Senior Bowl day three notes

One thing you learn about the Senior Bowl every year — there are so many different opinions floating around. In the past 24 hours I’ve seen glowing reviews and negative remarks about the same prospects. For example:

Several observes have noted that Devin Smith has been hit and miss catching the ball. Optimum Scouting’s Alex Brown suggests he struggled getting off press coverage and hasn’t shown he’s a well rounded receiver. Tony Pauline, on the other hand, called him one of the star performers of the week:

“Smith, who thrived as a vertical receiver during his time at Ohio State, effectively ran underneath patterns during the second day of Senior Bowl practice. He ran crisp routes and quickly came back to the ball exiting breaks, then extended to pluck the pass from the air. Smith, 6-0, 190, made a number of impressive catches in the short field when battling defenders to come away with the ball.”

We’ve seen similar opposing views on other prospects too. While the media has been caught up in Danny Shelton mania — with a lot of talk of the top ten — there’s been quite a different take from other observers. According to this piece on, an unnamed NFC Scout is quoted as saying, “I don’t think Danny Shelton is a top-10 pick” with the report going on to add:

Despite the glowing reports media pundits have put on Shelton, there are some NFL executives worried about his impact potential at the next level as a nose tackle. While the scout is impressed with Shelton’s ability to control the point of attack as a classic nose tackle, he doesn’t see the position flexibility or pass-rush skills that would make the Washington star a dynamic playmaker as a pro. He compares Shelton to former Pro Bowl NT Casey Hampton — a spectacular run-stopper but not a guy that you envision being a dominant pass rusher in the middle of the line. Given the premium evaluators place on players capable of impacting the passing game, Shelton’s value could dip a bit as the draft nears.

I wrote a piece a few weeks ago arguing Shelton was one of the more overrated players in the draft. Not because I think he’s a bad player or will be a total flop at the next level. It’s just the top-10 talk I can’t buy into. He visibly tires in games and had his biggest impact as a pass rusher against Hawaii, Eatern Washington and Georgia State. There’s no doubting his strong lower base, disruptive upper body power, ability to gain leverage and hold his point against the run. But there’s also a lot of ineffective tape. Conditioning will always be a slight concern with a classic nose tackle — but Shelton has a flabby midriff, especially in comparison to Jordan Phillips who carries his weight superbly.

Casey Hampton is a reasonable comparison. He went in the first (#19 overall) in 2001. I think if Shelton can get anywhere near Hampton’s playing weight of 325lbs he’d be better for it. That’s some challenge though given he rocked up in Mobile at 343lbs and celebrated that fact at the weigh-in. If he’s pleased to be at 343lbs and wearing down during practice for the Senior Bowl, it’s pretty telling. No matter how much potential he has, teams have to feel confident that he’s going to work to stay in shape and will be able to play more than a handful of snaps before needing a long rest. He’ll have his snaps managed as a nose tackle (early downs, short yardage), but the team will want to dictate that. They won’t want to be told he can’t stay on the field for 3rd and 1 because he’s gassed.

I still believe Jordan Phillips offers more athleticism and spark, has a better control over his weight and conditioning and has more of that Dontari Poe feel to him. He’s also a better pass rusher. The one big concern is a history of back injuries. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but for me Phillips is more likely to come off the board first and the top-10 talk on Shelton is premature.

While Shelton has received mixed reviews, another big defensive lineman continues to be raved about:

It’s also good news for another blog favorite:

We’ve said it a few times, but Odighizuwa is a terrific prospect. If the hip checks out — watch out. He has a frame to die for — genuine Ziggy Ansah style potential. He’s not a natural edge rusher but he shows so much power dipping inside. If he’s cleared medically, he could be a top-25 pick.

The buzz on Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett continues to grow — and it makes you wonder how early he could go in the draft. A NFC personnel director is quoted as saying about Dorsett: “I really liked what I saw. Some guys can run fast, but they have to work hard to do it, which limits what they can do out of their breaks. Dorsett is more natural with his speed and movement.”

He came into the Senior Bowl one of the more underrated players in this years class. When you look at his size it can put you off — 5-9 and a half, 183lbs. He has nine inch hands and a wingspan of 74 inches. But on tape he is such a fluid, technically gifted receiver. He’s savvy. He sets defenders up to get open, he seems to catch everything. He’s a decent bet to record the fastest forty yard dash at the combine (competing with Devin Smith) but really the fantastic athleticism is just a bonus. He’s a really polished wide out who could make a quick impact.

For me he’s firmly a second round pick. Possibly early second round. It all depends on whether a team feels he can be another T.Y. Hilton or Antonio Brown instead of just another short pass-catcher who struggles to find a role at the next level. He’s received universal praise for his performances so far in Mobile.

It never occurred to me before, but I like the comparison an unnamed AFC offensive line coach made between Maurkice Pouncey and La’el Collins. It’s obvious now it’s been pointed out. And like Pouncey, Collins has a chance to jump straight into the interior O-line of a team and dominate from day one. Here’s more analysis from the same piece:

“Collins played left tackle at LSU but projects to right tackle or inside to guard in the NFL. He was listed at 321 pounds at LSU but weighed in Tuesday morning at an athletic 308 pounds. Collins is known for his physicality and aggressiveness, and it was on display at the South practice throughout the day. While he had some hits and misses during his one-on-one sessions, the consensus was generally very positive about his performance with the idea that he very well could end up inside at guard.”

I’ve seen Collins touted as a second rounder by Daniel Jeremiah and a much higher pick by others. I still think he’d be a great fit for a team like New Orleans who put particular value into their guards. Considering the Saints are in cap hell going into the off-season, they have to find a way to make cutbacks. The two expensive guards they currently have could be sacrificed, opening room for a cheaper player like Collins. I’m not a big advocate of Seattle taking a guard in the first and there’s still every chance James Carpenter is re-signed. But if he isn’t and Collins is there, I’d consider running to the podium. He’s just too good.

Bengals draft analyst Joe Goodberry is a recommended follow on Twitter. You’ll have noticed I’ve dropped a few of his Vine’s onto the blog in the last couple of days. He seems to be a fan of Washington pass rusher Hau’oli Kikaha:

Kikaha’s a tough one to work out. He’s a real warrior who takes on linemen, finds a way to get off a block and the production he had in 2013 and 2014 is fantastic. Yet he lacks the necessary length or size to play D-end in a 4-3 and you wonder how fast (or slow) he’ll run at the combine. How much faith do you have he can take the next step and continue to make plays with sheer technique and effort?

Speaking of effort — few players can match up to Missouri’s Markus Golden. But if you want to know why long arms matter — here’s a good example:

People have been asking where you can watch the Senior Bowl with footage limited on the NFL Network and not much access elsewhere. do an outstanding job with their coverage — including employing Tony Pauline as an analyst throughout the week. If you want to watch some of the drills with his commentary included, here you go:

Finally a quick note on Auburn receiver Sammie Coates — who continues to play with a frustrating level of inconsistency:

It makes you wonder what round he could be available. It’s going to be a hard sell to take such a poor hands-catcher early in the draft just because he’s a spectacular athlete. Eventually though, you just have to back yourself to coach him up. It wouldn’t be a total shock if he lasts until the third round or beyond.


  1. Volume 12

    Rob, totally agree with our assessment about the varied opinions on these players. I was trying to make that point in one of my last posts, it really just depends on how highly do you value a certain scouts words and or opinions? But, the biggest factor, IMO, is to trust your own eyes.

  2. Volume 12

    Meant to say *your assessment not our assessment.

  3. no frickin clue

    well I have to categorically disagree with Volume 12 right there. πŸ™‚

    • Volume 12


      • Beanhawk


        • Volume 12

          Exactly what?

      • no frickin clue

        uh…it was a joke. As indicated by the smiley face. ‘Cause, the article was pointing out how we get very different opinions from different writers. Sheesh. I guess next time I’ll aim for a tad less irony.

        • Volume 12

          It’s alright man. No offense taken. I was just confused that’s all. I guess now that you say it, it makes sense. The onus should have been on me to figure out the irony.

          • David M2


  4. HOUSE

    They’re talking up my boy Nick Boyle today…

    • Volume 12

      The thing I really like about the senior bowl week, is that after you watch some of the tape, the game itself, and read the notes on some of the prospects, you end up getting a better feel for some guys who you may have heard of, but never really got to see or know much about, you end up coming out of the week with new favorite players or guys who are really growing on you. I hope this makes some sense.

      For instance you really like Delaware TE Nick Boyle, and the kid I’m really high on is Duke WR Jamison Crowder.

      ‏@RosterWatch 10. We value what prospects say about others. EVERY North Squad DB we’ve talked to says @Duke_FB WR Jamison Crowder is toughest WR to cover

  5. Maz

    TYLER VARGA, RB out of Yale is the best back for the Seahawks at the Senior Bowl. Somebody tell an an Seahawks Exec, asap! Can you do a scouting report on him? Post some videos possibly? Late round STEAL.

    • Rob Staton

      Yale tape not the easiest to acquire. Apparently he’s in great shape — let’s see if some tape emerges online.

      • Maz

        Yeah, this is understandable. Watched a couple tapes earlier. I think he has a chance to be effective day 1. Good skills all around from what I have seen. Would be nice to see some more games though.

      • David M2

        Well, here’s some highlights for now. Too bad we’re not scouting Soccer, Hockey or Lacrosse there’s plenty of Yale footage for those sports.


        • David M2

          Finally, found a full game.

          2014 Yale at Harvard

          • David M2

            Between the 25:00 mark and 30:00 mark there is a nice drive with lots of Varga. Really shows off his power and balance.

            • David M2

              There’s also some good runs between the 38:00 mark and 42:00 mark.

            • Rob Staton

              Thanks David.

              • David M2

                No problem Rob,

                Anything to keep you writing and not digging…

                • Maz

                  Yeah, Thanks David! He did pretty good in the senior bowl game. 2 tds on 4 carries for 40+ yds.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      I would like to see the Hawks bring in Jalston Fowler to compete at FB. The kid is a load. He has a little wiggle running the ball even at 250 lbs.

  6. Maz

    How do y’all feel about Mayle WR WSU?

    • Drew

      I like him but not any earlier than the 4th round.

      • rowdy

        My thoughts exactly.

    • j

      I like him in a vacuum, but I’m not sure if he fits stylistically. Similar type of player to what we already have in Norwood/Kearse. Bigger WR w/ adequate speed, but more of a jump ball guy.

      If we go WR it should be a speed specialist to replace Richardson, IMO. (Smith). Right now we lack that type of player to threaten deep. I wish we could have landed DeSean Jackson.

      • Maz

        Still waiting on the measurables from the combine. However I see him a little like Jordan Matthews as of now. He is bigger than Norwood and Kearse @ around 6’3 215ish. Kearse is a free agent after the big game… I see Seattle drafting more than one WR this upcoming draft as well.

        • Matt

          There are things I like about Mayle that are mostly based on him being 6’2″ and a solid 219 lbs. He reminds me more of Mohammed Sanu who put up huge numbers at Rutgers and was a 3rd rounder. Mayle seems a stiff running routes and looks to be lacking athletically a bit. The combine, like many others, will be huge for him. I see the Hawks targeting him in the 4th. Solid pick.

          • j

            Not sure if he’ll be there in the 4th, especially considering we’re likely drafting last in each round. Not sure he’d even be there (at our pick) in the third.

            • Matt

              j- I think you’re right, which is to say I don’t think the Hawks will draft him. Oh I forgot to mention Mayle is an outstanding blocker. 20+ reps wouldn’t surprise me at the combine.

              Agholor has fallen under the radar so to speak. I’m not sure why he was highly productive at USC. His freshman year with Barkley at QB he looked like a future first rounder.

        • Drew

          Kearse is a RFA. I imagine they’ll do the same with him as they did Baldwin. Probably put him on a 2nd round tender and give him a 2 or 3 year extension for a few million a year.

        • Madmark

          Kearse is a RFA next year

      • rowdy

        I’m starting to really like nelson agholor

    • Ho Lee Chit

      I am not a fan of Mayle. He seems to be good at a lot of things but great at nothing. His passing stats are a function of Leach’s system and WSU had no other weapons. I prefer all of the WR’s we have over Mayle. Who would he replace?

      • Maz

        Matthews or Kearse if they don’t re-sign him.

  7. Adog

    I like golden a lot…he is just a player you notice when watching a game. He seems like good guy to have Bennett sort of tutor. I Don’t think Seattle goes wr in rnds 1-2. It seems like that’s out of their comfort zone…Schneider came from Ted Thompson /Green Bay school of thought and they consistently grab pass catchers in the middle rounds. I would expect carpenter and okung to be resigned, and for Seattle to target a center to replace unger in 2016. On defense I think that Irvin walks and they let Wagner play out his contract, so lb should be a focus in rounds 1-2.

    • Volume 12

      Not sure how you constitute WRs Jody Nelson (2nd round), Randall Cobb (2nd round or 3rd round?), and Davante Adams (2nd round) being middle round WRs.

      Agree to disagree on the Bruce Irvin subject, IMO Irvin is one of the most unique defenders in the NFL and is really starting to come into his own. PC has loved this kid since his USC days and always speaks highly of Bruce.

      • DC

        You beat me to it.

        • Maz


          • Adog

            I think that from the late first and second to round five the the draft grade Seattle had on wr’s are within a decimal point. The offensive scheme sort of curves the grades they have on recievers. That is why we’re going into the Super Bowl with three udfas as out starting wr’s.

      • Rob Staton

        Irvin has been sensational this season. Green Bay was his first quiet game for weeks.

        • Nathan

          Avril can be let go after 2 years with relatively little cap pain, that would be after Irvin 5th year.

          If Avril slows down, they can release him and use the Money on Irvin.

          • Adog

            I’m not sure…the yearly knock on Irvin is his inefficiency playing…I have not saw anything to suggest otherwise. He makes plays in space, but seems to get swallowed up between the tackles. His pass rush last week against the immobile qb was inept and predictable…basically speed rush to the outside. It has to be frustrating for Carroll to see this. He’s got good quick hands but rarely uses them.

            • Adog

              *playing the run

            • Drew

              The problem last week is that there was no interior pressure collapsing the pocket. Irvin has actually been very efficient. His biggest thing that he was knocked for was his run defense, which he has made leaps and bounds this year on setting the edge. So not only can he set the edge, but he rushes the passer well, and can drop back in coverage in either zone or man. That’s a very valuable chess piece to have on the field. He’s never going to have the eye popping stats as some DE’s or OLB’s, but he does what he’s asked.

              • AlaskaHawk

                In my opinion he is better behind the line rather then rushing. He does well as a linebacker playing against run or pass protection. He has never shown the tenacity of a Clay Mathews, so I would use him sparingly as a DE type of rusher.

    • DC

      I sure don’t see Wagner leaving the Hawks if that’s what you mean by “play out his contract”. If Irvin walks it’s due to cap reasons alone. He is improving rapidly. Hope he stays as well. They covet that speed.

      Seattle grabbed Paul Richardson with a 2nd round pick last year and traded a bushel for Harvin the year before. Norwood is the only mid round receiver on the roster. Anyway, they have proven they are comfortable using high draft picks to acquire receivers.

      The Hawks like explosive speed, length, athleticism, grit, tenacity, etc. The only surprising move they could make is to take someone who doesn’t possess Seahawk Traits.

    • Drew

      There’s no way Wagner plays out his contract. He will absolutely receive a contract extension this off season along with Russell. Irving might even get an extension, he’s the one with a lot of doubt, but he’s so versatile I don’t see them letting him go either.

      I only see his drafting a LB in RDs 1/2 is if it’s a 3-4 LB, which would be our Leo. I really like Eli Harold and Nate Orchard. I’d be happy with either.

      • Maz

        I really like that Orchard kid as well. Definitely one to watch.

      • JeffC

        I wish Dave Wyman would explain his statement (made numerous times) why he thinks Wagner is the odd man out when all is said and done on contracts.

        • Drew

          I don’t know the rationale behind that thinking. Between him and Luke Kuechly, they are the top 2 MLBs in the NFL. You don’t let a talent like that hit free agency.

          • JeffC

            To me, Wagner > Irvin. I’d love to keep both. If it’s a salary issue, I’d keep Wags because it’s pretty proven that after Mebane went down, it’s Wags presence that made the difference in the run defense.

            With that said, I could see why they see Irvin as a physical marvel. And he’s had an excellent year and appears to be emerging. But he’s not Lawrence Taylor. If he was Lawrence Taylor, then Irvin > Wagner, but that’s not the case. He’s also 27 and will be 28 this year. So his second contract will have to be his homerun, lifetime setup contract, so he might price himself out of our cap.

            • Drew

              Irving often talks about how the Seahawks have saved his life and that he would be in either jail or dead if he wasn’t playing. I could easily see him not taking top dollar to stay in Seattle. And again, he’s not playing the same role as LT, and there’s nobody on the field today thats equal to LT either, so that’s not a good comparison.

              He’s an every down LB that can stuff the run, cover the pass, and rush the passer. Very few in the NFL that can do all 3.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Schneider is more from the Ron Wolf side of things than Thompson. I doubt TT makes the Harvin trade for example.

      • Colin

        This in spades. Thompson is notoriously conservative, (much like the HC he hired) and tends to play things close to the vest. Schneider is pretty aggressive. He’ll move up, he’ll move back- he’s not waiting for things to happen.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        Schneider really seems to be sort of his own man in that regard. Clearly he has similarities and roots with Wolf. He like lots of picks. Certainly likes to get a wide variety of prospects in every draft. Good evaluator. Prizes speed highly.

        But I felt like his stint here was seriously colored with a lot of ‘if I ran my own organization and draft, here’s what I’d do different’. The draft is certainly 1a when it comes to building a roster. But Schneider definitely has a much more open mind when it comes to building a roster. Kind of like, “Why would I dogmatically limit certain avenues for improving the team?” The ability to bring in players, and to trade picks for players (or even as in 2010 when he traded down for picks AND players.

        He is more aggressive than Wolf was in GB. Wolf generally didn’t use free agency much at Green Bay. Obviously the Reggie White/Santana Dotson signings had a lot of big impact in UFA. But otherwise, he didn’t dabble in it much. Schneider has used UFA significantly more. Even with a more mature roster.

        • Rob Staton

          I also think we have to remember — Pete Carroll is Schneider’s boss. And he has a lot of sway in what they do.

          • Coug1990

            I also think that Carroll’s willingness to seriously give UDFA’s a chance has an affect in that the scouting side of the team works even harder to uncover players.

            • Drew

              I think the best part about his willingness to give UDFA’s a chance, is that he trusts his system and his coaches so much. That’s how you can get some serious athletes with the right mentally, but lack technically in UDFA, and then coach them up.

              It really makes you wonder how many NFL teams actually coach/teach basic fundamentals? I know there’s several others, but it seems like at this level its expected for players to come in knowing everything and they don’t work on fudnamentals much in practice.

              • Volume 12

                Great point Drew.

                It would appear that PC tells JS ‘go find me elite athletes, guys with grit, guys who have that competitive fire, and I’ll coach them up.’

  8. JimQ

    Here is a developmental guy (freak), I’ve had an eye on for awhile, (even though he’s from a small school), when it comes to length, he has the longest arms of any other defensive player at the Senior bowl (34-7/8″) & that may be the case at the combine as well. Added to his 6′-6″+ height, he’s pretty darn long. I can’t find wingspan anywhere but it should be off the charts. His long speed for the 40 will probably move him up in the rankings a little if his 40 is anywhere near projections. As you have said Rob, they don’t make too many dudes like this.

    OLB/DE/LEO-?/TE=? – Lynden Trail, Norfolk St., 6-062, 262, 34-7/8″ Arms, 10-1/4″ hands. Some sites have projected him as having a 4.68/40 (and as fast as 4.58)

    Career Stats 2012-2014:
    255 Tackles, 41 TFL, 19.5 Sacks, 8 Forced fumbles, 5 Fumble recoveries, 4 Blocked kicks -and- 3 Receiving TD’s. (they have used him as a split end, red zone specialist that can go after jump balls, also of note the guy has a basketball background and seems to have good hands for catching the ball.

    Lynden Trail currently seems to rank as a mid-round (Rd. 3-4-5) draft pick and
    would have to be considered a raw, developmental pick with exceptional measurements and the potential to be molded into a fantastic DE, OLB or LEO & maybe even TE. I would think the Seahawks would be all over this guy mid-draft, what’s not to like? I think he’s worthy of one of the several 4-th round comp picks just off his potential upside alone.

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting guy.

      • OZ

        He is trying out at TE. A versatile player.

        • Maz

          Like him in the 4th or later. He is developmental, was active in the game though. Athletic freak potential. If he gets stronger, he will be a good player in a year or so. May shoot up boards at the combine.

    • Matt

      Trail says he wants to be a LB on running downs and pass rusher on 3rd down(remind you of anyone?), but will play where ever helps the team win. Have to love his frame and looks like he’ll test well. Very raw talent with big upside, extremely versatile with unique physical traits. I haven’t seen much of him other than Senior Bowl clips, but on the surface he screams Seahawk.

      • Volume 12

        Love Lynden Trail. Jim. By the way his wingspan is 82 inches and 2/8ths. He’s tied for 3rd with the longest wingspan on the defensive side of the ball. Arkansas’s DE-LEO Trey Flowers and Iowa’s Carl Davis have he longest at 84 inches, and Trail is tied with Houston’s DT Joey Mbu. Highly unique, I think he has everything Seattle looks for. Former Florida Gator under Dan Quinn.

        • Maz

          Davis is a beast. Ijs

    • Drew

      WOW. Very impressive. Will be interesting to see what is 10 yard split will be and how explosive he is. But he has size in spades. Could be a guy to replace O’brian Schofield this year.

    • Cysco

      Can he play TE? (i’m only partially joking)

      Thanks for pointing him out JimQ

      • Cysco

        guess I answered my own question. Looks like he did occasionally line up on O. Here he is blocking for a run play.

      • Drew

        He played WR in highschool

        • Volume 12

          Jim pointed him out a couple of months ago or so, I think it was, and ever since then I’ve really liked him. His pursuit speed is ridiculously fast, he’s a ferocious tackler, comes from one of the worst neighborhoods in Miami (maybe the country), and really just seems ‘Seahawky.’

          I tend to believe that he’ll run the 4.58 mentioned above, since he was a former TE. He transferred from Florida when Dan Quinn was the DC there, and one rumor was because he didn’t agree nor did he like HC Will Muschamp’s utilization of him.

          I’d take this kid in the 3rd round, and depending on his combine and interviews, possibly the 2nd. He’s going to be a fast riser. Freak athlete, big personality, and his potential is limitless. Scary to think about what a guy with his length, tenacity, and versatility could be on this defense.

          He fits that yearly Seahawks type pick where everybody goes ‘who?’ ‘we could have taken him in this round?’

  9. Elijah

    I attend UW and have watched Danny Shelton during my four years here. I understand some of the concerns that have been voiced – his weight, his impact potential. I will admit that he looked a bit flabby this year, and that a 1st Rd. nose tackle needs to be special.

    For me, Danny Shelton is special. He was absolutely lights out early his senior year against inferior opponents, which was expected. I haven’t been able to understand the comments that outside of that he wasn’t very impressive. If you go through and watch every game this season, Danny Shelton had one of the best motors on this defense. I am not sure I’ve ever seen a nose tackle routinely make 2-3 tackles per game in the flat or open field. Danny never gave up on plays, and involved himself every down he was out there for. He finished with 93 tackles, good for second on the team. You don’t get 93 tackles at NT without having a motor.

    Off-the-field, there should be zero character concerns about Danny Shelton. He is a 1st-team Academic All-American. This year, he literally taught a class to first-year students that is designed to help them ease their transitions into college. Danny is a role model on campus and kind to everyone, everything that a student-athlete should be.

    Danny may never run a sub-5 40 yard dash or be 335 lbs. of sculpted muscle, but he is a GREAT football player and person. If I’m a 3-4 defense team with a pick in the lower half of round one, I seriously consider Shelton.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for your take on Shelton, Elijah. Much appreciated and insightful.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      One thing he clearly does have, and it’s really at a truly elite level, is that he’s country strong.

      His technique is pretty problematic. He really doesn’t seem to understand how to use his hands very well. And you could kind of see that at the Senior Bowl, as coaches were constantly going through arm/hand use after drills.

      But he is a mammoth of a man. Thick all the way down to the feet. He’s the anti Jesse. His calves look like Carpenter’s thighs. He’s got to be porting 90+ pounds on each leg. When he does tire — which appears to be frequently — he doesn’t really get much penetration when lining up on an OL’s nose.

      I do think he’ll benefit from playing along a deep DT rotation. He’s alarmingly stout and even when tired, he was an immovable object for the most part.

      Ultimately, he falls under ‘World theory’ kinds of prospects. He’s just a huge, powerful man. It’s an unknown whether or not he could be coached up sufficiently. He doesn’t have long arms so there could be a lower ceiling in that regard. But I also think that if Shelton improves his hand fighting, his natural strength should be more than sufficient to negate his shorter wingspan. He’s obviously a very bright young man of really high character. Personally, I find him nearly the equal of Jordan Phillips in terms of upside.

      Phillips will be a more athletic player in this league. No question. But Phillips will NEVER achieve the leverage advantage that Shelton will possess on day one. Shelton is going to be a stronger/better leverage player in this league. And in the interior, that is a massive benefit. Phillips to me is a better potential 1 gap penetrator. I see a whole lot more intensity and motor in Shelton than I do with Phillips. His tape really strikes me as a guy who plays to the raising of the whistle. Lots of standing around and watching players go down. Shelton shows much more violence and anger in his play.

      Either prospect looks pretty good. I’m a bit torn personally. If we’re looking at getting a player who could succeed Brandon Mebane and his salary — I’m going Shelton all the way. To me, that’s an important role to fill. Jordan Hill looks very much like he’s going to be our 3rd down rotation guy for Mebane. With Mebane’s injury, we’ve shown that we don’t really have a contingency for him. Kevin Williams is doing well in that role. But that role is now being filled by 8+ million in cap space. And Williams doesn’t look like he’ll fit in our 2015 cap. We need a cheap guy there. Jesse Williams could have been that guy but his availability is seriously in question. I do think Seattle needs to address a big 1 tech in this draft. It doesn’t have to be Shelton necessarily. But he’d be a really valuable player if he were.

      If I’m looking at improving the 2nd/3rd down pass rush while not sacrificing too much run defense — I’d recommend Phillips. He’s a guy I could really see as a solid 3 tech in our 4-3. He is quick off the ball with long arms. But what worries me about him is that he really disappears if he doesn’t win almost immediately. Doesn’t have a lot of fight in him and doesn’t show good ability to work through or counter good blocks. He has so many tools. He needs to develop at the next level.

      Phillips, to me, seems like the home run swing. A guy who if he develops can be a dominant player. A guy who I’d expect to be a better player than say a Michael Brockers. Someone that could really do well paired with Bennett on his outside. And a versatile enough player to move inside to take a double team. For all his length and poor leverage — he anchored surprisingly well against double teams at Oklahoma.

      • Rob Staton

        If there’s one thing I think I’d take out of this current 8-0 run for the Seahawks, it’s that maybe they don’t necessarily need a Brandon Mebane as much as we thought. I mean, the defense has still been able to shut down the run. I like Mebane as a player, don’t get me wrong. But they’ve just plugged other guys in there like Williams and the results are the same. It wouldn’t shock me at all if the only attention this area gets is another random free agent or a later round pick. Hill and Marsh will likely be tabbed to offer some interior rush next year.

        It’s seemingly unlikely Shelton or Phillips make it to Seattle anyway — but I’m not convinced the 3rd or 4th best sizable DT will be high on SEA’s priority list. I think if they go defense early it’s another DE. I still expect a front loaded draft centered on the offense.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Agreed. Obviously the results of the defense is more than acceptable.

          The real Achilles heel to this team is their ability to convert on 3rd and medium/long. They average more than 5 extra plays per drive when they convert more than 3rd and 3. And roughly half of the points they’ve scored have come on drives where they successfully converted at least one 3rd and 4 or more.

          It’s a huge impact scenario for Seattle. It’s also one they are very inconsistent at converting. This draft needs to be about moving the chains and allowing the talent we do have, to keep churning plays. Whether that’s by getting a big wideout who can be thrown to even in tight coverage, or an effective TE to work the middle and keep the offense on the field. Or a better talent on the OL to provide better holes or better protection.

          Despite the fact the move backfired, the reality was, that Harvin was a difference maker. Defenses had to cheat on him — giving everyone else better opportunities. Harvin ultimately was a player who could only be effective in a narrow scope that forced us to abandon many of the things we did well. But make no mistake, Seattle is still missing that one player to really force opponents to stop cheating on our rushing game.

          If they can get a player who can do that in the scope of the offense we already have — that would be a huge get for this team and put the offense on another level.

          • Volume 12

            I agree Attyla.

            IMO Seattle is still lacking that ‘x-factor’ in their passing game. Yeah, they need a bigger WR, but if there’s not one who fits, they shouldn’t force the issue. I still think Seattle is going to be looking for the Percy Harvin or Brandin Cooks type WR in this draft. Obviously though, without all the BS antics and diva shit.

            • Rob Staton

              The problem is, it’s hard to find who could be that type — tall, short or somewhere in the middle.

              I think the closest thing we have in this draft to an early difference maker at WR might be Amari Cooper, but he’ll be long gone. Can’t see them trading up 15-20 spots. Which kind of leaves guys like Smith, Dorsett and co to be had in a more realistic range.

              • Volume 12

                Yeah, Smith, Dorsett, Crowder, and etc. seem to be the best bet and fit, at least from this draft class.

                • Rob Staton

                  I’m going to post a piece tomorrow discussing what Seattle’s plan might be to upgrade the offense.

          • Rob Staton

            100% agree.

  10. Madmark

    I hate to say it but Kevin Williams won’t be here next year and I’m just not sure Brandon Mebane will be what he was in the 1st Superbowl year. I love Carl Davis DT Iowa and at this time I think we could trade down into the beginning of the 2nd round and get him. His combine will be very interesting to me as to where he will go. If he could step into the tech 5 spot we could save some of that money to resign Wagner and an Irving. I believe its time to go young at a spot that’s is and looks old now.
    At 32 Cameron Erving OT/G/C Florida St is here I would seriously consider taking him because I have concerns about Unger and the injuries and concussions he’s suffered. Alvin Bailey is the 3rd tackle here and Ervings could start or be that 3rd guard or 2nd center and in a pinch be a tackle. He just has the talent to play anywhere on that line. It’s still early and these are just a few thoughts running around in my head.

  11. Drew

    Does anyone have any take on Breshad Perriman from UCF? 6’3″ 215lbs, add apparently has some serious speed. Had 50 catches for 1,044 yards this year averageing almost 21 ypc with 9 TD. Tracks the ball real well. Caught a 51 yard TD in their bowl game this year against 3 DBs for a walk off TD.

    To me he looks way bigger on the field with long arms. Uses his hands well to get off james. Catches the ball with his hands very well. If he had a better QB he’s have a lot more YAC. Does a great job using his body for position and going up for the ball.

    I’m impressed by him and the more I see the morew Iwant him as a Seahawk. Don’t know much about him but I think he’d be a great pickup in the mid rounds. HUGE catch radius with strong hands.

    Rob what’s your take?

    • Rob Staton

      To be honest, when I watched two USF games I came away pretty disappointed with Perriman. No doubt has a spark, but just seemed technically a mile off being ready for the next level and has had too many bad drops. I think he’ll end up as a late rounder at best. Maybe something to work with but might need a redshirt year or a season working with the practice squad.

      • Drew

        Well I guess that’s why I need to watch m ore than highlight plays and see a full games tape. It’s hard to find info on these fringe type of players without watching full game tapes, just not a lot out there. He definitely flashes ability, if only he could be consistent.

  12. Volume 12

    One guy who has really caught my eye, throughout the season and now with a week of practice at the Senior Bowl, is Georgia Tech OG Shaq Mason. Shocker right, another ACC guy?

    He consistently got good leverage, moves well laterally, and is highly athletic. Then I check his official measurable and find out he’s only 6’1! Could an OG who’s 6’1 be successful in the NFL? And if he ends up being effective, could we see more teams preferring smaller, more athletic OGs? I was really just taken aback by how good Shaq Mason is/was at only 6’1.

    I’m somewhat of a sucker for these smaller, quicker athletes and of course guys with unique size and length.


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