The Seahawks should be ready if Michael Mayer lasts

I’m a little bit surprised that Notre Dame star Michael Mayer is getting a lukewarm review in the media.

Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave is getting a lot more hype. I really like Musgrave and think he deserves plenty of attention. But to say he should be ahead of Mayer, purely due to expected testing results, doesn’t fully add up.

Musgrave played in just two games last season due to injury. His career high for yardage is 304 in 2021. He only has two career touchdowns.

This isn’t the be-all and end-all and I’m not going to indulge in any box-score scouting. I think it’s difficult though to put Musgrave ahead of one of the most productive, dangerous, complete tight ends in college football history — purely based on how the two are expected to perform at the combine.

The main reason for this is you can make a strong case that agility and short-area quickness is more important than straight-line speed. A tight end isn’t typically going to be running forty-yards downfield in a straight line. They are expected to separate from smaller defenders at the second level, usually late in a route. Having burst to create subtle separation or the agility to change direction quickly and create an opening feels more important.

The results back that up.

Rob Gronkowski’s 4.68 forty at 264lbs is a good time. It’s certainly faster than the speculated 4.8 that Mayer is set to run. However — Gronk also had some pretty special results that aren’t often discussed. For example, he ran a 1.58 10-yard split. Typically anything in the 1.5’s is considered ‘elite’ for an edge rusher. For a 264lbs tight end to do that is mightily impressive. He also ran a solid 4.47 short shuttle.

That kind of short-area quickness over 10-yards and his ability to change direction at his size helped Gronk become the legend we know today.

Travis Kelce also ran a very good forty time for his size (4.61 at 255lbs). The point isn’t to suggest that running a decent forty isn’t indicative of anything at all. Yet Kelce also ran a very similar 10-yard split to Gronk (1.61). His short shuttle was a 4.42 and he added a 7.09 three-cone. Again — he combined short-area quickness with great agility.

Mark Andrews at Baltimore ran a 1.54 10-yard split at 256lbs then ran a 4.38 short shuttle. Those are incredible times and with hindsight, it’s a nonsense he lasted deep into round three.

I don’t have a 10-yard split for Dallas Goedert but he did run a 4.31 short shuttle and a 7.02 three-cone at 256lbs.

Zach Ertz only ran a 4.76 forty at 249lbs — a pretty awful time. Yet his short shuttle was a 4.47 and his three-cone a 7.08. That agility testing has shown up many times in a long, successful career.

T.J. Hockenson could really begin to shine in Minnesota. He only ran a 4.70 at 251lbs which comparatively isn’t very good. Yet he ran a blistering 4.18 short shuttle and a 7.02 three-cone.

That’s a decent chunk of evidence that even if you don’t run a great forty — you can still excel if you test well in the 10-yard split and/or agility testing.

The Seahawks have clearly latched on to the importance of agility testing for tight ends because virtually every one they’ve signed or drafted in the Carroll/Schneider era has followed a pattern:

Luke Willson — 4.29 (ss), 7.08 (3c)
Will Dissly — 4.40 (ss), 7.07 (3c)
Nick Vannett — 4.20 (ss), 7.05 (3c)
Anthony McCoy — 4.57 (ss), 6.99 (3c)
Zach Miller — 4.42 (ss), 7.01 (3c)
Jimmy Graham — 4.45 (ss), 6.90 (3c)
Greg Olsen — 4.48 (ss), 7.04 (3c)
Colby Parkinson — 4.46 (ss), 7.15 (3c)
Gerald Everett — 4.33 (ss), 6.99 (3c)
Noah Fant — 4.22 (ss), 6.81 (3c)

That’s an average short shuttle of 4.38 seconds and an average three cone of 7.01 seconds. Both would be incredible times for a tight end.

Will Dissly is a good example to highlight here. He only ran a 4.87 at 262lbs. It’s not impossible Mayer runs a similar time. Yet his 4.40 short shuttle and 7.07 three-cone, plus his attitude and blocking-ability, had him pegged as a ‘must draft’ for the Seahawks in 2018.

So really, it doesn’t what Mayer runs at the combine. If he ends up running a similar time to Dissly, it could simply push him into the welcoming arms of a team selecting later in round one — such as the Seahawks.

I would expect Mayer to test well in the short shuttle and three cone. When you watch him on tape, time and time again you see his ability to create last-minute separation. There are plenty of examples where he’s being covered by a smaller, far quicker slot corner and yet late in the route he will pivot at the last minute, take a step away from the defender and present an easy target for the quarterback.

Aside from that there are major plus-points to his game. I think he’s the best player I’ve watched at catching the ball away from his body. Inaccurate throws that are high and wide are made to look easy. He has soft-hands. He uses his size brilliantly to box-out defenders and dominate 1v1’s. He will make difficult over-the-shoulder grabs. He can contort his body and adjust to the flight of the ball.

It’s not easy to record 2099 receiving yards in three seasons as a college tight end, with 18 touchdowns. Especially when you’re not playing in a prolific offense with a big-name quarterback.

On top of this, Mayer is basically ‘Mr. Football’. His personality and attitude speak to his love for the game. He does what it takes to win as a blocker and you can put him in any play-call and he can get the job done as a receiver or blocker. He’ll be able to start in week one and deliver results.

Provided he tests as well as I think he will in the short shuttle and three-cone, I have full faith that he can become a very useful pass-catcher and potentially fit in as a dynamic target. You need three good weapons in the modern NFL. He can be one from the tight end position.

He fits everything the Seahawks look for and given their self-confessed desire not to reach for need and focus on the right type of characters — Mayer would fit the bill if he somehow lasts to #20.

Why would they consider drafting a tight end? It’s about planning ahead. Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson are both free agents after the 2023 season. Dissly has a contract until the end of 2024 but you’ll need more than one tight end.

Pete Carroll appeared on 710 Seattle Sports during the season and spoke about the USC vs Notre Dame game, where he referenced the quality of Notre Dame’s tight end (speaking of Mayer). It shouldn’t be a surprise if the Seahawks rate him highly and see him as a strong character and playing-style fit.

While addressing needs is going to be important — adding talent you can build around for the next five years is also key. You’re not just drafting for the 2023 season. Mayer might not fill an immediate need but he could be a focal point for years to come.

I personally think there are too many TE-needy teams between #11-19 to think he’ll last. He’s a really good player. If he did fall to #20 though, he should be a consideration for Seattle.

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  1. Trevor

    Great scouting report Rob and I agree completely. Mayer would be a steal at 20 and if the go QB at 5 you give him a security blanket for his development.

    I put Brian Branch in the same category on the defensive side of the ball. Safety is not a postion of need and I don’t think Branch will be a combine freak but when you watch him play he is just so smooth, tough, smart and fundamentally sound.

    If the Hawks really are drafting BPA then they should have Mayer and Branch near the top of the list IMO.

    • Nick

      An Anthony Richardson and Zay Flowers/Michael Mayer pairing would be great. It makes me feel warm inside. But then I remember watching this team last year. Our defense was awful. It had no violence, the tackling was poor, and the running D was horrid.

      As much as I love the idea of QB then TE/WR my head keeps pulling me back to D line/LB. Cody Barton, or a player of his ilk, cannot start for a Seahawks D again.

      • Palatypus

        I was listening to Shaun Alexander on KJR yesterday and suddenly I was sucked into the vortex of the Red Shirt versus Stormtrooper dilemma. It follows that a Star Wars Stormtrooper cannot hit anything with his blaster, but the Star Trek Red Shirt always dies anyway.

        So, what if Cody Barton tried to tackle Shaun Alexander? If Shaun gives himself up before contact, does Cody STILL miss the tackle?

        • Group Captain Mandrake

          It’s like the Kobayashi Maru test. If Barton makes the tackle, he gets a flag for hitting a player who has given himself up. If he tries to make the tackle, he misses. He cannot win.

          • Palatypus

            I thought that only applied to quarterbacks.

            • Group Captain Mandrake

              For the sake of the joke, I’m stretching the rules. Think of it like a fair catch situation.

          • cha

            To be fair, Hurtt did a James T Kirk and reprogrammed the simulation a few times, pulling Barton off and playing Neal.

        • Sluggo42

          Hit the nail there bud, I think Barton could be an average college LB right now, certainly not a pro, or even a benchwarmer. Time and time again I swore at the tv, watching him either get swallowed up in the blocking pile, take the absolute worst angle, get faked out of his Sox, or just miss a tackle, and then take out the other defensive guy… slow and a terrible reaction player… about 3 pegs lower than Diggs, whom I cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone thinks he is all that…

  2. geoff u

    It seems unheard of that Mayer or Bjjan Robinson will last to #20, yet many mock drafts are doing that. If a game-changing skill player like either of these are there, I don’t know how you don’t run to the podium.

    • Rob Staton

      Write off any mock that has Bijan lasting into the 20’s

      • geoff u

        Half of them have us passing on Levis and sometimes Stroud as well. In nearly every case one of the big 4 are available and yet it’s extremely rare they have us choosing a QB.

        KJ Wright was saying today Geno is looking for 40 mil a year and the Seahawks are thinking 30 mil a year on an incentive laden 3 year deal. I don’t get it, myself. Geno is clearly somewhere between Tarvaris and Wilson, good but not great, so what is the actual point here? In 7 years Wilson couldn’t take us to the Super Bowl, and only won one playoff game in his last 5, what makes anyone think Geno will ever get us close? Let him go get that money elsewhere.

        • Rob Staton

          If Geno is seriously asking for $40m I hope the Seahawks deliver a two word reply with a chuckle

          • Big Mike

            Let’s see…..

            “zero chance”
            “no way”
            “career backup”
            “weak schedule”
            “you’re dreaming”
            “laughing now”

            Any others?

        • Mr drucker in hooterville

          Seattle should agree to $40m: $15m guarantee and a $25m bonus for a superbowl win.

        • Peter

          It’s great points about Wilson, cost, etc.

          KJ started at 20 mil plus incentives. Then had to go to 25 million because we can’t pay the qb 20 million when the safeties get 18. His thoughts not mine. Though I agree.

          30 plus incentives seems about what it’ll be. John will act like it’s a big win not franchising him. Though I don’t love the number 30 million today is basically the matt Flynn contract then in NFL inflation.

          40 million……that’s big time “Later on, Crouton” energy for me.

          • Trevor

            I don’t get the idea that signing Geno to $30-35 mil is OK but $40 mil no way. In the big scheme of things what is the difference? You are signing a QB to a big $ deal and he is your QB going forward. That is not a bridge QB contract.

            If you believe Geno is the answer long term then you sign him.

            If you don’t then you don’t even consider the $30 mil range IMO it is a complete waste of cap space.

            Personally I don’t think Geno is the answer and believe he had a decent year and was incredibly lucky not to turn the ball over a lot more. At least 8-10 passes should have been easy interceptions were dropped. If even 1/2 these are caught his number look a lot different. Also agains the top teams and in big game / important spots he was just not great. Say what you like about Russ but in the 4th quarter if it was close as a fan I believed he would make something happen and win. I never got that vibe at all with Geno.

            It is clear he views himself as a top level starter and wants top level starter $. If he can get it good for him. Thank him for his service and wish him well. I don’t think he will be happy coming back to the Hawks on a lesser deal even if there is no market so think the Hawks should be looking at cheaper options like Lock or Darnold and be focussed on a QB at #5.

            • geoff u

              I agree completely with all this. It seems worse to me to be stuck in a Kirk Cousins situation, where you do good enough to make the playoffs and then promptly get knocked out every year and get stuck with low draft picks, than to just be crap and get a few good draft picks with which to draft a franchise QB. Even worse when you’re paying that QB top dollar.

              In that sense, we are EXTREMELY lucky this year in that we did the former, but thanks to Russ/Denver still have a high enough draft pick to get a franchise QB. If the front office wastes this opportunity and goes all in on Geno than I’m kinda gonna be pissed.

            • 509 Chris

              Great points Trevor. He’s either in at 15 mil or so as a bridge, or he’s long term and then 5 or 10 doesn’t really save the team anyway, you already have a large chunk committed. San Francisco, which is a far more complete team than Seattle, saw the futility of trying to win with just a good not great qb and traded huge capital to get up and take a qb early. We have a chance to grab one without trading up, or maybe a trade up without spending a whopping 3 future 1st rounders, and people act like a rookie d linemen and 35 million more dollars committed to geno than last season will make this squad a superbowl contender. Nuts.

              • Rob Staton

                San Francisco, which is a far more complete team than Seattle, saw the futility of trying to win with just a good not great qb and traded huge capital to get up and take a qb early. We have a chance to grab one without trading up, or maybe a trade up without spending a whopping 3 future 1st rounders, and people act like a rookie d linemen and 35 million more dollars committed to geno than last season will make this squad a superbowl contender. Nuts.


              • Peter

                There is currently no mid tier qb market. There’s broke former starters getting incentive contracts like geno was. Jameis Winston almost alone in the mud tier market by himself or over the top markets for everyone else. And of course the very few great qbs that are on rookie contracts.

                I don’t know where people think this 15 million dollar market is.

                • cha

                  mud tier market

                  Intentional or not that is spot on.

                  • Peter

                    It does work. And I’m outside doing earthwork so the phone is gonna phone.

            • Peter

              This is all fine but I’m trying to look at it from what the hawks would do and not me.

              The difference between thirty and forty is a whole ass nwosu level player.

              Were it me?

              I’d probably just use all the facts in front of me and not wish cast like the hawks do and let him go for nearly any price.

          • Big Mike

            “Then had to go to 25 million because we can’t pay the qb 20 million when the safeties get 18”

            Simple solution to that, cut the albatrosses, errrr, Safties.

            • Peter

              I get the sense kj is pretty over the best (dressed) in the nation.

              • Big Mike


      • Palatypus

        Should we write off any mock that doesn’t have Carolina, Las Vegas, and Tennessee throwing bombs into the top five? It’s like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

    • KD

      Another mock where Bijan Robinson lasts till the end of the first round is still baffling to me.

    • geoff u

      Mind-boggling to me, that A) anyone thinks Geno is a franchise quarterback and we’re set and B) That we’d pass on both Stroud and Richardson. As someone else was saying, if we pass any of these quarterbacks they’d better be a massive bust otherwise we’re going to be kicking ourselves for a decade.

    • Denver Hawker

      Eagles getting Kancey and Bijan makes me vomit blood.

      • Peter

        It’s definitely one of the better mocks I’ve seen for the eagles is right.

      • diehard82

        Just mentioning the Eagles…vomit

    • Seattle Person

      This is something I have been pivoting to as well for #5. If you stay or trade down — the BPA is probably not one of the Dlinemen. It’s probably not even one of the QBs. It could be one of the CBs like Witherspoon or Gonzalez.

      • Peter

        It’s why BPA is a goofy construct. It’s more like best-ish player we need.

        Just roughly BPA in this draft where the player was ready right out of the box to translate to the pros might be more like:

        Bijan Robinson
        Bryce Young
        Darnell Wright

  3. cha

    He does what it takes to win as a blocker and you can put him in any play-call and he can get the job done as a receiver or blocker.

    Zach Miller was the secret ingredient on those early Seahawks teams that went from 7-9 to SB winner.

    That versatility of being a top-level blocker and an accurate route-runner with soft hands gave the offense more dimension than people realize.

    The Seahawks have been chasing that player for years. Dissly just has not been healthy enough to get there.

    Fant and Parkinson are ‘adequate’ as blockers. Parkinson really improved down the stretch. But not enough to really not flag the defense that a pass is coming when they are on the field.

    As good as the three TEs are, Mayer would add a dimension they do not offer currently.

    • Nick

      Miller was such a great tightend. Reminded me of Witten, how they were both “slow” but always found ways to get open. Sounds like Mayer has a lot of that in his game, which for a West Coast offense…seems very attractive.

      • BobbyK

        Zach Miller was the very definition of a great role player for the Seahawks. Taken into context, he was highly overpaid for his production but it didn’t matter and he was great because the rest of the team was on rookie contracts, many of who were budding superstars. This team doesn’t have that. In ’11 they could afford to splurge/overpay for Rice, Gallery and Miller.

        This team is a mess compared to those Seahawks. Some people are clamoring to give a crap QB $30 million per year, while the roster in too many spots isn’t good.

        This should be a draft about getting potential stars early and often, not good role players even if on rookie contracts. Or getting non “stars” but guys who can dominate in the trenches.

        If there’s no movement, go ahead and get a QB at #5 (if available) and then use 20 on the BPA regardless if it’s a WR, RB, or something else not needed as much. Who cares? We’re not winning a Super Bowl with Smiff so why settle for the mediocrity of “ComPete” now so Pete Carroll can have another 9-8 or 8-9 season?

        I’m obviously frustrated with Pete Carroll the GM but I actually like Pete Carroll culture builder and head coach. I know he’s not perfect and we all complain but what Hall of Fame head coach NEVER had armchair QBs like us second quess them?

        My only saving grace is that John Schneider got more control over the draft last year. I don’t know but that’s a hunch. Schneider having more of a long-term vision is the only thing that gives me any hope, especially if Smiff is resigned (that gives me hope A-Rich may be the target so we can have a future at QB again).

        • Ben

          The Seahawks signed Zach Miller in 2011. The team was hardly chock full of stars yet. The team appeared it could be ascending, but it was hardly an obvious move.

          Honestly right now looks a little like 2011 (as if we haven’t overused comparisons to that era yet…), but we had a clear draft class with a lot of talent and potential stars, and have a chance to add another good class with all the draft capital. Doesn’t seem far fetched to compare to when Zach got signed.

          That said, Zach Miller was awesome. Perfect fit for that team.

          • BobbyK

            They drafted a good LT and WR in ’10, nevermind having drafted two future Hall of Fame safeties – all on rookie contracts. After the Miller signing they drafted their Super Bowl winning CBs (both on rookie contracts, including one a future HOFer), a stud stalwart (KJ) and future Super Bowl MVP, too (Smith). Pretty sure if their ’10 and ’11 draft classes had sucked the Zach Miller signing would be no different than Chad Brown, Ricky Watters, etc. Moves that didn’t move the needle.

            • Ben

              Well this year we drafted a #1 CB, starting left AND right tackle, a potentially great running back and maybe more.

              And by the time this draft is done, we should pull off a deeper class than 2011 (hard to top Sherm…)

              And again, they made moves to be competitive before we knew how special those guys were.

              They don’t need to go all out, but adding 1 or 2 key free agents goes a long way to augmenting a young team.

  4. Nick

    Great piece Rob! Definitely feel like from picks 20-60 Seattle will look to get a WR3 and/or a TE2. I increasingly worry about Tyler Lockett’s age (31) and his real drop off in speed.

    Love how you’re looking at Downs in your past mock and now Mayer. Keep up the thorough writing/analysis.

    • Hawkdawg

      For a guy who is supposedly suffering from a “real drop-off in speed,” Lockett sure beats people deep a lot.

  5. KennyBadger

    Getting Mayer at 20 would be an absolute dream. He is a very good blocker – I hate watching Notre Dame but I enjoyed watching him push around ends and lbs as much as watching him catch a poorly thrown ball.

    Defense won’t be solved with pick 20 alone – adding this guy would set up the offense swimmingly for a while even when we overpay Geno.

    Can’t imagine he’ll last to 20 though…

    • BobbyK

      I loved Will Dissly the rookie contract TE.

      I thought the second contract Will Dissly was pretty worthless when you take into consideration their production vs salary.

      How much money can the Seahawks save by dumping an overpaid and the often-injured TE by drafting Mayer? Could be value in that depending on where the money goes. So many factors.

      • cha

        If the Seahawks were to somehow land Mayer in the first round, and I was JS, I’d spend that night seeing what they could get for Fant in trade.

        Maybe trade him and a fourth or fifth round pick for a team’s second rounder, and now you’ve got three second-round picks.

        Save $7m of cap money free and clear and acquire another rookie starter in round 2.

        • BobbyK

          If you were an NFL GM… would you really trade for Fant and give up anything much? I wouldn’t.

          • cha

            Hockenson fetched a 2nd and 4th with the Vikings locked to pay him $9.3m this year. Fant’s numbers aren’t ridiculously far behind his.

            • BobbyK

              “The Lions received a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick, while the Vikings got a 2023 fourth-round selection and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick along with Hockenson.

              The conditional 2024 fourth-round pick that Detroit sent to Minnesota will become a 2024 fifth-round round pick if the Vikings win a playoff game, a source told Schefter.”

              • cha

                You’re correct I forgot about the Lions sending picks to Minnesota.

            • BobbyK

              You wouldn’t pay anything close to that if you were an NFL GM, would you? I wouldn’t.

  6. All I see is 12s

    Rob, thank you for another wonderful article. I was playing around with mock draft simulators earlier and when Meyers falls to 20 I am always tempted.

    Don’t mean to change the subject, but here I go. It appears that Dave Canales is in serious consideration for the Tampa Bay OC job. If he were to be hired by them, I wonder if that would be another viable Geno Smith landing spot. It makes sense. He would be very familiar with what Canales wants to do. And from Tampa Bay‘s point of you, they might not be ready to dismantle their team. They are still very good at many positions. They may view Smith is a guy who could give them a shot to win. Thoughts?
    Forgive me if someone has already posted something similar.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Tampa Bay are pretty much the only other team that will seriously consider him. Bowles knows him and if they hire DC as OC it makes sense.

    • cha

      They could be a logical fit for Geno, moreso if Canales ends up there.

      1. They need a QB
      2a. They are not on the precipice of a major teardown and rebuild
      2b. They have real offensive roster talent and depth
      2c. But they do not have 2-3 years to devote to a rookie QB getting up to speed
      3. The NFCS is a poachable division
      4. They have no qualms about messing around with the salary cap
      5. Florida could appeal to Geno since he is from there

      • Rob Staton

        6. It’s a lot harder to trade up from #19 into the top-five, compared to Vegas, Carolina, Tennessee etc

    • Osprey

      From your lips to G-d’s ear!
      Please let this happen and save Seattle from overpaying an average at best QB.

  7. DC1234

    I know this sounds obvious when looking for pass catchers, but I think seahawks should seek out receivers that have high catch competition percentage in college.

    In the LOB days, the offense was more run heavy. And when they pass, the receivers/TE always completed the catch. Baldwin, tate, zach miller never drops passes. Even kearse has clutch 4th q catches. Sidney rice as well.

    I feel like Lockett is the only receiver that rarely have drops. Goodwin too, but he is always hurt. DK is not as reliable and have miss catches per game. He doesnt high point his catches, needs to develop that since he is so big and tall.

    If the seahawks draft a qb at 5, it will be a good idea to use the #20 pick on skill position. Rob, based on your analysis on Meyer, he is what a rookie qb needs. Reliable.

  8. Zxvo3

    I mean I’m open to anything at this point. Pre-senior bowl I was all for Keion White. After the senior bowl I was on the Dawand Jones hype. With a possibility that Mayer falls, I’d be down for some of that. It just shows what the Seahawks could do really well with their native 1st round pick if they go BPA.

    • Peter

      Contrary to Seattle area talking heads I think this roster is so thin at stars they could go BPA for nearly every pick, watch people cry, and in two years be happy with every pick in hindsight.

  9. Thomas

    Would you take him at 5? That seems like one of those draft day stunners that could happen.

    I could see it happening if Levis, Richardson, Stroud, and Anderson were off the board. In that scenario they’re just scared away from Carter and unwilling to risk injury with Young. I’m also assuming they’re unwilling to take Bijan Robinson over Mayer.

    • Hawktalker#1

      Agree. I think this is one of the best posts I’ve read today.

  10. DC1234

    I think that us way too high for a TE. Kyle pitts was a number 6 and he has freakish abilities.

    If seahawks really want Meyer, probably best to trade up from #20

  11. QAgrizzly

    Do you have 10 and 40 times for Dalton Kincaid?

    • Rob Staton

      No, the 2023 combine hasn’t happened yet (and he won’t participate anyway due to injury)

      • QAgrizzly

        I know the knock on him is his lack of blocking ability, but his pass catching ability is probably best of this tight end class, do you think in the right offensive scheme he could slide into slot on occasion, reason I ask is as much as he doesn’t appear to fit in Seattle’s offense, a side of Metcalf at wideout and Kincaid slotted would present obvious match up challenges, I think he may slip to early 2nd round.

  12. KD

    Soooooo many potential options open at #20. Been watching some Drew Sanders highlights tonight and he reminds me a lot of Julian Peterson. Sanders, Wright, Jones, Skinner, Kancy, Mazi Smith, Keion White, Mayer. Tons of options available that I would be very happy with.

    • Hawktalker#1

      That would make me personally consider a trade down to pick up more draft picks, possible ammo for later trade ups if needed.

  13. Peter

    Apologies for high jacking your post, Rob.

    Let’s talk Linebackers, fifth year options, and 12 plus million for Jordyn Brooks.

    I looked at the top 7 LB’s plus Brooks to see what LB’s are worth. Media heads talk about tackles so these are the LB’s with more than Brooks and less than him.

    Brooks had 5 passes defended. 1 forced fumble. 1 sack. His fifth year option is apparently 12.7 million.

    Foye oluokon of JAX and Roquan Smith have big old contracts. Both have great tackle numbers like Brooks. Their other stats:

    Foye: 5 passes defended. 2 forced fumbles. 2 sacks
    Smith: 6 passes defende. 0 forced fumbles. 4.5 sacks

    Everyone else:

    Nick bolton. 2 ints. 3 pd. 1 ff. 2 sk. Made $1.1 million
    Zaire Franklin. 6 pd. 2 ff. 3 sk. Made $ 3 million
    Alex Singleton. 3 pd. 1 ff. 0 sk. Made $ 1.1 million
    Tj Edwards. 7 pd. 0 ff. 1 sk. Made $2.2 million
    Raashan Evans. 4 pd. 1 ff. 2 sk. Projected $4.5 million

    Jordyn Brooks. 5 pd. 1 ff. 1 sk. Please explain to me why he’s worth 12.7 million. If running back is fungible. Clearly LB is as well. I’d maybe reward him with 4 million. But not 12 plus.

    • GrittyHawk

      Picking up his 5th year option would be indefensibly stupid. Not only was he dreadful this year, but he suffered a serious injury and might not even play next year. How anyone could conceive of guaranteeing him top-7 LB money in this scenario is beyond befuddling.

      • Peter


        It’s all over the place in seahawkville with just the tiniest push back that 12 million for a guy who probably won’t play until mid December might not be a great idea.

        But people act like tackles is this end all be all metric. And while it’s is important. I don’t want to sound cruel but Brooks career stat line is that of a guy who picks up a ton of tackles and nothing else. Based on the production of the players with near enough the same tackles and every other metric Brooks is the definition of: Just A Guy.

        • GrittyHawk

          Yeah, and racking up a bunch of tackles also doesn’t say anything about how bad he was in coverage. We were objectively the worst team in the league at covering RBs and TEs. Not to mention he was also able to post those ridiculous tackle numbers because opposing offenses have run the ball so much against us (3rd most attempts against this year, 5th most in 2022). The Texans are the only team who have been run on more than us, and the only other team with over 500 attempts against the last two years. It’s basically the equivalent of a QB on a bad team racking up a ton of completions in garbage time because they’re always losing.

        • cha

          Just to make sure of what we’re talking about, the Seahawks don’t have a decision to make about 2023. It’s 2024 the big hit for the 5th year option would hit.

          But yeah, a big number for a LB who is badly injured in a vital area of his skill is tough to justify.

          • Peter

            Right. But they have to make that decision sooner rather than later.

    • cjjo

      LB is haqrdly ever mentioned in the 1st 2 rounds of any mocks I,ve seen.
      It is in the top 3 of our needs. Perhaps Brooks can elevate his game (after injury?)
      with a stud next to him.
      20 is such a bad spot, the true bluechippers are gone and it is a little early for LB, although I am getting a crush on Sanders.
      The end of the 1st, beginning of 2nd looks to be best value spots.
      I would like to see Rob’s and my fellow fans thoughts of where we should go LB.
      As far as TE, Ive always been a move the chains guy. 4 yds and a cloud of dust will win every game.
      Which made Miller and Dissley top players in my mind.
      Good routes, sure hands QB’s best friend.
      Too bad Dissley is so injury prone.
      I am hoping for a trade from 5, pick up a late 1st, with a 24 1st also.

      • Peter

        For me LB has to be in the mix.

    • 509 Chris

      So tired of hearing about how many tackles Brooks gets. If it’s after a 20 yard run or at the line of scrimmage it’s still the same on the Stat sheet. Even forced fumbles aren’t a super reliable metric unless there’s a ton of them consistently because fumbles at times are flukey. Linebackers are a position that require a keen eye test, and Brooks looked bang average to these eyes. I had high hopes earlier on but he’s proven to be just a decent starter who would excel with a good line in front of him. Spend that money on the line.

      • Peter

        I just looked at any play including forced fumbles to see any kind of dynamic game changing play. And there’s not enough of them for 12 million dollars.

  14. MarkinSesttle

    I have been thinking about this scenario where Meyer drops to 20 for a little while now. I have heard that Meyer is an all football guy who is constantly looking for ways to improve his game. ND people seem to verify what Rob has noticed, that Meyer won’t run a great 40 but he has very good short area quickness. He also makes amazing catches and has great body control. He was consistently the focus of opposing defenses and they still struggled to stop him. Another measure of his explosiveness was at least one play this season where he left over a safety who was at belt level.

    Ultimately, if Meyer is available it could very well be a choice between a future multiple year pro bowler and an average DL starter. The nature of going BPA is that you are choosing to select future pro bowlers in positions you may not need rather than selecting average starters in positions that you do.

  15. Troy

    If we could somehow get one of the top qbs and then land Mayer, that would seem like a coup. The only downside is not addressing the defense which badly needs more talent. If they can shore up their defense in free agency with proven talent I’m all about this plan. I hope the hawks set themselves with proven talent instead of overpaid replaceable JAGS as has been there MO for a while now.

  16. samprassultanofswat

    With Geno Smith and the Seahawks was it the system or quarterback. Even without Geno Smith the Seahawk offense does have a lot going for it. They have weapons. The have three long-term solid players on the offensive line. However, Make no mistake. Geno Smith did play well.

    With that said. NFL teams whose QBs on a rookie deal have a huge advantage come playoff time. Geno Smith deserves his money. He deserves to make as much money as he can. However. I just don’t see how the Seahawks can make it work. They have a ton of free agents. If the Hawks do sign Geno Smith how much cap space will they have to fill out the rest of their roster? Players don’t think about that (Richard Sherman etc. etc.) All they think is pay the man. Well, the NFL doesn’t work that way. There is a salary cap. You could say that Geno Smith was most fortunate this past season. His interception total could have been much higher. I don’t see how you can pay Geno Smith and upgrade your roster. Especially they fans want the overall roster updated.

    We will see.

    • Rob Staton

      Geno Smith deserves his money

      He deserves whatever the highest bidder is willing to pay

      That’s all he is due. Nobody is obliged to pay him any set amount

      • Hawkdawg

        This is exactly right. No other team is going to pay him $35-40 million/year, so why should the Hawks? What disturbs me is that I haven’t seen any signs that he is shopping himself anywhere else…which means “the market” may be just the Hawks. That is how overpayments happen.

        • cha

          I haven’t seen any signs that he is shopping himself anywhere else

          Technically he cannot yet. He is still under contract to the Seahawks until March.

          But what you’re likely perceiving is actually no other fanbase actively talking about acquiring him.

      • samprassultanofswat

        Rob. I agree. That is what I meant. He is entitled to whatever an NFL team us willing to pay him.

    • Chris

      “Deserve” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary if you’re an NFL GM. “Deserve” implies payments for past actions. The only thing that should matter is what production the player is likely to provide in the FUTURE, the value of their position to the team, and market conditions.

  17. Ok

    The last few articles emphasizing why, and how, the Seahawks should be opportunistic, have been so refreshing. Thank you.

    A few commenters have mentioned this: if the 4 qbs are gone, take Bijan, and then the largest/best OL at 20. I love that. I really like Walker, loved the pick at the time, slightly prefer Penny to Walker. Sustaining drives whilst running the ball, would really help the defense. The hawks are not good now, and they are not about to be good. BPA. BPA.

  18. Seanmatt

    I really like the idea of drafting Mayer and trading Fant for pick/picks. We have Fant on a one-year extension for 6.8 million. That money would be better spent on bringing in a FA defensive lineman. It takes rookie DL a while to get their feet under them, while rookie Tight Ends often play very well. Mayer will be as good, if not better, than Fant next year while a vet DL will be better than a rookie D-Lineman. We could probably sign Greg Gaines from LA for less than what we will pay FANT and solidify our interior D-Line for 3-4 years.Plus, I bet we could get between a 5th or a 6th for Fant. Maybe even a fourth next year?

    • HawkfaninMT

      I would be interested in the data on this… being a big fantasy football guy, I’ve always had the perception that rookie TEs are rather unproductive their rookie seasons (Pitts notwithstanding). This isn’t to say Fant > Mayer this upcoming year, but Fant is also not a world beater

  19. Denver Hawker

    I know PFF mock still needs lots of tuning, but Tanner McKee at 28 overall has me scratching my head. Are there any mocks out there that have him anywhere close to this?

    • Roy Batty

      I have yet to see him appear anywhere above the middle third round.

  20. Jabroni-DC

    It would have been nice to have had the #3 pick knowing that we would have the upper hand in negotiations with Geno. Hopefully the FO is not negotiating with the stink of desperation on them. I’d be happy to have Geno back on a team friendly deal & also draft the 2nd franchise QB in our team’s history. Fingers crossed.

    • HawkfaninMT

      When I lived in PHX there was a segment every Monday (Tuesday if Cards played on Monday) called Keim Time where the GM of the Cardinals would join the local ESPN show and talk about the state of the team. Not that Keim is who you want to model your GM after, but it was a portion of the Doug and Wolf (That guy drove me nuts) Show that I actually enjoyed.

    • Julian

      Definitely going to tune in! Surprised he is on Wyman and Bob since he’s gotten pretty defensive with some of Bob’s questions in the past. Wyman works for the team and will give him all sorts of softball questions though.

      • Rob Staton

        JS & DW are close

        • Big Mike

          So do I get Wyman fawning all over John and telling how he thinks the pompous peacock trade is still a great trade and how he’ll bounce back this season for sure and, and, and……………

          I’d be a lot more interested if it was KJ instead. Guessing John chose this tandem for a reason.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      “So John, a lot of people with IQs as low as the outdoor temperature have indicated that resigning Geno at perceived market value is necessary. When can we expect this team to open up the vault and give him the 4 year, $40m per deal his performance in the Pro Bowl flag football game showed that he’s obviously worth?”

    • diehard82

      Thanks cha for the heads up. They should just call it “Smoke Break with JS”, given all the smoke that will be swirling around. I picture many diehard fans just like me, sitting by their electronic device listening intently to every word, clutching their hands and mulling over all the gold nuggets of information being dropped like crumbs by the master. LOL. I will be there, you can count on it.

  21. Trevor

    The narrative on Geno in the media seems to have switched. Now it is that $30-35 mil is reasonable but no way $40 mil is too much.

    What the hell is going on? Are Geno’s agents this good or have people lost their minds. Geno is career backup who would have been out of the league several years ago had the Hawks not signed him right before camp each year to back up Russ. Now because he has 7-8 good games and has a little luck he is worth $30 mil + on a 3-4 yr deal?

    I challenge people to give one example of where a sitatuation like this (Case Keenum, Nick Foles etc.) has worked out well or even when signing a mid level QB (Tannehill, Cousins, Carr) to a big deal has worked well.

    Signing a 33 yr old career backup to a big $ deal should not even be a consideration for the Hawks. The only thing they should be looking at is drafting one of the top 4 QBs in this class and signing a competent Vet QB (Lock, Darnold etc) to a deal similar to what Geno had last year 3-5 mil with lots of incentives.

    I was onboard with the idea of brining Geno back to a mid level deal $20 mil /yr range initially but the more I think about it even that does not make much sense and I don’t think based on the way he is talking that he would be happy coming back for anything close to that.

    My guess is his market is nothing close to what is being discussed. Perhaps DC becomes the OC in Tampa and they bring in Geno on a big $ deal, if so good for Geno and good luck to TB. I guess NO or Wash could be other options but I just don’t see it. Do you hear any other fan bases clamouring for thier team to sign Geno?

    Sorry for the rant but all the talk / narrative from local Seahawks media just seems insane to me. I pray it is not what they are hearing from the Seahawks organization and PC/ JS.

    • GrittyHawk

      I’m with you. People keep saying things like “$30M is the going rate for a QB” but like… to your point, how is that working out for all those teams paying an average QB that amount of money? Look at the last 30 years of Super Bowl winners. Every single one of those quarterbacks was either elite (Brady, Manning, Elway, Brees, et al), cheap (Flacco, Dilfer, Johnson, Foles/Wentz), or both (Mahomes, Wilson). You can win with an average QB and an elite defense and running game. You can win with an average defense and running game and an elite QB. But you can’t build an elite defense and running game if you’re paying a mediocre QB >10% of the cap.

      • Peter

        I don’t disagree at with anything Trevor brings up. I’m just bracing myself for what will probably happen.

        Let’s situation the situation objectively..

        Seattle can not stop itself from over paying “their guys.” Is there a player that more exemplifies “their guy,” on the roster than Smith? No.

        If they let him go to say Tampa and Tampa “only,” pays him 30 million that’ll be one of the few conteact wins this FO has ever done. And will show ne that they are serious about how great teams are built.

        • Big Mike

          Trevor said: “I challenge people to give one example of where a sitatuation like this (Case Keenum, Nick Foles etc.) has worked out well or even when signing a mid level QB (Tannehill, Cousins, Carr) to a big deal has worked well.”

          GREAT point

          And Peter, I’m with you. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable overpay of one of their guys. If and when it happens, I expect by the time 2/3 of next season had passed, fans will be seriously questioning this front office and wondering why the hell he was paid like he was. My only hope is that the plan all along was to draft a QB this year after RW was traded and they stick to that plan. Unfortunately I think Carroll will overrule John on this and it will lead to John’s resignation after next season and Carroll will walk out the door fat and happy with a team that will need to look for a QB for God knows how long.

    • JimQ

      I’d be okay with the Seahawks flat out telling Smith:

      Here is our BEST OFFER – IMO – a *maximum* of 2-years, 12 to 15 million per year, half guaranteed. So go ahead and TEST the market and if you can get a better offer, go for it. The Seahawks then will be able to draft a new franchise potential QB in the draft, regardless of if Smith (as a bridge QB) signs a new contract, or not — and have a potential future comp pick for Smith ————-> In other words tell him: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.

      • 509 Chris


      • Troy

        I really hope they go this way but fear they will simply bid against themselves and overpay…

      • Chris

        Completely agree … although I might drop that down to a 1-year deal …

      • Sea Mode

        Those are exactly the numbers I’ve been at and continue to sit at. Simply not worth any more.

  22. Robert Las Vegas

    According to Ethan Hurwitz on his Twitter account the Seahawks talked to QB Lindsay Scott Jr at the NFLPA bowl probably means nothing but you never know

  23. Trevor

    A stat that’s kind of irrelevant but interesting.

    Since 2001 it has been incredible how durable Hawks starting QBs (Hassleback, Jackson, Russ and Geno) have been. In 21 yrs Hawks starting QBs have missed a combined 11 starts due to injury with most of those coming in the one year Hassleback missed 7.

  24. bmseattle

    I fear that Geno’s unexpectedly great 1st half of the season is going to have serious, long-term negative ramifications for The Seahawks.

    If it entices us to pivot away from the plan to draft a QB, and instead to build around Geno, it has the potential to set us back years.
    Personally, I don’t even like the “bridge” idea with Geno. It’s just too much money to invest in the position right now…especially with the way the rest of the team has been constructed.

    Making the playoffs was fun, I suppose…but right now I’m lamenting not having the two top 10 picks that we would have if not for Geno’s improbable stretch of play.

    • bmseattle

      *improbable. And I’ll add, most likely unrepeatable.

      • Big Mike

        100% agree with you.

        What will be interesting is when the rest of the fanbase realizes it was a gigantic mistake later next season and starts saying all the same things that are said here right now. I guess we can all just sit back and think “we knew this” while crying in our beer knowing any real shot at a franchise QB is who knows when.

        • bmseattle

          It’s going to kill me if we pass on Richardson and he ends up being a stud.

          • Big Mike

            It’ll kill me regardless. The point is you don’t get a chance like this hardly ever and grabbing for the brass ring of what Richardson has the potential to become is so much better than playing it safe by overpaying a middling QB like Geno Smith.
            I would never knock the FO for “going for it” regardless of how it turned out.

        • 509 Chris

          Sounds like the Jamal adams situation all over again. I remember when this was the only place you would hear a single word bad about the peacock deal. Now it’s like the entire fan base knew immediately it was a stupid trade and we didn’t all get called idiots and worse for questioning that bag of rocks.

        • DC1234

          Do you think John Schiender is thinking drafting a qb at 5 vs paying Geno is the way to go.

          Because he was ready to draft Mahomes if he falls to them in 2017. And was ready to trade Russ in 2018 to draft Allen.

          I believe he was willing to move off of Russ cause his contract will be too expensive and the way the seahawks like to play doesn’t justify it.

          If Geno is asking for $30 million plus for multiple years, John might move on. All the stats about the potential interception Geno could of throw last year, i bet the seahawks front office knows. They know his production dip second half of the year.

          I just dont see John overpaying Geno. I really hope I am right

          • Ashish

            Yes I agree with the theory on JS and he is aware the rare opportunity to draft #5. Also PC comment about how hawks offense is QB friendly tells me they don’t give all the credit to just Geno for his performance, worst case they bet on Lock rather than paying Geno 20+ millions.

            May be not having 2 draft option in first 10 is a good thing JS will know he will not get chance to draft QB at #20 as there are many teams like Raiders looking for QB.

    • slartibartfast42

      Can’t lament a pick we don’t have, though. Yes, it was likely we’d have “earned” a top 10 pick ourselves, but no one expected Denver to be so horrible. Accept the unlikely gift of #5 with the playoffs and hope we do the right thing. Which should be taking a QB with the opportunity we were fortunate enough to fall into.

      • DC1234

        The seahawks draft have been so unpredictable (except last year), that it wouldn’t surprise me they take a qb at 5. Or they move up to get one.

        Pete Carroll’s contract ends at 2025. Which do they think have a better chance to win the superbowl from next year to 2025?

        Geno Smith or a potential franchise changing qb

  25. Happy Hawk

    If the Hawks get a shot at Mayer at #20 take him! Talent is talent! Rob are the comps: Musgrave = Kittle? Mayer = Gronk?
    Great stuff as always Rob!

  26. Robert Las Vegas

    Here is interesting numbers Patrick mahomes 23 out of his 41 touchdown passes which is 56 percent had 5 or less air yards.and 31 of Patrick mahomes touchdowns had 10 or less air yards.doesnt it seem like Everytime you watch a Chiefs game they have an incredible YAK that’s because they are number in yak number 1. yak/completion. The chiefs offense line ranked number 1 in pass play win rate .and Off ranked KC wrs 3 in the NFL.. Patrick mahomes threw 1 long touchdown pass all year.You can make a valid argument that Andy Reid is the best coach in the NFL.

  27. diehard82

    Rob, thanks for another thought provoking post. I look forward to your insights every day, and lament those days when you don’t post new material.

    What I want from this draft more than anything else, are players who exude professionalism and maturity. And that is one thing it’s hard to judge in draft prospects unless you watch every game or newsreel on each player, perhaps as you have. I’ve seen pushing and shoving before games and what appears to be immaturity/poor decision making on the part of a couple players (Carter) that required handlers to circle him to keep him in check. Personally, I wouldn’t touch him. But I wouldn’t have touched a number of players the Hawks drafted or traded for. It baffled me. Any other players that give you pause for similar reasons?

    Also, I recall the Hawks locker room divided over Wilson, and the quote “he’s not black enough” for some. Also, individual players claiming they were disrespected in their contract negotiations. Do you think there is a risk of fallout over the Hawks not offering Geno an amount of money those same individuals might deem disrespectful?

    • diehard82

      Correction, respectful, not disrespectful.

    • Rob Staton

      Do you think there is a risk of fallout over the Hawks not offering Geno an amount of money those same individuals might deem disrespectful?

      Any player who feels that way should be told to apply for the next round of GM openings if they think they can do a better job

      • diehard82


    • cha

      The Seahawks cut franchise icon Bobby Wagner and we never heard a single grumble or mumble from the locker room. Just statements of respect for him.

  28. Mr Lerf

    If they get someone for Oregon State, I hope is Coletto. Hes a football player and a hammer

  29. Sluggo42

    Rob, Rob, Rob… you are like an open book…
    At the start, you give your clues as to who you want, and then write him up like no other
    AR is your guy. Now, and well since then, you’re sparking up everyone else, in an attempt to blow smoke away from your pick.
    Of course you realize that every other team reads your stuff, and thus does their best to steal away your “chosen one”.
    Yes, all these other guys are very possible picks, but now we will never get AR, because you showed your hand early…
    Now, yes I know the Levi’s is truly your guy, but you’ve been subtly slipping AR hints all along, then you go into these sidebars about how great other players are and how deserving they are to be chosen.
    That worked last year and allowed us to get Lucas, so job well done, but you will really need to step up the hallelujah’s for Bijan, Carter and Will, etc.., in order for us to really have a chance for Levis or AR
    Do you charge JS for those late night calls when he needs to remember why he is gunna pick who you’ve told him to? You should…$$

    • Osprey

      Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

  30. Palatypus

    Off-topic but,

    In light of the recent discoveries in the USA today about Russell Wilson’s charitable foundation not giving much money to children, I think I finally understand why Eminem wrote those lyrics about him being like Rumpelstiltskin.

    Who are going through a struggle feels it and relates, that’s great
    It’s payback, Russell Wilson
    Falling way back in the draft
    Turn nothin’ into somethin’, still can
    Make that, straw into gold, chump, I will spin
    Rumpelstiltskin in a haystack
    Maybe I need a straight jacket, face facts
    I am nuts for real, but I’m okay with that
    It’s nothin’, I’m still friends with the

    So, you spin straw into gold for his haystack and then he steals your children unless you can guess his name. And you could only guess his name if you were “friends with the monster.”

    I finally now how I’m going to get banned by Seahawks Twitter!

    Ciara bathes in the blood of unbaptized babies !!!

    • Sluggo42


  31. Paul

    It’s unlikely that Wyman got $40M from a credible source within the Seahawks organization. Seattle generally negotiates in good faith; a leak like this would be a breach of confidence that Geno, his agent and every other FA and his agent would regard as a breach of confidence and an act of bad faith. Far more trouble than it’s worth, the ethical aspect aside.

    • Rob Staton

      Oh come on

      Seattle negotiates through the media ALL the time

      Where have you been the last five years?

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