Tuesday notes: Shrine, Jeremiah, O-line & more

First of all, if you missed the podcast this week check it out. We did a mailbag episode answering a ton of questions on the future of the Seahawks.

There are so many things I want to get into so I’m just going to throw a lot of them into this article.

Shrine game stand out

The East-West Shrine game is this week and it’s something to keep an eye on. The Seahawks have drafted quite a few players who attended the game in recent years:

2015: Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski, Tye Smith
2014: Justin Britt, Cassius Marsh
2013: Christine Michael

One player appears to be standing out so far — Michigan center Graham Glasgow.

Pauline graded Glasgow in the fifth round in his recently published positional rankings.

Mike Mayock also gave Glasgow a nice reference at the Shrine practises, noting: “He was the guy who really stood out to me… It’s a strong year for centers, but he looks like an NFL starter. Very strong. He could compete at the Senior Bowl.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh also rates his chances of making it at the next level: “Graham Glasgow, what an amazing player… He could be a first-round pick, the way he played, the way he’s played all year.”

Whether Glasgow propels himself into the first round remains to be seen — but this is a nice boost. He’s a former walk-on and he’s listed at 6-6 and 303lbs. In comparison, Max Unger was 6-5 and 302lbs — so they’re similar. Glasgow has a brother (Ryan) who also walked-on and made the team as a nose tackle.

There are always late risers, especially on the O-line. Mitch Morse is a good example last year. Who’d rule out Glasgow working himself into the second or third round? With the Seahawks expected to focus on the offensive line early he could be an option.

I’ve not watched the video below yet — but it’s Michigan’s O-line vs Maryland from 2015. Glasgow is #61.

Kevin Dodd better than Shaq Lawson?

A lot of people are grading Clemson pass rusher Shaq Lawson in the first round. I’m not entirely convinced. He had 12.5 sacks in 2015 and embarrassed Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley on October 3rd. The issue I have is natural speed, quickness and get-off. He’s very good at disengaging and finishing — but is he going to be able to win with explosion and speed-to-power at the next level? Plus, he’s a bigger guy (listed at 275lbs) so is he better at DE in the 3-4 or is he a power end in the 4-3?

Tony Pauline is reporting that a number of teams are rating his team mate Kevin Dodd above Lawson. I can see why. Dodd suffers a similar issue to Lawson (get-off) and while he abused the Alabama right tackle in the National Chamionship — you can’t help but wonder if he’ll be able to get off blocks and finish in the same way he does at Clemson.

Pauline notes: “The consensus is Lawson is being overrated while Dodd is underrated.” I think that’s probably fair — but what range are they going to go? I’m not convinced the Seahawks will have much interest here unless they turn up at the combine and put on a show. They could both go in round two.

Marquez North a receiver to monitor

Tennessee receiver Marquez North is immensely talented. In his first year with the Vols he looked like the real deal. His career since has been hampered by injury and ineffective play.

He made a late decision to enter the 2016 draft. It’s a surprise considering he only lodged six catches during the 2015 season. He has zero momentum.

For that reason he won’t be a high pick. He might even go undrafted. Yet at 6-3 and 229lbs with enough speed and the ability to make highlight reel catches — he could be one to work with and develop. I’m leaning towards the Seahawks re-signing Jermaine Kearse, trusting Paul Richardson to return and utilising Kevin Smith in 2016 — pushing receiver down the list of needs (Doug Baldwin will also surely receive a new contract). North could be had in the later rounds.

Watch out for Ronald Blair III

Hat-tip to valued member of the SDB community Volume 12 for highlighting Appalachian State’s Ronald Blair. Take a look for yourself:

And look at this pick six (29 seconds in):

He’s received a combine invite and it’ll be fascinating to see if he tests as fast as he looks on tape. He’s 6-4 and 270lbs. I wonder if he can get up to 275-280lbs and act as another inside-and-out player for the Seahawks?

There’s no great secret to successful pass rushers. If they live in the backfield, win with quickness and get-off, have a repertoire and utilise speed-to-power it usually translates. Blair appears to tick all the necessary boxes. If the Seahawks want to keep adding pass rushers, ‘RBIII’ could be an option.

Daniel Jeremiah publishes his first mock draft

The Seahawks take Vernon Butler (DT, Louisiana Tech) with the #26 pick. According to Jeremiah: “Butler is gaining a lot of steam in personnel circles and he’d look great in this scheme.”

I’ve watched two Louisiana Tech games from 2015. I wouldn’t say I was blown away but there is a lot of upside. Butler is very mobile and gets around. He seems to have a good motor and there’s evidence to suggest he can grow and develop into an effective rusher. He isn’t there yet — and that’s the issue I’d have putting him in round one.

In 2015 he only had three sacks. Those sacks came against Louisiana Lafayette, Texas San Antonio and Rice. It’d be unfair to judge him purely on production — but it highlights the point that he’s far from the finished product.

The Seahawks want difference making special athletes they can coach up. If they see Butler as a dynamic pass-rusher in the making they will almost certainly consider him. I just wonder if they also want to see striking evidence of production to match upside. Bruce Irvin, after all, was the most prolific pass rusher in college football in 2010 and 2011. Frank Clark is a tremendous athlete but he flashed first round talent on tape too. Butler doesn’t have that same fantastic tape or numbers.

Lance Zierlein has compared him to Muhammed Wilkerson — which is lofty praise. Wilkerson was only the #30 pick in the 2011 draft (the Seahawks passed on the chance to take him with their #25 pick). It’s worth noting that Wilkerson had 10 sacks as a junior at Temple and looked the part on tape. He also had long 35 1/4 inch arms and ran a 4.96 at 315lbs. Butler will do well to match that combine performance. He’s still one to monitor.

A lot of good offensive linemen are off the board at #26 in Jeremiah’s mock draft but Shon Coleman (T, Auburn), Cody Whitehair (T/G/C, Kansas State) and Germain Ifedi (T, Texas A&M) are all available.

An early prediction on what the Seahawks will target

It is still very early — and this is a subject I won’t to talk about in more detail in other articles this week. However, I want to put down some early thoughts to generate a debate.

Based on what Pete Carroll said to the media yesterday — targeting the offensive and defensive line early feels like a safe bet. Departing UFA’s will have an impact there too. If they lose Bruce Irvin for example and a top linebacker is available in the first three rounds, that could also be an area they look at.

My personal prediction is that Russell Okung will test the market to establish his value. The Seahawks will be open to him returning — but I doubt they aggressively compete if the market is hot. Okung departing would open up a slot at left or right tackle (depending on whether you move Garry Gilliam to LT).

I sense they would at least like to add some competition at left guard after a year of Justin Britt. The center position is also an area of focus. Carroll described Patrick Lewis as a solid player yesterday, essentially stating, ‘we didn’t need him to be the best center in the NFL’. I don’t anticipate the Seahawks viewing Lewis as a long-term option. He’s thoroughly replaceable but could also hold the fort for another year if required.

There are going to be good offensive linemen available to the Seahawks in this class. Even if the top prospects depart, they’re going to have options.

They can plug Shon Coleman in immediately at left or right tackle. They’re not afraid of extreme height (see: Breno Giacomini) so 6-8 Taylor Decker could be an option at right tackle if he lasts.

Germain Ifedi looks like a tremendous athletic specimen (and he’s enormous) and could work at tackle or left guard. If they want hulking size at left guard again with James Carpenter now in New York — Ifedi could be an option. Cody Whitehair is smaller and athletic but could be an option at center despite playing left tackle for Kansas State. Missouri’s Connor McGovern is another prospect who figures to kick inside to guard or center. He has a very attractive athletic profile.

Washington State’s Joe Dahl and Indiana’s Jason Spriggs could be options too. Then there’s Graham Glasgow at center — a player we talked about earlier.

Yes, it’s possible the Seahawks use free agency to fill a hole or two. As they analyse why they struggled so early in 2015 up front — inexperience and a lack of quality at center might be one of the main issues. There’s no reason to rule out interest in Alex Mack if he voids his contract. It would solidify the center position. However — they also seem to want to continue what they’re building up front. They might prefer to use the draft to increase competition across the board and set up camp battles at numerous positions.

O-line will be the early favourite at #26 with an extra pass rusher perhaps the second most likely option. With four picks in the first three rounds they might look to draft two O-liners and a D-liner. They will also surely consider linebackers and running backs — with receiver and cornerback saved for day three.

If you want a D-liner to consider after the first round, take a look at Okalhoma’s Charles Tapper (could add some size and develop into an interior rusher) along with Ronald Blair.

Mock scenario

Round 1 (#26) — O-line (tackle?)
Round 2 — Pass-rusher
Round 3 — Linebacker/Running back/OL
Round 3 (comp) — Linebacker/Running back/OL


  1. Hawkaholic

    Rob, saw Zuerlein had Apple rated 60 something. If he’s available then, you thinks we’d give him a shot in the 2nd? I know it’s not draft slots for those rankings.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’d have to consider him at #26. For me Apple is a top ten talent. Jeremiah has him in the top-10 in his mock. I can’t believe anyone would rate him in the 60’s.

    • Trevor

      Apple will be the first CB off the board. IMO

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      He is all over the place from top 10 to middle of 2nd. I find it hard to believe he would make it out of the first and most likely gone by pick #20. Teams need CBs…. and he is one of the better ones.

      • Miles

        Anytime there is a talented CB with length, teams are all over it. It is just too premium a position and such a low supply of quality CBs in the NFL. There is no way he’ll last past 15.

        • Miles

          However, if he does last near pick 15, we could consider trading a package of picks to move up and get him.

  2. Nathan_12thMan

    Great article, thanks!

    Center would surprise me as a draft pick unless he could start at Guard. I’m not saying it isn’t possible to draft a Center who would be better then Lewis right out of the gate, that is entirely possible. But it seems to me addressing Center would be going after a solid spot on our line, where as addressing Tackle (if we don’t re-sign Okung) and Guard seem the more pressing issues.

    Glow is a clear starter at Guard (I assume he can play LG & RG) so if we re-sign Okung & Sweez I’d assume we start Glow at LG and let Bailey walk so Britt can be our new backup Swing-Tackle/backup Guard.

    Also Pete talked up Sokoli and his love for him, yes he said he still needs another year (smart) but it seems like if we got a solid Center already (Lewis) and a plan in place for Center long term (Soko)…why draft a Center? I hope we draft a OT and a OG this year.

    • Rob Staton

      Hi Nathan,

      In terms of center, I do wonder if they will analyse the inconsistency on the OL and pinpoint center as a crucial position. If they can get C right they have a shot might be the mentality. If they can find a core player to fill that role — then maybe they consider just doing it once and for all. I’ve seen Cody Whitehair compared to Zack Martin in terms of technical accomplishment and athleticism. It’s not an outrageous comparison to be honest (Martin also played left tackle in college). If they can get a guy like that early and nail the center spot — they might just do it.

      At guard they’ve typically gone after athleticism at RG (Glow is a Sweezy clone) and hulking size and power at LG. That changed a bit with Sweezy playing LG but it was kind of needs-must. For that reason I’d be surprised to see Glow tried at LG but wouldn’t rule it out. I think they’ll try and bring in a big size guy at guard — possibly in the draft and maybe in FA. We’ll see. Whitehair can also play LG for what it’s worth. One option could be to sign Alex Mack if he voids his contract and draft Whitehair. You’re not getting a tackle though in the early rounds if you go down that route.

      • Nathan_12thMan

        Thanks Rob.

        I totally get what you are saying about Center, if you got a shot to lock that position down long term with a young highly talented player, odds are you should do it. I know Pete wants Soko to play Center but assuming he develops well in regards to O-line technique, couldn’t he end up being just as good a Guard (LG or RG not sure which) as he would be a Center?

        Just seems like Guard is our weak spot right now on the line, that Glow seems better than both Sweez & Britt, that Lewis is solid at C, and our Tackles are good (assuming we keep them both).

        I guess overall I just don’t love the idea of Sweezy or Britt starting at Guard. Lewis starting at C, Gilliam at OT, Okung at LT, I am okay with all that. But it seems clear that OG is where we NEED to upgrade, and C would be a good place to upgrade using a pick or cap space assuming it doesn’t compromise another position group too much doing so.

        • Rob Staton

          Personally, I have a hunch they will re-sign Sweezy. Unless he decides to wait until FA and gets a hot market. I think they might do that one before FA begins. We’ll see. I think they’ll bring in a LG to at the very least compete with Britt. Possibly outright replace him.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            Maybe so about Sweezy. But with Glow on the 53-man roster all season, performing well in his one start, I don’t know.

            • C-Dog

              It seems the way in which Carroll spoke highly of Glowinski, it’s kind of hard not to imagine him being strongly in the competition for a starting spot. If they bring back Sweezy, which I also think is a good chance, that really leaves LG as the other spot open for him. I wonder with Wilson’s emergence as a pocket passer, the investment in him as a player, and the way interior pass rush has been the major bugaboo, if they look for interior linemen now who are better pass pro players than the big maulers in years past. I know it was just one game, but I thought Glow showed pretty well in pass pro against the Cardinals.

              I haven’t heard this idea brought up much, and I know Carroll referenced the idea of Sokoli again here, but is there any reason to think that Glow couldn’t be looked at as a Center? He seems to have the build for it.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                Anything is possible. But TC has proven to be a creature of habit in that he likes certain types at OG. Rob’s mentioned it before – agile and athletic at RG, big bulldozers at LG. My speculation is that the sides aren’t as important as having the 2 different types playing together, one for pulling and 2nd level work, the other for power runs. Obviously, everyone does everything, but big bubba OGs will wear out a DT more over the course of a game, and quicker ones will beat a defender to the point of attack.

                The scheme TC, PC and Bev use is set up to be be heavy left, but that might have more to do with Okung. If he leaves, then maybe they consider switching up the size imbalance from left to right, though that’s doubtful. Even more doubtful IMO is them switching to smaller OGs on both sides.

                I’ve never heard of Glowinski playing C or being considered for that position. I think he played some OT in college, but he’s a natural RT. I doubt they’d consider him for it now, especially when they think of Lewis as “solid” and are excited to see what Sokoli can do.

                I’d also note that PC was vague in his comments when it came to Okung and Sweezy, but specific when he mentioned Glowinski and Sokoli (and Lewis). I realize that’s to be expected considering Okung and Sweezy are FAs and the others are under rookie contracts for a couple more years. Except for Lewis, who’s a RFA, but even then the team has much more control over his salary next year.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Glow is a natural RG, not RT

                  • C-Dog

                    Yeah, this makes sense. I think there was some small talk right after the draft about Glow maybe being looked to at center. He was on a radio station and said that he spent time practicing at center in college because he thought he might be looked at there at the next level, but never really logged in any game time.

            • Mike B.

              Let’s not count out Terry Poole! It’s been quiet on the Poole front, but he’s sure to compete for a spot next season.

              • Attyla the Hawk

                I wouldn’t count him out. But I was also very underwhelmed with him coming out too. I didn’t necessarily think it a bad sign when they cut him and stashed him on the PS while keeping Sokoli and Glow on the active roster. To me it was a smart move to expose the one player who probably wouldn’t garner any attention and get picked up on waiver. However he didn’t look appealing in his first TC.

                I don’t hold a lot of hope for him. But he’s still a guy. We won’t really know if he’s going to be someone to count in until next TC. It’s best to simply assume he’s not an option. We kept Gilliam on the active in 2014 even though he was quite a ways away from being functional.

          • KyleT

            I would be really surprised and a bit disappointed if Sweezy is starting next year on our O-line or even on the roster

            • bigDhawk

              Same. We can do better. Glow for starters.

      • Volume12

        Yeah- RW getting blown up from the interior is on the C position. And having to waste TO’s and not getting the snap off when RW anticipates, sees, or feels a hole in the defensive alignment is on the C too.

        • bobbyk

          While the C position should receive blame (especially when Nowak was starting), I would argue that Britt/Sweezy were about the worst pair of guard combination in the NFL. I don’t see room for major improvement in their games unless they are surrounded by a stud like Alex Mack. I don’t watch a lot of other teams every week, but you really can’t get much worse than what Britt/Sweezy did week in and week out for an entire season. I think Glowinski improves one of the interior positions (RG if Sweezy doesn’t return), but there’s room to grow – that’s for sure.

          I can’t imagine Sweezy having much of a market. We all watch the games. If we were GMs of other teams, would we offer him anything in free agency? I wouldn’t. Regardless the scheme.

          Cable really seems to love Sokoli. Why else would they waste a roster spot to keep him on the team, yet inactive almost every week? He has now had an entire year of redshirting in the NFL, which, in a way, puts him on par to start as much as a rookie who started 10 games at guard or center this past fall in college. I think he’s a wild card into their thinking.

          If they can resign Okung, I bet they’d still pull the plug on Coleman at #26 if he were still available. First of all, Okung is an injury machine and had never played a full season. I don’t see that changing as he approaches the age where NFL players starting getting more and more nicked up. In the meantime, he’d be insurance for LT (of the future) while he played the present at LG. That might be a good recipe for ’16 if the market for Okung doesn’t get out of hand.

          And, really, I just don’t see a huge market for Okung (as much as some at least) because you know for a fact that you’re paying a guy to play in about 10-12 games as he approaches 30 if history is any indicator. Continuity is always preached and having him is like saying you’re okay with having a group that will not play 16 games together (which may be a reason Seattle would want to move on).

          • Miles

            bobbyk: I likely scenario if we part with Okung is get a serviceable-at-best LT. So I ask you the question, if you had to choose, would you want a solid LT that plays 10-12 games a year? Or a bottom-of-the-barrel one that starts all 16?

    • lil'stink

      I know the coaches are probably a little down on Bailey but in all honesty I wonder if he wouldn’t be a better swing tackle backup option than Britt, even though Britt is on an affordable rookie deal. When I focus on Britt in the all-22 he can just seem so stiff, poor balance, and almost looks like he is tripping over himself at times.

      • bobbyk

        Someone correct me, but I believe they could easily lose Bailey if they don’t want to pay him about $2.5 million this year. That was the situation with Kearse last year (offer him 2nd round tender since he was a third year UFA or essentially risk losing him for nothing). If they offer that to Bailey, you would think it would be to start and we’ve seen they don’t trust him in the interior and Gilliam beat him out at RT. Would they go Gilliam at LT and Bailey at RT? I just can’t see them paying Bailey $2.5 million to be a swing tackle.

        A different way to look at it is that we’ve seen there isn’t a huge difference between Bailey and Okung at LT. Okung is definitely better when he’s in there, but he’s not $6 million better if Okung gets $8.5 million on the open market. Would they go with Bailey at LT? I think they could, but if they are serious about improving the OL – this would not be an improvement for the line overall. It would have to come from somewhere… perhaps a guard in the first two rounds. I don’t know.

        • bobbyk

          Looks like the Bailey tender will be a little less than $2 million.

        • Miles

          I believe they can tender Bailey with the minimum $850k tag. In that case, a team doesn’t have to surrender a pick to get him, but they’d still have to offer him more than $2.5m a year to steal him from us. I don’t know that any team is willing to pay that for a swing tackle.

  3. Volume12

    Great article.

    Thanks for the shout Rob. Just glad I have a site like this to highlight prospects. Your the best my man.

    Love this Graham Glasgow kid BTW. He’s extremely ‘Seahawky.’ I don’t know about 1st rounder, but there’s no way this kid gets outta the top 100. Great comp too. Him and Unger are vey similar. Same build and style.

    I love Sokoli, but I almost thnk he’s gonna be our 6th or 7th O-lineman. That 1st gu off the bench.

    Round 1- OT
    Round 2- pass rusher
    Round 3- OL/C or G
    Round 3- D-line/a DT type
    Round 4- WR
    Round 5- CB

    And if C-Mike isn’t back then RB goes higher on the list of course.

    • Nathan

      2017 looks a good draft for running backs as well.

      If we can pick up a 3rd back on the cheap in FA, do we wait a year?

    • Miles

      I don’t know about you guys, but just from the above tape doesn’t Glasgow seem underwhelming in the run game? He just seems like a JAG to me there. Doesn’t blow anybody up. However, he’s athletic enough to get to the second level. He looks great in pass protection though.

  4. Ed

    Great stuff as always. At times, I enjoy this more than the games. Ha.

    I have been on the don’t sign Okung for 2 years now, glad more are joining and I hope it happens. It’s too much much money for someone who gets dinged up a lot and even when playing, isn’t a huge difference to Bailey.

    On topic, interior line (both sides) seem to be the biggest needs. The offense showed it had enough weapons if given the time. Bennett and Avril still showed they can get to the passer.

    The Hawks will have $34 million if they don’t resign anybody and cut Lynch. I would say get Boone for one guard spot, then draft a center and tackle.

    1st trade back
    2nd Glasgow (C)
    2nd Striker (LB)
    3rd Dahl (OT)
    3rd Day (DT)
    4th Miller (WR)


    Makes the Hawks pretty young, but Boone/Glasgow and Dahl don’t have to be taught the position. I think it would be a huge upgrade over the 2015 line. Adding Braxton Miller in the 4th would give the Hawks a utility knife.

    • Rob Staton

      I liked Boone in San Fran and he’s 6-8, 300lbs so he fits the size they like at left guard. I’m just a little unsold on the idea they’ll make a big FA splash at guard. They seem to have deliberately avoided outside FA’s on the OL since Robert Gallery. They might go back to that now to get a quick improvement on the OL. Is he going to be able to mesh into what they already have on the OL (essentially, a very young group that will only get younger if they draft a new C and T)? How would he, as the only long-standing NFL player, fit into this group? I think that’s a legit question. Plus there’s the cost. He’s only 28 so might command an enormous salary.

      It’s interesting to note Boone was an UDFA in 2009. Which goes to show — you can find great players at any point. Seattle’s next tough, road-grading left guard might be an UDFA we’re not even contemplating right now.

      • DC

        Idk that Boone would command an enormous salary. His latest 2 year deal was for a very modest $3M apy. While I expect he will get more than that it might be very reasonable if he wants to play for Seattle.

        As to how he would fit? Hopefully he would be provide veteran leadership on the line. He’s played on some very good SF O Lines and he’s a relative known quantity as an often seen divisional opponent. He’s also looked pretty chummy with Okung & Wilson in post game footage.

        He’s light years better than Britt. It is a matter of $$$ and I expect Seattle will thoroughly explore the possibility.

        • Rob Staton

          It depends what he can get ultimately. I would be surprised if he isn’t closer to Iupati’s $8m APY than the $3m APY he’s currently getting. This is his chance to cash in essentially. If the offers get up towards $8m APY I can’t imagine Seattle going that high.

          • KyleT

            I say we go up as a high as 6m to bring in a veteran offensive lineman in FA. LG would be the easiest / most valuable position to fill relative to our current roster and who we might draft

            • Rob Staton

              I wouldn’t rule it out but I think I’d be surprised if they brought in an outsider earning that much.

              • Miles

                But, maybe the biggest problem for the Seahawks this year has been stability in the middle of the line. Up front issues were the first thing Carroll talked about in his season-ending presser. I think the Seahawks might be likely to seal the offensive line with all resources available this offseason. That means probably re-signing Okung and Alvin Bailey, and then hitting on a couple of “splash” moves on the O-Line. The most obvious moves right now?

                Sign Boone and Mack. Let Sweezy walk and put Glowinski on the right side. This will seal up the offensive line during a crucial time in our Superbowl window. And it is really the only shocking need on our team aside from a 2nd CB.

                Here would be the line in that case:

                LT Okung
                LG Boone
                C Mack
                RG Glowinski
                RT Gilliam
                Swing – Bailey
                Reserve – Sokoli
                Cut or Trade – Justin Britt

                With this offensive line, there really would be no reason we can’t win another Superbowl.

                • Rob Staton

                  They won’t be able to afford Okung, Boone and Mack. That could realistically be $24m in cap space right there.

      • Nathan

        There was a guy for the seminoles that went undrafted and I think ended up with Tennessee.

        I can’t recall the name, he’s dominican.

        Brock Huard singled him out before the draft, big mean and nasty.

        Anyone know if he saw the field this year?

        • Mike B.

          Josue Matias is his name. It seems that he was on their practice squad all year.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I’d pass on Dahl. He lacks functional strength, gives up a ton of ground in pass pro, doesn’t move people in the run game, and lacks the nastiness SEA likes in their OLers.

      • Volume12

        Me too.

      • J

        And yet he graded out as the best tackle in the country prior to his injury, per PFF.

        • KyleT

          That’s for not giving up a sack in that crazy air raid offense. He’s essentially Bailey+. We need a guy who can run block and pass protect vs just pass protect.

  5. Volume12

    Rob, Jeff Risdon said Seahawk scouts are all ove the West DTs from the Shrine Game.

    Oregon’s Alex Balducci
    V-Tech’s Luther Maddy
    Virginia’s David Dean
    Kentucky’s Cory Johnson
    S. Carolina’s Gerald Dixon

    All of them, in all likelihood, won’t be drfted before round 4.

    • Volume12

      David Dean is a Jordan Hill clone, Dixon resembles Jesse Williams, Maddy is Clint McDonald like, Balducci is built like Kevin Williams, and Cory Johnson is a bit like Greg Scruggs.

      It’s funny. Looks like we were right. They don’t seem to like the DT’s projected to go early.

      • Volume12

        BTW, Seattle like guys from Haiti. Maybe what they or their family overcame?

        Luther Maddy is Haitian.

        Cliff Avril is Haitian, KPL is, Mo Seisay is, Stanley Jean-Baptiste is, LJP is, and oe other guy I can’t remember. FWIW anyways.

        • Volume12

          CHAWK, wasn’t Kentucky DT Cory Johnson a guy you shouted earlier in the year? If so, good eye man.

          Dude is a character. His nickname is ‘Poop,’ because he said he poops so much that his weight fluctuates between 280-300 lbs. I’m dead serious too.

          Had an astonishing 67 tackles from the DT spot. Holy ish!

          Looks like Seattle probably isn’t going DT until round 3, and probably even later, as most of us thought.

          • C-Dog

            I’ve always thought Maddy has a very Seahawky vibe, but how do you not look at a DT named Poop. 710 did a sound bite from him a couple months ago where he talked about the source of his Nickname, I thought it was awesome.

            • Volume12

              Yeah- outta those 5 names, I think Johnson and Maddy are the targets. With Balducci being the wild card.

              Cory ‘Poop’ Johnson has the production, size, athleticism, character, and coming from the JUCO ranks checks off the overcoming adversity box.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            I don’t remember specifically, but if I did mention Johnson it was because I read a mid season PFF report on him that piqued my interest.

            Here’s the report, from October 9, 2015:

            “Johnson was on our radar as a player who looked ready to break out coming into 2015. Last season, he was incredibly productive in his limited time, posting a +14.2 pass rushing grade on only 126 snaps. He’s continued his strong play in an expanded role for the Wildcats this season, grading at +20.0 with an impressive +13.3 grade against the run. He’s also picked up three sacks, a hit, and five hurries on his 126 rushes for a strong +5.1 pass rush grade, so keep an eye on Johnson as the SEC schedule heats up for Kentucky.”

      • KyleT

        Haha, why does that mean they won’t draft a DT early?

        • Attyla the Hawk

          I’d guess they are being thorough. Although if you couple the attention paid to these day 3 DL prospects, with the documented attention and scouting of some of the more premium OL talent’s games (inferred) at the very least there is a pattern. We’ve sent scouting resources to back up that notion.

        • Volume12

          When have they ever drafted a DT before round 3? If they are in fact looking at those names, none of them will be drafted before round 4.

          Again, these 5 guys bring the same skill set to the table that a round 1 or 2 DT does.

          There isn’t any special DTs this year early on.

          Why would ypu spend a premium pick on a guy who’s ceiling is going to be 2 downs? Spend your 1st and 2nd round picks on potential game breakets that possess dynamic athleticism and play making abilities.

          • KyleT

            I agree with the idea of not drafting someone high who can only play 2 downs. I’m just not sure that some of these guys can’t play 3 downs. There isn’t a Donald or S.Richardson in this draft, but maybe a Short or Floyd? I still like C.Jones and Javon Hargrave as having that potential with a very different skillset.

      • red

        They might go early and late at DL. Lots draftables DL in this draft.

        • Volume12

          I agree. But IMO, they aren’t going to take 2 run stuffer

          I think they’ll take a pass rusher with one of their first few picks, and then add a guy thst can play on the interior. But, not before the 3rd for a DT.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            They already have 2 excellent run stuffers in Bane and Big Rube. They’re devastatingly effective as a tandem. SEA held opponents to an average of 81.5 yards/game in 2015. That’s ridiculously low; only 2 other teams close – NYJ 83.4 and DEN 83.6- and only 1 more under 90 (CAR with 88.5).

            Big Rube earned a raise, and Bane an extension. But it should be possible to resign both for about the same, or less than, the cost of Irvin alone. Again, not that it’s an either-or. Merely for comparative purposes.

            • Volume12


              Any DT they draft are going to be depth/rotational guys anyways.

              • KyleT

                Unless they see 3 down potential in a guy in the early or middle rounds.

  6. Nathan

    Geez Kenneth can talk.

    • Kenneth

      I hear it too. I hear it too…

  7. CHawk Talker Eric

    Another, slightly less enthusiastic opinion of Glasgow by Charlie Campbell (@draftcampbell):

    “(South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon) Hargrave blew by Michigan center Graham Glasgow for a tackle for a loss in the run scrimmage…Glasgow had a strong start on Monday, but had a mixed session on Tuesday. He had some tough battles with Boston College defensive tackle Connor Wuijciak to get a draw on some one-on-one reps. Wuijciak didn’t get sacks, but he got penetration into the pocket before Glasgow could hold him up. In the run and team scrimmage sessions Glasgow showed impressive quickness to hit blocks on the second level. He also had a blatant hold on one perimeter run as his hands were outside of the shoulders as he wrestled a tackler away. That play would get called every time in the NFL. Glasgow has some tools but needs development. “

    • Volume12

      Is that Charlie Campbell from Walter Football?

      I trust Mayock’s opinion over them 2.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        The same

      • lil'stink

        Long shot, but I would love to hear Mayock be a guest on Rob’s podcast leading up to the draft.

  8. Cysco

    Looking at the O-line situation there seems to be two locks
    Garry Gilliam
    Mark Glowinski

    I’m assuming Okung is gone and I think that Sweezy hasn’t shown enough to warrant a larger contract. I’m also assuming that if the team had the chance, they’d like to get an upgrade over Britt. So we’re faced with the prospects of replacing three O-line members

    One of those guys will likely come via free agency. A veteran presence at Center would be a nice add. A rookie that could step in and anchor the left or right tackle spot would be a smart move. Let gilliam and rookie compete for the left and right spots. That would only leave LG as a spot to figure out. You draft a mid-round guy and let Britt, Sokoli, rookies compete for that spot. In that case your Oline could look like:

    Gilliam, Britt or new guy, veteran center, Glow, Coleman or something like that.

    I would have so much more confidence in that line than i did going into this past season. I really like the idea of having a veteran presence at center. The team has to do a better job against interior pass rush next year.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’re relatively high on Sweezy and replacing him, a tackle and potentially a G & C might be too many changes — they need some semblance of consistency. I think Gilliam — New guy/Britt — New guy/Lewis — Sweezy — R1 tackle is possible.

      • Volume12

        That’s how I see it too.

        You think they draft 3 O-lineman? I ask because the only FA’s that have ever stuck around are Sidney Rice and guys we added on the D-line.

        • Rob Staton

          I think they could draft three O-liners. It’s tough to figure out right now.

          On the one hand I could see them re-signing Okung (if he has a lukewarm market and commands $7-8m APY) and Sweezy and just drafting a guy like Whitehair to play LG or C. Minimal changes just secure the C position long term or replace Britt.

          Alternatively I could see them letting Okung walk, drafting a tackle (to play right or left depending on whether they move Gilliam over) and then adding a C and G to compete with Britt and Lewis. I suppose if Okung walks they could use the money to draft a veteran C or G (Boone? Mack?). I’m just not sold on them adding a veteran outsider to a group that has basically grown together, knows the scheme and is still pretty young.

          At the end of the day they need to come up with a plan that just nails this line so there aren’t major teething problems at the start of the year. They need consistency. 16 weeks of good pass protection. We know they can run it.

          When they analyse this thing they might decide major changes are needed. I could just as easily see them saying, ‘These are our guys. We need to enhance this group in the draft, not blow it up’.

          • Volume12

            Well said.

            I’m not expecting them to sign anyone on the O-line. Never was TBH.

            Your right, it’s all speculation at this point, which is fun and all, but almost impossible to say.

            Although, I do think they add one starter in the draft, obviously, and another guy for depth at the very least.

            • DC

              I don’t care how it happens but someone has to take over for Britt. FA, draft, UDFA, whatever. It’s like having a fence around the prison with an eight foot section missing. Pete has basically said in “Pete Speak” that something will be done so I rest easy on it. Just excited to see the who and how.

            • Attyla the Hawk

              I guess I’d neither be expecting them to resign Okung/Sweezy or be surprised to let them walk.

              Okung is hard to figure. On the one hand, Seattle has not been shy about letting chronically injured players go. Okung definitely fits that.

              On the other, the skillset is unique. And he’s not a bad LT — actually very serviceable. Price may be the ultimate dictator, and without an agent that could be favorable for Seattle.

              Whether Okung resigns or heads elsewhere, Seattle needs a quality LT to insert there. That backup LT is going to get significant playing time and probably get it late in the year and through the playoffs.

              Sweezy is likewise hard to gauge.

              He’s the local fans’ whipping boy. No question about that. He can have 8 quality plays and then apparently mess up on 2 of them and we’ll perseverate on the foul ups endlessly. It’s very difficult to separate the history of spectacular failures over time to his current quality level now. Pete and Tom seem to have a very different opinion from what we as fans have. And I’m inclined to go with their assessment since they see the totality of work and have intimate knowledge of who is actually responsible for breakdowns.

              And then, there is the throw down from Pete: The OL needs to improve this offseason. Whatever we think of Sweezy, Britt or Okung the reality is Pete has given the group collectively the kiss of death. We’ve seen time and again when Pete singles out a team need, you can bet we’re going to address it and do so aggressively. Pete and John do not worry about maybe getting worse by letting players go. If those players aren’t performing, we get rid of them and roll the dice with other options to be added later.

              I think everyone can see as outsiders that the interior OL needs to perform a lot better. Either the guys we have will improve or we’re going with new players who possibly will. We will take a step back to do it.

              This offseason is going to be a lot of fun if you’re into speculation. And who here isn’t?

      • Cysco

        Yah, I’m curious to see what shakes out with sweezy. He’s the one I can’t figure out. Does Glowinski provide the same level of play at much less cost? My gut tells me yes.

        • Volume12

          There’s nothing wrong with having a guy like Glowinski as depth though.

          Britt, Lewis, Glow, and Soko sounds like fantastic depth IMO.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            There is something wrong when it costs an unnecessary extra $4mm in cap space.

            I’m sure Sweezy comes back IF he doesn’t cost too much.

            How much is too much? I’m not the one to say that. But among vets at that position, the 3 lowest salaries are Geoff Schwartz ($4.2mm apy), Brandon Fusco ($4.85mm apy) and Clint Boling ($5.2mm apy), so Sweezy should be in the $4-5mm apy range. Glow’s apy is $650k. That means keeping Sweezy ties up an extra $3.5-$4.5mm per year in cap space. Not worth it to me.

            • Volume12

              Depends. If $4 mil is what they feel is needed to keep some coheion and continuityy going on the O-line, it’s worth it IMO.

              I’m a huge fan of Glow, but we saw this same problem last year in the SB. Chris Matthews and his one game proved to be fluky. Not saying that’s the case with Glow, but one game might be too small a sampe size, even if it was tremendous.

              • KyleT

                What’s the point of continuity if it just means consistent inconsistency? I would be surprised based on what Pete shared if Sweezy was brought back

                • C-Dog

                  I think it’s all speculation at this point. We know Cable has had a lot of love for Sweezy, and I think they appreciate the mentality he brings the run game. I’ve heard different beat writers of the team on the radio all say they think he comes back. Greg Bell of the News Tribune said yesterday he thought Sweezy come back, and said he wouldn’t be shocked if Glowinski slides over to LG, and Britt maybe competes for a job back at RT. Carroll wasn’t exactly glowing about Britt on any level yesterday except to say, “he’s played guard and tackle, so that helps him.”

                  At any rate, they have got to get better guard play, and if they can land a solid center for years to come, Bless them to pieces.

                  I think it’s very likely the first two picks in this draft could go to the offensive line. It’s hard to imagine they let Okung walk, and don’t bring back Sweezy for cohesion, unless, of course, they really see Glow as the new RG. I don’t believe Carroll mentioned Sweezy at all in his press conference or on his Brock and Saulk show. So I don’t think it’s anywhere a given he’s coming back. If so, they will need a solid veteran presence somewhere on the line.

              • Attyla the Hawk

                “Depends. If $4 mil is what they feel is needed to keep some coheion and continuityy going on the O-line, it’s worth it IMO.”

                Let’s put it a different way:

                The cap is going to result in losses. Would you rather have Sweezy and Glow. Or Mebane and Glow? Or Irvin and Glow? My guess is we can have 2 of the three vets.

                BTW, I’m of the same opinion that one game is not remotely sufficient to tell what we have there. Nor do we know how much Lewis and Gilliam had to cover for his inexperience.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  I know it’s never an either-or scenario, but I’ve always seen it as keeping Kearse over Sweezy because I think their next contracts will be similar in apy.

        • Cysco

          I think they’ll spend on a veteran. I don’t see them going after thomas or anything but could see them interested Stefen Wisniewski (weren’t there rumors the hawks were interested in him last year?)

          • C-Dog

            I could see this being a year in which they could bring a veteran as well, maybe not a huge name player, but someone that will add competition to the new player(s) drafted. Kind of like the did with Gallery and Winston. They looked at Wisniewski, I don’t think they made a big offer.

    • KyleT

      I agree with this except I think center is a position they draft or develop from the existing guys

  9. Matt

    Disappointed the Hawks are done for the year, but glad I have such an awesome site to keep me going through the offseason. Thanks Rob!

    So much of what goes on during the draft will depend on free agency. I’m fascinated to see what kind of market Okung and Bruce see once things get going. If we can keep one of them, I’ll consider that a win.

    Also Rob, do you see RB as high of a need now that Christine Michael seems to have re-dedicated himself to football? He’s got an awfully high upside for a second string guy, and it seems like he’s turned a corner. I’m positive we’ll see the Hawks draft some competition, but I feel like the 4th round should be the earliest we consider a RB, what do you think?

    • Rob Staton

      I think they need a third down back. I wouldn’t trust Michael in the two-minute offense or pass-pro on third down. They need someone who can essentially replace Fred Jackson and the role Turbin did previously. Michael has earned a shot to spell Rawls as the primary back-up — but they need one more guy who can do some of the other things. I think R3-4 could be a sweet-spot for good RB’s. I’m a big fan of UCLA’s Paul Perkins.

      • Matt

        Definitely a good point, especially if they feed Rawls as much as they feed Lynch during games, he’ll probably need a bit of a breather. I like Perkins a lot too, not sure how he’s stayed under the radar after the year he turned in at UCLA. Pretty sure he’s reasonably athletic as well

      • Trevor

        Rob if he is healthy and would come in on a vet min deal what do you think about Reggie Bush as a 3rd down back to go with Rawls and Michael?

        • Mike B.

          If they go the veteran rent-a-player route for that 3rd down back, I think Pierre Thomas makes a lot of sense. He was massively productive with New Orleans and can block. He’s 31, but he has little injury history and still looked good with Washington in 2015.

          • TannerM

            Another name to look at for veteran rent-a-player is Matt Forte. He’s supposedly run for the most yards since 2008. That’s pretty impressive, especially since, if I remember right, he was basically Tulane’s first, second, third, fourth, and fifth option back in college. He also set the record for the most receptions in a season by a running back in 2014.

          • amocat

            Also, Pierre Thomas has experience playing with Jimmy Graham. Believe he’s making $870k v.$900K for Jackson. Interesting idea. Washington didn’t use him much, but they also didn’t know what to do with CMike either. Of course, if Seattle can get a UDFA or late pick with a ton of upside, they tend to go that route. But when it’s Third down, maybe having a solid vet is what you want?

        • Rob Staton

          I’d be a bit sceptical. He’s coming off a very serious knee injury and he’s 31 in March.

    • Nathan

      I think the other issue with michael, is even though he has the speed to torch guys on those outside runs, I don’t think they trust him to catch a tossed ball.

      • Volume12

        Ya’ll checked out Maryland RB Brandon Ross?

  10. KD

    Thanks for highlighting Glasgow. I’m really intrigued by Michigan prospects now since Carroll probably knows that Michigan players are in good hands with a coach like Harbaugh who will coach players correctly, unlike the Baylor staff, for example. If Harbaugh has something highly positive to say about a player, I’m going to take notice.

    • KD

      Also, is there a team out there that is a potentially between a rock and a salary capped hard place? John Schneider has consistently shown that he is not afraid to make a splash in free agency through either trades or signings, so is there a team out there where a top player can be plucked in exchange for a 1st or 2nd rounder, just to explore a possibility.

      • bobbyk

        That’s a good question so I looked it up and the Dolphins, Bills, Saints, and Jets are in bad shape. I don’t see the Fish trading Pouncey to clear up cap space.

        The Bills have their left side of their OL hitting FA. I don’t see the Seahawks winning a bidding war (if he’s not franchised) for Glenn. There will be too much competition for that. However, don’t look now, but Richie Incognito is a free agent and formed a great left side with Glenn in Buffalo this past season. And before you laugh, he was voted All Pro this past season. He’s older, but if the Hawks want an infusion of talent to help them from week one next year… he may be the guy. I can’t see Cable turning a guy like Incognito away. In fact, neither of them are scared to punch others in the face. You’d think they would be a match made in heaven between the two of them.

        Another option could be Jahri Evans in New Orleans. He’s played his career at RG. Could he/would he come in and play LG after he and his salary are cut? He’d fit the bill as more of a mauler on the left side. He’s also a guy to come in and help the team from week one. The line is so young that you’d think they’d be open to one veteran. I don’t know.

        Speaking of New Orleans… how safe is our old friend, Max Unger at Center. Even if they love Sokoli, you’d think they would like the opportunity for him to learn from Unger for a year or so. Surprisingly, Unger started all 16 games last season.

        The easiest position to bring in a free agent would be tackle, where continuity is only with one person on the line (to a degree), as opposed to playing on the interior where there is a player on each side of you.

        So many options, it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens. I think we all can agree that there is either going to be a big free agent/trade or a pick in the first two rounds added to this group. If they don’t bring anyone significant in via free agency/trade, then I think the chance they go OL at #26 jumps to over 90% (whereas right now its probably 48-48 with OL and DL-pass rusher, and the 4% being used on a player that is, by far, highest on their board that they simply cannot pass up).

        • Volume12

          Thing is, they’ve never brought in a big name FA on the O-line. Can’t see them going that route with so many of our own to take care of.

          Incognito would be bad for this locker room. Keep in mind, any FA that is brought in is going to have fit with this team’s chemistry.

          • bobbyk

            They brought in Gallery to be a LG and veteran presence on a young line in 2011. They could do it again. I agree about the chemistry thing… I was just throwing names out there because KD asked about players from cap strapped teams who may be available.

            I just can’t see where they realistically improve the line if Okung leaves and they draft a guy at #26 to take his place (or take the place of Gilliam – who moves to LT). I still think the line is worse off for 2016 to start next year if they do that. Essentially, losing Okung and adding the #26 pick still hasn’t made them better. Long term, yes, but not to start off ’16 as Carroll alluded to (how they must be better from the get-go next year).

            Even if they get a tackle at 26/something needs to improve on the interior.

          • smitty1547

            I thought we should have brought in Incognito last year while he was cheap, and word has always been the locker room loves him. It would be more the public hit like we took when drafting Clark.

      • Nathan

        New Orleans, Buffalo, Baltimore, Miami all have cap issues.

  11. Geoff

    I think you nailed it. Pass protection and pass rush it what we need most of. They should be the top two picks, so long as the talent is there. Pete seems to really like Glowinski. Might have to start making a list of available free agents to target?

  12. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Rob take….

    Round 1 (#26) — O-line (tackle?)
    Round 2 — Pass-rusher
    Round 3 — Linebacker/Running back/OL
    Round 3 (comp) — Linebacker/Running back/OL

    My take is … in order of priority

    Round 1 — WR or LB or DT/DE
    Round 2 — DT/DE or TE or LB
    Round 3 — OL or WR
    Round 3 (comp) — OL or CB/S or RB

    I think Seattle could have a very successful draft in the 3rd round if they go back to back OL prospects. Most likely an OT and OG, but I wouldn’t rule out center… since some very good quality ones should be around in the third round. I think we both agree that 3rd round might be the spot where Seattle could scoop up a quality RB, if they go for one in the first 2 days.

  13. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I would find it humorous if Seattle decides…. the Sweezy OG experiment didn’t work and they swing him to the DT/DE spot. Paying him 2-3.5 M as a DT would not be out of line. They know he has grit and the DL could use a bit more of that. He also is durable, unlike a couple of our depth DL guys.

  14. Steele

    Rob, you were not a fan of Shilique Calhoun a while back. Has your opinion changed at all? He’s had a pretty good senior season.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve never been a fan of Shilique Calhoun to be honest. Thought he had a weak 2014 season where he played soft and barely had a truly disruptive game all season. I thought he played very well against Ohio State in 2015 but then I’ve watched two other games since and was unimpressed again. Has the tools and wouldn’t be surprised if he played his best football in the NFL. I’m not sure I’d trust him as much more than a third rounder though.

  15. KyleT

    Biggest 2 weaknesses on this team are OL and DL. We lost our identity this year by not having the personnel to win in the trenches. What do we do to fix the DL? We had the best run blocking Unit in football, but we did it by sacrificing any ability to get to the QB on a non obvious passing down. We won a Super Bowl without this, but the teams we beat do not compare to the type of teams we are having to get through this year (and next). Closes comp in 2013 was the 49ers, but their QB held them back, still they almost beat us then as well.

    • Rob Staton

      “We had the best run blocking Unit in football, but we did it by sacrificing any ability to get to the QB on a non obvious passing down.”

      I’m not sure I agree here — or with the assessment that the DL is necessarily a big weakness. The DL played very well IMO. They just maybe need another piece to enhance the pass rush.

      • bobbyk

        Yeah. I think the starting DL is awesome. I’m just a firm believer in quality depth at DL more than any other position group on the entire team.

        Mebane is a stud at the nose. Jordan Hill is darn good depth.

        Rubin was a very good player. If Michael Bennett rushed from there in some passing situations, that was awesome, too.

        Avril is one of the better DEs in the NFL.

        Clark is an awesome up and comer.

        We have awesome pieces on the DL. That’s one of the strengths, not one of its weaknesses. I’m just thankful that Carroll agrees that the depth of this unit is imperative and why I see a Leo being drafted in the first couple of rounds (on the assumption they bring back Mebane and Rubin).

        Now, the OL is a different story. Overall, they suck. We know that. We’ve known this since 2006. The only reason their rushing offense is so good is because they keep running (at least before the mid-way point of this past season) and the legs of Russell Wilson. It’s certainly not a good rushing offense like we got spoiled with in ’05 where teams knew were were going to run it on 3rd and 1 and we still made it 100% of the time. Today, we throw it in short yardage situations because we know the OL sucks too badly to push anyone back for us to gain a measly yard.

        • C-Dog

          I firmly believe in the adage that you can not have enough quality defensive linemen to be a champion contending team. In 2013, they were LOADED on the line. Last year, they got thinner, but Hill stepped up in a very positive way, and they thankfully had Kevin Williams on the roster. This year the had outstanding edge play, good run stuffing play inside with Rubin and a healthy Bane, but depth was sorely lacking, especially when they didn’t have Hill for an extended length. I think 2016 is the year they start building back that depth. Clark is a player to build on, but no need to settle there.

          That said, I think it’s without question that the OL will be the number one priority to the offseason. RW can not go through another season getting hit like he did. Can not. Not at $20 mill a year. If there is one thing I take comfort in, they will invest mightily on getting that line right. I suspect free agency to play some part of it, and I think the draft will play a major part of it.

        • amocat

          In the Holmgren era, the Oline made our QB and RB way better than they would have been. In the Carrol era, Lynch’s tackle breaking and Wilson’s scrambling have mitigated the Oline’s inconsistencies.

          The word here really is Inconsistency, NOT Suckiness. The Seahawk Oline does make plenty of great plays– Rawls’ breakout TD run in Cinci comes to mind, and there were numerous times when the pass-pro DID hold up for as much as 6 seconds, which is enough time for a 60 yard bomb.

          We really just want to see an Oline that can do that more often, with fewer drive-killing penalties.

      • KyleT

        Where does that player play on the line though? Or nickel situation even without Irvin would be Clark, Hill, Bennet and Avril. That’s a better nickel line then we had in 2014 potentially, at least as good.

        Go back and watch the non passing downs against the panthers O-line when we had Bennet, Avril, Mebane and Rubin out there. What did Newton have, 6, 7 seconds of clean pocket? Anyone feel good about rolling out that nickel line on 3rd and 3 against that O-line? Or about our secondary holding up for 6-7 seconds against our base DL?

        It’s not the biggest need this team has, but man would it change how teams have to attack us if we had that DT who can anchor against the run and given enough time can collapse the pocket. They are out there and even exist in this draft potentially.

        • Steele

          Agree. I really don’t think Rubin and Bane were awesome. They need fresh talent and depth on the interior.

          • bobbyk

            Rubin and Bane were the main reasons the Seahawks led the NFL in rushing defense. That doesn’t count or matter?

        • Rob Staton

          Give me the names then KyleT. Who is a defensive tackle in this class who can anchor against the run and collapse the pocket?

          That player would go in the top-15 if he existed. The NFL has about 7-8 players in the entire league who can do what you just described.

          • matt

            Billings would be a perfect fit in the middle of our defense. It’s possible he’s sitting there at 26 for us, but do we take a DT in the first? That’s the one DT I’d give serious thought to. His strength is very impressive anchoring and bull rushing. Great motor too.

            • Rob Staton

              Billings is the best of the bunch — but I’m very sceptical still. Think he overpowers a lot of college OL’s but at the next level he won’t necessarily have that same success. Can he win with quicks, swim-rip, get-off? Not really seeing evidence of that. For me his ceiling at the next level will be solid nose tackle. Baylor linemen worry me overall.

              • matt

                It’s hard to make the case for drafting a DT in the first round. Keeping Rubin and Mebane for modest salaries just makes too much sense. If, big IF, we let one of them walk then, only then, would I consider taking Billings day 1. Billings could start right away and our run defense wouldn’t skip a beat.

          • KyleT

            I like they way Chris Jones from Ole Miss plays the position. He has length, anchors against the run and double teams really well, and can get to the QB.

            We don’t need to grab someone who is in that top 7-8 DT’s. But given enough time I would expect the pocket to be collapsed from the interior vs what Bane and Rubin on running downs do exactly 0 in that dept.

  16. line_hawk

    What about LBs? We don’t have anyone beyond Wagner & Wright. KPL, pinkins & Coyle seem ok but upgradable. We need someone like Schofield who can cover & rush; and preferably do it well. especially if Irvin is gone, LB seems like a need.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      If by the miracle of the draft process, the ND LB Smith makes it to #26……… Seattle will rush up to the podium and grab this guy. Legit top 5 talent, battling a knee injury….. but if he can fully recover, the reward would be a very dynamic and complete LB to step into the line-up for Seattle.

      This could push Irvin to DE if they keep him and at the minimum, he could provide high quality depth for all 3 LB spots. He is a very rare athlete with nice size and speed. Very rare combo, well worth taking a risk and drafting.

      I could also see Seattle going SS in the first (let’s say Duke’s SS Cash for example), then pushing Kam to OLB and Bruce to DE. This would be a very wise move….. elevating the coverage ability of the SS position and also keeping the “band together” for at least a few more years with a slightly different look/scheme.

    • Rob Staton

      It is a need — and that’s why I’ve tallied it currently for round three. They could go early at linebacker. It’s a possibility.

      • line_hawk

        Yup, missed that.

    • amocat

      Re: Coyle: Wagner seems to think highly of him; said he’d be a starter on any other team. In 2014 when filling in, I don’t think Coyle missed a tackle. At least, very good backup, no?

  17. lil'stink

    That podcast episode might have been the best Seahawks related podcast I have ever listened to (and I admit to listening to way too many). Much appreciated.

  18. CHawk Talker Eric

    I don’t mean to be contrarian, but when I watch film of Vernon Butler, I don’t see a R1 prospect. Not sure he’s even a legit R2er, though I think he’s top 100.

    He has nice length, especially in the arms, moves well for a man his size, with good motor off the snap (but not necessarily to the whistle).

    Although he stays active in the trenches, he doesn’t put much effort into pursuing a play to the sidelines. He doesn’t shed blockers particularly well despite the long arms, and he doesn’t appear to have special strength, speed or instincts.

    His size/length and general athleticism suggest some upside and potential, but right now I don’t see an impact player as much as a rotational one.

    • Trevor

      Agree based on what I have seen which is limited he looks more like 3rd-4th rounder to me but definitely has the build and upside.

    • Ukhawk

      Ditto, R1 my @ss

  19. EranUngar

    I am not sure we read everything PC said accurately. He did mention the need for better play from the OL but he also said that RW will have an off season “university”
    to teach him everything that goes into the defensive game plan he is facing.

    To me it indicates that the process that started by midseason is going to be the focus as we move ahead. We are shifting to a QB-centric offense with the QB calling the plays (within the system) including the protection etc. We will still run the ball a lot but the backbone of the offense will be RW and the passing game.

    It affects our needs at the OL. We are shifting from a center controlled OL (with Unger calling protection and adjustments) to a QB controlled unit. We need a solid center not a line manager. If we have a “solid” Lewis at a reasonable cost, we will not spend money on a FA for that position.

    When I look at the whole cap issue, I can not see the Seahawks spending more than 10-12M on the OL. Lewis will be there as RFA with 2.5M. That leaves 10M tops for the rest. If that number can bring both Okung and Sweezy back they may consider it and avoid FA. If not and Okung’s market is warmer then expected, it will open a budget to bring in a FA.

    In my opinion, the Seahawks will have to shift priorities when picking their guys for the OL. Pass protection must be higher on the qualifications list and avoiding a lengthy learning process must be there too. We need to start shifting from run graders to QB protectors.

    In other words, the team is changing and that change will not skip the OL. Looking for the same type of “Cable’s guys” in the coming draft just as we looked in the past may not be the way the team goes. Pass blocking and basic solid technique may be on the wish list.

    It also affects the DL. When your team has an explosive offense and can score quickly and consistently, you will face more passing plays from your opponents as they play from behind. That in turn affects your “base defense”. You are not going to keep your run blockers that much and your pass DL will be on the field more than your base defense. It elevates the need for an inside pass rusher DT that is solid enough to discourage running against a light NASCAR package. I am not sure we can count on Hill to be that guy all year long due to his questionable durability.

    Again, that’s just my feeling and I have been dead wrong before. (a lot)

    • KyleT

      Our OL couldn’t run block or pass block this year, but we actually were better in pass protection throughout a good chunk of the year. The games we lost down the stretch were the ones where we couldn’t run block effectively. Pete knows this and has said as much

      • EranUngar

        I did not read that in Pete’s remarks. I actually felt that once we met a dominant penetrating DT, RW was back to running for his life. It happened in the RAMS game, the first half of the CAR game (both interceptions happen with a D lineman holding on to RW) and to a lesser degree at the MIN game.

        To me, this line did ok against outside rushers allowing RW his 2.5 seconds but the interior collapsed against top DTs like Donald and Short. Those guys are a handful for everybody but we could not slow them down at all….

        But, as i said, i could be dead wrong.

    • MikeB'hamster

      Thanks for a great post. At this time it is really useful to step back and take a fresh look at the big picture. The roster will be changing for the Hawks, particularly on the OL and the D line, in order to reflect the shifting strengths and weaknesses of the personnel available to those two units. Your examples and your overall rationale are both good, and to the point…

  20. Trevor

    Outside of Joey Bosa, the best interior pass rush prospect Nkemdeche and the best Edge rush prospect Spence. Both have character concerns. Without those concerns they would both likely be top 10 picks. I think they will both shine at the combine in the workouts.

    Pete was clear about wanting more of a pass rush. I suspect the Hawks will do a lot of work on both guys and if one checked out and fell might be a steal.

    Spence is the only physical comp to Bruce in this draft. I think he could definitely be our first round pick as he is a smart kid who was All Academic Big 10. Seems to have just made some bad decisions and has come clean about everything. If you remember the Honey Badger had major questions coming out and has been a model citizen. That is why if we don’t take him I am sure Arizona does.

    Pass rushers are so hard to find and expensive if they ever become free agents. If you can get one with elite physical traits then I think you have to take the gamble.

    That being said if Shon Coleman or Eli Apple are still on the board they are my #1 and #2 favorite potential picks in Rd #1

    • bobbyk

      I look at Apple as having no chance to fall to us because, A. I think he may be the best CB in the draft, B. The Steelers pick right in front of us and I cannot, for one second, see them passing on Apple when DB is, by far, their greatest need heading into next season.

      Remember Rob talking about DGB last year being a difference maker and a guy with special skills… that’s the same with Spence. He’s got the unique skills to make one overlook some character concerns. They have the leadership where they can add a player like that. It’s worked well with Frank Clark, too. He’s been great.

      If both Spence and Coleman are both there are #26, I’d be curious as to who they would take, but would be willing to bet it would be one of them.

  21. Trevor

    My favorite future Seahawks prospects in Rds 1-3

    #1 Shon Coleman – Would be an ideal RT or LG as a rookie and would help solve a lot of our O Line issues. Really hope he some how falls to us and JS pulls the trigger

    #2 Eli Apple – Best CB in the draft for our system and would be the best talent we have ever had opposite Sherm. Could help return the LOB to past glory. Suspect he will end up being a top 10 pick but one can dream.

    #3 Noah Spence- I know the background issues have to be checked out but there is no other Edge rusher in this draft with his size, speed, length combo. When he and Bosa were at Ohio St. as sophmores he was the better more productive prospect.

    #4 Eric Striker- If he is our 2nd Rd pick I would be ecstatic. Best character guy in the draft. Tremendous leader and effort with production to match. I know he is a tweener but I think he will be a star.

    #5 Sua Cravens – If Kam leaves then he would be the perfect replacement. Can play in the box and is great covering TE and RBs.

    #6 Charles Tapper- Strikers teammate and another great character guy who could develop into anice interior pass rusher who has a great motor. Someone I hope we target in Rd #3

    #7 Jaylon Smith- He was my #1 rated prospect before the injury. If somehow he fell then this would be an incredible get for the Hawks.

    #8 Robert Nkemdeche- Well documented character concerns but the physical size, strength combo is very unique and he could end up being a pro bowl level DT if he figures things out.

    #9 Cody Whitehair- Plays LT at KSU but will end up being a dominant interior lineman. I like the Martin comparison.

    #10 Pharroh Cooper- He is the type of WR who the Hawks like. Sudden, good hands and a playmaker after the catch. Would be a great 3rd Rd pick.

    A 4-5 round guy I also like that I don’t think has been mentioned on here yet.

    #11 Demarcus Ayers (WR) Houston- Has 4.3 speed and is very sudden. He plays fearless and only had 2 drops all year. Seems like the type of WR the Hawks love and could be our annual 4th Rd WR pick. If he is then he will be the 1st one to work out IMO. Is also real solid return man.

    • matt

      Great list of prospects Trevor! Too bad CB’s White, Sutton and King all stayed in school-for this draft anyway-then we may have had a chance at Apple or one of them. Add Adoree Jackson to that trio and that’s a nice 2017 CB class.

      To me the only one that doesn’t fit the Seahawk mold is Nkemdeche. He’s an impressive size/speed/strength athlete, but lacks production. Mostly it’s the “could end up being a pro bowl level DT if he figures things out.” that bothers me, and I completely agree with the statement. The ‘want to’ is a must to stick on our roster. That’s a big ? for Nkemdeche.

  22. Steve Nelsen


    You bought up a very legitimate concern in response to a comment earlier about the offensive line being young and potentially getting younger. The two most experienced starters are Okung and Sweezy and both are unrestricted free agents.

    You can’t start 2016 with 5 new young starters (if Gilliam moves to LT) and expect improved play. That kind of turnover historically leads to poorer line play in the short term even if the players are “better” in terms of being more athletic.

    This concern plus the obvious high regard they have for Sweezy’s toughness makes it seem more likely that the bring back Sweezy to provide some stability and leadership for all the young guys. They won’t get that kind of leadership from Okung. Lewis is a cheap RFA so they will bring him back and he could start again if Sokoli isn’t ready.

    This brings me to the question of Joe Thomas. An all-pro LT would certainly help out the line play and Thomas could provide leadership for the young guys. It would also give Gilliam another year at RT and mean that the only other potential spot for turnover would be LG.

    The Seattle cap is complicated. We have approximately $30 million according to Spotrac so some think we have the budget to go after a big free agent. But, Spotrac’s number is based on only 30 guys currently being under contract. That number is a lot less when you factor in another 20 contracts. We would also need reserves for draft picks and injuries. Signing any free agent from outside the organization at much more than the veteran minimum seems impossible if you do the math. We will be lucky to bring back three of our own free agents and we have more than three that I would like to keep (Sweezy, Kearse, Mebane, Rubin, Lane, Shead). That also doesn’t factor in possible extensions for Doug Baldwin and Michael Bennett.

    Have you followed the articles on the salary cap by Evan Hill? He suggests that simply considering the Seahawks’ salary cap number is misleading because they have so little money locked into future guarantees. The lack of future guarantees gives Seattle the flexibility to restructure a core player’s deal (like Sherman) to free up cap space if desired.

    • Rob Staton

      I agree with a lot of your points here, Steve. I think Joe Thomas will be a hard sell for two reasons. One — he’s 32 this year and the Seahawks play a very physical brand of football. He’s not missed a game in his career but it’d be risky business dealing a first rounder for a player coming into the last few years of his career. Two — I think Hue Jackson is a good recruiter and will be able to stem some unrest in that locker room and get guys to buy in. If he’s looking to draft a rookie QB with the #2 pick — he’ll need Thomas protecting him.

      • Steve Nelsen

        There are not any veterans at left tackle or center (other than perhaps Alex Mack who Hue will also try to keep) that would provide a combination of pro-bowl level play and veteran leadership. That would leave left guard as the only spot where a veteran free agent might land. Boone and Incognito have been mentioned in prior posts. Is there someone else that comes to mind for you? Ingognito’s age would raise the same concerns that you mentioned about Thomas.

        • Rob Staton

          There really isn’t. I would have interest in Mack and Boone — everyone else on the list I’m indifferent about.

      • MikeB'hamster

        Rob, would you kindly discuss your views on free agency generally, in relation to the Hawks salary cap, and in consideration of timing, as any FA signings beforehand will significantly impact draft considerations. Maybe one dedicated column as “Seattle Roster Blog” ! It would aid in establishing an overall perspective, for some of us who often can’t see the forest for the trees. Thank you.

        • Rob Staton


          • Steve Nelsen

            A current roster post would also provide an opportunity to discuss those players currently on the roster in reserve roles that could step into more prominent roles next year.

            Pete Carroll and John Schneider have both said that they won’t draft a player unless they are an upgrade over a player already on the roster.

            So, for instance, with Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael I don’t see them drafting a RB unless they are a 3rd down guy that can replace Fred Jackson.

            What, if anything, does it mean to have Poole and Nowak, Hill and Marsh and Clark, and a whole host of young DBs (Burly, Seisay, Smith,, Simon, McCray, Jean-Baptiste)

            • CHawk Talker Eric

              A sort of roster reset, by position. I like it.

            • Attyla the Hawk

              “Pete Carroll and John Schneider have both said that they won’t draft a player unless they are an upgrade over a player already on the roster.”

              That’s not quite how they’ve termed it.

              What they have said, is that they draft relative to their roster. This isn’t something just we do. In draft parlance, it’s drafting for need.

              All teams generally do this.

              Where Pete is a bit different, is that he wants to bring in competition wherever he can. This is an ideal that he’s harbored since he formulated the always compete model. The idea being that to get the best out of what you have, it’s on Pete to add new competitors to the mix in order to squeeze the best out of his starters.

              He used to play highlights of his incoming recruiting class to his Trojan teams all the while planting the bug in their ear that these were the guys that are waiting to take their jobs. It’s a roster driven motivation model. In order to make that work you have to keep adding talent even if you’re presumably solid there.

              They add talent even at positions of strength when they can. And for us, running back is a critical position and function. Further, our rushing scheme really requires a specific physical skill set (namely large powerful backs that can run through an arm tackle with plus agility to attack cut back lanes).


              2010: Leon Washington (trade), Michael Robinson (UFA)
              2011: Traded 2011 and 2012 picks for Lynch trade
              2012: Turbin (4)
              2013: Michael (2), Ware (6) Coleman (UFA)
              2014: Small (7), Tukuafu (UFA)
              2015: Rawls (priority UDFA), Jackson (UFA)

              Basically the only years we didn’t draft a RB, we traded for or gambled on UDFA signing. We add RBs almost every year. In most cases more than one. So it is not remotely a stretch that Seattle seeks to acquire a RB.

              And honestly if I’m looking big picture, I could easily make the case that Seattle would look to nail down a cheap/young 3rd down back this year and STILL look to get in on the RB bounty in 2017. We love our backs. And you can see that we have gotten production out of almost all of those acquisitions.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I’m no cap expert, but I think a lot of the worry over cap space is unfounded because contracts are easily structured to diminish the year 1 impact. Moreover, the cap grows every year by about 8%, which in 2016 equates to an extra $10mm.

      With respect to the OL, while I recognize the problem of lack of continuity and veteran leadership, there comes a point where poor/inconsistent individual performance is the greater of two evils, especially when cap constraints are factored into the equation. Sweezy is at this juncture now. His inconsistency and poor pass pro would become an even greater liability if it costs SEA an additional $3.5-4.5mm per year. Britt would also be in that same category, but he’s still under rookie contract, so the cost of keeping him is minimal.

      I’m quite sure SEA is happy to retain Sweezy, and Okung for that matter, but only at the right price. The question is do they make preemptive offers to keep them from testing the FA market?

      • Steve Nelsen

        Not all contracts are easy to restructure. A restructure frees up cap space by moving money from salary to bonus which can be spread out over the life of a contract. So you need a contract with sufficient length and a high enough salary to work. Richard Sherman has a base salary of $12.5 million next year and is still in the prime of his career with only $6.6 million dead money currently on his contract so Seattle has an opportunity.

        The risk is that you are trading future flexibility for immediate help. That risk is compounded if the immediate help is a veteran who won’t be around long-term or the contract you are restructuring is a player nearing the end of their career. Some teams have restructured contracts to add free agents while “they have a championship window” and are now hamstrung by contracts with gigantic amounts of dead money tied to a player at or near the end of their career. Tony Romo has over $30 million in dead money on his contract.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Right. I thought only of new contracts, not restructuring current ones.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if Bennett’s contract gets restructured. Wolfe’s new contract, and Bennett’s professionalism in playing through a contract “dispute” such as it was, gives him some strong ammo to use.

          I don’t see Kam getting a restructure, unless it’s very mild like moving some future bonus to 2016 salary.

          • Steve Nelsen

            I agree with your thoughts about Kam.

            Bennett has $4 million in salary for 2016 with 2 years left on his deal. So a restructure would probably add another year and could free up $3 million in 2016. That might mean keeping another free agent like Rubin or Lane or Shead if Davis Hsu’s estimates of their 2016 cap hit are right. Even if you feel it is a gamble to count on Bennett still being productive in 2018 at age 32, the dead money at that time would not be substantial. And you reward a guy who showed up, provided leadership and played well even though he was dissatisfied with his deal.

            That would seem to be the kind of low-risk, high-reward, take-care-of-your-own deal that fits with the Seattle roster management philosophy.

            • cha

              And it would throw an elbow in Kam’s direction.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                Kam could take it that way, but in reality it has more to do with his performance this year than the holdout. If he’d had a true pro bowl year (based on actual performance instead of reputation), the way Bennett has, they might be more inclined to restructuring him notwithstanding his holdout.

  23. Demitrov

    I cant see the Seahawks letting go of both Okung and Sweezy and entering the next season with the line in even more flux than last year but I think theyd like to spend the money on the DBs, DLine, and Kearse.

    If they only keep one of Okung/Sweezy (and I think itll prolly be Sweeze b/c hes cheaper and not as injury prone) I suspect they go Tackle and Guard in rounds 1-2 to try to up the quality and increase the competition at the spots and then try to really hit on 2 playmakers in the 3rd round where they have 2 picks.

    Anyone really stand out to you Rob as an exceptional athlete or playmaker that can drop in the draft or isnt being rated as highly as you think they warrant? I remember following Tyler Locket here before he was drafted and getting really excited about him even though there were criticisms about his height and small hands which I never saw as being huge negatives on any of the tape I was watching.

    I also wanted to ask if you think the FO will approach this draft with any different mentality or strategy than they have in years past. They havent had a great history hitting on Offensive Linemen in the draft which will prolly be the most important thing they do this offseason as they themselves seem to recognize.

  24. Volume12

    I’m beginning to wonder if Seattle likes ND WR Chris Brown? He’s getting rave reviews today for his route running, dynamic play making abilities, is described as small and quick, and gets open easily.

    Give me this kid later in the draft. He’s a stud man.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      We mentioned him a couple of times last year. He’s the kind of player you notice in a game but forget about after, and then the next time you watch him you remember he’s pretty freaking good.

      • Volume12

        Right? I like that description.

        He’s the kind of receiver that fits perfectly for us. And if we keep Kearse, god I hope we do, it does push receiver down the board a bit.

        Point is, he’s being overlooked due to the guy playing opposite him, Will Fuller, and should be available to us on day 3.

        Kind of reminds me of WR Markus Wheaton a bit.

  25. Grayson

    Could you see the Hawks drafting a WR or CB if they don’t fall in love with any tackles or other o-line prospects? Is so, who do you think may be available?

  26. Steve

    I didn’t read through all the above comments, so if I’m repeating… sorry. Another thing to consider is Schneider’s offseason opening thoughts. Specifically the idea that they didn’t feel like they were the bullies on the field this year, and that being an offseason guiding principle. If there is a player out there that looks anything like Hutch (as Glasgow was casually compared to), I would bet money they overdraft (compared to how others rate him) that dude. Toughness (or that football meanness you see in Pittsburg, and saw in SF and Baltimore) might frame a lot of what they do on both lines this year.

    • Rob Staton

      You’re absolutely right to highlight this Steve. Schneider’s comment certainly resonated. They weren’t really the bullies, the enforcers this year. Finding a way to get back to that is crucial. They were a little more finesse across the board. Getting nasty again in the trenches is the key. They used to have Red, Clemons, McDaniel, Breno — guys you didn’t want to mess with. They need to find a new batch.

  27. mwstretch

    The Seahawks showed interest in Stefan Wisinewski last summer (I believe they even made a lowball, we’re out of money offer). I like him (age/interest/$/already a FA) over Mack for a FA center

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