Guest Post: Working out the future at QB for the Seahawks

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen. Big thank you again for Curtis’ help and support for the blog. He’s a great asset for this community.

Working out the future at quarterback for the Seahawks

With the Seahawks trading Russell Wilson this year, they return to that anxious state they have avoided for the last ten seasons — needing a franchise quarterback.

It will be a truly fascinating exercise. The search will no doubt re-energize Pete Carroll’s college competition style roots and while the fan base has been thrown into uncertainty about the future prospects of the team, it most definitely won’t be boring.

There has been (and will continue to be) a lot of discussion on this subject. I wanted to contribute a bit by laying out some thoughts on the current market to get a feel for the factors the Seahawks will have to consider going forward…

The Financial Landscape

Six quarterbacks are currently making in excess of $40 million dollars per year annually. It will probably balloon to as many as nine when Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray sign extensions and Russell Wilson signs his inevitable extension with the Broncos.

This is the current reality. The cap has recovered from the pandemic and the league has signed extremely lucrative new TV deals. Quarterbacks and their agents are keeping pace by continually resetting the top of the market with their contracts. 

It is possible, however, that the Cleveland Browns’ enormous contract with Deshaun Watson has upended the market and set the NFL on a completely different course. This one deal could change not just the financial landscape but also the competitive balance of the league.

That is a grandiose statement to match a grandiose contract.

What makes it such a game-changer? It is not the total dollars or the average annual value that makes it stand out.  It is the fact that all $230 million of the contract is fully guaranteed. Not guaranteed for injury, or for skill, or anything else. Fully 100% guaranteed.

Comparing apples to apples, the most recent “most fully guaranteed dollars at signing” contract record-holders were Aaron Rodgers ($100m guaranteed), Josh Allen ($100m), and Dak Prescott ($95m) who signed in the last calendar year.  

Those numbers have obviously been completely blown out of the water by this contract.

How big of an issue is having a fully guaranteed contract at the top of the market?

It could be huge.

The first issue is it binds the team to the player in a way previously considered unthinkable.

Teams frequently structure their top contracts to have some maneuverability in them.  When fans hear a team has signed a player to a 5-year $100 million contract, they often mentally lock $20 million as an annual cap number for that player. However, the structure frequently gives the team more room to add critical pieces and the ability escape the contract before it is over if they find they need to.  

For example, the Rams were able to separate themselves from the Jared Goff contract before he had even played a down on it and acquire Matthew Stafford in the deal. It cost them top draft picks and some dead money but their rash decision to extend Goff early did not prevent them from making the move. I think we can all agree that move worked out well for them.

The Browns on the other hand have zero maneuverability with Watson’s contract. After a $10 million cap hit in 2022 (structured to minimize a potential loss of income due to a suspension), the Browns will have four straight years of $54.9 million cap hits that are fully guaranteed. Watson accounts for a whopping 24.4% of the Browns’ cap all by himself in 2023.

A key detail of the contract was also revealed recently. Mike Florio has gotten hold of the Watson contract:

With his lawyer’s reading he has discerned that the contract guarantees remain in effect even if any of the 22 filed complaints result in a suspension. Typically, guarantees of this magnitude offer the team some protection. They can void the guaranteed money if there is a personal conduct violation. But the Browns have in effect waived their protections and agreed to guarantee this massive contract.

Further, the only possible mechanism the Browns could use to lower the cap hit is to convert some of that salary to bonus and push it into future seasons. And really, that just digs them deeper into the hole.

Also, a contract that large and binding acts as its own no-trade clause, which adds a whole other dimension to the move. The Browns are unequivocally committed to Watson.

It is both the biggest investment and the biggest gamble on one player in NFL history.

The contract has obviously drawn the attention of NFL owners. In a rare break from normal protocols, a fellow owner from the Browns’ own division has gone on record as being not very happy with the contract: 

Bisciotti is well within his rights to express frustration. He has a pending negotiation with Lamar Jackson, who appears set on charting an unconventional path by not employing an agent and showing no apparent interest in negotiating an extension entering the final year of his rookie contract.

So, the question needs to be asked — are fully guaranteed contracts the new standard for franchise quarterbacks? Are teams going to be forced to rethink their entire payroll and team-building model and bind themselves even more tightly to this small subset of premium players?

It is clear that everyone on all sides is still reeling from the enormity of the contract. It is simply too early to tell.

Arguments against the model:  Kirk Cousins secured the first big-money fully guaranteed contract in 2018, signing a three-year $84 million contract with the Vikings. How did everyone react to that contract? It did not move the needle very much at all. In short order Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and then Russell Wilson signed market-topping deals that were not fully guaranteed. It is within the realm of possibility that the Watson contract is so utterly unmatchable that the rest of the league will have no choice but to consider it an outlier and ignore it.

Arguments for the model:  Cousins was a perfect storm. He played the game beautifully. He was franchised tagged twice and then entered the market as a free agent when Washington could no longer make another tag work. He found a fit with the Vikings. They were coming off a Conference Championship loss and viewed Cousins as the missing piece. It was a shorter contract that did not reset the average annual value record.

Watson is completely different. He was under contract already. The Browns not only gave up massive capital in trade but they also bought him out of his existing contract, which was already very healthy.  

We are not talking about the head-and-shoulders best player in the NFL. The total tonnage of Watson’s legal problems, missing an entire season of play and the potential of a suspension make this a juicy negotiating point for quarterbacks who are squeaky clean and have top-level performance in recent years to point to.

Agents that are strategizing and plotting their moves for the next couple of seasons that are not considering every ramification of Watson’s contract will quickly be left behind in the game.

But has it changed the entire landscape of the NFL? Again, it is too early to say. We will get a better picture when the next extensions are signed. Russell Wilson is likely next, then Kyler Murray.

Therefore, from a purely financial standpoint, it does appear that trading Wilson this offseason was the best solution for the Seahawks. Putting aside for a moment the tensions and the fact that it appears that Wilson would not sign another extension with the team, they made their move in the market at the best time they could.  

Patrick Mahomes had topped $45 million per season. Aaron Rodgers was very likely to do the same soon at that point. If the Seahawks thought those numbers for Wilson were unworkable, it was time to move on. That viewpoint got validated with a giant exclamation point when the news broke of Watson’s deal.  

Aside from a top salary, a new condition had been introduced. A franchise quarterback could shoot for as much guaranteed money as possible and that would simply create an untenable situation for the Seahawks, particularly with Pete Carroll at the helm.

As an aside, if you ask me, the Broncos not having Wilson sign an extension the minute he got off his jet in Denver was a very expensive mistake. They misjudged the market and it will cost them dearly.  

It is possible they approached Wilson and he rebuffed them, preferring to wait and see what other top names got first. The Broncos then had a calculated decision to make and they decided that a franchise quarterback was worth the extra cost.

At any rate, it does speak to the financial windfall the Seahawks will have once Wilson’s dead cap money gets off the books next season.

There is a second element to consider with these fully guaranteed contracts, however — the funding of the contract would pose a significant challenge for some of the franchises that are in flux or are not typically flush with cash.

According to the CBA, teams must put the entire guaranteed amount of a contract in escrow to give the player security that the contract will be paid. It is routine and something that occurs every day.

But writing a check for $230 million to fund a fully guaranteed contract for your quarterback is not something all owners have the capacity to do. The Raiders traded Khalil Mack away in 2018 partially due to not having enough cash to fund the guaranteed portion of the mega-contract he was gunning for.  

Other family-owned teams like the Bengals and Chargers derive most of their personal wealth from their equity share in the franchise, not from other outside business dealings. Funding that much money could be a significant challenge for them.  

It is possible that if Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert look at Watson’s contract and want that kind of security on their first extension, their teams will have no choice but to either auction them off in trade, or franchise them twice and let them walk away.

This would lead to an NBA-type situation where the gap between the haves and the have-nots gets even wider.

But for the Seahawks, with the team in a trust and a sale in the near future pending, it would not make sense to commit that much money to escrow and then sell the team. Bobby Wagner got $40 million guaranteed in his last Seahawks extension. Tyler Lockett got $24 million. Jamal Adams $21 million. Those are numbers you can have on the books and not alter the course of your negotiation with a potential buyer.

But having something like $230 million committed? That would have an impact.

That is the level this new condition could go to. Affecting ownership financial strategies and decisions.

The point being, the financial implications could be poised to fully overtake the on-field impact as the primary driver of future team moves.

Really, whether the next big financial evolution for franchise quarterbacks is getting fully guaranteed contracts or simply getting a bigger piece of the salary cap pie, the cost of having a top veteran quarterback on your roster is growing.

Seeing as that is the case, the steps forward for the Seahawks are obvious.

The Seahawks Need to Regularly Invest in the Draft at Quarterback

John Schneider recently mentioned how much success his mentor and the team had in Green Bay over the years selecting quarterbacks when there was not a perceived need. That seems as big a sign as any that the Seahawks intend to follow that practice with Russell Wilson gone and Drew Lock’s long-term future in Seattle anything but certain at this point.

Schneider mentioned that the Seahawks have strayed from that method in recent years:

“One thing we haven’t done – my mentor did all the time in Green Bay – that we haven’t done a very good job of for one reason or another… is we haven’t picked quarterbacks. I don’t know why. Just for some reason since we’ve been here it hasn’t fallen that way.”

We all know why. The combination of having an incredibly durable franchise quarterback (until last year anyway) and aggressively pursuing trades that depleted the team of draft capital in recent years has pushed this strategy into the background.

No more.

With a big need there, experience with the practice and the enormous financial pressure that extending a top quarterback brings, this should be an iron-clad organizational goal to always have a quarterback in development — ‘one in the chamber’ as Schneider has termed it in the past.

Is it a rule that the Seahawks must take a quarterback in the draft every single year? No, of course not. They should only select players they feel meet their scouting standards and in a round of the draft they feel comfortable with.

As far as 2022 goes, the Seahawks have options. They can ride with Drew Lock and Jacob Eason and eventually come to terms with Geno Smith. They can squeeze the Browns to pay as much of Baker Mayfield’s contract as possible and then add him as a one-year stopgap.  

They are well positioned to take a swing in this draft in either the top two rounds or in the middle rounds.  

An early forecast of the 2023 draft also indicates there will be better quality available at the position than this season and the Seahawks will once again be well positioned to strike — with two first-round and two second-round picks currently.

Conventional wisdom points to saving your draft assets for 2023 and building the team up at other vital positions, making full use of a very deep 2022 draft. Personally, I agree with that logic. If the Seahawks can somehow come away from the first two rounds this year with three great non-QB prospects that would be cause for celebration.

However, in the spirit of exploring all the options, and given the quarterback climate we just discussed, there is an avenue that needs to be considered that could be potentially rewarding — taking a quarterback in the bottom half of the first round of the draft this year.

Why? From a purely financial standpoint, the Seahawks would have a cost-controlled quarterback position for five full seasons — and perhaps six if they want to make use of the franchise tag.

Take Lamar Jackson as an example. The Ravens traded up to the last pick in the 2018 first round to get him. What a shrewd move that was.

For $9.47 million, they secured four years of Jackson. They activated the first-round fifth year option last year and have him locked in 2022 for a very affordable $23 million. The franchise tag for quarterbacks in 2023 would be in the low $30 million range, which starts to get pricey — but another year of team control could easily be seen as worth the cost.

That is $62 million for six seasons. If you update those numbers to 2022 values you are probably looking at $70-75 million for six seasons.

Deshaun Watson is already halfway there with his bonus money and will eclipse it with his salary by December 2023. That is before we talk about the package of picks Cleveland sent.

So you see the value there.

Of course they are not all going to be Lamar Jacksons. The recent bottom half of the first round is littered with quarterbacks who have not shined, from Paxton Lynch to Dwayne Haskins to Jordan Love. That is before we talk about top-five picks that have not worked out. Ask Cleveland and Carolina how excited they are to be on the hook for almost $19 million guaranteed for the two guys they probably wish would just go away.

So there is risk — but the Seahawks must weigh the franchise-tilting cost of acquiring and paying a top-flight quarterback and potentially shredding their roster against the disappointment of using a first-round pick that does not produce.

For the Seahawks to take a quarterback in the bottom half of the first round this year, several things need to fall their way:

  • There has to be a player they really like available. As I said above, they cannot reach for a quarterback because of some slot-fill thinking or be enticed simply by finance. They have to really think he can be a factor.
  • He has to be available and the Seahawks have to find a suitable trade partner.
  • If they are going to trade some of their capital away, they have to be confident their scouting can turn up a player in the fifth round or later that has the potential to be more than a career backup.
  • If the Seahawks do trade D.K. Metcalf for a haul of picks, it could be reasoned that using a pick of that return on a high-leverage position like a quarterback is an easily justifiable tactic. Maybe even two if someone they really like is available in the middle rounds.

So the conditions have to be right for this to happen.

If played correctly, the Seahawks could take a quarterback this year and have the stock to acquire a top prospect next year as well if they like. Having two quarterbacks on rookie salaries hedges the position and they could be aggressive in adding talent around them for the next four seasons in free agency and other areas.

Again, my preference is stocking the roster in 2022 and waiting for superior quarterback talent in 2023. But looking at this year’s class as well is a conversation worth having.

Do not think Pete Carroll will be afraid to make the moves he deems necessary. Remember, he was introduced as the Seahawks’ head coach in January 2010. By mid-March he had traded Seneca Wallace away and acquired Charlie Whitehurst for a swap of picks in the second round of the draft that year and a next year third round pick.

He then moved on from Matt Hasselbeck and brought Tarvaris Jackson in the following year.  

The year after that he did not resign Whitehurst, signed Matt Flynn to a healthy free agent deal and drafted a short quarterback from Wisconsin in the third round.

He churned the roster until he found his quarterback. He could do the same thing again as soon as this month. History and the financial aspect tell us it is a possibility that we should mentally prepare for.


  1. Chase

    Great work as expected. Thanks for the write up Cha.

    • cha

      My pleasure Chase

      • Ben Ft. Worth

        I’d take 2nd this year from the Jets for DK so ling as their first Rd pick in 2023 is coming back our way as well.

  2. unHappy Hawk

    Great report. Lots to think about. Unless Lock or maybe Mayfield ( 2 proven losers) do an about face we will be searching for a Qb who can take us back from the have not status. The problem with drafting an endless list of Quarterback projects is that there would be no clear choice to build around. I truly believe that if Corral is the franchise guy – go for it but if not then we should go for Levis ( amazing film on him!!) and build this roster up with the talent we are devoid of at this time in 2022. Prepare for a epic losing season is inevitable – embrace it and plan for 2023. I don’t think that PC hubris will allow for this to happen.

  3. Sean

    Thanks for the great explanation of the Watson contract, it’s context, and potential implications.

    • cha

      You’re very welcome Sean

  4. bmseattle

    Great article.

    Very intriguing to imagine a model where the team simply plans on replacing the QB every 5 or 6 years.

    As for the Seahawks, I’m with you, Cha… wait until next year for the better QB class. Starting the “clock” on the QB as late as possible in the rebuilding process makes the most sense, as well.

    As for Denver, they are potentially in big trouble with Wilson. He and Mark Rodgers have been pining for the MLB style, guaranteed contract, for years. Now that the precedent has been set (in their minds), you just know he’ll hold out for that now.
    And if you are Denver, do you give a mid 30’s Russ that kind of deal?
    Can they even franchise him if they wanted to?

    • Big Mike

      I believe they can franchise him for a couple of years before the cost gets too much to bear. Am I right cha?

      Agree that he’ll not want to sign anything that isn’t the NBA/MLB type fully guaranteed contract. However, keep in mind that he has to be offered that by someone and after he plays on the tag for a couple of years (or doesn’t). I suppose there may well always be someone who wants to win so badly that that owner will fork out 300 mil in guaranteed money. However, as cha mentioned, it’s also possible that the league pulls back and just doesn’t go the route the Brownies went again. The problem with that is that it opens up the collusion can of worms.

      • Roy Batty

        Let’s not forget that Denver is also on the block for sale.

        I doubt they sign Russ to anything until a new owner has agreed to buy the team and given their approval on what type of extension they are willing to accept.

        As cha started, that is a lot of escrow money that needs to be paid out, not generating any profit. Whomever buys that team had better be loaded with plenty of liquid assets.

        As for the Hawks, I can see them settling on a turnover averse QB, but not one who will get you to 4,000 yards consistently. A game manager that is a locker room leader. Someone who won’t be paid top tier money, but will command the respect of the players, coaches and FO.

        Build a dominant defense with a consistent, reliable offense.

        I can live with that…again.

        • Paul

          For what it’s worth, I think Carroll wants more than a TO-averse game manager. He’s invoked the name of Bart Starr more than once, and Bart Starr is in the Hall of Fame. I’m playing the mystic chords of memory here, but Starr did more than hand the ball off to Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung. He was nerveless, had tremendous feel for the game, and commanded its pace. To me, that’s what Carroll means when he talks about a point guard QB.

      • Paul

        The QB tag in 2024 is likely to be $40M+.* Calculate the tag multipliers for 2025 (120% of previous year salary) and 2026 (144% of previous year salary) and you get:

        2024: $40M
        2025: $48M
        2026: $69M

        or 3/157 with every dollar guaranteed once the tag is invoked.

        *This assumes that the 2022 increase of 18.3% is the same in 2023 and 2024.

    • king.

      I am really curious to see how it plays out. Everyone is assuming Russ is looking for the MLB deal, but I am not so sure. I think the bad blood in Seattle ran deeper than anyone really knows and that he, approaching his mid thirties, cares more about winning than getting a Watsonesque deal. Taking a good, but not top of the market, deal might work for him in two ways. It would help Denver be competitive by being a relative bargain and it would be a vicious little jab at Seattle for whom he presumably would not make the same salary concessions because he didn’t trust them to build a winning team with him as the focal point. I think that winning a Super Bowl with a team built in his image will trump salary concerns.

      • Rob Staton

        I think you’re right.

        The problems in Seattle all stem from a clash of philosophies.

        But I also would underestimate Mark Rodgers getting in the way in Denver. This is a guy who asked Seattle to negotiate a new deal after his rookie season, not knowing the rules wouldn’t permit it.

        • Tomas

          An embarrassing rookie mistake by Rodgers, though without consequence. But it’s difficult to argue, is it not, that he’s been anything other than an EXTREMELY effective agent for his client, Russell Wilson? The no-trade clause was a particularly inspired move by Rodgers.

          I suspect Paton won’t mind at all having to deal with Rodgers, obnoxious and difficult as he apparently is. Russ is worth it, and this will be especially evident after #3 is allowed to go for the throat under Hackett’s modern offensive philosophies.

          But how very nice it all is for JS, to be relieved of all the stress of dealing with the prickly Rodgers. John’s probably sleeping much better, and is reaching for the Xanax far less often now. Wonderful. Never mind that the Hawks franchise is going up in flames which won’t be extinguished until this regime — Pete, John, and Jody — is itself extinguished. Only then will progress be possible.

          • Rob Staton

            Extremely effective?

            You are way too generous.

            Wilson has achieved everything so far because of his talent and work ethic.

            Rodgers has not played any role of note. We’ll see if he becomes a hindrance in Denver soon.

  5. Sean-O

    “One thing we haven’t done – my mentor did all the time in Green Bay – that we haven’t done a very good job of for one reason or another… is we haven’t picked quarterbacks. I don’t know why. Just for some reason since we’ve been here it hasn’t fallen that way.”

    So what’s the real advantage of drafting a QB year after year? I’m ok with drafting one later in the draft, on a regular basis. Maybe you find lightning in a bottle. But to spend let’s say a 3rd, maybe 4th, or higher to take a shot with a QB who MAY pan out seems risky. In those rounds, you need to draft players who can contribute & hopefully be starters at some position.

    Take NE for example. They drafted Garappolo in the 2nd round. They got so much credit for trading him to SF for good value (a 2nd) years later. To me, it just seemed like a waste. What did they really gain?

    Again, I’m ok drafting a QB pretty frequently but not at the expense of picks that will be hopefully quality depth on your football team.

    • Derek

      I don’t disagree with this, has to be the right pick at the right time. Although, I’ll say one thing drafting QBs often does is give you a cheap backup(s) vs. having to pay Tavaris or Geno year after year.

    • cha

      Take NE for example. They drafted Garappolo in the 2nd round. They got so much credit for trading him to SF for good value (a 2nd) years later. To me, it just seemed like a waste. What did they really gain?

      Tom Brady was 37 when they drafted him. They were wisely assuring the future. I really doubt the Patriots were taking Jimmy while planning that Brady would give them 6 more seasons of top-level play.

      But besides that, they got 3 years of backup QB protection on a rookie salary.

      Jimmy won them 2 games when Brady got suspended. They got the #1 seed and won the SB that year.

      He’d won a starting job and a massive contract that the Patriots didn’t have to offer and couldn’t pay.

      In Patriots fashion they got a 2nd round pick for him in trade and turned that into six or seven players, one of whom was Damien Harris, who scored 15 touchdowns for them last year.

      That pick was a winner in my book.

  6. God of Thunder

    Great post Cha.

    Busy around here, so can really only add: I agree with Baltimore owner (and others) that this is a game changing, epoch shattering contract. And I wish it hadn’t been Watson who signed it. (But I suppose Watson will need legal representation and monies for settling civil suits!)

    Final quick point. The Russ – Ciara celeb world reared it’s ugly head this week with some ex-Dolphins LB turned shock jock? questioning Ciara’s choice of RW. Our DK Metcalf weighed in too with six kind words of “defence” (RW: “great man, great father, great husband”). Point is, I think the circus around RW is only going to increase once he signs that next big contract. Kind of glad it won’t affect the Seahawks.

    • Derek

      I hate to say it, but I’m of the same opinion. Why do I hate to say it? Russ is the best QB we’ve ever had, and it’s not even close. I wish it could have worked out for Russ to retire a Hawk but that ship has sailed and it would be naive to think his personality didn’t play a role in that.

      I know someone who is very close with Jake Luton, a QB who was on the roster last year for a cup of coffee (apparently my one claim to fame), Jake said that he was put off by Russ’s demeanor, with Russ referring to himself as “the chosen one” or something like that. This is not the way Brock talks of being in the same QB room as Payton Manning.

      I think we all saw the evolution of Russ’s attitude over the last 10 years.. coming in as a confident and humble QB with a relentless work ethic, predicting greatness after the loss to Atlanta in 2012. Then the awkward divorce with his first wife, the super bowl loss and controversial play call, the relationship and practical open worship of Ciara, and many more.

      As I said, it’s a shame Russ couldn’t retire a Hawk, but Russ played a big role in that decision and, if Russ does write a book someday like he alluded during his Denver press conference, I hope he has enough hindsight to see his own part.

      • Roy Batty

        Quick question: Does ANYONE know another person who has bought ANY of Russ’s apparel, 3Brand?

        Or how about that perfume/cologne disaster?

        I love the football player and them as community contributors, but their unrelenting desire to become the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of the NFL is getting a bit comical.

        • Hawkdawg

          Gonna miss a lot of Russ the competitor, the talent and the Children’s Hospital visitor. Gonna miss less of “prep school in toney Virginia suburb but still fake gansta, red carpet, “look at me,” nanobubbles” Russ. But on balance, I wish the salary structure of the NFL, and team management, could have allowed us to keep him here and happy. Fun dude to watch play.

        • cha

          Quick question: Does ANYONE know another person who has bought ANY of Russ’s apparel, 3Brand?

          //raises hand

          I have a pair of Nike RW3 trainers. Ironically I bought them after the 2020 season, just before the Dan Patrick interview and the Mark Rodgers/Schefter leak.

          They’re ugly and I love them.

          • Roy Batty

            Spritzing some R&C cologne after lacing the kicks up?

            I went to their site, and almost doubled over laughing.

            The images are cheesy and the packaging is a bit…out there.

            But, as I said before, they are great for their communities, so good people in general.

        • DK

          My 4 year old saw a 3brand shirt when we were shopping, he liked it because they were Seahawks colors and it was Nike. Didn’t realize it was 3Brand until he wore it the first time and I saw the 3brand logo on the sleeve.

          All they sell are hats, scarves and kids stuff.

  7. Ulsterman

    Very good, very informative read Curtis, thank you.

    • cha

      Thank you Ulsterman

  8. Derek

    It’s astonishing how rich with content this blog is and has been for over a decade… and it keeps getting better and better somehow! Cha, you and Rob are gems.

    To you all that regularly post comments on here, I also appreciate your well-informed comments and banter, it adds even more to the conversation (well, everyone besides a certain US Marine wannabe).

    I come to this site every day now because I love being a part of this rich content and conversation. It’s like coming to the pub, raising a glass and talkin’ Hawks with your buddies.

    Kudos Cha, Rob and everyone!!

    • cha

      Thank you Derek. Very kind.

  9. Jerry

    I wonder if the best approach is to focus on market inefficiencies. Rob recently made the astute observation that there are many ways to win in the NFL. However, the very valid cliche is that this is a “copycat league.” That produces a space for innovative teams to take advantage of trends.

    Right now, there is widespread belief that the “modern game” revolves around a high volume passing model. So QB play is overvalued, and the market for WRs is getting crazy. In a passing league, passing will be overvalued.

    The Seahawks formula – defense, running game – is viewed as old-fashioned, but because the rest of the league undervalues that model, it should be more efficient to execute. Instead of looking for the best philosophy, why not lean in the opposite direction if the prevailing thought? The Seahawks have had great success doing this in the past. When the league favored speed at CB, the hawks loaded up on lanky corners who were undervalued. When the prevailing notion was the QBs had to be tall, they drafted a guy whis only real shortcoming was not being tall. The Seahawks benefited from this to the point that it changed preconceptions in the league. Now, they should be looking for the next preconception.

    I think they’re already doing this. The prevailing model is that Franchise QBs are the most valuable commodity . You simply don’t trade those guys. This is why the punditry blasted the Seahawks for trading a franchise QB without having a clear successor. However, that prevailing wisdom drives up the cost of QBs (salaries, trade value, overdrafting). I think this is the best rationale for dealing Metcalf: the league is fixated on players like him, and the going rate is getting dumb. I hope the take advantage. If the league is overvaluing passing offense, the hawks could efficiently build a really good team by focusing elsewhere.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Agree. Things go in waves. I am not sure I agree with CHA’s point that a “franchise” QB is required. And I would love to see if teams will counter the trend by spreading GDP-type QB contracts around more strategically to OL/DL and a very good QB on a rookie contract. Teams can win without a “franchise”. Not as much, but it can be done and it may be tried more and more now if this new QB market takes hold.
      Denver won with a nonfranchise Peyton Manning. As did BAL with Dilfer.
      If a team dominates with defense and OL play, has a great running game, a good nonfranchise QB can win.

      • RealRhino2

        Was thinking this earlier as teams move more and more to base nickel D and smaller LBs and DEs. Defensive focus is get to QB, cover everybody. Offensive response has been quick passing, more receivers. But it doesn’t have to be. What if there’s nobody to cover, and instead you have to shed and tackle? What if you can’t get to the QB because he doesn’t have the ball any more? Downhill running game could counter those light boxes/D’s. And then you don’t need the high-dollar QB.

        Two things still ring true for me:

        1. If your offensive scheme just needs a great, franchise QB to work, then you’ve designed a bad offensive scheme, bc those are the hardest things to find.

        2. If your success depends on doing the same thing as everybody else, but just doing it better, you’re probably not going to succeed. Look at all these teams in “QB limbo.” Waiting around to “hit” on a QB. Have they ever considered they’re in limbo bc the teams they’re chasing already HAVE the QB? So you’re just going to wait your turn and hope? Instead, try something different.

        I’m always reminded of Nebraska in college. With the triple option and crazy good D they were MURDERING people as late as 2001, when played for the title. Then they stumbled for a few years and decided they needed to get with the times, have a diverse passing game, etc. In other words, do what everybody else is doing. Except those other teams that also rely on good QBs and WRs are in Florida or California, not Nebraska. And they haven’t really been relevant since. You either need a brilliant coach or luck, but that’s not reliable.

        • SoZ

          Great points. I would say that non of the above strategies, conventional or counter, revolve around have mediocre, journeymen-heavy offensive and defensive lines. Nebraska needed some dudes on the Oline to make the triple option work. Maybe not the most expensive pass pro dudes. Maybe Breno Giacomini or Ickem Ekwonu types.

          In a league where QBs are getting up to 25% of the team cap, let’s load up on Aaron Donald and Von Miller types to get their shiny toys dirty.

  10. Big Mike

    What Haslem and Co. have done has put the rest of the owners in a bind and as cha stated, probably the most difficult aspect of this is that teams like the Bengals and Chargers and Raiders where football is their wealth, may be left out in the cold with fully guaranteed contracts and the requirement to put money in escrow for those contracts. A competitive imbalance along those lines would NOT in my opinion help the NFL one iota. Cowpukes fans would love it if they won the Super Bowl every 3rd year on average, but what the league sells first and foremost, especially as the draft is concerned is hope…….hope for improvement and a chance to win. Yes it’s socialism, but it’s the only way to keep the product growing. In my opinion, the owners are going to have to negotiate something with the players that will keep the QB market from getting utterly out of hand to keep the competitive balance that makes the NFL better than MLB or NBA by a wide margin.

    • Roy Batty

      Jerry Jones has had a middling/crappy team for a couple decades now, yet the Cowboys essentially print their own money, every single year.

      He is probably the only owner who’s entire fortune is tied up in one team, who can also shrug off crappy season after crappy season and still be profitable.

    • RealRhino2

      I think the league should come up with some kind of escrow account backed by the NFL as a whole so the teams would only be responsible for putting in a % of their total guarantees, with the rest covered by the NFL, like the FDIC or something. Even out the playing field. With maybe some kind of cap on total guarantees a team can have out at any one time that isn’t based on personal fortune of the owner, but tied to the salary cap.

    • Paul

      The Spanos family wealth is in the billions, and it was made independently of football. I’m not going to spend much time fretting about the unfairness of being Mark Davis or Mike Brown.

  11. V

    Ryan Fowler: Lenoir-Rhyne WR Dareke Young will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, per source. 6’2 wideout ran 4.44 with a 37” vert and 11’3 broad. East-West Shrine standout with dominant film at the DII level.

  12. DriveByPoster

    Nice article, cha. Well done.

    The bit about Watson’s guaranteed money is particularly interesting. It feels like a weakness in the NFL model that owners with substantial cash assets from outside the NFL are in a much better position to offer the top players massive, guaranteed contracts.

    It is situations like this, wild edge cases where somebody pushes the limits of what can be done, that end up creating changes in the rules. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Watson contract to have an impact on the league, in terms of contract rules, but not so much on the financial side.

  13. JimN

    I think we have really forgotten Drew Lock. I think he IS the rookie QB that has shown as much potential as any of the picks this year. The media has focused on Wilson, and that Lock can’t fill his shoes, but of course no one can at least initially. Even Locks Denver Team mates are telling us not to forget him. He certainly had no development support in Denver since draft day, and we all know that tha t is pretty darn important. I have read his whole story, watched his film, and honestly looks everybit as good or better than what we have been seeing in the draft this year. I agree Cha, get the Non QB franchise pieces this year and then start adding QB after that, whether in the later rounds this year if someone really impresses. Lock may be a bust, or THE guy. Or real potential. We will no more. I would love to see Eason play as well.

  14. Nano

    Great stuff, Curtis.

    I never would have thought to consider that ownership flux can affect the sensibility of monster QB contracts.

    Do you think this is why Denver didn’t have a deal in place when Russ came to town?

    • cha

      Very well could be. Good point.

      They might have reasoned that paying Russell is the next owner’s problem.

  15. TheRealSteveL

    Let’s say the Seahawks trade DK to the Jets and get #10 and #38.

    Here’s what I’d love to see happen:
    #9 Derek Stingley (CB)
    #10 Jordan Davis (DT)
    #38 Tyler Linderbaum (C)
    #40 Channing Tindall (LB)
    #41 Abraham Lucas (T)
    #72 Amare Barno (DE)

    Our secondary would be quite good:
    Derek Stingely CB
    Quandre Diggs FS
    Jamal Adams (SS)
    Tre Brown (CB)
    Marquise Blair (Nickel)

    Our Front 7 would be great:
    Jordan Davis (DT)
    Poona Ford (DT)
    Bryan Mone (DT)
    Al Woods (DT)
    Darrell Taylore (DE)
    Amare Barno (DE)
    Shelby Harris (DE)
    Jordan Brooks (LB)
    Channing Tindall (LB)
    Uchenna Nwosu (LB)

    We would be able to stuff the run, and Jordan Davis has the potential to generate pressure up the middle. Interior pressure would help Darrell Taylore, Amare Barno, and Uchenna Nwosu on the edge.

    Our secondary would have enough talent with the likes of Stingley, Diggs and Adams to give our front 7 enough time to get to the QB. This to me seems like a defense that would give teams some serious problems.

    The other thing I like is that the Hawks would invest in the O-Line with Linderbaum (C) and Lucas (T). If we want to get back to a run first team, we need to invest in our O-Line. Picture Lucas at Right Tackle, Linderbaum at Center, and Duane Brown at Left Tackle.

    We would also save a considerable amount of money by trading DK. This money would help us re-sign Duane Brown.

    The thing my draft above did not account for was how to replace DK.

    Would love to hear people’s thoughts on this proposed draft class.

    • Trevor

      Might be tempted to add a pass rusher instead of Davis but I have to admit love the draft and I think the defense would be a top 10 unit with that personnel.

  16. Dingbatman

    God I love this place! Great piece. My hopes are they find a QB, running back and bolster the O line. Give them a year to sync. Next year get Will Anderson and bolster the defense.

  17. Blitzy the Clown

    Great read cha!

    I wonder if Cleveland’s experiment in guaranteed money will blow up quickly enough to effectively kill it moving forward for the rest of the League. Eventually it will, either sooner through like a suspension or disqualification, or later through cap space purgatory.

    Also this made me groan a little…

    If the Seahawks do trade D.K. Metcalf for a haul of picks, it could be reasoned that using a pick of that return on a high-leverage position like a quarterback is an easily justifiable tactic. Maybe even two if someone they really like is available in the middle rounds

    I’m not averse to taking multiple prospects in one draft at a position of need (especially one as important as QB). But not this draft. And fwiw, I like Coan early Day 3 way more than Corral at the end of the first.

    • RealRhino2

      As for the guaranteed contracts, I think it can really only go one of two ways: either one of these things (the Watson deal?) absolutely blows up in a team’s face due to injury or poor performance and the rest of the league says, “No way, not us, not happening!” or one of these blows up in a team’s face and you’ll have a divide between teams still willing to take that risk bc they are desperate to win and those that won’t take that risk. So it will look like it’s “working” as teams that won that bet are winning, but really it will be a survivor’s fallacy.

  18. Old but Slow

    “I’ve become accustomed to your farce” is my response to the drafts in recent years (’20 wasn’t bad), so I have been looking for that name that Pete and John will spring on us.

    With the insights Cha has given us (thanks, man, good stuff), we may be looking at the Seahawks going all in on the running game, and looking for game managers at QB. That said, what is the chance that we might see a running back at #9? Breece Hall? Kenneth Walker? Follow up with an OL at #40.

    Not my preference. I’m with the consensus with an edge rusher or corner. But I remember so many times thinking “we are on the clock and our guy is still there, yes!….but, who?”.

    • Peter

      I’m fine with a runnig back in the second round. But passing on zion or even penning and runnig out that ramshackle line next year because they hope to get someoe later in the draft…..

      Well tht would be like jumping the shark with another actual shark because that’s how i’ll feel about the FO if that happens.

    • Simo

      If Pete and John’s draft strategy holds true, none of us have any idea what they will do or who they might select. It almost seems like they enjoy surprising everyone and picking differently. It has worked out well occasionally, but there’s also been some colossal failures!

      I would love to see them pick the best players available that also fill some key needs. They need cornerstone players now, no need to reach!

      • Big Mike

        ” It almost seems like they enjoy surprising everyone and picking differently. It has worked out well occasionally, but there’s also been some colossal failures!”

        Agree. I think they fell in love with being the ‘smartest draft people in the NFL when they went off the standard NFL script early in their regime and it succeeded. They let the ego stroke that gave them guide their drafting too often thereafter imo.

  19. BoiseSeahawk

    My vote would be a late selection of one of

    Dustin Crum
    Jack Coan
    Kaleb Eleby

    And for good measure draft Will Levis next year. If more than one pan out then you’ve got some chess pieces to add draft or roster depth.

  20. Steve Nelsen

    Well written thoughtful analysis Cha.

    • cha

      Thanks Steve. Good to see you posting here.

  21. samprassultanofswat

    Some people are going to miss Russell Wilson. That is ok. If they want to miss Russell Wilson, I have no problem with that. But I for one am NOT going to miss him and HIS EGO. After the 2019 season. Russell Wilson said he wanted more talent on the team. This may have led John Schneider and Pete Carroll into making that HORRIBLE Jamal Adams trade. I don’t know. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t. Then last year Russell Wilson’s agent comes up with this BS that Russell Wilson doesn’t want to be traded. But if he was traded these are the teams he would go with. Last year Seattle had a new offensive coordinator. But for some unknown reason the Hawks never really got into the new playbook until training camp. I wonder why. What really ticked me off about Wilson was that after he received his HUGE signing bonus, had received somewhere around 65%- to 75% of his contract. After ONE YEAR He wanted out. Then he tells everyone “Go Hawks”. And he wants to retire a Seahawk. REALLY

    What put the frosting on the cake was. After I found out Russell Wilson was NOT going to sign another contract with Seattle. Russell Wilson got the majority of his money(after one year) then he wanted out. That is when I decided I am not going to root for him again. My favorite team is the Seahawks. My second and third favorite teams were whoever plays New England and Pittsburg. Well, my new 2nd favorite team is going to be whoever plays the Broncos. I will always root against the Broncos. Even when the play New England or Pittsburg.

    So if some fans want to miss Russell Wilson. Fine go ahead. You have every right to root for Wilson or miss him . But count me out. I will never miss or root for Russell Wilson again. Health wise. I wish him the best. Idon’t want him or any other player from any getting injured But if he doesn’t perform as well in wintry Denver as he did for the Seahawks that will NOT hurt my feelings.

    • Ashish

      I used to like Russ but I’m not gonna miss him at all. Yes i want Bronco to do worst so we get high pick. I agree with your comments on Russ.

    • Zane

      Right there with you. Leaving his football abilities aside, I’ve found him unlikeable since he got his first big deal.

      I was actually in favor of trading Russ at the end of his rookie contract, forseeing how uncongenial a high priced QB is to Pete’s brand of football; I wanted to restock the defense. Frankly I’ve always thought Russ was overrated.

    • Charles Hirsch

      I will agree RW3 certainly changed over the years since being drafted and wining super bowl. He became the face of the team and took a lopsided amount of the cap. Part of being one of the top qb1 in the league is performing every week and for the most part rw3 fit the bill. He will be missed for many of the intangibles that he brought. He wa a winner. It felt to me that at a certain point near the end of 2020 season, he gave up. Change is always good and nothing lasts forever. I am super excited to see what the hawks do. Drew Lock is not the caliber of player that RW3 is. Perhaps he is more hungry! RW3 press conferences always seems rehearsed or robotic. Drew Lock’s doesn’t:
      Bring back the BAMF, the young hungry competitiveness and always compete

      • samprassultanofswat

        Charles. Thanks for sharing. I was really impressed with Drew Lock’s honesty. I don’t think anyone on this forum has been beating the drums louder to at least give Drew Lock a chance. Not saying that he is the answer. I just want to see what Lock can do. I want the Hawks to select a QB this draft. But don’t want to waste a premium draft pick on a.

        In one of Rob’s articles Rob talked getting strong up the middle (OL). I said to myself. Really? We need an offensive tackle. But then Rob explained getting strong up the middle would strengthen the running game.

        In this draft. There is so many ways the Hawks could go. BTW: One of my new favorite players (maybe my favorite player) in this draft is Michael Clemons. Rob has Clemons on his draft chart as a 5-7 draft pick. I would be surprised if Clemons lasts into the 5th round.

        So many holes the Hawks are not going filled them all in this draft. The Hawks could use a RB, CB, Pass rusher, 2 or 3 OL, LB

        Don’t sleep on Drew Lock
        Shelby Harris

      • Mr drucker in hooterville

        It happened after his first divorce it seems. What happened there anyway?

    • Big Mike

      So will you all feel this way when Seattle is 5-11 and Denver is 11-5 going into week 18?

      “Drew Lock will out me to sleep”

      • Peter

        Who even is this Russel Wilson? I checked the roster page and he’s not on it. I checked a bunch of draft sites and he’s not listed anywhere.

        I kid.

        But hopefully like a brake line or a fuel tank with water all this “russ is this russ is that,” talk will empty out at some point.

        Looking at Cha’s article I do think there is every chance there was an edict that said with an upcoming sale let’s not have big contracts in escrow.

        Mark Rodgers and JS seem like turds to me. Rodgers trying for baseball contracts and JS balking at big QB contracts but saying okily dokily to market leading safety contracts and big time blocking TE contracts. Oh and I get Russ hurt everyone’s feelings but if my employer was scouting for my replacement and floating trades to Cleveland, I too would tell my agent it’s probably time to fire up the trade list.

        We’ll find out in short order what “cooked/overated( really?)” Wilson looks like when after a decade he gets to, finally, play for an actual offensive coach. Sure Wilson is annoying. So are a ton of sports stars. Lebron, Kobe, jordan, tiger woods, etc. I love DK’s game but as a fan find it annoying he’s more about track and field shenanigans and less about Juggs machines and boxing out defenders. Heck youtube is filled with Drew Lock pulling some of the lamest celebratory dances I’ve ever seen for a guy who isn’t good.

        • Big Mike

          Absolutely spot on post Peter.

      • Paul

        Depends on how they get to 5-11.

        The hope for Lock is that he improves enough over the course of the season regardless of record that the team can invest him. If he doesn’t, they move on. Either way, they find out what they have. You can do this when expectations for the season are low.

        • Peter

          Agreed. I think Lock most likely is who he is. I’m sure there others but Tannehill is the only nane that comes to mind who improved going to another team. And the titans are pretty well built.

          But it’s okay. Low expectations and a chance to watch some new guys develop and hopegully enjoy guys like Harris playing their butts off is all I’m looking forward to.

  22. SoZ

    MI’m not one to wismh him ill either but if the Broncos were to tank, or Russ were to underperform or get hurt just a bit, or the AFC West just be too good, or the roster collapse under the weight of his gleaming new contract, then the RW trade pick could turn into Will Anderson or any of the QBs we so choose. Of course I would never hope for or even consider any of those things happening. Ever.

  23. Gross MaToast

    Really good stuff, cha.

    It seems to me that the Watson contract is the worst in the history of major professional sports. I can’t fathom $54.9m GUARANTEED to a guy with 22 civil suits and an almost certain suspension hanging over his head, not to mention making him the face of the franchise. Baker Mayfield is an ass monkey, but his misadventures stem from a combination of failed frat boy/stupidity and, even being Baker Mayfield, he is still preferable to a guy charged with repeated sexual assaults (alleged). That the league would allow this contract is absolutely bonkers. The other owners have put themselves into a no-win spiral of guaranteed QB salaries by allowing truck stop boy to do what he’s done. The league should suspend Watson for five years and let that contract be paid as a warning.

    But, the NFL has become so obsessively driven by QBs that you have to ask if the changes to the game favoring the offense need to be addressed, namely o-linemen extending their arms and grabbing defensive linemen as a legal blocking technique and lessening the chuck rule from 10 yards to five for the DB. These two changes gave the offense way too much time. Do I want to see an OL attempting to chicken-wing block TJ Watt and Aaron Donald? Yes. Yes, I do. Very much. You’re probably going to need a different prototype and/or a different offense. None of this will happen.

    So, I think that Pete should simply chew a fresh piece of gum this year whenever he may feel tempted to try and trade up for a QB. See what you’ve got and deal with it next year.

  24. Forrest

    How can we get the Jets’ #1 next year in a trade for DK? That’s what I’d be asking. #10 this year and their 2023 first. That gets it done. Not sure the Jets would go for it, but that could end up being a top 5 pick (maybe even first overall).

    • samprassultanofswat

      The Jets have two first round picks. They can afford to trade the number 10 overall pick for D.K. Metcalf. Plus, Zach Wilson needs a target/weapon.

      Don’t sleep on Drew Lock
      Shelby Harris

    • Trevor

      I agree any deal for DK has to start with 2022 and 2023 1st round picks.

  25. BobbyK


    Where would you have taken… or felt David Ojabo deserved to go… prior to his injury?

    The reason I ask is because you both know how I feel about this upcoming season with Drew Lock.

    If Ojabo is there in the 40s – I think a case could be made for the Seahawks to take him. Here’s why:

    We knew on this blog a number of years ago that TJ Watt had top 10-12 pick written all over him had he stayed in school for his senior season. One that thing made me so mad for them passing on him was because they always whined about not having top picks, but they never had to foresight to take those top 10 guys a year early (either poor scouting or they’re just that dumb or that narrow minded to “comPete” NOW).

    If you guys think Ojabo is a top 15 guy, why not take him in the 40s? Personally, if Drew Lock is our QB – I don’t care about “instant impact” because the ’22 season is over before it begins. Why not go for a player who would definitely make things better and more impactful in 2023 when the seasons start to potentially matter again?

    Personally, I’d rather have Ojabo on the bench in ’22 so there’s less impact for the season (but more in ’23). That’ll help make us worse when we need that QB and higher picks are good. It’s not “tanking” in my opinion. It’s being smart to help this team in 2023 and beyond. It’s a long-term vision we’ve spent so much time being mad at them for not having.

    Just a thought and different take. Curious you thoughts (or thoughts from anyone, too). Thanks.

    • BobbyK

      I haven’t watched enough of Ojabo to have an opinion. But if you guys, whose opinions I value, think he is/was a top guy… then I hope they get him.

    • cha

      Well the Seahawks wouldn’t take Ojabo with the idea that they could fail their way up the 2023 draft because he’s not there. Personally I think the RFA year the Seahawks got out of Taylor is a consolation prize, but not something to be cheered.

      If they take him it’d be because he is great value in the second round and they feel like the sky’s the limit with his profile. He only played one full season and he was very effective.

      It’s an interesting thought that is worth considering. It would depend on if they got a pass rusher at 9.

      My taste would run toward taking advantage in the depth of this draft. If Ojabo is there at 40 or 41, and somebody called, I’d love to squeeze a third round pick out of a team to move down 10-12 spots.

      They could get a player they like at 40 or 41, then take a linebacker they might have taken already after moving down, and add someone in the third round, like a running back or a corner.

      • BobbyK


        Rob – where would you have put him?

        • BobbyK

          Sorry for asking.

          I just think that if Ojabo was good enough to be a Top 20 type guy, why wouldn’t you take him in the 40s? Like cha said about D. Taylor… even if he doesn’t play in ’22 – who cares. You still get him for 4 more years. It’s like saying I’ll trade you the #40 pick this year for the #15 pick next year. All I know is that I’d definitely trade the #40 pick this year for a #15 overall pick next year – especially when you don’t have a QB. That’s just me, I guess. Not saying I’m right or anyone is wrong and disagreements are healthy if they’re civil, but sometimes it’s hard to see other points of view, too (meaning me mostly, because of how well I remember the 1990s and know how history repeats itself).

          • HOUSE


            I get what you’re saying and I personally don’t think he makes it out of the first rd and it’s exactly what cha mentioned regarding Lamar Jackson: the 5th year option. A team at the end of rd 1 or someone trades into the end of 1 to acquire Ojabo gets a guy that essentially red-shirts his first year and then there is potential of 4 years roster control before the franchise tag. Similar situation with Simmons (DL, Titans) a few years ago. They drafted him knowing he’d miss a year and the dude is a MONSTER.

  26. Andy J

    Great article. Thanks!

    I am curious what the backup market is like for QBs. It seems like some are still getting good money as backups.

    I guess I am way not interested in Mayfield. A competition between Lock, Eason, Smith, and Kaepernick is what I’d love to see. I’d even be super down for Minshew. All on non-guaranteed, low-paying contracts.

    I guess to further qualify my question: what do you think a realistic contract for Smith and Kaepernick would look like?

    • cha

      Jacoby Brissett got a $4.65m deal from the Browns with almost all of it guaranteed. He’ll likely start some games if/when Watson is suspended.

      That’s probably the absolute ceiling for a Geno Smith deal. He made $1m last year as the backup, got arrested for a DUI and nobody’s beating his door down to sign him.

      Maybe they work something out where he makes the minimum and gets some play time incentives.

      Kapernick, veteran minimum but I don’t think they’ll sign him. They might but he wouldn’t survive the cuts.

      • Rob Staton

        The Seahawks shouldn’t even be considering signing Geno Smith, for any price

        He is rubbish

        • Neville

          Totally agree on Geno. Been wanting someone else every single year.

          • samprassultanofswat

            I don’t understand why Pete Carroll is interested in Geno Smith. While he was a Jet gets into a fight in the locker room. Then after the 2021 season gets charge with drinking and driving and had to be restrained. The guy was driving 96 MPH DRUNK. Holy smokes. Driving 96MPH drunk. Why the hell Carroll is interested in this guy is beyond me. As John McEnroe would say. You cannot be serious.

            Don’t get lost on Drew Lock
            Shelby Harris

  27. swedenhawk

    Thanks, Curtis, for this thoughtful piece. I’d never really considered the financial incentives involved in ‘overdrafting’ quarterbacks in R1, having always viewed the practice as driven by mix of need and desperation. You make a strong case that, as long as the QB with a R3 grade (or, in Lamar Jackson’s case, a 6th round grade — at least, according to Zierlein) ends up turning into Josh Allen and not Josh Rosen, then that 5th-year option offers tremendous value in today’s market. I’d prefer it if the Seahawks took this season to see what they have in Drew Lock, perhaps putting Jack Coan or Kaleb Eleby ‘in the chamber’ on day 3. But if PC/JS end up trading back into the first round to take Matt Corral, your article will offer some solace… hope, even.

  28. bv eburg

    Well thought out article, thanks cha.
    To me this draft lays out perfect for Pete to rebuild in his defense first mentality. Don’t overthink it, just load up other than one running back.
    Next year lot’s of cap money and picks. Cap money could be spent on great oline and draft picks used on next QB if Lock doesn’t work out.

  29. Paul

    Thanks for the cogent overview of the financial implications of Watson’s contract. This is potentially a much bigger deal than the Jags overpaying for Christian Kirk—there isn’t much question that the NFL is inching toward full guarantee of the salaries of its top QBs.

    Two things to keep in mind about the initial churn at QB: 1) unlike now, PCJS knew what they had in Hasselbeck and Wallace, and 2) they lucked into Russell Wilson.

    Even an aging Hasselbeck with declining skills gave Carroll a credible QB that helped him assess the rest of the offense. Wallace had a seven-year track record mostly under a respected coach. By 2010, he was an established backup with no prospect of starting for anyone. As for Wilson, if anyone knew how good he was, he would have been the second pick in the draft. It’s to Schneider’s credit that he could overlook Wilson’s height, but let’s not kid ourselves that SEA thought it was getting an all-time great QB. You can hope for luck and even put yourself in position to improve your chances, but you can’t plan on it.

    Nonetheless, the strategic challenge is the same: Build a contending team knowing that your chances of landing an elite QB are slim. You do this—Carroll would say—by building one of the best defenses in the league and developing an offense piloted by a latter-day Bart Starr. This offense features a balanced attack and a calculated readiness to go for the big play. We think that we can find that QB even if it means a churn in the short term.

    He and Schneider did this once by drafting four HOFers in two years, trading for a generational talent at RB, and by taking advantage of a rare down market for pass rushers. That they can repeat exactly this is doubtful because the conditions aren’t likely to again exist at the same time. But there’s another point to be made, which is that they saw opportunities where no one else did and took them. That’s what gives me hope.

    • Peter

      All really good points.

      That they did this before gives me slight hope. Even with market changes such as there’s probably not going to be “down markets,” on pass rushers going into the next two drafts with three 1st round picks alomg with four 2nd round picks….that is a ton of ammo to find your pass rushers or build a brand new oline.

      • Big Mike

        Ditto for me on the “all really good points” statement Paul. A down market for pass rushers in a league that throws more and more is highly unlikely to ever happen again. But as Peter said, it can be built mostly through the draft. I have little hope this “team” will pull it off but there is a glimmer.

      • Paul

        Agree. It’s a small thing, but I thought drafting Dee Brown was encouraging. It was one thing to hold out for CBs with 32” arms when no one else was looking for long CBs. Once the rest of the league copied their success, the advantage dissipated and they had to compete in the same pool with 31 other teams. They may have waited longer than they should have to adapt, but adapt they did—all it took was success with Reed.

  30. Trevor

    If the pass rushers are off the board and the Hawks decide to go CB who is the better option, Stingley or Gardner?

    Seems like Stingley is more dynamic with much better ball skills while Gardner has the size and length the Hawks love.

    • Peter

      My hope is neither. This is an area where Rob and I would disagree but I don’t think kicking off a rebuild with a CB and a middling defensive unit is not a smart move.

      Everyone of the podcasts seemingly had a different position on defense as the most important. Because I’m all in on the tone setting I just don’t feel you quite get that with CB.

      If I had to guess what Seattle might do…Gardner. A few tiny changes to type hasn’t convinced me that Pete isn’t still looking for players that fill a certain profile.

      Just one man’s hunch here. I think Stingley is really good. A combo of being injured, LSU falling off a cliff, and being so good as a freshmen teams just avoid you moving forward I think has dropped his stock. Obviously I respect Rob’s thoughts. However on the far extreme (too much so?) Chris Simms who I also like barely rates stingley. I could actually see Stingley being drafted by the hawks….in the second round.

      • Spectator

        If the top Edges are off the board, you would rather reach on the 5th Edge or 3rd OT just because you devalue the CB? Passing up a potential generational talent in Stingley (what many called him after his Freshman year) to grab who?

        There is no way Stingley makes it to the Second round.

        • Peter

          DK once wasn’t going to make it to the second round.

          I didn’t say tackle or edge.

          My preference would be trade down and get Zion Johnson. A two-fer. Get a great guard in the teens and put Lewis back to his real spot. You wanna run the ball? Now you can.

          Generational talent? Who really can say that about any player? Go listen to Chris Simms on CB’s if nothing more than a counterpoint. I think he is good. Maybe even great but I don’t currently see him like you would peyton manning, andrew luck, Walter jones. True generational talents.

          It’s not about devaluing the CB position. It’s that I can name more amazing Corners who didn’t single handedly change their teams than one’s who single handedly increased their teams win totals. Like I said. I like Stingley. But from a whole other source I also respect his value seems flat. I’m putting him in the second round. I’d hardly call that disrespectful considering Simms doesn’t even rate him.

      • Henry Taylor

        Nothing says physical imposing tone like having opposition recievers streaking wide open down field…

        But in all seriousness, corner is an extremely important position in the modern NFL. And, like QB and LT, getting a really good one is rare, all while the number of top Wideouts balloons every year. If you aren’t a big Sauce or Stingley fan I get it, I disagree but fair enough, but I completely disagree when it comes to the importance of adding a great corner.

        • Peter

          I didn’t say I wasn’t a fan of either.

          I’m fine with either. Again, i referenced Simms and not the ding dongs at cbs and their draft prognosticators because Simms and Rob actually rate a lot of players in the same range so if there’s a wild disparity in a player it gives me pause.

          To me pass rush trumps corner play. This roster currently is a solid but fairly unspectacular Dline. If you’re concerned about WR’s streaking down the field maybe Seattle should do something about being bottom five in sacks? Right now the subtractions and additions only move them to bottom six in sacks on paper. Meaning they’ve done nothing to improve that.

      • Silly Billy

        It’s also worth adding… if these CB’s are available, the value of the #9 pick jumps up greatly for a CB needy “win now” teams.

        Trading back seems like the best option if this happens… chances are we get a HAUL from a team that wants move up for “the next Jalen Ramsey”.

        • bmseattle

          A consensus “the next Jalen Ramsey” would go higher than pick #9… especially in this draft.

    • GoHawks5151

      If you call their potential even, I bet a good word from Ed Orgeron gives it to Stingley. Personally I love Stingley’s ability more

  31. DougM

    Looking down the running back list to find size and speed combination.

    Isaiah Pacheco
    5’10” 216 lbs 4.37 40 yard dash

    This is a lengthy highlight clip covering his time at Rutgers

  32. JimQ

    CB-Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston (FCS) – had a pretty darn good combine.

    6’-021”/199, 30-3/4”-Arms, 73-3/4”-Wingspan…………Are his shorter arms still a problem with his speed?
    4.33/40, #7 @ Combine (by 0.10-sec.)
    39.5”-VERT, #7(tied for) @ Combine
    ***3.94-Short Shuttle, #1 @ Combine
    ***6.48-3-Cone, #1 @ Combine
    132”-Broad. among the longest jumps at the combine.
    NOTE: Had 13-INT. & 46-PD’s – Reportedly, in his college career, although in the FCS. It seems the team need at CB has elevated a bit now so maybe a 4-th/5-th round pick may now be considered a good spot to pick this guy as a developmental CB? Has anyone studied him as a possible draft pick?

    • Derek

      I’ve seen him as high as the 2nd round because of his athleticism, plus some say his tape shows he knows how to use his athleticism (haven’t watched much myself).. high ceiling, low floor kind of prospect.

      • Derek

        Meant to include in my post above, this CB ranking goes into quite a bit of depth on him:

  33. cha

    Fun with numbers: more Watson contract implications

    Just a couple bonus nuggets I left out of the piece

    Deshaun Watson, Myles Garret and Amari Cooper comprise 47.9% of the Browns’ cap in 2023.

    They currently have $4.64m of room with only 26 players under contract for 2023. They will either need to find more room or somehow convince 25 players to split $4.64m. It’s a good thing they don’t have first round picks for a while, just one player’s first round slot allocation could eat up all that room.

    Watson cannot be cut. If he was he’d shut down the franchise by going over the salary cap in


    2025 is the earliest they could escape his contract but even then it would be $110m in dead money and cost $54.993m extra on the cap.

    The Browns not only pushed all their chips to the center of the table, they threw their house mortgage, their retirement account and their kids’ college fund in for good measure.

    • JJ

      I know Saints, Rams and other teams have manipulated the cap, but I have no idea how the Browns are going to do it in a few years.

    • hawkfanforetenity

      This certainly would seem to have ramifications for a Baker Mayfield trade. Do they end up giving decent draft stock up for someone to take the full contract off them?

      • Big Mike

        If interested teams (Seattle) are patient, they’re not gonna have much of a choice but to do so.

      • cha

        I would guess the Browns have made peace with what they need to do with Baker and are just in a holding position waiting for someone to change their mind or a team having a QB injury.

        They signed another QB the other day. So they have 3 plus Baker.

    • Old but Slow

      Does anyone have info on how the Cleveland fans and press are handling this? I am still feeling the vibrations from our Adams trade, but that was peanuts compared to this.

  34. Ulsterman

    Tony Pauline’s big board:

    • Peter

      Would love to hear Rob’s thoughts. Some alignments between the two. And some fairly different opinions.

      Carson strong who may never play is higher rated than Cam Jurgens?

      • Ulsterman

        Abraham Lucas No. 99

        Dameon Pierce No.271

        • Peter

          Saw that. Lucas seems destined for a third round pick. Don’t agree but that seems where he’s heading.

          Pierce mathematically as an UDFA? Hard to believe.

          • Derek

            That is odd but I get the difference of opinion on Lucas. To me he’s really solid in pass pro but needs to improve his run blocking. That is a theme in this draft to me… lots of athletic OTs in pass-heavy systems and lots of huge road-graders but not many who do both well.

            Charles Cross and Ickem Ikwanu exemplify this perfectly.. both are A+ in what they specialize in (pass pro for Cross, run blocking for Icky) and need some level of work in the other.

            • Derek

              Also, I am seeing a lot more of Breece Hall as the top RB and high on many boards such as Pauline has here. I don’t know if he’s a player the Hawks covet as he’s more of a lighter and shiftier back but something to think about… if PC want’s to have another Reggie Bush?

              • Derek

                Check that, Pauline lists Hall at 5’11 1/4″ and 217 lbs, so bigger than I thought. Doesn’t play particularly physical IMHO though. Could be a target in 2nd round.

              • Peter

                I still think pete like a hitter. But maybe he’s open to a change.

          • Hawk Finn

            Carson nearly went undrafted as well. Maybe related to the toll of the physical run style, and a shorter career lifespan? Don’t yell at me, just spitballing.

            • Peter

              That’s a good point. I just coaches and team mates love him. Four year player on a rotation. Barely any time missed. Maybe some here like him too much and that’s fair. Ut so low on the list….?

    • swedenhawk

      Did a little experiment this morning with the PFN simulator. To the best of my ability (and within certain time constraints) I drafted the BPA on Tony’s board. The results were interesting…

      David Ojabo
      EDGE Michigan

      Zion Johnson
      OG Boston College

      Tyler Smith
      OT Tulsa

      Christian Harris
      LB Alabama

      Isaiah Spiller
      RB Texas A&M

      Rasheed Walker
      OT Penn State

      Brian Asamoah II
      LB Oklahoma

      Chris Hinton
      DT Michigan

      Zamir White
      RB Georgia

      Chigoziem Okonkwo
      TE Maryland

      Derion Kendrick
      CB Georgia

  35. JimQ simulator using big board. 4/10/22. A pretty good haul. If the draft fell this way, I’d be pretty happy, most are players I feel the Seahawks “can’t leave the draft without”. No trades involved, but just imagine if they had a couple of higher picks from a DK trade, the REBUILD could potentially be well under way, making next year’s draft a fill in the blanks after they draft their QB of the future.

    9: R1 P9 -EDGE Jermaine Johnson II – Florida State (The biggest need filled, hopefully available at #9).
    40: R2 P8 -OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State (The 2-nd biggest need, a RT after Brown resigning for LT).
    41: R2 P9 -LB Leo Chenal – Wisconsin (A very viable replacement for Wagner, check his +++ combine #’s).
    72: R3 P8 -DL Logan Hall – Houston (A big/long interior DL prospect with some significant upside.)
    109: R4 P4 -RB Dameon Pierce – Florida (A new RB that has some pop and fresh legs).
    152: R5 P9 -C Cameron Jurgens – Nebraska (A really good Center candidate for competition, if he falls).
    153: R5 P10 -CB Zyon McCollum – Sam Houston St. (Developmental CB = speed and excellent combine #s).
    229: R7 P8 QB Jack Coan – Notre Dame (The search for a QB = having one in the chamber).

    Who do y’all have as “players the Seahawks can’t leave the draft without”-????

    • Derek

      You have one of them in your draft, Leo Chenal. To me he’s as good as Devin Lloyd and may turn out to be the best LB in this draft. Athletic and smart; plays well in space and on the LOS. Some knock his coverage ability but I think he’ll be fine as long as you’re not playing him out of position.

  36. Hawk Finn

    I’m pretty smitten with Cole Strange. That’s the only name that comes to mind.

  37. Rob Staton

    Samori Toure visiting the Seahawks for an official 30

  38. unHappy Hawk

    What happens at a visit? Is there any correlation to drafting the player if they schedule a visit or not? Or is this Jedi mind tricks trying to confuse other teams on who you like going into the draft?

    • Rob Staton

      A visit tends to mean seeing how/if they fit in, doing some meetings etc.

      They have drafted players who have visited before.

      • unHappy Hawk

        so no physical workouts or testing?

  39. Ashish

    Good article from Brock Huards – it is draft like you need 20 picks and you still feel need more.

  40. CWagner

    This was a great writeup and I really appreciate an in-depth perspective on the Watson contract in relation to the Seahawks. I didn’t realize how much money was guaranteed and how much that could affect other ownerships if that is to be the trend. My initial reaction to the Watson signing was one big eyeroll because it just seemed desperate and asinine. That’s a lot of guaranteed money for someone who didn’t play last season and could potentially be suspended this coming season. I have to wonder, at what point will teams look at these QB contracts and say ‘no thanks’?? In a way, the Seahawks did and I’m okay with that.

    • Peter

      The trouble is going to be how long you search for that rookie that can do it. Once the rookie balls out in four years your back to a josh allen or higher contract. So do you start again? How many fan bases are going to get into that model? Unless an owner wants to approach it like college and give everyone three years.

      The seahawks themselves good very well be in purgatory for years starting this year.

      • CWagner

        Yeah it’s certainly a conundrum. Drafting a QB is far more miss than it is hit. And going through that kind of cycle would get very frustrating; the Broncos are a great example of that and they never hit. I’m kinda hoping this Watson experiment fails miserably and causes the QB market to be more cautious with guaranteed money.

        • Peter

          Same. I have no real interest in following a league where a few teams can escrow multiple guaranteed contracts and others just churn forever.

          I love college football and the pagaentry but the divides between the haves and have nots is indy going to increase with the new money policies.

  41. Silly Billy

    I like Chris Simms… but he thinks Thibodaux falls to the 20-40 Range… that’s crazy, right?

    Wonder if it’s his sports book sponsor telling him to push that narrative.

    • Peter

      It’s crazy talk.

      However. If a guy compares himself to jadeveon clowney and at least one person, greg cosell, agrees he is jadeveon clowney, is that worthy of a top ten pick?

    • Rob Staton

      Short of a major injury or character flag emerging —- yes it’s crazy talk

  42. Gaux Hawks

    anyone know the cost to cutting Mone, Woods or Jefferson post-draft?

    were any of these guys hedges for a R2 DT (ex. Travis Jones)?

    • Rob Staton

      They aren’t going to hedge for a DT, as much as I like Jones

  43. SeattleLifer

    I just hope Petey and John don’t make some half-cocked master plan for Wilson’s replacement qb : I could see them deciding to go after a shorter qb again with the thought that said player would ‘fall’ a bit in the draft and they could again be smarter than all the other teams out there, and I would add their talking about getting a shorter center(and having Blythe who is shorter) could be a part of it all.

    Even Mayfield isn’t that tall and for all we know they still might have eyes set on bringing him in(the second chance spiel and all). We know Carroll wants to try to win now in any way and they may be thinking Mayfield with his starting experience gives them the best chance at another win or two.

    • BobbyK

      They clearly do not have an immediate plan. This draft is void of a legitimate successor to Wilson.

      Their only Plan B is to improve themselves the best they can this year to get their QB next year. But not having a QB, or choosing the wrong one, will make this potential class worthless even if they draft Cortez Kennedy, Robert Blackmon, Terry Wooden, and Chris Warren, which was a truly great group selected in 1990. If the 2022 Class can be anything close to the Class of 1990 – if they choose the wrong QB next year – it’s still the 1990s all over again.

      As much as some people want to talk themselves into this being a “rebuild,” they’re fooling themselves, imo. The Lions have been rebuilding since the middle of last century if that’s the case. Every NFL team, no matter how bad they are, has some good players. I remember when the Lions went 0-16 with Megatron. Heck, even a young Cliff Avril was on that team. And a guy like Roy Williams, who they later traded for a pair of No. 1 picks, was good, too. The Seahawks drafting a few good players this year really does no good if they don’t get a good QB.

      Pencil me in for making fun of optimism until the team gets solid QB play. I’ve followed the Dan McGwire, Rick Mirer, Stan Gelbaugh, Kelly Stouffer, Dave Krieg, Jon Kitna, Glenn Foley, John Friesz clown show. They’re guys I once was foolish enough to talk myself into thinking could lead the Seahawks. Drew Lock is the poster child of what the 1990s at QB was about with a combination of all the guys above.

      On one hand, it’s fun getting older because you learn a lot more. On the other hand, it stinks because you become more of a realist and lose (realistic) hope. And life is not as rewarding without hope. So, I am actually envious (though I’ll make fun of in my mind for not knowing any better) for those foolish enough to be excited about a season that has absolutely zero chance at a deep playoff run and no QB solution in sight. It’s very similar to Pete Carroll thinking the 2019 or 2020 Seahawks pass rush was “good enough” late each off-season. Even with two separate acquisitions prior to the start of each season – it was clear their singular move, ranging in degrees of desperation (or luck) each year, was not good enough.

      • Brik

        The Lions also had Matthew Stafford for a decade+ and rarely even made the playoffs or had winning seasons. He instantly won a Super Bowl when with the Rams. Moral of the story: There’s more to a team than just a QB.

      • Rob Staton

        I’ve been pessimistic about this team for two years and with good reason. That was proven to be a fair position to take.

        But I am optimistic now. And I don’t think there’s a sign of a lack of planning by embracing what this draft is (a building draft) while noting next years QB class is far better. To me that is a classic plan. Now I will wait to see if they execute it well.

        And that, to me, is now the new fair position to take.

        • Big Mike

          Appreciate the optimism Rob. Wish I shared it. I’m much more feeling like BobbyK does. Dying to be wrong.

      • Dingbatman

        On the other hand, it stinks because you become more of a realist and lose (realistic) hope. And life is not as rewarding without hope. So, I am actually envious (though I’ll make fun of in my mind for not knowing any better) for those foolish enough to be excited about a season that has absolutely zero chance at a deep playoff run and no QB solution in sight.

        We can become more of a realist. We can also become pessimistic curmudgeons who believe they can predict the future and making fun of another persons optimism is tantamount to yelling
        At the neighbors kids when their ball lands in your yard.

        Do I think the Seahawks will make a deep run into the playoffs? Probably not but I didn’t think that was the case last year either. I am optimistic right now, today, that the team is in a position to bring in some exciting new players and I’m looking forward to the draft. If they can become dangerous again. If they can make Century Link a place that other teams would rather not have to travel to then they will have had a successful offseason whether or not they get the quarterback of the future.

  44. Palatypus

    I wonder if Andrew Luck would sign a one year deal for $50 Million fully guaranteed.

  45. GoHawks5151

    Finally some numbers on Linderbaum from his pro day.

    • Old but Slow

      Interestingly, I posted my exercise of taking Linderbaum before I read this post. Wow, I’m good!

    • Rob Staton

      Outstanding numbers

      • Trevor

        Was really hoping he might make it to the early 2nd as a potential trade up pick for the Hawks but looks less likely now. Seems like a great building block for any OL and a plug and play guy for the next 8-10 yrs.

  46. Old but Slow

    I posited earlier the alternative at #9 as possibly a RB, simply as an exercise. Here we go again: Tyler Linderbaum, center. Definitely a reach who could last to late in the 1st or even into the 2d round. However, he is a player that some are touting as the best center to come along in some time, and could be a pro-bowl player. Very small bust risk. Position of need. A likely fixture in the line for a number of seasons. Besides being a reach, by the way, there seems to be alternative centers who are also attractive (Jergens, Strange, Tom), who will be available later.

    What’s not to like?

    Again, I prefer the edge/CB route.

  47. Justaguy

    Drafting a running back or center with the first pick. Schneider would have to be smoking crack

    • Justaguy

      meant as a reply to Old but Slow

  48. Peter

    An ugly mock using Rob’s ideas, a little from Pauline’s rankings, and some hunches.

    Two things of note. 1. I’m not a believer in just drafting a position because you need it. 2. I don’t believe in the concept of reaches. I wish i could have found a corner in this draft but until there’s a pattern of players taken with shorter wingspan I can’t find a long player that i think fits

    Round one is a trade to the teens to any team at 15,16, 17 that gives back a third and a fourth. After that i don’t care about particulars.

    1st rnd: Zion Johnson. G. Best guard I think Seattle could draft in years. Returns Lewis to RG and makes an automatic upgrade to the line.

    2nd rnd: Perrion Winfrey. DE. Rob and Tony have him averaging out here. Big enough to play End in a 3-4. Not a georgia boy but some special size speed combo nonetheless. Can play like a man possesed.

    2nd rnd: Nic Bonito. OLB. I like Taylor and Nwosu but rotation is the key to getting after it. To quote Simms incredibly “quick,” player that can win with some devastating footwork.

    3rd rnd: Cam jurgens. C. Favorite center in this draft. Just moves people down the field. Not “too,” tall but stout. Helps to build a nasty run game. Rob has him higher, Tony has him lower.

    3rd rnd: Zamir White. RB. Speaking of run game. A forward moving runner. Rarely bounces outside. Grown man.

    4th rnd: Darrian Beavers. LB. Longer more explosive Cody Barton. Looks to me, like the KJ Wright style eraser Seattle misses.

    4th rnd: Michael Clemons. DE? OLB? Mr. Clemons has erratic tape but awesome highlights. Rarely stops. Hates to lose. Yin to Shelby Harris’ yang. Both love to win. Plays to ruin the other team’s day.

    5th rnd. Percy Butler. S. Actually a pretty good safety which Seattle will most likely need. Great special teams.

    5th. rnd. Obinna Eze. T. Forget Charles Cross at nine overall. Eze is long and has amazing arm length. He’s not explosive but has tons of tackle experience in different systems. Great swing tackle prospect.

    • SoZ

      Nice work. I don’t know if it’s too optimistic but fans could get excited about a draft like this. Looks like with Linderbaum’s pro day we will have to choose him or Johnson in the teens?

      • Peter

        Thanks. No doubt about Linderbaum. I think he’s good. A little worried about his arm length.

  49. CaptainJack

    I wanted to do my own mock draft for just the top ten picks (anymore is too hard for me, and I’ll end up just copying other mocks to fill out the back half of round 1, lol). I will also provide a brief justification.

    1. Jaguars – Ikem Okwonu, NC state

    The jaguars have Cam Robinson to play left tackle and signed Brandon Scherff to fill in at right guard, but left guard is a gaping hole on the Jacksonville roster. If you have questions about Hutchinson’s stubby arms, mediocre pressure percentage and possible sack stat inflation due to playing across the potentially better pro player Ojabo, selecting a slam dunk left guard first overall might not be crazy. Lawrence struggled with pressure his rookie season especially up the middle of the oline. From the perspective of Doug Pederson, why not send a message to your young franchise qb that protecting him is the number 1 priority?
    I recently watched some Ikey tape and by far, this was the most fun tape of any oline I’ve seen in awhile.

    2. Detroit – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

    A year ago, Detroit prioritized the trenches by drafting Penei Sewell, a player with excellent tape but questionable athletic and physical measurements. I thought they could take Walker here but he’s that exact opposite of that, so they go with Hutchinson instead.

    3. Houston – Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

    This is a difficult pick to project because the Texans have needs pretty much everywhere on the roster. They could go any direction. In 2014 Lovie Smith chose mike evans and that worked out pretty well for Tampa long term. The texans could also look at the massive impact Jamarr Chase had in Cincinnatti last year and be influenced by that. Wilson may not seem a top five talent to many on this blog but in this day and age, good receivers go early.

    4. New York Jets – Evan Neal, Alabama

    I know lots of people expect Selah to go defense here but… Becton has been a massive disappointment for New York and they have George Fant! slotted in as the starting right tackle right now. If they want to give Zach Wilson any chance to succeed this season, they need to keep upgrading the oline. Alijah Vera-Tucker looks to be a guard in the pros. Evan Neal can fix their problem at left tackle and perhaps Becton can try again at right tackle.

    5. New York Giants – Travon Walker, Georgia

    I’m sure Daboll would love to draft Neal, but Walker could fit well in the NYG 3-4 Defense playing with Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Willams.

    6. Carolina – Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

    Carolina desperately needs oline help. The top two options are off the board. Charles Cross is limited. The Panthers “reached” last year for a player they like in Jaycee Horn, and they do the same here for a high ceiling small school prospect.

    7. New York Giants – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

    New York needs linebacker help but the value isn’t good enough to take Lloyd. Maybe Hamilton can contribute in a hybrid linebacker/safety role. People forget he was considered a top five talent before an average combine. The value here is good and this could be a team fit.

    8. Atlanta – Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

    Rumors are that Thibodeux is going to fall out of the top five. Atlanta has no pass rush right now and Johnson could be the more confident pick for a variety of reasons.

    9. Seattle – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

    If Thibodeaux falls this far it’s hard to imagine seattle passing this opportunity up.

    10. Jets – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

    Jets get a steal here and Selah adds a potential “shutdown” corner that reminds some scouts of Richard Sherman.

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