Why a good plan can still go wrong & Julian Okwara

The Seahawks have the cap space to be aggressors in free agency, specifically to fill their D-line needs. Pete Carroll has admitted their decision to coach at the Pro Bowl is partly inspired by an opportunity to recruit. It’s not as simple as having the cash in your wallet though.

You can come up with a really solid plan that is logical and makes perfect sense. Then things change.

Take a year ago for example. The Seahawks traded Frank Clark while probably feeling good about the D-line draft class. In the days leading up to the draft the media suggested Rashan Gary could last deep into round one.

Instead Gary was the #12 pick. The rush on defensive linemen started early and didn’t ease up. Seattle’s options at a vital position of need had shrunk by pick #21 — let alone after trading down.

I think a bit too much is made of the L.J. Collier pick. People have called it a ‘panic move’. Teams plan and study so much and spend weeks setting up their boards. You don’t ‘panic’ on draft day. There may have been disappointment in the way the first round shaped up but it’s very unlikely they were caught short, bungled whichever remaining D-liner was on their board onto a slip of paper and made a bad call.

Collier had a rough rookie season. It’s worth noting though that he played very well in his final year at TCU, was one of the stars of the Senior Bowl and while he lacked twitch and speed he was very powerful with solid explosive testing numbers.

He had the grit, fire and determination they were after throughout their draft class. Collier was also seen as an elusive five-technique. They’d been trying to replace Michael Bennett for some time and with no Cliff Avril type available, the pick made sense even if people are piling on because he struggled in year one. Let’s give him some time. Not everything has to be a huge drama.

The wider point I’m making though is Seattle had a plan that if they’d sat you down and talked you through it minutes before they pulled the trigger on the Clark trade, you’d probably have nodded along and said, ‘that makes sense’.

That it didn’t work out perhaps as they fully intended is just how it goes sometimes. It will happen. Nobody is perfect.

John Lynch just won executive of the year and his first two draft picks were Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster. Thomas looked like a game-wrecker and Foster fell but was seen as one of the most talented players in the 2017 draft. Thomas has seemingly been on the trade block since year two and Foster was cut after numerous off-field drama’s.

Lynch and Kyle Shanahan’s plan was drenched in logic. It just didn’t work out.

It’s impossible for teams to hit every time. You’ve just got to hope you’re right more than you’re wrong. Whatever anyone thinks about Pete Carroll and John Schneider at the moment, they’ve been overwhelmingly right more often than they’ve been wrong.

Together they built a legendary roster. They drafted a franchise quarterback in round three, created a famous secondary, drafted a Hall of Fame linebacker in round two, brought in an iconic running back for a fourth rounder via trade and led the team to two Super Bowls. And while people love to focus on the more recent misses such as the Malik McDowell pick, there are still so many successes that get overlooked. Frank Clark, Tyler Lockett, the Clowney and Diggs trades, moving up for D.K. Metcalf, Jarran Reed, Shaquill Griffin, Chris Carson in round seven, Will Dissly in round four, Bradley McDougald, Michael Dickson.

If the 2019 first round didn’t go according to plan, it shouldn’t have any impact on whether you trust them going forward. Again — no franchise is hitting 1.000 in free agency and the draft. Not Bill Belichick and the Pats. Not the Saints, the Steelers, the Ravens, the Eagles or any other team that has enjoyed consistent success.

The Seahawks will likely enter this off-season targeting moves in free agency to upgrade their defense. I think they will be aggressive too. They have cap space to spend and can easily create more. If they want to make trades, they have the picks to do it. If they focus on the D-line in free agency and are left with holes on the O-line — the draft could provide a solution there given the depth of options.

Yet we might see players paid way beyond their true value on the open market. That’s one thing I don’t think the Seahawks will do — overpay.

They’re not going to be reckless.

The aim will probably be to mimic Green Bay a year ago. They paid a high price for Za’Darius and Preston Smith but not beyond what constitutes reasonable value.

Considering the likely high price to retain Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle can probably afford one more nice D-line signing. Preferably someone with the speed and twitch to rush the edge and fill the massive Cliff Avril-shaped void.

Yet if they were interested in Dante Fowler — for example — and he received offers in the $20-22m range, they’d have to move on. And you run down the list.

This is one of the reasons why a trade could make sense. If you deal for Von Miller as we’ve suggested could be an option, you know what his salary is. You’d be paying $14-15m in 2020. That’s very reasonable. And it might be worth losing a high pick in a trade to avoid overpaying for a lesser player.

A similar option could be to try and trade for Calais Campbell. He’s older but still dominating with 31.5 sacks, 44 TFL’s and 76 QB hits in the last three seasons. Schneider and Carroll have talked about finding their answer to Campbell since drafting McDowell in 2017 (the year Calais left Arizona for Jacksonville). It feels like they’ve wanted him for years. Maybe try and get him then? He’d cost $15m in 2020 and would lift Seattle’s defense to a new level on his own.

The point is you have all these different options on the table and you can have ideal scenarios, Plan A’s and Plan B’s. Yet every situation is dependant on what someone else does. Whenever that’s the case, you’re never completely in control. Not if you want to be sensible.

Hopefully they find their solutions before the draft. It’s possible, however, that they might need to do more work. Perhaps they retain Clowney but then can only add a seasoned, possibly cheaper veteran like Everson Griffen? What if the more preferable options aren’t there? What if teams don’t want to trade away their best players?

You have to play the hand you’re dealt.

Again, this isn’t a good draft class for pass rushers. It’s frustratingly weak actually. There’s a lot of hype about certain players but the reality is quite stark.

For starters, there are a handful of players who are increasingly overrated and not actually a great fit for what Seattle needs. Jim Nagy told us on the podcast recently that Josh Uche and Zack Baun are not LEO types. They’re players who will have to adjust to play SAM linebacker — not an easy adjustment — and then they might be situational rushers. Seattle isn’t short of linebackers and their pass rush isn’t really lacking a part-time contributor. They need a Cliff Avril not a Barkevious Mingo.

K’Lavon Chaisson is similarly better suited to being a SAM or outside backer in a 3-4. His sacks and pressures come mostly on stunts. LSU do a good job finding ways to utilise his athleticism by creating open lanes. He’s not a dominant EDGE and he only had 6.5 sacks in 2019. Two came against Oklahoma — and one of those sacks came when he was being blocked by a receiver.

Curtis Weaver used to be 300lbs and he looks like it. His frame lacks muscle definition and he’s a bit podgy. His tape is impressive but he’s in a category where you need to see how he tests. His frame doesn’t exactly scream ‘twitchy EDGE who can win with speed at the next level’.

Yetur Gross-Matos has a good frame and his hand-use at times is good. He lacks great speed though and his play is so inconsistent. It’s worth noting that he ran a 4.75 short shuttle at SPARQ. He won’t run that slowly at the combine but the tape checks out with the test. He seems like more of a base-end type than a quick-twitch EDGE. Seattle has enough base-end’s already.

The one player who might possibly just be of interest is Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara.

For starters, he has the frame. He’s 6-5, about 250lbs and according to ESPN he has 34 1/4 inch arms. Reportedly he’s been timed running a top-speed of 21mph — a mark usually reserved for the quicker receivers in the NFL.

You do see flashes of speed on film — especially when he’s chasing down a running back from behind. There are examples where he just beats the tackle to the edge with ease. He’s very comfortable dropping or working in open space. He looks twitchy. He can defend the perimeter (something Carroll highlighted as an issue in 2019). You see him shedding blocks, sifting through traffic and finding the ball-carrier on screen’s and end-around’s.

Okwara lacks upper body bulk but still appears to have some power. During recruiting, Rivals noted his natural strength despite possessing a skinny linebacker frame. PFF gave him a 90.4 pass-rushing grade in 2019. He had 93 pressures in 2018 and 2019. He was also a team captain this season.

It also needs to be noted he didn’t shine against Georgia’s top-rated O-line. He does have a tendency to drift in and out of games. He ended the season injured. Virginia was his big 2019 performance where he dominated but there weren’t other examples of that level of play.

To me he would be a compliment rather than a lead dog straight away but that’s OK. We’re talking about a scenario here where the Seahawks have possibly re-signed Clowney but haven’t added a stud to play across from him. They’ve had to box clever, maybe added a short-term solution like an Everson Griffen and now you’re adding another body to the rotation.

I do think Okwara has a good chance to go in the top-40, especially if he tests well. The bad pass-rush class will help him. He ticks a lot of boxes too.

I’ve looked and looked for options but it’s a real struggle to find good pass-rusher’s in this draft. Okwara is probably the one you can make a case for with an early-ish pick. I’m not ready to bang any table’s for him like I would an Anthony McFarland, Logan Stenberg, Cesar Ruiz, Willie Gay Jr, Jaelen Reagor, K.J. Hamler, Brandon Aiyuk, Bryan Edwards or Rashard Lawrence. Give me a 1.5 10-yard split though and I could be persuaded.

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  1. GerryG

    Excellent article and a welcome void of reason. The revisionist draft takes highlighting how every pick was blown, and cherry picking players from the rest of the league is my new pet peeve. I’m done with Twitter for a while, it just makes me angry.

    • Rob Staton

      A wise move, Gerry.

    • Gerry Griesel

      And that’s supposed to be a voice of reason not void lol

      • Dale Roberts

        Yup, you had me going trying to figure that one out. Certainly Twitter is de-void of reason.

    • Stevo

      Hear! Hear!

      This blog, its writer, and commenters are a much needed breath of fresh air. I”m done with both Twitter and most other football blogs for awhile.

  2. Von

    Another great write up Rob. Thanks for doing these. Anothe4 guy that is if interest to me and has been mentioned by a few others is Darrell Taylor, EDGE from Tennessee. To me, he’s quick off the ball and he can BEND. Runs a little hot and cold but I think he will test well.

    • Rob Staton

      I watched a bit of him this week and didn’t really see much to get excited about personally. But let’s see how he tests to determine upside.

    • Trevor

      He is a really interesting guy and there was not much help on that Vols DL. Your concern about he running hot and cold is legit though. I think some it comes from the fact he had no one opposite him so teams could easily scheme their protection to take him out of games.

      The combine and interviews will be huge for him. Could be a big riser if all goes well given this pass rush class.

    • millhouse-serbia

      I know my opinion about players are worthless (for reason because I am new at this) but I didn’t see anything i like at him.

  3. Spencer

    The talent at WR, OL, TE, RB is very enticing this year. I really think the draft focus should drift towards offensive depth and FA can be used for defensive holes. We have a lot of young guys on D, and we know Pete has generally brought those players along slowly (injuries forcing his hand aside), and has talked about planning for leaps in year 2 and 3 previously. We can expect steps from Collier, Blair, Barton, BKK, Amadi and even Griffin and Flowers, but there needs to be talent and depth added on Offense.

  4. Trevor

    I know hindsight is 2020 and looking back doesnt help but when I think about the fact that MOntez Sweat was on the board and we passed it makes me cringe. He would be the ideal guy opposite Clowney and would be on a rookie deal. Sadly there is no one like him this draft class.

    I really hope the Hawks can pull off what GB did last year and add two quality pass rushers in free agency. I really don’t care if it is Clowney or not and would not overpay him.

    Also no veteran guys like Ansah unless it is on a really cheap one year deal. One guy who they could consider in a role like that as a purely situational pass rusher could be Bruce Irvin. That being said they have had multiple chances to bring him back if they wanted and passed.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s not revise history here Trevor. Montez Sweat fell because teams were concerned about an irregular heart beat. This wasn’t some ghastly oversight by the Seahawks in opting not to take him. Without this issue, he would’ve been a top-10 pick. He fell to #26 and the Redskins (hardly the best run franchise) decided to take him. Maurice Hurst fell to round five due to a similar issue.

      It’s very easy after one season to say they should’ve taken him. I know something though. If you’re the GM who drafts him and then something tragic happens on the practise field, during a game, in the weight room. You have to live with that forever. That’s not something I’d necessarily be willing to have on my conscious for the sake of winning a game.

      • Trevor

        Fair point. I just thought that Sweat had been cleared and his condition was mis-diagnosed. You are right no point looking backward. I considered him the defensive version of DK Metcalf prior to the draft and it would have been nice to have both.

        • Rob Staton

          He was a freak athlete. He was ‘cleared’ in the sense that every player can find someone who will publicly ‘clear’ them before the draft. Teams do their own work and make their own judgements. If he was fully cleared he would’ve gone in the top-10. There was enough doubt there. And in this instance the doubt was whether or not his life was at risk playing football — and I’d personally hate to be the person that made that call if tragedy struck.

  5. EranUngar

    With Reed and Clowney unsigned, the Seahawks have just one possible starter on the roster (Ford). The first priority is to build the starting lineup and then look for complimentary pieces later. Rookies will be rookies, very few of them become key starters on a DL and those are not usually found at the end of round one even on great draft classes.

    The Seahawks already have potential with Green and Collier, the task now it to turn turn cap dollars (and or draft picks) into solid and proven 2-3 starters. Resigning Reed and Clowney could be a perfect first step. If they can get it done with two long term structured contracts totaling 25M cap hit in 2020 (or less), they will be perfectly set to find the 3rd piece of the puzzle in FA. (Yes, its WIN NOW time)

    I believe that fixing the DL should not be based on drafting. The draft looks set perfectly to draft OL,TE, WR early without suffering too much from rookie year blues.

    We need talent on the OL on a rookie contract but we have the basis of the OL in place and some serviceable options that have already spend a year or more with the team to surround a rookie.

    We need more weapons for RW and a talented WR would be a great addition. With Lockett and DK on board he could grow behind them without the pressure to produce on day one.

    The same holds true for a TE. We need some talent behind Dissly but Dissly will at least start the year as TE1 allowing the rookie to navigate behind him with less pressure.

    As much as the need on defense is glaring and should be addressed with the usual blunt force approach JS shows when he rolls his sleeves and sets to fix something, I can’t help feeling that 2019 proved that this good offense needs a little more to carry this team to the promised land:

    The poor D we had in 2019 held the NO & BAL offenses to well under 20 points. Both games were lost because the offense allowed 2 pick 6s plus a fumble returned for a TD and ST allowed a long punt return TD.

    When your offense scores 13 points or less in a game it’s very hard to win football games even when facing ARI & LAR.

    When your offense has the ball in the end of the 4th quarter trailing by less the one score in key games and fail to get that score (SF&GB) – You should make sure you add something to help them do it.

    I.E. – fixing the DL is the high priority first task. However, adding to the offensive side of the ball could be just as important to add to the Ws column.

    • drewdawg11


      We still need two things aside from DL on the defense:
      Slot corner
      More alphas
      Darnay Holmes is only 5’9”, but he’s a former 5 star, top corner in the nation who has made a career of playing physically, explosively, and simply makes a lot of plays. He can also return kicks. He’s got great ball skills as well, which is sorely lacking on this team. I think you have to consider him in round two.

    • cha

      The poor D we had in 2019 held the NO & BAL offenses to well under 20 points. Both games were lost because the offense allowed 2 pick 6s plus a fumble returned for a TD and ST allowed a long punt return TD.

      Feels like you’re cherry picking examples just to make a point. There are just as many instances of the defense doing the same thing in 2019.

      The offense bailed out the defense blowing coverage on John Ross for a TD with time expiring at the end of the first half in the Cincinnati game.

      They muscled and pushed the Viking D around and the defense blew coverage on Treadwell making it a closer game than it should have.

      Good defense makes up for the mistakes a goof offense makes, and vice versa.

      I’m not saying the Hawks should ignore making any changes to the offseason this year, but it’s clear the DL needs improvement. And just making those improvements alone will help the offense. They’ll get the ball more often and in better field position.

      • EranUngar

        “Feels like you’re cherry picking examples” – Yes I am, I ignored all the games that we won.

        The offense was by far the better side of the ball and the defense is the main cause for the poor point deferential all year long etc.

        However, when it comes to wins/loses I did not cherry pick. I covered all 6 loses this season to show that 4 of them were actually due to poor offensive performance (NO, BAL, ARI, LAR) and the other two could have been avoided if the offense got the job done on their last possession.

    • Jordan

      Might just be me but I dont think Reed is worth resigning to a big contract. He doesnt generate pass rush on his own, rather is just a complement. Our rush defense was bad this year, Poona Ford who is on a very small contract outplayed him this year.

      • drewdawg11

        You’re not alone. I don’t think you can give a large chunk of your cap space to an unknown quantity. You’d be better off trying to spend it on the Bills DT, Phillips, or making a trade for a veteran who would make similar money, (Campbell, Jones). He was an absolute ghost at times this season. He didn’t even play enough games to be worn down. I’m not sure I would even do a one year prove it deal. This was his big FA year, and he laid an egg.

        • Rob Staton

          Worth remembering he injured his ankle twice and played with that.

          I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on him. And if it’s a prove it deal it won’t be expensive.

          • BleedBlueHawk

            Completely agree Rob. Reed showed his potential the year before and I think the bs late suspension of the first 6 games kind of stunned the whole team and especially Reed and stunted his growth with the new guys on D. Clowney even mentioned having to play together in order to rush effectively, not get in each other’s lanes etc. He will be pissed and hungry to prove himself after this year. Give him a slightly more expensive prove it deal, JS and PC great at it and then turn him loose with the understanding its time to show the Big dog in you! Reed will be a stud.

  6. Michigan 12th

    Will Everson Griffen even be available? I seem to remember last year he was going to retire if the Vikings did not resign him. Doesn’t he have some kind of mental health issue or something that keeps him in Minnesota?
    Anyways he would be a good pickup and we can speculate here all day, but until he decides what he is going to do then I guess we know nothing.

    I would love to see an aggressive effort to get Arik Armstead, Campbell would have the lower cap hit but you would essentially have the same player but in his prime with Armstead. Unfortunately he is going to make some chicken. Him and Clowney would be amazing. Then if we could sign some older vets at DE so we can have a rotation, like Quinn and maybe Mario Addison we could have a really good Dline. If I were the GM I would even let Clowney go if I could get Armstead, Quinn, and Addison.

    Draft OL, WR, and TE in early rounds and go win a Superbowl next year. Go Hawks!!

    • Rob Staton

      Minnesota needs cap space and he can void his contract too. One way or another he will likely be available. I’m sure Pete and his crew would be able to reassure him.

      • Michigan 12th

        He’s a good football player, I just hope he does whats right for his health. I would love to see him in a Seahawk uni though

  7. cha

    Well said Rob. Thank you.

    One thing I’d like to add is uncertainty cuts both ways. Other teams’ uncertainty can be played to the Hawks advantage, and the FO consistently has the team poised to pounce on these opportunities.

    We all like to post our offseason plans, but this time last year anyone who posted “trade a 3rd round pick and a couple roster players for Jadaveon Clowney and have Houston pay some of his salary” and “we’ll nab a top 10 talent at the end of the 2nd round who will have a rookie season comparable to Julio Jones’ first year” they’d have been roundly scorned as pie in the sky.

    Yet that is what happened. It’s a fun ride, knowing despite things not always completely going as planned, they’re never out of the running.

    • Rob Staton

      Great point on Clowney & Metcalf

    • GerryG

      Strong, very strong

    • Dale Roberts

      Some good comments today Cha.

    • SeahawkeyezSubj80

      Excellent point. Which goes to show how much more JS & PC know than us. They see the behind the scenes of all 32 lockerooms and exploit it to team advantage. 1 thing for sure Pete want front four BAMF for his defensive line, he has cap and draft picks to make it happen. Very exciting times this offseason going to be epic!

  8. millhouse-serbia

    What Rob said about Weaver is what I thought…he looks like a fat guy, no muscles, but somehow looks explosive… If he can transformer that fat into muscles, and gain on speed he could become great player.. maybe even if he doesn’t test well, but PC and JS think he can reshape his body in year or two, maybe he can be good option…

    • Rob Staton

      I think they need someone they believe can contribute relatively quickly.

      • millhouse-serbia

        I agree but If they add Clowney + one more starter then maybe not so much like if they just re sign Clowney and hope for much more from Green and Collier . Of all edge option that I watched i like Weaver the most. And I don’t think he can’t contribute first year, just think he can be much better player after big work on his body. And he has more than nine months before first game, and I saw what Josh Ushe has done with his body for year and a half The main question is does Weaver has mentality to be so dedicated.

        • Rob Staton

          I think there’s as much chance they ‘hope for a bit more’ from Green and Collier as there is me receiving a late call up to the England squad for Euro 2020.

          • Duceyq

            Great thoughts as usual Rob! To your points,do you think Collier was a hedge draft for Reed’s departure? Seattle loves mirror drafting. Greena hedge for Bennet/Clark?

            It seems that Tiller might’ve been the Seahawks target and when the Chargers snapped him up Seattle moved back and drafted a mirror for a FA to be?

            Nevertheless. do you think Seattle may break the bank for both Fowler and Clowney, when looking at there ages? But Seattle loves under the radar value, as you highlighted, so Quinn, Griffin, and Campbell seem like likely targets….same with Von…a Von and Campbell deals are both possible and affordable even if you sign Clowney. I think Reed is gone, unless he signs a one year deal, which could open up more money to spend.

            As great as Bennet and Avril were, the anchor after Red was Daniels, a great under the radar signing that paid off big time.

            Can Seattle steal 2 lineman from Jacksonville?

            • Rob Staton

              I think Collier was an attempt to replace Michael Bennett.

    • Volume12

      In regards to Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor.

      Watch the Kentucky game from ’18. That’s what he,’s capable of when he decides to turn it on.

  9. Volume12


    IMHO, due to him only starting 1 year at TCU, LJ Collier was probably always going to need it. And lots and lots of it. Not ideal for a team that was as desperate as Seattle was/is for pass rushing help.

  10. millhouse-serbia

    Maybe Calais Campbell is one year solution. His cap hit is 17.5mil for 2020 and that is his last year. I think we could get him for 4th round pick. Jaguars are in red for salary cap but have a lot of players they could cut and save a lot of money. Campbell is one of them. Clowney and high pick as LEO, Green and LJ as 5texh and Reed and Calais as DT.

    • cha

      The Jags are an interesting team to watch this offseason. They kept the GM & Coach in place, perhaps signaling they’re not going to do a tear down and rebuild. Yet anyway.

      Obviously Marcel Dareus is cut but after that, what do they do?

      Calais is a heart and soul guy who the defense can play round. But he’s really expensive. Do they cut him or can he be had for a draft pick to save some more cap?

      What about Fournette? His 4th year is coming up and isn’t cheap. Do you activate the 5th year option and eat a serious cap hit for a RB in 2021? Does he even want to play in Jacksonville anymore?

      And Ngakoue – can they extend him or do they have to tag him to keep him in town?

      Do they have the guts to bench a $22m Super Bowl winning QB for The Mustache?

      • Dale Roberts

        Word is they plan to franchise Ngakoue.

        • cha

          Crazy fever dream that will never happen but would be a blast.

          Seattle trades #27 to Jacksonville for:

          #41, Fournette and Campbell

          For the equivalent of a 3rd round pick to drop from 27 to 41, Seattle gets a bruising RB and a defensive leader.

          Jacksonville clears $25m cap off the books, and along with Miami controls the first round of the draft with 3 picks in the first round. They can now afford to spend a pick on a first round RB, tag Ngakoue and with Dareus cut even have some flexibility to look at some options in mid tier FA.

          The Hawks field Carson, Fournette and buy 6 weeks for Penny to start on the PUP. When/if Penny is ready to come back the Hawks have an insane 3 headed monster and spend the year trucking opposing defenses. They also have a hedge at RB if Carson just can’t stay healthy and Penny is never the same.

          They address their DL in a big way. They can extend Campbell for a season or two to lower the 2010 cap hit. Still have room to bring Clowney back or go get an outside rusher.

          And bonus: They have 3 second round picks and no need to reach for anyone.

          No need to tear it apart. I know it won’t happen. Just let me have this one, ok? LOL

          • GoHawksDani

            It’d be cool. Just give me a similar player to Kittle, who loves to block and good at it and also can catch (I know we have Dissly, but want moar pls…like the Ravens or the Titans) and a solid FB and we’d run over other teams’ faces over and over and over and over…and over.

          • SeahawkeyezSubj80

            If this played out. I am going to Las Vegas placing my bets!

  11. cha

    Schefter says Rivers has permanently moved his family to Florida.

    Calling it now. He’ll be in a Bucs uniform next year.

    • Rob Staton

      I thought that too

  12. Volume12

    I posted about him a month or so ago.

    How long until LSU OL Saahdiq Charles starts rising up boards? Such a fantastic looking prospect.

    This O-line class is really freaking good.

    • Eli

      He caught my eye during the Championship. Very smooth, but a bit undersized so I’m curious to see how long his arms are.

  13. Kyle

    Really appreciate your take, Rob. I don’t know why but the Green Bay loss has inflamed the internet commentators and negative comments about Pete and John are outstripping positive by a fairly large margin. We all can nitpick about roster construction in hindsight but that is always 20/20.

    Teams that fight the draft board make the biggest mistakes. Our best picks were calculated gambles—Reed, Clark, and Metcalf, all first-round talents falling to the second. It may be the first pick is a head scratcher in terms of need but real value in terms of someone whose talents could pop.

  14. Ely

    I think the Hawks are a bit forced to take a RB fairly high once again. Carson is on the last year of his rookie deal if I’m not mistaken and Penny who was finally looking like the back they drafted him to be suffered a serious knee injury isn’t “just” an ACL. Prosise has to be done and Homer although fine isn’t someone you want to rely on to carry the load. Carson needs someone who can be that 1B to his 1A or even vise versa. Im not confident Penny will make it back 100% given his at times questionable work ethic along with questionable heart.

    As much as I would love to dip into the WR class early it’s just not our biggest need on offense. I would be totally ok taking Anthony McFarland in RD 1 if he is the type of RB prospect that justifies it. Center or RB for me in Rd 1.

    • Rob Staton

      They aren’t going RB in round one.

      They will add a back at some point but it will be a cheap FA or a mid/late round pick.

      I’m the biggest fan of Anthony McFarland but even I don’t think he’s a R1.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I like Johnathon Taylor , Wisconsin running back. But he will probably go on top of second round. Would like to see them find a big tight end too- and that would be worth a first round pick.

    • Bigten

      No way McF goes round 1. I really don’t think any will go round one, with the dolphins being the only team I see as desperately needing a RB, and they will likely wait until early round 2 (all my opinion tho). Think McF will be available in 4 or later personally. And would love that pick there, seeing that Rob is so high on him.

  15. Ukhawk

    Really interesting 3 round mock on PFN by one of the contributors rather than Pauline


    A few debatable/interesting predictions like Willis and Wirfs going before Thomas.

    Funnily enough Okwara is the pick going to Seattle

    A new OL listed to go in the first alongside about 9 guys is Josh Jones OT Houston who might be interesting to check out.

    • Rob Staton

      Willis and Wirfs before Thomas is just trendy, internet overthink. Ludicrous.

      • Ukhawk


      • Trevor

        I would rank the Tackles in this class.

        #1 Thomas (Clear #1 IMO)
        #2 Willis (High floor but not the upside of some others)
        #3 Becton (Boom or Bust pick with so much upside)
        #4 Wilson (Day #1 Starter at RT for any team that takes him)
        #5 Wirfs (I like home but don’t get the top 10 talk)

        • Rob Staton

          I think Thomas and Wilson are #1 and #2.

          Wirfs will blow up the combine and for that reason I think he will be graded very highly. If nothing else he should make a great guard. I think after those three an order is yet to be determined. I agree with your blurb on both Willis and Becton.

          • Zxvo3

            I live in Cleveland and the Browns desperately need an offensive line (specifically offensive tackle). Would Andrew Thomas fall to 10? If not who would be the best fit for them Wilson or Wirfs?

            • Rob Staton

              I don’t see Thomas getting by Arizona at #8. That’s the floor.

              • One Bad Mata'afa

                That would be a hard choice for them. I suspect they’ll want CeeDee Lamb pretty bad

                • Rob Staton

                  Not if a top OL is there.

    • McZ

      If you have the choice between Okwara and Kinlaw at #27, you take the latter. It’s simple as that.

      In R2, Jon Greenard could be a target, or Marlon Davidson late R3.

      • Rob Staton

        Might as well say Chase Young or Julian Okwara. There is 0% chance of Kinlaw lasting.

        Greenard isn’t quick enough. Tony Pauline reported a few weeks ago that he runs an atrocious forty.

        • McZ

          This mock is absolutely hilarious making Kinlaw #34. No chance in hell.

          But, if the WR frenzy starts and a couple of teams overpay at OL, Kinlaw could fall into the 20+ range. The only player I would consider worth trading up in R1.

          Still, what he says about Okwara… “is a 10+ sacks per season player if developed properly”. Teams will massively overpay on him trusting in their development (half the leagues dev departments are utter trash).

          Then they will play him day 1, but that is not what I see him to be. IMO, he has the classical setup of a player that needs a year as a second stringer.

  16. diehard82

    Rob, excellent article as usual. I love this time of year and check daily for your next nugget, although I also do my own amateur research. I also look at history, particularly what Pete and John have done as an indicator of what they may do. One of those things is that every time they needed an offensive tackle, they drafted one in round 1, or traded for one (Brown). Okung in 2010, Carpenter 2011 and Ifedi in 2016. Carpenter and Ifedi were both a bit of a surprise in round 1. With their not exercising Ifedi’s 5th year option, I can’t help but think a RT is in the cards. Unfortunate that Leatherwood chose not to declare, but it has still shaped up to be a pretty good draft for tackles. I don’t expect Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, Austin Jackson, Tristan Wierfs, or Isaiah Wilson to make it to pick 27, but Mekhi Becton? Not many have him projected to go in Rd 1, which is right in line with Carpenter and Ifedi. Personally, I’d love Isaiah Wilson. I think it is more likely that some talented receivers fall vs the 5 tackles, but it will be fun waiting to see.

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s wait and see on the O-line. There’s every chance at least one of Fant or Ifedi returns and that would change the dynamic. There’s a difference between not initiating an expensive fifth year option and being unwilling to bring a player back on a reasonable contract. Pete has talked about keeping continuity on the OL. But of course, if they go into the draft having solved the defensive issues and they still have pick #27, then an offensive tackle is an option.

      I think Isaiah Wilson will be long gone though.

  17. charlietheunicorn

    What do “you all” make of the drama at pick #1?

    Burrows may try to pull an ELI MANNING and not be drafted by the Bengals?

    He is from the area and quite frankly,. the #2 team mentioned is the Panthers, who are no great shakes either (team rebuilding etc). They do have some connection to LSU on the coaching staff, but the dude only played 1 season with LSU… so this doesn’t line-up for me.

    Frankly, I’m still mad about the whole Rivers/Manning thing from that draft. Burrows should thank the gods that everything lined up perfectly for him to pole-vault into the #1 pick. NO ONE thought he would go that high, but he played one of the greatest CFB seasons of all time and deserves the accolades he has gotten.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not seen anything to suggest Burrow is planning to do that.

      The only thing I’ve seen is his dad saying he’s very willing to go to Cincinnati.

      • charlietheunicorn

        Perhaps just click bait, but a couple of the talking head shows and I think ESPN had some sort of article talking about it. Of course, it might have started on twitter, the bane of all existence. The only reason I had even heard about it, was they got to talking about it on the local radio show and tried to talk through some of the ramifications to the draft if the top doesn’t go as people think it might right now.

      • Dale Roberts

        I heard on ESPN that his dad visited with the Bengals and was not happy with them. Yet two days ago his dad cleared up the question by tweeting that Joe would be happy and excited to be drafted by Cincy. Sounds like some writer was creating news that was more speculation than fact.

  18. charlietheunicorn

    Read above in the comments section

    “(Rob) me receiving a late call up to the England squad for Euro 2020”

    This is some comedy gold right here. 😀

  19. Greg Haugsven

    Okwara is another good option as well for a DL pick. In theory if you sign a guy like Quinn/Griffen you would only need him to be a situational guy until say year three when Quinn or Griffens contract expires. Does your plan of resigning Clowney and adding another guy also include keeping Reed?

    • Rob Staton

      Depends on the price. It’s more of a suggested scenario than a plan though.

    • charlietheunicorn

      So do we see him as a realistic late 2nd round target?

      • Greg Haugsven

        He wouldnt necessarily have to be a late second round target as he could also be the trade back into early second round target as well.

        • Trevor

          I wouldnt even take the chance. If he is there at 27 I hope JS runs to the podium. Instant dynamic #3 receiver and kick returner.

  20. WallaSean

    Thanks for all of the great work Rob.

    I never have agreed with the criticisms of the Penny or Collier picks, with Penny they picked their favorite, with Collier they picked the last viable option. Both scenarios were the result of a good plan.
    I could see some similar scenarios playing out in 2020 around the WR and edge positions. Will a WR become a favorite they wont let get away? Will free agency force us towards the DL with few options available?
    I would like to have the DL mostly in place by draft day for sure. If I could add one player with Clowney It would be Armstead. Disrupt the run game, move guys around, keep fresh with subs, and draft undersized speed guys for 3rd and long, I don’t see any Cliff Avril types we can get After Clowney,and one FA addition. I think they will hang back on run stopper and edge in FA as long as possible, looking for bargains.
    They need a playmaker to emerge at slot CB/ Big nickel, and #1CB. Mcdougald could be that big Nickel, adding another safety could allow that, we really need another Diggs type that can play cover 3 if needed. Our CB’s are good, but they need to be pushed, draft someone who will get playing time soon and let the competition play out. Play more nickel, rotate everyone, stay fresh and more active .Some small improvements on Defense could lead to a dominant offense.
    Its time to weaponize Russel Wilson, keep the running mentality, but stock up on depth, and look for versatility. WR3, TE2, RB3, we can’t run out of RB’s again,it just changes the offense too much. Homer looks good on third down, but we need a third RB, injuries are just too frequent at RB to risk it. At TE2 I would prefer a Hollister plus type, more speed or size or athletic, or someone that can play FB. WR3 I’m thinking that the Hawks knew about the Gordon suspension all along and that they will bring him back, but draft a WR with the first pick. If you have a favorite, trade back once, if you like several, trade back as much as possible. If Gordon is back, maybe take someone with some RB traits, or a sudden smaller type.
    Finally, take a chance on a QB, let Russ mentor someone through a Rookie contract.
    This feels like the off-season we have been waiting for, come on JS show us some more magic.

  21. evan

    I just saw the pic of Von Miller in the back of the pickup truck with his cowboy boots and his cowboy hat ‘taking care of his chicken’. doesn’t seem like he’s thinking of leaving Colorado…

    • Dale Roberts

      I think he was just having fun with Marshawn’s comments. If anything it implies he’s willing to go wherever the money is. Unless he has a no-trade clause it wouldn’t necessarily be his call.

    • Rob Staton

      Well given we’re proposing a trade that can’t happen for about six weeks — I wouldn’t be expecting him to be putting his house up for sale just yet.

  22. JimQ

    Height, weight, arm length, hand size and wingspans from Shrine Game. Interesting on a few guys, if #’s are accurate, Hill might be more than a slot CB? Johnson, = wow, Paulo over 7-ft wingspan.
    1. CB-Lavert Hill, Michigan, 5-096, 185-lbs, *32-3/4″ arms*, 8-1/2″ hands, 73-1/2″ wingspan.
    2. WR-Jonathan Johnson, Missouri, 5-075, 170-lbs, *34-1/8″ arms*, 9-1/2″ hands, 71-3/4″ wingspan
    3. OT-Darrin Paulo, Utah, 6-051, 312-lbs, 34-7/8″ arms, 9-1/2″ hands, *85-1/8″ wingspan*.

  23. Dale Roberts

    1) Rob have you evaluated Solomon Kindley the Georgia guard who played next to Thomas? Do you think the Hawks have any desire to draft a left guard or do they expect Haynes/Jones to fill that void long term?

    2) Is Seattle considered a penetration style defensive front or a read/react defense? I read a scouting report on Neville Gallimore that says he would be suited to a “penetration style defense”. Does that imply his strength is quickness rather than size/strength?

  24. Kenny Sloth

    Tony Romo’s a broadcasting treasure

    • Volume12


      Is this his last game for CBS?

      • Aaron

        Romo should go to MNF becuase it’s atrocious.

        • Volume12

          That’s the rumor. ESPN is apparently ready to offer a deal that would make him the highest paid sportscaster in TV history.

        • 12th chuck

          it is, and a very close right behind them is troy aikman and joe buck

      • Kenny Sloth

        Tannehill: *swipes tablet with his nose*

        Romo: “Is he ok after that last hit?”

  25. Volume12

    Watching Tyreek Hill and I could only imagine what Reggie Bush would be like in this era. 🔥🔥🔥

  26. Volume12

    Now back to the left side of that Titans O-line (Lewan & Saffold) just blowing dudes off the ball.

  27. Volume12

    F** yes Mahomes!

  28. Aaron

    Mahomes…holy crap! 😱😱😱

  29. Sea Mode

    Tannehill thought he was Mahomes there for a second and got rocked!

  30. AlaskaHawk

    It’s interesting how Kansas City struggles in the first quarter until they figure out the other teams offense. Then they tighten up their defense and shut the other team down. Henry’s big runs getting shut down – he is having a hard time getting a yard now. And Tannehill isn’t good enough to carry them.

    Mahomes and that KC offense look tough. He’s been building on his award winning playoff stats.

    • Rob Staton

      And the Chiefs have shown in the last two weeks — it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The vital part of that plan is to actually have offensive production, they are usually even up or ahead by half time. So it is a bit of both.

    • Volume12

      He’s the best QB in the game and is well on his way to being a generational one.

  31. Volume12

    To steal from Daniel Bryan: Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Ball game.

    • Rob Staton

      Mahomes could be a legend.

      The sooner he gets the first ring, the more likely it’ll be he collects a bunch.

      • Volume12

        Lol. ‘Great minds’

  32. Trevor

    I know it is still too early to really say it but Mahomes looks like he could be a transcendent player like Micheal Jordan was in the NBA. He is doing things at level we have not seen at the QB position. The great part is he has such a likeable demeanor as well.

  33. Trevor

    Ryan Tannehill was outgunned by Mahomes today but what a bounce back season he had. He earned him self a big payday this off season I think.

  34. Volume12

    We need a KC/Hawks Superbowl in our lifetime with Russ and Patty still in their prime.

    2 HC’s in PC and Andy Reid with roots to Bill Walsh. One offensive minded the other defensive.

    • SoCal12

      That’s the Super Bowl I’ve been hoping for since Mahomes started showing what he’s got. The last matchup bewtween us in the regular season was already a showstopper. A Super Bowl between us could be one of the greatest games of football ever played.

      • Rob Staton

        And instead… you’ll get to watch the Niners play him 🙁

        • Kingdome1976

          Wait Rob…Are you saying the 49ers are a sure-fire-lock?

          • Rob Staton

            Well they are, aren’t they?

            Green Bay are soft.

            • Greg Haugsven

              Im not even sure GB is soft. There has to be a softer word. Man if we had Carson in the game what could have been.

              • JUJUS

                Gb is cottage cheese.

        • Justin Mullikin

          The #1 Defense vs the #1 offense seems like fun.

          P.S. I am glad the chiefs won because I feel like they are the only team left that can beat the 49ers and the 49ers loosing is very important to me. 🙂

  35. Volume12

    What a game from Tyrann Mathieu.

    And Frankie seals it!

    • Trevor

      Fitting end really. They took a gamble and paid big $ for him to get over the hump and it had paid off. Frank is a beast.

      Happy for Mahomes and Andy Reid too.

      • Volume12

        While I do agree with you about Tannehill, I’m not sure if Tennessee should it run it back with him at the helm even though they probably will. Feel like they’ve peaked with him.

  36. Nathan

    And Frank Clark makes the final big play of game.

  37. Henry Taylor

    Such a big fan of Andy Reid, Pat Mahomes and Honeybadger, very happy for this team to get to the big one. We may not have the Hawks in it, but at least itll be be more fun than picking between the Pats and Rams to root for.

  38. Eburgz

    Surprised you like Okwara. Like some of the other guys you listed, he’s probably a situational pass rusher at the next level. At least until he gets/plays stronger and plays the run better. He has the frame to do it so hopefully he can. He wins with his length and speed off the edge but haven’t seen a lot of him winning inside and through blockers. I remember in years past you have said these college speed rushers aren’t going to be able to fly around tackles basically untouched in the NFL. Bit of a one trick pony currently. Also, coming off an injury, hawks haven’t taken injured players with their first pick.

    All that said I still really like him as a situational rusher with the potential to grow into an every down player. He’s got some serious get off. Sign a guy like Vic Beasley in free agency and draft another pass rusher like Okwara to pair with clowney. I think he’s the 3rd or 4th best edge rushing option for the hawks behind Terell Lewis, YGM and maybe Chaisson. Lewis and YGM both have heavier hands and win in a variety of ways.

    • Rob Staton

      Okwara is very different than the Uche’s, Chaisson’s, Baun’s etc.

      He can play EDGE.

      Whether he can play it well or at what level he plays it, I’m open to a discussion. But he’s not a SAM convert.

      He has good strength for his size. It’s one of the big things I noticed about him. Plays bigger than he is.

  39. Aaron

    Well, now I know who I’m rooting for in the Super Bowl. Chiefs all the way baby because the Packers and 49ers make me wanna 🤮. It’s been 50 years since the Chiefs have won it all, always liked and respected Reid, and Mahomes is pure 🔥. Also it would be nice for the Hawks if either the Packers or 49ers have a Super Bowl loss hangover.

  40. CHawk Talker Eric

    Not gonna lie. Sure wish we were playing today.

    • cha

      RW too

      Russell Wilson

      Verified account

      Follow Follow @DangeRussWilson
      Not playing tomorrow makes me sick… wish I was playing tomorrow fighting for the Championship.


      5:56 PM – 18 Jan 2020

      • Aaron

        Russ ain’t messing around that he’s ready for this organization to take the leap in 2020.

        • Rob Staton

          Russell had some interesting things to say on Monday.

          Hidden among all the typical cliche’s was a little insight into what he really thinks. He wants to know where this franchise is going over the next five years. He wants to see some action now to get after it. And fans should be reassured that he’ll be repeating that message to the top brass all off-season (not that I think they’ll need to hear it — but just in case).

          There’s a reason he was pushing for AB and Josh Gordon. Russell isn’t content with being good. He wants to win.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            I was very encouraged by what he said, and how he said it. He’s one of the most competitive athletes I’ve ever seen. Like Michael Jordan was.

            • Bluenlime

              Well Russ they should have let you go for it instead of punting the ball.

          • Sea Mode

            Good to hear. He’ll definitely be recruiting at the Pro Bowl with PC!

            • Bluenlime

              Its crazy how the running game doesnt miss a beat when you have 3 quality RBs ie the niners and the superbowl eagles team. What’s infuriating is that people think Seahawks shouldn’t use a high pick on a RB stud to compliment the others, carson and Penny both coming back from serious injuries. People preach that we’re a running team but let’s put our trust on 2 rbs that have never finished a full season. Swift, Taylor, or dobbins should be one of our picks if we are who we claim to be.

              • Eli

                The Niners have quality RB’s, yes, but Mostert and Breida were undrafted and Coleman was a 3rd round pick. I think the offensive scheme is where the real credit is due. The Shanahan’s system has been churning out RB’s since the dad was in Denver.

                • Ashish

                  I agree with Eli. With good offensive line you have chance to have a running game with any decent RB. Chance of RB getting injured is always high. We better invest top picks in offensive line as especially there are good players available.

                  • Bluenlime

                    In PC/JS era when have we ever had a good Oline? The Shanahans scheme better with all those presnap movements. We’ve invested high draft pick on the Oline with no progression to a point we resulted in bringing free agencies. So it’s fair to say that will never change. We overcame this by having a stud RB(lynch). I like both carson and penny but there not durable. One more bonafide back and this offense doesn’t stall in December and January

                    • Rob Staton

                      I don’t think some people realise the overall state of NFL O-line’s.

  41. cha

    Boyz II Men are from Philly. That’s hilarious…

  42. Aaron

    And wearing 49ers jerseys 😁😁😱🤮

  43. Aaron

    Boy oh boy the Hawks could use perimeter speed in 2020.

    • Aaron

      *On Defense and Offense

    • Nick

      Agreed. It’s so glaring when you watch teams like the niners just zip around the ball. SAM/LEO seems to me to be the main position(s) of need right now. Kendrircks got better as the season went on, but he’s getting older, coming off an ACL injury, and Barton didn’t look excellent in limited snaps. Tho he did play well against GB.

      Anyways, I think Pete’s comments on the perimeter are key. Even just watching those Okwara highlights you see that he has the ability to set the edge against the run. Check. I’d love to look out for a speedy LB in this draft who’s got 1.5 speed, too (even though that may not apply to pass rushing).

      • Rob Staton

        Willie Gay Jr

        Patrick Queen

        • Nick

          Will watch. Thanks for the names!

  44. CHawk Talker Eric

    Nice article. Okwara is pretty interesting. In a way, he’s exactly what SEA need. Prototypical size and length. Passes the eye test athletically (need to see how he tests at the Combine/pro day). Able to take advantage of opportunities, if not yet able to create his own.

    But I think he could go either way in the NFL, depending on which program he ends up with.

    If he goes to a team with a strong DL, especially one with a consistent interior pass rush, he could make an impact early. If not, I think he’ll struggle.

    One option for SEA could be to resign Clowney (a given), get Armstead in FA (or trade a R2 for Campbell), then select Okwara with their first pick after a trade down from 27. Seems like his ceiling is early Day 2, and even that’s a little rich but you gotta pay that pass rush premium.

    Bookending Okwara and Clowney, with Armstead/Campbell and Reed inside would be a sweet NASCAR package. Let Okwara cut his pro teeth on passing downs and gradually expand his role into a regular 3-down EDGE.

    BTW FWIW I think Reed will find a cool market and SEA will resign him on a cap friendly deal, though he might prefer a one-year prove-it to try to reset his market in 2021.

    • Rob Staton

      I think you will be right on the prove-it deal for Reed.

      • BobbyK

        Plenty good DT FAs this year, it seems.

  45. Aaron

    As expected, Packers have no shot. #Pretenders #Finesse #Soft

    • Rob Staton

      Softest team in the playoffs.

      Makes it all the more frustrating that we lost to them, although we were in no fit state to content this week either.

      • SoCal12

        Frustrating thing is that we’ve shown that we could’ve beat either of these teams. It’s a shame the injuries hit when they did. Still, this is how the playoffs are in the league. I think we’re getting closer to a run at the bowl than people think.

      • Aaron

        Yeah, the chances of a deep playoff run ended at home versus the Cardinals. If we were healthy we would’ve had a shot against the Packers. Then again the Hawks haven’t had a really healthy season in how long now? There’s something to say for those wanting a new strength and conditioning coach.

        • SoCal12

          We just did switch conditioning coaches. Unfortunately the reputation surrounding this new guy Ivan Lewis isn’t too good, and from what it looks like so far the reputation is justified.

      • Ashish

        Hawks team was too banged up with strong run game we would have won against GB. Though might fall short in SB.

  46. Pran

    Can Hawks make Clowney perform like Nick Bosa by putting together some pieces around?
    We won’t be picking that high to get talents like Bosa as long as Russ and Pete are here. Let’s keep what we have and maximize Clowney.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I think Clowney is a similar athlete to Bosa. Similar capabilities. I never considered comparing their college careers, but at first thought it seems like they were pretty similar players at that stage too.

      Bosa has a lot of help on that 49ers DL. A lot of help. I think Clowney would be even more dominant with a similar supporting cast because he’s also a seasoned pro. For SEA, adding an inside-out DL/DE like Armstead or Campbell, while retaining Reed, would be close. Well, a lot closer than it is now.

  47. SoCal12

    I feel like all the energy has been sucked from Green Bay already. This could get really ugly.

    • SoCal12

      Yikes. This one is pretty much over already lol.

  48. Pran

    For all his talents, Rodgers sucks the life out of the team and fans by his sulking and pouting when things are not good.

    • SoCal12

      He’s like the Anti-Russell. Russell could be down 21 points in the fourth and still be bouncing around and hyping his guys. Rodgers can be up a couple scores and miss a pass and still look like he had his wallet stolen.

      • Pran

        Tennessee with Tannehill played an exciting game than HOF Rodgers. It sucks we were not playing today and might have played a lot better till the finish than Packers even with all injuries.
        It’s Packs today and 49ers turn two weeks from now. Go Mahomes!

  49. CHawk Talker Eric

    Mostert man what a run.

    And Kittle is clearly the best TE in football. He blocks as good or better as he catches.

  50. Volume12

    Boy was I wrong.

    Aaron Rodgers is a 2 pack of a**. His sh*t stinks.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I was pretty sure SF would walk away with this game. But I thought TEN had the moementum to pull the upset. They started well, but KC has turned into an amazing 2nd half team. True second half assassins.

  51. Sea Mode

    Vision from two weeks from now: Chiefs get out to an early lead, force Jimmy G to throw the ball and play catch up, and he gets exposed. KC wins comfortably.

    (I hope at least. Not sure if I could stomach a 49ers SB win)

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Part of me wants them to win because it gives us a chance to beat the world champions at least twice next year. And it elevates the status of the NFCw

      • Sea Mode

        Nah, them getting to the big game is status enough for me. They will already be recognized as NFL favorites all off-season and into next year regardless of whether they win or lose, so they had might as well lose it. 😁

      • Nathan

        One bright light if they do win, is they’ll all expect to get paid and it should see some of their players leave.

  52. CHawk Talker Eric

    There’s a lot of speed and youth on that SF LB corps. Feel like that’s missing from SEA’s group.

    • Volume12

      The Cody Barton pick, among others, was head scratching.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Both LB picks were a little…unusual.

        • mishima

          Barton/BBK picks reminiscent of the Hill/Thompson picks. Forced.

      • Bluenlime

        During the training camp he had soo much hype you would have thought they drafted kuechly 2.0. But when called upon he looked confused like a moose on the freeway. To be honest besides Metcalf it’s looking like another bust year for Schneider.

        • Volume12

          I remember the day 1 presser after the draft this year. He was NOT happy. Looked and sounded like someone killed his dog. Even said it himself. Was shocked the board went the way it did with all the D-lineman coming off. Wonder who their guy was?

          And IIRC, one year he said something about when jr’s declare it makes the draft. With the unusual lack of early declarations this year, he’s gotta be feeling some type of about it.

          • JUJUS

            I still 10000% believe The titans took our guy.

            Justin Simmons. Off a torn acl JS prob thought he would fall to 21 at least.

            • Rob Staton

              I 10000% believe they didn’t.

              Were some local reports he wasn’t on their radar. And they made a concerted effort to highlight availability in this draft.

              I think Rashan Gary was a player they hoped would be available. Maybe Brian Burns or Johnathan Abram.

        • CaptainJack

          I didn’t come away from his Utah tape inspired. Schneider must have liked his combine stats.

          I think he still has a chance to become better once he gets a better feel for the game. He’s athletic. but needs to learn how to disengage from blocks, and put on some muscle.

          BBK is a pure special teamer.

          • BigSmooth13

            One of the few disadvantages of PCJS is that there is a ton of history on what they’re looking for. Which helps teams scout our draft board.

            Last year Indy traded in front of us for the LB from Stanford who rated as the top rookie LB this year, which had us drafting Cody Barton. Same the year before when the Bengals traded for Sam Hubbard right in front of us(Rasheem Green) Those plus the Montez sweat pick could have really changed this defense, and added a lot of athletic young talent that has produced.

            • BigSmooth13

              Woops. Scratch all that. We actually traded in front of the Colts to pick Barton. And Redskins traded in front of the Cowboys for Sweat. But the Hubbard one was correct!

        • Henry Taylor

          I think Ugo and Blair both flashed some stuff that’s worth looking forward to next season. And when Metcalf looked as good as he did it really can’t be described as a bust year.

    • Volume12

      JS should let his area scouts pound the table on day 1 for their guys like he lets them do later in the draft since they bail him out 80% of thr time.

  53. Pran

    NFC W keeps killing Rodgers dream of 2nd ring

  54. CHawk Talker Eric

    Mostert just making fools out of Packers defense.

  55. Aaron

    Sulky Rodgers is the best Rodgers. Man oh man if we only had Carson and Penny, we would’ve beaten these pretender Packers. We need speed on offense and defense, and better health. Keep at ’em Russ, keep telling them and demanding they take the leap in the FO in 2020.

    • Gohawks5151

      My exact thoughts. Even if we have one of Carson and Penny we win. With a healthy Brown and Iupati too. Keep building

    • Pran

      Our drafting is Meh since 2013, not one all Pro caliber drafted. 2-3 proBowl caliber players at best. Metcalf May be the best pick in that time frame followed by Lockett, Frank clark and a punter ( who took a step back this season).

      I am all in for trades and FA, think that’s where we are doing better than draft.

      • Rob Staton

        They’ve made plenty of good picks.

      • Kenny Sloth

        We didn’t draft anyone that’s one of the 20+ BEST IN THE NFL and top-2 at their position

  56. CaptainJack

    UW has some guys to watch next year for the 2021 draft. Joe Tryon and Levi Owuzurike on the D-line in rounds 1 or 2. Elijah Molden in the secondary round 2 or 3 (think Byron Murphy). Cade Otton at tight end in the mid rounds (think Dissly, Sample). Jaxson Kirkland as an offensive tackle in the mid rounds (played guard last year but the thinking is he’s going to be moved to tackle this year). Those will be the names the NFL will be most curious about.

    I am most curious to see how Joe Tryon develops. Had a shaky start to 2019 but got a lot better later on in the season. Looks the part of an NFL pass rusher.

  57. Bankhawk

    Rob, yet another post that is absolutely masterful in both its scope and it’s comprehensiveness! It’s information gathering time now, and the first wave there is all the various all-star games. Seems to me that the Shrine game takes a back seat to the Sr. Bowl, with its days of drills and practices highlighting the different position groups. That being said, did anyone take in the Shrine game? Anything notable to report?

    • Robert Las Vegas

      As I am watching this game I keep thinking the Seahawks could easily beat the 49ers twice this year 6 inches away. Jimmy G has 48 yards in middle of 3 Quarter.and they are up by 3 touchdown. I have Pete might be do some recruiting at the Pro Bowl. Rob in early thoughts on Chiefs and 49ers any early prediction

    • Rob Staton

      Tony P said it was a bad year at the Shrine game and scouts came away unimpressed.

      Big Senior Bowl preview coming Monday.

  58. CHawk Talker Eric

    SF just have superior team speed. Man to man at each position, they’re just faster than GB. Reminiscent of the 2013-2014 Seahawks. Would like to see a return to that. We already have some key pieces in place.

    • Robert Las Vegas

      Also I have a question the few games of the season the lack of turnovers the defense created I maybe wrong but the Last 3 games no turnovers .is it intirely on lack of pass rush or is there other factors involved. Any thoughts once again thank you very much

  59. Barry

    Something occurred to me while watching the 49ers RUN all over the Packers. Back when we were the team to beat yes we had Lynch but it was Wilson’s mobility to help the run with the Draw Option. These days its not used or nearly as effective.

    I wasn’t behind the Laviska WR out of Co as a first round player but if we could use him the same as the Niners use their guys that would be a plus. I’m all for adopting the swing motion the Niners employ and expanding on that. I think it could also open up lanes and the passing game for Wilson.

    You watch the Niners and half the time Jimmy G does not face a full out pass rush regardless of the play call simply because of the play action off of the fact end arounds and the ability to burn a undisciplined defense.

  60. mishima

    Oh, there’s JFG. Forgot he was playing.

  61. CHawk Talker Eric

    Jimmy effen Graham

    Rodgers made that pass look easy

  62. CHawk Talker Eric

    It’s somewhat therapeutic watching Davante Adams torch Richard Sherman

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Maybe Sherm heard that

      • Ishmael

        Could be a sensational Superbowl. Might not like the Niners, but absolutely love the way Shanahan has them playing. Watching them and the Ravens run all over teams this year has beeem a genuine pleasure. And then the Chiefs are just that electric, who could begrudge Mahomes and Reid a ring?

        My gut reaction is that the Niners will be too much, but fingers crossed.

  63. Madmark

    We have a long ways to go. Staying healthy would be nice. 49ers and the Chiefs in superbowl

  64. John_s

    One thing to remember about the “Niner Faithful” is that last year you could’ve gotten Niner tickets for $25

    • Kingdome1976

      Just about every Niner fan I’ve ever met has been a d-bag. Just sayin.

  65. Pran

    seeing final stats, in a game of pass vs rush, rush made it to SB.

    Will Sherm get his 2nd ring or Frank Clark his 1st?

  66. Tony

    Go chiefs. And make it a blood bath.

    • BobbyK


    • Kenny Sloth


  67. charlietheunicorn

    Maybe PC knows what he is doing….. strong rushing attacks carried 2 teams to the SB this year.


  68. Ashish

    Great point Rob. I believe hawks need to take some risk on Dline and hope it works out. Low key signings and do evaluation and make changes if necessary.
    Need to be agile, and build solid line of scrimmage both O and D line

  69. millhouse-serbia

    Why are you all so hard on Cody? First of all he didn’t play position where he is best at, second it was his rookie year in a scheme where all LB had problems and third On Russ post Packers game presser he mentioned Barton (alongside DK) as a future od Seahawks (and I guess Russ now something more than all of us)…

    • millhouse-serbia

      And you know where we can save some money? 7.5mil at KJ Wright. I think they will keep him but not for 10mil.

      • Rob Staton

        KJ won’t be going anywhere.

        • millhouse-serbia

          Agree…but will need to restructure his contract.

          • Rob Staton

            No they don’t. They have plenty of cap room to do what they want without having to do anything to KJ’s deal.

            And because his contract expires after 2020 it’s off the books in the future, so they can perfectly structure any additions around that fact.

    • Rob Staton

      Because he made a large number of ugly mistakes and finished the season being blocked by Aaron Rodgers on a run play.

      Nobody’s writing him off but let’s call a spade a spade. He didn’t play well.

  70. DC

    Well it’s official, pick #64 for us. Not one bit of suspense left on that front.

    • Greg Haugsven

      We did pretty good at #64 last year. Hopefully again this year.

  71. MarkinSeattle


    On Stenberg you mentioned that he was the best guard you have seen in a while. How does he compare to Quentin Nelson from a couple of years back?

    • Rob Staton

      That’s a tough comparison to make because Nelson had incredible athleticism, technique, power, the whole package. Stenberg isn’t at that level but he is very physical and while he might be a bit grabby and he might be exposed sometimes against elite quickness, he’s also going to batter people in the running game.

      • JJ


        Does he remind you of Breno?

        • Rob Staton

          Not really. Breno was an out of control BAMF. Stenberg’s a bit more in control of his aggression.

  72. millhouse-serbia

    It’s interesting that over the cap has KJ at 8.5mil for 2020 and spotrac at 10mil.

    Usually there aren’t so much deference between those two.

    • FloW

      According to this article, KJ achieved the 80% playtime threshold in 2019 for an increase of his base salary in 2020 from 3,5 to 5,0 mil.


      • millhouse-serbia

        10mil would be biggest cap hit of his career,and twice as big as last year. And he is one year older, and probably little bit slower than last year.

        • Rob Staton

          It doesn’t really matter though. The Seahawks don’t have to cut or restructure EVERY player who’s maybe earning a tad more than the ideal. The Seahawks are a better team with KJ.

          Think people are worrying too much about the cap. The Seahawks have a large amount of available cap. They can do what they need to do. Chill people.

          • millhouse-serbia

            Rob it’s not about seahawks cap space…its about does he worth that money and would he be will to play on lower contract…I think KJ would accept in a heartbeat to play on a 5-6 mil contract(2.5 which he allready get + 2.5-3.5 base salary for 2020)

            • Rob Staton

              I think we’re going down an unnecessary rabbit hole here. The Seahawks don’t need to do any of this and KJ is still a respected and valuable player. If you start pissing around with guys like that it can have an adverse effect. Much more so than a meagre saving can make.

              Like I said… chill people. There’s too much fretting on here about cap room and not enough about enjoying the thought of what they will do.

              • Ashish

                I agree, remember we let go Grahasm (don’t rem’ber his exact name) he plays LS special team to save literally few hundred thousand. We were pathetic in punting for some time.
                KJ was above average, less may be he might have missed couple of tackle more than he should have but he still add value with his savvy knowledge and more importantly know the system.

      • Greg Haugsven

        You wonder if he almost did himself a disservice? They could save $7.5 million by releasing him. He had a good season but if they decide they need to get faster on defense he could be in trouble.

        • Trevor

          KJ is one of my all time favourite Seahawks and I always hoped he would retire a Seahawk. That being said I would definitely take that $7.5 mil cap savings and look to get a lot younger and faster at LB.

          I know Barton was a disappointment but Pete seems to want to bring back Kendricks which should e cheap. Then draft another LB in this draft to compete with Kendrick, Baton and BBK.

          I think Britt and KJ are going to be really tough calls for PC/ JS. They have both been Hawks for life, bought into Petes philosophy and have been loyal leaders. Cutting them will be gut wrenching for sure but the cap savings of $17 mil would let you sign an elite level pass rusher or RT. I think you have to make the move.

        • Henry Taylor

          On this point, what are people’s thoughts on Patrick Queen from LSU, he’s a bit undersized but he plays physical and has speed for days. Kind of a poor man’s Devin White.

          I also still think there’s hope for Barton, he looked like a deer in headlights at times this season but I also liked his tape from Utah, liked his agility testing and thought he showed massive improvements throughout the year to the point where he was actually making some very nice plays towards the end (to go along with some very bad ones I’ll grant you).

          • Rob Staton

            I like Patrick Queen a lot.

  73. ZHawk

    Just had an interesting thought about one approach the hawks could take this offseason to address the defensive line. Along with Clowney, an inside out 5T/3T like Arik Armstead or Calais Campbell could be had along with Vic Beasley at a low enough cost to allow for the hawks to sign another quality starter at receiver, right tackle, or nickel. We could use Armstead/Campbell like we did Red Bryant and Mike B, and bring Vic in as a pass rush specialist like Bruce Irvin or Clemons. We’d have two of the best run defenders on the edge on early downs, and then a pass rush of Clowney (edge), Armstead/Campbell (3T), Beasley (edge), and potentially Reed at the 1T. Throw in a developmental rookie edge rusher or 3T, along with an improved Green and Collier rotating in, and that pass rush sounds pretty nice.

  74. DC


    Just to throw a little salt in the wound from your earlier post above. Think if we had re-signed Clark AND drafted Sweat. That would have made quite a speedy dynamic duo.

    Just messin’.

    • Trevor

      We would likely be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl with that type of pass rush. Certainly would have beaten GB. Not sure about the SF game because all the injuries really were a big factor.

  75. Greg Haugsven

    Another Super Bowl where both teams were teams that had a bye week. So important as a #3 seed or lower hasnt been in the Super Bowl since 2012 (Ravens) and since 2011 in the NFC (Giants).

    • Awsi Dooger

      That’s exactly the way it should be. I always love it when the home teams dominate the final two weekends. This season it was 5 of 6 home teams won and covered, the only exception Tennessee’s win at Baltimore.

      The wild card teams have opportunity if they are hidden gems, like the 2005 Steelers who were second in the league in YPPA Differential and 2009 Packers who led the league in YPPA Differential. Examples like that served to overhype the opportunity for advancing teams. Meanwhile everyone was clueless to ignore what was going on. They weren’t suddenly hot. They had the blueprint. Far more often that not the lower seeded teams do not have the blueprint and are rightfully dismissed.

      Tennessee was eligible to surprise because they were 6th in the league in YPPA Differential at a very good +1.4. And late season their net was far higher than that.

      This season Green Bay never should have been a second seed with a laughable -.5 YPPA Differential. This Packers team may have been the weakest team to receive a bye in the Super Bowl era. As I posted a few weeks ago, the Seahawks were a flawed and injured team themselves but they had the most favorable postseason draw imaginable…back to back road playoff games against two teams with negative YPPA Differential. I doubt I will ever see that again in my lifetime.

      Overall the Super Bowl played out well, with the #1 team in YPPA Differential (49ers +2.9) versus the fifth best team (Chiefs +1.5).


      If I remember correctly, those are very close to the numbers when Seattle played Denver. The Seahawks were something like +2.7 compared to Denver roughly +1.5

  76. Trevor

    The interior OL/ DL one vs one battles in this Senior Bowl could be incredible.

    Kinlaw, Davis, Fotu, Gallimore vs Stenberg, Ruiz , Bredeson, Simpson

    Those should be some really fun battles to watch.

    • Henry Taylor

      I’m going to spend the next couple months dreaming of the Seahawks finding some way to move up and grab Kinlaw in the teens, is most likely going to be another Rashan Gary situation where I’m wasting my time though.

      • Rokas

        +1. Misery loves company.
        Although based on the stats Gary did not play too well in his rookie year.

  77. millhouse-serbia

    Bryan Edwards, Zack Moss and Robert Hunt are out of senior ball.

    • Zxvo3

      Well Edwards being out is very unfortunate.

  78. Ashish

    Rob and SBD Gang,

    Will you take a possible OL/WR with hawks first pick who can end up starter in first year compare to DL/Secondary who normally take some time to gel in our defense?

    Based on commentary from Rob so far, I believe we should spend our first pick with OL/WR who will contribute right away. DL/Defense they should look for FA/Trade whatever works. While doing so if they like the player who can contribute should be aggressive (shed more money). Our defense was not good but if you see overall picture we some how manage to come far as divisional round, credit to offense.

    Rob, how do you rate our special team? did we make progress? Jason Meyer was up and down, should we bring some camp competition ?

  79. Levi

    Any other edge rushers you think fit the LEO mold? I’m thinking possibly Weaver (if he tests well), Zuniga, Highsmith, Trevon Hill, or Betiku.

    • Rob Staton

      It all depends on measurements and testing.

      I think Zuniga is more of a traditional DE. Weaver as noted a few times looks like a guy who lost weight from 300lbs. He doesn’t look like a LEO but let’s see how he tests.

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