With footage from the Senior Bowl usually arriving very late in the day, I’m going to introduce a daily ‘live blog’ where I update with notes.
Keep refreshing for updates.
— Earlier today I was on 710 ESPN with Jake & Stacy to discuss the Senior Bowl and the Seahawks off-season. If you missed it you can listen to the segment via the embed below:
— I know Seahawks fans don’t like to linger too much on ‘what could’ve been’. Yet the first day at the Senior Bowl was a crushing blow, in my opinion, knowing they don’t have the #10 pick.
Firstly, Florida State pass rusher Jermaine Johnson was an absolute terror. We’ve referred to him as a complete rusher for months and that’s what he showed on day one. He has fantastic strength in his arms, plus length, to extend and drive tackles off the spot. He combines that with great quickness and balance to attack the edge or counter with an inside move. He was unstoppable on day one. He looks like a star and would’ve been an ideal partner-in-crime for Darrell Taylor.
Secondly, Washington State right tackle Abraham Lucas was equally impressive. He looks sensational — with a perfectly proportioned frame for a tackle. Remember, he ran a 4.30 short shuttle at SPARQ. In scrimmage snaps he pushed around pass rushers — launching into his set and quickly establishing ideal positioning. His hand-use is good and he connects his hands and feet to wall-off the speed rush. In the running game he punished opponents — driving defenders backwards. Whether he starts on the right or left side — he looks like a potential 10-year starter.
Seattle’s bad 2020 off-season that led to the desperation hail-mary trade for Jamal Adams right before camp continues to leave scars. Frankly, it’s difficult to garner excitement for this off-season given the same decision makers are the ones trying to make amends. This was a long-lasting, damaging trade that they doubled-down on with a new contract. It might be convenient to try and forget about it and say what’s done is done — yet after one day in Mobile, the consequences are there for all to see. The Seahawks are going to miss out on potentially a terrific player at a key position of need and are stuck with a dead-weight contract for a player with a bad shoulder.
— One of the big challenges during the Senior Bowl is establishing fact from fiction. There are so many people attending in Mobile, firing opinions onto the internet. Here’s what I think I’ve been able to establish by watching various clips and highlights from the first practise:
— Devonte Wyatt had an outstanding first day. He showed off his 4.8 speed at 300lbs on multiple reps — bursting into the backfield with great agility, setting up blockers before delivering a quick change of direction and fast feet. Yet when he needs to dig-in and absorb a pair of blocks or battle to control his gap he can do that too. I am convinced he will be a first round pick and could easily be an incredible disruptive force at the next level. A potential star.
— Travis Jones was not too far behind Wyatt in terms of first impressions. He’s 6-4 and 326lbs with 34 inch arms. On multiple occasions he connected in 1v1 reps and brutally walked back blockers deep into the pocket. He abused opponents on several occasions. He was a train. Yet he’s not just a powerful nose tackle — he flashed some quickness too. Boston College’s Zion Johnson is a bit of a ‘draft media’ favourite and gets a good press as a consequence. Jones stole his lunch-money on one rep and did it easily. I’ve since seen the 1v1 reps from day one and Jones had multiple wins against the somewhat overrated Johnson. I immediately went back to see what I could find from UConn and I found some tape of Jones competing against Clemson, where he landed two terrific swim-moves to create pressure. This was a performance worth shouting about.
— Perrion Winfrey gained a ton of buzz on Twitter for his first day but it was just more of the same. He is far too inconsistent. Yes he has great size and length but he doesn’t know how to put everything together. His approach to rushing is haphazard, he doesn’t often have a plan. He doesn’t play with enough aggression down-to-down. You’ll see him boss a blocker into the backfield on one play, then on the next rep get completely shut down. I’d call him a busy, choppy runner too. He hunches his back and runs on his toes leading to a lot of indecisive movement as he tries to work out a plan into the backfield. The top defensive tackles keep it simple — gap-control, swim/rip, brute force to drive people backwards. If you have great agility and speed, attack those gaps and find angles. It’s always front-foot and forwards though — while Winfrey is a bit of an over-thinker. He has the physical tools but he remains very much a flash-in-the-pan type.
— Myjai Sanders’ lean frame is a bit of a concern but there’s nothing to worry about in terms of his quickness and ability to attack the edge. He looked like a huge threat in scrimmage sessions with burst and suddenness. While the likes of Kingsley Enagbare received positive comments online, he doesn’t have that same quick/twitch ability. Sanders has it in droves and really challenged the tackles he came up against. On one rep he even dumped Daniel Faalele on his back. He was quick to work through traffic, he showed excellent speed when attacking the edge. He looks like Spiderman out there — with great agility and his long arms and legs enable him to stand out. Sanders just looks the part of a NFL rusher. On appearances alone he looks like Montez Sweat. Now — he probably won’t run a 4.4 like Sweat. He has been timed in the 4.00’s in the short shuttle though. He’s one to watch.
— Based on what I saw of the tight end reps — there’s a reasonable chance Jeremy Ruckert could be the first off the board. He looked tremendously fluid running in space to create separation. A lot will be determined by agility testing at the combine but of the group, Ruckert looked especially sharp. I managed to see some of Greg Dulcich too. He has been a blog favourite for quite some time — and as with the Devonte Wyatt’s, Abe Lucas’, Dameon Pierce’s etc — he looked very good with his blocking duties and route running. I think Dulcich will go a lot higher than people think (depending, of course, on the agility testing). Keep an eye on Charlie Kolar too. He doesn’t have the speed and quickness running routes but showed well turning back to the quarterback in reps. He has a lot of the size preferences you look for.
— Darian Kinnard had that one bad rep against Jermaine Johnson but as a pure right tackle prospect he looks the part. He has everything to hold down that side of the line and just needs a little bit of technical work.
— Arnold Ebiketie was as advertised on day one. He has a nice blend of speed and power. On one rep he dipped inside having read the blocker’s momentum and just exploded to the QB. On another rep he bull-rushed with authority, driving the blocker into the backfield. He is a high-upside talent with a lot of first round potential (depending on how he tests).
— Here he is again look, Travis Jones repeating what he did yesterday by driving blockers into the backfield. It’s the same move every time, a powerful one-arm bull-rush. He just straightens that arm and it suddenly becomes men against boys. A terrific showing of power. Sign me up for a bit of this.
— On the contrary, it’s not getting any easier for Logan Hall. A few of us had big expectations for him this week but he just hasn’t been able to put it together. His technique is all over the place and he looks out of control in the 1v1 reps. Look at him here against Cole Strange. There’s a lot going on — including a spin — but he needs to learn how to use his hands to engage and rip/swim, or work off his hands or with some deceptive footwork. At the moment there’s no real plan other than ‘having a go’. This was a better rep though — and it’s also a reminder of how badly we need full footage of the 1v1’s to properly assess these players.
— The internet has decided that Zion Johnson is a first round pick and a really exciting prospect. I’m just not seeing it. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying he is a bad player by any stretch. For me he’s a perfectly adequate mid-round guard and that’s fine. All this first round talk though is spreading like wildfire and I just think people need to calm down. Boye Mafe got a nice, fairly straight forward win against Johnson here. There have been a few reps like that. Here’s another one where he got flat-out beat by Perrion Winfrey. Johnson does a good job arching his back to anchor and when he squares up a defender and meets him head-on — he can have success. Angles aren’t his friend though and as we saw here, he’s giving up inside pressures to edge rushers. It happens every year though. The internet overhypes a player before and during the Senior Bowl. It’s not Johnson’s fault people are going over the top but let’s be honest about what he is and stop the hype train.
— Cornerback Akayleb Evans says he’s attracted a fair bit of interest from the Seahawks. I’ve been able to watch a couple of 1v1 reps and he looked relatively close in coverage. He’s nearly 6-2 and 201lbs with 32.5 inch arms. He’s one to take a look at.
— I’ve not seen many reps for Max Mitchell the Louisiana right tackle — but I watched some of his tape after he was named in Daniel Jeremiah’s top-50. I like him, he reminds me of another former blog favourite Austin Corbett. He was a left tackle at Nevada who was undersized. It didn’t work for him in Cleveland but he kick-started his career with the Rams at guard. Mitchell’s tape vs Texas is very impressive. The concerns are similar though — he’s undersized (around 300lbs) and doesn’t have amazing length. On the limited reps I saw from yesterday, it was a follow on from what he showed against Texas. He’s an attack-minded blocker who meets pass rushers and engages combat. I like that — and it has been Louisiana’s style over recent years. His feet and hands work well together. He has good balance and power. Today he pancaked Kingsley Enagbare. He was well beaten by Jermaine Johnson yesterday on a deadly spin move — but Johnson is going to be tough to stop all week. The Seahawks could easily address pass rush in free agency and then seek to replace Brandon Shell in the draft. If so — Mitchell could be one to watch.
— Here’s a nice rep from Abraham Lucas vs Myjai Sanders. Look how easily he gets out of his stance, uses a nice base to plant and then once he connects with Sanders, there’s no escape. This is what a legit NFL tackle prospect looks like.
— By now you all know Dameon Pierce is a blog favourite. Here’s why. Watch him in this 1v1 to end practise today. That is what he’s all about. Teams are going to love Pierce a lot more than the media. He will go earlier than people think.
— Just look at Jermaine Johnson’s footwork and hands on this rep. Reason #18394 to be devastated about not having the #10 pick. Imagine Johnson lining up across from Darrell Taylor. Sigh.
— I’ve spoken a lot about Daniel Faalele’s size being a problem rather the easily excitable ‘draft twitter’ take that he’s awesome because he’s 6-8 and 380lbs. Yet if you’re immobile and struggle with leverage, you’re going to end up on your backside. Which is what happened yesterday and happened again today. I wouldn’t draft him, personally.
— From what I’ve seen, most of the tackles struggled today. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or something else. I’ll wait to see extended footage of the 1v1’s and reassess tomorrow. However, this kind of rep where Boye Mafe easily beat Bernhard Raimann was commonplace based on the clips on Twitter.
I’m ending the live blog for today. I’ll watch any practise tape I can find online in the morning and start a new article with fresh notes.
I’ll finish with this though — the thought I came into the day with (what a shame it is they don’t have #10 for Jermaine Johnson or Abraham Lucas) is exactly the thought I’ll take to sleep tonight.
The Jamal Adams trade wasn’t just a random minor error. It’s potentially a long-lasting dead weight that will cloud this team. You’re talking about 2-3 (at least) club controlled, young players to help shape your foundation. You’re talking about $17.5m in cap space. All for a player they don’t know how to get the best of, with a bad shoulder.
People are literally discussing defensive coordinator candidates under the premise of ‘how can they rescue this trade?’
They can’t. The damage is done. And it’s going to cost the Seahawks a potential foundational piece in this draft based on what we’re seeing in Mobile. It’s hard to have much faith in the people who thought that was not only a good deal — but one worth doubling down on with a contract.
Please consider supporting the blog via Patreon (click the tab below)…