What are the Seahawks doing? Plus Austin Corbett

Pete Carroll is staring a challenging off-season right in the eyes

What are the Seahawks doing?

We’re all seeking clarity. Here’s my best attempt at answering some of the big questions we’re all asking at the moment…

Are they giving up on 2018?

It’ll never be about ‘not winning’ for Pete Carroll. Even in 2010 when the Seahawks were a cobbled together bunch of retreads, rejects, journeymen and rookies — Seattle found a way to compete.

Here’s a reminder:

Change has been on the cards. We’ve known that since Mike Silver published his piece in December.

It doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t or can’t be competitive next season.

So how are they going to be competitive? They’re cutting key veterans!

I think they believe if they can fix the running game it will cure a lot of ills. Russell Wilson would get the support he needs on offense and that helps the defense too.

Complete the circle.

This also allows them to challenge as best they can in 2018 while they make some difficult but possibly necessary changes to the roster. Moves that will increase competition and the speed/health of the defense.

That’s all well and good but there’s intent and there’s execution!

As bad as the Seahawks were at times in 2017, they still won nine games and should’ve won more despite playing virtually an entire season without a running game.

When they were able to run the ball, they looked terrific.

Remember the Eagles game in week 13? Seattle defeated the eventual Super Bowl Champions handsomely. Richard Sherman didn’t play. They ran the ball and were balanced. It was one of the few times in 2017 everything clicked together. They were a proper team.

So even as bad as things were last year, they still put together a clear example of what they want to be. It’ll be a lot easier to repeat that performance if they can turn a hopeless running game into a functioning and consistent one in 2018.

Why couldn’t they just fix the run and keep Sherman?

The Seahawks spent spent $93,714,666 on their defense last season, more than any team in the NFL. The split between offensive and defensive spend was 36.37% vs 55.98%.

There needs to be more balance there.

Not only was it an expensive defense, it was an ageing one too. Multiple veteran players suffered key injuries or simply didn’t practise during the week.

Getting cheaper and younger on defense had to be part of the 2018 plan. And that meant difficult decisions had to be made.

But now they have so many holes on defense!

Pete Carroll deserves some benefit of the doubt here. Even last year they found Dion Jordan, Justin Coleman, Bradley McDougald, Shaq Griffin and Naz Jones.

Carroll is a very experienced and proven developer of talent. He gets the best out of people, especially on defense. So here we go again. Let’s see what they can do.

Even if they needed to get younger and cheaper on defense, they won’t be that competitive even if they fix the run!

Any team with a franchise quarterback and a running game will be tough to beat. Any team carrying those two aspects plus a defense led by Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas will be competitive.

What are they going to spend all this cap space on?

They don’t have to spend it immediately. They can be picky. They have the flexibility to chase the next Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Michael Bennett or Cliff Avril if they become available in 2018, 2019, 2020 or whenever. The next time a Calais Campbell hits the market, that player might be heading to Seattle.

Their biggest outlay this year might be a veteran blocking tight end, a receiver or a recently cut defensive or offensive lineman. It might be a hedge running back for the draft. They might spend to retain their own, be it Bradley McDougald or Sheldon Richardson.

Rolling cap and protecting comp picks could be the ultimate goal.

So how do they fix the run if they’re not going to just go and spend $14m a year on Andrew Norwell?

Well, this just so happens to be the ideal draft class to fix the running game. The first two rounds will be loaded with talented running backs and interior offensive linemen.

They couldn’t have picked a better year to face this challenge.

I know some people (no names mentioned *cough* *Seahawks Twitter* *cough*) are allergic to talking about the running back position with anything other than pure disdain — but the Seahawks have a great opportunity to get things back on track.

They only have one early pick though! So how are they going to do this?

They’ll need to be creative but that’s fine.

Trading down twice from #18 (initially into the mid-20’s and then possibly down into round two) could net two third round picks. That would give you three picks in the sweet-spot of the draft (R2-3).

Turning #18 into three day-two picks could be their objective. And it’s achievable.

They’d also have much more flexibility if that happened. They could trade down again, trade up if needed. They should be able to land the tools they need to fix the run.

Trade down AGAIN? No thanks!

Well, there aren’t that many legit first round players in the draft this year. I think there are about 10-15. Phil Savage says 20. Either way, the player you take at #18 might not have a significantly higher grade than the player drafted at #35.

The sweet-spot this year, without a doubt, is rounds 2-3.

What about the defense though! Surely they need to spend a high pick there!

Let’s have some names then. Defensive line is often suggested as a must-pick following Michael Bennett’s departure. The options are limited in round one. If you compare Marcus Davenport, Harold Landry and Taven Bryan to Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, Austin Corbett and the running backs (especially players like Ronald Jones II) — good luck convincing anyone a defensive lineman at #18 is a better option.

Vita Vea will go in the top-10. Leighton Vander Esch could go in the top-16 and Derwin James might be off the board too. The defensive options at #18 aren’t likely to be that appealing and they’ll be even thinner if you trade down.

So how exactly do you plan to add to the defense!?

Again, you play to the strength of the draft. It’s quite simple this year. The early round value is at running back, linebacker and the interior offensive line. The later round picks should provide a lot of value on defense in general.

Our seven-round Seahawks mock draft highlighted this. There is plenty of day three talent on defense this year.

So how quickly can they get back to their best?

Atlanta and Philadelphia turned things around pretty quickly. Seattle can do the same. But it starts with fixing the run first and foremost.

Nevada’s Austin Corbett could be Seattle’s first pick in the draft

Austin Corbett should be on our radar

Tony Pauline connected him to the Seahawks during Senior Bowl week, suggesting they could target him in round two.

Considering the Seahawks are likely to trade down from #18 — possibly out of the first round altogether — Corbett is a name to monitor. If they did want to go O-line first after a significant move down, Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez might be off the board. Corbett could be a prominent alternative.

Today I spent time watching two of his games from 2017 (vs Boise State, Hawaii) and it’s easy to see why he’s being considered a possible first round pick by some scouts.

Watching him leaves you wondering whether Corbett has done any martial arts. Often he’ll judo-throw a defensive lineman off balance. he generates a lot of power in his hips. In the two games I kept seeing this same move time and time again and he tried it at the Senior Bowl when lining up at center for this rep:

He also has a chop he likes to bring in which is a thing of beauty. Hand-technique is vital in the trenches:

He also has a great punch, jolting blockers off balance and frequently stoning them at the point of attack. Here he is versus likely top-25 pick Marcus Davenport:

He’s very willing to progress to the second level and Corbett combo blocks as well as anyone else in this class. He appeared very comfortable dealing with stunts and twists:

Corbett is physical and plays with the attitude you want to see on the O-line. Need evidence?

That’s him dominating Marcus Davenport again, by the way.

Like Wynn he’s extremely competent and doesn’t get flustered. It’s difficult to beat him. It’s incredibly difficult to find obvious flaws. And that’s the one thing that separates this class of lineman compared to previous years. Even the guys like Wynn and Corbett who played left tackle in college are barely ever beaten off the edge. They combat speed, get into position and have the kind of hand technique and recovery to sustain blocks. You’re not looking at highly athletic, raw projects and seeing the obvious areas where they can improve. This is rare in 2018 but they genuinely look like plug-in-and-play O-liners.

This isn’t the cleanest rep against Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in the Senior Bowl. His footwork isn’t particularly smooth but he just finds a way to get it done. Decent use of the hands, eventually gets into position. No way through for Okoronkwo:

You can find tape where Mike McGlinchey is beaten, for example. Watching Wynn and Corbett — it barely ever happens. They are both incredibly difficult to beat. There’s no rhyme or reason to it either. Neither are sensational athletes or particularly long or big. They’re both adequately sized. Decent but not elite physical traits. There aren’t many of these players around in college football but they’re just really, really good at blocking. In both the passing and running game.

Being extremely competent might seem like you’re dabbing a prospect with faint praise. Maybe so for other positions but not necessarily on the O-line.

This might be important too — he’s very durable. He played more than 600 snaps in college, starting 49 of 50 games at Nevada. He missed only one game because of an ankle injury and that came in his Freshman year.

Corbett’s not the most explosive lineman. He only managed an 8-10 broad and a 28.5 inch vertical. His 5.15 forty isn’t bad but Joel Bitonio, who he’s often compared to, ran a 4.97 and also had better explosive testing results (e.g. 32 inch vertical).

He did do well in the 10-yard split though. His 1.76 was only bettered by Kolton Miller (1.67), Brian O’Neill (1.70) and Joseph Noteboom (1.72). Miller, O’Neill and Noteboom all ran sub-5.00 forty’s. Joel Bitonio might’ve run a quicker forty but Corbett beat him in the split (1.76 vs 1.78).

It’s also worth noting that one of the other players to run a 1.76 split was 327lbs Will Hernandez. Both Corbett and Hernandez ran 1.76 splits and 5.15 forty’s (Hernandez is 21lbs heavier though).

Corbett excelled in the short shuttle, running a 4.50. That’s similar to Bitonio’s 4.44 and better than Garett Bolles’ 4.55 and Jack Conklin’s 4.57. It’s the eighth best time in the last three years and put him in the top five for O-liners at the 2018 combine:

James Daniels — 4.40
Joseph Noteboom — 4.44
Kolton Miller — 4.49
Austin Corbett — 4.50
Brian O’Neill — 4.50

He showed off his agility during the combine drills:

As we’ve often discussed, this is a very strong looking group of interior linemen this year. Quenton Nelson could go in the top-five. Wynn and Hernandez likely sneak into the back-end of round one and Billy Price could still get into that range too. Frank Ragnow and Austin Corbett won’t be too far behind. I’m yet to study James Daniels the Iowa center.

It won’t be a surprise if teams look to trade into the last 5-7 picks of the first round to get at the interior O-line class or the group of running backs. There’s going to be a ton of talent at those two positions leaving the board between 25-45.

It won’t be a total shocker either if Corbett sneaks into round one. He’s probably more likely to be an early R2 but listen — this is possible. He’s really good.

If the Seahawks want to go OL-RB — and if Wynn and Hernandez are off the board after they’ve traded down — Corbett could be a target. It might surprise a few people on draft day but it’s possible.

It’s a shame they don’t have their native second round pick to be able to say with some confidence they can tap into the interior O-line and running back classes early.

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  1. Totem_Hawk

    Great piece Rob. Funny how the Seahawks best drafts in the PC/JS era have been when they DON’T trade down from their 1st round pick…

    • Rob Staton

      They did trade down before taking Bruce in fairness.

      I think a lot gets said about trading down or not. I think picking later in round one annually almost encourages trading down. We as fans lock on to prospects but teams stick to their grades. And often a player at 25 will have a similar grade as the player at 40. Or the guy you’re planning on taking at 25 might be available at 35. And so on.

      The key is identifying the range where you can get your guys. If anything, that’s what Seattle did so well in 2010-12. They knew where they could get Bruce, Bobby and Russell all in the same class. I think with the deep options at OL/RB early this year, it’ll be difficult not to execute an improvement of the run game.

      • SoCal12

        I’m curious what you think of the RB depth past Round 3? If the Seahawks don’t take one with their first pick then we probably won’t get one til 3+. In that scenario we probably won’t see Jones, Chubb, or Kerryon but more likely Penny, Scarborough, Kelly etc. Is the drop-off there worth it in your opinion Rob? I ask because there are some early round guys that look very appealing right now, but won’t be available if we use our first pick on RB.

        • Rob Staton

          I think a scenario where they go…

          #18 >>>> #26 (collect an extra R3)
          #26 >>>> #36 (collect an extra R3)

          Then they could trade back into R2 to go OL-RB early.

          But admittedly their first pick, IMO, will quite possibly be a RB.

          I think there’s a significant drop even though I still like John Kelly. To me he’s a 10-carry type who compliments a feature runner. Bo Scarborough is a tease.

          • DC

            If the Jets pass on a qb at #6 I could see a move up to #18 for #37 & #49 for a guy they covet. That would put Seattle in position to add their favorite remaining OL and RB at each of those spots. One of a thousand possible trade scenarios.

            If Seattle did go DL early Settle is still the guy in my mind. Dude just penetrates. Potentially dominant DT.

            I’m really hoping our first pick is a badass OL or DL. I’m not on the “wishing our OL to greatness” train. Prove it on the field.

            • Rob Staton

              Why do the Jets need #18 though? That’s the question I’d ask.

              And I really like Settle. But the Seahawks with Settle next year are no further along.

              • DC

                Why does anyone specifically need pick #18? Honestly idk. Presumably because that team wants someone that they feel like they need that pick to get. Nearly every single poster here has us trading down in some form or fashion so whichever team it ends up being should it happen will have their reason. I just used the Jets as one example. There are many others.

                The way I could see the door open for Settle is if Seattle signs someone like OG Pugh or RB Hyde in FA, feels confident about him and S Richardson signs elsewhere. I would still expect a trade down from 18.

                • JimQ

                  Today was the first time I’ve noticed this 2018 player rankings – “value chart view.”
                  At: http://www.draftscout.com/members/ratings/valuechart.php?draftyear=2018

                  –They have the RB’s ranked: (And, I think they are pretty close to actual value)
                  Barkley, RD-1,
                  Guice, RD-1/2,
                  Jones/Johnson/Michel, RD-2,
                  Chubb/Penny. RD-2/3,
                  Kelly, RD-3/4
                  Freeman, RD-4,
                  –They have the OG’s ranked: (And, IMO are pretty close to actual value also.)
                  Nelson, Hernandez, Wynn & Daniels in RD-1,
                  Price & Corbett in RD-2
                  Smith & Ragnow in RD-2/3,
                  Quessenberry RD-3 & Teller RD-3/4

                  There are a number of RB/OG combinations that could be available RD’s 2, 3 & 4.
                  Corbett/Chubb?, Jones/Teller?, Price/Penny?, Hernandez/Foreman? And many more.
                  Can’t wait until the draft to find out…..

                  • OC Hawk

                    I’d be ecstatic with a Corbett/Chubb draft in the first two picks!

  2. SoCal12

    My thanks to Sherm and the old LOB for everything they’ve done for us. That was one hell of a memorable ride, and they’ll be remembered for one of the greatest periods in Seattle football and perhaps Seattle sports in general.

    I’m excited to see what the future holds now. Feels like the start of something new and exciting, which is something I haven’t felt with this team since around when Russ was first picked up. Let’s nail this draft and FA and move forward onto greater things.

    Go Hawks!

  3. Seahawcrates

    Thanks Rob! Especially for your liberal use of exclamation points! It was good to smile! Especially in these uncertain times as a Seahawk fan! You are the best!

    • Rob Staton

      I hope the piece helps. To me there’s been a (thoroughly understandable) hyped up reaction to the Sherman cut. I just think there’s a clear method here. It’s not quite as ‘thrown together’ or ‘wait for 2019’ as some might think.

      • GerryG

        Agree 100%.

        Last year year they threw their chips in and went for the last run with those guys, they couldn’t stay healthy enough. I love this recently past era of Seahawks but it is time to be a young team without a mountain of huge contracts.

        Now it comes down to the draft, something that has been a challenge the past few years. The thing is drafting is so difficult: you can’t measure everything, the human psyche is extremely challenging to predict, injuries are even worse to predict.

        Seattle drafted a lot of players that could have been amazing.
        C-Mike would look incredible before going bone head. How do you gauge if a 20 yr old will grow up?
        KPL had all the tools but could never figure out he coverage aspect of LB.
        P-Rich clearly has the skills but injuries zapped us most of his rookie contract. ACL injuries happen… how many guys get one and never again?
        Prosise is an amazing talent, can’t stay on the field.
        Malik? How many players do the same thing and don’t crash?
        The OL… well most of those have been terrible, like a lot of CFB OL. Is it cable?
        Tyler Lockett looked incredible until he shattered his leg.
        Rawls was an amazing find, shattered his ankle never the same.
        Fant? We will see where that goes…
        Ifedi has one more year to prove he was worth it. Same with Vannett.

        Point of all this is there is some luck and randomness to all of it.

        • TTownHawk

          I think some really good points are made here. There will always be the element of luck tied to the draft. Seattle enjoyed some really good luck followed by some really bad luck. Obviously there is a ton of work that goes into finding the right guys and you can’t discredit that, but I think PC/JS shortcomings in recent drafts does have a lot to do with luck. Combine that with fans lofty expectations based on initial draft success and here we are.

  4. Rik

    Rob, do you think that an Earl Thomas trade is off the table now? There’s still some buzz in Cleveland about more trades coming. The Browns are desperate for help at free safety, and they have a plethora of round 1 and 2 picks.

    Given the relatively low price paid for other veterans, would the Hawks go for a 2nd and 3rd for ET?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not seen anything to suggest Earl is going to be traded now. Only reports saying he won’t be.

      I noticed there was some guy on Twitter speculating about Earl to Cleveland but for all we know it’s just some guy making stuff up.

      I think it’d take a big offer now. They don’t need to trade Earl so a team better make it worth their while. We’ll see what happens but I think Earl will be back.

      • Hawksince77

        I have mixed feelings about Earl being traded. The situation hasn’t really changed:

        1 – Earl wants a new contract. Threatens to hold out if he doesn’t get one
        2 – Seattle is struggling with huge third contracts. Not sure they want to commit to another one. This may be the largest sticking point if they are unwilling to pay what Earl wants
        3 – Earl’s threat to retire
        4 – Earl’s stated preference to play for the Cowboys
        5 – Seattle’s need to get younger, cheaper, hungrier
        6 – McDougal (sp?) just re-signed
        7 – lots of younger/cheaper players in the wings
        8 – the need to fix the running game above all other considerations. A Earl trade for what he is worth would probably do it
        9 – What we are hearing is what I’d expect we’d hear up until the moment a trade is announced
        10 – Agreed that Seattle should get a huge return for Earl, and shouldn’t settle
        11 – however, if they can’t extend him they need to trade him. But Earl controls this, because a trading partner will have to come to the table with an agreeable extension for Earl, one that Earl will agree to, before that trading partner will give up the needed draft capital in a trade. Cleveland has the draft capital, the need, and the cap space to make Earl the highest paid safety in the league, but would Earl agree to play in Cleveland? How important is the money?
        12 – so if they can’t extend Earl, and can’t get enough trade compensation, what do they do?

  5. DC

    I’m actually happy that Sherman is going to the 49ers. We get to see him twice a year. Seattle is like a Dandelion spreading players to the wind throughout the league. Haurbaugh made that rivalry what it was. Our years of penciling in Ws against them are over.

    • FresnoBrad

      I hope he makes ProBowl wouldn’t that be something? There was no way we were gonna pay him 13 million. Keep in mind D. Brown, Sheldon Richardson and Free Agents are watching how Sherman has benefited from playing for Hawks.

      • Chris

        Duane Brown isn’t a FA, he’s under contract for 2018. Now as to whether we should extend him…

  6. DC

    As far as sustained winning in this league, if you have a great QB which we do, you have completed step #1. Then you have to continually draft well to keep that pipeline of inexpensive talent coming in. That is the foundation. You can decorate with FAs/trades etc.

    • Sean-O

      Well said DC. I kind of think SEA right now could be like GB over the last handful of years with Rodgers. If you have an all-world QB, some form of a run game & some play makers on D, you’ve got a shot. Plus, hopefully some of the younger guys take that next step.

      Just need the run game to click & the Hawks will be right back in the thick of things.

      • DC

        Add New Orleans with Brees. All 3 have won a single title and have remained in the mix but haven’t reached that summit a second time (don’t say it!). NO hit cap hell a few years back and had a purge of their own. They sank quite a bit but drafted well in those years and came back strong this year. If GB had an actual running game they would be a terror. Down, down Rodgers!!

  7. All I see is 12s

    Currently listening to the pick 6 podcast. When Malik McDowell came up JLC mentioned that he had a spinal column injury. I had not heard this before. I thought it was a severe concussion. I know JLC has a sourse at the VMAC…

    • C-Dog

      By law, since his injuries were outside of the NFL, the team can not disclose what they actually were without his consent. His family has requested that they not be revealed. There is a lot of people close enough to the team, the John Claytons, etc, who don’t believe he will play a down of professional football.

      We shall see, but it doesn’t feel hopeful.

      • All I see is 12s

        Appreciated. But solid sources including Pete Carroll ( I think) and Bob condotta (definitely)have commented about the concussion and or head injury. Now JLC mentioned his spinal column. It’s interesting and it seems more to the point as to why clayton would make the comment you mentioned.

  8. peter

    The Corbett evaluation is interesting. I do have concerns about he and hernandez and the level of play.

    this is by no means any kind of science but Seattle has leaned to the power five schools heavily for oline picks. Not to say there haven’t been exceptions.

    I love some hernandez, a little tepid on Corbett.

    Rob you’ve done a great job of breaking it down above but I’m still leaning towards Braden smith. He seems to not be gaining, nor losing, momentum this draft season and Seattle could use a right guard from a big boy program. That and I could see zoning in on Smith which would allow them to go kerryon/ chubb early second then olinemen.

    • FresnoBrad

      Corbett dominated monsters at the Senior Bowl Seahawks said OMG!

      • peter

        I like the senior bowl as a tool. But in fairness a few practices and a game with low stakes doesn’t really tell everything. He did look good but I’m not sure with his testing and the level of competition hes quite at Hernandez’ level, who also played at a low level but tested extremely well.

        Bluntly my concern is pocic-lite.

        • Mark Souza

          Don’t know about low stakes. All those player at the Senior Bowl are fighting for their NFL lives, fighting to get noticed, fighting to make an impression, even those D-linemen Corbett was putting on their asses in drills.

          • peter

            I’m sure for some it was high stakes for played like him coming from Nevada and looking to prove himself. and for a ton of players the stakes aren’t high enough to even participate in.

            That’s great he was putting players in their asses. I think he has something to work with. I don’t even really have a problem with him conceptually as an early pick.

            My concern is fairly justified. He’s not a big time athlete and though he looked good in the clips Nevada doesn’t really play many big time programs and when they do it’s for pay and they lose typically.

            Also I have doubts about Seattle and linemen until further notice. the next one they draft that plays without a two year ramp up is the first since okung. so though I know they need to improve the online for me there’s only been there players I look at and say “day one you can start and not drag the line down.”. I haven’t seen enough of Corbett to feel that way yet.

    • drewdawg11

      Will Hernandez bullied people when he played against TAMU and Texas, etc. he’s a player.

      • peter

        I’m very into hernandez.

  9. peter

    Rob one more thing. Is it in your plans at all to look at tre flowers? For either safety or cb convert? I have to say I’m pretty stoked on the prospect of him as either. Ive been drilling down on some tape of his and him as a long corner to take over for Maxwel……could be good.

    I’ve sung the praises of Holton hill on this here blog a ton and I’m not quite cooling just readjusting. I will say it’s strange that flowers may be a cb project because hill as a ss might not be a bad idea. He’s such a willing tackler and has a great sense of where a play is going. His ball skills are good, but where he makes his bones is heads up play, stripping the ball out and drilling onto the ball/receiver to snuff out plays short of he sticks.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes — projected him to Seattle in the seven rounder this week as a corner: https://seahawksdraftblog.com/seahawks-seven-round-mock-draft-4

      Already watched two games and will watch more.

      • peter

        Stoked to see what your thoughts are when you get a chance. Mostly of it seems doable. and if the projection holds as a 7th rounder.

  10. FresnoBrad

    Giants could tade up. Corbett is my #1 pick for Seattle dependable responsible professional he can play all positions on the line and can be a probowl at 3 of them.

  11. JimQ

    RE: The Purge: 1 + 2 + 3 = 4.

    1-Aging superstars:
    Aging superstars, being a cap burden in terms of their high cost and the disparity of spending so much on the defense and giving big 3-rd. contracts to their aging players due mostly to loyalty.

    2-Injuries to older players:
    Injuries effecting those same older players making their future availability very uncertain and very unpredictable as well as reducing their overall in-game performance. Part of this is just bad luck due to the multitude of injuries sustained last year, how many teams lose their 1-st round pick to injury before he even arrives in training camp? And, then you lose your hope that you’ve found a starting OLT, (Fant), before the season even starts? That’s a rough finish to the draft & a rough start for any NFL team’s season and it only got a lot worse from there.

    3-Off-field distractions & protests:
    Openly questioning coaches decisions, going bananas on National TV in front of millions of people, Allowing guys like Lynch, Graham and Sherman, et. al. to dictate their own practice schedule and only play with effort if they feel like it, along with a few other players. There’s also a few “coaching” problems like the thought that players must all equally commit and perform but maybe the assistant coaches aren’t held to the same standards? Maybe that’s why some of them are gone?

    4-Where the Seahawks are today. They just need to get back to playing Seahawks style football after divesting themselves of some of the problems with “big head”, “big mouth” players, that, while they were good to great, in their time, they didn’t always have the team first attitude PC wants. It’s a young mans game and you don’t win games being an individual, you win as a team. I think PC just wants his players to concentrate on playing football, game in and game out and minimize the protests and distractions in the future. I’m confident that PC/JS will be able to re-tool just fine.

  12. DC

    Do we know which pick we got from the Eagles yet for MB? #147(originally ours) or #160?

  13. red

    Corbett have history of knee issues? I wonder if the front office or for that matter solari have problem with Hernandez or Price arm length 32. Thinking maybe value outside of Wynn to a OT to OG conversion could be worth looking into Crosby or Rankins moving inside.

  14. Sean-O

    Well done Rob! Just the article lots of Hawk fans needed to see. Hopefully some of them will step back from the ledge.

    It’s March 11th, let’s give PCJS some time & let’s see how the roster shakes out once free agency hits & after the draft.

    • Hawktalker#1

      Hey Sean +1. Although in all fairness we should give them some time, we are Seahawk fans and we want things done right now and need instant gratification and assurance our Seahawks are going to get better as we mourn the end of an era and struggle seeing some of our favorites now playing for other teams, including those in our own division, especially the evolving Sea 49ers.

  15. Josh Emmett

    Carroll has to be drooling over Troy Apke as a corner project. He has the size they love on the outside but is faster then ET3.

    • Coleslaw

      Agreed. He’s a guy I’d love to get. He could play any spot Carroll wants and he seems like a smart, coachable kid. I’d like him as an Earl Successor

      • Patrick Toler

        He’s very fast on the field, but is definitely a project. And of course a big pat of Earl’s range is his intelligence and anticipation. I’d love Akpe in the 6th or 7th.

        • D-OZ

          Love me some Apke…..

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve watched some Akpe stuff since the combine and for me — very much a safety. Has the arm length they look for but hard to imagine him transitioning to corner.

  16. Hawktalker#1

    Hey Rob, I think this piece and the 7 round mock draft were simply outstanding. I had been anxiously awaiting the 7 rounder and was not disappointed. In fact it took me a while to get a good look at all the players you proposed and they appear on tape even better than your descriptions. That is a very powerful package of players.

    I have a few questions related to the focus on fixing the run game and your mock.

    Quick re-post of your picks:
    R1/2 — Running back (one of Ronald Jones II, Nick Chubb or Kerryon Johnson)
    R3 — Dalton Schultz (TE, Stanford)
    R4 — Leon Jacobs (LB, Wisconsin)
    R5 — Tyquan Lewis (DE, Ohio State)
    R5 — Tre Flowers (DB, Oklahoma State)
    R5 — Dorian O’Daniel (LB, Clemson)
    R5 — Jordan Thomas (CB, Oklahoma)
    R7 — Natrell Jamerson (S, Wisconsin)
    R7 — Chase Edmonds (RB, Fordham)

    Besides going strong at RB with our first pick, regardless of what number that is, you only have one more contribution to the RB game in a flier RB in R7. If the Hawks are truely working to focus on fixing the running game, wouldn’t you think they work to add either an OL (as mentioned in this piece like Corbet or Hernandez) and/or a stronger RB candidate from the draft? I know they will likely pu a hedge FA RB, but that still would only likely be a hedge to go along with a R7 flier and some of our other questionable stable of RBs (non named Carson).

    Should a LB or TE be substituted from the mock (although I love Lewis and Smythe) for more running game focus?

    Thanks again for all your work on there articles. Their quality is truely refreshing among all the crap so many others are writing these days . . .

    Looking forward to your response!!

    • Rob Staton

      In this particular projection, I decided to focus on specific positions where I think they will provide some value. Unfortunately, with only the one extra pick acquired in the trade down here, it limited what I was able to project. So it ended up being RB over OL and they’ll have to fill that LG spot elsewhere (possibly with a veteran). I also decided to do this mock assuming they were going to sign a hedge (the news had emerged they’d met with Jonathan Stewart for example).

      I could’ve put another runner in R5 at some point or a flier on an OL but for me it would’ve been fighting the board a bit.

      • Hawktalker#1

        IMO, that is one powerful and talented group of value picks in that mock. I also believe even though some of the lower around selections will be outstanding ST compute contributors, they all look outstanding at their primary positions as well. Very exciting bunch to review.

        I know trading down second time may put row RoJo out of reach (which would be very disappointing for me personally), but it would be interesting to see how adding that additional draft pick might affect might allow a little bit more contribution to the “fix the running game” effort.

        If I am PCJS, I say to my team, “OK guys we need to figure out what we need to do to get RoJo and then Wynn, Hernandez or Corbet”. This is what I pay you for, give me options!!!

        With a balanced running game, I think we can fairly and consistently apply last year’s Eagles beat down to the rest of the league!!!

        Go Hawks!!

  17. Go Hawks

    Hey Rob,

    What’s your thoughts on spending some $$ on a FA LG (not necessarily Norwell) to upgrade the experience instead of plugging in another rookie?

    Also, Allen Robinson for a Sidney rice clone, any chance we shell out on a prove it deal?


    • Rob Staton

      I’m not totally against it but wouldn’t want to pay big money. I’d be open to Josh Sitton as a fill-in at a certain price. But this is such a good interior OL class early I’m rooting for a way to get an early RB + OL combo. Not sure it’s possible though.

      I don’t think they’ll pay for Robinson because he’s going to get big money but they might go after Marqise Lee. I wonder if Pryor or Floyd could provide a big target too at a decent price. Sounds like Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a target too at TE.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        Really wanting ASJ signed long term. He’s a great fit for what PC wants to do on offense. Has some iso ability in the red zone too. JLC has my hopes up!

  18. Cameron

    So Rob, with Cable now gone, are you anticipating the front office relaxing their historical standards of drafting fairly strictly explosive prospects (TEF of 3.00+)? Is there some history that you’re aware of with Solari that provides some insight into what he’ll be looking for that is in line with what Corbett offers, other than explosive qualities, given his TEF of 2.55 falls far short of historical Seahawks standards?

    Appreciate the insight!

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think it’s been particularly strict to be honest. I think they possibly made a concerted effort to aim high on physically impressive, high upside types for two reasons:

      1. They were picking in a range where the best OL were already off the board

      2. They were willing to try and coach players into productive linemen after the Sweezy experiment worked

      Last year they took Pocic who was about a 2.85 I think. One of the most explosive in the 2017 draft but not significantly so.

      My feeling is they were always willing to consider fundamentally sound linemen there just weren’t that many available when they were picking, so they were forced to think outside of the box. Which is perfectly plausible IMO — it just didn’t pay off.

      • Cameron

        Interesting perspective. And with regard to the selection of Pocic, perhaps that is in line with a realization that pure athleticism isn’t sufficient, and that a certain level of fundamentals needs to already be in place to succeed in the NFL. Could signal further picks with this thinking in mind. Will be interesting to see what emerges in this regard over the next couple of drafts.

        Thanks for the thoughts!

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think they ever felt that pure athleticism was the key, or that fundamentals didn’t matter.

          I think it’s quite simple really — the players with ‘great fundamentals’ just weren’t there. Jack Conklin is a good example. I’ve not seen a college offensive tackle combo-block as well as him. Not an amazing athlete but pretty good. Didn’t test well in TEF. Goes in the top-10.

          The Seahawks had no shot at getting at players like Conklin or Zach Martin, to name two. This wasn’t about athleticism over fundamentals. It was handling a situation that said — you either draft a player with bad fundamentals who has an amazing ceiling or you draft a player with bad fundamentals who has a low ceiling. Either what you have to coach them up. When put like that, their approach is perfectly plausible. And they were right to feel confident about their ability to succeed after the Sweezy project.

          • Cameron

            It does feel, to a degree, that they did value athleticism over pre-existing fundamentals through some of their actions prior to 2017. For example, starting a player like Drew Nowak for half a season based on his athletic potential, but having no fundamentals of the position to fall back on, being a DL convert. Yes, I agree with your point that a good amount of their choices were forced by lack of alternatives with sufficiently competent technique, but the extent to which they tried to rely on coaching up athletic prospects feels like, at least to me, that there was some intent on obtaining physical tools over technique. In doing so, I’ve always viewed the approach as going for a higher ceiling over a higher floor, which in a vacuum, seems a perfectly respectable approach (so long as that ceiling is realized with sufficient frequency).

            That’s not to say I think they didn’t value fundamentals at all, but rather Cable appeared to convince them that he could handle a lack of fundamentals better than he could handle a lack of athleticism, so they selected players according to that philosophy. Once evidence started piling up that Cable could not, in fact, properly and consistently accommodate a lack of technique and experience, [although it’s only been one draft] it seems that they may be moving to balance some of that evaluation that was previously tilted toward the athletic potential of a player. To what extent and what it’ll mean for the key qualities they’ll be looking for, it’ll be interesting to see.

            • Rob Staton

              It’s worth noting that Drew Nowak was not a good tester in terms of explosive athleticism. Whatever they saw in him, it wasn’t traits.

  19. Steele

    Great piece as usual, Rob.

    I think this was going to be a transition year anyway, and the start of a new 2-3 yr window. Big coaching change anyway. It was time for change, time to stockpile and save $, begin fresh by letting jaded and expensive veterans go, painful as it is. Set realistic expectations.

    Corbett looks good.

  20. Trevor

    If the elite defenders like Vea, James, LVE, Edmunds are off the board then two trade backs is likely.

    I think a trade with Atl for 26 and 90 if they want to get an elite DL prospect is one that makes sense.

    Then Denver supposedly really wants Hernandez and has hired his college coach as their OL coach. So trade two would be #26 for #37 and thier 3rd round pick.

    That would give us

    #37 Ronald Jones (RB/ USC)
    #69 Josh Sweat (Edge / FSU)
    #90 Nathan Sheppard (DT / Fort Hayes)
    #116 Shaqueem Griffin (LB / UCF)
    #132 Antonio Calloway (WR / Fla)
    #137 Holton Hill (CB / Texas)
    #147 Oren Burke ( S /Vanderbilt)
    #159 Will Dissley (TE / Wash)
    #200 Michael Dickson (P/ Texas)
    #202 Lavon Coleman (RB / Wash)

    I think that is a pretty decent and realistic draft. It would really suck not getting Wynn or Hernandez but if they pick up a G like Pugh or Fluker in free agency it might work.

    • Rob Staton

      Even if James and LVE are there (the two most likely to be there out of the four listed) — I think a trade back is likely.

    • Hawktalker#1

      Playing with fire if we are trading down thinking RoJo will still be there at 37.

      • H

        Theyd probably be trading down with the mindset that at least one of the backs they like are there.
        Its a deep enough group to take the risk

        • Trevor


  21. CC

    Thanks for this common sense article Rob!

    Does anyone have a take on the type of OL Soliari likes? I’m hoping that he can turn Rees O around and coach him up as well as Pocic. We all want Ifedi to succeed, but not sure that will happen.

  22. Rawls

    What do you guys think of Harold Landry as the Avril replacement? Speed rusher with some serious bend.

    • Coleslaw

      IMO if we’re gonna take a DE after trading down, Landry is the guy

      • Tecmo Bowl


    • Patrick Toler

      I think Landry goes top 20 (maybe top 15) due to the lack of edge rushers.

    • Rob Staton

      For me Landry was a bit underwhelming. Has some of the traits you like (quickness, good 10-yard split, does show good bend and lean) but he just play without great intensity. He’s markedly a step down from Vic Beasley who he initially was compared to by some. I think Landry goes top-40 but not someone I think the Seahawks ‘have to get’.

  23. Del tre

    Great piece Rob, always a pleasure, a reminder that things really aren’t as bad as we are making them and that the Hawks have an opportunity to be better if things fit together properly. I have confidence I this team.

  24. D-OZ

    I haven’t read any of the responses yet Rob, but wanted to congratulate you on an excellent article. I think you have hit the nail on the head. As much as I like the flashy backs I trust the brass to identify the RB they covet. I don’t think it is the type we have been looking at. What did Pete say his ideal back would be? 6’0″ 230. Look to the Tide and what a certain RB did to the Huskies. Or something on that level…. GO HAWKS!!!!

  25. Morgan

    I think I just killed it on Fanspeak (after making five trades haha).

    46: R2P14

    55: R2P23

    72: R3P8

    85: R3P21

    88: R3P24

    120: R4P20

    141: R5P4

    151: R5P14

    156: R5P19

    168: R5P31

    170: R5P33

    226: R7P8

    • GermanSeahawk

      2 WR but no TE ?
      I think we need a blocking TE!
      The other picks i like

  26. C-Dog

    Terrific piece today, Rob. Keep them coming!

    I got a sneaking feeling more fan freak outs are coming around the corner. They’re going to need your voice of reason.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I think it would be a shocker and the first couple picks don’t end up being RB and OL.

    If they spend a bit of free agent $ on a TE like ASJ, a potential #2 WR, and RB hedge, that sets them up nicely. PC always seems to know what he’s looking for in terms of free agent pass rusher, and depth at DT.

    Just fix the run game. That has got be the eye on the prize.

    • Nick

      Love that analysis. Tho, I must say—tho I’m becoming more and more intrigued by Maurice Hurst’s value “drop.” He is a very, very disruptive internal player. 3T. Would fill Bennett’s role and offer another amazing, young talent to an already jam packed D line. You can never have enough pass rushers. Pete and John have always preached that. Every draft.

      But, they are equally committed this year to fixing the run game. They probably like the depth of OG and RB a lot—as do we. So, if they think they can still get a Rd 2 G in Rd 3, and a Rd 2 RB in Rd 3—they could very well go DL with the first pick.

      I’m kind of being devils advocate here, but if they like someone like Hurst or Taven Bryan and they’re available at 40 or something…that is legit talent. And if you think that there’s a huge drop off from that first group of DL guys to the next, and maybe Kerryon, Royce, Kelly, even Chubb are still available?

      You could imagine a draft like:

      2- Maurice Hurst
      3-Royce Freeman
      3- Scott Quessenbury
      5-John Kelly
      5-LB (I haven’t studied that position group at all really)

      I still feel like that adequately addresses the run game, while also helping the defense get younger and potentially more potent.

      • C-Dog

        I always advocate drafting DL. Hurst would be exciting. I was actually one of the few who was pretty excited about the McDowell selection.

        They curiously haven’t mentioned DL as a need much at all, although they showed interest in Da’Shawn Hand during Senior Bowl.

        I kind of thought JS might have tipped his hand a bit during his combine presser that RB might be what they are looking at early when mentioning drafting players that they can plug and play right away.

        I will also say this, I think they might have a really interesting player in Naz Jones going into his second year.

  27. D-OZ

    That was David who spelled go Seahawks !!!!!!!!!!!****:) 🙂

    • Sea Mode

      Not sure if this is a typo, but I absolutely love it: “David who?”

      Hahaha!! Perfect!

      • D-OZ

        That was my gran-daughter Aaliyah. She jumped into my chair while I was in the galley cooking dinner. I am David by the way. Aaliyah is 6. She is a SDB fan.

  28. bankhawk

    Ran into a lot of bitterness in the comments column over at FG. Got hêre and it was like a fresh cool breeze. And this ultimately flows from you Rob! Thank you so much one and all! Its great to be a 12-even better at SDB!

  29. Greg Haugsven

    Lets say we happen to address the OL in free agency (one year deal for Justin Pugh for example). They trade back from 18 to 26 to 36 and end up with picks 36, 68, and 90. Then what positions do you target?

    • Greg Haugsven

      Also for the life of me I cant submit a comment from my phone anymore. For the longest time the submit comment tab has been gone but I could push around that and it would post, not anymore.

      • peter

        Same. Galaxy 8. Updated and everything. Don’t know what happened to the comment submit button.

        • Sea Mode

          I switch to landscape and it usually reappears.

          • Thy Hawk is Howling

            Yo guy’s same with me but I figured it out. So type what you will then when you’re ready turn your phone on it’s side and then turn it back to normal hold position. You will then need to scroll up a wee bit to find your comment, I promise it’s there. You’re welcome!

            Go Hawks Y’all!

      • H

        How nice to know everyone has the same problem, ive found if you just press around where the button is supposed to be it works

      • Rob Staton

        Not sure what’s happened there Greg, apologies for that. Must be a wordpress update that’s responsible for the change.

        Obviously we’ve run from this format for about 6-7 years now and not updated and as technology changes the site might become frustrating to navigate around on a phone or tablet. I’m wary of this and will consider big changes at the end of the draft season. Maybe a new look and a user-friendly website for phones/tablets.

        • peter

          It’s most odd that it was working fine up until maybe early january. Your site is great. simplicity is key rob! And I use a variety of devices and it looks good on all of them….which is actually kind of amazing considering how many sites are still not set for phones etc.

          I’ll try thy hawk is……technique and see if that works.

        • GerryG

          I had the site quit working on Chrome for months on my phone/tablet and had to use safari, but it started working again recently

    • GerryG

      If OL is “set” I say LB, RB, DB not necessarily in that order. I’d love to address DL too, but if the talent isn’t there this year…

      • Patrick Toler

        For me it would be edge/SAM, RB, TE, probably in that order, but of course it would depend on how things fell.

    • Rob Staton

      I think you look to spend one on a RB, one a defensive player, one on a TE (unless they add 1-2 in free agency).

  30. drewdawg11

    At 36, it depends on the running back available. However, I would either go OG if Wynn or Hernandez is still there, or I would go Chubb, assuming that Jones is gone by then.

  31. Patrick Toler

    Great article Rob. This kind of piece is why I fell in love with SDB many years ago. Provide a well reasoned scenario, and then highlight and analyze a player who has a good chance to meet the given need. And of course, compelling writing, as always. This is a big part of why I’ve known about so many of our draft picks over the years.

    I agree that fixing the running game is critical. If we can put together an above average rushing attack (not including Wilson runs) I have a lot of confidence that our passing game will be deadly. I think for sure they bring in a veteran WR (could be bringing back Richardson), unless they really believe in Darboh or Moore. Assuming they work their usual magic on the D line and bring back Maxwell and Shead, the defense can remain very good with reasonable injury luck. If they aren’t on the field the entire game.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Patrick, those words mean a lot. Thank you.

  32. NLA

    As I read this, I began to wonder if the Seahawks didn’t get caught trying to chase history a bit. I don’t remember all the details anymore, but before everyone on the D got paid, the prediction was that they wouldn’t be able to retain all three of Kam, Sherm, and ET (not to mention the D line, Russ, Wagner, etc.). But it seems like the team rightly realized they had the chance to go down as the best ever and made a bet: that Cable and Bevel could manufacture a run game on the cheap as the more expensive parts that made it go moved on (Zach Miller, Okung, Marshawn, Unger, Mike Rob…among others).

    This isn’t meant to dredge up Bevel and Cable bashing, I think at times it looked like it just might work. Just think if Rawls had not gotten injured in his first season, or Carson last year. But the margin was always very thin and it seemed production just couldn’t survive the injuries that inevitably crop up.

    Now between injuries and age, the D is clearly not “best ever” material any more, so this calculation doesn’t make sense. I think Pete has decided to bet on himself this time: he can make the secondary work with cheaper younger players, which frees up resources for the offense and the run game in particular. As much fun as it has been watching a D that is top 2 or 3 in the NFL all time, this bet seems like the better one for long term success.

    Just some thoughts from a long time lurker, thanks for all the hard work on the blog, Rob.

  33. Greg Haugsven

    I have been talking about this for a while now. I wonder if it does happen.


    • Greg Haugsven

      Im doubting they would give him $7 million a year though.

      • Greg Haugsven

        Tyler Eifert could be a good value option as well but he has been broken.

        • Trevor

          I would prefer they sign Toliollo as a Vet blocking TE and then bring Eifert in on a 1 yr prove it deal. I just don’t see the Hawks paying ASJ $7 mil per. He has only had one season with production and his off field issues have to always be in the back of people minds.

          2018-2019 TE Group


      • peter

        I’m incredibly down on him at that price. If rather spend more and get a receiver with production then a guy who, though many of you have swayed me, is still very much potential and not production at this point.

        Can’t see how he’s worth a little less than graham when we know graham can for his faults actually produce.

  34. Adog

    Trade bennet…cut sherman…resign s.richardson and extend d.brown…these moves seem to me to be co-opted. Im tempted to say resign p.richardson…not Sheldon just to close the cap between o and d. But we cannot let sheldon walk. I’m of the mind that they trade back…and grab a pass rusher and olineman. I think they take those 5th rd picks package a couple to trade up grab a running back in the 4th and select another in the 5th. Why wait for a running back until the middle rounds? For one they will sign a stewart or a demarco murray tupe vet…two they like carson and procise…will stay healthy…contract years are like placebos for football players…three this is a deep rb class…and much like last year when they got s damn good cb in the 4th i think…the value will hold true for rbs this year.

    • Greg Haugsven

      If they are to resign Richardson it is likely to be in the next two days. Im guessing once he hits free agency it might be good night Irene.

      • C-Dog


        I totally agree.

      • GerryG


  35. Dale

    Rob, this is one of your best pieces of analysis and your prose is getting very good. This article was a pleasure to read.

    There was an article from Carl Daley of Sports DFW highlighting how much sense Earl would make for Dallas, a point I’ve been arguing for some time. Earl is the kind of splash Jerry Jones loves and it just might make Dallas a Super Bowl winner. It’s also the kind of trade that could net the Hawks the king’s ransom Earl Thomas deserves.

  36. nichansen01

    Does anyone like the sound of Trenton Thompson in the fifth round? He reminds me of Naz Jones.

  37. nichansen01

    Also I wouldn’t mind taking a look at ASJ. He’d be nice to pair with Nick Vannet:

  38. AlaskaHawks

    Reports are that they are releasing Shead.

    • House

      He was released. He was suppose to be a UFA, but due to him not playing 6 games last year, a rule in the CBA would’ve kept him under contract this coming season. The FO wanted to give him a fair shake at FA. It was a good gesture move and they’re hoping he returns.

  39. Awsi Dooger

    Adjustments are never wise. Every year the draft is compared favorably to some years and unfavorably to others. Too much subjective goop that can only get you in trouble. Nobody is that good. Not consistently.

    Far more sensible to apply a big picture scope: Stay within the Top 40 picks. If you are trading down don’t pretend you can go outside that parameter and retain value.

    Outliers mean nothing. Simply because you find some #43 pick in a given season who panned out, or #48 in another year, doesn’t mean you throw away the formula.

    Happy Adjusters love Outliers. That’s how they plummet to Happy Adjuster depths.

    • Rob Staton

      This is all a bit ‘word salad’ Awsi.

    • GerryG

      “Adjustments are never wise”

      Well that is a blanket statement that is just not true

    • mishima

      ‘…doesn’t mean you throw away the formula.’

      What is the formula? Enlighten me because I think the only given is to adapt/adjust to an ever changing game.

      • sdcoug

        I think he means stay within a certain range (top 40) if you want to mine elite talent and/or be in a position for value picks of said talent. To always trade back outside of a certain range, thinking you have the ability to pluck that diamond everyone else didn’t see, is a fool’s errand that will eventually catch up with you. Correct me if I’m wrong Awsi.

        • Rob Staton

          You can’t just create some mythical cut-off for talent (pick 40). Seattle’s best draft pick in the PCJS era was #75.

  40. Millhouse-serbia

    Drew Brees is still UFA. Interesting. What do you think, is there any chance he sign somewhere else?

  41. McZ

    It’s either Austin Corbett or Braden Smith. Smith is more explosive, but Corbett much more sophisticated at this stage. Hard to tell. How about both?

    What I don’t like about this piece is the fact, that Sherman the locker room guy gets so easily diminished. I think, getting the same contract that the Niners got was a possibility the Hawks should have taken.

    The defense has the “too many generals”-problem. It’s either Wagner or Thomas, they have to decide. After inviting the Cowboys for a tender, they should let ET move on. Much more than Sherman, actually.

    • Sea Mode

      I haven’t watched Braden Smith more closely. Tape study is even more important there. Does his play match his outstanding athleticism, or is he another Connor McGovern workout warrior that doesn’t necessarily translate to the field? Remember we made the mistake of projecting McGovern in R2-R3, and he went in R5 IIRC.

      I don’t think it’s a “too many generals” problem at all. ET and Bobby are more the quiet leader type, except when occasion calls for it they step up and raise their voice. Whereas Sherm, Bennett, Kam are more the outspoken leader type. Those are the guys that can become hard to manage once they stop buying in, which seems to be what happened to an extent.

      Plus, on the field, Bobby is clearly the “field general” as far as getting people lined up when Kam isn’t there. Earl never did that anyway, but always relied on Kam to dictate coverages/positioning.

      • BobbyK

        I remember watching a piece on Tony Dungy and he talked about how it was so great with his Tampa Bay defense that he had these leaders on each level (Sapp on the DL, Brooks at LB, and Lynch in the secondary).

        Seriously, think about it… position groups seem to spend more time together than they do with the rest of the defense. We need a leader in the secondary (ET) and the linebackers (Bobby), though not sure who is going to emerge on the DL… Sure, Bobby is the leader of the defense overall, but you need other leaders, too. Maybe now that it’s simply down to ET is a blessing? I don’t know, but I’m hoping so… for the Seahawks’ sake. And our sake as fans.

        • Rob Staton

          Jarran Reed might not be having a major impact as a player (good not great) but it seemed to me at the end of last season he was developing into a strong voice on the DL.

          • BobbyK

            Yeah. He was the Alpha on the Alabama defense as a senior. But then I saw Frank Clark get in his face and was wondering… remember that, Reed’s rookie year and Clark got up in his face on the sidelines… then Clark destroyed Ifedi’s face last training camp… Maybe the Hawks need Clark and his “hungry dawg” ways??? Clark seems the unlikeliest of “leaders,” but maybe he is on this defense this year (at least on the DL)…

            I do think Reed is a good player. He’s like Mebane. Totally different games, but each effective. No Pro Bowls in their futures, but they are definitely assets to the team. You know?

            • Rob Staton

              Ideally they can add/develop a star for the D-line. Or at the very least get an older head like Chris Clemons in 2010. Clemons and Red were the leaders, then Bennett and Avril. They do need strong voices up front.

            • john_s

              From what I remember Reed got ejected that game for throwing a punch and Clark got in his face telling him that the team needed him and he needs to play smarter than that.

          • Patrick Toler

            Naz Jones was known as a great leader at UNC. I don’t know if he will ever b a star or not, but he could develop into a Red Bryant type of leader who is a solid part of the rotation.

      • peter

        this is economics more than anything else but I think Smith is a solid third rounder. and I don’t think he’s going to slide I to the 5th round. Pauline, Walter football, all have him in around late second third territory.

        I like Corbett but I think it’s very likely that Seattle only drops down from 18 far enough to get back a mid third.

        Maybe chubb really does last until that round and then Corbett is the choice.

        My worry is that Seattle goes oline early but then is picking form the big of Cunningham’s left over which for however excited Kelly gets people I’m not sold that he and the hawks hodge podge committee of injured backs gets it done.

        the other player I see dropping is Frank Ragnow. the center seems to be a spot people let slide a bit. I know a lot mocks have him solidly in the top two but I’m thinking he goes in the third.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Sherman the locker room guy works both ways though. Undoubtedly, Richard has been a positive influence in guiding, helping and mentoring many young players. He’s also dismissively described Pete’s meetings as ‘kumbaya’ in the last 18 months, had two sideline blow-ups and they were willing to deal him a year ago. So there may have been positives and negatives to the locker room presence of Richard Sherman.

      I doubt they made the move on a whim. This might’ve been the toughest thing Pete Carroll has ever had to do in terms of a personnel move.

      • Trevor

        I agree completely Rob I think you nailed the Sherm situation. He was great with the young guys but undermining Pete that way just does not work .

        It is incredibly telling that they had the chance to match the SF contract but declined.

      • Patrick Toler

        Yeah, I think that must have been a tough one for Carroll. He raved about Sherman as an example for Griffin at the end of the year, how he had recommitted to his technique. That was a big part of why I thought they wouldn’t trade him.

      • McZ

        Fact is, PC lost the locker room last season, literally a minute after Sherman got injured. There were a couple of serious misbehaviors when he did. Misbehaviors, that far outshine those Kumbaya-comments.

        A secondary without ET was less efficient in 2016, a secondary without Sherman completely went broke 2017.

        As I view it, Sherman was the ultimate locker-room-to-field connector, far more than Earl or Kam. They may have cut the single culture-defining guy, the Browns are so desperate trying to find.

  42. Sea Mode

    Jeremiah updated his top-50 the other day post-combine and after watching more tape.


    Some highlights:

    RoJo down from 12 to 20.
    Payne up from 24 to 15.
    Will Hernandez from NR to 25.
    Jessie Bates from NR to 30.
    Price down from 30 to 49.
    Corbett up from NR to 48.
    Shepherd from NR to 50.
    Arden Key from 33 to NR.

    Mid-late R2 might end up better than we think for interior OL. How about try to trade down from R1P18 for R2P33 and R2P64? Take Wynn/Hernandez/Jones at 33 and then trade up a bit from 64 with some R5s and get Chubb/Corbett/Price? We don’t know which will go early R2 and which will go mid-late R2.

    Is that the best way to upgrade the run game without having to trade Earl?

    Quick Mock:

    *Trade: 18 for 33 and 64. Browns looking to move up into mid 1st for another “stud”.

    [If Wynn is still there at 33, take him. If not, trade down again:
    *Trade: 33 for 40 and 105. Denver has 2 R4 picks right next to each other and looks to move up for Will Hernandez.]

    R2P40- OG Austin Corbett/Billy Price

    *Trade: 64+2 R5 picks for 53. Bills look to recoup picks after trading up for QB in R1.

    R2P53- RB Nick Chubb

    [R4P105- DT Andrew Brown]

    R4P116- LB Leon Jacobs

    R5P137- CB Tre Flowers

    R5P159- WR Antonio Callaway

    R7P200- TE Chris Herndon

    R7P222- SS/LB Oren Burks

    R7P224- DE Kentavius Street

    • Trevor

      That would be an awesome draft!

  43. D-OZ

    That’s a nice draft Seamode!!!!

    • Sea Mode


      If they really like John Kelly or another guy in the mid rounds to pair with Carson, then you could slot in Settle possibly at 53 (?) and grab the RB with pick 105 instead.

      The guys in R7 probably won’t last that long, but I guess it’s just a way to say I like them and don’t really know of too many other R7/UDFAs yet. 🙂

  44. nichansen01

    Wow… ndomakung suh cut… visiting Seattle…

    Chance we see former teammates Jordan and suh line up next to each other next season?

    • Hawktalker#1

      Interesting. Any guesses on what he would cost us?

  45. House

    Suh working out in Seattle? Not saying he’ll be a Hawk, but I saw something saying he’s in Seattle and Miami is about to cut him

    • Del tre

      The tweet
      Sheldon and Suh together with Clark & Jordan coming off the edge? Sign me up.

    • Patrick Toler

      Him being in Seattle probably doesn’t mean much given that is still under contract. But I have thought for a while that if he gets cut he is exactly the kind of player Pete gets excited about. It would have to be a deal you could get out of in a year and/or two. He’s 31. Sill awfully good though.

      • House

        Report circulating he was told last night he was being released.

        • House

          Report says he will be cut after 4pm on Wednesday, so post 1-Jun designation can be used. Does his signing affect comp picks then?

          • Patrick Toler

            Nope, cut players don’t effect comp picks. Suh would be huge get if the contract was right.

            • House

              That’s what I thought too. I didn’t know if the post 1-Jun changed anything or just aided the releasing team financially

              • Patrick Toler

                Yep, just spreads the cap hit for the Dolphins.

  46. House

    McDougald re-signed. 3-year, $13.95M

    • Patrick Toler

      I’m down for him back at that number. I’m assuming we can move on in two years without too much penalty…


    You are my therapist, Rob.

    • Rob Staton

      Happy to help 🙂

  48. JoeB

    Here’s a wild thought. If there’s no chance for the Hawks to truly compete at the hichest level, why not trade any pick that isn’t exactly the player you want for a higher pick next year? Trade a fifth round for a third in 2019. Trade a 7th for a 5th in 2020. Trade our 1st this year for a 2nd in 2018 and a 2nd and 3rd in 2019. Start stockpiling draft picks that have a chance to really have an impact instead of crapshoot picks now.

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