Seahawks face dilemma to replace Byron Maxwell in the draft

Alex Carter is one of the few options for Seattle in this draft

Replacing Byron Maxwell is going to be the toughest challenge of the off-season.

He will leave, inevitably, to the highest bidder within hours of free agency starting. The word is he will command offers worth $10m a year. It’s an incredible sum of money and a perfect review of this cornerback class. It just isn’t very good, so teams will overpay for solutions elsewhere.

We’ll get onto how Seattle might address this situation in a moment. First, here’s the positive news from today’s defensive back workouts at the combine:

Trae Waynes had a big day and could move into the top-ten discussion. He’s a better player than Justin Gilbert a year ago without any of the character concerns (Cleveland really should’ve done their homework). He doesn’t have Gilbert’s length (31 inch arms) but he ran an official 4.31 at 6-0 and 186lbs. He also had a 38 inch vertical and a 10’2″ broad jump. On tape he’s a bit grabby but you can work on that. He’s physical, fast and professional. He won’t last long in the first round.

Jalen Collins will quickly follow. At 6-1 and 203lbs he ran a 4.48, adding a 36 inch vertical and a 10’4″ in the broad jump. He has excellent length (32 1/8 inch arms) and has so much potential. He only started 10 games at LSU but with the right coaching he’ll excel. There’s so much to like on tape — recovery speed, ball skills, physicality, edge.

After that? It’s a bit of a black hole — brightened ever so slightly by the star of the day. UConn’s Byron Jones is still recovering from a torn labrum and chose not to run. That aside, he smashed the broad jump record with a ridiculous 12’3″. He had one of the all-time best vertical jumps (44.5 inches). He also managed a superb 6.78 in the three cone and a 3.94 in the short shuttle. He’s 6-1 and 199lbs with 32 inch arms. He’s a brilliant forty away from being potentially the greatest athlete to ever test at the combine.

Why is any of this important? Speed isn’t the only factor in judging athleticism. A lot of teams (Seattle included) pay close attention to the broad and vertical jumps. It’s a great way to measure lower body explosion. Christine Michael had a 43 inch vertical in 2013 — it’s probably one of the main reasons he ended up with the Seahawks.

What kind of grade will Byron Jones receive after today? It’s hard to say. He was considered a mid-rounder at best going into the 2014 season. This adds a new dynamic. There’s not much tape available online, but this emerged in the last hour or so:

You see nice tight coverage and some decent recovery speed. There are a few plays where he’ll get flagged at the next level — or he’ll be punished by superior pro-receivers. We need to watch more to find out exactly what he’s capable of.

Teams will also need to check out his shoulder injury and look into whether it’s a serious long-term issue. Overall he’s very similar to Chris Conley. An incredible physical talent who flashes a bit on tape. Both players need refinement. How much is the potential worth to a team? How early do you back yourself or your coaches?

People who would know have told me in the past that Seattle will only consider spending an early pick on a cornerback if they possess the kind of physical upside we saw from Patrick Peterson. That’s how confident they are in developing later-round players. Jones jumps further and higher than Peterson. Can he match his 4.34 forty yard dash? If he does, he probably won’t be available to the Seahawks anyway.

He’s one of the few draftable options at corner. Zach Whitman, who does a lot of work with SPARQ, repeatedly makes the point that the Carroll/Schneider Seahawks have not drafted a corner with sub-32 inch arms. They want length. They don’t have to be tall — just long.

Aside from Jones, these are the guys who matched Seattle’s apparent physical ideals from a group of over 50 defensive backs:

Adrian Amos (Penn State)
There’s some debate over Amos’ position at the next level. Some think he’ll play safety and he’s big — 208lbs. It’s not too big, but still. He’s 6-0 with 32 1/4 inch arms. He ran a 4.56 which is identical to Richard Sherman. He posted a 35.5 inch vertical with a 10’2″ broad jump. He’s an athletic guy. I’m not sure he looked loose enough during drills to be a permanent cornerback but the Seahawks have made concessions there in the past. They’ll take a bit of stiffness if you’ve got the size, speed and length.

Alex Carter (Stanford)
He’s flashed on tape but he’s also had a few bad games. Does that remind you of another former Stanford corner? He looked terrific today. He’s 6-0 and 196lbs with 32 1/8 inch arms. He ran a 4.51 and jumped a 40 inch vertical. He also recorded a 10’1″ broad jump. He’s lean and long and the 4.51 is impressive. There’s a lot to work with here. Out of all the options he might be the most logical. Experience at the position, competitive, long, fast.

Jalen Collins (LSU)
It’s very unlikely he’ll be available for Seattle but he certainly fits the bill. We listed his data at the start of the piece but essentially he ran a 4.48 at 6-1 and 203lbs. He’s only going to get better at the next level with the right coaching. It’s a shame a player like this won’t last. That’s the price you pay for success. Every team in the league is looking for long and fast cornerbacks. He’s a stud.

There are others. Jaquiski Tartt ticks a lot of boxes but he’s 221lbs. Durrell Eskridge looked good in drills but an official 4.63 hurts. Kurtis Drummond is a very intriguing safety prospect to consider in the later rounds. Cody Prewitt could be another safety project.

Utah’s Eric Rowe is a curious case. When he was measured at the Senior Bowl, he had 32.5 inch arms. At the combine they measured him at 31.5 inches. I’m not sure which is accurate — or whether Seattle would refuse to draft a player who is half an inch below the ideal. For the record, Rowe is 6-0 and 205lbs, ran a 4.45 with a 39 inch vertical and a 10’5″ broad jump. It might be worth keeping him in our thoughts for now.

With so few options it’s hard to imagine how the Seahawks are going to solve this issue. Coming into the combine I thought they’d probably draft a couple of corners as a priority on day three. Watching this group makes you realize — that isn’t going to be easy. There are other possibilities — including small school prospects and players not attending the combine. Who among us can say they knew anything about Eric Pinkins a year ago? That was their guy. Their guy this year possibly wasn’t in Indianapolis.

Even if that’s the case, are we expecting a non-combine attendee to step in and start in week one? Are we expecting someone like Alex Carter to do that?

You can see the problem.

For a team that has constantly replenished the cornerback position, the well has run dry this year. There’s no Richard Sherman to replace Marcus Trufant. No Walter Thurmond to replace Brandon Browner. No Byron Maxwell to replace Walter Thurmond. Tharold Simon appeared to be out of his depth in the Super Bowl and might need off-season shoulder surgery. Jeremy Lane, a possible candidate to start, is facing a long road to recovery after breaking his wrist and tearing an ACL.

So what else can they do?

They could pony up for Maxwell. It would mean around 25-35% of your cap room for the next few years is tied up in four players — Maxwell, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. You might argue it’s in Seattle’s best interests to secure the entire starting secondary for the long haul. Isn’t it the identity of the team?

The thing is, Maxwell is only a possible $10m per-year player because the market dictates that in 2015. In the future, say next year, you might regret making that deal. It might mean you lose another one of the group (Irvin? Wagner?). You might miss out on a dynamic free agent you’d love to have (Julius Thomas?).

Overpaying Maxwell might mean you avoid a tricky situation this year — but you’re not planning to avoid issues in 2015. You’re building for several years into the future. I’m not convinced Maxwell is a player you just have to have because the options to replace him in 2015 aren’t great.

This might be about finding a one year solution and pushing the problem into 2016. A veteran stopgap. Accepting the situation for what it is. You still draft your guys later in the draft this year. Maybe one of them shines and even wins a starting job by the end of his rookie season? By 2016 you could have a long term, cheaper replacement for Maxwell. And if not, perhaps it’ll be a better class of corners in 12 months time?

Who that veteran option could be — I have no idea. Some have suggested a possible return for Walter Thurmond. He missed most of the 2014 season with a torn pec. His one-year deal in New York last season carried a $3m cap hit. There’s every chance he burned bridges in Seattle with multiple suspensions. He had a chance to be the one replacing Browner ahead of Maxwell and blew it. In a Super Bowl year no less. Can they trust him?

Veteran Charles Tillman had a triceps injury end his 2014 season. Would he consider a one-year stint in Seattle? He turned 34 today. He’s played for the Bears since 2003. The Seahawks have plugged in vets before — Kevin Williams is a good example of that in 2014. They also added Antoine Winfield before the 2013 season but he didn’t make the team.

This isn’t the year to chase cornerbacks in the draft and sometimes you just have to accept a situation for what it is. The Seahawks could go offensive line and receiver with their first two picks, then take a defensive lineman like Henry Anderson. After that, rounds 4-6 could be the area they bring in a corner or two. Alex Carter could be on the list after today’s performance. But you wouldn’t be expecting those players to start.

With Byron Maxwell possibly heading to Philadelphia if you believe certain reports, finding a veteran one-year rental for the LOB might be the best, or even only option.

217 Comments

  1. Greg haugsven

    At this point we hope Maxwell gets $10 million a year. It would mean a third round comp pick.

    • Rob Staton

      Only as long as Seattle doesn’t make a similar move in free agency of course (I think they might pay someone $7-8m).

  2. Steve Nelsen

    The Seattle plan to win forever means you pay to keep your Pro-Bowlers and you churn the rest of the roster even if it means starting young players (like Britt in 2014). Overpaying for Maxwell does not fit with that philosophy. the money would be better spent adding a difference maker on offense like Julius Thomas.

    I am intrigued with Byron Jones at 31 and I like Conley (rd 2), Lippett (rd 3) and Marshall (rd 4) as potential conversion projects.

    • Rob Staton

      Agreed on the first part.

      I’m torn on whether Jones is an option at #31 over some of the other available prospects. He and Conley will never be higher in terms of stock because of what they did at the combine. How does it translate to the tape? Conley made some nice plays for Georgia — but why didn’t he make more? I think Lippett in the third and Marshall in the fourth is a bit too high for both.

      • Tom Page

        I was thinking Nick Marshall will last until round 7. The guy hasn’t played corner since he was a freshman.

        • Rob Staton

          R7 or UDFA for me.

      • j

        I think we are in agreement that Jones would be an overpay at #31. You would be drafting him ahead of where he would normally go.

        How does this compare with the Britt situation last year?

        • Rob Staton

          It does compare, but I’m not sure they’ll see this as a similar situation — that if you don’t go CB at #31 you’re going to have a hole you can’t fill. I think they’ll back themselves at corner to get value. They always do.

      • Dave

        Rob, after Conley’s work out, I was wondering this question myself. Georgia is a running team moreso than Seattle. Their offense ran the ball 555 times for 3352 yards and they threw the ball 322 times for 2599 yards and 24 TDs. Conley caught 36 balls for 657 yards and 8 TDs as their outside WR. Their possession WR, Michael Bennett, caught 37 balls for 404 and 4 TDs.

        Conley caught 1/4 of the yardage and TDs. He averaged 18.2 yards per catch, which would put him in the chunk play category. Georgia’s QBs didn’t have the best arm.

        • Rob Staton

          He’s a very intriguing player. Needs refinement, but a great project for someone.

          • Dave

            Sorry about the bad math. 1/3 of the passing TDs.

  3. Cameron

    Bring in WT on a 1 year deal. It almost makes too much sense. He knows the system and played well before being supplanted by Maxwell during the 2013 SB run (and I don’t remember too many complaints about his play).

    Unlike Simon he can play outside and slot. In base we can roll with Thurmond and Sherman, with Simon coming in on nickel and Thurmond sliding into the slot.

    In the draft we should find someone to push Tharold Simon on the depth chart. While I still believe Simon has tremendous potential, we need a fall back in case he fails to develop. Just to be safe I would advocate targeting the best we can find with our 4th or 5th round comp picks.

    • Ross

      I concur with all of this. I don’t want to big Thurmond up too much because he has had suspensions and lost his place to players behind him on the depth chart, but he would, if healthy, help solve our problem. At the very least he’d be insurance in case Simon gets injured or just plays bad. We’ve still got Marcus Burley, who I was really impressed by.

      • manthony

        I think a point everyones missing on Thurmond is hes prolly not going to be as cheap as everyones hoping, maybe we get him on a prove it deal, more likely not, and hes been banged up a lot as a pro too

        • Cameron

          Walter Thurmond is coming off an injury plagued season in which he made 3 million on a one year contract.

          He’ll be cheap.

          • peter

            my question would be, what’s the point? How is a chronically injured Thurmond significantly better then doing what we have done in the past and coach a player up to fill a void. I guess I don’t get the love for WT3 as that he spent most of his time here injured/suspended/or getting outplayed by his team mates

            • Cameron

              Because he’ll be cheap, and if healthy, likely an extremely nice value.

              Thurmond came into the league injured, and so it’s unlikely his status as ‘injury prone’ will scare Seattle off. Besides, we need bodies. If you guys think we should get Charles Tillman instead? Why not just get both? It’s not like we are looking for a long term solution in FA. Lane will get better eventually (we hope) and should step back in by mid-season.

              I see us signing a Thurmond or Tillman (or both) for cheap and draft a couple.

              Churn churn churn baby.

              • manthony

                Bravo Peter, im a duck fan even and didnt think much of thurmonds tenure as a hawk. I’d wager JSPC goes in a different direction, then wt3 and peanut, once we get our free agent target(s) and resign some players we’re goa be right up against the cap

              • arias

                Why not just get both? Because you can only carry 5 corners on the active roster. 4 spots are taken, and Lane is already going to be entering next season not completely healthy. Do we realistically want to add a second guy who might be unreliable due to past health concerns due to injury? On top of that, we still have no idea if Simon can be relied on.

                Plus, assume we draft some project corners where’s the space for them if we sign one old dude and one guy who’s not altogether reliable due to injury and drug suspensions? I suppose they can be stashed on the practice squad for later years at the risk of losing them to another team a la Kiero Small. But I’m not sure if they go the route of drafting an Alex Carter they’d want to take that risk either.

                I’m not sure how effective a 34 year old peanut can be. Kevin Williams is one thing, since even though players lose their speed in their latter years they peak and maintain their strength much longer than they do speed. So KWill was in good position to still contribute last year as a defensive lineman playing nose tackle and preoccupied with plugging gaps stopping the run as a space eater in place of Mebane. Corners that depend so much on speed and agility even for the greats 34 years old is typically the end of the line where if they continue their careers after that it’s because of a move to safety. For a peanut attempting to come back from injury at 34, it’s hard to see him resembling the player he once was. The problem is I’m really not sure there are better options at this point and a stopgap might exactly be what the team needs to do.

    • Rob Staton

      The issue with Thurmond — this team preaches ‘put the team first’. He didn’t and was given more than one opportunity. I suspect a serious bridge would have to be rebuilt.

      • Cameron

        With respect, I haven’t read or seen anything to suggest Walter Thurmond has burned bridges with the Seattle coaches. If that’s the case I’d love to see some tangible evidence.

        All we have is that he left Seattle to a tepid free agent market and accepted a paltry 1 year deal with the Giants. I wouldn’t call that a sign of dissatisfaction from Seattle, who were hard up against the cap, not to mention Thurmond was (at that point) completely redundant for this team.

        • Rob Staton

          “With respect, I haven’t read or seen anything to suggest Walter Thurmond has burned bridges with the Seattle coaches”

          I don’t think we’d receive that kind of information.

        • Bryan C

          Tangible evidence of burned bridges is that the team didn’t have him back, even at a reduced salary, one year prove it deal when they had the opportunity to do so. Why would that be? WT3 has had health issues his entire career. He also is one mistake away from a long term suspension. The team wasn’t “hard against the cap” as they carried over money into this year, so WT3 was not re-signed for a different reason than money. I would guess it goes back to what Rob discussed regarding team first and WT3’s attitude.

          If you look back at history, PC/JS gives lots of players opportunities to prove that they have worked through issues and can be team players. But, if you cross a line you are gone, period. The team let a pro bowl player (Brandon Browner) go for similar reasons to why they let WT3 walk. WT3 will not be back.

          • arias

            I think it was less about ‘attitude’ but the fact that both WT3 and Browner weren’t very dependable players because of the constant issues, whether it be injury or drug suspensions that made them miss time. If they were more confident they could be counted upon to not miss games I don’t think they would have had a problem bringing them back. The Seahawks were very supportive of Browner through the whole process in spite of his numbheaded suspension for smoking weed when he was already in tier 3 of the NFL’s drug monitoring program. They didn’t have to be considering what they could have interpreted as a selfish move by him. But the bottom line is that Browner missed half of the 2013 season. He wasn’t healthy enough to play until game 3, and his suspension removed him from being able to play after game 10. He wasn’t there when the team was depending on him the most. That’s what made the difference.

    • j

      He is one positive test away from a full year suspension. If we do that, and WTIII tests positive in week one – what then? Combined with the injury history, he is just someone we cannot rely upon.

      Sherman, Burley, Simon + street level FA and draft picks is what it is going to be, IMO.

      Any CB available at the end of round 1 (Jones) will be an overpay. But, we did draft for need last year, and overpaid for Britt. Could happen again.

      I still like AJ Jefferson – would bring him back for competition. He is athletic, has the length we want, and has ST value.

      • Cameron

        Thurmond can probably be had for little to no guaranteed money. Change the equation a bit?

        • j

          If we sign him as the solution to our corner issues, then no. Because, if we don’t do other things to fix the issue, and he gets suspended, we are right back where we started.

          If we signed him as depth – to serve as a backup, and also drafted a first round corner/signed Chris Tillman, it would change the equation.

          In any event, its moot, as I still believe in Simon.

          • rowdy

            I think you would sign him to replace lane/ depth player if you do. I believe in Simon too.

      • neil

        I thought Burley was pushing his late thirties .

    • Ben2

      Simon is too stiff- he’s not a fluid enough athlete at cornerback. He was a5th rd pick. I liked the IDEA of the pick too….the play on the field hasn’t matched. This is a need.

      • Jake

        He really only had two bad games, both of which he came in in relief of the injured/sick starter. He certainly should have prepared like a starter, but it was pretty clear he didn’t. Also, while it was completely on him against the Panthers – I felt like in the Super Bowl, the coaches failed. Putting him on an island against Edelman was a coaching mistake as it’s just a bad matchup. Did you see Browner on Baldwin? Of course not.

        Simon is probably going to be the starting RCB, he is going to learn from his struggles and he had some good games and some nice plays over the whole season. Depth needs to be replenished with Lane’s injury and Maxwell’s departure, but I don’t doubt for a second that there’s a mid-round guy that Schneider and Carroll are excited about. Besides, who knows what we have in Pinkins.

        • Ben2

          Yeah, not having Burley on the active roster really hurt after Lanes injury. A slot type CB for depth would be nice…

      • plyka

        Players develop. Simon wasn’t a star last year, but he has the talent and potential, and at this stage in his career, Seattle is the spot –they have great corners because they develop great corners. Unfortunately they don’t do the same with D-Linemen, but that’s why you use early round draft picks and big money in free agency on D-Linemen, and continue to develop corners.

    • nolan

      I think Thurmond would be good he can play nickel or outside which helps with depth and provides insurance for burly and Simon. then try and devlope a later round guy.

    • j

      My issue is the drugs. He is one failed test away from a full year suspension. Can we count on him?

      Maybe take a flyer on him as a reserve. But to sign him to start would be unwise.

      • Bryan C

        Agreed, that is what I posted above. In signing WT3, you are essentially playing roulette that WT3 will recover from his pec injury, that he will not suffer an injury early in the year despite his previous injury history and that he will not get a drug suspension despite past history. There is a lot of risk in signing WT3 and likely better value available elsewhere.

      • john_s

        My issue is that there’s a very good chance he misses games due to injury.

        Let him go to Jacksonville or Atlanta and let Gus or Quinn deal with his injuries.

        • nolan

          But we know he can play and have success in this system. We don’t know if another vet is going to succeed here or take to the coaching or the system and yea he has question marks but that’s why he is available for cheap and Maxwell cost ten million if we aren’t going to pay top dollar we are going to get question marks.

  4. Jonathan

    Rob, what is AJ Jefferson’s current status? NFL.com lists him as a Seahawk, but the team website doesn’t have him listed. Does he have the potential to be the guy next year? I’m ok with Burley in the slot until Lane recuperates.

    Thanks for your hard work and fantastic analysis!

    • rowdy

      Jefferson seems like the logical choice to me. He played good in the preseason before injury. WT would be my second choice.

      • manthony

        YES! Good question, i noticed that too, but yeah he did look good, and the last i seen he was on our ir, i didnt see anything about us ever releasing him or anything and a lot of ppl have just written him off, but i think he factors in with all this cb talk.

        • rowdy

          I believe he got an injury settlement and is currently a free agent

    • John_s

      Jefferson was only signed for one year so he’s technically a free agent

    • Rob Staton

      I believe Jefferson was placed on I.R. then released with a settlement.

      Thanks for the kind words too.

  5. mrpeapants

    forget walter he cant stay healthy. and that’s the last thing we need. tillman makes the most sense. smart, savvy, cheap(hopefully), and hungry for a ring. would be a great fit. how about melton for the dline? does anyone think he could be an option and for what price?

    • rowdy

      I would take tillman for vet minimum, way past his prime and doubt you’ll ever get close to a full season out of him.

    • Rob Staton

      Melton’s play said to be underwhelming in 2014.

      • Robert

        Confirmed…long document…see date 9/2:
        http://www.nfl.com/teams/seattleseahawks/transactions?team=SEA
        Gotta love the indomitable spirit of human beings, who fall down a thousand times. But trying again and again, we eventually learn to walk. Then we grow up and scream at our TV and fall to the floor in stunned silence. But we pick ourselves up and head over to SeahawksDraftBlog to plot our off season moves and prepare for the vengeance of 50! Many thanks!!!

        • Robert

          Reply fail…
          The link confirms AJ Jefferson’s status as a Free Agent, who we IR’d last year and then waived with an injury settlement on 9/2.

  6. Attyla the Hawk

    I obviously can’t speak to how the team internally feels about the guys on their roster.

    But I get the sense that Simon is going to be the next man up. Honestly, whether it was Maxwell, or Lane, or Thurmond — they all didn’t demonstrate real quality in their first or second years either. They took a while to get going and had awkward, not ready for primetime moments.

    I do believe, that we’ll take a corner in this draft. But I don’t think it’ll be with an eye to replacing Maxwell’s snaps on defense in 2015. The way this talent treadmill has gone under Carroll, is you develop for a couple years and get your shot year 3 and 4. Even Sherman took a full year in the system to emerge, and although he produced well in the latter half of his rookie year, the narrative for the season was, that Thurmond was ahead of him on the depth chart and injury left an opening for Sherman that he never relinquished.

    Simon is the whipping boy for the secondary at the moment. But the expectation by way of how his predecessors have fared is that this is his year to emerge. Last year was his first offseason with Seattle (his first truncated by injury). He should be a much better player come September than the player who struggled in the Super Bowl. And definitely should be better by the end of this coming season.

    The reality is, NE has a pair of scatback receivers that give our length/tall corners fits. That’s a matchup that we will almost always lose. Seattle doesn’t have enough cover corners to deal with short/quick receiver sets. Most teams aren’t built like that, but for us it’s our own brand of kryptonite. Judging Simon based on the worst possible physical matchup he can face is kind of foolish.

    With this system, I’m not expecting we have to replace Maxwell. We have to replace Pinkins. Who is Simon’s understudy from 2014. In that respect, we’re not talking about R1/R2 prospects for that.

    However, if Seattle does draft a CB early, I would say that tips their hand as to what they think of Simon’s ability to blossom in 2015. We literally won’t know that until the draft is done. But the fact that he hasn’t shown a trust factor for us fans really doesn’t jive with the fact that virtually NONE of our great CBs has had any pedigree worth trusting until Pete rolled them out there and they performed. They were all unknown quantities and perceived weaknesses in the offseasons leading up to their emergence.

    • Lenny

      I think the defensive scheme also has to take some of the blame for Simon struggling in the Super Bowl. His strength is just not going to be chasing little quick receivers like Edelman on shallow crossing routes without LB or Safety help. I’m not saying he is for sure going to be the next great Legionnaire but don’t bet against anyone being coached up by the Hawks staff.

      • arias

        I think y’all are making too many excuses for Simon. He didn’t just get beaten by the smaller quicker Edelman in the Super Bowl. He was also beaten by the lanky Kelvin Benjamin for 114 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC divisional round.

        So he can’t beat smaller receivers, he can’t beat bigger receivers, what can we expect of him? To beat mediocre receivers? Well ok, he gets the honorary assignment of always covering Crabtree. But we saw firsthand how that’s not going to work in the playoffs when it’s inevitable he’ll face good receivers. I’m sure if he had seen any playing time in the NFC championship game he would have gotten beaten some more, and it was wise that the coaches chose not to go there. Next year he’s going to face the opposing team’s number 1 receiver a predominant amount of time as teams will go right at him to exploit the flaws he showed in his game until he can prove he can consistently defend them. It’s absolutely imperative that the team have a solid contingency plan in place.

        • Ben2

          I agree – I had another post that said as much where I said I think as fans we like the idea of Simon but the reality doesn’t match our hopes – he was only a 5th round pick so it’s not like a ton of investment

        • plyka

          DEVELOPMENT!

          Seattle develops their corners –if you’re expecting Sherman in the first few starts you get then you will be disappointed.

          If there is 1 position I am not in the least bit worried it’s corner or safety. This team develops stars in those positions from deep round draft picks. I’m always worried about defensive line and offensive line –they have shown a lack in developing those players from deep draft picks, especially the D-Line.

          • arias

            Not really sure I understand where you’re coming from. Prior to the SB Simon had 6 starts and 8 games where he was in on the field for more than 50% of the defensive snaps. He logged 418 snaps for the season, which is more than a third of the total defensive snaps played. Why are you under the impression he had only made “a few starts”?

            The problem with the salary cap is that all it takes is for them to miss on one of their long term development projects at DB (like Simon) and it puts them in a serious bind for depth. I hope they can maintain their developmental track record in the secondary, because they’ve already invested a roster spot and invaluable game experience playing him so I hope he proves to be a worthwhile investment by vindicating himself.

    • sdcoug

      Agree with this. I think most people have been quick to forget that Sherm (to a certain extent), Lane and especially Maxwell had a lot of practice time before stepping in. This season was baptism by fire for Simon, as he didn’t even get the benefit of practice last year if I am not mistaken. He had some nice moments after his first game or two (when he quit being so grabby)….and was actually doing pretty well when he got hurt at the end of regular season. Not saying he will prove to be the answer, just that there’s some good potential there and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds

      • peter

        I’d like to add Kam to this list playing behind Lawyer Milloy.

      • arias

        Disagree. Sherm was a prodigy who practically dominated from the first game he played. He was already declaring he was the best to anyone that would listen and daring opposing quarterbacks to throw his way after just a few games as starter. After taking over as a full time in week 7 of his rookie year he racked up 4 picks, 9 passes defensed, and 3 touchdowns and finished 2011 with an opposing passer rating of 57.1 when targeted.

        He had nowhere near as much practice time as Simon had before stepping in, plus he had only a few years in college even playing the position. Simon had all of his rookie year to absorb the plays, then had all of the off season OTAs with the LOB to hone his craft. Sherman should not be used as any sort of barometer to excuse Simon because as soon as you try to make comparison it leaves Simon looking like an epic fail.

        • sdcoug

          Simon was hurt his first year and didn’t get to practice. Watching from the sideline and lining up and defending are two very different things

          • arias

            All I’m saying is Sherm is a poor point of comparison because he hardly got any practice reps compared to Simon. Sherm wasn’ expected to start at all until Thurmond went down and didn’t get any in season starter reps before he found himself starting. Simon started 5 games during the season. Bringing up lack of being able to practice in 2013 considering the ample of game time experience he’s had while bringing up Sherman just doesn’t come across as very coherent.

    • j

      New England beat us at our game. A string of short gains, few explosive plays. Exactly what we train our secondary to do. We did what we wanted to do, and they still won. Have to tip our cap at them and move on. Changing our defense because of that game is foolish.

      I’m still a believer in Simon. The strategy should be depth. Maybe bring back AJ Jefferson. Draft a couple mid-round corners. Bring in a street FA or two. Simon and Sherman on the outside is fine.

      An issue should be an upgrade to Burley, in the slot. Which is why IEO from Oregon appeals to me. Short arms, but he is a playmaker. He showed some of his limitations on the outside this year, but I think he could be great in the slot.

      • CC

        Burley might be okay – we have to remember he came in right before the season. Maybe with a full training camp we’ll be pleasantly surprised. He played well at times – but of course made some mistakes

        • j

          That description could also be used for Simon. Flashed some skills, some mistakes, didn’t really get a lot of practice reps (due to injury).

          Yet everyone wants to replace Simon, and Burley is fine.

          • arias

            Simon had plenty of practice reps because he had recovered from his injury by the end of his rookie year. You’re talking like he missed OTAs and training camp when he did not.

            • Jake

              He didn’t get the practice snaps leading up to the games he played poorly in as he entered as the 4th CB in both games. Then he was forced into action and struggled badly. He’s young and he isn’t as mature and intelligent as Sherman so he wasn’t prepared like Sherman would have been. He is learning and I don’t doubt for a second he’ll turn it around because the coaching staff and the LOB believe in him. He definitely flashed some skills, so I am intrigued by him starting. I am not holding him to the Sherman standard of excellence though… no one else should either. There’s only one Sherman, but I do think Simon is going to come into his own this year and lock down the right side and be a good CB in the league.

              • arias

                I don’t think not having the practice reps can really be used to excuse him because he did get practice reps, they just weren’t with the first team. If having to take practice reps during the week with 2nd teamers and guys from the practice squad is that much of a learning impediment for him, then it kind of makes you question whether he even has it to play the game. But I don’t think that’s the case, because I don’t think his lower number of reps can legitimately excuse his lack of preparation. Simon was not just some bench jockey this year. He started five games this season. He’s not some babe in the woods rookie that was thrown in the fire. He understands the defense and had gotten plenty of reps throughout the year playing out of the team’s various schemes to be familiar with what was going on.

                Plus, if Simon hasn’t learned how important preparation and film study is by now from the likes of Sherman and Earl Thomas while competing in their ultra competitive orbits, it really kind of makes you wonder if he’ll ever truly get it. Maybe he does try but is just too limited in his football aptitude to get a firm grasp of the pro game. Or maybe he’s just lazy when it comes to preparation, or just doesn’t have what it takes to even be passably competent in the film room. My gut feeling is that he’s a total space case with ADD and could really benefit from getting diagnosed as such so he could get legal adderall treatment to help him. I don’t say that flippantly either as this is just based on my personal observations of wondering where his head is at on some plays where he’s totally out of position when I’m breaking down All 22. One article I read late in the season added impetus to my hunch when during one practice session Earl had to really bear down and rip him a new asshole in front of the team after noticing that instead of practicing hard his head was clearly somewhere else. I really hope he does get it together but the team would be insane not to have a solid contingency plan should it not happen. With a year of experience there really will be no excuses for him to play so poorly again next year and if he does they have to be ready to demote him to the bench with a quick left hook.

                • Attyla the Hawk

                  “With a year of experience there really will be no excuses for him to play so poorly again next year and if he does they have to be ready to demote him to the bench with a quick left hook.”

                  I think this is fair. This season, he’ll have had the benefit of 2 full training camps to emerge. Which is pretty much how long it took for Maxwell, Lane and Thurmond.

                  Thomas and Sherman have both been on record praising Simon. I don’t get the vibe that they just do this to pump guys up. They said the same things about Lane and Maxwell too long before we considered them strong contributors. And they haven’t with other guys who have washed out the program. I take their endorsements and genuine.

                  This is no doubt, Simon’s time to shine. Hopefully he will elude the injury bug.

                  As I said before, if we take a CB early, it’ll give a strong indication of what Seattle is truly thinking regarding his readiness to be the next man up. If they don’t, then I think it’s safe to say that they are comfortable with where he is at in his development. This staff has not shared our outside dread of the unproven quantity in really all of their 5 years here. While it makes us fans wring our hands in worry — they have not shared that to this point. Ultimately, they are in the best position to recognize when guys are ready to go and their track record in developing and playing prospects is unimpeachable.

                  Just because he hasn’t shined yet, doesn’t mean he won’t. Seattle has limped through growing pains before with our secondary and emerged from the other side. And I don’t think Seattle is too proud to be blind to a player who isn’t likely to work out. They understand better than any other team in this league how important the secondary is. If there is a looming issue in their mind, they’ll make a move to retain the unit as the league’s strongest.

                  The loss of Lane is more problematic in my estimation. Seattle could use some quality slot cover style corners in their rotation. Lane and Burley are pretty much it. Bolstering that aspect of the unit is more important as Lane could be out for most of the year. But those kinds of prospects aren’t necessarily requiring a day one or day two pick.

                  Those prospects can be guys who don’t fit the 6′ with 32″+ arms prototype. That increases to candidate pool considerably.

                  • xo 1

                    Good stuff, Attyla. I think you’ve nailed it. We’ll learn how the team feels about Simon this off season, but you’re right to be skeptical that a draftee will be able to step in and start. Particularly with Richard ascending to DC, this will be a revealing time.

                    A related thought: if the team can’t find late round gems to play corner because too many teams are copying Seattle’s blue print, we may need to change the blue print.

          • CC

            I’m not down on Simon either – he has to be better yes, but Maxwell had his struggles too. No DB is going to be perfect, and several of these guys were seeing their first year of action. I’m willing to defer to Pete and John – because they see more than we do.

            • arias

              I’m willing to defer to Pete John too, but at the same time there’s really no way to know their thoughts on Simon because it’s not like they’re going to cut him. And they do see the same things we see, and it’s gotta be even more alarming for them when Simon was beaten like a drum in the playoffs. The case could easily be made that if there was one player more responsible for the super bowl loss than anyone else, it was Simon and his horrendous play. It wasn’t even close, Simon was the worst player on the team that day by far.

              • CC

                I disagree – they will cut guys who aren’t playing right. And Simon wasn’t the only problem in the SB – no pass rush and the offense not converting didn’t help either. And by the way – even with Simon’s “poor” play, the Seahawks were 1 yard from winning the game.

                • arias

                  Oh definitely he wasn’t the only problem because injuries played its role. But who in your estimation had a worse game? There’s really no other active player that came anywhere close to hurting the team more that day, and like I said it’s not close.

                  He doesn’t give up one of the two touchdowns he conceded and that’s a different outcome. People keep make excuses that he was a poor mismatch against Edelman, but that doesn’t quite explain him giving up a touchdown to identical in height 6’2″ Lafell who had an otherwise lousy game outside of his sole scoring catch on Simon. It also doesn’t explain how he gave up a 37 yard catch to Danny Amendola that included 20 YAC. To get schooled by a 3rd string receiver for 20 YAC is just mind blowing really. What happened to keeping receivers in front of you to limit their damage, something Quinn and Richard preach incessantly?

                  The team was 1 yard away in spite of Simon. I’m sure the coaches are more than aware of that since they saw the same thing we did.

                  The Seahawks were one yard from winning the game in spite of Simon,

    • Robert

      Agreed. I predict we roll just fine with Simon on the outside and look to add competition there and for Burley in the slot. AJ Jefferson and Thurmond might be a lot of bang for the buck!

    • UKhawk

      Hallelujah. Totally agree. I think they stick with Simon too and focus on nickel corner to improve depth, coverage variety. I like a few good ones including Steven Nelson.

    • bigDhawk

      As far as drafting another sleeper CB, remember this name – Gearge Farmer. Former 5-star Pete Carroll recruit at USC, 2-way CB/WR player that under-achieved at USC, physical freak. Just remember that name.

      • CC

        Good heads up!

        I do think it is likely that several of their guys weren’t at the combine.

      • bigDhawk

        Woops…that’s George Farmer, not Gearge Farmer.

  7. JaviOsullivan

    I like Chris Conley as a Lockette’s improvement… would be perfect in 5rd.

  8. Cysco

    I can’t help but think that the team has a plan. They’ve probably known that Maxwell is gone for some time. What that plan is? Who knows. I could see them doing what they’ve done in the past. Find a vet minimum guy to come in and compete with the young guys in camp.

    Unless Collins is there at 31, I wouldn’t be excited about a corner in round 1. The team has other needs. If a freak athlete like Jones is there in rd. 2, sign me up.

  9. Turnagaintide

    The Seahawks should draft the All-SPARQ team:
    1) Danielle Hunter
    2) Byron Jones
    3) Chris Conley

    It would make the coaches earn their money lol

    • Rob Staton

      It certainly would!

    • Bryan C

      This would fly directly in the face of JS’s “blinded by athleticism” comment after the Super Bowl. As others have stated, this is likely an indictment of Christine Michael, but could signal a shift towards more of a whole player strategy with the psychological background testing that we now see the team focus on.

      The front office may make a mistake here and there, but they always take aggressive action to prevent a repeat of the same mistake.

      • xo 1

        Good points. The team’s real advantage is a commitment to learning and thinking.

  10. bobbyk

    Pardon me for some serious “outside the box” thinking, but Sammie Coates seems like the perfect CB. People make fun of his catching “ability,” but, man, the guy at 6’2 at 212lbs can fly and you can tell he has explosion in those legs/lower body. I’ve read some “stiff hip” stuff on him in a few places, but I don’t see it as much. He looks dynamic to me. A freak of nature. He just can consistently catch the way you’d want him to. His arm length is almost 34 inches, too. I think he looks the exact part of a shutdown corner.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not a crazy suggestion. Obviously you’d have to temper the grade based on what you see in a private workout. He’d have to be open to the suggestion to buy-in and make it work. But he could play at 200lbs and with that frame and speed it would work.

    • Cameron

      Ball skills aren’t good enough imo :p

      • Jarhead

        But he has been touted as a 1st or 2nd round pick as a receiver. How would his ball skills not be good enough as a DB? His main job would be to live in a WR’s hip pocket and shadow him. And I think as a likely day 2 pick at WE his ball skills would be more than sufficient…

        • Chris

          I think that was a joke …

          • Jake

            It would be great for Coates and the team that gets him to go for it honestly, two years from now. But I think a project of that sort would require a later selection. Best case is Coates is available at 2.31 – is the wait/unpredictable outcome worth a second round pick? Sometimes, I am glad I don’t make these choices (and so should you all) because I would be so tempted…

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Coates or Perriman.

  11. bobbyk

    I am very surprised that people haven’t brought this up more, but Carroll did talk early in training camp that he wasn’t overly thrilled with the shape Maxwell showed up in. If he isn’t going to come to camp in a contract year in the best shape of his life, then how can you trust him to come to camp in great shape once he’s been paid? That could be part of the reason Wright was extended and Maxwell wasn’t because, on paper, I’d prefer the CB any day of the week versus an OLB who doesn’t sack the QB with regularity.

    • Robert

      Good point. Alvin Bailey better watch his weight. He is starting to look like a Macy’s Day balloon!

    • arias

      Probably because of the non-existent depth behind the starting linebackers and KJ is seen as their coverage linebacker. Problem is that KJ wasn’t all that great in coverage this past season, certainly nowhere near his 2013 form. At the time of KJ’s signing there was seen to be more depth behind Maxwell. No one could have predicted Simon would fall off a cliff and Lane would suffer from a gruesome double injury that puts making the active roster at the start of the 2015 season in serious doubt.

      • nolan

        Always had malcom Smith as a bench lb who is/was good enough to start

  12. Ross

    Antonio Cromartie? Does he have any kids in Seattle yet? Maybe now’s his chance. You could make a good argument he was better than Patrick Peterson this season. I don’t know if it’s realistic to expect Peanut Tillman to play opposite Richard Sherman at his age. Charles Woodson maybe, that guy’s clearly a cyborg.

    I don’t think this is a situation we’ve just stumbled across all of a sudden. The front office must have known for a while that teams were going to be quite happy to pay over the odds for Maxwell. Maybe it hasn’t worked out exactly as planned with Lane seemingly struck down by the gods for daring to intercept Tom Brady, and they probably expected Simon to be further along. There’s a plan in the works. I’m very interested to find out what it is.

    • arias

      Cromartie is set to follow his former DC Todd Bowles back to the Jets because he badly missed the bright lights of New York where he lives in the off season. He reportedly couldn’t stand playing in the staid retirement community state of Arizona.

      Woodson hasn’t played the cornerback position since 2011. He’s played safety ever since turning 35.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Cromartie ends up back in NJY. He respects Bowles and never really wanted to leave NYC in the first place. Woodson signed a new deal in Oakland.

      • Ross

        Good point about Cromartie. Perfect situation for him.

        As for Woodson, that was a joke more than anything. Whoever plays cornerback with Sherman is going to get a lot of work. The only vet I want taking on that load is Charles Woodson, because that guy is clearly immortal. I’m watching his highlights from this season and if you told he was an first team all-pro, I would believe you.

  13. Matt

    “This isn’t the year to chase cornerbacks in the draft and sometimes you just have to accept a situation for what it is.”

    Waynes and Collins are long gone by #31. The waters are murky after that. Kevin Johnson, Marcus Peters, PJ Williams, Quentin Rollins are guys who have been getting 1-2 round grades. Byron Jones has leaped, literally, into this territory. Elite athleticism, which Jones clearly has, can not be taught. Will Jones be the best player on the board at #31? Probably not. Will there be any CB prospects with Pro Bowl level talent that have 32″ arms available after pick #31? Probably not, although Lippett and Marshall are interesting. My point is that a reach at CB might be required to get our day 1 starter. We reached big time to fill RT last year with Britt. We need a starter at CB whether it be through the draft or free agency. With 2 PC disciples running teams(Bradley and Quinn) and another at DC(Norton) there are more teams with money and higher draft picks that have our defensive systems. This makes the CB market even thinner for us.

  14. rowdy

    I read a lot of people saying lane might not be ready for the start of the season. Am I missing something? He tore acl and hasn’t had surgery yet, correct? Shouldn’t the question be, does he play next year at all?

    • John_s

      I agree. Worst case scenario it’s a Navarro Bowman type ACL injury and he’s out all year. Typical it’s a 9 month recovery but he wouldn’t be totally healthy until ’16 at the earliest.

      • bobbyk

        Unfortunately, someone this close to March who needs ACL surgery isn’t going to make much (if any) of an impact in 2015. Then he’s a free agent.

        • rowdy

          That’s been my thought as well. I don’t get why people act like We have to replace him for a couple weeks. I don’t see him playing. And like you said he’s a free agent after next year. It sucks because he’s a good player.

        • Cameron

          Hard to speculate much without knowing severity of the injury. Chris Clemons tore his ACL in the wildcard round in January of 2013 and was playing football again early in the 2013 season.

          Navarro Bowman is, in these times, the worst case scenario.

          • rowdy

            Clemons didn’t look that good til the playoffs and he was 2 months ahead at this point. That’s 8 games right there. He can probably make it back next year but he’ll probably be a liability being a step slower as he would still be recovering. Clemons playing on the line could get away with it better.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      The best case scenario sounds like PUP. Worst case is he is IR for the season.
      Lane got bit the worst by the Madden Curse.

      • arias

        Lane wasn’t on the cover of Madden so wasn’t in position to be bit by the Madden “curse”.

        • Jake

          True, but Sherman’s insistence that the entire LOB be on the game seems to have impacted the entire LOB. Next time, I think we let the individual get all the “face” time so we risk only injury to that individual. A healthy Kam and Earl equates to broken little receivers trying to run those crossing routes. So, yeah in the truest sense of a “curse” Lane and the entire LOB suffered the worst Madden curse to date.

        • CLanterman

          He was on the SI cover. LOB + Lane. Only one to play the superbowl not injured was Maxwell.

          • arias

            The SI cover “jinx” never carried the same amount of gravitas as Madden. For something thing be a true curse, it has to affect every single person that graces the cover. Seeing how Sherman had twice been on the SI cover prior to the most recent appearance with the LOB, and that it not only didn’t affect his career negatively but he just kept ascending greater peaks without missing a beat, it’s pretty hard to take it seriously.

      • john_s

        Sports Illustrated curse! Did that cover come out before the Green Bay game? Anyways at least Kam and Lane were hit with the curse!

  15. Cysco

    so the NFLPA released a salary cap estimate of $143m for next season. That’s an increase of $10m. That’s a big chunk of change to, oh I don’t know, get a Julius Thomas.

    • rowdy

      He turned down 9 mil a year last year. Do you really want to pay that for a back up te? I say back up because he can’t block and that’s a hawks te number one job. I would pay maxwell over him vjack or Marshall all day. His numbers are also inflated because of his offensive scheme, DT and sanders. He would be lucky to 700 yards and 6 tds in are offense because after lynch he would be the most targeted player.

      • j

        All things equal, why would Thomas come to Seattle? His production will take a big hit going from Denver to here. Only way we get him is if we overpay.

        Maybe he will let his ego take a backseat to win a championship – but I doubt it.

        • Ross

          He has connections though his Dad to Pete Carroll. As much as these things are probably overstated, sentiment is important.

          I think another will be appreciation. In Denver, he’s a cog in the Peyton Manning points machine, playing second fiddle to another guy named Thomas. In Seattle, he’d be the star. He’d be our Jimmy Graham. We might pass the ball less than the Broncos, but there are a lot of times where the offense just can’t get going, or we waste a turnover. There are a lot of wasted opportunities for someone like him to capitalize on.

          The biggest factor will be money, obviously, and by a large margin.

      • Rob Staton

        Julius Thomas is the third most dynamic pass catching TE in the league. Backup?

        I’m not sure when they were making trade offers for Thomas, Cameron and Fleener they were looking for a backup. The blocking aspect is overstated. They coped fine without Zach Miller. They need a big threat.

        • Jake

          Does JT pout if he doesn’t get a pass his way? Does he make us predictable in run vs. pass scenarios and to which side we will run? I have a lot of questions with a JT (Jimmy Graham comes to mind as an example of what I don’t think would work). I just think a true big-WR would be more effective for that money with the way Russ throws the sideline deep ball. Miller at $4M is a bargain compared to what JT would demand and he does so many more things.

          • sdcoug

            Predictability may not matter much when a LB still can’t stick with JT on 3 and 7

          • rowdy

            Pretty much took the words out of my mouth. I think the money could be better spent.

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think Thomas would make them predictable. Again, they weren’t predictable without Millers last year when Willson started. If anything he’d draw coverage attention in the same way Seattle panicked into covering Gronk.

            • Jake

              Seattle tried to not panic towards Gronk… see easy TD over KJ Wright. But I am of the opinion that the injuries to specifically ET and Kam had more to do with the lack of success against Brady and his receivers than anything the Patriots did or anything Quinn did schematically to deal with Gronk or any other receiver. The only error Quinn made, and it was a big one, was not having Maxwell stick with Edelman everywhere he went. Simon’s struggles were unfortunate, but he wasn’t the overall biggest problem. The biggest issue was that without Chancellor dominating the middle shallow zones, the defense can’t handle pick routes against a QB as consistently accurate as Brady is. His knee slowed him down to the point that he couldn’t be everywhere he needed to be.

              • Rob Staton

                Whether they panicked or not — it was a total mismatch and an easy completion every time K.J. covered Gronk. That is what Seattle really lacks at WR/TE.

        • Trevor

          I think Julius Thomas would be exactly what we need Rob but with Jacksonville rumoured to have him as their #1 target I just don’t see us outbidding them.

          • Rob Staton

            Perhaps not — but does he want to win or not?

        • rowdy

          He won’t be an every down player and make 9 mil a year. The right side of are line did not perform well without miller and at times was horrible. And they tried to trade a player they were going to cut. I think the money can be spent better. Not a fan of paying vjack or Marshall either but would over Thomas. And if miller wasn’t hurt would they make that trade? Probably because they were going to cut harvin anyway. Why not try and get something.

  16. Ho Lee Chit

    Everyone is panicked because Tharold Simon did not perform to expectations in the Super Bowl. The kid does not have the body to be a slot corner. If he did they would never have traded for Burley. Simon will be fine. The Hawks have never drafted a DB prior to the fourth round. Guess, what? We will have an abundance of 4th and 5th round picks this year. We will use them to draft a couple DB’s. Simon, Pinkins, Dion Bailey and a couple cheap free agents will compete for Maxwell’s starting spot. Schneider never goes into the draft with a glaring position of need. He will find a couple cheap free agents who want a ring. Then they will draft somebody whose name no one knows in the fifth round. Pete and John are probably scouting the play grounds of LA right now looking for the next great corner back.

    • rowdy

      Couldn’t agree more. I think he played well on the outside for it being his first year. It took maxwell a couple years to see the field. They also payed shead full salary on the practice squad last year. I don’t think we’re doomed but were definitely taking a hit.

    • Cameron

      Tharold Simon is definitely not a slot corner, but I must point out that he didn’t play slot in the SB. Maxwell played slot on 3+ WR sets and Simon was outside. New England very deftly put Edelman on Simon and ran that ‘whip route’ where Edleman turns like he’s running a slant, abruptly stops and runs 180 degrees in the opposite direction (like on an out route). To run this route well requires all the elements that Edleman excells at (I believe his numbers for things like the 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuttle are off the charts). Conversely Simon struggles covering this type of route (and receiver) because he is not a sudden athlete with superb change of direction skills.

      Richard Sherman is probably only slightly better at covering these sorts of routes (physically), but he makes up for it with his superb recognition and anticipation.

      People forget that Simon started for Maxwell for a good chuck of the season and acquitted himself quite well.

      Anyways, all of that to say I agree with you that we should all chill out about Simon. As far as I’m concerned the starting cornerback position opposite Sherman is his to lose next season. Having said that, I hope we bring in lots of stiff competition.

      • Jake

        Head meet nail. Simon was a second year player against a seasoned vet with a set of skills that is kryptonite to Simon (and Sherman) in the Super Bowl. Oh yeah, one of the best QBs of all time and a coach who leaves no stone unturned identified and targeted him relentlessly as well. The kid had no shot in that matchup and the Seattle coaching staff failed to adjust by simply having Maxwell follow Edelman around. I believe in Pete, his scheme and his philosophy, but matchups do matter and sometimes you have to admit defeat and adjust the attack. Other than failing to at just put Matthews on the field (to draw Browner away from the play), Simon on Edelman was the worst personnel decision in the Super Bowl.

        • Rugby Lock

          Not having Burley on the active roster hurt us as I’m pretty sure that Simon wouldn’t have been asked to cover Edelman if Burley were there. I like Simon a lot on the outside and with more coaching and Sherm’s mentorship he’ll be fine.

    • plyka

      Good stuff here. It’s laughable in my opinion to be worried about corners when it comes to Seattle. They DEVELOP, a word i’ve highlighted many times. I’m worried about positions the Seahawks have big trouble with –DLine especially. The Hawks need a serious interior defensive linemen. I could not be worried less about corner back without Maxwell.

      Let’s go down the list: Browner, Thurmond, Sherman, Maxwell –i could go on for hours. How many of you knew who these guys were before the Seahawks picked them up and turned them into starters, probowlers, and in one case a future hall of fame inductee, from later round draft picks or the Canadian league?

  17. CharlieTheUnicorn

    The true CBs in the 2015 draft are not looking that great, especially at where SEA picks each round. But the guys who are hybrid or FS/SS capable look like real gems. My hunch is that Seattle will go with the value of taking hybrid or true S over taking a reach on a CB. A few guys to keep in mind on draft day.

    Combine stars / Standouts
    Byron Jones, S/CB, Connecticut (Combine Star) Height: 6-1. Weight: 199. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. 3rd rd+. Cody Prewitt, FS, Mississippi Height: 6-2. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.60. Projected Round (2015): 2nd rd+. Jaquiski Tartt, SS, Samford (OLB) Height: 6-1. Weight: 221. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2015): 3rd rd+ 5. Eric Rowe, FS, Utah (++Combine) Height: 6-1. Weight: 205. 40 Time: 4.45. Projected Round (2015): 3rd rd +.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Jones and Rowe should be high up on the SPARQ rankings. Jones might be one of the top performers in the whole combine, with the show he put on Monday. Keep in mind, he did this while nursing a shoulder injury.

  18. Dan

    I say draft Jones at #31 to replace Maxwell and sign free agent Shareece Wright to replace Lane.

  19. red

    I think we could bring in some depth on the cheap via FA

    Perish Cox
    WT3
    AJ Jefferson

    Draft Rowe in the third trade your 4 5 6 picks to move up in the 3RD around 70th pick for OG/T. Since Maxwell is going to be in Seattle you could help the secondary by drafting Pass Rush in the 1st.

    1. Preston Smith DE
    2. Tre Mcbride/Perriman/Smith WR
    3. Shambroilo Sp ? G/T trade up
    3. Rowe CB
    4 comp. DL pick
    5. comp OL G pick
    5.comp WR/PR/KR Jamison Crowder/ Mario Alford st slot guys
    6.comp Safety
    7. Mcgee RB LSU

    • peter

      I got a lot of love for Rowe but I’m concerned about the 32″ arm thing with conflicting reports varying by an inch. That said I crunched some wingspan numbers and weirdly he hits the mark 77.5 inches…who knows, I do think the Seahawks can make their point but at some point with Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Oakland to a degree I think all looking for the same type they may have ot expand their horizons and god forbid draft some one with sub 32 ” arms.

      Thankfully Rowes’s CB tape is dull as can be with the exception of him duking it out with Devin Funchess. He only has one year as a CB after starting as a Safety.

      Bottome line(s) for me is that he did him self a great favor at the combine with his numbers, he can play CB and safety, I’ve got no great love for Utah but their Defense is one of the most vanilla seahawky defenses I’ve watched recently where across the board they line up and do their thing with minimal panache and not really relying on one all world player. which I think is a testament to the coaching staff and their players.

      And though I am totally intrigued by Byron Jones, the thought of the NIck Marshall experiment is intriguing though there are already players like Shead and Johnson who never see the field on this team, Duskridge who could actually be a dark horse candidate for the team….I just think when I watch Rowe I see a player who can come in and dominate in Lane’s spot form day one who’s best work is ahead of him.

      • peter

        Eskridge. Duskridge. it’s basically the same thing!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure how they’d fit Preston Smith into the rotation. Bennett and Marsh already rush the edge and kick inside. Do they need a third guy who can do this?

      • Jake

        Any chance Bud Dupree is available at 31? I’ve seen him left off of many mock drafts, but I think after his performance at the combine he’ll probably do some climbing. His tape is really nice, he transfers speed to power nicely, he put quite a few RTs on their butt.

        • peter

          Someone with a brain is going to take Dupree well before the 31st pick. I wish they wouldn’t but the kids too good and will probably be a leader and great player for some time.

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s unlikely given the way he tested.

      • peter

        This is why I think Owa is out of the equation as well. Not just his inferior outside rushing skills but his future, to me of course, is rushing inside with again Bennett and Marsh. He looks great to me doing it by really I’d like to see Grady Jarrett in the 3rd and not another player to mirror if he’s lucky Bennett.

        • ill'stink

          I’m really hoping for Grady Jarrett in the 3rd. Our lack of interior pass rush killed us at times.

        • CC

          Owa’s hip surgeries probably knock him down on Seattle’s board. He looks like a beast, but is it worth the risk when we have a bunch of depth issues? I’d rather go O line if one of the top WRs or DTs aren’t there.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        “Do they need a third guy who can do this?”

        I’d say yes.

        Obviously, we wouldn’t expect the same kind of attrition that we saw in 2015. But we’ll see some of it.

        Smith is a player who really is very similar to Bennett in terms of his flexibility at the 3 and 5. He is nowhere near the same pass rusher as Bennett is from the 5. But he’s still good at it.

        Recall, that even before injuries, we suffered significantly trying to limit Bennett’s and Avril’s snap counts. I think it’s pretty clear that was a function of losing both Clemons and Bryant in the offseason. Both Bennett and Avril are better if their snaps are more modest. That means getting more redundancy in the depth options.

        Preston Smith is a better replication of Bennett than other prospects are for Avril. Smith is also a guy who can play alongside Bennett as well, playing the 3 while Bennett plays the edge. So there is redundancy and complementary quality in taking him.

        We’ve extolled Eli Harold as a dynamic/athletic end prospect. But Preston Smith’s speed and agility numbers compare extremely well to Harold’s. And that’s despite carrying 25 pounds of extra heft.

        Replicating Bennett’s qualities to me has far more value than Avril. Because of the variety of roles that Bennett plays. Smith — he’s not Bennett. But he’s still very good. If Bennett goes down to injury, the DL concept kind of goes down with him. At least if Avril goes down, Irvin can carry that banner for extended time. We have redundancy for him already on the roster.

        • Rob Staton

          I just don’t think a guy who can theoretically cover for Bennett (a player who has been durable) is more important than finding a legit starter in his own right. And while Smith has impressive athletic qualities, Datone Jones was even better. Jones’ tape was a lot better too. It hasn’t translated to the NFL level. Bennett is an unusual case because athletically he didn’t test particularly well, he has almost a brilliance that is hard to explain. It isn’t unique size/speed. Smith might have the physical talent but I don’t see Michael Bennett on tape. And even if I did, I still wouldn’t feel adding another player like that is of prime importance in round one of the draft.

          For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t draft another LEO in round one either.

      • bigDhawk

        Marsh hasn’t shown us he can do anything. I wasn’t thrilled with the pick last year. Owa’s physical upside is kind of scary, in a Warren Sapp kind of way at times. What would we have if all of the sudden his outside rushing games clicks, with the help of our coaching? I really like him at 31.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure we can compare OO to Warren Sapp. I mean, they play totally different positions and to be frank — they’re totally different players. He isn’t a three technique. He’s an edge rusher who can work inside but struggles to rush the edge. If you put him inside the angle wouldn’t be there to dip or stunt, he’d be working 1v1 against a 310lbs guard. And that wouldn’t be fun to see.

  20. James

    Rob, have you looked at Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest CB? 6-0, 190, very good speed and hops. Don’t get totally hung up on 32″ arms. His are 31″ and he is a natural cover corner. That 1 inch is made up because he really move. Could do a lot worse.

    • Rob Staton

      I only get hung up on the 31 inch arms because the time Seattle drafts a guy with sub-32 inch arms to play corner will be the first. They love length and Johnson doesn’t pass their size ideal. I thought his tape was OK. Good vert though.

  21. Ed

    Suh/Paea/Sheard/Jackson

    1st Fisher/L. Collins/Erving (trade back if possible)
    2nd Dorsett/Agholor (trade up)

    • Volume 12

      I’m starting to really like Miami OL Ereck Flowers as Seattle’s 1st overall selection. He has the temperament, intensity, skill, reminds me of an O-line version of ‘Big’ Red Bryant.

      • Jake

        He could slot in at LG and replace Carpenter immediately. I like him quite a bit as well.

      • bigDhawk

        Me too. Huge, nasty run blocker that could compete at LT in a year if Okung is not extended. Flowers and Owa are my two favorite, realistic targets if we stay at 31.

  22. Volume 12

    I agree with Attyla and Ho Lee. The job is Simon’s to lose. Will they bring in a FA at CB? Possibly, but what FA CB has even stuck on this team past training camp? If Maxwell is going to get 10 mil, because there’s not good options on the FA market, then why would Seattle chase anything more than a camp body?

    They’ll find a couple CBs, just because there’s no one at the combine other than Nick Marshall and maybe Byron Jones and Alex Carter, doesn’t mean there’s no one to get. These guys who didn’t get an invite to the combine are going to be ‘chippy’ and wanting to prove to the NFL that they should of been there.

    I hear people say, pump the brakes on WR Chris Matthews being the answer after one good game. So CB Tharold Simon isn’t the answer because of 1.5 bad games?

    • Jake

      I think the other thing about Maxwell leaving is we will probably end up with a 3rd round compensatory pick. I like the guy, but the cap really makes the decision for us. I wonder if he was ever approached during last offseason for an extension? His success was expected, so it wasn’t like he was an unknown commodity going into the season.

    • peter

      excellent points about the bad games.

    • arias

      I don’t hear anyone saying “pump the brakes” on Matthews, only that that he should not be viewed as the singular answer to all the passing game woes until he can demonstrate that sort of production consistently with additional games under his belt. The team should go about drafting or signing other wide receiving targets too so as to not be overly dependent on a vision of Matthews dominating games week in and week out like he did in the SB.

      In the same vein Simon should not be relied upon to be the answer at RCB even if it’s possible he could be. And there’s good reason to have more cause for concern because unlike Matthews who hasn’t had chances to show that he couldn’t be effective, Simon’s two most recent games were very prolific failures. He shouldn’t be counted on to be the answer because he hasn’t demonstrated he can be.

      • Volume 12

        Let’s just assume that a rookie CB is going to step in and instantly be the starter, right? Name me one rookie CB who was a starter in the NFL this year, and I don’t mean nickel backs/slot guys,

        Chicago CB Kyle Fuller was good in the 1st 4 games of the season, and then was awful after that. Outside of LT and WR, I’d say CB is the hardest position to learn and adapt to in the NFL.

        Simon shouldn’t be counted on, but he will be. What’s the point of counting on a guy with no NFL experience over a guy who’s had 2 bad games? This is Simon’s chance to prove that adversity won’t define him. Your going to get knocked on your ass in the NFL, in your first couple seasons. Let’s see how he responds.

        • CC

          Well said!

        • arias

          The draft isn’t the only option for finding players to compete with Simon. There’s free agency and there’s also that northern league aka CFL where Browner was plucked from. If I were Schneider I’d be scouring the CFL for possible DBs that could possibly compete for a spot come camp time. My understanding too is that the skill set of CFL DBs translates well to the NFL. A stopgap might be the way to go too in order to have a reliable and experienced guy spelling Simon. Maybe a guy like former Trojan and Carroll recruit Shareece Wright who played better than Flowers did last year in SD. He might not be elite, but then again, neither is Simon.

          No one’s saying the team should be “counting on a guy with no NFL experience”. But if a rookie comes in and performs well enough in camp to push Simon and win the spot as his backup, I also wouldn’t hesitate to use him should Simon pick up where he left off next season.

  23. Volume 12

    Speaking of scouring the playground’s of L.A., this kid UNLV CB Tajh Hasson may be of interest. 6’1, 195 lbs., is his listed height/weight, don’t know where to find arm length at, but he’s an interesting guy.

    • Lenny

      Add Cam Thomas from Western Kentucky to the no stone unturned list. Just over 6 feet and 195 pounds. Measured 32 1/4″ arms at the Shrine Game. In small sample highlight video he looked like a decent tackler and had aggressive ball skills. Really hard to say what his pro day scores will be from watching YouTube.

  24. Jeff M.

    It makes a difference whether the front office sees themselves as trying to replace Maxwell in the draft (in which case you probably are looking at a top pick, maybe even a small trade-up in the 1st) or just to rebuild depth behind the departing DBs.

    The worst-case scenario is that Maxwell and Johnson leave in FA and SImon and Lane both hit the PUP list, seemingly creating 4 holes to fill…but we’ll bring back Shead as an ERFA (and have Bailey and Terrell for additional safety depth), have Pinkins coming off a redshirt/injury year (do they still see him as an option at CB?), and I’m guessing they’ll try to bring Jefferson back as well if he’s healthy, so it may end up being more like one hole to address via draft or veteran FA.

    I could see Tillman if he’s willing to come and compete for a spot (a la Winfield) rather than asking for a promise to start. I think (someone correct me if this is wrong) that he’s spent most of his career as a LCB only (like Sherman), though–is he willing/able to convert to one of the other spots?

    • arias

      Doubtful Pinkins is seen as anything but a safety at this point given the holes in his coverage skills exposed in OTAs. It’s always possible but I’m not sure how he’d have any time or practice up his game given his IR’d season. He’s probably an heir apparent for Jerome Johnson at this point.

      They’re sorely lacking in depth if Simon doesn’t work out.

      • Jake

        Pinkins played safety in college, I think they knew it was going to be a process to make him a CB. Any holes in coverage were probably expected, so I wouldn’t rule him out of the competition to be Simon’s backup.

        • arias

          I don’t think they determined he would be a cornerback before he got injured since after getting burned deep more than a few times in scrimmages they had him exclusively playing safety from that point on. And it’s because of his unfamiliarity playing corner that I don’t think he’ll be better positioned than the rookie cornerbacks that they bring in to compete for a job as Simon’s backup. He’ll be competing with rookie corners that have played the position their entire lives when all he’s had is 4-5 days of OTAs playing there last year before being permanently switched to playing safety only.

  25. peter

    See I don’t totally understand why replacing Maxwell is a top ten pick move. Granted the Seahawks have been EXTREMELY! lucky/smart/gifted/patient, who knows in their draft process and finding what works for them. And what works for them is a CFL guy who had already been run from the NFL, a whopping third round pick on a guy interested in getting stoned and and being a haberdasher, A fifth round pick to sit behind that guy who already played the position under a rival head coach, a 6th round pick who wasn’t named fulltime starter until his 3rd year…..you can follow the pattern here.

    I would never say that Maxwell isn’t great or deserving of getting paid, but let’s be honest a 6th round pick doesn’t just turn into a top ten pick without a couple of factors at play:

    1. The obvious corner market in FA is garbage so that inflates value
    2. Players who play for winners are seen to have some magic fairy dust that elevates the play of everyone around them see: Every New England FA ever for the last 12 years, Eric Decker, etc.
    3. The CB draft market is by most accounts a total crap shoot and from this layman’s perspective most GM’s and coaches wouldn’t know how to draft a good DB is their lives were dependent on it see: Mo Claiborne, everyone who let Sherman roll through 4 full rounds before picking him. I actually think the position is harder to pick then anything outside of QB. If and edge rusher sucks well, put them in a rotation, if a WR sucks, ehh move on, but a Bad CB is an actual liability on the field.
    4. And finally Seattle’s Scheme allows all members of the LOB a greater level of success then might be seen on other teams. The safety scheme and play has allowed two unheralded CB’s to come in and dominate to Probowl/ big contract levels. Is that the players, sure, is that scheme/coaching/and players in three of the four LOB spots….I believe those are huge factors in making a Maxwell or a Browner what they are.

    I feel pretty certain that Simon is the guy next year and finding a Lane/ back up outside corner is the move. Bringing AJ Jefferson could make sense or maybe someone within is ready SHead? perhaps

  26. Lil'stink

    Maybe it’s time to rethink the whole 32″ arm requirement. Beggars can’t be choosers. While we aren’t quite that desperate, perhaps we shouldn’t be limiting our possibilities so much.

    • CC

      They will find their guys even if they weren’t at the combine – there are guys out there who fit their specs. We probably don’t know about them.

      • bigDhawk

        George Farmer. Remember that name.

        • peter

          why? conversion project? 6-1 220? WR?

    • Jake

      I wouldn’t reconsider the requirement considering the great success it has led to. I think we just may have to look under a few more rocks to find the fit. Could be a safety convert, a WR convert, hell maybe an undersized linebacker. It could be a FA that was on a bad team or a scheme mismatch. There’s lots of places to find players these days, Browner came from the CFL and Maxwell, Simon, Lane, and Sherman were drafted on the third day of the draft. There will be a good starting RCB on the Seahawks in 2015, I have no doubt about that – I just don’t know if he’s on the team, in the draft, or played on a different team last year.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      I think there is plenty of talent that fits the bill for a CB playing WR in college. This is a deep group of wideouts and a lot of them will never get a chance to play in the NFL. While it is common to convert an OT to OG or RB to FB for some reason we fail to see the possibility of converting a tall WR who runs fast but maybe doesn’t have the greatest college resume into a CB. Conversion projects could include:

      QB Nick Marshall 6-1,210, 4.48
      FS Kurtis Drummond 6-1, 208, 4.65
      WR Tony Lippett 6-3. 190, 4.47
      WR Dezmin Lewis 6-4, 208, 4.52
      WR Deontae Greenbery 6-2, 198. 4.54

      • Steve Nelsen

        WR Chris Conley, 6-2, 213, 4.35 is another potential conversion project.

        I have heard talk of converting Marshall and Lippett but not the other names on your list. Where did you hear about Drummond, Lewis and Greenbery?

        • Volume 12

          There’s a reason why Lippett and Marshall are being considered by teams as CBs. That’s becuaw they’ve played the position and have extensive history with it. Just because a WR has size that matches Seattle’s corners, doesn’t mean their going to consider them.

          I like Kurtis Drummond as a center-field back-up S behind Earl Thomas. 4.65 is way too slow for a CB in the NFL. Maybe if he had Brandon Browner type size, but he doesn’t. Give me Drummond in the 4th or 5th as a S.

          • peter

            Conley is not a conversion project. He’s WR project. Dezmin Lewis is a sleeper WR I actually hope they draft later on or at least consider.

    • Rob Staton

      In fairness their plan for the cornerback position has produced: Browner, Sherman, Maxwell. I’m not sure changing it is necessary.

  27. Trevor

    Post Combine Off Season Plan for Hawks (Win Forever)
    Current Roster
    1) Extend Beast Mode 2 yr 22 mil (12,10)
    2) Sign Russ 8 yr 125 mil guaranteed (5,7,8,15,20,20,25,25)
    3) Resign Carpenter 3 yr 10mil (3,3,4)
    4) Restructure Miller 2yr 4 mil (1.5,2.5)
    5) Restructure Mebane 2 yr 7.5 mil (3.5, 4)
    6) Cut Tony McDaniel 3.5 mil in cap saving
    7) Let Starters Maxwell, Kearse walk
    8) Let J Johnson, Schofield, Morgan,walk
    9)Sign T. Jackson for 1 yr 1 mil or Bj Daniels if ready
    10)Keep RFA Shead

    Free Agent / Trades
    1)Sign Paea 3 yr 15 mil (4,5,6)
    2) Sign Jabril Sheard 3 yr 15 mil (5,5,5)
    3) Sign Thurmond 1 yr 1.5 mill
    4) Trade 5th round pick for Brandon Marshall 3 yr 21.5 left on deal (7,7,7.5)
    *Check on Henry Melton and Cameron Jordan to see if can get on a short term prove it deal

    Draft
    -Trade 3rd and 4th for Browns 2nd
    -Get 4th or 6th from Jets for Harvin
    -Get 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th Comp picks
    -Trade one of 5th picks to Bears for Marshall

    1-31 DB (J Collins or
    2-41 TE ( M Willams)
    2-63 WR (Mcbride)
    4-Jets WR (Connely)
    4 comp OG (Poole)
    5th Safety (Tarret or Shaw)
    5 comp DB Convert (Lippet, Marshall)
    6 comp OT (Crisp)
    7 DT Project (Covington)

    What do you guys think?

    • Trevor

      1st round should have said J. Collins or B Jones at DB

      • Trevor

        The 53 Roster for 2015 would be

        QB (2) -Wilson and Jackson or Daniels
        RB (3)- Lynch, Turbin, Micheals
        FB (1)- Coleman
        TE (3) Willson, Miller, Max Willams
        WR (6) Marshall, Mathews, Baldwin, Norwood, Mcbride, Conely, PRich (PUP)
        OL (10) Okung, Unger, Carpenter, Sweezy, Britt, Gilliam, Lewis, Bailey, Poole, Crisp

        ST (3) Hauluska, Ryan, Long Snapper

        DT (6) Mebane, Hill, Paea, Melton, Dobbs or J Williams, Covington
        DE (4) Bennett, Marsh, Avril, Sheard
        LB (5) Wagner, Wright, Irvin, KPL, Coyle
        DB (5) Sherman, Simon, Burley, Thurmond, B Jones (rookie)
        Safety (5) Thomas, Chancellor, Shead, Tarret, Pinkins

      • peter

        I don’t think Byron Jones has enough tape to get him into the first. But I am intrigued by him in the second or later. I like all the COnversion talk but Sherman, Maxwell, and Simon, aaannnd Browner were all actual corner backs drafted at the 5th round or later I’m not sure if conversion projects would get picked in the fifth based on potential alone, which is always a good thing.

    • Lil'stink

      No way Wilson takes that little money, so we can’t afford to bring in all the new players you mention. I’m also not sure I want to commit to giving a 34 year old Russell Wilson $25 million when he’s only 26. That could backfire in the worst sort of way. Carp probably won’t be back, Kearse probably will. We already restructured Miller. I don’t think we are extending Mebane right now, coming off his injury. I have a feeling the Jets cut Harvin, so we only get a 6th instead of the 4th.

      I do like signing Paea or Sheard, but I think it will take a 4 year deal. And we definitely won’t get both. Trading our 3rd and 4th could be interesting, depending on how FA goes. If we shore up some of our needs then great, maybe we can trade up. If not, those picks could go a long way in a deep draft. I don’t like the idea of trading up for Williams, though, I’m not a huge fan of his. I don’t think he would be getting so much mention if the TE class wasn’t so weak.

      I still think it’s so hard to predict the draft until after FA.

      • Trevor

        Agree completely draft is a Crap shoot until after Free Agency.

        As for Wilson’s deal it would be an average of just over 17 million per year and it would be fully guaranteed so the lower dollar amounts in years 1-3 would not really matter. In 7 years with the cap increasing ever year 25 million will probably look like a deal for a starting QB

        I just wish they would get Wilson and Lynches deal done as until then who knows what Cap space we have the terms and structure will have a huge impact on the future.

        What type of $ do you think it would take to get Paea and Sheard?

        • lil'stink

          So hard to know how much Paea or Sheard would command, and I’m far from an expert. If I had to guess Sheard would be more expensive, but if we could get him on a similar deal to KJ that would be great. The more I think about Sheard the more I like him. I don’t know if he’s an every down LEO, but he could fill our weak side pass rush needs. If I had to choose between the 2 he would be my preference; I think we could find some DT help in this draft easier than edge rushers. But again, I’m no expert.

          I like the McBride pick, but it seems so hard to predict where he goes. 2nd round seems a bit high, but he might be gone in round 3. He seems very Seahawky to me. I also like Ty Lockette a lot, probably more than others on this board. He has a small catch radius, but he’s so quick and seems like he can get open more often than not. He could also fix our return game shortcomings.

          I also really like Grady Jarrett. Look at his tape if you haven’t already. He’s not an every down player, but I think he could be a steal if we can get him at the end of round 3. Outside of getting a solid WR I hope we can get back to having a deeper DL like in 2013. I know the injury bug hit us hard last year, but I think Sheard and a guy like Jarrett could get us back to more of that sort of deep rotation on the DL. Sheard, Jarrett, Bennett, Avril, Mebane, Hill… Awesome.

          As for Wilson’s contract, I would be thrilled at 6 years $120 million, maybe 80-90 guaranteed. But that might be a bit optimistic. I just want FA to hurry up and get here! I’m starting to go a bit crazy just waiting…

          • Trevor

            I like Grady Jarret too as a penetrating tackle in the rotation I thought he might be a 4th or 5th rounder for us but seems like he is generating a little buzz and looks like a 3rd or early 4th now. God I hope the Jets restructure Harvin and keep him so we get that early 4th.

            • lil'stink

              Right now he’s saying he won’t redo his deal. I don’t know if he’s being genuine or if it’s just a negotiating tactic. He expects to get paid like he’s a top 5 receiver even though he’s nowhere close to it. Being able to spite the Seahawks by not staying on the Jets is probably an extra bonus in Percy’s mind. I really loathe the guy. I hope PCJS really did learn a lesson, which is one reason why I’m so interested in this offseason.

      • Ho Lee Chit

        I agree with you about Wilson’s deal. He will be given the cash up front in a signing bonus. The bonus can only be prorated over five years. I expect a five year deal for $120M with a guaranteed $89m. That allows the team to even out the cap hit over time. It should be something like this:

        YEAR SALARY BONUS CAP HIT
        2015 1,000,000 15,000,000 16,000,000
        2016 6,000,000 15,000,000 21,000.000
        2017 7,000,000 15,000,000 22,000,000
        2018 9,000,000 15,000,000 24,000,000
        2019 12,000,000 15,000,000 27,000,000

    • Attyla the Hawk

      That’s pure rosterbation gold.

      If it were possible to add Marshall, McBride and Williams in one offseason — that would be completely insane improvement in the passing department. That’s an aggressive retooling with the two prospects that I am the most high on. Rolling out Baldwin/Marshall/McBride with Williams at TE should vastly improve our ability to threaten defenses and to convert 3rd downs.

      I wouldn’t think it’d take a 3rd and 4th to get the Brown’s second pick. But certainly that should do the trick.

      I think I’d prefer to opt for either J Collins or T Gurley at 31, with the lean to Gurley. Ensuring not only a clean succession from when Lynch falls off the cliff, but also to have a quality #2 back who can vamp carries from Lynch legitimately — with the hope of extending Lynch’s effectiveness well into year 2 and possibly 3 of an extension.

      • Volume 12

        I like the draft part of it. Although I’d rather have Kurtis Drummond over Josh Shaw, and Jaquiski Tart will be gone by the 5th round, As for the FA part of it, can’t see that happening.

        I wouldn’t expect Seattle to add anything in FA other than a TE and a veteran D-lineman. The rest of their signings will be for camp/competition.

  28. Steve Nelsen

    I think a lot of us are struggling to adjust our Seahawks draft boards based on the new information about Lane’s knee injury/surgery and Simon’s shoulder injury/surgery.

    Maxwell is gone. Lane now seems unlikely to play in ’15. The best case scenario for Lane seems to be going on PUP and returning late in the season. Simon was “next man up” for Maxwell but until he has his shoulder surgery and we get an idea of his recovery timeline, his availability for the off-season/start of season is in question. I am not overly concerned about his poor play at the end of the season; he played well during the regular season and apparently was playing injured at the end. I am concerned about his availability. Plus, the Seattle roster construction/player development system requires that you play young guys and deal with the growing pains.

    Burley is “next man up” for Lane as the slot corner. He came into the system and was thrown into the starting lineup immediately. I am confident with a full off-season of work that he can cover the slot.

    The Seahawks need a guy who can possibly start at RCB as a rookie. I won’t go into exhaustive analysis of all the free agents but Peanut Tillman is not a starter and does not fit on our roster as a backup. Walter Thurmond is a slot guy, not a starting RCB and his injury/suspension risk does not work in the current Seahawk scenario where availability is a high priority. I think in general that all the free agent corners are likely to get overpaid this year and I don’t expect Seattle to overpay for someone outside the system if they weren’t willing to overpay for Byron Maxwell.

    That leaves the draft. There are certainly going to be good developmental projects later in the draft and Seattle will certainly take one in my opinion. But, I think a potential rookie starter will need to be drafted in the first round.

    There are two possibilities currently projected to be available at 31: Alex Carter and Byron Jones. those are probably the guys we need to focus on. Maybe another guy jumps into contention at their pro day but for now, I will have one of those two guys as the Seattle first-round pick on my board. Other needs like receivers, a replacement for Lynch, O-Line, D-Line, all get pushed back.

    The other possibility is that Seattle trades up for Jalen Collins or Trae Waynes. This front office believes in trading down, not up, so I don’t think a trade-up scenario is realistic.

    Also, Seattle has a very specific type of athlete that they believe they can develop in their system. That model has worked very well for them so don’t expect them to change it this year and suddenly start drafting guys who don’t fit. For instance, 32″ arms is a requirement.

    • JeffC

      And now Earl is out for 6-8 months.

      • Steve Nelsen

        Yes. I didn’t discuss the safeties but with Earl’s surgery and Jeron Johnson likely to leave in free agency, I think any idea of using DeShawn Shead as a fill-in at CB is out the window. He will need to play free safety all off-season and probably most of camp.

        Dion Bailey and possibly Eric Pinkins are next man up at safety to replace Johnson. I am not sure if the Seattle coaches have given up on the idea of converting Pinkins to CB as quickly as some fans have. I don’t think it is fair to judge his potential at CB based solely on his poor play as a CB during OTAs. The conversion process for a guy like Pinkins is likely to be a year or more.

  29. no frickin clue

    We know that the Hawks draft for the team, not for the league, which might explain why some of the early-round selections seem like head-scratchers (see Britt, Justin).

    So an obvious question might be: why shouldn’t the same thing happen this year with a DB selection? We will almost certainly need a Maxwell replacement, Lane won’t be able to start the season, which leaves us with Sherm, Simon, Burley, and not much else.

    I say this year is different. We have a pick, or multiple picks, in every round in the draft. Last year, if we skipped the OL with our 2nd rounder, we would have to wait until rd4 to select again, by which point Britt might have been gone. (once again: blame Percy Harvin!)

    Unless someone remarkable at CB falls to 1.31, I think we end up waiting until rd3 or later to draft a CB, and then letting Professor Carroll and Professor Richard get to work in the classroom.

    • Volume 12

      Could not agree more. Your just as likely to get a starter at CB in rounds 3-5 as you are in the 1st or 2nd.

      CBs Byron Jones and Alex Carter are appealing, but do they have they confidence and attitude to fit into the LOB?

    • matt509

      My problem is I don’t see a corner coming in and starting day 1. We might draft one later, but I think PC will go and find someone in FA to start day 1 and let the rookie grow. Nothing super expensive but something like Browner.

      • no frickin clue

        Also can’t rule out the prospect of a trade for CB help. We gave up a 6th for Burley in December. Why not look over the lightly-used talent on other teams? I started looking through the draft class of 2013 – which is recent enough for those players to still be young and on the rise, but old enough that maybe some team will give up on potential unrealized.

        The 2013 draft brought 3rd round pick Kayvon Webster (University of South Florida) to the Broncos, but the guy has started two games in two years. Has 59 tackles and 5 assists in 26 games for his career. He’s 6’1″ and has 32.5″ arms, and did 10’5″ in the broad jump. Ran a 4.41 in the 40-yd dash at the combine. The guy is buried on their depth chart behind starters who aren’t going anywhere. They apparently could move him to free safety if they lose Rahim Moore in free agency, but they also have David Bruton waiting in the wings at FS. Maybe a trade candidate? Or wishful thinking on my part?

        And if he’s a possible FS replacement, or at least back-up, maybe he’s extra protection against ET being out longer than expected at the beginning of the season. The guys at Mile High Report, from what I’ve read, suggest that he hits like Earl Thomas. That might be a bit of hyperbole but if he’s got that kind of attitude he’d probably fit in with the LOB very nicely.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s almost certain they wait until day three to take a corner.

      • Volume 12

        I agree

      • SunPathPaul

        I so hope you are right Rob. That means we are grabbing offensive weapons and OL reinforcements!

        I want 2 WR!! 1 TE…and 3 OL

        • peter

          Sun path I honestly love the enthusiasm but can not tell if you are being serious with the 3 OL! Even if they lose Carp, you still have Bailey, Gilliam, Lewis, Scott (?) as back ups bodies to four established starters, I could maybe concede two O line men but would love to see them draft one more edge rusher or Dtackle they could call their own.

          • Volume 12

            The edge rushers at the combine weren’t very impressive. Length wise or speed. I mean of course Beasley, Flower, guys like that were.

            Can’t wait for the pro days for some of these teams. Really looking forward to Oklahoma DT Chuka Ndulue’s.

            I too think that 2 O-lineman, 1 early and 1 mid to late, would more than suffice,

            • Volume 12

              Meant to say Beasley, Fowler, Dupree, Harold, etc.

  30. Volume 12

    Since we’re throwing out names as WRs turned into potential DBs, what about S. Florida’s Chris Dunkley?

    He’s a former Florida Gator and was an actual CB, but was a receiver for USF. He reportedly had a good showing at the Denver regional combine, has a fantastic build and size, looks like he may the arm length.

    He was arrested a couple of years ago, but when has that ever stopped Seattle in the mid to late rounds?

  31. Misfit74

    I wouldn’t mind a flyer on Tillman one bit. He’s a turnover-forcing machine. That said, I’m not sure we can trust him to start and/or play 16 games.

  32. Diehard82

    With Lane surgery, really looking for two starting corners since we use nickel a lot. However, Tharold Simon, Steven Terrell, Eric Pinkins and Marcus Burley are all under contract. Simon was exposed by the small and quick Julian Edelman, but played well opposite Brandon LaFell. And lets not forget that Thomas was beaten by Amendola, Wright was smoked by Gronk. Are we throwing Wright under the bus? Tharold Simon may be better than any draft options. Burley at nickel. I would hope based on the SB experience that Carroll re-thinks his strategy of playing corners on one side only. When you play the Patriots, you better plan to put Burley or another small quick corner on Edelman. BTW, isn’t Walter Thurmond a free agent?

    • peter

      They should have adjusted accordingly and with a full disclosure, the Hawks got beat schematically in that realm….buuuuuttt….they did lose their starting nickel corner on the first drive (?) and didn’t have as I recall Burley suited up, so there is that. Corners playing their side has worked before and will work again as long has you have a nickel corner of worth and are not rolling out a mash unit for your defensive backfield.

  33. Misfit74

    Further NFL corners will be released over the coming months and become available via FA. Trades also a factor. We’ll find the players we need by any means necessary. I’m confident in that. The question is where?

    • DC

      Agreed. Our front office has beaten every bush and produced cornerbacks like nobody’s business for years. Our starters are fine. It’s just a matter of health right now. So Simon got burnt by Brady to Mini-me over and over again. Big whoop. We do need to add depth. Not every free agent out there is going to get big bucks. When things slow down and the money evens out do you want to play for a title contender in the LOB or for the Cleveland Browns? That’s what I thought, welcome to Seattle.

  34. Cysco

    I really hope those dez bryant scandal rumors prove to be BS. I like the guy as a player and the league doesn’t need another player in a domestic violence scandal.

    • rowdy

      What scandal? Haven’t heard of one.

      • Cysco

        Down here in Dallas there’s tons of talk about some story that was posted on one of the tabloid sites today about a video of Dez in a fight with his girlfriend. The author says he’s heard from someone who’s seen the video and they claim it’s “five times worse than the Ray Rice video” For whatever that means.

        Some of the radio guys down here with some contacts in the team seem to think there is some substance to this story and that’s why the Cowboys haven’t offered him a new contract. The thought goes that the team knows the tape is out there and that it’s going to be seriously bad when/if it comes to light.

        the story says the tape is supposed to be released tomorrow (wednesday) and the team has told Dez and his camp to be prepared.

        • Volume 12

          Ouch2 Dallas probably hasn;tmoffered Fez a new deal, because he’s out of the league for who knows how long. Heard it’s not current, but worse than Rice’s. E

        • Volume 12

          Ouch! Dallas probably hasn’t offered Dez a new deal, because he’s out of the league for who knows how long.

          Heard it’s not current, but worse than Rice’s. New or old, it doesn’t excuse the fact, and it just shows how important character and personality are in today’s NFL.

  35. Volume 12

    You guys should really check this guy out. Marshall CB Darryl ‘Swag’ Roberts- 5’11, 180 lbs., I’d say his arms are 32′ inches, they look very long for his height.

    Has the body type of a Walter Thurmond and hits like Bam Bam. These are his 2014 highlights. I know, I know, there not from Draft Breakdown.com, but there pretty good highlights. They show his technique, ball skills, etc. He’d make a great nickel/slot CB.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU-H3R4rTUA

    The 1st article shows his toughness, mindset, and the ‘want’ to get continually better.
    http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/x404912124/Toughness-grows-in-Marshalls-Roberts

    This one highlights his infectious personality, leadership, and some impressive strength
    http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140814/DM03/140819471

    • Trevor

      He looks interesting for sure!

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