Some thoughts on what the Seahawks might do

Before we get into today’s piece, here’s a podcast I recorded with Brandan Schulze this week. We run through some of the players who’ve taken official visits with the Seahawks…

Thoughts on what the Seahawks might do

Sometimes the clues are staring you right in the face.

This is a fantastic defensive line class. The Seahawks needed to add to their D-line anyway. They’ve since lost Shamar Stephen and appear uninterested in keeping Dion Jordan. Their only additions so far are Cassius Marsh and Nate Orchard.

It’s abundantly clear they’re going to take a defensive tackle and a defensive end in this draft. It’s just a case of when.

That’s stating the obvious I suppose. Yet it’s easy to tie yourself in knots thinking about other positions when the truth is right there.

The Seahawks are meeting with plenty of veteran defensive linemen — from Corey Liuget to Al Woods and Allen Bailey. These are likely hedge moves based on a number of factors (targets not being available, a Frank Clark trade etc).

Anyone wanting to make a ‘safe’ projection for the Seahawks should pair them with a defensive lineman with their first pick.

1. They didn’t address it in free agency

2. It was a need before they lost guys on the D-line

3. It’s the strength of the draft

Of course the strength of the D-line class could allow the Seahawks to consider another need early. For example — the uncertain future of Doug Baldwin has increased the need at receiver. You’ll be able to land a decent wide out between picks #20-50 in this draft. After that the well runs dry. Yet the D-line depth stretches well into day three. In our conversation this week Tony Pauline suggested it could be an historic D-line draft.

Meanwhile one of Bob McGinn’s scouting sources had the following to say about the receiver class:

“This is a (expletive) year for early receivers… It’s just not a good class. I said last year it was a bad receiver draft. This is worse.”

The Seahawks will set out to complete their roster as much as they can with this draft. That means trying to add impact players at multiple positions — not simply addressing their top need first and then hoping for the best later on.

They badly needed a cornerback in 2017 but waited until the late third round to draft Shaquille Griffin. That draft class was considered ‘the year of the corner’. Seattle used that depth to wait on the position — drafting Malik McDowell and Ethan Pocic with their first two picks instead.

It’s possible they use a similar tactic this year (although hopefully with better results). If they can fill out their D-line between rounds 3-7, they might be inclined to look at the receivers and defensive backs with their top selection after trading down from #21 (possibly multiple times).

On the other hand, last years draft was ‘the year of the running back’. Seattle traded down nine spots and then took Rashaad Penny with their top pick. They could’ve waited until later on to grab a running back. However, they saw value in being the ones to launch a run on the position. They got what they believed was the #2 runner in the class after Saquon Barkley. They didn’t wait, despite having other needs (eg pass rusher).

So just as it’s possible they wait on the defensive line — they could also identify the guy they want from this tremendous D-line class and make sure they get them with their first pick.

Whoever they take with their first selection will probably seem obvious afterwards. This is the tenth draft for Carroll and Schneider together. We know what they look for at certain positions by now.

For example — if they take a defensive lineman with their first pick they’ll probably have good length. If it’s an EDGE they’ll be incredibly quick and athletic. If it’s an inside/out rusher or a defensive tackle they’ll likely excel in the short shuttle. We know they pay attention to pressure percentages, as discussed here.

There are so many players who fit the criteria this year it’ll be difficult to pin down ‘the guy’ who they ultimately take. Yet there’ll almost certainly be an ‘ah yes’ moment immediately after the pick.

If they don’t take a D-liner first up there could be a bit more mystery. The safety position has been harder to determine under Carroll and Schneider because they’ve added a wide variety of different profiles over the years. At receiver we know they like 4.4 speed or faster, quickness and the ability to get downfield and make plays. Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell could be possible targets while N’Keal Harry’s 22% scoring rate on deep targets is appealing.

The biggest needs are clear — defensive line (both off the edge and at tackle), receiver and defensive back. The safe money might be on the D-line early but so much will depend on their ability to trade down, the future of Frank Clark and the best way to fill various needs to complete their roster.

Expect the unexpected

I think this will be an unpredictable round one. The top-15 or so players are fairly well established. Yet the next group of 40-50 players are all going to have similar grades. It could mean teams are more focused on need, scheme fit and personal preference than ever before. That could lead to a few shocks and surprises.

For example, there’s been talk recently of Chris Lindstrom being graded by some as a top-20 pick. In most years Lindstrom would be a fairly standard round two offensive lineman with some upside. Yet in this weaker draft in terms of top-level talent, he possibly gets bumped up — partly due to need and partly because he’ll be considered a safer projection than some of the other names being touted for round one.

I think we could see some ‘big’ names dropping into round two and a few shocks in the late first. It could be one of the more intriguing drafts in a long time for surprising round one picks. And as far as the Seahawks go — they’ll likely be very much part of that. They know what they like and they’re not afraid to go for it. Bruce Irvin in 2012, Rashaad Penny in 2018. Unpredictable picks at the time but in hindsight — understandable based on Seattle’s approach.

If there’s a prospect being rated in the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s this year — if they fit the Seahawks they could easily go in the 20’s or 30’s (whenever they pick). They draft for their roster, not everyone else’s. They know what they want.

Injuries and health will also play a part this year. As Tony Pauline told us yesterday, Montez Sweat is likely to last longer into round one than expected due to a minor heart condition. Jeffery Simmons would’ve been a top-10 lock but for his ACL injury. How early will he go? Michael Lombardi thinks he’ll be a first round pick — as do many others — but some think he’ll last into round two. There’s also been talk of injury concerns dropping Rashan Gary deeper into round one.

All three players fit the Seahawks. It’ll be interesting to see how willing they are to take a chance on health to potentially land a top player within this great D-line class.


Ian Rapoport is the latest reporter to say a Frank Clark trade is possible:

And if you missed it yesterday don’t forget to check out our conversation with Tony Pauline:

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  1. GauxGaux

    Keep feeding the beast, Rob… Thanks!

    • Rob Staton


  2. Tony

    I really have come around to drafting a wr with the first pick. I think itll be like when they waited for shaq due to the depth. Terry mclaurin just seems too perfect for us. I have a huge mancrush on him. If we land him and grab a couple DL in the next few rounds, I would do backflips. Baldwin can get a reduced role a bit too. The saftey/big corner class is sneaky deep too, guys full of atheltism. This class really does address major needs across the board for us. I’m excited.

    • Saxon

      You could be right, but I don’t see McLaurin as a top of the second round talent. He’s fast, but is a long strider without the kind of immediacy and burst I like to see in a WR. Also, in about 20 minutes of highlights I watched I don’t think I saw him break a tackle. He reminds me a lot of Chris Conley, former Chiefs WR out of Georgia. Both high character guys and great athletes but average WRs.

      I think McLaurin becomes a solid but unspectacular player at the next level. He’ll be a great gunner on special teams, though.

      In a good year for WRs he would probably last to late third or fourth but he’ll be over drafted this year since there are so few options. Wouldn’t draft him unless he falls to R4 and instead focus on DL, DE.

      • Rob Staton

        McLaurin showed a tremendous amount of immediacy and burst when he destroyed the field at the Senior Bowl.

        • McZ

          But his coaches at Ohio State didn’t depend on him, especially vs top teams. These are the guys knowing him best. He has an awful lot to proove, and this translates into R3-4, maybe even later, because he is a 5th year body catcher.

          If we talk about athleticism, I always wonder, how we can have missed Miles Boykin.

          • Rob Staton

            McZ — let me make this clear for a second time.

            You’re making a huge mistake insisting the coaches ‘didn’t depend on him’ etc etc. Look at the production of every Ohio State receiver under Meyer. They don’t EVER focus on a receiver. Paris Campbell got all his targets because most of them were behind the LOS on screens and extended hand-offs. Nobody is featured. Not even Michael Thomas, one of the best receivers in the NFL. He had two seasons under Meyer and had two 700 yard seasons.

            You’re focusing on the wrong things.

            • McZ

              The coaching thing is another dimension of basically the same reasoning.

              Any draft source I’ve checked has McLaurin as #8 WR at best, which I think could be borderline okay. Also, most experts were convinced of Michael Thomas. On McLaurin, this is clearly not the case.

              He has an awful lot to proove, and that is never ever R2, especially in this draft. You propose taking him at #33. This is too damn early in a year when we need a DE, a nickel, a TE and some hedges and depth picks on various other spots!

              Take him in R3, and I’m inclined to applaud.

              • Rob Staton

                Sorry dude but I can’t take your view on this seriously. You never offer any proper counter to the points put to you. I don’t care what other people say. I’ve answered all your points and you just keep repeating yourself.

      • Tony

        I see him as the whole package. Willing blocker, fast, reliable, mature, tough, team first player. As rob said, a non diva wr. Which is a perfect fit for our wr room. Is he a true #1? No. But is he another really good wr to compliment baldwin and lockett. I absolutely think so. And if you wait till rd 4 to get a wr in this draft, the drop off looks rough. Where as DL has a ridiculous amount of depth to day 3.

        • Saxon

          I agree with that logic, Tony, just disagree that McLaurin is good enough on the field to justify a high selection. Yes, the DL class is crazy deep, but we are so thin on DL that I’m hoping we go DL, DL with our first two picks – then WR. Hierarchically, DL is a bigger factor in determining Seattle’s success than WR. If we got McLaurin in R3 I wouldn’t complain, but if we take him above Collier or Tillery or even Trysten Hill I’ll lose my mind.

          • Tony

            Well I agree with your logic as well. I do believe that padding our DL is top priority. And I love the talent that could be available in the 2nd rd. I do love me some trysten hill. I wouldnt be upset over going DL first. It really depends on the board and who’s there. The seahawks have a better idea than I do about who might go where. And if we land both mclaurin and hill, I would be a very happy man. I just hope they max there ability to draft quality in all key areas.

  3. Tony

    Also I dont see us trading clark. No value due to the big class. This screams more media trying to connect dots due to RW extension. The seahawks probably like the rumor cause it might just push a team like the jets to panic and pull some crazy trade.

  4. Jim

    It seems like the Jets don’t have what it takes this year for a Clark trade (I don’t want to trade Clark) but what if Seattle decides they have to trade him would a 3rd from this year and a 1st from next years draft seem plausible. Could be an early pick and with all of that QB talent next year could have a lot of value. Love this time of year and love your blog Rob.

    • Travis

      Could see the jets trading back a bit and picking up a 2nd, then using that 2nd for a Frank Clark trade. Jets could end up with Dillard and Frank Clark

  5. Eli

    I like the two ends from TCU – Collier as some sort of base end with the ability to slide inside on certain downs could be appealing though maybe a bit redundant with some of the guys we already have on the roster. I looked at his combine numbers compared to Michael Bennett and its not a perfect fit but there’s some similarity in their profile in certain places. Banogu has the athletic traits we’d want in a LEO but I think I’d only take him if he fell, see him more as a development type like Benson Mayowa or Obum Gwacham.

    I’ve also been wondering if due to the depth of the d-line class we might see some surprises, so I’m glad you touched on that Rob. It jives too with some stuff I’ve been reading that we might see certain o-lineman go a little earlier than they’ve been projected. The thought being a team isn’t going to force themselves to draft an o-lineman with their first pick when they have a greater need elsewhere. And it somewhat makes sense – there may not be much marginal difference between say Clelin Ferrel and Chase Winovich (just an example) but there could be a greater discrepancy between say N’Keal Harry and Riley Ridley.

  6. Volume12

    Is it still a waste of a visit if a projected top 10 pick, Rashan Gary, slides?

    Almost like Seattle knows. There’ve always been and always will be guys who are ‘locks’ to be drafted in a specific range that the league just doesn’t feel the same way about.

    • Rob Staton

      Rashan Gary could easily still go in the top-10.

      Apparently he has an injury and that’s why he might drop a bit. Those things you can’t account for.

      • Volume12

        Of course. That’s also kinda my point though. There’s so many things we as fans can’t account for, don’t know, or don’t see the same way that the league does.

        • Rob Staton

          Yeah but that goes without saying.

          Doesn’t mean we need to qualify everything with a ‘but the league might feel differently’ during a months long process.

          • Saxon

            PFF, savaged Gary, FWIW. Great athlete bad football player, according to them.

            • H

              They’re wrong.

            • Rob Staton

              ‘PFF’ — enough said.

              They also gave Aaron Rodgers a negative grade for a five-touchdown performance in a big win vs Kansas City.

              • CaptainJack

                This counterargument would hold more weight if Gary himself managed to show up on any stat sheet.

                • Rob Staton

                  Box score scouting Captain Jack.

                  Gary had a role to play on the defense that didn’t lend itself to major stat production. Surprised this still gets brought up.

  7. Group Captain Mandrake

    I really hope that they don’t trade Frank. Even though this is the year of the D-lineman, you just never know what you will end up with, and Frank is a proven commodity. In addition to that he seems to have grown up a lot and is a team leader.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think Clark will be traded but if he is it’ll come down to these things:

      1. They’re lack of interest in paying him Demarcus Lawrence’s contract.

      2. They receive an offer which fills out their board.

      3. They feel like they can trade down from #21, get a defensive lineman and then possibly get one of the top receivers or defensive backs. Essentially adding two young talented guys they like at a cheap cost.

      I’d fear for their pass rush though if they trade Frank. I’d also fear a bit that a blossoming member of their young core was moved. It’d leave a gaping hole that’d be tough to fill. I’m not convinced Allen Bailey and Nick Perry are going to make up the difference — or a rookie for that matter.

      • Elmer

        Agree. I don’t think that Clark gets traded for a couple of reasons.

        1. The Hawks have a history of retaining core guys who have proven that they are elite. Clark has proven it. Reed, not yet.

        2. The Hawks need a stronger pass rush even WITH Frank Clark. Without him…

        I am prepared to be proven wrong, but IMO it would take an amazing offer for a trade to happen.

        • Hawkin

          But what to do if you can’t pay all three? I’d argue that Reed has a lot of upside to be seen still, and possibly be more valuable as the years go on.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Which is why I would like to see Reed get signed long term now, while he is still cheap.

        • TatupuTime

          I’m sure they are listening on Frank – but I just don’t see how they fill that spot this year if they trade him. Next year if they hit on DL in this draft and Martin/Green take a step forward? I could see Frank playing out the tag and getting traded next year.

          I’m super bullish on Reed. I know its only been one year, but an interior pass rusher is super valuable. I think Reed repeats last years’ performance.

          Frank looked like he became a leader last year, but I just can’t shake the fact that I always feel like I might open twitter one day and find out he’s done something incredibly stupid. That scene with him hunting Ifedi and sucker punching him is pretty brutal. Guys with that lack of impulse control are always a bit of a time bomb.

          • AlaskaHawk

            I would be more worried about holding and illegal hitting to the back on special teams.

      • Group captain mandrake

        I don’t think he will be either – it just creates more holes, but I hope they don’t try and get too cute with it all.

  8. charlietheunicorn

    A team that has come up in talks about Seattle…..

    The Patriots might be wanting to move up from 32, they toss in an early 3rd and late 3rd round pick…. for the #21 pick from Seattle. They would be targeting the TE Fant specifically.

    Mathematically it is a pretty close fit….. would 2 additional 3rd round picks be enough to fill out their draft needs?

  9. Dale Roberts

    It seems like every year there’s one pick, not necessarily the first, that the Hawks declare after the draft that, “This is a guy we felt like we had to get” or “a guy we’re really excited about”. In 2016 it was Joey Hunt, in 2017 Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson, and in 2018 Rashad Penny. Who will it be this year that we learn was a big time target, not just what fell to them?

    • Saxon

      I have a feeling that player is LJ Collier. He’s a dog. The height thing didn’t phase them with Poona and won’t with Collier. Unlike some earlier drafts when PCJS prioritized athleticism, it seems they are now more focused on competitiveness and toughness. LJ has those qualities in spades and I’d bet he’s a big favorite of theirs.

      • ZB

        I’ve watched a bunch of film on Collier and I think he a solid player. He also didn’t wow me.

        • Saxon

          Fair enough, ZB, but he had a few highlights featuring his bull rush that were pretty awe inspiring to me. He was knocking 300 lbs tackles 5 yards back into the dirt like they had been struck by lightning. His hands are so sudden and he plays with such good leverage that once those heavy mitts hit you it’s over. His swim and rip and bull rush are top notch. His spin move needs a lot of work, and he’ll probably never be the lateral technician that Michael Bennett was, but he’ll own the power game. And that wingspan….

          He’s a late bloomer whose best days are ahead of him, which I think PCJS value. More than that he is just a junk yard dog, a scrapper very similar to what Frank Clark showed competitively at Michigan.

          So who do you think PCJS are crushing on?

  10. charlietheunicorn

    There is a crazy rumor that Murray might slip to the mid 20s….. I do not personally see it happening, but if he were available at say #21… you pull the trigger?

    • Rob Staton

      Who? Kyler Murray?

      That isn’t happening.

    • Trevor

      They just gave Russ 140 million so not anymore. He is the 1st pick in the draft anyways.

  11. Trevor

    Really hope they sign Frank long term before the draft and lock him up as a core piece. Then after the draft focus on Bobby and Reed.

    After signing Wilson to that monster deal they have to be in win now mode. Build around Russ, Locket, Carson and Penny on offense. Build around Clark, Reed, Wags and Flowrs on defense.

    They seem to have the cap space so just get it done. Pass rushers are almost as hard to find as QBs and are critical in today’s NFL.

    We have 11 picks next year to infuse a bunch of young cheap talent as well.

    • Rob Staton

      I would say the Seahawks are still in a gradual reset that will probably reach a peak of 2020 after one more off-season. If nothing else they need more depth badly and they need some more X-factor players in key positions (one more offensive weapon, more pass rush, at least one guy in the secondary who makes plays).

      But they’re very much trying to compete every year and thus they would take two steps back with Clark gone.

      Re-signing or at least simply keeping Clark in 2019 means you avoid creating another hole. I don’t think they will draft Jeffery Simmons but it’s a tantalising thought to imagine they could go with him early to pair with Clark and Reed — then add another EDGE or DE type to act as a bookend with their second pick (either a major upside EDGE, a DE with a great short shuttle or one of the players with a great pressure percentage). That would really bolster the D-line for the next few years. The 2020 draft could easily end up being the ‘year of the receiver’ if they want to park that need for now and just add someone like Kearse for depth. And if there’s one area they’ve found day three talent it’s in the secondary.

      Those are some thoughts but I don’t expect it to go that way necessarily. And the thing we have to think about is their willingness to even pay Clark a mega contract. They clearly really like him. But mega money changes a lot of things — not just with Clark but potentially others too. If they pay Clark a massive contract — Jarran Reed likely says he’s a 10.5 sack DT so he needs mega money too. Which is why this is such a puzzle to solve. But my prediction still is — nobody pony’s up for Clark and he plays on the tag in 2019.

  12. JimQ

    An interesting piece on “10 draft sleepers” on

    I found of particular interest a potential Seahawk later round prospect: DT-Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati, 6-2/293. Has anyone spent any time on him? From the little bit I’ve seen, so far, he and EDGE-Maxx Crosby are developmental picks I’d most like to see the Seahawks pick in the later rounds of the draft. The Seahawks could use another “Cortez”. From the brief scouting report he sounds like a potential Bennett 2.0. Crosby is a wild man that needs technique & coaching, he has everything else and it’s just waiting to be unlocked. Both are most likely backups initially with upside to improve significantly. Both are high producers from smaller schools.

  13. Trevor

    I thought the best OT at the Senior Bowl by a wide margin was Chuma Edoga. Really like Dalton Risner too but I think he is a Gaurd at the next level.

    Edoga is seemed to handle everyone in the 1 v 1 drills easily showing great footwork, balance and kept guys off him with what looked like as vines for arms.

    Why is this guy not getting any buzz? What am I missing here?

    • Rob Staton

      Character concerns. Had a tough upbringing and also had a tendency to pull himself out of games.

      • Trevor

        Figured there had to be something because talent wise he looked really good to me. To be honest he reminds me a lot of Isaiah Wynn physically and how he moved but with longer arms.

        If he can get the mental aspect sorted out he could end up being a steal. Might be a good fit for the Hawks if he is there on Day 3 and Pete thinks he can work with him.

        Completely off topic but have think Isaiah Wynn coming back from the injury this year is why the Pats just let thier LT wall in free agency. I was a huge fan of Wynn and can’t wait to see how his game translated into the NFL.

  14. calgaryhawk

    Would someone please explain to me the difference between trading back one or two times to pick up some more picks or trading (for examplr) next years 1st rounder for a mid to late 2nd rounder and maybe a 5th or 6th or even a 7th rounder. The Seahawks would still have about 11 picks next year and 6 this year and keep this year’s 1st rounder. Fewer picks this year but better draft positions verses more picks next year. Either way, trading back this year or trading one or two picks from next year, you still end up with 1 first rounder between the two years.

    • DC

      The difference to me is that you pay the credit card bill in full ‘this’ year and get it over with. Then next year we come in rich for the first time in forever with no need to F around manufacturing picks for the ones that we’ve already lost.

    • Rob Staton

      The difference is you’re trading blind picks (could be high R1 if things go wrong) and you’re just pushing a problem into next year. They’ve finally got a draft next year with a fantastic looking board. Trading away 2020 picks just to prop up this years class — swapping R1’s for R2’s — would be a disaster. Just trade down this year. There’s absolutely no reason to cling on to #21.

      • schuemansky

        Although I concur that PCJS shouldn’t trade future round picks, there could be a reason on draft day to cling on to #21, maybe he is is called Gary or Sweat or Lawrence. We just don’t know how the board presents itself at our pick and how hy PCJS are on these guys for example.

        • Rob Staton

          Lawrence won’t last. If Gary and Sweat do it’s for health reasons and therefore why won’t they fall further?

          Simple fact is — the Seahawks can’t pick four times this year and they can’t trade the problem into next year either. Just trade down and move on. It is what it is.

  15. EranUngar

    A great article Rob. I always love the big picture strategy discussions at this time of the year.

    “The Seahawks needed to add to their D-line anyway” is a common view lingering from losing Bennett and Avril a year ago. For the sack of an open discussion I’d like to try and counter this assumption.

    Defending against the run:

    This is the base of a PC defense. You stop the run and force teams to become one dimensional and play a risk heavy offense. e 2018 defense was not as good as previous team in stopping the run and allowed to many 100 yards running backs and too man 150 yards plus performances by opponents last year.

    However, a big part of that IMO was missing both K.J. and Kendricks at LB (plus missing the Kam effect need the LOS). A healthy trio at LB would go a long way in restoring the stout run defense.

    Ford was a pleasant surprise as a rookie late in the season and with a full pro off season should be a solid performer this year.

    The Seahawks have a long history of picking low cost run stuffing veterans for that base DT role over the years and I am fairly certain they will do the same again to add run stuffing depth to their rotation.

    Rushing the QB:

    The Seahawks already boast two 10+ sacks young payers entering their prime (Clark and Reed). Having a 3 down DT plus a dominant DE is the base for any pass rushing defense.

    Having the healthy trio at LB would allow Wags/Kendricks to rush the QB more.

    Martin has been very effective in a limited role late in the season. His pressure percentage was very high (as stated by PC) and he had 3 sacks in his rookie season (one more than Frank Clark had during his rookie season). Making the 2nd year jump – The Seahawks could feel that they have the pass rusher opposite of Clark already on board.

    Marsh had his most productive season last year with the 49ers notching 5.5 sacks. He could play a very valuable role in the pass rushing rotation keeping everyone fresh.

    Green was a young prospect with a huge upside. He was drafted knowing that he will need a red shirt year to grow and mature. If the Seahawks believe they have him ready to make an impact this year, we may have that 2nd rushing DT or that inside/outside weapon that Bennett was ready to make an impact.

    In other words – The Seahawks could be thinking that a Clark/Reed/Martin/Green/Marsh are a deep young and talented pass rushing group that may keep running for a few years to come. If that is the case, they may believe that they should use their top pick to bolster other areas.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ll be very, very surprised if the Seahawks think that’s a good enough pass rush group. Especially with uncertainty over Clark’s future.

      • EranUngar

        I agree that it’s all about Clark’s future. However, if they believe that they are going to extend Clark they might be happy tapping into the deep DL class later (3rd round) and have another target for their top pick.

        The NFL is turning into a pass heavy league and teams play nickle for most of the snaps.

        We just lost our nickle corner.

        NE showed how to counter the Ram’s offense using multiple safeties.

        The Seahawks had more visits from Safeties than any other position.

        Could they be targeting a Safety/BN with their first pick to man the nickle position providing better TE coverage and run stuffing support?

        • Rob Staton

          It’s possible as discussed in several articles.

          However — the thing we all have to remember, myself included, is the way they are adept at developing later round DB’s. And there are some in this class (Will Harris, Darius West) who they might be willing to draft to fill that spot.

          And while nickel is increasingly important these days, the pass rush is still king. It’s still the most important aspect of a defense. Seattle’s wasn’t up to scratch last year even with Clark. If they lose him, or even if they keep him, they need more. It’s a huge need.

          • STTBM

            Excellent points Rob! I can’t see Seattle passing on a fine DL prospect to take a db high; barring an ET level talent, they will do what they do–coach up later round db picks with traits they like, and toughness and smarts.

        • rowlandice

          The Pats showed us how to beat the Rams without a healthy Todd Gurley. I would expect more runs between the tackles to counter the extra players on the edge.

    • Jujus

      That was alot of buildup to just say … Always compete isnt relevant because I think a bunch of scruba plus jarran and frank might be good

    • AlaskaHawk

      The Seahawks are already carrying 13 safeties and cornerbacks on the team. Something has to give. They won’t all make the team, especially if the Seahawks draft more secondary.

  16. Trevor

    I think the three strongest postion groups in this class are clearly DL, Safety/ and TE. It would make sense for the Hawks to address these positions early with WR being the wild card depending on the discussions they have had with Doug.

    I personally think Baldwin plays out the balance of his contract and retires a Hawk. Also next years WR class looks really good so I tend to think they kick that can down the road till next year unless they really want Parris Campbell for that Harvin type roll or see great value in a guy like Gary Jennings on Day 3.

    A vertical threat a TE to team with Dissly and Fant would be nice and I think they will add a TE this draft but in the Hawks scheme it is not an absolute must.

    So for me at least that leaves DL and at Slot/ Big Nickel Hybrid as the first two selections for the Hawks.

    Realistic and Ideal scenario for me with the first 4 picks after thier tradebacks into Rd#2 would be.

    Hybrid -Darnell Savage
    DT-Trysten Hill
    Edge- Deandre Walker
    TE- Dawson Knox

    • GauxGaux

      …break out the bubbly!!

  17. RWIII

    Jaylon Ferguson. I am absolutely in love with this guy. Ferguson has Seattle Seahawk written all over him. This is the guy for me. 6’5 strong 265 pounds of man . His production is off the charts. Ferguson has Bobby Wagner type production in college. I understand that he played at Louisiana Tech. But the guy had 26 TFLs. 17.5 sacks. Solid against the run. He sets the edge. Feguson has good football instincts. He has a nose for the football. He understands what offenses trying to do. I understand the guy does have some baggage. But he also has a Richard Sherman chip on his shoulders. You bookend this guy with Frank Clark. You have Jarran Reed providing that interior pass rush. Then you add Greg Gaines later in the draft. Now you are set at DL (provided they stay healthy.

    With your 2nd pick either WR/DB. But when it comes to Ferguson, I am all in.

    • ZB

      I totally agree on Ferguson. He’s a beast. I wouldn’t mind Burns either as I think he is able to put on good weight and still kill it. Either way I would be stoked. I selfishly still want Simmons though.

  18. Stephen Pitell

    I advocate moving to a TE heavy offensive strategy. And this year has a bunch of promising TE’s. I don’t expect anyone to listen to me, but forcing opponents to cover TE’s with CB’s, along with the disguising of run/pass plays makes TE a priority for me as it has been for years now.

    With all due respect to Rob, I think our DL will see maturing from multiple guys, any one of which could shore up our DL into one of the best pass rushes we have every had, and that is without drafting anyone but late round projects. This assumes we plan to keep Clark long term.

    • Hawktalker#1

      I also think their is a lot of promise with some of our younger guys, but when we need a much more productive pass rush than we’ve had in the past, expecting to get there by just adding a year of experience with our current guys is a risk they just can’t take. Need to draft more talent into our current DL.

    • Rob Staton

      Even if the younger guys develop they need more. This team won a title with Bennett, Avril and Clemons off the edge. Then they had Bennett, Avril and Clark. Now they might not even have Clark. It’s not enough. They need more pass rush even if everyone stays.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I believe lot of the progression of the pass rush could land on how Greene develops. If he can turn a corner and start to become what Bennett was we could be alright.

        • Rob Staton

          I hope Green develops too. But again. This is a team that had Bennett, Avril and Clark/Clemons. They need more than Green, Martin, maybe Clark and Jarran Reed (who’s a free agent after 2019). That’s nowhere near a Championship level pass rush, even with development.

          • Trevor

            I think if they could add a penetrating DT like Hill and an Edge guy like Walker it would really add the type of young depth they need on the DL. Then they can still add a vet or two once they don’t count against the comp selections.

          • AlaskaHawk

            And lost the superbowl with Avril and Lane injured during the game. A lot of people question the goal line interception. The backup players that were not brought to the superbowl had just as much to do with it.

            • AlaskaHawk

              The moral being that you can never have too many pass rushers and good secondary.

              • Tecmo Bowl


  19. Trevor

    Went back yesterday to watch some ND games to check out Jerry Tillery as an option for the Hawks first pick after some trade backs and I have to say I was really surprised with how good he looked. He looked explosive and seemed to have great balance and center of gravity for a guy with his length. He may have a weird personality for NFL evaluators but as a player on the field I was really impressed.

    A guy who really stuck out to me as someone the Hawks should really be taking a close look at for ND however is WR Miles Boykin. How is this guy not getting more hype and love. I think if the ND QB play was even decent he would be getting first round buzz.

    6-4 220 lbs
    33.5” Arms and 9 7/8” Hands
    4.42 40yd
    6.77 3 cone
    4.07 short shuttle
    43” Vertical
    11.8 ft Broad Jump

    That is a big, fast, agile and explosive WR. I cannot think of a WR in recent memory who had that combination of size, speed, explosion and agility.

    The closest comp I can think of for him is Martavius Bryant without the off field baggage.

    He is incredibly underated IMO the Trysten Hill of WRs. If he is there in Rd #3 or 4 I really hope the Hawks give him a close look.

    • ZB

      I looked into Boykin as well for those reasons. He just didn’t seem like those attributes showed up as much as I would would want in games.

    • Eli

      Good profile of him at PFF:

      Seems like a good kid. Would definitely be interested in him just based on the fact that he’s SPARQ’d up, but he seems to be aware of what needs to be done from a technical standpoint to become a really good receiver – i.e. expand his route tree, continue to improve his run blocking, etc.

    • McZ says Kenny Golladay is a comp to Boykin, and this makes a lot of sense to me.
      Btw, same goes for Riley Ridley.

      Another player out of ND is Julian Love, CB. The ND secondary was night and day, depending if he played or not.

  20. Saxon

    I’m curious what the SDB community thinks the positional priorities are? I’d say:

    1) DL
    2) WR
    3) TE
    4) S
    5) OT
    6) CB
    7) QB
    8) OG
    9) LB
    10) FB
    11) RB

    • ZB

      Looks pretty good to me. I might put big nickel at 3 or 4 though.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I agree with ZB. Personally I dont see safety/Nickel as big as a problem as everyone else but for sure DL/WR at the top.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      1- DL
      2- NB
      3- WR
      4- DT
      5- TE
      6- OT
      7- FB
      8- CB

      It would be nice to see a true lead blocker in front of Carson and Penny. Tre Madden’s run as the offenses answer to Mike Morgan(as in why is he on the roster again?!) should be over. FB’s come cheap too.

    • Kenny Sloth

      1. NB
      2. DT
      3. DE
      4. WR

      5. TE
      6. LB
      7. QB
      8. S
      9. QB
      10. RB

  21. Trevor

    How much fun would Rob and the rest of the Blog be having this week if we had the Raiders draft capital 4 of the first 35 picks could really help them rebuild that roster if they play things right.

    • Rob Staton

      The blog would explode. Would be fun. Would love another year like 2010 one day with two first rounders to talk about (preferably not after a crappy season like 2009 though).

    • Greg Haugsven

      It would be fun for sure, but the down side when you have that many picks usually means you arent very good.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      That would be a blast! Rooting for Mayock and Gruden to get it right, and think they will.

    • Volume12

      Is it weird that as a guy who’s followed/been obsessed with the draft for over 20 years, since he was 11, that I think draft picks can be overrated?

      • Kenny Sloth

        Not weird at all.

    • HawkfaninMT

      Would be so cool…

      Something about this draft class is just Not piquing my interest like most years. I can’t really put my finger on why not? Anyone else experiencing this? Just lack of obvious needs/draftcrushes I guesses this year?

      • TomLPDX

        For me it is the lack of high round picks, knowing we will be trading down, John put us in a hole this year (but I’m glad we have Duane!) and we just don’t have much to chose from.

    • DC

      I’m excited for the potential of going into the 2020 draft with 10+ picks. I like the ‘shotgun’ method of drafting.

  22. J

    I think the themes of this draft will be (a) fixing the 4.9 YPC run defense and (b) getting weapons for our newly highest paid QB in the league.

    I think our first DL will be a run stopper and our first offensiive pick will be a WR

    • Madmark

      I keep thinking of the same thing especially since Shamar is gone. I would not be surprised if Seattle traded down twice and with there first pick took Tysten Hill DT. I got this feeling they will believe they can good young here instead of rolling FA guys going forward. This is the physical specimen with suppose problems they look for and Ken Norton is that guy to make him a beast.

    • Aaron

      I think finding a long term solution inside with J Reed in a contract year is going to be critical. They need a run stuffer at 3 tech or their 4-3 version of a nose ala Mebane. I expect them to have about 8 picks at the end and probably pick 5 defensive (DT, DE, CB, LB, and S) and 3 offensive (WR, TE, and OL or FB) players.

    • lil’stink

      If Poona starts and our LB’s stay healthy I think our run D has improves a bunch. When KJ and Kendricks were out we got gashed in the run game, and Poona looked like a stud against the run but needs more snaps.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Agreed that a healthy KJ and Kendricks will help solidify the run defense. lists our DT’s as Reed, Poona, Naz, QJeff, and Meder. PC on Poona, “He’s going to play in the rotation with the first guys.” Even if Poona takes a big step forward, that rotation needs some help. They haven’t addressed the DT at all this off-season, while losing Stephen who played just under 50% of the snaps last year.

    • Rob Staton

      They can find run stoppers. They will find one. The pass rush needs more too.


    Rob, we agree that WR is an area of need; what happens if we go a different direction with our first pick (DL, NCB) — who are some Seahawky WR’s that we could target in the mid-rounds, and would you have time to do a profile on some of them?

    • Madmark

      In my mock I did go a different direction. In the 4th round I like a Branden Sills V WR WV. This was the guy Will Grier was throwing to. I just have this feeling about this this guy. The knock on him is he ran a 4.57- 40 and he needs to get stronger but every college guy you draft in 4th round usually needs a year in an NFL program. Its his stats over the last 2 years of college that really stood out. The last time stats like his that stood out to me was Luke Kuechly with 212 tackles. In 15 games he has 33TD, 125receptions, and 1966 yds. He scored a TD every 3.7 catches. This guy has a talent that fits the offense we run.

      • McZ

        His name is David, and 4th is a bit early for him.

        • Madmark

          OOPS, my bad.

    • Rob Staton

      Garry Jennings stands out. Maybe Johnnie Dixon.

  24. STTBM

    Rob, I have not had much opportunity to post comments, but I’ve done a fair amount of lurking in the lead up to the draft. You’ve done a fine job coming up with groups of players at need positions that Seattle might be interested in. Also, I finally listened to your podcast with Pauline, and was surprised and pleased with your professionalism. Man, I know from experience how hard doing a recorded interview and\or speaking on the radio is for an amateur: you are no amateur, but a Pro’s Pro. Bravo, Sir!

    Seattle has done a poor job for years of backfilling, especially at positions like DE which take a year or two of experience before the pick contributes. On top of that, they lost high picks for stopgap like Brown and Richardson, and now have few picks in a great draft. Paying the Piper is never fun….

    I believe this draft will either make or break Carrol and Schneider, and will define their legacy in Seattle.

    It’s going to be exciting to see if they can draft like 2010-2012, or if they just trade down to pick more scrubs, a-la 2013-2017.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Two of the things I liked about the Pauline interview was that he was concise, and the whole interview only lasted 12 minutes. I don’t have time for hour long interviews that wander around topics.

      • STTBM

        Yes, exactly! No dead air, no um…ah..umm…And that is darned difficult to do.

  25. charlietheunicorn

    Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

    I’ve not found a ton about this guy, other than he is shorter than most DL. Likely would fill a 3-tech slot on the DL (or pure nose in a 3-4). Likely a 2nd or 3rd round prospect who has over come a ton of adversity, according to an ESPN article I read about him, and comes from a small school not known to produce NFL talent.

    Interesting side note, his coach spent some time with Mississippi State and more or less said he was as good as the other guys MISS ST had on the DL…. Simmons, Sweat, etc.

    Unique player and a value pick….. smells like a Seahawk perhaps (?)

    • H

      Great player, Rob covered him earlier in the year. Destroyed the Senior Bowl, but his arms were quite short so he seems like an unlikely target.

      • CaptainJack

        Short stubby arms. Pass. Won’t fly in the league.

      • Aaron

        Which makes their interest in Greg Gaines somewhat perplexing.

  26. RWIII

    ZB: Agree on Burns. I saw Burns on NFL Network. Great dude. During the off season Burns added 20 pounds. And he said he got faster. That is unbelievable. How do you gain twenty pounds and get faster? The interview with Burns was fantastic. However, I would be shocked if the Seahawks traded down and he was still on the board. Same with Clelin Ferrell.

  27. RWIII

    I was watching on CBS “Diamonds in the rough.” There are some good players in the middle to late rounds.

  28. Kevin

    With there 1st pick they must get who’s at the top of their board in a certain position group. If they can land Terry Mclaurin and Nkeal Harry with their first two picks, I would be excited. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go offense early or somewhere that doesn’t have much depth.

    • Hawktalker#1

      WR with their first two pics? I sure hope that doesn’t happen.

  29. Tecmo Bowl

    Adam Schefter reported today that Montez Sweat is no longer going to attend the draft. Instead he’ll stay at home with his family. The talk of Sweat falling in the draft seems to have serious validity. I sure hope he’s on our board. Could be a major steal.

  30. Rob Staton

    FYI — no new article today. I’ve been writing a big piece which is sort of an ‘ultimate’ Seahawks possible targets piece to run before the draft. It’s going to take more than one night to complete.

    • Aaron

      Are you considering doing a tier 1, tier 2, etc… chart of the top 50-75 for reference like you did a couple years ago? Thanks.

      • Rob Staton

        I did a tiered grades piece a couple of weeks ago. The article I’m working on is structured into ‘possible top picks’, ‘possible day two picks’, ‘possible day three picks’ and also notes some players who might go too early for Seattle’s taste. So it’s sort of tiered. I might do a fresh tiering before the draft in the manner which you’re discussing there.

    • charlietheunicorn

      *rubs hands together*

      OH BOY

    • Rob Staton

      Just as I write this comment — Schefter tweets about Clark and I’ve written a piece about it 🙂

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