N-O-line: A scenario where the Seahawks don’t go OL at #26

Tony Pauline is now saying Jack Conklin is likely to go in the top half of round one

When asked about the teams priorities in the off-season, Pete Carroll admitted the O-line needed some attention:

“I think it’s still a work in progress. I don’t think we’ve nailed it yet. I think this needs to be a really competitive spot again, and we’re going to work really hard to build it up. For the course of the season, we weren’t consistent enough. We found a real good rhythm, but we can’t start and go through that again. We don’t want to have to experience that if we don’t have to, if we can avoid it.”

So how do you go about setting up a more consistent offensive line?

You could argue rookies (plural) aren’t going to guarantee consistency if you’re incorporating two or three. Improved competition is one thing — but how much competing can you really have if you’re also trying to teach techniques, scheme and the ways of a pro-offense?

Is the winner of this kind of competition merely the guy who picks things up the best? Or the quickest? A race to be less unreliable than the guy next to you?

First and second round talent — the ‘crème de la crème’ — might be up to the challenge. That wasn’t necessarily the case though when the Seahawks drafted James Carpenter at #25 in 2011 or Justin Britt at #64 in 2014.

Many of the top offensive tackles are going to be off the board by pick #26. One or two might last into range — but there’s no guarantee. Tony Pauline, who recently suggested Jack Conklin could fall into the final third of round one, has performed something of a u-turn today:

The Michigan State junior is expected to tip the scales around 315 pounds, about 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight last season, and should time the 40-yard dash in the 4.9-second range.

I’m told last spring that the Michigan State coaches timed Conklin at 4.85-seconds. Conklin is expected to interview well with teams and good testing marks could secure his place in the top half of the first round.

In 2013 three of the first four picks were offensive linemen. Teams are universally looking for options here. It wouldn’t be a shock if Tunsil, Decker, Spriggs, Conklin, Stanley and possibly Coleman are gone by #26. It’s perhaps increasingly likely given the lack of options after that sextuplet are drafted. It possibly leaves the Seahawks considering a move for Germain Ifedi or Le’Raven Clark if they feel they had to draft a tackle.

Can they risk waiting for the draft only to see one after another leave the board? Are they facing a double dilemma — the need for immediate consistency and limited options in round one?

They could draft for the interior O-line and there’s some nice options in the late first or early second. I’m not sure they’ll do that with some of the alternative interior prospects available in rounds 2-4.

It’s time to consider a scenario where the Seahawks don’t go O-line at #26.

There’s probably a reason they’ve relied on veteran free agent defensive linemen over the years. It’s a man’s game in the trenches. You know what you’re getting with a veteran. He’s been there before — he has a few war stories.

They’ve gone the other way on the O-line — seeking out younger, developmental projects with upside. That’s probably down to the complete dearth of talent on the O-line in the NFL. Trying to train your own is the way to go and in that regard the Seahawks are ahead of the curve. They’re unlikely to abandon that plan completely.

Yet maybe they need a stop-gap or two? Someone to come in and provide some solidity? Some consistency? Players to push the younger guys. To teach them a few tricks. To show them what it’s going to take to succeed.

After all, look at Seattle’s Super Bowl winning O-line: Okung, Carpenter, Unger, Sweezy, Giacomini. A veteran line with Sweezy in his second year.

They weren’t perfect — but they didn’t hold the team back either.

There isn’t a bottomless pit of money and Carroll has stated his desire to re-sign as many of their existing free agents as possible. Even so, with some of the UFA’s the situation will be taken out of their hands.

Bruce Irvin is going to get at least a couple of big offers — and there’s nothing they can do about that. C’est la vie. J.R. Sweezy has been linked to a heated market. Jermaine Kearse maybe turned up in enough prime-time games to get a team to bite on his playmaking quality. Jeremy Lane is a talented, versatile corner and they get paid in the NFL. It could go either way with Russell Okung.

If they keep only three of their seven free agents expected to earn an average salary greater than $2m a year — they might be left with enough room to bring in a couple of savvy veteran O-liners. It might not be the big names — Osemele, Boone, Mack — but players who can fill in and allow the Seahawks to keep working with their young talent.

Maybe they can land a big fish somehow? We saw what a lukewarm market did for Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in 2013. A name player on a prove-it deal could work nicely for the Seahawks — allowing them to get a year or two of quality play while developing the replacements. Signing Avril and Bennett seemed unlikely in 2013 — so let’s not rule anything out.

Such a scenario would also free them up to look at different positions early in the draft. They can look for that next SPARQ superstar with production.

It opens the door for a D-liner, linebacker and running back in rounds 1-3 in any order. Whatever suits. And the depth in the middle rounds for interior offensive linemen could allow them to add to the competition in 2016 and for the future — although they would probably need to hit on one good O-line pick between rounds 2-7. A provisional starter.

You can imagine whatever scenario you like. Add a tackle (or re-sign Okung) and a veteran guard but still draft a center (Martin, Glasgow, Kelly, Whitehair, Westerman etc). Add a tackle (or re-sign Okung) and a veteran center and look at the guards (Tretola, Glasgow, Dahl etc). Or build the interior in free agency and draft someone on day two or three who can handle a speed rush off the edge (Fahn Cooper?).

There are plenty of options. If they can add a couple of veterans — or sign one and retain Okung — it’s arguably the best way to provide immediate consistency in 2016.

They wouldn’t be ignoring the O-line in the draft completely. They’d still be bringing in one, two or even three players with a view to starting one and developing the others.

The Seahawks probably aren’t going to be able to suddenly create an elite offensive line in one off-season. They might replace the entire starting line from 2015 if Garry Gilliam switches to left tackle. This is going to take time and development — at a time when they need to get this sorted now because they’re in a Championship window.

Again, it all depends on the free agent market. Don’t ask me to name any possible targets because I can’t help you there. Who expected Stefen Wisniewski to be without a team until mid-April last year? Ditto Evan Mathis until late August. The Seahawks are likely to be looking at the second and third wave of free agency — or even beyond. Wisniewski and Mathis are examples of the type of value you can find. Mathis’ cap hit in 2015 was $2.9m, Wisniewski’s $2.5m.

If they’re able to bring in a couple of vets that could mean going in a different direction at #26. It’ll bring a linebacker like Deion Jones into play, a Derrick Henry, one of the dynamic receivers (Coleman or Fuller) or one of the long list of defensive tackles in this class.


  1. Colin

    With the potential run on offensive linemen early, it might set the stage for signing a vet in FA. I don’t think this team can afford to be chained to the draft for acquiring new offensive linemen this year. Supposedly, they were set to draft Mitch Morse last year and when that went awry they were left holding the bag. Can’t allow that scenario again.

    • Coleslaw

      It was either Morse or Marpet, they said they got 2 of the 3 players they wanted (Lockett, Clark and either Morse or Marpet) Nobody has said who the 3rd player was.

      • Colin

        I’m pretty sure they wanted Morse to plug in at Center. Davis Hsu dropped a few nuggets about this over the last year.

        • Steele

          Sambrailo might have been on the list.

      • Volume12

        They also tried to trade up into the 4th round. We’ll probably never know who it was for, but I don’t think it’s coincidental that Carolina took Oklahoma OL Darryl Williams with the next pick.

        • bobbyk

          And that’s when the Seahawks stopped trying to trade up in the fourth, too (Williams, Darryl).

  2. Nathan_12thMan

    I am all for these options. I don’t care all THAT much what happens as long as the players we get are quality guys and our O-line is good in 2016. A few FA vets with some draft picks + Gilliam and maybe Glow? Great. Just please improve the pass pro.

    Ideally we let Okung walk and Coleman drops to us at #26, allowing us to replace a expensive OT with a cheap, quality OT. Then you can address Center in the mid-rounds to compete with Lewis, bring in a vet LG and bet on Glow (or hedge that bet by drafting Dahl).

    But that doesn’t seem to be likely, so my current hope is we can re-sign Okung for a reasonable amount of money. Let Sweezy walk, Glow competes for RG, Lewis competes for C, and Britt competes but should end up on the bench. Competes with who? Draft picks (C, RG) and vet FA’s (LG).

    As long as Sweezy and Britt are off the line I am happy. But if we see Britt at OT or OG in ’16, if we re-sign Sweezy…I’m gonna be pissed.

    • Willyeye

      The problem with Okung is that he’s been an injury magnet…even when he plays, he’s playing through some kind of pain or injury. Is it really worth paying him like $8 million APY? Okung just hasn’t been all that great the last couple of years…in 2015 Okung was even graded below average by PFF. I don’t see a huge dropoff in Wilson’s game when Bailey is replacing Okung either. I agree with you. Let Sweezy walk also…he’s just not very good. Get 2 or 3 inexpensive veterans and 3 draftees for the O-Line. I’m kind of leaning toward a veteran FA to replace Okung, Glow to replace Sweezy, and trading down from # 26 to get an extra 2nd round pick and 3rd round pick. That would give us 5 picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds…a total of 10 picks. That would make it easy to pick 3 or 4 O-Linemen and still have 6 or 7 picks left for 2 DT, OLB, RB, CB, DE, WR.

      Go into TC with 5 new O-Linemen, re-sign Lewis and Bailey, maybe even Jeanpierre. Start with Gilliam/veteran/draftee, high pick draftee/Bailey/Britt, Lewis/veteran/draftee, Glowinski/draftee, draftee/veteran/ Britt. They could still add Nowak, Sokoli, Jeanpierre, Poole and Pericak to the mix, giving them some 15 O-Line guys to compete in TC. Make a decision before preseason, and get an O-Line playing somewhat consistently by Week 1.

  3. rowdy

    I think the go veteran route with low cap hit guys so they don’t have to go oline early. Then it one falls they don’t have to hesitate in taking him because they spent big in fa. I’m a little hard on the g/c in this class in the first. Martin being the only one I would be happy with. Let’s say 6-8 oline men go before 26, a playmaker will definitely fall to use and we wouldn’t have to hesitate to take them either. Pc/js always want to go into a draft with no crucial need and I think Britt put an exclamation point on 5hat train of thought

    • Nathan_12thMan

      I agree with this. I hope they either love the guy they can get with the 1st or they trade down (assuming that is possible). Why? Because I love the idea of us having two picks in the 2nd, two picks in the 3rd, and 2 picks in the 4th.

      If we re-sign Okung then hopefully we have the money to sign a vet FA to LG, draft a C (Glasgow?) and RG (Dahl?). If we don’t re-sign Okung then sign a FA OT (bring Breno back?), sign a vet FA LG, and draft C and RG.

      Something I thought of that hasn’t been said in any article i’ve read anywhere thus far is one of Kearse’s best qualities is his chemistry with Russell, specifically in the scramble drill. How one of his weaknesses is being a dynamic, athletic WR who can win routes and get separation. Well if we upgrade the O-line like we hope, then scramble drills should be happening less, and happening more should be Russ standing in the pocket waiting for his receivers to win their routes.

      I think back to when Russ was white hot in the 2H of 2015, he wasn’t scrambling he was standing in the pocket all game. Think about the Viking game where we won 38-7….Kearse had no catches. Russ did that from the pocket to Tyler and Doug (both with 90+ yards receiving).

      So if we upgrade the O-line, one of Jermaine’s best qualities (scramble drill connection with Russ) is nullified and his worst qualities (route running, separation) are magnified. That screams to me; let him walk, spend the $3mil+ on O-line. Improve the line and Russ with pass pro = historically good. Yes just having Tyler and Doug is thin, you gotta put a emphasis on drafting a quality WR and you gotta feel strongly that at least one of the WR’s on the roster will produce in ’16 (Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams, P-squad player).

      • rowdy

        Multiple picks in those rounds would be great

        Your fa plan is just what I was thinking

        Half way agree with Kearse though, I think he played great this year but is still a very limited wr. With you’re fa plan that would leave the room to draft Coleman or fuller to replace Kearse but I don’t see seattle taking a wr ever in the first and would rather them go defense is they hold off on oline In round 1

        • David

          Agree 100% Nathan

  4. cha

    It feels like it passing on spending high draft capital on the OL would depend on the FO’s and Cable’s feelings of if a veteran OL they are looking at could be plug-and-play ready. If you’re going to pay a guy say $2m and he still is going to have those first 5 weeks of adjustment to the scheme, and it clicks from then on, it feels like it would make more sense to go with a draft pick and follow Cable’s idea of re-training the guy anyway.

    That’s probably a oversimplification.

  5. MisterNeutron

    I get it if there’s no O-lineman they like at #26 (or early 2nd) and then go another route with that pick. I’m in favor of them drafting Le’Raven Clark as a high-upside developmental guy with that #56 pick (assuming Clark remains valued that high), or possibly a center prospect there, then getting a solid OG in the middle rounds, and then some athletic, raw D-lineman in a late round whom they can convert to an OL prospect. In some mocks I’ve seen Jason Spriggs available in the late 2nd, though I doubt he’ll last that long.

    I do expect them to make a decent effort to keep Okung, and then bring in a vet to play G or possibly C. Very curious where Terry Poole is in his development. Not sure what to expect from Sokoli–maybe it’s not too late to flip him back to a DE (mostly kidding)?

    • J

      Is Clark going to help the consistency of our line? The answer is no.

      If he was available in the 6th I could see us taking him. Historically that is where we have drafted guys like Sokolji and Scott. But not on the first two days.

      • Trevor

        You cannot compare Clark to Sokoli or Scott. He is a legit LT prospect with incredible length and ideal tackle size. He would be a steal IMO at the end of the 2nd. He is a project but not like the guys you mention and exponentially higher upside.

        • matt

          Agree Clark would not help the consistency on the OL. I’d think about taking him in on day 3.

          Trevor- I’m not sure why Clark isn’t comparable to Scott. Scott had the 6’5″ 307 lb frame with 34 3/4″ arms, and a high sparq rating. What I’ve seen of Clark is very disappointing. He looked clueless during the Senior bowl week. All I see going for him are his frame, length and athleticism. Greatly lacking skill and know how. I think it’s a pretty good comparison between the 2. Both look the part, but need a lot of seasoning. It’s a bummer Scott never got the chance to go to work.

          • Greg Haugsven

            I’d be pissed if the burn 56 on Clark. 90 or 98 is ok

          • MisterNeutron

            Let me qualify my endorsement of selecting Clark–ideally he’d be availble in a later round, but because so many good OT should go early, his value will be a bit inflated. In a vacuum I view Clark as a mid-round project with huge upside–you can’t teach his kind of length and size, and he already has great foot quickness and athleticism.

            Clark’s learning curve should be much less than a guy like Sokoli who had never even played on the OL before. What if they re-sign Okung to an incentive-laden one-year deal, coach up Clark, then in 2017 start Gilliam at LT and Clark at RT?

            If they really think he’d be available in the late 3rd, then great. If they want Alex Collins or a DT or a LB with that 2nd round pick, super. I won’t be sad if they don’t get Clark, but I think the potential there is significant.

          • Robert

            I absolutely love how well the Seahawks handled the Garrett Scott situation with empathy, class and grace!

            The FO performed their medical due diligence and discovered a rare and serious heart condition. THEN they had the kid sign his Rookie contract so they could waive him the following day. They knew he would clear waivers and revert back to the Seahawks Non Football Injury List. This allowed the devastated player to get his signing bonus, first year salary and the best medical attention there is.

            I proud that my Seahawks demonstrated to corporate America that a little chink in the bottom line is a worthy investment to do the right thing for your people!

            • matt

              Absolutely agree Robert. That was a true moment of class by the Hawks.

        • 12thManderson

          I suggest to all who are into Clark, go watch him vs Baylor & Oakman. He makes the “Jane” that is Oakman, look like the Tarzan that Oakman is Not. Physically overpowered not out techniqued. I see him as a liability unless he has a groomed vet helping beside him exsmple Sweezy for Gilliam & Okung for Britt.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            Clark is absolutely and completely terrible. In virtually every way you can be terrible. And in ways that no OT with his length advantage should ever be.

            He’s more of a day 720 guy in terms of cracking the active roster.

            Day three only. And late at that. If Lawrence Gibson who killed the combine could go R6 last year — I’m ok with that. But I wouldn’t touch him before R6. Doing so just means giving away a player at another position that will likely make the final roster for a guy who is destined for a two year stint on the PS.

            I’d put his likelihood of making an active 53 at around 10% based on what I see today. He may well be worse than an actual DT convert come rookie minicamp. Because while he will have familiarity with OL technique that DT converts won’t — the reality is that he doesn’t have any appreciation or ability to actually execute that technique. Which strongly indicates he just simply can’t do what he should have mastered by now.

            • matt

              “Because while he will have familiarity with OL technique that DT converts won’t — the reality is that he doesn’t have any appreciation or ability to actually execute that technique. Which strongly indicates he just simply can’t do what he should have mastered by now”

              Couldn’t say it better myself. Maybe the DL convert is better off learning the OL fresh, without any bad habits built in. A clean slate for Cable to mold.

  6. Coleslaw

    I’m not impressed with Ifedi at all, he rarely holds his ground, consistently put on skates. Just does not look good. He’s a 4th rounder to me..

  7. KingRajesh

    Rob, what do you think about the reports that Laquon Treadwell will not run at the Combine, preferring to wait until his pro day?

    Do you think he falls out of his #1 WR spot? Out of the first round entirely?

    To me, he’s not that much higher on my board than the other Top 5 WRs on my list, and if you’re drafting a WR in the 1st, why not look closer at a Michael Thomas or Josh Doctson, who aren’t essentially pleading the 5th when it comes to demonstrating their worst trait as a WR?

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’s covering his ass. He doesn’t expect to run well and is playing it safe. That’s his prerogative. He’s still a fine player — just not very fast.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      It’s worth noting too, that the Combine 40 is run on the turf. It’s generally considered a slow surface.

      And it’s torpedoed slower guys before. Marquise Lee was a bottom third first round pick who slid to R2 with a bad time. You can’t unmake a bad first impression.

      • bobbyk

        Treadwell will probably be as “fast” as Anquan Boldin was. Slow. But a great receiver.

      • matt

        Since when is turf considered a slow surface to run on? Always thought the opposite.

        I’ve never heard of a healthy WR refusing to run a 40 yard dash. I get where Treadwell is coming from. It’s strange to see a skill player not run.

        • Volume12

          Turf is built for speed.

          What happens at the combine is the field gets worn down.

  8. vrtkolman

    PFF came out with an off-season projection list for Seattle. They presented the idea that we could afford to re-sign Okung and also bring in Brandon Brooks and Richie Incognito. Lane was re-signed as well – Irvin and Sweezy are gone in this scenario. I believe Mebane also leaves but their reasoning is more performance based than money. They graded Mebane very poorly last year.

    Okung-Incognito-Martin/Westerman-Brooks-Gilliam. Now this would be a best case scenario, but that is as close to a 180 degree turn as you can get with an offensive line. This lineup looks like a real strength.

    • Volume12

      I’d be very cautious of Richie Incognito.

      Not sure he’s such a good fit for a for a relatively young team like Seattle.

      • Ben2

        No Icognito please. No.

        • smitty1547

          we would have been in the SB had we signed Incongnito and one of the other cheap FA we had in for a look

    • bobbyk

      I don’t see any scenario where we need two FA guards. I really think Glow will be fine.

      I’d like to have Okung back, but am not overly optimistic either. I wouldn’t break the bank for a guy who will need a good back-up because he misses time every year.

      Breno won’t cost much. If we got Brooks/Breno in FA, that would really open up a lot of options in FA, imo.

      • MisterNeutron

        Breno at the right price sounds good.

    • C-Dog

      Actually, for the most part, I l really like this PF scenario, minus Incognito. Brooks has the body they like at LG, but always played RG and isn’t thought of as a great power blocker, but does well in zone blocking. I don’t know what to make of that as a Seattle fit. I actually like the scenario of them keeping Okung, and going big with signing Osemele. Hold onto Lane, if you can, and letting Mebane test the market.

      Okung, Osemele, Westerman, Glowinski, Gilliam. Looks pretty good to me. If they can’t/don’t keep Okung, they can still add another veteran tackle. Honestly, though, the main reason I prefer Okung is simply keeping the continuity. I’d rather replace 2 positions on the line than 3.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Okung and Osemele sounds great but that’s a fat chunk of change. Plus Osemele is UFA which would mess up the comp picks. It sounds great but I’m not sure it’s feasible

        • C-Dog

          Yeah, I think it’s unlikely they go in that direction, but buy signing Osemele, isn’t that good value for what you would potentially use that comp pick on? Also, having Okung and Osemele together on the left side of the line for the next four years is something, IMO, I’d be more than happy seeing them spend some fat cheddar on.

          • Robert

            It would be nice, but does not sound like the Seahawks’ way. They are more likely to once again put all their chips on another Tom Cable miracle. Only this time, I think he gets an infusion of a cheap veteran FA, a decent Draft prospect and a late round flier. They are also counting on improvement and competition from developing players on the roster.

            • C-Dog

              Yeah, but who knows, maybe after last season, they might be ready to change it up. After all, Carroll is a great at adjusting as he sees it.

              • Volume12

                I’d give up a 3rd round comp for a C though.

                Alex Mack.

                I’m gonna say Kelechi Osemele signs with Indy.

                FWIW, I’m with Robert. I think Seattle will add a rookie starter, a FA starter, keep either Okung or Sweezy, and add a project/depth/red-shirt later on in the draft.

                • C-Dog

                  Coolness. I can totally see that scenario, but until it happens, I am going to continue dreaming big on Osleme in Seattle, though!

    • CC

      Jonathan Martin was a teammate of Doug and Sherm – some how I don’t see Incognito ending up in Seattle. I don’t know if Martin is a good or bad guy, but the drama that would come with him isn’t worth it.

      • Steele

        Jonathan Martin hasn’t been that great. I don’t want the flipside to the Incognito drama either.

        • smitty1547

          His teammates backed Richie and thought he was a great teammate, except Martin who is already washed out. Maybe if he would not have wussed out Richie would have turned him into a player and made a career for the kid

  9. Ground_Hawks

    Are there any Sam linebackers that would could be available at 26? I like the idea of LSUs Jones adding more speed, but the size difference between he and Irvin is significant. I just can’t see the FO reaching on a pick in the first round, despite high SPARQ metrics, unless they fill a position of need. I’m hoping that the players behind the curtains can come in and contribute next season, but replacing Irvin with an exact match seems unlikely.

    • vrtkolman

      Remember Malcolm Smith played a lot in 2013. I don’t think size is an issue for this team, it’s more speed than anything else.

      • lil'stink

        Jatavis Brown to Seattle confirmed.

        • Robert

          Sound like an undersized film junkie with some speed. Long odds, but film junkies with speed can learn and play fast.

    • Rob Staton

      Deone Bucannon is 211lbs.

      People shouldn’t be concerned with Jones’ size.

    • Ground_Hawks

      *By players behind the curtains I’m referring to players on the practice squad and those currently on the roster.

      • Volume12

        GH, It’s not a good draft class for EDGE prospects.

        As Rob said. Let’s hope one emerges, and I believe it’s why PC said ‘we’ll see what the draft brings’ or something to that effect.

    • rowdy

      Irvin was reach in round one as well and is he leaves it will be a position of need. I think Jones fits perfectly for that role. Watching his tape it doesn’t look like his size is an issue.

      • Volume12

        Deion Jones just plays like a Seahawk man.

        Definetly one of my draft ‘man crushes.’

        Seattle has never shied away from taking guys that are ‘too small.’ Jones plays with a healthy chip on his shoulder.

        • rowdy

          Right! I don’t know how people look at his tape and talk about he’s to small. We could see a record set by LB taken in the first this year. And to me Jones definitely is a first rounder.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I am concerned about Jones size *runs around with head cut off waiving hands wildly*

    • bobbyk

      Don’t forget that Wright originally replaced Curry at SAM. It’s not like Wright can only excel at WILL because he’s played all three LB positions for the Seahawks at a high level.

    • GeoffU

      No way we draft a SAM linebacker at 26, unless he’s really really special. Just not that important of a position. Irvin was drafted to be a DE pass rush guy, only when that didn’t work out did he transition to SAM. Can Jones rush the passer? I don’t think so. Pass.

      • bobbyk

        Jones isn’t a SAM.

        • GeoffU

          Then why is everyone saying he’ll replace Irvin (our SAM linebacker)? And if not, what’s the point in drafting him? To have him sit behind Wright and Wagner and only play special teams? Makes no sense.

          • bobbyk

            Jones is a WILL. Wright would move back to SAM. Jones, Wagner, and Wright would all start. Wright would just shift to where he’s played before. He took Curry’s job at SAM midway through his rookie year. Wright is simply unique in that he’s good at every LB position. Jones seems like he’s got some Derrick Brooks quickness to him. Fascinating. He had 5 sacks this past year and he didn’t blitz much. Wow.

            • dtrain

              There are holes in his game. He is undersized yes, but he is physically weaker than you’d expect. He is great in matchup zone and man coverage, but lacks instincts and feel playing with width. His eyes are all over the place and he goes like a bullet at the first shiny thing he recognizes–it takes him out of a lot of plays and puts him in bad angles on others (when he does diagnose a read correctly, though, boy he gets there FAST!). He makes a lot of roll tackles as he lacks the strength to go pad vs pad against runners–he isn’t a finisher. Even Coker from ‘Bama posterized him on a run (9:35 on draft breakdown game). He is twitchy as all get out and has great special teams value, but I think Telvin Smith is the better player (I really liked him coming out)–much stronger player, better instincts, played within system, hit runners above the waist and they felt it. Jones might be over-picked as this is a weak LB class, but I would stay away until the 3rd, maybe even early 4th. I know this won’t be a popular opinion here, just what I’m seeing.

              • Volume12

                Fortunately there’s a realy cool thing at the VMAC. The ‘Seahawk tackling’ tape.

                This is why Seattle likrs big bodirs at DT in their base defense. Keep the LBs clean.

                Also that scouting report sounds alot like ET’s when he came out.

              • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

                100% agree with you on Jones. He is an accessory, not part of the foundation. He would be ancillary. He can’t be asked to hold the point of attack. I am sorry, but he can’t. I hate the Deone Buchannon comp because Deone is a safety who is aksed to primarily in the box. He is a floater. I like a Buchannon to Polamalu comp much better than a Jones to Buchannon. Unless we are going to use Jones as a 3rd safety who is in for run down packages, then he is not someone who presence will tilt the field. I am sorry but I just don’t see his impact the same way as all of you. I would feel the same way about Jones that I did about Richardson and Michael. Maybe as a 3rd rounder where you can take a swing on a high upside guy with the potential to give you 4 or 5 big plays every season, but as a first rounder who would be an every down guy? Playing at the actual WLB and not just a glorified 3rd safety, never. Could he even stay healthy?

            • GeoffU

              Spending a 1st a Will isn’t any better than a Sam. Unless he’s Derrick Brooks (he looks more Malcolm Smith to me), I would hate this pick almost as much as I did the Aaron Curry pick.

              • Steele

                To me, Leonard Floyd is closer to being an Irvin/SAM/edge rusher replacement than anyone ranked below him in this draft. It’s not a good draft for it.

                • Steele

                  Much of Irvin’s value is that he has been playing two positions, LB and DE. If they don’t find a replacement that also handles two jobs, then they need two guys: a traditional LB like Deion Jones and a situational pass rusher.

                  • Volume12

                    And you don’t like UW’s LB Travis Feeney either?

                  • Robert

                    Frank Clark might gobble up a lot of those snaps.

                  • Miles

                    I think we’ll add another pass rusher in FA. Chris Long and Cameron Wake would be the most likely targets. It would be awesome to see about Aldon Smith too, if you can have him for cheap. Even if he is out the first 8 games. At least he will be fresh for the latter stretch of the season!

                    At SLB I just think there’s got to be someone in the later rounds who they would like to coach up. They are also pretty high on Pinkins I believe. My prediction is that Pinkins will be the starter next season at that spot and I am okay with that.

  10. Baldwin

    Well, if all those LTs are off the board, it could push an interesting D prospect down to 26.

    I’ve said this before, but I hope we resign Okung, let Gilliam continue to develop and get comfortable at RT and beef up the interior with a couple prospects like Westerman, Martin, Glasgow etc. Replacing 2-3 OL is going to be hard enough but completely blowing up the OL and having 5 new guys and/or position changes would be some serious growing pains in the first 5-6 weeks again.

    • AlaskaHawk

      No worse then last years growing pains. And if you keep Britt then you are crazy – he is B-A-D bad!

  11. Ground_Hawks

    Maybe a better question is do you all think that if Irvin departs, will this become a position that is valued more for speed than power? Or what are your thoughts? Thanks!

    • Rob Staton

      Speed at LB.

      • Volume12


        Look at all the guys they have listed at SAM. Speed and athleticism is what they have in common.

    • Robert

      I think the relatively slow KJ moves back to SAM and a quick, athletic player wins the WILL spot. Pinkins was training as a SAM despite being extremely athletic and with good length. KPL is very SPARQy, but has struggled to play assignment correct in limited opportunities. I’m hoping Pinkins proves he can hold up setting the edge because he offers a potentially big upgrade in pass coverage. If so, it seems like he is more suited to WILL despite the early grooming at SAM.

  12. Volume12

    Rob, if no ‘Seahawky’ EDGE prospects emerge from the combine, probably unlikely, but if Baylor’s Shawn Oakman is still on the board in the 4th, what do ya think?

    I agree he’s extremely raw, and disappointed this year, but some defensive minded HC is gonna fall in love with his athleticism and size. Ecspecially if he weighs more than the 270 he did at the Senior Bowl.

    Not necessarily saying it’s gonna be him, but they just seem rooted to pass rushers with character concerns, off the field red flags, etc.

    • Rob Staton

      He has no grit — I think it’s unlikely for that exact reason.

      • Volume12

        Fair enough. Makes sense.

        • Volume12

          Remember, well I know you do, 2 years ago the theme or emphasis on the draft was ‘finding guys that fit in the locker room and high character prospects?’

          This year it’s gonna be grit. Huh?

          • Volume12

            I should say it always is, but even moreso this particular year.

  13. CHawk Talker Eric

    Last night I was thinking about a few things – how SEA have filled gaps in the DT group with solid FA vets; how they’ve never done that on OL; how this year there are some decent solid vet FA OLers available.

    Then I started thinking about the whole concept of fighting the board, and how this year the talent is deep with DTs and interior OLers, but shallow with OTs. And how there are likely to be 1 or 2 field-tilting offensive/defensive weapons available early.

    Maybe they don’t fight the board this year like they did in 2014. Maybe they set themselves up to focus on DTs and high upside athletes early, and interior OLers mid/late, by filling the OL gaps in FA.

    • southpaw360

      I hope they don’t fight the board. I think you are right there will be a couple field tilting players available at 26 that drop there due to teams jumping the DL/OL early. Pick the best athlete/football player at 26 is what I want. If it’s a WR so be it. Just get the best value at that pick.

    • Volume12

      I like Jeff Allen, Mitchell Schwartz would be a stud, someone I believe you mentioned, and I’ll throw out a sleeper.

      Ryan Schraeder.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Isn’t he a RFA?

        • Volume12

          Oh. He might be. Thought he was un-restricted.

          • Greg Haugsven

            I hope they can find a trade partner if they don’t have a player they like. I was looking at numbers last night and if you pick 26 you pay 4 years 8.7 million with 3 years guaranteed. If you could get to 36 for example you would pay 4 years 5.9 million with only 2 years guaranteed. That’s only 10 spots different. Probably main reason they like to trade down.

    • C-Dog

      Yeah, I’ve been thinking this for a while now. It cuts against the grain of what they’ve done in the past, but I put myself in Carroll’s position, and I think maybe I got a 2 or 3 year window to win another Superbowl here, if I sign another short extension. I don’t want to go through 2015 again with my OL. I want to try and keep as many of my players as I can, but I need to find an answer at LG who will be a significant upgrade the minute he is in camp, and if we can’t get a deal with Okung, I need a veteran tackle, and I’d love to get some veteran stability back at center potentially. This is a deep draft at DT, with some really cool talent, we can afford to go younger there. We know what we like at linebacker, and feel confident drafting there, as well. We will draft a running back. We will add a corner. We will continue to add to the pass rush. Don’t want to rely on too much youth learning on the fly with the OL, seen enough of that, want to come out of the gates having it figured out.

      I can see a scenario where maybe they do hang onto Okung, pay decent $ for a vet LG, and add a solid if not spectacular vet at center in the second wave of FA. If the board doesn’t need fighting, maybe a few mid round picks go to Dahl, Phan Cooper or Alex Lewis to compete and add depth.

  14. Steve Nelsen

    When Coach Pete says, “We don’t want to have to experience that (O-Line inconsistency at the beginning of the season) if we don’t have to. If we can avoid it.” that signals to me that keeping Okung (and maybe Sweezy) is a priority.

    They must know that they have to replace Britt at LG. If they did nothing else but that, then you could expect improved pass-blocking next season.

    As mediocre and injured as he was, Okung was our best overall lineman last year. I think Gilliam would benefit from another year to develop at right tackle before considering moving him to the left side.

    If they add a veteran like Mack or Unger or Mathis or Brooks to the interior, I would be happy. It would also make sense if they drafted a guy like Glasgow who could play at guard or center if Sokoli doesn’t pan out. And I would expect them to come away from this draft with 2-3 O-linemen.

    I don’t like the idea of adding Incognito. I prefer a player who brings a high level of play without his level of personal baggage or locker room chemistry risk.

    If the pass blocking doesn’t improve this season, I think Cable’s ability to coach pass blocking techniques or develop pass blockers has to come into question.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I often wondered about that.

      The way Pete framed the answer may be compelling. He stressed consistency.

      And if he’s stressing that, I have to wonder aloud if adding OL talent via the draft is necessarily in line with that. Because rookies are going to be anything BUT consistent.

      Whether it means resigning our own guys for continuity. Or if it means adding known veteran talent that will not be so up and down with their play. Seattle suffered by adding 3 inexperienced players and it sounds like Pete was intimating that he didn’t want to add that kind of learning curve next year.

      Which would seem to suggest that relying on the draft for OL changes may be limited. Not saying we don’t draft OL for development. But that we may not be looking at huge bulk additions via the draft. Maybe just one guy.

      It might be worth considering that we may go this kind of route regardless of whether or not OL options are already taken in the draft.

      • BHarKnows

        I guess I hope that they realize that rookies don’t necessarily mean you’ll get bad performance. I don’t think starting a defensive line convert (Nowak) versus a career center would produce the same result just because they were rookies. Obviously there is a learning curve when entering the NFL but that’s not the same as learning a new position. I just hope their quest for consistency does produce consistent mediocrity. The biggest issue on the O line is talent evaluation IMO. There seem to be things the Hawks get enamored with that don’t seem to click or translate on the field. Hopefully they realize this an re-evaluate their evaluation process.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          It’s not just the rookie learning curve.

          Our ZBS system take time to get coached up. Not dissimilar from our defensive back group.

          But beyond that, there is a distinct league wide issue where OL are coming in lacking a lot of technical expertise. Footwork, hip drive etc is generally not being taught or stressed at the college level. And that lack of preparedness makes it tough to excel coming in as a rookie.

          Even early R1 picks are routinely standing on the sidelines early in their rookie seasons. It’s not at all uncommon across the league. It’s not logical to think we’d stumble on a guy who will be day one ready. Even if we spend high draft capital.

          I wouldn’t expect to see more than one rookie/1st year starter on the OL if Pete’s mandate is OL consistency. That probably includes Glowinski should he start in 2016.

    • C-Dog

      It’s been my preference all along that they try to hang onto Okung, and Sweezy. I don’t know if they do. They seem to like Glowinski, have maintained that he is a RG, so it seems as if he’s the one to take it over, but Cable’s man crush has anyways been Sweezy. They’ve talked about Gilliam’s athleticism like he is potentially the LT of the future, but Carroll stated in a presser after I think their second loss to the Rams that not having Okung for the game was a factor, that he has been their veteran stabilizing presence that “settles the other players down.” If they don’t hang onto either player, I would have to imagine them signing at least two veteran stabilizing forces to the line, and that still might not satisfy all the spots. It would be weird to see them bring in 3 new vets, 2 new vets and a rookie could be likely, but that pretty much means 3/5s of the line is brand new. Maybe that’s what they do, but then realistically, you’re probably waiting on continuity.. again.

      Kind of brings me back to Okung, and then Sweezy. Keep your guys, add a significant upgrade at LG, ensure stability at center. Fix the two interior positions that had been the major swore spot throughout much of the year.

      • Steele

        Interpreting Pete is difficult. I can easily see a “keep everyone” agenda, including the more mediocre, because of familiarity. Familiarity trumping all else.

    • goatweed

      Cable will never field a league average Pass blocking OLine. Alex Gibbs never did. It will remain in the bottom third.

      However, the Hawks have taken a poor pass blocking OLine to the superbowl twice. What happened in 2015 is that the Hawks couldn’t get the run game going. Their short yardage success early in the season was miserable. The reasons were pretty obvious..

      1- Lynch had an injury filled season.
      2- Unger and Carp (perhaps the best power blockers) were replaced with Nowak and Britt.
      3- Jimmy was learning how to block on the job.
      4- Lockett isn’t as good of a run blocker as Lockette.

      What happened is the Hawks went more pass in short yardage (quick slants, baldwin across formation, etc). By the end of the season, the Hawks OLine knew their responsibilities and could at least hold it together for 2 seconds at a time. Add in a quick hitting run game and the Hawks had a decent run.

      This is perhaps what the Hawks will build for the next season. Quick hitting pass/run combinations which helps the OLine.

      • Robert

        I hope so. I like the spread schemes and Russ proved very adept at picking the D apart as long as the GCG can hold up for 2 seconds. The opportunities in the run game are tantalizing with the defense often in nickel and only 6 men in the box. I like moving the chains and scoring early instead of battering away at 8 man boxes and forcing the D to keep it close with the idea that we will own the 4th quarter. I think controlling the ball/TOP early and putting up points forces opponents into must score situations, which is a recipe for disaster vs our defense.

      • seahawks509

        I agree with most of this. I like the quick passes and getting our guys in space. Baldwin can really play and I always thought he would thrive on a team like NE. I think he’s better than Edelman. I don’t like the bubble routes to him. I want those to go to Lockette. I do think we need to stick with the run and PA game though. That’s what ultimately got us to the SB. We can do both and im confident we will.

    • seahawks509

      This. The only way to add consistency is either keeping our guys or signing a FA. I am not confident adding someone at 26 will add consistency. What OL that we have drafted late in the first or the 2nd has added consistency right away? None. We learn from our mistakes and move on. Unless there is someone we really love, I think we do the same thing we have been doing recently. Drafting later guys to add to the competition. To push the guys they already have. I wouldn’t be shocked if we waited till round 3 to draft a Olineman.

  15. Coleslaw

    Deion Jones is the perfect fit for me. (20 more pounds to fight blocks and matchup with TEs) He’s got the speed they love, plays hard, would look great swarming with the rest of the D. People need to realize that we don’t need to get another Irvin, he is not by any means a prototypical Seattle linebacker, he’s a DE. He did most of his blitzing as a DE, occasionally rushed from a 2 point stance. Frank Clark is going to be in Irvin’s DE spot, we just need a true linebacker for first and second downs. Jones can drop into coverage, shoot gaps, rush the edge, good against the run. The one thing he wouldn’t have is the natural ability to turn the corner on an OT, (Irvin has it because he’s a DE) but also, he has insane speed and having that next to Wagner would be a huge bonus, it would make the opposing QB really have to fit the ball into some tight windows. It would make our whole team better immediately.

    • Volume12

      I’d take him in round one. No hesitation. He’s that good.

      Great STs player and something that’s overlooked about him. He patiently waited his turn to play. Which signals to me he’s unselfish, and a great teammate.

      • Nick

        Excellent point. Moreover, he made the most of his opportunity last year. Seriously impressive stuff.

    • sdcoug

      Not a profound comment…but speed is so dangerous. It doesn’t have to always make the tackle…just making early contact or disruption allows your other speedy D-mates to swarm and blow up a play. I might be in the minority, but I’m actually excited at the prospect of replacing Irvin with a more traditional LB…as long as it’s a demon like Jones

    • Rob Staton

      I’d want him at 225lbs personally — similar to Telvin Smith (who is freaking awesome btw).

      • Trevor

        I thought Jacksonville got a steal when they picked Telvin Smith and he has been better than I could have expected. If he is the comp for Jones I would be all in for that pick.

        • Brandon

          Does that mean that someone like Terrance Smith could come in play in the 4th round? NFL.com has his pro comp as Telvin Smith, and the funny thing is that they were teammates. Very athletic and could be a cool pick.

  16. Ehurd1021

    Rob…. just wanted to say your post have been awesome.

    I have been looking at CB’s lately in this upcoming draft and three kids have really impressed me. The first guy I mentioned to you a while back – around this time last year – which is Wayne Lyons (6’1″/195.) Lyons was at Stanford the past four years and he transferred this past season to Michigan.

    The next kid who I was really excited to see this past year was Fabian Moreau (6’0″/195.) He was supposed to be UCLA second best defensive player behind Jack but he got hurt.

    Sean Davis (6’1″/200) out of Maryland is another interesting kid. He switched from safety to CB, he had over 80 tackles this season and also had 3 interceptions.

    KeiVarae Russell (5’11″/190) was one of the best young CB prospects I seen before he got suspended due to academics at Notre Dame. Came back this past year and had a very solid season for a kid who missed a entire year of football.

    Artie Burns (6’0″/197) out of Miami I think is one of the best CB’s in this years draft. He isn’t obviously as good as Ramsey/VH3 but he IMO is right below them. I would have him higher on my board simply because I think he is overall a better athlete than Alexander but not as elite as the two above. Really interesting athlete and I love his on field demeanor.

    Interested to hear your opinion fellas… any CB’s I may have overlooked be sure to let me know.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the tips Ehurd1021 — I’ll check these guys out.

    • Brandon

      I’m also a big fan of Lyons. Loves to learn and leads by example. Great attitude.

    • JimQ

      Sean Davis is also a real hard thumper and a guy I hope they consider at 3/98 if he’s available. I think he’ll have an impressive combine. ET as well as Kam won’t last forever.

      “”Pain, that’s what opposing ball carriers feel as he flies into them with reckless abandon. He’s been credited with more than 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. His versatility will certainly be coveted by NFL scouts, who might see his athleticism, height/length and tenacious play as a nice fit as a press corner or cover safety.””

      • JimQ

        Sean Davis, CB/FS, Maryland, 6-1/202.
        2015: 88-tkls (70-solo), 3-INT, 5.5-TFL, 1.0-sacks, 3-PBU and —–>5-FF.
        2014: 115-tkls (80-solo), 4-TFL, 1.0-sacks, 8-PBU, 1-FF.
        2013: 103-tkls (63-solo), 1.5-TFL, 0.5-sacks, 3-PBU, 1-FF
        per: cfbstats.com

    • Robert

      If Wayne Lyons dislikes Harbaugh, I say grab him…even if we have to over draft by 3-4 rounds!!!

  17. Cysco

    The way that Okung has been talking I just get the feeling that he’s going to do a short term deal with the Hawks. Additionally, the way that the internets has been rumbling about Sweezy, he’s gone.

    With that, you have the left and right sides locked up.

    The team also showed a good deal of confidence in Glowinski. So, let’s say he has the RG slot going into camp.

    That leaves two spots to fill in LG and C. I imagine they’ll fill those with one rookie and one veteran. In the second round.

    That would leave you with a potential starting OL of:

    Okung –>Rookie/Vet–>Rookie/Vet–>Glow–>Gilliam

    That would seem to be a good mix of veteran presence and young upside. I just really hope the hawks don’t find themselves in a situation where they need to force a move and grab multiple starters for the OL in the draft.

    • Nick

      That is a really great offensive line in my opinion. Continuity is still there, but you are much more solid in the interior. Gilliam should also conceivably take a step forward next year.

      I think we may see the Seahawks overpay for Okung. I’m talking 9-10 million per year. It just makes the Seahawks puzzle so much easier to solve. You then only need to focus on the interior and always you to really go after BPA in rounds 1, 2 and 3. Are you overspending on Okung? Possibly. But it allows you to make better personnel decisions as a result.

      • David

        Thats a great scenario in theory and what I am hoping for but I guess it comes down to how much you can pick up Okung on a short-term prove-it deal. If you can get him for $6-7m that leaves you with a couple mm to spend on a FA Center (Wis?) or Guard and have a little left to keep Rubin and Mebane (or another FA DT).

        If you have to pay $9-10m for Okung then there isn’t a ton left over to pickup a C/G and keep anyone else.

  18. Josh

    Rob you talked about Henry blowing up the combine and forcing the Hawks to consider him, but what about Coleman? He’s expected to run 4.35 jump 45″ long jump 11’+. Could such a performance along with his production force the Hawks hand at 26 if he is there?

    • RealRhino2

      I don’t really understand this talk of blowing up at the combine, and I don’t really think NFL scouts agree with the notion, either. I’ve seen Coleman on film, I’ve seen Henry on film; what does it matter what they run or jump at the combine? For big school guys who we’ve seen running by actual defensive players, I don’t think any of the athletic events add much.

      MAYBE it helps a small school guy who hasn’t been tested by other big time prospects (Byron Jones?), or for guys coming off injury, but for 90% of the guys it doesn’t matter, IMO.

      I bet the real test for Coleman is whether he’s closer to 5-11 or 5-9.

      • Steele

        RealRhino, NFL scouts do react to guys blowing up at the combine. JSPC/Cable react, too. All that SPARQ stuff.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          The best part… in about 1 week, we will have new SPARQ scores to geek out on!

      • Rob Staton

        Combine definitely helps Rhino. Look at Tavon Austin for example. Or Byron Jones.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Hey Rhino,

        Here’s a good synopsis from Scott Fitterer at: http://www.seahawks.com/news/2016/02/23/what-seahawks-are-looking-week-nfl-scouting-combine

        “…tests such as the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap can either confirm what scouts have seen on tape, or cause them to go back and look to see what they might have missed.

        “What that can do is either confirm what you’ve seen on tape, or it can make you go back to the tape,” said Scott Fitterer, the Seahawks’ co-director of player personnel. “It can make you question, ‘Hey, I thought he was faster, I thought he was more explosive.’ It will lead you back to the tape, it makes you ask more questions. You go back and say, ‘What am I missing on tape? OK, I see that now, I see he’s not as explosive as I thought.’ That type of testing just leads us back to the tape.”

        The combine is just one piece. A layer. It generally is meant to either confirm what you thought you saw — or merits taking a harder look for better or worse. It’s not the end all. But it is significant and it does matter.

        It helps strongly to identify which players are going to be physically more capable of doing what it is you require of a position. We definitely have archetypes that we look for with certain positions.

        And equally important:

        “When it comes to evaluating what a player does in certain drills, Fitterer notes that it’s less about the actual number and more about how the running and jumping translates to football. For example, when an offensive lineman is running the 40-yard dash, a 10-yard split means a lot more than the 40 time.

        “When does a guard ever run 40 yards,” Fitterer said.

        “Why is the vertical important or the broad jump?” he continued. “It’s not really about the numbers; we’re gauging his lower body power and strength—how explosive is he in that lower body. What we’re looking for inside each drill is the football movement. The three-cone, we’re looking at how a guy can drop his weight and turn the corner, explode out of that cut? How can he change directions? We’re looking for the football movement inside of each drill.”

    • Rob Staton

      Yes — but if he does all that he’ll be long gone by #26.

    • seahawks509

      If Henry blows up the combine I expect him to go a lot earlier. Not quite as high as Gurley, but he could get pretty close. My only knock on him is that I think he might run a little high. He’s a big guy so that could be a problem. I am not worried about the carries or really anything else. I am not sure why no one is very high on him.

  19. KyleT

    Rob has made a great point here in this article and it’s one that shouldn’t be considered just another speculation kind of post. The PCJS Seahawks ALWAYS address a position of need in FA to some degree. They don’t want to be held hostage to picking a desperate need unless they know they can meet the need in mid rounds.

    I fully expect the moves in FA to create enough of a pencilling in of players to create a lot more flexibility in regards to our first few picks.

    • Robert

      Usually works out well. They just have to avoid the Cary Williams of each position group!

  20. Seahawcrates

    The value in this scenario, if so many teams below 26 go offensive line, will potentially be in the other positions of need. If Seattle has already built a serviceable line through wise free agent choices it gives them the option to go O-line if their guy drops but the opportunity to draft a special player who would not have otherwise been available but for such a run on lineman. I’d like to see some vets in camp so the team doesn’t feel the need to reach as they did with Britt.

  21. bobbyk

    If this were any other position on the team I wouldn’t say this, but Tom Cable doesn’t seem to care about many things that everyone else seems to care about (such as the Seahawks won’t pick a CB without 32 inch arms).

    With that being said, why not draft Cody Whitehair and try him at LT if all the tackles are gone? He’s almost a lock to be a stud LG, but why not a good LT (or RT)? Compete.

    I know, I know… his arms are just under 32 inches, but this isn’t Pete Carroll looking at Smith, Simon, Sherman, Thurmond, Maxwell, Lane, etc. This is Tom Cable and he could care less about plenty of things.

    Maybe we lose Okung and we’re stuck with Gilliam at LT. Why not go with Whitehair to compete for LT? If he loses, stick him inside to be a Pro Bowl LG. I know he doesn’t have the Cable size for LG but maybe he could play RT. Still, at the end of the day, you’d think Cable would rather have a good 300 pound player like Whitehair at LG, rather than another 325 pound stiff there.

    If you draft Whitehair, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be getting a really good offensive lineman (regardless of the position he plays on that unit). That’s something this team needs desperately – good OL players.

    • Rob Staton

      Bobby — I’m not sure there’s a team in the league that would consider Whithehair at tackle with sub 31.5-inch arms. That’s incredible really for a man his size. It’d be a major disadvantage. One of the keys for length is to be able to redirect and dictate to the DL. You cover the inside rush and use your arms to shield the outside. You can usually run a speed rusher out of the play using their own aggressiveness. It’s harder to do when your arms at that short.

  22. Darth 12er

    I can’t find any information on Garrett Scott. Does anybody know how he is doing, and if it’s at all likely that he will have play football again? He was a draft pick that I was pretty excited about.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Last time I heard anything about him. He is not cleared to play football due to a heart condition. He was on the Seahawks NFI list last season, but I’m not sure where he stands now.

  23. Hughz

    Going into the combine there are 3 guys that just seem to pop out like Seahawks. Eli Apple, Deion Jones, and Sheldon Rankins. I’d be happy with any of them.

  24. BGahan

    For those who haven’t read this, you might find this an interesting read.

  25. RealRhino2

    I could see this happening pretty easily, but IMO, we really just need to make sure we get a decent tackle out of FA. Anything else is gravy. Figure it this way: I could roll into next year with a line of Gilliam, Lewis, Glowinski from our current roster. Britt and Bailey offering competition/depth. I think you can have a decent line with those three guys. Now, those three plus two bad players (e.g., Bailey and Britt) = bad line. But those three plus two good players (e.g., Donald Penn (just an example) and Nick Martin) = pretty decent line.

    I think there are several good choices for a plug and play guard/center in the draft that wouldn’t necessarily take our 1st, but no tackles ready to start (MAYBE at RT) outside of R1. Therefore, we need to grab a tackle in FA, whether it’s Okung or somebody else. We do that, I’m fine with not going OL early.

    Having said that, in the whole list of guys Rob had in the last blog post, only Chris Jones and Fuller would conceivably be worth a 1st for me. I really like Jones at LB, but really, even if he’s a really good WILL, is that worth a 1st? I don’t really think so, given that I trust Pete to go find an OLB in the mid rounds that can be a pretty good SAM.

    BTW, thought experiment re Jimmy Graham: Let’s say he wasn’t a Seahawk. Just another FA. Heck, let’s make it so no compensatory picks are involved and say the Saints cut him this offseason after a slightly below average first half of the season and a bad knee injury. You go sign him as a FA on a one-year, $9MM contract?

    I don’t make that deal. Best NFL TE money is about $9MM. Why would I pay that to a guy coming off an injury who (a) might not be what he once was and (b) might only give me 10 games even if he returns to form? Would you go out and sign him for $9MM?

    • Rob Staton

      Why would that scenario be a thing? Graham as a FA coming off a knee injury — of course nobody would pay him $9m this week. But he’s part of an existing roster and he isn’t being cut. Not really sure what the experiment is.

      • RealRhino2

        It’s to determine the effect of sunk costs on our reasoning. Because there is no dead money, the position we occupy is precisely the position we would occupy if my scenario were true. We have two options:

        A. Pay $0 and not have Graham on our team; or
        B. Pay $9 million and have Graham on our team.

        We are, in effect, “signing” Jimmy Graham for $9MM this year. The fact that we have the exclusive right to do so because he is on our roster is clouding the decision process.

        As I expected, you (correctly, I think) said that nobody would give Jimmy Graham $9MM to play for them this year given the nature of his injury. So why are we doing it?

        The psychological effect of losing something is greater than the effect of gaining something. We need to stop thinking of whether we should “cut” Jimmy Graham (i.e., lose him) and start thinking about whether we want to “sign” Jimmy Graham (i.e., keep/add him) at a fixed price.

        • David

          This is exactly how I feel as well though I think its a bit cold just to cut him outright so I would ask him to take a cut this year (say $5m) or whatever we “would” have signed him for if he were a FA and if he declines and thinks he can get something better in the open market than cut him and thats his choice to take a voluntary pay cut or not.

          • David

            Also, as a reminder, one of the reasons the trade was attractive last year was because there was no dead money associated with his deal. And the only reason not having dead money on the contract is beneficial is in situations almost exactly such as thi. The value in optionality is only realized when you exercise your option.

            • Miles

              You guys make really good points. I still wonder how much hard evidence there is that Graham will not have a good year next year. I get that we don’t have to pay him $9m, but if we let him go we have to replace him with someone else. No matter how we played last year, we cannot just roll with Luke Willson and think that’s a good option. We would have to replace him.

              Even if we find one or two other replacements that could come relatively close to Graham’s level, that’s still at least $7m if you want to get that kind of production this year.

              The NFL is most often a game of attrition. If we lose Graham then we are still good on offense. But what if, knock on wood, another player on our offense gets hurt like Lockett, Baldwin or Willson. Then our offense would probably dip exponentially more. I just think we can’t get better by letting Graham go. Not to say that it’s out of the question he could be a liability next year, but there is no hard evidence that he will be.

  26. Steele

    Rob, this piece might be the most thoughtful one I’ve read yet on the situation. You are probably right. Free agency makes a lot of sense for OL.

    But doesn’t the same thing apply to D-line? Lose Mebane and/or Rubin, and then what? Do you trust a rookie DT to start? Jordan Hill? A veteran stopgap is the most reliable answer.

    With just $18M, how are they going to pull it off?

    Maybe the question to ponder is which position if any allows a rookie to actually start? Perhaps the skill positions. A good RB or WR can contribute more immediately.

    • EranUngar

      Steel, you have asked the right questions IMO.

      For me, the key phrase in PC’s statement is “We found a real good rhythm, but we can’t start and go through that again”. It indicates that the Seahawks do not see their line as a disaster. They feel that it did find a good rhythm late in the season and they do not want to go through the growing pains of the first half of the season. They want to have that late season rhythm consistently. The two factors that will prevent consistency are rookies starting and multiple changes in personal and positions. With the above in mind the plan can go as follows:

      Resign Okung. Letting Okung go forces us to either play a rookie at LT or switching Gilliam and having both tackles new to their position. Both options are devastating to consistency from day one. Cost – probably close to 10M APY with first year cap hit of 8M. (If his injury is more of an issue, we’ll need to add Loadholt or Breno at RT and switch Gilliam. More money, less consistency)

      Keep Lewis at Center. The biggest possible mistake last year was the Center competition and picking Nowak. Lewis was a key part in finding that Rhythm. He is not a great Center, not even a good one but he has brought stability and will be better next year. Consistency.

      Resign Sweezy. I know that many hate his play. Cable loves it. JS spoke openly about regaining the bully mentality. Hawkblogger called him a steel cage psycho. I know we have Glow waiting to step in but Sweezy is a key to the OL mentality. Cost – 5.5M APY, first year cap hit 4M.

      Bring a vet LG – With a 3-4M budget we can get a Mathis or another solid vet that will anchor that position.

      Keep Gilliam.

      Keeping 4 of the five starters at their position plus a vet LG should enable them to start training camp with a fixed line and enhance quality and consistency. It would cost 15M of the 18M cap space.

      As a result we can only keep Rubin at DT. (Lane, Irvin, Kearse and Mebane – gone)

      If there was ever a draft class that could be counted upon to provide the closest thing to a safe starting rookie DT, it is this draft class. Hill is still there to compete for the starter job as well.

      That opens the top pics to CB/LB/WR (after we secured that DT). Add 2 OL picks later to keep growing from behind.

      It could work…

      • Volume12

        The one CB I can see Seattle falling in love with early on…

        Baylor’s Xavien Howard.

        Size, grit, prouction, and he’s gonna post a fantastic SPARQ score.

        • EranUngar

          I just mentioned him yesterday, sparqy, long and physical. He does get occasionally beat deep but he has an eye for the football.

          I don’t see him as a first rounder but he could be a day 2 pick.

    • C-Dog

      I think there are a few rookie DT’s the could come in and start right anyway in the base. Austin Johnson I think is plug and play. Butler and Reed I think could be ready. Maybe Kenny Clark, Robinson, Rankins. A lot of the other types might take a little time, but a lot will be starting sooner rather than later. Cortez Kennedy didn’t start much at all as a rookie, and he did pretty well.

      They can likely keep Rubin, and find another low cost vet. I don’t think Rubin is going to cost a lot of $. He’s a solid 2 gap DT. Not a rusher, not a penetrator, probably not a big market for him. Also, I wouldn’t totally count Hill out as a starter at the nose. He filled in for Mebane during a couple early season games, and played well. I kind of think he’s committed his game to run stopping. I remember hearing him on the radio during camp saying that he considers himself a nose, and will always be a nose tackle. He could be the Mebane replacement, if he can stay healthy. But that’s a big if.

    • Rob Staton

      If they lose Okung, Sweezy, Mebane and Rubin $18m will be enough to find replacements.

      Especially because they won’t be paying Irvin either.

  27. nichansen01

    Thinking back on last years draft, I think that the Seahawks wanted Morse, Lockett and Clark, however I think they were planning on Morse lasting untill the bottom of round 2, and Clark lasting into the fourth? The lockett trade-up suggested to me that another player was planned to be taken in the second that was seen as more valuable than Lockett, it appears that Morse could have been this guy but he went way earlier than expected. I think teams were staying away from Clark and seattle thought they could get him in the fourth, but after Morse was taken they didnt want to see the same thing happen in the third round, so trade up was neccesary to make sure they got at least two of the guys they wanted and the order (Clark, Lockett) did not matter too much?
    The situation seems strange to me.

    • Volume12

      The traded one spot in front of Houston, because the Texans were going to take Lockett. They loved him.

      • David

        They took Jaelen Strong instead the pick after. Too bad for them.

        • lil'stink

          I remember there being quite a few Seahawk fans who wanted Jaelen Strong, especially over another short guy like Lockett.

  28. Volume12

    A couple sleepers I wanna see at the combine.

    OT Dominique Robertson from W. Georgia. Former JUCO guy, 34″ inch arms, good size. Depending on how he moves and performs, he’d be great depth at OT. Any tape on this cat?

    And someone I’ve touched on before. TCU’s OL Hal Vaitai. The LG/RT, high upside type pick we’ve seen Seattle make late on day 3 before.

  29. C-Dog

    Seattle surprises by re-signing Russell Okung. Then they step out into free agency and land a quality veteran LG, maybe even shocking everyone by going big on Osemele. So, the “try to keep as many of our players as possible” approach does not include Bruce Irving, Jermaine Kearse, JR Sweezy, Brandon Mebane, or Jeremy Lane. It does however include Rubin, Lewis, C-Mike, Tukuafu, Shead, and Morgan all coming back on tenders and short deals. Seattle will sign a veteran Chris Long-ish pass rusher for a short deal. Seattle adds a solid-if-not-all-pro veteran starting center on a relatively affordable 2 or 3 year deal.

    Draft needs include DT, LB, RB, CB, OL depth, but they can afford to luxury here or there.

    26: R1P26

    56: R2P25

    90: R3P27

    98: R3P35

    125: R4P26

    172: R5P33

    215: R6P37

    223: R7P4

    245: R7P26

    Austin Johnson is a war daddy. Force of nature punisher. Explosive against the run, relentless as a rusher, intelligent and aware. At 6-4 320, he’s not a prototypical quick twitch interior lineman, but he’s special, War Daddy special. Likely the new 3 tech and the base, with Rubin kicking over to nose, don’t be alarmed to see Austin slide over to the nose in nickel packages in certain match ups, where he can overwhelm centers.

    Joshua Perry will not be as athletic as other linebackers in the draft, but Seattle busts up another trend of theirs by taking this thumper. He’s a gritty leader, intelligent, instinctive, reads and diagnoses right away, and a sure tackler. Kind of KJ-esque. He will be the starting SAM.

    Alex Collins is the perfect back to mix in with Rawls.

    Willie Beavers is the OT Seattle will be patient for. In some ways, he’s like the Austin Johnson equivalent for the OL. Large, powerfully built, quick feet, the ability to work in space, and athletic enough to get to the second level. He can play multiple spots on the OL. He could compete with either Gilliam or Glowinski for a starting spot as a rookie. Will be a starter sooner rather than later.

    Kenny Lawler is a redzone target with good hands and route running. Not a burner, maybe enough of a little bit Kearse and a little bit Sidney Rice mixed together for them not resist tempation. Seattle adopts the Pittsburg approach to being patient on not selecting WRs too high, and take a flyer on a good prospect between round 3 through 5. Lawler’s too good to pass up. Their luxury pick.

    Daryl Worley is their standard long athletic 5th CB. Isaac Seumalo adds athletic competition to guard and center, offering versatility which Cable loves. The 7th round offers under the radar productive college pass rushers in leo prospect Matt Judon, and pass rushing DT Quentin Jefferson.

    • RealRhino2

      I like the thought process, although re-signing Okung wouldn’t be that big a surprise to me. We have to get a tackle from somewhere in FA. Only way to possibly keep from having to reach in R1 of the draft. All other positions, if “your guy” is gone you can just shrug your shoulders and move on to the next position or the next guy down.

      What I’ve found by running various simulated drafts and not letting myself pick an OT at #1 is you can really fill up the whole roster in the first four picks (e.g., DT, OLB, RB, S/CB) and then draft a project OT in the 4th-6th. If we go OT early we always seem to be a step behind at those other positions (e.g., best CBs are gone, no longer have three decent options at RB, only DTs left are run defenders, etc.)

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, I’ve noticed that as well.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Matt Judon has a well documented history of cheap hits and illegal play.

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, but he was also productive.

    • David

      Nice thought but I just don’t see how they can afford Okung (~$8m), Osmele (~10m), Long(ish) (~$4m), veteran Center (~$3m) and Rubin (~$3M) for under $18m. In that scenario you are needing probably upwards of $27-28m in cap space, would love it if they could make it happen, I just don’t see how.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Osmele won’t get $10M APY. Even if he gets $7-8M, his contract will be long enough to defer most of the first year cap hit.

        Also, just my opinion, but if SEA resign Okung, it won’t be a 1-year deal. Rather it will be at least 3 years so as to spread out his first year cap hit.

        • Miles

          Cap: $18m

          Re-sign Okung at $8m apy (cap: $10-$13m)
          Sign Rubin at $3m apy (cap $7-$10m)
          Sign Mebane at $2.5m apy (cap: $4.5.-$7.5m)
          Sign Chris Long at $4m (cap: $500k – $3.5m)

          If you swing your numbers right you can get well under the cap here. Just because a player has a certain APY, that doesn’t mean that will be the number taken off the cap. The money can be pushed into later years too. And Osemele probably goes elsewhere, unless he’s the only O-Lineman we sign including our own FAs.

          • C-Dog

            If they keep Okung and Rubin, use the draft to snag the other starting DT, they could fit in Osmele. Austin Johnson is probably as plug and play as any DT in this draft, would be cheaper than Mebane, with a ton more upside. Long (or other vet pass rusher) comes in under $4 mill.

          • franks

            Don’t you guys remember Okung not playing against the Panthers and numerous other crucial games? Left Tackle’s the most important position on the line. If Russell Wilson was more of a Terry Coussins -level QB and he started missing every big game and this was his contract year, would you pay him top dollar?

        • C-Dog

          Yeah, I’m thinking Okung on a multi year deal, spread out. Osmele is admittedly the pipe dream UFA scenario, he will try to market himself at a LT to get more $, but in this scenario, it doesn’t convince a GM he is, Seattle pays him solid guard $ to come in and settle the position, and they spread it out to make it work. Rubin gets pretty much the same contract he got last year, with maybe an extra year (like Tony McDaniel’s extended deal). Long doesn’t get much FA play, age and injury history, middle of the road production make him take a cheap one year deal in Seattle for a chance to rotate in, chase a ring, and look to sign a better deal the following year. Veteran center gets around $3 mill APY or so stretched over 3 years.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            I’d think Long could be had for under $3M, especially with an incentive-laden contract. In fact, Rubin’s 2015 contract would be a good base ($2.6M then add performance bonuses).

            I’ve seen estimates for Rubin around $4-5M APY.

            Mebane is tough to figure. In all honesty, despite the fantastic run defense in 2015, it’s becoming harder to justify retaining him given other needs against the cap, his overall declining production, and the plethora of high upside run stuffing DTs in this draft.

        • franks

          That’ll probably be a million a game until he gets older, and relying on Bailey for the playoffs.

  30. GoHawks5151

    Randy Starks cut in Cleveland. Rubin/Mebane insurance?

  31. Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

    Contrary to polular opinion on the blog this season, I just won’t get on board for Dieon Jones as a first round pick. Too small, plays a position that is not in Top 5 need/inpact position, and he doesn’t offer a second skill (ie returner, the ability to be a LB and DE). Maybe in the late second, awesome in the 3rd, but never ever in the first. Bobby Wagner is the best Mike in the league and he is pur leader on defense and he was a middle 2nd round selection. We can wait. I still think we should buck trends and just get a tremendous football player at a position on need and impact. Nick Martin would anchor our oline for the 5 years at least. And besides QB, C is THE most important position on offense. It just is. And he would be plug and play, immediately uprade the oline and would cost next ro nothing. Our C play last year cost us probably 4 or 5 losses, and that is no small consideration. Does anyone here really think that WILL play and back 7 speed really cost us that many victories? Cary Williams and Chancellors lacking TE coverage yeah, but you are telling me that Jones is walking on the field week 1 and covering Greg Olsen? Let’s hede our bets an do the smart thing this draft. I just can’t see the logic r even the appeal of another shrimpy fast guy who won’t impact the game as much as a solid C.

    • Jarhead's Sokoli Bandwagon

      My cell phone can’t type english it seems. Yikes

    • franks

      Jarhead it’s not easy playing center between Britt and Sweezy. Then you’ve got Gilliam outside learning as a rookie who used to be a tight end, and Okung going down for every big game. To my eye Lewis was a plus starter but I don’t rewind tape or pay much attention to the center when he isn’t messing up the snaps. I think Pete’s comments were sincere though.

      Novak definitely cost us some games but he isn’t the guy this year.

      The secondary was getting burned last season early on. Cary Williams of course and Kam skipping camp but mainly that RCB, and we don’t now if Lane’s coming back and the other guys haven’t proven themselves because they haven’t been healthy.

      Will LB didn’t cost us any games last year because we had Bruce Irvin. This year we likely won’t.

      All this to say, there are a few areas we could get better not just C. I think Striker might be a better fit because he has the skills not just an athlete. It sounds like we could get him with a later pick than Jones.

    • Robert

      Jones walking on the field and being a day 1 improvement over Pickens OR LOL would be a big surprise for me.

      • Robert


    • 75franks

      I agree. if we could get martin, a LG, and if glow is the man, we could solidify the middle of our line for years. that is really appealing to me. especially since that has been such a big problem. no more questions EVERY YEAR if the line will be better if RW is gonna get killed out there if we can get that 3 and short if we should run it on the goaline in the SB! it would solve the hawks biggest problem and propel the offense to greatness.
      go hawks

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