Cyrus Kouandjio would be great in Seattle, yet unlikely

Throughout Seattle’s injury struggles on the offensive line I’ve spent some time looking at the tackle class for 2014.

It’s inevitable the Seahawks will have to use the next draft to improve O-line depth and possibly replace current starters. I’m a Breno Giacomini fan and I’d love to see him back beyond 2013. But re-signing Michael Bennett and Golden Tate — plus extending Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas — has to be the priority.

It doesn’t leave much room for the club’s starting right tackle.

That’s not to say re-signing Giacomini would be impossible. He’s not going to attract big offers in free agency. Just look at the difficulty Eric Winston had finding work when he left the Houston Texans.

NFL teams don’t ever go crazy trying to fill the right tackle position. Giacomini could easily end up back in Seattle if he tests the market, finds there’s not a great deal out there for him, and decides to remain with a competitive team where he’s a great scheme fit.

Yet the Seahawks are entering an era of selective paying. The veterans they keep and release will have to be managed carefully. The other spots and overall depth of the team will have to be filled via good drafting.

As much as Winston struggled to find a gig with his reputation, he’s still costing Arizona $2m against the cap this year.

So you have to know when to move on and rely on the draft.

It’s the only way to “Win Forever”. Putting a rookie at right tackle in place of Giacomini will almost certainly equal a cost saving. And that saving allows you to have a better shot at keeping the best players on the roster while also paying Russell Wilson.

The wild card is, of course, Michael Bowie. He’s played very well at times this year. Against the Cardinals, he struggled badly. He’s still learning and might be better for his eight games and seven starts.

Has he done enough to win the starting job in 2014? It’s a tough question.

He might end up with the job by default. Good offensive linemen don’t last long on draft day — to the point many get over-drafted. If the Seahawks end up picking in the 25-32 range next year they’ll find their options extremely limited unless they want to trade up.

When you get out of the first round, are you likely to find anyone better than a more experienced Bowie? Perhaps not.

Of the 2014 eligible tackles I’ve watched, Cyrus Kouandjio is the one I want. And it’s not that close.

He had a difficult start this season with a tough outing against Virginia Tech. For one or two weeks after he struggled to live up to the pre-season hype as a likely top-10 pick.

And the critics grew.

ESPN’s Scouts Inc recently dropped him down from a top ten slot to the #17 overall prospect.

I’ve watched last week’s Alabama-LSU game twice and I’ve seen Kouandjio five times this year. And I’d love the chance to draft the guy. For me, he’s the complete package. If teams drop him because of a sluggish start to this year — more fool them.

Right off the bat he’s a terrific run blocker — the kind that really appeals to Seattle. He’s tall (6-5) and moves well (310lbs). He’ll dominate with sheer power — and he’s not top heavy. There are few tackles coming out of college with his lower body power and balance. It’s impressive.

Against LSU he and brother Arie Kouandjio (‘Bama’s left guard and another player I’d love to see with the Seahawks) were just driving guys off the line creating huge running lanes. I don’t think either lost a single 1v1 battle in a traditionally tight contest at the LOS.

Kouandjio’s pass protection is solid too. He handles speed rushers well, forcing them to take deep angles with great footwork and he’s always quickly out of his stance. I think we’ll see at the combine how well he can mirror and side step. He seems to have the long arms that everybody looks for. And he flashes upper body power with a good jab to the pads plus underrated technique with his hands.

I also think he’s a better all-round athlete than people think — not Trent Williams, more Russell Okung.

But perhaps the thing I like the most is he plays with an edge and an attitude — just like Breno. He’s going to have the same steep learning curve all tackles get in the NFL, but playing with fire will help keep him on track during the growing pains. I’m not sure any of the top-10 guys last year had this.

Kouandjio could play left or right tackle at the next level. And as I mentioned, I’d love to see he and his brother reunited in Seattle (Arie looks more of a mid-round fit at guard).

Is it likely?

Almost certainly not.

Despite the knockers it’s hard — in November — to imagine him not cracking the top ten. He’s better than Taylor Lewan. He’s better than Anthony Richardson. For me he’s better than Jake Matthews.

If he does suffer an improbable fall I hope the Seahawks are ready. This guy is legit.


  1. Colin

    Alvin Bailey is another wildcard. The fact that they trusted him enough on 3rd downs in pass pro speaks volumes.

    It wouldn’t surprise me what Seattle does in round 1. They hold a lot of good cards.

    • Rob Staton

      He is that is true.

  2. Miles

    Nice write-up Rob. It’ll be interesting to see who falls to us in the draft when that time comes. I think we’ll have a lot of nice options and this year, again, we’ll really be able to let the draft come to us and just pick the BPA from a few of our need areas. I think we’ll likely go either wide receiver or defensive tackle in round one, but we could go offensive line or tight end if the right player fell.

    Didn’t Bowie have like a superb game against Atlanta. I just feel like the guy has all the tools, he just has to brush up on technique. By next year he could be an asset for us. I feel the same way about Alvin Bailey.

    • Rob Staton

      The whole line played well versus Atlanta, but it’s worth noting the Falcons have one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Agreed. I mentioned this elsewhere, but I felt like the Atlanta game was a glimpse at what this team would look like if we invested heavily in OL talent. This team is littered with playmakers already. Honestly, I think the major difference between an offense like the Saints and us is OL quality. We can match then position by position pretty well. We simply need time to leverage the talent we already have to allow them the opportunity to flourish.

        I think we need to assume we are not resigning McQuistan or Giacomini. That 6.5m in addition to our current dead money penalty this season will allow us to extend Thomas and Bennett and go a long way to resigning Tate. We will have vacancies in the OL group.

        This offense is in need of significant and cheaper OL improvement. And we also need to start planning on contingencies/upgrades at OG. Sweezy is in year 2 and I don’t think even his most ardent supporters will make the case that he has reached the point where he has claimed the job medium term. He is developing but we still can’t tell if he will get there.

        Carpenter is another giant question mark. He flashes brilliance more than incompetence. But does anyone think he’ll get his second contract here? Availability and development thus far suggests no.

        Even if we assume Bowie and Bailey earn starting jobs, there are imminent open positions AND positions we need to add competition at. Even in the rosiest scenarios, we have multiple needs at OL.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Leaving aside the problems with injuries at OT, I see OG as the team’s biggest need. Carpenter’s been highly inconsistent all season, and has been beat off the snap regularly in the past 3 weeks (particularly on pass plays). McQuistan looked just as bad at LG when he slid inside vs. ATL, and of course he can’t play LT to save himself (or RW). Sweezy has improved (incrementally), but it’s been painfully slow, and he continues to struggle with penalties and in pass pro.

          Most everyone would agree that Okung and Unger are solid. Although there is some debate about it, I think Giacomini is pretty solid too. Hell, even Lemuel Jeanpierre has looked pretty good in relief of Unger. But OG is a different matter – Carp and Sweezy just aren’t getting it done, and at this point I don’t think they ever will (although I still have some hope for Sweezy who is, after all, still in just his 2nd season playing OG).

          Like Rob, I’m impressed with Cyrus Kouandjio. But at this point I think SEA needs his brother Arie more.

          • Rob Staton

            I would say though that Carpenter has had to play next to McQuistan at LT and that can’t help. I also think he’s done a better job than he gets credit for. Play him consistently alongside Okung and Unger and I think he will thrive. Likewise with Sweezy — it’s really his first year as the sole starter and at times he’s been the only healthy starter on the entire line playing in his intended position. So it’s difficult to judge those two.

            Overall the reason this line has struggled is because the two starting tackles have been out injured.

            • Miles

              ^^^ HIGHLY AGREE.

              Everyone who has really observed James Carpenter the past few weeks, who I’ve heard, have said they were thoroughly impressed with his run blocking and even his pass blocking. Even Pete Carroll took the time to single him out during a press conference. And all of this next to an emergency left tackle.

              I think it’s easy to bag on Carpenter because he’ll likely never live up to his first round status, but to me that’s okay. He just needs to live up to the status of a serviceable guard, and he’s done that and then some thus far. No, he didn’t pan out to be the right tackle this FO was looking for, but a lot of teams didn’t find much gold in the 2011 draft anyway. The outlook on James is very exciting now compared to at the beginning of the year when we all thought he was doomed to injury. Good on him for keeping healthy and upping his game the past few weeks; I am really, really proud of that guy. As long as he can continue to stay relatively healthy, Carpenter should be our starting left guard this year and next. 🙂

              • glor

                Except for the issue of him being paid like a 1st rounder currently.. 2mil..

  3. Stuart

    Another interesting write up Rob, nice work. I love this site and value your opinions. No matter how it shakes out, getting Bailey and Bowie has been unbelievable in terms of value, UDFA and 7th rounder.

    PC/JS are servants in the NFL Draft!

  4. KyleT

    I think somebody will compete w/ Bowie for starting RT job next year. I don’t think it’s a 1st round pick or a late late pick. Maybe a mid rounder or vet minimum guy. I too am a breno fan, but I think that for him to return it will have to be vet min.

    With all the FA potentially departing I think we will go 1st round w/ a position that has a good chance to see playing time. DT or guard is where I would bet we go.

  5. kevin mullen

    Rob, for the love of Russell Wilson, please stop making arguments FOR a RT in the first round! I am not a fan of a RT in the first round, as you were circa 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. But for some reason, (and most likely due to we have no real glaring need and can pick BPA) you gave in to the “RT’s in 1st Rd” crowd and for that: foreshame!

    Lets put the teams that we struggled against their pass rush in perspective: Carolina, Arizona, SF, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis. These teams are ranked: 1, 2, 11, 14, 15th, respectively, to overall DVOA thru week 10.

    I get it, we can draft a RT in 1st round, set it and forget it. The last 3 years haven’t really produce high grade RT’s that I’d almost rather trust Cable to tutor a mid to late round pick than throw a 1st rounder at that position. Hell, even Carp was a bust at his intended position.

    I honestly think Browner’s position is a bigger deal than any RT. BB is a straight up bully on his side of field. Say what you want on his coverage skills, but his press coverage is what he earns. We don’t really have a bully like that on our team other than BB, maybe Maxwell? I’d rather we throw a first round pick at CB to help replace a two time pro-bowler.

    • Turp

      Tharold Simon looks like a BB clone without the experience. It will be interesting to see him develop, but he’s going to be our 5th corner if we let BB go and keep Thurmond (which is what I expect because of the cap).

    • Colin

      ‘Rob, for the love of Russell Wilson, please stop making arguments FOR a RT in the first round! I am not a fan of a RT in the first round, as you were circa 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008’

      Huh? Rob wrote encylopedia’s the last few years on why Seattle didn’t need to invest big draft stock into RT… where have you been?

      • kevin mullen

        I think you misinterpreted my comment, this has been the first year that Rob was making an argument for a RT in the first round. I was merely stating that he’s been pretty vocal against drafting RT’s in the first round in drafts past, why change now? If we pick in the lower half to even the last four picks of round one, why pick up the 6-8th best tackles when we can grab a player at a more premium position, and that player being 2-3rd best at that position?

        We’re gonna have some serious holes on defense with Thomas and Sherman getting paid, money is shifting to the backside of the field and at a cost of most likely our DLine cash pool.

        I apologize if I offended you but it is ok to disagree sometimes, if we all agreed on everything Rob says, this blog would be boring. And believe me, I love this blog and what Rob puts out, been a fan since Rob predicted Aaron Curry to be selected 4th overall and his excitement of that moment. (Again, it’s just a joke. I know he hated that pick.)

        • Colin

          I’d argue that RT is now a 1st round possibility due to the emergence of Russell Wilson as a legitimate star in this league, and his protection is paramount. You can’t keep drafting 7th round linemen every year and expect to be good across the board consistently- there’s a time and place for good investment at every position, and I think the Seahawks are at a point they can afford such a luxury. I wouldn’t be bothered if they didn’t invest a 1st or 2nd round pick in at Tackle, but I can’t say I’d be disappointed if they didn’t. They can let the draft come to them.

          I also don’t agree that we’ll have ‘serious holes on defense’. I think most people overrate red Bryant and Brandon Mebane. They’re run stuffers on early downs and nothing more. We’ve also seen they are not the end all be all run stuffers (as evidenced in the STL and TB game and the late stretch last year). Yes, there were more to the let downs in run defense than just Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane, I get that, but if they can’t be enforcers on those early downs then they aren’t worth keeping around at their costs. I really wouldn’t be surprised if they let Red Bryant go this offseason. I think you could slide Michael Bennett (if resigned) or Jesse Williams onto that spot and you wouldn’t see much dip in production- you might get an increase actually. I fully expect Red and mebane to not be a part of the Seahawks by 2015, and I believe the Seahawks are preparing for that scenario.

          • KyleT

            Our run defense was terrible historically with both Mebane and Bryant out of the lineup (2011?). much of the 2012 blame can be assessed to how we used nickel packages, and run defense in those packages along with Red Bryant basically playing like crap with his foot injury.

            I would actually compare the St Louis game this year to the first half of the Houston game, where despite decent play by the D line, the run fits by the back seven was just off. in the Tampa Bay game and some of the continued along with Red playing absolutely terrible… he also had a concussion he was playing with.

            The reason these guys are key in our current roster against the run is how we play the 4-3 defense in a hybrid way with 3-4 personnel. That personnel to be able to 2-gap and anchor against double teams in certain scenarios allows us to play with an undersized D-end (Leo) on one end of the line.

            While I agree Bryant and Mebane are replaceable through the draft, I disagree with how dismissive some people are about their value to the defense. Mebane and Bryant are both two of the highest rated DT and 4-3 D-ends against the run in the league.

            • Rob Staton

              I’m not sure it’s a case of being dismissive of their quality. It’s more an appreciation of who is easier to replace.

              • KyleT

                Yes to some like yourself that is the argument and I agree with you. With others its just dismissive 🙂

          • kevin mullen

            I would add Avril and Clem to that list of guys possibly getting cut due to contract/performance decline. That’s possibly 4 from DLine that might not be with us next year. I’m saying we invest early round picks on what’s our bread and butter of the team: defense. Whether it’s a CB to replace Browner/Thurmond or a DT/LE to replace the above 4.

            I doubt all will be gone but until negotiations hit, you almost have to assume the worst. RT at the moment doesn’t scream a ‘need’ but the future of our defense my depend on this offseason.

            • Rob Staton

              I can’t see that level of cuts on the d-line. One or two max.

    • Michael M.

      One of the Rob’s main points is and has been more than, “we need a RT”. I’m pretty sure he’s mentioned on a few occasions that his thinking behind the RT in round 1 philosophy is that you could get a guy capable of flipping over to the left side in the event of a Russell Okung injury.

      In my opinion, RT is one of the least important positions in football, and is even less important for a team that currently employs a guy named Zach Miller. That being said, we cannot afford – or rather, Russell Wilson cannot afford – to have Paul McQuistan protecting the blind side ever again. If Michael Bowie is not considered to be a better option at LT than that big ugly ginger, then the ‘Hawks should definitely be seeking an upgrade.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d make two points in response Kevin.

      1. First of all I think it’s about matching available talent to the needs. While I appreciate the points you make regarding Browner, I haven’t seen any prospective first round cornerbacks who get anywhere close to his skill set, size or attitude. So while it’d be nice to get a player like that, I just don’t think such a player exists. On the other hand, this class is loaded with offensive tackle talent. So much so that it’s not unrealistic to think one or two quality players might still be around later in round one. I could offer 2-3 example of players who fit the right tackle position who are potential Seattle targets. I can’t think of one single corner who would be an obvious like-for-like replacement for Browner.

      2. I have argued against the need to spend an early pick on a RT vigorously and I still maintain that a team that doesn’t have a franchise QB, pass rush, #1 receiver, lockdown corner and left tackle shouldn’t be messing around drafting right tackles early. Seattle, in previous years, hasn’t had all of those boxes ticked. Now they pretty much do. And with our current starting RT hitting free agency and with the need to start re-signing elite players to big contracts, it just makes too much sense to use the draft to replace Breno Giacomini. Also, with Okung getting injured again and with the struggles to cover the left tackle position this year, I want to find a swing tackle who can play the blind side if required. Seattle’s talent elsewhere affords them this luxury. Either way, we cannot go through another year like this if Okung gets injured again. It’s not worth risking Wilson in such a way.

      That’s the argument I would make to justify why this year I am embracing the tackle position. One final point — this team has consistently found talented cornerbacks without spending high picks or throwing money at the position. Browner came from the CFL, Sherman was a late rounder. Ditto Thurmond, Maxwell, Lane and Simon. It wouldn’t surprise me if they found another gem hidden away next year. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way to retain BB and/or Thurmond to be the starter.

      • Miles

        Even if the Seahawks do NOT get Browner or Thurmond, my confidence is very high in Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon to compete for the starting job. Not to mention any names we pick up along the way to throw into the mix. We could very well draft a CB in round one if we liked one well enough, but if what Rob is saying is true, we could even bypass the position (at least a BB-type corner) in this draft knowing that Maxwell is a perennial starter in this league and he shows it every time he gets to touch the field.

        I would be satisfied if the Seahawks picked up a special RT in next year’s first round. I would also be happy if they found an elite guard. But Rob, there are certainly some intriguing WR prospects. Out of the needs a team should generally look for “#1 receiver” is a position many have argued the Seahawks do not have. And, if they cut Sidney Rice and lose Golden Tate this off-season, WR becomes a serious priority. There are plenty of interesting names to keep aware of, with the obvious ones being Mike Evans (who could be the next Brandon Marshall which would be awesome for this offense), Odell Beckham, Sammy Watkins, etc. Those three names I mentioned could potentially be #1 WRs in this league by the time they reach their potential. If you were to see a situation where you could either draft Cyrus Kouandjio or your favorite WR prospect from this class, which would you choose? Even if we are able to retain Tate, getting a WR from this class is highly intriguing for me. I’d also be hard-pressed not to take Jace Amaro if he were available as he looks like a faster Zach Miller.

        • KyleT

          The challenge I have with saying we do not have a #1Receiver, is we are using the stereotype of what that is to make that point. Harvin is making number one receiver money for us, at what point do we just accept he is our guy and we are not going to follow the mold of most every other team?

          • Miles

            I’m not saying you need the conventional #1 Wide Receiver to be successful, but you can’t deny that it is beneficial. What I’m asking for is a big-bodied, sure-handed, relatively fast player who can make catches in traffic. You can’t deny that a player like Brandon Marshall would significantly improve our team. A guy where if you throw it to him in a crucial situation near the first-down marker, he will almost surely make the catch. I’m not saying we need to trade all our picks away to get a guy like that, but if we had the opportunity. Hell yes. Hell yes we should get that guy.

            • Miles

              Also, as Rob has pointed out, we have seen how great Russell can be when he has that kind of player in the offense. Maybe the pro bowl isn’t a good barometer for success, but he lit it up when throwing to guys like Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald. If only we could find a guy like that, our offense would be completely unstoppable. Even more unstoppable than it can be with Harvin, which would be a very scary offense.

      • kevin mullen

        With last year supposedly having heavy talent on OLine, with this year supposedly better, not sure if we’d maximize our value picking after most of the OLine needy teams have picked thru the litter.

        And I like Bowie’s potential, he’s a rookie and has some learning curves but he’s showing he’s getting it done as each game passes by. I’m not saying let’s crown him as our RT of the future but he’s making arguments for. I think we gotta give him a chance.

        If Purifoy were sitting there, not sure if Pete could pass on him.

      • The Ancient Mariner

        I’m as big a believer in Bowie and Bailey as anyone — if I err, it’s surely on the side of valuing/trusting them too much. I also think that Kouandjio would be a great pick, and that a potential starting RT/backup LT ought to be a target in this draft. I don’t think those two statements are at odds in the slightest. For money reasons, we need to let both McQ and Giacolantern go this offseason, which means that if we *don’t* draft a serious starting tackle candidate, we’re going all-in on Bowie and Bailey: either those two both succeed, or we’re busted. Adding one more good young tackle prospect doesn’t require a lack of faith in either Bowie or Bailey, merely the recognition that depth is necessary because “time and chance happeneth to them all.”

  6. Michael M.

    “Despite the knockers it’s hard”

    Ha! (27 years old… why do you ask?)

  7. Phil

    There is another option that we are not talking about — how about trading for Jonathan Martin? I don’t profess to be an expert on OL play and I don’t follow the Dolphins, but Martin was a second-round pick coming out of Stanford and the controversy surrounding him has probably caused his “worth” to have dropped. So, let’s suppose we could get him in a trade for a 3rd round pick. The questions I would have include: (1) is his play good enough to fill our need? (2) could we fill our need at a lower “cost” via the draft (i.e., using a lower round draft pick, or at a lower “rookie” contract price seeing that Martin has been in the league for a few years and will be looking for a new contract soon)?

    I suspect that PC is well acquainted with Martin from his PAC-10 days, and vice versa. Who knows — maybe it’s a good fit. Trading for him would allow us to use our 1st round pick on something other than an O lineman …

    * * * *

    Another subject. After re-watching the Atlanta game, my esteem for Golden Tate continues to grow. I assume that he isn’t used to return kickoffs because of the fear of injury. Although I like Kearse as a receiver, he hasn’t impressed me much as a kick returner. And, this looks like an area where we could make some improvement. How about using someone like Lockette as the returner? Didn’t we try Lane earlier this year?

    • Miles

      Personally I’m stoked about seeing Percy Harvin return kicks. But we’ll see if and how soon that actually pans out. Harvin is the best kick returner on our roster no doubt about it; it’s just a matter of whether Pete wants to put him in that line of fire given his injury history. Given that he threw Golden Tate into punt return duties without blinking, I think Pete would throw Percy right in there too. But we’ll see.

      I would be interested in getting Jonathan Martin but I don’t think trading for him is necessary. He is almost certain to be released by the Dolphins and so the Seahwks could probably not only sign him, but given the drama associated with his name the Seahawks could get him very cheap contract-wise. If we were to trade for him I’m sure we’d have to give up nothing less than a 7th, if we really wanted to make sure we’d get him. The thing about Martin is he’s more of a technician and doesn’t maul like Cable seems to like. Giacomini is kind of just a big meat head and it translates to aggressive run blocking on the field. Does Martin create space for Marshawn if he’s here or is he more about creating small creases and pass protection? Seattle radio guys have been clamoring about Martin coming here and I just don’t see it being hugely beneficial. But it wouldn’t hurt because of the value.

      • Phil

        Miles – yeah, the “old” Harvin was a great kick returner, but I wonder if PC will risk his new hip. I guess we will find out.

        If we could get Martin for a 7th, I’d be all in. But, I’d want to be sure that I knew more about the Dolphins’ locker room problems than the public has been told.

    • Rob Staton

      Martin struggled badly in Miami and while some of that could be down to what happened off the field, I wouldn’t be rushing to make a deal based on his performances so far.

      I also think eventually we’ll see Percy handle kick returns.

    • The Ancient Mariner

      I’m with Rob: didn’t believe in Martin coming out of Stanford, haven’t seen anything at all to improve my opinion. Given our track record so far, I think we could get a better OL by *using* a seventh-rounder than by trading it for Martin.

      • Miles

        Haha good point. It seems we got a pretty good deal with Michael Bowie; why would we trade another seventh for an unproven right tackle. Why, because he was a 2nd-round pick a couple of years ago? Because we would be the “savior team” for rescuing Jonathan Martin and bringing him into a harmonious locker room? It’s not really worth it, though I hope for the best with Martin.

  8. Alex

    The funny thing about the O Line is that it’s the single unit that we’ve invested in the most high draft capital into. We invested 2 first, 1 2nd, 1 3rd in the last few drafts. Carpenter and Mofitt either hasn’t performed up to par or was a straight up bust. Okung and Unger developed in to Pro Bowl caliber players, but had their injury issues.

    Typically, I would agree with the idea that we have invested enough draft capital into the unit, but this year may be the exception only because OL is the single deepest position in this upcoming draft. Since the Seahawks are in a position to basically choose BPA since last year’s draft, if there is a highly rated tackle that falls, I’m all for taking him. In other words, OL would be picked early only because of the BPA, not because of the RT position (a relatively low value position).

    As stated many times on this blog, there are simply too many high value positions (QB, LT, #1 CB, Pass Rusher) on a team to be picking a RT when you have yet to fill out those positions. Even a team like the Jags who supposedly picked Joeckel as a RT opposite of Monroe eventually traded Monroe leaving the RT position blank. As of right now, I can’t think of one team that has a dominant left and right side.

    Otherwise, I still believe that the single unit that needs the most help is the D-Line. For the 4th straight year, we still don’t have the classical pass rushing 3 tech and if the possibility of Mebane or Bryant being cut for Bennett, our D Line depth will be lacking.

  9. glor

    One thing to keep in mind is that if we pickup a RT in round 1, we are still paying almost 7 million over 4 years. That is very close to what AZ is paying for a proven vet at 2mil per year. If Breno would take the paycut, why waste the pick on an unknown?

    • Rob Staton

      Fair points and I can see a scenario with Breno signing a new deal for a very modest sum. It’s not like teams will be banging his door down to sign him to a big deal to play RT. His best fit is Seattle.

      • glor

        What about Unger? I thought the ‘frenchman’ did well filling in for him.. he is due 5mil next year.

        • Rob Staton

          Pro Bowl center’s are tough to find. I doubt they cut Unger. Although Lem has done a good job and will hopefully be retained as a backup.

  10. Gage

    I think once the draft process gets goin we’ll start seeing similar trends to last year and those OT’s will see their value rapidly inflate, and they’ll be off the board early. The Qb position isn’t looking to great at the top as people thought it may be at the start of the year, Bridgewater being the exception – I think Mariota stays at Oregon. I’m alot higher on Manziel than most and think he’s a 1st round guy and could see Zach Mettenberger being a late first round guy, especially with a team trading up or something (Derek Carr seems to be a hot name right now however have never seen him play so who knows).

    • Miles

      I have not seen a player coming out of college with a worse attitude than Manziel. Whoever drafts him is going to have a ton of headaches to deal with. Not only does he not care about anyone else, but he is so vocal about it and doesn’t give a sh*t about anything. He’s also very arrogant and thinks he can get away with everything. Johnny Football is the real honey badger.

      I hope the Cardinals draft him.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I’m terrified of Manziel as a pro prospect. I would definitely consider him in the second, but there are just way too many red flags for the first round. I certainly don’t want the Cardinals to draft him. I hope he goes to like the Eagles or Jets or something.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Derek Carr is really underwhelming from what I’ve seen.

      • Rob Staton

        I like Carr. He’s grown on me this year. He has a chance to start in the NFL.

  11. Miles

    Off-topic but is anyone starting to think Sidney Rice could very likely still be here next year? The way I see it, Sidney Rice is not going to play here next year on his current salary. But if we release him, I don’t think he’s going to garner a lot of interest on the open market because A) He only had 150 receiving yards through eight games and B) He has the injury bug. The things that Sidney really has going for him is his desirable wingspan and his ability to work a sideline. But he’s not an elite receiver. Phew, I can finally say that with conviction. 😛

    So given that there probably won’t be much on the open market for him, who’s to say the Seahawks won’t re-do his contract on maybe a one-year, $2 million dollar deal. That’s right, a prove-it contract. He’ll be 28 next year, so Schneider can say, “Hey, Sidney, since your value isn’t very good right now, how about we sign you to this little deal, and if you just trust your abilities and play well, you’ll be getting a big payday in 2015.”

    This didn’t seem like a likely scenario awhile ago, but now, at least to me, it seems very very possible. Plus, it’d be really cool to have a healthy Sidney Rice at $2mil.

    • MJ

      I have been thinking the same thing. Couple observations (strictly subjective on my part):

      a) I think Sidney is a really “good guy” and teammate. He comes across as very intelligent/articulate/humble, which IMO is rare for a WR, especially of his talent (not necessarily production).

      b) I think Sidney legitimately loves Seattle and this team. I’d say someone like him, who has made a ton of money already, would be inclined to err on the side of “winning” rather than worrying about a big pay day. He’s been here from the beginning and I can’t help but think he would want to see it through, if given a choice.

      I’m going totally Freud on this, but everything I’ve read/seen from him (twitter, quotes, etc), he seems to be a very positive individual and to me that says 2 things. 1) he truly does embody PC’s mantra. 2) quite possibly he sees that a tough decision will be made about him this off-season, and perhaps he wants to exude the attitude that he wants to be here and would be open to “fixing” his contract to make sure that happens.

      At this point, I’d be shocked if the FO hasn’t already had discussions with Rice about his future and what it’s looking like. There was a good article a few weeks ago about the Seahawks being one of the most upfront/honest organizations. I really think we see Sidney back next year with a re-structured contract that puts more $ on incentives rather than guarantees.

      Quite honestly, and there’s not rationale for this, I’m more concerned about Baldwin’s future with us, compared to Sidney.

      • DJ

        Given his age and injury record I kind of doubt he’ll ever get a big contract again, even after a successful prove-it year. Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if he hung it up after this season. He’s got money in the bank (I assume he didn’t blow it), problem knees and multiple known concussions. Why take the risk for a cheap contract?

  12. Rock

    While I have advocated for a RT in the past I do not see it as a need now. Bailey and Bowe give us cheap depth at the position. Managing the salary cap is going to be the priority. Here is how I see our cap savings this year.

    Dead Money: $ 7,000,000 (mostly Matt Flynn)
    Rice 11,000,000
    We lose two of:
    Clemons 8,200,000
    Bryant 7,600,000
    Mebane 5,200,000

    Miller 8,500,000

    This should give us about $42- 48 million in cap space to resign ET, RW and Sherm. We seem to have depth at WR and TE. As a result, I think the priority will be to find cheap replacements for the interior defensive line. I would not rule out a WR or TE if a good one drops and the usual run on D linemen occurs.

    • Rob Staton

      Miller will take up $7m next year, not $8.5m. I see no way that he’s cut.

  13. KyleT

    I also would not be surprised if we traded out of the first altogether to pick up our missing third. it’s very difficult to argue what position is worth taking in the first round other than an absolute stud lineman defense or offense being available.

    The way the season is shaping up, we are going to be one of the last pics of the round and we certainly will be conscious about the cap issues next year such that we don’t need to be taking flyers on first-round players that we might be able to just pick up in the early to mid second.

  14. Darnell


    What do you think about a couple of the interior onlinemen, namely Xavier Su’a-Filo (I like him but he looks like a skinny dude with about 290lbs worth of muffin top) and Zach Martin?

    I have concerns about Cyril Richardson out of Baylor. Through no fault of his own I think about Jason Smith and Danny Watkins and wonder if the oline splits in Art Briles offense hide the linemens inefficiencies at Baylor.

    • Rob Staton

      I really like both.

      Martin for me can play tackle at the next level. I know a lot of people are assuming he’s a guard. He’s played left tackle for Notre Dame for a while and I like him there. I think he could be one of the first linemen off the board.

      Su’a-Filo has massive potential. He’s a workout warrior waiting to happen, with the ability to be a great versatile lineman at the next level. If he declares he could be a first rounder. He could play tackle or guard for me.

      Richardson I’m also not sure about. There’s so much movement in the Baylor offense. It sounds kind of weird but he rarely has to do more than just keep a guy in front of him. He’s not often being really challenged. And in the games I’ve seen, he’s been hit and miss. And too right we should be sceptical about Baylor linemen in this scheme. I try not to judge guys on previous flops, but Smith and Watkins have been such titanic flops. How can we ignore it completely?

  15. T-CARP

    “If the Seahawks end up picking in the 25-32 range next year they’ll find their options extremely limited unless they want to trade up”

    Really Rob? What happened to In PCJS We Trust? I understand and agree that elite level guys tend to go fast, but this is the NFL AND this is the Hawks. We find value throughout the draft. And for my money the offensive line draft class of 2014 look very deep.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s nothing to do with trusting or not trusting the front office. Offensive tackles are going earlier and earlier every year. Not even Carroll and Schneider can rely on the 7th or 8th tackle off the board being a top performer.

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