hawks.

    • Colin

      I think the “cheating at USC” is a cop out to not accept the “cheerleader” as a good coach. Its mindboggling.

  9. Kenny Sloth

    Well, let’s hope for Will Sutton next year.

    Rob, I think you see the same problems with him as you do Datone Jones, no?

    • Rob Staton

      Sutton? A little bit. Under sized. Flashes both amazing and rank bad tape.

    • Trudy Beekman

      I only saw one of his games, but he looked he would have gone in the Top 10 this year.

  10. Trudy Beekman

    What I would like to see out of our pick in Round 1 and maybe 2, is a guy that can come in and be an instant upgrade. It’s why if Mingo falls, I don’t know if you take him if Kawann Short or DeAndre Hopkins are still on the board. We already have a LEO project, even though I think he is a better prospect for most other teams than Short or Hopkins, and no one in this draft outside of maybe Jarvis Jones has put it together enough to come in and be an upgrade to Irvin.

    The notion of trading up is an interesting one. I read at 12th Man Rising, I believe, that we may have as many as 12 picks this year after the compensatory picks are announced. With us losing so few players in Free Agency, it would definitely make sense to consolidate those picks. Star’s condition is going to potentially have a huge impact on how the board plays out for DT-hungry teams, so picking an exact spot to trade up to right now is a bit frivolous, but it would probably be in the ballpark of 13 ahead of Carolina.

    As far as staying put at 25, Kawann Short continues to the guy I’m most excited about, and is the last DT I would like to take ahead of WR, TE, WLB, or DE. I re-watched a bunch of Sylvester Williams after he had a solid combine and I was a bit more impressed with him. I still like Patterson/Hopkins and Brown/Greene ahead of him though.

    You make a very good point about Datone Jones’ run-stopping, and how he seems to get lost a lot, even as bad as pursuing guys that aren’t withing 10 yards of the ball after it’s been handed off. I don’t see him as anything more than a Jason Jones replacement in Year 1, and would only feel good about the pick in Round 1 if you re-sign Branch, a move I am also in favor of.

    I’m glad that none of the Big 3 TE’s improved their stock and I would love to see one of Ertz, Eifert, or Escobar to fall to us in R2. Pass-catching TE would give us two threats at the position and a big RZ target .. I think it is the 2nd most upgradeable position on this team.

    Also excited to get into more of these LB prospects … both Zaviar Gooden and Jon Bostic have good tape after great combines. Not sure if Bostic could play the WILL, but he’s a guy that could be there later on if we upgrade elsewhere in the earlier rounds.

    • Eric

      I see a real possibility of Bostic in the 3rd or 4th rd with the intention of making him our MIKE and moving Wagner out to WILL. Despite being a rookie, Wagner was one of the better coverage LBs in the league. That, plus his sub 4.5 speed, makes him well suited to play the weak side. His only liability in that position is trying to cover joker TEs who are half a foot taller.

      Anyway, Quinn knows Bostic well, and he had a good Combine with strong 40-yd (4.61s), 3-cone (6.99s), and 20-yd shuttle (4.24s) performances. Then again, so did Zaviar Gooden and Sio Moore. Gooden will probably be taken by the 3rd, but Bostic and Moore should still be on the board.

      Also, I think if Greene can get his 40-yd time around 4.65 on Pro Day he might be our 1st pick.

    • Phil

      Trudy – I’m intrigued with the idea of consolidating picks, too. As PC has said, it’s going to be tough for this year’s draft picks to make our squad. But, I’m thinking that instead of moving up in this year’s draft where there are few “elite” players in the top 10, why not go for an additional #1 pick in next year’s draft where there is supposed to be some real talent in the top 10 (e.g., Clowney)? I’m not claiming that this is an original thought — someone wrote about this scenario on one of the Field Gull links yesterday.

  11. Other Ben

    Just putting this out there:

    Datone Jones ran the 40 in 4.80s at 6’4″ 280lbs
    Khaseeme Green ran the 40 in 4.71s at 6’1″ 241lbs.

    One of these guys is slow for his size while playing at a position that puts a premium on speed.

    Jones also ran the short shuttle in 4.32, 3rd among all DL and faster than guys like D.Jordan, W.Werner and B.Mingo. His 3-cone drill was faster than Greene’s.

    • Barry

      I missed that shuttle number. And in MHO I dig that, good mark for him. Maybe his pro day will bring us something different then what was shown at Indi.

  12. jlkresse7

    I had a couple questions for you. First what do you think about trying to get delani walker in free agency? He’s an upgrade over McCoy and we wouldn’t have to worry bout a TE in the early rounds. Also what are your thoughts on Robert woods and marquees wilson as middle rounds prospects for the hawks?

    • Rob Staton

      If you can get Woods in the middle rounds I’ll have some of that. Wilson is a later round guy with upside for me. As for Walker, if I’m replacing McCoy (who I like) then I want special. I’m not sure Walker is special and might be a product of San Fran’s system.

    • Jordan

      I really don’t like Marquess, I am currently at WSU and I have a friend who works with the football team in the weight room and told me his work ethic is pathetic. He has no drive/heart, half asses everything, skips reps when coaches aren’t looking etc.. With that and the whole letter fiasco accusing Leach of abuse then recanting that later I am just not a fan. Those kind of players really scare me, his talent is hard to ignore though so for the right price I could be talked into it.

  13. Jake

    I’m less interested in the 40 times and long jump, etc than the interviews. Any word who gave the best interview…last year we know it was Russell Wilson. Also I’m curious how the new Wonderlic 2.0 test resulted out as.

  14. Leonard

    Given the Hawks penchant for bigger D linemen and already having a promising nickle 3tech in Scruggs, are they more likely to focus on a smaller penetrating DT that is very quick through the gap or a bigger, stronger DT that will collapse the pocket more than rack up big sack numbers?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a great question and one we have to work out.

  15. Barry

    I think some things are getting over analyzed. In the first two rounds especially the first PC and JS go physically dominating. This year our needs as a team are a little different and will chance once FA starts also.

    Datone Jones, you wanted to see him do good at the combine because frankly he looks like he should put up 30 reps, run a 4.7 and cone a 1.60. He didn’t at all. Looks like late second round at best.

    Passing on a guy like Damontre Moore going past us at 25 is just one of those things you hope it doesn’t come back to haunt you. You don’t go through the SEC and not dominate but come close and not have something. Is he just playing off instinct and needs a NFL team to get him in the gym? I need to see more tape on him.

    Will Be very surprised if Mingo is on the board when out pick is up.

    All the top Linebackers running poorly and just over all not impressing hurts the hawks. Surprisingly enough the later round prospects that you like going into the combine performed solid and are still there at later rounds for the most part.

    If JS and PC want someone and know something about going early I believe things will get busy around Buffalo at 8(at least). No I dont know inside info, you just look for spot like that in a draft like this.

    How we feel and what we think now, will by April be considerably different. We have FA, and then Pro days.

    I think we can feel a bit cocky because this draft still favors what we need, especially when you consider the 9ers (being our top rival) still need a corner and have to think they will target one in FA. Our FO has great options. and things are only going to get more exciting.

  16. Barry

    I still go back to that Pen st vs Bama game of ’11 and watching Hill against Warwick and Jones and would feel great with Hopkins at 25 and hill in round three maybe even take him at the end of round two. His size isnt going to wow you, but his lower body strength is impressive. One player he reminds me of is Mebane. Just looks like a solid pro, and maybe more upside then we know.

  17. Barry

    Rob- I know you like Sanders Commings, and his numbers were where you want them. Someone of similar size is Dwayne Gratz, turned in a 4.47 40, 10 split at 1.50, vert 38, broad 125. What I really liked was the 22 bench reps. Any info or thought you could share on him and maybe some film?

    • Rob Staton

      He looked very good at the combine. I will see what I can do on the tape.

  18. Zach

    Xavier Rhodes is the real deal and I believe the best corner in this draft. Fast, good hands, good measurables, 40″ vert and so on. His footwork was great too, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him go in the top 20.

  19. Don

    The Hawks need to use those extra picks and MOVE UP IN THE DRAFT! If Seldon Richardson is the guy, or my pipe dream is WR Patterson, then move up and get him.

    The Hawks only need a few good men, not all 10 picks.

    Pick up Austin, or Hopkins, someone who will give help RW out on offense. They will make a bigger impact on the score than any other position.

    If they can get 6′-4 Hunter at #56, and if they think he can catch, then pick a DL at #25.

    Best case scenerio: Fill needs at DL through FA, pick Austin or Hopkins at #25, pick TE at #56.

    • Don

      Or better yet, move up oin the draft to get Hopkins or Austin or Patterson in the 1st rd, move up in the 2nd to get the 2nd or 3rd best TE in the 2nd rd.

      • Eli

        We want dingers!!

  20. JC

    Kirwan’s latest mock has Damontre Moore as the Seahawks pick at 25…

  21. UKhawk

    Rob, et al-What about Tank Carridine @ #25 or even 2nd round?? Everyone is assuming the DE we draft is a LEO but this guy was arguably the best performing DE before being injured last year & he has plus size/speed/length. He would add a different dimension to Bruce/Clem & could also spell Red on passing downs

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’s suddenly getting overrated because he’s injured. His tape is fairly good. I thought he was a R 2/3 guy.

  22. Misfit74

    It seems a lot of focus is on the D-line and that’s great, but I wonder how much 3rd CB is on the radar for the Seahawks? WTIII won’t survive a season healthy and Trufant was burned repeatedly in coverage. Plus, Browner is getting up there in age, too. A guy like Xavier Rhodes might be an ideal pick. Interestingly, I went over to to remind myself of his size and get his name’s spelling correct and they comparison they give is…wait for it….Brandon Browner.

  23. Misfit74

    As far as WRs go, I’d be good with grabbing a guy like Da’Rick Rogers in the middle rounds in addition to either a TE or WR earlier if we go big on offensive weapons in the draft. I like Wheaton a lot as a deep threat and more complimentary #2/#3 WR. I don’t love Hopkins. He reminds me a ton of Sanu from last year, yet is being viewed as a first-round pick. While Hopkins may be better than that, I think he’s being over-valued. Patterson and Keenan Allen are the first round gems. Justin Hunter is close behind in terms of what the Seahawks should be looking for to add to the WR corps. Size, ability to play on the outside opposite Sidney Rice, and enough speed and YAC ability to be viable threats and really help open up the offense.

    • Rob Staton

      Rogers is a nightmare. I wouldn’t draft him in any round to be fair. Too many issues. And recent reports say the coaches at Tennessee Tech weren’t exactly impressed either.

      • Misfit74

        If he wasn’t a nightmare, he wouldn’t make it to so late in the draft…some guys can get with the program with strong leadership. Odds may be against it, but character issues aside he might crack the first couple of rounds.

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