The start of the Seahawks’ off-season piece

This is an off-season for the Seahawks to take the next step

Going into the 2018 and 2019 seasons, ‘perspective’ was a word we used a lot. This was a re-setting team, moving on from a lot of veteran players. They had to settle their cap situation and manage a couple of drafts without many picks.

Expectations had to be tempered to an extent. There was so much change and so little resource to come thundering back into immediate contention.

Qualifying for the playoffs a year ago was an achievement. It’s hard to say whether 2019 was progress but regardless, it felt from week one onwards that this was a team that needed another off-season to reach its true potential.

Now we’re here. And they don’t have cap problems any more. In fact they’re currently projected to have the seventh most cap space in 2020. They have a healthy chunk of draft picks too, including three in the first two rounds and #27 overall.

If patience was the message for the last two years, that won’t be the case here.

Now is the time to deliver.

Everything is set up for this to happen.

When the next season comes around, this Seahawks team has to be in prime position to contend. For the NFC West, for the NFC and for the Super Bowl.

They have a fantastic culture, a sensational franchise quarterback and some core pieces to build around.

There’s one big issue that continues to hold them back.

It has been abundantly clear for a long time that Seattle’s defensive line simply isn’t up to scratch.

Here’s a reminder of how poor they were up front in 2019:

The Seahawks finished with 28 sacks, second fewest in the league behind only Miami (23). Their sack percentage was 4.5% — third worst overall.

They had only 126 pressures, sixth fewest in the league behind Detroit (125), Oakland (117), Houston (117), Atlanta (115) and Miami (96). Seattle’s pressure percentage was the fourth worst in the league (19.3%) behind Detroit (18.9%), Houston (18.1%) and Miami (16.7%).

Seattle hit the quarterback 68 times — fourth fewest. They had 52 TFL’s — again, fourth fewest.

They gave up 55 explosive running plays on defense, seventh most in the NFL. Yet their explosive run play percentage (14%) was the third worst overall behind only Carolina (16%) and Cleveland (15%).

In the passing game they conceded 54 explosive plays — the 14th most.

I haven’t got access to the 2013 stats to check on the peak LOB years. The earliest I can go back to is 2016. That year they conceded only 39 explosive running plays — the fewest in the NFL. They gave up 58 explosive passing plays. The big difference this season is the run game, highlighting this isn’t only a pass rush issue.

They also gave up 4.9 YPC — fourth most overall.

They’re not disruptive enough. They don’t create enough pressure. They don’t make enough plays. They don’t do a good enough job stopping the run.

Pete Carroll, speaking at his end of season press conference, is well aware of the issue:

“We didn’t get enough production consistently. At times we were as good as anybody but not with the consistency that we need. It’s so much better to play football when you are rushing four guys and kicking butt. Everything works when you do that.”

Disruptive pass rusher’s and playmakers. The order of the 2020 off-season.

It’s interesting that Carroll somewhat blamed the missing edge pressure for Jarran Reed’s lack of production too:

“He never really got started rushing the passer, like he was flying last year and he wasn’t able to be as productive numbers wise. He’s still a really good football player and means a lot to this team and he’s really tough and a terrific all-round player but the numbers, he had 10.5 sacks last year and you know, (we) couldn’t get him going this year. Because he’s an inside guy, plays like he plays, he needs the support around him to open up the rush lanes and we weren’t able to help him enough.”

Carroll was very clear about his desire to keep Jadeveon Clowney, stating: “We would love to have him back.”

He offered this review of Clowney’s 2019 performance:

“He’s a remarkable player. What a great asset he is. He’s got such a great spirit about him. He loves the game so much, loves winning and the challenges of it. He was an incredible team mate this year and we had no idea what we were getting when we got him but he exceeded all expectations.”

And when asked about Seattle’s impact on Clowney, this was the response:

“He loves it here and he wants to be here and he dropped up to see John just to let him know how important it was to him. He had a great time.”

The Seahawks have the cap space to make this happen. He might wish to test free agency first (although he’ll probably have an idea of his market during the combine weekend). Yet with Clowney being the only true impact player up front for the 2019 Seahawks — and considering Carroll’s words above plus his age (26) — it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they let him walk off into the sunset, creating another huge hole to fill.

What do they need to add though? They already had Clowney this season. Who do they bring in to team with him?

This is the key question and the big test of the off-season. Retaining Clowney will be big and should be celebrated if/when it happens. That move alone won’t enable the team to take the next step, however. He needs help.

I think there are three keys when trying to identify potential targets:

1. Speed, speed, speed
2. Disruptive ability and proven production
3. Prototype size/length and good health

The first one is obvious. The Seahawks are simply not quick enough up front. They need the next Cliff Avril. Someone who will challenge offensive tackles with burst, quickness and an ability to work the edge.

This is also a young team. There are a lot of players ‘needing to take the next step’. What they lack is the assured consistency of an established pro. Any prospective addition has to have some degree of production.

Thirdly, they need to learn a lesson from a year ago. Ziggy Ansah was a calculated gamble and it’s totally understandable why the Seahawks rolled the dice considering the Frank Clark trade.

This year they can’t afford to rely on a player like Ansah. They need someone who isn’t rehabbing, someone who wants to help lead and possesses the fire to come in and compete and help this team reach the next level.

They also need to perhaps learn a lesson from the L.J. Collier pick. He wasn’t a particularly great athlete — more explosive power than agility and quickness. It’s too early to write him off and hopefully he will take a step forward next year.

That said, athleticism matters. Avril ran a 1.50 10-yard split. The quickness he showed on a football field wasn’t a coincidence. The physical numbers need to match up to their ideals for a LEO/EDGE rusher.

We can go into more detail on how to address this later in the week, when we study potential free agent targets and look at draft prospects.

Here’s the CliffsNotes version for now…

— It’s not a good draft at all for pass rushers. It’s going to be a major challenge for the Seahawks to fill this need with the #27 pick or any of their other draft picks. Hopefully options will emerge at the Senior Bowl and/or the combine. At the moment, however, it looks fairly bleak.

— There are some attractive options in free agency. Dante Fowler for example has the length (34 inch arms), quickness (1.59 split) and 2019 production (11.5 sacks, 16 TFL’s, 36 pressures) they need. He’s also only 25-years-old and could create a partnership with Clowney for years to come. Everson Griffen could be a possibility too, albeit only as a shorter term option.

— The trade market could come into play. It’s one way to avoid the bun-fight of free agency contract negotiations. The Seahawks have made bold trades in the past to fill needs. Could they, for example, target Von Miller? Would Denver listen to an offer that included #27? Or could they ring up the Jaguars and see if there’s any way at all to finally bring Calais Campbell to Seattle? Either way, a trade seems viable during an off-season that could/should be a bit more aggressive.

It doesn’t matter how they resolve this issue as long as it is resolved. The Seahawks have the #5 offense in the league per DVOA. They have one of the three best quarterbacks in the league. They have fantastic young weapons (and could add even more). If they needed to close the circle in 2018 by fixing the running game and their offense, now they need to close the circle by repairing the pass rush and the defensive line.

It isn’t the only thing they need to fix or resolve, of course. Generally the defense needs more speed and playmaking. Would anyone really quibble, for example, if they were able to fix the pass rush in free agency and then traded for Jamal Adams to pair with Quandre Diggs?

They have free agent offensive linemen who will either need to be retained or replaced. Carroll stated his preference for continuity on the O-line today (“I don’t want to see a big change there“). They’ve got to add a tight end and considering the excellent draft class at receiver, they’ll probably add another target for Russell Wilson.

There are also other areas that need to be carefully considered. For example, why did they miss 131 tackles during the regular season (the fourth most in the league)? Why and how did that happen? Why has the home record been distinctly average at Century Link Field over the last three seasons? Why have they had so many injuries and how do they try to prevent that repeating? And why, despite their great decade of success under Carroll, have they only earned a playoff bye twice and won the NFC West four times (making it harder to progress in the playoffs)?

The next four months are a golden opportunity for this franchise to get back to where they want to be. They have to capitalise. In 2013 we saw the impact of a big off-season. The Percy Harvin trade didn’t work out but the double signing of Avril and Michael Bennett was a game-changer.

The moves pushed Seattle over the top and towards a Super Bowl Championship. Time to repeat the act in 2020.

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  1. BobbyK

    There are a pair of free agent Steelers that I am particularly interested to help bolster the pass rush; Bud Dupree and Javon Hargrave.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the question with both will be fit. Dupree has 32.5 inch arms and always looked more of a classic OLB for Pittsburgh’s scheme than a LEO to me. He’s very explosive though, I liked him at Kentucky and he’s just had a good year (11.5 sacks).

      Hargrave’s testing numbers are incredible — a 1.57 split at 309lbs is so good I’d want to go and check it wasn’t a typo. Decently explosive too and ran a terrific forty (4.93). Again though, he’s squatty (6-1) and lacks length (32 inch arms). And the one thing they’ve been very strict on for the D-line is length.

      • BobbyK

        Even if Dupree played the Avril role – that would be huge. I remember ’13 when Avril only played in about 50% of the snaps – but he was so effective (though he continued to be great after Red left and he logged more snaps).

        And, yes, those numbers were right about Hargrave because we talked about him not fitting the profile on this blog – yet sometimes some numbers are so good that you sometimes take someone even though they don’t fit the prototype. I followed his career with the Steelers and he was very good, though not great. But, again, quite good.

        But, yes, this is the year for the splash – however it’s going to come to be in terms of spicing up the playmaking ability of the front four. Can’t wait to see what they do.

        • Rob Staton

          I really think Dante Fowler is one to watch. Ticks the production, length and quickness boxes. But I also think they’re going to be players for Everson Griffen and there might even be a trade or two.

          • BobbyK

            Yep. We know they’re not going to stand pat and it won’t be as simple as only one player being brought in.

          • Dan

            A Fowler and Clowney tandem would be awesome. But would (could?) the Hawks spend $20 million per year on average for each player? And why wouldn’t the Rams re-sign or at least franchise Fowler?

            • Rob Staton

              They might not need to spend $20m on each player.

              The Rams don’t have the cap to re-sign or franchise Fowler.

              • BruceN

                My thought exactly. Fowler is someone we should target because the Rams are in trouble with CAP space. And I doubt he will be at $20M range.

                • Hawkster

                  For Fowler you would think Z.Smith is a not entirely unreasonable recent comp around 17m/apy.

                  • Rob Staton

                    Maybe — but it’s hard to project. Fowler had a cold market 12 months ago.

                  • BeucwN

                    Fowler at $15M and Clowney at about $21M (plus keep Reed) and now we have a decent DL core.

          • Dale Roberts

            Fowler would be great but he’s gonna be really expensive. I think we have to go after him in case we don’t get Clowney. Bud Dupree is incredibly athletic and I’d love to see him in Seattle.

            • Greg Haugsven

              I like Fowler as well but I just cant see them paying him and Clowney. I could see them going after him if Clowney blots. If they do resign Clowney I would think either Griffen or Quinn could be the target.

              • Dale Roberts

                I don’t disagree, I just think they have to be in on Fowler from the beginning in case Clowney signs somewhere else. However, I suspect that if Fowler and Clowney both wanted to sign they’d figure out a way. That would be killer.

            • Rob Staton

              1. He wasn’t expensive a year ago.

              2. I remember thinking Bennett & Avril were unaffordable.

          • Ryan

            Yes. Sign me up for Clowney + Fowler please.

            • Von

              No doubt. I’d also try to add Mayowa as well

          • LLLOGOSSS

            There’s room in the rotation for both Fowler and Griffen. That’s building a championship pass-rush.

            • Rob Staton


  2. Ashish

    Always love to read your comments, its refreshing even after end of season. Hawks played well given injuries and other short comings and I hope we find some good talent and wish for healthy next season.

    Rob, next 7 months is your will always visiting this site to find about next possible Seahawk player. SBD gang keep sharing your inputs love read all your findings.

    • Rob Staton

      The pleasure’s all mine. I’m just happy some people enjoy the blog.

    • Trevor

      Rob is seems like Pete really wants to keep Clowney what type of contract do you think it will take? What are your thoughts on a guy like Robert Quinn if they can’t afford Clowney and Fowler?

      • Rob Staton

        Not sure on Clowney. Won’t be cheap but who knows.

        I’d prefer a longer term option to Quinn but he still plays like a cobra so happy to add him to a rotation if possible.

  3. Matt

    Fantastic article. Could not agree more.

  4. Raphy

    Thank you for writing this today. I was so excited to visit the site and see something other than the instant reaction article where 50% of the comments were anti Pete Carroll. This is going to be the most exciting off season we have had in a while. We are close. Keep up the great work Rob!

  5. Doug

    The HFA at CenturyLink and the consistency issues on D are connected I believe. C-Link really feeds off of the D, and the energy level stays as high as the D is strong.

    I wonder if the Seahawks will be quick to draft a WR? In a deep draft it seems to me they may wait until day 2 or 3. Pete had good things to say (briefly) about Ursua. Replacing the production of Brown and Turner would be easy to do with existing personnel (Ursua and Moore). The more pressing issue is to upgrade TE. Hollister was a good fill in but they need Dissly back plus another TE of his quality or better.

    I will bet that the DL gets addressed before the draft. If Green makes more progress from year 2-3, and Collier can come on, that is going to help. Re-signing Clowney seems like it is too perfect to not happen–good fit for him and the team. Reed? His value was higher a year ago than it is now–I wonder whether the Seahawks will offer him a deal he would accept.

    It is going to be a very interesting offseason!

  6. BobbyK

    If anyone wants a good laugh… There’s a mock draft who has the Seahawks picking a DE in the second round and the comment(s) from the person is hilarious. Here is the exact quote:

    “Seattle Seahawks: Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame
    The Seahawks needed edge-rushing help even before they traded away Frank Clark, so here’s someone else to help them get to the quarterback besides Jadeveon Clowney and L.J. Collier.

    Khaleed Kareem generated lots of pressure for the Irish in their strong start last season. He has a nice frame (6-4, 265) with great upside.”

    Funniest. Thing. Ever.

    All the people on this blog got just as much pressure on opposing QBs did this past season as Collier. Hahaha

    • LouieLouie

      Both Green and Collier basically red-shirted as rookies due to preseason injuries that stunted their growth. Green started to show a pulse this year and actually made some good plays. He was very young when he was drafted so I’m hopeful that he will progress in ’20. Collier is a blank slate as of yet. He played later in the year but needs some work.

      All the Seahawk youngsters one thing that they didn’t have last year; experience with a playoff victory.

  7. Shane

    Thanks for another great year for the blog Rob!

    Can’t wait to see what decisions PCJS make with the roster with so much more ammunition/flexibility compared to past offseasons. Shouldn’t have any shortage of material to write about! Thanks again!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you for reading 👍🏻

  8. Trevor

    Really looking forward to this CFB Final. Incredible amount of talent!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m going to focus on Lawrence the DT.

      • Trevor

        Anyone on the LSU OL worth checking out?

        Where has Divinity been all year? Was he hurt?

        • Eburgz

          Cushenberry #79 getting some hype.

          #74 for Clemson, Simpson (been mentioned here a bunch) looks like a Seattle style guard.

    • Volume12

      I smell a big win for the Tigers. 😉

  9. SeaTown

    This is my first stop after every game. Thanks for all the level-headed posts and thoughts about the Hawks. Greatly appreciated!

    I know most of the off-season will be spent debating how to inmpove the defense, and rightly so. However, if JS/PC tinker a bit on the offensive side, one guy i would love to see in Free Agency would be TE Hunter Henry. He’s been a bit injury prone so not sure how expensive save he will be but considering Dissly’s injury issues and Hollister’s limitations, I think he could bring in a bit of what the Hawks had in Zach Miller. Not sure he is the blocker Miller was but he definitely looks the part as a pass catcher.

    Again, thanks for a great season. Now looking forward to a championship off-season! Go Hawks!

    • radman

      agree on Henry, or another established TE vet. This should not be a hard problem to solve through FA. It’s clear there needs to be a legit alternative to Dissly that isn’t basically a scrap heaper like Willson or Hollister but an experienced and established starter.

      • Bluenlime

        To be honest Henry is as much injury prone as dissly. It won’t be shocking to find Hollister starting by mid season with those two on IR already. I think we should draft a stud RB. Penny and carson cant finish a whole season.

  10. Amar

    I would NOT pay Ifedi and I would release Britt (not much dead money and quite a bit of cap gain). Sounds like Fant wants to play LT so he might have to be let go as well. Put your trust in Haynes, Jones, and Pocic as center. Get a couple of FA OLinemen on the mid-tier level (like Fluker, Sweezy, and Iupati were the last couple of years). Draft a couple.
    DL – as much as you’d hate to lose Clowney, if the price is to pay $21M+ for ultimately a 3-sack season. Really? Then why not just play Clark? Honesly, in your opinion, is it worth it to pay that much money for Clowney? I understand the pressure, the hits have been there – but ultimately drives are stalled by sacks and not just pressures/hits. Plus, once he is paid, is he going to be as motivated as he was this year? On the other hand, what’s the alternative? Maybe once he is paid, the pressure on him will lessen and he will finally get his sacks…
    Would let Reed go. and bring back Jefferson and Woods. And you hope LJ comes around.
    Draft a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round. Offensive weapons of Lockett, Metcalf, WR3, Dissly, Hollister, Carson, Penny is pretty good. Plus hopefully some upside shown by Ursua.
    Back end of the defense looks to be set (even though it didn’t look like in this game): McDougald, Diggs, Griffin are set. You hope that Flowers puts in the effort to get better going into year 3 and makes a similar jump as Griffin. Need some draft competition as well. Blair, Amadi – should be better in 2nd years. Lano/TT – lost causes I think. Too slow – speed wise and reaction wise.
    LBs: Bobby, KJ, Barton, BBK, maybe bring Kendricks back. all set.

    The last 3 drafts really set this team back by 1 year. Wasted top picks in 2017, 2018 (used on a RB), and 2019. But fortunately, even in re-tooling years, you have Wilson and you still go to playoffs in the ultra competitive NFC and the NFC West. (on a side note: it is truly amazing how competitive the NFC west is EVERY year. Hawks/Niners (2 years), then Hawks/Cards (2 years) then Rams, then Rams/Hawks, and now Niners/Hawks/Rams). If not for Blair, could have been 8 straight 10 win seasons and 8 playoffs.

    I also wonder: this is the first off-season where the Hawks know that they have a stud, tall, strong, outside WR (not in the mold of Tate, DB, Lockett). Plus lockett is still lockett. Could they decide to go a little more pass heavy? I know they were more pass heavy in 2019 than 2018 but now it could be even a bit more.

    Fix the DL issues and hawks could make a deep run for the next few years…

    • Sean

      Clowney had a monster year this year if you look at pressures. He just doesn’t have the sack numbers. I can’t find the articles rn but there has been a lot of people that have researched sacks and have found that sack numbers are just lucky itterations of pressures. You are also discounting plays where even if a defensive lineman does not get a sack, he could still very much affect the throw. Lot harder to make a good throw when you have someone up in your face or forces your to throw the ball earlier than you would like. Clowney is a pretty elite defensive lineman in the league and should get paid accordingly.

      • Kellen11

        How can you question JD’s “motivation” when he just gutted out playing and playing HARD for this team in the 2nd half of the season and playoffs. Just asking that question discredits your entire comment.

        • Edgar

          Clowney playing through the pain benefited him more than it did the Seahawks. If he had done the surgery and ended his season after the 9er game or after the following week, his offseason price tag could have been anywhere from a one year prove it deal to getting 15 a year max. Don’t mistake his willingness to battle through as a overall sign he will do this right after getting a 4-5 year deal. Texan fans overwhelmingly are in agreement that he has tendencies, just like Lions fans said right as we signed Ansah that we would 100% regret it. Gotta be careful throwing around 22 million a year contracts.

  11. Radman

    Maybe their biggest improvement on defense can come from abandoning a stubborn insistence to base D and playing more Nickel. Of course, this means more than a scrap heap commitment to a nickel corner.

    I read an article in the Tacoma News Tribune in which it appeared Carroll and Norton had a fond recollection of playing a lot of base D with the 49ers back in the 1990’s. Well, that was more than 20 years ago. The passing rate of the league has gone through the roof since then (even if Pete’s hasn’t, the league has seen an exponential rise in drop back plays since that time). And while they might like the idea of it, I am not convinced it’s an effective strategy. Per PFF, the Seahawks played their base defense more than 70% of the time, whereas no other team did so more than 40%. That’s a massive difference, with very little production or results to justify it. If I’m running quality control or accountability for the Seahawks, I press the coaching staff damn hard to defend this approach given the numbers. Personally I think it’s indefensible and it would take a hell of a lot to convince me this major outlier of a strategy is working, in short “Tell me what you know that no one else does and why you think it’s working?”.

    So, yes, more pass rush talent (and I’d also press JS hard on why it is the roster has become so bereft on pass rushing talent, how did a defensive oriented team become so thin as pass rush, Mr. Schneider?

    In sum, yes, the roster turn has resulted in a talent loss. Fine. We all know that happens in sports. But also, not all of this is excusable and some of it might be inexcusable and have to be addressed.

    • Rob Staton

      People keep going on about base and yet never provide evidence to back up the claim. It seems to be people just assert ‘nobody else is doing it therefore it must be bad’.

      Seattle’s defense sucked because of no pass rush and a lack of playmakers. Not simply because they played a lot of base.

      • Radman

        Ironically you also make a claim here without evidence. I’m not at all surprised to see you push back on this given your tendency to defend all things Pete Carroll.

        3 simple things. 1. Defend the logic of base defense in a passing league. Why was nickel D created? Tell me what’s flawed with this logic. . 2. Defend why it’s so different than the rest of the league. Why does Seattle have this right and every single coaching staff in the league have this wrong? 3. Justify the deviant behavior with evidence of a successful defense.

        All three are tall orders. I’ll wait.

        • Rob Staton

          I put my evidence in articles. For example this from a few weeks ago:

          In terms of the stats, Kendricks is giving up six yards per completion — good enough for sixth best in the league. In comparison, Justin Coleman is giving up 11.5 yards per completion as the slot corner in Detroit. Chris Harris in Denver is conceding 18.1 yards per completion.

          Kendricks’ yards per target is also strong at 5.1. That’s the same as Earl Thomas and good enough for tied-25th in the entire NFL. Stephon Gilmore is giving up 5.2 yards per target. Jamal Adams gives up 5.3 yards per target.

          He’s only given up 135 yards after the catch — a similar number to Jaylon Smith in Dallas (134) and a better mark than Fred Warner (156) and Devin Bush (162). Tre Flowers has given up 163 yards after the catch.

          Kendricks has also given up 30 receptions — as many as Marcus Peters, two fewer than Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey and three fewer than Stephon Gilmore.

          The return to base defense caused a lot of discussion earlier this season but things appear to have settled down. Now that he isn’t missing as many tackles (see below), Kendricks appears to be the perfect player for the system Carroll is utilising. The numbers don’t show a liability — they show a player who is performing at a pretty high level.

          So come on, let’s have some evidence. Instead of just blaming the base defense because it’s different, let’s have some hard facts. Because I can provide a long list of facts about the pass rush (most of which are already included in this article). So give us your facts.

          As you put it, ‘I’ll wait‘.

          • mishima

            30 receptions, 5 yards/target, 6 yards/completion.

            How do they define a ‘target’ for a LB, esp. in zone coverage? Numbers are cool unless he’s giving up one 15 yard gain to a TE on 3rd down for every 2 RB screens he stops for 0 gain on first down. Is there a way to know how he was ‘targeted’ and where and when he had success?

            I know we gave up a ton of receptions and yards to TEs and assumed this would be on our LBs in base defense.

            Not arguing. Kendricks seems good in coverage. Just trying to put numbers in context.

            • Rob Staton

              A target is simply when a QB has thrown to a player being covered by, in this instance, Kendricks.

              This defense has always given up yards to TE’s, even when they played nickel. When you play the zones Seattle do, it’s a way for teams to attack you. Even the LOB gave up big TE days.

              People have assumed base is the problem. For me it’s obvious what the problem is — the DL.

              • mishima


                To clarify, I was just wondering how they define a ‘target’ against a LB dropping into zone coverage.

                Fix the pass rush, find a slot CB / big nickel to mix it up.

                I wonder if we’ll ever see McDougald up in the slot with Blair/Diggs at SA/FS. Thought they would try it, late season.

                • mishima

                  SA/FS? Strong Safety/Free Safety

        • Steve Nelsen

          Here is a perspective that might help better understand what Seattle did in 2019 Rad man.

          The terms “base” and “nickle” are both nuanced terms so don’t get hung up there. Seattle, like every team in the NFL has increasingly used a “nickle” defense to defend against the increase in passing. If you look at recent seasons, Seattle was in “nickle” more than 50% of the time.

          “Nickle” defenses typically come in two basic types, with either a 3rd cornerback like Justin Coleman to cover elusive WRs or a 3rd safety “big nickle” to cover larger WRs or TEs.

          Seattle in 2019 was not using “base” like they did 20 years ago. They were using an OLB with coverage skills to fill the big nickle safety role; a “bigger nickle” if you will. Does that make it more understandable? So, the appropriate analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of this move are comparing Kendricks to other nickle backs like Rob did.

          • Rob Staton

            Pete specifically kept mentioning Kendricks’ 4.4 speed for this exact reason.

            • Kellen11

              Still waiting for Radman’s facts…

  12. king.

    As this series continues, a call to take the RB situation seriously.

    Seattle depends on its running game, as much as I would like to see it moved to complementary as opposed to primary.

    This is the fourth time in five years that Seattle has ended its season with a deficient RB corps.

    Carson and Penny are both coming off injuries. Carson is entering a contract year and has only finished one 1 year in his last 5 without significant injury concerns, plus an ACL in high school if I remember correctly. Regardless, acting as if he is a given to produce in the playoffs seems like pie in the sky thinking.

    Penny is unreliable at best. Prosise is likely gone.

    How can the running back room not be a concern?

    • king.

      Also, for those that care, Valverde is finally gone.

      One down, one to go.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not a concern. They can add one at some point in the draft (probably day three) and then they have a decent crop of guys.

      No reason to panic there at all.

  13. Aaron

    Defensive master class so far by Clemson.

    • Volume12

      Isaiah Simmons has lined up at OLB, MLB, CB, nickel, and off the edge so far.

      • Walter Rucker

        Love him…He may go top 5 I think

  14. Volume12

    Remember when Trevor Lawrence was supposedly not good anymore and some were saying he was most overhyped QB?

    • Volume12

      And now people are jumping all over LSU corner Kristian Fulton. Stop. Sometimes there’s not a damn thing you can do by trying to play through a bigger receiver. Can’t fight size.

      We see it every year with corners who go on to be great at the next level.

  15. Coleslaw

    Apparently George Fant is saying he wants to play LT for someone.

    So Fant is gone.

    • Coleslaw

      Trade Duane Brown for a pass rusher and officially make Fant the LT?

      If not, were gonna need a starter at LT in a year or 2

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      We cant afford to lose Fant and ifedi! We need to bring back Fant even at LT market. Even possibly franchise him for 1 year and play him at RT until Brown moves on. It means cutting Britt loose, Definitely going to need to draft a center early this year. Brown, Haynes, ?, ?, Fant.

    • mishima

      Expected. He’s proven capable and that’s where the money is. Should he stay at a discount, play swing tackle, tight end?

      • dcd2

        Where did he say that he only wants to play LT? Anyone have a link, or context?

  16. Edgar

    Spend all big acquisition resources outside getting another tight end on pass rush and Safety/CB positions. If Wilson and Shotty are going to target Hollister more than Metcalf in the final playoff game of the season….Wilson doesn’t need anymore help outside of scouring other teams practice squads.

    Pass rush cures a lot of warts.

  17. Gohawks5151

    Interesting Clemson targeting Fulton. Stingley is a stud. Higgins is plenty fast. Put him on the list

  18. OregonHawk

    As bad as the stats were, was there anything on the Defense that you liked? (besides Clowney and Diggs)

    • Justin Mullikin

      Wagner still looks good
      Shaquill looks good

      We need some pieces but we have a pretty solid core.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Wagner also played at a star level. McDougald was a solid starter. KJ Wright was a solid starter with above average tackling stats (which was not common for Seattle defenders this year). Kendricks was solid in pass coverage but inconsistent as a tackler. Reed had a very subpar year after the suspension so he might prefer a one-year “prove it” deal to get a better long-term deal after next season. The starting CBs would benefit from some pass rush.

  19. LAHawk

    While we’re dreaming…

    Priority 1: get Clowney back. Seems like he might want to stay too but still gotta pay him.
    #2: more d-line help. Fowler would be ideal. Rob is right on that they need speed. On the inside, either bring reed back or get someone else—seems very market-dependent. I want QJeff back too as a good rotational piece.
    #3: o-line. This is complicated but you have to bring back either or both of Fant and Ifedi. Otherwise you’re paying some other RT a lot of money as a FA. I think Ifedi gets a bad rap, he’s fine. Maybe draft a center—Ruiz if he falls—maybe sign or trade for one… maybe even bring Britt back, possibly with a restructured deal if he’ll take one? Hunt isn’t the answer though. I like Jamarco at guard, Fluker and Brown are fine vets. The o-line is not a major project compared to the D line.
    #4: another TE. Trade for Howard? Go to the draft? They need a good blocker, ideally one who can catch too but blocking is key
    #5: another weapon for Russ. You could draft a WR in this deep class, or sign a vet if one seems cheap. Maybe a premium TE can play this role too. But the WR group is very shallow right now, and having to depend on Turner and Brown doesn’t work. I could see them drafting multiple WRs.
    #6: you’re probably out of resources at this point, but what about looking for a replacement for flowers/CB depth in day 2 of the draft? We have safeties until the cows come home but not much in the way of corners.

    • LAHawk

      Oops just saw Fant said he wanted to start at LT somewhere. If he walks it’s even more important to lock down Ifedi.

  20. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    Suddenly the cap space doesn’t seem as large as we need it. By the time we spend on offensive line and defensive line help. Lol. Im going to bed

  21. Hawks4life

    Joe Burrow is so much fun to watch. The Bengals are one lucky team.

  22. dcd2

    Lots of guys to like in this National Championship game. It will be interesting to see which of the juniors in this game declare after.

  23. One Bad Mata'afa

    Re-sign Clowney is a must, and i’d love to see us go after Armstead. Pair a disruptor in the middle with Reed; one of those dudes is busting through. If you can afford a Fowler too, great. But if not, Griffin could play the role another year. But getting that push/disruption in the inside would wreak havoc

  24. Eli

    I like the looks of the LSU left tackle

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Saahdiq Charles. He’s a junior I think he’s returning to LSU next year.

  25. Dale Roberts

    Why can’t we stop the run? Are Ford and Reed good enough? It’s hard to imagine our linebackers are the issue and McDougald and Diggs are both good run players and hard hitters so again… why can’t we stop the run. When Pete says we had a problem on the edges was that a shot at our DE’s or the overall defensive speed?

    • Starhawk29

      To my uneducated eye, it looks like an issue of push and speed off the edge. Outside zones killed us again this year. Clowney played them well, but he was it. Stronger and faster ends will help deal with that. In the middle I think we missed Al Woods at the end of the year, but we evidently need to do a better job in general. Guarantee we’ll sign another run stuffing veteran DT to help out.

    • Steve Nelsen

      There was a bit of lack of team speed on the DL and lack of interior pressure to disrupt running lanes but the biggest issue for stopping the run seemed to be the poor tackling. I haven’t seen the final numbers but I think all the DL guys were below average and several were way below average.

  26. Tony

    Fix the pass rush. That alone will solve a ton of issues. Breakdowns in secondary, missed tackles and better 3rd down stops. Obviously improvement in other places will help, but revamp the rush and depth on dline. Brandon Jackson, LJ collier, mone, shaq should be trying to earn the last spot. Poona, qjeff (great value depth I bet) and green should be your backups. But the starters need to be reed, clowney, and 2 really good additions. 1 DT, 1 edge would be perfect.

    I hope they stay with there 1st pick and nab one of the last good wr’s pr ons OC the young top TEs. No matter what, add a 2nd legit TE. They ran so much 6 OL packages more for max protect. Fant isnt a TE, hes great to throw in there when were running over people, but we need those 2 TE sets. Play action will be better for it. Dissly and another really good TE would do wonders for this offense. Hunter henry would be amazing. Snagging oj would be too. I’d love to see a better rotation in that group. The way russ seemed to use TEs, he needs options and depth there.

  27. Matt

    Ok…Chaisson is really impressing me. Queen is a stud too.

    • Walter Rucker

      Yes and yes
      and Isiah Simmons but he’ll be long gone

    • Simo

      Agreed, Chaisson looked really good last night, against a very good team. He looks fast and explosive, even if he’s a touch small. Definitely seems to have a nose for the ball, he was around the QB or ball carriers a lot! Haven’t watched any tape on him really, but on this performance alone, he looks like a gamer.

  28. Walter Rucker

    You Rock Rob.. Thank you for all your hard work!
    I think we will see some big names cut w all these teams near the cap. I think you’re spot on w E Griffen and Fant. Fowler would be fantastic, I dont see the rams letting him go unless he is too $$. I’ll throw one name out at cb . Xavier Rhodes. Yes he had a down year and is 29 but he is fast, twitchy and a competitor. What do you think Jamaal Adams would cost…3rd rounder? If we get Adams, does Blair move to CB?
    Thank you!!

  29. Greg Haugsven

    Where is this news that Fant wants to play LT? I heard he really wants a chance to start but nothing was said about Left Tackle.

    • Walter Rucker

      I googled but couldnt find anything. I forgot where i had read it but it was heresay

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      According to Condotta Fant wants to start. No mention of which position, just that he wants to start.

      I’ll come out and say that while I like Ifedi and think he’s not a bad RT, I vastly prefer Fant. I’d pay Fant starter money and left Ifedi test the market. If Ifedi’s market isn’t very high, I’d consider resigning him to play RG and let Fant start at RT.

      George Fant says his main goal in free agency is to find a place where he will have a chance to be a starter. Asked if that's Seattle, said we'll see.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) January 13, 2020

      • Greg Haugsven

        Thats what I saw. I think this whole thing about him wanting to play LT is made up.

      • mishima

        This probably applies to every FA out there. IMO, it indicates they’ll have to move fast, commit to Fant with established starter money, if they want to keep him. He’s not waiting on Ifedi.

        That said, wouldn’t be surprised if Ifedi and Fant price themselves out of Seattle. Pete was willing to run J. Jones against C. Jones, so who knows?

      • Steve Nelsen

        I read it too. It is not made up. Bob Condotta in his Seattle Times piece “Examining the future for the Seahawks’ 19 pending unrestricted free agents, “Fant said Monday he also wants to have a legit chance of winning a starting job as a left tackle which probably won’t happen with Duane Brown around.”

        That being said, the old distinction between the nimble “blind-side” LTs and the mauler run-blocking RT is becoming blurred and so it the money being paid to starters. I think if Fant got a fair market offer from Seattle to start at RT he would be happy.

        I think they keep one or the other at RT, keep Britt at center and that gives Pete the consistency that he wants.

        • Rob Staton

          I think people are reading too much into Fant’s comments.

          1. It’d be problematic if he didn’t ‘want’ to start.

          2. Wanting to start and being paid to start by another team are two separate things.

  30. Walter Rucker

    Clyde Edwards Helaire is very impressive…5’8″ 208 but he is shifty and strong.

    • radman

      that height/weight is not small, even though many commenters will call it so. That’s a beastly player size.

    • dcd2

      Agree. He’d be a nice compliment to our RB’s.

      • Walter Rucker

        Wonder where he goes, 4th round?

        • dcd2

          He’s a Junior, so he may come back. I’m not really sure where he’ll fall if he goes pro. The OSU RB who just had 2000 yards is coming back, and same with Najee Harris for Bama. That might push him up a bit, but it’s still a deep class for RB.

  31. Spencer

    Even with cutting (or restructuring Britt and Dickson), once we re-sign and tender all of our FA and RFA our cap space all of the sudden doesn’t look as good.

    Re-signing Clowney, Fant or Ifedi, Al Woods, Jarran Reed, Q-Jeff, Thorpe and Tendering Moore, Roos, etc.
    This leaves us with only around 20M to spend. That is maybe one Fowler, or one more reasonable option plus a DT that can help with run stuffing and pass rushing. O-Line will have to be solved internally (re-signing one of Fant and Ifedi, Jones and Haynes stepping in, Britt restructure, etc). As always, it comes down to nailing the draft and hoping our year 2 and 3 guys step up.

    • radman

      Avril and Bennett were signed late in the FA period. They were not mega deals, and they were not big splashes at the start of FA period. They were also seen as rotational pieces.

      Ogbah? Lawson? Beasley? Leonard Williams? These guys seem like the kind of talent they might be looking for.

      I’m skeptical of the big signings. Even though it worked out well for GB this season, I don’t think it’s a great plan to go big on a guy without knowing first how he fits in and how hard he will work.

      I’m ok with them bargain hunting again. Keep CLowney and add two of those guys, seems more doable to me. This only needs to be an average D for them to be great.

    • Rob Staton

      Nobody knows how much some of those players will cost to keep or if they’ll even be kept.

      No need to panic about the cap.

    • Jerod S.

      They aren’t re-signing woods. He was brought in as a stop gap and they can get better value ( and younger). With Thorpe being hurt and Blair and BBK, and Umadi on special teams they don’t need him.

      • Jerod S.

        On another note about a player. There is a lot of uncertainty swirling around L.J. Collier. But, I have to remind everyone to go look at Q-Jeff’s stats his first 2 years…. now look at him. He isn’t a world beater, but dude is solid and shows up a lot!! So I am willing to give Collier some time. (As others have said).. I think R.Green will continue to improve as well.. if Seattle keeps Reed and Clowney.. and maybe another FA signing those players may be enough.. lastly, to be clear I don’t remember Bennett or Avril ( maybe Avril) being drooled over when we got em. They weren’t the players then they are considered now.

  32. Matt

    Burrow is the best college QB I’ve ever seen. On a whole ‘nother level.

    • Walter Rucker

      Feel bad for him going to Cincy tho…

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I’ve watched a lot of college football. Seen a lot of good QBs, some great QBs.

      Burrow is definitely in the latter group. Remains to be seen if he can translate his success to the pros. But in college, he’s as good as any QB I’ve ever seen.

    • Ben Ft. Worth

      LET’S GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

      What a dream season for my LSU Tigers. Burrow finally is bloomed into the star we’d all hoped he be down here on the Bayou. Celebrating with my family in Baton Rouge tonight. What a party!!!

      Hope our Hawks can grab some of my LSU boys! LSU beat the Top 4 college teams by an average of 21 points! INSANE!!!!!!

  33. CHawk Talker Eric

    So happy for Coach O! What a season!

    But Pat Haden can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.

    • Dale Roberts

      By rot in hell do you mean get the Wazzu job?

  34. Aaron

    Burrow capped off his Hesiman season with over 450 yards passing against an elite secondary in CFB. Well too bad he’s gonna go to the Bungles. Watch them waste and/or ruin his career.

  35. Saxon

    Until this team builds a dominant defensive line it will have a high floor, low ceiling. The Packers FA acquisitions were the difference in the game. If we’d signed ZaDarius and Preston Smith this year we would have had HFA throughout the playoffs. We now have the cap space that we didn’t in 2019 and I would spend every red cent on ANYONE that can rush the passer.

    Now…aside from Clowney, who’s available?

  36. SoCal12

    Couldn’t catch most of the CFB finals unfortunately. Any standout players from the game? Potential Seahawks targets?

    • Dale Roberts

      K’Lavon Chaisson was interesting.

    • Simo

      Yep, Chaisson looked great. I was also impressed with Queen, and of course Delpit and Simmons are studs at safety. LSU’s Chase at WR was a beast. Both RB’s were impressive. The list goes on, with two teams loaded with NFL talent.

      • Matt

        Queen is the guy I want. That was a clinic on “flying to the football.” That guy is not only super fast, but he spilled his guts out in that game. I mean he gave every ounce of himself to that team.

        • Simo

          Agreed, Queen really showed out in that game! I love defenders who always seem to be around the ball, in the middle of the action. They have a nose for it.

          I’m just not sure what position Queen plays at the next level? Is he a LB, Safety, hybrid? I’m not sure of his measurables or how he will test either. Still seems like a guy you’d be happy to have on your team.

          • Matt

            Queen is 6’1” 227 lbs. I bet he runs a legit 4.5. I think he is your KJ upgrade. Any way you put it, he looks like a 4 down player.

  37. Pran

    This defense needs elite players – blue chip.
    Clowney will be retained at market. I don’t think he will get market resetting money with Hawks or else where though.
    Reed may come back for 1-2 years to rebuild his stock. He may get middle of pack elsewhere.
    Ifedi is gone. Fant will come at moderate cost for a starter position.
    Could use an elite player at safety thru trade which will make one elite player at each level on defense.
    A proBowl caliber player with upside is preferred opposite to Clowney and a vet like Quinn or Griffin on 1-2 year contract.
    TE, RB, CB, OL and WR from draft.

    • Simo

      I’d rather see them make a trade for quality pass rusher than another safety! McDougald and Diggs are good players on the back end, who will look so much better with a consistent pass rush.

      Trade for one pass rusher and add another in FA. Time to load up and double down!

  38. millhouse-serbia

    First one interesting nite from Russ post game presser…when he spoke about leaders he mentioned Duane, Bobby etc…but what was interesting to me when he spoke about young players who could be foundational peaces he said DK and Cody…SO maybe team really like Cody a lot…

    And now on Petes last presser…he sounds really sad…he is not suttisfied with his defense and he will mak all kind of changes…

    But I didn’t understand it all…am I right that he said they play well defense against 11 personell but oponnents realize that and than change something and final result is that base defense wasn’t good respond for that “new” type of offense…what was question on 15:35 I couldn’t understand…if question was will he continue to play base by his answer it sounds like he will not… he said it is tough to change some things during the season…and they really wanted Kendricks on the field…if I could guess thay wanted Michael on the field because he was much better player than any nikel corner…but it didn’t ends up as Pete wanted and he will change that and play much more nickel next year…so if Ugo isnt answer we will need to find starting nickel for next year…

    He was optimistic about Green, but not so much about LJ (at least I could read that from his body language)…he said he needs to play and he will play some on inside and some on outside…but to me it ddn’t sound like first two downs outside and 3rd down inside…as more I think about situation with Clowney and Green as 5 T I think they will try to move LJ to 3T…

    He thinks Tre will make progress from jear 2 to year 3…Haynes will compete for starting job and he doesn’t want uch changes on OL…he mentioned Simmons and Knox…

  39. jopa726

    Joey Hunt was playing with a stress fracture of the fibula. Quinton Jefferson broke his foot and will require surgery. These players don’t even count against the 17 others that are already on the IR list. The good news is Al Woods is officially off the suspend list and now a unrestricted free agent.

    I know fans always think that injuries only happen to their team. But, man alive, the Hawks were killed by injuries this year. Is there anything to be done about that?

    • Dale Roberts

      So do ya think we’re outta the Woods now? Ba dump ba… dad joke, sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  40. Volume12

    K’Lavon Chaisson made himself a LOT of $ tonight. For me he’s the 2nd best EDGE in this class behind Chase Young. Just constant pressure.

    • Dale Roberts

      I don’t know about #2, until tonight he wasn’t in the top 5 edge rushers on anybody’s list I’ve seen. However for us at 6’4″, 250, really quick, and reportedly a good teammate/leader might be the perfect LEO. He had a season ending ACL last year so that’s a concern but it could also mean he’d be even quicker/stronger next year. If he runs a good combine shuttle and is still there at #27 I’d be a happy man. The other dude that made himself some cash is the sophomore reciever, Biletnikoff award winner Ja’Marr Chase. I’d love to have the apostrophe brothers.

      • Volume12

        The draft process is incredibly fluid.

        You could make the case for Epenesa as #2, but who else?

    • SoCal12

      Think he’s a fit for us Vol? I know Rob has concerns about his frame which is valid, but man if he tests as well as he looks, that’s gotta warrant at least some consideration. We need speed and he certainly looks like he has it.

      • Volume12

        Depending on how he tests, I think he’s the most ideal in this class for Seattle as a speed rusher, LEO, etc.

      • Matt

        I think Chaisson is a fit as a base down SAM and a pass rusher on 3rd downs/obvious pass rush situations.

        I really thought his interviews were great too. Mature sounding kid.

        The guy I’d like to see on this roster is Patrick Queen. That dude was flying around the ball. Looks like the prototypical new age LBer.

        • Rob Staton

          I remain unconvinced that Chaisson is the type of player Seattle needs. You are right, he’s a linebacker who can be a situational pass rusher.

          Seattle needs Cliff Avril not Bruce Irvin.

          • Matt

            Totally fair take and somewhat agree. Chaisson undoubtedly brings more speed to the table – and in all honesty, that would be my #1 goal this offseason. Get faster on D.

          • Carl

            I would have taken Bruce Irvin’s 8.5 sacks this year, BRUUUUCCEE!

            But agree that a true DE that can set the edge against the run and rush the passer is the bigger need.

            • Rob Staton

              I used Bruce more based on his role in the latter Seattle years.

              Bruce was, in fact, the best pass rusher in CFB for two straight years and looked like the all-time classic LEO.

    • Trevor

      I have been saying it for a while Vol and agree completely. He is this years Brian Burns but unfortunately I think there is zero chance he gets out out of the top 20 given the lack of speed rushers in this draft.

      He plays with a great motor, has the length they like and I think will test really well. He would be the perfect pick for the Hawks but I think they will have zero shot to take him at 27 unless there are any issues with his medicals which is quite possible given his history.

      • Volume12

        Your probably right.

        • Greg Haugsven

          I threw out his name about a month ago and got shot down. He was a beast in the pass rush (which is what we need) but he struggled in run defense. Im still aboard his train but he is still raw but has the tool kit.

  41. RalphWiggum

    I looked at the list of potential free agents, and it’s relatively long, but I’m not convinced we actually need to re-sign many of them as a priority. I think given our pass rush situation, we can’t really afford to lose Clowney, and he’s the guy I’d prioritise here. If we had a better situation with rookies etc., he might be more expendable, but I just think we don’t want to be starting from scratch with the D-Line.

    I also think Reed might come cheaper, with the suspension and lack of production this year, and so think he should probably be re-signed.

    Other than that? Fant, maybe Al Woods, Q Jeff, Hollister, Hunt and Moore, but none of those guys are ones I’d overpay for.

    In free agency, give me Dante Fowler… Jabaal Sheard if he comes at the right price. Javon Hargrave is intriguing but I doubt he hits FA.

    I think you are right, Rob, that next year (and probably the 1-2 after that) are the time we need to be making bolder, win-now moves, and attempt to win another ring.

  42. Douglas

    I hope they move on from Clowney he’s not going to solve our pass rush woes he’s averaged 5.0 sacks and 1 FF per season he’s a good player but to me he’s not consistent, I would spend the big dollars on Armstead 49ers or and dream come true Fowler not only would it help our defense but it would hurt our division rivals

    • Devin

      Stop. Looking. At. Sacks. As. The. Sole. Indicator. Of. Success……..please

      • mishima

        Just. Remember.

        It was a sack that put us at 4th and 11, forcing us to punt. Not. A. Pressure.

        Also, guess who’s one of the best passers under ‘pressure?” Aaron. Rogers.

        • Doug

          Thair coaching staff also knows how to spot mismatches they took advantage of Flowers, Amadi, Hill.

      • Doug

        Clowney had 3 big games to pay him Frank Clark money no way and Clowney was basically invisible other then the penatlys in the Packers game, jumping offside at the goal line after preaching about Rogers hard counts. It’s not that I don’t like Clowney he’s a good player but I see Armstead as a player who’s trending upwards.

        • Rob Staton

          Clowney was a LOT better than ‘three big games and invisible for others’.

          • Douglas

            Example 1st 9ers game great, second game zilch not sure what games your watching and it you think he’s a play maker show me, that interception was his first I’m not saying he’s not a good player but if we can sign Fowler, Armstead at the same money for me it’ bye bye. You have a player averaging 5 sacks a season players with this low production don’t warrant 20 million a season

            • dcd2

              I think the 9ers will franchise Armstead, if they can’t extend him. They need money for Kittle and DeFo, but not until next off-season.

              • Rob Staton

                I doubt they franchise Armstead. Sanders is also a free agent. They don’t have loads to spend.

            • Rob Staton

              I watched the Seahawks games Douglas.

              And wrote about them every week.

              And studied and then wrote about the advanced stats that highlighted how crucial Clowney was.

              Then read and studied reports that noted how often he was double or triple teamed and still created pressure.

              I’d recommend you do that too.

        • mishima

          Clowney is great and would love to see what he can do with a better supporting DL. However, I would prioritize an edge pass rusher like Fowler (long term)/Griffen (short term) over re-signing him. I think he’s gone.

  43. Austin

    Thanks for another great year Rob, I tell everyone I know to check out the blog, even non Seahawk fans because the draft info alone is so good…..we’re spoiled as Hawk fans to have you in the mix.

    After a couple of boring off seasons I think Seattle goes all in this off season. They have good capitol, money to spend and I think Pete knows he has only a couple of years left and he will want to end it in a big way. I think we see some moves that may seem more short term in nature because of that.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks, appreciate you spreading the word.

  44. Brazilian Hawk

    One of my midseason’s suspect was confirmed by Carroll: Bobby was playing through injury and that explains very much his disappointing performance in coverage this season.

  45. Sam

    What’s going to happen with Marquise Blair next season? I really like his game but Diggs and Mcdougald look like the for sure starters.

    • Greg Haugsven

      I would guess he would continue his current role with maybe some more snaps as a third safety then look to take over for McDougald in 2021. Just a guess though.

  46. Deric

    Hey Rob,
    Great post! I definitely agree about the expectations. Before we got Clowney this season, I truly saw this season as kind of a wash, meaning, I thought we would compete hard and do alright (it would just be a year to develop our past 2 draft classes which I like a ton). However, this year, we finally have cap room, draft capital and 2 great class of contributors getting into their own + Russ is in his Prime. It’ll be interesting to see what we do but I really like our chances next year.

  47. Alex Higgins

    Crowd noise helps speed rushers get a jump. It doesn’t help power pass rushers. If you want to regain the home field advantage at CLINK, get a couple of speed rushers. Seems pretty simple to me.

  48. Volume12

    I’ve said it for years because it was true for that long and still is, Walterfootball has to be the worst draft site around.

    Said the Panthers owner is Bobby Axelrod. 😂😂

    Now we’re just assigning made up billionaires to an NFL franchise on Al Gore’s interweb?

    • mishima

      LOL. The worst.

      And their site looks like it was designed using Netscape Navigator.

      • Volume12

        lol. It probably was! God damn thing used to make your browser crash almost every time you used it.

    • Denver Hawker

      To their credit- I did use the site to dominate fantasy football for a few years a decade ago.

    • SoCal12

      I have a real love/hate relationship with Walterfootball. They have a strong database on prospects and players that is easy to access. It’s a good tool to use in conjunction with other draft resources to get the full picture.

      That said, Walter the man himself is insufferable. He’s like the asshole uncle who thinks he’s the funniest guy in the room and constantly making super cringey jokes that no one laughs at. Also the site looks like it was built by a grandfather who learned html at the senior center for the first time.

  49. Volume12

    Texas WR Devin Duvernay needs to be added to the list. Fast as sh**, catches everything, breaks tackles, built like a RB. gonna be deadly outta the slot. If ya liked DJ Moore, can’t see how you don’t like Duvernay. He’s incredibly unique.

    Said when he gets the ball he ‘wants to punish players’

    And Texas A&M Quartney Davis is super underrated. Think NFL teams are gonna like him a lot. Would not be surprised if he crushes the combine.

    • Von

      Agreed Vol. he looks like a faster Deebo Samual with maybe a little less wiggle.

      • Von

        Forgot to add, he ran 4.38 coming out of HS.

  50. mantis

    Having Pete as our coach has brought a lot of great games and memories.
    Going forward I do have concerns though, one being the slow starts on both offence and defence.
    Being outscored 112 to 13 in first halves of divisional round games is not a fluke. I worry that Pete
    is too stubborn to change his approach. It also costs him a couple of regular season games
    which knocks them out of first round byes. Maybe JS can get in his ear if he hasn’t tried already.
    Yes changes in defensive personnel are required but i fear that it won’t make a difference.

    Rob, Thanks for another great year on your site.

  51. JUJUS

    Rob have you studied KLavon Chaisson?

    Im just getting around to looking into him but off the bat Tony Paulines site seems really high on him, and Im getting Danielle Hunter vibes.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve studied him a bit.

      I don’t see Hunter at all to be honest. Danielle Hunter was basically a prototype DE to look at. His tape was just bizarre though — no production, all upside. He was difficult to project. He’s since harnessed his potential into a great career. But it was always there, he just had to deliver.

      Chaisson doesn’t look like a DE. He looks like a SAM type who drops down as a situational pass rusher. He can’t play early downs as a DE. For me that isn’t what Seattle needs. They need Cliff Avril and that isn’t Chaisson.


        We need athleticism at LB anyway, couldn’t we benefit from a 3rd down package with a pass-rushing LB and, say, Fowler outside, with Clowney shifting inside like Bennett used to do to accommodate Irvin?

        • Rob Staton

          It’s a fair argument. I don’t really get the hype with Chaisson though. If he tests through the roof at the combine I’ll certainly re-consider my view because upside and high athleticism is something they need on top of proven production and quality. And this isn’t a one player fix either. I’m just not sure Chaisson is the guy. I don’t think he gets near round one unless he tests incredibly well.

  52. EranUngar

    The defense needs to be upgraded, mainly on the DL. We currently have only Green, Poona and Collier on the roster and we will need to sign 4 additional players:
    2 DEs – hopefully Clowney plus one.
    2 DTs – hopefully Reed or compatible and a run stuffing low cost big body.

    However, to put things in perspective:

    We won 12 games with this defense and lost just 6 games.

    On 2 of the loses – GB and SF, the offense had the ball at the end of the 4th quarter when trailing by less than a TD. You can’t hang those loses purely on the Defense.
    On 2 other loses – BAL & NO, 2 TDs in each game came when the defense was on the bench.
    The last 2 loses – LAR & ARI – The offense scored 12,13 points.

    So, while sorting out the Defense is indeed the first priority, Sorting out the OL, playing with a starting quality TE and adding a quality 3rd WR is a very very close second.

    • Ashish

      Good analysis

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t agree Eran. I think they need to work out what they’re going to do with the O-line and they will add a TE and a receiver — but these issues are far and away off the major priority of fixing the DL.

      And it’s not about hanging losses purely on a defense. It’s about looking at a pass rush and run defense that was bottom five in the league in practically every measure. While the offense was explosive, productive and top-five per DVOA.

      • Doug

        3rd down defense has been a problem for 5 yrs now see Zeke or Dak or 9 for 14, the Ravens game, this is the way the defense works stop, stop wide open first down.Its more than just adding a pass rush we cant tackle either.We booted Cable and Bevell out of town ,when do we say good bye to Norton other than his affiliation with Carroll why is he deserving of this position He’s been a coradnator for 5 yrs pass defense rankings 26, 24, 26, 17, 27 at one point with the Raiders his defense didn’t have an interception in 11 games, It’s quite obvious this man has no plan to stop a NFL passing attack keep in mind he also had K. Mack the problem with this defence is much bigger than adding a pass rusher or two.

        • Rob Staton

          I really, really wish people would take a step back.

          You’re right. Third down defense is a problem. But why is it a problem? Because they can’t rush the passer. All this fire Norton, Carroll’s horrible base defense stuff. They were bottom five in the league for pass rush, pressures, hurries, run defense. Virtually everything.

          Would you ask Lewis Hamilton to win a Grand prix in a Vauxhall Nova? Of course not.

          And it’s a bit rich saying, ‘well when he was at one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league they, with their defensive head coach, were also bad’. Come on.

          They need to sort the DL out.

          • McZ

            If Lewis Hamilton deliberately choose to drive a Vauxhall, then yes, I would lay the responsibility to his feet.

            But that was not the case here. This was not a defense of no names, this was a defense of veterans, superstars and once capable younger players. The draft picks they made since 2017 were atrocious, and Ansah was a major gamble (and one of the worse).

            IMO, if one player doesn’t play to his ability, it’s his fault. The whole line underachieving… that has to be scheme or coaching.

            • Rob Staton

              So Ken Norton chose this group did he?

              And this was an adequate DL?

              Come on.

    • Chris

      Naz Jones is still under contract as is Shaquem (though he’s a tweener to me).

    • Kenny Sloth

      On SF and GB games, we were down almost 3 scores in both games at halftime iirc.

      Like Rob is suggesting, we have to close the loop. And it’s not on any one position group or phase of the game. But the DL stands out as lacking depth and exposing other units on defense and, in turn, putting Offense (and other units) in bad spots where they need to rally.

      • Douglas

        Our secondary is every bit as bad as our d-line much like our d-line we have ok players in the secondary and even less depth it’s so bad we can’t even play nicke,l Flowers, Amadi, and Hill were burnt like toast ,again ok players but against the good teams they will be exploited if Rob remembers correctly the LOB was in place before Avril and Bennett was added to push us over the top anyways it doesn’t matter who you play on defense as the record shows our d – coach has no clue how to stop a passing attack

      • EranUngar

        You recall correctly Kenny, they were down almost 3 scores on both games.

        Did it happen because the defense allowed 3 scores – Certainly.

        Did it also happen because the Offense did not score during that same time ???

        I agree that the first step should be to reduce those scores on Defense but I add that aiding the Offense to be able to score similarly is almost as important.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Then we’re certainly aligned with regards to priorities, I’m not sure how we should approach the Draft until we see what they’re able to do in free agency/resign periods.

          Would like an upgrade to Al Woods, Delano Hill, and Ansah. Probably Luke Willson, Joey Hunt, and Jaron Brown

          Do we think Homer did enough to take Prosise’s spot without a significant investment to push the RB room (eg. 5th or earlier)

          I think we’ll sign a pass rusher and trade for a move TE before the Draft and if that’s the case, I want to go with a DT/WR or maybe even OL with our earliest picks. I think you have to go DT first in this scenario

        • cha

          Given a choice between strengthening a strength and strengthening a weakness, it’s an easy decision.

          Having a better DL and pass rush makes the LBs more effective. It makes the secondary far more effective.

          And it will make the offense more effective as a nice side effect. The offense could just maintain the status quo (of course, they won’t) personnel and scheme-wise, and will be improved just from having a better defense to give them more chances and a shorter field.

  53. Kenny Sloth

    K’laivon Chaisson: has 2 tackles and a couple pressures in CFBCG

    Draft Twitter: FIRST RONUD

    • Rob Staton

      Happens every year.

    • AndrewP

      He’s been mocked in the 1st RD for weeks, if not months.

      I know this b/c I know his name, and I only know the names of the guys that are ‘Early 1st RD Mockers’ as it were… And the guys Rob mentions

      • Kenny Sloth

        He’ll be overdrafted in a bad class. Can’t see him as a target and am not in love with his ceiling.

        Just because it’s not a new take doesnt mean it’s a good one.

        • McZ

          His ceiling? His ceiling is NFL superstar. His floor is versatile athletic pass rusher. In todays NFL, this is a R1 pick.

          He needs a little more weight, but he has the frame to do just that. Problems at hand technique have largely been fixed and are coachable anyway.

          Proof of concept… Collier was not even nearly that prospect and ended up R1.

          • Rob Staton

            ‘Superstar’ or ‘athletic pass rusher’.

            Get him in the top five.


            • McZ

              No, as I wrote… he is too light and has hand technique problems that need to be resolved. Plus he has injury concerns. But he has the general layout teams are looking for.

              Late R1.

              • Rob Staton

                Being athletic is not enough to assert that. And we don’t even know how athletic he is yet.

                Happens every year. Slight pass rusher who is more suited to LB gets pumped up and overhyped.

  54. millhouse-serbia

    Are we here on wrong path with Clowney…

    What perfect Seahawks Leo need? Speed and lenght right…you know what are Clowney lenght , 40y and 10y split…all more than perfect for that role…

    And now look at his snap count this season:

    LEO/REO 514
    OLB 143
    5T 32
    Interior 23

    • Rob Staton

      Clowney isn’t a LEO though. He might’ve lined up in certain spots because he was basically their only pass rusher but he’s not a LEO. He’s a more dynamic Michael Bennett. Now they need to pair him with Cliff and get a Clemons or Clark to support them.

  55. Donny Henson

    Looking at the free agency list via i agree the top prize for edge rusher is Dante Fowler Jr., but i think we may need to pay Clowney 18.5+ million and might push us out of the sweepstakes and the consolation prize would be the following: Emmanuel Ogbah- Chiefs, Robert Quinn- Cowboys, and Mario Addison/Bruce Irvin- Panthers. For DT, Chris Jones- Chiefs is the top prize with consolation prizes being bringing back Jarran Reed or getting Maliek Collins from the Cowboys or Vernon Butler from the Panthers.

    • Rob Staton

      They can afford Clowney and another quality EDGE.

  56. Ben Ft. Worth

    This a website similar to Seahawksdraftblog, except for LSU.


  57. Kenny Sloth

    Man…. That twin sack.

    • mishima

      Yep. That and the return of Beast Mode made my post-season.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I lost my s*** when BM scored his 4th goal-line
        RIP to anyone holding their breath for a super bowl run, I guess.

        Time to close the loop, starts by winning FA!!

        • mishima

          Afraid they’ll approach free agency the same way people shop for produce at Grocery Outlet.

          • Kenny Sloth

            😂 care to elaborate

            • mishima

              They’ll go cheap for once good players, now past their prime.

              (Or overpay when that doesn’t work.)

              • Kenny Sloth

                I kind of figured, but why you gotta do GOBM like that lmao

  58. Trevor

    Montez Sweat at last years combine

    6-6 /260lbs
    35 3/4 inch arms
    10.5 inch hands
    40 yd – 4.41 sec
    10 yd split 1.50 sec
    Bench Press -21Reps
    Vertical Jump- 36.0″
    Broad Jump- 125.0″
    3 Cone Drill- 7.0 Seconds
    20 Yd Shuttle – 4.29 Seconds

    If you were going to draw up the perfect LEO profile I think that would be it. In fact I doubt you would think that combination would be realistic.

    Sweat is somehow still on the board at #21 when the Hawks are set to pick and I am thinking to myself what a steal we are going to get. Then I find out they traded to GB to move back to the end of Rd #1 to pickup a couple of extra 4th round picks.

    So basically we get Collier, Jennings and Amadi instead of Sweat. The outlook for this DL going forward would look much different with him as a cornerstone at the LEO spot that is for sure. He only had 7 sacks but as a rookie that is pretty good and he is only going to get better.

    Just too bad because he just seemed like such a perfect pick for the Hawks and the type of physical profile PC/ JS would have been all over.

    Sweat was basically the DK Metcalf on the defensive side of the ball and they could have had both of them. Hindsight is obviously 20/20 but given this teams huge need for a speed rusher it was a monster miss by JS I think.

    • Rob Staton

      Health was a big factor for Seattle in last years draft. If you recall, there were major long-term question marks about Sweat according to several trusted reporters.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Those are some gaudy numbers though.

      • Trevor

        I remember there being rumors about a heart condition at the combine but then they came out and said it was not an issue and gave him a clean bill of health at least for that issue.

        I guess my point is I hope they go back to looking for freak athletes or OL with that first pick and a guy like Sweat is exactly the type of player they need on the DL.

        • Rob Staton

          Some people came out and said it’s not an issue. Clearly that wasn’t a universal view, otherwise he wouldn’t have lasted as long as he did.

    • cha

      So basically we get Collier, Jennings and Amadi instead of Sweat

      Don’t forget they used one of the 4ths from GB to move up and get DK.

      • Trevor

        Yes but we still had two other 4th round picks.

        • fransgeraedts

          I actually thought at the time that they wanted sweat and expected they would get him even after trading down. Washington traded up to get him…that was the surprise. It was all over Carrol and Schneiders body language after the first round that they were deeply disappointed. Collier was an afterthought, i believe. Probably the best Dline player left on their board. But a reach at that point. Remember that all the good Dline players went very very fast? They were afraid not to get anybody.

  59. Trevor

    Watching Grant Delpit last night I wonder if it will come out that he played the year with an injury or something. He looked like a completely different guy from last year. He made a couple of plays but in general looked slow and once again struggled tackling. I wonder if there is a chance he will be there at the end of Rd #1 because if you looked at his tape this year he does not look like a 1st round pick.

    Simmons from Clemson looks like a much better athlete and more dynamic player for sure and will be the top 10 player not Delpit.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes — he did play hurt. Battled injuries all year.

      • Trevor

        Makes sense because he looked so dynamic last year.

  60. CHawk Talker Eric

    Throckmorton has been mentioned a few times throughout the season on SDB

    Calvin Throckmorton/Oregon showing even more versatility. After lining up at guard yesterday he moved further inside and is playing center today.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 14, 2020

    • Kenny Sloth

      Really like him 3rd or after

  61. dcd2

    Last year, the strength of the draft was the DL, and it pushed some OL down into the second round. The PFF all-rookie team had 4 guys from the second round on it. Interesting to note Rob pegged two of them as 1st rounders.

    Jawaan Taylor (T) – 2, 35 *1, 17
    Dalton Risner (G) – 2, 41 *2, 45
    Elgton Jenkins (G) – 2, 44 *2, 63
    Eric McCoy (C) – 2, 48 *1, 22

    *Rob’s last 2 round mock of 2019

    If WR pushes any position down the board a bit, which do you think it might be?

  62. Kenny Sloth

    Seahawks at Dolphins in London next year.?

    • Ukhawk

      Which stadium ? I’m all in

      • Greg Haugsven

        We think we would go back already?

      • Kenny Sloth

        Hopefully Tottenham’s

    • cha

      Or Mexico maybe.

  63. Ukhawk

    While 2020 FAs looks limited, there are tons of free agent blue chip DL and pass rushers pending in 2021

    I wonder if this in any way affects how the front office approaches this offseason and the next either via a trade or otherwise?

    Not that all will make it to the market but the list includes Bosa, Garrett, Ingram, Kerrigan, Allen, Watt, Buckner, Thomas, Calais, E Griffen, Hayward, Rankins, Miller – just to name some.

  64. Douglas

    Rob one guy not being mentioned as potential target I can never get his name right is 91 Jaguars

    • Rob Staton

      Ngakoue. I think he’ll be tagged.

      • Douglas

        That bites you can count me in if we can get our hands on him.If UKhawk is right 2021 could be the year of the d-line FA

      • Greg Haugsven

        Not sure he wants to be there even though that doesnt really matter. I read somewhere he turned down a monster deal.

        • Rob Staton

          Won’t matter if they tag him.

  65. Greg Haugsven

    You wonder how much dialogue has happened between the Hawks and Clowney? They were able to resign him the day after the last 49ers game. Does it go all the way up to free agency? Is he going to test free agency no matter what? Would love to be a fly on the wall at the facility.

    • cha

      The comments Rob clipped in the piece were a terrific start.

      ‘exceeded our expectations’

      ‘went up to JS’s office and told him how much he enjoyed being here’

      With a trade approval condition being he can’t be franchised, I would say that Clowney wants the right to shop around. And he’s earned it. But the hawks have made a compelling case.

  66. Von

    So, with comp picks and trades we have:

    Is that correct?

    • Greg Haugsven

      Not sure if there is an extra 6th and 7th in there? Maybe a comp 6th and 7th for Shamar Stephen and Brett Hundley. Did we get a 7th back in the Diggs trade? Not sure what we traded away anymore.

      • Von

        I think we got back a 2021 7th for Diggs.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Yes, that is correct assuming the compensatory picks fall as expected. Those won’t be finalized until after the season.

  67. CaptainJack

    Hey rob my question is:

    Do you like Kmet and do you think he anywhere near Kittle’s level? Or even Dissly’s?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve watched a fair bit of him this week to get an angle on him. I think there’s a lot of potential there as a pass-catcher. His blocking, to me, is meh. Kittle is a tremendous blocker and was at Iowa (so is Dissly). So I don’t see that level of potential. Kittle also had an outstanding combine workout so let’s see how Kmet tests.

      • Robert Las Vegas

        Rob I was wondering about the Guard from Michigan Michael Onwenu he is not very athletic but he weighs 362 and 341/2 arms maybe day 3 guy .I would like to know your thoughts. It’s so huge for the Seahawks to win there division to get that home field playoff game . some way we have to get better than the 49ers

        • Rob Staton

          Not studied him but I like Brederson/Ruiz who I have watched.

  68. mishima

    Who was the last ‘twitchy’ player drafted by the Seahawks? IMO, it was Frank Clark in 2015.

    Anyone try to qualify/measure (like TEF) ‘twitch?’

    • HawkfaninMT

      I feel like the 10 yd split in the 1.5 area is how we have come to measure explosiveness. In particular with DEs.

      • mishima

        My question wasn’t thought out and poorly worded. Sorry.

        Are there better tests than 3 cone, vert/broad jump, short shuttle to evaluate twitch. Seems there are players that test explosive, but seem to lack twitch in game/play.

        Who are the twitchy Hawks? Not by testing, but observable play.

        Still not making sense.

    • Rob Staton

      The short shuttle and split times usually indicate twitch.

      • mishima

        Would you make any changes to the combine testing? If so, how and why.

        I might add something that tests twitch/explosiveness + endurance. Short sets of box jumps or set of short sprints (10 yards). Just spitballing.

        • Rob Staton

          The only thing I’d change is binning off the bench press for a power throw.

  69. Douglas

    Rob just wondering your feeling on C. Weaver Boise St.or A. Jennings Bama. I hope we go center with one of our top 3 picks. I’m also focused on CB J. Johnson Utah and OLB Darrell Taylor Tennessee.

    • Rob Staton

      Weaver looks big. He slimmed down from 300lbs and looks that way. I’m not sure he’ll test well enough even though he looks good rushing the passer. Jennings hasn’t looked the same since the injury issues.

  70. Nathan

    If I’m spending, here’s my grocery list:
    – Clowney
    – Fowler
    – Jack Conklin
    – Leonard Williams
    – If you can afford it, Brandon Scherff

    To make room, I’m cutting Wright, Dickson, Tedric, Justin Johnson, Kyle Fuller, and Chad Wheeler. I’m also restructuring Britt’s contract, if he’s amenable.

    That leaves the LB corps being held down by Wagner, Barton, and BBK but I’d rather win in the trenches than pay for LB play.

    • Nathan

      On second thought, consider me in the minority that think we shouldn’t sign Clowney. If we can, instead, divert those resources to Chris Jones we have the potential to run a base DL of:
      – Fowler
      – Jones
      – Poona
      – Collier/Green

      Three signings: Fowler, Conklin, and Jones. Well within budget and great matches for the current roster.

      • Rob Staton

        1. Jones isn’t going anywhere. KC will not let him leave.

        2. Clowney is better.

  71. neil

    Speed, speed, speed, yes we need it on defense, BUT we also need it on offense. Third worst explosive running percentage in the league speaks for itself. I love Carson and his toughness but he is not a breakaway runner, in my opinion. I wish they could find a Tyreek Hill type, that has the potential to rip off 25- 30 yards anytime he has the ball.

  72. McZ

    These ideas of a FA blue-chip spending spree will not work, IMO.

    Let’s assume, the Chawks sign Clowney to conservative market value, which is around 20m.

    Then comes Reed, Fowler, Fant, possibly Ifedi, or replacements for one or another, plus a backup QB. Then another five or something players to fill up the roster. Then rookie contracts.

    63m cap space will not suffice. Even if you cut Britt, restructure Brown (why should he agree?), cut Dickson, this plan will leave very little cap space.

    We can debate, how this team would have ended up being without in-season adjustments, especially at FS. No cap space, no adjustments. For a roster, that may have another option at pass rush, but no guarantee to be better all around.

    To me, that’s a hard pass, strategywise. Every signing needs to be carefully considered based on cap-for-money. We need someone like Fowler or Barrett, not necessarily Fowler or Barrett themselves. Shaq Lawson should be high on our list, Leonard Williams too. We should keep Jefferson and take another look at Nate Orchard. And what about Carl Nassib?

    What does that mean for the draft?

    We cannot, absolutely cannot risk to burn our top pick again. Either it’s one of the top DL players, or we trade back, taking as many spots in the 50-100 space as possible.

    Before we think about adding another weapon, we need to resolve the situation in the trenches, with cheap rookie labor acting as fill up and depth

    • McZ

      It should be cap-for-value, actually.

    • Rob Staton

      Who has even suggested anything you’ve proposed at the start of this comment?

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