Wednesday notes: Kyler Murray & SPARQ numbers

Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray has already signed a deal with the Oakland A’s

Kyler Murray is the best draft eligible quarterback

It’s not a great quarterback class. There’s not an obvious top-10 talent.

We could see Drew Lock go very early. Or Dwayne Haskins. It seems somewhat likely they’ll be the first two quarterbacks taken (assuming Haskins declares and Oregon’s Justin Hebert doesn’t).

That said, I’d take my chances on Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.

He says he’s still planning to return to baseball. Murray was the #9 overall pick in the last MLB draft, picked by the Oakland A’s. He agreed a deal that contained a $4.66m signing bonus. Murray’s baseball agent says he’s committed to Oakland.

It could come down to money. Josh Rosen, the #10 pick in the NFL draft this year, received a $10.87m signing bonus from the Cardinals with $17.5m guaranteed overall. If teams are willing to draft Murray in the top-15 he has a decision to make.

Lamar Jackson, the #32 overall pick, received a signing bonus worth $4.9m. It’s similar to Murray’s MLB deal. In that scenario, it might still be a decision worth contemplating. As a late first round or early second round pick, Murray would expect to start sooner rather than later (Jackson is now a rookie starter in Baltimore). If he’s drafted in the third round, he’s getting less money and there’s no guarantee he’ll ever truly compete to start (and might even be drafted by a team looking for a backup).

It’s a tough call for NFL teams too. If Murray opts for the NFL — will he be making the move knowing he can always turn to baseball in the future? Will he be constantly weighing up the two sports? Or will he simply move on with the occasional flirt (see: Russell Wilson)?

They’d also have to consider that there isn’t anyone like Murray in the league. Wilson was short but sturdy and played in a distinctly pro-style offense at Wisconsin. Murray is listed at 5-10 and 195lbs. That’s 10lbs lighter than Wilson at the 2012 combine. Can Murray get over 200lbs to allay some of those fears?

Either way, I promised never to write a player off due to height after the Wilson experience. So I’m not going to do that with Murray. And for me, he’s the most exciting QB eligible for this class. He’s an accurate passer with great feel and understanding in the pocket. He can improvise and extend plays when required. He has a terrific arm and can make the big plays downfield. He’s even more impressive when he throws with touch — and watching multiple games in the last couple of days there were clear examples where Murray delivered a beautiful touch pass. One in particular stood out — the tight end ran to the sideline on a scramble drill and Murray looped a pass over the head of one defensive back but kept the ball away from the safety. It was inch perfect.

He’s also a tremendous athlete capable of breaking contain and making big gains with his legs. He throws well on the run — whether that’s downfield or finding a check-down. There’s a lot to like.

Teams like the Giants, Dolphins, Jaguars and Redskins — they need a long term answer at quarterback. And if I’m thinking of going in that direction in 2019 — I’m getting the message out to Murray’s people that we’re interested. He’d be the most unorthodox NFL quarterback at his size. It could easily be that it doesn’t work out, that he struggles like other QB’s missing the ideal height and frame. I think you have to keep your options open though. Especially if you’re in the market for a quarterback.

Murray has something about him. A special quality. He’d be the player I’d be showing most interest in if this was a blog focusing on a team with a QB need. I think he’s worthy of first round consideration.

It’s also worth mentioning that John Schneider attended the Oklahoma vs West Virginia game recently. Murray would be an ideal project for Seattle. Wilson is now 30. It wouldn’t be the worst time to draft a highly talented quarterback. Clearly Wilson is in his prime and having a tremendous year. He’s worthy of the contract extension he’ll likely receive within the next 18 months. But it’d be ideal to have an option when he reaches age 34. At that point, are you thinking about a fourth contract? You’d at least welcome an alternative that is trained in your offense.

New England drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in round two in 2014. He was a possible replacement for Tom Brady. In the end, the Pats traded Garoppolo for an early pick and stuck with Brady. They had that choice.

It might be time for the Seahawks to give themselves a similar option a few years down the line. Murray would fit the bill. There are two problems though — is he even willing to sit and wait for his chance with a $4.66m signing bonus to play in the MLB? And can the Seahawks justify a move like this when they currently only have four picks in the 2019 draft and clear defensive needs?

SPARQ scores for the 2019 class

Most of the top players take part in the Nike SPARQ events during recruitment. It’s a chance to show off their physical potential. It also gives us an early insight into how certain players might test at the NFL combine.

It has to be noted that the players have since grown, developed, been on proper diets and spent more time in the weight room. Some players might be slower because they’re bigger — others might’ve developed significantly since High School. This is nothing more than a gauge. Generally though, the top athletes are the top athletes. Josh Sweat for example had an unreal SPARQ score in High School and then blew up the NFL combine this year.

Some of the best players didn’t take part in SPARQ (Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins for example) while others such as Kyler Murray seemed to attend but not test. I’ve listed the players high-to-low based on their scores. It’s also worth mentioning — size matters. The heavier players aren’t going to score as well.

Terry McLaurin (WR, Ohio State)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 184
Forty: 4.41
Short shuttle: 4.13
Vertical: 42
SPARQ: 141.96

K.J. Hill (WR, Ohio State)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 192
Forty: 4.65
Short shuttle: 3.88
Vertical: 40
SPARQ: 133.95

Porter Gustin (LB, USC)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 238
Forty: 4.63
Short shuttle: 4.13
Vertical: 34
SPARQ: 130.44

Bryce Love (RB, Stanford)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 180
Forty: 4.47
Short shuttle: 3.90
Vertical: 37
SPARQ: 129.75

Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 208
Forty: 4.48
Short shuttle: 4.00
Vertical: 38
SPARQ: 126.93

Marvell Tell (S, USC)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 184
Forty: 4.55
Short shuttle: 4.19
Vertical: 39
SPARQ: 125.16

Christian Miller (EDGE, Alabama)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 212
Forty: 4.74
Short shuttle: 4.18
Vertical: 39
SPARQ: 124.17

Devin White (LB, LSU)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 260
Forty: 4.57
Short shuttle: 4.36
Vertical: 34
SPARQ: 122.19

Austin Bryant (EDGE, Clemson)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 249
Forty: 4.99
Short shuttle: 4.31
Vertical: 32
SPARQ: 109.80

Rodney Anderson (RB, Oklahoma)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205
Forty: 4.63
Short shuttle: 3.97
Vertical: 37
SPARQ: 109.29

Rashan Gary (DE, Michigan)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 287
Forty: 4.74
Short shuttle: 4.38
Vertical: 32
SPARQ: 109.17

Taylor Rapp (S, Washington)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 199
Forty: 4.74
Short shuttle: 4.09
Vertical: 32
SPARQ: 108.3

Deionte Thompson (S, Alabama)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Forty: 4.77
Short shuttle: 3.98
Vertical: 36
SPARQ: 107.40

Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 289
Forty: 4.87
Short shuttle: 4.52
Vertical: 30
SPARQ: 105.63

Trayvon Mullen (CB, Clemson)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 170
Forty: 4.52
Short shuttle: 4.24
Vertical: 35
SPARQ: 101.49

Jerry Tillery (DT, Notre Dame)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 317
Forty: 5.17
Short shuttle: 4.53
Vertical: 28
SPARQ: 100.14

Cameron Smith (LB, USC)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 236
Forty: 4.82
Short shuttle: 4.28
Vertical: 32
SPARQ: 96.45

Raekwon Davis (DT, Alabama)
Height: 6-8
Weight: 318
Forty: 5.49
Short shuttle: 4.84
Vertical: 26
SPARQ: 93.63

Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida State)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 213
Forty: 4.76
Short shuttle: 4.50
Vertical: 34
SPARQ: 92.04

Jonathan Ledbetter (DE, Georgia)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 276
Forty: 5.04
Short shuttle: 4.69
Vertical: 28
SPARQ: 91.47

Jordan Fuller (S, Ohio State)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 205
Forty: 4.51
Short shuttle: 4.40
Vertical: 33
SPARQ: 90.96

Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 260
Forty: 5.24
Short shuttle: 4.72
Vertical: 29
SPARQ: 90.3

D’Andre Walker (EDGE, Georgia)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 213
Forty: 4.63
Short shuttle: 4.16
Vertical: 33
SPARQ: 89.91

Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 335
Forty: 5.03
Short shuttle: 4.61
Vertical: 23
SPARQ: 88.98

Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 204
Forty: 4.84
Short shuttle: 4.35
Vertical: 31
SPARQ: 88.38

Jaquan Johnson (S, Miami)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 182
Forty: 4.75
Short shuttle: 4.28
Vertical: 33
SPARQ: 87.78

Greg Little (T, Ole Miss)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 213
Forty: 5.75
Short shuttle: 4.70
Vertical: 26
SPARQ: 86.1

Jeffrey Simmons (DT, Mississippi State)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 262
Forty: 4.96
Short shuttle: 4.61
Vertical: 25
SPARQ: 83.79

Jonah Williams (G, Alabama)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 280
Forty: 5.14
Short shuttle: 4.66
Vertical: 27
SPARQ: 82.35

Joe Jackson (DE, Miami)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 237
Forty: 4.83
Short shuttle: 4.93
Vertical: 32
SPARQ: 80.31

Cody Ford (T, Oklahoma)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 314
Forty: 5.53
Short shuttle: 4.79
Vertical: 23
SPARQ: 76.71

Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 322
Forty: 5.28
Short shuttle: 4.82
Vertical: 23
SPARQ: 64.38

What stands out…

The top two players listed here are Ohio State wide receivers. I’m a big fan of Terry McLaurin based on what I’ve seen in 2018. Dynamic, able to separate and get downfield. His best football could come at the next level.

Rashan Gary’s short shuttle of 4.38 at 287lbs is eye-catching. He was recruited as a defensive tackle prospect (Rivals viewed Gary and Dexter Lawrence as the best defensive tackle duo they’d ever seen within the same class). It’s a quicker time than Bradley Chubb ran this year at 269lbs. Rasheem Green ran a 4.39 at 275lbs. That’s the type of potential Green has — even if we haven’t seen much from him as a rookie in Seattle.

Jerry Tillery’s short shuttle of 4.53 at 317lbs and Dexter Lawrence’s 4.61 at 335lbs are also worth noting. Taven Bryan ran a 4.50 at 290lbs and landed in round one this year. Lawrence ran the same time as Jeffrey Simmons despite a 73lb weight difference. Brian Burns ran a 4.50. Again, that puts the times of Tillery and Lawrence into perspective.

Austin Bryant also performed well in the short shuttle, running a 4.31. That’s a similar time to Josh Sweat (4.28) at almost identical weights. Sweat only fell in the draft this year due to injury concerns.

USC’s Porter Gustin won’t be an early pick but he’s someone to keep in the back of your mind. Before picking up an injury this year he had 10 TFL’s and seven sacks in just six games. Production + athleticism.

I’ve been saying for a while I don’t really understand the hype around Alabama safety Deionte Thompson. He’s not a bad player but where’s the evidence of a first round talent? At SPARQ testing he ran a 4.77 at 175lbs. Rashan Gary ran a quicker time (4.74) at 287lbs. Thompson might be faster now but he’s not going to run a 4.4 or 4.5. He did test very well in the short shuttle with a sub-4.00 time of 3.98. I think he’s a cornerback in a system like Seattle’s. Long arms, lean frame, quick feet, physical. I’d be projecting him at corner as a mid-round pick.

D’Andre Walker’s short shuttle of 4.13 is quicker than Leighton Vander Esch’s 4.15 at the NFL combine. Walker’s added 30lbs since he tested at SPARQ. If he produces a similar short shuttle in March with the extra muscle, get ready. People have been underrating him all year.

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  1. Nick

    I really think that whoever Seattle drafts at DE this year will be excellent at setting the edge. I don’t have the source, but I read somewhere today that Seattle has the worst run defense on outside runs. The best way to treat that defensive ill is to set the edge really, really well.

    Rob, sorry if you’ve already written about him, but what do you think of Austin Bryant? His SPARQ looks intriguing (as does his vertical). Is he good at setting the edge? He could be a player that “slips” into that late 20s, early 30s range—which is where I think Seattle will probably end up picking.

    • Rob Staton

      I like Bryant. He’s more of a ‘scream off the EDGE’ type than a base DE. I’m not saying he isn’t a good run defender but to me, he’s more of a twitchy type who likes to get his head down and attack.

    • Eburgz

      We have been bad setting the edge. Aren’t the strong safety and SAM responsible for setting the edge also? I’m thinking Mingo and McDougald are part of the problem with that issue.

      • C-Dog

        SAM and SS play a part. I think the loss of Wright and Kendricks has also hurt the perimeters, as well.

        Having a dominant 5T would definitely help mitigate the issues against the run, I would think. This is probably the first year in Carroll’s tenure where Seattle has not had that on early downs. Red Bryant made the SAM’s job a lot easier, and so as Bennett.

  2. Matt

    Hey Rob…big baseball guy here – I absolutely think Kyler Murray needs to try his hand in the NFL. Chances are that he will never make the Major Leagues, even as the #9 pick. It’s a long tough road.

    Now, if he gets drafted in the top 50 and becomes nothing more than a backup QB, which I would bet a lot of money that this is his floor, he will far out-earn what he can in baseball. To me, it’s a no brainer. I’d bet on him becoming at least a career backup over reaching the big leagues.

    What is most interesting with Kyler is where do you draft him? He won’t go top 10…I don’t think he goes top 20. Where it gets interesting is in the 20s because I think you are right…somebody is going to pull the trigger. His skillset and brain are awesome…it’s just the size. I could easily see a team like New Orleans pulling the trigger on him, which would be a marvelous fit.

    Great write up. I love Murray. He is outstanding. I think the big difference between him and Lamar Jackson (besides size) – is that I think Murray has a much, much better feel for the position and seems to process things much quicker.

    • Ty the Guy

      Kyler Murray has the “It” Factor. Baseball or football , he will have a career as an athlete. Would the Hawks be willing to let him play in the Minors while developing under Russ? Hypothetically, I’d take a mid-round flyer on him.

      But 100% agree with Rob, that if he were to declare, in this horrendous QB draft, Murray would be the one I’d bet on to have a solid career.

  3. Trevor

    Awesome write up Rob! This is the type of content that sets this blog apart from almost anything else you will find during this upcoming draft season.

    I agree completely about Murray! I said earlier in the year her would be my dream QB to have developing behind Russ. He just has that IT factor. With our limited draft capital and the need to take Murray in Rd #1 I just don’t see how it happens.

    Can you imagine Murray in the backfield with Barkley in NY throwing to Beckham, Shepard and Engram.

    Rob that SPARQ by Porter Guskin is crazy. Any thoughts of him as a player.

    You mentioned last week R Davis and D Lawerence were going to be Top 10 Picks and I agree they are freaks!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m going to watch more of Gustin in the next couple of weeks

      • Pickering

        Monster numbers, but is his injury history a bright, red flag?

        • j

          his history of getting ejected for targeting as well.

  4. RWIII

    Rob: I don’t know if you have been asked this question. But in case you haven’t. What are the chances that Shaquem Griffin could be a quality starter(not counting special teams) in the N.F.L. ?

    • Rob Staton

      I said before the draft and have had this opinion reinforced since he entered the league. I love Shaquem. But he’s a special teams dynamo and a nickel LB. And that’s fine for a R5 pick. I don’t see a future permanent starter because he will always have issues in the run game and he still needs major work dropping in zone.

  5. D Hanlon

    I’ve been following draft blog for awhile I’m wondering why your not looking at J. Johnson Miami safety. When watching him play I see a ball hawking, high football IQ. play maker.

    • Rob Staton

      We’ve talked about Johnson a couple of times. I like him. Tough. Leader. Consistent. But as we see in this piece, he ran a 4.75 at SPARQ. Even if that’s improved to a 4.6 — the Seahawks already have those guys in the secondary. If they’re taking a safety early I want a big upgrade in terms of athleticism.

  6. Darnell

    Murray is an interesting case.

    On one hand, earning baseball money into your late 30s and not taking the beating that football gives you weekly should be an easy decision.

    On the other hand – athletically, nothing in this country is more big time than being a star NFL QB, and that can have significant pull. With baseball, paying your dues can have you riding buses in the minors into your mid-20s and I have to wonder how long he’ll want to do that with the allure of at least competing for a QB1 job is out there. I don’t really follow baseball, I have nothing against it, but I wouldn’t recognize the best baseball player in the world unless he was wearing his own jersey and someone pointed him out – being great at baseball doesn’t make you a star anymore.

    • McZ

      Btw, the Mariners are doing a rebuild Seahawks-style while we are talking.

      • Volume12

        Seems like a fire sale to me.

        Not a good look for a team that has the longest drought of making the playoffs, not just in baseball but outta all the 4 major North American sports.

        • Kenny Sloth

          Almost like the last rebuild was a paper tiger

  7. Volume12

    Watching some DBs lately and this pair has caught my attention.

    Virginia S Juan Thornhill (40″ vert, 6 .59 3 cone). Former standout basketball player, this is first full year of playing safety. Long, great ball skills, good tackler, pshysical. Is a fit for zone teams due to his feel for spacing. Thought he was much better up in the box than I expected for a former CB. IMO probably has the most upside out of this years safety group.

    Juan Thornhill vs Miami (2018):

    And Virginia CB Bryce Hall. This should be the converted WR turned corner being talked about. Excellent size (6’1, 200 lbs), is not afraid to mix it up. Looks like he loves to compete. Plays with an infectious energy and emotion. Long, good ball skills. A skill set that makes ya drool. Such an exciting prospect.

    2018 stats: 59 tackles, 20 PBU (!!!), 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FF,

    Bruce Hall vs NC St. (2018):

    • Sea Mode

      Thanks, will take a look.

    • JimQ

      Bryce Hall is #1 in FCS in passes defended ( and is slowly moving up draft boards, I’ve even seen mocks with him going in rounds 1 or 2, so he MAY be a little expensive for the 4 pick Seahawks considering their other needs. I really like the player but he’ll likely be gone by the Seahawks RD-3 (or 4) pick and too expensive for their first pick. Are there any viable alternatives?

      An overlooked CB that doesn’t seem to be ranked or recognized at all right now. The analysts haven’t looked at season stats yet I’d guess, but these #’s indicate a pretty damn good CB that, at a minimum should appeal to the Seahawks late in the draft or as an UDFA. Not sure about arm length or speed though.

      –CB-Donnie Lewis, Tulane, 5-116/195, est. 4.56/40, Sticky match up guy with + ball skills. length/speed=?
      Currently #4 in FCS with 20-passes defended (3 as-INT) in 2018. (
      2018: 12-games, 54-tkls, 41-solo, 3-INT (1 for TD), 2.5-TFL, 17-PBU, 2-QBH (1.7 passes defended/game)
      Career: 43-games, 158-tkls, 127-solo, 7.5-TFL, .5-Sacks, 7-INT (1 for TD), 36-PD, 2-FR, 2-QBH, 1-BK, 1-FR

      Also of DB interest on my current watch list: All currently in the mid-rounds to UDFA range.
      –CB-Derrick Baity Jr. Kentucky, 6-021/188. 4.52/40. Long & fast seemingly in the Seahawks mold.
      –CB-Montre Hartage, Northwestern, 5-115/195, 4.52/40 ++ stats, bears further research, length=?
      –CB/S-Sheldrick Redwine, Miami, 6-1/196, ball hawk, play maker & thumper, a FS/SS convert? speed=?
      –SS-LaDarius Wiley, Vanderbilt, 6-1/210, always around ball, passionate, smart & aggressive, speed=?

      I’m sure there are others, just need to keep looking, however DB is a need the Seahawks will surely address even if in the late rounds or perhaps more likely as UDFA’s with the limited picks, so that’s where I’m looking.

      • Volume12

        I like Redwine and Baity. Haven’t seen the other 3.

  8. Coleslaw

    Thanks for this Rob. I like K.J. Hill in that speedy WR role we’ve talked about, I’m not surprised to see his agility tests, but his forty is definitely surprising. He looks way faster on tape.

  9. charlietheunicorn

    Rob, it is funny you bring up Murray. I was thinking about him and landing in Seattle….. I didn’t know he was already drafted by the A’s, but who better to mentor him that RW and the Seahawks.

    Unique football gifts and skill sets. There would be very little drop off, if RW had to miss a game or two due to injury.

    Would it be crazy for Seattle to trade RW for 2 or 3 1st rounders and draft this guy?
    I wouldn’t, but I could see the appeal to do so…..

    So, right now I’m coming around the DE being the priority need and OLB being the second most import need to address in the offseason. I’m also not totally against drafting a RB or a WR if the fit is right. Perhaps OG is a place we need to do some draft diving…. since Fluker and Sweezy have had some injury concerns in the past/present.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes I think it would be crazy to trade RW. This team is clearly trending in the right direction. It would be a disaster to ruin that.

      If they had a chance to draft him as a possible heir apparent a few years down the line, that would be nice. But not as an immediate replacement.

      • C-Dog


  10. KD

    Hey Rob,

    I agree with what seems like the majority of fans here that the best option for the offensive line is to simply keep the group together. Their turnaround as a unit has been nothing short of a miracle. on that note, I’m wondering if TEF is a useful measure for predicting potential Seahawk OL prospects since the metric was based on Cable’s preferences or just a measure of general explosive traits which is still useful in and of itself. I don’t see any reason why Pete Carroll would scrap the idea of drafting OL with explosive physical traits, or maybe Cable and Carroll has similar philosophies to begin with which seems likely as well. If, and that’s a big if, the Seahawks draft an OL this year, it will be interesting to see another data point, but i just wanted to get your thoughts on the use of your TEF as a metric, because I don’t think it has outlived it’s usefulness, but time and more data points will tell if there has been a philosophic shift in targeting OL prospects.

    • charlietheunicorn

      Hummmmmm. We could run the numbers for the current guys and see where they fall on the TEF spectrum? I would think guys who are maulers would jump up the list…… think of a INDY OG Q. Nelson guard type.

    • Rob Staton

      In fairness I acknowledged this before the 2018 draft. We didn’t use it in the same way. TEF was a system based on a Tom Cable stated ideal physical profile. It’s very possible the Seahawks share those ideals. But from now on, we’re not using TEF to try and predict who they might be interested in. I made that clear before the last draft.

      It is still a very useful tool, however, to explain who the most explosive OL and DL are in a given draft. That’s still very useful information to know. That’s how we used it this year. To see who the most explosive players were in the trenches. And we can easily continue to use it in that way for years to come.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Maybe we should identify why Simmons is able to slip in and replace a guard, versus why the other backups struggle. Is it physical or mental? Do their combine or TEF scores indicate anything?

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t really want to go down that route. TEF was extremely useful because there was a trend and evidence (via Cable’s stated preferences) that it meant something. Now it’s just a nice gauge for explosive physicality.

          As soon as you start trying to guess why a player has performed well or poorly, you end up going down a rabbit hole. It can be a million things. Attitude, scheme fit, coaching, who you’re playing against, who your teammates are. And none of it’s measurable.

  11. AndrewP

    No to Gustin… I would hate to have to root for a Hawk to get injured and never be able to play a game in the NFL.

    (OK, maybe that’s a bit too harsh, but, seriously, that guy is dirty as hell and I will not be a bit sad if he washes out).

    • clbradley17

      Why do you say he’s dirty? The only people who I believe shouldn’t ever play in the NFL are those who’ve committed violent acts, like Aaron Hernandez or probably Kareem Hunt and Ray Rice.

      According to not only what Rob says here, but everything I’ve read elsewhere, he’s a great LB and pass-rusher. Had at least a sack in 5 of the 6 games he played this year, and 2 vs. Texas. Not only has speed, but also incredibly strong, can squat 575 pounds, bench press 475, and rip off 35 bench-press reps at 225 pounds. Would like to see us draft him at LB in rd. 3 after Walker in rd. 1, Gaines of UW or the best DT in rd. 4, and the best possible DB prospect we can get in rd. 5. Or if we could get Gustin in 4 or 5 – great, but not sure he’s going to drop far with that speed, other explosive traits and pass-rush results.

      • Rob Staton

        I think he’s referring to the uncalled targeting hit which cost Washington State a chance to beat USC.

        • sdcoug

          One of many dirty plays. I tend to agree with AndrewP, hard for me to root for a player that has no qualms about trying to eliminate other players

        • j

          He has multiple targeting ejections in his career in addition to that as well.

          Won’t rule him out, but something you have to look at and evaluate. If he is a personal foul machine that takes away from his value.

  12. Kenny Sloth

    Love the fact that you can write about Murray without mentioning the fact that he’s not eviscerating every QB not named Tua in the stat department. Makes it really accessible and legitimizes the eye test.

    Tua and Kyler Murray are both on pace to break Baker Mayfields efficiency record. By a wide margin.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Iirc both averaging over 11 ypa. Nobody else in the field is over 10

    • Kenny Sloth

      He is* eviscerating every other QB

      • Sea Mode

        Dang comment delay…

    • Sea Mode

      Triple negation in that first sentence; I have no idea what you’re trying to say there…

      Good thing you cleared it up at the end. 😁

      • Kenny Sloth

        I dont think it wasn’t uneasy to understand

        • Sea Mode

          Lol. Don’t hate the fact that you can’t not write a sentence that doesn’t not make no sense…

          BTW, how goes your soccer coaching?

          • Kenny Sloth

            It’s been great! taking a little break from the weather and we start back in the new year. I’ve been working with 4 different age groups.

            Nothing is more revelatory about yourself as a leader, too.

  13. Sea Mode

    Watched a bit of Tillery yesterday. Didn’t really get me excited (even for DT tape standards…) or seem to pop off the screen with athleticism. Seahawks might like his length though. That’s why I ended up posting about Auburn DT Dontavious Russell instead at the end of yesterday’s thread.

    Can take on double teams vs the run, and shows I think even more quickness than Reed getting after the passer when given the opportunity. When a big DT like that can get around the edge that quick on a stunt with the DE, that’s pretty amazing:

    Consistently graded highly by PFF as well FWIW.

    Could still be there for us in R3 given the deep DL class and the relatively low value of his position. Would let us go DE in R1 and DT R3 as one possibility. I could get on board with Walker/Polite + Russell or someone like him. Still need to watch more of the DT class though (beyond the R1 guys I mean).

    • H

      I assume you didnt watch his tape against Stanford? He completely took over that game.

      • Sea Mode

        No, I haven’t yet. Will definitely check it out.

        So what you’re insinuating is no chance he lasts beyond R2?

        • H

          No way imo, incredible size and athleticism, a Calais Campbell like build with really good hand technique as well. He can vanish a little bit from time to time, but most defensive linemen do, he could be available in the 20s for Seattle though, purely as a victim of this class’ depth at the position.

    • Volume12

      He’s a very realistic option for them. They gamble on D-lineman like him nearly every year it seems.

      It’s becoming quite obvious that they want size at the 5.

  14. clbradley17

    Bobby Wagner Mic’d Up vs. 49ers – Awesome!

  15. clbradley17

    What do you think of Tevon Coney of ND at LB for us possibly in rd. 3 if he lasts that long? 6’1″ 240, and PFF has him as 1st team All-America LB: “Coney proved vital to the Fighting Irish defense this season, both prowling the middle of the field with solid tackling skills but also in coverage. On 421 coverage snaps, Coney was targeted 35 times. He allowed just 18 receptions (51.4% catch rate) for just 132 yards and didn’t allow a single reception over 23 yards.”

    They also have Byron Murphy 1st team CB, and Christian Wilkins 1st team DT along with Williams of Alabama. On Wilkins: “Wilkins not only leads the ACC’s interior defensive linemen in total pressures (36), he also led them in sacks (six) and finished second in hits (nine) and forced fumbles (two).” Very smart player as well, just won the Campbell Trophy as college football’s top scholar athlete Tue. night, first Clemson football player to get his degree in 2 1/2 years in 2017, he’ll get his master’s degree in a few months.

    PFF All-America Team:

    • Sea Mode

      I caught a glimpse of Coney yesterday when I was watching Tillery. First of all, I’ll just say it: that dude is ripped. Like approaching Chris Carson level ripped. Intimidation factor: check.

      Anyway, he had a ton of tackles and was very physical and closes quick on the ball carrier. Good tackling form for the most part. I’m not sure about the speed though, but I didn’t know about that coverage grade. So makes me want to take a closer look.

      At first, I thought size/length might be an issue as well, but Kendricks is 6-0, 240, so that’s fine. I guess I was just focusing on someone with the size/length to rush the edge at SAM/DE. But maybe it is time to take a closer look at possible replacements for KJ/Kendricks at WILL if we lose them.

      • JimQ

        With their limited number of picks, if the Seahawks fill their primary needs on DL and at DE/edge, they may have to wait until the middle rounds (4-5) to fill their LB needs. With slim pickings, how about an
        undersized but extremely productive guy? He’d probably be at least a Rd-2 pick, if he were bigger-IMO

        –OLB/DE-Sutton Smith (a junior), Northern Illinois, 6-1/237; #207-overall currently at
        Too small for DE/edge, but as a linebacker, there may be some upside as a round 4/5 pick? I’m Not
        sure on his length or long speed but he does appear to have some serious get-off burst & ++ production.

        2018: 13-games: 56-tkls, 41-solo, 24.5-TFL, 15.0-sacks, 1-PBU, 9-QBH, 4-FF, 1-FR (for TD), 2-BK’s
        (+ 2 punt returns for 51-yds, a 25.5-yd average & 1-TD (a very unusual stat for a DE/edge guy)
        2017: 13-games: 63-tkls, 43-solo, 29.5-TFL, 14.0-sacks, 3-PBU, 8-QBH, 3-FF & 2-FR (for 2-TD’s)
        2016: 12-games: (as a freshman backup) 15-tkls, 6-solo, 2.0-TFL, 1-sack, 3-QBH
        Career: 38-games, 134-tkls, 90-solo, 56-TFL, 30-sacks, 4-PBU, 20-QBH, 7-FF, 3-FR (for 3-TD’s), 2-BK’s

        –See full game 9/08/18 VS: Utah: –
        Smith had an impactful game with 8-tkls, 6-solo, 4.5-TFL, 2-sacks against a not too bad Utah team.
        –See also:

        NOTE: The last post I made here was posted on the blog in a couple of seconds, is that problem solved?

        • Sea Mode

          Nice info. I will take a look tomorrow, but just want to say now that if we do spend one of only 4 picks on a WILL, he had better be significantly better than Calitro.

          • clbradley17

            PFF named him MAC conference 1st team edge defender:

            “EDGE DEFENDER
            First Team: Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois

            A year after setting the PFF College record for pressures in a season, the secret was out on Smith as he was regularly schemed against and double-teamed in 2018. He still recorded 63 total pressures that included a national-best 15 sacks and 11 QB hits as well as 37 additional hurries.”

  16. McZ

    Is it possible that Jonathan Ledbetter currently goes completely under the radar? Have not seen a mock with him higher than R3, at which I would take him in a second.

  17. smitty1547

    This has nothing to do with the draft but a great video for 12’s if you have not watched it.

  18. East Side Stevie

    I just wanted to share this

    Per ESPN’s Roster Management system, the Jaguars are $19 million over the projected salary cap in 2019 (Philadelphia is the only team also over the projected cap, by $33.5 million), so that means the franchise will have to cut some big-money players loose.

    This could make the Defensive Line Free Agent market even more interesting than its already shaping out to be!

    • Dylan Leptich

      Calais …

      • H

        I could live with that…

    • cha

      Will be very interesting to see how the DL-heavy draft affects the DL-heavy FA class. I am fairly optimistic there will be some good bargains to be had and that PCJS will take advantage.

      • Rob Staton

        I’d like to see Terrell Suggs. Still playing at a decent level. Still rushing the passer. Physical. Bit of extra experience.

        • cha

          2yr/$15m plus incentives?

          • Rob Staton

            One year and about $4m with incentives I think. Got to use the strong DL draft class to find value.

  19. Volume12

    I just (from a couple days ago) saw someone on Seahawks twitter say that Todd Gurley is NOT an essential part of the Rams offense. The actual argument as to why gave me a god damn headache. Graphs, charts, word salads.

    ‘iF YoU tOOk aWaY aLL Of ToDd GuRlEy’S rUsHiNG YaRDS + TDs HE’d hAvE NoNE’

    • Rob Staton

      The analytics crowd don’t do themselves any favours.

    • Kenny Sloth

      I said 6 years ago that he’d be the best RB in the NFL when he got there and it wasn’t even a hot take back then. (I accidentally called him Tori Gurley 😂)

    • cha

      I get a special kick when people talk themselves into logic loops.

      “Team X is good because they have good players. Take away the good players and they wouldn’t be good.”

  20. Ty the Guy

    Devin White is a monster. He weighed 260 in HS?

    • Rob Staton

      In high school he was considered the next Leonard Fournette. Seriously. That was the reputation he had and he was playing running back. Then he added weight and became too big — so he was then being projected as a full back or H-back believe it or not. I suspect it’s around this time that he did the SPARQ testing. LSU got him to slim down and developed him into a linebacker. And the rest, as they say, is history.

  21. Josh

    All I know is D’andre Walker looked real good against Alabama in the SEC championship. I haven’t watched more of him yet but in this crowded defensive line draft class I’m looking for a more unheralded player a la Bruce Irvin in 2012. Hawks will be drafting in the early to mid 20’s. I believe they will trade down for more picks. I don’t believe they will have a first round pick. Like they trade their first pick for a second and fourth. D’andre walker please, can’t wait to see his combine numbers.

    • Sea Mode

      Gotta love this attitude too:

      D’Andre Walker Retweeted
      College Football Newswire

      “No human being should [be able to] run the ball against us.” –
      @DAndreWalker15, University of Georgia, Linebacker

      • Rob Staton

        Walker is a BAMF

  22. clbradley17

    Good film breakdown of Poona Ford’s first NFL start last Sunday vs. the 49ers:

  23. clbradley17

    4 PFF 1st team Big Ten defenders we could possibly draft in rd. 3 or later.

    1st team LB Blake Cashman, Minnesota, 6’2″ 235, 104 tackles, 15 TFL’s, 5 PD’s, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF:

    “Cashman was outstanding in all three defensive facets, as he was the only Big Ten defender to post elite grades (85.0 or higher) in run defense, pass coverage and pass-rush.”

    1st team Edge Defender Kenny Willekes, Michigan State, 6’4″ 260, 76 tackles, 20.5 TFL’s:

    “Willekes has always been an excellent run defender, but his seven sacks, 16 QB hits and 33 hurries this year were equally impressive rushing off the edge of the Spartans defense.”

    1st team Edge Defender Chase Winovich, Michigan, 6’3″ 255, 54 tackles, 3.5 sacks:

    “Winovich was a monster against the run in 2018, notching 36 run stops, 15 of them either tackles for loss or tackles for no gain.”

    1st team Flex Defense Devin Bush, Michigan, 5’11” 235, 79 tackles, 9 TFL’s. 5 sacks, 4 PDs, also named Big Ten DPOY and 1st team All America LB:

    Bush was a force in all three facets, posting five sacks and 22 total pressures to go with 34 run stops and 14 stops on passing plays.”

    • Rob Staton

      This is were I lose faith in PFF though. I’ve watched Devin Bush in several games. In no way what so ever would I call his run defense ‘good’ — let alone describe him as a ‘force’ in that facet. Who is judging and grading him? What are they seeing? This to me reads like a box score assessment. I’ve seen too many examples of Bush being far too aggressive vs the run, sprinting head first up to the LOS and completely losing his contain off the edge.

      Further to that, I’d go as far to say Winovich and Bush’s play at Michigan does not translate at all to the next level. They are asked to be very aggressive. I suspect Harbaugh or the DC has them play this way because to be fair, Michigan are far more talented and loaded than most of the teams they play. So you isolate certain playmakers or athletes and let them loose. It’s not surprise Bush has stats because he’s constantly in attack mode. He’s very rarely having to consider 2-3 options, read and react. He’s either covering a pass out into the flat or he’s charging at the LOS to try and create pressure vs the run or pass. Winovich is clearly technically very good but he’s another super aggressive, attack mode player. He’s not asked to do anything else and at the next level it’s a major stretch to imagine him playing contain, sealing the edge vs the run. Not at his size.

      The standard of analysis at PFF is bizarre at times. And it’s taken on a strange reputation because it’s rarely challenged these days. Yet we don’t know how they come to their grades or who is even grading the players for that matter. But it’s not a big shock though because the quality of analysis and projection on the internet regarding the draft is absolutely awful these days. Not saying I get everything right. Far from it. But places like PFF and some of these draft sites and twitter ‘personalities’ just spout so much rubbish.

  24. clbradley17

    You must be right Rob. Except for reporting some of the #s as in hurries, pressures, hits, that we may not see on most stats sights like ESPN which just shows sacks, int.’s, tackles, etc., a lot of their ratings and other info is just subjective, and have heard several Seahawks podcasters, plus John Clayton, Brock & Salk and many others wonder where they come up with their grades. I don’t rely on their grading system, mainly looking for the QB pressures, hurries, etc. stats for defense, and yards after contact, etc. for offense info that I can’t find elsewhere.

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