Seahawks: Top-five off-season needs

#1 Offensive tackle

It’s hard to specify whether it’ll be a left or right tackle. The Seahawks are expected to have around $34m in free cap room this off-season. It’s more than enough to re-sign Russell Okung. However, he’s missed 24 games in a six-year career and might command a top-tier salary. If he departs they’ll need to add a new tackle — even if Garry Gilliam is moved to the blind side. Making sure Russell Wilson is well protected for 16 games and not seven has to be Seattle’s top priority going into 2016. If Okung signs a new contract, we can pretty much strike this off the list of needs.

Possible first round OT’s: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Shon Coleman (Auburn), Taylor Decker (Ohio State), Jack Conklin (Michigan State), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame)

Prospect beyond round one to monitor: Adam Bisnowaty (T, Pittsburgh)

#2 Cornerback

Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead are both free agents in waiting. Good cornerbacks are hard to find and Byron Maxwell struggling in Philadelphia is unlikely to dissuade teams from adding a former Seahawks DB. Neither of these two are likely to get close to Maxwell’s salary — but they might get offers that are a little rich for the Seahawks. Lane is only 25 and might be best signing a new one-year deal in Seattle to return as a starter with the intention of maximising his stock for 2017. Either way, the conveyor belt of talent is running out of talent and Seattle’s depth at corner is weak. The failed Cary Williams experiment could put them off free agency. They might need to make an early pick at corner this year.

Possible first round CB’s: Eli Apple (Ohio State), Tre’Davious White (LSU), Cam Sutton (Tennessee), Mackensie Alexander (Clemson), Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech)

Prospect beyond round one to monitor: Zack Sanchex (CB, Oklahoma)

#3 Linebacker

This is another need based on what happens with a prospective free agent. That’s testament to Seattle’s balanced roster. Bruce Irvin isn’t just a starter — he’s a potential playmaker. He had fewer big impact plays this year (5.5 sacks, one FF, no picks) but there isn’t anyone like Irvin in the league. He can rush the passer, cover, play to the sideline. He’s a unique swiss army knife of a linebacker. By choosing not to take up his affordable 2015 contract option, they made it clear they were willing to risk losing him. He’s 29 next year so what is his value? Is it greater to the Seahawks than anyone else? Maybe. If he walks (possibly to rejoin Dan Quinn in Atlanta) they’ll need a replacement. Kevin Pierre-Louis did an unconvincing job in spot starts this season. If they’re lucky someone like Ohio State’s Darron Lee could be available (unlikely). Oklahoma’s Eric Striker is an option. They could also look to convert an athletic safety in the mould of Deone Bucannon.

Possible first round LB’s: Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Darron Lee (Ohio State), Myles Jack (UCLA)

Prospect beyond round one to monitor: Eric Striker (LB, Oklahoma)

#4 Wide receiver

Jermaine Kearse isn’t a big stat guy. He’ll never be considered an elite receiver. Yet he’s made some of the most significant catches in Seattle’s franchise history. He won’t be easy to replace and could easily wind up being a priority keep this off-season. Doug Baldwin’s contract expires after 2016 and he too is due an extension. The lack of security here — plus Paul Richardson’s injury habit — puts receiver on the need list. College football is consistently producing pro-ready wide outs these days. The idea that it’s a bad position to draft early is a thing of the past. If the Seahawks can add another dynamic pass-catcher with suddenness, explosiveness and the ability to get open — they have to consider it. Especially if Kearse moves on.

Possible first round WR’s: Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Corey Coleman (Baylor), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Michael Thomas (Ohio State), Tyler Boyd (Pittsburgh), De’Runnya Wilson (Mississippi State)

Prospect beyond round one to monitor: Braxton Miller (WR, Ohio State)

#5 Running back

Marshawn Lynch is due $11.5m in 2016 and it feels almost certain this will be his final season in Seattle. The Seahawks have an heir-apparent in Thomas Rawls at a much cheaper cost. They can use the draft to find a supporting runner. It’s time for both parties to move on, hopefully after one more fruitful playoff push together. This looks like a good draft for runners. Seattle could target rounds 2-4 (as they have in the past) to look at the position. UCLA’s Paul Perkins and Arkansas’ Alex Collins are personal favourites.

Possible first round RB’s: Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State)

Prospect beyond round one to monitor: Paul Perkins (RB, UCLA)

So what do they do?

The Seahawks have recently looked to draft and develop athletic offensive linemen in the mid-to-late rounds while adding dynamic athletes in the early rounds. They could easily go receiver or linebacker first and offensive tackle later.

That said, the entire 2015 season was influenced dramatically by the state of Seattle’s O-line. When they struggled earlier in the year, so did the Seahawks offense. Badly. As this young group developed and found some chemistry — Russell Wilson was able to play at an elite level.

The absolute number one priority for the 2016 season has to be to create an environment where Wilson can prosper for a full 16-games. This could happen in a number of ways. They might re-sign Okung and J.R. Sweezy. They might choose to replace Okung in the draft and move Gilliam across. They might upgrade the interior line in free agency by signing someone like Alex Mack. They might even look into the possibility of trading for Joe Thomas.

Whatever they do, they can’t have the same growing pains next year. They don’t have to go O-line in the first round — but the line generally has to be the key.

Highlighted prospect at each position

Shon Coleman (T, Auburn)
Still the best tackle in college football for me in 2015. Coleman is a complete tackle. He kick-slides with ease and has ideal length and size. When he locks onto a defender it’s over with excellent hand placement and upper body power. Coleman loves to finish — driving pass-rushers off the ball and usually onto the turf. He matched up well against the best the SEC had to offer (Myles Garrett). He also frequently gets to the second level and seeks out linebackers to smash. His stock could be impacted by age (24) and the fact he’s battled cancer. If he lasts until the late first round, more fool the rest of the league.

Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)
I’m a big admirer of Apple, Tre’Davious White and Cam Sutton. All three have the upside to be special at the next level. I’m highlighting Apple because he might be the best fit for the Seahawks. He has the size, length and athleticism to be a star — but it’s his on-field savvy and game-smarts that are most intriguing. Apple doesn’t get beat over the top, keeps everything in front and manages the explosive play. He’ll give up 5-6 yards to avoid giving up 50. That’s OK. He’s a solid open-field tackler, he will make the occasional break on the football and he’s fundamentally sound across the board. Compare that to the streaky (and overrated) Vernon Hargreaves — a corner that is a hopeless open-field tackler and inconsistent in coverage.

Darron Lee (LB, Ohio State)
There’s just something really fun and unique to Lee’s game. He’s not a stunning athlete like Ryan Shazier but he’s well above average. He could run in the 4.4’s. His natural instinct and flair for the game shines through on tape. Lee knows how to disguise and time a blitz — but he also has the acceleration and closing speed to be effective. He’s very good working in space and making tackles despite a lack of excellent size. He’s a well spoken, intelligent individual destined to be a leader at the next level. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he went in the top-12 picks. Not in the slightest. He’ll be a fine addition to any roster and a genuine safe pick.

Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
Russell Wilson appears to be more comfortable throwing to sudden receivers who create obvious separation. It sounds like a fairly obvious thing to say — but it’s arguably partly why he seemed unwilling to trust Jimmy Graham in tight coverage at times. Graham has never been a guy who gets open per se — he wins match-ups. I’m not sure it’s in Wilson’s psyche to throw passes with a high degree of perceived risk. Fuller is a thoroughly dynamic, sudden athlete who creates separation in the short game with crisp breaks. He also has the deep speed to get downfield and be an X-Factor. Imagining adding him to the offense, especially with Paul Richardson’s injury history, is a salivating thought. If you need more convincing, click here. He could be a big riser over the next two or three months.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)
I’m not convinced the Seahawks have much interest in a genuine two-headed monster at running back. They need a supporting cast for Thomas Rawls. Some competition — but really someone who can work third downs and the two-minute drill and provide some relief. Are you going to take that type of back in round one? That’s not taking anything away from Elliott — who looks the part of a dynamic runner. He explodes through an open lane and has the sprinter-speed to finish runs. He’s tough to bring down, keeps his legs moving and doesn’t flop over on contact. Elliott consistently makes things happen even when the blocking isn’t perfect or the defense finds an edge. He has a shot to crack the top-25.


  1. red

    If Irvin leaves i think maybe we go back to using more of an OLB/Will Malcolm Smith role. So if Darron Lee is in late first it would make a lot of sense. If we were looking to fill the position in the 2nd I like Deion Jones from LSU less hype but solid prospect in my opinion.

    • Naks8

      He hasn’t gotten a lot of game reps, but Eric pinkens seems to fit that safety/lb hybrid role. We even have nick moody stashed as that undersized lb. just thinking we need players that are uniquely different or huge upgrades.

  2. line_hawk

    Off topic. Seems like beast mode is back but do you think having him back might regress the running game and/or offense in general? We no longer are a grind it out team and if the game is close (within one touchdown) and Lynch is not getting much yards, do we get Michael in the game? Will Lynch’s return affect the chemistry of the offense which has been clicking recently?

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t imagine his return will have a negative impact at all.

    • Adam B.

      I was thinking about this as well as his return becomes more evident, but I just don’t see a problem. I think the guy who probably losses out the most is our “between the guards” back–Bryce Brown. And with Seattle easing Beastmode in with maybe 20 carries, that still leaves ten to fifteen or so totes for CMike to show his stuff and potentially get a few more if he shows like he has been of late.

      As for Beastmode, he has every reason to try and ball-out in the playoffs; He needs to show he’s healthy if he wants to play another year or two. If not, he will at least want to go out on top–preferably with another ring. The issue with Marshawn will be entirely a question of his ability to execute physically, and I have no doubt he’s longing for some poor souls to test himself against, over and through.

      • line_hawk

        Beast mode had a slow start to the year and our run game looked a lot better with Rawls in the first half of the season. Whether that was because of the the injury or Beast mode losing a step is unknown. Our recent offensive resurgence is based on efficiency and avoiding 3 & long situations. If Beast mode has indeed slowed down, it will regress the offense.

        Speaking of run game, its predicted to be 0 degrees Farenheit at kickoff on Sunday. They better bring their A run-game.

  3. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Something has players fleeing Cleveland in droves….

    Their ProBowl/AllPro LT Thomas has indicated he might want to leave for greener pastures. How about this, Seattle trades their 1st round pick for him, then they can let Okung walk. They do get older, but they upgrade in my humble opinion. If possible, also scoop up Mack in FA for Center…….. then in the draft 3rd or 4th round grab a OG for depth.

    The biggest weakness (commonly perceived amongst the masses) would then be filled with probowl caliber players at 2 spots along the OL. Yes, this is ludicrous, but trading for Jimmy Graham was also crazy approximately this time last season.

    And yes, the 2nd round pick would be burnt on BPA (most likely WR or DL/OLB) at pick #63.

    • Nathan

      Could we sell of Lynch to them?

      • Drew

        We aren’t going to send Lynch to Cleveland. That’d be a bad move by the FO. If we trade Lynch, it’ll be to Oakland, either that or just release him.

        Right now I think getting Thomas or Mack is a pipe dream. Last year the Browns wanted more than just a 1st for Thomas.

        • Nathan

          Why would trading him to Cleveland(and getting something for him) be a worse move than releasing him?

          • arias

            Because he doesn’t want to play for Cleveland. He has expressed his desire to play for Oakland. So releasing him allows him to do that. You don’t treat the heart and soul of your offense the last five years with such disrespect that you trade him to NFL purgatory where he has no desire of playing. That’s a terrible way to treat a player of his stature.

      • Phil

        Or Kam? I’m not convinced that he’s “in” and, if not, he should be “out”.

        • MikeB'hamster

          Sad, but true. I agree entirely. He is not the same universally admired player he once was, and never will be again. Regrettably and inexplicably he made himself a bruise and a sore spot on the team. Despite somewhat mediocre play since his late return, he still will have some perceived trade value. It is time to avert our gaze and move on.

          • Volume12

            If Kam doesn’t come back, we probably miss out on the playoffs?

            If I asked you what was the one most memorable play this year, Kam punching the ball out of Megatron’s hands at the goalline is surely at the top or the most memorable, correct?

            The hangover from the SB had more to do with our early season struggles than his holdout.

            Kam isn’t easily replaceable. McCray is a solid backup, but he’s not dynamic or unique.

            Ya lose/trade Kam, ya lose ET and the LOB.

            • arias

              Actually some of those early season struggles in the LOB were directly related to Kam’s holdout. There seemed to be some lingering resentment from him towards Earl and Sherm that was causing some of the dissension. Earl made allusions to it with his comment on their struggles in the secondary at that time about guys not being willing to completely give it up for the team, getting out of their own way, and not willing to trust each other like in the past. Hmm … not really many candidates as to who he could have been talking about.

              I think Kam resented the fact that Earl and Sherm got paid, even though he did too their salary dwarfed his. Earl mentioned at the start of the season how he had stopped texting Kam midway through camp so had no idea what he was up to. Stephen A Smith, who had been talking to Kam to get updates from him during his holdout and spoke to him at length the day he reported, mentioned some resentment over Kam feeling he’d been slighted by some guys in the locker room because he felt they didn’t support him like Beastmode did. Again, not hard to figure out who he was alluding to. Sherm when interviewed how they’d do without Kam gave the same story to the press every time that hopefully he’ll report but they’d be able to do just fine with whoever they ran out there in his place. Earl obviously wasn’t happy with Kam’s decision to holdout into the reg season either.

              I think the dissension he caused with his holdout did play a major role. It also affected his play. The Bengals game he played like the worst guy on the field, giving up nine catches on 11 targets for 102 yards and responsible for the miscommunication that resulted in the Eifert touchdown. He was as responsible for that loss as anyone. Hard to see that happening if he had been in sync with the team and not missed camp.

              • MikeB'hamster

                Not long ago, when the Legion of Boom was in its’ heyday, there was no more ardent supporter and fan of Chancellor than myself. Kam, “the hammer”, “the enforcer”, along with Earl Thomas, the lightning fast Road Runner, and the suave, debonaire, deft, Richard Sherman, unshakeable cover corner, and whichever other corner who was filling the spot at the time…They were a thrilling, proud and exuberant brotherhood unto themselves. Tragically, one guy walked away from that, and in so doing, for a period of time, Boom became Gloom.The analogy is often drawn between football and the military…in combat, troops fight for above all else, the guys on either side of them. That is the bond, and for one to go awol, to turn his back on his comrades and the battle, is to lose honor. To many, presumably including Sherm, and Earl, this possibly is the perception regarding the disappointing behavior of Chancellor. Perhaps the damage could have been ameliorated to some extent if Chancellor had returned and said, “…what was I thinking? I really screwed the pooch and I’m sorry guys”. Instead it was, “…no one understands me and no one supported me…”. The pouting attitude has continued, and has been manifested in his recent poor play, and will continue to adversely affect what is now the former collegiality of the Legion Of Boom. It is a sad story, and a shame, however, this is an issue which may best be resolved in all respects, by Chancellor seeking redemption elsewhere. Hopefully, that will be possible, for his sake, and for those of us who so admired his talent and performance as part of the Legion Of Boom.

                • arias

                  Couldn’t agree more. Excellent analogy illustrating the similarity to going AWOL, breaking that bond of trust that seems irreconcilable at this point. Also loved your description of the LoB in its “heyday”, as much as I wish that heyday could continue in perpetuity, I just don’t see how this gets resolved any other way that’s best for the team should Kam continue to pout and continue his business decisions of playing poorly at times due to concerns of self preservation. And all indications are that this will continue to be an offseason issue until it’s resolved one way or another.

    • Belgaron

      This strategy reminds me of what previous regimes would do. It’s not that it’s a horrible idea, it’s just not the way the current FO likes to proceed. They like youth and contracts that help the team.

  4. Cameron

    Of all the scenarios listed above I am most enamored with drafting a cornerback.

    The idea of keeping Jeremy Lane for another season is appealing, but I’m not sure he’s a long term solution at CB2. Ideally he’s a nickel corner who can play outside in a pinch.

    DaShawn Shead oozes athleticism and looks the part, but to my eye he’s a bit prone to lapses in terms of coverage assignment. He’s been in the program long enough for that aspect to be troubling.

    This team is still so talented across the board and has so few needs that it makes the most sense to draft from a position you can never have to me any of.

    On that note my 2nd choice would be an impact pass rusher.

    • C-Dog

      I would love to see them hang onto Lane for at least another year. Given his injury history, I’m not convinced some team is going to give him a relatively high priced long deal anyways. If Seattle can get him to come in on either a “prove it” one year deal to show he can get through a full healthy season, it makes a ton of sense for both sides. If they can get him on a 2 or 3 year deal, even better. He’s a really good player who knows the system.

      I think Shead might be a victim of being a jack of all trades – master of none. I am kind of intrigued to see if they keep him at corner and see how he grows next offseason.

      I’m not terribly convinced Seattle would take a corner early, given their history, but if a really good one lands to them, I suppose anything is possible.

      • Donald

        Don’t sell Shead short C-Dog

        Shead is a valuable player by being able to back up multiple positions very well, and has shown to be a very good starting caliber CB. He and lane needs to be a priority and kept, as Simon has shown some potential but is injury prone.

        • C-Dog

          Yeah, I’m not selling Shead short at all. I’m actually very interested in having them keep him around, and have him settled at CB instead of being the LOB Swiss Army Knife. Keep him and Lane both.

  5. Therick05

    Rob, what you think about Karl Joseph? I think that Kam will be traded for 2nd rounder and Karl is a nice replacement for him, big hit guy, great locker room leader and we could pick him in the 3rd, so they could use the 2ndround pick on a DT.
    My perfect draft would be:
    1st-Corey Coleman
    2nd-Austin Johnson and Joe Dahl
    3rd-Karl Joseph and Kenneth Dixon
    What you guys think?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not watched enough to comment, although I cannot imagine Chancellor being traded. I would be stunned if it happened. I highly doubt it will.

    • Hawkinee

      Joe Dahl is the man

    • david ess

      I doubt if they were to trade Kam we would be able to get a second. He is playing and the only way we trade him is if he starts sitting out again. I think the FO will throw him something to satisfy him along with Bennett.

      Kam will be 28 and hasn’t played all that well this year so I doubt he has much of a market anyways.

      • Drew

        The FO will not throw anything at Kam or Bennett. They still have multiple years left on their contract. If they start doing that then they’re going to have a long line of people expecting to have something thrown their way as well.

        Kam hasn’t been as dominate this year and has missed quite a few games, and his replacement, McCray, has played well in his absence. There’s no way they give him anything.

        • arias

          I sure don’t envy John Schneider’s job this offseason and how he’s going to handle getting all the egos and demands all sorted out. Kam might not have made a good case with his play for doing anything with his contract, but Bennett certainly has.

          I think it’s a bit naive to assume they won’t do anything because, according to Kam himself, the Seahawks were negotiating with him and willing to redo quite a bit of the backend of his contract as he was demanding. It just wasn’t enough for him.

    • Ukhawk

      Love Joseph. We should draft him whether or not Kam leaves. Would be a great back to both safety positions and/or allow Kam to play the dollar or big nickel role. His injury means he will go later than he should.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I like KJ Dillon more.

        • Ukhawk

          Will check him out. Thx

      • Mike B.

        A later-round guy with a lot of potential at SS is Michael Caputo from Wisconsin. At the very least he could be a key special teams guy, and perhaps be SS2 within a year or two.

        I also have hope that Miles Killebrew will stay under-the-radar and be available in the middle rounds.

        • Spireite Seahawk

          Caputo was the guy who got hit so hard he ended up in the wrong huddle. Was that a one off or are concussions an issue?

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Not a real big fan in Joseph. I like his movement skills. Smooth. But I see a marked lack of will in filling holes like we see Chancellor do. And I see a marked lack of decisiveness in reacting to the ball in the air. I can’t know if that’s just not understanding what he’s seeing or what. He definitely doesn’t appear to be a natural ball hawk.

      Additionally, you see him really sacrifice sound form in the open field in attempts to get kill shots. Drops his head consistently when he does this.

      These are things that are correctable. And this staff is outstanding in polishing these rough edges. But I think he’d have to develop not unlike Kam did for a year. And as it appears today — I think I actually like McCray more.

      Corey Coleman I definitely love/hate. His complete disinterest in expending any effort at all if a run play is called really rubs me the wrong way. He has a lazy release at the line which won’t fly at the next level. Right now, I think the system he played in at Baylor hasn’t prepared him in the least for a Seahawks mini camp. I can’t see us spending a first round pick on a player whose effort is so clearly terrible on half his plays.

      I like the Johnson/Dahl projections. Love the Dixon pick. He’s a very good all around back who takes pride in pass pro. Honestly though, I think all three of those players have a real shot of reaching the middle third round. To me, they seem like ‘pockets of talent’ type prospects. Not a ‘can’t leave the draft without’ types. I could see Dahl getting taken in R2 if another crazy run on OTs happens. But if we’re looking at him as an OG — I don’t think we pick him as we did with Britt. I’d expect us to move back a bit, add picks and if he’s still there take him.

  6. C-Dog

    I thought the recent Rams game gave a strong arguable for retaining Okung, almost at all cost. Then the Cardinals game happened yesterday, and gave support to those who think Seattle can part ways with #76, and things will be okay. I’m still a strong believer in keeping Okung, but not necessarily breaking the salary cap bank for him. Not to sound like a total broken record but the thing that worries me most of Gilliam flipping to the left, despite his athletic feet, if whether he has the strength to protect the blindside against stronger ends.

    The Packers where very high for a while on David Bakhtiari’s athletism, but I think the league caught up to the fact he isn’t a strong player (Bennett lined up against him in our early season game against the Pack and had his fill, the Cardinals ate him up last week), and last night, he was replace by their starting guard.

    If they were to go in this direction, I would absolutely dance a gig if Gilliam proves me wrong, but it’s hard to envision it being a great success. If Seattle drafted say,.. Conklin in R1, or Bisnowaty later to be a RT, and switch Gilliam, I think the chances are greater he’s more of a bridge to the next LT, and if so, I really, really hope the pursuade Alex Mack to sign here. Love how Patrick Lewis has stepped up for the team, but they are going to need that solid vet presence somewhere on the line.

    • Grant G

      Bakhtiari was inactive for both the Arizona and Minnesota games

      • C-Dog

        Nice correction. Yeah, so anyhoo.. the Bakhtiari Effect is what I worry most about Gilliam to LT.

        • Grant G

          Sorry, should have written a bit more. I’m definitely not thrilled with the idea of moving Gilliam to LT, but for me it has more to do with technique than strength – although I think his strength is a valid concern. I just don’t know if he is polished enough to handle the best rushers on Russ’s blind side.

          • C-Dog

            Yeah, there’s lots of unknowns to that scenario. And you know, it could very well be that they legitimately think he can be a solid LT, and they probably know it better than any of us. However, it can be pointed out they also liked Drew Nowak’s athletic upside at center, as well. That could possibly be a cautionary factor in their decisions.

            • arias

              I’m not sure too much can be read into Nowak. They’ve had a full two seasons of play now to evaluate Gilliam and his potential. Nowak they had literally just picked up off the street and rushed in the starter’s spot without knowing how he’d perform against real competition. It was a poor evaluative decision in retrospect, sure, but there was far more uncertainty with Nowak when they really had no idea how he’d perform.

  7. Hawkinee

    Sterling Shepard seems like a perfect fit for the Hawks. A guy with a major chip on his shoulder with his father passing away. Also the type of receiver the Hawks like, excellent quickness and speed to gain separation. Would be a tremendous fit in the Hawks locker room. Having Shepard and Lockett outside with Baldwin in the slot would be insane. Also I could see those three guys and Wilson constantly taking extra reps before/after practice and in the offseason.

  8. cha

    “The idea that itโ€™s a bad position to draft early is a thing of the past.”

    This. I’d be thrilled if the Hawks came away with a weapon like Fuller or Braxton Miller.

    • C-Dog

      I agree with both. Kind of don’t think Fuller would be there at Seattle’s pick, but would love me some Braxton Miller upside in this offense. I think it could hinge on whether or not the re up Kearse as to the type of WR they target. If they move on, I think the probably target some one with polish early. If they hang onto him, they can afford the rawness of someone like Miller a bit later.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I’m in for Fuller, he is polished and accomplished. He would make an immediate impact.
      I would not be in favor of drafting a WR high in the draft on “potential”. Miller might become a very good WR, but he has 2-3 years to grow before returning results and Seattle needs immediate impact players with 1st round picks.

      My personal favorite would be WR Pharaoh Cooper, due to his ability to make plays / speed. But is Seattle thought Fuller was a better fit, I would not be complaining.

      • C-Dog

        I read one report that compared Cooper to Golden Tate a couple months ago, and made me think possible Seahawks target. I think Miller is probably a more reasonable option in R3, if they like his upside.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Not a fan of Miller.

      That’s mostly due to the fact that I like players with skill. Miller is a great athlete but to me taking him is like Harvin 2.0. I loved the Lockett pick namely because his WR skills were so easily apparent. Miller to me is a R5 kind of flyer pick. I don’t expect him to last that long. I just don’t see a guy who is capable to improving skill wise to play in year one at all. And at that point, what are cutting in order to keep him?

      As a project, I don’t even see him as appealing as Terrelle Pryor.

      • Rob Staton

        Miller has shown natural skills as a receiver. A true playmaker. Ohio State don’t have a prolific passing attack and like most Meyer teams run it a ton with the option. Miller has fantastic upside IMO as a receiver.

      • matt

        Agree that Miller will come into the league as a gadget type player. Miller has the talent to become more than that, but has a lot to prove in the Senior Bowl and draft process. Nobody questions his athleticism and playmaking skills in space, but can he be a productive WR at the next level? It remains to be seen. Miller’s snap count and targets went down as the season went along. Granted OSU had talent ahead of him. Talent that stayed ahead of him. I think we can find a WR that is more ready to contribute day 1 in the day 2 range it would likely take to get Miller. Sheppard, Cooper, Doctson, Carroo are players I’d rather have in that range.

  9. rowdy

    It’s BS that we will have to have 2 straight 10 am games in the playoffs and probably a 3rd if we make it that far. It’s obviously set up to try and screw the hawks. How hard would it be to give them the later game? Their the only team I can remember that’s had to play a 10 am game in the playoffs.

    • Donald

      I agree Rowdy.

      There are 3 time slots on Sunday, the 10:00 am , the 1:00 pm, and the 5:00 pm. The 2 later games are “prime Time” and are given to the game that has the most potential interest nationally.

      With only two games being played, why can’t both games be played late? Its because the Vikings and Sitka Seahawks are not that popular nationally. Its all about ratings.

      • Drew

        At least for the game against the Vikings, due to cold weather, it’s better that we play earlier while the suns out. It’s supposed to be about 10 degrees or so, don’t want the players or fans sitting out in that weather after the sun goes down.

      • Brian Hutmacher

        With the Seahawks propsensity for blowing out teams in primetime, I’m not surprised that the NFL is not giving them a primetime slot. Especially for the Minnesota game.

    • Nathan

      I don’t get the whingeing about this.

      The super rugby competition, is a provincial competition played between sides from NZ, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Argentina, so a south african, has to play at home one week, then travel to Austrlaia and play a game which, their body clock is telling them is at 2am.

      Don’t the Seahawks get out of bed until 10 normally?

      And secondly, they’re the number 6 seed, surely they if anyone gets the rough end of the stick, it should be us.

      Surely it’s harder to travel west and play prime time, when you body would be telling you go to sleep.

  10. KyleT

    I don’t think the 34m free # is correct. They are missing 20 ish players from the 2016 roster. So even just to have 53 players and assuming those 20 are all minimum deals/draft picks you are talking about maybe 22m free if the cap actually goes to 160m, it probably will be more like 155m, so they really only have 17m free.

  11. Trevor

    Really enjoyed the write up Rob. Nice read heading into the playoffs to think about what it will take to keep this team on top.

    It is amazing how few needs this team has given the 4 yr run they have been on. It still an incredible roster going into next year.

  12. lil'stink

    Jeremiah also tweeted that Fuller is a body catcher who “has no trust in his hands”. Not sure how true that is, but with how Wilson is flourishing the last several weeks without that stereotypical big name receiver to throw to I wonder if it makes WR a lower priority, or at least low enough to not take one with our first round pick. Perhaps I’m just wary of the fact that our first pick in each of the last 4 years has been turned into a shiny new toy for the offense to play with and none of them have panned out as of yet.

    I may be in the minority here but I haven’t written off Jermaine Kearse as re-signing with us, although I understand how/why signing our C- to B- level players to second contracts isn’t something we are known for. He seems to have developed into a solid, albeit unspectacular, #3 receiver. I guess that conventional wisdom would say that you should be able to find a #3 receiver in the draft at a cheaper price than JK could end up getting.

    It seems like every mock draft board out there is completely overlooking Shon Coleman for some reason, yet SDB has him going in the top ten… the more I read of Coleman the more I am convinced of Rob’s position and that I would be thrilled if we grabbed him in the first, even if we re-sign Okung.

    Always appreciate the info and opinions posted here… I admit I’m not a huge college football fan so this site gives me something to look forward to during the offseason (which hopefully won’t be for another month for us) to get my Seahawks fix.

    • C-Dog

      I’m kind of anticipating Kearse to re up. I don’t think there will be a huge market for him, but I think the Hawks will value him.

      • lil'stink

        That’s my thought/hope as well. We probably value him more than anyone else.

        • Steele

          I expect a big effort to keep Kearse. IHe is Russell’s security blanket, and he has also performed better this season. I would be surprised if familiarity (Kearse, Baldwin) does not continue to trump greater talent.

    • red

      Kind of seems like Fuller is Richardson with healthy knees and less hands.

      • matt

        They’re very similar players. That’s why I don’t see us taking Fuller. Great prospect but a redundant skill set assuming PR can get and stay healthy. We go for uniqueness, which Fuller is not with PR in the fold for another 2 seasons at least.

    • Richard

      Shon Coleman just appeared on CBSSprts/draft scout’s prospect rankiings update for today, for the 1st time at #37.

      • matt

        It’s just a matter of time for the nationals to catch up to what Rob has been saying about Coleman all season.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Fuller ‘kind of’ reminds me of Breshad Perriman last year. Not literally, but more the type of prospect – uber-athletic WR who is prone to dropping passes. I looked it up and they have nearly the same drop percentage, Perriman at 14%, Fuller at 15% (according to PFF College).

      Perriman was taken towards the back of R1. Fuller might have similar stock.

      FWIW, I think Fuller is a far better prospect than Perriman. Better route runner for sure. Better WR in that he’s capable of making big plays at the right time. He may have the same drop percentage as Perriman, but Fuller’s drops are at worst annoying. They don’t come on key downs.

      Fuller is best served by going to a team where he won’t be the focus of the passing game. Rather, he should be on a roster with other good WRs, preferably with different skill sets. Pretty much the situation he had at ND, paired with a talented Chris Brown and effective supporters like Torri Hunter and Corey Robinson.

      SEA would be an ideal situation for Fuller. They could exploit his speed by sending him on deep routes pretty much every snap he plays. At worst he’d be a decoy drawing DBs away from the box and opening up the run game and underneath passing zones. More realistically, he could connect with RW on a deep pass for a big gain or score once every 2-3 quarters. Pairing him with Lockett on the outside and using Baldwin in the slot would be excellent.

      Don’t know if you’ve seen his speed but watch this video and keep in mind the DB he beats, Adoree Jackson, is perhaps the best athlete on the entire Trojan roster. He’s also their KR/PR and occasional WR. But he can’t keep up with Fuller:

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        A couple of more things.

        1. It looks like Fuller has indeed declared for the draft:

        2. About halfway through the season, 62% of Fuller’s receiving yards had come on deep passes (+20 yards in the air). Don’t know about the year end stats yet. Anyway, Fuller is at his best running under deep passes that drop into his bucket.

        Before this last game at ARI, Russell Wilson led the NFL in deep passing TDs with 14, even though he throws deep on only 12.5% of all pass attempts. In other words, RW is incredibly efficient throwing deep. Also, RW overthrew Lockett on a few deep passes this season. I don’t think he overthrows Fuller on those same passes.

        • Volume12

          I think Perriman will be a bust. Kevin White too.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn

            I want to see both guys play 1-2 seasons before calling them busts.

      • Matt

        That drop percentage is troubling. Fuller surprises Jackson with his speed leading to a late turn, as Fuller flys by. He didn’t separate when Jackson was up to speed though. It’s an impressive play don’t get me wrong, but they look to have the same top speed to me. A sub 4.4 40 from both is very possible.

    • david ess

      I could see them bringing Kearse back just for the fact that we’re dinged at that position and could be next year too depending on what we do draft wise. Kearse will be back but if we get a WR in the draft it would not surprise me if Kearse is pushed to the 4th WR on the team behind Baldwin, Lockett and the Rookie.

  13. Henrique

    Do we really need to draft a running back?

    Rawls injury is not serious, so it’s not likely to affect his play when he returns.

    And Christine Michael is playing well, he could be the second RB behind Rawls.

    I’d say defensive backs are our top priority, if we lose Kam and Lane.

    • Drew

      We are going to need a 3rd down and 2 min offense back. Michael would be a good #3 RB if he keeps his play up and then throw a rookie in to be that 3rd down guy and we have a solid backfield. We pretty much need the next Robert Turbin. He was great in his role in our offense.

      • Henrique

        Or we could just resign Turbin. He’s a free agent next year and I think is unlikely the Cowboys are going to resign him. Plus, he’s Wilson’s best friend.

        • matt

          We could do worse than bringing back Turbin as our 3rd down back. It would be pretty funny if we rolled into 2016 with Turbin and Michael as our backup RB’s having gotten rid of both before this season. Could happen.

    • david ess

      We don’t know how it will affect him though. it was ligament damage in his ankle wasn’t it? that’s not something that’s good especially for a RB who cuts like he does.

      I honestly don’t know how I feel about Cmike yet. hes played good, but hes always played good just hadn’t improved how they’d like. the ball switch is the thing that can be scary with him. Id like to see how he does this offseason.

      • Volume12

        It wasn’t just the ball switch. Holding it in his right hand when the run is to the left was also problematic.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I think the real problem is that he never was given starter reps. Always sitting behind 2 other backs, never used, and he got a bad attitude. Now that he is actually a starter he is shining. This is what he could have been for the last 2 years.

        So if that is true, here is the problem: he won’t be a good backup running back. He needs meaningful reps every game. Not sitting on the bench waiting for someone to get hurt. So either you use him or lose him.

        • Miles

          He needed a wake up call. He wasn’t doing what coaches asked him to do. He can have all the talent in the world but if he is consistently checking out mentally, not hitting the holes he is being asked to hit, he will not succeed in a ZBS.

  14. Michael M.

    I gotta have me some Alex Collins…

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      He made a strong case in the bowl game.

      • Donald

        I second that. I hope the hawks draft Collins.

  15. KyleT

    Here’s my offseason structure of what I think they will be doing: Lynch retires or is cut, enabling around 20m to be spent on FA. We will sign Okung to a decent 2-3 year contract with the last year on very little guaranteed money. Will cost around 6m for 2016. We will spend another 5m on either Rubin or some other journeyman DL talent and expect to either add another DT in FA or draft one in the middle rounds which have a fair amount of depth in the 2016 draft.

    We will spend another 6m on Lane either as a 1 year contract or first year of a multi year extension. We will bring Lewis back on RFA tender. May even be able to get Shead for an extra year.

    This will setup the draft in a way the Seahawks are accustomed to, which is to not have any big gaping holes going into it that forces a pick.

    I think they look to take an OT early, but only if the right prospect drops to them. They could just as easily take a pass rusher, CB, WR or OLB to replace Irvin. I do think they go RB mid rounds as well.

    I’m not terribly impressed with the top end of this draft, but it may have good depth, so unless their guy drops to them they will trade back. I don’t see them trading the pick for another expensive FA unless they decide to cut Graham to create the cap space or decide not to resign Okung. They have too many of their own FA’s to sign.

    • C-Dog

      Lewis and Shead they can tender and keep for another year, and I would fully expect to do that.

      Okung, I hope they keep around, and think there’s probably a greater chance they keep him over Sweezy as they have Glowinski on the roster. If they don’t keep Okung, I think it would be to sign Alex Mack.

      I think/hope they hang onto Lane for at least another year.

      Most think it’s a given Tuba and Mebane come back, both are in there 30’s, if they do, it’s probably on very short term deals. I wouldn’t be surprised is they try to get younger there either in free agency or the draft at some point, but that would likely mean they kept one of their DTs over the other. It will be interesting to monitor Muhammad Wilkerson who is set to be a free agent and just happened to have broken his leg yesterday. Could he experience a cool market because of that, and be brought in willing to do a a short term 2 year deal a la Cliff Avril?

      I don’t think they will cut Jimmy Graham, they seem pretty happy with him and how he was working out.

      • Drew

        Ahead was a RFA last year, will be a FA this year, so unfortunately can’t put a tender for n him

      • KyleT

        It all depends on how bad his injury was. Many of these injuries require a full year to rehab. Do we tie up 9M of cap next year in a player who want around for when we played our best ball in 2015? Don’t get me wrong I think Graham would fit right in to the new offense if he can get back, but if we aren’t considering the possibility that he won’t play a snap in 2016 and how the FO would respond to that, we aren’t looking at it from all angles.

        • C-Dog

          He was fitting in pretty well the last few games he played. He might miss the first few games, or month of the 2016 season. Carroll seemed somewhat optimistic he might even be ready for the opener, and was very outward that they love him and see him as a Seahawk for a long time.

          • Drew

            One this is that they could always renegotiate his contract. I’m sure they’d do that before just releasing him. They could get his salary down by giving him some guaranteed money, since he doesn’t have anything guaranteed left in his contract.

  16. Greg haugsven

    What’s your thoughts on Scooby Wright or Noah Spence to replace Irvin. I didn’t notice them on your list.

    • KyleT

      Scooby Sacks is likely not fast enough to be a seahawks LB. He projects better to a 3-4 ILB IMO

    • Trevor

      Love Spence the player / athlete. Perfect replacement for Bruce but the character is a huge concern with a capital H.

      • Volume12

        Not really. No more than a guy that kicks in doors and commits home invasions.

        He’s a kid that had a problem and neeed help.

        Don’t be shocked when/if Seattle drafts a couple other prospects this year with ‘character concerns.’

        • Nathan

          I saw DGB reel in a nice TD catch on the weekend.

        • Trevor

          The one thing the Hawks will like about Spence besides his athleticism is the fact that he is a really bright kid. He may have questionable judgement but he was an Academic All Big Ten. If the drug issues really are behind him he would be a great addition to our defense. He is the best edge rusher in the draft IMO.

          • Greg haugsven

            I really like what I saw from Spence. This year’s tape is hard to judge due to what school he played at but when you look at Ohio St tape the dude was a beast. I could really see him playing the SAM here.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Spence looked like a special player in 2013 with OSU. I don’t see Irvin’s flexibility or speed at SAM.

      • DC

        Let’s not forget that Irvin was drafted to play LEO initially. He had a troubled past.
        This year it was Clark as a pass rusher with a red flaggy past.
        So Spence with drug abuse in his past drafted as a pass rusher actually fits a Seahawks trend.

  17. Steve Nelsen

    I like the idea of trading our 1st-round pick to Cleveland for Joe Thomas as a replacement for Okung if Okung is too expensive to keep. I expect them to draft at least 2 offensive linemen. If they got got Shon Coleman at the end of the first, that would be great. Joe Dahl would be another great add later.

    I think they keep Kearse and extend Baldwin so I don’t expect receiver to be a priority.

    Mebane and Rubin are free agents and Hill hadn’t been able to stay healthy so a DT early might be the way to go. I think they will keep Rubin and lose Mebane and I consider this the second highest area of need in the draft. Who do you like at DT Rob?

    We always seem to value the DBs in the system less than the coaches. I don’t think they feel a need to go early at CB or S even if they lose Shead and Lane.

    Whether they keep Bruce Irvin or not may affect the draft strategy the most. They don’t have anybody to replace what he brings so if he leaves, look for them to add a couple athletic LBs.

    They need to figure out what to do with Kam and Bennett’s contracts. I would prioritize Bennett over Chancellor but I would prefer to keep both. But if those questions aren’t resolved early in the offseason, they have the potential to become as big a distraction as the play that ended Super Bowl 49.

    The Seahawks have spent more on defense than offense so I think Irvin, Bennett, Chancellor and Rubin end up being higher priorities than Sweezy or Okung. A Baldwin extension is the priority on offense.

    If Marshawn returns in the playoffs, plays well and wants to return, there is no way he becomes a cap casualty.

    The Seahawk model is to keep the Pro-Bowlers and replace everybody else with cheap, young players. That would seem to weigh against Mebane, Irvin, Shead, Lane, Okung and Sweezy getting big money deals.

    • Steele

      I think it is imperative that they retain Avril, Bennett and Irvin, as long as it is possible to do so. Each brings something unique. There is no easy replacement for Irvin in the coming offseason. Losing him forces them to “try something else”, in the form of multiple other players. For the sake of the scheme, keep Irvin.

      • Volume12

        What scheme?

        Seattle isn’t using a LEO this year. Bruce has hardly played any LB. He’s essentially a DE or OTTO. He’s not a SAM LB.

        I’m a big fan of Bruce, and I hope they keep him too, and while his athleticism won’t be easily replaced, his production can be.

        • Drew

          Bruce has played a lot of SAM on early downs and then switches to DE on 3rd downs for pass rushing. He has played LB alot and I distinctly remember him in coverage down field a few times this year.

      • david ess

        what do you mean retain Avril and Bennett? didn’t they sign there deals like last season or the season before?
        think they try to find a DE/edge 2017. that will be the year that its deep in Edge/DE.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I firmly believe they will trade Bennett this offseason. Just too many things lining up. Small injuries creeping in, he has been playing more downs the last 2 years than he really should and he already wanted a raise. I love his fire, passion and quotes….. but age is going to catch-up with him sooner or later.

        • Rob Staton

          They will not be trading Michael Bennett.

          • Trevor

            Bennett is one of the leaders of this defense and irreplaceable IMO with his versatility. He always plays hard and showed up for all of Camp etc. despite some complaining.

            His personality is to say whatever he feels. The Hawks know and respect him. He will not be traded he has shown he is a true team player and to trade him would send the wrong message.

            90% of players would have sat out last week to rest with his toe injury. He played because he is a true professional. He even commented that he is getting paid so if he can play then he plays. That is a player I want on my team.

            His mouth can get annoying at times but I appreciate his actions more than his words.

        • Volume12

          Disagree completely about Bennett. He’s a top D-lineman in this league. Age isn’t a huge factor fordefensibe lineman anyways. Bennett’s game isn’t predicated on athleticism anyways, but more technique and savvy.

          What’s with all the ‘cut this guy or trade this player, because they play hurt or get banged up’ that I keep seeing? There’s a difference between hurt and injured. Every player on every team is battered or bruised. It’s football man. Might as well cut every player across the league.

        • Drew

          The only injury Bennett has had is the toe problem that he’s dealt with almost his entire carry. Nothing new. Everybody wants a raise, that’s no reason to trade one of the best DL in the league at a team friendly salary.

        • Tien

          They’re not trading Bennett. He’s on contract and is arguably (Avril a close second) our best DL. So what if he complains about wanting more money in the offseason. He still shows up and plays well. Teams don’t trade guys like that for those reasons.

  18. Volume12

    IDK about ya’ll, but Frank Clark was a stud yesterday. Expolsion, strength/power. Thought he looked really good at DE.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Absolutely. Meant to say something about him. And not just his pass rush; he was stout vs the run too.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        BTW I think SEA like their DL. Especially the starters. I don’t see them looking at that position group early in the draft. Maybe they take a flier on a late round developmental prospect with high upside, or find the right player at the right value somewhere in the middle. Or they get lucky in FA with a reasonably priced vet.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          I think Seattle already has shown us the model the last 4-5 years. Take 1 guy at DL somewhere in the draft and grab a reasonable priced FA to come in and play.

        • Volume12

          CHAWK- I agree with that. I do think they’ll draft a DT, just not early like ya said.

          • C-Dog

            Agreed. Depth at DE with Cliff, Mike, Cassius, and Frank is pretty solid. Depth at DT, not so much. I have a strong rooting interest in Vernon Butler in the 3rd, but I think he’s going to be a climber.

    • david ess

      He has started to come on as of late. He is going to be good if he can stay healthy. just hoping hes not another Jordan Hill and misses lots of time. definitely a special player.

    • EranUngar

      I have been watching Clark a lot. I believe he will be a key player for us for years to come.

      Other than his stud work on the line, go and watch the Lane interception against the cards. Fitz was the intended target till he was jammed by Earl and was the first to get up and move to tackle Lane. In comes the flying Clark and gets Fitz to the ground in the backfield. Nice effort and play awareness.

    • C-Dog

      Clark was really strong. I agree. I think he’s better fit is at DE, definitely where he’s probably more comfortable.

    • matt

      Clark has been flashing the last 5 weeks or so. Dude just needs more snaps to really show what he can do-that’ll happen over time. Really like Clark’s nonstop motor.

      Our DL rotation is primed to wreak havoc for the stretch run. A very different scenario than last year when Bane and Hill were out.

      • Ben2

        IF our offense can score 1st and start to make their opponent 1 dimensional (ie gotta pass) then the Hawks can play a DL with Clark, Bennett, Bane, Avril, and either drop or rush Irvin or BWags – that NASCAR package for the Hawks when we can get all of our rushers out there is fun to watch!!!

  19. CharlieTheUnicorn

    The Stanford redshirt-Sophomore Austin Hooper is entering the draft. He is currently the top rated sophomore TE in CFB. Early reports are a second to fourth ranked pick. Decent size and hands.
    He is a bit of a project, due to his age, but he has considerable upside from what I can find on the internet. Anyone have an opinion on this guy and a fit in Seattle?

    I’m thinking 3rd round, if he is available….

    • Volume12

      Why? Seattle showed today what they think of this TE class.

      Late round or UDFA. Sorry, but a 3rd TE isn’t a need.

      • Trevor

        Agree Vol with Heflet, Coffman, Willson and Graham coming back there is no way we go TE early. No team has that depth in receiving TEs . At best they look for a blocking TE late or as an UDFA.

        • cha

          FYI Helfet is a UFA after this year.

        • sdcoug

          Not arguing but is Coffman even signed for next year? I would doubt it. Also not sure what Graham will look like or how soon.

          • Tien

            I don’t know Coffman’s contract status either but since we got him off the streets late in the season, he shouldn’t be expensive to sign to a contract if the Seahawks want to retain him. I’m hoping that Graham will be back for next season and is effective but even if it takes longer for him to come back, the Seahawks have shown that they can be adequate at the TE position with Willson and whomever they can get cheaply in FA. I agree with others above that TE should not be a high pick for us this year.

      • purpleneer

        How exactly did they do that?

  20. Nathan

    Tackle or CB for me.

  21. Trevor

    Rob have you watched any tape on Noah Spence? I think he is the best Edge rush talent in this draft. His bend around the edge is so natural. He has been incredibly productive and was even more highly thought of than Bosa in their Sophmore years at Ohio st.

    I know he has the drug history (Ecstasy) but seems to be on the right track and is a bright likable kid. I don’t see another true Leo or replacement with his athleticism in this draft.

    If Coleman, Apple and Fuller are gone when we pick in Rd #1 then Spence could end up being a steal if the Hawks are Ok with the background and his character.

    I think he will Shine at the Combine and Senior Bowl and will go in the top 20 so all this may be a moot point.

    • Rob Staton

      “Rob have you watched any tape on Noah Spence?”

      I have — and was pretty underwhelmed. Expected more against a weak level of competition. Character concerns linger too — homework for teams there.

      • Trevor

        Who are your favorite Leo / Edge prospects?

        • Rob Staton

          Haven’t seen many I like in this class to be honest. Obviously Bosa. But haven’t been enamored with anyone. Prefer the LB’s.

      • RealRhino2

        Well, crud. Your comment made me spend more time watching Spence vs. top comp. You were right, underwhelming.

        You know who wasn’t, for me? Carl Lawson. Are his injury issues that troubling? If the Florida DT, Easley, could go late R1 with his injury history, what about Lawson? He looked like a good Avril comp to me. Thoughts?

        • Rob Staton

          Seen Lawson play very well and also play poorly. Will do more research specifically on him now he’s turning pro.

          • Volume12

            Lawson looks like he has very short arms.

        • Trevor

          What tape did you watch? Look at the 2013 tape when he was with Ohio St. he was one of their best defensive players as a true Sophmore and had far more impact as Bosa in the same year. The tape this year is hit and miss it too hard to tell this year against that competition in the OVC.

          The Senior Bowl and Combine will determine if Spence is a top 20 pick or and day #3 guy.

    • RealRhino2

      If they feel okay with the character, I like this idea a lot. Love Fuller and all the shiny toys we would be passing on, but starting to come around to Rob’s way of thinking at DT: the inside guys you could get in R3 are probably just a tick below the guys it would cost a R1 to get, so hold off. Fuller would be amazing, but unless you feel PRich is done, it’s a bit redundant. Not sure about Conklin and Decker; like them, but if we keep Okung not sure picking a C in R2-4 wouldn’t help the line just as much.

      So for me, it’s DE or CB in R1 unless the board falls crazy. Fix what ain’t broken, IMO. Things don’t always break, sometimes creep sets in. Avril and Bennett playing way more snaps than in past two years, Clark is not a natural speed/edge guy, Marsh looks situational/ST.

      • C-Dog

        I think Clark’s position is yet to be determined. Carroll said a few weeks ago when asked about his splashy inside play against the Vikes that they still don’t totally know what they have him yet. He’s pretty raw in a lot of areas, probably more comfortable as an edge player even though they like his size and speed inside. I think he started out in college as a LB and grew into the DE role he played in Michigan. What we do know is that he is naturally explosive and seems to have pretty great potential converting speed to power. I think that makes him a natural edge guy who needs to learn technique. To be an inside guy, he would need to gain some more size and strength, but would never be big enough to be a base down guy inside. That’s why I think they will keep him at end, and probably look at him as a starter by year 3.

        • RealRhino2

          I guess I was lazy in my choice of words. I guess I was thinking of the difference between, say, Bennett as a rusher and Avril/Irvin as a rusher, rather than inside vs. outside. I don’t think Clark is a natural inside guy, either, but I wouldn’t say he’s a speed rusher, a guy who is going to make a living getting around the outside even with a quick get-off.

          • C-Dog

            Yeah, I think there’s still a lot of unknowns with him. I think Clark has the speed to potentially play LEO. They seem to have him following Bennett around with his lunch pale, and it’s a natural conclusion he’s the heir apparent at LE, but I keep going back to Carroll’s words that they have fully figured out what he is yet. I think he has enough intangibles where I can see him going a few different ways, Bennett’s eventual replacement being the most likely.

  22. Cysco

    At this point, I don’t worry about the offensive line anymore. That’s my biggest takeaway from this season. Cable and Co. know what they’re doing. The offensive line factory seems to actually work. I would never have thought it with how the season started, but I’ve been proven wrong. Because the system works, I imagine the team believes they have good depth at OL and could afford to lose a player.

    I don’t think they’ll pay big money to Okung. Aging and injury prone is not a trait the Hawks tend to keep around. If he turns out to be a value signing, then OK, but the team probably thinks they can “just make another LT”. I also can’t see them spending big money on a free agent OL player. That kind of move just doesn’t seem to fit what Seattle is doing. The team believes they can just make OL players much like they believe they can just make corner backs.

    Will Fuller would be my pick. This is Wilson’s team and I want him to have all the toys we can get our hands on. This offense can be scary good next year with Graham coming back, Rawls and Michael in the backfield, and the addition of a dynamic player like Fuller.

    • Old but Slow

      Probably the team will keep Okung, just because he plays the position fairly well and there aren’t many ready replacements. I want them to keep Sweazy, but he may be gone because of the presence of Glowinski. Left tackles are expensive, as are quarterbacks and good corners. Okung has a troublesome injury history, but he is still a good player. We can expect that the next draft will include 2 to 3 more offensive linemen with the hopes that some will click. We will of course be hoping that one or two of our last class will come on. Most likely is Glowinski, but Sokoli is a great athlete and may find a place. Poole I am less optimistic about, even though he seems to have a bit of the nasty that Cable likes. I am not sure that he is as athletic as the others. Not giving up on him though.

      Developing offensive linemen is a longer process than most positions, in my opinion, as some of the assignments are more technical than physical, but must be approached very physically. Hesitation and doubt can be deadly for a young lineman. Learning to coordinate with the players next to you can be challenging, but comes with repetitions. Maybe I am talking A B C’s here, but it is important that mere talent is not going to make a player an immediate starter.

      We drafted 3 decent looking offensive linemen last year and could look for some improvement next season, but I will expect that the front office to take a similar approach in this coming draft.

      • Cysco

        Agreed. I totally see them grabbing a few middle round athletes to add to the program, but probably not an early round pick. (perhaps if Coleman is there it would be just too enticing, but it would probably take a player of that caliber to make them consider an early OL)

        I’ll be really curious to see what the market for Okung is.

      • matt

        “Okung has a troublesome injury history, but he is still a good player.”

        I keep hearing about Okung’s injury history, and yes he’s missed quite a bit of time over the years. None of his injuries have been major season ending injuries though. A number of highly paid LT’s have missed huge chunks of season’s due to injury,Clady, Long, Monroe, Albert, along with highly drafted Joekel and Matthews both missing basically their entire rookie seasons. Is Okung an iron man like a Joe Thomas? No. Is Okung prone to losing time to minor injuries? Yeah. He’s never left us high and dry for an entire season leaving a major question mark at a premium position though. We could do a lot worse than Okung.

        • C-Dog

          Okung missed a lot of games in the 2013 season. He missed a couple days last year, and 3 games this year. I don’t think he’s a severely injury proned player, but a player who probably could miss a few games each year. If we keep him, which I hope we do, I think we still want a solid swing tackle.

  23. Ukhawk

    Seattle finished with the:
    Highest rated passer
    Highest scoring WR (*tied)
    Highest combined Returner
    Highest YPC Rusher

    I’ve supported maintaining/improving the OL but you have to wonder with those results. On Offense, seems as though ‘only’ 2 OL and 1 WR3 needs to be replaced.

    On the other hand, though we finished No.1 in scoring defense, I didn’t feel we dominated/bullied opponents as in years past. The Defense may need more offseason attention than the offense. 2 starting DTs are FA, 2 starting CBs, 1 starting LB. Furthermore our starting SS and DE are injured and would like a pay rise.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Didn’t they also give up the highest number of quarterback sacks? I didn’t really care if Wilson got slammed to the turf when he wasn’t getting paid much. But now that he is getting 21 million a year, I would like the offensive line to protect him. I don’t think it is that hard to find good offensive linemen.

      • Rob Staton

        No, the Seahawks didn’t give up the highest number of QB sacks. Seven teams had the same # or more.

        In fact here’s the list:

        Tennessee — 54
        San Fran — 53
        Cleveland — 53
        Jacksonville — 51
        Green Bay — 47
        Philly, Seattle, Kansas City — 46

        Minnesota and Miami gave up 45 sacks, Detroit 44.

        They were on pace for a NFL record # of sacks before the bye. To actually finish with less sacks than nearly a third of the league is a dramatic improvement. If you look at the numbers after the bye, Seattle’s pass protection performed at an elite level.

        The O-line was also ranked #4 in run blocking overall, behind only Cincy, New England and Arizona.

  24. AlaskaHawk

    Who should Seahawks pick in first and second rounds? Well I’m going strictly by monetary valuation (and need) and say a cornerback and tackle, not necessarily in that order. Free agents in both positions are compensated in the 10-12 million dollar range. So follow the money and draft accordingly!

    Also seeing some comments about trading away the first round pick on a free agent. This is in my opinion one of the worst practices the Seahawks can make. Following the money: First round pick is compensated around 10 million over the next 4 years. They are replacing the 10 million dollar player mentioned above. They have a 60% chance of making it as a starter. So their cost is 10 million for a 40 million dollar position with 60% chance of success. A net savings of 30 million, and if you add in the success rate it would be 30x.60=18 million.

    Now the free agent that is traded for is already a successful agent, or they wouldn’t trade a first round pick and pay them 10 million a year plus 10 million dollar bonus. However historically that free agent has been used less then 50% of the games. This is due to learning the system, getting comfortable with Wilson, and injuries. So monetarily speaking their cost is 20 million the first year and 10 million each year after. Or 50 million over 4 years – if they ever lasted that long. However they are useful for 50% of the games for 25 million.

    So for every free agent that the Seahawks use a first round draft pick to trade for, there is a net loss of 50 million cost – 25 million usefulness + 18 million first round usefulness = 43 million dollar loss over four years.

    So that’s my homage to Cleveland Browns hiring Paul DePodesta (aka Mr. Moneyball) as Chief Strategy Officer. Let me be the first to recommend Rob to the Seahawks as their new Chief Strategy Officer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Trevor

      Agree completely. QB, CB, OT and Pass Rusher (interior ideally) are the premium positions in the NFL now. The skills sets required are rare so when they hit the open market they command a premium.

      The only team who has made due with late to mid round picks at CB are the Hawks and this year Carolina.

      That is Why Shon Coleman is still my favorite pick. He is the top prospect at the premium position outside of QB. If he falls because of age or past Cancer I really hope JS pulls the trigger.

      I think he will end up being a top 10 pick but we can dream.

      That is why I also love Eli Apple the Hawks never take a CB early but the one dfensive back they drafted in the 1st round has been a perennial All Pro in Earl. If they can get an Apple, White or Sutton it would also be a great pick. Look at what the Eagles paid Maxi last year. A talent like Apple in our system would be a pro bowler in 2 years IMO.

      • AlaskaHawk

        It would be really interesting for the Seahawks to take a cornerback early. What I would expect from that player, besides being speedy and a good defender, is to have good hands and ability to intercept the ball. I feel (and I haven’t looked at the stats) that the Seahawks have lost some of previous years interceptions. Just last game Lane dropped one that was right in his chest. But to get that guy who is always fighting for the ball and stands a pretty good chance of getting it, that is Richard Sherman territory.

        My mid round favorite is Alabama’s Cyrus Jones. He is a 4-5 round type of guy that can defend and catch the ball. He is only 5′ 10″ tall so he probably fills the same position as Lane.

        • Magmatizer

          I would be immensely satisfied if the Hawks were able to draft Eli Apple, as he is a very disciplined corner. It will help him pick up the system faster without needing extra time to work on fundamentals. On the point of Lane dropping the interception, Deshawn Shead actually tipped the ball as it was heading for Lane’s “bucket.” There wasn’t really time to adjust to that tip, but I would have loved to see another pick in that game myself.

  25. Trevor

    Does anyone have a feeling on how the forecast of extremely cold weather will impact the Hawks? We don’t really have a history in cold weather as far as I know. Curious as to what people think about the potential impact of this on the game.

    • Rob Staton

      Both teams like to run. That’s where the battle will be won IMO — Seattle’s ability to limit Adrian Peterson and their ability to run the ball effectively (and protect Wilson).

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Weather will be the biggest non factor, except to the kickers. Imagine kicking that “brick” for a FG or XP attempt. Ouch. No snow and minimal wind. Yeah it might be zero degrees to negative 15, but really, that is not that cold with the right mind set.

      As Rob said, this will be a grind it out type of game….. sprinkle in 1 or 2 explosive plays…. game over.

  26. Trevor

    Rob I found some tape on Bitonaway and took a look. He looked really good. Another guy why I am not sure is getting any press. He is not as dominant physically as Coleman but looks athletic, gets to the 2nd level and appeared to have above average feet in pass pro. He plays at a power conference school wonder why he is not getting any love. Did he have some really bad games this year or is he just a late bloomer?

  27. Trevor

    If we resign Okung and Shon Coleman is gone when pick then Bistonaway or Joe Dahl are my favorites in Rd # 3 as both project better as Guards but can be swing guys as well. I doubt Baliey will be back so they would be valuable guys to have.

    • Volume12

      I’ve been thinking about this. If they re-sign Okung, then they’ll need to replace Alvin Bailey in all likelihood. If that’s the case, I don’t think they’ll draft a swing tackle early at all.

      I’m actually becoming more convinced they draft a C earlier than an OT. Of course if Okung isn’t kept, then that changes the need to go O-line early.

  28. Belgaron

    I see them trying to resign all their guys then leveraging their spots for the most explosive football players available when they pick. I’d be surprised if they trade any top picks this year. I’m interested in which athletes they might try to convert into an inline TE or interior OL and which defensive players will slip down to them. I think they’ll try to upgrade depth at OT, LB, DB, WR, and TE. Do they need a young Punter? Can they find a QB they like?

    • Ben2

      Yep. Agree totally. Maybe lose one of Lane or Shead and on the DL Bane or Rubin. I’d like to keep Irvin at 6 or 7 mil apy if he’d take it – although some pass rush needy team will probably come in at 10 a year or something & we’ll let him walk. Okung stays on a 3 yr 27 mil deal and he’ll get to be a position coach for us when he retires. That’s my narrative.

  29. David Stinnett

    Actually, should fortify at OT with Okung or without

    • Nathan

      I agree,

      You need 5 on the field at all times, and you’ll get injuries.

      Even Dallas, will need to go back to making early picks there, All 3 interior guys become free agents within a year of each other, and they won’t be all kept.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Yes I agree that Seahawks need to pick an offensive tackle in the first three rounds as starter or backup to Okung. They just need to stockpile for the inevitable injury. Plus it doesn’t hurt to get some practice under the belt before they have to start.

        I’m kinda wondering what will happen to Bailey? He seems to be improving as he gets more reps.

  30. David Stinnett

    Should get a DT

    • Belgaron

      They’ve done well getting run stoppers on the cheap, getting swing DTs that can get sacks in the nickel package that’s the trick.

  31. icb12

    Some thoughts/guys I like given the needs list.
    OT- Coleman.
    CB- Eli Apple. I really enjoy watching him play the game. Also like William Jackson III at CB.
    LB- Jaylon Smith. Eric Striker. Kamalei Correa. Also intrigued by Travis Feeney
    WR- I like Boyd and Fuller. Both have their issues. I also wonder if Fullers ball security takes him off the board for seattle completely. Boyd is very detail orientented, but is he the type of athlete that the seahawks would go after early? Other likes- Malcolm Mitchell, Bralon Addison, Alonzo Russell, Devin Lucien
    RB- I do like Collins, but I’m going to go with a couple guys nobody is talking about, Kareem Hunt, Rushel Shell ( I think he’s draft eligible?). Maybe DJ Foster if we are looking for Fred Jackson Replacement.

    • icb12

      Other guys I like but not related to the needs list:
      Vernon Butler
      Deforest Buckner
      Micheal Caputo
      Jeremy Cash
      Trevone Boykin- I like TJack. But why not. I don’t think he will be drafted at QB. Bring him into camp see whats what.

      • Volume12

        I like William Jackson too. Him, Artie Burns, Xavien Howard, and Eli Apple are the most ‘Seahawky’ CBs I’ve watched this year.

        • icb12

          I like Artie Burns. Track star too.

          I didn’t see Baylor enough to have an opinion on Howard. Being in the Big 12 though I’m sure he saw a lot of offense…

        • Mike B.

          William Jackson III had a huge senior year, and certainly fits the Seahawky profile. I doubt he’ll last past round 2, however. Maybe this will be a year in which they take a CB early.

          Good, Seahawky mid-round CB candidates inculde Artie Burns (Miami) and Deiondre Hall (Northern Iowa). There isn’t much available film on Hall, but he ticks many of the boxes and surely looks the part–I’m sure that Hall is on the Hawks’ radar.

  32. cha

    Great writeup on 2016 comp pick projection posted this morning by OTC

    • Nathan

      It’s a shame Chip won’t be around for the trip the clink next year so we could thank him personally for that 3rd rounder.

      • Nathan

        I wonder if they’ll look at changing the comp picks as teams get smarter and try to pocket more picks.

        New England getting a comp pick for Revis, while technically in the rules, doesn’t seem right.

        • cha

          The best one was Cincinnati getting a 3rd round comp for Michael Johnson signing with Tampa, then Tampa cutting him after one year and the Bengals picking Johnson back up for a more reasonable salary. Had their cake & ate it too.

          • Nathan

            Yeah that was highway robbery.

            But New Englands was gone, let Talib walk, got a comp pick, signed revis to replace him(after he’d been cut, so no comp pick implications) then failed to take up Revis option(after he’d helped them win a super bowl) and pocket another pick.

            • Nathan

              New England’s was good, that was meant to read.

    • DC

      That is a great write up, thanks cha. And it is something to take into account with the decisions of who stays and who goes or who gets to test the market as the Seahawks are one of the teams that “play the game” when it comes to receiving comp picks. You could guess based on inflation that the 2016 FA class will need to sign for $3M apy to qualify for a 2017 comp award.

      So which of the Hawks’ free agents could get at least that on the open market?

      Russell Okung & Bruce Irvin for certain.
      Ahtyba Rubin, Jermaine Kearse & J.R. Sweezy most likely.
      Jeremy Lane, Deshawn Shead & Bandon Mebane possibly.
      Alvin Bailey would be a long shot there.

      Obviously guessing here. Of those guys I think Bruce Irvin is the crown jewel for a 2017 comp pick in the FO’s eyes. Then Sweezy. One of Lane or Shead walks. From there it’s just a numbers game to make sure we lose at least 3 more free agents then we sign and that keeps the comp pick factory open for another season.

      • Belgaron

        The reverse is also true, if Seattle re-signs them and doesn’t sign players from other teams they don’t lose a pick so there is motivation for them to sign their own guys as they don’t count against them. This is why they make their own guys a priority (among other reasons like rewarding hard work and setting examples for the team).

        It boils down to the contracts, whenever another team out-bids the teams offer to stay, it drives up their compensatory slot potential.

      • cha

        A fair amount too depends on the other contracts that are eligible. It could very well be the ‘top’ free agents at the moment get franchised or re-signed before they hit free agency so that could change things.

  33. Volume12

    Not a great class for edge rushers or DEs this year. 2017 however, appears to be quite loaded at that position.

    If Seattle loses Bruce, I think they take an attacking, pass rushing LB. The LB class this year IMO is the deepest and best position group. I do expect them to take a developmental, late round/UDFA pass rusher though.

    This notion that a SAM LB has to be like Bruce Irvin is ridiculous. I’ll say it again, he’s an OTTO, not a SAM. If you can find guys like that, even better, but I’m not really a whole bunch.

    PC has adapted this defense how many times now? They don’t use a huge 5-tech in their base downs anymore, they hardly use a LEO anymore, etc.

    • C-Dog

      Like old Seahawks coach Chuck Knox always said, “You play the hand you’re dealt.” I think Coach Carroll does that exceptionally well with this team; they adapt.

      It was pretty interesting a couple weeks ago when he was talking to the press, elaborating on what he meant on an early remark he made about Rubin being the best 3 tech he’s had in Seattle. He said he’s been the most consistent, but went on to say that there are a lot of different types that play the position, from the short quick John Randle types, to the bigger/longer Keith Millard types. He said he thinks Rubin is a solid run player who holds up and keeps the LBs clean, and that’s what they ask him to do. It’s interesting that this year, the defense is known better for it’s ability to play the run than playing the pass.

      I think they will find a LB they like who will have his own skill set, and adapt. I don’t think they will be looking for Bruce Irvin 2.0. I kind of think Clark was drafted to give them the edge rush in replacement for Bruce.

      • Volume12

        Agreed about Clark replacing Bruce’s reps at DE.

        In reference to your remarks about Rubin and the 3-tech. My point exactly. Skill sets come in all different size and packages. They obviously have their parameters and requirements for most positions, but players don’t exactly have to be a certain height or weight.

    • Belgaron

      They could trade for Bark Mingo.

  34. AlaskaHawk

    What do you guys think of picking up Nick Fairley with St. Louis? Seahawks could sign him as a free agent, for 4-6 million/year. He is on injured reserve so he could be cheap. He could be that inside pass rusher that everyone wants.

    Speaking of the Rams – did you know that only three guys are making more then 5 million a year on that team? It is amazing how competitive they are for that little amount of salary.

    • DC

      I would prefer Malik Jackson from the Broncos as “that” guy. He would probably cost more than Fairley though.

    • lil'stink

      I thought Fairley has been dogged by attitude and work ethic problems for years, not to mention injuries. Not sure how well his mentality would fit in the locker room. I’m also getting the impression that this is a good draft class at DT.

      • C-Dog

        Fairley doesn’t seem like a Seahawks guy. Not consistent enough, and injury proned. I think either of the Denver guys, Jackson or Wolfe seem more Seahawky to me.

        Former Hawk Jaye Howard might be on the market as well. 5.5 Sacks for the Chiefs this year, natural 3 tech. I thought it was a mistake when the Hawks let him go in 2013, but maybe the second time around would be the charm, although I’d expect his former college DC Dan Quinn of the Falcons might be after his services as well.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      He will want too much money. Seattle will look for a guy in the 2-4M range at DT, if they need to grab a new guy in 2016.

      • DC

        Since we are talking Rams FAs, how about OLB/S Mark Barron as a Hawk? He would be a very interesting pickup as far as what our defense could do with him.

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