Saturday notes: ‘Bama defense is too good

Florida @ Arkansas

Florida’s two stud linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone were both injured during the game — and the Gators usually physical, intimidating defense was pretty lightweight as a consequence. Arkansas, hammered by Auburn last week, ran all over them.

Safety Marcus Maye had a mixed day. With the front seven struggling to contain the run he was often a needed last line of defense, recording 11 tackles and making one really good form tackle after a strong catch-and-run by Devwah Whaley. He also had a couple of avoidable errors.

There weren’t many opportunities for Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson to impress at cornerback. Arkansas managed their offense nicely, worked play-action and the screen game and didn’t take many risks at the second level after an early pick-six.

One player who did have a good day was defensive tackle Caleb Brantley. He doesn’t get too much attention but he consistently finds a way to impact games. He had a really nice interior rush for a sack (he was only give half a sack on the stat sheet) and had a couple of hurries too. He could be a value pick in round two.

Alabama @ LSU

This game perfectly highlights the problem with college football that is translating to the NFL. The best athletes are playing defense and the offenses (in particular offensive lines) don’t stand a chance.

Both OL’s were miserable in this game. In particular, LSU provided zero resistance to the brilliant ‘Bama front seven. It was a massacre, a complete ass-kicking up front. The quarterback Danny Etling was hit every time he dropped back to pass and managed a paltry 92 yards passing from 24 throws.

They tried to establish the passing game and took shots downfield — probably in an attempt to open up running lanes. It never happened — and thus it was almost impossible for Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice.

There will be a temptation to point the finger at Fournette and use another bad day vs Alabama to bash him. He had 35 yards on 17 carries in an eerily similar game to last year. It would be so foolish to make that assertion. For example, virtually every time LSU handed the ball off one of two things happened:

1. Alabama’s D-line collapsed the LOS and had 2-3 players in the backfield almost immediately after Fournette received the ball.

2. LSU’s front did enough to contain the initial blast but nobody laid a finger on the linebackers. I don’t recall a single time seeing Reuben Foster covered up. Often he was free to explode into the backfield and join the party. It’s no surprise he ended the day as Alabama’s leading tackler with 11 in total.

If you want to box-score scout and criticise Fournette, feel free. I’m not convinced anyone could run productively with that environment. LSU are an absolute mess on offense — with no passing game or O-line to speak of. When you put that next to an elite defense — it’ll get ugly. Alabama had five sacks, nine TFL’s, three official hurries and what felt like about 20 hits of the QB.

Even if Fournette is drafted by the Cleveland Browns — he won’t come up against a similar situation to what he experienced in this game.

Foster was again exceptional with incredible burst and physicality — he will almost certainly go in the top-12 as an impact linebacker. Tim Williams got half a sack (looked like a full one to me) but was incredibly physical vs the run, setting the edge and dominating with power to compliment his quickness. He’s a top-10 talent. Jonathan Allen had another sack and continues to look every bit a high pick and Marlon Humphrey — short of one deep ball error early in the game, was exceptional in coverage showing savvy and technique to go with his incredible physical potential.

Ryan Anderson also continues to make waves. He had yet another sack, several big plays and just leaps off the screen every week. He will be one of the most fascinating players to watch at the combine. He’s only 6-2 and 253lbs and lacks overall length but how athletic is he? He just makes plays every week. He would be an ideal fit in the AFC North.

LSU’s defenders also stood out. Aside from one ‘Earl Thomas-esque’ missed tackle Jamal Adams had a fantastic game. Tre’Davious White was excellent in coverage all night and did a good job containing the QB run until the final quarter when asked to help at the LOS.

Yet the lasting thought is how bad these offenses were — especially the O-lines. College football has a serious mismatch problem up front and it’s translating to the NFL. That’s why teams like Seattle are being forced to look for George Fant-types.

Washington @ California

This was a one-sided blowout but Washington again looked really strong offensively. Jake Browning isn’t a physically brilliant passer but he’s so economical with enough arm strength to keep a defense honest. His poise, accuracy and production could help him get into the first round discussion next year.

John Ross is an explosive talent worthy of a first round grade. At times Cal put three defenders on him and whenever he got a 1v1 he nearly always won. His ability to get open, break tackles, run away from defenders and make touchdowns is unmatched in college football this year. There’s some Brandin Cooks to his game, some DeSean Jackson. Teams love this type of X-factor:

Dante Pettis is kind of similar to Jermaine Kearse. The big difference is consistency (Pettis is more consistent) but they both have a sneaky explosive edge and they make plays. He won’t be a high pick necessarily but like Kearse he has a shot to stick at the next level.

Defensively there is so much talent on this Huskies unit. The D-line again was superb. Greg Gaines is a great combination of massive bulk and athleticism. Vita Vea is a huge, athletic nose tackle and Elijah Qualls is maybe a notch below in terms of potential but he’s tough to move at the LOS. Depending on how they test, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gaints and Vea in the second round mix.

Azeem Victor does a good job organising things at linebacker and they have playmakers in the secondary in Budda Baker and Sidney Jones. In this game Jones had two picks and will likely get a lot of hype this week. To me he looks a bit dinky and there were a couple of times where he gave up plays in coverage. There’s no doubting his playmaking ability, athleticism and coverage skills. I wonder at the next level whether he’s the type of guy who will make a collection of really nice highlight plays each season — but will also get bullied by bigger receivers and could be liable to give up plays too.

A team that wants to limit big plays and keep everything in front (eg Seattle) with longer, bigger corners probably isn’t going to covet Jones. He might be a good fit for someone like the Patriots who seem to value technique and execution — their corners have also always been a bit boom-or-bust.


  1. H M Abdou

    Completely agree with you, Rob. Fournette never had a chance to get going. I think this coming draft will have a ton of talented RB’S.

  2. sdcoug

    Pretty sure even I would be in the Heisman discussion if i was throwing it to John Ross.

    • Kenny Sloth


      • Kenny Sloth

        His strength is very deceptive a huge part of his game

  3. Steve-O

    I fear this is what Fournette’s Sundays would look like if the Seahawks somehow miraculously got him. Being big and fast and breaking tackles doesn’t help if the other team’s D-line is a yard deep in your backfield when the ball is handed off.

    • Kenny Sloth

      (it’s not our OL tbh)

      We create enough space. We have movers up front. I’ve seen us get push against every defensive front we’ve played against.

    • Rob Staton

      The Seahawks never come up against a scenario like LSU yesterday. No team in the NFL does. It was like watching a NFL team against a High School.

    • JT

      The Hawks running game has had success for years despite opponents getting in the backfield pretty quickly. The blocking is rougher than ever before, but the run game will rebound with a healthy Wilson. The threat of the read option + play-action mobility will open things up substantially.

      Also, this – “It was like watching a NFL team against a High School.” sums up Fournette’s match-up well. Or really any offensive line against the Tide’s front 7. The talent disparity they have very week on D is unbelievable. I hope the UW offense gets a chance to take them on…

    • LordSnow

      I’ve watched 5 games of LSU with Fournette, which is a small sample size. I like him, because I like great athletes, but not enough to sell out the draft for him. I think he should move piles better than he shows (and I’m not talking about just Alabama). I’ve been meh with him when he has a tough game. It is exciting to see him in the open field once he gets past the line of scrimmage, but I’ve never seen him move piles like Marshawn did. It would be nice to see some yards after contact stats on him (and not just one season’s worth, but since olinemen graduate, maybe two years worth).

      One play on Saturday that made me raise an eyebrow was I think in the second quarter LSU was buried deep on its end, and it was 3rd and 9. They needed something, anything to move the chains. Fournette got the pass in the middle I think about 7 yards and he stopped and juked. I thought he had a chance for the first down if he put his head down and drove out for it. Maybe not, maybe alabama is just too good, but I had a Cmike stutter feeling when I saw that play.

      In the end, other than highlights, I have a small sample size of viewing of him. I’d like to have him, and I wouldn’t complain if he fell into the teens and JS gave up a couple picks to move to get him, but in no way do I think he’d automatically bring back Lynch level of dominance that seattle had. And I wouldn’t sell the draft for him.

  4. Kenny Sloth

    Sidney Jones reminds me of Asante Samuel. Instinctual, fluid, grabby, impatient

  5. C-Dog

    Rod, if there is not an athletic OLineman where Seattle picks in R1, do you see a scenario where they’d be happy to add John Ross R1 as a difference maker on offense? Personally, I don’t see the big need at WR but if Seattle rolled out with Baldwin, Lockett, Ross, Kearse, and Graham in the empties they like to run and have success with, where’s the attention of the defense going to go? Plus add what he could do off deep play action, return depth, etc, might be an interesting luxury pick?

    • Rob Staton

      Ross is very Seahawky. They generally go after their biggest needs though and I’m not sure that’s WR.

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, I don’t see receiver as the biggest need on paper. Just wondering that if they drum up some second half of the season magic on the offense, they can afford a luxury pick R1.

        • Rob Staton

          If that situation materialised I could definitely seem them interested in Ross. Very, very Seahawky.

    • RealRhino2

      That seems like a very Phillip Dorsett kind of pick. I love Ross, but I wouldn’t want the Seahawks to do it. Replicates Lockett a bit too much. Rather have a great G that could allow them to move Ifedi to RT (if that’s what they want), or another DE to spell Bennett, or another good DB

      • Kenny Sloth

        This draft is hopefully going to be a little more straightforward than last year’s spectacle. No crazy antics and just teams picking great player after great player

  6. Kenny Sloth

    Randy Moss called Cooper-Crabtree the best WR duo in the NFL

    Uh yeah right. Julio-Sanu is for sure the best duo

  7. Volume12

    Rob, when you attend the Udub vs Arizona St game, let me know what you think of ASU’s Koron Crump?

    Very interesting guy. About 6’3, 220 but lives in the backfield. A!so lines up as their nickel defender.

    10.5 TFL, 9 QB sacks.

    • Rob Staton

      Will do 🙂

  8. Kenny Sloth

    Love these Pittsburgh Baltimore matchups

    Eagles Giants is looking good too

    • Volume12

      That’s one thing that hurts the NBA. No rivalry games anymore.

  9. AlaskaHawk

    I’m watching the Viking vs Lions game today, and it reminded me of how much I like Golden Tate. I thought I would throw this out to the group. Who is your favorite ex-Seahawk that got away from them for 6 million or less – and would improve the Seahawks if they were playing for them now? It’s fair to go back in time as long as the ex lasted at least three more years playing for other teams.

    I’m going to say wide receiver Golden Tate and right tackle Breno Giacommini. Given current needs maybe Breno would be the #1, but I think Golden would kick our wide receivers up a notch with his toughness and leaping ability.

    • Rob Staton

      Terrelle Pryor 🙂

      • The Hawk is Howling

        I believe Rob said Pryor because we could have had him on the cheap. I didn’t understand not keeping him at the time especially because he could have also been our 3rd string emergency QB. He has all the talent and skill and was just adjusting to WR, of well. Now we have Tanner McEvoy and I’m happy for that!

        My wish would be Golden Tate

        Go Hawks

    • Aaron

      Malcolm Smith. Miss the LB depth and his coverage skills. Had to pay KJ/Bobby.

      • Smitty1547

        Jay Howard, although Pryor would be a nice weapon right now with a real offensive coordinator

    • Kenny Sloth

      A healthy Spencer Ware?

      • Volume12

        Didn’t Pryor not want to fully convert to a wide out when here?

        Golden Tate for me as well. If they knew Percy Harvin was gonna be toxic, ya gotta wonder if they would’ve done more to keep Tate.

        • Kenny Sloth

          I think Bruce got paid too much to qualify, but he would be it for me.

          Elite role player of there is such a thing

        • Sea Mode

          Yeah, I thought we released him because he was adamant that he was a QB. Too bad he changed his mind after we released him. JS certainly correctly recognized the potential as they gave up a 7th rounder to make sure and get him instead of waiting for his outright release.

          I would also say Tate in a heartbeat, especially if that would have meant avoiding the Harvin plague.

  10. j

    How about Shalom Luani. Really been a revelation since moving to the money LB position when Parker Henry got hurt.

    3 sacks, 8.5 TFL, 4 INT (leads PAC-12), 6 PBU on the year.

    At 205 lbs, more of a safety obviously.

    Also he’s American Samoa’s all time top goal scorer in FIFA and played on the (non-qualifying) Olympic team.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Wow! That’s really impressive. Must have great feet.

      • DavidM2


        If you want a real opinion you’d have to ask Rex Ryan about how great his feet are…

        • Kenny Sloth

          Boom! 😀

    • sdcoug

      I’ve mentioned him several times. Big fan. Kid is still learning, but is such a playmaker

  11. Trevor

    If anyone questions the value of a dominant OL in today’s NFL the Cowboys are such a great example of how much easier offense is when your OL can pass protect and as open holes in the run game. The reason a rookie QB and RB can look like all pros is that OL. Prescott had all day and Elliott had holes as wide as the Grand Canyon.

    That team is going to be an absolute nightmare for out defense if they meet in the playoffs as they do everything well that we struggle with. They will control time of possession with slow methodical drives and not take any chances.

    Luckily their defense is very suspect IMO they are just rarely on the field because of the huge time of possession difference most games.

    No team scares me as much as a playoff matchup as the Cowboys and the Pats because of style of offensive play.

    • Smitty1547

      and to think we could have had one of there road graders for a 7th round pick, and he would be are best OL

      • Volume12

        Dallas has always had a great O-line. Think back to the ‘triplets’ era w/ Jimmy Johnson. Larry Allen, Nate Newton, etc.

        It’s like Pittsburgh being known for their defense (up until recently), or Oakland taking athletic freaks (under the original SPARQ god Al Davis), the Shannahan’s being able to plug in any RB and get 1,000 yds outta them.

        • Trevor

          That was one of the great OL of all times. This Dallas offense looks eerily similar to that one actually.

          I really thinking having Callahan as the OL coach when they drafted these guys was huge in their development as well.

          One thing for sure is whomever is drafting OL for the Cowboys should be a guy JS tries to target. I can’t think of an early round OL pick they have missed on.

          • Rob Staton

            In fairness, they guy drafting OL for the Cowboys had a no-brainer decision at #9 overall to take Tyron Smith and then to select Zack Martin in the middle of the first. There’s nothing really that clever in drafting those two guys. Even the center Travis Frederick — he looked really good at Wisconsin and a definite first rounder. The only controversy about him really is that Dallas traded down so much to take him. They took three guys in R1 that were really good in college. Seattle hasn’t picked as early as the Cowboys when they took Smith/Martin since 2012 and they spent R1 picks in 2010 and 2011 on the OL anyway so in 2012 they really had to start building other areas of the team.

      • The Hawk is Howling

        Actually Smitty as I remember l’ael Collins said he would go back into the draft the following year if he wasn’t a first rounder. After he wasn’t drafted he signed the maximum for a undrafted free agent because of Dallas’s offer. Man I was really hoping to get him to!

        Go Hawks

        • Smitty1547

          Said! That was a bluff and well worth the risk of a 7th rd pick to find out. Pete would have brought him in and the kid would halve bought in like nobody’s business

      • Rob Staton

        People constantly mistake the La’el Collins situation.

        For starters, he said he would hold out the full year if a team drafted him on day three. No team drafted him — it wasn’t like the Seahawks missed a beat here. Not a single team of 32 drafted him.

        The reason for that wasn’t just the claim he would hold out. It’s because he was in the middle of an investigation for murder and had not yet been ruled out as a suspect. People might look at that now an shrug — but it was a very, very serious situation. When he ultimately signed for Dallas, Seattle were only one of 30 others who also didn’t sign him.

        Of all the things to complain about — this certainly is not one.

        • The Hawk is Howling

          Rob you sure he would have signed as a second or third. I remember him having to be a first only. That was a sad crazy situation and incredible unfair to him.

          Oh yeah that’s right, Life is rarely fair.

          Go Hawks

          • The Hawk is Howling

            Oh and I feel dumb for spelling his name L’ael instead of La’el at least I knew what Smitty was talking about and remembered Collins by memory berries. Rob you’re almost always right about everything!

            That’s the difference between secondary school/ university, Highschool/ college.

            America, Funk Yeah!

            Go Team!

        • Smitty1547

          Missed opportunity, risk and reward to great to pass on.

  12. Trevor

    Put a fork in the Vikings!

    • Volume12

      I suspected their injuries, lack of a running game, Sam Bradford at QB would catch up to them.

      Big difference between their O-line and ours? We got athletes on the line that. At times it’ll make up for a lack of technique.

      • Trevor

        I agree Vol at least there is hope, youth, potential with our OL and they will inevitably get better as the year goes on because of that.

        If Fant is respectable again this week he may not loose that LT spot.

        Anyone know if Sowell has played much RT?

        • Nick

          I agree. Really want Fant to succeed. Imagine if we can turn LT into a long-term strong point!

        • Kenny Sloth

          Cable says Sowell can play every position for him including LS

          • Kenny Sloth

            Has said*

  13. Trevor

    How do you think Jamie Collins is feeling today?

    • The Hawk is Howling

      Brown and broken Trevor. B&B

      • Trevor

        Nicely said.

  14. Volume12

    Minnesota losing, LA losing, GB down. A win tommorow puts us firmly in place for one of the top 2 seeds and a 1st round bye.

    We control our own destiny unlike a lot of other teams in the NFC.

    Most of the time when we lose its because we beat ourselves. Very rarely, if ever, do we get out played. Definetly not in all 3 phases.

    • Trevor

      All in all a dream Sunday considering we did not play. Part of me almost wishes the Rams beat Carolina though to put them to rest. They still make me nervous if they can get back on track and get that secondary figured out.

  15. The Hawk is Howling

    Aaron Rogers lost again! I’m not a mean spirited person but Rogers attitude and demeanour gets on me.

    He so Schmug.

  16. Volume12

    Melvin Gordon has been a monster this year. Comeback player of the year?

    The game has slowed down for him and he’s finally comfortable.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Can you be a come back player, if you never even produced your 1st year?

      • Volume12

        I always thought comeback player of the year could also be most improved too.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          Gordon got nicked up late in the game, some-type of foot injury. Let’s hold off on the comeback player talk for a few weeks. :O

          • Trevor

            He had that huge run to close out the game after being nicked up.

    • Trevor

      So right Viol looks like a completely different guy this year and the one we expected coming out. That SD offense is legit.

  17. Ed

    Irks me that SF had so much offensive success. Gameplan and playcalling can go a long way. Oh well. Beat the Bills, keep getting healthy and get home field.

    • Rob Staton

      The 49ers scored three more points against New Orleans than Seattle (23 vs 20) in a home game. One chunk of seven points came when Kaepernick dumped the ball off to a tight end and he ran the length of the field while the Saints defenders saluted him on his way. It’s a shame they never felt obliged to do that last week.

      • Ed

        I know score wise and I also know the Hawks get everyones A game. But the first half, the 49ers had some real creativity that had guys running wide open. Yes, the play you referenced turned into a ridiculous TD, but the ingenuity to have guys running free is more of what I’m talking about.

        Comes to hard for the Hawks (even against subpar opponent).

  18. vrtkolman

    Oakland’s offensive line is really good, it’s probably 2nd in the NFL behind Dallas. They are maulers in the run game, and Carr has ages to throw in the backfield. It’s no secret how Carr is a MVP candidate and Prescott looks like a future all pro – their offensive lines give them time to hang out in the pocket and wait for someone to get open.

    • vrtkolman

      My initial guess is that Russell Okung is going to be back on the market next year. He looks worse every week.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I thought he held up ok, the RT was bad… getting beat on like a drum by V. Miller.
        I thought it was interesting that Irvin was able to get around Okung routinely…. like they used to practice against each other for a few years. 😉

    • Trevor

      Agree 100% the run game and passer rating are almost a direct result of OL play. The last couple of years the Hawks have been outliers because they had freakish talent in Beast Mode to break tackles and Wilsons elusiveness to extend plays. This year we are seeing what happens when you still have a bad OL without those two off setting factors.

      On a positive note if Ifedi really is an Osemelle clone as I think he is then boy he could be special in a year or two because that guy is a beast and the most dominant lineman in the NFL right now IMO.

    • Trevor

      Dream scenario is Britt and Ifedi evolve into something similar to Osemelle and Rodney Hudson who were both great free agent signings by Raiders and McKenzie.

      • Sea Mode

        Well, let’s just hope they end up costing a bit less than $20.6m/apy, like Hudson ($8.9m) and Osemele ($11.7m) do… =)

        • Smitty1547

          If they do u can bet it will be on some one else’s team, Seattle would pay it to Upshaw and Shell

  19. Trevor

    I always scoffed at the talk that Ohio St could beat the Browns and still do. Men vs Boys but I have to say I think that Alabama defense is actually better than the Browns D and has more talent across the board.

    • Rob Staton

      Bama defense would give Cleveland’s offense a game. On the other side of the ball though — ouch. Bama’s O-line would be massacred by the Browns. They would struggle to score a point.

      • Trevor

        Yes for sure! I was talking Defense only for sure. I just can’t remember a college defense that good with top end pro prospects at every position.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Bama would be heavy underdogs, but anything can happen in football.

        I think if you took 53 players from the top 5 teams in CFB you’d have an expansion calibre team.

        These college players are tough kids, but it’s really a different story with the NFL.

        If you’re in the NFL you either fought tooth and mail

        • Kenny Sloth

          Tooth and nail to get there Or have had it basically handed to you because you’re that damn talented.

          It should be in law that college teams can’t play pro teams, if it isn’t already.

  20. Trevor

    Rob I am drinking to kool aide after watching a ton of CFB with weekend. The athleticism gap between OL and DL has ever been greater IMO and the lack of OL talent is frightening.

    Do you think the Hawks are better served spending more cap space acquiring veteran OL talent in the off season or spending 1st -2nd round draft capital? Also do you think they will move Ifedi to RT or keep in at Guard? Has anyone hinted at the long term plan for him?

    • Rob Staton

      There just aren’t the veterans out there unfortunately. It’s why a team like Kansas City is so ready and willing to give Eric Fisher a big extension despite his middling play. His average/below average career so far is still desirable compared to the alternative. I’ve seen arguments lending to the idea of a quick fix or that the Seahawks are doing it wrong. That merely spending more picks or spending money will solve the problem. They almost have to continue doing what they’re doing. Drafting players with a high ceiling and coaching them up (eg Ifedi) and looking for George Fant types.

      Hopefully they get a shot at Garett Bolles.

      • Trevor

        I agree about Bolles. Hard to find a lot of tape on him but from what I have seen looks the part. Also like what I have heard anecdotally about his toughness and character. The age is a little of a concern but nothing that would scare me off.

        Rob I thought Cam Robinson was just Ok against LSU. If he dropped till the end of Rd #1 and he checks out in the interview ” a big if” would be a consideration if Bolles is off the board. Kind of seems like the ideal Hawks RT physically and him and Ifedi on the right side would be enormous.

        • Rob Staton

          I just don’t see a Seahawk in Robinson. Toughness, top-tier athleticism and intelligence/character is important in R1 for SEA. I’m not convinced he’s a unique athlete like Ifedi and he gives off a passive, entitled, somewhat weird edge during interviews. I think he could end up falling quite a bit actually.

          Compare that to Bolles — personable, well spoken, has shown true grit to turn his life around, he’s faced adversity and kicked it in the nuts. And he plays like a bad ass on the field.

          • Trevor

            Thanks and I tend to agree about Robinson kind of a weird attitude. So far Bolles and Feeney seem like the only Rd #1 OL prospects in this draft in my book.

            • Rob Staton

              I’ll bang the table for Bolles. The more I watch, the more I LOVE. Wow. Bolles Bolles Bolles. Sign me up.

              • Kenny Sloth


            • James

              Something to give pause about Cam Robinson… the Alabama coaching staff love this guy, and they are no push-overs. Robinson has been voted a player of the week by the coaching staff after almost every game this season, including LSU, where he apparently graded very high. The insiders say he is surprisingly fiery and a good leader, for what its worth. He is generally projected mid-R1, but if still there when the Seahawks pick, don’t be surprised if they see something in this prototype RT.

              • Rob Staton

                I’ll be very surprised if Cam Robinson ends up in Seattle.

                Just don’t see anything that would interest them. Not a special athlete, regardless of what Alabama are doing people outside of their bubble say he’s a nightmare. Just cannot see it.

  21. Trevor

    Rob it is funny because I was so negative on Kam after the hold out and wanted him gone no matter what, as he broke Petes only real rule about putting yourself first and hurting the team. But after seeing the way he came back into the fold and how critical he is on the back end from a communication stand point I had swung to your line of thinking that he would be a Hawk likely for life.

    He does seem to be really breaking down though having missed 7 of the last 11 games and the noise about the Hawks moving on intensifies each week he missses. This is the best Safety class I have seen in a long time. Is there a Strong Safety in this class you think could have the same king of impact as Keanu Neal? I absolutely love Hooker and Peppers but assume both will be top 10 picks. Anyone else who brings that physical presence?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see a strong safety like Keanu Neal in this class unfortunately. Not yet anyway. I’ve not studied everyone. Some really good safety’s but not a Kam or Keanu yet. Lots of quality FS’s and Peppers would be a great S/LB type.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Same, despite the depth and overall quality of the safeties, I don’t see much diversity of skillsets.

        That’s something I consider a need. A real physical DB. Some kind of thumper on special teams and backup for Kam. McCray is solid, but his physicality doesn’t jump off the screen at you.

        This year has some really good FS, but last year was an insane DB class. The top shelf may actually be better this year,

    • LordSnow

      This is sad to think about as it has to be contemplated by PC and JS considering Chancellor’s time lost. Sad for the fans and the player, but also sad as we realize that this era of defensive dominance is probably closer to the end than the beginning as our guys age and start breaking down, or their contracts start running out.

      A very special era in seattle has been this defense. I haven’t seen one this good since the Steel Curtain of the 70s.

      • Volume12

        Why does a safety need to built like Kam for Seattle to select them?

        They’ll be looking for a long time if that’s the case.

        • LordSnow

          You must be responding to Rob or Trevor above. Personally, I don’t think they need another Kam, and may have their starter going forward in McCray, needing only to draft more backup depth.

          • Volume12

            Yeah, it wasn’t in response to your post. Or necessarily Trevor or Rob’s. Just a generalized question.

            I agree they might have their starter in McCray and just need depth/competition. I am a little worried that McCray has put enough tape out there that some team will offer him straight up starter money.

  22. Smitty1547

    Kam is done, it’s sad but it is what it is. Hope he makes it back for last big push in playoffs. We need to be like Patriots and forward thinking, unlike we did with lynch and before him Alexander.

    • Kenny Sloth

      *Pete Carroll starts cheating*

  23. Kenny Sloth

    Same, despite the depth and overall quality of the safeties, I don’t see much diversity of skillsets.

    That’s something I consider a need. A real physical DB. Some kind of thumper on special teams and backup for Kam. McCray is solid, but his physicality doesn’t jump off the screen at you.

    This year has some really good FS, but last year was an insane DB class. The top shelf may actually be better this year,

    • Kenny Sloth

      Reply fail

  24. Rad man

    Very much agree with the general assessment of the state of the D vs O in college, and pros.

    However, I just watched the Raiders O line dominate Denver’s D pretty well. Largely dictated the game. The Raiders have the highest paid O line in the league, and much of their success seems to be built on it. DVOA has them #1 in pass protection and top ten in run blocking. Osemele was a spendy purchase but he does seem to be paying off for them. It is possible. It helps when you’re getting MVP caliber play from your QB for 1.5M

    • Rad man

      and of course, a big reason he’s playing so well is the fantastic pocket he’s playing in.

      • Kenny Sloth

        He’s also getting the ball out faster than anyone in the league.

        He’s that prototype gunslinger the NFL needs

        • Volume12

          He has a very rare quality. He can change his arm angles and a therefore doesn’t need a platform to throw from.

          • Kenny Sloth

            And has the strength to throw with no base

    • vrtkolman

      Yep, however this is their first really successful run so far and Carr only has one more season left before he’s going to be taking up $23-25 million of their cap. They also have one of the worst defenses in football (statistically, they have talent though which brings up the question of how Ken Norton Jr. is actually doing there?). It doesn’t seem like a long term plan for success.

      • Volume12

        Sure it does. Oakland has drafted well the past 3-4 years, I see no reason why that’ll change, you have the league’s MVP at QB, and you pay him what the market dictates.

  25. Sea Mode

    Great stuff from Sheil Kapadia, if I may be allowed to share it here:

    I think the proof of our truly special defense is that others have yet to be able to replicate it. (the article mentions JAX and ATL) So much connection between coaches and player evaluation.

    • 503Hawk

      You’re right, that was a great read. Thanks for the link.

  26. Trevor

    Really hoping to see Prosise and Fant build on last week. I think those two guys are the key to our needs heading into next years draft. If they can play well and prove to be legit then our needs are not quite as urgent at RB / OT.

  27. Trevor

    Watching Denver get waxed last night made me realize how special this Hawks team has been. This team never gets blown out and the consistency on Defense no matter the circumstance is truly remarkable.

  28. Kenny Sloth

    Rob, would you trade Chancellor and a first plus perhaps some change for a shot at Fournette/Garrett/Peppers?

    Not that anyone’s offering or that the Hawks will likely shop Jam.

    Anyone else for whom youd consider trading up, as this class is undoubtedly top-heavy?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s a highly unlikely scenario. For me, Chancellor will retire sooner rather than later. His body has been breaking down for a while, I think that partly motivated his hold out. Get money when he can. He might even retire at the end of the season or at the end of 2017. Who knows? But I think he retires a Hawk.

      I wouldn’t want to trade any players to be honest. No key players. We have an amazing core. We’re not absolutely desperate for a big trade up. I think we run into battle with these guys while we have them.

      • Trevor

        I think the Hawks have shown incredible loyalty with the core of this team including Marshawn. I think the most likely scenario is Kam plays out this year and next and rides of into the sunset. Hopefully with one more ring.

        I was all for trading Kam when he held out but he came back and has moved past that and now I just hope he can get healthy and make a push for a playoff run. Then come to camp next year and not be a distraction with the contract and give it one more run before retiring a Hawk.

        Also I don’t see a trade market for him right now except perhaps the Redskins.

        A bigger question for me is if Kam can get healthy and play at a reasonable level the balance of this year and next is he a Hall of Famer? I think the answer is yes if the Hawks get one more ring. He will always be remembered as the Boom in the LOB.

    • Kenny Sloth

      It’s interesting though. This Seahawks FO have yet to come to such a turning point as this in which they have to decide what to do with two legitimate superstars without whom they wouldn’t have won a title. Your stars are aging, expensive, and iniured. But are undeniably the best in the world at what they do.

  29. 503Hawk

    “But are undeniably the best in the world at what they do.”
    Kenny, personally I think “arguably the best at what they do” is more accurate. Some could rightfully “argue” that some players are either past their prime or have been supplanted by others.

    • Kenny Sloth

      #1 scoring defense don’t lie baby

      Go Hawks

  30. Kenny Sloth

    Not sure if anyone’s interested, but the U.S. is hosting Mexico on Friday for a 2018 World Cup Qualifier. This graphic came across my radar listing Christian Pulisic (an 18 year old attacker from Hershey Pennsylvania) as one of the most statistically efficient goal creators in the top 5 European leagues.

    Playing for Borussia Dortmund against some of the top talent in the world, he is 34th in goals assisted/finished, right between Robert Lewandowski and Theo Walcott (two other international stars)

    Did I mention he’s 18?

    One of the greatest starts to an American international’s career


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