Final draft notes, Chancellor injured & Seahawks cheat sheet

Cold Dominique Easley -- with his quirky personality -- be an option at #32?

Cosell hits a home run on receiver observation

“You can’t teach 6-5” — one of the popular buzz phrases of the 2014 draft. It’s often used to describe Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans — two players who will probably go in the top-20 on Thursday. Why? I’m not a paid up member of the cult-of-Greg Cosell, but he’s written an absolutely blinding piece about the way the NFL views the receiver position:

“The concept of separation has changed. Distance between receiver and corner does not necessarily have to be the defining criterion. The ability to use your long or wide body against shorter and smaller corners has become just as valuable an attribute, especially with more and more man-to-man coverage being played.”

Cosell absolutely nails it. He goes on to add:

“Separation is not the defining characteristic needed for them (Evans and Benjamin) to be dangerous receiving threats. What throw has become such a critical part of the NFL game? The back shoulder fade. The back shoulder throw is almost impossible to defend against big, physical wideouts like Evans and Benjamin; corners cannot defend two routes, and they must play the deep ball first, so a well-executed back shoulder throw to a big-bodied wide receiver is a tactical nightmare for even the best of corners.”

This is one of the best observations we’ve seen all off-season — and a reason why big, tall receivers will be attractive to teams in this draft. It’s not just the big guys either. Odell Beckham Jr, Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks. None taller than 6-0 — but all capable of competing for the ball at its highest point.

The days of precise accurate routes and timing are fading. Seattle’s DB’s have contributed to that as much as anyone. The Seahawks have receivers who can do what Cosell talks about in his piece — but they lack that tall, rangy wide out who can be a relentless force outside of the numbers. You just know Pete Carroll wants to find that guy, even if it isn’t with the #32 pick.

McGinn’s scouts analyse the defensive linemen

Over the weekend Bob McGinn provided anonymous scout quotes on the receivers and offensive linemen. Today he moved on to the D-liners — the other position Seattle is likely to consider early in the draft.

Here’s the quotes on three players we’ve focused on ahead of this years draft:

Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)

“He is the blueprint of a 3-4 end physically… Very strong.”

“He is a poor man’s J.J. Watt. They look the same. They play the same. Everything about Urban is just lesser than what J.J. had.”

“He’s a power guy… Size and length (34ΒΌ arms). He can push the pocket but doesn’t have a lot of twitch to get an edge. Lot of batted balls. Plays hard. He’s an ideal 3-4 guy.”

Those who’ve followed the blog from September will know I’m a big fan of Urban’s. For me he could easily have sneaked into round one with a healthy post-season. That comparison to J.J. Watt is right on the money. As crazy as it sounds — that’s what he looks like on tape. He’s a diet version of Watt.

He gets banged up and has an ACL injury on the list of previous issues. But if the Seahawks took him at #32 I’d be surprised but not upset. If they get him in any round after it’ll be a fantastic pick. He has the length and strength to be effective against the run. He can play early downs and he has untapped potential as a pass rusher.

Urban’s been totally overlooked because he’s not done anything since hurting his foot at the Senior Bowl. Do not sleep on this guy.

Dominique Easley (DT, Florida)

“The knees are OK with us… That’s what will make him fall to the second round or maybe early third.”

“He’s as good as (Aaron) Donald… Really a good player.”

“Plays hard… When he hits it right, he’s disruptive. But he’s disruptive both ways. He’ll get knocked out of the hole. He’ll get gashed. Hurt all the time. He has five career sacks. We’ve got people here who love him.”

“Even big, strong guys have trouble with him because he’s in their pads so fast. He can create inversion. That’s how he survives. Big guys will wash him. He gets swallowed.”

I’m surprised he received such a middling review. The second scout hits the right note for me — he’s as good as Aaron Donald. Both players have a sensational ability to collapse the pocket. It’s very rare you find one guy capable of doing this in a draft class — let alone two. Disruptive, natural three techniques are among the most fun players to watch in the NFL. Everyone loves Geno Atkins’ style. This pair can play up to that standard — seriously.

The final quote isn’t inaccurate. There are plays where he gets washed out against the run. A big lineman is going to turn him a few times and open a hole. It’s the sacrifice you make for starting a 280-290lbs defensive tackle. For the sake of one or two 10-yard gains in the running game though, I can live with the 5-6 huge plays he seemed to make at Florida where he’s into the backfield before the quarterback’s finishing his drop.

Easley is a special player. The type Seattle would normally have no chance of getting at pick #32. If they have no problem with the knees like the first quote above, they’ll be getting an explosive pass rusher to add to the ranks. I just wonder if he’s recovered well enough to be off the board before the Seahawks pick.

Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)

“Physically, he’s got tools… He’s one of those guys, you’ve got to see what’s underneath the grill.”

“Those guys on that line at Minnesota played hard. Except him, he’s kind of fooling around. He had two sacks the whole year and he’s probably the most talented physical specimen in the Big Ten at the position. He has no feel on the pass rush. He just throttles it down whenever he gets stymied. If things don’t go he just stops. You’ve got your hands full coaching him. I just don’t think mentally it’s there.”

“You’ve got to like him because of the ability… But he just wallows around sometimes. He gets knocked on his back. Takes himself out of games. But a big, giant guy. When he goes he hits heavy and shows a lot of athletic ability.”

The more you read on Hageman, the more likely it seems he’ll fall to the second round. There are times on tape where he really turns it on and you think, “Wow”. But we are literally talking about 2-3 times a game. And the rest of the time he’s a non-factor. I thought for a while the pure upside would keep him in day one — and that may still prove to be the case. But there’s a lot of noise from within the league that he’s just too inconsistent and presents too much of a risk.

He’s athletic enough for the Seahawks to consider and can’t be ruled out at #32. But look back to what John Schneider said about guys fitting into Seattle’s intense locker room and then you read this: “Those guys on that line at Minnesota played hard. Except him..” — doesn’t it just make you second guess Hageman’s suitability?

It was also reassuring to see McGinn’s sources saying the kind of things we’ve talked about with some of the more overrated D-linemen in this class.

On Dee Ford one scout says, “He just jumps, jumps, jumps. Just a little guy that’s not a special pass rusher. He’s got to be a 3-4 guy, but I don’t think he’s that kind of an athlete.”

Another scout says about Kony Ealy: “There’s no outstanding traits about him other than he gives you some versatility in a bad (defensive-line) draft. He’s a mess. Somebody’s going to draft him because they need a defensive end and overdraft him.”

On Timmy Jernigan: “Like him, don’t love him. He’ll fade on you. You won’t see him sometimes. He has really good three-technique quickness but not first-round three-technique quickness. He has some strength, but he’ll get swallowed up by some big people.”

And Stephon Tuitt: “That’s all he is. Big dude. Zero pass rush.”

I’ve seen a few quotes on Twitter tonight from people in the media claiming they’ve been told their mock drafts are inaccurate and we’re in for a shock on Thursday. It’s just my take — but I think you’ll only be shocked if you expected the likes of Ford, Ealy and Jernigan to go early.

Kam Chancellor set to miss time

The good news is this has been dealt with immediately — giving Chancellor the best possible opportunity to return. The Seahawks were willing to shell out to keep Jeron Johnson and that is significant. He’ll likely be tasked with stepping in if Chancellor misses time.

It’s unlikely to be considered a new need as Rapoport’s suggests — you don’t overreact to news like this. But having ended the 2013 season playing his best football, Seahawks fans will be hoping he’s available to open the season against the likes of Green Bay and Denver.

Seahawks wish list/cheat sheet

I got an email earlier today from a reader named Andy:

I have a request. Would you be willing to put together a ‘cheat sheet’ with the prospects that you think are the most likely candidates for the #32 pick, with a sentence or two summarizing each of them? I won’t have a tablet or laptop with me watching the draft. If possible, I would like to have something I can print, maybe circle the guys I like best, and then refer to them quickly when each pick is in.

I’m basically picturing this… except with your thoughts instead of Todd McShay’s. You could include the top-tier guys like Clowney and Watkins if you want, or you could limit it to guys that are more likely to be available at #32.

This might not be the easiest thing to read and break down — but I guess you could copy it to a word document. Hope it’s what you were after Andy.


Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
The ultimate competitor and playmaker. Improvisation is the most underrated characteristic in a quarterback and Manziel has it in spades. If you’re willing to build around him and maintain an open mind, he can be a very successful quarterback.
Scored a 32 on the wonderlic, just under 10 inch hands

Running backs


Wide receivers

Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
Big, reliable hands. Strong as an ox. Capable of doing it all at the next level — running across the middle, owning the red line, being a YAC threat and working on end arounds. The best receiver to enter the league since A.J. Green.
34 inch vertical surprisingly modest, ran a 4.43

Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
Jump ball specialist. Showed he’s quick enough running away from Alabama defensive backs for a 99-yard touchdown. Very similar to Vincent Jackson. Sometimes easily wound up on the field and needs to stay in control.
Has +35 inch arms and recorded an impressive 37 inch vertical

Odell Beckham Jr (LSU)
Massive ten inch hands on a 5-11 frame. High points the ball superbly. Gritty, sparky playmaker who never backs down. Will enjoy immediate success as a return man. Exceptional athlete.
Both parents were athletes, had a 38.5 inch vertical

Marqise Lee (USC)
In 2012 he was the most dominant playmaker in college football. Another brilliant competitor. Watch the Stanford game from 2013 — he won it for the Trojans with an injured leg. Forget the 4.5 forty — he’s quick enough. Drops the occasional pass but makes up for it.
Had a difficult upbringing and turned his life around, 38 inch vertical

Cody Latimer (Indiana)
Exceptional player. Never drops a pass. Runs a 4.4 with basketball skills in the air. The best run blocking receiver in the draft. Wins the red line consistently, takes the ball away at the highest point. Spent the off-season working his tail off with Brandon Marshall in Florida.
Recently recovered from a foot injury, has impressive dunking skills

Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
Tavon Austin-style receiver. Plays above his size at the sideline. In the 2013 Civil War game he consistently drew triple coverage (!!!) from the Oregon defense — and he still made plays. If a team is willing to be creative and move him around — you can feed him the ball. Good character.
Has the same sized hands as Mike Evans (5-10 vs 6-5)

Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State)
Incredible size is a positive not the negative some make out. At his best high points the ball, shields defenders and will break tackles. Capable of destroying defenders in the run game. Had too many lousy drops in college and needs to concentrate more. Will be a red zone demon.
35 inch arms and 10 1/4 inch hards — has a huge catching radius

Fringe first round:

Martavis Bryant (Clemson)
Exceptional athlete but an immature player who still needs to do some growing up. Nearly blew his career due to complacency. Throat-slashing celebration against NC State was ugly. Could be special with the right development. Well coached at Clemson in terms of routes and an absolute dynamo downfield.
39 inch vertical, has a young child to support

Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss)
Another incredible athlete. Good size at 6-2, 221lbs but also had a hand timed 4.3 at the combine. Disappointing 2013 season leaves stock difficult to judge. Missouri game in particular was very sloppy. Part of this is on the Ole Miss offense. He showed against Texas & LSU in 2012 he has the potential to be special.
Incredible 11-foot broad jump and 39.5 inch vertical — legit top-5 athlete in the draft

Tight ends

Eric Ebron (North Carolina)
Ideal modern day pass-catching tight end. So fluid working the seam. If he gets into space he can break off big gains. Made some one handed catches in 2013 that had to be seen to be believed. Also has the occasional disappointing drop. Minor character concerns and can show more commitment to blocking.
Had a 4.60 forty — Rob Gronkowski managed a 4.68

Offensive linemen

Greg Robinson (Auburn)
Incredible beast of a tackle. The biggest concern surrounding most college tackles is their ability and willingness to excel in the running game. Robinson thrived in Auburn’s run-heavy system and will have instant success at the next level. He can be as good as he wants to be. Potential star left tackle.
Ran a 4.92 at 332lbs — has 35 inch arms

Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
Shorter arms but natural technique and feel for the game. Terrific bloodlines. Always looked better than Luke Joeckel when the pair played together at College Station. Plays to the whistle, holds position well and kick slides perfectly well. Solid prospect.
Part of the famed Matthews clan — and so is Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas

Taylor Lewan (Michigan)
Tall, athletic tackle. It’s been suggested he’s a bit of a phony tough guy. On tape I think he plays tough. Very self confident. Another player who might fair better on the right side. Like Matthews, will be solid if not spectacular.
Recently had a run-in with the law, ran a 4.87 at 309lbs

Zack Martin (Notre Dame)
I’m surprised it took so long for the media to realise how good Martin is. He looked like a first rounder throughout his time at Notre Dame. Can play any position on the offensive line. Could have a better career than Matthews and Lewan.
Didn’t run a forty at the combine, 32 and 7/8 inch arms

Ja’Wuan James (Tennessee)
Prototype tackle with long arms, height and a good frame. Mr. Technique — never gets flustered in pass protection and plays with excellent balance, hand use and stops defenders with ease. Needs to get stronger — doesn’t drive people off the ball. Started 49 games at right tackle in the SEC.
Had the third lowest reps on the bench at the combine among OL’s

Joel Bitonio (Nevada)
In terms of size, athleticism and length — he’s on par with Matthews, Lewan and Martin. Very underrated. Shut down Anthony Barr, held a thriving Florida State defense at bay and Demarcus Lawrence had no success against him. Great attitude, plays to the whistle. Very similar to Logan Mankins coming out.
Late father was a martial arts expert, ran a 4.97 at the combine

NOTE: I would’ve included Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio as a first round suggestion. He has the length and size for Seattle. I thought he played at a very high level in the SEC and would’ve been a top-20 pick but for concerns over an arthritic knee. If the Seahawks have faith in his health, then he could be an option. Without the necessary information it’s hard to project where his stock is. He could go anywhere from round one to being completely off many boards.

Defensive tackles

Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)
At times unblockable. Size (6-0, 285lbs) will concern some teams but it shouldn’t. Fires off the line and constantly impacts plays. Donald was the star of the combine — running a 4.68 and recording 35 reps on the bench. Grounded individual, could be a little more confident. A really safe pick even in the top ten.
A home-bird born and raised in Pittsburgh, has a young child

Dominique Easley (Florida)
Two serious knee injuries are a concern — but he’s since been cleared and could be ready for training camp. If you aren’t put off by the injury history he’s just as good as Donald — and potentially better. Explodes off the line with great burst, he’s stronger than you expect. Impact pass rusher who holds his own against the run. Ideal three-technique. Team captain and leader. Fun personality.
Has a young son, worked at Florida with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Defensive end’s/LEO’s

Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
For all the negative talk about Clowney — you just have to watch him at his best to understand why he’s so highly rated. Watch the Tennessee game from 2013. With the right guidance he can be just as good as Julius Peppers. He won’t always play with fire, but in the big games he’ll be a difference maker.
Ran a 4.53 at the combine, has a laid back personality

Khalil Mack (Buffalo)
In terms of athleticism he’s top notch. The concern is against mediocre opposition in the MAC he didn’t have an impact. Yes — he destroyed Ohio State. But his opponent that day — Jack Mewhort — might not even play tackle at the next level. I’m not as sold as others — but he’ll go in the top ten.
40 inch vertical was impressive, has the length to play DE

Anthony Barr (UCLA)
He needs time. He’s played two years on defense and showed plenty of potential. Not an incredible athlete like we expected but he managed a 1.56 ten yard split at the combine. Barr needs to work on his technique and upper body strength. Getting stronger is an absolute must. You can’t rely on an immediate return and that could hurt his first round stock.
Ran only a 4.66 at the combine and benched just 15 reps


Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
Incredible athlete. Runs in the 4.3/4.4 range, jumped a 42-inch vertical. He struggles to keep weight on during the season and will ultimately play between 220-230lbs. For that reason he needs to be protected by scheme. His best fit is at weakside linebacker in a 4-3 — where he can play in space and fly around the field.
Has dealt with hamstring issues this post-season, appears to love the game

Defensive backs

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama)
Not a Mark Barron or Earl Thomas — but the best safety in this class. You can rely on him to come in immediately and settle into a defense. He has enough range. Might work best partnering another dynamic player on the back end.
Had a suspension at Alabama, first name is short for ‘Ha’Shean’

Note: I didn’t include any cornerbacks because let’s be right here, Pete Carroll isn’t taking a first round corner. They’ll keep finding guys later on. For what it’s worth I expect four to go in round one — Bradley Roby, Darqueze Dennard, Kyle Fuller and Justin Gilbert.

I’ve written some further notes on some of the players I’d like to see in Seattle, regardless of round:

Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
See the Cosell article above. Size wins in the modern NFL and Coleman is 6-6 and 225lbs with 34 inch arms. He ran a hand timed 4.50 at the combine (official 4.56). And he’s strong — managing 21 reps on the bench. He was a team captain at Rutgers and really suffered in a terrible passing offense. He needs development and time — but the ceiling is so high. How many players have you seen with this size run away from defensive backs for 80-yard touchdowns? Imagine him in Florida State’s offense instead of Rutgers’. He can be taught to make the most of his size and reach — and in today’s game a player like this will be a threat.

Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)
As we discussed earlier — he’s Bud Light to J.J. Watt’s Budvar. That doesn’t mean he’s going to come into the league, be the most dominant defensive player in the NFL and win countless awards right off the bat. But he has at least a shot at being a similar albeit less effective type of player for a team. And that’s exciting to me. He’s stout against the run, he destroys linemen with power and drives blockers into the pocket. He has the length (+34 inch arms) and size (6-7, 295lbs) Seattle loves. He’s a freak of nature. If he stays healthy he could be one of the steals of the draft, whichever round you take him.

Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
What’s not to like? He’s a former basketball player with incredible athletic qualities and leaping ability. He’s been timed in the 4.3/4.4 range and he has the size at 6-2 and 215lbs to win in the modern NFL. All of that alone is enticing. But the #1 reason why Latimer is so appealing is his hands. The guy doesn’t drop passes. Whether it’s running over the middle in traffic, high pointing the football down the sideline or ripping an under-thrown pass away from a cornerback — he just makes plays. He’s reliable. Add in his willingness to run block (seems to enjoy it) and you’re talking about someone who should be a consensus first rounder.

Dominique Easley (DT, Florida)
Three techniques have to carry an edge. They’re not like other players in the league. Darnell Dockett is a great example. Can you honestly tell me he’d be the same player without his quirky personality? Ditto Sheldon Richardson or Warren Sapp or any of the greats. Your ideal offensive lineman is a meat and potato’s blocker with a blue collar attitude. Your ideal three technique collapses the pocket, makes a sack and has a well crafted dance routine to celebrate. Easley isn’t just explosive, lightning fast, strong at the point, relentless and at times unstoppable — he has the perfect personality to be the next star three-tech. He dances between snaps, wears a heavy chain to take onto the field and carries a Chucky Doll to games. Most importantly he was a team captain at Florida — a real heart and soul type who commanded respect from the coaches and his team mates.

Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
I’d have no concern playing him at right tackle. He can do it. I think if you needed him to he’d hold his own as a left tackle for a few weeks. I agree with those who believe his best position could be guard. For me he’s another Logan Mankins. If you slot him in at left guard he could easily hold that spot down for 10-12 years. Look at the comparisons between the two coming into the NFL — they’re nearly identical. But I think he can play tackle — and that’s the crucial thing in terms of the Seahawks. He needs to get stronger, but he makes up for it with sound technique and elite athletic ability. For me there’s nothing between Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan and Bitonio. Size, length, athleticism — they’re similar. Except Bitonio’s the only one to shut down Florida State, Anthony Barr and Demarcus Lawrence. He has longer arms than Zack Martin and Matthews and the same arm length as Lewan.

Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
The more I watched of James recently, the more I liked. He’s a much better prospect compared to team mate Antonio Richardson. Aside from one difficult match-up against Missour’s Markus Golden he just oozed comfort. He never gets flustered. The ball’s snapped, he locks onto the edge rusher and does his job. If you want a blocker who can come in and keep your QB clean — James will do that. He’ll start for years at right tackle and might even be able to shift over to the left. He has good character, he started 49 games in college (in the SEC). Technically he’s very good (excellent balance, footwork). He needs to get stronger and he doesn’t drive people out of the way in the run game. But as a pass protector he’s very accomplished.

In terms of later round/UDFA guys — the Seahawks know the types of player they want. They’ll bring in a host of athletes and some unknowns. It’s hard to project who they’d show interest in. Here are some of the names I like, although some of these players won’t fit into Seattle’s thinking:

Chris Whaley (DT, Texas), Kaleb Ramsey (DT, Boston College), Jordan Zumwalt (LB, UCLA), Jonathan Dowling (CB/S, Western Kentucky), Jonotthan Harrison (C, Florida), Marcel Jensen (TE, Fresno State), Kevin Norwood (WR, Alabama), Ronald Powell (DE, Florida), Taylor Martinez (QB, Nebraska)

Oh, and then there’s this…

Talk about always compete. Although hopefully whoever typed it (so many typos) will be getting some competition this off-season too…

Tomorrow I will post my final mock draft. It’s the version I’ll be sending to the Huddle Report.

On Thursday I’ll be taking part in a Field Gulls Hangout and conducting a live session with the Seattle P.I. offering analysis during the draft. Both features will be available on the blog.


  1. Bill Bobaggins

    I’m, too, surprised by some of the mock drafts that I’ve been seeing. One that I saw today, in particular, is on and from Bucky Brooks. He does a 4 round mock and, surprisingly, leaves off some pretty big names. No Bishop Sankey in the first 4 rounds? No Dominique Easley in the first 4 rounds? He has the Hawks drafting DT Kelcey Quarles in the 4th round…WITH Easley still on the board.

    Rob…I’m sending your resume to, because that mock is laughable.

  2. thatguy

    I don’t think we need to worry bout jam he is slated to play in Sherman’s softball game doubt he would do that If he wasn’t going to be available for preseason

  3. Matt

    That recruiting brochure is pretty cool to see. It has to be a real incentive to come to Seattle for a true try out. Sitting with only 6 picks going into the draft makes it all the more important to bring athletes to push the existing roster.

    The draft can’t come soon enough!

  4. mrpeapants

    hey rob, ive been coming to this site for a few months now and I love it. I was wondering if you have called any of the hawks first round picks. just curious cause you have great insight to the team. go hawks

    • Rob Staton

      In 2010 I projected tackle and safety in my final mock, believing that Eric Berry would be there at #6 (Charles Brown was my pick at #14).

      In 2011 I went with Colin Kaepernick but had James Carpenter off the board at #23 to Philly (I was a big Carp fan).

      In 2012 I had Courtney Upshaw, who fell out of the first round and ended up in Baltimore — although we consistently projected a pass rusher in round one and a linebacker in round two.

      Last year it was tough projecting the #64 pick so I gave three options — Jesse Williams, Christine Michael and Quinton Patton.

      I feel like we know a lot more about the front office each year. It’s always a learning process. In hindsight I wouldn’t project an Upshaw type in R1 again based on what we know about SPARQ and unique athleticism. That wasn’t so obvious two years ago. Last year it was good to discuss Christine Michael as a sign of how we’re learning.

      This year I’ll be surprised if they take a player we haven’t discussed at least a few times. Nailing the absolute pick at #32 is going to be tough though.

      • CC

        For me, if they pick any of the guys you’ve listed I’d be happy.

      • mrpeapants

        that’s awesome rob. im so glad I found this site. I look forward to your articles everyday. go hawks

  5. AlaskaHawk

    I was laughing at your comments about various players being hand timed at 4.3 seconds in the 40 yard dash. Who was timing them, their agent? heh hehe

    All kidding aside, you have done a great job putting together information and comments. Like everyone else, I wish the draft were here. My modest proposal to the commissioner – give us two drafts!!! One now and one at the end of preseason. And double the size of the practice squad so there is a place for all our picks.

  6. Steve Nelsen

    Here’s two more names for the UDFA list:
    CB Torin Harris from USC
    DE Adham Talaat from Gallaudet

    • CC

      Torin H and his 41 inch vert has Seahawks written all over him. I’m guessing Petey scouted him at some point, he’d be a great pick up as an UDFA.

  7. Chris

    Johnathan Dowling….Go TOPS!

  8. Layne

    Off topic
    Who has the the better coverage, ESPN or NFL net work?

    • Bryan C

      Depends on if you like seeing Mel Kiper’s head explode at the Seahawks picks.

    • Bill Bobaggins

      I’m a bigger fan of Mayock then I am Burman and Kiper. So I’d go NFL Network. I think you get more football knowledge there.

      • williambryan

        Yeah, it’s not even close for me. Rich Eisen is the best host hands down, Mayock is the smartest football guy and is no nonsense, Deion Sanders and Steve Mariucci have great chemistry, and I think they all do a good job at real talk, especially compared to ESPN which has become a joke in my opinion.

  9. Stuart

    Rob, what is your order of preference of the six players you listed, if everyone you listed is available at somehow available#32 and #64?

    You did this about 2 months ago, but a fresh updated list would be great!

    Thank you Rob. πŸ™‚

  10. Stiz

    Time to add a donate button Rob. I almost feel guilty reading all of this for free. Really great stuff. Looking forward to Thurs-Sat!

    • EranUngar

      Go and buy seahawks stuff from the link on the site. That’s what i did…

  11. chris b

    sirius nfl radio has great coverage especially in the later rounds. they are the only ones that talk about each player drafted.

  12. CC

    Great stuff again Rob! Thank you!

  13. Cysco

    Man, i hope this year they don’t spoil the trades and picks before they’re announced by the commish. I’m sure they will, but it sure does ruin the suspense and fun.

    • Colin

      I think they got rid of it after 2012 because so many people were complaining. They didn’t do it last year.

  14. Stuart



    Yes, we really should do something to donate to Rob.

    Everything you have done for us is so appreciated!!!

    Thank you Rob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Bailey

    Great article Rob. Last year i asked if you could post a list of your top 100 and was wondering if you could do the same this year?

  16. Saxon

    Definitely need a donate option, Rob. You’re hard work is appreciated. Was hoping for a podcast again this year, btw. Know your busy with the new addition to the family, but if you could spare an hour it’s always great to hear the NFL discussed with an English accent.

  17. Don

    SF will be trading with Baltimore at #17. Big brother Harbaugh will be trying to help his little brother win a SB as much as he can without being too obvious. Proof: trading Anquan Boldin to SF right after the Superbowl for a 6th Rd pick! Really?

    SF is targeting Odell Beckham JR to replace James as WR and punt returner with the #17 pick.

    Seahawks have to get an impact player, preferably an equally talented WR.

    • CD

      Hoping the Hawks can use their connections with the Jets or Jags to do the same, have that flexibility to move up or down..

    • Darin

      Forget adding a receiver, let’s add another defensive play maker who can help thump Kaepernick, or blanket their new shiny receiver.

      IMHO, too many people are focused on scoring more points by adding new pieces. I think in his second year, Luke Wilson is going to be getting an expanded role in the offense, plus Russel has had a full off-season to build up a re-pore with him to feel more comfortable with him in the passing game. Harvin is going to be healthy to start the season.

      I can see OL being the pick at 32 is the right guy is there, which in my opinion is JuJuan James, but I could honestly see PC and JS adding more pieces to the defense, early in the draft to continue to have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Carrol has made the backbone of this team the defense, and that’s not going to change.

      Give me Easly with the first pick and a LEO type player at 64 and let the Defense remain one that looks like it did in the Super Bowl for seasons to come.

  18. Dumbquestions

    Agreed on donate option.

  19. EranUngar

    Rob, I fully agree with your view on “separation”. This term in modern football is about creating a safe window for the QB to place the ball were only the receivers can make the catch. Separation is created in many ways, physical or tactical.

    Precise routes and timing are still effective against soft zone, rub routes etc. but physical DB play, jamming and man coverage combined with the superior athletic qualities of DL versus OL disrupt them easily. Tactical separation can no longer be the only key for success.

    Physical separation is created by 2 main factors –

    Horizontal separation created by superior speed or explosiveness out of breaks. It takes the body 0.15 seconds to react physically to a changing situation. If a receiver is fast enough he can separate doing it. However, hitting on that moving window is timming and route related too.

    Vertical separation – if a receiver can make the catch higher then the area a DB can cover by a combination of size, leap and high pointing he creates vertical separation while being “covered” horizontally.

    Space separation – Shear size enable the reciever to shield a DB from the ball. It’s a combination of a catch radius and body size.

    The more of the above you have the better your chances are. A slow receiver allows the corner the luxury of turning his head to see the pass earlier and protect both back shoulder and deep threat. Speed forces the corner to defend the deep threat and makes him vulnerable to the rest.

    Big phisical and relatively fast receivers creat separation by being who they are unless they face the likes of Sherman. However, this is only valid today and for the next year or two. The Seahawks provided the blueprint of what the new age corner should be to battle those receivers. I believe that within a few years the corners and safeties will evolve to match this threat (longer corners and faster free safties)

    For now…the fast and tall physical corner rules.

    • EranUngar


      The fast, tall physical WR rules…lol…

    • Arias

      Other teams will have a hard time matching the blueprint because, like Pete’s said himself, there just aren’t that many 6-3 guys that can run and play cornerback and safety like Sherm and Earl.

      • EranUngar

        It’s a ripple effect.

        The demand will breed taller corners at the lower levels, more converts from WR to CB…faster sub 6-0 players will convert from DB to Safty and the balance will return.

        It’s an ever evolving copy cat sport. Give it a few years and you’ll hear a corner is too short, just 6-1 or safty is too slow at 4.5….

  20. MJ


    I’ve been mulling over several “shock” picks that could make sense at 32 and I think I’ve settled on LEO Jeremiah Attaochu. Really like his game and he reminds me of Cliff Avril.

    What are your thoughts on Attaochu and do you see him as an “out of the box” option at 32?

    Keep up the great work.

    • Rob Staton

      Hey MJ,

      Attaochu was the only one creating pressure for Georgia Tech last year and had some success. But he also gets destroyed way too often. When I watched his game against Miami he was dumped on his backside three times. On one play he sprung the edge for a 7-yard sack, and on the very next play they ran right at him to convert a first down on 2nd and 17.

      When he took on Morgan Moses at Virginia he was completely shut down. I mean it was ugly. Didn’t get a sniff all game. He’s not a bad player by any means but it’s hard to see him going in the late first.

      Another note on Avril — he ran a 4.51 at the combine and managed a 1.50 ten yard split. That’s elite athleticism. There isn’t a player in this draft class in fairness who matches that level of ability. I believe Attaochu ran in the 4.6’s at his pro day (where times are always better).

      • MJ

        Ha, just responded back to you at .net.

        Oh, I totally agree that Avril is pretty much a notch above Attaochu in everything. I believe he ran in the high 4.5s at his pro day (coming off a Hamstring tear, no less). He’s still very raw, but I love his athleticism/potential. Most off all, he seems to be an extremely intense player. Again, he just turned 21, so I think he has some physical development left in him, on top of mechanical/fundamental stuff.

        Realistically, this is my “out of the box” idea for SEA. Inevitably, they seem to draft guys in R1 that have zero connection to them at all in the pre-draft process. Ironically, it seems the middle-late rounds do have quite a few connections via meetings, etc.

        Thanks for the response Rob. You are doing excellent work.

        • Rob Staton

          Thanks MJ — interesting debate. I think they’ll be very interested in adding a pass rusher early and almost suggested they’d have to do it earlier than they wanted yesterday in the pre-draft press conference. For me the best way to keep the pass rush rolling would be to draft Dominique Easley. High picks are vital, but it’d be worth the risk on a salary worth $1.2-2.5m over four years.

          • MJ

            Absolutely. We saw the monumental impact of a consistent pass rush.

            I love Easley and would be fine with him at 32. That said, I am genuinely concerned about the Knee issues. I don’t mind taking gambles at all in the draft, especially on unique/special athletes, but it’s just the health angle that feels so out of control. I trust our staff to develop people, it’s just an entirely different thing to gamble on health.

            Great stuff.

          • AlaskaHawk

            I agree with MJ on the knee issues. He is one cut block away from being back on the injury list. Too much of a gamble in the first round.

            • JeffC

              Would you have traded for Percy Harvin?

            • Rob Staton

              Every player is one cut block away from an injury.

              • AlaskaHawk

                I know what your saying Rob – but I just think Easley is too risky in the first round when you already know he has a history of injuries. I did see your comment about Frank Gore having a successful career after having knee issues. He is an exceptional running back (hall of fame nomination?). It is hard to project college players into pros. Even the best have a 60% washout rate. I would just prefer we look at a different player who is a solid starter if we pick defense in the first round.

            • AlaskaHawk

              I wouldn’t have traded for Percy Harvin because I thought his pay was too high for a run first team and he had an injury history. We have already seen the financial fallout with Tate going to Detroit. I am glad that Harvin has recovered and I hope he makes me eat my words over the next five years.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Another shock pick at #64 that I was reading about: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina, DT43, Height 6’4″, Weight
      297. No analysis given with the pick.

  21. The Ancient Mariner

    Umm, that should have been “typos” — no apostrophe . . .

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist the irony. πŸ™‚ )

  22. Kyle

    Can’t wait to check out the fieldgulls hangout again. The one last year with yourself, Kenneth, Jacson and Joe was great. Good Lord! Tomorrow will be a fun day.

    • Rob Staton

      I believe we’re all involved in this one again too.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I can’t believe it is all prime time!

  23. Madmark

    Well I’m going to a draft party so I thought I throw my last draft out. Before I do I thought of some things that influence some decisions I made in this draft. I didn’t pick a TE because I’m thinking if Finnley passes his physical that seattle will bring him in for a tryout. I think they really want a Ja’wuan James and if he’s there at 32 they would take him but I’m thinking with Miami problems on the OL he’s going to be gone. I hear more about every other receiver so I believe Moncrief will be at 64 if not I go Landry or Coleman. No matter what there will be a WR to be had at 64. So
    Joel Bitinio T/G Nevada McQuinstons replacement
    Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss Tates replacement
    Brent Urban DE/DT Virginia replaces 1 of the 2 on the DL
    Antone Exum CB/FS Virginia Tech Thurmans or Maragos replacement
    Ed Stinson DE/DT Alabama Bryants replacement
    MarQuise Flowers SS/OLB
    Zack Moore Leo/DE Concordia
    Carlos Fields OLB Winston-Salem
    the flyer for UDFAs was a great idea and I hope it pays off because there’s going to be more players in this draft that go unsigned with everyone that came out early.

  24. James

    My suggestion is that John and Pete trade their R4 pick for a R5 and R7. Here’s why:

    – EJ Wilson
    – Walter Thurmond
    – Kris Durham
    – KJ Wright
    – Jaye Howard
    – Robert Turbin
    – Chris Harper

    – Kam Chancellor
    – Robert LeGree
    – Richard Sherman
    – Korey Toomer
    – Luke Willson
    – Tharold Simon
    – Jesse Williams

    • williambryan

      yikes, that’s astonishing when you put it like that. It would seem to have to be a coincidence but that is a lot of examples that suggest it’s not a coincidence…

  25. Steve

    Bob Condotta just tweeted out that the Seahawks called a press conference at 11am and speculation is that it is to announce an extension for Richard Sherman! Can’t wait to see the dollar but I am happy!

  26. Allen M. (@am_misfit)

    I’m really looking forward to participating heavily in the draft again this year. I’ll be in every hangout, chat, etc. available – particularly the Seattle Seahawks-involved ones. #DraftsmasEve

  27. Allen M. (@am_misfit)

    Do we know where the hangout will be yet? How do I find it or do I wait until info is posted tomorrow?

    • Rob Staton

      It will be on the blog — details to come.

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