John Schneider speaks & Melvin Ingram game tape

Mock draft day tomorrow with only three more projections to go until April 26th. For the meantime here are three items of interest…

Softy at KJR conducted an interview with GM John Schneider which you can download by clicking here. Among the topics discussed include the recent speculation from Tony Pauline touting Mark Barron as a first round option for Seattle (and moving Kam Chancellor to linebacker in the process).’s ‘First Draft’ series takes a look at Whitney Mercilus and George Iloka. We know that Boise State safety Iloka is one of many prospects to visit Seattle recently. This week we looked at Mercilus as an option for the Seahawks if they’re searching for a specialist pass rusher to play a similar role to Aldon Smith in San Francisco.

JMPasq has provided game tape for Melvin Ingram vs Vanderbilt. If the Seahawks go a different route to the pass rushing specialist – essentially an aggressive SLB who plays as a hybrid DE/OLB – Ingram and Courtney Upshaw are both very realistic options.


  1. Michael (CLT)

    I finally figured out who Courtney Upshaw reminds me of: Everette Brown.

  2. Rob

    Upshaw reminds you of a 256lbs pure pass rushing end who ran a 4.65 (1.59 split)?

  3. Michael (CLT)

    Yup. Same buzz, same build.

    On another positive note, I doubt very much Tyler Wilson will go round one next year. Scratch another QB off the list.

  4. Rob

    I don’t see that comparison at all to be honest Michael. Brown was always a pure pass rusher, he played almost the LEO at FSU… well in space off a front three. He was a pure pass rusher, relied on speed and quickness. His combine numbers show that. He’s about 20lbs lighter than Upshaw. The issue at the next level was the same issue we see with so many speed rushers of a similar ilk – when they make the next level, everyone is fast. It’s the concern I had with Robert Quinn last year. Pure speed rushers cannot rely on beating pro-lineman the way they got to the edge quicker in college. Brown had no technique, no strength – and his quicks were nowhere near enough. Upshaw has never been a pure speed rusher.

    As for Wilson, way too early to scratch him off any lists or say he’s not a round one pick next year. If he thrives and leads that team in light of everything that’s happened, it’ll boost his stock no end. Andrew Luck didn’t collapse without Harbaugh, Wilson can still succeed. Petrino is a fine QB coach but Wilson is also ready to be his own man.

  5. Stuart

    Honestly the first time watching Ingram on tape besides highlights. Compared to Upshaw, he is very fast off the snap where Upshaw is very slow. If Upshaw and Coples were off the board and we could not trade down, he will do nicely. Just 16 days left!

    Rob, for us diehard Seahawk fans, could you please project the full 7 rounds for the Seahawks? You wouldnt have to bother with comments beyond round two, just list your top choices (in order) for us? It would be great if you did one based on your expectations and one with your favorites? Everybody here loves this site and all that you do!

  6. Michael (CLT)

    We shall see. Upshaw was only 10 pounds heavier two months ago. 20 pounds. Maybe he is on the Carp workout diet 🙂

    Pure pass rusher, maybe. John Morgan hyped Brown in a very similar light to Upshaw. Granted, Upshaw seems more powerful. But in terms of height and length, they are the same guy. And I would expect similar results.

  7. DavidinBellingham

    The tape is greatly appreciated. It does confirm for me that I don’t want Ingram.

  8. Vin

    Based off what I saw on this one tape, I still like Upshaw more. Ingram looks faster, but also looks like a one trick pony with the spin move. Not to take anything away from what he did in that game, but the Vandy Oline looked overmatched. That one cut block looked like it could’ve done some damage, but luckily it didn’t. Upshaw just appears to have more power, more ways to get around the Oline. Honestly, I think I’d take any of the 3 Alabama guys before I draft Ingram…..but what do I know.

  9. DavidinBellingham

    I guess I should elaborate. Ingram always seems to get swallowed, pushed out of the play, or lucky.

    Rob, I agree with your positive assessment of Courtney Upshaw. What are your thoughts about Shea McClellin vs Upshaw? I don’t understand why McClellin isn’t rated in the middle of the first round.

  10. Rob

    Michael – I can’t speak for what John Morgan said about Everette Brown. I was never a big fan and projected him as a mid-second rounder on this blog. If you’re comparing hype then that’s one thing, but the two players are almost polar opposites considering they both played DE.

    David – I just watched some Boise State tape tonight specifically to watch McClellin. Firstly, he’s a very different player in 2011 vs 2010. He lines up in multiple positions, including linebacker, he has different roles and not just as a pass rusher. I’m not totally convinced if I’m honest. I had Brooks Reed as a late first rounder last year and Jabaal Sheard as a top-20 prospect, and McClellin isn’t as good as either of those two. Hands concern me a bit, so does ability to disengage quickly or counter. Like the way he doesn’t rely on edge and dips inside, plus lines up in multiple areas. But I think he’s always going to have to line up with a great pass rusher, rather than be the great pass rusher himself. He’s an ideal fit for GB or Dallas IMO. Prefer him in the 3-4 too. Upshaw a very different type of player for me.

  11. Rob

    Stuart – I’ll consider doing a full Seahawks mock. Really the key positions that will be addressed in R1-3 are pass rusher, linebacker and running back. Only what that changes is if someone of supreme value drops and is considered ‘can’t miss’. I think they’ll draft a QB in R4-6. I did something like that in 2009 and the only pick I called correctly was Mike Teel. Then again, the choice of Alex Mack in round two was just flat out wishful thinking.

  12. Clayton

    Rob, thanks for the updates and feedback you give provide on our comments. I still believe the Seahawks cannot go wrong with a selection of Coples, Upshaw, or Ingram at 12. All three have shown they make plays behind the line of scrimmage, bring attitude to the defense and offer their skills at getting to the QB albeit some better than others. If the Seahawks were to trade down, I would hope they would be targeting D Hightower as I like his big frame to plug the middle against the run and still offer some blitzing skills. If that were the scenario (trading down) I would then say we need to either get a fast OLB with the second pick or address a DE with pass rush skills to complement Clemons. Depending on what we picked up with the trade down we could address a RB or another LB. As I see it, the Browns and Dolphins could be deciding if they really want Tannehill and if the Browns were to lean that way, I could surely see the Dolphins using their second round pick on a QB (Osweiler).

    I would love to see something like this on draft day.

    Hightower (if he falls) if not R. Lewis (Oklahoma)
    L James (RB) I think he could be interesting to spell Lynch with his elusiveness and speed
    Sean Spence


    David Wilson
    Cam Johnson De Virginia
    Jonathan Massaquoi OLB

    Adding a player like Alshon Jeffries also fits Pete Carrolls protype WR and fills a potential problem if Rice, Williams cannot stay healthy and Tate continues to develop slowly. I do think when all is said and done Jeffries will be one of the best WR’s in this class. His production was hurt this year by the QB issues at SC and when they were sorted out he didn’t play as well as when he had Garcia as QB. Of note, he plays in the SEC and was continually beating CB and S that are now so highly rated in this years draft.

    Thanks, for the great and persistent work you provide.


  13. Frank

    His tape looks good but why is he so bad at working out. Percy Harvin out benched him and yet on tape he has strong heavy hands. He runs a 4.7 or 4.8 forty? Is he lazy in the wieght room or what? His lack of athletism scares me a little, he looks like a Patriot to me.

  14. Galen

    Ok I’m starting to warm up to Melvin Ingram. I could see taking Ingram in the first and Mychael Kendricks, Lavonte David or Zach Brown in the second. Pair those two with Barrett Rudd and I like our front seven going forward.

  15. Clayton

    Frank, if you are talking about Alshon I think the lazy but talented shirt fits him perfectly. He did run a faster time I am told and if you get a chance to watch some of his highlights there is no denying he has some talent. I watched game tape and he was making M Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins all look bad. He makes some great catches, just needs to be motivated like many players these days.


  16. Kip Earlywine

    Despite his ginger looks, John Schneider always gives a phenomenal interview with a voice that is radio friendly. He’s the Rick Astley of GMs.

  17. James

    For those who don’t listen to John’s interview, I heard two key takeaways. Kam will not be moving from safety, even if they draft Barron. He said, “It is not good job security to move a pro bowl player to another position.” It would be up to the coaches to figure how to use 3 safeties if that is the direction they go (which despite the protestations of best-available-athlete, I believe means they will not be drafting Barron). Also, John said that Duece Lutui has been working hard and has his weight downl. If true, this probably means he could be a prime candidate at LG until Carpenter returns. In addition, he confirmed that Thurmond will probably start the season on the PUP, and the plan is to play Trufant at the nickle.

    As far as Ingram, I believe he and Upshaw are stricly elephants or 3/4 OLB’s. If Rob is correct that the Seahawks are switching to the elephant, their pick at #12 will probably be one of those two. if they are not switching to the elephant, Ingram is not the best Leo. For Leo, the prototype is Nick Perry, who seems to be moving up the draft boards as scouts compile all the facts, and his value could be around #12 by draft time, followed by Mercilus; Branch, Jones or Curry a little later. Coples could do damage from anywhere on the DL if available, and if Pete thinks he can reach him. At USC, Pete did a great job making these talented but troubled players keep their eyes on the prize, which in the NFL is the second contract.

  18. Attyla the Hawk

    Upshaw reminds me in a lot of ways to Terrell Suggs. Suggs is more of a speed guy but they both run on endless tenacity. Both very physical and their violence on their first move is impressive. If Upshaw were to play in the 270 range instead of the 285 range, I think that comparison would hold better.

    I do think that without Suggs’ speed, he is not as productive sack wise. But I think he is capable of being equally disruptive on most past plays.

    Everette Brown was a finesse DE. Finesse and Upshaw in a sentence should never meet.

    And I agree Kip, I love hearing Schneider clips. It would have been utterly fascinating to see/hear his formal interview with Carroll.

  19. Christon

    Ingram does have a couple nice plays in that tape. But count how many plays he isn’t anywhere near the play. If he can get taken out of so many plays against Vandy – you even won’t know he is on the field against the Rams. I think he’ll be a major disappointment for whoever takes him – I’m just hoping it won’t be us. I still can’t see why he’s top 15 pick. He’s a LB not a DE in my eyes and he has doesn’t have a nose for the ball.

  20. Donald

    I agree. I don’t see what the excitment is regarding Ingram. Other than a couple of plays, he doesn’t make any difference on the field, at least not enough to deserve the 12th pick.

    I also think there is enough depth that if the Seahawks trade down they can still pick up a Perry, or Branch or Curry that will provide the rush needed, and also get a possible second rd pick.

    They should get the second best RB David Wilson in the 2nd rd, or wait to get James in the 3rd. Wilson is close to the speed of James, but with muscle to take the hits. James seems too fragile. Need a RB with speed and agility that compliments Lynch.

    I like Cousins with one of the second rd picks if they trade down.

  21. Seatown80

    I thought Ingram looked pretty good IMHO. He had a couple sacks, FR for a TD, tipped pass, etc. Vandy is clearly is a less talented squad which should be taken into account.

    I absolutely love this guys versatility (SLB, Brock type DE role, occasional 3 tech). If I had to rate my pick preference it would be: 1. Coples 2. Ingram 3. Trade down for Hightower/Kuechly 4. Upshaw

  22. A. Simmons

    The key words are speed and pass rushing ability which is what Pete talked about at the end of the season and what we were lacking. One of the main components we were missing last year was someone to track and bring down the QB. Red was fine when collapsing the pocket. Red was bad at containing the QB. Once the QB left the pocket, we had a lot of trouble getting to him and bringing him down. We also had trouble when the RB hit the edges for outside runs.

    That’s what we’re looking for. The LEO/Elephant is the same. I have not seen supporting evidence posted to indicate otherwise. I have read extensively on the position, not just the article I posted. There was a ton of talk on it when it was first implemented. Carroll made it very clear it was a Charles Haley type of player. When they traded for Clemmons, they were clear he would play LEO. He was that type of player.
    It’s a type of hybrid DE/LB in the mold of Charles Haley and Clay Matthews.

    Is Upshaw that player? He looks like he could be. If Upshaw isn’t fast enough to track QBs out of the pocket, I don’t think he’ll be as high on our board. That’s the guy we want.

  23. mjkleko

    It’s very obvious Ingram is an NFL talent, a player who would start yesterday on many linebacking units in the next level. Watching his college film at times reminds me of creating a ’99 overall’ player in NCAA and sticking him on a crappy team- he just stands out as a game changer seemingly ever snap. The ‘Hawks could do much worse if he were made the #12 pick, although I’m beginning to doubt JS/PC will even be granted that opportunity.

    In addition, I think Upshaw would fit Pete’s defensive philosophies very well. One of these such strategies that was highlighted in the lengthy post 2 weeks ago, was the way Carroll wants his front seven to man their gaps. That is, having ever player gain leverage on one side and play with a “free arm” while engaging a blocker in the trenches. Two players I think would excell very well in this scheme would be Upshaw, be virtue of his strength and surprising agility for a man of his size, and Zach Brown.

    There are many instances on film where Brown clearly has trouble negotiating blockers, especially when faced with an O-linemen breaking to the 2nd level and meeting the linebacker head on. Yet when he was able to engage a blocker at an angle, coming from one side or the other, and playing with a free hand, I found he was much more successful in making plays on the ball carrier. Coupled with his skills in coverage, I think Brown would be a valuable asset in run support utilizing aforementioned concepts. I’ll go to sleep tonight praying he manages to fall to the 2nd round. Zach, if you’re listening, this would be a great time to break a sign at a Jimmy John’s. They are very obnoxious with their oh-so-cleverness.

    Also, regarding the Trufant signing, I think many critics are focusing on the “he’ll take time from (insert prospect)”. While it’s very disappointing Thurmond may not be able to help the team till week 6, I am a big fan of having a veteran play the nickel. Often times when teams draft a DB, you’ll see fans write “he’ll be perfect for the nickel while he develops!” I think that is a big mistake. Defending slot receivers on 3rd down while lined up in the nickel is incredibly difficult, not necessarily due to their usual shifty, speedy physical makeup, but also because of the responsibilities placed on that nickel defender while lined up near the middle of the field. When you have a young guy come in at corner, I find it’s much better to have him cover a guy out wide, where he can just focus on being a boundary corner and doing his best to blanket a receiver.

    Obviously Thurmond is a bit further along in his development intellectually as an NFL defensive back, but the situation may be less detrimental then many believe. Having been out for big chunks of the last few seasons, there’s a possibility Marcus is fully healthy for the first time in a while. If he still has his legs, his skillset could play very well in the middle of the field as he is a solid tackler who is familiar with NFC offenses. If reports come through that Thurmond is recovering well a couple weeks into the season, he may be able to come in by week 6 when Trufant starts acquiring some dings and bruises, split time and eventually grab the position. Also, I get to keep wearing my Trufant jersey without looking like cheapskate. Everyone wins!

  24. PatrickH

    I don’t know if anyone here has linked to the following article yet, but it’s another one with supposedly insider info on Seahawks’ first round draft plan:

    This PFW article also has the Seahawks wanting to trade down, but targeting Kuechly after the trade rather than Hightower.

    Our assumption has been that they plan to draft an edge rusher first and conventional LB second, but now I wonder if the order is reversed. Perhaps their plan is to draft a conventional every-down LB in the first round, and get a pass rusher (Rahim Brock role/future Leo) in the second round? Anyway, two more weeks of interesting speculations until the actual event.

  25. Kevin S.

    id much rather have jadeveon clowney than ingram, too bad he wont be draft eligible for another 2 seasons =o from the looks of it when ingram doesnt get the initial burst in his first step the lineman are on him and he cant disengage. his athleticism is definitely intriguing though.

  26. DavidinBellingham

    I see exactly what Christon is seeing in the clips of Ingram.
    Thanks for the analysis of Upshaw vs McClellin Rob.

  27. Jarhead

    Attyla totally stole my Upshaw/Suggs comparison thunder. Oh well. But Suggs was called too heavy/slow footed to be overly effective at OLB/DE when he came out of ASU. Hence his fall to Baltimore that year. I see Upshaw getting the same slight this year. I think we are focusing too much on the measurables and not enough on the tape. Which is why anyone could even possibly compare Coples/Ingram to Upshaw. But I am seriously happy that Coples and Ingram are so highly regarded by draft pundits, because the less hype for Upshaw, the more likely he will be available at 12. Personally I would be just as happy tradng back for hightower and selecting a speed/slasher type pass rusher early in the second. But Upshaw/Kendricks has been my ‘realistic’ desired draft outcome for some time

  28. RJD

    I’m loving the Rob Rang/ CBS crew’s mocks with the Hawks taking the best DE available i.e. Coples or Perry in the 1st and then taking either Shea Mclellin, Hightower, Curry, or Kendricks in the 2nd.
    If Doug Martin fell in the 2nd I’d grab him instead of an LB and then wait until the 3rd to draft the longest speedy LB available….maybe Irvin?

  29. Attyla the Hawk

    It’s interesting the level of ‘meh’ surrounding Ingram.

    It’s really hard to find guys that really advocate for him. At most you see lifeless acceptance of value meets pick. As if ‘everyone’ says he should go there, but few really can expound as to why.

    It’s not just here on Seahawks blogs either. You see it elsewhere on Jags/Cowboys/Chiefs/Eagles sites too. He’s generating about as much excitement as a RT.

    Not that pre draft buzz is the be all-end all. Just that I would have expected more surrounding a guy that is generally assumed to be a top 15 choice.

  30. RJD

    @Attyla for me the problem with Ingram (and Upshaw for that matter) is his short arms and his lack of forced fumbles throughout his career. Maybe he’ll prove everybody wrong but those are red flags for production on the NFL level.

  31. MJ

    I sincerely hope we don’t draft Kuechly. Absolute waste of a pick IMO. He’s a great player, but its stupid to spend a premium pick on a “tackler,” rather than a “pass rusher.” I would gladly take 3 KJ Wrights without spending a top 2 round pick over one Kuechly. Defenses win with pass rush.

    To me, Kuechly at 12 is like Ichiro in the 3 hole. The “hit” total (tackles), might look great, but it has a minimal impact on the outcome of the game and ultimately won’t help us in the win-loss column. Sure, he’d probably get DROY, but we will still be looking for pass rush help the next year. Quit tap dancing around the issue, get pass rush help now. Same logic applies to those fiend in for DeCastro in round 1.

  32. James

    RJD… the short arms are indeed a factor. That is why Upshaw and Ingram simply cannot play the Leo or a conventional 4/3 DE. A left tackle such as Okung simply extends his arms and pushes them away and Ingram/Upshaw can’t reach long enough to grab hold of the tackle to fight him off. This is the reason they will only be selected by the Seahawks if they are switching to the elephant, as Rob suggests. The concern is that even the elephant ties up with an offensive tackle at some point, which is why not many NFL teams run it. Green Bay can run the elephant because Matthews is one of the few who can play the position at this level.

  33. Jazz

    I don’t know. Just because someone has long arms doesn’t mean a defender isn’t strong enough to get into someone like Okung. I mean, if they are able to dip and rip and gain leverage that shouldn’t be an issue, if they get stood up though and stoned you have no chance with short arms. Its all about keeping momentum and someone like Upshaw could have the power to fight through someone with longer arms where as a speed finesse Ingram might not but that is all speculation about those players, my only point is that just because they have short arms is a negative but its not necessarily a damning characteristic.

  34. Attyla the Hawk

    Short arms definitely aren’t a plus. But not damning no.

    Here’s what I find particularly damning. He’s not fast. He ran no faster than Fletcher Cox, a 300 pound DT. About as fast as Quinton Coples. Somewhere in the 25th to 30th range of all DL/LBs.

    That’s the underwear portion. Which for a guy that is supposed to be versatile, athletic and quick — that’s concerning. Not damning.

    The tape portion is damning. At least in an aspect that I find predictive in how I would expect him to fare at the NFL. Almost uniformly, every scouting report you’ll ever see — the first thing listed is slow off the snap of the ball. And you can definitely see it on tape very quickly. This isn’t a technique/coachable thing. It’s a you are born with it or you aren’t thing. I would never expect this to improve.

    So what you may ask. He produced in college. Well that’s true. In college, you are going to see a lot of linemen that aren’t necessarily crisp firing off the ball or getting out of their stance. So him being slow doesn’t always put him at a disadvantage.

    In the pros, this is rarely the case. He is going to be working with a disadvantage most of the time at this level now. The fact that he’s not fast, doesn’t have a quick start at the snap or a great first step when he does and has to get into an OL in order to work through him — I see a guy whose liabilities aren’t necessarily evident in his productivity at the college level but will expose him greatly when he’s lined up against pro quality talent.

    He is a motor/effort guy. But if he can’t secure an advantage or at least draw a stalemate at the snap of the ball, then I don’t see him having a moderate measure of success at the NFL level.

    This deficiency to me is lethal and will prevent him from being a productive pass rusher at the NFL level regardless of skill or experience. He is a guy that can physically work through an NFL lineman but these guys are 2-5 sack per year kinds of guys with almost no reliable ability to collapse a pocket on plays he doesn’t get a sack. It reminds me of Buddy Ryan’s moniker he laid on Chad Eaton: Velcro boy.

    It also accounts for his hot and cold productivity at the college level. Since he is far less likely to be beaten off the ball, he does have the ability to gain an early upper hand in the pass rush or work his way free if no advantage is gained by either side. I would anticipate his pass rush to be mostly cold at the next level where he will routinely be at an initial disadvantage when plays start.

  35. Jazz

    Attyla the Hawk- That is a compelling argument to why Upshaw will not be successful in the NFL. I hope your wrong if we pick him and correct if we don’t 🙂

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