The ultimate Seahawks 2018 combine preview

Groups 1-3 (PK, ST, OL, RB)

Arrival: Tuesday
Measurements: Wednesday
Bench press: Thursday
On-field drills: Friday

Braden Smith could be one of the stars on Friday

Offensive linemen
For the last two years we’ve used a formula called TEF to measure explosive physical traits. It proved to be an accurate way of predicting which offensive linemen the Seahawks might be targeting. In light of Tom Cable’s departure (due to his influence on the system) it’s unclear if it’ll be quite as useful in the future. Either way, it’s still a good way to compare the offensive and defensive linemen and measure explosive physical traits.

Why are they important? Pat Kirwan — a confidant of Pete Carroll — tells us why in this piece:

Every time a ball is snapped to start a play there is a critical element of explosiveness that takes place. When two players collide in an attempt to physically dominate each other, the athlete with the edge in explosiveness has the best chance to win the confrontation. It could be a blocker vs. a tackler, a tackler vs. a ball carrier, or many other examples of winning at the point of contact.

Explosiveness is defined in the dictionary as a violent release of energy, a sudden outburst. Football is a series of explosions. How do you measure it in athletes trying to play NFL football?

Take the vertical jump, standing broad jump and the bench press test results and add them together. If the combined score is over 70 there is a reason to consider the candidate at some point in the draft process for his explosiveness.

Kirwan’s formula is flawed because it diminishes the impact of the broad jump. A superb 9-7 only achieves a 1.2 point advantage over a below par 8-5. That’s why we developed our own formula (TEF) to essentially do what Kirwan intended — measure explosive traits equally and emphasise their combined importance.

Let me make this clear (you’d be shocked how often I have to highlight this) — TEF is not an attempt to determine who is a good or bad offensive linemen. It’s merely a calculation to judge explosive traits. And while that’s only one part of any evaluation — it’s still a relevant part of analysing a prospect or draft class.

For more on TEF, including a breakdown of the calculation, click here.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, Bench

Ideal size
6-3/6-5, 305-320lbs, 35 inch arms, +31 inch vertical, +9’ broad, +30 bench reps

Interesting note
For a long time we’ve been discussing the league-wide problem of the athletic discrepancy between college O-lines and D-lines. The best athletes are choosing to play defense. TEF helped us define the problem. At the 2016 and 2017 combines, there were a total of 56 ‘explosive’ defensive linemen (explosive = a score of 3.00 or higher). In comparison, there were only nine explosive offensive linemen. It’s a problem that simply isn’t being addressed and the NFL is suffering as a consequence.

The best drill to watch
The mirror drill. Two linemen stand opposite each other, with one acting as ‘the rabbit’. He’ll move around and change direction and it’s up to the participant to stick. It’s an important test of footwork, agility, mobility, balance, control and stamina. It’s also a good gauge of pass protection skills. Germain Ifedi boosted his stock in 2016 when he performed well in this drill working opposite Laremy Tunsil.

Three names to watch
Billy Price (Ohio State), Braden Smith (Auburn), Austin Corbett (Nevada)

Positional notes
This appears to be a strong year for interior offensive linemen but a relatively weak year at tackle. Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn and Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow are not performing due to injury. Auburn’s Braden Smith is a name to watch — he’s expected to have an excellent work out and could be one of the stars of the combine. Ohio State’s Billy Price could surprise people with the way he tests. Pittsburgh’s Brian O’Neill struggled at the Senior Bowl but as a former tight end could boost his stock in Indianapolis.

Importance to the Seahawks
They’re likely to prioritise repairing the running game and with an opening at guard, a new O-line coach and the possibility of changes — spending another early pick on an interior offensive linemen appears likely.

The big RB story is clear — how explosive is Nick Chubb after his knee injury?

Running backs
It’s clear the Seahawks have a preferred profile and as a consequence, it’s been relatively simple to get a grasp on the running backs they like.

Explosive traits, physicality, size (approx. 220lbs) and running style are the key aspects. Christine Michael (220lbs), C.J. Prosise (220lbs), Robert Turbin (222lbs), Alex Collins (217lbs) and Spencer Ware (228lbs) all had similar size, height and athletic profiles.

Following the 2016 and 2017 combines, we were able to use Seattle’s draft history to identify these possible targets:

2016:

C.J. Prosise — 6-0, 220lbs, 35.5 inch vert, 10-1 broad
Kenneth Dixon — 5-10, 215lbs, 37.5 inch vert, 10-8 broad

2017:

Christopher Carson — 6-0, 218lbs, 37 inch vert, 10-10 broad
Brian Hill — 6-0, 219lbs, 34 inch vert, 10-5 broad
Alvin Kamara — 5-10, 214lbs, 39.5 inch vert, 10-11 broad
Joe Williams — 5-11, 210lbs, 35 inch vert, 10-5 broad

They drafted Prosise and Carson. It’s interesting to note how limited the ‘explosive’ options were in the two previous drafts. We’ll see if this class is deeper and whether the Seahawks will stick to their preferred physical profile or go in a different direction (note: they’d have to deviate to draft Ronald Jones II).

Key tests
Vertical, Broad

Ideal size
5-11, 220lbs, +36 inch vertical, +10 broad

Interesting note
The Seahawks haven’t drafted for speed at the position in the Pete Carroll era. They’ve consistently taken running backs in the 4.47-4.55 type of range. Christine Michael (4.54), C.J. Prosise (4.48), Robert Turbin (4.50) and Chris Carson (4.58) were explosive rather than fast. Explosive suddenness and power over straight line speed appears to be the order of the day.

The best drill to watch
The footage will be limited but absolutely it’s the coverage of the vertical and broad jump. Explosive traits are key. It’s nice to see the running backs cutting against pads while showing body control and quickness in the open field. Very few positions though rely on explosive power like running back.

Three names to watch
Nick Chubb (Georgia), Ronald Jones II (USC), Kerryon Johnson (Auburn)

Positional notes
How many players fit Seattle’s prototype? That’s question number one before anything else. Saquon Barkley will be highly explosive (guaranteed) but is he as fast as everyone says? Derrius Guice isn’t likely to have a great combine but can he do a lot better than his seriously underwhelming SPARQ performance? Is Ronald Jones II as fast as Jamaal Charles (4.38)? Is Sony Michel more explosive than he was at SPARQ (he needs to be)? With no previous testing info, how explosive/athletic is Kerryon Johnson? Likewise — is Rashaad Penny special or a byproduct of his environment? The most interesting moment though will be Nick Chubb’s performance. At the Nike SPARQ combine in 2013 he had one of the all-time great tests, showing world class athleticism and explosion. He’s since suffered a serious knee injury so it’ll be fascinating to see how different he is physically. Don’t be shocked if he’s back to nearly full power and blows the roof off Lucas Oil Stadium.

Importance to the Seahawks
Simply put, they have to tap into this running back class. Seattle’s running game has collapsed and while the national media is focusing on defensive backs galore — the big need for this team is to finally get the running game going again.

Groups 4-6 (QB, WR, TE)

Arrival: Wednesday
Measurements: Thursday
Bench press: Friday
On-field drills: Saturday

Quarterbacks
There’s little point focusing too much on the quarterbacks here unless it’s to keep an eye on who Arizona might trade up for. We’ll see if the big names work out (Darnold, Rosen, Allen, Mayfield, Jackson). Arm strength and accuracy are judged in the throwing drills and it feels like there’s a big opportunity for these players to move up boards.

Interesting note
The Seahawks have only drafted one quarterback in the Pete Carroll era (Russell Wilson).

Three names to watch
Josh Allen (Wyoming), Sam Darnold (USC), Lamar Jackson (Louisville)

Auden Tate could be a big bodied red zone target to replace Jimmy Graham

Wide receivers
Kenny Lawler (4.64) and Chris Harper (4.50) are the only receivers they’ve drafted who didn’t run in the 4.4’s. Paul Richardson (4.40), Golden Tate (4.42), Tyler Lockett (4.40), Kris Durham (4.46), Kevin Norwood (4.48), Amara Darboh (4.45) and David Moore (4.42) all cracked the 4.4’s. Kris Durham (216lbs), Chris Harper (229lbs), Kenny Lawler (203lbs), Amara Darboh (214lbs) and David Moore (219lbs) are the only five receivers drafted that were +200lbs.

They might be on the look out for a bigger target this year, especially if Jimmy Graham moves on. Some of his red zone production will hopefully be shifted onto the running game but having found an effective weapon there, they’ll want at least one big body to throw at with a short field.

Interesting note
The best non-FA athlete Seattle has acquired in the Carroll/Schneider era was an UDFA — Ricardo Lockette. He ran a 4.41, had a 39-inch vertical and a 6.76 three-cone. He was also well-sized at 211lbs with 33.5-inch arms. The Seahawks have been comfortable bringing in high-ceiling UDFA receivers, finding success with Lockette, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. If they’re really going ‘back to the future’ to reload this team, they might be looking for another cheap receiver to replace some of the ‘bigger name’ targets of recent years.

Key test
Forty, vertical, catching drills (proper technique)

Ideal size
6-1, 210lbs, 4.45 forty

The best drill to watch
Any drill that clearly shows the receiver’s catching technique. It’s extremely important. Only when you watch the drills do you realise how many bad habits these receivers have. You want to see a wide out cupping his hands and showing them to the ball. No alligator arms, no fighting the ball or snatching at it. Watch the downfield throws too and see who is good at high pointing the football, showing body control.

Three names to watch
Javon Wims (Georgia), Auden Tate (Florida State), Keke Coutee (Texas Tech)

Positional assessment
It’s a pretty ‘meh’ group of receivers overall. The value in the early rounds isn’t great and is likely to be better between rounds 3-7. LSU’s D.J. Chark was one of the standout performers at the Senior Bowl. It’ll be interesting to see how Washington’s Dante Pettis performs. Is Maryland’s D.J. Moore slow? He’s a tenacious, physical receiver but is he quick enough? How fast is T.Y. Hilton clone Keke Coutee? How will some of the bigger guys like Auden Tate, Javon Wims, Marcell Ateman, Simmie Cobbs Jr and Jaleel Scott perform? Can USC’s Steven Mitchell show well and can Anthony Miller ease some of the concerns about his athleticism and injury history? Plus how will teams view problem child Antonio Callaway during interviews? He’s immensely talented but can you trust him?

Importance to the Seahawks
With Paul Richardson a free agent, Tyler Lockett a year away from free agency and Amara Darboh having an ineffective first season, this could be a position of interest. The crop of free agent receivers could be more appealing but expect at least one wide out to be drafted. They could use a big, athletic target.

Dalton Schultz loves to block

Tight ends
The three tight ends Seattle’s drafted — Nick Vannett, Luke Willson and Anthony McCoy — are all quite different. Vannett was considered a throw-back style blocker with some pass-catching potential. Willson ran a 4.51 at his pro-day with a 38-inch vertical. McCoy ran a 4.78 but was familiar with Carroll and had great size and big mitts.

This is one of the more unpredictable positions to judge for Seattle. They tried to turn Jimmy Graham into the ‘complete tight end’ but settled on making him a red zone machine in 2017. If Graham moves on, do they look for an athletic replacement or another ‘Y’ tight end?

This TE class isn’t like last years. It’s possible we won’t see a tight end drafted in the first two rounds. We might not see a truly dynamic athlete like O.J. Howard, David Njoku or George Kittle either.

Key test
Vertical, Broad, Bench, Forty

Ideal size
6-5, 250-265lbs, +34-inch arms, +10-inch hands

Interesting note
In 2010 when Jimmy Graham was drafted in round three by the Saints — the following players left the board between pick #95 and Seattle’s next pick at #111: Everson Griffen, Alterraun Verner, Darrell Stuckey and Geno Atkins. The Seahawks took Kam Chancellor at #133. The 2010 draft had some depth.

Best drill to watch
There’s very little to gain by watching the blocking drills so like the receivers, check out a players catching technique. Is he cupping his hands and showing to the football, or is he fighting the ball?

Three names to watch
Dalton Schultz (Stanford), Durham Smythe (Notre Dame), Will Dissly (Washington)

Positional assessment
If the Seahawks are looking for an athletic replacement for Graham, players like Ian Thomas at Indiana or Mike Gesicki at Penn State could be in play. For the most part this is not a good class of blocking tight ends. Unsurprisingly, the two schools that still utilise orthodox ‘Y’ tight ends and focus on the running game have produced two possible options. Stanford’s Dalton Schultz is a tremendous blocker especially in the running game and could easily be a Seahawks target. How long are his arms and how athletic is he? Notre Dame’s Durham Smythe had an excellent Senior Bowl and is also an adept blocker. He had short arms at the Senior Bowl but how accurate was the measurement? These measurements have a habit of changing at the combine. Those are the two names I’ll be focusing on the most, alongside Washington’s Will Disly and Florida State’s Ryan Izzo.

Importance to the Seahawks?
Very important. At the moment the only contracted tight ends in Seattle are Nick Vannett and Tyrone Swoopes. Luke Willson could return but the writing appears to be on the wall for Jimmy Graham. They could sign a free agent but another ‘Y’ tight end like Schultz or Smythe could be the order of the day in the middle rounds.

Groups 7-9 (DL, LB)

Arrival: Thursday
Measurements: Friday
Bench press: Saturday
On-field drills: Sunday

Josh Sweat is so athletic they even gave him a plaque

Defensive line
The Seahawks do appear to have defined preferences at each of the different positions. For example, Seattle hasn’t drafted a defensive lineman or EDGE rusher with sub-33 inch arms. Quinton Jefferson, Jordan Hill, Jaye Howard and Malik McDowell all tested superbly in the short shuttle (4.37, 4.51, 4.47 and 4.53 respectively). If they’re looking for a quicker, interior pass-rush option — this drill appears to be significant.

Twitchy athletes with great burst are their thing at DE/EDGE. The 10-yard split is clearly important. EDGE rushers Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril ran 1.55 and 1.50 splits respectively. Anything in the 1.5’s is considered ‘elite’. If you’re looking for a possible LEO in this draft class then you need to be keeping an eye out for the 1.50-1.59 10-yard splits.

The splits are also important for inside/out rushers or interior pass rushers. Frank Clark was considered more of an explosive inside/out rusher and he ran a 1.69 split at 271lbs. Malik McDowell managed the same 1.69 split at 295lbs.

Dynamic quickness is a trend for EDGE players. Bruce Irvin (4.03) and Frank Clark (4.05) both ran incredible short shuttles. Cassius Marsh’s 4.25 and Obum Gwacham’s 4.28 were also really good.

There were serious concerns about McDowell’s effort and attitude but he put on a show at the combine. He’s 295lbs with great height (6-6) and length (35 inch arms) and ran a 4.85 with a 1.69 split. His three cone (4.53) was the same as Dalvin Cook’s.

Of all the positions not to overreact to, D-line might be one of them. For whatever reason, pass rushers seem to last. We spent a lot of time in 2011 talking about Justin Houston as a possible LEO target. He lasted into round three. A year ago Kansas State’s Jordan Willis had a fantastic workout and also lasted into round three. His 1.54 10-yard split was the best for a +250lbs player since Cliff Avril’s 1.50.

This is worth taking into account if someone like Rutgers’ Kemoko Turay has a great combine. He might get talked up a lot — but he could still last into the middle rounds for a team like Seattle in clear need of adding a LEO.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, Bench, Short Shuttle, Three-cone, 10-yard split (forty)

Ideal size
DL — 6-2/6-4, 300-310lbs, +33 inch arms, +31 inch vertical, +9’ broad, 4.50 ss
LEO — 6-4, 250lbs, +33 inch arms, 1.50-1.59 10-yard split

Interesting note
The Seahawks have only drafted 5 players with a +140 SPARQ score. Christine Michael (150), Kevin Pierre-Louis (149) and Bobby Wagner (147) were the only three to beat Bruce Irvin (144) and Frank Clark (142).

Best drill to watch
Just absorb everything. The D-line drills are the most entertaining, most fan-friendly of all the combine events. The bag drills, the swim/rip drills, the club, the working in space. It’s a real show of the most explosive athletes in college football competing in one venue.

Three names to watch
Josh Sweat (Florida State), Vita Vea (Washington), Rasheem Green (USC)

Positional assessment
Rutgers Kemoko Turay and Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter are two LEO or SAM possibilities but both are working out with the linebackers. Is Bradley Chubb as impressive physically as his cousin Nick Chubb? How big is Tim Settle and how does he perform at his size? Florida State’s Josh Sweat had an incredible SPARQ workout and if he’s healthy, could be one of the stars of the weekend. Vita Vea will confirm his top-10 pick status when he runs a sub-5.00 forty. What shape is Arden Key in? Can Marcus Davenport secure a place in the top-20? How big/long is Maurice Hurst and what is his 10-yard split? What kind of athletes are Dorrance Armstrong and Jeff Holland? Is Sam Hubbard more than an average athlete? How much potential does Da’Shawn Hand possess? Can Tyquan Lewis and Andrew Brown, two Senior Bowl standouts, boost their stock? USC’s Rasheem Green could put on a show (his short shuttle should be epic) and how much potential does Taven Bryan truly have? There’s so much to discover with this group.

Importance to the Seahawks?
It depends what happens over the next few weeks. If they move on from Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson, this becomes a huge need area. And who knows what’s happening with Malik McDowell? At the very least it feels like they need to add a LEO.

If he runs a 1.5 10-yard split, Kemoko Turay could be a LEO candidate

Linebackers
The Seahawks have drafted a collection of freakish athletes at linebacker since 2010. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer, Malcolm Smith and Eric Pinkins all ran between a 4.44 and a 4.51 in the forty. KPL, Smith and Pinkins all jumped +39 inches in the vertical. Bobby Wagner was a 4.4 runner at his pro-day with a 39.5-inch vertical. Of the five players they’ve drafted with a +140 SPARQ score, Wagner, KPL and Bruce Irvin are included. Speed (forty yard dash) and explosive traits (vertical, broad) appear to be preferred.

That said, one of their big success stories since 2011 is K.J. Wright. He’s a 6-3, 246lbs bigger linebacker with incredible length (35 inch arms) but only 4.71 speed, a 34 inch vertical and a 10-0 broad. Wright might be the exception — a unique player with tremendous length and intensity.

It was interesting a year ago that Seattle avoided the linebacker position in the draft despite Pete Carroll’s insistence that they needed to add some youth at the position. The 2017 combine didn’t produce many exceptionally quick or unique athletes. Instead they turned to free agency. It’s highly possible they will now review this position again, assuming the options are better in what looks like a much deeper and more impressive linebacker class.

Key tests
Forty yard dash, Three-cone, Vertical, Broad, short shuttle

Ideal size
+6-0, 230-240lbs, 4.4-4.5 forty, 6.70 three-cone, +10’ broad, 4.20-4.35 short shuttle

Interesting note
Bobby Wagner played 99.35% of the defensive snaps in 2016 and K.J. Wright played 97.41%. We asked a year ago how sustainable this was and both players missed time or played through injuries in 2017. Wagner tallied 93.08% of the snaps and Wright 87.07%. They need some depth and help at the position.

Best drill to watch
The short shuttle results. We highlighted a year ago how important it might be for the Seahawks. Quickness and change of direction is vital at linebacker.

Three names to watch
Kemoko Turay (Rutgers), Lorenzo Carter (Georgia), Darius Leonard (South Carolina State)

Positional assessment
It’s a really impressive group this year. Tremaine Edmunds and Leighton Vander Esch could secure top-20 placings with a big performance. Roquan Smith will need to test well at his expected size (6-0, 225lbs) to get into a similar range. Alabama’s Rashaan Evans knows he’ll secure a first round slot with a good combine. Texas’ Malik Jefferson had a sensational SPARQ combine and could be one of the stars again in Indianapolis. South Carolina State’s Darius Leonard was a standout at the Senior Bowl and could further boost his stock with a great workout. Ohio State’s Jerome Baker needs to run well at 6-1 and 225lbs. Washington’s Keishawn Bierria might want to send a ‘don’t forget about me’ message to the league. Two other players to watch out for could be SAM/LEO prospects. Rutgers’ Kemoko Turay will test with the linebackers but is more of an EDGE rusher. He looks like a LEO candidate and his 10-yard split will be vital. Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter is more of a SAM/LEO and he’s extremely explosive (40 inch vertical is possible). However, he isn’t the quickest so his 40/10 will be key.

Importance to the Seahawks?
They need to support Wagner and Wright while also looking at the SAM/LEO position. This is a really good year for the Seahawks to add some much needed young talent to the linebacker position.

Groups 10-11 (DB)

Arrival: Friday
Measurements: Saturday
Bench press: Sunday
On-field drills: Monday

Kevin Toliver has great size/length and is a former 5-star recruit

Cornerback
A year ago this was the highlight of the combine. The cornerback class was the talk of the NFL. In 2018 that most certainly isn’t the case. It’s a pretty average looking group.

By now everyone knows what the Seahawks like in a cornerback. Every corner drafted in the Pete Carroll era has had 32 inch arms. Those players are generally physical and tall and take pride in defending the run.

We’ve previously discussed the importance of wingspan too. Wingspan is defined as the length between the tip of your middle finger on one outstretched arm to the other. The average NFL cornerback has a wingspan of 75.5 inches (31.5 inch arm length).

Up until last year it felt like wingspan might be equally as important as arm length in Seattle. Here’s the arm length and wingspan data for some of Seattle’s draftees, acquisitions and starters since 2010:

Richard Sherman — 32 (arms) 78 (wingspan)
Brandon Browner — 33 (arms) 80 (wingspan)
Byron Maxwell — 33.5 (arms) 77.5 (wingspan)
Jeremy Lane — 32.5 (arms) 78 (wingspan)
Tye Smith — 32 (arms) 78 (wingspan)
DeAndre Elliott — 32 (arms) 77.5 (wingspan)
Neiko Thorpe — 31 3/4 (arms) 78 1/2 (wingspan)
Stanley Jean-Baptiste — 32 3/8 (arms) 78 3/8 (wingspan)
Pierre Desir — 33 (arms) 77.5 (wingspan)

In 2017 they drafted Shaq Griffin in round three. He has 32 3/8 inch arms but only a 74 3/4 inch wingspan, so this was quite a difference compared to some of the other corners. Generally speaking though, they might stick to a better than average wingspan.

Why is length so important? 100% of multiple first team All-Pro cornerbacks drafted since 1998 have +32 inch arms.

Short-area quickness also seems to be important. The short shuttle tests lateral quickness, explosion in short areas, body control and the ability to change direction quickly.

In this visual demonstration of the drill, Mike Mayock states:

“It’s important for literally every position. Why? For the little guys it’s obvious. Quickness, acceleration, change of direction. How about the big guys? Can they bend? Are you a natural bender or are you a heavy-legged waist bender? A great time for a defensive back is a 4.2.”

If a great time is a 4.2, it’s fair to assume anything quicker than a 4.00 is exceptional.

Since 2010, only four CB’s have run a sub-4.00 short shuttle and measured with 32 inch arms:

2017 — Kevin King (3.89)
2016 — DeAndre Elliott (3.94)
2015 — Byron Jones (3.94), Tye Smith (3.96)
2010-2014 — No qualifiers

The Seahawks drafted Smith and signed Elliott. Short-area quickness and great length is a rare combination so any possible day three prospects with these physical traits will likely be on the radar.

Here are the short shuttle times for drafted/UDFA cornerbacks in Seattle:

DeAndre Elliott — 3.94
Tye Smith — 3.96
Jeremy Lane — 4.14
Shaq Griffin — 4.14
Deshawn Shead — 4.23
Brandon Browner — 4.24
Richard Sherman — 4.29
Tharold Simon — 4.31
Byron Maxwell — 4.49

Key tests
Three-cone, Vertical, measurements (arm length), short shuttle

Ideal size
+6-1, 195lbs, +32-inch arms, 4.50 forty, +35-inch vertical

Interesting note
Speed previously didn’t appear to be crucial but it might’ve been the difference for Shaq Griffin. Five of Seattle’s six drafted cornerbacks before 2017 ran between a 4.47 and a 4.56 in the forty yard dash. Griffin ran a 4.38 and they drafted him earlier than any other cornerback in the Pete Carroll era.

Best drill to watch
The backpedal drill. Watch to see how the cornerback transitions and whether it’s effortless. Do they have loose hips and do they explode out of their break? Is their footwork smooth or clunky? Are they laboured in any way or does it just look natural?

Three names to watch
Kevin Toliver (LSU), Holton Hill (Texas), Brandon Facyson (Virginia Tech)

Positional assessment
LSU’s Kevin Toliver has a reputation for being a bit ego-driven and he didn’t live up to his recruitment hype. Yet he’s perfectly sized at 6-3 and 204lbs and he’s a former 5-star recruit. With the right type of guidance he could be a nice project for Seattle’s staff. Texas’ Holton Hill, Virginia Tech’s Brandon Facyson, Boston College’s Isaac Yiadom, Stanford’s Quenton Meeks and Auburn’s Carlton Davis could also fit Seattle’s size profile. We’ll post a full list of the cornerbacks that fit the bill for the Seahawks in terms of size/length before the CB workouts.

Importance to the Seahawks?
With Richard Sherman’s future in question and the possibility of major change coming on defense, it seems likely the Seahawks will do what they nearly always do — draft a corner on day three and coach them up.

Jessie Bates III plays with discipline and range

Safety
After hitting on Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor in 2010, Seattle hasn’t had much success drafting for the safety position. Ryan Murphy, Winston Guy and Mark LeGree have come and gone. Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson didn’t see much action in 2017 despite injuries to Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

There’s a real mix of physical profiles too. Thomas (31 1/4) and Legree (30 1/4) have short arms so the 32-inch test isn’t necessary here but Guy had great arm length (33). Murphy ran a 4.48 at his pro-day with an impressive 39-inch vertical but Legree (4.59) and Guy (4.70) didn’t run fast times (Legree only had a 31-inch vertical too). Hill ran a 4.47 but Thompson managed only a 4.60. Overall it’s hard to determine a Seahawks ‘type’ with these numbers. The only safety they’ve drafted in the first two rounds (Earl) is a tremendous athlete. He ran a 4.37 at his pro-day after pulling a hamstring running the forty at the combine (while still managing an official 4.49).

The 2018 draft class at safety is a little overrated in the national media. Minkah Fitzpatrick is regularly mocked in the top-five but is more likely to go in the 10-15 range. Derwin James is physically explosive and looks the part but didn’t make many game-tilting plays for Florida State. Deshon Elliott is also a little bit overrated and Ronnie Harrison, while perfectly solid and sound, doesn’t have an outstanding or unique aspect to his game.

Key drills
Forty yard dash, Three-cone, Vertical, Broad

Ideal size
+6-0, 200-220lbs, 4.4 forty, +39-inch vertical, +10-5 broad jump

Interesting note
The Seahawks are at a bit of a crossroads at the position. They might need to replace Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. They might re-sign Bradley McDougald and extend Thomas’ contract. They could also look at Eric Reid in free agency. So they essentially could be going into this draft needing to bring in at least one, if not two starters. Or they might be able to ignore the safety class altogether.

Best drill to watch
Any of the drills requiring the safety’s to close in space and show off their open-field quickness. If they’re possibly moving on from Earl Thomas, they’re going to need some speed in the secondary.

Three names to watch
Jessie Bates III (Wake Forest), Terrell Edmunds (Virginia Tech), Justin Reid (Stanford)

Positional assessment
Wake Forest’s Jessie Bates III might be the best option if they suddenly need to draft a free safety. Make sure to keep an eye on his workout. There are two famous brothers to watch too. Terrell Edmunds is Tremaine Edmunds’ brother and has good size to potentially work at strong safety. Meanwhile Stanford’s Justin Reid is the brother of San Francisco safety Eric Reid. A lot of eyes will be on Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick. My personal predictions are — James will be extremely explosive with outstanding size but not quite as quick as people expect, while Fitzpatrick will have one of the better performances among DB’s.

Importance to the Seahawks?
It all depends on what happens at the start of the new league year. Do they trade Earl Thomas? Do they re-sign Bradley McDougald? Do they sign a free agent? Does Kam Chancellor retire? There’s so much that needs to be determined here.

Further reading

Why the Seahawks aren’t as focused on SPARQ as you might think

The top performers in each drill position-by-position since 2006

What is TEF?

TEF results for the O-line (2017)

TEF results for the D-line (2017)

The top-25 prospects in the 2018 draft broken into tiers

Seahawks off-season: Priorities, predictions & possibilities

Pete Carroll is scheduled to speak to the media on Thursday at 9am PST. John Schneider will conduct a press conference on Friday at 8am PST.

As usual we’ll be live-blogging during each day of the combine with instant analysis and a review at the end of each workout. I hope you’ll join us!

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140 Comments

  1. Mike

    Awesome preview! Any thoughts on ST? Seems like both K and P could be looked at, though I hope it isn’t until UDFA.

  2. HawksBill

    Nice piece Rob. I will be definitely referring to it during the combine.

  3. Blue Goulding

    Hi Rob,

    You provide such depth of study, clear vision and an analytical mind. You are truly a God send for any Seattle Hawk fan who loves and follows this team.

    One question? Do you write from a database like the “Professor does”

    cheers,
    Blue

  4. Hawk Eye

    Rob, really excellent job of organizing and explaining. Well thought out, lots of description but well segmented into different categories so it is easy reading.
    A+

  5. CharlieTheUnicorn

    The magic sauce of what makes watching / predicting Seahawks picks fun!

    You think you have them zagged… then the zig a bit.
    Every bit of information helps…. thanks Rob.

  6. Trevor

    Wow great write up Rob! One of your best yet. Thanks for this.

  7. Sean-O

    Take a bow Rob! Content like this is what sets apart this site from others.

  8. rowlandice

    Really enjoyed this – fantastic content with that special Hawk focus!

  9. Nick

    Couldn’t ask for more. You’re truly the best sports journalist I know.

    • Thy Hawk is Howling

      Thumbs up YouTube style!

  10. peter

    Excellent write-up! Looking towards your thoughts these coming days. Cheers,Rob!

    • Josh

      Wow, what a massive pre combine write up. Thanks!

  11. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I’m almost positive that John Clayton mentioned he would talk to either JS or PC Tuesday and the other Wednesday. (during his 10AM segment). I’m also interested to hear from some of the new coaches, namely Solari.

  12. Thy Hawk is Howling

    Bloody Brilliant Rob!

    Wow, well done, Cheers!

    Go Seahawks Draft Blog!

  13. Old but Slow

    This entry left me breathless. Rob, you have outdone yourself. I will be on this page repeatedly as the combine continues, and it is so great to have this as a resource.

    I had just begun building a schedule for myself, and an approach to the combine, and you have made it moot. Saving me some paper, for sure.

    I am holding off all my player questions, still watching videos, but now it is time for measurements.

  14. LouieLouie

    Great piece. All of the measurements for explosiveness, etc. are relevant, but it’s what’s between the ears that makes a great player. That’s why so many Safeties who had physical attributes on par with Kam Chancellor aren’t very good. Carroll and the Schnied have hit some grand slams, though. I hope for a few more in this draft.

  15. CharlieTheUnicorn

    The no trade / precombine predictions for Seattle

    Round 1: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
    Round 4 : Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin

    Round 5 : Davin Bellamy, OLB, Georgia
    Lowell Lotulelei, DT, UtahJake
    Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State

    Round 7 : Chris Warren III, RB, Texas
    Khalid Hill, FB, Michigan

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      ..and yes, Chris Warren III is related to THAT Chris Warren.

    • peter

      I like this exercise. It’s pretty sad to see how fitted the team is with those missing picks in the middle.

  16. 12th chuck

    Wow!

  17. Patrick Toler

    As everyone above has said, this is (not surprisingly) a great post. Thank you for making the offseason great. Looking forward to seeing the testing results, especially for those late round players who I can then go back to dig into.

    Chubb is the player I’m most interested in. Today I was listening to Matt Waldman today talking about how if healthy he had Chubb graded higher even than Zeke and Gurley. Of course your (Rob’s) opinion on Chub means a great deal to me too. Went back and watched a bunch of him again tonight. More and more I think if his tests confirm his explosiveness and (especially) his knee tests as stable, he is creeping into Jones and Barkley’s tier, and could certainly be the best RB in this class.

  18. AndrewP

    I heart this site… There’s a reason it’s the only site I’ve ever ‘paid’ for.

    Thanks, Rob!

  19. millhouse-serbia

    Where we can watch combine drills live? Gamepass?

    • Sea Mode

      Yeah. NFL Network on GamePass would do.

  20. Old but Slow

    Without a television, I have to rely upon you all to keep me up to date over the next few days. Some of it I can follow with on-line info and occasional videos, and, of course, I can follow the published results, which allows me to update my listings, but I need to rely upon others to reflect what kind of performances will show up such as the mirror drills, and how players do things like catch the ball.

    An easy example is looking at film of Chark, the WR. He seems athletic, gets open (can’t argue with that), but did not seem to be able to extend to the high ball. He catches the ball with his body, rather than snatching it from the air. Is that a concern? It is an academic question, as I am not looking to draft a WR, but trying to get a grip on player evaluation.

    This part of the off-season is fascinating, even though it does not often have a huge impact on the regular season. What it does do, though, is affect the growth of the team, and give insight into what the front office is intending.

    My life wish is that I never have to be put in the position to direct an NFL team. Better that I can sit back and criticize those that have the responsibilities that I don’t want. Go ‘Hawks.

    • Hawk Eye

      wish granted

    • peter

      Old…I’m some ways I find this aspect as interesting as the regular season. And “get up,” for the draft as much as opening week.

      There s going to be tons of information here over the next week. And if you have time or inclination check out the site : “draft analyst,’. Or Tony pauline. His site will also have some great nits of information over the next few days.

      If you’ve never looked at the site “walter football,” he’s kind of. A goofus and thinks he’s funnier than he is. But at combine time he puts together some easy to access information as well as some cool easy access spreadsheets with all the positional groups and their testing results just shortly after the players perform a drill. It’s a cool way to look at all the played at once and see their testing results.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I like Walter too. You can find a big board of draft picks and also players rated by position.

  21. Ishmael

    Great write-up Rob, huge effort.

    Chubb is the big one to watch IMO, if he explodes then all bets are off.

    • C-Dog

      +1

    • Icb12

      I would agree.
      But I have to say that based on the tape I’d draft chubb regardless of what the combine and medicals say.

      Ajayi fell a long ways with his knee issues that haven’t really been an issue. I think most of the league would draft him earlier in retrospect.

      Chubb is a top 3 or 4 rb in college.

  22. Stuart

    Special, that is the one word to describe Rob. We at SDB are so blessed to have this type of amazing content on a regular basis.

    Rob, thank you for all the amazing articles!!!!!

  23. Chris

    Great article, Rob. Really appreciate it!

  24. D-OZ

    Great job Rob!!! Standing by Mate…

  25. D-OZ

    OBS; You can watch segments on NFL network. It’s not very good coverage though. Kind of frustrating.

  26. Logan Lynch

    Sterling work, Rob. We’re lucky to have such great content and discussion at our disposal. Just fantastic stuff!

  27. C-Dog

    Outstanding preview, Rob!

    Going to be very, very interesting to see what Nick Chubb does, IMO.

  28. Ben

    Great piece! I’ve realized the draft y’all is much more interesting at this point than talking as nauseum about the overall Seahawks offseason. I’m at the point I don’t care what they do I just wanna know. Just too many possibilities and the realization this roster is just behind past years with limited resources to fix it.

    The number of holes to fill will be exciting for the draft, so many options if the right player is sitting there. I’m sure this will be a big year for identifying cliffs, ie snagging Britt at the end of the O-line run. But maybe it will have some Jarran Reed style upsets that just last so long they can’t avoid taking the player.

    The biggest thing I’ve been thinking about is that if they go all in on the run game and avoid upgrading the passing game, and whiff again it’s gonna be a very long season. I hope the late rounds covoncentrate on getting a variety of WR’s, as our depth chart is pretty weak right now.

    • H

      I think if we whiff on the run game again it doesnt matter how all in on it we are. This team needs to be able to run the ball.
      So long as we’ve got Wilson, Doug and at least the threat of a run game the passing will be fine.

      • Ben

        That’s true! But we know what the bottom of the run game is and we still nearly made the playoffs. If we spread the investments, whiff on the run game, but keep the passing game up to last years then it’d be a wash to last year. If we go all in on the run game, whiff, and Doug Baldwin is the only proven target? It’s gonna make us miss last year.

        Why I’m worried we don’t fix the run game? Since 2016, with the 2015 season marking the end of the Beast Mode/healthy Rawls, we’ve had a ton of investments.

        2016
        1st- OT (Ifedi), 3rd- RB (Procise), 3rd- Blocking TE (Vannett), 3rd- OG (Odhiambo), 5th- RB (Collins), 6th- Center (Hunt), 7th- RB (Brooks).

        That’s 7 out of 10 picks for run game.

        Free Agents: Sowell and Webb being pretty much the only outside additions, while losing Sweezy on O-line. Both low $.

        The entire offseason of 2016 was dedicated to build the run game and it failed. I feel just how centered it was on the run game has been a little bit forgotten.

        2017
        2nd- OL (Pocic), 6th- OL (Senior), 7th- RB (Carson)

        Free Agency: Joeckel, Lacy, Aboushi.

        More limited draft capital used, however still a high pick used. The investment this year came in free agency, with $10 million in cap space used on Lacy and Joeckel.

        Come mid season with injuries piling up we trade a third this year and a second next year to get Brown. (Thanks Lane).

        There’s two questions this brings me to.

        1. Will Solari fix what Cable created?

        2. Is all this investment building to something or has it been a black hole and we don’t have anything besides Brown, and maybe Britt and Carson to build off?

        None of this is really new, but if the run game has been a black hole, and we have to go guard, RB this draft after already putting on Capitol for Brown, and it doesn’t work? This will be the real reason the Seahawks have had their downturn.

        Whew I needed some proofreading on that last post! Mobile is hard.

        • H

          All good points, i share the fear that we wont be able to fix the run game. But i expect they’ll through everything at it this offseason.
          They already started with the coach changes, I doubt that will be enough. So the higher priced free agent signings (maybe Sitton? They went for TJ lang last offseason) and higher draft picks should be dedicated to this aim.

          If by this time next year we are still talking about the run game being a major problem that should be considered a catastrophic failure.

        • H

          What Im saying is there should be no intentions of having a similiar year to this last one, even if it does mean risking being even worse by not investing money and good picks in the pass game.
          Late round picks and bargain fa recievers only for me, we have bigger needs this offseason.

          • Ben

            Can’t argue there! The run game better improve, and I hope drastically.

    • Nick

      Enjoyed reading your points. Going into next year, the Seahawks WR corps is definitely a little light. I anticipate they add a one year deal or two (ala Alshon Jeffrey).

  29. cha

    Rapsheet says the Vikings won’t try to toll Bridgewater’s contract or franchise him so he’ll be a free agent.

  30. Millhouse-serbia

    There is a story on instagram where Malik shows that he starts with some workouts. It is a positive sign.

    • EP

      Will be fantastic if we can get him playing this year and he lives up to some of his potential. If he’s fit it might reduce our need to draft defence early. He would essentially be this years second round pick.

      • Hawk Eye

        if he can play like Pete hopes he can, he will be like this years 1st rd pick

        • Ishmael

          If you want to see what he’s capable of, you just have to go back and watch the tape of him absolutely manshaming Quentin Nelson – the consensus best guard to enter the draft in the last decade or so. If he’s healthy, and they can get him switched on, could be in for something pretty special.

  31. JimQ

    Really good write up Rob, your blog is absolutely the best Seahawk site to visit – daily. We are all in anticipation mode for what the Seahawks do in the draft and can’t wait to see the players they select.
    Rob, you should be on the NFL network, your knowledge and analysis is so much better than the vast majority of their “experts”, it would make the coverage so much more informative & helpful.

    I have been a close draft follower for the last 8 years (after I retired) and I want to point out a very important aspect of the draft that doesn’t get mentioned much. I have found that after watching films, evaluating players and spending many, many hours doing so each draft season it enhances my enjoyment when watching ANY NFL games. It’s fun to see so many players that might have been Seahawks but are now on other teams and either smile or frown.

    • peter

      I completely agree with this. Plus it’s best to see like this year the free agents come up that “could have been,” seahawk s years back.

  32. DCD2

    Great stuff Rob! I have a quick thought that is completely off topic to this article, but didn’t know where to put it. The Steelers are looking for Safety help and seem to be ready to move on from Martavis Bryant. He’s on the last year of his rookie deal ($700k this year), and they have the #28 pick. Do we think that would be fair/overpay/underpay for Earl?

    It would address (hopefully) our WR need. He’s 6’5, ran a sub-4.40 40, and is coming off a bit of a down year. They have AB and JuJu as well. We could trade down from our pick to somewhere in that late 1st/ early 2nd area. Pick up a 2 or 3, and be able to pick twice in the area where Wynn, Price and RoJo2 will be (I think you may have mentioned these guys).

    It ticks a lot of boxes for us, not sure if PIT would feel that was too much to give up for Earl though.

    • Trevor

      I hope the Hawks would be all over that Bryant + #28 + 8 mil in cap space would be an awesome deal IMO.

      They’d would have Bryant for a year to see if he is a good fit and decide wether or not to lock him up long term.

    • cha

      I think a lot of fans would be OK with Earl for #28 straight up, let a lone Bryant as part of the deal.

      The Steelers would have to really work some cap magic though. $6m under for 2018 and haven’t addressed Leveon Bell yet. Earl would put them in serious jail without extending him or making other moves.

  33. AlaskaHawk

    Holy smokes Rob – that is a lot of information you have written down. Were you up late on baby watch?
    I am continually amazed at the amount of high quality information and comments here on the blog.

  34. Nick

    So Seattle hasn’t drafted a RB under 217lbs. We’ll find out exact details at the combine, but for right now—here are the RBs that are over this amount:

    -Derrius Guice
    -Sony Michel
    -Nick Chubb
    -Royce Freeman
    -Rashaad Penny
    -Josh Adams

    • Nick

      To be clear, this is not an exhaustive list…just some of the top prospects who hit the mark.

    • peter

      I’ve been cruising through the nfls draft profiles this morning and I’m always interested in how they compare a player.

      Dj chark for example is slotted as a second round pick…maybe..But his comp is Chris Conley from kc. Now Conley isn’t terrible. But he’s currently very, very average. It just seems like a mismatch of draft positioning and player comping.

      Nfl.com has some interesting rankings for the runningbacks:

      1. Barkeley

      2. Guice (!) Comps to lynch (!). Id say a better rawls but not lynch. I’ve never seen a rb with his lateral footwork and leg spacing. Every year someone makes the comp and every year I don’t see it.

      Full disclosure: I like guice and think pc will as well IF he has explosion in his tests.

      3. Ronald jones II. Jamal Charles comp that Rob has been making forever.

      4. Sony Michel.

      5. Kerryon Johnson and penny both rated as second round possible first round picks.

      Then freeman , scarborough, and chubb all in the 3-4th round. I’m not necessarily opposed to any of this. I do have any doubts on the rankings when players like nyheim hines and Dimitri flowers are rated as only one tenth of point lesser than Freeman and Chubb that’s when it gets a bit wonky…

      • Mark Souza

        It’s pretty hard to compare to Marshawn Lynch. He has some unique abilities.

        A bit of Marshawn trivia: Did you know Marshawn ran 4.46 at the combine? It shocked me. I never would have guessed from his bull-like running style.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn

          Lynch was very under rated imo. His will to rush and his ability to keep the feet moving and make guys miss in the hole… and then run over other guys… very unique. Borderline HoFer now.

      • SoCal12

        It’s interesting that they’re so low on Chubb. I’d have to think this has a lot to do with the injury concern, and I’m curious if they’ll revise the rankings once the Combine numbers come out.

        • peter

          Seemed to be the hinge of the whole ranking is whether or not he has that explosion back or nearly back plus no additional signs of knee degenerarion.

    • Volume12

      Zac Brooks was over 217 lbs.?

      • Nick

        Great call. Definitely the outlier tho.

  35. Jason

    What are your guys thoughts on Mason Cole?

    • Kenny Sloth

      Versatile, smart
      Really liked him last year for Cable

  36. LLLOGOSSS

    Another comprehensive draft primer from the best in the business.

  37. Del Tre

    Why are we so down on Darboh? He didn’t go for 1000 yards or dominate but he caught 8 of his 13 targets and had to transition into one of the worst offenses in the NFL. I thought he looked alright when they passed to him, worth remembering he was just a rookie. Not just Rob at all, I’ve seen a lot of hawks fans criticize Darboh, I guess i must have missed something

    • cha

      I think he could prove useful in 2018.

      Moore too. Word was when the Hawks cut Freeney they had to decide between him and Moore. They wanted Moore.

      Here’s hoping conversion project Cyril Grayson might contribute this year as well.

    • Volume12

      He’s a nice depth guy or #4. Maybe he breaks out this year, but they’re thin in regards to their pass catching weapons. If they want to keep building around RW and not continue to kneecap his talents another target is a must.

      Having said that, are people really down on him or could it be that if Seattle doesn’t add an upgrade in this department that he’ll be needed, counted on, and the sample size is so small it makes them nervous?

      • cha

        A healthy season from Prosise would be a pleasantly unexpected contribution to the offense as well. He could be a very interesting weapon as a “lineup in the backfield and motion out to split” type guy.

        If he could just.stay.healthy.

        • Greg Haugsven

          He is Alvin Kamara if he could stay healthy.

        • Volume12

          Agreed. That would be a blessing. Gotta think ‘Schotty’ would love to have someone like that too.

        • peter

          I have a feeling they are going to search out a player to hedge against his return. There aren’t many players who sustain that many injuries and ever come back to their promise.

          It would be great if he did live up to his potential. But I’m sort of leaning now to him being just a potential guy like thurmond before him.

          • Hawk Eye

            Jadeveon Clowney barely played his first 2 years, I think Kevin White has missed almost all his first 3 years
            Lane was injured a lot, Maxwell, Thurmond, P Rich. Lots of players get injured in football.
            Now maybe Prosise has an injury issue, maybe he has a low pain tolerance, or maybe he had 2 bad years. His first 2 years are not a great sign, but maybe he can stay healthy this year.
            Would love to see him play at least 12 games this year and make an impact.

            • peter

              Clowney has come around. Clowney was a world beater in college. Provide was never that. He was an exciting upside prospect and he still is.

              Kevin whites a bad comp. the bust rate for wr who get injured in their first year is astronomical. I think that may have to do with the overall acclimation process but it’s not good for him.

              thurmond has I think one okay season not with Seattle in his whole career and is retired.

              Prich is strange because the one year he puts it together he may be gone. though I think he may stay since the wr market is flooded with real serious talent this year.

              The thing for me is procise had two awesome games. And they were awesome no doubt. But do people realize that jd mckissic an undrafted player has nearly the same yards both rushing and receiving as well as more tds? It just seems like two seasons going we’re waiting on potential where another player is literally delivering on it already. Sure less explosion out of the passing game, but greater game to game consistency because he plays.

    • Thy Hawk is Howling

      In this day and age most want instant gratification.

      We all must remember that some things are worth the wait!

      I personally believe Darboh will be contributing greatly in the future!

      Go Hawks

    • Patrick Toler

      Yeah no reason to be down or up on Darboh or Moore, we don’t have enough info on them, and it’s not rare for WRs to take a year to develop. The Seahawks obviously have way more info and what they do at receiver will say a lot about how they see them.

    • Drew

      Anyone remember Golden Tate’s rookie season? Nope me either…pretty forgettable. It takes time for 1) WR’s to adjust to the pro level more than other positions and 2) he was behind Baldwin, PRich, and Lockett. I expect him to be our #3 this year and starting on the outside in 3 WR sets.

      I think he has a ton of potential, has size and plenty of speed. Plus he can high point the ball.

      • peter

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Darboh. His college career was very solid considering the qb play.

        I do wish Seattle would integrate rookies a bit more than 13 attempts. I think that contributes to the slow learning curve.

  38. Volume12

    Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs is about to be the most impressive dude at the weigh-in this week.. My god! Football don’t work out for him, the WWE probably will.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/EXOSsports/status/963141470600421377/photo/1

    He’s interesting. Raw, a project. Played a lot of EDGE at Wisconsin. Fun player. Will be a STs demon worst case.

    • Volume12

      And that CB Wisconsin has, #21 Nick Nelson is a god damn stud. He’s a big time sleeper for me.

      • Volume12

        * #11

    • Volume12

      I kind of feel like one of these DBs from Texas are gonna be a target for the Seahawks. DeShon Elliott and Holton Hill. Texas was one of the 1st schools that Seattle scouted this summer and we know they lock onto guys early.

      If Elliott is one the board in day 3, which I think he’s gonna be, depending on his he runs, pull the trigger immediately. The ball skills are incredible. They value that tremendously. See Tedric Thompson. Elliott can roam and cover all parts of the field. Will come up and lay the smackdown. Plays with a ton of effort and is a flat-out playmaker.

      Holton Hill screams PC type CB at me. Great tape and build, long press corner, but has some potential off the field/character red flags.

      • Volume12

        Also will be paying close attention to Jacksonville St’s Siran Neal this week. In my limited viewing of him, he gives of vibes of a discount version of Minkah Fitzpatrick but much more physical.

        • peter

          I’m way more into what Neal brings over fitzpatrick. Watching fitzpatrick this year i saw a very very good player. Heck let’s make it three “very goods.”. But I never felt like I saw a guy who was really a game changer. I’m probably being overly picky but for a high pick i like to see someone who was head and shoulders above their positional group.

          Neal plus PC seems like a good match. Holton hill and pc seem almost too obvious. 5th round pick. Character concerns. Big time tackler.

          • Volume12

            Fitzpatrick is definetly gonna be an upside pick. But teams are gonna love him as the new modern day defender. So much versatility and such an incredibly high ceiling.

            SD St’s Kam Kelly is another one I’m really high on as a mid rounder.

            Wouldn’t be mad if Seattle went after CB Dalvin Breaux in FA either.

  39. Kenny Sloth

    Has it been said enough? Probably not: this is an invaluable resource for the casual fan and armchair analyst alike

  40. Overtime

    I don’t care how many picks they have used on OL’s. Ifedi is a bust. Fant is still a hope and dream. Luke Joeckel was injured and is unsigned. Glowinski is gone. Duane Brown is old. They cannot block for the pass or the run. If we do not take an OL with the first pick and RW3 gets hurt, it will all be for naught and Schneider will be the next one fired.

    • peter

      The only problem as I see it is simply what if no one good is available when they pick? I’m thinking that it’s more likely they keep earl and as a corollary they trade down multiple times from 18 to get a mid 2nd, a mid third, and probably another 5th or two.

      Even with injuries I expect Frank ragnow and Isaiah Wynn to both be gone in the mid to upper 2nd, perhaps even hernandez (Which Seattle likes big school guys for their picks anyways and hernandez is not a big school guy.)

      Moving down the list of names that have slightly intrigues …is Austin Corbett really that dynamic to be picked in the 2nd? W. Michigan’s chickens okorafor is nothing special but he’s ranked as a 2nd round pick maybe a 3rd.

      My point is unless they stand pay at 18 and forgo all the other picks and Billy price is there I’m not sure that’s a good use of resources to pick an olinemen. Wilson needs protection but he also needs a running game and wide recievers. I know fans have hopes on the projects but when is the last project reciever that worked out?

      • lil'stink

        You probably have a better chance at finding decent RB’s or WR’s later in the draft than you do OL… And as bad as our RB’s were last year I’m not sure how anyone could run behind that line.

        IIRC all the trading we did last year yielded us the extra picks that became Tedric Thompson and Mike Tyson. Woohoo. I get it though, the draft is often a total crap shoot. Having those extra picks increase the odds of hitting on someone. But if we pass on a guy like Price or Wynn simply to pick up a couple of extra picks I will be pretty disappointed. I think we need to hit on our first pick this year, and I can’t help but think that trading down decreases those odds.

        • peter

          You might not be wrong about overall value. But nearly every year they trade down so I just assume that’s happening again.

          Again just cause I think it’s got to happen doesn’t mean that I think it’s the best move.

          I will say that the late wr’s are as interesting as the few early ones.

          I disagree about the late runningbacks this year. I think there’s about 7 that would be good and then the cliff is a straight drop off.

    • Hawk Eye

      well, at least you have a positive attitude

    • Drew

      Ifedi actually showed a lot of improvement over his rookie year. Duane Brown isn’t that old for premiere LT’s.

      Keep in mind Tony Romo’s career was ended behind the league’s consensus #1 offensive line. Injuries happen to QB’s no matter who is in front of them.

  41. Coleslaw

    Trade Earl.
    We’re not going to be contenders for a bit most likely, and in about 3 years when we should be, where is earl? In his mansion with all the money he squeezed out of us in a pivotal time for the team.
    It’s time to think about the next core and earl will not be part of that either way, so trade him and commit to a rebuild. I don’t want 8-8 every year.

    • Coleslaw

      I’d be pretty happy with a top 50 pick with this in mind. Early 2nd would be legit. I think it would have to be a contender though. Maybe Jacksonville gives up whatever their 2nd is. 60? Or Atlanta with 58? Dump the contract, ultimately get a higher draft slot, allow Pete ample time to mold the new LOB 2.0.

      • Drew

        No way I trade Earl to ATL for just their late 2nd rounder. If you trade him within the NFC it better be for a 1st round pick.

        • peter

          I have to agree here. You can’t trade earl to a potential nemesis and untalented case an almost great defense for a second.

          You can trade earl for a first round pick to Dallas because 1: Dallas is going to Dallas until “jerruh,” isn’t running it and 2 : a first round mid can become a two more pretty good picks.

          Atlanta’s 2nd is kind of late for good prospects, maybe, and can’t really be leveraged into anything else besides a handful of fifth rounders.

    • Eburgs

      Trade em all coleslaw. Why go 8-8 when we could go 0-16.

      • Del tre

        This cracked me up, i definetly agree, but most of these guys don’t want that, they just really like making selections in mock drafts/have fun with lots of picks, lots of potential, but a bird in the hand is two in the bush.
        Thats why we hear so much abiut the browns on this blog every year, it feels like you can fix your roster in a moment, but as we have seen with the browns thats not always true.
        Trust me i was tooting this horn long ago, its not a realistic option but its fun for the draft. It wouldn’t make our roster better.

    • All I see is 12s

      We may indeed need to trade Earl, but it won’t be because we weren’t competitors. I think this narrative is a bit overblown. Trading et would simply be an effort to get younger and create cap room.
      Make no mistake, this was a miserable season. Even the wins didn’t feel quite right. But this was not due to the defense. This D was perfectly effective when they weren’t continually asked to be on the field most of the time. Wilson seemed to be throwing the ball well enough.( To the point that he was considered to be the MVP favorite after the eagles game.) No, it was the complete and total organizational failure that was our run game that cost this team so dearly. Once that is fixed, the Hawks will fly again.
      .

      • Coleslaw

        It’s not so much about this season, but the foreseeable future. It doesn’t look good for us. Major holes are opening up especially on the defense. So why throw huge contracts at guys who are at the end of or past their prime when you know you need to retool. If we do that we’re going to be failing at a lot more than the running game.
        Mediocrity will not cut it, the last 3 years are a testament to that. A half-arsed rebuild will lead to 8-8.

  42. Eburgs

    Awesome article Rob. Best combine primer I’ve seen yet.

  43. Fairlawn

    Great great post. Thanks for all that you do, Rob.

  44. C-Dog

    Tony Pauline is reporting that Seattle plans to shop Richard Sherman and or Earl Thomas to other teams during Combine week.

    • Greg Haugsven

      You have a link?

      • Greg Haugsven

        Nevermind, I found one.

        http://nfltraderumors.co/good-chance-seahawks-make-earl-thomas-richard-sherman-available-trade-combine/

      • mishima

        http://draftanalyst.com/combine-notes-day-1

        End of notes, section entitled, ‘Keep This In The Back Of Your Mind.’

      • Ben

        http://draftanalyst.com/combine-notes-day-1

        Near the end of the article.

        “I’m told there’s a good chance the Seattle Seahawks dangle either Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas in trade talks this week.”

        He continues to say Earl is more marketable for obvious reasons, ie health.

        Seeing how quiet the front office has been and the fact Pauline tends to be well tied into the Hawks, makes me think something could happen, and happen suddenly if it does.

        • C-Dog

          The front office has been oddly very quite. Makes me think it might be the calm before the storm.

          • Ben

            Every time I go by the VMAC I imagine Pete and John are sitting in their office running through every scenario to turn this around and probably tearing some hair out.

            I’ve got a feeling nothing’s off the table.

          • Ben

            With that I don’t think I’ve been more interested to hear their combine interviews, considering how transparent they’ve been in the past, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time.

            • C-Dog

              Yeah, I’m pretty eager to hear them, myself. More so that quite sometime. So much speculation brewing from Gee Scott’s “Jaw Dropping Changes” and so on. Going to be some very interesting questions being asked, I’m sure.

  45. Kyle

    I just read an interesting article off bleacher report. It was about Chubb and his preparation for the draft. I’ll highlight it here for you, but you guys should check it out.

    After the Georgia loss, nick took a day with the team and then drove back to his high school to start three a days with his old football coach. He wanted to be in a familiar setting instead of somewhere new. He and his old coach have a great relationship and have spent countless hours together training. His coach says that he believes his knee is an afterthought. He has hit or surpassed all of his old weightlifting numbers and tests. Within the last month he has benched over 400 lbs and squatted 650. His coach says he could go heavier but with the draft no sense in pushing it and possibly getting injured. He was power cleaning 335 for sets of 8. He is looking at running in the low 4.4s.

    I have been on record saying Chubb is my favorite rb. I just see him as a perfect fit here. Rj2 looks amazing, and I wouldn’t be mad at the pick in any way. But I just think Chubb is the type to come in and fix our run game the Pete Carroll way. I am rooting hard for Chubb and price. It’s a major stretch but if they do end up trading earl, (sad and will be missed) getting those two would make me feel a whole lot better about it.

    Side note on the Wynn and price debate, I just think price will be the better linemen. I wouldn’t mind reuniting the two bulldogs but man does price get me fired up.

    • C-Dog

      Right now, he’s definitely the RB in this draft I’m picking as the early favorite to become a Seahawk. I like him a lot. Really like his mate Sony Michel, as well. RoJo2 is probably my personal favorite.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        Perhaps Seattle could draft both of them… Chubb and Michal. Over kill, yes. Needed, perhaps.

        • C-Dog

          I would love to see that.

          • peter

            In Madden world of they did trade earl, is love to see both of those guys and I actually think some maneuvering and burning of fifth round picks they could get ridiculous and get both michel/chubb and wynn.

            Super madden, but I’d love to see it. And am surprised more teams don’t attempt if possible to get teammates like Atlanta did with Beasley and jarret a few years back….sometimes it just makes sense.

    • Nick

      Couldn’t agree more. Chubb ticks all of the boxes for the Seahawks. I’d assume he’s going to either be RB2 or RB3 on their board. Rojo would be the only other guy I can see them liking more.

      • RealRhino2

        He’s RB1.

      • peter

        I could see them liking jones more but not drafting him only because of the draft pick quandary they are in. Jones seems nationally to be slowly trending way closer into top 20 contention and if Seattle has either their natural 2nd or natural third I could see them running to the podium for him.

        I just feel that there is no big trade (for earl or sherman) and so the next logical thing is auction 18 to the highest bidder…ideally Cleveland for 33/65/140 and go wynn/chubb chubb/Braden Smith something like that.

        I do think pc based on styles will like Johnson and guice IF either are explosive. The brand is not bouncing it outside but laying the wood. And Johnson lays it better than anyone and guice whether you’re a fan of not plays with that rawls craziness.

    • Patrick Toler

      Chubb and Jones are the two best runners in this class, IMO. Barkley is maybe is better as an all around player. I think I like Jones a hair better, but think the Seahawks will LOVE Chubb.

    • Drew

      I tandem of Chubb & Carson would be fun to watch, so many broken tackles between the 2.

  46. Coach

    How about trade Sherman for a R2 pick and then go:

    R1 Price
    R2 Chubb

    Corners Shead and Griff with Maxwell backing them up if we have an injury.

    Thoughts? I think we would be better off! Go Hawks!

    • Millhouse-serbia

      I think that we cant get 2nd round for Sherm. 3rd at best.
      Hawkblogger wrote yesterday that last year JS wanted two 1st round for Sherm. Wow, its not strange that he didn’t find partner for that.

    • Drew

      I imagine any trade for Sherman will have some sort of clause based on his health. We get a 2nd or 3rd or whatever, and depending on his health (games played) this upcoming season it will give the team he goes to some out if he doesn’t fully recover. For instance if he only plays in X game or less we send back a 4th or 5th in 2019.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I think I would take a 2nd for Sherman all day.

  47. CC

    Thanks Rob – I look forward to the combine blog each year. This is my favorite time of the off season.

    The other WR I like is Cedrick Wilson from Boise St – he is bit taller, and may not be the fastest, but he’s a gritty receiver, has good hands and a willing blocker.

    There are so many RBs – we need someone with a little grit, of course Rojo would be awesome, but I’m guessing he’ll be gone, I think Royce could be a good fall back.

    The other guy I want Seattle to consider in free agency is Austin Sefarin Jenkins – I know may will not like it, but Pete needs a new reclamation project, ASJ was a solid blocker in college and I think he wants/needs to come back home.

    MacDougald was solid in place of Kam – we need to bring him back for a short term deal and hope that TThompson and Delano Hill get it all figured out.

    If Shead can come back healthy and I’d also resign BMax for depth, picking up another CB might be okay.

  48. Millhouse-serbia

    One interesting note. In last 5 years we have drafted 32 players on day 3. Only 6 of them had some type of role, here or somewhere else.

    Glowinski, Casisus Marsh, Quinton Jefferson, Luke Willson, Spencer Ware and Alex Collins. And none of them had some big role for us. Stop accumulate day 3 picks!!!

    • SoCal12

      You’d have to compare that hit rate to other teams though. Every day 3 pick is essentially a lottery ticket. It’s not like other teams are finding All-Pros in Round 6 of the draft while we’re whiffing every swing.

      • Millhouse-serbia

        I am not saying that JS drafted bad on day 3. I am just saying that it is much better to have one 3rd round pick than 2 or 3 4th round picks. Not to mention 5th and 6th round picks.

    • Ishmael

      It’s been one of the strongest and deepest rosters on the league for the last five years. There’s a reason why it’s been hard for fringe players to break through. Now as the riser has started to age, wane, and disperse, we need those picks more than ever.

    • Sea Mode

      Yeah, but before that: Sherman, Chancellor, Maxwell, Wright, Lane, Sweezy, Thurmond, Malcolm Smith….

      And Chris Carson last year could have helped our season turn out quite differently had he not picked up a freak injury.

      Gotta keep throwing darts at the board. Eventually you’ll hit again.

      • peter

        I think what this shows more than anything is Seattle needs to keep it on defense for the most part and get back to competition. Before I hear about the all pro players what about the Steven terrells, or silhouettes of the world?

        Even in a stacked roster they should be making concerted efforts to get the best players in positions to succeed.

        I’ve been critical of the late round picks as anyone but this year I am intrigued but he options: Holton hill, siran neal, shaquem griffin, a kicking game, maybe jaylen samuels as a “move,” TE/ weapon, some later wrs, ss trayvon henderson……And many others. Heck even darius Leonard may go in the fourth round, possible higher but if love to see him in seattle.

    • Drew

      Go back a few more years and you’ll find 2 All-Pro DBs, another solid starting CB, starting guard and also don’t forget about that superbowl MVP.

  49. Ishmael

    A quick question about Price, I’ve heard that he was pretty strongly opposed to the anthem protests? Anyone else heard anything about it? Could be a genuine problem in the locker room if so.

    • H

      Ive heard that the players had an open conversation about it at Ohio state and Price voiced his opinion that he wasnt a fan. I dont think a team should be worried about a player who speaks his mind, exactly the same as Sherm, Bennett, Doug etc. just the other side of the coin.
      From everything I read he’s a locker room leader and his highly respected by his teammates, some of whom, no doubt, support the protests.
      I think it might be a consideration but i struggle to see it as an issue. I mean if we’ll take a player with major off field red flags (Clark) effort concerns (malik) but we wont take Price because he doesnt support a protest? that would make no sense to me.

      • C-Dog

        +1

        I don’t think it would be an issue. Plus, this locker room is so littered with alpha personalities, I seriously doubt a rookie is going to come in and start automatically throwing his weight around. Some feel Ifedi tried that and it created a degree of push back from vets that didn’t help his cause.

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