There are some definite wants:Ryan Swope
. I'm right there with you. I have a flat out unabashed man crush on this dude. In terms of how he'd compete/upgrade the WR position, I'd consider the following:
1. He'd be the fastest WR on the team. Maybe on the entire team.
2. He'd be one of, if not the best blocking WR on the team.
3. He'd be one of the best pure pass catchers on the team the day he signs.
4. He'd undeniably be the best broken play/ad lib player on the entire team not named Wilson
There are a multitude of ways he improves this team. But I think #4 is far and away the most compelling. I would expect no less than 4 broken play TDs between him and Russell in his first year. This past year, it was maddening to see Tate/Rice and Baldwin generally stop their routes and clumsily try to figure out what to do when Russell did his Benny Hill thing. Swope shows the best instincts I've ever seen in terms of being able to sense when a play is going to break down, and to know where the green grass is and how to get there.
For this team, he's my best case perfect fit for Seattle at any position.Terron Armstead
. This is a weird pick for me to explain. But I'll try.
When I watch his tape, I'm not exactly sure what I'm seeing. This is a guy who really just moves fluid -- like a RB or something. I mean he doesn't kick slide. He doesn't move like an OT. And I can't tell if it's just that he doesn't practice at it. Or if he's so athletically gifted that he doesn't need to.
He is without question a World Theory guy. He has supernatural quickness in the feet. So quick that it really does appear that he authors his own personal brand of technique.
I never had a chance to look at Walter Jones tape for Florida State. So I can't compare the two. I've not see any prospect whose footwork has been so good. His feet move like that of a 200 lb back.
Here's my no particular order list:
- Aaron Dobson. Outside of Swope and Hopkins, I think Dobson has the best receiving skills in this draft. I am a big believer in seeing receiving skills. It's not something that I believe is reliably coached up. Certainly not after a college career. Dobson has great skill at catching the balls out of the air aggressively.
- Chris Harper. He is a lot like Dobson. Shows great consistency and ability to attack the ball. There are countless catches on tape where he just posts up/blocks out or outfights corners for the ball. He had the misfortune of playing with Collin Klein who is purely awful as a QB. But the flip side is, you can plainly see a WR who is incredibly adept at making his QB look good. That is a trait that I truly believe is the gold standard for Seattle WRs. Harper has excellent receiving skills, good size and top 10 NFL physicality right now.
- DeAndre Hopkins. Great receiving skills. This draft is ridiculously ripe in really good skill prospects. He is just outstandingly smooth. He has a true knack for getting open and like all 4 WRs I've listed, he attacks the ball.
Each of these 4 guys really visibly treat the ball like it's the most important thing in the world. The skill level between these 4 guys is just truly outstanding. All four have more skill than any WR taken in last year's draft hands down.
- Jordan Mills. I am impressed with this guy. Solid feet. Plays with a bit of a Giacomini chippiness.
- Luke Marquardt. I know Cable doesn't shy away from big guys. I would question how a tackle of his height would fare trying to execute a ZBS cut block. Still, I've liked him for awhile and he has been rising fast in the last 2 weeks.
- Brennan Williams. Smooth tackle with good athleticism and physicality. Like him as a 4th-5th round OT alternative
- Justice Cunningham. I see a lot to like from this guy. I like him as a medium term replacement for Zach Miller, should his resigning/restructuring become a problem. Very good blocker. I think his receiving skills are underrated. He doesn't have the elusiveness or speed of Miller (although surprisingly, Miller ran a 4.87 at the combine compared to Cunningham's 4.94 -- so they aren't that dissimilar). Very good inline blocker who has outstanding hip flexibility and shows outstanding lateral quickness. Used frequently as a fullback to great success.
- Kyle Juszczyk. Good flexible alternative that could be paired with Robinson in the short term, while providing long term replacement value at FB. Was a standout at the Senior Bowl which we all know Pete and John value highly as a draft tool/medium.
- Christine Michael. I gained a quick appreciation of his, while studying Swope. Looks like a quality prospect at a position needing eternal depth. I do think that not having a third back limits Pete. A physical prospect that has explosive talent. This is a team that needs good starter quality depth. I just don't find it at all likely that Marshawn avoids injury yet again. His style, and the carries is going to catch up with any man.
- Sheldon Richardson. I have to agree with Rob on this. There are very few times where prospect and need so conveniently marry. It's a shame that it won't happen barring some freakish trade. I truly believe this is a guy that completes the defense from a very good to elite defense into an elite for all time (90s Cowboys, 00s Bucs) kind of defense.
- Trevardo Williams. Listed as DE, but played hybrid 2 and 3 point stances. Guy was incredibly productive and he displays significant desire and effort. You see it visibly that he doesn't just get blocked and stay blocked. He works and counters and doesn't quit. Productive. Competitive. Measurables. Sounds Seahawkish to me.
- John Simon. Looking at him as a competitor to KJ Wright. I like Wright, but Simon improves the speed and strength. Further, Wright comes up for extension the same year as Sherman (and Carpenter). What happens if Carpenter has an injury free year and just completely dominates at LG? This is a team that is going to have to plow under some good fan favorites and Wright is one of those guys. Simon works for that purpose.
That said, I know Pete's declared Bruce Irvin his ideal LEO. But in my mind, Simon is that guy. He is a classic tweener. Good size and his physicality belies his smaller stature. He plays bigger than he is.
He simultaneously has the ability to be faster than he is -- particularly in his ability to close space and angles on the edge. He closes the deal. In explosive fashion. There are very few guys where the notion of 'forget the numbers' applies. For Simon, I believe they do.
If the LEO has to be physical enough to take on the point of attack on a run, and quick enough to maintain the outside shoulder free and have good enough pass rush skills to be able to attack a 1 v 1 blocker both on the edge and on the inside shoulder -- then I don't see a better fit than Simon.
I see Simon as being multi dimensional and being able to compete at more than one position. Guy is an incredibly productive football player and has all manner of *it* about him.
- Philip Steward. I can't get this guy out of my head. In particular, I'm truly amazed at his ability to cover and to diagnose pass plays. He has a true gift for that. This is a particularly topical liability for this team -- because we were flat out bad at covering the middle third of the field.
These are three guys, who in particular stood out to me in game footage. Of course, take that with a grain of salt, because I didn't see Bobby Wagner in the same way as Seattle did. I felt Kendricks was a significantly better prospect. I had to go back to tape when we drafted him and thought he was good -- in the same class as Demario Davis who I really liked last year. More fluid and natural, but not as physical and punishing.
- Tyrann Mathieu. I should be clear. I'm totally ok with us not taking him. I don't really want him on this team. I've been a consistent critic of his and don't believe for a second he's a first round pick if only for the dope. But I do see qualities in his play that leave me to think he'd be a very good depth player to compete/replace Chris Maragos. He possesses a lot of skills that Earl does and does play best reacting to plays in front of him.