Debate: Should Seattle make defense a draft priority?

Would it make sense to keep building up the NFL's #1 defense with a guy like Brent Urban?

I really like this years receiver class.

Who wouldn’t?

The need for a big wide out kind of goes hand-in-hand with what’s available. Mike Evans, Brandon Coleman, Kelvin Benjamin. It’s a good year to want a pure #1 receiver.

Yet there’s another thought I can’t get out of my head.

Wouldn’t it make sense to continue to add to this defense, with the intention of making it even better?

The performance against Denver will go down as one of the best in Super Bowl history, mainly due to the way Seattle shut down such a prolific offense.

But I get the feeling this defense hasn’t even peaked yet.

And with one or two further additions they could get even better.

Why not?

Here’s the argument for going defense in round one this year.

1. The defense is the identity

It feels like the Legion of Boom isn’t just about four guys any more, or even just the secondary unit.

It’s the whole team.

They hit Peyton Manning, they hit the receivers and running backs. They all laid the boom in the Super Bowl.

In 10-15 years time there’s every chance people will still be talking about Seattle’s ‘L.O.B.’. Even if they don’t win another title, they left a mark last Sunday.

Keeping the defense at the forefront of what Seattle is about could keep this franchise right at the top.

2. The current pass rush isn’t tied up

There’s actually a fair amount of short termism about the defensive line.

Michael Bennett is a free agent this year. So is Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald.

Cliff Avril’s contract only runs through 2014. Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane won’t be around forever, while Chris Clemons could be a cap casualty this off-season.

The entire pass rush could look totally different in two seasons time.

Throwing a cheap, late first round talent into the mix who’s guaranteed to be here for at least four years might not be such a bad idea.

In fact it could be an absolute necessity.

3. The offense is already pretty good

Amid all the media noise of ‘mediocrity’, it’s easy to forget Seattle’s offense ranked #7 in DVOA in 2013.

Owning a top-ten unit with this defense basically means Championship football.

If they re-sign Golden Tate and tender Doug Baldwin, they’ll essentially be keeping the same group of receivers that won a Super Bowl.

The running game isn’t going anywhere, even if we’re looking at maybe only another year or two out of Marshawn Lynch at his very best.

They’ve already started to make contingency plans there by drafting Christine Michael and he might see more time with Robert Turbin next season.

Russell Wilson is only going to keep getting better.

It’s not like Seattle has to desperately upgrade the offense this off-season.

4. Percy time

There’s no guarantee Percy Harvin will be fully healthy in 2014, but this team made a significant investment in him a year ago.

Clearly they believe over the long term he can take this offense to another level.

And he can, if he’s on the field.

Harvin’s presence alone will be significant. He’s a big-time X-Factor and one of the game’s truly elite players when he’s out there.

The fact he didn’t feature much at all in 2013 almost makes him a new addition for next season.

Harvin, Tate, Baldwin, Kearse and Lockette.

Looks good to me, however much I’d like to add an Evans, Coleman or Benjamin to the group.

5. Is LEO a need?

Avril has one more year. Clemons could be a goner. Benson Mayowa is still a bit of an unknown.

Bruce Irvin, once touted as the “ideal LEO” by Pete Carroll, has now made a permanent switch to linebacker.

This could be a long term need for the Seahawks.

Aside from that, you can never have too many pass rushers.

This might be a good time to add another edge player. They wouldn’t be under too much pressure to have an instant impact.

And Seattle needs to save some money somewhere, because it might be difficult to re-sign Avril in a year.

6. The NFC West aint going anywhere

This division really is scary when it comes to defense.

The Rams have their two fierce edge rushers in Chris Long and Robert Quinn.

The Cardinals had the second best unit in the league according to DVOA and leaned on their defense to win in Seattle.

The 49ers have a loaded front seven and enough picks in the upcoming draft to improve their secondary.

At the same time all three teams have some issues on offense.

St. Louis is still hoping Sam Bradford can be the answer.

Arizona is going to be starting Carson Palmer again next season, in is 35th year after throwing 22 interceptions in 2013.

And the Niners have to be hoping Colin Kaepernick continues to develop as a passer, to go with his electrifying athletic qualities.

It’s basically a division where defense is king.

As much as we want to believe adding another receiver or offensive lineman to Seattle’s roster will help, I’m not sure you’ll ever have it easy against these teams.

It’s a war of attrition in the west, based around great defense.

Keeping the Legion of Boom at the top of the pack could be vital going forward.

Of course, there are counters to this debate as well. The obvious one being the only way to combat these great defenses is to keep giving more weapons to Russell Wilson or improving the offensive line.

Despite my preference to mock a receiver to Seattle in recent weeks, I firmly believe continuing to stockpile defensive lineman would also be a good idea.

If the Seahawks pass on a big receiver at #32 or even with their first two picks — I wouldn’t bat an eye lid.

Especially if they continue to pump up the defense.

At the combine we should be looking at tall defensive lineman with length and long arms. Speed helps, but probably isn’t vital if we’re talking interior guys.

I wouldn’t rule out a player like Aaron Donald either, who really jump off the tape even if he lacks ideal size.

With the LEO prospects speed matters much more, but length is also important. Hand-use is also a crucial and underrated aspect — just look at the way Avril turned on the bull rush in the post season to great effect.

Aside from the players I’ve already spent considerable time on (Brent Urban, Ra-Shede Hageman) I intend to take a closer look at Jeremiah Attaochu, Kony Ealy, Stephon Tuitt (who’s never really impressed me so far) and a few others before the combine.

It’s not a great class for defensive lineman by any means, but there are some interesting options for Seattle. I’m particularly high on Virginia’s Urban and I like the upside of Hageman.

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  1. dave crockett

    All things equal, you have to replenish defense more frequently anyway.

  2. Stuart

    Agree 100% with your line of thinking here. Do you think there is a possibility in moving a player or two for draft picks? Red to NE, Miller to name your team, are a few examples. They wouldn’t fetch much but something is better than nothing and we know how well JS does with draft picks.

    Do you think Lockette can progress as a WR? He is a special teams terror and he did make some nice catches this past season.

    Lastly, what are your thoughts on Willson playing a big WR more often? He is big and he is very fast.

    • Rob Staton

      Trades like that are very rare. Most of the time deals are done for fringe players or stars, but you rarely see regular roster guys moved around. I can’t see Bryant or Miller being traded to be honest, although I think both will be asked to take a pay cut.

      I want Lockette on this team next year just for the special teams value. Man he turned into a head hunter as a gunner at the back end. That speed on the chase against Denver late on, unreal. And the two hits against STL and San Fran.

      Willson for me has the size but not the speed or jump to turn into a wide receiver. I think he’s best running over the middle or as a move tight end. I wouldn’t want him outside trying to run effective WR routes.

      • Jon

        you would think we could get a 6th or 7th for Bryant. A few years ago we got a 4th and Clemons for Daryl Tapp, I believe. This is another move I am looking forward to. The Hawks look for players that are a little different and less valued on average around the league which means they get what they want for less compensation. Lets hope for a Clemons or Beast Mode type trade this year. great player for next to nothing please.

        • Rob Staton

          In fairness Darryl Tapp wasn’t earning $8.5m like Red Bryant.

          Trades like that shouldn’t be expected, you don’t see a lot of proven vets on big contracts moving around like that unless they’re elite guys wanting a new fat contract.

          I don’t think Red’s going anywhere personally. He’s vital to the team. But I do think he’ll be asked to take a pay cut.

          • Cameron

            I’m not sure why, but I haven’t heard Red’s name come up in the whole conversation about who’s contract should be restructured. He seems to be a logical candidate. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and makes entirely too much money considering he’s not an every down player (was he ever?). I hear chatter about him making a good DE in a 3-4. I don’t see it. He offers zero pass rush no matter where he lines up. Justin Smith is a good 3-4 DE. He can play both ways. Red should play for 5 million or less or be released.

            • Rob Staton

              He will be asked to take a pay cut IMO, will probably accept it and stick around.

            • Mattk

              I agree, Red has been losing snaps on a fairly consistent basis to the nickel package of Bennett and Avril who’s been dominating together. He’s probably overpaid for what he does, but then again I’d hate to lose Red when we’re playing a physical running team like the 49ers. He’s a bully on the field which I think goes a long ways in the overall defenses attitude.

            • Siva

              Iam not sure even 5 mil will make sense….coz there is a 3 mil dead money(even if signs a lesser new contract…the dead money will be still added right?..that would be the same as his old salary of 8.5 mil)…and restructure doesnt make any sense either as only 2 years of contract is left… Iam not sure how a paycut will work here unless it is a drastic one…other option is to cut him but Red seems to be a integral part of the team fabric…

              • Cameron

                I know what you’re saying. I’m saying Red at total cap hit of 5 million. According to Red has a base salary of 4.5 million, with a roster bonus of 3 million and 1 million in pro-rated bonus, for a total cap hit of 8.5 million. I’d say cut his base salary to 1 million. He’d still get the 3 million roster bonus and make a total of 4 million with a total cap charge of 5 million. That would free up 3.5 million this season. In 2015 Red has a base salary of 6 million and 1 million in prorated bonus. For that season I would reduce his salary to 3.5 million with a total cap charge of 4.5 million, freeing up another 2.5 million.

                • Siva

                  it makes more sense now…dead money is not related to 8.5 mil salary…if they can chip away 4 mil from his salary and keep Red in the would be great…same goes to zach miller…but i doubt he will take a pay cut unless we sign him to a longer contract as he still in his prime age,28 years.if he can come back for 3 mil it would be great but i doubt it will happen as i think jets or jaguars might snap him up…

  3. Cysco

    Good article Rob.

    For what it’s worth, my view is that the goal for next season and beyond is to win the NFCW. If you win the division, you have to be favored in the playoffs.

    No team in the division should give the Hawks defense any concern, regardless of what happens with with the roster. Even if the defensive line takes a step back, they should still be good enough to slow down the other teams in the division.

    I would argue that it is more important to give the offense a bump. If we can neutralize the other NFCW teams on defense, we still need to score points to win. Be as good or better on defense and superior on offense.

    Every team in the NFCW has a great defense, the winner might be decided by who can actually score.

    • Kenny Sloth

      We’re already the best offense in the division. We have the best QB and best RB and best WR. And it’s not even really close.

      We need a T/G prospect for depth, a late round TE, and a competitive receiving target.
      Those are all late round needs.

      You reload on defense. Offense has to marinate.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Our offense struggled all year because of the many injuries on the offensive line. In fact the only game that they looked elite in was the superbowl. At least they peaked at the right time. We need to keep reloading with WR, TE and a couple linemen.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Well, at least we got our depth some experience, yeah? What does Jeanpierre get tendered? He was undrafted, but he started 3 games this season and 5 games in 2011. He’s only 26 and has performed well.

          • AlaskaHawk

            I like Okung when he is healthy. But he is making way too much money for a part season player.

            I’m unsure if playing Carpenter in the Superbowl means that PC is going to keep him, or whether his history of injuries and poor physical shape in preseason means he will be cut. I vote for replacing him with a big draft pick.

            I love Unger but he really struggles against big nose tackles.

            Sweezy is playing well. He should be fine for another year. But he is also pretty easy to replace with a mid-round guard.

            Breno – I thought he turned it around after he came back from injury. I would like to see them resign him.

            Bowie and Bailey, both great offensive linemen. Not sure where they will fit in. They should stick with the team next year.

            • JW

              I think both bailey and bowie should be starting at LG and RT. The competitive advantage of Cable is supposedly to make hay with low cost players. Time to put that into action, and let McQ and Breno play for someone else. I just don’t see the sense in paying to re-sign Breno. Every dollar starts to count and if Cable is indeed a difference maker, we should see that payoff by being able to save money at less than vital positions like RT and G positions-as has been argued here.

      • Troy

        Best WR? Larry Fitzgerald last time I check was hands down the “Best WR” in our division.

        • Ncooper

          Percy harvin….
          Fitzgerald was great but the last two seasons havent been up to par

        • CWU Hawk

          Debatable. Percy with a full season would have hands down a larger effect on the game/ better stats… Although I do understand your point. Especially when viewing the WR position through a Traditional sense

  4. Jon

    I still want a RedZone/Big WR for Wilson. This is certainly a need. I understand that there are other places we could go but Big WR would certainly be a benefit. D-Line is also a need based on the possibility of loosing Clem, Bryant, McDonald, McDaniel, and Bennet. I think Bennet will be back, and that is about all I am confident about in the least.

    Another Position group that looks good now, but will suffer in a years time is our LB corp. Wright will need a new contract, but I think will be to expensive (hopefully I’m wrong). Smith is in the same situation and he just earned a bigger than realistic contract based on one performance in the SB.

    I look forward to this and next years offseason moves and am just glad that PCJS will undoubtedly be working harder than ever to improve. They will not rest until they know they have made improvement no matter how difficult or how small the improvement.

    Good work on this site. I enjoy it greatly.

    • Rob Staton

      “I still want a RedZone/Big WR for Wilson” — me too. Absolutely. I really want to see this offense with a big receiver. But I’m open to other possibilities too, especially another D-line pick.

      • Jon


      • Ben2

        Hellacious defense won us a Super Bowl. Maintain what won it. So what biggish receivers can we get in the 2nd? I have this impression that GB used to draft a lot of 2nd rd receivers in the 6’3″ size range…so what I mean is maybe Schneider has a WR type

        • Rob Staton

          If we’re talking round two I expect Jordan Matthews to be there deep into round two, you could maybe even get him in the third after a small trade down. I think Donte Moncrief is about a third rounder or fourth. Cody Hoffman is in a similar range.

          But none of these guys get close to the first round talent for me. I really think if this is a need we want to address, it’s better solved early. Otherwise we might as well roll with what we’ve got and go with what we’ve done pretty well recently and go for OL/CB/S/DL depth later on.

  5. Cameron

    The D Line group is interesting in that none of them are PCJS draftee’s. There are two holdovers (Red and Mebane) and the rest were acquired via trade or free agency. Why not continue with this formula? The coaching staff seems pretty good at player development (see Clinton McDonald) and appear to be proactive in this regard (Scruggs, Boatright bulking up to play 3-tech). If we lose McDaniel, McDonald, etc we should be looking for other less regarded free agents who want to come here on short term contracts and make a name for themselves. It almost seems to easy. Seattle is a destination of choice for these guys now.

    I get a feeling Pete isn’t sweating about the LEO position. The position was designed so that an undersized, fast LB/DE type can be plugged in. Shoot, Malcolm Smith has flashed at the position. I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle drafts another fast, long LB type with the idea of converting to LEO. I could also see the position manned by committee, including using Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith, Bennett, etc.

    For the defensive backfield we have a proven formula. Draft high upside guys in the middle to late rounds, coach em up. I’m absolutely not concerned at all about this position group. Same goes for Safety, although a passable back-up that can play either position would be nice.

    I still think we need a big receiving target, whether it be a TE or a WR. I’m beginning to think ASJ may fall in the draft and would be a nice get late in the 2nd round. I think even if he’s never a Zach Miller type blocker his receiving skills will more than justify taking him.

  6. Cameron

    Rob, what are your thoughts on the Henry Melton situation. I believe you were pretty high on him at one point to play the 3 tech for us. I believe he’s a free agent. Considering his injury and legal problems it seems like a 1 year deal to play in Seattle might be a good way to repair his image. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      It really depends on the cost. He got $8,450,000 last season on the tag so it’s hard to imagine what he’d consider. Unless I’m mistaken Michael Bennett was given a first round tender as a RFA rather than franchised so was paid less, perhaps making him more open to a prove it deal for around $5m. But I do like Melton.

      I think Chicago would be foolish to let him walk off the back of one injury. They’ve got a dearth of defensive talent and can’t lose one of the guys they need. So they might see the injury as a leverage situation to tie him up long term.

  7. bigDhawk

    I’m not sure Irvin’s stint as a LB is permanent. If Clem departs I would not be shocked to see him move back to LEO and take over that spot. Having a season’s experience at outside LB will only help, especially in improving his run defense from that position.

    Also I just have this feeling we will not be going after a tall WR in the draft. I feel like Rice will be back at a substantially reduced price and have a healthy, productive year (don’t ask me why), and Lockette will start to emerge in 2014 the way Kearse did in 2013.

    The more I’ve thought about it lately the more I wonder if our passing game is structured to utilize or even have much need for a towering, fade route receiver any more than what a healthy Rice would provide. Ideally, Percy will play a full season, taking a lot of snaps at WR and if Tate is retained our WR unit will be crowded. So I’ll go out on a limb and predict we bring back Rice and pass on receivers early in the draft.

    And I’ll just complete the contrarian trifecta here and say (again) I don’t like Urban. I would much rather have back one or both Mc’s or hope Hageman falls to 32, if we are going DL early.

    So who do we take at 32? Unless a great player falls to us, I going with an Irvin-type pick that none of us see coming…[cough]Billy Turner[/cough]

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s optimistic to expect Sidney Rice to come back on a substantially reduced contract. He’s a good player who has a lot of money left on his deal. It makes little sense for him to take the kind of pay cut that would keep him on the roster, and I don’t think it works for Seattle. He’s an easy cut to save some cash, and really they need the kind of saving cutting Rice provides.

      And I do believe Pete still wants his big WR. It really would add so much to the offense.

      • bigDhawk

        It only makes little sense if Rice is able to command substantially more on the open market, which I don’t think he will, at least not enough to leave. So I’ll stick by my prediction for now that Rice is back at a cap-friendly price and actually has great year for us. I’m not a Rice homer, that’s just the vibe I’m getting. We’ll see.

        • Rock

          The last four years Sydney Rice has had only one season where he played all 16 games. That year he had 50 catches for 748 yards and 7 TD’s. These are not the numbers of a guy that is being paid $10 million per year. Like Harvin, there are serious concerns about his ability to stay healthy. Tate has out produced Sydney the last four years. He will not get a big pay day on the free agent market. The Hawks can cut him and it only costs $2.4 million in dead money. The draft is loaded with WR’s. There are also a lot of top WR talent in free agency. We need a guy that is going to be there on game day.

          • bigDhawk

            I agree with all of this, and it makes my point about him coming back on a cap friendly deal, lacking leverage in the open market. The WR depth of this draft is also a good point, but I just have this feeling Rice is going to come back healthy and have his best year for us yet. It’s just a hunch and I could be wrong. Just putting it out there.

            • Rugby Lock

              I think there’s a good chance that he Hawks release Rice, Clemmons and Bryant to see what they command on the open market. Then they will see about resigning them at a cap friendly number if possible. That way the players know the deal they get from the Hawks would be fair and not too much less than what they would get elsewhere.

        • Rob Staton

          Sidney Rice has two years left on his contract where he earns $9.7m and $10.2m.

          The kind of cut we’d ask him to take (in order to be able to re-sign guys like Bennett and others) would probably be offensive to the player. We need the free cap that cutting him provides. He’d have to reduce his hit to $2-3m if we’re going to have any shot at keeping Bennett, Giacomini, Tate etc. That isn’t going to happen.

          On the open market he’ll get a decent salary, he’s not a bad player. Unfortunately the perfect storm will be a parting of ways.

          • Rock

            I agree. Sidney was gone the moment we signed Harvin. He got his money. We need the $20 million in cap space and the roster spot for the other guys. The market is glutted with WR talent. He may find it more difficult to find a job than it would seem for a 27 year old guy with his size and ability.

    • Jon

      They may not use the fade as some majority of the plan but it would certainly help in the Red Zone which is this Ofenses greatest area of struggle.

      • Rob Staton

        I think the main reason they haven’t used the fade much is the lack of a great big man. If they get one, I suspect it’ll be a feature again.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Why don’t you like Urban?

      • bigDhawk

        I’ve posted reasons in previous threads, but basically I see him as a big, slow, clunky player long term. Those excessively long levers he has in his legs are just begging to wear out quick as a defensive lineman, if not get seriously injured. If I was forced to choose between the undersized explosiveness of Donald or the plodding length of Urban, I’d take Donald. I’d actually like to see Urban’s physique play at TE. Talk about a big, tall target, and Cabes would get him up to Sweezey-level blocking speed in no time.

        • Kenny Sloth

          That boy has no agility whatsoever. That would never work.

          Although I’m extremely partial to Aaron Donald, I think we have to beat the NFC West and focus on stopping the run which Urban does very well.

          • Rugby Lock

            Yup. We worry about winning our division and the rest of the NFL will be taken care of.

    • Vincent

      I agree about Irvin moving back to LEO. I was watching the Super Bowl again and I noticed that he was playing with his hand on the ground, more than usual. I think we will be fine with a LBer core of Wright, Wagner, and Smith. Eventually Wright will get paid by some other team, so I see us possibly drafting a LBer in the later rounds or finding an undrafted free agent

  8. Turp

    I think point #2 is the strongest one. Our defense really took off after adding two elite pass rushers. Signing Bennett would help a lot, but we really need two to bring the heat. Once Avril is gone, a potentially resigned Bennett will need a partner in crime, so an early draft pick like Urban would be perfect. He’d get a year to be a rotational/depth guy before being counted on.

    Urban looks like a more polished Margus Hunt – didn’t Hunt go in Rd2 last year?

    • Rob Staton

      He did, but Hunt was also a 26-year-old rookie which had an impact.

      I think MH was a better edge rusher and overall athlete. But Urban is stronger and a better interior pass rusher, plus he’s on a different level in terms of run defense.

      • Turp

        Did Hunt lineup outside something like 70/30 in college, while Urban is more like 50/50? (edge/interior) Honest question – haven’t seen enough tape.

        • Rob Staton


          • Turp

            Good to know, thanks. Urban would be an intriguing piece to add.

  9. Rock

    On the defensive line we have 13 guys competing for 8 active roster spots. The offensive line has only 11. I would argue there is more talent waiting in the wings on defense with Scruggs, Williams, Hill, Mayowa and Boatwright as possible replacements. There is only so much money available for each position group and the D Line is over their allotment. In order to pay Bennett, we will most likely need to cut Clemons and restructure Bryant. I do not expect Bryant to be moved. He is still a critical piece to the run defense. His status as the son-in-law of Seahawk legend Jacob Green makes him fairly safe. He should, however, be more willing to take less coin to keep Bennett. Irvin could also be moved back to LEO. The bottom line … the D Line will be fine.

    On offense we may lose Giaccomini and McQuistan. Bailey and Bowie could step in for those two. Okung looks to be overpaid. Giaccomini could get a better offer, elsewhere. I am not sure Caylin Hauptmann and Jared Smith will make the 2014 roster. Add in the weakness in the interior guard spots and you have a part of the roster than must be addressed in the off season. It is the weakest position group on the team. We need at least two bodies here. If we had an O Line like the 2005 team we would win every game next year. This is the easiest place on the team to make an improvement in the teams overall performance. Too often we got to the red zone and were unable to punch it in, settling for field goals. JS/PC will make upgrading this position group their top priority.

    I would be fine with the wide receiver group we have coming back. The only issue in this group is allocating the dollars to keep everyone. Tate needs to be paid. Sydney is probably getting paid too much but might restructure. Baldwin needs to be locked up. Harvin, while immensely talented, was not healthy all year and will eat up a huge part of the budget next year. Perhaps, he will agree to an extra year on his deal to help the team out.

    In the draft, we go Best Player Available. If the defensive talent is higher on the board than WR or OL, then so be it. We will add WR and O Line talent. We may be in the market for O Line talent in free agency, also. Alex Mack is available and he makes less than Unger. Richie Incognito might work cheap. Incognito would definitely add some nasty to this position group if our coaches want to take the risk. I think as free agency winds down, Schneider will find a guy for the O Line group that wants a chance at a Super Bowl on a one or two year deal.

    Last year we redshirted a bunch of guys on IR and the practice squad. This year everyone is going to be claiming our cuts. Getting a draft pick through to the PS will be tough in 2014 and making the roster will also be tough. We do not need to waste picks on developmental prospects that have little shot at the active roster. With 13 picks, the Niners will cut plenty of those we can claim.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s a bit optimistic to invest much faith in Scruggs, Williams, Mayowa and Boatwright. That’s not ruling them out, but they are totally unproven (apart from Scruggs) with low expectations. Williams may never play football again. We’re talking about maintaining the best defense in the NFL here. The difference between 2012 and 2013 was gigantic — all because of the vastly superior pass rush. Bennett is a free agent and might not be back. Clemons is likely gone, while Avril is contracted for one more year. Even if you re-sign Bennett, it’s going to be very difficult to pay Avril again in 12 months.

      I don’t want to see the pass rush go back to relying on one guy, just like they did in 2012. That was the single biggest upgrade this year and without doubt one of the biggest reasons we won a Super Bowl. The pass rush was miles better. Adding a $1.25m first round salary into the mix and another good player to the d-line won’t be any issue really and should be considered.

      I expect Giacomini to be kept. I doubt they will make upgrading the o-line the priority, but adding depth will be one of them. They need to be healthier in 2014 and I think they’ll let Cable continue to bring in his guys and add to the depth that way. They trust Cable and he’s rewarded them so far. I’m thinking more later round guys because the interior O-line class in this draft is incredibly weak at the top.

      • bigDhawk

        Remember though, the best defense in the NFL was built largely with late round draft picks and some bargain bin FAs. The same player personnel genius that acquired Cam, Sherm, Maxwell, Wright and Smith for peanuts also similarly acquired Mayowa, Williams, Boatright, Simon, Shead, Scruggs, etc. None of the former names started immediately, but were developed over time just like the latter names are now currently being developed.

        Let us as fans not make the mistake of underestimating the expectations of any unproven player this organization sees fit to retain and develop. Let the national media do that. They are good at it. Of course not everyone at the bottom of the roster will become a SB MVP, but if we need to fill one or even two holes on defense this off-season I am quite confident that our player development process has given us the roster depth necessary to acceptably fill those holes during the competition process.

        Speaking of Williams specifically, PC was asked in his end-season press conference about him and said he is coming along great. So I’m expecting him to compete for a spot on the DL rotation next season.

        • Kenny Sloth

          I never really lost faith in Jesse Williams. I think he just grew up doing something different. He probably juked and trucked and tackled. I’m so curious how his unique style translates to the nfl. Especially after a year of coaching in such a well run environment. Pllus he’ll have developed a better bubble and stronger legs.

          If he’s knees are permoscrewed, it’s because rugby did it to them. How else would they tackle him?
          That’s probably why big guys don’t play tailback.

        • Rob Staton

          To be fair big D, what else would you expect Pete to say about Williams?

          And let’s be right here, as good as the front office is, it doesn’t mean we have to expect every UDFA or late round pick to be a future contributor. That would be silly.

          • bigDhawk

            I would expect him to say the truth in general terms. He did exactly that by saying in that same press conference that Tharold Simon will likely have to have surgery on his other foot which may delay his availability for next season. He also said that Okung may need surgery on his foot injury and it is still under evaluation. If Williams were in a similar situation why would he not say so as well? But PC said Williams was doing great, so I believe him.

            Your second paragraph is essentially what I said, so I agree, with the caveat of not making the same underestimating mistake that those outside our fanbase make.

            • JW

              Okung might need another surgery? He sure has a lot of ankle and foot problems. Doesn’t really bode well going forward if the guy is 26 and his dogs are already tired.

      • Robert

        Actually, I have high expectations for every unproven player in our organization. PC and company have consistently demonstrated exceptional ability to develop the prospects that they see fit to acquire.

        • Rob Staton

          I would guard against high expectations. It’s not fair on the player or the team really. Ultimate belief in the front office is one thing, but high expectations for every UDFA or late round pick is unfair.

    • Rugby Lock

      I like the idea if adding Incognito as he would instantly solidify the LG position and would probably be willing to come in on a short term prove it deal with the chance for a ring.

      • Ben2


    • AlaskaHawk

      Nice post Rock.

    • shams

      Rock, you make some good points but I promise you that Red Bryant’s status as Jacob Green’s son-in-law won’t matter the slightest to this front office. They aren’t on top because they let things like that influence their judgment.

      Agree on Best Player Available. Picking last, we don’t really have a choice there.

  10. Ed

    I have believed for years that to be a great team you have to be able to create mismatches. Having a dominant secondary makes the other team one dimensional, having Denver’s passing game won them a lot of games, having an amazing defensive line helps the 49ers a lot. A team that was 100% balanced in every way, but not great in any area, will not be as good as the team that is less balanced by is dominant in areas (at least in my mind).

    If we were somehow able to improve our defense, and leave our offense the same, vs flipping the scenario around, then I go with improving the defense since it is having the bigger impact. All that said, I really want a big receiver, and I have zero faith in Harvin being healthy for the majority of the season.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I want to win by more than 2 points next year. The superbowl showed what a well balanced Seahawks team looks like. Our biggest offensive weakness is an inability to run up the middle against a good run defense, and poor performance in the red zone. If we correct that (since we are a run first team), then we will do well again next year.

  11. kevin mullen

    If all those DLineman weren’t extended and/or reduced in salary and simply play out their contract, then yes, we could say pass rush could be a need. I definitely agree that WR could be a luxury since our WR corp seemed to get their shit together during the playoffs.

    I believe JS/PC will do everything they can to keep Bennett, even at $9-11mil/yr. I think he’s earned that. Avril is controlled for another year, he’s on the hook for $6mil. Essentially, these two are our bookends for 2014. Mebane is hooked for $5mil next year too, very manageable, plus he had a terrific year. Throw JHill and JWilliams in rotation, and these two could replace McDaniel & McDonald for those roles.

    If we cut these four players: Bryant, Clemons, Rice, and Miller, we could save $25.3mil for 2014. I believe Bryant and possibly Clemons could come back at reduced salaries but if we outright cut them we can save $25mil for the 2014 cap. I think JWilliams can possibly tutored for that Red role, and JHill can play that McDonald role.

    So our DLine could look like this come 2014: Bennett/JWilliams, Mebane/JHill, JHill/JWilliams, Avril/Bennett on front four. Plus we have Mayowa, Scruggs as our development guys.

    I would say that if Benjamin/Coleman are already gone and we obviously didn’t have any intentions to move up to grab either two, then yes, DLineman is my next “need” pick for Seattle. As we saw from the Superbowl, we don’t necessarily need a sacks guy (would be nice) but we just need, as a unit, to be able to disrupt and collapse the pocket, forcing the QB to make errant and hurried throws. Find me that guy that can help the 2014 group disrupt the pocket and I’m in.

    • bigDhawk

      I really, really liked what the Mc’s did on the DL this season, and they both cost well that $1mil. I want them both back if they have not played themselves into being $5mil/yr players. What little of Hill I’ve seen so far I’m not impressed with. I would like to see Williams compete for a spot in the DL rotation if we loose one of the Mc’s.

      • bigDhawk

        EDIT: both cost well less than $1mil.

  12. Kenny Sloth

    This is what I’ve been thinking all year. It’s nice to dream about the best weapons in the draft on this team.
    PCJS have shown a lot of foresight in their picks and with the imminent turnover on the DL I believe it is essential to our continued dominance to get a three tech and a late round LEO out of this draft.

    Certainly an explosive option at wideout would be a huge boon in case of injury, but we have a FANTASTIC starting lineup at WR already. Tate (if retained), Baldwin and Harvin are the best receiving trio in the NFC West. I believe in Kearse as a starter, too. If we add one more weapon to that group, you have a STACKED corps.

    I’m thinking Brent Urban or Aaron Donald then Devante Adams or something.

  13. Mattk

    I hope the team can figure out a way to get Clemons to restructure. He may have not of had his best year, but he was usually getting good enough pressure on the QB to make a difference and allowed Avril to stay fresh throughout the game and make impact plays against a tired offense.

    If the team decides to move on from CC I think it makes I defensive end a big need. I’m not even sure if Avril can handle the duties of the position how they want. IIRC, O’brian Schofield was the starting LEO the first two games of the season. Not Avril.

    I will say, I really like what Mayowa showed in pre-season. I’m gonna go out on a limb, but I think he earns snaps in the nickel defense. I’m not about to call him starter ready, but IF Cliff Avril can handle the Clemon’s LEO spot I feel good about Mayowa taking over Avril’s role.

    • Rock

      Boatwright is another one that can rush the passer. i understand he has bulked up to 275. He is more in the Bennett mold, a guy that is capable of rushing from inside or outside.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I just found some college tape on Boatwright. Man that guy knows how to split between players and make a tackle. I want to see him on our line next year. He is known for being an interior linemen, but at his weight he may be an even better LEO.

  14. Kelly Orr

    Rob do you see getting Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams back affecting our draft day needs? These two are both very young and could develop more with time.

    • Kelly Orr

      As well as perhaps ease the loss of Mcdonald and Mcdaniel

    • Rob Staton

      Hill certainly could. And he could replace McDonald next season. I fear for Williams’future in the game.

      • Michael

        I just think JS/PC are already watching the free agent market and preparing prove it deals for players like Melton or the dt from miami and a few players like that. They are watching kenny britt from titans, mike williams from bucs, jets wr, and ny wr that all are going to see slow markets. These are just a few names at 2positions and they are always 3steps ahead of us. Im looking forward to free agency and the sraft but I cant help but think man what are they seeing that we dont.

  15. Kenny Sloth

    Hey Rob, check out Bashaud Breeland. He declared early and I’ve never heard of him.
    Former QB then safety, now corner.

    Clocked 4.42 and 74 tackles last year. From the corner spot.

    I’d love to see him as Thurmond’s replacement.

    • Rob Staton

      Already preparing a piece on him….

  16. Ukhawk

    Particularly like the idea if drafting almost BPA as we have so many holes to fill considering free agency, upgrades, & depth. Definitely should consider lower round WRs in a class of this depth. Loved this article which I think backs up this thought process well:

    Why reach at pick 32 if the alternative DL or OL pick has less risk, provides greater upside, a better upgrade, or a cheaper replacement.

    Looking at draftbreakdown vids I do see loads of upside in taking a later round WR who could ultimately become as good or better than Coleman or Benjamin but with only a later pick at risk. For example, Davante Adams, L’Damien Washington or Martavius Bryant all have size, hops and deep speed. These guys will just take a bit more time to mature which they’ll have behind the current WR depth on the team. Tony Pauline ranks them at 3/4, 6, 6th round respectively leaving a higher pick for another position. Thoughts?

    • oz

      I concur. I read the article and really like this WR class.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not crazy about Bryant to be fair, bark fiercer than his bite. And I think Washington will struggle to stick in the league.

      I don’t agree with that article. The R1 talent at WR is superb and far superior to anything available later on… and I don’t get a lot of those comparisons.

      • AlaskaHawk

        San Fran has picked a lot of first round wide receivers, and they aren’t all playing. At some point a few of their guys could slip to our practice squad.

    • exiled

      Stat guys getting behind Davante Adams. He’s also six months younger than Brandon Coleman and almost two years younger than Kelvin Benjamin.

      • Rock

        He looks like a modern age Jerry Rice. His stats are off the chart. His video is pretty impressive, too. I do not think he will last too long but he might be there at #32 only because there are so many good ones. He is being discounted because he plays in the MWC. His combine 40 time will determine where he lands in the draft.

  17. Jake

    I think the Seahawks are in a position to take the best player available. If they are at all sensible about handling their free agents there won’t be any gaping holes on the roster–Harvin/Baldwin/Kearse is perfectly fine for your receivers, Bennett/Avril are a good foundation for your pass rush, Bailey looked pretty solid when playing as a tackle, and pretty much every other group will be the same as last year, assuming nobody gets beat out in practice (always compete!). Over the long run taking anybody other than the best player available leaves you with worse players. I mean, just ask the AT&T guy: do you want the better player or the worse player?

    I think this is a draft where they follow their board almost religiously. If one of Bridgewater or Manziel falls to us (I’ve seen some speculation that one of them could fall to the second round, although that could just be controversy-mongering), go ahead and snap them up if they’re first on your board. If nothing else it gives you some leverage when negotiating Wilson’s extension next year.

    Basically I’m comfortable with the front office’s ability to take a collection of young late round picks and cheap free agents (Kenny Britt, anybody?) and come up with two or three viable starters. There’s no way we should “need” more than that to maintain our level of play for next year, which means the draft is about adding depth and talent with an eye for the long run.

  18. CC

    Another great article Rob – thanks!

    The good news for us as fans is that Johnny and his team have done a phenomenal job at finding talent. 23 of the 53 man roster were UDFA – so if you take that along with what we’ve done in the lower rounds, I have no doubt that we will find the guys on defense. If Percy can stay healthy it will be a fun year. Also, Russell struggled with a left shoulder injury the last half of the year. It seemed like his non throwing shoulder felt fine during the SB.

    If a top flight TE is there at 32 I wouldn’t mind taking one of them – but, even as a Husky fan – ASJ is not the guy. He doesn’t fit the profile of this team – I’m not sure he has the grit or the love of the game. I wish he was such a guy, but he’ll be better served going to another team.

    I’m really interested to see how this cap room and resigning goes. It is Sunday – and I’m already going through football withdrawals!

  19. Vin

    Darn it, Rob…you did it again. After writing a great piece on getting a much needed piece for the offense and having me convinced on that, you write another one about drafting D. After re-reading both, I think drafting D is the better way to go, assuming Urban, Coleman, Benjamin and ASJ are all there. Given that the D is our strength, I believe it imperative that the FO does everything to maintain and/or improve the defense. And like it was mentioned before the difference between this year and last is the improvement on DL. I’m afraid that just locking up Sherman and ET for the long haul is not enough to keep us in the dance year in/out. Unfortunately keeping Bennett and Avril is probably not in the cards so I think drafting their potential replacements now should be the focus. And it wasn’t only the play of those 2 but also the McDs. So what if we lose Bennett and the McDs? That would be huge.
    Conversely, I would like to see PC open u the O and let RW do more. Especially since he’s in line for a big payday. I may get some flack for this, but I do see RW as a game manager, right now. And that’s not a reflection of his skills but a reflection of PC. I know RW can take over a game, we all saw the ATL game. RW is every bit as good as luck or RG3, he’s just being held back. So it would bug me for the FO to have to pay RW $20 mill a yr to put up 18/25 for 210 and 1TD when he’s capable of so much more. Maybe allowing the O to absorb more of the load is another way to help the D? Thanks Rob.

  20. Jeff M.

    I’ve been banging the drum for DL for quite a while now. Of course it depends how FA plays out but I think in all of the likeliest scenarios some DL spot ends up our biggest need, and we’ll probably end up spending one of our first two picks plus an additional mid-to-late round pick on it.

    I think it’s safe to say we again want a 7-man rotation on the DL: this year we had Clemons, Bennett, Avril, Bryant, Mebane, McDonald, McDaniels…the year before was pretty similar but switch Irvin for Avril, Jones/Scruggs for Bennett, Branch for McDaniels.

    Of those seven guys we probably lose Clemons, at least one/likely both McD*s, and one of Bryant/Mebane (if we can manage to retain Bennett, otherwise keep the two big vets but we need a replacement for him). At a minimum assume that we need one LEO, one interior pass rusher, and one run stuffer (with a fourth hole somewhere being quite possible).

    Best case is that injured/redshirted young guys already on the roster (Mayowa, Scruggs, Hill, Williams, Boatright) can manage to step up and fill one or two of these holes, but it’s probably wishful thinking to project more than that, and we won’t know until training camp/preseason.

    As such I can see our #32 spent on any of: LEO (replaces Clemons’ snaps, splits time with Avril in base and lines up opposite him in Nickel), big run-stuffing replacement at any of 1-/3-/5-tech (replacing one of Mebane’s, McDaniels’, or Bryant’s snaps), or interior pass-rusher (succeeding McDonald and/or Bennett).

    • Robert

      And we have Michael Brooks, Dwayne Cherrington and D’Anthony Smith in the developmental oven.

  21. Josh

    Obviously we have to wait for FA to see who we sign/let go, but I think we are definitely in the BPA spot now. With no real needs and lots of potential future holes, we can definitely take anybody we want. Someone is going to fall down the draft and we will scoop them up. I fully expect though that the 1st pick will still leave us scratching our heads. Ideally we will be able to trade back from our 1st and gain another pick in 4th or so since we don’t have a 3rd. I like the idea of grabbing BPA 1st and then maybe grabbing a WR in the 2nd.

  22. oz

    A player nobody is talking about is Scott Crichton. I see him as an Avril clone. Seahawk written all over the guy. I don’t know if he’ll be there at #32, although I could see them pulling the trigger.
    I also like Attaochu.
    I think if a QB is still on the board that some team must have, Seattle will move down and try to recoup that #3rd rounder.
    I like the TE depth in this draft. Troy Niklas is a fringe #1st rounder early second,followed by Crockett Gillmore and others who can block and catch as well. Sleeper pick, Marcel Jensen.
    Late round receivers the Hawks could be looking at are Latimer and Moncrief. Tough guys with excellent size, good hands and blocking ability. Devin Street reminds me of Sidney Rice. I also like the Alabama WR, Kevin Norwood. Quincy Enuwa is another to keep an eye on. One of my favorite players in this draft is Cody Hoffman, Great hands, size,good speed and tough as hell.

    • MJ

      I gotta disagree about Crichton. Avril is an elite athlete at DE. Crichton will come nowhere near putting the same measurables as Cliff, who really destroyed all the tests he participated in. His 40 and 10 yard split was insane.

      Good call on Enunwa. He seems very Seahawky (aka big, fast, mean).

  23. Siva

    The offense is good and if Percy is injury free for most part it will be so much better with the mismathces he creates…

    I see it this way; depending on who you resign between Bennet and Tate,as i dont see us signing both of them somehow..whosoever we don’t sign can be seen as a need we address in the 1st round…
    But it wouldn’t be optimal if we resign Bennet and draft DL/DE in the 1st round or the other way around)..

    I agree that based on the philosophy of the team and division we should focus more on defence but use the top round picks will still be dictated by who we cut/resign/paycut in free agency(main players will be – Tate, Bennet, Zach Millet, Red Bryant, Sydney Rice)

  24. Kenny Sloth

    Cqulin Hubert is a small school lb. He’s crazy athletic and a hard hitter. Could make a special teams impact and might be had in the seventh or UDFA.

    Dustin Vaughan is a small school QB with a big arm. Prototype pocket passer. Feels pressure really well and goes through multiple progressions regularly.

  25. EdC

    I think Bennett can ball, but do we give 8-10 million for a role player? He is a great nickel inside rusher, but that seems like a lot of money. Would love Clem to come back at a reduced rate. He started to look like Clem towards the end of the year and hope to see Irvin and him share snaps. I really think Wagner (MLB) Wright (SLB) Smith (WLB) then go Wagner and Wright on passing downs.

    With Percy, our offense opens up already. Tate and Baldwin showed they can be 3rd down ballers (Tate on the slant in the last few weeks was unstoppable). While it would be nice to have Julio Jones, our team is not setup that way. I don’t think Pete/Wilson would throw the fade too much even if we had a big WR because the gameplan is to protect the ball and play D.

    We are in a best player available mode, but I would heavily lean towards DL.

    • Jeff M.

      It isn’t really fair to call Bennett a role player. He led our DL in snaps, and a year ago in TB he nearly led the league and played pretty much every down. He’s one of the few who can do so as he about the most balanced (vs run and vs pass) DL out there. If he can start the season healthy and stay that way expect him to get even more playing time next year, taking over early down snaps from one or both of Bryant and Clemons. I’d say he’s competing with Sherman for the most important piece of the D after Thomas.

      • Brandon

        Bennett’s only at 10 million a year if Bryant is gone and Bennett assumes his run stuffing role. I’m not saying it’s a bad investment, especially on a shorter term deal. Bennett has room to add snaps to his game and I think he would give you much of what Bryant gives you in the run game. Even more, he might give you the occasional first down push rush from strong-side DE. Gasp!

    • LantermanC

      Not sure I’d call Bennett a “role player.”

      “The Rams’ Robert Quinn, possibly the best defensive player in the NFL this year, had 51 quarterback hurries on 849 snaps. Bennett had 39, respectably only 12 fewer than Quinn, but he was part of a rotation that ended up having him on defense for just 617 snaps. Of the top 23 players in QB hurries this season, only Robert Ayers (of Denver, coincidentally) played fewer snaps than Bennett.

      Quinn had one QB hurry for every 16.64 snaps, while Bennett had one for every 15.82 snaps.”

  26. Rock

    Carpenter is soft. Our whole O Line is soft. Wilson is constantly running for his life and Marshawn has to go into Beast Mode to gain yardage. Our line had trouble punching it in from the one in the Super Bowl. It is not the first time that has happened. I want an offensive line like we had in 2005. In 2005, teams knew we were going to run left and still could not stop it. Walter Jones and Hutch were too much to handle.

    I am going to go out on a limb and suggest we sign Richie Incognito. He is a free agent. There are not any inside road graders in this draft that can help in 2014. Incognito is well known as one of, if not the toughest SOB in the NFL. His blocking ability is second to none. He developed a reputation as an out of control maniac who beat up weaker kids, coaches and even his own teammates. He had an anger management problem at Nebraska and with the St Louis Rams before he got treatment. They called him the dirtiest player in the NFL. In Miami, he was a saint until the Jonathan Martin thing. He seems to have cleaned up his act. At 30, he is still the toughest offensive guard in the NFL. He can play both guard spots and center, if necessary. His salary in Miami was $4 million. I would give him a two year deal with plenty of performance incentives. He is the kind of guy Marshawn and Tom Cable will like.

    Read this ESPN piece quoting Ryan Clark, who knows him, and give me your feedback.

    • John_S

      Have to disagree with your statement that Incognito was a saint in Miami. Miami swept the issues under the rug. Take for instance the incident at the golf course with a female worker.

  27. jeff

    I get the logic but I truly believe this draft should focus on getting Russell some weapons especially red zone weapons. Personally I’d really like a TE, big WR, and maybe even a shifty 3rd down back type.

    That said if a great defender falls go get them.

  28. Brandon

    When it comes to the 1st round pick I like the idea of a lean towards WR/TE if they fit into the bigger/special qualities category, but also with a vigilant eye towards the defensive line. Unless there is some astounding run on these positions in the first round, I see nothing wrong with narrowing the focus on these positional groups, if just for this pick. I know the Hawks philosophy goes against this, and probably rightly so, but I can’t help but think in the next two years we’re going to take the most roster hits on the DL.

    At the same time there is an obvious base need for a bigger pass catcher within this offense. Wilson loves throwing it up deep and trusting his receivers to make a play. See his preseason deep throws in ’12. Tate takes some advantage of this depending on the week. Tate’s also a little small to pull it off consistently. Harvin’s influence would give this incoming big target one-on-one coverage on the regular. Combined that with Wilson’s catch-able deep throws and you’re going to put that guy in a good position to succeed.

  29. Michael Kelly

    I have given up trying to guess what Pete Carroll and John Schneider are going to do in the draft. i think they have lapped the field in the past few years and they obviously think and plan ahead for how the team will be constructed. It would not surprise me to see Hill and Williams come out next year and dominate. What ever happens I will trust these guys to get it right again, They have certainly earned it.

  30. Don

    Hi Rob,

    Love your articles, I agree with a best big WR at #32.

    I was watching the highlight film of Dante Adams and I saw Shanahan TE at Pit making great catches in traffic. He had a better showing than Adams.

    Is he available in the draft? What are your thought on him?

    • Rob Staton

      Do you mean Mike Shanahan at Pittsburgh? He was in last years draft and is currently a free agent.

  31. James

    D-line is clearly the biggest need on the team, projected 2 or 3 years out. It is entirely possible that every player who got significant minutes in the Super Bowl will be gone after the 2015 season: Bryant, Mebane, McDonald, McDaniel, Bennett, Avril and Clemons. We have to hope that Bennett will be around for the next 5 years, and Avril may be extended, since he is relatively young, but we need to add a lot of good players. All the others will have to go to sign Sherm and Russell. WR, OL and TE are somewhat of a luxury, the DL is a necessity.

  32. red

    Hi Rob

    Have you watched a lot of Florida tape over the last couple years? I am kind of interested in some Gator guys that went down with ACL injuries Easley and Powell I am sure Quinn and Pete know quite a bit about these guys, I believe Powell was ranked as top 5 recruit coming out of HS in CA. Powell can really fly when on the field.

  33. K.

    The bIggest opportunity for improvement is on the offensive line, especially at left guard (and right tackle, if Breno moves on).

    Job 1 must be reducing the number of sacks and hits that Wilson takes.

    Job 2 is to give Marshawn more help — he is only 27 and could have three productive seasons left if the number of yards he is forced to get on his own can be reduced.

    Job 3 is to score more TDs from the red zone. That’s where the difference between this group and the Walter-Hutch-Tobeck group is most felt.

    But they don’t need a first rounder to find a good LG, and they may like one of the guys on the depth chart. Unless something drops in their laps (ouch!), I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded down.

  34. Ian Lozada

    I think the draft priority has to be OL. Despite how well they played in the SB, the OL was one of the worst units in the league all season. We have to improve and build depth there. If the OL stays at this level, we put both RW3’s and Marshawn’s futures in jeopardy.

    • Rob Staton

      They were also missing the starting left tackle, right tackle and center for a large chunk of the season. Let’s not forget that.

      • Robert

        …and when they returned from injury, only Giacomini played up to his level. Both Unger and Okung played well below their 2012 level, at least according to my eye test. I think PFF would confirm that. I think Okung should be pressured to restructure – he is not an 11 million LT…too consistently inconsistent because of constant injuries. Hopefully Unger’s lackluster play when on the field was because of a lingering chest injury. Carpenter will be warned to adhere to his off season program and show up to camp ready to be the road grader at LT. If he shows up to fat to have quick enough feet in paspro, he’ll be traded cut or relegated to backup duty. This group looks poised to improve next year with the addition of Bowie and Bailey, who gained a lot of seasoning this year. And the rest of the crew should be much healthier next year???

        • Rob Staton

          I wouldn’t dispute the performances of Okung and Unger dipped this year. But I also think the injuries played a part, because we know what they’re capable of. Plus, it’s not like we’re going to go out and replace either during the off-season is it?

          Okung has two years left on his deal, and I think there’s a chance he balances the $11m and the $7m he’s due to earn the same both seasons ($9m).

          And PFF’s ranking system I don’t pay much attention to — it doesn’t take into account opponent or situation. Their rankings are all over the place, in 2012 Earl Thomas was ranked as one of the worst starting safety’s in the league.

      • AlaskaHawk

        It’s not just that most of the offensive line missed time due to injuries last year. It’s also because both Okung and Carpenter have had injuries every year. Or in Carpenters case he was also in poor shape preseason. In Okung’s case he must be about ready to cut that toe off!!!! Of course there is no consistency when your two best players can’t be counted on.

        We do need consistency and the only way to get that is with a healthy line. We have a good start with Bowie and Bailey, but they weren’t playing first string at the end of the year. So we should continue to bolster the offensive line with picks in the mid-rounds.

  35. House

    Any thoughts on Michael Sam in the mid-rounds (4th-5th)? I previously thought he’d be good depth and him coming out as an “openly gay” player has not changed my impression of him. There has been tons of coverage on him the past day and a half and when Antonio Pierce and Jerome Bettis were asked about a “strong” locker room that he could play in and both mentioned “SEA”. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      Never been a big fan of Sam’s to be fair. Marginal NFL prospect and not someone I expect Seattle to target. Not a great athlete.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Otherwise, I think he’s a model of personal integrity and courage.

    • Robert

      There is a huge unknown factor that is impossible for PCJS to accurately calculate: How will the presence of a gay man impact the community and the locker room? I expect they will let some other team blaze that trail and deal with the all the media distraction. PCJS want to focus on football…

    • Steven

      Remember, there’s a huge difference between 4th and 5th round for this team. 4th round is where they go to get someone who they may see as a contributor. If they take him in the 5th round, it means they see him as a future HoF candidate.

  36. John_S

    Guys I am interested for the Seahawks. I don’t think the Hawks will stay at 32. I think they’ll trade down, accumulate more picks (Seahawks don’t have their 3rd rounder).

    – Rashede Hageman
    – Kony Ealy
    – Deone Buchanan
    – Christian Jones
    – Shaquille Richardson
    – Quincy Enunwa

    • Rob Staton

      It has been difficult to trade down from #32 with it being the final pick of the day. Teams know they have a night to negotiate for #33 and beyond and I think it puts them off. We’ll see if it’s possible but none of the teams picking at #32 have moved down since the switch to make round one the first day event.

  37. CHawk Talker Eric

    Speaking of DL/DE, any interest in Jackson Jeffcoat?

    • CHawk Talker Eric


      • House

        Great motor, but seems to get absorbed and disappear at times. That said, similar things were said about Bruce Irvin

    • Rob Staton

      I want to see him at the combine. Tony Pauline likes him a lot. I’d have some interest but want to see how he tests.

    • Barry

      He’s someone I want to see some tape on. He came in as the next big thing and the Longhorns D was not the best in his stay

  38. diFuria

    Tate, Harvin and Baldwin are essentially the same type – shifty, quick slot receivers and return men who can play a little Y. Although he might be my favorite cat on the team, I don’t know if paying Tate what he is worth will end up making sense. I agree that we need a big dude. And we’d have to take a flyer on someone in the draft ala Chris Harper. Considering that the front office knows that the only thing between us and dynasty time is the 49rs, why not sign Anquan Boldin? They would lose arguably their best player last year and we’d add him. Even the LOB had their hands full with that guy. Big and strong, amazing hands and plays with an attitude. He is the type that open even if he is covered. As a 33 free agent, he won’t break the bank. Worse case, we run up the number to re-sign him and put payroll pressure on our arch rivals. Just imagine the look on Coach H’s face, he in his $9 khakis. If I were in the front office, I would be ruthless in cutting the roster to clear payroll room for veteran free agents willing to sign under market value deals. They will be clamoring to play for this owner/gm/coach/12th man.

  39. Richard

    Best defensive player available for me. Position not really an issue. With the roster cuts and money shuffling ahead , cheap starter level talent will be welcome anywhere. I would rather it be on defense because we count on them to play shut down ball at times. That takes great tools .

  40. Kory

    So what about veteran FA’s looking to get a ring? Can’t we get some guys with big bank accounts and no rings to come to Seattle for cheap? I’m thinking D-line specifically.

    It seems to me for every guy lost to FA because we are successful, we should get an older but still good player coming back our way for cheap.

    Are there any aging, cheap, FA D-lineman that might come to Seattle for the chance at a deep playoff run?

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