The case for the Seahawks considering Dominique Easley at #32

Dominique Easley -- leader, pass rusher, explosive

Dominique Easley at #32 to Seattle. Is it unrealistic? Maybe. Is it totally out of the question? Perhaps not.

You can’t get away from the two serious ACL injuries and the flags attached to that situation. If the medical checks say he has a high risk of further setbacks or he’ll lose some of his elite quickness and get off — he won’t be considered by anyone in round one.

Yet over the last couple of weeks I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the debate of Seattle considering him at #32. I’m not saying it will happen, but here’s the reasons why it possibly could:

— Other players have recovered from two major knee injuries in college to forge successful pro careers. Frank Gore had exactly the same experience — suffering ACL injuries to both knees in separate seasons before entering the draft. He’s been one of the most durable players in the NFL since 2005 — despite playing the position that takes the biggest beating. If Gore can make it work, why not Easley?

— Unlike Cyrus Kouandjio, all the current talk about Easley’s health is positive. He had a good work out in Florida in front of a number of scouts and coaches (see video below). There’s been no negative reports or leaks regarding his status. He’s writing a draft diary for Fox Sports and in this weeks edition he mentioned he will return to Indianapolis for a fresh medical check — a process all injured prospects go through. If it’s positive news — and with Easley already seven months into rehab — he’ll be gaining a lot of momentum.

— Make no mistake, Easley is a high pick without the injuries. You’re talking about an explosive difference maker who can line up anywhere on the defensive line. He’ll consistently collapse the pocket, impacting the run and the pass. Even if he’s not recording the sack, see how often the quarterback has to escape the pocket because he’s quickly into the backfield with an incredible burst. Despite lacking ideal size or arm length — he holds the point against the run and has the lateral agility to move down the line and stretch out running plays. He has a relentless sparky motor, a tone setter on defense and an incredible competitor. Don’t underestimate the character he’s shown trying to fight through two serious injuries. You’ll see a tape breakdown vs Toldeo (2013) at the bottom of this article.

Tony Pauline recently tweeted he’d go in the second round with the Seahawks showing a lot of interest. Seattle owns the final pick before round two. If all of the top tackles and receivers are drafted before #32, could he be a wild card alternative?

— The Seahawks have an insider when it comes to Easley. Dan Quinn spent two years as Florida’s defensive coordinator before rejoining the Seahawks. He’ll know all about the pro’s and con’s. Sometimes familiarity means you judge with a more critical eye. There’s no guarantee Quinn is banging the table for Easley — for all we know the opposite is true. But what if he is in there, fighting his corner despite the injuries? After all — the coaches in Florida made him a team captain.

— Matt Elam, last years #32 pick, has a cap hit peak of $2.15m on his rookie contract. It builds up to that number in year four from a starting point of $1.2m. The Ravens have a fifth year option on the deal. There’s no financial risk in taking Easley with the final pick in round one. If you grade him in the top-20 and you get positive news on his recovery, it’s not even that much of a gamble.

— Some people might argue taking Easley would be a luxury given the needs on the roster. However, could they target a receiver at #64 (eg, Brandon Coleman) and load up on offensive linemen using Cable’s later-round list? You could still fill your needs, while also getting a major impact player for your defensive line.

— The 49ers drafted Tank Carradine with the #40 pick last year — a player in a similar situation. Unlike Carradine, however, Easley is much further along in his rehab and shouldn’t need to be redshirted during the first year of his contract. For me, Easley’s also a better prospect.

— A reader named Thorson posted this a couple of days ago in relation to Easley’s injury issues. It’s worth a read:

As an orthopedic surgeon, I can perhaps add some insight into Easley’s knee. Typically, when fixing an ACL, we use a graft to replace the torn ligament. Sometimes we use a patient’s own tissue. Often, however, when dealing with an elite athlete, we use cadaver graft. That way we don’t compromise any function a patient might lose by taking a tendon from them. Also, recovery is quicker with banked, cadaver tissue since we don’t have to damage a patient’s leg harvesting the graft. So, assuming the tunnels we use to pass the graft were placed correctly, the hardware we use to fix the graft is easy to remove and probably most important that there is no underlying arthritis or significant damage to the meniscal cartilages, then there isn’t that much difference between recovery after ACL #1 or #2 (or #3 for that matter.) Again, the wild card is the status of the meniscal and joint cartilage. With each subsequent injury, there is more risk to these underlying structures.

This is a somewhat simplified look at things, but if his meniscal cartilages are OK and if he doesn’t have a great deal of arthritis, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose him if available.

I’m still sceptical the Seahawks would draft a player with two serious knee injuries in round one. He may just be one of many options at #64 or he might be off their board completely.

It’s not just the injuries either — they do prefer length on both sides of the line. Easley’s arms a shade under 33 inches (32 7/8 inches to be precise). Even Jordan Hill — drafted in round three last year — had 33 1/2 inch arms.

There’s a counter though. You know whose arms are even shorter than Easley’s?

Aaron Donald — 32 5/8 inches in length.

If you’re telling me the Seahawks wouldn’t draft Donald at #32 because of arm length, I’m here to tell you you’re probably wrong. Sometimes just being an explosive, gritty, determined individual who makes plays is enough to see beyond size.

Ask Russell Wilson.

It’s not often you get a chance to draft such an explosive player at the end of round one. A player who, if healthy, might not get past the likes of Chicago at #14 or Dallas at #16.

If the Seahawks are planning another surprise on draft day — maybe, just maybe, this could be it.

Take a look at the tape below vs Toldeo from 2013. There’s no volume until around the 1:45 mark:

0:20 — If you want to see how he wins against the run despite a lack of great size, this is a good example. He cuts to the left, shoots the gap and then locates the ball carrier. One area he can work on at the next level is finding the man with the ball and completing the play. On this occasion — no problem.

0:28 — Engages the center, gets off the block (shoving him to the ground in the process) and loops around to the right to force the quarterback to pull the ball down and run. The edge rushers were contained for the most part and only came into play once Easley had forced the QB to tuck and run. This is the kind of splash play that doesn’t show up in the stat column.

0:53 — Here he lines up as the nose tackle on 1st and 10 and dominates the center. He wins with leverage and strength. If you pause it at 0:58 — look at the penetration he’s created while still engaged with the center. Rushing from the interior isn’t just about a swim move, speed, shooting the gap and forcing a sack/TFL. A tackle can collapse the pocket by shoving the guard or center into the backfield to impact the play. This is a run and the RB does well to make the most out of the play. Against the pass, this kind of bull rush forces the quarterback to throw quickly or move from his spot.

1:45 — Easley blows this up before the center’s even snapped the ball fully to the quarterback. On fourth and inches they line him up against the center. At 288lbs. That says everything about how highly Florida valued his ability against the run in crucial short-yardage situations.

1:59 — On this play he’s well blocked on a double team. Yet after the QB completes a pass to the RB — look at the effort to race after the ball carrier as he runs downfield. Even if the cornerback wasn’t there to make the tackle, Easley would’ve made the play down the sideline. How many defensive tackles can do this?

2:50 — More dominance of the center, lined up as the nose on 2nd and 2.

4:32 — Another example of a splash play that doesn’t go down in the stat column. Easley explodes off the snap and shoots the gap between the center and right guard. The quarterback has no time to react and throws an inaccurate pass to thin air in the red zone — forcing a field goal on third down.

4:56 — Back to back plays in this segment of the tape where he bursts into the backfield forcing the quarterback into a quick throw. Watch and enjoy.

5:29 — Easley adjusts his position and lines up between the guard and center. He’s into the backfield before the guard’s even out of his stance — that’s elite get off. With the guard desperately trying to hold him, he drags down the running back with one hand for a TFL. It’s an incredible play.

6:01 — In this play by my watch the quarterback has 1.03 seconds before Easley is in his line of vision. He’s still getting into his drop, so he can’t step into the throw (notice the placement of his back foot). If Easley is blocked well, the quarterback can step up into the pocket and avoid the two closing edge rushers. Instead he’s held in position like a sitting duck. It all starts with the interior rush.

6:25 — Easley forces the guard into the pocket, is clearly held as he tries to disengage and forces the QB (no edge pressure this time) to scramble as he’s going through his progressions. He doesn’t get a sack, but if the left end contains his edge it’s a big win for the defense.

8:09 — I guess if you’re getting your ass kicked, you can just trip him up — right?

There are plays where he’s well covered by a double team. I counted two occasions where he was blocked 1v1 and gave up a decent run as a consequence. I think you can live with that given the number of snaps he faced and the overall impact he had on the game.

Very few players truly deserve to be referred to as ‘living in the backfield’. For Easley, it’s the best way to describe him.

Forget about the draft pick for a second. If I offered you the chance to sign an explosive player coming off an ACL injury on a contract worth $1.2-2.1m per year. Would you be interested?

So much depends on the medical reports on the most recent knee injury. Even then you’re putting faith in his ability to stay healthy. If you take the chance and that faith is rewarded, you could be left with a top-tier interior pass rusher. And those types of players aren’t usually available in the late first round.

*** Update ***


  1. MJ

    To answer the question at the end of the second to last paragraph, of course I’d sign that player. Unfortunately, it’s the draft capital that is the kicker for me, and especially in a deep draft.

    He’s a great player, but we are operating under the assumption that he will recover to his old form and that the injury issue is a fluke, not a recurring theme. That is a lot of questions despite the talent he provides.

    I’m no doctor but I had UCL replacement in college (Tommy John). I too had the ligament taken from a cadaver. While the medical advances nowadays are incredible, each surgery/patient can greatly differ. My arm fully recovered and was stronger as a result. However, it took a legitimate 2 years for my arm to feel normal again. I had elbow problems before and elbow problems persisted after. That’s my biggest concern with Easley. Some guys, are just not built to last. It has nothing to do with work ethic. He’s uber talented, but what good will that do if he is always on the sidelines?

    This is a great conversation Rob. While I absolutely love Easley, there’s just no way I could spend that type of draft capital on a health risk. In no way am I risk adverse to taking a gamble, but health is just something that is a huge crap shoot. And right now, all we know is that this is a serious issue.

    • williambryan

      But you’re still underestimating the crap shoot aspect. Look back to when Marcus Tubbs was drafted in the late first round. He was a great prospect who many considered to be better than Vince Wilfork, drafted a few spots ahead. No injury history. During the short time he was healthy, Tubbs looked pretty great. But the point is you just never know. Whoever you pick with #32 could get a serious injury in the gym the next day, or play in every game in their career. Easley is a risk, but I would argue, especially in light of the Tubbs situation, that there is no more inherent risk with picking Easley than with literally any other pick. He has a chance to be a star, that is enough for me.

  2. Connor Jackson

    Thanks for the post Rob! I’m glad I’m seeing some people on here hesitate because I hope that’s what most GM’s and coaches are doing on the other squads. I want this guy. My mind is made up. No wildcard. This is the guy! With the #32 pick in the 2014 NFL draft the SUPER BOWL CHAMPION Seattle Seahawks take… Dominique Easley!

  3. Austin

    Great post and I would be on board with this. What about ASJ? He recently ran a 4.5 at 270. Could he be in play at #32? I have a strange feeling he is going to be a Seahawk and would give Seattle a big receiving target that could make a major impact immediately. Doesn’t seem like he is getting enough talk.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the Seahawks made their bed at TE when they re-did Zach Miller’s contract and re-signed Anthony McCoy. Spending a first round pick on a tight end just seems like overkill at this point — especially considering ASJ is very much a tight end and not a glorified big receiver like Ebron.

      • Ely

        I agree that the Seahawks are set at TE. but I wouldn’t put it past them to still draft ASJ. He looks like a red zone monster. He is so smooth for his size. I went back and watched some tape on him and he moves a lot like a certain other TE for the Whales Vagina Chargers. Almost looks half speed but its just the smoothness he moves with. The Huskies lined him up all over as well. My only reservation with ASJ is weather or not he will love the game and be a guy who continually strives to improve. The Huskies old coach is a Pete Carroll disciple so he’ll have the inside info he needs to determine his desire. He has the red zone tools that this team is missing though.

        • Rob Staton

          The other thing to remember with ASJ is character. A lot of teams turned off by his personality and attitude.

          • Arias

            I’m really curious about this because I’ve seen you mention character concerns of his a couple times, I think the word you even used was ‘lazy’. Where have you been hearing that about ASJ and what were the concerns? I recognize he had the DUI, but it’s hard to imagine that alone is the source of the concerns you’re referring to.

            • Rob Staton

              “He’s more overrated and a bigger pain in the (butt) than the other guy. And he blocks like a wide receiver. I don’t want any part of him.”


              • Arias

                Yeah I have read that article, but to come to a conclusion that a guy is a big “pain in the butt” there must be some serious character flaw or way he goes about doing things that Evans sees as a major red flag. I’ve never seen anything from following his career at Washington to suggest he’s a “pain in the butt” outside of maybe the DUI. But he did appear very remorseful and contrite afterwards like a guy who regretted his poor decision making and learned from it. Sure, I realize that could all just be lip service for public consumption but he also always seemed like a very hard worker who took his responsibilities on and off the field seriously outside that incident. IOW, he seemed to me like he did have his head screwed on straight.

                For instance on the flip side, Jeremy Stevens? Yeah I could’ve seen scouts making the ‘big pain in the butt’ assessment of him coming out of college. He had a sophomoric mentality and immature attitude that bordered on boorishness and that obviously carried on into his pro career. But all the signs were there before he was even drafted. I just never saw a hint of that type of character evaluation with ASJ and wish there was more to go by than just a scout’s word. Not doubting that’s what’s being said, just would love to learn what it is.

                • Rob Staton

                  The take from two more scouts. I can sense a pretty consistent theme….

                  “Now he’s lazy and a (expletive). It’s all kinds of just minor stuff. There’s always something wrong with him.”

                  “I think he’s a pretender,” another scout said. “Not really a football player. The hype is big, but he don’t want to block and he is kind of half-(expletive) in everything he does. Inconsistent and unreliable.”


              • Brett

                Sounds like some teams are trying to lower his draft stock in hopes he falls to him. I find it very hard to believe that ASJ didn’t interview extremely well.

          • LantermanC

            I agree that Character is a big concern for Pete and JS, they want the Russell Wilson / Sherman types who burn to win and prepare well, however, Lynch, Christine Michael, TO, Braylon, Lendale White, Terrelle Pryor, probably even Richard Sherman, all had “character concerns” and the Seahawks weren’t afraid to bring them in. While it may be a concern, I think PC and JS judge on their own a player’s character and whether or not they fit in with the Hawks.

      • Hawks420

        ASJ is very much a TE, agreed. But with 21 TD’s (compared to Ebron’s 9),the ability to highpoint the ball and uses his body to shied defenders. I think he’s a match-up nightmare and one of best receiving TE’s in this class. He’s bigger and faster than Benjamin and Coleman, with more TD’s.

        Rob is probably right… but Miller will be 30yrs old with an expired contract in under 2 years. Plus, we did go RB in round 2 last year. So I’m not giving up hope yet.

  4. matt509

    If Shazier is there at 32 and Easley there at 64 do we go defense both picks?

    • Rob Staton

      It depends who else is available. But I doubt Shazier will be there at #32 and increasingly I’m doubtful Easley will be there at #64.

      • SHawn

        IF though Rob, IF!

        That would surely be enough value to forgo a WR or OT early. I mean we are talking about 2 possible starters in year one here.

        • Arias

          Again, don’t you think that would depend on the wide receivers and tackles also available? Depending on who it is, that player could be a day 1 starter too.

          • SHawn

            I dont see any WR that will become a starter year 1 for us.

            RT or LG could see a rookie start tho, although I like Bailey and Bowie a lot. It would take a hell of a player to upset those guys. And they were 7th and UDFA last year. This coaching staff is amazing.

          • matt509

            There are only two players I think we take over Shazier. Odell Beckham and Marqise Lee.

            • matt509

              That’s who realistically has a shot of being there

    • Darin

      That would be a dream draft for this guy! Stock up on the athletes on Defense to keep it at an Elite level! Defense wins Championships, just ask Peyton Manning.

  5. James

    An intriguing post, Rob. Taking an extreme risk on a seriously injured player, and being willing to essentially redshirt him (though he could be ready at some point this season), is the only way you land a talent like Easley picking late in R1. But, gambling and losing with your top draft picks is also a way to begin the long, slow slide. Isn’t is safer just to replace Golden Tate and Brenno in R1 and R2, count your blessings, and get ready for the ride to the repeat? You would have to have absolute confidence in your medical staff, who would have to deliver strong assurances, to make the risk worthwhile. One question I would have is, if Easley’s medicals are OK, wouldn’t other thorough teams know about it as well, and wouldn’t the chance for a top ten talent entice someone picking before #32? If he is still there, I would be seriously worried about why.

    • James

      …another possible factor is that Easley appears to play the same position as Greg Scruggs, who the Seahawks appear to be very high on. Scruggs is up to 315 lbs and ready to be unleashed. An interior pass rush DT / combined with a 5 tech DE on run downs; they fill an identical role. But, as you say, Dan Quinn would know if anyone would.

      • Rob Staton

        In fairness on Scruggs, he’s yet to play at that weight and he’s never shown close to the explosive ability Easley has.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, the Seahawks won a Super Bowl without seeing ideal production from three first rounders (including Harvin) so I’m not sure not hitting on first rounders will start any slide. Neither do I see this as an extreme risk. He’s well along in the rehab and would contribute in 2014. It’s more a calculated gamble.

      • Griffey, Mays, & Largent

        ETIII and Okung looked pretty good. But in fairness, our first pick mattered so much more when they were drafted. We NEEDED to hit on those or continue to struggle. Now I feel we have the luxury to take BPA or gamble a bit. Especially since the cap hit won’t be much of a factor. Easley at #32 would be a gamble, but we can afford to take risks in this draft.

        It all depends on his medical report. As previously stated in another comment you just never know if any one will be able to remain healthy. I love how PCJS accumulate talent and depth. I say we need more talent and competition at WR, OL, DL, TE, and LB. In that order. It would be nice to address all of those in this draft.

  6. James

    fyi…Kiper’s and McShay’s new mocks are up at ESPN, and they both have the Seahawks taking Tuitt. Kiper shows Bitonio and James falling to R2. ps – I am seeing a number of national mocks with Benjamin and Lee sliding to R2, with Latimer jumping ahead of them. I still wonder if Pete can resist Benjamin….he has been lusting after a moster SE for years, to no avail.

    • matt509

      I might give Latimer the edge, but it would definitely be tough to pass on Benjamin.

    • David M

      If Lee is available at 32, wow I would jump on that. He was the top WR in the country in 2012, hurt his knee, then 2013, his performance really dropped, but look at many player (Clemons, rg3, and basically anyone else with an ACL INJURY) it takes a good year to get back healthy, and then some more time to full feel confident in your knee when cutting, etc… I mean look at these 2012 highlights dude is a playmaker. But I can’t dock Benjamin either. There 2 totally different receivers, and if both were available at 32, I personally would go with Lee. If he returns to his 2012 form, which I fully expect him to, he would be a steal at 32. I see him as a taller Percy Harvin. Just a playmaker, screens, slants, deep routes, he can do it all.

      Both Benjamin and Lee could be a terror in our offense.

      Your thoughts?

      • James

        The only reason to pick Lee is if you don’t plan to re-sign Baldwin and Kearse….they play the same positions. I would think they will be retained, their contracts should be reasonable. The Seahawks only go WR for a Split End type, 6-2 at a minimum. Benjamin, Latimer or Moncrief if R1, Bryant or Coleman if R2 (small possibility Matthews or Robinson).

        • Rob Staton

          Lee would be too good to pass at 32… But he’ll be long gone.

  7. Stuart

    Easley at #32 IF:

    1) Our doctors feel extremely confident about his medical situation going forward. The case you mention with Gore is totally encouraging.

    2) Dan Quinn wants him badly, Round 1 badly.

    Then, if 1 and 2 are completely satisfied, HELL YES!

    Would you rather pick Easley at #32 or a player who is currently mocked with a late 2nd to 3rd round grade? Next question….

  8. LouieLouie

    Hey Rob:
    Even if his injury is not completely healed, the Hawks have shown that they can let a young draft pick take whatever time is necessary to mend, even if they put him on IR, and still win the Superbowl.

    • SHawn

      That they have.

      Jesse Williams, Tharold Simon, Walter Thurmond even.

  9. Jon

    This is the deal for me.
    I would rather have Easley, a potentialy elite player at the 32nd pick, if the medical checks out, than to have a player that could be above average or not at his respective position.

    For me it has to depend on who is left on the board.

  10. Darren

    Thanks for the player analysis and interesting prospective scenarios. Makes very interesting reading.

    I’m afraid there could be 7-9 WR taken in the first. A top 15 talent like Easley would be a great option and wouldn’t have to be an every down player. Our DL rotation lost three quality players. Comparing favorably with Donald,
    he’s be tough to pass on at that point.

    I also think ASJ could be in play, thinking longterm. The measureless alone, 6’6″ 270 and a 4.59 37″ vert. That’s a major upside and millers past his prime. His coach Sarkesian knows Pete well.

    It’s hard to imagine Lee and Benjamin falling to the second round. Do you think Coleman could be in play at 32. I’ve heard some say as late as a fourth round grade on him. Again, hard to fathom that as the case.

    All things being equal I’m predicting WR at 32.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Coleman is a wild card but may be targeted at 64 instead. I’m not convinced they’ll draft any TE in this class.

      • Morgan

        Unless a late flier on Blake Annen from Cincy. Sooooo Seahawky.

  11. Vin

    Honestly, I’m to a point where it doesn’t matter to me who they draft. I just want it here already. As much as u love reading Rob’s articles, it would be a breath of fresh air to start talking about who the Hawks drafted and how they’ll contribute or who they may replace. I really hope the hawks hit it with these first 2 picks. As cool as it is to see the later round picks step up, those 1st and second rounders should be starters and not the other way around. With the $$ that’s about to be shelled out, we need some good drafts these next couple years.

    Regarding the article, I only take Easley if the worst case happens–run on WRs and OL. I wouldn’t reach for a 2nd or 3rd tier WR or OL just because I don’t think they might be there at the end of rnd 2.

    • Arias

      I don’t care what rounds they find starters in so long as they find them. That being said, the source of frustration for me when they miss in early rounds is that theoretically it should be easier to find starters early than late. Their repeatedly competency in late rounds is enough proof to me that they’ve got big time evaluation prowess and should be hitting on their early round picks too. But for whatever reasons they haven’t hit home runs at the same pace outside of some easy picks that filled immediately needs in the first round of 2010.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I agree with both of you. I’m tired of waiting for the draft and the massive overanalysis going on in articles and network TV. I think they showed four hours of Path to the Draft last night. “Lets Git er Done”

      Also agree that the Seahawks should be hitting more consistently in first few rounds. Why all the risky moves for supposedly elite athletes? We just need solid players who can stay healthy and are trainable. That’s why Earl, Kam and Sherman are great. Only one was a first rounder. The Kam and Sherman were rated as dog meat, not worthy of a top round pick. Yet with training they are all pro.

      Also this search for the edge rusher. If there was any group with a worse failure rate then wide receiver it would be edge rusher. I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again – you got to have the attitude of a junk yard dog to fill that position. If Easly is in good health and has that attitute then go for him. If he is ready to have his butt handed to him 20 times, get pile driven into the turf by a linemen 50 pounds heavier then him, and still put forth 110% effort into the next 10 rushes, then he is the right person for that position.

  12. Dtrain

    OK this is what two extra weeks before the draft has netted me…absolutely stir-crazy…I think I found a Sweezy/Fat Rabbit candidate…Tim Jackson, 6-4, 290, North Carolina DT #93…played alongside Kareem Martin (a favorite of mine for the Hawks in round #2). You know the Hawks have spent a lot of time sniffing around Martin (6-6, 272, 4.72, 35″ arms, 1.53 10yd dash, production in a good conference), so they have probably seen a lot of film on Jackson, which is “meh” at best. But…he has a 1.68 10, what looks to be long arms (can’t find a #), and is an ACC All-Academic kid. Watching the film of Martin (no Jackson film on Draft Breakdown), he has a very athletic build and excellent burst. OG conversion project? Doubt Hawks would need to draft him…could be an UDFA. Interested what the SDB community thinks…?

    • CC

      Kareem! I like him a lot – he’s one of my favorites too!

      • me

        Yeah, his numbers outside the last 30 yards of a 40 are so similar to Clowney’s it’s insane. His SPARQ was almost identical too when field gulls looked at it. Honestly I wouldn’t be shocked if they took him in R1, they tend to fall in love with the freaks with the early picks and if there’s a run on WR/OT it wouldn’t be completely unforseable.

        I’m still clinging to the pipe dream that no one wants a smurf with all these nice tall receivers available and somehow we grab OBJ.

        • Rob Staton

          Big issue with Kareem Martin is he stays blocked. His tape is extremely mediocre.

          • Morgan

            Might be a ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane’ candidate, but then he also could be Carlos Dunlap 2.0. I wouldn’t trust him in the first round, but like Dunlap I also don’t think he’ll make it to the end of the second.

          • hawkfaninMT

            Please keep this dialogue going! Everyone you hype ends up in the 1st! I am quietly liking Martin in the 2nd for the Hawks.

    • Rob Staton

      Very intriguing find.

  13. CFraychineaud

    Hey Rob,

    Could you do a comparative analysis between Easley and Donald. Their strengths and weaknesses, their game tape, that sort of stuff if you had to break it down for each and give the different sections grades.

    Would be interesting to see how they compared, and what we could possibly get in your view at a later spot (32nd pick) purely because of injuries to Easley, because we all know you would take Donald if he was there.

    • Rob Staton

      If I get time I will get into this.

  14. EranUngar

    The answer seems too easy. With his obvious potential, if his knees check out and Quine gives his bless, why the hell not?

    The big picture question is different.

    We have seen the next man up working within the roster in the past few years. Sherman went in to replace Thurmond, Max over Browner and others that worked admirably. Our Dline demolished Denver in the SB without a single 1st round player on it. The next man up is there at the draft as well. For every pick there are a few others which are pretty close and the stats tell us that while you strive to pick the best one available you have very little guaranty who things will work at the next level.

    We started 2013 with the deepest roster in the land. We ended it as the best roster in the land. Making the roster will be a tall order for a rookie, making an impact on that roster is even harder. Still, if this caravan is to continue and leave the barking dogs behind we need two hits on the draft every year. Two guys that will grow into major contributors. Counting on late round gems is possible but not probable even for this FO. The best chance to do it is with your top picks. It could be easier to do if you pick players at your perceived positions of need but picking BPA may be better in the long run.

    That brings me back to Easly. He is a steal pick. A pick of a player that is available later then he “should be”. The 7-9 Seahawks desperately needed a few of those. It was worth whatever risk was there to make them available. The 13-3 SB champions Seahawks signing their core stars to long time contracts need the closest thing they can find in the draft to a “sure thing” with their top 2 picks and roll the dice later on.

    If Easly is that in their eyes than i’d love him as our 1st. If he is a high stakes win or bust – NEXT MAN UP on the board.

  15. TurnagainTide

    I’m on board with Easley, we just won the Superbowl so why not swing for the fenses? It seems like the front office would really like to add another pass rusher but not sure if they go edge or interior with a combo brought in in FA. Interior guys are so rare, it would be very tempting although probably not the safest pick on paper.

    • Arias

      I don’t think gambling by swinging for the fences is the best policy on first round picks, where just making solid contact with the ball gives you a better chance of hitting with that player. I think the FO will take him only if they feel sure he’s not a high risk/high reward type gamble. You don’t get to where they have by wasting time and valuable draft resources on guys with a high probability of failing.

  16. Ben2

    Read an article on Fieldgulls re history if pick 32. Not too inspiring – Brees an Mankins were the highlights. Thinking about all of the weak players picked at 32 I’d be into a gamble on a talent like Easley. Can’t wait for the draft.

    • Mattk

      Honestly, who cares what the history of the #32 pick has been. It’s like suggesting there’s no great players drafted after the 31st pick which Seahawk fans know is not the case.

    • Arias

      That’s the kind of article written when reaching for an offseason pre-draft topic to write about. It’s not very relevant though.

      • Ben2

        I just look at like at pick 32 as an odds game. The deeper in the draft you go the less the odds of picking a high impact player….now in this game your odds can be increased by certain other factors (ie good front office/scouting and a coaching staff committed to development). All I’m saying is that I’m the kinda guy that’s more willing to go ALL IN with a $100 chip (ie pick 32) than I would be with a $10,000 chip (ie top 5 pick). My aversion to risk and going for broke increases the less valuable the the item I’m betting. I think many people assess risk/opportunity in a similar fashion. Who knows, maybe that’s a small reason our FO is so successful in the late rounds: they’re willing to gamble on the upside of a player more. I think we’re seeing this phenomenon with the QB needy teams in the top 5 and a player like Manziel.

        • Arias

          I think your assessment of the odds game is accurate, as well as your analogy on the chips. But if you consider that the $100 chip is the most valuable you’ve got it starts becoming relative. You’re IMO more likely to treat that $100 chip like it’s your 10k chip than if you had a 10k chip and $100 chip to play with, like say Cleveland does. You wouldn’t want to go all-in with it unless all your first round grade guys are off the board.

  17. EranUngar

    Easly is not a swing for the fences.

    Easly is either and ohh my god how did he last this long or sorry but no. The great thing about it is that the FO is in the best position to make that call.

    This guy has been there and done that. He had an ACL injury, did the work, got back to top form and was picked to lead the D as it’s Captain. Those attributes IMO are as close as you can get to meney in the bank regarding what this guy is made of. The rest we could all see on film.

    All that’s left is his knees. If they are clear i’m not sure he there at 32, if they are not then it’s no thank you.

    No need to gamble on this one. Whatever we do not know, the FO knows. For them it should be a sure thing. Either positive or negative.

    • Ben2

      Medical diagnostic testing has come a long way but is still is not an exact science.

  18. Arias

    Yup, it’s looking Bitonio is picking up steam. Peter King is saying Carolina is high on him after Rivera visited him in Nevada, he said he came away very impressed with the kid.

    Here’s the thing though, Gettleman has so totally pigeonholed himself with his non-moves in free agency while turning over the entire wide receiver corps that he pretty much has no choice but to draft a wide receiver in the first round. At least I can’t possibly see how he doesn’t while expecting Jericho Cotchery to take over Steve Smith’s role. That’d be pathetic. So if they’re eying Bitonio they gotta be eying him for round #2.

    This is why you don’t pigeonhole yourself like Gettleman where everyone knows exactly what position you’ll be drafting for.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure they’re pigeon holed totally to receiver. They need a left tackle just as badly. There’s a better chance to get a good receiver in round two than a starting left tackle. I think they go LT in round one, then WR in round two personally.

  19. phil

    Off topic — so excuse me. I read yesterday that Russell Wilson’s NFL jersey sales have surpassed Peyton Manning’s to become the most popular among fans nation-wide! How cool is that.

    I hope all of Rob’s readers are buying their Seahawks garb via the links on this website. It’s nice to show our appreciation for Rob’s hard work by sending a little money his way!

    • AlaskaHawk

      I bought a shirt and love the green on charcoal grey colors. I’ll be wearing it on draft days.

  20. House

    I have warmed up more and more to the Easley pick IF Latimer, Bitonio or James are gone. I feel that Easley’s hard work recoverying from this injury show the TYPE of person/player he is. I would chance a determined player that fought hard to get back to the game he loves any day of the week. Rob stated best that the contract ramifications are minimal and there is no guaranteed return on investment at any pick # in the draft.

    It is awesome to have such a diverse blend of followers on here and such a cool thing for a guy like Thorson to explain the ins/outs of an ACL repair. You made that all possible for us Rob. Thanks and keep up the outstanding work. You keep writing and I for sure will keep reading!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man.

  21. Jeff M.

    I think the odds of one of the “wildcard” picks like Easley are increasing absent a trade up/down.

    It’s looking more and more that a number of the players Rob and others have pointed out as potential Seahawks will have floors in the late 20s:
    -Latimer likely won’t get past the Saints at 27
    -Rumors suggest Bitonio’s floor is the Panthers at 28
    -Hageman would be snatched by Patriots at 29 (if they don’t move out of the 1st) or Niners at 30
    It’s also very possible that all three of these guys could be off the board 10 picks earlier than that, but if one of them does fall, we would need to be ready to jump to something like 25/26 for a shot at him.

    I actually think the prospects for a trade up with Cleveland at 26 would be pretty decent–the deal would be based around 32 and 64 for 26 and 71 (we’d have to add a bit more, like one/both of our 5ths or a future 3rd/4th)–Cleveland could stay ahead of Houston (and keep the 5th year option) and pick twice each in the first two rounds, while we could move up for a Seahawky prospect at a position of need and still get an impact player in the high 3rd.

    Failing that, though, it does seem like it’ll either be an “out-of-the-blue” guy like Easley, or they’ll grab Tuitt like Kiper and McShay are predicting.

  22. Emperor_MA

    I think this question is moot.

    If Easley’s knees check out, he will not be available at #32. If he is available, that means at least 15-20 teams will have determined that his knees didn’t check out. I’d wouldn’t want our team being the only one of those that disagrees.

    • Rob Staton

      I disagree Emperor. Even if his knees are cleared, some teams will still be scared off and will search for more of a sure thing — someone with an unblemished injury record. It’s not a black and white situation where the only way he makes it to #32 is if his knees are shot.

    • Colin

      He’ll be there at 32.

      • House

        I just read an article called: “Making the Case for Dominique Easley” written by a NE Pats writer. Apparently they are expressing BIG interest in Easley as well

        • Colin

          His talent is undeniable. But I can’t imagine him round 1 with those two knee injuries.

          • House

            I have seen craziier things happen…

            Willis McGahee was drafted in the 1st rd (2003 #23) after his knee was COMPLETELY blown out. He did sit his entire rookie season, but BUF drafted him knowing he wouldn’t be able to contribute (ala Marcus Lattimore)

            Several reports are coming about that Easley WILL be ready for training camp. His injury occurred very early in the season and advancement in recovery is FAR better what it was previously. The guy had both ACLs tear, not the same one twice. I would chalk that up to 2 isolated incidents, not a injury plaqued guy.

          • Jon

            realy, you cant imagine it?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Not necessarily. Most other teams draft for need in R1 (read: NEED). Easley isn’t a “need” player. His knees make him too questionable to depend on him for a need. However, he is the quintessential “want” player because of his amazing upside.

      Seattle doesn’t have many roster needs (and even those they do have aren’t major), so they aren’t really drafting for need at 32. That makes Easley, who would otherwise be a top-15/top-10 selection but for his knees, a legitimate option for SEA at 32.

    • Colin

      There’s also the matter of is a team going to pass on what they think is a better prospect for them, for a guy coming off two ACL’s?

    • Jon

      I think we need to realize that being a top 15 talent does not mean that you are the best player on the board for 17 teams in the first round. If he was healthy (never injured) he may be picked anywhere in the top 20 depending on how boards fall. With an injury, even if his medical is fully cleared some teams will not be able to convince themselves. The GM and the Coach recieves a clearance from the doctors, that doesn’t mean the GM and coach want to rest a first on the player. The GM and Coach are the ones that will loose a job if the player does not turn out. I say there are 2 or three teams that could draft him due to coaching security and need levels of assesment. 49ers, Patriots, Broncos, and Seahawks. All of the other teams have to great a need in other areas and have to be certain they have a day one difference maker.

  23. M

    Given the quality of QBs likely to be available at the end of 1/early 2, they may try to trade down in the early second and then pick Easley (plus the extra pick).

    • Von

      I was thinking the same thing. Trade with Jax ( they pick Garapollo) and then we select Easly and picking up a 3rd.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t see anyone trading to #32 for a QB. I really can’t see it.

  24. burkholderj

    Rob, I feel like your writing this piece to prepare us for who the Seahawks are going to pick. Generally close to the draft you start getting your insider information from around the league and it mostly turns out to be true. And to be honest with you I am so okay with this pick. He is an absolute beast. I hope he doesn’t trump picking Bitonio though.

  25. James

    Through Rob’s leadership, we have spent months pouring over prospects and identifying those players who seem to fit both a need and a type with the Seahawks, including but not limited to Latimer, Bitonio, James, Benjamin, Hageman, Shazier, Moncrief and now Easley. I would say we are at the point that we have done as well as we can do speculating about the R1 players on the Seahawks draft board with a week to go, and are having fun doing it!

    What we don’t know, and what makes it difficult to predict, is what kind of need PC & JS project as they move the pieces around their chessboard. What they decide to do, contract-wise, with Avril, Mebane, Maxwell, Baldwin, Carpenter and Kearse, will determine the actual pick. We also don’t really know how they project guys like Bowie, Bailey, Scruggs, Hill, Williams, etc.

    ie…we don’t really know just how badly PC & JS think they need a right OT. Is it urgent, or is it a luxury? Same with OG, DT, Leo, WR etc. Therefore, what we are really pondering is who is the most “Seahawky” best-player-available? We can wish and hope for that guy, but for all we know, the Seahawks see a totally different priority.

    What we have learned in the off-season is that this is all cold-blooded. Red Bryant was the heart and soul of the team. Golden left it all on the field producing touchdowns. Brenno spilled blood for the Beast. All gone…. because they can be replaced. Does John plan to replace them via promotion (Scruggs, Bowie), or does he go to the draft? Best guess is highest need is DL, both leo and tackle. Cable can find depth in the middle rounds for the OL, and WR is not urgent if they project having Percy, Angry Doug and Jermaine for another 3 years or more. Easley might very well be the guy, unless they know that Scruggs is the next star….the answer comes in a week.

  26. me

    I don’t think we’re as need driven as most FOs. Or at least, I don’t think we knee jerk panic and force a pick in rd 1-2 if there’s a guy we can target in 4-5 that isn’t a “complete” player but excels in the areas we’re most concerned about. Really that’s what our front office has done best – identify guys with special traits that are undervalued and then put them in a situation to play to their strengths.

    Rob, who would you consider the most ‘Seahawky’ mid round prospects? I’m especially curious about the two big ‘needs’ at OL and WR there, since they are definitely not afraid to target specific guys in the mid rounds and go after high ceiling talent early werever it falls in position because of it.

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