Scenario: What if there’s a first round rush on cornerbacks?

On top of the interest in Cary Williams, Bob McGinn is reporting that the Seahawks are interested in Green Bay’s Tramon Williams (set to hit the open market on Tuesday).

We’ve discussed the possibility of a veteran stopgap solution at cornerback, with Byron Maxwell set to depart on a projected $10m APY contract. This would allow the Seahawks to continue drafting developmental cornerbacks in the later rounds. It’s what they’ve always done under Carroll and Schneider.

It could also be a review of the situation. Receivers are more popular than ever in the draft, but so are cornerbacks. Are the two linked? Possibly. In the same way that pass rushers and pass blockers are equally vital to a team — it’s getting that way with wide outs and corners. A lot was made of five receivers being drafted in the first frame last year — five cornerbacks also left the board in round one. Four were drafted on day one in 2013. That’s nine in the last two years.

It’s not really surprising given the cost of a good veteran cornerback, receiver, pass rusher or offensive tackle. Teams are hunting for talent and value at the key positions.

There’s every chance we could see four or five cornerbacks go early again this year. If you don’t take one in the first round you could miss out. Trae Waynes and Jalen Collins are near locks for round one. Byron Jones is in the conversation following his explosive combine performance. Marcus Peters is talented enough and he’s saying all the right things this off-season (take note, DGB). Kevin Johnson is being touted as a first round pick by many different pundits (including Mel Kiper in his updated mock today).

If there’s a first round rush, it’s going to be difficult for the Seahawks to get at the second wave without reaching. We could see the next group going in rounds 2-3 — and that might be a bit rich to take an Eric Rowe or an Alex Carter. So for Seattle — and several other teams — it might be a case of ‘needs must’. Go hit the veteran market.

As you can see, the Seahawks aren’t the only suitor for Cary Williams. They might end up forking out $5m to bring in a 31-year-old. I guess this is what happens when the LOB production line finally has an off-year and you get a few serious injuries. For some teams the draft will provide a solution. Even perhaps Kansas City — who everyone assumes will go receiver in the first round. They’re actually in a good position at #18 to get a cornerback (another need) and take a receiver on day two.

You might say it’s unrealistic not to have someone like Jaelen Strong going to the Chiefs. I watched a couple of new Arizona State games this week. Yes, he had a tremendous combine. No, that combine performance doesn’t translate on the field. He really struggles to separate. The Chiefs can reach for him at #18 or they can fill another hole and use rounds 2-3 for the wide out. The options on day two are going to be phenomenal and it just makes sense to wait.

The Seahawks might kick off something of a rush if they do decide to take a receiver at #31. It won’t be totally unbelievable if every wide out not named Kevin White, Amari Cooper or Devante Parker is available. In 2012 the first pass rusher taken was Bruce Irvin at #15. Seattle launched a run that year and chose ‘their guy’. They could have some nice options in the late first this year. It’s the kind of scenario I think we need to at least consider. There are a lot more teams in front of Seattle with offensive line needs. And the cornerbacks going early could also have an impact on who’s available.

It could also lessen the need to pursue veteran receivers in the open market. Ultimately it’s a good draft for receivers and a bad draft for tight ends. Why fight it?

Andre Johnson is on the brink of being cut by Houston but he’s 34 this year and won’t be cheap. He’d need to be replaced in a year or two. The Bears are reportedly trying to trade Brandon Marshall for a mid-round pick. Good luck with that. If he’s cut perhaps he would be an option — but for all his talent and competitive nature, he’s also a possible distraction (when hasn’t he been?). The Seahawks don’t need another distraction. Dwayne Bowe is going to be released by Kansas City — but he’s also 31 this year and hasn’t done anything for four years.

Everything points towards the draft. The Seahawks need a receiver who can grow with Russell Wilson as he becomes a $100m quarterback. Ideally you get a couple in this deep class, whether it’s #31 and later on or two in the middle rounds (eg Tre McBride & Darren Waller).

Again, it’s a good draft for receivers and a bad one for tight ends. Which problem are you going to solve in free agency and which in the draft?

My projection is they go after Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron to try and add a dynamic tight end. They sign a veteran pass rusher (interior or edge). Matt Barrows is reporting the Seahawks have interest in Trent Cole. Based on the news regarding Cary/Tramon Williams, they also look to add a veteran stopgap starter at corner.

If any of this is correct, it opens up the draft to go WR and OL early (in whichever order) filling two other key needs. And as we’ve discussed, that’s where the value might be at #31 and #63.


  1. John_s

    Will Blackmon is a free agent. He had a nice camp with Seattle a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t mind of the Seahawks picked him up. Plus he can return punts.

  2. Volume 12

    We can agree to disagree. But I still like TE Maxx Williams. And that’s only if they don’t land either Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron.

    I understand the concern over him having special qualities, but to me it’s his upside and ceiling that’s special/unique. And I do think he could be a mismatch, because you could line him up out wide where he gets in and out of his breaks fluidly. I just keep coming back to JS comments about ‘getting fooled by athleticism.’ That doesn’t mean they de-value athletes any less, but he just strikes me as a Seahawks so much. But, I digress.

    I really like the idea of adding a Tramon or Cary Williams, because as you said, it then lets Seattle stick to their strategy or taking ‘their’ guys at the CB position. Cary’s attitude and personality seem like a better fit in the LOB, but Tramon is a better technician and obviously a JS type of guy.

    If you had to choose who’s the better fit Rob? Or who do you like more?

    • Rob Staton

      I prefer Tramon.

    • DC

      Jordan Cameron and Pete Carroll overlapped at USC from 2008 to 2009 though JC’s impact was minimal until the 2010 season. They know each other. Will that + $,$$$,$$$.99 per year help recruit him now? If we do whiff on both JT and JC then Maxx available at #31 has to be very tempting. The supply of TE in both FA and the draft is pretty low compared with demand. We will have to pony up to get one of the big dogs and I assume that is the priority when the feeding frenzy begins.

    • David M2

      Volume 12,

      I couldn’t help myself:
      Agree to Disagree

      • Volume 12

        LMAO. Love that movie!

    • Hawksince77

      I really like Williams at 31 (if available). Unlike Cameron or Thomas, he can block (I think) and he seems more durable. Obviously younger and cheaper.

      He just strikes me as the kind of guy that Wilson would go to often to move the chains and score. In his first year.

      And he seems like the guy that would get better every year.

      You could cut Miller, not sign Thomas/Jordon, and sign Suh instead. Even if that meant that Lynch has retired and we use his salary to fund the best FA prospect in a dozen years (or so).

      That’s my hope.

      • Hawksince77

        And you probably could get Williams after trading back into the second round.

    • Phil

      I just don’t think that the Seahawks current offense puts much emphasis on the TE position. I think improving our WR corps will bring a greater return than going TE in free agency or the draft.

  3. Ukhawk

    Rob, Do u really think or are you confident McBride & Waller can be had for only a 3rd and 4th? Where we they projected in Scouts Inc? I like how they are both a bit under the radar in terms of their school/offense/role but am concerned they need to be taken earlier…

    • Rob Staton

      I do believe they could be available in that range. Both excellent athletes but this is a loaded class at WR.

  4. bobbyk

    If Cary Williams garners this much interest, it’s almost scary to see how much more interest Tramon Williams will get once he’s officially allowed to schedule visits. And if these guys are getting this much interest, the Maxie sweepstakes are going to be crazy.

    Hypothetical, but if they did go Maxx Williams – they could still get their matchup nightmare with Brandon Marshall on the outside. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

  5. UKHawkDavid

    Attyla the Hawk raised an interesting point regarding bringing Tramon Williams (as a true free agent) vs. Cary Williams (as a team cut) and it’s impact on getting a good comp pick for Maxwell. I hope this article is useful in getting the comp pick process as straight as it can be for a secret process:

    What I take from it is, as long as we don’t overpay for a FA, the high Maxwell comp pick shouldn’t be wiped out:
    “For example, consider a team that loses one qualifying player whose value falls in the third round and another qualifying player whose value falls in the sixth round but signs a qualifying player whose value falls in the third round. That team would receive a sixth-round comp pick because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the higher-valued player. If the signed player’s value were equal to a fourth-round pick or lower, however, the team would receive a third-round comp pick, because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the lower-valued player.”.

    Breath easy Attyla.

    • bobbyk

      The Broncos are set to receive four comp. picks this year and they signed Ware to something like a crazy 3 year, $30 million deal.

      • Beanhawk

        Ware was a cut though… he wouldn’t have counted in the process.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      There is a fair chance we see a 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in compensation picks. This could occur because according to OTC’s projections Golden Tate and Brandon Browner are close to the cutoff for the next higher round. What OTC admits their projections lack is an adjustment for playing time. Three of the players ahead of our guys had significantly fewer snaps. Branden Albert was injured and only played 9 games. Michael Johnson played in a DL rotation and had 300 fewer snaps than Tate. Arthur Jones had both problems, injury and a rotation. He took 600 fewer snaps than Tate and 200 less than Browner. It remains to be seen how much the playing time affects the OTC rankings. We will not know until mid March. For now we can only hope.

      • UKHawkDavid

        All eyes on the March 23rd announcement. I also have March 19th in my calendar as the day we find out about the Harvin pick.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        There is virtually no chance Tate is a 3rd round pick. While he should score highly amongst 4th round choices, the sheer difference in contract value will not permit it.

        The play count/post season honors modification has been historically very very slight. It might make a difference with Jones. Whitner at 7m year is probably still going to rate higher as the top 4th round choice.

  6. Lil'stink

    Senquez Golson looks like the last cornerback PCJS would ever draft. He’s short. Almost lollipop gang short. He doesn’t have long arms. But he’s quick. He has good hips. He can cover, and he has ball skills.

    Look at some of the receivers we have to go up against next year. Golden Tate. Antonio Brown. John Brown (twice). Smaller receivers are becoming more prevalent. Not all short receivers have to work solely out of the slot. I wonder if a guy like Golson couldn’t cover these types of receivers better than any of the other CB’s we currently have on the roster.

    He doesn’t have your prototypical size. He might not be great in zone schemes. There are games where his stature might relegate him to the bench for long stretches. But in a league that keeps on favoring the pass, I wonder if he isn’t worth a 4th round pick, especially considering our options.

    • Steele1324

      Golson is the opposite of the Hawks prototype, fails every length and wingspan litmus test miserably!, but he has serious ball skills. I agree, a guy like him would be great against the quick flea/Edelman types that are going to be increasingly popular, thanks the Hawks SB loss.

      Would they ever take a pure nickel corner who is a liability outside? NE has done well with Kyle Arrington, who is exactly that. And they have overpaid for his services.

  7. Attyla the Hawk

    I expect you’re spot on about the enhanced need/rush for corners. That conversely plays into the strong possibility that the WR and OT market is relieved early on.

    While we’ve talked about getting a WR in the draft — it’s worth mentioning that Seattle has been trying for years to get their guy on the OL. But have lamented the drafts of 2013/14 as being drafts where talent there has been ‘overdrafted’.

    We took Britt last year in the end of R2, basically citing the fear that we’d lose out on OT talent if we didn’t. That doesn’t sound like a rosy, “He was our man” endorsement. More like a, “We had to reach for a guy we’d have rather taken much later but we are desperate and have to ride the overdrafting train” concession.

    Do I think Britt is the long term answer at OT? I don’t see any reason to think he is a guy who can’t be immediately replaced. He was, even throughout the year, a glaring weak spot on the line. And I didn’t see a player who really even started to become effective against speed rushers. It was a gross hole in training camp. It was severely exposed throughout the year. And I suspect it’ll be a weakness of Britt’s for his entire career.

    We don’t see WRs getting overdrafted year in and year out. This years’ crop of OTs is strong yet again for a third straight year. Seattle could use either position. From a unique talent drop perspective — it seems like an ideal situation to finally get that elusive OT that we’ve been unable to acquire. And likely will be for years if there isn’t some external factor to alleviate the annual overvaluation of OTs in the draft.

    It’s merely a conversation starter. I can’t give a good read on how Seattle views their OL state. They could be tickled pink with it. Although I think it’s easy to see, that Seattle has indicated in vague fashion that they’ve been interested in upgrading the line in both 2013/14. Even in the first round ranges (Kyle Long/Ju’waun James) And I don’t think many of us would emphatically state that Britt blew our socks off. It’s not out of the realm of reason that Seattle still doesn’t like where the OL is at. Despite dumping a 2nd round pick in a desperate attempt to get someone worth more than a camp body.

    I can see it equally likely, that Seattle takes a CB early for once, or that there are some off the map prospects they beat from the pro day only bushes in the 4th/5th round ranges.

    This is really an interesting draft this year. And Seattle is keeping it so close to the vest like always. I see significant ability to fill either WR/OT wants in day 2/3.

    • Nathan

      Zach Miller did a great job in the first game of the season, helping Britt with Clay Matthews.

    • bobbyk

      I totally agree about Britt. I saw him improve throughout the year, but that isn’t saying anything because I thought he was outright horrible early on. It seems Cable gets “his guy” and predetermines everything, unlike every other supposed position on the team where players compete for jobs (kind of like when Carp/Moffitt were given jobs when they were drafted). I don’t ever see Britt having potential against speed rushers. At least some OL can be speed bumps, he seems like a fan blowing them quickly around on their way to Wilson. Run blocking, okay, and he’ll improve. I think he is a guard playing right tackle. If we could draft a tackle to play on the right side, I’d be okay with that and I think he’d more than adequately replace Carp at LG. Personally, I think he’d be an improvement there. If we can draft a tackle, I’d be okay with that.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Honestly, I can’t even really concede that Cable has ever really received “his guy”. 2011, it was just a draft of dire necessity. We didn’t want to take Carpenter at 25 — but were just left with no trade options. Traded back to the third, which was a good deal really for us.

        But otherwise, we’ve had guys targetted — players that we have to read between the lines of their post draft interviews to identify — but just weren’t able to have them drop to us. Players that have turned out to be pretty significant performers. It’s too bad we’ve not been able to take ‘Cable’s guys’ in those instances.

        The OL has had significant draft stock invested in it. But if we exclude the 2011 draft of necessity — it’s seen pretty modest investment. Certainly, for as much as we’ve discussed how heavily we’ve invested in the OL, it’s been dwarfed by the investment at WR. We’ve spent a second in 2010. A fourth in 2011. Spent a first, fourth and seventh in 2013. Traded back and spent a 2nd, 3rd and 4th in 2014 (I’m counting the Harvin trades in picks).

        No position group has had more picks, or multiples of higher picks than WR. So the argument that we’ve already invested in the OL is easily trumped by the even greater investment at WR.

        • peter

          Attyla that’s some serious Cherry picking if you “negate the 2011 pick,” but keep the Harvin trade and not subtract at least one of those picks back for he trade to jets.

          All the picks are counted and both groups are at the same numbers with first rounders being swapped for second rounders as far as quantity in round picked between Oline and WR.

          I don’t buy the Cable hasn’t gotten his guy…Then how was he a able to take a DT and turn him into the most reliable guy on the? Also for Cable’s apparent pull in regards to how little competition there is for a player once he gets picked, then why isn’t he getting his guy? There are good to great Olinemen taken at every possible round like any other position. How is it the mid round LB’s can be great the late round Corners be great but the Oline and WR regardless of draft slot are “not quite getting it?” Maybe the reality is that Seattle sort of sucks at drafting those positions and for a change for both squads it would nice to run a real competition for available spots as opposed to whatever it is they have been doing.

          • Jarhead

            I totally agree with this statement. What are we saying when they had an opportunity to draft Bitonio and totally passed in favor of Richardson/Britt. What were they watching? That is pretty egregious to me. I wasn’t in the war room with them but gee whiz. I am highly suspect of their WR/OL talent scouting….

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Wow I’m pretty amazed by the hate for Britt on this site.

      “Dumped” a second round pick on him? You do realize he started EVERY game last year except for the NFCCG – when Bailey replaced him in the line up and was EVEN WORSE.

      Name one other starter on the OL that rarely gets beat in pass pro. Go ahead. I’ll wait. And wait. And wait.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        And by the way, that was Britt’s rookie season.

        I remember Giacomini sucking pretty bad for his first 2 seasons with SEA – and he was already a 2 year vet.

        • peter

          Yeah he’s not going inside I just don’t get why a tackle who played tackle all through college would go inside and they’d get yet another tackle to hope he works out.

          • Volume 12

            Me either. I actually like Britt’s upside at RT. On a number of Lynch’s runs this year, it was this kid out there leading the way.

  8. Nathan

    I know it goes against everything they stand for, but this keeps nagging away at me, saying “we need Marshall”

    He is a good 3 years younger than AJ, and do we want him ending up at the packers?

    With so many of them on the market, do we risk falling behind if we don’t take one of them?

  9. Nathan

    While we’re talking DB’s, who else is completely staggered at the situation with McCourty and the Pats?

    Surely he’s not back at the pats with the offers he’s going to receive now.

    • Steele1324

      Unless McCourty has some deal worked out with Kraft. This is if he loves NE so much that he will take a giant haircut for it. Same with Revis.

  10. Frank

    Either free agent cb would be good insurance to develop. Love to see sparq freak Jones slid to hawks or Gurley. Brandon Marshall or Crabtree on a one year prove it deal. Henry Melton could be In play after a down year with the Cowboys. Cant wait for the first wave of free agency to be over so we can really zone into the draft.

  11. Steele1324

    I hope Cary Williams leaves town and never comes back. He is a guy who should be avoided.

    1. He is not good. Toasted, burned, beat badly. AND past his prime.
    2. Yet he is an arrogant, boastful loudmouth. A belligerant, a locker room cancer who is also
    3. Lazy and defies his coaches. He hates practice:

    I am not a fan of Tramon, either, but Cary is toxic.

    Neither is worth the deals that they will be offered.

    • Steele1324

      A lot of Eagles fans have grown to hate Cary Williams over the years. No doubt this not-small contingent is happy to see him go. And they will be thrilled that Byron Maxwell replaces him.

  12. drewjov11

    Yeah, this smells like covering their bases. He’s a terrible player. Trumon Williams was a decent player, but not last year. Ugh, maybe we DO need to trade UP and get Collins.

    • Steele1324

      Trumon was good in 2010. Now, not so much. He might be better than most other FAs, but that shows how sucky the market is this year.

      I think Peters is the guy to target, along with sleeper gems later in the draft.

      I have concerns about Jalen Collins, that make me wonder about how much he is worth. The negatives are detailed here:
      Stiff, gives too much cushion, lots of problems. (What do you think, Rob?)

      • peter

        I will say that the review of Marcus Peters by the same guy was pretty obvious he was a Dawg Homer. “the most physical college corner I’ve ever seen, (?)”

        I like Peters quite a bit and think he would/could be great but a list of Jalen Collins weaknesses vs. a quick two longish sentence break down that comes down to 1. he’s a gambler but it’s nothing to worry about 2. sometimes he loses focus, but it’s nothing to worry about seems a little rose colored to me.

    • David M2

      I don’t think there’s need to panic. I think Peters if available at the end of round 1 or top of round 2 would be solid. He’s meant to play in the LoB

  13. Nathan

    I see Mel Kiper has mocked Perriman to us at 31, perhaps he reads the blog Rob.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally not a huge fan of Perriman, at least not in R1. Rounds 2-3? His potential intrigues me in that range.

  14. Volume 12

    Unfortunately you can’t have all-pros/pro bowlers at every spot. Maybe Tramon or Cary will benefit from playing in a new scheme. Even if Seattle takes a CB early, he’ll still struggle.

    It gives this team lee-way. Continue to mine the mid to late rounds for corners, develop them over a year or two, and next thing you know, there’s another Maxwell on the team. This will let them add depth and not go into a season with a rookie starting at CB, which they’ve never done.

    If there’s one position I have complete faith in this team finding and developing quality players, it’s corner back.

    • peter

      This has been percolating for a while as a thought against Collins or Peters….

      Carrol is all about “win forever,” an dbeing the best in everything you do. And moving on when the opportunity is there, correct.

      So what I’m having a hard time fathoming from the pick a CB early crowd is this……

      He/They had to know that Maxwell was getting pretty damned good two seasons back and that his contract would eb prohibitive for the Hawks. That and They constantly draft year in and year out DB’s regardless of Thurmond/Browner Kam/Thomas…which has morphed from that 4 years ago to this now. So realizing attrition from injury to salary are always present and that even if Maxwell stays or goes they will continue to draft DB’s just to see where the team’s pulse is at I wonder if this current scenario has a plan that is in keeping with previous seasons and that maybe the old 4th rounder plus a 6th rounder plus a free agent low risk trade combo like Jefferson/Burley is the plan all along to allow them to concentrate power at Oline/WR?

      • Steele1324

        It is a strong likelihood that they continue the formula, without regard to immediate results. It may not be so much win forever as “compete” forever.

        To people like me, who are chomping for the Hawks to load up in order to avenge the SB loss, we could be in for frustration for a while. This is the first time the development train has stopped at cornerback, with the till somewhat empty. The combination of injuries, and lousy draft and FA options at CB, have backed them into doing things they probably would rather not be doing. They should not even be talking to losers like Cary Williams.

        Unless they get really creative and land two corners who are equal or better than Lane/Burley and Simon, we could be in for a difficult 2015 defending passes.

        • peter

          Oh no doubt Steele, In the beginning of the process, rebuilding that is I kind of undertood the older FZ vets, even recently who wouldn’t one a rotational Kevin Williams? But Cary and Tramon WIlliams is worrisome I get injuries but for a team that prides itself in coaching the process is burley, the released aj Jefferson, Deshawn Shead, not better at this stage in their careers then those two?

          I’m still holding out a bit of hope for Simon though I will be bummed out if he needs surgery and he goes in any time later then this month.

          Your final sentence is the one that bothers me most about this situation even if they give good money to one of the Williams they will still need to draft 2 corners because of attrition (Maxwell, possibly simon, lane’s recovery) they could be down spots either way.

          Sucks to be in a situation like Attylehawk outlined above where they needed olinemen with the carpenter draft, now they may have to reach a bit for corner help.

      • JeffC

        I wonder how Bmax will do as the #1 cb for a team, with no Earl to help him out back there. I get the reluctance to pay him 10 mill/year. I guess we’ll find out this year a bit more if the system they run can overcome elite measurables.

  15. Bird

    Isn’t Trent Cole the guy that body-slammed Okung his rookie year resulting in several missed games. It’s irrational, but I still can’t forgive him for that.

    • David M2

      Yes sir!

      • David M2

        It was a ridiculous cheap shot.

        • peter

          Didn’t he get something ridiculous like a 17k fine for that? Honestly I can’t imagine why they would have let go of Clem to wait a season to get a guy almost as old and even a touch less productive then Clem was last year. Subtraction by addition if they offer him a contract.

    • Rob Staton


  16. MoondustV

    Nobody have considered Antonio Cromartie? I mean, if PCJS offers $5M to Tramon Williams, why not try to pursue Flowers or Cromartie? Though I don’t know their wingspan.

  17. red

    I would like to see us go after Perrish Cox as well he was decent last year let the market develop and see if you can get Blackmon on a cheap deal if Cary Williams is going to get 4 mil plus I would pass. Gregg Olsen just got a 3 year 22m 12m guaranteed just imagine the market for JT 9mil a year I think we should move on from him. Also any thoughts on signing Kenny Britt for a modest 4mil a year deal.

    • peter

      There must of been something that didn’t jive for the SEahawks they already had Cox signed for a day about two seasons back.

      • Steele1324

        Hard to get excited about Cox (who also has an unsavory off field history).

        • Jake

          If we’re talking 49ers castoffs – I’m a big fan of Chris Culliver’s game. Yes, he has some baggage – but on the field, he’s aggressive (bordering on dirty) in a similar vein to Brandon Browner. He would likely come much cheaper than either of the Williams’s and he’s only 26, same draft class as Sherman and Maxwell.

  18. Ehurd1021

    Rob what do you think about Tye Smith (6’0/195/32 inch arms) out of Towson? Looks like a very interesting prospect who has all of the measurements that Seattle garners checked off. Very fluid, has pretty good ball skills for a kid his size. He also plays so aggressive in the running game and coming up in run support. If you get a chance take a look at his tape and tell me what you think.

    • Ukhawk


      • Steele1324

        I am impressed with Tye Smith’s film. One my sleeper candidates for sure.

        • OZ

          Another sleeper,Jeff Luc. Check him out….

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        A scouting service said he has problems against physical WRs. This doesn’t seem like a natural fit in a press man coverage dominated scheme. Perhaps he would be a natural fit as a slot CB…

        • Ehurd1021

          Disagree with the part about the defense. Seattle scheme on defense is primarily cover 3. The CB’s play bump and run at the LOS more than most teams who run cover 3 so it looks like cover 1 more often than it really is.

          As far as him having issues with physical WR’s — I believe it because most CB’s coming out of college do. But thats nothing a NFL strength and conditioning program at the NFL cant fix on top of a redshirt year if a team sees it as a concern. Its also necessary to point out that it might not be something he lacks in his make up as a player but it might be a technique issue. And what group of coaches and DB room would you rather have to correct that issue then Seattle?

          But what he does have is the size (height and arm length) to play in this scheme and make a impact in the slot and on the outside. He has nice hips, very fluid and is patient at the line. And as you can see in the tape doesn’t shy away from contact which tells you a lot about a player. I think he is a great prospect.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ll take a look. 4.60 forty at the combine and looked a bit sluggish. But I’ll check the video out.

  19. EranUngar

    CB has indeed become a big issue for us.

    However, with a team perspective in mind, this is a possible weakness on pass defense. You can provide a direct fix for it by finding the replacement on that position (FA or Draft) or you can provide an indirect fix by enhancing your pass rush to help your CBs.

    This year it seems like the direct fix is going against the board and overpaying for lesser talent. Combine that with the success we had in training day 3 talent at CB and you have your answer.

    If the CB solution is not there and this year is deep in pass rushing talent both of FA and Draft, we may be smart to go that way. An additional force at DE/DT to create the pass rush from hell may do more our pass defense then reaching for CB against the market.

    Just imagine a blitz with Irvin, Hill, Suh, Avril and Bennett. All you need to cover in 15 yards deep.

    We will have the answers soon once the FA frenzy is over. Once we see the FA picks we’ll know what is the likely plan for the draft. I’m still not sure we will invest more then 3-4M at most for a CB solution at FA and i don’t believe it will be our top draft pick.

    • Steele1324

      I agree with this. Go where the ammunition is. It clearly isn’t a great offseason for CBs. It would make sense to do the best you can with the corners in a placeholding mode until next year, and get really aggressive with D line and pass rushers.

  20. Ehurd1021

    As things get closer and closer to FA I really think Seattle needs to think long and hard about NOT going after Thurmond. It really makes no sense why you wouldn’t especially considering we have no one in the slot to compete with Burley which is a real issue.

    • peter

      Thurmond is good to great in that position. And Rob may be speculating a bit but Thurmond had a million chances here and botched every possible one of them.

      If they and he are willing to come in on the cheap and I mean near vet minimum because he hasn’t done squat with his time in the league then sure, nothing ventured nothing gained. But past that no thanks.

  21. Old but Slow

    I fully understand the concerns about the defensive back situation, but we should remember that we did not get off to a quick start last season and still made the big game. Being less than full strength at the beginning is not a doomsday prophesy. We still have decent depth when we have a fully healthy backfield. We may still need someone who can replicate Maxwell, but we have a significant talent in Simon. He needs aging. So did Maxwell, at one time. That worked out. I have a lot of faith in the coaching staff when we talk about defensive backs.

    Simon’s problems were not about athletic ability, it seemed more about understanding how to use it. He has the qualities that can make him as good, or better than Maxwell if he can restrain his impulsiveness. He seems to want to anticipate the receiver instead of reading him, the former produces the interception or spectacular play, and the latter produces the consistent coverage that Pete likes.

    On another note, about the wide outs we are looking at in the draft. Most of them need a year or two to develop into NFL receivers (exceptions noted), so how about a guy 6′ 2″ 198 pounds, runs 4.44 with a 1.59 10 yard split? His name is Kevin Norwood, and we took him in the 4th round last year, and he showed flawless hands. I’m not much into big receivers with nice numbers who cradle the ball or hug it into their body. Both Norwood and Richardson caught the ball consistently, not often, but consistently with their hands and showed promise. I like some of the wides that are in the draft, and it seems a deep group, but we have some promise at home. I was blown away by Matthews in the big game, and he had some success in the CFL, but I am not ready to declare him ready, but we have more possibilities in our wide receiver corps than some seem ready to accept.

    In other words…offensive linemen and pass rushers. Or maybe a corner.

    Also, not to get too carried away with this, but I have heard rumors that Eric Pinkens, our 6th last season is now nearing Kam Chancellor size, and might be a factor at backup SS?

    • Rob Staton

      I take the points OBS… but I really don’t want to pin our hopes on Norwood and Matthews to improve the receiving game. We just need more. And at a time when we were weak at WR, Norwood struggled to get off the inactive list.

      • Phil

        We need a WR who will tilt the field, and I don’t see someone like McBride or Agholar being that guy. I’m doubtful it will happen, but I would love to see us move up the board — even if it means using next year’s picks to get a true number 1 WR, not another Baldwin or Kearse clone.

        • SunPathPaul

          I do believe Kevin Norwood will be a really solid and good player for us. He had that foot injury in training camp and that is surely why his comfort/timing w RW wasn’t as good as P.Pich, so P.Rich got to start and spend time playing over him. A healthy offseason will do wonders for him!

          As far as an explosive playmaker at WR, a true #1, that’s difficult. Perhaps Douglas McNeil III, who we have on roster now, at 6-3 can be a playmaker?

          Out of the draft, the most 3-5 explosive WR will be gone by #31. We aren’t trading up for that…

          I’m starting to feel the most impact for our team the Seahawks would come from an Antonio Brown type player. One of the Phillip Dorsetts’, Tyler Lockettes’, or Goodleys… They probably can come in an make a quicker impact than the others… why? Speed for separation. Doing little underneath routes to move the chains, not to mention KP/PR abilities…

          That leaves me to still see that the fastest way to make the other team threatened by us at WR would be to sign Andre Johnson. He is a legend. 34, yes…but talented none the less. He caught 85 balls last year with horrible QB’s. Imagine how excited he would be to have a quality QB for a change in RW. They would develop back shoulder fades, etc… he would be a red zone target also!! He would be.

          So I’d still like to draft 2 WR…and sign AJ…
          1) Andre Johnson
          2) McBride / Agholar / Conley
          3) Baldwin
          4) Kevin Norwood, Chris Matthew, Douglas McNeil
          5) Lockette / Dorsett / Goodley
          6) Whoever survives the battle at #4

          We would be a deep and scary WR group now…NOT pedestrian anymore!

          • SunPathPaul

            We would put P.Rich on IR for 2015 if we draft 2 WR’s. His knee was bad, and why not have him heal completely. It would be difficult to come back midseason and ‘then establish’ timing w RW. Why not just let the WR’s that have been playing continue.

            If we took a flyer on DeAndre Smelter, 6’2″, 226, we would have him on IR for 2015, but as depth and a possible gem for 2016.

            • JeffC

              I agree with both of your points. Smelter could become a home run. I’m not even thinking of PRich at this point.

  22. peter

    Some of this talk about the Williams (tramon and cary) worries me a bit. I understand the not being backed into a wall and all that. But a while back there was solid discussion on here about Suh….then Paea/Sheard.

    The reason why I would like Seattle to stick to it’s plans with CB’s is that past Woodson that seems to be a position much like running back where your physical skills and your mental guile are not enough to make up for age and time.

    Whereas I would almost prefer something absurd like Peters in the first, Rowe in the fourth, and Marshall in the 6th, or someone who I have yet to check out like Tye smith….as one example or even like Carter/Marshall/Tye Smith all in and around the 4-7th and just have an old fashioned thunderdome at camp with even Simon to find out who is going to start who is going to back up, and who plays nickel or find out if burley can take that spot.

    After the Ruskell era I am pretty deeply against old vets that command solid money and going full circle with this statement the reason why I would prefer say Suh is that is some one/type that is not on the team and the team has a terrible time finding in the draft to be a real deal difference maker and for the position is not yet considered old if you future cast let’s say 5 more great years like a vince wilfork who was doing damage up to 33 years old.

    Or Sheard/Paea, which I know people think I am nuts but Sheard is actually for his career a just as productive (when measuring sacks, I know there’s more to it then that,) as Avril at .81 per game vs. .75 per game and I think could truly explode Avril’s numbers to have help on the opposite side. As for someone like Paea he had 5 sacks last year is strong as *bleep* and has as of yet never had injury worries of significance….

    Oh and the biggest issue is that both are going to start the year at 26 in in the sweet spot of their career where brains and physicals hopefully meet and like Bennet/Avril the team could actually build with those guys as fully functioning players as opposed to “hey end of the career corners here’s half the money for less then half the skills of Maxwell, hope you don’t get beat out by a younger corner, oh wait we actually do because if that doesn’t happen we’re screwed searching yet another off season for corners,”

    • Jake

      Yes, yes, and yes…. Sheard and/or Paea would be money very well spent. Irvin’s likely a FA after this year – so Sheard would really only be a luxury for one year and then he’d be necessary. Likewise, Mebane is unlikely to last into his 30s on this team, so Paea could play one year next to him at 3-tech – then move on from there as the 1-tech (with hopefully Hill ready to start). Nick Marshall is my favorite CB in this draft by a wide margin, it don’t know if he’d be ready to start this year (unlikely) – but I don’t think it would take him long to push for playing time.

      • Rob Staton

        Sheard is a pure edge rusher — Irvin has developed into one of the best playmaking linebackers in the league. I don’t see Sheard as a like-for-like replacement. For me, Irvin is a priority re-sign. There just aren’t many players like him out there.

        • peter

          Irvin is a priority resign I hope. My above long post is more about a better allocation of funds then Cole and both williams’

        • Jake

          Not at all, I agree he’s unique. But, much as we’re seeing with Maxwell – how many can you pay for? Wagner absolutely MUST be re-signed, he is the best MLB in the NFL. KJ already got paid, so he is clearly in the long-term plans. Irvin is going to command a ton on the open market from a needy 3-4 team, so unless he’s down for the hometown discount it seems unrealistic to expect him to be back.

          In 2016, I see KJ moving back to SLB and KPL taking over at WLB. Sheard would be a pass-rusher primarily, so no he doesn’t play the same exact style or techniques as Irvin – but he could take snaps at both SLB and LEO.

          • Rob Staton

            One thing to remember on Irvin re-signing… Lynch might be back in 2015, but his salary might be off the books for 2016. I think he’ll definitely gone by 2017. Essentially you could stagger the cap hit on a guy like Irvin so that Lynch’s hit eventually just goes to Bruce. Mebane’s $5.5m will be available in a years time. So you can do it and keep Wagner.

          • lil'stink

            If I had to choose I would take Irvin over KJ. I think when all is said and done they will be able to keep both, with all the other contracts that will be off the books the next couple of years.

            • Volume 12

              Hasn’t Irvin also repeatedly said that he owes everything to the Seattle organization for taking a chance on and developing him?

              I wonder if we’ll see Bruce and Sweezy re-signed during the 2015 season along the lines of what we saw with KJ and Avril’s extensions? Not necessarily money wise, but before they hit the open market.

              • Rob Staton

                Great shout on Sweezy and Irvin.

              • peter

                They’ve got to right? This most consistent olinemen and a defensive player that could move into something special territory. Its one thing to let bmax go its another to let two more talented players they have groomed go and let someone else reap the benefits. Obligatory golden Tate comment here.

  23. hawkfaninMT

    Was a fun idea while it lasted

    • Rob Staton

      Personally, never saw it as likely in SEA. The draft is loaded and they need long term thinking at WR to grow with Wilson.

      • Volume 12

        I would have been absolutely floored if it had happened. Yeah they showed interest in him a while back, but that was before he became toxic in the locker room, threw and his team and teammates under the bus, and had how many temper tantrums?

      • HOUSE

        I know I was one that advocated for Marshall, but I agree with Rob. We need a guy that will be Wilson’s Dude. Peyton had Harrison, then Wayne. Brees had Colston and know Graham…

        • HOUSE

          *now NOT know

          • Volume 12

            Yeah that’s ideal and definitely crucial.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s brilliantly put — Wilson’s dude. That’s exactly what he needs.

  24. Ed

    Marshall to Jets. Thank goodness, although probably means Harvin gets cut and we only get 6th rd pick.

    Suh looks locked to Dolphins. Bitter sweet.

    Sign A. Johnson. S. Paea. J. Sheard.

    Draft 1 (Fisher/Flowers/Erving) and 1 (Agholor/Dorsett)

    • HOUSE

      Marshall going to the Jets locked the Percy traded pick to a 6th rd pick… OH WELL. We essentially traded up in the 6th round for exchanging Harvin (a cancer) for Burley (someone who contributed when we needed).

      Suh coming to SEA was a PIPE DREAM and even though I liked the thought of it, what was the actual chance it happened? 10,, maybe 15%. We’ll continue to build our team the way we have.

      I still don’t know what to feel about AJ. I think the problem we’ll run into is his reduced role in HOU (60-70 balls/yr) would probably be his MAX in this offense. Age/injury history (he’s got the naggiest damn Hamstrings) lead me away from him. I’d take Paea and Sheard in a HEARTBEAT!!!

      If we can get a CB in free agency (Tillman or either Williams), I’d love any of those picks you listed for our 1st 2 rds

  25. RealRhino2

    I don’t see why the dearth of good cornerbacks in the draft — or a rush on the few there are — should necessarily push the Seahawks into signing a vet CB. In both cases, aren’t we really talking about the same thing: overpaying because of scarcity/need? Our salary dollars and our draft picks are both just resources. Why is paying too much in salary (e.g., either of the Williams bums we are talking about at $5MM, or Maxwell at $10MM) better than paying too much in draft picks (e.g., 1.31 for any of the CBs we think “should” be 2nd-rounders)?

    Given the greater uncertainty with drafted players, I’d rather overpay in the draft. I mean, if giving either Williams $5MM means not signing Paea, for example, we can feel pretty certain we’ve lost out on a top DT player. We’ve probably hurt our team overall to make sure we have CB sorta covered. We *know* what Paea is, we *know* what Williams is. But if we reach for a late-2nd type CB at 1.31, we’ve lost only the opportunity to take a potentially better player at that spot. I’m *much* less certain that a DL we think is worth that draft spot will actually turn into Stephen Paea than I am that Stephen Paea will continue to be Stephen Paea, if you get my meaning. And in theory, if there is a glut in the draft at DL/OL/WR, the player we get at that position at the end of the 2nd should actually be worth a slightly better pick, so it may even out. But nothing is going to make T. or C. Williams worth $5MM, IMO.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, if you pay a veteran stopgap around $5m at least it’s not a long term commitment. If you overpay and take a bad corner too early — you’re stuck with the decision for four years. Not to mention you miss out on other players available in the draft at different positions.

      • Steele1324

        So the question is whether it makes sense to overpay for a GOOD corner early, a gamble worth suffering for years.

        I just don’t see any FA CB who is better than Maxwell. Kareem Jackson ($5 mill)? I don’t think Tramon is an answer, he is very hit or miss at this stage of his career and he might cost just as much as Jackson. Do we need someone as good as or better than Maxwell (and as good or better than Burley, while Lane rehabs)? Yes.

        I cannot help but dream about what happens if Revis hits free agency next week. All of the numbers we messed with regarding Suh would appy to Revis. It would be doable, requiring cuts and cap pain in the future, but—Revis. The only guy out there who would be exciting to bring to the LOB.

        • Rob Staton

          I can live with a year of Tramon though while we draft and develop the future starter.

          • Attyla the Hawk

            And really, we’re hedging on Simon’s lack of development/Lane’s availability in 2015.

            Simon should still continue to develop. We’re just kind of pinched after having lost Thurmond, Browner and Maxwell in 2 successive years. A stop gap is exactly that. Someone that affords us the luxury of time for the guys developing on the roster to emerge.

            We’ll undoubtedly add another to the development treadmill this year. Maybe more than one.

  26. HawkInVT

    Hi Rob,

    I’ve been following your blog a lot recently, first time commenter. Regarding FA corners, why is no one talking about Alan Ball? He’s got size and speed and he was brought in by Gus Bradley in his first year at JAX…his PFF grade for this last yr is higher than Maxwell’s (though he was hurt for part of the season and likely did not face their top WR talent). And he’s a high character, hard working guy. I don’t think he’d be an upgrade from Maxwell, but I could see him being a great stop-gap, someone reliable to give Tharold some more time to develop. I’m also not sold that Eric Pinkins will stay at safety. Also, why haven’t they brought back AJ Jefferson? He flashed last yr. Anyway, Ball could be had for a song…wondering your thoughts on why he is not being discussed?

    • Rob Staton

      Ball ranked highly in the PFF setup in 2013 but apparently was near the bottom of the list in 2014:

      It’s a decent shout. He could be an option when the market opens.

    • Steele1324

      I have mentioned Ball here, and on FieldGulls, and think he would be a sensible option. Same with AJ Jefferson. I am surprised that we have not heard anything from the front office about interest in Blackmon, Thurmond, AJJ, and Gus Bradley products like Ball—all guys who are already familiar with the system.

      And instead, Tramon Williams or some other old FA who isn’t familiar with it?

  27. Volume 12

    Wow, I can’t really believe all the ‘sky is falling’ comments because Seattle is down a CB. Tramon and Cary Williams are both decent CBs in a cover 3 scheme. They both have the length and physicality required to funnel receivers into the middle of the field and toward the sideline. Their not going to reach for a CB in this draft. They never fight the board. A veteran stop-gap at CB, while drafting 2 CBs for depth, competition, and eventually starting has always ways been what this team has done.

    The FA market and draft are so weak at the CB spot, that Tramon and Cray Williams are the best of a bad situation. AJ Jefferson wasn’t good enough to make this team and is really just a camp body, Thurmond hurt this team in a midst of a title run, same for BB, Blackmon isn’t good enough to stick on a young/bad team as a veteran leader, etc.

    They’ll draft one CB and keep them on the active roster, while drafting or taking a couple priority UDFA corners and stick one of those on the PS, or IR them and giving them the NFL version of ‘red-shifting.’ I get the concern, but at the same time I don’t. If that makes any sense.

    • Steele1324

      Cary Williams is NOT a good corner, and more importantly, not a good guy to have on a team. He gets toasted on a regular basis, yet is boastful and belligerent. He antagonizes coaches, throws hissy fits about practicing, is generally a pain in the rear. He is a cancer as bad or worse than Harvin.

      I prefer Tramon to Cary, but he has never been completely technically sound, and now past the prime when he could get away with it. I don’t like the idea of overpaying for a guy who gives up yardage. Is he among the better of a bad FA crop? Unfortunately it seems so, which makes this situation uglier. It is not “sky is falling” to be seriously concerned about holes left by Maxwell and also Lane for a few months at least.

      If I am JS, I would even be considering trades. For instance, Sterling Moore a RFA with the Cowboys, has played very well in relief duty, quietly becoming a very good CB. Kind of Maxwell-like.

      • Volume 12

        They have a fill in for Lane in CB Marcus Burley, who was coming on pretty strong in the middle of the year, but with Lane’s return it shelved him so to speak.

        For him being a cancer he sure does have quite a few suitors, including the team he was with before the Eagles. Maybe he threw hissy fits about practice in Philly because they move a million miles an hour, and Cary would rather hit guys in the mouth and play in a physical/intense environment?

        I think Seattle values their draft picks more than trading for a RFA. Let’s see how Maxwell performs without Seattle’s scheme.

        As nice as it would be to have a team full of guys in their prime, you do need vets. And both Tramon and Cary Williams are battled tested with championship pedigrees.

        They do need a couple of comers for depth/projects. I won’t argue that, but to think that this defense will suffer while only losing 1 starter as it stands now, is a little ‘panicky.’ How many more corners does this team need to develop for us to have faith that they’ll find and develop some more?

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Any thoughts on Devon House?

          • Volume 12

            He’s another corner to possibly keep an eye one. Him and Tramon were both guys JS drafted and advocated for if I’m not mistaken. Well, maybe not Davon House.

            I personally like him and think he’s got some appealing upside.

        • Steele1324

          Cary Williams hates practice. Skips OTAs, skips or loafs regular practices because they “make him tired”. Then he goes out on Sunday and gets beat because he didn’t practice.

          This is not the kind of work ethic that belongs on the Seahawks.

      • Steele1324

        I may be in the minority, but I think Sterling Moore might be worth a rd 3, even rd 2 pick in a trade. He did very well starting, made few mistakes. Underrated.

  28. Volume 12

    Rob, what do you think of this LB Donnie Baggs from Texas A&M as an UDFA? He’s a MLB and STs guy, or do you think they’ll target a SAM LB, or just a guy who can do a bit of everything? I also have my eye on E. Carolina’s LB Sage Harold, who is indeed Eli Harold’s uncle.

    Texas A&M MLB Donnie Baggs- 6’1, 236 lbs., 22 reps on the bench press, 35′ inch vertical, 9’9′ foot broad jump, 4.54 40 yard dash, 4.58 10 yard split, 7.29 3 cone, 11.84 60 yard shuttle.

    • Rob Staton

      I will look at him.

  29. New Guy

    Marshawn has signed his new contract with the Seahawks.


  30. New Guy

    …according to Ian Rapaport. Not me.

    • Onur

      And zach miller is cut.

  31. Steele1324

    Kareem Jackson stays with Houston. 4 yr /$34 mill. Anybody want to guess what Maxwell is about to earn?

    I was about to ask for some discussion about Jackson, who I thought was valued at around $5 mill/yr. which is what Tramon wants. How wrong i was.

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