We need to have a word

Oh look! Jay Cutler with a moustache

I’ll be honest, I’ve been pretty surprised by some of the comments I’ve read on the blog this week.

I kind of feel like there’s been a re-writing of history. As the Seahawks have succeeded in building a terrific young roster, we’ve also discovered quite a substantial revelation. Some people knew it all along.

No crystal ball. No message imprinted on the morning toast. No signal from the gods. Just pure, footballing brilliance.

I had to delete the following comment — which is a shame, given the author is quite clearly a genius: “I advocated for the Seahawks to draft him and after the draft, I stated *for a fact* that Russell Wilson would be our starting quarterback and would most probably be our starting quarterback for the next ten or fifteen years.”

It’s funny that I didn’t recall that message twelve months ago. A lot of people liked Russell Wilson. Perhaps none more so than our very own Kip Earlywine. In fact if you’re ever thinking of running for president, Russell, you might want to see if Kip will run your campaign. He’d do a good job if last year was anything to go by.

Yet I think it’s fair to say most others shared my slightly different opinion. I saw Wilson’s height as an issue and I couldn’t see beyond that. It was a titanic error on my behalf, yet an understandable one. I was blinkered by conventional wisdom, unwilling to think outside of set guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work in the NFL. I was one of those old farts in the film ‘Moneyball’ telling Brad Pitt how to do his job in the war room.

It’s why I wrote this piece in August, laying out why I’d got it wrong on Wilson. I made the following statement after the Kansas City pre-season game:

“As good as Kip looks because of his sound judgement, I’m not afraid to admit I didn’t do a good enough job looking at Wilson. We published some tape, broke it down and I answered the occasional question, but he clearly warranted more than that. We’ve seen that in pre-season and in two weeks time he could be a starting NFL quarterback. It’s not so much missing on a player because you can’t expect to get them all right, but having dedicated so much time to the quarterback position in general… Wilson deserved more time.”

I think it’d be fair to say a lot of fans probably share that sentiment in hindsight. The height factor was such a turn-off, we all literally turned off.

Thankfully, there are people in our midst to remind us that they knew all along Wilson would be fantastic (see anonymous commenter above). We should celebrate that fact. They are clearly really great individuals when it comes to the old football analysis.

Sarcasm aside, there is a wider point to this piece. I feel like we’ve begun to talk in very ‘matter of fact’ terms. I’ve seen a lot of comments where people have stated a certain player “won’t” be drafted. Funnily enough, the guy who was so bold to tell us he’d always known Wilson would be a roaring success also posted on the same day, “There is no way in God’s green earth that the Seahawks will select Christine Michael – and that’s a fact, whether you like it or not.”

I’ve been very careful this year not to rule anything out, and rule very little in. I’ve written more about what I think the need area’s are and tried to study up on the scheme. Of course, ignoring Wilson wasn’t the only error I made last year. I’d received some information from a trusted and proven source suggesting certain players were popular within the front office. I threw my lot in with one particular player and when he fell to the early second round, my decision was rightly questioned.

Yet when I look back to last year (and 2011 for that matter) I remembered how surprised I was — stunned even — when I heard, “With the 15th pick in the 2012 draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Bruce Irvin.” The same source that had given us the names told us it would be a pass rusher in round one. It was a foregone conclusion. And yet the name still shocked me, even if he was indeed a pass rusher. Irvin very specifically fit Pete Carroll’s off-season desire to improve speed within the front seven. The pick was staring at us right in the face and still drew gasps on the day.

Likewise I was surprised to hear Wilson’s name so early, although with hindsight that could be the greatest draft pick ever made by a front office in Seattle. But to most fans, it was a shock. An intriguing shock.

James Carpenter was also a surprise at the time, even if some of us (hey, I’ve pointed enough things out that I got wrong) had Carpenter posted as a top-25 selection throughout the process.

As Seattle’s picks have become proven commodities, there’s maybe a tendency to look back with hindsight and feel those picks weren’t so shocking after all. Simply because they were justified. I think that’d be inaccurate. A re-writing of history. They were surprising and unpredictable to anyone outside of a NFL front office. They’ve just proven to be less of a gamble than we initially thought.

So I guess what I’m trying to say here is, let’s keep an open mind. Anything could happen next week. Regular visitors will know how tedious I find the endless discussions about Tyrann Mathieu. Yet I accept it’s not implausible he’ll go much earlier than I expect, possibly even to Seattle. I think we could see a complete unknown drafted at #56. I think we could see a household name fall to the Seahawks. I think we could see moves up or down the board, or even further trades for veteran players.

Whatever does happen, I expect to be surprised. Again. This will be the fourth draft under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Even though they’ve gone after fairly obvious needs every year, they’ve still managed to do it in their own little way. The only guaranteed thing next week is whatever they do won’t be boring. Or predictable. It’ll just be very Seahawky.


  1. Michael (CLT)

    Really stoked for this draft. I wonder how many draft picks JS really wants to come away with. Do they move in for a specific player, stay the course and let life sort it out, or move back and perhaps gain some picks in 2014?

    Will be fun.

    I do admit some steam taken out of the draft process with no first round pick, however.

  2. Ed

    While I love so many things about the internet, it does allow everyone to type with recklessness and zero accountability. Funny how people get so mad and judgmental.

    To the draft.

    As much as I would love to have D. Hopkins in the 2nd, I don’t think he will make it. Therefore, thoughts on 3rd rd Wr’s (Dobson/Williams/Patton/Rogers/Bailey). Which do you see as a possible #1 to take over for Rice.

    • Miles

      Terrance looks like the heir apparent Sidney Rice. But that’s just me. What do people think about him?

      • Maz

        I really like Dobson, I think he will be a true #1. Rodgers is a wildcard, however if it weren’t for his background, I would say he has more upside.

        • Leonard

          I will second Dobson. He has the size, speed, route running ability, jump ball skills and good (if a little inconsistent) hands to make it easier to walk away from Rice’s contract if need be.

  3. Kenny Sloth

    Ugh. I watched the Wilson tape. I knew he looked good. I never said a word. I just kind of swept him under the rug. Ugh. His tape was beautiful and he put on a show in Gruden’s QB camp. I just went with the flow of disregarding.

    • Maz

      I wasn’t on this site last year, but really wanted us to select Wilson. I’m not who Rob was talking about in this article though, as this is the first time I have mentioned it. I would have selected him in round 2. I actually told my wife on draft day, right before we selected him, we had to take him @ #75. I didn’t think he would be there for our next pick. It was also a concern of mine that they may draft Turbin, before Russell. His height really did throw a lot of teams off, so I knew he would slip. So when I started jumping up and down with the selection, my wife, KINDA understood why. Called the Turbin choice as well. I will admit, Bruce Irvin was not on my radar @ #15. I liked Chandler Jones. I found this site this year, in prep to actually try and scout some more players this year. Been watching this front office from day one. I was a Carroll fan from his USC days. Always admired the talent he was able to bring in. GO HAWKS!

    • Dobbs

      Last year my concern was numbers he put up at NC State vs Wisconsin… clearly his numbers were awesome, but I wondered how much of that came from playing at Wisc and where would he have been drafted if he’d stayed at NC State and started his Sr year there.

      Glad to be wrong, I was hopeful he could be good and interested in drafting him (and cheering for him all the way), however I thought Cousins had more upside then. I still think Cousins will be good, interested to see what happens to him.

      • Maz

        I had Cousins as the second QB we would draft, but that was WAS plan.

    • Leonard

      I randomly saw one of his NC State games a few years ago and have been enamored with him since. Ever since watching Randall Cunningham I’ve had a thing for mobile QB’s. I hoped he’d be a Seahawk but was convinced they could wait and get him in the 5th round. Glad they didn’t try to get “value” for him by waiting like I would have. I actually had a few names right on my Seahawks mock last year but the rounds they were drafted in were all off. Sometimes hearing stories like when they had to estimate Toomer’s vert because he jumped higher than the machine can measure are a give away that the Hawks are going to be interested. That being said, I has to google James Carpenter after they drafted him.

    • Hawk'Soup

      It is funny Rob posted this today. I have read so many comments from fans claiming they predicted RW would be drafted and would start for the Hawks, and comments in the like…Just don’t know where they were last year. I really like RW and was a fan especially after Gruden. When he was selected I was stoked and very happy, but like many others his height kept me at bay. I did not think he would start this past season, but thank the gods he did!

    • Dregur

      I believe I said something along of the lines of, “I want him. I want him bad.” However, even I didn’t believe he’d be this good, this fast. I do remember defending him from my brother when we saw him play live against Dallas, but again, did not think he was going to be a playmaker of that caliber that quickly.

  4. Belgaron

    I’ve been a Seahawk fan for a long time, since Largent, Warner, Zorn, and Krieg. My favorite player of all time is Easley because he pwned, which is probably why I’m a big fan of all our current DBs. I loved how good the offense was under Holmgren. I hated Witsitt and Ruskell.

    I remember reading all the comments (on other sites) about what a mistake the Seahawks made when they fired their coach to bring in Pete Carroll, and the comments when they brought in John Schneider, and the comments for drafting Russell Wilson. There were a lot of people who HATED all those moves who now just take them for granted and act like they always made perfect sense. Allen has done a fantastic job building the foundation for what could happen this year.

    As much as we can study what PC/JS have done in the draft, we haven’t seen all their tricks. PC is aggressive and willing to take chances on guys with skills but few Twitter followers. He hires great coaches and has confidence they will coach up the talent brought in. He also makes the game fun while sharpening the efforts through competition.

    As for pick #56, I’m still trying to figure out who they guy(s) who are expected to be long gone will still be there at 56. Cornellius Carradine is starting to look like a possibility, the trio of OTs Armstead, Long, and Watson, Arthur Brown, Eric Reid. I realize probably most all of these guys will be drafted somewhere prior to 56, but one or more of them will not. So the thoughts on who Seattle will take has to start with which sliders they might keep sliding or which one might be snagged.

    After that, there are the guys we are expected to be able to choose from. The smart money is probably on DT, OT, or WR, with outside LB and QB the dark horse.

    Finally, you’ve got the guys with extraordinary length, speed, or tenacious competitive drive. The guys that the ‘Hawks could overdraft and shock. I don’t think it will go this way for this pick but certainly wouldn’t bet against it either.

    • Maz

      I happen to think all of the guys you mentioned will be gone, except for maybe Carradine, because he is falling right now on draft boards, at least from all the buzz going around. If thats the case, I think we select him. The guy I hope nobody gambles on is Margus Hunt. He would of been my first round pick this year.

      • Robert

        Brandon Williams and Margus Hunt are my favorite prospects for #56. Margus makes plays with physical superiority. He plays with very little polished technique. Those 2 factors put his upside in the stratosphere, in my opinion. He plays a bit stiff, but he can hold the edge and turn running plays inside. I believe he could easily add a few pounds to his gynormous frame. Then, after we coach him up a bit, he would become a holy terror as a pass rusher from anywhere! Red Bryant’s replacement?

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I think Margus Hunt could be another JJ Watt.

          • Maz

            I think Margus Hunt could be better than Watt in 3yrs. I hope we are able to get him. My first 3 picks for us before the Harvin trade were, Hunt, McDonald, and B. Williams. I still think this could happen, however we would need to get extremely lucky.

            • Cysco

              Age has to be a concern though.

              Did Hunt do well because he was literally a man playing against kids? Dude will be 26yo this season. That’s supposed to be when players are in they’re prime, not entering the league. By the end of his rookie contract he’ll be 30.

              For me, Hunt wouldn’t be on my board at all.

              • Maz

                Actually, dude isn’t even in his prime yet. That age is 28-29, not 26. He started playing football 4 years ago, before that, he was really good at throwing a weighted disc. In fact he wasn’t even an every down guy. So I would have to think, wear and tear is low on him. He’s not playing high school ball. He wasn’t in D-II or D-III, balling it out. He’s a man against men. He just happens to be 6’8 and 280lbs of lean, athletic muscle. Irvin was 25 and we drafted him. This kid has more potential. His speed, at his size and strength, is extremely unique. He just happened to be a smart, ultra competitive, and able to pick up the game of football, from a copy of Madden, and still broke NCAA records. Who cares if it is just blocking kicks? How much penetration through the middle of the line, do you think this guy can do? A lot. He is as much of a Seahawks pick, as their is in this draft to me. Your board in my opinion, is lacking value and accuracy, if you took him off for being 26yrs. old. He will only have the wear and tear of approximately a college freshman at the end of his first contract. As he would only have played football for 8 years at that point. Half of the guys in this draft been taking hits for 10 plus years already, granted at a lower level of competition. He is a guy we would most likely sign to, two full contracts, and maybe to a third. I think he will be in the league for 10 to 12 years. Even at the ripe age of 26.

          • Hawk'Soup

            I like Hunt and his raw ability. I struggle to think he makes it to 56, but if he does I would hope the Hawks pick him…unless Hopkins is there of course.

    • Michael (CLT)

      I was one of those guys. I saw Pete Carroll as a move to simply shine the light brighter on Seattle, for good or bad. I ripped this team to no end during Carroll’s first two years.

      What I did not see, or simply chose not to see, was the process. Back then I had argued that Seattle needed a leader with vision. But it was the vision I had for the Seahawks that I wanted instilled by a new coach… Carroll did not portray my own vision.

      Suffice it to say, having let the process proceed, we are now in a position to enjoy some good times.

      Now, I am an emotional person. A person who reacts to the moment. I doubt that will change. But the salve of time, I’ve seen the folly of my ways. Not sure that will change when Seattle loses the next big game. I am all in 🙂

      I digress.

  5. Mike

    Rob, I know it’s not draft related, but don’t forget about the 15 articles you wrote about the high probability of Carson Palmer coming to Seattle two years ago.

    Nice to hear you’ve come to realize your “trusted and proven source” or sources aren’t so trusted and proven after all. Or that Scott Enyeart really doesn’t have any inside information.

    Don’t mean to nitpick–if anything it’s a compliment. I’ve appreciated your more balanced and open minded approach this year.

    • Rob Staton

      Hey Mike,

      I did, as you say, write several articles speculating on the possibility of Palmer landing in Seattle. Some trusted sources (none of which were Scott incidentally) confirmed what I’d heard from an initial source. When Sam Farmer at the LA Times started writing that a deal was possible, I figured ‘why not write about it?’

      For what it’s worth my most trusted source never gave me any information on Palmer. In fact he consistently said he’d not heard anything in that regard, for or against. However, I still firmly believe to this day based on what I had talked about with a handful of people that had it not been for the lockout there’s a decent chance Seattle would’ve traded their 2011 first round pick (plus potentially more) for Carson Palmer.

      I made two key mistakes here (IMO). Firstly, it was failing to identify how the situation had changed after the 2011 draft was complete. I continued to speculate on the possibility of a deal (without any new information) when in reality Seattle was never likely to trade ‘unknown’ future picks. Their 2012 first rounder ended up being the #12 pick. Big difference between trading that and a #25 the previous year.

      The second mistake was to attach myself to the story in a way that had it not gone through, I would look bad. And I think that happened.

      The main reason I wrote about this was purely down to my inner-journalist. I work in the industry by trade and sometimes when you think you’re sitting on a story, you can’t help but write about it. You don’t think about the consequences. As you’ve noticed I’ve not written any ‘sourced’ based stuff this year and I won’t do it any more. There’s no need to try and be something we’re not. We’re not PFT. So in future we’ll stick to the draft talk, because it’s really what this place was supposed to be about.

      • Madmark

        I just remember JS/PC flying to Denver to meet with Peyton but never even getting to see him. Then there was a interview with JS and he talked about how 90% of trades they talk about never happen. They seem to have there hands into everything and if it doesn’t happen they move on to there next target to make this team better. Last years draft you could see a little dismayed by Kendricks being picked in the 2nd and then they grab Wagner as if they never missed a beat.

        • Hawkspur

          To be fair, Seattle may well have been keen on Palmer at a certain price but to outbid Oakland would have been ridiculous. Perhaps there was even a deal agreed. If it weren’t for the Raiders, who knows, Palmer might have been our guy. Or, as Madmark points out, maybe they just kicked the tires.

      • Mike

        Rob, your response is awesome. Thank you. I’ve loved reading your articles (sourced or not) over the past several years. I really appreciate your candor here–if anything it just adds to your credibility. Well done.

        I also agree with what the others are saying–that perhaps we did have interest in Palmer and it just didnt work out. As I recall there was a pissing match between Palmer and his GM, and perhaps the timing of making a move was off. Whatever the case, those stories did reflect a certain truth–that we were desperately seeking a decent QB. Funny how quick things change.

        Thanks again for your reply. And thanks for the consistent, high quality of material on the site.

      • Maz

        I think we definitely had an offer on the table. It just wasn’t the idiotic offer the Raiders made. You do a nice job, Rob. Thanks for providing a place for all of us to share our opinions.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        “As you’ve noticed I’ve not written any ‘sourced’ based stuff this year and I won’t do it any more. There’s no need to try and be something we’re not.”

        That’s a shame. I always enjoyed that angle here. I guess I always expected the eventual outcomes to be more fluid than a source could predict.

        • Rob Staton

          Just for you, Attyla, tomorrow’s piece re-hashes some old info we got from 2010.

  6. Alex

    lol, this “rewriting of history” isn’t something certain posters are guilty off. The mainstream medias including ESPN, NFL.com, etc are all guilty of the same thing.

    One of the more prominent player is Ryan Tannehil. They’re talking about how good Ryan is and that he would be the #1 QB if he was in this class. All that I remember was that Ryan was trashed to no end last year.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally, I still think the jury’s out on Tannehill. There’s no doubt the media love to re-write history, but I also think there’s been a little bit of it on here recently too (as pointed about by the quotes posted in this piece).

      • Maz

        I agree, the jury is still out on Tannehill. I remember a lot of the media screaming Tannehill as the 3rd best guy in last years draft. Now, most of them realize RW should of been the 2nd or 3rd QB off the board. However, a few are saving face by saying how great RW is, BUT, Tannehill would still be the 3rd guy off the board if they redrafted. I think Tannehill will be a decent QB in the league. He could be Aaron Rogers, “like,” stats wise someday. RW#3 will not stop at greatness. #RWNFLHOF2030 #CHAMPIONSHIPOFFSEASON #GOHAWKS

  7. Madmark

    I got locked into my pick Ryan Tannehill but ended up with Kirk Cousins on my draft because Seattle was rumoured talking to him. Its because I watched Tannehill that when Kip mentioned Ryan Swope that I remember him but looking a year later he just appeared to be even better than before. I completely missed Wilson and I’ll admit it. To be honest I’m not sure Christen Michaels isn’t drafted at 56 and if Patton isn’t taken at 87 if he’s there and why not last year was mostly defensive players being drafted except for 2. Remember the 3 guy was a converted to offensive guard from the defense.
    Maybe its the Offense that gets the majority of this draft and defense gets 2 picks such as OLB and DT. My reason for mentioning this is I truly think this draft has deeper talent on the offensive side here and why don’t we push it to the limit.
    Truly think about this, all these guy are available at 56 Quiton Patton WR, Christian Michaels RB, Khaseem Green, Ryan Swope WR And I’ll throw up Zache Ertzs?

    • SunPathPaul

      I’d have to go Ertz, Green, Swope, Michaels…

      I’d like Green to be the RW of the defense, but having a full talented TE to possibly help relieve Zach Miller’s cap hit might be a necessary consideration…

      Swope would be viciously dangerous with RW, and then add Percy Harvin to that field? OUCH
      I feel Ertz and Green will be long gone… Possibly Swope to Miami too…

      So if it was between Patton and Michaels? hmmm… I like how Michaels runs- hard. But to setup a possible Sidney Rice cap hit replacement yet again with Patton, might be the kicker- making him the pick…

      We shall C, we Shall C!!!

      • Hawkspur

        The more I think about it the more likely I think it is that a tight end will be the priority. That doesn’t necessarily mean that TE will be the 2nd round pick if they think they can wait for their guy to drop to them further down, but Miller was a vital piece of the offense when it was firing on all cylinders at the end of the season and there are no guarantees that they’ll be able to keep his salary on the books beyond this year.

        Personally, I’d really like Khaseem Greene at 56 if he’s around though.

        • Madmark

          I think TE is one of the harder positions to play other than QB. You have to be nasty in the trenchs to block like a lineman and yet have good hands, agility, and running skills to get up field to catch the ball. This is one reason we paid Zach Miller so much in FA. I think He will be here till the end of his contract as the amount of money drops quite a bit after this year. What concerns me is he was injuried the 1st year and he played injuried the 2nd year. I really don’t have great faith in Anthony McCoy when I see him dropping simple 3yd passes for 1st downs. He may have a break out year but then he has 1 year left and could be gone in FA. If Travis Kelce is there at pick 87 I run for the podium he may not be athletic as the other TE but he has heart and nastiness I want. Other than getting Miller in FA Seattle has rarely stepped up for a TE and I can’t understand why being a running team.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Likely to be a blocking tight end to bolster our running game and provide pass protection. We already have pass catching tight ends.

            • Maz

              We can replace any of the back up TE’s on the roster for one reason or another. McCoy is not safe. We tried to find a replacement last year, for him. He made a few plays this past year and showed improvement, however, he could be upgraded by more than one TE at pick 56. I personally like McDonald, as Eifert will be long gone.

  8. SunPathPaul

    Nice topic Rob! I can say I had ZERO idea Seattle would draft Russell Wilson, but I deeply thought he was a bad ass AFTER watching him on Jon Gruden’s QB camp. He became a favorite of mine. I had just returned to football after years off, and have never gotten into it like I am now.

    I like this site for the learning of the game I have received, and I agree that it is for FUN, not a place to be dogmatic “always right” types…

    What I love about the draft is that very fact that —– WE HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!
    We don’t! …and even if someone you like gets drafted, it is still such a crap shoot! To me, that is what makes it so fun to watch, even without a R1 pick! I’m SO curious to watch who everyone ELSE chooses. We can’t follow the Seahawks in a bubble, they are intricately connected to every other team. If someone else had picked RW just prior to us, where would this conversation be now…

    Nowhere close to where we are!! THANK GOD we got RW!!
    Go Hawks!!!

  9. James

    As difficult as it was to predict the Seahawks drafts the previous two years, even with Pete’s “clues” that he planned to take a fast DE, it is basically impossible to predict this year, with the team actually in the position to draft best available athletes. The pattern that is clear with John and Pete is, as they have stated a number of times, they are looking for players who love the game. They will not be selecting someone who showed questionable effort (see Short or Gholston) in college. Everyone, including John and Pete, missed on the analysis of Russell Wilson; for if John and Pete had known how good he was, they certainly would not have taken the risk to wait until R3 to take him. It is just that John and Pete graded Russell more accurately than anyone else, but even their grade was not nearly high enough in hindsight. Russell was the classic case of placing too much weight on measurables, and not enough on performance in college, for he had the best QB season in football history, and the question was could he duplicate it in the pros, and too many read the measurables as saying no.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I dunno James. Just because JSPC waited until R3 to take RW doesn’t mean they missed on their analysis of him. If anything, it says more about how savvy they are regarding the drafting process in general, and more specifically, how other teams completely missed on RW.

      • Maz

        Actually, Schneider had RW very high on his board, one of his top 2 guys. Matt Flynn signing with us is what allowed the FO to wait on Russell. He mentioned that somewhere recently.

        • James

          Don’t get me wrong….all props to John & Pete for one of the best draft picks of all time. I’m just saying that Russell is on track to be an elite franchise QB, and no one graded him at that level, despite the fact that the Seahawks saw the potential. No way any GM worth his salt would take the risk of waiting until R3 to take a franchise QB, when any number of teams could have taken him a few picks earlier.

          • Maz

            Dude. WAY.

          • Jim Kelly

            John Schneider wanted Russell Wilson, BADLY. Last year I thought that the Seahawks were upset when Michael Kendricks was drafted. You saw the “war room” be disappointed. I had to go back, after the draft to see that it was the offensive coaches that were disappointed. They wanted Wilson in the second round. When it was decided that the Hawks would take him in the third round, everyone was upset. Schneider had convinced everyone how good he was, and Wilson had become an absolutely need to acquire player.

            Pete Carroll and Schneider have balls. They know how they can improve our, beloved Seahawks, but they have enough strength of character to wait until the third round to take him. Knowing what I know now, I’d take him in the first. Last year, I would’ve taken him in the fourth or fifth round.

            The greatest attribute of the Seahawks’ front office is to gauge where other teams will draft players. They’ve repeatedly taken players, or “reached” as the “experts” have said, just prior to another team taking that same player. Bruce Irvin, James Carpenter, and Kris Durham are great examples of their astute drafting ability. When PCJS decided to wait on Wilson, you know that they had to be sweating. Even though Wilson had a fourth round grade, all it would take was one team to ruin their hopes. Standing by their assessment of other teams will help us as fans more than any other of their traits.

  10. Stuart

    What I vividly remember about this kid Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin was; he was too short, and because he was too short he was basically dismissed from my list of perspective QB’s. The thing I recall reading was that this kid had really long arms and HUGE hands. Then you heard about the high relase point and the gigantic Wisconsin O line, hmmmm, no, hmmmm, no, hmmmm, nope.

    Once we drafted RW I re-watched the interview with Jon Gruden. Then I started watching games of Wisconsin. After the first two games of the pre-season I thought that Flynn would start the season but maybe by game 10 or so RW would feel comfortable enough in the systemto start. But then came the Kasas City game, RW engineered scoring drives like the first 6-7 times he had the ball. After that game I became vocal that RW was the real deal. WOW-WHO COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED (KIP) THAT RW WOULD BE THIS INCREDIBLE!

    • AlaskaHawk

      Hey me too. I thought they would start Flynn and work with RW to get him comfortable playing pro style. Then if Flynn failed they would insert RW, who would of course come from behind to lead us to vicotry. Turns out RW got inserted in preseason.

  11. PatrickH

    I remember last year just before the pick was announced, pretty sure that it’s going to be Melvin Ingram. The Seahawks needed a pass rusher opposite Clemons, and Ingram was the highest rated DE/OLB by the “draft experts” still available. I was shocked when Bruce Irwin, regarded as just a 3rd down specialist pre-draft, was taken instead.

    I did briefly wonder about Wilson (and the Boise State QB whose name I have forgotten) when JS talked about how a QB has to tilt the field. However, I didn’t expect any team to draft Wilson before the 5th round because of his height.

  12. trippsixxes

    I am not a regular commenter here but I follow this site regularly, even after the draft. You guys do a great job here and as long as the content continues, so will my clicks.

    As for this topic I felt I had to chime in. No one can state that they know a thing will happen. Predicting a potential future is not stating fact. It is by definition opinion. Did I know Russell Wilson would succeed? Of course not, but I did have a strong enough opinion to pay real money in July to bet on it. Did I flaunt this opinion over the broadband? No. I made my bet and let the firestorm of vitriol play out without me.

    If a guy really “knows it,” he finds a way to bet on it. If he does…he likely doesn’t feel the need to tell randoms on the net about it. (Unless, of course, your bet is throwing your draft blog’s weight around-we’ll give Kip a bullseye.)

    The screen name who states facts is just throwing regurgitated darts at a wall.

    Those commenters are best ignored.

    • Madmark

      I don’t think that’s true. There are certain players you know will be great and my example is when I saw Barry Sanders play I just knew he was going Nu. 1 and he was going to be a star. I will say this I haven’t seen another guy I can say that about.

    • Maz

      Where do you place these bets? I need to be betting with you. Wouldn’t regurgitated darts still stick? Fact is, the darts would have to be digested to the point, that it was pointless. Right? Never mind.

  13. jfoxbebb

    I was late to the Wilson bandwagon in that I didn’t pay attention to him until the Rose Bowl against Oregon. He looked like a stud and I knew he was small but I figured some other team would draft him before us.

    When the pick came down, I was sooo excited because I remembered “This is the guy from the Rose Bowl, we got him!”

    Even though I screamed like a little girl, more because we finally drafted a QB, I had no idea RW would become a rookie starter and lead his team to the playoffs.

  14. Aaron

    I’ve had two moments watching drafts when my team picked a player who I loved and I was literally jumping around the room and yelling in excitement. Once was when the Portland Trailblazers drafted Greg Oden, and the other was when the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson. I guess the Oden example illustrates your point that nothing is a sure thing.

    With regard to Wilson, I had seen him play a couple of games during the regular season, and he played (and nearly beat) my Alma Mater in the Rose Bowl. In fairness I should admit that I wasn’t even aware of his height until I heard all the talk about it on Draft Day. I hadn’t followed the talk going into that draft nearly as much as I have this year (thanks in large part to my discovery of this exemplary blog.)

    I used to have a mild dislike for Jon Gruden based primarily on the fact that he was a Raiders coach, and I thought he was a vain prettyboy. But now I am a devoted fan and supporter because of the way he stood up to Kiper and McShay, and even Bill Polian on the issue of Russell Wilson’s height on draft day. Sometimes I go to youtube and watch it for fun because he was so adamant, so alone in his opinion, and so thoroghly right.

    For the record, I’m not the guy who had his comment deleted, and hopefully people won’t find this comment annoying. I haven’t said anything about my interest in Wilson prior to the draft in any of my comments here before, but since it’s the subject of the artcle it sort of makes sense in this context.

    I’m actually thankful that I knew about him and liked him as a player prior to that draft because now I feel like I have just a little bit more of an investment in him, or more of a stake in his success or failure than I otherwise would have. Being 5’8 myself, I also feel like he’s a champion for us shorter folks.

    My final thought on this is that the reason I was so excited when they drafted Wilson was not just because of the player, but it was signal to me that the organization is now willing to make bold moves and swing for the fences. As RW would say, they’re not afraid of success.

  15. Colin

    I remember watching a few games of him and thinking he could be good, but I never looked past that point. The Seahawks weren’t going to draft him, so why spend time on him?

    But I won’t forget laying there on my bed, watching that Marine call out “Russell Wilson” and going I KNOW THAT NAME!

    The rest is history.

  16. Christon

    Yeah, its always easier to look better after the fact and be a supporter “All-along” when I too remember a lot of mix reactions after the last draft. It pretty comical to make a need-jerk reaction like giving out draft grades the day after the draft was complete.

    And Wasn’t it about a 50/50 split between Wilson/Flynn supporters all the way until the New England game? I didn’t think Flynn’s upside was as high as Wilson but I’ll admit that I wavered for about two hours after the loss at St. Louis. That was a penciled in “W” for me that was now in the “L” column and after the Ram 2011 season I couldn’t fathom lossing to them even on the road. After an “lucky” win at home against GB we should have been 1-3, which I thought was too poor for a roster this talented. But as my wife can attest to – I thought it was an overreaction and we should continue to give the kid a chance. I saw enough progress (at least we hung on to win the Carolina Game) and then the comeback win against NE at home which sealed his fate (but still wasn’t enough to completely quit Matt Flynn supporters).

    For the record: I think Christine Michael is a better fit for the Zone Blocking scheme and I think a MORE LIKELY choice for the Seahawks than both Knile Davis and Markus Lattimore.

    • Maz

      Agree that he is higher on the Seahawks board than either of those two.

  17. seattl

    I remember posters who liked wilson, but nobody who came close to the kind of NFL player rw would be. I thought he’d be a good solid pick in the mid rounds but i wasnt thinking steal, and i certainly asnt thinking 16 starts, the probowl or “elite qb”. Which theres no question now, he is. I remember thinking it strange that he supposedly had great talent in every area but height, that there was no skepticism that i heard to any other facet of his game, and yet everyone had him as a mid to late rounder. Even though he was throwing for great numbers behind on OL with NFL height. It seemed a given that he wasnt a first or second rounder and i went with the flow there, as blind as we all were. And thats what i think it was, it was a herd mentality that kept him under the radar, not a lack of indicators. RW’s potential for greatness was staring us in the face, i.m.o.

  18. Ukhawk

    I can’t zero in on who the Seahawks are going pick this year and its completely driving me nuts. Finding it difficult to form a “perfect” option as everyone who id like will probably be gone. Hilariously im lusting after more candidates in the same way i normally lust after top 10 guys when we draft in the lower half of round 1. At the same time it’s incredibly exciting because we all know how unconventional they are and given how stocked the roster is they can take even more chances! Given the unpredictability of picks we will just have to wait and see. But I like the speculation even more as a result, and certainly the efforts of Rob & Kip. Great job guys, keep it up and ignore all the critical, knowing, hindsight ridden comments. Lets just stick to winning the guess who game

    • Leonard

      I understand your frustration. No one is really jumping out to me at #56 either. DT and LB seem to be the two spots that would be the most likely to upgrade but I don’t personally like many of the guys projected to be available when the Hawks pick. Maybe Sio Moore but not much else. I’m not even getting a solid feeling weather it will be offense or defense. The Hawks are in a good position to be able to take anyone they want regardless of where they play though so it’s probably going to come down to who starts unexpectedly falling or just zeroing in on “their guy” regardless of what round everyone else thinks they should go in.

  19. seattl

    And just to be clear i’m not saying i called it, i was in the flynn camp preseason.

  20. seattl

    Also i wanted to add, i’m not sure how i feel about censoring the guy who knew it all along. I dont disapprove in a nlqck and white sense, but i think it’s questionable. I get that this is your blog and you can run it the way you likr, but theres already enough censorship in the media. I too would not be happy with that sort of post becoming the norm, but i would not want the deleting of posts like it to be the norm, either.

    • Beanhawk

      Just to be clear above, I believe the censoring issue to which Rob is referring had little to do with the “I knew all along Russell Wilson would be good comment.” That was just a byproduct of the overall dismissive tone of said poster’s posts (of which there were several in the past weeks). The real issue was that the poster continually treated his ideas as “facts” and pedantically dismissing the ideas of others when doing so. I fully support Rob’s decision in this case. I come here for interesting and plentiful discussion, and the poster’s comments were not conducive to that culture.

      • seattl

        That makes sense, i didnt know it was a regular thing so thanks for filling me in.

  21. seattl

    And i really appreciate your blog. I hope my repeated posts aren’t bugging anyome.

    • Jim Kelly

      I do that with phone calls. After I hang up, I’ll remember something, and call back. If people aren’t annoyed with me, at least I won’t be annoyed with you.

  22. Dobbs

    Rob and Kip, I love the work you do here. Is it possible to look back at the draft picks from last year (and previous?), remind us of their combine/college numbers and see where we’ve fit guys into the team in their 2nd year more and if some of those guys are primed a potential big step in their 2nd year?

    I’ve seen bits and pieces, but I’d love to have a focus on the non-starters of last year’s draft as some of them showed enough to play quite a bit.

    Also would love to see how our drafting effects our future salary, such as not needing McQuistan with Carpenter, Sweezy and Moffitt… is that all the future savings we’re looking at with our current non-starters? I know we’re looking to find a cheap replacement for Rice, Breno and/or Zac Miller if possible in this draft, what else is possible with guys we already have?

    • Kip Earlywine

      I think Wilson will continue to improve and will be an MVP candidate. The read option wrinkle really helped take the offense to a new level late last season, and Seattle’s slate of opponents offer a weaker group of defenses than what they faced last year.

      Irvin was up and down last year but looked very good on stunts. The new “spinner” formation on 3rd downs will really benefit Irvin as he’ll get to attack like a 3-4 OLB would- from wherever he wants. I don’t really expect Irvin himself to actually improve much, but I think he’ll probably produce more thanks to some good changes on defense.

      Bobby Wagner played his best football at the end of the regular season. He had quite a few interceptions at the end of the year and playoffs, including one that was taken away by an Earl Thomas penalty vs. Miami. If Wagner continues that trend, he could be viewed as one of the most elite pass coverage linebackers in the NFL. He has a lot of room to improve in run defense- let’s see what happens there.

      Turbin should be interesting to watch. There are times he looks like Frank Gore, and other times when he looks like Maurice Morris. I really liked Turbin before the 2012 draft, but I’m still not sure if he’s a future #1 RB or not. I think 2013 could shed some light on that, unless a 3rd RB steals the show.

      Jaye Howard pretty much has to show that he can stop the run now, or forget it. Seattle doesn’t seem interested in having a pure 3rd down 3-tech.

      Korey Toomer (PS) has a big uphill battle to make the team. We may not have a megastar penciled in to start at WILL, but we have a TON of quality depth there.

      Jeremy Lane will probably see the field less this year. Thankfully, he’s an ace on special teams.

      Huge year for Winston Guy. If he plays well, he might get Kam’s job in 2014. If he doesn’t, I could see him missing the cut in late August.

      I’m very bullish on JR Sweezy. He’s growing into his role at guard much faster than I thought possible, and his upside exceeds Max Unger’s as an interior lineman. I’ve never seen a lineman hit the second level of a defense faster than Sweezy does. 34″ arms are pretty good for a guard, too.

      Greg Scruggs is adding weight- which to me indicates that the team doesn’t view him as a Jason Jones type. At 295 pounds, he could play 3-tech or a Red Bryant role. Scruggs flashed dominance last year. I think he’s a natural 5-tech as a pass rusher, though his run defense has some things to work on. Huge fan of Scruggs. He’s the player I hope has a “breakout year” next year the most from the 2012 group, with Sweezy being a close 2nd. I think Sweezy will be the one to break out, though.

      • Dobbs

        Awesome, thanks Kip.

        Any chance a guy like Jeremy Lane could end up a starter in place of Browner as a cost-saving move when Browner comes up for FA?

        And you may have already said it, but do you think draft targets may lean toward cost-saving replacements for Rice/Miller/Breno or even Lynch given the benefit that would have, or could BPA mean we’d take a CB/QB with the 2nd round pick? Seems every position on the team aside from CB/QB could save us money.

        Also, I remember hearing Avril was a possibility at SAM from Carroll, but never a mention of it here. Thoughts on that and the impact it may have if it works out that way as a starter?

      • Maz

        I don’t have much faith in Guy. I agree with everything else you’ve said. Scruggs has a chance to be elite in my mind. Not this year so much, but I expect to see a good improvement over last year. So does Sweezy, if the development continues at this pace.

      • Michael (CLT)

        Nice post, Kip.

        Regarding Wagner. What are your thoughts regarding Bobby playing WILL and Seattle drafting a MIKE.

      • Madmark

        I got to agree with you on Sweezy. To make that change last year so fast: IMPRESSIVE. I think he has the greatest potential to be even better with a year behind him. I’m actually quite excited about the interior of our offensive line. I really want to see a healthy James Carpenter at LG where he should have started all along in my opinion. I don’t know what will happen to Breno after this year but we will need a tackle to replace Frank and maybe its possible after a year takes his place.

      • Hawk'Soup

        Nice post Kip. It appears we agree on most of the analysis on the players mentioned. The spinner role if utilized as expected should do Irvin some good.

        I too am unsure about Turbin. I like what he brings and I hope his second season in the ZB scheme improves his play. It will help if with Percy on the field wiht him for sure, but I am not confident he will be a #1.

        I am a big fan of Jeremy Lane and Winston Guy. Lane is almost always the first player down the field on special teams and both of them play with the physicality we would want from DB’s. I get the impression you don’t think Kam will get an extension? I do think he is probably asking for more than the Hawks are willing to part or value.

        Sweezy is interesting. Pass blocking be damned. I wonder how an entire off season will improve his play that account. Love his aggression and with that pick I am always looking at other defensive talent that could be switched by Cable to O’line.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I had Scruggs as my most likely to break out prospect for 2013.

        Although I would concede Sweezy. I guess I kind of felt like he already broke out as I already considered him as our starting RG. Although I can see how that is premature yet. In my mind, he’s already the guy.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ll look into a piece like that Dobbs, sure.

      • Maz

        Nice. I was interested in this as well. Thanks in advance Rob.

  23. Eran Ungar

    Drafting football players.

    I think that’s what they do. They draft the best football players they find. It’s a great way to improve a football team.

    I am not an american, I follow the seahawks since 1979 but starting following the draft only in the past few years.

    The thing that i found shocking is the extreme weight given to physical measurables. It’s like an inch or 2 here 10 pounds there are enough to push a player in or out. I’m a volleyball coach so i know a thing or two about the effects of size/quickness etc. And yet, every team i know up to the top international levels have a few players who do not match the perfect size or speed for their positions, they are just great players of the game.

    Knowing how much thought and resources are devoted to the draft I thought i must be missing something about the importance of those physical attributes so i checked weather the great ones currently playing show indeed that those attributes are a must. It was a very disturbing picture. Half of the great WR’s didn’t have the speed or size so eagerly questioned, the DE’s – even worse and so on.

    It took me a while to understand that the same wisdom that guilds the search for basketball or soccer or volleyball players all over the world should be valid for football – pick the best god damn players !!!.

    The best soccer player in the world is a fucking midget with medium speed at best. And he is AMAZING.

    So why are they looking at the draft as if it’s a meat market ? why would anyone think that a 5 10 QB that has played admirably for years in college behind the same tall linemen cant play at the NFL ?

    I heard the “How many 5 10 QBs did you see succeed in the NFL ?” – my answer was – NONE. After a few minutes I asked – “How many 5 10 QBs did you see start at the NFL and FAIL ?” – the answer was NONE too.

    I am an engineer. I know that running the 40 at 4.3 would get a receiver 2 feet further down field then a 4.5 receiver. Hence – a CB starting half a yard back should solve that nicely. There has got to be more, i mean a hell of a lot more to picking your WR. So much more that his speed or size should be a a footnote at the end.
    An added bonus for a guy you want in your team because he is a great WR.

    A consultant in a project i was once bidding for told me – “Nobody will ever get blamed for picking IBM”. I think that’s happening in the NFL. The fear of the bust is worse then the desire to succeed. Yes, he can’t catch the ball but man is he fast. This is not the 100 dash in the Olympics, this is football !!!


    It’s not like you pick them out of a line-out. Those guys have been playing this game for years. Watch the tapes, see the games, and pick the guys that play it really well. I think that JS/PC tend to do that a bit more then others and that helps.

    Or maybe i’m just an idiot…whatever.

    • Leonard

      The Seahawks are developing a player acquisition philosophy that is probably going to be copied and misunderstood by many people. The basics as I understand them, barely, are#1 you have to love playing football. You have to love it because #2 you better be ready to work for everything. Work to improve, to challenge to help the team. #3 is what gets all the attention; be special. Have something about you that is special enough that the coaches think they can use it as a weapon and coach you up on the rest of your game in hopes of an eventual complete player. That something special can be a set of times and numbers or a stuffed stat sheet, a superior physical attribute, a football mind, a giant heart ect ect. Or if you are lucky you can be the most special kind of special of all, you can be Russell Wilson.

    • Michael (CLT)

      Dude… that was flat out awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sam Jaffe

      I understand your disappointment with the draftniks’ obsession with 40 times and wingspan. But there’s a very good reason why so much attention is placed on measurables: every player that is drafted was in some way a major playmaker at his school. But how do you judge a playmaker from LSU vs. a playmaker from Valdosta State? There has to be some sort of data that measures a player’s athletic ability beyond statistics. In addition, statistics are particularly unhelpful in football, compared to other sports. Look at Justin Smith–he barely ever tackles anyone and spends most of his time getting blocked. Yet the moment he leaves a game due to an injury, the rest of the defense falls apart. His capability to be in exactly the right place at the right time is what makes hims so important, not how many sacks he has had. So how do you measure that? And how do you measure that against five other DT’s that also don’t show up in the stat sheets? Lots of film study is your most important tool But physical measurables help too.

      The other point I think is important is that, although we talk about 40 times as if that’s all that matters, it’s actually of minimal importance. We are starting from the qualitative judgment that a player is really good, then we are trying to discuss what makes one better than another really good player. Saying, “Well his interception and return for a touchdown against Alabama is the reason why he’s a better player”, or, “Look at the way he carries himself on the field” sounds awfully subjective. However, saying “he runs a 4.37” is objective and something we can talk about. Measurables don’t equal greatness. But they represent a common point of agreement that allows for a data-driven discussion.

      Finally, a word on your example of 4.4 speed versus 4.5 speed. Football, like baseball, is a game of inches. The vast majority of incompletions are inches away from being caught. Missing a block is usually a matter of a misplacement of hands or thrust that can be measured in inches. Thus half a foot is an enormous advantage. And your comment that all a cornerback has to do is to step backwards half a foot is especially important: stepping back half a foot diminishes a cornerback’s ability to jam a receiver at the line. That is the single most effective tool a CB has in disrupting a play. By having a receiver with good speed that causes the CB to step back six inches, you have just improved your chances of successfully executing that play by somewhere between 10 and 20%. If you draft so well that you can improve every play’s success probability by 10%, then you just won yourself a Super Bowl.

    • Jim Kelly


      Both you and Sam offer valid points. I have to lean towards your assessment of front offices being scared to succeed. Rather than to step away from convention, and safety, but instead to tempt failure while reaching for greatness. Unfortunately, for the rest of the NFL, John Schneider and Pete Carroll don’t follow this “safe” philosophy.

      Lucky for us.

  24. Kip Earlywine

    If anyone’s wondering why I’m barely writing anymore, it’s because I’ve had an internet situation that started almost a week ago. My internet has been going in and out. It’s been a total nightmare. I have a tech coming by on Thursday before I go to work. Hopefully that fixes things.

    RE: Christine Michael. I cannot fathom why anyone would “guarantee” the Seahawks wouldn’t draft him. He fits the Seahawks profile to a T, and the Seahawks are obviously going to be looking for a RB in this draft after releasing Washington. Michael’s physical upside is unreal, it’s within spitting distance of AP, of course they’d consider a player like that. He’s a big risk, but if he flops Seattle already has two good RBs on the roster. I’m a big fan of Christine Michael, but even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t deny his obvious appeal to the Seahawks. I wouldn’t be shocked one bit if he was the pick at #56.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Yeah for sure Kip. He wasn’t on my radar until your post a week or two ago. After reading it, I watched his film and came away seriously impressed. Ok, so his cuts aren’t razor sharp, and he has a slight tendency to hold the ball away from his body. However, he has great vision and superb acceleration/speed. Plus, he’s a willing and capable blocker, and he never gives up on a play, regardless of whether he’s carrying the ball or not. I hold in high regard skill position players who give 100% of themselves into every single play – especially the ones where they aren’t the feature. Also, I’m not an A&M fan, so I’m not up on the internal politics of that team, or the particular off field issues of any of their players (outside widely circulated media reports). That’s my round about way of saying whatever “problems” he had that kept him from playing more minutes last season doesn’t concern me. Then again, I am one of the loudest Mathieu stumpers on SDB, so take that with a grain of salt 🙂

    • Dobbs

      Only makes sense to me if he’s going to replace Lynch within 1-2 years.

      Any thoughts on just going with Harvin as the 3rd RB?

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        No doubt Harvin will get a few snaps in that role. At the very least, we’ll probably see him line up in the backfield. Imagine play action with him as the feature back, as a receiver out of the backfield, in the read option! But I think the actual number of hand-offs/carries he gets will be low.

        Replacing Lynch should be something on PC’s mind. Probably won’t happen in 1 year; might not in 2. But Lynch runs hard, and it takes a toll on him. Bringing in a potential replacement now does several things: it takes some of the load off Lynch so his longevity doesn’t suffer (it also means Harvin can focus on WR); it gives the FO leverage in renegotiating Lynch’s contract if necessary; it provides the team with a change-of-pace to the running game; and it gives the new RB time to develop as the team’s feature back.

        For the record, I’m not advocating that Michael should be the R2 pick. It’s entirely possible he’ll be there in R3 (kind of like with RW). All I’m saying is that I like him enough that I would be pleased if he was our R2 pick.

        • Dobbs

          I know putting Harvin at RB more risks injury, but I think part of why he’s being paid is to do everything… returning, WR and RB. The more he touches the ball, the better we’ll be.

          I can see drafting for a future replacement, but if we don’t, I’m just wondering if we need to replace Leon Washington with more than Harvin given Turbin’s on the team.

    • Madmark

      We need to remember Seattle didn’t lose many games by much. We also know now RW isn’t going to be limited on anything in the playbook. Give him some more weapons and those close games become wins.
      I like to use the Giants as an example here. They had Barber, Jacobs, and then they brought in Bradshaw and started there run for superbowl. I actually think Michaels would be a great pick. We know he’ll make the team and isn’t that what you want in your draft picks.

    • oz

      Christine Michael reminds me a lot of Beast Mode. Why wouldn’t they take him at #56????

    • Jim Kelly

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Christine Michaels. I just don’t want him to replace Marshawn Lynch too soon. I just bought his wolf grey jersey. I need to get a lot of mileage out of it.

  25. HopScotch

    I have faith in this front office. They have a knack of picking players that seem unorthodox, but overtime fit what the team is looking for. I’m in no real position to judge here. They have done a good job so far.

    That being said, I am on the Swope bandwagon and I would love to have him on the Seahawks.

  26. Bobby Cink

    I remember hanging out at my girlfriends apartment eating kabobs with one of my best friends in anticipation of our pick at #15. Upon hearing Bruce Irvin’s name, it felt like I had been punched in the gut. I was bent over sucking wind because I had no idea who he was. And that was coming from a guy who correctly guessed the slot/team for 9 draft picks in the first round.

    I remember approaching a particular stoplight when I heard Wilson was drafted at 75. All I could think was “Jeez, at 5’11” pick 75 is too early to be drafting this kid.”

    Between those guys and “missing out” on Kendricks by moving down in the 2nd only to take some Bobby Wagner kid and get an extra 5th round pick, I was upset. I questioned our font office.

    “Little did he know” – Stranger than Fiction

    • Maz

      Traditional thinking in terms of football players available, would do that to you. I thought we would go C. Jones DE, R. Wilson, L. David, R. Turbin. No more need for us to worry. This team is stacked from the ground up.

  27. A. Simmons

    I get almost all my draft information from this blog or others like it. I started liking Russell Wilson after someone posted his Gruden QB camp I think on this blog. Hard not to like him once you see how he conducts himself and speaks. You felt like a leader was speaking on the television and he showed an alertness you see in few players. Eyes were always following what was in front of him picking out details. Heck, 31 other teams passed on Russell Wilson twice, mostly because of height. Maybe you’re a conservative GM-type, Rob.

    Analyzing the team, I can’t help but believe they will draft a big body DT early, either 2nd or 3rd round. They have not adequately replaced Alan Branch. We have weak depth behind Red and Mebane. They hired a DC that is a former defensive line coach and one of their other patterns seems to be acquiring players that fit a coach’s specialty. They drafted a premier LT the first year for their O-line coach to work with and they did the same when they hired Tom Cable. Seems like they would want to give Dan Quinn a high quality defensive lineman so Quinn can get that unit built as strong as possible. Our run defense was weak after the 49ers game. We were getting run on and a major reason was the play of the big body DTs.

    Pete did talk about the pass rush in the end of season press conference. He did that before we signed Avril and Bennett. He still might be focused on pass rushing defensive lineman. John and Pete seem to like the shotgun approach to building units.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what they do next week.

  28. CHawk Talker Eric

    I totally knew Rob was going to write this post. And I was right, dammit!

    But seriously, for rabid Seahawks fans like those of us who haunt this forum, it’s hard not to get caught up in all the pre-draft hype, and which players we think would be best for our team. Plus, Rob and Kip do such an excellent and thorough job of scouting and analyzing prospects, there’s no shortage of both well known and (heretofore) undiscovered prospects to fuel our collective fire. In this regard, I have to admit a sense of (well meaning) competition – wanting to bring to our group that next great unknown. Sort of a “hey, look what I found” kind of thing. But it comes from a genuinely good place, with my sincerest respect and admiration for the ultra-high bar set by Rob and Kip (and all my SDB “colleagues” who share their time and thoughts so generously), as well as my sincerest allegiance to, and appreciation for, the entire Seahawks organization – the players, coaches, trainers, executives and fans (Sea Gals too).

    I don’t know if other SDBers see me this way, but I try to steer clear of absolute statements – either in terms of who JSPC will draft, which prospect will become a superstar or in which round he will end up being taken, regardless of which team takes him. But, like everyone else here, I have my favorites and I’m not adverse to sharing my opinions. For that, I thank you again Rob for providing me with the means to do so with such a high level of analysis and discourse; thank you to Rob AND Kip for all the work both of you do in providing that analysis and starting all the discourse; and thank you to all my fellow SDB for truly excellent debate and discussion. I have learned so much from everyone here. And I’ve been able to scratch my Seahawk itch in ways I never thought possible. I am truly grateful.

    I’m sure you’ve all heard the proverbial question – would you rather be right or be happy?

    Well, I learned a long time ago that it’s best to be both. I think that’s called vindication. But short of that, it’s much better to be happy. So to hell with whether or not I was right about how last year’s draft went down; I was pretty damn happy last season. I look forward to being even happier this year. In JSPC I trust.

    Thank you, and good night.

    • Rob Staton

      Great post, and thank you Eric.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Right back at you, many times over.

    • Hawk'Soup

      I like your statement about steering clear of “absolute statements”. It is something I avoid, or attempt to as well. It makes sense to have an idea when a player may get drafted, but to define it as fact or will happen is something that makes little sense to me. Players drop, rise, etc all the time during the draft, but yet some still use absolutes. What makes the draft fun is being able to watch tape and discuss. There would be zero discussion if there were absolutes.

  29. JW

    Great post. I love this “knew it before they drafted him” trend.Pretty funny.

    My Russell Wilson arc of appreciation goes like this: after a hiatus from the sport as I delved into baseball analysis and history, so I was “new” to the draft last year. I didn’t get back into it until about a week before last years draft. RW didn’t register for me in that time. A few months later, my friend– who was/is a position coach of a prominent college program in the midwest–called me up and said “I’m going to take you to Seahawks practice. You want to see this Russell Wilson kid.”

    We watched him practice. I noticed Russell looked ok…but I’m not an expert…but my friend spent the whole time explaining why RW was better than most NFL QB right then, as a rookie in his first camp. Everything he told me about him then has come to fruition. That’s been pretty fun.

  30. John

    I still remember after the Wilson pick I asked in the live chat, if Rob questioned our front office’s ability to judge the QB position. Yikes. My reaction to Irvin was “Whhhhhaaaaaaaat” which I texted to my brother. I will say, I liked the Wagner pick. I wasn’t nearly as surprised with that pick.

  31. Erik

    One thing I can state with absolute certainty(and yes, I knew it all along) is that people will make dumb comments on blogs, especially popular blogs.

    In all seriousness, The thing that keeps me coming back to this site is the intelligent analysis. No one, not even the most seasoned NFL front office really knows what will happen in the draft and I love it when you make an argument, then publically go back and analyze why it turned out to be wrong. It gives you huge credibility and helps us all understand the draft process a little better.

    Keep up the good work.

  32. woofu


  33. Madmark

    You know what this website does for me? It gets me more in tune with the game itself. Draft picks that Seattle didn’t take that I pick go to other teams and when we play them I watch them even closer. I forgot some of the later round guys cause I wasn’t even close.
    1st Donta Hightower drafted by Patriots
    2nd David Wilson drafted by Giants
    3rd Bruce Irving drafted by us
    4th Kirk Cousins drafted by Redskins
    4th Robert Turbin drafted by us
    I can’t remember who I had after that but I’m actually glad it didn’t happen that way. One thing I have learned is I learned more about the Seahawks defense and there needs and I like to think I’ve gotten better at evaluating talent and I’m sure that whoever I pick, even if there not drafted by Seattle I’ll be watching them to see how they’ll be doing in the NFL.

  34. Ben2

    The real issue that we’re all missing here is how much Jay Cutler looks like a porn star in that photo Rob posted!

    • Madmark

      Thxs Ben2, theres always someone that see’s to the heart of the article. LOL

  35. Hawksince77


    Message received.

    See ya.

    • Rob Staton

      If you think this is about you Hawksince77 you are mistaken. Please continue visiting and contributing.

      • Ed

        You sure Rob, you guys have some heated discussions. ha ha. Kidding.

        In the words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along.” Add that to treat people how you want to be treated.

        Life can be easy, we just make it hard.

        Keep up the integrity of the blog Rob, nobody wants it to change.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I hope you stick around Hawk. Personally, I look forward to your comments/replies – I appreciate your participation, admire your passion, respect your views, pay attention to your opinions (regardless of whether I agree), and enjoy your discussions/debates – be they with me, Rob, or any of us. In fact, I was highly entertained by your recent exchanges with Rob in a “Clash of the Titans” sort of way.

      For what it’s worth, I never once took any of your comments in a didactic, abusive or offensive manner. As far as I’m concerned, you are passionate about this team. And this makes you a brother-in-arms with everyone else here. Even IF any particular comment or reply of yours could be construed in such a way (and to be clear, none rise to that level for me), your overall tone of reasoned analysis and mutual respect would mitigate that to the point where I’d simply chalk it up to something transitory, like too much coffee, not enough sleep, domestic issues, etc.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Nah, player, this post was about me. Rob don’t like me so much. I’m a c**k

  36. Sam Jaffe

    When I saw that Rob had deleted that comment, I thought “Wow, someone hasn’t had his morning coffee.” When I read this column, my initial impression was that Rob needs to grow a thicker skin and let people say silly things without taking offense. But after mulling it over, I realize that Rob is right. It’s his site and his passion. If he doesn’t want bombastic comments, he has every right to delete. If everyone stops coming because of that, I have a feeling that he’ll still be writing this blog for his own rewards. The only reason not to do that is because a readerless blog doesn’t give you a feeling of community. And in the end, that’s what this is about: a community. And Rob, being the blogger, gets to decide what kind of community he wants. If he doesn’t want know-it-all bragadiccio (which, by the way, is exactly what you get from most television commentators), then he has every right to delete. If he doesn’t want ad hominem attacks, then he’s in his right to zap them. And as a reader and participant of this blog, I have a right to leave. But I’m not leaving. Because I value this blog for the same reason that Rob does: the intelligent and thoughtful discussion of something that I and the other bloggers and commenters are passionate about.

    The second part of the post talks about the difficulty of predicting the draft, a subject I find fascinating. With each pick, there’s a certain probability that something will happen. To determine the probability of pick number 5, you have to multiply the probabilities of getting picks 1 through 4 correct. Then you have to detract from that the probability of a trade. I would suggest that the probability of getting all of the first 10 picks right is less than 1%. By the second round, you’re in the millionths of a percent. There is simply no way to predict what will happen in a draft. Even when you know a team’s proclivities, you still have to factor in 31 other teams and how their decisions will effect what choice your team has. And then you have to factor in that maybe JS and PC might do something different this year–maybe they changed their minds about what an ideal 3T or WLB should be. Or maybe they know something about a prospect that we don’t because they have access to investigative resources that we don’t. Anybody who brags about predicting a draft correctly, in my opinion, deserves no special respect: the only explanation for doing well in that game is luck. Being able to have a deep understanding of a team’s needs, philosophy, values and the prospects that fit into that make my appreciation for the draft so much greater. That’s why I spend so much time at this site and why I give so much weight to what Rob and Kip say.

    • Madmark

      I don’t want this site to become like others where you see just hateful people making comments about the person who wrote the article than what the article is about. If you disagree with the contents of article then tell us why but don’t slam the author. It should also be the same for comments section.

      • Sam Jaffe

        I agree. Yesterday I posted a question regarding Latavious Murray about whether being too tall is a detriment to being a running back. I got several thoughtful replies, including direct knowledgable answers to my question. If I had posted that question on an ESPN or NFL.com discussion board, I might have received such a response. More likely I would have gotten multiple posts saying “Latavi.. Who? Why are you not talking about Geno Smith and Honey Badger. Honey Badger Rules!!!”

      • Hawk'Soup

        Yes. There are very few places to go and talk ball without fandom and trolls getting in the way. I think we all want to discuss and participate, but it is important to keep the peace. I just hope this blog will remain a place of discussion. If someone wants to troll or bring nonsense there are plenty of other places to do that (B*******R*****, ESPN, NFL, ETC)

  37. Glor

    Hey Rob, personally I still have an issue with this KC game, and the whole preseason in general. I get that we have found a good one in RW, and I predicted that TJ was a goner when that happened. However I didn’t in my wildest dreams think RW would be starting over MF. I mean yes at the time, we were under the impression that KC was a good team, in retrospect, not so much. Do we really think MF would have done poorly against KC? I don’t. It’s a shame he is going to a truely terrible Raiders team, and it will be that much more difficult to determine if the guy does indeed have the chops to get it done in the regular season. I still feel with MF a the helm, we would have won a couple more games in the early season than we did with RW.

    I will also say that I wasn’t up to date enough on the draft last year to know about Bruce Irvin (I really only knew about the guys you were hoping we would be picking with that 1st round pick). However I will say this. I think the jury is still seriously out on the BI pick, yes I get that he has 8 sacks, but he just didn’t look that great to me, I mean I feel that a lot of different players in that same spot and situation could have produced the same, if not better results. Now given, I’m essentially comparing him to Clem on the other side, so hopefully he will continue to improve.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts, no revisionist history here 🙂

    • Madmark

      What I saw in preseason with RW was that leadership in the huddle and how the team gravitated and stepped up there play. It was like all of a sudden Golden Tate became inspired to do better.
      The first thing I thought of reading your comment Glor was the movie the Jerk with Steve Martin. The advice they gave him when he left to go out into the world. The world loves a working man and RW showed his team he was all of that. I’ll state the other just for fun thou they have nothing to do with football. The 2nd was don’t trust whittie and If you catch something, see a doctor to get rid of it.

      • Glor

        I disagree that the team stepped up their play (I mean we are talking about preseason here), so the players were pretty much totally different between the series. RW was playing with the twos and threes in the 1st two games, and flynn didn’t play game 3 at all. Also, Flynn was being forced to test stonehands TO out during his few series that greatly impacted his perceived performance. I think most people agree that it was the Bears game that really elevated RW in the eyes of the team (maybe the lions game).

        but anyway, it’s all water under the bridge, and i’m sure happy we have RW at the helm now!

    • A. Simmons

      If Matt Flynn is worthy of being a starting QB, he’ll make it in Oakland. The whole talent around the QB thing is an argument that doesn’t hold much water. The guys that deserve to start show their ability no matter the talent around them. A good GM will see it.

  38. Leonard

    This post and the attitude and level of discourse in general is why I love this blog Rob. The information and analysis is second to none and the comment section seems to be almost entirely devoid of teenagers more interested pushing peoples buttons than talking football. Thanks to you and Kip.

    • Kenny Sloth

      I’m turning 18 in 30 days ahhaha. So, technically, the comment section is riddled with comments from teenagers.

      • Leonard

        I should have said people who act like teenagers more interested in pushing people’s buttons. It’s a pleasure reading a passionate yet respectful comment section. There are far too many 40 year old teenagers elsewhere.

  39. Turp

    Never change, Rob! This is my favorite sports site on the interwebs. The quality of the content you post here is nothing short of amazing considering you write something every day (twice a day when Kip chips in). I hope everyone buys their Hawks gear through here to keep this site alive.

    It’s going to be a crazy, Seahawky draft. After last year, I really have no expectations…and I like that.

  40. Shawn

    I am a daily reader of the blog. Great job guys. I’ve never commented before but want to say thanks to Kip for his great writing after the draft about Russell Wilson. I was excited when we drafted him as it was such a surprise and seeing what PCJS had done before I was really intrigued. Kips writing prompted me to watch all the film available which made the process of going to training camp rooting for this amazing kid, watching him develope daily and becoming an early believer so rewarding. Not to mention seeing this journey come to fruition at the end of the year and especially in the ATL game.. My point is the 2012 season would not have been as enjoyable for me if not for Kips early insight. Thanks guys!!! Well done!

  41. Dregur

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I think the information that you have been right on outweighs the “wrong”. Granted, draft position might have been different (and good lord that is a guessing game anyway), but when the Seahawks did draft Irvin, Wagner, Turbin, Toomer, and Lane, I wasn’t surprised, and I already knew who they were. The rest of my office mates were looking around going “Who?”, while I had to keep telling them all the information shared on this site and why these were great picks for the Seahawks.

  42. CHawk Talker Eric

    On a totally unrelated topic, some truly nasty, disturbing shit went down in the last couple of days that make the passing of Pat Summerall somewhat trivial.

    But this is a football blog, so I wish to say goodbye to someone who was a credit to his profession and the sport. Thanks for the memories. You will be missed.

    • Rob Staton

      Well said.

  43. David

    Hey Rob, i noticed you’re not using your source, that you were using last year? we gonna get anything? (not saying you’re not doing a good job as it is) I’ve been reading off an on so if you stated something before about this i apologize. Just curious because i always found that stuff he was saying was a good read and thought provoker.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve decided not to write any source based material any more. I’ve written a more detailed reasoning in an earlier comment if you scroll up.

  44. Jim Kelly

    I wasn’t on the Russell Wilson band wagon until after Pete Carroll promoted him to starter. I was a supporter prior to that, but I’ve gotten to the point that I just want the Seahawks to win. Not like the stealers, but to remain true to the team that I fell in love with in the ’70’s.

    As a kid I’d watch every game. I’d sit in front of the tv all weekend. I remember Bernie Kosar leading the most incredible comeback, only to see Doug Flutie top him. I was knowledgeable about college football. That is no longer the case. I grew up a Husky, received a scholarship to WSU, and only watch their games. I might watch another with a friend or family member, but that’s it. I can’t tell you about many players.

    Because of Rob, and later Kip, I was excited when the Hawks drafted Russell Okung, Jamerson Konz, James Carpenter, Kris Durham, John Moffitt, Bobby Wagner, and Robert Turbin. I’d watched Korey Toomer at U of I, so I was excited about him, too. That’s it. I’d seen enough success from the Hawks’ front office to trust that they knew how to draft.

    (I was excited for Carpenter because he wasn’t Gabe Carmini, whom I didn’t even consider the best lineman available from Wisconsin. That would’ve been Moffitt.)

    When I first saw Wilson’s stats, I wanted this guy. Really, really bad. Then I saw his height. He’s an inch taller than me. I’ve had success in international sports, but not in the NFL. I’ve seen a five foot guy become a grand master in sumo, but he couldn’t maintain that status. I wanted Wilson to succeed, but I started pulling for the Hawks to draft Kirk Cousins. Cousins appeared to have the best comparisons to Wilson, without the height disadvantage. The Seahawks had missed out on Colin Kaepernick in ’11, so I hoped that PC and John Schneider could get the best qb. I decided to do what I’ve done for years, blow my brains out, and hope for the best. Sitting back and letting the front office do what they do best is hard at the best of times, but in the third year of a rebuild it’s downright sociopathic.

    When Bruce Irvin was chosen at 15, I went, “What happened to 12!” Then I went, “Who?” I checked out his position, and became relaxed. Seeing the “war room” upset, then Wagner coming to Seattle, I was disappointed in not getting Michael Kendricks, but happy with Wagner.

    At Wilson’s pick I was torn: I was excited to put my faith in the front office, but I was so nervous, it looked like I was doing the “pee” dance. I went back over his stats, and tried to convince myself that I was just being bigoted, prejudiced, and down right short sighted in my trepidation.

    When Carroll said Wilson would compete for the starting job, I began to relax. After the OTA’s and mini-camps, I thought that Matt Flynn would start, and he’d take over in mid-season. My reasoning was that Flynn wouldn’t lose games, but Russell would win games. Flynn seemed like the ultimate game manager, where Wilson seemed as if he could put a team on his shoulders and carry them to a championship. In coach speak, Flynn had a higher floor, but a lower ceiling.

    A friend asked me in June who’d be the Seahawks starting qb. I told him it would be Flynn, with Wilson taking over before the season ended. He asked me whom Wilson was. I told him he was a qb from Wisconsin, and before I could start with stats, he interrupted me by asking if he was the QB against the Ducks in the Rose Bowl. I told him yes. He was adamant that Wilson would be the opening game starter. I told him how tall he was, and he didn’t care. He based his entire opinion upon how he saw him play against a good defense. Joe is the ONLY person (other than Kip) that I know that predicted Wilson’s success. Just like everyone else, I knew that he could be special, but only after the season started.

    Whenever I write “Wilson”, I think of “Cast Away”. I always imagine the rest of the NFL desperately reaching for RW, and crying his name. Did someone else already post this, and I’m just stealing it from them? If so, you’ve ruined me. I will always think of how the rest of the NFL screwed it up.

  45. Geoff

    A few years ago I remember throwing out Bruce Irvin’s name on here as someone to consider, based simply on the lack of pass rushers of the draft and his combine numbers (eerily similar to Von Miller). He seemed like the only real pass rusher, which is what Carroll said they wanted.

    But to now say I projected it and knew as fact we’d take him (especially in the 1st) would be nothing but after-the-fact chest thumping. I hadn’t even watched tape of the guy until after the draft.

    Now let me tell you how many other picks in the draft I got right: 0. Which is my average for just about every year.

    We fans are like Nostradamus followers, we latch onto that one little stretch of a hit like we’re hero’s and something truly magical happened and forget the countless misses. Any number of things can happen during draft day and unless you’re picking first, every selection is predicated on what happens before you. It’s all a reactionary beautiful chaotic mess. But, with so many people out there making guesses, I can’t wait for a whole new year of chest thumpers who took mindless stabs in the dark and somehow hit something. Congrats.

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