The ultimate Seahawks combine preview 2023


This is a very different draft class at the top of the board compared to a year ago. You won’t find a left tackle worthy of a top-10 grade, a year after three were taken in that range. We could see four quarterbacks selected in the top-10 — a stark contrast to last year where just one signal caller was taken in the first two rounds.

There’s depth at running back, defensive end and cornerback — but it’s top-heavy at quarterback and tight end. It’s also light at defensive tackle and safety.

Several players are expected to test brilliantly — including defensive tackle Mazi Smith, receiver Quentin Johnston, tight end Luke Musgrave, defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore and pass rusher Will McDonald.

The top quarterbacks could make headlines — with Anthony Richardson and Will Levis having the kind of arm strength that will have scouts salivating. Both are set to throw and so will C.J. Stroud. Bryce Young will not throw at the combine.

It’s been revealed that Jalen Carter is opting not to do any workouts or drills and neither will Tyree Wilson. Will Anderson is going to do some of the on-field drills but is being made to work with the linebackers.

Travon Walker had an excellent combine last year and was able to propel himself to the #1 overall pick. I’m not sure anyone will repeat that but as with the 2022 class — a lack of obvious blue-chippers will present several players with a big opportunity in Indianapolis.

Changes to the combine

Last year was a shambles and an embarrassment to the NFL.

By opting to move the bench press to the same day as on-field drills, barely anyone participated in it.

The never-ending desire to make even more money also saw the retention of ‘prime-time’ coverage. This meant players were doing drills late into the evening. By the time they’d finished, most skipped the three cone and short shuttle because they were being asked to do it at 9-10pm.

Thankfully there are changes this year but you can easily argue they don’t go far enough.

The bench press is being moved and will once again take place on a separate day to on-field drills. However, it now occurs on the final day of the event for each participant. Previously, it used to take place on the day before drills. I’m not convinced many players will bother to stick around for it, especially those who excel in the testing and feel like they’ve done enough to improve their stock.

Timings have also changed. Last year, the Thursday, Friday and Saturday workouts all began at 4pm ET. Now, the Thursday and Friday sessions begin an hour earlier at 3pm and the Saturday and Sunday workouts start at 1pm.

This is useful because the earlier start time will hopefully encourage players to do the agility testing. Certainly there’s little excuse for the Saturday and Sunday participants not to do the short shuttle and three cone.

I wish all the testing began at 1pm though. The NFL has already tainted its own product by introducing a pointless 17th game and a seventh playoff seed. The need to get every last cent out of the scouting combine — an event that should simply be an information gathering exercise for teams — is the ultimate face-palm.

The order of testing has changed. The D-liners and linebackers will kick things off, followed by the defensive backs. This is a reversal of previous years, where the offensive players began the event.

One other thing to mention is it’s being suggested the league will trial the use of body scans this year for measurements. The hope is that by 2024, they’ll no longer have to measure arm length and hand size in the traditional, manual way — producing a more consistent, accurate result.

Workout schedule

» Thursday 2nd March (3-8pm ET): defensive linemen and linebackers
» Friday 3rd March (3-8pm ET): defensive backs, special teams
» Saturday 6th March (1-8pm ET): tight ends, quarterbacks, wide receivers
» Sunday 7th March (1-7pm ET): offensive linemen, running backs

Horizontal board

Here is how I have graded scouted players going into the combine.

Click the image to enlarge:

Groups 1-3: DT, DE & LB

Arrival: Sunday 26th February
Team interviews: Monday 27th February
General medical exam: Tuesday 28th February
Media & NFLPA meeting: Wednesday 1st March
Measurements, on-field drills: Thursday 2nd March
Bench press & broadcast interviews: Friday 3rd March

Michigan’s Mazi Smith is expected to be a top performer at the combine

Defensive tackle
None of Seattle’s previous defensive tackle picks have been explosive testers, with an average vertical jump of 26.8 inches among the group. The short shuttle appears to be more important. Seattle has used third round picks on the following:

Naz Jones — 4.63 ss
Jaye Howard — 4.47 ss
Jordan Hill — 4.55 ss

As you can see, all three recorded fantastic shuttles for their size.

They also drafted Pep Livingston in round seven (4.62). Jarran Reed, their highest pick at defensive tackle (round two, 2016) ran a 4.75 which is decent enough given he was seen as a stout anchor for the interior, rather than a dynamic athlete.

Of the eight defensive tackles drafted, six had +33 inch arms. Clint Hurtt spoke about the importance of length at the position during the season. The 33-inch threshold has been important for Seattle and is likely to be a key consideration again.

They have drafted two defensive tackles with sub-33 inch arms but they were Demarcus Christmas and Jesse Williams — two later round picks. Both were well known college players who dropped in the draft (Williams for health reasons, Christmas for poor testing). Both performed badly in the agility testing but ran surprisingly well — Williams recording a 4.92 forty and Christmas a 5.08.

I think it suggests that when there’s a chance to be opportunistic later on, they are prepared to overlook a lack of length. Otherwise it has been a priority.

Key tests
Short Shuttle, Three-cone, 10-yard split, Forty

Ideal size
+6-2, 300-310lbs, +33 inch arms, 4.50-4.65 ss

Positional assessment
This is not a deep DT class but there are some options. Jalen Carter is the headline act at the top of the board but there are legitimate concerns about his maturity and conditioning. It’s now being reported he won’t do any testing at the combine. I can’t imagine this will be well received by teams, with maturity concerns and a feeling that he more or less did what he wanted at Georgia. Calijah Kancey and Mazi Smith are expected to have short arms — perhaps too short for Seattle — but both players are expected to make a star-turn in Indianapolis and be among the best testers at any position. It’ll be interesting to see how Keeanu Benton, Cameron Young and Zacch Pickens perform after playing well at the Senior Bowl. Bryan Bresee, who was too inconsistent at Clemson and missed a lot of games over the last two years, will hope to enhance his stock. He could be one of the top-testers because he’s naturally a fantastic athlete. Keep an eye on his arm length though.

Interesting note
This hasn’t traditionally been a position the Seahawks have invested high stock in. When they took Jarran Reed with the 46th pick in 2016, they traded up using a fourth rounder. Afterwards John Schneider admitted they considered taking Reed with their first round pick (used on Germain Ifedi) and thought the value was too good. Need could heavily influence their decision making in 2023 but typically they have preferred to target the defensive tackle position in the mid-to-late rounds

Best drills to watch
I like to watch the swim/rip drills for defensive tackles. I also like to watch how they get in-and-out of the bags with their footwork and how they punch and move. Who plays with violence, even in this setting?

Five names to watch
Calijah Kancey, Mazi Smith, Zacch Pickens, Keeanu Benton, Moro Ojomo

Potential standout
It has to be Mazi Smith. He was named #1 on Bruce Feldman’s ‘freaks’ list for 2022. He can reportedly run a 4.41 short shuttle at around 337lbs, plus a 6.95 three cone. He’s also explosive — jumping a 9-5 broad and a 33-inch vertical. He might not be Jordan Davis a year ago running the forty but he should still make headlines.

Importance to the Seahawks?
It’s a huge need. Seattle’s defensive line hasn’t been good enough for too long. They need impact disruptors and players who can do a better job clogging lanes against the run. This is likely a position they’ll be watching very closely.

Adetomiwa Adebawore shone at the Senior Bowl and is expected to produce a great workout

Inside/out rushers or 5-techniques
This has typically been a position where the Seahawks have sought difference-making athletes in the draft. The most obvious example of this is Malik McDowell, who they took with their top selection in 2017. At 6-6 and 295lbs he had outstanding length (35-inch arms), agility (4.53 short shuttle) and great speed for his size (4.85 forty plus a 1.69 10-yard split). His explosive testing, however, was relatively poor (28.5-inch vertical) — perhaps further highlighting that explosive traits haven’t been that important to the Seahawks for defensive linemen.

A year later they took Rasheem Green. At 6-4 and 275lbs he also had good length (34-inch arms), great agility (4.39 short shuttle) plus a strong performance in the sprints (4.73 forty, 1.65 10-yard split). Before drafting McDowell or Green, they selected Quinton Jefferson in 2016. At 291lbs he ran a 4.37 short shuttle plus a 4.95 forty with a 1.69 10-yard split.

Given they re-signed Jefferson a year ago to play in their adjusted defensive system, it seems like the profile of these players still matches what they’re looking. Although they certainly need to add at defensive tackle — typically the 3-4 teams have big-bodied five-techniques flanking a nose tackle.

They used a first round pick on L.J. Collier to try and fill this position in 2019. That pick is interesting for two reasons. Firstly — he was a departure from their athletic preferences. He ran a mediocre 4.91 forty and a 4.78 short shuttle. Collier was explosive (30 inch vertical, 9-10 broad jump) and impressed at the Senior Bowl but that’s not typically what they’ve gone for. Secondly — it reinforced, after McDowell, they’re willing to spend a high pick on this position.

The fact that Collier appeared so limited in the NFL could steer them back towards athletes. I suspect the pick was an over-correction from the McDowell situation. Collier was fiery and intense, passionate and seen as an over-achiever at TCU. In the end he just wasn’t good enough. Character clearly still matters though — as we keep hearing from John Schneider. I’m just not sure they’ll spend a high pick on another Collier type. I suspect any prospective pick will need to be a good athlete and have high character.

Key tests
Short Shuttle, Forty, 10-yard split

Ideal size
DL — +6-2, 275-295lbs, +33 inch arms, 4.35-4.50 ss

Positional assessment
There aren’t a lot of options and the players who typically fit the bill are going to go quite early. Keion White is being talked about as a solid first round pick and with a good combine he could confirm that status. He was ranked 20th on Bruce Feldman’s freak list, so a good showing is expected. He’s likely to be out-performed by Adetomiwa Adebawore, however. The Northwestern athlete, who lit up the Senior Bowl, is going to be one of the top-testers. More on that in a bit. Lukas Van Ness is seen by a lot of people as a first round pick despite the fact he didn’t start at Iowa. Tuli Tuipulotu made a lot of splash plays for USC but how he measures and tests will be crucial given his stocky, shorter frame. Personally I’m a big fan of Alabama’s Byron Young and hope that he can perform well enough to back-up what he shows on tape. It’s also worth noting that Young is an all-star when it comes to character.

Interesting note
The Seahawks have selected a defensive lineman with one of their first two picks in seven of the last eight drafts (Boye Mafe, Darrell Taylor, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Malik McDowell, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark). With a strong D-line need this year, the chances are they’ll do it again in 2023.

Best drills to watch
The two I’ll be watching closely is the figure of eight (where a player has to run around two hoops, picking an object up within the first hoop and placing it down in the second) plus the test where they have to run between a line of bags, slapping two away and spinning past one, before rounding a final bag and finishing. These drills show off change-of direction, ankle-flexion, power and quickness.

Five names to watch
Adetomiwa Adebawore, Keion White, Byron Young (ALA), Lukas Van Ness, Tuli Tuipulotu

Potential standout
Despite being 285lbs, Adetomiwa Adebawore is expected to run a 4.05 short shuttle and a 6.90 three-cone. He’s also expected to jump a 10-5 broad and a 37.5-inch vertical. These would be special times for a man his size. You can watch my interview with Adebawore by clicking here.

Importance to the Seahawks?
This might be an even bigger need than defensive tackle. They have a big, stout nose tackle type in Al Woods and he had a good season in 2022. What they need are players who are in the 290lbs range and can play the run but still provide a level of disruption. If one of these players runs a great short shuttle and has the necessary length/size — they could become a big target for the Seahawks.

Will McDonald looks and plays like a Seahawks’ pass rusher

Edge rushers
Twitch seems to be the name of the game here — with a long, lean frame also a preference. The Seahawks have drafted four edge rushers in the first two rounds. Darrell Taylor couldn’t test due to injury — but we can well imagine he would be in a similar range to the names I’m about to bring up.

Bruce Irvin ran a 4.50 forty with a 10-yard split of 1.55. He added a short shuttle of 4.03. Frank Clark ran a 4.68 forty with a 1.58 10-yard split and a 4.05 short shuttle. Boye Mafe didn’t run a shuttle a year ago but he did run a 4.53 with a 1.56 10-yard split. All three players were explosive too — Irvin jumped a 33.5-inch vertical, Clark had a 38.5-inch jump and Mafe was close behind with a 38-inch vertical.

What we need to look out for are splits in the 1.5’s, a top-tier short shuttle in the 4.0’s or 4.1’s and explosive testing in the vertical/broad jumps.

A 10-yard split in the 1.5’s is considered elite. A reminder that Cliff Avril famously ran a 1.50. If you’re running a short shuttle in the 4.00’s with the size of an EDGE or defensive end, that is remarkable.

Even Seattle’s later round picks all performed relatively well in the shuttle. Cassius Marsh (4.25), Obum Gwacham (4.28) and Alton Robinson (4.32) all excelled.

Is arm length as much of a consideration now that the Seahawks are using 3-4 concepts? Possibly not. Mafe measured a shade under the 33-inch threshold, as did Tyreke Smith. Alton Robinson also had 32 3/8 inch arms. I still think great length will be coveted (it always is, by every team) but any prospective EDGE target with 32 inch arms perhaps doesn’t need to be immediately written-off as a potential Seahawk.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, Short Shuttle, Forty, 10-yard split

Ideal size
6-4, 250lbs, +33 inch arms, 1.50-1.59 10-yard split, +35-inch vertical

Positional assessment
It’s a thick EDGE class with high picks and attractive mid-round options to follow. Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson are being tipped to go very early. They’re making Anderson work out with the linebackers but I’m still including him in this section of the preview. Wilson will not perform drills at the combine as he continues to recover from injury. Personally I think Myles Murphy is overrated but it won’t be a surprise if he creates buzz around his combine performance. Will McDonald will be one of the stars in Indianapolis and could chuck himself into the top-20 mix. K.J. Henry, Zach Harrison, Andre Carter, Dylan Horton and Tyrus Wheat are also very impressive athletes. I could name more — this is one of the deepest positions in the 2023 draft.

Interesting note
As far as I can tell, only three pass rushers ran a 1.5 10-yard split a year ago. Mafe was one of them, plus Kayvon Thibodeaux and Amaré Barno. Let’s hope for a better set of results this year.

Best drill to watch
Given the way Seattle’s defensive scheme has pivoted, we need to spend more time watching how the pass rushers work in space in the linebacker drills at the end of each session. On top of that — generally the edge rusher drills are a box-office performance by the most explosive athletes in college football. So just sit back and enjoy.

Five names to watch
Will Anderson, Will McDonald, K.J. Henry, Myles Murphy, B.J. Ojulari

Potential standout
There are a few who are expected to test brilliantly but I’m going for Will McDonald. He has the ‘preying mantis’ frame that Pete Carroll tends to like. Ranked fifth on Bruce Feldman’s ‘freaks’ list, he can reportedly do backflips standing still and has been filmed jumping over cars. He’s being tipped to jump a 43-inch vertical and an 11-0 broad. He showed great bend and quickness at the Senior Bowl so strong testing results in the 10-yard split and short shuttle are also expected.

Importance to the Seahawks?
It’s hard to say. Clearly they need to keep improving their pass rush but they already have Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu and Boye Mafe under contract. Having a rotation is necessary but how many high picks are you inserting into a rotational role? They might lean on the depth here and focus on other positions early — unless they simply see the first round value to be too good (and that’s entirely possible given the status of Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson plus the fit of Will McDonald).

Drew Sanders plays with aggression and he’s a useful pass rusher

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

Shaquem Griffin ran a blistering 4.38 forty. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer, Malcolm Smith and Eric Pinkins all ran excellent times (in the 4.44-4.51 range). Jordyn Brooks ran a 4.54. Bobby Wagner was a 4.4 runner at his pro-day.

Pierre-Louis, Smith and Pinkins all jumped +39 inches in the vertical. Wagner jumped a 39.5-inch vertical.

They’ve also speficially targeted top-testers 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 was signed as a full back. Even so, this isn’t a coincidence. It’s something I wrote about originally six years ago.

If there’s a linebacker who runs an exceptional short shuttle, there’s a decent chance he will be on Seattle’s radar.

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, 4.00-4.20 short shuttle

Positional assessment
This is not a good linebacker class. Arkansas’ Drew Sanders looks destined to be the first taken and if he tests well, could cement a place in the top-20. After that, you have players with questionable tape or size (Trenton Simpson, Nolan Smith) who are expected to be brilliant testers. There’s also a collection of ‘solid/meh’ college linebackers, some of which are overrated, who aren’t expected to test well (Ventrell Miller, Henry To’oto’o, Jack Campbell, Noah Sewell, DeMarvion Overshown). I’m intrigued to see how Daiyan Henley gets on and Auburn’s Owen Pappoe could be the standout performer at the combine. Overall though there’s a distinct lack of quality.

Interesting note
For years the Seahawks had Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright take virtually all of the defensive snaps. Wagner tallied 99.35% of the snaps in 2016, 93.08% in 2017, 93.34% in 2018, 98.32% in 2019 and 99.13% in 2020. That dropped to 89.1% in 2021 before he was cut. Jordyn Brooks has played 87.4% and 88.67% of the snaps in the last two seasons. Cody Barton played 77.42% of the time in 2022. I’m not sure if this indicative of anything but the Seahawks seem to be trying to avoid giving two players such an extensive workload these days. Or maybe Wagner and Wright were too good to take off the field?

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
Drew Sanders, Nolan Smith, Trenton Simpson, Owen Pappoe, Daiyan Henley

Potential standout
Nicknamed ‘the freak’ — Owen Pappoe is reportedly capable of running in the 4.3’s. Even if he doesn’t top that mark, expect a big show. If only his tape at Auburn was as impressive as his athleticism. Honourable mentions go to Trenton Simpson who is also being tipped to run in the 4.3’s (and although his tape isn’t as bad as Pappoe’s — he still had a poor year in 2022). Meanwhile Nolan Smith was a SPARQ superstar in High School. If he’s healthy enough to test, watch out.

Importance to the Seahawks?
The injury to Jordyn Brooks means they have to do something. I’m just not sure how much investment they want to make at linebacker. A year ago they cut Bobby Wagner to save $16.6m and then didn’t replace him. They simply rolled with Brooks and Cody Barton. There wasn’t even any serious competition added for camp. With Barton a free agent, they need to add a body. Unless they’re enamoured with someone like Drew Sanders it might be a position they address in the mid-to-late rounds. If nobody tests to their satisfaction in that range, they might go the cheap veteran route. Are they willing to take a great athlete early, full of potential, with disappointing tape? If so, that could bring Trenton Simpson into play but he’s more athlete than football player currently. Sanders does play with a fiery intensity that Seattle’s second level misses at times.

Groups 4-6: cornerback, safety & special teams

Arrival: Monday 27th February
Team interviews: Tuesday 28th February
General medical exam: Wednesday 1st March
Media & NFLPA meeting: Thursday 2nd March
Measurements, on-field drills: Friday 3rd March
Bench press & broadcast interviews: Saturday 4th March

Julius Brents has promised to surprise people at the combine

For years everyone knew what the Seahawks liked in a corner. You had to have 32 inch arms. You had to be long and lean. Then, in 2021 — things changed. They drafted Tre Brown in round four. He was small (5-10, 186lbs) and had 30 3/8 inch arms. Carroll and Schneider talked about changing their approach, after experiencing the success of D.J. Reed before he joined the New York Jets in free agency.

However, just as we were all adapting to a brave new world, the Seahawks found their ideal cornerback with prototype size in Tariq Woolen.

Granted, they also took Coby Bryant with his 30 5⁄8-inch arms in the fourth round. Will the success of Woolen steer them back towards a desire for length and size? There are certainly players in this class who fit the bill — and some are great athletes too.

We noted a year ago that Clint Hurtt talked about utilising man-coverage. A more pressing question these days should be ‘how are your skills in man-coverage’ rather than ‘how long are your arms?’.

As long and lean as Woolen is, he’s also lightning quick. He ran a 4.26 forty. Bryant wasn’t especially slow either, running a 4.48.

Slower cornerbacks are better suited to zone, quicker cornerbacks are typically targeted to play man. You’re often facing 1v1 challenges where you have to sprint great distances, matching the receiver. You need good recovery speed. Size isn’t as important and physicality is just a bonus.

So while the long cornerbacks will likely remain attractive — keep a closer eye on the forty yard dash and which cornerbacks have fluidity, suddenness, smooth hips and an ability to change direction easily during drills.

It is also worth stressing that the Bryant and Woolen picks were day three selections. Carroll/Schneider still haven’t taken a corner any higher than the very end of round three (Shaquill Griffin). The approach in terms of arm length might be adapting but there’s no new evidence that they’re more likely to draft a cornerback early.

Key tests
Forty, Vertical

Ideal size
+5-10, 195lbs, +32-inch arms, 4.30-40 forty, +35-inch vertical

Positional assessment
It’s a deep cornerback class. There isn’t a clear top-10 pick but there are players who could work into that range if they test well, such as Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez (and he is expected to test well). We could see a cluster of players taken in the top-40, due to the importance of the position. I think we’ll see relative depth stretching into round four and there’s a chance the combine will unearth some hidden gems.

Interesting note
The Seahawks drafting two cornerbacks last year was actually a welcome return. In the four prior drafts, they’d only drafted one player at the position. For a team with a good history of developing cornerbacks, it was quite a surprising run. Their work with Woolen and the way they turned D.J. Reed and Michael Jackson into useful players is encouraging for the future. If you’re a cornerback expected to be taken after round three, you probably want to be drafted by Seattle.

Best drill to watch
The backpedal drill. Watch to see how the cornerbacks transition and whether it looks effortless. Do they have loose hips and do they explode out of their breaks? Is the footwork smooth or clunky? Are they laboured in any way or do they look natural?

Five names to watch
Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, Kelee Ringo, D.J. Turner, Julius Brents

Potential standout
Christian Gonzalez will excel and big things are expected of Kelee Ringo and D.J. Turner. I’m going to suggest Julius Brents, however. He’s expected to test brilliantly in the vertical jumps and he looked quick and smooth at the Senior Bowl. When I interviewed him recently he said he’s going to surprise people at the combine. He’s my one to watch — especially as he’d look very good across from Tariq Woolen.

Importance to the Seahawks?
Michael Jackson is an exclusive-rights free agent so he’ll likely be back. With Woolen, Bryant and Brown under contract they have some depth. However, there’s at least room for a couple more names to be added. Perhaps they’ll add one later in the draft and look to sign a cheap veteran in the Artie Burns mould?

Ji’Ayir Brown — the emotional voice of the Penn State defense

After hitting on Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor in 2010, Seattle hasn’t had much success at the safety position. Ryan Murphy, Winston Guy, Mark LeGree, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill and Marquise Blair have come and gone. The less said about the Jamal Adams trade the better.

Thankfully, the Quandre Diggs trade worked out — although whether he’s worth the $18m cap hit he’s going to receive in 2022 is a question mark (especially with finances tight). Ryan Neal has been an absolute steal and has developed into the kind of tone-setting, vocal player Seattle craves. He’ll surely be kept as a restricted free agent. Hopefully in the future the Seahawks will focus more on the Neal-style bargains instead of trading first round picks or spending $36m on two safeties.

For what it’s worth — Neal ran a 4.47 forty and a 4.29 short shuttle, while jumping a 37.5 inch vertical and a 10-7 broad at his pro-day. He was undrafted and spent time with the Eagles and Falcons before joining the Seahawks.

There’s a real mix of physical profiles in the players they’ve taken, making safety one of the tougher positions to project. It’s hard to describe a Seahawks ‘type’ physically. 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 also athletic and hit like a sledgehammer.

It’s a bit basic to describe it this way but you might be best served looking for playmakers and hitters. Thomas and Thompson both had a lot of picks. Chancellor, Guy and Blair loved to hit.

This might be a position where physical ideals take a back-seat to production or attitude/impact.

Key drills
Forty yard dash, short shuttle, vertical

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

Positional assessment
College football isn’t churning out a lot of quality players at the position and it’s another light year. There are certainly players to like — but once they’re gone, there’s not a lot to get excited about. Brian Branch is a Rolls Royce and should find a home within the top-20. J.L. Skinner shares some of Kam Chancellor’s qualities as a hitter with great size. Sadly it’s been announced he tore a pec in training on Friday and will now miss the combine. Ji’Ayir Brown has a knack for interceptions and is well regarded as the high-character, vocal leader of Penn State’s defense. Christopher Smith had a good year for Georgia and has great range and hits well for his size. Sydney Brown is a big-time athlete. I also think there are some slightly overrated players — including Antonio Johnson, DeMarcco Hellams and Jordan Battle. Later round guys I like include John Torchio, Larry Brooks and Hunter Reynolds — but none were invited to the combine.

Interesting note
Both Earl Thomas and Tedric Thompson had a lot of interceptions in their final college seasons and both were drafted to play free safety. Thomas had eight picks for Texas in 2009, Thompson had seven for Colorado in 2016. Ji’ayir Brown had 10 interceptions in his final two years at Penn State and is the closest thing to Thomas and Thompson in terms of production. This combined with his vaunted character means Brown is one to watch.

Best drill to watch
Any of the drills requiring the safeties to close in space and show off their open-field quickness and range. I also like the ‘W’ drill for this position.

Five names to watch
Brian Branch, Ji’Ayir Brown, Christopher Smith, Sydney Brown, Jammie Robinson

Potential standout
Brian Branch and Ji’Ayir Brown are both expected to test very well but the name to mention here is Sydney Brown. Ranked joint 33rd on Bruce Feldman’s ‘freaks’ list with brother Chase, he looked in fantastic shape at the Senior Bowl and has registered a top-speed of 22.4mph during a game. Expect a big workout from the Brown brothers in Indianapolis.

Importance to the Seahawks?
You can look at this two ways. Firstly, is some long-term planning required? Quandre Diggs is 30 and there’s an easy out on his contract next year. The team has control of Ryan Neal for only one more season. Who knows what the future holds for Jamal Adams? Drafting someone now could set-up a transition. However, they’ve already committed $36m to Diggs and Adams and will retain Neal via a tender (second round?). How much more are you prepared to invest when there are needs elsewhere to address?

Groups 7-9: QB, WR, TE

Arrival: Tuesday 28th February
Team interviews: Wednesday 1st March
General medical exam: Thursday 2nd March
Media & NFLPA meeting: Friday 3rd March
Measurements, on-field drills: Saturday 4th March
Bench press & broadcast interviews: Sunday 5th March

Will Levis has the kind of tools John Schneider likes


It’s been a long time since I’ve had to write anything in this section. The Russell Wilson trade was still being laughed-off at the 2022 combine, as a deal was being struck between the Seahawks and Broncos behind the scenes.

Many fans get angry when you mention the position as a need for the Seahawks, following Geno Smith’s surprisingly productive 2022 season. The fact is whether Smith re-signs or not, it’s still entirely possible the Seahawks select a quarterback with the fifth overall pick, or at some stage in this draft.

I don’t want to go over too much old ground here but it comes down to this, purely and simply. If John Schneider sees a quarterback he really likes — and if that player is available at #5 — the chances are he’s going to draft him. The Seahawks have never owned a pick in the top-five during the Carroll/Schneider era. This is a rare opportunity. If Schneider sees a QB he loves, he will take him — with or without Geno on the roster.

Schneider has a duty to think about the long term health of the franchise. His contract outlasts Pete Carroll’s. The Seahawks can’t exist purely to give Carroll a nice send-off. That’s assuming that Geno is even capable of delivering such an ending.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact we’re talking about the most important position in the sport. The best-case scenario for the Seahawks is to retain Smith on a relatively team-friendly contract, then draft a QB for the future. They’d be re-creating the Alex Smith/Patrick Mahomes handover. We’ve seen too many young QB’s struggle because they’ve been thrown in at the deep-end too soon. Here’s an opportunity for the Seahawks to get the best of both worlds. Keep a player who can help you win now but also set things up for the future. Plus you still have picks #20, #38, #53 and #84 to address your defense.

If Schneider doesn’t like the quarterback options at #5, it’s a moot-point. They’ll take a defensive lineman and move forwards.

I feel very comfortable about the situation either way and wish more fans shared that thought. I trust Schneider when it comes to QB’s. We’ll give him a mulligan for the expensive Charlie Whitehurst trade. Since then he’s drafted Russell Wilson and reportedly had high interest in Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen — so much so, he was willing to move off peak-Wilson to get either player.

Thus, if he takes a QB — he should be given the benefit of the doubt. If he doesn’t take a QB, we can all assume with confidence there simply isn’t a player he rated highly enough.

It’s not a deep quarterback class by any stretch. There are four I think deserve to go in the top-10. Then there’s a big drop-off. Hendon Hooker will likely be the fifth taken but his stock is a mystery given his knee injury. He could end up being taken earlier than he should be, purely because there’s a gaping black-hole once he’s off the board.

Some things to consider in terms of Seattle’s possible preferences — Whitehurst, Wilson, Mahomes, Allen and Drew Lock all have big arms. All but Wilson have prototype stature. Mahomes is creative and able to extend plays — while Allen, Lock and Wilson were all excellent athletes. Even Whitehurst could move around a bit.

Much is made of hand size and that could be important. Wilson had 10 1/4-inch hands. However — Mahomes only has 9 1/4-inch hands and Lock’s are even smaller at exactly nine-inches. It might be more of a bonus than a factor.

It’s also worth noting that this is a quarterback class full of high-character, high-intelligence players. Levis, Stroud and Young are beloved by their teams. You can watch my interview with Levis by clicking here. Richardson is well regarded at Florida. Hooker is extremely mature and respected. There are no concerns with the top group and it won’t be a surprise if many of the QB’s get glowing reports for the way they interview at the combine.

Key tests
Deep throws, Forty

Ideal size
+6-2, 220lbs, +9.5 inch hands

Positional assessment
Fans and the media alike are tying themselves up in knots about this class. It often feels like when you have good quarterbacks, people find reasons to knock them. When you have a bad class — people find ways to elevate them. We saw that a year ago, when clear third-round talents like Malik Willis were suddenly being mocked second overall to the Lions. Heck, this was still being talked about as a possibility in April (click here and here). I think the top-four quarterbacks in this class — C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young — are all worthy of being taken with the #5 pick. None are flawless. Neither was Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen or Justin Herbert. In particular I think the physical traits of Stroud, Levis and Richardson will really appeal to John Schneider, while the creativity and mentality of Young will also likely make him a favourite. Beyond the top-four, I suspect teams will have different opinions on Hendon Hooker who is high-character and enjoyed a productive two-years in Tennessee. However, he played in a wide-open offense and is recovering from a serious knee injury. He’s also 25-years-old and already older than Jalen Hurts. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has a lot of intriguing qualities but he is even smaller than Young and Tanner McKee just screams Mike Glennon 2.0.

Interesting note
The Seahawks have only drafted two quarterbacks in the Carroll/Schneider 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. I used to think it was a waste of time at the combine but I’ve changed my mind. It’s a great way to compare all of the QB’s because they’re throwing in the same setting. You can do an apple’s for apple’s comparison — without all the home comforts of a pro-day. It’s been confirmed that Anthony Richardson and C.J. Stroud will both throw at the combine. Bryce Young will not throw. There’s no news on Will Levis at the moment, who has been recovering from a broken toe suffered during the season.

Five names to watch
C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Potential standout
Will Levis isn’t a lightning quick straight-line runner but he’s a gym-rat who should test well in the jumps and short shuttle — plus he has an outstanding, elite-level arm. However — this should be Anthony Richardson’s stage. He has an opportunity to do everything well, starting with the forty. Reportedly he intends to take part in all drills and tests. He has a rocket arm to launch the ball downfield. He can make some serious money in Indianapolis.

Importance to the Seahawks
I appreciate that many disagree and want the Seahawks to pay Geno Smith a small fortune, then build up the rest of the roster. Again, I trust Schneider on quarterbacks and will be comfortable if he goes QB or DL at #5. However, for me the whole Russell Wilson trade has been building up to this moment. You have a rare opportunity to invest in a talented, physically gifted young signal caller for the long-term future. You also have the benefit of having four more picks in the first three rounds to address other areas of the team. It makes perfect sense — whether you keep Smith or not — to consider drafting a quarterback at #5.

Josh Downs looks like a Tyler Lockett clone

Wide receivers
Pete Carroll has only drafted three receivers who didn’t run a 4.4 forty or faster:

Kenny Lawler — 4.64
Chris Harper — 4.50
John Ursua — 4.56

The rest all cracked the 4.4’s:

Paul Richardson — 4.40
Golden Tate — 4.42
Tyler Lockett — 4.40
Kris Durham — 4.46
Kevin Norwood — 4.48
Amara Darboh — 4.45
David Moore — 4.42
D.K. Metcalf — 4.33
Freddie Swain — 4.46
Dee Eskridge — 4.38
Bo Melton — 4.34
Dareke Young — 4.44

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

The entire NFL acknowledges the need for 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.

Positional assessment
If college football isn’t churning out many safeties, it’s doing a good job producing capable wide receivers. The 2023 class isn’t as good as we’ve come to expect in recent years — but there’s still a cluster of names and decent depth stretching into day three. There isn’t an obvious player destined for the top-10 but Quentin Johnston, Jalin Hyatt and Zay Flowers are a good bet for the first round. Josh Downs, Jonathan Mingo, Cedric Tillman and Jordan Addison could also find a home in the top-50. It’ll be a big week for Jaxon Smith-Njigba — he has to prove he’s quicker than expected after running a 4.64 at SPARQ. Keep an eye on Bryce Ford-Wheaton — he’s flying way under the radar and should test well in Indianapolis. Jayden Reed, Kayshon Boutte, Tank Dell and Tyler Scott are other names to monitor.

Interesting note
Carroll’s Seahawks don’t really have a ‘range’ where they take receivers. They’ve drafted four players in round two (Tate, Richardson, Metcalf, Eskridge), two in round three (Darboh, Lockett), three in round four (Norwood, Harper, Durham), one in round six (Swain) and five in round seven (Moore, Lawler, Ursua, Melton, Young). It’s worth noting they’ve been aggressive in trading up for two players — Lockett and Metcalf. They’ve also been their best ‘hits’ at the position. Is there a player they like enough to be similarly aggressive for this year?

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 receiver cupping his hands while presenting to the ball. No alligator arms, no fighting the ball or snatching at it. Watch the downfield throws and see who is good at high pointing the football, showing body control and tracking over the shoulder. Who is a natural hands catcher? I would expect Josh Downs and Jonathan Mingo to excel in both areas.

Five names to watch
Quentin Johnston, Jalin Hyatt, Josh Downs, Jonathan Mingo, Bryce Ford-Wheaton

Potential standout
Unsurprisingly there are high expectations with the group. Jalin Hyatt’s late separation skills hint at extreme speed. Zay Flowers’ ability to change direction could make for a pair of blistering agility tests. Bryce Ford-Wheaton can jump a 40-inch vertical and has been timed running a 4.02 short-shuttle and a 6.68 three-cone. Tyler Scott is being tipped to run in 4.2’s and he’s also jumped a +40-inch vertical. However, based on size and extreme testing, Quentin Johnston is the one to watch. At 6-4 and around 210lbs he is expected to nail a 42-inch vertical and maybe even break the 4.3’s. If he does, it’ll be interesting to see what impact that has on his stock. He’s inconsistent at times but he has rare physical qualities.

Importance to the Seahawks
Most successful teams in the NFL have three quality weapons. That can include a tight end — but generally in the modern NFL you’re passing attack needs three legit targets. The Seahawks clearly have two in Lockett and Metcalf. They mixed their tight end production around without any one individual rising to the top. They’ve struggled in recent years to find a third receiver, highlighted by the pick used on Dee Eskridge which clearly hasn’t worked out. They’re high on Dareke Young but I still think there’s room for a pick at receiver if the right player is available. I think they’d consider a ‘big slot’ type who they can move around — and Jonathan Mingo would fit the bill if he can crack the 4.4’s. Josh Downs, meanwhile, just screams ‘Seahawks’. His playing style is so similar to Lockett’s. He’s a very mature individual with NFL bloodlines (his father played in the league and his uncle is Dre Bly). He already talks like a seasoned veteran. He high points the ball brilliantly for his size, can get downfield to make big plays but he’s also good on the short-stuff too. Fingers crossed he runs well. I can imagine him being a ‘must have’ player for the Seahawks.

Michael Mayer is a fantastic player

Tight ends
Seattle has drafted five tight ends under Pete Carroll — Nick Vannett, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. They also traded for Jimmy Graham in 2015 and signed Zach Miller to a big contract in 2011. In the last four years they have signed Greg Olsen and Gerald Everett to one-year deals and brought in Noah Fant as part of the Russell Wilson trade.

One thing links all ten players — agility testing.

Short shuttle and three cone.

It appears the Seahawks see it as vital:

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

Tony Pauline also linked the Seahawks with interest in free agent Austin Hooper before he signed with Cleveland. He ran a 4.32 short shuttle and a 7.00 three cone. It was speculated that Seattle really liked O.J. Howard in the 2017 draft. He had the top short shuttle in his class (4.16) and a fantastic three cone (6.85). After acquiring Fant last year, John Schneider said they were preparing to draft him in 2019 before the Broncos selected him with the 20th pick.

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

This is an understandable approach to the position when you consider the top tight ends in the league. They generally all have the same thing in common — strong agility testing and a good 10-yard split.

Rob Gronkowski — 1.58 (10), 4.47 (ss)
Travis Kelce — 1.61 (10), 4.42 (ss)
George Kittle — 1.59 (10), 4.55 (ss)
Mark Andrews — 1.54 (10), 4.38 (ss)
Dallas Goedert — unknown (10), 4.31 (ss)
Zach Erz — 1.64 (10), 4.47 (ss)
T.J. Hockenson — 1.63 (10), 4.18 (ss)

People will focus on the forty yard dash, particularly with players such as Michael Mayer who won’t run a fast time. However — the more important numbers to focus on are the split, the shuttle and the three cone.

Key tests
Short shuttle, three cone, 10-yard split

Ideal size
6-5, 250-265lbs, +33-inch arms, +10-inch hands

Positional assessment
There are a cluster of players set to go in the first two rounds but it’s a top-heavy class. For me, Michael Mayer is a complete tight end and a class act. He’s one of the safest picks you can make in the draft and will combine committed blocking with consistent hands, production, an ability to create late separation and he does a superb job catching away from his body. Luke Musgrave will be one of the stars of the combine — we’ll discuss why in a moment. Dalton Kincaid will not test and he’s expected to miss the entire pre-draft process due to injury. Tucker Kraft flies under the radar but could easily be a top-50 pick. I think Darnell Washington is a bit overrated. He’s too big and doesn’t move freely enough to be a serious receiving threat. His size should be useful as a blocker, however. After that — there’s not much to get at.

Interesting note
In 2017 the Seahawks needed a tight end and were presented with a strong looking class. Unexpectedly, they passed on the position. They drafted seven players before George Kittle was selected in round five by the 49ers — despite his good combine and dynamism as a blocker. Seattle even spent five picks in rounds 3-4 without taking Kittle. A huge blow, especially given he was eventually drafted by a division rival.

Best drill to watch
Catching technique is always important so look for how a player uses his hands. Is he cupping them to the ball? I always like to see TE’s who can move naturally on seam routes and change direction during drills. It’s quite easy to spot stiffness among this group when they’re running in the open field.

Five names to watch
Michael Mayer, Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft, Darnell Washington, Josh Whyle

Potential standout
It has to be Luke Musgrave. It was noticeable how smooth he looked running routes at the Senior Bowl and his testing numbers will no doubt show well. He’s been timed running a 4.51 forty and a 4.21 short shuttle.

Importance to the Seahawks?
There’s no immediate need but this could be a situation where they look to the future. Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson are both free agents in 2024. There’s an easy out on Will Dissly’s contract next year. If BPA matches up with this position, they might be tempted to think ahead.

Groups 10-12: OL, RB

Arrival: Wednesday 1st March
Team interviews: Thursday 2nd March
General medical exam: Friday 3rd March
Media & NFLPA meeting: Saturday 4th March
Measurements, on-field drills: Sunday 5th March
Bench press & broadcast interviews: Monday 6th March

Cody Mauch — talented player, great hair

Offensive linemen
This has typically been the point where I introduce ‘TEF’ — the formula we created to calculate explosive testing. In the past it helped us identify potential O-line targets for the Seahawks successfully.

Up until 2020 it still seemed to be somewhat relevant. Damien Lewis was an explosive tester and Phil Haynes — drafted in 2019 and recently re-signed — was the second best TEF scorer in his class.

However, both players were drafted when Mike Solari was the offensive line coach. Andy Dickerson took over a year ago and the Seahawks then drafted two non-explosive offensive tackles with high picks.

Charles Cross didn’t do a bench press or broad jump before the draft, so it was impossible to judge how truly explosive he was. However, his 26-inch vertical was not good. Generally you want to see players jumping in the 30-inch range.

Abraham Lucas only scored a 2.73 through TEF. He was not an explosive tester.

The Seahawks are copying the Rams’ blocking scheme and over the years, they haven’t placed much emphasis on explosive traits. Here are some of the linemen they’ve acquired in recent years and how they scored in TEF:

Brian Allen — 2.63
Austin Corbett — 2.55
Rob Havenstein — 2.36
David Edwards — 2.19
Joseph Noteboom — 2.62

They did, however, draft Logan Bruss with their first pick a year ago and he recorded a 3.08 TEF score, making him an explosive tester.

I’m going to run through the annual TEF explainer — because I do still think it’s fun to collect the data and compare to previous years. However, I’m not going to make any predictions relating to the Seahawks based on explosive testing this year.

Instead, in future, I’m going to focus on what the Rams have done and suggest the Seahawks will do something similar.

LA has a tackle in Joseph Noteboom who compares favourably to Lucas. He ran a 4.96 forty and a 4.44 short shuttle — but only managed a 24-inch vertical. Lucas ran a 4.92 forty and a 4.40 short shuttle, while only jumping a 27-inch vertical.

Cross also ran a 4.95 forty but his short shuttle was only a 4.61.

Meanwhile — center Austin Blythe played for the Rams between 2017-20. He’s 6-2 and 298lbs and very similar to Brian Allen, the current Rams center. Blythe ran a 4.53 short shuttle — a very good time for his size. Allen ran a 4.71. I think, at this position, the shuttle will be important within this scheme. I’m intrigued to see if Seattle goes after Garrett Bradbury in free agency, who has the ideal size and matched Blythe’s 4.53 short shuttle. San Francisco’s Jake Brendel also fits the bill — and he ran a fantastic 4.27 shuttle.

At these two positions there’s a clear correlation.

The only significant difference comes at guard — where Seattle is retaining size and traits while the Rams prefer converted college tackles.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Seahawks begin to transition to LA’s approach at guard, with Lewis and Haynes only contracted for 2023. Let’s see if they draft a couple of tackles with the idea of kicking them inside next year. With Blythe a free agent they also have a void at center. I’d expect them to look for a smaller, leverage-winning player with a wrestling background who runs a good short shuttle.

Finally on to TEF — I do think it’s worth stressing there is some value in explosive testing. Most of the top linemen in the league are explosive testers, as I detailed in this article.

Pat Kirwan — a confidant of Pete Carroll — explained in this piece why explosive testing is important:

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.

In recent years we’ve increasingly seen explosive testers drafted earlier than non-explosive testers. Despite Seattle’s scheme shift, I’d expect that trend to continue.

Here’s the TEF formula explained…

Tom Cable stated in 2015 that an O-line prospect would ideally achieve a 31-inch vertical, a 9-foot broad jump and 27 reps in the bench press. TEF uses these numbers to create an overall score for each individual offensive lineman:

1. Vertical ÷ 31
2. Broad ÷ 9, then cube the result
3. Bench ÷ 27
4. Results added together = TEF

Here’s what the ideal (31 — 9 — 27) would look like using this formula:

1. Vertical: 31 ÷ 31 = 1
2. Broad: 9 ÷ 9 = 1, cubed = 1
3. Bench: 27 ÷ 27 = 1
4. Overall score = 3.00

A prospect achieving the exact Cable ideal (31 — 9 — 27) will score a 3.00 in TEF.

The TEF formula is explained here. We also created a second calculation to account for the fact that jumping a vertical at 320lbs is considerably more challenging than jumping a vertical at 275lbs. Thus, 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, meanwhile, scored a 103.7. For more information on weighted TEF, click here.

I always feel obliged to end with this — TEF is not an attempt to determine who is a good or bad offensive linemen. It’s merely a calculation to judge explosive traits. While that’s only one part of any evaluation — it’s clear the league pays attention to it. That’s why I do, too. It might not shed any light relating to possible Seahawks picks but it’s interesting information to have from a league perspective.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, Bench, Short Shuttle, Forty

Ideal size/testing
OT — 6-3/6-5, 305-320lbs, +33 inch arms, 4.90-5.00 forty, 4.40 ss
OG — 6-2/6-5, 300-320lbs, +33 inch arms, +3.00 TEF
OC — 6-0/6-2, 295lbs, 4.50 ss

Positional assessment
This is not a particularly exciting offensive line class. There are no obvious top-10 picks, despite the media trying to push Paris Johnson Jr and Peter Skoronski into that range. For me the only two linemen deserving of first round consideration are Darnell Wright and Dawand Jones — both right tackles. There’s some depth at guard in the mid-to-late rounds and there are plenty of prospective tackle-to-guard converts — including Jaelyn Duncan, Matthew Bergeron, Jordan McFadden, Broderick Jones, Tyler Steen and Ryan Hayes. Personally, I think O’Cyrus Torrence is overrated as a limited pure guard. I also think it’s an overrated center class. Joe Tippman will test very well but might be best placed to move to guard given his height and size. I’m intrigued to see John Michael Schmitz test because I think he looks limited on tape. Ditto Luke Wypler. Juice Scruggs could provide some later round value at center and Ricky Stromberg is expected to be a strong tester. Cody Mauch, however, is the player who intrigues me the most. I thought he did a tremendous job moving to center at the Senior Bowl. He’s athletic, intense and a real brawler.

Interesting note
The average short shuttle time among the leading, most respected centers in the league is a 4.50. If you take out Jason Kelce’s insane 4.14 short shuttle, it’s still a 4.56. When I interviewed Juice Scruggs recently (you can watch the interview here) he said he’d been working hard on his short shuttle times, following advice that it was viewed as an important test.

The best drills to watch
The mirror drill and kick-slide. In the mirror, two linemen used to stand opposite each other, with one acting as ‘the rabbit’. He’d move around and change direction and it’s up to the participant to stick. Now they don’t use 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. In the kick-slide, it speaks for itself. How well do the offensive tackles get into position, how athletic do they do it, what’s the footwork like? I also like to watch the linemen move around the field from side-to-side so we can see who are the more fluid athletes. Abraham Lucas looked so smooth out there a year ago and it showed in the way he played as a rookie.

Five names to watch
Guard — Matthew Bergeron, Jordan McFadden, Nick Broeker, Nick Saldiveri, McClendon Curtis

Center — Joe Tippman, Cody Mauch, John Michael Schmitz, Luke Wypler, Juice Scruggs

Tackle — Darnell Wright, Dawand Jones, Jaelyn Duncan, Anton Harrison, Paris Johnson Jr

Potential standout
It’s not often you see a center on Bruce Feldman’s ‘freaks’ list but Joe Tippmann ranked a very impressive 28th. He can reportedly run a 4.31 short shuttle and a 1.65 10-yard split, which would’ve been faster than any O-lineman at the NFL combine last year.

Importance to the Seahawks
It’d be nice to continue to see the Seahawks invest in the trenches but the bigger priority feels like the defensive line at the moment. The Phil Haynes signing likely ends any realistic thought of a top pick on a guard (or a right tackle, with Lucas moving inside). Unless the Seahawks sign an obvious veteran starter at center, that could remain a viable pick. Otherwise we’re mostly looking at depth and competition.

Bijan Robinson might be the best player in the draft

Running backs
The Seahawks have a type at running back. They’ve consistently drafted players with a similar physical profile. Their runners are about 210-220lbs. They have explosive testing results (good vertical & broad jump). It’s made it fairly straight forward to figure out who they might like. Here are the players we identified from the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 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


Chris 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


Jonathan Taylor — 5-10, 226lbs, 36 inch vert, 10-3 broad
Cam Akers — 5-10, 217lbs, 35.5 inch vert, 10-2 broad
Deejay Dallas — 5-10, 217lbs, 33.5 inch vert, 9-11 broad
AJ Dillon — 6-0, 247lbs, 41 inch vert, 10-11 broad
Zack Moss — 5-9, 223lbs, 33 inch vert, DNP broad
James Robinson — 5-9, 219lbs, 40 inch vert, 10-5 broad
Patrick Taylor — 6-0, 217lbs, 34 inch vert, 10-3 broad


Breece Hall — 5-11, 217lbs, 40 inch vert, 10-6 broad
Brian Robinson — 6-2, 225lbs, 30 inch vert, 9-11 broad
Dameon Pierce — 5-10, 218lbs, 34.5 inch vert, 9-11 broad
D’Vonte Price — 6-1, 210lbs, 34 inch vert, 9-11 broad
Isaih Pacheco — 5-10, 216lbs, 33 inch vert, 9-10 broad
Jerome Ford — 5-10, 210lbs, 31 inch vert, 9-10 broad
Kenneth Walker — 5-9, 211lbs, 34 inch vert, 10-2 broad
Kevin Harris — 5-10, 221lbs, 38.5 inch vert, 10-6 broad
Snoop Conner — 5-10, 222lbs, 29.5 inch vert, 9-10 broad
Rachaad White — 6-0, 214lbs, 38 inch vert, 10-5 broad
Tyler Allgeier — 5-11, 224lbs, 33 inch vert, 10-0 broad
Tyrion Davis-Price — 6-0, 211lbs, 30 inch vert, 9-9 broad
Zamir White — 6-0, 214lbs, 33.5 inch vert, 10-8 broad

They drafted a player from each of the groups — Prosise, Carson, Penny, Dallas and Walker. They eventually added Bo Scarborough too and admitted significant interest in James Robinson as an UDFA (John Schenider said he was on the brink of signing with the Seahawks, before opting for Jacksonville).

In 2021 the combine was cancelled and in 2019 we identified Alex Barnes, Damien Harris, Alexander Mattison, LJ Scott, Miles Sanders, Dexter Williams and Tony Pollard as possible options. Running back was an unlikely target with the depth they had at the position. With a strong emphasis on special teams improvement they selected Travis Homer in round six mainly because he was considered to be one of the top special teamer’s in the draft. That was more of a special teams exception than anything indicative. Homer has since added weight to try and expand his role on offense.

Key tests
Vertical, Broad, size

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

Positional assessment
Texas’ Bijan Robinson might be the best player in the draft. He’ll likely top many boards in terms of grade, depending on how teams view the concerns surrounding Jalen Carter’s maturity. He has superb acceleration to shift up the gears when he breaks into space. He can drive through contact and finish runs. He’s a fantastic receiver. Someone will take him in the top-15, guaranteed. Robinson headlines a deep class full of options. Jahmyr Gibbs is a dynamic runner and receiver who could also go in the top-40. Kenny McIntosh, Zach Charbonnet, Tyjae Spears and Israel Abanikanda all carry second round grades on my horizontal board. There’ll be attractive options deep into round three and beyond — including Chris Rodriguez, Chase Brown, Tank Bigsby, Zach Evans, Roschon Johnson, Evan Hull, Eric Gray, Deuce Vaughan, Devon Achane and DeWayne McBridel. This is probably the deepest position in the draft.

Interesting note
In the past the Seahawks seemed to 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 better explosive testers than runners. Things have shifted slightly in recent years. Rashaad Penny wasn’t quite as explosive but ran a 4.46. They admitted after the 2022 draft that they thought there were two top-level running backs — Ken Walker (who they drafted) and Breece Hall. Walker ran a 4.38 and Hall a 4.39. It could be that having adjusted to a new blocking scheme, they’re placing a greater emphasis on speed and quickness.

The best drill to watch
It’s nice to see the running backs cutting against pads while showing body control and quickness in the open field. You can tell who has it and who doesn’t in these drills and it’s where Walker really excelled a year ago — looking so good changing direction despite having a very muscular, thick frame. He looked like a beast and moved like a ballerina.

Five names to watch
Bijan Robinson, Kenny McIntosh, Zach Charbonnet, Tyjae Spears, Israel Abanikanda

Potential standout
Little is known of the testing potential of the bigger names so it’s going to be intriguing to see how they get on. For that reason I’ll give a shout-out to Roschon Johnson here. He was ranked 26th by Bruce Feldman on the ‘freaks’ list and can reportedly run at a top-speed of 22.6mph despite being around 220lbs.

Importance to the Seahawks
It’s hard to say. They invested a high pick in Ken Walker despite already bringing back Rashaad Penny. Do they re-sign Penny again? If not, they’ll need to do something at running back. I don’t expect Bijan Robinson to last to #20 (the Seahawks will have a big call to make if he does). I think the great depth at the position means they’ll be able to draft an adequate RB2 later on if needs be and address other positions with their high picks.

The week ahead

Throughout the combine I’ll be producing a live blog updating testing results, followed by a reflective piece at the end of each day. I’ll also be delivering daily live streams to offer thoughts and observations. My podcast partner Robbie Williams is attending the combine and will also provide his own analysis from Lucas Oil Field.

If you enjoy the blog and appreciate what we do, including this 10,000 word combine preview — why not consider supporting the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. Kieran

    10,000 words?!
    Excited to get torn into this bad boy.
    Tremendous effort as per usual, Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      10,655 😂

      • TomLPDX

        I gave up when I got to the QB section, it took me all afternoon to just get that far. I WILL go back and finish the article tomorrow. Your content and analysis is beyond amazing but can I may a suggestion? Break it up and publish the section each day that the players get there.

        Rob, you know I read every word that you publish, along with all the comments by this awesome group of SDB regulars. Just making a suggestion.

        And thank you again for all this outstanding content.

        • Rob Staton

          Your content and analysis is beyond amazing but can I may a suggestion? Break it up and publish the section each day that the players get there.

          I have too much live content going on during that period unfortunately, it’d get lost in the wash

          I know it’s a long piece but I still believe in long-form articles

          • TomLPDX

            And I appreciate that. Looking forward to the stuff you have prepped for the week and will read every word.

          • vanhawksfan

            God bless you Rob! I took a couple of hours to keep coming back to it with a busy day but, fucking insightful and extremely well reasoned. Emotion is what connects most of us to sports but logic is what keeps me involved in the offseason. Thank you for all of your thoughtful analysis!

          • MountainHawker

            Loved the long form. No fluff. All quality content.

  2. Snip

    Well there goes my work productivity for the rest of the afternoon! Awesome job as always Rob!

  3. Tatupu51

    Oh, man… that’s brutal, poor guy

    Boise State S JL Skinner, projected as a Day 2 pick who was expected to perform well at the Scouting Combine, tore his pec in training Friday, source says. Will still interview with teams this week but can’t do any drills. Surgery to be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache next week.

    • KnoxHawk

      Could have been repping 225lbs a little too much!

      • Steve Nelsen

        Terrible news for JL. But it may make it more likely he ends up a Seahawk. No pressure to start as a rookie while he recovers. And I couldn’t see Seattle using a 2nd-round with other needs but 3-4? Yes.

    • DriveByPoster

      Great work Rob! 10,000+ words & they are nearly all in the right order! 😀

      It’s interesting, & challenging, to see the Seahawks selection criteria evolving. Although the talent profile is a bit top heavy this year, it could be the most entertaining draft for a long time. Even considering last year’s excellent rookie class.

  4. no frickin clue


    Amazing job on this preview. Thank you.

    If you juxtapose (1) position depth in this draft, with (2) likely position depth in free agency, what positions would you prefer that the Seahawks go after in FA?

    • Rob Staton

      I would prefer focus on the trenches in both TBH

      Good, solid, veteran Center and DL help would be my focus

      • Madmark

        Definitely the DL because to quite honest I’m not sure after Ford and Woods who will be here. That’s a lot holes to fill in the 3 position that aren’t edge rushers. There’s just so many holes on this defensive hopefully we will find these new heroes.

  5. Steve Nelsen

    What an extraordinary article. Thank you.

  6. Tatupu51

    Just finished reading, this was fantastic, thank you!

  7. Robbie

    Dude, this is next level! So good! I’m fired up to attend the combine! Looking forward to getting more coverage this year!

    • TomLPDX

      Daily reports are required Robbie!

    • Romeo A57

      Make sure to tell the Bears to select Anthony Richardson with the first overall pick 🙂

  8. j hawk

    Wow Rob loved it- not bad for your first novel.

    • John

      haha, was at least a good chapter.

  9. Matt

    Man, Jalen Carter…just keeps confirming why he can be someone else’s problem. I’m sure the usual suspects will rush out to post more articles how he’s a nice guy; completely missing the point that the concerns are work ethic, maturity, and if he’s fully bought in.

    • Roy Batty

      I’m curious what he does for his pro day. Will he even attend Georgia’s workouts, or will he do the “interviews only” routine again?

      • Matt

        Honestly…who knows with this dude. Nothing would surprise me. All I know is that his motivation/laziness must be a real issue because there’s a massive PR campaign to explain how good of a guy he is; when nobody said anything along the lines that he was a bad guy.

        • Glor

          I wouldn’t go this far, I think it is fair to take the wait and see approach, maybe he does a monster workout at the pro day. But regardless, I can’t imagine his stock not be affected by this decision a bit.

          In other news:
          D Payne just got the franchise tag

  10. Ashish

    Rob, i am at DE in my reading but want to acknowledge this is such a awesome format just amazing thank you.

  11. dand393

    Rob thanks so much this is unbelievable, what a great article

  12. QAgrizzly

    How much do you think it will effect someone like Karl Brooks draft stock in not being invited to combine or have teams already made decisions on him? Thanks

  13. Happy Hawk

    Best coverage and analysis of the combine anywhere! Rob you have outkicked all the coverages!

  14. Big Mike

    I haven’t even started reading this but I wanted to jump to mention that Cowherd just had a long segment about Will Levis and said pretty much all the same things Rob has said about him. More importantly he also stated he talked to 2 NFL executives last week and both agreed with he and Rob about the guy. Perhaps someone can find the segment on YouTube and post it later today.

  15. cha

    Thank you very much Rob. Always one of the best posts of the year!

    The work and details are amazing.

    I am hoping they take a QB at 5, and then BPA the rest.

    Even if that means taking players with positions of depth, like DE or guard.

    • pdway

      That’s where I come out too – – take advantage of this once in a decade top-5 pick that happens to fall in a year w a nice selection of top QB prospects.

      Adding my kudos for the article – super informative and interesting. Much appreciate the work.

    • Zeke

      Yup, always BPA in the draft, and use free agency for needs, except for QB.

      When was the last time the Seahawks ever had a crack at one of the top QB prospects?

  16. Trevor

    All I can say is WOW! The content this off season has taken it to another level Rob. Thanks so much for this. No need to go anywhere else to prep for the Combine / Draft.

  17. Gross MaToast

    If David Foster Wallace did draft previews…

    This is why, for the foreseeable future, draft season might be the best part of being a Seahawk fan.

    Great stuff, Rob.

    • pdway

      first DFW reference on SDB (I believe?), and I am very much here for it….. 🙂

      • God of Thunder

        Same! I’d like some Cormac McCarthy thrown in too.

    • seanmatt

      All it lacked was footnotes

    • vanhawksfan

      Well said.

  18. John

    Kudos Rob, I read every word. Fantastic article!
    I really liked the “best drill to watch” section.
    In won’t be watching the drills, but look forward to results.
    All these athletics traits are needed, but I think game tape and high desire to succeed. (motor),
    should be the tipping point for quality acquisitions.
    Thanks for a great article.

  19. DW


  20. UkAlex6674

    I cannot wait to sit down with a brew when the kids are in bed to read this!

    I say it each year – what makes this so special is the YEARS of comparative data to draw down from. This is borne out of superb research and hard time put in, underpinned by a methodical and detailed yet easy to read peice.

    As a wordsmith in a job whose very existence is based on research and quality of presentation format, I salute you Rob for yet again putting out what I already know will be another masterpiece.

    Thank you!

  21. All I see is 12s

    Thank you for this work Rob. Look forward to digging in to this!
    Wanted to get everyone’s thoughts. In Al Breers new article he mentions that Jeff Bezos, who has been strongly linked to the Commanders, would actually prefer to buy the Seahawks. What do you guys think? My initial thoughts are that Bezos for all his quirks, is an absolute shark AND he takes pride in the PNW. And he’s a winner. I’d be happy

    • BK26

      Personally, I think he would prefer the Commanders. I guess he lives there, owns the Washington Post, and wants to be near to all of the politics.

      I don’t want him as an owner. He just seems like he only wants a team for the status of owing one. And some guys you just don’t want to root for. I don’t see him being an owner as a benefit for the team.

      No matter what, in my opinion, we had one of the best, most humble owners in professional sports. Anyone else is going to be a let down.

      And as a Milwaukee Bucks fan, I am PISSED and worried that Haslem bought into the team, even if it is minority. Like I said, some guys you just don’t want to root for..

      • All I see is 12s

        Yeah, Al Breer of SI is the one who reported the Bezos may prefer Seattle. Wasn’t my opinion

        • BK26

          I think no matter what, those are the two markets he would want.

          Honestly could be that the Commanders are available first so try to buy them first.

      • pdway

        He has his main home still in the Seattle area. And if you want an owner who is going to demand accountability, and instill a culture of never settling for the status quo…..I can tell you pretty first-hand, you’d get that. That’s all assuming he gives it attention of course, he does seem to be finding a lot of random ways to spend his time these days.

        • Glor

          Regardless of how he spends his time, your point about accountability still stands, I think he would be a damn fine owner for the hawks.

  22. Big Mike

    Incredible content Rob and one helluvan effort. Really appreciated.

  23. Al U

    Tremendous preview. Great work, Rob.

  24. Palatypus

    Keanu Benton will own the drills, just like he did at the Senior Bowl.

  25. Brett

    Fantastic content as always, thanks Rob. The format is superb and attention to detail really make this top notch.

    I’m really hoping Seattle goes QB at #5 (Stroud, Richardson, Levis in that order) and Drew Sanders at #20, then address DL, IOL, and WR with their day 2 picks. It’ll be interesting to see how Sanders tests, but he seems to have great closing speed for perimeter runs & throws to the flats, has legit pass rushing chops attacking both the edge and interior, and brings that fiery intensity like you mentioned. For a defense that wants to be “multiple” as Hurtt has mentioned, I think he fits the bill really well.

    I like Keoin White, but unsure if he’d be there at #38, so I lean towards Ade Ade or Keeanu Benton there. Wypler has a wrestling background, which could factor in like you mention. Downs, Mingo, or Reed are my preferred day 2 picks at WR.

    With more draft capital in the top 100 than last year, Seattle really has an opportunity to repeat knocking it out of the park like last year and the foundation of the two classes would put the team in great position to contend in 2024 and beyond.

  26. cha

    Community request:

    Sounds like Pete and John are having a press conference tomorrow. It should be live broadcast on the Seahawks’ youtube channel.

    If you see a time/post for it, can you please post it here?

    Press request:

    Please don’t waste your time asking about Bobby Wagner. JS has already said he’s under contract until March 15 so they can’t discuss a player on another team. And so help me, if you ask them if Bobby Wagner is still a good player…

    Also. Nobody wants to hear about the RW tried to get them fired story. Let some other wonk ask and them deny the whole thing and just move forward.

    Exercise some restraint and save your powder for real Seahawks issues. You won’t get to talk to these guys until the draft. Make them count.

    We want to hear about the draft.

    We want to hear about their plans for Geno Smith.

    We want to hear what he’s looking for in a QB.

    We want to hear critical injury updates. Jamal, Alton, Tyreke, Dissly, Mone, Brooks, Penny (yes I know he’ll be a FA)

    We want to hear about fixing this defense. The coaching, the scheme, the fits. Everything. Let’s get some follow-up from Pete’s EOY press conf.

    • Rob Staton


    • 805Hawk

      This. 100 x this. Please, for the love of all that is sacred, this.

    • Big Mike

      Knowing the Seattle media you’ll get a whole lot of what you don’t want and very little of what you do want cha.

      • Big Mike

        And considering the whole situation with Wilson, it’ll probably draw national media and that’s all they’re gonna wanna talk about. Maybe it’ll give Pete a chance to say neener, neener, neener.

      • cha

        Last year’s was pretty good.

        They talked about being arrogant on defense, refused to commit to Wagner being on the team, and outlined they wanted a player like Darrell Taylor’s profile on the edges.

        • Big Mike

          So you’re saying there’s a chance…

      • Hawkdawg

        It’s not just that. It’s also that Schneider in particular is extremely cautious about tipping his hand. For example, what is he going to tell us about Geno right now that could tip that hand, to Geno or to other teams? Nothing. Similarly, he’s not going to say anything he might be planning that could affect the cap, or his interest in a particular player group at the combine, or a particular player. It’s going to be pablum. It always is.

    • Mick

      Hope this helps, cha:
      February 28th (12 PM ET): Pete Carroll’s media availability
      February 28th (2:30 PM ET): John Schneider’s media availability

      • cha

        Perfect, thank you Mick!

    • MountainHawker

      I’m a day late but…they asked about Bobby. Asked about Russ. Brought up Geno. And taking a QB at 5. Plus injury updates on Dissly and Jamal. You’re doing pretty good on the bingo card

  27. TCHawk

    Great content, Rob! You make this an exciting time leading up to the draft.

    I am also looking forward to the measurements and testing of LBs Daiyan Henley and Dorian Williams. Both
    would be nice later round options. And, Mike Morris as a 5T.

  28. Mick

    Rob, that’s a huge documentation effort. Really appreciated, very interesting stuff.

  29. Group Captain Mandrake

    This is fantastic Rob! But that first round on your horizontal board? Oof. Looks like it’s not a good year to have multiple firsts. At least one of them is high so they can hopefully get the QB of the future.

  30. JimQ

    RE: Mazi Smith’s arm length, the 2 sites below indicate that he has 9-7/8″” hands, 33-6/8″ arms and 81-1/8″
    wingspan (along with a 4.85/40). –IF– the Seahawks want an early round nose tackle, he could be “the guy”. Woods had a fairly decent season however he’s also likely very close to retirement.

    Of course, the measurements may differ depending on source and this could just be another “cut & paste” propagation depending on the source, but hard to imagine the #’s were just made up or guessed at. I guess we will find out soon enough when the combine starts. It will be interesting how Smith does on the bench press with “++strength” being one of the descriptive words used to describe his talents. Maybe he even breaks the combine record in the bench press.

    • Rob Staton

      I hope that’s right but I suspect it isn’t

    • Madmark

      I call it DT1 is what I call it. Woods stood out but Mona needs to be replaced maybe Smith could be the answer we’ll know after the combine.

  31. ShowMeYourHawk

    This epic breakdown is what makes your work the pinnacle of Seahawks draft coverage, Rob. Thanks for devoting and giving us so much of your free time!

  32. JimQ

    Forgot to add:
    Rob, this was an outstanding piece of writing. Your analysis is superb and why you aren’t a national sports commentator, (but should be) is ridiculous. I hope that someday you get a major gig that allows you to show all those other loud-mouthed bums how to be a proper draft analyst. I appreciate how the detailed analysis that you do shows that you are a true NFL analyst and a true Seahawks fan. Bravo.

  33. J

    Rob, this is one of the better pieces that you have had on this site and that is saying something! Outstanding work.

  34. afleck

    This article was so informative I just signed up with Patreon. i have not gotten through all of your article, but the Will McDonald info was especially interesting. He seems a tad lighter than other top rated EDGYs. Any concern with that? Would he need/be able to add a Kilogram or two?

    • Rob Staton

      Ideally he plays at 250 so he would need to add weight

      But he’s such a fantastic athlete, perhaps not?

  35. pdway

    To start, it’s clear you’re right about the traits the Hawks look for at the various position groups – they really have left a trail of bread crumbs if you are looking closely (which you have done)- so I think your predictions are likely to ring true within a reasonable margin of error.

    But then the second thing that crossed my mind when i look back at our drafting tale of woe and mediocrity for position groups like LB, TE, and Safety…, are we sure these are the right traits? If adherence to these traits is getting you a bunch of Bartons, Burr-Kirvens, Pierre-Louis’s….should we be thinking about modifying the traits we are leaning on?

    • Rob Staton

      In fairness though those traits also helped us identify Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw as potential targets

      They just didn’t draft them

      Ditto George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce etc

      • pdway

        fair enough. i’m generally very much anti the ‘they could have drafted X over Y’ argument years after drafts, b/c nobody bats .1000. I suppose it’s nice to know their trait identifications put those TE’s on our radar.

  36. Simon McInnes

    I doubt you have time to do it, but what would be interesting is an indicator of which players you think will be elevated when your board has fewer people in a round band than there are picks. Gives us a chance to distinguish between a reach due to unusual thinking and a reach because of no other options

  37. Scott Bailey

    I always look forward to your takes. Many of us play the mock draft simulators on the internet and they seem to really overrate a lot of players compared to yours. For example, seems like every mock I have played has M. Murphy, B Bresee, P. Skoronski, and P. Johnson going in the top 15 just to name a few. That’s why I believe your list is closer to what a GM see’s.

    My question is this. Last year you were really high on Levis. If the Hawks are sitting at 5 and they are offered say a 7th from the Raiders and a 3rd this year, would you still take Levis or do the trade?

    • Ben

      Take Levis, but the value of they weren’t interested in a QB and a franchise QB available to draft would probably be #7 and next year’s 1st round or this year’s 2nd round. If all 4 WBs are already drafted, them #7 and a 3rd makes sense.

      The points system to me is a general system and when we’re talking specific players you’re giving someone else a chance on, you should adjust your demands.

  38. Jeff M

    Longtime reader Rob,
    I really appreciate the Seahawk content you (and cha) provide. I finally decided to become a Patreon supporter, should have contributed long ago. I visit SDB daily. A qb at #5 please.

  39. MarkinSeattle

    Outstanding article, Rob. I rarely feel the need to read into other sources, including after reading your articles.

    I will echo that I hope JS truly drafts best player available after the #5 pick. Whether it is a TE or a DE, if they grab a future pro bowl type player, everything else on the roster will work out. Having said that, I feel that we need two interior DL from the draft and FA. But I think the talent may align with our needs this year in the draft.

  40. Volume12

    Damn. This was a great read

    • Sea Mode


  41. Mark

    Thanks for your excellent analysis and tireless work. ( I still don’t know how you find time to sleep).

  42. Kuya

    The ultimate breakdown worthy of all the top sport writers’ awards. Great ish, Rob! Long time supporter of the blog and your work, but comments sparingly.

    One important session that John/Pete utilize during the combine is the player interview for all positions (you’ve said it in the past, just calling it out). John/Pete determine if the player has the grit, the personality fit, the passion for the game, the strive to be great, competitive, etc. With Jalen Carter declining to workout all together, it is very telling to me he is relying on his talent to do the talking vs. being a competitor in a class full of athletes – it can either be a smart move knowing he’s a top 5 pick and not risk injury, or stupid, especially if there are character or football passion questions. That interview will help.

    Regardless, we have an opportunity to either pick one of the top 4 QBs or top 2 defensive players with our #5 pick. Exciting times.

    • cha

      About as milquetoast a report as you’ll ever get from Breer.

      There’s nothing there.

      • cha

        Well apparently it’s cause enough to get the franchise tag crowd back on their song and dance.

        The piece reads like Geno is their option if the 5 guys they consider ahead of him don’t work out. And not even then. It just says they would consider it.

    • Rob Staton

      Doubt it

  43. cha

    Ian Rapoport
    The #Commanders have released QB Carson Wentz.

    • Kuya

      What’s the consensus on bringing Wentz in for a visit and potentially be our stop-gap/bridge QB? I’m assuming he’ll be cheaper than Geno, but more expensive than Lock.

      • Rob Staton

        No thanks

        His goose is cooked

      • Hughz

        Not a leader even if he could hit broad side of a barn.

  44. Rob Staton

    Appreciate the kind words in the comments section, thank you

    Also really appreciate the new Patrons

    If you get a chance to share it around on other forums, Reddit or wherever — please do. The more eyes on it, the more worthwhile it is to do.

    Plus if you’re on Twitter, a RT would be much appreciated

  45. JJ


    This is why I have been coming here for so many years. The information you provide is fantastic. After reading I had to increase the patreon donation. Thank you.

  46. Trevor

    Before Combine
    Rob : Richardson, Levis and Stroud are all worthy of being a top 5 pick.

    Seahawks Twitter and National Media: Anthony Richardson is raw / over rated and look at Will Levis terrible stats.”

    After Combine

    Rob : Richardson, Levis and Stroud are all worthy of being a top 5 pick.

    Seahawks Twitter and National Media: Anthony Richardson is a freak and could be a super star / Will Levis is the next Josh Allen.

    • Big Mike

      not hyperbole

      • Peter

        If Daniel jeremiah is gonna move Keion White to #8 overall after one week of seeing his name for the first time….Trevor’s post is going to be 100% accurate next week.

    • Ashish

      Salk says he will be okay to take a chance on Richardson in 2nd round – not thrilled.I want JS to pick QB at #5 if we trade down, there is no chance to get top 4 QB period.

      • Rob Staton

        Not thrilled on taking him in R2?

        It would be an absolute gift from the gods

        One day we’ll come to accept that world class traits and limitless potential in a QB is a good thing, even if they require development, and should be no more feared than the defensive linemen in this draft who are great athletes with inconsistent (or in some cases ‘bad’) tape

      • Peter

        Good thing Salk is as close to being a scout gm for the seahawks as I am.

        Thank *god* Salk is comfy with Richardson in the 2nd. No need to get a qbotf.

        I’m sure John is okay staking his legacy and career to the whims of Pete and the Seattle media visa vie geno.

        • pdway

          I know there’s more that needs to go into it – but just from a pure fan perspective, would be a lot of fun to be the team that has Richardson bringing his crazy athleticism to the Hawks games every Sunday.

          Is it too optimistic to say his floor is a Justin Fields type of playmaker? Or just totally diff guys?

          • Rob Staton

            He’s a better passer than Fields and likely a similar if not better athlete

            Certainly built better to take hits

            • Ashish

              I’m sure JS will not miss Levis or AR at #5 he knows that’s great option.

              • Al U


                I enjoyed this breakdown of Anthony Richardson and how he can negotiate pressure and manipulate the coverage. Granted, it focuses on select plays to make a point, and doesn’t show some of his less accurate throws, but despite any lack of accuracy, there’s a tonne there to work with. And if he can sharpen up his accuracy he’d be so fun to get to watch on your team every week. And it might just be the games I’ve watched, but despite the low completion % he doesn’t seem to put the ball in harm’s way a lot, – it tends to be a drop or if it’s sailed it tends to be sailed into empty space.

            • ErickV

              I agree, I’ve been getting called silly names in YouTube comments sections for saying it . It’s insane how people use completion percentage as the only stat they use to tell if a QB prospect is good or not.

          • MountainHawker

            It sounds funny, but my favorite part of Richardsons game is the threat of his legs and what it could do for our run game. If defenders hesitate for even a split second because of the threat of Richardson, Walker has the homerun speed to punish them and house it.

        • BK26

          Don’t sell yourself short. I respect your opinion on anything Seahawk related infinitely more than ol’ Salko.

          All it takes is for Richardson going in the first and you pull ahead of him scout-wise haha!

          • Peter

            I just thought of a horrible segment on radio where they ask the randos here on SDB a couple of thoughts and get their (Salk, Wyman, etc) brains blown but ideas that aren’t even in their wheelhouse:


            DL that might be as good 20-37 as top five.

            That the LBs might actually not be that good.

            Clearly that segment would be one and done!

  47. Martin Blank

    I’m really confused by the consistent talk about hand size with this stuff. The NFL doesn’t actually measure hand size. What they are measuring is finger spread, from tip of pinky to tip of thumb. Measured that way, I have a hand size of 9 3/4 inches. My pinky and thumb go nearly 180* from each other, but I have pretty stubby fingers. not sure how this matters when it comes to holding/catching/throwing a football.

    It seems even less important for someone like a lineman. I just don’t get why its even something we pay attention to at all.

    • Rob Staton

      Well the league certainly thinks it’s important at center

    • BK26

      Have an 8 year old pick up and throw a football and then you do it. Who had an easier time?

  48. Sea Mode

    😲 Sounds like a relatively short time period to add that much on a smaller guy like him. Hope he hasn’t lost any agility.

  49. Sea Mode

    Hopefully this will push him down a bit to where we can get him at even better value and line him up to replace one of our current safeties.

    • Glor

      They probably roid up to put the weight on that quick, then stop and let it get out of your system.

  50. Sea Mode

    Is it now that we finally end up losing him?

    Ian Rapoport

    #Seahawks associate head coach and defensive assistant Sean Desai is in the building in Philly today, doing a second interview for the #Eagles vacant DC job, per me and @MikeGarafolo. Desai, a Vic Fangio disciple, is a finalist for the post previously held by Jonathan Gannon.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m intrigued by this because if he’s that good — what’s it going to do to our defense to lose a coach we can rely on? There’s nobody out there who jumps out who could replace him.

      • Peter

        I’m neither pro Hurtt nor pro desai and part of me thinks they both might be not tge right person(s) for the job.

        That said I think it might be better for the defense next year to not have some hodge podge coaching structure.

        • Rob Staton

          Possibly true

          I just cringe at the thought that the only thing that worked last year was Woolen, Jackson and Neal

          And Desai was supposedly hands on with the DB’s

          The D-line sucked — as it has done for years — and that’s been Hurtt’s gig

        • Troy

          Ed Donatell on line 1….

          • Rob Staton

            Oh god, I forgot about him

            • Peter

              Let’s not with donatell.

              Also I’d rather desai over Hurtt by the smallest of margins.

              • Big Mike

                Sorry guys but I think the D is almost all Carroll. We saw little in the way of improvement from Norton to Hurtt/Desai. That tells me Carroll is running it. Also the continued strong play by the defensive backfield tells me the same thing, It’s his specialty and he’s proven to be very good at coaching that area.

                • Peter

                  I think this is probably right about the dbs.

                  I just lean desai over hurtt because he actually seems lost out there. Hurtt as dc that is.

      • Denver Hawker

        He’s also interviewed for just about every open DC job and lost out- I’m trying not to read into that. I’m hoping he stays another year to get those comp picks eventually.

        • cha

          If he can’t land a DC he’s not landing a HC job.

          • Denver Hawker

            Oh, I forgot it has to be HC- ugh

          • Hughz

            I wonder if salary has anything to do with it. I’m sue Seahawks are paying a premium for him so perhaps the DC salary elsewhere just isn’t comparable.

  51. Canadian Hawk

    Absolute Tour de force Rob.

    Doubt we’d see this on “49ers Draft Blog.” 😛

    You mentioned the Seahawks went against type in drafting Tre Brown. They saw how well DJ played and wanted another player like that.

    Could we see more of that this draft? A new/fresh way of looking at things?

    33 arms be dammed – Kancey would make a bloody great Seahawk. (IMO)

    Thanks for putting in the time (again).

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’ve shown they’re always willing to make an exception for the right player

      Kancey could be that right player

  52. Rob Staton

    Updated the article to add a line about San Fran’s out of contract Jake Brendel — who has the size, scheme connection and ran a blistering 4.27 short shuttle

    Also has a wrestling background

    Could be an option…

  53. Kent

    I thought this before the draft because Myles Murphy has the same frame as JJ Watt / Chandler Jones. But if he blows up the combine and since jalen carter is not participating (outside of interviews) do you think Myles Murphy will leapfrog Carter on draft boards and possibly go #3/#4 overall instead of Jalen Carter?

    Not to mention de is traditionally valued much higher then d-tackle. A few months ago I couldn’t see this but I think it seems like a very real emerging possibility. I fully expect Murphy to be a combine warrior though so add an asterisk to that happening.

    • Rob Staton

      No, I don’t expect that

      Murphy’s tape is not good

      • Kent

        Neither was Trevaun Walker’s a year ago. His tape was actually worse then Murphy’s and even less production. What if Murphy has a combine like Trevaun Walker both in athletics but also in combine interviews.

        • Rob Staton

          Travon Walker’s tape was miles better than Myles Murphy’s a year ago

          What you’re saying simply isn’t true

          • Kent

            Travaun Walker had 6 sacks and 7.5 tkl. To say his tape was miles better is hyperbole imo. All while having help from literally the best defensive line in maybe college history. There were 3 first round picks on that line last year and also had jalen carter who will be another 1st rounder.

            I will admit Travaun’s tape was a bit better but Travaun went #1 overall. I think Myles Murphy could very well go before Jalen Carter. Whether you like his tape or not he will have an elite physical profile and if coaches deem him as having “elite” character as well they may very well convince themselves they can get the best out of him meanwhile they may be skeptical of what they can get out of Carter. You have to admit that much is true.

            • Rob Staton

              Travaun Walker had 6 sacks and 7.5 tkl. To say his tape was miles better is hyperbole imo.

              This is just box-score scouting.

              I studied every game the Georgia defense played in 2021 and I watched every game Clemson’s defense played — live — in 2022.

              If you can say the same, I’m willing to accept your criticism. Otherwise, let’s slow down on what is ‘hyperbole’. There’s a reason why Trevon Walker was the #1 pick and it’s not because his tape was ‘bad’.

              Murphy did not play well in 2022, was run all over against Notre Dame and didn’t even start some games. These are facts.

              All while having help from literally the best defensive line in maybe college history.

              What, and the Clemson line wasn’t loaded? Bresee, Henry, Davis, plus the usual unflux of five-star helpers.

              I will admit Travaun’s tape was a bit better but Travaun went #1 overall.

              So in the space of one comment you’ve gone from saying Walker’s tape was worse than Murphy’s, to saying it’s now a ‘bit better’. Not a very compelling argument if you’re going to flip-flop.

              I think Myles Murphy could very well go before Jalen Carter.

              This will only happen if Carter’s character craters his stock, which I don’t expect. Murphy is one of the most overrated players in the draft.

              Whether you like his tape or not he will have an elite physical profile and if coaches deem him as having “elite” character as well they may very well convince themselves they can get the best out of him meanwhile they may be skeptical of what they can get out of Carter. You have to admit that much is true.

              But he doesn’t have elite character. He looks like a player who got by on natural athleticism in college and won’t be able to do that at the next level. His technique never developed. His run defense is poor. He doesn’t have a variety of moves or counters. His frame lacks muscle definition.

              Good athlete, yes. Not much else to get excited about.

  54. Ryan Purcell

    Great work on this post. You have outdone yourself. Looking forward to following the draft along side this blog.

  55. BobbyK

    You’ve clearly outdone yourself on this story.

    Your “hobby” clearly puts to shame over 99% of people who actually do this for a living.

    That sickening Broncos win week 17 still kills me… knowing we could/would/should have had the #3 overall pick… that would have allowed Schneider to draft a QB guaranteed and we’d never have to worry about Ge-NO! ever again. The roads of Seattle would be safer, too.

    • Big Mike

      Don’t forget the Colts’ total tank job vs. Houston week 17 which moved us from #4 to #5. If Goodell was anything more than a grossly overpaid puppet he’d have hammered them for such blatant rolling over.

      • Julian L

        IT’s why I’ve felt for a while that the draft order should be set after the 15th game. It’d be a better reflection of how teams have performed over the season, rather than including games at the end, when teams play back ups or poorly to improve their draft stock.

  56. BobbyK

    If I’m an NFL GM I don’t take Jalen Carter in the first round. Why? Anyone as lazy as him isn”t worth my time. I think of Albert Haynesworth. Even he didn’t get that lazy until he signed his big money NFL deal. Carter can’t even participate in the combine (or barely show up for a National Championship).

  57. Denver Hawker

    DJ checking in with his Top 50- seeing some improvement- particularly in names getting dropped (appropriately) from earlier R1. Like other ‘draft experts’ I’m guessing he’s starting to get insider tips.

    • Rob Staton

      Basically admitting here he hadn’t watched Kancey until the last week or so

      • Peter

        Good to see previous player rankings. White dropping seven spots…..for reasons…..makes sense to me!! What is going on?

      • Denver Hawker

        Lol- yeah, oops

      • BobbyK


      • Al U

        It drives me nuts how many analysts and hosts, both locally and nationally, seem to get away with doing so little research. I still can’t quite get over Salk talking about the currently vacant QB position for probably the best part of 20 solid hours this month, coming to essentially the same position as this blog, that they shouldn’t overpay Geno, should probably gain leverage by signing Lock first, and whether they sign Geno or Lock, should draft a QB anyway (but not in the 1st round) but he clearly hasn’t seen any of the draft prospects play. You can go onto YouTube and see 10 minute cut ups of every throw for at least a handful of games per QB, so you don’t even need to invest that much time. The show would be so much better if the hosts all had at least a vague idea of the prospects in play.

        • Rob Staton

          Sounds like they’d benefit from a guest on the show who’s watched every game the top QB’s in this class have ever played… 👀

          • Al U

            The very thought frequently crosses my mind…

          • Spencer

            Apologies if this is something that you’ve answered before, but how do your views generally clash/coincide with Brock and/or Salk? I know you were on with Jake and Stacey a few times. Have you ever been on with Brock and Salk?

            • Rob Staton

              I haven’t been on 710 Seattle Sports at all since Jake’s departure, despite positive feedback from the presenters and listeners after every spot (which became a very regular thing in the 18 months prior to Jake leaving)

              I am not holding out any hope of being invited on again, sadly

              • Spencer

                Maybe as the draft gets closer and more of the fanbase starts to focus on it? If not, then it’s their loss.

          • MountainHawker

            I know they’re not Seattle specific, but I’d love to see you on a show with the Bootleg football guys on YouTube. Just talking prospects etc etc.

            • Rob Staton

              I’m open to invites on any show — usually been on a few at this time of year — so far, the number is zero pod or radio appearances in 2023

    • McZ

      On Zay Flowers, “Overall, Flowers’ only flaw is his lack of size and bulk.”…

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        That’s a strange workout regimen. It resulted in his head looking larger too.

        • Osprey

          Right side photo is a step closer, look at the necklace relative size.

          • Group Captain Mandrake

            Yeah but his head looks bigger comparatively to his body even if you cover up the left side

  58. Sea Mode

    Rob identified this in him long ago…

  59. Madmark

    One of reason this defense was so bad, in my opinion, was they didn’t have a lot of players that fit the positions. You under Chuck Knox we ran base 3-4 defense and they were pretty good. The main 3 guys we’re Jacob Green, Joe Nash, and Jeff Bryant. Those 3 guys put up 32 sacks a year and this is what needs in this draft. The 3 guys that I’m looking in this draft for to fill these 3 spots are Byron Young, Keena Benton, and Keion White. I’ll throw all pro Kenny Easily SS and Fred Young Weak ILB and the 2 in the future was Drew Sanders and J.L. Skinner. These were my thoughts on how to build a better defense under this new system. We have 9 picks I used 5 to address the problem we have on this team. The cap space doesn’t seem to be enough for big splash in free agency. It seems maybe 1 and the rest will cheap depth positions. Who knows if we wait long enough everyone else run out of money and maybe we get a deal Cliff Avril and Michael Bennet.

  60. Rob Staton

    As predicted — DaRon Payne tagged

    Can only imagine Washington is doing this now, timing wise, because they want to see what the trade market is at the combine. They spent a R2 pick on his replacement a year ago and probably just want to get something for him rather than letting him walk

    Now let’s see if they’re willing to be reasonable on price — and whether the Seahawks have any interest in using some of their stock to fill a huge need, without needing to get into a free agency bidding war with other teams

    • Zeke

      They gave up a 3rd+Jacob Martin+Mingo for Clowney after he was tagged, so maybe it could be something like a 3rd+Alton Robinson+Quinton Jefferson for Payne?

    • KnoxHawk

      I would be beyond stoked if they made this trade for a reasonable price (i.e. not jamal adams like). Payne has proven to be disruptive and reliable throughout his career. Would be nice to see someone on our D Line not get driven off the ball every damn play.

    • cha

      Keim says the Commanders are already negotiating an extension with Payne.–eGg66AtAAAA

      That doesn’t mean they are not trading him, but if they are serious about it, hopefully talks will have to come to a point where they consider trading him sooner rather than later.

  61. Rushless pass

    Wasn’t Peter Skoranski the #1 ranked center in the nation heading into college? You think he would be a good option at center or would he have to be drafted too early?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to say without ever seeing him do it

      But I am intrigued to see how he tests

  62. Tatupu51

    Guys, let’s say JS convinced PC to draft a QB at 5, either Levis or Richardison and one of them is available at our pick, but some trades at the start leave Will Anderson also available.

    What should JS do? Stick to a QB or draft the best defensive player of the draft?

    I’m torn.

    • BK26


      That is the easiest question that I will see all day. There are other guys on defense with any other pick we have. There won’t be any quarterbacks for us if we pass at 5.

      • Peter


        Free pick.

        Need…..whether people want to hear it or not

        Then the variables:

        1. Financials
        2. 33 plus year old qbs not named Brady/rodgersget found out
        3. John’s contract is longer than Pete’s and it is his actual job to think about the here and now and the future of the team.

        Sub level variable:

        Improve interior dline and there’s a chance that nwossu plays even better. Use taylor correctly and he plays better. And mafe in year two just through natural process and maybe not giving hid reps to Irvin plays better.

    • Matt

      I love Will Anderson and think he’ll be a good player, for sure. I’m just not sure he’s special and will ever be more than a good player.

  63. Trevor

    10 Players I am most excited to see at combine.

    #1 Anthony Richardson- I placed a small wager on Richardson to go #1 overall during the college season along with several others here on the blog. For that reason I hope he blows up the combine and the hype train rolls. As a Hawks fan however would love to see him at #5.

    #2 Kelijah Kancey – The Hawks have needed an interior pass rusher for as long as I can remember and Kancey looks legit on tape. Absolutely love his speed, quickness and motor. Praying he has the 33″ arms the Hawks want. If he does then I will be mocking him at #20 going forward.

    #3 Mazi Smith – Supposed to be an absolute freak who will blow up the combine. He would be another great addition to the DL if his arm length is there. How about Kancey at 20 and Smith at 38. Would certainly go a long way towards fixing the DL.

    #4 Michael Mayer – The best all around TE I have seen in a long time. Really anxious to see how his 40 and agility times look.

    #5 Devon Achane – Just for the spectacle of watching this kid run and jump. Will he break the 40 record?

    #6 Will McDonald – He looked like he was playing at a completely different speed than the other DL at the Senior Bowl. Cant wait to see how he tests and think he is a lock for the magic 1.50s 10yd split time the Hawks look for in their edge rushers.

    #7 Payne Durham- He looked like a great blocking TE who catches the ball well at the Senior Bowl. If he has the agility / short area quickness the Hawks look for in the 3 cone / short shuttle then he could be high on their list with all TE on the roster in the final year of deals.

    #8 Terrell Smith – The Gophers CB is my choice this year as the Hawks 5th round CB steal. I hope he has 32″ arms because I think he is going to be a great tester and run in the 4.4 range. Mark this guy down as a Hawk on day #3 if he does.

    #9 Joel Tipman – He is going to star and the combine and could be an ideal C for the Hawks going forward if they don’t want to go for a Center early. He reminds me of a more athletic Max Unger. Almost hope he does not test so well that he shoots up teams draft boards.

    #10 All the Canadian Kids (Sydney Brown, Chase. Brown, Matthew Bergeron, Tavius Robinson, Sidy Sow) – Every year I am looking and hoping there is a Canadian Kid who might be of interest to the Hawks. This year there are at least 3. The Brown brothers should light up the combine and would be ideal picks for the Hawks from Rd #3 on. Matthew Bergeron is not my favourite OL prospect but he could be a nice OT to Guard convert.

    Going to be a fun week.

  64. Trevor

    Mel has a new mock out. Has the Hawks taking Anthony Richardson after a trade back with the Panthers and Myles Murphy at 20.

    Not sure the Hawks would risk trading back an missing out on him if they like Richardson enough to take him with their first pick. Personally would prefer they stay at 5 and take him but if it worked out like this and they could add a bunch of more draft capital I would not complain.

    • Volume12

      I agree about taking him @ 5 if they have to. If it’s a swing & miss? That’s ok too. Gotta roll the dice and take chances on guys w/ his traits.

      • Rob Staton


        No idea why people are so scared of rolling the dice on a QB with superstar potential

        But are quite happy to take a chance on people like Carter

        • Volume12

          Because they think Geno is the long term answer. I think Geno was a ‘happy accident for lack of a better phrase. Better than they thought. But for me? It says Pete’s system is pretty damn QB friendly which would make it easy for a rookie or a guy sitting for year to pick things up and get going outta the gate.

          FTR, I think Geno is talented but he’s very much a rhythmic passer

          • Trevor

            “Happy Accident” sums it up perfectly

        • Steve Nelsen

          Rob, you know the psychology of drafting is my love.

          I think so many people are wired for fear. They look for reasons to say no. No prospect is perfect. That’s why all those fans are terrible when it comes to the draft because mentally they are not wired to be GMs.

          Also, many fans (and writers) manage the draft by comparisons. Comps are easy to handle mentally and you can communicate a great deal of information quickly with a good comp. But a comp is also a box. If a writer compares Levis or Richardson to some inaccurate passing prospect who failed, they are leading them to an answer.

          Recently, I have borrowed a comp Rob made for Richardson, “He is like Justin Fields but a better passer.”

    • GrittyHawk

      Yowza. He also has Will McDonald ranked #10 in his updated Top-25, and has him going #8 to Atlanta. Mel definitely trying to get ahead of the curve before he blows up the combine this week.

    • Spectator

      I would be very happy with those two picks, with or without a slight trade back.

    • dand393

      It also drives me nuts when I see Mel say Murphy is strong against the run, which leads me to believe he also is not watching the film maybe just highlights

  65. Rob Staton

    Not a big fan of the attention Ari Meirov & Dov Kleiman get on Twitter

    They gain traction by recycling other people’s reports

    Lousy way to operate IMO. Just retweet the person doing the actual journalism

    See there tweets shared far more than I see RT’s for the people doing the reporting

    • Trevor

      They are the parasites of sports “journalism” if you can call it that. They feed off bad new and rumour mostly as well.

    • Brett

      It’s so lazy. Literally anyone could do their job if you just follow the NFLN & ESPN guys, team accounts, select beat reporters, and just regurgitate what they say while “giving them credit”

  66. Happy Hawk

    The QB carousel is in full swing: Wenzt cut. Mariotta cut. Carr, Smith, and Jimmy G on the market. Rodgers doing what he always does – will be interesting to see who doesn’t have a chair when the music stops.

    • Volume12

      lol ‘doing what he always does’

      Go to some dark jungle and trip on hallucinogens

      • cha

        Come back to reality and play footsie with the Packer front office.

        Snipe at the team on Pat McAfee if any reports leak out that indicate he is not at the absolute center of the Packer universe.

        • Justaguy

          Considering Aaron has held up that franchise for over a decade I think he can say and do what he wants to. I doubt he returns for another year in GB.

  67. Brad S.

    Wildly impressive coverage Rob – No idea how you make the time but certainly enjoy that you do.

  68. cha

    Anyone have a link to the PC press conf?

    I don’t see it on youtube and NFL Network won’t allow me to watch live on my phone.

    • cha

      Pete very definitive that they are interested in QB at 5.

      • Kuya

        Glad to hear this, whether if it’s smoke or not. Getting a QB at 5, mostly.

        • Brett

          I think back to his answer on RW before the trade last offseason – they had “no intention” of trading Russ. That didn’t sound very definitive but this comment felt more genuine and definitive imo.

      • Brett

        He just confirmed what Rob has been saying all along – acknowledges it’s a huge and rare opportunity to be drafting at 5 and they haven’t had a chance at getting a top caliber QB before and knows they likely won’t have the chance again. Couldn’t ask for a better response.

        • Big Mike

          I think he’s telling the truth. My guess is if Richardson, Levis and Stro8ud are gone they may pivot to D. Otherwise I think they go for it at QB. I’ve been saying all along Richardson would be there. I’m staying with that.

      • Seattle Person

        I know free agency starts later in March but it’s just very particular the way the Hawks are going about this off-season. Geno is a priority but yet we are letting him get to free agency? The hiring of Greg Olson? I still think they prefer Geno back but I think there are plans to move on from him.

      • Glor

        Totally connected to the quarterbacks,
        Huge Opportunity.
        Rare Opportunity as we’ve been drafting in the low 20s for such a long time.

        I mean, unless this is a smoke screen, it sure seems they have a couple a guys they really really like at 5.

      • Matt

        I keep going round and round on this and who the guy might be. I did think it was Stroud because his background and intangibles are rare of rare.

        But…I keep thinking of them telling themselves; “we may never see an Anthony Richardson talent again, let alone be in a position to draft him.” I don’t think people quite understand the tools he has.

        I’m a baseball guy. AR is like Barry Bonds + Rickey Henderson level talent. And the fact he is a high quality kid/character…I don’t know how you pass on that opportunity.

        • cha

          Daniel Jeremiah told Peter King today something to the effect of the only reason the QBs are rated so high this year is because the class as a whole is weak at the top end.

          There is way too much noise that amounts to “if he’s not guaranteed locked on to be Burrow or Mahomes you pass on him” to this draft class.

          You just know a team is going to draft AR and put all the howls of protest into a nice little folder for receipt checking in three years when his jersey is the top seller in the NFL.

          • Matt

            Burrow and Lawrence really skewed what a typical, “great NFL QB prospect” looks like.

            Also, there is a rich irony on DJ’a love affair with Jalen Carter when that’s based on a whole lot of projection over production, based on physical abilities. Still amazes me the excuses they will make for a pass rusher, but not a QB.

    • Kuya

      Found this:

      NFL+ is not showing Pete Carroll for some reason.
      Brandon Beane
      Omar Khan
      George Paton
      Nick Caserio
      Matt Eberflus

  69. Simo

    Wow, what a great combine preview! So detailed and thorough and I love that you listed several names to watch in each positional category.

    I’m curious if you, or Cha, can provide a detailed look at all the ways the Hawks can increase their cap space in the coming weeks. If they are truly intent on improving this team, and this defense especially, they are going to need more room.

    I know the low hanging fruit has been thoroughly discussed, as in cutting Gabe Jackson, but they need to do quite a bit more than that.

    So, any thoughts such as rework Shelby Harris, Q Diggs, etc, or any other cost saving cuts. Thanks for all you do, love the site!

    • cha

      The big ones are

      Pick up $6.5m by cutting or trading Gabe Jackson (nobody would trade for him)
      Pick up $8.9m by cutting or trading Shelby Harris ($2m bonus due Mar 22)
      Pick up $4.485m by cutting or trading Q Jeff
      Pick up $3.67m by cutting or trading Al Woods

      They could extend Uchenna Nwosu and pick up a few million

      Jamal Adams would have to be a post June 1 cut to gain anything, they’d pick up $8.44m June 2…they could rework his contract before to save some $.

      There is no savings for cutting Diggs or Dissly. They’d have to trade them and that is not happening.

      • Rob Staton

        I would think Jackson and Q-Jeff are the two obvious ones

      • Simo

        Thanks for the reply Cha! I really like the idea of reworking/extending Nwosu and possibly Harris, as these seem like good players to keep around for a while longer, and save some cap space (possibly up to $10m) at the same time.

        Unfortunately it appears they don’t have a lot to gain with cap cuts, only $11m total between Jackson and Jefferson. We’re probably due for more bargain basement shopping this spring and no real impact players. They really need to break this cycle of overspending on mediocre players!

        Thanks again!

        • JJ

          Also need to stop giving out 1 and 2 year contracts. Really doesn’t give any flexibility.

          • Simo

            Yep, that’s right. They have got to start playing the game a bit more agressively, like say the Eagles tend to do. I’m not saying to mortgage the entire future, but perhaps a bit.

      • Julian Langdon

        For me they need to keep all the IDL guys, and re-sign Poona Ford, though a Shelby Harris restructure would be desirable for Cap purposes. Each of the players above add something to the team in different defensive situations. Harris against the run, Q Jeff rushing from the interior and Al Woods a Nose tackle we need.

        The Seahawks need to add to the group, not diminish it first. Looking at the Roster structures for both the Bengals and the Eagles in 2022, they both carried 2 or 3 more IDL guys than we did and they could throw out many more defensive front options as a result.

        With any luck, as the cards fall for them, if Seattle come out from this draft with a 5 tech and a 2 gap tackle (or a decent Vet) to add to last years group, I’ think they’ll be in a pretty good place.

  70. Kuya

    Not much from the Pete Carroll combine presser, waiting for the full video to come out.

    – Regarding Canales – Happy for Canales, acknowledging that it is a big loss for Seahawks
    – Regarding Geno – “We are working hard to keep it going”
    – Regarding picking a QB at 5 and possibly signing Geno – “We are totally connected to the QBs coming out”
    – Regarding the Athletic report about RW3 trying to get them fired – “I’m hanging with them for the good stuff and the bad stuff.”

    • Rob Staton

      – Regarding Geno – “We are working hard to keep it going”
      – Regarding picking a QB at 5 and possibly signing Geno – “We are totally connected to the QBs coming out”

      This is a slight shift in tone from the end of the season, where it was starting to sound like a formality he signs

      • glor

        I Like it.

      • Hawkdawg

        Here is another tantalizing hint, from Pete commenting on Olson hire as QB coach:

        “He’s been through a lot of great players, coached a lot of tremendous guys early in their careers and all of that.”

        • MountainHawker

          Ding ding ding

  71. Trevor

    Pete basically saying what Rob had been saying all off season. Of course they are looking at a QB at 5 because how often are they getting the opportunity to pick this high.

    The idea they would not look at taking a QB was always ridiculous.

    • glor


      • Al U

        They only take a D lineman at 5 if a QB they want isn’t available, surely.

  72. Jace

    Hey Rob, thanks so much for this preview. I know you’re super high on Josh Downs. Do you see him strictly as a slot, or do you think he can play outside as well at the next level?


    • Rob Staton

      I think he can do anything Tyler Lockett can do

      • Mick

        If that’s really the case, I’d sign him even at 20. Tyler is so important for us.

  73. Jason

    Now that WAS DL Daron Payne is Non-Exclusive Franchise Tagged…

    Curious of the possibility that SEA tags QB Geno Smith… then works a deal with WAS with basically a Smith for Payne swap (and maybe a swap of draft picks)?

    If Payne is worth a 2nd rounder… what’s Smith worth?

    Would this be fair?
    Payne + #97 for
    Smith + #83

    NFL Draft Value Chart shows #83 worth 175 pts and #97 worth 112 points… that 63 point difference is equivalent to pick 115/116… so a mid round 4th.

    • Ashish

      Imagine trade does not happen and we are stuck with Geno? No-No. Let’s accept it Geno is just 8 game hero and I’m not taking away anything what he achieved but it’s huge risk.

    • cha

      Possible, but it would be very complicated.

      First off, the Seahawks have about $24m in cap right now, they’d have to clear another $8-9m to tag Geno.

      Then both players would have to agree to sign their tags.

      Which means both players sign off on the trade.

      And that also means that both players agree to a situation that works for them. Which means one of:

      1-playing on the tag and not negotiating an extension
      2-playing on the tag and insisting on a contractual agreement not to be tagged in 2024 (like Clowney)
      3-working out a long term extension

      There are lots of ways this could not work. And as Ashish says above, if it doesn’t, the possibility that Geno sits on the tag in Seattle and eats all your cap is looming in the background.

    • Jason

      Very good points Ashish and Cha…
      My general preference is not to bring Smith back unless the cost is significantly reduced… so with the possibility that a trade doesn’t go through, being stuck at the franchise tag price… just not worth it.

  74. Troy

    While everyone is very interested at what we do at 5, it seems 20 is really where the intrigue lies. With so many needs, but also BPA potentially being something else, they might find themselves in a spot where they really love 4 or 5 different guys at the spot. Just top of mind from reading the article, that could be Michael Mayer, Will Mcdonald, (potentially bj robinson), Kalijah Cancey, Josh downs, etc. Will be very interested to see if need or BPA wins out in that spot

    • Trevor

      Agree completely would add Keion White and Brian Branch to that list. They will get a quality player at 20 if it is a guy off that list.

      My Ranking prior to combine for BPA at 20.

      -Robinson ( think he goes 10 to Eagles)
      – Q Johnson

      • Troy

        Yup, totally fair to add those 2. And maybe, if they are super lucky, one of those guys will drop to their early second pick at 37. Probably unlikely but hey you never know.

  75. cha

    Bob Condotta
    Pete Carroll confirmed in off podium session with Seattle reporters that Sean Desai is leaving for Philadelphia.

    Carroll in same session said TE Will Dissly will not need surgery on his knee and said he should be ready for start of season.

    On Desai, Carroll noted the unique nature of his job with Seattle, where he didn’t coach a specific position group but had an oversight role with defense, in indicating it will be a challenge to fill it directly. Seemed to indicate it’s possible they don’t directly replace him.

    Carroll was also asked directly about The Athletic report about Wilson asking that he and Schneider be fired and did not refute it. Again gave a diplomatic answer about hoping to say connected with former players.

    Carroll, asked about Bobby Wagner, said because he hasn’t been released yet he cannot comment on if Seattle would be interested. But noted that Wagner played well against Seahawks last year.

    • Cysco

      This seems like a case of “What exactly would you say you do here?” because I have no idea how to feel about Desai leaving. I guess because it’s to a team I respect makes me feel like it’s a loss, but the on-field performance of the defense makes me think “meh”.


  76. TJ

    This was referenced in earlier comments, but here is the article on PC & JS looking at QBs, possibly at #5

  77. Trevor

    Really anxious to see how Cedric Tillman runs. If he is in the 4.4s he could be another great WR3 option in the 2nd round. Complete WR who would be a nice compliment to Locket and DK.

    Still keep going back to JS talking about Dareke Young. Perhaps they think they have WR3 on the roster already.

    • Rob Staton

      Tony Pauline says some people think Tillman might crack the 4.3’s…

  78. Al U

    Brady Henderson just reported that Austin Blythe has retired.

    • dand393

      Thank goodness

    • bmseattle

      …and here come the mock drafts forcing a center at #20.

      • GrittyHawk

        That’s already been happening since the Senior Bowl. Heck, I saw one last week that had us taking Luke Wypler at 20 lolol.

    • Ashish

      Music to my ears. Big Mike do you agree? No Pocic please.

      • Big Mike

        💯and 💯
        Get young, hungry and inexpensive at the position.

        Robbie, what say you?

    • Julian L

      Well I’m banging the Bradbury drum. Had a pretty special Combine back in the day, ticking both explosive and agility boxes, but more relevently his play in the NFL took a massive step forward in 2022, being equally consistent in Pass protection as in the Run game a strength for him. His experience and character can also add to our young guys on the Oline.

      Hitting his prime, he’s still young enough to receive a multi year deal that should mean a relatively low cap hit in his first season and we’re not having to pay anyone else on the Oline currently (assuming they cut Gabe Jackson).

      • Big Mike

        …..or if we can afford him, this would seemingly be a good move too.

        • Julian L

          Yes, there would be a point at which he becomes unaffordable I suppose if another team with cap room wants to offer him silly money. I’m hoping something decent can be negotiated but with a low cap hit year 1?

  79. Alaska South

    Fantastic job, Rob. Hardest working man in the Seahawkverse!

  80. Lord Snow

    You know this will probably get buried in the thread so you probably won’t read this but Rob you are really a great writer. Forget the football content which is fantastic. Your writing style is really professional. You could write a book on football or scouting and convey your ideas and it would be top notch.

  81. MountainHawker

    Man I’m freaking pumpedddd. Combine is here. Draft is right around the corner. Formula 1 is back. Let’s gooo.

    I can’t wait for Seattle to take a QB at 5 and Bijan or a TE at 20. Just for the meltdown from fans/media that think all picks should be defense and they shouldn’t consider anything else.

  82. Clayton

    I saw that Drew Sanders had 22 missed tackles last year. Is this a deal breaker for teams?

    • Seattle Person

      I do worry about that. Plus he struggles to get off blocks and can be in the wrong run fits at times. He’s not a clean first round talent to me.

  83. ptrptrptr

    Ethan Pocic here we come?

    • GoHawks5151

      No way. Kyle Fuller season is open

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        The Hunt Era is upon us.

        • Big Mike


  84. 34shadow

    This was an excellent primer article. Thanks for putting in the hard work.

  85. samprassultanofswat

    After what happened with Malik McDowell, I am NOT all that enthused about Jalen Carter. This is despite the fact that Daniel Jeremiah (for what it is worth) has Jalen Carter number one overall in his top 50. Carter’s pro day will be absolutely crucial for him. Between the College football championship and the Georgia pro day this is probably the hardest Carter will probably work out during his football career. I suspect he will have good numbers at his pro day. But the question that will linger concerning Carter (through his NFL career) is how hard he will work after the NFL draft.

    Also seeing how frail Kyler Murray I is am NOT all that excited about Bryce Young. I do think that Young will not be the character issue that Murray is. So, there might be hope for Young.

    I am hoping/praying that BOTH Young/Carter are off the board when the Hawks are on the Clock.

  86. EIEIO

    I heard Austin Blythe just retired. Should be interesting to see how Seahawks react.

  87. Big Mike

    A question for Robbie (in case you didn’t see it above):
    you’ve been one of the people beating the drum for an upgrade at Center. Now that Blythe has finally tired of being shoved back into the QB…….er, retired, what would you like to see the Hawks do to address the position?

    • Peter

      Cody mauch come on down.


      Because I like a comedy maybe pocic?

  88. EIEIO

    My bad…I see it’s already on a thread here. To me this is great news!

  89. Brett

    Schneider echoing Carroll more on why they might draft a QB high if they keep Smith:

    “Because they don’t grow on trees. It’s probably the hardest position to acquire a talent, a guy that everybody feels very confident in.”

  90. cha

    PC on PFT with Florio & Simms

    Starts with joshing about his age and chewing gum (he’s a Bubble Yum guy).

    [Florio] Waiting for news that Geno Smith will sign, confident you can get it worked out before franchise tag? “Well I’m counting on it. I’m confident. Geno’s been us, we’ve been him, so we should just do this together, right? We still gotta work out the business part of it, and there’s…we’ve got a team that needs some help. We’ve got some areas in free agency we’ve got to address, and we’re looking forward to doing that. And it’s…you know, this is the game that you play this time of year. So we’re working hard at it, we’d love to have Geno back. Fantastic job, love his story, love competing with him, love going to the games knowing he’s gonna lead us and all that. He’s done a marvelous job. Better than the football stuff, he’s maximized it by being himself. Just a great story.”

    [Simms] What moment you knew Geno was the guy? “He showed two years ago, Russell hurt his finger, last game against Jax, 15 for 15, found his groove a little. First indicator. Always awesome in practice. Nobody throws the better than him. Tremendous athlete. Just took it over. Drew gave him a run for it too. Just like last time we had a comp. Geno never wavered. Got his chance, embraced it.”

    [Florio] Other teams look at QBs who didn’t make it early on, backups can be starters in NFL and succeed? “Praises opps for young guys, have to give them second and third chances. Job is so hard. If you saw the talent and makeup to draft the guy, have to fight through expectations. You wait him out. If you wait him out there’s a great reward there. Because the game so challenging, until they embrace it, you don’t know. Patience, give it another chance to see it through. Geno such great belief in own ability, confidence maintained all those years, unusual. Never gave up.”

    [Simms] What area to address priority #1 ? “Keep adding competitive guys. Hit it with Woolen, found out terrific competitor too. Can’t tell you we knew all along. 5th round pick. All guys in draft this year, have that makeup. Rewarded with a great class. Makeup of kids important. We really want to stay with that and make that the source.”

    [Simms] How determine? “Interviews, have to be tuned into what you want. John and I come down to it. Get all the info.”

    [Florio] Reaction to RW wanted fired? “Cavalcade of reports since this thing happened, all negative. I’m not giving up on my guys, ever. I don’t care how I get or what they say, I’m gonna prove to them I’m never leaving. We have examples of guys who stay with us, come back to us. Depth of relationship.”

    [Florio] What is your reaction though? “Nothing to do with it. I don’t care.”

    [Florio] Fine with Russ no matter what? “I’m not going anywhere.”

    [Florio] Defensive scheme change? “Too many DC’s leave with all the answers (laughs). Have to keep evolving. Transition. Really exciting for me. Mixed things, expanded things in secondary, need to hone in on it. A lot of magic in what we’re doing. Need to put it together. Make sure players, it fits them, show what they’re capable of. Exciting time for Clint and I, we’re working it out.”

    [Simms] OC’s knew your plays? “Oh yeah, we had to face the reality of it. Had to keep moving. Years of great D. Guys fit so well, didn’t have to do anything. If there was genius in it, it was that. Allowing all those guys to do their thing in a way that you couldn’t deal with us. SB48 basic to the letter of what we’ve been doing, forced them to restrict. Had it all together. Gotta evolve and do it again.”

    • Brett

      His comment re: makeup of last year’s class really stuck out to me, especially since Rob has gone over that. Said last year’s class were confident in themselves, had the willingness to say to say I don’t know everything, but will work hard at it. So that really boils down to confidence, humility, and grit/work ethic, all high character traits. With that in mind, if they find the reports questioning Carter’s character to be true, I would think he’s off their board.

      • Peter

        Not saying they are the answer or even in their sites but Robs interviews with Ade Ade, Scruggs, Brent’s, and Keion Whites presser about lining g up doing whatever the coaches want are all examples of the new secret “seahawky trait.”

    • Nick

      TLDR Character matters for all draft picks this year (as Rob has been stating).

    • Big Mike

      Thanks cha, very much appreciated!

  91. TomLPDX

    Yay! I finally made it all the way through the article and the comments…and refrained from adding to it!

    Rob, you ROCK!

  92. Robert Las Vegas

    I wonder if Justin Britt is still available?

  93. Peanut

    Keep seeing seahawk twitter being all about how Geno will lead the team to a ring if you draft all defense this year, and can still get a top QB next year.

    Are any of the 24 class worth waiting for? Do these people know that you normally have to be picking in the top five to get the franchise QB, and that picking in the top five usually means winning sub 4 games?

  94. Ben

    Whew that was a read! Awesome stuff.

    I spent some time working through the QB market.

    There are 14 teams that might need a QB. Really 11 are likely to do something beyond stopgaps (Saints, Buccaneers, Patriots aren’t likely). Houston and Indy can be pegged for a drafted QB. So looking at 9 going into free agency.

    Seahawks, Oakland, Falcons, Panthers, Titans, Jets, Commanders, Ravens, Giants.

    Of those Geno is not likely going to the Falcons, Titans, Ravens, or Giants. They either have in house options, or could just retain their QB in FA.

    Leaving: Seahawks, Panthers, Jets, Commanders, Oakland

    An Oakland move feels lateral, and Geno would be a definite fallback option for the Jets and Panthers who need a more permanent/high end option.

    So that leaves the Seahawks and Commanders. The Commanders are too far back in the draft, in ownership limbo, and can’t likely convince a guy like Rodgers to play there and are too cheap for Lamar Jackson. They need a stopgap with Howell. Other options would include Garapollo or Carr, but Carr is probably more expensive and Garapollo would probably rather get paid elsewhere. They have a stellar defense and could win now with a serviceable QB.

    The Commanders may want Geno more and offer a chance to win, and seem the only likely competition that would bid up as opposed to creating a floor for Geno as other options fall off the board like NYJ.

    Looking at the broader picture: Depending where Lamar/Rodgers end up the market could either get hot for trading up in the draft or in free agency. The Jets could be looking at Carr/Geno/Garoppolo vs a trade up if they miss on Rodgers. Do they want to risk that? Oakland could be in the same boat. If Lamar ends up in Atlanta, where does that leave the landscape. Would Baltimore move up to 6 or higher? Or will they go without a franchise QB like the Seahawks last year.

    If Rodgers is picky and Lamar sticks to his guaranteed requests, the QB market may stall until the draft. If this QB class is well regarded, which I think it is, it could make teams hesitant to put out big money as they work out trade/trade-up scenarios. Of course teams are rarely patient… Should be a fun QB carousel this year.

    • Rob4q

      No team in Oakland anymore, they are in Las Vegas now. Nice write up though!

      • Ben

        Sigh, why do things have to change! At least I got St Louis out of my vocab.

    • Brett

      Well just today Ron Rivera said Howell is the Commanders’ QB1 but they want to add a veteran to compete with him and help him grow. So I think that would take them out of the picture because to me that sounds like low end vet money, not what Geno will want.

      But I think there could be other opportunities. The Falcons and Raiders have a lot more cap space than Seattle. And we should acknowledge this is probably the only opportunity in Geno’s career he can get a large contract so I think he will be looking to cash in and may not care as much about where he goes. And despite the current cap hell they’re in, I’m sure the Saints will claw themselves out and have a surplus (like always) and ditto for the Bucs. The Saints have shown interest in Carr and there’s the Canales connection in Tampa, so I wouldn’t throw them out.

      At the end of the day, my hope is none of these teams show a lot of interest and aren’t sure about committing a lot of $$$ to him, which will drive down his price and give the Seahawks a bridge QB at a more reasonable cost while they draft a QB at #5 and let him sit for a year and learn under Geno.. My fear is these teams do up the bidding for Geno and Seattle overpays to retain him.

  95. Rob Staton

    Just want to say thank you to everyone who posted feedback for this article

    It’s an absolute monster to write and I read every comment — it makes it all worthwhile knowing other people get something out of the work

    Cheers all

    • Rob4q

      Excellent read Rob, truly a fantastic piece! Thanks again for all the content you put out here!

  96. Wilson502

    Seems my prior suggestion of moving up to #1 with the Bears may not be far fetched after all. . Personally I would do it if it ensures we get our guy. Anderson or Carter will be there likely at 5 for the Bears if they swap with us.

    • Rob Staton

      The only way I’d even entertain that is if the Bears get desperate and the deal comes to us

      • Wilson502

        I just think this is such a rare opportunity to be picking this high in a top heavy QB class, that they really should strongly consider moving up to ensure they get the QB they want (Stroud or Levis) and not leave it to chance by hoping AR15, Stroud or Levis falls to you at 5. Bryce Young’s height is a deal breaker for me and many other fans that want them to go QB with that pick.

  97. Michael Hasslinger

    Impressive. Impressive indeed. Thank you.

  98. Daniel D.

    A team is going to offer Rob a job if they haven’t already. We’ve already seen this in baseball where the folks doing inventive, thorough analysis get hired up– including a couple of Seattle bloggers leading the way. I’ll be sad when we lose the incredible analysis, though I’m excited to see other folks emerge and do it in their own way.

    • Rob Staton

      As much as I would love that and it’s a wonderful thought and would be a dream come true — I think it’s about as likely as me winning the US Open tennis tournament this year 😂 But I appreciate you saying it

      • Daniel D.

        Time will tell but if football echoes baseball movement toward folks who may not be insiders but who think and communicate at a high level, it’ll happen.

        Reading the offseason mock, eventually I think the Seahawks may want to pay you just to keep you from providing the public with such insightful inference about their thinking. You’ve been steps ahead on Wilson’s trajectory, Carroll’s posture, draft stuff, always. Nobody should blink when Richardson or Levis is the guy– we’ve all been warned. I’d have to imagine teams drafting behind the Seahawks and those considering trading back are reading this blog.

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