Further thoughts on Adolphus Washington

If you missed it earlier don’t forget to check out our latest podcast. We cover a lot of ground this week.

By now you’ve heard about the great depth on the D-line in this years draft. Unfortunately, it’s not a great class for interior pass rushers. You can find size, power, several nose tackle prospects with upside and players with eye-catching athleticism considering their bulk. Pass rushers? Not as good.

Sheldon Rankins is destined to go in the top-20 as the best available interior rusher. After that the options are thin. And it’s why I keep coming back to Ohio State’s Adolphus Washington.

He’s probably the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the class.

No other prospect has Washington’s skill set. He’s very athletic and quick off the snap, uses a good head-fake to disguise his intentions and has the length (34 inch arms) to keep blockers off his frame. He has a good counter to get off blocks and finish. He uses the swim/rip and he’ll shoot a gap given half a chance.

There are issues too and I’m unconvinced he’ll be an every down starter in the league. Can he play a full game with stoutness against the run? Rankins is built like a tank in the lower body and he’s difficult to move — Washington’s lower body is thinner and more akin to an edge rusher. He’s not a power-rusher and doesn’t have a great bull rush. His play can be streaky — but that’s testament to what he is. An interior pass-rush specialist.

The team that drafts Washington is likely to fit him into a rotation and ask him to produce on the money downs. That’s exactly what the Seahawks need.

I’ve noticed a lot of talk in the comments section about finding an every down defensive tackle that can offer more pass-rush. The problem here is twofold:

1. Those players are very rare and usually drafted in the top-15 (Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Aaron Donald, Sheldon Richardson etc).

2. The Seahawks’ base defense is setup to predominantly stop the run.

The second point is the key one here. In 2013 when Seattle won the Super Bowl, they were starting Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel in base. Take away the running game, make an offense one-dimensional and then tee-off with your pass rushers (McDonald, Avril, Bennett, Clemons) combined with an opportunistic secondary.

It’s a plan that not only won this team a Championship — it should’ve won another the following year. And it probably would’ve done but for an enormous list of injuries on defense by the end of the New England Super Bowl.

The big difference between 2015 and 2013/2014 is as follows:

2013: Clinton McDonald — 5.5 sacks
2014: Jordan Hill — 5.5 sacks
2015: Jordan Hill — 0 sacks

The Seahawks lacked that one productive interior rusher who produced in key situations. Overall Seattle actually had more sacks in 2015 (46) than they did in 2014 (42) and 2013 (44). Yet without that inside rusher on third down or obvious passing downs — they were unable to force as many turnovers or mistakes.

Let’s not get into the mindset that the defensive plan started to fail. I’ve seen it suggested they need to switch things around in base — but really there’s no evidence for that. Which other team starts a 330lbs three technique as Seattle did in 2015? The result? Zero 100-yard rushers against the Seahawks during the regular season. That’s quite an achievement.

Seattle prioritises gap control, discipline and doing your job. T.Y. McGill flashed as a pass rusher in pre-season but received a lukewarm response from Pete Carroll when asked to review his performance. The reason? He wasn’t doing the job he was asked to do. He was cut before the season and landed with the Colts.

By taking away the run you force teams to become one-dimensional against a fearsome secondary. You’re playing to not only the strength of your team but also the identity. Run the ball, stop the run. Force turnovers. Protect the ball.

Until they are in position to draft someone like Sheldon Rankins who could play early downs and control the run — they’re likely to persevere with the current plan. And why not? They just need to find a way to replace the production they had from McDonald and Hill in 2013/2014.

Hill is still on the roster and facing a contract year. He might be able to recreate his late 2014 form and provide the answer. Yet much like the situation at running back — the Seahawks are unlikely to just ‘hope for the best’ that they already have the answer. This is a team built on competition.

They also need greater depth on the D-line. In 2013 they had a substantial rotation and it was an underrated part of their success.

If there’s a determination to add another interior-rush specialist — Adolphus Washington could be the best bet. Let’s look at the tape…

LINK: Adolphus Washington vs Northern Illinois

I cannot embed the video linked above so you’ll have to watch it on YouTube. This was a close one for Ohio State (they won 20-13). Washington was, without doubt, the MVP on the day. Here are my notes:

0:17 — Washington fakes the B-gap rush with great head-use and then beats the right guard with pure quickness and hands to shrug him off. He explodes into the backfield, hits the quarterback as he throws forcing an interception by Eli Apple. Splash play.

2:16 — Washington shoots through the C-gap, leaving the tackle for dead with great quickness using his length to shield him off, meets the running back in the backfield and misses the tackle. He should wrap-up for a TFL but had the quickness and explosion off the snap to get into the backfield immediately. You can teach tackle form. You can’t teach quicks at 297lbs.

2:48 — Washington explodes through the B-gap on third and 2 to bring down the QB short of the first down marker. This is another example of his quickness and ability to shoot through gaps with natural athleticism.

3:11 — On 3rd and 4 the running back darts up the middle. They bring the centre across to Washington and he just throws him off with ease for a clear path to the running back. He stops him short of the marker and throws the RB to the ground after for good measure. This is all about length and power, with the discipline to fill the gap they were looking to create by pulling the centre. Washington destroys this play singlehanded.

4:00 — Washington rushes the B-gap, rounding the right guard with fantastic speed (similar to an edge rusher). You cannot block Washington 1v1 with a guard like this. He will win every time. He explodes into the backfield for a big sack (loss of eight yards). Look at the hand use here combined with the speed. That’s what 34-inch arms does for you.

4:45 — Washington meets the centre in a run play, shrugs him off with more fantastic hand use forcing the running back to bounce outside right into the arms of Joey Bosa. This is pure power, handling the line of scrimmage.

5:05 — It’s fourth and ten in a one score game. Washington pushes the right guard into the grill of the quarterback forcing an inaccurate throw. Incomplete. Game over. Another splash play.

There isn’t another defensive tackle in this draft with tape similar to this. There’s a lot of good hustle (Austin Johnson), there’s better control of the LOS with power and size (Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler, Kenny Clark). You see power (Andrew Billings) and the athleticism/frame of a Greek God (A’Shawn Robinson). Yet not even Sheldon Rankins has tape where he consistently wins with quickness like this.

There are other games where Washington is less impactful, of course. That’s the very nature of this type of player. Clinton McDonald in 2013 didn’t have a fantastic game every week. Nobody is going to mistake Washington for Aaron Donald and he’s unlikely to have 10-12 sacks in a season. Is he capable of 5-7 to help a defense that emphasises stopping the run? Possibly.

The Seahawks have almost no shot of signing Denver’s Malik Jackson in the open market. After Derek Wolfe signed a deal worth $9.157m APY, Jackson is likely to get something similar. The nearest thing to Jackson in this draft is Adolphus Washington.

Jackson is smaller (284lbs vs 297lbs) but they both win with quickness and have 34-inch arms. That length cannot be underestimated here — it’s a difference maker especially when you’ve got the speed skill-set to shoot gaps and can consistently keep blockers off your frame.

There are some character issues with Washington that need to be investigated. He was arrested for solicitation in a prostitution sting in December and subsequently suspended for the Fiesta Bowl. Assuming he isn’t marked down due to red flags, he has every chance to crack the top-45.

For the Seahawks they might be unlikely to target him at #26 but he could be an option if the trade down or if the red flags move him into the second or third round.

If you’re main desire is to see a dynamic interior pass rusher added to the roster via the draft — Washington is one guy to keep a very close eye on.


  1. Geoff

    Soliciting a prostitute? He just jumped up Jerry Jones’ draft board…

  2. dmark

    I like Adolphus as a rusher. The problem I have is spending a 1st on a situational/rotational rusher. We had McDonald, but traded basically nothing to get him. We drafted Hill in the 3rd (who also provides a little more in the run game than Adolphus). Neither of those we spent top capital on. I think interior rusher is a priority, but I do not know they spend a 1st on it unless a guy like Rankins miraculously falls. I’d rather have a guy like Javon Hargrave in say the 3rd, than spend a 1st on Washington. If they believe he can be an every down 3 tech, than it would be worth the 1st. I haven’t seen enough to say whether he projects at all as an every down guy at the next level or not yet.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t imagine the Seahawks taking Washington at #26. He might be an option though if they move down — or if the off-field stuff shifts him into the late second or even third round.

      • dmark

        Ya, I would be on board in the 2nd. He does have moldable traits and flashes as interior rusher.

        • Miles

          With Mel Kiper’s latest mock pushing Paxton Lynch into the second round, I will keep an eye on the 2nd round picks of the Chargers, Browns and Cowboys. Those three teams have been rumored to want a quarterback. If Paxton Lynch is indeed available at the end of the 1st, the #26 pick could become highly sought-after. The Seahawks might then find an attractive way to trade down. In that scenario, they might find perfect value to draft Adolphus Washington and pick up a nice mid-round pick. Perhaps they could get a third if negotiations go well.

          I am not sure this development with Lynch is accurate. But there does seem to be more of an intrigue with Goff and Wentz recently. I wonder if that is indicative of how teams actually view the QB class?

          Another thing to keep in mind is that the Seahawks would rather take their guy in the 2nd round than the first. There would be a lower price tag if they were able to do this. Additionally I think the interior pass rush would be such a key element of our team. It’s one of the few things our D is really lacking, outside of a consistent CB2.

    • Steele

      I agree, dmark.I am not enthusiastic about Washington.

  3. 12thManderson

    For a rusher I’ll take Chris Jones or Jon Bullard. Both of their tapes speak for themselves. PFF ranked Bullard #1 in the nation Vs the Rush and I’d say his motor to the passer is just as strong. Being listed as “283” gives you ALOT of option to put weight on or drop if you have an alternate plan for him. Jones was #4 vs the rush, and fires off thr snap for being listed 6’6″. You fill that Tony McD role with Jones, both players would be excellent value. IMO

    • Rob Staton

      Hey 12thManderson,

      Bullard is more of an effort rusher and doesn’t have the quick-twitch interior rush quality of Washington. That could be an issue at the next level. Some of the bull-rushing we see from Bullard might not have the same impact against pro-lineman and while nobody can fault his tenacity and effort, rushing from the interior on limited snaps in a rotation is going to be difficult for Bullard. He’s also not a special athlete — he’s a pure worker. So there’s always a concern about upside and what he can achieve at the next level.

      Jones has amazing size and athleticism and played very well vs the LSU run game in 2015. He was a bit of an underachiever in college (former #2 overall recruit). If the comp is the McDaniel role I agree he could do that type of job — but he didn’t show the same kind of level of pass-rush ability as Washington to head-fake, dip and swim/rip.

      As noted in the piece — Seattle probably isn’t looking for a base defender. They need someone who can come in on passing downs or third down and create havoc. Washington’s skill set is ideal for that. Jones is more of a base defender and Bullard I reckon is better working as a 3-4 DE with a better angle to the QB. Neither plays has the natural interior pass-rush feel, speed and length combo that Washington flashes in the video I linked to vs Northern Illinois.

      • dtrain

        I’m thinking they have to look for a base defender first (Mebane and Rubin gone). Even if they sign one, they have to draft or sign a free agent to replace the other. It is their priority to stop the run so they will prioritize the resources to do so. They drafted Clark last year to be an inside rusher and of course thought Hill would grow into the specialist they thought they drafted. I can’t see them picking an inside rusher before a big 1 or 3-tech. I could see them getting an edge guy and dropping Bennett inside more on 3rd & longs. Still, have to find one or two run down DTs in draft/FA first.

        • GeoffU

          I agree but I’ll be pissed if we spend our 1st or 2nd on a base run defender. Pass rushers are special, hard to come by, and provide the most damage to the most important position in football (QB). A 1st or 2nd on even a situational pass rusher is worth it, in my opinion. Use the later picks for a run defender, if still needed.

          • dtrain

            Man I hear you. Just don’t want to see us take a step back from ‘bane and rube. A bad 1-tech could be a tough spill to swallow for this D.

        • Rob Staton

          They will do so easily dtrain. They’ve consistently plugged in veteran D-linemen. I would expect Rubin and Mebane to return anyway but they’ll be able to replace either relatively cheaply.

      • 12thManderson

        Respect Rob, this site has a constant tab open in the background on my phone, but our eyes and thoughts differentiate. I view Nkemdiche as an effort rusher, head down and has no clue where he is until he the play if 10 yards past him (lack of production). Bullard seems quite attentive throughout his push (rank vs the rush) and I would think that him being in a true rotation would help his stamina and impact opportunity out. I’m pretty intrigued by the thought of an Avril, Bullard, Bennett, Clark rotation on 3rd down and through all 4 quarters. I’d imagine that an OL that has to deal with all of that force through 4 qtrs would be shot. This is a terrible draft for true speed rushers and from what I’ve watched, Bullard has alot more consistency and athleticism off the snap than Adolphus. Which makes me question whether we need a new another powerfull effort man on 3rd down to develop and grow or another Jordan Hill(with the same consistency concerns).

        I agree 100% with your take on Jones, that would be a preference pick between the two. Alot depends on if we resign either Rubin or Mebane, bit this will be fun to watch play out come draft day (s).

        • Rob Staton

          It’s not a question of stamina with Bullard for me. The issue I have — is the constant effort rush/bull rush going to have the same impact at the next level against grown men? He certainly isn’t a more athletic pass rusher than Adolphus. Just look at the way Washington explodes into the backfield. Bullard can break through when he times the snap but he isn’t swimming his way into there, using length to disengage and exploding.

          • Miles

            If Jordan Hill can have a healthy offseason, I see no reason why he can’t return to 2014 form. He showed that his ceiling as a pass rusher is very high. With that in mind, I would be more willing to bet he shows well in 2016 than have two consecutively terrible seasons. That might be something to keep in mind for the front office if it comes down to drafting an interior d-lineman or a solid o-lineman.

            • Attyla the Hawk

              Well to be fair, he was healthy in 2015 for a good stretch and wasn’t able to play to his ’14 form. So I think there is a big question which Hill we could see even if healthy.

              Gotta get a pass rusher. If Hill returns to form, then we have an abundance. If not, we’re not deficient in it either.

          • 12thManderson

            Rob, if Seattle walked away at 26 or after a trade down with Adolphus, Jones, Bullard, Butler. I’d be satisfied (pre UFA resignings results) they all offer alot in their own ways. I’m not an advocate for Bullard, I’m just looking at the talent at the position available at 26 and from what I’ve seen he doesn’t get talked about much in these discussions. Your right Adolphus does things in hand fighting that Bullard doesn’t and I view Bullard as being 10 lbs lighter with as much power to also command the double teams (in college) and already being strong in his career vs the run. I’m intrigued that he could be groomed to do good things in rotations at other weights to fit what said team may be trying to achieve. Adolphus does seem more polished in techniques and if he fits the player Seattle wants, HELL YEAH let’s go, because they know. I just enjoy thoughts and ideas on players who are at our positions of need.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Why would you be in favor of SEA spending their R1 or R2 pick on a Tony McDaniel replacement when they can sign one in FA?

      • 12thManderson

        This is not a panic rant, this is a reality view from 10,000 ft. No shots fired or negativity towards anyone, just my perception of our offseason options.

        Where’s ALL of this free agency money coming from with Everyone’s opinions? Seattle NEEDS to retain the players from the system. Okung/Sweezy take your pick because if Carp got a 5.5 APY LAST year you can’t tell me Sweezy isn’t worth that, even an injury prone/recovering Okung. Retain 1 of those 2 is key. (Predraft with other needs) Bailey/Britt/Lewis/Glow/Gilliam. Proof in the Existing Pudding.

        I can only imagine that Seattle may bite the bullet and attempt to retain Lane after the 6.5 million dollar fail of Cary. It takes TIME to groom CBs from out of this system draft/F.A. Shead stepped up, and may improve with a year of truly prepping for CB. Who’s after him Tye Smith, Simon, Farmer? Can you go into the season trusting that “depth” and an injury not happening?

        DT’s…. Like starting CB, we need viable options beyond Hill and AJ FRANCOIS, Depth wins superbowls. That said we also need to come away with one of Rubin or Mebane, maybe both to stretch our draft picks. 4 mill each being on middle ground for both of these 2 is pretty acceptable for the Continuity and Leadership. Are there better viable alternatives than Rubin, Mebane, or another Tony McDaniel out there and that you or our F.O are OK with parting with a late Rd Comp? I’m not, we know what we have in both of these 2. Now if argument is to draft depth, great. So is mine, Jones, Adolphus, Butler, Henry, Bullard are strong rotational arguments. So yes, Depth at DL in general does warrant 1st/2nd round projections. But if we walk from Okung, well if you want a shot at an immediate starter Decker, Coleman, Spriggs use up that 1st round. Lots of options with not alot of picks. We have holes and resignings that are priorities. I just don’t see where the money is at for F.A this year.
        OL, DT, DE, SAM, CB, S, RB draft needs in no particular order including the resigning above.

  4. Ross

    He looks like Michael Bennett when Bennett rushes the interior. Great first step, gets up on the guard before the defender is ready, and has really active hands to keep the guard’s hands away so he can’t recover. Bennett does it every game. Step, step, swipe, and he’s past. Nothing disrupts the offense better than a pass rusher immediately getting into the backfield before the play has even formed.

  5. Seahawcrates

    I really like the idea of more situational “pieces” for the d-line. Pressure up the middle is so disruptive. It doesn’t need to result in a sack, just moving most quarterbacks off their preferred spot is often enough on third and long.
    It will be interesting to track these incomplete “pieces” who could complete the pass rush dynamic for Seattle. Makes watching the combine more fun. I am intrigued by Washington for sure.

  6. Naks8

    I like it. Seems like we can find run stuffers in free agency, but not so much pass rushers. That’s the area I felt like teams beat us. If they could collapse the middle Russell had a hard time getting away.

    Also, what do you think are the chances or a Clemons reunion as a rotational guy. Or is the avril/Bennett/marsh/Clark rotation enough? Plus it doesn’t make us younger. I just thought about that guy when you mentioned him above

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t rule it out completely but I do think they’ve moved on from Clemons. They might struggle to add a veteran edge rusher.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Clemens is past his prime. The ship has sailed… yada yada yada

      • Darth 12er

        People said that about DeMarcus Ware too though. I believe Clemons still has it.

        • Jujus

          Mario williams

      • Naks8

        Full time player for sure, but maybe in a Jared Allen role he can be effective. Then again that might just be extra roster weight for a role that limited

    • Miles

      On run stuffers, we can find ones in free agency AND we already have a pretty damn good one on the roster. Jesse Williams will be as good in the game as anyone at stopping the run. I really believe that. He showed supreme stoutness in the preseason. I remember very specifically keying on him with my binoculars and he is very consistent. It’s just a matter of if he can log a full season.

  7. James

    Washington makes a ton of sense as a second round target to bring in on passing downs for the Hawks. They actually play nickel as much or more than they sit in their base 4-3, so he could have an immediate role providing exactly what the Hawks need on defense.

    Can’t wait for the combine to actually get some numbers on these interior DLs

  8. C-Dog

    I’m going to be the hormonal one in this community and say I wouldn’t be disappointed at all if they took him at 26. Would they? Likely not, probably not, but maybe. More realistically they trade back a bit, maybe into the early second, and snag him. I think of it kind of kin to Bruce Irving. Carroll wanted that edge rush. He was undersized but the best edge rusher in the draft. They traded back a bit and took him. If they see Washington as the best pure interior rusher in this draft, they could follow that path. They way the want to rotate DL, it almost doesn’t matter if he’s a regular 3 down player. He still might play 60 percent of the snaps in a given game.

    Maybe they even go the Lockett route and move up in R2 to grab him. I kind of hold onto Carroll’s words for seeing what the draft brings for pass rush.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I could see either scenario, or even a combo – trade down to take a different player, then another trade back up to take Washington.

  9. bobbyk

    Some days I want another edge guy and some days I want a DT pretty bad. All I care is that the pass rush improves though.

    One way to look at it is if we add an edge rusher who turns out good, that will mean the interior DT situation will be much improved because then Michael Bennett will spend more time rushing from the interior in pass rush situations. He’s so versatile that it makes it easier to take BPA with respect to pass rusher if they go that way at #26. They don’t have to care as much if they are adding a DE, DE/OLB type or a DT. As long as it improves the pass rush in 2016, most of us won’t care.

    • C-Dog

      I think Rob’s right though. Inside rush was the major bugaboo for the defense this last year. This team was fortunate to have a healthy Bennett all season long, because if he wasn’t, it could’ve gotten real ugly on the defense. Hill’s inability to stay healthy is worse than Okung’s. Actually, the game’s Hill had played, he looked like he was playing better against the run than pass. Clark is incredibly raw at rushing inside and was pretty much forced to when Hill was out. He had one splash game against Minni, and was washed away after. He’s probably a lot more comfortable being an edge rusher. They could go edge rusher in the draft, but that doesn’t add to the inside, and Bennett will still be pulling double duty on the outside/inside.

      • bobbyk

        I know for a fact that Rob is right “though.” All I said was that an edge rusher would allow Bennett to spend all of his time rushing from DT on the “money downs.” If the best available pass rusher is a player on the edge or interior… I don’t care. It’s just that Carroll has options of who he takes to help rush the passer since Bennett is so versatile.

        • C-Dog

          So, are we talking about finding a rush end in this draft to supplant Bennett at LE in the base to have him be solely the nickel DT full-time? If so, is there an end in this draft capable of that at 26?

          • Miles

            There would have to be a free agent addition. Cameron Wake has been linked to the Seahawks by John Clayton. I would be very excited about that addition. Of course, he would need to be cut first by the Dolphins.

  10. Colin

    There is no way the Seahawks had 46 sacks this year.

    • Colin

      I think you have sacks allowed mixed up with sacks created on defense, Rob.

      • Ryan

        Seattle had 37
        Bennett 10, Avril 9, Irvin 5.5, Clark 3, Rubin 2, Mebane 1.5, KJ 1, Cary Williams 1, Shead 1, Morgan 1, Burley 1, Wagner 0.5, King 0.5

    • matt

      The Seahawks had 37 sacks. They surrendered 46 sacks against them.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        with about 30 in the first 8 games

    • MisterNeutron

      Sho ’nuff. I thought the same thing the moment I saw that number–and indeed 46 was the total of the opposing defense.

      • 75franks

        lol whos the baddest in this town?

  11. largentquicks

    I would love to see them get one of Mebane/Rubin back and try to go bring back Jaye Howard in the 4-5 million per year range. Then find a run stuffer in the mid-late rounds of the draft or bargain bin free agency (Starks or Tony Mcdaniel). Have Howard compete with Hill for playing time with Hill in a contract year.

    • lil'stink

      OverTheCap estimates Howard getting $5-6 million APY, which is something we could afford if not for the Jimmy Graham situation. I understand why we aren’t going to flat out release Graham, but looking at all the contract estimates for FA make it a tough pill to swallow.

      • C-Dog

        Conversely, if Seattle drafted Washington, they would have him on a cheap rookie deal, and wouldn’t have to shell out $6 Mill a year for Howard. They could use that money on the OL.

        • largentquicks

          Agree. Just a scenario I was looking at as interior rushers are slim in this draft and there’s a chance that you may not get adolphus or see better value with the first round pick (say a left tackle of the future?). However, there are many potential lineman in the draft that would come on the cheap rookie deals.

          • C-Dog

            Yeah, I think there’s other interior rushers in the draft, if they don’t land Washington, but probably not another that is as good right now. Darius Latham could be a player with a lot of upside. Willie Henry is interesting, but probably pretty raw, most of his sacks came in on twists and stunts. Hargrave has been mega productive, but short arms. Sheldon Day would strictly be a rush DT. Jones and Nkemdiche are mega athletic but mega raw. Then there’s the DE/DT Bullard, Blair, Tapper and Shittu’s of the world out there. FA would be the more expensive route, especially if the re up both Mebane and Rubin in the base, but I wouldn’t absolutely rule it out.

      • franks

        Get rid of Jimie so we can get Jay Whoard? What is this rush to trade our best players. Jimmie’s not going anywhere and he’s only making 3 milion more than the Howard prediiction. Most of the time I cant even rememner if we still have Jay howrd, or if it’s Jordan Hill. Both of them have had one good season. Jimmie’s a proven difference maker.

        • David

          So if Jimmy Graham is stil recovering into next season and has to be placed on the PUP list – let’s say he misses the first 8 games which we would know ahead of time, does he still count $9m against the cap? If so, I just don’t see how that is worth it versus picking up a Alex Mack or something. Hopefully if that’s the case, they can tell him they are going to pay him $5m to free up some cap space and if Graham declines then they can cut him with no dead money. Then at least, we aren’t cutting him outright, we are giving him the decision to play a half-year for less or try to find a better deal eslewhere.

          • Rob Staton

            Eight games of Graham + the playoffs might be worth $9m.

            They’ve already made it quite clear on multiple occasions Graham isn’t going to be cut.

            • Miles

              Cap Room does not = good players. If we already have good players on the roster, far be it from us to exchange them for question marks.

              Teams envy our situation, honestly. We have so many good players that we could very realistically opt to do virtually nothing in free agency and remain competitive. The Raiders are something like $89m under the cap, but that does not mean they are going to add good players or have the necessary cohesion to make their team great.

            • GeoffU

              I don’t quite get all the Graham hate. He’s the most explosive receiver on the team. I can’t wait to see him play for us again. He is getting paid handsomely for the next two years, only thing I could see is us extending his deal and giving us a little cap relief.

              • Miles

                I am in the middle on this debate about Graham. The torn patellar is a serious injury that is proven to significantly impact explosiveness. I think there is no doubt about that; it is a concern. At the same time he is a very experienced and talented star in this league and you don’t just let a guy walk like that for a little extra cap room. He makes plays. If you let him walk there is no guarantee or even probability that his productiveness will be replaced ANYWHERE ON THE ROSTER. Why take that risk when you already have a guy who’s generally regarded as a great player. He also has half a season of experience with Russ and their chemistry can only improve.

                Remember that catch he made against Pittsburgh, a bobbling catch made with amazing concentration? That play had some to do with athleticism but mostly about grit and determination. He adds so much to this team. Anyone telling me they want to drop him and leave a huge question mark in our receiving corps so that we make sure we add Jaye Howard, I mean that’s pretty bold because there is nothing there to suggest it will make our team better. At all. At all!

              • David

                No hate, that’s the only point I was making – cap relief for a guy who may not even play half the year. Yes he is a great TE but Lockett is more explosive by definition. But from what we saw last year before the injury I don’t think he was a $9m worth receiver for this scheme. And cap is tight right now. He tilted the game maybe once last year (Panthers) and we lost that game. From what I see, Graham doesn”t win by getting open, he’s not a great route runner, not a great blocker, he wins with athleticism and thus far Wilson just hasn’t shown the ability (or desire) to throw to a covered guy often and let him go and get it. And why should he considering he didn’t have to the second half of the year when he had Baldwin and Lockett running wide open all over the place.

                To say paying $9m of cap space to Graham for a partial year is going to make us a better team for the year and contribute to more wins than hypothetically signing 2 top FA OL (one from the $18m in existing cap space and using Graham’s $9m for another) seems a bit far-fetched. I watched the first half of the year + Rams + 2 playoff games and I don’t think that Graham was going to tilt the field in those games, whereas a decent offensive line?

                We barely beat the 0-5 Lions with Graham solely due to the OL.We need to replace at least 4 OL. We can’t do it all in the draft and expect a better line than last year. What are the other options?

                • Miles

                  If you release Graham and sign a litany of offensive linemen, you are introducing a ton of new variables to the Seahawks success. Right now, the variable that could prevent the Seahawks from being more successful is Graham’s knee. It is somewhat a relief that we can solely focus on that with regard to added success.

                  If you release Graham, a ton of other factors come in – two new offensive lineman who need to learn the system and gel with the other linemen, banking on that they’re as good as advertised, spending cap room on a position of need and neglecting other positions, cutting bait with young depth OL to make room for veteran OL, and the uncertainty from a playmaking standpoint. Who replaces Graham’s productivity? That is a huge question mark too.

                  It is not guaranteed that Graham will even be good in 2016. But with his track record and production, I am more interested in banking on his knee healing well then rolling the dice on soo many issues. Trust the decisions this FO has made. They wanted Jimmy Graham. And then, trust that they can find good talent in the draft. That’s my advice.

                  Teams can rarely be good by swapping out players on the roster with free agents. It’s about banking on your core players to succeed and adding to the roster with draft picks that costs few dollars.

                  • David

                    Fair points Miles, but lets assume that the Hawks don’t resign Okung or Sweezy (which seems to be the common consensus for now given the lack of cap space), that means that there are at least 2 new OL players that need to merge into the current line, not to mention the fact that most seem to think Britt should be replaced and as Rob as been harping on here, Patrick Lewis could use an upgrade as well. That means the line next year could potentially be sporting 4 new OL players regardless of whether Graham gets cut or not. The difference being that they could be seasoned vets who have proven to be successful in the league versus draft pick rookies who are adjusting to the NFL, and not all of them can be can’t miss number 1 picks. And even if they decide to re-sign Okung to maintain continuity that’s anywhere between $6-10m in cap space gone, so in my scenario that could include keeping Okung and adding an Alex Mack at center. Then you can take a Coleman for LG and take a punt on Glow for RG (who isn’t proven) and Gilliam at RT. That’s the best the line can be with the cap space. How good is it going to be without? Do we run Britt out there for another season? Patrick Lewis? I think I read somewhere (might have been here) that a season under the belt for an NFL rookie OL is worth 2 rounds in the draft due to the adjustment period. Which means even if we spend a number 1 on LT he may only be as good as a guy drafted in the 3rd last year. So I just don’t see how we can put together a solid line next year strictly through the draft and existing players under contract, I’m just not confident you can find 3-4 OL guys in the draft who are ready to start and succeed right away, which means probably a lot more of what we saw last year.

                    Regarding Graham’s production and who will fill it. The Seahawks were much more productive after Graham was hurt. I am by no means saying that the Seahawks became better BECAUSE Graham wasn’t playing, but there is proof that they can accumulate yards and points without Graham.

  12. Ignorant

    Could this be a draft where the Seahawks draft DT for continuity? I mean, It’s very likely that we’ll see those kind of anchor, base defense, run stuffing, and most of all, potentially Mebane-level or further available at the late second round and even by our 3rd round pick. Mebane isn’t getting younger and he already let us down with injury at 2014. Do you see as a possibility to take advantage of this depth and be aggressive at DT this draft to pick forward on a guy who can start in a year or two from now? I think this is a great draft to take two or maybe even three DTs.

    Anthony Zettel and Adolphus Washington imo can be a situational pass rusher from day one in this league and imo could be coached up to 3-down DTs. Guys like Vernon Butler, Austin Johnson and A’Shawn Robinson to replace Mebane, than Adolphus Washington, Anthony Zettel or Sheldon Day to be the situational pass rusher/future every down 3-t, and a small school project like Javon Hargrave to increase competition.

    You make a strong interior DL draft this year, and you could have one of those elite DT duo/rotation like the Broncos, Panthers, Vikings and Rams have for the next 4 years to say the least. We all know how valuable the position is.

    How likely do you, Rob, think it is for the Seahawks to make such draft? (specially if they address one of the OL spots via FA/manage to keep Okung)

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s very unlikely they draft a base DT run stuffer in round one. I just don’t think the Seahawks see the value there and they’ve been able to plug guys in.

  13. WALL UP

    Washington’s skill set may be positioned best @ DE in a 3-4 rather than a 4-3. He would play more downs than rotating in a 4-3 front. At 6-4 290, he would fare not as well inside than on the edge. You will seldom see a bull rush from his repertoire in a 4-3 front.

    What they need most of an inside pass rush is an inside push, or disruption, to collapse the pocket. Regardless of the short limbs label, Hargrave would fit that description. The 315lb wrecking ball.

    I’ve been the biggest advocate of Adolphus since Day 1. But, what he offers is similar to Bennett, and not the McDaniel role. I now advocate Hargrave, in Rd 3, for the inside push and Joel Heath for that taller, bigger type McDaniel role @ 3 Tech & 5 Tech, in Rd 6.

    I would target Jordan Jenkins instead in Rd 2, since they probably can’t re-up Bruce. You can never have enough pass rushes.

    • C-Dog

      I’ve read some scouting reports on Washington suggesting that exact opposite, that at 6-3 297, he wouldn’t be ideal as a 3-4 end, his best fit is a 4-3 3 tech. IMO, Washington’s presence would keep Bennett fresher in the rotation, and provide better assurances than hoping Jordan Hill stays healthy, and Frank Clark eventually learns how to play inside.

      • Wall UP

        That’s what Clark has been groomed for, to split gaps. Not necessarily to give inside push. I had Adolphus as the 29th pick for the Hawks back in October. But, I’ve cooled on that idea after watching him wear down and get thrown around by Jack Allen like a rag doll.

        Since Clark has been groomed to shadow Bennett. A 315lb inside disruptor that can spell Bane would be best for the rotation. They had Hill as an option for that role, but he did not have success with staying healthy.

        C & B will give you that quick gap penetration, not the strong push and chaos comes from a wrecking ball like a Rankings, or to a lesser degree, Hargrave. Hargrave’s skill set would fit the rotation better than Washington because of depth at his role.

        A Avril, Hargrave, Bennett, Clark front four would provide pressure inside and outside. But, would be stronger against the run than with Washington. I wouldn’t mind a Avril, Hargrave, Washington, Bennett front four. But, you’d miss out on adding Jordan Jenkins to the mix.

        2t) Coleman
        2) Jenkins
        3t) Hargrave
        3c) Allen
        4) Prosise
        5c) Young OT/OG
        6c) Heath DT/DE

        • C-Dog

          I like Hargrave a lot, but I wonder if his less than 32 inch arms take him off Seattle’s board as some strongly suggest it would. I also like Washington a lot, but I agree he isn’t the only option. I think for what the Hawks typically look for, he could be the best in their eyes though. Example; Jordan Hill was a limited athlete, not thought of as a run defender at all, not SPARQ-y, but had long arms, and twitch and wiggle, production in the backfield. Washington has twitch, production, long arms, and will be a SPARQ-y athlete.

          Personally, I am more forgiving about the Ohio St vs Mich St game, though. That was as tough a fought match up as there was in CFB last year. Washington played pretty well in the first half, but wore down. As I remember it, Decker also didn’t look particularly spectacular that day, Bosa was getting worn down as well. Washington made Jack Allen look pretty silly during senior bowl week, so there’s that to weigh in, as well.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      “…what he [Washington] offers is similar to Bennett and not the McDaniel role.”

      Yeah, because what would be worse than having two Michael Bennetts? And who wouldn’t want a Tony McDaniel over another Bennett?

    • Rob Staton

      Disagree strongly he wouldn’t be good inside. He’s 297lbs not 290lbs. That’s ideal size for an interior rusher — and the length is even more of a bonus.

  14. JimQ

    With the recent retirement announcement from “almost a Seahawk” Jared Allen, who retires with 136 career sacks, and was a 4-th round draft pick out of Idaho State, maybe a similar 4-th (or 3-rd?) could be used on……..

    DE/OLB/LEO?-James Cowser, rSr., So. Utah, 6-3/258, 4.68/40, 2015 BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): defensive end James Cowser is the recipient of this season’s Defensive Player of the Year award, in part due to his role leading the Big Sky’s top defense. Cowser, who is a two-time all-Big Sky first-team player, finished the season with 11 sacks and 17 tackles-for-loss. (In the process of posting those statistics, Cowser set the FCS all-time record in both categories, as well as besting the Big Sky records posted by Idaho State’s Jared Allen). In 2014 – Cowser had 28.5 TFL & 11.5 sacks, 3-FF, 2-blocked kicks. Cowser is a candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year. – – – – Big Sky Football SUU’s James Cowser was named the best FCS defensive player of the year by the FCS Athletics Directors Association and is FCS’s all-time career leader in both SACKS (43) and TACKLES FOR LOSS (80), surpassing the old records of 41.5 and 72.5 By Jared Allen.

    I think he bares watching carefully at the combine, if he sparks a little, could be a significant pick.

  15. nichansen01

    This is the draft strategy that after months of mulling over I believe would set the seahawks up for the most success.

    Round 1: Draft the Best Offensive Tackle on the Board, Regardless of who else falls

    Many fans on here do no like this strategy, but it might be Seattle’s best bet. One of Spriggs, Clark, Coleman, Conklin and Ifedi is likely to be on the board at 26. All of the above players (even Clark, if he tests well) are likely gone by 51. And after the above players, the tackle class falls off of a cliff. Names such as Cole Toner, Nick Richter,Tyler Johnstone, Alex Lewis and Fahn Cooper really are nothing more than depth picks.

    Round 2: Draft the best defensive tackle on the board

    Grady Jarret unexpectedly slipped into the fourth round last year and Ohio State’s Michael Bennet slipped into the sixth (SIXTH!), after both players were expected to be drafted in the second. With such a deep class of interior defenders it is not unlikely that someone like Adolphus Washington, Chris Jones, Austin Johnson, Vernon Butler, David Latham, Jonathan Bullard or Kenny Clark slip into the bottom of round 2.

    Round 3:

    Target an athletic, productive linebacker to replace Irvin and a left Guard candidate.

    Linebacker: Eric Striker or Deion Jones

    Guard: Sebastian Tretola, Christian Westerman, Josh Garnett,Denver Kirkland (Tretola being far and away my favorite)

    Round 4:

    Draft the best running back left on the board.

    Running Back : CJ Prosise or Jordan Howard if he slips

    Round 5:

    Draft the best remaining defensive tackle.

    Defensive Tackle Depth (Nile Lawrence Stample, DJ Reader, Ronald Blair, Willie Henry, Lawrence Thomas, Joel Heath (lawrence Stample being my favorite)

    Round 6:

    Draft the best remaining guard or center prospect.

    Interior Offensive Line Depth: Joe Dahl, Conor Mcgovern,

    Round 7:

    Eh… it’s the seventh round take whoever looks interesting.

    • Sea Mode

      I really like this draft, Nic. I’m thinking along the same lines all the way through.

      In R1, even if say Eli Apple or another player we like were to fall, you just rarely find a starting-caliber Tackle that low in R1, so we should take advantage, allowing us to not spend cap space on Okung and pick up a nice comp. pick for next year when he signs somewhere else. I’ll take Coleman if he’s there.

      In R7 we could grab a backup QB project or punter to potentially save 1.5m either on Tarvaris or Ryan.

    • Trevor

      I agree 100% with everything Rds #1 to 4. If you use our first 5 picks like that I would be very pleased for sure.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Drafting the best player at a specific position, regardless of whom else is available, is a recipe for mediocrity. It’s also exactly the type of strategy JS argued against when he said that drafting position over prospect can result in a double loss – missing out on the BPA and missing on the need.

      • Sea Mode

        You are right, I should specify. “Regardless” is definitely not the way to go: if a top 10-15 (i.e. true R1) talent is there at 26, you certainly take him over any need. But between several good (not elite) prospects, I think you prioritize need even if another player has a slightly better grade on your board.

        I am also still trying to understand what JS means when he says that he looks at the board to see who would be an upgrade to the roster over current players. Isn’t that essentially the same as drafting for need?

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Technically, every draft choice is for need (immediate or long term). But everything is relative. One need relative to another One prospect valuation relative to another.

          • Miles

            You have to think about, also, how hard it is to acquire resources with regard to need. For example, it’s really hard to get an interior pass rusher in the NFL. It’s probably not nearly as hard to get a guy that can fulfill the responsibilities of a basic SAM LB in the Seahawks base D. So if the Seahawks knew they could either get one great LB or one great interior DL in round one, wouldn’t they take the DL since it is in such short supply?

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              From Matt Miller’s Pre-Combine notebook:

              “A popular question on Twitter is to ask which players a favorite team should target in the draft.

              I have to be brutally honest here…that kills me. Teams don’t target players in the draft; they target players in free agency. Or, I should say, smart teams don’t target players in the draft.

              Player evaluation is about stacking the board—putting a grade on players and then putting them in order from best to worst. Team building is about taking the best player left on that board when your pick comes in. You may qualify that and say “best player at a position of need” if you’d like (teams like Seattle do this courtesy of a horizontal draft board), but you ultimately aren’t targeting a player or a position in the draft like you do in free agency.

              Maybe it’s semantics, but when you think team building, keep this in mind.”

              • Rob Staton

                Simply taking ‘the best player available’ leaves you with a roster like the Rams. The key is to do exactly what the Seahawks have done in fairness (even if they missed at times) — BPA at a position of need, identify what constitutes a ‘Seahawks player’ (or whatever team you are) and stick to your criteria and have a consistent approach to team building.

                I think Miller’s comment makes things too simplistic. If the best five players on your board aren’t positions of need and you have a glaring need — you’d be making a mistake. And not all teams ‘target players in FA’. Some ignore FA altogether.

            • David

              Love this draft, but not a fan of taking a SAM in the 2nd considering that he will more than likely be rotational (subbed out in nickel) which is becoming more frequent these days (I think over 50% of all plays ran last year were in 11 personnel) and for the reasons Miles states above. If Braxton Miller is still available at the end of the 2nd would be awesome to nab him – needs work (which is fine as we have Baldwin and Lockett now) but tremendous upside and could be the best athlete in the draft. Take an unmolded generational talent in the second and if he progresses as he should, could be the only way you get a guy like that unless you are drafting mid to early first.

              Also love CJ Prosise in the 4th, former WR – could be future 3rd down back plus share carries with Rawls.

  16. Ukhawk

    Couldn’t agree more on Washington

    Hoping the very reason he is not a 3 down guy will be why he falls however he might just be too good

    Dream scenario for me is that he is there in the 3rd after we take Coleman in 1st and then Kelly/Martin in 2nd.

    Believe OL is essential due to its positive impact in terms of improving both the run and pass. Furthermore the drop off in talent after the 2nd for true interior guys is steep.

    Where’s there is depth is at DT and this will present opportunities post-2nd. For me there will be alternatives to Washington at DT in the 3rd namely AJ, Hargreaves & Tapper. I think this is important to not was Washington probably won’t make it that far.

    • Volume12

      Keep an eye on Michigan DT Willie Henry. One of the best 1-gaping, rotational DTs in this class.

      10 TFL, 6 QB sacks, and is said to have an infectious personality. Like a big kid.

      • badjujus

        You have given me my sleeper DT pick… He is friends with Frank Clark already and mel kiper has him as a possible 1st rounder…

        But I think he would be a mebane replacement. And if we could snipe him in the 3/4th MONEY!

        • C-Dog

          Like Willie Henry a lot. I think he’s probably a lot rawer than Washington. Seems like most of his sacks came on twisty stunts inside at end. Probably doesn’t have the move and counters Washington has already developed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t develop them as the next level. He, and Latham are the R3-ish options I really like.

  17. EranUngar

    Just a remark/question regarding Hill and McDonald:

    Both notched 5-6 sacks during a short streak of games. McDonald had zero sacks previously in 3 seasons (2 with the Seahawks) and Hill had 1.5 sacks in his first season and zero last year.

    Are we so sure that it was individual play by those players that is the missing piece in our pass rush or something that resulted from situation/opponents?

    Hill had most of his sacks when Mebane was out and the Seahawks went on a winning streak against backup QBs at the end of 2014. McDonald was the beneficiary of the fresh Avril, Bennet and Clem wracking havoc once Clem regained his for after injury by mid 2013.

    I fully agree that the eye test confirms the need to penetrate and/or collapse the pocket from the inside. I’m just not sure if it’s just the need for that rotational inside pass rusher or something that is scheme/team related.

    • Rob Staton

      Hill didn’t just come into his own when Mebane went down — it’s when the team went on a charge having dropped to .500. His burst coincided with the team getting back to it’s best. McDonald played consistently well in 2013 even if his sacks came in bunches.

      • EranUngar

        Playing against backup QBs who fail to get the ball out fast enough helped Hill’s stats.

        I’m pointing out that those sack stats for both were as much a result of team play, scheme and quality of opponent than individual talent. Neither was considered a great pass rushing specialist when they entered the draft.

        Washington seems more suitable fort that role than both and could have a bigger effect especially when joined by Avril, Bennet and Clark in a nascar package.

        • Rob Staton

          What evidence is there that the quarterbacks didn’t get the ball out quickly enough?

          Hill beat the guys in front of him. He won vs the O-line. There’s no reason to diminish his sacks or McDonald’s.

          • EranUngar

            4.5 of those sacks came in the last 4 games against a shuttered 49ers team and against Hill, Lindley and Sanchez.

            It was in those games that Schofield (2 sacks), K.Williams (2 sacks) and King (1 sack) also padded their stats.

            IMO, quality of opponent counts.

            • Rob Staton

              That’s still not evidence of a QB holding the ball too long.

              What if those sacks came against Alex Boone? Or Evan Mathis?

              No reason to write off those sacks at all.

            • vrtkolman

              All pass rushers pad their stats against weak competition though. Von Miller’s Superbowl MVP came from beating Mike Remmers over and over.

              • Miles

                Von Miller is an all-pro. Just because he accumulates stats against weaker defenders, that doesn’t mean he is a lower level player. I would argue just the opposite. Competent pass rushers SHOULD beat lower level blockers. It’s when you have a guy like Jason Jones who struggles to get 3 sacks in a year that you should start to worry. Sacking the quarterback is an accomplishment at the NFL level against any competition. Particularly when your play is as consistent as Hill’s was at the end of 2014. He was all over the place and that was more about his technique and ability than it was about who he was playing. Would he have a tougher time against better players? Sure. But that doesn’t mean that what he was doing was ineffective.

            • Attyla the Hawk

              You can’t discount those sacks. All players pad stats against inferior opponents. We could say how great/good Von Miller was in SB50. But those were two very inferior tackles. That lack of quality is forgotten in the narrative.

              You can’t pick and choose what sacks are worthy and what aren’t. Because every player in the league gets the exact same benefits.

  18. Volume12

    Rob, was wondering if you’ve got around to watching these 2 guys yet.

    Kentucky DT Cory Johnson-Under-sized 3-tech. I don’t think I’ve seen a DT that flashes so much and creates so much pressure, yet is so slow outta their stance. If you could improve his burst/get-off, WOW!

    Stony Brook EDGE Vic Ochi- Someone comped him to Cliff Avril and I get why. His firt step is explosive. Lightning in a bottle. One of the best speed rushers. He just needs counter moves.

    • Coleslaw

      I thought Ochi looked good at the Shrine game, if he tests as fast as he looks we could grab him in the 4th, would be an awesome pick up.

      • Volume12

        He was someone we were talking a little bit about before the Shrine Game. But, there wasn’t any tape to go on.

        A bit one dimensional, but man, he’s a good looking speed rusher.

        Wanna see this Matt Judon from Grand Valley St at the combine too. Just plays with an attitude. Can bend the edge, dip, really like his style.

    • Rob Staton

      Not yet V12

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Can’t believe Cory Johnson was a combine snub.

  19. Coleslaw

    Just watched Adolphus vs. Northern Illinois and Hawaii, he’s got good gap control (34″ arms!!) That’s intriguing. He is a splash play specialist, perfect for our blitz package and would be solid depth/ rotating in with Rubin, keep them both fresh like everyone on the D line was in 2013! I wouldn’t complain with him at 26 but I think they go best tackle available. Grooming Hill and Washington might be a good idea.

    • Coleslaw

      Wouldn’t surprise me if we pick Coleman, Washington, Chris Jones, and Tretola with our first four picks

      • Trevor

        Love the those first 3 picks. The rest of the draft would be gravy if we got those 3 guys. Not sold on Tretola however.

  20. Trevor

    I keep looking for and trying to think of creative ways and players that PC / JS may surprise us with. Rob that is why I appreciate you bringing up guys like Henry and Washington etc.

    But the more I think about it the clear it becomes. I think the best option is the exact same thing I thought before Xmas.

    Rd#1 Shon Coleman is the best OL prospect in this draft after Tunsil. He is there you take him Rd #1 no matter what you do in free agency. He can start at LG if you sign Okung or RT if you don’t. OL is the biggest need and he is one of the best prospects. Need and Value line up so I hope JS runs to the podium if he is there.

    Rd#2 We need some youth and disruptor on the interior. Rankins will be gone when we pick Rd #1. So take Chris Jones. He has the potential to be the best DT in the draft from a size, length athleticism standpoint IMO.

    If you get Coleman and Jones in Rds #1 and #2 then you have really improved the trenches on both sides of the ball with two cornerstone pieces for the next 5 years.

  21. George

    Rob, not trying to change the subject, but I am.
    The one player I can’t get off my mind is S. Coleman. I know how enamored you’ve been with this guy since as long as I can remember. Are age and health the only thing holding this guy back? Is there something teams are seeing that maybe you aren’t? You proclaimed him as the best tackle in this draft awhile back (subject to change), but if that’s the case, he seems like a guy you can’t pass on at #26 – to play Guard or Tackle. I respect your opinion and I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but let’s get this guy in a Seahawks jersey. Right?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m a huge Shon Coleman fan. I think he has everything to be an excellent NFL tackle and at worst a fantastic guard. He isn’t perfect technically but none of these guys are. He’d make a lot of sense.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Coleman would be a great replacement for Britt at LG. That one change alone could substantially improve the O-Line from last year. Coleman would also be a natural to compete for the starting LT job next year if Seattle keeps Okung on a 1-year deal.

  22. oz

    I am not on the Washington train at all. Granted he gets into the backfield but too many times I see the running back run right by him when he has the opportunity to make the tackle.
    He is defiantly not a first rounder. I would be apprehensive in taking him at 56.

    • Rob Staton

      What evidence do you have for this? I can’t say I’ve noticed RB’s running right by him.

  23. cha

    Rob, do teams ever do “backwards scouting” to see if their assessments were on point or not?

    I know star players get a kick out of reading negative scouting reports for them coming out of college, but I think there would be an opportunity to sharpen your skills going forward if scouting departments took a breath and self-analyzed.

    ie, “we thought predraft this guy wouldn’t fit our power run system, but two years later he’s thriving for team X in their power run system…what did we miss? What made us think that?”

    Recency bias, confirmation bias, being swayed by the style of play by the Super Bowl winner, etc. are all areas that could be targeted for review and improvement.

    I know teams will look for the future more than anything for sure, but it would seem there’s value there in reviewing your draft premises and assumptions.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m positive most teams do a lot of self-assessment like this — but ultimately the good teams have some clarity on what ‘their type of guy’ is. And they generally stick to that.

  24. EranUngar

    Just checked Lance Zierlein’s mock – http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/mock-drafts/lance-zierlein/290602

    He has DE DEFOREST BUCKNER takem 3rd, way ahead Bosa, Vernon Hargreaves and Kevin Dodd in the top 10, Conklin at 16 and Whitehair at 23.

    We get to pick between Rankins and Decker, we pick Rankins.


    • CHawk Talker Eric


      Not too shabby.

    • Rob Staton

      Either would be an absolute steal at #26.

      • 12thManderson

        Who does everyone like more Leonte Carroo or Hollywood Higgins? Both may be taken within close proximity.

        • Trevor

          I really like Carroo’s game a lot. He reminds me a lot of Tate and I think he will be productive as a rookie. Said to me a real competitive guy and student of the game as well. He is one of my favourite WR in the draft.

  25. CHawk Talker Eric

    Rumor is Martellus Bennett will be a cap casualty in CHI. I know he’ll be too expensive, and he’s not at a position of need, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bennett bros together on the Seahawks roster.

    • Sea Mode

      That would be cool. Never say never…

      • Miles

        Wasn’t he a trade target of the Seahawks when they were looking to unload Percy Harvin? I think he was.

        Our tight end corps would be off the chain with Graham, Willson and Bennett.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          I would be a very viable trio… 3 TE sets would scare defenses

    • vrtkolman

      That would be a ton of cap space invested in our tight ends. I’m assuming Bennett won’t come cheap. I don’t really see this happening unless Graham gets cut or traded.

  26. Attyla the Hawk

    Totally agree, we need to replicate what we had from Hill in ’14 and McDonald in ’13.

    If I’m looking at the Washington that exploded in the 1v1 drills in Mobile, I’m excited.

    But if I look at his tape (and I think I’ve seen about 9 games of his by way of Bosa video in addition to the ones highlighting him), I come away with a R3 kind of guy.

    I want to like him. But I find the critiques on him very compelling. And it’s grotesquely apparent on tape.

    He doesn’t have much finish at all. He ‘can’ pursue well. But he almost never does. He ends up loping around gang tackle plays much like you’d see a soft cornerback does when the play is still at issue. He doesn’t rally to the carrier and finish. Doesn’t stick his facemask into a scrum to stop that extra yard. Just kind of lopes around swinging his arms. Thinking about something other than football.

    On tape, he shows almost no desire to really work an opponent. If he doesn’t win immediately, he becomes a total non factor. He gets blocked. Then he just kind of stands up and is an observer. Happens time and time again. If he does win on the snap, he hits an entirely different gear.

    What is equally damning, is that he doesn’t derive any benefit whatsoever by lining up next to Joey Bosa. He gets 1 on 1 matchups routinely. And is handled with relative ease. If he doesn’t explode and put a guard in distress on the snap, he pretty much isn’t going to penetrate much more than a yard. On tape, it almost looks like he’s tasked with spying the QB — that’s how little disruption he creates if his OG matchup doesn’t make a mistake in front of him.

    He such an enigma for me. I loved what I saw in Mobile. Disruptive and quick. How that quality seemed missing for entire games kind of eludes me. Maybe it’s a motivation thing? There are whole games where it just looks like he’d rather be somewhere else that day.

    He’s going to have the arm length requirements. Probably the athleticism too. He doesn’t show that kind of drive to be great on tape. Despite having an inordinate number of 1 on 1 opportunities.

    I see a guy who SHOULD be wildly productive with the opportunities he has. And he just isn’t. And it’s not like he’s disruptive in a non stat sheet filling way. To me it’s maddening how good he should be. How good he looked in Mobile.

    An enigma. What are you going to get from him? The guy who made Hawaii and Western Michigan look like they had pro bowl guards? Or the guy who embarrassed some of the best OL talent after the season was over?

    This is a guy who needs to become imbued with intensity. Because he doesn’t demonstrate that on the field. If he’s playing with passion and intensity, he looks incredible. But I don’t get a sense that he loves football very much.

    There’s a phrase taken from Ray Lewis I believe that has been common over the years that we’ve applied to guys in the first round range. I don’t see Washington as being pissed off for greatness.

    And that seems very un-Seahawky.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Good analysis Attyla. Can’t argue with any of it. Washington is a true ‘on-off’ player. But when he’s on, man is he ON. I think he has the best first step of any interior DLer in this class, even if he’s not the most consistent with it. His length/size, combined with his demonstrated ability to disrupt in the backfield, make him a tantalizing 3T prospect. Only his lack of consistency keeps him from being a prototypical blue-chip 3T prospect.

      Maybe a season in SEA’s locker room would piss him off for greatness?

    • purpleneer

      Well said. I like the ability he flashes, but I doubt his drive. Situational rusher is perfect for him, but feels like a gamble unless he gets to the 3rd.

  27. Miles

    Here is a crazyyy idea.

    How about Chris Long.

    It seems he is way past his prime. Perhaps what he would be asked to do in Seattle would not require the pass rush finesse he used to have. If he could fulfill the former Chris Clemons role, it could be worth a shot.

    Particularly if it’s a low risk contract.

    I am keeping my eye on Chris Long, Cameron Wake and Chris Clemons as possible cheap investments at EDGE.

    • cha

      Long’s available, the Rams just cut him. And jared Cook and James Lauritinitis per Rappaport.

      • Miles

        Can’t see Cook or Laurinaitis being on our radar.

      • vrtkolman

        I would take a flier on Chris Long. Even if he truly is washed up, I think he would be an improvement over Cassius Marsh. Cook and Lauranitis both suck. Good news for us though, Cook always seems to kill us for some reason. One less Seahawk killer on their roster.

        • Miles

          Last year it was their other TE tho – Kendrick?

        • Veryal

          Lauranitis has led the team in tackles for multiple years and is still pretty young. He definitely doesn’t suck, just a cap casualty

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Don’t forget Randy Starks

      • Miles

        I think Starks does not fit the Seahawks needs unless they lose Rubin and/or Mebane. He could be a cheap add and wouldn’t cost a comp. pick. We could have had him last year at a fair price but alas the Browns signed him. The Seahawks could have used depth at that spot last year, so really it shows what they think of him. Would they sign him for vet minimum though?

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Vet minimum is pretty much his market. Also, Starks is a traditional 4-3 DE, not a 3T or a 1T so I don’t know how redundant he would be to ‘Bane or Big Rube.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Word is ARI’s #1 off-season priority is EDGE. I could see them giving Long a…’long’ look.

      • Miles


      • Nathan

        Don’t they play a 3-4?

        Wouldn’t really be a fit.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Freeney is a 4-3 DE, and he fit pretty well with them.

        • Miles

          The SEA D, in Pete’s words, are a 4-3 defense that uses 3-4 personnel. So, there you go.

  28. Nathan

    Geez, the rams have some big plans for free agency after those cuts.

  29. CHawk Talker Eric

    More notes from Miller’s Pre-Combine Notebook:

    “The buzz around Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Vernon Butler continues to grow. Said one team scout after watching Senior Bowl practices on tape last week, ‘Butler can be another Marcell Dareus. He’s that good.'”

    “As the combine approaches, one of the hottest names in the class is Boise State edge-rusher Kamalei Correa. One scout I spoke to this week thinks Correa could propel himself into the top 25 picks of the draft, especially given a weak group at the ‘EDGE’ position this year.”

    “Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander left school after two seasons as a starter, but in talking to one AFC scout this week, they’re not a fan of that decision. Three different team scouts confirmed this week that they have Alexander graded as a “Day 3″ player given his smaller size (listed at 5’11”, 195 lbs) and the fact he didn’t record an interception at Clemson.

    — Speaking of Clemson defensive backs, an AFC West team I spoke to this week has safety Jayron Kearse tagged as a late-rounder heading into the combine. Kearse, they said, doesn’t have the fluid hips to play safety in the NFL and may need to move to linebacker like Mark Barron or Deone Bucannon.”

    • Miles

      That’s an interesting note on Jayron Kearse who the Seahawks could like at SAM.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I don’t know that Kearse will test well enough for SEA to like him. They’ve gone after highly athletic LBs with the exception of KJ Wright.

        • Miles

          Yeah. It’s possible that they want someone who fulfills basic responsibilities like to set the edge and give the oncoming RB a smack once in a while. That may not require great athleticism but just sound assignment and technique. They already have the athletic specimen in Kevin Pierre-Louis. He was supposed to be the successor at that position, but he’s played like crap. He needs competition to get better, and if there is a guy that can come in and do everything you need day one (like maybe Jayron Kearse or even Eric Pinkins), the athleticism won’t matter as much. I’m just spitballing here.

          • Miles

            I also realize my logic is basically going against all the philosophies the current Seahawks regime has ever taught us lol.

            • Robert

              Pinkins possesses elite athleticism and great length for a LB.

      • Rob Staton

        Kearse is a horror show on tape. I’d draft him to give out the Gatorade maybe…

  30. purpleneer

    I’m one of the most guilty, and sometimes I focus too much on something specific, but I’m still certain that the base interior needs to be more conscious of the passing game.
    The first problem is relevant, players who are good at pressure without giving up stoutness against the run aren’t common. However, I don’t see that as a reason to ignore the possibility any more than the difficulty in finding a good QB is.
    The second point, I have a couple big reasons to go against. First, 2013 Mebane and McDaniel weren’t the black holes against the pass that Mebane has become. They did quite a bit more (at least in my memory) of at least pushing the pocket to prevent QBs from stepping up comfortably. Mebane’s stuffs and hurries (found at Foxsports) went from 14.5 in 2013 to 4 in 2015.
    Second, the pass-rush depth of the 2013 team took luck to build and will be tougher to duplicate than many realize. Can the team invest contracts like Bennett and Avril got to guys who aren’t starting this time? Are there players of that caliber available at those kind of numbers?

    • Rob Staton

      Brandon Mebane sacks in 2013: 0
      Brandon Mebane sacks in 2014: 1
      Brandon Mebane sacks in 2015: 1.5

      Tony McDaniel sacks in 2013: 2
      Tony McDaniel sacks in 2014: 0

      Ahtyba Rubin sacks in 2015: 2

      Mebane’s pretty consistently doing the job asked of him. The production of their base DT’s has also been consistent when it comes to the pass rush. The scheme isn’t designed for these guys to rush the passer — it’s all about gap control. The Seahawks have their way of doing things and the focus is to stop the run first and foremost. It was good enough to get to two Super Bowls in 2013 and 2014. The one big difference, and I’ll keep highlighting it, was the reduction of 5.5 sacks in 2013 from McDonald, 5.5 from Hill in 2014 and zero from Hill in 2015. That’s the area Seattle needs to improve.

      • purpleneer

        You know how often sack numbers can be misleading, or at least tell a very incomplete story. I agree with you so much, but I guess we’ll always differ on this one. Yes, I realize I’m the one also disagreeing with the team, but I have no doubt the 2015 team was hurt by overemphasizing run D.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m a bit baffled by the debate though purpleneer — given the team has got consistently the same results for three years at the one or three technique and it’s the nickel interior rusher where the obvious drop off was from 5.5 sacks to zero sacks. There wasn’t a single issue with the defense for two years and then in the third year you see one player’s production totally collapse — and we’re saying it’s the guys who’ve been consistently what they are that need to change?

          • purpleneer

            The sacks from the base DTs haven’t fallen off, but the pressure and other non-sack disruption sure has.
            I will say that if it takes too much to bring in a base guy who can do more, it can work but the depth can’t have as many whose strength is holding ground as it did in 2015 (Francis, Dobbs).

            • Rob Staton

              They don’t have to reinvent the wheel though. Seattle’s defense was #1 in scoring in 2015 and has been top-five for years.

              • purpleneer

                Of course. I’ve probably implied more willingness than I mean to have a substantial drop in run-stopping effectiveness. If we could replicate what Mebane was, we’d be in great shape, but he’s a ways from that now. And while I love what Rubin has done from the 3-tech spot, I think there’s benefit if he can handle a small load of plays bumping down to the nose at least when opponents deemphasize the run. And the team should be ready to to get fewer snaps from both of them.

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