Legit first round grades & an updated top-50

In a good class you might have 20 players graded in the first round.

I think it’ll be a lot less this year.

It’s still very early in the process and the Senior Bowl and combine will change things dramatically. We’ll come back to this list down the road and see how things have shifted. For now though, here are the players I think are worthy of first round grades:

Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
Bradley Chubb (EDGE, NC State)
Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
Billy Price (C, Ohio State)
Ronald Jones II (RB, USC)
Tim Settle (DT, Virginia Tech)
Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA)

11 players.

A lot of people will have Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James listed as legit first rounders. I think they are both a bit overrated. Roquan Smith seriously warrants consideration but he’s only 6-0 and 225lbs. Quarterback needy teams might have Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield listed.

For me though, these are the eleven I think are genuinely worth a first round grade.

Barkley, Nelson, Chubb, Darnold and Rosen will appear on many similar lists so I want to concentrate on the other six.

Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech) — he’s just an incredible talent. Edmunds can play inside linebacker, outside linebacker, LEO, he can rush. You can ask him to do so many jobs. He’ll appear from nowhere to blow up a screen or sweep, he’ll chase down the ball carrier and make a secure tackle in space, force turnovers with jarring hits and he’s always in control. He has great size (6-4, 235lbs) and length. Expect a great workout at the combine and a very, very high grade among scouts. For more on Tremaine Edmunds click here.

Vita Vea (DT, Washington) — there are plenty of mixed opinions on Vea but you have to watch him live to appreciate his talent. He’s 6-4 and 340lbs but he moves around the field with incredible mobility. You expect him to be powerful and capable of controlling the LOS with his size. He does that very well. Yet it’s his ability to play across the line, sprint to the ball carrier and move with unnatural ease that makes him one of those rare nose tackle prospects who go early in the draft. He could be Haloti Ngata.

Billy Price (C, Ohio State) — Price is pretty much the complete package. He plays the way you want your offensive linemen to play — with great intensity and a nasty edge. He sets the tone up front. He combines athleticism and power with strength and physical toughness. He plays like a third Pouncey brother. Urban Meyer absolutely raves about him, crediting Price with a stirring motivational speech to kick start Ohio State’s season after their big loss at Iowa. Plus he’s smart, intelligent and knows what he wants in life. He used the 2017 season to set himself a challenge of becoming a first round pick. He will go early.

Ronald Jones II (RB, USC) — apparently he only received a second round grade from the draft committee but I think he’s special. The comparisons to Jamaal Charles are legit — absolutely legit. So how can I not name him here? He dodges tackles and cuts his way through traffic like a slalom skier. He has the burst, suddenness and acceleration to explode to the second level and capitalise on an opening. Most of all though, he finishes every single run. He’s tough. He’ll need to show he can pass protect but he has star quality. For more on Ronald Jones II click here.

Tim Settle (DT, Virginia Tech) — it’s surprising to see Settle receive so little hype, especially after he declared for the draft as a redshirt sophomore. You don’t see many players do that, especially not 6-3, 328lbs defensive tackles. There’s a reason though. Settle has the size to play nose but the quickness, get-off and pass rush ability to be so much more. He had 12.5 TFL’s in 2017. That’s incredible for a 328lber. In comparison, Vita Vea had 5.5 TFL’s and Da’Ron Payne 1.0. The scary thing is he could stand to lose a little weight and be even better. For more on Tim Settle click here.

Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA) — watching his tape he looks special. At first you wonder about the competition level and then you see him do it to every opponent and you have to buy in. He’s about 6-5 or 6-6 and around 254lbs. At times you feel like you’re watching DeMarcus Ware. He has a violent bull rush, he explodes off the edge and dominates the tackle. He can hold off offensive linemen with one arm and he has the quickness to win with speed. He’ll chase down a ball carrier and finish consistently. He has a big opportunity to impress at the Senior Bowl and prove the hype is warranted. If he succeeds — he could be a top-15 lock. For more on Marcus Davenport click here.

This list could grow. At the moment this is how I see things. It looks like a draft where there will be around 10-15 legit first round grades. That’s my current estimate. There might be better value in round two than in the second half of round one.

Seeing as a number of high profile prospects have chosen not to declare for the draft (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant, Damien Harris, Bryce Love) I thought I’d also update my top-50:

Quarterbacks (5)

Sam Darnold (USC)
Josh Rosen (UCLA)
Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
Josh Allen (Wyoming)

It’s possible all five could go in the first round.

Running backs (8)

Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Ronald Jones II (USC)
Kerryon Johnson (Auburn)
Nick Chubb (Georgia)
Sony Michel (Georgia)
Royce Freeman (Oregon)
Rashaad Penny (San Diego State)
Derrius Guice (RB, LSU)

The group takes a hit with Damien Harris and Bryce Love opting not to turn pro. Still, this is a strong looking list with 3-4 potential stars.

Wide receiver (5)

Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
Courtland Sutton (SMU)
James Washington (Oklahoma State)
Anthony Miller (Memphis)
D.J. Moore (Maryland)

The depth at receiver is better than the early round talent. Ridley isn’t particularly big or fast but he gets open and he’s consistent. Sutton is a big bodied Alshon Jeffrey type. Washington could go in the 20-40 range.

Tight end (0)

As things stand, there’s a chance we won’t see a tight end go in the first two rounds of the draft. It’s almost certain there won’t be a first round tight end.

Offensive line (9)

Quenton Nelson (G, Notre Dame)
Billy Price (C/G, Ohio State)
Orlando Brown (T, Oklahoma)
Mike McGlinchey (T, Notre Dame)
Isaiah Wynn (G, Georgia)
Frank Ragnow (C, Arkansas)
Braden Smith (G, Auburn)
Will Hernandez (G, UTEP)
Coleman Shelton (C, Washington)

It’s a decent crop of interior linemen but a weak looking tackle class. Nelson could go in the top-10 and Price isn’t far behind. Brown and McGlinchey are expected to be first round tackles. The rest could go in the late first or second round.

Defensive line (10)

Bradley Chubb (DE, NC State)
Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
Tim Settle (DT, Virginia Tech)
Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA)
Taven Bryan (DT, Florida)
Arden Key (DE, LSU)
Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
Derrick Nnadi (DT, Florida State)
Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE, Oklahoma)

Clelin Ferrell could’ve been a top five pick. The Clemson trio staying in school is big news. There’s still a bit of everything here — speed, power, length, size.

Linebacker (7)

Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
Roquan Smith (Georgia)
Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)
Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
Lorenzo Carter (Georgia)
Keishawn Bierria (Washington)
Harold Landry (Boston College)

Edmunds is the outstanding linebacker prospect. Smith, Vander Esch, Evans and Carter are capable of going in the first frame.

Cornerback (3)

Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
Joshua Jackson (Iowa)
Anthony Averett (Alabama)

It’s not a good looking cornerback class. Iowa’s Joshua Jackson has major production this year with eight interceptions and a pair of touchdowns. He could sneak into the first round. Some think Ohio State’s Denzel Ward is the best corner in the draft and he’s expected to have a great combine. Averett is sparky and could be a useful slot corner.

Safety (3)

Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Derwin James (Florida State)
Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)

The safety’s are a bit overrated but Fitzpatrick is likely a top-15 pick, James could go between 15-30 and Ronnie Harrison could be a second rounder.

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  1. E33

    Great write up Rob! I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the hype around Vita Vea. You’ve noted the physical specimen he is, but I couldn’t get behind the hype watching his film and the stats he has produced. Being an exceptional athlete doesn’t mean it will translate to big production at the next level – Christine Michael for example.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t expect him to have great production in terms of stats to be fair. He isn’t going to be a 10-sack guy. He’s an anchor who controls the LOS but with the added ability of playing down the line. He’s that once every 4-5 years nose tackle with a rare combination of enormous size and mobility.

      • Preston

        Time will tell I guess. My question is this, what is the element that will change in the NFL that will make him a valuable player? If controlling LOS and size/mobility is his shining potential, then why isn’t there more tackles for loss, pressures, hurries etc?? Right now I’m comparing him to Taven Bryan. Why did Bryan get the production and not Vea?? Tougher SEC competition too. I’ll go back and watch last years Alabama game, maybe I missed something…

        • Rob Staton

          Taven Bryan is 50lbs lighter than Vita Vea, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

          Vea is a classic nose tackle in the mould of Haloti Ngata. Vea had 3.5 sacks in 2017, Ngata had 3.0 in his final year at Oregon. Vea had 5.5 TFL’s, Ngata 9.0.

        • Patrick

          Are you watching the same film as I am? Vita collapses the interior pocket constantly, enabling sacks, pressures, TFL by all around him. Watch UW VS WSU this year!

          • Mark Souza

            Right on, Patrick. Vea is the bird dog, collapsing the pocket and flushing QBs to waiting D-ends and LBs. They get the glory and the numbers, but it wouldn’t have happened without Vea.

      • Ty the Guy

        Vea could be a force inside and just the type of immovable force that our d-line needs. If he could help hold the line, take up blockers, imagine what that could do for the rest of the rotation. More one on ones for Jarren Reed. Collapsing the pocket and forcing QBs into the arms and shoulder pads of Clark and Naz. That is an athletic group. Now they need the rock.

        I can see it. But will he last to #18?

        • Rob Staton

          Top-12 for Vea

    • TTownHawk

      I personally think Vea is going to be a monster in the NFL. He isn’t the type of player whose production shows up on the stat sheet. He will command a lot of double teams and free up other rushers, but he has the athletic ability to shed blocks and still make plays, rather than just eat space. It isn’t too often you see a 340 lb. DT tackling the ball carrier down field but VV did it consistently at UW. If you watch his film, like Rob pointed out, his ability to move laterally across the line and track the play is unreal. He will undoubtedly go top 15 but even then I think whoever gets him is getting a steal.

    • C-Dog

      Having seen him play live and in person, a few times, I can say that it is almost jaw dropping watching him do what he can do at 6-5 340lbs. He wrecks game plans, and it is so madden-y, it’s almost ridiculous. Washington had him playing all three spots on the DL and even stood him up to play something close to OTTO LB at times. Personally, I would be shocked if he doesn’t go top 10, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up going top five. If I’m running a 4-3 and looking for a gigantic 3 tech, I’m sprinting to the podium if he lands to my spot.

  2. HawkfaninMT

    What impact do you see the new hires having on the draft?

    Seems to me Schotty will want a true workhorse RB, keeping current players to compliment that guy. Making a trade down and RJ2, or Sony, most likely in my opinion.

    I also feel like Solaris impact on the OL will be more greatly impacted in the free agency period. Was Mike Iupati in SF with Solari? Wouldn’t mind seeing him, Fuller or Pugh come in and shore up one of those guard positions.

    I think abortion means more likely Veteran’s (Lane not withstanding) are safe here. Sherm, MB, ET aren’t getting traded, and Kams spot is secure if he wants it. Really hoping Sheldon stays as well. Defense could be a top 5 unit again without as much of an overhaul that some posters are clamoring for to occur.

    Last question on FA… I’ve seen some pretty lofty 9m projections for Paul Richardson. Seems like way too much to me… for those dollars I would rather take the health risk on Allen Robinson

    • HawkfaninMT

      Fuller = Fluker

    • HawkfaninMT

      Abortion = Norton

      Sheesh, I need to edit before I post

    • Ty the Guy

      Agree that a feature back should be the way to go, while using the RBs we have as compliments. I hope Schotty will utilize our matchups better. Like using JD as a swiss army knife. Or learning how to use a talent like Jimmy Graham before year 3.

      I think we need to bring in one or two FA OL. Use Solari’s experience with the players to potentially find some low cost, high reward candidates.

      From where we stand right now, I’d rather spend $10 million on Sheldon Richardson than Jimmy Graham or Paul Richardson.

    • peter

      I don’t know if this is schottenheimer or Fischer but when schottenheimer was with the rams the team spent a second and a third on tee mason and Isaiah pead two smaller “slash” style backs.

      that said his most productive back at any stop was Thomas Jones who is cut from the seattle mold 5’10”-11″ 220 lb.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they will absolutely, 100% start the transition on defense. Carroll prides himself on being able to coach up young defenders. So I expect Sherman and Earl to remain and Bennett to be cut/traded, with Kam and Cliff retiring.

      I don’t think Richardson will get $9m but he might get a Robert Woods type deal.

      • HawkfaninMT

        You don’t put any stock in Kam and Cliffs Twitter activity intimating that they will be back next year? Seems like they are certainly going to give it a try, eh?

        MB, on the other hand, is one I could definitely see moving along if a trade comes along. But I don’t think the 2.5M savings is enough to cut bait.

        • C-Dog

          Cliff kinda walked back is plans to continue playing on 720 radio this morning. He said his #1 goal is to just get strong enough to enjoy quality of life, to play hoops with his kids again, and if that happens, he would love to get strong enough to continue playing football. I think it pretty easy to read between the lines that he knows his football playing future is in some serious doubt.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t. Cliff told the NFL Network he planned to return and then a day later appeared on 710 ESPN talking about how life and being able to play with his kids was more important. To me it highlighted a man who truly wants to carry on playing and yet is struggling to come to terms with the reality that he probably won’t be able to.

          On Kam — I think that was a lot of Twitter bravado. All of the noise is he won’t be coming back, including Pete Carroll admitting (with plenty of sadness in his voice) that both players will find it very difficult to play football again. I expect both to retire.

          On Bennett — I think they will cut him in order to spread the dead money and allow MB to pick his next team as a mark of respect. Parting on the right terms. I think it’s important to keep stressing — none of these moves are about hard cap savings in 2018. This is all about turning the page and moving on — and doing it now instead of holding out meagre hope that this fantastic group can come together for one last tilt. The time for change is now.

          • Rawls

            “I think it’s important to keep stressing — none of these moves are about hard cap savings in 2018. This is all about turning the page and moving on”

            I don’t get that. Bennett isn’t what he once was but he’s still an above average pass rusher. That position has shown they can play well into their 30’s. Keeping a good rotation of pass rushers is more important than saving 2 million imo.

            • Rob Staton

              But your last sentence is the problem. It focuses on the 2018 saving again.

              I noted the reasons why the defense has to start getting younger and cheaper in this piece here: https://seahawksdraftblog.com/why-the-defense-has-to-be-younger-jones-ii-charles

              That addresses a lot of the key points.

              There’s a reason why Bennett himself admits he doesn’t expect to be back next year.

              • Rad_man

                the Bennett extension was not smart. Nor was the Kam extension. 2 contracts and done should be the motto for defense

            • 80SLargent

              I’m still with Rawls on this one. I can’t buy the front office signing Bennett to his current extension, only to cut him with 3 years left on it. Seattle could’ve just let him play out his contract if the plan was to let him go at the end of this season, but they didn’t. Granted, Seattle has cut bait like that before, but Bennett ain’t Percy Harvin.
              He ain’t Kam Chancellor either. Obviously, his circumstances are different with his injury, but Chancellor also just signed an extension. If Chancellor hadn’t had the freak injury, would we be talking about cutting him too? I mean, Seattle did draft a bunch of safeties last year. But again, (without the injury) why not let him play out his contract (instead of signing him to a big extension) if they planned on letting him go after this year?
              If their plan in signing Kam and Bennett to these extensions was to cut them after this season, then that’s just piss-poor salary cap management, end of story.
              Then, there’s Avril. At least he only has one year left on his contract. He can be cut with little dead money ($500K), and save $7.5M. This is almost a given, but since Seattle will be most likely cutting Avril. are they really going to get rid of Bennett in the same off season? A look at their last couple drafts, (and a look back at Bennett’s contract) it sure doesn’t appear that was part of their plan. Cut Bennett, and all they have left at DE is Frank Clark. I don’t think it’s part of Seattle’s MO to create HUGE holes on their roster leading up to the draft. I don’t want to hear about signing guys like Kony Ealy to fill said holes either, please. Carolina wouldn’t have traded him for what amounted to their washing machine if the guy was any good.
              You keep talking about the 2019 cap savings by cutting Bennett. Guess what? They save cap space by cutting him AFTER the 2018 season too. So basically it comes back to the ~$2M savings for 2018 Seattle would be left with to replace his snaps and production. Even Bennett’s 1 year deal back in 2013 was ~$5M. Outside of the draft, that kind of cheap for a high caliber DE ain’t happening again. You can barely replace a punter for $2M.
              I can understand “transition” and all that. That’s already happening with the likely losses of Kam, Cliff, Jeremy, etc. However, I’m also not interested in seeing Seattle cutting guys like Bennett so they can become a farm team for the Patriots, and having Bennett pile up 10 sacks, helping NE win yet another Super Bowl. Let the Browns do stuff like that.

              • Rob Staton

                It feels like you’ve not listened to any of the points I’ve made on this topic.

  3. Volume12

    Not a huge fan of BR’s Matt Miller, respect the work he does and he gets a bad rep, but truer words have never been spoken before when it comes to the draft.

    ‘You can like a guy (in the draft), and still understand that he’s not going to certain teams.’

    • peter

      he’s come quite far as blather report has become incrementally better. dogging on Seattle’s best draft didn’t help him and I wouldn’t say he’s invaluable but he’s not as ridiculous as he was 5 years ago….

      • peter

        “blather report!” nailed it.

  4. AndrewP

    Piggybacking on the above thought, I don’t think you’ll see a shift in defensive thinking with the new hires at all…

    The change I’m more curious is within the offense. Really curious to see if the style of OL/RB taken were *more Carroll desires, or Bevell/Cable pushing for a particular type.

    *Yes, I know it’s always been Pete’s show, but, I’m wondering if new voices on offense can convince him to think differently.

    So, while Ronald Jones might not have been a fit in the previous offense, maybe things have changed enough that he can now thrive in the ‘new’ system..?

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      If you are looking at WR / RB and TE for the Seattle offense…. a very interesting point was made previously. The Seattle screen game was non – existent in 2016. I think, players that can fit into that will be priority targets for Seattle. This is why Michal seems like a really nice fit for Seattle. He brings some physicality and incredible burst with the ball in his hands. Could he end up being a Jamal Charles 2.0 or Kamara 2.0?

      • Rob Staton

        Worth noting that Michel is 5-10 and 220lbs… Jamaal Charles is 6-0 200lbs. Michel different to Chubb, a nice mix at Georgia, but not altogether like the other two names mentioned.

  5. Ty the Guy

    Rob, I am sensing that you are skeptical that one of the top talents will fall to #18. Can’t say I disagree. You never know how things will go on Draft Day. Out of your 11 I think my order of desire would go like this:

    Roquan Smith (throwing him in here)

    I think a feature back is the Hawks biggest need. I convinced myself that Running Back by Committee was better or could be as successful (and it probably still can.) but now I truly believe we will not have the same success without a guy who can set the tone.You can still throw in Carson and McKissic, in fact Carson may end up being the feature back. But I don’t think you can leave this draft without another RB to compete.

    Offensive line is still one or two pieces away, it feels. At least for depth and definitely someone to groom behind Brown.

    Agree 100% with you Rob, that the defense needs to get younger. All three levels could use an influx of talent. I’d love to hear the Blog’s arguments for which is a greater need: CB, S, LB, DT, or DE?

    • Nick

      I imagine DE is the biggest need for Seattle of the positions you listed above. Michael Bennet is getting old (may not even be on the roster come Week 1), Cliff Avril may never play again and even if he does he’s also getting up there, and Dion Jordan, while he showed promise, isn’t someone you want to bank on…yet.

      Seattle has shown an amazing ability to develop CBs late in the draft. I don’t think they deviate from that plan. Right now, you’ve got Sherman, Maxwell, Griffin, Thorpe, Coleman and M Tyson. That is already exceptional depth.

      DT is probably the position I’d say has second priority after DE. Naz, Sheldon, Jarran (Malik?) are strong, but after them? It’s not super deep.

      LB is a luxury, IMO. They rarely use three LBs anymore and so to spend an early pick on the position would worry me—especially with our running game being so problematic.

      As for S, they drafted Tedric and Delano last offseason…pretty highly. If they go S early, it will show they don’t like the long-term futures of either.

      To me, I would focus on DE—get the best one available in the late 1st, early 2nd. and then move up in the late 2nd to draft the best running back available. I love Ronald Jones, but he’s not going to last past the first round. And although I love Nick Chubb, he’s not a “full” RB. He barely offers any catching ability, from what I understand. He had four catches this year. To spend a high draft pick on RB, I feel like they need to be the full package. But that is obviously up for debate.

      Therefore, I’d go Royce Freeman or Rashaad Penny as the RB picks in the late second. Both are “full package” RBs, that still offer a high-pick investment.

      You could imagine something like: pick 33, Arden Key, pick 55, Royce Freeman. To me, that would 1) make the d line younger and 2) address the run game by going after a 3 down back.

      • Nick

        This said, Christine Michael only had eight catches in his last college year…so maybe that’s not something Seattle puts a high priority on? Beast Mode had 34 catches in his last college year. And Gurley, who they reportedly loved, had 12 (with 37 receptions being his college career high).

        • peter

          Chubb had 18 as a freshman to Michel’s 7. the next year Michel got 25, so I think the coaches just saw the two and their uses very differently.

          • Nick


      • peter

        pc seems risk adverse to drafting DE’s. minus Irvin who wasn’t even a DE and Marsh, seattle seems intent/content finding low value players. Clemons, Avril, Bennett though maybe he’s viewed as a DT, raheem brock….

        I’m not disagreeing that it’s a need just seeing how they address it typically.

        • Nick

          That’s a fair point, but his options are somewhat limited right now in a way they’ve never been before. He needs to get younger on D and cheaper…and right now the oldest group is DE.

          • Mark Souza

            I think offense is by far the biggest need. The defense kept us in games all year, even when decimated by injury. I don’t expect a huge drop off next year, or a major need to dedicate the draft to that side of the ball. We need the offense to carry its weight, to win us some ball games, and to win the time of possession battle so the D on stays the sidelines to help reduce the amount of injuries.

        • Gohawks5151

          Frank Clark though. And depending on what you think Malik is. Though he never had “that dude” at DE at USC or drafted since he’s been here. He always has had strong LEO/Edge guys until recently though. That would be an Edmunds or possibly Davenport type though.

          • Nick

            Yep. Clark and Malik both suggest PCJS are willing to spend an early pick on a DE with “troubles”—that’s why Arden Key came to mind. I can see him dropping due to “red flags”—and they’ve shown they have no problem picking those types of talented athletes up.

            • H

              Do we not feel that with what has happened with Malik they might reassess that aproach a little?
              Clark could be deemed a success but they spent a lower pick on him,
              My hope, at least, would be that they show a little more caution this time with an added need to have an early hit to get the team back to where they want to be.

              That said i can kind of see them being interested in Key

              • Nick

                I think you bring up a good point, but I’d say every case is unique. Malik could very well bounce back this year and make the pick look like a great idea. Clark has certainly lived up to the hype.

                Seattle, rightly or wrongly, has always been willing to take a “red flag” elite prospect and mold them into team players. PC clearly backs himself to bring out the best in his players.

            • Gohawks5151

              Key could turn out to be Danielle Hunter.

          • peter

            not sure how I forgot, thanks

  6. Kenny Sloth

    DeShon Elliot not in your top 50 is a mistake imo

    • Kenny Sloth

      Puna Ford is the truth as well.

  7. getright

    Rob, why do you think Derwin James is overrated? He seems like a outstanding SS prospect for the Seahawks. He has good size for the position, long arms, good athlete, heavy hitter, 2 interceptions with 11 PBU’s is good for a SS. He seems tailored made for the Seahawks.

    Also, what is your opinion of Orlando Brown? I personally like him a lot, but I think he is being a bit overrated by draft pundits. He looks like an average athlete for an offensive lineman, which is why I question him being a top-10 or top-15 pick. But, Brown is one of the most ornery players offensive lineman that I have seen in a while. I like how he plays to the echo of the whistle. He would defiantly help us getting back to being the big bully on the block.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve been through this a few times, but here’s my POV. He is a box safety. He struggles in space and will not be a coverage guy. He’s a play up at the LOS, hit and tackle safety. And while he does those two things well, there’s nothing particularly spectacular about his game. He’s a big, box safety.

      Now here’s the thing — I have to justify my take on James’ a lot only because I don’t assume he’s going in the top-10 or 15. I still have him at #21 in my mock draft. So I still have him in round one, still have him going quite early. Technically, I like him. He’s in R1. I just don’t see any reason to put him on a level playing field with someone like Tremaine Edmunds who is more athletic, more impactful and more valuable to a team.

      Earl Thomas was the #14 pick. Keanu Neal was the #17 pick. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was #21 I think. All better than Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James IMO. And yet they didn’t go in the top-10. And I don’t think either Fitzpatrick or James will go that early either.

      And one other thing — I don’t think the Seahawks will ever take a box safety in the top-20. People assume James is tailor made for Seattle because of Kam. They took Kam in round five and passed on Taylor Mays a lot earlier for a reason. Pete can coach DB’s. He knows DB’s. That’s why they wait until day three usually. Earl Thomas is the exception. And Earl Thomas is a Hall of Famer.

      I think Orlando Brown is worth a grade in the 30-45 range but will go earlier because the NFL loves tackles and he has great bloodlines.

      • Gohawks5151

        Haven’t seen a huge amount of James. Was he starkly different from his freshman to sophomore year as far as the weaknesses described? Was it his injury? Is this buy low scenario if he bounces back?

        • Rob Staton

          Not starkly different

          • Gohawks5151

            Ahh… I was wondering.

            • Awsi Dooger

              Yes, it was markedly different. Rob is too low on Derwin James. It wii change by draft day, unless stubbornness prevails. james will be a dominant athlete at the combine.

              Scouts aren’t going to forget that freshman season. James was considered among the top handful of players in the country. There was plenty of talk that he would have been a very high draft pick in 2016, if eligible.

              Here is a refresher, a Pro Football Focus column listing James as their #2 rated safety nationwide in 2015 and projecting him to be perhaps the best defender in the nation in 2016.


              That type of thing is not forgotten. The Seminoles have several defensive players who will be drafted considerably higher than current projections allow. They were 5 star recruits coming out of high school. Besides, Florida State was easily the most underrated team in the nation in 2016. They would have been a load if the quarterbacking had been stable and effective. The Seminoles finished third nationally in yards allowed per pass attempt. That is an incredibly pivotal category that always aligns with national honors. The national champion is almost always within the Top 10 in that stat. It held up in 2017, with Alabama first, Clemson second, and Florida State tied for third with Wisconsin and Georgia.

              • Awsi Dooger

                Those stats were 2017, not 2016. Florida State was ridiculously underrated in the recently completed season

              • Rob Staton

                His stock isn’t tied to the combine. I don’t expect a terrible workout. Won’t change any thought what so ever that he’s a box safety because that’s what the tape shows.

                Again, it makes me laugh when you’re critiqued for being “too low” on a player and have him at #21 in a mock draft.

  8. TTownHawk

    Rob how much do you like Royce Freeman? Personally I’ve felt he has flown under the radar in draft circles, but has been one of the best RBs in the CFB during his Oregon career. I know mileage might be a concern and he doesn’t have the breakaway speed, but I think that means you could get him at a bargain, maybe even get a steal in round 3 (assuming Hawks trade down). After all, we did see Hunt and Kamara fall. I just love his vision and when I watch him I just see him as a back who could do well in our offense. He also fits the PC/JS mold physically at 5’11” 230. I personally like him at his projected value more than guys like Guice or Chubb who I think will go a bit earlier.

    • Rob Staton

      Freeman to me is a second rounder. Very athletic for his size. Tested well at the SPARQ combine. Short strides and covers a lot of ground quickly. Gets outside very quickly for a bigger back. Those are the positives. I also think he’s incredibly frustrating to watch because he plays soft. He’s this big back and you want to see him hammer someone, play with force. And he doesn’t.

      Not a great one-cut runner and probably not the best fit for Seattle’s scheme. I won’t be surprised if he lands in a different scheme though and has a tremendous amount of success.

      • Kenny Sloth

        He would be destroyed in Seattles scheme.

        He has the classiest footwork since Elliott came out, but It’s hard to ever even recall him dropping the shoulder.

        He uses his vision and excellent footwork to create seams and set defenders up at different levels.

        Itd be different if he was consistently running a 4.4 flat, but few guys his size do.

        Like you say, he could be an amazing pro for the right scheme.

        Patriots, Bills, maybe even Eagles? I’m not sure what their scheme looks like right now

        • vrtkolman

          A scheme with good run blocking :))) I agree though, his footwork and vision are top notch. If there is a hole he will find it.

  9. Ishmael


    Just getting back to what we were talking about in the last thread where you compared the Kamara – Michel situations, I totally agree. I don’t think Chris Carson is great, but if he can handle enough of the load to let Michel be a complimentary piece like he was at Georgia then I think you have to start getting pretty excited about him. Obviously Prosise is still the great what if, but I think he’s glass until proven otherwise.

    • peter

      if I seem scattershot with the running backs it’s because I like a lot of them for different reasons and I’m trying to remain open to the possibility of nearly any of them to be drafted by Seattle.

      but the explosion is very real with him. he has games against Florida per example where he had nearly 120 yards on 6 carries. and he did stuff like that with regularity. I think Carson/Michel or Carson /jones would be great.

      I’m higher on Chubb than others and in some ways him and Carson might be a bit redundant.

      the soft tissue injuries by procise just seem to be problematic. right now he’s Walter Thurmond 3 to me.

      • Nick

        This explains how I feel about RB. Could get on board with a lot of guys.

  10. Icb12

    I was thinking about your most recent mock draft yesterday. You don’t have a receiver going early.
    It feels like where we were last year projecting receivers to fall a little because of a lack of value relative to other talents available. And then we were all a little surprised when Davis, Williams and Ross all went top ten.

    Food for thought.
    I think a receiver will go earlier than we all are thinking. Again.

    • peter

      the combine will really change perceptions on receivers. just a fans opinion but receiver seems to get almost the most boost at the combine. when people put on a clinic like Chris Conley, or ross it just really pops.

    • Rob Staton

      In fairness, I projected John Ross to go in the top-10 on multiple occasions. I ended up dropping him due to numerous reports about medical concerns. And in fairness — Cincy might wish they’d paid attention to those reports with hindsight.

      I got it wrong with Davis and Williams. I consistently suggested they’d go much later than they did. Part of my concern was health related and as with Ross — that hasn’t shown to be a misguided view. But admittedly I got it wrong with that pair.

      This year I think it’s possible Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton could go early. Very plausible. I wouldn’t rule it out. It might be something I mock down the line. But right now I don’t see it — so I didn’t include it.

      • Icb12

        I get it. It wasn’t my intention to point out failings.
        Just food for thought down the road.

        If Courtland Sutton lasts as long as 19 I wonder if Jerrys boys would pick him up.
        The dak to Dez connection hasn’t been all that hot. I could see them trying to get dak another big option

        • Rob Staton

          Sutton makes sense at #19

          • Michigan 12th

            Rob I appreciate that you can own your comments like that. Integrity is something that a lot of people are lacking these days. Good on you. Also I remember you being quite high on Ross and stating several times he was the best receiver in last years class, and just as you already said you only dropped him after the injury reports.

  11. Kenny Sloth

    The RG at NC st. is a friggin load. Compact OL with a mean streak and the perfect build for the interior

    • Kenny Sloth

      Oof last year against Louisville he destroyed somebody on pick coverage.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I saw the hit on the pick return and was like “Oh God I hope that was him.”

    • DC

      from FG on the Shrine Game observations

      Tony Adams (G, N.C. State)
      Listed at 314 pounds and just about 6-2 (6014), Tony Adams looks exactly the way his listed size would have you think. The right guard has a thick, powerful lower half that will almost certainly lead to Mike Mayock using the term ‘bubble butt’ when Adams is selected on draft weekend. He was part of an offensive line that allowed just 12 sacks all year, a season after Adams didn’t allow a single sack himself in 2016. Furthering his pedigree, Adams was a team captain and named second-team All-ACC this season, the second year in a row.
      Adams is an offensive line coach’s dream in the running game: Fantastic strength moving forward, won’t get overpowered at the point of the attack, and quick enough to pull or get to the second level of the defense. His intelligence is impressive, he finds work when the defensive line runs stunts and games and is never left on an island blocking air. Adams will quietly go about his pre-draft process, but whoever selects him will be bringing in a leader and an intelligent offensive lineman.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Captain and 2 time all conference? Sounds about right….

        • Kenny Sloth

          Tony Adams has an Arsenal at his disposal!

          • DC

            I know a team that needs a guy like that.

      • Old but Slow

        Pauline lists Adams as a 6th round pick.

  12. Greg Haugsven

    The more I look the Saints could be a good trade partner as well. We get 27 and 59 they get 18 to draft a QB to eventually replace Brees.

    • DC

      Are you thinking they target Mayfield or Jackson if either is on the board?

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I’m thinking Mayfield will go sooner than people expect and Jackson later than many expect. By the end of round #2, both will be gone FOR SURE. Rob pointed out 4-5 QBs might go first round….. I’m thinking 4… with Jackson going early 2nd round. The darkhorse could be the Vikings….. they could grab Jackson late round #1. He would be a really nice fit imo.

        • peter

          Jackson in Minnesota would be a great fit. I feel like the good people of Minnesota really want Bridgewater to come back.

          They are going to be in one heck of a jam if Keenum wins the superbowl. He’s a FA.

          I think if Cleveland is smart and also because Seattle needs this to happen basically, they come on up for Jackson at 18.

          Cause I’m a jerk and my opinion doesn’t matter but Allen is terrible. Terrible. It’s not even debatable. And any team that thinks he’s not and takes him over Jackson is on drugs. There’s this idea at times that a sizzling player in college might be smoke and mirrors but lamar jackson is far and away the better QB now, and his numbers are rising which tends to be a good omen going forward.

          • calgaryhawk

            Minnesota is in a bit of a QB bind(in a good way) in that they have 3 starting quality signal callers in Keenum, Bridgewater and Bradford. ALL are free agents this year.

            • peter

              forgot all 3 were going into free agency…ooof….that would be a tough decision, for them, going forward.

    • Rob Staton

      The Saints don’t actually own #59 — they traded their 2018 second rounder to the 49ers to move up and get Alvin Kamara.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Well that would make it tough then…lol

    • DC

      Pittsburgh has #28 & #60
      Jacksonville, New England & Minnesota will each have a #29-#32 & a #61-#64

      If the right guy is there I could see possible interest from any of them.

      • Nick

        Great info.

  13. AlaskaHawk

    Rob – Tremendous work putting all this together, thanks.

    • Rob Staton

      My pleasure

  14. DC

    Anyone else bummed that we are short our 2nd & 3rd round picks now? Hindsight and all but how on God’s Green Earth was Jeremy F*@K!nG Lane valued as a 3rd round pick in that trade? Ay Carumba!!!

    • Ishmael

      Proven CB who can play inside and out, excellent special teams guy. He’s not fantastic, but he’s nowhere near as bad as he’s made out to be.

      • Greg Haugsven

        The 3rd being gone sucks for sure, expecially since it should be a 5th.

  15. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Let’s say Jimmy Graham goes down the road……
    ..and the recent addition of Mike Solari at Seattle as the OL coach….
    …could Seattle be looking to add Justin Pugh (via FA) to the OL (RG or RT)?

    (this would also enable moving Ifedi to LG, where I think he could really shine… highlighting his strengths if you will and limiting his weaknesses)

    • Greg Haugsven

      You would think it’s possible. Or keep Ifedi at RT and put Fluke (another Giant) @ LG. That dude is like 330

  16. C-Dog

    Mock Draft.

    Haven’t done one of these in a while. With the new commanders hired on the offense and defense, I’m mocking to satisfy the players that might be brought in to best serve their visions, and using the scenario Rob used yesterday involving the trade back with Cleveland acquiring picks 33, 63, and 140.

    33: R2P1

    Schotty gets a RB that he is very familiar with, and sees as the best mix with Chris Carson, and providing quality 3rd down play at this point in the draft.

    63: R2P31

    This pick satisfies Norton Jr who says that “if you aren’t fast, you aren’t playing for me.” Nwosu is explosive and violent and regarded as scheme versatile. He makes former ‘SC coaches Carroll and Norton Jr gleam with excitement.

    122: R4P20

    This pick goes back to Schotty. Seattle probably spends a bit in FA to ad a WR, maybe a bigger one to make up for the potential loss of JG. I like R4 being the sweet spot Seattle could take a flyer on another big WR prospect.

    140: R5P1

    This stays with Schotty and turns some heads. Stepping back though, Seattle has watched a lot of Cougar football. There’s someone over there that they like. Carroll was a big fan of Kirk Cousins. Falk comps to Cousins. Instead of chasing another RW to be the backup, maybe Seattle just waits to see who the BPA at QB might be middle rounds. This pick might set the fire behind RW that the organization could be looking for in addition to the hiring of Schotty in the first place.

    143: R5P4

    The goes back to Norton Jr. The team likely moves on from Avril and Bennett. They got Clark and Jordan as the likely starters, and likely hoping Malik McDowell makes a run at 5 tech, if he’s healthy enough. Brandon Jackson and Q Jeff probably factor in. Frazier has been turning some heads at the Shrine practices. Didn’t have a great year last season, but might be one of those guys that ends up a better pro than college player.

    148: R5P9
    DL B.J. HILL

    This stays with Norton Jr. If Seattle isn’t able to retain Sheldon, or doesn’t make a strong enough effort, probably signals that they see Naz and Jarran as their new fixtures at DT. Doesn’t mean they don’t look to add there. Hill is one of those bigger DTs that looks like he can factor some agains the pass. Could be a really valuable pick up here.

    171: R5P32

    This goes to Schotty’s lieutenant Solari. I think the team likely makes a play in FA to add to the OL. Whether it’s a OT to replace Ifedi if Ifedi moves back inside, or a guard to replace Joekel will all be played out. Solari likes bigger guards, and guys who play with good bend. 6-4 320 former LT who helped pave the way for Barkley might appeal here.

    227: R7P8

    This stays with the Schottz. He gets his former college TE to play with his former college RB.

    249: R7P30

    Again with the Schottz. Seattle takes a late round flyer on another RB, this time more of a banger.

    250: R7P31

    Again with the Schottz. Here’s the other Cougar Seattle was thinking about.

    • Greg Haugsven

      Good RG and a good defensive player first two picks.

      • Greg Haugsven


    • peter

      Cdog you think Seattle picks a QB in the fifth? they seem to have a real indifference to the QB position, notwithstanding the hot gossip that Seattle would consider Mahomes in the first last year……

      I’m going to finally look at BJ hill….there must be something there since you keep mocking him to Seattle.

      • white-salmon-hawk

        Davis and shotty have experience from the Rams time. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Davis back again and no QB pick at all.

        • peter

          Austin davis I could definitely see them favoring. It makes a ton of sense to bring him in.

        • C-Dog

          I could easily see that happen, as well. Personally, I’m right at about 50/50 whether Seattle drafts QB. I like the idea of them taking a mid round flyer on Falk if he’s still sitting there, but wouldn’t bother me if they went a different direction.

      • C-Dog

        I kinda think this might be the year that they look to draft QB again, maybe as soon as the mid rounds. Depends on how many picks they end up with. I think there is a chance Carroll might like Falk. This isn’t Davis Hsu rubbing off on me, this is just the idea that JS has come from the Ron Wolf school of always looking to draft a QB, and with RW two years away from a third contract negotiation, the team might look to cover themselves a bit. Could be a nice situation for Falk to come in and learn and not be the guy. If something happens to RW and Falk steps in and plays well, maybe they look to trade him off for picks like NE has done recently, and GB has done in the past.

        Tony Pauline has been a pretty big advocate for BJ Hill, thinks he will go much higher than the late round grades that have been slapped on him. Thinks he could slip into R2. Two gabs well, but also has the athleticism to get after the QB. At 6-4 300lbs, has that size and feel of other DTs Seattle has done after. If a deal doesn’t get done with Sheldon, I think he could be a guy to keep in mind.

    • peter

      really got a chance to watch Uchenna…..getting pretty into him.

      Maybe I do a mock where I figure out how Seattle takes Settle, Nwoso 1/2

      • C-Dog

        He was a beast against Ohio St, and played really, really inspired when USC was getting handled otherwise. Thought it was the type of play in a losing effort that showed some pretty promising meddle.

    • Forty20

      I recall Carroll’s comments in the wake of our huge loss to the Rams about speed on defence and in light of that whoever they covet at Washington State is most likely part their ‘Speed D’. Hercules Mata’afa is the name that immediately comes to mind but it could someone else.

      • C-Dog

        Personally, I think Hercules stands a pretty solid chance of being a player they would want to target. Going to be interesting to see how he performs at the combine.

        Darius Leonard and Mike McCray are some other I’m really interested in seeing how they perform.

      • peter

        His draft stock is completely messed up having played DL at 250 lbs. Will be interesting to see what he does at the combine or his pro-day if he shows pass rush skills or if he also attempts to show any kind of LB skills, dropping into coverage, etc..

        • C-Dog

          If he shows some natural ability in linebacker drills, I think his stock probably goes up. Could be a Tedy Bruschi situation there.

          • peter

            I think he goes to a 3-4 team where he can just rush the passer and stay really clean behind a big front as an outside lb. if seattle went back to pc’s first seasons with a heavy end and a leo I think that could work.

            • C-Dog


  17. white-salmon-hawk

    I just remembered and was wondering about the new draft resource (spacing the name) you were able to purchase via Patron funds. Any random tidbits, insider-rumblings, or hot gossip you can share?

    • Rob Staton

      They’ve only provided the original piece for now (covered in the podcast). There will be further info as the draft process kicks into gear and I will pass on the particularly interesting stuff, possibly via podcast again.

  18. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Rob, You stated somewhere (forgive me if I’m wrong) you believe Sherman is coming back. What are your thoughts on a(1) CB going on 30 with an Achilles injury returning. Especially with around 10 million plus cap savings if released. (2) If he where to come back is safety an option, possibly strong safety.
    BTW. Thank you to your family and you for your efforts to providing a forum for us to talk Seahawks.

    • DC

      A healthy Sherman is still one of the best CB in the biz. Had he finished the season healthy I think there would have been a higher chance of him being traded but being hurt lessons that chance. If you were actually going to straight cut him it would be because you are about to ink someone that you believe makes the team better overall and you need that cap space asap. There aren’t very many people out there that would accomplish that goal.

    • Rob Staton

      Hard to say on the Achilles. Knowing Sherman I think he can make a terrific recovery but it’s a wait and see thing. I think a switch to safety one day is possible.

      And thanks for the kind words.

      • calgaryhawk

        Just like to mention that serious injuries such as knee and Achilles were often end careers 10-15 years ago but as medical treatments (which get very little press on sports sites) improves, so does recovery rates and recovery times.

  19. bankhawk

    Your thoughts for a Penny? I see Royce Freeman and Rashaad Penny being talked about as two RBs who may get picked in a similar range-a kind of leading edge to a second tier or towards the end of the elite tier at this position in the draft. To be frank Im more excited by what Ive seen out of Penny, though my impressions are strictly based on watching highlight reels. So, Rob-guys, how would you comp and contrast the skill sets at play hêre and likely scheme fits for Seattle of thêse two backs, should we choose to go OL or front 7 with our first pick (having also assumed a trade back)?

    • Nick

      Royce is a big back with really good speed. Explosive athlete. Has nice feet and patience. Unbelievable production and consistency. No major injuries. His juke is also very impressive for a guy his size. Not very physical though. Doesn’t use his size to punish. Runs out of bounds too much.

      Penny I don’t know so much about—but he’s an explosive runner with big play potential. Much more physical than Freeman. He has good eyes and instincts for gaps opening.

      I see them both as mid-late 2nd rounders. I think Ronald Jones, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson, and Saquon are above those two. I’m guessing 2-3 RBs are picked in the first round. We may see a run on them in the early second.

      • peter

        Agree with a lot of this sentiment. Penny has great yards per carry and some pretty great stats for missed tackles and yards after contact.

        SDSU plays a very different system than Seattle. I think that’s what limits his enthusiasm as well as SDSU or any of these smaller programs it’s hard to compare how they stack up to better competition.

        • LeoSharp

          Rashaad Penny has some fumble issues and is a liability in pass protection but his speed looks to be in the low 4.4s maybe even 4.3. Penny did have a great game against Stanford and has been tremendously consistent in his dominance over the weaker teams.

          Royce Freeman doesn’t have a history of fumbles. His pass protection isn’t an issue like most of the top backs in this class.

          They both have great hands, they can locate the deep ball and. They’re patient when running screens weaving through traffic. They can both be lead backs of a run heavy team and probably offer the most value compared to upside.

          • Kenny Sloth

            He had 5 fumbles in 2 years

            No chance in hell he runs a 4.3

            Dude is running a 4.52 or slower

            • peter

              oddly 5 fumbles in 2 years look like a problem in relation to other backs in this draft. I dont think that’s very high overall.

          • Kenny Sloth

            Royce Freeman is way better than Penny, but he’s soft as a mattress.

            Freeman rips off fat chunks on every run because of absolutely elite eyes and feet

    • C-Dog

      I really like both of these guys. I’ve seen a lot of Freeman, and I gotta be honest, I know he’s not the thumper Seattle would likely want and expect at that size, but he can be a pretty exciting back to watch. I kinda think the team would be more into Penny, though.

      If Penny tests well at the combine, I think there’s a chance he shoots up the boards significantly. What he did at SDSU was ridiculous.

      • D-OZ

        Mike Holmgren rates Penny as the 4th best back in the draft. He likes Jones and Michel a lot. Compares Jones to Alexander With Jones having the better hand’s.

        • C-Dog

          I can totally see the Walrus digging those guys. I’ve been pretty big all along on Jones and Michel. After Harris decided to return to Tallahassee I’ve been warming up to Penny quite a bit, Kerryon as well.

          If Chubb tests close to his SPARQ numbers a few years back, that will be very, very interesting stuff.

  20. Greg Haugsven

    I think Justin Pugh could be a realistic option for us next year at left guard. He played LG in 2015 and 2016 and was good. He had a down year because he was forced to right tackle where he isn’t that good. Also Solari was his offensive line coach.


    • Greg Haugsven

      If possible we could really focus on trading down in the draft and attacking a RB and a Leo/Sam.

      • DC

        It would be supremely nice to get a “hit” on an OL without breaking the bank. We are overdue on that front.

        Pugh did have a back injury of some sort last season. That is always scary.

  21. DC

    Just for fun I’ll play the Cleveland GM,

    #1 Sign Kirk Cousins as a FA so that this scenario works (or Alex Smith if he gets cut)
    Trade 1st overall pick to Denver for #5 and 2019 picks or whatever.
    Round 1 #4 select Tim Settle, DT, VTech
    Round 1 #5 select Vita Vea, DT, UW
    Then you’ve still got,
    Round 2 #33
    Round 2 #35
    Round 2 #63
    Round 3 #65
    #103, #125, #140, #161, #179, #220

    Danny Shelton is already there joining Settle & Vea to form the largest mass of DLs ever assembled on Planet Earth. The Great Wall of Cleveland!

    With ample cap space and a plethora of draft picks John Dorsey has a chance to have some major fun.

  22. Volume12

    Interesting that Seahawks assistant QB coach is one of the OC’s for the Shrine game on the West team.

    Total speculation, but I’m wondering if JS being at Texas Tech’s pro day last years was him looking at QB Nic Shimonek who is in this game. Good UDFA, backup QB. Could be complete coincidence too though.

    • Volume12

      * is THE OC

    • C-Dog

      Shimonek had a pretty decent year starting, no?

  23. millhouse-serbia

    Rob , what do you think, could Lamar Jackson be a high pick as Patrick Mahomes?

    • millhouse-serbia

      I really could imagine that all 5 QBs are gone before 15th pick. And that would be great for us.

      • RealRhino2

        I actually think that would be bad for us. We don’t need QBs to push somebody down the board, IMO. We need a QB or two left at 18 that teams behind us are willing to come up and get.

        Best-case scenario — and the most realistic, IMO; why would anybody think Cleveland is going to give us 33 and change just because “there’s a guy they might like” at 18? — is for either the Jets or the Giants to pass on a QB early and then want to come back up for a more developmental guy (Allen or Jackson) at #18 to get ahead of Buffalo at 21-22.

        Jets have #5 in the 2nd round and our own #17 pick in the 2nd (from Sheldon), which almost perfectly aligns in value to our #18 overall. Giants have the #2 pick in the 2nd and 3rd, which is a little short of what we might expect from our #18, but not too far off.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure #18 would be an attractive spot to trade up for a QB though.

          Why is a team needing to get ahead of Dallas (Dak) or Detroit (Stafford)?

          • RealRhino2

            They wouldn’t, but I think a team might need to get ahead of Buffalo (if they haven’t already traded up) and might find us a more willing trade partner than Dallas or Detroit. I’d think we want to trade down enough that we might go off chart and take a lower offer than those two.

            I guess anybody could like anybody at #18, but most likely big trade up would be for a QB. Thought was that of the QB-needy teams, NYJ and NYG match up in terms of what they could offer AND likelihood they pass on a QB with their first pick. Giants could go Barkley at #2 and Jets may think that #6 is too high for Mayfield, Allen or Jackson.

    • Rob Staton


    • Gohawks5151

      If that’s true it could force some other QB’s up the list like the Ole Miss guy. Could be one of those Christian Ponder type drafts why the run is on and people get desperate. Then you will have some actual talent fall.

  24. D-OZ

    Lets hope one goes @18…

  25. H

    Out of curiosity, how do people rank the QBs in this class. Not that we really have to worry but no doubt everyone pays attention to where they end up landing.
    For me its
    1. Lamar Jackson (yeah i said it, similiar problems the others have, inconsistant accuracy, questionabke decisions etc. but with the added bonus of being a Mike Vick level of difference maker with his athleticism)
    2. Darnold (upside)
    3. Rosen
    4. Mayfield
    5. Allen

    • Kenny Sloth


    • peter


    • C-Dog

      I would flip one and two and keep the rest as the same. I’d be willing to swing for the fences on Darnold’s upside.

      • peter

        wonder how Arnold would be perceived if he played for UNC or some other mid tier power five school. this is just me but I think he’s getting a USC bump.

        • C-Dog

          Personally, I don’t think it would change much. The thing that impresses me most about him is how he performed when usc was getting thumped. I think on top of his god given ability is a fearless and will to keep attacking the defense, and a physical ability to pull it off. In a way, I kinda see a 6-4 RW, if that makes sense. That might be crazy talk for some, and I get it. It’s just what I see. The It-factor and will. If I’m Dorsey and I don’t sign Cousins, I’m taking him number one over all.

          • RealRhino2

            Agree. I guess USC gets you pub, but I don’t think that’s it with Darnold. It’s that he competes and wins even with the anti-coaching you get at USC. I haven’t studied mechanics or anything except from a bird’s eye view (don’t like his looping motion), but from that high up, you watch the games and the guy just makes plays. Their offense looks like an All-Star team (and I mean that in every possible way; insane collection of talent that looks like they just met a week ago and are just running around out there), and when you are saying to yourself that he needs to make a play, he makes a play more often than not.

            Rosen in the anti-Darnold. Doesn’t quite have the arm, but everything else is better. Except maybe attitude and winning. Smooth, polished, etc. As an opposing fan, though, more worried about Darnold.

            1. Darnold
            2. Rosen
            3. Mayfield
            4. Jackson
            5. Allen

            Tempted to put Allen over Jackson, but his bust potential is just so high. Think Jeremiah put his finger on what I don’t like about Jackson when he said he’s a flipper not a thrower. I don’t like flippers. Don’t think you can trust their accuracy, touch, angle, etc.

          • VancouverHawk

            C-Dog that RW comparison is a FANTASTIC one. As an SC guy, I have seen every single throw of Sam’s career. Whenever we are down I always think we have a chance because we have Sam. Likewise with the Hawks and Russ. They are both special. The turnovers are a concern, but tbh about 4 of those picks are drops from receivers and about 2-3 are from bad routes. I understand that every QB can say that, but I think his turnovers are being talked about a little too much.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I like Mayfield the best. Great QB rating, low interception rate, and he is a WINNER just like Watson was last year.
      Check out these 2017 stats against some great opponents:
      pct complete 70.5 yardage 4627 Touchdowns 43 Interceptions 6 QB rating 198.9. That’s good stuff.

      • AlaskaHawk

        P.S. They could have won the Georgia game in the BCS if they hadn’t gone away from throwing the ball. Only 1 pass in 8 plays.

  26. Rob-Not that Rob though

    Apologies if you’ve answered this elsewhere, feel free to direct me to it if you have, but lets assume for a moment that there is a run on QB’s early, some other random throw ins like Barkley, Fitzpatrick, etc, and things fall nicely for the Hawks. Of the 11 guys on this list 2-3 are still available at 18….lets say Jones, Settle, & Davenport.

    What do you WANT the Hawks to do in this case? Draft BPA and wait until day 3 to draft again, or potentially trading down and grab maybe 2-3 “second tier” guys?

    Do you think somebody like Jones is transcendent enough to draft if he is there and hope for the best on day 3? Or do you play for value and look at Michel/Chubb type (fill in any other name or position) later on?

    • Rob Staton

      I think given the value in round two it might benefit the team more to move down and address two needs instead of one. But it depends what happens in free agency and what stock they might acquire between now and then.

      I also think they’d be able to move down and potentially still get Jones II.

      • 503Hawk

        Robs 🙂
        Great question, and great answer. I THINK they will trade back (maybe more than once) to acquire picks.
        However, I WANT them to get a “difference maker”, a “field tilter” (if a Settle, an Edmunds, or a Davenport fall to 18). First time in six (?) years they are in the position to do so.

  27. Dr.W

    I think you are missing something with not ranking a single TE as Mark Andrews (Oklahoma) should be considered a legit top 50 player. He’s drawn comparisons to Jason Witten and is probably the best TE in the country this past season.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, I’ve seen the comparisons to Witten and when I watched him — I thought it was a terrible comp. Witten is a complete TE. Andrews makes catches on the easier routes but isn’t a blocker and doesn’t do much in the way of providing a big mismatch on the second level. For me he’s a pretty standard prospect, not special.

  28. drewdawg11

    I really have fundamental issues with most of these QBs either in mechanics, ceiling, or attitude.

    Rosen: wouldn’t touch him even though he’s got elite arm talent. He could be a fantasy football star and not see the playoffs. Who is he in the huddle and the locker room? Concussion issues for over a month? Maybe that’s bs, but it’s scary.

    Sam D’Arnold: ugly, ugly, ugly feet and mechanics. Those windows get smaller in the NFL and his wind up takes forever. He turns it over a lot but he’s young. He could win games in sheer guts… but the ugly mechanics.

    Lamar Jackson: don’t expect Tom Brady. Do expect a headache for defensive coordinators at first. Can he be a pocket passer? Can he actually play under center? Strong enough arm, but can he hit the pass in that window between the linebackers and the safety? Not sure.

    Josh Allen: zip and velocity is second to none. Why couldn’t he be more accurate in the WAC? His athleticism is sneaky so scouts will love the upside. I would be afraid to take him early. I would be thrilled if I were drafting mid to late first. He’s boom or bust… but the physical traits are enticing. Mechanically not as bad as Sam, but not super pretty.

    Baker Mayfield: total prick. If you like that type of bravado from your QB, cool. I don’t. Even Phillip Rivers tones it down over the years so maybe he will “humble himself”, but he’s not special when you look at physics traits. Also, OU QBs are system passers who are checking at the line of scrimmage a lot. Can he even read a defense? He’s great when everyone is wide open. When UGA turned up the heat he wilted like 3 day old roses left in the car for a week in AZ. I don’t trust the character or the talent. He’s going to be ok, but not seeing star potential.

    • peter

      It’s a rough class depending on if you’re more of a half full/half empty person. I’m pretty past half empty and just at “empty.” On this class.

      Darnold you nailed. He just throws an ugly looking ball.

      Allen wasn’t good at in the WAC I’m not sure what people are going to be hoping for at the next level for him..

    • vrtkolman

      The NFL is still a good ole boys club in a lot of ways, and those guys will always get excited over a big, tall guy with a huge arm.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I posted Mayfields stats above. Statistically he is the best QB you could pick, by far. He has a QBR rating of 198.9 for 2017.

      He may be a prick or not – that is a very subjective judgment. And I’m not going to base an opinion of opposing players yelling stuff. Most leaders have to be confidant that they are doing the right thing – htat can come off as arrogance. What a team needs is a leader, and he is a leader whose rough edges can be coached. He has the arm and the attitude,

      I’m calling it now just like I called Watson last year. Mayfield is a winner and will be the most successful QB out of this class, barring injury.

      • drewdawg11

        Stats lie… why are stats your basis?
        Conference: Big 12. Worst defensive conference in america
        “He’s a winner”: So was Tebow. It’s an argument with no quantification of merit. Tommy Frazier ever lose a game at Nebraska? Mayfield, what are his tangible gifts? He’s good. He can make some throws. He’s got nobility… but what is he great at? Oklahoma QBs don’t actually learn how to be QBs in the pros. Again, they all have to check with the sidelines just to tie their shoes. You called Watson… cool. So did a lot of people, because he was good. Are you saying he’s on that level?

        • AlaskaHawk

          I’m saying that Mayfield will be the best QB out of this class. If your so down on him then that is a bad sign for the rest.

          Stats lie?? Really!! Did there game against Georgia lie also?? Because both teams put in a really good effort.

  29. Clayton Russell

    Hey Rob, I think the only real solution is to trade down. We know Seattle likes to accumulate picks . This is the first year I can remember that Seattle has so few picks. We know what positions need to be addressed and currently we don’t have the amunittion to address those needs. Your scenario with Cleveland makes sense and provides the additional picks needed to RELOAD, not rebuild. My question is what 6’3 or taller WR do you think would be available with a 4th round pick. We actually discussed something like this when Alshon Jeffrey was coming out years ago. We know Pete Carroll had always liked big receivers going back to his USC days. Since Jimmy was the main red zone target, and he may not return, I’m thinking he may be looking for a big receiver.

    • Rob Staton

      They might be able to land one in free agency but in this draft there are guys like Javon Wims at Georgia and Marcell Ateman who might be available in that range. Day 2-3 will be better for WR’s than the first round this year. Fourth round could be an area to target a new WR.

      • Clayton Russell

        Agreed. Plus you mentioned two of the receivers I was thinking about. Like you I am not a fan of Jordan Matthews. I also think Seattle needs to start taking some guys that can beat their man at the line of scrimmage during press coverage. Arizona and the Rams have been great at pressuring Wilson. More often he is unable to go to the hot read because his receivers have failed to get open.

        This scenario and lack of draft picks currently, will make for an interesting time heading into the draft.

        Of note, Derrius Guice, attitude and background remind me of Marshawn. I just hope he can improve his forty time as he is a hard runner. Chubb and Penny . Penny probably available in the latter rounds. Lastly any thoughts on Wisconsin TE Fumagali as an option in the later rounds or are you thinking FA?

  30. Sea Mode

    Really great work, Rob.

    I know it’s not a contest or anything, but just so we continue to appreciate what we get here: Joe Marino at NDT Scouting was the guy who had the most accurate first round mock draft last year. Like Rob, he correctly predicted 28/32 players who would be drafted in the first round. (and Rob would have hit on Gareon Conley too had he not understandably decided to leave him out due to the serious off-field concerns) He just got more points for sending 9 to the right teams instead of 5, which is more about a bit of insider info and some flat out luck than prospect evaluation IMO.

    Anyway, he just discovered Tremaine Edmunds yesterday (and is consequently gushing over him on Twitter as a clear top-15 pick). Rob posted on him Dec. 19… 🙂

    • peter

      kind of hate how rob does this every year. sort of wish i hadnt watched abything about edmunds and now settle. those two might be my favorites in this draft. won’t get both, probazbly can’t get either.

    • Rob Staton

      Appreciate the support dude, thanks 🙂

  31. SheHawk

    I also think Seahawks were scouting a couple cougs. (Luke and Hercules). I think Hercules could be a Bruce Irwin type for them. Norton gives me hope we take a shot on him. As always depends how things fall. Forgot. Where do folk project Hercules to go. 2nd rd?

    • peter

      it’s hard to say until the combine. at his size he’s going to need to show some great short area speed. if he tests as a plodder or struggles in lb’er drills he may slide rather far.

      but. like Irvin he was playing as a DT which is pretty odd for a guy at his size.

      the cougs playing late gave me a ton of changes to watch him and as just a player I like him quite a bit.

    • C-Dog

      I think it’s really hard to say right now because of all the DT play he did at being listed at 250 lbs. There’s some talk that his actual weight is 235, and he is maybe kinda maxed out. Personally, I think he could make that transition, other undersized DLiners have, Irvin, Bruschi, Reddick, etc. Depends how he performs at the combine and how he looks in LB drills. If he does really well, I can see Day 2, but if things go so so, and his measurables aren’t great, I could see a big slide.

  32. vrtkolman

    Rob, what are your thoughts on Dallas Goedert? In a weak tight end class, his athleticism could really stand out. If he puts up similar combine numbers to Gerald Everett do you think he could break the top 50, like Everett did? I suspect he won’t run a 4.6, but he is over 10lbs. larger than Everett was.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’s just a JAG personally

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