The ultimate Seahawks combine preview 2020


The 2020 NFL draft appears to be particularly strong in two areas. This is an excellent wide receiver class, with multiple prospective first round picks. Expect to see a number of receivers run electric forty times and make major headlines on day one — especially Henry Ruggs.

It’s also a stronger offensive line class than we’ve seen in recent years. The league-wide desperation for good linemen will push several into the top-20. There’s good enough depth though, particularly at guard and center, for teams to find potential starters even in the middle rounds.

The running back class is underrated. Expect a number of runners to have astonishing workouts on Friday — especially J.K. Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It also appears to be a good cornerback draft. Unfortunately, there’s not as much D-line depth this year and it’s a thin group at tight end.

Changes to the combine

A lot of things are going to be different this year. I’ve posted the workout schedule below. It’s now a Thursday-to-Sunday event rather than Friday-to-Monday. The workouts also take place later in the day to cater for a primetime audience.

There are also significant differences to the drills — again to try and draw in viewing figures. The gauntlet catching drill and ‘W’ drill for defensive backs will now be timed so fans can compare how the players perform.

There’s now a ‘smoke route’ for quarterbacks and receivers involving a one-step hitch which has become popular in RPO’s. This will also be timed. There’s a ‘screen pass’ drill for offensive linemen to see how quickly and comfortably they can reach the second level. The mirror drill will be different. There’s no longer a ‘rabbit’ running in front of the participating offensive lineman.

For defensive linemen there will be a ‘figure eight’ pass rush that are often part of a players pro-day. This will be timed. Sleds will also be used rather than coaches holding a bag for certain drills.

For a full breakdown of all the new drills click here.

One thing to remember

The short shuttle is important at every position. A lot of the focus is placed on forty times, explosive testing, drill performance — and rightly so. Yet the ability to change direction quickly with agility is vital across the board. You’ll notice how often it’s discussed in this review and how much value the Seahawks seem to place in it. If there’s one less-talked-about test to monitor, it’s very much the short shuttle.

Workout schedule

» Thursday February 27th (4-11pm ET): tight ends, quarterbacks, wide receivers
» Friday February 28th (4-11pm ET): special teams, offensive linemen, running backs
» Saturday February 29th (4-11pm ET): defensive linemen and linebackers
» Sunday March 1st (2-7pm ET): defensive backs

Groups 1-3 (TE, QB, WR)

Arrival: Sunday 23rd February
Measurements: Monday 24th February
Bench press: Wednesday 26th February
On-field drills: Thursday 27th February

Expect Hunter Bryant to test well in the all-important short shuttle

Tight ends
Seattle has drafted four tight ends under Pete Carroll — Nick Vannett, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy and Will Dissly. They also traded for Jimmy Graham and signed Zach Miller to a big contract in 2011. They recently signed Greg Olsen to a one-year contract. All seven players have distinct differences yet one test links them all.

It appears the Seahawks view the short shuttle as an important drill:

Luke Willson — 4.29 at pro-day
Will Dissly — 4.40 (8th best in 2018)
Nick Vannett — 4.20 (2nd best in 2016)
Anthony McCoy — 4.57
Zach Miller — 4.42
Jimmy Graham — 4.45
Greg Olsen — 4.48

Tony Pauline also linked the Seahawks with interest in Atlanta’s free agent Austin Hooper, who ran a 4.32. It was also speculated that they really liked O.J. Howard in the 2017 draft. He had the top short shuttle in his class (4.16).

Short-area quickness and agility appears to be important for any prospective Seattle tight end so pay close attention to the short shuttle and the three cone.

Key tests
Short shuttle, three cone, forty

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

Interesting note
In 2017 the Seahawks passed on the position despite the strong looking class. They drafted seven players before George Kittle was selected in round five by the 49ers — despite his good combine and dynamism as a blocker. They even spent five picks in rounds 3-4 without taking Kittle. Perhaps, although hopefully not, it was because he only ran a 4.55 short shuttle? They also passed on the position a year ago despite strong testing by Drew Sample, Foster Moreau, Kahale Warring, Dawson Knox, Jace Sternberger, Irv Smith, Trevon Wesco, Dax Raymond, Caleb Wilson, Isaac Nauta, Kaden Smith, Josh Oliver and others.

Best drill to watch
Catching technique is always important. Is a player cupping his hands and showing to the football, or is he fighting the ball? How will timing the gauntlet drill impact players as they now try to focus on speed as well as concentration?

Five names to watch
Hunter Bryant (Washington), Devin Asiasi (UCLA), Cole Kmet (Notre Dame), Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri), Harrison Bryant (Florida Atlantic)

Positional assessment
It’s not a strong class at the tight end position. We might not see a player drafted in the top-50. Unlike last year, there aren’t a collection of raw physical talents either. Even so, expect Hunter Bryant to deliver a strong short shuttle and it’ll be interesting to see Devin Asiasi’s performance.

Importance to the Seahawks?
With Will Dissly recovering from his second serious injury in consecutive seasons, Ed Dickson set to be cut, Nick Vannett traded and a decision to be made on Jacob Hollister’s RFA tender — this was a vital position of need for the Seahawks. Perhaps due to the thin draft class at the position, Seattle addressed this issue with the Greg Olsen signing.

Anthony Gordon will look to build on a good Senior Bowl showing

With Russell Wilson’s 2019 contract extension securing his future in Seattle for the next few years, Seahawks fans won’t be paying too much attention to this group. It’ll be interesting to see which players throw and Tua Tagovailoa’s hip injury will create plenty of talking points on TV. Ultimately though, this doesn’t get any more interesting than wondering whether a future cheap backup will be drafted in the later rounds.

Key tests
Deep throws

Ideal size
+6-1, 220lbs, +9.5 inch hands

Interesting note
The Seahawks have only drafted two quarterbacks in the Pete Carroll era — Russell Wilson (third round, 2012) and Alex McGough (seventh round, 2018).

The best drill to watch
Everyone wants to see the top QB’s throw the deep ball. That’s basically why they’re there apart from the medicals and interviews. They’re not facing a defense. They’re just standing in shorts and throwing the football. The only real reason to watch the drills is to see which players stand out throwing downfield with power and precision with reasonable mechanics.

Five names to watch
Justin Herbert (Oregon), Jacob Eason (Washington), Jordan Love (Utah State), Anthony Gordon (Washington State), Steven Montez (Colorado)

Positional notes
It’s an intriguing class at the position, headlined by the future #1 pick Joe Burrow. He was historically good at LSU in 2019 and showed off poise, accuracy, the ability to improvise and extend plays, a winner’s mentality and he delivered an unexpected National Championship to LSU. Tua Tagovailoa will be discussed a lot in Indianapolis with everyone desperate to know the latest on his hip injury. Justin Herbert will have an opportunity to further boost his stock with a good throwing performance combined with strong interviews. There’s some depth to the class too and it’ll be interesting to see whether Jordan Love, Jacob Eason, Jalen Hurts and Jake Fromm can improve their standing.

Importance to the Seahawks
Not very. It’s possible they spend a last day pick on a QB to develop as a backup. It is peculiar that they’ve only drafted two quarterbacks since 2010. Yet with needs at various positions this off-season, they simply might prefer to retain Geno Smith and press on.

Brandon Aiyuk is an exceptional talent in a loaded WR class

Wide receivers
Pete Carroll has only drafted three receivers who haven’t run a 4.4 forty or faster (Kenny Lawler 4.64, Chris Harper 4.50, John Ursua 4.56). Paul Richardson (4.40), Golden Tate (4.42), Tyler Lockett (4.40), Kris Durham (4.46), Kevin Norwood (4.48), Amara Darboh (4.45), David Moore (4.42) and D.K. Metcalf (4.33) all cracked the 4.4’s. Durham (216lbs), Harper (229lbs), Lawler (203lbs), Darboh (214lbs), Moore (219lbs) and Metcalf (228lbs) were all +200lbs. Richardson, Tate and Lockett —- three productive players —- plus Ursua were smaller.

We have enough data now to say this quite definitively — unless a player runs a 4.4 or faster, the Seahawks are unlikely to consider them until the later rounds. Clearly they value speed and suddenness at the position even if you’re a ‘bigger’ receiver.

The entire NFL is seeing a shift towards speed. The days of the classic ‘possession’ receiver are over. Teams are utilising tight ends in a variety of creative ways to get a sizeable mismatch target on the field. For receivers playing outside or in the slot, quickness is the desired trait.

The good news is, this is a frighteningly quick draft class at the position. It’s loaded with talented receivers capable of running in the 4.2’s, 4.3’s and 4.4’s. Without any doubt, wide out is the strongest positional group in the 2020 draft.

The ability to separate is vital whatever your size. Watch the forty, the 10-yard split, the three-cone and short shuttle. It’ll provide a clear indication on which players have the quickness and agility to create openings.

Interesting note
Carroll’s Seahawks don’t really have a ‘range’ where they take receivers. They’ve drafted three players in round two (Tate, Richardson, Metcalf), two in round three (Darboh, Lockett), three in round four (Norwood, Harper, Durham) and three in round seven (Moore, Lawler, Ursua). They traded a first round pick for Percy Harvin. They’ve also had a degree of success with UDFA’s. The best non-FA athlete Seattle has acquired in the Carroll 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.

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

Ideal size
Just run a 4.4 forty or faster

The best drill to watch
Any drill that clearly shows catching technique. It’s extremely important. You want to see a wide out cupping his hands while presenting 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 and tracking over the shoulder. Who is a natural hands catcher?

Five names to watch
Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State), Jalen Reagor (TCU), Henry Ruggs (Alabama), K.J. Hamler (Penn State), Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

Positional assessment
It’s a loaded class. We should see multiple first round picks with the depth lasting into day three. Expect Henry Ruggs to run a blazing forty but several others will join him. Keep an eye on Aiyuk, Reagor, Hamler and Edwards as possible early round options for the Seahawks. Jerry Jeudy’s work out will likely determine how high he goes. There are question marks over the speed of Ceedee Lamb and Tee Higgins, so how fast they run will be crucial to their stock. Bigger receivers like Chase Claypool, Michael Pittman and Denzel Mims will hope to run well and significantly boost their stock. There are so many names to mention and you’ll be able to get a potential impact receiver in the first three rounds.

Importance to the Seahawks
Let’s compare the Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes inherited Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Chiefs then went out and signed Sammy Watkins for big money and spent a second round pick on Mecole Hardman. Russell Wilson currently has Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf plus a lot of question marks. He deserves more and the Seahawks need to tap into this class. They will do too — they’ve consistently identified and exploited the strongest position in a draft class and they’ve invested major stock at the receiver position over the years. There are so many sudden and speedy wide outs who can separate and get downfield to make explosive plays in this draft. They have to take one.

Groups 4-6 (ST, OL, RB)

Arrival: Monday 24th February
Measurements: Tuesday 25th February
Bench press: Thursday 27th February
On-field drills: Friday 28th February

Cesar Ruiz is one of the top players in the draft

Offensive linemen
For the last few 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. When Tom Cable departed after the 2017 we wondered if TEF would be as useful moving forward (due to his influence on the system). Yet the Seahawks drafted Phil Haynes last year — the second best TEF scorer in the 2019 draft.

Why are explosive traits 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 TEF was created — to do what Kirwan intended and measure explosive traits equally and emphasise their combined importance.

Of course, jumping a vertical at 320lbs is considerably more challenging than jumping a vertical at 275lbs. We created a second formula (weighted TEF or wTEF) to account for weight:

Weight x TEF x 0.1

We can give each player a score that sufficiently emphasises their unique size. For example:

Germain Ifedi — 324 x 2.97 x 0.1 = 96.1

Phil Haynes a year ago scored 103.7. For more information on weighted TEF, click here.

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 vital. Two years ago, only seven offensive linemen scored an optimal 3.00 or higher in TEF. Of the seven, Quenton Nelson and Kolton Miller were both high first round picks. Braden Smith, Connor Williams and Will Hernandez were second round picks. In 2019, only eight players scored an optimal 3.00 or higher. This included Chris Lindstrom, Garrett Bradbury, Andre Dillard and Kaleb McGary (all drafted in round one). Erik McCoy and Elgton Jenkins were also top-50 picks. It’s not a coincidence that the most explosive offensive linemen are being drafted early.

For a full breakdown of the TEF calculation, click here.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, Bench

Ideal size
6-3/6-5, 305-320lbs, +33 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. At the last four combines there were a total of 102 ‘explosive’ defensive linemen (explosive = a TEF score of 3.00 or higher). In comparison, there were only 24 explosive offensive linemen. This is a big problem for the NFL. However, this is a weaker looking D-line class and a much strong O-line class. Perhaps, for once, we’ll see a more equal split?

The best drill to watch
The mirror drill, even though it’s changing. Two linemen used to 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. They’re still going to do the drill this year, just without the ‘rabbit’. It’s an important test of footwork, agility, mobility, balance, control and stamina. It’s also a good gauge of pass protection skills.

Five names to watch
Guard — Damien Lewis (LSU), Logan Stenberg (Kentucky), Tyre Phillips (Mississippi State), John Simpson (Clemson), Shane Lemieux (Oregon)

Center — Cesar Ruiz (Michigan), Matt Hennessy (Temple), Lloyd Cushenberry (LSU), Nick Harris (Washington), Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin)

Tackle — Isaiah Wilson (Georgia), Austin Jackson (USC), Lucas Niang (TCU), Mekhi Becton (Louisville), Josh Jones (Houston)

Positional notes
This is a much thicker looking O-line class than we’ve seen in recent years. There are players who will be drafted in the top-15 and the depth will last into the middle rounds. I could reel off the names of a good 10-15 interior offensive linemen who are intriguing for the Seahawks. If they go into the draft with a hole at right tackle, there will also be options to fill that need. If receiver is the top position in the 2020 draft in terms of quality and depth, O-line is #2.

Importance to the Seahawks
It remains to be seen. Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Mike Iupati and Joey Hunt are all free agents while Justin Britt could be a cap casualty. Pete Carroll has stated his preference for continuity but they also wanted to keep J.R. Sweezy a year ago and he bolted for Arizona. There are enough good offensive linemen in this draft to feel like they can fill some holes — whether that’s in the early or middle rounds. Cesar Ruiz, Isaiah Wilson, Austin Jackson and Josh Jones to name just four appear to have the traits they covet in the early rounds. Matt Hennessy and Logan Stenberg are fine second round or third round options, as is Lucas Niang depending on his health. Plus the mid-round guard prospects are terrific.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a future star

Running backs
The Seahawks have a type at running back. They’ve consistently drafted players with a similar physical profile. It’s made it fairly straight forward to figure out who they might like. Here are the players we identified from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 combines as probable targets:


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


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


Saquon Barkley — 6-0, 233lbs, 41 inch vert DNP broad
Kerryon Johnson — 511, 213lbs 40 inch vert, 10-6 broad
Bo Scarborough — 6-0, 228lbs, 40 inch vert, 10-9 broad
Nick Chubb — 5-11, 227lbs, 38.5 inch vert, 10-8 broad
John Kelly — 5-10, 216lbs, 35 inch vert, 10-0 broad
Lavon Coleman — 5-10, 223lbs, 33 inch vert, 10-0 broad
Rashaad Penny — 5-11, 220lbs, 32.5 inch vert, 10-0 broad
Royce Freeman — 5-11, 229lbs, 34 inch vert, 9-10 broad

They drafted a player from each of the groups — Prosise, Carson and Penny. They eventually added Bo Scarborough during the 2018 season too.

A year ago we identified six players — Alex Barnes, Damien Harris, Alexander Mattison, LJ Scott, Miles Sanders, Dexter Williams and Tony Pollard. Running back was an unlikely target though with the depth they had at the position. With a strong emphasis on special teams improvement a year ago, they selected Travis Homer in round six mainly because he was considered to be one of the top special teamer’s in the draft.

The selection of Homer shouldn’t influence how we assess their preference at the position. Quite aside from him mainly being selected to play special teams — they’ve also been willing to take non-ideal physical profiles in the later rounds (this is the range where they’ve also selected receivers who don’t run a 4.4 or faster). Even so, there are some really dynamic runners in this draft who might not fit Seattle’s physical ideals (Anthony McFarland, Clyde Edwards-Helaire) but they are just so incredibly talented — they might be willing to make an exception.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad

Ideal size
5-11, 220lbs, +35 inch vertical, +10 broad

Interesting note
The Seahawks prefer explosive traits over straight line speed. Christine Michael (4.54), C.J. Prosise (4.48), Robert Turbin (4.50) and Chris Carson (4.58) were explosive rather than fast. Rashaad Penny wasn’t quite as explosive but ran a 4.46. It’s probably not a major shift in terms of the type of player they like — rather it was an attempt to find a fast, versatile runner with size who can provide a similar option to the Seahawks that LA was getting with Todd Gurley.

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. Explosive power and the ability to run through contact is vital at the next level, however.

Five names to watch
Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU), Anthony McFarland (RB, Maryland), Cam Akers (RB, Florida State)

Positional notes
This is a running back class with major talent at the front end and some depth. J.K. Dobbins will tear up the combine with his workout. At SPARQ he jumped a 43 inch vertical, ran a 4.09 short shuttle and finished with an elite score of 146.76. Jonathan Taylor ran a 4.42 forty at SPARQ and he could easily get into the 4.3’s in Indianapolis. Combine that with a 4.30 short shuttle and a 35 inch vertical and it’s a NFL phyical profile with ideal size (5-11, 220lbs). D’Andre Swift (5-9, 215lbs) ran a 4.15 short shuttle at SPARQ and he jumped a 33 inch vertical. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran a 4.04 short shuttle, a 4.47 forty and he jumped a 40 inch vertical at 201lbs on a 5-8 body. Anthony McFarland ran a 4.04 short shuttle. Expect a strong performance from Boston College’s A.J. Dillon and Florida State’s Cam Akers too and it’ll be interesting to see how Zack Moss and Joshua Kelley test. There will be headline makers in round one. I’ll be paying particular attention to Dobbins, Edwards-Helaire and McFarland.

Importance to the Seahawks
The injury situations for Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny make this a greater consideration than it otherwise would be. C.J. Prosise will move on as a free agent so the likelihood is they will draft a running back at some stage — it’s just a question of when. I wouldn’t expect it to be a high pick, especially given how much they love Carson. Yet their desire to run with physicality means they need a stable of backs and there’s plenty of talent to be had within this group.

Groups 7-8 (DL, LB)

Arrival: Tuesday 25th February
Measurements: Wednesday 26th February
Bench press: Friday 28th February
On-field drills: Saturday 29th February

Raekwon Davis has top-level traits and a Calais Campbell frame

Defensive line
The Seahawks went against their established preferences when they selected L.J. Collier in the first round last year. For defensive ends or LEO’s they’ve sought twitchy athletes with great burst. Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril ran 1.55 and 1.50 10-yard splits respectively. Anything in the 1.5’s is considered ‘elite’. In terms of defensive tackles or inside/out rushers, Rasheem Green, Quinton Jefferson, Jordan Hill, Jaye Howard and Malik McDowell all tested superbly in the short shuttle (4.39, 4.37, 4.51, 4.47 and 4.53 respectively).

Collier ran a 4.91 forty with a 1.75 10-yard split. He followed it up with a 4.78 short shuttle. His selection was a major outlier and his lack of success as a rookie possibly means they’ll stick to their ideals with even more vinegar this year.

Let’s call it the reverse Malik McDowell. He was 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. If they were swayed by the incredible traits on display with McDowell in 2017 — they might’ve adjusted their approach to account for character and grit a little too much. Collier’s struggles might see a return to coveting outstanding upside and traits — particularly given the success of D.K. Metcalf in 2019.

So what should we look for? If we’re talking about a possible LEO 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. Malik McDowell ran a 1.69 split at 295lbs. Rasheem Green ran a 1.65 at 275lbs.

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. As noted earlier, many of their defensive tackle or inside/out rusher picks have also excelled in the short shuttle. Arm length is also important and they’ve consistently sought defensive linemen with +33 inch arms.

Every year the D-liners generally test well. It’s indicative of the way college football has gone. The top High School players want to play defense because that’s where the money is in the NFL and the stats/kudos/respect. It often means some exceptional combine performers last deep into the draft. We spent a lot of time in 2011 talking about Justin Houston as a possible first round LEO target. He lasted into round three. Two years 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 (Avril was also a third round pick). A great combine for a pass rusher will not automatically mean they shoot into the early rounds.

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

Ideal size
DL — +6-2, 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 selected a defensive lineman with one of their first two picks in each of the last five drafts (L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Malik McDowell, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark). With a strong D-line need this year, the chances are they’ll make it six in a row even if the options are more limited in this draft.

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. It’ll be interesting to see the timed ‘figure of eight’ drills for the first time.

Five names to watch
DT — Raekwon Davis (Alabama), Ross Blacklock (TCU), Rashard Lawrence (LSU), Derrick Brown (Auburn), Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)

DE/EDGE — Julian Okwara (Notre Dame), Jabari Zuniga (Florida), K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU), Terrell Lewis (Alabama), Chase Young (Ohio State)

Positional assessment
If last years draft was defined by the D-line class, this year it’s the opposite. Overall it’s a weaker looking D-line class than usual. There will be fewer first round picks and the depth isn’t there either. I’m not even sure if Chase Young will test as well as everyone expects. On the positive side, this creates a window of opportunity for anyone who tests well to rise up the boards. There are players to monitor for the Seahawks. If we’re talking about traits — nobody fits the bill better than Raekwon Davis with his Calais Campbell frame. Julian Okwara is lightning fast and let’s see if K’Lavon Chaisson — who might work out with the linebackers — can justify his hype.

Importance to the Seahawks?
Massively so. It’s their biggest off-season need. Yet a thin D-line draft class will likely push them towards free agency or the trade market for an immediate solution. Whatever happens this off-season, they cannot go into 2020 without a much improved pass rush.

Willie Gay Jr is a playmaker in coverage and at the LOS

The Seahawks have tended to look for two types of player at linebacker — freakish athletes and players with great short-area quickness and agility.

Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer, Malcolm Smith and Eric Pinkins all ran between a 4.44 and a 4.51 in the forty. Shaquem Griffin topped the lot with a 4.38. Pierre-Louis, 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, Pierre-Louis and Bruce Irvin are included.

They’ve also targeted players who performed especially strongly in the short shuttle. Here are the top-15 short shuttle times run by a linebacker since 2010:

Jordan Tripp — 3.96
Nick Bellore — 4.00

Ben Heeney — 4.00
Mike Mohamed — 4.00
Nick Vigil — 4.00
Kevin Pierre-Louis — 4.02
Stephone Anthony — 4.03
Cody Barton — 4.03
Dakota Allen — 4.03
Von Miller — 4.06
Josh Hull — 4.07
Dorian O’Daniel — 4.07
Avery Williamson — 4.07
Shaq Thompson — 4.08
Ben Burr-Kirven — 4.09

The players in bold have been either drafted or signed by the Seahawks during the Pete Carroll era. A third of the players.

Admittedly, Nick Bellore has been signed as a full back. Even so, this isn’t a coincidence. It’s something I wrote about originally three years ago.

If there’s a linebacker who runs a great short shuttle, there’s a decent chance he will be on Seattle’s radar. Just in case you were wondering, Bobby Wagner ran a 4.28, Mychal Kendricks a 4.19 and K.J. Wright a 4.46 — all good times for their size.

Key tests
Forty yard dash, short shuttle, vertical, broad, three cone

Ideal size
+6-0, 230-240lbs, 4.4-4.5 forty, 6.70 three-cone, +10’ broad, 4.00-4.35 short shuttle

Interesting note
Bobby Wagner played 99.35% of the defensive snaps in 2016 and K.J. Wright played 97.41%. That led to Pete Carroll’s comment about needing youth at the position to take some of the strain. Since then, Wagner tallied 93.08% of the snaps in 2017, 93.34% in 2018 and 98.32% in 2019. Wright had 87.07% in 2017 before missing most of 2018 through injury. Last year he played 93% of the defensive snaps. Despite Carroll’s words after the 2016 season, they’ve continued to rely on Wagner and Wright.

Best drill to watch
Due to the importance of the short shuttle — look how the players work in space, backpedal and read/react. Quickness and change of direction is vital at linebacker.

Five names to watch
Willie Gay Jr (Mississippi State), Patrick Queen (LSU), Jordan Brooks (Texas Tech), Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma), Isaiah Simmons (Clemson)

Positional assessment
It’s not the strongest class of linebackers but there is still some talent and the potential for hidden gems. Willie Gay Jr is a fantastic playmaker who impacts games in coverage and at the LOS. He was a terrific tester at SPARQ and could be a big winner at this years combine. Patrick Queen had an excellent end to the 2019 season with LSU and will be hoping to run well. At the top of the class — Isaiah Simmons will be one of the biggest names and best testers at any position.

Importance to the Seahawks?
It’s hard to say. K.J. Wright has a $10m cap hit so that’s worth monitoring. The Seahawks drafted BBK mainly for his special teams value. Shaquem Griffin has resorted to being more of a situational pass rusher and Cody Barton didn’t play particularly well as a rookie. Pete Carroll has expressed a desire to bring back Mychal Kendricks but he’s recovering from an ACL injury. They have numbers but do they have quality? Whether they take a linebacker or not will probably depend on how the 2020 class tests.

Groups 9-10 (DB)

Arrival: Wednesday 26th February
Measurements: Thursday 27th February
Bench press: Saturday 29th February
On-field drills: Sunday 1st March

C.J. Henderson will run a sub-4.00 short shuttle

By now everyone knows what the Seahawks like in a corner. Every CB 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.

Two years ago we highlighted Tre Flowers as a possible target and mocked him to Seattle in many of our seven-round projections simply because he looked like a prototype Seahawks corner at the combine. It was clear and obvious purely down to his physical appearance.

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). 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)
Tre Flowers — 34 (arms) 79.5 (wingspan)

In 2017 they drafted Shaquill 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. Griffin lacks the kind of length they usually go for at the position. Clearly they were willing to look beyond that due to his excellent speed, natural athleticism and brilliant character.

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

You might’ve noticed we’ve talked a lot about the importance of the short shuttle in this preview. I’m going to bring it up again here. In a now deleted visual demonstration of the drill, Mike Mayock explains why it’s so vital:

“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 for a cornerback is a 4.2, it’s fair to assume anything quicker than a 4.00 is exceptional.

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

2019 – No qualifiers
2018 — Jordan Thomas (3.94)
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.

Two potential first round picks could be added to the list this year. Jeff Okudah ran a 4.03 short shuttle at SPARQ in High School. C.J. Henderson ran a 3.92.

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

DeAndre Elliott — 3.94
Tye Smith — 3.96
Jeremy Lane — 4.14
Shaquill Griffin — 4.14
Deshawn Shead — 4.23
Brandon Browner — 4.24
Richard Sherman — 4.29
Tharold Simon — 4.31
Byron Maxwell — 4.49
Tre Flowers — 4.34

What about the nickel corner position? They struggled to replace Justin Coleman in 2019. Coleman was only 5-11 and 185lbs at his combine with 31 1/4 inch arms. He did, however, run a blistering short shuttle (3.98) and jumped a 37.5 inch vertical. It’s worth considering highly athletic nickel corner candidates.

Key tests
Short shuttle, vertical, measurements (arm length),

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

Interesting note
Despite being lauded for their ability to draft and develop cornerbacks in the early Carroll era — the Seahawks have surprisingly only drafted three in the last five drafts (Tre Flowers, Shaquil Griffin, Tye Smith). It’s perhaps indicative of other teams copying the Seahawks in looking for long, athletic corners earlier in the draft. These days the options are perhaps far more limited.

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?

Five names to watch
Trevon Diggs (Alabama), C.J. Henderson (Florida), Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State), Jeff Okudah (Ohio State), Damon Arnette (Ohio State)

Positional assessment
It’s not a bad class at cornerback. Jeff Okudah is the best combination of talent and athleticism since Patrick Peterson. There are other players who could also land in the first round and the depth could stretch into the middle rounds this year. I generally don’t study the later round options until I’ve seen measurements and workouts at the combine. After all, the Seahawks have such a defined ‘type’. We might as well focus our attention on the players they might actually draft.

Importance to the Seahawks?
They could do with adding some competition for Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers. The depth at the position is pretty suspect and needs replenishing. Furthermore, Griffin is set to be a free agent next year. It’ll also be interesting to see if they target a nickel cornerback. We know by now that corner is unlikely to be addressed early in the draft but the depth at the position should mean they identify some day three options.

Kyle Dugger is expected to have a fantastic combine

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. Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill have struggled. Marquise Blair had a limited role as a rookie despite being taken in the second round.

There’s a real mix of physical profiles in the players they’ve taken, making it a difficult position to project. Thomas (31 1/4), Legree (30 1/4) and Blair (30 3/4) 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 and Blair ran a 4.48 with a 35-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.

Quandre Diggs, who they acquired via trade, has 29 5/8 inch arms and ran a 4.56.

Overall it’s hard to determine a Seahawks physical ‘type’. The only safety they’ve drafted in the first round (Earl Thomas) was 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). Blair, their next highest pick at the position, was decently athletic and hit like a sledgehammer.

Of all the positions, this might be the one without a clear established physical ideal. It could be the position where scouting matters the most — or at least establishing what type of safety you are drafting.

There aren’t many safety’s entering the NFL with elite level speed. Since 2010, only six (Zedrick Woods, Darnell Savage, Darius West, Troy Akpe, T.J. Green and Justin Cox) ran in the 4.3’s or faster at the combine. Budda Baker’s 4.45 at only 195lbs is the 15th best time by a safety in the last nine years. The fastest players haven’t always been the best either. Here are the top-15 runners at the position since 2010:

Zedrick Woods – 4.29
Troy Akpe — 4.34
T.J. Green — 4.34
Justin Cox — 4.36
Darnell Savage – 4.36
Darius West – 4.39
Natrell Jamerson — 4.40
Obi Melifownu — 4.40
Justin Reid — 4.40
Dane Cruikshank — 4.41
Josh Jones — 4.41
Terrence Brooks — 4.42
Montae Nicholson — 4.42
Shamarko Thomas — 4.42
Taylor Mays — 4.43
Godwin Igwebuike — 4.44
Earl Wolff — 4.44
Budda Baker — 4.45

We talk a lot about speed at safety because of Earl Thomas but the results here tend to suggest a couple of possibilities. Either speed isn’t as important as some people think to be a great safety or it’s indicative of a lack of quality safety’s currently in the NFL. Both might be true.

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
A few months ago, Grant Delpit was considered one of the ten or so best players in the draft. Suddenly, despite possessing most of the qualities of a top-level safety, he’s now being mocked in the media in the late first round (or lower). The main reason given is poor tackling form. Have any of these people watched Earl Thomas try and tackle?

Best drill to watch
Any of the drills requiring the safety’s to close in space and show off their open-field quickness and range.

Five names to watch
Grant Delpit (LSU), Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne), Antoine Winfield Jr (Minnesota), Terrell Burgess (Utah), Xavier McKinney (Alabama)

Positional assessment
Delpit should be a high pick but we’ll see if he drops like the media projections are saying. A lot of the national mocks have Xavier McKinney in round one. There’s not a ton of depth at the position this year although Kyle Dugger is really building momentum and will be one of the big stories if he has a great workout. He’s also an alpha with a dog mentality and major special teams value so he could easily be high on Seattle’s board.

Importance to the Seahawks?
The trade for Quandre Diggs, the selection of Marquise Blair in round two and the fondness they have for Bradley McDougald probably pushes this need near the back of the line. They also drafted Ugo Amadi last year and still have Lano Hill and Tedric Thompson on the roster, although possibly not for much longer.

Assessing last years ‘names to watch’

The following players were listed among our ‘five names to watch’ at each position and were eventually drafted by the Seahawks:

L.J. Collier
Marquise Blair
D.K. Metcalf
Gary Jennings

Further reading

One sentence scouting reports for 105 prospects

2020 draft prospects tier list

Why the Seahawks will be aggressive this off-season

The Seahawks might have to be ruthless to create more cap space

Previewing the options in free agency for Seattle

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?

You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.

Become a Patron!


  1. Gohawks5151

    Wow. Amazing preview. I can’t wait to see some of the new drills and get a better look at some of the players everyone has brought up. Thanks Rob and thanks in advance for all the combine content to come!

    • Greg Haugsven

      Ill second that. That is alot of information. I cant imagine how long it took you to write this up.

      • Rob Staton

        Thanks Greg

  2. Happy Hawk

    Are you kidding me – this report is off the charts good! Great job Rob need to go back and re-read and study prior to the combine. Keep up the great work!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you!

  3. EranUngar

    Thank you again for the great work you do Rob. Incredible…

    One remark regarding OL candidates in the Solari era – While Hanes indicates that TEF is alive and well, Bringing the likes of Flucker and Iupati may indicate that 330 is the new 320 for Guards and possibly Center.

    • Rob Staton

      My pleasure Eran, thank you.

  4. Bankhawk

    Good lord man! You have most certainly outdone yourself with this piece! (And that’s not an easy thing, given your track record of amazing quality). All I can think to say is thanks for that!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you bankhawk, much appreciated

  5. cha

    Well done Rob. Thank you very much!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you cha, appreciate the support

  6. Kingdome1976

    Well….I think I’m primed for the combine now. lol.

    thanks Rob

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for reading

  7. J

    Re: offense v. defense TEF discrepancy.

    How many of the 104 TEF explosive defensive linemen weighed 300 pounds?

    I mean yeah, defensive linemen have better broad and vertical jumps, because they are smaller on average. Less mass to move. If you are comparing a 260-280 pound defensive ends with 320 pound guards it isn’t a fair comparison.

    Part of it may be where the game is going, but part of it logically would be size differences.

    I’d like to see some adjustment to account for player size.

  8. Steve Nelsen

    Thank you, Rob! I am really looking forward to this combine and no other fan base in football has this kind of informed pre-combine analysis.

    I am tracking OT for a potential rookie starter, WR for an upgrade at #3, EDGE project with elite split, athletic DT who could start as a rookie, an outside CB project, and an RB to replace Prosise.

    Hopefully Seattle gets good news on comp picks today!

    • Von

      This is exactly the positions I’m looking at as well. Possible double up 1 or more of them.

    • Coleslaw

      I thought comp picks were awarded at league meetings? They start march 29th

      • Steve Nelsen

        There is no hard date other than after the Super Bowl. They were announced on Friday, February 22 last year and Friday February 23rd in 2018 so today has been speculated as the day.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Steve

  9. mr peapants

    best seahawks site anywhere. thank you for all the work you do. just incredible!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks mr peapants — I hope you didn’t, you know, pea your pants reading this 7000 word article.

      • mr peapants

        only when im drinkin:)

  10. astro.domine

    First-rate content Rob.

    Recent investments in the position and bigger needs notwithstanding, I’m not sure Seattle will be able to pass on a chance at Dobbins or Edwards-Helaire

  11. Jace

    So much time and effort put into this article. I truly appreciate your hard work. Very intrigued to see how fast Michael Pittman Jr. runs. I could see them valuing his special teams work quite a bit.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you for reading Jace

  12. Henry Taylor

    Goes without saying Rob, but you are the man!

    Pumped up for the combine and this offseason to get going!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Henry, appreciate the support

  13. AlaskaHawk

    Rob – you’ve been writing a lot of high quality articles lately. But this one – wow. It will make the combine even more interesting.

    With the desire to find defensive pass rushers, I am guessing the Seahawks will spend a lot in that area.
    Do you think the draft picks will be tilted more toward the offense? Especially in the early to mid-rounds. It makes the most sense.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Alaska.

      I think they will focus on the lines early as they always do. But I think they will also tap into this awesome WR class and keep an eye on Kyle Dugger.

  14. Volume12

    Daniel Jeremiah had some interesting and odd things on his podcast.

    One team has Jacob Eason as QB2
    Xavier McKinney is SAF1
    CeeDee Lamb is WR1
    Henry Ruggs and Philly are a perfect match
    Austin Jackson is getting possible top-15 buzz
    D’Andre Swift is RD1 worthy, but than comps him to DeAngelo Williams. WTF?!?
    27 WRs with rounds 1-3 grades

    So the NFL is gonna be like Oprah and cars this year? “You get a wideout!” “You get a WR!” “and you get a WR!”

    “Everybody gets a wide receiverrrrr!”

    • Rob Staton

      Well in that case I look forward to DJ getting everything right this year.

    • JC3

      Hope they trade down and package some picks for both Ruiz & Wilson.

    • drewdawg11

      “D’Andre Swift is RD1 worthy, but than comps him to DeAngelo Williams. WTF?!?”

      Williams WAS a first rounder by Carolina, so yeah. I would say that jives.

      • Volume12

        Why would you spend a 1st round pick on DeAngelo Williams?

      • drewdawg11

        He was a good player and he was a late first. I really don’t see what you’re saying at this point. Your original point was why would you call him a first rounder and then comp him to… a first rounder.

        • Volume12

          He had 2 good years.

          My original point was that he’s nothing like DeAngelo Williams. The comp is poor.

    • John_s

      Just because he’s grades 27 WRs as 1-3 rd talents doesn’t mean they will all get picked in the first 3 rounds. I bet there’s going to be a run on WRs in round 2 but there will be some great talents who are pushed down a round or two just because of the # of WRs available.

      • Volume12

        I agree. I think that’s ridiculous. He’s basically saying there’s 30 receivers who teams beleive are capable of being #1 and #2 options. It’s an excellent class, but it’s not that good IMO.

  15. CWagner

    Wow good read, Rob. That’s pretty comprehensive. Assuming the DL is addressed in free agency, I’m kinda hoping for a first round offensive lineman–although it seems like we’re routinely disappointed by their early OL draft picks.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man

  16. Zxvo3

    Trishton Jackson from Syracuse seems like an interesting mid round option at WR. Has the speed to separate down field, decent route running, and some sparks of YAC. If the Seahawks don’t want to tap into the WR class early, Jackson could be an option:

    • Sea Mode

      Good shout. This WR class gets deeper and deeper every day. There are going to be some steals that get pushed down due to the sheer quantity at the top.

      BTW, is it just me, or did QB Tommy Devito look pretty dang good on some of those throws? I know absolutely nothing about him.

      • Zxvo3

        Jackson also is going through some adversity right now is his life. His girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer and he always talks about her in the media.

        Yeah Devito actually looked pretty good on a lot of those throws. The way the commentators talk about him I would guess Syracuse and the ACC loves him.

  17. Trevor

    Wow! You have put out some amazing content over the years but this takes it to a whole other level. I have never seen anything close to this in all my years following the draft.

    Incredible job!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you Trevor

  18. Dan P

    Unless a player they LOVE falls to 27, don’t see any way they make a selection there. Seems like too much quality in rounds 2-3. I’m hoping they get three guys in there. Maybe wr and 3 linemen of some sort.

    • Dan P

      Oops, meant 4 players in rounds 2-3.

    • Coleslaw

      Agreed. Getting something like 90-105 could mean getting a guy like Nick Harris, Ben Brederson, KJ Hamler, Anthony McFarland, Lucas Niang, AJ Green, Ross Blacklock. Take your pick on whatever position you want lol. That is worth trading down for sure.

      A bigger trade down could get a pick in the 70s, too. That’s probably Edward’s Helaire, Cesar Ruiz, Damon Arnette range

  19. Volume12

    Why is Henry Ruggs not WR1 amongst the draft analysts?

    • Sea Mode

      Rob and I mentioned similar last thread:

      Sea Mode says:
      February 21, 2020 at 6:21 am


      The only reason I stopped talking about him so much and more about Raegor is because I believe Ruggs will be long gone by our pick.

      Has the backstory and intense competitive nature too. If only…

      Rob Staton says:
      February 21, 2020 at 6:23 am

      If he runs a 4.2 his floor will be Denver at #15.

  20. Ashish

    “Further reading” Like this new section with links. I know you are working on new site, but this is good mitigation plan. Thumbs up.

  21. Volume12

    Couple things on some O-lineman:

    – Assuming Derrick Henry is staying put, one potential fit I absolutely love is Isaiah Wilson there in Tennessee
    – Very intrigued by UCONN’s Matt Peart
    – Really digging Josh Jones. Upside, versatility, pass protection, flashes of athleticism are all there. A LOT to work with
    – I agree with Rob. If you wanna go that route, rounds 3-4 should offer a plethora of outstanding interior O-lineman

    • DC

      OT ALERT
      Jefe: We have many beautiful piñatas for your birthday celebration, each one filled with little surprises!
      El Guapo: How many piñatas?
      Jefe: Many piñatas, many!
      El Guapo: Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of piñatas?
      Jefe: A what?
      El Guapo: A plethora.
      Jefe: Oh yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.
      El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
      Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
      El Guapo: Well, you just told me that I had a plethora, and I would just like to know if you know what it means to have a plethora. I would not like to think that someone would tell someone else he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora.
      Jefe: El Guapo, I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education, but could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?

      Josh Jones would not be a surprise with that first pick.

      • God of Thunder

        Thanks for the laugh👍🏼

  22. Barry

    Nothing new here but I hope the hawks continue to assess based on a mixture of mental traits (grit) and physical traits.

    The players that made the Hawks notable in the JC PC erra are the character guys with grit. Great athletes like Earl and Bobby were going in the top two rounds. Players like Sherm, Kam, KJ, Doug, and Russ are all dominant in their mental traits. Yes they aren’t slouches physically especially Russ BUT it’s his mental game that seperates.

    Funny enough Curtis Weaver might be the in-between they were hoping LJ Collier was (still might be). But the combine and athleticism matters.

  23. Davido

    While I do not always agree to your view on the team, this content is incredibly good!
    Very good read, good structure, strong arguments. Everything one could hope for during this time of the season. Thanks a lot for sharing, the content is really appreciated.

  24. Sea Mode

    Echoing what others have said, but will still never be said quite enough: absolutely incredible content, Rob. Thank you for taking the time and effort to put together something of this quality and length!

    That said, length not withstanding, if only we could just end up with the players pictured in the article… 😜 (btw, nice shot of Aiyuk with no shoe!)


    Also, I’m going to go on the record before the Combine and toss out an outside CB name and a nickel CB name to keep an eye on for the Seahawks:

    Michael Ojemudia, Iowa
    6002, 199, 9″ hands, 32 1/8″ arms, 77 1/8″ wingspan
    2018 (9 games): 3 INT, 6 PBU
    2019 (12 games): 3 INT, 9 PBU

    I watched the Sr. Bowl 1v1 reps and he looked like an intelligent player as far as positioning and fluid in his hips, which allowed him to be IMO the stickiest in coverage of all the CBs there. Has good stats for plays made on the ball and in highlights, he shows at least some aggression to get around blocks and make a tackle:

    Michael Ojemudia || Iowa Hawkeyes Defensive Back || 2019 Highlights

    So far, there are not a lot of CBs with the required length. Ojemudia looks to me like the best of them for now. Still need to watch more game tape though.


    My slot corner prospect is my original name for outside CB that ended up falling short in measurements, but I just can’t shake that he has something about his game that the Seahawks might like for the nickel:

    Dane Jackson, Pitt.
    5115, 180 lbs, 8 3/4″ hands, 30 7/8″ arms, 73 3/4″ wingspan
    2017 (12 games): 1 INT, 9 PBU
    2018 (13 games): 0 INT, 14 PBU, 4 Forced Fumbles
    2019 (13 games): 1 INT, 12 PBU

    Yes, he lacks length, but it’s not a deal breaker for the slot. I’m hoping he could play there at the next level if he tests well enough in agility. Here are some Seattle nickel CBs for comparison:

    J. Coleman: 5105, 185, 31.25 arm, N/A wing, 4.53 40yd, 3.98 SS, 6.61 3C, 37.5 VJ, 10’04” BJ, 20 BP
    Amadi.: 5093, 199, 31.75 arm, 77 1/8 wing, 4.51 40yd, 4.19 SS, 7.21 3C, 34.0 VJ, 09’07” BJ, 18 BP
    Nickerson: 5103, 182, 30.25 arm, 72.75 wing, 4.32 40yd, 4.29 SS, 7.31 3C, 33.5 VJ, 10’00” BJ 15 BP
    D. Jackson: 5115, 180, 30 7/8 arms, 73 3/4 wing

    The thing with him is that he constantly finds a way to make plays on the ball and is super aggressive tackling. A QB coming out of high school, converted to CB at Pitt and coaches called him one of those guys who would “clean the gym without being asked” or “put on weight and convert to DT if it would help the team”.

    In Sr. Bowl reps, he did get grabby several times, but also had several nice PBUs. So a bit up and down, but also showed a feisty attitude throughout.

    Once again, IF he tests well in agility, those PBU numbers, aggression, and forced fumbles might just appeal to Seattle to bring him in on day 3 to compete with Amadi (who might be more of a Safety for them anyways).

    Dane Jackson RS junior highlights

    I’ll make a separate post later with some thoughts on a couple Sr. Bowl WRs from 1v1s. (spoiler: not that interesting… I have very little doubt that if Aiyuk had been there, he would have looked like a man amongst boys like Deebo did last year.)

    • Volume12

      No Reggie Robinson?

    • Volume12

      Troy Pride for nickel corner? Has 4.3 speed

      • Volume12

        And this footwork is top notch.

      • WALL UP

        I like his size for the slot. Do you see a dog physicality and mental makeup in him? I see a lot of that type of play in Amik Robertson. What do you think Vol? His background is worth a read, having a son while going thru college. He’s made a few mistakes, but has matured because of them. He’s Hungry!

    • DC

      Someone pointed out a small school, diminutive-ish DB who had some insane production. Ring a bell for anyone?

      • Henry Taylor

        Amik Robertson from LA Tech? 5’9, 14 career INTs. Super fun player.

        • DC

          Thanks, that’s the one.

        • WALL UP

          I’m with you on Amik. He’s a must, since a Slay trade is unlikely. I’m looking forward to his 40 time. I hope it is in the 4.4s. I have him in the 100-115 pick range. He’s simply fearless. Short, but good length with hops.

    • D-OZ

      Ojemudia, definitely like him. one to monitor going forward…

  25. Sea Mode

    Whoa. Bryan Edwards broke his foot training for the Combine:

    • Rob Staton

      Oh no!

    • Zxvo3

      Absolutely terrible news. I wonder how much he falls now. I doubt he can make his pro-day either.

      • DC

        Terrible news for him for sure.
        Potentially good news for us. Wonder if he’d be there at the end of rd 3 now.

        • John_s

          Problem is that we won’t know his 40

  26. DC

    Rob if you could make a living off of some form of disseminating NFL content, is that a potential goal in your mind? Or would you prefer to keep it simple covering the Seahawks as a labour of love?

    • Rob Staton

      Absolutely. But I’ve been doing this for 11 years and the phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook, shall we say.

      • Trevor

        It is an absolute shame I think. Seems like most industries it is about contacts and who you know. I would love for you to be able to get to the Senior Bowl or combine to meet some people and get your name out there. I am sure if they took a look at your work over the years it would speak for itself.

  27. Brett

    Just got home and saw this epic writeup. Will spend the better part of an enjoyable weekend poring through all of this. But just wanted to take a moment and second all the ‘attaboys detailed above. This, Rob, is part of what makes you the best Seahawks read on the ‘webs. Well done, and tip-o-the-hat.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Brett, appreciate it.

  28. Tecmo Bowl

    Rob you’ve outdone yourself. Truly great content.

    The fact that you nailed 4 Hawks picks(6.6% out of 60 names)in last years version, makes this years all the more impressive.

    Suppose the Hawks draft 4 more off your watch list who would make the ‘final 4’? Hard to say before FA I know but just for fun

    Dobbins, Aiyuk, Davis, Murray

    • Rob Staton

      One of the fast receivers, one of the OL, one of the DL and maybe Dugger.

  29. Gaux Hawks

    Nothing better than spending my Friday night with my two week old, two year old, and the SDB community. Good reads. Great content. Incredible community. Thanks Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for reading!

  30. Seattle Mike

    First time comment. I’ve been following you for several years now. Heard you on a podcast several times, I think at least one was recorded for the Field Gulls, a site I have frequented over the years. I’ve been following this site for the past two years, once I discovered it.

    Your analysis and your writing are top notch. Better than just about anybody I’ve ever read (I do like Matty Brown over at Field Gulls), including anyone on any of the NFL sites/shows or national sports media. I can’t believe you haven’t been hired by any of the sports outlets in Seattle, or elsewhere for that matter. Do you have any idea why that is?

    • Rob Staton

      There are probably a lot of reasons. But I’m very happy working for the BBC so, as Pete Carroll might say, ‘I’m just fine’.

  31. charlietheunicorn


    Have you ever attended the combine? Is that something you would want to do?
    I’m pretty sure you could scare up some press passes for 2021 😉

    • Rob Staton

      I would like to. I could do it working for the BBC. But obviously it’s a trip I’d have to plan and prepare for. But one day I will attend the combine I’m going to try and get to next years Senior Bowl.

  32. charlietheunicorn

    I think Seattle loves guys with quick feet at RB. Think of Lynch in this regard. Very underrated how quick his feet were/are. He is known for the power, but can be particularly elusive in the tight quarters of a “phone booth” between the tackles rush. I definitely would not hate JK Dobbins, but I somehow think he will not be drafted by Seattle.

    Wild Speculation: Would Seattle dare to trade for Barkley or Elliot? I could see either guy being moved for the right combination of picks or players. They command big dollars, so this is about 0.1% chance of happening.

    • Rob Staton

      I highly doubt they trade for a RB. Elliot has a $10m cap hit in 2020 but a $25m dead cap hit. Saquon has an $8m cap hit and $18m in dead money. So they’d have to pay them $25m and $18m respectively to play in Seattle this year.

      • D-OZ

        More great content Rob. Doesn’t surprise me though after 10+ years of outstanding work. 🙂

        • Rob Staton

          Thanks man 👍🏻

    • God of Thunder

      Actually there’s less than a 0.1% chance. IMO.

      Yep, great content Rob.

  33. KD

    I have to admit, the only reason I really still like LJ Collier as a pick was because I correctly guessed that he would be the pick, so i need some kind of affirmation of my personal bias here. lol.

    I’m only half kidding of course, but the one thing that i have noticed is that the Hawks meet with their future 1st pick a lot before the draft. One meeting? Hawks are taking a look, so should you. Two meetings? This is getting serious, let’s take a closer look. Three meetings? This is like dating. The third date means you really want to go out with this person, and this person might just be the one.

    The best indicator, in my opinion, of who the Hawks will take with their 1st pick is the number of times they meet with a player. They are doing serious homework on how that player will fit in as part of the culture of the team. Arm length, short shuttles, 40’s, broad jumps, etc are one thing. Finding a player who can meet the physical criteria and become part of a culture is another.

    What the combine will do is shorten the list dramatically, as we all expect. Just because PCJS have a reaction to someone’s 40 time, does not necessarily mean that they are going to meet with that player. They may just be impressed by someone’s performance. That doesn’t mean anything until meetings start happening.

    The Hawks will of course draft players that they have not met with later on in the draft, but a team’s first pick is the one that they value most highly. The one rookie who can potentially make the biggest impact. Once the combine numbers come in, watch who the Hawks meet with, and how many times.

    • Denver Hawker

      I’m a bit crazed that you haven’t been picked up more by the draft media. You have such a keen pattern recognition. Have you considered applying your analysis to other GMs? I shapes you could be one of the more accurate mock drafts out there. It’s worked out well for many others- and I don’t mind the accent. I think it’s cool that a Brit knows more about NFL teams than most media. Keep up the fantastic content.

      • KD

        I’m either detecting a hint of sarcasm there, or you are replying to the wrong post.

        • Denver Hawker

          Dang mobile format. Yeah meant to comment separate to Robs article.

    • Kingdome1976

      I hope you are not right again. lol

      • KD

        LOL. I see your point, but it’s not like I wnted Collier, I just guessed that he was going to be the pick.

  34. JohnTheHawkNerd

    This is amazing. I have to admit I don’t follow the run-up to the draft very much, because I only watch a little college ball, and my brain can only hold so many thinks, but now I want to print this out and watch the entire combine.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks John, glad you enjoyed it.

  35. Pugs1

    Rob, as Seahawks fans we hit the jackpot when decided to become a Hawks fan! Thanks for your hard work! I’m curious about what grade you will put on Wille Gay post combine. Great talent but the suspensions IMO will hurt his stock. I’d be down with Seattle drafting him on day three.

    • Kingdome1976

      Surely he is a day 2 pick right?

      • Pugs1

        IMO he is talent wise but he’s got some off field concerns that in my mind push him to day three.

    • Ukhawk

      Wondering if there will be interest in Troy Dye as a mid round pick?

      He looks like a great athlete who can tackle, cover and rush the passer.

      Wondering if with his length he could be the heir apparent to K.J.?

      For what it is worth, he made the PFF Pac12 First Team:

      “Troy Dye, Oregon
      The highest-graded coverage linebacker in the conference, Dye did not allow a single touchdown while forcing three pass breakups and one interception. Dye had a 70.4 passer rating when targeted in coverage, the fourth-best among all linebackers in the Pac-12. He also made plays rushing the passer, recording 26 quarterback pressures, second-most from the position and one forced fumble.”

      He’s had over 100 tackles in each of his 3 seasons.

      He was awesome in the PAC championship vs Utah w/ 6 QB pressures, 6 stops, 1 sack, 1 int even though he has a club on on hand.

      One to watch for me

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you for reading! I think at the moment if he has a great combine he will rise a lot higher than people think.

  36. Kingdome1976

    I really hope we get Dugger. I know it’s not a super priority but I feel like he could be a really good Seahawk for years to come.

    • ZHawk

      Landing Dugger and Isaiah Wilson with 2 of our first 3 picks would have me dancing. The receiver class is so deep and I think we’ll acquire enough DL talent in FA that I’m comfortable waiting a bit on those two positions. Dugger and Wilson just seem so Seahawk-y and could contribute significantly from day 1.

  37. JamesP

    Mind blown! Your dedication to this is really something else. Incredible write up, got me really excited for draft season now. Thanks again Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks James, I’m really glad people enjoyed the preview.

  38. Rob Staton

    Just watched Shane Lemieux the guard from Oregon. Another really good mid-round option. Hope he tests, measures well. The rest of that OL fed off his energy and the way he blocked.

    • Kingdome1976

      Will keep an eye on him next week. Don’t remember him but thx.

  39. GoHawksDani

    Awesome A+ content! Thanks, this will help a ton evaluating the prospects.
    I think you’re a bit biased with Dugger and McFarland for the Hawks. McFarland is just so not like anything the Hawks would use as an RB. He feels more like the 49ers-Chiefs-Eagles type. I just cannot imagine them picking him at all (although I like the player). As for Dugger, I think he’ll go way early for them to pick him. Floor might be R3, but he could be a R1 potentially (if tests really well). They adore Diggs and love and respect McDougald. They also picked Blair in the 2nd round, they also might have Amadi for safety. If all the other teams are stupid and/or blind and Dugger would fall to R4, R5 then they might take him, but safety group is pretty set so I doubt they’ll take anybody early.

    Most interesting prospects for me from your groups to watch are (not only for the Hawks but mostly for them):
    Harrison Bryant, Anthony Gordon, Aiyuk, Stenberg, Cushenberry, Becton, Dobbins, Raekwon Davis, Zuniga, Willie Gay and no for CB or S (I think these players will go early and Hawks won’t pick DB until R4-R5)
    Apart from these guys, I’ll watch more closely Devin Duvernay (WR, Texas), Joshua Kelley (RB, UCLA), La’mical Perine (RB, Florida), Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR, Liberty), Van Jefferson (WR, Florida), Antonio Gibson (RB/WR, Memphis), Adam Trautman (TE, Dayton), Jonathan Greenard (EDGE, Florida), Davon Hamilton (DT, Ohio State), Alton Robinson (EDGE, Syracuse)

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not biased at all.

      I literally wrote an article about McFarland this week explaining why I didn’t think he would be drafted by the Seahawks but wanted to write about him anyway.

      Dugger, if he tests as expected, is everything they look for. Grit, athleticism, attitude, alpha male.

      Me writing about players, and expressing how much I admire them, doesn’t equate to bias. It’s simply called me having an opinion.

      • Kingdome1976

        I never had the feeling that Rob actually thought the Hawks would pick Mcfarland. He seems to simply think he will be an awesome player for some team. Dugger on the other hand would have been next to impossible to evaluate last year at the time we picked Blair, and Dugger would have been an awesome move I believe at the same spot Blair was taken if he were available.

        I’m all in for Dugger even though we picked Blair last year. He is exactly what we need in the back end.

        • LLLOGOSSS

          Wouldn’t it be great to have Dugger and Blair pushing our starters? I still like Blair a whole lot — it’s worth noting they had him at FS most of the season in practice. A 2021 season with Blair at FS and Dugger at SS would have me extremely excited for the upside and potential of that unit.

          Love what Diggs and McDougald bring, but there’s nothing wrong with having a loaded position group like we did in 2011-2013; need guys forcing the issue.

        • Ashish

          You never know hawks might select both. Rob and SBD members just makes everyone aware of the players available in draft just enjoy the ride. Even JS/PC can’t say who they will able to select so that’s not the point

      • GoHawksDani

        Ohh, I misunderstood you on McFarland.
        But I still think almost no chance Hawks pick Dugger unless he falls to R3 or later

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t know why you would use that language though.

          ‘No chance’ they draft a highly athletic, physical, alpha male defensive back who has shown grit and determination to reach this point in his career?

          He’s exactly what they look for.

          By all means make a case for saying they have greater needs before R3 but saying there’s ‘no chance’ they take a guy who screams Seahawks is OTT when we haven’t even had free agency yet.

    • D-OZ

      If the Hawks can get Antonio Gibson day three I would be totally stocked. One of my favorite sleepers in this draft. He is not so much a sleeper anymore as he is moving up draft boards….

  40. Nick

    In an AMA on r/nfl, Daniel Jeremiah said that he’s going to put Kyle Dugger in his next Top 50!

    • Rob Staton

      Not surprised. The more I’ve learnt about him I think teams are going to fall in love. Hitting, athleticism, alpha male, leader, humble, had football adversity. Complete package.

      • Trevor

        If the Hawks has not traded for Diggs, who seems like a great fit for the Hawks defense, I think Dugger would be near the top of the Hawks draft board from everything I have seen, heard and read about him.

        Rob is he a pure Safety or could they view him as a slot CB / Safety hybrid similar to Amadi but bigger and more athletic?

        • Rob Staton

          I think he’s a safety.

          The thing for the Seahawks is — they’ve invested in that position in the last 12 months. They probably would’ve loved him in R3-4. But in round two it might be a bit rich, especially if they want to address WR, DL, OL in the first two rounds.

          • Trevor

            Could not agree more.

  41. Josh

    Excellent information. Thanks Rob, this is a treat every offseason. Appreciate your time time!

    • Rob Staton

      The pleasure is all mine

  42. Hawk Mock

    Thanks Rob. Another great write-up. Super glad you’re a Hawks fan.
    I know you’re an optimist and believe the Hawks will get something done with Clowney, Griffen or via the trade route for defensive line help. But,4 let’s say Clowney takes the money and runs, Griffen goes elsewhere, Jags don’t want to trade Campbell, same with Miller and the Broncos and Reed gets an offer too rich for their liking – what would be an alternative plan that you would like? Any other guys besides Fowler, sleepers that might be able to help fix things in your eyes?

    • Rob Staton

      Well, that’s kind of a doomsday scenario you’re painting there. It’s quite hard to project what they would do in a worst case scenario. If all the players go somewhere else, there aren’t endless options. So they would have to be aggressive in a way I can’t really predict. I suspect they would sign whoever else is at the top of their DL target list and then get after the trade market (which I think is likely anyway).

      But let’s be right here. They have too much cap space to lose Clowney, lose Reed and watch Griffen sign somewhere else. They’re not going to watch that happen and be sat there with all this cap space scratching their heads.

      If Clowney moves on, which I don’t expect, then Reed will be a near certainty to re-sign. I think Griffen has been destined to come to Seattle for a while.

    • BobbyK

      DE Ryan Kerrigan
      DT Ndamukong Suh
      DL Michael Brockers

      Plenty options available. There’s always Davis in the draft, too. I agree with Rob that there’s virtually no way both Clowney and Reed will be gone and think there’s a decent chance both come back – in addition to reinforcements.

      • STTBM

        Bobby, I know you love Suh, but hes a shell of his former self and has little pass rush left. I do like Brockers quite a bit though. Just my two cents!

      • God of Thunder

        I’m worried about Suh’s declining skills/motor.

        I’m also worried about Suh’s declining motivation, although I think he’s interested in money.

  43. Rob Staton

    Recording a new pre-combine podcast with Brandan today. It’ll be a biggie.

    • Trevor

      Looking forward to it!

  44. Trevor

    My Hawks Combine Watch list. (10 Offense, 10 Defense). I have omitted the obvious guys we talk about a lot like Raegor, Aiyuk, R Davis, I Wilson and Chaisson who I think will all shine at the combine.


    -Chase Claypool (WR or TE / ND) Not just because he is a Canadian kid but with the signing of Olson I think he would be the perfect conversion project to give the Hawks a dynamic offensive weapon at TE.

    -Denzel Mims (WR/ Baylor) I thought he was one of the stars of Senior Bowl week. If he runs in the 4.4s I really hope the Hawks give him a look

    -KJ Hill (WR / Ohio St) He looked so smooth at the Senior Bowl and his route running looked NFL ready. How fast will he run is the huge question.

    -Josh Kelly (UCLA/RB) One of my favourite players at the Senior Bowl. I think if the Hawks wait to address the RB spot till day #3 a guy like Kelly would make a ton of sense.

    -Cam Akers (RB/FSU) I think he is going to test off the charts and he looks like an explosive Hawks RB.

    -AJ Dillon (RB/ BC) Supposedly a SPARQ freak. If he tests like that at the combine given his size he could be worth a lot closer look.

    -Ezra Cleveland (OT/ Boise St) Tony Pauline loves this guy. Really anxious to see how he looks.

    Jacob Breeland (TE /Oregon) Seamode really likes this guy and I trust his option.

    Jonah Jackson (G / Ohio St) Not sure he is big enough to be a Gauard for Solari but might make an ideal convert to Center.

    Netani Muti (G/C Fresno St)- All that really matters for him at the combine are the medicals really. But I hope he tests because he looks like an explosive beast. If he is healthy he has the potential to be the best Guard / Center in this draft class IMO.


    – Darrel Taylor (Edge/ Tennessee) Fits the athletic profile to be a LEO. If he can run a 10 yd split in the 1.50’s watch out.

    -Jabari Zuniga (Edge / FLA) Down year but if the injuries are behind him and he tests well might be worth a look .

    -Leki Fotu (DT / Utah) He could be a beast in the middle of a DL if the light comes on. Anxious to see how he tests.

    -Josh Uche (SAM LB / Mich ) I loved his week at the Senior bowl. Looked liked the ideal SAM LB and situational pass rusher. Question is wether or not he is as fast as he looked at the Senior Bowl.

    Troy Dye (LB /Oregon) Everytime I watch him I think there is a potential replacement for KJ at the WIL spot. He has great length but how big and fast is he. Combine will be huge for him.

    Jeremy Chinn (S/ S Ill ) is he as big and athletic as he looks. If so he is going to be a riser.

    Tony Pride Jr (CB/ ND) This is Vol 12’s guy and I loved how competitive he was at the Senior Bowl. Anxious to see him in the drills at the Combine to see if he is a slot CB option.

    Lamar Jackson (CB/ Nebraska) His tape was so much better this year than others and the Nebraska CBS know Pete’s kick step. He is my pick for the Hawks traditional day 3 developmental CB.

    Willie Gray Jr(LB/Miss St) last year players from Miss and Miss St blew up the combine. Will Gray do it this year?

    Neville Gallimore (DT / Ok) He is not a good fit for the Hawks IMO unfortunately but he is a freak athlete and Canadian so I can’t wait to see him at the combine.

    • TomLPDX

      Good list! You mean Gay Jr., not Gray Jr. What are his off-field issues? What range do you expect Jackson to get picked at?

      • Trevor

        Gay Jr got suspended for a couple of games. Not sure the details and did not seem like the same guy when he came back.

        As for Jackson I would think anywhere between Rd 5-7 depending on his combine.

        • Pugs1

          Suspended eight games for cheating with a tutor but worse he punched his own starting QB breaking his orbital bone. Word is the QB instigated it but you got to show better judgement IMO.

  45. TomLPDX

    Thanks for this, Rob…I’m ready to watch the combine with some knowledge!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Tom

  46. Zxvo3

    Man this WR class is full of gems. I can keep naming names at the position for a long time. The newest one I’m looking at is Freddie Swain from Florida. Plays A LOT like Tyler Lockett in terms of his catching style. He is more of a body catcher, which could upset some teams. Yet he’s a threat off of screens, always can create YAC, you can motion him around the field, and his routes are already good but better coaching can make him a really good route runner. He can also return punts. All of it just seems like he’s Tyler Lockett 2.0 before his leg injury.

  47. WALL UP

    You really do set the stage Rob. Great work!

    • Rob Staton


  48. Steve Nelsen

    Any other SDBers #breathingfire today?

    • Eburgz

      Oh yeah. Loving the XFL and the dragons. The line at the pro shop and to get a beer last week were brutal but otherwise a great time. I think they will iron out the kinks. It’s no hawks game but it’s a fraction of the price.

      Want to see #23 get some more carries today. He looks like the best playmaker on the team. Also want to see BJ Daniels get a shot if silvers isn’t able to get it going (off to a good start today though)

      • Steve Nelsen

        Silvers had a rough 2nd half. Keenan Reynolds signed my son’s towel after last week’s game so he immediately became my favorite XFL player.

        It will be fun to see who is able to use this opportunity to get a shot, or another shot, in the NFL. The QB for Houston looks like he can play. He was on Indy’s practice squad last year.

    • TomLPDX

      Definitely! Love me some football. If the XFL does make it and expand, I hope they put a team in Portland…I’d go!

      • Steve Nelsen

        Did you know the Apple Watch gives you a warning when the decibels get too high? My wife’s watch went off several times last week and again this week.

  49. Eburgz

    Thanks for the awesome combine primer Rob.

    *unrealistic pre-combine mock*

    R1 DL Yetur GrossMatos
    R2 Ol Isaiah Wilson
    R2 DB Kyle Dugger
    R3 RB Zach Moss
    R4 WR Byron Edwards/Van Jefferson
    R4 TE Thaddeus Moss
    R5 DL Rashard Lawrence
    R6 CB Lamar Jackson

    • Trevor

      Nice collection of players for sure.

    • Volume12

      Does Seattle have 2 fifths or just 1?

      • John_s

        1. They traded theirs to Detroit and got one back from Pittsburgh

        • Volume12

          Won’t they get a comp pick in the 5th though?

          • John_s

            As of right now they’re projected to get 3,4,6. The only other one they could get would be a 7 for Hundley but it’s unclear how Iupati’s signing affects the 7

      • Greg Haugsven

        Looks like a first-pick mock. That thing is so bad.

        • Eburgz

          Bad as in badass? Or just awful haha

          Crazy thing is lots of draft media projecting these players to last to the ranges I have them in. I’d guess only 1-3 of the players last to where I have us taking them in this scenario. Yet every year I’m surprised by bunch of guys that fall (or go early) in the draft, such a crapshoot with the limited info we get.

  50. BobbyK

    Unbelievable content, Rob. This is the best of the best – including most everything people have to pay for!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Bob, I really appreciate that.

      • Kenny Sloth

        I’m actually a little surprised you haven’t been approached by The Athletic

        • Eburgz

          I almost commented the same exact thing. Lots of good sports articles over there and I think Rob would fit right in and would be a star addition. Big time free agent signing for them. Its like Calais Campbell (Rob) is a street free agent and we have him on our turkey bowl team.

        • TomLPDX

          Me too. They have 2 reporters covering the Seahawks though, MSD and Fentress. I could see Rob doing draft stuff though for the league, highlighting specific college players not just for the Hawks but in general.

    • Eburgz

      Sounds slightly pissed off for greatness.

    • GoHawksDani

      That is cool

  51. Troy

    This might just be your magnum opus Rob. Really amazing stuff. We Seahawks fans are lucky to have you. I would be curious to put this up with professional scouts work to see how it compares. Can’t wait for the combine, personally I’m hoping we get with our first 3 picks (starting caliber T or C, starting caliber WR, and then a defensive play-maker (any position).

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you Troy — and I’m with you on the first three picks.

      • WALL UP

        It would seem to be that out of the first three picks, the Hawks may only get (1) of the top 50 players, or maybe (2) if one slips a bit. Does anyone believe Wilson, Okwara, or the rising Dugger, much less a fast receiver falls past 50?

        It would appear that a selection would need to be made between Okwara & Wilson, due to their position in the draft. If either one falls in their lap, great! It’s probably probably asking JS to pull something out the hat type scenario. We all love JS, but he can’t make dreams come true, can he?😊😊

    • Volume12

      1st pick: Llyod Cushenberry
      2nd pick: Julian Okwara
      3rd pick: Justin Jefferson/Denzel Mims/Bryan Edwards

      While pass rusher is the biggest need and they have in house options, what they do at RT is a question mark too

      • Volume12

        * Lloyd

      • Kenny Sloth

        Starting to like the idea of Okwara

        • Volume12

          Is also tied for the highest pressue % over the last 2 combined years with Curtis Weaver and missed 3 games this year.

          Length, team captain, high character, burst, athleticism, juiced up.

          • Greg Haugsven

            Assuming OL, DL,WR with first three picks what order do we get the best value? Good question to have fun with.

            • Spencer

              Good question… I keep doing those ridiculous 7 round live mock draft and ending up with crazy results.

              Depends how the board falls obviously, Isaiah Wilson, Okwara/Davis, or Aiyuk/Raegor would be awesome with the first pick. I think it depends on which of those five are there. Personally, I like Davis or Raegor the most of those 5. The OL depth is great, I like a lot of the guys projected in round 2 and 3 (Damien Lewis, Stanberg, etc). so I think it makes more sense to wait on OL.


      • Kenny Sloth

        Pauline said we’d focus on both trenches early and I’d be pretty happy with those players plus a weapon. Really like this scenario actually

      • WALL UP

        Lloyd held up well against Brown in the Auburn game. He reminds me a lot of Lemuel Jean Pierre, though Lloyd is a bit bigger, his technique is quite similar. Both are smart players.

        Glad to hear Lemuel is a assistant OL coach in Miami behind Marshall, the 40yr vet OL coach. Lemuel may be groomed to be in charge of an OL group sometime soon. He was like a coach on the field when he was with the Hawks, and really hated to see him leave their OL room.

        It takes time to adjust to all the nuances of the pro game, and it looks like potentially Lloyd could make those necessary adjustment quickly. But, that change under center may be what Pete was talking about when he preferred things do not change on the OL.

        All the calls and checks stem from the center position as you know, and it may be a challenge to develop that rapport all over again, out of the gate. I think they would like start off rolling with Britt back under center.

        For this reason they may restructure his contract and keep Joey as insurance, and still keep Pocic in the wings in case of injury. The only problem with the center position, outside of Joey getting blown up every once and a while, is Britt’s cap hit. I think everyone knows, including Britt, that chances are that will have to be adjusted in order to keep handing the ball to Russ. It would be surprising not to see a deal done in the coming weeks with Britt. We’ll see.

        But, I do like Lloyd, although I would prefer Wilson playing RT and Fant @ LT after Brown completes his tenure with the Hawks. Who knows, Britt may still be under center then.

      • Trevor

        I could get down with those picks for sure. If they address the DL in free agency it makes a ton of sense. Would allow them to move on from Britt as well.

        1st Pick:Cushenberry or Ruiz
        2nd Pick : Okwara or Uche
        3rd Picks Jefferson or Mims

        • Greg Haugsven

          You just wo der what order would get you the best value? Obviously it depends on the draft.

          1.WR, DL,OL
          2. WR, OL, DL
          3. DL, OL, WR
          4. DL, WR, OL
          5. OL, DL, WR
          6. OL, WR, DL

  52. Jeremy

    Awesome stuff Rob!! Thanks again for all the hard work!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Jeremy, appreciate it.

  53. Greg Haugsven

    Still keeping an eye out for my draft crush Amik Robertson. Hopi g he does well at the combine but not to well.

    • Henry Taylor

      With you all the way on Amik, watched a few more of his games yesterday, would love him to be our slot guy.

  54. Volume12

    Not a coincidence.

    Seattle has drafted 18 times in the 1st and 2nd round combined under PC/JS. 14 of those have come from the SEC, BIG 10, and BIG 12.

    • Volume12

      4 of their 7 1st round selections, not including trades or trade backs, have been from the BIG12. That might be more coincidental.

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect that’s the case for most teams though

  55. STTBM

    I will echo the chorus–fantastic writeup Rob! Its gonna be fun watching the process, and finding out which guys on your watch list end up in Seattle.

    I can finally comment! Hasnt worked from any of my phones all season!

    I wanted to say how funny I found your references to Earls terrible tackling technique and penchant for missed tackles. Every time I or someone else would mention that in comments (usually on other blogs) it caused a near riot. Earl was great, but he surely wasnt perfect.
    Nice to see Truth stated without everyone foaming at the mouth…

    Collier seems like a guy who might turn out to be a decent player, but hes not got the atleticism to be great. A wasted pick at this point, unless he defies the odds and somehow becomes a special player.

    You havent said much about Blacklock. What do you think? Probably too high for Seattle to take a DT unless Reed leaves, but from where I sit, Seattle better make the Dline 2 of their first three picks unless free agency works out in tremendous fashion…

    • Rob Staton

      Blacklock’s very busy. Moves around the line to find openings. The thing is, Seattle doesn’t do that. It’s a one-gap, very disciplined approach. So if he’s going to be an option —- he’s going to need to change his approach. And he also needs to test very well. They’re not going to draft a modest athlete from TCU in round one this year. Not after last year.

      • STTBM

        Excellent points Rob, and thanks for the reply. Seattle seems to value discipline over all else for DT’s: they have to be unselfish players. Thats a big part of why they didnt retain S. Richardson–he wasnt an awesome run stuffer, nor as good a pass rusher as he fancied himself. Seattle doesnt seem to value the position as highly as the majority of the league. Richardson was a bit of a tweener player, decent vs the run and in pass rush, but not special at either…so they didnt pay him.

        Im wondering if they adjust a bit. Ever since they chose Rubin over Mebane, the run D has struggled. It looked like a good choice at the time, but Rubin fell apart after one good year, while Mebane is still a decent player…sometimes thats how it goes…but perhaps with all their struggles to stop the run in recent years, perhaps they will place a bit more emphasis on the DT position…?

        • Rob Staton

          A main issue with Seattle’s run defense IMO is their inability to defend the perimeter, rather than the stuff up the middle.

          • Greg Haugsven

            Agree completely. Teams also did a lot of end arounds on us as well which really hurt us. In between the tackles we were fine.

  56. WALL UP

    When you think of the draft JS&Co, automatically think of trading dn. This year is probably not different. As much as most of us would like to have Reagor, Wilson & Dugger, that probably won’t happen. So, the 1st trade could be facilitated with IND’s 44, 75, 211 [682pts] for SEA’s 27 [680pts].

    Trade #2 is up with CHI for 50, 196 [413pts] for SEA’s 59, 100, 214 [415.8pts]. CHI is need of picks, without a 1st & 3rd Rd picks.

    Trade #3 is dn with DEN’s 77, 115, 237 [270pts] for SEA’s 64 [270pts]. DEN has (11) picks, the 1st & 2nd they may use for WR, DL respectively. Pick 64 can bring them either Dantzler, Johnson or best available DB. The following are who I hope they select:

    44. Isaiah Wilson RT
    50. Kyle Dugger SS/LB
    75. Amik Robertson NB/CB
    77. Antonio Gibson RB/WR
    115. Willie Gay Jr. OLB
    130. Bryan Edwards WR (due to injury), or Van Jefferson.
    143. Kevin Dotson OG
    154. AJ Dillon RB/FB
    196. O. Betiku DE
    211. Quartney Davis WR
    237. Matthew Wilkerson TE

    The DLine should be addressed in FA acquisitions. As much as I would love to have Reagor, I just don’t see how it is possible without missing out on Wilson, or Dugger.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Isaiah Wilson will almost certainly be gone before 27. It is a deep draft for OL so maybe some guys rise in the combine and maybe Wilson slips if teams see him as RT-only. If he gets to 27, we draft him and start him.

      • WALL UP

        There’s the tendency to grade our preferences higher than those having other needs and preferences. That’s why giving consideration for others outside of our network, gives a better perception of where a player may fall in the draft.

        I’ve yet to find a board consistently placing Wilson in the 1st Rd. Granted, there are more 1st Rd players than the 32 spots in 1st Rd. The averages of where he’s ranked is about at 61. Obviously these are not GMs or active scouts in the industry. But some have been at it for awhile, as prior scouts and GMs.

        There are a number of talented players available and the risk that he would still be available could be determined by knowing the needs of those who pick ahead of you. JS is really good at that. If he sees that Wilson needs to go earlier, I’m sure he’d make the right call.

        Playing the board as long as you can affords the opportunity for more valuable picks, which he’s good at. There are other trade options with LAC @ 37, CLE @ 41, CIN @ 34. The teams up to that point have other needs for higher rated players on their boards.

        Let’s wait and see how he fairs in the next two weeks. That should give us a better perspective of where he lands.

        • Rob Staton

          Isaiah Wilson is really good though. People are sleeping on him in a major way. I wouldn’t pay any attention to averaging 61st on big boards or any of that jazz. Most of those big boards are useless anyway.

          If he’s there for Seattle, it’ll be a massive slice of luck and he could easily be their pick.

          • OregonHawk

            Is one of the reasons for the trade out of the first round Value?

            IE they only have X number of players valued as 1st round quality and by their original pick there are not any left?

            • WALL UP

              If you can trade down and still get your pick, you’re gaining value for your selection, sometimes an additional player or two. Last year was a good example of how JS works the board to maximize the value.

            • Rob Staton

              Yes, it’s about having players in bunches and most of the time getting the guy you want albeit with a few extra picks.

  57. Kingdome1976

    Make a list of 10 guys you would want the Seahawks to draft in the first 2 rounds….Then burn the list. lol

    • Rob Staton

      Not really.

      I mean, we had plenty of people talking about Collier, Blair and Metcalf on here 12 months ago. We were one of the very few places to refer to Marquise Blair as a likely second rounder. We also discussed the possibility of Metcalf falling, despite his great combine leading to overwhelming top-10 mock projections. I wrote numerous times about Collier.

      The year prior we ran through the entire running back class.

      We didn’t project Malik McDowell to Seattle because so much of his character didn’t chime with what they’d gone for. Yet I wrote two articles specifically discussing him, including this line:

      “If the Seahawks are seriously considering him it’s surely either after trading down from #26 or if they choose to try and move up from #58. It’s much easier to imagine Seattle taking a chance on him in round two where the stakes aren’t as high.”

      I think strictly speaking, we’ve done a decent job narrowing the candidates. And people have been able to target the players they want from a position of strength. The perception is the Seahawks always do the unexpected but I can’t recall the last time they did something majorly unexpected.

      • Kingdome1976

        I was really talking about myself. I make a list of about 10 players that I would like to Seahawks to get and not the players I think they will get every year and I’ve only hit on 2 of them the last 5 years.

        Funny thing is when I look back on my lists the majority of them have turned out pretty good for other teams. But I think the Seahawks have a different approach on how they pick players. It’s all good, I wasn’t trying to bash anybody or especially this blog. My apologies.

        • Rob Staton

          No problem. I wasn’t meaning to bash you back either. It was more a push back against the suggestion which is made frequently that the Seahawks always make surprising moves, which isn’t really the case. Which I can see now was not the point you were trying to make. So apologies.

          • Kingdome1976


  58. EranUngar

    Here are a few fact behind some strange thoughts regarding the Seahawks priority positions this off season:

    In the past 5 years – the NFC team that made it to the SB was – The best scoring offense in the NFC (CAR, ATL, PHI, LAR, SF). “ofense wins football games but defense win championships” – not lately in the NFC.

    Of those 5 NFC champions – None of them was the top scoring defense in the NFC – None.

    But surly defenses matter so they must have had decent defenses – Well yes, CAR’s scoring defense was ranked 6th in the NFL, PHI was 4th and SF was 8th in the NFL but, and its a big but, ATL’s scoring defense was ranked 27th and the RAMS were 20th!!!!

    Going into 2020, we are much closer to fielding the best scoring offense in the NFC than fielding a top 10 defense and maybe, just maybe, that can get you to the SB.

    So, after signing the pillar of the DL (say Clowney…) and after having signed Olsen already, out next big investment should be in the OL???

    Use what’s left of your cap into the DL and draft the best available WR3 in the first round. It could get you the best scoring offense in the NFC and we know where that leads….

    Crazy right?

    P.S. – before the analytics crown charge in to declare it must be done by passing constantly – 3 of the 5 teams did it with a very prolific run game – CAR, ATL, SF…

    • Spencer

      Paying huge money for marginal upgrades on the OL is a terrible idea and I’m not sure why fans want it so bad. OL is a league wide issue, none of the guys are that much of a significant upgrade, especially not for the money they’ll be commanding.

      • EranUngar

        I am sure you can understand why fans may want a decent OL.

        I am also sure you are aware that we currently do not have a RT (and LG) and both candidates (Ifedi, Fant) are free agents. Somebody will need to play that position next year.

        Taking it all the way to “Paying huge money for marginal upgrades” is your evaluation of what could/should be done not mine. I did not bang the table for Conklin to get a king’s ransom or anything close to it.

        I’m just saying – make your plan and execute it before you finish rebuilding the DL.

        Hopefully it will be a significant upgrade over Demarco Jones for a reasonable money…

        • Rob Staton

          It’s as simple as this:

          Free agency — strong at DL, expensive and not great on OL

          Draft — excellent for guards, good for center’s and strong early for tackles but weak for DL

          Plus they could retain George Fant for all we know.

    • Rob Staton

      Here’s the problem though Eran.

      Nobody is saying, ‘the Seahawks need an elite defense to return to the Super Bowl’.

      The point is, the Seahawks were literally in the bottom five for pass rush, pressure, run defense and missed tackles. You simply cannot compete with that as the case. It doesn’t matter what your offense does. You can’t be absolutely blindingly terrible on defense.

      The Seahawks improving from the #5 DVOA defense to #3 won’t make any difference to their chances of winning. Improving their pass rush and run defense will dramatically improve their chances of winning.

      And whenever people talk about the O-line, they never have any realistic solutions.

      • STTBM

        While some ideas on fixing the line were pie in the sky or just bad, there were some legit options mentioned that might have led to better results. For instance, awhile back Larry Warford was available cheap, and he seemed to fit our needs: Seattle passed, and he quickly became a Pro Bowler. Seattle got cheap and let Sweezy go and replaced him with Solaris buddy Iupati, a guy who hadnt made it through a season in six years. Iupati wasnt nearly as good as Sweezy, and he very predictably got hurt. Now hes a good bet to retire.

        Surely hindsight is 20/20, but there were ideas that would have been far better than what occurred. Im not saying JS PC and Solari are terrible, but theyve done a below-average job fixing the line. Look how fast Indy fixed their line! Whether its never getting a top-15 pick, saving money for other positions of need, poor talent eval, or sub-par coaching, Seattle has doon a rather poor job building the line since 2006. I would argue theyve been guilty of all of the above.

        As for us not having a LG, weve got Pocic, who actually looked ok before getting hurt. Though he could ostensibly play C if Britt is let go…

        I do recognize how difficult building a line is, especially with the cap space Wilson is assigned….

        • Rob Staton

          Larry Warford signed an $8.5m a year contract in 2017. That was the year before they signed JR Sweezy and a year before they cut the likes of Bennett and Sherman and saw Avril and Chancellor retire. They didn’t have the cap space to spend $8m a year on a guard in 2017.

          This is what I’m talking about here. The scenario of signing Warford you proposed isn’t correct. You then mention how quickly Indy fixed their line. Yes — by spending a #6 overall pick on a guard and a top-20 pick on a center. The Seahawks haven’t had that luxury, have they?

          I’m sure if Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly was available in the late 20’s or 30’s they too would’ve fixed their line to a level fans are happy with.

          • STTBM

            Didnt Warford sign a one-year prove-it deal the year before? My admittedly poor memory had it at 1.7 million but I very well could be mistaken. I did mention Seattle not having a top-15 pick…And my point was theyve not managed to even get to mediocre on the line except in 2013 when they had the NFL’s most expensive line but still werent great, for nearly 15 years. Theyve put nearly rhe same level of draft capital into their line as Dallas, but to far poorer results.

            My opinion is their habit of focusing on a position of need with their first couple pucks, rather than the most special player they can use has hurt them.

            A big part of Indys line is good coaching, to say nothing of cast-off former Hawk Mark Glowinsky, who is pretty good.

            Seattle has done a poor job despite dedicating alot of resources to the problem. Its one of their failures, and a big reason we cant get past the Divisional round.

            However, its far from the only reason. They blew most of four drafts in a row, before the last couple years. And they struggled to find and develop replacements for Clemons, Avril, Mebane, and Bennett.

            JS and PC are good at what they do, but they have made serious blunders. How they address those moving foward–from Carrols didintegrating clock management and bad trades for offensive players, to JS’s draft booboos–will define their legacy and possibly Russell Wilsons. Im hoping they get it figured out.

            • Rob Staton

              1. Larry Warford signed a $34m contract with the Saints in 2017. There was no prove it year. And you claimed the Seahawks botched it passing on him to ‘go cheap’ with Sweezy instead. Can you at least acknowledge you were wrong on that before further bashing the team?

              2. They’ve been mediocre on the line for the last two years. Not great but nowhere near as terrible as people will have you believe. One of the reasons the line struggled after the Super Bowl is they needed to make a saving somewhere if people wanted them to keep Russell, Sherm, Kam, Earl, Bobby, Marshawn, Doug etc. They tried to build and develop a line and struggled. But they had little choice.

              3. Dallas had a top-10 pick at left tackle, a top-16 pick at guard and a first round center. The Seahawks have invested to try and create a line but please — stop comparing them to teams who have had picks earlier than Seattle.

              4. It’s not one of the reasons why the Seahawks can’t get past the divisional round. A year ago they were crap in the first half and then a second half comeback was foiled because they couldn’t stop a QB draw on 3rd and 15. Dallas were just better on the day and deserved to win. This year they flopped because of a crap start (again) and defense.

              5. Seattle has not blown four drafts in a row. That’s a silly thing to say. They’ve not had the success of 2010-12 but fans need to get a grip on this. Look at the Pats’ drafts over the years. If you expect greatness all the time you will be disappointed. All of the good teams face runs like this, normally because they pick at the end of every round. The Seahawks have still found some good players. In 2016 alone they found a consistent four year starter at RT who is about to be paid, they moved up for Jarran Reed and they selected Quinton Jefferson. Three good additions. Since then they’ve added Shaquill Griffin, Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf and Will Dissly plus Tre Flowers, Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes who have shown flashes. We’ll see whether Blair, Collier and Barton etc can equally become effective.

              6. They have a big off-season ahead but this ‘sky is falling’ and ‘legacies will be defined’ stuff is melodramatic. They won the first ever Super Bowl in Seahawks history. Their legacies are secure.

      • EranUngar

        You hit the nail on the head there Rob – “whenever people talk about the O-line, they never have any realistic solutions”.

        Does that not scare you?

        I admit, I do not even have a reasonable suggestion regarding how to man the RT spot if Ifedi(very likely) and Fant(possibly) price themselves outside of our range.

        We will need to someone at that position and Jones or a rookie will be a big step back.

        We all come up with valid ideas for the DL but I have yet to see a reasonable idea for the RT spot beyond resigning Ifedi/Fant. Makes me feel uneasy….

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not scared at all to be honest.

          There are options in this draft that we’ve talked about — such as Isaiah Wilson, Austin Jackson, Lucas Niang.

          I also think Ifedi and Fant will have cooler markets than many seem to assume. And Jared Veldheer had a good spell in Green Bay last year and could be a fill-in option for 2020 or a hedge.

          People often forget — right tackle is one of the few positions on the field that receives help all the time. And how many teams with the best O-lines have won Championship’s recently? How many teams in the playoffs had fantastic or well paid right tackles?

        • Steve Nelsen

          There are a number of mediocre veteran FA tackles. If they don’t sign Ifedi or Fant cheap, they could bring in a guy with a background and contract similar to Iupati and draft a rookie to compete/develop.

          I’m not worried about LG. Both Jones and Haynes looked good in fill-in duty last year.

          I’m sure they will keep Britt, maybe with a restructure. But with the OL depth in this draft I expect them to draft a replacement for Hunt.

          • Rob Staton

            I could see them going after Daryl Williams at Carolina.

      • Dingbatman

        Last year #3 dvoa offense….Kansas City. But their defense was definitely better than Seattle also.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s my whole point.

          Kansas City weren’t bottom five in sacks, pressures, run defense and missed tackles.

          Seattle were.

          And that’s why being #5 on offense in DVOA didn’t land a realistic shot at a Championship.

        • John_s

          Kansas City’s defense was the best scoring defense over the course of the second half. The defense played a bigger part in winning the super bowl than is giving credit for

    • cha

      In the past 5 years – the NFC team that made it to the SB was – The best scoring offense in the NFC (CAR, ATL, PHI, LAR, SF). “ofense wins football games but defense win championships” – not lately in the NFC.

      Carolina – lost to the #3 scoring defense in the NFL
      Atlanta – lost to the #1 scoring defense in the NFL
      Philly – won with the #4 scoring defense in the NFL
      Rams – lost to the #7 scoring defense in the NFL
      Niners – lost to the #7 scoring defense in the NFL

      Seahawks were #22 scoring defense last year. The area needing improvement is clear.

  59. i_heart_meatballs

    Rob, first time commentor but a longtime reader. I’ve followed pretty much every word on this site for the last 5-6 years. Your work, like others have said many times before, is stellar. I truly appreciate what you do, what you’ve taught me about playing armchair GM, and your commitment to making this community so damn special. Thank you sir! Now on to the football stuffs…

    I spent time last night watching some Raekwon Davis highlights and interviews—the kid is physically gifted. That said, his interviews left much to be desired. I get that not everyone is a media darling… but there was definitely a Malik McDowell vibe emanating from him. The best word I could come up with was uncomfortable. He wasn’t as much of a hermit as Malik, but I think JSPC think twice about spending a high pick on such a gamble. Maybe I’m wrong… I’d love to hear some feedback from you or the rest of the crew.

    I don’t think I’ve seen this name floating around but forgive me if someone’s already brought him up—Justin Madubuike, DT out of Texas A&M. He’s quick, powerful, and could potentially play up and down the line. He was originally recruited as a DE. Has anyone else spent time looking at his tape? What do you think?

    Thanks again to everyone on this site… cheers!

    • Von

      He’s my #3 DT this year behind Brown & Kinlaw of course. Very quick off the ball.

    • Rob Staton

      Raekwon Davis’ interviews are poor. They’re not at Malik McDowell levels. I don’t think anyone will ever be that bad. But it’s admittedly the one thing that gives me pause for thought. Is he the type of character they’re looking for? I’m not sure. And the McDowell pick will still impact how they plan ahead. Yet they’ve been after a body/frame like Davis’ for years and that also is a factor. And they’re not going to draft or not draft a player purely on the way he interviews. So they’ll do their tests. I can see him coming in for a VMAC visit. They will get to know him and make a call.

      The problem with Madubuike is size. Not sure he has the length they look for and early in the draft they’re going to want a DL with traits. So he’d need to test very well. On tape my initial look was — I wasn’t blown away. But I’ll watch more.

  60. Positrac

    Armed with the knowledge gained here (what a luxury to have such high quality info available) I have been playing over at fanspeak. It is fun to go through the 7 round mock drafts using different big boards. Here is my most recent:

  61. Gaux Hawks

    My impatience strikes again… helps sending this out into the universe.

    1 Isaiah Wilson, T (trade down)
    2 Raekwon Davis, DT
    2 Brandon Aiyuk, WR
    3 Willie Gay Jr, LB
    3 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB (steal)
    4 Logan Sternberg, G
    4 Rashard Lawrence, DT

    FA Greg Olsen, TE
    FA Everson Griffen, DE
    FA Arik Armstead, DT

    Keep Britt & Fant
    Lose Reed, Jefferson & Ifedi

    Can we keep Wright? Still missing speed off the edge…

    • Greg Haugsven

      Not sure you could ask for a better draft than that. Only objection I have is I dont think they go for a big splash on outside free agency. (Armstead)

    • Bigten

      This is exactly how I would like to see it playing out in the first 4 rounds.

  62. Kyle

    I keep seeing Delpit mocked after us. Rob, you were mocking him top 5 earlier, do you still feel he is that good? And if he fell to us at our native pick m, would you snap draft him?

    • Rob Staton

      Yes I still think he is awesome.

      It depends what they do in FA. You can’t ignore glaring needs to have Delpit share snaps with Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair and Bradley McDougald.

  63. STTBM

    As for which area needs improvement the most, I agree its the D, specifically the line, pass rush and run d. However, the Oline needs improvement as well, to keep Russ from taking such a beating. He cant keep getting hit so often and play to 40 or better. Plus, another fast WR is needed.

    As much as I think we are desperate for a Leo and a fine DT, if this draft is better at WR and OL, Id like to see Seattle go BPA with their first three picks.

    • Rob Staton

      Ah yes, the token ‘stop Russ from getting a beating’ line.

      How many sacks are on Wilson? A lot. Either because he sits in the pocket too long or scrambles into trouble. It will be that way forever. And it’s fine. It comes with his brilliance. Seattle’s pass-pro hasn’t been great but people need to realise and understand that when you have a scrambling 5-10 QB, sacks are going to happen.

      Look, we all get that Seattle has to work it out on the OL with three starters reaching free agency. They will sort it out. They have options.

      • STTBM

        Token argument? I dont think thats fair, Rob. Its a legit concern. Of course, your point about many sacks being on Wilson is also legitimate. But there were so many times Wilson was hammered before he had a chance to do anything, to say nothing of how well stunts worked against us, that I feel it validates my argument.

        Seattle doesnt need to have even a top 5 Oline, but getting towards 15 would help a ton. Im not one of those that thinks we have to have our 2005 line to win, or that we have to neglect the Defense to fix it. Its a delicate dance, but improving both lines is imperative.

        It seems you feel Seattle could and should use FA dor the Dline, and draft for the Oline and WR, since the drafts strengths are those positions. I can see the sense in that, I just hope they choose a couple Olinemen who can play, and whatever FA Dlinemen we get do a heckuva lot more than Ansah and Woods. Not that Woods was bad, but he left us in the lurch with his PED suspension…

        As you say, our holes are fixable, and there is plenty of time to watch their Plan unfold.

        • Rob Staton

          “But there were so many times Wilson was hammered before he had a chance to do anything”

          Welcome to the NFL! This is the way it is. This is the case for every QB.

          “I just hope they choose a couple Olinemen who can play”

          But this in itself is the problem. There is a league-wide problem in finding ‘linemen who can play’. This isn’t a Seattle-only issue. Throwing $15m at a guy (Conklin) who wasn’t given his fifth year option despite the desperate need for OL across the league isn’t a solution. Neither is paying $13m to a guard who’s missed 15 games in the last three seasons (Scherff). You do your evaluations. You try and find the players to make it work. It’s also incredibly difficult.

          They will have a plan. It’ll be fine. It’s a better OL draft. But for all the moaning that goes on about Seattle’s O-line, they were the #5 DVOA offense last year. Russell Wilson was a strong MVP candidate. They ran the ball effectively. The line wasn’t amazing but it was good enough for all of this to be true. And yet the defense was an absolute disaster zone.

          • STTM

            Im not arguing against the strong need for Dline, nor that our defense wasnt awful. Our defense was simply pitiful. However, I dont see anyone likely to be there at our pick in the first who is a sure bet DE or even a stud DT.

            Also, Ive never advocated for Conklin, Scherff, or spending 13-15 million per year on guys like them. Theres got to be a better way. Drafting a quality C and RT would go a long way towards improving our situation.

            • Rob Staton

              We have talked in great detail about drafting O-liners — center, guard or tackle.

  64. cha

    Where is the community on pursuing Snacks Harrison?

    Feels like he’d be an ideal replacement for Jarran Reed, and if Reed’s market is cool they could bring him back on a one year deal and have nice inside depth.

    Snacks seems like a player that could pair with Poona inside and really help the rush defense, and LB play would benefit tremendously by Harrison keeping them clean.

    Pair him with the potential acquisitions being discussed (some combo of Clowney, Griffen, Fowler, etc) and I think you’ve got a nice mix of inside / outside pressure.

    What will it take to get him? A 2 year/$12m deal with $7m guaranteed?

    • Rob Staton

      I think he’ll be a waste of money. Has lost his effectiveness, has contemplated retirement and Detroit are the second team to move on now.

      • cha

        You don’t think the two teams moving on had as much to do with that insane contracts/cap hit as his play?

        A 5 year $46.5m deal for a stuffer with a small bit of pass rush capability is a fools’ bargain. It wasn’t a surprise that all the NYG could get in trade was a 5th round pick. And the $11m extension Detroit signed was also silly.

        • Rob Staton

          I just don’t think a recently cut, extremely rich, 350lbs defensive tackle who turns 32 in November is the solution for this team. They need hungry, young, pissed off players on the DL. Snacks Harrison has been weighing up whether to call it a day.

          • STTBM

            I concur Rob. There were times with Detroit he looked like a great get, but his play fell off a cliff and he doesnt seem to have the old fire in his belly. Kind of like Suh, another guy I feel is done. IF Harrison could be signed for cheap, with incentives, Id consider it. IF his lethargy is related to being stuck on crap teams, and not because hes old, fat, and lazy. Those are two big IFs.

            As for young hungry DT’s, do you have any in mind in FA?

            • Rob Staton

              Not in outside FA. The hungriest DT on the market will be Jarran Reed on a prove-it deal.

              • STTBM

                I hope they find a way to keep Reed, even if its a one year deal. I couldnt think of a good young DT available who wouldnt break the bank, which is why I asked. I was hoping Id overlooked someone!

                • Jhams

                  Danny Shelton would be as good as Reed but much cheaper in my opinion.

                  • DougM

                    Shelton has 61 tackles in 508 defensive snaps. That is the best percentage (12%) for defensive lineman free agents. Reed (5.4), Al Woods (6.9), Q. Jefferson (4.3), Clowney (4.9), Green (4.8), Ford (6.1), Jackson (4.6), Ansah (5.2), Collier (1.9), Mone (2.0).

    • Davido

      I think we have always gotten players like Woods last year that will have similar or even better production with a lot less of a headache.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Snacks is coming off injuries, had a down year and is contemplating retirement so there are some red flags. The best run-stuffing FA DT in my opinion is DJ Reader.

      • Davido

        I feel like Reader is getting big bucks this offseason. Re-signing Woods might be our best option. He was pretty good when playing and won’t be expensive.

  65. Eburgz

    How do you guys feel about linebacker from Ohio state Malik Harrison?
    Watched a couple tapes of his after Nagy posted these clips. Looks like a hard nosed WILL with sideline to sideline speed.

    • Rob Staton

      I wonder about his speed/quickness but we’ll find out next week. He’s aggressive though, which is at least welcome to see after the Cody Barton experience in 2019.

      • BobbyK

        You mean you don’t like QBs like Aaron Rodgers putting the smackdown on your LBs?

        • Rob Staton

          I will never ever forget that play.

      • Zxvo3

        I never really understood what happened to Barton. The way the coaches were talking about him in training camp / preseason I thought the dude was going to beat out KJ for the starting job. But when he got his chance when Kendricks went down he was so below average.

      • STBM

        I thought Barton made big strides at the end of the year, and looked pretty good. His first start was rough, but thats not uncommon. Was I the only one encouraged by his play at the end?

        • Rob Staton

          I thought the only improvement was later in the year he wasn’t making the titanic errors that jumped off the screen. His play was still completely unspectacular at best. There just wasn’t any aggression to his play. He needs to up the ante in year two and get after it. You’re a linebacker, not a librarian.

          • charlietheunicorn

            You are starting to sound like Dave Wyman. LOL

            One of his favorite phrase is…. “LB are made to hit people” and “I would never trust a LB that isn’t angry and ready to rip the guys head off”

            • Rob Staton

              Dave is the best

              • STTBM

                Wow, ok…I get Barton was thinking too much, but to me a lot of his errors were too much aggression…that play vs Rodguhs notwithstanding…but dang, yall are seriously making me doubt my sanity; wish I could watch those games again…maybe Im nuts…

    • Michael Hasslinger

      I am super intrigued. Decent length. Hips looked flexible enough. Seems to be a solid tackler. All about the shuttle 🤔.

  66. Zane

    RE O-line concerns: I agree with Rob that the lamentations are overblown.
    First of all, the line wasn’t bad last year outside of a few games (Arz!). Go check the tape from our last game– the line played fine despite facing GB’s passrush. Competency was the rule, not the exception.

    Now, obviously we don’t want the line to regress this offseason; ideally it would improve. My point would be that this shouldn’t be hard to achieve.
    There’s only two positions we need to address: RT & Center. Not worried about LG– Iupati will be upgraded by Haynes, who looked excellent vs GB. At Center, either we can restructure Britt or slot in Pocic, a FA, or a rookie. Lots of options. At RT, either we resign Ifedi cheaply, or we draft a replacement who can’t be much worse.

    • Rob Staton

      Completely agree.

      And it’s a good OL draft.

      • Zxvo3

        Rob what range do you see Prince Tega Wanogho falling to? I’m assuming he will fall since he won’t be participating in the combine which was most likely where his stock was going to go up.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not sure. For me he’s a highly athletic, talented tackle prospect with major upside and an ideal frame. Those players don’t tend to last. But being unable to perform could impact him.

        • Von

          I hope he falls to the bottom of round 2. After a little trade down, I’d like to see:


    • Steve Nelsen

      I think your assessment of the OL is spot on Zane. And I agree with your plan for C and RT 100%. I would add Jamarco Jones into the mix as competition with Haynes for the LG spot.

      The depth in this IOL class should allow them to find another G and C in addition to RT. If we see a guy with a high-TEF and a Day 3 grade (like Haynes last year) pencil him in.

    • Davido

      I can’t fully agree. Yes the OLine issues are overblown but what annoys me the most is the inconsistency on almost every spot. Ifedi could hold himself up 1v1 against good passrushers but then he also kills drives by stupid penalties or whiffed blocks, Fluker tends to make big errors in passblock and is never going to play a full season, Britt is solid but coming of an injury, Iupati was not good and injured too. Haynes/Jones showed something but can we trust them to start next season?
      All this makes me believe that we shouldn’t call the line “competent” as it stands right now.

      About the improvement you are right, all these problems can be fixed but Im not sure if it is as easy. Here most people want to roll with Fant at RT. Where does the trust for him come from? Has he ever shown he will be a better RT than Ifedi? We all hope he is but coaches sticked with Ifedi for a reason.
      We can snack an inside OLineman in the draft since there are good options. But should we bank on them to be a decent starter in year 1?

      My development expectations:
      Brown – (Unlikely he will be better than last year because he is getting up there in age)
      LG + (Assuming we draft a guard that is better than Iupati or Haynes steps up)
      C = (About equal if we either continue with Britt or draft a good C)
      RG = (we probably stick with Fluker with Jones being a competent backup)
      RT – (we let Ifedi go and Fant takes over which should be a downgrade)

      This makes me thinking that unless we sign a RT in FA the OLine will not be better than last year. That’s why I am not completely against the idea of signing a guy like Conklin. OLine talent might be good but with our picks + trading down we can not expect to land a good RT year 1. I would prefer not to have another Ifedi experience during Russ prime.

      • Rob Staton

        1. If you go and speak to fans of most of the other 31 teams, they’ll tell you their O-line’s are majorly inconsistent too.

        2. It’s not a case of ‘trust’ in George Fant and ‘wanting’ to roll with him. It’s an acceptance that Ifedi might move on and retaining Fant, if nothing else, provides some continuity and a hedge for the draft. And with the needs on the DL, if they can get Fant at a modest price (I think they can) it enables you to focus on other needs with greater urgency.

        3. They aren’t signing Jack Conklin. Let’s just establish that today. They are not signing a $15m a year right tackle.

        4. The current ‘Ifedi experience’ didn’t prevent Russ having a MVP caliber season or the offense from being top-five per DVOA.

        • Davido

          1: Good point, OLine are generally not appreciated enough. I still don’t believe we should be happy with ours. Some more continuity, less injuries, less filling guys that do “okay for being a backup” would help this offense tremendously.
          2: Okay agree, it’s still probably a downgrade.
          3: Yes you are probably right I don’t see this neither. Bulaga might be a choice, right?
          4: Well Russ did that without a starting TE, no WR3 too. We still need that. If you say Russ deserves more weapons then he also deserves better protection or am I missing something?

          Ifedi experience: Drafting a talented tackle that has physical traits but needs time to get going.
          The first few years are terrible and then when he finally gets it done he will reach FA.

          • Rob Staton

            I doubt they sign Bulaga either unless he’s cheap.

            • Davido

              Bulaga reminds me of Lang that they tried to sign. Maybe it’s only because they were both playing for Green Bay but it has shown that they are willing to spend some money if they see the need.

              • Rob Staton

                They weren’t needing to fix an entire defensive line when they tried (and failed) to sign TJ Lang.

  67. charlietheunicorn

    Example: Prince Tega Wanogho

    Rob and the gang, if he is unable to test at his pro day and at the combine, what would be the best way to evaluate and project a guy into the NFL? Would it be game tape from CFB, interviews or some other metric (such as physical traits like his size)? Would digging up a SPARQ score from him entering CFB be worthwhile…. perhaps even digging into HS tape along the way? How would you approach evaluating a prospect / what is the process that Seattle utilizes to evaluate him?

    • Rob Staton

      We can’t do much on the outside. The team can get info on what he was testing, they can have him do a workout if possible.

      Apparently he can run a 4.95 and jump a 32 inch vertical.

    • Eburgz

      You watch him play Charlie. Not high school tape! As many and as recent CFB games as you can find on YouTube. The tape is always the most important part of the evaluation process IMO.

      In this case the Prince is a good athlete and him not testing at the combine won’t hurt his stock too bad I’d think. Him not being healthy could be a concern though.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s only swelling from a knee clean up.

  68. WALL UP

    KC has set a standard for offenses with dynamic speed at WR, as a lethal weapon. Trying to match the offensive output is all well and good, but a greater emphasis should be made on how to stop it. The Niners had a formidable front 7, with an elite DL, and still came up short.

    Even with Sherm in the backfield, they didn’t have enough speed to keep up with their dynamic WRs. My point is, just improving the Hawks pass rush is just part of what is needed to hoist the Lombardy again.

    The present backfield needs more speed on the edges, the slot, and in the middle of their defense. I proposed an option to address this issue with Slay as part of the solution with his 4.3 speed, and man cover skills. Chances are that will not happen. If you can’t find help thru free agency, then the draft is the only alternative for now.

    So, whatever mock draft that is attributed to the Hawks, a ball hawking, tight man covering slot corner with 4.3 speed, should be a high priority. This along with a SS & LB with 4.4 & 4.5 speed respectively.

    Can anyone come up with a trio that would fit the bill? The three I’ve explored to help as a solution are:

    2T. (50) Kyle Dugger SS/LB
    3T. (75) Amik Robertson NB/CB
    4T. (115) Willie Gay Jr. OLB

    All are the results of trades made up & dn. But, wherever available will give the defense additional speed needed to help slow down KC’s WR, as well as other speed oriented offenses. Any thoughts on these?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure they need quite that much. Marquise Blair ran a 4.4 and they have to let that investment play out. They just drafted Cody Barton. They need a slot, I agree there, but it’s not been a position they’ve invested any picks or money in. I think a third rounder at this stage is probably unlikely but we’ll see.

      • WALL UP

        With all due respect to Barton, his best position is being held down by BWag. After seeing him get knocked down by Rogers said a lot about the dog inside him. That was a free opportunity to introduce himself to Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. Instead, A-Rod laid him out. I hope that fires him up to get after it, and be more aggressive. He’s better in the middle. On the outside you need a more aggressive approach, which he doesn’t have right now.

        They used a 3rd Rd for Griffin. Amik Robertson has star written all over him. For someone his size, he play bigger than other DBs 3″ taller and weighing 15-20lbs more than his 185lbs. He’s a Dog. And he let’s you know it to. His mouth never stops and he backs it on top of that. He had a very interesting exchange with DEN’s WR Courtland Sutton, backed it up by allowing ~74yds and ending the game with an interception.

        With Dugger & Amik added that wag can get back again. Dugger can grow into that SS/LB role as did Buchanan, with more range and speed. I envision Diggs at single high with Dugger on Diggs right and Blair or B-Mac on his left, forming a triangle. BWag would be the only LB on the field, with the front four and Amik in the slot. This coverage will make it difficult for 3rd an long success by offense against that alignment.

        • WALL UP

          Obviously, Griffin and Flowers cover the edges.

        • Rob Staton

          They used a third for Griffin but that was also a CB draft and they left it to the last possible minute to tap into it. And Griffin is a bit of a special case with his physical skills and personality.

    • Michigan 12th

      The 40Whiners lost because Mahomes made plays. He can extend any play any time. The Chiefs got him doing some play action which opened up the passing game. Damien Williams also had a phenomenal game so the defense had to respect him. Chiefs have a lot of speed at receiver, sure, but do you actually believe it was their receivers that won them the game?

      Chiefs just made more plays, the kind of plays that kill a defense. Wilson is just as capable as Mahomes and next year we may get to see a Seahawk- Chiefs Superbowl which would be absolutely awesome. Then after Wilson outplays Mahomes I can finally stop hearing how Mahomes is the only one who can make the plays he makes.

  69. RWIII

    I was over on Tony Pauline’s website. Found out a few interesting tidbits. First in the mock draft they have Seattle taking Marlon Davidson in the first round. Second. Tom Brady’s wife wants to live in Miami. Finally Austin Jackson the tackle from U.S.C. is considered a top 25 talent.

    • Rob Staton

      First in the mock draft they have Seattle taking Marlon Davidson in the first round.

      Short arms. Interior frame but played outside. Spelled way too much for my liking on early downs despite his size.

      • Eburgz

        Do you think Devon Hamilton is similarly lacking length to be a mid round hawks target? I think both measured out at 32 7/8 at senior bowl. Hamilton looks solid but my concern is the length.

        Interested to see how madubuike and Jordan Elliott measure/test. Aside from Raekwon Davis and Leki Fotu not too many guys have the obvious size/length/power traits on the interior DL. Blacklock is another I’m going to be monitoring.

  70. Ashish

    I expect hawks to pick in following order OT, WR, DE, G/C, TE, CB, S

  71. Tim

    Rob, it’s such a shame you’re not able to make it to the media days at the Combine. Yeah, we know Pete and John are speaking on Tuesday, but have the media even asked them tough questions yet? Like how they view Blair, KJ, Macdougald, and offensive line. I feel like Rob would ask those questions. What are we going to hear on Tuesday? More crap about “Do you think Russell Wilson is a good player?” Or “How is Marshawn Lynch going?” stupid questions the Seattle media throws around. It’s like they’re scared of them. Suvh a shame. Thanks for the preview Rob, it gives me some things to look for in guys before studying their tape

    • Rob Staton

      I’d love to be there Tim —- and I guarantee I would ask those questions (I love a naughty question, not sure if anyone has heard any of my BBC interviews). But you’re right we’ll probably hear a question about how good DK Metcalf played as a rookie and an update on Chris Carson’s hip.

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