The early 2019 watchlist — year of the defensive linemen

D’Andre Walker — tough, intense and ready for a big season at Georgia

This is a really exciting year.

I’ve been doing this blog for a decade. I can’t remember having this many defensive linemen on the early watchlist. The Seahawks could well be in the D-line market in the off-season, so this is good news.

I’ve spent the last few weeks watching the players below. Before the college football season begins, here are my thoughts on an intriguing group.

Spoiler — I really like two linebackers.

1. Nick Bosa (DE, Ohio State)
He’s the real deal. Fantastic quickness off the snap just like his brother. Incredible agility and bend plus the power and size to win in different ways. I think he’ll run a bit faster than Joey (apparently Nick runs a 4.57). If none of the quarterbacks rise to the top, Bosa has a legit chance to be the #1 pick. He had 16 TFL’s in 2017. ESPN’s #3 overall recruit in 2016 (behind Rasharn Gary and Greg Little). Incredible talent. The kind of player who can transform a pass rush.

2. Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson)
Ferrell wows you with his size, speed and potential. His get-off is outstanding and he’s perfectly capable of exploding off the EDGE as a speed rusher or handling the tougher duties in the run game. Some believe he could add weight and kick inside but he can pretty much do anything. It’ll be a surprise if he doesn’t go in the top-10 next year. He would’ve been a high pick this year but chose to return to Clemson in a pact with Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant. Ferrell had 18 TFL’s in 2017.

3. Ed Oliver (DL, Houston)
He ran a 4.87 at 289lbs during the SPARQ workouts. He also added a 4.52 short shuttle and a SPARQ score of 105.63. Oliver is lightning quick and extremely agile for his size. If he wants to play inside permanently he might need to add weight but he’ll get to the combine, have a sensational workout and likely find a home in the top-10. He had 16.5 TFL’s last season. ESPN’s #4 overall recruit in 2016.

4. Raekwon Davis (DE, Alabama)
Just an enormous, powerful and highly athletic monster. He’s 6-7 and about 305lbs. You immediately think about Calais Campbell at that size but Davis is a little less beastly and quite a bit quicker than Campbell. He scored a 93.63 at the SPARQ workouts which is decent for his size. Davis looks like he was made for the NFL. Exciting.

5. D’Andre Walker (LB, Georgia)
Who doesn’t love a high intensity, physical wrecking machine at linebacker? He’s intense and powerful — a genuine BAMF. Walker gets into the backfield with quickness and power but he’s also a useful blitzer on stunts. He’ll engage a lineman and win which is impressive for his size — plus he’s adept at disengaging to make a TFL. As a gunner on special teams he has ferocious potential. Walker jumped a 33 inch vertical at the SPARQ tests and his 4.16 short shuttle is in Leighton Vander Esch territory. He had a sack vs Florida where he drove two offensive linemen into the QB. Walker is all about determination and will to win. Love him. He’ll set the tone. He had 13.5 TFL’s last season (the same number as Shaquem Griffin).

6. Devin White (LB, LSU)
White absolutely flies to the ball. His ability to find the gap as a blitzing linebacker is highly impressive and he makes a ton of plays. There are similarities to Jarrad Davis. He ran a 4.57 at 260lbs at the SPARQ tests and also recorded an 4.36 short shuttle, a 34 inch vertical and a 122.19 overall score. First round talent and like D’AndreWalker, an intense tone-setter who will lead a defense. Both Walker and White are terrific, fun players to watch with legit NFL potential.

7. Dexter Lawrence (DE, Clemson)
An athletic nose tackle and we’ve seen how early these players go in recent years. He’s big, strong but not quite as freaky as Vita Vea. Lawrence still ran a 5.03 at 335lbs at the SPARQ workouts, plus an outstanding 4.61 short shuttle. At that size, it’s a wow time. He’s a 88.98 SPARQ athlete. You see him very capable of holding the point as you’d expect but there’s some pass rush in there too. Can he show even more in 2018 to land a high grade? ESPN’s #6 overall recruit in 2016.

8. David Edwards (T, Wisconsin)
Round one lock. After Walker and White, I think Edwards was the player I most enjoyed watching. He’s a tone setter and an ideal right tackle. He’s in control, he’s physical. He’s exactly what you’d expect from a blocker from Wisconsin. Having watched his interviews and a segment on his personality, he’s clearly the right type of character you want on your team. He looks the part, lives the life. I really struggled to find any flaws in his technique. Tough, physical. Great prospect who will go early.

9. Rashan Gary (DE, Michigan)
Gary hasn’t been as spectacular as Bosa or Ferrell so far but you see little flashes of greatness. Now he needs to dominate this season. He ran a 4.86 at 287lbs so he’s a similar athlete potentially to Ed Oliver. He also ran a 4.59 short shuttle and had a 95.82 SPARQ score. You can see the physicality and the talent is there. He’s a top-10 type. In 2018 he needs more than just the six sacks and 12 TFL’s. It’s time to dominate. ESPN’s #1 overall recruit in 2016.

10. Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
Perfect three-technique frame, excellent mobility for his size and fantastic quickness off the snap. Wilkins can chase across the line and regularly makes tackles away from the LOS. He shows great variety to win with quickness, technique, speed-to-power and can drive a guard into the backfield with a bull rush. Excellent, valuable interior player.

11. Chauncey Gardner Jr. (S, Florida)
The Gators have become a school for great safeties and Gardner looks the part. He’s incredibly fast and dynamic and runs with the kind of range you want to see from a top free safety. He’ll hit you given the chance but it’s his speed and range that make him intriguing. He’s had some rough moments (see: Tennessee, 2017) but overall there’s a ton to like about his game.

12. Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
‘Violent’ is the best way to describe Brown. His body slam tackle in the UCF game highlights that. He does two things really well — he controls the line of scrimmage and he has just enough pass rush to be an every down DT. He has the ideal frame for a three technique. Testing will be key though because he only scored a 64.38 in SPARQ. ESPN’s #9 overall recruit in 2016.

13. Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)
Harris was a blog favourite last year. He has the ideal size and frame, explosive traits, he’s a plus pass blocker and he’s can get the hard yards and also act as a home run hitter. If he gets the bell-cow workload in 2018 he’s a strong Heisman candidate. He’s not Saquon Barkley as a talent but he has an extremely robust set of skills.

14. Trey Adams (T, Washington)
The big thing for Trey Adams is to prove he’s back to his best following the knee injury. If he can do that, he could be the first tackle off the board. He’s tall and long and very capable as a pass blocker or run blocker. He’s the kind of solid, consistent tackle prospect that regularly goes in the top-15 these days.

15. Greg Little (T, Ole Miss)
Little handled Alabama’s Da’Shawn Hand last year and does a very good job getting to the second level. His hand placement is good and he doesn’t overextend. I just want to know official numbers on his size and length. I wondered, watching him on tape, whether he was more suited to being a big guard. Still, he’s a likely first round pick based on the NFL’s desperate need for offensive linemen and Little is very accomplished and in control of his blocks. ESPN’s #2 overall recruit in 2016.

16. Joe Jackson (DE, Miami)
Jackson has a terrific frame with ideal size. He has the quickness and the length. You watch him and see a complete package. I’m wary of an underwhelming 80.31 SPARQ score but he didn’t appear to lack explosive athleticism on tape. He looked beastly at times and a big year in 2018 could propel him into round one. He looks the part, now it’s time to deliver. 11.5 TFL’s last season.

17. Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
Lock has a snappy, quirky release which is quite low and might scare teams focused on technique. Yet there’s no denying he really fires the ball out. His arm strength is impressive. In terms of accuracy and consistency? He needs to take a step forward there. He seriously considered declaring this year. Can Missouri support him well enough in the SEC? Of all the QB prospects he and Jarrett Stidham have the best chance to rise in a down year for the position.

18. Brian Burns (DE, Florida State)
Twitchy, long, balanced pass rusher. There are moments where he bends round the arc and straightens to the quarterback and you take notice. Like Joe Jackson, you see a LOT to like and he has the potential to go very early with a big 2018 season. He can stand to add weight to his frame and get into the 255-265lbs range. He’s a 92.04 SPARQ talent and looks explosive. Had a great freshman season but didn’t hit the heights in 2017. Big opportunity this year.

19. Jonathan Ledbetter (DE, Georgia)
This was a fun watch. Ledbetter has a motor, he’s quick, he works through traffic and defends the edge well. He was the #61 overall recruiting talent in 2015 (per ESPN) and you can see why. He’s particularly good defending the run but he offers enough speed as a pass rusher to think he could be really effective at the next level. Really like him. Needs more than 5.5 TFL’s this year.

20. Austin Bryant (DE, Clemson)
Bryant didn’t go into the 2017 season getting the reviews of Ferrell, Wilkins and Lawrence. Yet every time I watched Clemson he found a way to make a play. He ended the year with 15.5 TFL’s and was touted as a likely first round prospect (before he chose not to declare). Testing will be big for Bryant (he only managed a 76.35 SPARQ score).

21. Jarrett Stidham (QB, Auburn)
Auburn’s season really came to life at the end of 2017 thanks to an angry defense, Kerryon Johnson and Stidham’s calm head at quarterback. He’s methodical, accurate and assured. He’s also elusive and ran a decent 4.66 at SPARQ. This is a big season for Stidham. Some of Auburn’s big rivals might take a step back this year. Can Stidham lead them to the SEC Championship again and boost his own chances of being a high pick?

22. Levonta Taylor (CB, Florida State)
I thought he looked terrific as a potential slot corner. He’s instinctive and competes against bigger targets. He shows good reactions to play the ball. He had an elite 140.16 SPARQ score (including a 42 inch vertical and a 4.38 forty). He won’t be an outside corner for a lot of teams at his size but Jaire Alexander and Jason Verrett were both high picks.

23. A.J. Brown (WR, Ole Miss)
He looked better than I expected. He’s a quick and thick set receiver and he only managed a 27.5 inch vertical at the SPARQ workouts. Yet here he was — running deep, making plays, juking between tacklers in the open field. He’s surprisingly shifty and quick enough for his size. Testing is key but there are things to like here.

24. Jaquan Johnson (S, Miami)
He plays with a purpose. Johnson’s physical, fast and makes plays. He’s the captain on Miami’s defense and plays with a fantastic zest and attitude. He only ran a 4.68 at SPARQ testing but he looks a lot quicker on tape. He can push up to the line and play the run, he tackles well in space and he’s quick to cover.

25. Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina)
Chunk play specialist. He has a thick frame (a bit like Brown) and he’s more elusive than you’d expect. It catches you off guard. He looks a bit like Torrey Smith in that regard. Samuel has excellent straight line speed and excels as a returner. Has the frame to be more than just a deep threat.

26. Bryce Love (RB, Stanford)
There’s no doubting Love is an electrifying talent. You do have to wonder about his size though. Plus, Stanford has had a number of prolific runners in recent years. When everyone gets bigger, faster and stronger at the next level — are the big lanes going to be open for Love? Can he create on his own? Can he get the hard yards? He’s really good but might have to be part of a duo.

27. J.R. Reed (S, Georgia)
More of a hybrid slot but very capable of coming up to the line and hitting. His range looked good on the few examples I could find. He has decent size and NFL bloodlines. Reed is an excellent tackler and he won’t have any issues working against the bigger bodies at the next level.

Others players of note

DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia)
I’m not totally sold on Baker. Admittedly he ended last season well and impressed against Auburn, Oklahoma and Alabama but he too often loses track of the ball. He ran a 4.64 at the SPARQ workouts and only managed a 81.57 SPARQ score. He is a good tackler and squeezes receivers well to the sideline. Does he have first round upside though? Not sure.

Zach Allen (DE, Boston College)
I didn’t really know what to make of Allen. His frame and size aren’t easy to place. Does he have to kick inside? He lacks speed and doesn’t look like a top athlete but he can control blockers, disengage and he’s capable of knifing into the backfield. He had 15.5 TFL’s last season. He didn’t scream first round to me but he does have production.

T.J. Edwards (LB, Wisconsin)
‘Proper’ linebacker. Only a two-star recruit and might not have great testing at the combine. He plays with physicality and passion. Looks quite heavy but seems to make enough plays dropping into coverage. Has had a number of interceptions including a superb one-handed catch against Iowa. Probably won’t go early but fun to watch. Both Edwards and Washington defensive tackle Greg Gaines (who I like a lot) might be mid round picks who stick in the league for a long time.

Josh Allen (LB, Kentucky)
He’s very controlled and reads plays well. Allen offers some rush off the edge. At times he looks really good but he’s maybe more of a situational rusher than a pure DE. He allows plays to develop and doesn’t over-pursue. How athletic is he? That could determine whether he gets into round one contention.

Isaiah Buggs (DE, Alabama)
The best run defending DE I watched. Buggs controls his edge very well, has the ability to run down ball carriers to the sideline and he’s physical and tough to move off the LOS. His best skill is his ability to bench press and flatten, push the lineman into the pocket and disrupt run and pass plays. Buggs isn’t a twitchy EDGE and his value will be limited as a consequence. As a very solid, powerful DE — he will be reliable. He could also play inside.

N’Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State)
He’s often projected as a really early pick but I wanted to like him more than I actually did. There were a few double catches and plays where he didn’t high point the ball. There are also some examples of speed and boxing off defenders. I didn’t feel like I was watching a first round prospect based on his 2017 play and usually it’s easy to identify the round one receivers.

Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
There are things to really like about Williams, especially his size and clear athletic potential. He’s like a more athletic DeAndre Baker. Both players struggle at times to track the ball in the air but the difference between the two is if you work out Williams’ technical flaws, he has the upside to be really good. It’ll be interesting to see if he can take the next step.

I’ve also watched Montez Sweat (DE, Mississippi State), Jonah Williams (T, Alabama) and Jason Jelks (DE, Oregon) but wasn’t particularly impressed. Sweat seems quite overrated, I wonder about Jelks’ next level fit and Williams doesn’t seem to be a next level left tackle.

I’ll modify the list as the season goes on and new names emerge. If noticeable players are absent, it’s probably because I haven’t watched them yet (eg a couple of the bigger name quarterbacks). If you’ve seen someone who stands out, let us know in the comments section.

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  1. H

    So this years strengths are D line, followed by OT and Reciever… that suits us quite nicely I think. Ill have to check more of these guys out myself.

    Fantastic write up, as per usual.

    • Volume12

      This year’s WR group is so fun. Guys like NC ST’s Kelvin Harmon and SC’s Bryan Edwards would be WR2 in most other classes. Same with Ole Miss DK Metcalf (6’3, 225 lbs) 4.4 speed, explosive athlete and just raw potential.

  2. cha

    Great watchlist Rob. Thank you. Indeed the Hawks will have a great intersection of need & talent in 2019.

    Where do you see Greg Gaines at the moment? Need to see a season of him without Vea at his side?

    • Rob Staton

      LOVE Gaines. Think he will be a very worthwhile pick for someone. Not sure how early he will go but I’m a fan.

  3. Volume12

    You not like Miss St DT Jeffrey Simmons or is it due to the red flag off the field? I personally don’t think the gap is that big between him and Oliver.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not including a guy who was video’d repeatedly punching a woman on the ground. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get his chance in the league — but his stock will be impacted significantly and I don’t really want to celebrate his talent in this kind of list.

      • STTBM

        Bravo, Rob!

  4. Trevor

    Thanks so much for this Rob! Great list to get started on the CFB season.

  5. Volume12

    Michigan got another one? DB/LB/VIPER Khaleke Hudson (6’0, up to 220 lbs.) Not sold on him yet as a 1st rounder or anything and will have to carve out a role for him, but he’s Jabril Peppers lite.

    2017 stats: 82 tackles, 18 TFL, 9 PBU, 8 QB sacks, 4 QB hurries, 2 INTs. Most total tackles in run D among FBS Safeties w/o a missed tackle.

    Khaleke Huudson vs Minnesota (2017, every one of his plays):

    -Texas CB Kris Boyd is the real deal.
    – ‘Bama’s front 7 is insane. As mentioned, Raekwon Davis is just an incredibly rare physical and athletic specimen.

    • Ground_Hawk

      Another intriguing Michigan prospect is DE/LB Chase Winovich. He’s listed at 6’3″ at about 250lbs, and has some ability at getting after the QB. I think he checks the versatility box.

      • Volume12

        I like Winovich, LB Devin Bush, and CB Lavert Hill as well. Another good Michigan D littered with pro prospects.

        DL Rashaan Gary is very ‘Seahawky’ IMO as well.

        • East Side Stevie

          Lavert is Delano Hill’s younger brother

  6. FresnoHawk

    Boise state linebacker core is better this year than last year! Look out for the 2 & 3 star recruits at the small schools who out play the 4 & 5 star guys at the big schools, especially this year because they will be seniors with a lot of playing time. Watch out for Fresno State we have a new head coach Jeff Tedford (Aaron Rodgers & Marshawn Lynch) who has done an excellent job, football use to be like Texas & Alabama football around here. Big Big $$$ is being collected lots of extremely wealthy folks around here! Even though we have not been that good we have cranked out large numbers of NFL talent. Kendrick brothers Vikings, McDonald Brothers, Carr brothers, Kapernick, Josh Allen, starters for NE FS, GB WR, Vikings DT, etc.. What I’m saying is Jeff Tedford will get our talent to stay at Fresno State and he is one of the best coaches in the country. 2019 draft prospect LB, WR, and DB!

  7. Largent80

    Living near Houston I get to see Oliver a LOT and man I have been picturing him with a Hawk on his helmet every time I see him. To get him though is going to require a bad season for the Hawks or a serious trade of some sort.

  8. Dan

    Definitely interested in pass rushers this year, but also the safety position, assuming Earl is gone. What do you think of Taylor Rapp? I don’t want to be a UW homer, but he is just so steady and solid. It’s nice to have safties that don’t make you nervous. The Hawks have had that for a long time, but this year could be nerve wracking.

    • Rob Staton

      Like Rapp and watched him live twice. Not convinced he’ll go pro immediately, we’ll see.

      • sdcoug

        To that end, any thoughts on Jalen Thompson (safety), also a junior? Or LT Andre Dillard? May need to work on his strength but highly athletic

    • McZ

      Not to forget Baron Murphy at CB. Instinct baller, able to shut down a side.
      Or JoJo McIntosh at S, if he applies for the draft. Thought, he had a solid year.

      And if we talk about Trey Adams, we should also talk about Kaleb McGary. He may be the mid-round RT the Hawks could be after.

      Finally, Myles Gaskin at RB… could be an option, if Prosise didn’t make it.

  9. AndrewP

    Watching the game Friday, I found myself saying over and over again, “man, this team could REALLY use 2013-2015 Cliff Avril.” I hope they can find him in the middle of R1, their likely picking spot next spring.

    • FresnoHawk

      Doesn’t Martin fit Avril’s profile? Avril was a 3rd pick?

      • AndrewP

        I believe Avril went early RD2. And his 10-yd split was something like 1.51, which borders on insane.

        I’m intrigued by Martin and what he can blossom into with time, but, he is not in the same league of explosiveness as that of Avril.

        • Rob Staton

          Avril was a R3 pick

          • AndrewP

            Ah.* We’ll, regardless, I don’t see Martin as that type of player. Similar production? Maybe. I mean, who knows how things will unfold. But, not a similar athletic profile.

            *I wonder why Avril fell that far.

            • Rob Staton

              I think the league has better awareness now on what works. Avril, with his testing numbers and incredible 10-yard split, probably goes R1 these days.

  10. Thy Hawk is Howling

    Rob Staton you are the Gillette Razor of Seahawks and American Football writer’s! Your the Best a Hawk can get!

    I’m starting to feel happy again, y’all been warned!

    Go Rob

  11. Pickering

    IF Dickson’s punting is a difference maker this season, will other teams more highly value punters in the next draft, and/or will they scour Australia for Aussie rules footballers? I’

    • sdcoug

      The best Aussie punters are already kicking for US college teams

    • Kenny Sloth

      It’s already started some time ago.

      Dickson is the culmination

    • Volume12

      Dickson might already be the best player on this team.

      • STTBM

        Pardon me, but that is hyperbole on a level unseen since the days of The Boz!

        • Volume12


      • DC

        He’s definitely in the ‘core player’ category right out of the gate.

  12. FresnoHawk

    It’s gonna be a great DL draft but the middle, back end of the 1st or the 2nd round could be the best place to draft. Practically all of the guys above have a lot to prove to be top 5 top 10 picks even though its well within their reach. Wilkins Clemson the guy with the most upside of any Clemson DL had a down year (for him) last year rumors say he does not need football too smart & too talented off the field. He’s been a guy I’ve been following for our 3 Tech. What do you with a guy that has the ability to take a few million and turn it into hundreds of millions?
    Also Shaquem Griffith got a lot of love my NFL friends call it “butter” on NFL Total Access saying he’s gonna be a top tackler in the league. That would be HUGE for us in fact I’m gonna say when Griffith pops that’s when we know SuperBowl is close. Also We got to be able to defend crossing routes with our weak side CB. I’m tired of our short yardage game put Poona at FB for 4th & 1 and utilize 6 DT’s on goal line. Just thoughts but please I can’t take much more of it!

  13. Old but Slow

    My biggest concern at this point is the pass coverage on underneath patterns. They seem to be the biggest obstacles we have to stopping the 3 and 12 failures. Teams seem to recognize that that if faced with 3 and long, they just need to flare a running back and its a done deal.

    I recognize that this is an over simplification, but it seems a regular problem. Disagree?

    • Hawk Eye

      I think this has been a problem for the Hawks since 2014. Teams figured out how to dink and dunk on them and the Hawks stuck to stopping the long ball. That also reduces pressure on the QB and eliminates the chance for turnovers. I think Pete has said he prefers to let a team dink and dunk as there is a chance they will screw up a couple of plays and have to punt, while if you allow a big play it usually leads to a score

      • FresnoHawk

        Dink & Dunk running away from KAm & KJ not into their zone if you ran into zone players got pancaked! Not a lot of QB’s are that accurate and timing must be dead on if you want to avoid an interception. Also Atlanta has size & athletic ability running across the middle which wrecked havoc on us.

  14. Saxon

    Keep an eye on Michael Jackson, CB Miami Hurricanes. 6′ 1″ 200 lbs athletic corner whom excels in press coverage and has good hands.

    • Trevor

      That Miami defense is a much watch for Seahawks draft blog posters IMO.

  15. Trevor

    Interesting article by Peter King. He is the first national media guy who seems to finally be seeing what we do here on SDB about this Hawks squad.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s also the first media guy to actually spend any time and attention on the team.

      The national guys slamming the team are more twitter ‘legends’ with no affiliation to any respected national employee. Thankfully that makes them easy to ignore.

      • FresnoHawk

        “Twitter legends” that’s to funny all you need is a good meme to go with it!

    • Bankhawk

      Trẻv- kudos on the Peter King link! That is a nice chunk of pure awesomeness!

    • Hawk Eye

      i read that earlier, was surprised to hear anything positive about the Hawks.
      Guys like Tanier and Dabenport at Bleacher Report are constantly making fun of the hawks o line, drafting a punter, letting all their good players go, etc.
      Some interesting parts of that article where the ex political reporter makes a series of observations about the NFL, including saying the sports media is just as lazy and incompetent as the political media and fall into the same “group think” mentality. Lots of them picking the Pats and Eagles as the 2 best teams in the league because…..

      • Rob Staton

        Sports media is full of people offering a take that nobody in the entire world has any interest in.

      • Thy Hawk is Howling

        That’s because their either not true fans reporting. Or because of Damn Social media ego’s they want to be the popular Cool High Schooler
        ( Secondary School for our UK M8’s ) and say and think what ever the trend may be on the Internet.

        Now for us true fans we know what it took to get to 2012 and just hope and want to believe they can do it again! We have Wilson that is by far the most important variable to having a successful NFL team, a Damn good QB.

        Ever since Russell I always believe we can win because I’ve been beholden of his Majesty. I definitely feel really good about the changes and direction we are heading. Being Young and Hungry is better in the NFL then being Older and content.

        The most important aspect of watching, even more important then winning to me is that it should be exciting and fun. I’m expecting to win
        and if you’re a real Hawk I hope you do as well!

        The the Weather in Century Link Stadium may be Dreary sometimes, though our Team shall Brighten the field and our Emotions! For some the Ale and Lager shall to!

        Go Hawks Forever

    • STTBM

      King is also famous for always accentuating the positive with even terrible teams. But it’s nice he bothered to check Seattle out, as Rob pointed out, that is rare in today’s media.

    • Kenny Sloth

      “Writing about moral victories in preseason games is the lowest of sportswriter lows”

      That’s the ‘cellar door’ of sports writing. Just an extrinsicly perfect sentence

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      “’This feels like when you’re in college,’ Carroll, the former USC coach, told me Friday night. ‘That senior class graduated—those guys that did all the playing for you. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good team next time around. New players, new coaches. There’s new juice about everything that we’re doing. I go back and do all my teaching again. I’m really happy about it.’”

      There’s no coach in the NFL more experienced or capable of competing at the top in spite of player turnover. I don’t expect SEA will win the NFCw, or even a wild card berth. But I do expect every game will be exciting. Because exciting another thing Carroll does as well or better than most anyone else.

      • Rob Staton

        I think it’s going to be a really interesting season, whatever happens.

        And I’ll take that. Because last season was dull and uninspiring.

  16. jujus

    Who do you like for our pick @32?

    • FresnoHawk

      Love it!

    • DC

      Did we acquire a 2nd round pick in that trade back?

      • Hawktalker#1

        Come on man!!!

  17. Tecmo Bowl

    Great write up! Excited about the college season and how this list of DL talent develops. Its shaping up to be a historic draft class all along the DL.

    With such a class, chock full of top end talent, it will be interesting to see how it affects the, potentially, really good DL FA class. The likes of Ansah, D Lawrence, Atkins,Mack(?) are likely to get big $-rightfully so. Its the next crop that may get squeezed a bit- Brandon Graham, Suh, Fowler, Clark, Dunlap. There’s only so much $ to go around.

  18. icb12

    Some others for viewing.
    Chris Johnson- Safety- North Alabama. Hard to find much; but reminds me of Marcus Williams, who I really liked coming out a couple years ago.

    2 RBs to watch:
    Anderson from Oklahoma. Big guy, explosive, angry. could have a great year being the focal point without Baker.
    David Montgomery- Iowa St. Really like watching him play. Not a ton of speed, but a ton of missed tackles and running through contact, and he’s a complete back.

    And the linebacker from Miami- Shaquille Quarterman. Don’t know much about him. Doesn’t appear to have ideal length, but he flashes on tape quite a bit. Noticed him watching the multitudes of other Miami players.

    • Volume12

      You like Quarterman better than Mike Pinckney?

      That Miami team is just an embarrassment of riches.

      • icb12

        I do.

        I haven’t watched a ton of either player yet… but my 0.02 currently:

        Quarterman is the more complete player right now.
        Quarterman has incredible instincts. He’s apparently transformed himself from 255# as a freshmen, to #240 last year, and now coming in reportedly at #233. Size, Athelticism, Production, and instincts. He seems like a leader on a team full of brash confident young men. Field General. Goes sideline to sideline and hits hard and clean.

        Pinckney appears more one dimensional to me. North south, high energy, aggressive and attacking. Great burst. Can he fill out more? He was pretty small last year.

        • Volume12

          All good points. I just thought it was interesting. I’ve seen a ton of guys go back and forth at on the two.

          Nope. They’ve both trimmed fat. More quickness and accerleration.

  19. FresnoHawk

    Oh my Odell! That’s how you do it, go to camp, be nice, sell your value to new coaches!

  20. icb12

    This reply/comment/post delay or lag is killing me.

    Anybody have better luck with other browsers? I’m using chrome..

    • DC

      I’ve used Safari, Edge, Explorer & Chrome and have had the delay on all of them from 4 different devices. Anyone without the posting ‘lag’ have a secret recipe? Iirc this wasn’t happening before June/July.

      • Thy Hawk is Howling

        That’s because they’re watching us, jesting of course.

        Yeah guys we all know about the delay. It’s been brought up a hand full of time’s and Robbie has responded that he hasn’t changed a anything and it transpired after he added patrion so it’s a mystery.

        So I say let’s actually do something about it!

        Rob I know you’re busy but create a link you can add to the end of every article for a wee bit to donate to the purchase of a top tier Web Site, to go along with our top tier QB. Let us know an an amount you come up with and make the donations available in a more accessible way then just patrion. I don’t know anything about what would be easy for people to send you money from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the U.S. and other lands of residents for us that enjoy your fine blog.

        I suggest maybe P.O. box number or the equivalent in Britain so some old schoolers can send you cash or check maybe or maybe that’s silly and not worth it? I know do a poll first to find the best options for everyone being as some may not feel comfortable making a transaction through the internet with their bank or credit card? Pay Pal is a trusted source for example.

        You got at least a tener from me.

        Please just add an ‘Edit’ button so we can make changes for those of us who are Obsessive about making proper grammar and fixing mistakes.
        Also I could have the option to erase some of my more silly post’s when I’m in a Mood.

        Let’s do this my Party People.

        *Note this post was delayed* Ha Ha!

        • Thy Hawk is Howling

          Nobody’s digging this idea?

          Of course, all your posts supporting this idea are on the way, because of the delay.

          It definitely takes away the interaction between us since the mystery change to the site.

          Also Greg is Damn tired of typing “test” I imagine

  21. KenC

    Seriously, some parents named their son, Chauncey? Chauncey Gardner? Did they fall in love watching Being There or something?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Better name than Kenny!

      • Thy Hawk is Howling

        Hey Man you have Caa name, and Kaa names Kick Ass!

        Definitely like Kenny better then Ken. I add an “ie” or “y” if Iike someone, it sounds more fun and friendly. So be proud of the name your Mum gave you ken, just jesting Kenny Duck.

    • millhouse-serbia

      I have read some scouting report on Gardner, and by that report he is absolutely awful against run.

  22. Nathan

    Off topic a bit, but geez New Orleans must be wishing they held onto that 1st round pick and used it to trade for Khalil Mack instead.

  23. FresnoHawk

    Wow KJ out for opener against Denver! Queem thrown right into the fire if he plays good that would really be something got a week & half to figure it out.

  24. Coleslaw

    What do you think of Cameron Smith? Love the list, you hit all the guys I’ve got so far except Smith and Carl Granderson

  25. millhouse-serbia

    KJ Wright 2-4 weeks out.

    Does anyone know how much Clark will be out?

    • H

      Clark is back already?

      • millhouse-serbia

        He is back after hand surgery.

        But now he has hyperextended elbow. What I found on internet it could be from couple weeks to couple months. Maybe surgery will be needed.

  26. Georgia Hawk

    I don’t know if this counts as a bold prediction, or even if somebody else has brought it up, but I’m thinking Ed Dickson is the surprise veteran cut this year, in the vein of Rubin, Blackmon, Winfield, McDonald, etc.

    Dissly and Vannet seem to be holding their own quite well, and I think they take one more year on Swoopes. Dickson doesnt bring much outside pass blocking, so I’m thinking he could be on the outside looking in at this point.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they might put him on the PUP list, allowing them to retain someone else on the roster while he’s out.

      • Georgia Hawk

        Yeah, you’re right. I should’ve checked out his contract before, it doesnt make sense to cut him now.

  27. Gohawks5151

    Great list. Personally I think it is closer between Bosa and Oliver. I like Ferrrell too. Another 1st round talent i like is Andrew Van Ginkel OLB Wisconsin. Following Watt off the athletic OLB factory they have out there, he is rangy, quick and a playmaker. Great game against Miami in their bowl game. His game plays similar to Vander Esch from Boise St.

    • Rob Staton

      Problem for Ed Oliver is going to be position. He’s very light to be a full time interior DL. He’s not suited to play edge. He’s best as an interior rusher but can he play early downs? Very talented, very athletic. But questions teams will ask.

      • Coleslaw

        Does it mean anything that he’s the same weight as McDowell but 3 inches shorter?

        • Rob Staton

          I think McDowell had a greater stature and length. Could play inside out and importantly DE on early downs. Oliver to me looks like an interior rusher. But to play every down he’s going to need an early down position. Not sure what it is yet.

          • Trevor

            Rob when I watch Oliver he reminds me a little Aaron Donald when he was at Pitt. Undersized for an interior DL man but the athleticism, speed and strength allow him to be in the backfield constantly.

            Is that comp crazy talk? The knock on Donald coming out was his size as well.

            • Rob Staton

              I don’t see Donald personally. Donald was, even in college, an absolute phenomena. His power and control to go with explosive physicality and quickness. Even at his size he was an every down player. I don’t see that in Oliver.

              • Gohawks5151

                I don’t think that his size is a deal breaker inside. For comparison Maurice Hurst was 6’2” 292 lbs. Oliver is nearly identical in size. No one ever brought up Hurst as an un-ideal fit. His athleticism plays. We will have to see if technique and control keep improving.

                • Rob Staton

                  On the contrary, we regularly talked about Hurst’s size being an issue. I didn’t think he was big enough to be an every down DT in the NFL and openly discussed that could be a problem for him.

                  Ed Oliver faces the same issue. He’s a good, athletic interior rusher. But he’s not a DE on early downs and he’s currently not big enough to play inside on early downs. So what does he do? Add weight to play inside or is this a problem? It’s something every team will discuss.

  28. Volume12

    Only 2 backs in the league who weigh as much or more than Penny. Speaks to the kind of athlete he is that they feel comfortable with what they’ll ask of him to do at that weight. Part of me also sees it as a way to counter his upright running style.

  29. Gary

    Rob, what do you think of Oregon’s QB Herbert?

    • Rob Staton

      Not really had the chance to watch him. And that in part is an issue.

  30. McZ

    Seahawks apparently traded for Hundley as backup QB, for a 6th rounder.

  31. McZ

    Rob, when you say, you are not impressed by Jalen Jelks… is that not impressed for at all, or does this only lowers his draft grade? I think, R2 would be overpay, late R3 or R4 seems okay, R5 and below is a steal.

    And what about Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois?

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