Comparing Liuget to two alternatives – Austin & Casey

Yesterday I mocked Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois) to the Seahawks in round one of the 2011 draft. I wanted to represent comments made by Pete Carroll during his recent press conference that he was making improvement on both lines a priority.

With a certain degree of depth on the defensive line this year – it’s not a stretch to consider the Seahawks going in that direction early this April.

However – my knowledge of Liuget is limited to restricted tape and one game in 2010. I need to study up and learn whether he’s a clear upgrade over other DL prospects who will go later in the draft at a lesser cost. Depth on both lines may be a priority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forthcoming via a first round pick.

Two other ‘alternative’ prospects I’m going to highlight today are Marvin Austin (DT, UNC) and Jurrell Casey (DT, USC).

Austin was one of the North Carolina prospects suspended for the entire 2010 season after accepting gifts from agents. Based on 2009 evidence I had Austin in the round 2/3 range but wondered how the suspension may affect his stock.

Despite not playing any football this past season it’s to Austin’s credit that he’s appeared at the East/West Shrine work outs this week and reports indicate he’s performing well. I still think there’s a chance Austin will go lower than most expect. Aside from missing the entire 2010 season he was suspended for two games as a coaches decision and some have questioned his work ethic and attitude.

I also think he plays soft for a guy at 6-2, 305lbs with an ideal frame. As you can see (courtesy of Aaron Aloysius) I’ve published tape of Austin vs Pittsburgh from last year. He’s frequently driven back by the Panthers offensive line and doesn’t do a great job penetrating into the backfield. I think he best suites Seattle’s scheme as a nose tackle (the role used by Colin Cole) but he needs to be stronger and not get pushed around as much as we see here:

Even so, if we’re talking about depth Austin has the potential to fill a role on the roster without spending millions of dollars.

Jurrell Casey is someone who Pete Carroll will know all about from his USC days. He’s more of a three-technique who does a good job getting into the backfield. His frame is a bit sloppy and he could add a bit more tone, but nobody can deny his ability to be disruptive. He owns good gap control and offers benefits against the run with suprising agility at times.

I rate Casey above Austin at this point but a lack of major production (five sacks in 2010) and certainly not elite athleticism limits his stock. He’s also a pure 4-3 scheme prospect.

Casey is graded in the round 2-3 range this year but depending on work outs I appreciate there’s at least some chance he could be around when Seattle has the second pick in round four (thanks to the Deion Branch trade with New England).

He’s also famous for being removed from USC’s spring game last year after driving QB Matt Barkley into the ground and hurting his hand.

I wanted to publish this tape of Casey against Stanford’s elite college offensive line because he won’t face any better opposition than this ahead of the NFL:

So there are two alternatives if the team aren’t going to look at the Liuget’s, Paea’s and Nevis’ in round one. I still think the real position of value on this Seahawks defensive line – as proven in Red Bryant’s absence – is the five technique position. It’d be wonderful to have a shot at Cameron Jordan (DE, Cal) – someone I think is under rated with top-15 potential. He’s more than capable of adapting to 5-tech or DT for Seattle.

I’m not convinced he’ll be around at #25 though – perhaps making a prospect like Muhammad Wilkerson a more likely (yet much less spectacular) option.

I’ll look at the five-technique or ‘Red Bryant role’ in more detail this weekend.


  1. Meat

    Interesting read.. I can’t help but continue to think Corner (and QB)…It was hard to watch the secondary errors and getting outplayed over and over again, many many times this year.

  2. schnrb02

    How about Lawrence Guy from Arizona State? He is projected as a 4th round pick and has ideal size for the 5-tech position (6-5, 300lbs). He has good speed and can penetrate into the backfield. Not sure how he holds up in the run though. What do you think?

    • Rob

      I’ll check him out.

  3. plyka

    The USC kid just feels like an NFL player to me. You are completely right on his frame. He is too fat. But he has that quickness and agility to go along with the fat boy body. If he can get into better shape, which will be necessary at the NFL level, then he can really be something. I was just as impressed with the USC kid as I was watching the Luiget kid on the film. Although the Luiget kid has a better NFL frame. But the USC guy has the quickness off the line and he has that nasty engine at a 100 mph all the time. I liked him a lot and think he has a lot of potential. A 4th round pick? That would be great.

    • Charlie

      i think tone is something that is overrated in the nfl… some body types arent going to be toned, thats just genetics, look at terrence cody, hes still a strong force inside and hes not toned at all.

      • Rob

        I was never a big fan of Cody but you’re right – it is a little over rated. Having said that… Casey is an example where I truly believe if he lost some of that gut he’d be even quicker and potentially a first-round type talent.

  4. Jim Quait

    I think I would add Kerrigan & Watt to first round possibles for DL pick at #25. It seems to me that the draft is very much DL in the first round but there are some attractive possibles for round 2 pick #57 like: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri, Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma, Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple, Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa and Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh.

    Plus I like DONTAY MOCH, LB, 6-1, 245, Nevada, speed rusher/LEO = ?? reportedly has run 40’s under 4.3, stronger than he appears, has a tremendous motor, and generally plays substantially bigger than his size. Projected as a speed-rushing OLB (LEO).

    • Rob

      I’l go into the 5-tech’s this weekend and I’ll discuss Watt in more detail (and include game tape) – but I can’t place him in Seattle’s scheme. The same counts for Kerrigan actually -I don’t think he’s quick enough for the LEO. Aldon Smith interests me a lot, as does Beal in that R4 range (he’s fallen a lot as his performance dropped off mid way through 2010). Wilkerson is one to watch. I like Ballard as a 5tech.

      Dontay Moch would have to play LB in Seattle’s scheme which makes him unlikely, but you’re right he’s electric in terms of seed. He hasn’t got the build for LEO though, I think he has to play in space.

      • Charlie

        Why won’t moch work in the leo? can’t we play a pass rusher that stands up (like clay matthews) in that position with similar production? like a typical rush linebacker in the 3-4, cause our scheme is basically a 4-3 with 3-4 tendencies.

        • Rob

          The LEO position doesn’t depend solely on speed. You’re essentially looking for a lighter defensive end build with an initial burst and that agility to get round the edge. They’ve got to be big enough and strong enough to do everything that an orthodox 4-3 DE can do, but also have the speed to exploit the fact they’re just stood slightly off the line playing in space to explot 1v1 match ups for the OT. A lot of 3-4 OLB prospects might be able to play that role, but guys like Moch and Von Miller haven’t got the size. While they would be 3-4 OLB’s, in the 4-3 I’d see both as SOLB’s. At the LEO I’d be looking at guys who are about 6-3 or 6-4 and 260lbs-270lbs with good edge speed. Clay Matthews is 6-3 and about 260lbs. Dontay Moch is 6-1 and 245lbs.

          • Matt

            Justin Houston is the only top 2 round guy worth addressing the LEO.

  5. Mike

    Good stuff, Rob. It looked like the SC played high, wasn’t very quick, and even got blocked to the 2nd level by a TE on one play. Granted, that was 2 seasons ago, and its a small sample size. I just didn’t see much on the tape that popped. But, that’s why I comment on this site, and you run it. And well!

    • Rob

      You make very valid points Mike – but that’s why he’s not a first round prospect. Obviously there’s going to be things that push a guy down the board. They are completely valid points to make.

  6. plyka

    This is a bit offtopic, but where do you think mallet would to if he had no character concerns off field? Would he be the first qb taken in this draft?

    • Rob

      He’d be a top-ten pick.

      • plyka

        That’s what i suspected. I think if you’re in as big of QB concerns as the Seahawks are, and you get a chance at a potential top 10 pick with “character concerns” at pick 25, you take him every chance you get. Seriously, which one of us didn’t have character concerns at the age of 21? Doesn’t Ben Rothlesburger have the worst of all work ethics, is an accused rapist, etc? Mike Vick? Relative to those two, Mallet seems to be a choir boy.

        • Matt

          I get your thinking, but I’d caution that QB is a spot where character holds more value. Rowthlisberger and Vick are crap human beings off the field, but you can tell teammates respect them. I always thought Mallett’s interaction with his teammates was odd and a huge red flag. I’ve said this before, but in his bowl game, I saw him get hit several times and no lineman picked him up. That’s very odd to me.

          • plyka

            That is odd…and to play devil’s advocate, isn’t that more of a sign that the Olinemen are pricks than Mallet is? I mean, your man knocks down your QB and you don’t even help him up? I know what you’re saying though. I just think these “character concerns” can be overblown. Rothlesburger is known to celebrate the fact that he refused to study game film. That’s pretty bad work ethic. Plus, this is the 25th pick we are talking about. If it was the 8th, I’d agree with you. But with the 25th? Just seems wise to take a top 10 “talent” in Mallet and take a risk on his character. Guys tend to grow by their mid-20’s and mature into men and stop making the same mistakes.

  7. Matt Q.

    1st = Gabe Carimi (RT)
    2nd = Titus Young (WR)
    4th = Shareece Wright (CB)
    5th = Ian Williams (DT)
    6th = Tyrod Taylor (QB)
    7th = BPA

    Sign Robert Gallery as a Free Agent

    • Matt

      I don’t mind the last few picks, but I would be disapointed to come out with Carimi and young with our first 2 picks. Carimi may turn into a league average OL (maybe) and I’d be surprised if Titus Young ever starts. He’s very small and not that fast despite public perception.

      I honestly believe Carimi is a mid round talent that happens to be unfairly touted due to his position (even though he def can NOT play LT in the NFL) as well as this being a terrible draft.

      • Matt Q.

        If not QB the seahawks should go with an OL, i couldnt think of any other OT we could take, do you like the Boston College guy, castonzo or whatever?

    • Rob

      Carimi would be an awful pick IMO. Aside from the fact he’s a completely limited prospect, the Seahawks have way too many needs to be drafting a right tackle like that. If Okung went down with an injury next year, you couldn’t move Carimi accross. The only way you can justify drafting a RT for me is if a Derek Sherrod is there and you can fit him on the right and potentially use him as depth for the left too. Also – the Seahawks have had more hgh draft picks on the OL than people realise (two firsts, a second and a third rounder). A succesful offensive line isn’t dependant on high picks. The scheme Seattle used in 2010 was a complete farce. They had ten different line ups on the OL. It was still good in pass pro, if shocking at run blocking. But the problem will not be solved by a foolish pick like Carimi.

      I’d also argue that’s three or four round too early for Titus Young.

  8. Matt

    Scott Tolzien is just GD awful. Watching the East West Shrine game.

    Nobody has stood out at all. Devlin has thrown a few passes. Not sure where the Flacco comps come from beside the Delaware connection. He doesn’t look comfortable under center.

    I keep going over all QBs available and outside of the big 4, I have literally no confidnce in any of them. Dalton, Stanzi, etc do nothing for me. Really not sure where all this recent Dalton love is coming from? Physically limited QB who comes from a goofy offense against bad competition.

    My opinion, trade up to get your guy. Depth in this draft is awful outside of the DL.

  9. LantermanC

    Any chance Tyron Smith falls to 25? It seems like he was a late 1st early 2nd but now I’ve seen him as the first or second OT taken in a lot of mocks.

    • Rob

      I would say it’s almost impossible. The lack of top end talent at the OT position means the best guy will go early and Smith IMO is by far the best guy. Not even close, really. He’s got major potential. Nothing about his on the field tape suggests that in this draft class he’ll make it out of the top-12 picks.

  10. Jim Q.

    IMHO: Some mid-round offensive linemen that should be considered would be the following:

    Moffitt, Watkins, Boling, Rackley, Boren, Ijanala & Carpenter. (I like Moffitt and Watkins a lot from Sr. bowl practice interviews, they are bad & nasty.)

    If CHRIS HAIRSTON, OLT/ORT, 6-7, 325, Clemson – should be available in round 4-5 he could be a very useful addition to the OL considering a lingering doubt that may be growing as to Okung’s fragile (?) health.

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