Is Joel Bitonio a first round option for the Seahawks?

I’d not watched any Nevada games live during the 2013 season and my access to the Senior Bowl was somewhere between non existent and limited this year.

After the combine, I felt obliged to make Joel Bitonio one of the first players I studied.

He’d gained a little momentum in Mobile as the only tackle who had success against Dee Ford. He followed it up by making a major statement at the combine on Saturday.

Here’s what he achieved:

— An official 4.97 forty yard dash, trailing only Taylor Lewan (4.87), Greg Robinson (4.92) and Trai Turner (4.93).

— The second best vertical jump (32 inches) by an offensive lineman. That topped Jake Matthews (30), Lewan (30) and Robinson (28.5).

— A 9.6 broad jump — again ranking second. Only Lewan beat him with a 9.9. Robinson managed a 9.5.

— The third highest three cone drill at 7.37 seconds. Gabe Ikard (7.30) and Matthews (7.34) were the only two to beat him. Lewan had a 7.39 and Robinson a 7.80.

— The third highest short shuttle at 4.44 seconds. Ikard had a 4.37 while Charles Leno Jr had a 4.40. Matthews had the 7th best shuttle and Lewan the 9th. Robinson was way down at #32.

The only area he didn’t grade in the top five was the bench press — managing 22 reps. In comparison Robinson had 32, Lewan 29 and Matthews 24. So he was still in touching distance.

Last years #1 pick Eric Fisher had 27 reps on the bench. Luke Joeckel also managed 27, while Lane Johnson had 28. Nate Solder had 21 reps in 2011

Bitonio’s 22 reps is hardly a cause for criticism.

He measured at 6-4 and 302lbs with 33 and 7/8 inch arms. He’s not freakishly long like Robinson or Morgan Moses, but his arm length compares favourably to Lewan (33 and 7/8’s) and Matthews (33 and 3/8’s).

Essentially, he stands up to all of the top offensive tackles in this class on a physical level. He doesn’t just match up in a couple of categories, we’re talking every single one.

How can we ignore that?

Think of all the praise heaped on Robinson and Lewan for their performance at the combine. Bitonio’s right up there with them.

Of course, it doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily play as well those guys — even if he’s a carbon copy athlete.

So I put on the tape.

Nevada played Florida State and UCLA in 2013 — perfect opponents for a critique.

The BCS Champs with a collection of top recruits on the defensive line.

The Bruins — one of the PAC-12’s best and with a prospective first round pass rusher in Anthony Barr.

How did he do? Judge for yourself:

I kept waiting for the moment where he’d be exposed. The play that showed him up as just a physical specimen without the skills to stand up to 2014’s top tackles.

That moment never arrived.

At one point in the UCLA video, he got beat by Barr and basically tried to tackle him to the ground in desperation. A couple of plays later (around the 5:10 mark in the video above) he drives him deep into the end zone from the 5-yard line. The rest of the offensive line was stuffed at the LOS.

Talk about a comeback.

Here’s what I think he showed on tape…

— Finishes blocks with attitude. Never oversteps the mark but makes his presence felt when going 1v1. Plays through the whistle. Shows plenty of tenacity.

— An ability to mirror and ride off speed rushers. Knows how to use a DE’s speed to his advantage, and will let them run themselves out of the play.

— When he gets his hands on a pass rusher, he’s able to contain and not give up too much ground. Maintains the pocket even when he loses a couple of steps.

— Takes any opportunity to advance to the second level. At times he might be a little too quick to progress and could play with more control, but it’s difficult not to respect any offensive lineman with this level of determination to get to the next level.

— Impressive lateral quickness. Bodes well if he ends up in a ZBS.

— Technique has room for improvement. Looks a bit grabby. Russell Okung had the same issues. He’ll be even better when he gets his hands straight on and into the right areas. Not the lankiest tackle, so he can make leverage work to his advantage with better hand placement.

— Good leg drive. Can push the pile in short yardage situations and also open up gaps for longer runs.

There’s a ton to work with here.

A lot of the talk is he could convert to guard at the next level. I’d love to see him get a shot at tackle, left or right.

To quote Mike Mayock from the combine, “I’d make him prove he couldn’t play on the left side first”.

I ran a Google search to find out more about his character and kept reading the same things. He’s a leader. Outstanding character and work ethic. Responsible individual.

I searched Youtube for an interview. Notice the Russell Wilson style quote early on about “improving every day”…

I’m not sure what else we need to see here to take this guy very seriously.

Interestingly, Tony Pauline had some further information on Bitonio’s stock today

“I’ve learned two things about Bitonio since Saturday; 1) the feeling is he’s cemented himself as a second round pick and 2) he’s going to be drafted at offensive guard and not a tackle. The latter surprised me a bit. Though I initially graded Bitonio as a guard I thought his performance at the Senior Bowl, primarily the fact he was the only one able to stop Dee Ford, would’ve given him more consideration at left tackle.”

So according to Pauline, he’s likely a second round pick at worst.

I’m starting to wonder if he could be an option for the Seahawks at #32…

— Outstanding physical talent as we discussed earlier in the piece. He has as much athletic upside as any tackle in this class, with the possible exception of Greg Robinson.

— He has the required athleticism to work in the ZBS. His desire to reach the second level and good lateral mobility are a big positive here.

— Tom Cable, like most offensive line coaches, loves a player who finishes and plays with attitude. He also likes players that perhaps aren’t quite the finished article. In the past that’s meant drafting for potential later in the draft or during UDFA. This year, the latest project might be a first or second round pick.

— Bitonio’s versatility should also be taken seriously. Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey have both been praised for their ability to play guard and tackle. While other teams want to define roles and limit versatility on the OL — rotation and being able to play multiple spots appears to be a positive thing when it comes to the Seahawks.

If Pauline’s right and he’s receiving a firm grade in the second round, is it such a stretch to think Seattle would be prepared to take him with the last pick in round one?

It’s possible. Let’s not get too carried away here, but nobody can argue he doesn’t tick a lot of boxes. It’s certainly worth further tape study over the next few weeks. It’s a legit talking point.

There are enough teams in this draft that need a tackle or guard and Bitonio could get caught up in the first round rush. It’s not just within the top ten this year, Miami (#19), Arizona (#20) and Carolina (#28) are all expected to target the offensive line.

Who knows — he might not be there for the Seahawks.

But if they are open to going OL early, I think he could be a serious candidate for that first pick.

Examples of ‘Seahawky’ prospects

(including players who only have a slim shot of lasting into the 20-32 range)

Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Fiercely competitive, X-factor playmaker as a return man and receiver. High points the football better than anyone in this class. Impeccable character. Terrific athlete with strong bloodlines. Big hands.

Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
Relentless pass rusher who consistently has an impact. Plays with an edge. Leads by example and the heartbeat of everything Pittsburgh did in 2013. Blew up the combine with his athleticism.

Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
Unbelievable physical skills — amazing athlete who compares to the top offensive tackles in this class. Gritty offensive lineman you just know Tom Cable will appreciate. Versatile.

Stephon Tuitt (DE, Notre Dame)
Massive defensive lineman. Freakish size but when healthy still moves well. Can line up inside or out. Capable of commanding blockers on one side, helping to shut down the run.

Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
In terms of SPARQ, you have to respect Moncrief’s numbers. Not everyone’s ideal pick but in a way that alone makes him kind of ‘Seahawky’. Ran a 4.40, had a 39.5 vertical and a 1.50 10 yard split. Managed 11-0 on the broad jump.

Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
Length and ball skils. The end. Seahawks style corner. Only 6-3 Keith McGill had longer arms among the defensive backs. Ran a 4.37 and had a cluster of interceptions in 2013. Also an accomplished return man.

Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
Long defensive tackle (6-6, 310lbs with +34 inch arms). Former basketball player and it showed with a 35.5 inch vertical. Needs coaching but that wouldn’t bother Seattle.

Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)
It’s just a shame he couldn’t run the forty. He had a 42 vertical and 10.10 broad jump. That’s insane. Also managed a 6.91 three cone and benched 25 reps at 6-1 and 237lbs. It’s not a stretch to predict he has 4.4 speed.

Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
Pete Carroll likes size at receiver — and he doesn’t have ‘his guy’ right now. He entertains the concept of winning when you get off the bus. Benjamin doesn’t have Megatron athleticism, but he’s enormous and physical. You can win with a guy like this in the red zone.

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  1. Attyla the Hawk

    Welcome to the club mate!

    I am unabashedly high on Bitonio. Although I do think he’s not likely to come off the board until late 2nd round. Mainly, I don’t see non ZBS teams really coveting his athletic/agility gifts. He’s not a great man/power blocking prospect.

    I too can see him manning the right tackle spot. Or the left guard spot. He’s more versatile in a scheme like ours. I’d consider his pass pro to be superior to Sweezy. But he really does remind you of Sweezy in his quick feet and ability to position/seal players quickly.

    I look at his tape against top tier competition and I see a perfect fit for our zone stretch run. This is a guy who can create creases for our backs.

    • Rob Staton

      This would be just such a Seahawks-type move to grab him in the first.

      And guard or tackle, there’s a lot to like here.

      • Eli

        Love me some ‘Pit Bull’, could answer the questions: what are we gonna do at LG or RT, should Breno bolt? This cat is a tenacious and is just what we need in the trench warfare that the NFC West has become.

    • Belgaron

      I could easily see this happening at 32. As a unit, the Oline was the weakest part of the team last year, particularly in terms of talent depth. It wouldn’t shock me if several of the first 5 draft choices went to this group. They need some ‘next guys up’ there who could win the job if given the opportunity. Wilson will give them great gifts if they can give him more time in 2014.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I don’t see several OL picks. If we take one at R1 or R2, that’s probably the end of the OL selections. I definitely don’t see us doubling down on offensive linemen this draft.

        One thing to really be mindful of, is the established truth that this scheme takes about 12-18 months to learn. It’s not just Alex Gibbs making that statement. Really, this is presumed by the majority of coaches who teach this scheme.

        The lack of talent on the line is going to be buffeted strongly by Bailey and Bowie. Both players got tossed into the fire a bit prematurely. But the talent is undeniably there. They should be at a point where they have mastered the system enough to really compete for starting spots.

        Sweezy isn’t going away. He’s pretty much the Chris Gray of this teams OL. A guy fans can’t wait to replace but a guy who the coaches value highly. I can’t see a feasible scenario where he is replaced this year — whether by B&B or by a drafted lineman. I expect that the coaches grade on him is much much higher than us on the outside.

        Opportunity along the line is limited. B&B are probably going to dominate any upgrading that is to be done. Finding depth to replace them will be important. But also hedging against injury or the possibility that one of those 2 guys from last year just doesn’t take that next step. The OL isn’t in such dire need as one might think. Although it will be suffering from insufficient depth. And that’s a concern since usually your top 8 OL players have a significant role in the course of a season.

        • Nolan


        • dave crockett

          Love the Chris Gray analogy.

        • xo 1

          The one area where I can see the Hawks taking a second shot at is center. If the Fat Rabbit hasn’t shown sufficient potential to be considered a possible replacement and if Lem isn’t thought to be that guy, I suspect the Hawks would love to start developing Unger’s successor. With a center, that doesn’t have to be a high pick guy. In fact, it could be an UDFA. But Unger’s performance has been uneven and his salary is large. As valuable as stability is on the line generally and at center in particular, that seems like a hot spot for John Schneider’s three-year plan.

        • Belgaorn

          From what I’ve seen, they are very high on Bowie’s upside and they like Bailey a lot. That said, you have to understand that their ongoing philosophy is that if a player that they thought could come in and out compete any of their offensive linemen in camp including–not only B&B but Unger and Okung, they would draft/sign/trade for them. I agree they have high hopes for all the guys they have but they like to have the problem of more talent that roster spots available.

          That’s not to say they’ve earmarked 32 & 64 for Oline. They don’t work that way and they don’t know who will slide to them. But if they feel that is the best opportunity to upgrade the team, they are not afraid to go Oline with both of those picks.

    • CC

      Great stuff as always Rob and right there with you Attyla! This guy is on my list of OL that had the look of a Seahawk lineman. I may have read that he had some zone blocking experience – or maybe that was Wesley Johnson can’t remember now.

      It seems like there are several good lower first/second round tackles who could be long term starters. I’ve said this before – poor Rob is probably sick or reading it – but in this year’s draft OL at 32 wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    • Geoff U

      Except since we have the last pick in the second round (woo! Super Bowl!!), we’d probably have to trade up…

  2. Ben

    Who out of the “Seahawky”” players do you see lasting to 32?

    • Rob Staton

      Possibly none of them.

      The most likely? Bitonio, Tuitt and Moncrief.

  3. Colin

    I’d be really happy if Seattle took him at 32. He’s got some major chips in his favor.

  4. Ben

    If you’re adding guys like Aaron Donald and Justin Gilbert in your “Seahawky prospects” you may as well add Mike Evans.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m taking the view that Evans is an established top 10-12 pick. Gilbert and Donald have been anywhere from 10-32 the last few weeks and are now getting bumped up because of the combine.

  5. MJ

    Great stuff Rob. Very intriguing guy, indeed. I still have real hesitation going OL in the 1st round but this guy does seem extremely Seahawky.

    Have you done anymore research on Troy Niklas? He’s a really raw talent and won’t blow anybody away with straight line speed, but I love the strength/size. We are talking 3rd tackle type blocking potential and he can really get up (good vert for his size). Talk about a potential RZ nightmare who can demolish in the run game.

    This is by far the most intriguing year regarding Seattle’s 1st rounder. I’m simply bracing myself to be shocked as a trade up, trade back, draft a random prospect, etc, all seem equally likely. Will be fun to watch go down and I’m sure many of us will scream “what the hell are they thinking,” only to be fine with the decision when the season happens.

    • Rob Staton

      My concern is… the idea of having Troy Niklas on your team might be better than the reality.

      He’s in fantastic shape with superb size at 270lbs. He looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch model. But is he a difference making athlete or just a big tight end? Is he capable of becoming a better catcher in traffic?

      For me he isn’t a brilliant blocker right now — a quality he’s often credited with, because it’s assumed bigger tight end = great blocker. That needs work.

      Is he going to be a modest production, makes a few plays here and there type — or can he add a genuinely useful dimension to the offense like some of the new age TE’s have done around the league?

      He has 10 inch hands, long arms. 32 inch vertical isn’t too shabby (similar to Kelvin Benjamin). I fear he runs in the 4.8’s though.

      It’s one of the toughest positions to judge and that’s why I think we see so few TE’s go in round one. I’ll continue to work on Niklas. I want to see him run at his pro-day.

      • rrsquid

        Good point. We’ve heard in the past that PC/JS use a system that evaluates draft choices against the current roster. Is Niklas as an upgrade over McCoy/Willson (or Miller) better than Bitonio over Giacomini/Sweezy/RT?

        I think it will make a huge difference by what happens in free agency. Currently assuming Rice and/or Bryant being cut, I think those would be highest priority. If Giacomini isn’t resigned that will mean the priorities will need to be re-evaluated. There’s still a lot to happen before the draft.

      • AlaskaHawk

        There is no point in drafting a tight end in the first round when we barely pass to the tight ends we got. Now if they decide to change the plays and use them in the red zone, I would be rooting to get Troy Niklas.

        • dtrain

          If you watch tape, though, he is a good blocker. It is hard to define great TEs blocking at any level because of the edge dynamic…sometimes guys look like they are just shielding defenders (ASJ gets accused of this a lot). There is a wide open gap to the outside that edge rushers fly into…it makes a good block look like an over-extension sometimes by the TE…Niklas drive blocks dudes past the LOS more often than not. He IS an excellent blocker and a developing target. Not a 1st rounder, though…just because the position of TE is so undervalued (franchise tags are pretty low for the very best). I like him in the 2nd though!

          • dtrain

            I think the best way to evaluate a TE’s blocking ability is when the QB is under center. It makes the DE accountable to set a good edge. Niklas performs at a high level in those scenarios.

  6. KyleT

    I agree that this is exactly the type of pick they would make in the first round. Let Bitonio and Bowie battle it out for RT in training camp, with LG as the consolation prize. Whoever we pick in the first round will check all of the top-tier athlete boxes and this guy definitely does.

    I do have Antonio Richardson higher on my board, just because I think there is tremendous upside there as well, and he is a beast physically. But perhaps I should swap these two. I’m curious your thoughts on which of the two you would prefer or you would think the Seahawks would prefer?

    • Rob Staton

      Personally, I prefer Bitonio. Richardson has a lot of upside but the medical concern lingers too much. Plus his effort was all over the place last year. No such concerns with Bitonio, who looks a better player on tape too.

      • Michael M.

        Bitonio seems like the better scheme fit as well, while Richardson would be a good fit for someone like the 49ers.

        • Rob Staton


  7. Emperor_MA

    We’ve talked a bit about Derek Carr in your last blog post, Rob. I’m thinking we might be seeing Mr. Carr at #32, right after the Seahawks trade back a few spots so some QB-needy team can come up and grab him before Houston, St. Louis, Jacksonville or Cleveland does with one of the first four picks of round two. Let’s them lock up a potential franchise QB for that extra year, too, that they would be able to get in round two.

    We then get Bitonio with that early round two pick and add another round five pick for our trouble.

    • Emperor_MA

      BTW, if you’re wondering, I see that team being Oakland.

      • Emperor_MA

        Or perhaps Tampa Bay.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’ll be extremely difficult to trade down from #32. None of the Super Bowl winners have traded down since they made day 1-round 1 only.

          Essentially, a lot of teams have wrapped up for the day when Seattle’s on the clock. If you were looking to move up to make an aggressive move for a QB (or anything else), you’re not waiting until the last pick and therefore the last chance to do it before the draft stops for the night. Last year Minnesota moved from #51 up to #29 with New England, for a 3rd, 4th and 7th. New England have the 29th pick again this year. There’s every chance that could be a dealing spot for any team trying to get back into the first.

          The fact there’s a break also lends itself to taking a step back, assessing the boards and making calls. The only reason you’d have to get Seattle’s pick is because you fear what Houston will do at #33. Presuming Houston takes a quarterback in round one, I’m not sure Seattle’s pick is one you have to get.

          The only way I see it being viable is if Seattle wishes to make a token gesture trade. Flip 5ths with a team to move down to #40 for example. I’d argue the total worth of a deal like that isn’t worth doing unless you really believe you’re guy (or guys) will be there at #40.

          I expect Seattle to use the #32 pick, and explore the possibility of trading down from #64.

          • Emperor_MA

            I agree for the most part. But I do see a scenario where perhaps Houston does not take a QB in round one, and neither does Jacksonville. The Rams are a wild card as far as taking a QB is concerned and if the draft falls just right, the Browns may take a Sammy Watkins at #4 and perhaps slipping star on the defensive side at #26. Teams keeping their eye on the situation wouldn’t even know what had really happened until pick #27 is on the clock …. that’s not much time before pick #32.

            We’d have a few teams in a row at the top of round two that might be looking at a QB, which could force someone’s hand, like Oakland or Tampa Bay if they don’t think Glennon is the answer, or perhaps Minnesota.

            • Rob Staton

              I think any of those teams looking to get back into round one will be talking to the clubs they might be dealing with long before draft day. They’ll know the score.

              Waiting until the last pick of the night just seems very unlikely and neither is it a great leverage position. If you’re talking to New Orleans at #27, you can walk away from a deal. At #32 if you felt you ‘had’ to have the pick, you’re pretty screwed. And that’s another thing teams will be considering here.

              I could be wrong, but I think the only way Seattle deals this pick is if they are willing to trade at all costs, surrendering the #32 pick for a relative pittance because they feel confident their guy will still be there 10 picks down the line. It’s hard to get excited about a deal like that.

              • Kris

                I think another thing to consider is the 5th year team option for 1st rounders, which may be more valuable than an additional late round pick.

          • rrsquid

            I’d love to see Seattle trade with NE #29 for #32 & #128 (or whatever after comps are handed out.) Then casually leak that another team was interested in the guy they chose. To me that would be worth it just to hear about the chaos in the 49ers front office. 😀

            • Rob Staton

              I want the Niners to fall in love with Odell Beckham Jr, and I want Seattle to jump ahead of them to take him. That would be very satisfying.

              (I doubt OBJ makes it to the late 20’s, in all seriousness…)

  8. kevin mullen

    Not a fan, I think our resources are better invested in elsewhere. I’d almost say if he were “our first pick” then hopefully we had traded down to another second and third of sorts. OLine investment in this year’s draft would be sort of a waste, I feel there’s plenty of impact positions like DE or WR (preferably WR) that we could use as our first pick, hell I’d almost go CB or QB before OLine with that pick.

    I see the argument but I think our teachers are better with less investment. We need an impact guy from the get go.

    • Rob Staton


      • kevin mullen

        Why not grab a QB in the 4th or so, maybe stockpile him for a couple years, hopefully trade bait him for more draft picks?

        No more 4th RD WR for Schniedy, he’s lost his privileges. Say Logan Thomas is there, kinda enticing to grab him for future draft picks should we develop and hype him up in a couple seasons. One thing I’ve learned from this FO, they’re willing to stockpile and redshirt guys for future needs/potential deals. I think there’s always a market for QB’s, just depends on the hype.

        • Kyle N

          I think Rob was mostly referring to your statement that you’d prefer a QB with our first pick instead of OL. Not the 4th round..

        • Belgaron

          I think Schneider has earn the right to wiff on a few, if he likes a WR in the 4th, he should have all our blessings.

    • Belgaorn

      They are not going to be beholden to any “draft strengths” or “positional strengths”, if there is an OLine prospect they like and he would represent the greatest potential investment in the team, he’ll be the pick.

  9. Ray

    Well I must admit I’m surprised not to find Brent Urban listed among your ” seahawky” prospects. To my mind he might be the ultimate seahawky out there. After listening to you thump his tub for weeks now I’ve looked him over pretty good and must say I love what I see here. I’m trying to figure out why he wasn’t included but gotta admit you got me stumped. I’m kinda blown away how all over the map this guy is in all the draft projections I’m seeing but I know he’s legit cause you got him going to N.E. In your mock first round. What’s up Rob, the intrigue is killin me! Lol

    • Rob Staton

      Just trying to mix it up a little bit. I’ve talked a lot about Urban, to the extent I think everyone knows I like him and do see him as an option. I could’ve added 3-4 more names to the list and he could’ve been one.

      • Ray

        Thanks for the quick reply! Can’t wait for his pro day!

      • AlaskaHawk

        I like it when you mix things up! Thanks for keeping your site going – I look forward to reading each new article.

  10. Bubba Gill

    Rob I think we found our big bodied WR, the CFL’s 2012 rookie of the year, 6’5 228lbs and he is already signed. Chris Mathews2 years of JUCO and 2 years at Kentucky, what were your thoughts on him in 2011, anyways heres the video on him.

    • Rob Staton

      I appreciate the video Bubba but I can honestly say I don’t remember him from 2011 even if I scouted him at the time. He’s a future’s guy. Most of those don’t stick. Every now and again there’s a gem. I don’t think we should get our hopes up.

  11. Ben2

    Just saw a Pat Kirwan cbs mock draft that had the Hawks taking Yankey from Stanford. What a joke.

    • Rob Staton

      He must be helping out his pal Pete Carroll, throwing everyone off scent…

      One scan of Yankey’s stats from the combine tell us everything we need to know. 1.) He’s not a first round talent 2.) He’s especially not the type of player Seattle goes after in round one.

      • Ben2

        Exactly – he’s not special athletically, ie not a seahawk 1st rounder. Maybe Kiwan had a memory lapse and thought Ruskell was still our GM (doesn’t Yankey just scream “Ruskell 1st rounder?!”)

      • CC

        You’re so right Rob! That guy as a SEA pick doesn’t make any sense!

  12. Stuart

    Do you think the Hawks offer Breno a new contract? If so, how much is he worth?

    Last season was around 4-M. Do you think he would resign for 2 years at 7-M? Could it be structured with 2-M up front with a base of 2.5 per year?

    That appears to be a win/win. A player could feel the offer is lower than they wanted but getting the 2-M buys an awful lot of feel good…

    • Rob Staton

      I think a deal for 2-$7m makes some sense. Those numbers seem fair.

      I hope they re-sign him personally. And if they do, it maybe decreases the chances of OL in round one. Although Bitonio is considered a guard project by many.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I expect Seattle to let him test the market. Remember, this is his 3rd contract. So he really needs to maximize it.

      We are pretty good at letting guys try to earn everything they can. But keep the lines of communication open so that we can resign them. It doesn’t necessarily mean we let him flounder in UFA either. Remember we let Bryant test the market and then pretty much matched the best offer from the Pats.

  13. LantermanC

    How far would Cyrus Koundjio have to fall before the Seahawks considered making a Jesse Williams of him and giving him a redshirt year? Or is he not very Seahawky?

    • Jon

      probably late 4 or early 5 (oaklands pick). I don’t see it happening any earlier than round 4 pick 32. Could be much later. A lot of teams have taken him completely off the board. The Hawks have the ability to redshirt and forsight to do so that many teams do not. (SF is another team that does this)

  14. Justin M

    Sold. I read the article. Reserved my opinion, then watched the tape. He looked great on tape and in the combine.

    I am a firm believer that you draft players based on need/ upgrade/ skills etc not where they are mocked to go. With that said would you try trading back into beginning of second round and pick up a third rounder if this is your guy? Or draft him at 32?

    • Ben2

      I think you want to trade back, but like Rob has reiterated many times, a team wanting to trade back up does it before #32 rolls around. They’re probably won’t be any deals on the table for our pick.

  15. seahawks509

    Ryan Shazier is really starting to interest me. You think he can play Leo? He seems like another Irvin type of player.

    • Rob Staton

      Not LEO but definitely the WILL.

      • red

        Hi Rob you think Morgan Breslin can be a fit for Seahawk defense? not sure he would fit the leo at 6’1 250 but plays a lot with his hand down don’t see him as a 34 linebacker. A lot of people had him first round coming into the year until he had the hip injury.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not crazy about him to be fair based on 2013 tape.

  16. Jrockrichards

    Bitonio the new Russian eh?

    Looks the part on tape.

  17. bigDhawk

    I liked the Truitt pick, and I like Bitonio also. I’m curious, though. While reading the list of Bitonio’s attribute’s I couldn’t help but notice that every single one of those items could be applied to my boy Billy Turner as well, especially the parts about ZBS-friendly lateral agility, being a wrecking ball in the second level, playing to the whistle with attitude and nastiness, and needing some coaching with the hands and feet.

    I like Billy better than any O-lineman in this draft not named Greg Robinson. I know I’m on an island with that. But supposing we get Truitt or a receiver at 32 and Bitonio goes mid-2nd, would Billy be a reasonable Bitonio comp for us to take at 64 or early in the 3rd if we move back from that pick? (Shamelessly trying to get him in a Seahawks uniform any way I can.)

    • Kenny Sloth

      He didn’t do much for himself at the combine coming in at or below average in almost every category. He flashes on tape against far weaker competition. I struggle to grade him higher than the mid 3rd. He got away with a lot of sloppy play, but I don’t think he’ll succeed at the next level.

    • Rob Staton

      Billy Turner didn’t have anywhere near the success Bitonio had at the Senior Bowl, and he wasn’t rated among the top OL physically on the consistent level Bitonio was at the combine either.

  18. Cysco

    In other fantastic news, the 2014 cap will be set at $133m. That’s great news for the Hawks. I imagine we’ll see a lot of news and signings start rolling in once it’s official tomorrow.

    • CC

      This is so huge for SEA! Could this be the continuation of a great February 2014? Everyone has talked about us not being able to keep everyone, but with the few cuts of the big contracts (Red, Sid, likely Zach and Clem – or restructure) there is enough to get Bennett and Tate signed within reason, and hopefully to extend Sherm and Earl!

  19. Madmark

    Actually this guy make a lot of sense the next better version of Paul McQuintan.

  20. red

    So Riley Cooper gets a new 5 year 25mil contract. So I am thing maybe 5 year 28-30 mil for Tate.

    • EranUngar

      could work…

      10M bonus, 5 years 1m guarantied plus base at 1m 2m 3m 4m 5m. makes it a 30M for 5 years, 15M guarantied total, with an option to let go after 3 with 6M dead money and saving 9M if anything goes wrong. 2014 cap 4M.

      • Jon

        Don’t think he will get 10 m bonus. Kam got 5 m bonus last year on a 5 year deal, that seems to be the Seahawks going signing bonus of 1 m per year. The guarantee on a 5/30 is probably around 12 m + or -. This includes the Signing bonus, and the base salary in year 1 (1.5 m) and 2 (5.5 m). (1.5 base + 5.5 base +5 signing = 12 m guaranteed). Then at the end of year 2 you have 3 m left in dead money from the signing bonus and 18 m left in base money. I would work it like this years 3 and 4 (5.5 m) and year six (7 m)
        Contract per year would be:
        2014 1.5 m base + 1 m of sign bonus = 2.5 m cap (this season guarantee)
        2015 5.5 m base + 1 m of sign bonus = 6.5 m cap (this season guarantee)
        2016 5.5 m base + 1 m of sign bonus = 6.5 m cap (3 m dead)
        2017 5.5 m base + 1 m of sign bonus = 6.5 m cap (2 m dead)
        2015 7 m base + 1 m of sign bonus = 8 m cap (1 m dead)

    • Rob Staton

      Sounds fair to me.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I feel sorry for Doug Baldwin. He is worth as much at Tate but will probably only get 2 million next year, and maybe never offered more. Eventually we will either have to pay him or he will leave. I really want both players to stay.

  21. Ulsterman

    Rob, fellow UK Seahawks fan here who’s been browsing this site for ages, just wanted to say it’s a ggreat read every day. Just reading some of the combine profiles I thought bitonio sounded like an option, would be happy with this pick.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the kind words.

  22. Dan

    If he’s projected to go late to mid second, I can certainly see the FO trading out of the first to stockpile picks (typical Schneider). That is, unless, someone’s still on the board that they really like.

    • Dan

      Ideally, you end the second round with a tall WR and a versatile OL in my opinion. I could realistically see the Hawks grabbing Coleman with an early 2nd round pick after trading back, and then praying that Bitonio lasts until #64. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

      • Kyle N

        Or better yet – we stay where we are and snag Benjamin + Bitonio in the early 3rd after trading our 2nd.

  23. Ukhawk

    Rob, really like “Seahawky” specific candidate list, couple of thoughts I’d love to hear feedback on:
    -loving the below big board which proves interesting, and begs question whether the R1 “Seahawky” list is complete….
    -should the following be added as R1 Seahawky candidates: Martin, Sau’filo, Moses, Jernigan, ASJ as well as guys who could fall namely Ealy & Lee?? Or are they not good fits?
    -how much does JSPC build their board from the “bottom up” rather than the “top down”? Ie, in a deep WR & OL class, do they shift to different priorities in the earlier rounds to get specific value targets later?
    -looking at the depth of this big board, lots of guys in lower rounds scream “Seahawky” too, I’m even more excited about guys rated in rounds 4+, how about Seahawky value in Jeffcoat, Henderson, Jones, Colvin, Lyerla?!?!

    • Rob Staton

      I didn’t want to add too many names. I think you can add Lee, ASJ (potentially) and maybe Ealy. Lee is ultra competitive, ASJ is a former 5-star recruit who hasn’t worked out yet and Ealy had a blistering three cone.

      I believe they build their board on, “which are the positions we can make the greatest upgrade using the players available in this draft.”

      Jeffcoat has some injury flags. Lyerla won’t get drafted IMO. Colin is one to monitor.

      • Ukhawk

        Read my mind on ASJ, Lee & Ealy
        The other OL/DL listed are strong possibilities based on #32 spot
        With current depth, hope JSPC continue to swing for the fences on late picks…
        Jeffcoat is a great LEO candidate despite the injury risk
        Love the idea of drafting guys like Lyerla basically on a prove it contract
        Henderson while underwhelming at RT, might be physically sick at OG if motivated

  24. Madmark

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Seattle really needs to brings back Breno for 2 more years. It makes to much sense. He is the nasty temper this line needs and he has done great. He is for no better word ,a Tom Cable guy. I not hide the fact that I think Tom Cable is one of my favorite coaches.
    When he was fired as Head Coach of the Raiders I was thrill to see him hired here. This guy took the Raiders to an 8-8 year in his 1st year and only year. The Raiders of course were a mess before he took over and there still a mess today but they looked good with Cable coaching them for a year.
    He comes here and Gallery follows not so much to play I think but to help teach the ZBS to new players eventually Zach Miller would be added.
    This line looks really good right now but we will continue to have injuries and depth is really important here. Okung injuried this year, Carpenter injuried last year and year before that, terrible shape and a big question mark this year. Sweezy looks like he’s got the RG spot, and I’ve already talked about Breno already. Unger was Injuried last year But Jeanpiere fill in nicely would like to resign him if its a good deal but not super necessary since Fat Rabbit is being trained as C and G. Now we get the 7th and a UDFA in Bowie and Bailey and What a great surprise they turned out to be. They’ve been thrown into the fire this year and now have the experience to move forward.
    Now we get one of the unsung heros I believe. That player is Paul Mcquinstan who made 5.8 million dollars and he earn every cent. He wasn’t the best player at a position but he filled in everywhere when needed and with the injuries I mention he played a lot. Its this position I want to draft for and I think we could cement this line for a while.
    I liked a Zack Martin here but he just proved himself in the senior bowl that he’ll be long gone before 32. Then I was looking at Xavier Su’a-Filo G from UCLA. This Joel Bitonio Sounds much better. No matter what whoever we grab for this role its going to take them a year learning the ZBS and some reps in game. This guy is more athletic and can play T or G cost a lot less than 5.8 million dollars.
    My cuts for offense are McQuinstan, Rice, and Miller. Questin mark are Anthony McCoy, Breno Giacomini and Golden Tate ?
    My cuts for defense is Browner, Bryant Clemons and Walter Thurmond(He’s going FA). The others question marks as to how much they’ll want and get. My question mark players are Bennet, McDaniels, and McDonald( He’ll probably go FA).
    I say get Jared Allen and Everson Griffin on a 2 year contract, try to resign Bennet but if not resign McDaniels if possible? I like Justin Ellis DT in the 5th round powerfully strong.
    Last year we spent a 1st round pick for WR and this year I feel alright at round 2 and that could be Brandon Coleman or if not there Donte Moncrief. I’m still working on my 4th round pick and have no clue for 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks yet.

  25. Jon

    So what would be better than Bennet, Clemons, and Bryant in 2013?

    I have an idea that would never work. How about Bennet, Brian Orakpo, and Lamar Houston in 2014. We don’t end up with Tate but could you even imagine the next four years of our D-Line with those players. hahaha, pipedream. oh well.

  26. Spencer Duncan

    Hey Rob, recently read on rotoworld that Dion Jordan would be available for a second. Obviously that’s speculation, but if he was available for a second round pick, would it be worth bringing him in to try him out as a Leo? One of the main reasons he struggled to see the field was lack of position in Miami, but the Leo seems like it would be made for him.

    • Rob Staton

      If Miami are giving up on him this early, that sets off major alarm bells IMO. Buyer beware.

  27. James

    I had to slap myself back to reality…. after reading that Austin Seferian-Jenkins is having his foot surgery, my thoughts wandered to the notion that this might push him to the bottom of R2, where the Seahawks could snap him up. Then, my rational self reminded me that the Seahawks haver NEVER drafted a player with a history like his…. inconsistent effort, unwillingness to do what it takes to win (ie, blocking), questionable desire to get better, possibly taking entire games off, etc. If a player has not shown himself to be a primo competitor, then Pete and John will not draft him, period. (ps – they will never draft an OLB or Leo that runs slower than 4.5, either) ….I think I will put a post-it note on my monitor so I don’t waste time day-dreaming.

    • Robert

      …unless he’s really long and has off the charts football instincts…IE KJ Wright!

  28. Matt

    Bitano does have the measurable’s that the Hawks generally look for. The PC/JS regime has continually drafted players who test well physically. Another OG that I’m high on is John Urschel of Penn State. His combine numbers are slightly slower across the board but with 30 reps on the bench his strength is superior to Bitano. I’m with the majority on here drafting an Olinemen and WR with our first 2 picks…assuming we let Tate walk. I’d really like to see the Hawks get a player I haven’t heard anybody mention in this comment section….Jordan Matthews. Here’s an SEC record setting 6’3″ WR who had a great combine to go along with very impressive numbers! His combine numbers are actually better than Sammy Watkins other than .03 seconds slower in the 40. I’m not saying he’s a better playmaker than Watkins by any means. Just saying take a look at the combine measurables and Matthews is as good or better than any other WR out there! This guy can high point the ball with the best of them and would be the perfect compliment to Harvin, Baldwin(he’s not going anywhere) and Kearse. With our 2nd rounder I think we should take either Bitano or Urshel…which ever falls to us. That’s my ideal situation for our first 2 picks! We are in a position of strength, obviously, being so young and reigning Super Bowl champs, so we don’t really need to reach for needs in the draft, but this class seems to have an abundance of serious players in positions where we have small holes. CB is another position we should target in this draft with Maxwell coming up. There’s talent at CB too! Go Hawks!

  29. Jim Q

    Kareem Martin had a great combine, looks Seahawky to me. Why isn’t he on the list of Seahawky type players? Check his numbers and you’ll see what I mean.

    • Rob Staton

      Because he has very little shot of going in round one. All of the players listed are possible first round picks.

  30. Colin

    This guy needs to be playing Guard for us. I just finished his tape vs Florida state and UCLA. Very impressed.

    He never looks out of his element. Against Florida State, when the score became insurmountable, I kept waiting for him to get blown up in pass protection. With that much rush, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

    It didn’t. He more than held his own against a defense loaded with quality talent.

    He finishes blocks incredibly well, and I love how he rarely ends up on the ground(one of my major bitches about Sweezy). Excellent body control, rarely out of place. He would be a godsend at LG.

    Incredibly athletic. I like the guy.

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