Takeaways from Pete Carroll’s press day & C.J. Stroud declares

The Seahawks’ Head Coach Pete Carroll spoke to the media today

Pete Carroll’s end of season press conferences are typically quite revealing and provide a roadmap to the off-season. That was especially so today.

It started with the usual conversation with Brock Huard & Mike Salk on Seattle Sports, in what was a good interview where several of the more pressing questions for the future were put to Carroll.

Things started strangely though with the following exchange:

Salk: “For the final time this year, good morning Coach, how are we?”

Carroll: “It’s the last time you’re going to say something like that to me.”

Salk: “I know, maybe ever, who knows?”

I had a few people reach out about what this means and listening back, I don’t really know. For all the speculation that Carroll was considering retirement, I doubt he would’ve done two long press conferences today if he intended to call it quits in a few days.

I can only guess this is something to do with the Pete Carroll show itself? It was a bit confusing to hear this back-and-forth at the start.

I thought Carroll struck a good tone in his interview and that continued into his press conference later on. There was no rhetoric about being ‘close’ as we’ve heard in the past when it felt forced. This was as honest as a coach could be without upsetting anyone.

Carroll acknowledged the ‘distance’ between Seattle’s roster and San Francisco’s and stated the need to have great players up front. He didn’t sugarcoat anything with the defense and highlighted the clear areas that need to be improved.

This was refreshing to hear.

Carroll repeatedly referenced how badly they need to have better players up front. He hammered that point home in both media appearances. In previous years he’s dropped subtle hints towards off-season priorities. There was no subtlety here. It was shouted from the rooftops that the Seahawks need to add D-line talent.

He mentioned needing impact players and “guys who are a factor“. He declared, “we have to become more dynamic up front.”

I had two thoughts as I was listening.

The first was to jump to the immediate conclusion that this means they’ll be drafting a defensive player with their top pick. That thought was reinforced when Carroll said, “we’ve got our guy” in reference to Geno Smith.

I’ve seen media members already tweeting that this means D-line all the way in the draft but I’d caution against that. Carroll is very generous in his final press conference and he gives bits of information to provide talking points over the next few weeks.

However, it feels a bit too obvious to think he just laid out Seattle’s specific off-season approach in a public announcement.

Thus, my second thought was to consider some of the other things he said. Carroll went to great lengths to emphasise the excitement of the draft was as much about their other picks in the first three rounds, not just the fifth overall pick.

Then later on he said:

“The QB’s in this draft are extraordinary players. You don’t get opportunities like this.”

He also left the door open for talks over trading down.

When you add all this together, he’s dipped his toe in every pond. Clearly upgrading the front seven is a massive priority and we can all see that. However, they could easily spend four high picks on the front seven and still save #5 for a quarterback.

On top of that, they’d be foolish not to listen to any trade offers for #5. Any team will listen — but it doesn’t mean they necessarily plan to accept the offer unless it’s truly beneficial.

After reflecting on everything that’s been said — I don’t think we can say with any greater certainty what Seattle intends to do at #5. What I do think we can say with absolute certainty, though, is that one way or another there’s going to be a big investment in the D-line.

That could also be with a free agent splash, for once, money permitting. They haven’t been a team that typically goes big in the market but they did in 2011 to accelerate building their roster. I wonder if that’ll be the plan again to help fix what has been stated as a major issue?

The name that could really appeal is Da’Ron Payne from Washington.

As comparisons were being made to San Francisco, it’s worth noting they hit a home run acquiring Trent Williams and then paying him in free agency. Perhaps the Seahawks will themselves consider a splurge for someone like Payne who would immediately upgrade the defensive front? He’s a good age and only turns 26 in May.

That would take the pressure off the draft and keep all options open at #5 — quarterback, trading down or another defensive lineman.

Of course, Washington aren’t likely to let him go without a fight. They will surely free up $26m by cutting Carson Wentz — creating ample room to retain Payne one way or another.

Regardless, the way Carroll spoke means my next mock draft will feature an array of defensive front seven talent being added. They sound like they’re going to really attack that area, with or without the fifth pick being part of it.

I’ve seen it implied that Carroll’s praise of the quarterbacks is in some way an attempt to build a trade-market for Seattle’s pick.

This feels like a reach. For starters, no team is being influenced by something another coach says in a press conference. They have their own scouts, GM’s and Head Coaches to analyse talent and need. It’s hardly like the Carolina Panthers watched that presser today and then called an emergency meeting to plot their move up the board for a QB.

Secondly, I’ve watched every game the top-four quarterbacks in this draft ever played (such is my social life). They are really good, as Carroll says. What’s more, at least three of them perfectly align with what John Schneider has found attractive at the position in the past.

Nothing about today compels me to avoid pairing a quarterback with the Seahawks at #5 in future mocks. As Carroll points out, it’s a rare opportunity to pick that early.

Very few people are prepared to consider the ‘best of both worlds’ scenario. This is re-signing Geno Smith and drafting a quarterback. It creates a replica of what happened in Kansas City, who had a bridge quarterback (Alex Smith) and the future of the franchise (Patrick Mahomes).

Imagine a scenario where a rookie drafted by the Seahawks can take his time to learn the scheme for a year or two, while Smith leads the way? Then, when the time is right, the baton can be passed. If handled properly, as it was in Kansas City, there are no issues. Alex Smith was traded to Washington for a player and a third round pick in the end. There’s no reason why the Seahawks couldn’t try to copy this plan.

It would mean no defensive player drafted at #5 but it’s too readily assumed a great option will present itself.

It’s very like Arizona will draft one of the top two defenders at #3. I would suggest they are likely to take Will Anderson after losing edge defenders Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt in back-to-back years.

Jalen Carter is brilliantly talented but as we’ve discussed a lot recently, there are some concerns. We highlighted a recent video where he expressed multiple times last April that improving his conditioning was a priority. Yet at the end of the season, we could see he was exhausted to such an extent he admitted he was ’embarrassed’.

On top of that, Todd McShay has reported teams do have some character concerns with Carter.

It’s not as simple, therefore, as thinking there’s a ready-made solution at #5 for the defensive line. Carroll also stressed today that it had taken the 49ers many years to build their great defense.

I also need to keep stressing, having watched all of his 2022 games, that Clemson defender Myles Murphy did not have a good season and is more raw athlete than anything polished at this stage. He in particular struggles against the run despite being 275lbs (I’ve called him a pussycat) and this was an area today highlighted by Carroll as a big problem. I’d go as far to say that if defending the run better is key for the Seahawks, drafting Murphy would be counter-productive based on his time at Clemson. Watch the way Notre Dame ran all over him for an illustration of what I’m talking about. He also only had 6.5 sacks and didn’t start at least two games due to poor play.

Tyree Wilson is someone who could end up really interesting Seattle. His frame is ridiculous and unique — 6-6, 270lbs and a wingspan stretching 7-feet in length. If he tests well I can imagine the Seahawks showing major interest — even if there’s a fair bit of inconsistency on tape (and the record of BIG-12 defenders coming into the league hasn’t been great recently).

The top quarterbacks — C.J. Stroud (who I’ll talk about in a bit), Will Levis, Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young — are excellent players with fantastic character. They are all good or great athletes with the potential to be franchise QB’s.

Many of the people knocking this quartet were the same people suggesting Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder should be first round picks a year ago. The 2022 quarterback class was poor. The 2023 quarterback class is top-heavy but is a lot better.

Back to Carroll’s words and I did notice this line when talking about the defense:

“It’s stuff that we can really fix, it’s right there in front of us”

This is a line that is often used during the season but it is wearing a bit thin. Seattle’s defense has had, to be fair, ‘things that they can really fix’ for a number of years. And yet they never are fixed.

‘Fixing the pass rush’ was declared as a big priority four years ago. It’s now 2023 and Carroll is saying the same thing.

In 2019, ‘fixing the pass rush’ equated to trading Frank Clark, drafting L.J. Collier, signing an injured Ziggy Ansah and then trading for Jadeveon Clowney right before the season. I hope the 2023 plan is better than this.

In 2020, ‘fixing the pass rush’ equated to retaining Clowney as a priority and adding more. They couldn’t agree terms with Clowney and instead added Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin, before drafting an injured Darrell Taylor and trading for an expensive pass-rushing safety. At the trade deadline, they added Carlos Dunlap. I hope the 2023 plan is better than this.

In 2021, ‘fixing the pass rush’ equated to bringing back Dunlap on a deal they ripped up at the end of the season, signing Kerry Hyder and having Taylor available for the first time. I hope the 2023 plan is better than this.

You get the picture.

The thing is, Carroll is right. They can fix this. But they have to be prepared to spend a bit more. If Da’Ron Payne does reach the market then why not be willing to pay a little bit more than maybe you’re initially comfortable with to get him? Signing replaceable players has simply led to a lack of quality. They haven’t been able to re-create the magic of the Bennett and Avril contracts and now it’s probably time to just go out and get someone who, on day one, can be a difference maker.

On a different topic — during the interview on Brock & Salk, Carroll was given an opportunity to bask in a 9-8 season when many people expected a far worse record. He rejected that opportunity and I liked that.

Undoubtedly Seattle’s win record and playoff qualification was unexpected. There’s no need for victory laps though and Carroll acknowledged that. The Seahawks did benefit from one of the weakest schedules in the league, played badly on defense for most of the season and were carried at times by a journeyman quarterback who excelled against the odds.

This is still a team with a lot of holes, not enough star players and a ton of work to do. Carroll, quite rightly, is viewing it that way and wasn’t in the mood to accept a pat on the back. That was encouraging and again, was a very different tone to the talk of being ‘close’ a year ago when they clearly weren’t.

Other notable quotes included Carroll’s praise of Austin Blythe:

“He was a real factor for us… terrific leader, solidified it”

A lot of fans won’t like that because many feel an upgrade at center is needed. I don’t disagree and think Sedrick Van Pran, if he declares following a very traumatic last few days, could be a home-run pick. However, it’s worth stating again that the Rams blocking scheme, which Seattle is using, has typically ‘got by’ at center with a specific body type and skill-set that Blythe does fit.

It doesn’t mean they won’t go for a Van Pran or a Luke Wypler or someone of that ilk but it’s entirely possible they re-sign Blythe and perhaps add some competition later in the draft or in the veteran market. Joey Hunt, who is just like Blythe, has also been on the practise squad all year. Don’t be surprised if he ends up being the backup to Blythe — or even a cheap competition to start.

On the defense again, Carroll spoke about the scheme change:

“We might’ve shot a little too high… need to be fundamentally better up front”

He also spoke about being able to split double teams and rush the passer better. He constantly talked about being a factor up front and how much they miss not having that X-factor player (which is very, very difficult to find).

The one player I think has been best at splitting double teams is Tyree Wilson. I am not that excited about him being ‘the guy’ at #5. Neither am I that convinced he’ll prove to be a difference maker given how inconsistent his tape is. There aren’t many humans with his size and length though and again — if he tests well at the combine or pro-day, he could emerge as a real option for Seattle (even ahead of Jalen Carter).

Carroll mentioned they adjusted their scheme during the season and made a four-week turn where results improved. This certainly did happen but it would also be useful to acknowledge that, from Germany onwards, opponents found a way to attack the Seahawks in the running game and that fleeting run of positivity completely evaporated very quickly.

They can’t spend the off-season tweaking things, only to find a month into the season their opponents have found a similar way to tear them apart. Talent may be a big issue here and rectifying that should help — yet it’s still something that warrants pointing out. Plus — they can’t afford to start the season as badly on defense as they have the last few years. For once, can they at least just be average to begin a season?

Carroll backed the scheme overall and said they wouldn’t change. I was hoping they would but it’s possible the tweaks and adjustments will be significant and he’s just not spelling it out here.

This video highlights how badly teams are struggling running Vic Fangio concepts without the man himself working the controls. Seattle and Minnesota are two of the biggest culprits in how this scheme has been exploited. The Vikings poached defensive coordinator Ed Donatell from the Seahawks just as he was set to join the team and it’s been a mess for Minnesota in 2022.

I really hope the Seahawks aren’t going to draft players for this scheme only to need to replace all of those players in 2-3 years if it doesn’t work. I’d rather be adding talent and copying the 49ers and Cowboys personally. They seem like the models to mimic, not the Fangio system. It helps having Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons — yet the Chargers have not faired well with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack operating in a similar scheme to the Seahawks.

I’m not convinced Jordyn Brooks is as good as Carroll suggested today — naming him as a player opponents consistently have to account for and talking up his quality.

I think you can count the number of ‘big plays’ by Brooks on one hand since he cost the Seahawks a first round pick. He’s very good at collecting tackles but doesn’t do enough to truly impact games. He had a 52.8 PFF grade this year which is dreadful. A year ago he graded at 58.4. He has two career sacks, zero career interceptions and only 15 career TFL’s. To date he’s been underwhelming and yet he’s often talked up like a key contributor. I’m not seeing it.

Overall though I thought it was a good media session. No cracks were papered over and it’s evident they know how important this draft is for the franchise and how much work is required to improve. Now they have to deliver. I hope they are bolder in free agency than previous years and try not to add a lot of very average (or below average) players to fill things out as they have done in the past. Adding quality must be the key — even if it comes at a hefty free agent price.

But please, no more big trades.

I also hope they view this 2023 draft as phase two of a rebuild not phase one of ‘go for it next season’. The way Carroll talked today gave me confidence because he wasn’t saying anything about drafting players to seriously contend in 2023. It feels like a longer term approach is being taken while acknowledging pressing, immediate needs that have to be addressed.

C.J. Stroud declares for the draft

This was very welcome news and is particularly beneficial to the Seahawks.

Stroud is a potential #1 overall pick. He is extremely accurate and throws with wonderful touch to all areas of the field. He’s a good athlete with a strong arm. He has excellent character, ideal size and the potential to be a real difference maker at the next level.

The one criticism was about his ability to play outside of the constraints of the Buckeyes offense. He showed he can do that in glorious fashion against Georgia with a masterful performance.

For me, Stroud or Will Levis will be the #1 pick with Indianapolis (#4) or Carolina (#9) trading up to get them.

Either way, I’ll be surprised if Stroud lasts to #5. He would be a great option for the Seahawks to draft and develop. If he isn’t available though, his presence in the top-four pushes another player down to Seattle that otherwise might be gone.

If the Seahawks stick at #5 I think the decision will ultimately come down to whoever is left between Stroud, Levis, Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young, the two defensive linemen Will Anderson and Jalen Carter, or a potential surge-prospect such as Tyree Wilson.

These are all great options for Seattle. The benefit of being in the top-five versus the #8-15 range is enormous. It’ll probably take a kings ransom to get Seattle to move down because the opportunity to draft someone at #5 versus later on will be huge.

Stroud, Levis and Richardson all scream John Schneider. That shouldn’t be ignored. They are exactly the types I would expect Schneider to be very excited about. Big arm, great athlete, creative, elusive, playmakers.

Let’s also remember Levis played a year in Seattle’s exact offense under Liam Coen and excelled massively. I’ve felt for a long time that Schneider would be very interested in Levis — I think many other teams will be too.

The quarterbacks are not less risky than the defensive linemen named above — that’s a fallacy that has gained too much traction. As someone who has studied this class to the absolute max, this has bizarrely become an under-rated group. They’re not flawless, far from it, but neither were Mahomes, Allen and Herbert.

That said, there’s also clear talent with Anderson and Carter, while Wilson has such an enticing physical profile. There are also some concerns that aren’t highlighted as much as the flaws shown by the quarterbacks.

Now that Stroud has declared and Carroll has spoken — I will plan to publish a mock draft this week.

First though, I will be conducting my annual interview with Jim Nagy tomorrow discussing the Senior Bowl and on Wednesday I will be joined by Jeff Simmons on a live stream. I hope you’ll check out both.

And if you missed it yesterday, don’t forget to read Curtis Allen’s outstanding piece reviewing Seattle’s cap situation.

If you enjoy the blog and appreciate what we do — why not consider supporting the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. Ian

    Who to select at #5: truly a happy dilemma

  2. Jabroni-DC

    Thanks for all of this season’s work Rob. Now the the real fun begins with the most high picks that Seattle has had since you started SDB.

  3. Thomas

    Thanks Rob

  4. Denver Hawker

    Should be a fun offseason with picks and a little money to play with key priorities. I took some of this talk to suggest a trade up from 5 is very unlikely given his focus on the Day 2 picks. I also wondered a bit more on a trade back scenario with Carolina (old buddies). More picks in that 30-50 range looks to be a quality spot to add defensive talent this year.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t see them trading down unless someone offers a haul

      You’d be trading out of a prime spot, into a crap spot, just to buy more tickets to a raffle you recently complained you were forced to enter every year

      • Denver Hawker

        Certainly, and wouldn’t think otherwise.

        I think the scenario though isn’t far fetched. Say JS puts Levis/Richardson/Anderson as clear cut will draft at 5, and all are gone. Maybe he’s less thrilled about Stroud/Young/Carter at 5 and Carolina or Raiders are much more excited about them.

        As a separate thought, I’ve wondered if teams are valuing picks more given cap constraints from CoVID still and hesitant to trade future picks given how poorly that worked out for teams this year. That makes trading up in Top 10 more limiting.

        • Rob Staton

          I just can’t imagine a scenario where someone offers something tempting

          It would need to be an absolute blow you away offer because the chances are you won’t luck out like this year and get a top-five pick in 2024

      • Elmer

        Really looking forward to your mock draft. Especially to learn more about who the players are that can be a potentially significant upgrade to our front 7 who won’t be selected with the #5 draft pick.

  5. Ely

    I’d feel so much better about this if not for the Blythe praise. In one form or another the interior O-line needs almost as much attention as the D-line. Center appears, to me, to be the most obvious need on offense.

    • Jabroni-DC

      This looks like a deep Center class. I’ve got tunnel vision on SVP but I think they’ll grab one at some point.

  6. CojackTX

    Regardless of the direction they go at #5 (whether QB or DL), I am having a very difficult time identifying targets at #20. Obviously, if they go QB at 5, I think DL at 20 becomes almost a given; but who actually warrants a selection there? I suspect Wilson and Bresee will be gone and I’m not super high on Foskey, Ojulari, and Nolan Smith as scheme fits (more OLBs) or difference makers in the run game. It seems a tad early for Siaki Ika or Clancey (assuming the latter is even on the board). While I like Lukas Van Ness, his range seems to be all over the place and it will be hard to pin that down until testing results are had.

    If they go DL at 5, it becomes even murkier. Will they double dip at DL? Brian Branch?

    Though it would be against all historical indicators, I think a slight move up may be best if one of the DL slips. Otherwise, in what I think is the most likely scenario, I would be all for trading down.

    • Rob4

      What about Gervon Dexter at #20 or even after a small trade back? Inconsistent but talented player…

      • Rob Staton

        That’s way too early for Dexter

    • Matt

      WR or CB (yes I know) are probably the best value. There will be some interesting edge guys as well – don’t love the guys projected in that range, but interesting options no less.

      Dark horse is if Mayer tests that poorly and teams overthink it.

  7. Shane

    I watched the Carroll press conference. I lost a little hope as it appears he’ll be back next season. But I’ll give him a lot of credit he wasn’t throwing out those frustrating lines of “we’re really close” and “just need to clean some stuff up” etc. He actually seemed a bit defeated and acknowledged in his own way they’re nowhere close to competing with SF,. He even mentioned it took SF years to get where they are, implying the Seahawks are years away. So my lack of hope on one hand is balanced out by this new introspective and realistic Pete in the other hand… Please don’t eff this draft up Pete!

  8. Palatypus

    Rob wrote, “This feels like a reach. For starters, no team is being influenced by something another coach says in a press conference. They have their own scouts, GM’s and Head Coaches to analyse talent and need. It’s hardly like the Carolina Panthers watched that presser today and then called an emergency meeting to plot their move up the board for a QB.”

    I think this has happened exactly once: The Ricky Wiliams trade. Mike Ditka just wouldn’t shut up about how he would give his entire draft for Ricky Williams.

    • Rob Staton

      But Ditka was the coach of the team who moved up — not the coach of the team who traded down and duped another club

  9. Jabroni-DC

    FWIW, Geno Smith,

    “I want to finish my career in Seattle. I want to be here,” he said. “The town, the city, the team, Coach (Pete) Carroll, the organization — they all embraced me. You know, I was a guy who probably could have been out of the league. They embraced me … at a time when not many people were, and that means a lot to me.

    “I got a lot of loyalty in me. And I want to repay those guys for doing that.”

    • Roy Batty

      But you would also have to counter that with Geno talking about negotiations and this, ultimately being a business decision by both parties.

      I believe Geno and his heartfelt statements, but I also think a player at his age, possibly having this be his last and only good contract, is going to go with the highest bidder and not settle for sentimental reasons. He would most likely stay in Seattle should they be really close to another teams offer.

      The statements you quote are the end of season, emotional things players let out to know they appreciate the fans and community. On the flip side, his other statement is indicative of someone who wants the fans and community to know that re-signing him is not a slam dunk, done deal. That both parties have to look after their own interests and it’s nothing personal.

      • schuemansky

        But if you had to choose between lets say 45 mil staying with the people you know care for you or getting 60 mil from an organization which at the first sign of mediocre play starts to find ways to get rid of you?

        • UkAlex6674

          It’s the NFL dude. He’s take the bag all day long.

          That’s just the way it is (great song).

          • Peter

            Can hear the piano….

            But exactly right. Geno has a lottery ticket right now. One he himself could not have necessarily ever seen coming.

            As a young man in real world terms and an older man in nfl terms this is most likely his very last chance to make a chunk of cash as large as he can. Thus, rightfully for him, he needs to maximize this.

        • Paul

          45M guaranteed v. 60M guaranteed? It’s not even a question. Anyway, any team that commits 60M to a QB is not going to get rid of him: If he’s good, he’s a bargain; if he’s less than good, no one will want him.

          • 509 Chris

            I agree he’s gotta take the best deal he can. But I also wonder how important winning is? If Seattle is close to an offer from say, Houston. Houston will give him 15 more guaranteed, but he’s still getting 60 from Seattle. Maybe stay with the club that has a better chance of winning, and keeping your personal stock higher for the next contract a few years down the road. Not saying this is exactly how it will play out but it’s an argument as to why he may be open to a slight hometown discount. Obviously Seattle has to offer something reasonable but it doesn’t have to anchor the team for years to come.

            • Peter

              Next contract?

              When he’s 36-37?

  10. ShowMeYourHawk

    Such a horribly depressing state of affairs knowing that Pete’s going to return, ensuring the continuing drift of a rudderless ship.

    Can Jody just sell the damn team already? What was the timeline Vulcan needed to operate under, per Paul’s instructions? Pete’s going to ride this “high money, low accountability” train until his contract expires.

    And, potentially wasting any cap (especially north of $20 million annually) on a QB that shows flashes of reverting back into a pumpkin every week? F*cking dire. I have to hope JS has the fortitude to let Geno hit the open market and let other teams set his annual pay. If he finds a sucker in another city; cool. If he’s rebuffed and has to return as a bridge for a sensible amount; great. We can’t build a team like we need to with the resources going towards a player like Geno. He’s the modern Tommy Maddox.

    • Seattle Person

      I know you are frustrated but Tommy Maddox? Come on man…

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        Maddox washed out for a decade before earning Comeback Player of the Year in 2002.

        You tell me, who else does that sound like? Maddox had that one good season for Pittsburgh then flamed back out, leading to Big Ben taking over.

        • Seattle Person

          They aren’t exactly the same players and Geno just put up a season that was way better than what Maddox ever did.

          That’s why I’m pushing back. It’s not the point you’re making but rather I think Maddox is sort of an insult to Geno.

          • ShowMeYourHawk

            No, they aren’t exactly the same player. Not sure if Maddox ever received a DUI.

            Yes, Geno had a better season than Maddox’ 2002. However, for the purposes of unearthing precedent that late “one-hit wonder” seasons from career flameouts can be difficult for them to replicate (especially in the wake of the majority of 12s turning their brains off in favor of sycophantic allegiance), this comparison should provide a basis as to why giving Geno any “NFL starter” guaranteed money is a fool’s errand.

            • Seattle Person

              I don’t know why you need to bring up the DUI? How does that relate to what type of players they are?

              I can certainly understand why the Hawks would want to bring him back even if it’s expensive. Finding a QB is freaking hard. If you have one that works for you then you should try to keep him.

              I am more concerned about the years than the amount of money or AVV. He’s going to get paid if he is retained. I do have a lot of worry if the contract is beyond 3 years.

              I’m for bringing him back and protecting yourself by getting a talented QB in the draft. It’s a calculated risk.

  11. Jessie

    This was honestly one of the most honest Pete’s I’ve seen in a long time. In Pete speak he essentially acknowledged this front 7 is god awful and he didn’t say anything positive about Cody Barton when asked about it.

    #5 will be interesting , was fun to hear him say how they were following the pick up and down. Wish we could of got 3 but can’t cry over spilt milk. I like Myles Murphy more then tyree Wilson just off age alone. If you put on last years tape of tyree Wilson he was far inferior to Murphy. If we take tyree Wilson it better be after trading down and getting an additional 1st rounder prior. Also Myles Murphy is an elite edge setter , I keep saying you say the notre dame game over and over as the one example. For one his offense turned the ball over like 3x or more and set up short fields for the defense. For two in all the tape I’ve watched of him he gets out and anchors the edge exceptionally well to the point I feel like we are watching two different tapes. My take away is his pass rush needs some actual moves as he relies solely on athleticism and size but his anchor setting would be a day one contributor to our team

    • Rob Staton

      Myles Murphy is not an elite edge setter

      That is not true

      From someone who watched every one of his 2022 games

      • Rob Staton

        Don’t just take my word for it either.

        KJ Henry run defense grade — 78.8
        Myles Murphy run defense grade — 72.8

        Henry outplayed Murphy all season as a pass rusher and as a run defender

  12. Seattle Person

    I have watched videos similar to the one Rob posted about the Fangio defense. This one was a pretty good one.

    It does make sense though and explains how badly this defense is and looked this past season. Recently vs the 49ers, we saw the soft shell being exploited over and over again.

    Some people were all over Woolen for his play but this type of defense doesn’t really highlight his strengths. He was 6-10 yards off of both Deebo and Aiyuk a lot of the time. Woolen didn’t have a chance in most of those plays.

    Ultimately, I hope they go to a different base defense but keeping some principles of the Fangio defense. I think it works pretty in obvious passing situations and long yardage situations. The video spelled this out pretty clearly that this type of defense works for certain QBs that wants to constantly push the ball deep. 70-80% of the time QBs in the NFL don’t do this.

    I don’t know how they are going to fix the defense but getting talent upfront and fixing certain schemes to let players play free will help.

    • GoHawksDani

      They didn’t change scheme mid-season. Woolen just dropped the ball hard this time.
      And lining up 6-10 yards would be better for him then rest of the CBs his short area closing speed is superb.

      But he’s not a top3 CB. Not even a top10 now.
      He could be, but probably needs 1-2-3 more years.
      He had good games but this game he was totally destroyed by Mr Irrelevant and some better but also not top3-5 WRs

  13. BobbyK

    The DL really does truly suck. This we know. Glad to hear Pete admit that much in the best way he could. I think our LBs suck, too. Brooks isn’t good, he just gets a lot of tackles in part because the defense is so poor and they play so many extra snaps because they can’t ever get off the field. I think the praise for Brooks has more to do with him not actually sucking as a 1st round pick.

    I can see them ignoring center until the 4th-5th round and trying to groom him to eventually take over for BJ Finney… I mean Drew Nowak… oh, wait, I mean Kristjan Sokoli… I mean Blythe to play a crap center and then wonder why we suck so bad at being the bully running up the middle.

    • Big Mike

      Man there’s a murderer’s row of centers. Thanks for the sad reminder Bobby.

      • Daniel D.

        A lot of decent, low cost centers will be available in free agency. I still can’t figure out how Blythe ended up with 4m coming off of a season that he didn’t start and barely played. Given the needs on the defensive side, I hope they don’t draft at center before the fourth or fifth round.

        • Peter


          If they got van pran with their second first rounder I’d do back flips.

          Decent, low cost. We’ve done that for a decade and they have all sucked.

          Maybe if we’re going to be the bully and run the rock and protect the qb we stop with the grocery outlet value deals on positions that are a “premium,” if not in tge league, then at least how Seattle alleges it wants to play.

          • Peter

            And I also acknowledge needs on defense.

            How’s this. Ika in the second keion white in the third.

            And a better scheme.

    • L80

      With all the praise for PC’s presser, it has to be pointed out that praising one of the biggest and obvious liabilities on the line completely washes out everything else he said. I watched every miserable moment of Blythe and I simply can’t believe that ANYONE would praise that.

      To me it just solidifies the very fact that (2022 draft class be damned), I don’t trust these guys to get 2 drafts in a row right. How can you turn dreadful, abysmal, terrible play at center into praise.

      I have ZERO faith in this draft despite all the picks. What a buffoon thing to say / believe. We’ll just keep putting a band-aid on a gaping, gushing wound…..Holy shit.

      • Peter

        Unspoken but true.

        Not just because of their past performance but there is an extremely strong chance that they will have a hard time replicating the level of success they had with the last draft.

        It’s possible if they draft lb, rg, fs that everyone of those players could start immediately and make a big impact and feel like a win.

        However. “We’re,” still talking about Adams. Still praising Blythe. It’s things like that, that worry me quite a bit.

        10 years essentially to find a good if not great center. I hear and read all the time that you can get a center late or in FA yet somehow this team can’t.

        Brooks is a difference maker?

        As Rob pointed out and we’ve all seen with our own eyes he is not. I’ve not parsed Tanner Muse’s every snap but it sure seemed like nothing materially changed with him on the field.

      • Happy Hawk

        What was Blythe’s season grade and ranking amongst the centers this year?

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      Don’t worry Bobby, they got you covered. They still have Joey Hunt on speed dial.

    • Kyle R

      I don’t think its a coincidence that we stopped being a bully in the run game when we last had a good Center.

  14. Roy Batty

    Two things really stand out for me. One from after the game and one from his interview.

    The first is how pissed he looked at the end of that game. Normally, that’s the look he gives when a questionable thing happened that may have cost them the game. Last Saturday he looked disgusted and fed up with all things Seahawks defense.

    The second thing is his savvy hedging on all things draft day. He talked about needing to improve the front seven. He talked about the great QB prospects and how #5 is a rare opportunity. He talked about trading down, to a much lesser degree, but still kept it in the conversation. As Schneider says, we always answer the phone.

    I must also reiterate what many have said, and that is the look on John’s face, and his “eff this shit” body language as the final seconds ticked off that game. The man is biting back bile from watching a team they used to routinely beat just embarrass them for the 3rd time this year. The man looked like he was going into the tunnel, already planning for a defensive-centric draft. As you said, Rob, that doesn’t mean he won’t draft a QB should he be there at 5. It does mean he will be grabbing the defensive BPAs, and grabbing fallen offensive talent that is high on their own big board when available.

    I am optimistic for them executing a draft plan that works. They followed the script last year and it worked. There is no reason they won’t this year. This isn’t a situation where they are desperate and make a reach with their first pick. They have enough picks in the first two rounds to help fill some holes. Some of the many holes. It’s a sad state to be in, but it also gives them more flexibility. No desperation to plug a major need. No LJ Collier reach because all their preferred Dlinemen were already gone. They can chose from a variety of position groups and fill a need.

    Can’t wait for the new mock.

  15. Andrew

    Curtis Allens post was fantastic & chalked full of great info. I agree Rob, Stroud declaring for draft today really solidifed #5, Appreciate the content and sacrifice to get us your content. Cheers

  16. dand393

    Does anybody know if Sedrick Van Pran declared today I can’t find any info

    • Seattle Person

      He’s had a couple of really difficult days. I doubt football is important right now to him. He’ll probably make his decision soon but it’s understandable if it’s not on his mind.

      • Jabroni-DC

        What happened. I don’t see anything. Today was the deadline to get paperwork in for the draft.

        • Seattle Person

          One of the Georgia players recently passed away due to a car accident. A bunch of the players were traveling to a location. Van Pran was one of the players to arrive at the scene after the accident. Really tragic.

          I didn’t realize today was the deadline. I’m not sure how the accident affected Van Pran and his decision.

          Also linked in Rob’s post. https://twitter.com/dawgwholifts/status/1615059482618302488

          • Jabroni-DC

            Ohh man…

          • UkAlex6674

            That’s heartbreaking. It really is. I held my mum for her last seconds. Grateful but scarred for life.

            Whenever and wherever he decides to play he is going to play with next level intensity now to honour his friend. Guaranteed.

    • Steve Nelsen

      No word on Pran yet. He was supposedly being the 3rd best C in the draft which would project to maybe 3rd or even 4th round. Hopefully he pays attention to Rob and sees himself as a late 1st or 2nd rounder.

    • Scot04

      Maybe the NFL gave him a special exemption uder the circumstances & extended his declaration date. It would seem like the right thing to do, especially if he asked.

  17. Zxvo3

    That was fantastic Rob, and Cha’s article yesterday really opened my eyes about Seattle’s cap situation. I was very pleased about Pete Carroll’s comment about the QBs and how it’s a great opportunity. But the majority of press conference he was talking about the front seven. Let’s say he and John Schneider agree to draft a QB at 5. By the comments he made today, I feel like it would be silly to assume that their native first round pick will be anything but a defensive lineman. But I struggle to see who would be their pick.

    Calijah Kancey has short arms and we assume Mazi Smith also has short arms. Will they change their preference about defensive linemen? Could it be risky Bryan Bresee or K.J. Henry? I don’t know if anyone feels the same way, but I don’t see the value in selecting a defensive lineman in that range.

    • JimQ

      Per the below website, Mazi Smith has 33-6/8″ arms, sounds long enough. Smith with Kancey beside him could be an “exciting” combo, (super strong next to super quick). Kancey’s arm length is unknown but is likely less than 32″ considering his height. However, I have the belief that with him it’s not a big problem, his strengths are very much in his quickness and get-off. I see him a lot like a “greased pig” that explodes into the backfield & is very disrupting to the QB as well as in the running game. I hope the Seahawks can draft both of them (and more). I also like Drew Sanders if he’s available early day-2 at MLB to shore up the middle. The Seahawks helped the offensive trenches, now it’s time to build the defensive side and add a few key offensive players (including QB, OC, WR) as well.


      • Seattle Person

        I have no problems if it’s QB, Kancey, Skinner, Sanders. Probably a dream but tons of speed and aggression there.

  18. Nick

    Great point on Wilson. Pete and John have always looked for DL profiles like Tyree Wilson…that sort of height, length, weight, and speed is just so rare. Cannot wait to see his 10 yard split!

    • Peter

      The problem with Wilson is where was any production. Relative to him looking like a freakshow out there it was kind of a so-so time in college playing against a not murderers row of teams known for their epic olines.

    • Steve Nelsen

      The 10-yard split is an interesting comment. Rob correctly identified that as a key trait Seattle looks for in drafting DL, especially LEOs. But, in a 3-4 there isn’t the same role for a LEO. The “wick get-off” “great bend” types end up playing OLB like Boye Mafe. I’m hoping to hear comments about Wilson like “He sets the edge really well” and “strong” but I wonder if the 10-yard split goal moves from 1.6 or lower to 1.65.

  19. OTS

    Random musings.

    Let’s hope the fifth pick doesn’t come round again anytime soon. If there is a QB they like, take the QB. Otherwise, trade down? So many holes to fill.

    Indianapolis is a dumpster fire. if not Payne or Hargrave via free agency, maybe they part with Buckner’s $20 million salary via trade. Do not know if that is realistic. Fits 3-4 end or 4-3 tackle. Gets pressure, forces fumbles, solid run D. Chris Ballard not dumb, though, only sane person in building.

    Ika or Mazi Smith would sure look good in the middle of the line. Keep Al Woods around.

    Will need a LB and nobody stands out so far in the draft so far. FA possibilities Pratt, Okereke, VdEsch, Edmunds. More after combine numbers.

    Need to draft and develop a FS. Miss after miss there.

    Remember how good Clowney was setting the edge and playing the run in general?

    Hope a stud C or G falls to them 2RD or thereabouts. Adding a threat WR also a need. Later, a bruising RB.

    Geno 3yr/$75M seems reasonable.

    • DJ 1/2 way

      Another top five pick would be sweet from another trade. Maybe it is a trade down with the Raiders, Falcons or Panthers. Maybe they trade DK and port of the haul is a top five.

      • DJ 1/2 way


  20. Daniel D.

    Never thought reading analysis of a presser would be so enjoyable but that’s where we’re at. I truly appreciate the level of analysis provided here.

    Agree that Pete in no way would’ve tipped his hand about the direction of the pick, but if you’re looking for tea leaves, they are pointing to QB. It would be wild to come away from the top of this draft with anything else.

    The idea of a free agent DL is intriguing. My guess is that Payne’s deal will be out of reach for the Seahawks, who will be up against it in any scenario where they keep Geno for another year or two. But if you let your eyes wander down the list of available players, you see Sheldon Rankins, who I remember as a draft target and who played well for the Jets this year. Zach Allen is also young and talented, and I’m sure there are others. Would make a lot of sense for the Seahawks to look for players who have flashed without breaking out, a la Uchenna.

    Finally, I think it’s a really positive sign that the Seahawks are going to stick with Hurtt rather than dumping him after a season. From the outside, we don’t see what he’s got control over, but a line that features the shell of Bruce Irvin, whose anchor is a UDFA who is solid but not spectacular, it’s hard to expect miracles. Better to dig deep and make it right.

  21. JJ


    What would you need to see from Wilson at senior bowl and combine to make him worth the 5th pick?

  22. Steve Nelsen

    Rob, who will you be asking Jim about?

  23. Jabroni-DC

    Chad Reuter giving a shout out to Georgia Tech DL Keion White as his pick for #1 riser at the Senior Bowl.


    Watching some of his highlights he went step for step with a WR about 30 yards down field into the end zone. Pretty crazy at 6’5″ 286 lbs.

    • Peter

      White is this year’s mafe for me.

      I watched a few games and interviews. Funny, humble, smart. Looks freaking long and big just standing there.

      Probably a plus athlete.

  24. Steve Nelsen

    I try not to favor any players prior to the Senior Bowl because it is more disappointing when their measurements don’t come through. But, that being said. I am really looking forward to seeing how Skinner does. I know we need front 7. I know we have Ryan Neal and Adams but…I would love to see Skinner bring some big hitting back to the secondary.

  25. Steve Nelsen

    With Pete talking about not changing the scheme, it might mean they will be looking for slightly different types of defensive linemen. A 3-4 needs a nose tackle who can take up 2 blockers and the defensive ends are both 5-techniques (like Red Bryant) whose primary responsibility is setting the edge to stop the run, not rushing the passer. The LEO Cliff Avril role doesn’t exist. Neither does the 3T Michael Bennett role. I don’t see any 5Ts on the roster now. NTs and true 5Ts are not expensive so I wonder if Rob’s thoughts about adding in FA might be possible even if Geno is kept. Most of your expensive star FAs are pass rush DEs or pass rush 3Ts.

    Taylor is a bit undersized for the 5T role and will either need to bulk up or show he has the speed to compete with Nwosu and Mafe at OLB.

    • Seattle Person

      It depends on what front you’re trying to run. At the beginning of the season, the Hawks were placing Poona and Shelby Harris in 4i techniques. Harris has experience doing this but not Poona. The later just doesn’t have the size to constantly hold blocks or take on double teams. Woods was your 1i or 0 tech.

      When the team had the most success on defense was when they played more Bear fronts. Poona and Harris were moved to the 3T and Woods/Mone was your traditional NT.

      What you’re describing is a traditional uniform front in a 3-4. You want a couple of 5T that are big, long, and powerful. Think JJ Watt or Calais Campbell.

      I have no idea what will work. I tend to think they need to upgrade the players first and then apply the front that best fits those players.

      • Steve Nelsen

        I think the scheme switch to 3-4 left Seattle with a bunch of players drafted for a 4-3 that don’t fit. They were playing out of position with poor results. They tried Woods at 5T but that didn’t work. Poona and Mone aren’t 5Ts either. You could make a case for keeping one or two of these guys to play NT but I don’t think any other DT on the current roster fits a 3-4. Taylor is the only current DE with a chance to stick in my opinion. They need at least one starting 5T in the draft or FA, a young cheap NT, and they need to completely retool their bench.

        We also need to add a lot more speed at LB. Nwosu and Brooks (when he returns) fit this scheme. We need Mafe to show he can replace Irvin.

        • Seattle Person

          Not sure if Taylor can ever be a 5T. It’s just not about the weight but he needs to hold up against blocks and set the edge a lot. We have little evidence he could do that and it’s not something i want him to do if he’s not good at it.

          Woods have the girth but not the footspeed to be a 5T. Red Bryant for someone his size could really move. Harris is a weird one to me. He is undersized but seems to cause a lot of disruptions at time. We’ll see what players they decide to pursue in FA and the draft. It might give us a better idea of what fronts they want to implement.

          I agree that they tried to plug squares into round holes this past season. I hope they find a direction and find the right players to play the schemes they want.

  26. All I see is 12s

    Appreciate the very thoughtful article Rob. I recently felt for a taste of what you deal with daily. Yesterday, I was killed on Twitter for suggesting that Pete Caroll tenure had run its course. Instead of a simple agree to disagree, the name calling and insults were abundant. However, there was one somewhat rational conversation to be had…
    The more we interacted it occured to me how less impressive this season was. Five of our 9 wins were against teams picking in the top 10- one more in the top 13. And wins over Detroit, NY and LA during low points in their seasons. It’s even worse when considered lost to 4 more teams picking in the top 10.
    All that considered, in moving forward we have to acknowledge that Smith was very good but not great. The idea of giving him 30 million seems like just more scotch tape when the roster needs so much more work. Would definitely prefer a an FA like Payne along with resigning Lock on the cheap and drafting Levis/ Richardson.

    • Rob Staton

      Appreciate the very thoughtful article Rob. I recently felt for a taste of what you deal with daily. Yesterday, I was killed on Twitter for suggesting that Pete Caroll tenure had run its course. Instead of a simple agree to disagree, the name calling and insults were abundant.

      This happens all the time

      People are really intolerant of you speaking out about anything in the Seahawks-sphere. Then you get the usual attempts to undermine. It’s often not name-calling, it’s more accusations of being irrational. Because it’s easy to accuse someone of that than actually counter their points, or — seemingly — accept they simply disagree.

      I just block anyone who goes down that road — which then in turn leads to accusations that you’re too sensitive or don’t like opposing views. I debate with people all the time online. No issue at all with opposing views. But if you’re going to drag things out forever, make things personal, try and make out other people are irrational for disagreeing and keep on and on with passive aggressive nonsense — you can bore off. I do this in my spare time!

  27. Julian L

    Something I’d be interested to know about from Jim Nagy, if you think it’s a relevant question, is why Will Levis hasn’t accepted his invite to the Senior Bowl? He looks like a character who’d really benefit from the week, much in the way Justin Herbert did?

    Is he injured, maybe, but injured players such as Mac Jones have attended before?

    • Rob Staton

      He has been recovering from injury to be fair

      I will touch on it though

  28. Forrest

    I’d love to see the Hawks add a MLB and DT in free agency:

    LB: Lavonte David or Tremaine Edmunds
    DT: Javon Hargrave or Dalvin Tomlinson

    That sets the draft up nicely.

    • Zeke

      Or 25 year old Da’Ron Payne like Rob suggested in his piece.

      They could bring in two maybe 3 impact free agents to add to the front 7 for the price it takes to sign Geno.

      • Steve Nelsen

        Tomlinson played DE for a 3-4 defense so he fits what we need. Hargrave was a 4-3 DT and I don’t know that he projects well to DE in a 3-4.

        Payne is a 4-3 DT so he also projects to DE in a 3-4. He is so expensive, mainly because of his pass-rushing skills. Can he set the edge in a 3-4, stop the run and still pressure the passer? I would hate to sign him to a big contract only to find out he isn’t as well suited for a 3-4 as he was for a 4-3.

    • Trevor

      Forget the big $ contract for Geno. Resign Lock or another Vet and draft a QB at 5.

      Then would love to see the Hawks cut Diggs, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson ($36 mil in cap savings) then use their cap space to add one young impact free agent at each level of the defense up the middle.

      DT Payne
      LB Termaine Edmunds
      S Chauncey Gardner Johnson

      All there guys are still young and can be true impact players. Enough with wasting all the teams cap space on 1 yr deals with average Vets to plug holes.

      • Peter

        Pretty solid set up.

      • Big Mike

        Love it Trevor. Give Carroll a call and convince him.

  29. Dubb

    I agree. If they can sign one of the big DTs like Hargrave; and add a lesser guy like Greg Gaines; and draft a young DT it could change the look of the line in a hurry.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      If traits and measurements are important to them, I doubt they are signing Greg Gaines and his T-Rex arms.

  30. DriveByPoster

    I agree with others that the CJ Stroud announcement makes it much more likely that the ‘hawks draft QB at #5. After that, I think that Pete’s ‘more explosive’ comment will dominate their draft strategy. I hope that you have been practising your TEF calculations Rob, because I think they are going to be super important for this year’s Senior Bowl & Combine! 😀

    Also, just to chime in with the praise for cha’s cap article. Top work Curtis!

  31. TatupuTime

    I’m trying to remain cautiously optimistic that a QB will be in the conversation at 5. Pete at least acknowledged with his last answer that spending big money on a quarterback makes it harder to rebuild the defense. Other than Pete’s age, I do harbour hope that he’d see the advantages of a cheap young QB starting. I think Pete still believes at his core that he can win with an elite D, a strong run game and a game manager QB that protects the ball.

    Geno at least has to have planted the concern in his mind about protecting the ball – he turned it over in the second half and got very lucky he didn’t turn it over a lot more.

    I don’t think Carter will have a massive impact year one. Wilson definitely needs developmental time. If that’s the case are you really that far off from sitting a QB for a year or taking some year one rookie QB lumps? I’d be disappointed if they don’t take a swing at a QB this year.

  32. Peter


    Massive respect for all the work you do.

    Like others I start my mornings with a quick look around the now daily mocks just to see if there are patterns forming.

    Saw one from a paid writer who had Seattle taking a corner in the second round. Now I don’t necessarily expect every writer to know the ins and outs of our team. But when a team has never done something with the same regime for a decade plus and they just drafted two corners that are starters a year earlier….
    Maybe not that as a pick.

    Re: tyree wilson. Same draft had us trade down and select him ninth overall. In that spot I’d probably be less grumpy about the pick. Sort of Cross level. Split that good but late enough you aren’t necessarily bummed on not selecting a world beater….

    However it was so an NFC team could select Stroud at #5. Which is the dilemma for me on any dline player. As Rob, Robbie, and Adam have mentioned on the last few podcasts. If any qb is selected where Seattle could have had them (in this case Stroud at #5, Richardson at #14,) ends up good to great and the player we select is anything less than said QB in overall performance to me….it’s a massive fail of the Wilson trade.

    • Trevor

      Agree completely.

  33. Denver Hawker

    The game has most certainly changed: https://twitter.com/sharpfootball/status/1615198815400624129?s=46&t=Rs539dDtul853iakRkTaRw

    That said, some of the top defenses are featured in there too.

    • Peter

      Additionally another thing that is old and is new again, I count 4-5 of those teams that the run game is very important.

      • Denver Hawker

        That was a big theme this weekend for sure

  34. Trevor

    Did Sedrick Van Pran declare?

    • Rob Staton

      Nobody knows — no announcement either way

      Not surprising given the last few days, I hope the league and Georgia give him space and time and an extension to make his decision

      • Trevor

        Agreed I hope Georgia and the made an accommodation given the tradgic situation.

  35. Trevor

    At #20 I hope the Hawks either trade back to add more Day 2 draft capital where there seems to be great value or truly focus on the BPA.

    My preference in order are:

    Brian Branch- The Hawks have not had a smart tough leader in the secondary since Kam and Sherm Left. Don’t like taking a Safety this high but I think Branch is worth it.

    Micheal Mayer- This is a really good TE class with guys like Kincad and Musgrove but Mayer looks like a 10yr pro bowler at the position and would be ideal safety blanket for our new rookie QB.

    Brian Breese- Might be the most physically talented player in the draft along with Carter. Worth taking a shot at finding a potential game wrecker. Massive Risk but also Massive potential reward.

    Siaki Ika- If the Hawks plan to stick with 3-4 they need a beast in the middle of the DL and Ika is exactly that.

    Sedric Van Pran (If he declares)- Would prefer to wait till the early 2nd to grab him but he is the best C prospect since Creed Humphries who is a pro bowler and I think Van Pran is better.

  36. Mr drucker in hooterville

    What are the opinions of the ‘other qbs’? Haener, Bennet, McKee… if they don’t draft one at #5….

    • Palatypus

      Rob has said that Tanner Mckee is Mike Glennon 2.0. Pretty sure most people here will agree that Stetson Bennett has elite intangibles, but there isn’t anything impressive about him athletically. Jake Haener flourished at Fresno State under current Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer. Michael Penix has surgically reconstructed knees and is probably still a better athlete, but Rob has called Penix a system quarterback.

      • Spectator

        Penix isnt in this draft, he returned. DTR is the “other qb” that is interesting. Hooker as well (though much older player unfortunately).

        • Palatypus

          I assumed everyone knew Penix was returning.

          • Spectator

            Then why would you mention him with the other qbs?

            • Palatypus

              Because they played in the same system. For comparison.

      • Jabroni-DC

        Bennett’s athleticism was pretty impressive vs Ohio State. The dude scoots around. He’s quick. He’s small for an NFL QB for sure but he has a winners vibe. Betting he’ll be a fan favorite when he sees the field. I’d happily take him in the 4th.

        • Matt

          The problem with Bennett is that he will be 26 years old by Week 6 of his rookie year.

  37. Ben

    My favorite, ignoring real world consequences and risks, plan for the bears? Trade Fields and trade down from 1 as far as you can safely and get Richardson (or whoever is left). You’d still have a running QB, reset the clock on the rookie contract, get a pile of picks from Fields and a #1 overall pick. Plenty of cap room to get a guy like Geno or Garapollo to hold the fort down while adding a FA leader or two.

  38. Spectator

    Could Nolan Smith play the same roll that Micah Parsons does in Dallas? He has the similar height weight as Parsons. I would love if we could grab Smith at some point. Maybe our early Second.

    • Greg H

      I feel like Drew Sanders could be more like Parsons.

      • Rob Staton


  39. John

    Hello Rob, what would be your thought on Hendon Hooker?
    His ACL injury means a redshirt year, but we are looking at development for a year or two.
    I do not watch much college, lots of research, come draft time.
    Hookers #’s are fantastic.
    Sign Geno to a reasonable contract 2-3 yr at 20 per with incentives. (I don’t see much competition for services).

    • dand393

      Hooker just turned 25, I’d hard pass on him

      • BK26

        And he had an offense where he was told what to do pre-snap. So he is older, needs time to learn, and coming off of a big injury.

        If it isn’t Richardson, Levis, or Stroud, then it’s a very hard “no” for me for the rest of the draft.

        I could take DTR maybe in the third, Bennett even later than that, but won’t move the needle for any plus for the future. Just my take.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve written a lot about Hooker

      He is very scheme dependant for me — I don’t see a lot to get excited about

  40. Bellinghamster

    Given the importance of, and the speculation about, the quarterback position, it would be really useful Rob, to have a paragraph from you regarding your views of Drew Lock and his role going forward. Pete Carroll consistently speaks highly of him and has previously implied that, absent Geno, Lock would then be ‘his guy’.

    • Rob Staton

      Well he’s a free agent at the moment so not really much to say until he is re-signed

  41. GoHawks5151

    Dane Bruglers mock draft has us trading out of 5 to Carolina and getting 93rd pick and a 2024 1st as a result. Carolina takes Stroud. Seattle takes Tyree Wilson at 9. Seattle also drafts Jordan Addison at 20.

    I do not like this

    • Peter

      His draft I reference above is a complete mess for us. Not just players but positions.

      Must be nice to be names in a hat and draw them at random.

      • GoHawks5151

        Yeah it’s interesting to say the least. His freaks list is about the only thing you can take l really reference

    • Rob Staton

      That’s not enough to trade out of a potential long term franchise QB

      It would be a draft setting us up to be average

      • Peter

        The problem as I see it is if any trade away from qb for next year’s first back fires and it goes the opposite of the broncos then how is it a win if we then have to burn multiple firsts in the teens to go up and get a qb when we might get one this year.

        That’s not a net positive for me for a single defensive player who as of yet doesn’t look like a game wrecker.

        • Rob Staton

          Spot on

      • Spectator

        If we make that trade with Stroud, Levis, or AR still on the board, I would hate it. But if those three and Anderson are gone and carolina is making the trade to get Young, I wouldnt hate it. I do not like the Addison pick, but Wilson at 9 wouldnt be horrible.

    • Rob Staton

      I just read the full mock and had to rub my eyes to see if it was real

      WTAF 😳

      It’s all over the place, even for a way too early mock

  42. Jordan

    Drafting at 5 & 20, right around the range where many were projecting prior to the season except for one major caveat.

  43. Roy Batty

    So this should brighten the day for more than a few of you.

    Brock just now wanted to bring up the Jamal Adams situation, as it relates to the cap. Salk told him he did too, but for another day when they had more time.

    • Peter

      I wonder when the time is right?

      A multi hour sports show per week with very little seattle sports to talk about right now.

      No draft.

      No free agency.

      No march madness.

      No spring baseball.

      I guess tons of hockey talk….

      • Roy Batty

        They have a set list of things they go over. So maybe tomorrow.

    • cha

      Thanks for the tip Roy. It would be interesting to hear what is discussed.

      I will never quite understand how Adams displaced RW as the sacred cow no one could talk about critically – even when RW was still a Seahawk.

      • Roy Batty

        I look at it as a kind of Voldemort thing.

        Acknowledging it makes it real.

      • Big Mike

        I dunno cha, maybe Dave Wyman convinced them he’s a great player still. He’s sure spent a lot of time trying to convince listeners that’s the case.
        Brock isn’t beholden to Pete Carroll and the franchise so he’s gonna speak his mind and I love it. PLEASE, someone post the gist of what’s said tomorrow!

      • Big Mike

        And cha, as for why the peacock became a sacred cow, it’s actually quite simple……if he’s criticized, Pete Carroll is being criticized by extension and no one at 710 is seemingly in the least bit interested in being remotely critical of Pete Carroll.

      • Bmseattle

        There was such a strong defense of Adams by so many.
        Those same people, now that their arguments have been shown to be undefendable, would rather just squash discussion than engage in any debate that would acknowledge that they were so wrong…and so often arrogant and condescending while beimg wrong.

        This phenomena is rampant in society, of course…not specific to sports.

        • Big Mike

          Dave Wyman doesn’t like your post Bmseattle.

    • Romeo A57

      The next time they disculss this issue will be on June 2,2023 after Jamal Adams is cut, Salk will say that it was a great and smat move by the organization. He will also say that Carroll is a very good looking man and that John Schnieder is very intelligent.

  44. Ashish

    Thank you Rob and SDB members for suggesting some names for DT and LB in free agency. Free agency is 2 months away while we are waiting does hawks resign Lock/Geno? what about current Safeties? some interesting decisions which will setup the draft day.

  45. DCSeattle

    Oh this defense. While giving up after a year is rarely applauded, this didn’t work and there is no sign it will work no matter who they add. Broken record, but the Fangio defense clearly doesn’t work without Fangio calling the shots. So, you either hire Fangio, or drop it.

    I say drop it. Not only was the defense a disaster, there was no improvement throughout the season. As bad as KNJ was, the defenses tended to improve through the season. On an individual level the terrible tackling, blown assignments, etc. also scream coaching to me. There is a lack of talent, but these guys can be coached up. Again, no signs of improvement throughout the season by individuals (excluding the rookies), and arguably regression (Taylor, Poona, for example) also are bad signs. The defense needs a coaching and scheme overhaul.

    And Rob, you put it so well – what’s the point in acquiring guys to fit this scheme if it continues to fail and you dump it in 2-3 years? I’d much rather look at what’s working in the NFL right now, and emulate that. Let’s pull from the 49ers coaching group and go with their D, just like the Hawks did on offense pulling from the Rams coaches and trying their offense.

    I want to add that as much heat as Pete gets for forcing the team to do things “Pete’s way”, he hasn’t gotten credit for making the change to the defense. “His way” wasn’t meeting the standard anymore, so he turned the defense over to a whole different scheme. It didn’t work, but this should be encouraging if Pete is sticking around. A willingness to make that big a change at this point in his career is a big deal.

  46. Jabroni-DC

    It’s going to be very interesting what kind of market Geno Smith finds in free agency. Maybe I’m way behind the inflation curve but there are some severely overpaid quarterbacks out there. Perhaps the pendulum swings back a bit & Geno settles for something in upper teens, give or take? To me that’s still big money.

  47. Steve Nelsen


    Would you be willing to do a “Front 7 Rebuild” article to help frame Seattle’s draft/FA needs? How are the positional roles different from the 4-3 that we have all become very familiar with.

    Last year was Year One in a new 3-4 scheme and so it was a reasonable plan for the team to start by seeing which current players could capably transition to fill roles in the new scheme. I think we all agree that the overall results were poor. This feels more like an overhaul than a tune-up and I think Pete’s presser shows that his assessment is similar.

    I respect your player assessment insights very much. I’m curious about how you are adjusting your evaluations for team fit in light of the new scheme. I think you could help lead all of us through this paradigm shift.

    For instance, I was told, “If your ends can’t set the edge, your run defense is screwed.” That really hit home for me because I think our ends did in fact do a poor job of setting the edge last year and our run defense was poor. But, which FAs and draft prospects can set the edge? That isn’t as easy to find out as sacks, tackles for loss, and WB pressures.

    I think a lot of us are still evaluating potential additions through our long-standing 4-3 filters.

  48. DAWGFan

    Hawks are going to need to add (2) middle LB’s in either the draft or through FA. Barton just is not an every day starter and Brooks won’t be back until week 12 at the earliest next year, if he plays at all. Regardless of what Pete said yesterday it is highly unlikely they pick up the option. Depth at the position is terrible.

  49. hoggs41

    I really feel like Drew Sanders could be an option at 20 or possibly 37. Seems like you can get two things done at one. Some pass rush as well as linebacker. Guy had some great moments this year.

    • Rob Staton


  50. Rob Staton

    30 mins with Jim Nagy dropping shortly

  51. Robert Las Vegas

    Zach charbonnet declare for the draft I wouldn’t hate it if the Seahawks drafted him.

  52. samprassultanofswat

    When Pete Carroll talked about “Fixing the Pass Rush”. I wish Brock/Salk would have pressed the issue. Ask Carroll you have said that every year since 2019. And it has not worked. How do you plan on tackling the Pass Rush this yea?. What are you going to do this year that you didn’t do in previous years?

    • cha

      Grading on their low scale of asking good questions, I thought they did terrific.

      Pete talked about having difference-makers that needed to be accounted for on every play. He named Aaron Donald as that type of player, and in relation to the Niners he pointed to Bosa and Armstead.

      They retorted with “who do you have now that teams need to account for on every snap?” which is a great strategic question that underlines that don’t have anyone like that. Pete stumbling into saying Brooks, Uchenna and maybe Woolen some day made the point and was revealing.

      • Rob Staton

        They retorted with “who do you have now that teams need to account for on every snap?” which is a great strategic question that underlines that don’t have anyone like that. Pete stumbling into saying Brooks, Uchenna and maybe Woolen some day made the point and was revealing.

        That was a fantastic follow-up question

  53. Connor

    Interesting statistical analysis over on fieldgulls estimating how much we benefited from our schedule. Places it at 4-5 wins that we didn’t earn based on the performance of our offense and defense. It doesn’t account for special teams which seems pretty flawed, but still, more evidence for our record being a bit of a mirage.

    • BobbyK

      Don’t you know what a great year it was? How dare anyone try to critically think or use common sense.

  54. Tomas

    Pete’s good at talking. Action, not words, please.

  55. AB

    Hi Rob,
    Apologies if you’ve covered this somewhere already … but how does Richardson stack up against Trey Lance as a prospect in your opinion?

    • Rob Staton

      Very different players

  56. DJ 1/2 way

    It is not often that I disagree with Rob or even agree with a poster who disagrees with Rob, but here is a case.

    Comparing Mahomes/Alex Smith with 2023 Rookie/Geno Smith is off in a couple key measures. Thirty-three year old Alex Smith had two years left on a four year, $68 million dollar extension when KC drafted Mahomes in 2017. Seattle would be signing a 32 yo free agent Geno Smith to a market rate contract to act as a one or two year mentor to his replacement. Alex had good years with the 49ers and Chiefs and was not deperate to either prove himself or stay the starter. Geno has one good year, is desperate to prove himself and will be after top dollar. KC was able to trade Alex Smith before the 2018 season. It would be difficult cap wise to trade Geno Smith after one season on his new contract.

    I think another veteran QB would better serve the purpose and do so at a price that will not hinder the rebuild of the defense so much. My first pick would be Gardner Minshew, but I am sure there would be better options. I would not pay Geno more than $10 million, but would prefer a player paid similar to Geno in 2022 with a $1-2 million dollar salary. Getting a player at $5-6 might be a good compromise. Who could that be?

    • Rob Staton

      Alex Smith was not a mentor to Mahomes. He didn’t view it that way at all and was in a very similar situation to Smith. He also was very determined in his final season, having already lost a job once before in San Fransisco and knew he was playing for his next opportunity in the league.

      His contract paid him $17m in 2017 which very much was a market value contract for the time.

      To me they are near identical situations

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