Saturday notes: Run-draft, Dalton Schultz & Keke Coutee

— The Seahawks haven’t had a running game crisis like this since the end of the 2010 season. Pete Carroll stated, clearly, at the end of that season that fixing it would be a priority. He made similar noises in his latest press conference. The response in 2011? Seattle spent their first two draft picks on James Carpenter and John Moffitt. When the lockout concluded, they signed Zach Miller and Robert Gallery.

When the Seahawks have a need they tend to go after it aggressively. And this is, clearly I think, Seattle’s biggest problem. Carroll will coach up and field a capable defense. Without the running game, one of they key focal points of his identity isn’t there. The circle is incomplete.

It’s still very early in the process. Things will change. There’s a reason, however, that we’ve spent an increasing amount of time looking at Ronald Jones II, Isaiah Wynn and Billy Price for their first pick. These are three of the players that give you a chance to properly address the running game and take the offense forward.

If they ended up trading Earl Thomas and acquiring another high pick, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if they added two of Jones II, Wynn and Price. Just at they targeted Carpenter and Moffitt in 2011.

There are defensive options that could be appealing. Maurice Hurst, Derwin James. Others too. Yet fixing the run is absolutely crucial. And Jones II, Wynn and Price are all worthy of top-25 consideration.

— With Jimmy Graham almost certainly on the way out and Luke Willson also a free agent, the Seahawks have to do something at tight end. That could be a free agent pick-up but it could also be a draft pick. Following the Graham experiment, it feels like they’re more likely to target a tight end who can block.

We’ve talked about Notre Dame’s Durham Smythe. He’s a classic ‘Y’ tight end and has shown a strong ability to feature as a blocker. At the Senior Bowl he also impressed mightily as a pass catcher. He’s well sized with a good character.

Smythe is one to watch. He has short arms though — not ideal for blocking at the line or competing for difficult red zone catches. The tight end class across the board is a bit overrated and Seattle’s options might be quite narrow. Thankfully, there’s a Stanford tight end who could also provide a solution.

Dalton Schultz is a terrific blocker. Look at the play below. Schultz goes 1v1 with the DE. He stones him at the LOS and then dumps him to the ground and finishes the block:

This is what the Seahawks need. A tight end who can actually excel as a blocker.

The difference between Schultz and Smythe appears to be length. Schutlz is tall and long but lighter (estimated to be 242lbs). Yet his ability to keep his frame clean, lock on and sustain blocks is crucial. Here’s what Lance Zierlein noted when watching Schultz:

Very tenacious and tough as a blocker. Well-schooled in blocking fundamentals. Leaned on as vital part of the run blocking unit. Initial hand placement is good. Ability to sustain and finish. Improves positioning after contact and can generate some movement at point of attack without a double team. Gave it to USC’s Rasheem Green on more than a couple of snaps when matched head to head.

Statistically Schultz has not been a big feature. Stanford have long been a run-heavy team and if anything that has increased since the Andrew Luck days. Schultz’s main responsibility is to block. I don’t think you can read too much into his paltry 555 receiving yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. He’s done what he’s been asked to do.

It could actually work in Seattle’s favour. While the rest of the league is looking for big slot receivers acting as tight ends, we know the Seahawks want to play a more classical style. They drafted Nick Vannett in round three. They might be able to land Schultz in a similar range.

There are solutions in this draft class for the Seahawks. A long list of running backs. A similarly long list of interior lineman. Now two good tight ends that excel at blocking. If ever there was a year to try and fix the running game, the 2018 draft could provide a jump start.

Here’s another video highlighting some of Schultz’s talents as a receiver/blocker:

— One other name to perhaps keep an eye on is Texas Tech receiver Keke Coutee. This isn’t a particularly exciting draft in terms of legit first round talent — but there are plenty of intriguing names for the middle and later rounds. Coutee could be one of those gems where a few years down the line, you wonder how he lasted as long as he did. Take a look:

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  1. AlaskaHawk

    So what can they do to speed up the process? Trade down for one more pick? Go all offense in their first 5 or 6 picks?

    Somehow I think the defense will do okay even if they don’t pick anyone high in the draft. That there are other players ready to step up. And there is always UDFA for a few extras.

    • Rob Staton

      In order to go big on repairing the running game they probably have to acquire some more early picks. Then do a combo of RB/OL early. Look to take one of the blocking TE’s in R3-4 too. And then nail day three on defense, where there are going to be some options.

      It’s a genuine shame they don’t have their original R2-3 picks. Because while it’d be good to really address the offense early, there will be fun defensive players you end up missing out on. Unless you aggressively reshape the roster and bring in a load of picks.

      • AlaskaHawks

        I’m figuring some combination of 2 offensive line , 2 running backs, one tight end and one wide receiver. That is most of their picks.

        Is there anything happening with finding another field goal kicker? Any good college prospects? At least you don’t need a high pick for them!

        • Rob Staton

          None of the kicker’s are appealing IMO. There are two punters though worth considering.

          • OE45

            Eddie Piniero maybe as a late pick. Trevor Moore is a very good kicker, probably a udfa. He is Walsh before he got into his own head.

            • OE45

              Also watch for Brandon Silvers, Troy qb as a late or udfa guy. Started watching more of him, while looking at tape on Jordan Chunn. Chunn is 1 of my favorite backs. Both put up great tape, but in a quick tempo, spread offense. Interview of Silvers, where he talks about racing Chunn and 1 of his receivers is good. Says he is faster than both, but is always looking to throw, and that it is sometimes a bad thing.

          • Kenny Sloth

            Eddy Pineiro making a 77 yard field goal in JuCo?

            I like 3 punters

            The australian Dickson from Texas is a cool story

            Another australian Gleeson at ole miss uses either leg

            And the florida punter would be ok

            • OE45

              Same Eddie yes. Very accurate at Florida, and a strong leg too. Don’t care about the you tube video. Shows he can boot it and all, but not a game situation.

          • FresnoBrad

            We have so many needs it causes headaches. Signing high dollar Free Agents, including Earl Thomas makes my stomach queasy. My gut tells me it’s time to start over & shoot for SuperBowl in 2020. If we wait till training camp to trade Sherman & Bennett it increases our chances of getting fair value or above fair value. I just wanna puke right now! Please God heal Kam & Sherm give us a fighting chance!

  2. Mike

    I think Fumagalli from Wisconsin is going to be a really solid pro TE also..

    • Rob Staton

      The more I watched him of him the more I thought he was really average.

    • Mike

      6′ 6″ 250…Junior year was better than Senior year because of injuries..but an incredibly clutch receiver and coming out of know he’s a great run blocker..haven’t heard much buzz around him so he may be there in the 4th or 5th for the Hawks

      • Greg Haugsven

        He wasnt really exceptional when I watched him but it did seem like he just made plays. Key third down receptions, a lot of which were tough catches but not spectacular.

        • Mike

          yup..every catch he has db’s draped all over him..but..he makes them ..gets the first down..gets the td…whatever is needed

          trust me on this..he’s going to make some team very, very happy

  3. Joseph

    Rob do we get any compensationary picks ? We should get picks in case we lose Sheldon richardson and jimmy graham

    • Rob Staton

      Not expecting any comp picks this year sadly

    • OE45

      Comp picks come the following year. Next season we will probably have some very nice ones, as long as we don’t take any high prices free agents. Considering we don’t have a lot if cap space, that seems highly unlikely.

  4. Rowdy

    Can’t think of a better word than tenacious to describe Dalton Schultz. Would never guess he was 240 watching him block. He also looked extremely deceptive selling the block before he run to route.

  5. drewdawg11

    Schultz and Gesicki were two guys I have liked this year. Gisecki is more of a screen blocker than a mailer, however. I know he didn’t show well at the senior bowl, but he’s going to be a guy who can get better and use that athleticism. It may take him a little time to get there and he needs the weight room. Schultz plays in that Stanford system, so he’s mostly playing as an attached Y. He’s super bendy and can get low to the ground. He’s a solid receiver as well. I would love Schultz as a hawk, but I’m going to keep banging the drum for Will Disley as a later round steal. The man is a blocker and he’s got soft hands. He may never go to a pro bowl, but he can immediately help the running game next season.

    • Rob Staton

      To me Gesicki is a pass catcher, pure and simple. And there will always be a role for a TE like that in the modern league. The combine is big for him. But for Seattle, I’m not sure they’ll go down that road again. I think any TE they draft is going to be a ‘Y’.

      • OE45

        If I’m going pure pass catcher, I’m taking Goedert.

        • D-OZ

          I like Hayden Hurst and Thomas from from IU also…

      • drewdawg11

        And I completely understand that. We probably aren’t looking for that type of guy. I do like Schultz a little bit. I don’t know how I feel about using a higher pick, (which would need to be acquired), on a TE. FA might be the answer here, but I still want Disley later on.

  6. Patrick Toler

    I personally like Smythe a bit more, but both he and Schultz look like they can be valuable contributors. Smythe just looks a little bit dominant down to down as an inline blocker. Hoping that more dedicated cut ups of them both are posted, because neither have much. A lot of their viewing currently has to be done on other players’ video, which is not ideal.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      Agreed the Hawks would get a valuable contributor with either Smythe or Schultz. Can’t ask for much more on day 3.

  7. Dale

    What do you all know about Tyrone Swoopes progression as a blocker? How much impact on the position can he have this year?

    • drewdawg11

      I wouldn’t get my hopes up that a former QB can become a dominant/competent blocker.

      • Del tre

        He was closer to a running back than QB, absolute monster at trucking fools. I wouldn’t count him out on that basis. Would love to see him become a checkdown tight end who can pick up extra yards after contact.

        • drewdawg11

          Blocking is about technique. He never did it in his whole life. There are also plenty of guys who can run through tackles, but can’t block anyone.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Lane Johnson started his college career as a QB.FYI. Trey Burton, Blake Bell(to a lesser degree) are a couple recent QB to TE success stories. Its not out of the question for Swoopes to become a decent blocker. Technique can be taught. Swoopes has the frame and athleticism to make it.

  8. Ashish

    @Rob every year you go over promising players based on seahawks draft history. Every year JS & PC surprise us with unusual draft picks. Let’s looks total different players who no other draft analyst are talking.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Never really that surprising.

      We talked about McDowell, Griffin, Thompson, Hill, and Carson last year

      Naz Jones and Ethan Pocic were the biggest surprises for me, only because they went away from what we had seen in the past.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s a great point Kenny. Even the players I (wrongly) felt they wouldn’t entertain (McDowell) we talked about, quite extensively. And debated their worth. I called that one wrong — but we didn’t go into that draft blind to McDowell. He seemed like an ill-fit because he didn’t exactly embody ‘all-in’. Maybe, with hindsight, we were correct to raise those concerns. Didn’t get the pick right, maybe judged the player correctly though.

        The surprise was Pocic because we had a center (Britt) and it seemed unlikely they would go after another one. But the Seahawks clearly felt he was versatile enough to play other roles. That remains to be seen to be fair, he didn’t have a fantastic rookie season after switching to guard.

        • D-OZ

          No maybe’s about it, Rob. 🙂

          • Kenny Sloth

            Hey this kid is barely 21 right??

            Lets give him a little time to grow into himself.

            He’s a talented person ans strikes me as thoughtful, but kind of sheltered.

            He has so much room to grow as a professional right

            • OE45

              Pocic will be just fine, quality technician already, some time in the weight room would do wonders.

            • D-OZ

              McDowell needs to work on his thought process. I hope Snyder had a sit-down with him after the Atlanta incident. I understand he is only 21 and making more money than most @ that age. I can testify that is not always a good thing. Regarding football who knows what his agenda may have been. Going forward I hope he is able to realize a reality check is due.

        • Elmer

          Do we know how probable it is that McDowell will ever see the field as a Seahawk? Never heard anything in 2017 about his efforts (or lack thereof) relative to injury rehab.

          • Rob Staton

            I’m not sure even the team knows at this stage. We probably won’t find out until near camp.

        • TTownHawk

          What does it say about the state of OL league wide that Ethan Pocic made the all rookie team while simultaneously having (by all accounts) a disappointing first season? Just an interesting thought.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      The names might not always match up, but the logic is pretty close for why they have picked the guys they did in the draft. I think the community does a pretty decent job excluding guys that do not fit the Seahawks criteria (SPARQ, measurements, intangibles), narrowing down our search for the next Seahawk(s) in the draft or FA.

      • Kenny Sloth

        And who would be happy knowing every pick we’ll make beforehand anyway

        • Donald

          Other GMs picking after us. 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think I have ever ‘over promised’ anything. There are always surprises. It’s impossible to predict everything. However, following the trends and identifying what they look for has been extremely useful for us too. Whether it’s projecting offensive linemen like Germain Ifedi, which running backs they’re interested in (Prosise, Carson) and the kind of linebacker’s they like.

  9. Patrick Toler

    Dang, Coutee is a fun player. Does a nice job of catching with his hands away from his body, as noted in the article. Phenomenal speed with the extra gear to separate from DBs. Good balance to stay upright through contact, though not a rugged runner. From what I’ve seen, not a lot of deception or variance in his route running, which may inhibit him in the pros. Give him a year to learn from Doug though? Didn’t see anyone try and press him. The player that coming to mind was Harvin, though Keke doesn’t have that same insane initial acceleration. He’s exciting, though that comes with the caveat that I haven’t yet watched much of this WR group.

  10. Awsi Dooger

    For all the running back talk around here I’m not sure Mark Walton has been mentioned frequently, if at all.

    Not good thinking. Walton is more of a home run type but he’s superior to many of the backs who are touted here all the time, and that will be increasingly obvious as the draft process plays out.

    Some of the guys on the draft specific forums who always have a good feel for most underrated prospects at this stage have Mark Walton on top of that list right now. He’ll certainly be drafted higher than the current consensus.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Hes certainly not a top 50 player if thats what you mean.

      I like every one of Robs top 8 backs over Walton.

      He’s also way way outside of our athletic parameters.

      He might be a good fit for Miami though?

      Fill that Ajayi shaped hole in your heart ❤

    • Kenny Sloth

      Also he was injured almost all year (probably because he’s 5’8 200 lbs)

      Likely a big reason there isn’t much buzz on him outside of Florida

      • Dale

        Based on that logic Myles Gaskin, 5’10”, 192 lbs should be dead instead of being on the verge of capturing the all time record for Husky RB’s. Just sayin’…

        • Kenny Sloth

          Is that what I said?

          Seahawks probably won’t look much at Gaskin either!!!!!!!!

          Its why we talk more about Lavon Coleman.

          Thats how scouting works. Not just looking at who runs lots of times real real far on a sortable spreadsheet

          He said we’re making a mistake by not talking about him. I said he’s making a mistake in ignoring our physical paragons

    • Patrick Toler

      Just watched 3 of his games. He is certainly fast, quick, has good feet, flashes impressive agility, and runs with a nice low center of gravity. He seems to be a bit lost out there, though. Looked pretty hopeless as a pass protector. Doesn’t seem to be able to make the best of his opportunities unless he gets a big hole or can get to the sideline. He had an incredible catch and run against Toledo, and several big plays against them and Duke where he was just outrunning guys. Yet even against those lesser opponents he had a lot of failed carries. And against FSU this year I don’t think he had a run all game where he earned more than was blocked for him. It looked like he left meat on the bone on several carries.
      After watching those games, I watched Matt Waldman’s two part series looking at two Walton runs as an example of the importance of RBs making correct reads. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his conclusions on those plays, but I do agree that he will need to make big strides in his ability to make reads in real time in order to be a successful back. The potential is there, but from what I’ve seen, I’m not sure he’s a guy I would choose to bet on.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I would be interested in how he measures up SPARQ wise to other NFL RBs. If we are talking about a guy taken in the 5th or later round, then worth keeping in mind. His size reminded me of a RB the Panthers would grab or perhaps the Falcons…. the short squatty type who is a human bowling ball.

        • Patrick Toler

          He actually reminds me in some ways of Christine Michael, in that he’s a great athlete, but not a great runner. Maybe he gets there one day, but Michael is certainly a cautionary tale.

    • Rob Staton

      Mark Walton is listed by ESPN at 5-9, 205lbs. On he’s listed at 5-10, 188lbs.

      The reason we haven’t talked about him much is because he’s unlikely to be a Seahawk at that size.

      Not unless they’re looking for a compliment.

      But anyway, we mention a lot of players — so I’m sure people won’t need to rely too much on the guys on the ‘draft specific forums’… 😉

  11. Tim

    As a Stanford fan, I’ve seen a lot of Dalton Schultz over the past few years. He never starred like some of his predecessors at Stanford (Fleener, Ertz) and was a disappointment in that respect, but we’ve also had very mediocre quarterbacks recently. I’ve noticed a number of our TEs go on to have better pro careers, especially in terms of receiving numbers – for example, Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo in Atlanta. If the Seahawks draft Dalton, I will be cautiously optimistic. He makes tough catches, has good hands, and is a very willing blocker. He always looked slow to me, though – more of a rumbler than a runner.

    On a related note, the Stanford TE to watch for the future is Kaden Smith – he made some impressive catches this year.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for the info on Schultz Tim — and the heads up on Kaden Smith.

    • D-OZ

      Concerning Shultz; A lot of the lack of receiving production can be attributed to poor QB play. I saw in review a lot of good catches on poorly thrown ball’s. He also looks fast enough….

  12. BV Eburg

    Bortles, Keenum, Foles. 3 of the 4 quarterbacks to make the NFL championship games this year.
    Doug Williams, Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Joe Flacco. All these are Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. None were considered “franchise quarterbacks”
    So I’m questioning whether a franchise quarterback is really necessary.

    Forever in the NBA it was considered that you needed a dominant big man to win. Then along came Golden State and it was shown with resounding success you don’t. Is it time for that outside the box thinking as it comes to “franchise quarterbacks?

    With todays salary cap limitations is it better to spend the future 30 million on a franchise QB or 2-3 pro bowl level players? This goes back to “draft capitol” mentioned in article. This question is not meant as a trade Russell so much as is there a better way to put roster together with current salary cap conditions. Anyway, enjoy the site Rob and the level headed people who post here.

    • BV Eburg

      And I suppose if you want to dig a little deeper there are 14 “franchise quarterbacks” who only won 1 super bowl.

      • RealRhino2

        My thought is that it isn’t necessary, but having that “franchise” guy gets you a seat at the table almost every year, and from that point anything can happen. Is that worth it? Maybe not. People are talking pretty crazy money for Kirk Cousins, for example, a guy who has elevated a decent (certainly not great) Washington roster to all of one playoff game. But you generally aren’t going 4-12 with that level of QB on your roster, either. You are generally looking at 9-7 and a shot at the playoffs every year.

        Maybe the sweet spot here is to find what % of your cap you can spend on a good (not elite) QB and still put together a great roster around them. Don’t pay $27MM/year for “good”, for example, and if that’s your only option, build the rest of it and hope for one of these lightning in a bottle seasons.

        • AlaskaHawk

          I put Kirk Cousins in that class of quarterbacks who can get you to the playoffs, but your unlikely to go farther. He’s good and will do well if the team that surrounds him is good to excellent. But he just doesn’t have what it takes to finish.

          Seems like the sweet spot on rosters is around 15-17 % of cap?? Or you can try a rookie and use the extra capital for other players.

          The thing about Philly’s win is that their second string QB Foley is on a 2 year , 11 million dollar contract. So it isn’t that cheap for a second string. Getting a Wentz as a rookie allows them to pay more for the backup. This year that turned into a good strategy.

    • Rob Staton

      There’s quite a lot of recency bias here though. Last year it was Brady vs Ryan. There are exceptions but most SB teams have franchise quarterbacks.

      • BV Eburg

        Yes in this current crop there certainly is recency bias. That’s why I brought up the 6 average QB’s over the years who have won Super Bowls.
        Per Reddit….No team has won a super bowl with qb taking up more than 13% of cap. The average is around 7% since the salary cap was introduced in 1994. Even Brady during his wins was under 13%.
        So it comes down to you can win without a franchise qb (6 times), you can win one SB with franchise qb (9 times). Multiple SB winners, Brady, Rothlesberger, Eli Manning averaged about 7% of their cap.
        So knowing no team has won with qb over 13% and teams can win with average qb’s….is it time to rethink where to spend money like Golden State did in basketball?
        Another parallel is the RB position. Those of us that are older can remember when franchise RB’s were what was needed and were the one of the most sought after to build a team around. That has certainly changed over the last 5-10 years (although making a comeback).

        • GerryG

          There are average guys that have won, this is true. On the other the only AFC QB to make a SB since 2001 that wasn’t named Brady, Manning, Ben is Joe Flacco, who went an historic run

          • BV Eburg

            And the average salary cap hit for those four was around 7%. Todays high paid QB’s are into the 16% range yet none over 13% have won a super bowl.

            I would agree a good QB is the difference between 4-12 and 9-7. Rodgers is a good example of that.

            Anyway just food for thought. It will be interesting if some GM will try the mid range QB and spend the money elsewhere. In this copy cat league it would be a bold move and maybe fruitful like it was for Golden State.

            • stbean

              I’m not swayed by the 13% stat for a number of reasons:

              1) small sample size — really not many cases so far of paying above 13% cap since current value placed on QBs is much greater than previous decades (also limited by rookie deals and franchise tags)
              2) Superbowl wins is a terrible means of assessing correct market value — again small sample size, plus a team that is paying fair market value for everyone on their staff would be a completely average 8-8 team. Winning the Superbowl requires vastly outperforming market value.
              3) Among teams that have payed for free agent QBs: my memory/guess/hunch is that those investing in QBs more win more games that those paying less

              I think we are getting closer to fair market value for free-agent QB contracts but on balance it’s still worth paying for your franchise QB and hoping to be efficient with the rest of your roster construction.

      • Michigan 12th

        Not to mention Wentz who is a very good QB got the Eagles where they were before his injury. Foles played good, but could he reproduce that for an entire season, his track record suggests not. He caught lightening in a bottle.

        • BobbyK

          Exactly. It was franchise Wentz who got the Eagles in that position. No way Eagles have a first round bye with Foles all year. Love the guy and his message, but Wentz was huge in getting them where they got.

  13. calgaryhawk

    I do believe Seattle will draft a TE this year unless they sign or trade for someone unexpected. I also feel that they will bring back Willson as he knows the system and wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to bring back. Pete Carroll has stated that he would like to return to more of a power running game, so a blocking TE does seem to be a better fit. Russell Wilson’s style of quarterbacking would seem to support that kind of running attack as well.
    My question Rob would be, do you see management a late round pick on a Fullback to compliment the TE position and the power running style that Carroll likes?

    • Rob Staton

      I think they will certainly consider drafting someone who can be a FB.

    • D-OZ

      One to monitor, Chris Warren RB, Texas Longhorn. Good size and is a good blocker. Son of former Hawk RB Chris Warren. I watched more tape on Ballage and he is an extremely good blocker…

      • D-OZ

        Jessie Bates moving up draft board’s now. Walter football has him early 3rd now, while he was previously not even rated. I think they are SDB spy’s!!!!

    • H

      Someone to keep note of is Jalston Fowler who we signed to a futures contract earlier in the offseason. Former 4th round pick out of Alabama, which is very high for a FB. Played for three years for the Titans and we know they’ve had a pretty successful power run game the last couple years. (he also had as many rushing tds last year as all our running backs combined)
      However, he was waived by the Titans, which is how we picked him up, in December. Not sure whether it was due to play or the Titans just deciding not to have FB on the roster.
      Either way he seems to me like he has the potential to be on the 53 next season.

    • Ground_Hawk

      Michigan’s FB Khalid Hill comes to mind. At 6’2″ 265lbs. the dude is hard to stop, especially on those short yardage situations, and most importantly his blocking is commendable. If Seattle were to draft him on day 3, they would be getting a hammer to bust through d-lines, creating opportunities for Seattle RBs, and a goal-line threat.

  14. Isaac

    I get so frustrated with the national media constantly focusing on the needs for the hawks to focus on the secondary. Um hello! Did they pay attention at all to the fact that they spent multiple picks last year on the secondary? Unless there’s an earl Thomas available I don’t see the hawks changing their mo on when they take db’s in the draft.

    I have a feeling that they will go after a lineman on either side of the ball early on. Potentially after a trade. Then if there’s a quality rb available grab him aswell. I wonder if there is a late round rb we should be focusing on if there aren’t any options they like early on.

    • GerryG

      Simple solution: stop reading National media coverage of Seattle sports.

  15. Millhouse-serbia

    DJ just wrote on instagram that he gave 1st round grade for Jessie Bates.

  16. neil

    Didn’t see Vannett mentioned in the post. Is he considered expendable ?

    • Rob Staton

      No — but they need three TE’s. And Vennett is two years in so this third year is crucial for him. Even if they keep Willson they likely need to add one more TE.

    • Patrick Toler

      For me Vannett is nice depth and can still develop into a starter. If Graham leaves and it’s him and Willson though, that’s not an inspiring group. And of course Willson may be gone. Vannett is a back up until he earns more.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The only bad thing I’ve heard about him is that some people question his catching ability. If I were him I would look for a QB he could practice with and practice this spring and summer. If he could run the routes and catch the ball more, after 3 or 4 months it would really pay off for him.

  17. HawksBill

    If the Hawks pick up a second round pick, I would not be surprised to see them take Kalen Ballage then. History has shown they are more than willing to take a player a round or two earlier than projected if he has superior size and/or athleticism.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t see it to be honest. Not in round two anyway. Day three? Possibly.

      • HawksBill

        I am not saying I agree with it, but they do tend to over value player measurables and under value the others that are just good players.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Like Ethan Pocic, right? Alex Collins had miserable measurables.

          Ballage is a big project and there are way too many good backs for him to go in the 2nd.

          Guys like Royce Freeman are going in the 3rd > Kalen Ballage

          • HawksBill

            Actully described Pocic as at 6-6, 310lb as a “Flexible, natural athlete”.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Id do backflips for Ballage in the fourth

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not totally sure on that. I don’t recall them ever reaching for an ‘athlete’. Most of the ones they’ve taken have been in the expected range.

          • HawksBill

            It has often worked out for them, I rember watching the draft and hearing the “experts” site certain picks as too early like Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner.

    • Patrick Toler

      I’m hoping they learned from Christine Michael. Running back requires a lot of quick mental processing – the ability to read the blocks, understand where the scheme tells you to go, understanding how early or late to cut, how to set up defenders leveraging their momentum, etc. Not that some players can’t develop that, but I’m hoping they learned from Michael (and to some extent Rawls) and pick one of the myriad backs in this class who have shown an ability to do this in college. I’m not a big fan, for example, of Walton or Ballage. If they spent a sixth round pick on either I’d be okay with it. But I think they’ll address the position before that.

      • Mark Souza

        “Running back requires a lot of quick mental processing – the ability to read the blocks, understand where the scheme tells you to go, understanding how early or late to cut, how to set up defenders leveraging their momentum, etc. Not that some players can’t develop that”

        Don’t know that I agree with that. Running back is one of the most instinctive positions in the game. The decisions they make on which hole to pick, when to cut, happen too quickly to involve thought. Either you have it, or you don’t. Hoping to teach someone how to run is a lost cause. The best you can do is teach other things, like ball security, how to pass protect, how to run pass routes. The running instincts they had better already possess.

  18. Ed

    Fill the D with young and hungry. Use the draft to get a RB/TE/WR

  19. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    I have been tooling with the over the cap calculator. I have come up with an interesting scenario. Cut/trade Richard Sherman. Cut Cliff Avril. Post june 1st cuts for Micheal Bennett, Jeremy Lane, John Ryan. Franchise tag Sheldon Richardson. That would give Seahawks 31 million in cap space. Extend/redo ET, and Duane Brown. (lower cap hit for this year) Still go after Andrew Norwell. Not that far fetched. imo

    • Rob Staton

      I just can’t see Norwell in Seattle. Too much money and Gettleman is reportedly determined to land his former UDFA find.

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        Fair enough. Even still not feeling quite so bleak on our cap situation. we definitely would have room for B. Max, Key defensive line support(free agency). Tender J.Coleman, D.Jordan, and M.Davis.

      • Greg Haugsven

        They usually don’t go after the free agent big fish. I would think they would go after Justin Pugh if he would except a one year deal due to his injury history. Then either resign or move on. It’s just how they have done it in the past. Once Norwell went all pro he was out for us.

        • Greg Haugsven

          Plus you can only use the post June 1 cut for two guys.

        • Rob Staton

          I think they’ll look for value. Players that are able to come in with an incentive. Joeckel and Lacy had that in 2017 and failed — but McDougald took his chance as did Bennett and Avril previously. That’s why I think players like Eric Reid and Carlos Hyde might be targeted. Could be the potential there to sign shorter term deals with an incentive.

          • SeahawkeyezSubj80

            Thanks Greg for heads up on June 1st Cut, (only 2). I had 3. Changed Jon Ryan. Went from 31.9 to 31.2. Still feel optimistic about cap situation(even though it means Richard Sherman). Rob, sorry to be harping on caps and free agency when this a draft blog. lol

            • Rob Staton

              Feel free — it’s all part of the off-season!

    • Patrick Toler

      Richardson is two years younger than Sherman, but has he really shown that he can be a dominant player for us? I’d much rather spend that money on a player who’s consistently been great in our scheme, is coming off one of his best seasons (pre-injury) and who’s game would suggest he should age well. I know an achilles injury is significant, but unless the reports on his recovery are grim, I’d be thrilled to pay him on an extension, as long as I can get out of it in a couple of years.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I agree on “value” and “short term” with outside free agency. That’s why I believe that Justin Pugh and ASJ could be serious targets. Maybe Justin Ellis or Daquan Jones if they let Sheldon walk.

  20. Patrick Toler

    Pugh (or Fliker) make perfect sense pending Solari’s opinion. I have a feeling ASJ won’t end up being as a budget option.

  21. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Rob or anyone else I’m extremely intrigued by Jaylen Samuels. Swiss army knife type of player. Tony Pauline has him as a fullback. If we could get him I think he would be a great 2 with one stone type of player TE/FB. Any thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      A likely target for that type of role I think.

      The only question is — how early do you consider a guy like that? And will he end up going too early?

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        I would take him in fourth or fifth. Definately

  22. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Cap ramification fit perfectly into a draft blog, because you have to determine how you are going to fit FAs, draft picks and injury settlements under the cap. JS is a master of the cap.

    If we pick up “this” FA, then we are less likely to pick “that” draft pick… would a 6M / year WR be a wise use of cap space…. over a 3M / year RB for example.

    Draft picks are cost controlled players for 3 or 4 years… and good draft picks enable a team to keep a SB window open or conversely bad draft picks cause the team to have to tear the thing down and start over.

    Does anyone think Seattle is/are already planning for the 2020/2021 season and potential CBA strike?

    • Greg Haugsven

      They said they plan 3 years on advance so Im guessing right now that would be in there timetable.

      • Hawk Eye

        I don’t think they are going to over react and not do much for contracts after 2020. The NFL beats the players union like a rented mule every time. They are not worried. NFL careers are so short, most players cannot afford to miss a whole season. They might get minor adjustments to the CBA, but nothing to make owners fear signing long term contracts. If the players win, it probably means more cap space so whatever contracts ares signed before the CBA will end up cheaper than after. If the owners win, business as usual.

  23. cyrus

    when are you doing a 3000 nfl mock draft with field gulls

  24. Greg Haugsven

    Wow Seahawkeyez, that overthecap calculator can be seriously addictive.

    Released: Avril, Ryan, Lane

    Extended: Brown, Thomas

    Resigned: Maxwell, Shead, Marcus Smith, Austin Daveis

    Tendered RFA: Coleman, Jordan

    Erfa: kept them all.

    Have $18.1 million left

    • Greg Haugsven

      Kept no other free agents and could still release Sherman ($11 million) and post June 1 Bennett for another $5+

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        I know. Seriously fun tool. See what I mean about our capspace. Not that bad.

  25. Greg Haugsven

    I wonder if the Seahawks will ask Sherman to take a pay cut? Could be a way to keep him and gain some cap space at the same time.

    • Greg Haugsven

      Say lower his base salary from $11 million to $7 million.

      • Hawk Eye

        probably the only way he says yes if it is tied into an extension.
        If he says no, they either pay him or trade him or release him. They asked Mebane to take a cut his last year, he said no, They kept him, he left after his contract expired.
        if they trade him, the new team either pays his full salary or tries to extend him.
        if they release him, someone will pay him pretty big.
        Might be tied into recovery of his injury, but make a list of the top 10-15 corners, how much are they paid and how many teams are there?
        FA Sherman is getting offers

        • SeahawkeyezSubj80

          Listen too John Clayton podcast for Friday, he seems to think Sherman will not take a paycut. Joel Correy saying would be insane or some such to extend 30 year old cornerback with achillies injury. That’s why I would save one of the June 1st cuts for Sherman. Just in case he does not pass physical by then. A lot of capspace to be gained for release/trade Sherman.

          • Patrick Toler

            There is no possible way he takes a pay cut. That’s a prideful dude. And he played great last year prior to the injury. He’ll make top CB money if he reaches the open market.

            • Hawk Eye

              i don’t see him taking the pay cut either. He believes in himself and would be willing to test the market.
              I also don’t see Seattle cutting him. They need a great corner to make their defense work and Griffin is average to good, not great. He may become great, but he is not there yet.
              and I don’t see Pete giving up on 2018, especially not after the eagles won the SB.
              They were a good team with great coaching, but not a great team. And now they are over the cap, guys will want to get paid, and some will lose the hunger. We know all about that.

              • Patrick Toler

                Absolutely, there is no way Pete gives up on 2018. The thought of Sherman and Griffin together gets me excited. Teams were generally avoiding Griffin last year and having success targeting Maxwell. With Sherm out here they’ll go back to throwing at Griffin. I feel like he’ll be put to the challenge.
                I understand the hesitation to pay a player who’s entering his 30s and coming off a significant injury. But I think there is plenty of upside to keeping here for a year and seeing what happens. His profile screams a player who will age gracefully. Okay, I’m going to try and stay off this topic for a bit, as I feel I’ve been beating this drum a bit. Just surprised at the extent of the consensus that we should look to trade him.

                • Greg Haugsven

                  You wouldn’t have to cut Sherman with a June 1st designation as he only has one year left on his deal. You would only do that if the player had two or more years left.

                • Mark Souza

                  I wouldn’t say Sherman has any upside. You are hoping that he can be what he was least year before he got hurt. There is zero chance he can be better than that, and huge risk that he’ll never be that good again. Based on that, you don’t extend him – not yet anyway. You have a year to kick the tires to see what he can be. No need to be reckless and create more dead cap money if it doesn’t work out.

  26. Hawk Eye

    Reuben Foster arrested for DV, weapons charges
    was also arrested for pot 3 weeks ago,

    so, for all the people that were worried about not drafting him, trading down for Malik, he had his red flags also.
    failed a drug test at the combine, which is also a poor mans IQ test, since YOU KNOW they are drug testing there.
    was kicked out after an altercation there with a hospital employee
    has injury concerns

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      We can see why we passed on Rueben Foster. Problem is we got Malik Mcdowell instead. Still we managed Ethan Pocic.

      • Hawk Eye

        Malik lost a year
        might play this year
        too early to give up on him. he has talent and I think Pete can get it out of him if he can get on the field.
        I think Clowney missed most of his first 2 years and he was #1 overall.
        or the Bears with White missing almost 3 years after being #7 overall
        could be worse

        • SeahawkeyezSubj80

          Hawk Eye you are right. Too early to give up on him. I’m hoping McDowell comes back this year. The talent is indisputable.It would be a boon if he played this year.

        • Patrick Toler

          100%. Still a decent chance he plays, and his ceiling is sky high.

          • All I see is 12s

            I think the Bennett circus has become tiresome at the vmac.

  27. Isaac

    With all the talk about te. I would be really interested in seeing the hawks being in Martellus Bennett. He is a great blocker and can be a reliable pass catcher. The only problem would be his cost.

    • Patrick Toler

      I wonder what Bennett’s market will be given how things played out in Green Bay. And some teams won’t dig his outspokenness and politics. If he’s 100% in, he would make a lot of sense. If we move on from his brother, that could be a wrinkle. And if they keep Michael, they might not want to double down on Bennetts.

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        LOL. Double down on Bennetts

    • Greg Haugsven

      He is still under contract with NE. Even if they release him not sure he comes in as they might cut his brother.

      • E33

        Not to mention M Bennett said he plans to retire..

  28. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    My Seattle 2018 draft picks.
    1. Trade back with Pittsburgh #28 for third round #28. Take Isaiah Wynn.OG
    2. Trade Sheldon Richardson(Franchise Tag) to New England #43. Take Sony Michel. RB.
    3. Trade from Pittsburgh 3rd round Pick #28. Take Jordan Whitehead. FS
    4 R4P20 Jaylen Samuels FB/TE
    5. R5P4 Andrew Brown. DE
    6. R5P9 Kendrick Norton. DT
    7. Trade R5P31 to New Orleans for R6P15 and R6P30(MIN). R6P15. Take Tre Flowers. SS
    8. R6P30 David Wells. TE
    9. R7P8 Will Richardson OT
    10. R7P30 Bryce Bobo. WR
    11. R7P32 Fred Warner. OLB

    • BobbyK

      Do you realize that Pittsburgh rarely ever trades picks in the draft? They are a team who stands pat more than most.

      And New England is almost always the team who trades defensive players up for new contracts. They don’t trade high picks for used defensive players, especially for guys like Richardson who aren’t exactly self-motivated. They have more high IQ guys (college graduates who are smart enough to do their job) than anyone and that’s why they are always among the least penalized.

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        First time for everything. Pittsburgh going all in. Ben R on his way out. one last hurrah!
        New England just lost a Superbowl to a dominate front four defense. Just saying.

        • SeahawkeyezSubj80

          Sheldon Richardson getting a bad rep imo. He didn’t get the sack numbers, but he did his job and was good at it.

          • Patrick Toler

            It will be very interesting how teams value him. I expect it to be all over the map. Which makes me think someone will think he’s worth $12M or so.

          • Mark Souza

            Couldn’t agree more. Richardson crushed pockets and forced QBs out to the side where DEs got the glory. I think Tez was the last guy in blue I saw deform the middle of pockets the way Richardson did. Keep him if you can. Just don’t know that they can.

        • SeahawkeyezSubj80

          BobbyK you do point out some traditionally valid points. Got me reconsidering.

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      I say we go after Bradham from Eagles in free agency. (Rob and Greg have convinced me Norwell not going to happen). What do you guys think?

      • Greg Haugsven

        If we went from 18 to 28 I would be disappointed not to get there 2nd rounder

  29. Rad_man

    On the TE issue, I’d like to see them go after Crockett Gilmore in FA. And I do think there’s value on the OL in FA, once you get past the shiney overpriced pieces. Just need to ID them.

    Solve these issues on the FA as much as possible and seek to focus on pass rush and RB in the draft.

  30. Preston

    Rob, have you seen any film on Jarvion Franklin? Quickly becoming one of my favorite running back prospects. Incredibly agile for weighing 228lb, and might be that big physical back seahawks have been needing. Your thoughts?

    • Greg Haugsven

      His name has been getting mentioned around here a lot lately.

  31. Greg Haugsven

    I keep seeing Barkley mocked to the 49ers and that just can’t happen.

    • Rob Staton

      It’ll only happen if they trade up

      • Greg Haugsven

        I hope so, its bad enough facing David Johnson and Todd Gurley 4 times a year.

      • E33

        If only we could get John Schnieders thoughts on 49ers potentially selecting Barkley… It would put Seahawks in very difficult position to win division / games facing those running backs.

  32. East Side Stevie

    Interesting article on CB’s for this upcoming draft.

    Personally, I wouldnt want us taking a CB until the 5th. But, stranger things have happened. The article only breaks down the guys who will be off the board by the end of Round 3 IMO.

    Do with this what you will!

  33. Kenny Sloth

    Dude Kalen Ballage has zero vision or field awareness.

    He literally ran into his teammates jet motion through the backfield.

    He’s an indecisive runner and for all his athleticism never really beats the defender to the corner.

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