Seahawks draft/FA needs: 8th December status check

It’ll be interesting to see if Auburn receiver D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams turns pro

#1 Big target (WR/TE)

Despite losing Brandon Mebane, Cassius Marsh and Greg Scruggs to injured reserve — plus Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald in free agency — Seattle’s defensive line has shown it can still prosper. In the last three weeks the pass rush has excelled, the run defense has been exceptional. Pete Carroll and John Schneider haven’t gone big at defensive tackle early in the draft possibly because they believe they can slot players in.

For that reason, receiver/tight end is listed as the #1 need right now. This isn’t a review of Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood. Against Philadelphia they showed signs of progression. They could grow into vital role-players. But the Seahawks need a legit possession receiver and they know it. That’s why they at least sounded out Tampa Bay regarding Vincent Jackson and it’s why they asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Coby Fleener.

This isn’t about getting a focal point of the passing game. The offense is set up to spread the ball around and use multiple targets. This is about getting a missing piece to help in certain vital situations. The Seahawks have needed a proper red zone target for years. They need someone who can provide a physical advantage down the seam. They need someone who can win a contested ball in the air. They need someone who can make chunk plays without needing to beat the defensive back.

It’s also about getting better too. Doug Baldwin is a terrific player. Jermaine Kearse has his moments too. Richardson and Norwood are rookies. Yet there’s no terrifying receiver on the offense who warrants extra care and attention. That was supposed to be Percy Harvin’s job. Seattle can win with this group of receivers — they showed that last year. But it doesn’t mean they can’t get better. Russell Wilson is a dynamic playmaker and he deserves other dynamic playmakers to throw to. We’re only scratching the surface of his potential right now. Wilson, Baldwin, Kearse and co. could be even more effective with the addition of a true #1.

So what are the options? Nobody should expect Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant to reach free agency. Torrey Smith is the right kind of athlete (4.43 forty) but he’s only 6-0/206lbs and stands to cost more than he’s probably worth.

At tight end there are a few options. Denver has to pay Demaryius and (eventually) Von Miller. Can they afford to keep Julius Thomas? Possibly not. The end of Wes Welker’s two-year deal (2014 cap hit of $7.6m) will free up some room. Essentially they could let Welker walk and use the money to give Julius the franchise tag (worth around $7m this season). Cleveland has $20m in free cap space so might consider franchising Jordan Cameron. That would offer some short term security with Cameron suffering all year with a concussion issue. They’re unlikely to cut ties as a consequence, but they’re also unlikely to make any kind of long term commitment. The other option is Jermaine Gresham — one of the most underwhelming first round picks in recent history.

Seattle really needs to fill this hole with a possible impact player. The draft isn’t plush with big possession receivers and it’s a black hole for tight ends in 2015. Dorial Green-Beckham has a laundry list of off-field issues and should make a statement by choosing to play football for Oklahoma next season. Kevin White has enjoyed a tremendous season for West Virginia but is only in the 6-2/210lbs range — as is Louisville’s Devante Parker. Michigan’s Devin Funchess has the body type and size (6-5, 235lbs) but he’s one of the more frustrating players to watch and will need to be pushed constantly at the next level.

For that reason the best solution could be a trade. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers flying head-first into #1 pick contention and with Mike Evans dominating the way he is, it might be worth revisiting talks over Vincent Jackson. He’ll be 32 in January and he’d need to re-work his contract. It’s worth noting Anquan Boldin was approaching 33 when he was traded to San Francisco — and he’s been a nice pick-up for the Niners. Age isn’t a problem if the deal is right — and it was for Boldin. If the Buccs are happy to accumulate picks this could be the best option. A short-term proven veteran who can have an immediate impact for a mid/late round pick.

If such a deal is a no-go they might be forced to look to the draft. It’ll be interesting to see if Auburn pair D’haquille Williams and Sammie Coates turn pro. Williams is a bigger, possession style receiver formerly of the JUCO ranks and someone we need to look very closely at. He makes tough catches look easy, he’s got the size. He has the potential to be a very effective NFL receiver. Coates is a chunk-plan specialist and a crazy athlete (although he drops too many passes). Keep an eye too on Duke’s Issac Blakeney.

#2 Defensive line depth

For most of the year this looked like the top need. The loss of Red Bryant has been overstated, but Chris Clemons and Clinton McDonald have been missed. It took a while but eventually the D-line has got back to 2013 form. Michael Bennett is showing why he was such a key keep in the off-season. Brandon Mebane played well before picking up a hamstring injury. Jordan Hill has started to look like an effective DT and they’ve filled in the gaps elsewhere.

That isn’t to say defensive line depth is no longer a need. Cliff Avril is a free agent-to-be and provides one of the more challenging posers for 2015. His cap hit this year is $9.25m. Ideally you’d keep him around — but not at that price. In a big contract year he has just 4.5 sacks so far. His career high — 11 sacks — came three years ago playing next to Ndamukong Suh. Avril played as well as anyone in the playoffs last year and he probably should’ve won the Super Bowl MVP. Yet during the regular season, playing on a productive line, he recorded just eight sacks. He’s firmly in the good-not-great category. He’d be a pain in the ass to try and replace without spending big. But how much are you willing to pay to keep him around?

They let Bennett test free agency and the same will probably happen with Avril. If he has another killer post-season he could tempt a team with cap space to make a substantial offer. He turns 29 in April so it’s his last chance to see what’s out there in terms of big money. He already has a Super Bowl ring. It’s hard to imagine what constitutes a fair deal — so he could easily be playing for another team next year. It’s a really tough one to call.

Having already lost Clemons — they can ill-afford to lose Avril without some kind of replacement. Even if they keep Avril they could do with another pass-rusher, especially with Bruce Irvin sticking mostly at linebacker (and playing pretty well).

At defensive tackle they could also use reinforcements. Having plucked the likes of Clinton McDonald, Tony McDaniel and Kevin Williams out of relative obscurity or near retirement — they probably feel like they can bring in depth later in the draft or in the second wave of free agency. That’s not to say there aren’t some nice options that would cost a lot more.

Suh is the big-prize here, but he has almost no chance of landing in Seattle. Despite a slightly unnecessary dirty reputation, he’s one of the true defensive superstars in the NFL. With Gerald McCoy signing a 6-year, $95.2m contract extension in Tampa Bay — that’s the kind of deal Suh can expect and will almost certainly get. The New York Jets have $16.2m in free cap space they’ll carry into 2015. That looks like a safe bet as a future big market home for Mr. Suh.

Some other names of interest:

Dan Williams (Arizona) — took a while to settle in the league but has developed into a key run stopper for the Cardinals. They need to make a big push to keep him — he’s an underrated player.

Stephen Paea (Chicago) — another fantastic run defender, tough as nails. On tape looked like a really solid pick in round two and will be a gem of a free agent if he hits the market.

Terrance Knighton (Denver) — otherwise known as ‘Pot Roast’ — or the man who was supposed to be able to stop the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. In fairness Marshawn Lynch struggled for running room in that game. Knighton is massive and will command a lot of interest.

Nick Fairley (DT, Detroit) — once a prototypical three-technique at Auburn with a huge future, he’s failed to make an impact despite the gift of playing next to Suh. He could be a busted flush, but someone will take a chance on him to try and unlock that lost potential.

Pat Sims (Oakland) — Whenever I’ve watched Sims he’s played well. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. He didn’t generate much of a market this year. He’s an option though.

When I look at this list, I struggle to imagine Seattle adding any of the group. I’m not convinced they believe they need to either spend big or draft high for the interior defensive line. They’ve put a lot more stock into edge rushers — Irvin (first round), Avril/Bennett (free agency). The Seahawks love speed and athleticism — and there’s only so much speed and athleticism you can find at +300lbs. If they get a chance to draft the next Suh or McCoy they’ll probably take it. But how likely is that in the late first?

There are two defensive tackles who look like the real deal and we discussed them recently — Eddie Goldman (Florida State) and Malcom Brown (Texas). Both former 5-star recruits. Both good enough to crack the top-20 and fly up boards. They don’t get talked about enough in the media. I’ll be shocked if Seattle gets a shot at either, providing they declare for next years draft. What’s more likely is a pick or two beyond the top two rounds and a no-frills free agent addition.

If they’re going to be aggressive on the D-line it’s more likely to be on the edge. That’s where they can get the speed and production. Whether it’s the draft of free agency, there’s a depth of riches to be had.

Jabaal Sheard (Cleveland) would be an ideal fit for the defense as an aggressive LEO rusher. He’s miscast in Cleveland’s 3-4. He might get a lot of interest in free agency — but he’ll be worth it. The Browns have the money to tie him down long term. Justin Houston (Kansas City), Jason Pierre-Paul (New York), Jerry Hughes (Buffalo), Brooks Reed (Houston), Brandon Graham (Philadelphia) and Brian Orakpo (Washington) could all test the market.

The draft is loaded with talented edge rushers. Bud Dupree (Kentucky) is big-time and the heart soul of his team. He’s just a relentless pass rusher with all the athleticism and technique you want to see. A great player with a fantastic future at the next level. Randy Gregory (Nebraska) has a chance to go very early considering his length (6-5) and athleticism. He’s better as a blitzing OLB than a pure edge rusher at the moment, but some believe he could develop into an Aldon Smith-type talent. The Missouri duo of Shane Ray and Markus Golden should earn consideration early. Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr is a complete defensive playmaker who can line up anywhere, while Clemson’s Vic Beasley has the get-off, speed and production to be a top pick.

There’s depth too — including Hau’Oli Kikaha (Washington), Trey Flowers (Arkansas), Cedric Reed (Texas) and Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA) to name a few. This won’t necessarily need to be an area addressed in round one.

We could easily see a combination of free agency and draft here, depending on what happens with Avril. Jabaal Sheard looks like a perfect fit as a key open-market addition and there’s so many interesting prospects they could easily bring in a couple of edge rushers in the draft — including the use of a first round pick.

#3 Running back

Considering I’ve put WR/TE and DT/DE into two categories, I’ve gone with running back as the #3 need. As much as we’d all like to believe Marshawn Lynch could stay in Seattle — there isn’t usually smoke without fire. Chris Mortensen isn’t the type of guy to put his reputation on the line running a total non-story. Ian Rapoport has been beating the Lynch-out drum for several weeks. Of course there’s a chance things could change. But it’d be naive to just wave the reports away as nonsense. The reality is, there’s probably an element of truth here.

The key question is — can they find common ground? Can this situation be repaired? Can Lynch accept the fact he isn’t going to get a whopping pay rise? Can Seattle find even more money to keep their best offensive player happy for one more year? Are both parties at a point where — you know, it’s just time to move on? They could be. And nobody should be overly critical of the Seahawks if they’re at that point. Lynch is a complex character. Sometimes that gets lost because as a player he’s so fun to watch. He has done an awful lot to drive the identity of this team on the field. It’s also worth remembering — fans don’t have to deal with him on a day-to-day basis. They don’t have to manage him or his position within a crowded locker room. When he isn’t turning up for training camp, when he is living by his rules, when he’s making demands and debating retirement. It’s easy to imagine how you could come to a point where you say, “enough is enough”. However influential that player is.

It’s often said this is a passing league. That’s true. Just not in Seattle. It’s become conventional wisdom that the running back position isn’t that important anymore. You can just plug guys in there. You can start UDFA’s. By now we should know — the Seahawks don’t pay attention to conventional wisdom.

Seattle needs the starting running back to be a dynamic playmaker. Lynch has been the best offensive player for some time. Russell Wilson will probably take on more responsibility if he departs. But they’ll still need a stud runner. Someone who can be an X-factor in the same way Lynch was — even if they bring a different running style to the table. Pete Carroll used a multi-back system at USC — but he also regularly recruited four and five star recruits to compete for carries. He wanted potential stars battling with each other to start at running back.

I don’t see any difference in Seattle. The trade for Lynch was a total bargain and yet still relatively bold and high-profile. Carroll knew he needed a tone-setter so they went and got one in an aggressive and pro-active way. They’ve since spent a further second round pick (Christine Michael), fourth round pick (Robert Turbin) and seventh round pick (Spencer Ware) on the position. Not to mention the previous Lendale White trade (remember that?). The Seahawks have been hunting for running backs pretty much constantly since Carroll arrived in Seattle. If they lose Lynch, you better believe the search will continue.

Adding to the possibility is a talented group of running backs with potential stars at the top of the class. While some of the league turns its nose up at the idea of drafting a running back early, the Seahawks could easily find their next big-time playmaker.

Todd Gurley’s ACL injury is a red flag, but it could put him in range for Seattle — something that would’ve never happened without the injury. ACL tear’s are no longer the career death sentence they used to be — science has moved on. Gurley has every chance to return to his very best. And his best is unbelievable — he’s a rare, potentially generational talent. Melvin Gordon has been a production machine in 2014 for Wisconsin and would provide a Jamaal Charles-like option. He should be a first round pick. He’s a sudden athlete (Seattle likes that) and a home-run hitter. He’s a big-time character guy and a gym rat. He fumbled again in the Big-10 Championship — but there’s still a lot to like. And then there’s Indiana’s Tevin Coleman — the other player in what could become a ‘big three’. Along with Malcom Brown, he’s one of the more underrated 2015 eligible prospects. A fierce competitive runner with breakaway speed — he is the real deal and deserves to sit at the top of the table with Gurley and Gordon.

You could point to the obvious depth at the position too — but I’m not overly sold on T.J. Yeldon (Alabama), Duke Johnson (Miami), Mike Davis (South Carolina), or Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska). Gurley, Gordon and Coleman give the Seahawks a chance to move on from Lynch. That doesn’t mean they’ll be as good — it’s a tough act to follow. But they can be an X-factor for an offense that has the run at the heart of its core.

The running back position is as important to Seattle as the #1 receivers in Denver, Detroit or Green Bay. For that reason I doubt they’d simply roll with Michael and Turbin plus another later round option. Michael has the talent but can he be trusted? Turbin is destined to always be a good #2 and third down option. If the Seahawks want a star to head the group — they probably have to look at the big three.

As for free agency — I guess it comes down to this. Why spend reasonable money on a player who already has a number of carries to their name? A late first round or early second round pick will cost you around $1.2-2m per year maximum. It’s just not worth going after a Mark Ingram (for example). When the draft has become a bargain in that range.

I’m not saying the Seahawks will go after a running back early. They could trade down into round two again and still get a shot at one of the top-three runners. But the defensive line depth in this draft and free agency plus the lack of options at receiver could make it a distinct possibility — especially if this really is the last year of ‘Beast Mode’ in Seattle.


  1. dave crockett

    I think getting Gresham on the cheap would be a smart under-the-radar acquisition. He’s averaged at least 10 yards per reception every year except his first, when he averaged 9. He’s caught at least 4 TDs every year, and at 6’6″, 260# I’ll assume he is a red zone target. Without all the expectations associated with being a first round pick, he could settle into a TE rotation.

    Seattle was interested in Jermichel Finley, and I think of those guys as fundamentally similar in what they bring to the table.

    • Rob Staton

      Perhaps — I just remember watching him dominate in college and look so exciting. And in the NFL he is just so thoroughly mediocre. Too many mistakes, too few big plays. Cincy essentially drafted his replacement in round one last year and probably won’t make much effort to keep him. It’s hard to imagine the passing game getting a jolt from Gresham. And in fairness to Jermichael Finley — pre-injury he was fantastic in Green Bay.

  2. red

    I know everybody is talking big WR for the Seahawks but I kind of like Goodley from Baylor. 5’10 220 plays real hard in blocking game and super physical WR has decent speed 4.5 forty most people have him 3RD or 4TH round. A guy I not hearing a lot about as TE going into free agency is Clay from Miami teams can do a lot of move concepts with him such line up as full back on short yardage double TE or line him up as a WR in the slot. Another Seahawk type pick for first round is DE Hunter from LSU 6’6 240 with super long arms unique athlete type that Pete likes.

    • Rob Staton

      The thing is, is a 5-10 receiver at 220lbs going to solve the red zone problems or be the possession receiver this team needs? Probably not.

      • Alaska Norm

        Didn’t we try a reciever like that a few drafts ago? Was cut early, just spacing his name….

        • Volume 12

          Yeah, didn’t we take a few 6’4 guys in the draft and FA as well who didn’t work out? Durham, BMW, Rice, Konz, Braylon, C. Matthews. They do need a big wr, but why force the issue? That seems like going against the foundation this FO has laid. It doesn’t appear to be a great draft for the big ‘athletic’ wr. I see Benjamin in Funchess for every highlight/madden esque catch he drops balls that kill drives/drops ‘td’s, runs bad routes, seems lazy. Parker screams ‘diva!’ (That worked out well for us). Cooper and White won’t get anywhere near us on draft day. What FA wr is going to come play in south Alaska? I guess what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t seem like there’s a SPARQY type big wr in this draft. If there is I’m hoping it’s mid to late round or udfa or one of the Auburn wr’s. Duke seems very ‘Seahawky’ and I’m praying he comes out. Sammie does drop balls, but that raw athleticism is soooo intriguing.

          • Rob Staton

            Just to be clear, nobody is saying they should “force the issue”. Highlighting a need in this piece doesn’t mean they have to force anything. It’s about looking at the options to fill that need. Which is why, in this particular piece, I suggested revisiting trade talks with Vincent Jackson might be more preferable than turning to the draft.

            • Volume 12

              Rob, I think we got our wires crossed here. What I’m trying to say is that a big target IS a need, but if we’re sitting at like no. 26 as you said in an earlier piece and all the big targets you/we like are gone and there’s a player with the chance to have a bigger or quicker impact sitting there they should take him instead of grabbing a big wr who has mid to late round value or whatever just for the sake of taking a big target. I hope I’m making sense.

    • Volume 12

      Red, get out of my head! I like the way you think brother! Goodley is my favorite wr in this draft and I’d pound the table for this kid. I keep saying it totally unique, absolutely ‘Seahawky.’ Freak athlete, former b-ball player so you know his vert is going to be crazy high, and don’t care about his size. Why can’t he be a red zone weapon? Seattle is the smallest team in the league and I think they like that because of the chip on guys shoulder’s having been told they’re too small all their life.

      As for Lsu de Danielle Hunter another athletic freak that absolutely screams ‘Seahawks!’ This kid is jacked up, again unique, runs in the 4.5-4.6 range, has close to an 80. Wingspan, plays with that ‘pissed off for greatness’ vibe, and I think he’ll be a better pro than a college player. Plus we know how Seattle seems to like lsu guys. My two favorite d-lineman in this draft are Texas dt Malcolm Brown, and Lsu de-Leo Danielle Hunter. If we go Leo in the 1st rd., which I’m starting to think could be the pick, it should be this guy(if he declares).

      Rob, am starting to agree with you that maybe dt isn’t a rd. 1 need with Jordan Hill getting better each game, and also agree on D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams. 2nd favorite wr this year and he would be my pick for our ‘big’ receiver if he were to come out. Love everything about him and his background/upbringing just seems like this FO would like it. Also it’s interesting to see some similarities in Seattle’s and Auburn’s offense.

      • Rob Staton

        Sorry guys — but a 5-10 red zone threat? That’s not why they asked about Jackson, Thomas, Fleener and Cameron. I’m not saying they wouldn’t have interest in Goodley but probably not for this role. They need a big possession receiver and they know it.

        • Ben2


  3. red

    No but who in this draft can be after pick 25? we won a SB without a red zone threat can we win another sure. With all the comp picks we will receive this year I think we can build some nice depth identify players that have the Seahawk DNA. We are going to need another KR if I can get WR/KR with value in the 3RD that might compensate for points leaving on the board elsewhere than so be it. But I agree with you that RZ could really help but I don’t think we should over reach for it if it means over drafting or letting a key starter leave this team in FA.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the point of making a big target the #1 need isn’t because we need it necessarily to win another Super Bowl — it’s just the best way to make this team even better (and thus increase the chances of another title). It doesn’t have to be a draft pick either — as noted with the Vincent Jackson suggestion. But that’s the type of receiver they need — someone who can be active in the red zone. I’ll also add — by naming this as the biggest need it doesn’t mean they have to go after it in round one. The piece isn’t supposed to be listing what Seattle has to do early in the draft. It’s about overall needs and the different ways they can be filled — be it free agency, trade or the draft.

  4. CC

    Rob – so Mike Williams was released by the Bills – he’s been a disappointment for his teams, but maybe he’s worth kicking the tires on. He probably is too much like what we have – but maybe worth the churn.

    • Rob Staton

      The issue I have with Williams is — he had issues leading to him walking out on Syracuse. He was such a pain that Tampa Bay traded him. And now the Bills — coached by his former college HC — have decided they don’t want him around and have waived him. That’s three out of three. 100% of the evidence shows that this guy is bad news. The team has real momentum right now and doesn’t need any possible distractions. Plus how confident would we be in asking a receiver to learn the playbook this close to the end of the season.

      • CC

        I know he’s been a challenge everywhere – thanks for your thoughts.

        I’m still a big fan of Waller with maybe one of our compensatory picks.

  5. Cysco

    I found it interesting that Michael took all the carries to finish out the game yesterday. That’s a big switch that is worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks. Perhaps the team is looking to give him more carries in hopes he can prove he’s capable of an expanded role next season. That would obviously be the ideal situation if Lynch is gone so they don’t have to focus an early pick in RB.

    On defense, Bud Dupree would be amazing in a Seahawk’s jersey, I just imagine he’ll be long gone. But, man he’d be fun to watch.

  6. Ed


    FA Suh/Thomas/Sheard/Jackson
    Draft Dupree


    FA Paea/Gresham
    Draft Brown

  7. rowdy

    I think v jack is a no go! I would rather have lynch then pay 10+ mil for v jack. You mentioned parker is only 6-2 but he reminds me so much of Antonio brown and I would take him if he’s there. Dupree would be awesome as well but don’t see either being there. I see them staying the course and trade down again if possible (joking, kinda). Lynch is the key factor though and would change everything whatever happens with him.

    ROB, whats your opinion on V Davis? I see a huge turnover coming in San Fran and think he could be cut over money. With his bad season do you see him as a possible target at a modest deal? Davis should be all for it knowing he wouldn’t have to face Kam in a game lol

    • redzone086

      And to that extend Rob what about when/if the 49ers release Amahd Brooks adding him to the dline rotation?

      • Rob Staton

        Up until this year I liked him — but I’m not sure what’s happened with the guy. It’s like he’s tapped out. I’d certainly consider it though.

      • Ben2

        I would like Davis on a 1 year prove it deal. This FO has a penchant for that & if the miners cut him that might light his fire in Seattle.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Davis is all but finished after this year. Just doesn’t look healthy, isn’t the same guy.

      As for Jackson — he’d need to re-do his contract for sure, which he might be willing to do to play for a contender.

  8. Cameron

    Considering how long it takes for a newly drafted WR to prosper in our system, I think it would be silly to go that route early in the draft. Kevin White is about the only receiver I can get excited for, and I doubt he makes it the bottom of the 1st round.

    Looking at this draft it seems that it will be deep at two of the positions we are looking at – RB and EDGE. We shouldn’t fight this and I could see us addressing those positions with our first two picks. I see us taking a RB within the first 3 rounds no matter what happens with Marshawn Lynch. In the middle rounds I see us stocking up on interior defensive lineman, OL, WR and LB.

    Our priority this off-season (besides re-signing our own priority players) should be to procure a dependable, big, large catch radius, red-line owning WR for Russ. The best route will be either via trade or free agency. I can see Vincent Jackson for a middle to late round pick assuming he’s willing to make his contract a little more reasonable. I’ve spent a lot of time day dreaming about Larry Fitzgerald but lately I’ve been seeing a diminished player and am not sure we should go that route, should it even become an option.

    Question, Rob. Lately folks are warming to the idea of re-signing Byron Maxwell if he can be had for a reasonable sum and I am wondering about your thoughts on this.

    • rowdy

      Cameron, what do you think would be a reasonable contract for jackson? I ask because I think he’s set to make 10-12 mil next year and don’t see him taking millions less even for a chance at a superbowl. I agree with you on a free agent wr/te that’s why I’m looking at v Davis because I think he could be had for a reasonable sum after his season. My dream outcome would be signing Calvin Johnson because he’s probably cut after this year, okay that’s more of a pipe dream but still lol

    • Rob Staton

      I would be ecstatic if they can re-sign Maxwell. In fact I think he’s more valuable than we probably realize. They have to look at the possibility of keeping him. Technically he is superb, he’s a playmaker in the secondary and worth having around.

      I think you’re absolutely right on the big target too. Get a dependable, reliable vet who can contribute quickly.

      • Alaska Norm

        Totally agree on Maxwell. Draft well, keep our own, and lastly look out side for FA help.

        • Ben2

          I like maxwell at 4 years for 20 mil 10 mil guaranteed. That’s seems affordable w/some of our roster needs (Wags, RW, Avril, etc) coupled with rising cap. That might be a hometown discount to stay with the Legion as some scrub team with lots of cap might offer him more.

  9. Forrest


    How about a trade for Monte Ball?

    • Rob Staton

      Not for me. Just hasn’t looked special in the NFL.

    • Forrest

      I didn’t know that there were two of us on here…

  10. Ukhawk

    Can’t help but recall how we passed on Cox to trade down and take Irvin. After watching on Sunday it is one of a few recent draft regrets

    • rowdy

      That’s who I really wanted in the draft but the trade down got us a 3 and 4 in return and I think that made the trade worth it

  11. Robert

    Irvin was drafted to be our LEO. But Irvin was not good at setting the edge or getting off blocks in run defense. Now, after a couple years at SAM, Irvin is great at playing SAM, including all the run defense responsibilities. Right now, our team is better with him at SAM because of the personnel we have at DE and LB. But they have groomed Irvin well. And I suspect he could be a great LEO for us now. If PCJS feel that way, they might look to draft good SAM/WILL talent to pave the way for Irvin to play LEO. KPL looked very promising and is a quick study. So he figures in the mix with huge upside. Maybe Wright back to SAM, KPL at WILL and Irvin at LEO? I think it is a safe assumption that re-signing KJ Wright is a high priority. I would like to get your thoughts on Irvin as a LEO possibility???

    • rowdy

      Wagner needs to be signed above all and I think kj should stay put. It’s seems to throw the whole D off when they move him around imo. Absolutely agree with irvin and kpl

    • Rob Staton

      I think if they were going to move Irvin back permanently they would’ve done it this year to replace Clemons. I suspect they like his athletic qualities at linebacker and I can see that plan. This is a very good draft to add another DE and the options in FA are also very tempting.

  12. Nathan

    Is JPP a realistic target?

    Would be a good swap for Avril.

    • Rob Staton

      Having a shocking season. Is he still the same player who had that one great year? Major question marks there.

      • Nathan

        Are you sure that’s not just perception overtaking the reality, because he’s not setting the league alight as he was 3 years ago?

        He has more sacks than any Seattle player. has a good grade on pro football focus.

        • Rob Staton

          Whenever I’ve seen the Giants this season (Detroit, Washington, Philly, Indy, Seattle, Dallas) he hasn’t looked good at all. I notice that half his sacks came in the last two games — against Jacksonville and Tennessee. The one thing he has on his side is he’s only 26 in January — so even if he has gone stale in New York, he’s young enough to bounce back.

        • Jon

          he may have 7 sacks, but those have all taken place in 4 total games. Half of them in the past two weeks against very poor teams.

  13. Justin

    Ohio State’s Michael Bennett had a monster game against Wisconsin. Wracked up a +6.5 grade per PFF and limited Gordon to under 3 ypc. Do you think he could possibly fit into our defensive scheme?

    • Rob Staton

      Not a big fan personally. Too many games this year he’s struggled to make much of an impact despite playing next to Bosa.

  14. Jake

    Kevin Norwood is 6’2 and seems to catch everything thrown his way. If he keeps developing he could be the “safety blanket” type of receiver that keeps the chains moving and scores in the red zone. Not to say the Seahawks shouldn’t always look to improve, but I wouldn’t abandon all hope for the rookies just because they’re following a normal development curve instead of the ODB instant-star development curve.

    • Alaska Norm

      You’re right on. Plus he was banged up early and missed a lot of practice/game experience. He looks like a guy who could develop a great relationship and trust with Wilson. Kind of a Bobby Ingram type of reciever. Hopefully he’ll “break out” over the last few games. Still need a big target even if he does.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think it’s a case of writing the rookies off. It’s about adding another compliment — the player this WR group currently lacks. Norwood isn’t a huge guy but his thing at Alabama was to max out his targets, made difficult contested grabs and competed on downfield shots. He was adept at the scramble drill too. He was incredibly Seahawky in that regard. I’m convinced he will grow into that role but he’s already in his mid-20’s so you’d hope to see that progress next year. He isn’t though a prototype possession guy. Seattle needs that +220lbs type with size and length.

      • arias

        But why can’t he be a prototype possession guy? I don’t see why he had to be pigeonholed into the same type of type he played in college.

        • Rob Staton

          Size is the big issue. He’s just over 6-2 and 198lbs.

  15. Forrest

    One potential later round big target could be Jordan Taylor from Rice. He’s not very fast, but I saw him make some really good catches, and he’s 6’5″. Also, how do you feel about Jeff Heuerman (TE) out of Ohio?

    • Rob Staton

      Taylor’s a bit overrated based on the A&M game. Made some some incredible catches in that game last year but on further review he’s quite sluggish as a runner, doesn’t get into his breaks quickly. I haven’t watched Heuerman.

  16. unitas77

    What do you think of the TE out of Florida state Nick O’leary? Looks like a natural pass catcher. Probably not a SPARQ god like lots of the Hawks picks, but has excelled every year at Florida State.

    • Rob Staton

      Whenever I watch FSU he seems to make a few big or key plays. It’s funny, because he’s also had a handful of really quiet games too and I’ve just missed them. He’s not a big target for the position and not much of a blocker. I wonder if he’ll just be a really effective college joker-TE and not much of a difference maker at the next level. To me he looks like the type of guy who would prosper in New England’s scheme.

  17. david m

    I know this never will happen, but what would it cost for us to trade for mike Evans?

    i mean he is the ultimate target right? big, knows scramble drill, tough size, speed

    • Rob Staton

      Given the way he’s played this year, probably three first rounders and change to stop Tampa Bay laughing down the phone.

  18. cha

    One thing Avril did so effectively last year, and at key moments, was the strip-sack. I don’t think he’s done that as much this year. I haven’t done my homework but I’ve read tweets etc that Avril is consistently in the top for Forced Fumbles. That’s a second element to his skill set that not all pass rushers have.

    That said, I’m on board with letting him test the market and the Hawks exploring their options as well. If he wants a payday say in Jacksonville over another shot at a ring, so be it.

  19. Jeff M.

    Beyond Vincent Jackson there’s also Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson possibly available in trade in the veteran big WR category. All over 30 with big cap hits but little dead money, all on teams in transition, all with a young guy ready to take over as the #1.

    Of course all three of those guys are used to getting >150 targets/year. The Seahawks haven’t had anyone hit 100 in the Russell Wilson era and that’s not likely to change in the near future (unless they radically reorient the offense post-Lynch), so you have to wonder how happy any of those guys would be to come here and see his stats instantly cut by a third to a half…

    • Rob Staton

      Marshall would be a nice get.

      • Nathan

        All 3 also haven’t won a super bowl, nor will they with their current teams.

        That must be a carrot one of them wants to jump at.

  20. CC

    Doctson from TCU sure has played well for them. He’s skinny, maybe too skinny, but 6-4 – any thoughts Rob?

    • Rob Staton

      He’s made some incredible plays this year. Inconsistent production. Very lean. Great leap though and does a good job high pointing based on what I’ve seen. Not a possession receiver though.

      • Radman

        Sidney was skinny, too. They saw enough in him to throw big money at him. It’s hard to know when weight seems to matter (harper) vs when they seem to not care (Sidney). I just have figured it doesn’t matter….until it does.

        • Rob Staton

          Doctson would still need to gain 12lbs to catch up to Sidney’s weight.

          • CC

            Thanks once again Rob!

  21. Radman

    Nice review.

    I agree with the need for a red zone guy, a big possession receiver. I don’t know where you take that player, I guess it depends on how the draft unfolds. I wouldn’t presume to know which round or where.

    That said, I want to make a small case for the need for a PR/KR/ and another explosive speed guy. Maybe that’s Prich. But I have felt for a few years now that they need a swiss army knife playmaker. I thought Percy was that guy, but from the beginning I had my doubts as to the cost.

    To give an idea of the type of player I really liked before was Marquise Goodwin. Raw project, elite speed, and seems to be coachable- coaches raved about him in the Senior bowl. He’s had moments in the NFL but I’m not entirely sure their is room for him in Buffalo.

    So.. in that light, I really like Tyler Lockett. He’s slight- P Rich size. But he’s just as fast, maybe even more shifty, and has been super productive at Kansas State the past two years. And has had success in PR/KR.

    He will probably go in the mid rounds. 4.3-4.4 speed, 80 and 90 catches, 1200 and 1300 yards, two consecutive years improvement. and has NFL pedigree which is something I know this staff has liked before. I can’t help but think a guy like that would be useful and interesting for this team. If he’s there in a value spot, I would really like that pick.

    Not dismissing the need for size in any way. Just pointing out another, albeit smaller, need- and a player I think to match.

    • Jon

      I like Lockett a lot as well. I see a lot of Tate in him. I would be happy spending our Tate Comp on him. Based on production I think that may be a third but may be a fourth which would be sad. Comp selections are based on money, production and awards. Lets hope he gets the probowl, I think it would put him over the top.

      • Radman

        nice! yeah, I see the Tate comparison to some degree, too. Glad to see someone else seeing something there. Players like him are easier to fit into this offense than other types, imho.

  22. EranUngar

    A few days ago i mentioned that i no longer see the need for a no. 1 reciever as our first and formost quest. yesterday this was posted at fieldgulls –

    While there is a lot there i don’t agree with, it has a lot of merit too.

    Nothing is sexier then the search for the next C.J. and yet Luke manages to find the end zone repeatedly without him. Lynch, Wags, Kam, Earl, Sherm, Bennett provide more net value to the team then any great traget that gets 2-3 catches a game more then a pedestrian reciever.

    Watching the team play like they did last year and like they do now convinced me that our first 3-4 picks should be BPA anywere other then QB or Safety. No. 1 WR is not more of a need then DL/OL/LB/CB or whatever talent is awailable. An even better defense will win games just as easily as a better offense. You do not need a great red zone target when you hold teams to less then 200 yards…

    I also fail to see why the size of our past draft investment in a certain group should have a major effect on our future picks. Whatever player is available and brings the best immprovment on the current roster should be picked.

    The one position i think we are actually missing is HB. The way this offense is ment to run will benefit greatly from a great blocking back with good hands as an outlet. Those players regressed a lot in thier value and maybe here we can find great value for less.

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