Seattle’s wide receiver conundrum

Jaelen Strong — not a player I’m crazy about. The Seahawks might disagree.

A year ago, the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos were beaten and bruised and trying to plot a way back to the Super Bowl. They’d come close, but not close enough. It was time to make a move.

The Broncos aggressively pursued the free agent market — landing Aqib Talib to fill a hole at corner, T.J. Ward to feature at safety and Emmanuel Sanders to replace the departing Eric Decker. The Patriots — having lost Talib to Denver — went big on the cornerback position. They brought in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

How much of this was down to a rapidly closing window? It had to play a part. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are pushing 40. The opportunity to win a title isn’t going to get any easier with every passing year. We’ve seen how quickly it can diminish in the case of Manning. But this was also about making the necessary moves to close the gap and eventually cross the line. In the case of the Patriots — it worked. The impact of Revis and Browner cannot be underestimated. One perfectly executed jam at the LOS by Browner was worth every penny of his $2.715m cap hit.

When you get so close the urge to be aggressive eats away at you. “What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?” Nobody will ever get closer to a Super Bowl Championship than the 2014 Seahawks. And now they’re faced with a similar conundrum. What are they going to do at wide receiver (or tight end?) — and how aggressive do they want to be?

It’s the biggest need on two levels. For starters, it’s a pure numbers game. Jermaine Kearse is a restricted free agent. Doug Baldwin, Kevin Norwood and Chris Matthews are under contract. Paul Richardson might be set for a Navarro Bowman style ‘red shirt’ year. Ricardo Lockette is an exclusive rights free agent. Basically, you need another receiver. Secondly — you just need to get better here. Never was that more obvious than the decision to target Lockette on the decisive play to try and win a Super Bowl. You can’t lose Golden Tate, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin and expect to be OK in the talent department.

This isn’t about throwing the ball more or diverting from a run-first identity. It’s about making the most out of the times you do throw. Nearly all of Seattle’s 2013 and 2014 defeats carried a similar theme — man coverage in the secondary and receivers not getting open, with a stacked box attacking the offensive line to pressure Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks are crying out for a receiver who warrants considered attention even within a run-based offense. Or at least a guy who can make plays when he’s covered.

The front office identified this need when they were trying to shop Harvin during the season. They tried to deal him for Juluis Thomas, Jordan Cameron or Coby Fleener. They later had talks with Tampa Bay over Vincent Jackson — the Buccs were interested in a trade, but wanted too much.

Ever since Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle they’ve been searching for an X-Factor. In 2010 they talked to Brandon Marshall and considered a move for Jackson. In 2011 they went big to sign Rice and Zach Miller. By 2013 they pulled off the big trade for Harvin. Now they face re-opening the search. They have to keep looking.

A dynamic receiver or tight end who demands attention and game-planning is crucial to take this offense to the next level. It’ll take some of the up-front pressure away from Wilson and the O-line if it forces teams into more considered coverage looks — it’ll also help open up the running game. The big shots Wilson took in the Super Bowl to Matthews? Wouldn’t it be great if they had a receiver who could do that on a regular basis? And that’s not to say Matthews won’t be able to — but we only have one game’s evidence from a player who turns 26 in October. It’s also one thing to exploit Kyle Arrington — Matthews had less success going up against Browner.

There are other ways this team can be ‘aggressive’ of course. People will argue about bolstering the offensive line — although I’m not sure how you’re going to do that in free agency. I’d also argue the replacement of James Carpenter with a first round pick in this class will have a marginal overall impact on the offense. The conversation this week has focused on Ndamukong Suh. It’s not impossible but would take a major clear-out (Mebane, McDaniel, Miller) to stand any chance. It would also create problems down the line if you want to re-sign some of your home-grown stars. It’s more likely he signs a +$100m contract elsewhere.

Eventually you come back to WR/TE as the most likely focus. This is an aggressive front office. They will go after key needs. In 2011 they made it clear improving the league worst rushing offense was the key — so they draft James Carpenter and John Moffitt and sign Robert Gallery. They wanted better targets so landed Rice and Miller. In 2012 they said they wanted speed in the front seven so they go out and draft Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner. A year later they make a splash for Harvin and also sign Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

The only off-season where they haven’t been overly active was 2014 — weeks after they won the Super Bowl. This is not a front office that has ever stood still or been complacent with a need.

So how do they approach the WR/TE situation?

1. Wouldn’t it be great if Russell Wilson had a target he can grow with? Someone with a similar attitude and love for the game. Someone who wants to create a chemistry comparable to Romo/Bryant or Brady/Gronk. Someone who won’t question the quarterback, someone who won’t be divisive in the locker room. Wilson’s guy.

2. How badly do they need a veteran presence in that wide receiver room? While drafting a receiver to work with Wilson is preferable — Doug Baldwin’s recent antics hint at a position group that is crying out for a leader. Finding a proven receiver is also the best way to deliver an instant impact. You won’t have to go through the inevitable rookie growing pains — although Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Kelvin Benjamin and several others showed it’s possible to succeed early in your career.

Spending a high draft pick on a receiver would be the cost effective way of dealing with this situation — and that might be necessary with so many looming contract to renew. But they do have $23m in cap space according to Spotrac and that will only increase if they cut Zach Miller ($3m saving), Tony McDaniel ($3m saving) or Brandon Mebane ($5.5m saving). Ideally you’d keep Mebane, but they’ll have to judge how serious his hamstring injury is. Essentially you could lose Miller and McDaniel and put $6m towards a free agent receiver or tight end. Of course, you also make a $7m saving if Marshawn Lynch departs.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities:

Free agency

The two names that stand out are Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. There’s almost no chance Bryant reaches the open market — Jerry Jones would cut half his team if it means they keep Dez. Thomas is also unlikely to make it out of Denver considering the Broncos have $26.6m in cap space to play with.

After that the options aren’t great. Nobody should expect the Seahawks to sign Michael Crabtree. Jeremy Maclin isn’t getting out of Philadelphia. Randall Cobb probably has no interest in leaving Green Bay — plus they can easily re-sign him with $24m in cap space.

The best option might be Torrey Smith (Baltimore has only $3m to play with at the moment). He’s a frustrating player who flirts with genuine brilliance and then disappears for several weeks. It’s hard to determine how much he can expect to receive on the open market.

Even if the big names reached free agency — the Seahawks are unlikely to be an appealing option. The passing game takes a back seat and you might only get 3-4 targets in a game. They will be able to offer the opportunity to play for a contender, but you’d expect they’d have to overpay to seal the deal. And they don’t have the cash to overpay.

The tight end position might provide some relief here. Jordan Cameron reportedly wants out in Cleveland while the Broncos might struggle to pay Demaryius and Julius Thomas (particularly with an extension looming for Von Miller). Jermaine Gresham will almost certainly test free agency. For $6-8m (the price of Miller and McDaniel) you might be able to lure Thomas or Cameron to Seattle. When healthy, both players offer genuine dynamism over the middle and in the red zone. But both players carry significant health risks. Last year you could franchise tag a tight end for $7.035m. Cleveland and Denver could go down that route.

Veteran cuts

There are mixed reports on whether Brandon Marshall will be cut in Chicago. Some people are suggesting it’s a done deal while others believe he will stay with the Bears. They have enough cap room to keep him ($23m) and still improve a terrible defense.

Marshall is a fierce competitor and the type of receiver Seattle lacks. But he can also be a divisive figure. This piece by Rick Morrissey from the Chicago Sun-Times sums up some of the feeling he’s generated over the last 12 months. Is he capable of being the calming force in the receiver’s meeting room? Can he lead by example? Will he take pressure away from Russell Wilson instead of creating more drama for the young quarterback?

Larry Fitzgerald would be the ideal addition. His cap hit in 2015 is a remarkable $23.6m and it never dips lower than $17.35m between now and the end of the 2018 season. There’s very little room for Arizona to re-work this deal and as things stand they’re $8.6m OVER the salary cap for 2015. They have to make savings somewhere — and this might be a difficult, painful and inevitable decision.

If Fitzgerald enters the market, nearly every team in the league will want to meet with him. Even in his 32nd year he’s still a remarkable physical talent. He’s definitely one of the hardest working players in the league. As his role in the Arizona offense shockingly diminished — he didn’t complain. He is the definition of a model pro.

The Seahawks need someone like Fitzgerald to lead their group of young receivers, rally behind Wilson at quarterback and be a go-to target for the next 2-3 years. Would he make the move? After a few frustrating years with the Cardinals, will he seek out a high-octane passing offense? As a fiercely loyal player would he dare join a bitter division rival in the midst of a Championship window? Are there teams out there who can pay him a lot more money? How much will he be motivated by chasing a ring?

The Minnesota Vikings make a great deal of sense with their $18m cap room and need for a receiver like this. He can return home, leave the NFC West and move on. The Seahawks would surely have interest in Fitzgerald if he reaches the open market. He’s the ideal option. But would he be able to stomach competing for one of Arizona’s division rivals?


I doubt the Seahawks would consider another blockbuster trade, but a modest deal for the right receiver seems possible. One option stands out and that’s Vincent Jackson. The Buccaneers fielded calls for V-Jax during the season and Seattle were one of the teams to show interest. Will their demands lower this off-season? It’s hard to say.

Tampa Bay will select a quarterback with the #1 pick and there’s every chance that rookie will start this year. It’d make sense to let him throw to Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Jackson as he eases into the pro-game. But did Evans’ brilliant rookie season make Jackson expendable? The Buccs had a fire sale before the trade deadline as they re-shaped the roster. If they want to get younger, dealing V-Jax for a mid-round pick makes sense — even with $23m in free cap space.

The big issue is Jackson’s contract. Whoever deals for him will want to re-work his salary. He’s 32 and set to earn $12.2m in 2015 and 2016. That’s too much. To force a trade and play for a contender, you’d have to expect he’d be open to a deal. The Buccs might just cut him and save $8m — he has to know that is possible.

For two or three years Jackson could be a really effective weapon for a team. He can still get downfield, he goes up and makes plays and he’s a big time red zone option. If you can get his salary down — he’d be a key addition.

The draft

There’s another reason why I think this could end up being the most likely solution. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the value to be had at corner (Jalen Collins), defensive end (Eli Harold), running back (Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon) and other positions. But over the years the Seahawks haven’t been afraid to reach to fill needs. I actually really liked James Carpenter and Bruce Irvin in college (physical brilliance + production). But both picks were cited as reaches. The Seahawks didn’t really care.

Even last year — Justin Britt in round two was a clear reach. But they knew, without a third round pick, it was now or never to get a right tackle they liked. There’s every chance the Seahawks will simply identify a receiver they like who will be available at #31 and take the guy. Address the situation and don’t look back. It’s what they’ve done before.

What if a lot of the other appealing options are gone? Let’s say they like the guys we’ve talked about — Collins, Harold, Gurley and others. They could all be gone by #31 anyway.

Personally I’d rather acquire one of the veterans above and hunt for a younger receiver later on. The value appears to be much stronger in rounds 2-4 this year (Agholor, Lockett, Dorsett, Hardy, Mayle). You could argue there’s only three receivers worthy of going in the first round (Cooper, Parker, White). But if your hand is forced? Who are we talking about?

I’m not crazy about Devin Funchess — a huge target who should be better than he is. He’d offer everything the Seahawks lack in terms of size. He could split out wide, play move-TE. He should dominate over the seam. But he’s just so underwhelming. I can’t imagine him playing for the Seahawks. Not within this group. Sammie Coates has T.O. size, fantastic athleticism and muscle tone. He’s strong. He has a good character. But the inconsistency he flashes is beyond frustrating. Would they take a chance on potential? Maybe. I wouldn’t be shocked. But you’d be taking a big risk on a prospect with so many flaws in his catching technique.

I’m a big Devin Smith fan and I don’t buy all the snobbery over his downfield production vs conventional routes. The guy makes chunk plays and that’s not always easy. He high points the football. He makes circus catches look easy. He flashes a bit of DeSean Jackson, a bit of OBJ. You can work on the shorter routes. If he was brilliant working over the middle on slants he’d be going in the top-15. It’s like critiquing any player who goes late first vs early first. You can’t expect the finished product in that range. But is another smaller, sudden athlete the answer for Seattle’s offense? After watching Matthews in the Super Bowl — do they need to go bigger?

We’ve talked enough about Dorial Green-Beckham to avoid going over old ground. Teams will do their homework. I think there’s more to the situation in Missouri than a couple of run-ins with the law and that’s that. We’ll see. He has all the talent in the world but if he’s still there at #31 that speaks volumes.

And that brings us to Jaelen Strong. Not a player I’m all that fond of. He’s a bit of a plodder in terms of speed. He lacks suddenness getting into his breaks. He struggles to separate on short or long routes and every catch seems to be contested. Yet he is adept at high pointing the ball, making spectacular grabs and you can’t fault his production (2287 yards, 17 TD’s in two seasons). I like his character — modest, mature, well spoken. He could mesh with Wilson. He’s not my favorite player in the draft — but he might end up being Seattle’s.

I don’t currently see a tight end worthy of going at #31. Maxx Williams is a really solid prospect who does everything well — but he doesn’t have difference making size or speed. I think he’ll end up being a good pro — but it’s hard to imagine he’ll offer a passing game the kind of jolt Seattle is looking for. I think he’ll be a second round pick.

The Seahawks are going to address receiver and/or tight end with some gusto — I’m sure of that. We could see a Cameron or Thomas arrive in free agency, with the #31 pick going on the best receiver available. It might be an even bigger splash — trading up for example, or making a deal with Larry Fitzgerald. Either way, this seems like the position to focus on the most heading into free agency next month. And from there, we’ll have a better idea on what they intend to do in the draft.


  1. 907Hawksfan

    Rob, will the seahawks use the franchise tag on anyone? Maxwell? Do you think they will use it on Bwags next year if they don’t get a deal done this year? Last thought, RW has proven he can stay healthy for 3 years, do you think it’s time to let TJack go?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s doubtful on the tag. As much as I like Maxwell, I don’t want him earning Sherman money next year. I’d expect Wagner and Wilson to get paid this off-season to avoid the need for a tag. I think it could very well be time to go with a cheaper backup QB (BJ Daniels).

      • Pablo Honey

        According to OverTheCap, Jackson only made $1.25m last year. Doesn’t seem like there’s much of any savings by going with Daniels unelss Jackson is looking for a significant raise or wants to take a shot elsewhere at competing for a starting job (which I could see happening — Buffalo in particular is a talented team in desperate need of a competent QB).

        • Rob Staton

          You save $750K by going Daniels over Jackson — which isn’t all that much but if it swings a deal for a starter I think you consider it. I think T-Jax is passed the point of being considered for any starting role, which could also mean he’d accept a slightly reduced salary for 2015.

  2. dave crockett


    of all the times you’ve banged the table for a position fix I’ve always been kinda, “Meh. I don’t disagree but they keep winning with highly-rated offenses.” But, this was your best work. I agree with you this time out. The team has to address the position.

    I buy into the Fitz talk, definitely. I do, however, think there may be some under-the-radar kinds of moves the team might consider. I’m not sure the team needs All-Pro more than it needs more reliable targets.

    • dave crockett

      Nate Washington has been a productive guy on terrible teams for a while. He could be a guy looking to hook up with a team that has a shot. At 31 he’s well in the top 50 in both DYAR and DVOA.

  3. drewjov11

    So many interesting scenarios. I, for one, would love to see Julius Thomas, but at what cost? I thibk Chris Mathews is going to be pushed this offseason by the coaches to see where he is and if he can be a starter. No matter what, he needs to be on the field next season. He’s big, he can obviously make plays, and he’s cheap. Cheap is good.

    • SunPathPaul

      Cheap IS good. If we get another tall stud WR he will also get the 2nd or 3rd CB, and can win then!

      We need 2 more tall targets to add to Chris Matthews to create mismatch nightmares for teams like the SB looked. He could bring it!

  4. HawkFan

    I don’t get the point of these discussions until Wilson can improve enough to make a pass on a slant route that won’t cost his team a superbowl!

    • Radman

      get a grip

      • peter

        That’s got to be sarcasm, if so its almost funny if not that goes with other hawks,fan sites comparing Wilson to Donovan McNabb…Out the door with the trash!

    • Rob Staton

      Ok. Right.

    • bigDhawk

      I think it’s been well documented that, given the personnel on the field and the situation, that specific play call was what cost us the SB, not the QB.

      • Rob Staton

        I think it’s the sloppy execution of the play by the two receivers.

        • lil'stink

          I still think the call itself was the main culprit, although it certainly could have been executed better. The call itself just had so many bad things going for it.

          • Rob Staton

            I see the point. As time has passed though — I’ve come to think the Seahawks were one release by Kearse away from a title. Lockette, in fairness, was wide open.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          No disrespect to my favorite QB in the League, but it was the wrong read.

          Forget the play call. That was what it was. Russell simply made the wrong read.

          Go back and watch the play. You’ll see Lynch slip past his defender on the left side, heading toward the corner of the end zone. It was essentially the same play they ran to open that drive – you know the one that went for a 31-yard gain.

          It doesn’t matter in the least whether or not Lynch would’ve caught the pass. It doesn’t even matter if Lockette had caught the pass. It was the wrong read. You simply do not throw an inside slant from the half-yard line.

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think he was asked to make more than one read on the play though — it’s a quick hitter. And Lockette, in fairness, is wide open. Kearse gets off the jam — Super Bowl Champions. Kearse fails to disrupt Butler’s route to the ball — agony.

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              It was a presnap read if anything. 6’3″ Lockette vs. 5’10” Burley. What could go wrong?

              I guess that’s the difference. The SB winner makes the right read by tossing a fade to the left corner. Either he hits Lynch or the pass falls incomplete. It doesn’t get intercepted because that’s the right read.

              • peter

                Lets not do this. Seriously. Where were the recievers in whole first quarter, why was Lane trying to run a highlight reel after he picked off the pas maybe he goes down or out of bounds and doesn’t break his wrist and plays the rest of the game. Maybe the vaunted LOB isn’t a mash unit and they get a stop at any one of Bradys 74% completion rate passes, maybe we stop having Kj wright getting torched by TEs whenever they get a free release, how about Seattle doesn’t play Valets in the biggest game if the year. And on and on. Listen there are too many things in any one game to pin on one play no matter how far your heart drops the bottom line is we didn’t outplay the pats enough in any one fashion still had a chance to win and a terrible call was matched with horrible personal. I hate this expression but it was a perfect storm of overt cleverness and well Seattles best receiver last being Their star RB not in on the plays design.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  This hasn’t anything to do with losing the game. That’s over. It’s about reviewing a particular play.

                  And I will argue again and again that an inside slant is a poor read from the half-yard line – doesn’t matter if it’s the first TD of the game or with everything on the line.

                  We disagree about that.

          • Pablo Honey

            “You simply do not throw an inside slant from the half-yard line.”

            Every indication I’ve seen is that this was the primary route based on the pre-snap coverage. If you don’t think he should’ve thrown it, then you are blaming the play call.

          • Onur

            I agree,RW should have thrown Lynch(or hand the ball),whether or not he would have caught that pass,i think it wouldn’t intercepted.

            Lockette was open,yes,but last play of SB,half yard line,you must rely on your best.Running or passing,your best man in offense is Lynch.

            RW is great,but his deep throws much better than his short passes.That’s why we are #1 in explosive plays and why we need a bigger WR.

            • Onur

              Nevertheless, if we blame someone,RW would’ve been last.Coach staff and Lockette had bigger mistakes than RW.

  5. JaviOsullivan

    Thinking about nickel CB… I like two players as possible replacements for Burley or Lane by injury. I think we need to improve that position.

    Imoan Claiborne 5’095 189 lbs 32′ arms

    Donald Celiscar 5’106 197 lbs

    Both are fast, agility, good tackle, good blocker, long arms? And I think they could choose in 6-7 round or UDFA.

  6. Misfit74


    I really like Dorial. Plenty of good receivers have been drafted 31 or later and it hasn’t been a death-knell for all of them. A few other guys stand out, such as Kevin White, who could be worth a trade-up, esp. if he times well.

    I’d rather the team rely and develop on a player not on the decline. Players with youth and upside. Fitz won’t be worth the money, most likely.

    Go big at WR and TE, I agree, but do it the right way. Don’t over-extend for declining assets. Draft and sign quality and even volume at both spots.

    • SunPathPaul

      I agree Misfit74. Use the youth of the draft and cheaper contracts to grow our WR corp.

      DGB would be sweet. If they meet w him and feel good about it, I’d even trade up in R1 for him.

      Then get a fast WR/KR/PR like Dorsett, Lockett, or Goodley…

      • Drew

        If we go that route we can let Lockette and Kearse walk assuming.

  7. Sam Jaffe

    I think Virgil Green is the best free agent tight end, but I’m guessing that Denver will jettison Julius Thomas in order to keep Green. Whomever he plays for, he’ll have a breakthrough year in 2015.

    The other tight end you didn’t mention that might be available for trade or due to veteran cut is Martellus Bennett. He would be a great red zone target for Wilson and, unlike other move tight ends, I’ve seen him doing some good blocking work.

    And other wide receivers that might be available will be Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson (if the Lions try to keep Suh). My guess is that Andre has too much tread on his tires and the price for Calvin would be too much for Seattle to handle.

    In the draft, two wide receivers scream Seahawks to me: Antwan Goodley of Baylor and Justin Hardy of ECU. Both are high character with plus athetic traits (speed and strength and wingspan for Goodley and hand size and wingspan for Hardy). Both were extremely productive in college (although Goodley’s numbers dropped off in 2014 due to an injury). They are also both praised for their route-running skills and football IQ. They also each have a single glaring weakness (height for Goodley, speed for Hardy), which is another Seahawk FO hallmark.

    Outside of DGB, there are no Kelvin Benjamin types. And I agree with you Rob: if DGB’s character checks out, he’s going a lot earlier than 31. And if it doesn’t, even a late round flier would be a wasted pick.

    • SunPathPaul

      If we have 11 picks for a team that not many will make, do u really think it would be a waste?

      6-6, 230 w speed and control . rare . we shall see

      • red

        I like Goodley and Hardy as well. If you look at the tape on Hardy he broke off a lot routes for his QB was always scrambling he catches the ball well in traffic like him at end 3RD but most likely a slot guy who can line up outside a little. Goodley has some Golden Tate in him likes to put the wood to DBs down field good athlete but his hands are iffy at best.

        A couple other guys I like are Perriman from UCF 6’2 215 physical dude hear he might even go second from Daniel Jerimiah on twitter.

        Also like Levi Norwood as a 5th or 6TH round guy good punt returner but 6’1 super skinny not tiny guy like crowder or Lockett also a gunner on special teams so he could take the role Lockett and Walters all in one WR .

        Also watch out for Mike Wallace and D Bowe to get cut.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not expecting Chicago to trade or cut Bennett. They don’t need to save money and there’s no real reason to part ways given he’s produced so well for them.

  8. Chris

    Any interesting trade -up scenarios?

    A real receiving threat on this team could make a world of difference. Seems like all our other needs other than corner (and maybe even corner if the Hawks do actually think Simon can be the guy) could maybe be put off another year or helped with later round draft picks instead.

    This might be the year to just package a 1, 2, and 3 together, move up, and just go after “their” guy, assuming one exists that is …

    • Radman

      I get the logic of wanting this, but I’m generally very opposed to trading up in a major way. Historically, as a strategy is has failed more often than it’s worked.

      You want arrows in your quiver in the draft. Especially early. The more shots you can take the more likely you are to hit something. You put a lot in one shot making a trade up.

    • Rob Staton

      I could see a move up for the right player — but I’m not sure he’s in this class. Amari Cooper maybe if he fell a bit.

      • Nathan

        Has last years draft ruined everyones perception of what to expect from round 1 receivers?

        I can someone moving up and getting burned this year.

        That sort of lightning might take another 15 years to strike.

  9. CC

    A really good point about the receivers’ room needing a veteran presence! WRs/TEs need to be better at getting separation – either by being able to go higher to get the ball or beat someone off the line.

    Now, here’s my blast from the past – Kris Durham is a FA – could they look at him again? Tall, had some speed at one point – but I haven’t watched him enough to know if he can make plays. Or maybe Kenny Britt leaves his security blanket Fisher? Maybe he has finally grown up and wants to play with a good QB?

    • Sam Jaffe

      Noooo!! He couldn’t catch a ball of yarn.

      But I hear TO is available….

  10. Ross

    Beckham is an interesting prospect. Almost all the hype for his astonishing talent has diminished, but so has a lot of the concern for the things he did. He’s an incident free year removed from his dismissal, and has an invite to the Combine, but he still has a black mark beside his name, an asterisks, and we’ve just seen another young, ultra talented receiver with problems all the way back to college get suspended for a whole league year because he couldn’t learn from his mistakes.

    I think he could go anywhere from the first to the fifth round. This trouble free year has made him draftable but teams will judge for themselves how much the risk of taking him is worth. I think he’s well worth consideration at the bottom of the second. The Seahawks have been pretty good at developing college players with rough upbringings and made dumb mistakes.

    • Rob Staton

      I really don’t want to speculate on here, but a quick search of the internet provides some background talk on his dismissal at Mizzou. If the talk is right he won’t be drafted early, if at all. If it isn’t and he checks out, he goes early considering his talent.

      • Ross

        All I could find were the reports of the three incidents he was involved in whilst at Mizzou. Probably not looking in the right places. It’s clear from what you’re saying that there’s more to the story, but I wouldn’t ask you to speculate.

        I think one thing that helps him is that, because he’s been out for a year, he’s not the story of the draft anymore. Manziel was the story of the draft last year and all the pressure and rampant speculation probably hurt him. Josh Gordon probably complicates things so he might not go as early as he would have even if his background checked out. There’s a good chance, in my mind, that teams like him, are too cautious because of all this year’s scandals, and he slips under the radar and goes in the fourth or fifth.

        • Rob Staton

          I really hope the character stuff is in the past and he’s ready to play football. The guy is so talented, with so much potential. I’d need to be 100% confident in him though to make him the guy you pair with Russell for the next few years.

          • Ross

            Absolutely. I don’t want the Seahawks spending a even a late pick on a guy they aren’t sure will work just as hard as everyone else. I’d love for him to be the guy; he has no ceiling.

            We will know more from the buzz that develops at the Combine. He’ll probably interview well, showcase his extreme athleticism, and suddenly become a more positive talking point. I don’t expect to hear anything from the Seahawks on the DGB front. Every player they draft is simultaneously unpredictable and unsurprising.

  11. Jon

    In Defense of Chris Matthews:
    He could not exploit Browner. How many Browner type CB’s are in the league? And if a team has a Browner, do they have a Revis to put on the best WR we have.
    Isn’t this the point. Matthews could realistically require top end defensive attention.
    I am not saying he is the complete answer, but I saw more in him in that game than I have in Kearse consistently.
    I think Matthews could be one of the best #2 WR in the league in the next couple years (not that he is or will be). Put Baldwin in the Slot, and still go after another #1 option in FA or Draft.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Matthews excelled at every level he has been at … JUCO, Kentucky and the CFL, Like all tall WR’s he is a long strider that needs a couple steps to get up to speed. He is best on vertical routes as we saw in the SB. I expect him to play a bigger role next year. You cannot catch many balls if you are watching from the stands. DGB has not caught a single ball in the NFL nor did he catch any in 2014 in college.

      If we are interested in another tall WR check out Jordan Taylor of Rice. He is the same size as Matthews and has a similar game. He should be available in the late rounds where we find all of our gems.

      • bigDhawk

        That’s a good video Taylor has against Texas A&M. He has good hands and high point ability. Another player similar to Taylor is Devon Cajuste of Stanford, 6-4, 229. Should be around late as well. He had a good bowl game against Maryland, 4/47, 2 TDs, though his video against Notre Dame is not as impressive.

    • Ben2

      What you’re talking about is our personnel being able to dictate matchups….we need more talent catching the ball. Period. I’d love a modest deal for VJax (3 rd is as high as I’d want to give up) with the agreement he reworks his deal (Boldin made 6 mil last year – I think that’s a decent # per annum for VJax). Then you are free to take the best player that falls to the end of the 1st and hit that wr sweet spot Rob was talking about (one that can add some juice to the return game.) VJax, Eli Harold in the 1st, wr & line depth the rest of the draft….

    • SunPathPaul

      I agree Jon.
      Add a real threat like DGB or another opposite him, and BOOM!


      Would you take DGB at 31? trade up?

      • SunPathPaul

        Jordan Taylor does appear like a good back up plan.

        I’d love Dorsett or Goodley… Lockett maybe

    • Rob Staton

      The problem is — it’s one game against an over matched opponent (Arrington). If Browner keeps him quiet, a lot of other CB’s might be able to. I mean, are we seriously going to start talking about him as having the potential to be a top #2 receiver in the NFL?

      • arias

        Browner defended one pass that was intended for Matthews. It’s not like he “kept him quiet”. Matthews was targeted twice while covered by Browner and the other target was a reception by Matthews. It’s not like Browner manhandled him and totally shut him down.

        Matthews had 4 receptions on 5 targets for 109 yards and a TD. One reception on Browner, two on Arrington, and one on Logan Ryan who is 5’11”. And how many Browner-like cornerbacks are there with his physicality? Not many. Maybe some teams will have more success trying to defend him with a linebacker, but that remains to be seen.

        He lacks speed but can certainly be the big red zone target the team’s been missing. Not sure why it took so long to start playing him.

        • Rob Staton

          Matthews was going off and the moment they put Browner on him, that just seemed to end. I haven’t gone back and studied the game because, well, I’d struggle to do it. But the Pats knew they had to do something so they put Browner on him. And I imagine there were at least a couple of opportunities where Wilson looked his way and saw he wasn’t open. One day I will go back and check… one day…

          “Not sure why it took so long to start playing him.” — it might be as simple as that one game was a fluke. Or maybe not. But I find it hard to invest too much faith in him based on one game.

          • AlaskaHawk

            I like Matthews, not only because of his tall size but also because he was CFL rookie of the year. He has earned awards in the past. He earned a place as a receiver with his one handed kick off recovery against Green Bay. My take is that he has been recovering from an injury and is finally reaching his potential. As far as being shutdown he had the most yardage of any of the receivers. Any receiver who can’t outrun Browner will have to fight him for the ball. Matthews is tall and strong enough to do that. A corner has to pick which side they will protect, inside or outside. Given a good throw to the uncovered side, the tall receiver should have a good chance at making the catch. In hindsight I wonder if we shouldn’t have been using Matthews more in the red zone.

            • Rob Staton

              I like Matthews too — I just wouldn’t want to be relying on him to contribute next year based on the Super Bowl. I want to challenge him to warrant a role. And if he can win it in camp — superb. But I don’t want to get to camp, see him struggle in pre-season and then wish we’d done something about this position in March/April.

              • Meat

                I’d like them to go forward as if Mathews did not have a good game. One game doesn’t mean much going forward and they must get some talented pass catchers. We haven’t had many stud WR in Seattle, and with Wilson it sure is time. They need to draft a WR and TE.

  12. Cysco

    I’ve mentioned this in the last few threads, but I’ll bring it up again. Of the scenarios outlined. Give me brandon Marshall. If I’m in Seattle’s front office, I’m calling the bears and offering them a 4th for him. I wouldn’t want him to hit the open market and have to compete with other teams.

    Currently, Marshall is signed for the next three seasons. Over those seasons his salary goes from $7.5m-$8.5M or so. For the type of production he can provide, that’s a really good deal. He’s not even in the top-10 of WR contracts.

    Sure he has personality quirks, but he doesn’t come across as destructive as Harvin. Any kind of issues last season I’d blame on Cutler and a terrible organization.

    I don’t think ARZ is going to cut Fitz. They’ll figure something out to keep him around. The dead money is just too much to cut him IMO

    I don’t think V. Jackson will be an option either. If I’m TB, I want the veteran around to help my new rookie.

    I am firmly on the Brandon Marshall boat.

    • CC

      Pete tried to get Marshall when he was a FA last time. But of course, we didn’t have a QB at that time. I think the locker room could handle Marshall, since they want to win and play hard all the time. It would be a great pick up.

      I also would love Martelius Bennett if he was cut by the Bears.

      • SunPathPaul

        Funny how the Bears have 2 possible FA targets for us.

        M Bennett would be nice, and so would MArshall!

        I’d take either…but they aren’t really available…we shall C.

        How about a new Vikings connect – we start migrating Bears players now! lol

  13. Justin

    I like the idea of bringing in a guy Russell Wilson can grow with over the next few seasons. Even if they aren’t the top talent available or they don’t fit the image we feel the Seahawks need. If the can come in with a work ethic close to what Wilson brings and is willing to work to be his top target and built that trust….I am all for it. If that means drafting Jaelen Strong early then so be it.

    Either way I would love to see them bring in Fitz. We need that veteran leadership at WR.

  14. John_s

    I like Andre Holmes, a restricted free agent from Oakland. Don’t know what the tender will be but I’m sure it will be a 1st or 2nd round tender so he’s going to cost you a pick and some money but if he’s tendered as at the 2nd round I think hes definitely worth it. He big, fast, strong and can high point the ball. He’s got all the traits we’ve been clamoring for. There’s always the chance that Oakland would match the offer considering they have tons of cap space and need weapons for Carr.

    Imagine Holmes and Matthews on the outside with Baldwin working the slot. I think you would have something going.

  15. rowdy

    I don’t see the hawks that interested in Jalen strong. His abilities line up with Mathers but mathews has a year in the system and is better at high pointing the ball.

    • Rob Staton

      We’re saying Matthews is better at high pointing the ball based on four career catches?

      • rowdy

        No, I don’t hold to much weight on one game. It was impressive though. he looks to have a better vertical and of course height. I also think he’s better at positioning himself to make the catch. I believe they have the same skill set but mathews a better job going for the ball using better position. The ball browner tipped in the end zone wasn’t the best placed ball and didn’t allow Mathew to get position. I just don’t see Jalen being enough of a upgrade to warrant a high pick because they would play the same roll.

  16. Radman

    I know he’s flawed, but I can’t help but wonder if a deal for Cordarrelle Patterson can’t be worked out. He’s not working in that system. Though clearly flawed as a route runner and pass catcher, he has shown he can do all of the simple routes, sweeps, and around the LoS stuff that they were asking Percy to do- nothing fancy about that stuff. He also excels as a returner. And he’s proven he can score from anywhere on the field.

    Just spit balling here, but maybe a buy (reasonably) low opportunity on a team that might want to salvage something and/or move on. Get that guy to stretch a defense horizontally and fill a special teams need. Then get your vertical threat to compliment (Mathews, Richardson, or ??). Couple of mid round picks, spread over this year and next, perhaps…

    Also, I still really like Tyler Lockett. I know he’s not the size guy we’re all looking for. But that kid is a baller. To my eye is more polished than most of the prospects in this draft. And while he’s not a classic red zone threat, this team can still use good receivers. He’s also an accomplished returner who has produced and made big plays in multiple phases of the game. I’d really like to see them leave this draft with him in their basket.

    On yet another thought: There were short, brief, moments in the season where we saw them design plays specifically for C Mike. And he seems to do well in those plays. It was as if they were trying to find a poor man’s solution to the Percy Harvin absence. A pitch out, a bubble screen, and a sweep, iirc. Then we never saw it again. I thought for sure they’d try something like that in the SB. I had him as a sleeper pick for an explosive play. It turns out Mathews was the secret weapon. It sure would be nice if they could find some utility for him on this team. He must be a complete knucklehead to have not earned more opportunity thus far.

  17. bigDhawk

    Rob, your point about the receiver room being in desperate need of veteran leadership is well taken. Fitz seems like the perfect answer in that regard but neither him nor any other veteran acquisition seems financially feasible. I don’t have any evidence to back it up, but somehow I just have a feeling Fitz will land in NE whenever he leaves AZ.

    On the other hand, I think Matthews can be a weapon for us next year. It might be too much to ask to find a tall receiver that can consistently get separation AND dominate vertically. Those are the Megatron’s and Dez Bryant’s of the world and they are rare. With Russell’s ability to float high-arching dimes, high-pointing might be all that is required with separation being less of a necessity. Matthews, in his brief debut, has shown at least this ability, and it might be all we need. Now add another tall receiver that can do the same thing on the other side such as Strong, Taylor, Waller, Greenberry, etc., and you have a serious deep threat that defenses must respect. Add ADB in the slot, Willson up the seam, and Wilson rolling out on play-action and now you have a receiving game that will scare DCs. Which makes Beastmode even more terrifying.

    So I say not one tall receiver with legit high-pointing skill, but two, and we already have one in Matthews. Operating under this premise, Jaelen Strong becomes more attractive, with his lack of separation being less of an issue, and his ability to go up high to bring down a Wilson sexy deep ball being more the key when paired opposite another tall receiver – Matthews – that does the same thing.

    • Radman

      There’s a lot of interesting talent at WR and RB in this draft that projects in rounds 2-5. Should be plenty of opportunity to find a guy or two there to add to the mix.

  18. AndrewP

    Another name to throw out there: Andre Johnson.

    Long shot, maybe. But, he was apparently really unhappy this past season with the state of the Houston offense, and with no QB solution on the horizon, he might try and force the Texans’ hand. Odds are that won’t happen, but it is another name and situation to monitor.

  19. Jeff M.

    FWIW Vincent Jackson isn’t actually scheduled to make $12.2m–that’s his cap hit as a Buccaneer, but it includes bonus money already paid (which stays on their cap as dead money if he’s moved). If the Seahawks trade for him we’d only be paying his $9.7m base salaries (unguaranteed) in 2015 and 2016, which would come closer to fitting the budget…but you could probably also get him to restructure for a lower cap number if you added a year or two and some guaranteed money.

    • Jeff M.

      To contrast with some other veteran options mentioned, Andre Johnson would be making $11.5m and $12m (base salaries plus roster bonuses) so he would need a restructure, while Brandon Marshall would be in line for $7.7m/$8.1m/$8.5m so he definitely fits the budget more easily on his current deal (in addition to being younger than the other two). Fitzgerald won’t be traded (he’ll be let go designated as a post-June 1 cut to spread the dead money out) so it doesn’t make sense to look at his current on-the-books deal.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Vincent Jackson costs more than our entire WR group. I seriously doubt we pay any free agents big bucks this year. We can find the depth guys we need in the draft. If there is money to spend it should go to the guys that have produced for us. It is a hungry and deep group of WR’s coming out this year.

      • Jeff M.

        The tiny amount of money we’re currently spending on WR isn’t intentional, though. We had Harvin cap hits of above $12m budgeted for both 2014 and 2015. We carried cap hits of $9.7m for Sidney Rice AND $11m for Zach Miller in 2013. Those are before extensions for the young guys, but the front office already came up with a long-term plan of retaining the drafted stars while paying for a premium #1 wideout who we no longer have around–you could definitely fit a VJax or Marshall into that hole.

      • Cysco

        The fact that Vincent Jackson costs more than our entire WR group is EXACTLY the problem. Our WR group is made up entirely of undrafted free agents, and it shows.

        Our WR group is not good, and is by far the poorest performing group on the team. Baldwin/Kearse might be nice pieces as a #2 or #3, but they are not going to strike fear in any defense. Our receivers need to put more pressure on defenses so they can’t stack the box and sell out to go after Wilson. Time and time again this past season the receivers failed and cost us games and ultimately cost us the super bowl. (if we had better receivers, we win that game)

        You are not going to solve this problem with a rookie taken at 31 this year unless you get extremely lucky and catch lightning in a bottle. The importance of improving the WR group is far to important to leave it to a rookie. I’m willing to bet that the FO is going to do everything they can to get a veteran big receiver in here.

  20. seanmatt

    The thing that I really like about Jaelen Strong is that he seems to excel at the things that Kearse is, and I say this at the risk of incurring the wrath of Doug Baldwin, just “aight” at. Wilson targeted Kearse a lot in the playoffs and in the Superbowl he threw to Kearse 6 times (with Jermaine hauling down three catches). With Strong’s ability to high point and fight for the tough catch I think that he could improve on Kearse’s catch percentage. I guess that the question comes down to whether a better Kearse is worth a first or second (would probally have to be a trade down into the early/mid part of round two) pick. The other thing to consider is that last years 31st pick had a first year cap hit of 1.26 million. Could you draft Strong, let Kearse walk(instead of tendering him at, what, 2.5 mill?), improve the position AND save a million dollars in cap space?

    • bigDhawk

      I opined something similar above. Given that Russell excels at the arching, sexy deep ball, a tall receiver that excels at high-pointing may be all we need. We don’t need receivers to get separation so much as we need them to go up and over CBs to haul down Wilson’s perfect moon-shots. We already have Matthews that seems to be that kind of receiver. If we added another like Strong opposite Matthews it we make our deep ball passing game probably the most formidable in the league. With the exception of the odd Kearse circus catch, the red-line high-point reception was something that disappeared from our passing game this season with the loss of Tate. We need it back badly and I vote for a double dip with Matthews on one side and a receiver like Strong on the other.

      And though Kearse has been responsible for some of my favorite Seahawks memories over the last two seasons, I have to admit that his inconsistency makes me willing to part ways to save what would likely be a second round tender, especially if we get one of the better tall receivers in this draft.

      • MJ

        Like Rob, my biggest fear is that Strong simply cannot get open with any consistency at the NFL level. Combine this with better DB play, and I am absolutely worried about his ability at the NFL level. Great hands/high pointing ability, but I am worried about how many of those he actually comes down with at the NFL level.

        I’d prefer Breshad Perriman in R2.

        • bigDhawk

          I guess my point is that with two tall receivers on the field at once like Matthews and Stron you would get favorable one on one matchups deep where separation is not as big a deal and highpointing against a smaller DB is more important. I like Perriman too and he would fit in with what I’m talking about maybe as well as Strong.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Having two tall receivers along the sideline should draw the attention of the safeties and open up the middle more for Baldwin and other receivers. I wouldn’t mind if one of those tall receivers was a tight end. It would be nice to have a big guy that is hard to tackle.

            • SunPathPaul

              We have 11 draft picks it seems. 4 are compensatory picks I believe. We have to take those.

              We know that not all 11 will make this team, that’s why I agree we take 3/4/5 catching options in this draft. Save money, cultivate a long term relationship with RW.

              If we could grab 2 BIG guys, 1 WR, 1 TE…and at least another speedy WR/KR/PR,
              with what we have with Willson, Baldwin, Norwood, and a returning P.Rich, we would be flush!

              2 Big , 1 Small…and hopefully another solid… If we take 4 catchers, I’d love it!

              Our draft will be a failure if Bryan Walters is on this roster next year…BYE BYE

              • Volume 12

                What makes you believe that WR Kevin Norwood is a better option than WR Chris Matthews? Sure, it was one game, how many games did Norwood open up for us?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s an interesting proposition.

  21. Cysco

    Can we please stop the talk of pinning our hopes on Chris Matthews? The dude caught four passes all year folks. Just because those four catches came in the super bowl against a poor defender it seems like some people are willing to anoint him the answer to our receiver woes next year.

    Is it possible that the second coming of Sydney Rice came from the CFL and has been sitting at the end of our bench all season and the FO just didn’t know it? Ummm I suppose. I wouldn’t bank on it though.

    I’m all for keeping him around next year to see what he can do, but this team needs a legit, proven receiver.

    • Jon

      Lokette couldn’t abuse lower tier talent, nor Kearse or Walters. Matthews did on his first chance he was given.
      I don’t really see anyone saying Matthews is the answer. Writing him off because it is one game is just as insufficient as crowning him the answer.

      I think he could be a very good #2, perhaps a more driven Mike Williams (Matthews has had to work for everything he has ever gotten). This means that I really want him to get a shot at being a #2 WR, which requires an addition of a true #1 or at least a major threat at TE.

      • Jon

        Also Doug Baldwin should be our slot WR. I am imagining a DGB, Matthews, Baldwin combo with Richardson as well when he comes back healthy. I do not want to stop at Matthews, but I think I want to give him a shot to beat Kearse (which I think he would do).

      • bigDhawk

        Granted Matthews by himself is probably not the answer, but another tall, high-pointing receiver on the field opposite him at the same time would put defenses in a real bind. In that set, one of our tall receivers would likely get a favorable one-on-one matchup down the red line almost every play or, if the defense commits their safeties to defending deep, the box will be cleared out for Lynch. Seeing what Matthews did in the SB makes me covet two players just like him.

        • Drew

          If Matthews can contribute in the future, we don’t need a another tall reciever, we just need a reciever that can go up, high point the ball, and win the red-line, a la Golden Tate. Yes we need at least one big target that can use his body to create separation and be a red zone threat, but I don’t think we necessarily need 2, if there is a better smaller option available.

          • SunPathPaul

            I disagree… We need to saturate the WR/TE positions this draft. We let them compete and come out strong with 2! Yes 2 Tall WR, another new speedy KR/PR WR, and another tall blocking/catching TE. We need to challenge defenses from the line of scrimmage with formations…beat them before the play happens. That happens with Personnel, the right mismatches…

            We need 2 tall WR’s, and another tall TE…plus a speedy WR/PR/KR like Dorsett, Lockette, Goodley

      • AlaskaHawk

        He wasn’t the CFL rookie of the year because of poor performance. He has a good history, lets use him.

  22. Paul

    I can’t see Seattle spending big on a free agent WR because that would come at the expense of rewarding players who have gotten the team to two straight SBs. It’s also hard to see them using a high draft pick on a wideout when they drafted Richardson at #2 last year.

    It’s more likely that they will look for value. Keep an eye on Kenny Britt, even with the off-field issues (which will drive his price down). Britt is a former #1 with size (6’3″, 223) and talent who has never played on a good team or with a good QB. He’s also young (26) and does not have a significant injury history. They’d be taking a chance, but it’s unlikely to be an expensive one that would keep them from pursuing other opportunities.

    • Rob Staton

      Ultimately though Paul — if WR is the big need, I can’t see the decision to draft Richardson in round two impacting the decision making. Especially because since that pick, Harvin has been traded, Rice retired and Richardson suffered a serious injury. A lot has changed.

  23. MFNewguy

    Darren Waller from Georgia Tech looks interesting. He stands 6ft 6 5/8 at 242lbs. Reportedly runs the 40 in 4.54. Might be worth a mid to late pick. After all only 3 receivers have ever been drafted from GT. Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and Stephen Hill.

    • MFNewguy

      Also from GT is WR DeAndre Smelter tore is ACL against georgia at the end of the year. Was expected to be a day 3 pick prior to the injury. Only played 2 seasons of college ball. Came to GT to play but a shoulder injury and itbut a shoulder injury ended his baseball career.

      I know it’s just a highlight film but it shows some good stuff.

      • MFNewguy

        * baseball

  24. Dawgma

    I just wonder if the general philosophy of one unique traits will ever get them what they need at receiver, because what they need is a guy that physically has that second trait change up thathat allows them to produce no matter how you cover them.

    Honestly I’m not even sure there is a guy like that in the draft this time around. Maybe Cooper or Parker. Coates may have the physical skills but not the on field translation time at this point. Other than that…who is that guy?

    In my opinion, we ALSO need just flat out more good bodies in the WR core, and I think the depth is there for that in this draft.

    • MJ

      I think that’s a very fair point. My rebuttal would be that they are going to have to settle for that, as long as they are picking in the latter part of R1. All the prospects will have some hole. It’s a matter of developing the other traits necessary to become a legitimate #1 WR.

      IE: Sammie Coates – Can he develop his hands?
      Jaelen Strong – Can he learn how to consistently separate despite his speed?
      Devin Smith – Can he develop his short-intermediate game?
      Phillip Dorsett – Can he overcome size & have an offense tailored to take advantage of his speed?
      DGB – Can he not commit crimes and be an awful person?

      Just a small selection of late R1-R2 guys and what they need to do to become a #1-like WR. Personally, I think Devin Smith is the best bet of the bunch. I worry the most about Strong. Coates is intriguing and I’d be willing to gamble on him, if you can verify his work ethic. I don’t think you can ever develop into a natural hands catcher, but if he can improve his drop rate…physically you have a faster Dez Bryant (obviously not the ball skills of Dez).

      My order would be:

    • Madmark

      To be honest, I’d settle for a WR/return guy. Somebody who can change special teams offensively.

  25. Madmark

    I don’t care if it ruffles Lynch’s feathers but I would do anything to draft Todd Gurley and give Lynch a 3 year extension. After a year Lynch would of course have to compete for the job as would a Turbin (who’s contract is up after this year)and Michaels (2 years left). Redshirt Gurley for a little money for this next year and then 2016 we have a true PC competition for the Running Back slot.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The thing I worry about with Gurley is whether he will recover from his injury and that there have been a lot of first round busts in running back position over the last few years. Denver had a first round running back, and by the end of the season they were playing with their fourth string back. There is a good chance that he will be the number one back next year.

      • Rob Staton

        In fairness Denver actually had a late second rounder (Montee Ball) not a first rounder — and their offense is very pass-orientated. For me the top two ‘talent’ RB’s in the league are still Lynch and AP — both high first rounders.

    • Misfit74

      I’d have no problem with that, provided we solve the WR issues, as well. I love Gurley. It’s hard to know the team’s evaluation of CMike right now, too.

  26. New Guy

    Younger, bigger, faster, stronger…. the Carrollian mantra.

    With that in mind, I’d like to insert my idea for the Seahawk 2015 plan. Obviously, the final outcome will be a dynamic balance of draft, free agent and cap re-structuring drama.

    OK, hold your breath and patience while I put this forward.

    Trade Marshawn – at the appropriate time to get the most draft trade value . Management pussy footing around him for the next two years could be counterproductive to team chemistry. Replace him by doing whatever it takes to get Gurley. Faster, younger and most importantly cheaply tied up for the next 4 years. It might take a while for Gurley to get back to form but the Seahawks know how to balance out the run/pass for any particular game. By the time that Gurley, Turbin, Michael et al become be a strong unit it will equal or surpass what we have now and we’ll have it at manageable price for a reasonable amount of time.

    Also put the draft capital together to draft DGB. Younger, bigger and once again, cheaper. DGB, Matthews, Baldwin, Richards, Kearse and either Norwood or TBD Free Agent would give Pete and Russ what they’ve been looking for. Bigs, smalls, fast, quick… a great balance of attack along with a strong run game. Good hands everywhere. Possible TE Free Agent might be in the mix.

    Keep Maxwell. The most significant parts of football team are your strengths. Our strengths are our QB, LOB and running game. With the major four members of the LOB nailed down for the next few years (add Lane for nickel) and the defense has a high degree of reliability on in-game strategy and long term vision for Schneider to restock quality in the other positions.

    Now how do move things around to get both Gurley and DGB in the draft and still not mess with the precious Marshawn shadow personality? I can’t pretend I know all the working parts but I do know a GM who has all the pertinent info and knows the characters involved.

    Of course there are a lot of other incidentals to filling out the depth on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Perhaps another Free Agent on defense. But keep in mind we have a lot of guys coming back from injury. I believe I even saw Jesse Williams on the sidelines behind our bench in the Super Bowl. On the offensive line I bet there will be some draft depth.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Let’s start with the studies that have shown that 33+% of first round picks bust in the NFL.

      Marshawn is a proven NFL HOF running back. Gurley, because of his injury probably has a bust probability of 50+%. Even if Gurley does not bust, the probability that he becomes as good as Marshawn is pretty low (<10%).

      Dorial Green Beckham, has not played in a year and has numerous, well documented off field problems. His first round bust factor is probably higher than Gurley's. He probably replaces Kearse on the roster. Kearse may not be an All Pro receiver but he is an established, serviceable NFL player. There is no guarantee DGB will ever become as big a contributor as Kearse. Assuming DGB goes in the first or high second round, the price difference is negligible.

      Maxwell, is a good NFL corner but not an All Pro. He will probably be overvalued in free agency. With a high salary the opportunity to replace him with a good CB at a lower cost is pretty good. We already have his replacement on the roster. The only question is: Can we find a better replacement than Simon or Lane in the draft? Using a couple draft picks on CB's is a risk worth taking.

      The odds of landing both Gurley and DGB in the draft and having neither be a bust is below 25% (50% x 50%).

  27. Volume 12

    Rob, I’m a bit confused. Help me out here. I agree that picking at #31 there’s going to be flaws in a prospect’s game. Actually, IMO every prospect has his flaws, no matter where they’re selected. Anyways…

    If saying that the lack of conventional routes (underneath, slants, etc.) is nitpicking on Ohio St WR Devin Smith, couldn’t the same be said about Arizona St WR Jaelen Strong? If HE caught more passes over the middle, we’re looking at a top 15 guy as well.

    You’ve said it yourself, that there’s too much emphasis put on a college WR running/learning the full route tree before they reach the NFL. That’s what I see when watching Strong, is a kid who doesn’t have a full grasp of said route tree. I get he’s not the most sudden or is a plodder, but outside of a handful of the top ‘bigger’ targets in the NFL, who isn’t? WR Kelvin Benjamin is a kid who lacks suddenness. WR Alston Jeffries is a ‘plodder.’

    I just think that he does the one thing this team lacks. A ‘go up and get it’ type, even when he’s covered he’s not, he has a unique ability to high-point the ball and make the ridiculous catches look so routine.

    As you pointed out, he’s got the fantastic production, high character, and seems gritty. He also has that ‘survivor’ thing going for him that Seattle covets at the receiver position, whether we all agree with it or not. And he steps up ‘under the bright lights’/in the big games. I know he’s not going to wow anyone on the bench press, but is that as important for WRs as it is other positions?

    I’m starting to like this kid more and more. For a team picking in the 31st spot, or early 2nd round, WR Jaelen Strong is starting to get very appealing. Adding a guy with his body type and his unique trait to come down with contested catches, even if it is a one trick type of thing, sounds like a pretty good fit for a team that is only going to target their receivers 4-6 times a game.

    I agree, and think Seattle will show quite the interest in him.

    • Rob Staton

      My issue with Strong isn’t catching passes over the middle — it’s about separation. He doesn’t get open and relies on circus catches/contested catches to win. He’s very good at it — but I fear against bigger/better corners at the next level he will have less impact in this area. I don’t worry about Smith getting open — he’s very sudden. And I think over time he’ll develop those inside routes and find a way to win. You can’t teach Strong, unfortunately, to essentially be more explosive getting out of a break. And if he’s sluggish running inside and can’t get open on the sideline — I’m not sure you just keep testing him 1v1 to see if he can make the play like ASU did.

      I need him to prove at the combine he is quick and it’s more of a technique/coaching issue. I fear he’ll run a sluggish time.

      • Volume 12

        Your right, you can’t teach him to be more explosive getting out of his breaks, but you know that there’s more than one way to get open. It’s not all about suddenness. Do they need that? Absolutely, but with bigger receiver’s, are you drafting them purely for speed? I think RW can throw a guy open like this.

        If you draft a WR Devin Smith your going to take deep shots with him, and if you draft a WR Jaelen Strong your going to ask him to get vertical. How do you plan to use WR Jaelen Strong? That IMO is the key issue with him.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s not all about suddenness — but I don’t think Strong has the unnatural size to box-off a defender and I just think he looks sluggish running anything other than a sideline route. But granted, he is an excellent high point catcher and the Seahawks love guys who can contest the high ball. I’m just really not sure it will translate to the extent he’ll need.

  28. hawkfaninMT

    I think after all this running around and mock draftin and speculating, and combining, it is all going to come full circle and Devin Smith will be, as you projected a month or two ago, our first (1st round?) pick.

    I think our WRs next year are:
    Baldwin, Kearse, Matthews, Smith, Tyler Lockette(3rd), and a FA/Trade (V-Jax, Torrey Smith, Marshall, Justin Blackmon(?), etc…)

    Willson, Moeki, and McCoy. I would prefer the Hawks to let Carp walk, not sign a new TE, and spend that money on Stefan Wiesnewski(sp?)

    • Drew

      I think we’ll draft a TE with one of our 4 picks between rounds 3 and 4. I want it to be Jesse James.

  29. AlaskaHawk

    I’m confused about how many draft picks we get each round. I thought we only got one per round until the 6th round, and 11 total? Could someone explain?

    • SunPathPaul

      We have 7 draft picks for seven rounds at #31 in each round.

      We traded a 6th to the Colts for CB Burley. We get a 6th or 4th R pick for Percy Harvin depending on if the Jets keep him I’m March. So back to 7.

      We had free agents signed away last year that produced on other teams. Depending on how many and their success, a team is rewarded ‘compensatory picks’ to compensate that loss. We look to have 4 coming to us.

      I’m not sure what rounds, but they are always at the end of a round. Like 2-5? Maybe? We can’t trade them, and the league decides later the ‘official comps’ for each team. We shall know details later…

  30. pepperpig

    Todd Gurley looks awesome. Cut Lynch, sign Suh, Draft Gurley. Easy.

    • Miles

      If we get Suh, I think the easiest cut would be McDaniel. He would hardly see the field anyway with Suh on our team. For his kind of snap count we could get a much cheaper DT.

  31. New Guy

    Thanks for the input Ho Lee,

    Re-signing Lynch is probably going to be a drama. Gurley may or may not be the generational talent that Marshawn has become but citing bust statistics doesn’t really matter on an individual level, only on a population. It would be a stronger team building experience with a talented rookie that doesn’t already have a confused world view. If Lynch draws out the signing process for his own purposes, how does that complicate the off season work of PC/JS? I don’t look forward to any more chaos around this team.

    DGB is a bit of a skeet shoot, that’s true. But with our current WR staff and another reasonably priced free agent does give a good chance. Having a strong character receiver room will help point him in the right direction.

    Maxwell is a good technician and already well-schooled in the program. Nothing about having him back would be a distraction.

  32. Grant G


    Thanks for another great read. I know we differ a bit on Jaelen Strong, but I think it’s a really compelling breakdown overall. Hadn’t consiered Torey Smith.

    I could see them making a play at TE (Thomas or Cameron). Both have injury concerns, but so does Miller with a much lower upside (not to mention Moeaki or McCoy).

    I could still see the Hawks taking a mid round (4th+) flier on Kasen Williams as a jump ball target. I think he could be a steal.

  33. Miles

    I want to get a quick thought in, even though I’m at the bottom of the page and probably few of you will see me. 😛

    I think the expectations have become unreasonable for rookie wide receivers. The country’s most recent idea of what rookie WRs do came last year when Mike Evans and ODB took starring roles. People don’t realize that last year’s draft was an anomaly for WRs. Generally, it takes 2-3 years for a receiver to really blossom into a true contributor. No team should expect to take a WR this year and have a game-changer in year one, unless maybe you get Cooper. The obvious example is Golden Tate, who is a great WR now but it took three years for him to impact a game at all.

    That brings me to Devin Smith, who I think will have a similar development. Because he’s not NFL-ready now, his stock might get knocked down. This might be a good thing for the Seahawks. Whereas he would usually be a 1-2 round pick in previous years, the Seahawks could try to get him at the end of round 3. I think the expectations for receivers are so high right now, and it could put us in a good position to land a talented receiver at a nice price.

  34. Zar


    Lots of WR type folks will be at camp. Figure one of the “unknowns” to make a splash (some of them mentioned here). I am curious about some of the top rated WR’s sliding a bit, being avail to the hawks. Do we nab em? One that leaps out to me is Sammie Coates(Auburn) for example, tons of speed. Yes he needs route work and a to play in seattle maybe a few swats of “come-on-kid-pull-your-head-out”. He will have to learn how to block, blah. blah. blah. Great Job keep up the work.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Zar

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑