Scouting combine day five

Today we could be watching Seattle’s next first round pick. Pete Carroll has been pretty open about his intentions this year, stating at the end of the season his desire to improve the team’s front seven. This week he reiterated those desires: “We need to address the issue about our pass rush, and it’s a big factor for us. We would love to see if we can make some movement there.” There is no doubt at all what area the Seahawks are focusing on in round one – pass rush. Defensive lineman (9am EST) and linebackers (1pm EST) work out today – Seahawks fans should take notice.

I’ll be blogging live on Group 7 (keep refreshing for updates), recording forty-yard dash time’s and the all-important splits. We’ll be passing comment on how the likes of Courtney Upshaw, Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram perform and get the numbers for groups 8 & 9. It’s also important to concentrate on the second tier in the event a situation such as Brian Billick’s mock draft occurs. Vinny Curry, Nick Perry, Chandler Jones, Cam Johnson, Andre Branch and Whitney Mercilus are all worth monitoring. I’ll be watching linebackers Zach Brown and Sean Spence with great interest too. Bobby Wagner of Utah State will not work out as he’s suffering with pneumonia, per Tony Pauline.

One man who will be working out is LSU’s Michael Brockers – he measured at 6-5 and 322lbs this week. Opinion is really mixed on Brockers – Mike Mayock describes him as ‘special’ and a top-10 pick, while others have been more sceptical. He declared as a redshirt sophomore without a lot of pass-rush production and people wonder what his best position could be. At 322lbs, he might end up being a nose tackle.

My initial impression of Brockers was positive, playing on a dominating LSU defensive front. However, the more I’ve studied since he declared the more lukewarm I’ve become. He has great size and he carries it well, but he just doesn’t look like a three-technique to me. He gets very little inside penetration and doesn’t look much different to what Seattle already has with Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch. While he could have value to a team like Carolina who want to mix between 4-3 and 3-4 looks, I’m not sure why the Seahawks would make that pick.

Update – Brockers ran a 5.37 and a 5.33 and looked heavy. More and more he looks like a nose tackle or one technique.

I’ve added his game tape below from the BCS Championship vs Alabama (courtesy of JMPasq):

Group 7 forty times:

Chas Alecxih (Pittsburgh) – 5.34 & 5.44
Frank Alexander (Oklahoma) – DNP
Jake Bequette (Arkansas) – 4.78 & 4.84
Jamie Blatnick (Oklahoma State) – 4.85 & 4.84
Andre Branch (Clemson) – 4.62 & 4.68
Michael Brockers (LSU) – 5.37 & 5.33
Josh Chapman (Alabama) – DNP
Quinton Coples (UNC) – 4.75 & 4.72
Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State) – 4.79 & 4.85
Jack Crawford (Penn State) – 4.78 & 4.76
Tyrone Crawford (Boise State) – 4.84 & 4.81
Jared Crick (Wisconsin) – 4.97 & 4.94
Vinny Curry (Marshall) – 4.97 & 4.85
Hebron Fangup (BYU) – 5.15 & 5.22
Marcus Forston (Miami) – 5.15 & 5.10
Trevor Guyton (California) – 5.10 & 5.15
Dominique Hamilton (Missouri) – 5.50 & 5.59
Dajohn Harris (USC) – DNP
Akiem Hicks (Regina) – 5.22 & 5.21
Jaye Howard (Florida) – 4.75 & 4.78
John Hughes (Cincinnati) – DNP
Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) – 4.66 & 4.78
Bruce Irvin (West Virginia) – 4.50 & 4.43
Malik Jackson (Tennessee) – 4.93 & 4.94
Jamaar Jarrett (Arizona State) – 5.00 & 4.94
Cam Johnson (Virginia) – 4.75 & 4.75
Chandler Jones (Syracus) – 4.85 & 4.82
Markus Kuhn (NC State) – 4.91 & 4.90

10-yard splits:

Bruce Irvin – 1.54
Andre Branch – 1.56
Tyrone Crawford – 1.62
Quinton Coples – 1.63
Fletcher Cox – 1.63
Jamie Blatnick – 1.65
Melvin Ingram – 1.65
Cam Johnson – 1.66
Vinny Curry – 1.68
Jared Crick – 1.69
Malik Jackson – 1.69
Jack Crawford – 1.70
Jake Bequette – 1.70

Bruce Irvin ran the fastest forty yard dash with a 4.43, not totally surprising given his college production and smaller size (245lbs). He also the best 10-yard split at 1.54. This was important for Irvin after not receiving an invite for the Senior Bowl and being a smaller pass rusher. He needs to show he has the speed to make up for a lack of size and teams will show a lot of interest in him as a specialist rusher at the next level. Andre Branch has been as high as #13 in my mock drafts and could move back up the board after flashing a 1.56 split and two forty’s in the 4.6 range.

Quinton Coples and Fletcher Cox both impressed given their near-300lbs size. Many people anticipated Cox moving up the board after the combine and a 10-yard split of 1.63 at 298lbs could put him into top-ten contention. Jaye Howard at Florida also impressed. Melvin Ingram ran two contrasting times of 4.66 and 4.78, recording a 1.65 split in his slower attempt.

Groups 8 & 9 analysis

I couldn’t live blog the second two groups as planned due to an impromptu TV appearance (seriously – and I have a face for blogging), but have since gone back and watched the workouts. Don’t forget, to see a full breakdown of every prospect’s measurement and work-out results, you can check out this database. Courtney Upshaw didn’t run the forty yard dash, although that is understandable. He was never likely to compete with Melvin Ingram in terms of straight line speed and only stood to negate his stock by running a slower forty time.

There were several headline makers in groups 8 & 9. Dontari Poe ran an official 4.81 forty despite weighing 345lbs – one of the more sensational combine performances in recent memory. To compare, Alameda Ta’amu ran a 5.34 despite weighing just 3lbs more. Elite nose tackle prospects are like gold dust and this will almost certainly push Poe into top-15 contention, if not top ten. It’ll be of huge benefit to the Seahawks if Poe begins to interest teams such as Miami, Carolina and Kansas City. Poe and Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox did more than most prospects to boost their profile this week. Devon Still ran a 5.03 and didn’t look quite as explosive – his stock could drift back into the late first round or even early second. Plenty of fans are asking about the possibility of Seattle drafting one of these impressive interior defensive lineman – but I think it’s very unlikely. The Seahawks are zoned in on edge rushers this year and should be able to get one of the ‘big three’ at their position. A strong second tier will make life easier if they take another player – such as Trent Richardson – in round one.

Whitney Mercilus needed to prove athletic ability matched production and he achieved that with a blistering 1.56 10-yard split and an official 4.63 forty. USC’s Nick Perry continued his momentum drive by running an excellent 4.50 with a 1.57 split. Perry, Mercilus and Andre Branch should see their stock improve to solid first round grades as the defensive end class grows and becomes one of the stronger areas of this draft.

Two linebackers boosted their stock in a big way by running well. Tremendous run-stopper and physical force Dont’a Hightower showed he can also moved with a 4.62 forty that could push him into mid-first round contention. Luke Kuechly managed a 4.58 which will have a big-time impact on his stock. A tackling machine at Boston College, there were some questions as to whether he was an overachiever without elite tools. Now he’s shown he has size (242lbs), speed and leadership – he could be a target for teams like Kansas City, Philadelphia and Dallas. Zach Brown managed a 4.50 forty, with Lavonte David recording a 4.65.

For highlights of today’s work outs click here.

Day five links

Tony Pauline lists Doug Martin among the players to boost their stock this week. Pauline: “Martin continues to impress scouts and move North on draft boards. His 28 reps on the bench tied Robert Turbin for the most by any running back. Martin’s 40 time of 4.53 seconds was faster than expected. Later in the day he looked polish in all the drills.”

Pauline says yesterday was a bad day for Dwight Jones, but a good day for Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin. I like both receivers – you could be looking at two major steals on days 2-3. Pauline: “Jones ran an adequate time of 4.53 seconds in the 40 yet his other marks including a broad jump of 9 feet, 1 inch and vertical jump of 33 inches, were pedestrian. Jones struggled through the pass-catching workout and dropped several easy throws besides running poor routes.”

Pauline also claims teams are contemplating a change of position for Iowa’s Riley Reiff, a move that could severely damage his draft stock. Pauline: “We’ve been told a number of teams have moved Reiff from offensive tackle to guard on their draft boards.”

Mike Mayock gives his assesment on the prospects he’s seen so far, including a thought on Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. Mayock: “He killed it. I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the combine, ‘This kid might blow the roof off it,’ and he did. The tough thing with Stephen Hill is coming out of that option offense. He’s hard to evaluate. We went through this with Demaryius Thomas. From a football perspective, every team in the league has now got a lot of homework to do. Trust me, he’s kind of pushed himself right up in the forefront of this wide receiver class.”

Matt Smith and Bucky Brooks conduct an interview with Brock Osweiler that almost had a ‘rehearsed’ feel to it. I’m a fan of Osweiler’s, but this video reminded me of my last job interview. Admittedly – this is a job interview for the former ASU quarterback. However, I get the sense that sometimes prospects can try a little too hard to impress.

Smith and Brooks also spoke with Kirk Cousins in an interview which was almost the polar opposite. Cousins is a natural public speaker who exudes confidence in his interviews. Alongside a very solid work out in Indianapolis, it wouldn’t surprise me if he impressed just as much in the meeting rooms. Cousins could easily go as high as round two in April.

Russ Lande believes Kirk Cousins could’ve pushed his stock into the late first or early second round. Lande: “After a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, Cousins could not have helped himself any more than he did Sunday. He may have put himself in position to be considered by a team looking for a young, developmental quarterback at the end of the first round or top of the second.”

Gregg Rosenthal says Cousins helped his stock by throwing at the combine. Rosenthal: “Cousins is generally viewed as a mid-round pick, a backup-type that comes from a pro-style offense at Michigan State. Cousins was better in college than Brian Hoyer of the Patriots, who has developed into a promising player in New England. Perhaps Cousins’ choice to actually throw  at the Combine will actually make him some money. Imagine that.”

Evan Silva reports that teams could be striking Janoris Jenkins off their draft board. Silva: “One AFC executive told Yahoo Sports that he expects at least a handful of teams to remove North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins from their draft boards due to off-field issues. Jenkins has been arrested three times, was suspended at North Alabama even after being kicked out of the University of Florida, has four children under the age of four, and had an admitted ongoing drug problem as recently as a year ago. “We haven’t decided what to do with him,” said the AFC exec. “We might take him off our board. I know there will be 3-4 teams that will take him off right away, at least for the first round.” Said one NFC executive, “I know this movie. It usually doesn’t end well.” Added an AFC defensive coordinator.”


  1. kevin mullen

    Kendall Wright’s 40 time was awful. 4.69sec? I thought he was suppose to be faster than that. Also, Blackmon looked really good. Mayock says he looked like Fitzgerald a few years ago, if that’s true in any sense, I’m ok at #12 for that pick up!

  2. Rob

    I’m not sure about the Fitzgerald comp – after all, isn’t Blackmon only 207lbs?

  3. andy

    That was referencing how he snatches the ball and high points it similar to Fitz…..

  4. Karlos

    Vinny Curry’s 40… (Jaw drops & not in a good way)

  5. Rugby Lock

    Wow… how far has Jenkins fallen now… unbelievable…

  6. Chris Mattix

    I like what I hear from Kirk Cousins, and might almost prefer him to Brock Osweiler. Kirk seems very confident and has good leadership qualities, all similar to Brock. While he is smaller, I think he is better prepared for NFL with a couple years of training because his pro-offense background and overall better accuracy. Plus, he might be had in the 3rd, whereas Brock will not be available there. The “bust” potential seems larger on Brock.

    Andre Branch is looking more and more interesting, yet he is probably not there in the 2nd. Hopefully Courtney Upshaw drops to us, but it’s looking less likely now. We need some big names to drop, and for some odd-balls to go high, like Glenn, Tannehill, and Brockers.

    On a final note, as a question, could you give me some more information on Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler? He has great size, is a no-nonsense guy who makes few mistakes, and according to what I read he may be the “best run blocking lineman” in this draft. Is this true? Why are we not talking OL, when Schneider clearly said he tries to get one every draft. Gallery hasn’t really worked out, and Jeanpierre perhaps is not the answer. I understand that Carpenter could move there, but maybe Zeitler is an option? Carpenter hasn’t busted yet, of course, and he may yet play the T position, and it’s never a bad idea to have 3 good tackles. What if the line had Okung – Zeitler – Unger – Moffit – Giacomini. Carpenter, for now would be the 2nd RT/LT and 2nd OG for the team. Unless he beats out Zeitler (very likely in the first year) or Giacomini (an offseason could work wonders for him).

    What do you think Rob?

    Thanks, and greetings from Bolivia. I love the draft!

    1rst – Upshaw/ Richardson/ Coples
    –Reaches or late picks: A. Branch/ Mercilus/ L. Kuelchi/
    2nd – D. Martin/ V. Burfict/ Osweiler/ J. Jenkins
    3rd – Cousins/ Zeitler/ C. Polk/ S. Hill

  7. Smeghead

    If the Hawks don’t have good value options at 12 for a pass rusher then I would love to see us pickup Richardson there and maybe A Branch in the second… is there any chance Branch lasts to our pick there now?

  8. RJD

    Dontari Poe at #12? yes please!

  9. AlaskaHawk

    I had rated Branch and Cox highly, so it is good to see their combine times reflect my hopes. Both have high motors and will chase the QB down.

  10. SHawn

    No way Branch last til rd 2 with those times.

    In addition to the big 3 prospects on our list (Upshaw, Coples, Ingram) there are now two more names to consider at #12 with Branch and Cox. How ever our FO has them rated, one of these 5 names will be our 1st rd pick.

  11. AlexHawk

    Wow Dontari Poe made himself some money 44bench press and a relativly quick 40 time

  12. Doug

    Ya know,

    This dog and pony show is fun, and putting numbers on people creates lots of interest and buzz, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t show how good of a football player any of them really are.

    So to me, while I love the combine because it is about the Hawks future players, I also take it with a grain of salt, because I really don’t know if many draft day decisions are really made with combine results…

    But my long time favorite darkhorse Kellen Moore certainly did himself well…
    The Wash Huskie NT is BIG
    My other fav Coples is an athletic specimen
    If all the “favorites” are gone by our pick, I would not cry if we too Mercilus…

  13. Jarhead

    Wow… Cousins in the late 1st/early 2nd? Holy mackeral. There are no teams THAT daft are there? Just cause a guy has leadrship and interviews well? I see this guy as nothing more than a clipboard holding okay backup. There were plenty of decent throwers at the Combine. Look at the game film. Any team that takes him that high has officially ‘blown it’, and I feel Cousins (surprisingly) is the most overrated player in the entire draft. Including Ingram and Coples. Because I see him as a 4th round throw away pick, and he has been elevated to a 2nd rounder for some reason I don’t understand. I would honestly rather see us not take a QB in ANY round than to waste a pick on Cousins. Would you rather have a player like Irvin, Trumaine Johnson, Robert Turbin, Doug Martin, Kendall Reyes, Keenan Robinson, or Sean Spence or waste that pick on Cousins? Cause in the 2nd or 3rd, that’s what we’re giving up. I think that our #12 pick has become much more convoluted. It’s certainly not as easy a choice as it seemed a week ago. I agree with Kip. I would be severely disappointed with Zach Brown at 12. He’s not even on my personal draft board. I see him a player who could easily wash out like Lofa- but without the immediate impact that Lofa had…

  14. Nick

    I am very much an amateur in evaluating talent, good thing I don’t run the FO, but I didn’t think Cousins was as bad as you make him out Jarhead. Why do you feel this way? I thought he looked much more polished than a lot of other qb’s I’ve seen from the few clips I’ve seen on here of Cousins. I know everyone is high on Osweiler too, but I’ve seen a lot of questionable throws that I thought looked like poor decision making that were pretty inaccurate as well. I understand people say he has a high ceiling (not sure what makes his ceiling high), but he sure didn’t look very good to me a lot of the time. I guess I don’t understand why so many people don’t like Cousins yet really like Osweiler. I’m not trying to disagree with anyone, just trying to understand what makes him a better prospect than Cousins? Thanks for the opinions on what I obviously don’t understand well enough and thanks for your great blog Rob! I feel like I am learning a lot from you all.

  15. andy

    Agreed…. Serious let down if Zach Brown is picked at #12. After seeing the big uglies (DL) show some crazy athleticism at the combine please, please, please get a front 4 guy in round 1 !!!!

  16. peter


    I usually agree with you, but I’m trying to figure out how Osweiler is not overrated, while Cousins who keeps showing that he can throw better and better with each challenge, plus has leadership qualities and frankly isn’t afraid (daunted by the challenge of…) of throwing to random recievers since *tada* that’s what all new qb’s will be doing is “way” over rated?

    Osweiler to me is an intriguing prospect but sometimes I think we take the flashes of talent as “High ceiling,” when there might actually not be anything there. Wherein we take “low ceiling,” (cousins) as that he’s shown all he has in college.

    I feel that same way now about Martin and Turnin in this situation. Both players played what many consider lesser opposition, and both players to me turned it up at the combine. Doug Martin does indeed look special and Rob has a knack for tipping us off to prospects, but if we got Turbin in the 4th I would be stoked, but Martin is the one who is getting the attention now.

    Sorry I’m rambling I just think Cousins woul dbe better then Tjax, today, tomorrow and in the future and that’s what the Seahawks need. Osweiler to me does not say “better then TJAx next year, and then we will be in the same boat 6-10 to 9-7 still out of range of Barkeley, and whomever else, and now with a project QB that we got with a high pick as opposed to one who migh tbe ready to take away the starting job from Jackson.

  17. Jeff M.

    Nick Perry is blowing up the combine so far…

    Weighed in at 271lb, put up 35 reps in bench press, 4.64 forty (with 1.56 split), 38.5″ vertical, 10’4″ broad jump (#1 DL and top-10 for all positions in both jumping drills).

    Will be interesting to see how he does in agility and other drills, but right now those numbers are VERY impressive (and project well to either 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB).

    Unfortunately, if the rest of his combine goes this well and there are no red flags in interviews, it probably pushes him out of reach for our 2nd rounder (I bet he won’t end up getting past pass-rush needy teams like NE, GB, etc. in the late 1st…).

  18. andy

    As much as i love Big Red maybe letting him go and getting a better/more explosive 3 down 5-tech is the answer to our pass rush woes…..

  19. Craig

    Not looking good for Spence’s draft stock. Do we want him to drop and then steal him in the 3rd?

  20. Chris

    Kuechly ran a 4.5. So does that mean his speed concerns are in the past? Much more possible draft choice for the Hawks in the first round I think.

  21. SHawn

    Definitely add Nick Perry to the list of options at #12. I think one of these 6 guys should be our pick. Not too worried which one we go with. Only 2 or 3 will likely be gone by #12, so we should get our #2 or #3 rated guy from this list, whoever it is. I think Coples goes first, then probably Ingram and possibly Upshaw before our turn, leaving us 3 or 4 high quality guys to pick from. I include Kuechly even though he hasnt been on my board before. I would prefer to address LB in rd 2 or 3, but the kid can play. IMO he would be an upgrade over Heater or Hill. But so would a couple of guys that should be there in rd 2.

    Quinton Coples
    Melvin Ingram
    Courtney Upshaw
    Nick Perry
    Luke Kuechly
    Fletcher Cox

    My favorite target for our rd 2 pick right now is Ronnell Lewis.

  22. troy

    Agreed Shawn. Perry ran a 4.5 at 270lbs. That very well could have put him into consideration at #12.

  23. Doug

    Dont’a Hightower is a beast, and so is Upshaw….jeepers

  24. Colin

    When I think of Perry, I think of a fellow DE from USC. Lawrence Jackson… sorry to be negative, but letting Tim Ruskell run your team for very long will do that to you.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that if Upshaw, Couples, Richardson and Blackmon are gone by #12, the Seahawks may take David DeCastro. Is that even remotely possible? I myself have for months now shot down the idea of a 3rd consecutive 1st round lineman coming to Seattle, but is anyone else really worth that spot? Mercilus just seems to good to be true, the one year wonder who ends up flopping. Brockers, Devon Still, Zach Brown, Kuchely… yuck. Those guys just don’t look the part of having a big impact.

    I really HATE the thought of another lineman, but I hate overdrafting a guy even more. If the above four aren’t there, I’d almost prefer Seattle to trade down.

  25. RJD

    The main thing you gotta take away from this combine is that there is more “edge rush” and speedy DE/DT and LB’s than previously thought. Scneider and Carrol have to be licking their chops at this draft class.
    If they play their cards right our #9 defense could be #1 defense next year.

  26. MrCysco

    man, Perry looks like a beast. I was really impressed by him. I don’t think I would pick him over Ingram/Coples/Upshaw/richardson, but he would be a nice consolation prize if the chips don’t fall in our favor.

    I was also impressed by Poe. Not that we’d take him, but could you imagine our run D if he was added to the mix? Teams would just leave their running backs at home and not even bother trying. lol


  27. John

    If Upshaw and Inrgam are gone by 12, I’d kinda like to see us trade down, and try and pick up another pick. Though I’m not sure anyone would value twelve highly enough to trade up.

    I’m happy that Cousins is getting some love finally, I really think he’s capable of being a great QB, and would pick him over Osweiler. I think when we’re looking at prospects we get too hung up on the tangibles. We get so caught up with size and arm strength that we sometimes lose sight of the intangibles. That’s not bad, its just the way the game is played. We can look at the tangibles, measure them definitively and compare to other successful pro players. We can’t do that for intangibles, because (except for the scouts and coaches) we don’t meet them in person, and intangibles are something you generally “feel”. I “feel” that Cousins has great intangibles mixed with solid physical tools. He may not have the arm that Osweiler does, but he has a better understanding of a pro system, better mechanics, and (in my opinion) a higher football IQ. Certainly Osweiler has a bigger arm and is more mobile, and may have a “higher ceiling” but can he reach that ceiling? If every project QB reached their ceiling I think we’d have way more elite QBs in this league. Worrisome arm strength plagued Rivers, Brees and Brady and they all seem to be doing pretty well (though Brees and Rivers were projected higher than Cousins I suppose). I think Cousins has the drive, leadership and “it factor” that will forge a great QB.

    Moving on… Rob, do you think Seattle would trade down (if that’s even a possibility) if the top pass rushers and obvious game changers are gone? Because, like I said above, if that game changer isn’t there, I’d like to get another pick if we could.

  28. Doug

    ya, Poe is a beast.
    Cox looks good too.
    Kuechley (sp?) ya

    Upshaw would get torched in coverage by anyone

  29. AlaskaHawk

    No reason to take an offensive linemen when you can have an elite WR or possibly Trent Richardson instead. I still think we are going DE first and possibly second too.

  30. Colin

    AK Hawk, you didn’t read my post. I said specifically if Richardson, Couples, Upshaw or Blackmon were not available.

  31. AlaskaHawk

    I did read your post. I’m just commenting I would rather pick a WR or RB than an OL – if you want to choose offense. Stephen Hill and a couple others will turn out to be as good as Blackmon (who doesn’t have the speed).

  32. David

    Alaska Hawk-I do agree, it would be nice to nab a WR in the later rounds, theres a bunch of Recievers in this years draft and im excited to see where we go, Im almost positive were gonna get a RB at some point and then bolster the D-line get a QB and im hoping for a WR with some other picks like the Quick WR from App. State even Juron Criner (SP?)

    I really like Marvin McNutt from Iowa, again, i dont know where these WR’s are slotted to go or where they’re projected but they are players id love Pete to take a chance on in the mid rounds if weve already drafted/signed other Holes.

  33. David

    Wow Leroy hill arrested for Mary Jane Possession in Atlanta.

  34. RJD

    I can certainly see them taking Poe because of his potential versatilty, but he might be gone before #12. Regardless, of need…i think you take a guy like that if he’s there.
    However, I wouldnt mind trading back now…you can get some nice value by adding a 2nd,3rd, or 4th to drop in the first.
    Another exciting prospect is if Richardson is available…how do you not take him?
    There are so many exciting possabilities.

  35. Jarhead

    i’ll keep it short since i have expressed my reasons for disliking cousins on a few different posts. it’s not just his lack of mobility, or his underwhelming arm strength, or his coming from a “pro style” run heavy offense. he DOESN’T have the it factor in my eyes. he has never taken over a big game against a great opponent. he plays poorly when coming from behind and he is tasked with carrying the team on his shoulders. his signature win came against wisconsin on a last second hail mary. he has shown no flashes of ay form of exceptional talent that makes me think he can play above the system. he has reached his peak. period. osweiler, to me, has flashed tha brilliace that makes me think he has NOT peaked. his best football is ahead of him, he took over the game against usc, and overcame much more adversity. cousins played in the same system for the same coach for 4 years, osweiler had a new system to learn every year. anyhow, i just don’t buy that he will achieve anything significant. he doesn’t fit this system well, and saying he will be better than jackson isn’t saying much. but what you get his rookie year, is all you will ever get. wow, i tend to go on when discussing this topic. i really don’t like cousins. pass…

  36. peter

    Good points all Jarhead. I guess we’ll see how it all works out.

  37. Rob

    Chris – Greetings and thanks for reading! I haven’t studied the OL as much this year because it won’t be a target early. I will try and find some tape on Zeitler for you, but I think we can safely say the Seahawks will not be drafting an OL in the first three rounds if at all.

    Smeghead – Not after today’s work outs, Branch flashed big time athletic potential. That said, Jabaal Sheard was available in round two. A deep second tier of DE’s will make Seattle comfortable with the prospect of Richardson in R1 if he’s there and the top pass rushers are not.

    Chris – It’s hard to determine because certainly he’s flashed great athleticism today, but that’s very early for the position. I think the Seahawks want someone who can have a big impact and I’m not sure Kuelchy as a MLB in Seattle’s system brings that. Really solid guy, but if Seattle goes defense in R1 I think it’ll almost certainly be a pass rusher.

    Shawn – Perry was superb today, but so was Andre Branch. The tape of Branch IMO is better than the tape of Perry. I still think there’s a good chance Seattle gets one of the top three.

    Doug – Hightower and Upshaw on Seattle’s defense would turn it into an elite force for years to come IMO. If only there was a way to get both…

    Colin – I share some of the same concerns. Perry is a more explosive athlete, but the tape is eerily similar. As for De Castro, I think it’s extremely unlikely. The Seahawks know they can’t keep drafting OL every year in round one and the focus is totally on the pass rushers in 2012 – with Richardson the exception. I am pretty certain that at least one of Coples, Upshaw and Ingram will be there for Seattle.

    MrCysco – Poe just made himself a top-10 pick IMO. Very rare athleticism at that size. Could be Carolina’s pick at #9 – they want to move to more 3-4 looks.

    John – It’s possible, but I think we’ll see on April 26th that there are at least 1-2 options the team are very comfortable with. One or more of Coples, Upshaw or Ingram will be available, Richardson may still be on the board. A situation where all four are gone would – IMO – be a total shock.

    Doug – Upshaw would be rushing the passer in Seattle.

  38. Wes

    Hey Rob, what about a WR in round 1 if the top 3 DE’s were gone like in the Brian Billick mock draft, and Richardson is also not available? I would think Michael Floyd would be an intriguing prospect for P&J. He is a touchdown maker for sure, and could fill a big need depending on long term health at the WR spot

  39. Rob

    I have it on good authority that WR won’t be an option in R1.

  40. AlaskaHawk

    Hmm I know Rob said we wouldn’t pick a DT, but if Poe is there when we pick….. Oh man a 348 pound DT that runs like an angry grizzly bear. Wow. I say draft him and choose a DE in the second round.

  41. Wes

    Do you think that would be a mistake given Rice’s 2 shoulder surgeries and all his other injuries and the way BMW played last year (and got hurt)?

  42. John

    I think BMW problems partly came from TJs poor passer ability and lack of chemistry between the two. BMW can make the big catch for you, you just actually need to throw it up to him. And he’s not exactly that explosive guy that’s going to give you a big window. I blame BMW’s season more on TJ than anything. Rice’s injuries and surgeries are concerning though, especially the money we paid for him. Still hopeful though.

  43. Rob

    Alaska – I think if Poe is considered good enough to go at #12 by Seattle, he’ll almost certainly be snatched up by Carolina at #9 or Kansas City at #11.

    Wes – Not necessarily a mistake, because there’s a lot of depth at WR in this draft with potential steals later on outside of R1. Green Bay have done a great job over the years accumulating WR talent without spending R1’s and I think Seattle will go the same route. They may add a receiver in FA.

  44. AlaskaHawk

    Rob – Speaking of FA I’m starting a rumor that Doug Baldwin has 6 younger brothers…

    Yes I am thinking Poe will go early, and that is fine with me as it frees up a DE for us!

  45. kevin mullen


    Mychal Kendricks, thoughts? Dude flew on the 40yd dash, Lombardi says if he’s in a situation where he can just fly to the football, he’s got Polamalu-type range and athleticism… Is 2nd round too early? Maybe 3rd???

    I’d like to see him as a Will for us.

  46. tompage

    I am kind of amused you are so convinced they are going to draft an edge rusher because of recent statements. One thing that has been clear to me the past two years, Coach Carroll and John Schneider are the master’s of the smoke screen. Schneider basically giggled with glee last year when he said no one had mocked James Carpenter to the Seahawks. I have heard the statements you are referring to but I have trouble taking them at face value. When I hear those statements I figure they are looking at other positions and want other teams thrown off the scent, what incentive do they have to be honest?

  47. Darnell

    I wasn’t big on Ingram before. But now, he’s popping. Special athlete with a motor. I’d have no problem with the Hawks taking him.

  48. David

    Hey Rob, i dont know if you posted it anywhere or even if you’ve already done it but i thought id ask, have you interviewed Vontaze Burflict yet? damn i think you said you were going to, i might have read it wrong.

    and yeah i agree with Kevin what do you think of Kendricks, i didnt think hed be the fastest LB, but damn he can fly.

  49. Doug

    Linebacker getting more important with pothead Hill’s arreset… duh

  50. Doug

    Poe’s emergence is good for us..

    LOL, Jason Cantafor just mocked us trading with Wash and taking Tannahill with #6

  51. kevin mullen


    That’s about the dumbest mock on us I’ve ever heard, I think Rob just quit…

    Also, Washington is more desperate at QB than we are, why would they trade out of that spot so they could lose the opportunity to draft Tannehill? My only guess is that Washington is pretty set on Manning coming over… Still, dumb speculation.

  52. Rob

    Kevin – He’s explosive. Definite round two guy now. Seattle should look strongly at him.

    tompage – I disagree, I think they’ve been very open and honest with very few smokescreen’s. They don’t name guys, but then who does? They made it clear that OL and DL was the target last year and went heavy on OL. As for nobody mocking Carpenter at #25… it’s hard to do that when you have him going at #23 🙂

    And in fairness, I’m not just relying on statements by PC and JS here. Let’s just say that pass rush is the priority and that will be proven true in two months time.

    David – I spoke to his agent about it, he offered me the chance after the combine. We’ll see if that’s still possible after today’s showing.

    Doug – That won’t happen. I repeat – that won’t happen.

  53. FWBrodie

    Tompage – Last year heading into the offseason the message coming out of PC/JS mouths was all about being able to run the football. What do they do? Draft Carp and Moffit and sign Tom Cable and Robert Gallery. Smoke screen? Not really.

    This year’s theme has been once again reiterated over and over: “rush the passer”, “front 7”, “speed on defense”, “Clemons did great, but we need a lot more”

    Not only have they said all that, but that plan happens to pass the smell test with flying colors. Clearly rushing the passer is something that needs addressing. If Clemons was hurt or fell into that post-30 DE end fade that happens so regularly in the NFL, the Seahawks would be in a world of hurt in a category that they’re poor at to begin with.

    I expect them to not only address the things they’ve told us they’re going to, but to hit them hard and from multiple angles just as they did the running game last season (successfully). Obviously there are a variety of factors that could change their approach such as the developments of free agency or a major draft day fall or trade offer, but I don’t think there’s any reason to disagree with Rob about plan A, drafting an impact pass rusher.

  54. kevin mullen


    I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with a combination of LB/DE/DL with the first 4 picks.

  55. FWBrodie

    It’s amazing how much Cousins commands respect. I mean he sits down for an interview almost anywhere, including with Jim Rome, and assumes the position of alpha male. That’s something Pete and John are looking for.

  56. John


    Sometimes I wonder how analysts have a job… analysts in particular put out some stupid stupid mocks. lol What could you possibly be thinking to mock that?

    Rob, I read somewhere that Denver may draft Osweiler at 25. I don’t know how familiar you are with all that, but can you see Denver doing that and taking him off the board in the 1st?

  57. Hoberk Unce

    Rob, with Leroy Hill getting arrested today, do you think Kuechly is an option for us at 12?

  58. Kip Earlywine

    Mychal Kendricks definitely put himself on the radar today. Given that he played for Cal and was Pac-12 defensive player of the year no less, I’m guessing PC/JS have had their eye on Kendricks for a while. But today was definitely an eye opener and it could elevate Kendricks into the 2nd round.

    Running a 4.47 forty at 240 lbs is pretty impressive. I don’t normally like citing tackles as a stat, but he had over 100 tackles last year playing outside linebacker- its not very often you see that. That indicates some very serious range.

    I don’t know if Seattle would take Kendricks at #43, but in the 3rd or beyond, I imagine he’d be on the short-short list.

    Thankfully there are a few tape breakdowns on youtube:

  59. Kip Earlywine

    Mooch did an interview with RG3 recently that’s currently up at I watched it today and one part of it really jumped out at me.

    Mariucci: “What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?”

    Griffin: “I think the biggest misconception is that I’m an athlete playing quarterback, I’m really just a quarterback who happens to be an athlete. I don’t have to run first, I look to stay in the pocket. I’m… my job as a quarterback is to be the POINT GUARD (emphasis mine) of the team. I’m gonna assist everybody, whether its the running back… tellin’ the offensive line where to go… or gettin’ those receivers the balls they deserve.”

    RG3 just gets it. It’s a shame there is 0 chance he’ll come here, because I’m fully convinced he’d be exactly the right kind of QB for this offense.

  60. tom page

    Wow, RG3 uses the point guard comparison, is he rubbing salt into the fact Coach Carroll won’t be able to get his ultimate point guard? I think not, but after seeing him do multiple interviews, I have a lot of respect for his character and intelligence. Wake up from that dream…

    I finally got a chance to watch some of the combine. I knew Nick Perry ran a 4.5, but watching him do it is even more impressive. He has a massive lower body, big butt, thick legs, he has a great base. Any thought he is too light to anchor against the run playing Leo are gone, he has the base to do it. The other weird thing about Perry is his alleged weight gain. It looks like he carries most of his weight in his lower half, but you can build that type of bulk in the six weeks since the season ended. He couldn’t run a 4.5 if he had just gained a bunch of weight. It looks like he could play at 275-280 without trying too hard. Nick Perry represents improved speed in the front seven.

  61. Rob

    John – I think that’d be a tough sell in Denver. The fans love Tebow, so drafting his replacement would probably cause a riot. That’s not to say they shouldn’t do it – I’d take Osweiler over Tebow any day – but Elway and Fox are basically stuck with Tebow until he fails. I think it’s almost certain they draft a QB, but not in R1. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if Osweiler was a R1 pick.

    Hoberk Unce – I have written a piece about Kuechly and Seattle that will be live tomorrow 6am PST.

  62. Misfit74

    I don’t believe a few things I keep seeing written on this blog. 1. That we can believe our HC and/or GM regarding their plan or intentions. 2. That we know which position Seattle is going to draft. Those are two gigantic assumptions that are constantly being stated as gospel. Simply put: I don’t agree. I don’t trust off-season declarations, coach-speak, or ‘intentions’ stated through and to the media. Therefore, it’s not a lock we draft defense.

    Now, that said, I think it’s likely we do take advantage of a decent group of defenders – primarily the 34 rush-LB types and DEs likely to be available in the mid-first.

    However, I think the team can afford to go with the BPA. That could mean a Trent Richardson (if available, which I don’t think he will be) or Michael Floyd. Perhaps a premiere Right Tackle or Offensive Guard. I just think it’s not a foregone conclusion by any means. I also think trading up or down is possible – with down being more likely. I will agree that the sweet spot at our pick vs. need does match up well for a pass-rushing threat addition to our team. However, I think it’s far too common mistake with regards to the pre-draft process of forecasting picks and mock drafts to line up the board by need. Teams need talent at every position and more importantly: difference-makers. If that ‘difference-maker’ happens to be a non-defender and an impact talent then he will be a fine addition to our team.

    We think our way into a box or a corner too often and don’t account for all the possibilities with the hopes of being right and getting credit for ‘nailing our pick’. I’m not ever sold pre-draft about what teams say they are going to do. Sources or not it’s still “the season of lying”.

  63. Dave M

    Rob, will you now PLEASE do a breakdown on both Kendricks and Demario Davis?! I asked a week or two ago in your Zack Brown breakdown as both really stood out to me from watching film. Their strong combines reaffirmed what I saw from film…both very explosive players that are similar to Zack Brown but with much better instincts and ability to get off blocks.

  64. Hoberk Unce

    –a piece about Kuechly and Seattle that will be live tomorrow 6am PST

    Thanks Rob! Appreciate you’re work, great insight as always.

  65. Misfit74

    Hoberk Unce –

    Interesting you mention that about Kuchely. Although I won’t favor a traditional LB being drafted by us in round 1, due to my belief that our FO is adept at procuring mid-to-late round LB talent, if there is one guy I’d be excited about as a MLB prospect it would be Kuchely. He looks every bit the part. When Mayock said he was the best LB he had ever seen with regard to his ability to drop into coverage I have to admit I got excited. He appears the total MLB package for a predominantly 43 team.

    I do think that we’ll draft at least one LB, though I hope it’s not early (barring an elite pass-rusher). Hill probably signed his ticket out of town if he was going to be retained at all.

  66. Michael (CLT)

    Really interested the hear your take on Upshaw’s performance today. Really interested.

  67. Chris Murphy

    For the sake of argument and because it seems more and more likely, let’s assume Hawthorne won’t be back. Carrol seems to like KJ Wright at Sam and although he can play Mike, I would assume they would upgrade in the early parts of the draft. I’m more thinking out loud right now but if they address pass rush in some way during free agency, I could definitely see them drafting a player like Hightower in round 1, and go with a RB/DE combo in round 2 ad 3. Doug Martin/Bruce Irvin or Andre Branch/Chris Polk or some combination of that. Having a situational pass rusher/OLB ala Aldon Smith as well as shoring up the linebacker position and solving some 3rd down pass rush in free agency seems like a no brainer. I honestly would be more happy if the hawks didn’t go QB in the first three rounds. Thoughts? Probably reiterating a lot that was said above.

  68. MJ

    The combine is very fun to watch, but I can’t help to remember being blown away by Aaron Curry only to be completely underwhelmed by in game performance. I love the combine, but it’s not football. Guys like Polk and Upshaw will never look pretty in a “beauty” contest, but they are football players. I want football players not workout warriors. Thankfully it seems like PC/JS don put a lot of stock in the physical performance at the combine.

  69. MJ

    If there was any chance of Upshaw in R1 and Hightower in R2…I think I’d prefer a terrible offense so I could just watch that Seahawks defense all day.

  70. Rob

    Misfit74 – I can’t make you believe what we report. That’s your decision. Rest assured what is being spoken of as ‘gospel’ on here is not based around simply what PC and JS have said in public. Regular’s will notice the distinct shift in direction this blog takes as more information comes in. Possibilities open up, other’s become less likely. The truth will out on April 26th. But of the BPA suggestions you made, only Richardson is a possibility. When you’re picking as early as Seattle, you don’t need countless options. The Seahawks have a group of players they like that will address two areas they are determined to improve in this off-season. Whether you trust our information or not is your decision.

    Dave M – I will try, obviously sometimes I’m limited by how much tape I have. I do have a Davis game saved on my system and JMPasq has covered Kendricks. I’ll put Kendricks tape on the blog later this week.

    Michael (CLT) – Why?

    Chris Murphy – Despite a lot of the talk to the contrary, I don’t think there will be any major FA splashes. They want to build through the draft and they aren’t going big on Flynn/Williams etc (at least, so I believe). They are in a position at #12 to get a player in the position they want to draft for – same as last year. They look for value and need and combine it together – this year it fits nicely at the pass rushing positions. That will be the focus.

  71. Rob

    MJ – Exactly, the combine creates a lot of ‘fools gold’ situations. I think I read somewhere that it’s not even 20% of the overall work on a guy – it just confirms certain beliefs or makes coaches/scouts go back and watch more tape to see if they missed certain things. Of course some teams – such as Oakland – have spent more time being impressed at a combine than watching tape. That’s why they haven’t made the playoffs in years. As for Upshaw and Hightower – that would be the makings of an elite defense for sure.

  72. Michael (CLT)

    Upshaw looks like a SAM linebacker only. He has heavy feet, and is not especially strong. Good leverage guy. That, to me, is not a fist round pick.

    A guy like Poe would be a great risk. I’m not a buyer on having to buy DE or OLB in the first round, if the best talent is inside.

    I see an inverted Curry in Upshaw. A slow, powerful, set the edge guy. Bart Scott might be available for cheap to set the edge.

    But I’m all in if Seattle selects him. I doubt very much Buffalo, KC, or Miami would.

  73. FWBrodie

    Misfit – RT? I think you’re reaching pretty hard with that idea. I don’t really get what your point is? If Luck falls to the Seahawks they would take him, no kidding. Possibly same goes for Richardson or even Blackmon if they have him rated high enough, but these are all unlikely scenarios. Why would it make any sense for the Seahawks to draft from a pool of similarly graded prospects and select one they don’t need (LG, RT, WR as you suggested) over the ones that they desperately need (DE, LB, passrusher of any kind)? Why would they preach pass rush and improving the speed of the defense literally from the day the season ended up into the combine each time a mic was in front of their faces and then just let it go unaddressed? Have they ever done that before (blatantly lie to the media)? No.

    I don’t think you said anything different than Rob or others with similar takes, other than throwing in a couple illogical positions to the pool of options. A) they aren’t going to draft a RT, and B) why would anyone read a blog that said “the Seahawks are equally likely to take any player in the entire draft at any position”?

    The best player available strategy exists, but there is always reason involved. If you aren’t evaluating and grading the prospects with their fit and potential impact in mind you don’t deserve to be making those kinds of decisions.

  74. Chris Murphy

    @Rob fair enough and I do agree with you. Just thinking options. Who are some later round LBs that you would be good fits to potentially replace Hawthorne and Hill? Haven’t paid much attention to later r

  75. Chris Murphy

    @Rob fair enough and I do agree with you. Just thinking options. Who are some later round LBs that you would be good fits to potentially replace Hawthorne and Hill? Haven’t paid much attention to later round LB prospects.

  76. FWBrodie

    Michael – I think you should watch this video of Upshaw’s final few games of 2010.
    (I would suggest watching 7:12-7:50, and also watching him sack Cam Newton three times when they played Auburn, wonder if Cam Newton ever thought he was slow)

    He may not be a guy you want chasing TE’s around very often, but when it comes to closing ground between himself and a QB or ball carrier he’s lightning. I don’t know how you could possibly get the idea that he isn’t powerful if you’d ever seen him play.

  77. Michael (CLT)

    FW: Maybe. I saw a guy get blown off the block by a TE, get stoned in the run game, and play clean up.

    I don’t disagree this guy can flash. But he is slow. He is a plodder. He is a liability against the run. He will need to get much quicker and be able to learn some moves. Bull rushes are not going to cut it.

    I love his mean steak. Love his bulk. Love that his team won. But he is not rare.

    Poe, Coples, Mercilus. Those guys are rare. They may not be football players, but they are rare human beings.

    We all know I am a risk guy. I’m sure Upshaw will get plenty of hustle and strength sacks. But I’m pretty sure Mercilus would as well. Albeit with a different style.

    If we can take JS/PC at their word, then Upshaw is not the player they are looking for. Rather, he is the player we already have.

    That all said. If they take him, I’m rooting like hell for him.

  78. FWBrodie

    He’s not at all a liability against the run. I strongly disagree with that statement. I’ve seen him set the edge, string plays out, shed blocks, and pursue the football like a missile. He regularly has tackles back pedaling with their pads way up on top of him. That’s power. I think he is rare. The power and agility combination as a pass rusher is rare and what’s really rare is his approach to the game. There is no hesitation, no fear, he’ll stick his nose in traffic and he’ll go for the knock out hit.

    When Nick Saban calls anybody the meanest player he’s ever coached, that’s rare. Saban has coached several of the greatest defenses of our time and once looked into the camera and said that James Carpenter was drafted too high. He doesn’t beat around the bush. Those are big, powerful words.

  79. Michael (CLT)

    When time permits watch segment 1:13 – 1:35. He gets washed out on every play. Twice he is blown up and is unable to get off a TE block.

    Everyone will see what they want to see in this guy. I’m all for it. Just don’t think it will make us much better.

  80. Michael (CLT)

    As a side note, one of my closest neighbors here in CLT is a Bama grad. That same Auburn game you speak of is considered the worst defense performance in his lifetime. Gave up a 24 point lead in Bama to hated Auburn… that is sacrilege.

  81. JoeV

    Rob, why no mention of Russell Wilson to the Hawks? Brock huard seems to be in love with him and tend to agree with his arguments on the QB’s of this draft. Where do you think he will get drafted? Does he fit the hawks system? And what kind of grade do you think the hawks have for him?

  82. Colin

    I think you should watch a little 2011 and 2010 Upshaw tape side by side… that guy is a monster, I’m not sure why he’d be a liability against the run. Incredible bullrush, great motor. Yea, he does get blocked a bit or caught up in the wash occasionally but find me a LB who doesn’t.

  83. SHawn

    Later rd LB favorites of mine:

    Rd 3 Ronnell Lewis/Keenan Robinson/Lavonte David
    Rd 4 Demario Davis/Tyler Nielson/Josh Kaddu/Miles Burris
    Rd 5/6 Tank Carder/Nathan Stupor

  84. AlaskaHawk

    Upshaw played a lot better on the field than in the Combine.

    So I would agree that Poe is special. Coples and Ingram both should do well. Branch is right in there.

    Some of the LBs like Brown, and others I hadn’t heard of showed well.

    I guess the thing about Upshaw being called a plodder vs speedy smaller guys. How many times have you seen some speedy defensive back chase down a running back and then bounce off them? They didn’t wrap up, didn’t tackle the runner, and then were left on the ground. Whoever we pick, they need to be a good tackler. And Upshaw is a good tackler.

    Having said all that, I’m not sure if I would pick Upshaw in the first after watching the combine. I prefer Poe, Cox, Coples, Ingram, or Branch.

  85. Belgaron

    This is a great discussion with lots of oustanding details. I think the one point that I’ve seen elsewhere that wasn’t included on Brockers is that he is young with a high ceiling. Many believe he would have been truly dominant if he had gone back to school for another year because he is just starting to “get it”. The reason he is being rated top ten is the potential, not the work product he turned in this year. Most mocks are now saying he won’t get past Carolina but there is still a lot of time for stock to rise/fall in the top 20.

    I agree that given Seattle’s needs, it would be nice for him to go high and help push the players the Seahawks need down to 12. I still then he and DeCastro might be in the approved selection list at 12 depending on how free agency and final internal team board goes. A lot can change depending on who they are able to sign. I think ideally they’d like to have great options at all positions before the draft so they can have true freedom to select the best player available but franchise tags and crazy high numbers might get in the way of getting the younger, high impact types they prefer.

  86. Ben

    I’m starting to like Fletcher Cox in the 1st (if Ingram & Upshaw are both gone) and one of the 2nd tier ends like Chandler Jones w/our 2nd.

  87. Misfit74

    Any chance we’re looking at a CB in round 1? I mean, it’s possible the top 2 CBs will be on the board at our spot. I’m curious about peoples’ thoughts.

    What it’s boiling down to for me is that I don’t yet have a strong feeling about the pass-rushers in this draft as I have in year’s past. Perhaps that will change. I just think that it’s possible similar players will be there in round 2 as what we’d be looking at in round 1. I think positional value and positional depth within the draft class is important to consider.

    The team (if they spoke the truth, of which I’m obviously highly skeptical) stated they wanted to address ‘pass-rusher’. Ok, but they didn’t say ‘in the first round’. The team might rather have a Michael Floyd or David Wilson (Rnd. 1) + Andre Branch/Bruce Irvin/Z.Brown (Rnd.2) combo than a Upshaw (1)/Chris Polk (2) combo, for example. Or a Tannehill/DEF option vs. a DEF/Foles type option. A long-winded way of trying to say there’s lots of ways to work the draft and accomplish goals. Many players are simply examples. I’m still struggling with the idea that an elite pass-rusher is 1. in this draft and 2. will be there at our pick.

    Pass-rushers are a special breed. You either have a very good pass-rusher of you have a guy that can’t get it done. Just ask Lawrence Jackson. Pass-rushers have to be a the top of their class to excel pass-rushing in the NFL, most often. I’m yet to be convinced that there are those guys in this draft – guys I’d be confident in saying he’ll make an impact rushing the passer at the NFL level. Last year guys like Aldon Smith, Von Miller, and Adrian Clayborn showed they could do that. Brooks Reed to a lesser extent. There were others with lesser impact. I don’t see any Aldon Smith or Von Millers in this draft. I’m don’t think we’re looking for a traditional 43 DE like Clayborn. The team better be really confident – a lot more confident that I am in one of the guys sitting at #12 in this draft and right now I just don’t see the (round 1) value there like I do at some other positions – regardless of our ‘needs’.

  88. A. Simmons

    I’d snap up Dontari Poe if he fell to us. Beasts like that don’t come around too often. They work in 4-3s as well as 3-4s. You have nice depth on the defensive line rather than seeing it go to crap if Mebane or Red are hurt. I guess we’ll see how it goes after they look at the tape. Poe would definitely be on my radar. He’s faster than either Mebane or Red. Sub in an edge rusher for Red, leave in Poe and Mebane. You have a line that is never weak against the run.

  89. AlaskaHawk

    I loved Poe’s sprint and work out. He knocked Brockers out of the top 12 – I see Brockers as going 3rd or 4th DT now, behind Still.

    Misfit – your right that there are a lot of choices that could be made at 12. I don’t see any of them as being wrong. DE, WR, maybe LB or CB, all could really help the team. I am not sure that CB (beyond the #1) has any of those game changers you want – tomorrow will tell the tale.

    There will be a run on the DL in the first round. I’m not sure who will be left for us by the second. Likewise their will be a run on WRs and LTs.

  90. Ben

    Michael you make some good points about certain things and then you try to diminish Upshaw in general terms. Then you try to diminish him based on tape. And that’s where you completely lost me. I don’t claim to be an expert but watching a lot of the tape on Upshaw made me sit up and take notice. More than any other player I’ve seen on tape this year regardless of position (with the exception of two top qbs), Upshaw looked to me like a hungry, angry NFL player playing against college football players. When you say he looks plodding and slow, I can’t tell what tape you’re watching. That dude has tremendous burst and technique with the strength of a rhino (yeah, you heard me). He’s not a Leo type in the same mold as Clemons (obviously) and doesn’t have the exact same skill set as some of the pure speed rushers in the draft, but is arguably more effective with his skill set, PARTICULARLY IN OUR DEFENSE.

    The dude seems like a perfect fit for our defense. I’m worried he won’t make it to the 12th pick but the other options seem decent too (to a lesser extent in my opinion, or maybe more of a risk with a possibly higher upside). I hope he’s a Hawk next year. Adding him to our D feels like a similar type of move as adding Cam Chancellor. No pick is certain (ahem, Curry) but Upshaw adds to our nastiness and pass rush. Looking at what I saw he flat out makes plays, sacks, forces fumbles and looks great against the run. I’d expect Carroll and co to get the most out of him too.

    Not trying to attack you, just strongly disagreeing about Upshaw.

  91. Kip Earlywine

    Interesting and totally random quote from Kirk Cousins (from the interview above):

    “I don’t know if there’s been an opposing team’s quarterback who I’ve been more nervous to give the ball back to than Russell Wilson.”

  92. Rob

    Michael (CLT) – I disagree on Upshaw, for me he’s one of the select elite players in this class. I understand that people disagree and that’s cool, but he will rush the passer in the NFL and with some success IMO. Not sure how anyone can say he’s a liability against the run, my impression is he’s pretty sensational in that regard.

    Joe V – There’s no getting around the height issue and how often Wilson has to get out of the pocket to make plays. He’s very close to Seneca Wallace IMO and it’s worth remembering that one of the first things this front office did was to trade SW to Cleveland.

    Misfit74 – I don’t think CB’s are on the agenda… they like what they have, plus it’s a position I think they believe they can find talent at later on. It’s a tactic that’s worked so far. As for the pass rush situation – I’m led to believe they want to address it in round one unless the board falls a certain way – eg the top three being off the board which is unlikely IMO.

  93. Doug

    Upshaw is slow only in coverage, I think Vernon Davis toasts him every time, but, that won’t be his role. I think his pass rush, and run stuffing would be fantabulous.

    We have Browner, Sherman, Trufont, JJohnson, WT3, and probally a few others I forgot, so I don’t see any DB’s for a while, unless a truely great value falls to us.

    Seneca used to make me throw beer bottles at the TV.

    Poe and Brockers could go top ten. If I personally had a choice between Poe or Upshaw… hmmm , that would be tough.

    The only non-front seven players we would take first round would be any of the guys mocked in the top 6 or 7

    I’m really curious for FA, as that will put a lot of this discussion to bed, but then again, I suppose it would open up an entirely new can of worms…

  94. Phil

    Rob – which of the edge pass rushing prospects have the 110%, every-down, “all-in”, “junkyard dog” mentality that is needed to become an elite pass rusher? I’ve seen tape of Ingram and Upshaw and they look the part. The tape I’ve seen of Coples makes me think that he often “takes a play off”. I also saw Mercilus play a game or two and he seems to be giving less than 100% on some plays. What about Curry? Perry?

  95. Rob

    I think you’ve got it covered, Phil. To an extent you can put Andre Branch in there – he has a lot of potential. But Upshaw is my favorite of that group if you’re looking for a junkyard dog.

  96. AlaskaHawk

    Another thought on Upshaw at the combine. I like the way he punched out those blocking bags(?) He gave them a good wallop and showed the most strength moving through. A rusher will need that strength to get by a tackle.

  97. Michael (CLT)

    Don’t mind the disagreement. I rather enjoy it. I too see much talent in Upshaw. I so feel you can cut him easily. He is greatly deminished if a lineman or a back can get to his lower legs. Add to that his lack of height and shorter arms, and I would suggest he is not a three down player. Also of note, he really struggled with injuries in 2010. Finally, due to Alabama’s 5-star defense as a whole, he was rarely double teamed.

    I was wrong about JPP. Thus, I am very intrigued by Mercilus, Poe, Coples.

    Love the banter. I would fully embrace Upshaw, as he does seem a full-fledged Tarzan. Just not sure it will translate.

  98. FWBrodie

    I just think it’s really unwise to base an assessment of Upshaw off of how he played against some bags at the combine. Every lineman they put in front of him at the Senior Bowl ended up looking overmatched and overwhelmed.

  99. andy

    After the combine i went back and watched film on Andre Branch. Very impressive athlete that shows good recognition skills and pretty damn good against the run. In the back field alot pestering/sacking the QB and at the very least getting a arm on a RB to slow or misdirect. Good motor too. Liking him better than Coples or Perry at this point!

  100. Brad Q

    Upshaw is great against the run and would be solid in that capacity but is that what we really are looking for? Yes, Upshaw is a junk yard dog and like Mora used to say about Ricky Jackson, that’s 1 guy you’d go into an alley with for a brawl.

    However, Upshaw doesn’t flash near enough flex, quickness or moves for a pass rusher. I don’t see big time impact from him as just a bull rusher. You better be able to do some edge rushing, an occasional spin move, a rip, swim, something besides running directly into the RT and trying to shove him back into the pocket.

    We NEED a pass rusher from the edge NOT a junk yard dog run stuffer. Upshaw will be solid and better for a strict 3-4 team but not what the Hawks need, which is a consistent pass rush opposite Clemons.

    Amazing we can all watch the same tape and have such different views of how Ups skills translate. Oh well, we’ll see soon enough, just like Aaron Curry, when I argued this same analysis for weeks to the safe Curry backers and 3 years later, he’s gone! Bam….

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