Will the Seahawks target Melvin Gordon & can they land him?

Melvin Gordon, a Heisman finalist, ran for 2587 yards in 2014 — scoring 32 total TD’s

If you’re struggling to imagine life without Marshawn Lynch, or consider a mutual parting of ways this off-season to be a dumb mistake, remember this — the Lynch era in Seattle is almost certainly done in 2016 anyway. He’ll be out of contract barring an extension. He’ll be into his 30’s. He’s already being rested to start games. What some might consider to be a preposterous move might actually just be sound judgement — accepting the situation for what it is and making a difficult decision one year earlier than you might prefer.

So why might the Super Bowl be his final game for the Seahawks on Sunday?

Firstly, he’s asked for more money in each of the last two off-seasons. I don’t see any reason why this won’t be an issue again in 2015. Lynch wants to be paid an amount he feels, not unfairly, he deserves. The Seahawks were willing to pay Percy Harvin more money to join the club. They will hand Russell Wilson probably the most expensive contract in the NFL in a few weeks. Lynch has done as much as anyone to establish the identity of this team under Pete Carroll — and he knows it.

The position of the front office is equally understandable. They only handed Lynch a new contract in 2012, worth $30m ($17m guaranteed). Nobody forced Lynch to sign that deal. And yet his representatives have a counter — the subsequent addition of Harvin on mega-money for example. His continued production and performance — leading the team to two Super Bowls. Or the fact there are five other running backs on better contracts (according to Spotrac). Assuming DeMarco Murray receives a handsome contract in free agency, Lynch could be the 7th best paid running back in the league. There are not seven better running backs than Lynch in the NFL.

Ultimately we return to a familiar crossroads. An unhappy Lynch wanting his due, a team insisting he’s under contract for 2015. I think it’d be naive to think the two parties will just continue on in harmony without some form of pay increase or extension. I can’t imagine Wilson’s +$20m a year deal will have a positive impact here. I also can’t imagine there’s much appetite for another dose of hold outs and uneasiness — leading to more weekly national news coverage.

A report this week suggested the Seahawks are prepared to welcome him back. That’s an upgrade from a prior report suggesting Lynch and members of Seattle’s front office were expecting to part ways. But any return is almost certainly based on either the team conceding their position and paying up or Lynch accepting he won’t be getting any more money. Is that a step either party is willing to take?

It’s a tough one, because Lynch is still such a fantastic player. He is much loved by his team mates. But such is the business of football — and the dynamic of the team will change when Russell Wilson signs a contract worth over $100m. If Lynch is willing to accept his salary for 2015 — there’s no reason to believe he won’t return. I just have a hard time imagining that happening. And ultimately it might be decided it’s best for both parties to go their separate ways — as agonizing as that would be I’m sure. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. The run against Arizona, the touchdowns against the Giants. The crotch-grabbing, media-snubbing enigma. I think everyone would like to see one more year. But for the purpose of this article — I’m going to take the position that we’re, sadly, coming close to the end.

So what would happen next?

Finding a replacement could be seen as a big priority. Especially considering how important the run game is to Seattle’s offense. We should also expect the Seahawks to place a high priority on adding players that will mesh with Wilson. That means a similar work ethic and love of the game. Possibly similar characters. You can never force two people to become great friends, but you can take steps to avoid the opposite happening.

Building around Wilson is going to be absolutely crucial when he signs his new contract. They have to add players that will follow his lead, not resent his new found wealth. Will they place anything in Turbin and Wilson’s close bond? Wilson regularly refers to Turbin as his best friend on the team. They room together on road trips. Turbin ended the season with 10 carries against Arizona and 11 against St. Louis. He might have the inside track to replace Lynch. But the jury’s out as to whether he can be an effective starter. The Seahawks don’t have many X-Factor playmakers — and they’ll lose a big one if Lynch moves on.

If they do decide to draft another running back to act as a ‘feature’ back — I keep returning to Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. He’s the polar opposite of Lynch — not a great between-the-tackles runner, but an explosive home-run hitter who only needs a small crease to explode and break off big runs. That doesn’t mean he can’t get the tough yards — and anyone doubting the credentials of another productive Big-10 runner needs only to watch his two games against LSU and Auburn. He has a different running style to Lynch, but he’s no less effective.

Gordon appeals because he pretty much ticks every box. He’s a dynamic athlete and a dedicated gym-rat. There are legendary stories on campus about Gordon’s love for a work-out, as ESPN’s Chris Low explains:

It’s nearing 3 A.M. in Madison, Wisconsin, and many of Melvin Gordon’s teammates are lounging at home after a June night out — splayed on couches, winding down, getting ready to call it a night. Gordon is not. To find him, you’d need to look to the front yard, where the 6-foot-1 junior has tossed a rope ladder to the ground and chosen this time, as good a time as any, to run a few agility drills. Bouncing on his toes, knees raised high, legs pumping like pistons, soaked in sweat, he’s darting between each rung, an athlete’s version of hopscotch. Leftrightleftright, ininoutout, leftrightleftright, ininoutout. If you didn’t know better, you might think he was chasing something.

Gordon pauses, just long enough to catch his breath, and fires off a Snapchat to Kenzel Doe, a senior receiver for the Badgers: “Are you sleeping or getting better? I’m getting better.”

Doe knows the routine well. “We’ll all be hanging out, and Melvin will go home … and do drills before he goes to bed,” Doe says. “He’s always going to do a little bit extra, something to help him get to where he’s going.”

It sounds kind of Wilson-esque. We’re talking about a likable, hard-working individual with a passion for the game. And another former Badger. You can see why the Seahawks might have a lot of interest in creating a potential Wilson/Gordon partnership.

Ian Rapoport hinted that the Seahawks were interested in Gordon while reporting on Lynch’s future back in November:

“I would expect them to target a running back high in the draft. Pay attention to Melvin Gordon, who just set the national rushing record. He’s from Wisconsin, (Seahawks GM) John Schneider (is) from Wisconsin …”

The Seahawks aren’t known for tipping their hand to reporters in terms of what they plan to do in the draft, but I’m not prepared to 100% write this off as mere speculation. Chris Mortensen told Russell Wilson he was going to be a Seattle Seahawk on the set of ESPN’s NFL32 prior to the 2012 draft:

Mortensen knew of Seattle’s strong interest in Wilson, he just didn’t report anything. But that information was probably doing the rounds within league circles. And it’s not that big a stretch to wonder if similar noises are being made about possible interest in Gordon this year.

Even so, he’s considered a top 10-15 prospect. So how will the Seahawks, selecting at #31 or #32, have any shot at getting him?

Daniel Jeremiah ranks him as the tenth best player in the draft, but had him dropping to #27 overall and the Dallas Cowboys in his first mock draft. It’s quite a good review of the situation. Gordon is considered by many (not all) to be one of the top prospects in the draft. But he plays a position that recently has been ignored in the first round with only a few exceptions. Would it be a big shock if he lasts into the 20’s? Honestly, no.

Draft Tek uses a group of local experts to rank team needs for all 32 clubs. Here are the teams they rate as having a ‘priority’ (Grade ‘1’), ‘great need’ (Grade ‘2’) or starter required (Grade ‘3’) at the position:

Baltimore Ravens (Grade ‘3’)
A legit consideration given the overall quality of their roster and the recent Ray Rice fiasco. They were able to ride Justin Forsett for a year, which makes you wonder if they’ll be confident enough to avoid using a first round pick at the position. Draft Tek says they have similar needs at receiver, guard and corner (all rated Grade ‘3’). They see a 3-4 DE (or 5-technique) as a greater need (Grade ‘2’)

Buffalo Bills (Grade ‘3’)
The Bills don’t have a first round pick following the Sammy Watkins trade last year.

Denver Broncos (Grade ‘3’)
They recently spent a second round pick on another Wisconsin back (Montee Ball) and got some use out of 2013 UDFA C.J. Anderson this season. The Josh McDaniels regime spent a high first round pick on Knowshon Moreno in 2010. According to Draft Tek they have similar needs at right tackle, guard and free safety (all rated Grade ‘3’). It could be an option, especially if Peyton Manning retires and they have to build around Brock Osweiler or another quarterback.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Grade ‘2’)
The Jags need a feature runner and could be a candidate to jump back into the first round if a player like Gordon or Todd Gurley lasts long enough to make a deal viable. They almost certainly won’t draft a runner with the #3 overall pick. Without moving up, they’re no threat to any team picking late in the first round who might be targeting a running back. Draft Tek says they have a bigger need at defensive end (Grade ‘1’) — an area they could address in the top-five.

Minnesota Vikings (Grade ‘3’)
You have to assume whoever made this grade did so believing Adrian Peterson would not be on the team next year. At the moment I’m not sure why anyone would expect that. Are they seriously going to cut him? I think it’s doubtful. And considering he will play again for someone, it might as well be the team that currently employs him. Inside linebacker is considered a bigger need according to Draft Tek (Grade ‘2’) with receiver and strong safety seen as needs of equal priority (Grade ‘3’).

New York Giants (Grade ‘3’)
New York’s big problems are all on defense. They run the risk of losing Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency. Their defensive line is a shadow of its former self. They could use extra help at linebacker and in the secondary. Plus they have a few issues on the offensive line. Given the relative production of Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, I think it’s unlikely they’d spend the #9 overall pick on a running back.

Washington Redskins (Grade ‘3’)
The Redskins pick on day one of the draft for the first time since 2012. Considering the major holes they have all over the defense (plus the likely loss of Brian Orakpo), spending the #5 pick on a running back is a nailed on certainty not to happen. Like Jacksonville, they could trade up. But I don’t think replacing Alfred Morris will be deemed enough of a priority for a team that is desperately lacking at at defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Yes, I just listed every defensive position.

There are others who might consider a ‘best player available’ approach — Miami (#14), Houston (#16), San Diego (#17), Arizona (#24), Dallas (#27) and Indianapolis (#29). But the point is — it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Gordon even as a consensus top-10/15 prospect lasts into the late 20’s as Daniel Jeremiah predicted.

Would the Seahawks trade up five or six spots in a scenario like that? For the sake of making life easier after Marshawn Lynch they might. In 2013, the Atlanta Falcons traded from #30 overall to #22 overall with St. Louis to take Desmond Trufant. It cost them a third round pick and the swapping of 6th and 7th rounders. That was to move eight spots. In 2012 Tampa Bay traded from #36 to #31 with Denver to draft Doug Martin. The two teams merely swapped fourth round picks. That was for a jump of five spots. Basically, you can throw out the outdated draft chart. Such a deal could be expensive or a bargain — it really comes down to a teams desire to move up or down. It’d be impossible to predict what Seattle might have to cough up to go from #31 or #32 to get to about #25 or #26. The point is, it doesn’t have to be much. And the Seahawks could have 11 picks this year.

I’m not completely convinced Seattle would take a running back in round one, let alone move up for one. I suspect it’s one of those positions — and by that I mean it’d take a special talent to make an exception. Because of their track record developing cornerbacks, I can’t see them taking one in the first round unless it’s a spectacular player they just can’t refuse. I think the same would apply to the defensive tackle position. Gordon might just have enough about him to warrant that ‘special’ tag.


  1. David


    Great as always. I’d love to see Gordon or Gurley as a Seahawk next year.

    However, I don’t mind Lynch pushing for more money. Contracts are a one-way deal for teams. They can cut you whenever they want. Might as well go for it if you’re Lynch.

    • Rob Staton

      Agreed — what’s more I think Lynch deserves a raise based on the fact he’s currently the 6th best paid RB in football. It’s also a business — and the team has to plan for years down the line not just 2015/2016. So it’s a difficult one. No surprise really it’s created the debate it has.

      • arias

        I think there’s another possibility you didn’t mention that appears to me at least to be more conceivable than the idea that Marshawn would be willing to play out the last year of his current deal. If the hawks win the SB it’s possible they’d be willing to rip up the last year of his contract and bring him back on a one year deal with a significant raise as a way to to reward him and show their appreciation for his services.

        Obviously it can’t be too outlandish a bump in salary seeing how they still have other contracts to consider, but it would give them an added year to ease into the role and audition whoever they’re targeting as his replacement might be. Plus, it sounds like Lynch has been leaning towards retirement and probably wouldn’t want to play much longer anyway considering the back issues that seemed more prevalent this year than in the past. That could be enough incentive to sway him to return for one final swan song and a shot at immortality as the driving force on offense all three years of the first team to 3 peat in Super Bowl history.

        But one thing is for sure, based on John Schneider’s Q&A yesterday where he was unequivocally in favor of Marshawn’s return it should lay to bed the rampant Rapaport rumors midseason that claimed the Seahawks brass were committed to moving on. So there’s no chance remaining anymore that Lynch could be a roster bonus cap casualty. The ball would be totally in Marshawn’s court regarding his own future with the team.

        • Rob Staton

          I did mention a pay rise in the piece — the only situation IMO that guarantees avoiding any more drama with Lynch on the roster. I’m just not sure the Seahawks will be willing (or can even afford) to make that commitment to a guy already scheduled to earn $8.5m next year. In comparison, Okung is due only $7m.

          I’ve seen the Schneider quotes. He did make reference to being in favor of a return, but also mentioned he’s under contract for 2015. And therein lies the problem. Lynch wants more money — and I think the Seahawks feel like he should show up and play under the current terms. They’re almost certainly not just going to sit and wait for Lynch to hold out again, leading to weeks of unrest again. I think they’ll know there needs to be a discussion shortly after the season. So it comes down to this. Are they willing to give him the kind of raise he’s looking for? And if not, are we heading towards an inevitable divorce?

        • Nathan

          I’m not sure I believe that there was nothing to the rumours.

          At 6-4 we were looking at a rebuilding process in the offseason.

          And Schneider is not going to say anything BUT that, the week before the super bowl.

          And let’s not forget, he has probably been the best player in the NFL, in the 2nd half of the season.

          • arias

            I’m not saying there were nothing to the rumors midseason. I’m saying that there’s nothing to them now. Obviously there was a change of heart. Even the media insiders are saying the same things, that the Seahawks are open to bringing him back.

            My hunch is that Percy did have some negative influence on Lynch’s attitude in the lockerroom midseason, maybe in the resentment toward him for being a “teacher’s pet” (in Freeman’s words in a radio interview, the more sanitized version of the “not black enough” claim that caused a stir as a headline but that exact term I doubt had ever made the rounds by any players) towards Wilson but who knows to what degree or if management just saw it as a potential problem they wanted to nip in the bud. But with Percy no longer around to stir any resentments with Lynch it became a non-issue.

  2. Michael M.


    If you had the choice of moving up 5 spots and getting Gordon, or moving down 5 spots and getting Gurley, which would you choose? Assume equitable compensation for both moves. Thanks, and great work as usual!

    • Rob Staton

      That’s a fantastic question.

      If I felt confident on Gurley’s health then I’d probably go in that direction. He’s a fantastic talent. The thing is — we don’t get the medical reports. And if there is any doubt that, it’s tough to make a case given the wear and tear of the position.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        And just as likely, if Gurley’s medical checks out, he could be the first RB taken.

    • rowdy

      Great question

  3. Philip

    I assume the Seahawks will have the 31st pick in the draft this year . . . whether they win next week or not.

    • Rob Staton

      That is a spicy hot take 🙂

    • Ryan

      HA! I like your thinking!

    • Alaska Norm

      Funny.. Good point though. I’ll have to redo my mock.

  4. Derek


    If neither Gurley or Gordon are available in the 1st, what do you think of Jay Ajayi in the 2nd round as a possible fit for the Hawks?

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not overly keen in round two. Ajayi lurches between really effective and average. Don’t see any real spark or anything special about him. Too many spin moves. Had great production but competition not always the best. I liked Turbin more as a prospect and he went R4.

      • rowdy

        I really jay but I think robs right, the spark just isn’t there.

        • JimQ

          If the top 2 RB’s are gone, what about Coleman?

  5. mrpeapants

    I know the reports on cm haven’t been glowing, but I think he could still be the answer. hes got so much talent. hes cheap and hes fresh. would much rather spend our 1 rounder on d line o line or te.

    • Rob Staton

      I think that’s the issue though. Do they trust him? Can they trust him? Is he doing enough to warrant any faith at all that he can be more than a #3?

      • mrpeapants

        i hear ya . it just seems like a lot of talent goin to waste. i hope he steps up. go hawks

      • arias

        Yeah it’s really bizarre to me that Marshawn’s attitude, work ethic, and tutelage haven’t even slightly rubbed off on CM if our impressions on him still not being completely behind the ball are accurate. I read an article after the GB game about Marshawn where CM was singing his praises and how gushing how much he holds him in high esteem. Would appear pretty over the top for him to say such things if he weren’t trying to emulate the approach of his (apparent) idol.

        • mrpeapants

          maybe they have been sand bagging it with cm? just saving him for real game time(when lynch goes)?! maybe?

    • rowdy

      I think how much time he gets in the superbowl will be telling

    • bigDhawk

      I think he still has serious ball security issues, which is probably the main reason why he has not seen the field in two seasons.

    • redzone086

      They easily could use cm in return duty if the trusted him at all.

  6. Cysco

    I think regardless if Lynch comes back in 2015 or not, you have to start thinking about the plan for 2016 and beyond. In 2016 both Lynch and Turbin’s contracts are up. You’d be faced with giving Turbin a new deal to be the featured back or finding another solution in next year’s draft.

    The pseudo running back by committee the team used this season seems to have worked well. Lynch has looked strong and Turbin/Michael have filled in well when given the chance. Hopefully we can get one more year of the same thing.

    if so, I would not be opposed to the team drafting Gurley and redshirting him next season. That way, when 2016 rolls around we have Gurley ready to move into the #1 role and the team can either retain Turbin to continue his #2 RB or pass those duties off to Michael.

    • Phil

      Cysco – another option is drafting Gordon and having him redshirt next season. I’d prefer this option in light of the uncertainty about Gurley’s injury.

      In a perfect world — after the Superbowl — Lynch would sit down with Schneider and they would come to an agreement that would cement Lynch’s future with the Seahawks. I just don’t see that happening. I don’t think Schneider wants to set a precedent for renegotiating contracts in the face of threatened holdouts. If Lynch does holdout, then I’d thank him for his contributions to the team, try to trade him and — if that doesn’t work out — cut him.

      It’s unlikely that the Seahawks will be able to “replace” Lynch. They may be able to find someone who gains as many yards as he does (at a significant $$ savings), but I’ll miss his attitude and his toughness which epitomize this team. But, IMHO, his departure is inevitable and the sooner the Seahawks find a RB to fill his role, the better I’ll feel about the future. Once we address the RB situation, then we can focus on getting some more weapons for RW.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Every knee injury leaves some uncertainty until the player hits the field. Either Gurley will pass his physicals or he won’t.

        If he does pass, he is the best RB prospect in this draft regardless of any remaining uncertainty. More specifically, he is the best RB prospect for SEA’s offense.

        Despite some very appealing traits (particularly his off field commitment), Gordon is a different kind of runner, and I’m not convinced his running style works for this team.

  7. AgentJ

    Could the Seahawks conceivably lock up WIlson and Wagner and Irvin (and anyone else who might fit under the cap) and then give Lynch whatever is left of the pie? That could conceivably be upwards of 2 million dollars.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s unlikely. I don’t think you can accommodate any player like that. What if he asks for $3m? If they’re going to give him a pay rise — I think they have to do it before they re-sign the other guys so they can back load accordingly.

      • Jake

        The Seahawks don’t usually engage in a lot of cap shenanigans but they could if they wanted to. Give him a two year extension, pack the raise into the signing bonus, and spread the hit out over the next few years. I think the problem with that is that 2016 is the year a lot of the recent extensions balloon a bit.

      • arias

        Not only that but Schneider is on record at his press conference saying that bringing back Maxwell is a high proirity for him. After the way Simon played against Carolina I would be really worried about losing Maxwell too, but it makes you wonder how they’re going to afford to give the 4th member of the LoB a big contract AND pay for Wagner, Irvin, and Lynch.

  8. Ho Lee Chit

    I think they will work their way through the eight free agents first. They need to know who is affordable that we can bring back. The available money will drive the negotiations for Marshawn. They seem willing to pay Wilson a year ahead of his four year rookie deal expiring. They have taken advantage of him enough. I doubt they feel any differently about Marshawn. Everyone knows and appreciates what he does for the team. It is just a matter of going through the process one player at a time until we get to him. Emmitt Smith and Marcus Allen played well into their 30’s. It is not a given that once you hit the big three oh you are done. Marshawn might play five more years.

    • Alaska Norm

      Emmitt may have played into his 30’s but he was not “Emmitt”. Marcus Allen is one of the few running backs who was productive after 30. Totally different style then lynch though. If you look at the last ten seasons there is not many backs that have been the type of back that could carry a team after 30. I can’t think of one off the top.

  9. Nathan

    Is picking up a RB in free agency such an out there idea? We’d be silly not to look at it, given the number of them hitting the market, it’s not like we’d have to shell out the big dollars for one.

    • Rob Staton

      Possibly, but the good RB’s will get paid more than the top rookies and the remaining RB’s aren’t likely to be all that great.

    • Cysco

      pretty sure it’s a money issue. Why give a free agent 5+m a year when you can draft a rookie and pay him $1m a year. Sure seems that if seattle has issues with lynch it’s that they don’t want to spend big money on a running back. They’d rather get younger, cheaper and cost controlled for a number of years.

  10. CC

    Marshawn is due to make $7m – I hope they give him a performance bonus of $3 million for next year and he stays around. I do think if there is a positive result next Sunday, there is a good chance Marshawn retires – we keep hearing that – and Holmgren said last week he talked to him asked him how he was feeling and he said not too good. Marshawn might just figure he doesn’t want to deal with the NFL and the national media anymore and hang it up.

    I hope we get to see another year – because I love Marshawn and the way he plays!

    I really think we’re picking a DT in the first round – or a likely trade down.

    • Rob Staton

      Well, he apparently mentioned it to team mates a year ago (that he might retire). He was being spelled a lot to end the year — he had back issues, sickness issues. We’ve had all the drama. If he wins another ring he might go out on the top. But then you wonder how much of that is a powerplay to the team — it’s not easy to walk away from millions of dollars. He’s actually due $8.5m in 2015. The $7m is how much Seattle saves if they cut him ($1.5m dead money).

      As for DT in the first round. It’s possible I guess. But I think the better DT’s will be gone and they’ve not really needed the top-end DT in this system to play lights out defense. Plus there’s the first round investment vs the # of snaps a DT takes in this system (or any for that matter). It’d be a hard sell IMO to potentially lose Lynch and then spend the first pick on defense.

      • CC

        That is a good point Rob – I agree with you that if Marshawn leaves, we’ll need help on the offensive side of the ball.

      • Dan

        You know, I never thought about that. A starting DT is playing less snaps in today’s game than ever before. Plus the every-down DT’s are getting taken in the first 15 picks..

        The Pete/Schneider FO may never take a CB in the first round.
        Linebacker core is already set for next year.
        The safeties are set (obviously).

        The chance of drafting a defensive player in the first round is probably very slim. Sorry if this is already obvious to everyone else already. I’ve been too busy to do my draft scouting.

  11. Ed C.

    Rob, if we resign Wilson/Wagner/Irvin and lose Williams/Miller /Mebane/Smith, what would we have to spend on Maxwell?

    If Lynch goes (cut or retire), I’d be ok with Turbin/Michael for a year.

    Biggest Needs:


    • Rob Staton

      I you cut Mebane and Miller you might be able to keep Maxwell. I’m not sure on a specific number you’d have. I think unfortunately he’s going to be offered too much on the open market and will move on. And it’ll be up to Seattle to manufacture a replacement — as they’ve shown they’re capable of doing.

    • Kory

      You mention cutting Miller and then list TE and a need. I don’t see us cutting Miller. He’s one of the best TE’s in football, and the absolute best guy for our style of offense. That’s why we traded for him in the first place, he’s an important piece to our puzzle.

      • Rob Staton

        I think they’ll only cut Miller if a.) the injuries have caught up with him or b.) they have a plan to add a different TE in free agency and need the funds (Thomas, Cameron for example).

      • MattK

        We didn’t tradw for him

  12. dean

    Rob Oakland has lot of cap room and that where lynch is from what about a trade 1st or 2nd it seams that lynch is going to retire or hold out .we have to resign Wilson/Wagner/Irvin

    • Dan

      I doubt a team would trade for a RB that has serious retirement concerns and only 1 year left on his contract (even a RB like Lynch and even a team like Oakland).

      • Alaska Norm

        Agreed. Maybe a late round pick, no way would anyone… Even the Raiders spend a top pick for a aging RB.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they’d be lucky to get a late rounder based on his age.

  13. Ben

    I like Gordon, I really do. But as I watch his tape I can’t help but think “Okay, explosive runner with good vision and ~average power…when’s he going to catch the ball?” I just watched 5 games, Minnesota, LSU, USF, Nebraska, and Ohio State. In total he caught 2 passes in those games. Admittedly one was a pretty good catch, it was a 5 yard TD on a pass that was outside of his body in the end zone. I just wonder, when you have a guy with that vision and that explosiveness, why don’t you design any screens for him? Todd Gurley, when he played fewer than half as many games as Gordon, had only 7 fewer receptions on the season.

    I’m not trying to say that I don’t like Gordon, far from it, but it just strikes me as odd that he only had 19 receptions on the season when he was clearly the focal point of the offense.

    • Rob Staton

      Fair points Ben.

    • peter

      In line with this though process, its almost impossible to judge another key skill his pass blocking. Its no knock against him or Wisconsin because the running game is so strong there, just a thought. Whereas Gurley before injury shows all levels if RB skills to make a better evaluation.

    • Beanhawk

      To be fair, the Wisconsin QBs were AWFUL with a capital A. Perhaps the coaches thought that if they were going to get the ball to Gordon anyway, it was far safer just to hand it off. Also, if I was defensive coordinator against Wisconsin, I would have been thinking screen pass on every pass play. There was really no one else that was really going to hurt you downfield.

  14. Alaska Norm

    With or without Lynch, Seattles priority need to be keeping their young defense together. Maxwell and Irvin are musts. As important as Lynch is, and has been to this team, it pains me to say, I just would not want to lose one of our youg core guys to keep an aging running back. The key to a dynasty is keeping players for their best 6-7 years and moving on. That was the Bill Walsh model with the 49ers that PC Came from. The Patriots have stayed relative with simular methodology. As a fan, and a guy who just loves what Lynch has brought to this team it’s hard to accept that thought process, it almost feels dirty. Looking at it as a GM and coach who’s main goal is to create a dynasty, it is a option they have to be looking hard at. There are very few running backs who can remain productive when approaching 30, let alone a back like Lynch who has as many hard miles on his body.
    With that said, if Gurly or Gordan were to drop to Seattle, they would be foolish to not pull the trigger on a replacement for Lynch. I just cannot see them spending picks to move up for anyone. They pride themselves on finding players that fit their system with those mid rounders. If Lynch retires or forces a trade the replacement could very well be on the team now with depth and competition found in the mid rounds.

    • bigDhawk

      I concur about keeping our young core defenders as the foundation of a dynasty. However I don’t agree that sacrificing Lynch at this time to accomplish that goal is the wise choice. My feelings on choosing between extending Okung or a core defender like Maxwell are well documented here, which is one option.

      Another option is for Russell to realize that the considerable brand he has created for himself thus far is based on the foundation of the Seahawks being a winning, now-championship team. Without the winning we have experienced during his career, he doesn’t have the marketable name he has now. Our defense, Marshawn Lynch, and Russell himself are the three pillars of that winning foundation. Removing any one of those pillars and we are not that winning team going forward.

      So for the long-term sake of sustaining his brand, I hope Russell is willing to structure his contract in a way that will allow us to retain all our core defenders and keep Lynch around two more seasons, assuming he wants to play that long. I’m not talking about a home-town discount, but creative structuring that will, on the front end at least, accommodate however much Lynch has left in the tank – perhaps a slightly longer term with a higher guarantee and slightly lower AAV, e.g. seven years at 18 per with 80 million guaranteed as opposed to a shorter, cap-busting five year deal at 22+ million per.

      Granted, there will be life without Lynch for Russell at some point, but if money is the only issue, I would hate to think that Russell’s big payday caused Lynch to depart prematurely. Russell stands to gain as much or more financially by extending his dynastic personal brand with us as long as possible rather than eking out several more million dollars upfront that might mean the difference between a couple more years of Lynch or not.

      • peter

        Well played sir. This is literally the first time I have seen anyone anywhere bring up the “Wilson as winner brand,” thought experiment and come up with a smart way for Wilson to get paid and reduce stress on the cap. Thank you for that. Usually its a lot of nonsense about team friendly deals just because and future casting that maybe just maybe Wilson will rightly accept a 5 year something ludicrous like 9 mil per deal because he loves the hawks and its the right thing to do.

        Seriously thanks for one that acknowledges that a. He’s going to get paid and b. He’s going. To. Get. Paid. But making a sound structure for Wilson and the team.

    • Elliott A

      Really good points

    • Rob Staton

      I fear Maxwell will be too expensive.

      • Ben

        Long, fast, good in press, serviceable in off, plays in the slot and on the outside? Yeah. I don’t think we’re keeping him.

        • Rob Staton

          Just a terrific cornerback and playmaker. Jacksonville have the money to make a big offer.

          • David

            and the coach (Bradley) may have some pull with him. but I could also see him going to ATL with Quinn. they’d have a nice secondary there with D. trufant on one side and Maxie on the other side. Possibly Indy with their lack of D. don’t see him staying unless he wants to and takes a Home town discount which is unlikely haha.

            • Drew

              The Colts have decent corners and they have more troubling issues elsewhere in their defense. ATL would be a great spot for him, and he would help that defense play better from day 1. He’s also from South Carolina, only several hours away from ATL, so that could be where he wants to end up, close to home.

          • arias

            LoB could really take a hit next year with Maxwell gone. I don’t trust that Simon can consistently keep his head in the game starting on the right side to do as good of a job. He has serious slips in focus sometimes, I’d almost guess he’s got ADHD. He’s got all the ability, but with about a Patrick Peterson level of concentration, which shouldn’t be taken as flattering.

            • Rob Staton

              I’m not too concerned. They found Browner in the CFL, Thurmond in R4, Sherman in R5 and Maxwell in R6. They can find corners.

            • Coug1990

              You could be right. We don’t know. Of course, Simon is getting more playing time on the Seahawks then Maxwell got at a similar time. So, if Maxwell had to go out and play early in his career like Simon has, maybe you would be saying the same thing about Maxwell that you are saying about Simon.

              • Attyla the Hawk

                Honestly, I think we as fans need to be more comfortable with the unknown quantity in these late round guys.

                They are late round for a reason. They aren’t ready out of the box. In this model of team development that Seattle uses, we accept the growing pains. These guys need development and coaching. And then beyond that, experience and confidence.

                We can see a whole host of projects that have worn that same path. Chancellor wasn’t a quality starter day one. Sherman neither. Maxwell? Nope.

                It persists today as well. Look at the development of Willson and Britt. Guys who played early and had to find their stride. Same with Wright.

                Many — even most — of the cornerstones of this team had to develop and took time. And early on didn’t light the world on fire. Or even start.

                That’s our model. That’s what the ‘Win Forever’ template looks like. Pete is not averse to giving players time to work out their game on the field. It’s also likely why we as draftniks often times see needs for this team, where the team doesn’t necessarily agree with us.

                It seems to me to be pretty apparent that this team sees potential where we as fans see failing and frustration. We don’t really have an appreciation for what is involved in developing talent. We simply judge the results on a week to week basis and aren’t as adept as seeing the signs of improvement that the coaches see. Simon had a rough game against Carolina. But he’s also shown flashes of quality.

                The only question I have about Simon is his availability. Pinning hopes on him to succeed Maxwell seems suspect only due to his recurring injury history. But I don’t believe that injury history is always predictive of future availability either. Injuries happen in this league. The only way to plan for that, is to have persistent depth and a willingness and ability to absorb the lumps and growing pains of that depth.

                • Volume 12

                  Very well said Attyla.

                  Personally, I’m a big fan of these mid round/developmental type prospects. It’s all about potential and what can a guy do for me in a year or two? Draft guys who haven’t maxed out that said potential.

                  Sometimes as fans we focus too much on the negative or a few bad plays when evaluating or watching a prospects tape instead of judging their whole body of work.

      • Spireite Seahawk

        I said at the start of the season (on another Seahawks forum) that if we are in a position to keep Maxwell by the time he hits FA something has probably gone wrong.

  15. rowdy

    Rob, I respect your evaluation of players. That’s why I’m glad read this article. Gorden is my favorite player in this draft and naturally I want him to be a hawk. I think lynchs importance is beating teams up and making them quit in the 4th quarter. That’s not gorden but that’s my only concern. He’s smaller but already breaks ankle tackles better then turbin, no player in college is better at avoiding hits and it’s not like he falls down on contact. He’s not easy to bring down and puts people out of position to hit him, allowing him to push them back. There’s only one lynch in the league, there is no replacing him. This team has always evolved and this would be the biggest evolution of all but trying to replace what a player does isn’t the hawks MO, playing to unique talents strengths is.

  16. Jeff M.

    I think a small move (5-6 spots) up in the 1st round could end up being pretty good value…but not for a running back. In your last mock you had Shaq Thompson, Trae Waynes, Markus Golden, Danny Shelton, Benardrick McKinney, Owa[…], and Devin Smith going from 25-31. I think every single one of those guys would make a better pick (even if not immediate needs) than spending a first at RB, where there’s just no value to be found. Instead go grab a couple of promising backs in the second half of the draft (where we’ll have a bunch of compensation picks) and let them compete with Turbin and Michael to be Lynch’s successor(s).

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s an interesting debate Jeff — the value of trading up for a RB vs other positions. I will say this though — Seattle more than most other teams has leaned on a dynamic running back, previously taken in the first round. There have been times where Lynch with his quality has willed this team to victory. The offense currently has two genuine playmakers — Lynch and Wilson. Taking one of the two away and relying on later round prospects to pick up the slack would be a hard sell for me. The offense, IMO, needs more key playmakers.

    • rowdy

      No value to found in gorden? Replacing lynch would be #1 when he goes. Gorden would have a much bigger impact then anyone you just named and a much bigger role. I really like shaq and smith but their impact/role will be minimal.

      • Jeff M.

        There’s a reason no RB has been taken in the first the last two years–the league has finally caught on to the fact that the value isn’t there.
        First round picks at RB over the last decade…
        Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, David Wilson, Mark Ingram, CJ Spiller, Ryan Matthews, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, Beanie Wells, Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Laurence Maroney, DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams.
        How many of those ended up worth the pick? While a few of them had success for a year or two, Peterson is the only unequivocal success story (Lynch definitely has the second-best career but provided almost no return to the team that drafted him).
        Meanwhile lots of mid-to-late round picks (or even UDFAs) have outperformed the 1st rounders in that timeframe. Running backs are hard to scout (lots of that list were “sure fire” guys who flopped in the pros) and they have short careers. The smart money is on acquiring them cheaply and letting them compete to see who wins out.

        • Rob Staton

          Or maybe no RB has gone in the first round the last two years because no player was good enough to warrant that level of investment?

          We have to judge each case on its own merit. Personally, I think Gordon and Gurley (health permitting) are worth taking in the first round.

          • Nathan

            The consensus best RB in the league, was the 48th pick in 2013.

            • Nathan

              Just realised how silly that looks reading it back, but the point I’m making is, he was certainly good enough.

              I bet most(if not all) of the teams who picked in the top 10, would trade the guy they got, for Bell.

            • Rob Staton

              And the consensus best RB in the league for the last few years before was a top ten pick.

              Tom Brady was a 6th rounder, but that’s never a valid case for only drafting QB’s in the 6th round.

            • peter

              See right here made me smile. I literally didn’t know that you were talking about leveon bell and his so far one good/great season! The problem with comments like this and the Alfred Morris references is how long do these guys sustain their success? I’m not trying to be a wise ass homer here but since Peterson got suspended the actual best RB in the league since 2011 is a former number 12 overall pick our very own lynch. Leveon bell was great this year but I’m looking as everyone is for sustained success and until bell or morris lead the league in overall tds or yards from their position over three to five years in not looking at either one as necessarily the answer in how to replace lynch.

          • Jeff M.

            It at least seems like PC and JS subscribe to the notion of going after high-value positions in the first round. So far they’ve gone OT, FS, OT, DE, trade, trade. 3 out of 4 at the two premier non-QB positions, and the only exception is Earl Thomas, who they saw as a generational talent and the linchpin of the unique defense they hoped to build. Maybe they’ll feel the same way about Gordon (I’m not convinced that he’s more than a product of his OL just like Ball and other Wisc RBs) but if they don’t it seems liklier that they again target a premium position.

            Remember, they got Lynch for mid/late-round picks and brought him in to compete the same way they did with Lendale White and Leon Washington. It’s likely that they approach his replacement the same way rather than shifting course and going all-in on RB in the draft.

            • Rob Staton

              Also worth noting their first pick in 2013 went on a WR (Harvin) and while Richardson was a second rounder after the trade down — he was still their first pick.

        • rowdy

          But for every draft a late round pick was successful there been 20 failures. By that logic, why draft a LB or CB early or a d-linemen at all? Let’s just keep stock piling udfa WR. The RB position has been devalued because it’s became a passing league but the hawks aren’t a passing team. They live by the run. The 1st round is filled with bust but theres a reason teams don’t trade them away.

        • peter

          If it was just that easy to find RBs and do the late nineties Denver broncos why then is the 16th most productive runner in the league our QB. I agree a competition could in theory work to find his replacement, but the hawks are as constructed a ground control team so the value of the position to us vs other teams is huge. I think most teams are stoked at 1000 yards on the ground in any combination of players that get them there and about 6 tds. I’m not sure if those numbers jive with what carrol wants.

        • john_s

          You can never account for injuries and much of those players you listed were hit with injuries:

          David Wilson – Spinal stenosis
          Mark Ingram – multiple injuries but turned in a 1000 yard season this year
          CJ Spiller – Collarbone
          Ryan Matthews – Multiple Injuries
          Jahvid Best – Concussions
          Knowshon Moreno – Knee
          Beanie Wells – Knee
          Darren McFadden – Multiple injuries
          Jonathan Stewart – Multiple Injuries
          Ronnie Brown – Knee injury
          Cadillac Williams – Knee injury
          Rashard Mendenhall – Collarbone then knee
          Reggie Bush – Knee microfracture

          You can never account for injuries, some of these players had one or two nice season before injuries caught up with them. Some did not even get their careers off the ground (Wilson and Best).

          DeAngelo Williams and Chris Johnson are a couple of guys who I think have had nice careers as well.

          If you want to say that the RB position is a volatile position because of the pounding and wear and tear they take and thus it’s more prudent to invest in a later pick for a RB I can see that, but based on ability most of the RB’s you listed were 1st round values.

  17. David

    Rob I couldn’t help but think what if Gurley could be had in the 2nd or 3rd and have him “red shirt” for the year while he heals and lynch plays out his contract (I mean if he doesn’t retire) pete doesn’t mind red shirting talent and I think it could be a possibility.

    I think when it comes to Seahawks RB’s Pete like certain qualities. the Rb’s are usually between 5-10 and 5-11 and go from 210-225. They like RBs that can also run out of the backfield and be somewhat of a receiving threat also pass blocking and ball security. so I looked up just a select few running backs that would (according to CBS) go in rounds 1-4.

    *since there is no available stats about pass blocking I didn’t include that. so bare with me*

    First was Tevin Coleman 6′ 210lbs- 506 career touches.7 total fumbles. 54 Rec/383yds
    Todd Gurley-6’1 226Lbs- 575 career touches. 3 fumbles. 65 Rec/605yds
    Melvin Gordon-6’1 207Lbs- 653 career touches.12 fumbles. 22rec/228yds
    Jeremy Langford-6’0 211Lbs- 616 career touches. 5 fumbles.39rec/219
    Javorious Allen-6-1 220Lbs- 480 career touches. 6 fumbles. 63rec/710yds

    I don’t claim to have watched any tape on these prospects so I don’t know how they are in game. I merely handpicked a few I found intriguing and got some stats. Based on these I like the potential of Gurley for the fact that his ball security seems to be pretty solid and his receiving numbers are good. again I have not watched tape so just looking at stats. I think Gurley could be a solid pickup if the hawks can get him in the early 2nd by trading back and barring his injury checking out.

    It’d be nice (like I proposed in another comment) to have him redshirt (if hes not ready) and have Lynch play out his contract.

    • Drew

      If you liked Gurley before watching any tape, you’ll love him after you see him play.

      • David

        I have watched little of him but Rob Rang compares him to Marshawn Lynch and kind of got me.

        think I remember Rob saying before though that when comparing him Gurley to Gordon that Gordon is better because of the lack of a good O-line he has compared to Gurley. I apologize Rob if that wasn’t you and if it wasn’t you I know I saw it somewhere. haha. Still I heard Gurley is a bruiser and being 6’1 and at his weight he should be. Lynch seeks contact and I like that and I think the Hawks coaches like that. so heres to hoping he can be a hawk and a healthy one.

        • peter

          I know hawks fans have a hard Tim with these comparisons especially since he wasn’t oddly ever great against us and played for a garbage team most of his super long career but Gurley reminds me most of a young Steven Jackson. He can play quick, he can be a bruiser, he’s got multiple gears, he’s got good hands, can block…he honestly to me looks head and shoulders above all his competition in his game tapes. I don’t really see any lynch but I went back and watched lynch highlights from college and it was strange for me to see that he was always an athlete but this cat like balance thing he has is something he has developed. I think hawks fans as a whole are going to.have to readjust what our expectations of what a RB is no matter who we get.

          • GoHawks5151

            Wonderful comparison to Steven Jackson. Saw a lot of him at Oregon St. Gurley more explosive though. Just gotta stay healthy.

        • Rob Staton

          I see the Lynch/Gurley comparison a lot. I think they’re different personally — Lynch is thoroughly unique. Gurley quite a bit bigger but more of a home run threat. The similar trait they have — an unstoppable, physical style. But Gurley is a big back with speed. Lynch is an average sized back with superhuman strength.

          • peter

            Unstoppable for both…no doubt but definitely different. Rob this blog has been rocking and rolling this season, nice work!

            I like Gordon quire a bit but Gurley for me all things relative

            • Rob Staton

              Thanks Peter — we have a fantastic community here and the debate on the blog is even better than the content IMO.

    • Phil

      David – why exclude rushing yards from your comparative stats?

      • Volume 12

        David, I agree with you that Seattle seems to like backs that are in the 5’10-5’11 range and 210-225 lbs., but not one of the backs you listed are in that frame. Why has Seattle never drafted a HB outside of their wheelhouse?

      • David

        I was more concerned with touches to Turnovers and Rec. Yards. Rushing yards wasnt a concern of mine. Was more interested in total touches and how the ball security was.

  18. David

    DT prospect to keep an eye on as a possible late round pick or UDFA is Jeff Whitaker from Auburn. apparently is known for his great work ethic and leadership.

    • Volume 12

      Nice choice David. He’s a big body guy and as you said apparently has great leadership and a work ethic. He could very possibly be in play from the 6th-7th round. I like DT Jeffrey Whittaker.

  19. Mo Fafflebap

    Rob – I agree that Maxwell is a longshot to return–we heard similar statements from Schneider last year when Golden Tate was an impending free agent due for a payday. I have yet to hear anyone mention bringing Walter Thurmond back into the fold. He gambled (and apparently lost) on himself with a one-year deal in NY and he should be cheaper than Maxwell. He’s made some encouraging statements about the LOB that’ve reached the mass media recently, but has he burned all his bridges to this team?

    • David

      not trying to spark an argument but what has Walter Thurmond done to burn bridges?

      • john_s

        Nothing really, he just said that the NY Giants DB group is the best in the league after he signed with NY.

    • arias

      I don’t think the Golden Tate situation applies because reading between the lines of Schneider’s comments Tate is precisely who he was referring to when he mentioned of having made the mistake last year of being unprepared for free agency and how other teams viewed the team’s impending free agents. He obviously regrets losing Tate and not having made a competitive offer to him before he was already in Detroit after which time he had already decided to accept the Lions offer.

      I think he wants to make sure that doesn’t happen again by establishing good communication with Maxwell’s agent while having the best contract on the table to him. If Maxwell decides to chase money and depart the LoB, so be it, but at least it won’t be without Schneider making a serious effort to retain his services.

    • Drew

      I could see them bringing him in on a 1 year deal w/ no guarantees. Also I hope they bring back AJ Jefferson next year on a 1 year deal. He was playing well in preseason this year before he was put on injured reserve then released with an injury settlement. He could also solve our problem at returning kicks.

    • Rob Staton

      I think injuries are the biggest problem with Thurmond.

  20. Spireite Seahawk

    I wonder what the effect might be of all the potential compensation draft picks we get and what round they fall on?

    We could have ammo to move up (although this doesnt seem our style) or maybe feel we can take more of a punt in the 1st round knowing we have a boatload of decent mid round picks to fill needs.

    Either way I feel these extra picks (or not) could really impact our strategy. Anyone else think this?

    • David

      Well the Golden Tate pick has potential to be a 3rd (think it pro bowl helped) got a 6th possibly for Clinton McDonald maybe Brandon Browner and Breno Giacomini and don’t think anything comes from Walter Thurmond not sure though. think that’s it. also have Percy most likely being a 4th but then again I could be wrong.

      • Spireite Seahawk

        We used a 6th to get Burley and I believe you can’t trade compo picks. I also heard the best we could get for PH was a 4th.

        I’m sure the FO would like to know sooner rather than later just what they are rolling with. I wonder if they have multiple strategies in place.

        • David

          3rd(comp tate?)
          4th(Harvin trade?)
          6th(comp McDonald)
          6th(comp? Breno)
          7th(Browner comp?)

          No comp picks cant be traded so it will be interesting to see what they do. Percy must’ve been a HUGE headache if we only at best get a 4th rounder haha.

          • Beanhawk

            I think you are missing the comp and trade picks frankly. Here’s how I think it will break down with help from overthecap.com (http://overthecap.com/projecting-the-compensatory-draft-picks-for-2015/).

            4th comp (Tate)
            5th comp (Browner)
            5th comp (Breno)
            6th – Harvin trade
            6th comp (McDonald)

          • john_s

            Regarding Percy, its not a guarantee that we get a 4th for him. The trade is a conditional trade where we get a 6th rounder which can turn into a 4th rounder.

            • Spireite Seahawk

              Anyone know what the conditions are? As I alluded to earlier it seems the 4th rounder was the best case scenario.

              • Kory

                If Percy doesn’t get cut, we get a 4th. I think the reasoning is, if he really was a terrible teammate/person, the jets could cut him and only lose a 6th. If he’s not that bad, then they lose a 4th.

                • Cysco

                  The Tate pick will be a 4th based on salary. there are only three 3rd round comp picks and those will go to teams who had players sign contracts in the $9m range.

                  The Harvin pick is likely to be a 4th based on the belief that the Jets aren’t going to cut him. The Jets are in desperate need of play makers and he performed well for them for the most part last year.

                  Browner and Giacomini will net us two 5th round picks and we’ll get a 6th for Clinton McDonnald.

                  All Told, our draft is likely to look like this for a total of 11 picks:


                  • rowdy

                    Didn’t Mcdonald get 6 mil a year and bruno get 4?

    • Rob Staton

      Agree totally.

  21. Angus MacDonald

    I always get a chuckle any time I read that the Seahawks need to fix this or that with a first round pick this year. Fans and experts alike should realize by now that this management team does not draft players to fix weak spots NOW, they draft players with physical and mental traits that could lead to greatness. Players that need a year or two of quality training to develope. I think that management is far more prepared for upcoming years at RB than we may be giving them credit for. If they were concerned about the RB position and Lynch, they would have addressed it in previous drafts (and they did).

    I’m not saying they won’t draft a RB, they very well could. I’m just saying who ever they draft, will NOT be expected to come in and carry the team. Personally, I feel they will look to the O line with their first pick and may even look at someone like injured OT Cedric Ogbuehi, a top 15 talent that should slide, after all, the were willing to sit on Dominic Easley for a year had they landed him in last years draft.

    As far as the RB situation, I’ll be following Jalston Fowler leading up to the draft, more of a FB,but is a one cut runner with power.

    • Rob Staton

      The 2013 first round pick went on Percy Harvin (impact player). The first pick in 2014 went on Paul Richardson — who by the end of his rookie season was having an impact. The second pick in 2014 went on Justin Britt, who played every regular season offensive snap.

      They may well take players they wish to develop, but they’re certainly not averse to the plug-in-and-play type either.

      • john_s


        2010 – Russell Okung and Earl Thomas – Started rookie year
        2011 – James Carpenter – Started rookie year before knee injury
        2012 – Bruce Irvin – played a lot of snaps as pass rush end

        Every year their first round pick or first pick played a lot of snaps their rookie year with the exception of James penter because of injury.

        The only player who they used their first pick on who didn’t contribute the first year was Christine Michael.

    • Kory

      If we improve our O-line, it doesn’t matter who we have at runningback. You should always improve from the inside out.

      • Leonard

        This might be the best option. Lynch is one of a kind and can’t really just be replaced. Makes sense to try to make life easier for the next man up. Hopefully not a problem until after next year.

  22. UKhawk

    Heart says keep Lynch, head says bad idea if more money/years are added.
    Feeling ok?? And how’s the green machine in the light if day. Know it’s annoying but it could have been much worse
    Why spend too much draft capital when much less was spent getting Lynch here (lore vinous misses ala lendale, 6th for lunch etc). Pats are a great example of a team that had dominated without highly drafting RBs for years – look at Blount.

    We should plan for life without Lynch now but don’t need to replace/keep him at too high a cost

    • Rob Staton

      I think it comes down to this — he’d need to be replaced with a good running back. If they can find one later on or if it’s Robert Turbin — excellent. But if it means spending a first rounder to replace Seattle’s best offensive player, it might take that level of investment.

      • Ukhawk

        1st round pick, np. But ideally only if they can exhaust other options first. Don’t lose him if the figure is doable then buy some time to find a cheaper, viable future alternative. What about CM? What about bringing in others to compete.

        Lots of holes to fill in the near term so hopefully they don’t create another one to worry about. 1st round doesn’t mean guaranteed superstardom. While I like Gurley and Gordon for a first, esp in a ’tilt the field’ thin year, I wouldn’t support a kings ransom.

        • Rob Staton

          “I wouldn’t support a kings ransom.”

          Definitely agree here.

  23. UKhawk

    Don’t know where “feeling ok?? Sentence came from… Should have said..

    Heart says keep Lynch, head says bad idea if more money/years are added.

    Why spend too much draft capital when much less was spent getting Lynch here (lore vinous misses ala lendale, 6th for lunch etc). Pats are a great example of a team that had dominated without highly drafting RBs for years – look at Blount.

    We should plan for life without Lynch now but don’t need to replace/keep him at too high a cost

  24. Bernardo De Biase

    Seahawks is heavily reliant on Marshawn Lynch to rack up yard after contact and break tackles to get our running game going. Also, he’s been great as a receiving option with almost 400 receiving yards and 4 tds, and some really big plays on that regard.

    If Marshawn Lynch is gone this season, I don’t think the Seahawks can replace his skillset with any RB not named Adrian Peterson, as talented as Melvin Gordon is. However, we can shift the dynamics by adding two or three talented players on our offensive line or receiving corps to add quality in our now-kind-of-anemic-and-incosistent passing offense.

    If the Seahawks are looking for a new RB via draft, I’d expect him either to be a power runner, or a reliable receiving option, at least on passing downs, which aren’t Melvin Gordon’s forte, according to repport. That said, I think Melvin Gordon would be an AWFUL pick, as a short term answer to Marshawn Lynch’s departure. Even worse if it involves a move up for that.

    I think the clear cut better option is to structure Wilson’s contract in a way we can keep Marshawn’s contract for another year as we add the developing pieces via Draft needed to make a smooth transition from a run-heavy offense to a more balanced offense.

    On this scenario, Seahawks needs to emphasize interior offensive lineman to improve Wilson’s protection and a possession receiver that can strenghten our passing game specially on intermediate to short routes, which is something that the Seahawks are lacking ever since they lost Sidney Rice.

    Seahawks’ll get plenty of compensatory picks, which should be huge in order to do that. In my wet dreams, DaVante Parker runs slow in the combine, falls to 15-20th and Seahawks move up to grab him.

    • Rob Staton

      “If Marshawn Lynch is gone this season, I don’t think the Seahawks can replace his skillset with any RB not named Adrian Peterson, as talented as Melvin Gordon is. However, we can shift the dynamics by adding two or three talented players on our offensive line or receiving corps to add quality in our now-kind-of-anemic-and-incosistent passing offense.”

      Agreed. But I do think a different playmaker at RB can offer the same kind of jolt.

      • Bernardo De Biase

        I tend to agree, but with this limited offensive line, I don’t believe the Seahawks will have an above average running game without Lynch, unless Wilson sustain his very productive rushing form this season.

        I also believe that, without Lynch, Seahawks will miss their best red zone weapon. His power-style of running is a go-to option on the red zone. Without Lynch, I think Seattle starts to miss Miller (who may not even come back) and Rice more and more.

        Even if I’m open to a different playmaker with 1st pick, I guess Seahawks will have to address that issue and hit a home run with mid-rounders for a TE or possession WR.

        • Rob Staton

          I disagree that the O-line isn’t a good run blocking unit without Lynch. Cable’s a fantastic coach IMO. For every brilliant Lynch run I can think of plenty where he just gets superb blocking. That TD against Green Bay — was he touched? That’s down to blocking. The line doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit for stuff like that.

  25. Ho Lee Chit

    Marshawn Lynch is a future Hall of Fame RB in his prime. Ignore his age. He is coming off one of his best years in the NFL. He just led his team to the Super Bowl, twice. Teams all over the league are looking for RB’s that can run with power, elusiveness and catch the ball out of the backfield. Lynch is special. He does it all. He carries the offense and has allowed RW to develop his game.

    No rookie RB coming into the league next year (Gurley or Gordon) is going to replace the production (1600 total yards) of Marshawn Lynch. The best case is we would experience a big drop in production in their rookie season. The team most likely would miss their third straight Super Bowl. This is what we get if we move on from Marshawn. Doing it prematurely, before Marshawn is ready to hang them up, would be a public relations disaster.

    We missed on Harvin. We cannot afford to gamble our first round pick this year on a guy that may never help us. I would only select Gurley in the second or third round. Let someone else take the risk. We have had some defections. we need to hit on our first pick this year. Bring in a game changer but make sure he is ready to go on day 1. Schneider has to see a clear opportunity for the draft picks to come in and make our roster, else why select them.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I’m guessing by “risk” you mean his knee. It’s not that complicated.

      Either Gurley’s knee will check out or it won’t. If it does, he’s gone in R1 (which is exactly where he would’ve gone if no injury). In other words, if the docs say his knee is ok, then the “risk” is minimal.

      • Ho Lee Chit

        If Gurley’s knee does check out medically, the best situation for Gurley would be for him to red shirt next year. His recovery will be right at the 9 month mark at the start of the season. Most agree while he may be able to play, it is best to give it an extra year. Why rush it and risk his future. Accordingly, I do not see Gurley as an option to replace Marshawn in 2015. Nor does it make sense to me to bring him in, pay him first round money and have him sit. I would rather give the $2 million you would pay Gurley in 2015 to Marshawn keeping him happy and trade the first round pick in 2015 for a 2016 pick. Similarly, Gordon will not play enough to justify his first round salary as long as Marshawn is on the roster.

        • Volume 12

          I’m not so sure they HAVE to hit on their first round pick instantly. Their strategy seems to be ‘swing for the fences’ with the first pick, but as long as they get 5-6 solid contributors with upside and potential, they’re satisfied.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          We totally agree that SEA needs to find a way for Lynch to stay on the roster in 2015, and that Gurley should redshirt his rookie season. What better situation is there for him to do that than behind Lynch?

          Where we disagree is on kicking the “replace Lynch” can down the road. If they don’t do it this season, they’ll have to next.

          Chances are minimal that either Gordon or Gurley will be available when SEA takes the podium. But for me, Gurley is a generational RB prospect and totally worth it.

          Again I’ll make the comparison to Herschel Walker. Compare highlights of Walker and Gurley and decide for yourself how similar they are.

          • Volume 12

            Yeah, I too think HB Todd Burley is totally worth it. I wasn’t sold on him earlier in the year, but the more tape I watched the more impressed I became. It was the opposite with HB Melvin Gordon, weird right?

            Again your more than likely right that neither of these 2 backs will be available when Seattle picks, and if Seattle truly does plan to use more of a running game by committee, than maybe it odes make more sense to take a HB in the 3rd-4th round range this year and again next year, until they find the perfect balance or mixture.

            • Volume 12

              Damn auto-correct. Should say HB Todd Gurley not *Burley.

              • David M2

                Although, he is a Burley gent.

          • Ho Lee Chit

            Ignore Walker’s three years in the USFL and compare the NFL stats between Marshawn and Herschel Walker and you will see that only in the 1988 season did Herschell Walker’s combined stats exceed what Marshawn has done the last four years. The two have very similar stats. Hershcell played 15 years of pro ball and Marshawn only 8. Beast Mode still has some gas in the tank. Where we disagree is on how long he lasts in the league. I would give him a two year extension on his contract which makes the discussion of Gurley and Gordon moot.

            • Madmark

              The first question is can we afford a Lynch extension for 2 more years. It would have to be heavy on incentives that are reasonable for the Avg RB, I would think. If we can why not draft a Gurley give him a redshirt year like Harvins got last year. Then latter in the year in case someone was hurt or missing some time. Send him in healthy. What we wouldn’t want is to put him in to early like what happened with Carpenter.

              • Ho Lee Chit

                We are paying Lynch $8.5 million and the other two about $1.5M for a total of $10M in 2015 for RB’s. The salary cap went up about 5%. Each position group has a limit. We can pay Lynch more or pay a rookie like Gurley $2M but cannot afford to do both. IMO, if you draft Gurley you must get rid of Lynch.

                Adrian Peterson is the top paid RB in the league at $15m in 2015. Lynch is a better deal for the team.

              • Ho Lee Chit

                Let’s not forget we also have $7.2M of dead money charged against the cap next year for Percy Harvin. Those that expect to draft Gurley, red shirt him and keep Lynch are not operating with any budget constraints. Lynch will certainly view the $2M we gave to Gurley as money that should have gone to him.

    • Drew

      I think its a stretch to say that a rookie RB can’t replace Lynch’s production. Both Gordon and Gurley have the talent to get 1,600 yards, they just won’t get it the same way as Lynch does.

    • Rob Staton

      “We cannot afford to gamble our first round pick this year on a guy that may never help us”

      Not that I disagree with some of your points HLC — but why would a running back like Melvin Gordon never help the team?

      • Ho Lee Chit

        The gamble I was referring to was Gurley and his knee. He is a gamble because all of his highlight video is prior to the knee injury and we cannot be sure that is the player we are drafting. Many players never regain their quickness after a knee surgery. With Gordon you can believe you are getting what you saw on film if you draft him. Still, if we still have Marshawn, we may not be able to utilize either of them any better than Christine Michael.

  26. CHawk Talker Eric

    Congrats to Rob for once again providing B/R with a truly publication worthy article.

    Maybe I’m alone in this but here’s how I see Gordon: His stats wow me. His actual game play does not. When I watch his tape, he’s impressive enough, but he doesn’t make my jaw drop.

    I think he’s this year’s Trent Richardson.

    • Volume 12

      I agree with this. He’s a fantastic athlete, gym rat, etc., but the one thing that bothers me is the fact he stops his feet so much at the LOS, and doesn’t seem to break tackles like a Seahawks type back. I wonder if he’s a ‘snake stomper’ as Tom Cable likes to say, and if that’s the case, I’m not so sure.

      Someone posed a great question above, and that was is it worth moving up 5 picks for Gordon or back 5 picks for Gurley? The answer should unequivocally be TRADE BACK. Seattle has no problems taking chances on special talents that have injury concerns,

      The best case scenario IMO would be to trade back for HB Todd Gurley, if they can, let Marshawn play out his deal with a small pay increase, then they could bring Gurley along slowly. I get the impression Lynch really enjoys mentoring Turbin and C-Mike and I think he would love to leave his imprint on a dynamic back like Gurley. Wishful thinking right?

      Once Marshawn Lynch does leave, this team is going to be a RBC aka running back by committee, just the way PC liked it down at USC. HB Todd Gurley= home run hitter/threat, HB Robert Turbin= power back/short yardage guy, and HB Christine Michael=change of pace back/Reggie Bush style back with more toughness.

      • Drew

        I don’t think Gurley will be available if we trade back. I could see Jacksonville taking him with their 2nd round pick since they need a feature RB.

      • rowdy

        I completely disagree. How many times have we seen turbin go down on a one finger ankle tackle. I bet gorden would get more yards after contact then turbin. At usc bush was the main back and home run hitter that was backed up by a big back. His highlights are full of him breaking tackles most of witch are because guys who were in position couldn’t even get there hands on him.

        • John_s

          To his credit Turbin was a lot better at breaking tackles and moving the pile. I think he finally learned how to run behind his pads. I still think he’s JAG but he’s reliable.

          • rowdy

            I agree completely. My point was I think gorden could be just as good but offer a lot more potential

    • Drew

      I wouldn’t compare him to Trent Richardson because he has better vision and explosion. But I completely agree with you that even though he was ridiculously productive, when I actually watch the tape I’m not wowed like the way I am with Gurley.

      It’s weird, even though I watch Gordon’s tape excited to see him do something, I’m not excited until AFTER he does something. With Gurley I’m excited BEFORE every play waiting to see if he’s going to get the ball, and what he’s going to do with it. I love both, but I hope the Cowboys draft Gordon if they don’t keep Murray and Gordon is still on the board for us. I could see how PC/JS would draft Gordon before Gurley, so I’m hoping he’s not going to be available.

      • Volume 12

        One of current favorite’s is LSU’s HB Terrence Magee. I think he’s a perfect fit for Seattle’s system and style. Hardly any tread on his tires, was a leader for LSU, high character, hard worker, very mature. He’s one of those guys who may end up being a better pro than a college player. I don’t know hoe much we should read into this, if anything, but Seattle apparently spent a lot of time with him at this year’s East-West Shrine game.

        Another guy to keep an eye on is Auburn’s HB Cory Grant. He’s reportedly been clocked at running a 4.18 40 yard dash, but more realistically is rumored to run a mid 4.2 40. Will be interesting to see what he ends up running. He’s also a physical specimen with a great work ethic.

      • Rob Staton

        FWIW — I prefer Gurley as a player. It’s not really that close. I just wonder if, having already lost Richardson to an ACL, whether they draft another player early facing the same type of recovery.

        • Madmark

          If Gurley was at 32. I could actually see Seattle taking him just cause many wouldn’t expect it and they have their philosophy about running the ball. I mean they grab Michaels and pretty much redshirted him a year.

          • Rob Staton

            I’d happily take Gurley at #32 and redshirt him — if you felt confident he’d make a 100% recovery from his current injury. I’d roll with a year Turbin for a career of Gurley. But it would have to be with the necessary medical info to believe he would make an excellent recovery.

        • Volume 12

          You bring up an interesting and good point Rob.

          I guess I never looked at the fact P-Rich has issues with his ACL and if they were to take Gurley, that would be 2 years running they spent their first overall pick on a player with the same problem.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            But isn’t this Gurley’s first ACL?

            And didn’t PRich do more damage to his knee?

      • Ukhawk

        Gordon reminds me of KC’s Charles. Way quicker than Richardson

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Didn’t mean to suggest I thought Gordon plays like Richardson. Rather, I was comparing the potential bust another R1 RB.

        • Rob Staton

          Richardson’s thing at Alabama was power and above average speed. At the next level the power isn’t having the same impact and he doesn’t look much like an athlete. He also doesn’t appear to love the game or want it badly enough. I think Gordon is showing at Wisconsin — he wants to succeed badly. And in terms of athleticism, he is top notch. He glides when he runs — almost like Jeremy Maclin.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            That’s as close of a comparison as I’ve heard. Gordon very much reminds me of Maclin.

  27. CHawk Talker Eric

    I realize this is off topic, but any thoughts on this?:


    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I ask because I’m getting really tired of the NFL’s untenable stance on enforcement.

      Grab your crotch on the field? Wear the wrong color cleats? Won’t dance for the media? FINE HIM!

      But violate the fairness of the game? Eh, we’ll look into it.

      • peter

        Off topic things this week in tired of: Lack of consistency with rule enforcement and my absolute favorite….still with the who did Seattle really play this season because 6 games against the offensive firepower that is the qbs known as the AFC east really forged the new england defense for the superbowl….ooohhhhkeeeyy doookeeyyy….

        • Volume 12

          Yeah, Seattle has faced offenses like New England’s, but New England has NOT faced a defense like Seattle’s.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            It’s just like last year when SEA faced the Denver Broncos offensive juggernaut (should read jugger-NOT!).

            On the flip side, NE has a fine defense. But SEA has faced some equally fine defenses this season.

      • Volume 12

        LOL! Could not agree more. The NFL has no problem profiting from the sales of pictures, posters, or whatever of Lynch grabbing his crotch.

        And as Sherm said, Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft being pretty chummy is o.k., but could you imagine if that was Seattle and Paul Allen?

  28. Cysco

    I could make an argument that Lynch’s numbers are in fact replaceable.

    Lynch ran 280 times for 1306yds this year. a 4.7yd average.

    The combination of Michael and turbin ran 108 time for 485 yds. a 4.5 average. Extrapolated out, that’s 1257 yards on the same carries as Lynch.

    Turbin had half as many receiving yards on significantly fewer catches and a much larger per-catch total. I think it’s safe to say that Turbin is an adequate pass catcher out of the backfield.

    Where we start to getting into the grey area is with regards to intangibles. Lynch brings an identity and attitude to the team that can’t be ignored. It’s the little things like gaining that half yard when it’s needed for a key first down or making a key block that will be hard to replace.

    Purely based on numbers though, Lynch is in fact replaceable.

    • Volume 12

      Fair point regarding Lynch’s numbers.

      However, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned ‘intangibles.’ Seattle seems to be one of the few teams who look beyond the numbers and seem to favor guys who are leaders and who ‘fit’ into their locker room and style.

    • Rob Staton

      Interesting stats. Very interesting.

  29. Volume 12

    Hey guys, I mentioned a little bit ago how LSU HB Terrence Magee was one of my favorite HBs currently in this year’s class. Here’s a short highlight package from the 2013 CFB season. Notice the 1:27 mark, if you watch it, he does something very few HBs in this draft class do, and one of the main things overlooked when scouting a running back. Sorry if the link is absurdly long.


    • rowdy

      What does he do that no other back does? At 1:27 he runs untouched through the middle breaks an ankle tackle and is pushed out of bounds at the goal line. I also don’t get how he wows you but Gordon never did. Honestly Spencer ware tape looked much better then his to me.

      • John_s

        I’m with you I didn’t see anything. Lots of huge holes to run through. It’s nice that he’s one cut and go

        • Volume 12

          At the 1:27 mark he switches the ball from his right hand to his left. That’s one of the main problems with C-Mike, it’s a main factor in his fumbling issues, it’s a knock on Indiana HB Tevin Coleman.
          Don’t under-estimate the ability to feel where the pressure, defenders, or the hit is coming from. Big deal he gets taken down by an ankle tackle. We’re not going to find the exact replica of Lynch. It’s a all about potential. It’s why I suspect they like/have interest in Colorado St OL TY Sambrailo.

          Yeah, he runs through huge holes, how many times have we seen Lynch run untouched through the LOS? You could also make the same argument with Gordon that he’s successful because of his O-line. Here’s the thing though. NO running back will be productive without a good functioning O-line.

          Magee has quick feet, good vision, more than adequate speed, very good balance, and explosive, explosive hips.

          I like HB Melvin Gordon, but there’s so much hesitation and stopping of the feet at the LOS. And that worries me. He’s a fantastic athlete, so smooth, as Rob said, ‘a glider’ if you will, but again I’ll bring up C-Mike, too much hesitation. Get a one cut runner who sees and feels the hole. Gordon also doesn’t run behind his pads, his style is a little ‘upright.’ Would I be mad if Seattle took Melvin Gordon? Absolutely not, but this class is so deep just like last year’s WR class, and I feel like Seattle can find ‘their’ guy and not have to give up capital.

          How many times have we seen these flashy, Heisman worthy backs flame out in the NFL?

  30. scotia seahawk

    I’m surprised this thread hasn’t generated more consideration of Christine Michael’s place in the roster. Before this season there was a lot of expectancy around him as a future replacement for Lynch. Has he regressed to the point of being only considered as a backup or could he not still emerge as the natural heir?

    • Rob Staton

      I think there are a few things here. Firstly, when the RB coach came on the radio and made critical remarks about Michael publicly, that’s not a good sign. I think the Seahawks have been willing him to step up and make the most of his talent. But the coach says he’s “not technically sound” — on the radio, two years into a pro career. That’s troubling. And he has some previous here — he ended up in the doghouse with Mike Sumlin and basically had his college career ended for him. He’s such a dynamic athlete and a potentially great RB — but the light needs to switch on. And if he’s not overtaking even Robert Turbin two years after being drafted in round two, it’s hard to imagine he’ll do it now. It’d take a big jump. And a leap of faith on Seattle’s part. Despite all this — you can’t rule it out. Not yet. Fingers crossed he takes the next step.

      • Ukhawk

        Wished they’d of at least tried him as a kickoff returner post Percy. Give him some responsibility to let him grow.

  31. Saxon

    Great convo.

    I’m not a fan of RB in round 1. I still think it’s the most fungible position in the NFL. Unless it’s a Barry Sanders clone I’d rather go WR/OL.

    I’d also not draft Gurley for the same reasons I was opposed to drafting Richardson last year. While we’ve come a long way in treating knee injuries the reinjury rate is still high. I would rather draft players with a proven history of durability than roll the dice on guys that have had major surgeries, hoping they’ll be another Frank Gore. Schneider has got to stop ignoring injury history in his player evals.

  32. Misfit74

    Gordon would be awesome. Gurley might make a nice consolation. The RB class is deep even further, too.

  33. Stuart

    Seriously, would have thought we would have tried CM as a kick returner. Speaking of returning kicks, I would be quite happy if the Hawks down it and don’t return any kicks in the SB. At least we will start at the 20…

    PC/JS will come to an arrangement and Lynch will be in Seattle next season. It they don’t, they know something that none of us here know, yet.

    Maxwell resigning here, dude you are in the SB again in the vaunted LOB! For that reason he could sign for a little less, short term.

    Okung or Maxwell, if push comes to shove. Who do you most want to retain?

    • Drew

      Maxwell will maximize his value after the Super Bowl. This will be his 2nd Super Bowl title in as many years, started in both games. This is the time to go into the open market. A short term team friendly deal does not do himself any favors. Yes he’d have a good chance of going back to a Super Bowl, but when he’s already got 2 under his belt, he’s going to want to maximize his earning potential.

  34. Radman

    I’d be fine with the selection if he’s there, but I’m not a fan of trading up. Let the draft come to you, and trade down when available.

    More and more research is showing success in the draft is all about the number of shots you get, not the shots you take. The best teams in a given time frame also tend to have had the most draft picks in that given time frame. You’re in a lottery. Get more tickets.

    • Volume 12

      Agree 100%. This is a perfect statement Radman. It’s the most sound and fool proof strategy draft wise. Don’t fight the board. Just because it glitters, doesn’t mean it’s gold. Play the numbers and your odds.

  35. GoHawks5151

    Little late and a little off topic but if it were me, i think I would pay for another year of Marshawn and continue to develop Turbo and Michael with an eye on next years draft. No guarantee of course, but if we are looking for a “Beast heir apparent” I see it in Ezekiel Elliot from Ohio state. May be hard to get, but if this is our identity then you spare no expense and do it right.

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