Meet Courtney Upshaw

Just watch.


  1. James

    Don’t let this video mislead you. As great a guy as Courtney is off the field, he is just as nasty on the field. I’m an Alabama alumni and watch all their games, and Courtney plays with more fire, and makes more big plays, than any player Bama has had recently. Nick Saban said he was the meanest player he ever coached. Courtney specializes in body slamming QB’s onto their throwing shoulder, and he has knocked many out and left the others wanting to quit. If the Seahawks land him, they will love his play. He is a specialized player, not a DE or OLB, but an elephant, the same position the Packers have Clay Matthews play, and can be totally disruptive in the right system.

  2. Rob

    Completely agree, James.

  3. LadyT

    Love me some Upshaw. Knock on wood that he will be there at 12 and that the Seahawks take him.

  4. Kevin S.

    This whole video basically just shows the intangibles he has, with the idea of how he is driven and the effort he is willing to bring to the table. He has a reason to stay in the NFL and that is more than enough to get him to go to work and play his heart out every week. I sure hope the hawks take him if he is there.

  5. MJ

    Love this guy…Rob, get prepared for the trolls!

  6. Tommy

    I’ve always liked Upshaw’s play and am really intrigued to see what he could do in our defense. There’s so many people trying to downplay his size, speed,etc. it made me second guess my own conclusion. After watching and reading everything I can get my hands on I’m even more excited about his skills, passion and determination. I’m not trying to change anyone else’s mind but when I see him I just think he has the “it” factor. He may not have elite passrushing skills, but his motor, relentlessness and his ability to make big plays in big games is elite. I will gladly welcome him to the Hawks!

  7. Michael (CLT)

    Seems a good dude. I liked Curry in a similar vain. Lots of good stories in sports. This is surely one of them.

  8. Bryan

    Damn, can we just draft Upshaw already? Great video and shows what a person he really is. I hope all the Tannehill stuff is just a smokescreen and Upshaw is the pick at 12. He seems like a good person with his head on right.

  9. John

    Damn I hope the Seahawks take this young man. Absolute beast on the field and a person who seems very grounded. Would love to see him grab a seahawks cap in 9 days!

  10. SHawn

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. I have been on the bandwagon since December, before the national championship game even. Last year and the year before, I changed my mind about 100 times between December and April. Not this year. Not with this guy staring us in the face at 12. Only guys that have even come close to getting my vote other than Upshaw: Richardson and Hightower. Damn that Bama D can coach em up.

  11. Tom T.

    Rob, based on the info you’ve gathered, is it pretty much a lock that Seattle will be taking Upshaw (assuming the obvious top five or six players are gone)? It sounds like the front office is quite high on him, but I can’t help but wonder how many guys they have ranked ahead of him. I’d personally love it if he was our pick at #12.

  12. Tommy

    Picking 12th I would say there are too many variables to say anyone is a lock. I’m really nervous because in two drafts so far this regime has shown a tendency to take players way off my radar, lol. I guess after seeing their success maybe that’s a good thing. I keep thinking we will take Gilmore even though it would be a bit out of left field, I can’t wait til the draft!

  13. Bobby Cink

    I like this kid. A lot.

  14. Ben2

    Can’t remember what site it was (I think it was via a link provided on this site) but “unnamed NFL GM” said he wouldn’t touch Upshaw because he had too much going on/distractions in his life (latter is not a direct quote – paraphrase). Seems like his “distractions” serve to ground this young man and motivate him to succeed. I like Upshaw and I hope we draft him, and if we don’t I hope he has a successful career in the NFL (except for games against Hawks of course).

  15. Clayton

    Upshaw and Melvin Ingram just look like they have a mean streak when the don’t smile. Coples on the other hand reminds me of Sam Perkins a great (basketball) sleepy player, that needs motivation. All three would be nice selections, especially if they produce on Sundays.

  16. A. Simmons

    I think I would be fairly happy with this guy. His overall package including his attitude reminds me of a more NFL ready James Harrison. The kind of guy that may not have the shining measurables as far as athleticism goes, but could be highly productive because of his overall package and our coaching staff’s ability to utilize his strengths.

    I keep hearing he is like Curry. Doesn’t seem like Curry to me. Curry was a combine freak that increased his draft status due to his athleticism. Upshaw’s status is based off production and tape. Curry was hype. I don’t see people hyping Upshaw as can’t miss or the next coming of Lawrence Taylor.

    Even Rob is merely making a case as to why Upshaw would work well on this team given his total package and tape. I have to say he does look like he could be exactly what we need and exactly what we tried to turn Curry into: a hybrid pass rushing DE/LB that fits well enough to play all three downs. If he was productive doing that, we get a player that greatly improves our team. Win for us even if he doesn’t have the flashiest individual stats.

  17. Wes

    Seems like a great kid, but I cannot help but wonder: How do all these guys in the draft have kids already? Seems like an SEC thing too. We always wrapped up in college

  18. Joe The Jarhead

    Seriously after viewing this, and granted it’s just knee jerk reaction, tell me that if we as the Seattle Seahawks say, ‘Courtney, YOU are our man. You are the one we chose over everyone else,’ that you don’t see him taking that indication of fidelity and giving us every ounce he has to be successful? Upshaw has been the guy for me, who would realistically be there (Hightower being a close second and reasonably similar player), for so long I actually can not wait to hear his named called on Draft Day and see him hold up our jersey. Ingram and Coples just don’t impress me, on or off the field. See amazing and freakish athletes is great, but seeing someone with the Eye Of The Tiger, where all that matters is that they hit and hurt someone, and relentless pursuit- THAT gets me out of my chair. This guy is going to make plays, like him or not, if he is wearing Seattle Blue then you will see him and Earl Thomas crushing guys. And talking with some of the most down home accents you ever did hear. We may have to start calling it the Pacific Southwest

  19. Doug

    Are all y’all sure he is in this video?
    All I see is a red shirt draped over a brinks armoured car…

  20. akki

    How would one compare and contrast Upshaw vs Brandon Graham from a couple years ago? They sound like the same player.

  21. Hawkfin

    Not to rain on all you’re Upshaw party: But, here’s some latest interesing notes –

    According to Sporting News’ Russ Lande, Alabama OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw will likely fall to the “20 to 40” range in the draft.
    ESPN’s Todd McShay said similar things on SportsCenter Tuesday, suggesting Upshaw could fall into round two if the Patriots don’t take him. Per Lande, Upshaw’s stock has fallen “over concerns about his edge pass-rush ability” — the same trait McShay cited. 3-4 teams also worry that Upshaw can’t cover. Lande reports that 3-4 clubs are higher on USC’s Nick Perry, Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, and South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram than Upshaw.

  22. brazilianhawk

    That sounds a lot like some teams are trying to lower Upshaw’s stock so they can draft him.

    And if we can get the guy in the second round, the better!

  23. Hawkfin

    People here are wanting him at 12 though.

    I don’t think he’ll last until our 2nd round. But, not sure he should be our #12 pick either. But, I know I’m in the minority.

    I think he’s in the range of 18-24 myself.

  24. FWBrodie


  25. brazilianhawk

    This guy is a top 10-15 pick according with his game tapes. All this talk about him falling on draft boards are based on his results at the combine.

    I’ll take the tape before combine.

  26. Hawkfin

    He had his Pro Day also….

    And from what I see on tape, the two things they are questioning “Edge Rusher” and “Coverage” are NOT on tape. Those do in fact lack, at least in my view.
    And I think McShay knows his stuff, which he is basically saying the same now.

    The general views here are that we won’t need him in coverage much the way it’s planned to use him. I still question that. But regardless, is he a good enough rusher also?
    Is it really worth the pick?

    I don’t see him worth a 10-15 pick. But, that’s my view.
    Anyway, I just wanted to report the clip.

  27. Rob

    McShay also thinks Whitney Mercilus is a second round pick, Hawkfin. What do you think about that?

  28. brazilianhawk

    McShay also said Fili Moala could go first overall in 2009….

  29. FWBrodie

    I think this dude is a better Adrian Clayborn.

  30. FWBrodie

    Hawkfin, I’d love to see this tape where you were able to analyze Courtney Upshaw in coverage. Come on dude, you’re simply regurgitating.

    FWIW, Mayock called him adequate in coverage on film during Senior Bowl coverage. We’re talking about occasionally dropping into a zone or picking up a back out of the backfield… rarely. Maybe slightly more often than Chris Clemons has dropped into coverage. On obvious passing downs he’d be up on the LOS, ears pinned back, chasing the quarterback with Red on the sideline.

  31. Colin

    If you are looking for a 5 star linebacker, who has elite speed, fluid hips, unrivaled pass rush moves, with the body of the Boz and the mind of Ray Lewis, well stop looking. HE’S NOT THERE.

    Whoever Pete and John select, I have more than enough faith they will be schemed to fit to their strengths.

  32. MJ

    Hawk fin – Lande also says Alameda Ta’amu is a high first round talent.

  33. MJ

    Colin – Amen to that. Not sure why us fans expect the perfect/elite prospect to be there at 12. Find the best fit who can make the biggest impact. That’s all I ask for. Upshaw could be mediocre a team like Buffalo, but could be damn good in our system. People get too caught up in generalities and combine measurements rather than looking at on field production and how that player fits in OUR system.

  34. Hawkfin

    This wasn’t meant to be a fight on Upshaw again. 😀
    We’ve been over it and I’m done with it. I’ve moved on now.

    Why don’t you show me where the tape shows that he IS good in coverage?
    I watch more then Highlights Brodie.

    I really meant to just post what I saw reported anyway amongst all the Upshaw love.
    I think he’s a first round pick and talent. Along with Whitney. They both could be a bit of a reach, but not out of the question. I like Whitney. You/Rob like Upshaw.
    Seahawks will probably be picking between Luke, Coples, and Ingram.

    Don’t shoot on the messanger.

  35. FWBrodie

    Hawkfin, the tape available to you or I doesn’t show coverage. You’d need the All-22 angle to evaluate that. Even then, there isn’t much for those with that access because Upshaw wasn’t asked to drop often.

    P.S. you’re not the messenger, you’re a speculator.

  36. AlaskaHawk

    Having the #12 pick reminds me of that story about “The Black Pearl”. After being blessed with a favored position to choose a player. We fell into such arguement, disagreement and bitterness, that PC will give the pick to St Louis. Har Har

  37. Hawkfin

    Well, when you watch a full game of Alabama you can get a pretty good idea. No, you don’t get full 22 angle video, but there is enough of a view to watch some coverage.
    Usually he’s not even in coverage so that’s easy to see.

    Type Alabama full game. Or Alabama vs a team they played. (Not Upshaw Highlights)

    I find the full games give you a pretty good feel. If you stop it and focus in you can see what’s going on.

    I understand it’s not perfect. But, I don’t agree there is nothing out there on coverage.

    P.S. – I copied a link from Rotoworld/Sportsnews and posted it. That was my first post. That to me is a messenger of what’s being said on the interenet by somebody more qualified then you. I could call you a speculator Brodie just as easy.

  38. FWBrodie

    I am a speculator, a fan, and an amateur. I’m confident in a lot of my opinions, especially in regards to players on the LOS where I used to play and have always taken a special interest in, but I don’t claim to be “the messenger” or claim to have an educated opinion on an aspect of a players’ game I couldn’t possibly have seen more than a couple of examples of. That comment wasn’t me saying you’re a speculating and my opinion is more valuable than yours, it was more pointing out the obvious invalidity of a couple of your statements.

    I’m telling you right now that you cannot see Courtney Upshaw in coverage from TV angles. You may see him take his first two steps in that direction, but then he is off screen until a ball is thrown. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen as much Alabama film as is available on the internet for free. I would absolutely love to see not only Upshaw, but a ton of other players in coverage and out running routes, but it’s not available 98% of the time. It’s just not an aspect of the game us fans have the chance to see very often. Tell me you don’t like how he moves or that you think he’s too slow to cover a TE, fine, that’s an informed opinion, but don’t tell us you’ve seen Upshaw in coverage and know that he’s not good at it because you haven’t and don’t.

    Beyond that we are discussing opposing, equally-merited opinions on players.

  39. genax

    dangit rob you got me hook line and sinker. i want this guy now. forget coples. hes got the work ethic the drive, the patience, and now he’s got my sympathy.

  40. Misfit74

    “According to Sporting News’ Russ Lande, Alabama OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw will likely fall to the “20 to 40” range in the draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay said similar things on SportsCenter Tuesday, suggesting Upshaw could fall into round two if the Patriots don’t take him. Per Lande, Upshaw’s stock has fallen “over concerns about his edge pass-rush ability” — the same trait McShay cited. 3-4 teams also worry that Upshaw can’t cover. ”

    Obviously neither have any way of knowing that, but it’s worth noting that not everyone is sold on Upshaw’s pass-rushing ability translating to the NFL level, as I’ve been saying like a broken record for weeks (and again today).

    I like Upshaw as a performer and have no concerns about his character. Seems like a solid dude who is very competitive and I like that about him.

  41. Misfit74

    It’s really flowing today about Upshaw…

    “One NFL personnel executive described Alabama DE/LB Courtney Upshaw as a strong edge-setting run defender who will top out at six to eight sacks per year.
    The majority opinion argues that Upshaw lacks difference-making burst off the edge. While most expect him to be a strong, reliable pro, the league exec envisions Upshaw as more of a Bryan Thomas type than a DeMarcus Ware. One NFC scout told ESPN New York that he has an early second-round grade on Upshaw. There is growing belief that Upshaw could slip out of the top-32 picks.”

  42. Rob

    First of all, on the whole coverage debate. When I wrote the article on Von Miller’s snaps playing in Denver, we learnt only 13% of his time on the field was in coverage. The other 87% was rushing the passer or playing the run. Upshaw isn’t going to be doing much covering, just like Miller.

    Secondly – Misfit – I don’t think anyone has ever argued that there was a universal appreciation for Upshaw’s talents. He’s been one of the more debated prospects this off-season. In fact, I’m not sure outside of Luck and Griffin III there’s a prospect that everyone agrees on. It’s cute that McShay and Lande think that way about Upshaw.

  43. Doug

    It’s cute? hmmm

    I want Coples, because he has the “potential” to be spectacular. I don’t know that Upshot has that potential. He looks like a solid good player, and that might be just what we need. well, we are down to a single digit midgit now…

    There are still a wide variety of things that might happen draft day in the early picks that send somebody down to us, so I’m not going to waste much ink in the Upshaw debates anymore.

    Fin, I kinda think you are in the same boat as me on this topic…

  44. Michael (CLT)

    This blog and Courtney Upshaw would make for an interesting study in group-think.

  45. kevin mullen

    How can you not route for this guy?

  46. kevin mullen

    Screw McShay.

  47. A. Simmons

    Did Charles Haley cover much? I don’t think he did. When you draft a pass rusher, you don’t drop him into coverage on passing downs. He rushes the passer. That’s how he plays pass defense.

    KJ Wright is our coverage backer. He of the long frame and arms who reads passing plays very well and has shown great instincts in coverage.

    What we need Upshaw for is coming around Red’s side to kill the QB and make sure his side isn’t particularly weak agains the run from misread plays or getting overpowered. Drafting Upshaw is about the overall integrity of the front seven, which Upshaw improves.

    No doubt the questons about speed and edge rushing ability will be there. I think we will take the best pass rusher available. Pete used the words “speed” and “pass rush”. You can be those two words are the focus of the draft. But you won’t just see that focus in round 1. You’ll see it throughout the draft. Pete wants this defense to be faster from side to side and better at getting to the QB. We picked up Jason Jones in free agency. The focus of the draft will be faster from side to side and better at getting to the QB. Probably at least 3 picks focused on this area in the front seven.

  48. MJ

    I am not going to point out anyone specifically, but some of your guy’s comments can come off as insulting to other people on this blog. Don’t visit if you can’t comment like an adult. I am sorry that this is a somewhat public attack (and I hate doing this on message boards), but some of you are really watering this blog down with the constant child like responses because your favorite player isn’t picked. if you can’t add to the dialogue in a meaningful way, then just refrain. This has been a tremendous site for fellow Hawk fans to debate, but this draft season has been less than savory because of the petulance. Rob, you are saint for dealing with so much crap, and keep up the stellar work. I know I will get attacked because of this, but it really can be insulting, and I can’t imagine how some of this crap comes off to Rob and Kp who bust their butt to allow for this site to exist (and for FREE).

  49. A. Simmons

    Michael (CLT),

    So you’re one of those guys that when he disagrees with an educated guess that others support, he decides to insult the entire group by making them seem like “sheep”. That’s what you’re implying with the group think comment.

    Bottom line: Draft is a crap shoot. Very few people, and doubtful anyone here, is an actual scout including you. So your ability to pick winning draft picks is about on par at best with anyone here.

    Rob has stated his case for Upshaw. Some agree, some don’t. Very few have the capacity to really know what player would be best looking at youtube videos or TV game tape. This is a draft discussion board for Seahawk fans to get some information on players we might take. I think Rob has covered a wide number of prospects in a fair manner.

    So why don’t you lay off the veiled insults and make your pick. Then we’ll see how right you are with your pick and if your guy is any better than the guy Rob picks after three or four years in the league.

    I’m sure with your “superior” opinion you’ll make a much better choice than Rob and all us “group-thinkers” that continue to be mind controlled by Rob, the draft svengali leading us down the evil path to a bad draft pick. Oh woe to we “group-thinkers”.

  50. Misfit74

    8 days until we find out. I can’t wait!

  51. Misfit74

    Fun fact I did not know:

    Upshaw “had a single-digit wonderlic score”.

    They also questioned his work-ethic/character issues, which is the first I’d heard of that, actually. They also pointed out his short arms.

  52. MJ

    Man…I am just surprised a slow, unathletic, stupid football player with no work ethic could ever crack the depth chart at Bama. He must be really lucky or have black mailed Nick Saban. Maybe we can get him UDFA??

  53. Rob

    MJ – This has been the least satisfying of the four years I’ve been doing this. By a mile.

    Misfit – I don’t think we need any more links on Courtney Upshaw. We know your opinion.

  54. peter


    Stay focused! My man you have single handedly given me personally a much greater insight to a. The draft, duh, b. Player evaluation, where I lack, where I have gotten better, c. The seahawks which is my team of course d. Football as a whole…Thanks I truly appreciate it.

    Just think in 10 days from now, you can begin dissecting the teams draft, which beyond the Seahawks every team picks players you don’t know about, didn’t think about, or knew about and simply fell/rose…then after that, you can pause, take a breath, (get ready for the Euro!) and start in on covering new players, at which time more then half the people will fall off the boards (which sucks because discourse is the best part, until it becomes of course the worst part.)

  55. jeff

    the guy at football outsider predicts that upshaw will be a total bust as a pass rusher.

    see field gulls for the link.

  56. Misfit74

    Ok, no more links and I’ll lay off after this follow up to the ‘character concerns’ I mentioned earlier. I think it’s information I’ve not seen or heard of elsewhere, so I’m going put it out there.

    It’s a quote from PFW which begins with [The following quotes are from NFL executives, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.]

    Quote: “The more Courtney Upshaw talked (in the interview process), the more I got scared. He has a lot of distractions in his life. There are a lot of concerns there. We need an edge guy, but we wouldn’t touch him in the first (round). I’d have hesitations in the second where we’re picking, after hearing him talk about grabbing his girlfriend by the hair.”

  57. Rob

    We’ve had that quote before, Misfit. Funnily enough another report today speculates that Robery Griffin III is a jerk too. I will give each report the attention they deserve – none at all.

  58. Tarry

    Bottom line is this, if Carroll and Schneider see a spot for him on their unique defense he’s the pick and they will not care one ounce what anybody thinks or says. Carroll found a spot for Red Bryant and now he’s fan favorite, he traded for Clemens and he’s been perfect fit for his vision on D. KJ Wright, Richard Sherman, Chanceller, Thomas… all of these guys are this FOs choice. If he fits somewhere that Carroll believes he’ll be a fit, he’s the guy at 12, and with the track record, he’ll be great.

    He is on a list of about 6 or 7 guys I’d be happy to hear called at 12. I’ll list those names here in no particular order: Upshaw, Ingram, Kuechly, Hightower, Floyd, Coples, maybe Martin OT. Regardless of how we may view one player and read into ‘experts’ take on skill, work ethic, ability, I would hope most teams rely on what they see in relation to their schemes based on game film and workouts.

    Personally I like trying to look at alternate possibilities and come up with potential players that I think will have an impact, and I will post those and debate some with Rob or other posters in here. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that it’s gotten borderline disrespectful with some comments. At the end of the day, lets remember we are fans of the Seahawks and there are some very knowledgable people that come in here with great opinions which we want to continue with… I don’t agree with a lot of them, but they are great opinions nonetheless with at least some thought behind them. Anyway… this went in a direction I wasn’t expecting to go, but hey it’s out there now.

    Thanks Rob for what you do… I appreciate it as a fan and enjoy your input, agree or not 🙂

  59. andymuhs

    McShay’s an absolute tool… same with Lande… Mayock is good… Upshaw makes me get so excited… and the difference between Brandon Graham and Upshaw is heart and motor.. those things are not teachable… Upshaw in the first, Kendricks in the second, LaMichael James in the Third and let John work his late round magic.. off my soapbox

  60. Misfit74

    Tarry – I can’t argue with that. And, as many concerns I have about some of the prospects linked or speculated for the Seahawks there is a huge disclaimer: if PCJS pick a guy and he becomes a Seahawk I’m going to love them as family. I have a ton of trust and respect for that vision you mentioned about our front office and they’ve proven me wrong already with Chancellor, whom I’ve grown to love as he’s shown to be not just an in-the-box Safety (for example). I’ll be excited about whoever we pick whether it’s my favorite choice or not. I love our Seahawks.

  61. PatrickH


    Courtney Upshaw’s domestic trouble happened back in 2009. I am not sure how it will affect his draft stock 3 years later, if at all. The incident is reported at the following link:

  62. Tarry

    Misfit74 – I agree with the family aspect. Last year with all my film watching and study of our roster and needs, I got 1 pick right (John Moffitt). The year before that I got 1 pick right (Okung). My point is I was upset on some of the picks because I heard the analysts thoughts of the player and their projections but after the smoke cleared and I did the research and watched the film after the draft I started to see why these players were taken. I wouldn’t trade one of them. I may have taken Jason Pierre-Paul instead of Carpenter but I understand why Carp was taken, and I think he’ll make a good RG or LG when he comes back from injury. I’ll go into the draft with my draft board like I always do but this year I’ll admit… I’m stumped. Pass rushing DE is weakish aside from Coples (IMO on pure skill and edge rushing) and there are questions there too. I like filling other needs and you and I have talked before in these blogs about Floyd being a great choice. I like Hightower more than Kuechly due to multiple places he can play but Schneider and Carroll don’t hold MLB as high priority it seems. I’ve got 7 days to change my mind but Hightower is still ‘MY’ choice, Coples 2nd choice, Floyd 3rd choice. From the team perspective, Rob could very well be right on Upshaw being the pick, and although I wouldn’t take him at 12… he’d be my next jersey if Carroll and Schneider say he’s the guy.

  63. Charlie


    Yes. We understand you don’t like upshaw. We understand you want Floyd. Last year I really wanted jimmy smith and he fell right into our laps.. Only to take carpenter. I was pissed after the draft. In hindsight, I love that draft and now I’m pretty much trusting of whatever they do. But this constant “here’s a link to this rumor about upshaw” is so f***ing annoying. Do you know why upshaw keeps being the Seahawks pick here? Because we’re at 12. Only a handful of players have been taken, most of which are locks, so if Rob thinks this is the direction the team will go, he goes with it. As oppose to last year at 25, rob had to speculate on so many picks that often times from week to week the player we had last week rose up the board like jimmy smith, Cam Jordan, etc making it nessesary to change it up weekly. This year the player rob thinks the Seahawks are after is always on the board, so why go away from his gut feeling? I swear everybody on here who moans about lack of variety for the sake of speculation forgets that’s rob has mocked guys like brockers, keuchly, etc already for that sake. Maybe you guys missed those articles?

  64. bhamballer

    The personal stories of these players just kill me…. another minute to that story and I would be fully sobbing.

    I really hope this guy becomes a seahawk. I think he will be a significant contributor for many years in the NFL.

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