SharkHawk wrote:I've read a lot of opinions on Kruger lately. I am not sure how well the archive works here... but I've posted quite a bit about him over the last year or so I think. Paul wasn't a DE until he lost a QB battle in camp in college. He was the best high school QB in the state of Utah and is as cool and great of a teammate as there ever was. He was nearly killed after being stabbed many MANY times in an attempted murder. This is one reason why he turned pro early. He was still a bit undersized and was still learning the position. But he had a breakout season at Utah as a DE and went pro as his stock was up, and life is short and he'd already experienced the near death experience that changes so many.
He was strongly recruited by BYU and Utah as a QB, and both schools are pretty good at recruiting QB's. BYU said they wanted to move him to LB, Utah wanted to use him as a QB, so he chose to go there. Then they changed their mind. He played, almost died, came back and played even better, and hit the NFL as a still pretty raw player. He has just started to hit his stride. He was a QB from the time he was a little kid and is a supreme athlete. I think he compares very well to Clem in a guy that is just putting it together a bit later because he wasn't the prototypical DE from age 12 like some of these guys that are high draft picks. I don't think he's just good because of Suggs as some have suggested. He's gotten by on athleticism and work ethic for sure, and now is really developed into a true DE. His best years are ahead of him.
I like Paul. I like his family. I think he would be 100% perfect as a fit for the Hawks. He isn't a Grant Wistrom type of signing where the guy had a couple of semi-good years on a team with a dominant offense and is due for an overpayment from a dumb team. He is a supreme athlete, teammate, and human being who is due to breakout in a major way if put in the right situation, and he commands respect from his life experiences and the respect he shows to others and has earned. If I had any say in it, he'd be my #1 target of realistic options. Keep in mind... his whole family still lives here in Utah near Provo (city of Orem about 30 minutes from the SLC airport). His brothers are players too in the Pac 12 at Utah as are many of his relatives, friends, and so on. I think the draw to the west coast would be strong, especially with a strong team. It's a 90 minute flight home from Seattle which is about what many of our commutes are. I think this could really work in our favor if the Hawks went after him. It would be so much easier for his family to attend games and such.
He is loyal and am sure he'd play in Baltimore for his whole career, but I think with the right offer and if Balto doesn't wow him off the bat, that Paul would give very serious consideration to offers from Seattle, San Francisco, and Denver due to the closeness of his family (geographically and emotionally), and the close regional proximity to his loved ones, and the fact that all three teams are excellent teams. I don't see him going to a place like Arizona, San Diego, or Oakland because they are all not particularly good franchises. But I can see the lure of a winner that is so close to home. Seattle would be a nice fit, and with the right amount of zeros on a deal I would think he would at least consider it and pause and think through all of the positives of such a move (if Baltimore doesn't come to play at the negotiating table). But knowing him... if Baltimore is close, he'll stay put because he's that kind of guy. To me... that means he's the kind of guy I'd like to swipe and add to our team.
He is a total ball hawk and oozes leadership. I've seen similar players see opportunities like this and bolt because they have a chance to move to a younger team and lead rather than stick with a bit older team and be a "piece of the puzzle". I've said it too much. I'd be 100000000 percent behind a heavy pursuit of Paul and hope it isn't just a pipe dream on my part. Great player, and an even better person. Fits the Hawks mold of player perfectly. Was always the underdog as a DE in college. He was a QB playing OLB/DE and learning on the job and was dominating while just picking it up. I'd go after him over Osi or anybody else that is available at DE. Rotating him in and using him while Clem recovers, and then having a lineup with multiple looks with Irvin, Clem, Mebane and Kruger in on passing downs could be a thing of beauty. Paul has incredible football knowledge and I can see him having zero issue covering in zone blitz packages due to his speed and knowledge of offenses. Overall, he'd be my #1 target to help the pass rush from the outside.
Phenomenal post Shark. You just turned me into a big fan of Kruger's. I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday, a diehard Ravens fan, and he told me that he hopes Kruger will stay put. However, with Flacco's contract status up in the air he's not so sure what will happen. Seattle might have a chance to steal him. Like you, he raved about Kruger and thinks that he's only going to get better. A lot of people have pointed to his lack of top notch speed as a reason the Seahawks might possibly not be interested, but I don't think they will discriminate when it comes to getting guys who can rush the passer. They stressed that that's the area of need they need to fix most. Sometimes certain guys just know how to get to the QB, despite limited physical ability.
And he played absolutely huge when it mattered most. 4.5 sacks in the postseason, 1 of those being in the Super Bowl. That's ballsy play right there. I expect that Pete and John will be interested. Hopefully, they get the chance to wow him with what they've built here in Seattle. You'd have to figure that San Fran would be in on him hard too considering he's already playing in a 3-4 and might make a smoother transition. Plus, they'd want to keep him away from a rival as even they know that he'd improve the Seahawks a great deal. I wonder how much $ he'd command.
Damnit Shark, now you've raised my expectations!