Day three in review: The Seahawks have a problem

Isaiah Simmons stole the show with a 4.39 forty

This is not a good D-line class — confirmed

The Seahawks better get ready because free agency is going to cost them some serious money.

If the 2019 draft was the year of the defensive lineman, the 2020 draft is anything but. This is the most underwhelming set of testing results we’ve seen from a defensive line class in recent history.

Let’s get into it…

EDGE rushers

Speed

The Seahawks love edge rushers that are twitchy athletes with elite speed, burst and difference making traits. A 10-yard split in the 1.5’s is considered ‘elite’. Cliff Avril ran a 1.50 and Bruce Irvin ran a 1.55.

A year ago, 12 players ran a 10-yard split between 1.55 and 1.62 seconds.

Here’s the list of 2019 EDGE rushers who ran a 1.5 today…

Yep, that’s right. Not a single edge rusher in this years draft ran an elite 10-yard split. The NFL Network broadcast repeatedly praised times in the late 1.6’s for players weighing about 255lbs. That is not a good time.

The only player to run an impressive split was Florida’s Jabari Zuniga (1.61). He had a good day overall. He looked terrific physically during drills and he’s in fantastic shape. He ran a 4.64 forty then jumped a 33 inch vertical and a 10-7 broad. He didn’t do any of the agility testing. His arms are 32 7/8 inches long so couldn’t be any closer to the 33 inch threshold. The Seahawks might be willing to overlook that. He could be an option if he lasts into the middle rounds.

He was a rare bright spot.

A few days ago Pete Carroll was interviewed by John Clayton. He discussed in some detail his desire to add a premier pass rusher to play the LEO.

This combine class isn’t going to answer the call.

We can only hope that if/when Julian Okwara has a pro-day, he can flash to provide at least one option.

Yetur Gross-Matos, Chase Young and Javon Kinlaw chose not to run today.

Agility

Bruce Irvin (4.03) and Frank Clark (4.05) both ran incredible short shuttles. Cassius Marsh’s 4.25 and Obum Gwacham’s 4.28 were also really good. In the three cone, Clark and Marsh both ran a 7.08. Obum Gwacham ran a 7.28. Irvin had an incredible 6.70. So the Seahawks pay close attention to the agility testing.

Here’s this years group of edge rushers who completed the tests:

Short shuttle

Alex Highsmith — 4.31
Alton Robinson — 4.32
Jonathan Greenard — 4.34
Derrek Tuszka — 4.34
James Lynch — 4.39
Bradlee Anae — 4.43
DJ Wonnum — 4.44
AJ Epenesa — 4.46
LaDarius Hamilton — 4.49
James Smith-Williams — 4.52
Kendall Coleman — 4.62
Chauncey Rivers — 4.70

Alex Highsmith’s top short shuttle time of 4.31 is only 14th best in the last five years. So while he led the 2020 group, it’s more ‘decent’ than ‘great’ compared to previous drafts. He does have 33 inch arms but his 10-yard split was only a 1.68 at 248lbs.

Alton Robinson was just behind with a 4.32 but he has 32 3/8 inch arms so lacks the preferred length. His shuttle time mixed with some explosive testing results (more on that later) mean he had one of the better combine performances.

Three cone

Derrek Tuszka — 6.87
Jonathan Greenard — 7.13
DJ Wonnum — 7.25
Alex Highsmith — 7.32
Alton Robinson — 7.32
Chauncey Rivers — 7.33
AJ Epenesa — 7.34
James Smith-Williams — 7.35
James Lynch — 7.39
Kenny Willekes — 7.39
Bradlee Anae — 7.44
Kendall Coleman — 7.50
LaDarius Hamilton — 7.68

As expected Jonathan Greenard ran a slow forty time (4.87) and 10-yard split (1.71). At least he showed reasonably well in the agility testing. His short shuttle of 4.34 is decent and his 7.13 three cone was only 0.03 seconds slower than Nick Bosa’s (although Bosa ran an elite 4.14 short shuttle).

Greenard has good size and length (6-3, 263lbs, 35 inch arms) but has had injury issues. If he lasts he could be an option later on if they’re willing to overlook his lack of quick-twitch get-off.

What does today tell us?

This performance by the pass rushers is going to put serious pressure on the veteran market. Teams will not see solutions within this class. Unfortunately this is going to make things increasingly difficult for Seattle to fix their pass rushing dilemma in free agency. They’ll be bidding in a spenders market.

For that reason, I wonder if this increases the chances of them trading a high pick for a pass rusher on an existing contract. With the top offensive tackles impressing and moving up boards and with a complete dearth of good defensive linemen available — they might think the best use of #27 is to use it to acquire someone to fix their biggest problem. It’s also a way to avoid overspending.

It’ll depend on what’s available (and teams might not be willing to sell assets after looking at this D-line class) but it’s something to seriously consider now. Especially with the clear ‘Seahawks’ options at #27 appearing limited.

I’ll write about this in more detail in the coming days but who are the first round ‘Seahawks’ that you’ve seen at this combine so far? Jonathan Taylor is one but he might be gone by #27 after his workout and it’s questionable whether another first round running back is likely. Will any of the top offensive linemen last to the back end of round one considering the extreme league-wide need at the position? They could go receiver but it’s a position of depth in this class.

It’s also possible they’ll simply resign themselves to spending big in free agency. We’ll see. The wretched performance of this pass rush class hasn’t helped their cause though. They’re facing a big couple of weeks before the market opens.

Defensive tackles or inside/out rushers

The short shuttle times are key

Rasheem Green (4.39), Quinton Jefferson (4.37), Jordan Hill (4.51), Jaye Howard (4.47) and Malik McDowell (4.53) all tested superbly in the short shuttle. If you’re looking for possible Seahawks targets at defensive tackle or inside/out rusher — this is the test to focus on.

Here are this years numbers:

Jason Strowbridge — 4.37
Rob Windsor — 4.44
Larrell Murchison — 4.51
Carlos Davis — 4.52
Ross Blacklock — 4.61
Jordan Elliott — 4.73
Raequan Williams — 4.78
Derrick Brown — 4.79
Josiah Coatney — 4.82
Raekwon Davis — 4.86
Darrion Daniels — 4.93
John Penisini — 4.93
Neville Gallimore — 5.01
Benito Jones — 5.27

Jason Strowbridge’s 4.37 is interesting. He also had a terrific Senior Bowl. He only has 32 3/8 inch arms though. The next defensive lineman Seattle drafts with sub-33 inch arms will be the first in the Carroll era.

Apart from Strowbridge nothing else stands out. The big names like Ross Blacklock and Jordan Elliott failed to impress. Neville Gallimore’s 5.01 is shocking. If you’re looking for an interior rusher or inside/out rusher in this group who fits the Seahawks — you’re out of luck.

What about the three cone?

For defensive tackles or inside/out rushers, it doesn’t seem to be quite as important:

Rasheem Green — 7.24
Jaye Howard — 7.32
Jordan Hill — 7.49
Malik McDowell — 7.69
L.J. Collier — 7.71
Jarran Reed — 7.77
Naz Jones — 7.93
Quinton Jefferson — 7.95

There’s certainly no correlation here like we see with the consistently strong short shuttle times.

Even so, here’s how the DT’s and inside/out rushers ranked for the three-cone:

Justin Madubuike — 7.37
Jason Strowbridge — 7.45
Rob Windsor — 7.47
DaVon Hamilton — 7.72
Raequan Williams — 7.72
Darrion Daniels — 7.75
Ross Blacklock — 7.77
Larrell Murchison — 7.89
Raekwon Davis — 7.95
Neville Gallimore — 7.97
Rashard Lawrence — 8.03
Josiah Coatney — 8.07
Benito Jones — 8.21
Derrick Brown — 8.22

Justin Madubuike didn’t do the short shuttle for some reason. His 7.37 three cone is the 23rd best time by a defensive tackle in the last 10 years. It’s also the same time that Grady Jarrett ran in 2015. Chris Jones ran a 7.44 in 2016.

Madubuike was one of the standout performers during drills too. He was smooth, fluid and moved around the field with ease. He’s undersized at 6-2 and 293lbs but has 33.5 inch arms. He ran a 4.83 and a 1.73 10-yard split. It’s difficult to imagine what his role would be in Seattle’s defense at that size other than situational interior rusher but he was one of the few quality performers today.

10-yard splits

For an inside/out type rusher or power end, a 1.6 time is impressive. For the defensive tackles listed near or over 300lbs, a 1.7 is equally good.

The players with +33 inch arms are in bold:

McTelvin Agim — 1.76
Ross Blacklock — 1.70
Derrick Brown — 1.78
Josiah Coatney — 1.80
Darrion Daniels — 1.81
Marlon Davidson — 1.78

Carlos Davis — 1.67
Khalil Davis — 1.66
Jordan Elliott — 1.71
Leki Fotu — 1.80
Neville Gallimore — 1.71
DaVon Hamilton — 1.80
Benito Jones — 1.80
Rashard Lawrence — 1.72
Justin Madubuike — 1.73

Larrell Murchison — 1.81
Raequan Williams — 1.78
Rob Windsor — 1.74

We can also throw in the following players who tested with the DE’s:

Raekwon Davis — 1.78
AJ Epenesa — 1.78

James Lynch — 1.73
Jason Strowbridge — 1.72

These are much more encouraging results than the edge rushers. The Seahawks appear quite stringent when it comes to the short shuttle so these times might be redundant. Even so, players such as Rashard Lawrence running a 1.72 with his size and length could provide an interesting option if he lasts deep into the draft.

An interesting comparison

Recently we’ve been discussing the possibility of the Seahawks drafting Raekwon Davis to be their next attempt to find a Calais Campbell type player. For years Carroll and Schneider have made reference to Campbell and have spent multiple high picks trying to fill the void.

Let’s compare Campbell’s combine to Davis’:

Calais Campbell
Height: 6-8
Weight: 290lbs
Arm length: 35 3/4 inches
Hand size: 9.5 inches
Forty: 5.11
10-yard: 1.74
Vertical: 29.5 inches
Broad: 9-3
Three cone: 4.69
Short shuttle: 7.45
Bench: 16 reps

Raekwon Davis
Height: 6-6
Weight: 311lbs
Arm length: 33 7/8 inches
Hand size: 11 inches
Forty: 5.12
10-yard: 1.78
Vertical: 28 inches
Broad: 9-3
Three cone: 4.86
Short shuttle: 7.95
Bench: 24 reps

There are some clear similarities. The forty times are practically identical and they both recorded a 9-3 broad jump. The vertical jumps are similar.

Davis performs better in the bench press but his extra size and shorter arms provided an advantage. Campbell was quicker in the three cone and short shuttle but he was also 21lbs lighter than Davis.

Campbell has been one of the very best players in the NFL for the last decade. He’s been a top five defensive lineman in the league for the last three years. Nobody should expect to try and find a player who can emulate what he is currently achieving. Physically though, you can at least try and find a match.

Davis looked good during drills and has an impressive physique. He might fall due to a lack of pass-rush production but Campbell himself lasted until pick #50 in 2008.

If the Seahawks need an interior defensive line anchor with great size and yet plays with excellent leverage — Davis could be a solid bet.

TEF Scores for defensive linemen

For the last few years we’ve used TEF (explained here) to measure the explosive traits of the offensive linemen. The formula is based purely on O-line physical ideals. Even so, we can still use it to compare offensive and defensive line classes. Here’s what we discovered over the years…

Explosive offensive linemen at the combine:

2016 — 6
2017 — 3
2018 — 7
2019 — 8
2020 — 8

Explosive defensive linemen at the combine:

2016 — 26
2017 — 30
2018 — 22
2019 — 24
2020 — 14

It’s another hammer blow to the quality of this D-line class. Although a number of players didn’t do one or more of the tests, this is by far the least explosive D-line class we’ve covered using TEF. We’ve never had less than 20 explosive D-liners in a draft before. This year there are only 14.

Despite that — they still beat the O-line by six players (which sums up the major problem the NFL has with the complete dearth of top athletes choosing to play O-line in college).

Here are the TEF results for the D-line class:

Jabari Zuniga — 3.76
Kenny Willekes — 3.57
Jonathan Garvin — 3.56
James Smith-Williams — 3.55
Alton Robinson — 3.41
Derrek Tuszka — 3.34
DJ Wonnum — 3.33
Larrell Murchison — 3.31
Qaadir Sheppard — 3.26
Yetur Gross-Matos — 3.21
LaDarius Hamilton — 3.14
Bradlee Anae — 3.13
Jason Strowbridge — 3.11
DaVon Hamilton — 3.02

AJ Epenesa — 2.95
Jonathan Greenard — 2.94
Raekwon Davis — 2.88
Malcolm Roach — 2.88
Derrick Brown — 2.87
James Lynch — 2.87
Rob Windsor — 2.78
Josiah Coatney — 2.46
Darrion Daniels — 2.68
Chauncey Rivers — 2.67
Raequan Williams — 2.27

Here are the 35 most explosive defensive linemen from 2016-20 (2020 prospects in bold):

Myles Garrett — 4.21
Ben Banogu — 4.05
Haason Reddick — 3.93
Solomon Thomas — 3.83
Jabari Zuniga — 3.76
Ed Oliver — 3.72
Jordan Willis — 3.70
Jordan Brailford — 3.61
Ife Odenigbo — 3.61
Taven Bryan — 3.58
Ade Aruna — 3.57
Derek Rivers — 3.57
Kenny Willekes — 3.57
Rashan Gary — 3.56
Jonathan Garvin — 3.56
James Smith-Williams — 3.55
Carl Lawson — 3.54
Dean Lowry — 3.54
Sheldon Rankins — 3.52
Montez Sweat — 3.49
Porter Gustin — 3.48
Kylie Fitts — 3.47
Robert Nkemdiche — 3.47
Bradley Chubb — 3.46
Harrison Phillips — 3.46
Noah Spence — 3.46
Renell Wren — 3.45
Yannick Ngakoue — 3.44
Marcus Davenport — 3.41
Alton Robinson — 3.41
Jamal Davis — 3.40
Kevin Givens — 3.39
Harold Landry — 3.39
Trysten Hill — 3.37
Nick Bosa — 3.36

Here are some other big-name NFL defensive linemen and their pre-draft TEF scores:

Mario Williams — 3.97
J.J. Watt — 3.82
Khalil Mack — 3.81
Aaron Donald — 3.53
Jadeveon Clowney — 3.50

Weighted TEF scores

In previous years I haven’t used weighted TEF on the D-line class and I should’ve done. There are major discrepancies in size that you just don’t see with the offensive linemen.

Jabari Zuniga — 99.2
Larrell Murchison — 98.3
DaVon Hamilton — 96.6
Kenny Willekes — 94.2
Derrick Brown — 93.4
James Smith-Williams — 94.1
Jonathan Garvin — 93.6
Alton Robinson — 90.0
Raekwon Davis — 89.6
DJ Wonnum — 85.9
Jason Strowbridge — 85.5
Malcolm Roach — 85.5
Yetur Gross-Matos — 85.3
Qaadir Sheppard — 85.0
Derrek Tuszka — 83.8
Darrion Daniels — 83.3
James Lynch — 82.9
LaDarius Hamilton — 82.2
AJ Epenesa — 81.1
Rob Windsor — 80.6
Bradlee Anae — 80.4
Jonathan Greenard — 77.3
Josiah Coatney — 75.8
Chauncey Rivers — 70.0
Raequan Williams — 70.0

Who expected Kenny Willekes to be more explosive than Derrick Brown?

Here’s how the D-line class compares to the O-line class (the D-liners are in bold):

Tristan Wirfs — 111.0
Isaiah Wilson — 103.6
Austin Jackson — 103.4
John Simpson — 102.7
Cesar Ruiz — 99.8
Jabari Zuniga — 99.2
Hakeem Adeniji — 98.8
Ezra Cleveland — 98.3
Larrell Murchison — 98.3
Matt Peart — 98.0
Damien Lewis — 97.1
DaVon Hamilton — 96.6
John Molchon — 95.5
Kenny Willekes — 94.2
Derrick Brown — 93.4
James Smith-Williams — 94.1
Jonathan Garvin — 93.6

Justin Herron — 91.8
Jack Driscoll — 91.2
Joshua Jones — 90.1
Alton Robinson — 90.0
Raekwon Davis — 89.6
Danny Pinter — 88.7
Matt Hennessy — 88.4
Terence Steele — 88.3
Andrew Thomas — 87.9
Joe Runyan — 87.2
Charlie Heck — 87.1
Alex Taylor — 86.9
DJ Wonnum — 85.9
Jason Strowbridge — 85.5
Malcolm Roach — 85.5
Yetur Gross-Matos — 85.3
Qaadir Sheppard — 85.0
Derrek Tuszka — 83.8
Darrion Daniels — 83.3

Tremayne Anchrum — 83.2
James Lynch — 82.9
LaDarius Hamilton — 82.2
AJ Epenesa — 81.1
Rob Windsor — 80.6
Bradlee Anae — 80.4

Jonah Jackson — 80.2
Cameron Clark — 79.8
Kyle Murphy — 79.0
Calvin Throckmorton — 77.7
Nick Harris — 77.3
Jonathan Greenard — 77.3
Colt McKivitz — 77.1
Darryl Williams — 76.6
Cordel Iwuagwu — 76.0
Josiah Coatney — 75.8
Tyre Phillips — 75.0
Chauncey Rivers — 70.0
Raequan Williams — 70.0

Even though there are more explosive defensive linemen in this 2020 draft, it’s a hollow victory. The most explosive players play O-line this year.

Linebackers

The Seahawks have tended to look for two types of player at linebacker — freakish athletes and players with great short-area quickness and agility.

Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer, Malcolm Smith and Eric Pinkins all ran between a 4.44 and a 4.51 in the forty. Shaquem Griffin topped the lot with a 4.38. Pierre-Louis, Smith and Pinkins all jumped +39 inches in the vertical. Bobby Wagner was a 4.4 runner at his pro-day with a 39.5-inch vertical. Of the five players they’ve drafted with a +140 SPARQ score, Wagner, Pierre-Louis and Bruce Irvin are included.

They’ve also targeted players who performed especially strongly in the short shuttle. Here are the top-15 short shuttle times run by a linebacker since 2010:

Jordan Tripp — 3.96
Nick Bellore — 4.00

Ben Heeney — 4.00
Mike Mohamed — 4.00
Nick Vigil — 4.00
Kevin Pierre-Louis — 4.02
Stephone Anthony — 4.03
Cody Barton — 4.03
Dakota Allen — 4.03
Von Miller — 4.06
Josh Hull — 4.07
Dorian O’Daniel — 4.07
Avery Williamson — 4.07
Shaq Thompson — 4.08
Ben Burr-Kirven — 4.09

The players in bold have been either drafted or signed by the Seahawks during the Pete Carroll era. A third of the players.

So are there any linebackers in this years draft who fit the bill?

Nobody ran in the 4.0’s. Missouri’s Cale Garrett ran a 4.13 — the eighth best time by a linebacker in the last five years. He also ran a 4.92 forty and it’s hard to imagine the Seahawks taking a linebacker with that lack of speed.

Isaiah Simmons didn’t run any of the agility tests. He shut it down, probably on the advice of his agent, after running a 4.39. Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen both pulled hamstrings during their second runs and didn’t test either. Joshua Uche didn’t do any of the tests other than the bench (18 reps).

Here are the short shuttle times in full:

Cale Garrett — 4.13
Casey Toohill — 4.21
Evan Weaver — 4.21
Shaun Bradley — 4.24
Mykal Walker — 4.25
Davion Taylor — 4.26
Curtis Weaver — 4.27
Willie Gay Jr — 4.30
Zack Baun — 4.31
Scoota Harris — 4.32
Malik Harrison — 4.32
Dante Olson — 4.32
Jacob Phillips — 4.33
Joe Bachie — 4.34
David Woodward — 4.37
Chapelle Russell — 4.41
Azur Kamara — 4.46
Justin Strnad — 4.49

There are some good times here but nothing outstanding.

In terms of overall outstanding athleticism — Willie Gay Jr’s workout virtually emulated his SPARQ performance in High School. He ran a 4.46 forty, jumped a 39.5 inch vertical and an 11-4 broad and finished off with a 4.30 short shuttle and a 7.08 three cone. These are all highly impressive marks at 243lbs. His broad jump was the third best by a linebacker in the last decade behind only Jamie Collins (11-7) and Bud Dupree (11-6). He has first round talent and a top-tier physical profile but character issues will determine how high he goes in the draft. He matches up with some of the best athletes Seattle has taken at linebacker though and, perhaps importantly, he’s a playmaker who excels in coverage.

Zack Baun is a linebacker prospect who predominantly acted as a pass rusher at Wisconsin. He was tipped by some in the media to have an outstanding workout but it didn’t really happen. He ran a 4.65 at 238lbs — so basically the same time as Jabari Zuniga despite the fact he’s nearly 30lbs lighter. His 4.31 short shuttle would’ve matched Alex Highsmith’s best time but again — Highsmith is 10lbs heavier. His best test was a 7.00 three cone — the same time as Montez Sweat and 0.01 seconds faster than Brian Burns. For a third time though — he’s 238lbs and considerably lighter.

Curtis Weaver’s 4.27 short shuttle at 265lbs is very impressive but he has sub-33 inch arms. He also ran a 7.00 three cone. I’m not really sure why he tested with the linebackers rather than the EDGE rushers. Weaver boosted his stock with his agility testing scores and he also had a decent 32.5 inch vertical.

Here are the three cone times:

Malik Harrison — 6.83
Cale Garrett — 6.91
Joe Bachie — 6.93
Davion Taylor — 6.96
Zack Baun — 7.00
Dante Olson — 7.00
Curtis Weaver — 7.00
Evan Weaver — 7.02
Shaun Bradley — 7.07
Logan Wilson — 7.07
Willie Gay Jr — 7.08
Casey Toohill — 7.08
Mykal Walker — 7.09
Azur Kamara — 7.20
David Woodward — 7.34
Scoota Harris — 7.38
Jacob Phillips — 7.38
Chapelle Russell — 7.38

Malik Harrison’s 6.83 is the eighth best time in the last five years. Ben Burr-Kirven ran a 6.85 last year.

So will they draft a linebacker from this group?

Unless the Seahawks feel inclined to spend their top pick on one of Kenneth Murray or Patrick Queen (and both might be off the board by #27) there’s little here to occupy our time over the coming weeks. For that reason, they might be more inclined to try and re-sign Mychal Kendricks and/or consider retaining K.J. Wright on his $10m cap hit. Unless they believe Cody Barton is ready to move into a starting role, which is debatable.

Isaiah Simmons stands out

Although this is by far a better draft for the offense, the top of the draft is loaded with elite defensive players. Tomorrow Jeff Okudah will blow up the combine. Chase Young appears destined to be the #2 pick and Derrick Brown is a top-10 lock.

The best player of the lot, however, could be Isaiah Simmons.

It’s astonishing what he achieved today. On top of running a 4.39 at 6-4 and 238lbs, he also jumped a 39 inch vertical and an 11-0 broad. He even has decent arm length (33 3/8 inches).

Simmons’ profile is comparable to Julio Jones. Every now and again a player comes along that we haven’t seen before. Simmons is that man. His ability to play anywhere at the second level of a defense is unheard of. He’s a superstar in the making and after this performance the only thing that will keep him out of the top-five is a couple of quarterback trades.

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91 Comments

  1. Nick

    Simply sensational stuff, man. Been hitting refresh just waiting for this great analysis. Now go sleep!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man — bed time!

    • Sean Vernon

      These combines are so overrated and could be a reason the Hawks keep striking out on building this Defense and OL. Too much Sparq, not enough game tape.

      I have too many examples but I’ll give one.

      Shaq Barrett. Dude ran the 10 yd split at 1.68. Yes, 1.68. Do you want to be impressed with his short shuttle? How does 4.42 grab ya? Vertical? 29 paltry inches. 29! Small hands, short arms.

      Give me football tape! and a reason I had the Hawks drafting DT Chris Jones from MSU in 2016 and thought Ifedi was lousy on his A&M tape. How did I nail that pre-draft? Game Tape. How did the Hawks miss out on one of the best interior players in the NFL and instead drafted a below avg RT? Stupid combine and SPARQ results.

      I love the work you do, Rob. You’re very knowledgeable and it’s unfortunate the Hawks set standards on parameters that don’t often translate as much as Hawk brass believe. So frustrating to “eye test” guys like myself. Football is not rocket science.

      • Rob Staton

        1. The Seahawks pay very little attention to SPARQ (overall athleticism). They pay a lot of attention to specific positional traits. Which is common sense and the same as most teams.

        2. Maybe you should watch Shaq Barrett’s tape. No player in the entire NFL played on more blitzing snaps than Barrett in 2019. That’s Todd Bowles’ scheme. All out attack, virtually every down. He had 24 (!!!) more blitzing snaps last year than second placed Matt Judon. One of the main reasons he jumped from slightly nondescript, middling free agent to 19 sacks is opportunity and scheme. Very few teams do what Bowles does — mainly because you get killed blitzing as often as they do and look at the points TB gave up as a consequence. Put him in a four man rush like Seattle uses and the results will be very different and his physical profile will matter a lot more.

        3. You might want to stop patting yourself on the back. The NFL allowed Chris Jones to fall to the early second round for various reasons, including character. The Seahawks had literally nobody to play right tackle and made a very logical pick. Don’t revise history.

  2. RWIII

    Rob: What would you rate Raekwon Davis chance of being a bust.

    • Rob Staton

      Pretty much the same as anyone else.

  3. One Bad Mata'afa

    In regards to the FA market for a speed rusher, what are your thoughts on Marcus Golden? Great season last year after two injury-plagued years. Might be had at a reasonable price, with high-upside.

    • Rob Staton

      Short arms. I liked watching him at Mizzou but not really the type they’ve gone for.

  4. Eburgz

    Appreciate all the great draft coverage and the late nights that go along with it!

  5. Tony

    Is there any run stuffer types, or decent late round fliers for the DL? Raekwon would be awesome. But like you said, most of the pass rush solution will be thru FA. So my best hope for the draft is a depth player on the DL.

  6. Tecmo Bowl

    What a disappointing day. Understand Young sitting out- he has nothing to gain. YGM, Okwara, Taylor, Gibson, Lewis, Chaisson, Uche or basically all the explosive looking EDGE prospects sat out. LAME! YGM and Lewis had good verticals and broad jumps at least.

    We are in the inenviable position of being buyers in a sellers pass rush market. JS has some serious work to do. Russell and PC some recruiting. Jody some large checks to write. This free agency period looms large.

  7. A, Chris

    You’re a machine, Rob. Really great stuff.

    Certainly not a ton of options but I’m finding myself eyeing Larrell Murchison. Matches a handful of tendencies, didn’t test bad overall, and seems to be a strong, high motor, kind of guy. Doesn’t really scream Seahawk but effort seems to be a soft spot for Pete/John.

  8. Madmark

    We need veteran’s for DL and your right its the time and the place. This draft is strong in the ways of offensive force and talent. We really should take OL. I like the monster line. Imagine Isiah Wilson at 350, Flukker 340, and Cesar Ruiz pulling on a power sweep to the right. Russ hands off to Dillion and now we have the making of Physical Football.
    If I could do your pre combine mock draft if it was possible I take Cesar Ruiz. The trade up would be for Isiah Wilson . The 64 th pick I take Denzel Mims WR Baylar. The 3rd comp I get A.J.Dilliion you just have to figure out how to use his talents. He could be the jack of all trades doing anything you want physically
    The 3rd round pick we got from Carolina I got Damien Lewis RG LSU.
    I like Isiah Wilson but, watching him at the combine. He will need to learn a lot because he behind 2 years of experience. I watch in one drill and he really is a monster of a man. He has problems coordinating his upper body with his lower body. This is an offensive line coaches dream to get a guy like this. This is the guy they been looking for. Carpenter was always a Guard to me. I think if they had plug him in with Russel they been great. I see 5 veteran OL starters but can the stay healthy in a 17 game season. What you think of increasing the season another game.

  9. Donovan

    Seeing Hassan Reddick’s past TEF score brought up memories of how the SDB community was enamored with him that year. With Hawks needing a LEO, would he be a possible reclamation project?

  10. Nathan M

    In a year Seattle is loaded with draft picks we get a totally miserable class. Stubby DBs, sloppy DL, and limited athleticism overall. Is this gonna look like the 2013 draft? Really hoping for some overlooked stud athletes to pop out at pro days

    • Adam B.

      It’s honestly not a bad draft, it’s just awful at many of positions the Seahawks so desperately need to fill.
      I think the Seahawks will have to take more Clowney/Ansah style chances on the DL for at least another year, and invest their draft picks in places where the prospect depth is better–Offensive Tackle, Guard, Receiver, Center, etc.

    • Troy

      Nathan, this is nothing like the 2013 class. This class is highly regarded for its WRs/Oline, and RBs. This is one of the most explosive Oline classes in probably a decade, and there are tons of great WR to pick with lots of depth. I see Seattle getting at least 2 solid starters with their first 3 picks.

    • Rob Staton

      And we know what they did in 2013….

      Trade picks for Harvin.

      • STTBM

        I hope history doesnt repeat itself. When Carrol gets a bee in a bonnet for an offensive player…not good. Harvin was a disaster, and Seattle somehow traded for Graham, then ignored what he was best at and tried to make him an overpaide blocker. Id be happy if Carrol let his OC ask for a player he wanted, rather than have a defensive minded coach pick a guy for his OC, which Bevell pretty much said happened in both cases. Carrol is 0-2 on that front…that said, I liked Graham and if used properly, would probably have been worth it. At least he wasnt a disaster.

        Now, if Carrol can swing a trade for a great pass rusher who is worth a first, Im interested. But who? Id rather see them pick Ruiz or Taylor, though of course they may both be gone…

        Of course, it matters not what I think or want. We’ll just have to wait and see..

  11. Adam B.

    Ugh.

    I didn’t like them settling for the “steady/safe” LJ Collier last year, and unfortunately there doesn’t look to be a higher caliber of DL player available to them this year.

    I’m starting to wonder if–as you say–the Seahawks should “punt” on drafting DL talent and instead invest their picks in filling the OL, WR, and DB holes where there are far more convincing answers available. They’re almost certainly going to have to either take some chances on comeback or mid-tier DL free agents, or bite the bullet and hand out some guaranteed money in a way they had seemed to desperately avoid with Frank Clark.

    • Simo

      Don’t think they will ever stop drafting d-line talent, but they do need to stick to guys who have the traits they prefer. When they stray from this approach (athletically or character wise) it doesn’t seem to go well.

      I also don’t think they are afraid to spend big money on FA players. They obviously didn’t feel good about a $100m+ contract for Frank, so they moved on. Doesn’t mean they won’t give that contract to someone else, like Clowney.

  12. steele

    Rob, first let me say what everyone here knows: you do the best draft analysis anywhere, period. Thank you, you are a beast.

    This was a bad day for the Seahawks, and for every team that needs defensive help. All will be forced to consider moving up, paying dearly in FA, trading, or take a chance on guys who tested poorly, but whose tape is good. The old “tape don’t lie, they’re football players” thing. Maybe it’s possible to get lucky and find value with this latter approach. Surefire starters, however, will be tougher to find.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Steele, really appreciate it.

  13. Ukhawk

    I hope Gay can be gotten with one of our R2s or they trade up for him.

    Feel like he could part of the puzzle to getting more speed and pressure across the board

    Higher on him than Davis in terms of needs

  14. Peppapig

    Great stuff Rob.
    Looks like spend spend spend on the DL.

  15. Donny Henson

    So I looked at all free agent edge rushers and their combine profiles and the following have the 33+ inch arm requirement along with 1.59 or below 10 yd split. * means they have been in Seattle in their career.

    *Jadeveon Clowney- 34.5 inch arms, 1.56 split
    Dante Fowler- 33.75 inch arms, 1.59 split
    *Bruce Irvin- 33.33 inch arms, 1.55 split
    Jabaal Sheard- 33.5 inch arms, 1.59 split
    Jordan Jenkins- 34.25 inch arms. 1.58 split
    Stephen Weatherly- 34.5 inch arms, 1.59 split
    Emmanuel Ogbah- 35.5 inch arms, 1.59 split
    *Ezekiel Ansah- 35.25 inch arms, 1.56 split
    Jeremiah Attaochu- 33 inch arms, 1.55 split
    Aaron Lynch- 34 inch arms, 1.52 split
    *Dion Jordan- 33.8 inch arms, 1.57 split
    Josh Martin (Older Brother of Jacob Martin, who we traded away for Clowney)- 34.5 inch arms, 1.59 split

    Looking at this list Plan A is bring back Clowney, and Plan B is Fowler with a mix of 1or 2 of Jenkins, Weatherly, Ogbah, and others as rotational pieces.

    • Sea Mode

      Nice work, thank you.

      Now let’s look at the guys who might be on the trade market.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they might be willing to look beyond the 33 inch arm thing for Everson Griffen. Just because of the relationship with Pete and proven production.

      • Davido

        I think it should be different for proven talents. I don’t see why they should have a specific physical profile in mind when thinking about someone that has proven that he is effective in the league for years. It sure is an ideal for them them but I think it is more important for guys they want to coach up.

        • Rob Staton

          Agreed, but sometimes a player benefits from a specific scheme that might not translate. For example, Shaq Barrett’s physical profile limitations are masked in Tampa Bay playing in Todd Bowles’ never ending blitz attack. In Seattle, if he was asked to rush in a four man front, I doubt he’d have the same success.

      • J

        I’m a little concerned what the price will be though.

      • Donny Henson

        Everson Griffen’s 10 yd split was a 1.63. If Seattle is willing to wiggle room that as well, then it opens it up for Quinn (1.61 split), Mario Addison (1.63 split), Carl Nassib (1.62 split) and Kyler Fackrell (1.61 split) and a few others.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s different for free agents. And the 1.5 split isn’t a ‘have it or else’. It’s just an elite split.

    • swedenhawk

      Didn’t they go after Jabaal Sheard a few years ago?

    • Henry Taylor

      Ogbah is definitely a guy I have some interest in as a cheaper option to pair up with Clowney and possibly another interior guy. Size, Length and get off are all excellent, 26 years old and was having a pretty productive year with the Cheifs before he got hurt .

      • Trevor

        Agree completely I think Ogbah is definitely a guy they will kick the tires on.

    • J

      Bring back Bruce and Vic Beasley.

      I think with the 33 inch arm thing, just like CB there is a little wiggle room when it comes to FA.

    • Simo

      Some really good talent on this list, but wonder how many of these guys still possess the same speed and explosiveness? Age and/or injuries have taken a toll on some of them for sure (Irvin, Sheard, Jordan, Ansah).

      They better hope they can re-sign Clowney and find a quality running mate who’s got plenty left in the tank!

  16. Sea Mode

    Derwin James Jr
    @DerwinJames
    · 9h

    Go crazy @isaiahsimmons25 !! True story he was running 4.35’s electric when I seen him at @proactivesp training.

    • Sea Mode

      Also, even though we will never sniff Isaiah Simmons, let’s appreciate what we do have…

      Bobby Wagner (241 lbs): 39.5″ vert, 11’0″ broad, 4.46 40yd

      Isaiah Simmons (238 lbs): 39″ vert, 11’0″ broad, 4.39 40yd

      Just tells you as well what level athletes these guys are.

  17. Kingdome1976

    Super let down with the overall performances. My man Zuniga showed up though.

    If we can get Willie Gay Jr. I would be stoked. That dude is a beast.

    I was also fairly impressed with Blacklock along with Gallimore.

    I’ve never been on the R. Davis bandwagon and there was nothing to change my mind.

    Clowney will get the premium 23-25 million. Hopefully/prayerfully we land Griffin.

    • Rob Staton

      1. It’s not a ‘bandwagon’ with Raekwon Davis. It’s an acknowledgement that they’ve been looking for a Calais Campbell type for a long time and physically he fits the bill.

      2. Why were you impressed with Blacklock and Gallimore? Gallimore ran a good forty but his workout was nothing to write home about and look at his agility testing.

      3. Nobody knows what Clowney will get but it probably won’t be $25m. I think people are getting carried away. The question is whether or not the Seahawks, or someone else, will give him a deal on a par with but marginally better than DeMarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark.

      • Kingdome1976

        1. I wasn’t only talking about this blog when saying ‘bandwagon’. However there has been a bunch of posts
        with wanting Davis with our first pick here. I’ve watched a bunch of tape on Davis and I have to say I just
        wasn’t willing to put him up that high for my part. I wanted to see him at the combine first.

        2. To be fair I said ‘fairly’ impressed. I wasn’t exactly blown away.

        3. I don’t think it’s really getting carried away to go from 23 million to 25 million especially since there is a dearth of quality in the draft and Clowney is the #1 game wrecking prospect on the market. I do think he will get in the 23 million range though.

        Great article btw

        • Rob Staton

          I haven’t written any posts about Davis with the first pick. Some people have suggested R2. Talking about possibilities isn’t a ‘bandwagon’ just because you don’t agree.

          $25m is getting carried away. It’s a massive jump from Lawrence and Clark.

      • Lewis

        We are in a better position to give Clowney that deal now than we were to give Clark the same a year ago. Another cap increase and this time it’s the single biggest need we have.

  18. drewdawg11

    There are a few things to consider here:

    1. With the bad showing my list of the Edge prospects, Rob is correct in that we may need to spend big.

    2. With that being the case, we may see some veterans go that they would have otherwise cap to create more cap space. It looks like we need an additional $10 million minimum.

    3. Those FA acquisitions almost certainly have to be edge players and the draft needs to provide a young DT who can occupy the point of attack to get max return on their investment in Bobby. Keep him clean and watch him work.

    4. OL must be addressed by round two or else Fant must be retained. If he wants too much, it has to be the first pick.

    5. A trade up in round two is fairly likely again if they want to grab an athletic defender that will probably go on early day two, (Gay, Raekwon, Dugger)

    6. That third pick is going to be a WR/Hunter Bryant/Cam Akers. Someone to give the offense a needed punch. The strength of the draft says that this is still a spot where they can find good value.

    Re-sign Al Woods to a modest contract. He was effective when we had him as a rotational guy. Solidify the interior so you aren’t counting on a rookie.

    It’s crazy how very little talent/athleticism there is at edge. After Young, you really take your job in your own hands taking one of these guys in round one. Such a strange class.

    • Kingdome1976

      I was thinking of something similar in a post I made yesterday when I thought maybe we should let go of Ifedi and Britt and draft replacements with 2 of our first 3 picks. I really don’t like the idea of having two rookies of the line but at least they will be high picks. This will free up somewhere in the 20 million range to add to the spending spree. Also if the lineman pan out we will have young cheap guys on the O line for the next 4 years.

      • Simo

        I’m just not sure its realistic to expect a rookie lineman to come in and start right away on a team with super bowl aspirations. And definitely not multiple rookies! As we have seen over and over it takes them a few seasons to learn the pro game.

        It’s why the Hawks are picking up veterans like Fluker, Sweezy, Iupati, etc, to fill roles why they develop rookies like Haynes, J Jones, and others.

        This is probably the same reason why so many on this blog are pushing to resign either Ifedi or Fant, and its also pretty mixed on whether they should cut ties with Britt. There’s a lot to be said for veteran o-liners, especially those who have been with the team for multiple years.

        Even recall hearing Pete say he wanted continuity on the line, so I’ll be surprised if they rely on multiple rookie starters.

      • STTBM

        Seattle will likely keep Britt at least long enough to see if Pocic or someone they draft can replace him (Ruiz?). Hunt is a FA and not the answer. Id be ok with two OL picks out of three, as long as they are good players. I also think Pocic, Jones and Haynes are gonna get long looks at starting positions, so they might not see a need to grab more than 1 OL with their first three picks.

  19. Rad man

    Seems like draft for O and FA for D makes sense.

  20. Rob Staton

    Jets have George Fant on a list of potential OL FA targets according to Tony P.

    • Sea Mode

      Uh oh, the ever big over-spenders…

      • Sea Mode

        Ok, just read it. At least he is only reported to be their contingency choice along with Halapoulivaati Vaitai if they miss out on Jack Conklin.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Pauline says they’re going to spend BIG on Conklin. Might limit what they can offer to Fant, if they decide to make him an offer.

      • Rob Staton

        If they sign Conklin they won’t sign Fant.

  21. Sea Mode

    Of all the combine interview clips they could have chosen to leak, it was this one…?

    https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1233837504534585349

    • Rob Staton

      Fair play I say. Bad vertical in every sense from Trey… might as well have some fun 🍆

      • Sea Mode

        Yeah, I don’t see it as such foul play like Nagy does. He was having some fun at the teams’ expense, now they can have some fun at his. 🤭

        • Rob Staton

          Trey Adams is a legend today.

          All power to him.

          🍆 🍆 🍆

          • Sea Mode

            Right up there with Chris Jones for sure!

  22. drewdawg11

    If the market gets away from them and even Fant is demanding top dollar, you just have to get a tackle you like no matter what it takes. The point about having two rookies on the line is a valid point. Great for 2 years from now, not ideal for a team who believes itself to be a title contender. Still, we operated for almost half the season with a center who was below average. An athletically superior rookie will conceivably be ready to go full speed ahead by mid-season, and he would be an instant upgrade over what we were experiencing after Britt was injured. That’s good enough to win. If you save $9 million by cutting Britt, the thought is now you have a realistic shot at Clowney/Fowler. I have no clue what the market will be for Reed, but he ain’t $10-15 million AYP worthy. In fact, if I felt that his market was going to be competitive I would just tag him and try to get a second rounder for him and move on. Not sure that his market would be as such, but it’s a thought. Can always remove the tag at any time and cut him loose.

    • Rob Staton

      Couple of RT names…

      Darryl Williams
      Jared Valdheer

    • Bigten

      The think about Hunt tho, he is superior intellectually and understands the offense and RW. You aren’t going to get that right away with a rookie. Again, great in 2 Years, but immediately not as great. Center has a lot more variables than just athletic profile to begin. Not going against getting Ruiz or Cush, but this should be part of the equation and discussion.

  23. drewdawg11

    Was Veldheer healthy last year? I think if you sign a guy like that, you’re also drafting a young tackle early to compete with him or take over within a year. This is the draft to get a young player and develop that guy. I just don’t want to see them roll with Jamarco Jones. Completely underwhelmed with his play, despite Pete’s praise.

    • Rob Staton

      He was. Signed for GB in mid season and played well.

      • STTBM

        I wondered why they didnt go after Veldheer the other time or two he was available. I think it could have been money, but he ought to be reasonably priced now…

        • Rob Staton

          Well, he was more expensive and they’ve had Ifedi for four years.

  24. Oregonhawk

    Not Halapoulivaati Vaitai? Is that just a cost issue or do you have reservations about him?

  25. Dave Crockett

    I wan to see the pro day #s, especially for the big guys, compared to combine #s. The small changes to format can impact performances measured in hundredths of a second. It’s the kind of change might not affect position groups the same.

  26. Bmseattle

    JS/PC have always kept a long term perspective with team building… trying to anticipate things 2-3 years out.
    Even if this draft class was loaded with edge rushers, chances are that we would get limited production from anyone we draft in year one.

    Since we haven’t drafted/developed any edge prospects over the past few years that ideally would be ready to significantly contribute this season, it was always going to be free agency and/or trades that provided us with the best short term impact.
    (not ideal, but it is what it is)

    Even before the underwhelming combine results, the Seahawks were “in trouble”.
    They are in a position of having to overpay to fill essential positions *now* in order to try and compete short term.
    My guess is that where this overpay will be felt the most, is the 2nd tier guys (Fowler, Quinn), and we will be forced to offer multiple years, rather than potentially getting guys like that on short term deals.

    As far as the draft goes, I don’t think they should reach on guys at postions of need. Draft like you are still building 2-3 years out, and go for the best players you can get, at any postion… even if it’s a position that seems solid right now. (though, I’d argue that there isn’t a position on the team that wouldn’t benefit from an upgrade.)

  27. Trevor

    I was all for spending $ on a quality RT in free agency prior to the combine. Boy have I taken a 36 on that idea. The strength of this draft is clearly OL, WR. There are few if any options on the DL.

    I think the vast majority of the cap $ has to go to the DL Then in the draft target an OT, G/C, WR and speedy linebacker.

    Rd 1 Wilson (RT)
    Rd 2 Gay Jr (LB)
    Rd 2 Claypool (WR)
    Rd 3 Cam Akers (RB)
    Rd #4 Lawrence (DT)
    Rd #4 Nick Harris (C)
    Rd #5 Lamar Jackson (CB/Neb)
    Rd#6 Tuszka (Edge)

    • drewdawg11

      Nice list there. I would say that Akers tester well enough to move into round two consideration. Also, and I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face, I’ve watched every game of Nick Harris’ career. I love the kid, but I don’t want that type of physical limitation on our team. He’s Joey Hunt with more agility/athleticism. He will fail to anchor against those mammoth DT’s and NT’s. A team who fancies themselves as a physical run team can’t have Nick Harris at starting center.

  28. Greg Haugsven

    I still thi k bringing back Irvin could be an option. He is o ly a month older than Griffen, had a good year last year with 8.5 sacks, played 55% of the snaps and made $4 million. They wanted him when he chose Atlanta but not sure how much interest they had last year.

    • Von

      I’ve been think Clowney and a few other vets like Irvin. Bring in Ogbah and Weatherly as well as a DT.

  29. Bobby Swagner

    Not to try to beat a dead horse, but why did they pass on guys like Winovich or Oshane Ximenes last year? Hoping for a lot of improvement from Collier.

    • Volume12

      Even if Collier improves he doesn’t give Seattle someone to line up wide. Said it before, w/o that LEO Seattle’s defense struggles due to spacing issues and the LBs now have to compensate.

      Collier eat from inside where Gruden had him lined up at the 3-tech during the SB bowl. They think he’s Bennett. I remain unconvinced.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s be real here.

      Winovich and Ximenes are not worth crying about.

      And with the pick they could’ve had either, they took DK Metcalf.

  30. Zane

    Of all the EDGE prospects I’ve watched, Curtis Weaver is still the only one I’ve seen bend the edge like Pete wants from a LEO. His agility testing confirms this trait. Too bad about the arm length.

  31. drewdawg11

    I’d much rather have Bruce than keep Kendricks. He will cost more, so that’s a factor. He’s also more versatile so perhaps he would help to solve some of the pass rush issues.

  32. Michael P Matherne

    They need to adjust the order of the tests so that the 40 yard dash is the last thing each player does for the day. I know some of the “hamstring tweaks” we see are really a text from an agent, but some must also be legitimate. It’s dumb that so many people are unable (or given a convenient excuse) to participate in several of the drills because they went to hard trying to max out that 40 time. One could argue that you want it earlier in the session when the players are fresh, but I’d counter by pointing out that it would add another wrinkle/evaluation point if it came at the end because it would speak to a player’s overall conditioning.

  33. EranUngar

    A very well written obituary for this DL class.

    Just one point:

    I understand the Seahawks are not looking for a DT with a 4.75 short shuttle and will not invest a high draft pick if he ran a 7.77 short shuttle. Those are not the the traits that make a great pass rushing DT or anyone the Seahawks may be excited about no matter what he showed actually playing the game.

    And just before I closed the book on the option of drafting a DT out of this poor class of candidates I suddenly remembered a guy that did not make any of the 5 year best tables above, a guy the Seahawks actually traded UP to get.

    I remembered the glowing smile on JS’s face after they drafted Jarran Reed.

    Yes, sometimes you just draft a good football player and call it day.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes, that’s always been the point with Raekwon Davis. That and the fact he’s like Calais physically and we know they’ve been looking for a Calais.

      • EranUngar

        Exactly the player I was thinking of.

        May not become a Campball pass rusher but he could certainly keep WAGS clean to do his job, handle double teams and double gap when needed…

    • EranUngar

      P.S. – I know he ran a 1.80 10 yard split and a vert of 32 inches….but still, not a TEF warrior or short shuttle/3 cone master…

  34. Starhawk29

    That combine could not have gone any worse for Edge rushers. It does give a couple of later round targets that I’m going to try and dig into.

    Jonathan Garvin: decent test numbers with a great frame. He needs to get into a weight room, but there’s talent there. The problem is, I think he’s best off gaining weight and becoming a 5 tech instead of Edge. He lacks the burst and twitch the hawks are looking for right now.

    Alex Highsmith: Requisite measurements and the build the hawks look for in a LEO (might be slightly undersized). The twitch stands out on tape against Clemson (admittedly the only game I’ve watched) and he has the length we want. He’s not an immediate solution, but I’d be ok with a 3rd or 4th rd pick and some developmental time.

    James Smith-Williams: Talented, would be a good fit, but a clear injury risk. Honestly, I’m not picking him before round 6.

  35. Michael Hasslinger

    This is an analytical failure. You have to assess risk of Leo to money outlay and pucks allotted. Seattle dropped the ball completely.

    If Collier busts, the extra picks by falling back could have been done without any trade.

    This is strategic failure. This is on JS.

  36. Hawkhomer1

    Thank you Rob for the Herculean effort.

    I agree with the sentiment here that the tactic needs to change. This DE class has developmental guys at best.

    Isaiah Wilson should be a Hawk. Perhaps we should trade up to get Cesar Ruiz as well. Raekwon Davis as well if possible. He doesn’t show an explosive pass rush on tape but neither did Reed or Poona and both of those players have made great strides with he Hawks.

    You let Britt go and pay Clowney and sign Fowler or Armstead. Bring Q-Jeff back and hope Green and Collier make strides. Also need to add an RB given the injuries to Penny and Carson. I like Seamode’s idea of Eno Benjamin as insurance play.

  37. Simo

    I am a bit perplexed to hear people speak so easily about replacing 2-3 members of the offensive line, really like its not a very big deal. Even if Ruiz and Wilson are available, neither is a sure thing, especially as rookies. They may develop into excellent players in time, but its rare for guys drafted in the late first and beyond to come in and contribute immediately. If people think Haynes will be the starter at guard as well, he is essentially a rookie to after playing very little last year.

    Some say the Hawks need the money for the defensive line, and that is probably a fair point but it seems like this approach would significantly weaken the off line at least in the short term.

    Hopefully they can extend and restructure Britt at a lower number, keep one of Ifedi or Fant, and fill Iupati’s slot with one of Haynes or Jones. At least there’s still some continuity with players who are familiar with the system.

    This approach should leave enough to fix the def line while not weakening the off line.

    • Hawkhomer1

      Well, there is history for doing just that. Carpenter in 2011 started 9 games before tearing his ACL and going on IR. Britt in 2014 started all 16 games. Ifedi drafted in 2016. Hurt his ankle in preseason and didn’t play until week 4 then started every game after that. Ethan Pocic drafted in 2017. Played in all 16 games and started 11. I am not saying it is an ideal situation but we have so many holes to fill and the better players in this draft are OL and WR. Reaching for guys to fill specific holes like we did the last couple years didn’t work out so well.

      Not getting a good pass rush doesn’t just expose the guys on the back end but makes them look like liabilities. Fix the pass rush and a lot of the issues on the back end take care of themselves.

      Finally, the trio of Haynes, Ruiz, and Wilson are better athletes than Iupati, Britt recovering from an ACL, and Ifedi. Just my 2.

  38. drewdawg11

    I totally get it. The issue becomes how much money do you want to spend on average to below average veterans? They must take advantage of this OL class whether you think that they’ll start or not in year one. They need to find a tackle who can play and they can hedge their bet with a veteran who won’t demand a fortune. Bottom line is you can’t pay big dollars to Ifedi or Fant, and Britt is making far too much money while coming off of an ACL. He has to restructure his deal or else you have to make a tough decision. The young tackle is vital.

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