Wednesday notes: Free agency and Malik Jefferson

— If the Seahawks are making sweeping changes to the roster, they’re not going to be able fill every hole in the draft. Some of the solutions are going to have to come in free agency. There’s a precedent for short term deals at relative value and that could be the target again. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee thinks two free agents in San Francisco could land in Seattle:

“You’ve got to wonder for both guys whether the NFC West team to the north of us, the Seattle Seahawks could be the landing place. Kam Chancellor probably is not going to play again up there. Eric Reid obviously plays that exact spot. He’s still young too, he’s 26 years old, just turned 26 this past month. The other part with the Seahawks is that they desperately need a running game. That’s been a big missing element ever since Marshawn Lynch left Seattle. So they’ve seen Carlos Hyde. Carlos Hyde went over 100 yards this season once. Guess what team it was against? The Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 I think it was. Both of those guys seem to fit big needs up in Seattle.”

The article also touches on the market for both players and why they could provide some value. A loaded running back class in the draft is unlikely to do much for Carlos Hyde’s bargaining leverage. The running back position has also experienced a financial squeeze. The highest earners are on out of date contracts (LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Stewart, Doug Martin, Chris Ivory) or they recently entered the league as high picks (Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette). Nobody is earning more than $8.25m a year although this will change when Le’Veon Bell has a new deal.

Devonta Freeman is currently the highest paid back in the league, unsurprising given his production in Atlanta. LeSean McCoy and Jonathan Stewart are #2 and #3 — both players are coming to the end of their contracts. The Dolphins practically gave Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. The position isn’t getting much love at the moment.

Hyde is a physical runner with good size and attitude. He’s 28 in 2018 though and hasn’t had a 1000 yard or 16-game season in his career. His stock might be limited to a short term, one or two year contract at a modest price. That could interest the Seahawks, particularly as a hedge for the draft.

Eric Reid, apparently, isn’t guaranteed to start in San Francisco because they prefer Jaquiski Tartt. He’s also turned into one of the faces of the protest movement in the NFL. The league might be disinterested due to his recent activism but we know the Seahawks haven’t been bothered by that. Reid is only 26-years-old and doesn’t turn 27 until December. He’s at a good age and if his price is reduced, could be a candidate to come in on a one or two year prove-it deal to replace Kam Chancellor.

When we’ve talked about Derwin James, we’ve compared him to Eric Reid. Here’s Reid’s combine workout in 2013:

Height: 6-1
Weight: 213lbs
Arm length: 33 5/8 inches
Hands: 10 inches
Forty: 4.53
Vertical: 40 inches
Broad: 11-2
Short shuttle: 4.22
3-cone: 6.99

That’s an exceptional athletic profile. James will do well to match that. If the Seahawks want a big, athletic strong safety to replace Kam, Reid could be an option.

— What else might they do in free agency? Any move for Andrew Norwell feels like a pipe dream. Dave Gettleman reportedly is determined to re-sign his former UDFA signing and will pretty much write a blank cheque. If it’s not the Giants, the 49ers, Colts, Jets, Buccs, Texans and Vikings all have more than $50m to spend in free agency. The Niners have $114m currently. This one is a long shot.

— A more likely scenario is to keep seeking value on short term deals. Minimal commitment with the chance to extend in the future. It didn’t work out for Eddie Lacy or Luke Joeckel but it did for Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Bradley McDougald. If Seattle loses Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson they’re going to need some touchdown makers in the passing game. The strong group of free agent receivers could dilute the market. A year ago Alshon Jeffrey and Terrelle Pryor both had to sign one-year prove-it deals. The Seahawks could seek a similar opportunity with one of the big names available — Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Marqise Lee and Pryor. They could look for a similar short-term option at tight end, possibly with Austin Seferian-Jenkins or often-injured Tyler Eifert.

— One prospect we haven’t really discussed so far is Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson. I spent a bit of time watching him this week. If you want a name that might really shoot up the board after the combine, Jefferson is one to watch.

For starters, he might have the most impressive workout in Indianapolis. At the SPARQ combine he ran a 4.39 at 6-2 and 215lbs. He also managed a 4.12 short shuttle and a 40-inch vertical. His 145.65 SPARQ score is elite and the highest of any player who tested and declared for the draft. He’s now 240lbs and that might impact how fast he runs — but if he’s in the 4.4’s or 4.5’s and nails the short shuttle and the jumps he’ll make headlines.

We’re talking about a comparable athlete to Bobby Wagner here.

Wagner went in round two and currently that’s where I’d expect Jefferson to go but he has massive potential. On tape you see a player who looks better the more you watch. He’s not a majorly impactful prospect, producing splash plays, sacks and interceptions. He didn’t manage a single pick in his college career. The work he does around the LOS, however, is mightily impressive.

That tweet more or less sums him up. He’s a solid force with the range, strength and explosive athleticism to do the little things right. He’ll fill a gap in the running game, he’ll sprint to the outside to make an important tackle and he hits with a thump.

He’s subtly impactful and you have to watch very carefully to realise how good he can be. Take this play for example. Watch how he competes with the offensive line to get through the traffic, then deliver one big jolt to the chest of the offensive tackle to disengage and make the play:

Range? Really good:

How committed is he? Look at this block on special teams:

His combination of power, explosive physicality, speed and ability to compete at the LOS and hit people is really intriguing.

There are some flaws too.

When Jefferson is asked to drop into coverage you see stiffness working in space. He plays with tight hips and sometimes changing direction is tricky. It’s not the biggest surprise considering he’s now 240lbs — but he’s far better working at the LOS than he is in coverage.

He also has some moments where he switches off, for example:

On this play he’s too eager, committing to the runner on the read option and gifting the QB the look he wants. If he holds his position the play breaks down. Texas has the RB covered out wide and the middle is clogged up too. It’s a little mistake and only led to a reasonable gain but it indicates he might need to learn how to let a play develop sometimes rather than sticking his helmet in there.

When he gets it right though, this is what happens:

He had 10 TFL’s in 2017 and 18.5 in the last two seasons. If he gets a crease and can play in attack mode, you see moments like this.

The Seahawks still need to add some young depth and quality at the linebacker position. Jefferson might be too suited to the MIKE or WILL to seriously consider, especially in round two. He’s not a SAM/LEO. Yet he has the incredible upside, physicality, attitude and leadership qualities this team might be looking to add as they reshape the defense.

And they’re going to give Ken Norton Jr someone to work with for sure.

Having two players with Wagner’s size/athletic traits wouldn’t be a bad thing.

— Tony Pauline noted during the Senior Bowl that the Seahawks were taking a shine to Austin Corbett. Today, Pauline again connected Seattle to the Nevada offensive linemen:

Austin Corbett of Nevada had a dominant week in Mobile, and his versatility has pushed him into the second day of the draft. As we reported, Corbett dominated just about everybody at center, guard and right tackle. Depending on what they do in free agency, the Seattle Seahawks are one of the teams that could target Corbett in the second round.

It’d be a curious move, considering they currently don’t have a second rounder. I haven’t studied Corbett enough to judge his play. I’ve only watched one game against Notre Dame from 2016. There are a lot of potentially appealing second round interior linemen — including the likes of Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez and Frank Ragnow. We’ll see how this plays out. Pauline has an exceptional track record in pairing the Seahawks with linemen.

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  1. Nick

    i wonder if Pauline’s tip illustrates that Seattle has said (or is committed to) moving back in order to get more Day 2 picks. Hardly a huge surprise, but still, this bit of information may be a signal that they are either 1) trading back and/or 2) trading someone for a 2nd rounder.

    • C-Dog

      Sure seems like it does.

  2. Kenny Sloth

    Gotta mention DeShon Elliot again.

    I think he is a comparablr prospect to Derwin James and was another leader on that Texas team that desperately needed heart over the yearz

  3. HawkFan907

    I’ve been thinking about a couple of plausible trade scenarios to recoup some quality picks. Here are a couple that I think may happen:

    Seattle trades 18 and 116 to Buffalo for 21, 95, and 149. Buffalo jumps in front of Dallas and Detroit to take the best DT (Hurst or Settle) available.

    Seattle trades 21 and 132 to Cleveland for 33 and 63. Cleveland goes with Fitzpatrick who isn’t as athletic as people realize, but who will fit into their defense.

    This leaves Seattle with the following picks:

    33 – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
    63 – Rashaad Penny, RB, SDST
    95 – Kyzir White, S, West Virginia
    139 – Fred Warner, LB, BYU
    149 – Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford

    I think we try and target D Line help in FA.

    • Nick

      I think you’re right with D line. We’re already really young in that position group (especially DT).

      • HawkFan907

        It’s just what we have done in the past. Bennett, Avril, Richardson etc. Maybe we have a hard time identifying talent at that position so we go and grab some proven guys to step in.

    • Trevor

      I like all 5 picks as they fill areas of need with guys who fit the Hawks profiles. The ranges seem about right to me as well.

    • Jusjamn

      Where’s Walsh’s replacement?

      • Hawktalker#1


    • Bill

      Like your picks, although I can see the Hawks telling the new offensive line coach to work with what is already there considering all the high draft picks and free agents invested in the OL already.

      Hard not to notice Penny’s production and his Senior Bowl tape.

      I will have to take a look at Kyzir White.

      I highlighted Fred Warner a couple of days ago as a good mid round pick for LB depth, unfortunately there is starting to be some buzz about him.

      • JimQ

        Just saw this about Penney; I know it’s from PFF, but this info. may be shocking to those who think that Penny isn’t a real power runner. His subtle moves and quickness must be doing something for him.

        Rashaad Penny 2017 tied for most missed tackles among FBS running backs with 86, Per PFF
        “”SDSU RB Rashaad Penny was a missed tackle forcing machine in 2017.””
        Reference: scroll down at:

  4. Nick

    Rob et al, what do you think of John Kelly the Tennessee RB?

    • Nick

      He’s definitely an exciting prospect in this draft. Runs like a Seahawks RB. Aggressive, physical, and amazing elusiveness.

      • Nick

        I may have a new draft crush.

        • Hawktalker#1

          Although I like him, he seems like a smaller quicker version of Rawls. Feels like he might break down like many of our smaller backs have.

          • Tecmo Bowl

            Big fan of Kelly! He does run like Rawls, but with way more patience, better vision and hands.

            • CD

              But does he jump up and get into everyone face after a 2 yard run? That would be Rawls like

      • Ben

        He looks like AP, albeit not near that fast. Which takes away from the AP comparison a lot, but looks similarly high cut cut, has a shifty juke move, good balance, and a really aggressive upper-body.

        It’ll be curious to see what his 40 splits and explosion tests are like, especially if he adds weight. A long of 38 for the year isn’t great and it seemed like he got caught from behind a lot, but he looks fast doing it. Plus he looks natural catching the ball so would have 3rd down potential.

        I’d be happy with seeing lightening strikes twice after Kamara declared early too.

  5. Dale

    Rob, the RB vs O-line debate has gone on for a long time. You have made a case for Ronald Jones III and Isaiah Wynn. If Ronald Jones III was available at #18 you’d jump on it. If he’s not there, since it’s a deep draft for RB’s and interior offensive linemen you’d trade down. Does that reflect your current view?

    • Rob Staton

      Not necessarily. I don’t have the intel the team does — so if they are fairly reassured he’ll be there in the 20’s I’d be open to moving down. I also want to see how the combine goes before I make any definite statements on what I would or wouldn’t do. I think the only thing I’d say with any confidence is I think they’ll address the running game as an absolute cast iron priority.

      • Dale

        Let me be more blunt. Which do you think is more important to acquire, a featured RB or a quality LG?

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think it comes down to that. I’m not trying to dodge the question, it’s just to me it limits the conversation. You get pigeon holed into one prospect vs another or one position vs another. Whatever improves the run game the most. There are G’s and RB’s that can help achieve that in this class.

          • Dale

            Thanks Rob, I appreciate your answer. I absolutely agree that they believe their highest priority is to address the run game. If Pete believes any RB can “tilt the field” I think that’s where they’ll go.
            However, under PC/JS a lineman (incl Irvin as a leo) has been their first choice six out of eight drafts so that’s always a reasonable bet.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        Seattle appears to be very good at estimating when players will come off the draft board.
        I would say it is almost uncanny.

  6. Patrick Toler

    Either Blount or Hyde as a hedge makes perfect sense. I tend to think Reid is going to be a bit expensive, though if Earl or Sherman do get moved, we would have a little more room to play in FA. If we are going to pay for free agents, I’d like us to pay for offense. We have such a good track record of getting good production out of low investment defensive acquisitions, both in FA and the draft, especially at DL and DB.

    • Rob Staton

      Being a big part of the protests could hurt Reid. I wonder if he’ll take a short-term one or two year deal. He’s young enough. Boost his stock in a good situation and hit the market again.

      • Dale

        From “Harbaugh knew the 49ers were scouting a high-character performer and a talented one who left his mark on LSU. “Everybody loved him down there,” Harbaugh said of his new safety. ”

        From Mike Shanahan, “Yeah, I definitely would like him in it,” Shanahan said, according to the team’s official website (via 247Sports). “Like I’ve said throughout, all of our free agents and stuff, there’s a business aspect to that. We do have some depth there, but Eric Reid is a very good player and I like how he handles himself. I really respect the person.”

        He’s been a pro-bowler. If he’s affordable I think he’d be slam-dunk.

      • Trevor

        Have to think it will a little and that he would appreciate the Hawks ownership and culture. I have always liked Reid. He plays physical and is a good athlete. I think he would flourish under Pete.

        I would be perfectly comfortable with a Safety unit of Reid and Mcdouglad starting with Hill and Thompson backups.

    • Patrick Toler

      That’s a good point and if it comes to fruition he could be a great pickup. Could take his game to another level under Pete’s tutelage. If they don’t think the young safeties are ready to make an impact.
      I wonder if Bennett’s activism will limit his potential trade market.

  7. Trevor

    The Steelers seem reluctant to pay Laveon Bell.

    How about Earl straight up for Bell?

    Or if you want to play fantasy GM Earl and Bennett for Bell and Martavius Bryant.

    • Jusjamn

      Bell wouldn’t do well behind our O line.

    • Patrick Toler

      Bell is a player I would be terrified to pay. Lots of carries on those legs.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      Bell will command the same or more money than ET….

    • Hawk Eye

      Steelers are over the cap BEFORE they pay Bell
      No room, plus that would be a bad trade fr the Hawks.
      Bell is great, but he would be a big salary and soon to decline

  8. SoCal12

    I’ve been wondering lately how many free agents can we realistically expect to sign with our upcoming cap space. According to OverTheCap we have like 14.5mill right now. It seems like we have enough to make just one big-ish splash signing or a couple of cheap prove-it types barring some type of big roster move. There’s also re-signings to consider as well. I don’t think there’s a way we retain all three of Sheldon, P-Rich, and Bradley without cutting some contracts loose, and if we do we re-sign them we probably won’t have enough to sign any big FA’s.

    It’s a tricky situation cause while I’d like to fill our holes with guys like Eric Reid, Andrew Norwell and Allen Robinson it seems like we might only have enough change to just pick one if we’re lucky. Honestly, I’m thinking the office just picks up some budget guys this offseason with some upside like DJ Fluker or ASJ and re-signs a couple of dudes like McDougald while reloading the rest with the draft. Seems like the most practical thing to do at the moment.

    • Trevor

      Reid, Fluker, Trey Burton and Mcdougald would work for me. The Hawks will have an additional 12 mil from Avril and Lane being let go.

    • sdcoug

      Be nice if we didn’t have Kam’s mammoth extension on the books

    • GoHawksDaniel

      Let’s say 14,5M. We need 5-6 mil for the draft and other stuff.
      We need to sign Coleman, McDougald and maybe Mike Davis, Shead (?), Maxwell (?), Garvin (?), Davis or other backup QB, Dion Jordan and some other RFA/ERFA guys too. They won’t get much, but there are a lot of FA we should re-sign (even if they only cost like 600-700K). I think only re-signing our key players and some cheap depth guys will cost around 20m
      If we can cut/retire Avril and get rid of Lane, we would have like +13,5M I think. So after we re-sign our basic FA players (no SRichardson, PRich, Graham, etc), and Avril and Lane are off the books, we’ll likely have like 3-4m.
      If we can trade Bennett, get rid of McEvoy, we would have like 6m.
      In order to make any “bigger” FA acquisition, we need to trade/cut Sherman and/or trade Earl.
      Sherman thing could free up like 11m if I know correctly, ETIII trade could free up 8,5m.
      If the team wants a shinier OG (Norwell/Pugh), or OT (Soldier, Hubbard) or S (like Reid or Joyner, Boston) or CB (Robinson, Johnson, Butler), they’ll need to get rid of one or both of these legends for our secondary.
      It could be a genius move, but it’s also risky. If we won’t move any of our key pieces (apart from Avril), I think you can only count on getting a couple of “1 year prove it” contracts (and even those will be in the cheap 1-3m range), or 1-2 low-mid range guys (3-4m).
      But I think a sort of re-building will come because we need CAP space and draft capital so Bennett, Sherman and maybe Earl will go…it will probably depend on what can we get from them (I think they’d “happy” to ship Shermie for a 3rd round pick, Bennett for a 3-4th round and ET for like a 2nd, 3rd and 6th)

  9. Icb12

    I think I’d rather take a look at Eric’s brother Justin in the draft as opposed to signing Eric himself.

  10. Coleslaw
    Watch the first 2 minutes of that video and you’ll understand why Ronald Jones II at 18 might actually be an easy choice for PCJS. Carson ran well behind our line, He’s gonna get a shot to be our Mark Ingram, and we should add another 1st/2nd down back somehow as well. Jones II is a legit first round weapon, similar to Kamara how they both never take the big hit, or even normal hits, they take baby hits every snap and bounce off of people purely off intangibles. Just as fast as Prosise, more polished runner, better ball player, not as good of a receiver, and not a great blocker, but neither is Kamara. You can see in that video how much the saints really made Alvin a focal point of their offense, he was extremely effective, but not a pounder. Ronald Jones could fit that role for us very well, and the good thing with Jones II is that we dont need him to start right away, there are plenty of options for us, however he would one day add weight and really be a Jamaal Charles clone as Rob has mentioned.
    He’s my favorite player in the draft though so I might be biased lol

  11. Hawk Eye

    Just a few guesses. And prepared to be wrong. very, very wrong.
    Count me in the camp that says the Hawks don’t sign any premium free agents in order to preserve their comp pics. They may sign one if they have too many free agents leave and they can cancel each other out and still get their picks.
    If they trade Earl, I think they keep Sherm. If the lose Sheldon, I think they keep Bennett. I think if they believe Malik can play, they let Sheldon walk rather than overpay, but they would sign him to a 1 year or reasonable deal. I have no idea if they keep Earl, can make the case either way, really depends what he wants and what some team will offer them, and their vision for the next 3-4 years.

    I do think they want to reload the defense with young talent and plan to do it over the next 2 drafts.
    Between Bennett, Sherm and KJ, pretty sure they keep at least one until 2020. I can see KJ aging well, and I think Sherm has 2 or 3 more good years at corner and he could switch to safety after.
    I don’t see them signing Reid. I believe they will let Hill take the job. Gotta play the kids.

    I don’t think they make any splash o line signings, maybe a couple vets like Aboushi. I am curious to see what Solari does with the line. Make that excited.

    first 3 draft picks, in no order, rb, edge and LB. But also prepared for a JS surprise on draft day.

    I think 2018 depends on the offense. I don’t expect the defense to be top 5 next year, but something at 10-15 with a pass rush and a good offense can still win it all.

    • C-Dog

      I don’t think they will make many, if any splash signings.

      I can see them make a number of smaller prove it deals on younger free agents who maybe haven’t put it all together, but still have some upside, a la Dion Jordan, Alan Branch, BMW, etc.

      I think there could be a big effort in trying to get this team younger, and I see free agency a part of it, but they won’t get tied to big contracts, and if some of these guys don’t make the final 53, they keep comp picks. Kind of a leave no stone unturned like in 2010.

      • UKAlex6674

        Alan Branch? Wasn’t he drafted in 2007?

        • j

          We signed him on a prove it deal (like Jordan) some time ago and it worked out pretty well.

  12. Aaron

    Luke Willson breaking down 2nd down and goal from the 1…

    Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) Tweeted:
    Seattle Seahawks tight end @LWillson_82 broke down Malcolm Butler’s game winning interception from Super Bowl 49 on today’s @eveningyak @BarstoolRadio

    Who shattered their hand?

    • Sea Mode

      Good stuff from Luke there. No idea who broke his hand.

      Despite playcall, personnel, throw and whatever else might not have been perfect, it’s still incredibly hard to look at this freeze frame and believe it wouldn’t be a TD…

      Never noticed before either how both the scoreboard and the game clock might have been trying to tell us something… 🙁

      • Hawk Eye

        yes, just saw it. Painful to re-watch that play.
        Really curious about who broke their hand and if there are really guys in the room that cannot just move on from that call and are still on the team. 53 guys in the locker room, would not be surprised if a few cannot get over it.

        • Logan Lynch

          To be honest, I’m just a fan and I still can’t get over that play. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a player in that situation.

          I actually liked the pass call, but not the slant route especially considering the personnel.

          • Kenny Sloth

            .Come on Bev! A pick route on the goal line to Ricardo Lockette?!?!?

            Come ooonnnn maaaaannnnn

            Ive always said dude could design a helluva play, but he needed to put his foot down there and not let Pete call that shit

            • Del tre

              Lockette wasnt the problem, it was expecting Kearse to be able to push Browner back. If kearse would have just tripped then the game was over the hawks win. Oh well it wasnt meant to be.

      • pran

        I think its Kam and ended up holding out few weeks for a new contract!

        • Hawk Eye

          no. Kam does not have anger issues. He plays with a very controlled violence, but based on his leadership and respect he gets, no way he is the one who broke his hand.

          • Rob Staton

            My guess would be Kevin Williams.

            Waited so long for a ring, that was his chance. So close.

          • pran

            Its not about anger….its the LOB’s passion playing despite injuries in playoffs that season. Its the championship defense that felt offense gave away the ring too casually.

            • Rob Staton

              It was also the Championship defense that coughed up a 10-point fourth quarter lead…

              • Hawk Eye

                win as a team, lose as a team

              • Gohawks5151

                I have such a hard time when people say that. Its true but come on. Avril, Kam, Sherm, Thomas and Lane all hurt in the game. Crazy unlucky. Despite, we were still in control of our own destiny and choked.

                • Rob Staton

                  No doubt. Injuries played a big part.

                  But there’s plenty of blame to go around. Seattle fans will apportion blame for that game for the rest of eternity. Personally, I’d rather just move on. We didn’t lose because of ‘one’ play. We won a game two weeks before with a miraculous comeback. These things happen in sport. I wish we could just crack on and look forwards. Fans, team, coaches. Everyone.

                  • Gohawks5151

                    Agree. Winning cures all. Haha

  13. Tecmo Bowl

    Jefferson is a very intriguing athlete-height/weight/speed/strength are ideal. He often lacks awareness and play recognition-looks clueless at times. Kinda reminds me of KPL that way, although is MJ is a way better tackler. It could be he just needs to play in the same scheme for awhile-played in 2 different schemes at Texas. Like Rob said when he reads a play it’s game over for the offense-great closing speed with good pop. Like him, but not overly excited with where we’d have to draft him-2nd round. Would way rather have Darrius Leonard myself.

    Watched some 2016 Azeem Victor tape the other day, he’s being over looked. Before Victor’s broken leg he was primed to go in the 2nd round-per Tony Pauline. After a very disappointing 2017 his stock has plummeted. If he could regain his pre-injury form you’re looking at a big time day 3 bargain.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      I like the Victor draft day diamond in the rough ….. someone to keep a watch on as the draft process proceeds after the SB.

      • C-Dog


  14. Sea Mode

    I was just starting to go through the list of LBs in the last couple days. I know it seems kind of useless until we know their short shuttle times, but this year I’m trying to at least watch a couple games of each guy before the combine instead of just zoning in on those who test well at the combine.

    Obviously, for Malik Jefferson we know the shuttle is likely to be elite. I’m just worried about spending one of our (atm non-existent) R2-R3 picks on a guy that might kind of be redundant to Bobby Wagner. I also wrote in my notes that I thought his arms looked a bit on the short side. Ultimately, I think his limitations in coverage and the fact that he’s not an edge guy will probably make Seattle look elsewhere in spite of his elite athleticism and physical play. If he somehow falls into R4, then you definitely take a look just for sheer value.

    Speaking of elite athleticism…

    There are few things that turn me off as much as trying to watch film of a LB who doesn’t like to tackle. I mean, come on, that’s literally your job! Enter Ohio St. LB Jerome Baker. Look, I could be wrong about this, because he has the tackles on the stats sheet and maybe his assignment in the games I watched (vs. Penn St, USC) was just to walk around in the middle and spy the QB. But he seems to want no part in either using his speed (which he does have and occasionally makes a penetrating splash play when left unblocked) to chase ball carriers to the sidelines or getting in on any gang tackle. Also looked lost in zone coverage to my untrained eye and can’t get off blocks at all. Anyway, hard pass from me unless someone can show me otherwise.

    Lastly for now, one that did stand out as possibly a role player to look at in R7/UDFA would be South Carolina’s Skai Moore. His standout trait are his instincts and awareness in zone coverage. He is able to read the situation at a glance and get himself in the right position to make a play. And he has 14 career INTs to show for it. Playing the run, he shows great effort all the way to the whistle, has good athleticism, works hard to fight off blocks, and tackles well. He will be a late option because he missed all of the 2016 season and had back surgery, plus he will turn 24 in September. Maybe useful as a low cost backup and specialty player for 3rd and long situations to help get us off the field?

    • Nick

      Great analysis, Sea Mode. Appreciate your hard work.

    • Bill

      Seahawks seem to like the value of under the radar players who have missed time due to injuries or other reasons. If Skai Moore stays at 205lbs would probably be more of a Safety or a passing down LB.

      Good research.

  15. CharlieTheUnicorn

    “Pauline has an exceptional track record in pairing the Seahawks with linemen.”

    This is true, under the Tom Cable regime of OL picks.

    I’m not sure this is the case now… we have no idea what they are looking for….. I’m sure they will kick the tires on about every OL prospect in the world. You can never be too prepared to pounce on a value pick, if one falls into your lap in round 3… when you grade them as a late 1st or 2nd round pick.

    I guess this guy that you mentioned would give them another multiple spot guy…. but I think if they go OL early… find a guy who plays the specific position really well… Hernandez comes to mind… just mash people, if that is what you want to do with the OG.

    • Rob Staton

      In fairness to Tony, I don’t think he was just good at guessing who Cable liked. He has sources — and they’ve proven to be spot on regarding the Seahawks.

      • C-Dog


        Corbett could very well be a Solari guy, but Pauline’s source stays the same.

  16. Michigan 12th

    Thanks Rob for all your effort to this site. Just a little while ago I remember a lot of us here were talking about this not being a good draft class, but now you have me and probably many others really excited about what we are going to do. Especially because you keep highlighting so many good football players and this year we have more needs than we have in recent past. All my friends literally ask me how I know who all these players are when their teams draft them. I tell them you, but know one back here wants to read a Seahawks draft blog, no matter how many times I tell them you do the best job just breaking down the players. Anyways thanks Rob for the consistently good stuff.

    • Rob Staton

      Hey man that means a lot. I appreciate this community so much, all of the people who read. I get such a kick out of writing this thing so knowing there are people who enjoy it too, means everything. Thank you.

  17. Michigan 12th

    I just have a sneaky feeling that the Seahawks will end up trading back, taking Corbett and leaving the draft with a running back that is completely off our radar. I could be wrong and see why you guys like Rojo so much, as well as the others that have been talked at lengths on here, but it just seems like they will keep on going for value over exception.

  18. Logan Lynch

    Seahawks philosophical thoughts running through my head this morning…bear with me.

    Before last year, SEA generally didn’t draft DB’s before round 5. Earl was an obvious outlier. Thurmond was also drafted in 2010 in the 4th round before any draft trends for PCJS were established. Now, we have a better idea of what they’re looking for.

    Last year, they drafted Shaq in the 3rd round, the earliest they had picked a corner to date. He had a very good rookie season. That being said, the 2017 draft was deep with CB. SEA traded down multiple times to get more picks and still ended up with a player in that upper tier of CB. They likely had 3 or so guys in that general cluster that they would have felt good about drafting. Instead of sticking and drafting King, they extracted the most value possible before still walking away with a guy they wanted. Due to the talent level of 2017 CBs, they likely saw the dropoff between King and Griffin as much smaller compared to other positions and used that to their advantage.

    Which leads me to ask if that strategy will be used again this year for RBs? The 2018 RBs are similarly deep, and many of them fall in the SEA wheelhouse in terms of their specs. I think they’ll target a group upper tier RBs and project where they’ll go in the draft (possibly mid 2nd-mid 3rd) and maneuver their picks in order to extract the most value again before getting one of their guys.

    Where are the steepest cliffs that match up with need in 2018? Last year, if I remember correctly there was a huge dropoff in DL and the value/potential for McDowell made it clear to see why they picked him. Now that hasn’t worked out so far, but what’s to stop them from doing it again? Grab an upper tier player at a position that doesn’t have much depth in the draft and still get one from your cluster of upper tier RBs in a deep class.

    • Rob Staton

      I think last year was merely a continuation of their approach to DB’s. They took Griffin at the back end of round three, a few picks earlier than they’d taken Walter Thurmond previously. They’ve not drafted a corner earlier than the late third. They’ve spent a second round pick on a RB previously.

      They’ve consistently gone after their biggest needs and attacked them with vigor. Not waited. And I think that will be occur again this year. I don’t see them putting off the RB position. It will be addressed, almost certainly IMO, in the first two rounds barring a considerable amount of misfortune.

      • Logan Lynch

        I tend to agree with you, Rob. I also expect them to draft a RB early. My point was that unless there’s a guy they absolutely need to have, I see them trading back to get some value first and addressing the RB position near the middle or end of round 2.

        • 503Hawk

          Logan, I see your point and I like your reasoning. This is the most probably scenario for this year, IMO.

  19. Greg Haugsven

    Ive said it before and Ill say it again. Justin Pugh and Austin Seferian Jenkins, both on one year deals.

    Pugh could sign a very similar deal to Joeckel…1 year $8 million ($7 milion guaranteed)

    Jenkins…1 year $4 million ($3.5 guaranteed)

    • Greg Haugsven

      Eric Reid could be intriguing but Im not sure about a 28 year old RB. Ill just take the draft as that position is a very young mans game.

    • Patrick Toler

      It’s nice to have brought on an OL coach who used to coach two of the current FA lineman (Pugh and Fluker). If they are worth paying for, Solari should know better than anyone.

    • Patrick Toler

      And I think ASJ will get more money than that. Some team with money will see the potential and give him a decent signing bonus.

    • H

      Im honestly pretty sceptical about Pugh as a signing. He’ll likely get LJ money, i agree, but that deal was not a good one imo. Joeckel’s play was as inconsistent as his availability. Im concerned we get the same from Pugh.
      Like LJ, Pugh he’s a first round tackle who had to be moved inside and has had trouble staying healthy. I mentioned a few posts ago that, per PFF, he has having the 4th least pressures allowed of guards in the last three years. Which is good, but he’s missed alot of game time in that space (he played a good 400 or more snaps less than the rest of the top 5, except one)

      Im definitely on board with ASJ though

      • RealRhino2

        I’m on board with ASJ, too. If it takes a multi-year deal I’d still do it, provided the overall price was right. He was a high pick for a reason, it’s just the personal issue that derailed him.

      • SoCal12

        I think we’re more likely to sign DJ Fluker than Pugh, if we sign anyone at all. Fluker will be cheaper than Pugh, but is bigger and has played under Solari as well. It’ll be interesting to see what configuration Solari will go with in our lineup though, like whether he’ll try and keep continuity or shuffle people around to fit his schemes better.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m not convinced we’ll sign either.

          • SoCal12

            Fair enough. Are there any FA’s you think will be a good fit Rob? Or do you think we’re much more likely to draft a guy to plug in?

            • Rob Staton

              None stand out in terms of FA. I’m not sure what they’ll do. They might go with the guys they have. It’s a good draft for interior OL.

              • Hawk Eye

                i doubt they sign the guys from the Giants. Solari knows them and their o line was as bad or worse than Seattle’s. And with limited funds, I think they try to use mostly the guys they have. In theory, the talent is there, at least by draft pedigree. Just a theory though based on the last few years results.

    • Lil'stink

      ASJ turned down a 2 year deal with the Jets. Not sure why he’d come here on a one year deal.

  20. 503Hawk

    I don’t know how many of you got to hear the Brock & Salk show this morning concerning Luke Willson’s interview with him speaking about the @#$% play in SB49 against the Pats. Later, Danny O’Neil came on and shed some light on the situation followed by Gee Scott about the Seahawk who broke his hand in the locker room after the game because the player was so frustrated.
    One day I hope there is some transparency by those involved as to what exactly happened. Coaches, like politicians, have a reputation for telling half truths. (“Alternative facts” I believe is the new term.) As painful as that would be I think it would be extremely interesting. (Plus, let’s remember; that win against GB two weeks earlier should never have happened.)

    • H

      I wish we’d all stop talking about it tbh.
      I don’t care why the call was made, it was made… clearly it was the wrong one, and it will forever haunt me. Especially because one of my best friends is a pats fan.

      • Greg Haugsven

        I agree H. Know matter what is talked about we still are not winning the game. Its over.

  21. RealRhino2

    BTW, we can stop thinking about drafting at #18. I’ve worked it all out and there won’t be a guy there tempting enough for us to stay put. 😉

    There should be a host of CB, but Rob’s covered why a DB pick there is unlikely. There may be an interesting tackle or two, but nothing we probably couldn’t get with a trade down. By my calculations, either one or both of Guice and RJII will be there, and Guice would be tempting, but RB is deep enough for a move down, IMO. I believe the Seahawks are looking for “tough” with their RB selection in the draft. RJII is a lot of things, but when you watch him, “tough” isn’t really the word that comes to mind. You might say he is, but you mean it as in, “He’s actually tougher than you’d think he is for a guy his size.” It’s not his outstanding feature. I think Marcus Davenport will be there (he very well may not be), but doesn’t seem like a good enough run defender for what we do. At least not right now. But I suppose they could use him as a situational guy with one more year of Michael Bennett.

    So there you go, Marcus Davenport or a trade down. Some combo of Corbett/Wynn/Price/Hernandez/Crosby and Nick Chubb?

    • Rob Staton

      Tough is exactly one of the words I think of when I watch Ronald Jones II. Fights for yards, breaks tackles, has even been known to push the pile. Whether that’s because he plays above his size or not — I still think he’s tough. I think what you mean Rhino is he isn’t a big back they can run 30 times and feel comfortable with that.

      That said, I think he’s an option for the Seahawks but not a definitive. I could definitely, without doubt, imagine them taking him. Even at #18. But I can also see them moving down too and being forced/chosing to go in a different direction. I have already written a new mock draft, ready to go soon, emphasising this.

      • Rowdy

        Completely agree with rob, when you first brought him up I thought the same thing about his size but haven’t found any evidence of it in film. The guy is a fighter and fights for every inch. I think people that question his toughness do so because he doesn’t search for contact but for yards. Instead of running over a guy for a extra yard or two he will make the guy arm tackle and get 3 to 4 yards when possible.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          He doesn’t just fight for yards. He creates his own.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        FWIW I felt certain PC would select CMike in 2013. I feel that same certainty about RJ2 in the sense that I think he’s exactly the kind of runner PC wants (even if he’s a bit smaller than the ideal). Unfortunately I think their lack of Day 2 picks will force them to move down twice (or once but far enough that they’ll miss RJ2). At least this class is deep enough that they should have some decent options later.

        I guess it’s possible they trade a player(s) for Day 2 picks that would enable them to take RJ2 at 18 or, more likely, in the 20s after a modest trade down for a R3 pick.

  22. Hawk Eye

    just noticed something on twitter regarding age of prospects.
    all these guys are only 20 years old

    • Tremaine Edmunds (19!)
    • Derrius Guice
    • Roquan Smith
    • Ronald Jones

    that is something to consider, since they are playing against older guys and succeeding and they should have a greater growth potential.

    • Sea Mode

      I was actually wanting to do a list highlighting some of the younger and older prospects.

      Here are the (more or less notable) players who are still 20 on draft day (April 26) // followed by those who will turn 21 between now and the draft, all in order from youngest to oldest:

      – QB: Sam Darnold // Josh Rosen, (Lamar Jackson turned 21 in Jan)
      – RB: Ronald Jones, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice // Mark Walton, Saquon Barkley
      – WR: Deontay Burnett // D.J. Moore, Auden Tate (tomorrow!), (Antonio Callaway in Jan)
      – OT: Chukwuma Okorafor, Connor Williams
      – OC: James Daniels

      – DL: Tim Settle, Kendrick Norton, Da’Ron Payne, Rasheem Green // Eddy Wilson (Purdue)
      – EDGE: O. Adeniyi (Toledo, combine invite), Dorance Armstrong, Josh Sweat
      – LB: Tremaine Edmunds (2 May 1998!), Frank Ginda // Andre Smith, Roquan Smith (both just days before draft)
      – CB: Quenton Meeks, Denzel Ward // Holton Hill, Jaire Alexander (Tarvarus McFadden in Jan)
      – S: // DeShon Elliot, Ronnie Harrison, Jordan Whitehead, Justin Reid (Terrell Edmunds in Jan)

      And here are the older dudes, born in ’94 or earlier, from oldest to youngest:

      – QB: Nick Shimonek, Brandon Silvers, Quinton Flowers, Luke Falk
      – RB: Kieth Ford, Jordan Wilkins, Phillip Lindsay, Ralph Webb, Bo Scarbrough, Lavon Coleman
      – WR: Byron Pringle (Nov. 1993!), Anthony Miller, Javon Wims, Jake Wieneke, Marcell Ateman, Darren Carrington, Devonte Boyd, Calvin Ridley
      – TE: Jordan Atkins (April 1992!!), Hayden Hurst (Aug. 1993), Cam Seringe, (Goedert: Jan 1995)
      – OT: Desmond Harrison (Oct. 1993) Martinas Rankin
      – OG: Tyrone Crowder, Sean Welsh, Cody O’Connell, Wyatt Teller
      – OC: Billy Price

      – DL: John Atkins (Dec. 1992!), Greg Gilmore
      – EDGE: James Hearns (Sep. 1993), Marcell Frazier, Kylie Fitts, Ja’Von Rolland-Jones
      – LB: Marquis Haynes (Dec. 1993), Mike McCray, Dorian O’Daniel, Josey Jewell
      – CB: Siran Neal, Brandon Facyson, Anthony Averett, Jamarcus King
      – S: Nick Washington, Godwin Igwebuike, Tray Matthews, Cole Reyes

      Youngest Player in draft: Tremaine Edmunds- 19 years, 11 months, and 24 days on draft day.
      Oldest Player in draft: Jordan Atkins, 26 years, 0 months, and 24 days on draft day.

      • Rob Staton

        Great info, thanks for sharing

        • Greg Haugsven

          Two running backs we like that have been talked about:

          Ronald Jones…August 3rd 1997 (will turn 21 in training camp)

          Sony Michel…February 17th 1995 (will turn 23 in 15 days)

          Michel is 2.5 years older than Jones.

        • Hawk Eye

          I think age plays a big part of upside, but the opposite angle is the older guys are more mature and maybe can contribute faster

          • Greg Haugsven

            I would agree with that at every position except running back. A very young mans game and they generally contribute from day 1.

  23. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Am I the only one not terribly excited by the Eagles / Patriots SB ?

    Very little chatter or news coming out of the events….. it is almost too quiet.
    When the trade of Alex Smith blows away any news about the SB…. amazing.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s very underwhelming.

    • Trevor

      I can’t remember a quieter lead up to the SB or one that I have less interest in.

      I think for fans outside NE the Pats dominance and almost robotic like approach have become boring. Perhaps if Wentz was playing and there would be more buzz.

    • Hawk Eye

      I have little interest in the SB.. No interest to hear people worship at the alter of Brady and Belichick and hear about their dominance. I respect them, but I feel they are over rated as a team. They have had an easy time getting to the playoffs every year because their division has been horrible. They have won 5 SB’s by a total of 17 points. They should have lost their last 2. Belichick is great, I don’t argue against him being great. I do not say Brady is the greatest of all time because he has won 5 SB’s. What if he played for Cleveland? I don’t call any player the greatest because in football there are 53 players and you need a lot of them to be good to be successful. I can say top 5, but the whole hero worship gets nauseating.
      But, hopefully, we get a repeat of SB 48 where everyone praised Manning and never gave the Hawks a chance.

    • C-Dog

      My wife refuses to watch. Tom Brady makes her want to vomit, and her sports hatred for the Patriots goes well beyond deep seeded.

      I went to high school with Doug Pederson, so I have a pretty strong rooting interest there. Not expecting the Eagles to win, but if Nick Foles does beat Tom Brady, I definitely want to witness that. IMO, that could be the most fitting ending to this very weird season.

    • Logan Lynch

      I’m not excited for it at all and probably won’t watch the game. The commercials have more appeal to me than the actual game, but I can just see those on YouTube the next morning.

    • cha

      I’m the guy in my circle of friends that won’t come to your big loud SB party because I like to WATCH THE GAME, and not just get together with friends and talk about our jobs and cars and things while a game drones on in the background.

      I gladly accepted an invitation to one of those type SB parties this year. I’ll be more interested in the chips & dip and wing selections than the game.

      • Greg Haugsven

        It is quiet even though it #1 vs #1. I think if Wentz was playing the hype would be different.

  24. GerryG

    John Clayton had an interesting take on franchising Sheldon Richardson, wouldn’t handcuff them long term, they can afford 14 million, and they could use him as trade bait for a pick. Even if you only got a third for him, it would be a third this year instead a maybe third next year by letting him walk and maybe getting a comp pick

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a plan worth considering.

    • Logan Lynch

      Hmm, that’s an interesting thought. I was going to mention that I wonder how the perception would be of the front office if they used the franchise tag on a guy just to flip him. Then I remembered how they signed Tramaine Brock and flipped him for a 7th shortly after. Kind of an intriguing idea actually. Worst case scenario is you have him for one more year and could get a comp pick in 2020. It would give you flexibility in the McDowell situation too in case he would need extra time to possibly make a recovery. There’s not anyone else worthy of the tag anyway. I could go for this idea, thanks for bringing it up GerryG.

      • cha

        Remember when Ruskell tagged Leroy Hill and then pulled it off the table after drafting Curry? That was interesting.

        • Logan Lynch

          I forgot about that. Weren’t there possible police charges in the background in that case too? Or am I remembering later in Hill’s career?

          • cha

            Yeah he had fallen asleep at the wheel at an intersection and got caught with pot a while prior to that. A couple months maybe.

    • cha

      That’s clever.

      It’d be interesting to see Sheldon’s reaction to this. If he stayed would he be hungry for a big payday in 2019 or upset he got franchised and pout?

      Or on the trade market, would Schneider on draft day have leverage over some team desperate for a middle DL monster and get a better pick(s) than his perceived value would dictate?

      • Rob Staton

        Hopefully there would be a team (eg Oakland) willing to do a deal for a talented player, much in the way we did a year ago. And worst case scenario is we get Sheldon for one more season.

        • Logan Lynch

          Rob or anyone else in the know-

          Is there some sort of rule (unwritten or otherwise) about trading players you just picked shortly after the draft? Is there a precedent for this happening in the past?

          For example, say there’s a player SEA really wants who ends up getting drafted by another team. Maybe this player isn’t expected to be a starter right away, but a depth guy. SEA is so enamored with said player that they offer a trade package (say, Sheldon Richardson in this example) for this recently drafted player. Obviously, a team will only draft players that they like and expect to be productive, so there’s not much reason to trade someone you just drafted especially when taking into account cost and club control. I was just wondering if this has happened in the past.

          • H

            There’s no rule against it and it happened when Eli was drafted by the Chargers and then traded to the Giants for Rivers and picks

            • Logan Lynch

              I remember that happening, thanks for bringing it up. I guess I meant more like an established player being traded for a recently drafted guy. Similar situation. And since there’s no rule against it, it could happen.

          • cha

            I’m still shocked no one employed a strategy like this with La’el Collins with their 7th round pick. Draft him, see how the murder case plays out and then auction him off.

            • Logan Lynch

              Or better yet, you keep him and have a 7th round steal! You’re right though, it seems like there are some unexplored avenues. I wonder if part of the reason teams don’t do this is related to public image?

              • Greg Haugsven

                If you tag him that money stays on your cap (until you trade him or remove it) though which can limit other things you can do. I wonder if other teams would call that bluff though as Im not sure they would actually want to pay that money. It is definitely an option worth watching though.

                • Greg Haugsven

                  For the record you can place the franchise tag on a player between Feb 20th – March 6th.

                • GerryG

                  It would eat up cap, but we need DL pretty bad. Like Rob says worst case is we get him for one more year, and he can’t mail it in cause he needs that next contract.

                  Clearly they would be making some of the many moves we’ve talked about to open the cap space needed.

    • Volume12

      He’s garbage. That’s exactly the move Seattle would make to save face after the Jets embarrasses themwith that particular trade.

      • Volume12

        Wasn’t this off-season going to see ‘major changes’ or is Gee Scott still fake news?

      • Volume12

        Show of hands. How many thought ‘god damn pal, Jermaine Kearse is awful’ would out perform Sheldon Richardson this year? I know I didn’t, but boy would Kearse have been so much more beneficial to this team than Sheldon was or is.

  25. Volume12

    The corny a** NFL got a little worse today when Ozzie Newsome was replaced by Eric DeCosta. My man thinks Ray Rice would be a great addition to help steer young men. Hahaha!! Yeah, because young kids always respond well to the ‘don’t do what I did’ troupe.

    GTFOH with that.

    • Volume12

      Matter of fact, I can’t think of one NFL team where the culture and philosophy of coaching these young men is different except for PC in Seattle.

    • Volume12

      Pretty sure Joe ‘perfectly average’ Flacco is the issue too.

      • Hawk Eye

        jeez V12, were you drinking vinegar today with nichansen?

        • Hawk Eye

          except for the PC comment, gotta agree there
          and average Joe

        • Volume12

          Just felt like dunking on this dumb league.

        • Volume12

          It’s why I take a little breaks now and then. It’ll burn me out real quick. No idea how Rob does it, but it’s impressive to say the least.

    • Volume12

      And now Steve Biscotti is out here trying to say that kneeling during the anthem insulted and hurt a lot of their fan base. I think it had more to do with his team being bad at football.

  26. Nathan W.

    Wouldn’t mind having Phillip Lindsay in for a UDFA tryout

  27. JimQ

    A small school FS sleeper for the later rounds/UDFA: When watching his tape, I see a lot of Earl Thomas in his game, however, I think Reaves is a bigger hitter & better tackler than ET, although he may not quite have the long speed that ET has, he looks pretty quick & has decent stats considering his current rankings. To me that is the definition of a true “sleeper”.

    FS-Jeremy Reaves, So. Alabama, 5-10/204, ranked 9999-overall, projected UDFA, IMO-Looks a lot like ET, Plays Deep safety very well, with + ball skills, & CB experience. Sun Belt conf. 1-st team & DPOY in 2017.

    2017: 12-games, 104-tkls., 70-solo, 7.0-TFL, 1.5-sacks, 3-INT, 8-PD, 2-FR, 3-FF
    Career: 45-games, 301-tkls, 208-solo, 20.5-TFL, 1.5-sacks, 8-INT, 22-PD, 2-FR, & *8-FF*.

    TAPE: — (1) … &FORM=VIRE
    TAPE: — (2) … &FORM=VIRE
    –Scouting report: … h-alabama/

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