Week eight NFL draft Seahawks scouting notes

The draft is about projection

What can a player become? What are they facing in college that helps you project success at the next level?

These are fairly obvious points, right? Essentially the core of what the draft is.

Yet it feels like we on the outside are increasingly forgetting the basics.

Todd McShay was at the Mississippi State vs Alabama game on Saturday. He was asked about the top quarterbacks in the draft. He said his top two remained Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud but people in the league favoured Will Levis.

Tony Pauline has voiced a similar sentiment.

I respect McShay and Pauline greatly and this isn’t about pointing fingers at them. They’re far from the only ones sharing this opinion.

For me, though, it’s fairly obvious why the league feels the way it does about Levis.

He’s operating the Kyle Shanahan offense with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. Last year he had Liam Coen, who’s now Sean McVay’s right-hand-man. He utilises pro-concepts, is asked to make reads at the line of scrimmage and he needs to function like a NFL quarterback.

He plays for an unfancied team in the SEC without the perks of playing for one of the giants of college football. He has to play behind a horrible offensive line — meaning he faces weekly adversity. Just like in the NFL.

Levis also has outstanding athletic qualities (123.27 SPARQ score), he has ideal size and arm strength. He has all of the traits teams covet.

He can do this:

As a GM it’s very easy to turn to an owner, list those positives and explain why you’re going to invest their money in Will Levis to lead the franchise.

It doesn’t mean Levis will succeed. It just means when you consider what he can become, it’s not a stretch to imagine a Josh Allen or Justin Herbert-type projection. Levis is having a better college career than either Allen or Herbert and he has similar physical tools. Jim Nagy at the Senior Bowl made the comparison before the season began, so don’t just take my word for it.

Levis has transferable qualities and experience. That is why the league, reportedly, values him more than the others.

Let’s now look at two other quarterbacks. I get asked a fair bit about Mississippi State’s Will Rogers. He has no arm strength to speak of and he looks mightily like a system player from the air-raid offense. It’s very hard to project Rogers to the next level as a consequence. Again — it doesn’t mean he’s a guaranteed failure. Yet you have to follow the evidence to make the best judgement call. Very little about Rogers’ play suggests he has a NFL future.

Let’s take it a step further. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is the darling of the internet currently. That’s not a surprise. The Vols are playing incredibly well. They beat Alabama. They have an explosive, exciting offense.

I’ve seen some people suddenly projecting Hooker to round one.

I’ve watched all of Hooker’s 2022 games so far. Josh Heupel has done a tremendous job but we need to be honest about what’s happening. Heupel’s offense is a half-field attack filled with simple reads. It sets the table for the quarterback. Hooker’s experience within the scheme certainly brings everything together. But this is an offense that churns out production and we see a lot of this in college. Washington does something very similar, for example.

On top of this, Tennessee’s receiver group is absolutely loaded with talent and they have a potential high first round pick at right tackle in Darnell Wright — a player who shut down Will Anderson last week.

When you watch the tape closely — Hooker does indeed have some good throws (especially downfield) and he has a strong command of his brief. He can be streaky with his accuracy though, there are a lot of easy throws and I fear that when he’s not operating in a system that acts as a ‘cheat code’ for quarterbacks — and when he isn’t surrounded by the talent he is at Tennessee — he might be found out. Is he good enough to excel when the environment isn’t tailor made for success?

I wouldn’t rule it out. Far from it. But I think any of us talking about the draft have a duty to be honest about this and grade accordingly. You won’t know whether Hooker can handle a pro-system and pro-challenges until he’s in the building. If someone takes him early, it’ll be a massive role of the dice. And they’ll probably take him early based on faith rather than grade.

The truth is despite his 2022 success — he’s a far harder projection than Levis.

You might ask — why Levis over Stroud and Young then?

With Young it’s obvious. It’s easy for an internet pundit to dismiss any concerns over size. You’re not spending someone else’s money. Your job isn’t on the line if you get this decision wrong. There simply aren’t any 5-10, 185lbs quarterbacks with middling arm strength winning in the NFL.

Young has the natural talent, charisma and creativity to be the one who makes it work. That’s why he’ll still go in round one. Yet there’s a risk factor here. Again — the projection is difficult. The transferable qualities are not as clear.

Stroud is like Hooker with a glow-up. He’s surrounded by four and five star recruits. The offense holds his hand for him. He can produce moments of absolute majesty. His arm strength, accuracy and touch — at times — has to be seen to be believed. Yet when the sideline tells him to throw somewhere — you better believe he’ll throw it.

Numerous times this year his intended target has been smothered like the screen-shot below and he’s thrown the ball anyway, leading to a turnover:

He will go in the top-three picks because the talent and upside is through the roof. Yet the projection is far harder than Levis. He won’t be playing on a star-studded offense in the NFL, with his reads made for him on the sideline, with first round picks getting open and making insane plays every week at receiver. He’ll need to operate the kind of pro-offense Levis is already showing he’s capable of. It’s why the Kentucky quarterback should be viewed as the favourite to go first overall.

If the Seahawks plan to take a quarterback early — and they currently have the #6 pick thanks to Denver — I still think Anthony Richardson (if he declares) could be an option. The Seahawks love tools, upside and special qualities. Richardson is far from the finished article and needs time and development. Yet as I’ve said a lot — his upside/projection is superstar level. It remains an enticing thought to retain Geno Smith and then draft and redshirt Richardson for a year or two.

Stop getting defensive tackles wrong!

Most mocks and articles have Bryan Bresee or Jalen Carter as the top defensive tackle. Let’s get one thing straight — Mazi Smith is the best eligible defensive tackle for 2023.

Bresee has been in-and-out of the Clemson line-up due to a personal tragedy and injury, while Carter has been missing games also with an injury. Smith plays every game. He doesn’t get the media hype because he only has 0.5 sacks for the season. Yet when you watch Michigan tape — he is constantly creating interior pressure and disrupting opponents.

With respect to Bresee and Carter — so far they haven’t come close to making the same kind of impact when they’re on the field.

Further to that, Smith will be a physical phenomena when he tests at the combine after topping Bruce Feldman’s freaks list for 2022.

The media has a tendency to latch-on to players and stick with them. We see it every year. One name that springs to mind is A.J. Epenesa before the 2020 draft. Frequently touted as a top-10 pick — nothing on tape suggested he warranted that type of grade. He lasted until pick #54. That was the range he was always destined to go in.

I think we’re seeing something similar now. Bresee and Carter are both athletic, talented players. They appear more likely destined to go in the second half of round one in a typical draft year. Maybe they get bumped up due to the lack of alternative options?

Mazi Smith is the real deal, however. He is the one with the size and freakish athletic potential — plus the consistent impact on the field — to talk up as a high pick.

Clemson defenders impress

Having said all of that — I thought Bresee had a much more impactful game against Syracuse. Hopefully he’s working into some form — although he was upstaged by his defensive team mates.

K.J. Henry is wildly underrated and was again bright and disruptive off the edge. His best football should come at the next level. He’s a truly dynamic, athletic edge rusher with star potential who deserves a fringe first round mark.

Myles Murphy continues to grow on me. He looks a bit lighter and quicker this year and while he’s still somewhat overrated by the media, his last three games have been very impressive. For a rusher with his size he appears agile and quick with the ability to attack the edge with burst and lean. I’ve bumped him from a round two grade to a fringe first round grade.

Tyler Davis also excelled and while he’s perhaps more of a third-round type at defensive tackle — he showed a great motor and the ability to swim into the backfield.

Keep an eye on Jonathan Mingo

The Ole Miss receiver is one of the players I’ve enjoyed watching the most this year. He’s 6-2 and 225lbs but he’s just so fluid as a runner. He glides around the field and does an excellent job getting downfield. He’s big and quick, presents his hands to the ball and he’s just a fantastic weapon.

A couple of things really stand out for me. Firstly — explosive plays. He has nine +25-yard receptions this year. Secondly — he’s so effective when you move him to the slot and get him matched up against a safety. Every time I watch him I can’t help but wonder how good he’d be as Seattle’s WR3. Pre-testing I think he’s a second rounder.

B.J. Ojulari continues to rise

I really liked his brother and if anything — B.J. is longer, leaner and quicker. He was a handful again at the weekend against Ole Miss and he just creates so much pressure rushing in space. He’s well versed in the role of a 3-4 OLB and has shown he can drop effectively but also provide a challenge for blockers throughout a game.

I mentioned last week he wears the famous #18 jersey for LSU — an indicator of his leadership qualities. At the very least, he warrants a second round grade. He’s far better than players like K’Lavon Chaisson who had no business going as early as he did.

Alabama notes after a blowout win vs Mississippi State

There was a better performance from Will Anderson on Saturday and he’s a top-three lock next year — but I maintain he’s not on the same level as a Bosa brother, Myles Garrett or Von Miller. At least not based on what he’s shown in 2022.

Byron Young is a personal favourite simply because — as a 3-4 DE — he stays so active. He doesn’t record a bunch of sacks but he consistently breaks into the backfield and gives the quarterback something to think about. He thought he had a sack-fumble in this game but it was overturned as an incomplete pass. Young has great power and mobility for his size and is someone to think about for day two, depending on testing results.

In terms of Bryce Young — in the first half he looked so mature, talented and naturally gifted. Yet the injured shoulder is clearly bothering him. His throws lacked the same kind of zip, he was receiving treatment on the sideline and his second half was, unfortunately, quite bad. He took unnecessary sacks, had plenty of misses, should’ve had multiple turnovers — including a fumbled snap, an avoidable sack fumble and he could’ve been picked in the red zone. He only finished 21/35 for 249 yards and two scores despite the blowout.

C.J Stroud continues to be streaky

The good with Stroud is ever so good. The bad is utterly frustrating.

The screen-shot from earlier in the article led to another interception we see all too often. It was a nice leaping grab by Jack Campbell — a player I’m not sure has the mobility to be a great linebacker at the next level (but this was a great play). Stroud also had a really careless sack/fumble. He was just barged over by a defender and dropped the ball. It was returned for a touchdown.

Yet offsetting this were the usual pretty passes and another collection of a highlight reel moments. The talent is there — but can you trust him to make the step up to the NFL and adjust to the demands of the pro’s?

Thoughts on UCLA’s triplets

I’m yet to study Oregon from this game but have watched the Bruins’ key trio.

The Seahawks should seriously consider drafting running back Zach Charbonnet to pair with Ken Walker. His toughness, explosive traits, ideal size, footwork to make people miss and acceleration is absolutely fantastic. I’ve got him graded in round two. A tremendous player.

Jake Bobo made several clutch catches to extend drives. He also had a wonderful one-handed catch with a defender draped all over him. If Bobo tests well — he would be another fantastic ‘bigger’ WR3 option for Seattle. I have him in round three at the moment but testing is key.

I thought this was Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s worst game of the season (from the games I’ve seen). It wasn’t terrible or anything. He made some plays as a runner and passer and his interception was merely a hopeful, desperate heave late in the fourth quarter on fourth down. You might as well take that shot. I just thought he looked a little bit limited when the game was drifting and he does unfortunately lack size and traits — even though he’s incredible creative and talented. I think a fourth round grade is fair, although he might go later.

Another defensive tackle to monitor

I checked out South Carolina’s Zacch Pickens yesterday after reading a recommendation from Tony Pauline. He’s one to keep an eye on. He has ideal size and you see real flashes of quickness and power on tape. Pickens can shoot gaps to disrupt, he can drive blockers back into the pocket. I like his motor and effort — I just think his conditioning looks like it could use some work. He seems to tire quickly and need a breather. As an impact rusher though from the interior he has some potential. I can imagine him taking a year or two to maximise his potential, though. Even so — a likely day two pick.

A quick word on Michael Penix Jr

He’s probably the player I’m asked about the most and he won again at the weekend, meaning the questions re-started.

I like his size and his arm. There’s a sturdy quality to him which is impressive and it provides the solid base from which he’s able to generate throws with velocity. Yet the offense is a classic ‘set the table’ scheme and he often zones in on his intended target to telegraph throws. It’s a very comfortable offense to play in and he has a history working within it at Indiana. Thus — it’s no surprise he’s executing at a high level.

Penix Jr will get drafted later on and will get an opportunity to see if he can make it stick as — if nothing else — a useful backup. He won’t be a high pick though and he’ll need a lot of work at the next level, even though he has a decent arm.

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  1. ShowMeYourHawk

    Quality stuff, per the usual, Rob.

    So, hypothetically….. Denver crashes and burns and the Hawks end up with #1 overall. Unlikely, yes. However, for the sake of conversation, do you take Levis and bring back Geno on a team friendly deal? Or, you plug in Levis right away and wish Geno well in FA? Even a rookie as talented as Levis needs a period of growth, no? Plus, as the team improves via the youth movement, do you want a rookie taking snaps right away, potentially to the detriment of the team’s playoff ambitions? Does Geno on a two year contract (potentially front-loaded) to mentor the QB selected make sense regardless?

    • Seattle Person

      Quite honesty if Levis is there then I’m still taking him. I’m also bringing Geno back. That gives me 2 QBs. I think that sets you up quite nicely. You hedge yourself in case Geno regress. You also have a plan for the future. Win-win to me.

      • Hughz

        Depends on how much Geno wants to be paid. Good in theory but why kill your cap if you don’t have to.

        • Roy Batty

          And a #1 pick doesn’t sign a cheap contract. We aren’t talking 3rd round pay here. It’s a set amount, but that amount is not small.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d be comfortable with either. But I think Levis is pro-ready and has an idea of the scheme because he worked with Coen

    • Spectator

      If you have watched Denver this year, they really should be 0fer. Their 2 wins could have gone either way. If Russ continues to be hurt or doesn’t start clicking in the second half of year, they realistically could give us a top 3 pick. Carolina doesnt look to be imploding. Even ESPN’s FPI has Denver projected to give us #4 from Denver, with Houston Pitt and Detroit above us.

  2. Stuart

    Great info Rob!

    Man, that would be something to get Levis. Let Lock start and Levis could get a few games learning, hopefully half a season.

  3. Andrew

    How does Richardson compare to Malik Willis?

    • Rob Staton

      He is far better than Malik Willis

  4. Hawkfan2345

    Rob I agree with most of your takes, but not this one. I respectfully disagree on Levis because he hasn’t really been impressive. He choked against Ole miss with back to back fumbles. He also has more interceptions this year and in his college career compared to Young and Stroud. Another thing to mention is that he hasn’t had much experience as a starter because he was a backup to a QB who will never become an NFL player when he was at Penn St. How is he viewed as the #1 overall pick? Yes he has some pro traits and is playing in a pro offense, but he’s struggled even against weak teams this season. At times he’s sloppy like Young and Stroud, but Rob you aren’t really hard on Levis like you are with the two other QB’s. If anything you defend Levis any chance you get. He’s good but not spectacular like you make him out to be. Herbert faced better competition in college compared to Levis so stop the comparisons.

    • Rob Staton

      I respectfully disagree on Levis because he hasn’t really been impressive

      Well, I’ve watched every one of his games plus the one where he didn’t play for Kentucky and they got trounced. He has played behind the worst O-line in college football and been creative, allowed them an opportunity to excel and win games, he has gone through multiple progressions, thrown some of the best passes in CFB and big name reporters like Todd McShay and Tony Pauline are saying the league favours Levis over the other QB’s. So define ‘not impressive’.

      He choked against Ole miss with back to back fumbles

      Your definition of a quarterback ‘choking’ appears to be… it’s his fault Kentucky can’t block anyone.

      He also has more interceptions this year and in his college career compared to Young and Stroud.

      Box-score scouting. I’ve broken down all of his interceptions in detailed arguments already, plus those of Young and Stroud. For example — his ‘interception’ against Florida was a sack/fumble thanks to his O-line, registered as a ‘pick’.

      C.J. Stroud, as noted in the article, keeps throwing into triple coverage because he can’t come off his intended target as signalled from the sideline. Bryce Young bailed on the pocket needlessly for two of his picks and threw hopelessly straight to a defender.

      I’ve gone through this already in multiple 3-4000 word weekly articles. I’d recommend checking them out.

      Another thing to mention is that he hasn’t had much experience as a starter because he was a backup to a QB who will never become an NFL player when he was at Penn St.

      Two years starting in the SEC is ample experience.

      How is he viewed as the #1 overall pick?

      I think I’ve made my argument fairly clear already in this and other articles.

      Rob you aren’t really hard on Levis like you are with the two other QB’s

      Yes, it’s a real travesty how hard I am on Stroud — noting his ‘majesty’ as a passer (while also noting his clear erraticism and ideal environment at Ohio State) or hailing Young’s natural talent and brilliance (while also noting his size is an issue for teams — which it is).

      If anything you defend Levis any chance you get

      I love it when someone who hasn’t watched every game these players have played accuses me of being blinkered to a player, when I’ve put in hours and hours of tape study to provide opinions on these prospects.

      Incidentally — the media consensus now is that Levis is a top pick, if not the top pick. Something I’ve been saying for a long time — long before the media jumped on the bandwagon. This hasn’t been suggested on a whim.

      Herbert faced better competition in college compared to Levis so stop the comparisons.

      Are you seriously suggesting Justin Herbert faced ‘better competition’ in the PAC-12 than Levis is facing playing in the SEC for Kentucky?


      I’m content to present that one single line to the community and let them decide who they want to trust on this topic, you or I.

      • Andy J

        GET HIM!!!! #lmao

      • Big Mike

        “Herbert faced better competition in college compared to Levis so stop the comparisons”

        Take the green and gold glasses off. I love Justin but the Pac defenses are a joke comapred to the SEC (and it p[ains me greatly to say that)

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        There’s a reason that SEC teams play for the national championship every year and the PAC-12… does not. Herbert faced better competition? That’s a helluva take.

  5. JLemere

    Really it all comes down to who is the head coach in 2023. If it’s PC, the only QBs to be considered for the job will be Will Levis and Geno Smith. If it’s an offensive-minded head coach in 2023, then Richardson, Stroud, and Young would be in consideration, but I believe Richardson should go back to Florida for one more year.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t agree. Pete will be open minded about these talented QB’s.

      • JLemere

        Do you really trust PC in QB development? I don’t. I think Levis is the only exception because he is the most “pro-ready” out of the entire class and will not need as much development as say Stroud & Richardson. Richardson has the most talent and I like him, but he is going to need a more offensive-minded Head Coach and a staff to unlock his full potential.

        • Rob Staton

          Well in fairness, on PC’s watch we’ve seen Wilson flourish and now Geno have a career resurgence

          • JLemere

            For Geno, I think that’s him actually listening to Waldron and following the script. For Wilson, he was more pro-ready than all the other QBs in the 2012 draft except Andrew Luck.

            • Rob Staton

              Maybe so

              But then why can’t a drafted QB also experience these things?

              • JLemere

                They can. His name is Will Levis. The problem is that Will Levis will probably be the first QB drafted. So do you take Stroud/Young/Richardson and probably experience a “Trey Lance” incident or stick with Geno for another year and focus on the 2024 class. Note: Richardson can be part of that 2024 class and with another year in college can potentially reach pro-ready status

                • Rob Staton

                  I think you’re going OTT here on this

    • Peter

      I think Pete and John will look at Richardson if he declares and select him.

  6. Chase

    Cha, Rob, or anyone with salary cap knowledge, currently via OTC the Seahawks have 53m in cap space for 2023. I remember some articles from earlier saying the number was much closer to ~30m. Has anything significant changed or am I missing something? Thanks guys.

    • 12th chuck

      its effective cap space that I think folks are referring about.

    • cha

      Yeah, $53m is the total cap space available but OTC also calculates “Effective Cap space”, that is after they pay their rookie draft picks and then fill the rest of the 51 man roster with minimum salary players.

      So right this minute they have $30.5m effective space. That’s your spendable money.

      They’re doing something different this year, they factor in the draft picks and their number changes weekly by whether the Seahawks & Denver win (they get pushed down the board / get more effective money to spend) or lose (they go up the board / get less effective money to spend).


      • mantis

        the paying draft picks is overblown because the cost of most picks are replacment level, cross is 3.8 mil, mafe and walker 1.5 mil, coby .9 mil and the rest are minimum level, so accounts for 7.8 mil minus 3 mil of players replaced,
        so overall 5.8 mil extra

        also in a previous post i referred to rams saints, etc don’t seem to have a big problem, hawks are in a good position

        • cha

          The Seahawks currently have two first round picks this year, including #6 overall.

          OTC projects their rookie pool as $15.6m.

          So no, it’s not overblown.

        • HOUSE


          Other teams cook their books and finagle the cap every year. It’s what leads these teams in the hill 5-6 years down the road. The Seahawks are one of those teams that actually sticks to the And because of a lot of the signings this past season and how they were signed, it leaves us with the number that we have. We dished out a lot of two-year deals that the second year contract were significantly bigger than this year. As it’s been brought up on here a bunch of times, I think the anticipation was we were not going to be paying a quarterback big money with a rookie coming in.

        • Roy Batty

          Travon Wlker, as the #1 pick in 2022, will earn, $6.5 million, 8.5, 10.2 and 11.9 over 4 years.

          Top picks cost a lot of money

  7. Bankhawk

    Great column, Rob. I had come prepared to ask the inverse question re: QBs who benefit from simplified systems and stellar weapons/OLines.
    You gave me plenty of food for thought before I even posed the question, but I’ll double down.
    Besides Levi’s, who else may have escaped the punfit’s praise due to a dearth of the benefits cited above?

    • Rob Staton

      Levis is on a bit of an island I’m afraid

      Most teams now are running these half-field, prolific offensive schemes

      It does make it harder to project

      But you can look at footwork, throwing mechanics, evidence of going through progressions, arm strength, accuracy (consistency), improv ability and elevating a team to also determine potential success

      • Old but Slow

        Thank you, Rob, for the phrase :”…evidence of going through progressions…”. The players helmet may be facing in one direction but his eyes may be 30 degrees to the side. It seems you can see example of experienced QBs moving a free safety with his helmet.

        I think that some commenters get caught up in the helmet when they talk of looking at only one option (yes, that happens, too).

      • Big Mike

        I’m with Old but Slow here. To me if all other things like arm strength are about equal, ‘evidence of going through progressions’ is the no. 1 thing I’d look at. TD to int ratio will follow that ability.

        • Big Mike

          For example, Joe Montana had good but not great arm strength, certainly not a Marino/Elway gun. But his ability to see the field and progress through reads as Walsh designed the offense was what made him a HOFer.

        • Peter

          1. Progressions

          2. Foot work/ foot placement when throwing

          3. Maybe arm strength…?

          4. Decisions in game. Throw to triple coverage when given average time in pocket, I get the sense the qb is a pure script player and avoid them.

          5. Over powered team. The last (maybe only,) very good qb I can think of with an over powered team that did well in the pros is Burrows.

          6. With Allen being an outlier and training under the now coach of the year candidate I like to look at an increased completion year over year.

          These are the things mostly in order I consider for qb.

          • pdway

            I’d add accuracy to that list; can never really be good without it, and is a trait that doesn’t always improve.

            And these days, probably mobility too – it’s hard to think of a good QB coming up in the league these days who isn’t at least above-average there.

            • Peter

              Apologies I meant completion rate, or accuracy, increasing as a thing I look to.

          • Big Mike

            Excellent list Peter. I might move decision making up to #2 on my list.
            And yes pdway! Accuracy is a great add to the list.

            • Peter

              Upon further review switch decisions higher.

  8. Jabroni-DC

    Based on past draft habits I’d guess that one of the early Seattle picks goes toward the best pass rusher they can find but now in the 3-4 DE mold. Bit of a bigger dude. At the height of our rivalry with the 49ers they had ‘The Cowboy’ & Aldon Smith flanking him as their lethal duo. We could use our own version of The Cowboy. Or better yet, a Calais Campbell.

  9. Clayton

    Just wondering why no one is talking about Max Duggan out of TCU. He’s leading his undefeated team, beating ranked teams week after week, yet no recognition. Is everyone waiting for TCU to go undefeated before he gets any love? Definitely someone to watch.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve talked about him in several articles.

      He’s not a particularly impressive passer. I admire what he’s done at TCU — especially after being benched over the summer and bouncing back when the starter was injured. TCU are having a great year and playing some exciting games. I’ve watched their last three games. But Max Duggan is not someone I would expect to be more than a day-three flier at QB.

  10. Mick

    If Denver don’t magically land us pick #1, Levis will likely be gone by the time we pick. I hope we manage an extension with Geno on decent terms for both sides so that we can draft a QB without pressure. I’d be fine spending both first round picks on other positions if we have Geno as insurance, and getting a development project later on. And I wouldn’t write Drew Lock completely off, after one year of learning the system he could become a pleasant surprise.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the problem is the dearth of appealing non-QB’s in round one. It’s a Sahara desert in round one this year beyond a handful of names. So unless we fancy Bijan Robinson (a running back) or a nose tackle (Mazi Smith) it’s tricky to make a compelling case.

      I wish there were more options but that’s the reality I’m afraid.

      Thus, that’s why I still hope they pursue a QB. I want us to feel great about the present and the future at the position and I think this class presents that opportunity. It’s why I think Anthony Richardson is ideal to sit and redshirt behind Geno.

      Then you can add some nice defensive pieces with the rest of your haul.

      • pdway

        “It’s why I think Anthony Richardson is ideal to sit and redshirt behind Geno.”

        Feels like the right move to me too. If Geno keeps playing this way the rest of the season (and at this point, seems like that should be the case), then I think not only has he earned a contract and some starting time, but he’s also likely to be better in the ’23 season than anyone we draft out of college. But I also agree that we do need the QB of the future – and better to take someone who could use a redshirt year than a pro-ready guy who will chafe in that situation.

      • Spectator

        Any chance if we end up with pick 3 or 4 from Denver, Both Will’s are off the board, we trade out of the spot for future picks? Say a Commanders or Colts team, who pick a little later, falls for Stroud or Young and gives up 9ers for Lance type deal? Personally I love future picks. Imagine that happens and we are still able to grab Richardson at 12ish lol

  11. Andy J

    The Seahawks currently have 4 DTs on contract next year, all w/ sizable cut savings. Poona will also be a FA. Obviously, the defense is still a work in progress and we’ll see how it develops through the rest of the year. It’s certainly a revelation to see them find a semblance of run defense the past two weeks.

    So my questions is… given our new scheme… what “type” of DT is going to impact the game? Will they continue to plug & play the big guys? Or are they still looking for a Campbell/McDowell guy?

    Also, happy to see the Charbonnet shout-out. Walker is a stud… but I definitely feel we need to get a thumper to complement him on the inside. Wondering if there are other, bigger backs that could provide a wallop

    • Peter

      I don’t know if we draft Charbonnet to be a “big back.” Love Walker. I think I’d love to see Charbonett just so Seattle can be a dominating run team.

      I get charbonnet is bigger but he has legit potential to be great at the next level and the two if them not necessarily splitting carries but working off of who has the hot hand and frankly never be recent Seattle again where your run game falls off a flicking cliff.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I agree Peter. Charbonnet may be a bigger RB but that’s not his running style, even though he can thump with the best of them when he needs to.

        In this draft, Chris Rodriguez Jr is probably that inside thumper runner.

        Think I prefer Zach, but I wouldn’t be upset with Chris.

        • Peter

          I think you first tipped me off to rodriguez. Add him to the list for sure.

          • JimQ

            RB-Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota, 5-10/210, A good complement to K-9, especially in the red zone, He’s not a speed demon or prolific receiver but runs with some decent vision and a lot of power. A 1000 -to- 1,500 – yard rushing season for him this year is very likely + potentially 20-TD’s or more.

            Highlights film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIbc0zqH5Yg ——- Check him out!

            2022: in 6 games, 134/796/5.94-YPC/*10-TD’s* (coming back this year after an Achillies injury that he has obviously overcome very well). Career #’s: 681/3799/5.6-YPC/*43-TD’s*
            Current draft projection Rd-5-ish —– PC’s run game really depends on RB health, so having 2 big bangers is essential for a run first team. If they don’t land Charbonnet or Rodriquez, here is a very, very viable alternative that seems to be under the radar a bit at this point in time.

  12. Big Mike

    Thanks as always for all your efforts Rob. It’s been a great several years gaining knowledge of the incoming college players from your blog. It’s not something I ever would’ve done on my own. In other words, you’ve allowed me to be a lazy yet knowledgeable fan of the draft. 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for being a big supporter of the community and blog, Mike 👍🏻

  13. Blitzy the Clown

    I’ll say this about DTR:

    He’s thrown only 2 INTs this year, and in both instances, he came back on the next possession to drive his team downfield and score a TD.

    Mistakes happen. But you want your QB bouncing right back from them like DTR.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s an excellent player

      Whether he translates to the next level, I’m not sure

      But I’d happily spend a pick later on to find out

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I’m really impressed with his level of competitiveness and in-game intensity. He’s become a true leader.

        We have 2 R5s. If he’s there I’d run to the podium

        • TomLPDX

          I think DTR would be long gone by Rd 5.

          • Big Mike

            Agree Tom. With the endless search by NFL teams to find the guy, I could see 3rd.

          • Blitzy the Clown

            I dunno. Bailey Zappe lasted to the 4th.

            I’m not comparing them as QBs, but rather their relative rankings within their respective QB class.

            And the draft is a fickle thing. As an example I’m sure we’ll see a QB or two taken higher than they should (think Hooker).

  14. Trevor

    Rob I was just listening to Albert Breer, who I like by the way on Brock and Salk.

    He clearly reads your blog and told Salk that he thought the ideal situation was that Geno becomes to Pete and the Hawks what Alex Smith was to Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Extend him for a couple of years of above average QB play while you find your Patrick Mahomes ideally with the top 10 pick this year but if the guy you want is not there you don’t have to force it.

    He either reads the blog or great minds think an awful lot alike 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      I’d be very surprised if he reads the blog — so it’s good to know he is on the same page

  15. Trevor

    Rob you talked about some of the Centers in next years draft class the other day. Is the a truly dominant interior OL that you have seen yet graded in Rds 1-3?

    • Rob Staton

      Day two there are six centers I like

  16. Don

    What does Bo Nix of Oregon have to do to get mentioned as a top tier prospect? He has improved each year and to me seems like another Herbert story where he has found the type of offense that fits his talents. In the past he has tried to do too much and now is with a team that has talent around him that he can trust stay within himself.

    I would like to see the Hawks take one of the best LB or DE with the #6 and draft Nix or another good sleeper QB like Herbert later with their own #1.

    • Rob Staton

      Improved each year?

      He was utterly dreadful at Auburn

      I’m glad he’s having a good year in the PAC 12 against weak defenses but it’ll take a bit more than that to warrant NFL talk

      Taking him in R1?!

      And who is this sleeper who is like Justin Herbert? That person doesn’t exist I’m afraid

      • 34shadow

        To be fair, Nix did improve every year at Auburn (we could talk about his rating taking a slight dip in his sophomore year but that’s it.) His completion % has gone up each year (from 58% to 72%), as has his yards per attempt (from 6.7 to 8.5). Moreover, Auburn -the team- was “utterly dreadful” during his tenure there and was so bad that Anthony Schwartz was the highest drafted player on offense during that time. At least Levis had Wan’dale & Rodriguez.

        I get the valid critiques about PAC12 defenses and Bo’s propensity to make head-scratching throws. However, there is the fact Bo had his best game against Georgia while playing for the Ducks, not Auburn. (His QBR was 54.6, 46.6 & 38.7 as a Tiger and 59.1 in his first game as a Duck). In fact, it was that game that made me pay attention to him a little more.

        The interesting part of his development is his ability to read the field, look off receivers and generally play point guard. His bomb to Franklin against UCLA was a mirror of the same throw to Franklin in the BYU game. Those throws show patience and accuracy.

        My guess is that Nix is a late round draft pick but he’s a better player than I thought. Again, he has his limitations but put on a team with talent around him, he’s showing that he can play.

        • Rob Staton

          Come on 34 — Nix was dreadful at Auburn. It’s OK to make that claim.

          And look what happened against Georgia this year.

          • 34shadow

            I’m fine if you write him off, my point simply is that Auburn was dreadful at Auburn and context matters. I was simply surprised (because you do your homework and I appreciate it) that you dismissed Nix’s progression despite his team falling apart around him.

            You can point to Georgia and I get it. I’ll just say that 49-3 lacks the context of a first year coach with a new QB and a new staff playing across the country in their first game. Is that going to be a good representative sample? Does it help to look at his games and see if he’s cheating a read or going half-field??? I don’t know.

            • Rob Staton

              All I know is I’ve been watching his games for a long time now and he’s been rubbish for the vast majority of his career

              I’m glad he’s having a good run at Oregon but at no point have I watched him and thought… that’s a NFL quarterback

              I’m sure someone will give him a camp but he isn’t going to trouble the rounds where this is going to be a big discussion point for us

        • Starhawk29

          I don’t think you’re wrong that Bo Nix has grown as a player. I just think he’s gone from “talented but inconsistent” to “ok he’s only bad some times,” to “good college QB”. I really don’t see much of a pro player. He’s never been a consistent thrower of the football, and his throwing motion makes me wince every time. Just so awkward. They guy has been overhyped everywhere he’s been, and this is really only the first year he’s actually gotten close.

          The OP asked what it would take for him to get some buzz? For me, it would take him going on a Russ in 2015 style second half tear, along with a national title.

  17. Palatypus

    One thing I haven’t heard anyone discuss is how inflation might affect the salary cap next year. Especially following the covid year. My guess is revenue will be…down?

    Some quick numbers. https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cba/

    I mean if you believe Sidney Jones is trade bait right now, this would affect whether you do something like what the Jets did today, acquiring RB James Robinson for a conditional 5th/6th, or trading for a player to develop that is under contract through next year.

    Right now I’m guessing Atlanta and Miami are targets.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I don’t see how revenues could be down. Ad revenue is already set by negotiations with the networks. Stadium revenue is probably more affected by how your team is doing and the loyalty of fans. Ticket cost was always high compared to baseball games. The cost of fielding a team and the stadium is not affected that much by inflation of food and oil and whatever.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Agreed AH. All you need to look at to get a sense of the financial health of the League is TV viewership.

        From The Athletic on October 4th:

        The National Football League continues its domestic television domination, and its network partners are happy to crow about their viewership numbers. CBS Sports, for example, said Tuesday that its NFL games are averaging 18.55 million viewers for its best start to a season since 2010.


        • Palatypus

          Inflation can be a tricky thing. It’s effects can often be counter-intuitive.

          • Blitzy the Clown

            To be sure. But the assertion was that NFL ad revenues will come down and that’s not happening.

    • cha

      I can’t imagine revenues going down to the degree that it effects the 2023 cap. OTC projects a $225m cap and that is 8% growth which is reasonable.

      TV revenues are fixed, and gambling revenue alone is going to buffet any lack of fans buying hot dogs and beers at the games and then some. I can’t watch a game nowadays without half the commercials touting sportsbooks and betting.

  18. Spectator

    IDK if its worth noting or not, but Hooker will also be 25 when he is drafted. Josh Allen is currently 26, for reference. Anthony Richardson, Stroud and Young are all 21. Levis is a little older at 23

    • Palatypus

      What would happen if someone gave you $80 Million the day you were old enough to drink?

      • Roy Batty

        Most of those players are already making good money on NIL deals.

        There isn’t a single top ranked player coming out of college who hasn’t learned a thing or two about the business side of sports.

        So, even at 21, these guys sre not unaccustomed to the luxury life.

      • Spectator

        I think it is a bit ignorant to think anyone these days thinks that 21 is when you are “old enough to drink.” lol

        It is also ignorant to think that these kids haven’t been subject to the benefits such money will give.

        If we are talking about maturity not to do stupid things, all 5 have shown to be mature and respectable. And if they weren’t, a few extra years in that department wouldnt change a whole lot.

        You cant compare yourself mentally or emotionally at age 21 to professional athletes at age 21. They have been trained way better in every department and gone thorough filtering to get where they are. Not to mention what they have been subject to. Just a dumb comparison.

        The argument in age goes back to projecting their respective ceilings and floors. What would any of those 3 21 year olds look like given 4 more years of development (physically and mentally). Or even 2 years for Levis.

        • Peter

          Sorry on this I think you’re wrong. Athletes aren’t trained better to handle their money, their lives, their anything over regular folks.

          Plus what are athletes subject too? For all I know arch manning is dumb as a box of socks but he gets to go to any college outside of about a dozen of them he wants to because he’s a third generation qb that can throw a small oval shape around better than I ever could.

          • Spectator

            And I think you are absolutely wrong.

            In order to get to the point they are, they have to manage different things than an average 18-21 year old has to manage. We are talking about the QB position here, too. And If you look at any college athlete, whether football or any sport, and say that they are no different than your average student, you are just ignorant. The margin of error is so small for many of the athletes these days, even in college talent alone doesnt guarantee anything.

            Arch Manning is a unique situation. Watching his tape, i dont see the talent of the number 1 overall recruit. And because of that, and if he is “dumber than a box of rocks”, he is going to get funneled out and wont be thought of as a top pick when the time comes. So you really arent even making a proper argument when using Arch Manning, who hasnt proved anything, to players at the top of their game in CFB. But even so, using your Arch Manning example, at 17 he has already been subject to a greater spotlight than you or I ever will be. His day to day is different. The benefits he gets are different. The luxuries. Personal lives are going to be a part of the person whether they are 21 or 25 but i guarantee a 21 year old Arch Manning going through what a college athlete, not to mention college football player, has to go through is going to be equip him to handle certain things differently.

            College athletes do stupid shit. there is no argument here on that. I never said they managed there money perfect, or handle situations perfect.

            But we are talking about the top college QBs, professional athletes who have had the spotlight on them for most of their lives. It is a dumb argument these days to say that with all other things equal, drafting a 25 year old QB is better than drafting a 21 year old QB because you think that the 21 is more susceptible to do something stupid with his money, because your dumbass at 21 couldnt handle getting paid.

        • Palatypus

          My point is that 21 year olds do stupid things.

          • Spectator

            25 year olds do stupid shit, 30 year olds, 40 year olds. What’s your point in relation to my initial comment?

          • AlaskaHawk

            “Fifty Dollars, you gave him fifty dollars? A man could drink himself to death on fifty dollars!!!!
            Cat Ballou

  19. Canadian Hawk


    I recall you mentioning earlier in the year that Richardson had a terrific game against Utah, but then seemed to regress over the next few games and that perhaps the best thing for him would be play another year of college ball.

    Two quick questions:

    1. Have you seen some improvement?
    2. Do you think he’s going to declare this year?

    I know many boards have him going late first/early 2nd – but I think you’re right that he’ll be an earlier pick than that.

    • Rob Staton

      1. Yes he’s had some better games since

      2. Nobody knows

      There’s no way a player with his talent lasts into round two — rough diamond or not. Especially in this class which is light on legit R1 prospects.

  20. Jordan

    Day two looks like potentially a nice sweet spot for some promising interior oline prospects.

  21. Sea Mode


    And I heard they might fire Hackett if they lose as well. Would be quite the implosion!

    Dov Kleiman

    #Broncos top pass-rusher Bradley Chubb will be traded likely by Tuesday if Denver loses to the #Jaguars on Week 8, according to Mike Florio.

    • Roy Batty

      So, in a nutshell, Russ got traded to a rebuild.

      Oh the irony.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s clear they have no intention of paying him mega money and would rather get something now then let him walk in the off-season

    • Cysco

      Maybe they’d take Drew Lock back in exchange for Chubb? 🙂

      • Ralphy

        The beautiful part is that trading their top players means even more losses!

    • Seattle Person

      It’s a decent discussion whether Chubb warrants a first round pick. I imagine a team like KC or Philly can use him. He’s going to be 27 next season and has had multiple serious injuries. That’s the bad. The good is his stats and advanced stats looks great. He easily is top 15 and could be top 10 rusher. It’s probably the smart thing for Denver to flip some of its pieces to recoup anything they can from this lost season. They have Baron Browning emerging and they drafted an edge last draft.

  22. Sea Mode

    Licking our chops. Just gotta stop Daboll’s offense…

    Field Gulls

    The Giants defense ranks last in yards per carry allowed at 5.7 (tied with the Chargers). They’ve given up 100-yard rushers four times and rank 30th in rush defense DVOA.

    They’ve also allowed the fifth-most receptions and fourth-most receiving yards to tight ends.

    • Roy Batty

      Come on Kenneth, hit the 200 yard mark.

  23. Ralphy

    Rob are there any players out there on the trade block you think the Hawks could be considering. I have found Barton to be the worst starter out there and with Shaq Thompson on the block, it got me thinking that he could be a good replacement for him.

    • Rob Staton

      None — I don’t want to bring any old, previously well paid veterans in via trade

  24. Gaux Hawks

    Sign me up!

    1R23 Anthony Richardson
    1R23 Mazi Smith
    2R23 Zach Charbonnet
    2R23 Jonathan Mingo
    3R23 Jarrett Patterson
    4R23 Abraham Camara
    5R23 Ventrel Miller
    5R23 Jake Bobo
    6R23 Traded for LB (depth)

  25. Seattle Person

    One player that I would like to see them extend is Uchenna Nwosu. He now leads the entire NFL in pressures. He is running a 15% pressure rate. This puts him squarely in the conversation of the top 15 best rushers in the league. Plus he’s a good run defender with the ability to 2-gap. He’s only on a 2 year contract and is only turning 26 in Dec. Sounds like the Hawks found a pretty good edge and he could blossom into one of the top ones in the league.

    Given the effective cap space, I’m not sure how this fits. Maybe Cha you can give some clarity. Is this plausible by next training camp?

    • cha

      He has a $12m cap hit next year, so absolutely they could extend him and lower his 2023 number.

      They could get a max of $5m back, but probably $3-4m more likely.

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