Seahawks 2021 pre-draft checkup: Go ‘Hawks!

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We’re solely a pair days away from the beginning of the NFL Draft – time to wrap issues up.

Welcome to the sequence finale!

This installment goes to be fairly straight ahead. I’ll recap the primary eight installments after which wrap issues up with some “ultimate ideas” – a few of which had been influenced by feedback made on the sooner installments.


Collection recap

Half One: The entrance workplace is ‘killing it’ this yr!

Regardless of the final 3 phrases within the first installment being “shade me skeptical”, the title says all of it.

Seattle was in a decent spot, cap-wise, when the offseason began and had roughly 1/third of their 90-man roster coming into free company.

What the entrance workplace has accomplished up up to now, together with the accountable use of “void years”, has been nothing wanting a Grasp Class in Wage Cap Administration and Roster Development.

Price Noting: I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t discover one thing to be “involved” about, however when the largest “points” I level out in an installment are that we’ve solely signed 5 outdoors free brokers (now 6 with the addition of Pierre Desir) and that our roster is extraordinarily much like final yr (after we went 12-4 and received our division) . . . I’m clearly sweating the main points.


Half Two: The offensive line

As of right now, the spotlight of my Area Gulls writing profession has been discovering an applicable time and state of affairs to make use of the phrase “craptastic.”

And I’m solely being somewhat sarcastic once I say that.

Whereas I don’t personally suppose that returning 80% of final season’s starters and solely including one new offensive lineman (through a commerce) is what Russ had in thoughts when he, um, “spoke out” after the Tremendous Bowl . . . our beginning 5 (Duane Brown, Gabe Jackson, Ethan Pocic, Damien Lewis, and Brandon Shell) is fairly strong and has the potential to be a High-10, possibly even High-5, unit.

The depth behind the starters is underwhelming although.

There are undoubtedly some issues that Seattle must do (ex. work out the “succession plan” at Left Deal with), however . . .

I’m on the sting of being “cautiously optimistic” about our O-line (as is, depth included), and about what our new OC can do with them – and cautious optimism is one thing I haven’t felt in regard to Seattle’s O-line for the higher a part of a decade.

Go Hawks!


Half Three: Seattle’s defensive backs

Our safeties and our nickelbacks are strong, however I’m frightened about our outdoors corners. Like, frightened frightened.

And, yeah, it’s in all probability no less than somewhat bit irrational.

Particularly while you have a look at the 2020 PFF rankings for our presumed starters (D.J. Reed and Ahkello Witherspoon).

Perhaps it’s simply that I don’t like the concept of “handing” the beginning roles to 2 former 49ers, however I’m not “offered” on both one being a Seahawks starter but.

Sadly, even with the signing of Desir, which occurred after Half Three went reside, there doesn’t at the moment seem like anybody behind Reed and Witherspoon that has a authentic shot at passing them on the depth chart.

Including a nook (or three) within the draft is an absolute MUST.


Half 4: Aspiring Tremendous Bowl contender seeks beginning linebacker

I’ve been attempting actually onerous to not add any “new” data within the recap portion of this text. I can’t resist doing so with the linebackers although.

Per PFF, Bobby Wagner was ranked #5 (out of 183 linebackers) in 2020. Okay.J. Wright was #13. Cody Barton was #90. Jordyn Brooks was #123.

The place did our favourite Husky end?

Ben Burr-Kirven was #2.

Discuss a chunk of knowledge that I might have had A LOT of enjoyable with!

A minimum of till somebody identified that BBK solely took 11 snaps at linebacker in 2020 (in comparison with the 1,141 snaps that Bwagz took).

Nonetheless . . .

Seattle had 2 of the highest 5 and three of the highest 13 linebackers within the league final yr !!!!

In line with PFF.

Now, about that recap . . .

Let’s begin with one other piece of “new” data.

Per the superb piece that JPG posted over the weekend, we (that means I) now know that Seattle normally has 10 or extra linebackers on the roster when coaching camp begins.

Proper now, we’ve got 4.

Solely one of many 4 has greater than 2 years of expertise.

After which there’s the snap counts (which is extra new data) . . .

  • Bobby Wagner: 9,549 in 9 seasons
  • Jordyn Brooks: 402 (1 season)
  • Cody Barton: 368 (2 seasons)
  • BBK: 15 (2 seasons)

For much more perspective, Bobby’s profession low was 877 snaps in 2014. Brooks, Barton, and BBK have mixed for 785 of their careers.

Until the Seahawks are shifting away from their commonplace 4-3 protection this yr, we’d like extra linebackers. And except the coaches (and entrance workplace) are actually “snug” with the concept of getting Cody Barton within the beginning lineup Week 1, we’d like no less than one starter-caliber linebacker.

A month and a half into free company, Okay.J. Wright (together with his 9,171 profession snaps of expertise) IS nonetheless obtainable.


Half 5: Can we clone DK and NoE?

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are clearly WR1 & WR2 (or 1A and 1B) – in whichever order one chooses to rank them.

Collectively they’re arguably the greatest large receiver duo within the league.

“Arguably” being the important thing phrase.

With a not-so-subtle reminder that I stated “large receiver duo” and thus tight ends and working backs are excluded from that assertion.

No offense to TE Travis Kelce (#2 within the league in receiving yards in 2020) or RB Alvin Kamara (the Saints’ #1 receiver final season), however Half 5 was (purported to be) targeted on “precise” WRs.

Sadly, there’s a colossal hole between our high 2 wideouts and our present choices for WR3.

And . . .

The free agent market is critically depleted of high quality choices.

A commerce is perhaps an possibility.

However the NFL Draft is probably going the place Seattle will tackle the place – and even and not using a first spherical choose (and just one choose within the first 2 days), there are some intriguing prospects for us to contemplate. (I vote for Jaelon Darden.)

Seattle might “get by” with the receivers which are at the moment on the roster, however . . .

Hopefully we add no less than yet another.


Half Six: Yay! to retaining Chris Carson

There was an enormous sigh of reduction throughout the Puget Sound area when it was introduced that the Seahawks had retained Chris Carson.

He’s a stud – one of the vital underrated backs within the league. And he’s OURS! For no less than 2 extra years – and with a comically low ($2.7M) wage cap hit this yr.

And I, for one, am exceedingly grateful as a result of whereas I believe that the opposite backs on our roster have potential, I believe it could be silly to rely on any of them being a difference-maker for Seattle in 2021.

Particularly when our present/presumed RB2 (Rashaad Penny) and present/presumed RB3 (Alex Collins) had a mixed 29 carries final season (11 for Penny; 18 for Collins) and a complete of 111 yards (34 and 77, respectively).

Whereas spending our first draft choose on a working again may not be an possibility (which dashes my dream of seeing Najee Harris in our backfield), there are some high quality prospects that needs to be obtainable on Day Three, together with Oklahoma’s Rhamondre Stevenson and Virginia Tech’s Khalil Herbert.

Free company may additionally (nonetheless) be an possibility.


Half Seven: The defensive position

Final offseason, the D-line was the largest query mark heading into the draft. This yr, not a lot.

Even when Aldon Smith by no means dons a Seahawks uniform, the present ensemble of gifted defensive tackles and defensive ends is strong with no less than 10 gamers who ought to have a authentic alternative to issue into the rotation.

And that’s if Seattle doesn’t add to the group – which they nonetheless would possibly do.

What is probably most spectacular concerning the group is that, together with Aldon Smith, the 13 D-linemen which are at the moment on the roster account for less than $20,517,923 towards the wage cap.

Even factoring within the $5M in useless cash from Jarran Reed’s launch, the D-line’s mixed cap hit is decrease than the cap hit for the 5 starters on the offensive line. And nearly $7M lower than the mixed cap hit for your complete O-line.

Kudos to John Schneider and his lieutenants. Now let’s see what Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. can do with this crew.


Half Eight: QBs, TEs, and Particular Groups

Our Particular Groups specialists – Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, and Tyler Ott – are, in a phrase, SPECIAL. Zero issues about any of them.

_________

In concept, possibly there needs to be some concern concerning the Tight Finish group – given the truth that we “misplaced” 4 and solely introduced in a single.

However the 4 we misplaced had been “marginal” contributors (sure, even Greg Olsen).

The one we introduced in (Gerald Everett) has expertise with our new OC – which is able to undoubtedly show to be invaluable.

And our presumed TE2 (Will Dissly) lastly made it by a complete season wholesome – which has at all times been the largest “difficulty” with him.

Add within the untapped potential of Colby Parkinson (TE3) who was solely focused twice final yr and was solely lively for six video games on account of a foot harm, and you’ve got a core group that needs to be respectable.

Depth is (in all probability) wanted with solely 2020 UDFA Tyler Mabry behind these 3 on the roster. Thankfully, there may be nonetheless loads of time earlier than the season begins and the draft has a handful of choices for us to contemplate.

My choose could be Tommy Tremble.

_________

Our franchise QB stirred up some feelings this offseason. However performance-wise, he’s each elite and irreplaceable and, barring a mindboggling flip of occasions, it seems like he’ll be again beneath heart in Seattle once more this season. Yay us!

Final week we re-signed his backup, Geno Smith – which is big information as there isn’t any longer any concern (slash downright FEAR) about both Alex McGough or Danny Etling needing to take significant snaps for the Seahawks in 2021.

_________

Last Ideas

Over the previous however-many seasons, the just about fixed chorus has been that Seattle “ignores” the trenches, that the Seahawks “quick shrift’ed” the offensive line, that they don’t put sufficient emphasis on the defensive position, and many others.

I don’t suppose we’re going to be complaining concerning the strains this yr.

A minimum of not like we’ve got prior to now.


In Half Seven, I included a bit that checked out when every of our present defensive linemen was chosen within the draft – not the yr, however the spherical. It was “fascinating, however meaningless”.

In hindsight, I want I had accomplished that for the offensive linemen in Half Two. Thankfully, that is my sequence and I can try this now.

Spherical 1: Cedric Ogbuehi (#21), Duane Brown (#26)

Spherical 2: Ethan Pocic (#58)

Spherical 3: Damien Lewis (#69), Gabe Jackson (#81)

Spherical 4: Phil Haynes (#124)

Spherical 5: Brandon Shell (#158), Jamarco Jones (#168)

Spherical 6: N/A

Spherical 7: N/A

Undrafted: Brad Lundblade, Jordan Simmons, Tommy Champion

Eleven offensive linemen:

Two R1s, one R2, two R3s, one R4, two R5s, and three UDFAs.

Word: For comparability, on protection, the breakdown for 13 defensive linemen is: two R1s, two R2s, one R3, one R4, one R5, and six UDFAs.


A number of you will have much more religion in Shane Waldron “single-handedly enhancing” (our offensive line, our offense on the whole, our skill to advance within the playoffs, our “competency” on offense, and many others.) than I do.

I need to imagine. I simply don’t . . . not but. It should in all probability take seeing the “product” on the sector for me to (possibly) come round.

That stated, I do agree with the concept hiring Shane Waldron as our new OC was “the largest enchancment” we’ve made on offense to this point this offseason.

However that’s form of a backhanded praise as a result of I’m not truly positive we’ve accomplished a lot to “enhance” on offense . . . but.

I really feel higher about our O-line, however “much less good” about our working backs. I believe our tight finish group is principally on par with what we had final season. However we misplaced a high quality WR3 and haven’t (but) changed him.

Sort of appears like we’re treading water to me.

A minimum of to this point.


MJDarby15 talked about that “Stephon Gilmore is on the market through commerce and doubtless received’t price loads”; then went on to say that Gilmore “might push the protection excessive and again into elite territory.”

From a cap-perspective, that is undoubtedly doable.

Gilmore’s present cap hit in 2021 is north of $16M, however greater than half of that’s useless cash. The fee to us, if we had been to amass him, could be about $7.9M ($7M base + $411,765 roster bonus + $500,000 game-based bonuses).

As of 4/26 (per OTC), Seattle’s present cap area is $7,624,958 which is a hair decrease than what could be wanted to “squeeze him in” – however it’s shut sufficient that the Hawks might make that transfer in the event that they had been so inclined.

The two questions I’ve are:

One. What would it not price us? Each when it comes to compensation to the Patriots (i.e draft picks), and when it comes to what else it could forestall us from doing (i.e. would it not imply that re-signing Okay.J. Wright is off the desk?)

Two. How a lot does he have left within the tank? This is applicable each to this season and to future seasons as a result of in case you’re going to commerce for him this yr (moderately than ready for him to enter free company subsequent yr) then try to be planning to signal him to an extension.

Word: Clearly, we don’t need to signal him to an extension and JS/PC have made loads of trades the place they didn’t. I’m not a fan of that method although and wouldn’t personally pull the set off on a commerce for Gilmore except I assumed he could be right here previous 2021.

Buying and selling for Gilmore (or somebody like him) would make me really feel a complete lot higher about our outdoors corners. However . . . at what price?


There may be A LOT of assist among the many 12s for each BBK and Cedric Lattimore with a number of feedback about every of them within the respective threads.

It was heartwarming to see / learn.

Undecided I agree.

And suppose the teaching workers may need a unique opinion (particularly on BBK).

However I cherished the feedback 🙂


Somebody instructed that Seattle would possibly wish to package deal their 3 picks on this yr’s draft to maneuver as much as get a participant they covet who is perhaps “sliding”.

In concept, I see the enchantment.

Sadly, our 3 picks (#56, #129 + #250), packaged collectively, are roughly the equal of choose #52.

Word: Per the Jimmy Johnson Commerce Worth Chart, our present picks are value 384 factors. Decide #52 is value 380 factors; choose #51 is value 390.

When doubtful, spherical down.


It’s in all probability value noting that, per JPG’s 4/24 article, Seattle at the moment has 25 open roster spots – i.e. there are 65 gamers beneath contract with a complete of 90 roster spots obtainable.

Clearly, this leaves loads of “openings” for the Seahawks so as to add gamers – lots of whom will presumably be low-cost UDFAs.

But it surely’s additionally value noting that the ultimate roster solely has 53 obtainable spots.

It is going to be fascinating to see how the following few months play out.

Go ‘Hawks!

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