Updated horizontal board (version #2): 23rd January

I published my first horizontal board on the 1st December and it’s time for an update. This is a pre-Senior Bowl version. I’ll post another board after the event in Mobile. There’s a lot of information on the draft below, including a must-read theory on the future at quarterback in Seattle. Look at the board, read the notes and let me know what you think in the comments section.

Click the image below to enlarge:

It’s a whole new world

The NIL era has changed college football and the draft forever. An incredible number of players have returned to school or entered the transfer portal and in the end, only 54 eligible players turned pro. This has significantly impacted the depth of the draft.

In terms of quarterbacks, Georgia’s Carson Beck, Missouri’s Brady Cook and Texas’ Quinn Ewers all opted not to turn pro and return to their scools. Tyler Van Dyke (Wisconsin), Cam Ward (Miami), Will Howard (Ohio State), Will Rogers (TBD), KJ Jefferson (UCF), Riley Leonard (Notre Dame), Grayson McCall (NC State) and DJ Uiagalelei (Florida State) all transferred.

What was once considered a uniquely deep and gifted quarterback class has been stripped down considerably.

A large number of players at other positions also decided not to turn pro:

— TreyVeyon Henderson, Tyleik Williams, J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, Denzel Burke, Emeka Egbuka and Donovan Jackson are all staying at Ohio State

— Wisconsin tackle Jack Nelson

— Notre Dame defensive tackles Howard Cross and Rylie Mills

— West Virginia defensive lineman Sean Martin

— Arkansas pass rusher Landon Jackson

— Miami receiver Xavier Restrepo

— Tennessee receiver Bru McCoy

— UCF receiver Kobe Hudson

— Oregon receiver Tez Johnson

— Kansas State running back DJ Giddens

— Texas defensive tackle Alfred Collins

— Louisville defensive lineman Ashton Gillotte

— North Carolina defensive end Kaimon Rucker

— NC State defensive end Davin Vann

— Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon

— Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter

— Utah tight end Brant Kuithe

— Penn State tight end Tyler Warren

— Iowa tight end Luke Lachey

Meanwhile, receivers Josh Kelly (Texas Tech), and Julian Fleming (Penn State) have transferred, as has cornerback Trikweze Bridges (Florida) and running back Raheim Sanders (South Carolina). Texas Tech pass rusher Steve Linton has entered the portal but is yet to select a new team.

This updated horizontal board looks a lot thinner than it did a few weeks ago and the depth has evaporated. There are many players I am yet to study, including several who are competing in Mobile. They will be added in time. If I’ve missed any names on the board who chose not to declare, let me know.

More blue-chip players

I’ve spent the last two years studying quarterbacks first, trying to watch all of their games, while also staying across every other position. Once I’m done with the QB’s, I do a lot more study on the others. As a consequence, I’ve added five players to the ‘blue chip’ bracket — receivers Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers, pass rushers Jared Verse and Chop Robinson and linebacker Payton Wilson. All five, in my opinion, are worthy of going in the top-10, pre-testing and medicals — along with Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr and Brock Bowers.

Verse is a machine and capable of being a disruptive game-wrecker off the edge. His initial burst and quickness is excellent and he fires into blockers with great power. From there, he’s adept at using his hands to disengage and break off blocks. He can win with speed, he has a variety of moves and he has the size and aggression to defend the run. I think he could go in the top-five and the top-10 feels like a certainty. He’s a complete pass rusher.

Robinson has rare bend and speed to round the edge and burst to the quarterback. He will likely be a testing phenom at the combine and you see extreme quickness and explosion in his play. He’s very much a 3-4 OLB type and doesn’t have the sand in his pants currently to be a reliable run defender. However, as a pass-rush threat he could excel very quickly and a creative defensive coordinator will find ways to get him working to the QB.

Odunze is a remarkable player. When I visited the Husky facility I was told he can run in the 4.3’s. He has A++ character. His body control and ball-tracking is elite. He is reliable, dominant and will be a pillar of consistency on and off the field. Nabers, meanwhile, also has excellent body control and a fantastic ability to compete 1v1 in the end zone. He can stretch opponents running across the field while also being used as a red-line force. I think he shares some similarities in terms of playing style to A.J. Brown. He won’t test brilliantly but he’s just a pain in the arse to cover.

Of the group of blue-chippers, Wilson is the one who won’t go as high as I’ve graded him. This is due to a history of shoulder injuries, a torn ACL and hamstring issues. He’s now played back-to-back years without an injury, which is encouraging, but medical tests will determine how early he is drafted. That said, I challenge anyone to watch his tape at NC State and tell me he’s not one of the 10 best players in this draft in terms of talent, effort and production.

Wilson is incredible. When he rushes off the edge, he can be extremely effective. When he settles in at linebacker, there’s some Luke Kuechly to his game. He flies to the ball-carrier like every single snap is the last one of his life. He’s an outstanding athlete, running in the 4.4’s with a 4.21 short shuttle and a 35.5 inch vertical. His pursuit is elite as is his closing speed, he hits like a hammer and his motor never stops. His missed tackle percentage in 2023 (4.7%) was the second lowest among linebackers in college football. He also ranked second in defensive stops (tackles that constitute a ‘failure’ for the offense). He had three interceptions, ranked second for batted passes and he recorded six sacks. His run-stop percentage (16.3%) ranked first.

I’ve never wanted a player to pass a medical more since starting this blog in 2008. Wilson is a special, special talent and his potential has no limits.

What are the positions of strength in the draft?

It’s a really thick offensive line class. I have six tackles I’d be prepared to draft in round one, plus a tackle/guard convert. I have a further three tackles, five centers and four guards graded in round two. If you want to build a strong O-line for the future, this is a good draft to try and do it.

It’s also a deep receiver class, with elite talent at the top and numbers stretching well into round three. So the two key strengths are O-line and receiver.

What are the weaker positions?

There are no running backs worthy of being drafted before the third round. It’s a thin edge rusher class that is very top heavy and the defensive tackle group is overrated. As usual, the safety and tight end positions are thin.

Where are we at with the quarterbacks?

It’s one of the harder classes to analyse and I’ve agonised far more on this group than any other in recent memory.

Firstly though, something obvious. Caleb Williams will be the #1 pick. His obscene natural talent, arm strength and creativity make it a no-brainer. For me, Jayden Daniels is the clear QB2 thanks to a combination of deep passing ability, incredible playmaking as a runner and a smooth, steady progression throughout his career.

I wanted to represent the separation between these two players and the next four by grading them as I have on the updated board. Frankly, though, I think you can make a case for any of the next four going on day one. That’s the dilemma with the class. You can focus on what any of them ‘can’ do — and their positive traits — and sell taking them early. This isn’t like the 2022 class with Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder where they all obviously looked like third round types (and that’s where I had all of them on my board).

I think Drake Maye will polarise teams, with some loving the size, risk-taker mentality, arm strength and surprising mobility. Others may think he’s too reckless and streaky. I’m not sure Maye will go as high as some think — and I’ve been consistent on that for the last year.

J.J. McCarthy has shown nothing at Michigan to warrant being placed in the first frame but the belief is someone will take him. I’m struggling to work out why. For me, he’s a mid-round talent with limited upside. I’ve graded him in round three.

The Oregon offense is a real challenge when it comes to Bo Nix. The lack of any pressure faced and the extreme user-friendly offense, consisting of getting the ball out as quickly as possible (approx 30% of throws behind the LOS) makes a projection for Nix extremely difficult. He faced only 79 pressures in 2023, the fewest in the whole of college football. His completion percentage (77.3%) was way ahead of anyone else, mainly because of the sheer number of high percentage completions. Nix attempted 105 screen passes in 2023, third most among quarterbacks.

There are moments on tape where he shows physical brilliance, accuracy and touch. Yet it really feels like the the environment is perfectly set-up for him. When he gets to the next level, everything will be different and far more challenging. How will he handle that? It’s almost impossible to say with any certainty. You can imagine positive and negative outcomes, quite easily.

His throwing motion is elongated at times with the arm dropping down. What happens to that release when he’s being harassed? When he faces pressure, will he resort back to Auburn Nix? Can he throw with timing, progress through reads under fire and make layered, accurate completions under duress? He is a very good athlete, teams will like his personality and the Senior Bowl and combine setting will suit him — he could easily wow at both events, convincing someone to draft him significantly earlier than the grade warrants.

Penix Jr remains one of the harder players to judge because his arm talent is incredible and worthy of a top grade, yet there are legit concerns to also contemplate. It’s no exaggeration to say it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he went 16th overall or 76th.

You’ve got the injury history and teams will pay close attention to the combine medicals. Being left handed requires far more adjustment to your offense than most realise. His play dipped considerably for a large stretch this past season, as noted in a previous article:

He started the year throwing 74.9% completions in his first five games. He then went on an eight-game run where that dropped to 60.1%. During these two same split periods, his average ‘big time throws’ per game stayed exactly the same (2.6 per game). So he was still completing the big, eye-catching plays — there were just an increasing number of bad throws/incompletions to go with it. This is also why his PFF grade in the same periods started well at 89.9 and then tailed off to 71.6.

This all coincided with an increase in pressures from 6.6 per game to 10.7 per game. Once the ‘easy pitch-and-catch’ games were gone, the production and performance dropped. The game against Oregon State was a great example. He had a couple of outstanding ‘wow’ plays that get you out of your seat shouting ‘top-10 pick’. He also had plenty of wild chucks to nowhere, including over an hour of play where he didn’t have a completion. You can’t blame the weather either. He was erratic. That game basically encapsulates him as a player. Big win, big throws — but also a lot of icky moments.

There are also concerns about the offense he played in throughout his college career, at Indiana and Washington. My source noted to me last week, there’s a play vs Arizona where he looked off to one side of the field, then came back to the pre-determined intended target. The thing is, his receiver had fallen down during his the route. Penix Jr threw it anyway, because that’s what the scheme called for. It’s pre-determined. This is a world away from the NFL.

When you watch some of his games in the middle section of the season, it felt very boom or bust. He’d hit on big plays to supercharge the offense but then have stretches where he’d throw a ton of incomplete passes and couldn’t function. Can he throw to the short/intermediate level with timing and accuracy or is he constantly going to need to look for the big play?

Back to the positives though, and he absolutely played a major role in elevating the Huskies to near National glory. In the big moments he often delivered — especially against Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship and Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The arm talent is special and I’d argue is of a similar level to Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. He’s a far better athlete than people realise (he can jump a 38-inch vertical). As I mentioned, Penix Jr could go in the first round or the third round. Remember, a year ago people were talking about Hendon Hooker going in the top-15. People will be shocked and surprised if Penix Jr lasts — I wouldn’t be. That’s not to diminish his qualities which are obvious. I’ve tried to explain this over a number of months. There are extreme positives with his arm but there’s another side to the story and when combined with age/injuries/scheme — he might last longer than many think.

I’ll finish with Spencer Rattler. I’m a lot higher on him than most others writing about the draft. He more than any of the names above has a grasp of pro-style football. Dowell Loggains (NFL background) was South Carolina’s offensive coordinator last year and used pro-terminology and concepts. This wasn’t a Washington/Oregon style offense. The transition to the next level should be smoother for Rattler compared to those working in pre-determined, spread offenses.

I think his stock has suffered through no fault of his own. I was incredibly impressed with the way he played in 2023. Everything around him was awful apart from Xavier Legette. He had no other receivers to speak of, the running game was a mess and the offensive line was one of the worst in college football. He was battered most weeks with the line giving up 186 total pressures (fourth most) and as a consequence he was sacked 3.7 times a game (eighth most). Despite this, he regularly delivered pro-level passes with defenders breathing down his neck. He only had 11 turnover-worthy plays, the same number as Drake Maye, the 79th most in college football. It speaks to how he has transformed his game, has not forced things under pressure and has remained composed in the pocket.

Further to this, his adjusted completion percentage (the percentage of aimed passes thrown on target) is 79.6% — eighth most in the NCAA. That’s only one place behind Heisman front-runner Jayden Daniels (79.9%), despite all of the pressure he faced.

Rattler led all quarterbacks in completion percentage off play-action (79.4%) — ahead of Jayden Daniels in second (77.8%), Bo Nix (77.8%), Cam Ward (77.2%), J.J. McCarthy (75.3%) and Quinn Ewers (75%). Although it’s worth noting, Ewers threw considerably more play-action passes in 2023 (he was the only player among the top performers with +200 attempts).

This is all such a difference compared to the old Rattler at Oklahoma, who refused to play in structure and was reckless, trusting his arm too often and giving off a sense that he was freelancing. Every week it felt like he was throwing into obvious double or even triple coverage for a lousy turnover (or two). Now, he does what the offense needs him to do. He only threw eight interceptions — many of them hopeful attempts trying to drag his team out of a lost cause. That’s three fewer picks than Penix Jr and one fewer than Maye.

He can also scramble to extend plays and make gains on the ground. Rattler oozes natural talent. He has a gun-slinger mentality and I stand by the comparison that he’s a poor-man’s Mahomes. It’s easy to forget now but three-years ago, many people were projecting him as a top-five pick.

The big challenge for Rattler is going to be meeting with teams. I can see through his interviews that he’s a very different person to the brash, cocky, carefree player we came to know at Oklahoma. Yet there are things that happened there — not serious things, just things that teams will roll their eyes about and wonder whether he’s the guy they want as the face of the franchise. He’ll need to answer questions about those concerns, take ownership of his mistakes and he’ll need his coaches at South Carolina to vouch for him. If he can do this, he has the talent to go a lot higher than people realise. If he can sell teams on being a changed man and excel at the Senior Bowl and combine — don’t be shocked if in a few weeks he turns into a hot name, touted as a ‘riser’ (when in reality, the talent was always there).

If he doesn’t go early and lasts into the middle rounds like many are suggesting, he could end up being a steal. I appreciate I’m rating him a lot higher than most but the talent and potential is obvious, he’s worked in a NFL environment (SEC, NFL play-caller, constant pressure) and shown he can deliver. It’s very easy to imagine him joining a NFL team, without the hopelessness of the 2023 South Carolina Gamecocks, and taking off.

What is a realistic plan for the Seahawks?

So much is going to change — we don’t even know who the Head Coach is yet. Or what’s happening with Geno Smith’s contract. Or who’ll still be on the roster. It’s virtually impossible to project anything at this stage.

However, I’m still going to give it a go.

I think John Schneider is itching to take a quarterback. I’m just trying to work out what I think that means. In Green Bay, they would take them frequently. Schneider hasn’t done that but was it a decision influenced by Pete Carroll? Could we now start to see Schneider taking shots at the position, until he gets ‘the guy’?

For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me if he took a chance on someone at #16. Rightly or wrongly. Can I see Schneider believing the physical qualities of Nix or Penix Jr are worth rolling the dice on in the middle of round one? Maybe. Perhaps he’d even stun the experts and take Rattler?

After all, he reportedly was willing to draft Andy Dalton in round one in 2011. Here’s an article from Danny O’Neil, reflecting on what happened:

The Seahawks very much considered choosing Dalton with the 25th pick of the 2011 draft. In fact, there were rumors his name was written on a draft card that never turned in…

Now, before we continue it’s important to offer a few qualifiers. The information that forms the basis from this story comes from multiple sources who were actually present in Seattle’s draft room during the two years in question. It does not, however, come from Schneider, and that’s important to disclose because not only does he figure so prominently in the storyline, but he is adamant about avoiding giving any one person credit for a team’s selection. That’s the way he has been since the day he was introduced as Seattle’s general manager in 2010.

Dalton was a serious consideration in the first round for Seattle. In fact, Schneider advocated for that selection. The issue was one of consensus. Specifically, Schneider didn’t want to force his conviction on a player on the rest of the scouting department and the entire franchise.

This wasn’t about who has the final say, either. Schneider runs Seattle’s draft. The question was how he would run it, and he has never wanted a front office in which his voice is the only one that makes the decisions.

This is a really important piece of information. Schneider is now in charge of decision making at all levels. It’s not unrealistic to think that left to his own devices, Schneider would’ve taken Dalton. Now, is he going to be emboldened to make that call?

Dalton played in an extreme spread, four-verticals heavy offense at TCU. It was user-friendly. He played very well in college but not in a jaw-dropping way. Schneider liked him. Could he feel similarly about, say, Bo Nix at #16? I wouldn’t rule it out even if I think he’s a day-two pick.

Schneider’s answer when asked about Geno Smith last week was extremely lukewarm and offered no hint of commitment. Could he just outright move on, with the intention of proceeding with Drew Lock as a safety-net and someone taken at #16 as the way forward? I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility.

Equally, I can see him thinking a third rounder — if he lasts that long — on Spencer Rattler would be something akin to a shot to nothing. A free hit on a talented player. If it doesn’t work out, perhaps he targets Quinn Ewers in 2025 — a player I’ve long thought would be right up Schneider’s street.

So even though the quarterback class has been severely weakened by players staying in college, I wonder if Schneider fully intends to try a new approach to the position — taking chances until he finds the long-term starter.

If he appoints an offensive-minded Head Coach, especially one with experience in developing young quarterbacks, it could be a tell.

Here’s something else to consider — with the depth of the draft weakened with so many players returning to college, will he be more inclined to use his 2024 picks to trade up? He has two third rounders to play with.

If it’s not a quarterback in round one, the first question is whether Jared Verse or Chop Robinson last? They are the only two viable blue-chippers I see being mocked into range. If they are there, you have to strongly consider taking one of them. They’re too good.

What’s the future for Abe Lucas? If his knee is a long-term concern, the 16th pick would be prime position to take a tackle.

If neither of these situations are plausible and if you aren’t going to go for one of the second tier quarterbacks, maybe the best plan would be to trade down and try to acquire more stock for day two, which will be rich for interior offensive linemen.

Four other players I want to highlight

Zak Zinter (G, Michigan) — coming off an injury but said to be making great progress, Zinter isn’t going to wow anyone with his athleticism but he’s a tough, physical blocker who has every chance to be a long-time starter at the next level. For me, he’s the best pure guard in the draft.

McKinley Jackson (DT, Texas A&M) — from very early in the college season I was promoting Jackson as DT1 in this class. He is physical and brutal up front with enough quickness to provide some pass rush and disrupt. Plus, he is going to set a tone on the defense and will develop very quickly into a team captain. A true heart and soul culture building type who also makes plays.

Xavier Legette (WR, South Carolina) — there just aren’t that many people with his combination of size, speed and playmaking ability. He will put on a show at the combine and he has the potential to be a X-factor playmaker.

Jacob Cowing (WR, Arizona) — I was so impressed with his ability to get open. I’m not sure he’s going to be an amazing tester but he’s the kind of player who can easily settle into a very productive WR2 or WR3 role.

Bralen Trice (DE, Washington) — he needs to get stronger for his size and add a bullying element to his play, yet his athleticism is off the charts for his frame and he had an excellent 2023 season. I’ve seen the testing numbers at UW and he can run a 4.2 short shuttle in the 265/275lbs range. That will pique the interest of many teams.

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286 Comments

  1. Ben Fort Worth

    I’m so glad to see that Brian Thomas was moved up. I’ve watched so much tape on this kid, there was no way I had him going in the 5th round. I also really like WR Jacob Cowing a lot. I think he could be the next Jayden Reed.

    • Ben Fort Worth

      Xavier Legette is intriguing. He’s a late breakout candidate. He literally did Nothing his entire collegiate career until his senior season. He reminds me of DK Metcalf.

      Jonathan Brooks was well on his way to being the RB1 of this draft class until his injury. It’s going to take some time for him to recover, if he even can. That being said, I can see him thriving in the right situation, say landing in Dallas at #56, would be the absolute perfect landing spot for him. Other than that, Trey Benson is the only other notable RB on my board. I could see him landing in Green Bay. Aaron Jones career is almost done.

      The player I keep circling back to though is Cowing. I’m so high on this kid. And I’m glad to see that you are too. I think he just might be my favorite player in the entire draft.

      Jayden Daniels’ rushing upside alone will make him shoot up draft boards. The one thing that gives me pause though on Caleb Williams are his 31 Fumbles! Yes you read that right. There’s no denying that he’s talented, but he’s just a weird dude. Have you read his Twitter posts? Ugh! Still though, I think he’ll be the consensus 1.01 and when you watch his tape, it’s easy to see the STAR above his head.

      Drake Maye deserves some credit for his rushing ability. A lot of scouts say they see Justin Herbert when they watch his tape. But he’s quicker and more mobile than Justin in my opinion. Not to mention his A+ character. I absolutely LOVE Drake Maye. He was without his best WR Tez Walker for part of the season due to some stupid NCAA rule violation. But he throws one of the best deep balls of this entire class. I could easily see him landing in Washington with Ben Johnson’s NEW offense.

  2. JJ

    Rob, no new articles the rest of the week. Going to take me some time getting through this.

    • Rob Staton

      Well I’m flying to Iceland tomorrow so you might get your wish 😂

      • Peter

        Yeah right…..maybe last year but good luck with all that and the biggest decision in modern franchise history any day now.😀

        • Rob Staton

          I’ve already got a Mike Kafka article ready to post 😂

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        Lucky! I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. Hopefully it’s for fun.

        • Rob Staton

          My wife turned 40 today, she’s always wanted to go 🇮🇸

          • BK26

            Enjoy it. It’s been my favorite place in the world. Could easily live there (keep an eye out for the Game of Thrones locations).

            There is a bakery in downtown Reykjavik that was amazing. Almost missed our flight back over because I had to stop by one more time.

          • Mick

            Have fun Rob. If she likes that, get her on a ride on an Icelandic horse, they’re really awesome.

  3. Thomas

    Do you think this is just a transition class with NIL? I don’t expect the bottom to fall out of next year’s class.

    If that’s the case, John might trade for picks next year. I guess it depends on how much of a rebuild John is willing to do. He might trade Lockett if he does not think they are close enough. Lockett is great, but he cannot play forever.

    I also could see him signing Lock for two years. If they draft a QB great. If not, perhaps the new coaching staff could give Lock an extended look while rebuilding. I’ve always thought Geno was more of a win now decision than anything else. Lock requires some development if he’s going to succeed, and they were not willing to risk it.

    • Donald_Duck

      This is an interesting strategy. Is it still the case that a second round draft pick this year is worth a first round pick next year, etc.?

      In any case, thanks Rob for all of your hard work!!!

  4. ShowMeYourHawk

    It’s Christmas all over again at SDB! Thanks for your work, Rob. Really gives the rest of us an opportunity to check out guys that might have normally been off our radars.

    Cheers!

    • Rob Staton

      👍

  5. Peter

    I just feel bad that Rob did with the senior bowl less than 2 weeks away.

  6. Rob Staton

    Tony Pauline on the Seahawks coaching search:

    — Quinn favourite per league sources
    — Some players want Vrabel
    — “Sources close to the situation tell me the franchise has a “long way to go,” before making their final decision”

    https://www.sportskeeda.com/nfl/news-is-sean-mcdermott-hot-seat-insider-notes-bills-hc-s-future-stefon-diggs-speculation-seahawks-coaching-search?utm_source=www.sportskeeda.com&utm_medium=native&utm_campaign=ShareArticle

    • Peter

      I’m fine taking time. I get a little worried because this team has repeatedly slow played off season moves often to their undoing.

      Part if me ( grasping,) is hoping the time it’s taking means that while Quinn may be the preferred choice they actually want to make 100% sure. That there is real room for someone else to break through.

      • Rob Staton

        I’m not hoping for that — I’m hoping it means they’re going to fight tooth and nail for Ben Johnson

        • king

          It doesn’t mean Quinn won’t be the guy, which barf, but I agree; if they weren’t seriously in on Ben Johnson, they would have already named a coach so they can get to work.

          • Rob Staton

            Again, not necessarily at all.

            Don’t know why people keep saying this. Even if it was Quinn all along, going through a process isn’t a bad thing, or, if you want to be more cynical making it look like you did

            The idea they just would’ve appointed him by now makes little sense

    • Whit21

      I get the feeling that all the 2nd interviews could be JS getting a feel for interviews..

      Getting interviewed and being on the either side can be the same thing. You need practice.

      I still get the feeling the hire will be out of left field a bit.. Not DQ or Vrabel. Could be wrong. Just how i feel on a Tuesday.

      • Malanch

        That feeling is a common side-effect of hopium ingestion.

    • BrandoK

      Wonder how “long way to go” meant after championship weekend? Superbowl? or longer?

      Also with the some players want Vrabel how are you even thinking about their input with how terrible they had with there accountability and play. That’s a No

      • PJ in Seattle

        I guess it depends on WHICH players… which we don’t know.

    • DK

      I get the feeling that Quinn will be the favorite up until Schneider names a new coach hat isn’t Dan Quinn.

      The fact there is still a long way to go tells me, Schneider is not sold on any of these candidates yet.

      • Patrick Toler

        Quinn has always felt like a connect the dots favorite, not a “we are actually hearing this from someone who would know” favorite.

        • Jhams

          Reminiscent of the national media saying we’d draft Jalen Carter.

        • Peter

          Really good point on the connect the dots aspect.

    • SeattleLifer

      Very interesting that “some players want Vrabel”. To me that speaks to players that want accountability, that are tired of nonsense(for insatance DK’s on and off field nature/comments), tired of lackluster effort(see tackling and defense) and want a coach who will definitely drop the Adam’ses and Digg’ses types from the team.

      The question is is how is John thinking about such things? Is he more inclined to kind of protect his (draft picked) players that under Pete were very coddled or is he of the mind to bring someone in who he knows will right the ship and cut out the bs?

      And there most certainly should be pause to think about such things because Pete’s ‘culture’ had just about deteriorated to an inmates running the asylum level of be who you are and do what you want with no accountability- and that could require some delicacy from the next coach to navigate and reset to how he wants his team to be.

      • Malanch

        “The question is is how is John thinking about such things? ”

        One thing I can state on this with confidence is that Schneider will not give weight to the opinions of players when making his final decision on a new head coach. Players play; general managers general-manage. Any current Seahawk who doesn’t like Schneider’s choice will quickly become a former Seahawk.

        … Don’t get me wrong: The sooner his roster is fully onboard with the new guy, the better. But buy-in will take care of itself over the next few years, and Schneider shouldn’t give two you-know-whats about whomever DK Metcalf or Ken Walker or Jaxon Smith-Njigba may or may not want for a coach.

  7. Andy J

    I thought that the 2011 draft was the year that you conjectured, from sources, that the Seahawks wanted to draft Kaepernick??

    • Rob Staton

      I didn’t hear they wanted to draft Kaepernick. I heard he was ahead of certain other players on the board and that moved me to mock him to Seattle. Same source told me Seahawks were trading for Marshawn Lynch the day before it happened and bizarrely, after tweeting that, a random bloke from Rotherham was given a credit after Jay Glazer reported it the following day. I still have the screen grab of that somewhere. But the source didn’t say, ‘the Seahawks will take CK’ — that was just my projection.

      • Andy J

        Cool. Thanks. Sorry to even remember that. I was also trying to remember what game it was the Andy Dalton just put on a show, dicing up a team in a big moment. I thought it was that year’s Rose Bowl, but looking back at the stats and game recap it just doesn’t compute. I actually was a bit pro-Dalton that off-season, and was totally sleeping on Kap.

      • Elmer

        Chip Kelly???

  8. Charles

    Hey Rob, surprised to JJ so low – just based on physical traits I see him testing well and being an easy first round riser during the process, I get what you’re saying about being disappointed in the tape but you can’t see him as a upside guy who sits for a year? He has the prototypical size you’d want and he can make the throws… idk he intrigues me and seems like a guy who is at least getable in this process for the Seahawks

    • Rob Staton

      Not really. Think his arm strength is middling at best. He needs to get bigger and stronger. At the moment he does not have prototypical size — he is lean, as he was last year. In some big games this year they basically took the ball out of his hands. Had some throws that were hard to watch. Also had some very good moments but I just think he’s an average prospect without the traits or big-time college moments to get excited about.

      • Peter

        I can’t reconcile how Jim as a former qb would look at ‘his’ qb and give him 16 attempts a game as an average if there was something there.

        Andrew Luck threw around 80 less attempts in his final year at Stanford than Mccarthy did his whole time at Michigan.

        • BK26

          He is the one guy that I say 100% absolutely not. They hid him during games. He just isn’t impressive at all, including college.

          I’d rather run with Lock for two years.

          • Peter

            8 attempts in a game this year.

            I laughed out loud on a NBC mccarthy highlights package where an incompletion was included because there were so few throws.

            It wasn’t particularly deep. Or clever. Just a standardize toss around 25 yards to tge sideline.

            Dude has big mitch trubisky energy.

            • BK26

              Reminds me of Christian Ponder. Didn’t do anything at a blue blood school and people will wonder why someone thought he could play in the NFL.

              • geoff u

                Between Cam Newton and Andy Dalton were Locker, Gabbert, and Ponder. That’s some good QB scouting there.

                • DJ 1/2 way

                  And later, two HOF locks in RIchard Sherman in the 5th and Jason Kelce in the 6th.

  9. cha

    Rob do you think SVP is in play at #16 or is that too high?

    • Rob Staton

      Too high

    • Hawk Finn

      I feel like Scott Van Pelt has a very low ceiling, but tremendous backside

  10. SeattleLifer

    This sure seems like a draft where it’s crucial to have a second round pick…

    With less top QB prospects I can’t imagine a scenario where John does’nt trade down from pick 16. I just really hope it’s for around pick 75 or better – imo anything else is unwise and it’d be far better to stay and use your native pick.

    • Tim

      I should think it would still be better to spend a first round pick on a 2nd round QB, if only to save money should you hit.

      The trick there is to use a lower pick than 16, if you can get away with it.

      My two cents.

  11. Rob Staton

    If anyone can share this around other places — social media, forums etc it’d be much appreciated. So much work goes into it (the analysis to go with the board is over 4000 words alone) I’d love to get as many eyes on it as possible

    • LouCityHawk

      Dealing with some fires (freezes more exactly)

      But already Shar ng this with my friends individually and sent out tweet.

      The SDB horizontal board is something that actually does feel like we are spoiled as Hawks fans.

  12. geoff u

    In his first NFL mock draft Kiper has us taking….J.J. McCarthy.

    Trading up, a 3rd round pick could move us to #12, both 3rds could get us to #8, next years 1st and a 3rd could get us to #5, next years 1st and both 3rds could get us to #4.

    Unless someone falls, like Drake Maye, we’re out again on the top three. Even though people tell me every year next year is the year you can easily get a top franchise QB.

    Which could still be true if we stand pat and take Rattler…

    • Ben Fort Worth

      It’s possible that Atlanta could take a QB like Daniels, McCarthy, Penix, or Nix at 8.

  13. JP

    We’re really about to be in QB purgatory, huh?

    Say the team has a third good draft in the row with Geno Smith at the helm again. Make some wise free agent moves and get a good HC. Might be right back here next year looking up at teams that snag all the good QBs.

    Since RW was drafted, he’s about the only elite QB taken in the second round and beyond. Hurts looks lost recently, I said I’d be nervous paying that dude last season.

    • Rob Staton

      Not sure why that’s the reaction to this piece

      I think there are pro’s and con’s with the class — it’s not a trash group

  14. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    Rob, what QB would be available and worthy of a #16? Rattler? Otherwise they have to wait until 3rd round (or move up). is 16 an overpay? Even so, why not?

    • Peter

      There is no such thing as an over pay if you get it right.

      In a time machine Wilson then Cousins should have been taken before any of the other qbs in their draft.

      Luck was phenomenal but retired. Rg3 was pretty good but also injury retired.

      Not saying I would definitely do it. Because a slight trade down may yield better outcomes but if he can move your franchise to the future why not?

      Unlike last year where we missed the first four names and juries out on Levis…at #16 and a weird class there’s going to a lot of what it’s if we don’t take a qb and they end up working out.

  15. Joseph

    Rob, Considering some players are vouching for Vrabal, according to Tony Pauline, I hope there are others players doing the same for Ben Johnson and Bobby Slowik. I pray we hear something on that as well as 2nd round interviews for them. Considering we haven’t seen that yet, maybe JS moved on from them.

    • Joseph

      Also have a good time in Iceland. Nope you go to the Blue Lagoon lol

    • Rob Staton

      I hope John isn’t listening to the players TBH

  16. Big Mike

    Enjoy Iceland and happy happy to your Mrs. Thank you much for your efforts.
    I’m no draftnik but I have been all over Zinter most of the season. Guy kept opening holes for the Mich RBs every time I watched the Wolverines play. I feel like he’s what the Seattle interior OL has needed for…..well, for a very long time. I wonder if Hutchinson is still involved with the team? He’s a Wolverine and I’d bet he’d sound the horn for Zak.

  17. Blitzy the Clown

    Love the article Rob. It’s a very enjoyable read and a welcome shift in topic from the recent subject matter.

    It’s a thin board to be sure but mostly if you’re fighting it. Plenty of OL, DL and WR talent for the first 100 picks. I personally would like to see Rattler paired with a new HC/OC wiz, and I wonder if that can’t be had with a modest trade down from 16. But then I remember how the pre draft process works, and he has the physical tools, the arm in particular, to wow in that setting. And then I wonder if a modest move up from 16 would be required to ensure you get him, and how much does that cost. Too soon to say just yet for any of it though.

    Fun thing to think about would be drafting Rattler and Legette, as they’ve developed some cool ad lib skills with each other. Would give the team the opportunity to move on from Lockett and free up some cap space. And can you imagine DK and Xavier on the outsides with JSN in the slot? Legette reminds me a little of Duane Bowe.

    • BK26

      Legette is going to be terrific. Was a joy watching him with Rattler. Helped show what Rattler can do with real weapons too.

  18. VanHawk

    #3 on Sheil Kapadia’s list of Rules for Hiring an NFL Head Coach:

    Avoid coaches who plan on hiring their kids.

    How can you tell whether a candidate is going to put together a good staff? A few clues: One, is the person’s Plan A to hire buddies from previous coaching stops? Two, are they planning on hiring their children? Three, are they defaulting to assistants who are represented by the same agent as them? If the answer to any of the above is yes, proceed with caution.

    • Patrick Toler

      That cuts out 80% of the coaching pool. 😅

  19. Case

    Rob – Thank you as ever for your dedication to the blog and the team. When you rave about a Wilson, it makes me want a historical ranking/rating of the players you have most wanted to draft regardless of need.

  20. Jabroni-DC

    Question on Jordan Travis. Do you have him with a 4th round grade regardless of injury or in part because of injury?

    • Peter

      Not Rob by I would. Barring long term complications.

      • LouCityHawk

        Try ng to find the article last year where Rob explains it.

        My memory is the player is ranked where they would be if the injury checks out, but the red risk factor reflects that they may be available later because of that risk.

        So Travis is a 4th round talent, who may never recover from that brutal injury.

        • Jabroni-DC

          Roger that, makes sense.

  21. LouCityHawk

    Great content as always. 20 first round grades feels right.

    Glad to see that you’ve seen the light in Verse and Chop, I’m hoping we get full workouts from these two freaks at the combine.

    Still think DeJean is a top30 player.

    I’m one of those people who would be out 100% on Maye, I just see Sam Darnold. I think Penix in the 3rd is a possibility. Looking at the 2025 QBS, this is the first time I’ve ever actually said…maybe wait until next year.

    That 2nd rounder is really a kneecapper as I’d love to sneak out with Malachai Corley or Zinter or Sweat.

    I think my dream stick and pick would be Daniels, Jenkins, Gray, All, Keegan, Viaki…

    Thinking about Green Bay, I’m wondering if Schneider might take a page out of that playbook and trade for a QB ala Favre. I thought this might happen with Mills last offseason.

    Watching Allen and Mahomes go at it, just cemented for me that answering the QB question is the biggest task next to Head Coach.

    I do think the Seahawks might be very aggressive in trying to trade up and trade out. So much hinging on the new Head Coach.

    Great point was made above – repeating it for emphasis – I hope the Seahawks are doubling and tripling down on Johnson. The Vulcan group could silence many critics by beating out the Commies, and every other suitor. Especially with the leaks of Carroll tossing his hat into the Chargers ring…suggests that a good buddy isn’t headed to town.

  22. Joe G.

    Rob, thanks again for all of your work. Hope you and your family have a great time in Iceland. Looking forward to article
    On Kafka though. Just saw an article about a Quinn and Chip Kelly team up in Seattle, haha.

  23. Murphy

    Two things:

    1. I love your horizontal board. Incredible work. Thank you!

    2. I have a theory about the coaching search that is admittedly Hopium but I think there is a logic to it.

    I struggle to see a scenario where JS would choose DQ as his top choice, as the one coach he gets to select with his legacy on the line. After what he said at the presser. The only way I could see it is if ownership told him to go this way because it’s safe. But then why fire Pete?

    So maybe the reason we have not seen Slowik asked in for a second interview, is that they want to have a strong idea what coordinators they would pair with him. Basically say to him,”you’re young but we will give you a chance if you are willing to work with this group”. Either that or they are gearing up to go all in on Johnson in a week and the way they plan to pry him away from the Commanders is to give him elite coordinators etc.

    With Vrabel I can understand the logic. But I truly can’t with DQ.

    • cha

      I would love to pair a Slowik or Johnson with an Enjiro Evero at DC. Strip some of the age and expense fat from the S and LB spots and inject some speed an intensity at the positions by getting younger.

      • Murphy

        Nothing would build my excitement for next year more than following that plan. Even if it didn’t work out, I’d be happy that they took a shot. If we stick with more of the same, it will be hard to muster up much anticipation

      • Sandman

        That would be amazing! I think we will need to make Evero HC to get him. Suspect Fitterer going to be advocating a Evero hire. JS will have to find a creative way to hold onto a productive OC like a pay escalator for high Off. rank or a good playoff run.

    • Patrick Toler

      This is why Quinn would be so surprising. After 14 years, in his (possibly only) chance to pick a head coach, John picks…his old coach’s former DC.

  24. Mick

    Hey Rob, I’m liking the updated board overall. Not sure I’m with you on Rattler – I see a high-end backup, but the environment was so bad he’s a tricky eval. Feels similar to Will Levis in that way. One quick note – it looks like Kyle Monangai is going back to Rutgers for his senior year. I enjoyed his tape a lot, strong Dameon Pierce vibes.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion about either QB

      • Mick

        This probably isn’t the place for a full scouting report, but Levis’ Kentucky tape (and his Titans tape, to be fair) showed flawed lower body mechanics and inconsistent pocket management. Hard to blame him for those issues playing behind that Kentucky line, but they’re issues all the same, and they lead to inaccurate throws and a tendency to take unnecessary risks. He can sometime make up for those issues with arm strength and the threat to scramble, but I fear he’ll always leave you wanting more as a pure passer. Rattler’s mechanics are better, but I often see him drifting in the pocket and throwing fadeaways, which leads to inaccuracies and inconsistency. Granted it’s difficult to step into throws when there’s pressure in your face, but I see the same issues even when he has a (rare) clean pocket. It seems like he’s starting from a point of expecting pressure, as opposed to reacting to it when it arrives. My bottom line for Rattler is he has some battle scars to overcome. He could be excellent if he addresses the above issues, but they seem fairly ingrained and I’m not seeing enough compensatory factors to warrant a round 1 grade.

        • Rob Staton

          All of what you mentioned, I can 100% live with and work on to improve

          If we’re looking for flawless we’ll be waiting forever

  25. Forrest

    Somehow I feel like we’ll end up taking T’Vondre Sweat with the intent to improve the run defense in R1 (perhaps after a trade down), then we’ll trade up with the two 3rds for a QB in round 2 (I’m guessing Rattler) before taking a LB and guard later on.

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt that. And to be honest, Sweat isn’t a typical nose tackle. He’s more athletic for his size than dominant vs the run. He isn’t worth a top-25 pick either

    • cha

      If they spend their top pick – first in the JS alone era – to improve the run defense, that will be sorely disappointing.

      • Rob Staton

        As noted in the piece, I can’t shake the feeling that he is itching to take a QB early

  26. Robert Las Vegas

    Thank you for the article excellent material I like Zinter and Trice a lot.for some reason I can’t visualize trice standing there watching as half the offensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers bulldoze Bobby Wagner and Pittsburgh running back gets in end zone in must win game

  27. samprassultanofswat

    Unless Schneider sees his QB on the board at 16. It might be best to trade down.

    I think John Schneider is playing it smart. By having all these interviews he is definitely going to LEARN a TON about what is going on inside the mind of these top offensive/defensive coordinators. That is the right to do.

    Who knows. Maybe one of these defensive coordinators he is interviewing might become a Seahawk defensive coordinator. One thing I have always said about John Schneider. You don’t want to play poker with Schneider. He will clean your clock.

    Pete Carroll basically admitted that he had the final say on all the decisions. So know we know who to blame for some of these less than stellar decisions.

    A major difference between Pete Carroll and John Schneider is that: Pete Carroll makes his decisions based on emotions/feelings. John Schneider makes his decisions based on logic. For the most part he doesn’t let his feelings get in the way of his decisions.

    With that said. I just hope/pray that he doesn’t take Dan Quinn. Not even as defensive coordinator. The Hawks need a fresh start. Both on offense and especially on defensive.

    • Rob Staton

      One thing I have always said about John Schneider. You don’t want to play poker with Schneider. He will clean your clock.

      Unless you’re the GM of the Jets. Then John will be leaving the poker room wearing only his underpants, having also gambled away his grandmother

      • LouCityHawk

        A thing in excited and interested to see is what trader John looks like without Carroll. A lot of fans blame Carroll for certain early round flops in drafting and there are a lot of clues to suggest that is fair.

        What we don’t know is how much of trades were Carroll driver versus Schneider driven. The press conference following the L/W trade is a great example of this where Carroll looked beaten down – I felt at the time that was the first fracture of the Carroll-Schneider relationship that was public.

        • Peter

          I’m more interested in Free agency. That’s the area currently effecting the team at a harder rate than the drafts, of late.

          A TON of big decisions need to be made in a few weeks up to and through March 13th.

          The recent drafts have been solid.

          The Leonard Williams thing is weird because did John:

          A. Give Pete one more piece to go down swinging
          B. Trade a pick to essentially get a jump on free agency with a player
          C. Misread where the team was at
          D. Just goof up badly.

          I say this because it was pretty clear to me when Pete said it was John’s decision for a guy John had coveted for some time…..that it was in fact John’s move.

          • Rob Staton

            Maybe Pete initiated that trade?

            John had to make the deal

            • Peter

              Probably some of that. I lean that John actually was trying to give Pete every chance to be successful. He just made a comment on his radio show about John wanting him as a player for a long time.

  28. Mick

    Looks like a good year to look for customers for Dallas (Bears?), Mike Jackson, Taylor if we don’t change the scheme, and one or two of our safeties.

    I wouldn’t try to fix our run D with our first round pick. Get a vet there and draft for value not for need.

  29. L80

    Since this draft is deep in OL and the interior of ours spends more time with their hands on their hips than a blocker, simple logic says 1st round OL.

  30. SimonGER

    To me this feels like a very tricky situation. On one hand you should draft a QB because Geno is not the answer short-term or long-term.
    But on the other hand you are literally in no-mans-land regarding your draft position. You are way out of reach for either of the 3 top QB’s (don’t think either Maye or Daniels will slide any further than the Giants at #6) and all the other QB’s, that get a lot of Round 1 buzz, are pretty underwhelming. Penix seems the best out of the bunch from a perspective of how good he most likely can be in the NFL, but again his injury history is just so off-putting combined with the lack of experience in a pro-style offense.
    I don’t think we should talk about McCarthy in the first, maybe someone will take a flyer on him in the second. He has Back-up QB written all over him.
    Bo Nix for me is the same as McCarthy: Limited physical traits, limited arm strength, feels like a game manager to me.
    Can’t believe I’m saying this after this years performance of Geno, but I would actually try to build the trenches with your first pick (iOL) and also your second pick and get a QB next year. Obviously as mentioned by some guys, you should try to take a flyer and at least one QB this year until you find the right one. Maybe Rattler is available in Round 3, how about Jordan Travis in Round 5/6 depending on his recovery? If it doesn’t work out, well take a QB next year. The class then is a lot deeper (Groundhog day..)

  31. Cysco

    So if you could get Dak Prescott at 40m a year would you take him?

    • cha

      Doesn’t matter. Dak has the cowboys bent over a chair right now.

      His contract extension is going to make people sick.

    • Mick

      I think we’re better off with Geno than having to overpay for Prescott.

      • Peter

        Way better. 10 odd million dollars in difference for qbs for two guys who have done about the same as each other in games that matter over your career….cut Mone and others and your talking Williams and a new safety that can play.

  32. Ross

    By that piece you quoted, it seems like JS would still not be the boss pushing his decisions over his scouts’ and coaches’ opinions. I would hope he sticks by whatever has made these last couple drafts so successful. I wonder if JS is asking HC candidates about their thoughts on the QB draft class – that would be an interesting way to determine if he aligns well with their thinking. That could be a determining factor the HC hire as well as the QB selection.

    With regards to Bralen Trice, he did have an amazing season and I agree that he needs to build up some good mass. However, he disappeared during the Nat’l Championship game, and that concerns me.

  33. Bmseattle

    Does JS’s apparent desire to draft Dalton in the 1st round, change or widen the perceived “type” he has at QB?

    We’ve been focusing on Allen and Mahomes as prototypes…but Dalton is almost the complete opposite of those two.

    • Peter

      Strangely from a lukewarm fan of John’s…not really. He also likes Lock, someone thought Whitehurst was worth draft picks and John mentioned Ewers who is not much like Allen or Mahomes.

      Even those two from a college stand point were pretty different. One was a super project with plus, plus athleticism cut from a super 1980’s prototype and the other set a bunch of ncaa records as a passer.

      I trust John has an ability to see unlike a lot of pundits someone’s level beyond counting stats. And I trust he understands the importance of coaching qbs.

      Sidenote….the time all this is taking makes me hopeful that Johnson is still in play. Were he not they could pretty easily get on with it. Sort of miss Paul Allen’s cool uncle vibes with actual cut throat decision making. See ya mora, here’s Pete seven days later.

    • slartibartfast42

      Maybe the type he’s looking for changes depending on current perspective. At the time, the Hawks were looking to replace Hasselbeck, and JS and PC maybe had not aligned on what kind of offensive style was needed for their QB of the future. Dalton shared a lot of Hasselbeck traits and in that he profiled to be suited to a more short-passing, west coast style offense, and JS may have been attuned to this the style of QB from his Packers experience . After having success with Russ, maybe JS saw Allen and Mahomes as more physically gifted QBs that could do everything Wilson did but better. Of course, this raises the question of how JS views QBs in light of not yet hiring a new coaching staff, and to what degree the new coaches will influence the type of QB we draft. I’d guess that JS evolves his type of QB according to the needs of the team–and here’s hoping he gets a coach who wants a dynamic and high-powered offense.

  34. Julian

    There seems to be quite a conversation to be had around NIL. I don’t know whether it’s beyond adjustments at this point, but it seems some are needed for the benefit of the game overall?

    One can see the attractiveness of staying in school, without the scrutiny or intensity of the NFL, whilst still making millions of dollars. Also moving to another higher profile school through the transfer portal to increase potential NIL earnings. As the NIL is currently managed, it’ll mean we see more prospects staying through until the end of university, less underclassmen, especially of the higher profile prospects. Perhaps we’re just seeing a lag in prospects for the moment, but I don’t know if it’ll benefit the NFL to have players declaring at an older age on average? You might see some players deciding to retire from football after university and pursuing other careers as they don’t need to enter the NFL to make their fortune?

    I don’t know if it is possible to Cap the earnings of College players across all schools and conferences, perhaps something nearer to what a Undrafted Free Agent would make in the NFL, $795,000 last year. This would mean, there’s no financial advantage to stay in college, no financial advantage necessarily to seek a higher profile college or be persuaded to do so, settling down the number of transfers? It would mean college players could pick their sources of income from endorsements of big companies, but still support local causes on a voluntary basis?

    For the NFL, they’d remain the Holy Grail for big earnings, the ultimate privilege, the ultimate goal.

    • Malc from PO

      I don’t like anything about the business side of college football, and the recent developments you mention indeed must leave a bad taste in the mouth for people who actually enjoy the sport rather than just the spectacle, bragging rights etc. Unfortunately the big programs and the big name players get all the attention and have all the resources so I don’t think there is any appetite to even examine steps towards competitive or financial balance. I generally don’t find FBS college football very compelling and it’s always irked me that the NFL gets a taxpayer supported development league. If top level players really find that they can make enough by staying in college and that pipeline to the NFL slows down that might be the impetus for change that restores some kind of balance? Thank you for your interesting post!

  35. CL

    Slowik will also have a second meeting with the Falcons today.

    Seems like all these teams that were supposed to have clear favorite candidates, bring in a lot of guys for second interviews.

    Meanwhile in Seattle:

    … I’m really starting to worry, that Rob is right and “the list” really is all for Seattle.

    • Peter

      If it’s quinn, and it could still be, what’s the hold up?

      Who cares what online fans think?

      The 710 crew and KJ mouthpiece will go into full stumping for Quinn mode the second it’s announced. Most fans and I’m being serious here probably have limited idea of what quinn did or didn’t do post seahawks.

      • Rob Staton

        This isn’t a holdup

        It could be about recruiting coordinators and/or being seen to do a proper, thorough search

        Easier to justify your appointment then

        • Big Mike

          Sincerely hope it’s recruiting coordinators NOT justifying Dan Quinn.

        • Peter

          Checks out. Explains why so many defensive coaches have been talked to.

          I mean I’m not loving it but it does seem like Quinn + Moore and maybe one if these Graham, Evero coaches….

          • Rob Staton

            I think they’ll try and get Kafka. Kellen Moore ice cold in terms of interest it seems elsewhere

            • Blitzy the Clown

              This makes sense right until it runs smack into Schneider’s comment about continuity on the offense. If Gafka is as good as rumored, and all it will take for the rest of the League to see that is for him to join a solid franchise like Seattle, then why wouldn’t he get poached in 2005? And boom! We’re right back where we were with Carroll.

              Schneider’s a smart guy. Shouldn’t we give him a little more credit?

              • btc

                *Kafka

                No idea what I was thinking there

              • Wilson502

                For me Blitzy, Schneider needs to put up or shut up at this point. If he’s as smart as people claim he needs to prove it. It shouldn’t just be assumed.

      • Joseph

        Well we saw Falcons declined after losing Kyle. Seattle Media and KJ are so hooked on the early 2010s Seahawks that they want them memories and continuity. KJ I can’t even listen to him because his takes are so bad. He’s just as annoying to listen to as Sherm.

        Falcons and Commanders are going all in on Ben and Slowik. If Schneider hires Quinn or the other unqualified DCs, then he’s going against what he said in the press conference and is already failing post Carroll.

        Ben and Slowik are huge impacts to the Texans and lions. JS have the chance to improve the offense with the WRs and RBs we have and he wanna go in a different direction? FOH lol

        • Big Mike

          Seattle Media and KJ are so hooked on the early 2010s Seahawks that they want them memories and continuity. KJ I can’t even listen to him because his takes are so bad. He’s just as annoying to listen to as Sherm.

          As Rob and several others have mentioned, once Carroll was fired, it was time to move on from the LOB/Russ era. I need a fresh respective, a fresh outlook, a new chance to be great not warmed over Quinn’s Chicken Noodle Soup. If it’s Quinn, the Seahawks will no longer be appointment viewing. Plenty of other teams to watch and things to do, especially in Sept. and Oct. when the weather is still good. And if Quinn proves me wrong and the team is actually something more than some 8-9 bullshit* I’ll happily admit to being wrong and return to the fold.

          *nod to Jeff Fisher

        • cha

          I find KJ extremely confusing to listen to.

          Gives a bombshell pod that says what we all see on the field: players not giving effort, tuning the coach out, lack of leadership in the locker room, players not being dealt with properly, rolling his eyes at the idea that Geno is a leader.

          Then, is blown away that PC gets fired. Stumps for DQ because ‘culture’ who had a reputation for letting players slide in Atlanta.

          He seems like a plastic bag on a windy day. Just driven wherever the wind takes him today. Who knows about tomorrow.

        • BK26

          KJ: major changes are needed.

          Kj on what to do: have to keep Geno (despite him rolling his eyes at him being a leader), give the coordinators another year, and Pete IS the team. Pete is necessary.

          And the ones that listen are homers, buying into whatever he says… Can’t get in farther than 4 minutes anymore.

          It was only good when he had older players on. Then I realized that it was helping feed into the old era.

          • Peter

            That maybe two week split about everything is not working let’s keep it all the same finally buried my interest in whatever he is talking about.

            He’s just a super fan with no insight anymore.

      • Osprey

        Don’t forget the Rooney rule requires an in-person interview with minority candidates. Last week was all virtual I think.

  36. Julian

    One prospect not on the board I’m quite high, on I’d think as an early Day 3 prospect, is Tight End Dallin Holker of Colorado State. I don’t if he’s been on anyone’s radar at all?

    Looks to be a good size, strong blocker and a long striding runner, pretty athletic. I imagine the Seahawks will be taking a close look at this years Tight End class?

    • Seattle Person

      I honestly don’t really see him being anything but a TE 2. He doesn’t have great speed. He doesn’t block that well. He seems solid but not dynamic.

  37. 12th chuck

    As each day passes, my optimism increases that it won’t be DQ as coach. Why keep waiting to announce him as coach? It wouldn’t make sense, to keep waiting and lose out on potential coordinators (not that there have been many hires). Fingers crossed.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Internally, I’m about 50-50 in believing the Quinn is a lock rumor. I see logic in both arguments as to its accuracy. Same with this.

      On the one hand, if you knew he was your guy and you were 100% behind him, you’d announce it as soon as possible and go build his staff.

      On the other hand, fairly or unfairly, by not announcing it, you attract a larger group of coordinator candidates for interviews, which may be to feel them out about their desire to remain a coordinator for Seattle, as well as to pick their brains about x/o stuff.

  38. Seattle Person

    After listening to Dan Viens’ interview, I wonder if we’re selling Patrick Graham a little short.

    It sounds like a he’s been doing everything MacDonald has but on a lesser team.

    It’s hard to imagine Schneider betting his future on Graham but the interview was insightful.

    • Brodie

      Ironically I started the podcast – heard his take on letting Pete go (disloyal, dumb, classless) – and turned it off.

      Had time to read through the comments on the last article and see this, so went back for a listen last night. Guest is a Vegas guy, so I cut him a bit of slack on knowing the finer details of our recent history and having to use the Raiders as a measuring stick.

      I agree with you that Graham does sound very interesting. Yale-educated, savant that players love and who turned a terrible $40M defense into the #1 defense down the stretch is pretty remarkable.

      The part about him being a great developer of talent and switching the scheme/approach from week to week are also qualities that have been a long time absent for us. Also the fact that when studying opposing offenses, if he was having a hard time scheming against it in preparation, he would share the ideas that were hard to oppose with the OC.

      I’m not sure if any of these interviewee’s would consider making a lateral move if ‘Assistant HC’ was added to their title, but adding Graham as DC definitely has me intrigued. Rob mentioned pairing he or Evero with a Slowik/Kafka/(Johnson) would be a coup and I agree. That sounds like the best of both worlds.

      • BK26

        I couldn’t listen to it. I didn’t care to hear someone’s opinion that was so far out on the league that I can’t see him being credible at all. Told me that he isn’t paying attention to the league at all. It was embarrassing.

        If I would have kept listening, I don’t know if I could have taken his opinions seriously.

        • Brodie

          I had the same reaction. Literally turned it off after one minute. Saw other people commenting about it, so I gave it another go.

          I think if you’re covering one team, it’s easy to just take the national narrative on the rest of them, especially if they are in another division/conference. I had a talk with a guy the other day who is what I would call a casual fan in Seattle. He thought (like Veins guest) that the Hawks did PC a bit dirty. That he ‘always has a winning record’ and ‘we just barely missed the playoffs’. I countered that we had one playoff win in 7 years and he was shocked.

          Anyway, like I said above – I give him some grace as a LV beat writer who’s barometer of success is zero division championships and 2 wild card ‘one-and-done’s’ in 20 years.

          • BK26

            True. They would settle for our mediocrity haha. You can definitely think it was a bad move, but don’t make it sound like the team put down a bunch of puppies when it was a move to make the team better. A much-needed move.

            The amount of fans that literally said Pete should coach until he says he is done, or even used “coach for life”….

            • Brodie

              Agreed. He acted as though Jody was just some spoiled heiress that feels tangentially responsible for the Hawks success somehow. Maybe that’s a narrative I missed.

              More likely, she’s not making these decisions in a vacuum and has actually learned a lot by spending her life surrounded by bright people at the top of their fields.

              You didn’t need to be a X’s & O’s expert or a human lie detector to tell that Pete was blowing smoke up everyone’s butt during his Monday sit-downs. If we could see it, I’m sure Bert Kolde , Chuck Arnold, JS etc. could too. You have to actually look though. Most of the world seems to see 9-8 and closes the book.

          • Mr Drucker in hooterville

            If he’s going to have any credibility, he needs to say up front “I don’t know much about Seattle. I follow LV.”
            Rob follows Seattle, but he is also quite fluent on other teams and staffs. Rob can give an educated opinion on most HC/OC/DC’s in the league.

            This guy is just lazy.

            • Brodie

              Rob is a quality content machine. Compared to him almost everyone is ‘lazy’

              • Rob Staton

                Appreciate it Brodie

        • Seattle Person

          The part about Pete was hard to listen to. It’s a very macro view.

          His thoughts on Graham though were very good.

  39. AidanB

    I hope the Hawks trade down and then go best available to take advantage of the depth at OL, WR, and whatever scraps of DL are left. Of course this is assuming the QB they want isn’t available.

  40. samprassultanofswat

    “Unless you’re the GM of the Jets. Then John will be leaving the poker room wearing only his underpants, having also gambled away his grandmother.”

    Rob: This comment that you made. Makes me think you don’t have a very high opinion of John Schneider

    • Rob Staton

      No.

      It means I don’t have a high opinion of the Jamal Adams trade

      • samprassultanofswat

        I didn’t have a high opinion of the Jamal Adams trade either. I have said many times that the Jamal Adams trade turned out to be the Seahawks worst nightmare. There is little doubt that Pete Carroll was the one pushing for the trade.

        But anyway. Right now John Schneider has a clean slate. He is longer second to Pete Carroll. As we move forward then we will be able to grade Schneider. Good or bad. There is no middle of the road. Either Schneider gets the job done or he doesn’t.

        Picking the new head coach is going to be huge for Schneider and the Seahawks. Schneider knows that all eyes are watching who he picks as the new coach.

        • bmseattle

          There is no denying that we paid a very high price in both the Adams trade, and the recent Williams trade… with the Jets.
          Rob’s comment was an attempt at humor, to emphasize the point.

          I think that it is fair to criticize JS for his role in the compensation we gave up, even if he was ordered by Pete to make the trade, regardless of cost.

          However, based upon JS’s recent press conference, he is happy to be out from under the control of Pete, so it is reasonable to have hope that he will not feel the same pressure to make desperate trades to satisfy Pete, going forward.

        • McZ

          PC pushing or not, the reality was the player was holding out with the Jets having zero leverage, and the market for Adams was as cold as an Eskimo fart.

          Sending a single first rounder for a red flagged player would’ve already been a massive overpay. We send two, a player and change.

          One of the picks became Jermaine Jones, who really came into his own last season.

  41. hoggs41

    What are peoples thoughts on Kamren Kinchens? I dont watch a lit of film but that guy really stood out to me as a Seahawk type of guy.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he might be the most overrated player in the draft

      • Alex Potts

        Slowww. His teammate James Williams is more exciting (although he’ll be moved to LB)

        • Rob Staton

          Slow, stiff, at times soft.

  42. Brodie

    Awesome work on the big board Rob! I find this to be one of the most useful tools out there.

    It looks like a fairly deep DB class too. I am programmed to take an extra look at longer CB’s and those who play physical. Along those lines, do you have any opinion on TJ Tampa from Iowa State? He’s a bigger CB that likes to hit and has pretty good coverage and ball skills.

    He’s not on your board, but wasn’t sure if you didn’t rate him or just haven’t watched him yet. Pretty fun tape if you haven’t. Dating myself a bit, but the player that came to mind watching him was Antonio Cromartie.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t watched him, sorry

      • Brodie

        No worries. If you get to him, would love to hear your thoughts.

        Woolen has me worried and there’s a decent chance we move on from both JA & Diggs IMO. Tampa looks like he could play outside or potentially transition to safety.

        Might not be a luxury we can afford though. I think he’s a day 2 guy

        • Julian L

          Would any team give a 2nd for Tariq Woolen and a Seahawks Day 3 pick?
          The guy was still good in coverage last year and was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season. I can’t believe another coach won’t think they can get the Pro bowler out of Woolen again.

          For the Seahawks, it’d be a root to picking a QB and an Offensive or Defensive lineman in the first two rounds of the draft? We’d still have Bryant, Brown and Witherspoon on the roster, with potentially Mike Jackson. Let’s keep pushing resources into the trenches.

  43. geoff u

    I don’t know if I buy the narrative of bringing in potential coaches for interviews just to see if they’d make good coordinators argument. Once you hire a head coach, isn’t it up to them on who they want for OC and DC? Wouldn’t they pick who they want? Who they work best with? Why would that be John Schneider’s call? Seems backwards. But it’s been so long since we’ve searched for a coach maybe I have no idea how the process works anymore.

    • cha

      JS used an important phrase in his press conference: Information Gathering.

      This is really his first gig with the coaches fully under his authority. He’s going to use all the resources at his disposal not only to see what is out there, but listen to new ideas and approaches.

      It also would be a great chance to feel out a defensive coordinator candidate if a Slowik or a Johnson do not have a ready-made staff when they interview.

    • Rob Staton

      Schneider has said coaches are his call. Some will insist on guys they want, other younger candidates might be more open minded to suggestions

      Evero has been linked with the GB DC job today. Kafka has been linked with moving away from toxic NYG. So it’s not without merit that this could be an opportunity to build relationships with appealing candidates

      • geoff u

        Thanks Cha and Rob, makes sense. Personally, I like the approach. Now hopefully JS makes some good choices.

  44. Yikes - Cut Adams Now

    Great horizontal board and explanations for it all Rob. Who would you prefer if they’re available at 16 at OT, considering Lucas may have chronic knee problems? Several mocks I’ve seen recently have both Alt and Fashanu going earlier than our pick.

    What do you think about DT Newton of Illinois in the first for us? Would love to see us get a OL or DL in the first, then Rattler in the 3rd or trade up into the 2nd to get him. Kiper is already shooting blanks with us taking QB McCarthy of Michigan with our 1st.

  45. VanHawk

    “We liked to interview you for the HC poisition…um…how to you feel about working under Dan Quinn”

    Seems like a tough sale.

  46. ShowMeYourHawk

    With Dan Morgan’s history in Seattle’s pro personnel department during the early Carroll years and his being named Carolina’s GM, I’m REALLY hoping he values what he saw in person from Quinn and nabs him to be the next Panthers’ HC. I’ll take any reason to celebrate DQ being taken off our list of candidates.

    • Big Mike

      Good info.
      Hey Dan, they already have a pretty good D in place. Seems like that’d be just what you’re looking for.

    • Dregur

      He’s going after Dave Canales.

  47. Jeff

    Man, I love draft season! Thanks for this post.

    Rob, could you see Schneider having any interest in taking a flyer on Justin Fields? He’s apparently going to be very available. How would you rate Fields against the QBs available for similar draft capital (contract differences aside)?

    • cha

      Are you a fan of turnovers?

      38 career NFL starts
      30 Interceptions
      135 Sacks
      38 Fumbles

      • UkAlex6674

        Josh Allen posted eerily similar numbers in his first three years.

        So still no love for Fields?

        • Rob Staton

          Nope.

          In Allen’s third season he led Buffalo to a 13-3 season and looked absolutely sensational. In his second and third season, he had a 57-19 TD/INT ratio.

          Fields has not done that. Not even close

          • cha

            I like his potential though. And he’s only going to get more expensive, so why not sign him to an extension now?

            You can trade down to #16, and get an All-Pro safety or two in return, and follow the Lions model and draft a running back and a middle linebacker in the first round.

            Easy peasy.

    • Rob Staton

      No, I don’t

      Turnover machine, not a functioning QB who can play on schedule, needs to be paid soon. Big no

    • BK26

      He’s a running back. So he’s rated pretty poorly for a quarterback in any sense.

  48. Rob Staton

    What do we make of this? Dan Patrick had Dan Orlovsky on. Asks him how many coach interviews he’s had this off-season. They chat for a bit. Patrick ends with, “anyway, good luck with the Seahawks.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHxr_fQ8dQw

    • BK26

      Uh…not going to lie, my stomach dropped. That is one man that I do not want having anything to do with my team. He’s about as lost TALKING about football as my toddler is when I try to explain Star Wars to her.

      That really scares me….

    • Big Mike

      New color guy on radio?
      I know Peter wouldn’t mind a replacement for Wyman cuz he listens to all the games (don’t know how you do it man…I’d puncture my eardrums)

      • Peter

        Few points:

        1. Wyman is going to be super sad next year

        2. I’ve been off sitting on my couch and watching all the games all the time for a bit. I watched that Carolina game and it was unreal how boring it was…..remember they were still trying to turn JSN into eskridge.

        3. Listening while hilarious and terrible in equal measure let’s me do things like work on my dirt bikes, fix farm equipment, or work on my garden.

        4. I have respect for the folks that watch those unbearable WAS, Philly, Tenn, games. I love a good struggle like when we were even with the niners under Harbaugh. I like a game winning come from behind win. I’ve had very little time for Pete’s “can you win in the fourth,” bs against bad teams many with nothing to play for.

    • ErickV

      Maybe a position coach interview , I don’t know TBH , but there’s no way they’d be considering him for a head coach role right ? He’s never even coached at the NFL-level in any capacity. Talk about an out of left field hire 😂😂.

      • Rob Staton

        I’d guess QB coach

    • geoff u

      Has he ever coached? I don’t see how anyone could hire him as head coach. Perhaps they could be bringing him on for some other purpose.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Seemed like a non sequitur from Patrick, or a poke at Orlovsky’s likelihood of getting on a staff. Orlovsky’s response about Seattle’s being equidistant to Mars leads me to think it’s a nothing burger.

      • Rob Staton

        I think that was him panicking and trying to deflect

        And DP followed it up!

    • Mr Drucker in hooterville

      I took it as a sarcastic remark and he could have used any team in the (blank) because the searches are so unpredictable…… “anyway, good luck with Las Vegas…” I base that on Orlovsky’s response. He laughed. Knowing it was just a joke.

  49. EmperorMA

    Thanks, Rob. You do such a fantastic and thorough job with this. Seahawks fans are lucky to have you!

    I feel the selling of the Seattle job as being one of if not the best job available may have some fallacy to it. The number one thing any prospective head coach will want is a franchise QB. The Seahawks are always competitive with most years making the playoffs or at least like this year being mediocre enough to get a draft position right in the middle. This always takes away the top QBs as a draft option.

    If I am an offensive-minded HC candidate, I would want to go to one of the teams that truly suck so I can be assured of drafting in the top 5, as getting a franchise QB is clearly the easiest way to success (See: Ryans, DeMeco). You can apply this to any number of QBs out there (except Brock Purdy) as just about every QB that advanced to the second round of the playoffs this year was a round 1 pick. Likewise, if we “wait until next year” to get a QB and roll with what we have, we more than likely end up as a 7, 8 or 9 win team again and fall out of contention for a top pick.

    If I am a first-time HC candidate, taking a job for a team with an aging, quite mediocre QB who no other teams wanted after last year doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. And, since it may be the only shot I get at being a HC, I am respectfully going to go with my own choice of QB and let those chips fall where they may. I’d already know where the chips would fall if I stick with Geno so I just wouldn’t take the Seattle job.

    This is why I feel were are going to end up with a defensive-minded HC. The easiest path to “success” with this team is getting the defense to help you win games instead of being a huge liability. This might get the Seahawks to 10 wins and a playoff birth…the type of season that guarantees the head coach gets to stick around, despite not having a franchise QB.

    As far as the draft, I don’t really see any QB worthy at #16 as Williams, Daniels and Maye will be long gone. I am not of the opinion that any other QB should go in round 1 beyond those three. One or two might, however.

    I honestly don’t even have a round 2 grade on any of the remaining QBs. Of those, Spencer Rattler has my highest grade. Knowing the NFL, moving into round 2 will more than likely be necessary to secure him. Perhaps we can trade one of our round 3 picks and Geno smith to a QB-needy team for their round 2 pick.

    • Rob Staton

      Appreciate the kind words — but don’t agree with your theory

      I think this time, rightly or wrongly, has been built for offense as an identity. Major investment in skill players and a finesse left tackle. I think the GM is itching to draft a QB. It’s tailor made for an offensive mind to take over, then employ a DC to produce a complementary offense. That’s the easiest route to success.

  50. Ben

    Great article Rob and thanks for the updated horizontal board.

    Feel like this draft needs to be OL & front 7 heavy for the Hawks but agree that JS will be tempted to draft a QB. Personally I’d rather pay Geno $50M & watch him throw near picks than draft McCarthy or checkdown Charlie (aka: Bo Nix). And I’m no fan of Geno.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Ben

  51. cha

    Albert Breer just dropped this nugget in his mailbag on the Seahawks coaching search.

    That said, it’s known in NFL circles that Seattle has an interest in [Ravens DC Mike] Macdonald. So stay tuned.

    https://www.si.com/nfl/2024/01/24/mike-vrabel-can-pick-and-choose-next-job-coaching-carousel-mailbag

    • Peter

      At this point due to league sources I feel I can confidently male a list of who Seattle is not interested in over who their candidates are.

      Pretty weird it’s been so much defense. It’s like John had an out of body experience when he was talking about qbs and OC’s.

    • BK26

      If it’s so well known, why is he the first to say something in 2 weeks?

      I’ve soured on Breer a bit. Seems like he has some “know it all” vibes. On Dan Patrick.

      Wasn’t he the one that scoffed when you mentioned Seattle moving on from Pete Curtis?

      • cha

        He was.

  52. Rob Staton

    I’ve done a mock draft, think I’m going to let the horizontal board breathe for another day after landing in Iceland — so expect the mock tomorrow

    Got a Kafka article but might sit on it for now given there’s a couple of reports (Breer & Pauline) suggesting the Seahawks might see this process through a while longer

    • Peter

      It’s cool if it’s johnson or Macdonald. If it ultimately isn’t it just feels like getting behind on free agency at this point.

      If you have lists, and notes, 14 years of being a gm, 30 years of league experience seems like you should have a pretty good idea by now.

      Alternately you should have an idea of who it is not as well. Like Johnson if the WAS job is really his.

  53. cha

    Vic Fangio is now on the market. “part ways” with the Dolphins.

    • Rob Staton

      Apparently heading to Philly

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        Maybe Clint Hurtt can secure a gig as Vic’s personal security. Or, as Jalen Carter’s personal driver.

        • Sea Mode

          😂🤣

      • cha

        Easier to understand how Sirianni was able to keep his job.

  54. Jefferson

    I understand about a left handed Quarterback like Penix being an adjustment for blocking and maybe receiving, but does it give some of that back by presenting unusual looks for the defense?

    • Rob Staton

      Not sure — but apparently it’s a significant adjustment for WR’s to make, which I hadn’t previously thought of

    • Starhawk29

      There was a great bit on Colin Cowherds show a few weeks ago where he talked to Michael Vick about this exact question. Vick pointed out that it was a serious mental challenge for the coaches to flip everything, even for Andy Reid. I’d look it up if you want more info

  55. cha

    Joel Corry thinks Derek Carr’s 4y $150m with $60m guaranteed is the benchmark for Baker Mayfield and the Bucs in a new deal.

    If I were Tampa, I’d run as fast as I could as far away as I could from that deal.

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      If Canales stays another year in TB and they let Baker walk, maybe shipping Geno there makes some sense…

      • Rob Staton

        Unless I’m mistaken, Cha has shown it’s virtually impossible to trade Geno without taking a significant financial hit

        • cha

          It’s all about that $9.6m roster bonus due March 18. The league year opens March 13.

          Unless there is a healthy trade market for Geno they could hold that bonus over the Seahawks’ heads to drive the trade return down.

          Trade him before March 18 and they gain $13.8m of cap room / $17.4m dead. After, $4.2m, $27m dead.

          They might consider eating some of the bonus to get a better pick.

          But is anyone that enamored with Geno?

          They might think of him as a $12.7m bridge to a QB in 2025, with $24.8m due in 2025 + whatever in $15m escalators he achieves. But how much would they give in trade for that? A 4th?

          • ShowMeYourHawk

            Perhaps. I’d take it. If we’re going to slash at the current roster for cap savings anyhow, we’ll have some funds to pay for a dead cap hit for Geno. I view TB as a great spot for him, actually. A roster of quality but aging skill players where a game manager with additional ability (Geno) can provide enough to so that their defense can lead them in a weak division.

            I imagine they’d prefer to keep Baker; the known quantity. If he’s asking too much or opts to head for a better opportunity (MIN, ATL, LV?) and Canales is still there, it does make sense. If we plan on drafting a QBOTF anyhow, we could certainly find a cheaper bridge to offset some of the monetary penatly of letting Geno loose. Not a huge Drew guy but Drew at $8mil with $17.4 in dead Geno cap (with an added 4th) is better than near $30 mil for what Geno can provide us with much roster churn needed.

            One man’s view. I’m sure that it’ll be dissected but if it makes some sense for where the team wants to go without risking cutting Geno and trying to resign him to a lower hit but different guarantees….

            • cha

              They may already have feelers out.

              The Goff/Stafford trade was agreed to right around this time in 2021 and made official when the league year started in March.

              The Alex Smith trade to Washington too I think a few years before that.

    • geoff u

      But since I am not Tampa, I think they should go all in

      • Big Mike

        I think Baker will sign somewhere around 35 or 40 rather than trying to push it beyond that. The career resurgence he’s enjoyed has got to mean more to him than squeezing an extra 10 out of someone.

        • geoff u

          I don’t know how anyone pays him that much, or calls it a resurgence when it’s just on par with his best year at Cleveland. It’s not like he’s suddenly a franchise QB. Who knows though, maybe it’ll all come together for him.

  56. BrandoK

    Rob do you see any other QB’s later in the draft that could be worth a shot at day 3?

    • Rob Staton

      I do not

  57. cha

    KJR going to talk to the NYG Athletic beat reporter about Kafka in a couple minutes.

    • Rob Staton

      “His own mom calls him boring”

    • cha

      “I’m shocked he’s getting so much head coaching hire based on his personality. He’s dry, very dry. Not a charismatic forceful personality. His own mother was interviewed and described him as boring. He is very reserved in press conferences – they’re a good way to take a nap.”

      “Never heard bad things, players like him. But doesn’t have the ‘it’ factor. Obviously with second interviews last year and this year, owners and GMs are seeing things they like.”

  58. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    Quinn 2nd interviewing with WASH. Come on Commanders!, he’s a culture builder; he’s experienced, has a Super Bowl…..Sign him! Why would you want a young, whippersnapper like Johnson or Slowick?

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      That smells a lot like the old “we’re hiring a young offensive mind but can offer you the DC/Asst HC” trick we’re hoping to pull here with Johnson and Evero/ Graham.

  59. Aaron Bostrom

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1_q06he3qrs

    Interesting listen. Doesn’t see Dan Quinn as favorite or Vrabel as likely.

    • Big Mike

      Cowherd gave his opinions on good matches today and went with Slowik to Seattle, Johnson to Atl.

      • Brodie

        A buddy told me that Cowherd was on today speculating that we were going with Quinn as HC with Chip Kelly as OC!! Talk about out of left field. Have those guys ever crossed paths? Kelly has been out of the NFL for years and is currently a head coach. Seemed pretty random.

        I remember Colin blasting Cleveland for a reported rumor that they were going to take Josh Allen. I think he was pushing for Darnold and Rosen. I definitely remember him saying that the Jets and Cardinals draft grades were A’s because those QB’s were going to change the future of their franchises (paraphrasing). He was right about the last part anyway.

        • cha

          There was a tweet from a small time Oregon guy yesterday that was making the rounds that said Chipper was teaming up with DQ in Seattle. Nobody nationally really said anything.

          • Gross MaToast

            No way Chip jumps before getting fired next season and getting that sweet, sweet buyout.

            • cha

              What’s his personal best? 3 paychecks at once?

              UCLA, Niners, Eagles?

              • Gross MaToast

                The Eagles have probably paid him off by now, so he may be in the market for that third paycheck. A man’s gotta eat.

  60. Jhams

    I totally get the Mike Macdonald hype, but where’s the Todd Monken love? He’s done a fantastic job with Baltimore and he’s more experienced than Slowik. Surprised we’re not hearing his name.

    • MNF_HAWK

      Copy cat league and unfortunately Todd doesn’t meet the Hollywood handsome metric nor has he had two years experience stocking Shanahan’s office with pens and cleaning up his red bull empties around the facility.

      • Peter

        Strangely all this is pretty accurate

        • GoHawks5151

          Handsome? How the hell did Daboll get a job then?

          • Peter

            Well it’s not a scientific analysis….

            It’s in line with how Colt McCoy and JJ mccarthy are solid college qb names but fairly weak pro qb names.

  61. Jabroni-DC

    Did a meat & potatoes mock draft with Seattle trading down twice.

    R2.36 Graham Barton, OL Duke
    R2.60 Byron Murphy II, DT Texas
    R3.67 McKinnley Jackson, DT Texas A&M
    R3.76 Spencer Rattler, QB South Carolina
    R3.78 Roger Rosengarten, OT Washington
    R4.118 Junior Colson, LB Michigan

  62. Blitzy the Clown

    Sorry Pete

    Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

    🚨 🚨 🚨

    The #Chargers are moving to hire #Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as their new coach, per me, @TomPelissero and @MikeGarafolo. In town for a second interview on Tuesday, he’s not expected to leave.

    Finally, the former #49ers coach is back in the NFL.

    3:44 PM · Jan 24, 2024

    • cha

      Odds tomorrow we hear that Pete is “really making a push” for the Michigan job?

      • nfendall

        He’s really jack and fired up to go in there and compete for the job. He stated we will only meet with “football people” though which may hinder his chances.

        • geoff u

          You guys are being jerks. Pete’s a legend and he just needs to do a few tweaks to get right back in it. He’s really fired up about it too.

  63. Gross MaToast

    The Chargers are close to making it official with Harbaugh.

    https://twitter.com/chargers/status/1750304918316212430

    Pete foiled again.

    • Gross MaToast

      Sorry, Blitzy beat me to this by like a day and a half. I really need to read the replies more often, but we know there’s little chance of that happening.

      • samprassultanofswat

        Cowherd predicts the Seahawks will take Dan Quinn. It could happen. But a week or so before Pete Carroll was fired. Cowherd was on Brock/Sauk and said something to the effect that he was happy with Pete Carroll as the Seahawk head coach.

        BTW: I suspect Rob will have a write up on the Chargers signing Jim Harbaugh a few minutes ago.

        • nfendall

          Rob said he has a Mike Kafka article teed up and ready to go. I’m interested to read his thoughts about him.

    • LouCityHawk

      https://x.com/chargers/status/1750325130918851039?s=46&t=QnF6gJmc6OM1fOYBLmUnjg

      Officially official

      People can now move past this part of the nonsense

      • Sea Mode

        I’d say this was even more “official”…

        (and dang, I had forgotten how much I dislike hearing that phony line…)

        Los Angeles Chargers
        @chargers
        ·7h

        WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US??

  64. Joseph

    Boomer Esiason said that Ben Johnson is a lock for the commanders and that the hire will be official once the lions season ends. If this turns out to be true then WTF is JS doing???
    The perfect candidate for Seattle along with Slowik. There’s nothing really special about the other candidates especially Quinn.

    • Peter

      Well….have you concerned John is keep8ng his cards close to his chest?

      If not it’s okay. I haven’t either but I’ve started to hear a lot of very weird talk about John not tipping his hand. Hope that’s not the case since it’s picking a coach not the draft.

      Had a thought. Perhaps they already know and this is just away to get distance from Pete and have that not be fresh in the minds when they announce their choice.

    • geoff u

      You realize coach candidates have agency and make their own choices, right? Maybe he’d prefer the Commanders and JS has no choice. Or maybe the Seahawks is his choice and they have to wait till the lions season ends.

  65. Sea Mode

    Despite all his “Goff” moments on the Rams, he seems like a cool guy now. I didn’t really know him before, but maybe the trade made him more humble.

    https://twitter.com/BradGalli/status/1750265535126708455

    And the video from their locker room speech after beating the Rams, where Dan Campbell tells him “you’re good enough for us”, was cool.

    Man, I hope they take care of SF. (even though that might mean waiting even longer for a shot at Ben Johnson) To see that smug look wiped off of Shanny’s face…

  66. Sea Mode

    Almost on Madden cover level at this point…

    NFL Memes
    @NFL_Memes

    Whoever beats Josh Allen in the playoffs always loses their next playoff game.

    It’s never failed.

    https://twitter.com/NFL_Memes/status/1750296606262300747

    • Jabroni-DC

      If you could pair that with a ‘Whoever beats Jordan Love in the playoffs always loses their next playoff game’ I’d sign up for a twofer.

  67. Sea Mode

    Oh boy… I hope he was just reaching for something to talk about…

    Florio told his co-host Chris Simms on his “PFT Live” show. “You got Geno Smith, where you have an opportunity to get out of the contract, and you could bring in Jalen Hurts if the new head coach decides ‘I think we can make things very special here with Jalen Hurts if he wants out of Philadelphia and needs a fresh start.”

    • Peter

      I don’t get it. Do you not like the contract or the qb?

      Ultimately I think the best thing is Jalen to stay in Philly.

      • BK26

        This was a weird topic. He isn’t leaving. And no one is going to bring him on.

        This time of year just sucks. For Seattle: here are 6 coaches that all should be the next head coach. Nothing has been said by either party, but it just feels right.

        A qb who took his team to the Super Bowl had a bad year and a lot of coaching turnover. They gave him a huge contract, but maybe Seattle should switch their bridge qb and take on this situation, rather than do what Philly did and find their own long term solution through the draft.

        I’ve had a headache since the offseason for us started….

        • Peter

          The interminable pellisero, breer “reports,” are also giving me a headache. Obviously neither of them have a clue and are just asking their highest ranking friends in the league who that person thinks Seattle should/will appoint.

    • cha

      I have read all of Florio’s posts on Hurts being traded, and there’s been nothing said to indicate that this is something he’s hearing. Just conjecture on his part, I assume because there was a problem with Hurts and the OC this year, and there were some whispers about players not getting on well with him.

      But having just given the HC a stay of execution and are working to bring in new/better coordinators, to trade Hurts would be a massive going-against-the-grain move. And further, Hurts has a no-trade clause so he would have to be really upset to OK a move.

  68. LouCityHawk

    Why are people not horrified at the idea of Chip Kelly being anywhere on the Seahawks Coaching Staff? Did I miss some sort of genius?

    Quinn, Kelly & JJ McCarthy, I wish I could dismiss the people talking about this as easily as I do people talking abiut Harbaugh.

    • Joseph

      That is probably a perfect worst case scenario. Chip needs to stay in college. JJ is a highly overrated QB but I doubt he’s a Schneider QB. I don’t understand what makes Quinn a good HC. He proved to be nothing without Kyle Shanahan. Problem is the front office, Seattle media, regular football media, and guys KJ and Sherm wanting to see Seattle hire Quinn. If they hire Quinn it goes against what JS said about losing good offensive coaches and the team being stagnant. Also, they want the continuity and old memories of the early 2010’s. Like move the f*ck on already from that. That is also a huge problem within our fanbase.

    • Rob Staton

      Probably because this “report” is bollocks

      • geoff u

        This report is probably coming from a guy named Kip Chelly

  69. RomeoA57

    I have never followed thw NFL coach hiring process this closely. I understand that some teams are most likely waiting for the playoffs to be over to have all of the candidates available.

    What I don’t understand is how Belichick or Vrabel are stil unemployed. The Titans owner said that they couldn’t trade coach Vrabel because of the convoluted process involved in trading coaches. Robert Kraft said that they didn’t want to trade BB out of respect. The truth now seems that nobody wanted to trade anything for either coach. Also some good teams that have mediocre Head Coaches like Dallas, Philadelphia and Buffalo didn’t fire their coaches to hire Vrabel or Belichick.

    BB has only interviewed with Atlanta, per reports, and their interest seemingly has waned. He is about to be out if the league.

    Vrabel may very well get one of these open jobs. His tenure at Tennessee ended poorly and I am curious if that has turned a lot of teams away from him.

    Or is this just teams wanting young Offense based Head Coaches?

    • Peter

      This is just me. I would guess through its slow glacial pace nfl front offices have finally, finally realized that hiring a coach is much more than switching the decks chairs around.

      McDaniels
      Reich
      Rivera
      Shannahan the senior.

      Quite a few more names over the last forever. So I think it’s just become a lot harder of a process.

      There’s quite a good deal of defensive minds ( hello macdonald fan boys!!) But that’s not working in the league anymore. It’s amazing if you find yourself with a Mcshannan. But not so great if you find yourself with Staley, others.

      Look no further than BB or Pete. Even five years ago both of those guys would have been hired the next day with some teams probably moving off their coaches for a shot at one of them.

      • LouCityHawk

        That is why I though the Titans were wise to move fast with their hire. Yes they do, and it is also a function of who is left.

    • Jhams

      Belichick is 72, is accustomed to being de facto GM, and reportedly wants to import the same Patricia Judge McDaniels and his children coaching staff. He is also largely responsible for alienating the goat QB and running him out of town and into a Super Bowl ring with another team.

      I think he’d be one of if not the best DC in the league, but as a head coach the baggage and overall experience doesn’t seem that desirable.

    • geoff u

      Belichick and Vrabel were recently fired, I don’t understand why everyone assumes they are guaranteed new head coaching gigs.

  70. ShowMeYourHawk

    There must be something seriously wrong with Bieniemy as a HC candidate. I believe he’s only gotten an interview in WSH, which he’s already still employed with, that may only be a Rooney Rule interview before they grab Johnson (😆). Curious as to why someone that helped make Sam Howell look like a quality QB (if only for a time) and has history with Pat Mahomes gets no opportunity? What does the league have on him?

    Presuming the new HC there brings his own people aboard, would Bieniemy make sense as OC for the Seahawks, should he become available? I’d presume this would mean a defensive-minded hire as our new HC but as Bieniemy appears to not really be considered for HC spots anyhow, maybe you wouldn’t have to worry about another team hiring him away after a season or two of success?

    • BK26

      He’s had some bad personal issues, mostly when he was head coach at Colorado (his alma mater). I know that he’s hard to deal with. He’s worked under two well-respected head coaches, so maybe it just takes someone at that level to put him in his place?

      No matter what, Chiefs weren’t the same team this year, whining, pointing fingers, undisciplined offense. And it is directly because he isn’t there, Mahomes even said as much. He held them accountable. But there is something there for it to be nothing for this long, and no more interviews now.

      Might be good for a young hot-shot defensive head coach (Ejero or MacDonald?). Just don’t know how bad it is or fully why.

      • Peter

        I like KC. But it has been weird to watch them get so sloppy and Mahomes himself to become Brady: Midwest.

        He’s way to talented to be talking about refs.

        I neither root for them or against them. And I never begrudge their success. And I always enjoy talk of ‘generational’ qbs ( Williams come on down) because until you do what he’s doing/done or he retires there is no debate who the best qb of the generation is. Not even Lamar who might be the next closest.

        • BK26

          I have my own issues for why I will only root for them over the 9ers. More the higher up’s than the players. I like how they draft and like a lot of their guys they get (and they actually draft guys from Iowa!).

          Mahomes has always been that way on the field, reminds me of Steph Curry: has to say something every time he gets hit, just talks way too much. But this year it turned into full-blown spoiled, entitled child. When national pundits are calling the golden child embarrassing, that isn’t good.

          It was very eye-opening for him to basically say that their problems were from Bienemy not being there.

          • Peter

            Steph curry…dang that is a perfect comp

      • Jhams

        If there’s one thing the NFL has shown it’s that they don’t care about off field issues. Deshaun Watson, Tyreek Hill and in the coaching ranks Matt Patricia have all done or been credibly accused of much worse stuff than Bienemy. At this point I think he must just be really horrible at interviewing and there are concerns about him leading an organization.

        • BK26

          He’s had personal problems his whole career. In the sense that you can see it being a red flag to teams.

          They aren’t accusations or comparisons of everyone. He’s had stuff go on often enough that it would would really worry a team. It’s not the same thing as a player being a horrible human being.

          That being said, I’ve also heard that he doesn’t interview well as well.

          • Jhams

            It’s possible for someone to have enough off field res flags that they wouldn’t be a head coach. But if things were that bad there’s no way they’d be a coordinator either.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      It wouldn’t satisfy the Rooney rule. Those interviews have to be with people outside the organization.

  71. Denver Hawker

    I cannot imagine a self-respecting HC candidate or their agent allowing them to throw their career down the drain in Carolina. Tepper is the worst owner in the league, roster and draft capital is a disaster. They will likely need to promote an older coordinator who wouldn’t ever get a HC job the rest of his lifetime.

    If Washington and Ben Johnson are a lock (I’m not saying it is), that leaves Atlanta as only real competition for all remaining candidates.

    DQ only hope of HC job is Seattle, they can keep him around as a backup.

    Vrabel probably has strong interest to work with Arthur Smith again, but would need to pivot off that for Atlanta gig.

    Seattle has pick of the litter at this point and can wait to get a decision from Ben Johnson.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      Hopefully, there are more names to come, but right now their litter includes Kafka and Quinn. Those are names I don’t want to ever hear associated with the Hawks.

    • Denver Hawker

      This aged well. Schefter reporting Canales to the Panthers.

      • BK26

        Poor guy. Another ex Seahawk that that team will chew up and spit out.

        • Peter

          Wilson, geno, baker.

          Hats off to him for getting a lot out of three fairly different qbs.

    • LouCityHawk

      Vrabel will be the name in Carolina, but I imagine Tepper has convinced himself that Johnson is coming home, Vrabel is the next logical choice for an egomaniac.

      The “owners and FO” from the Commies flying to Detroit to interview Johnson and Glenn smacks to me of ‘Johnson to Commies’ is NOT a lock! If you’re trying to get the hot girl to go to prom with you, love bombing her is an amateur hour move. Works better on athletes/free agents because they live for that attention and recognition.

      Maybe they will have Magic Johnson stand outside Ford Field with a boom box playing “in your eyes”?

      Slowik and Quinn both are Round 2 with the Commies and feel like matches.

      The Falcons went hotshot D, then hotshot O, I think they churn coaches at a ridiculous rate and am shocked Morris would even accept an interview there. My guess is Weaver – try a hotshot figurehead type.

      I’m a bit nervous about my top 3 (Johnson, Slowik, & Smith) not being in R2, but my wife told me to take off my fan hat and but on my business hat and ask myself what I would do as Schneider. The answer was – would have made it clear to Johnson that he was choice 1, set his market, I would beat it. Then I would not act like a nervous suitor, I’d sit back and wait – so as not to give the impression I was beat. The omission of Slowik and Smith does suggest to me that they are out of consideration. I’m hoping someone can convince me that Kafka would not be a disaster, aside from him only Quinn would not have me looking at ‘up and coming GM candidates for 2025’

  72. Happy Hawk

    With the Harbaugh decision set, another chair has been filled. Carolina, Washington, Atlanta, and Seattle are left to be filled. The Hawks have to be the most attractive out of that group? Getting antsy.

  73. cha

    With three teams left, Ben Johnson, Bobby Slowik and Mike Macdonald are still available (among DQ and MV and the rest)

    The field narrowing seems good for the Seahawks at this moment in time. Harbaugh and Canales were never coming to Seattle, it appears they had no interest in Callahan.

    • Aaron Bostrom

      I’m still confused why they haven’t brought in Slowik for a second interview…and whether that means they won’t.

  74. ShowMeYourHawk

    I’m a bit baffled that ATL has potentially fumbled the ball with BB. They had to know prior to pursuing him that the power dynamic would be an issue. He probably still ends up there but it seemed more of a slam dunk than Harbaugh to LAC, just due to Harbaugh still having UM to fall back on.

    Canales to Carolina is a bit of a shocker, too. I suppose that Tepper was going to have to reach for a young Coordinator with lofty ambitions to fill that HC spot because no one with better options would work for that freak show of an owner. It’s a win-win for Canales, though. If he A) gets over .500 in his first two years and B) makes Young look like something greater than a massive bust, he’ll be celebrated. Good luck, Dave.

    As to Seattle, It looks like we’ll have our choice of Slowik, Vrabel, Kafka or Morris, with Evero, Graham and Smith lurking in the ether. I’m assuming that Johnson already has feelers out for a new home in the greater DC area. Schneider has viable options. He CAN’T screw this up. Godspeed, JS.

  75. Blitzy the Clown

    We should feel pretty good at this point no?

    Seahawks, Commanders and Falcons vying for one of Johnson or Slowik.

    Can’t speak for Johnson and his connections to Peters, but I gotta believe the Seahawks are a far, far more attractive plum than the Falcons for Slowik.

    Also, I’m no insider but is the sticky wicket between Atlanta and Belichick the degree of control?

    • Joseph

      Who knows at this point. So far Ben Johnson and Slowik haven’t gotten 2nd rd interviews . Possibility they’re off Seattle’s radar? Still unknown.

      • Rob Staton

        I need to see the reassuring words that second interviews have been arranged

    • cha

      Jordan Schultz says this

      Jordan Schultz
      @Schultz_Report
      Spoke earlier in the week about the prospect of Bill Belichick to the #Falcons. Atlanta is casting a wide net during this interview process and it’s not a formality that Belichick is their next HC.

      There is synergy between him and Arthur Blank, but there are too many strong candidates to simply assume Belichick gets the job.

      It’s far from over.

      I read that as “BB is no slam dunk, if he was they’d have closed the deal and announced it already.”

  76. Belfasthawk

    Apologies if this has been posted before.

    https://www.si.com/nfl/2024/01/25/2024-nfl-coaching-carousel-best-fits-falcons-panthers-seahawks-commanders

    • Aaron Bostrom

      What’s it say regarding the Hawks?

      • Troy D

        Thinks we will be last to hire and hasnt a clue it seems. Listed all the 2nd interview names and added a few more in for good measure.

      • Sneekes

        Likes Evero and Graham but admits it could be anyone really, including Johnson, Vrabel and MacDonald.
        Thinks Seahawks quite likely to be the last team to make a hire.

        • Sneekes

          Troy D, quicker than me.

          • Aaron Bostrom

            Thanks guys! Wild how much of a mystery it is.

  77. line_hawk

    What’s wrong with Kafka? I read there is a Mike Kafka article coming; waiting for it. He seems to tick a lot of boxes. He is the ultimate boom or bust pick that gambler John would choose.

  78. Troy D

    If Mr. Johnson goes to Washington and Slowik to Atlanta we will be left with the rest Might as well go Vrabel at that point and if it doesnt work out then well John took the longest and lost out on the others. Easy narrative to build out of it.

  79. line_hawk

    Replying to my comment above – His path is similar to Matt Lafleur or Zac Taylor so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had similar success. For reference, Lafluer’s offense wasn’t good either in Tenessee before he became a head coach. Of course, he has to interview well but I don’t get why Slowik is a hot name and Kafka isn’t.

  80. DarrellDownUnder

    Getting a bit worried that DQ hasn’t been signed anywhere yet.

  81. McZ

    Question: it looks increasingly that we are the last of the franchises to fill a vacant HC spot.

    Is it
    A) due to phlegmatic indecision?
    B) the Seahawks not viewed as an attractive franchise?
    C) the situation of a GM wielding all the power being viewed by candidates as highly problematic?
    D) the structure of this utterly broken roster a major downturner?

    Asking for my Jets wife, she’s still laughing her ass off about that darn trade. So, John, don’t give her more marital firepower, I beg you.

    No Dan Q!

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