The 2021 defensive tackle draft class is very appealing

Jordan Davis has excelled for Georgia this year

I’m not convinced the Seahawks will look to draft a defensive tackle early in 2021.

After all, they didn’t add a defensive tackle to replace Al Woods until Snacks Harrison arrived mid-season.

Forward planning wouldn’t be the worst idea though. Jarran Reed is out of contract after the 2021 season. Poona Ford is a restricted free agent at the end of the current season. Bryan Mone is soon to be an exclusive rights free agent.

So beyond next year, there are question marks at the position.

It’s possible they simply retain all three and roll with what they’ve got.

Ford has been a revelation this season. One of the big unnoticed moments on Sunday was Ford racing downfield to tackle Josh Reynolds after a whiff in coverage then a missed tackle by Shaquill Griffin. Ford tackled Reynolds 26 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He’s PFF’s 13th highest graded defensive tackle and Seattle’s highest graded defender overall. Ford has developed into a crucial part of the Seahawks defense and should be rewarded with a long term contract.

Mone also warrants serious praise. The only players graded higher on Seattle’s defense are Ford, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and D.J. Reed.

Jarran Reed is another story. He is graded very poorly by PFF, ranking as the 96th best defensive tackle. With a $13.5m cap hit next season, there’s a question to be asked on whether they can justify his salary. However, there’s a reason why they made a big play to retain Reed in the off-season. They seriously value his leadership and he’s often the one in the middle of the pre-game scrum, rallying the troops. Reed also has 6.5 sacks this season. In his last two ‘full’ seasons, he has 17 sacks. It’s not easy to find defensive tackles who can produce those numbers — even if you wouldn’t necessarily classify Reed as a dynamic pass rusher.

The fact they weren’t even willing to retain Snacks Harrison by simply making him active against the Rams suggests they are comfortable with this trio. Any further depth could be acquired in the form of a cheap UDFA or veteran free agent.

You never know what the future holds though. Can you keep Reed beyond 2021? How easy will it be to retain Ford and Mone?

The early signs are the 2021 draft will be strong at the position. If nothing else, it looks like a class worth tapping into.

It’s not the only area of strength. The interior O-line group has some intriguing options assuming everyone declares. Notre Dame left guard Aaron Banks is terrific. Ohio State duo Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers could both go in the first round. Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater is overrated as a tackle option but could be a decent second round guard. The injury to Alabama’s Landon Dickerson is a real shame, given his major potential at center.

There’s also depth and talent at receiver and tight end plus it’s a better looking EDGE rush group.

With the Seahawks not picking until the end of round two, we need to try and identify the deep positions in the class.

Here’s a look at the defensive tackles who could go in the first three rounds.

Daviyon Nixon (DT, Iowa)
His gap discipline at 6-3 and 305lbs is superb. He knows what his role is, he can control the LOS or split his blocks to force runs back inside. He can afford to be patient because he’s just so nimble and athletic for his size. His frame is big, strong and powerful but he flashes quickness and he’s opportunistic. He can bully opponents and shoot gaps equally well. He has every chance to be a very high pick.

Haskell Garrett (DT, Ohio State)
Incredible talent who combines fantastic quickness and athleticism with an aggressive, physical mentality. He ran a 4.41 short shuttle at SPARQ at 298lbs which is an outstanding time and he added a 5.13 forty. His hand use enables him to create openings and his agility and speed make him a threat as a pass rusher. He was recently shot in the face but remarkably returned very quickly, missing minimal time. Don’t be surprised if he’s a big riser as the draft process develops.

Alim McNeill (DT, NC State)
He is a physical freak. At SPARQ he ran a 4.27 short shuttle — a time most defensive backs would be satisfied with — at over 270lbs. He’s since grown to 320lbs and yet he’s carrying minimal bad weight. He also ran a 4.94 forty and jumped a 34 inch vertical. Explosive, quick and agile — McNeil made headlines for a remarkable ‘big man’ pick-six earlier this season against Virginia. He can play the nose but has the agility and quickness to threaten as a pass rusher.

Jaylen Twyman (DT, Pittsburgh)
He’s listed at 6-2 and 290lbs so he’s a little undersized. He also doesn’t really have much scope to get above 300lbs. However, he had 10.5 sacks in 2019 and 12 TFL’s. There aren’t many defensive tackles putting up those numbers in college. The thing that really stands out is his ability to stay clean and work openings. Twyman has a really good swim move and executes the push/pull to a high standard too. He keeps his feet moving and doesn’t stop working to the quarterback.

Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia)
Big, hulking nose tackle listed at 6-6 and 330lbs. Georgia coach Kirby Smart once said if he had three Jordan Davis’, he’d be “a happy camper”. The expectation is he will have a surprisingly good combine and his draft grade will go through the roof. He’s not a sack specialist or a dynamic pass rusher but he’s the type of player you need to anchor your line and control the line of scrimmage. He’s arguably been Georgia’s best defender this year.

Jay Tufele (DT, USC)
He sat out the 2020 season and has arguably failed to really build draft momentum as a consequence. Tufele had 6.5 TFL’s and 4.5 sacks in 2019. There are real flashes on tape where he uses upper body power and heavy hands to bully interior blockers and work into the backfield. When he’s given 1v1 opportunities he can win with a mix of brute strength and quickness. He ran a 5.04 forty at SPARQ at 297lbs. A good combine could really boost his stock.

Marvin Wilson (DT, Florida State)
An absolute freak show when it comes to physical talent. At SPARQ he ran a 5.17 at 332lbs. He also added a 4.56 short shuttle which is superb for his size (Malik McDowell ran a 4.53 at 295lbs). If you watch the Rivals recruiting tape, he jumps off the screen in the 1v1 reps against some of the best offensive line talent in college football. Despite missing the final month of the 2019 season he still managed 8.5 TFL’s and five sacks at defensive tackle. His pass rush win percentage was 16.8%. However, there are also concerns regarding conditioning and there are plays on tape where ‘slouching’ would be a flattering review of his effort. He’s a five-star physical talent but needs to be in pro-shape.

Tommy Togiai (DT, Ohio State)
Highly impressive team mate of Haskell Garrett. He’s also a former four-star recruit but unlike Garrett we don’t have any SPARQ testing numbers to gauge his athletic potential. On tape he plays with the same effort and intensity. He’s tremendously powerful and can split double teams to barge his way into the backfield. He recorded three sacks and 3.5 TFL’s in six games for the Buckeye’s. Length and testing will be key — he’s listed at 6-2 and 300lbs.

Christian Barmore (DT, Alabama)
Tipped by many ‘draft media’ types to go early in round one, this was always more hype than reality. Barmore started the season slowly as Alabama’s defense struggled. However as things settled down, he started to excel — recording four sacks in three games towards the end of the season. At 6-5 and 310lbs the hope was that he would develop into another Quinnen Williams but so far that hasn’t happened. He has a somewhat limited repertoire and has been forced to play more of a rotational role for ‘Bama — yet he shows off brute strength and he does a good job keeping his frame clean. The talent and upside is there. It’s unclear whether he will declare — Nick Saban does a good job recruiting his players to return.

Levi Onwuzurike (DT, Washington)
Another player who arguably has lost momentum after opting out of the 2020 season (not that the Huskies played a long schedule anyway). There are flashes on tape that are intriguing. He’ll straight arm blockers to push the pocket and there are some moments where he really controls the running game from the inside. He had seven career sacks for Washington and had 6.5 TFL’s in 2019. He’s listed at 6-3 and 293lbs so size and scheme fit need to be considered. Does he standout physically? That’s a question to be answered. Testing will be important.

Tyler Shelvin (DT, LSU)
Shelvin also opted out of the 2020 season. He’s all about massive size and controlling the interior. He’s listed at 6-3 and anywhere between 345-365lbs. He can anchor against double teams and he can punish blockers 1v1. If you want someone who can play early downs to take up space inside and work mostly against the run, Shelvin can do that. He’s a mountain of a man. He isn’t a pass rusher though and that will mean he has a limited ceiling in the draft.

I’m also a huge fan of Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo and have been projecting him as a top-20 pick throughout the college football season. He has the size to play inside/out and be a true game wrecker. If he doesn’t go as early as I think, he should be a name to monitor throughout the process.

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  1. cha

    I’m all for this.

    Tender Poona and mone and find a way to extend Reed to lower that 2021 hit.

    Draft one of these guys who can play 3T & 5T. Maybe some NT if I’m getting greedy.

  2. Elmer

    How about the strength of the RB draft class in thie Hawks’ draft range? They could use a strong downhill RB who can hit holes hard. Penny hasn’t proved it.

    • Rob Staton

      Doesn’t look strong

    • Julian L

      Javonte Williams?

  3. Phil

    Thanks for these. I rarely comment, but appreciate the work.

    I am hoping that we prioritize OLine; after that, DT is as good of a place as any for a youth infusion.
    >Do any of these have a chance to slip to the later rounds?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s possible with some. I also think most should go in the top three rounds.

  4. Denver Hawker

    While I love this idea (!! would be stoked to get any one of those top 5 you mentioned) and am totally good with bringing Poona, Mone, and Reed back next year, I can’t help but wonder if this would be a luxury we can’t afford.

    Between needing to bring back Carson and signing another 15 odd players, we’ll need some creative cap maneuvers. I know anything is possible with contract structuring, but reason would suspect the first pick is someone they think can start Day 1.

    I think you’re on to something with an IOL. I’ll bet they’re pretty proud of the Lewis grab and might look to hit again on a low cost quality starter Day 1.

    • Rob Staton

      Perhaps — but they’ve also, Lewis aside, done a good job finding cheap veteran fill ins (BJ Finney being the exception). I hope they’d consider an Aaron Banks if available but I could also see a situation where they sign someone for $2m (or maybe bring back Alex Boone) and roll with it.

    • cha

      I won’t go into 2021 with rail thin depth on the DL again Denver. I won’t do it! //stomps feet

      I think Rasheem Green’s job is not secure in 2021. LJ Collier might be given more rope since he’s technically a rookie. But the 5T spot needs some major shoring up. And they can’t just let Reed go and hope that Poona fills that role.

      I’m of a mind that major resources need to be pumped into the DL again this offseason.

      • Nick

        Yes x100.

        D-Line or O-Line should be priorities for this team this offseason.

      • Volume12

        There’s some really nice options there this year.

  5. Luis H.

    No matter if we trade down (the most logic movement, given that Seahawks’ number of picks is so low, Schneider will do some magic to increase our stock), our first pick should be an offensive tackle. Duane Brown performs very well, but his becomes increasingly a concern. Shell also fits well, but we need to improve the level of the backups and be ready for replacements when time comes.

    After that, CB, DT and perhaps RB if Carson leaves and Hyde does not stay.

    • Rob Staton

      There aren’t many left tackles sitting around at the end of round two, let alone if you trade down

    • Alex H

      Legit LTs are often picked in the first 10 picks. If you’re able to get one late in the 1st, it’s usually a high upside/potential but raw talent (think Duane Brown in 2008). With our draft position this year, it’s impossible to get one. The team that should be kicking themselves now is the Texans. The first they gave Miami for Tunsil is now a top 5 pick which can be used for Sewell.

  6. Henry Taylor

    I wonder what they could get in a trade for Reed?

    They have 2 good young players at the position under a degree of club control and could add to that in the draft and/or with a cheap vet. And, while Reed’s sack numbers might flatter his overall impact, those sack numbers could make him an attractive trade candidate for a team looking to add some interior pass rush.

    • cha

      You’re asking Poona to take on a 50% increase in snaps with that scenario.

      • Mike

        No they aren’t this is such a ridiculous assumption. He would definitely play more, but they would likely get a cheap replacement. Reed plays on passing downs, I don’t think they would ever have Poona do that. They should just have collier and green on the interior for passing downs.

        If you can get a decent draft pick for reed you do it. He mostly lucks into coverage sacks, he’s not out there beating his block very often.

        • cha

          It’s really not ridiculous.

          Reed is playing 75% of the team’s snaps this year. Poona is at 58%.

          The Seahawks have actually been reducing Collier’s snaps of late.

          I suppose you can argue Green and Collier are going to fill that gap but that’s definitely making a pretty strong leap that they can ‘luck into’ the same amount of sacks as Reed.

          • Mike

            So are you saying he’s worth 13 mill/year cap hit for next year?

            • cha

              It’s not a choice between me saying yes I think Reed is worth $13m or thinking he can be replaced by Collier and Green. They have many more options than that.

              I was originally replying to the assertion that they can move on from Reed and fill from within and backfill with cheap depth and get a similar result. It’s my opinion they cannot.

              • Mike

                Okay I get it. I just think when you pay average players like they are great players it can destroy a roster over time and I think jarran reed is closer to an average player than he is a great player.

                I get your opinion. I just think they could use multiple players to replace reeds snaps with mone/draft pick/low cost free agent on early downs. Then move players like green and collier inside on passing downs. I might be wrong I just don’t think jarran reed is that much better of an interior pass rusher than those guys.

                • cha

                  Definitely a fair opinion to think the Seahawks might be able to use the $8m on Reed’s contract elsewhere, whether by extending him and reducing that hit, or consider moving on from him and just eating the $5m hit.

                  His counting stats numbers pre and post-Dunlap are night and day. He’s not a guy that produces good counting stats when he’s surround by Larry, Curley and Moe. That said, he was tearing the Vikings OL limb from limb and Zimmer said at halftime they have to find a way to stop him. If I recall he got a rocking PFF grade in that game but didn’t produce a ton on the stat sheet.

                  There shouldn’t be any sacred cows this offseason. Everyone should be examined. But my sense tells me Reed is not unlike KJ Wright – the FO values him far more than the general fandom.

                  • Alex H

                    Agree with cha. Hawks fans have a strange tendency to overrate the replacement. People way undervalued KJ last year and I suspect the same applies to Reed now. People last year clamored for Fant when in reality he sucked badly.

                  • Mike

                    You and Alex h are probably right. I think I do overvalue the replacement probably due to them only extending stars during the legion of boom era. That probably gave me unrealistic standards. Still I think the best way to build a roster is extending the stars and not over paying the solid but unspectacular players.

                    I think we’re mostly in agreement though that reed is good but not worth his cap number. We just disagree on that o think he is more replaceable than you guys do.

                    I just think the guys like jarran reed, shaquill griffin are solid borderline pro bowlers, but tend to get overpaid like they are stars. I would extend guys like chris carson because he is a star, but plays a position where you can underpay. But also what the hell do I know I’m just a fan.

  7. Henry Taylor

    Depends who else they bring in, and fwiw I think he can handle a larger role. Guy’s gotten better and played a larger role each year he’s been in the league.

  8. Gohawks5151

    I’m excited about Garrett and Mcneill. Tufele has looked good in games I’ve watched. Wilson is a tough one for me. I think he is just alright too often and if motivation is his issue I’m not sure the D Line room is enough to motivate him especially if Dunlap is gone. All the physical talent in the world though.

    I was married early in the season to the idea of cutting Reed if you could replace him cheap in a depressed FA market. If you could sign Sheldon Rankins at 8M why not? Reed doesn’t play like a 11/12M dollar player. I don’t think I’m ready to ditch that thought yet. I like taking another DT with Seattle’s first pick though (after trading back I’m guessing).

  9. Happy Hawk

    Alim McNeil NC State looks amazing and seems to fit what we need. Will he last for the Hawks though? I suppose the Senior Bowl will peel a layer of this onion in a few weeks.

  10. BobbyK

    I really like the idea of a DT in the draft in R2. I like what they have starting, but if Ford or Reed missed any time – this would go from good/solid to trash. I also hate the fact that Reed is playing over 90% of the snaps some games. That’s ridiculous.

    My personal priority with the R2 pick is hoping that BPA is available at: DT or LG, though I wouldn’t be disappointed with a RB, WR, or CB either. Then there’s the Darrell Taylor scenario (if he’ll never play – and EDGE is still very much in play).

    Of course, FA will determine a lot of the wants/needs.

    • Hoggs41

      Id rather just see them move Collier to 3 tech. He gets most of his pressures from there and he is just to slow off the edge.

  11. AlaskaHawk

    I think Lewis showed that the end of the second round was a sweet spot for guards and centers. I would say end of second into the fourth round. I’ve often wished they would draft three together, that all developed into a coherent line that year. But it is probably a pipe dream to ever expect them to field an offensive line that isn’t changing every year.

    I guess at this point we will have to see how Simmons and Ogbuehi perform, and whether they will resign Pocic. Basically the offensive line consists of one veteran and 4 new players (after two starters were injured) this year. While Russell gets a lot of grief for his inconsistent play – at some point there will be a realization that this offense will never perform consistently until they have a consistent offensive line. And that includes the running game which Pete Carroll supposedly values. How will you open up holes when the offensive line changes every year. And I mean every year we can expect another 2-3 players changing.

    As far as defensive tackles go = the best have been picked over by the end of the second round. The rest all have some sort of issue. I think the way they found Poona Ford as UDFA is as good as any. Small school guy with a good record, but had an issue with stubby height. I hoped he would be successful based on his college record and being chosen as the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the year. How does a guy like that, the Best Defensive linemen, slip down so far in the draft and why were there ever doubts about him? Sure he is no Donald, or Bosa, but his record showed he had performed great.

    Overall – I think all these misses on the defensive line and non picks for cornerback, have not only affected the defense, but have also affected the offense. I’m just glad they got over their injury bug long enough to put the team together.

    • Jason Nelson

      Poona Ford was not a “small school guy with a good record.”

      He went to the University of Texas.

      • Chase

        He was also first team all Big 12 and Big 12 defensive lineman of the year.

  12. JimQ

    A potential “sleeper RB” ???? – Rd-3/4-ish pick at RB that may be of interest to the Seahawks, especially IF Carson isn’t re-signed???? At a minimum, a RB to keep an eye on?

    RB-Javonte Williams, North Carolina, 5-10/220 – Currently ranked as #9 RB & ranked #113-overall at IF, the Seahawks want another RB in the mid-rounds that meets their size requirements.

    2020: 11-games, 157/1140/7.3-YPC/19-TD’s rushing + 25/305/12.20-YPC/3-TD’s receiving.
    2019: 13-games, 166/933/5.62-YPC/5-TD’s, rushing + 17/176/10.36-YPC/1-TD receiving.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I know Travis Etienne and Najee Harris will go high. I’m wondering where Trey Sermon with Ohio State will end up, probably third off the board in the 2nd round?

      For a late round big running back/fullback, how about 230 pound Rhamondre Stevenson, with Oklahoma? I haven’t watched him so I’m just throwing darts.

      • Volume12

        Najee is my favorite player in this class, regardless of position. But, VA-Tech’s Christian Darrisaw is creeping up there. Top 12 talent for me

        • AlaskaHawk

          Najee has Seahawks written all over him. What a year not to have a high pick.

          • Chase

            Agreed. However, I think Harris likely goes before where our pick would have been anyway.

        • Trevor

          I have been following Darrisaw because I think the Hawks need to draft and develop and OT behind Duane Brown this year. I was hoping he might be a guy they could get but no chance now. If he has a good combine he is a top 20 lock IMO.

    • clbradley17

      If only we could get Javonte Williams in the mid-rounds as JimQ says. No way he’s a sleeper, especially after the 23 carry 236 yd. 3 TD game he recently had against Miami. He just announced he’s declaring for the draft 2-3 days ago, broke the 50 year old NC RB all-time TD record with 22 the season. He reminds me of Nick Chubb with the way he runs over and through people, and has the speed to break away too. The announcer from his 2020 highlights mentions he has the most missed tackles of any RB in college football and another from the Miami highlights says he is one of the top RBs in yards after contact. You can see him frequently dragging several players, using stiffarms, setting up blocks and speeding through the hole, is a good receiver, and seems like he’s running through tackles all the time. In the short highlights against Miami he bowls through the same 6’2″ 200 lb. safety Carter twice, sending him flying back the 2nd time just after 1:15. If he doesn’t go late 1st, he could easily go mid to high 2nd after Najee Harris and Travis Etienne.

    • Lewis

      Happy Hawk mentioned Patterson from u. Of Buffalo last month. Seen him?

      • Lewis

        I like Williams unconventional running style, though. He’s difficult to bring down in first contract, which wet could use. I’m a sucker for shorter backs with size.

  13. Tom Lynch

    Have you looked at Jonathan Marshall, Captain from Arkansas. Super stout against the run while also having a 10.00 pass rush win rate. Decently sized and I remember reading that he’s freaky strong with a 33 inch vertical.

  14. BobbyK

    It’s amazing how badly a pair of 2nd round whiffs on the DL have negatively affected this organization. One a severely flawed player in terms of character and the other medically a failure by the doctors/decision makers.

    The McDowell pick not only prevented them from adding TJ Watt, but it also forced them to waste a future 2nd rounder for Sheldon Richardson. Talk about no returns on your value. Then the Taylor pick cost them a 2nd and 3rd round pick. They’ve tried drafting DL, but since Frank Clark (who never would have been available except for the character risks of his own) and J. Reed they have continually struck out with high picks. Even Naz Jones was a 3rd round pick who was utterly worthless. Throw in Collier in the 1st round and it’s a pretty embarrassing assessment of DL talent. At least R. Green isn’t terrible but we all probably hoped for more from him based on his draft position relatively early in the 3rd round.

    The only saving grace has been an UFA (Poona Ford).

    • Volume12

      Alton Robinson cleans some things up and he’s gonna be a good one.

      • Volume12

        * When

      • BobbyK

        Yes. He’ll be fine for the future. He being a 5th round pick and Ford being an UFA have really helped mask (though it’s still a glaring hole) the incompetencies with their early-round DL selections.

        Amazing that 22-year old Robinson is already as good/better than LJ Collier (25-years old). It’s just crazy to me they would take an older player with their first round pick. Collier is about a couple years older than Rasheem Green and Green has been in the league longer.

        • Volume12

          Definitely. Poona not making the pro bowl surprised me.

          Older, and only started 1 year at TCU.

      • Trevor

        He looks like a quality long term rotational DE to me, I like that his sacks have come in big moments.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Even Mayowa has played better. I think we expect too much from any one defensive player. Like if Taylor was healthy the line would all of a sudden be great. They really are a unit – or two units if you consider rotating them. Would Clark or Clowney improve the defense? Sure – but it’s incremental.

      I guess I”m just thinking that we fall into this trap of wanting that one great defensive linemen every year. We’ve had some great players that performed well but the defensive line sucked as a whole. I just don’t even see a way to draft for a great defensive linemen until 2023. So that leaves paying for free agents ……….

      • cha

        Even Mayowa has played better. I think we expect too much from any one defensive player

        Excuse me?

        None of us here signed a part time role player and proclaimed him ready to fill a huge, huge, hole on the DE, and then feigned shock and surprise that he couldn’t handle 80-90% of the snaps and broke down. That’s on the FO. THEY expected too much of him. Not the fans.

        Why is Mayowa now playing better? They’ve got him back in the role he’s best at. 40-50% of snaps max.

        • BobbyK

          Yes. And that’s why they need to look at DT hard this year because it’s ridiculous having Reed seeing over 90% of snaps some weeks.

          This isn’t the LOB era where there’s less defensive plays per game because of Beast Mode and the D getting offenses off the field faster. So when Reed is playing 90% of snaps now – it’s absolutely even more ridiculous.

          When they won the Super Bowl, Avril and Bennett both played in around 50% of snaps on defense.

          • cha

            Our memory fades with time and we only remember the big names.

            That team had Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Clinton McDonald, Tony McDaniel and Chris Clemons on that DL.

            Remember that insane stat that teams would always lose the week after playing the Seahawks? Yeah, cause win or lose, you’re black and blue and need 4 days of cold tub recovery after playing them.

            • BobbyK

              I haven’t forgotten anyone. I remember all those players. I’m just saying there needs to be another stud option so those starters don’t have to play so much.

              When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl – Bennett played 57% of snaps; in ’14 he played in 85% of snaps. Avril played 53% of snaps during the Super Bowl winning season and 73% in ’14.

              Moral of the story: they lost Red Bryant and Chris Clemons in ’14 (though I admit Clem wasn’t healthy all season after tearing his ACL in the Wild Card the previous season). Mebane got hurt midway through the season but old vet Kevin Williams did admirable in his place. They didn’t have the talent/depth they had in ’13 and that cost them a Super Bowl.

              Sure, we can complain Avril got hurt and Bennett was the only one getting pressure on Brady in the fourth quarter (aside from a singular Bruce Irvin play). We can complain about a bum DT like Hill getting hurt – but based on his playing days he had a good month in his career (before and after) and that’s about it.

              The depth was so much worse on the DL in ’14 that Bruce Irvin – never a sack master he was drafted to be, had gone from playing less than 50% of snaps his sophomore season in ’13 to having to play in almost three-quarters of snaps in ’14 because he had more pass rushing opportunities because they no longer had better options.

              All I want is more depth on the DL. Quality depth. I don’t want to have any games where Mayowa and Reed are playing in 90% of snaps. We’ve seen that several times this season from those guys.

              • cha

                I wasn’t accusing you of forgetting. Just saying, people tend to romanticize the star players and forget the incredible depth.

                • BobbyK


            • Lewis

              > Remember that insane stat that teams would always lose the week after playing the Seahawks? Yeah, cause win or lose, you’re black and blue and need 4 days of cold tub recovery after playing them.

              Still true this year. They were just discussing this very thing on Sirius this afternoon on Moving the Chains

              • Rob Staton

                In fairness that might be down to the sheer number of crap teams they’ve played this year, plus the improbable Hail Murray.

              • Chase

                This team is hardly reminiscent of the physicality we displayed in 2012-2014

    • pdway

      The bummer about Taylor, is that when I look at this version of the Hawks defense, w the secondary looking so much better, the LB unit looking very solid, and Dunlap and others contributing – – what they still need to really take another step is a speed rusher off the edge. I know, I know, every team can use that – but the other pieces feel to be in place for us – and w that – we could all feel very good about things on that side of the ball.

  15. Matt

    I’ve been extraordinarily hard on PC this year, but I came to a realization this morning on a few things and I want to make sure I give him credit (not that he would care or that it matters).

    1. I should not have doubted the “call for patience” with the defense. Why? PC is a defensive guy and quite frankly, he has earned our trust on that side of the ball to see things that us “civilians” can’t. No, I don’t think any of us were wrong to criticize or panic a bit, but I do regret not having more faith in him to right the ship. I’ve often accused PC of hubris, but he deserves to have such an attitude on that side of the ball. Furthermore, none of us are there on the off days to see what’s going on.

    *I still think the offseason plan was horrendous, but there’s no doubting the string of recent results. The defense is in a good place and is becoming fun to watch – it’s been years since I’ve thought this. We should continue to be critical of moves, but I do think I should have a little more faith in PC moving forward.

    2. The Jamal Adams trade was a steep price, but this trade was far more than simply finding a Safety. Listen, I’m not a huge fan of some of his antics but there is ZERO doubt that Jamal Adams is 100% about football. I think PC goes out of his way to compliment JS about the trade because I think there was a belief inside that building that they were desperate for not just more playmaking talent, but an attitude that has been missing. Will Smith has an interesting quote where he says, “the only difference between everyone else and me; I’m willing to die on a treadmill if it means outworking you.” Yes, that’s hyperbolic, but I do get that sense from Jamal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen enthusiasm like that on a football field and I think it has been unfair of me to not view it as 100% genuine. After all, it was well known that this is the type of guy he was going back to his freshman year at LSU, where he was a captain – that’s never happened before at that school.

    Do not interpret this as a post of “don’t dare criticize John and Pete.” I’ve been the first to jump on them about some horrendous management. I’m simply offering a mea culpa on some things that I think I’ve been unfair about. The defense is now becoming fun to watch. There’s the seedlings of the fun factor that the LOB provided that’s been missing for a long time.

    I’m still skeptical about the playoffs, but that’s pretty much on the Offense/RW at this point.

    • BobbyK

      An attitude like that of Adams is/was good for DBs like Griffen, Dunbar, etc. Those guys don’t seem like hungry “dawgs” like Richard Sherman used to says. The whiny Griffen quote from the Giants game is an example. He’s not a “dawg” but he’s a solid CB.

      I will credit Pete for the culture he has created. Where he lacks in some facets, he can compensate for (to a degree) with the ability to get guys to buy-in (Is Griffen going to be as much of a “buy in” guy after he gets paid? He certainly won’t develop more of a mean streak after getting his payday.).

      That said – I see no scenario where I would have traded a 1,1,3 for any player (non-QB) in the NFL. Coming into the season, I would have for Nick Bosa and a few others, but Adams wouldn’t have been in that group.

      • Matt

        Oh that’s 100% fair. I don’t agree with the compensation, but I’m just thinking that they felt the urgency for a cultural shift on defense. Again, not necessarily defending it, but I think I understand that this trade was more than about just a player.

    • Zane

      Agree with all your points here. That said, I’m still petrified of watching Green Bay take a crack at this defense.

    • pdway

      I’m totally w you on the Adams part — it’s a blast having a player like him – and of course it is night-and-day better when the guy who wants to be the loudest and most intense capital L, Leader, is making plays like the one he did chasing down the back near the goal line. the whole unit feeds off his energy.

      I can’t disagree w the compensation for him likely being too steep – and will console myself w the joy of watching an ass-kicking Seattle defensive player – we did need someone like him.

  16. cha

    Seahawks PR
    released CB DeMarkus Acy and DT Myles Adams from the practice squad this afternoon.

    1:02 PM · Dec 29, 2020

    Acy’s upstairs taking a bath. He’ll call you when he gets out.

  17. Zxvo3

    Here’s some of my targets for the Seahawks with their picks.

    DT- Jordan Davis (Georgia)
    – Davis has the size the Seahawks look for at the position. Good against the run, but not much in pass rushing. He’s very similar to Raekwon Davis from last year’s draft. He’s also one of those players who just look like they’re going to take it to you on every snap. He’s someone the Hawks would have to take with their 2nd round pick.

    EDGE- Jordan Smith (UAB)
    – Smith is listed at 6’7 and 255 lbs. He would most likely play Leo for the Seahawks. He’s long, lean, and twitchy which are all characteristics of a Seahawks Leo. If he tests well at the combine, he’ll probably rise a lot on teams draft boards. I would love if the Seahawks took him.

    EDGE- Rashad Weaver (Pittsburgh)
    – Weaver is a base defensive end who can win with speed and power. His body frame and his style of play is similar to Carlos Dunlap. He’s listed at 6’5 270. Seems like an intriguing option later on.

    CB- Keith Taylor (Washington)
    – Taylor is listed at 6’3 195 lbs. He’s a steady tackler, but he does not produce any turnovers for the Dawgs. If he meets the length and speed requirements in the combine, he also could be a late round option.

    OL- Jalen Mayfield (Michigan)
    – Mayfield is very exciting to watch. He just drives people to the ground. He’s very physical in the run game and he can also do pretty well in pass protection. The Hawks probably won’t select Mayfield, as they seem pretty set with Brown and Shell as their starting tackles. He would be an option in the 2nd-3rd round range.

    WR- Marquez Stevenson (Houston)
    – He’s a speed demon. He would be a perfect compliment to DK and Lockett. Not that David Moore is slow, but he’s not really a threat that teams have to account for. Stevenson is also great at YAC. He could be an option later on.

  18. Gaux Hawks

    I imagine this as our foundational depth chart for next year:

    QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
    RB1: Chris Carson, Deejay Dallas
    RB2: Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer
    LT: Duane Brown, Jamarco Jones
    LG: Phil Haynes, Jordan Simmons
    C: Ethan Pocic, Kyle Fuller
    RG: Damien Lewis, Jordan Simmons
    RT: Brandon Shell, Jamarco Jones
    TE: Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson, Stephen Sullivan
    WR1: D.K. Metcalf, David Moore
    WR2: Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain

    DE: Rasheem Green, Alton Robinson
    DT: Jarran Reed, L.J. Collier
    NT: Poona Ford, Bryan Mone
    LEO: Carlos Dunlap, Darrell Taylor
    SAM: K.J. Wright, Shaquem Griffin (Bruce Irvin)
    MIKE: Bobby Wagner, Cody Barton
    WILL: Jordyn Brooks, Ben Burr-Kirven
    LCB: Shaquill Griffin, Ryan Neal
    RCB: D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers
    SS: Jamal Adams, Marquise Blair
    FS: Quandre Diggs, Ugo Amadi

    K: Jason Myers
    P: Michael Dickson
    LS: Tyler Ott

    There are a lot of assumptions above, but I think OT is our number one priority followed by C/G, CB, DT, TE and WR. Good year to sign a DE in FA (prior to the draft).

    I think we can shore up most positions with veterans (DE, C/G, DT, WR, HB). But, I’d like to see them focus on BPA for OL early, then find a CB and TE in R4-7. Similar to DE, sign a WR3 in FA (a la Gordon/Dorsett, but that might be able to actually play in 2021).

    Thanks again for sharing, Rob. So fun to have such a fantastic SEA lens to follow the draft with, cheers!

    • Gaux Hawks

      On the bubble…

      Cedric Ogbuehi, Chad Wheeler, Mike Iupati, Jacob Hollister, Tyler Mabry, Nick Bellore, Bo Scarbrough, Penny Hart

      Benson Mayowa, Cedrick Lattimore, Jonathan Bullard, Lano Hill, Damarious Randall, Linden Stephens

      • BobbyK

        I have problems with players like Iupati going into next season. They’ve proven to be unreliable at this stage in their careers. Right now he’s definitely the best they have but he’s like Chris Carson – you just know for a fact that he’ll miss time (again) next season. Injuries suck but if you have a young team, you generally will have a lot less games missed due to injuries throughout the season. Makes no sense to even consider bringing in a guy like Lano Hill, too.

        There’s injuries every year to every team, but some teams bring injuries onto themselves by brining in too many guys like Iupati, Olsen, Dunbar, Carson, etc. Granted, Carson is on a rookie contract so that’s more okay – but you deserve what you get when you know going in you have those types of players. There’s always going to be those freak injuries to younger guys like Blair (not counting the young guys who get “hurt” so they can get stashed on IR) but you’re asking for trouble when you acquire too many injury prone (or old) players.

        • Hoggs41

          I like the predictions. Tbe only two I would disagree with would be Moore and Griffin. I think they will look to slide Gordon in his slot ( delending on his life) and Moore could get a decent deal elsewhere. I believe Griffin could get some decent coin elsewhere as well and they look to bring back Dunbar on a one year.

      • Chris

        Hollister and Bellore aren’t even close to being on the bubble. Ogbuehi has earned a lot of respect in the last few games and would be good to retain, but his performance has probably earned him a big salary bump that the Seahawks might not want to pay.

      • Matt

        This is going to sound crazy…but I wouldn’t be shocked if a big reason they brought in Ogbuehi was to see if he could become a serviceable LT in case DB retires. I mean he’s a really good athlete and more suited to LT. At some point, they are going to have to get creative with the LT situation because they are simply not going to be in position to fill that void.

        • Alex H

          I can see them taking a flier, but I find it unlikely that Ogbuehi would be a potential LT of the future. If he was, he would have been paid far more than he was in the market. If there’s a remote potential there, teams would have paid more than we did for him. That position to too important to leave rocks unturned. Also, don’t forget, he already played that position with the Bengals when Whitworth left. So it’s not like teams don’t have tape on him at the LT position.

          Out of college, Cedric is the typical late 1st rounder high upside, but very raw LT that usually gets drafted at the end of Round 1 (similar to Duane Brown out of college).

          • Matt

            By no means am I saying they viewed him as the LT of the future; more of a Hail Mary on a guy with the tools/pedigree. My main point is that they are going to have to get creative to find a solution there, long term.

  19. Sea Mode

    This season is just like this whole year: weird.

    PFF SEA Seahawks

    As a team, the #Seahawks have the best run-defense AND tackling grade in the NFL through 16 weeks.

    • pdway

      I think PFF is interesting, and a good conversation starter . . .but there are also many, many times when their grades don’t pass the eye test.

    • Big Brew

      So no longer a “pass defense so putrid that the run defense looks good”? Maybe at week 17 we can be optimistic with the run D!

  20. Sea Mode

    🤔 ok… 🤷‍♂️

    Ian Rapoport

    An NFL first: #Panthers OT Russell Okung will receive half of his $13M in salary in Bitcoin. As part of a partnership with @in_strike
    and thanks to creative payroll solutions from the #Panthers,
    @russellokung will fulfill the goal he set when he tweeted “Pay me in Bitcoin!”

    • charlietheunicorn

      233 bitcoins…. now if it crashes…. he will be worth half that in a blink of an eye.

      • TomLPDX

        That was my thought exactly.

        I bet Sherm does the same thing with his next contract.

    • Murphy

      Really smart on his part

  21. charlietheunicorn

    Alim McNeill (DT, NC State)

    Caught my eye….. love a big guy DT to pair with Reed.

  22. Hoggs41

    3 Tech just feels like the position they could target. If not there what position do we think? Maybe Edge depending on Taylor? Maybe RB but would round 2 be to high? They usually dont go CB that early. Not sure if there would be a LT worth taking at the end of round 2. Will be intetesting where they will go.

  23. Rob Staton

    Just written a +3000 word epic.

    Some of you who are open minded will really enjoy the discussion.

    Others who are less open minded are going to shout abuse.

    Possibly publishing Thursday.

  24. charlietheunicorn

    *Elephant in the room*

    Should they pay the CB Griffin 12-14M/ year?

    • cha


    • Rob Staton


    • JLemere

      8 million a year at best, otherwise look elsewhere.

      • Matt

        I honestly don’t think he’s worth even that much. Just draft another mid-round CB – guarantee they can be close to Shaq, pretty quickly.

        • JLemere

          Depends on what they do scheme wise on defense next year. If PC wants to go back to cover 3, they might not have a choice and will try to keep Griffin, but if they go in a different direction, then I think they should clear house at the CB position and start over.

    • Matt

      I think he’s the most overrated player in recent memory, in Seattle.

      Some team is going to pay him a good chunk of money and find out, “oh…so he’s just a mediocre #2 type CB huh?”

    • Chris

      Nope. I’d prefer someone else to take his role, but assuming the FA market is dry, no more than $9m/year for 3 years with an out in the third year.

    • 12th chuck

      let him walk, too inconsistent, gives up on plays way too early, and you can let his brother go at the same time

    • TomLPDX

      He’s not chopped liver, but he isn’t worth 12-14M/yr either. If we can get him around 8M I would think we would consider it. I think Shaquem is done though either way.

    • Matt

      Shaq is the type of player that gets teams into trouble. We’ve talked about not paying average players big money. Shaq is very average. He’s the type of guy that handcuffs you in the future with the cap but more importantly, blocks you from finding a younger, potentially better player. Shaq is what he is. 4 years of starting experience – there’s no a-ha moment left.

      Let him walk. He’s not worth it. Reed is your CB1 and let a draft pick compete with Flowers as the #2. Soend that money elsewhere.

      This team has done far better when they go big in the draft and allow young guys to step up.

      • dcd2

        I tend to agree that the price (if it is that $12-$14m range) is too high.

        I wonder if they don’t look to FA to replace him though. For whatever reason we have not drafted CB’s and have very little draft capital to work with. Aside from Shaq, I don’t think we’ve drafted an actual corner in 5 years!

        I’ll be surprised if one of our few picks is spent on a position that we’ve actively ignored for the better part of the PCJS era.

      • Alex H

        Think you’re underselling Griffin a bit. He’s not elite, but he’s definitely better than average (I think of Reed the same way). He is probably just a tier below Pro Bowl. He isn’t as good this year as last year, but he’s not as average as you claim him to be. The replacement in all likelihood will have a steep learning curve.

        That said, unlike Reed, I do think we should let him walk only because this team is supposed to be better at churning out CBs (though the record recently has been suspect) so the team should put their resources elsewhere. Also, Reed is in one of our shallowest position (DL).

        • Matt

          Fair take about Griffin and agree about Reed.

          Here’s really my issue with Griffin – he’s going to get paid commensurate with CBs who make game altering plays. I just haven’t seen that from him. He’s not a ball hawk. Opposing teams don’t plan for him. I just don’t think a player like that deserves to eat into your cap in any way.

          In the context of him playing on a 3rd round contract – of course, he’s been great. I’m really viewing this from a “now he’s making a ton of money” perspective and again, I just don’t see it.

          I think he’s a guy we have proven to find throughout PC’s tenure. He reminds me a bit of Byron Maxwell in the sense that they never looked very natural in coverage but got the job done. Thankfully, the Seahawks had no choice but to move on from Byron. I just inevitably see the “man, Shaq really hasn’t lived up to that $12M/year.”

  25. uptop


    I’ve been hoping for a smaller, burner receiver that can run jet sweeps and take the top off the defense, I think it’s a compliment this team is really missing. Anyone that comes to mind in our draft range?

    • Rob Staton

      Tutu Atwell

      • Mike

        Would love this pick, metcalf, Lockett, atwell. Plus David moore off the field. This is probably kind of what they imagined with Phillip Dorsett.

  26. Nathan M

    I want to see us add a real disruption on the d-line and don’t particularly care if it’s inside or outside. Looks like more DT options in the draft vs a real bend the edge LEO. Is there a true 5-tech outside/inside guy to draft in R2?

  27. Hughz

    Is LG a need? I think we have serviceable guys but if another guard like Lewis falls to us in the second round, do you think they jump at the opportunity or select a different position group?

  28. Swisshawk

    I know I should concentrate on the playoffs. However, the following crossed my mind and I cant shake it off anymore.

    Biggest roster holes for 2021 (priority declining):

    1. RB: Veteran = a. Retain Carson, b. Mike Davis
    2. LG: Rookie 2 round
    3. WR3: Low cost veteran or already on the team

    1. LCB: a. Sherman, b. Rookie (developing)
    2. DE: a. Clowney, b. Kerrigan (use market oppertunites as cap is declining)
    3. DT: a. Cox (use market oppertunites as cap is declining)


    • Swisshawk

      Resign/new contract: Pocic, NoE, KJ, Adams (possible: Ford, Diggs)

      Letting test the market/trade/cut: Iupati, DT Reed, Griffin

    • lil’stink

      According to OTC we have 19 roster spots next year and $18 million dollars to fill those spots. Even if the cap estimate goes up, I don’t think we will be in any position to pursue many outside free agents. Could be the most challenging offseason PCJS have had yet.

      • clbradley17

        That includes several million to pay 2021 draft rookies, another couple mil. for practice squad players, and some millions set aside for injuries. So we really have less than half that 18 mil., closer to 8 mil. to spend on FAs, including our own. Poona’s an RFA who we’ll probably extend a 2nd round tender like we did Hollister this year, and that’s 3.1 mil. or over 1/3 of what we have to spend. Hopefully between new billion $ TV contracts and a probable 17th game, the cap will go up some, although they had been predicting it would stay the same as 2020 because of no home crowd $ with covid this year. And a 17th game could hurt the cap overall. The players including high paid Russ, Bobby all the way to practice squad players would rightfully and fairly deserve another weeks pay. So over 2 mil. in Russ’s case, over 1 mil. in Bobby’s and so on times 30+. So if adding another game adds another $15+ mil. needed to pay all of the players we have signed for 2021, hopefully they’ll raise the cap at least that much, if not well over because it can vary by team.

  29. clbradley17

    Excellent article Rob. Thanks for recognizing Daviyon Nixon here and in your most recent draft. Have been posting about him a few times since he was an early national leader in TFLs and kept leading the Big Ten in sacks and TFLs. He was recently named Big Ten Defensive player of the year and a 1st team AP All American. You and Mel Kiper seem like the only ones who have noticed his skills, and he just placed him on his top 25 players a week or so ago. He also mentioned he is great against the run with pass rush skills and couldn’t keep him off his list at #10.

    Of the others, who do you think could drop into our range and would prefer to see us pick (or early 3rd where JS is likely to wind up after acquiring more picks)? Twyman would be great with those sacks and TFLs, but wondering if he was just the beneficiary of playing next to Weaver and Jones, or in shape after sitting out 2020 (same with Tufele, Levi O and Shelvin). Definitely Wilson or Garrett if one of them falls that far.

    Also what do you feel we will/should do with Reed? Extend him at a much lower cap, especially the 1st year? Or trade him for pick(s)? Going to be tough with our cap to retain all of our highest paid players without re-negotiating/extending several of them. Dunlap might be hard to keep and not be outbid for after showing he can help some players like Reed and the D as a whole play better.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s too early to say who might last or who I might prefer. Long way to go in the process.

      I don’t know regarding Reed. I’m not convinced he’ll want to lower his cap hit on a longer deal. It’s more likely he plays out next year and reaches FA again I think.

      Dunalp is contracted for 2021.

      • clbradley17

        Makes sense about the pick. Long way to go with the combine etc., and we may find in FA this year another Tony McDaniel or Al Woods type to add to the DL if we’re lucky. Right about Dunlap. Forgot that we lowered his cap hit to fit him in this year so it added more to it next year. At, it shows he has a 3.4 mil. base with a 2 mil. cap this year, and 10.1 mil. base but with bonuses a 14.1 mil. cap number for 2021. How do you feel about extending/re-negotiating his deal to lower the cap hit? Possibly convert some to cash or whatever it takes to bring it way under double digits.

        Do you think KJ has warranted another deal with his play this year? Maybe at a BIG (50%?) discount from this year since he’s going to be 32 next July. Noticed at PFF on their top 50 2021 FAs page, they have KJ at #49 – “Prediction: Seattle signs Wright for two years, $12 million ($6M APY). $6 million total guaranteed, $5 million fully guaranteed at signing.” But they also have us re-signing CBs Dunbar for the same contract as KJ and Griffin as well for about a 10 mil. avg.. Not sure where we get all this cap space. We only have 30+ players signed for next year, and 8 mil. available cap $.

  30. Tallyhawk

    Marvin Wilson could end up being a steal depending on where he goes. When he’s on it he’s almost unblockable. Unfortunately he’s had some injuries and FSU has been an absolute shitshow of a program the past couple years. He’s a great leader though and I think(or hope) once he gets to the NFL he’ll be committed to getting to his best.

  31. cha

    San Francisco Watch Points

    Well here we are, week 17 and the Seahawks are 11-4. They still have a lot of things to clean up and some issues to address, and while they likely will end up with the 3 seed they’ve already locked, there could be some better seeding at stake.

    I’d maintain the Niners are the near-perfect Week 17 opponent for the Seahawks. This game reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park when they try to lure the T-Rex by offering him a goat chained to a stake. Dr Grant scoffs “T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt.”

    That’s this game. Some might imagine a battered Niner team as a goat chained to a stake. But Seahawks fans know better. They’re feisty, well-coached, and there’s plenty of rivalry and division pride between these two teams. But they are staggering to the finish line with a MASH unit of a team. So while they’ll present a challenge and aren’t to be taken lightly, a win in this one should be well within the Seahawks’ grasp. This game isn’t simply being fed. It’s hunting. Time to hunt.

    The Seahawks won the NFC West title but they haven’t locked the division series yet. They’re currently 3-2 this year vs the NFC West. In Pete Carroll’s 11 year tenure he’s won the division series 5 times and split 5 times. It’s pretty impressive to have never had a losing record in your own division. It also would be a really nice point of pride to beat the Niners and take the division series again this year to tally more winning years in a tough division than “tying” years. As well, it’s never too early to stake your claim to the division in 2021.

    Russell Wilson, we need you to be Russell Wilson.
    He’s struggled with a bit of everything this year. Turnovers, confidence, holding the ball too long, being coached against his strengths. He’s had some glorious moments and some moments of real confusion.

    It’s time to rise above. Command this game like the general you are. Remember what you did the second half vs the Rams last week and summon that energy and confidence. This is a top-flight sparring partner to give you a tune-up for facing some tough defenses come the playoffs. Take it to this team and spend the 4th quarter sipping Gatorade.

    Nobody get hurt
    No need to pontificate on this one. Everyone knows what is at stake.

    Nobody talk to Jason Myers
    We could witness history Sunday. He’s 22 for 22 and has a chance at a perfect season. In baseball when a pitcher has a perfect game going, his teammates won’t talk to him in the dugout. What tradition do they have in football? Probably none. You know why? In the last 40 years of NFL play, no one has been perfect in FG tries with at least 20 attempts. No one! (Note: It’s probably “ever” but I could only be bothered to comb the books for the last 40 years.)

    Note – Many kickers are perfect with small numbers of attempts in limited games, but Myers doesn’t have much real company: Green Bay’s Mason Crosby is 16/16 this year. Kai Forbath hit 15/15 in 7 games for the Vikings in 2016.

    Will the Seahawks go for it on 4th downs when in FG range to preserve the perfection? If the game’s well in hand, I say yes. It might be worth getting some 4th down practice in for some upcoming clutch situations. They’re 7 for 13 this year on 4th downs, but 0 for their last 4 and could use a little pride boost and reminder they need to be tough after fannying around a bit on those 4 attempts.

    Contain Kittle.
    He’s going to be a definite offensive focus with so many players injured. I’m recycling some points from my Week 8 Watch Post:

    Shanahan will scheme the entire offense just to get him open. DL, do your part by not allowing him a free release. Hit him! Shanahan lines him up all over the formation, and motions him frequently. Kittle will get wide open because the entire offense is going one way and the defense logically follows, and he leaks out and is all by himself on the opposite side. If you see him leaking behind the LOS, give him a shove! Shanahan also loves to line him up in the slot next to an inline TE, and he’ll loop back and sneak in between the TE and the RT for a free release. Don’t let him have it! But how can the rest of the defense prevent the damage from this fantastic player?

    Kittle is too fast to allow him 1on1 with KJ Wright and too big to allow 1on1 with Ugo or Diggs. Shanahan will find a way to get Kittle matched up with these guys at times. They will need support. Figure it out. Otherwise you get situations like when the Rams iso’d 5’9″ Darious Williams on Kittle on a key play.
    (Warning: The following video contains a gruesome depiction of a murder)

    Run support.
    He is an animal of a blocker. If he lines up inline or motions to a side, the CB, LB and safeties have to know they’re not getting run support from the DE, as Kittle is so terribly good at setting the edge. They need speed to counter his effectiveness in the run game. Jordyn Brooks, Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, that’s you.

    Sniff out the Kittle screen.
    They love to misdirect and get him the ball on the screen. KJ Wright, blow that joint up like you do.

    • Henry Taylor

      Terrific stuff as usual, love the Jurassic park analogy.

      Just one correction, Gary Anderson did complete the perfect kicking regular season by going 35 of 35 in ’98 with the Vikings before infamously missing his first and only of that year in the NFC championship game to send the Vikings home. (He also was perfect on xps which Myers hasnt been, but they did still kick from the 2 then).

      • cha

        good catch. I missed that one.

    • Chris Wood

      Great Write up Cha,

      In regards to Kittle, I’ve heard both John and Pete say multiple times they got Adams specifically to erase Kittle. I think Adams was nursing his groin injury during there last game together so it’ll be interesting to see how they align Adams on Defense this time. Lets see if they practice what they preach.

    • WallaSean

      I would have Dickson kick everything,

  32. Lewis

    Cooper Kupp tested positive for Covid.

  33. cha

    Wed Press Conf w PC

    [maz veda] Niner defense, fred warner bring? “Great player, leader, blitzer, makes plays, comes through. Everything you can hope for in MLB.”

    [jen] Ugo matching up with different size guys? “Not had trouble with taller guys or smaller guys. Banked his experience in a short time.”

    [corbin] How much Dunlap help Reed? “7 game span, 22-24 pressures (laughs quoting Corbin). Just the factor of the push makes the spacing more available, makes QB move a little more, helps other guys. Not just rushes he brings, breaking down pocket for other guys. Reed good run, Dunlap helped.”
    [corbin] Blair offseason program? “Haven’t seen for 10 days. Last did, spirits good, working hard, great recovery. No problems getting him back from everything I’ve heard. He’s very upbeat.”
    [matt] Wagner consistency this year? “Great job in center of it. Helping us set style of play and tempo. Great practice player. Intent on doing everything right. Voice of the group. He and KJ and Diggs been steadies keeping everything connected. Huge impact. Numbers haven’t dropped off at all. Big factor other than tackles.”

    [bob] Reed transition to outside CB? “Great awareness, quickness, world class quick feet. Put that with savvy, he can get to places, stick to guys, knack for making plays. Really good hand eye coordination. A lot of great attributes. Just a different package guy than we’ve had. Good decisions, choices, gets it, really bright. Check all the boxes there.”
    [bob] Dorsett back at all? “I don’t think so, if we are fortunate to be playing a month from now. Haul to make it back.”

    [joe] Get lucky w Reed, not project as outside, good fortune? “not luck. John knew. Evaluation knew good enough to play nickel, safety or corner. Quickness of transition is what we’re surprised by. Our guys thought he’d be a big factor. Hit some guys, finding guys to help us, it’s way more than luck. Ability to discern and figure out, coaching him in the style.”
    [joe] Mentioned you didn’t view him as outside? “I didn’t. John did. He helps me out when I make mistakes, we work together (laughs). My shortcomings.”

    [john boyle] Niners playing well late in year? “Championship team. In heart and background, experience, coaching staff. Withstand challenges. Keep back playing FB games, statement of who they are. Kyle and Robert great job. Tough regardless of record.”
    [john] Strange to play in Arizona instead Santa Clara? “Everything’s strange. Comfortable and familiar with it. Another unusual issue in a season that we’re playing in someone else’s stadium.”

    [Michael shawn] Saleh elite, other guys left to coach elsewhere haven’t, why Saleh? “Interesting way to put your question, I like that [cha ed-he doesn’t]. When you’ve been able to draft like they have, take advantage. Who gets that chance? Washington did. Defense centered around front 4. Robert done a great job of it. Back end great against explosive plays. All of our coaches done same thing, would benefit from draft. Totally endorse Robert’s job at next level.”
    [Michael] Reed size, short area quickness better than long arm guys? “Nothing replaces quickness. Most important element in all phases. Ex is Doug Baldwin. DJ chance to be excellent long haul, special element makes up for so many other things. I have to adapt to different makeups of players. Not be closed minded that players only come in one size. Drafted Aaron Glenn same size as DJ. Safeties, LBs, field more open up to QBs, quickness does make a difference, safeties and LBs cross over. Space playing in. Old days bunched up formations. Not the game we play anymore.”

    [art thiel] Black Monday, informed hiring asst coach, managing staff, govern decision making? “Interesting question. No. John and I talk through everything. In making decisions, constantly talking to ones I know well, who we’re dealing with. Makeup, background, history, how they react, demeanor, mentality. I’ll use everybody that can help me. John is my primary guy. Coaches I’ve known a long time, I’ll listen to them as well.”
    [art] Early influence on hiring firing from coaches? “Couldn’t pinpoint. Years at USC, I was in charge of everything. Lot of movement. Generate my own expectations and standards. No one in org at all. Particular ones I lean on. Carl Smith guy in particular. Relied on him to help out.”

    [Jackie] Kittle? “So much to offer an offense. So many good at so many things. TE, out of backfield, good in red zone, all the blockings they ask. Good choice by Kyle. Haven’t missed a beat, big time player.”
    [Jackie] Bethard? “Get the ball out quick, good decisions, don’t’ expose the ball, no picks yet. Chance to run, makes yards. Pretty much same as the other guys. Offense well last week. Good.”

    [Curtis] Draft pick decisions based on play guys step in quick? Same mentality going forward? “Really good results from all the guys, maybe we’ll get Darrell out. Hasn’t been too big for them. Growing a lot. Now they’re experienced players for us. Nothing to change us moving forward. We really like this class, if we could do it again we’d be thrilled.”

    [Gregg] Carson contract, motivation back from injury? “Chris really one of us, fits program great. He’ll look out for himself, see what situation is, love for him to be back with us. In my mind I can’t imagine anything else happening. Business side, he has a chance to see what’s going on. Hopefully we’ll figure it out.”
    [Gregg] Close to Lynch mentality? “Yes. Only one Marshawn. One of a kind. As far as hitting LOS and letting guys know who you’re playing against, leaving guys behind, beautiful catching ability. I think he’s what we’re looking for. Why Hyde such an important get for us. Both guys bring it. Brings approach we can play off.”

    • Volume12

      “I have to adapt to different makeups of players. Not be closed minded that players only come in one size”


      • Mike

        Tre flowers being so bad at changing directions finally broke Pete.

      • cha

        That was interesting. I was typing as fast as I can so I got every word right.

      • Tony

        Maybe the thought of pinholing a specific measurable or size is finally going to give way to actual football play in draft. Obviously you want great athletes and all but some of these size/combine requirements might have taken away from some tape.

    • cha

      C’mon press. PC put you off Monday on Darrell Taylor with ‘we’ll know more Wednesday.’ No followup question?

    • Rob Staton

      “How good is Bobby Wagner?”

      Great to have this asked today. Think it’s been at least six weeks since someone asked how good Wagner is.

      • Rob Staton

        Clumsy question from Joe Fann to essentially put to Carroll that they were simply ‘lucky’ to sign DJ Reed. Poor.

        • Rob Staton

          Good question from Gregg Bell on Carson’s contract.

  34. cha

    Ian Rapoport
    According to the transaction wire, former #Seahawks
    DL Damon “Snacks” Harrison was claimed by the #Packers.

    2:05 PM · Dec 30, 2020

    • uptop

      Ouch, hate to see that. Run D is a weakness for the pack so it sucks to see them getting help.

  35. BobbyK

    One thing this past draft has (re)taught me is just to draft the best prospects and screw “needing” positions. We already know this – but sometimes we need to be more aware of it.

    I was not enamored with a WILL in the 1st round and a RG in the early 3rd… but it’s looking like Brooks and Lewis may actually be good football players. That’s all that really matters.

    When you stop drafting good football players and feel cornered into “needing” something – that’s when you f-up and waste pickS on Darrell Taylor. Malik, LJ and Ifedi are a couple more examples.

    If you have a decent team (which the Seahawks do), there’s no excuse to ever go into a draft with a glaring hole where you’re forced to do something. Now, if you suck and have a top 5 pick and you have a black hole at LT and there are a couple great prospects you like – that’s about the only way to wait for the draft (but those aren’t decent teams, generally).

    • TJ

      Good post. I have believed in the best player available strategy for years. It is the best way to improve overall long-term roster talent. I don’t remember who said this originally, but you build your team through the draft and fill your needs through free agency. When the Hawks pick BPA, they tend to do well. When they reach to fill needs, they don’t. Imagine if all the early “need” picks over the past few years had been used to simply acquire the best talent available.

  36. cha

    Tom Pelissero
    The NFL Management Council and NFLPA agreed to unlimited practice-squad elevations without a player having to clear waivers during the 2020 postseason, per source.

    Previously, a player could only be moved to the active roster twice for a game under the standard elevation.

    1:38 PM · Dec 29, 2020

    Ok so this is interesting.

    Crazy idea: Would some enterprising team stack available veterans on their PS roster and try them out, guilt-free for the playoff run?

    Clay Matthews?
    Justin Britt?
    Cameron Wake?
    Terrell Suggs?

    • Mike

      I’m kind of surprised they haven’t signed Justin Britt. He would be great to have as a back up center right now. Maybe he just wants to take the year off.

      • cha

        That’s very likely.

        The thought with Clay has been he was already getting paid by the Rams and wouldn’t make any money with a new team up to whatever his contract would be. But I’m guessing with Week 17 he’ll be all paid up and free to sign for any amount.

        Clay posted a funny Animal House gif when somebody commented that the Titans have no pass rush.

        • clbradley17

          Sounds like it makes a LOT of common sense. But wait. What? We just signed a 5th or is it 6th string TE Luke Wilson to our practice squad. Because of course we did. Just had to have him over extra pass rushers, DBs or OL. Not like he has 4 or so TEs in front of him. Oh yeah….he does.

  37. TomLPDX

    Cha, just a year-end shout out for all the additional content you’ve added to Rob’s SDB Blog throughout the year.

    Rob, thank you (again!) for giving us this blog and your thoughts and insights about our Seahawks. I can’t begin to tell you how much your website has meant to me and gotten me through some difficult times this year.

    The rest of you blokes (you know who you are!), let’s keep this place rockin!!!

    • cha

      Very kind. You’re welcome.

  38. BobbyK

    Random Comment: Chris Carson and the Franchise Tag

    He’s a top 5 RB when healthy, imo. Keep the carrot dangling at the end of the stick. It’s not like the franchise tag for a RB is anything like what QBs and DL make. Nothing close. But Carson is important to this team.

    I do not trust injury prone players, especially on financially secure second contracts.

    • Hoggs41

      I dont know about the franchise tag but possibly the transition.

  39. charlietheunicorn

    Honestly, week 17

    Don’t get anyone hurt is the priority. Everything else is secondary for Seattle.

  40. cha

    KJ Wright just whiffed on tackling Beathard in the open field.

    • bmseattle

      I saw that too.
      He ran right through him.

  41. Blitzy the Clown

    There we go let’s get Penny warmed up

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