Courtney Upshaw vs Melvin Ingram


Two highly rated SEC pass rushers. Two prospects that make a lot of sense for the Seahawks in round one. So who has the edge?

There are similarities between the pair, especially with the role they’d take in Seattle. I think the Seahawks are looking for a compliment to Chris Clemons, and that’ll mean someone who can play as a 3-4 linebacker in certain looks and feature as an orthodox pass rusher in 4-3 sets. This is a hybrid defense and it could become even more so in 2012. Using Clemons as a specialist LEO has brought production in his two years with the team, but the Seahawks know they need more. Jason Jones will help as a situational three-technique, but it’s also about finding a greater presence off the edge. Upshaw and Ingram fit the bill perfectly as scheme diverse players who can also get to the quarterback. And that’s the key thing here, the Seahawks need to improve their pass rush more than anything else in the first round of the draft.

Being able to play multiple positions will be vital and it’s what seperates these two prospects from some of the other highly graded first round defensive lineman. Upshaw has experience in Alabama’s hybrid scheme and was asked to work underneath coverage, rush inside, beat the edge and provide a high level of run support. He’s very comfortable working in space and although he’s a little too stiff to take on full-time linebacker duties, he’ll become a real force in run defense and provide a high-motor pass rushing compliment opposite Clemons. Ingram similarly has experience in different roles having featured at both defensive end and tackle for South Carolina and also taking on some minor coverage duties when lining up outside. Versatility will be necessary for Ingram because he won’t lock down one side of an offensive line and he too often struggled with double teams when rushing the the interior. However, by moving him around frequently to keep blockers guessing he could have some success as a pass rusher.

There are also key differences too. Upshaw doesn’t have Ingram’s athleticism but he more than makes up for it with a complete mastery of leverage and upper/lower body power. He’s the superior player reading in space and will consistently diagnose, react and execute. Upshaw’s a pure football player who thrives on competition and will likely have a quick impact in the NFL. Ingram’s superior speed could potentially make him a greater threat off the edge and his spin-move will trick pro-lineman just as much as it did those in the college ranks. He needs to do a better job with his hands and too often struggles to disengage, but Pete Carroll likes rare athleticism and players who are a little different. Ingram showed with his assortment of highlight reel plays last year that while he’s far form a polished, orthodox pass rusher – he’s capable of having a big impact in the SEC. And who knows, maybe we’ll see him take the occasional fake punt to the house…

Although there’s a lot of talk right now about prospects such as Luke Kuechly and David DeCastro, it wouldn’t surprise me if Upshaw and Ingram were 1a and 1b on Seattle’s board of realistic targets. Will either be there at #12? It’s far from a lock, but it’s possible. And although there’s a lot of mixed opinions about these two players, don’t expect either to make it past the top-16.

Vote in the poll and back up your decision in the comments section.


  1. Ryan

    I’ll always go with the guy with a girl’s name. Makes him meaner. 😉

  2. Misfit74

    Nice read and thank you.

    A couple of questions: how much will short arms and/or lack of height affect the transition these two make up to the NFL level? With the long-armed tackles of the NFL, I have some concern that some of what makes these guys appear special in college may be easily nullified by the greater physical attributes of the bulk of today’s NFL offensive tackles.

    Obviously, guys like Harrison and Dumerville find ways around the height issue but not everyone does. I think the arm-length is a major plus for guys like Aldon Smith.


  3. Glen

    Upshaw…just listen to his interview at the senior bowl…compete compete compete

  4. Glen

    Honestly though I’ve warmed up to either or….originally didn’t think Ingram did enough…wathching what I can find he is a relentless player…so either or…just no Coples please…

    Also, Rob I talk Chandler Jones up a lot anyway to get a feature on him?…unless of course he isn’t a Seattle type guy

  5. Galen

    Honestly after watching tape of Upshaw and Ingram. I’m not impressed. Ingram only makes plays when unblocked and rarely created pressure from the outside. Upshaw looks consistent but lacks the explosion to warrant a top-15 pick. I think Kuechly is the most sound prospect and the Hawks could use a consistent, 3-down linebacker.

  6. Rob

    Misfit74 – I usually stay clear of short-armed prospects. In Ingram’s case, it bothers the heck out of me. I’ve seen him engulfed too often when he engages and he can’t do anything, there’s no counter. Nothing. His sheer athleticism made sure he had an impact in virtually every game I saw last year, but he didn’t provide consistent pressure. And the arms play a part in that – he’s bottom heavy with short arms. He’s going to need to fight a bit more at the next level where his athleticism won’t be so unique. For Upshaw, it’s less of a concern. He’s superb with leverage, he just gets pad level and he’s extremely violent punching into the chest of a blocker to disengage. He counters better than most DE’s I’ve scouted and can drive lineman backwards. Even when he gets caught, he holds position. In so many ways Upshaw – at least on paper – is not the kind of prospect I like. In fact before I sat and studied tape, I didn’t even consider him a R1 prospect. Then i watched the tape, did my homework. I think he’s special.

    Glen – I’ve published a few games of Jones but not really done a feature. It’s something I’ll look into. The main thing is, I suspect Seattle will solve the DE issue in R1 and look at other areas in R2 where Jones is likely to come off the board. He has a lot of raw ability though.

    Galen – I think that’s harsh in fairness, particularly on Upshaw. And let’s be fair here, Kuechly isn’t exactly explosive himself. If we’re prepared to take a player who is ‘sound’ at MLB at #12, why not a sound pass rusher?

  7. SHawn

    COurtney UPshaw FTW.

    Ingram lacks the strength to overcome his lack of reach. NFL tackles will dominate him if he is trying to set an edge.

    Upshaw is the opposite. Plus he read and reacts better. My only knock on him is his overall speed, which could be a negative since Pete said speed is what they are looking for. But I would still take Upshaw over Ingram or Coples.

  8. Rob

    By the way, just a heads up that for the next 48 hours I’m going to be busy with work. I’ve set up another one of these votes for tomorrow with a linebacker flavor, so stay tuned for that. I’ll dip into the comments and join in the discussion when I can, but I will be away for the next couple of days.

  9. RJ

    Coples, Ingram, then Upshaw. I realize the idea of these guys playing sort of a unique role is intriguing… I just don’t see this as a possibility. PC wants to get FASTER at LB and the reason being that our run defense was picked apart once teams realized that they can just run to the outside. Adding a slower rush guy at the WILL would leave that hole wide open. I think PC/JS are looking for someone to replace Clemons down the road and to be a situational player until then. Coples has every tool necessary to become elite at DE. While Upshaw and Ingram look good at pass rush, they certainly don’t have the physical tools that Coples possesses (size, arm length, etc). I wouldn’t be disappointed with us drafting either Ingram or Upshaw, I just prefer Coples.

  10. bobk3333

    I don’t know why everyone is saying the defensive line and a pass rusher is the highest priority. That’s all this blog ever talks about. Why is the defensive line such a huge priority?

    In spite of the all the OL draft picks, the offensive line is still the most unsettled group on the team and the one that needs the most help.

    The Seahawks were 19th in sacks by the defense last season, but 29th in sacks allowed by the offensive line. The were at the very bottom as far as QB hits allowed. They were 29th in average yards per rush.

    In other words, the offensive line was horrible last year. The defensive line, in my eyes, is already one of the teams strengths and even better with the Jones signing.

    For some reason, the O-line has suffered a lot of injuries the past two seasons. Both Carpenter (ACL) and Moffitt (PCL) suffered season ending knee-injuries in November. It is unclear if either of them will ever be a top-notch NFL lineman. Okung had a season ending pectoral injury last season after missing a lot of games his rookie season due to sprains on both ankles. Max Unger (who is just average in my book) missed almost all of 2010 because of injury. It is not clear how well Carpenter and Moffitt will recover and it wasn’t clear that they were all that great before the injuries.

    If we want Matt Flynn, Sydney Rice, Zach Miller and the other relatively high profile Seahawk free agent signings to succeed, we cannot keep operating with a patchwork offensive line utilizing cast-off players.

    Another offensive lineman should be the highest priority in the draft and the one who would be perfect for the Hawks would be David DeCastro.


  11. Galen

    That is a great point. I honestly like Upshaw more than Ingram. I just don’t get the hype around Ingram as an outside rusher. He was constantly stuffed by college tackles and I don’t like spending a top-15 pick on a nickel rusher when we just acquired Jason Jones. As for Upshaw I think he would be the perfect pick if we were 5-7 spots lower. But his upside just seems so limited to me to be picked in top-15. The combination of Kuechly and Chandler Jones in the 2nd round would have me giddy.

  12. FWBrodie

    I don’t think Ingram is a DE at all. He’s not a one on one guy.

  13. MJ

    Upshaw would be my choice. The guy does everything well and has a serious bad ass vibe to him. I don’t care if he can’t run a 4.5, the guy is always making plays and has a nice little burst when he diagnoses a play. He did everything for Bama…no reason he won’t be used exactly the same here.

  14. Tanner

    I chose Upshaw mainly because his run defense.

    Rob, I talked to you on twitter about Dre Kirkpatrick at 12. Him at nickel between Sherman and Browner would be the most physical CB trio in the league. It could put our secondary over the top. I think Kirkpatrick at 12, followed by Bruce Irvin with the second round pick would be a successful start to the draft. If Mychal Kendricks somehow fell to our third round pick due to his size limitations, our draft would be stellar in my opinion.

  15. Jon

    I don’t understand what you are talking about the offensive line being cast offs. We have already spent 2 firsts a second and a third in the last three years on the offensive line. I think DeCastro would be great but don’t forget that our QB last year was a statue in the pocket. Sure he could run if he got going, but he never did anything except freeze when someone was within 3 or 4 steps of him.

    Also Upshaw or Ingram would be in the LB core on running downs and rushing the passer all over the place. We were killed on the edge in run defense last year. A lot of that was because our LB’s in general did not read the play well and get to the edge. Or in other situations they did not contain their assignment and therefore were beat. This is why I hope we get Upshaw as I is very football smart and though may be slightly slower he would still get to the play faster than Hill did IMO. Then if we get Kendricks in the second he has enough speed for the both of them. Adding Jason Jones makes our D Line faster, adding Upshaw gives the D a great player to use as a weapon in multiple ways and gets us to the apposing QB, and adding Kendricks makes our LB corp way faster.

  16. Doug

    Bobk333 is right, so what if we have drafted a lot of OL, stats are just a reflection of reality, and while our oLine has a few good players, we are not solid there by any means. Getting DeCastro would be a plug and play guy for the next ten years, and combined with Okung, a very solid left side. We would also have some great depth after the injured guys return. I don’t think that Cart of Moffit are in Decastros league, and to solidify a very important line would givve Flynn another moment or two to find the open guy.

    Coples is the only guy I would take (except for Richardson) at 12 before DeCastro. He is an elite player at his position, and Upshaw and especially Ingram are not…

  17. Alex


    First, Decastro is a bit overrated. He is a supreme technician, but for those who are comparing him to Steve Hutchinson, realize that Castro isn’t as strong or big.

    Second, we’ve already invested enough in the O-line. One top 10 pick, 1 first round, 1 second round, 1 3rd round, and a few veterans. The investment is done. It’s time to let that O-line gel together. Part of the problem is that the O-line is constantly churning and that’s not a good thing for chemistry.

    Finally, we haven’t really invested anything into pass rush and it’s certainly not going to pop out of nowhere.

  18. Carl Shinyama

    Lets say Upshaw and Ingram are 1a and 1b, if neither are there, who do you suppose the Seahawks would target? Or perhaps a trade down?

  19. AlaskaHawk

    Well this is old ground, but I think our offense needs more help than the defense. We have three starters out with injuries, and we have about half the number of wide receivers that we need. But that’s just my opinion.

    I understand the desire for more pass rush – but no one has ever answered my question of why we wouldn’t pick Cox or Poe, two big tall guys – and play them at DE. At least Cox and Poe have the weight and strength to make a difference. So why can’t we take a college DT and play them at DE and see what happens?

  20. Jarhead

    Many have touched on it but I’ll add. Our oline had 4 new starters in 2011 and obviously gelled by the end of the year. Who says decastro won’t wash? Hedge our bets, I say. And flynn will cause just as many sacks as jackson did. It’s perspective and a case of stats not reflecting reality. Indecision and lack of qb skill will cause our majority of sacks. Looking line- especially interior line- is a bit drastic this early in the draft. As for a defensive pick- do we want a football player who will dominate, or an athlete who will BE dominated. Ingram will disappear in the nfl, when the blockers are bigger and faster, andhe doesn’t have good football instincts or football iq. He is always chasing plays, not reading an making plays like upshaw. As for coples, I don’t care about his ‘elite skills’, cause what did he do on the tape. Just remember Courtney Brown was a top 3 pick, and what did HE accomplish. I’m just saying effort, intensity, and drive can make up a lot. See Rob has told us all along- Upshaw’s stock is fortunately falling, and he will be there. Kuechly will be a decent spot LB- think maybe Angerer from IND or Scott Fujita but he is NEVER going to be Lewis or Urlacher. Let’s take the sure thing and let other nfl teams lament their busted draft picks. We’ve got our own busts at QB for now

  21. kevin mullen

    Damn, Ingram does make a great case against Upshaw. These two are very similar when it comes to shedding blockers, each have unique abilities to get to the QB or RB behind LOS.

    Regarding Ingram, I can’t say I’m not intrigued with his pass coverage skills, he’s definitely got the athleticism to be versitile in that aspect. I was impressed that he’s able to drop back quick enough (at 276lbs!) and locate the ball as if he played 40lbs. less! Dude is a ballhawk.

    But then there’s Upshaw. And to me, there’s no way we should pass up the next “Terrell Suggs” for Ingram. Everything about Upshaw screams Suggs to the tee, his build, his meanstreak, and like you said Rob, his mastery of leverage which to me, is better than just pure speed at beating any OLineman to wreak havok. And that’s the key word: havok. Upshaw = Havok.

  22. Jon

    I feel that there is nobody saying that DeCastro is not good, or that he would not be an upgrade to what we have. He absolutely would be, but how many more years do we have to take an O line player in the first round, in order to be happy. We can’t replace players that we make an investment in every year, because we would never see any progression until we did in fact find the next Hutch or Walter Jones (Realize that DeCastro is not guaranteed to be elite). Last I checked elite means that you are the very best at what you do. We will continually be disappointed if we continue to draft in the first without finding those truly elite players for the O-line. The O line must be a unit, this is where the O-line and D-line are different. Though the D-line still has to work together, it is much different.

    Also realize that at this moment the player that Upshaw or Ingram would be replacing is Malcolm Smith. We do not have starting level players signed to contracts at the position that Upshaw or Ingram would be playing, and I must add Kendricks because at this time we do not have a starting MLB or OLB. I don’t think that Upshaw (Though he is my favorite prospect personally at 12.) is the only option, but he seems to be the best option if we want to fill our roster with starting level talent at our positions of need.

    I like Kuechly as well, but as has been mentioned many times, the MIKE is not as important as it used to be because of technology and equipment use. Kendricks is just such a heat seeking missile who is aggressive, so in the case of the MLB I say we wait to pick Kendricks.

    My favorites for the pick at 12 would be

    Richardson, Upshaw, Blackmon, Coples, Trade down, Floyd, Kuechly, Ingram, DeCastro in that order but I will love my new hawk no matter what draft day brings us because I believe that our team will be improved that day.

  23. Darnell

    Upshaw. Nasty, bigtime player in bigtime games. Fits this defenses attitude perfectly. A plug and play bigtime rook just like ET,Sherm,KJ were.

    I do like Kuechly and Decastro (Kuechly more than Decastro), I’m just not into spending a top 15 pick on a 4-3 LBer that doesn’t pass rush or an interior olineman. And is Decastro’s case I see a decent player but nothing special.

  24. Tanner

    Yeah, no matter who the player PCJS pick, we know they have done their due diligence to ensure the guy is a fit and upgrade for our team.

  25. mjkleko

    If Upshaw and Ingram are gone by the ‘Hawks pick, it will be a result of one of the perceived top-10 or top-5 falling. In that case, I believe you go BPA rather than reach for a “need” and grab Keulchy or DeCastro, two players who I would not touch in the upper half of the 1st. The value just isn’t there. The wildcard is Tannehill and whether another OLine besides Khalil or Poe/Cox go early. If one of these elite talents is available with Upshaw/Ingram gone, do you pass in order to grab Keulchy/DeCastro? Hell no.

    When I’m looking and Upshaw and Ingram, I think back to Von Miller, a player who I thought was not going to have nearly the impact he did in his rookie season. Miller had elite speed (something Upshaw and Ingram, while fast, do not possess), and his arms were measured at 32 3/8″, over 1″ longer than both Upshaw and Ingram.

    The point I’m trying to make, is do Upshaw and Ingram have the ability to be impact edge rushers in their rookie seasons?If I had to put money on it, I’d take Ingram ending up with most sacks, yet only in a 3rd down, Aldon Smith-type role. Upshaw will be able to contribute on more downs, ultimately making him more valuable to Pete Carroll as I believe he is looking for an every down type player.

  26. jake

    neither, i want the hawks to draft mercilius whitney. its not the combines that matter, but games. He led all conferences in sacks and is known for forcing turnovers (its all about the ball). Draft him. Listening to his interviews, the guy is hungry to improve. Our rush stopping ability on this team is more than adequate, what we need is more sacks..and more qb pressures. I believe this is the guy. The other two guys upshaw and ingram are decent, but whitney will surpise the league.

  27. YDB

    There is no question for me that Upshaw is the superior player. I think Ingram is basking in the post-combine hype due to his good workout. However, the tape doesn’t lie. Just a look at how these two did in their respective bowl games this year should end any discussion on the subject. Ingram was neutralized for much of his game againt Nebraska, while we all know about the performance Upshaw put up in the national championship game.

  28. NMD

    I like both prospects but think they’re two totally different players. I like Melvin Ingram and think he would fill the Raheem Brock role as backup Leo, and in pass rush situations play across from Clemons or rush from the 3-tech with potential to become the LEO of the future. I think Courtney Upshaw could be a base SAM (in the under front) and be up on the line of scrimmage setting the edge or rushing. Upshaw could play Red’s Strong DE spot in a regular 4-3 formation where he wouldn’t be a liability vs the run and could still rush the passer. I don’t know if Upshaw can really be a pure pass rusher in the Nickel and Dime but I don’t know that he can’t and I think he’s worth the pick. A rotation with either would make a strong DLine of 6 guys for any and every situation. I know people have said the Seahawks played more 4-3 Over this past year but I think both players fit better in the 4-3 Under though I don’t quite have the understanding of it I question if either would be an effective fit in the Over.

  29. Rob

    bobk3333 – We have a great offensive line coach, two first round picks, a second round pick and a third round pick invested in our line. Eventually you need to concentrate on other areas and it’s not vital to have five first round picks featuring on the line. To say it’s the most unsettled part of the team just isn’t correct IMO – the line performed above expectations when the injuries hit last year and still kept TJ clean and allowed Lynch to rush for all those yards. Without a better pass rush this team will remain a 7-8 win team. And that’s the issue here. Nobody is saying DeCastro wouldn’t be an upgrade, but DeCastro and no pass rusher in R1 will not make this team a 10-win team. Rolling with McQuistan or Jeanpierre (who both deserve a shot) and getting a pass rusher could help move the defense closer to a top-five ranking and that would be of greater benefit to the team this year. It’ll be borderline neglect to just keep pumping first rounders into the OL and ignoring other needs.

  30. Hawkspur

    Rob -First off I want to mention that I really do not want to invest another day 1 or even day 2 pick on the o-line this year. I recall that you were very high on Konz last year while everyone seems to have a massive crush on De Castro this year. Which of these two interior linemen do you rate higher?

    And in the poll I voted Upshaw. He sounds tough, nasty and well up for the challenge of making the step up to the pros. Are there any current pros you’d compare his play to?

  31. woofu

    Upshaw is a MLB waiting for the NFL to show him he is not in Alabama any more. He needs to run his arse off to prove it otherwise. Hope he does.

    One could just as easily say if we do not get an offensive TD maker we will be 8-8 as well.

    I am less concerned about the first round pick than most since that is a much easier decision for these guys to make. You grade out the top guys you want and pick them if they make it to you while the difficult part is pulling the trigger if a trade down is offered allowing you to get a starter and a pick or two.

    That is the critical factor in the first round. I do not believe Up or Ing are so definite at #12 that you simply can rule out others. Wiley or even Branch would do later if DL/DE were the
    goal. Those trade down picks are gold for PC/JS since that is what they do best.

    I am more excited for day two and three where I think the speed and pass rush solutions will be uncovered.

  32. Phil

    I like both Upshaw and Ingram. But, with the depth of this year’s draft at DE/OLB, is either of them worth the #12 pick? What are the odds that we could get 95% of their production by selecting, say, Shea McClellan in Round 2 and trading back with our #12 pick?

    I’m sold on the notion that our #1 priority this year ought to be improving our pass rush, but that doesn’t necessarily equate with using our pick at #12 to do so.

  33. vin

    Upshaw all the way. For all those saying Kuechly @ 12, my argument to that is–look at the Giants. Their front 4, simply awesome….and the only linebacker of note, IMO, is Kiwanuka. And I believ ehe is also used more to rush the passer than as your traditional LB. So what if Kuechly is a tackling machine. But how many of those tackles came behind the LOS? And like Rob stated before, he doesnt rush the passer, he doesnt ‘blow up’ alot of plays. To me, he’s perfect in a ‘bend dont break defense.’ If he’s making a ton of tackles, that tells me the defense is on the field too long. Id rather have Upshaw, or even Ingram, who I both feel will help the overall play of the front 4. Statistically, our pass rush sucked, and everyone knew that all they had to do was account for Clemmons. Like Rob is saying, if the offense has more than one guy to worry about (Clemmons, Jones, Upshaw), then that should improve the overall quality of the defense. We need players that can stop the plays before they happen, not after. Kuechly had 190 tackles last year, but only 12 for loss and 1 sack. Upshaw had 37 tackles, 18 for loss and 9 sacks ( Sure , there are other factors to take into account, but ill always take quality over quantity.

    And the arguments for Decastro. If it came down to it, Id prefer Decastro over kuechly, but not over Upshaw or ingram…or even Coples. Throwing your high picks at Oline doesnt necessarily insure it will be the best OLine. We had arguably the best leftside in Jones/Hutch, but we didnt consistently go deep into the playoffs because of it. I think our current oline will be just fine with a full offseason and hopefully no major injuries. It just needs time to jell. We all saw what it was capable of towards the end of last season. I dont think the Oline is a Decastro away from being great….let alone the whole offense. But I do believe that the defense is a player of Upshaw or Ingram’s caliber away from being up there with the Steelers/Ravens/9ers.

  34. AlaskaHawk

    If we were to go offense it should be a playmaker and game changer like Floyd, Hill, or Richardson. We can get another ol later. Another WR will make a difference.

  35. jason

    you dont ever take a guard at 12………..look where hutch was picked…..

  36. peter

    Upshaw all the way, and in an alternate reality Vinny curry falls a bit and we get him in the second…..

    Who picks Decastro will have a great guard, but it is seriously time to take our hogs upfront to the next level and get them some pass rush help…Mebane/Branch/now Jones are good to great and will be amazing when they get more pressure form the outside it just opens up doors for the inside….like Vin said above think about the giants they have QB pressure coming form all angles. We have it form Clemmons, and that’s about it..

    Think about how amazing Sherman, Browner, ET, Kam, and possibly WTIII would be from wahere they already are if the QB was getting hit all game long..

  37. Hawksince77

    Deciding to draft a pass-rushing player at 12 is the opposite of JS’s “Don’t panic” mantra. Instead, he balances the teams’s needs, the opportunities that present themselves in the draft (in every round) and in FA, and the value of the opportunity (how much the player improves the team as starter or depth).

    JS/PC will let the draft come to them. Somebody will overdraft in the top 11, will reach and let premium value drop. As many here argue, Kuechly and DeCastro do not represent good value at 12 – due to position, or what the Seahawks have already invested at the position. Regardless, I am certain JS/PC will be open to drafting the best value for their team at 12 (including the possibility of trading down).

    Ingram, Coples and Upshaw all have questions about their game, and their relative value to the Seahawks (at least as represented on this site – we don’t really know how PC/JS values them). As pointed out above, regardless of how many high-draft picks have been spent on the offensive line, DeCastro offers a definite upgrade and a position he could start and play every offensive snap in 2012. Same for Kuechly on defense. Both represent upgrades at their representive positions, and both will play every down.

    Is this enough? I don’t know, but absent a sure-fire starting defensive linemen being available, a clear upgrade on Seattle’s current front 4, I have to believe MLB on OG genuine considerations.

    It could be different – in that obvious defensive upgrades will be available at 12 (for example, if Claiborne fell to 12, who would complain about Seattle drafting him?) If Richardson fell, most of us agree that he would be a value pick at 12. In an extreme example, if RGIII (or Luck) fell to 12 – well, you get the idea.

    I am sure the value is clear to JS/PC, far more so than to us, and I am confident they will make a great decision. Whoever they pick I will consider decisively right – Upshaw, say, or Coples, Kuechly or DeCastro.

    One thing I am certain of: after the draft, the Seahawks will be a much better team.

  38. Mike in OC

    On topic, I agree with most that Upshaw has the edge. Both seem to have a healthy, mean attitude when they’re playing, but I just see Courtney as the better pick. I’m not an expert at all in tackling, but doesn’t it seem like Ingram targets higher than Upshaw? The better quarterbacks in the league will feel him coming and just duck under the tackle. Oh well, that’s just my lame attempt at getting technical.

    Anyway, loved the Senior Bowl interview with Courtney and the tapes.

    Even if it’s not one of these (or Coples), I’m still intrigued by all the possibilities. I can’t wait for the draft! Still a month away…ugh…

  39. AlaskaHawk

    I would take Upshaw over Ingram because of his high motor. I would take Coples over both. Chances are that only one will be available so it is really a moot point. I am starting to become supportive of trading back if we can get an extra second round pick. New England would be the natural trading partner, but they probably won’t trade as they like having the picks. What it could gain them is a shot at the second rated wide receiver on the board, Floyd. That is some body they could use. They might even be able to pick up Hill late in the first. With two new wide receivers they would be awesome!

  40. Kyle

    Rob–nice post, great analysis, as always.

    Just another technical note. “Compliment” means to say nice things about; “complement” means to accompany or add to or fill. Again, you write well, but that makes the grammatical mistakes that do show up all the more obvious.

  41. Misfit74

    Hawksince77 – I’m with you 100% regarding value and letting the draft come to them. Your first two paragraphs were spot on.

  42. cliff

    I don’t like the DeCastro talk at 12 for us. If we were going to target OL in the first then i’d say get Cordy Glenn to play RT and move Carp to LG. our line would be set.

    As for DEs there’s something about Ingram that i really like. Upshaw is good but Ingram just has that “it” factor when watching him.

  43. MJ

    We can’t afford to draft OL in the first, yet again. I don’t know why Seattle fans are obsessed with this idea. How many Super Bowls did Hutch/Walt win for us? Personally, I am not dying to become the Cleveland Browns who have arguably the most O line talent/investment. It has done nothing for them. Let the young guys we ave gel together.

    I understand DeCastro is a great talent, but he plays one of the least important positions in football. Getting a key pass rushing defensive talent will do significantly more than a good OG. Upshaw, Coples, or Ingram might not get 12 sacks, but I guarantee their presence generates significantly more sacks, even if they don’t get credit on the stat sheet. Let’s not forget that ET is considered an elite FS, despite not having 10 INTs. His mere presence has a significant impact on the 10 other guys. Hence my desire to acquire a talent like Courtney Upshaw.

  44. Justin Mullikin

    The more I am looking at linebackers available in the draft the more I see Mychal Kendricks has a potential great 2nd round pick. I completely trust our FO and am looking forward to the draft. I have one question though, if for some reason the FO is not sold on Upshaw or Ingram or whoever is available at 12 do you think it likely to trade back pick up an extra 2/3 round pick to get an extra pick to fill a need?

  45. Misfit74

    “I understand DeCastro is a great talent, but he plays one of the least important positions in football.”

    I disagree. Pressure up the middle quickly in the QBs face is very tough to make plays in the face of. The Saints can run anywhere they want and protect Brees because of how good their OGs, in particular are. Evans and Nicks are masterstrokes when it comes to that line.

    The Saints signed Ben Grubbs to replace Nicks, so obviously they think stud/quality left guards are very important. There’s a reason Tampa Bay signed Nicks for five-years, $47.5 million. If you draft a stud guard like that you don’t have to break the bank in FA for one. Grubbs got 5 years, $36 million. Guys like this don’t always find their way to the FA market, either.

    A stud offensive guard can be very valuable to an offensive line and to a team. Plus, many think DeCastro can play Right Tackle in the NFL, too. He’d be perfect to insure against Carpenter and/or help offset the loss of Robert Gallery. He might not be my favorite pick, and the positional value relative to WR or DE might not be as high, but if the teams views him as an elite prospect I’d have no problem drafting him.

  46. MJ

    Misfit…my simple rebuttal is, then why didn’t the Saints cough up the money for him if he was that important? Do they let Brees walk and test FA? There’s a reason that high paid OGs hit the market all the time and why QBs, LTs, and DEs (Mario Williams is a rare case) do not.

    I am not trying to downplay DeCastro, though I do think he is overrated. I just don’t think in our current state, that it’s wise to pass on the opportunity to address a premium position. I am not saying to take a vastly inferior talent, but if I have DeCastro graded as a 94 and a DE (say Upshaw) as a 93, then I will take the guy who plays the position that is harder to find. In this case, pass rush.

  47. Rob

    Hawksince77 – Schneider’s don’t panic philosophy is only mentioned when discussing the QB position. The fact is, Seattle decided very early in the process in both 2010 and 2011 which areas they wanted to target. Sure, they had contingency plans. However, they knew what positions they wanted to target. In 2010 they were determined to draft a LT and FS, originally believing they could take Eric Berry at #6 and Trent Williams at #14. As the process changed they realised that was unlikely and adapted, but still stuck to their guns. In 2011 drafting Carpenter and Moffitt was less about value or letting the draft come to them, it was about a very strict and specific message of ‘we will improve the offensive line at all costs’. That’s no different to this year where the pass rush is the target and they know there will be players they can target to improve that area of the team. Just like in 2010 and 2011, PC and JS know which area they want to draft for. And in fairness, the talent at DE likely to be available at #12 would be superb vale if the draft falls as expected.

  48. Clayton

    From the video provided this is what I saw, Kuechly definately does not make an impact in the pass rush, he made more tackles after a player had gained a few yards, nothing really in the backfield. Kendricks, looks and played small to me, Upshaw was always battling and trying to penetrate and Ingram well most of the stuff on his videos were making tackles behind the line of scrimmage and picking up interceptions. I Still think, Upshaw, Ingram and Coples are great choices but now see Kendricks as too small. I want someone bigger 6’2 255.

  49. Lenny 253


    Any chance we could get Upshaw and Hightower?

  50. ryan

    I have been a fan of Ingram, but you guys convinced me. Upshaw sounds like the better choice. I think used as a situational pass rusher, Ingram will compile more sacks, but Upshaw would have a greater impact throughout the game.

  51. Todd

    Upshaw wouldn’t fit the “faster at LB” mantra. He is about the same as LeRoy.
    I would prefer trade out of first round for early second early third picks and get both David and Kendrick in 2nd and Irvin and a RB in third.

  52. Misfit74

    re: Melvin Ingram

    “The consensus of “several front office men” is that South Carolina DL Melvin Ingram may be “too short and compact for outside linebacker.”
    Measured at 6-foot-1, 264 pounds at the Combine, Ingram has been looking to show teams he can line up at outside linebacker in 3-4 defenses, but one personnel man doesn’t see it happening. “Big tackles and tight ends will be able to get their hands on him, and then he’s done.” If Ingram is drafted as a defensive lineman, he’ll be required to add back the weight he shed in the run up to the Combine.” -source:

  53. Sylence

    To be honest, I don’t think either of these players are going to be good consistent pass rushers in the NFL. Ingram has one cool move that will be nullified in the NFL because its the only half-decent move he has (overall terrible technique as a pass rusher). Upshaw tries to play with power but is overrated in that regard as well. The only thing Upshaw does really well is read and react to running plays and short passes. Neither of these players have what the Seahawks need right now.

    The ‘hawks primary targets should be DeCastro or Richardson. If neither are available, trade down. Pray that Nick Perry falls to you in the second round because unlike Ingram and Upshaw, Perry actually does play with great technique and underrated power and will be successful in the NFL.

  54. Vin

    “too short and compact for outside linebacker.” WTF does that mean? Im no LB pro by any means, but looking at the Steelers, Ravens & 49ers LBs and Ingram seems to be on par in terms of height/weight. Lamar Woodley is 6-2 265 and I thought he got a bunch of sacks a year or two ago. James Harrison is constantly bringing heat and he’s 6-0 250.

  55. Misfit74

    Vin – overall length or wingspan is very important for pass-rushers. Offensive tackles have long arms and neutralize rushers with their arms and hand-position. Defenders such as Ware or SF’s Aldon Smith have great length. Short-arms as a pass-rusher is a very significant disadvantage. Height also factors in. The best pass-rushers usually are 6’2 or better and have long arms. They get to the QB because of their ability to fend off blockers with their arms and bring the QB down by being able to reach them and wrap them up. The difference between a stalemate vs. the OT or a hurry vs. a sack can easily be a game of inches.

    Look up the details on the best pass-rushers around the league and you’ll see some common themes with regard to height and arm-length.

  56. Vin

    Misfit74-I get what youre saying and completely agree….the Peppers, MW’s, Freeney’s, Ware’s ,etc….theyre all tall and long. And Im not trying to discount those measurables, but just as you brought up the ideal pass rushers, I brought up guys that dont fit that mold that still get the job. In my mind, Ingram might be a better LB than DE because of his measurables. But what do I know.

  57. Soggyblogger

    This is a good discussion, and from it and other research I am of the opinion Upshaw over Ingram by quite a bit. In fact, I suspect Ingram will end his career uneventfully. He has short arms and has not shown the ability to compensate. He can be neutralized and will be in the NFL. My prediction. Though I would defer to PC/JS. Though I would be surprised if they chose him. As we have seen from the last draft with their picks of Carpenter, Moffitt and Durham, PC/JS seem to work from a list and it doesn’t resemble many mock drafts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see, and would agree with trading down. With a late first and two second round picks I would draft either Upshaw, Coples, Kuechley or whatever BPA in the first round and pick Bruce Irvin in the second along with another player of choice on our list. Getting three impact players instead of just two.

    On Bruce Irvin: 245 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds! His 3-Cone drill time of 6.70 and his 20 yrard shuttle time of 4.03 beats every SS and FS in this years draft pool. Those times are highly competitive with CB prospects. It blows away ALL the linebackers. Kuechley is the only one close in the 40. Measurables are not the be all and end all in football as we all know, and I may be wrong about this guy, but he certainly is an intriguing choice for the second round. He might even become a monster. Those who remember LT remember his speed.

  58. Mountaintortise

    NFL Combine Results from
    Steve Hutchinson David DeCastro
    Height: 77 inches 77 inches
    Weight: 315 pounds 316 pounds
    Draft Class: 2001 2012
    40 Yard Dash: 5.15 seconds 5.43 seconds
    20 Yard Dash: 2.97 seconds ` na
    10 Yard Dash: 1.77 seconds na
    Bench Press: 31 reps (225 lb) 34 reps (225 lb)
    Vertical Leap: 33.5 inches 29.0 inches
    Broad Jump: 106 inches 98 inches
    Shuttle: 4.74 4.56
    Three Cone: 7.82 7.30

  59. genax

    if we have no choice but to pick the two upshaw and cox. cox being another 3 tech/de option once jones gets to expensive next year

  60. Donald

    Give me Nick Perry. Bigger, stronger, faster

  61. Smeghead

    Went with Upshaw as I believe as Rob stated Ingram will be “engulfed” and easily fended off by NFL caliber O linemen and their long arms…

  62. bhamballer

    I don’t see us taking another O-Line in the first few rounds.

    I love Upshaw on paper and as a character. I think he would fit it great in the seahawk’s locker room. I also see Upshaw play LB on running downs and spelling Big Red on passing. Talk about value and scheme fit.

    If we cannot get pass rush at #12, I hope we trade down. Either a little to get Floyd or a lot to Fleener.

    LB’s in the first round? Really? There are plenty available later.

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