Why Seahawks will trade down from #31, take ‘their’ guys

Stanford’s Henry Anderson could be a target for the Seahawks

I put out an updated mock draft yesterday — but to be honest, I have very little faith in it. I think they’re going to trade down from #31.

The Seahawks manipulated the board in 2014 accumulating picks along the way. It seems they always intended to draft Paul Richardson with that first pick and knew the range they could move into to get him. I suspect the plan to draft Richardson was as much to do with trading down (and getting a guy they liked) as it was to draft any particular prospect with that top pick. Why? Because their main intention in round one last year was to use the #32 selection to make sure they got more picks for other targeted players later on.

Seattle traded down twice — acquiring an extra fourth rounder from Minnesota and a seventh from Detroit. They also swapped a fifth for a fourth with the Lions. That deal essentially allowed them to take Cassius Marsh, Kevin Norwood and Kevin Pierre-Louis in the same round. A calculated move — because all three screamed ‘Seahawks’ pre-draft. This wasn’t done on a whim. And you can’t draft all three without the carefully orchestrated trades.

I’m not sure Marsh or Norwood necessarily go in the fourth round unless Seattle takes them. They made sure they got the guys they liked. There are other examples. They knew at #64 they had to take a tackle or risk missing out altogether (they had no third round pick because of the Percy Harvin trade). So they took Justin Britt — a move that, in fairness, seemed like quite a reach.

Garrett Scott provided a physical upside at tackle (a SPARQ demon) in round six. Eric Pinkins was a total unknown, but also a total fit for what they look for in a defensive back. Does Jimmy Stated get drafted if the Seahawks don’t pick him in round five? Moves to get physical ideals onto the roster or obtain players they’d struggle to attract in UDFA.

There weren’t a lot of ‘big names’ on the 2014 list of draftees. There were a lot of players that made you say, “of course!” right after the pick when you looked at the measurables.

I suspect we’ll see something similar again this year. It’ll be a combination of hitting certain positional needs (and possibly reaching a little) in targeted rounds and selecting physical/character fits in other spots.

There’s every chance they’ll trade down again from the #31 pick to give themselves a chance to draft more of their ‘target list’. We get caught up names, we see players we like. The reality is there’s probably only 15-20 players in this draft that the teams will grade in the first round. Which means the player taken at #22 (for example) might not be graded that much higher than the player graded at #35. So if you’re John Schneider picking at #31, the motivation is there to move down.

Another lesson from last year — don’t overrate the combine too much. I think I’m already guilty of that, as I’ll explain in a moment. Donte Moncrief’s workout in Indianapolis a year ago was exceptional. Most people believed he’d be a third rounder before the 2014 combine. With a perfect blend of size, speed and vertical leaping ability — you had to mark him up. You go back to the tape and watch with a positive eye and you see what you want to see. I mocked him in the first round on more than one occasion, eventually settling on a second round grade. He went in the third — the original mark everyone expected.

It’s easy to sit here today and wonder if Tre McBride will go in the second (as I have) or whether Darren Waller with his Vincent Jackson physical comparison will get pumped up the board (guilty, again). It might happen, but is it more likely both players will settle into rounds 3-6? If they like either player enough they might be willing to go a round early. But that’s a big if. Just because they each had a good combine doesn’t mean they’re going to sky rocket into round two or higher.

So while we sit here and wonder what Seattle might do at #31 — it’s probably more worthwhile to simply identify a group of players that could be taken at any point. Prospects Seattle might like and will work out a way to collect.

Receiver might even be a position they’re willing to wait on. If they’re able to pull off a move for a free agent like Julius Thomas — they’ll be adding that elusive dynamic, tall receiving threat to the team. A guy who can work the middle, create a mismatch wherever he lines up, produce in the red zone and convert third downs.

If you sign Thomas as a free agent, you can afford to wait on ‘your guys’ because you’ve added the missing piece to the offense. And you can perhaps afford to develop McBride and Waller (if they’re on your target list) over time. It took V-Jax four years to post a 1000 yard season in San Diego.

They could take two receivers (Pete Carroll and Schneider looked particularly busy in their booth during the WR forty yard dash runs), two corners, two offensive linemen, a linebacker, a safety, a running back and a couple of defensive linemen. That’s a pure guess. The tight end class offered very little to get excited about — and if you sign Julius Thomas (or Jordan Cameron) it’s much less of a need.

Of course, if you’re trying to manipulate the board — you also might trade up for a certain player. They did it for Tharold Simon in 2013. I think it’s unlikely in round one, but certainly is a possibility from the #63 pick onwards.

Players they might manipulate the board to target:

Henry Anderson (DT, Stanford)
Similar size to Tony McDaniel at 6-6 and 294lbs — 33 1/2 inch arms. Ran a 5.03 with an impressive 1.63 ten yard split. He aced the short shuttle with a 4.19 — quickest among defensive linemen. Anderson performed very well at the Senior Bowl. Can play the five technique or work inside. Typical Stanford lineman, great attitude. He’s projecting in rounds 3-4.

Alex Carter (CB, Stanford)
One of the few corners in this class to tick the right boxes for Seattle. He’s 6-0, 196lbs with 32 1/8 inch arms (the Seahawks have not drafted a corner with sub-32 inch arms). He ran a 4.51 (Richard Sherman ran a 4.56). He tested well in the short shuttle and posted a 10’1″ in the broad jump. According to reports he aced interviews at the combine. He’s projecting in rounds 4-5 but might need to be taken earlier due to the weak overall cornerback class.

Ty Sambrailo (T/G, Colorado State)
Active blocker who will be a good fit in a zone scheme. Showed off his movement skills with a terrific 4.58 in the short shuttle (fifth overall among offensive linemen). 6-6 and 311lbs so compares to Carpenter/Britt in terms of size. Short arms so has to play guard. Tony Pauline reported in January that Seattle had interest in Sambrailo. He’s projecting anywhere from rounds 2-4.

Tre McBride (WR, Williams & Mary)
High character receiver. 6-0 and 210lbs with 32 1/8 inch arms. Smallish hands (nine inches) aren’t ideal but they’re bigger than Paul Richardson’s a year ago. Ran a 4.41 with a 1.51 split. Posted a 38 inch vertical and a 4.08 short shuttle. Kick return experience. Plays big on tape — high pointing the football and making contested catches downfield. Sparky on the field and respectful off it. Made ‘wow’ plays even against big school opponents. Recently projecting in rounds 3-4 but rising.

Zack Hodges (DE, Harvard)
Pass rusher with a relentless motor. 6-2 1/2, 250lbs with fantastic length (34 1/2 inch arms). 4.68 forty isn’t ideal for a LEO but a 1.61 split is intriguing. Showed explosiveness in the broad jump (10’5″). Incredible back-story. Lost his mother in high school after losing his father aged six and then his grandfather aged 14. Fought to get to Harvard. Will not quit on or off the field. Touted as a day two pick going into the Senior Bowl, a more modest expectation is mid-to-late round.

Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DT, Southern Miss)
Missed the entire 2013 season with a knee injury but bounced back in 2014 to lead the team in TFL’s (14). Declared early after finding a way to impact games. He’s 6-2 and 307lbs with a shade under 33 inch arms. Ran a 5.02 and posted a nice 34 inch vertical. He could sneak into the later rounds as a priority UDFA. Moved well at the combine.

Rob Crisp (T, NC State)
Handled Vic Beasley better than any tackle in college football last season. Injury history is concerning but he’s 6-7, 301lbs and has 34.5 inch arms. Ran a 5.26 and posted a 32.5 inch vertical (same as T.J. Clemmings). Short shuttle was in the top-eight for offensive linemen at the combine. Could be a steal in the later rounds or UDFA.

Laurence Gibson (T, Virginia Tech)
Only started full-time for the Hokies in 2014 and considered a bit of a surprise invite to the combine in the media. He’s 6-6, 305lbs with vines for arms (35 1/8 inches). Ran an impressive 5.04 forty, posted a 33.5 inch vertical (best among offensive linemen) and a top-five short shuttle. Combine invite hints at respect within scouting circles. Could be a nice later round option ala Garrett Scott a year ago.

Terry Poole (T/G, San Diego State)
Another player linked to the Seahawks by Tony Pauline. Moved well in drills and looks like a big, mobile guard prospect at the next level. 6-5 and 307lbs with a good body shape. Ran a 5.09 forty with a good 1.79 split (Jake Fisher’s split was 1.75). 31 inch vertical and another lineman who put in a good short shuttle. Possible later round ball of clay for Tom Cable.

Kurtis Drummond (S, Michigan State)
Not the fastest (4.68) but showed explosion in the vertical jump (39.5 inches). 6-0 and 208lbs. As good as any safety not named Landon Collins in this mediocre class at the position. Showed genuine range on tape and seen as the organizer within Michigan State’s secondary. Performed well at the Senior Bowl before picking up a slight hamstring strain. Instinctive. Graded in the later rounds — the kind of range Seattle could target a safety.

Nelson Agholor (WR, USC)
Better athlete than people realize — click hear for evidence. Didn’t do the jumps at the combine after dislocating his finger during catching drills. Ran a 4.42 which is quicker than Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Mr. Reliable for the Trojans. Chose to go to USC specifically to compete with Lee and Woods. Former big-time recruit. Tremendous 1.53 split. 6-0 and 198lbs — but the Seahawks will take receivers in that range. Productive return-man. Could be a top-40 pick.

Darren Waller (WR, Georgia Tech)
Almost identical size, speed, length, jumping ability to Vincent Jackson. It’s quite unbelievable how similar they are physically entering the league. 6-6 and 238lbs and still ran a 4.46. One of only two players in the NCAA not to drop a single catchable pass in 2014. 37 inch vertical with 33 1/4 inch arms — tremendous catching radius. Still growing into his body and production was poor in the triple option (no surprises there). Seen as a tight end project for some teams. Has the upside to go day two, more likely a day three selection.

Josh Shaw (S, USC)
The guy who lied about saving his drowning nephew. He doesn’t have the length to play corner in Seattle (6-0 but only 30 3/4 inch arms) but he could be a mobile safety project. He ran a 4.44 forty at 201lbs, jumped 37.5 inches in the vertical and 10’10” in the broad. Will go in the tail end of the draft if not UDFA.

Adrian Amos (CB, Penn State)
Is he a corner or a safety? He has the size, length and speed to play corner in Seattle (6-0, 32 1/4 inch arms, 4.56 forty). He is 218lbs though and that’s big. Jumped a 35.5 inch vertical and a 10’2″ broad jump. Passionate about the game. Apparently the Seahawks contacted his old High School coach to ask about him. This has legs it seems. Graded mainly in rounds 4-5 it seems.

Mitch Morse (T, Missouri)
6-5, 305lbs lineman with guard length (32 1/4 inch arms). Ran a 5.14 but more impressively posted the third best short shuttle (4.50) among linemen. Would be a later round guard project for Tom Cable. Missed the Senior Bowl after undergoing surgery on his index finger. Replaced Justin Britt at left tackle for the Tigers but also has experience at center.

Tony Lippett (Michigan State) & Nick Marshall (Auburn)
I’m listing both players together for a reason. I highly doubt Seattle drafts either to play receiver (Lippett) or quarterback (Marshall). But both players could be converted to cornerback. Marshall worked out at corner during the Senior Bowl. Lippett is 6-2 1/2 and 192lbs with nearly 33 inch arms. He ran a 4.61 with a 36 inch vertical. Marshall is 6-1 and 207lbs with 32 1/8 inch arms. He ran a 4.54 and posted a 37.5 inch vertical.

Chris Conley (WR, Georgia)
The combine freak of the year until Byron Jones showed up. On tape he actually makes some nice plays — but he clearly lacks refinement. Seemed to be one of the players leading the way at Georgia. He’s nearly 6-2, 213lbs with just under 34 inch arms and ten inch hands. He ran a 4.35, benched 18 reps, posted an insane 45 inch vertical and an 11’7″ on the broad jump. Going into the combine he wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Now? You wonder if he’ll be over-drafted.

Cameron Erving (G/C, Florida State)
Intelligent, edgy player and a converted defensive lineman (like J.R. Sweezy). Had a year and a bit at tackle before moving inside to center. Unlikely to go back to tackle but can easily cover three spots in the interior. 6-5 and 313lbs with 34 1/8 inch arms and ran a 5.15 in the forty. Managed 30 reps on the bench press, a 30.5 inch vertical and a 9’4″ in the broad jump (top five among offensive linemen). Also had an excellent three cone (7.48) and short shuttle (4.63). Would start at left guard you’d imagine. Expected to go in the top-50.

Eric Rowe (CB, Utah)
How long are his arms and how much does it matter? At the Senior Bowl he was measured with 32.5 inch arms. At the combine? 31.5 inches. Again, the time Seattle drafts a corner with sub-32 inch arms will be the first. Wingspan also matters — Rowe isn’t short or small (6-0, 205lbs). Another prospect who could play corner or safety. Ran a 4.45, jumped 39.5 inches in the vertical and 10’5″ in the broad. Originally considered a round 4-5 type prospect, Rowe’s impressive combine could lead to a rise.

Davis Tull (LB, Tenn-Chatt)
It’s a bad class of linebackers but this guy is athletic enough to warrant later round or UDFA consideration. He’s 6-2 and 246lbs, jumped a 42.5 inch vertical and posted an 11 in the broad. He played defensive end in college but should convert to the SAM linebacker spot at the next level. Didn’t run the forty at the combine due to injury.

Jake Fisher (T, Oregon)
Converted tight end who lit up the combine last Friday. 6-6 and 306lbs but ran a 5.01, recorded a 32.5 inch vertical, posted incredible three-cone (7.25) and short shuttle (4.33) times. Had a 1.75 ten yard split. Arm length a shade under 34 inches. Tape isn’t as good as Joel Bitonio’s but they’re similar athletes. Could play guard or tackle. Following his workout in Indianapolis it’s probably #31 or bust if you want Fisher.

Buck Allen (RB, USC)
Cut-and-run specialist who had the best ten yard split among running backs at the combine (1.58). Ran a 4.53 at 6-0 221lbs. Doesn’t come close to the raw athleticism Christine Michael showed in 2013 but he’s a more technically sound runner. Only managed 11 reps on the bench press. Had a 10’1″ in the broad jump (top-five for running backs).

Kenny Bell (WR, Nebraska)
Ran faster than people expected (4.42) and also had a 41.5 inch vertical and a 10’9″ in the broad jump. Probably the best run blocking receiver in the draft. That won’t be reason enough to draft him, but the physical upside could make the entire package intriguing as a day three project. He’s 6-1 and 197lbs. He only had seven reps on the bench press with 31 5/8 inch arms.

Players not included because they’re unlikely to be available to Seattle: Eli Harold (DE, Virginia), Byron Jones (CB, Connecticut), Jalen Collins (CB, LSU), Jaelen Strong (WR, Arizona State), Ereck Flowers (T, Miami).

Getting a player like Cameron Erving at #31 (as projected yesterday) is all well and good, but the Seahawks might prefer to get as many players on a list similar to the one above versus just drafting one big name at #31. Especially if they are able to make a splash in free agency — beginning March 10th.


  1. James

    The Seahawks were so devastated by injury this year, that it has made it near impossible to grade the past two draft classes. Not only did injuries to the LoB and the D Line cost us the Super Bowl, but the injuries wiped out our entire young depth. Look who went down for the count for all or a significant part of the season: Richardson, Norwood, Marsh, KPL, J Hill, J Williams, Simon, to name just a few …good grief!

    As of now, it does not appear that the past two classes are anywhere near the first three, but for all we know, there is another Sherm or Kam in there. Today, not a single draftee from the past two years would be in the top ten of John and Pete’s drafts, but tomorrow I hope to be proved wrong.

    Honestly, John and Pete need to hit another home run with this draft. Free agency is beginning to take a toll, and the Seahawks have major holes at CB, WR, OL and DL to fill, preferrably with future pro bowlers! The core is there, and we have to keep them healthy; but we also need to add winning players, and not just league-average players, to win the next Super Bowl.

  2. Ross

    That’s a great list of names, and I think you’re absolutely right overall Rob. I’ve touted the idea of trading up early before but I don’t expect it to ever happen. Schneider loves having lots of draft picks. Every single season he’s been GM he’s ended the draft with more picks than he started it with. Last year was a key example. Six picks resulted in nine players. This year, he should have eleven to work with if the projections are right. That could include three each in the fourth and fifth rounds (depending on whether the Jets cut Harvin or keep him). A trade down could get him another one in either of those rounds. What amazing draft capital that would be. It’d make the third day worth staying up to watching (along with, hopefully, a live video blog courtesy of Rob Staton and some other guys who know lots about football).

    I really just want Tre McBride on this team. I think he’s one of the most well rounded receivers not among the big three. Competitor, underrated athlete. He’s the kind of do it all receiver I think we need.

  3. Jeremy

    Fantastic read! Thank you for compiling all this information. This is one of the reasons why this site is a daily must read for me.

  4. Connor

    Glad to see Zack Hodges on that list, he’s off the charts character wise. I saw an interview where he mentioned he didn’t expect to put up his best numbers at the combine because of a knee issue. So I don’t know if that 40 time is his norm or not, but he looks fast on tape.

    If I had to guess 1 player the Seahawks for sure draft at some point (near impossible task) I think I would put my money on Zack Hodges. Overcame adversity,smart kid,fierce competitor,great motor, and has the physical traits. Just seems like a super Seahawky player.

    • JimQ

      LEO? Possibly a round 3/4/5 or so pick of Zack Hodges? looks like a fair comp with……….

      Chris Clemmons 2003 combine #’s……..
      Height: 6′ 3″ Weight: 236, 40 Yard Dash: 4.68 Bench, Bench Press: 18, Vertical Jump: 35″ Broad Jump: 116″. (Arm length not given but I’d assume Hodges wins that one easily.)
      -Per mockdraftable.com

  5. southpaw360

    Amazing work as usual! I know they will probably trade out of round one but I want a trade up in round one. We are already an elite team. Go get a player that will help now. Trade the 31st pick and a 3rd to move up as high as we can go. We would still have 10 picks (most likely) and we could still add more with other trade backs during the draft. I say let’s go for an elite player here. Move up please. We have enough draft capital to do it.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the issue would be southpaw — Seattle’s third rounder might get you ten spots in the draft. Are you finding an elite player at #21? And if there’s only 15-18 players with first round grades this year, is it worth making that type of move? I would say no.

      • hawkfaninMT

        Well IF there is 18, and that 3rd could get you up to 21, then it is entirely possible 3 teams take guys the Hawks don’t have a true 1st round grade on. So if that were the case, then yes I would like it.

        Of course it all depends on PC/JS’ Board, and what players they feel can impact the team most. If they have 1st round grade on Collins (CB not OG from LSU) and he is there at 21 because some teams didn’t NEED a CB that early…. Then I am on the “pull the trigger” bandwagon.

        Would rather trade a 4th to move up there, but that’s just obvious!

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          An R4 wouldn’t get SEA to 21. Maybe 25-26.

          They’d need to trade a R3 to get to 21, and IMO this draft is too rich between 40-85 to let go of their R3.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Based on your mock draft it could get the Seahawks:
        Malcom Brown, DT for the pressure we want up the middle
        Jalen Collin, CB for a lockdown corner
        Melvin Gordon or Gurley for a high quality running back
        or if he slips:
        Jaelen Strong, one of the best wide receivers.

        Who will we get in the second and third that will be a starter?

  6. tzahn


    I know you can’t cover all the potential SEA targets, but do you still see Phillip Dorsett as a possible Seahawks target? You’ve been mentioning him in the past. Just wondering if you saw something to change your mind.

    • SunPathPaul

      I wonder about this guy. Dorsett is super fast at 4.33, but will it translate into an open target on the field for Russell to find over and over…

      He has the size comparable to the NFL’s #1 2014 WR, Antonio Brown. We don’t throw like the steelers, but if he can be anything like that dynamic (faster than Antonio), then maybe he is worth it as our first pick?

      If we drop back from #31 into round 2, then is he worth it there? He is more of the same as far as size, but it sounds like some other teams -GB, Philly- are interested in him…

      He doesn’t have ‘tons’ of return experience either…

    • Rob Staton

      I think he could be a target. Obviously could’ve added a few more names to the list. I just think while he’s clearly talented (and very fast) players with his size are usually limited to role playing jobs at the next level.

      • Radman

        Dorsett has a decent size to him, in terms of body mass. 5’10, 195 isn’t tiny. It’s not tall WR/ ‘always open’ size but he’s basically Percy harvin size, a player the seahawks were willing to considerably build their offense around.

        The question with Dorsett isn’t so much his size, to me. It’s about if he can do the things they want to do with a player like him.

        • Rob Staton

          He’s actually 185lbs.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Dorsett may be quick but it’s a stretch to compare him to Harvin. Also, comparing him to Harvin isn’t the best endorsement either.

  7. drewjov11

    11 picks is a ton, especially considering half of those players won’t make the final roster. Trade UP for once. There’s plenty of chances to move around and get more picks later on.

    • Pauld

      I agree. Assume they think Simon is better than anyone in the draft, Lynch returns and another team signs Carpenter. Then they will just have one spot on the line to fill plus upgrading the receiving corps. Only two new players will have a real shot to start. When everyone returns from injury, there won’t be room for 11 draftees let alone the free agents.

      • Radman

        But the draft is more about trying to find guys who can be great than it is about filling roster space. More chances to find him are a good thing. You can find roster filler anywhere at rather low cost. But the chance to get an elite player for 4 years at a low cost is a massive value for a franchise. The more picks you have, the more chance you have of hitting on one. If you miss, it’s a disappointment, but you can replace that roster filler easily enough. For example, this team survived the ‘miss’ of Chris Harper. He sucked but it was a low cost swing. But it probably isn’t a championship level team without mid round hits like Sherman and Kam.

        A big mistake teams make is trading up for a ‘can’t miss’ player, who misses. The miss hurts but the opportunity cost also hurts. They also miss the chance to get the players in the mid rounds who might’ve actually ‘hit’. The most successful teams in the nfl are also the ones who’ve had the most draft picks. More picks > fewer picks.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          The draft isn’t about finding players who can be great. It’s about improving the team wherever you can. If a player ends up being great, all the better.

        • RealRhino2

          You can’t just say more picks is better without accounting for the higher value of earlier picks. They aren’t raffle tickets. It’s more like one of those number pools where you buy a box to match the score of the game at the end of the quarter, half, etc. More boxes is great, but at some point, when all the good combinations (7, 0; 7, 3; 0, 0; 7, 4; etc.) are gone, paying more money to cover the 2, 8 box is a sucker’s bet.

          I don’t know where the exact point is, but just doing a quick and dirty peek at past drafts suggests that most of the best 30 players in the draft are indeed taken in the 1st round.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      I’ve never been swayed by the ‘limited roster spots’ argument. We’ve heard this narrative over the last couple of drafts. But Seattle hasn’t shown any less desire to have multiple picks.

      The draft is the lifeblood of the team’s building model. Before, it was about filling out a roster. But that desire hasn’t really changed all that much now that the roster is mature. The reality is, Seattle is expecting to lose 3-4 quality starters almost every year. Retaining who they must. But doing so judiciously.

      The ability to allow starters to walk begins with drafting the next starter ahead of need. There are a lot of positions on the roster already left unfilled. Probably no less than 5 positions on the OL/DL combined. In addition, the expected losses in 2016 are massive. Possibly as many as 7 positions that have to be resigned or allowed to leave.

      I would expect Seattle to still adhere to the OL/LB/DL/DB template where they add one of each in this draft. They’ve done this every single year. These are positions that make up more than half of the total roster spots. Having several rookie deal players in each of these units is almost necessary to maintain cap health. In most years, multiples picks in at least one unit is required.

      The draft is as much about this year as it is about next year. It’s an important component to their 3 year projections for the team going forward. This draft will be the major draft used to replenish the losses of next offseason. It will allow the team to intelligently pick and choose the handful of starters they’ll keep by affording a pool of next men up to allow the team to move on from some starters of today.

    • Beanhawk

      Oh, I think they will… however, it doesn’t need to be in the first round. I would expect them to move up at some point in the draft. I could easily see them moving down into the second, but then moving back up later.

      I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them move a few of these picks for picks next year depending on how free agency (next year’s compensatory) shakes out. I could see them aim for 10 picks per draft for the next couple of years.

      • JimQ

        If one looks at the current full roster, IMO, it’s pretty easy to see 11 players replaced by 11 draft picks. A very simplistic view would be to find better players than you currently have, causing a domino effect. You can’t possibly draft 11 starters, but finding just a few possible starters and a few main backups will improve the overall quality of the team, pushing the lesser guys onto the street. Maybe that is too simple of a thought?

  8. Greg haugsven

    Seems like the always draft the guy they want a round early to ensure that no one swipes there guy out from under them.

  9. Unitas77

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and accumulate draft picks for next year as well. Overall philosophy of wanting to pick 10 players each year.

  10. Ho Lee Chit

    Last year Rob argued that a trade back from #32 was not possible and had never been done before. I took the opposite position believing that Bridgewater would be available at #32 and somebody would want to move up for him. Lucky me! (I didn’t get much else right on my final mock draft.) There were several conditions that made last years trade possible. First, there was a high value target (i.e. QB) likely to be available at the end of round one. Second, it was a position the Seahawks did not need to fill. Third, there had to be several teams lined up at the top of round two wanting the target player. I just do not see the same conditions this year.

    Brett Hundley does not appear to be a first round QB. He may be a target at the end of round two but not round one. The Seahawks can use depth at nearly every position. Finally, there does not appear to be a cluster of teams with the same needs lining up at the top of round two. If one of the top three WR’s or a speed rusher falls then we may have a possibility for a trade except that the Hawks would grab a marquee player at any position other than QB. So, this year I do not see a trade back as being nearly as likely as last year. Add to that the addition of several compensation picks and we really do not have the need for the extra draft choices. Only if there is a group of players at #31 that the Seahawks value as being all the same would it make sense for us to move back and the other teams are likely to view it similarly creating no need for them to pay up to move up.

    • Greg haugsven

      We need a QB needy team that wants to trade up for Brett Hundley. To get up in front of the Jets or Titans(second round), who ever doesn’t get Mariota.

      • Ho Lee Chit

        That’s about the way I see it. Right now I doubt his value is that high. Is Hundley a first year starter like Bridgewater? Not in my opinion.

        • Greg haugsven

          I would tend to agree with you but you never know if its the Jets
          Teams might like having a QB with a fifth year option.

          • John_s

            Let’s make a deal with the Vikings. They have traded in to the end of round one in 3 consecutive years. I can see them interested in one of the top RB’s if they are available.

            • Greg haugsven

              Sounds good to me…they might feel they owe us since they got a kings ransom for Harvin. Really if a team wants to give us a fourth round dear I’m game. The Seahawks are probably targeting someone who’s projected to go between 50-70 anyways.

              • Greg haugsven

                Fourth round pick that is

            • Ho Lee Chit

              If Gurley or Gordon is available at #31, Jacksonville may be interested. I have mocked a RB to them in R2. Gus Bradley needs a RB like Marshawn. The extra year would be useful since he probably does not play until 2016.

              • Greg Haugsven

                You mean Toby Gerhart isn’t a future all pro? Lol

    • Rob Staton

      You can always find a buyer though. Seattle might be willing to move back 8-9 spots for a fourth. Value is in the eye of the beholder these days.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        It’s also possible that we move back more than 8 to 10 spots. Without a high value position prospect like a QB — it’ll likely require that we move back even further for that 4th round pick.

        It’s also possible that Seattle moves back for a future 3rd. Seattle already has a lot of picks this year. But we’re not likely to have the comp pick bonanza next year. We also expect significant attrition next year. Having 8 to 10 picks next year is going to be attractive.

        Seattle hasn’t really traded forward into future years’ drafts. But we’ve not entered a draft in excess of the 9 picks we typically want either. This year we have 11 already in hand. Next year we will likely only have our 7 standard selections. It’ll be interesting to see for sure. Personally, I am a fan of getting better picks in future years. San Fransisco has done well for themselves in getting great value — even if they’ve not really done well with the picks they attained.

        • Robert

          Losing Carp and Maxwell will probably generate comp picks for next year’s Draft.

      • hawkfaninMT

        What about selling this years 1st to a team for their 1st next year as an option? Similar to the deal struck back 2009(?) that netted the Hawks ET3? Now that is a move I would be in favor of!

        • Rob Staton

          Happens very rarely. Someone would need to feel like the guy available at #31 is a first rounder in any class. The last time it happened was Mark Ingram (I think) in 2011. Before that draft Ingram had a huge reputation at Alabama, former Heisman winner. Maybe if Melvin Gordon is there someone would feel similar? But I doubt he will be. And with only about 15-20 first round grades likely to be given out this year, I think it’ll be tough.

          • Greg haugsven

            They will also want to trade down for money reasons. If they would have drafted Richardson at 32 they would have paid him 6.8 million over 4 years. Instead they got him at 45 and paid him 4.7 million over 4 years. That’s a good amount of coin that can be used elsewhere.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          I could see a scenario where we do something like:





          And a conditional 2nd/3rd in 2016

          This would be a possible trade scenario with Atlanta. Remember, Seattle doesn’t do particularly well in getting return value as far as draft stock goes. And #31 isn’t likely to have a really good prospect worth moving up for.

          One could make a similar deal to Washington or Cleveland. They’ve shown similar tendencies to want to move up.

          It would depend really on where we see the pockets of quality. If we see it strong in the 50th to 100th range, we could consider a similar move with Baltimore or Detroit with a conditional 1st/2nd in 2016.

    • Dawgma

      I also don’t buy that trading back and taking Richardson was Plan A the entire time. In fact I think it was plan C behind staying put and taking Ja’Wan James or Dominique Easley. The trade back was in response to not seeing any R1 picks left, and no loss in getting their backup plan 10 picks later.

      It’s not like the FO got a king’s ransom for the pick or anything.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        If that were the case, then I’d have seen them moving back anyway. Seattle would have had even greater expectation to get a player they liked if either of those had fallen.

        It’s hard to really say. Seattle has such a propensity for moving back, and we’re known to target groups of players — “pockets” they’ve termed it — where they generally like to have options, and not specific players in mind.

        You could well be right, that Richardson wasn’t THE GUY and that indeed we did have those other players as possible options. Trading back for Richardson made sense. Whether he was the one we wanted all along, or if he was the last name in our pool left standing.

        We’ll never really know though.

      • Rob Staton

        I think there may have been a time during the process when they were targeting Ju’Wan James at #32. In 2010 they were hoping to take Eric Berry at #6 and Trent Williams at #14 (I understand). Then Williams’ stock exploded after the combine and Berry ended up going at #5 to KC anyway. So they went Okung and Thomas (they wanted a LT and a S). By the time they got into the 2014 draft they would’ve had a very good idea what was going to happen. They would’ve known James was going top-20. And they were very deliberate in targeting Richardson after two moves down. It was calculated and methodical.

  11. rowdy

    Rob, what your opinion of David johnson? I seen you mention buck allen who scored good on everything but bunch. Johnson preformed the best out of the running backs imo and has some good tape. Looks like a high character guy as well. I could see him being a turbin type pick this year.

    • Rob Staton

      Not a player I’ve had much opportunity to look at.

      • rowdy


        This is the only game tape I could find of him. They say he’s a gym rat (squats 600) fights for every yard, he’s a good receiver and returns. Small school guy but he looks good.

        • peter

          Personally I like Johnson very much but for me there’s two factors at play that work against him being a seahawk: One if the Lynch Deal is actually finalized then it lessens the overall need for a RB by a pretty wide margin to nearly nil with the current players and Two RB can be devalued all it wants to be but the teams that do good to great currently have a an actual factual running attack and I think that the RB’s all pretty much putting up the same banal numbers at the combine plus David Johnson being bigger then almost all of them and the top performer in every category, plus putting up good production as a runner, pass catcher, and ST performer at his school should push him into the third round which I think doesn’t present a great pick for the Seahawks in that territory.

          That long answer said, if the seahawks want to cut bait with CMike and take in David Johnson, I’m all about it. I’m pretty cynical but I am also pretty down on a player who currently presents no value to the team other then a Sparq score (which Johnson did quite well in) who frankly I think many of us believed the second RB spot was his to take over Turbin except Turbin upped his game and CMike…..?…..did basically nothing to warrant staying on the roster.

          • rowdy

            I agree it would probably be at the expense of cmike but also could be a 4th rb to groom because lynch and turbin could be gone next year. I see him being gone by the time the hawks would pull the trigger. I think johnson checks all the boxes.

    • lenny

      He looks like the best size/speed/athleticism RB that tested at the combine. Finishing 2 or 3 in almost all events. He seems like a great team mate in his interviews. Most intriguing of all is his route running and hands are flat out special. The Hawks have made the running backs a big part of the pass game lately.

      • rowdy

        Regardless of what happens this year at rb next year will have turnover at the position. Give him a year of coaching in the system and he could challenge to replace lynch when he leaves.

      • OZ

        Excellent blocker and pass protector also.

    • Robert

      Awesome looking prospect…thanks for sharing! A bunch of the experts say he’s too tall and lacks shake and bake in tight space. They project him as an HBack because he is a great receiver (former WR). But this junior year highlight reel shows numerous examples of extraordinary ability to make defenders miss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCBm1c2Am-I
      He is definitely a prospect with excellent character, extraordinary skills, phenomenal athleticism and he breaks the mold because he is too tall. It would be fun if we took him and 3 years from now everyone is drafting tall RB’s! He might be on our radar particularly if CMike is wearing out his welcome and Beast is a year to year question mark.

  12. kevin mullen

    No Arie Kouandjio love? I think the dude can be a swap for swap with Carpenter right from the get-go, though I’d consider him as our second to third pick, wherever that may be.

    • Rob Staton

      Looked sluggish at the combine. Seen a lot of negative talk recently.

  13. j

    What is the word on Stephon Diggs? Former 5* from Maryland. Injury risk.

    • Morgan

      Personally, I love this guy and I think he may be my favorite return man in the draft. He sets up blocks so well and looks so fluid and effortless while doing it. Too bad he was hurt all the time.

      • j

        IIRC the injuries weren’t really anything likely to repeat. A broken leg and a lacerated kidney – no ACLs.

  14. FattyAcid

    Rob, once again thanks for the research and insight. It’s much appreciated. Whether Lynch comes back or not, I still want Gurley. I don’t like the idea of trading down acquiring more draft picks. 11+ players are not gonna make the roster and the practice squad. The last few years you just get the assumption that they’re drafting prospects for other teams.

    I thought the Lofa Tatupu hire went a bit under the radar, it’s something I’m pretty excited about. What are your thoughts on it?? Also, anybody know the status on Pinkins?

    • Rob Staton

      No update on Pinkins yet — I think he’s healthy again though. I think it’s cool to see Lofa back — let’s hope he takes to this new coaching role. Thanks for the kind words too.

  15. cha

    So Rob, you’re saying there’s a level drop off around pick 20? Where do you think the second tier drops off?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it could be quite a rich second tier extending into the 50’s.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I would be more interested in moving up in the second then down in the first. We need talented players!

        • Radman

          Agree with Rob. There’s a lot of good talent in that second group. Trading down for more picks in that cluster seems like a good strategy.

  16. JeffC

    It’s articles like this that bring me back to this site over and over again. Nice work, Rob.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Jeff!

  17. bobbyk

    I don’t like trading up. Are the Hawks supposed to trade up to get a Morris Clairborne or a Dion Jordan like the Cowboys and Dolphins did respectively in recent history in the first round (or the mortgage Washington gave up for RGMe)? Obviously, the Hawks wouldn’t be able to trade up to #3 or #6 overall like the before mentioned players, but their respective teams gave up their #1 AND 2nd round picks to move up to get those two clowns. They suck, but were supposedly “can’t miss.”

    Schneider and Carroll have made plenty of bad picks (EJ Wilson, Carp, Chris Harper, Moffitt, etc.) but that doesn’t mean I think they are bad talent evaluators. Quite the opposite.

    However, the fact of the matter is that everyone is going to swing and miss. The thing I like about our current regime is that they aren’t afraid to get rid of a miss (cut Wilson and Harper the same year they took them in the 4th round, or a trade like Harvin).

    This means that the more picks they have, the more chances they have of finding good players. It should be obvious and that’s why I don’t want any trading up. Trade down if anything and take the busts, but more importantly – increase your chances of hitting the jackpot, too.

    • Donald

      I disagree. We can’t draw overall conclusions based on a few busts of trading up,, there have been just as many good examples of teams aquiring great players by trading up also. Can’t make blanket conclusions because a few teams made bad decisions on trading up.

      I am all for trading up, wisely and not giving up more than the pick or player is worth. That RGIII was stupid by the Redskins.

      • AlaskaHawk

        For all the trade downs the Seahawks have done there were other teams happy to move up and they continue to pursue that strategy. If there is a drop off after 50 or 60 we should try to make more picks in that zone. There is no way that we can keep all the non-starters from last year and 11 new picks.

        • bobbyk

          Kind of like we traded up in the second round to get John Carlson. The Ravens moved back and took Ray Rice (better than Carlson, but a moron) AND fleeced us for a 3rd round pick in the process.

          I couldn’t disagree more with trading up. Of course all 11 picks won’t make the team but I already said this regime drafts crappy players, too. Having more picks simply means they can get it right more often and I am thankful that when they draft a crappy player that they admit mistakes right away and get rid of those guys.

  18. bobbyk

    Also, I don’t know Rob, but I watched a lot of Waller today and am in love with his talent/film. He catches everything and he’s huge. And fast. As much as I watched him today, thanks to you, I’ll be surprised if he’s there when we pick in the 2nd round. He shouldn’t be there and if there was a redraft in this draft in a couple years, I’d be willing to bet he’d be a first round type of guy. If we can get an OL/WR with our first two rounds, I’ll be jacked.

    • peter

      Thankfully recentsy bias (not a real term of course) plays a role in GM’s decision making process in this case Stephen Hill was the last Georgia Tech Receiver picked early and though they are probably very different he hasn’t amounted to much which I hope colors the view point of a Waller and keeps him realistically into the third round.

      • bobbyk

        Megatron and Demarius Thomas preceeded Hill. Two out of three ain’t bad.

        • Rob Staton

          Yeah there’s a danger of overstating the Hill bust. It’s worth noting the awful situation at the Jets he went into. He was a high upside, raw receiver. And landed in the worst possible environment.

          • peter

            I’m not trying to overstate hill as a bust, and I do catch both of your drifts that said I think there is more groupthink in GM circles then they would care to admit to and in this case I hope Waller gets past over a bit for a low production receiver to land at the Hawks.

    • lenny

      I read a piece of an interview with him on nfl.com. The writer questioned if he plays with urgency. He admitted that he has to remind himself to play with passion. That might be a red flag that causes them to look deeper into his love of the game. He might just be overly humble though.

      • peter

        Sometimes those quotes are hard to take without full context. Though it could be a red flag.

  19. Ross

    About Julius Thomas. Apparently, his talks with Denver stopped when they offered him a five year, $40 million extension that averaged, in their eyes, $8 million a year, just below Gronkowski and Graham. The problem was they didn’t want to give him any new money for the 2014 season, where he earned about $700,000. It’s all about guarantees. This was Bleacher Report, citing the Denver Post. I like Thomas, but I don’t know if I want us paying that kind of money. Would his effect on the offense be that big? Possibly, but I’m not convinced he can be an every down tight end and contribute all over the field. He’s used to being just a cog in the Peyton Manning points machine.

    On the other hand, we were quite prepared to roll with paying Harvin more than even Jimmy Graham gets paid, so maybe it’s not that strange an idea.

    • erhone

      I don’t think Julius is worth it for us either, even at $7M, we just don’t pass enough. Zach Miller only caught more than three passes in a game 4 times since he’s been here. What’s the bast case scenario for Julius? I don’t want Cameron either, many because he’s 1-2 concussions away from retirement, but I’d roll the dice if he ends up being cheap. I’d much prefer we either keep Zach or look for solid cheap FA options, drafting a TE doesn’t look like an option this year.

      Over the cap had an interesting analysis of Julius and the FA tight end market this year, he concludes Julius’s value is in the $5M range, I could go that.


      • Rob Staton

        Not passing as much means you have to maximize the times you do throw. Seattle needs a dynamic talent to make the most of those situations. They can’t have the passing game stalling in key situations (3rd down, red zone).

        • Ross

          I don’t know if Thomas is that dynamic though. In the redzone he’s just a pure mismatch against slower linebackers and smaller corners, but is he more than that? At least, is he more than that to the point that he’d be worth $8 – 9 million a year? Can he line up anywhere on the field and still produce? Slot, out wide, in-line? I’m not convinced, or at least I’m not convinced he’d be worth the money on this team.

          That’s not to say that Thomas isn’t a good player, because he is good, or that I can’t be convinced and Thomas is more dynamic than I believe. Overall though, I prefer Jordan Cameron. Both come with injury histories, both are mismatch players, but I think Cameron has more dimensions to his game, and he may be cheaper in the long run.

          • Rob Staton

            For me he’s just behind Graham and Gronk. I remember one catch and run (I think against San Diego) where he broke into the open field and took it to the house, outrunning DB’s. He’s a 4.6 runner at 250lbs. I think wherever you line him up (outside, slot, TE) he will draw coverage. An opponent will have to have a plan for him. And that’s the one thing Seattle really lacks on offense. A weapon on offense who makes an opponent second guess and think. They had it with Harvin and lost it.

            • Robert

              You must have meant lacks a TE or WR that makes opponents think. Because ML and RW cause D’s fits….

              • Rob Staton

                Of course.

      • Donald

        Also, having a good passing game and a player like JT will draw attention to him and open up the running game. The problem with the current situation is that teams are stacking 8-9 in the box to stop the run, not afraid of the WR threat. This makes it tough to run .

        • erhone

          I agree we need receiving help, whether it’s a TE or WR or both. What I don’t agree on is how much we should spend. I don’t think Julius is worth $8-9M and I don’t think he’s that dynamic, he’s mainly a good red zone target. His yards/catch is ~11, similar to most TEs, he only had ~500 yards in 13 games, but caught a bunch of TDs – as I said he’s a nice red zone target. Plus he’s catching those TDs on an offense loaded at WR, defenses can’t focus on shutting him down, he’d draw more defensive attention in Seattle. I’d rather spend on a WR capable of explosive plays down field, as Rob said we need to maximize on our throws.

          • Dawgma

            I agree. JT seems like just the next in a long line of nice pieces we drop “solution” capital on acquiring ala Percy and Branch. Just north worth the price tag.

  20. no frickin clue

    There’s another possibility – trading down not simply to draft more rookies, but to acquire enough draft capital to trade for an existing player on someone else’s roster. We gave up a 6th rd pick in December for Burley. Could we do more such deals on draft day?

    I would like to pry DB Kayvon Webster loose from Denver – 3rd rounder from the 2013 class, good measurables (arms > 32″, good broad jump), buried behind other talent at CB, possible flexibility to move over to FS, and we’re all sort of assuming ET is good to go come September – except, he’s the one irreplaceable guy in this defensive scheme, and what if he’s not good to go?

  21. CC

    Great read once again Rob!

    I do agree with your pretense that they don’t care where they draft their guys. I think Britt was a good example of that last year. Pinkins and KPL were both guys I knew nothing about last year – and that also reminds me not to think only about combine players.

    • Rob Staton


  22. AndrewP

    Rob- Re: Alex Carter… Does he have the hips or suddenness to be a solid nickel corner? I’m not as convinced Simon is incapable of being a solid corner as others are, but the Lane injury has opened a huge hole in the D, as is potentially not having Earl watching over his back. Someone to cover those quick slot-types will be an absolute necessity if this D wants to be elite again.

    • Rob Staton

      I would rather use Carter outside, but he moved very well at the combine.

      • AndrewP

        OK. Next question… Do you anticipate diving into the film and finding the potential Lane replacement in this year’s draft?

        Again, I ask b/c I think the bigger issue resides in who’s covering the nickel next year, rather than immediately replacing Simon.

        • Rob Staton

          I suppose they’ve got Burley. I will try to dig into that area but it’s a tough one to project.

          • Volume 12

            Check out Marshall CB Darryl ‘Swag’ Roberts- 5’11, 180-182 lbs., hits like Bam Bam.

          • GeoffU

            Burley’s only 24 and entering his 3rd season, there’s potential there for him to emerge this year into a quality player. He should be much better with a full offseason of work with the LOB.

            • Volume 12

              I totally agree with you about Burley. It would be nice or ideal to have 3 bigger/outside CBs and 2 nickel/slot CBs on the active roster. And hopefully you have a another nickel/slot corner or a combo of the two on your PS

            • Rob Staton

              Totally Geoff.

            • Robert

              Agreed. I am very confident in out DB factory. I also hope they can re-sign AJ Jefferson to compete for that nickel spot. Thurmond might be good value, but the FO might consider him too risky.

  23. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I’m in favor of moving out of the first, if someone gives you a nice trade of draft picks. (2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016 for example) Take a few accumulated draft picks and trade for 2016 draft picks. There might be 2-3 guys that Seattle would take at 31, but I think they might all be gone before they pick.

  24. Volume 12

    Interesting that they inquired about DB Adrian Amos. Seems like Seattle really likes those Penn St guys.

    • lenny

      I would like to see them take a look at Penn State OT Donoven Smith. He moves pretty well for 6-6″ 338lbs with 34 3/8″ arms. He seems to be steadily improving the last few years. Not fast enough for some. He was one of the few Tackles that looked really good at the Senior Bowl. Round 3-4 could be interesting.

  25. Tim

    Rob-great post. In my insomnia last I essentially did the same inventory. My conclusion (or delusion) was a trade down 6 or 8 spots with a team targeting QB3 and picking Agholor. Then Sambo, Anderson, and Waller in rounds 3&4. Also projects Marshall and/or Lippett mid rounds. Buck Allen too. Poole and DL/DB depth late.

    Although he didn’t run well I might like Crowder as a later round return and Jack of all trades slot/wingman.

    Love the post and belive this is a likely scenario.

  26. Volume 12

    Rob, it may just be me, but Adrian Amos really reminds me of Maxi coming out of college. He can inside or out, moves similarly. I’m curious, if Seattle was to draft him as a CB would they still consider another DB and Kurtis Drummond? Or is Amos a bit redundant to Drummond?

    By the way thanks for the comment my man! Keep this inside info coming and continue being unique and doing you.

  27. Jeremy

    All in favor of bringing in 10+ draftees this year. Let them com-PETE and may the best 53 make the roster. The picks aren’t wasted if they allow the team to have the most flexibility and options going into week 1. Let’s raise the talent on this team in as many ways as possible.

  28. Donald

    Too many draft picks are a waste when you are a super bowl team already loaded with depth and talent. It is fine when you are rebuilding the team from nothing, but there is talent already here.

    Take a couple of the extra picks and trade them to teams for a pick next year that is one round higher. Trade one of your 5th rd picks for a 4th rd next year. Keep doing that and in three years it will be a first round.

    • peter

      I don’t get how it’s a waste. If they draft 10 players and all ten make the 53 then presumably 10 players currently can be improved upon. IF the coaches know what they are doing and they honestly thought ten players could be improved upon I personally would have no problem with that.

      If you look at the current roster not including futures contracts I could easily see 10 players gone next year:

      Cohen, King, Gilreath, Apparently there are two long snappers on the roster (?), Walters, Lockette, Maxwell (getting paid) Miller (cut) ?), Probably wont keep both of Tuakuafu and Coleman, D’anthony smith, Malcom Smith, Jeron Johnson, Jesse WIlliams, Kevin Williams…

      I like almost all of these players for their effort and for being a Seahawk, but some will go on to other teams for better contracts starting jobs, some will retire, some will be camp casualties, and some like Jesse Williams will have to be let go if they stay injured.

      • Volume 12

        The draft’s a lottery, buying more tickets (draft picks) increases your odds of hitting it big.

      • Donald

        Good response Peter, I can understand the reasoning and it makes sense.

        I am thinking about what Peter Carol said before last years draft when he stated there were not that many positions availble for rookies to fill.

        There comes a point when you already have an abundance of quality players, that very few rookies will make the team. You end up cutting quality players because you only have a 53 man roster. Why not trade some picks away for future higher picks later.

        • cha

          It does feel at times that the Seahawks are essentially seeding other team’s rosters. Jaye Howard, Jackson Jeffcoat, Kris Durham, Winston Guy, etc have been contributors to their new teams.

          Perhaps one of the unseen effects of stockpiling draft picks is the effect on the current roster’s players. I don’t know the psychology of a player’s mind, but even with a good player, if the team drafted his position in the offseason that would be a subtle reminder that their job isn’t 100% secure. There could be some value there, especially for 2nd-string level guys who have potential but haven’t translated that to production on the field yet (I’m looking in your direction, Christine Michael). Maybe that’s a trigger to get a player to exert himself in order to fully realize their ability.

  29. EranUngar

    Trading back is almost a must.

    The draft is hit/miss at any position even top 10 picks. If you check the past drafts you will find many first round picks that got injured, failed to make it or took a year or two to become effective. Once you move beyond the top half of the first round your chances of hitting the jackpot and finding a starter for a playoff caliber team drops to 60-70% at best. That percentage keeps dropping by about 10% per round.

    Converting a pick at the end of round 1 into two picks at round 2,4 enhances greatly your chances of actually finding one valid starter.

    The difference between the 6th ranked WR or OL player and the 8th ranked is far less then the potential of a 4th round pick.

    We need the extra picks so that we are left with 5 potential contributors after the usual hit/miss process, not because we need 10 players.

    Unless we find a rare gem that slipped to the end of round 1 we will trade back. The only “trade up” I can see is using our first plus our 5th/6th to have 2 picks in the 2nd and 2 in the 3rd. 4 day 2 picks should net us a nice variety of talent to work with. Add to it 2-3 picks in the 4th and that’s a lot of valuable fresh meat to supplement the ranks.

    If you check our starters list you’ll find Willson, Baldwin, Kearse, Sherman, McD, Sweezy, Bennett, Chancellor, K.J., Maxwell etc. All are day 3 picks or UDFAs. That is half of our starters. Anyone that thinks we need to trade up to find our next starter or all pro is ignoring the reality of this team.

    As for combine SPARQ demons – If those players were already on the Seahawks list of interest that may help. If they were not, they can find athletic specimens outside the combine that will be there later in the draft. If you pick a player for his SPARQ upside mainly and not for his production, why would you look for him at the combine (with the Media affecting his position) rather then find your guy hidden elsewhere?

    • cha

      Trading down might be the course of wisdom, more this year than in others. The 2015 draft and UDFA class that make the roster should be contributing steadily by the 2017 season when some of the big contracts are at full force. Overthecap has them at $61m currently before RW and Wagner’s deals. So they’ll really need cheap young talent in key roles in order to maintain success.

      That said, I’m such a proponent of the Seahawks’ administration I trust them to find the market inefficiency and exploit it. They’ve done it so well in the recent past – from finding position-change players (Sherman/Sweezy), UDFA’s who may lack flashy measurables (Baldwin/Kearse), to veteran players who haven’t been best utilized (Bryant, Clemons, McDonald).

      Where will 2015’s market inefficiency be? Could it be trading up? Maybe – first round picks don’t cost near the cap $ that they used to (*cough* Sam Bradford *cough*). If there is a guy who revolutionizes what you do and you’re confident in your scouting, I’d advocate a move up.

  30. CD

    Eran, are those assumptions/guesses you are making about a reduction of starter material per round, or have you seen data?

    I would think someone has done something like this, figuring out the average games played in a career per round, average games started per round, though I assume there would need to be a correction factor for tops picks as they are given more opportunities to ‘make it work’ as they were high picks/costs. I would assume Front Offices have this type data or someone who is reponsible for crunching these numbers.

    Anyway, it would be nice to see something showing that type of trend with data and not just gut feel (if that’s where it came from).

    • EranUngar

      I have read some article about it a year or 2 ago. I actually tried to find it when i wrote that comment but could not.

      If you want to see how the top 15 picks did in the past few years just look at the list and see what names you don’t recall having an impact. (and those players joined poor teams…)

      • Steve Nelsen

        I wrote an article for this blog which Rob graciously published last year after the draft on the subject of whether trading up or trading down is historically most effective and why teams trade up.

        The research is unmistakably clear; teams that trade down in the draft to accumulate draft picks are more successful at finding starters and Pro-Bowlers and those teams win more games. So, why do teams trade up? There is a psychological “confidence bias” that occurs when people conduct analysis. They believe they have an insight that makes them consider a player a “sure thing” when history shows that there is no such thing as a sure thing. In football terms, they fall in love with a player.

        • Rob Staton

          Here is Steve’s piece: https://seahawksdraftblog.com/guest-article-why-didnt-the-seahawks-draft-the-right-guy

        • Attyla the Hawk

          I don’t think it’s that cut and dried.

          Not all front offices have the same level of competencies. Teams that move down, are often teams that draft well later and develop prospects better. It makes sense for them to trade down. And they’d be successful regardless.

          Some teams have a much more narrow view of where they can discern quality. This is probably most teams. But an alpha example of a team that is this way and moves up regularly and succeeds is Baltimore. The model for Newsome, who is one of the best in the business at the draft, is that there are really only about 120 players worth even drafting. They set about their strategy to get as many of them as possible and they will aggressively move up, spending late round picks in order to ensure that they get as many of that small pool that they can.

          Lots of teams though are just bad. They religiously work the same big schools and generally take guys you’ve heard of on ESPN. Lots of teams are exceptionally top heavy in drafts, where you can see 3 to 4 years of not developing any day 3 talent whatsoever. For those teams, if you are bad at recognizing talent in those ranges of prospects — it makes sense to not pick in that range and have as many picks in your competency zone as you can.

          Seattle is really good on day 3. One of the best, if not the best. Green Bay is exceptional in the 2nd through 4th round ranges. Baltimore similarly kills it in R2 through R4. Unlike GB, they tend to contract their pick allotment to garner more picks in their sweet spot range of selections.

          Every FO is different. There are more than one way to succeed in the draft. The best way, is to understand where your strengths are and seek to maximize those strengths.

          • Steve Nelsen

            I agree with your point about some teams being better (or worse) at player development. I think that teams that are poor at player development appear to be worse at drafting and teams that are very good at player development look much better in the draft. Would Richard Sherman be the best corner in the game if he was drafted by a team that did not have Pete Carroll, Kris Richard and Rocky Seto?

            Will Seattle be just as good at developing linebackers without Ken Norton? Or will we be wondering 4 years from now how come Seattle doesn’t do as good a job of drafting linebackers as they used to?

            • cha

              Good points Steve.

              Probably another piece of the puzzle is the Seahawks under PC don’t ever seem to be afraid of giving young players significant playing time. It frequently has seemed that the team is “gelling” during the first quarter of the season. They have potential, you can see what they’re doing is good, but they’re not quite at full functionality just yet. Then they close the season like a freight train and get lauded for having a lot of cheap young talent.

              It’s brilliant the way they’ve managed to get inexperienced players significant NFL experience and still be successful.

          • Robert

            Hmmm, let’s trade all or 4th round picks for 5th round picks! Just kidding, but we seem to find gold in the 5th…not so much in the 4th.

        • cha

          Probably one of the starkest examples of this would be the Broncos trading their next year first rounder to the Seahawks for their 2nd round pick and taking Alphonso Smith, who they dumped in a trade just a few months later. Netted the Hawks Earl Thomas.

  31. mattk

    No Breshad Perriman?

    • Rob Staton


      • Dawgma

        I actually don’t worry about that as much with him now that I’ve looked at it more. He’s not a trapper with zero technique like Sammy Coates, and I learned my lesson last year just assuming college dropsies were all terminal cases. Hirsch technique isn’t terrible, he has concentration lapses – but I also saw a couple of those from The McBride and we don’t seem to downgrade him over it.

        With his a th legitimate an dvd own right freakish body control, I could absolutely see us picking him if he lasts to round 3 or 4, which is absolutely possible as deep as this WR class is. I’m also curious what the prospects look like for late round 5/early 6. We have have as many as 4 picks very close together there with comps and assuming the Jets cut Percy.

  32. hawkfaninMT

    A couple of thoughts:

    1) Awesome list, awesome job overall, and I truly appreciate this site as a sanctuary from work for 30 mins or so everyday.

    2) General thought/question about SPARQ. It seems to me that there are times when this is a highly regarded tool by the front office (Christine Micheal, Staton) and other times that it is less important because there are other measurables that are too great to ignore (ie the desire for 32 inch arm length). My question is: are there certain positions that the Hawks have tended to regard SPARQ score more than at other positions. As a follow up, are there certain rounds that the Hawks tend to target SPARQ “demons” despite position scarcity and need?

    3) Where, oh where, has Devin Smith gone in all of this hoopla? With Dorsetts, Agholars, Wallers, Perrimans, et al doing this and that in their underwear. Have we forgotten the chunk plays, competitiveness, incredible hands, solid route running, and production of Devin Smith? If any of the above were taken above Smith I would be severely disappointed. Are all of these surprise players going to push Smith down to our 2nd? Because I would cry (not really but you know what I mean) if they actually caught Smith at 63.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Certainly, they ignored the measurables with Russell Wilson and ET, who were too small, and Kam Chancellor and Sherman, who were too big. Sweezy had no history as a offensive guard. Luke Willson had few receptions on tape in college due to a Senior year. high ankle sprain and sharing targets with Vance McDonald . Gilliam was a TE in college. They like the SPARQ measurements but are most effective at seeing outside the existing college production and projecting a player into their system, even if it is at a different position. I don’t think their evaluation process is limited to certain positions.

    • Rob Staton

      Agreed wholeheartedly on SPARQ. It’s not the be-all and end all. I’ve tried to combine it with tape and character to create this list.

      Devin Smith — Could easily have been on the list. I could’ve add 5-10 more names to be honest. He would be an option too.

      • Dawgma

        I think they tend to value SPARQ more as they get deeper into the draft. It’s always lower probability there, so why not take your chances on guys with top end athletic tools?

        • Robert

          good point! There are a lot of references that support that.

    • bobbyk

      I think they do have some interest in Smith because it has been reported they had interest in D. Jackson, too. They are somewhat similar. The only way I can see them staying away from Smith is because they might not want another skinny/fast WR like PRich. The thing that impresses me with Smith (aside from that little thing called blowing the top off defenses) being a stud gunner is that is a position for football warriors. That shows some serious toughness to like and excel at a spot on the field like that.

  33. Steve Nelsen


    Your site is by far the best place to discuss the Seahawks draft. You just took it up another notch. The idea of breaking out of the mold of mock drafting by slotting specific players into specific spots in specific rounds and instead compiling a comprehensive list of the players Seattle might like and the general area they are likely to be drafted in is a fantastic way to view the draft.


    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man

      • DC

        Rob do you ever consider that you are doing this scouting too well? That you have demystified the Seahawks’ draft board and might be tipping our hand?

        Eventually you might get or job offer from any number of teams. Or you might notice a van parked near your residence that follows you around.

        Either way great job!

        • Rob Staton

          Thanks man appreciate it. I’m just a fan like anyone else (with a very a patient wife!) — so I’m not sure we need to worry about any front office execs visiting the blog any time soon (if in fact anything we write has any legitimacy).

          • Trevor

            Agreed completely I think you missed your calling as a Scout. By far my favourite blog for all things Draft and Hawks related. Keep up the great work.

        • peter

          Just wait DC if you haven’t seen it yet in action but when Rob gets the ball rolling for a few players about a month before the draft and convinces you the seahawks and that player are a match made in football heaven, watch out! two weeks later all the hairdos will start moving that player up the boards and the last thing you’ll hear on draft day as you wait for that players name to be called is “with the 24th-ish pick the Browns/Ravens/Steelers select whatever player fits like a glove for Seattle’s roster!” It would be pretty awesome if it wasn’t a bummer year after year…

          Jokes aside Rob’s got the best site going..

          Further Jokes aside the above statement is true and he’s basically successfully hyped 10 good to great starters for those three teams..

          • Rob Staton

            Thanks Peter

        • Robert

          I think Rob is already on the Seahawks’ secret payroll. This blog is trolling the 31 other teams!

  34. Turp

    In regards to drafting corners, do you think we will draft one outside corner, and one outside/inside hybrid (like bmax)?

  35. James

    As usual Rob, great work.

    Real quick (random) question. How does KPL compare to Shaq Thompson? Similar measurables, but are they similar players?

    • Rob Staton

      KPL more athletic (4.51 vs 4.64, 39 inch vert vs 33.5 inches, considerable difference in the broad jump too). Thompson is more opportunistic, KPL more scheme efficient. Thompson’s combine one of the more disappointing workouts.

    • john_s

      IMP KPL has a lot more instincts for the position and he is actually a better athlete by quite a bit.

      KPL Shaq
      40 4.51 4.64
      Vert 39″ 33.5″
      Broad 128″ 117″

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I am of the entirely opposite opinion of John. At least when it came to them as collegiate players.

        KPL was the one pick I actually nailed for Seattle. And it was kind of easy to see based on the athletic numbers. But looking at his tape, I was very disappointed in it. He genuinely avoided the wash of the LOS consistently. As if trying to run around the slop and had very little inclination to aggressively attack the LOS.

        In this regard, he was somewhat similar to Lavonte David out of Nebraska. Neither LB was particularly good at attacking the hole and picking through the bodies/shedding blocks at the point of attack. KPL’s instincts were very passive and he let RBs come to his side of the LOS with regularity.

        He had great pursuit, and was aggressive when chasing down opponents. But he just didn’t have that instinct to attack a hole physically. I compared his tape last year to Luke Kuechly’s who when I studied him really set the bar in terms of aggressively attacking the LOS and effortlessly wading through the wash of the LOS — almost as if it were just a mere background action to him. The lack of aggressive instinct at the point of attack was startling.

        I think I may have even mentioned it here, that I felt like he’d have to overcome his tendency to stay back out of the fray in order to collect clean up tackles. Which wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for him.

        Watching him early this season (which I did intently to see how he’d come along), I was very pleased that his ability to attack holes has improved immensely.

        I would think that his numbers would virtually preclude him from playing for Seattle. Although this draft is pretty lousy in terms of the raw/athletic LB types. If I had to guess, Seattle will come away with a guy that wasn’t at the combine at all and not a recognizable name.
        Overall, I think Shaq has that attack mentality. He is very aggressive and much more physical than KPL was at BC. Also attacks the ball effectively and repeatedly — doesn’t just attack carriers for big hits, but works to create turnovers as well. On tape he appears much more confident in attacking carriers head on.

        • Robert

          Awesome post! KPL is an exciting young prospect. I will watch him totally differently now. Thanks for the back story!

  36. MaxDaddy3000

    Also, John Schneider basically dropped his cell and home numbers for teams willing to trade up for the 31st pick in his combine press conference.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      That was pretty funny!

  37. Volume 12

    Call it a hunch or whatever you want, but I have a feeling that Nebraska WR Kenny Bell will end up a Seahawk.

    Remember when I said that the 1st game Seattle scouts attended this year was Miami-Nebraska? I originally thought it was for OL Ereck Flowers, and very well could have, but then I thought ‘this guy is the best run blocking WR in the draft, huge personality, intelligent/articulate, competitive’, and trust me when I say he’ll have one of the higher SPARQ scores for receivers in this draft. If you can get a guy like that in the 4th round, how does that not sound like a Seattle Seahawks type move?

    If they sign TE Jordan Cameron or TE Julius Thomas, I don’t think they take a bigger receiver. If you add Cameron or JT and a McBride or Agholor and then Kenny Bell, while still picking up a late round, developmental TE, that’s a sure-fire way to upgrade the passing game.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      It’s possible. Who would he be competing/compared against?

      I’d have to expect it wouldn’t be Walters. Bell did return kicks/punts but has a pronounced lack of ball security in doing so. Even Huskers fans generally consider his ST value poor.

      • Volume 12

        I’m not one for dwelling on what a guy can’t do.

        This is a team that’s missing Tate, Rice, and Harvin. They need multiple weapons. Not every receiver has to have return value.

        • Attyla the Hawk

          Actually, it was an honest question really. There are only 6 WR spots. Bell seems like his direct competitors would be Baldwin or Richardson. Walters and Lockette are on the team for special teams impact.

          It doesn’t appear he’s competing against Matthews or Kearse. Those to are split ends which requires size to beat the press/man coverage. Bell doesn’t really fit that role physically.

          I think Bell will be a good player. But if I view it through the ‘grade against our team’ concept that has been repeatedly offered up by Schneider, then it makes it hard to envision Bell making this team since the relative grades for the position I would see him being drafted for already appear set.

          Maybe there’s something I’m missing with this.

  38. Volume 12

    Peter, I have a question for you. I know your pretty high on Utah’s DB Eric Rowe and I’d assume you’ve watched games and tapes of him extensively. So my questions is, what do you think of Utah’s starting CB opposite of Rowe? D’avion Orphey- 6’0, 190 lbs.?, from Compton, California, and at first glance seems to have ridiculously long arms, Would he make a good nickel back? Is he any good?

    • peter

      Ha! I’ve watched a ton of Utah because 1. They are always on late here in Eugene, OR. 2. They were playing spoiler for much of the year which I like 3. IF they ever had a QB they would be deadly in the Pac 12…

      As for your question I do like his length, but in some ways I think I would prefer a project like Marshall though I guess hed be more of an outside CB…Orhphey does have good length and maybe he does one of those super regional combines? Right now I always think of Rowe as a Nickel primarily because of his length on Lane/Burley but carries with that good quick ness though at Utah they play him outside which I think/know he can obviously do. Orphey always looks just a bit hesitant to get into the scrum which is the only time I ever really see him on broken run plays, I could be wrong but if they need and they do, a nickel CB then they could do far worse.

      I’m like you a like potential but I also look to how programs are structured and I know Im a broken record here but Utah’s team is solidly coached on fundamental football so I think a guy like Orphey could do himself some favors at their pro day if he shows well.

      Honestly Volume 12 I think I’m pretty good at sifting through the no names but hats off to you for always dialing it up.

      • Volume 12

        Thanks Peter. Nice to get a take from someone who watches the good and bad of a guy not known.

        Something so appealing about Auburn’s Nick Marshall, isn’t there? I’m very high on him as an outside corner, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Seattle takes a nickel/slot CB for competition, depth, or a PS member.

        Appreciate all the love my man. I always look forward to debating/talking up prospects with you. Your definitely one of my favorite people to bounce ideas off of on here. I just try to familiarize those that will listen on some guys who may not be drafted by Seattle, but could be sleepers. Here’s to hoping we nail at least 2-3 of these 11 or so picks they have.

        • peter

          No doubt, hopefully one of us can catch the “pinkins,” this time before they draft a bunch of head scratchers!

  39. Volume 12

    Rob, not sure if you saw my question posed to you above, but do you see Penn St DB Adrian Amos as being a bit redundant to Michigan St’s S Kurtis Drummond?

    • Rob Staton

      I see Amos as a safety at 218lbs. Drummond such fantastic read/react safety and an organizer. Amos more athletic. Pick your poison.

      • Volume 12

        Thanks. Do you either or both will be available in rounds 4-5?

        • Rob Staton

          Sure. Drummond late. Amos possibly that in range.

  40. Volume 12

    Just saw that FA D-lineman Ricky Jean-Francois is set to visit the Seahawks

    • Rob Staton

      And he seems pumped with that fact too reading his twitter feed.

      • Misfit74

        I thought WAS offered him 9-m? Perhaps he didn’t actually sign and just got an offer.

  41. GoHawks5151

    In my honest opinion the early and more successful drafts were about establishing identity. Thomas, Kam, Sherm Russ, even Carpenter showed a core value that PCJS wanted on the team. These past two drafts have been more concerned with depth and supplemental value. I would like to see another aggressive draft targeting people who reflect the tough competitive ideals of the team. That’s why Im hoping for Jalen Collins or Todd Gurley. Im not against trading back but i dont want to get into the pattern of trading back, just to trade back. It just reminds me of the drafts the Patriots (Hurts to type that name) drafts where they had a 2 picks in each of the first 4 rounds, and ended up with very little return. If we have an opportunity at 31, we should take it. Also Surprised not to see Langford from Michigan State on here. Got some Leveon to him. Tough runner as well.

  42. Grant G


    Just a quick note to say that I LOVE the concept of the article – so much draft coverage is focused on rounds 1-2, when we know a quality draft is the some of its parts. And especially for this front office, who places value in the deep sleepers who could turn into key players. Love the write up, thanks as always!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Grant!

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