Monday scouting notes: 2023 class & QB’s in review

When you have a result and a defensive performance like we saw against Atlanta on Sunday, I really wish I could offer some positive draft news as a silver lining.

It’s not my intention to instil misery. I wish I could comfort myself, let alone any of you, with some exciting draft talk.

The reality, I’m afraid, is quite the opposite.

I’m going to get onto week four for the quarterbacks in a bit. Firstly though, I want to offer a quick general thought on the 2023 class.

Where are the top-10 picks?

We’ve already had a third of the college football season and I’m struggling to find legit early first round prospects.

I think there are three quarterbacks that could/should go in that range. Alabama’s brilliant pass rusher Will Anderson is absolutely worthy of that kind of rating.

Apart from that, it’s tough sledding.

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is worth a top-10 grade but his positional value plays into this situation. I think, at the moment, it’s likely he’ll go in that range simply because the alternatives aren’t there.

I’m a big fan of Bryan Bresee the defensive tackle at Clemson. Any defensive tackle who can run a 4.21 short shuttle warrants attention. In three games though, he has two TFL’s and half a sack. He’s not necessarily an ‘impact’ pass rusher who blows up games — rather he looks like a player with the athleticism to make plays just not on a game-wrecking level.

Michael Mayer and Jaxon Smith-Njibga are very good but are they worth top-10 picks? There are cornerbacks who could work into that range such as Kelee Ringo and D.J. Turner but so far they’re just not being tested. Linebacker Trenton Simpson is extremely athletic but in four games he has half a TFL and that’s it. For me, Jalen Carter is more of a late first rounder than a sure-fire blue-chipper. Mazi Smith, the defensive tackle at Michigan, looks like he has the athleticism and dynamism to perhaps work his way into the top-15.

Pass rusher Will McDonald, a player the league supposedly rates highly, has 1.5 sacks in four games. Myles Murphy, a player I think is a bit overrated, also has 1.5 sacks in four games. It’s tricky to work out what Nolan Smith even is at the next level (he’s 6-3 and 235lbs) but he too lacks production so far (one sack in four games).

Kayshon Boutte — touted by many in the media as a high pick — has 93 receiving yards in three games and zero touchdowns. Quentin Johnson — who I really like — similarly has just eight catches for 73 yards at TCU with zero touchdowns. Jordan Addison has started very well at USC. I do wonder about his testing results — his combine/pro-day workouts will be intriguing.

At the moment it’s hard to work out who the non-quarterback early first rounders are. At least this year you had some ‘big name’ talents like Kayvon Thibodeaux and Derek Stingley Jr, to go along with three top-10 offensive tackles and some high picks at receiver. Right now — the 2023 class looks quite poor at the top end aside from Anderson and the quarterbacks.

Before the Falcons game I was thinking about this and contemplated the Seahawks being very aggressive to ‘get their guy’ at QB while they had the draft stock to make a big move. I think that might be fairly likely unless their draft position means they don’t need to be aggressive. I’m just not sure what the alternative plan could be.

There will be fans watching the defense on Sunday, pining for additions there. With more people casting their eyes to the non-first round QB’s, I suspect discussions will be had this week online and on the radio about pumping resources into the defense and going with a QB later on. Or at least spending their highest pick on one defensive player.

John Schneider being at the Stanford vs Washington game on Saturday might fuel that discussion, with Michael Penix Jr facing Tanner McKee. It’s important to note, however, that when NFL teams play games close to college match-ups involving two highly rated QB’s — they often arrange their weekends around it. Had the Seahawks been playing at the Titans on Sunday, I’m sure Schneider would’ve paid a visit to watch Hendon Hooker vs Anthony Richardson instead (as the Raiders’ staff reportedly did).

I’m increasingly a big fan on BYU’s Jaren Hall myself and I think he’ll probably be a day-two type. Yet it’s hard to find the defensive pieces — short of Anderson (who could be the #1 pick) — to justify avoiding the high picks at QB to try and flesh out your defensive talent.

After four weeks of college football, this isn’t looking like a particularly blue-chip heavy first round. I would suggest you have Will Anderson, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Bijan Robinson and possibly Bryan Bresee or Mazi Smith, on top of maybe Kelee Ringo and D.J. Turner. You might be limited, however, to the first four names on that list.

I wish I had better news.

On to the quarterback reviews…

Will Levis impresses with no help

There are harder (although perhaps not ‘tougher’) opponents upcoming for Kentucky over the next few weeks — but Levis played very well against Northern Illinois despite receiving precious little help.

There was one glaring error, which I’ll come onto, but otherwise this was a fairly impressive display.

Increasingly it feels like Levis’ supporting cast is going to bite him — or cost Kentucky a chance to do something special this season. The offensive line has been dreadful every week and gave up another five sacks on Saturday. That’s 15 sacks for the season now in four games — despite facing Northern Illinois, Miami (Ohio) and Youngstown State.

Ole Miss, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Tennessee (their next four opponents) must be licking their chops.

ESPN described Levis as being constantly ‘under siege’ in the pocket in their post-game report. They weren’t kidding.

Despite this, he started the game with an eight-minute touchdown drive which was methodical, patient and well crafted. His second drive ended with back-to-back sacks. Welcome to the 2022 Kentucky Wildcats.

His third drive produced this incredible touchdown:

What a play. He stands tall in the pocket, knows he’s going to get hammered but just waits that extra second to allow the play to develop. Look at the velocity he generates with just a flick of the wrist. Teams will salivate over a play like that — vision, toughness, arm strength. Wonderful.

On the final drive of the first half, he also showed he can throw with perfect touch. Levis delivered the perfect pass only to see it dropped badly by the receiver.

The start of the second half contained the massive, glaring error.

Levis had a horrendous near interception. He stared down the receiver, had an extra hitch leading to a late throw and had no business throwing the pass where he did. The defender dropped the pick and he was incredibly lucky. His footwork was stodgy and lazy. It was a poor play in every sense and deserved to be punished.

This is something he needs to get together in the coming weeks. Levis’ footwork, base and throwing angles are typically very good. Yet he does have the habit of getting a bit loose at times. Last week it led to a sailed pass and an interception. This one should’ve been picked too.

I’d be more concerned if his technique wasn’t typically very good. It’s also worth noting that C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young have also had plays like this too.

His very next throw was a touchdown for 70 yards. Because of course. NIU were punished for failing to make the big interception. It was a great play design by Rich Scangarello and the execution to exploit a soft coverage was textbook. Levis just had to deliver the ball to his crossing receiver, he did, and it was a big YAC score.

Levis was excellent on third downs in this game. Kentucky converted 10/16 — many of which were throws — and were also 2/2 on fourth down.

He is running a pro offense and there’s so much to like about how he operates within the scheme. You can clearly see him going to three progressions. He converted third downs by going to a check down after running through two initial reads. This cannot be underestimated. He knew the down/distance, he was conscious of what was required to move the sticks, he has mastered the concepts within the offense. It’s why he looks the most prepared to start in the NFL of the 2023 class.

With 11:02 left in the game he had a fantastic deep shot which was dropped. It was perfectly thrown, he flashed his amazing arm and he was sliding to his left which added a degree of difficulty. The throw deserved a 40-yard TD rather than a drop.

He did get another score on 3rd and 12. Again Levis did brilliantly to stand tall despite a ton of pressure on a blitz — delivering a brilliant pass. The receiver made a defender miss and ran it home.

Overall this was a superb display, cementing his placing as a high draft pick. He finished with 70% completions, 303 passing yards and four touchdowns. The one error was a bad one but not a costly one. The next few weeks will be a great challenge and a test of Levis’ capabilities.

A quick aside — Brock Osweiler was commentating on this game and was great in the booth.

Tyler Van Dyke is benched

Mario Cristobal is not a good Head Coach. He didn’t make the most of Justin Herbert in Oregon. His team had their pants pulled down by Utah twice last season. Now he’s ruining talented young quarterbacks with his archaic, predictable, boring offense.

Look, TVD isn’t blameless. He’s been hesitant all season. He’s making mistakes as he did with his first interception on Saturday. Yet look at the second pick. They throw this pass all the time in the Cristobal offense. I’ve been banging on about this since the Herbert years in Oregon. If a random bloke in Rotherham picks up on it — is it any surprise opponents are too?

Middle Tennessee State did their homework and had their defensive lineman get in the predictable passing lane. Tipped, picked, pick-six.

Cristobal has turned a prolific passing QB who sprayed passes all over the field into a quivering wreck. Last season, his first as a starter, he scored 26 touchdowns and threw just six picks. He led Miami into Pittsburgh and out-duelled and beat Kenny Pickett and the ACC Champions.

It’s taken four games to make him look crap in this rubbish offense.

Who knows what happens now? He needs to get away from Cristobal. Either via the draft or via transfer.

Miami made a huge mistake in their coaching decision during the off-season. They and Cristobal deserved to be humiliated by MTS.

Some of the same issues on show for C.J. Stroud

There is so much to like about Stroud. The way he started the game was quite incredible.

His first big throw was beautifully placed in front of the safety, perfectly timed, with ‘wow’ velocity. It was special — the accuracy and the arm strength were different class. His second big throw was placed over the linebacker and in front of the safety. I almost stood and applauded the TV. A lot of players can’t make these types of throws.

His first passing touchdown continued the hot start. There was motion to the left and Stroud himself ran to that side. The defense flowed with the movement and didn’t cover the tight end running to the open space on the right hand side. Off balance, Stroud throws it back across to that side with ease. It’s not easy to execute but he made it look that way.

His second touchdown was an easy play action, he moved to the outside, the TE peels out to the flat. Simple toss once the defenders committed to Stroud running.

He was decisive and made the plays he needed to make.

But then there are the obvious issues we have to keep noting.

He threw an interception before halftime that was just awful. He patted the football unnecessarily and hesitated. Inevitably he throws late and off target. It’s too high and sails over receiver. The Wisconsin defender makes a great catch but it was a bad error from Stroud.

Then with the first throw of the second half he doesn’t read the dropping DE and almost throws a pick six straight to him.

This highlights another issue with Stroud and Ohio State quarterbacks generally. Everything is done for them. Great O-line, great weapons and they receive reads from the sideline. Before every snap he’s basically told what to do. He looks across at the coaches who tell him what the read is and then he gets to try and execute with an elite supporting cast.

For the most part he does a great job bringing it together. This isn’t translatable to the NFL though. And for all his clear physical talent — he isn’t going to have this supporting cast, facing overmatched opponents with coaches holding his hand in the pro’s.

It’s why so many Ohio State QB’s look amazing in college and flame out at the next level.

It took Wisconsin ages to work out a plan. In the second half they started dropping into two deep safety looks and had their LB’s dropping deep to send everything underneath. Stroud threw dangerously into that coverage, had a pass tipped and could’ve been picked again.

But just as it was all starting to get a bit frustrating — he absolutely fires in a slant for a hot touchdown. It was, admittedly, a dangerous throw. The safety was right there to make the pick but there was enough arm strength to force it by the DB. He has a great fastball and is very capable of fitting the ball into tight windows with tremendous velocity.

This is how I would sum up Stroud. Physically, I can’t remember seeing many players with skills as good as his. His ability to throw a laser with accuracy and make ‘wow’ plays is pretty remarkable. When he’s playing well, you just end up shaking your head in wonderment at times. At his best he’s a joy to watch. On top of this I like his base and his throwing motion. Stroud’s technique is a lot better than Justin Fields’ ever was.

Yet the caveat is he does get sloppy, he has got an amazing supporting cast and unlike with Levis — all the hard stuff (reading coverages) is done for him.

He could easily be the #1 overall pick based on talent. He could also need a fair amount of time to learn how to lead and run a NFL offense.

It’s very easy to imagine him being a NFL star or the latest Ohio State QB to flop. Quite rightly, someone will roll the dice on his special qualities. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s as the first player taken, or even the first quarterback.

On a different note — I really enjoyed watching Wisconsin safety John Torchio in this game. Big hits — a brilliant catch on the Stroud interception. He looked athletic, tough and impactful. He’s a senior.

Hendon Hooker vs Anthony Richardson

A lot of people ask me about Hooker — and increasingly ask why I’m not that high on him as a pro-prospect. I appreciate why that’s hard to comprehend with the Vols winning and Hooker putting up big numbers.

I think this game, despite Hooker’s success in it, highlighted what I’m trying to get across.

Several of his big plays were wide open, easy throws. And when I say wide open — I mean no defender in the same postcode as the receiver. He threw a handful of inaccurate passes that were fairly reckless — throwing high or wide of the target. He had a sack/fumble on 4th and 8 where he simply had to know you’ve got to get the ball out. He took far too long in the pocket. He took avoidable sacks.

I’m not completely blind to what he does well. He has impressive athletic qualities. His arm strength is good and he made some nice throws. He had a great improvised scramble for a good gain. He is elevating Tennessee and for the first time in years, they’ve found a productive QB.

I do think, though, that he’s more of a really fun, productive college QB than someone who necessarily will be a high pick. There’s a lot of one-read stuff. His scheme sets the table for a lot of what he does. He’s not always particularly accurate.

This isn’t me saying he’s useless or has no NFL future. I’m just trying to be realistic about his stock. Increasingly now — as soon as a college quarterback puts up great numbers, they get talked about as a high draft pick. We’re seeing it with Michael Penix Jr and others. Yet we’re living in an era where offensive production at a prolific level has never been more common, especially when we see very creative offensive coaches running a lot of college teams.

It’s important to remember that production, however good, doesn’t dictate stock or a projection.

On Anthony Richardson, this was a nice bounce-back game. He made better decisions, made several ‘wow’ plays of the ilk we saw against Utah in week one. This was a marked difference from his previous two outings.

He did fumble on a horrible looking quarterback-keeper that more or less ended the game as a contest — but even then, with time running out, he led a couple of touchdown drives when it would’ve been easy to press and make mistakes. His interception was only on a Hail Mary at the end of the game.

It’s hard to get a read on his stock. He basically has everything physically. He just looks inexperienced and undercooked. In time, everything is there to be special. You’ve just got to let it develop.

It’s very easy to forget that Josh Allen was fairly hopeless at Wyoming. Mistakes galore. Never elevated his team. He had some really ugly games. Now he might be the best player in the NFL — because he’s a physical freak of nature. Once he had time to develop, he delivered on his outrageous potential.

I do wonder if the same thing could happen with Richardson. He runs a 4.4. He has a special arm. He has ideal size. We saw touch passes in this game. He has shown an ability to process within a pro-style offense.

He might need a couple of years to learn but the upside of Richardson is basically unmatched. The question is whether he’ll deliver on the unreal upside or whether he’s just an amazing athlete.

Jaren Hall with another good game

No quarterback has surprised me more, so far, than BYU’s Hall. He looks a different player compared to last season (when he was supposedly playing through an injury).

Wyoming put up a heck of a fight on Saturday and yet, as with Oregon the week prior, Hall’s performance was consistently really strong.

He wears #3 and it has to be said — he does look a lot like Russell Wilson at times. There’s no getting away from that.

He improvises well — twisting and spinning away from pass rushers to extend plays and then throw confidently on the move. His touch and loft passes are so similar to Wilson’s at Wisconsin it’s uncanny. He throws with great base and positioning — with his shoulders consistently square to the target.

He doesn’t quite have Wilson’s arm strength but the more I watch of Hall, the more I like him. As a day two option with major upside — I think Hall is worth monitoring.

Bryce Young’s very easy day

Alabama played Vanderbilt and predictably, it was a walk in the park. Everyone was open. The running backs ran riot in the running and passing game. Young had all the time in the pocket. On one play with 15 second left in the first half, he threw to an area where two receivers were open, next to each other, in the same five-yard radius.

It was hard to learn anything from this game other than to say Will Anderson is fantastic and he remains a very realistic option to go first overall.

If you missed our post-Falcons reaction show, you can watch it here:

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  1. Peter

    What a year to have a high draft pick….

    Really enjoy these breakdowns. Intrigued and slightly concerned with how Seattle might approach this draft.

    Smith has really played above his level. It’s not great. Not at all. And perhaps I was very wrong about Waldron who looks to be very good at scripting a half of football.

    I could actually see if Smith continues along (4000 yards, 23 tds, 12 ints,) punting on a first round qb. From this staff. It’s not the move I would make.

    A little worried that John “tell all my friends I liked Allen,” Schneider will be enamored with Richardson. And if this team had a wizard at any coaching spot I’d be here for it. Yesterday showed fairly well that there is no one developing anyone on this team.

    TVD. I really liked him after your breakdowns last off season. Now I think it’s time for him to hit that transfer portal. Pull a Wilson and head to somewhere like Minnesota and raise up a team while getting the stink of Cristobal off of him.

    • Rob Staton

      My shout for TVD would be to replace Levis at Kentucky

      Pro style offense

    • McZ

      He won’t go to Minnesota.

      Minnesota has Tanner Morgan, who utterly wrecked the Spartans, and has an insane completion percentage of around 88%. PFF currently has him as their top rated QB.

      Their C, John Michael Schmitz, is also having a great season, so far.

      • Rob Staton

        Morgan is a senior and won’t be with Minnesota next year

  2. GoHawksDani

    It seems like it’s Levis who’s a small gamble, or a bigger gamble at QB.
    If we have #2 and #1 is Levis should we pick Will Anderson and use or other R1 pick to maybe get a QB? #2 seems pretty high for any other QB, including Stroud.
    We could use our #2 and #12 for example to move to #1, but if #1 is a QB needy team, they likely won’t trade. If they are not a QB needy team we won’t need to trade.

    Only option I think for trading up to #1 or #2 (if we have #3/4) in my opinion if #1/2 doesn’t need/want a QB and the teams between us would want a QB (so, if we pick #4 and #1 doesn’t want a QB, but #2, #3 really needs one #1 might be willing to trade with us because they might be able to pick their guy anyway). I think it’s pretty unlikely. #1-5 will likely want a young good QB, so if we’re not #1, then bye-bye Levis and maybe even Stroud.

    In fact, if we’re picking lower than #3 we’re pretty much screwed. 1-Levis, 2-Anderson, 3-Stroud will likely be the 1st three to go (maybe not in that order). QB fall off is pretty big from there and based on what Rob wrote, all the other positions might have a steep dropoff after #3.

    My current guess is that there’ll be 4 options:
    A, we pick in the top3 and get a blue chip talent, likely a QB or Anderson. We can use the DEN pick for another good starter or a QB with some upside but also question marks (if we selected Anderson)

    B, We pick a bit later #4-#7 and we either stay put and reach (DE/OLB/QB/CB) which is a risky move

    C, Or we trade up from for example #6 to #3 using our other R1 (and getting a late R2 or something like that additionally) to probably select Stroud. Sounds OK, but then we’d only have like 3xR2 to get starting level players for DL, iOL, secondary and LB group (and WR3 maybe too)

    D, Or we trade back from for example #6 to like #14. Pick up an additional end of R1 or top of R2 pick. Use our 5 pick in the top50 to get a QB with upside, like Hall, Richardson or maybe even TVD in early R2, our picks in the 14-18 range to get a good passrusher, DT or iOL, and our two early-mid R2s to get an LB and CB.

    My favorite would be A, but if by some miracle this team would be too good for a decent tanky-season, I’d probably prefer D if there are no clear divider between the players in the #5 and #15 range.
    Feels like even if we get Levis/Stroud, our iOL will be bad/questionable at least. We won’t have a good WR3. Our LB corp will suck. Safeties awful. Passrush not much and run D horrible. I’ll be super happy if they get a young QB with great potential (especially if he won’t be a bust), but I’d rather not see them pushing all their chips onto that dream. Use the native R1 pick, but preserve the other higher picks and start to build a team

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t understand why, from this review, your takeaway is that Levis would be ‘the gamble’

      • Comfect

        Rob – I don’t think that was the intended takeaway: I think it was that Levis is the “small gamble” to everyone else’s “bigger gamble”. I.e. no Andrew Luck here, but Levis is a clear preference.

      • GoHawksDani

        Every pick is a gamble 🙂 I meant he’s not perfect or a sure thing either. I understand he’s the best of the bunch, but to me it seems he’s a bigger questionmark than Murray or Lawrence was for example. Maybe I misunderstood it

  3. cha

    This is literally what I described in the watch points.

    Johnson rushing wide. Al Woods not reading the play. Cody Barton once again mirroring the fullback and not seeing there is a gigantic lane. Josh Jones having to hustle to the other side to catch the runner.

    I’m going to crib Rob a little. If a nobody like me can see that, every OC in the NFL can.

    Also, I confess. I am the one who sent the drone to delay the game. I am Spartacus.

    It was the only thing I felt I could do to help this pathetic mess of a defense.

    • Big Mike

      Good effort cha but sadly it didn’t work.

      Pete Carroll, defensive genius.

  4. Ashish

    Just amazing work. Football is not your first job but you still find time to watch so many foot ball games, do analysis and then type the quality article. Thank you for the quality information.

  5. Happy Hawk

    Great content Rob. Love the post college weekend breakdowns. The Hawks stayed on schedule Sunday in what we may look back on as the #1 pick bowl, Too bad we don’t play the Texans this year.

  6. Tyler

    So is Tanner Morgan jumping into the conversation for top end draft talent or where does he fall for you?

    And what to make of Duggans hot start?

    • Rob Staton

      No, unfortunately not.

      Morgan doesn’t have a pro set of traits

  7. Big Mike

    As always, your hard work is much appreciated Rob.

  8. cha

    Great stuff Rob.

    Would it be fair to say the traditional NFL talent-producing powerhouses (Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio St, etc) are not giving the league its annual roster of 10-15 intriguing top line prospects this year?

    • Rob Staton

      There are players on those rosters I need to study closer (focus has been on QB’s). But I’ve not noticed any ‘wow’ top-10 types

  9. cha

    Didn’t have the heart to listen to the PC show this morning but you can get most of it here if you like

    A couple turds I picked out

    Brandon Gustafson
    Carroll said Hawks did everything they needed to do to win, just didn’t happen. Pointed to third down rate and turnover differential. Said the defense needs to sort out the run game and that’s “the key area” and “something we have to improve at” and it’s a point of emphasis.

    Asked about potential personnel changes, Carroll said Boye Mafe needs to play more. Said the same of Darrell Johnson as well.


    Brandon Gustafson
    Carroll said Falcons didn’t need to pass the ball much, but when they did, Mariota made some big plays.

    They had 7 20-plus yard pass plays.


    • Peter

      Mafe and Taylor need to play more? As in more games? Seasons?

      Because a quick look at snap count shows:

      Taylor: 67%
      Mafe: 33%

      Now I could totally be wrong here but the way I was taught math was you take the two numbers and add them together and my results are that’s all the snaps.

      Maybe the new look hybrid 3-4 that plays the same as the old look 4-3 there’s a possibility of 110%-120% of potential snaps.

      I wasn’t the biggest fan of the nwosu signing but he seems to be okay(ish). Are they planning to spell him more with *gasp* a rookie or a guy who currently plays like a liability?

      Got to be honest I am kind of jealous that Pete gets to say things like “we did everything they needed to to win…..” but then not win and keep his job. Must be awesome to make so much money and have so little stress to worry about.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I think he’s talking about the other Darrell, Johnson. Which tells me they’re not going to play Taylor as much going forward.

        • Peter

          Hilarious, Pete speak is breaking my brain! Here i am getting fumed about some player I’ve never heard of or thought about thinking he’s the player the team is royally messing up.

          Had to search why I don’t know Johnson. Then I realized two tackle assists on a third of the snaps is why I don’t know him.

      • Big Mike

        You al know the saying/truthism about absolute power

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      How can he say they did everything to win and it just didn’t happen? If they had done everything, they would have, you know, won. You didn’t have the heart to listen this morning? I am not sure you have the heart to listen to them ever.

  10. Henry Taylor

    I would like to see Kenneth Walker involved more, he’s a player on this team that is adding a clear spark in his moments.

    Like it’s cool they’re finding creative ways to get him the ball and all, but I want to see him getting some series where he is just the RB to see what happens if he can get into a rhythm.

    • ukalex6674

      Exactly. Just give him the ball.

    • cha

      Pete spoke yesterday that Walker missed a handoff on a busted play.

      I really hope he’s not doing the “make a single rookie mistake and you’re out for 3 games” type thing with Walker. They cannot afford to do that.

      On that note, I thought it was hilarious/sad yesterday that the announcers talked about Penny being a leader now, taking Walker under his wing and showing him how to rehab and what to expect.

      • TomLPDX

        For some reason, this comment just sits wrong with me. I know most of you guys have tattooed “bust” on Penny’s forehead because of all the injuries he’s had. But who is to say that he isn’t a leader. For all we know he is just extremely introverted and doesn’t play into the stereotype but is in actuality a big help for Walker to move forward through this season.

        • cha

          It was not about Penny the person. More about the one area they offered he was displaying leadership in was helping Walker rehab an injury. An area he has extensive knowledge of.

    • BA

      This is another thing that confounds me. The use a high draft pick on an exciting prospect and then proceed to stick him in a pure committee backfield in a system that abandons the run as soon as the team YPC falls below 8. Penny is obviously not going to catch lightning a bottle again at this point so we should really be seeing Walker get usage similar to Dameon Pierce.

  11. Denver Hawker

    Rob- did you or will you catch any of the UW v Stanford game? Curious your thoughts on McKee as the season goes. Stanford isn’t very good, but they run the same offense that seems to translate well at the pro level.

    • Rob Staton

      I will try and find it 👍🏻

    • Big Mike

      I watched the first half and when he had time, which was rarely, he looked good to my untrained eyes.

  12. Volume12

    Haven’t posted in a long time, no hard feelings or nothing, hope y’all are well. Got a family now and been busy w/ that.

    2 guys I think are absolute dudes. Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech (6’6, 275 lbs., 36″ arms) and Auburn’s Derick Hall (6’3, 256 lbs).

    On the QB front. There was a TD throw Michael Penix made in the 3rd quarter Saturday night (8:50 on the clock) that was sit up outta your seat, NFL level good.

    • Rob Staton

      Good to hear from you 👍🏻

    • cha

      V12 woo!

    • Big Mike

      Your family has been more important than us? I’m hurt
      seriously, good to see ya man.

    • Jabroni-DC

      I took last season off but DAMN, wasn’t sure you were still in this plane of existence.

      Congrats on the family & welcome back! I know how busy that is.

    • Sea Mode

      Hey! Broadcast showed someone at the game with a big “Volume 12” banner and I thought of you!

      Had Derick Hall on the watchlist for a while now.

    • bv eburg

      Nice to hear from you Vol, glad all is well.

    • Fudwamper

      The skinny post between two defenders. That was a classic NFL throw. Hasselbeck loved that throw to the right. The TE dropped the pass but that was a good throw.

  13. cha

    The other Rob also going through it a bit.

  14. cha

    Monday Press Conf

    (somber Pete, he looks and sounds like he had a rough night)

    [q] Rush defense bad, 5 yards per carry? “Wasn’t attacking. Weren’t hitting our spots like we were supposed to. I was really impressed with their running back.”

    [q] Lewis holding calls? “Screen big play, set us back on last drive, legit. Tight hold. Always tug of the jersey they see.”

    [q] Offense progressing as expected? “Last week throwing game Geno in command of it. Knew he would pull it off put it together. Area not being concerned about. Tough passes, timing good, third down wins.”

    [q] Cody and Brooks’ play? “I think Jordyn been at top edge of game. Got a million things doing well. Doing everything well. Cody, couple plays he needs back. Got a lot of exposure yesterday. Fit him up in runs better. Couple third down passes. Working very hard at it. Counting on him to come through.”

    [q] OL ? “Really solid. Protection great. Running game 5 yards per clip. Tackles continue to show consistency we love. Not wowed by what’s going on.”

    [q] LB responsibility when 5 guys on the DL? “Good Q. Depends on the call. Have different stuff they do. Both aspects have single gap responsibility at times, opposed to two-gap. Difference between the two, they have to know.”

    [q] TEs help your offense besides move the chains? “Continue to push it, really good group for us. Edges can take adv of in running game. All 3 guys, can’t take one guy away and effect us. Matter of growing with it. Slows your offense a little, not so many fast guys out there. But develop it, nothing thye cannot do.”

    [q] TEs good? “Best group we had here.”

    [q] Artie Burns? “Couple weeks in shape, well on his way to being fine. Practicing this week.”

    [q] DBs competition? “Tariq doing great job. Keep him growing. Know Artie can play, Sidney can play. Deeper group of players.”

    [q] Tariq early in career success? “Gotta be honest, I didn’t think it would be. Didn’t know background, measurables great. Way better than projected. Because of mentality. Tuned in. Open for criticism, getting better. Talk to him in game, calm and poised. Don’t need to pat him on the back too much. Pretty big deal in 3 weeks.”

    [q] Leap of faith to start him? “Yeah, to start a rookie corner big statement. HOwever he earned it. Day one. Route after route. Work against Marquise (Goodwin) elevated our opinion. Could handle speed and be consistent about it. Young guys, you don’t know if they can be consistent. Gave all coaches confidence.”

    [q] Compare him to Sherman? “Savvy right from beginning. Great brain for a player. So aware.”

    [q] Rookie class? “Fantastic. Great sign moving forward, improvement next 3-4 weeks. We have to maintain a vision for downroad here, we’re going places. QB that much on it, gives us big expectation. Just gotta get going. There’s no time, but future looks bright.”

    [q] Huskies doing well? “Fired up doing so well. QB doing great. Crazy FB week, Cougs. Three teams in our division (NFCW) 1-2. Exciting year.”

    [q] Drone? “Didn’t see it. Anyone see it.”

    [q] Sue Bird? “Tremendous respect. Great moment.”

    [q] Future looks bright, this season? “You don’t want to talk more about Sue? That was fun. If you like the Seahawks, how can you not be fired up about Geno.”

    [q] Tariq stick to the basics? “Steppin and kickin. Things comes comfortably to him. Make each play.”

    [q] Second half bad? “Adapting to season and adapting to games. Have to get used to length of the game and deal with it.”

    [q] Defensive changes? “Adapt guys to scheme. Guys prepped to scheme they need. Just ball-coaching.”

    • cha

      5 Questions on Tariq Woolen

      A question on the Huskies

      A question on the drone

      A question on Sue Bird

      And when asked a real question about how poorly they play in the 2nd half he threw the young players under the bus, with no followup about his offseason prep work, conditioning or adjustments from the coaches.

      The Seattle media is trying to out-Pete Carroll Pete Carroll in their performance.

      • Big Mike


        My opinion of both Pete and the Seattle media. You all bore me to tears.

        • SeaTown

          Yea, I’ve stopped listening to the players and to the coaches. If I do put Carroll on YouTube I end up half listening and doing other things. I don’t believe a word he says and don’t trust a word he says.

          I am where I was at the end of the Flores/Erickson eras. Just hoping for enpugh losses to actually get them fired.

          • Rob Staton

            I’ve completely tuned Carroll out

            Used to listen to every press conference

            • TomLPDX

              Same here

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s see how this offense gets on against opponents who aren’t as horrible as we are on defense

      • bmseattle

        I believe we’ve already seen that scenario unfold.

    • GoHawksDani

      But just how good is Sue Bird?

      • Rob Staton

        I can’t believe questions are being asked about Sue Bird the Monday after that defensive performance

    • cha

      Look at the thumbnail the seahawks chose for his press conference video

      He looks like he’s been up all night chugging sewage.

    • GlastoHawkUK

      A seriously hilarious bunch of answers, my personal favourite : “ Have to get used to length of the game and deal with it”

  15. Gomhawk

    I haven’t noticed any OG in 1st round chatter, maybe there will be some there in the early 2nd, anyone good that I’m missing? Interior OL needs to be addressed one way or another.

    So glad Cristobal left Oregon. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with TVD going forward, but I feel for him. Didn’t watch the game, but benching him smells like Cristobal is already trying to shift the blame.

    • Jordan

      Some are projecting Skoronski to move inside a la Zach Martin.

      Torrence is an awesome guard prospect. Vorhees too.

      Van Pran, Schmitz, Avila probably the top centers.

      • Gomhawk


  16. Spencer

    Curious of your thoughts on the separation between Jaren Hall and the rest of the 1st round guys. I feel like if he keeps playing the way he has he will join the group of guys being considered in the first round.

    • Rob Staton

      I think with his age and the fact there’s a marked difference in physical upside his ceiling is probably early second

  17. Big Mike

    The Dallas Cowpukes in prime time tonight. Screw that utterly irrelevant pos franchise. Not gonna watch, especially cuz their opponent makes me puke almost as much as they do.

    • KD


  18. KD

    With regards to Georgia defenders, they don’t tend to put up big production numbers. Their defense is so good that they tend to get off the field rather quick. Travon Walker had only 6 sacks last year, but he garnered attention enough with his physical tools to be the #1 overall pick. Even now, Georgia’s leading tacklers are Smael Mondon and Malaki Starks, with 17 total tackles each. That’s tied for 529th in the nation. In this regard, statistical production is not a great angle for judging Georgia defenders. Of course they don’t put up huge numbers. They get off the field before they have a chance to rack up the stats

    • Rob Staton

      Well the same can be said for Alabama but Will Anderson had over 30 TFL’s last season

      And some of Georgia’s defenders were a bit overrated last year (Nakobe Dean)

  19. Seahawkwalt

    Greetings Rob..
    Have you scouted Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State DE/OLB? He looks tremendous.
    Go Hawks

  20. Nick

    Rob, haven’t been on in here in awhile. Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your amazing analysis. Difficult time to be a Seahawks fan…hopefully we get lucky with our next QB.

  21. cha

    PFF team grade

    • cha

      PFF Defense

      • cha

        PFF Offense

        • cha

          Through 3 games

          Damien Lewis 53.7
          Austin Blythe 39.6
          Gabe Jackson 51.9

          Poona Ford 45.2
          Al Woods 57.6
          Quinton Jefferson 43.6
          Bryan Mone 54.3

          Cody Barton 42.3
          Jordyn Brooks 53.2

          • bmseattle

            Meanwhile, Creed Humphrey is at 79.7 for the season so far.

            • Big Mike

              Salt, meet open wound yet again.
              But hey, we got a durable, quaity 3rd WR………….oh wait……………. 🙁

          • GoHawksDani

            Lewis was pretty good until they switched him to the other side
            Ford, Woods, Mone, Taylor and Brooks were decent/good until they switched to 3-4

            Maybe they should stop messing around?

            • Big Mike

              They’re quite possibly screwing up Cobe Bryant too by putting him in the slot.

    • 12th chuck

      So, infuriating, I knew this season was going to be bad, but to lose to one of the worst teams in the league, damn. Good thing Pete Caroll is so much smarter than everyone else

    • Big Mike

      Can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run. Aren’t those 2 things the hallmark of “Pete Carroll football”?

  22. Jed Simon

    Levis is a beastly man to be sure, and if the draft were tomorrow, he’d likely be the first QB off the board. Nonetheless, so far Jaren Hall is my favorite QB in the class. Beautiful, natural, effortless delivery, consistently resets his base with nimble feet, rips it with great RPMs and accuracy, makes difficult throws…

  23. Rob Staton

    Charles Cross’ pass-blocking grade after three games: 57.5

    Abraham Lucas’ is 69.2 FWIW

    Cross, as noted during the draft process, has to fix his technique and get stronger or this won’t work

    • Big Mike

      Love ya Abe, go Cougs!

    • Volume12

      Cross & Tyler Smith look much better than Ickey & Neal though.

      • Ashish

        Right, Neal was not good in last game.

    • Erik

      Cross is 21 years old.

      • Rob Staton


  24. JJ

    I recorded the game on Sunday and was able to watch it last night. All I could think about watching the game is what the hell have they done with Damien Lewis. He seems broken. As a rookie so much promise and now he looks really uncomfortable and unsure of himself.

    • Elmer

      They should consider sitting Jackson, moving Lewis back to RG, and starting Haynes or Curhan at LG. If you’re going young, do it! Sit the over the hill guys.

  25. Volume12

    Has anyone watched Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue? Sheeesh. Playing his way into a day 2 pick, maybe day 1 if his speed is legit

    • BK26

      Sigh…one of a few ex-Hawkeye wr’s that transferred to Purdue…has talent and is a terrific return man. One of those guys that plays the basic’s perfectly so the qb always knows where he is supposed to be. As a Hawkeye fan I’m glad he’s showing up even more now. Our qb situation is worse that Seattle’s.

    • SeaTown

      Yes watched the Purdue/FAU game this past weekend. He looked really good.

  26. Blitzy the Clown

    cha reported that Carroll said this about Jordyn Brooks at yesterday’s “Tell the truth” Monday’s presser:

    I think Jordyn been at top edge of game. Got a million things doing well. Doing everything well.

    Anyone else agree with this assessment?

    Anyone at all?

    I, for one, do not in the least agree.

    Great to see ya V12! Congrats on the family, man!

    • Zane

      I don’t think he’s been bad, per se, but far from spectacular. He would probably look a lot better if he had a competent d-line in front of him, and it doesn’t seem like the scheme shift has helped him either.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Sure, he’s not Cody freaking Barton. And no, he’s not getting any help from the DTs.

        But doing a million things well? Playing at the top edge of his game?

        GTFO with that crap Carroll.

    • cha

      Best thing I can say about Brooks is he’s not getting paid $18million this year.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Speaking of…I can’t believe he wasn’t asked about the safeties.

        Adams is out
        Diggs isn’t the same
        Josh Jones is bloody awful

        After them we have Teez and Neal and Blount


        We have the worst safety group in the entire League. We spend more(?) than any other team on our safety group.

        And not one question about it.

        • Big Mike

          Sue Bird more important.

    • Mick

      I really really hope this isn’t the best Brooks can do.

  27. SeaTown

    I know Rob has mentioned this in the past but it really is sad to see Carroll destroy all the great things he accomplished for the Seahawks and Seattle. He’s going to go out a villain. He should have walked away in 2017. Now he will be run out of town on a rail.

    • Rob Staton


    • Big Mike

      Agree Sea Town. Sadly however, it is likely he won’t get run out until Jody sells.

      • Ashish

        Even if Hawks are 1-16 ? Will that not pressure on Jody ?
        I don’t see Hawks wining single game, Lions will shred Hawks defense coming Sunday.

    • Jordan

      I think being in the present, and the current tough times, lead some to be emotional rather than logical.

      I can’t envision him being seen as the villain nor “destroy all the great things he accomplished for the Seahawks and Seattle”. He was the shepherd of the greatest era of Seahawks football.

      It is extremely rare for a coach to get to go out on top or on their own terms. Nature of the sport and the job. Mike Holmgren in Seattle and Andy Reid in Philly both went out at 4-12 and are pretty well regarded in those markets. Sean Payton had Drew Brees from 2006 to 2020 and last appeared in his one and only Super Bowl following the 2009 season, had three straight losing seasons from ’14-’16, had the whole bountygate thing, and is still well regarded in New Orleans.

      Pete’s legacy is fine; it’s just an emotional time for some, and I do understand/respect that.

  28. Gross MaToast

    As the Seahawks as a franchise are seemingly FUBAR until further notice (and heartfelt apologies to those who may disagree), I choose to look to the future and Pete Carroll’s departure, while neglecting to look into new ownership possibilities or new GMs who might make this call. Nobody knows nothing about none of that. So… Who replaces him?

    My Top 5:

    5. Dan Quinn. It could be worse, although he may never recover from 28-3 as Pete & Co never got past 1st and Goal. He hired Shanahan.

    4. Jim Harbaugh. Poetic. Hey, he followed Mike Singletary and put the 49ers in a Super Bowl. So many things could go wrong, but it could go right. I mean, there’s a chance.

    3. Shane Steichen. A flyer on the OC for the Eagles, came from the Chargers where he mentored Herbert in his rookie season. At the moment, the Eagles are flourishing with a QB who’s not great, no RB and a WR who weighs 117 pounds. He could be Mike McDaniel, or he could be Joe Brady.

    2. Kirby Smart. Dude can coach. Won a national championship with a QB who may have been slightly better than me. Would put together a hellacious defense.

    1. Sean Payton. If you want him, you’ve got to give him complete control and do it for 2023. Ok. Done.

    Apologies if your favorite coach wasn’t listed. This is a snapshot of possibilities bound to change with new possibilities.

  29. Palatypus

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t think the Buccaneers should postpone Bruce Arians induction into the Ring of Honor over a little tiny hurricane.

    If Jim Catore can report from Clearwater Beach, you can get your butt out to the fifty yard line. Don’t be a wussy!

    • Romeo A57

      Tom Brady definitely needs to be the person who induces Arians into the Bucs Ring of Honor. The fact that Brady got Arians fired it would be fitting to have both of them in the hurricane together ❤️

  30. Sea Mode

    Just adding on to Rob’s comment earlier about Lucas:

    NFL Rookie Watch
    · 17h

    Abraham Lucas through 3 weeks:

    • 117 pass blocking snaps
    • 0 sacks allowed

    • Sea Mode

      Not sure how this adds up considering the above, but whatever:

      Brady Henderson

      How the Seahawks’ OL is faring thru three games in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate:

      Cross: 89.7%, 26th among OTs
      Lucas: 88.7%, 32nd among OTs

      Haynes: 94.4%, 21st among OGs
      Jackson: 89.6%, 38th among OGs
      Lewis: 87.5%, 49th among OGs

      Blythe: 92.4%, 27th among Cs

      Team: 57.9%, 15th

      • TomLPDX

        So individually, they did ok as a island. As an OLine team, they sucked.

  31. Sea Mode

    Reality is going to hit HARD once we face a serious opponent… Things like this that have been letting PC off the hook so far will not be forgiven and things will turn ugly:

  32. cha

    • TomLPDX

      That’s rough…but it is the truth.

  33. Sea Mode

    Anyone got Jody’s email…?

  34. TomLPDX

    Seattle ranked…drum roll please…#32!

  35. BoiseSeahawk

    If we can’t draft Levis, how long until Ewers declares? 2024?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s played two games


      • BoiseSeahawk

        haha, true. I have mullet envy.

        Did you catch his debut for Texas v Alabama? pre-injury it was pretty impressive given the scale of that game. I hope that he can continue at that level and if so wouldn’t be a bad option to consider in a year or two.

        • Rob Staton

          They can’t wait that long to draft a QB though

          It has to be 2023

  36. James M.

    Do you have an opinion on QB Will Rogers III? I’m a big fan of his, as well as Levis, McCall, & Hooker.

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