First round draft notes: Receivers to go early and often?

Could Nelson Agholor be a first round target for the Eagles?

Just a few quick thoughts for Easter Monday…

Why are the Raiders showing interest in Michael Crabtree? According to Ian Rapoport he visited with Oakland. It could be a case of needs must. After all, they have a pretty impotent looking passing game right now. Derek Carr hasn’t got a chance with the existing talent on the roster. Even if they intend to draft Amari Cooper or Kevin White, they could use a veteran option too. Crabtree has his flaws but he’s also a good hands catcher and a reliable possession receiver (when he’s healthy).

However, it’s worth contemplating an ulterior motive for this visit.

The Jaguars are an interesting case. They were quietly a very productive defense in terms of sacks last year (joint sixth in the NFL). Gus Bradley has manufactured a pass rush without early picks on the defense. So far he and GM David Coldwell have spent two top-five picks on offense (Luke Joeckel, Blake Bortles). Bradley is, after all, a defensive coach. The major repair work is needed on offense. Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson were both second round picks a year ago — neither truly convinced as a possible #1 option. Allen Hurns is a classic overachiever.

Making life easier for Bortles has to be a priority. Could they consider taking a receiver at #3? It worked for Cincinnati in 2011. A.J. Green has certainly made up for some of Andy Dalton’s flaws. Amari Cooper looks like the most natural receiver to enter the draft since Green. Whether he can have the same impact remains to be seen — but he’d provide an immediate legitimacy to the Jaguars offense alongside new tight end Julius Thomas.

Instead of relying on Lee, Robinson or Hurns to be your #1 — they become the supporting cast. The Coldwell/Bradley era in Jacksonville will live or die with Bortles. Yes they need a young edge rusher but does it have to be at #3? Especially when, as mentioned, they already have a productive pass rush?

I think Cooper would be more likely to be the target ahead of Kevin White. I think both will go in the top ten but I suspect teams will give Cooper the edge as a naturally gifted receiver who started as a freshman (and played well) at Alabama. White has been known to suffer with confidence issues and whether it’s deserved or not — could be marked down as a ‘one year wonder’ candidate.

If the Jags take Cooper at #3 the Raiders would be forced to either take White (or another receiver) or consider alternatives. Such as Leonard Williams at USC. And that could be why they’re looking at Crabtree. If they intend to take a non-receiver at #4 it would make a great deal of sense to acquire a veteran target for Derek Carr. Particularly a sure-handed safety net like Crabtree on a one-year prove-it deal.

On the subject of receivers, Eliot Shorr-Parks at wrote has an interesting suggestion. He believes the Eagles will draft USC’s Nelson Agholor at #20. He might have a point.

Gil Brandt put out a Tweet on the 9th March claiming he knew Philadelphia’s first round pick. He went on to add it wasn’t Marcus Mariota and the player should be available when they’re on the clock. He’s hinting it’s a bit of a quirky, unexpected pick.

The Eagles need to replace Jeremy Maclin and Agholor has similar characteristics. He’s a terrific athlete, technically sound and should be able to have an instant impact. He’s not just a slot receiver — he can line up anywhere. The Eagles need a rounded threat like this.

In the three years since Kelly’s arrival in Philly they’ve gone for high upside in round one. Lane Johnson — an incredibly athletic, mobile offensive tackle. Marcus Smith — a long pass rusher with production and an explosive ten-yard split. Agholor has the speed and burst to replace Maclin but also the college production and character to go in round one. He’s also an accomplished return-man.

Don’t be surprised at all if he goes in the first frame. This would certainly fit the kind of pick Brandt was hinting about.

It’d certainly raise a few eyebrows if it happened but maybe we should be expecting a few like this? Tony Pauline told me recently there could be a rush on receivers in round one. John Schneider said he had 16 first round grades for this draft class — what if other GM’s see it that way too? There are several clubs with needs at receiver this year. They could simply prioritize the position, especially if they fear missing out in round two.

Agholor, Breshad Perriman, Phillip Dorsett. There are several players who could jump into day one. Receivers and cornerbacks could dominate day one. That in turn could push some of the defensive or offensive line options into the early second round.

I wouldn’t expect, however, Dorial Green-Beckham to make it into round one. The character issues and lack of physical play to go with the size/speed should ensure he drops out of the top-50. He can’t handle press, he’s easily re-routed and he needs time. I suspect he will garner quite a bit of interest in the late second round.

What happens to Marcus Mariota? Because the quarterback options are so weak in this draft it’s almost impossible to imagine he falls. He has to be the #2 pick. Has to be. If Tennessee passes him up it has to be for a bevvy of picks.

I suspect they will get offers. There’s been talk recently of the Titans targeting Phillip Rivers in a deal that would see San Diego get the #2 pick. Rivers has made it clear he doesn’t intend to move to Los Angeles and he’s out of contract next year. More realistically I think Cleveland might move up, offering their two first round picks to Tennessee. The Browns have been quiet so far this off-season which is unusual for their owner (the guy pulling the strings). Johnny Manziel didn’t work out. This would be another splash in an attempt to change the fortunes of a perennial struggler.

If Tennessee keeps the pick are Ruston Webster and Ken Whisenhunt going to gamble their employment on Zach Mettenberger? A sixth round pick from last year. It seems unlikely.


  1. CC

    Love your work Rob – thank you!

    Do you have any thoughts on Tyrell Williams? I haven’t seen much on him, but his combine looks good. Did he have off the field issues?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Rob Staton

      Williams didn’t attend the combine — he’s the Western Oregon prospect who had a great pro-day and generated some interest as a consequence. He has a nice highlight reel on Youtube and amazing athleticism. It’s hard to judge him based on a highlights vid and he was playing over-matched competition. The athletic potential is there. Will be interesting to see where he lands. He could be a priority UDFA.

      • Madmark

        I asked you once before about Daryl Williams and you said if you want a James Carpenter. I’ve thought about that Yes, I do, but do I get Carpenter version that played at Guard for Alabama. What I like about Daryl Wiiliams is they say he comes off the ball with bad intentions and the tape shows it. From what I’ve seen of him on tape he just has that Breno attitude this line is missing. I don’t know I keep coming back to his name like I did when I found Marcus Hardison. I’m all in for a Cedric OGbuehi at pick 64, I remember the Article you wrote and it makes so much sense it ranks up there with the Joel Bitinio picj.
        Terry Poole was moving inside no matter what. What do you think of a year working as a center?

      • CC

        Sorry, I should have said pro day numbers not combine.

        • Jonah

          I played against Tyrell when he was in high school and have friends that were on his teams. Seattle needs to stay the heck away from this guy. He’s very talented, but acts very entitled and is super lazy. Would often skip practices..

          • CC

            Thanks Jonah – that is great information! He doesnt’ sound like he’d be a fit with Pete!

      • Curt

        Good stuff as always Rob. Can you do a mock on the “run on WR’s” subject and who you think will be available when the Hawks pick in the 2nd and 3rd. If there is a run on WR’s in the 1st and 2nd, you would think the value at other positions would out weigh picking a WR in the 2nd or 3rd. Not knowing their value board it’s anyones guess of course.

        • Rob Staton

          Definitely — expect one later in the week.

  2. Madmark

    I just think that this WR group is a lot tougher then everyone saying more so now that Jimmy Graham been added to the mix. I’m going to start with that. If I want a inline TE pass catcher I have a Luke Willson and I have all hope for a Anthony McCoy having Zach Miller skills by now. Grahams That tall WR I can stick anywhere. I expect my pick of Stefen Diggs to make this team as a KR/PR/WR and since he suited up for that role he can be a backup slot receiver for Doug Baldwin. PRich man I not sure if he makes it back. I always seem to shy away from WR at 170’s weight because I the physicality in this league. Deandre Smelter would be a nice project and could pay big dividends. 6’2″ 226lbs. who played for a running team. Red shirt 1 year in camp 2016 to compete. If I was looking for same type player of PRich I have to say Phillip Dorsett would be my pick. Tyler Locket can fill that WR/PR/KR but we have to trade up. I’m not trading any of my picks.

    • Madmark

      I should say if I was willing to move up for Dorsett but only if he can be a returner on special Teams

  3. rowdy

    I read on some site that there’s a lot of rumors that the hawks are in love perriman. Has anyone heard these rumors or know where they came from?

    • CC

      I have seen that Perriman was linked in some mock drafts, and I think someone was at his pro day. I’m not sure he’s Seahawky in his play. He had a lot of drops in college.

      • sdcoug

        Not seahawky because of drops? He and Kearse will get along just fine

  4. smitty1547

    I read that article to, but then it went on to name every other WR in the draft as well. So lost a lot of its credibility to me.

    • Madmark

      I think they had 5 guys and 3 of them was WR. Sammie Watkins was lick the 1sr.

    • rowdy

      Yep same one and I thought the same thing about the article but they made it seem like everyone knew they loved perriman and I haven’t heard say that about him. I was just wondering were they got their so called rumors from.

      • Drew

        If someone “knew” the Seahawks loved Perriman, I would expect the opposite. JS & PC do not leak draft info. They could easily love a prospect, but that doesn’t mean they are going to draft them. Pete said they loved OBJ last year and had him rated VERY high, but that didn’t mean anything.

        I take all these reports of the Hawks “liking” or “going to draft” prospects with a grain of salt. They are very secretive and have a bunch of smoke screens so noone knows what they’re doing.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          The only guy I heard about them liking and JS came out and said it .. was the DT the RAMS grabbed last year… Aaron Donald. They said he would be a Probowl/AllPro type of guy very soon. They were right.

          • rowdy

            When they knew they didn’t have a chance at him, he’s always vague. Has he ever said he doesn’t like a prospect?

        • rowdy

          That’s why asked if anyone knew if anyone knew who said that. I haven’t heard anyone say that but I agree it’s a smoke screen or they know he won’t be there for them. They only admitted liking obj after it was known that he was going high.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        Classic smoke screen, to throw people off the scent of who they really want. Think small and fast.

  5. williambryan

    I am hoping the Eagles move up to get Mariota, leaving a better chance for Agholor to fall into trade up territory for the Hawks. I think he’s the best WR in the draft, or at least my favorite. The scenario I’m imagining is radical in a normal situation but we got chip kelly and the Browns here so here we go. Browns give their two firsts and Manziel to Philly for their first and Sam Bradford. Philly flips those picks and their second rounder for the Titans pick.

    • SunPathPaul

      I think that may be possible bro…Manziel is a broken 1st rounder, so he is a backup QB now… Then get their glory guy in Marcus Mariota…Philly and Chip would prob celebrate quite a bit…

      • hmabdou

        Manziel has no value right now. In fact, Manziel really has NEGATIVE value for the team that has (or acquires) him: takes up a roster spot, has no idea how to play QB (in the NFL not Texas A&M), has off-the-field issues, eats up salary cap space.

    • arias

      I think the Philip Rivers for the #2 to pick Mariotta has legs. Mariota was spotted at Chargers HQ recently for a visit. That tells me that at minimum Tennessee is dangling the offer in front of the Chargers. And why wouldn’t they? It would be a fantastic get for the Titans and Wisenhunt who would have a much better shot to save his job behind Philip Rivers than having to groom Mariota for the next two years only to be out of a job by the time he blossoms, if he blossoms.

      I also think it makes sense for the Chargers because they’ve got a guy in McCoy who is far better suited to groom Mariota than Wisenhunt. I think that would be the best environment for Mariota to have the best shot of making it, far closer to home in Hawaii and more conducive than going to the Browns. Ugh. Plus, if the owners are serious about wanting to move to LA, and I have no doubt that they are seeing how long the Chargers have been trying to get a new stadium built but keep getting rebuffed at the ballot box when attempting to secure some public funding to help them, then Philip refusing to move to LA is untenable.

  6. JMac

    Good stuff!

  7. Madmark

    I got good feeling about Douglas McNeil III.
    A link for more imfo.

    • CC

      Me too – he has a pretty good catching radius. Should be fun to see if he can make an impact.

      • Madmark

        McNeil and interesting case. There are 3 different types of people and their leanering ability. There’s kinestatic, audio, and visual. Mcneil in the post below talks about being a visual learner.

    • Madmark

      Okay another post for McNeil:

      • Steele1324

        Yes, let’s not forget McNeil. He has experience and seems likely to immediately compete.

        I, and many others of you, like the idea of the Hawks taking two or three WRs in this draft. But I wonder if it will happen. If they see stars in Matthews, Norwood and McNeil, and P-Rich coming back 100%?

    • rowdy

      His highlight tape is a high pointing clinic, call me very intrigued.

      • Steele1324

        If McNeil, Norwood and Matthews were in this year’s draft, where would they go, and whom do they compare to (in the draft)?

        Are these three starting caliber? More so than the guys in the draft we’re looking at?

        This is going to be a critical assessment, in terms of how the Hawks proceed.

        • Madmark

          I’m thinking McNeal can take Ricardo Locketts place.

        • Robert

          Those are great questions. No doubt PCJS have their answers. I believe the NFL experience Norwood and Matthews have is a big plus vs a rookie. Mcneil’s experience in the Arena league probably helped him develop small area quickness to go with his good speed, long strides, good hops, 34″ arms and 10 inch hands. He is a great high ball plucker! Here’s some college and arena tape:

  8. Hawksince77

    Danny Kelly over at Field Gulls had a nice article on WRs in the draft:

    Aside from the usual suspects, he identifies an interesting sleeper in (and I quote):

    WR Kyle Prater, Northwestern 6’5, 231
    Prater started his college career as a five-star recruit to USC (for Pete Carroll, of course) but never really caught on there — he redshirted his first year then was injured his second, and he transferred to Northwestern. Prior to transferring though, this YouTube video came out showing some of his exploits in spring practice 1-on-1s and it kind of gives you an idea of why he was such a highly sought after recruit.

    Very interesting guy with amazing length. Look up his video. I would be interested to hear what others think of the guy.

    • CC

      He reminds me of BMW – he didn’t run a great 40 at his pro day. Maybe an priority UDFA.

      • drewjov11

        Watched his highlights, here is my take:

        Positives: can adjust to make tough catches. He is coordinated with his hands and tracks the ball well. His size allows him to box out defenders.

        Negatives: he is really not fleet of foot. If he has to change direction he seems to fall to the ground. He doesn’t appear to go high for the ball with a great verticle. He’s just tall and long. He won’t be a run after catch guy. Possession receiver all the way.

        I wouldn’t draft him before the 6th round, but he could develop into a big possession receiver who can win in the red zone. He’s definitely not more talented than a Chris Mathews.

        • Hawksince77

          Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t sure what to think.

          He seemed to make a serious effort running his routes as opposed to just loping along. He made a number of great catches as well.

          He struck me as a late round guy as well – 6-7th round. I wouldn’t count on signing him as an UDFA if they liked him, though. Seems like the kind of talent worth bringing in and seeing if he can develop into a quality WR. A guy you can probably kick to the practice squad as well, if necessary.

    • Drew

      He’s slow. Ran a 4.71 forty, more inclined as a move TE

    • Dave

      Prayer ran 4.71 at his pro day, which is slow but he weighs 231. His broad jump and vertical were good. I watched the YouTube tape and he looked impressive, got small in his breaks with quick choppy feet and got big for jump balls. Some taller WRs can’t do this due to stiff hips. Also, he’s working out with Brandon Marshall and calls him his mentor. I’m sure Brandon Marshall wouldn’t waste his time if this kid was a scrub.

      • drewjov11

        He’s by no means a scrub, but he’s limited. He just doesn’t do anything after the catch.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          That is one of the most under rated features of a WR, yards after the catch. The other trait I like to see is some elusiveness or shiftiness. Both of these traits were embodied in how Golden Tate played/plays. Supremely under rated at both.. not to mention, tough as nails. I’m looking for a WR that demonstrates these traits.

          • Robert

            Kenny Bell!

            • Robert

              I should elaborate and say that Bell reminds me of Tate the way he goes up and gets the ball. He wins plays. He is probably faster than Tate and almost as good at making tacklers miss. He has skinny wrists, which often indicate durability issues….

              • Steele1324

                Yes,Bell is Tate-like. He is also Kenny Stills-like, and also reminds me of John Taylor of the 1980s 49ers. The type of player who is the ideal #1.5 or #2.

  9. Colin

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Tenn. decided to make a move for Philip Rivers. Ken Whisenhunt has a preference for veteran QB’s and if they offered up their 1st rounder to SD… they might do it. I don’t think it’s likely, however.

    • bobbyk

      With the Titans ownership situation, the front office in TN knows full well they are all getting fired based on their track record recently if they don’t win in ’15. I can definitely see the Titans going after Rivers.

    • cha

      Would have to think any deal for as much as the #2 pick would be predicated on Rivers signing an extension as well.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      The Titans need to swing for the fences…. I would love this kind of bold move. They have the CAP space.. and Rivers has already said he would be willing to play with the Titans (well, an unnamed South East Team)

    • arias

      With Mariota visiting the Chargers I think we can already assume Tennessee is jumping out of their socks trying to make this deal. The question is whether the Chargers will go for it.

  10. Mike


    This is exactly the kind of article that keeps me coming back daily (multiple times) to see if you’ve posted anything new. If nothing else this article makes us think and consider options. Thank you so much for continually trying to bring a new perspective daily. Your work is so appreciated and makes the offseason tolerable. Keep up the good work–and consider bringing on another high quality poster. We miss Kip and 2 posts a day would be heaven.

    One area that I haven’t seen discussed much, surprisingly, is the CB position. We clearly need a pick there but a case could be made that we need an outside CB and a nickel CB to cover slot receivers. Which do you see as a priority and what names stand out as potential picks?

    • hawkfaninMT

      If you go back and check out the Combine daily posts there is a bunch of CB talk.

      To paraphrase: 32″ arms is a borderline requisite, with the exception being if their wing span is exceptional while still having 31″+ arms. For example: Byron Jones has 32″+ arms means he is a fit. Marcus Peters has 31″+ arms but a plus sized wingspan, so he is a fit.

      I do not particularly prescribe to this notion (But I probably should!) I would love to see the Hawks end up with Ifo from oregon and Eric Rowe in the 4th, to go along with Nick Marshall in the 5th. Marshall meets the arm length requirement, while Rowe’s arm length is up for debate. Ifo isn’t even close, but that man can create turnovers! Think honey badger!

      • Ben

        There will never be another Honey Badger. Such a bad comp. Honey Badger’s get nominated for Heisman’s. Yes you struck the nerve of an LSU fan. But that’s ok. I forgive you. 😉

        • hawkfaninMT

          Fair enough if you love the Heisman and think that is what translates to NFL success. But you can’t argue the size similarities and penchants for creating turnovers.

          Both have an ACL injury to their resumes as well! Tyrann went in the 2nd. If the Hawks could snag Ifo in the 4th to play the Slot, and work some outside I think it would be a steal. Upgrade from Simon in my opinion.

          • Robert

            Simon was playing pretty banged up in the post season and not getting any scheme help. Previous to those games, he looked pretty darn good! Ifo is a good slot prospect, but he lacks the required length to play outside in our scheme where rule #1 is: do not give up the big play.

      • Mike

        Yeah, I remember reading all of that…but I don’t recall much serious talk of CB prospects to the depth in which we delved into WR or even Center. I just think that it is an understated need. I’d love to get a quick, aggressive nickel corner to cover slot receivers. I think that is the direction we will go in the draft and if so I’m guessing the arm length is much less important than it is on the outside.

        • hawkfaninMT

          You mean like Ifo in the 4th?!?

        • arias

          You think they’d burn a higher pick on a CB to challenge Burley? I’m not saying Burley was that good last year, but he wasn’t as much of a liability as Simon either. That would be the thinking if they spent a 4th rounder on a slot CB type. Both won’t make the squad and the safety of drafting in the later rounds for CB is that they’ll be less likely to be nabbed off the practice squad for players they decide to stash there.

          • Mike

            Not having a 2nd viable nickel corner is what cost us the Super Bowl, even more so than the final play. Once Lane went out we had nobody–Simon has the body to play press coverage on the outside but is a liability inside. This may be one of the weaknesses of the press corner philosophy is that it often isn’t a translatable skill to the inside. Sherman doesn’t even shadow the #1 receiver.

            If I recall it correctly, we had to pick 2 active players in the Super Bowl among Burley, Matthews, Walters, and Norwood. Matthews was a revelation, and I suppose we had to keep Walters active to catch punts.

            With Lane likely on PUP to start the season are we really all in on Burley? Compete, compete, compete.

            • arias

              Actually the reason Burley wasn’t active was because of the tear that happened to Kam the day before the game in practice. So they decided to give Steven Terrell the spot in case Kam couldn’t go to backup up JJ.

              So it had nothing to do with not having a viable 2nd slot corner. Many teams don’t even have a viable 1st slot corner. It had everything to do with being banged up.

  11. RealRhino2

    I wouldn’t mind a bit if there was a run on WR early. I don’t think we are as desperate as some think, and after the first handful of guys the draft seems so deep through rounds 3 and 4 that I’d be happy to let other teams blow their wad so we can get better players at other positions and come back to WR in the middle rounds.

    • Drew

      If there’s a run on WR early that’ll push quality players in other positions closer to our range.

  12. jj

    Rob, you keep referring to AJ Green as the most talented WR to come out in a while, but when he was coming out of college I remember preferring Julio Jones. I think Jones has looked more dynamic after the catch, runs a more complete route tree, is used in a much more diverse way, and is only a hair behind AJ Green on the redline. What makes you choose AJ Green over Jones as your stock comparison? Production?, or something that I’m missing on tape (I can’t say that I watched much college tape on either, but I do have the vague recollection of being more impressed with Jones). Just asking out of interest…

    • Drew

      I loved watching Julio put on a clinic for Patrick Peterson last year. He was running some awesome routes

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        FF players with Julio rejoiced

    • hmabdou

      I agree with you, I’m not a big fan of AJ Green. His route tree isn’t as complete as those of the other really good WR’s. Plus Green is very injury-prone, and as Bill Polian says, the most important ability is AVAILability!

    • Rob Staton

      Most natural receiver, not necessarily most talented.

  13. EranUngar

    Re WRS, I have this concept in my mind that i wanted to write here but it was too long so i posted it at fieldgulls –

    The main idea is that once you have a primary tall target (6-7 Graham), it draws the tallest DBs and leaves the smaller and faster DBs to cover the secondary targets. If your second/third targets are speedy rather then big you are helping the defensive game plan. The complementary chess pieces to your big target should be big too so they can abuse the smaller corners covering them (Matthews in the SB).

    A pure size mismatch works better for RW’s skills then a speedy target the needs perfect timing from a scrambling QB.

    I think that building adding “high ball size specialist” will boost the passing offense.

    In view of the above i like the McBride pick as PR/KR due to his insane body control and high ball catches. Reminds of of Tate’s ability to always come down with the catch. At 6-6 with what looks like good hands – Waller seems like the next best step.

    With Waller, Graham and Matthews on the field (Baldwin/McBride in the slot and Lynch drawing attention) i can see at least one, possibly two of them in single cover by 5-10,5-11 corners. It looks like any high ball will end up with a blue and green receiver.

    I think this year we go BIG.

    • Steele1324

      EranUnger, I like the idea of a diverse WR corps with great receivers of various sizes that allows the Hawks to mix and match, and keep defenses off balance for every game. They should have the capability of going big and small, all big or all small, etc. depending on the opponent.

      It is time for the Hawks to consider going against the same body types every season and mix it up.

      I hate to bring up painful memories, but the Patriots showed how mismatches work. They put Gronk out there, bigger. And they used Edelman, small and fast.

      • hmabdou

        Steele, very good point. People need to remember something: if a WR is big, chances are they aren’t good quick route-runners. They might be big and fast (as Waller is), but not QUICK – there’s a difference.

        Quickness and route-running are very important traits in a WR, even if he doesn’t have size. Some good examples: Edelman, Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown, Welker, Emmanuel Sanders.

        • EranUngar

          Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should cut Baldwin or PRich. We already have those guys and they are great at what they do.

          Still, i think that size mismatch is the best way for the passing game to gain a basic advantage as the starting position before you mix it up.

          Just like running first is the starting position for the whole offensive game plan. It’s not all we do but that’s our advantage and that is what do until you can force us otherwise.

          • AlaskaHawk

            The other part is that it is hard to find tall, strong receivers with good hands. It is easier to find average size or small receivers. We can always pick up a decent receiver in the 2-4 rounds. Heck half our receivers are UDFA starting with Baldwin. But we need to keep adding to the big receiver pool. I have high hopes for Graham and Matthews. Adding Conley or Waller to the mix would be even better, even if they are redshirted most of the first year.

            • Steele1324

              Baldwin is a good slot WR. The problem with Kearse is that he doesn’t fit any particular role, and he is inconsistent on top of that. Kearse is cuttable, in my opinion.

              • LikwidIce

                We can only hope.

              • Madmark

                Ricardo Lockett

                • EranUngar

                  Do you see Lockett going up hand over his head and high pointing the football?

                  Lockett is speed in a big body but lacks the body control and hands to snach a high ball over a corner in tight cover.

                  I want a guy that doesn’t get seperation. He just wins the high ball consistently over shorter corners. The kind of guy that RW see in single cover before the snap and target quickly when pressured or scrambling knowing that he does not have to wait for sereration.

              • AlaskaHawk

                I see a core of Baldwin and Matthews, as wide receivers, and Graham as a tight end. Pretty much every other player can be replaced.

                • Madmark

                  To me Tight end means they can block too. I am in the firm opinion that he’s more WR like Burris was for N.Y. Giants.

                • Hawksince77

                  Baldwin, Matthews, Kearse and Lockett are all UDFAs. The only drafted WRs on the roster (from last year) are Richardson (likely PUPed) and Norwood.

                  Tate was the last drafted WR (#60, if memory serves) and he ended up pretty good.

                  It’s time to invest a little more draft capital into the position. I hope, anyway.

                  • Madmark

                    He did but he made the team as a returner and made a breakout in his 3rd year after RW came to the team

                • Robert

                  I think you are underestimating the value that PCJS have on Willson and Norwood.

        • arias

          You make a good point hmabdou, however all those receivers you listed have elite quickness that really separates themselves from the pack and it’s what gives them their signature moves or makes them such a hard cover.

          I really don’t see anyone available where we’ll be selecting that has quickness on that level do you? Maybe there is a super raw prospect with that sort of quickness that can be nabbed in the late rounds kind of like Edelman was or how Welker was as a UDFA, but I’m not seeing any of the guys projected in the mid rounds that have any shot of making any meaningful contributions this year as having that sort of quickness. If you have someone in mind that I missed, please let me know.

  14. Clayton

    Greetings everyone, I’ve been reading the posts but this is my first post since last year. A couple of quick thoughts: Rob, in your latest mock you have Seattle taking a Rb in round 3 because Marshawn may not be around next year even though the new contract states otherwise and due to the fact Turbin and Michael will be free agents. My thoughts are any player drafted up until the 4th or even 5th round should be coming into camp wanting to start. Other then Gurley or Gordon I just don’t see a small Rb getting the playing time when Turbin and Christine have shown they have the abilities to play. Neither have been spectacular but when marshawn gets the majority of carries I think that is to be expected.

    Secondly, even if there is a run on WR’s we still have the opportunity like you have stated to pick up a Sammie Coates or DGB. However, certain teams like the Raiders and Cincinnati have no problems taking chances on problematic players. Of note the Raiders could take someone like Shane ray in round one and follow that up with Phillip Dorset early in the second. The Raiders have always liked speed but we just don’t know how much since Al Davis passed away.

    Lastly, with that 3rd round pick I would go after a center or tackle. My first pick is DGB if he’s available. If you would like or if anybody else is interested. I just finished a spreadsheet with all 32 teams needs and created at this point a draft till the 5th. Trying to get to at least the 6th. Lots of work as you all know.



    • Rob Staton

      Marshawn’s contract is essentially a year-to-year deal. His cap hit jumps up dramatically from $8.5m in 2015 to $11.5m in 2016 and then $12.5m in 2017. He can opt out at any point and walk away. He’s the new Favre. We’ll have this every year now. I think it’s optimistic to think he’ll play out those three years. As for impact players in rounds 2-3 — they did draft Michael and Hill in 2013 (neither started in year one) and P-Rich was pretty much a redshirt until the back end.

  15. Trevor

    I think if they got a combination of either Mcbride / Bell as WR/Kick Returner and then either Conely or Waller we would have an incredibly diverse and dynamic WR group and this position group would go from a weakness to a real position of strength in a year or two. If we could get Smelter in the 7th and redshirt him for a year to get healthy it would be like the cherry on top.

    We will always be a run focused team under Pete Carrol. Even his USC teams were with the studs they had at QB and WR. That being said once Lynch retires I think we will have to evolve as a passing team and now is the time to prepare for that inevitable switch.

    Russ like to throw the deep ball and likes to throw high and outside as he has been coached to avoid turnovers (except on the final play of the super bowl when they call a low inside slant which still baffles me). Think about the potential of this receiving group not so much this year but in 2016.

    Huge Mismatch TE- Jimmy Graham
    Seam Busting Speed TE- Luke Willson
    Big Outside WR – Chris Matthews
    Burner and Deep Threat- Conely
    Slot WR -Baldwin
    WR#4 Mcbride
    WR#5 P RIchardson
    WR # 6 Norwood or Smelter

    That would be one of the most dynamic and diverse receiving groups in the league IMO and would make the transition from Lynch much easier in 2016 or 2017.

  16. Angus MacDonald

    Just a few questions, Rob. First of all, I keep hearing how deep this draft is in Wide Receivers and yet when I look at this class, I don’t see as many prospects that can step in on day one and contribute as was the case last year. I’m not saying there isn’t a lot of talent there, just that many of the receiver prospects seem to have some part of their game that needs work before they get to start. Great potential, but as we all know, that can go either way. Am I reading this right?

    Second, why do you feel that most people seem to like Darren Waller as a receiver over DeAndre Smelter? Smelter was clearly the #1 receiver on Georgia Tech (not that they throw all that much) before his injury. You would have to believe their coaching staff knew their players. Yes, the standard answer is his ACL injury, but that doesn’t affect players long term as it did ten or more years ago.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’ll be tough to match last years exceptional rookie class in terms of first year production — but the game is changing. The spread, heavy pass attack and somewhat easier transition for rookie WR’s is making it easier to bring in impact receivers. I expect a fair few from this class to produce quickly.

      As for Waller vs Smelter — the big thing is Smelter is recovering from a torn ACL and might not play in 2015. It makes it very difficult to stash a player like that for a year on IR until the later rounds or UDFA. Waller has almost identical physical measurements to Vincent Jackson and is one of only two college WR’s in 2014 who didn’t drop a single catchable pass.

  17. Phil

    Danny Kelly had an interesting article on wide receivers yesterday. The guy who caught my attention is Gavin Lutman from Pittsburgh St. (the same school that produced John Brown). He’s physically impressive at 6’3″ 215#. At his pro-day, he ran a 4.46 with a 36″ vertical. Check out his highlights at

    I’m always leary of highlight videos, but he sure seems to make the tough catches. He runs a variety of routes and is particulary impressive on slants. He can improvise, coming back to his QB on broken plays.

    Sounds like a guy who is quietly moving up some boards.

    • Rob Staton

      I think we’re right to be wary….

      Unfortunately the way things have gone with the Seahawks/draft all that happens this time of year is every small school prospect who can run and has size is immediately linked to Seattle. There’s way too much focus on SPARQ IMO. It’s almost like the tape becomes redundant. We spend a lot of time focusing on the latest pro day result (where nearly everyone excels) and while one or two of these guys get picked up in UDFA or the later rounds, it’s a total crap shoot.

      • Angus MacDonald

        I couldn’t agree more about SPARQ and work outs If some one runs by you, can you tell if he’s running a 4.43 40 or is he running a 4.38 40 ? Fast is fast and will the player run a 4.38 every time he runs? All athletic tools are just that, tools to help assess. And yet, every year prospects get lost in the shuffle by under achieving in work outs.

        • Jake

          The Seahawks have a history of drafting high SPARQ athletes at every position, so looking at high SPARQ athletes is quite necessary if your intent is to determine who you think the Seahawks are interested in.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn

            Interestingly enough, the Packers love SPARQ for WRs, but Seattle doesn’t rely on that metric much when drafting WRs. Seattle loves the metric for big men OL/DL.

      • Phil

        I agree — but take a look at this guy and let me know what you see.

        • Rob Staton

          Will do

    • Hawksince77

      My impression of Gutman after watching the tape: a boy among boys.

      • Matt

        The highlight video is pretty impressive. Obviously drops aren’t going to be shown on a highlight video, but he does make some really tough catches. How consistent are his hands though? We don’t know. His pro day workout shows plus athleticism and he has size.
        40 yard: 4.46 seconds
        3-Cone Drill: 6.65 seconds
        Shuttle: 4.09 seconds
        Vertical jump: 36″
        Broad: 10’5″
        His route running looked sloppy, but that can be improved upon. A 6th-UDFA target.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          Give me Huskies WR Kasean Williams over this guy.

  18. Trevor

    Rob I really value our opinion on OL prospects as I have a hard time really evaluating on tape particularly the guard position. I found it much easier during the drills at the Senior Bowl. That is why I probably like guys like Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Laken Tomlinson much more than your favorite Sambrailo.

    So my question is what range do you see the following 3 players going and where do you think they will end up playing in the NFL?

    1)Donovan Smith
    2)Ali Marpet
    3)Laurence Gibson

    Thanks again for all the great work you do on the blog. My GF is also a Hawks fan who never followed the draft in the past but is reading the blog now and loves it.

    • Trevor

      When I ask where they will play I mean what position? Thanks

      • AlaskaHawk

        My two cents is that we should find a center to play center position, and not try to convert a guard to center. Just seems like the learning curve is too steep and the outcome may not be good. What do you guys think about that?

        • Madmark

          WE won 6 games with Lewis before ungar came back. Jean still here also. Cable will pick and mold a guy and I don’t takes as long as some think. Steve the guy that retired was a guard they started as center. There are still FA out there we can look at for a filler until then.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          I think they will look at a guy to convert to Center…. perhaps a natural guard mid rounds. I would not even look past them taking a DT and trying to convert em to center.

    • Rob Staton

      1. Mid rounds at best — serious questions about his weight and character
      2. Hard to say, physically round three but smaller school guys tough to project
      3. I would say round 4-5 with major upside potential.

      Thanks Trevor for the nice words and I hope your GF keeps reading!

  19. Madmark

    In the Superbowl Bryon Walter’s was in uniform simply cause he was the PR/KR. Who ever we pick to be that offensive special team player will be in uniform. The 1st guy I keep looking at would fall into the scenario Rob gave us the last mock. If Phillip Dorsett can be that guy to make the roster as returner he would also take the top off defenses with that speed and possible replace PRich. I mean he’s running on a slow track at the combine, stumbles at the start and still runs a 4.33-40. On his Pro-Day he killed it with a 4.29 and 4.27. I don’t know if PRich will be the same player after his 2nd injury and Dorsett is a bigger, faster guy. We of course don’t throw the ball as much so when we do having Dorsett catching 36 passes with a 25 yd average sure wouldn’t hurt from a guy who in uniform to return. I could see the Seahawks trading up to get this guy all thou I like taking Cedric Ogbuehi pick better. The question is can he return yes but his stats aren’t very good.
    Ty Montgomery has the return skills and reminds me a lot like Golden Tate. He built more like a RB and he’s a physical blocker. Would it take him 2 years to come into his own like Tate as a receiver and where would he go in the draft. I think it’s a reach at 134 and there is such a stretch to the next pick at 167.
    Stefen Diggs intrigues me with good return skills but he’s a slot receiver with short area quickness to get that 3rd and short 1st downs.
    So here I sit looking at 2 picks to get someone who maybe can do returns or I could wait till 167 and see if a Diggs or Montgomery falls there. Who ever becomes my WR pick he has to be able to me a return specialist no matter what and yes I do believe that the return game is that important.
    Kick me some more ideas because my mock is not set into stone until the day before the draft and all options are still open for consideration.

    • Steele1324

      (Madmark, you must improve your spelling of names!) Dorsett is not bigger than P-Rich. He is 5-11, and inch shorter, and about the same weight. Dorsett may be fast when he is in open field, but he is less physical—not physical enough, and I think he could get beat up in the pro game. Ty Montgomery doesn’t remind me of Golden Tate at all. Montgomery is a mediocre receiver all around, despite a promising frame.

      • Madmark

        I suck at English and now that I’m older at 50 I can careless. Dorsett shorter yes but he has more stockiness to take hits.

  20. Steele1324

    Rob, I would like to request again your updated views on some of the names you were very high on earlier but have not come back to:

    Edge/DE-Markus Golden- you liked him enough to do a couple of reports on him
    Edge/DE-Nate Orchard- haven’t mentioned him much since the combine
    S Damien Swann- flashy playmaker
    WR Isaac Blakeney- big WR, another Waller type but sleeper

    • Rob Staton

      Golden — still love his effort and production. Will be a steal for someone between rounds 3-5. Lacks the speed Seattle loves.

      Orchard — athleticism left wanting. Great length and production. Not sure he’s much more than a good specialist.

      Swann — sub 32-inch arms pretty much rules him out. Playmaker though.

      Blakeney — was a sleeper when we touched on him initially. Big, athletic, insanely raw and doesn’t high point. Needs 2-3 years.

  21. Forrest

    Zach Zenner RB…late round (6th) pick up? Over 2000 yards each of his last three seasons, 50+ touchdowns. Had good games against big schools. Not fast (4.6 40 time), but on field he looks really explosive. Seems to have great vision, and he could play FB. I generally steer clear of B/R, but the article they did on this guy had some good points. To be honest I had watched some of his tape last year and was impressed, but I got distracted by Gurley, Gordon, etc. Opinions?

    • icb

      Personally, I’m a big fan. I’d really like to see him succeed. I love it when I a kid from the small schools takes it to the big boys every chance he can. I remember watching him hang 200 yards on Nebraska in 2013 and loving it.

      Kid is one cut, one speed, every down.

      Biggest knocks would be lack of imagination and overall athleticism. By that I mean when a hole closes, the run is done. He lacks the imagination and athleticism to make something from nothing, instead opting to stay the course. He breaks tackles and will get yards after contact, but I feel like he could still improve there. Not shifty, but big, and fast. Great blocker, and catches the ball well. Would not mind at all if the seahawks picked him up.

      • Forrest

        Agreed. He seems just a tad one-dimensional running the ball. However, I think that makes him an excellent short yardage/3 rd down back. He is a good blocker, and he had over 1000 yards through the air (over 4 years), so he’s probably a good hands guy. Great overall character as well. Would be a great pickup imo.

  22. Madmark

    Oh Hell! All the info I received this week and the last 2 articles robs put out and a few chats with him. I’m ready to shoot the moon. Seattle likes speed.
    Hey Dan or Gus you have 42 or 36 pick would you take a 64, 112, and a 3rd round pick next year for your 2nd. Why not trade our late 3rd next year when I think we have a good chance to get a 3rd comp pick for Maxwell.
    2nd Phillip Dorsett WR
    Why not Seattle traded a 1st,3rd, and 7th plus a big new contract for a Percy Harvins. Strike one. Lets try this again. Pick 45 Seattle takes Paul Richardson. Strike 2 due to injury on the same leg. With their 3rd attempt Seattle takes Phillip Dorsett and why not. How many Reception do you expect a pass catcher to get in this offense. to me its about 30(low) and 50 (high).Think about this Dorsett had 36 receptions, !0 TDs, 871 yards for a 24.2 yard average. He’s the big play guy they been looking for and now is not time to let him get away.
    95 Marcus Hardison DT 3-tech
    Patience has finally paid off. This guy can be rotational guy with Jordan Hill who if he stays injury free will make his mark. It is very clear in this league you can never have enough pass rush. It just feels right in every way possible.
    112 Traded
    130 Daryl Williams LG
    In a short discussion with rob I mention this guy. He told me if you want another carpenter. Well I thought about that and yes I want a better Carpenter. You see Im not draft this guy to play ROT. I drafting him and locking him at the LG spot where he he belongs to begin with. Another thing is Carpenter was a 1st rounder, I get Willams with a 4th round pick.
    134 Sequen Golson CB
    The outside CB opposite of Sherman was address with FA. Theres a growing role for a nickel corner in this pass happy league. This lacks the height but you just can’t argue with his skill having 9 interceptions and 16 pass defense. This guy has all the skills you want in a CB other than his height. Has the possibility of being an All-Pro nickel CB.
    167 Terry Poole C
    I think 130 was way to soon for this guy. He definitely not a tackle and a move to interior OL was going to happen. He’s a Juco transferr so he will be pretty raw changing position. 1 year of learning and a pro strength program he could step in as a center 2016.
    170 Shaquille Riddick Leo/OLB
    In many ways he’s a Bruce Irving clonebut we ain’t taking him in the 1st. He play a Tech 5 spot that never should have been at. A project who needs to add a few pounds and some strength conditioning. You know he’s tough screwing around with guys that had 50Ibs on him. He really can’t do worse than O’Brian Schoffield
    181 Rob Crisp OL
    This guy could be the next Paul McQuiston or Alvin Bailey no matter what he is an athletic OL who could play anywhere other than center . He really is a steal here. I’m in some disagreement with robs draft cause I think he goes in the 5th round to someone that needs a Tackle.
    209 Thomas Rawls RB
    Ya, I know all about his off field issues but he’s man up and taken care of them that they won’t affect him going forward. He’s a shorter version of Lynch that has the physicality and lateral quickness to make guys miss. He a lot harder seeing coming thru the line. A steal here.
    214 Alana Fua OLB/SS
    This guy is one of my Favorites. He’s just so versatile and can play all over the field. He a guy I can see Seattle finding a place on Special Teams to start, OLB, and maybe SS. This just to many possibilities for this guy and if there’s a team that can find a spot it’s Seattle.
    248 Any offensive Lineman OL maybe a Quiton Spain.
    I have no clue where Seattle might possible go here but OL and Cables magic would work since we rob him of a Cedric Ogbuehi at 64 which could still happen if a trade can’t be made for Phillip Dorsett.

    • Thy Hawk which is most Screeching

      I wonder If Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn would ever do a trade with us because of how it would look to their respective fan base’s. I’m high on Dorsett as well Madmark and like you were saying he seem’s quite stout for his size comparatively to other smaller quicker guys, seems humble and thankfull in his character which means a ton with me! No narcissists please, nothing wrong with believing in yourself however. Same thing with Sammie Coates he’s friends and has been there for this poor little girl who has been really sick. Not only is he a good buy but has the athleticism of Terell Owens or at least that’s who he reminds me of. I’d be thrilled with both of them if that’s what happens. Want to tell you Madmark you spell just fine and should be very proud of yourself for being a multiple linguist! Go Hawks forever. Praise Largent

      • Madmark

        I don’t see any conflict if Dan or Gus were willing to tradea 2nd,3rd, 4th is not a bad haul for 2nd. The Falcons and the jags are both still building and they where here and know how we started our build from ground up. I think Seattle would move from a 3rd next year for 2nd same year. I think they want a big play receiver that bad. This about it 10tds/ 36 receptions, that’s almost 1/3rd of his receptions were scores.

        • AlaskaHawk

          If they want big receivers then they could go DGB in the second round and Waller in a later round. With two 6’5″ receivers added to the squad, should have plenty of tall receivers. Waller may end up as a joker tight end, so that would be dual use from him, though I suspect he will be on the practice squad for a year.

          • Madmark

            Miami pro day New Orleans over heard saying that’s our guy when Phillip Dorsett came out. Walt mock draft has him going at 31. There is a possibility they wait till pick 44. This the only receiver I would trade up for but not at 31 but after the 1st day of the draft if he isn’t gone I would be on the phone to Atlanta for there 42 pick. The guys a better version of PRich and we took him at 45.

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