If you missed our big combine preview, please check it out here.
Pete Carroll had his combine press conference today
I thought it was Carroll’s best media appearance in a long time. Some of the old energy was back. He didn’t insult anyone’s intelligence like he did last summer, claiming the Russell Wilson saga was a media creation.
His answers were direct and to the point. I liked the way he answered the question over Wilson’s future. He didn’t shirk anything. There was a degree of humility involved (admitting they’d been ‘arrogant’ with their approach to defense).
To me this was a very positive press conference and was a good way to begin the off-season churn.
There were noteworthy comments. He suggested the Seahawks want another Darrell Taylor type player. Taylor didn’t do any combine testing due to injury but he measured at 6-4, 267lbs with 33 inch arms. It’s worth looking to see who weighs and measures in this range. I’m going to discuss some candidates below.
It’s perhaps also worth noting that Chandler Jones is 6-5 and 265lbs, with a lot of experience in the kind of role Seattle is looking for as a 3-4 rusher within their system. I still firmly believe he will (and should be) a key target. Jadeveon Clowney and Von Miller have also, of course, played this role.
Carroll stated they needed to develop the interior pass rush. Again this was encouraging. To me it seems pretty clear they intend to add at least one EDGE and one interior rusher. There are plenty of options in free agency and the draft. Given Carroll also talked up the existing DT’s on the roster (including free agent Al Woods) I suspect he might be looking for either a complementary inside/out rusher to kick inside on third down, or a specialist interior rusher.
It certainly seems like their main aim is to ‘keep their own’ on the offensive line. That was perhaps the least encouraging comment. I have no issue with retaining Duane Brown but was hoping for upgrades at center and right tackle. We’ll see how this plays out. Given Carroll also mentioned how ‘well’ he thinks they’ve managed their cap over the years — rather than be creative to spend a bit, it seems like they might view O-line retention as a cost-effective measure so they can spend elsewhere.
It was certainly positive to hear Carroll’s totally non-committal answer on Bobby Wagner. He mentioned it was a time for difficult decisions but offered more hope than assurance that Wagner would be back.
For me, Wagner is a shadow of his former self. He has become old, expensive, hesitant, he avoids contact too much and he doesn’t make anywhere near enough splash plays. I want to move on, without any fresh agreement. Yet I feared the Seahawks would crack on, paying a fortune based on sentimentality. Carroll’s answer felt a lot like a ‘say the respectful thing now, do the necessary thing later’ approach.
They save $16.6m by moving on. Spend that money on the trenches and tap into this excellent linebacker class between rounds 2-4. I feel more confident than I did yesterday that this might just happen.
Players I want to see perform at the combine
I’ve written out a collection of names that particularly intrigue me for the Seahawks ahead of the start of testing on Thursday when the tight ends, quarterbacks and receivers kick things off.
Dameon Pierce (RB, Florida)
For me, he’s everything the Seahawks look for in a running back. They want aggressive runners who fight for yards after contact. He screams ‘Seahawks’. He also fits their size ideals and he’s expected to be an explosive tester — having jumped a 37 inch vertical at Florida. He might not land in Seattle but Pierce is pretty much the prototype for what they go for.
Tyrion Davis-Price (RB, LSU)
Nobody talks about him and I don’t get it. We’re talking about a big 6-1, 225lbs brute who can take contact and make extra yards but also shows deceptively quick feet to avoid tackles. He was excellent on a bad LSU team. At SPARQ he ran a 4.53, jumped a 34 inch vertical and ran a 4.40 short shuttle.
Alec Pierce (WR, Cincinnati)
Gary Jennings was such an obvious ‘Seahawk’ in 2019 and it wasn’t a surprise they took him in round four. He had everything they look for — playing style and testing profile. I think Pierce fits the same bill. He can get downfield and he’s expected to run in the 4.4’s. He can win at the red line and high-points well. He’s a multi-sport athlete and a willing blocker in the running game. He’s going to do brilliantly in the jumps.
Kyle Phillips (WR, UCLA)
There’s just something about Phillips that stood out on tape. He gets open, he makes plays, he’s quick. He’s a smaller receiver but there’s a natural talent on show. I want to see if he can test well enough to get on Seattle’s radar.
The tight end class
Can it live up to expectations? It’s such a strong group but until they get out there and perform you just don’t know. I can’t wait to see the agility testing numbers (short shuttle, three cone) to get a proper feel on the potential on offer — and discover who could be on Seattle’s radar.
Abraham Lucas (T, Washington State)
Another very underrated player who looked like one of the best athletes on the field at the Senior Bowl. He ran a 4.30 short shuttle at SPARQ and ran a 5.03. If he puts up those numbers again — and is an explosive tester in the broad and vertical — he’ll go as early as I’ve been projecting (round one).
Obinna Eze (T, Memphis)
A forgotten man in this class with vines for arms and a terrific physical profile for the left tackle position. How does he test? Is he explosive? I’m eager to find out.
Tyler Smith (T, Tulsa)
He’s become a big favourite of draft twitter thanks to his highlight reel blocks but I still think there’s a rawness to his game and I want to find out how good his physical profile truly is.
Cameron Jurgens (C, Nebraska)
Yet another wildly underrated player. Jurgens plays with his hair on fire, is reportedly up towards 300lbs and ran a 4.98 at SPARQ with a 33 inch vertical jump. He’s a great prospect who combines attitude, physicality and superb athleticism. He should shine in Indianapolis and finally get the attention he deserves.
Cole Strange (C, Chattanooga)
Strange had a big Senior Bowl and has a chance to be this years’ Quinn Meinerz if he tests well at the combine. I want to see how quick and explosive he is.
Zach Tom (T, Wake Forest)
He’s undersized and might need to kick inside to center but I thought his tape was terrific and I’m looking forward to seeing measurements and testing results.
Boye Mafe (DE, Minnesota)
I’m afraid he’s too good to last. When the Seahawks talk about getting another Darrell Taylor, they probably mean this guy. He’s 6-3, 255lbs and bends and straightens like Taylor, plays with aggression in his hands and wins in multiple ways. If Seattle still had the #10 pick I would’ve written an article championing Mafe to be their choice. I don’t think he’ll last to #41 but he’ll be fun to watch anyway — just in case.
Sam Williams (DE, Ole Miss)
If Mafe isn’t there (and several others are gone too) then it might be that Williams presents an intriguing alternative. He’s a little bit more rigid that Taylor when attacking the edge but he plays with a strong motor, great attitude and he has a similar backstory to Taylor (has a young child). Ole Miss listed him at 265lbs (which was Taylor’s weight at Tennessee) but at the Senior Bowl he weighed in at 250lbs. It’s said he can run in the 4.4’s and jump a 40 inch vertical. Keep an eye on him because he’s an option for #41.
Dominique Robinson (DE, Miami-OH)
I really liked what he showed on tape and he could be a sleeper for Seattle. Supposedly he can run in the 4.6’s and deliver a short shuttle time of 4.31. He was 254lbs at the Senior Bowl with good length. There’s something about him. He’s a receiver convert so needs room to grow but he fits the bill of a Taylor-type.
Myjai Sanders (DE, Cincinnati)
He was only 242lbs at the Senior Bowl so he’s a little light. Yet his lean frame and length did make him look like a Seahawks pass rusher. He’s supposedly capable of a 4.10 short shuttle which would attract Seattle’s attention. He’s also expected to jump a 35 inch vertical and a 10-2 broad.
Jordan Davis & Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
Watching these two massive humans train for the combine was a breathtaking experience. They are incredible. This will be pure entertainment (although neither will be available at #41).
Perrion Winfrey (DT, Oklahoma)
I want the Seahawks to play with more aggression and violence on defense and that’s how Winfrey approached the Senior Bowl. There are no testing numbers available for him from High School or college so let’s see how he gets on. His inconsistent play and the challenging scheme in Oklahoma could keep him on the board at #41. I wonder if he could be another Chris Jones.
Travis Jones (DT, Connecticut)
Time and time again he drove people into the backfield in Mobile but he’s also a terrific athlete for a nose tackle. He’s being touted as a 4.57 short shuttle runner which would be insane at 326lbs. He showed those movement skills in the figure-eight drill at the Senior Bowl and he was always viewed as a great athlete at UConn.
Josh Paschal (DE, Kentucky)
One of my favourites. Paschal just plays with an explosive attitude and sets the tone. He ran a 4.30 short shuttle at SPARQ at 253lbs and added a 39 inch vertical. He’s not a defensive end who will scream off the edge but he could be a tremendous chess piece who showed at Kentucky he can drive interior blockers into the backfield when he kicks inside and make countless TFL’s in the running game. Love him.
Logan Hall (DE/DT, Houston)
Another potential inside/out rush candidate. He was hailed at Houston for his change of direction skills and speed so let’s see how it translates to testing.
Channing Tindall (LB, Georgia)
A self-confessed ‘freak of nature’ — Tindall ran a 4.19 short shuttle at SPARQ and jumped a 40 inch vertical. Recently this list was brought to my attention — it’s the top High School discus throwers who are attending the combine:
196’08 – Cameron Jurgens
187’11 – Otito Ogbonnia
183’01 – Austin Deculus
182’00 – Darian Kinnard
176’03 – Luke Wattenburg
171’06 – Logan Bruss
167’07 – Tyler Smith
166’03 – Channing Tindall
166’01 – Tyler Linderbaum
161’09 – Haskell Garrett
You’ll recognise certain names we’ve discussed already — such as Cameron Jurgens at the top and Tyler Smith. Yet among that hefty group of big offensive linemen is Channing Tindall, who was 219lbs in High School. Impressive.
Leo Chenal (LB, Wisconsin)
On tape he works upfield and is always attacking the LOS. If you didn’t know his athletic profile, you’d think he must be limited because everything is blitzing and trying to break into the backfield. Yet he’s been timed running a 4.00 short shuttle. If he emulates that at the combine, he’ll be on Seattle’s radar.
Montaric Brown (CB, Arkansas)
A former four-star recruit who I think is a tremendous, underrated prospect but I have no testing or measurement numbers so I want to see what he does. He had five picks in 2021 and stood out on tape.
Cam Taylor-Britt (CB, Nebraska)
He’s such a physical, aggressive cornerback but to play man coverage in Seattle’s shifting defensive scheme he’ll need to show he can run too. Fingers crossed for a good forty and some smooth transitions during drills.
Kerby Joseph (S, Illinois)
Another player with five picks in 2021 and I like his combination of size, range and ability to roam around and fly to the ball. He was only a three-star recruit and I have no testing numbers again, so he’ll be one player I watch closely.
Bryan Cook (S, Cincinnati)
A heart and soul player who will go earlier than many of the national sites are projecting. I’m keen to see if he has a strong enough physical profile to justify that prediction. He missed the Senior Bowl due to injury so he might not test.
If you enjoy the content on Seahawks Draft Blog then please consider supporting us via Patreon (click the tab below)…