Waiting on the O-line & addressing needs the Seahawks way

Prospects like Mitch Morse provide the Seahawks with a lot of flexibility

Part of the planning that goes into a draft is working out when and where to solve certain problems. Last years draft is a great example of this.

The Seahawks didn’t own a third round pick due to the Percy Harvin trade. It seems they wanted to accumulate extra picks in the fourth round to target specific players (Cassius Marsh, Kevin Norwood, Kevin Pierre-Louis) before taking a receiver and a right tackle with their first two picks.

They got their receiver in Paul Richardson — that was the easy part. It was a rich class of receivers. They could trade down twice from #32 and still find an option they liked. In truth they probably could’ve traded down again and either still landed Richardson or found an alternative. We all know how good that 2014 class of wide outs was.

The tough part was getting the tackle. They’d passed on the likes of Joel Bitonio by trading down from #32 to target Richardson. At pick #64 they were left hoping and waiting. Justin Britt was a surprise choice. Graded by many as a later round prospect, nobody expected to hear his name at the end of the second. Without the third round pick the Seahawks knew if they didn’t take a tackle at that spot they’d have to wait until the fourth round. By that point Britt could be gone — and the picks they’d earmarked for Marsh, Norwood and Pierre-Louis would have to be used elsewhere.

They’d pretty much decided to take the best tackle on their board at #64 whatever the situation. I think at the time Tom Cable was quoted as saying they needed to take a guy they liked with that pick — or simply risk missing out altogether. So they took Britt.

The Seahawks have done this quite a few times. I recall being told by a source before the 2012 draft to expect a pass rusher in round one. No alternatives. They were able to trade down to #15 and have their pick of the entire pass rush class. They made a conscious decision to go in that direction. They’d identified the sweet spot for that position.

Speed at linebacker was also said to be a priority in the first two rounds — so we projected Mychal Kendricks to Seattle in the second frame. Personally I didn’t expect Bobby Wagner to remain on the board as a fringe first round prospect. As it happens he was there for the Seahawks and Kendricks was not. Again — they had a need, the options were good. They earmarked that range to address the position.

It comes down to identifying rounds where you can problem solve. Finding the sweet spot in a draft that allows you address a number of different issues.

Looking at this year, it’d be easy to point at guard as the biggest need, or center. It doesn’t mean you necessarily go in that direction with your first or second pick. If the options in rounds 3-5 are strong and you know you can wait to fill a need with another player you like, it’s something to consider. The Seahawks probably won’t feel the pressure they did a year ago when they drafted Britt in round two. The O-line depth is particularly strong in this class.

The Seahawks, in fairness, have done a better job than most finding the right spots in a specific class to target key positions. They have forced things at times (Britt) but they’ve also found unique value (Sherman, Chancellor, Maxwell, Wilson, Wright).

The 2012 draft was perfectly executed. While a lot of people expected the Seahawks to target a quarterback early (prior to the Matt Flynn signing) or go after a guard like David De Castro — they knew what they wanted to do. Irvin was considered a major reach but he fit what they were looking for early. They believed the options in the front seven (speed, speed, speed) were better in the first two rounds. Quarterback — despite being the huge gaping void on the roster — well they waited until the third round. They knew that would be the sweet spot for the guy they really wanted (Russell Wilson). Instead of taking a guard early (like many expected or hoped for) they take J.R. Sweezy in the seventh round. A D-line convert. He’s since become Seattle’s most consistent offensive lineman.

I think we’ll see a similar situation in this draft when approaching the offensive line. They could use the overall depth to find their guys on day three. There’s a cluster of really good, athletic, high-character O-liners likely to be available in that range.

The hype surrounding Missouri’s Mitch Morse is legit. The more you watch the more you see a classic developmental lineman who can play guard or center. He has the tackle experience Seattle likes, the athletic qualities they need and the maturity you expect from a Tom Cable project. He’s very much in the Britt/Sweezy camp in terms of grit, character, athleticism and street-fighter style.

Mike Mayock called him a ten-year starter at the Mizzou pro-day.

The Seahawks will know all about him — he’s tight with Britt (see the video below) and I suspect they’ve spent a lot of time watching Mizzouri over the last couple of years. It’s become a NFL production line in recent years.

It wouldn’t be a big shock if they targeted Morse in round three if they are concerned about an interested party in round four. Again, it’ll be about finding the range where you can land a prospect like this. Rounds 3-5 seems like a fair projection. And if you can’t land him — you just move on to the next guy on your list. There’s a cluster of mid-round options from Terry Poole to Laurence Gibson to Ali Marpet and so on.

In fact they could double down on the interior O-line in round four — perhaps targeting a Morse and Poole pairing? If you think it’s a reach, well that’s just part of the approach. How many times have the Seahawks been accused of reaching? I’m just using those two players as an example. They’ll identify the sweet spot for guards and centers and go for it — regardless of the reaction. I’m not convinced that sweet spot will be pick #63 in the second round.

This is the reason I had them going receiver and running back early in my recent seven-round mock. I think with hindsight it was optimistic to expect Morse to last until the fifth. I went WR/RB early not because I felt those were Seattle’s biggest needs — I just think they can find great value (in their mind) at those two positions in rounds 2-3. Plus the O-line value later will also appeal.

We’ve discussed the depth at receiver and the options there. Yet if you’re going to save rounds 3-4 to address the lines, you’re inevitably going to miss out on some of the value at receiver. Again, it’s about the plan you formulate. If you can move up a few spots from #63 and get a receiver you really like — and still get your guys on the O-line in rounds three or four — isn’t that a water-tight solution to the three biggest needs on this team?

It’s very easy to say you would rather wait on a receiver. If you’ve decided as a team the guys you really like on the O-line are third or fourth rounders (in the same way the quarterback you really wanted in 2012 was a third rounder) you’re not going to have the same opportunity to look at the receivers going in that range.

Those picks are already spent.

This could all change of course if there’s a major first round rush on the wide outs. By pick #50 if all of the good options are gone there’s not much you can do. I’m not sure I expect all of the options to be gone — but it could create more of a BPA approach to the late second in that scenario. I think we saw that in 2013 — running back (Christine Michael) wasn’t a big need after all. Still — by now teams should have a good idea on how things are going to play out. They can formulate a plan for that scenario too. I think a good receiver option will linger in the late second and you can get a guy you really like for the cost of a fourth rounder to move up. If not — Ty Sambrailo (if available) looks like a very good alternative. In that case you can look at receivers in the middle rounds because a pick is free’d up.

Let’s expect another structured game plan this year — targeting certain positions in the correct sweet spots and not being a slave to the biggest needs at pick #63. The Seahawks have succeeded with this kind of approach so far.


  1. bobbyk

    “In fact they could double down on the interior O-line in round four.” I have wondered this with both OL and WR – depending on how the draft shakes out. Seems like there are some great players who are going to be available at those two positions in the 4th round. It woudn’t surprise me a bit.

  2. manthony

    After my first few mocks, i started to notice that we could more then likely grab some line help in the mid rounds and think they will wait on em, unless just some absolute stud slips down to 63.

  3. arias

    Since this draft appears rich in their two areas of biggest need, OL and WR, and those needs could be addressed in the mid to later rounds, I think that really favors the idea of them looking to trade back out of their #63 selection to pick up additional picks. Then just draft as many OL and WR that you can with the extra pick(s) to increase your odds of more working out by having a higher number of them competing for a spot.

    Then just let the draftees battle it out. Some will be competing for the same position, or competing with the sophomores for a spot. But who cares? The more the merrier, as it increases our chances of landing higher caliber players that can make an impact based on who survives in their battle of survival of the fittest.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think this would be the most economic use of the picks. Yes competition is useful, but ultimately you should be able to target players in a given draft you know will enhance your roster. Trading back when you already have 11 picks is just creating a situation IMO where you’re giving up on half your class because of a situation you created. I know a lot of rookies aren’t going to make the squad, but that’s already the case at eleven picks. It makes more sense to target a player you really like in round two with a small move up the board. You can take two guards to compete already with the 11 you’ve got (or ten if you move up). You don’t need a third.

      • j

        Why can’t we trade down to trade up?

        Trade down from 63 and pick up a fifth. Use that fifth along with a natural pick to move back up to the third/fourth. Maybe the Saints high fourth plus that fifth for a mid-third?

        My point is, if we don’t like the guys available at 63, we can still trade down. We don’t have to stay at 63.

        • Rob Staton

          True. I just think it’s more likely they spend a pick in the middle rounds to move up in round two and get the guy they like.

          • H M Abdou

            I understand your point that if there’s a player they really like at 63 (or even if he requires a slight trade-up to get him), then the Seahawks should do that, and get their O-linemen later. I agree with this approach, except that the guy I really want them to get at 63 (or a bit higher if needed) is in fact Ali Marpet. So instead of WR being the position, it’s the OL that I want to reach for. I don’t want OL’s who are “adequate”; I want to shoot for the moon with Marpet.

          • j

            Two things
            (a) that presumes there is a guy they like enough to used a mid-rounder to move up. From what I’ve seen, they value those midround picks very highly.

            (b) Historically, they haven’t traded up into the early rounds. Not the first, not the second, not the third. Only example I can recall is trading up into the fourth for Tharold Simon. I think that shows (a) above – the amount of value mid-round picks have to the Seahawks .

            • arias

              Tharold Simon was a 6th round pick and they traded up in the 6th round to nab him, so it wasn’t like they were giving up a whole lot to move up that late in the draft.

              • Carl

                Actually 5th pick in the 5th round, but your point remains.

            • Rob Staton

              I’d go a step further on point (a). I think they possibly insisted on that 4th in the Graham trade to use deliberately as trade bait.

              If they move up using the one pick they still select nine times and can always trade back again later on. Doesn’t mean it does happen, but I think it’s more likely than maybe we originally thought.

    • Phil

      When it comes to the Seahawks, I think that looking at past draft strategy and then saying that they will follow that same strategy in the future ignores the context surrounding both the past and the future drafts.

      When PC and JS came to the Seahawks, the cupboards were pretty bare — there weren’t many guys on the roster that were worth saving. So, the front office went on a major house cleaning and they made something like 1,000 roster moves to find guys that were better than the incumbents. In this scenario, the more draft picks you could accumulate, the better the odds of finding a greater number of guys who could make the roster.

      But — thankfully — that is not the current situation. Our roster is pretty stacked and there are only a few key positions where we need to find players to battle with incumbents (e.g., WR) or to fill vacancies (e.g., G/C). In this scenario, you can be more selective in how you use your draft picks. You can rely on your scouts to do a really good job of targeting specific players. You can put more emphasis on looking for quality draftees instead of going for quantity.

      So, where am I going with this argument? I’m saying that some of us are too focused on the past. Just because PC/JS behaved a certain way in past drafts doesn’t necessarily mean they will act that way this time around. They are too smart to think that one approach fits all situations.

      I would not be at all surprised to see the Seahawks to move up in the draft if they have targeted certain guys. We have seen that this front office is even willing to use draft picks to trade for veterans. Why would we not expect them to use extra draft picks to target draftees they really like?

      • williambryan

        I’m always going to firmly believe anything is possible, but in the case of this seahawks team, they have been operating with a singleminded plan since PC and JS got together and they have executed that plan perfectly (in the sense that they have two Super Bowl appearances). Why would that plan all of the sudden include things that haven’t happened yet? It may, but surely they have seen many players they like leave the board when they could’ve traded up for them but they haven’t really done that. Again though, I think its possible, maybe even likely, but that is just a feeling, not evidenced based

        • Phil

          Why should we assume that the approach they follow in the draft this year — following their second trip in a row to the Superbowl — would be the same one they followed when they took over a team with 4 wins in the previous season? PC has said in the past that it is now difficult for draft picks to make the roster. Within this context, if there is a guy that PC/JS have high on their board and he’s still available at, say, #55, are you saying that they would not try to move up to get him simply because doing so deviates from some rigid “plan”?

  4. Zorn is King

    I’ve been educated.
    The only other factor is this:
    11 draft picks.
    There’s not a chance we have 11 new rookies on our roster, is there?
    Because of that it seems two options are opened:
    1) trade for future picks.
    2) trade up for top level talent.

    Other factors:
    Unger is gone.
    Okung could be soon.

    Really, the two most important spots on the line.
    Maybe I’m alone, but the importance of the O line was demonstrated by Dallas’ resurgence last year.
    In my opinion, it’s kind of seattle’s weakest link.

    Which (I’ll reference myself again, ha,.. Sorry), I’d be in favor of trading up to late 1st or early 2nd for a franchise C, like Erving.

    I know this is pretty well addressed, but I thought I’d flesh this position out a bit more.
    Thanks Rob!

    • j

      There is another option. Draft 11 guys, cut the ones who don’t make the team.

      Having eleven picks allows us to take risks that are needed in order to get talent in the mid-rounds. You aren’t going to draft eleven sure things.

      Eleven picks also allows for competition, which is important to this team.

      If anything I think we trade down from 63, to pick up an extra pick. Maybe a fifth.

      • Zorn is King

        I’d take 8 picks and a sure fire 10 year starter.

        • Hawksince77

          That’t the issue, though. There are no sure fire starters in the draft. Zero. Beginning with the first overall pick.

          Nobody knows who will succeed in the NFL. But there are two variables that help:

          1 – the higher the pick, the more likely a good player can be selected, just given the larger field from which to select

          2 – the more picks, the better the odds of landing such a starter. There are too many examples in Seattle history to begin naming them, but take Sneezy – drafted in the 7th round and Rob considers him the most consistent offensive lineman on the team.

          There are so many awesome possibilities in this draft at so many interesting positions – WR/RB/OG/OT/DE/DT/CB/Safety – that I seriously doubt Seattle uses two picks on one player. Far more likely is they let the draft come to them. Somebody they really like will slip to 63. It may be somebody like Richardson or Irvin that they can wait a few picks and so they trade down.

          As for making the club, I think that is the last thing we need to be concerned about. The back half of the roster is wide open to competition, and this draft and next need to seed Seattle with cheap talent for the next several years, at several positions (pretty much everything except QB/TE).

          Every time I turn on the PC, I read about another interesting prospect. Today it was RBs (from Field Gulls). And smurfs (can’t recall where). And players like Lippitt (from comments on this site) a guy that might be best at CB.

          Everybody thinks Seattle is great at talent evaluations for the draft, but if that was the case, why wait until the 3rd round for Wilson, or the 5th for Sherman, or the 4th (if memory serves) for Kam? Why risk these transcendental talents by waiting so long in those drafts? As Rob has already pointed out, Seattle is not shy about over drafting. What about all the under-drafted home runs? The odds of hitting them over the fence greatly increases with more swings, even in the latest rounds and UDFA.

          Seattle has a great opportunity this draft to come away with 3-7 starters/stars. If it takes 12 picks to get them, so be it.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn

            77, well said. Agree!

          • Alaska Norm

            What Seattle does well is not only evaluating talent but knowing how other teams evaluate talent. I think that’s Robs point about the sweet spot. Picking up talent like Wilson, Shermon, and Cam in mid rounds is a combination of talent evaluation and knowing your enemy.

            • Hawksince77

              I agree. At the time, I was hoping Seattle would draft Wilson in the second round to reduce the risk of losing him, but JS was brilliant in evaluating the draft and was able to take Wagner in the second, a coup in its own right.

              Even so, nobody was certain that Wilson would succeed. “There are no franchise QBs at the senior bowl,” I recall reading. In other words, Wilson was another prospect, no certain thing.

              Ask Washington fans how certain RGIII was, and the draft fortune spent to acquire him. A great example from the same draft.

              • arias

                Actually the decision to wait till the 3rd to take Wilson came down to Carroll. The possibility of another team taking Wilson was starting to make Schneider crack. He had done all the advanced work on him and had been scouting him the whole time while he was taking his home state Badgers to the Rose Bowl. Suffice to say he was in love with the kid and could not bear the idea of losing out on him. If it were solely his decision he probably would have taken him in the 2nd. Carroll convinced him that they’d still have a shot at him in the 3rd but if they took him then they wouldn’t then be able to grab Wagner because he’d be long gone.

                They were able to get both but I’m pretty sure Carroll was pretty damn relieved that his gambit paid off, just going off his initial reaction just after selecting Wilson. He spent about half an hour just gushing to the press how thrilled he was to be able to get him.

                • Coug1990

                  This is correct. I think it has to be said that Carroll just forced Schneider to trust himself. Schneider had the draft pegged correctly. Schneider probably would have drafted Wilson earlier, but Pete told Schneider to trust his own homework where players would be drafted.

                • Zorn is King

                  I’m enjoying the draft history. Great stuff!

            • Hawksince77

              One more point. From that same draft reconsidered, they had Wilson, Wagner and Irvin all in the first round. That is simply amazing.

              • Matt

                Great point there Hawks77! JS said he only has 16 players graded as 1st round talent. Some of those 16 could be slated to go 3-5th round…never know.

                • arias

                  Although since JS said that a number of other reports asking other teams and scouts how close that was to their assessment of the draft had them all saying they agreed that was right around the number of first round grades they handed out too. The number was anywhere from 15-17. With that many teams feeling the same way I’ve got to assume there’s probably some pretty strong consensus on which guys those are, because that’s really not a lot.

                  It doesn’t seem too difficult to just look through the mocks and determine who those 16 guys in all likelihood are.

                  • Matt

                    I have to disagree with you arias. The majority of teams top 16 are most likely very similar, but not identical. Mel Kiper has Breshad Perriman ranked #9 on his board. I’m not convinced he’s even a first rounder because of his suspect hands. Big difference of opinions on Perriman. I’m sure a number of teams don’t have DGB on their board. Same with Russel Wilson because of his lack of height. JS/PC haven’t drafted a CB with less than 32″ arms. The consensus top CB,Trae Waynes, has 31″ arms and is probably not on our board. Different schemes need different styles of athletes as well.

                • arias

                  That’s true, it just takes a difference of opinion on one player from some of those teams to slide. Good point about DGB though I wasn’t thinking of him in terms of a first round grade I guess it’s definitely possible JS graded him that way.

          • Phil

            Hawk77 — your argument is based on two assumptions: (1) “the higher the pick, the more likely a good player can be selected”, and (2) “the more picks, the better the odds of landing such a starter”.

            I entirely agree with your first point. But, the second point is weak, IMHO.

            Another way of looking at the same situation is that if your first point is accurate (which I think it is), why wouldn’t you use your picks in the lower rounds to move up higher in the draft because, as you have pointed out, that is where the good players are?

            • Robert

              JS annually demonstrates a strong belief in (2). And that combined with player development is how PCJS have built our mighty team!

              • Phil

                No doubt about it — that’s how PCJS have built the team.

                But, I’d argue that they are no longer in the building phase — they are in the enviable position of being able to make targeted changes to an already outstanding team.

                • arias

                  I’d argue that they absolutely need to continue to build by hitting on later rounds of the draft in order to sustain their success.

                  Targeted changes is great and all in theory, but the first round draft choices required for your strategy are scarce and are therefore expensive commodities to obtain.

                  It’s absolutely true that the more picks you get the better chance you have of finding a starter. That would be true if those picks came in the first round or the late rounds. Your chances would be improved if those multiple picks came from the first round. But not so much better that it’s worth trading away the rest of your draft to obtain those picks.

                  • Phil

                    Arias – what’s this about “the first round draft choices required for your strategy”? I did not say anything about first round draft choices. Nor did I say anything about trading away the rest of the draft.

                    I just don’t agree that the more picks you get the better chance you have of finding a starter. That may be true in a lottery, but the draft isn’t a lottery. I think that PCJS, having built this roster, will have no reservations about using 2 or more picks to get players that they think are key to the Seahawks’ continuing success.

                  • arias

                    Ok, but I’m not saying the more picks you get overall is more likely to get you a starter. Two fifth round picks won’t necessarily give you a better shot at finding a starter than one first round pick. But the more picks you get within the specific tiers that they evaluate will more likely net a starter from that tier. So if they had fifth round grades on a bunch of prospects, having 2 picks in that group would have a better chance of getting them a starter than one. How would that not be true? Since they graded out to be pretty much the same from an evaluation standpoint, picking from that group is kind of like the lottery. You’re rolling the dice and hoping your pick pans out.

                    Picking in a higher tier improves their odds, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s still the element of chance that makes it lottery-like. It only makes sense to move up, let’s say trading two picks for one, if it improves the odds of finding a starter at the one position significantly more than finding one from the two later picks, but it also lowers the potential ceiling since at most you can only get one starter instead of two.

                  • Robert

                    I think PCJS believe that more picks are better. They draft talented prospects and have a vision for their possible upside. But it’s not until they begin to develop that prospect through coaching and teaching that they get feedback as they see how that player progresses and transitions to the pro game. PC always gushes about the expected big jump that rookies take in year 2. Even last year, JS traded back to acquire more picks. So far he has consistently demonstrated that he likes to amass mid round picks and will eagerly trade down from higher picks to do it. I agree we are past the initial rebuilding phase having acquired, developed, identified and extended our core players. Now the challenge is to acquire and develop cheap talent around that core and let the cream rise to the top!

            • Hawksince77

              It’s certainly a balance, but the value of having more players to choose from (point #1) is generally exceeded by the value of actually adding a player to the roster to compete for a position, particularly in the middle rounds (3-5).

              As has been asserted many times on this site, this draft is weak at the top and rich in the middle. Missing out on a specific player in the second round, for instance, can be compensated by selecting two other players (later 2nd and 4th, say, the cost of having moved up to select the player missed).

              To your point (and Rob’s), if Seattle really likes a player in the mid-2nd round, someone with unique talents (DGB, say, or Dorsett, or perhaps someone we haven’t even considered) then it is certainly possible they make the effort to move and select that player. Doing so would be historic for Seattle (in that they haven’t done that before) but perhaps justified in this draft.

              I just don’t see it, but it would be exciting if it happens. Like if Gurley falls into the late first and they make a massive trade to get him. That would make watching the first round worth it.

              • Phil

                Hawk77 – quoting from your response, “To your point (and Rob’s), if Seattle really likes a player in the mid-2nd round, someone with unique talents (DGB, say, or Dorsett, or perhaps someone we haven’t even considered) then it is certainly possible they make the effort to move and select that player. Doing so would be historic for Seattle (in that they haven’t done that before) but perhaps justified in this draft.”

                That’s the point I’m making.

                The only thing I would add — referring to your last sentence in the quote above — is that it’s not just this draft that might make them think of making a “historic” change to their past draft strategy, it is also that they have a pretty good roster to start with and they can be more selective in going after the players they want. We are lucky to be in that position.

                • Hawksince77

                  “…it is also that they have a pretty good roster to start with…”

                  That’s where we may differ. They no longer have the quality depth we are used to seeing at several key positions: OG/OT/C/CB/DE/Safety. That means their non-starting roster is not as talented as necessary to support the inevitable injuries for a championship run or for the next few years. The only positions that seem relatively set for starters and back-ups are QB/TE/LB. Given the importance of RB, they may also prioritize a quality option at that position.

                  And that’s not counting the need to improve the starters at WR, and potentially at the offensive line. We need the next/future Sidney Rice, Sweezy, Kam, Maxwell (if Simon isn’t it), in this draft. Maybe even someone who can take CMike’s place as the future starting RB, who knows. Those players could reasonably be found in rounds 3-6.

                  In a word, I think there is plenty of opportunity to improve the roster for this year, and the next couple, and this draft seems like a perfect opportunity to do so.

                • Robert

                  Semantics maybe, but I would say historic exception as opposed to historic change. I think PCJS will always believe in their competitive advantage to identify and develop mid round talent, which gives them a significant advantage in the salary called league because high round picks are limited and expensive.

                  • Robert

                    Capped not called….

            • Coug1990

              Have you noticed that teams with high picks like Oakland, Jacksonville, etc., tend to have high picks for a very long time? Teams like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New England, Baltimore, etc., have had low picks for a long time and they still are able to pick great players?

              The problem is that fans tend to think teams rate players like Mel Kiper and other draftnicks rate players: 1, 2, 3,………………………, 100, 101,………………..500, 501,…………

              Instead, teams rate players in groups: (1-5), (5-15), (15-30), (30-50) or something like this. They may have a player rated 30th on their board ranked similar to a player they have ranked 50th. So, while you may think that trading up may get a better player, the Seahawks may think that would only be giving a draft pick away.

              • Jon

                I think this is brilliantly said and a good reminder for us.

    • Carl

      I’m am still hoping for roster expansion to 55 players, give another couple of rookies a chance to stick around.

      • SunPathPaul

        And they need to let all 55 dress!

        They get paid, then let them play!!!

        This ‘active roster’ crap is outdated and needs to go away.

  5. Trevor

    Rob do you know which Pro Days Tom Cable has gone to beside FSU? Also what O Line prospects are scheduled to visit VMAC? Anyone know? Seems like Cable picks his guys for the OL.

  6. CC

    Nice analysis Rob!

    I’ve come to expect the unexpected with Seattle’s drafts. O line in the 4th, 5th and 6th might just happen. But if Grasu is there at 63, I could see them taking him.

    Max Garcia is an interesting guy to me – I wonder if DQ gave any intel on him? He’s likely a day 3 pick.

    • Rob Staton

      Garcia a decent final day pick. He could be an option, although I suspect Morse will be ahead of him.

      • CC

        I like Morse more, but in case Seattle doesn’t get him, a possible option.

  7. Trevor

    I think one team that will be incredibly interesting to watch this draft is Scott Mcloughlin and the Washington Redskins. I know he has some personal issues but he has proven to be one of the best talent evaluators in the league and know how JS works. I love the moves he has made in Free Agency and I think the Redskins will dominate the NFC in 2-3 years with him at the helm.

    One of the things that sucks about loosing Bradley, Quinn and Mcloughlin is that all those teams are now looking for similar guys.

    • bobbyk

      Bradley will get canned in a year or two so we won’t have to worry about him wanting the guys we want, too.

      • goatweed

        Bradley has a QB and the brought in Julius Thomas in free agency. They also have high picks in the draft so they can further upgrade their offense with going WR and RB early.

        Their defense has been very solid even though the offense hasn’t helped. If their offense comes along this season, watch for their defense to take the next step.

        I am rooting for Bradley to be a success at his first HC gig.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      The Redskins are at a different stage of rebuilding… while Seattle is reloading. The two teams will have minimal cross over interest in the same players, imo.

      • arias

        Terrence Knighton.

        • Bryan C

          I do not believe that they were ever really that interested in Knighton. Maybe at a team friendly deal, but they were when they had to enter bidding against someone else to get Knighton they exited pretty quick. Wagner and Wilson extensions are the priority, along with cheap free agents that don’t impact compensatory picks.

          • arias

            How can you call what Knighton ended up signing for anything but a “team friendly deal”? It seemed to be the very definition of what “team friendly deals” are supposed to be to me.

    • Carl

      Redskins still need to find a QB they can get behind if they want to be a dominant team. Maybe RG3 can stay healthy and regain his form this year, but seems like a long shot.

      • Phil

        What they really need is a new owner …. preferably one who lets his football guys make the decisions about who plays and who doesn’t.

        • Coug1990

          Scot McCloughan never had a winning record when he was GM of the 49ers. He is a fantastic scout, but he may not be a good GM. Plus, the culture of an organization comes from the very top. Any team with Snyder as owner will still shoot itself in the foot from time to time.

          • arias

            He’s still poised to be far better than anything they’ve had before. It’s not that he can’t handle GM duties, it’s just that over the long term his demons have caught up to him. He was fired as GM for many of the same reasons he was fired by Schneider as a scout.

            • Coug1990

              Well, we know the Yorks and not easy to work with. I am not a fan of Washington, but I do wish McCloughan well. He never could win at SF and he was not good at picking head coaches. He may be the best one or two scouts in the NFL. Still, scouting is a little different than running an entire franchise. You are likely right, he probably is better than anyone else they have had in the position. The wildcard is Snyder.

              • Robert

                And King Alcohol!

  8. Steele1324

    Rob, another thoughtful and useful analysis.

    Morse does look like a perfect fit for the Seahawks. Big, strong, technical, super solid, good to second level. I’m not sure I like Sambrailo a whole lot more. To see Morse, I have checked generic Mizzou Tigers tape.

    And then in addition to Morse, I noticed RB Russell Hansborough (junior) and senior RB/KR/PR H-back/scatback Marcus Murphy.

    Here you see Morse looking good, Murphy making some plays as a Shane Vereen type but not others.

    But when Murphy is on, he’s deadly. Runs like a mini-Adrian Peterson. Especially on returns, His 40 time is 4.5/4.6 but he plays faster than that:


    Murphy is one of dozens of UDFAs who can do that return job.

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting vid’s. Thanks for sharing.

    • Trevor

      I think Morse is a great mid round pick at Guard and would take him over Sambrailo in any round.

    • CC

      Nice videos Steele!

      I guess I hadn’t really considered an UDFA for a returner, but this guy looks good.

    • bigDhawk

      Murphy has CMike disease – carries the ball exclusively in his right arm. It’s especially glaring to watch as he frequently runs down the left sideline and defenders close from midfield and swipe at the exposed ball. He’s a TO waiting to happen in the NFL if that doesn’t change.

      • OZ

        I saw Murphy switching hand’s.

  9. AlfredL

    Hi Rob,

    Are there any chance Seahawks will select UW’s LB Kikaha at #63 (if he is still available)? PC would not mind to have more pass rush and the number of Seahawks coaches at the UW pro day seems to on to something (assuming Shelton, Peters and Thompson will be long gone by their first pick).

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly it’s looking increasingly likely Kikaha will be an UDFA. Tony Pauline is reporting he’s off several boards due to his medical and he ran a 4.9 at his pro-day in the 240’s. Despite the great production in college, an injury risk running that kind of time at that size is barely draftable.

      • OZ

        Tod McShay likes Kikaha over Dupree. Kihaha weighed in at 248 with an impresive 10 yrd, split. What was the 40 time on Marsh? I don’t care what Kihaha ran the 40 in. He is a total football player extraordinaire.
        Your kidding when you claim UDFA right ? If He or Edwards Jr. are there at 63 Seattle will pounce. Mark my words,Rob.

        • Coug1990

          Do you remember Jackson Jeffcoat? The undrafted free agent DE that the Seahawks signed after the draft last year? He was all world in college as well. He was a sack machine in college too. He was a total football player extraordinaire at Texas too.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I agree with Rob on this one. I do not see him being drafted now. He pretty much slid out of the draft with some bad measurable, namely the 40 times were lackluster. Good news, he will get a shot somewhere, due to his high productivity in college. Wish him luck!

      • Steele1324

        Why not the Hawks? They certainly have had ample opportunity to watch him locally. Perhaps he could be resurrected. Sign him UDFA, have him pin his ears back,and it would be worth it.

  10. Trevor

    I think if we go OL at 63 it should definitely be for Donovan Smith OT Penn St. I have been studying as much tape as I can find on him since the Senior Bowl andI have been really impressed. Rob, you mentioned he had work ethic issues, but they certainly don’t show upon tape. He plays from snap to whistle on every down I watched which is rare for a dominant tackle in college. He is raw and needs work on smaller speed rushers but he has great feet and prototype size at tackle. He is also incredibly durable and has no injury worries like the kid out of Texas A&M

    I really think Britt is far better suited to guard. Move him inside to LG where his problems with speed rushers will not hurt him. Then start Smith at RT for a year and move him to LT next year if Okung walks.

    You can get mid round starters at Guard and Center but not at Offensive Tackle. Ask yourself this how many mid round picks are starting Left Tackles in the NFL. The only decent one I could think of was Peters in Philly who was and UDFA and took a while to develop.

    Maybe Smith and his old room mate at Penn St Gary Gilliam will be our bookend tackles in 2016.

    • CC

      Thanks for the work on Smith – he looks like he could be a good option at OT. Do you think he’d be there at 95? Finding starting OT is tough, so I’d be happy if we found a good OT or O line guy at 63.

    • arias

      I’d much rather have a rookie starting at guard than have to suffer the growing pains of another tackle learning on the job where a liability at first in pass pro will be felt the most.

      • Jake

        I think Britt is a fine RT, he is only going to improve and he did a nice job in 2014 for a 2nd round rookie. I like the idea of drafting a potential future LT though, with him starting at LG in 2015. So, a guy like Donovan Smith is very appealing.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Smith is an interesting cat no question.

      I followed him since last year’s draft, thinking he may come out. With Smith, there are some serious issues that would have to be addressed.

      His career has been a very spotty one at PSU. He came in with all world talent, but the narrative on him was that he really lacked motor and desire. He flashed great talent — with a lot of really poor games too. His conditioning has been very poor until his last season. I can’t be certain if it’s due to amping up for his draft year or if the light finally came on. Suffice it to say, his work ethic is a huge unknown.

      Even during his senior year, he played very heavy. He’s trimmed down in the pre combine phase. But I certainly see a whole lot of Carpenter 1.0 in him. A guy who could just let himself go to seed the moment he gets paid. Only to resurface in his contract year.

      Given how Schneider stressed desire and love for the game — I think Smith would probably be graded pretty low in this regard. I certainly would be shocked to see us take him early like that.

      I thought going into the season, he could be a late 4th kind of project. Based almost entirely on his dubious work ethic up to that point. The fact that he kicked it into gear in his last season doesn’t really diminish the body of work of his career leading up to this season. I expect that if Donovan shined in the interview process and he checks out with his coaches as a guy who really has truly found a dedication that was entirely missing his first 4 years at Penn St. — then he could well be a surprise pick there. But there is no way for us on the outside to really make that determination.

  11. Seachick Erin

    Rob interesting take as always!

    What do you think about moving Britt to Guard? We are going to basically have a new Offensive Line in 2015 anyways. I know he was a rookie last year but Britt was pretty bad protecting Russell last year when he faced speed rushers.

    Maybe take Morse to compete with Lewis at Center and have 2 Tigers in the middle of our line.

    Who is the best RT prospect who we might have a chance at selecting?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I think the OL won’t be so different in 2015. Lewis may yet win the competition at C. It’s also possible that Bailey starts at LG. Even if both don’t make it, that’s still just 2 of 5 players that would be new.

      The idea of moving Britt inside has been discussed on SDB ever since the season ended. I think that move would be counterproductive. Unless SEA can draft a blue chip RT prospect, whomever they could select in this draft would face the same rookie growing pains as Britt, including a lack of chemistry with the rest of the OL – a highly overlooked factor. Then on top of a rookie learning to play RT (possibly a new position depending on the prospect), there’d be Britt learning an entirely new position at LG.

      The thing to remember about Britt and pass pro is that he beat out Eric Winston at RT last year – not for just the starting position but pretty much off the team entirely. SEA felt comfortable enough with Britt not to keep Winston on the roster. Winston may not be pro-bowl material, but he’s among the better pass pro RTs in the League. And Britt beat him out.

      I like Morse a lot. He makes sense with this team. Like Britt makes sense. His hands are kind of small for a big guy – I wonder if that prevents him from competing for C. But I like him at LG as well.

      • Seachick Erin

        I am not a professional scout by any means but Britt had the worst pass protection grade of any starting Right Tackle in the league last year. Britt beat out Winston because he was a 2nd round pick who Cable hand picked and Winston was a camp invite without a contract. I like Britt in the run game and that is why I mentioned Guard but he showed nothing last year that says he is the answer at Right Tackle. I would sooner try and break in a new RT who at least can be a long term solution than keep a guy there who has no chance to even be average.

        You seem to like Britt CHawk Talker can you tell me what I am missing and what gives you hope that he will improve so much next year?

        I like Tom Cable as an OL coach but he has not made a good OL pick yet. (Carpenter, Moffit, Britt). His best pick was a D lineman they converted in Sweezy. I hope this year they let someone else make the OL picks but I doubt it.

        • bigDhawk

          Who’s ‘grade’? PFF? Their farce is well documented. I’m higher on Britt in pass pro more than most. Many of the examples of him getting supposedly beat was the result of the rest of the line collapsing and him being forced to choose one of two defenders to block. Sure he got beat at times but there were plenty of other times the rest of the line wasn’t helping.

        • CC

          Britt did okay, and likely will improve in his pass pro. We have other guys who can be guards, and we’ll draft one too.

        • AlaskaHawk

          I agree with Erin that there should be a competition for every position on the line. What happened to always compete?

        • arias

          Look closer at the grades Erin, you’ll see how much Britt improved his pass pro towards the end of the season and the playoffs. Just as rookies normally hit their rookie walls and start wearing down, Britt actually improved and had probably his best game of the year against St Louis’s dominant defensive front in the regular season finale. He also didn’t give up any pressure in the Super Bowl.

          He also played better than all but one of the 7 starting rookie tackles. Tackle is a brutally tough position to adapt to in the pros, and all rookies except the most talented like Walter Jones, will suck at first. The key is whether they improve. Britt showed dramatic improvement over the stretch run of the season when it mattered most. That’s reason to keep him there.

          • Carl

            I thought Britt was steadily improving all year, and pass blocking for a QB who you never know where he is going to be has to have a steep learning curve, he seems like a hard worker and is aggressive in the run game, I have high hopes for him at RT this year.

            • arias

              I’m just so impressed with his apparent conditioning that as a rookie he was able to play a full season + postseason while doing his best work during the stretch run.

              If you’ll recall, James Carpenter was so winded going the distance in 2013 that when the grind of the season concluded and and the playoffs rolled around he had to be rotated out and McQuistan subbed into his spot for every other offensive series. They pretty much only got half a guard out of Carpenter for the entire postseason run.

            • OZ

              I do too.

            • AlaskaHawk

              Look guys, I get it that you like Britt. But the mantra is “Always Compete”. So if the Seahawks draft a tackle then he should be given the opportunity to compete with Britt and every other player on the line. The only person left that is of pro bowl quality is Okung, and we have to hope he stays healthy. What of the rest? Left guard and center are open positions, where there should be a competition. Right guard and tackle are covered, but what if a player turns out to be really good at that position? Would you bench him and play Britt or Sweezy instead? I like both players but given good competition and a level playing field, those two might end up as backups. Or Britt might get moved into guard.

              I just want to see a competition without bias to prior players. Like I said, Okung is the only linemen that I view as not being replaceable.

              • Attyla the Hawk

                “But the mantra is “Always Compete”. So if the Seahawks draft a tackle then he should be given the opportunity to compete with Britt and every other player on the line.”

                I think that was the idea when they added Garrett Scott and Gilliam. At this point, I’d still see us taking a development prospect at OT.

                I agree with your premise. But I see it differently. We drafted Sweezy in 2012. And haven’t added any competition to his position since. He came in and competed with Moffitt after just one year. We haven’t added any drafted talent to compete at OC at all.

                From a positional standpoint — we’ve consistently drafted for OT basically every single year. Last year twice while adding Gilliam as a UDFA (and adding Eric Winston in free agency too). I’m not seeing a lack of competition at OT year to year. And I would expect we do the same this year.

                Britt has been a good rookie RT, by comparison to the other OTs in his class. I kind of think he’s already emerged from the competition forge after last off season and developed nicely. It’s time to up the heat elsewhere on the line where we’ve not pushed the competition much.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Bingo. “Always compete” is the pro football version of triage – address roster needs based on urgency such that positions of bigger need get addressed with higher draft picks until a bona fide starter emerges, at which point the “always compete” factor goes from high draft pick to low/UDFA developmental prospect.

                • arias

                  I agree. Right now they need to be more concerned with adding competition to the guard and center spots than the tackle spots. So after spending picks on those two positions and adding a wide receiver, the picks they have left will be late 4th round and beyond. Can a pick that late really be considered more than a developmental prospect at tackle? Sure there’s always a possibility a guy could come in and play lights out at tackle and beat Britt out for his job, but I think the likelihood of that is pretty remote.

                  Britt has a year of playing experience, and to expect any rookie they’d be in position to draft to come in and do a better job than him playing tackle is unrealistic. I’m not opposed to it happening, because if it did then that would mean the team hit the jackpot in the later rounds. But I can’t see a legit draft strategy being that they’ll draft a late round OT in expectation that he’ll be able to truly push Britt for his starting job.

                  • Robert

                    I think Gilliam may show up at 320+ and give Britt a run for his money. I would love it if he could take the job allowing Britt to move inside to LG. Gilliam is a SPARQ freak with long arms and nimble feet. But he needed to add weight and strength.

                  • arias

                    I think it’s more likely Gilliam will compete at left guard with whoever they draft. Gilliam had all his snaps except one at guard last year which he took at LG.

                    Gilliam would have to displace Britt at a RT position that he has no experience playing. That would be challenging in itself. That would require him to outplay Britt in camp on the 2nd team, where if he were showing that much improvement he’d have a far better shot of starting competing for the LG spot and pushing Bailey and whoever else they might bring in from the draft since neither of those guys will have had as much seasoning as Britt and it’s the spot he’s most comfortable playing right now.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Hi Erin

          I just always go by what the coaches do (sometimes what they say). They drafted Mizzou LT Britt to play NFL RT, where he started every game his rookie year (except the NFCCG). I’ve read nothing to indicate they plan on moving him inside. So it’s not a matter of I like Britt and you’re missing something . The coaches like Britt. The question is why.

          It’s been written on SDB many times so I’m not sure whom to credit, but when JS & PC evaluate prospects, they don’t look at what the kid can’t do, they look at what he can do. That’s important to remember when we do our evaluations – and not just of draft prospects, but players currently on the team. You aren’t the only SDBer t think Britt can’t pass protect, he can’t kick slide, he can’t match speed rushers.

          But Britt can run block. Really well. He can stop/redirect a bull rush. He can recover after being beat outside to put himself in a position to protect his scrambling QB (as much dependent on how/where RW scrambles as anything). Perhaps most importantly, he can improve and he can further develop chemistry with Sweezy and the rest of the OL.

          By the way, Britt isn’t the first time JSPC have tried this experiment – “overreaching” on a college LT they intend to convert to RT. The difference is Carpenter didn’t even make it half way through his rookie season before they moved him inside and replaced him at RT with an absolutely abysmal Breno Giacomini. Speaking of Breno, before he was good in 2013, he was really, really bad. Not just bad at pass pro, he was a penalty machine. And he wasn’t a rookie.

          Britt improved tremendously over the course of his rookie season, so much so, that in the post season his absence was noticeable in the NFCCG.

      • David M2

        Really, I think Seattle is used to playing with a new offensive line like every week it seems like, even during the off season. 🙂 In other words, I don’t think that Cable and Co. are too afraid of being able to patch it together in a pinch.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Let’s say they go OG Tre Jackson with the #63 pick. Guard would appear set, but then if you wan to strengthen the OT position and grab aguy who could potentially play LT in the future…. OT Cedric Ogbuehi would be a great pick at the bottom of the third round. Injury concerns, but he is a 1st round talent and has upside to spare.

      I seriously doubt Seattle would go OL with the 1st 2 picks, but we just never know what they might pull off in the draft. Perhaps a trade up into the bottom of the 3rd might gather 2 late 3rd round picks.. and use one on OL and another one on another position (WR for example).

      • David M2

        I’m all about taking a long snapper, punter or kicker with #63. Why not get it out of the way early?

        • AlaskaHawk

          Your kidding right? Seahawks just signed their long snapper to a three year contract.

          • David M2

            Yes, of course. Going for the proverbial, let’s really give those pundits something to talk shit about, tongue-in-cheeker right there.

      • Steele1324

        Around #63, I see OG Tre Jackson, OT/OG Ty Sambrailo, OG/OT/C Ali Marpet andpossibly C Hroniss Grasu all being on the board. Which would you choose? Tough call. Wouldn’t mind any of them.

        • hmabdou

          MARPET!!!! Has the same (or even a bit better) athletic profile as last year’s star, Joel Bitonio. Marpet looked great at the Senior Bowl, namely vs Danny Shelton. Plug Marpet at center, have Cable coach him, and he’ll anchor the OLine for many years!

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Marpet. And I’d run to the podium with the pick.

          • David M2

            Here, here. I second that motion. Really getting to like the MarpMan the more I learn about him.

            ****Rob, please use your mystical powers and erase any fragment of MarpMan’s existence from the Cleveland Browns FO’s memories (Attyla the Hawk and hmabdou will be grateful).

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          If the pick is OL and those are the 3 choices – Marpet.

          But I’m in the camp that thinks the OL talent curve is really flat/wide – some great prospects in the RR4-6 range. Guys like Poole, Mancz, Crisp, Glowinski/Spain.

          There are some pretty interesting WR prospects deeper in the draft as well, but it’s harder to hit on mid- late-round skill positions.

          Of course it’s entirely possible that SEA thinks “their guy” will be available around 75-80 and they trade down for an extra 2015 mid rounder or a 2016 R3.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not a big fan of moving Britt. He could do it — but consistency is a big key for any O-line. If you move him you’re basically restarting at three positions instead of two this off-season. Britt has to adjust to guard and you’re starting a rookie at tackle and possibly center. I’d rather let Britt develop and make a judgement on his future at tackle after his second year in the league.

  12. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I thought NFL.com had an article about the 5 biggest sleepers in the draft. Their #2 sleeper was Tre’ Jackson of your FSU Seminoles. Then at the pro day, Tom Cable was present. It is looking like he is going to be their #1 target at #63 in the draft. If this comes to pass, I think it is a home run pick.

    You are drafting one of the top guards in the dfraft, filling a huge need on the OL. Immediate starter and his ceiling is perennial pro bowler. He is disciplined in pass blocking and can maul people in run blocking. Ok, I confess, I drank the cool-aid on Seattle picking him.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Cable could be interested in Matias as well/instead.

      • bigDhawk

        I actually like Matias a little better than Jackson.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Matias looks better suited to zbs.

          It’s funny – Matias’ NFL prospect profile compares him to James Carpenter, but Jackson reminds me more of Carp.

          I’ve read some reports that Jackson looked fat and poorly conditioned at his pro day (not to mention the Combine) so he may fall a bit.

    • dick gozinya

      I know your drinking the Kool aid, but what makes you think he was there to look at jackson. I think they were doing there due diligence and looking at Erving, if he slips I could see the Hawks willing to give up more than just the 4th to move up and get him.

      • hawkfaninMT

        Maybe they were looking at all 3!

        I thin their line went (Left to right) Matias-Erving-Jackson… I am a fan of Jackson, but I wonder why they had him at RG instead of LG?

        If they could get Erving in the 2nd, then get one of these two I think that could be really “cool.” Any studies about drafting OL from the same college, that runs a similar type scheme to the pro team they were both drafted to? I feel like that would lead to a lot of success, wouldn’t you (peanut gallery)?

    • Rob Staton

      “It is looking like he is going to be their #1 target at #63 in the draft.”

      I think that’s a bit of an assumption Charlie but he could be a target. I’m not sure they go pure guard at #63 though.

  13. Jeff M.

    Assuming you’re picking the same total bundle of positions (ie that our 11 picks = 2 OL, 2 WR, TE, RB, DT, DE, CB, S, LB or whatever), the only thing that should matter in which you target where (OL early and WR late or vice versa, for example) is the marginal value difference. So like Rob says, if there’s not much drop off in OL quality between 2-3 and 4-5, we should wait on the OL and take something like WR if there’s a much bigger differential.

    The thing that I can’t get behind from this perspective is targeting RB early. It just doesn’t seem like there’s much difference in value between the guy you’d get in round 2 or 3 vs a Josh Robinson type in round 6. It’s much more likely to me that they’d see the last guy in a particular value tier on the DL or at CB and use a 2nd or 3rd there.

    • hmabdou

      Marpet at 63. Period. He would be a great anchor for the OLine (especially if the team did something foolish like letting Okung walk next offseason). Put Marpet at center, with Cable’s coaching, hopefully he becomes a really good player. I’m sick of seeing Russell Wilson run for his life. Even more so when you consider what he will be paid, as opposed to what he has been paid.

  14. Steele1324

    I really love Turron Davenport’s reports on the lesser known prospects on YouTube. (“Talking with TD”)

    Keep your eyes on CB Devante Bausby. This guy is a baller. 6-2 180 or so. Incredible athleticism. Shutdown. Loves to hit and blitz the QB. Sounds very intelligent. Check this out:


    The Hawks should look at this guy in low rounds or UDFA. He mentions Seattle as one of many teams who has feelers out to him. Pro day is coming up soon.

    • Robert

      Thank you for the link! Plays the ball extremely well. It’s hard for me to translate level of competition, but his length, quickness and loose hips jump out!

  15. EranUngar

    Re number of picks sticking with the team:

    This is not the team it was a year or 2 ago. The gems we found and cultivated are now earning the big contracts. The cap is closing in. The “always compete” mantra will have a bigger factor of “May the cheapest guy win” . After RW and Wags get their due contracts and with Sweezy, Irvin, Okung and Turbin on their last year we will need over 30 guys playing on rookie contract on the 2016 roster.

    With the above in mind i see the draft strategy as follows:

    * By mid 2nd round – if a player we ranked as 30th is still out there, try and trade up to get him.

    * At 63rd, if we have a guy we want that will not be there at 80 – get him. If not, trade back and add a 5th round pick.

    * As you enter the sweet spot monitor the picks carefully. If your wishlist is under pressure, use that 5th and 6th to trade up into the 4th. If not, get your sweet spot picks of the 3rd and 4th round. evaluate the board and if the sweet spot is still there on the 5th, Try to trade up into the 5th.

    IMO we need 6-7 new Seahawks on the roster from this draft class including UDFA.

    • Robert

      I agree that we are in uncharted waters with PCJS. They handled the rebuilding phase masterfully. They developed those young players and have identified/extended the core players. Now we are in this challenging phase to acquire/develop cheap talent around the core players. Ultimately, the final phase will complete the circle when we have to begin replacing expensive core players. That phase will likely begin when the Beast roars his last.

    • Jeff M.

      It’s a good point and why we should be looking at 2016 needs as well as 2015 ones in projecting the Seahawks board. What could those turn out to be?

      RB? Possible if Lynch decides to retire, but I think he’s got two years left in him, so this is more of a 2017 need (and we’d waste most of the rookie contract by filling it now…).

      OT? Very likely–could be Okung’s last year as a Seahawk and it’s possible if Britt doesn’t develop as planned (or if he’s moved inside) that we’d be looking at a new RT as well.

      DT? Almost definitely–Mebane, McDaniel, Rubin will all be UFAs and Hill going into his contract year.

      LB? I fully believe Wagner will be extended but OLB could be a need depending on how things progress with Irvin and whether KPL steps up.

      CB? Sherman and Williams are locked up but we should be continuing to develop guys in case Lane (or Simon the year after) gets too expensive when he hits free agency.

      That’s all besides the more obvious 2015 needs (WR, interior OL, 3rd pass rusher) that will remain if they aren’t successfully filled, but those listed above are the spots I could see us taking a “redshirt” guy in this draft in order to have a cheap replacement lined up in 2016.

      • arias

        Williams only has one year of guaranteed money, it looks like the contract was written up so he could be used as a temporary stopgap until they can find a longer cheaper solution draft wise or among their young guys.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I see the draft differently.

      Seattle should be looking to develop the next wave of core players. The last two drafts have been absent of those types.

      The draft is a tool first and foremost, to add star power. That shouldn’t change.

      Seattle added Graham who is undeniably a star. Seattle should still see the R2/R3 picks as part of the next nucleus in 2016 and beyond. So in that respect, I don’t see positions or depth needs as pertinent at all.

      If we need depth, then go to the bargain post June 1 UFA bin for that. Those contracts are relatively cheap and you can fill depth there. Keep the development treadmill going as you’ve done it in the past in the 4th through 7th rounds.

      But these early picks. These are guys you hope to play early and to be worth second contracts. I don’t see position strength or weakness to be much of a consideration here.

      I’m not a real fan of using the draft to fill holes. At least early in the draft. Especially when your real needs are pretty much non starter positions. Seattle should still shoot for the moon early regardless of position. Create depth by relegating existing starters to the bench. Or at least creating a rapid succession plan to ease cap squeeze. Because this team hasn’t added star power since 2012. If they don’t this year, that’s a significant gap that will make it exceedingly tough to maintain excellence.

      • Robert

        I believe we did add star power in ’13 and ’14. Because of the deep roster, we can develop the rookies methodically. But I expect big things from those 2 draft classes beginning this year!

  16. Spireite Seahawk

    Is it just me or is anyone else getting fed up of the media types really not understanding how the Seahawks draft? Rob has succinctly explained why the Seahawks “reach” for players but now it even seems we wait to long for players also.

    Pete Prisco in his recent 2012 draft scoring suggested the Seahawks actually didnt rate RW3 that highly otherwise we would have drafted him higher. It probably wont be long before the same gets said about Chancellor and Sherman.

    To hear some mediots the Seahawks have no idea what they are doing when it comes to drafting and the suggestion is we are lucky.

    • EranUngar

      We are just lucky.

      We are lucky to have JSPC. We could have Pete Prisco or some of the others at the helm.

      A part of their frustration with us is that we make them look like the idiots they are after year both with the draft and then during the season.

      The dogs bark but the caravan continues.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Beyond luck there is good coaching. Pete Carroll is especially good at training the defensive secondary, to the point where every other team wants our secondary and will go after them when they are available. Who played a key role on the Patriots team? Our old cornerback Browner.

  17. Seachick Erin

    Rob I am relatively new to the blog but I went back through most of the old posts from the last month or so and I never saw anything on Line Backers.

    I have two questions:

    1)After re-signing KJ Wright do you think we will be able to re-sign both Wagner and Irvin? It seems like both would want more than $7 mil annually which would mean we would have between 23-28 million tied up in 3 line backers. I really hope we can find a way but do you think this is possible? If we cannot sign both with one would you target to keep? I know the natural reaction is to say Wagner but I actually think Irvins skill set would be harder to replace.

    2) Do you think the Hawks will target a linebacker in this draft and who are options that look Seahawky?


    • Spireite Seahawk

      I think there will be a Sparqy type LB (akin to KPL) that we will take on the 3rd day or UDFA. No names but that’s my gut feeling.

    • hmabdou

      You made an excellent point about the LB’s. The “problem” is that the team simply has too many really good players. We’re going to have to trade (or release) some of them simply to keep under the salary cap. Of all the linebackers, KJ Wright is the one I wished we could somehow trade. Maybe to Atlanta or Jacksonville?

      • arias

        I wish it were Irvin that got locked up instead of KJ. I really wasn’t impressed with KJ’s season last year and would want to see more 2013 out of him to give him that deal.

        Then again, that’s more reason to make sure Irvin sustains from his 2014 season before locking him up. But I guess they must have liked KJ to give him that kind of money. They don’t hand out big contracts lightly.

        • Jake

          Assuming they exercise the option on Irvin (it will be about $8M), he’s under team control for the next two years. Wright is locked up, Wagner will be at some point before this season starts. After 2016, they can evaluate Wright and Irvin and determine which is irreplaceable and which is going to have to be replaced by cheaper talent. There aren’t many guys with Irvin’s set of skills and he’s only getting better as he matures. To add on, the next best LB on the roster (any position) is KPL. He is not a SLB/LEO – he’s a WLB through and through, so if he really pops, I’d expect Wright’s tenure to come to an end after the 2016 season.

        • AlaskaHawk

          I thoughtthey overpayed for KJ. Linebackers are generally discounted in the league, 4-6 million is a decent pay day for most of them. Considering both Wagner and Irvin are better then KJ and that it would be nice to resign both of them, I don’t think they should have paid KJ more then 4 million. I see their value at 4, 4, and 6 million for Wagner for a total of 14 million into the three starters. Instead we are looking at 7,7, and 8 million or 22 million. Just seems too much. I personally value Wagner the most based on number of tackles.

          • Jake

            I’d pay $8M, $7M, and <$1M for the starting set of LBs. KJ is going to have to be an all-pro to consider keeping him after Irvin gets his (if he gets his) deal or perhaps he'll restructure.

            Wagner is irreplaceable and WILL get paid. Irvin is unique, he's versatile and pressures QBs and therefore SHOULD get paid. Wright is a very good player, but he is the Byron Maxwell of the LB corps.

    • Rob Staton

      1. I fully expect them to use the 5th year option on Bruce Irvin or extend his contract. Either way you get a minimum two more seasons from Irvin.

      2. It’s a lousy year to target linebackers. I would pass until UDFA and just bring in another athlete you can coach up.

  18. Dawgma

    This has been pretty much my thinking too, but just as a (not at all reliable) test I went over to fanspeak and tried running it the other way, taking OL early. This is what I got:

    63: R2P31

    95: R3P31

    112: R4P13

    130: R4P31

    134: R4P35

    167: R5P31

    170: R5P34

    181: R6P5

    209: R6P33

    214: R6P38

    248: R7P31

    Now some of that seems incredibly optimistic but…Id be pretty happy with that. Hunter does not feel ‘Seahawky’ at all, but after mid Rd 2 pass rushers with high athleticism get impossible to find. I got to choose between Bell and McBride with the Saint’s pick in Rd 4, too.

    • Seachick Erin

      If we got that group of players I think most people would be very happy.

  19. Miles

    I remember in last year’s draft we all thought there was a good chance Latimer and Bitonio were going to be gone by 32 and they were both there when we picked. Based purely on that I think there’s a good chance one or two of players like Green-Beckham, Dorsett, Lockett and Agholor will be there at 50.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      All drafts are different. The way they play out is fluid. If a run develops at a position, you can see teams reaching so they don’t miss out. Just as we did last year with Britt.

      WR could easily see a major run. So too OT talent. And there’s always the chance that DB talent gets sprinkled with some surprising early candidates. It’s considered a lean DB market. You could see teams loading up on those early and trusting that other needs fall further down. We saw that the last couple years with several DB candidates going earlier than expected.

  20. SunPathPaul

    Let’s imagine at pick #63 what to do if all these WR’s/TE’s are gone…

    K White, A Cooper, D Parker, J Strong, Perriman, P Dorsett, K Smith, N Agholor, Maxx Williams…

    And who is still on the board? Who would we like?

    Devin Funchess 6-4, Tyler Lockett KR/PR, Sammie Coates Drops, Chris Conley +’s, McBride KR…

    Would would you take?? if we took a WR at #63…?

    Coates is not a natural WR. McBride and Conley are maybe 3rd rounders? Lockett could be amazing, or not…and Devin Funchess is similar to Jimmy Graham, a TE that is more WR…

    Who would you take?

    • Steele1324

      SunPath, I don’t see the urgency to take a WR at #63 if those big names are gone. If they fell, possibly (not Maxx Williams but the others). After that, Funchess is slow. Lockett is a smurf, and I think there are better WRs (and ST) later. Coates is a problem.

      So I would use #63 for another position.

    • Hawksince77

      I would trade down to add a pick and then select Conley with my next pick (in the 3rd). That is, if WR was the priority.

      • Robert

        I really like Conley. On Day 1, he can simply run by the opposing CB and force the Safety to help out. And he will enjoy a big cushion because of that speed. With good size, long arms, big hands, great hops, ridiculous speed and excellent character, I hope we go get him!

    • AlaskaHawk

      I would take care of business by picking an offensive linemen that can both run and pass block. You can get wide receivers later.

    • Rob Staton

      DGB also an option.

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