Podcast & Wednesday draft notes

Before I get into the notes, don’t forget to check out this weeks podcast. We get deep into the Seahawks/Arizona tie, discuss PFF’s ‘grading system’, talk about some of the draft topics from the weekend and a lot more.

Alabama set to dominate the 2017 draft

It’s possible that Alabama could have four players drafted in the top 10-12 picks.

With every passing week it’s clear that Tim Williams is a fantastic EDGE rusher with everything a modern day NFL team looks for. He can use his hands to fight to the QB, he’s a capable bull rusher when he wants to mix things up — but it’s his speed and explosion from the snap that could easily make him a top-five pick. He is vastly, vastly underrated with 6.5 sacks in his last six games. He’s second only to Myles Garrett at his position.

Jonathan Allen has been compared to Ndamukong Suh this week and while I’m not a big fan of the comparison — he’s impacting college games in a similar way. His flying sack against Texas A&M is one of the best you’ll ever see. Not only that, he controlled the LOS throughout and even ran in a fumble recovery for his second touchdown of the season. He’s more of an inside-out DE than a pure DT like Suh — but he could be destined to go in a similar range to Leonard Williams in 2015.

Reuben Foster is a phenomenal linebacker. His performance against Texas A&M had to be seen to be believed. His ability to knife through a gap, sift through traffic and explode to the ball carrier will have teams racing to the podium next year. His ability to play stout against the run, impact the game in the backfield with TFL’s, go sideline-to-sideline and do a decent job in coverage practically makes him the complete defender. It is hard to imagine he won’t be off the board very quickly — possibly in the top-10. He’s the best overall linebacker prospect we’ve seen in college since Kuechly.

Marlon Humphrey had an incredible interception against A&M showing off his athleticism and playmaking qualities. He has it all — size, physicality, tackling form in the open-field, recovery speed, instinct, intensity. If you had to draw up the ideal modern day cornerback it’s Humphrey. In a loaded class for DB’s he is going to go very early. The only thing that could hold him back is a decent but not great forty yard dash — but foolish teams will let a 4.50 (if he runs that) dissuade them from drafting this guy.

On top of these four, Ryan Anderson just consistently turns up every week with a big performance. He lacks the length and twitchy traits of the names above but he’s just a really good football player and constantly around the ball. So often he’s right with Allen or Williams as they finish a play — or Anderson’s initial rush or ability to set the edge forces a RB or QB into the path of the bigger name for the stat. He looks like a classic AFC North type and would fit perfectly in Baltimore or Pittsburgh. I’m not sure he’d be athletic enough for Seattle — but we’ll find out at the combine.

Also consider that tight end O.J. Howard is likely to be a first round pick and Cam Robinson could get in the first frame by default based on the dearth of alternatives at left tackle (even though his pass pro and technique has been really poor at times this year & there are major character issues that need investigating).

If Ohio State dominated the early rounds of the 2016 draft — it’s going to be a whole load of ‘Bama in 2017.

Why the Seahawks might not trade for an offensive tackle

Quietly, we’ve entered a time where defensive football is king.

The current top four teams in the NFL per DVOA are:

1. Philadelphia (4-2)
2. Seattle (4-1-1)
3. Denver (5-2)
4. Minnesota (5-1)

Now let’s look where each team is ranked on offense and defense:


#1 Philadelphia
#3 Seattle
#5 Denver
#2 Minnesota

(Arizona, who just held the Seahawks to six points, has the #4 defense)


#24 Philadelphia
#20 Seattle
#17 Denver
#23 Minnesota

Each of these four teams are winning games and playing well enough to be ranked as the best per Football Outsiders because of their defense.

Last year the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl carrying a soon-to-be-retired Peyton Manning who could barely throw. Their running offense ranked #17 during the regular season. Their two starting offensive tackles in the Super Bowl were Ryan Harris and Michael Schofield. They had a fantastic defense.

While we sit and ponder why NFL ratings are falling and why quarterbacks are injured or playing badly — let’s just consider this possibility.

Defense is key right now.

It’s not an unrealistic expectation that the Seahawks will improve on offense sufficiently to field an average or slightly above average unit by the seasons end. Clearly injuries have had an impact on their current ranking (Wilson, Rawls, Lockett etc).

Ultimately though, Wilson will never be as ineffective as Manning a year ago. The running game will surely improve from it’s current 31st placed ranking in the NFL. If they can get close to #17 even like Denver — with the way this defense is playing, they’ll have a great shot at a deep playoff run.

After all, which team do you fear in the NFC right now?

And here’s the interesting part — Seattle’s O-line is actually ranked #13 for pass protection. Only four teams have given up fewer sacks so far.

This is all with a much less mobile quarterback and no running game to speak of — having played some of the NFL’s best pass rushers — Suh, Wake, Donald, Quinn, Wilkerson, Jones, Campbell.

Yes it was ugly at times vs Arizona — but Chandler Jones and Markus Golden are exceptionally good players, supported by Calais Campbell working inside. There’s no reason to expect the same kind of problems against New Orleans this week — or in some of Seattle’s other games down the line.

I can’t sit here and suggest the Seahawks wouldn’t be a lot better with Joe Thomas or Joe Staley (although both teams’ Head Coaches insist neither is available). They would be better, providing both 32-year-olds stay healthy in Seattle’s ultra-physical offense.

But the Seahawks have to consider whether such a move is necessary when they might believe, not unfairly, that they’re doing well anyway. They’re 4-1-1, in control of the NFC West, well placed in the NFC and the numbers per F.O. are saying their pass pro is above average so far based on six games played.

Can they manage a situation like this? Yes, absolutely. They had to in 2013 when Paul McQuistan started eight games at left tackle. Russell Wilson was more mobile that year — but was he the surgically accurate passer we see operating in the pocket today? Did he have Jimmy Graham or Tyler Lockett? Or this version of Doug Baldwin? You can make arguments both ways.

Plus by taking on another veteran contract you are facing two possibilities:

— The need to go to one of your top veterans and ask them to adjust their contract, which may or may not go down well

— The need to absorb a big salary in 2017 and 2018, using cap funds that could be saved to reward deserving core players like Michael Bennett

These are things that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Seattle has just about recovered from all of the murmurings of Marshawn Lynch being unsettled and Kam Chanellor’s hold out. Do you want to risk rocking the boat again?

This may read like I’m staunchly against any kind of trade. I am not. I am indifferent to the idea and wanted to provide a different side of the debate that hasn’t really been made. If it happens it will be exciting to see a top left tackle on the field. If it doesn’t happen — I fully expect the Seahawks to manage the situation perfectly well.


  1. Trevor

    Another great write and podcast Rob! Thanks again for all the amazing work.

    Agree completely on Bama the talent on that defense this year is sick. They seem a lot more explosive that the guys who came out last year from Bama anyone of them would be a great pickup for the Hawks but highly unlikely to drop anywhere near them unfortunately.

    How would you compare Howard vs Engram? Which would you prefer for the Hawks if they went that route?

    Also curious about your thoughts on Cable as an OL coach and his system?

    • vrtkolman

      Can’t speak for Rob, but Howard was a monster against A&M. He might not be as dynamic as a receiver as Engram, but he is extremely physical and has NFL tight end size.

      • Trevor

        I am with you about Howard seems to show up in big games and is used to not being the primary target so has to make the most of his opportunities.

        I really like Engram a lot as a mismatch WR to go along with Jimmy Graham as Rob has said ala Pats with Gronk and Hernandez but Howard seems like more of an all around TE and a physical freak.

    • Rob Staton

      Howard more complete, Engram more of a dynamic pass catcher. I have a lot of time for Cable.

  2. Trevor

    Forgot to ask why does Kenny always get to post the podcast the night before? Is it just a time / logistical thing with the UK time difference?

    • Rob Staton


  3. Jason

    What are your guys thoughts on Lotulelei? Is he worth a late first look?

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t think it’s a big need since the Reed pick.

  4. Attyla the Hawk

    It’s very easy to see the addition of Thomas/Staley as a panacea to cure all our offensive ills.

    But we’ve tread down this path before. Multiple times. With decidedly mixed results (Harvin an abject failure and Graham a qualified success).

    I personally like the idea of adding Thomas. Even at his age, he’s showing no ill effects. This team in 2016/17 is probably at it’s very peak in terms of quality. I also like the idea that, like with Graham — there is no dead money cost. When they fall off the age precipice, they can be jettisoned with no impact to the cap. Both providing huge relief in cap space that could be reused to plow under a new addition if needed.

    Couple that with the full expectation that rookie OT relief won’t be available until 2017 — I think the trade needs to happen. We have to bridge that gap or risk torpedoing our best championship window with the core guys we have. Even if we do go OT in R1 two drafts from now, it’s reasonable to expect that player won’t be full go until his second season. The way our current contracts are laid out for our existing guys — there is a reckoning coming in 2018/19.

    Bennett needs to get paid. He’s severely underpaid. Regardless of one’s opinion of whether a player should honor his deals he signs — it’s a fact he’s outperformed his contract by miles. It’s also a fact that this is really his last mega deal contract. He’ll be 32 when it expires and he’ll be lucky to get the undervalued deal he’s currently playing under.

    To me, it seems like a cap friendly scenario where Seattle can buttress a very real Achilles heel on the team during our period of highest competitive window of opportunity. A player of Thomas’ quality even for a couple years gets us settled until the 2017 draft where we can get a cheaper/long term solution in place.

    Normally, trades aren’t all that good of an idea. But when you superimpose the landscape of rookie talent at our greatest need — the choice seems abundantly clear. And it’s a choice we’ve made when a dearth of rookie talent lies in front of us before. So I do think we are mindful of that in the big picture.

    It’s also worth noting, that Seattle has a huge chunk of dead money on the books this year. But precious little next year. We incurred the full tilt of Lynch’s deal and are finishing off the Cary Williams deal. Next year it’s peanuts. That’s about an extra 8m of found cap space. The maneuvering required to get whole under the cap isn’t as dire as one might expect. Particularly after prorating any 2016 salary.

    Even as good as this upcoming draft is, I think I’m ok getting a 2 year bridge guy for this particular position. We’ve tried the cheap journeyman route. That’s exploded in our faces (as expected). There is still time to really get this issue put to bed (about 6.5 days to be exact).

    • vrtkolman

      Bennett AND Avril are both underpaid. We really have two incredible deals with those two. The market last year determined that big time edge rushers are worth $17 million a year, Bennett and Avril make less combined.

      It would be hard to not see a huge improvement with Staley/Thomas over Sowell/Fant. Thomas especially, that might be the biggest upgrade in the entire league at any position. Does it improve the offense as a whole though? Not sure. Wilson is injured and has no mobility, Lockett is injured, Baldwin is playing hurt, our starting running back essentially hasn’t played this year after breaking two bones in back to back injuries. A good line doesn’t mean our offense is going to be good, look at Dallas last year. I wouldn’t be against a trade, but I think our players getting healthy would have just as much of an impact going forward.

      I love Rob’s post though. The Seahawks always have major offensive line issues at some point in their season. In 2013, the line with McQuistan at LT looked worse than it did on Sunday. Unger and Okung created an injury crisis in 2014. The line was just a disaster coming out of camp in 2015. For the most part the team has overcome.

      • RealRhino2

        I’m not sure, either, but I think this is different than the Harvin or even the Graham deals. We talk about the draft and how the Seahawks determine value relative to the upgrade at the roster spot. This is about as big of an upgrade as I can imagine. Those deals, we are talking about adding nifty pieces to try to use creatively to add a dimension to the offense, not a fundamental part of the offense itself.

        When it comes to our ability to creatively use a niche piece — and let’s be real, a TE that can’t block well is still really a kind of niche player — in our offense, my confidence is low. You end up changing who you are and what we do. This is not that. This is adding a player that could help you be who you are and do what you do; you aren’t changing, just improving.

        I was against adding a Thomas for a 1st in the offseason. I’m against it for a 1st now. But a 2nd? We aren’t the same team we were in the offseason. Then, we thought Gilliam might make a successful transition. Then, we thought Sowell could be serviceable. Now we have neither. And the cap cost for any addition is now less than it would have been.

        Problem with “managing” our problem is the negative effect on the complexity and creativity we can use on offense. Using Fant almost certainly means keeping a TE or RB in to chip/help on almost every play. Quicker throws, shorter routes. Just reduces our offense so much that managing it may not be enough.

        • AlaskaHawk

          A second round draft pick for the Seahawks is a top of the third round player. There won’t be any exceptional players in that spot, unless they develop them. So why not use the position for someone that can make a difference.

          • Rob Staton

            “A second round draft pick for the Seahawks is a top of the third round player. There won’t be any exceptional players in that spot, unless they develop them. So why not use the position for someone that can make a difference.”

            Seattle’s exceptional franchise QB was a mid-third round pick. Let’s not write off a late second round pick as if it’s not going to be worth having.

            • RealRhino2

              Yeah, let’s not diminish the cost too much. Picks in that area past few years: Clark, Britt, PRich, CMike, Wagner

              If I knew that pick would turn into Wagner or Clark, I don’t do it. Everybody else, I’d do it.

              What about Staley? I don’t get why people won’t trade w/in a division. I know trades are supposed to be win-win, so you don’t want to help your competition, but in this case, aren’t you really helping their present to weaken their future (fromthe 9ers perspective)? Hate to break it to Baalke, but we aren’t competing. Not this year, anyway. So really, all they do by trading us Staley is to weaken us a bit when we ARE competing, 2-3 years from now. To me, that’s better than trading outside the division.

  5. Attyla the Hawk

    Keeping on the defense is key idea.

    What if there is a trade, but not on offense?

    We know that Seattle has been very consistent on pursuing trades (or UFA signings) for players in the 25-27 age range.

    What would be the likelihood that they add to our area of greatest strength? Obviously we have done famously well with a suspect line and great defense. As have other teams using our 2013 blueprint.

    What are the chances that Seattle puts the same kind of deal (early 2016 pick) for the one that seemingly got away: Sheldon Richardson.

    Richardson is currently in no man’s land with NY. Having committed to Wilkerson on the second deal, NY basically doesn’t have anywhere to regularly play Richardson. So cramped is the DL space there they are playing Richardson as a spy LB on pass downs.

    Seattle is still yet without a quality 3 tech for pass rush duties. We are absolutely flush on edge pressure (Marsh, Avril, Bennett, Clark). Richardson is still on his rookie deal with the 5th year option exercised for 2017. Certainly defense hasn’t been lacking. Although the ability to generate interior pressure is still a thorn in this defense’s side.

    • C-Dog

      Love the idea of Seattle adding Richardson, but not sure how they’d afford him once his contract is due and afford Bennett. Plus Bennett is pretty much the 3 tech in on pass rush duties, and in that role, arguably tops in the league.

    • Trevor

      Love the thought but just don’t know how you pay Richardson, Bennett and Kam in the off season. Also if you give Bennett a new deal won’t Avril want one? He is equally as underpaid.

  6. C-Dog

    Rob, I believe George Fant has been active in all 6 games, thus far, over Odhiambo, and recently Webb. What is your take on this?

    I find it curious, considering his rawness to not only the position, but football. I remember hearing rumblings towards the end of camp that the coaches felt he was further along than Gilliam was as a raw rookie. Conventionally, in an emergency pinch, you think they’d prefer going with either a vet, or a player with considerably more background at the position in CFB. Is it possible that fans are grossly underestimating his readiness to play this Sunday?

    • Attyla the Hawk

      You saw the reason Sunday night. He’s the backup at LT.

      Webb/Odhiambo are not LTs. In the case of Odhiambo, I’m not sure he’s taken more than a handful of reps there in TC. Webb looks like hot garbage. Seems he’s the 9th OL on the roster right now. But has positional flexibility at OG/RT. Seems more the emergency guy in case someone goes down on the right side.

      Fant isn’t ready. But dang if he doesn’t have some impressive tools. His footwork is superb. Has to learn to use his arms/length/punch. He gets into the correct position clean an quick and usually in control and balanced. But he allows guys to get into his body and that’s a technique thing he needs to really learn quickly.

    • Rob Staton

      Very possible. They wouldn’t be throwing Fant out there vs the Cardinals if he was totally inept. They clearly believe this guy has a shot to be very good. That’s how he’s made it this far.

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, that’s how I feel about it. I might be in the minority on this, but the more this sets in, I am actually leaning towards being excited to see how he holds up against these Saints on Sunday, presuming he’s the one who gets the nod.

        • Volume12

          Might even be Sowell. Apparently he thinks he can go.

          Fant, Odhiambo, and Webb are all options.

          • C-Dog

            Yeah, I caught that. I know he’s probably not much more than a bandaid at the position, but Sowell has really grown on me. I find myself really rooting for the guy.

  7. Mike B'hamster

    The ‘Hawks defensive unit is strong and deep. The offense is currently somewhat weak, with RW hobbled, run game limited by absence of Rawls, and most significantly, an Oline which is last in the league in both run blocking and pass blocking. The loss of the starting LT is concerning, even if that was the weakest link in the chain.
    We trust in JS, and therefore are confident that, fully appreciating what has become a dire situation, and in view of the limited window of opportunity with the current roster, that he will be aggressively working to nail a solution to this problem. By all the latest calculations and conclusions regarding cap and other financial issues, a trade for either Thomas or Staley is manageable and doable. Trading a high draft pick is tough, and not normally a good long term strategy for building a perennial contender. However, the draft is but one factor in that equation, and finding outside talent to fill a vacuum is almost equally important, in this case as a tactical adjustment.

  8. Trevor

    Posted this at the end of yesterdays blog by mistake.

    I have resigned myself to the fact that there is no way we will get Joe Thomas but if anyone doubts whether he is worth a 2nd round pick please read this great article from a Browns site. He truly has had a legendary career and it is so unfortunate he never really got his due because he is on the Browns.

    My favorite Joe Thomas fact that tells me he would fit right in on the Hawks and click instantly with Russ.

    Since he has been drafted he has play for 10 years and never missed one snap!!!!!! Think about that for a moment he has never missed a snap. Not one in 10 years. That is 9262 snaps. To not miss one is Cal Ripken like. This despite having 3 torn MCLs and 2 high ankle sprains.


    If the Browns won’t trade him I totally get it but please JS if we can get him for a 2nd rounder make the call! I don’t care how loaded this draft class is. Joe Thomas increases our chances of winning the next 3 Super Bowls more than any other player in the NFL or college football.

    If you doubt that read the article. It is a pretty compelling case.

    • Mike B'hamster

      Good post Trevor, and a compelling article. If it proved to be possible to aquire a player of Thomas’s quality, that would be considerably more than a mere upgrade. As a future Hall of Famer with at least 2 to 3 years to go, I hope JS would move heaven and earth to land him.

  9. Ed

    Get Thomas for a 2nd
    Don’t resign FA
    Cutt Webb/Richardson
    Rework Bennett/Avril/Chancelor to get more guaranteed money in their last year

    • Trevor

      I am with you 100% Ed but I really don’t think the Browns will trade him he is one of the only legit pieces they have to build around even if he is 32.

      • RealRhino2

        Maybe the phrase is used more in baseball than in football: a part of the next great — team.” Is Thomas likely to be a part of the next great Browns team? Put another way, the Browns can lose 16 games WITH Joe Thomas, so what’s the point of keeping him? More likely to win 4 games than 1? Who cares?

        It is a (sports) tragedy that Thomas is stuck on that terrible team. He won’t be a part of the next great Browns team. They have to develop a QB. That will/should take two more years at least. All those WRs and DL they took have to develop. They will lose/trade Joe Haden, maybe Tramon Williams at CB. So add two years to develop defense, too. Joe Thomas is basically a great ham sandwich in a Muslim’s picnic basket: useless to them, great for somebody else. Free Joe Thomas!

        • sdcoug

          Exactly, plus the Cleveland FO are baseball guys, where it’s business as usual to trade current assets for prospects (in this case, a 2nd round pick) to help speed that recovery process.

  10. GeoffU

    Pretty sure Alabama could beat the Browns. God, I’d love to see that game to find out.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Oh you know they would. Where would Alabama be ranked in the pros?

      I’ll say…… in top 16. They are that good.

    • Ely

      Sorry but The notion that any college team could beat a pro team is absolutely ridiculous. Every single pro team is made up of the top %1 of college players. I’m not saying it would be intriguing but it would be a slaughter. The Browns would beat Alabama by 50 easy.

      • Kenny Sloth

        The Browns could also lose to Bama by 10, bro

    • KingRajesh

      The Browns D-line would obliterate the Alabama O-line. I doubt Alabama could score more than 10 points even on the 0-16 Lions.

      • Rob Staton

        Freshman QB would also be completely confused by what he was seeing.

  11. Volume12

    CJ Spiller cut. Tukuafu resigned. QB Joel Stave signed to the PS. Seattle had a draftable grade on him. Was between Seahawks and Minnesota.

    PC referenced Minnesota making a big deal/move for an O-lineman.

    Also, when asked about the running game, PC said he’s not pleased with #’s at all. He does not sound thrilled about it at all.

    • Volume12

      Hauschka ain’t going anywhere either.

      ‘He’s golden. He’s our kicker and will make many more game winning kicks for us going forward.’- Pete Carroll.

      • Volume12

        Jake Long is the reference.

        • C-Dog

          I think cutting Spiller indicates they are ready for Prosise to get going, and the signing of Tukuafu means they want to get more committed to the power run game.

          Hawkblogger wrote today that this game against the Saints could become a coming out for Prosise, given how they haven’t been able to handle backs out of the backfield.

          Would LOVE to see Prosise get going.

          • Volume12

            Me too. It’s time to add that element to our offense.

            • Volume12

              One reason why I want Florida St RB Dalvin Cook so badly. Well, more than one reason.

              He’d kill 2 birds with 1 stone for us, because he’s such a dynamic threat in the passing game.

              Cook is a bigger version of Jamaal Charles to me. Someone that JS wanted badly in GB IIRC.

              He’s got much more power than people give him credit for and does a great job running behind his pads.

              Elite vision and cutback ability. And he’s got this unique ability to feel the flow of a defense.

              • C-Dog

                I’d be pretty darn happy with Cook.

    • Rob Staton

      This rank bad run game, if it continues, is going to lead to a big move in the off-season. Whatever happens.

      • Volume12

        Yup. Right now, for me, it’s the biggest need other than OT.

        • C-Dog

          Yeah, I’ve been thinking RB in R1 as a pretty strong possibility this year, especially considering the lack of OT.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        An odd note about LT Fant….. he actually has been solid with run blocking, where he is showing up very raw is the pass blocking. Kind of interesting to me…. since he was expected to be a raw run blocker but decent pass blocker.

        The Saints defense is Charmin soft, so to control the tempo and try to keep the Saints potent WRs off the field… control the clock with a rushing attack. Smash mouth football is inbound for this weekend.

  12. JT

    Say what you will about PFF, but their grades/rankings of play in the trenches are far more accurate than FO offensive line rankings.

    DVOA is the best composite measure i’ve seen of team performance, but FO’s run blocking rankings, and especially pass-blocking rankings, should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. All you have to do is look at the methodology for their rankings – where pass pro is ranked by sack rate. That is an utterly incomplete way of measuring pressure. It doesn’t account for QB throwaways or how quickly the QB is forced to get rid of the ball because of pressure. It also doesn’t account for hits the QB takes forcing inaccurate throws. It literally only uses sack % to rank the OL’s pass blocking.

    Anyone who has watched Seattle this season can see that their pass blocking has been an abomination. Fortunately, Wilson has been getting the ball out a lot quicker than past years to compensate, as his lack of mobility limits him from his trademark scrambling.

    I actually prefer they don’t mortgage the future to trade for Thomas/Staley, as I think they can keep weathering the storm for now until Russell gets healthy (at which point the offense can be a lot more functional). Just wanted to make the point about FO blocking ranks, as I believe they are extremely flawed.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not looked deeply into FO’s system for the O-line, but I still maintain a healthy dose of scepticism for PFF on anything. Any website that can give Aaron Rodgers a negative grade for a 5-0 TD/INT performance in a win against an 11-5 opponent for me is majorly flawed. Their willingness to offer instant grades after a game is ridiculous and it’s all purported as some kind of scientific process rather than just an opinion. Plus this idea that you can rank ‘the top 10 worst players this weekend’ is pretty click baity and provocative IMO. They include a rookie RG the day he faces Campbell/Jones/Golden and the #4 defense per DVOA. No doubt they also graded someone superbly for shutting down a #4 WR.

      • Volume12

        I thought Ifedi played really well. He’s improving week by week.

      • JT

        Yeah PFF has its flaws for sure. I more so wanted to point out the serious flaws in FO’s OL ranks. I recommend checking out the methodology, as their run blocking metrics are sketchy as well.

  13. Volume12

    I absolutely love this Auburn defense. So impressed by them. They’re highly underrated.

    DT Montravius Adams has incredible burst and power. 6’4, 305-310 lbs. and lines up at LDE. Impressive athleticism. Kid has traits galore. One of the most disruptive D-lineman you’ll see. Great bull rush, gets his hands into passing lanes, can control double teams, isn’t knocked around. He’s finally putting it together and is loaded with next level traits.

    LB Tre’ Williams jumps off the screen. One of the most physical LB’s in the country that I’ve seen so far. Another tremendous athlete. Quickly gets off blocks, and with ease. Makes plays all around the LOS. Great pursuit speed and angles. Long, tough, smart football player. Breaks things down quickly.

    S Jonathan ‘Rudy’ Ford is a completely different player than he was last year. More physical, quicker, extremely fluid, loose hips, coverage skills have gotten better. Really good size too. Plays with a lot of swag and passion.

    CB Josh Holsey is a good looking UDFA type nickel corner. Has a great back story. He’s overcome some adversity in his life for sure.

    And of course, EDGE Carl Lawson. Absolutely love this cat! He’s the Alpha male of the team. Something Seattle looks for and their team is full of. One reason why they have such a unique culture.
    Lawson is toughness and grit personified man. Has battled injuries his whole career, character through the roof, described as one of the hardest workers on the team.

    Lawson has an NFL build/physique, and is an absolute physical force. Can put his hand in the dirt or stand up off the ball. UOH is amazing. Sets a great edge. Plays with great leverage, fully extends or locks out his arms, explosive, high motor player who is flat-out relentless. He’s a ‘head buster’ man. This guy will blow you up. So aggressive and tenacious. Love his mind set and style of play.

    That aggressiveness however can be a detriment because he’ll over pursue instead of collecting his momentum while moving forward and finishing the play. Isn’t very bendy and his arms look short. But, IMO every team will love this guy and his versatility.

    • Trevor

      Great post Vol!

      You have inspired me to watch any tape I can find on them tonight.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I’ve always wondered, do they look good because they are good… or because they are surrounded with good players? That is the danger with Alabama players and trying to project into the NFL.

      That being said, the OL / DL prospects are outstanding and as we find out year after year… they come to the NFL ready to pay attention to details / study each and every week. Conditioning, strength training and film study are all NFL quality. The position coaching is also quite good.

      • Sea Mode

        Fair question. I would think a bit of both, and this may well be something Hawks scouts pay special attention to in order to find those late-round gems that didn’t get as much attention because they were under-performing in their system. (sort of like Sowell in ARI)

        But even in good systems, there are always the “alpha dogs” that really make it all tick and who you know will likely continue to be just that wherever they go.

        So it goes both ways I guess. You shoot for the dogs that make everyone atound them better but you also find value in late rounds/UDFA that can be solid role players in our already great system (e.g. Maxwell?)

        • Volutes12

          There’s nothing about players from ‘Bama that personally give me pause. Your recruiting or scouting individuals not the symbols on the helmet.

          Plenty of guys from ‘Bama have been great players. The best WR in the NFL is from there, WR Amari Cooper, DT Marcell Dareus, S Landon Collins, S HaHa Clinton-Dix, RB Mark Ingram, LB’s Dont’a High tower and CJ Mosley.

          Other than CB Dee Milliner and RB Trent Richardson, who’s been a high pick from there that hasn’t been good? RB Eddie Lacy wasn’t due to talent. DT A’Shawn Robinson is only playing about 25% of snaps and he’s still been effective. Not as good as DT Jarran Reed has been, but close.

          ‘and this may well be something Hawks scouts pay special attention to in order to find those late-round gems that didn’t get as much attention because they were under-performing in their system. (sort of like Sowell in ARI)’

          That’s why you scout traits that transfer to the next level.

          • Volume12

            Sorry. That last part came of wrong. Not trying to be a d***.

            Shoulda said, that’s why you gotta try to find traits that transfer to the next level, and even then you might not hit on a guy.

            Might be just me, but a few reasons I think they’re so successful in UDFA?

            – talent always falls through the cracks. Always.
            – PC was a master recruiter and that’s what UDFA is. Your pitching your team, style, culture, coaching to prospects, and this area of the draft let’s PC do that and do one of the things he does/did best
            – they put players in a position to succeed, play to a guys certain strengths, and embrace individuality. They want unique personalities and guys to be themselves. And a lot of guys go undrafted due to their character or ‘lack thereof.’

            • Sea Mode

              Good points, agree all the way through.

              One other reason for success in UDFA is actually being willing to put these guys on the field right away. Helps them want to come and helps you see what you’ve got.

      • Volutes12

        ‘I’ve always wondered, do they look good because they are good… or because they are surrounded with good players? That is the danger with Alabama players and trying to project into the NFL.’

        Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m so confused by this. Might as well just look at guys from division 2 or small schools then. Players that don’t play with other good prospects.

        You could make that case for every school.

  14. Ukhawk

    Rather use the first to get Fournette than trade away for a 30 something OT

    • AlaskaHawk

      It will take two firsts and a second or third next year to move that far up.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        2x 1sts and 2x 2nds in my estimation, if you are drafting the bottom 1/3 each round of the draft .

  15. Volume12

    Mel Kiper, Jr said Temple OT Dion Dawkins is the best SR tackle in the country and thinks he will be a 1st round pick.

    Was hoping we could grab this kid in the 3rd round or so. He’s got some freakish length.

    • Volume12

      How did that post twice? My mistake. Wasn’t meant to be.

  16. Volume12

    Mel Kiper, Jr said Temple OT Dion Dawkins is the best SR tackle in the country and thinks he will be a 1st round pick.

    Was hoping we could grab this kid in the 3rd round or so. He’s got some freakish length.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Way too snipe our find Kiper

      Give his job to Rob 2016

      • Volume12

        That’s what I said.

        Thanks for putting heat on our boy Mel.

  17. CharlieTheUnicorn

    To trade a draft pick or not to trade a draft pick, that is the question.

    I’m now leaning toward Seattle not trading for a LT. Not for many obvious reasons; upgrade / championship windows / etc… but the fact that Seattle is a bit crunched on draft capitol in 2017. They no longer have their own native 4th and 5th round picks.. and have possibly only 2 or 3 lower comp picks coming their way. If the front office believes they build a team via the draft, then they can;t really afford to toss a 1st or 2nd “out the window” for a 2-3 year rent-a-player on the team. This would go against what they have done in the past… for OL or DL prospects.

    • Volume12

      I agree Charlie. They just don’t have the picks or ammo left to deal, unless it’s adding more.CB

      • Sea Mode

        CB? I assume that’s a typo?

        I agree we shouldn’t under-value our high round picks, but counter argument could be that they can find so much value in mid to late rounds and udfa that they can afford to let go of a high pick for a proven commodity if the price is right. Maybe less of a good idea in a loaded draft, however.

        In any case, it definitely would NOT be against their history as we have seen with Harvin and Graham. Like you guys say, I’m not sure I see it happening with OL though, especially not for a R1 pick which, even if it is at the end of the round, has so much value for a trade down.

        • Volume12

          Yes. Typo.

  18. lil'stink

    Of all the current starting left tackles in the league Joe Thomas will be the 13th highest paid player at his position in 2017. In 2018 he will be the 14th highest paid. His $10 million salary won’t be easy to absorb, but he could be somewhat of a bargain for us if we manage to trade for him. I also think having a “real” LT would have a synergistic effect on the entire line, but especially on Glowinski.

  19. DC

    Expecting the Hawks to address the OT position in free agency.
    With our first two picks in the 2017 draft I would expect (in no order) a pass rusher of some form and a RB.
    Both Bennett & Kam are signed through the 2017 season, so as much as people are eluding to them getting lucrative extensions this off season it is not a requirement. I’m not advocating a course of action here, just painting a possible one.
    I really feel the stars are aligning again for a Super Bowl victory next season. 2018 in Minny.

    • Volume12

      I think the reason the extension talk comes into play is because Seattle will only renegotiate deals if a player has one year left on that deal.

      • Sea Mode

        And because extending them early 1) usually gets you a better deal vs. a bidding war in FA and 2) reinforces to the other players that you will “take care of your guys” when they have earned it.

        I think especially the second point is under-appreciated for building a strong team culture and a trust relationship of the players with the front office like we enjoy in Seattle.

        • Volume12

          Nailed it right on the head.

          • DC

            Totally agree on that.
            It’s a balancing act too. At some point due to declining performance/injuries those deals are more of a risk. In their 20s it’s a no brainer.

        • cha

          I agree 100% with that.

          That said, on your point #2 I have to wonder if the impact on the other players might be overstated a little, especially on this Hawks team.

          Kam and Bennett are two guys who signed extensions earlier than they could have and both appear to have come to really regret that move with their actions and words in the last year and change.

          With two influential guys like that I wonder how much that ripples through the other players. ‘why should I sign early? Mike did and he’s been underpaid the last 2 seasons’, etc.

  20. Kenny Sloth

    Russell limited in practice today with a right Pectoral injury

    • Kenny Sloth

      Wisconsin QB Joel Staave added

    • Volume12

      Injured in practice? Or was that what we were seeing Sunday night?

      • Volume12

        Is JS gonna ever pay an O-lineman or is he just gonna let TC take all the crap and keep giving him parts from the scrap heap?

        • Kenny Sloth

          What happens when he gets his hands on a good one?

          • Volume12

            Great point.

            Maybe that’s Ifedi at RT, Fant at LT, and a RG like Billy Price from Ohio St or something?

            And really I’m over reacting to the blame TC gets.

          • Sea Mode

            Maybe we will finally find out with Britt… what do you guys think they might offer, also knowing they have a hedge in Hunt?

            We are talking a lot about Kam and Bennett, but Britt might be a good centerpiece to lock up sooner rather than later if he continues to solidify into a top center for ZBS, with the extra size and smarts they love so much.

            • Volume12

              I think Hunt is a career backup. A fall back guy like Patrick Lewis. Which isn’t a bad thing BTW.

              No idea what they’ll offer Britt, not a big #’s guy cap wise, but to me it looks like they’ve found their guy at C going forward.

              • Sea Mode

                That’s the whole point. Now that they seem to have finally found a (possible) core guy on OL, will they actually pay him or continue to stay cheap at the position?

                I can’t imagine letting a good, young (turned 25 in May) Center go, as it is key to making all the calls and gelling the whole line, so that’s why I wanted to just speculate as to possible cost if the Hawks were to extend him this off season instead of waiting till 2018.

                The top 10 centers make over $6.2m/apy, then the dropoff to #11 at $4.3.

                So I would think we are easily looking at $5-6m/apy as a starting point for negotiations considering he is a lot younger than most of those guys and the rising cap limit.

                • C-Dog

                  The way he has taken the position, I say pay him.

                • Volume12

                  Probably let him go.

          • C-Dog

            I think they were earnestly trying to resign Sweezy but not at the $s Tampa was willing to go, kinda how they lost out on Maxwell the other year. I agree though. Continuity is so critical to the OL, can’t keep replacing parts like this.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        He was injured during the Cardinals game.. most likely the strip sack chandler jones hit….
        That looked nasty to me, since he was about to unload a pass and got hit a millisecond before he chucked it.. meaning he had maximum tension in his joints, ligaments and muscles. The dude is a robot.

      • Lil'stink

        I’m guessing it’s from one of the hits he took Sunday night. Pete and John have been playing with fire when it comes to our OL, and now they’re starting to get burned.

  21. Sea Mode

    I think we just stick it out with Fant and hope that with the playtime we can accelerate his development so he can be far enough along by the playoffs. Our upcoming schedule looks good for this and as much as some fans press the panic button after one poor performance against a top defense, we are still winning or in a position to win every week and in control of our division.

    As pointed out in the analysis by Casey Castle on Fieldgulls, Fant is already an upgrade over Sowell in the run game and already has the agility and balance to kick step into position in pass pro. He just needs hand technique to engage correctly in pass pro, and he could become as good as they see he can be.

    As PC said in his presser this week, Russ will find a way when pressure does get through. And the return of Prosise and Rawls will only take pressure off him as the run game gets going again.

    • Lil'stink

      Our run blocking has been pretty bad, though. Prosise and Rawls won’t fix that. I think we need to be realistic about Fant, as well. He might hold up against a subpar defense like the Saints, but put a solid d-line up against him and he’s probably going to get destroyed (for this year, at least). Of course, you could say the same thing about the player he is filling in for.

      • Aaron

        Fant repeatedly blew Chandler Jones (mostly) not just off the line but completely out of the play/off-screen… Perhaps even past that all the way to the Gatorade stand. It happened several times. Looks like an absolute beast in the run game with those quick feet. Cardinals DL is pretty solid.

        • Volume12

          The guy I was most impressed with blocking wise,was Jimmy Graham. And they said it couldn’t be done. Dude threw some great blocks.

  22. Sea Mode

    Great article on Seahawks D stats on espn:

    Just putting it into charts and seeing how far ahead we are of not only nfl average, but often even of 2nd place behind us just makes me shake my head in greatful amazement! Goes hand in hand with what Rob pointed out about defense being the most important for the top teams in today’s NFL.

    We all know about the scoring defense titles, but I had no idea about the blitz success rate… Check out the article!

    • Sea Mode

      *ugggh grateful

      • 503Hawk

        Sea Mode; thanks for the link. That’s an interesting read. Now if we can just get some guys healthy on offense we ought to peak at the right time.

  23. Volume12

    Seahawks @ Old Dominion practice today for the 2nd time this year (1st time was during TC).

    RB Ray Lawry- 5’10, 205-210 lbs.
    WR Zach Pascal- 6’2, 215 lbs.
    QB David Washington- 6’2-6’3, 210 lbs.
    DT Rashaad Coward- 6’6, 310 lbs.
    LB TJ Ricks- 6’0, 238 lbs.

  24. Volume12

    Do you guys agree or disagree with Gee Scott?

    ‘If Haushcka makes that kick and Seattle wins, nobody would be talking about the O-line.’

    • DC

      When we play the Rams, Cardinals, Vikings etc we are going to be talking about the O line. Win, lose (or draw). The best D lines are better than the best O lines, not to mention the “not best”. Hopefully by the next time we see our division neighbors there is noticeable improvement in quality of play.

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